Street Smarts On Streets Like Chicago Could Save More Than Your Life

We all know the visual cliches -- fuddy-duddy professor & ruthless gang member. Stereotypes like these may be extreme, but they reflect an urban reality that plagues our large cities: Book-smart vs street smart. On dark nights, the contest between the prof and the punk is no contest!

The NRA might issue a new solution: Issue weapons to the professors. But armed professors walking the streets of Chicago would be no more a match for the punks than armed 4th grade teachers would be for the assault rifle. To paraphrase our Rednecks: "Guns don't save people."

So how do we save our children and our fuddy-duddies?

We might start by studying a controversial new report from Stanford geneticist Gerald Crabtree. He argues counter-intutively: "Humans are getting dumber, because civilization has made life too easy for us." He argues that humans reached their intellectual peak between 2000 and 6000 years ago when life was still so harsh and individualistic that bad judgments generally led to death. However, civilization has since worked against evolution by gradually allowing the unfit to survive.

"For example, a hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive a solution to the problem of providing food or shelter probably died. Today a modern Wall Street executive making a similar conceptual mistake would not only survive, but likely receive a bonus for saving the bank money. Clearly evolution's extreme-selection is a thing of the past."

Meanwhile, back here on the night streets of Chicago, Crabtree is telling us the educated professor has lost the street-smarts needed to survive the gang-bangers. It's frightening to think he's probably right. However, rather than (1) remaining behind locked doors at night, or (2) packing a gun, there must be another option.

Sorry, I don't exactly know what it is. I only know this. It should be hammered out in the halls of government rather than on the streets of Chicago

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