Everyone knows that people in crowds behave differently from individuals. Individuals may be smart, but crowds are stupid. There’s something about being part of a large group that somehow seems to strip away the mental capabilities of the individual; they give up their decision making to the group and hence shrug off responsibility for their own actions. Suddenly they can behave like wild animals.

Crowds - Not as smart as mice
“Let’s smash stuff up!”

The IQ of a crowd is the IQ of the smartest member, divided by the number of people.

So what’s the IQ of the human race? Well, the highest IQ on record is Physicist and Engineer Kim Ung-yong with a score of 210. The earth’s population is 6.92 billion. So the human race as a whole has an IQ of about 0.00000003. You’ll not need me to tell you; that’s a poor IQ for a glass of water.

I figure we’re not even on the same scale as animals – we’re barely alive. Some kind of low level cell virus or something.

But seriously, what about those mice?

A Mouse

Do you know what happens when a few mice get into a grain store undetected? Well, with the food supply so good they make themselves at home. They have babies. Because the food supply is so easy, all the babies grow up healthy strong. They have babies themselves. If twenty mice pair off and have six little mice, then you’ve got seventy mice. All of which can breed. So then you’ve got 280 mice. Then 1120. The population explodes and there are mice everywhere. Hundreds! Thousands! Swarms of the little buggers. It’s good times for mice! The party just keeps rolling.

High in mouse - low in pollyunmouse

Mice rule the world!

The population keeps rocketing until one day, quite suddenly, the grain runs out. Ah – bummer.

So then what happens?

Well, there’s a problem. The surrounding countryside can’t support the massive population of mice. The farmer isn’t going to restock that silo because she’s gone bust (all that grain she had to sell, well, it’s kinda missing). So the mice empire crashes. Every plant and bit of wood for miles around is gnawed to ground and there are desperate mice fighting over bits of dirt and pebbles that aren’t even edible. Soon the ground is littered with the dying and dead. It’s the mouse apocalypse.

Maybe a few survive. These few manage to scratch out a living in the wasteland, but they’ll never have it so good again. Life for the survivors is hard.

So what should the mice have done?

Well, what if back when the first few mice snuck into the grain store they all got together and had a mouse meeting. Some important and clever mouse could address his comrades:Smart mouse knows what to do...

“Listen up lads, we’re on to a good thing here. We can live like kings for as long as we like. So long as we only take a small amount of the grain, and keep quiet, no one will ever know. We can stay here and build self-sufficient way of life that will last not only for us, but for our children, and for their children. We can ensure prosperity for our progeny for all time; until we finally evolve into something that can beat the shit out of a cat.”

They could set themselves up a little self-sufficient hippy commune and live in harmony with their environment. The farmer gets the grain, they take a small cut, life goes on and everyone is happy.

But mice don’t do that. They’re not that smart.

And honestly? Neither are we.

Oh, damnit! There goes the last of the brandy...

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