The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
EA and Intelligence Theory
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

ea-global-bio

 

Online version with hyperlinks: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/ea-and-intelligence-theory/

I am a blogger and independent researcher who is interested in the intersections of intelligence theory, futurism, economics, and geopolitics.

Here is a summary of my ideas relevant to Effective Altruism:

Intelligence is central to explaining the wealth and poverty of nations, so a good understanding of it is central to formulating good EA-based policies.

  • Near universal agreement amongst psychologists on validity of general factor of intelligence (Gottfredson 1994; Jensen 1998). No replication crisis in psychometrics unlike the rest of psychology!
  • Solid positive correlations with incomes, job prestige, and virtually all measures of worldly success.
  • Excellent correlation between national IQ and GDP per capita (0.9!!) once you adjust for resource windfalls and Communist legacy (Karlin 2012). The economist Garett Jones calls this the “hive mind” thesis, and has shown that the causation is mostly from the former to the latter (Jones 2015). There is an approximately 3x increase in GDP per capita for every S.D. gain in average national IQ.
  • Despite popular but usually mistaken anecdotes, such as that of Feynman’s mediocre IQ, the elite scientists who drive scientific and technological progress are around 4 S.D. above the Western population mean (Roe 1952).
  • There is a case to be made – what I call the Apollo’s Ascent theory – that rising intelligence is indispensable for scientific and technological progress, since problems tend to get harder over time (Karlin 2015).

Important implications for EA follow from this, some obvious – some less so, and some outright controversial.

Obvious: The necessity of IQ-ameliorating interventions, especially in the developing world. There have already been resounding successes on this front historically (salt iodization). Work on micronutrient supplementation and deworming is extremely effective and should continue, as the EA community has long recognized.

Less Obvious: Improving IQ in the developed world, since it is so strongly associated with greater prosperity and performance across all metrics of civilization (which also results in less need for charity in the first place). Unfortunately, all schooling interventions tried to date have been shown to be inefficacious, so we need to be more ambitious. We need to throw more money and brainpower at the genetics of IQ; CRISPR/Cas9 and other gene editing techniques; and more speculatively, neural augs. There are many “intersectionalities” between EA and machine intelligence safety research; more intelligent humans will find it easier to understand the case for caution and help decrease the likelihood of a malevolent “breakout.”

Controversial: It is time to look more critically at the Open Borders orthodoxy within the EA community (Karlin 2015):

  • Hive Mind: Unfiltered immigrants from the developing world almost inevitably have lower average IQs than the recipient country (Rindermann 2014). Nor is there any evidence of long-term convergence. As such, the quality of the “hive mind” decreases, resulting in long-term decrease of the “equilibrium” level of GDP per capita relative to what it would otherwise be.
  • Cognitive Colonialism: You can have a “cognitively elitist” immigration policy, like Singapore or Australia, but it imposes a heavy burden upon the developing world by scouring it of the “smart fractions” they need for their own development (Karlin 2015).
  • Skills misallocations: The First World has no shortage of specialists. A doctor from Syria or D.R. Congo is more likely to end up as a taxi driver (or Uber now?) as to make relevant use of whatever professional qualifications he might have.
  • Loss of global arbitrage opportunities: George Soros, an outspoken proponent of open borders, has called the EU to spend almost $20,000 per immigrant during just their first year. But $1 of spending in Africa goes a lot further than $1 in Austria or America. For instance, a Syrian refugee doctor and his family can buy an oceanfront suite for $2,500 in the capital of Tanzania (a poor country which gets a useful specialist and economic investment at a fraction of the cost of hosting said doctor in Europe).
  • Other costs: Cultural incompatibility, decrease in social cohesion, and rise in xenophobic sentiments (cross out as per your ideological tilt).

Did you find any of this interesting, intriguing, or at least not completely bonkers?

If so please feel free to check out my blog (http://www.unz.com/akarlin/) and website (http://akarlin.com/).

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Effective Altruism, Futurism, Immigration 
Hide 29 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. First reaction was to look at Pushkin’ epigram on Karamzin. Pushkin had a crush on Karamzin’s wife, and expressed his feelings in those (unjustifiably harsh) words:
    ЭПИГРАММА
    (НА КАРАМЗИНА)

    «Послушайте: я сказку вам начну
    Про Игоря и про его жену,
    Про Новгород и Царство Золотое,
    А может быть про Грозного царя…»
    — И, бабушка, затеяла пустое!
    Докончи нам «Илью-богатыря».

    Karamzin had clear understanding, that this young arrogant chap (Pushkin)
    is future genius. Still, Karamzin was deeply offended, and stopped letting Pushkin into home
    (впредь отказал от дома).
    Mr. Karlin !
    I sincerely wish you the best in your endeavors ! (no sarcasm here.)
    Your truly, I.f.f.U.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    I don't quite grasp the relevance of your anecdote, I.f.f.U. Are you hinting at some sexual rivalry between the guru of this nutty polyamorous cult EY and our esteemed host AK?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /akarlin/ea-and-intelligence-theory/#comment-1520254
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:

    Charles Murray, Income Inequality and IQ,

    https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/20040302_book443.pdf

    or

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0844770949/

    $2.48 + $3.99 S&H.
    Brilliant work. And, by the way, reasonably short, 47 pages.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  3. 5371 says:
    @Immigrant from former USSR
    First reaction was to look at Pushkin' epigram on Karamzin. Pushkin had a crush on Karamzin's wife, and expressed his feelings in those (unjustifiably harsh) words:
    ЭПИГРАММА
    (НА КАРАМЗИНА)

    «Послушайте: я сказку вам начну
    Про Игоря и про его жену,
    Про Новгород и Царство Золотое,
    А может быть про Грозного царя...»
    — И, бабушка, затеяла пустое!
    Докончи нам «Илью-богатыря».

    Karamzin had clear understanding, that this young arrogant chap (Pushkin)
    is future genius. Still, Karamzin was deeply offended, and stopped letting Pushkin into home
    (впредь отказал от дома).
    Mr. Karlin !
    I sincerely wish you the best in your endeavors ! (no sarcasm here.)
    Your truly, I.f.f.U.

    I don’t quite grasp the relevance of your anecdote, I.f.f.U. Are you hinting at some sexual rivalry between the guru of this nutty polyamorous cult EY and our esteemed host AK?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Immigrant from former USSR
    Greetings, 5371!=approximately= 10^(17704).

    To your question --- answer is "no".
    But generally I would like to see from Mr. Karlin (whom I keep in great esteem)
    not so much promises, but actual results of research.
    Your I.f.f.U.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. @5371
    I don't quite grasp the relevance of your anecdote, I.f.f.U. Are you hinting at some sexual rivalry between the guru of this nutty polyamorous cult EY and our esteemed host AK?

    Greetings, 5371!=approximately= 10^(17704).

    To your question — answer is “no”.
    But generally I would like to see from Mr. Karlin (whom I keep in great esteem)
    not so much promises, but actual results of research.
    Your I.f.f.U.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. Sam Shama says:

    Anatoly:
    On ‘Hive Mind’ and the implications of introducing lower IQ cohorts [Rindermann and Thompson estimate a 4.71 pts lower on average], you wrote:

    ….resulting in long-term decrease of the “equilibrium” level of GDP per capita relative to what it would otherwise be.

    prompts me to query:

    (1) are you saying Potential GDP tracks a level consistent with a production function which otherwise would enjoy parameters, that shift the function [perhaps parallely] up? If so, have you, or anyone researching this idea done any theoretical [or empirical] work?

    (2) notice in the case of the U.S., the Potential Real GDP displays an unmistakeable increase in positive slope from around 1982 [following the recession of the late 70's], which only gets more pronounced with time, until the 2008 financial crisis, following which, PGDP tracks a permanently downshifted path. The 1982-2008 period is interesting in this context, I think, since it marks a decade and a half or so, after the 1965 Immigration Reform Act.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GDPPOT

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    (1) are you saying Potential GDP tracks a level consistent with a production function which otherwise would enjoy parameters, that shift the function [perhaps parallely] up? If so, have you, or anyone researching this idea done any theoretical [or empirical] work?
     
    Yes.

    So really we are speaking of the total productivity factor A in the Cobb-Douglas function, and in which we can consider that A = f(T,M,X) where T is global technology level, M is "mindpower," and X is sundry other factors (the most significant of which will be institutions/economic system).

    (Note that potential GDP in this context is very long run "should be" GDP, not the standard "full employment GDP.")

    This makes intuitive sense because one would think that prosperity depends not only on the technology at your disposal but how well you know how to make use of it.

    And there does seem to be a very general relationship wherein one S.D. increases in IQ seem to correlate to threefold increases in GDP (PPP) per capita.

    I don't know if anybody has developed this with any rigor though. (Studies have been done with standard economic "human capital" measures i.e. years of schooling, which unsurprisingly showed that when accounting for it, the role of TFP was reduced. This is not the same thing however.)

    (2) notice in the case of the U.S., the Potential Real GDP displays an unmistakeable increase in positive slope from around 1982 [following the recession of the late 70's], which only gets more pronounced with time, until the 2008 financial crisis, following which, PGDP tracks a permanently downshifted path. The 1982-2008 period is interesting in this context, I think, since it marks a decade and a half or so, after the 1965 Immigration Reform Act.
     
    ... ?

    A graph based on exponential growth will always show "an unmistakeable increase in positive slope." Of greater import is the change in the rate of change.

    There have been two (now perhaps three) distinct growth phases in the US economy since 1950: Very fast from 1950-1973; substantially slowed down during 1973-2008; perhaps even slower from 2008 on (we'll see).

    The entire world was growing very quickly during the first phase (miracle economy, Wirtschaftswunder, trentes glorieuses, etc), and this is generally acknolwedged to have been due to a happy confluence of fast tech growth i.e. the electro-mechanical revolution and cheap energy prices. A "hive minder" would also note that the Flynn effect was most intense during this period.

    Growth slowed down after 1973 not on account of changes in US immigration legislation (to any significant extent) but due to the end of that happy confluence.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. AaronB says:

    You might be looking at it from the wrong POV.

    If a huge part of what IQ measures is motivation to succeed within industrial, technocratic civilization, and not any innate ability, then it’s hard to see what genetic or cultural intervention might succeed.

    What genes code for “values” like believing constant improvement is more important than working to make just enough to live and then focusing on leisure or enjoying life (the key attitude Adam Smith singled out as necessary for capitalism)?

    In other words, you might be looking for genes that code for the Calvinist approach to life.

    And then it becomes an attempt to just remake everyone in the image of the West – quite aside from the absurd parochialism of such a venture, the West is busy committng suicide and while it has figured out how to become insanely rich the West clearly makes people unhappy.

    Misery does love company, but that is no reason to impose our joyless, existential angst on a poor but happy world.

    The rest of the world clearly has its problems, mostly brought on by failed attempts at Westernization, but maybe more of the same poison isn’t the answer. Or maybe we must kill the rest of the world to improve it?

    If IQ is a measure of values and attitudes that make for success in a capitalistic, technological society as much as it is a measure of any kind of innate ability, then that would show up as a correlation with success in such societies, and would radically alter our understanding of what it would eventually take to raise the world’s IQ scores, and perhaps, among the more enlightened, whether we are right in trying to do it.

    At the very least let’s be aware of how many unquestioned assumptions we have! – that everyone is equally motivated by nature, that everyone wants Western style wealth and only stupidity is holding them back rather than complicated cultural values they are unwilling to give up even as they find find Western wealth undeniably alluring, etc, etc.

    In other words the simple, linear, robotic assumption that everyone simply wants what we have and only lack of ability can possibly hold them back is really simple minded and parochial.

    Read More
    • Replies: @grey enlightenment2
    In other words the simple, linear, robotic assumption that everyone simply wants what we have and only lack of ability can possibly hold them back is really simple minded and parochial.

    lol that's a common misconception . As it turns out, IQ is also a predictor for creative output such as writing and art; it's more than just following instructions or 'economic output'.
    , @Salger

    Misery does love company, but that is no reason to impose our joyless, existential angst on a poor but happy world.
     
    Go spew your noble savage myth to a "social science" class.

    The rest of the world clearly has its problems, mostly brought on by failed attempts at Westernization
     
    Blame Whitey for the failures of Mudskins, Dindus, and Yellows.
    , @Michelle
    That begs the question, why then, if they are going to be so damn miserable, do we want them to come here. Better to be a part of a happy community in an African village surrounded by people who are just like you than to be a mentally challenged/ill machete chopper in a large cosmopolitan city in Europe.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. Ivan K. says: • Website

    presentation good, except ignoring power struggles, including use of schools to keep potential competitors stupid

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  8. @AaronB
    You might be looking at it from the wrong POV.

    If a huge part of what IQ measures is motivation to succeed within industrial, technocratic civilization, and not any innate ability, then it's hard to see what genetic or cultural intervention might succeed.

    What genes code for "values" like believing constant improvement is more important than working to make just enough to live and then focusing on leisure or enjoying life (the key attitude Adam Smith singled out as necessary for capitalism)?

    In other words, you might be looking for genes that code for the Calvinist approach to life.

    And then it becomes an attempt to just remake everyone in the image of the West - quite aside from the absurd parochialism of such a venture, the West is busy committng suicide and while it has figured out how to become insanely rich the West clearly makes people unhappy.

    Misery does love company, but that is no reason to impose our joyless, existential angst on a poor but happy world.

    The rest of the world clearly has its problems, mostly brought on by failed attempts at Westernization, but maybe more of the same poison isn't the answer. Or maybe we must kill the rest of the world to improve it?

    If IQ is a measure of values and attitudes that make for success in a capitalistic, technological society as much as it is a measure of any kind of innate ability, then that would show up as a correlation with success in such societies, and would radically alter our understanding of what it would eventually take to raise the world's IQ scores, and perhaps, among the more enlightened, whether we are right in trying to do it.

    At the very least let's be aware of how many unquestioned assumptions we have! - that everyone is equally motivated by nature, that everyone wants Western style wealth and only stupidity is holding them back rather than complicated cultural values they are unwilling to give up even as they find find Western wealth undeniably alluring, etc, etc.

    In other words the simple, linear, robotic assumption that everyone simply wants what we have and only lack of ability can possibly hold them back is really simple minded and parochial.

    In other words the simple, linear, robotic assumption that everyone simply wants what we have and only lack of ability can possibly hold them back is really simple minded and parochial.

    lol that’s a common misconception . As it turns out, IQ is also a predictor for creative output such as writing and art; it’s more than just following instructions or ‘economic output’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Being able to throw like a boy is a predictor for becoming a Formula 1 driver. It's not a useful one.
    , @AaronB
    My friend, you did not understand.

    I did not say IQ measures ability to follow directions.

    I said that many parochial Westerners assume everyone wishes they could organize their life as Westerners do and become rich, and that only stupidity is preventing them.

    I'm pointing out this is a naive and parochial belief and that many people have values and beliefs and practices that would interfere with their organizing their national life around getting rich and they are conflicted, to say the least, about abandoning those beliefs and practices so they could become developed countries.

    So if we want to help the rest of the world develop, we might have to change their personalities, not make them smarter - and considering that we are suicidal and unhappy, that might be a crime.

    That being said, there is weak correlation between creativity and IQ at the national level.

    @5731 - your grasp of correlation is far too nuanced for scientistic people to understand. Try having a nuanced discussion of IQ correlations with these people, you'll be banging your head against the wall in under ten minutes.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. 5371 says:
    @grey enlightenment2
    In other words the simple, linear, robotic assumption that everyone simply wants what we have and only lack of ability can possibly hold them back is really simple minded and parochial.

    lol that's a common misconception . As it turns out, IQ is also a predictor for creative output such as writing and art; it's more than just following instructions or 'economic output'.

    Being able to throw like a boy is a predictor for becoming a Formula 1 driver. It’s not a useful one.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. AaronB says:
    @grey enlightenment2
    In other words the simple, linear, robotic assumption that everyone simply wants what we have and only lack of ability can possibly hold them back is really simple minded and parochial.

    lol that's a common misconception . As it turns out, IQ is also a predictor for creative output such as writing and art; it's more than just following instructions or 'economic output'.

    My friend, you did not understand.

    I did not say IQ measures ability to follow directions.

    I said that many parochial Westerners assume everyone wishes they could organize their life as Westerners do and become rich, and that only stupidity is preventing them.

    I’m pointing out this is a naive and parochial belief and that many people have values and beliefs and practices that would interfere with their organizing their national life around getting rich and they are conflicted, to say the least, about abandoning those beliefs and practices so they could become developed countries.

    So if we want to help the rest of the world develop, we might have to change their personalities, not make them smarter – and considering that we are suicidal and unhappy, that might be a crime.

    That being said, there is weak correlation between creativity and IQ at the national level.

    @5731 – your grasp of correlation is far too nuanced for scientistic people to understand. Try having a nuanced discussion of IQ correlations with these people, you’ll be banging your head against the wall in under ten minutes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Craken
    To enrich the Third World, in most instances it would be necessary to do 3 things:
    1. increase their IQ levels
    2. alter their personality characteristics (including hard-wired characteristics)
    3. confer a suitable institutional framework.

    But, this is really an overgeneralization, as different nations have different strengths and weaknesses. For example:
    Ukraine's biggest problem is #3--and it is well-positioned on #1 and #2.
    Black Africa looks terrible on #1 and #3, and not too good on #2.
    China was in Ukraine's position 40 years ago, then improved its institutions and launched its economy.

    Your point about priorities other than GDP maximization according to narrow-minded utilitarian principles has some merit, although I wonder what significant examples you have for it. I think the main "value" preventing increased wealth in the third world is corruption/vested interests--maybe not worth defending.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. Sean says:

    John Gotti had a prison-tested IQ of 140 (not his best result, I think he got 150 in a high school test). Feynman (son of a salesman) must have lied, and I recall from flipping through one of his books he was no exception to the rule that the super intelligent really do not want others to think they think it was all in their genes, see HERE. Over-brainy people can never explain why they are so much cleverer that others who grew up in the same tradition of striving for intellectual attainment, but they insist lesser differences between groups have cultural explainations.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/magazine/debunking-the-myth-of-the-job-stealing-immigrant.html?_r=0
    To me, immigration is the greatest example of our faulty thinking, a shortsightedness that hurts others while simultaneously hurting ourselves. The State Department issues fewer than half a million immigrant visas each year. Using the 7 percent figure from the Mariel boatlift research, it’s possible that we could absorb as many as 11 million immigrants annually. But if that’s politically untenable, what about doubling the visas we issue each year? It would still be fewer than a million, or less than 0.7 percent of the work force. If that didn’t go too badly, we could double it again the next year. The data are clear. We would be better off. In fact, the world would be better off.

    There is not a single economist of any standing in the entire wold who doubts that intelligence is created by wealthy societies. Creating intelligent people globally will require a world wide wealthy society, which means the priority is to create wealth. There is a way to make the average unqualified person in Congo ten times more productive: put him in the West. A billion Africans can become as productive as Chinese, just by catching a plane.

    Skills misallocations: The First World has no shortage of specialists. A doctor from Syria or D.R. Congo is more likely to end up as a taxi driver (or Uber now?) as to make relevant use of whatever professional qualifications he might have.

    Even the well off and educated, who are currently the most likely to migrate, become more economically productive just by going to the West, and driving a taxi, so for the other 99.9 percent of the Third World the gain in productivity is an order of magnitude greater; more for everyone .

    The great economists like Krugman think global utility is the only legitimate perspective, because the gains outweigh any problem caused to the indigenous populations, or even the poorer of those left in the migrants homelands. Paul Collier shows in his Exodus that the migration to the West creates diasporas which make migration progressively more practicable for poorer and poorer people of the poorest countries (which from loss of their genetic seed corn will actually descend into hell holes of course).

    http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2016/06/why-expanding-middle-class-no-guarantee-political-freedom

    One the most distinctive writers on economics in recent times, Deirdre McCloskey, describes herself as “a literary, quantitative, postmodern, free-­market, progressive-Episcopalian, Midwestern woman from Boston who was once a man”. [...] Unlike her Chicago mentors, she holds the “postmodern” view that, rather than being a value-free discipline modelled on the natural sciences, economics is a branch of the humanities that studies changing modes of discourse and rhetoric. [...] Identifying herself as a “Christian libertarian”, McCloskey believes that history is “God’s will in the world”. The rise of the bourgeoisie created contemporary liberal society and its personal freedoms, including the freedom to shed a socially imposed gender identity. [...] Modern secular liberalism, McCloskey argues persuasively, is the offspring of a theological innovation that occurred in 17th-century northern Europe. Less plausibly, she suggests that the modern increase in wealth is a by-product of this shift. [...] Like free-market ideologues everywhere, McCloskey insists that it is only absolute poverty that matters. But when it translates into a lack of standing in society, relative poverty can matter a great deal.

    But back in the minds of bien pensant intellectuals, who are giving a critique of the organisation of societies into nations, there is going to be nothing to fight about if there is enough to go round, so as hundreds of millions of people annually become so much more productive by virtue of entering the West, scarcity will be abolished– along with gender, war, famine, plague, and eventually death.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  12. Craken says:
    @AaronB
    My friend, you did not understand.

    I did not say IQ measures ability to follow directions.

    I said that many parochial Westerners assume everyone wishes they could organize their life as Westerners do and become rich, and that only stupidity is preventing them.

    I'm pointing out this is a naive and parochial belief and that many people have values and beliefs and practices that would interfere with their organizing their national life around getting rich and they are conflicted, to say the least, about abandoning those beliefs and practices so they could become developed countries.

    So if we want to help the rest of the world develop, we might have to change their personalities, not make them smarter - and considering that we are suicidal and unhappy, that might be a crime.

    That being said, there is weak correlation between creativity and IQ at the national level.

    @5731 - your grasp of correlation is far too nuanced for scientistic people to understand. Try having a nuanced discussion of IQ correlations with these people, you'll be banging your head against the wall in under ten minutes.

    To enrich the Third World, in most instances it would be necessary to do 3 things:
    1. increase their IQ levels
    2. alter their personality characteristics (including hard-wired characteristics)
    3. confer a suitable institutional framework.

    But, this is really an overgeneralization, as different nations have different strengths and weaknesses. For example:
    Ukraine’s biggest problem is #3–and it is well-positioned on #1 and #2.
    Black Africa looks terrible on #1 and #3, and not too good on #2.
    China was in Ukraine’s position 40 years ago, then improved its institutions and launched its economy.

    Your point about priorities other than GDP maximization according to narrow-minded utilitarian principles has some merit, although I wonder what significant examples you have for it. I think the main “value” preventing increased wealth in the third world is corruption/vested interests–maybe not worth defending.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    What I'm suggesting is that maybe IQ measures personality and other intangibles as much as any innate ability.

    It might even reflect simple motivation - why would you expend a lot of energy over a few hours on a hard test unless you were really motivated to excel, really understood and cared about its importance, etc? Or you really wanted to make your parents proud? Or were really conscientious?

    IQ might in part reflect a desire to excel, or simple ambition - a group of highly motivated and ambitious people can easily have a ten point higher group IQ than of equally intelligent but easy going people who can't be bothered. Do you seriously doubt that?

    IQ scores correlate highly with conscientiousness - doesn't it make more sense that IQ measures, at least in part, conscientiousness?

    But it's our assumption, biases, and desires that make us interpret the data the way we do, our our narcissism and solipsism and Western provincialism.

    Now, from the POV of success in a capitalistic, industrial society, none of this mattets. IQ will still be a great predictor of success in such a society because personality is just as important.

    Since science is about control and prediction rather than true understanding or deep insight these messy details are ignored so long as IQ has utility in predicting success.

    But increasingly we are reaching a point where IQ has decreasing utility in prediction and control - for instance, that East Asians score higher but are less wealthy than Western countries, that Asians are 25% of our elite schools, but only 5% of American Nobel Prize winners, that Jews have suffered a collapse in rates at which they win elite science and math prizes, etc, etc - so it will become worthwhile to have a deeper and better understanding of what exactly IQ measures.

    Of course from the POV of a deep understanding of reality it was always worthwhile to grapple with these questions, but let's be honest, most people, especially scientists, only care about power.

    Then of course the way we view the rest of the world - as failed Westerners - merely reflects our inability to grapple truthfully with the ambiguous data on IQ.

    Even corruption, which you assume is a clear evil, is based on a social system that considers sticky, messy human factors and can often be more humane and efficient.

    For instance, a corrupt official simply wants money - you can understand this and work around it, however annoying. A petty Western beurocrat who is high off power and malice can make your life hell for mysterious reasons you cannot understand or work around. I've experienced this first hand!

    At the end of the day, why not think with the full complexity and nuance a phenomenon can suggest to you rather than following Descartes radical proposition that we think only in "clear, simple" ideas, which works only in physics and engineering?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. AaronB says:
    @Craken
    To enrich the Third World, in most instances it would be necessary to do 3 things:
    1. increase their IQ levels
    2. alter their personality characteristics (including hard-wired characteristics)
    3. confer a suitable institutional framework.

    But, this is really an overgeneralization, as different nations have different strengths and weaknesses. For example:
    Ukraine's biggest problem is #3--and it is well-positioned on #1 and #2.
    Black Africa looks terrible on #1 and #3, and not too good on #2.
    China was in Ukraine's position 40 years ago, then improved its institutions and launched its economy.

    Your point about priorities other than GDP maximization according to narrow-minded utilitarian principles has some merit, although I wonder what significant examples you have for it. I think the main "value" preventing increased wealth in the third world is corruption/vested interests--maybe not worth defending.

    What I’m suggesting is that maybe IQ measures personality and other intangibles as much as any innate ability.

    It might even reflect simple motivation – why would you expend a lot of energy over a few hours on a hard test unless you were really motivated to excel, really understood and cared about its importance, etc? Or you really wanted to make your parents proud? Or were really conscientious?

    IQ might in part reflect a desire to excel, or simple ambition – a group of highly motivated and ambitious people can easily have a ten point higher group IQ than of equally intelligent but easy going people who can’t be bothered. Do you seriously doubt that?

    IQ scores correlate highly with conscientiousness – doesn’t it make more sense that IQ measures, at least in part, conscientiousness?

    But it’s our assumption, biases, and desires that make us interpret the data the way we do, our our narcissism and solipsism and Western provincialism.

    Now, from the POV of success in a capitalistic, industrial society, none of this mattets. IQ will still be a great predictor of success in such a society because personality is just as important.

    Since science is about control and prediction rather than true understanding or deep insight these messy details are ignored so long as IQ has utility in predicting success.

    But increasingly we are reaching a point where IQ has decreasing utility in prediction and control – for instance, that East Asians score higher but are less wealthy than Western countries, that Asians are 25% of our elite schools, but only 5% of American Nobel Prize winners, that Jews have suffered a collapse in rates at which they win elite science and math prizes, etc, etc – so it will become worthwhile to have a deeper and better understanding of what exactly IQ measures.

    Of course from the POV of a deep understanding of reality it was always worthwhile to grapple with these questions, but let’s be honest, most people, especially scientists, only care about power.

    Then of course the way we view the rest of the world – as failed Westerners – merely reflects our inability to grapple truthfully with the ambiguous data on IQ.

    Even corruption, which you assume is a clear evil, is based on a social system that considers sticky, messy human factors and can often be more humane and efficient.

    For instance, a corrupt official simply wants money – you can understand this and work around it, however annoying. A petty Western beurocrat who is high off power and malice can make your life hell for mysterious reasons you cannot understand or work around. I’ve experienced this first hand!

    At the end of the day, why not think with the full complexity and nuance a phenomenon can suggest to you rather than following Descartes radical proposition that we think only in “clear, simple” ideas, which works only in physics and engineering?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Craken
    I see why you would suppose that IQ tests measure conscientiousness as well. This is what I thought until I read the literature. Jensen gets into this in "The G Factor" on pages 573,4: "The Goff and Ackerman study [the best study available in 1998] found that the correlations between thirteen personality scales and Gf (or g) were nonsignificant (p > .05) and close to zero (r ranging from -.167 to +.131, with the average r = —.034, the average absolute \r\ = .071)." Conscientiousness largely determines if innate intelligence will be put to use, but it does not contaminate the actual IQ score. The IQ data we have is clear on a great many points, though the remaining ambiguities are interesting. There is zero evidence that IQ's utility is decreasing.

    Most scientists care less about standard types of power than other people--they're motivated by curiosity, status within their fields, quasi-religious awe of nature, desire for power over nature, love of teaching science. Engineering is about control and prediction; science is about seeking and discovering.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    It is unclear if CRISPR/Cas9 editing for complex traits will ever become feasible. Not to mention that this implies switching to IVF for sizeable part of population.
    But there is safe, simple, manageable and time-tested way to increase the IQ of any population – called eugenics. And contrary to the stigma it currently carries it does not necessarily mean neither targeted killing, abortions or forced sterilization. All western countries are already having below-replacement fertility. By setting up proper financial and social incentives it should be possible to increase fertility in the most capable decile to 5+, and that is all what is needed to reverse the dysgenic trend.
    It is hard sell in todays society – but so is the embryo editing. But unlike the latter eugenic selection is doable without some future scientific breakthrough.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  15. Salger says:
    @AaronB
    You might be looking at it from the wrong POV.

    If a huge part of what IQ measures is motivation to succeed within industrial, technocratic civilization, and not any innate ability, then it's hard to see what genetic or cultural intervention might succeed.

    What genes code for "values" like believing constant improvement is more important than working to make just enough to live and then focusing on leisure or enjoying life (the key attitude Adam Smith singled out as necessary for capitalism)?

    In other words, you might be looking for genes that code for the Calvinist approach to life.

    And then it becomes an attempt to just remake everyone in the image of the West - quite aside from the absurd parochialism of such a venture, the West is busy committng suicide and while it has figured out how to become insanely rich the West clearly makes people unhappy.

    Misery does love company, but that is no reason to impose our joyless, existential angst on a poor but happy world.

    The rest of the world clearly has its problems, mostly brought on by failed attempts at Westernization, but maybe more of the same poison isn't the answer. Or maybe we must kill the rest of the world to improve it?

    If IQ is a measure of values and attitudes that make for success in a capitalistic, technological society as much as it is a measure of any kind of innate ability, then that would show up as a correlation with success in such societies, and would radically alter our understanding of what it would eventually take to raise the world's IQ scores, and perhaps, among the more enlightened, whether we are right in trying to do it.

    At the very least let's be aware of how many unquestioned assumptions we have! - that everyone is equally motivated by nature, that everyone wants Western style wealth and only stupidity is holding them back rather than complicated cultural values they are unwilling to give up even as they find find Western wealth undeniably alluring, etc, etc.

    In other words the simple, linear, robotic assumption that everyone simply wants what we have and only lack of ability can possibly hold them back is really simple minded and parochial.

    Misery does love company, but that is no reason to impose our joyless, existential angst on a poor but happy world.

    Go spew your noble savage myth to a “social science” class.

    The rest of the world clearly has its problems, mostly brought on by failed attempts at Westernization

    Blame Whitey for the failures of Mudskins, Dindus, and Yellows.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. Craken says:
    @AaronB
    What I'm suggesting is that maybe IQ measures personality and other intangibles as much as any innate ability.

    It might even reflect simple motivation - why would you expend a lot of energy over a few hours on a hard test unless you were really motivated to excel, really understood and cared about its importance, etc? Or you really wanted to make your parents proud? Or were really conscientious?

    IQ might in part reflect a desire to excel, or simple ambition - a group of highly motivated and ambitious people can easily have a ten point higher group IQ than of equally intelligent but easy going people who can't be bothered. Do you seriously doubt that?

    IQ scores correlate highly with conscientiousness - doesn't it make more sense that IQ measures, at least in part, conscientiousness?

    But it's our assumption, biases, and desires that make us interpret the data the way we do, our our narcissism and solipsism and Western provincialism.

    Now, from the POV of success in a capitalistic, industrial society, none of this mattets. IQ will still be a great predictor of success in such a society because personality is just as important.

    Since science is about control and prediction rather than true understanding or deep insight these messy details are ignored so long as IQ has utility in predicting success.

    But increasingly we are reaching a point where IQ has decreasing utility in prediction and control - for instance, that East Asians score higher but are less wealthy than Western countries, that Asians are 25% of our elite schools, but only 5% of American Nobel Prize winners, that Jews have suffered a collapse in rates at which they win elite science and math prizes, etc, etc - so it will become worthwhile to have a deeper and better understanding of what exactly IQ measures.

    Of course from the POV of a deep understanding of reality it was always worthwhile to grapple with these questions, but let's be honest, most people, especially scientists, only care about power.

    Then of course the way we view the rest of the world - as failed Westerners - merely reflects our inability to grapple truthfully with the ambiguous data on IQ.

    Even corruption, which you assume is a clear evil, is based on a social system that considers sticky, messy human factors and can often be more humane and efficient.

    For instance, a corrupt official simply wants money - you can understand this and work around it, however annoying. A petty Western beurocrat who is high off power and malice can make your life hell for mysterious reasons you cannot understand or work around. I've experienced this first hand!

    At the end of the day, why not think with the full complexity and nuance a phenomenon can suggest to you rather than following Descartes radical proposition that we think only in "clear, simple" ideas, which works only in physics and engineering?

    I see why you would suppose that IQ tests measure conscientiousness as well. This is what I thought until I read the literature. Jensen gets into this in “The G Factor” on pages 573,4: “The Goff and Ackerman study [the best study available in 1998] found that the correlations between thirteen personality scales and Gf (or g) were nonsignificant (p > .05) and close to zero (r ranging from -.167 to +.131, with the average r = —.034, the average absolute \r\ = .071).” Conscientiousness largely determines if innate intelligence will be put to use, but it does not contaminate the actual IQ score. The IQ data we have is clear on a great many points, though the remaining ambiguities are interesting. There is zero evidence that IQ’s utility is decreasing.

    Most scientists care less about standard types of power than other people–they’re motivated by curiosity, status within their fields, quasi-religious awe of nature, desire for power over nature, love of teaching science. Engineering is about control and prediction; science is about seeking and discovering.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    That doesn't make much sense - if most people with high IQs "did nothing" with it, IQ wouldn't be a good predictor of success.

    My larger argument, that IQ might reflect values, priorities, personality attributes, as much as anything, you didn't address.

    Ron Unzs posts that show the arrow of causality between GDP and IQ flows from GDP towards IQ suggest as much - when wealth and development become a priority, IQ rises.

    Ron shows that FIRST wealth must occur, THEN IQ rises, a finding which accords with my suggestions and discredits the premise of Karlins post.

    Science, as a project, was about power over nature from the start, and not truth. Awe over the "workings" of nature - sure. But science suffers from a kind of Original Sin that makes it a deeply flawed project, however much power it has given us.

    The utility of IQ is not decreasing in all ways, but it is decreasing in the ways that I've shown, but you haven't addressed that.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. Salger says:

    If you wish to raise the world’s planetary IQ then I suggest you do all you can to depopulate all populations with mean IQs below 90.

    I’m talking cutting all foreign aid to lands filled with Dindus, encouraging Israel to crush the Palestinians once and for all, encourage abortion among non-White Hispanics and other lower IQs while discouraging it among higher IQ populations, go on a purge of NAM migrants, forbid highly fertile females from attending higher education until they have kids…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  18. AaronB says:
    @Craken
    I see why you would suppose that IQ tests measure conscientiousness as well. This is what I thought until I read the literature. Jensen gets into this in "The G Factor" on pages 573,4: "The Goff and Ackerman study [the best study available in 1998] found that the correlations between thirteen personality scales and Gf (or g) were nonsignificant (p > .05) and close to zero (r ranging from -.167 to +.131, with the average r = —.034, the average absolute \r\ = .071)." Conscientiousness largely determines if innate intelligence will be put to use, but it does not contaminate the actual IQ score. The IQ data we have is clear on a great many points, though the remaining ambiguities are interesting. There is zero evidence that IQ's utility is decreasing.

    Most scientists care less about standard types of power than other people--they're motivated by curiosity, status within their fields, quasi-religious awe of nature, desire for power over nature, love of teaching science. Engineering is about control and prediction; science is about seeking and discovering.

    That doesn’t make much sense – if most people with high IQs “did nothing” with it, IQ wouldn’t be a good predictor of success.

    My larger argument, that IQ might reflect values, priorities, personality attributes, as much as anything, you didn’t address.

    Ron Unzs posts that show the arrow of causality between GDP and IQ flows from GDP towards IQ suggest as much – when wealth and development become a priority, IQ rises.

    Ron shows that FIRST wealth must occur, THEN IQ rises, a finding which accords with my suggestions and discredits the premise of Karlins post.

    Science, as a project, was about power over nature from the start, and not truth. Awe over the “workings” of nature – sure. But science suffers from a kind of Original Sin that makes it a deeply flawed project, however much power it has given us.

    The utility of IQ is not decreasing in all ways, but it is decreasing in the ways that I’ve shown, but you haven’t addressed that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Salger

    My larger argument, that IQ might reflect values, priorities, personality attributes, as much as anything, you didn’t address.
     
    You seem to be pretending that all of those aren't rooted in biology. And that humans who evolved in different environments have the same capabilities.

    Ron Unzs posts that show the arrow of causality between GDP and IQ flows from GDP towards IQ suggest as much – when wealth and development become a priority, IQ rises.
     
    Ron Unz is a white knight for Mexican migrants. And anyway Blacks have long failed to close the IQ gap despite their living standards.

    Ron shows that FIRST wealth must occur, THEN IQ rises, a finding which accords with my suggestions and discredits the premise of Karlins post.
     
    Blacks and non-White Hispanics still have significantly lower IQs.

    Science, as a project, was about power over nature from the start, and not truth. Awe over the “workings” of nature – sure. But science suffers from a kind of Original Sin that makes it a deeply flawed project, however much power it has given us.
     
    Don't you have a Humanities class to attend?
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    Ron shows that FIRST wealth must occur, THEN IQ rises, a finding which accords with my suggestions and discredits the premise of Karlins post.
     
    Please provide a single quote where I deny that rising wealth leads to higher IQs. Thanks.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. Salger says:
    @AaronB
    That doesn't make much sense - if most people with high IQs "did nothing" with it, IQ wouldn't be a good predictor of success.

    My larger argument, that IQ might reflect values, priorities, personality attributes, as much as anything, you didn't address.

    Ron Unzs posts that show the arrow of causality between GDP and IQ flows from GDP towards IQ suggest as much - when wealth and development become a priority, IQ rises.

    Ron shows that FIRST wealth must occur, THEN IQ rises, a finding which accords with my suggestions and discredits the premise of Karlins post.

    Science, as a project, was about power over nature from the start, and not truth. Awe over the "workings" of nature - sure. But science suffers from a kind of Original Sin that makes it a deeply flawed project, however much power it has given us.

    The utility of IQ is not decreasing in all ways, but it is decreasing in the ways that I've shown, but you haven't addressed that.

    My larger argument, that IQ might reflect values, priorities, personality attributes, as much as anything, you didn’t address.

    You seem to be pretending that all of those aren’t rooted in biology. And that humans who evolved in different environments have the same capabilities.

    Ron Unzs posts that show the arrow of causality between GDP and IQ flows from GDP towards IQ suggest as much – when wealth and development become a priority, IQ rises.

    Ron Unz is a white knight for Mexican migrants. And anyway Blacks have long failed to close the IQ gap despite their living standards.

    Ron shows that FIRST wealth must occur, THEN IQ rises, a finding which accords with my suggestions and discredits the premise of Karlins post.

    Blacks and non-White Hispanics still have significantly lower IQs.

    Science, as a project, was about power over nature from the start, and not truth. Awe over the “workings” of nature – sure. But science suffers from a kind of Original Sin that makes it a deeply flawed project, however much power it has given us.

    Don’t you have a Humanities class to attend?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Well, I do think these things are far less rooted in biology than people think - in fact the strong biologically deterministic argument favored by HBDERS seems so ludicrously refuted by a million facts of history, large and small, that it takes real blinders, a real effort to simply ignore history, to believe it.

    But then, the emotional tone of HBDERS makes clear, to me at least, that something other than simple truth is at stake for them. I used to believe in the "strong" HBD position, but I also like to read history, and reflect on what I read, so it was impossible for that silliness to last.

    That being said, no, I don't think people are biologically identical - there are of course differences. However, this really is beside the point - if wealth and development reflect priorities to some large extent, then interventions would mean reshaping the character of nations, their preferences and desires, whether these can be biologically altered or not. This is a radically different thing than simply assuming everyone wants what we want and helping them to attain it by boosting their ability, which would be kindly and philanthropic.

    Considering what a complete mess our Western way of life has become, how our preferences and priorities led us down a blind path towards self disgust and suicide, do we really have a mandate to start tinkering with other people's lives? You see, in a way I'm with you - I think the West needs to learn to love itself again - but maybe we can do this by rethinking our priorities and accepting we made a wrong turn five hundred years ago, and looking to nations who still love themselves for a few lessons rather than stupidly imposing our broken model on them?

    You are very angry at my criticism of science, the darling child of the West, and I can understand that - it's truly what makes us so powerful and superior, and we hate ourselves enough already, so why pile on - but you might want to seriously consider how the scientific way of seeing the world is implicated in our decline, in our radical loss of motivation and sense that life is meaningless, in our lurching towards suicide.

    I know it seems obscene to criticize ourselves when we hate ourselves do much already, and the instinct is to circle the wagons, but sometimes to get better, you have to get worse.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. SFG says:

    You could always take the reverse, nationalist point of view: we should exploit our current wealth to attract smart people from around the world and breed Americans into a master race. That way we have a better genetic pool with which to face the centuries ahead.

    I’m too cynical to think it would work or that we could assimilate that many people nowadays, and everyone who believes in HBD wants to be pure and everyone who wants to attract smart people from around the world doesn’t believe in HBD. But I wonder why nobody’s argued this.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  21. AaronB says:
    @Salger

    My larger argument, that IQ might reflect values, priorities, personality attributes, as much as anything, you didn’t address.
     
    You seem to be pretending that all of those aren't rooted in biology. And that humans who evolved in different environments have the same capabilities.

    Ron Unzs posts that show the arrow of causality between GDP and IQ flows from GDP towards IQ suggest as much – when wealth and development become a priority, IQ rises.
     
    Ron Unz is a white knight for Mexican migrants. And anyway Blacks have long failed to close the IQ gap despite their living standards.

    Ron shows that FIRST wealth must occur, THEN IQ rises, a finding which accords with my suggestions and discredits the premise of Karlins post.
     
    Blacks and non-White Hispanics still have significantly lower IQs.

    Science, as a project, was about power over nature from the start, and not truth. Awe over the “workings” of nature – sure. But science suffers from a kind of Original Sin that makes it a deeply flawed project, however much power it has given us.
     
    Don't you have a Humanities class to attend?

    Well, I do think these things are far less rooted in biology than people think – in fact the strong biologically deterministic argument favored by HBDERS seems so ludicrously refuted by a million facts of history, large and small, that it takes real blinders, a real effort to simply ignore history, to believe it.

    But then, the emotional tone of HBDERS makes clear, to me at least, that something other than simple truth is at stake for them. I used to believe in the “strong” HBD position, but I also like to read history, and reflect on what I read, so it was impossible for that silliness to last.

    That being said, no, I don’t think people are biologically identical – there are of course differences. However, this really is beside the point – if wealth and development reflect priorities to some large extent, then interventions would mean reshaping the character of nations, their preferences and desires, whether these can be biologically altered or not. This is a radically different thing than simply assuming everyone wants what we want and helping them to attain it by boosting their ability, which would be kindly and philanthropic.

    Considering what a complete mess our Western way of life has become, how our preferences and priorities led us down a blind path towards self disgust and suicide, do we really have a mandate to start tinkering with other people’s lives? You see, in a way I’m with you – I think the West needs to learn to love itself again – but maybe we can do this by rethinking our priorities and accepting we made a wrong turn five hundred years ago, and looking to nations who still love themselves for a few lessons rather than stupidly imposing our broken model on them?

    You are very angry at my criticism of science, the darling child of the West, and I can understand that – it’s truly what makes us so powerful and superior, and we hate ourselves enough already, so why pile on – but you might want to seriously consider how the scientific way of seeing the world is implicated in our decline, in our radical loss of motivation and sense that life is meaningless, in our lurching towards suicide.

    I know it seems obscene to criticize ourselves when we hate ourselves do much already, and the instinct is to circle the wagons, but sometimes to get better, you have to get worse.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. @AaronB
    That doesn't make much sense - if most people with high IQs "did nothing" with it, IQ wouldn't be a good predictor of success.

    My larger argument, that IQ might reflect values, priorities, personality attributes, as much as anything, you didn't address.

    Ron Unzs posts that show the arrow of causality between GDP and IQ flows from GDP towards IQ suggest as much - when wealth and development become a priority, IQ rises.

    Ron shows that FIRST wealth must occur, THEN IQ rises, a finding which accords with my suggestions and discredits the premise of Karlins post.

    Science, as a project, was about power over nature from the start, and not truth. Awe over the "workings" of nature - sure. But science suffers from a kind of Original Sin that makes it a deeply flawed project, however much power it has given us.

    The utility of IQ is not decreasing in all ways, but it is decreasing in the ways that I've shown, but you haven't addressed that.

    Ron shows that FIRST wealth must occur, THEN IQ rises, a finding which accords with my suggestions and discredits the premise of Karlins post.

    Please provide a single quote where I deny that rising wealth leads to higher IQs. Thanks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Well, Anatoly, in this very post above you say Garrett Jones provides strong evidence that the causality is from IQ towards higher GDP, not, as Ron would have it, the other way around.

    I took this as you endorsing that position, that higher IQ leads to rising wealth, and not that rising wealth leads to higher IQ.

    If that wasn't at least a quasi-endorsement, then I apologize to you most sincerely.

    If you at least are open to the idea that it is wealth that leads to rising IQ, either, as Ron thinks, through providing a more mentally stimulating environment, or, as I do, because it reflects new priorities and preferences, or perhaps both, then I am indeed most pleased and will happilly admit that I misunderstood you.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. AaronB says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Ron shows that FIRST wealth must occur, THEN IQ rises, a finding which accords with my suggestions and discredits the premise of Karlins post.
     
    Please provide a single quote where I deny that rising wealth leads to higher IQs. Thanks.

    Well, Anatoly, in this very post above you say Garrett Jones provides strong evidence that the causality is from IQ towards higher GDP, not, as Ron would have it, the other way around.

    I took this as you endorsing that position, that higher IQ leads to rising wealth, and not that rising wealth leads to higher IQ.

    If that wasn’t at least a quasi-endorsement, then I apologize to you most sincerely.

    If you at least are open to the idea that it is wealth that leads to rising IQ, either, as Ron thinks, through providing a more mentally stimulating environment, or, as I do, because it reflects new priorities and preferences, or perhaps both, then I am indeed most pleased and will happilly admit that I misunderstood you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    I agree with your notion.

    Anatoly, I do enjoy your work and your efforts.

    On the question of IQ influencing real potential GDP growth, I posted [#5] what I thought was a relevant observation. If IQ+ --> PGDP+ , the opposite appears to be the U.S. experience, in that about a decade after the 1965 Immigration Act, when [presumably] lower IQ immigrants started to arrive on these shores, the trajectory of PGDP got steeper. How to explain this? [note I am not necessarily advocating more immigration]

    I can offer a bribe :-)
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    In short, the general consensus in the HBDsphere and for that matter amongst professional psychometricians (see Rindermann's expert survey 2016) seems to be that while it goes both ways, the IQ --> wealth effect is considerably stronger.

    Here is a comment I made to an /r/slatestarcodex discussion on the validity of IQ on this very matter:

    I suspect many people in the HBDsphere have their favorite "launching pads" for beginning these discussions. Mine takes the form of a challenge. Standardized intelligence tests (PISA) have shown that Chinese schoolchildren perform better than the average for the developed OECD countries, even though at least until recently China was a fairly poor country. (At around $14,000 PPP today, it is still lower than Mexico's level). Meanwhile, US blacks consistently perform 1S.D. worse than US whites (documented to oblivion), and the rich Arab oil states if anything do even worse - even though per pupil spending in both cases is an order of magnitude higher than in China. How do you explain this with the assumption that most or all of the causality between wealth and IQ goes from the former to the latter?

    Second challenge, which is really mostly an extension of the above - Why are virtually all exceptions to the otherwise extremely strong correlation (r=0.9+!) between IQ and wealth either oil states (upwards outliers) or states with a Communist/central planning legacy (downwards outliers)?
     
    Incidentally, Ron Unz himself, whose ideas on this matter you evidently weigh very heavily, came out with a theory of The East Asian Exception to Socio-Economic IQ Influences.

    Of course there are a couple of problems with it.

    First off, the idea that East Asians would be unaffected by Flynn gains, suggesting as it does major physiological/metabolic differences relative to the other human races, seems far more amazingly racialist than almost any other theory in the HBDsphere.

    Second, it's very likely simply false.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. Michelle says:
    @AaronB
    You might be looking at it from the wrong POV.

    If a huge part of what IQ measures is motivation to succeed within industrial, technocratic civilization, and not any innate ability, then it's hard to see what genetic or cultural intervention might succeed.

    What genes code for "values" like believing constant improvement is more important than working to make just enough to live and then focusing on leisure or enjoying life (the key attitude Adam Smith singled out as necessary for capitalism)?

    In other words, you might be looking for genes that code for the Calvinist approach to life.

    And then it becomes an attempt to just remake everyone in the image of the West - quite aside from the absurd parochialism of such a venture, the West is busy committng suicide and while it has figured out how to become insanely rich the West clearly makes people unhappy.

    Misery does love company, but that is no reason to impose our joyless, existential angst on a poor but happy world.

    The rest of the world clearly has its problems, mostly brought on by failed attempts at Westernization, but maybe more of the same poison isn't the answer. Or maybe we must kill the rest of the world to improve it?

    If IQ is a measure of values and attitudes that make for success in a capitalistic, technological society as much as it is a measure of any kind of innate ability, then that would show up as a correlation with success in such societies, and would radically alter our understanding of what it would eventually take to raise the world's IQ scores, and perhaps, among the more enlightened, whether we are right in trying to do it.

    At the very least let's be aware of how many unquestioned assumptions we have! - that everyone is equally motivated by nature, that everyone wants Western style wealth and only stupidity is holding them back rather than complicated cultural values they are unwilling to give up even as they find find Western wealth undeniably alluring, etc, etc.

    In other words the simple, linear, robotic assumption that everyone simply wants what we have and only lack of ability can possibly hold them back is really simple minded and parochial.

    That begs the question, why then, if they are going to be so damn miserable, do we want them to come here. Better to be a part of a happy community in an African village surrounded by people who are just like you than to be a mentally challenged/ill machete chopper in a large cosmopolitan city in Europe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I agree with you completely - they shouldn't come here, they end up miserable, and so do we. It's very common for imigrants to find Western countries, especially America, cold, lonely, alienating places, and to deeply regret their move, and in fact life in America tends to vulgarize and degrade everyone who comes here - I'm sure you've noticed just how much fatter, stupider, ruder, more aggressive and anti-social, later generations of immigrants invariably are.

    But then, they are kind of stuck, aren't they - their societies and economies wrecked by misguided attempts to Westernize, not to mention the deliberate havoc we create in their socities through our policies, as can readily be seen in places like Libya and Syria.

    I'm not saying they're not to blame - it is a sad fact that no country was truly able to resist the siren song of the West.

    But I think we need to understand what's going on, and to not only stop trying to make everyone else like us, but indeed we need to try and learn to become more like everyone else if we are going to survive.

    Funny thing is, guys like Steve Sailor and John Derbtshire recognize the need for us to become like everyone else, theyre just ridiculouslly naive about what parts of our culture need to go - we can't keep our nihilistic science and survive, and their inability to see something so obvious is a problem.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. AaronB says:
    @Michelle
    That begs the question, why then, if they are going to be so damn miserable, do we want them to come here. Better to be a part of a happy community in an African village surrounded by people who are just like you than to be a mentally challenged/ill machete chopper in a large cosmopolitan city in Europe.

    I agree with you completely – they shouldn’t come here, they end up miserable, and so do we. It’s very common for imigrants to find Western countries, especially America, cold, lonely, alienating places, and to deeply regret their move, and in fact life in America tends to vulgarize and degrade everyone who comes here – I’m sure you’ve noticed just how much fatter, stupider, ruder, more aggressive and anti-social, later generations of immigrants invariably are.

    But then, they are kind of stuck, aren’t they – their societies and economies wrecked by misguided attempts to Westernize, not to mention the deliberate havoc we create in their socities through our policies, as can readily be seen in places like Libya and Syria.

    I’m not saying they’re not to blame – it is a sad fact that no country was truly able to resist the siren song of the West.

    But I think we need to understand what’s going on, and to not only stop trying to make everyone else like us, but indeed we need to try and learn to become more like everyone else if we are going to survive.

    Funny thing is, guys like Steve Sailor and John Derbtshire recognize the need for us to become like everyone else, theyre just ridiculouslly naive about what parts of our culture need to go – we can’t keep our nihilistic science and survive, and their inability to see something so obvious is a problem.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. Sam Shama says:
    @AaronB
    Well, Anatoly, in this very post above you say Garrett Jones provides strong evidence that the causality is from IQ towards higher GDP, not, as Ron would have it, the other way around.

    I took this as you endorsing that position, that higher IQ leads to rising wealth, and not that rising wealth leads to higher IQ.

    If that wasn't at least a quasi-endorsement, then I apologize to you most sincerely.

    If you at least are open to the idea that it is wealth that leads to rising IQ, either, as Ron thinks, through providing a more mentally stimulating environment, or, as I do, because it reflects new priorities and preferences, or perhaps both, then I am indeed most pleased and will happilly admit that I misunderstood you.

    I agree with your notion.

    Anatoly, I do enjoy your work and your efforts.

    On the question of IQ influencing real potential GDP growth, I posted [#5] what I thought was a relevant observation. If IQ+ –> PGDP+ , the opposite appears to be the U.S. experience, in that about a decade after the 1965 Immigration Act, when [presumably] lower IQ immigrants started to arrive on these shores, the trajectory of PGDP got steeper. How to explain this? [note I am not necessarily advocating more immigration]

    I can offer a bribe :-)

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. @AaronB
    Well, Anatoly, in this very post above you say Garrett Jones provides strong evidence that the causality is from IQ towards higher GDP, not, as Ron would have it, the other way around.

    I took this as you endorsing that position, that higher IQ leads to rising wealth, and not that rising wealth leads to higher IQ.

    If that wasn't at least a quasi-endorsement, then I apologize to you most sincerely.

    If you at least are open to the idea that it is wealth that leads to rising IQ, either, as Ron thinks, through providing a more mentally stimulating environment, or, as I do, because it reflects new priorities and preferences, or perhaps both, then I am indeed most pleased and will happilly admit that I misunderstood you.

    In short, the general consensus in the HBDsphere and for that matter amongst professional psychometricians (see Rindermann’s expert survey 2016) seems to be that while it goes both ways, the IQ –> wealth effect is considerably stronger.

    Here is a comment I made to an /r/slatestarcodex discussion on the validity of IQ on this very matter:

    I suspect many people in the HBDsphere have their favorite “launching pads” for beginning these discussions. Mine takes the form of a challenge. Standardized intelligence tests (PISA) have shown that Chinese schoolchildren perform better than the average for the developed OECD countries, even though at least until recently China was a fairly poor country. (At around $14,000 PPP today, it is still lower than Mexico’s level). Meanwhile, US blacks consistently perform 1S.D. worse than US whites (documented to oblivion), and the rich Arab oil states if anything do even worse – even though per pupil spending in both cases is an order of magnitude higher than in China. How do you explain this with the assumption that most or all of the causality between wealth and IQ goes from the former to the latter?

    Second challenge, which is really mostly an extension of the above – Why are virtually all exceptions to the otherwise extremely strong correlation (r=0.9+!) between IQ and wealth either oil states (upwards outliers) or states with a Communist/central planning legacy (downwards outliers)?

    Incidentally, Ron Unz himself, whose ideas on this matter you evidently weigh very heavily, came out with a theory of The East Asian Exception to Socio-Economic IQ Influences.

    Of course there are a couple of problems with it.

    First off, the idea that East Asians would be unaffected by Flynn gains, suggesting as it does major physiological/metabolic differences relative to the other human races, seems far more amazingly racialist than almost any other theory in the HBDsphere.

    Second, it’s very likely simply false.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Thanks for responding.

    I'm wary of relying on any consensus among psycometricians, because I believe they operate from unconscious biases and regularly fail to analyze the issue from a useful level of concrete detail, and instead rely on airy abstractions which aggregate a number of disparate factors into a "trend", which typically illuminates at least as much as it disguises. For that reason it might be useful to unpack some of our assumptions and descend to concrete factors.

    For instance, if the Flynn Effect is simply due to increasing complexity of environment, then East Asian exceptionalism in this regard need not suggest any dire racial difference, but merely the possible fact East Asian urban environments have had a high and relatively stable level of urban complexity for much longer than anyone else.

    Similarly, the facts about American blacks and Chinese school children might, if we descend from abstract aggregates to concrete realities, reflect realities about those communities that belie their respective positions in rich and poor countries.

    For instance, if, as I believe, the mechanism by which rising GDP leads to higher IQ is at least in part a simple change in priorities and preferences, then American blacks might have missed out on this effect due to entrenched social attitudes against "acting white" - adopting the priorities and preferences of white people - that are historically conditioned for this community.

    A similar mechanism might be in effect in the opposite direction for Chinese school children, who might have priorities and preferences - pride in scholarship, familial honor, high ambition, willingness to sacrifice personal gratification (be a "grind"), study long hours, a burning desire to catch up with the West - that are reflected in higher IQ than might be expected from GDP alone. Surely the PISA test would be responsive to such factors as I just listed.

    So to really understand what's going on we need to disaggregate a trend into its concrete factors, which yields a richer and more complex picture. Ron Unz merely identified a "trend" - and any sufficiently large trend contains counterfactuals to that trend.

    In fact, the "trend" of IQ being highly correlated to GDP is significantly complicated by the pesky fact that East Asian countries tend to be poorer than Western countries despite notably higher IQs, What to make of that? Of course, we can just smooth out these bumps and come up with a nice and tidy abstraction that makes us feel great and in control, or we can focus on all the fascinating incongruities and be forced to come up with a more comprehensive theory, which is, I believe, how knowledge increases.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. @Sam Shama
    Anatoly:
    On 'Hive Mind' and the implications of introducing lower IQ cohorts [Rindermann and Thompson estimate a 4.71 pts lower on average], you wrote:

    ....resulting in long-term decrease of the “equilibrium” level of GDP per capita relative to what it would otherwise be.

    prompts me to query:

    (1) are you saying Potential GDP tracks a level consistent with a production function which otherwise would enjoy parameters, that shift the function [perhaps parallely] up? If so, have you, or anyone researching this idea done any theoretical [or empirical] work?

    (2) notice in the case of the U.S., the Potential Real GDP displays an unmistakeable increase in positive slope from around 1982 [following the recession of the late 70's], which only gets more pronounced with time, until the 2008 financial crisis, following which, PGDP tracks a permanently downshifted path. The 1982-2008 period is interesting in this context, I think, since it marks a decade and a half or so, after the 1965 Immigration Reform Act.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GDPPOT

    (1) are you saying Potential GDP tracks a level consistent with a production function which otherwise would enjoy parameters, that shift the function [perhaps parallely] up? If so, have you, or anyone researching this idea done any theoretical [or empirical] work?

    Yes.

    So really we are speaking of the total productivity factor A in the Cobb-Douglas function, and in which we can consider that A = f(T,M,X) where T is global technology level, M is “mindpower,” and X is sundry other factors (the most significant of which will be institutions/economic system).

    (Note that potential GDP in this context is very long run “should be” GDP, not the standard “full employment GDP.”)

    This makes intuitive sense because one would think that prosperity depends not only on the technology at your disposal but how well you know how to make use of it.

    And there does seem to be a very general relationship wherein one S.D. increases in IQ seem to correlate to threefold increases in GDP (PPP) per capita.

    I don’t know if anybody has developed this with any rigor though. (Studies have been done with standard economic “human capital” measures i.e. years of schooling, which unsurprisingly showed that when accounting for it, the role of TFP was reduced. This is not the same thing however.)

    (2) notice in the case of the U.S., the Potential Real GDP displays an unmistakeable increase in positive slope from around 1982 [following the recession of the late 70's], which only gets more pronounced with time, until the 2008 financial crisis, following which, PGDP tracks a permanently downshifted path. The 1982-2008 period is interesting in this context, I think, since it marks a decade and a half or so, after the 1965 Immigration Reform Act.

    … ?

    A graph based on exponential growth will always show “an unmistakeable increase in positive slope.” Of greater import is the change in the rate of change.

    There have been two (now perhaps three) distinct growth phases in the US economy since 1950: Very fast from 1950-1973; substantially slowed down during 1973-2008; perhaps even slower from 2008 on (we’ll see).

    The entire world was growing very quickly during the first phase (miracle economy, Wirtschaftswunder, trentes glorieuses, etc), and this is generally acknolwedged to have been due to a happy confluence of fast tech growth i.e. the electro-mechanical revolution and cheap energy prices. A “hive minder” would also note that the Flynn effect was most intense during this period.

    Growth slowed down after 1973 not on account of changes in US immigration legislation (to any significant extent) but due to the end of that happy confluence.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  29. AaronB says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    In short, the general consensus in the HBDsphere and for that matter amongst professional psychometricians (see Rindermann's expert survey 2016) seems to be that while it goes both ways, the IQ --> wealth effect is considerably stronger.

    Here is a comment I made to an /r/slatestarcodex discussion on the validity of IQ on this very matter:

    I suspect many people in the HBDsphere have their favorite "launching pads" for beginning these discussions. Mine takes the form of a challenge. Standardized intelligence tests (PISA) have shown that Chinese schoolchildren perform better than the average for the developed OECD countries, even though at least until recently China was a fairly poor country. (At around $14,000 PPP today, it is still lower than Mexico's level). Meanwhile, US blacks consistently perform 1S.D. worse than US whites (documented to oblivion), and the rich Arab oil states if anything do even worse - even though per pupil spending in both cases is an order of magnitude higher than in China. How do you explain this with the assumption that most or all of the causality between wealth and IQ goes from the former to the latter?

    Second challenge, which is really mostly an extension of the above - Why are virtually all exceptions to the otherwise extremely strong correlation (r=0.9+!) between IQ and wealth either oil states (upwards outliers) or states with a Communist/central planning legacy (downwards outliers)?
     
    Incidentally, Ron Unz himself, whose ideas on this matter you evidently weigh very heavily, came out with a theory of The East Asian Exception to Socio-Economic IQ Influences.

    Of course there are a couple of problems with it.

    First off, the idea that East Asians would be unaffected by Flynn gains, suggesting as it does major physiological/metabolic differences relative to the other human races, seems far more amazingly racialist than almost any other theory in the HBDsphere.

    Second, it's very likely simply false.

    Thanks for responding.

    I’m wary of relying on any consensus among psycometricians, because I believe they operate from unconscious biases and regularly fail to analyze the issue from a useful level of concrete detail, and instead rely on airy abstractions which aggregate a number of disparate factors into a “trend”, which typically illuminates at least as much as it disguises. For that reason it might be useful to unpack some of our assumptions and descend to concrete factors.

    For instance, if the Flynn Effect is simply due to increasing complexity of environment, then East Asian exceptionalism in this regard need not suggest any dire racial difference, but merely the possible fact East Asian urban environments have had a high and relatively stable level of urban complexity for much longer than anyone else.

    Similarly, the facts about American blacks and Chinese school children might, if we descend from abstract aggregates to concrete realities, reflect realities about those communities that belie their respective positions in rich and poor countries.

    For instance, if, as I believe, the mechanism by which rising GDP leads to higher IQ is at least in part a simple change in priorities and preferences, then American blacks might have missed out on this effect due to entrenched social attitudes against “acting white” – adopting the priorities and preferences of white people – that are historically conditioned for this community.

    A similar mechanism might be in effect in the opposite direction for Chinese school children, who might have priorities and preferences – pride in scholarship, familial honor, high ambition, willingness to sacrifice personal gratification (be a “grind”), study long hours, a burning desire to catch up with the West – that are reflected in higher IQ than might be expected from GDP alone. Surely the PISA test would be responsive to such factors as I just listed.

    So to really understand what’s going on we need to disaggregate a trend into its concrete factors, which yields a richer and more complex picture. Ron Unz merely identified a “trend” – and any sufficiently large trend contains counterfactuals to that trend.

    In fact, the “trend” of IQ being highly correlated to GDP is significantly complicated by the pesky fact that East Asian countries tend to be poorer than Western countries despite notably higher IQs, What to make of that? Of course, we can just smooth out these bumps and come up with a nice and tidy abstraction that makes us feel great and in control, or we can focus on all the fascinating incongruities and be forced to come up with a more comprehensive theory, which is, I believe, how knowledge increases.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Anatoly Karlin Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation