Technological advancement and intelligence

Technological advancement and intelligence
Photo by Rod Long / Unsplash

Human beings are obsessed with the concept of intelligence. They designed tests and developed theories to measure and explain what it means to be smart. One of the tests that is used to test for intelligence is the IQ test. It is considered a robust measurement by some and a dubious one by others. But for the sake of the argument, let's assume that it is in fact a robust way to measure intelligence in a human being.

IQ test scores correlate with many socio-economic variables. In fact, studies show that education has a causative effect on IQ scores. Education by itself is a privilege. As late as the last century, people didn't have access to education. Illiteracy was high among the populace in every country on earth. And even though education was largely implemented in the late 1900s, the thing that really changed our lives was the internet. We are no longer bound by libraries or schools to get the information we seek. And the more you learn, by correlation, the more likely it is that you will become intelligent (in theory at least).

Common sense would suggest that our generation should be more enlightened than the previous ones. We have an abundance of knowledge at the tip of our fingers. More so with AI advancement. But there is something very wrong with us still.

I should probably define "wrong", and this is strictly my subjective point of view. Wrong for me is how a human being would wish another harm, how a human being would consider another inferior and not worthy of being free, of respect, or even worse, of being alive. Human beings today are not capable of fighting for their own freedom or the freedom of others. We are pinned against one another, and that makes me crestfallen. I must be courageous and claim that the most common cognitive bias to which we fall victim is confirmation bias. We often search for information that will confirm our point of view. Before the internet, to find a piece of information, we were obliged to go through books that confirmed or contradicted our ideas. That helped us fine-tune and build a more robust argument than what we had to begin with, or at the very least confuse us enough to either give up and admit that we have no idea about the subject.

At least I thought that with our technological advancements and how people think they are savvy on everything (just check any comment section of any platform), we would be above this all; we would be impervious to manipulative tactics that governments used and still use to this day to make us obedient, to make us predictable, and, as a result, easily manageable. The ironic thing is that people with degrees (and so who think that they are smarter than the rest) are the most gullible ones. And this makes me think: is it an educational system that we have, or rather an indoctrination process that we endure? The echo chambers created by social media have become more and more aligned with the government's narrative. This creates a very polarising environment in which people tend to segregate themselves based on their political views. So basically, the government supporters will stay and feed on their delusions on mainstream social media websites and feel that they are right since all the expressed opinions are a reflection of their own. Even if they are not susceptible to agreeing with an idea, since it is shared and gains support on a platform, they will tacitly accept it. The other group will feel prosecuted and so will find an alternative gathering in which they will feed on the fact that they are prosecuted, and rightfully so, but can also reach extreme, unimaginable, and sometimes outright stupid heights. I don't want to give explicit examples. I know it will make people mad, and that's not my point.

What I can conclude from this is that technological advancement is being actively used to make us dumber, and we are the problem. I still believe, or should I say I want to believe, that there is a silent group, a group that is still governed by reason. I want this group to wake up because it is certainly asleep.