“Is George W Bush stupid?” asks the New Scientist. “It’s a question that occupied a good many minds of all political persuasions during his turbulent eight-year presidency. The strict answer is no. Bush’s IQ score is estimated to be above 120, which suggests an intelligence in the top 10 per cent of the population. But this, surely, does not tell the whole story… how can a ‘smart’ person act foolishly? Keith Stanovich, professor of human development and applied psychology at the University of Toronto, Canada, has grappled with this apparent incongruity for 15 years. He says it applies to more people than you might think. To Stanovich, however, there is nothing incongruous about it. IQ tests are very good at measuring certain mental faculties, he says, including logic, abstract reasoning, learning ability and working-memory capacity – how much information you can hold in mind. But the tests fall down when it comes to measuring those abilities crucial to making good judgements in real-life situations.”
The highest-energy particles could be a sign of new, unexpected physics. But the simplest, most mundane explanation is particularly iron-ic.
The modern attention economy hijacks our ability to focus, but an ancient technique offers a means to get it back.
The tonal Native American language differentiates words based on pitch and makes Spanish conjugation look like child’s play.
Stories of child prodigies and the naturally gifted hide the fact that success is built on more than talent alone.
In 2022, Hubble owned the record for most distant galaxy. Today, that galaxy is down to the 9th most distant object. Thanks, JWST.