Bring Back Smoking

Are we getting stupider?

This is hard to know as we don’t have IQ exams from further back than last century. We have some ways to approximate IQ going back into the mists of time, but those will always get bogged down by debates over methods.Then you have the flat earth types who argue that IQ is not a real thing or that there are multiple forms of intelligence. Just sticking with the good data we have for the last 100 years or so, it does appear that the West is getting dumber. By how much and and how fast is the debate.

Why this could be happening is not much of a debate. There are three reasons related to biology. One is the Idiocracy example. The stupid are breeding like bunnies while the smart are reproducing at less than replacement levels. The high achieving man marries late and marries a high achieving women with a head full of feminist nonsense. They put off childbearing until she can only produce one child. Meanwhile, the guys that cut their grass are knocking up their girlfriends in high school and producing five kids.

Another reason is that stupid people are migrating into Western countries. This is an easy one as we just have to look at the news. The migrants flowing in from south of the equator into Western countries are bringing a mean IQ in the 80’s and sometimes, in the case of Somalis, the 70’s. They also breed like rabbits. A country full of 95-IQ white people that becomes 90% white and 10% Somali will lose almost ten IQ points. This is just an accelerated version of the above answer. It turns out that Magic Dirt is not real.

Finally, the hardest one to grasp is that something has happened to change the evolutionary pressure on the population that is now changing the rewards and punishments. Traits that in the past were punished, thus resulting in fewer children by those with those traits, are now neutral or maybe even slightly favored. We know smart people tend to live longer, so reducing the risk of death by misadventure or even death from common maladies could be lowering the over all IQ of Western populations.

If you want to read a bunch of smart people debating this, this post by Greg Cochran has a lively comment section. What you’ll note is that people focused on genetics tend not to consider environmental factors. In fact, they often veer into a form of genetic determinism that sounds a lot like astrology. The fault dear mortal is not in our stars, but in our genes, that we are just moist robots. People who tend to this sort of thinking are usually unfamiliar with 4GL programming languages or write JavaScript for a living.

That’s not to say free will is a real thing. Humans are not free to rewrite their personalities anymore than they can make themselves taller. We are the result of our wiring, plus some environmental factors like the community in which we were born, climate and serendipity. Someone born to the Amish will be raised to develop pro-Amish traits and ignore traits that are no useful to the Amish way. Environmental factors may play a small role over all, but they do play some role in what we are as people.

In specific cases, it could have an enormous role. Greg Cochran’s Gay Germ idea is a great example. Homosexuality is most certainly not genetic. Nature works against low-fitness. Males with a trait that sharply reduces their ability (or willingness) to mate will have far fewer offspring and therefore pass on this trait in low numbers. In just a few generations, the trait would die out. In the case of homosexuality, we know there were gay Roman emperors and Elton John is still with us, so this trait cannot be genetic.

Alternatively, homosexuality is either taught or the result of psychological damage done at a young by something like molestation. This is a popular idea on the Right, but it does not explain most cases. Lots of homosexuals grew up fairly normal lives and were simply attracted to the same sex once they hit sexual maturity. That’s where Cochran’s gay germ comes in. Instead of a trauma, it is a virus or parasite that triggers changes in brain chemistry, resulting homosexual behavior. That would provide an answer that fits the data.

Bringing this back to IQ, what if something like this is at work with Western IQ? Maybe not a germ, but environmental factors that are having a cascading effect on mean IQ. For example, such an idea has been posited to explain the spike in black crime. Many on the Left think the Tragic Dirt is contaminated with lead, leading to low-IQ and increased violence for the people living on the Tragic Dirt. It’s not a crazy idea, but like the Gay Germ, it is not proven idea. It’s more of a thought experiment at this stage.

Here’s soemthing else. Smoking rates began to decline in the middle of the last century, with the Baby Boomer interest in health. Nicotine is known to increase focus and increase your cognitive abilities. It’s why writers and computer programmers were all smokers. In fact, STEM fields in the 20th century were dominated by men who chain smoked at their desks. Anyone who has had to sit for hours working a math problem knows how exhausting it can be. Even a small boost in focus has enormous results.

What if the apparent uptick in Western IQ was accelerated by smoking? Tobacco was introduced to the West in the 16th century and its use increased steadily. By the 18th century, the use of tobacco was common. By the 19th century, smoking cigarettes was ubiquitous. Everyone smoked. It also corresponds with the Industrial Revolution. Once tobacco use became universal, Western technological progress took off like a rocket, culminating in a rocket literally taking off and putting men on the moon.

Once the anti-smoking crusades got a purchase in the 60’s and smoking rates declined, it does appear that the West began to decline. Perhaps that small boost to our cognitive ability had a huge impact on our intellectual achievements. Now that the crutch is gone, we’re doing idiotic things like putting minorities in charge and inviting in low-IQ barbarians from the fringes of civilization. Perhaps the lunacy that has gripped the West is simply the withdraw symptoms of kicking the habit.

Maybe we need to start smoking again.

100 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
random observer
Member
3 years ago

Most progs would counter with the Flynn effect.

I concede I have no good answer to that.

Apart from that- thought provoking stuff. The smoking hypothesis strikes me as oddly terrifying and dispiriting, if true.

Casher
Casher
Reply to  random observer
3 years ago

1) Flynn effect is reversing.
2) It seems to measure a different component for IQ than what Bruce Charlton and others measure by proxy with reaction times (which have significantly declined).
3) Isn’t it great that we are replacing tobacco with marijuana, which provably has significant negative cognitive effects on long-term users (8 IQ points)?

Casher
Casher
Reply to  Casher
3 years ago

Here is one reaction time study, supplying for the “difficult to know”

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289613000470

random observer
Member
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

I appreciate these replies. I’m skeptical of the Flynn Effect too but am too poorly read on it to muster a plausible reply when some believer recites it like a mantra.

It has somehow become one of those prog talismans that cannot be touched, like the [so far as I am aware still unproven beyond the meme level] lead-paint hypothesis. That too is plausible but boy just try and question it even if willing to consider its plausibility.

Casher O\'Neill
Casher O\'Neill
Reply to  random observer
3 years ago

Ask them to read a Victorian author or political speech (or Churchman like Newman, for an excellent example). It will clearly shows a higher, more complex level of thought than even mid-20th century speeches taken from a similar relative position in its category. I think the Flynn effect is real, but I think it has more to do with abstract, mathematical reasoning such as became more common in western education systems over the 20th century. It also masked the precipitous decline in the verbal, discursive (wit-like) reasoning that the reaction times measure by proxy. We have plenty of smart people,… Read more »

random observer
Member
Reply to  Casher O\'Neill
3 years ago

Interesting. I’m tempted to do what one of my colleagues would likely do, which is point out that some of the arguments for the past are testing awareness of a particular knowledge-base [Shakespeare, the Napoleonic Wars, etc as I think someone cited on yesterday’s thread wrt 60s junk-tv being surprisingly culturally literate]; just testing awareness of particular loaded software, not processing speed or accuracy. I’m not entirely convinced that’s unreasonable, even if I would make separate arguments for the value of that content over other content. OTOH, verbal fluency/reaction times/complex idea formation are processing issues and it certainly appears as… Read more »

Whitney
Member
Reply to  Casher O\'Neill
3 years ago

That is so true. I read mostly works by old or dead white men, mostly non-fiction, and I have to read with a dictionary, frequently stop and think about the sentence I just read and they liberally thow in Latin and French quotes because everyone just KNOWS Latin and French right?

random observer
Member
Reply to  Whitney
3 years ago

I majored in history and poli sci [class of 94 at York University in Toronto; so long ago now and at a time when it was leftist mainly in the sense of having a set of Orthodox Marxists running poli sci [but pointedly not the International Relations programs]. One memory is of often pulling old mid-century works by British historians spotted with untranslated Latin, French, and occasionally German. Because, well, really, is one not educated? This did require going to the dictionaries as and when the quote seemed germane rather than merely decorative. Not exactly particle physics or engineering, of… Read more »

Ryan
Ryan
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

I think the Flynn effect was caused by cars. You need to be able to predict where an object 40 yards away is going to be five seconds from now in order to survive crossing the road. No one had to do that 100 years ago, and the increase is all in the spacial reasoning subscores. But, you know, opinions are like ass holes. The average IQ of black Americans is usually estimated to be a standard deviation higher than that of sub-Saharan Africans. It’s important to remember that only a little under 400,000 slaves were brought to the United… Read more »

Anonymous White Male
Anonymous White Male
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

ZMan, do you think there is any pure science being performed on IQ now that it is obvious that races differ in inherent IQ? I myself wonder. The need to shape the narrative is what drives funding for scientific studies these days. Like “climate change”. Not only that, but what is reported usually cherry picks the data that supports the narrative.

Anonymous White Male
Anonymous White Male
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

I also wonder if the Flynn Effect could be accounted for by the ubiquity of standardized tests. Older education tests consisted of essays, problem solving, fill-in-the blanks, etc. The advent of computerized testing developed tests that force the taker to choose one out of a number of items. Anyone who has taken a standardized test knows that you can rule out some of the responses, so it may boil down to being only presented with 2 possible options, 50%, instead of 1 in 4, 25%. It may just be indicative of familiarity with testing techniques. I know that if tests… Read more »

A.B. Prosper
A.B. Prosper
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

You are correct , various studies of Sub Saharan African IQ put it at 70-80 . African Americans 85-90 which could be accounted for by White admixture I’m not as sure about smoking though it does provide excellent improvement in health for the everyday mental health issues people face That stress relief and regular breaks may account for some gains too Most I think is a better culture , easier advancement (low hanging innovation fruit) pedagogy and reward. The current system doesn’t reward everyday innovation and in fact is configured around a Harrison Bergamon , no one is allowed to… Read more »

merp
merp
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Some years ago I had the opportunity to ask the Brand Manager for Marlboro a couple questions about the customer base during a visit to the Altria HQ. He said that the customer they were targeting was on the upper end of the income distribution for smokers. But the smokers income distribution was below the general population mean. In other words smoking was correlated with a lower income compared to the population as a whole. Lower earnings generally denote lower IQ. Perhaps the Flynn Effect was just measuring the smokers bump in the left side of the curve as the… Read more »

JJ Cintia
JJ Cintia
Reply to  random observer
3 years ago

I can explain “The Flynn Effect” easily. Its called “norming”. A population studied has to be “normed”. The median is the norm of 100. An All-White population would be normed higher and a mixed bag would be lower as it was browner. This can lead to changes over time that lead to ridiculous conclusions like a speedy uptick in IQ. The trend backwards tells the falsehood clearly. This effect would make all the older generations dumber, but the education materials of the time are far more challenging than Today. The Ancient Greeks would all have to be retards if this… Read more »

Larry Kephart
3 years ago

I’m gonna light up a cigar and think about it.

Nori
Nori
3 years ago

This should be a most spirited discussion. Somewhat related,the news that Silicon Valley folk are microdosing on LSD,psylocybin,and mescaline (not all 3 at once) to improve mental focus and creativity. The big question,be it tobacco or any substance,is the personal ability to control excessive use.

Bruno the Arrogant
Bruno the Arrogant
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

I have to take that with a grain of salt. LSD is extremely sensitive to heat, it’s usually stored by being frozen, and even then has a limited shelf life. Attempting to smoke it or vape it would cause it to break down immediately. Perhaps they’re vaping some other psychedelic, but I’m pretty certain it isn’t LSD

Casher
Casher
Reply to  Nori
3 years ago

If you’ve ever smoked 100 tobacco products in your life, I can recommend nicotine gum, if you are sitting at your desk (or, in place of a cigarette, if you need to stay alert while driving long distances) since offices will not put up with smoking anymore. It works fine as a nicotine source, though admittedly lacks some of the aesthetic of smoking.

Cloudswrest
Cloudswrest
Reply to  Casher
3 years ago

Not good for non-smokers. I’ve never used tobacco products. Tried nicotine gum once as a “scientific experiment.” Very unpleasant effects.

Casher O\'Neill
Casher O\'Neill
Reply to  Cloudswrest
3 years ago

I’m a very marginal tobacco user, though given the 100 in a lifetime mark I qualify as smoker (or most of the time quitter). Even I find it makes me a bit jittery (so do tobacco products though due to my infrequency of use) and the side effects are as they describe on the package. Still it is an effective substitute if one is looking for one. The only thing it is not good for is smoking cessation.

Nunnya Bidnez, jr.
Nunnya Bidnez, jr.
3 years ago

Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit smoking meth..
I can’t think of anything wittier or more cogent to say.

But if yer going to smoke nicotine for its cognitive benefits, why not go all the way, and smoke meth?
But you must always weigh the short term benefits against whatever longterm deleterious effects it may have. That goes for nicotine, meth,crack, sugar, or any other substance.
I’ve known many longterm drug users.. marijuana, crack, heroin, alcohol.. they all suffer in the end.

Nori
Nori
Reply to  Nunnya Bidnez, jr.
3 years ago

That’s the point,anything in excess can be harmful. Get’s back to the ancient Greek Golden Mean. Do what you want,but nothing in excess.

smitty
smitty
3 years ago

>The stupid are breeding like bunnies while the smart are reproducing at less than replacement levels.

I’m more inclined to blame nurture than nature. We have a society that panders to the flesh, and the results are all too predictable.

tdurden
tdurden
3 years ago

Smart men in the US did the math and figured out that the risk/reward for getting married and having kids is way out of whack. I feel no obligation to contribute to the furtherance of a civilization where so many resources were devoted to using my own offspring as pawns to turn me and my life upside down and shake every last dime out of my pockets and reduce my involvment in the life of my kid to that of an account number with some priviliages that some man in a long black dress assigned to me. You guys want… Read more »

jackmcg
jackmcg
Reply to  tdurden
3 years ago

Before antibiotics and birth control, smart men didn’t really have much of a choice.

If you wanted to get laid, marriage was pretty much the only game in town, unless you wanted to play russian roulette with your dick.

Karl Hungus
Karl Hungus
Reply to  jackmcg
3 years ago

well, there were condoms and brothels.

Drake
Drake
3 years ago

While it was very funny, I also found that “Idiocracy” movie deeply disturbing. That hit a bit too close to home.

Zeroh Tollrants
Zeroh Tollrants
Reply to  Drake
3 years ago

I’ve often wondered how many of us that were truly disturbed by that movie are out here. I also came away with this vague ennui & sadness. A sort of black comedy, really.

SgtBob
3 years ago

1 + 1 = Whatever the hell anybody wants it to equal. Downhill started 1914-1918, hit a peak in 1944-1945. By 1946 the skids were more than greased for the Boomer slide.

P_Ang
P_Ang
3 years ago

I don’t buy the “Gay Germ” theory. I personally think that it’s something along the lines of: 1.) There is a massive amount of betas and omegas. 2.) Feminism now creates two problems where betas and omegas can’t find work in entry-level positions to provide for family, creating massive ego drains. 3.) Betas and omegas no longer have beta and omega females willing to marry since females get the entry level positions. 4.) Liberal teachings, liberal society, liberal MSM creates a massive “Homoglobullism is SuperKewl and EVERYBODY is/was gay!” campaign that’s been hammered into Western society for 50 years. 5.)… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

This is where the concept of “Alpha fux, and Beta bux” popularized by Chateau Heartiste comes into the picture. Beta males bring stability and financial resources to a relationship. In our society, birth control and feminism have made it possible for women to be free to ride the c*ck carousel with Alpha males in their 20s, settle down and have kids with Beta male providers in their 30s, and divorce them in their 40s to get back on the carousel. Thus, the Beta males pass on their genes, perhaps even more successfully than the Alpha males. This situation requires both… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Reply to  P_Ang
3 years ago

Compulsive homosexual behavior without same sex attraction among straight men is well documented and, in my opinion, argues strongly in favor of the gay germ theory, at least for a portion of the male homosexual population. Many of these straight men can’t explain why they seek out men with sex, but something compels them to do it. Germ theory explains this perfectly.

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  Guest
3 years ago

Environment explains in a different way. When betas are given ample opportunity to “fit in” and “be special” by a social environment that promotes gayness, why wouldn’t some of them sign up? Women are being told all the time to be “fierce”, so why not go butch?

Once the male social pecking order was taken away from who was the toughest fighter out in the schoolyard after school, everything changed.

Guest
Guest
Reply to  Dutch
3 years ago

I don’t think we are talking about the same thing. My comment referred to homosexual behavior among men who deny they have same sex attraction or that they are gay. These men identify as straight, prefer women, claim to have no romantic or emotional attachment to men, and are almost all in the closet. They are not beta males trying to fit into our current societal fetish with homosexuality. When interviewed anonymously, many of these men describe their homosexual behavior as a compulsion which they can’t control. This is what makes germ theory convincing, at least for this population of… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  Guest
3 years ago

Good for you to to have reiterated the distinction. Definitely two different populations. My mistake for making my point sound like “instead” rather than “another”.

Karl Hungus
Karl Hungus
Reply to  Guest
3 years ago

there is a word for people like that — bi-sexual.

Guest
Guest
Reply to  Karl Hungus
3 years ago

No. Ready my comments. They don’t identify as bisexual. They identify as straight with no same sex attraction.

For the third fucking time, there exists a significant population of otherwise straight men who engage in compulsive homosexual behavior. They aren’t bisexual, gay, flamers, etc. It’s a compulsive behavior they can’t control.

Germ theory at work. Like ants infected with the liver fluke, they are not in control of their faculties.

Cochran is on to something here.

Old surfer
Old surfer
Reply to  P_Ang
3 years ago

There is some evidence that later siblings have a higher incidence of homosexuality, perhaps due to the hormonal environment in the womb. FWIW, my youngest brother, last of 4, was gay.

Reply to  Old surfer
3 years ago

I’m the 3rd of six, 3 boys 3 girls, the first and last two were girls. Not one with any sort of homosexual history. One set of family cousins had 9. Same outcome. On other set of cousins had four. Oldest of three brothers is gay.
So this does not ring true in my family era.

Recusant
Recusant
3 years ago

Never stopped

Member
3 years ago

Traits that in the past were punished, thus resulting in fewer children by those with those traits, are now neutral or maybe even slightly favored. We know smart people tend to live longer, so reducing the risk of death by misadventure or even death from common maladies could be lowering the over all IQ of Western populations. I’m not sure I follow the logic here. What’s smart people living longer got to do with reducing the risk of dying from small pox? Doesn’t something like that hit the population randomly, without any benefit to the smart in terms of survival… Read more »

thor47
thor47
3 years ago

Humans are not free to rewrite their personalities anymore than they can make themselves taller.

I don’t understand your point here, zman. People rewrite their personalities all the time. You can learn to control your temper. You can learn to speak better, be quick to listen, slow to speak, as the Bible says in the book of James. You can learn to set goals, give up being indifferent. No, you can’t make yourself taller, but you can certainly make yourself a different person.

Will
Will
Reply to  thor47
3 years ago

Seems to me a lot of this happens in the human growing-up phase

Member
3 years ago

It took me two years to quit smoking because I got writer’s block (which I didn’t believe in until then.) Eventually I had so much work as writer that I simply powered through it and have been fine since. However, I have rarely written _poetry_ since quitting smoking, an activity I suppose might be centered in a different part of the brain (?)

James LePore
Member
Reply to  kshaidle
3 years ago
JohnTyler
JohnTyler
3 years ago

I have no idea why some folks turn out to be gays, but I recall that in grammar school ( late 1950s, early 1960s), when the word “gay” had only one meaning, there was always a boy or two that was never chosen to be on any sort of boys team to play catch, softball, tag, etc, because they either ran like a girl or threw a ball like a girl. Of course, in those days, the girls played hopscotch or jumped rope during recess. IMHO, kids in general want to belong ; they do not want to be “left… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch
3 years ago

Between two big wars and a depression between the two, life was cheap. Car accidents were much more likely to maim or kill you, and factory workers were lucky if all they lost over time were a few digits or the occasional limb. So drinking and smoking to excess were easy to understand. One probably wasn’t going to reach 70 anyway. Besides, if you did, what did you have to look forward to, other than hanging out at the VFW hall and–you got it–drinking and smoking?

Member
3 years ago

Z-man, would your poor elders have scored highly on an intellegence exam? If you’re ADD and do things better interactively instead of passive reading and test-taking, does that make you stupid? These people come from backward cultures. In many cases, they don’t have academic/study disipline or aren’t used to having to form their thouhghts logically. That doesn’t mean that they can’t acquire those skills and ot doesn’t mean they don’t have enough gray-matter. I agree with you that there is such a thing as intelligence, I just don’t believe a test can always capture whether or not a person is… Read more »

Drake
Drake
Reply to  TempoNick
3 years ago

I wonder if doctors are prescribing adderal to people who would have smoked or chewed tobacco to concentrate a couple of generations ago?

Member
Reply to  Drake
3 years ago

Good insight. Not to mention that we didn’t lead sedentary lifestyles in those days.

Zeroh Tollrants
Zeroh Tollrants
Reply to  Drake
3 years ago

Good insight. Yes they do.

Rod1963
Rod1963
3 years ago

No one is forcing smart people to become workaholics and destroying any chance at them having a family or limiting themselves to one kid. Really if they were that smart they’d avoid that trap to begin with. Is working for some tech company with it’s 70 hour work weeks that attractive? For any sane person with a life outside of work it isn’t. The mistake the so-called smart people make is making work = life. Another factor is that white female college grads have the least amount of children. For some reason when a women gets that degree they buy… Read more »

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  Rod1963
3 years ago

Or maybe the higher education social environment is so prejudicial against the traditional family and the role of the mother, that the “motherhood within a traditional family” option is simply crossed off the graduate’s list, no matter the career choice or ideal. Going away to college is a time when the student feels disconnected from his or her roots. The educational community then has the opportunity to instill a new set of values and preferences, in the guise of creating a new social community for the freshman college student to “plug into”. Traditional parental role models have not been held… Read more »

Anonymous White Male
Anonymous White Male
3 years ago

I am actually curious about what the “real” harmful qualities of nicotine are. Many of the cancerous compounds, deleterious. effects, and addictive elements were added in the mid-20th century to add flavor and increase the use of cigarettes. I don’t think there is much health data on tobacco before that time. The original use of tobacco was to chew or smoke non-treated plants. If not as addictive, was use as crippling as it became? I believe that smoking anything damages your lungs and, by extension, other organs in your body. You lungs are filters. If you clog a filter, eventually… Read more »

Darryl Licht
Darryl Licht
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

The scolds won’t allow this. The Puritans didn’t outlaw bear baiting because it was cruel to the bear. They outlawed it because it gave pleasure to the spectators.

Ryan
Ryan
3 years ago

I’m just going to dump a little bit of data: IQ tests are created by gathering like 10,000 kids randomly from a population group (eg American children), giving them sample test questions, and then developing a final test that will tell you where the test taker ranks among the population. So IQ is not an absolute scale like degrees Kelvin or miles. It’s a relative measure, and a score of 100 simply means 50th percentile. 130 means 98.5 percentile. This is important when trying to discuss relative IQ between separate population groups. There is no existing IQ test that is… Read more »

random observer
Member
Reply to  Ryan
3 years ago

Interesting. I particularly hadn’t heard it was concentrated in spatial relations.

Ryan
Ryan
Reply to  random observer
3 years ago

Yeah, when my mom was in grad school all the data started to come in. They all expected the rise to be due to increased general knowledge, with now widespread public schooling. But nope, all the increase was in the spacial visualization index.

My pet theory: car accidents killed off a whole lot of people with really low spacial visualization ability. Sometimes entire families at a time.

Member
Reply to  Ryan
3 years ago

“Immigration from low intelligence countries is a reasonable hypothetical explanation”

You mean low intelligence countries as ranked by our relative intelligence scale. And that begs a lot of questions like who has the best scale and where would our children rank on an IQ test in these so-called “low intelligence” countries.

I just don’t understand people having so much faith in these things. I mean, aren’t these the same people to told you to eat margarine and load up on carbs, and that the sea levels would be rising?

Ryan
Ryan
Reply to  TempoNick
3 years ago

I applaud your skepticism. Without a properly normed IQ test we really are flying sort of blind. In retrospect I should have gone with plausible over reasonable.

vanderleun
Member
3 years ago

Take it one more step and you’re there. Recall what swept over England at around the same time tobacco arrived… coffee. And the “Coffee Houses” where you could smoke your pipe. Tobacco+Coffee= the long, long novel plus other tomes/innovation that goes on and on for a century or so and then… take out tobacco and you’ve got a bunch of wide-awake idiots.

Dutch
Dutch
Reply to  vanderleun
3 years ago

Add massive amounts of tetra ethyl lead to the environment beginning about 90 years ago as well.

LPT
LPT
3 years ago

I don’t think it matters much what the average IQ is. For society and technology to be maintained at the current level what is important is that the intelligence of a fairly small core group of individuals is maintained. So for example for a population of 100 it may be necessary that 20 of those 100 have an IQ of above 120 (say). Whether the IQ of the remaining 80 is 70 or 100 is less important. We are approaching a grazing society, where the vast proportion of the world’s population float about not doing much, but can have decent… Read more »

james wilson
james wilson
3 years ago

Eric Thames, the major league baseball story of the year, was referred to as God by Korean baseball fans in his three years there. He said that Korea is smoking mad, and that in Korean baseball there is even a fifth inning smoking break so that umpires and players can go to their lairs and smoke. This obsession with living longer and dying in perfect health seems to be in proportion to a lack of having anything to live for. I quit smoking twenty five years ago but never recommended that path to a smoker. I figured if I made… Read more »

Joey Junger
Joey Junger
3 years ago

I think homosexuality could be genetic, since many men in the past were so deeply closeted that they had families, which could explain homosexuality being passed from generation to generation. Nowadays with gay marriage permitted, and surrogate mothers available for in vitro to carry the baby to term, it’s possible a lot of women will just be breeding mares for homosexuals, rather than wives for pale penis patriarchy people who love Putin. The science fiction writer Joe Haldeman, in “The Forever War” posited that a certain number of people would be “modified” to be homosexual in the future, in order… Read more »

james wilson
james wilson
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

There is a possible cause for homosexuality that strongly mimics a genetic cause. There are massive hormone washes which occur in the first two weeks of gestation. One triggers the sex of the child. The sex is already in the chromosome but gender does not present itself in the fetus until that time. There is so much to go wrong in the first weeks. In addition to nature going wrong we might add nurture directly affecting nature. There was a spike in homosexual males born in 1945-6, a period worse for many German women than even the last two years… Read more »

Joey Junger
Joey Junger
Reply to  james wilson
3 years ago

Years ago I read Carl Zimmer’s “Parasite Rex” and was surprised to read that after fertilization the male’s seed starts building a sort of fortress around the embryo because the female’s body perceives the father’s DNA as a parasite or foreign body (which it kind of is). The female immune system actually tries to attack the fetus while the man’s genetic material staves off the attack until the threat has passed. I don’t think we know exactly what happens at this point, but if conservatives argue against the blank slate, and believe culture is downstream from biology, I don’t see… Read more »

Member
Reply to  Joey Junger
3 years ago

There are all kinds of defects that people have from dyslexia to cleft palates to schizophrenia. I don’t see why it’s so far-fetched that this isn’t just another defect in your body.

bilejones
Member
Reply to  james wilson
3 years ago

Anytime I see the word “gender” outside of a grammatical context, I know it’s time to stop reading the crap.

Cloudswrest
Cloudswrest
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

What if homosexuality is genetic in the PARENT of the homo? If the parents pump out two extra girls for each queer boy there is possibly a genetic cost/benefit to be calculated.

Joey Junger
Joey Junger
Reply to  thezman
3 years ago

Natural Selection has been revised (and questioned in some parts) even by its adherents. The old argument that nature only selected good traits is undermined by the evidence all around us. Nature believes in surplus and waste and unless you’re a deist, it isn’t really so much an intentionally guided process or an implemented program. Homosexuality does occur in nature (which I know thanks to Engelbert Humperdinck’s song “Lesbian Seagull”). Homosexual mammals besides homo sapien aren’t probably the way they are because they were sexually molested or feminized by other crazy mammals (the stickleback fish, if it is thoroughly dominated… Read more »

Member
Reply to  Joey Junger
3 years ago

I’m more than a little hesitant to weigh in here because talking about this is a lose-lose in the times in which we live, but I’m going to cross my fingers and hope I’m among friends. (And hope I don’t get fired if some power-skirt comes across this post and runs me down.) I’ve held a “theory” for several years about a genetic component to male homosexuality that arose from some dorm room bong sessions with a friend of mine in college. His girlfriend at the time – and now his wife – was a bit of a f*g hag… Read more »

Anonymous White Male
Anonymous White Male
Reply to  RDittmar
3 years ago

I think it could be more pleasure orientation than it is hyper-masculinity. This could just be pumping dopamine to the amygdala. This is also what leads to drug addiction. Ordinary life just doesn’t provide anywhere near the pleasure an opiate or alcohol can give (different genetic types prefer one or the other, usually). I know gays deny it, but I think you would find some sort of sexual abuse in both males and females that ride the cock carousel. Why? Sensation. Think of a young child being sexually assaulted. It would be an unforgettable experience. The sensations to the physical… Read more »

Member
Reply to  Anonymous White Male
3 years ago

I think you make a really good point. I know this is another opinion that will most likely get me fired, but I’ve always suspected that the correlation between being gay and being sexually abused as a child is far, far, far higher than any defender of the lifestyle will ever admit. Mary Eberstadt wrote a couple of widely-read articles about 20 years ago now for what is now – sadly – the Cuckly Standard that hinted at exactly this. They still have both articles online and they’re still worth reading. Her first article is here: http://www.weeklystandard.com/pedophilia-chic/article/2623 and her follow-up… Read more »

bilejones
Member
3 years ago

I had a problem with your linked article, with this line
“Smarter people seem to live longer because they’re in better genetic shape”
My assumption would be that they failed to take advantage of the major fuck-ups that end so many lives and take advantage of opportunities to ameliorate the minor ones.
Action rather passive determinism.

Phil
Phil
3 years ago

2 points: *Cigarettes have all sorts of chemicals added that add to the damage the smoke does.
*Growers use phosphate rock instead of artificial phosphates because it’s cheaper. But the ‘natural’ phosphate contains Polonium, which is carried into the lungs w/ the smoke. This is thousands of times more radioactive than Uranium.
Repeating the tobacco / cancer experiments w/ natural, radiation free tobacco might give very different results.

Member
3 years ago

I’m more inclined to see teh ghey as an epigenetic phenomena that manifests itself due to environmental stress in utero or early childhood. It seems to correlated with complex, crowded, urban societies… precisely the sorts of environments where an upswing in homosexuality would contribute to overall survival of a species

TomA
TomA
3 years ago

The longstanding Darwinian form of evolution (based upon genetic propagation) now has competition from a new parallel evolutionary channel consisting of memetic-based indoctrination. Ever since we acquired complex language skill, our species has been reprogramming/rewiring the formative brains of our youth with the primary goal of passing wisdom from generation to generation. This natural mechanism has been hijacked in recent times by nefarious bad actors that now use it to create hive-minded worker bees that can be remote-controlled. Hence the snowflake sub-species.

Anonymous the Second
Anonymous the Second
3 years ago

Maybe someone should also map out the increase in toxoplasmosis against the rise of crazy cat ladies in western society. See if there’s any overlap……

Member
3 years ago

There is nothing I like better in the morning than reading this blog with my coffee and a few cigarettes.

hammer
Member
3 years ago

I’m way late to this party, but I didn’t see this get enough attention, so I’ll throw in my $0.02. Z, I agree with you 99.9% of the time, but a “gay germ” makes little sense to me. There are very few germ-related diseases that directly impact mental function, especially permanently (an ultra-high fever causing brain damage would be an indirect effect). The arguments against the heritability of homosexuality seem to rely on a simple punnet-squares style of genetics. “This gene is for blue eyes. This one is for brown eyes. One is dominant, the other recessive.” Far more likely… Read more »

White hat
White hat
3 years ago

In powerskirt news of the week: Melissa Mayer will receive $186 million for the stock, stock options and restricted stock units she holds if shareholders on June 8 vote to approve the $4.48 billion sale of Yahoo’s core search and email service to Verizon, according to a report. The eye-popping sum was revealed less than two months after Yahoo’s board decided not to award Mayer any 2016 bonus in the wake of Yahoo’s epic data breach. The whopper of a payday does not include her salary, bonuses and stock awarded over the past five years, or the stock she’s already… Read more »

Walt
Member
3 years ago

Since smoking rates have dropped, Western culture has started circling the bowl. Music, movies, the Church and politics have lost their relevancy. And boy haven’t people gotten fat in that time too?!

The Usual Suspect
The Usual Suspect
3 years ago

Also smoking in night clubs made stage lighting look so much better. More seriously, many levels of addictive drugs are used to enhance human performance. Arts and specifically Rock music half of which can be attributed to drugs of some sort, society lauds these people and puts them in the hall of fame etc. To a degree Homosexuality is also all the rage, it’s fashionable and trendy much like the correct shoes or fashion item. What used to be in the closet is now center stage! Unlike being born black or Latino a suffering victim wanna-be can adopt the sexual… Read more »

coyote
coyote
3 years ago

The Germans discovered flouride made the inmates in the camps dumb and passive. They gave it to them in large doses. Brush more often, get more dumb. Our environment is loaded with lots more than just lead. This cannot help our smarts. Cat ladies are infected with T. gondi. On and on. There was some guy on the internet I lost track of who did some amazing self-studies with nicotine overloads- he wrote brilliantly.

Abelard Lindsey
Abelard Lindsey
3 years ago

The Zman is not thinking this through here.

It is the inhalation of combustion products, not nicotine itself, that is the cause of all of the medical problems associated with smoking. If nicotine itself is beneficial in small quantities, the solution is obvious – smokeless sources of nicotine.

Leiff
Leiff
3 years ago

I hate the smell of smoke, but if bringing it back would cause 80% of American women to lose 30 lbs this year, I’d be for it.

Random Thoughts 2017
Random Thoughts 2017
3 years ago

I have a line of thought as to why this may be so ie why people are getting dumber I think it has more to do with the changes made to the way kids are educated. Back in the day Kids were grouped based on aptitude with smarter kids put in the same class and less smart kids grouped together in other classes. The effect is that kids are taught based on their needs: smart kids had special teachers to amplify their aptitude while less smart kids also had special teachers to have them develop. Teachers then were trained to… Read more »

SamlAdams
SamlAdams
3 years ago

Reminded me of one theory of how the Enlightenment accelerated in England with the advent of coffeehouses. Though Lister’s theories on germ transmission were a couple centuries off, people did see the correlation between what you drank and disease. “Small” (low alcohol) beer was a common daily beverage since fermentation killed harmful bacteria. Coffee then became hugely popular (with the same low bacteria feature from boiling) and the upper and nascent middle classes in Britain went from being slightly “in the bag” all day to “wired” to innovate.

Member
3 years ago

As a (pipe|cigar) smoker, I found this piece on point. Nicotine has many cognitive benefits:

https://www.gwern.net/Nicotine

Dan
Dan
3 years ago

“A country full of 95-IQ white people that becomes 90% white and 10% Somali will lose almost ten IQ points. ”

By my computation, a population that is:
90% IQ of 95 and
10% IQ of 75

Has an average IQ of 93, not 85.

jbspry
jbspry
3 years ago

My belief is that people are not necessarily dumber, but that, in the egalitarian spirit of the times, the dumbness of the dumb (who have always been in the majority) is now taken seriously and incorporated into public policy and cultural development.
Football has always been dumb; it is only since the 1970s that it has become corrupt and awful as well as dumb, with the aggressive recruitment of culturally damaged but physically powerful underclass players. For example.