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But they also tend to die faster, so in the best of worlds it would balance out.
I have to disagree with you on this point.
So long as they live long enough to breed they keep increasing. Like any parasite, if they kill the host after releasing the next generation it doesn't matter much. If they kill the host before then they become extinct.
Balance out? Ha! Hogwash!
And most of all, remember: There's no cure for stupid.
They don't have to live a long time to succeed in swamping the population - just long enough to reproduce. Unlike the brighter amongst us, they don't gain any advantage in passing down their knowledge to future generations - it is thus, as it turns out, an advantage for them to die off soon after reproduction and thus freeing up resources for the next generation.
Because that is indeed what they do, reproduce early and often, they have nothing to lose by not shriveling to a ripe old age in terms of natural selection.
Adaption for survival and intelligent are not closely linked - think in terms of vermin: prolific, abundant, and not that smart. Think even more so, about shellfish. It's not that far a step down from there to morons that are part of universal suffrage in most western countries.
(it also helps that social media brings stupid right to your front door now)
At least a good firewall can help to be your first line of defense. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram...all of that crap is blocked right in my router, so no device on my LAN could follow a link and end up there even if it tried to.
But yeah, "social media" is still a rather broad definition...
Always, it's just a lot easier to see it with the explosion of social media and "news" channels. Unfortunately, the idiots get more of the press ... although it has always been the case that the sensational is highlighted over the ordinary.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss. Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love" by Robert A. Heinlein
I'll offer a rhetorical question: "Were people always this stupid or has the gene pool utterly failed?"
I'll answer that like it isn't;
Yes, we were always this stupid. Evolution does not work towards intelligence, nor does it particularly reward that. You can't eat intelligence during a famine. It doesn't make you immune. And it doesn't guarantee a next generation of your genes.
Bastard Programmer from Hell
If you can't read my code, try converting it here[^]
"If you just follow the bacon Eddy, wherever it leads you, then you won't have to think about politics." -- Some Bell.
Two things. Firstly, although we all assume it's innate, I'm not sure people are born with common sense. Most acquire decent quantities fairly quickly, but it goes on being accumulated, silently and effortlessly, throughout life. Thus as we get older, we look at others and think "where is their common sense" because they've not yet learnt things that to us are just common sense.
But secondly, common sense is these days being "taught out" of people. For example, in my youth, it was "common sense" not to cross the road without looking carefully. If you didn't, you'd likely get hit by a car and you would die - or at least be maimed for life. But then we made cars "better" so that these days when you're hit by a car, you don't get spiked on a mascot, the bonnet is a crumple zone, the tires so wide that they can drive over you without breaking bones. You get pain relief within minutes (in the "old days" if you survived, you were thrown unceremoniously in the back of an ambulance by a "driver" (not a medic) and taken to hospital a.s.a.p - which in itself was often enough to kill you off). Then modern surgery "fixes" you, you get time off work, and you sue the driver, or the Council, or anybody else who might have been around (or absent) at the time, and benefit from your good fortune. That sort of experience can undo "common sense" pretty effectively. We have so much "Health and Safety" and so many social, financial and other "safety nets" around us that common sense is either un-learned or not learnt in the first place. Without (visible) consequences to our actions, we remain in a state of ignorant bliss.
What the he** have you got to laugh about these days?
Anything that is unrelated to elephants is irrelephant Anonymous - The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine Winston Churchill, 1944 - Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. Mark Twain