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CritterKeeper

The I-Can't-Remember-Which-Thread Thread

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Okay, two different subjects that I know came up in the past couple of weeks, but I do not recall where the discussions were.  This is not the first time such has occurred, hence, a new thread!  Perhaps we can carry on discussion of these topics without the issues of topic drift or necroposting, or perhaps people will just move on without comment, we shall see.

1) A claim was made that people are getting dumber, with lower IQs.  In fact, the opposite is happening.  It's called the Flynn Effect -- the IQ tests keep having to be re-normed because they are supposed to have 100 as the average, by definition, but scores keep going up.  Lots of theories about better nutrition, education, etc. but no one knows for certain why.  There does seem to be a ceiling to the effect eventually.

2) Population growth also came up recently.  According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, about 48% of the world's population currently live in countries with sub-replacement fertility.  Most of the developed world has a birth rate less than replacement levels, with their populations only increasing due to immigration.

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5 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

1) A claim was made that people are getting dumber, with lower IQs.  In fact, the opposite is happening.  It's called the Flynn Effect -- the IQ tests keep having to be re-normed because they are supposed to have 100 as the average, by definition, but scores keep going up.

I've seen something like this happen in Denmark. It is part of why I think the system of handing out grades in school has some very serious problem. In the Danish grade schools there is supposed to be a standard against which all students get measured. There tends to be a creeping inflation involved, however, resulting in average grades slowly increasing. Then someone in the Ministry of Education has a fit and directs everybody to tighten standards, resulting in an abrupt drop in average grades.

As usual, the press has no idea of what is going on. You will therefore from time to time see articles rhapsodizing about how smart Danish students are becoming. Then the standards get tightened, and the next year the headlines go, "OMG! Danish students have become really STUPID!"

I have concluded from this that way too many journalists are stupid.

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The journalists are not stupid.

They sold their stories.
They generated comments from politicians and pundits.
Their work was referenced as sources in debates.
They became published experts on matters of public policy.

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On 1/1/2018 at 8:42 AM, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

The journalists are not stupid.

They sold their stories.
They generated comments from politicians and pundits.
Their work was referenced as sources in debates.
They became published experts on matters of public policy.

Well, that, plus they know that people won't read mundane headlines like "people getting smarter on average, forcing scoring system adjustments".

We're in an era of clickbait journalism.

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On 1/3/2018 at 9:02 AM, Scotty said:

We're in an era of clickbait journalism.

Exacerbated by the constant need to "feed the beast." The 24-hour news cycle creates a demand for something, anything to write or broadcast that never ends, while allowing less and less time for stories to properly gel.

Also (this may be a function of my own age), it seems to me that today's journalists know less about the wide world than they used to.  The jokes about east and west coast reporters being ignorant of "Flyover Country" (that portion of the United States the plane flies over between New York or DC and LA) have some real truth behind them.

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Occasionally they remember that Chicago exists, although if they have someone driving there, odds are good they'll put mountains in the middle of Illinois or something dumb like that.

Or they'll assume the entire Midwest is nothing but corn fields.  Silly people, don't they know we grow soybeans, too?  ;-)

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Posted (edited)

And Marijuana, don't forget the marijuana.

On 1/6/2018 at 8:16 PM, CritterKeeper said:

Occasionally they remember that Chicago exists, although if they have someone driving there, odds are good they'll put mountains in the middle of Illinois or something dumb like that.

That is silly, everyone knows the mountains are in the northern part, like Mount Prospect.

 

(For those of you who don't live here, "Mount" Prospect is just barely out of the swamp.)

Edited by Amiable Dorsai
Missing period.

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26 minutes ago, Amiable Dorsai said:

And Marijuana, don't forget the marijuana.

That is silly, everyone knows the mountains are in the northern part, like Mount Prospect.

 

(For those of you who don't live here, "Mount" Prospect is just barely out of the swamp.)

Reminds me of the first time I saw the "Scottish Highlands", which seemed more like the "Scottish Hills" to me.  :)

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2 hours ago, Amiable Dorsai said:

That is silly, everyone knows the mountains are in the northern part, like Mount Prospect.

(For those of you who don't live here, "Mount" Prospect is just barely out of the swamp.)

Indeed, I think I've mentioned elsewhere that if you climb up Nichol Knoll you can see all the way to Navy Pier and its fireworks.  What I didn't mention before is that Nichol Knoll is possibly tall enough for good sledding for kids, but you wouldn't be able to ski properly down it, barely getting into an S-serpentine one or two loops before hitting the bottom.  This is most definitely a hill, nowhere near a mountain, but it's the peak that rises above all you can survey.

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