Breaking News! Intelligence is an Illusion – Just Like Life

Scientists have discovered “exciting” news yet again when it comes to measuring our intelligence. Being a very economical bunch, scientists developed an easy one-question survey to gauge the level of aptitude. Participants in the study were simply asked to describe how a toilet functions.

The researchers discussed their hypothesis. “Our point is not that people are ignorant,” Sloman and Fernbach write in The Knowledge Illusion. “It’s that people are more ignorant than they thought.”

What a difference that makes! However, there is a method to their madness. Turns out, the more technologically advanced we become as a society, the stupider we get as people. Here’s the breakdown: our brains can only hold 1 to 10 gigabytes of memory. Why so low? Duh. Because we aren’t computers. But there is an advantage to being human and having emotions – unlike computers – we have self-insight and instinct, though some scientists debate this issue.

“There is no debate,” argued a researcher. “Officially humans no longer have instincts because we’ve become so dependent on technology. Unofficially, we are stumbling through this world blind, procreating and surviving all by accident.”

But there is good news. One area of success we humans have mastered is getting a “community of brains” together and achieving greatness. In history, every single noteworthy project ever solved was achieved by having more than one person– pyramids, skyscrapers, DNA, Facebook (originally it was twins who created it) – hence the cliche, two heads are better than one.

“And here I thought they were talking about snakes,’ explained a participant. “How do you like that?”

So what’s the takeaway? Gather your facts. People can be set in their beliefs that the toilet operates simply by pushing a handle. Understand that it takes a bunch of valves, floaty things, tubes and pipes, and a bowl with blue water for a toilet to function properly.

“I ask people to explain how a toilet works as an icebreaker at parties,” said a nerd affiliated with no one. “It’s so funny how people think they know but really don’t know. Don’t know why it hasn’t sealed the deal with the ladies yet.”

Missed last week’s “Breaking News You Can’t Use?” Check it out here.

Breaking News! Intelligence is an Illusion – Just Like Life
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