For most of history, humans got smarter. That's now reversing.
We were gaining three IQ points per decade for many, many years. Now, that's going backward. Could this explain some of our choices lately?
There's a new study out of Norway that indicates our—well, technically, their—IQs are shrinking, to the tune of about seven IQ points per generation.
Scientists from Norway's Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research analyzed 730,000 IQ tests given to Norwegian men before compulsory military service from 1970 to 2009, and this is their conclusion.
If the trend continues—indeed, if it's even real—that means about 10 generations from now, we'll see a slow decline that actually means IQs at the top end will drop from >130 ("Very Superior")," to <69 ("Extremely Low"). Kinda terrifying, isn't it?
It's a reversal of what's known as the Flynn effect, named after the psychologist who first noticed that IQs increased in at least the first part of the 20th century.
There are a host of potential explanations that are still being explored, all the way from environmental problems and diet to lack of exercise and staring at screens.
But one that actually seems a more genuine culprit is this: IQ tests are designed to rely more upon rote memorization whereas schools and even electronic devices used by students rely on the ability to find things via Google and other means, which may indicate there is no real change in intelligence but rather in how younger people learn these days.
However, the scientists Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg have written a paper making the strong case that the decrease is environmental (and one of them actually talks about the IQ test possibility).
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
The next gold rush might take place in our sewers.
- Even though we think of it as exceedingly rare, gold can be found all around us.
- The trouble is, most of the gold is hard to get at; its too diluted in our waste or ocean waters to effectively extract.
- This new technique quickly, easily, and reliably extracts gold from most liquids.
What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.
When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.
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