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Intelligence of the average person
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el chupacabra
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Jun 8, 2015, 03:02 PM
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndshbH3qZ6Y

The video is about a famous author & political activist trying to sell gold coin for $20 on the street. He's doing this to prove how stupid people are.

At first I thought that people must have figured it was a scam, with a catch or something. But none of them mentioned that as the reason for declining. It turns out they really don't have the slightest clue of the value of gold. Several people were more interested in the microphone than the gold. People wont even trade their bottled water or a piece of gum for the gold.

One guy says “I gotta go to work I dont have time for this”...

When asked if a lady will trade her lipstick she says “my lipsitck's worth more than $20”

In another video he does this with silver dollars for 99 cent, claiming it's a promotion from the coin shop. The only person who takes the offer is a European who wants a souvenir. People throw more money at homeless people.... Even if it was a risk,which it's not, how is this not worth the gamble?

The guy's point is generally that people tend to know more about Kim's panty size than anything important. If people are too dumb to determine whether trading a piece of gum for $1500 is a deal then how can we expect them to take control of their current political situation which they complain so much about and blame everyone else for?
the largest problem for Americans today is they eat too much food and dont have enough work to do to keep their heart healthy
     
The Final Dakar
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Jun 8, 2015, 03:10 PM
 
I think the situation has relevant hand in the outcome. Plus, I believe, there's a factor about human wiring not dealing well with these types of spontaneous events when its been preparing for another one (such as work, shopping, childcare, tc.).
     
subego
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Jun 8, 2015, 03:24 PM
 
The methodology is crap.

Most people have never even seen a gold coin, let alone know off the top of their head the actual gold content of some random coin shown to them by a stranger.

Let alone a stranger who lies to them about the value.
     
subego
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Jun 8, 2015, 03:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I think the situation has relevant hand in the outcome. Plus, I believe, there's a factor about human wiring not dealing well with these types of spontaneous events when its been preparing for another one (such as work, shopping, childcare, tc.).
There's a guy, who's name I forget, where this is his whole schtick.

He goes up to people on the street and asks them unbelievably simple questions.

The twist is he's kinda hyper and "in your face" about it. This throws people off enough they can't answer.

Example question: name a woman.

Now, this isn't exactly the same, and I'm sure the guy only puts in the examples where people lock-up, but I think the same psychology is going to factor into this experiment.
     
subego
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Jun 8, 2015, 03:41 PM
 
I found him... it's "Billy on the Street".




Because of this, every time I see a lady with a yoga mat bag I say to myself "**** me, yoga bag... NAME A WOMAN!"
     
reader50
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Jun 8, 2015, 04:30 PM
 
Agree most people don't know the value of gold (or even silver). In movies, the amount of gold shown as a treasure goes up and up. In fact, a lifetime savings in gold will fit comfortably in a drinking glass, even if you're a fairly high earner. A lunchbox worth of gold coin would buy a big mansion - and the handle would tear off the lunchbox. Gold is dense.

On the other hand, movies sometimes show a good-sized treasure trunk, filled to the top (of course) with gold coins. Never mind such a filled trunk would weigh more than the average car. A fork lift could have trouble with such a trunk, but you see two guys hauling it away. Frequently at a run, ahead of (fill in blank).
     
el chupacabra  (op)
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Jun 8, 2015, 04:46 PM
 
Mark Dice is not as in-your-face as Billy on the street, yet people are still playing Billy's game; the one guy was able to name the 7 dwarfs for a dollar. I think the psychology applies to some people but definitely not all. People are more receptive to guys selling stolen jewelry or 'fake' purses on the street than the guy selling gold. And the issue as we see isn't that they think it's a scam, it's that they dont see any value in it.

The methodology is crap.
He changes up the methodology a few times. In this video Man Offers People Free One Ounce Gold
he offers it for free if they can guess the price of 1 ounce gold within a few hundred dollars. He's on a pier, an open public place, where people are on leisurely strolls, so nowhere they have to be. Most the people wont even play. The ones that do think gold is worth between $3 -30.

Most people have never even seen a gold coin, let alone know off the top of their head the actual gold content of some random coin shown to them by a stranger.
But they probably held or know something about jewelry. I would at least expect some primal thoughts to cross their mind like: jewelry gold... jewelry expensive.... gold expensive!
And there's a legit precious metals grading store right there, which these people probably walk past routinely. He offers to go in with them. He comes across as doing some kind of promotion. Who wouldnt at least try?

Let alone a stranger who lies to them about the value.
Who wouldnt at least give up a piece of gum to find out? I dont hold it against people if they just didnt want to have their time wasted by some catch, but the issue is they honestly dont know the value of gold. Is it asking too much that people at least know it's valuable? A precious metal? That it's worth at least hundreds of dollars? The price was talked about, compared to the dollar, plastered, & streaming across every news channel screen daily for 4 year strait during the great recession.

The value of gold vs the dollar is a political point. If people dont know this simple thing what other issues do they know literally nothing about, yet have opinions on.
the largest problem for Americans today is they eat too much food and dont have enough work to do to keep their heart healthy
     
The Final Dakar
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Jun 8, 2015, 05:00 PM
 
My favorite was back when I think H.W. was asked about the price of a gallon of milk, as a mark of his being in touch with the common man. I get milk all the time and I have no idea what it costs. It probably doesn't speak well of me (but speaks well of my financial situation), but I need it, hence I buy it. I could tell you the price of a gallon of gas, however.

Gold is completely different. It comes in different flavors (plated, solid), and versions (Karats, which I don't pretend to understand). No one deals with it as currency. It's value to most is in its status and aesthetic. I think it might have peaked at $900 at whatever weight it trades for (I assume ounces) during the recession period, but the point is, I think I've shown an above average political acumen on these forums and the price of gold means ****-all regarding it. There is no real correlation. Same goes with milk.

Now, average and median incomes. That seems more indicative of at least one aspect of politics to me.
     
el chupacabra  (op)
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Jun 8, 2015, 06:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I get milk all the time and I have no idea what it costs. It probably doesn't speak well of me (but speaks well of my financial situation), but I need it,
Are you sure you need it? In any case you do have an idea what it costs, you know it's cheap, cheap enough that its exact cost doesnt matter; and you could guess the price within a couple dollars. I could too, and I've never drunk milk, nor is the price a major talking point on the news. I just dont get it, I've known roughly what the price of gold was since I was 8 or 9.

I think it might have peaked at $900 at whatever weight it trades for (I assume ounces)
In other words you know it's worth 100s more than a stick of gum. If someone offered it to you for gum (essentially free since most people give gum away) would you decline? - One girl guessed $3/ounce...

but the point is, I think I've shown an above average political acumen on these forums and the price of gold means ****-all regarding it. There is no real correlation. Same goes with milk.

Now, average and median incomes. That seems more indicative of at least one aspect of politics to me.
Do you think the average person is any more likely to know average and median incomes?
the largest problem for Americans today is they eat too much food and dont have enough work to do to keep their heart healthy
     
Jawbone54
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Jun 8, 2015, 07:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Gold is completely different. It comes in different flavors (plated, solid), and versions...
...and watches. I hear they're expensive.
     
Captain Obvious
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Jun 8, 2015, 07:24 PM
 
Yes, the average person is stupid. This "experiment" is even more so.

It does not account for the fact that there is a huge element of distrust that comes into play when a stranger on the street approaches you with a solicitation. Add a camera to the mix and the entire situation takes on an even larger question of legitimacy. If the goal is to gauge a person's intelect based on the offer of trading the coin for something of far lesser value then the manner this premise is being tested is flawed.
The guy conducting it has no element of credibility and the coin's authenticity is unproven.
Take this same situation and conduct it with an individual in a position of status over related matters such as a metallurgist, banker, auctioneer, etc and inside a place that items of value are housed and you'd see a very different result. It has nothing to do with the knowing discrepancy between the value of the coin and what its being offered in exchange but rather the uncertainty of the situation and the intent of the people carrying it out.

Also I looked up the guy doing this:
Mark Dice is an American author, political activist and conspiracy theorist based in San Diego, California, who argues that the New World Order and secret societies, such as the Illuminati, Bilderberg Group, Skull and Bones and Bohemian Grove, direct human affairs and global politics, particularly those of the United States. Books authored by him included The Resistance Manifesto (2005), published under the name of John Conner.
And anyone who buys into this guy's schtick should be pushed into traffic so their genetic line is done away with. Dice seems to pander precisely to the stupidity of the average person.

Barack Obama: Four more years of the Carter Presidency
     
andi*pandi
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Jun 8, 2015, 08:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
The guy conducting it has no element of credibility and the coin's authenticity is unproven.
This is what I was going to say. Even if I knew the value of a gold coin, someone offering it to me for $20 would be shady. The only risk-free options are for when the trade is for something worthless (gum) or free as a prize. Then if it turns out to be a chuckE cheese token no big loss... although even dealing with a shady person might be enough to keep me walkin' on my way like the sheister was invisible. <boston walking>
     
subego
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Jun 8, 2015, 09:13 PM
 
Likewise, I'm not sure I buy the idea of people actually having a solid handle on why they reacted the way they did.

They acted they way they did because they trusted their instincts. Instincts aren't rational thought. They exist for when there isn't time for rational thought.

That doesn't stop people from trying to rationalize their behavior when asked to do so after the fact, but they'll get it wrong, because it wasn't rational thought driving said behavior.
     
subego
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Jun 8, 2015, 09:19 PM
 
@el chup...

What is the practical difference between "this is not worth it" and "this is a scam"?

I posit there is none. It's a semantic quibble.
     
Snow-i
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Jun 9, 2015, 12:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndshbH3qZ6Y

The video is about a famous author & political activist trying to sell gold coin for $20 on the street. He's doing this to prove how stupid people are.

At first I thought that people must have figured it was a scam, with a catch or something. But none of them mentioned that as the reason for declining. It turns out they really don't have the slightest clue of the value of gold. Several people were more interested in the microphone than the gold. People wont even trade their bottled water or a piece of gum for the gold.

One guy says “I gotta go to work I dont have time for this”...

When asked if a lady will trade her lipstick she says “my lipsitck's worth more than $20”

In another video he does this with silver dollars for 99 cent, claiming it's a promotion from the coin shop. The only person who takes the offer is a European who wants a souvenir. People throw more money at homeless people.... Even if it was a risk,which it's not, how is this not worth the gamble?

The guy's point is generally that people tend to know more about Kim's panty size than anything important. If people are too dumb to determine whether trading a piece of gum for $1500 is a deal then how can we expect them to take control of their current political situation which they complain so much about and blame everyone else for?
Our school systems don't teach people shit about what they'll need in the real world. Save the AP stuff for college and lets teach our kids how to balance a checkbook and/or change a flat. With the amount of political bullshit being taught in today's classrooms I find it hard to believe that we don't have room to teach our kids what it takes to make it in society at large. Then again, the teacher's unions would throw a fit as somewhere north of 50% of them would be unfit to teach such material.
     
Snow-i
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Jun 9, 2015, 12:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
Yes, the average person is stupid. This "experiment" is even more so.

It does not account for the fact that there is a huge element of distrust that comes into play when a stranger on the street approaches you with a solicitation. Add a camera to the mix and the entire situation takes on an even larger question of legitimacy. If the goal is to gauge a person's intelect based on the offer of trading the coin for something of far lesser value then the manner this premise is being tested is flawed.
The guy conducting it has no element of credibility and the coin's authenticity is unproven.
Take this same situation and conduct it with an individual in a position of status over related matters such as a metallurgist, banker, auctioneer, etc and inside a place that items of value are housed and you'd see a very different result. It has nothing to do with the knowing discrepancy between the value of the coin and what its being offered in exchange but rather the uncertainty of the situation and the intent of the people carrying it out.

Also I looked up the guy doing this:

And anyone who buys into this guy's schtick should be pushed into traffic so their genetic line is done away with. Dice seems to pander precisely to the stupidity of the average person.
This too.
     
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Jun 9, 2015, 05:48 AM
 
Why don't I ever get confronted by these people giving away gold coins? (Gold /oz is $1180 spot/$1194 bullion this morning.)
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The Final Dakar
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Jun 9, 2015, 01:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
It does not account for the fact that there is a huge element of distrust that comes into play when a stranger on the street approaches you with a solicitation. Add a camera to the mix and the entire situation takes on an even larger question of legitimacy. If the goal is to gauge a person's intelect based on the offer of trading the coin for something of far lesser value then the manner this premise is being tested is flawed.

The guy conducting it has no element of credibility and the coin's authenticity is unproven.
Yes, thank you.

Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
Mark Dice is an American author, political activist and conspiracy theorist based in San Diego, California, who argues that the New World Order and secret societies, such as the Illuminati, Bilderberg Group, Skull and Bones and Bohemian Grove, direct human affairs and global politics, particularly those of the United States. Books authored by him included The Resistance Manifesto (2005), published under the name of John Conner.
     
The Final Dakar
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Jun 9, 2015, 01:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
Are you sure you need it? In any case you do have an idea what it costs, you know it's cheap, cheap enough that its exact cost doesnt matter; and you could guess the price within a couple dollars.
Within a couple dollars is probably like 50% of its value.


Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
In other words you know it's worth 100s more than a stick of gum. If someone offered it to you for gum (essentially free since most people give gum away) would you decline?
If a guy on street tried to get me trade gum for a gold coin, I'd assume there was something fishy. Isn't it worth it to take the chance? No, because who knows if giving him the gum springs the trap somehow.


Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
Do you think the average person is any more likely to know average and median incomes?
Probably not, but I think they'd be a lot closer than guessing the price of gold.
     
subego
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Jun 9, 2015, 01:42 PM
 
His previous work is irrelevant.
     
subego
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Jun 9, 2015, 01:46 PM
 
I'll admit... I didn't watch much of the video. I found it irritating.

So I must rely on the kindness of others to vett his methodology on how he determined the thought processes of his subjects

If he ever mentions the actual value before he gets the reasoning, he's poisoned his sample.
     
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Jun 9, 2015, 02:41 PM
 
Think how stupid the average person is. Half are even dumber.

-George Carlin
     
el chupacabra  (op)
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Jun 9, 2015, 05:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
Yes, the average person is stupid. This "experiment" is even more so.

And anyone who buys into this guy's schtick should be pushed into traffic so their genetic line is done away with. Dice seems to pander precisely to the stupidity of the average person.
I buy into this guys schtick.

Speaking of his schtick, he also goes out and solicits people's signature & personal information for positions, such as encouraging the fed to print more money to assist the illuminati, illiminating muslims, and stuff like that. He's approaching people in the same "untrustworthy" manner yet people are readily willing to sign and give their info to him.

The issue isnt that they'er totally shocked a stranger came up to them. If I went downtown i would get approached at least 4 times today. When I'm in nyc or California I get approached 6 times /hour. It wouldnt make me forget that gold is valuable or anything else that I know. Surveys like this are done all the time, if you asked these people trivia about celeb gossip there'd be a higher probability they know the answers.
the largest problem for Americans today is they eat too much food and dont have enough work to do to keep their heart healthy
     
subego
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Jun 9, 2015, 05:26 PM
 
Ironically, I think you overestimate the value of a signature.
     
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Jun 9, 2015, 06:26 PM
 
Yeah, but some of us haven't signed our real names in years. No joke. This month I'm Morgan Freeman.
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subego
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Jun 9, 2015, 06:28 PM
 
Do you sign the name in his voice?
     
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Jun 9, 2015, 07:23 PM
 
You know it.
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Jun 9, 2015, 10:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
And anyone who buys into this guy's schtick should be pushed into traffic so their genetic line is done away with.

I like that!
If you have Ghosts, you have Everything!
     
el chupacabra  (op)
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Jun 9, 2015, 10:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What is the practical difference between "this is not worth it" and "this is a scam"?
I posit there is none. It's a semantic quibble.
The difference is if someone really does have something really really important to do then it might surpass the value of $1,600 completely. Or If someone is really rich it might not be worth 3 minute of their time to find out how to acquire this chump change. As far as it being a scam; that is very improbable given the circumstance; if someone were to think it through. People have become overly skeptical of individuals and small business. Yet the crime rate has dropped dramatically in the past couple decades, most the scams are done by big 'reputable' corporations that nobody would question. For people that are pressed for cash there aren't many bad scenarios in simply walking to the coin shop to find out what kind of promotion is going on. Since you said you didnt watch most of it I can tell you, many of the people admitted they had no idea that gold was worth more than a couple dollars. I wasn't criticizing the people who just kept walking since they didn't give a reason. Although, one of the reasons people like to live in the city center is to interact with people. So I consider it strange if they then act like they dont want to interact with anyone.

Ironically, I think you overestimate the value of a signature.
prove it.
It now seems I've underestimated it
the largest problem for Americans today is they eat too much food and dont have enough work to do to keep their heart healthy
     
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Jun 10, 2015, 05:38 AM
 
I know that gold is expensive but if someone in a city centre came up to me waving some around I would be enormously skeptical. If he had some kind of uniform and a whole bag of coins or nuggets I at least might not assume he had stolen it, but I would still expect that I'd have to promise to think about looking at going to a presentation about buying a timeshare.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
subego
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Jun 10, 2015, 10:59 AM
 
@el chup

I'm trying here. I tried to watch it again, and I could only get through two minutes.

Your justification is a scam is "very improbable given the circumstance".

You mean the circumstance of trying to sell a coin on the street when you're right next to a coin shop?
     
el chupacabra  (op)
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Jun 10, 2015, 01:21 PM
 
Thats ok it's not something Im super incredibly passionate about, for now... I just think a bit of profiling skills could assess that the situation isnt likely to be a scam more than any other number of things in our daily lives. A number of surveys like these have showed you can walk up to random women and kiss them no problem but apparently asking about precious metals is annoying & creepy. Knowing that gold is valuable, my 1st question would've been "why you selling it? is this stolen or something?" If he could convince me it's not due to it being a promotion or whatever Id be game.
( Last edited by el chupacabra; Jun 10, 2015 at 02:27 PM. )
the largest problem for Americans today is they eat too much food and dont have enough work to do to keep their heart healthy
     
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Jun 11, 2015, 08:16 AM
 
I'll leave this right here for your enjoyment. Joyce Carol Oates&#039; Jurassic Park tweet | EW.com

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Jun 11, 2015, 09:59 AM
 
Takes your breath away. She's living in a fantasy world for sure.
     
andi*pandi
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Jun 11, 2015, 10:15 AM
 
More like, some intern is getting a stern talking to. It seems she posts lots about animals.
     
The Final Dakar
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Jun 11, 2015, 10:19 AM
 
It's a nice little indictment of how we're looking for an reason for outrage.
     
subego
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Jun 11, 2015, 03:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
Thats ok it's not something Im super incredibly passionate about, for now... I just think a bit of profiling skills could assess that the situation isnt likely to be a scam more than any other number of things in our daily lives. A number of surveys like these have showed you can walk up to random women and kiss them no problem but apparently asking about precious metals is annoying & creepy. Knowing that gold is valuable, my 1st question would've been "why you selling it? is this stolen or something?" If he could convince me it's not due to it being a promotion or whatever Id be game.
I maintain you come to this conclusion because you're relying on the wrong thought process. You're trying to justify making the trade based on rational thought.

That's just not how people operate in the presented scenario. They rely on their instincts, which are explicitly not rational.

That's the point I'm trying to make. These instincts have been honed through millions of years of evolution. Following them is not stupid.
     
subego
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Jun 15, 2015, 09:26 AM
 
@el chup

Anyone who's read it before probably realizes where I'm getting my argument from, but I highly recommend the book "The Gift of Fear".

The thesis of the book is that the little voice which says "this is a bad situation", such as when a stranger on the street tries to sell you something, is what keeps you from being killed or injured, and it's very good at it.

You ignore that voice at your peril.

The downside of losing a gold coin pales in comparison to the downside of teaching yourself to short-circuit your instincts.


http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-Fear-.../dp/0440226198
     
   
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