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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ministry of morons

Much as we changed the name of the "Ministry of War" to the "Ministry of Defence" in 1964, I think we should change the name of the "Department for Education" the "Department for Stupidity" to reflect the new reality. The increase in stupidity is inexorable. There was an article in New Scientist a few weeks ago that said that we are losing, on average, about 0.8 IQ points per generation because stupid people are having more children than clever people. The burgeoning underclass in the UK is testament to this and there's no solution in sight: the welfare state incentivises the production of children while uncontrolled mass immigration further adds to the population. Fortunately, some of the immigrants can read and write, thus providing a basic workforce, but the long-term trend is not encouraging. If you don't believe me, watch the Jeremy Kyle show or read a national tabloid newspaper.

One way to measure the decline in national intelligence might be to find a benchmark. Here's an interesting suggestion: use television quiz shows.

“Who is the head of the Ismaili community?” was one question, to which the correct reply was the Aga Khan. Another asked which British politician had bought shares in the Suez canal. Disraeli, it turned out.

[From Think Britain hasn't dumbed down? Just watch Bullseye - Telegraph]

This gives me an idea for an independent measure of national stupidity, free from political interference or distortion by the vested interests at the Ministry of Edukashun. Perhaps some academics could construct an index that simultaneously measures how much easier the questions are on the top-rated prime time quiz show, University Challenge.

Brain of Britain, on Radio 4, seems mercifully unaffected by the collapsing national intelligence so that could serve as a reference point. Then all we have to do is persuade the government to announce the national stupidity level each year and hopefully they will then try to manage it down. If national stupidity goes up, then I will expect the Minister to write a suitably apologetic letter to the Prime MInister and then resign. Although I suppose making the Bank of England write a letter apologising for the inflation figures doesn't seem to have improved them.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]


GreatSheElephant said...

I'm not sure you can draw a link between immigration and the lowering of the national IQ. While admittedly one might question the intelligence of those who deliberately choose Britain as a place to live as opposed to simply experiencing the misfortune of being born here, I wonder if it might not actually counter the dumbing down of the indigenous population. Our own illustrious ancestors potentially being a case in point?

Cayce Pollard said...

Sorry, I can see how badly-written my post is. I'd didn't mean that immigrants are reducing our IQ - I meant that immigrants are the only thing keeping us functioning. As our IQs tumble, the ability of employers to obtain literate Lithuanians and educated Estonians has meant that the economy hasn't collapsed. However, I stand by my (and New Scientist's) claim: overall, the population is getting stupider. This isn't the result of some poorly-understood natural phenomenon but the predictable consequence of our deranged Welfare State and, in particular, New Labour's policies.

Carol Turner said...

Dave, You need to watch some of the GOP debates going on in your former colony. Rick Perry, one of our GOP hot boys, was trying to remember which of the federal agencies he was going to eliminate. He managed to remember two....then....uh....duh... oops. (I doubt he even knows how many there are and what they do.) You Brits have nothing to worry about because we Yanks will always be stupider than you.

Carol Turner said...

Okay, Dave, trying this again since I had to register with more google crap just to post here (grrrr--Mama Google is starting to get on my nerves) and my other comment vanished meanwhile.

You probably don't get the GOP debates in Woking (lucky you). If you had, you would have seen one of our GOP golden boys trying to recall which huge government agencies he was going to eliminate with the stroke of a pen. Uhhh....duh.... let's see, Commerce, uh...Education (aka Educamation)...uh, what else, uh... oops. You Brits will never get as dumbed down as we Yanks are, no matter how hard you try.
PS: Hi Dave from chilly Colorado

Cayce Pollard said...

I saw that Carol - I've been in Orlando this week - back home for a few days then heading out to Seattle till the end of next week - so I've been trying to keep with idiocy tsunami that's swamping you.

Will e-mail later.