T Nation

The Idiocy That Men Do

I still can’t believe I saw this today…

So I was walking in the city and I see a guy with a hands-free device on his cellphone. Not stupid. He’s using one hand to hold the little mike clser to his mouth so it wont swing around. Well, ok, sometimes they dont pick up sound that great. He’s using the other hand to hold the phone because, ummm, he didnt want to put it in his pocket? Any of you get this mental image? He’s using a HANDS_FREE device and BOTH of his hands are taken up!!! Why didnt he just talk on the cellphone? if youre gonna hold it in your hand then the whole point is immediately rendered moot. I just despair at how stupid some people in this world are. That needed to be said.

I will quote my dad on this one:

“The average person is not very bright. And half the people you meet are below average”

[quote]gadget wrote:
I will quote my dad on this one:

“The average person is not very bright. And half the people you meet are below average”[/quote]

Actually, I’m really sorry to say this, but that statement didn’t make your father look very bright either – he confused average with median. Look both (average and median) up if you don’t know how different they are and why what you father said should have been:

“The MEDIAN person is not very bright. And half the people you meet are below the MEDIAN”

My point? Be careful with who you call stupid, because you might end up sounding stupid yourself…

Even if he was talking specifically about IQ (that is standardized so that average and median IQ are both 100), it’s still scientifically incorrect – if not because it’s semantically incorrect, odds are that you will not meet enough people in your life to have a perfectly random sample that would have half of the people below 100 and half above – mostly because depending on where you live and work it will be slanted on one of the directions, and average and median WILL be different.

Also, regarding the guy who was holding on to the phone on one hand and the Bluetooth headset on the other: don’t be so judgmental either. He might have needed to look at the phone’s display for some reason, and then was so “into” the call he forgot to put it back in his pocket. Theoretically he could have used the phone itself (rather than the headset) but remember that you cannot unpair a headset in the middle of a call, and he might not be able (or know how to) switch over to the phone during it (many phones have bugs that prevent this).

So, it might have been funny, even amusing, but not necessarily idiotic.

Oh, oops, that made YOU look stupid. Average can refer to the median, the mean, or the mode. So, he’s ok right there.

Next, IQ is generally considered to have a “normal” distribution; the classic bell shape. That means the mean, median, and mode are all equal. In the case of IQ the average (all three) is set to 100. However, for the fellow’s father’s statement, the number is irrelevant. He is perfectly correct when he says that half the population is below “average”.

OOPS!

[quote]hspder wrote:
gadget wrote:
I will quote my dad on this one:

“The average person is not very bright. And half the people you meet are below average”

Actually, I’m really sorry to say this, but that statement didn’t make your father look very bright either – he confused average with median. Look both (average and median) up if you don’t know how different they are and why what you father said should have been:

“The MEDIAN person is not very bright. And half the people you meet are below the MEDIAN”

My point? Be careful with who you call stupid, because you might end up sounding stupid yourself…

Even if he was talking specifically about IQ (that is standardized so that average and median IQ are both 100), it’s still scientifically incorrect – if not because it’s semantically incorrect, odds are that you will not meet enough people in your life to have a perfectly random sample that would have half of the people below 100 and half above – mostly because depending on where you live and work it will be slanted on one of the directions, and average and median WILL be different.

Also, regarding the guy who was holding on to the phone on one hand and the Bluetooth headset on the other: don’t be so judgmental either. He might have needed to look at the phone’s display for some reason, and then was so “into” the call he forgot to put it back in his pocket. Theoretically he could have used the phone itself (rather than the headset) but remember that you cannot unpair a headset in the middle of a call, and he might not be able (or know how to) switch over to the phone during it (many phones have bugs that prevent this).

So, it might have been funny, even amusing, but not necessarily idiotic.
[/quote]

Ummm…nice try hot shot, but no cigar, and no self-masturbatory gratification either. :wink:

jdb is correct…

“a?rith?me?tic mean (-rthm-tk)
n.
The value obtained by calculating the sum of a set of quantities and then dividing that sum by the number of quantities in the set. Also called average.”

I am a bit puzzled why the subjective viewpoint on his father’s statement, I know you are trying to err…prove a point? I think you are warping the contextual meaning of the phrase to make a just point based on one word you thought was “misused” in it. Even if it was misused it wouldn’t make the statement stupid.

If I gave a great speech but I had one linguistic error and I messed up one word it doesn’t make me stupid, its an anomoly. If I walk into a wall 5 times and say “duh” each time, then you can go on your essay long rants on how stupid I am. :wink:

Besides the quote is to be interpreted on a humanistic level, not some sort of statisical inquiry, “look that quote is mathematically impossible!”.

“The average person is not very bright. And half the people you meet are below average”

This quote is to exclaim the fact that most people are in fact dumbasses, how so? The initial statement of “average person” is to represent someone who is not very bright. So what his father is stating that even the average person (nothing to do with calculating IQ percentages at all)is that not only is the average person not very bright, most people are just down right morons, aka “below average”. The term average is used as a base, and its suppose to be shocking.

Such as “The average woman wants money and half are just down right greedy”

Yes, that quote was given too much thought, especially because your own misuse of the word median. :wink:

Average = Mean

Not sure IQ applies in similar cases.

I see it more as ‘incentives’ economics at work. Very much like useless genes, stupid behavior is allowed to be because it does not, in the end, matter that much.

We all have tons of useless genetic material, that got spread through generations, and we all do crazy stuff, by other’s standards. Does this prevent our life from going forward or does this change our lives that much in the end? Most of the time, a big No is the answer.

Sure, in the ideal world we could clean out these bothersome causes/events, but in the end there is no life or death issue here, so might as well accept it, because there’s more to come.

But, be my guest. Go and try to change this or these people. If you’re successful, wide scale, send me your Secret of Success and I’ll gladly buy in your franchise. :0) I for sure have stopped trying to convince The Crowd out there. I just try to steer away from helpless cases as much as I can, and group up with worthy people. Unfortunately, they are indeed a minority.

Uh oh and let the pissing begin. Realise that everyone has their own superiority complex and instinctively feels smarter then the person next to them. These posts are perfect examples.

The cell phone thing. What if he’s on one call, walking down the street. Then his line clicks and he pulls the phone out of his pocket, checks the caller ID and presses a button to switch lines then holds the phone in his hand to switch back to the other. All this happens and you “just” happen to walk past him and pass your condisending judgement in all of your superiority complexed grandeour.

See this is just how it works. You pass judgement on others in your mind, never considering the circumstances you may not be aware of. That makes you stupid or should i say ignorant.

Personally i eliminated this style of mentality from myself years ago, when i came to the conclusion that i have never met a stupid person, unless the were retarded with a severe learning disability, the ones i labeled as stupid were a result of my warped perceptions and ignorance.

Take an honest look in the mirror of your mind and work on yourself.

Peace.

[quote]gadget wrote:
I will quote my dad on this one:

“The average person is not very bright. And half the people you meet are below average”[/quote]

And what made him so much above the average? A Phd? Some other advanced degree?

Statements like that are proof within itself of THAT particular persons limitations. And I’m not trying to insult your dad, so forgive me but it’s difficult to make a comment on this without sounding like i am.

God Bless.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

PhD- Piled higher and deeper

A degree means you have good attendance and can memorize. Being smart is much more than just a degree.

only people without pHd’s would say that, surely.

i get what you are saying though

Oh, and a phd is a docterate, not a degree. anyone can get a degree. i did and i cheated.

[quote]Gregus wrote:
gadget wrote:
I will quote my dad on this one:

“The average person is not very bright. And half the people you meet are below average”

And what made him so much above the average? A Phd? Some other advanced degree?

Statements like that are proof within itself of THAT particular persons limitations. And I’m not trying to insult your dad, so forgive me but it’s difficult to make a comment on this without sounding like i am.

God Bless.
[/quote]

FOR GOD SAKES!!! it’s a fuckin’ cliched little saying. It’s like any other little piece of “country wisdom”, if your intelegent enough to understand it you know it’s not that intelegent of a saying. If you’re not bright enough to figure that out you’re going to get all pissy. It’s just like any of the Yoge-isms.

Cut the dude some slack, it’s just a saying. I swear this board is getting as bad as Sherdog.

La’
Redsol1

from what i know, handsfree device is to distance the cellphone from our head as the radiation can cause brain cancer … so using handsfree may not really free your hands …
just my humble opinion.

[quote]redsol1 wrote:
FOR GOD SAKES!!! it’s a fuckin’ cliched little saying. It’s like any other little piece of “country wisdom”, if your intelegent enough to understand it you know it’s not that intelegent of a saying. If you’re not bright enough to figure that out you’re going to get all pissy. It’s just like any of the Yoge-isms.

Cut the dude some slack, it’s just a saying. I swear this board is getting as bad as Sherdog.
[/quote]
Actually i was not giving him a hard time. I even apologised if it came off that way. Seems like you’re the one who miss-interpreted what i was saying and took it at the most superficial face value possible and your emotions ruled.

[quote]Gregus wrote:
gadget wrote:
I will quote my dad on this one:

“The average person is not very bright. And half the people you meet are below average”

And what made him so much above the average? A Phd? Some other advanced degree?

Statements like that are proof within itself of THAT particular persons limitations. And I’m not trying to insult your dad, so forgive me but it’s difficult to make a comment on this without sounding like i am.

God Bless.
[/quote]

Sorry Gregus you don’t get off that easy. Saying something likr THAT, and then throwing in an I’m sorry if that offends you throw away line is offensive. For craps sake it is an old folksy little saying. It was not meant to hold up to intellectual disection. Did everyone get the meaning–the intent–of the saying. Good.

What about the guy driving down the road 80+ doing the hands free thing while he is looking through his briefcase, reading the paper, taking notes and driving with his knees while he rolls up a big fattie.

I thought it was a funny saying too!

You guys who are disagreeing with hspder aren’t understanding his point. You’re imagining a normal distribution. In that case, the median and the average (also known as the mean) will be the same. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

An average can be skewed by a distribution that isn’t bell-curved.

Think of this example:

Say I have a group of 100 people. Say this group is comprised of NASA scientists at the Huntsville, AL rocket-science lab and the late-night janitorial crew at the tourist facility there. Say there are 75 NASA scientists, each with an IQ of 150, and 25 janitors, each with an IQ of 75. [Note: These numbers are random and just for the mathematics of the example]

The average (arithmetic mean) of that group is (75(150) + 25(75))/100 = 131.25. The median is 150.

So in this example half the people are not below either the mean or the median. In fact, more than half are “above average”, because the 75 scientists have IQs of 150, which is greater than 131.25. This particular distribution also has no one above the median, and only 25% below the median. They are just far below, and there’s no one in the middle, which creates this little effect.

A real distribution generally wouldn’t be lacking of people in the middle range, but it could be skewed toward the bottom or the top. You can actually see these kinds of effects by examining SAT or LSAT scores on admitted students at given institutions that use admissions preferences (most notably affirmative action – but you can also look at small schools and their athletes) – very interesting stuff.

Now, IQs generally are distributed on a bell curve, and a perfect bell curve distribution will have an average that equals the median – however, when you break out sub-groups based on cultures or on sex (and geography, which is really more of a proxy), the distributions are not exactly the same. So that goes to hspder’s point on how a given group in your area could have a different “average” than the overall average.

The best measure for giving you the most representative perspective depends on your distribution – usually you look at the average, the median and the mode (the one that occurs most often) to get a good feel for your sample.

[quote]911 Girl wrote:
PhD- Piled higher and deeper

A degree means you have good attendance and can memorize. Being smart is much more than just a degree.[/quote]

Maybe this is true in the case of a bachelor’s degree, but I have to say it’s not when it comes to a doctorate.

I’m in no way saying that someone with a PhD is necessarily smarter than anyone else, just that “good attendance and memorization” don’t have much to do with graduate school. It’s more like hard work- and lots of it.

[quote]Gregus wrote:
Actually i was not giving him a hard time. I even apologised if it came off that way. Seems like you’re the one who miss-interpreted what i was saying and took it at the most superficial face value possible and your emotions ruled.[/quote]

Perhaps I shouldn’t have singled you out by quoting your post. i’m just sick of no one being able to post anything without getting a ton of “You’re a dumbass” replys.

Being hardcore doesn’t mean being an asshole.

La’
Redsol1

[quote]sasquatch wrote:

Sorry Gregus you don’t get off that easy. Saying something likr THAT, and then throwing in an I’m sorry if that offends you throw away line is offensive. For craps sake it is an old folksy little saying. It was not meant to hold up to intellectual disection. Did everyone get the meaning–the intent–of the saying. Good.

What about the guy driving down the road 80+ doing the hands free thing while he is looking through his briefcase, reading the paper, taking notes and driving with his knees while he rolls up a big fattie. [/quote]

Look i was referring to the statement and it’s prevalence among people. I was not referring to the actual PERSON, just what they said. Perhaps i could have done a better job in phrasing it, but for what it’s worth this is my second language and sometimes in translation i find myself making offensive or arrogant souding statements when i really did meant it, like in this case. Cmon, why would i call someone stupid when the very essence of what I’m saying is that it’s wrong of people to call or think of others as such?

Again my apologies.