“Idiocracy”Posted: July 1, 2011 | Author: Greg Linster | Filed under: Human Evolution | 6 Comments »
The film, “Idiocracy”, not surprisingly, never had a major theatrical release, but has acquired a cult following. In essence, the film is a satirical look at where writer and director Mike Judge thinks society is heading. Sadly, I don’t think his depiction is terribly far off the mark. As such, I’m left to wonder: is evolution really steering humanity towards some form of idiocracy?
During the film’s prologue, a narrator explains that in our modern society, natural selection does not favor the intelligent (who think deeply about their reproduction choices and tend to reproduce less overall due to financial reasons, etc.) and that less-intelligent people procreate freely and easily out-breed the intelligent because our society focuses on preventing evolutionary creative destruction from occurring. Ultimately, due to this evolutionary twist, the futuristic world portrayed in the film is a dystopia that promotes rampant anti-intellectualism.
Do we see this happening today? If you’ve ever been ridiculed for talking about something intellectual or serious, you’ll probably agree that the dumbing-down effect in our culture is already occurring. I have plenty of anecdotes to support this belief myself. The movie ultimately reminded me that there is a strong case to be made for elitism (I plan to write about this more in the future). It’s incredibly hard to have a rational and logical discussion about things like politics, economics, and the very fate of humanity when so many of the voices who think their opinion should matter are so profoundly stupid.
For instance, my opinion on string theory is of very little value. I simply don’t understand it. In general, I’m relatively stupid when it comes to issues related to anything above basic physics. Suppose, however, that I showed up to a physics conference and said: “I don’t believe in string theory. I’m just not a fan.” I would rightfully get laughed out of the place for having no logical or rational justification for having that belief. This happens with political and economic issues frequently though.
I’ve personally had many discussions about economic related issues with people who simply don’t understand rudimentary economics. The problem is they are unaware that they don’t understand rudimentary economics and actually believe that they do. For some reason, when it comes to issues like politics and economics many people think that their opinion should matter regardless of their lack of intellect on the subject. Perhaps the real problem is that most people fail to realize where their intellectual limits lie. Aside from natural selection running its course, I’m not sure there is a good solution to this problem.