Smart People Live In The Future

Justin Murphy writes:

Human intelligence is one of the most well understood human traits. It varies significantly across humans. It is partially genetic. What does it mean that human beings have different problem-solving power? Following from above, one implication is that humans live on different time scales. In some non-trivial sense, high-IQ people are living farther in the future than low-IQ people. This is why speaking with someone significantly smarter than you is quite literally speaking with an alien who has come from the future. And speaking with someone less smart than you is like speaking with someone from the past. You can think about this even in a minute-by-minute sense. As a highly intelligent person speaks, a less intelligent person is still inhabiting the first words of the sentence while the speaker is finishing the last words, whereas an even more intelligent listener is correctly predicting a speaker’s second sentence before they are even finished with their first sentence.
But we all live together, so society is basically a kind of inter-temporal zone. With the rise of mass media, the reality that receives sponsorship will be a weighted average of the audience’s time-slice. Smarter people will always be ahead, dumber people will always be behind, but most of the people with average intelligence will converge on a quotidian reality, all the more reinforced by a shared, external, socio-political legitimation. One of the key problems with a mass-media culture in a capitalist society is that any ideas overly contradicting or offending mass sensibilities will be selected out of the mass-media model of reality, as a simple outcome of supply and demand. Unsurprisingly, one of the key planks of contemporary ideology is that there do not exist significant, genetic psychological and behavioral differences between individuals and groups.
Marx thought that ideology protected the status quo by reflecting the interests of the bourgeoisie, and it does, but not by giving the bourgeoisie disproportionate power to project their ideas. Ideology operates by promoting the stupid ideas, especially those preferred by the weak and the poor. This is how left-wing compassion can be a kind of vicious commitment to the weak and poor remaining weak and poor. By treating less intelligent people as equally intelligent, you are actively conspiring to ensure your advantage remains stable. With ideology, it is not that the ideas of the ruling class are favored, but the opposite: the stupid ideas of the stupid are respected, for the economic gains of the smart. Nowhere do you see this more clearly than with a company such as Google, which will fire an employee for writing about psychological differences between the sexes, while actively leveraging the reality of those differences in advertising market segmentation.
So the social taboo on human psychological differences is itself a piece of stupidity, that ensures subjects continue to follow routines that do not work, like trying to solve a rubik’s cube by spinning one slice over and over. On the other hand, the unfettered play of intelligenic differences is no doubt catastrophic. That is what’s happening today, in the rise of inequality and mass cultural confusion. The problem is that intelligence is precisely that which escapes constraints designed by the less intelligent. Tax evasion, for instance. We cannot tax the rich even if we wanted to, they are too smart relative to bureacratic governmental institutions.

About Luke Ford

I’ve written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (

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