Friday, September 05, 2008

Browser & OS choice reveals intelligence?

A recent post at drew my attention to a table composed by the IQ League. It showed the average IQ score in its online test as a function of age, gender, and browser/ OS combination.

Highlights are below:

1. AppleMAC-Safari on UNIX 105.26
3. Firefox on UNIX 102.12
14. Firefox on MacPPC 101.15
17. IE on MacPPC 100.02
22. Firefox on WinXP 99.49
36. IE on WinXP 94.86
41. IE on Win98 93.50

Consistently, users of UNIX 'puters rate higher than Apple, and Apple higher than WinXP. Firefox users rated higher than IE. (And some bloke figured out how to get an Apple browser on a UNIX box-- she or he must be the smartest in the world!) I would like to see how Vista scores would enter into the mix.

Mark Fruenfelder wrote in the boingboing post: "No, I don't take this seriously." One comment-writer on the boingboing thread said you'd have to be a moron to believe the association.

I do. I've met a couple of folks who were maddeningly struggling with Vista. I was thinking, what sources of information did they evaluate before going to upgrade? Did they ever visit one of the web sites that talked about the assessment of Vista as the Longest Suicide Note in History? Did the folks further down these lists take time to learn about the benefits of the systems higher up the list? Or did they go to the local computer store and trust that the salesman was looking out for their best interests? Or worse, did they hear rumblings of of the complaints, and implicitly distrust "activists", "intelligentsia", "whiners", "paternalism"?

Am I just being cruel? No, I think that the way you relate to informed communities says a lot about your intelligence. You don't have to-- you shouldn't-- trust these communities blindly: I'm criticizing an implicitly distrust, an assumption that they must be wrong. For at least one of my Vista-upgrading friends, his OS choice is a reason I wouldn't trust the way he evaluates various sources of information to make decisions in other realms of life, such as political affiliation.

DISCLAIMER: This was written on a WinXP box with Firefox.

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