HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Discussion

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

this post is likely to get me in trouble from just the question itself, but i'm wondering if there's a correlation between intelligence and curiosity/passion for food. of course intelligence can be defined in various ways, blah blah blah, but i find that the comments from hounds are generally good ones.

lately i've been spending most of my online board time split between chowhound and a pregnancy board, and i've realized it's so much more of a pleasure to browse the posts on this board. on my pregnancy board, my head hurts from reading through horrible grammar and particularly lack of punctuation. and it seems the commentary and questions from posters usually make no sense, add little to the discussion, or don't make me think "interesting!" or "good question" like they do here.

of course all boards have their share of people causing drama or not adding any value, but i'd say we all have a great community here compared to others i've seen!

any thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Dogs and bears are about equally smart, I think.

    1. The online forum intellect bar is pretty low. Even CH is officially a grammar, punctuation, and spelling-free zone - more's the pity.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        I think too many people are relying on autocorrect rather than actually "listening" to what they write.

      2. The mean Chowhound user is probably a decade or two older than the mean pregnancy forum user, for what that's worth.

        27 Replies
        1. re: lamb_da_calculus

          do you think so? i know from the pregnancy board i'm on, an age poll of 400+ people showed a distribution that made the mean probably around age 28.

          maybe it's just the younger moms-to-be that are the most active in posting nonsense on that board, but i don't think i'm much smarter now than i was at age 28, and at 28 i don't think i was much smarter than at 22 (at least not from a board/forum posting perspective!).

          i wonder what the average age of chowhound users is...

          1. re: jen223

            There have been a couple lengthy "how old are Chowhounds?" posts over the years, and based upon the self-reporting I would guess the mean age here is 45-50.

            1. re: cookie monster

              Yup, and...

              New 60 year old baby here and proud of it! Woohoo!!!

              Let loose the Hounds!

              1. re: breadchick

                Hey breadchick,

                Do I read that right? Did you just have yourself a B'day?

                1. re: DuffyH

                  My b'day was late December, but I'm still celebrating - ha!

                  1. re: breadchick

                    Well, let me help. I'll just tune up my voice....

                    Ok, here's your birthday song, from me to you, because you're just that special. :)

                    Hippo Birdy 2 Ewes,
                    Hippo Birdy 2 Ewes,
                    Hippo Birdy Deer breadchick,
                    Hippo Birdy 2 Ewes!

                    The song sounds much better with icons, but I have problems making them appear in website text windows, so you'll have to imagine the symbols. Even worse is that finally, finally, I've found someone to sing to whose name works perfectly with icons.

                    Anyway, Happy Birthday from one new 60 to another! :)

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      I LOVE it - thank you very much, and you sounded pretty darn good - even without the icons!

            2. re: jen223

              Like Cookie Monster said, the average age here appears to be 40-50. Also, as someone who was on pregnancy boards just a year ago (The Bump, primarily) - yeah, those girls are cuckoo for cocoa puffs and not very bright. I don't think it means 'Hounds are smarter. I think it means those girls are dumber, imho.

              1. re: BostonLover

                i wouldn't have guessed that the average age is 40-50! now i feel like i'll take everyone's comments more seriously knowing that you have a few more years of experience with food than i do!

                the people on the pregnancy boards are definitely interesting… i have to admit sometimes i'll get hooked on a thread. it's almost like watching really bad reality TV.

                1. re: jen223

                  Oh my dear young lady. I was much wiser at 28 than when I was 22 and I am much wiser now than I was when I was 28. Smarter? Perhaps no difference unless one says that with age comes more experiences and with those experiences comes some wisdom with which one can know things better. As the old lament goes, if only I knew then what I know now. I know so much more now about so many more things than I knew when I was 22. At 22 I thought I knew everything. At 28 I recognized the fact that my 22 year old self didn't know anything. At my current (secret) age I now can claim to know a few things but recognize the fact that there is so much I will never know.

                  1. re: Bkeats

                    i didn't think i was young, but i guess if the average age is 40-50, i'm a baby at (almost) 33. i do agree that my palate is much more developed now than it was at 22 (being a poor college kid doesn't allow for much dining extravagance), but i don't know that my ability to structure thoughts and convey them has really increased much!

                    I do agree with being wiser, though. my bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 22-year old self was ready to conquer the world. by 28 i was already mostly jaded. now… i'm with you. there is so much i will never know, and i've (somewhat) learned to try to be happy with my state in life!

                    1. re: jen223

                      33. I remember 33. That's when my son was born. Whole new set of experiences started for me then and are about to start for you. Congratulations.

                      1. re: Bkeats

                        thank you! my first child (daughter) will hopefully be born healthy and happy in a couple of months! looking forward to getting wiser and gaining new experiences, even if it doesn't mean i'll get any smarter!

                    2. re: jen223

                      The mean age on CHOWHOUND is way higher than 28. I would say probably 50 as cookie monster has stated. There are many people who are retired on CHOWHOUND.

                      In addition, I think there is a difference of tenure. Most people who are interested in foods have been doing so for decades. You have people in their 50's and have been loving foods for 30+ years, so they tend to be pretty knowledge about many of the things they are talking about. On the pregnancy board, not only the people are a bit younger, but people don't come back and they don't keep thinking about pregnancy for decades. I cannot imagine many people who gave birth in their 20-30s and then decide to come back to the pregnancy board in their 60's.

                      As for the question of a dog vs a bear. Hmm, I think a bear and a dog is about the same, but I think a wolf is slightly smarter than a dog -- of course, that really depends on the definition of "smart"

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Depends on the dog.
                        Poodles are smart... in a devilish way.
                        Border collies are just... really, really responsible.

                        1. re: Chowrin

                          But wolves have larger brain size than dogs. :)

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Which reminds me of Mom's dear friend, a dog breeder, who once opined that all doberman pinschers will turn mean and attack people. She said that as they mature, their brains
                            continue to grow after their skulls, I kid you not, have stopped growing. The resulting pressure on the brain makes them go crazy and attack their owners.

                            Mom said "My daughter's got a degree in zoology, let's ask her." I very kindly suggested that this was not so, that such dogs would be at a reproductive disadvantage and be selected against, yada yada.

                            I don't think she bought it. :(

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              <She said that as they mature, their brains
                              continue to grow after their skulls...The resulting pressure on the brain makes them go crazy>

                              Ok, I doubt it. I think, if this is the case, the animals will just have seizure and die.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Oh, there are any number of reasons this can't happen. The lady was just cocoa puffs. There was no convincing her of the truth of the matter.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Actually, this notion is somewhat similar to syringomyelia (google it) which does cause increased pressure, pain, and neurological/behavioral problems, notably in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Surgery is required, but success is far from certain, and many owners opt for euthanasia. But that Dobermans turn on their owners by age 7 thing is a very old wives' tale, and very untrue.

                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    <Surgery is required, but success is far from certain, and many owners opt for euthanasia. But that Dobermans turn on their owners by age 7 thing is a very old wives' tale, and very untrue.>

                                    I didn't even know there is a old wife tale like this. I wonder if this "tale" is suppose to make the breed more or less desirable. Sometime people are drawn to "dangerous" thing.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Indeed. But the third most likely dog to bite someone is a German Shepard. (of course, generally the kid deserves it).

                            2. re: Chowrin

                              Irish setters are smart, in a really dorky way.

                              1. re: Chowrin

                                And corgis will make you stay in the lines.

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                "In addition, I think there is a difference of tenure. Most people who are interested in foods have been doing so for decades. You have people in their 50's and have been loving foods for 30+ years, so they tend to be pretty knowledge about many of the things they are talking about. On the pregnancy board, not only the people are a bit younger, but people don't come back and they don't keep thinking about pregnancy for decades. I cannot imagine many people who gave birth in their 20-30s and then decide to come back to the pregnancy board in their 60's."

                                This is the most salient point, I think. The parenting board, maybe - but the pregnancy board, no.

                          2. Some of them certainly are. But there's also a small but mouthy contingent who seem to have fashioned their chef's hats out of aluminum foil.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: small h

                              Ah, but can they properly spell 'aluminum'? For the most part I think they can.

                              That's what the voices in my head tell me, anyway. ;)

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                But where are they from? English speakers on the north and right side of the pond have a different approach.

                                1. re: sr44

                                  Aw, crap, you've got me there. I should have used 'contingent'. Aluminum just made more sense, comically. ;p

                                2. re: DuffyH

                                  Repeat after me, al-u-mi-ni-um. That's the other and some would say proper way to spell and pronounce it.

                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                    Bkeats -

                                    Some would be right, it is the proper way, unless you're a cheeky American. Check out this article. What a tangled history, and fascinating, too.

                                    http://www.worldwidewords.org/article...

                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                      That's the proper way in most chemistry circles. But in ordinary usage by laymen, "aluminum" was established in the United States before the chemists decided differently. The person credited with its discovery preferred "alumium" by the way.

                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                        Alcoa says differently. And since I'm in pittsburgh...

                                      2. re: DuffyH

                                        Spelling it is no problem. But you folks on the western side of the Atlantic just pronounce it incorrectly.

                                    2. You're kind of posing two questions. Are 'Hounds smarter than your average forum poster? Probably. But are people who enjoy food smarter than those who don't? Most certainly not (in my purely anecdotal experience, of course!) I've met extremely intelligent people who have no interest in food and more run-of-the-mill folks who passionately love food.