Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The more intelligence, the more beliefs, the less trust

On 5 October 2018, I noticed an intriguing Dutch language interview with social psychologist Bastiaan Rutjens: “A cargo bike mother who doesn’t want to vaccinate her children, isn’t interested in additional knowledge”. A “cargo bike mother” is usually a reference to a green-left person living in Amsterdam, but you’ll find them anywhere (Volkskrant fact-check).

The intriguing part of that article was about the relationship between intelligence and beliefs. However, following my recent blog on Trust, I realized that the article was more about the reverse relationship between intelligence and beliefs versus (dis)trust: the more intelligence, the more beliefs and/but the less trust.

I think, feel and believe that this reverse relationship also explains the relatively high number of articles about whether people nowadays are more or less intelligent than our grandparents a century ago (eg, Smithsonian-2012LiveScience-2013BBC-2015Inc-2018, Guardian-2018, Times-2018U.S. News-2018). Also see my 2016 blog: Why are opinions stronger than facts?

The relationship between intelligence, beliefs and trust is rooted in my concept of Needs, Wants & Beliefs and Awakening, the four stages for individuals (4) and societies (3). Most of Africa is still in the Needs stage, while Asia is in Wants (eg, consumerism). The West is full of Beliefs. No society ever achieved the Awakening stage; only individuals do (my 2017 blog)

Brexit is an interesting example of “the more intelligence, the more beliefs, the less trust”. The rejection of any expert advice was a key Brexit theme (eg, FT-2016, Guardian-2016BBC-2017). Only intelligent people realise that you must cause distrust through contradicting opinions in order to boost your beliefs to the general public (sic!).

It’s tempting to use Trump as an example why the title of my blog would be wrong. Although many people claim that Trump is a moron, I do not believe that. Trump is shrewd and streetwise and uses those abilities to dupe other people, like a con artist. Trump is using his “illiteracy” to his own advantage so that people will remain underestimating him.

My personal motto is “Trust but verify” which I borrowed from U.S. President Ronald Reagan who borrowed it from an original Russian proverb: “Doveryai, no proveryai” (Wiki). The result is that I’m often checking that people and things are indeed what and who they claim to be. I dislike (negative) surprises that could have been prevented.

Perhaps, the global measles outbreak will lead to an Awakening for educated and intelligent people with false beliefs and a distrust in (medical or scientific) facts.

No Trust (2014) by Lost Frequencies featuring Lauren

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

I’m living in a constant lie 

I don’t know if I can take it on like that 

You told me once: “Stay close to me” 

But I know it’s a lie

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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