Sunday, September 23, 2012

Take that, Luddites!

Are we getting smarter?  It's a lovely thought.  James Flynn says that by conventional measures we are.  Actually, IQ (and related) tests identify how good we are at performing tasks that matter in the modern world.  We can say that modernity has made us smarter.

Steven Pinker argues that we have become more peaceful.  He cites the Flynn effect as one of the causes. 

Modernity (including industrialization) make us wealthier and smarter and more peaceful.  Take that Luddites!

To be sure, I do not expect that Luddites care about very much about these three trends.