2011 February 16 Wednesday
Why Do Smart People Get Drunk More?

Dennis Mangan says drunkenness by the smartest is an escape from all the dummies in our midst.

Satoshi Kanazawa: More intelligent people are more likely to get drunk. Dr. Kanazawa has his theory about this, and I have mine: intelligent people need to escape the reality of mass stupidity.

We can't really escape the dummies because the dummies are making more babies than the smarties.

My take: Drunkenness lowers effective IQ and therefore it enables smart people to lighten their load of worries by basically joining the rest of the population in thinking simpler and fewer thoughts. So drunkenness is pretty much a temporary embrace of stupidity.

What's needed: A drug that blocks worries and negative thoughts while not reducing IQ.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 February 16 11:20 PM  Human Nature Cognitive Ability


Comments
Aki_Izayoi said at February 17, 2011 6:38 AM:
Satoshi Kanazawa: More intelligent people are more likely to get drunk. Dr. Kanazawa has his theory about this, and I have mine: intelligent people need to escape the reality of mass stupidity.

Indeed, alcohol is a means of escapism, but Satoshi's explanation of the observation that more intelligent people are more likely to get drunk (assuming its valid), seems rather ad hoc. One could predict that dumb people are more likely to get drunk to escape the reality of their low status, since most prestigious jobs require intelligent they lack, and material insecurity, since their jobs do not provide much financial compensation.

Aki_Izayoi said at February 17, 2011 6:42 AM:

Maybe high IQ people need to get drunk in order to impress the opposite sex. If they can perform intensive cognitive feats while intoxicated, it would be significant feat. This is analogous to Zahavi's handicap principle.

When we die, there will be a planet for the French and the Chinese, and we'll all be a lot happier.

notanon said at February 17, 2011 2:23 PM:

opiates do that.

taylor said at February 17, 2011 3:47 PM:

About the complaint of dummies making more than smarties.

If you're a smartie, is it really in your's/kid's interest for there to be more smarties?
Is it really a good thing for your position on the bell curve to shift towards average or below average?
How would it bode for you or your children if everyone else becomes smarter?

Perhaps a population plagued with mass stupidity is easier to compete with for money,status,jobs,etc.

Also, misery and poverty make for very profitable business. Think of JP Morgan Chase and their profiting off food stamps and unemployment.
Or psychological counseling centers that would be out of revenue without the mentally ill or retarded.
Or tutors that make $40/hour. They'd be broke or underpaid without their inferiors.

kurt9 said at February 17, 2011 3:57 PM:

"Also, misery and poverty make for very profitable business. Think of JP Morgan Chase and their profiting off food stamps and unemployment.
Or psychological counseling centers that would be out of revenue without the mentally ill or retarded.
Or tutors that make $40/hour. They'd be broke or underpaid without their inferiors."

All self-cannibalizing economic activities. This is what my best friend in the late 80's used to call an economy where "everyone does everyone else's laundry" and where there is no outward-oriented wealth creation activities at all.

Nevertheless, your point is quite valid. Lots (most?) of smart people live an easy life making their money doing these sorts of activities.

James Bowery said at February 17, 2011 4:01 PM:

If you're a smartie, is it really in your's/kid's interest for there to be more smarties?

Not if you like turning other people into slaves, rather than inventing technologies that enhance self-sufficiency.

Kudzu Bob said at February 17, 2011 5:39 PM:

Hmmm, a drug that eases our worries but that does not reduce our brainpower. Let's call it EuphorIQ.

What could possibly go wrong?

"All the calculations check out. Using these leftover isotopes I scavenged from a hospital's discarded cobalt radiotherapy machine, plus the innards of this ancient Sony Betamax video recorder that I just happen to have on hand, it should be child's play for someone of my advanced intellect to build a weapon that will make the H-Bomb look like a pop-gun. But what about the moral implications?" (Pauses for a moment as the first rush of EuphorIQ takes hold.) "Aw, what the heck!"

Randall Parker said at February 17, 2011 7:18 PM:

taylor,

If you're a smartie, is it really in your's/kid's interest for there to be more smarties?

The answer can be seen in the steepness of a slope. If you plot national per capita GDP (Y axis) versus IQ (x axis) the answer is obviously YES. You are better off (at least measured by per capita GDP) being a smart person around smart people. You are also better off as a dumb person around smart people. The slope of the plot is too steep for smart people to benefit from being around dumb people.

kurt9 said at February 18, 2011 10:05 AM:

Not if you like turning other people into slaves, rather than inventing technologies that enhance self-sufficiency.

A self-cannibalizing economy where everyone does each other's laundry. This seems to be where we are headed. Yes, and the vast majority of the "smart" people would rather engage in rent-seeking rather than truly productive enterprise. This is why we're going down the toilet.

Z said at February 18, 2011 3:26 PM:

"opiates do that"

I was about to post this. What is needed is a way that people can enjoy the opiate feeling all the time without otherwise changing their brain chemistry and developing tolerance or addiction.

Tramadol is an older drug that is uncontrolled (unscheduled) and considered a "pseudo-opiate." Addiction is not impossible, but it is very slow-acting so avoids the sudden spikes in dopamine that is the major cause of addiction.

Some doctors will prescribe it off-label as a non-daily anti-depressant.

James said at February 18, 2011 7:02 PM:

Haha, notanon, you beat me to the punch.

There are plenty of high IQ closet opiate (often heroin) users out there. They generally have the intelligence and financial resources to keep things together and not be known as a junkie.

Not that I'd know anything about that. But most people don't.

A said at February 19, 2011 4:56 AM:

"...it enables smart people to lighten their load of worries by basically joining the rest of the population in thinking simpler and fewer thoughts."

You have got the target correct but missing the technique. Being drunk transforms nerd-orientated/anxiety-prone guys, such as myself, from guys who over think and over obscure reference lines into guys who can shoot out witty, funny conversation with girls. The subject matter may change (or downgrade, however you look at it) but the processing ability still seems to be there.

I, for one, favour alcoholism in nerds!

James said at February 19, 2011 11:06 AM:

"I was about to post this. What is needed is a way that people can enjoy the opiate feeling all the time without otherwise changing their brain chemistry and developing tolerance or addiction."

There might be slight promise with nociceptin receptor antagonists. I hope to experiment on myself with them in the future. What a holy grail it would be though, to have something that completely prevents opioid tolerance without any side effects.

no i don't said at February 21, 2011 2:04 PM:

I'll go get me another scotch on the rocks.

Cheers!

Rodca said at September 7, 2015 8:36 AM:

Drunks are not smart. Please! Stop the B.S. Drunks who are a dime a dozen are basically the average not the six sigma. And that is because they are extroverts or like being extroverted. Every loud mouth alcoholic or person who I ever met that couldn't control his/her drink (majority) is and was some of the most stupid people I ever met. Introverts are despised by the majority extrovert world. Introvert is not to be confused with shy, and introvert simply looks innward for solutions, while an extrovert looks to the external for his solution. More than IQ difference is the paradigm of introversion versus extroversion. The extroverts are a parasite on the world, always claiming to be smart because they cannot stop spouting their mouths, alcohol is just another crutch of theirs. Introverts who have been bred out by successive generations of rapist drunk extroverts own democracy, that's why they are alway asking for more democracy go figure. Truly just like in the time of Cain, extroverts build huge cities of gangs that are made of political theft and gregariousness. The whole shitload will collapse because as politcal loundmouth masters they will not be happy until the last introvert is bred out. Since only the introvert knows how to truly work at something productive like planting seeds or coming up with real and new and valued solutions, the extrovert fail will die when introverts are entirely depleted. No introvert likes getting drunk so he can be more a loud mouth. No introvert wants to be physically separated from reality. And no introvert wants to get drunk so he can go knock up a dumb bitch extroverted bimbo girl. Face it all you drunk bastards are degenerates and there is no reason to claim intelligence, I bet the most of you couldn't do a differntial equation if your life depended on it, and even if you could it would be just simply mechanics and no comprehension like a monkey turning a crank. God bless the remnant introverts out there, I know you still exist but don't worry you aren't insane, the entire damn world of drunk, arrogant, and stupid extroverts truly are stupid and insane. As they maybe normal (average) but they are still stupid and insane. I'll take my introvert genes to the dust before I ever mix it with alcohol or the dumb big mouth gene.


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