Einstein’s theory of Idiocracy

Have you seen the movie “Idiocracy”? Its a 2006 ‘B-Grade’ must-see comedy-satire movie.

[SPOILER ALERT]

The tenet of the movie is that future humanity loses its ability to make rational decisions and is dying out because it can no longer grow food. Among other things, they have been watering their plants with a sports drink – its got lots of electrolytes, it must be good for plants!

I saw the movie a long time ago but I can only feel that it is haunting me, as I see so much of that movie in the decisions our governments are now making.

Some appropriate thoughts attributed to Albert Einstein:

  1. Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity – and I am not sure about the former.
  2. No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
  3. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Exhibit #1. What we have been told since the 60’s is the low-fat diet is the best way to stay healthy and avoid a heart attack as this dietary approach lowers cholesterol intake. This was based on no real evidence but has since been carved into stone despite all the solid evidence that disputes this hypothesis. Once we started to get fat and sick as a result of following this flawed advice, rather than admit they were wrong, we were told that we had to exercise more and that calories also matter. Thirty years later, the problem has only got worse, again, despite largely following the sage advice of government.

Exhibit #2. Not long after the discovery of genetic mechanisms, we observed that cancer cells had damaged genes – thus we invented the “somatic theory of cancer”. This theory supposes that over a period of time, genetic mutations accumulate and eventually this results in cancer. We assumed that the genetic damage is the cause, rather than a result of cancer, and have thus spent the last 50 years making almost no progress despite trillions of dollars of expenditure.

After 50 years, we know that a low-fat diet and exercise does not work. We know that treating cancer as a genetic disease does not work. Yet, we continue with those beliefs despite all the good evidence that other causes are at play. We are living in the state of Idiocracy – which maybe Einstein would have predicted.

What can you do?

  • Firstly, do not place the health, wealth and well-being of you and your loved-ones in the hands of others with out at least checking that they are competent and not conniving.
  • Unfortunately, you cannot blindly trust anyone anymore. While the Internet has given us access to huge amounts of information – most of it is total garbage. Look to those that can provide solid data to support what they are saying. Try to understand what motivates them to try to convince you.
  • Always consider whether what you are being told makes sense in the wider context.
  • Try to take complexity of diet, complexity of finances, complexity of life – and reduce it down to the basics. The simpler a problem is, the easier it is to see a solution.

A belief is not a fact and beliefs are nearly always wrong. Just because a belief gets repeated so often does not make it true. You have think for yourself. A clear warning sign that you really need to be sceptical is when you are labelled a “denier” or non-believer for questioning a belief.