Internet Reducing Global I.Q.?

Postby davidbanner99@ » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:46 pm

Here is a very clever video that illustrated the idea:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=swXh18CQOes
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#1

Postby davidbanner99@ » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:34 pm

I would say most definitely, although I use the term I.Q. in a less rigid context.
What's actually happening is knowledge and technology (or even linguistic data) is continually being uploaded onto the internet in huge volumes, but there's a catch. Even science students are now referencing information but often not understanding an actual subject in its A to Z format. This is why I finally stopped using science forums. The mentality there was that actually analysing a question was not the done thing. I would get answers such as, "Don't you understand it"s like this!" - and then there followed a chunk of copied and pasted text passed on as the user's own. Well, really, it's not the same thing as actually explaining something yourself and understanding it your own way.

So, inadvertently even students began to rely on the internet but not retain personal knowledge of a subject as we used to do.

The key point though is this and it's simple to explain:

If, hypothetically, you decided to wear a robot suit that enabled you to walk, talk, lift and run, sure you would still be living a productive life except....... Well, your own body muscles would atrophy and weaken over time. Wthout putting on that suit you'd eventually be 40 per cent less functional than before. That is the problem.

"The constant use of technology has shortened our attention span from 12 minutes to 5 minutes. Constant news feeds and videos that are 10 minutes or less has rewired our brains. "

Of course, it depends. Internet is great for research but my gripe is only a minority of us would do such research, in a case where Social Media predominates. Most net use (if we're honest,)is socially based. For example in my local library, books would lie on dusty shelves while customers played gamed or logged into Facebook.

The proven formula for developing intellect and memory I think remains the tried and tested method. Total quiet and concentration (boring as it may be). Plus, for basic health we need quiet time where we can ponder things deeply.

Most people take pains to defend the internet to me but the point is the storage of data mustn't replace the human brain.
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#2

Postby Candid » Fri Dec 04, 2020 7:19 am

davidbanner99@ wrote:"The constant use of technology has shortened our attention span from 12 minutes to 5 minutes. Constant news feeds and videos that are 10 minutes or less has rewired our brains. "

I agree! I have a tolerance of about 10 seconds for the Whirling Circle of Access.

The proven formula for developing intellect and memory I think remains the tried and tested method. Total quiet and concentration (boring as it may be).

I may be one of the last people in the world to sit in my armchair reading a book (not on Kindle! a real book!) for hours on end.

The quiet, meditative time is much more difficult for me. I'm go go go from the time I get up to the time I go to bed, and I'm aware of avoiding difficult thoughts and memories. That's why I need medication if I'm to sleep at night. It's a tough one; I've been wrestling with it for years, and a stream of counsellors/psychologists plus one or two inpatient times hasn't made any difference. It's got much worse over time.

the storage of data mustn't replace the human brain.

You're not a lone voice crying in the wilderness on that score, but I think it's too late. Average literacy rates must have plummeted.

I truly fear for the generations after me.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:59 pm

It depends on how you calculate "Global I.Q.".

Would you say the invention of the Gutenberg press in 1440 decreased Global IQ? During that age, most people didn't own a book. The printing press gave rise to literacy. It gave rise to mass education. I think it is really difficult to claim the Gutenberg press reduced Global IQ. It's difficult to say access to information created a less intelligent global community.

Today, thanks to the Internet, millions of children have access to education that otherwise would be unavailable. Instead of relying on a single old textbook, teachers can now create material, pulling from multiple sources. In many countries schools are limited, especially universities are limited to those of wealth. The Internet is changing that.

The value of a degree, whether it is a BA, MA, or PhD is plummeting, but this is not a negative. It is a positive. More people than ever before are able to obtain degrees. More people than ever are enrolled in educational programs.

Initially the Gutenberg press was mainly printing bibles. But as the technology expanded other types of writing started to go to print. Was it all writing that increased the Global IQ? Nope. There were plenty of ways reading and writing were used in less than intellectual endeavors. It wasn't all Shakespeare. But, the mere act of communication through the written word, even if it might be a letter to a romantic interest, or reading a sci-fi or romantic trash novela, still engages the person. While reading a book about dragons might not be a heavy intellectual pursuit, it activates, it titillates, it engages our creativity side.

I remember in the 80's when you wanted to learn about the world you went to the library and started with Encyclopedia Britannica. Then, if you were lucky, there might be one or two more books on the subject. Imagine being in a small town and to write an intellectual paper on Aspergers you had a total of three sources. If you wanted anything more you had to begin making request through the librarian. And forget about getting publications that were recent. Forget about easily contacting and developing an extensive network of people with a similar interest. You will need to write letters, make phone calls, etc. You can't just use the Internet and Google Scholar to send a quick email and say, "Hey, I'm interested in your latest work, can you send me a copy?"

And what if something is happening in your community, i.e. a virus is spreading? Where do you go to get information to keep your family safe? Back in the 80's you turned on one of three news channels at 6pm, waited for tomorrow's paper, and talked with your neighbors. And where did they get their information? From you, the same paper, and the same news channels. It made people feel more comfortable because that very narrow, limited amount of information was all they had. They could process those few sources of information, mulling the same information over and over again for hours.

Today you have 100 sources that are constantly being updated. You go through the sources 5 minutes at a time. Lack of attention span? Or is it using critical thinking skills as you talk to people all over the world, reading blogs, scrolling through social media, watching a short video, and becoming informed of what is actually going on?

The above stated, can we point to things about the Internet that do not add to the Global IQ? Sure. We can point out how the Internet is used to binge-watch Netflix. We can point to people addicted to social media. We can point to how it depresses people or allows people to be taken advantage of by scammers, etc. There are plenty of negative things, but reducing the global IQ? I don't think so.

The argument is that if the Internet did not exist, those same people would be engaged in pursuits that somehow added to the Global IQ. I don't find that argument justified. Given a lack of the Internet, how would those same people spend their day? Reading Aristotles Politics, because the Internet had not been invented? No. They would be at the local bar, or watching television, or sleeping, or be engaged in any number of less than intellectual endeavors.

I think there is a lot more evidence that the Internet has added rather than reduced Global IQ.
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#4

Postby tokeless » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:11 pm

I'm in agreement with Richard on this in terms of the internet providing more access to knowledge and the availability of articles or sources of information. I think that is without doubt compared to the past.
However, just as the invention of the gun gave us more protection, better hunting and saved us having to tackle beasts with knives etc... it also provided a means to kill each other more effectively by those who used a positive change for negative means. I think the spread of social media such as fb and snap chat, tik tok has reduced our attention spans because it's just endlessly updated and the majority of it's content is just meaningless and designed to keep us stuck to screen time. This is intentional as docs like Social Dilemma shows us. I use the internet for what I need mainly but I know people who literally live their lives on it and never tire of kittens falling in boxes, pictures of their dinner or wine glass to tell others they exist and hope for clicks.
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:36 pm

tokeless wrote:However, just as the invention of the gun gave us more protection, better hunting and saved us having to tackle beasts with knives etc... it also provided a means to kill each other more effectively by those who used a positive change for negative means. I think the spread of social media such as fb and snap chat, tik tok has reduced our attention spans because it's just endlessly updated and the majority of it's content is just meaningless and designed to keep us stuck to screen time. This is intentional as docs like Social Dilemma shows us. I use the internet for what I need mainly but I know people who literally live their lives on it and never tire of kittens falling in boxes, pictures of their dinner or wine glass to tell others they exist and hope for clicks.


Completely agree. My point is that if the Internet had never been invented we would not see an increase, or be at higher levels of Global IQ. Instead of watching cat videos, these same people would be couch potatoes watching endless hours of whatever was entertaining, or maybe they would be hanging out at the local pub. It isn't like if the Internet had not been invented that instead of cat videos these same people would be joining book clubs and reading Aristotle.

The Gutenberg press gave people a new option. They could learn to read and write. Or they could continue to entertain and distract themselves in any number of ways. It took time for Global IQ to rise as people took up the new option. The same can be said for the Internet. People that did not have access to education or information now have that option. It is new for them. Distractions and ways to entertain each other is not new for them, access to education is new.

And it will take time. The Gutenberg press was developed in 1440 and it took almost 500 years until the early 1900's for the US to reach 70% literacy. The Internet has been around for all of 40 years. There are still a few billion people without access, and many billions without reliable access.
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#6

Postby davidbanner99@ » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:39 pm

"Completely agree. My point is that if the Internet had never been invented we would not see an increase, or be at higher levels of Global IQ."

We haven't seen an increase in global I.Q. On the contrary, studies have indicated an overall decline. However, by I.Q. I refer to basic intellect. Put simply, studies agree people 50 years ago were smarter.

The reasons behind this can be simplified by comparing physical and mental characteristics.

For example, we would all agree that if you had the choice of either walking up six flights of stairs or taking the lift, the lift would get you to the top quicker, but at a certain cost. By choosing not to walk, you get less exercise. Adding together all the times you use the bus, drive to the shop, press the remote (over months) then what suffers is your own physical condition.

This is just what happens with the internet. The entire internet network is basically wired up in parallel with the collective human brain. Such is a recent phenomenon. In terms of physics that means mass human cognitive output is "divided" - (with the internet providing the ever more dominant role.) This means that (1) human beings don't have to think as hard and that (2) they are becoming more dependent. And the theory is that as dependency continues to increase, there will be less "demand" to think because it is so much easier to take the less demanding path.

So, the video! I liked the part where it showed consumers basing their decisions on what they "like" or based on appearance.

As psychologists we need to be aware human nature will always choose the easy path. Much as we are told students are nowadays sat in their rooms over the internet, puzzling over Einstein's relativity or swatting up for an exam, ultimately we know this is wishful thinking.

Clearly the internet always has offered vast opportunity to advancement but is it worth the price we're paying? Such as:
(1) Disappearance of skilled professions such as electronics engineers.
(2) Closure of banks and specialist shops.
(3) Decline of customer services, or manned offices.
(4) Unemployment due to automatization of services and industry.
(5) Neurotic conditions arising from loss of social contact.
(6) Censorship of freedom of thought and expression.
(7) Dumbing down of society in order to profit social media monopolies.
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#7

Postby davidbanner99@ » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:44 pm

Here is someobe else's view:

Children would be out playing with each other rather than sitting in front of a monitor all day playing video games. Imagine your child coming home dirty and thinner because he/she was burning off FAT everyday playing, thus not a big fat kid that just sits in front of the X-box eating all day and getting fat.

The poor would benefit as well checks would take longer to clear thus less penalties for over withdraw a day or two before payday. Notice only the poor get hit with that on a steady basses. Take from the have not to give to the haves. Before the internet I could write a check for food or rent 2 to 3 days before payday without the balance being there. By the time the check cleared money was there. Almost never a insufficient fund charge. Today 2 seconds afterwards you get a $35.00 fee if you need baby formula to feed your child the day before payday.

Their are lots of benefits to having the internet. Both in fun and business. But what it takes in many cases out weighs it. Other than for making the rich richer faster. "
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#8

Postby davidbanner99@ » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:52 pm

"Abstract
Excessive internet use is shown to be cross sectionally associated with lower cognitive functioning and reduced volume of several brain areas. However, the effects of daily internet use on the development of verbal intelligence and brain structures have not been investigated. Here, we cross sectionally examined the effects of the frequency of internet use on regional gray/white matter volume (rGMV/rWMV) and verbal intelligence as well as their longitudinal changes after 3.0 ± 0.3 (standard deviation) years in a large sample of children recruited from the general population (mean age, 11.2 ± 3.1 years; range, 5.7-18.4 years). Although there were no significant associations in cross sectional analyses, a higher frequency of internet use was found to be associated with decrease of verbal intelligence and smaller increase in rGMV and rWMV of widespread brain areas after a few years in longitudinal analyses. These areas involve areas related to language processing, attention and executive functions, emotion, and reward. In conclusion, frequent internet use is directly or indirectly associated with decrease of verbal intelligence and development to smaller gray matter volume at later stages."
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#9

Postby davidbanner99@ » Fri Dec 04, 2020 10:05 pm

Russians seem to agree when I did a search:

"Интернет многие ощущают настоящим подарком небес, он постепенно приводит к атрофии памяти и извращает сам процесс мышления, запоминания, ментального конструирования смыслов и логических схем. Мышление становится принципиально другим — более поверхностным, фрагментарным, клиповым и примитивным. Причем дети даже не подозревают, что раньше мышление было каким-то другим. "

"The Internet is perceived by many as a real gift from heaven but it gradually leads to memory atrophy and distorts the very process of thinking, memorizing, mental construction of meanings and logical schemes. Thinking becomes fundamentally different - more superficial, fragmentary, clip-like and primitive. Moreover, children do not even suspect that before thinking was somehow different"
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#10

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:41 pm

First, I think I was using a different definition of global IQ. I was defining the term as a collective, meaning that globally if we added up all the IQ points there would be more, not less. This is partly due to an overall increase in population, but also because thanks to the Internet there is more access to education. Collectively there is more intelligence globally than at any other point in history.

You are using a different definition. You are saying that IQ at the individual level is lower, that the average person has a lower IQ and that this drop is across the globe. It's your thread, so I will use your definition.

davidbanner99@ wrote:"Abstract
Excessive internet use is shown to be cross-sectionally associated with lower cognitive functioning and reduced volume of several brain areas.


Second, don't blame the Internet. It is like trying to blame the invention of the slot machine for addiction to gambling. It is not the Internet that is causing the average individual to score lower on a standardized IQ test. That has been taking place since before the Internet was invented, e.g. television.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10 ... lCode=jmqb

A 1986 study on "Television and Verbal Intelligence". The finding, "Verbal intelligence scores are consistently lower for heavy tv viewers."

What else can we blame for lower average IQ? Drug use, video games, the suburbs? Or how about the decline in educational standards that has taken place since the 70's? No, the poor Internet gets the blame as it is the new, shiny distraction.

As a fun sidenote, did you know that the game of chess has been banned repeatedly over 100's of years for various reasons, including because it was seen as a frivolous waste of time?

http://www.billwall.phpwebhosting.com/a ... s_bans.htm

The bottom line is twofold:

-1- Let's assume the Internet, at least in part, is a contributing factor for lower average IQ. Forget about all the other potential causes for a minute.

-2- So what?
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#11

Postby davidbanner99@ » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:24 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:First, I think I was using a different definition of global IQ. I was defining the term as a collective, meaning that globally if we added up all the IQ points there would be more, not less. This is partly due to an overall increase in population, but also because thanks to the Internet there is more access to education. Collectively there is more intelligence globally than at any other point in history.

You are using a different definition. You are saying that IQ at the individual level is lower, that the average person has a lower IQ and that this drop is across the globe. It's your thread, so I will use your definition.

davidbanner99@ wrote:"Abstract
Excessive internet use is shown to be cross-sectionally associated with lower cognitive functioning and reduced volume of several brain areas.


Second, don't blame the Internet. It is like trying to blame the invention of the slot machine for addiction to gambling. It is not the Internet that is causing the average individual to score lower on a standardized IQ test. That has been taking place since before the Internet was invented, e.g. television.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10 ... lCode=jmqb

A 1986 study on "Television and Verbal Intelligence". The finding, "Verbal intelligence scores are consistently lower for heavy tv viewers."

What else can we blame for lower average IQ? Drug use, video games, the suburbs? Or how about the decline in educational standards that has taken place since the 70's? No, the poor Internet gets the blame as it is the new, shiny distraction.

As a fun sidenote, did you know that the game of chess has been banned repeatedly over 100's of years for various reasons, including because it was seen as a frivolous waste of time?

http://www.billwall.phpwebhosting.com/a ... s_bans.htm

The bottom line is twofold:

-1- Let's assume the Internet, at least in part, is a contributing factor for lower average IQ. Forget about all the other potential causes for a minute.

-2- So what?

TV has indeed caused lesser problems. My grandad was hooked on it and my aunt still is. When it was just three channels I don't think TV was a problem for most but cable TV took a turn for the worse.
To improve intellect and memory environment is crucial. Most definitely, what you process mentally will influence your intellectual potential. And what's pumped out as modulated information externally heterodynes the brain. This is why I removed TV years ago and limit myself to about 90 mins dvd viewing max. Sometimes old junk TV such as Dallas to unwind, but only an hour or so.
Internet I pretty much use to source material and now a couple of forums. Not tech ones though as they were awful. Most of my time I use real books from the 1950s or 1940s.
What's essential for thought is depth and total quiet. This stimulates deep thinking and making questions is part of it. I used this to overcome chronic dyscalculia and would do maths in total quiet, sat next to my German Shepherd dog. For maths I found the internet to be awful, more so YouTube videos. Whereas the maths used in the 1950s was really clear and direct. Sure, the internet is great for sourcing material but my problem with it is its mass effect. It's emphasis is social media with its likes and smilies and pop-ups, advertising and gaming. I think the video above shows very well how all of this permeates everyday life. I have met real families who live together but have to log into Facebook to pass on a message.
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#12

Postby davidbanner99@ » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:45 am

You know I loved that clip in The Time Machine remake where the 19th century inventor lands at his first stop in the future. There he encounters a virtual reality librarian in an I.T. world.
"What is there on time travel?, asks the inventor.
"Time travel is impossible", replies the virtual librarian.
This is true, I think. You can have all the conveniences of touch pad screens and microchip boards but, you know, putting a man on the moon in 1969 is still probably beyond science today. Even though the 1960s NASA team only had basic calculators the lunar landings demanded raw science, sense of adventure and risk as well as vision. Could it be done today? Probably not. I think we lost the risk and explore quality science had in the late 1960s. I think partly I.T. has given a lot but, on the other hand, it substituted commercial, gadget science instead of exploratory science. For sure, many 1960s people would have expected this generation to be on Mars by now, and yet, here we are still squabbling over oil in the Arctic and terrified of bacteria. A great film to see on this line is Interstellar.
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#13

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:51 am

davidbanner99@ wrote: ....my problem with it is its mass effect.


Granting your assumptions that the Internet has reduced the average IQ across individuals, so what? What does it matter to you that a family uses FB to pass along a message? What does it matter to you that the average IQ is lower today than before television was invented, before marijuana use, before gambling and alcohol addiction, before people wasted time playing chess?

Is your problem that it makes you afraid? Does it create fear in you? It makes you sad that someone might have a lower IQ than their potential?
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#14

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:56 am

davidbanner99@ wrote:... putting a man on the moon in 1969 is still probably beyond science today.


So based on that logic the Egyptians had higher average IQ's than we have today. We don't have the science to construct many of the structures found in ancient times.
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