This is why we can't have nice things. (in Debates)


AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] March 5 2012 3:13 PM EST

People Aren't Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say

I believe this, simply because one thing my own intelligence has told me is that when I am not smart enough to know the best solution to a problem I should illicit the opinion of others on that topic. Unfortunately, it seems to me that many other people, who are even less informed then me, are fully willing to give their own opinion on subjects with an air of authority, when they are the least qualified of any to give an informed response. Would you agree or disagree with this assessment?

QBRanger March 5 2012 3:18 PM EST

Yes,

Typically those who scream the loudest or spend the most on advertising are listened to the most.

However, the authors of this fine article do not state what form of government is a better system, or a fairer system then democracy.

While democracy is of course not ideal, I do not see any other system that prevents tyranny.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] March 5 2012 3:23 PM EST

I don't think they suggested any alternate forms of government, but it does give me some explanation for why exceptional politicians get voted out and mediocre politicians get voted in. Put bad politicians in, and it's not surprising that you get bad legislation out.

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] March 5 2012 3:25 PM EST

Things might be better too if we could have a "try again" choice on the ballot.

QBRanger March 5 2012 3:28 PM EST

We have such a system in America that makes it very hard to vote an incumbant out. Especially if they are in a very liberal or conservative state/district.

I have always been a firm advocate for term limits, however, the people that would vote on them (Congress) would see their meal tickets dry up with them.

Lord Bob March 5 2012 3:56 PM EST

However, the authors of this fine article do not state what form of government is a better system, or a fairer system then democracy. While democracy is of course not ideal, I do not see any other system that prevents tyranny.
This is correct.

Lochnivar March 5 2012 4:12 PM EST

Mr Churchill concurs:

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."


"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] March 5 2012 4:15 PM EST

Would be interesting to see the types/classes/iqs/etc of people who do and don't vote as well.

It could also be that a majority of smart people don't vote due to the futility. All of the candidates seem poor choices and the only continue the status quo at best.

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] March 5 2012 4:16 PM EST

^ see Pavlov's Dogs and learned helplessness

AdminG Beee March 5 2012 4:56 PM EST

Trouble with democracy is that it's full of hard choices. We can't have everything but the foolish politician who delivers that message doesn't last 5 minutes.
The people who have the balls to deliver that message are labelled troublemakers and militants and trashed as a result.

Democracy sucks but it's better than the alternative.

PS: From what I've read about Winston Churchill it's fair to say there's a general consensus that he wasn't the best politician by a long shot, but he was a very good wartime prime minister.

Wise March 5 2012 10:19 PM EST

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/alexis_de_tocqueville_2.html#ixzz1oIr3mEEX

No wonder we don't have a Republic anymore, Congress knows how to bribe us.

Sickone March 5 2012 10:53 PM EST

All I can say is... "DUUUH!"
Democracy has always been a popularity contest, nothing more, nothing less. Because the average voter is dumb as a rock.

Let me put it this way.
I would consider a person with an IQ of 100 to be pretty damn stupid.
Now, 50% of people are STUPIDER than that, again, by definition.
In other words, the world is full of morons, quite literally.

If it were after me, I would start by having the bottom scoring 75% of the population (so anybody with an IQ below roughly 110 on a SD16 scale IQ test) lose the right to vote, permanently, period.
And that's actually being pretty generous - 110 is not always all that bright either.

In fact, I would go even as far as restricting the right to vote to college graduates with an IQ of at least 115 (115 being the mean IQ of college graduates).

Wise March 5 2012 10:59 PM EST

Wow! I mean you must be trolling...lol

QBRanger March 5 2012 11:14 PM EST

Back to the subject at hand, a large reason for today's political problems revolved around us having a "political" class.

People making rules that do not apply to them.

Like insider trading, or Obamacare, or slander/libel.

And without term limits, this class knows it can live this life forever. We know this is true for 90+ percent of these people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_stagnation_in_the_United_States

So what stops them from abusing the system to both protect their power and to make money for themselves and their families?

Nothing and that is what destroys a true democratic system.

I am sure that they feel they are doing for the Country with their tax more/tax less rhetoric, however, does anyone really need an explanation of Congress' 8% approval rating.

Wise March 5 2012 11:22 PM EST

I agree Ranger, they should live with social security, medicare or medicaid, public education for their children and every other government program. They should be prohibited from sending their children to private schools, using private health insurance and certainly should only receive social security instead of a cushy government pension.

Phoenix [The Forgehood] March 6 2012 12:13 AM EST

We are not a democratic system...

Sickone March 6 2012 12:36 AM EST

Wow! I mean you must be trolling...lol

Why ?
Just because I believe most people should not be allowed to vote because they don't have a clue what the better choice actually is, and more often than not vote against the actual best choice ?
It's now even scientifically proven to be true.

Allowing below-average people to vote makes the vote of above-average people far less relevant.
In fact, the more people are allowed to vote, the less and less smarter and smarter people have any reason to vote at all (since, hey, they'd be overruled anyway).

Removing the right to vote from people who would do more bad than good with it is the smart thing to do.
Obviously, not just the smart thing, but also the very UNPOPULAR thing to do, and therefore it will never be going to happen because the below-average people will not be able to realize the need for it... so, yeah, vicious circle.

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] March 6 2012 12:36 AM EST

cracked.com did it!

Sickone March 6 2012 3:09 AM EST

cracked.com did it!

On at least two separate occasions, actually :)

http://www.cracked.com/article_19086_5-reasons-humanity-terrible-at-democracy.html
and
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-online-petitions-that-prove-democracy-broken

WARNING : possible mildly offensive language slightly peppered here and there (it's cracked.com after all).

Wise March 6 2012 4:43 AM EST

The reason I know you're trolling is because you claim to advocate for democracy, but in fact desire an aristocracy.

AdminTitan March 6 2012 6:51 AM EST

Yeah, you know what Sickone that sounds like a pretty good idea, there's nothing I'd like more than to vote out the people who want to raise my taxes simply because I make a lot of money and am smart.

Sucks to be dumb and poor!!!!!

Adminedyit March 6 2012 9:36 AM EST

actually your vote doesn't count.

we have an electoral college. who's vote may or may not be swayed by the general populations vote.

your vote is an appeasement to make you feel like you have a slight say in the executive branch of government.

Duke March 6 2012 11:08 AM EST

When you allow corporation and private invidual to raise massive amount of cash for both party you are no longer in a democraty. Invidual donation should be limited to 1K and corporation and any others entity donation to any election campaign should be make illegal. Having any personal or family interest into certain field should also deem illegal. Lobbying registery list of organisation and individual in those organisation. Any offical cant work prior or after work for a any lobby.Commercial AD during campaign should be limited to official candidate organisation with mention from where the message come from.

QBRanger March 6 2012 11:40 AM EST

As long as we lump unions into the same class as corporations with respect to campaign donations, I am fine with any cap on contributions.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 6 2012 1:00 PM EST

Political Parties need to be held to thier campaign promises, much like any company would to a tender.

You promise to do 'x' to get into office, then you do 'y', and you're out. It's back to another GEneral election.

And this time, don't lie to the electorate.

But, I actually agree with the sentiment behind what Sick is saying.

How can we *possibly* expect people to vote intelligently, and appropriately, when we don't educate people on how, or why, to vote.

There is a telling story form a while ago in the local borough I work in. The majority of the electorate living there are from Bangladesh, and a right wing right wing, racist, white supremesist party was almost voted in. Becuase the BNP (British National Party) had the same abreviation as the popular party form thier contry of origin, the Bangladeshi National Party. Add to the mix a low level of english in the families, and one BNP became regonised as another BNP and the community nearly voted in a party that would have descriminated against them, totally by accident.

Education. Educate the general populace as to why they should vote, and what for...

And don't treat us like idiots or lie to us when you campaign.

Sickone March 6 2012 2:53 PM EST

Yeah, you know what Sickone that sounds like a pretty good idea, there's nothing I'd like more than to vote out the people who want to raise my taxes simply because I make a lot of money and am smart.

First off, while there is some degree of correlation between intelligence and wealth up to a certain point, especially in the bottom half, but EXTREME wealth does not correlate all that well with significantly above-average intelligence.

More importantly, while certainly not an absolute rule, statistically speaking more intelligent people are more likely to be more understanding of the negative socio-economic implications of income inequalities and thus more likely to accept laws that lessen the gaps, even if it is slightly in their own disinterest.
On the other hand, still statistically speaking, the LESS intelligent people tend to vote more against their own interest rather than in their own long-term favour, simply based on loud rhetoric peppered with inflamatory statements spouted by the same people that would eventually enact laws that would hurt them instead of helping them, because they are generally unable to fully comprehend (or even accept) the consequences.

If you think that in the USA of today being smart, relatively knowledgeable and a hard worker would more often than not translate into becoming reasonably wealthy... well, think again, because it doesn't. The reality says that's not even halfway enough for that to happen, on a sufficiently large sample size.
The wealth and influence of your parents, the college you graduated with and the power of the friends you made is far more important than any of the other things. Sure, anecdotal exceptions do exist, but we're talking from a statistical viewpoint.
Or, in other words, actual upwards mobility in USA is pretty pathetic compared to the loudly touted "american dream".

QBsutekh137 March 6 2012 3:53 PM EST

Sickone, surely you can step back and realize that "only smart people should vote" is an unenforceable rule and incredibly slippery slope to be standing on, yes?

One need look no further than history on this. Do you know what sorts of rules were put in place for voting after the Civil War? Rules like, you have to own land were common (because prior slaves had no land) and you have to be able to read (because many prior slaves couldn't read) were common.

The problem with these sorts of vague rules is that they introduce a meta-layer of eligibility that is decidedly NON-democratic. Who gets to decide what "smart enough" is? You? Me? You better hope someone smarter than YOU doesn't get to decide, because guess what -- you just had your voter registration torn up.

Does that sound fair to you in any sense of the word? We aren't playing a game of Civ here where we can mess around with Technocracies and Enlightened Despotic Rule on a whim. It needs to be workable...

QBsutekh137 March 6 2012 3:59 PM EST

...and as flawed as Democracy is, we should actually be embracing it more to make it work better:

-- Fuller voting: run-off voting, rate-voting, etc. Our votes should count for more than a binary switch.
-- More representative voting. Those "throw away" votes? They should count for something. We need more parties, and those parties should be proportionately represented. I'm not as well-versed in this as I'd like to be, but other national governments do this.
-- Better education. The other side of the education/democracy relation is to try to get better education in place: free thinking, critical thinking, meta-discourse... These things appear to be lost as all people seem to care about is "what can you be when you grow up" and "what's your major". Of course you are likely to end up as an incompetent voter when the only decision education helps with is what type of tool should be put in your hand on graduation day.

These are just three things off the top of my head. The first two are just as hard as things like term limits (that Ranger mentions) -- the representatives in power are never going to go for them because they are entrenched. The third one is something everyone can work on just be keeping their eyes open and making sure they raise true citizen thinkers as opposed to future Wal-Mart supervisors or someone playing the professional sports lottery. We need to aim much, much higher in regards to educating our children.

Lord Bob March 6 2012 4:49 PM EST

As long as we lump unions into the same class as corporations with respect to campaign donations, I am fine with any cap on contributions.
If it means getting the corporate money and corruption out of our elections, and returning power to the actual voters, I'm all for it!

Sickone March 6 2012 5:26 PM EST

Sickone, surely you can step back and realize that "only smart people should vote" is an unenforceable rule and incredibly slippery slope to be standing on, yes?

Unlegislateable rule under a democracy, you mean, due to the very nature of voting in democracies.
Because it's quite enforceable if it would ever get made into a law (which it won't, not while in a democracy). Not cheaply, but certainly enforceable.

The problem with these sorts of vague rules is that they introduce a meta-layer of eligibility that is decidedly NON-democratic. Who gets to decide what "smart enough" is? You? Me? You better hope someone smarter than YOU doesn't get to decide, because guess what -- you just had your voter registration torn up.

The whole point was that DEMOCRACY doesn't work for electing capable leaders because people (i.e. the voters) are not identically-abled... and skipping a lot of steps described in the article... therefore in a democracy, the chosen leadership will be overwhelmingly mediocre, just slightly above the median on average in the long enough run, with the occasional exception in either direction.
So, to put it mildly, I don't give a damn that the system is inherently non-democratic. In fact, that was pretty much THE point. Not being democratic is a plus, not a minus.

As for who decides who is smart enough... well, personally, I would be quite happy with a cutoff anywhere between the top 25% to just the top 0.5% of the general population (so anywhere between 1 in 4 to 1 in 200). Using any of the myriad versions of multi-pronged-approach IQ tests that have been recognized as reasonably reliable would be the objective way to determine who makes the cut and who doesn't after somehow magically the percentage would be agreed upon.

That's EVEN IF the particular chosen percentage would actually be one that's low enough for it to mean I no longer get to vote afterwards.
If it's for the overall betterment of society in the long run, yes, sure, I would gladly give up my right to vote.

It's not like I was voting before, because it was generally pointless (the persons I end up wanting to vote for don't stand a snowflake's chance in hell), and it's not like I'd really need to vote afterwards, because I trust the ones that would still retain voting rights and bother to vote to make at least as good of a choice as I would have made anyway. I have absolutely no qualms in deferring to the judgement of a person who has OBJECTIVELY been PROVEN to be more likely to be more qualified to make those choices than I am.

Better education

That's one of the few things I can actually agree with, but in general, not as far as the failures or potentially redeemable qualities of democracy goes.
If you insist on maintaining some form of democracy, that education should start at a very young age and should engrain some very important things into every person's mind :
- that saying "I don't know yet" or "I have no opinion for now" IS NOT SHAMEFUL, but quite the exact opposite
- that the ability to change one's mind if new evidence surfaces is NOT a sign of weakness, but again, the exact opposite of that
- that if you have no factually-corroborateable opinions for the qualities of a certain candidate (either due to lack of interest or lack of verifiable facts), you should probably abstain from voting in a "traditional" election at all, or at most vote against those you have a negative opinion about (in a multi-choice election.

All of the above, of course, peppered in between heavy-duty science and math classes (you have no business being unable to calculate with just a pen and paper by the time you finish highschool ; just like you have no business not understanding basic general physics and biology, plus at least a cursory knowledge of genetics, inheritability and other such factors, basic economics and what could only be called either "good manners" or "common sense" to name but a few absolutely mandatory life skills schools SHOULD teach you if your parents didn't already (they should test for it either way and schedule remedial classes in case they might be needed).

QBsutekh137 March 6 2012 5:53 PM EST

So, your idea for "enforceability" on this is an IQ test? That's it? So, a perfectly sensible, charismatic person who just doesn't have a high enough IQ doesn't get to vote? Doesn't have any civic power whatsoever. Oh dear. I also assume such a doofus wouldn't be allowed on a jury (the smart elite is going to have to spend a lot of time in the courtroom!)

I don't have a problem with doing something other than democracy, either. But I can't think of anything better. I have always had a fondness for "enlightened despotism", but who wouldn't? Well, people who disagree with the despot, for one. One person's enlightenment is another person's anathema. It is tempting to look at a government that is fast and light and good, but one really need look no further than to someone who does NOT like what is going on. What recourse does that person have? Answer: they have less and less as power consolidates to fewer and fewer. That's simple math (you don't even need a pen and paper to work it out. *smile*)

To put this all another way, if we were starting from scratch (as opposed to starting with, "Arg! Democracy is flawed!"): Who would you put in charge, knowing full well that you may not be one of the people put in charge under this new system. Imagine you are being born into a society on a lottery system, and you don't get to know where in the Gaussian distribution you'll fall (in regards to the leadership criteria). What sort of system would you like to have in place? (Incidentally, that exercise is also fun for deciding economic systems -- would you rather be born into strict socialism or laissez-faire capitalism, for example?). I do hope you will answer, as I am curious (about the "who gets the power?" question).

It is for this reason that I'd rather make democracy better rather than revert (yes, I mean to use that word) to some other system. If you research long enough, you will almost assuredly find your idea has already been tried somewhere, in some similar form, at some point in history -- see how things turned out.

You mention no longer voting because your candidates don't ever stand a chance. OK, so why don't we work toward them having a chance rather than throwing out the whole system? Let's say you vote for candidates who regularly only get 10% of the vote, so never get anywhere. Under a variable-representative system, that would mean 43 of our US Reps would be the type of people you (and the other ten percent) vote for. Wouldn't that be nice? To have a voice of like-minded folks in the chambers of power?

Instead, you'd rather set an arbitrary line based on IQ and then entrust all power to the tops? Where are the checks and balances in that? Would there still be an official document (like the Constitution), or could this new brain-trust eliminate that (because I am assuming they get to have ALL the power). I also assume the judicial branch is *poof* gone? Or would that group be made up of the super-super smart?

Then, what do we do as the smart statistically become diluted, dumber and dumber, in the event we still let "dumb" people have children...or were you going to tackle that little bit of personal liberty, too?

You have good points, and you have the floor. I'd love to hear more of your ideas on government.

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] March 6 2012 6:36 PM EST

Sickone, surely you can step back and realize that "only smart people should vote" is an unenforceable rule and incredibly slippery slope to be standing on, yes?

How about only smart people can be elected president? Of course we would have to exclude a large number of politicians from running then, but this would be a good thing i would think.

Sickone March 6 2012 8:47 PM EST

So, your idea for "enforceability" on this is an IQ test? That's it? So, a perfectly sensible, charismatic person who just doesn't have a high enough IQ doesn't get to vote? Doesn't have any civic power whatsoever. Oh dear. I also assume such a doofus wouldn't be allowed on a jury (the smart elite is going to have to spend a lot of time in the courtroom!)

Well, notice how I said "multi-pronged approach IQ tests".
Not sure you're familiar with those, but they tend to measure various aspects of the IQ separately (like, say, spatial, vocabulary, calculus, pattern seeking, etc) and then also provide a composite score for convenience.

More focused/specialized intelligence tests can almost certainly be designed for accurately assessing potential of just about any basic activity that can benefit from cognitive efficiency (be it in form of decreased execution time, more accurate work or any other number of things), and could even include the estimation//assessment of one's own professional performance based on both existing employment records and practical profession-appropriate tests.
So, for instance, a person might not be quite the sharpest tool in the shed, but they have a very impressive track record in a specific profession - they might get to vote on the particular laws which involve his profession.

I don't see why the voting pools for different governmental positions or even legislative decisions couldn't be only partially overlapping and mostly separate.
So, for instance, you'll probably WANT quite a few smart doctors, pharmacists, biologists, chemists and physicists working together with a few lawyers, economists, bankers and statisticians or actuaries, plus other assortments of professionals that might have overlapping applications DECIDING on legislation regarding health care and related issues, but you'll want IT guys, content providers and other similar background guys (and next to no doctors, biologists nor chemists) when you're talking internet regulation and other such things.


I don't have a problem with doing something other than democracy, either. But I can't think of anything better. I have always had a fondness for "enlightened despotism", but who wouldn't? Well, people who disagree with the despot, for one. One person's enlightenment is another person's anathema. It is tempting to look at a government that is fast and light and good, but one really need look no further than to someone who does NOT like what is going on. What recourse does that person have? Answer: they have less and less as power consolidates to fewer and fewer. That's simple math (you don't even need a pen and paper to work it out. *smile*)

Well, quite a few multinational companies (as far as the upper decisional echelons go) and just about every university on the planet have had far less problems than "pure bred" politicians when some sort of subform of meritocracy is employed. Sure, there are still political pressures, both internal and external, but in the absence of external political pressures, don't you think the internal ones would be sufficient to ensure election of a much more overall capable candidate ?


To put this all another way, if we were starting from scratch (as opposed to starting with, "Arg! Democracy is flawed!"): Who would you put in charge, knowing full well that you may not be one of the people put in charge under this new system. Imagine you are being born into a society on a lottery system, and you don't get to know where in the Gaussian distribution you'll fall (in regards to the leadership criteria). What sort of system would you like to have in place?

Quite frankly, a hybrid between democracy (as far as keeping some form of voting in play), moderate meritocracy with a bit of a periodic round-robin theme (to prevent any talented individual from becoming the de-facto permanent leader of anything, that's probably a combo I'll most likely stand by it quite a while from this moment on.
Basically, everything is decided by a panel of experts, with a sort of senate-like vibe for cross-panel meetings and more like supreme court-like internal ones.
"The well-being of the human race, nation then individual citizens" should be the main cornerstones of the new form of government, its member qualifying either through IQ tests, professional recognition from his peers and/or a combination thereof.

As far as not knowing where on the normal distribution your own abilities fall - well, as long as you have high enough confidence in the people composing each of those legislative and/or executive panels, who really cares if you personally had one of the many votes for candidate X (or Y) as long as results are beneficial.


(Incidentally, that exercise is also fun for deciding economic systems -- would you rather be born into strict socialism or laissez-faire capitalism, for example?). I do hope you will answer, as I am curious (about the "who gets the power?" question).

I *WAS* born into relatively strict socialism, I lived though a period of near-anarchy, then a banana-republic-worthy laissez-faire capitalism (as long as the bribes were flowing anyway), now quite a bit toned down due to the occasional compliance with EU directives and other similar documents.

Honestly ? Other than what now appears (in retrospect) to be a rather normal and predictable series of shortages which nevertheless got blamed on the then-current "commie president", the median standard of
life used to be much, much, MUCH better than what it is now, and quite a few people half-seriously, half-jokingly say they'd trade the entire putrid economic class for a few more years of (presumably/hopefully) mild dictatorship.
Sure, we do have some rich which are richer than they've ever been, but like almost anywhere else, the poor DO get poorer, and it's all a vicious circle. The average might have gone up, but the median almost certainly went down.

It is for this reason that I'd rather make democracy better rather than revert (yes, I mean to use that word) to some other system. If you research long enough, you will almost assuredly find your idea has already been tried somewhere, in some similar form, at some point in history -- see how things turned out.

Basically, it's happening in the scientific community, in particular in universities. With some reservations, of course.
It's not perfect either, but more likely to get our collective behinds satisfied than just about any other of the alternatives.
So might as well give that a chance anyway.

Oh, what, you'd never get that signed into law, so, meh.

You mention no longer voting because your candidates don't ever stand a chance. OK, so why don't we work toward them having a chance rather than throwing out the whole system? Let's say you vote for candidates who regularly only get 10% of the vote, so never get anywhere. Under a variable-representative system, that would mean 43 of our US Reps would be the type of people you (and the other ten percent) vote for. Wouldn't that be nice? To have a voice of like-minded folks in the chambers of power?

Honestly, I'd get rid of most of the political class. It, like people handling hedge funds and other "businesses" that never produced anything even remotely of any actual substance or value.
See above for some more details.


Instead, you'd rather set an arbitrary line based on IQ and then entrust all power to the tops? Where are the checks and balances in that? Would there still be an official document (like the Constitution), or could this new brain-trust eliminate that (because I am assuming they get to have ALL the power). I also assume the judicial branch is *poof* gone? Or would that group be made up of the super-super smart?

You just trust the smart are just barely altruistic enough to not screw everybody else over, for starters - that will do wonders in terms of efficiency. However, if worse comes to worst, there's also always the "revolt" option. That is, if you would not already sit at home having fun, doing your job, and not really caring what shadowy conspiracies (if any) exist within the command group(s).

Then, what do we do as the smart statistically become diluted, dumber and dumber, in the event we still let "dumb" people have children...or were you going to tackle that little bit of personal liberty, too?

There is strong evidence that suggest intelligence is only weakly correlated with genetics (i.e. how smart/dumb your parents are) and noticeably more strongly correlated with early life education, engagement and other similar e-words.
Basically, even if some kid's parents are dumb as bricks, keep the kid healthy, clothe and feed him properly, and who knows, he could quite literally become a genius. Small chance (far more likely he'll just turn up a quite normal child), but still a chance nevertheless.


Well, sorry, but I am tired of writing and... I am sleepy, closing my eyes badly. Nighty night (or morning).

QBsutekh137 March 6 2012 11:29 PM EST

Well, notice how I said "multi-pronged approach IQ tests". Not sure you're familiar with those, but they tend to measure various aspects of the IQ separately (like, say, spatial, vocabulary, calculus, pattern seeking, etc) and then also provide a composite score for convenience.

Well, at least it's convenient. *smile*

No, I'm not particularly familiar with such tests, and don't care to be -- at least not in terms of how I'd like to be governed. NO test is going to convince me that someone is better to govern my wallet, my life, my _child_ better than myself. Sorry, Hoss. This all sounds WAY too antiseptic to me, and I'm the King of Antisepsis.

More focused/specialized intelligence tests can almost certainly be designed for accurately assessing potential of just about any basic activity that can benefit from cognitive efficiency (be it in form of decreased execution time, more accurate work or any other number of things), and could even include the estimation//assessment of one's own professional performance based on both existing employment records and practical profession-appropriate tests.

So, for instance, a person might not be quite the sharpest tool in the shed, but they have a very impressive track record in a specific profession - they might get to vote on the particular laws which involve his profession.

So, let me summarize -- you are going to find the best bit of whatever from each and every citizen, rise that cream to the surface, and skim that cream for leadership. Well, yeah -- I'm on board. Who wouldn't be? You're saying you are going to somehow find the best bit of everything, somehow assess how it can be best used, and then somehow put it in the exact perfect spot to govern a perfect society. Tasty. Not very realistic, though. Palpably not so, in fact.

You are talking _pure_ theory. Like, as in, man, if we could just harness the best of everything and put it to its exact best use! Yeah, I agree with that. But you have to, at the very least, dip this bread in some pragmatic soup, Sickone. I can go to Wikipedia and come up with all the best ideas, ever, too. That doesn't make the ideas bear fruit. You REALLY think you could assemble a battery of tests to put everything in the right spot at the right time?

I don't see why the voting pools for different governmental positions or even legislative decisions couldn't be only partially overlapping and mostly separate. So, for instance, you'll probably WANT quite a few smart doctors, pharmacists, biologists, chemists and physicists working together with a few lawyers, economists, bankers and statisticians or actuaries, plus other assortments of professionals that might have overlapping applications DECIDING on legislation regarding health care and related issues, but you'll want IT guys, content providers and other similar background guys (and next to no doctors, biologists nor chemists) when you're talking internet regulation and other such things.

Now you appear to be talking about some sort of _administrative_ Nirvana. How on EARTH are you going to assemble this level of minutiae to get this decision-making accomplished? I'm back to your whole "everything in the perfect place, man!" idealism, and I am Mayor McIdeal from Idealsville. Are you going to have folks register their specialties? Maybe serial numbers on forearms so that you know where everyone stands on various things? For one, you are talking about a completely NON-anonymous society, no privacy, at least for the upper 25% of IQ (from what I gather). I wear an EFF hat for a reason. You don't get to know a damn thing about me, bro. That's not government. That's potential, organized slaughter. Please, please. Check the history books as you think through these ideals. The more bells and whistles you put on this, the more risk you put on everyone. I have to register as a scientist so I can vote on science-y things? Hm. Great. That will make it very easy for the science-haters to round me up during the revolution (more on that later).

Well, quite a few multinational companies (as far as the upper decisional echelons go) and just about every university on the planet have had far less problems than "pure bred" politicians when some sort of subform of meritocracy is employed. Sure, there are still political pressures, both internal and external, but in the absence of external political pressures, don't you think the internal ones would be sufficient to ensure election of a much more overall capable candidate ?

Wait, you are now comparing the government that should equally represent 300+ million people to a single company or university?! Tell me you are kidding. You want us to run this ship like Wal-Mart? Like Apple? Like Facebook? Like Harvard? The funniest part is that you think Universities and corporations don't have problems _every_ _day_. I went to a very, very small university, around 5 or 6 orders of magnitude smaller than the population of the United States, and I heard about problems every day. I had a brother-in-law who worked maintenance, and I worked food service, so maybe I saw the more grotty bits -- it's just as real as anything, though. Run this country like where I went to school? Um, no. I assure you that you'd have more credence if you give that nonsense up right now. Immediately. That's ridiculous.

Quite frankly, a hybrid between democracy (as far as keeping some form of voting in play), moderate meritocracy with a bit of a periodic round-robin theme (to prevent any talented individual from becoming the de-facto permanent leader of anything, that's probably a combo I'll most likely stand by it quite a while from this moment on.

OK. Now tell us how you'd make that happen. Practically speaking. Meritocracy is an ideology, not a government system. I'm back to the top on this: you want every bit of gold-tinged flotsam and jetsam without providing details on how you think this could possibly work long term.

Basically, everything is decided by a panel of experts, with a sort of senate-like vibe for cross-panel meetings and more like supreme court-like internal ones.

All the hits. A "senate-like" vibe (but not the Senate, no way)... Cross-panel meetings (but not really the checks and balances we have now), and some "supreme-court-like" processes thrown in for good measure.

Haven't you just described the three branches of the American gov't? On a good day, to be sure, but what's the difference? You're way WILL have bad days. Combating that has to be built in.

"The well-being of the human race, nation then individual citizens" should be the main cornerstones of the new form of government, its member qualifying either through IQ tests, professional recognition from his peers and/or a combination thereof.

That's already on the books. When is the last time you read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution? You're order of priority is different (and entirely unsustainable for a world in which separate, sovereign powers exist), but the ideals are the same.

As far as not knowing where on the normal distribution your own abilities fall - well, as long as you have high enough confidence in the people composing each of those legislative and/or executive panels, who really cares if you personally had one of the many votes for candidate X (or Y) as long as results are beneficial.

I don't know a single person who fits the criteria you just mentioned. Do you? You know a body of people that you would put your very life into their hands? The life of your spouse? Your children? You are comfortable letting these folks make all of your decisions? Hm. I lied before. I CAN think of a single person who gets to make those decisions for me. Me. But that's it. You want to hand everything over to someone else, some THING else that you don't even have a say on...well. Have to wait for the revolution, I guess. (More on that later).

I *WAS* born into relatively strict socialism, I lived though a period of near-anarchy, then a banana-republic-worthy laissez-faire capitalism (as long as the bribes were flowing anyway), now quite a bit toned down due to the occasional compliance with EU directives and other similar documents.

Where are you from? I'm lost. Near-anarchy and a banana-republic? But then EU directives? Sorry, you're throwing around some REALLY strong phrases. But if you are in Europe -- wha? Where did you experience strict socialism, then near-anarchy and then a banana republic?

Honestly ? Other than what now appears (in retrospect) to be a rather normal and predictable series of shortages which nevertheless got blamed on the then-current "commie president", the median standard of life used to be much, much, MUCH better than what it is now, and quite a few people half-seriously, half-jokingly say they'd trade the entire putrid economic class for a few more years of (presumably/hopefully) mild dictatorship.

I'll wait to comment till I know where you are from... Commie president?

Sure, we do have some rich which are richer than they've ever been, but like almost anywhere else, the poor DO get poorer, and it's all a vicious circle. The average might have gone up, but the median almost certainly went down.

That's going on everywhere. I think that's why we're having this discussion.

Basically, it's happening in the scientific community, in particular in universities. With some reservations, of course.

Like I said, nations aren't universities, and those reservations? The devil's in there.

It's not perfect either, but more likely to get our collective behinds satisfied than just about any other of the alternatives.

Says you. I've no reason to believe that, and I've plenty of history to point to. There's NO reason to believe what you are saying will happen when the rubber hits the road.

So might as well give that a chance anyway.

As I said previously, we aren't playing a game of Civ where we can try this and try that. So, I'm not sure what you mean here.

Oh, what, you'd never get that signed into law, so, meh.

That goes for most of this. *smile* But working within the Democratic system to get better representation (more power) IS possible. At the very least, it's more realistic than thinking we can rip up the turf and replace it with this meritocracy you speak of. That's Plato stuff.

Honestly, I'd get rid of most of the political class. It, like people handling hedge funds and other "businesses" that never produced anything even remotely of any actual substance or value. See above for some more details.

What makes you think the folks you rise to the top (via whatever system) aren't just politicians, too? You understand "politics" is a real thing, right? A useful thing, in fact. You think some term limits and merit-based appointments will supersede all that? I only have one thing to say to that... heh ha hahaha hahaHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

You just trust the smart are just barely altruistic enough to not screw everybody else over, for starters - that will do wonders in terms of efficiency. However, if worse comes to worst, there's also always the "revolt" option. That is, if you would not already sit at home having fun, doing your job, and not really caring what shadowy conspiracies (if any) exist within the command group(s).

AH! Here we go! I didn't realize you built in this little gem! WE CAN ALWAYS JUST SIMPLY REVOLT!

That's your grand plan? "Well, *shrug* we can always revolt!"

Not really foundational, governmental stuff, Sickone. Not in the slightest. Revolution can't be a valid aspect of any plan people won't just laugh at, don't you think?

There is strong evidence that suggest intelligence is only weakly correlated with genetics (i.e. how smart/dumb your parents are) and noticeably more strongly correlated with early life education, engagement and other similar e-words.

I didn't evoke nature vs. nurture. I evoked dumb people bearing and raising dumb kids. Are you taking these kids away from the dumb parents and having them be raised by people higher in the "merit" order? These kids are going to have the genes AND the nurture from these "dumb" folk. How are you assuring that the overall populous is getting "smarter" and not "dumber"? And please, don't say that the system will insure it, more meta-based hand-waving where things will just magically take care of themselves if you just, you know, put the really smart people in charge!

Basically, even if some kid's parents are dumb as bricks, keep the kid healthy, clothe and feed him properly, and who knows, he could quite literally become a genius. Small chance (far more likely he'll just turn up a quite normal child), but still a chance nevertheless.

No, actually. If all a child gets is base-adequate food and clothing, how could they possibly become more than their genetics? A smart kid needs that PLUS smart nurturing, smart exposure, smart opportunity that goes way beyond food and clothing. That's Maslow.

I agree with you, though. I think nurture is where it's at. But that is also merit based, right? If someone is way down the merit chain, what raises that kid up? Entropy is a tough nut. It is RELENTLESS. Things move downward unless they are maintained in an effortful and fruitful way. And that's just maintenance. We all get a good laugh when we play "telephone", but think about that. One time around the room, and "Washing hands can prevent disease" becomes "Kim Kardashian has a new love I see."

Which one one is going to save lives?

Which sentiment is easier to keep alive, realistically speaking?

Well, sorry, but I am tired of writing and... I am sleepy, closing my eyes badly. Nighty night (or morning).

As am I, thank you for the fruitful, civil discussion!

Sickone March 7 2012 8:01 AM EST

Well, it's not like we're talking how you could practically get there from a democracy, since we started early in admitting that in a democracy, the closer you get to actual true unfettered democracy, you just won't manage to truly do anything extraordinary on a large scale, instead you almost always get mediocrity or something just a teeny tiny bit better than that.
Democracy is generally good at weeding out the really bad apples (most of the time anyway), but is sure as heck generally dislikes the really bright ones too. It suppresses the chance of getting Nero or Caligula types too near the top, but at the expense of not getting any Louis XIV or Frederick II of Prussia either.

In related trains of thought, a democracy will almost never vote itself out (as in, vote for anything resembling any of what I described above) unless the voting members have a much higher civic duty and foresight than usual, which can only happen if they're radically smarter than the average, which can not happen in a democracy (and we're back where we started).
The "solution" to this problem, as always, is something exterior to the democratic process putting significant pressure on it to reform like that. What that might be is an open and unasked question (for all I know, it could be anything from WW3, a global pandemic, large meteor impact or any other numbers of dramatic and/or traumatic things).

So, basically, we're talking ideal and stable situation.
As to HOW to get to that particular equilibrium (or how much it would "cost", either in terms of human lives, resources, time or any combination thereof)... err... beats me, no idea.

If all a child gets is base-adequate food and clothing, how could they possibly become more than their genetics?

There's something we lost along the way towards urbanization and derivatives-backed capitalism... the notion that "it takes a village to raise a child".
So, in other words, a mandatory public school system that starts earlier (say, about age 3) and lasts longer (say, up to age 21), one with radically improved qualities and variety compared to what's available in general today, and oh, yeah, generally lasting from 8 AM to 6 PM each weekday and 9 AM to 2 PM each weekend.
Classes will also generally be rather small, under no circumstances over 25 children, preferably 15 or even slightly less. And the children should be parts of at least 2, preferably 3 or more such "groups", depending on class taken.
Age should not matter all that much as far as class composition goes, especially later on, and one should try to expose any particular child to as many separate teachers as possible while still maintaining coherent learning.

You would have THREE big sections of what you would today call "teachers".

First off, you will have the caretakers/administrators/"handlers". Those start with a group at NEAR the minimum age and stay with as many children from those groups for as long as possible, taking additional groups from the earliest age whenever workload permits. Initial group composition will be a completely blind random sampling of enrolees.
Each child will have at least 2, preferably 3 or more such "handlers" at any given time, based on the groups he's a part of at the time.
Handlers will generally be a combination of current-day kindergarten teacher, elementary school teacher, guidance counselor and traces of vice-principal rolled into one. Basically, professional ersatz parents, and they will liaise with the actual parents from a position of authority on any issues that involve their children.

Second, you would have the actual teachers, similar to current highschool and university teachers in that they are not generalists, but specialists.
As far as teaching something is concerned, while individual performance will indeed be noted and appreciated, a significant amount of effort should be invested into collective group performance.
Tests (after a fashion) should be far more frequent and seldom or only partially be an individual endeavour, with quite a few of the tests mostly containing questions slightly above the previously-covered difficulty (but not knowledge) level present throughout the test that can only be solved in time properly through group cooperation.
Also, if a single person in the group is failing the class, the entire group will be failing the class. Failure is therefore not an option.

Last but not least, you will have a host of less well paid (or not paid at all, so volunteers) set of "teachers" which will not so much impart theoretical and general knowledge, but share their own hands-on experience with a particular occupation with the children. It would actually be preferred for this type of teacher to have a day-job somewhere that they would keep while teaching.
Parents of children in the groups would not only be allowed but actually encouraged to take part in this and become part-time teachers of this type.
The only exclusive requirement to being such a class of teacher would be to prove to the children's "handlers" and other parents that you are above average at whatever job you have and that your job is valuable to society, by whichever means you deem appropriate for such proof. In other words, prove that you have something valuable to share with the children.
After that, based on available group unoccupied school time and the preferences children in groups have expressed, also based on available schedule of these types of teachers, classes will be scheduled (location will also be a bit less strict, if amenable, it could happen at whichever day job location the hands-on teacher actually works at).


So, you know... it would actually be a whole village raising every kid, in the end.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 7 2012 8:15 AM EST

But I can't think of anything better. I have always had a fondness for "enlightened despotism", but who wouldn't?

Benevolent dictatorship FTW. ;)

I'm sure I've mention the idea my Dad had for a political party over here.

To highlight issues with not only our current parties and government, but to also highlight the lack of education into the voting process.

He wanted to start the "None of the above" pary (I said he's have to add a few zzz tot he start of the name to be put at the bottom of the balot sheet), and the idea would be to vote for him if you just couldn't bring yourself to vote for 'any of the above'.

And if he got into power, he would instantly resign.

Get enough of the "none of the above" party into power and you could effectively shut down Government.

But my Dad was also sure if he was successful, he'd, er, have an accident. We'd find him the next day having suffered a heart attack, or a fatal fall down the stairs.

Really, anythings better than a party in power that none of the voters voted for, isn't it? Some hybrid monstrousity whose polices change like the wind and doesn't represent the wishes of any of the electorate. Go Go coalitions...

QBsutekh137 March 7 2012 9:49 AM EST

Funny stuff, GL (not the part about being thrown down stairs...)

Sickone, I think we have beat the democracy horse enough, so I don't have much more to say on that. You are right, of course, that it is hard to get changes made, but I do still believe that small changes, within the system, could have huge benefit and are more likely to happen someday. These changes, even in vanishingly small forms, would have the added benefit of a "snowball effect": the more people start feeling like they actually are a part of things, the more they will be a part. For example, you might start voting again if your vote actually meant something.

As far as education, I think we are in agreement. You state:

There's something we lost along the way towards urbanization and derivatives-backed capitalism... the notion that "it takes a village to raise a child".

That's sort of what I was saying. Just giving a child the bare necessities is not enough for genetics to do the rest and build a genius (or even "merit" level citizen). So without getting the education nut cracked and eaten, your meritocracy is going to continue to crumble under entropic, downward pressures.

Your thoughts on education are good ones, though I see a somewhat glaring omission: home/family. You speak about "ersatz parents", volunteers, handlers, and teachers, but where are the parents and siblings? Like your meritocracy plans, your education ideas sound a bit antiseptic, surgical. I see education as needing to become more organic. I DO like the notions of smaller classes, specialized teachers, etc., as long as the overall goal of being good critical thinkers is not lost. Sometimes the sum of parts ends up being LESS than the whole if the parts are too modular, too island-like. And sometimes the off-school hours can provide the glue and free-think time to put things together in more of a gestalt fashion.

As far as class sizes, small ones sadly don't guarantee a perfect level of teaching. I had only 12 kids in my class from grades 1 through 8. That didn't stop my fourth grade teacher from telling us all that Antarctica was a huge, hot desert (hey, the further south, right?). I didn't have the cajones to correct her. In eighth grade a substitute science teacher mentioned the sky was blue because it reflected off the ocean. I DID muster up the courage to correct her, albeit not all that eloquently (I knew the word wavelength" had something to do with it, but that was about it. *smile*)

In those 12-student class years, I learned WAY more from my siblings, mom, dad, and through reading/thinking entirely on my own than I did from teachers. To put it another way, I think your education ideas are sound, but I feel they should include a lot more augmentation from the home and family -- even if you don't feel the parents would all "merit" such a role.

Duke March 7 2012 2:21 PM EST

As long as we lump unions into the same class as corporations with respect to campaign donations, I am fine with any cap on contributions.


Reply : Not just labor union any or union, political donation should be limit to ONLY individual and cap its at 1K per year, also i dont understand why you should get tax break if you try to sway your official this should be remove as well. Its still have some loop hole for corporation or very rich individual to raise money but atlease its make its harder.

Duke March 7 2012 3:22 PM EST

There's something we lost along the way towards urbanization and derivatives-backed capitalism... the notion that "it takes a village to raise a child".
So, in other words, a mandatory public school system that starts earlier (say, about age 3) and lasts longer (say, up to age 21), one with radically improved qualities and variety compared to what's available in general today, and oh, yeah, generally lasting from 8 AM to 6 PM each weekday and 9 AM to 2 PM each weekend.
Classes will also generally be rather small, under no circumstances over 25 children, preferably 15 or even slightly less. And the children should be parts of at least 2, preferably 3 or more such "groups", depending on class taken.
Age should not matter all that much as far as class composition goes, especially later on, and one should try to expose any particular child to as many separate teachers as possible while still maintaining coherent learning.



Reply: Here we have public funded daycare its have start in 2005 if i remeber well. Cost is 7$ per day per child regardeless of there situation. The official reason was to give the ability to more woman to be on the workforce and ease finacial responsibility of young family. A others big reason unofficial reason was to break the circle of poverty and have all kid ready for school. Single mother jobless and no education is overall not the best person to raise children. Social service strongly suggest that they send there children to daycare. At the daycare they can be ''raise'' ''teach'' by proffesional. You are certain that they are receiving 1 good meal per day and learn to interact with others kid and not just punching. Also since the daycare is French or english only you dont end with kid at 5 that going to school and only speak spanish or chinesse.


We are know in 2012 7 year later the first batch of kid are know in primary school. The success of the program is there school maturity ,ability to put yourself in rank, follow directive, behaviour, communication are all greatly better for those that went to the daycare even compare to those from family with high income with stay at home mothers. There chance to succed and finish there high school is a lots higher making better citizen. I am not saying that this will solve every issue but worse case are often avoid. Its also mix kid from all origin and from all family income wich is again better.

Wise March 7 2012 8:39 PM EST

The glaring problem with a meritocracy is the belief that smart people have enough altruism to not take massive advantage of dumb people. It's simply untrue. Hitler was a genius and also one of the most evil people to ever walk the planet. The problem with giving power to fewer people is that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Lord North. Terms limits are a great idea for this very reason.

Democracy is the best form of government because it is the best at preventing the concentration of power. It's the best precisely because it takes so long to change anything. Rapid change is nothing more than the concentration of power.

You both seem to believe people are really good deep down. I'm sorry, but that's simply not true. Give people the ability to selfishly and freely take advantage of a situation and 9/10 they will.

Mikel March 7 2012 8:55 PM EST

The problem with Heroes is they either die a hero or live long enough to become the villian.

Sickone March 8 2012 4:57 AM EST

Hitler was a genius

Excuse me, WHAT ?

Hitler was a rather average guy but highly charismatic, and he was therefore surrounded by people who were highly adept at "managing" him, at least as long as things went well.
The only reason people THINK he was smart is that early on, he got results, but those results were not "earned" by him, they were just appended to him due to the "cult of personality" most dictators almost unavoidably sustain.

We have to thank HIS STUPIDITY for the fact the war was won when it was won, and not repeatedly lost on several occasions.
His decisions got increasingly stupider and more megalomaniac in nature the longer he stayed in power, BECAUSE he was getting harder and harder to manage, accepting less and less advice from the actual smart people around him, drinking his own "supreme leader" kool-aid.

So no, try to find another example of an allegedly smart people doing horrible things, and try to find a genuinely smart person that time.
And if you could find one without any easily diagnosable psychiatric problems (which would kind of easily disqualify them from a leadership position in an actual meritocracy), that would be super, m'kay ?

Sickone March 8 2012 5:03 AM EST

power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely

Actually, it's the other way around.
People who are genuinely smart seldom find the necessary time for the prerequisites of power-gathering, rarely bothering with all the posturing and self-advertisment that would be needed in a democracy to hold any meaningful office.
The CHASE for power is costly, therefore, only people who CRAVE (and seldom deserve) power will be the ones ATTEMPTING to acquire power, and therefore, the ones which will eventually get it. The more power one acquires, the less likely is that person to be genuinely non self-interested.
So it's NOT that power corrupts, it's that only the corrupt make the effort to seek power. And it's not that absolute power corrupts absolutely, it's that only the absolutely corrupt ever try to gain absolute power in the first place.
Basically, the guy so often quoted got his cause and effect backwards.

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] March 8 2012 6:45 AM EST

I'll take a shot at this.
Hitler was a genius and also one of the most evil people to ever walk the planet.
This democracy hasn't made me dumb enough to agree with either part of that. BTK and Manson were small time, but they got the guy beat on brains and evil.
You both seem to believe people are really good deep down. I'm sorry, but that's simply not true. Give people the ability to selfishly and freely take advantage of a situation and 9/10 they will.
Adolf was the great simple minded product of his environment to no end while being adorably pathetic on the whole. Much like every politician you could name off the top of your head.
That's right I'm defending Hilter from the lies, come at me dawg!
Hitler loooved sugar, dropped out of school, homeless, jailed, rejected by an arts school, liked Henry Ford on facebook, loved the family that didn't die around him wink wink, and gave his army blow-up sex dolls.
He was an american emo-idiot who could sell Sham-WOWs by the bundle. Oh, he had 20+ years to work on his sales pitch since he was WWI's version of twitter yet never killed anyone. The stuff you dig for after finding he was a name change away from a Die Hard villian one 4/20. ;)

The personified apex of supervillaindom no? He was a creepy fool with a dream and fellow scared hobos with dreams heard him well. See, Hitler didn't take power by force so much as he was enabled, was kinda voted in and didn't let go of his power. Like every other short guy in the military. That's what all the pointless explaining was for. Hitler being voted in by his assumptive peers. If you ever wondered how Satan's stylist or Bush came to power go back to the top.
By the same site: http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/2066-humans-intelligent.html
While higher IQ voting restriction won't mean less crazy or evilism. Will mean more individualism. Which might mean less chance of another Hitler or the "faith" it took to murder jews by the train load. Which means less chance of future political caricatures with another hamfist agenda getting massive support. Which means sickone's bad idea for a better voting system isn't trolling so much as hater be hating what need be hated.
I see idiot exclusion as silly and not executable. IQ is intangible. Unless majority taking to the simplicity of a GED level test for socio-political knowledge every four years. Can only see ruin. We know the answer is to make a smarter society. Think all else to say on that matter has been said.
power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely
Unfortunately sickone I have to agree with this. Obtaining power and keeping once obtained can just as well be one in the same. Power can be an unforeseen tool in a goal often outweighing reason or blinding to the corruption. I'll explain why it's almost infallible...
The rest of this is a brainfart so don't take me too literally. Mind you I play out power thoughts on a micro scene from day to day life rather than the macro when thinking about this proverb. Haggling, product, excuses, attraction, beliefs, personal gain, competition, friendship, etc. Power or proving ones existance to the world aren't common threads between all that, but can be, as we are silly animals. Have taken to the idea people get something of an emotion reinforcement from dang near any position of superiority or acknowledgement. Even while they are talking plainly about nothing. Notice I didn't say conditioning as the emotional response is rarely or consistently that strong for all situations. That upbeat flirt of a cashier at the mall, that seedy oil change expert, that bible thumper, that kid who sold mom's family brownies to friends, that gym rat, that teen thief, that vegan, that displeased man who just slammed his wallet on the table. All us of have been inflicted with moments of arrogant want which do indeed tie to semblances of marginal power, then this behavior persists, and you have indeed been corrupted. That quick and simple. We're big kids occasionally out to control without regard which is power in action. Excuse me. *waves stink away*

Edy won the thread and Hitler has jumped the shark. Have a fine day. ;)

Wise March 10 2012 5:20 AM EST

Sickone and Fawkes, you both admit that Hitler was a political genius and then proceed to call him stupid? I mean wow. How stupid can you be?

Adminedyit March 10 2012 5:38 AM EST

Please no personal attacks.

Sickone March 10 2012 6:18 AM EST

Sickone and Fawkes, you both admit that Hitler was a political genius and then proceed to call him stupid?

You don't call a lottery winner a financial genius, do you ?

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] March 10 2012 6:39 AM EST

you both admit that Hitler was a political genius
Nope. Try again, Slick.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 10 2012 8:31 AM EST

OK, this thread has been Godwin'd.

Lochnivar March 10 2012 10:06 AM EST

OK, this thread has been Godwin'd.

Indeed.

The exceedingly low rate of 'Godwin-ing' on CB forums, however, should be a point of pride for all of us.

AdminTitan March 10 2012 10:24 AM EST

Is it good that I don't know what Godwin'd means?

Wise March 10 2012 10:26 AM EST

I wasn't making a personal attack I was pointing out the irony of their positions. However, be that as it may, I apologize for any perceived argumentum ad hominem.

The point is that arguing Hitler was just lucky goes directly against the evidence that shows he nearly conquered the entire Eurasia continent with a country that had been soundly defeated just a little over a two decades previously.

He manipulated his country, and all the countries surrounding him in a remarkable way. Even if that's because he surrounded himself with smart people, that practice in an of itself is genius. He had incredible charisma and that is a form of genius.

The entire point is that evil and genius do coincide - quite dramatically sometimes. Ergo, a meritocracy is a great way to allow another such debacle as Hitler's Germany.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 10 2012 2:20 PM EST

Is it good that I don't know what Godwin'd means?

Oh god yes. ;)

For those unaware;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies[1][2]) is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990[2] that has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."[2][3] In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussionï¾—regardless of topic or scopeï¾—someone inevitably criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis.

there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.[8] This principle is itself frequently referred to as Godwin's law.

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] March 10 2012 8:02 PM EST

Hitler was just lucky
Don't see where we said he was.
He had incredible charisma and that is a form of genius.
That in turn makes someone like say Bush a prodigy? Mucho overlaps to play with. Pushed to politics by their fathers, lackluster military performance, close election votes, catapulted by terrorist attacks, new national police acts, battles between good and evil, kept power in spite of horrible public approval, occasional jew killing, early misuse of oil(hitler hair joke), and hated the french.
Not saying the guy was Hitler. History can be fun to poke with. ;) Think we have to split heirs here. Genius is embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality. Would you personally consider Bush a genius? Bush Sr. was a smart guy, but would have mixed feelings with the label genius wouldn't you.
The entire point is that evil and genius do coincide
Have an apple.
Ergo, a meritocracy is a great way to allow another such debacle as Hitler's Germany.
Didn't list Hitler's fumbles to prove his genius. You might misunderstand the happenings in a meritocracy or how Hitler came to power.
Name me the last nerdy dictator? Appearances, like Lil' Kim's, don't count.

Your evil cake don't bake unless we get into cabinetry. eg. Goebbels, Cheney, Himmler, Karl Rove, blahblah. Which jumps back to...
surrounded himself with smart people, that practice in an of itself is genius.
Bonk.

fyi I had fun going for the double godwin bonus ;)

Wise March 10 2012 9:15 PM EST

Fawk you wrote "Adolf was the great simple minded product of his environment" which means he was lucky.

And neither Bush did anything nearly as impressive, albeit horribly so, as Hitler. The only people that even rank in the same category are Ginghis Khan and Napoleon.

As for charisma not being a category in "genius", that is like arguing that Bach, Machiavelli or Michelangelo weren't geniuses. Charisma is an art form and results are the true test of a genius - not some IQ test.

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] March 10 2012 11:18 PM EST

Fawk you wrote "Adolf was the great simple minded product of his environment" which means he was lucky.
Bonk! Can't bare to think how "lucky" you must be.
Ginghis Khan and Napoleon
Both were on-field generals for their military conquests. Can call Napoleon a genius. Rebuilt city streets to suit his cannons.
No, Hitler is not of their caliber and didn't learned from either or WWI. Adolf is far more in line with Pol Pot or the new viral Kony than the other names mentioned. How awful it is to appraise genius by the number of countries invaded or abductions. -.-
As for charisma not being a category in "genius", that is like arguing that Bach, Machiavelli or Michelangelo weren't geniuses. Charisma is an art form and results are the true test of a genius - not some IQ test.
I gave you a sentence of definition! And yes we have come to determining genius by IQ tests now. Double bonk. An art form? Sure if you're Frank Luntz. Genius by results?! My goodness man he ordered the murders of 20+mil and his own countrymen. Those artists were critically acclaimed and famed by creation. This emo goes JimJones/DavidKoresh(roll with it kids) with the destitute for a power and land grab so he deserves respect for that?
Know what Napoleon, Bush, and Khan didn't have to do with their armies? Threaten death. Except for Khan he marched captive villagers out front of his armies. Know what all three had going for them? Religious tolerance, advances in law, creativity outside of warfare, and living to die of natural causes. Your faulty thinking keeps me badgering like this. =/
Am not calling you stupid btw

Sickone March 11 2012 3:33 AM EDT

Fawk you wrote "Adolf was the great simple minded product of his environment" which means he was lucky.

Simple minded does not (necessarily) mean low IQ, it just means lacking extraordinary talent, or what one would call "genius".
And it's not that HE was lucky in the sense that one would have needed him and him alone for something like what happened to happen - ANYBODY ELSE with similar "qualifications" would have ended up more or less doing the same to some degree.
He was only "lucky" in the sense that he was the one we now call the big bad Hitler. If things would have been a tiny bit different we would have had the big bad Schwartz or the big bad Keller or the big bad Ehrlichmann or... well, you get the idea.
The identity of the person in question has very little relevance - a wide array of people with similar predisposition would have most likely risen to power in similar ways, would have been surrounded by similarly reckless smart people (to some degree, quite a few of the same people most likely) and would most likely enacted similar measures and made similar mistakes.
THAT is what it means "Hitler was the product of his environment" - a lot of other people would have ended pretty much the same.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] March 15 2012 7:49 PM EDT

fyi I had fun going for the double godwin bonus ;)

Extra points to you for a Bush

Think we have to split heirs here.
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