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Bod

Excessive credulity in smart people

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Someone posted some days ago that intelligent people are more likely to believe ridiculous things. I can't find the post now I search (I thought it was in the Qanon thread), but I've just been reading a blog that said the same thing, and I wondered is it true? And, if it is, why is it so?  Could it be that the adventurous mind relies on being open-minded to new things and the calibration is sometimes out? Or that leaps of thought are necessary for discovering new things and sometimes the leap is a bit too far, or off course? 

information-knowledge-conspiracy.jpg

The Wikipedia page on gullibility states that it is low IQ people who are more credulous, and easily manipulated.

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7 minutes ago, Bod said:

Someone posted some days ago that intelligent people are more likely to believe ridiculous things. I can't find the post now I search (I thought it was in the Qanon thread), but I've just been reading a blog that said the same thing, and I wondered is it true? And, if it is, why is it so?  Could it be that the adventurous mind relies on being open-minded to new things and the calibration is sometimes out? Or that leaps of thought are necessary for discovering new things and sometimes the leap is a bit too far, or off course? 

information-knowledge-conspiracy.jpg

The Wikipedia page on gullibility states that it is low IQ people who are more credulous, and easily manipulated.

What is intelligence? I would suggest it is something along the lines of: “The ability to  repurpose existing knowledge or skills to solve novel problems.”

If the proposition is that “intelligence” makes you less likely to model the world accurately, then the proxy used for rating intelligence is poor.

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Intelligence, as thought of in our modern world, is not the same as emotional intelligence. I know many academically bright people in a certain field, often academics, who are entirely gullible or complete morons in so many other aspects of life.

I think being open to possibilities is important. Most really intelligent people that I have met have been open to various possibilities and like to consider all things. It is how I tryto live my life. This QANON stuff is a good example. Let's investigate it and see what truth or not there is in it. OK, it might be a great hoax - wouldn't it be fun finding out. But it might also be true - which would also be fun finding out.

Which brings me to Columbo - a bright man who perfected the art of appearing student to people who always assumed that they were smarter than him. But they never could imagine the possibility of the scruffy, bumbling guy in a raincoat was actually the smarter cookie.

True intellect for me is an enquring mind. Something that DOSBODERs and Columbo seem to have in spades.

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2 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Intelligence, as thought of in our modern world, is not the same as emotional intelligence. I know many academically bright people in a certain field, often academics, who are entirely gullible or complete morons in so many other aspects of life.

I think being open to possibilities is important. Most really intelligent people that I have met have been open to various possibilities and like to consider all things. It is how I tryto live my life. This QANON stuff is a good example. Let's investigate it and see what truth or not there is in it. OK, it might be a great hoax - wouldn't it be fun finding out. But it might also be true - which would also be fun finding out.

Which brings me to Columbo - a bright man who perfected the art of appearing student to people who always assumed that they were smarter than him. But they never could imagine the possibility of the scruffy, bumbling guy in a raincoat was actually the smarter cookie.

True intellect for me is an enquring mind. Something that DOSBODERs and Columbo seem to have in spades.

Gardner argued that we have multiple intelligences. Seven I think.  

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1 minute ago, The Masked Tulip said:

Intelligence, as thought of in our modern world, is not the same as emotional intelligence. I know many academically bright people in a certain field, often academics, who are entirely gullible or complete morons in so many other aspects of life.

I think being open to possibilities is important. Most really intelligent people that I have met have been open to various possibilities and like to consider all things. It is how I tryto live my life. This QANON stuff is a good example. Let's investigate it and see what truth or not there is in it. OK, it might be a great hoax - wouldn't it be fun finding out. But it might also be true - which would also be fun finding out.

Which brings me to Columbo - a bright man who perfected the art of appearing student to people who always assumed that they were smarter than him. But they never could imagine the possibility of the scruffy, bumbling guy in a raincoat was actually the smarter cookie.

True intellect for me is an enquring mind. Something that DOSBODERs and Columbo seem to have in spades.

I think there`s definitely a link between people who are highly intelligent academically  and no common sense  

2 minutes ago, One percent said:

Gardner argued that we have multiple intelligences. Seven I think.  

Well someone have stolen six of mine xD

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Just now, Long time lurking said:

I think there`s definitely a link between people who are highly intelligent academically  and no common sense  

 

Yes, definitely IMPO. I see it in a lot of people I know who work in education. A high opinion of themselves is also common.

We see it constantly now in all the crap about BREXIT, islam, Trump, etc, etc. Just taking one that we all know - so many vocal LGBTQ folks and feminists who are staunch pro-islamists and pro mass islamic immigration in the UK and the West. How they cannot put 2 plus 2 together staggers me? But seemingly it is perfectly logical in their world view where the rest of us are Nazis.

 

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9 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

 

Yes, definitely IMPO. I see it in a lot of people I know who work in education. A high opinion of themselves is also common.

We see it constantly now in all the crap about BREXIT, islam, Trump, etc, etc. Just taking one that we all know - so many vocal LGBTQ folks and feminists who are staunch pro-islamists and pro mass islamic immigration in the UK and the West. How they cannot put 2 plus 2 together staggers me? But seemingly it is perfectly logical in their world view where the rest of us are Nazis.

 

I know where you are coming from but i think most of those groups you mention just jump on meme`s that seem cool and don`t think no further or at all 

Edited by Long time lurking

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34 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

 

Yes, definitely IMPO. I see it in a lot of people I know who work in education. A high opinion of themselves is also common.

We see it constantly now in all the crap about BREXIT, islam, Trump, etc, etc. Just taking one that we all know - so many vocal LGBTQ folks and feminists who are staunch pro-islamists and pro mass islamic immigration in the UK and the West. How they cannot put 2 plus 2 together staggers me? But seemingly it is perfectly logical in their world view where the rest of us are Nazis.

 

There is evidence that left and right are wired very differently when you analyse their big 5 personality traits. Libertarians (I suspect in the majority here) are different again and have things in common with both left and right.

Watch this for more info (aimed a at lefty Ted audience but gets the points across)

 

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18 minutes ago, NTB said:

There is evidence that left and right are wired very differently when you analyse their big 5 personality traits. Libertarians (I suspect in the majority here) are different again and have things in common with both left and right.

Watch this for more info (aimed a at lefty Ted audience but gets the points across)

 

I watched this and found it interesting. I wonder if many people are unwitting libertarians (i.e. what it is has never been explained) and exist in a state of chronic confusion as both left and right appear to be totally batshit right now.

Whilst left and right can't comprehend how anyone could espouse views from both ends of the spectrum.

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3 minutes ago, Roger_Mellie said:

I watched this and found it interesting. I wonder if many people are unwitting libertarians (i.e. what it is has never been explained) and exist in a state of chronic confusion as both left and right appear to be totally batshit right now.

Whilst left and right can't comprehend how anyone could espouse views from both ends of the spectrum.

I think we libertarians really are a minority, it's why the voice of reason always gets drowned out by the much larger populations either side of us.

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36 minutes ago, NTB said:

There is evidence that left and right are wired very differently when you analyse their big 5 personality traits. Libertarians (I suspect in the majority here) are different again and have things in common with both left and right.

Watch this for more info (aimed a at lefty Ted audience but gets the points across)

 

Your link doesn't appear for me, but I agree re: the 5 personality traits.  Intelligence isn't the only factor.  Someone higher in openness would make more connections between things, some of them spurious, and therefore possibly "ridiculous".  

But then again someone low in openness might hold blinkered, calcified views that prevent them from seeing what's obvious to everyone else.   See just about any politician discussing the housing crisis for example.

Il also depends on what is really meant by "ridiculous". It's a loaded term and very subjective.

It's more likely to be used to describe intelligent people because they are supposed to "know better".  Less intelligent people with the same views might be described as ignorant or stupid.

What's the title of the Ted talk, so I can look it up?

Edited by MvR

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7 minutes ago, MvR said:

Your link doesn't appear for me, but I agree re: the 5 personality traits.  Intelligence isn't the only factor.  Someone higher in openness would make more connections between things, some of them spurious, and therefore possibly "ridiculous".  

But then again someone low in openness might hold blinkered, calcified views that prevent them from seeing what's obvious to everyone else.   See just about any politician discussing the housing crisis for example.

Il also depends on what is really meant by "ridiculous". It's a loaded term and very subjective.

It's more likely to be used to describe intelligent people because they are supposed to "know better".  Less intelligent people with the same views might be described as ignorant or stupid.

What's the title of the Ted talk, so I can look it up?

Same here 

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With regards to the intelligence vs common sense thing my mother rented half her house (the landladys quarters to the 'Old Bush') as it used to be and the occupants were two doctors, one a renowned brain surgeon who had a love for gardening and spent many, many hours redesigning and replanting it (the kind of residents you can only dream of). Anyway on two occasions I found myself (a humble barman) lecturing him on health and safety... one time I found him two thirds up a half dead tree, no harnes and reaching with a chain side trying to chop a limb and the other time he was breaking up old asbestos roofing that I'd neatly stacked behind an outbuilding and trying his best at mole pest-control stuffing shards of the stuff into their mole hills, maybe the idea was to give them a slow lingering death from mesothelioma. I don't know but clearly an intelligent man with no commonsense.

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6 minutes ago, longtomsilver said:

With regards to the intelligence vs common sense thing my mother rented half her house (the landladys quarters to the 'Old Bush') as it used to be and the occupants were two doctors, one a renowned brain surgeon who had a love for gardening and spent many, many hours redesigning and replanting it (the kind of residents you can only dream of). Anyway on two occasions I found myself (a humble barman) lecturing him on health and safety... one time I found him two thirds up a half dead tree, no harnes and reaching with a chain side trying to chop a limb and the other time he was breaking up old asbestos roofing that I'd neatly stacked behind an outbuilding and trying his best at mole pest-control stuffing shards of the stuff into their mole hills, maybe the idea was to give them a slow lingering death from mesothelioma. I don't know but clearly an intelligent man with no commonsense.

That`s the sort of thing i`m talking about ,give them a tin of beans without a can opener odds on they will be in A&E within the hour  

Edited by Long time lurking

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Reposting a youtube version of the talk

I think the one from the Ted homepage originally showed because I had it open in another window then disappeared when I closed it. Or demons.

Here's a similar talk from him aimed at libertarians which may ring true with those you haven't yet figured out that you are a libertarian.

 

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Part of the problem might be that we've no polymaths any more.  To be 'highly educated' actually means taking loads of stuff at face-value as the core of the subject, and then building on that.  So, taking physics as an example, you've got loads of stuff that you just accept, based on reports of observations that mostly make sense, but only in their own domain.   Universal gravitation, as an example, might be 'obvious', but most people have never actually spent months looking through telescopes, plotting the motions of the planets, putting it into a model of the solar system, making deductions of masses, calculating orbital periods, etc, etc.  You're just told that universal gravitation is a thing, F=G m1 m2 / r^2.  And it isn't as though anyone can actually do much of this stuff, except for a small area if they become a subject-matter-expert.  

Surely, then, this is the same as taking on a conspiracy theory -- there's a compelling argument supported by data that you're expected to take at face value and that would be too much effort to bother checking anyway, with a lovely collective-theory that holds everything together nicely.  Oh, sure, everyone is very clever and will see through the flimsy arguments... but most aren't (ie, 50% of kids do a degree, and that doesn't make them clever).

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20 minutes ago, dgul said:

To be 'highly educated' actually means taking loads of stuff at face-value as the core of the subject, and then building on that.

Is higher education the cause of ceasing to question things, then? Like in the Emperor's New Clothes, it was the little boy who saw clearly because he had no baggage? To be successful in academic circles, you have to take on trust what has gone before, else you would never leave the starting blocks. The autodidact crank in a shed has loads of time on his hands to investigate things from first principles.

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1 minute ago, Bod said:

Is higher education the cause of ceasing to question things, then? Like in the Emperor's New Clothes, it was the little boy who saw clearly because he had no baggage? To be successful in academic circles, you have to take on trust what has gone before, else you would never leave the starting blocks. The autodidact crank in a shed has loads of time on his hands to investigate things from first principles.

That is the principle problem with archaeology, all the stuff written in the text books that was originated in the 1920s cannot be corrected even though most know it is basically wrong.

The big one is most people think the pyramids at Giza were tombs of the Pharoahs. Unfortunately they were mainly buried in the Valley of the Kings and the rub therefore is nobody really knows why the pyramids were built which is a bit inconvenient.

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I think there are a couple of things in play.

People who are truly experts in one field think they are experts in others - the Stephen Hawkings effect

People who know a little, maybe they've done a degree, and think they know or understand a lot more about the world than they do - the Diane Kruger effect

I knew a number of, on paper, very intelligent people who made some seriously bad investments in the run up to 2008 or the dot.com crash. For example a guy who avoided buying shares in dot.com companies but invested in Sun - coz they made real stuff (yeah servers they sold to dot.coms). He lost a lot of shirts.

Another guy who was big into US sub prime real estate in the run up to 2008 - luckily for him he got married and his wife made it a condition that he sold everything before the knot was tied, he got rid of everything just a few weeks before the 2008 crisis blew up. I met him before the crisis and he was ranting about his daft wife not seeing a sure thing when she saw it.

Bullshit baffles brains as they say.

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1 hour ago, dgul said:

Part of the problem might be that we've no polymaths any more.  To be 'highly educated' actually means taking loads of stuff at face-value as the core of the subject, and then building on that.  So, taking physics as an example, you've got loads of stuff that you just accept, based on reports of observations that mostly make sense, but only in their own domain.   Universal gravitation, as an example, might be 'obvious', but most people have never actually spent months looking through telescopes, plotting the motions of the planets, putting it into a model of the solar system, making deductions of masses, calculating orbital periods, etc, etc.  You're just told that universal gravitation is a thing, F=G m1 m2 / r^2.  And it isn't as though anyone can actually do much of this stuff, except for a small area if they become a subject-matter-expert.  

Surely, then, this is the same as taking on a conspiracy theory -- there's a compelling argument supported by data that you're expected to take at face value and that would be too much effort to bother checking anyway, with a lovely collective-theory that holds everything together nicely.  Oh, sure, everyone is very clever and will see through the flimsy arguments... but most aren't (ie, 50% of kids do a degree, and that doesn't make them clever).

Well done, you're a postmodernist:)

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35 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

That is the principle problem with archaeology, all the stuff written in the text books that was originated in the 1920s cannot be corrected even though most know it is basically wrong.

The big one is most people think the pyramids at Giza were tombs of the Pharoahs. Unfortunately they were mainly buried in the Valley of the Kings and the rub therefore is nobody really knows why the pyramids were built which is a bit inconvenient.

Have you any interesting links for the pyramids?  I always thought that they were tombs. Interesting. 

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40 minutes ago, Bod said:

Is higher education the cause of ceasing to question things, then? Like in the Emperor's New Clothes, it was the little boy who saw clearly because he had no baggage? To be successful in academic circles, you have to take on trust what has gone before, else you would never leave the starting blocks. The autodidact crank in a shed has loads of time on his hands to investigate things from first principles.

 

I think it could likely mean that you views are never challenged nor are you opened to differening viewpoints - which is what used to happen in higher education. In fact, it used to be a big part of what higher education was about. It was meant to expose young people to different thoughts, ideas, views.

I know a professor in a local uni to me who lots of people who I know say how brilliant she is - but then they all work in the uni also. I don't work in the uni and I just see a pretty narrow-minded, clever in her narrow field but not very smart about life in general, person. Someone who is full of brainwashed dogma from the 70's that other people told her how to think. But I find myself biting my lip everytime I hear people raving about her. Perhaps I am the thick one.

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2 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

 

I think it could likely mean that you views are never challenged nor are you opened to differening viewpoints - which is what used to happen in higher education. In fact, it used to be a big part of what higher education was about. It was meant to expose young people to different thoughts, ideas, views.

I know a professor in a local uni to me who lots of people who I know say how brilliant she is - but then they all work in the uni also. I don't work in the uni and I just see a pretty narrow-minded, clever in her narrow field but not very smart about life in general, person. Someone who is full of brainwashed dogma from the 70's that other people told her how to think. But I find myself biting my lip everytime I hear people raving about her. Perhaps I am the thick one.

Don’t think so

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