I Wonder: Robert,
I must be in the lower IQ range. Tried to send money through Pay/Pal. Kept saying info was missing even though I supplied full Visa information. Try again, later. I enjoy your blog, your writing style, sly wit, and the various subjects covered.
Hi you may not be low OK at all. A lot of very smart people cannot navigate such things well. My Mom has a 150 IQ and for a long time, she was having my brother or I do a lot of online and computer stuff for her because she could never figure out how to do it. My Dad had a 129 IQ and he never bothered with computers apparently because he had no idea how to operate one. To be honest, he never learned how to operate a TV remote properly either! But even towards the end of his life, he was one smart guy!
In their case, their generation simply never learned to get comfortable with gadgetry. The new generations coming up now are actually more intelligent in terms of IQ tests than the generations before them, especially the WW2 generation. This is known as the Flynn Effect which states that indeed people have been getting smarter with each generation for a long time now.
Intelligence is not all genetic. If you grow up in a culture surrounded by gadgets, you will become more intelligent in visuospatial skills than someone who did not grow up around such things. Also many of the WW2 generation never got comfortable with gadgets, so they feel helplessness, frustration and anxiety when they try to use them.
Believe it or not, “If you fail, try again. If you fail again, try, try again,” is pretty much a fallacy. Everyone is supposed to have this sort of grit and stick-to-itiveness, but few do. The reasoning is simple. Humans have egos. Egos are designed to protect ourselves from unpleasant emotions and cognitions such as thinking you are a failure.
If you take the idea, “People are trying to convince themselves that they are not failures,” and then plug it into your world and then look at the people your world with this concept in mind, so many things will become clear. This is because a lot of human defensive behavior is wrapped up trying to convince ourselves that we are not failures. Those successful at lying to themselves this way can function pretty well. Those who are more honest with themselves tend to get depressed. Indeed, studies show that depressed people are more realistic than happy people. Lying to yourself is good for you!
The WW2 people’s brains work about as well as ours do. They are about as fast and store and retrieve information just as well. So we are not smarter in terms of overall intelligence. But in specialized subsections of intelligence, indeed, there have been some marked rises in the past 100 years.
Bottom line is that just because you cannot do some fairly simple thing, it does not mean you are dumb. You could well have an average all the way up to very high IQ. Doing relatively simple things especially technologies, is not a very reliable indicator of intelligence.