The Age of Mass Intelligence?

We’ve all heard about dumb­ing down. But there is plen­ty of evi­dence that the oppo­site is also true. Is this, in fact, the age of mass intelligence?”

Fas­ci­nat­ing arti­cle in Intel­li­gent Life, a pub­li­ca­tion by The Economist:


- “Mil­lions more peo­ple are going to muse­ums, lit­er­ary fes­ti­vals and operas; mil­lions more watch demand­ing tele­vi­sion pro­grammes or down­load seri­ous-mind­ed pod­casts. Not all these activ­i­ties count as mind-stretch­ing, of course. Some are down­right fluffy. But, says Don­na Ren­ney, the chief exec­u­tive of the Chel­tenham Fes­ti­vals, audi­ences increas­ing­ly want “the buzz you get from work­ing that lit­tle bit hard­er”. This is a dra­mat­ic yet often unrecog­nised devel­op­ment. “When peo­ple talk and write about cul­ture,” says Ira Glass, the cre­ator of the riv­et­ing pub­lic-radio show “This Amer­i­can Life”, “it’s apoc­a­lyp­tic. We tell our­selves that every­thing is in bad shape. But the oppo­site is true. There’s an abun­dance of real­ly inter­est­ing things going on all around us.”

- “Third, what does all this say about the wide­spread view that soci­eties are dumb­ing down, edu­ca­tion­al stan­dards are crum­bling and people’s abil­i­ty to con­cen­trate is col­laps­ing? The reply must be that it can­not be true across the board and that for a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber, the oppo­site is the case: peo­ple want more intel­lec­tu­al­ly demand­ing things to see and hear, not few­er. Sure­ly both things are hap­pen­ing at once: part of the pop­u­la­tion is dumb­ing down, part is wis­ing up.”


For a relat­ed blog arti­cle: Exer­cise your brain in the Cog­ni­tive Age

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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