December 22nd, 2012
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: email@example.com
The limits to human capabilities. By definition, 50% of people have an IQ below 100. I don’t think anyone who’s reading (or writing) these words can begin to imagine how hard it would be to make a go of it in modern America with an IQ of 90 — to build a prosperous and secure life, raise a stable, happy family, or ensure that you can be self-sufficient in your waning years. Even getting through high school would be really hard.
But if you have an IQ of 160 and you make $300,000 a year, where do you spend your money? Does it simply vanish? Do you only give it to other people who make $300,000 a year? Personally, I have an infinite list of things I would like people to do, and most of the tasks don’t require much IQ.
Maybe the point is unfair, since the only way to build something sustainable over the long-term is have some activity that is both profitable and can be done by low IQ people? But are personal services really unsustainable? Maybe the problem is that they are low wage?
I do agree that the Great Stagnation is the problem, as the writer suggests here:
Pretty much every important invention of the modern world – trains, planes, automobiles, air conditioning, antibiotics, painkillers, telephones, radio/television, computers – had already been invented and was in at-least-fairly widespread use when I was growing up in the sixties. The only thing since then has been the internet.
Post-’70 it’s just been distribution, improvements (i.e. cell phones over land lines), and price reductions — important stuff, no doubt, but compared to the germ theory of disease or the electric motor? (Arguably even the internet is just a distribution thing.)
The current era is comparable to the Really Great Stagnation, which lasted from 1650 to 1750 – a time of demographic and economic decline in Europe, despite amazing innovations such as calculus and the Agricultural Revolution. We can only hope that current innovations will lead us out of the Great Stagnation, even as the innovations of 1650-1750 are thought to have lead Europe out of the Really Great Stagnation.Source