And another thing about IQ

Yhis whole “TV is making us smarter” thing pisses me right off, and thinking about Shalizi’s article helped me crystallize why: it presumes that the kind of cognition required to understand supposedly-more-complex TV shows actually makes you smart. Understanding allusions and inside jokes, or being able to follow complicated multi-character stories isn’t some grand cognitive task, it’s how people live their lives in a social milieu.

What’s changed is that people (by which I mean men — see “soap opera”) are applying these cognitive skills to works of fiction about which they become obsessively knowledgeable in addition to (or perhaps rather than) the social interactions of their real lives.


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