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Your National I.Q.

Dr. Sardonicus


What is the I.Q. of your society?

Just as you can make a highly sophisticated computer from many dumb transistors, it is possible to make an extremely stupid society from many smart people. Human behavior spent millions of years evolving among small groups of people, but we have only been experimenting with large governments for a few thousand years -- and the results have not been too encouraging

In big societies, many of our hard-wired survival skills turn into liabilities. The creative among us suffer lives of fruitless disappointment, while the media spotlight is shared by the handful of mediocre artists. Religion once offered consolation and solace for small groups -- today it is a source of fanaticism, hatred, and fundamentalism that obstructs social progress. The pride, bravery, resourcefulness and independence of the individual is generally subsumed in a life of servitude and mindless consumerism.

Even worse, governments take on a dumb ameba-like life of their own. Bureaucracies are most interested in their own survival -- sometimes at the expense of the humans they are supposed to serve. They have short time horizons driven by election cycles, corruption or individual gain, and their agendas are easily hijacked by individuals such as Hitler, Mugabe or Bush.

India, for example, has a democratic society that is utterly unable to deal with famine and overpopulation. The communist country of China, by comparison, implemented draconian population control measures, and is moving rapidly and methodically to build top-down industrial and environmental culture. Of course, we all value the personal freedoms we have in western societies, but it is fair to ask -- which is the smarter organization?

It is the opinion of Dr. Sardonicus that a considerable amount of time and human suffering could be avoided if we could develop a simple I.Q. test for human societies. Then we could all discard the losers and get on with our lives. I have included a sample below:

  • 1. Can your government recognize and avoid problems before they occur?
    [1] Always, [2]Often, [3] Sometimes, [4] Bio-holocaust

  • 2. How far into the future can your government plan ahead?
    [1] Century, [2] Election, [3] Week, [4] News cycle

  • 3. How well does your government balance the freedoms and rights of the individual against the welfare of the many? [1] Always, [2]Occasionally, [3] Sometimes, [4] Guantanamo Bay

  • 4. Can make intelligent choices to ensure your health and survival?
    [1] Of course, [2] Sometimes, [3] Bird Intelligence [4] Collapse

Regrettably, the test above is not sensitive enough to register a score for my own government.

If you have some more ideas that belong on the Government I.Q. Test, please E-Mail them to I include the best ones in my next address to the United Nations.


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