Personally I suspect that the IQ of a political leader is somewhat independent of their decision making abilities. Judgement, in the sense of obtaining and assessing the opinions of experts, is much more valuable, and while there is some correlation with IQ the two are quite different qualities.
WRT to Bush, regardless of his actual IQ, he strongly portrays an image of a person who isn't particularly intelligent. Whether this is deliberate, or a side effect of an effort to portray other qualities ("trustworthiness" "down to earthness"), it is strongly conveyed in the media and I'm sure it's a quality he could change in his public persona if he really cared to. The fact that he continues to portray a "simple" image, which among other things carries with it an anti-intellectual and anti-science bias, means that jokes about his intelligence are quite valid.
"But humor more than most, because humor relies on surprise - the ridiculous, the unexpected, the absurd.
(Satire achieves surprise by saying, out loud, the thoughts you didn't dare think. Fake satires repeat thoughts you were already thinking.)"
Actually I've always felt a large part of humour is depicting saying what everyone thinks but nobody says. How many comedians make jokes about spouses, traffic, their own minority, how often are those jokes things people in the audience don't already think about?
"A building labeled "science", and a standard Godzilla-ish monster labeled "Bush" stomping on the "science" building. Now there are people who will laugh at this - hur hur, scored a point off Bush, hur hur - but this political cartoon didn't take much effort to imagine."
It gave me a little chuckle, but not just because I dislike Bush (if a similar, but valid, joke was made about a politician I support my reaction would be much less, but still humorous). It's funny because none of the premise are things that are really in debate, none denies that Bush and scientists, or scientific institutions, rarely agree. Even the part about Bush being a big dumb brute isn't in huge contention (I rarely hear Bush supporters claim intellect as an attribute). The humour is in the fact that something so political, nuanced, and abstract, is put as bluntly as possible, that Bush is a big stupid brute stomping on science.
Gates with a pie in the face is nothing more than schadenfreude, something that might make me smirk if I was particularly displeased with Microsoft that day but not something that can really be classified as humour.
The tentacled monster I have to admit I didn't really find funny, I can see it has more levels than the stomping monster but it lost the brazenness of the stomping Bush monster.
In fact for an improvement on the Bushzila I'd suggest that instead having a Bush King Kong demolishing the building by using a giant cross as a pickax. All the bluntness of the original but also including his Religious motivations (could add some damage to the cross from it being used as a pickax if you want to suggest he's abusing religion).
I think the problem with trying to come up with a concrete definition of morality is the only real problems are ones without real solutions. In science we can solve previously unknown problems because we're constantly building on newly discovered knowledge. But with morality the basic situations have existed mostly unchanged for most of our evolution and we don't have any real advantage over previous generations, thus any problem worth solving is there because we can't solve it.
For instance you're never going to get a leader who's complete moral argument for governing is "I should lead this country because I randomly murder people in horrible ways". Any leader like that will never gain enough supporters to form a government, sure there are leaders who essentially lead in that fashion but they always have some idealist justification for why they should lead.
Thus you can't set down laws like "Always be selfish" or "Always obey the government" since if it's not completely obvious and universal you wouldn't be interested in that question.
However you can set down a moral law like "Don't torture a thousand people to death to achieve the same amount of satisfaction you'd get from eating a strawberry unless there are an unbelievably contrived set of extenuating circumstances involved, probably something involving the number 3^^^3". However, one would hope that's already part of your moral code...
This made me think of a specific instance of hindsight bias that always annoys me. Consider any game of chance where at some point the person is given the choice of whether to make a wager or not.
Once they see how the wager would have turned out one is almost guaranteed that if the wager would have won they'll say to make the wager would be the right decision and if the wager would have lost vice-versa. This holds even if they were already aware of the odds before hand.
I think the graph comparison isn't a completely valid metaphor. With the graph you describe the relationship between two nodes is binary, either it's present or absent. But between topics there are numerous types of connections, for sure the statement "everything is connected" conveys no useful information but I believe that it's very difficult to find two topics with no type of connection. For instance Wikipedia couldn't be considered an artificial intelligence but I would not be surprised if there are certain topics in artificial intelligence that could be applied to wikipedia (associations between topics could be a possibility though I don't know enough about AI to know if that would be useful). For instance simply drawing an edge from AI to Wikipedia tells little, but perhaps 3 unique edges describing the precise connections could be very informative. In this way one can achieve a connected graph that still is very informative.
For self regulation I think the problem is there isn't a straight path to a more optimal solution.
In similar situations I generally try to wait in my seat until the congestion dies down (if I'm not in a rush). While I get the benefit of a more relaxing experience this has the effect of significantly delaying my departure.
But for a real solution I think you really need some simple modification you can make that benefits the group without significantly costing yourself. Other than delaying I can't really think of any other simple changes passengers would make that would move them in the direction of a more complete solution.
As to pilot organized optimizations I think this has to do first with the fact the airline wouldn't really benefit that much (the bottleneck would be refueling and maintainence, not disembarking) and the cost of seeming to order passengers around.
Btw, as to the proposed solutions.
"Left aisle seats, please rise and move to your luggage. (Pause.) Left aisle seats, please retrieve your luggage. (Pause.) Left aisle seats, please deplane. (Pause.) Right aisle seats, please rise and move to your luggage..."
Families who don't want to break apart would break this algorithm and explaining exceptions would be too complicated.
"There are numerous other minor tweaks that this suggests, like seating people with tight connections near the front left aisle, or boarding passengers with window seats before passengers with middle and aisle seats."
Similarly these also have issues with breaking apart families or inducing a cost of forcing people away from their preferred seats (I'd rather sit in my preferred seat than get off the plane quickly).
I wouldn't be surprised if all solutions had similar costs.