Time Travel Excellent for Taking Advantage of Less Intelligent Populations in the Past

Josh Clark

There are plenty of legitimate reasons why I'd like a time machine. Each one's for my own benefit; I believe too much in time travel paradoxes to assassinate Adolf Hitler or Idi Amin or anything like that. Sure, there's a pretty good chance the deaths of millions of people would never take place, but there's an equally good chance that a disaster of even greater proportions might transpire. No, I leave the big stuff in history to the course of history.

I would like to travel back in time so I could purchase Coca-Cola stock in 1919 during its initial public offering. Then I'd likely head futureward and find Jackson Pollock to pick on him because his paintings were so terrible and he was a big jerk. Then I'd probably get something to eat somewhere and go home and go to bed. That's just one of the jaunts I have planned after everything ... falls into place.

Now I have a new place I plan on going one day: 1917. All right, that's a time not a place, but I'm heading there. I've recently found that everyone in 1917 was a bit slower than we savvy people of today, so I will go back to 1917 and take advantage of its vast rube population. I received word recently about 1917 from an op-ed piece in the New York Times about a book written by University of Michigan psychology professor Richard Nisbett, "Intelligence and How to Get It."

Nesbitt's premise is based on data that suggests IQ levels depend largely on schooling and the chaotic nature of a person's surroundings. Since 1917 was ostensibly a less educated and more violent time than today, we traipse now to this delightful quote:

"Indeed, the average I.Q. of a person in 1917 would amount to only 73 on today's I.Q. test. Half the population of 1917 would be considered mentally retarded by today's measurements, Professor Nisbett says."

1917, here I come.

Thanks to freelancer (and BFF) Tom Scheve for the link.

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