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April 25, 2017

What if the apparent uptick in Western IQ was accelerated by smoking?


By the 19th century, smoking cigarettes was ubiquitous.
Everyone smoked. It also corresponds with the Industrial Revolution. Once tobacco use became universal, Western technological progress took off like a rocket, culminating in a rocket literally taking off and putting men on the moon. Once the anti-smoking crusades got a purchase in the 60’s and smoking rates declined, it does appear that the West began to decline. Perhaps that small boost to our cognitive ability had a huge impact on our intellectual achievements. Now that the crutch is gone, we’re doing idiotic things like putting minorities in charge and inviting in low-IQ barbarians from the fringes of civilization. Perhaps the lunacy that has gripped the West is simply the withdraw symptoms of kicking the habit. Bring Back Smoking

Posted by gerardvanderleun at April 25, 2017 9:34 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

And this is why we are the last generation of kids who lovingly and dutifully made clay ashtrays in school for our smart and hardworking parents.

Posted by: Jewel at April 25, 2017 3:02 PM

I don't recall the last time I saw an ashtry, do they even make them anymore?

I remember the giant 2' ashtrays that were always present on the HUGE coffee table. Easily hold 2-3 cartons worth. LOL

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 25, 2017 5:47 PM

Over the years, I've irritated many people by telling them that lung cancer didn't just increase correspondingly with cigarette smoking, but also with the emission of radio waves, so I blame Marconi.

Posted by: OldFert at April 25, 2017 7:50 PM

I suspect that the relationship between smoking and achievement is not one of cause-and-effect. I think that they're both the result of freedom. I don't think it's an accident that as Prohibitionist impulses (with respect to alcohol, tobacco, etc.) have gained ground in the last century or so that the "animal spirits" that drive achievement have withered away -- why stand out when the bluenoses are only going to make your life miserable, and win applause for doing so?

As C.S. Lewis put it so well:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

-- C.S. Lewis, in "God in the Dock: Essays on Theology" (published in 1970, after his death)

So, have we the American people had enough therapy yet?

Hale Adams
Pikesville, People's still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

Posted by: Hale Adams at April 25, 2017 9:00 PM

They smoke like chimneys in Asian countries and they ain't doing half bad lately...

Posted by: Mumblix_Grumph at April 26, 2017 2:43 AM

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