To be explained: It feels to me that in recent years, people have gotten stupider, or that stupid has gotten bigger, or that the parts of people that were always stupid have gotten louder, or something like that.
I’ve come up with a suite of hypotheses to explain this (with a little help from my friends). I thought I’d throw them out here to see which ones the wise crowd here think are most likely. Bonus points if you come up with some new ones. Gold stars if you can rule some out based on existing data or can propose tests by which they might be rendered more or less plausible.
The hypotheses come in two broad families: 1) my feeling that stupid is expanding is an illusion or misperception, and 2) stupid is expanding and here is why:
1 I have become more attuned to stupidity for [reasons], so even though there is no more of it than usual, it stands out more to me. (Baader-Meinhof phenomenon)
2 What used to look like non-stupidity was actually widespread conformity to a common menu of foolishnesses. Today the cultural beacons of respectable idiocy have been overthrown and there is increasing diversity in foolishness. Divergent fools seem more foolish to each other when in fact we’re all just as stupid as we’ve always been.