Calling the bullshit brigade on “people who drink coffee are smart” articles

You’ve all seen them and most of you have shared them, because social media virility is based on people sharing stuff that boosts their identity. And these articles, the “messy people are more creative” and “people who wake up late are nicer” are aimed at boosting ego for doing very elementary and extremely common things. And often for consuming, too.

Because here’s the thing: in the wealthier countries where most people use the Internet, some 90% of people drink coffee. And everyone likes to be reassured that they’re smart. So the article about “People Who Drink Coffee are Smart” is a sure fire way to get an article shared and to get clicks and reads on your website and then advertising income.

But beyond that, the logic of these articles doesn’t work. That is, there’s probability, and then there’s cause. Here’s an actual fact, backed up by studies not conducted by the company wishing to self-advertise: Women on the pill are more likely to get checked for breast cancer and find it early. Now this isn’t because taking the pill makes you more health conscious, its because people on the pill are likely to be health conscious already. But even then, its a probability thing, and not all women on the pill will necessarily conduct regular breast checks and the biggy: not all women who aren’t on the pill will be remiss and not conduct breast checks.

So yeah, you can not drink coffee if you want and relax because you may still be smart, and you can not be messy and still be creative. If you want to boost the coffers of clickbaiters, I guess that’s your choice (though with clickbait threatening proper journalism I’d kinda urge you not to). But your other choice is to be a quality human being without taking short cuts. Being creative is actually a fair bit of work, so is being smart (for all the definitions of what that is). Commitment to being awesome takes long term struggle, ups and downs, failures, and so much work. Embrace that.


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