The Smartest Generation

From Reddit: Older people of Reddit, what do you think is BETTER about today’s youth?

Some of the replies that stood out:

They are almost utterly immune to political TV and radio.

This generation is less apt to accept the wisdom of their elders. In the past, anything published was assumed to have been vetted by People Who Know. Now, all kinds of people can be heard, and their race and gender has less influence on acceptance of their information.

I find that young people I meet today are less apt to make up stuff and believe it, compared to the 1960’s an 70’s, when I was a kid. I remember kids joining communes, cults, crazy political parties, and going off to live in the woods with spiritual leaders.

they are slowly but surely getting smarter

They are cutting-through the bullshit faster than any generation before them.

Thanks to the Internet, (and a fuck-ton of college-induced debt), they are smart beyond their years.

Honestly, the average Reddit reading 23-year-old is a fucking mental powerhouse compared the average 23-year-old only a decade or two ago.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the younger people these days are idiots. And they post too. But the vast majority of young people posting here are amazingly smart for their age.

This agrees with what we said here and here about millennials (which we refer to as the ‘smartest generation’) valuing authenticity, as well as not being as easily swayed as their parents by the banal platitudes of the political establishments. This is because they are more educated and smarter than any previous generation. Unlike thier parents who tend to tow the line of either being solidly democratic or republican, the smartest generation embraces niche parties and hybrid ideologies such as atheist conservatism, neo-conservatism, neo-liberalism, libertarianism, and utilitarian pragmatism. Old school liberals want unconditional handouts to the least productive members of society. The smartest generation questions the efficacy of these programs, suggesting that we should perhaps make birth control more accessible as a solution to curtail poverty, because the data suggests poverty has a hereditary component, while also supporting the free market and entitlement reform. This hybridization combines a liberal stance on birth control with a conservative position on economics.

The ascension of the smartest generation ties in with the forever low interest rates, record valuations for web 2.0 companies, pain at the pump getting worse, record high-end real estate prices, and the stock market always going up. These are trends that are characteristic of the smartist era and will only continue without paucity. Smart people, or as we call the smarties or the cognitive elite, are coming apart from the rest of society. They are insulated and to some extent are contributing to the problems that inflict the lower classes, such as surging non-core inflation in the form of tuition, food, healthcare and pain at the pump. They say gas prices and food are transitory and volatile, but to anyone who isn’t blind, it looks like a steady uptrend, albeit with some hiccups along the way:

Economic policy is designed to benefit the top 1%, with those unable to participate taking the collateral damage in the form of nosebleed prices for essential services – even as treasury yields remain low (bifurcated inflation) . We predict this trend to continue for a long time to come.

Cynicism and skepticism, prevalent among the smartest generation, is infecting society as a whole, making people more jaded but empirically minded, rejecting grandiosity or any non-positivist assertion, unless it’s backed by mountains of data, with nothing being taken as a matter of faith. After years of successfully brainwashing the baby boomers and the generation before that, the welfare left is losing their grip on society, because their entire ideology is predicated on emotion instead of cold, hard facts and data, and with America becoming smarter with each successive generation, the left will find it increasingly difficult to find an audience receptive to their delusions, when the truth is readily accessible online. Despite championing the teaching of evolution in schools, many on the left reject the science that opposes their worldview, such as the data that shows IQ is an important determinant of lifetime income and that IQ scores are influenced by biology over environment. The left tends to view poverty as a social problem that can be fixed with government spending rather than a problem with a biological origin. Liberals want to believe humans are malleable, and with enough hours of practice, anything is possible. In large, the smartest generation, prizing verisimilitude over feel-good homilies, rejects that, believing that individuals are born into their roles in society – some are born to do smart things like physics and finance, others are born to do low paid service sector work. Individually is praised, provided you stay within your caste, and heaven forbid, you stray out of line and fail, you will be castigated in the court of online opinion. This is why Malcom Gladwell is so uncool to the smartest generation, because he’s giving false hope, like eternal salvation in the context of a religion, to those pursuing endeavors outside of their mental league.

But this does not mean we condone foolish or criminal behavior at the public’s expense. Determinism doesn’t preclude personal responsibility; although biological determinism means we have less free will, individuals that took out housing and student loans without reading the fine print should be responsible for their actions, without tax payers bailing them out. Wall St. – because it creates more economic value than underwater homeowners – did deserve a bailout in 2008. There is no systemic risk in punishing individual bad behavior or letting economically marginalized individuals fall between the cracks.