September 23, 2016

"'Idiocracy,' the most prophetic comedy of our time, is returning to theaters."

"Now, in a tribute to the film's visionary powers, the Alamo Drafthouse... is re-releasing the film in a number of theaters on the eve of what has suddenly become a nail-biter of a presidential election."

Okay, but:

"Idiocracy Is a Cruel Movie and You Should Be Ashamed For Liking It."

65 comments:

rhhardin said...

I'm home free! I didn't like it.

The same joke over and over.

rhhardin said...

The film's premise ought to have been giving women the vote.

damikesc said...

I appreciated the movie, but I am tired of "entertainment" constantly berating the average citizen as being an idiot.

The "entertainment" business believes, truly, that your genetic sex is a choice (being gay is not, apparently, but being a man or woman is). That is idiocy to a level that boggles the vocabulary to attempt to describe it.

I appreciate shows that feature the public but doesn't make them the butt of the joke. That is why, say, Impractical Jokers is infinitely preferable to the old Borat show. IJ has the 4 guys dealing with the public and having to embarrass themselves instead of treating the public as total rubes.

Bob Ellison said...

Idiocracy is mostly a non-partisan movie. Most of the characters are takers, not rich taxed folks, so it's a bit rightish. Much like Wall-E, with its fat human population riding on flying chairs aboard their spaceship.

With both of these movies, you can feed yourself the message you want to eat. Humans are a scourge, destroying everything. Government control is a scourge, devouring human initiative.

Anglelyne said...

"Idiocracy Is a Cruel Movie and You Should Be Ashamed For Liking It."

...because if you think intelligence is heritable you're an IQ Nazi with Nazi morals who thinks smarter people should be able to exploit and abuse less intelligent people. (Which, by the way, never happens in contemporary SWPL paradises populated by goodthinkers.)

P.S. the average intelligence of a population doesn't matter because stupid people sometimes have smart children and smart people have stupid children so shut up Nazi.

P.P.S. I don't understand statistics or selection worth diddly but you're still a Nazi.

Anglelyne said...

The think about Idiocracy that annoyed my inner humorless literalist was the premise that a population of really low average intelligence could maintain any kind of advanced technology, even in the shambolic state depicted in the film.

Rob McLean said...

I liked Idiocracy, but even a non-scientist like me knows that genetics don't work like that. The IQ of a child is based on not just the IQs of the parents, but also things like regression to the mean and plain old random chance.

MisterBuddwing said...

The think about Idiocracy that annoyed my inner humorless literalist was the premise that a population of really low average intelligence could maintain any kind of advanced technology, even in the shambolic state depicted in the film.

Funny you should say that. Although I enjoyed the movie, I did find myself thinking, if the entire society has become literally that stupid, how does it manage to have, maintain and operate planes, trains and automobiles? How does it have television?

(When I raised this point with someone else who liked the movie, I prefaced my comment by saying, "At risk of being told I'm taking this movie too seriously..." I was told I was taking the movie too seriously.)

Birkel said...

damikesc:

Don't forget that you can choose your race too, but only if geopolitics is correct.

Static Ping said...

Anglelyne: Yeah, it is a bit odd that the idiots did manage to keep civilization running. However, while the idiots are sufficiently intelligent to work the devices, they really have no idea how they work. My guess is society went to great strides to produce idiot-proof devices and automation to make life easier, which allowed true idiots to thrive. The problem is at this point the idiot-proof devices are breaking down which is why they are so desperate for a man (and woman) of average intelligence to save them. They are probably a generation or two from massive starvation.

I do find it amusing that the part of idiot society that seems to work the best is the media.

Paul Snively said...

As usual, Mike Judge succeeded beyond his wildest dreams with Idiocracy if what the author gets out of it is:

"Unlike other films that satirize the media and the soul-crushing consequences of sensationalized entertainment (my personal favorite being 1951's Ace in the Hole), Idiocracy lays the blame at the feet of an undeserved target (the poor) while implicitly advocating a terrible solution (eugenics)."

Oh boy, here we go. If your target is implicitly advocating a solution, it's not advocating a solution, and you're being intellectually lazy or, dare I say... an idiot.

"It’s clear from the film that the intelligent people are wealthy, while the uneducated people are poor. So we’re starting from a position of believing that wealthy people are inherently more intelligent and, by extension, deserve their wealth. This link between intelligence and wealth is perhaps the most dangerous idea of the film and pretty quickly slips into advocating for some form of soft eugenics to build a better world."

As usual, what we've really got here is the cry of everyone who doesn't feel they're being compensated according to their "actual" value. No, it isn't that "wealthy people are inherently more intelligent," and Mike Judge is intelligent enough to say no such thing. He presents a correlation (that holds up pretty darned well in reality, no matter which way you think the causality runs). He says not a single word about "deserving," and he says not a single word about eugenics, either hard or soft.

If you want to know Mike Judge's actual inspiration for Idiocracy, watch this. Warning: it's an Alex Jones interview, but set that side just this once.

Bob Boyd said...

If I can choose my race and my sex, why can't I choose my IQ?
Smart is a social construct and I identify as a freakin' genius.
If you tell me different you're a hater and a bigot and some other stuff I can't remember right now.

Peter said...

"Ideocracy" is cruel? This is cruel:

http://mysite.du.edu/~treddell/3780/Kornbluth_The-Marching-Morons.pdf

Robert Cook said...

I haven't seen IDIOCRACY, but one can get around the conundrum of how a society of imbeciles can keep a high-tech civilization running by simply seeing it as all such satires (if that's what it is) are meant to be seen: as a portrait of today.

Mike Judge, whose work I have liked, is apparently peeved at the social trends and practices of today that he believes is creating a society of ignoramuses.

Static Ping said...

What I find annoying is Mike Judge wanted to use Idiocracy to make anti-Trump ads. I don't really blame him for thinking Trump is less that Presidential material - the Donald seems to go out of his way to make that impression - but the thought that voting for Hillary is a sign of intelligence is, frankly, idiotic. Never make yourself a character in your own play of idiots, even if it is meant to be ironic.

Anglelyne said...

Static Ping: However, while the idiots are sufficiently intelligent to work the devices, they really have no idea how they work. My guess is society went to great strides to produce idiot-proof devices and automation to make life easier, which allowed true idiots to thrive. The problem is at this point the idiot-proof devices are breaking down which is why they are so desperate for a man (and woman) of average intelligence to save them.

Ha. Thanks for making perfect sense out of what I thought was an implausible scenario. (Observing Anglelyne wielding her many high-tech devices, it becomes obvious that the idiot-proofing is already well under way.)

MisterBuddwing said...

I, too, considered the possibility that all of the hi-tech stuff was old stuff, but I'll shake the hand of anyone who can make equipment like that last for centuries, which is what the premise of "Idiocracy" requires.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Rob McLean said...

I liked Idiocracy, but even a non-scientist like me knows that genetics don't work like that. The IQ of a child is based on not just the IQs of the parents, but also things like regression to the mean and plain old random chance.

Genetics doesn't work exactly like that, but it does tend in that direction. Assuming intelligence has a significant genetic component ( I'm not arguing that one way or another ) then intelligent people having fewer children than unintelligent people will lower the mean. Sure, there is regression toward the mean, but in general more intelligent parents will have more intelligent children. ( Otherwise intelligence would not be inheritable. ) So the two parents with 140 IQs might have kids with 120 IQs, while the parents with 80 IQs might have kids with 90 IQs. And yes, there is random chance involved, but the next person with a 140 IQ is far more likely to come from parents in the 140-120 range, not from parents in the 80-90 range.

marybeth said...

Can someone remind me of the pro-eugenics part so that I can feel properly ashamed of myself for liking the movie?

(I can't go to Costco without thinking, "Welcome to Costco, I love you.")

Ignorance is Bliss said...

And notice that it is the progressive whose mind jumps straight to eugenics. How about we consider not subsidizing the unintelligent people's reproduction? How about we stop adding burden on top of burden to the way responsible parents choose to raise kids?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

And really, the unintelligent people in the movie are portrayed as poor? Check out the still frame they use. Kitchen stocked with plenty of staples. Kitchen cabinets are low-end, but in good condition. Guy's shirt is in good condition. He can afford beer.

If that is poverty then I'm not seeing what the big deal is with being poor.

Static Ping said...

MisterBuddWing: If you were one of the smart people and saw the writing on the wall that the world was going to be full of idiots, you might be motivated to make the idiot-proof devices (a) as durable as possible and (b) as self-repairing as possible. If I had a master plan to scientifically-magically cause the idiots' IQ to jump 40 points, I would want civilization to remain intact as long as possible while I was working on that. A functioning society, even of idiots, is easier for the scientist, not to mention it is easier to rebuild a "used future" than a bunch of primitives living in caves, assuming they are smart enough to live in caves. We only get to see a part of this world. It is possible that there are smart people sequestered somewhere trying to fix things, or at least were until some idiot got them all killed.

wildswan said...

There's old eugenics in which IQ as found by tests correctly measured in all groups the inherited human trait that as it evolved built civilization. Natural selection culled out those lacking IQ. And eugenics through Planned Parenthood intended to replace and speed up natural selection by establishing an adverse birth differential which would work against the groups which were evolutionary laggards and by that they meant #1 the blacks. That was the founders of PPFA and that was the direction established and that is what has happened. The blacks are below replacement level and still falling (as I may have mentioned once or twice before). It makes no difference now what your views on racism are or even what the color of your skin - if you support Planned Parenthood as does Hillary Clinton, then you support an ongoing black genocide.

But there's also a new eugenics since the end of the Human Genome Project showed that twin studies, the "scientific" basis for IQ heritability, have no scientific status because they did not allow for DNA methylation. This new eugenics is based on epigenetics rather than IQ. It's evil idea is to say that stress is causing good genes to go bad so that stressed groups such as inner city blacks are developing and inheriting anti-social behaviors - inability to tolerate disagreement, over-responsive to triggers, etc. This way they can be a pitiful victim group and the more whites acknowledge how bad (privileged and way ahead of blacks in school) they are right now, the more it shows that blacks can't be expected to perform in schools or universities - at least not in direct competition. Blacks are entitled by Title 9 to separate (but equal) dorms and classes - maybe we should set up separate (but equal) colleges - and schools - and special areas called segregated, NO, dummy, not segregated but safe, let me see, safe spaces. Oh wow. Millenials flock to idea. Klan members laugh in Hell in as the watch. "'Safe spaces' haw, haw, haw, why didn't we think of that. And look how they get to call opponents of "Safe spaces" evil irredeemable racists. Haw, haw, haw")

wildswan said...

laugh in Hell in as they watch

Ignorance is Bliss said...

And note how the author keeps substituting uneducated for unintelligent. Education is not hereditary. I don't know how much of intelligence is actually hereditary, but the movie is premised on it being significant.

Static Ping said...

As to the eugenics angle, the society in the movie will necessarily end up in a natural eugenics crucible. The simple matter of the situation is this society is going to collapse, barring some outside influence propping it up, and probably the majority of the population is going to die. Almost certainly the most stupid are going to die in huge numbers, if only because the marginally smarter are going to be able to trick them into giving up their food. Anyone with anything close to average intelligence is going to end up running what's left and in that position of ruthless authority is going to be reproducing a lot more than the low-level idiots, who will most likely be exploited until no longer useful.

Gabriel said...

@Rob McLean: but also things like regression to the mean and plain old random chance.

"Regression to the mean" is the result of "random chance".

But your genetic inheritance is only random with respect to which of your mother's genes you get vs your father's. You cannot inherit something they do not have, by definition. So to the extent that "smartness", whatever it is, has a genetic component, the more of those genes your parents had the more likely you are to get them. You can't inherit genes from anyone but your parents.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm pretty sure I saw Idiocracy and found parts of it amusing enough.

I remember precious little about it but I think my general overall impression was that it was a bit amateurish and that its humor was a bit more smug than it needed to be.

But I can't be confident in any of that as I was intoxicated.

Gabriel said...

@Ignorance is Bliss:And note how the author keeps substituting uneducated for unintelligent.

The unintelligent cannot tell the difference. "Uneducated" used to mean "ignorant", but now it means "uncredentialed". And the unintelligent cannot tell the difference there either.

I have heard progressives respond to the phrase "educated beyond one's intelligence" as a contradiction in terms. Everyone knows education makes you more intelligent!

At root it's the causation vs correlation confusion. Wet streets are associated with rain, so if we have a drought why we'll water the streets and get all the rain we want, we just have to increase the water budget.

traditionalguy said...

That movie is the same way CIA PsyOps nazis see the American public. The plot seems to be taken from the ease with which their Global Warming Hoax was made a Reality. THINKING FOR YOURSELF IS AGAINST THE HOAX.

The BubFather said...

I'm tired of being shamed (ashamed for liking it) even though I'm not going to watch the movie, nor have I ever seen it. Lately.....Democrats, who seem to hate bullies, are bullying the shit out of Americans, they're shaming me all the time for my beliefs. I'm not ashamed of what I believe and am tired of being told what I have to like or do. Shame on liberal/progressives for shaming me all the time. It's really a shame they feel the need to shame people to get their way.

Anglelyne said...

Rob McLean: I liked Idiocracy, but even a non-scientist like me knows that genetics don't work like that. The IQ of a child is based on not just the IQs of the parents, but also things like regression to the mean and plain old random chance.

Mmmm, well, not quite. Intelligence, like any other heritable trait, is subject to selection pressure. It's a product of "plain old random chance" in the sense that the expression of any heritable trait is subject to plain old random chance. I.e., nobody bets money or makes important life decisions based on the assumption that a heritable trait is as likely to show up over here as over there, because, you know, random chance. (Other people's money, yes.)

"Regression to the mean" means regression to the mean of a particular breeding population, and humans don't mate randomly. Brains are energy-expensive hardware, and don't necessarily contribute to reproductive fitness. So yeah, "genetics" does, too, work like that.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

MisterBuddwing said...I, too, considered the possibility that all of the hi-tech stuff was old stuff, but I'll shake the hand of anyone who can make equipment like that last for centuries, which is what the premise of "Idiocracy" requires.

Easily solved, MrB: before everyone got super-dumb they created robots. Repair robots! Those robots repaired machines and repaired themselves, and didn't require smart people to work 'em. Since they could repair themselves they lasted a long, long time, and kept all of the other tech working, too. Eventually, though, the repair robots all broke down/completely wore out...and of course by that time everyone was too dumb to fix those. The movie starts, say, 50 years after the last of the repair robots stopped working. Thus the movie's environment: things had limped along for a long time but now was in total crisis.

buwaya puti said...

I like Idiocracy, as well as everything by Judge.
He has a way of making a message movie with interesting and unconventional messages. He's the court jester as the court jester should be, ridiculous but makes you think. Idiocracy is very goofy, but hits hard.
"Silicon Valley" btw, his HBO show, is excellent. Its very Tom Wolfe in its accurate and ironic observation of that strange society. I am peripherally in that, and from my perch it seems precisely targeted.
"Office Space" is also a cult movie, this time in Fortune 500 environments among the cubicle drones. "TPM reports" and "the Bobs" are real.

Roughcoat said...

The think about Idiocracy that annoyed my inner humorless literalist was the premise that a population of really low average intelligence could maintain any kind of advanced technology, even in the shambolic state depicted in the film.

I'm with you, Anglelyne. I too have an inner humorless literalist and it is growing in power as I age. I find that I am no longer able to enjoy most science fiction because I don't believe most of what is depicted is plausible or even possible. E.g., faster-than-light travel, interstellar travel of any kind, gravity on spaceships (that aren't spinning), the widespread existence through the universe of humanoid life forms -- feh, I don't believe it. Same goes for ghost stories and most supernatural stories (most, but not all: I am a believing Catholic, after all). Also, for reasons that should be obvious, most cop movies.

Idiocracy didn't offend me. I just couldn't buy into the premise.

buwaya puti said...

Oh, and the silly anti-Idiocracy article misunderstands 'lil Abner, besides Idiocracy. Not quick on the uptake that writer.

buwaya puti said...

I guess Im not that old yet. I like jokes and silliness, the bizarre and over-the-top. Mike Judge works like Rabelais, not like Zola.

Bill said...

The idea was better than the execution, but it did have some funny moments.

wildswan said...

Based on the trailer I think Idiocracy is going to be one of those movies, like Blazing Saddles or Animal House that have famous scenes. What I saw was funny but I know I couldn't sit through an hour of it.

Anglelyne said...

wildswan: But there's also a new eugenics since the end of the Human Genome Project showed that twin studies, the "scientific" basis for IQ heritability, have no scientific status because they did not allow for DNA methylation.

Still at it, eh, wildswan? I guess one could admire your terrier-like tenacity in holding on to your goofy misapprehensions.

I remain curious about where you picked up this particular Science!/NotEvenWrong cargo-cult trope about methylation and twin studies.

Roughcoat said...

Yes, parts of Idiocracy are very funny, and I can appreciate that the movie is a goof on our times. I did watch it all the way through and I got several good laughs out of it. I love slapstick comedy (I'm a guy) and extreme screwball silliness. The movie worked for me on those levels and also, by extension, as social/cultural satire as well.

I also liked "Interstellar" because it was at pains to explain the premise. It came across as plausible.

Anglelyne said...

Roughcoat: Idiocracy didn't offend me. I just couldn't buy into the premise.

Yeah, the implausible technology premise didn't really interfere with my finding the film very funny. Guess my inner low-brow-humor prole got the upper hand over my inner humorless-geek-literalist.

I find that I am no longer able to enjoy most science fiction because I don't believe most of what is depicted is plausible or even possible. E.g., faster-than-light travel, interstellar travel of any kind, gravity on spaceships (that aren't spinning), the widespread existence through the universe of humanoid life forms -- feh, I don't believe it.

It depends. If the tech-babble is too earnest, or New-Agey (mystical monk mind power!) it just annoys me. If it's just ridiculous, I can play along. (Is there no looming, skin-of-our-teeth disaster that Reversing the Polarity can't fix?)

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is there no looming, skin-of-our-teeth disaster that Reversing the Polarity can't fix?

A significant portion of the electorate seems to think it is worth a try...

Martin said...

Playing in a lot of college towns or hipster cities--just confirmation bias for the ill-informed with undeservedly high opinions of themselves.

btb, the premise of the poor being low-IQ and out-breeding the higher-IQ types goes back at least to C. M. Kornbluth's 'The Marching Morons', ca. 1951, but it's roots are in the eugenics movement 20-30 years before.

Roughcoat said...

Anglelyne: LOL!

Roughcoat said...

Maybe because I'm very, very far from being a genius -- I do stupid things all the time, and I tend to think that stupid is as stupid does -- I'm given to thinking that character is equally as important as intelligence and/or high IQ, at least in a lot of areas. Maybe good character is a kind of intelligence. Is good character heritable? Don't know. But I do know this: you can chose to be a person of good character. And the sky's the limit for it.

buwaya puti said...

The premise is much older, it's pessimism about the out-breeding by the inferior stock goes back to ancient Greece at least.
It is, at least as per current knowledge, a very solid hypothesis. The biggest problem with testing it at least empirically is a lack of good data. There are some good modern studies in monoethnic countries showing such dysgenic effects and the fading of the "Flynn effect".

mikee said...

What a funny old world it would be if we were all alike, is what I think.

Anglelyne said...

Ignorance is Bliss: A significant portion of the electorate seems to think it is worth a try...

Well played, sir.

wildswan said...

Angelyne

There is a very good PBS show called The Ghost in our Genes
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3413_genes.html
It begins with differences in twins as now understood.

There is an article:
THE GHOST IN OUR GENES: LEGAL AND ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF EPIGENETICS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3034450/
This is the one I like best, it takes you the furthest.

PS There is another article called "Uncanny Return of the Race Concept" that is interesting on this line
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4219449/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4219449/

Rusty said...

It was an entertaining movie.
I too have been surrounded by idiots.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Intelligence is a property of knowledge. Smart is a quality of the individual. Their distribution is a constellation touching on different issues with an emergent skill.

As for eugenics and planned parenthood, people are incapable of distinguishing between origin and expression in the scientific domain. We should be wary of scientific mysticism that indulges in conflation through correlation.

rhhardin said...

People who make intelligence tests are pretty careful not to confound knowledge and intelligence, or intelligence with anything else. Otherwise they couldn't study genetics, which is generally their interest.

That's always the criticism of the tests, so they avoid making that mistake for sure. Other mistakes, maybe.

rhhardin said...

Imus was once fond of saying that he was 65 years old but reads at a 67-year-old level.

Anglelyne said...

wildswan @11:29 AM:

This is what I mean by your "cargo cult" thinking, wildswan. To you, "epigenetics" and "methylation" are not descriptions of observable phenomena and processes, from which we can make logical inferences about things, but magic words. You only have to say the words, or print them in a paper, and all unpalatable hypotheses about reality become magically disproved by incantation. No logical chain of inference from A to B required.

I read the ncbi papers you linked, and neither supports your absurd claim that "epigenetics" has invalidated the conclusions of all previous twin studies and proved that there is no heritable component to group differences in mean IQ. As far as I can make out, you think that the existence of epigenetic effects in and of itself proves this. (Hint: no, it doesn't.)

The first paper actually discusses epigenetics (though not to the end you claim); the second is bog-standard vaporing and hand-waving by academic ninnies talking back to the racists in their heads.

As for the TV show, I know enough about genetics not to have to rely on PBS or the BBC for information. Sometimes those sources produce good popular science, sometimes they turn out egregious propaganda. PBS put out a series about "race" a few years back that was wall-to-wall whoppers and straw-men. My husband and I watched it with our children, pause-button at the ready, to point out the straw-men, half-truths, and evasions, and in general to give an object lesson in how to spot when you're being flim-flammed by ideologues with an agenda.

I haven't seen the program you mention - it may be an excellent popular treatment of epigenetics or it may be tendentious twaddle - but I can predict with confidence that it doesn't prove your absurd claims, either. Though, it being PBS, I would also confidently predict that they try mighty hard to insinuate to the viewer, with a bit of bait-and-switch here and sleight-of-hand there, that amazing new discoveries in epigenetics have proved once and for all that any and all observed group differences are like, totally, the result of environmental influences on development.

Your tote bag is in the mail, wildswan.

Joe said...

The first third of Idiocracy was funny. Then it seriously faded in the second half. (This happens with most of Mike Judge's material.)

wildswan said...

Angelyne

Twin studies of the past assumed that DNA of identical twins was the same; epigenetics shows that the DNA of identical twins could be expressed differently because the methyl side chains could turn off a dominant gene in one twin or otherwise affect the expression of the same DNA pattern. You haven't really come to grips with that new factor. I don't like PBS myself but the PBS show in the link was a good description of the changes in the field of twin studies caused by epigenetics. I think if you had watched it you wouldn't be so quick to say that I am thinking up ideas about twin studies on my own.

It isn't that twin studies can't be used; it's that they have to be used in new ways and the new ways need to be developed. That's a work-in-progress. The whole field of genetics was altered by the Human Genome Project, its discoveries and its new techniques, much more so than people expected. It's an exciting time - planes landing and planes taking off all the time, so to speak; people getting on board, people staying behind.

Bob Loblaw said...

The first couple minutes of Idiocracy were gold. After that it was a bit slow.

And the author of the anti-Idiocracy link doesn't like the movie because it forces him to confront the inconsistencies of his own Weltanschuang. If the movie has a message it's that we should not arrange our society such that the most intelligent people have, on average, fewer children and the least intelligent, on average, more children. Which is what we've done, and that's not exactly a controversial point, though I think it would take hundreds of years to be noticeable, let alone debilitating.

If the median IQ gets too far out of whack the society will be too weak to fend off healthier societies. It's not that we'd survive as an idiocracy - we'd survive as (de facto or de jure) slaves to higher IQ populations.

Zach said...

Look, obviously you can find material in Idiocracy to object to. The whole premise is that stupid people are having big families, making the human race stupider. The stupid people of the future show stereotypically low class behavior... this isn't subtext, folks. It's right there in the text.

But the execution is great. It's original, funny, and memorable. It's not mean spirited. The stupid people of the future are silly but not bad. It's just as happy to take a dig at energy drinks "Brawndo... it's what plants crave!" and crass movies "And there was a time in this country, a long time ago, when reading wasn't just for fags and neither was writing. People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting, and I believe that time can come again!"

If you want subtext, try this on for size: the real message of the movie is that current trends in popular culture are *like* the human race steadily turning into morons. The eugenics thing is just the shibboleth that lets the filmmakers posit a world full of stupid people. The movie would work just as well if they blamed it on a mad scientist inventing a stupidity ray, or on global warming.

Zach said...

But the great irony of a film like Idiocracy is that when we take the film to its logical conclusion, 99 percent of Americans should be sterilized. And if you spent 90 minutes watching a movie instead of studying quantum mechanics or something, that probably includes you.

Are you ready for this? This is going to blow your mind. Maybe... maybe we *shouldn't* take the film to its logical conclusion. Maybe we should do the opposite of that. Maybe we should see it as an allegory for the present day!

Paco Wové said...

"...when we take the film to its logical conclusion..."

The tragic result of a stupid person attempting to consume ... comedy.

It should come with a warning. Get right on it, O Enlightened Rulers!

Anglelyne said...

wildswan: ...epigenetics shows that the DNA of identical twins could be expressed differently because the methyl side chains could turn off a dominant gene in one twin or otherwise affect the expression of the same DNA pattern.

Yes dear, we know that. We know what epigenetics is. We know what epigenetic effects are. These things have been known for a long time. Anyone who has a passing interest in this subject knows what epigenetics and epigenetic effects are.

You made grand, whoppingly stupid, specific claims about what epigenetics "proves" or "invalidates". For the last time, the existence of epigenetic effects does not demonstrate what you claim it demonstrates. Simply chanting facts and definitions over and over and over and over again like magical incantations won't make it so.

All you have demonstrated here is that you don't understand this stuff and you don't know what you're talking about. You have not got a clue in hell about how to read and evaluate the articles you link to, or what constitutes evidence for a particular claim.

(Note to interested readers unfamiliar with this topic: "Epigenetics" has been flogged as the latest great white hope by the "not in our genes, no way no how not at all fingers-in-the-ears I'm not listening" perennialists.)

Anglelyne said...

Shorter wildswan:

Methylation:epigenetics::electrolytes:Brawndo.

Paco Wové said...

Methylation — it's what genes crave!