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oecd-skills-outlook-2013

While data from various IQ tests are useful for global scale analyses (e.g. GDPcc correlations), they are far less reliable for particular countries. That’s why I’m a big fan of the OECD’s PISA assessments, which are highly standardized, have large samples from similar age groups, take place concurrently once every three years, test those aspects of intelligence most intuitively relevant to economic success (i.e. application of numeracy and literacy skills in novel situations), and enjoy strong face validity (i.e. very few “strange” results).

However, there is also the temporal dimension. All these IQ maps that you see today are almost entirely based on testing children/teenagers from the current year to 1948, the earliest year on David Becker’s database as of now (although with attempts to correct them through reference to contemporary UK standardization samples). PISA and TIMSS are rather tidier, with large, representative samples of teenagers getting tested at set ages and at set years. Still, even this isn’t perfect, because countries vary in their educational and auxological histories, which will have varying knock-on effects on the intelligence of different cohorts.

The correlations between cohorts will still be very good (after all, IQ is strongly hereditary, and the quality of the environment will itself tend to be strongly correlated to average IQ). But there will be some interesting outliers, both positive and negative. For instance, the gap between the youngest and oldest cohorts can be expected to be greater in countries such as South Korea, which transitioned from the Third World to the First in the space of half a century. It can likewise be expected to be smaller in countries like the United Kingdom, which sprang off from a high base – it started the last century as the workshop of the world, and was less damaged by WW2 than most other European countries – but plummeted in relative terms ever since. Understanding cohort dynamics will also make it possible to do, say, more fine-grained analyses between national IQ and socio-economic success.

So it’s a bit surprising that hardly any attention has been devoted to another OECD program, PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies), which tests a range of cohorts instead of just teenagers.

The first round of the assessment in 2012 covered the following 22 countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden the United States; Chile, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Lithuania, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey joining in 2014.

The following documents/dataset refers refers to the first round of PIAAC:

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find data for the later countries in one place, though I haven’t looked very hard. It appears that the next round of PIAAC will take place in 2020.

In the rest of this post, I will highlight some of the more interesting data from there. For comprehensibility, all numbers have been converted to the IQ scale, with the England/N. Ireland average set to its traditional “Greenwich Mean” of 100 and S.D. = 15.

PIAAC 2012: Literacy, Numeracy, Average IQ

. Literacy Numeracy Average
Japan 107.1 107.3 107.2
Finland 104.5 105.7 105.1
Netherlands 103.4 105.1 104.3
Sweden 102.0 104.8 103.4
Norway 101.8 104.6 103.2
Flanders (Belgium) 100.9 105.2 103.0
Czech Republic 100.4 103.9 102.2
Slovak Republic 100.4 103.9 102.1
Estonia 101.0 103.2 102.1
Denmark 99.5 104.6 102.0
Australia 102.4 101.6 102.0
Russian Federation 100.8 102.3 101.5
Austria 99.1 103.7 101.4
Germany 99.2 102.8 101.0
Canada 100.3 101.1 100.7
Korea 100.0 100.5 100.3
England/N. Ireland (UK) 100.0 100.0 100.0
Cyprus 98.9 100.8 99.8
Poland 98.3 99.5 98.9
United States 99.2 97.5 98.4
Ireland 98.2 98.3 98.3
France 96.9 97.9 97.4
Spain 93.8 95.6 94.7
Italy 93.4 96.0 94.7
Average 100.1 101.9 101.0

No surprises here, except perhaps Korea’s figures being a bit lower than expected. We’ll come to that.

Difference in Performance: Youngest (16-24) vs. Oldest (55-65)

. Literacy Numeracy Average
Korea 14.6 14.7 14.7
Spain 11.1 10.4 10.7
France 9.9 8.8 9.3
Finland 11.1 7.4 9.2
Poland 9.7 7.5 8.6
Netherlands 10.1 7.0 8.6
Flanders (Belgium) 9.0 6.9 7.9
Austria 8.4 6.5 7.4
Italy 8.2 6.6 7.4
Estonia 7.9 5.7 6.8
Germany 7.6 5.6 6.6
Australia 6.4 5.9 6.1
Ireland 6.0 5.9 5.9
Japan 7.8 3.0 5.4
Czech Republic 5.4 4.4 4.9
Canada 4.6 5.1 4.8
Denmark 7.1 2.3 4.7
Sweden 6.1 3.0 4.5
Slovak Republic 3.0 3.8 3.4
Cyprus 1.9 4.2 3.1
Norway 3.9 1.9 2.9
United States 2.6 0.7 1.6
Russian Federation -0.2 1.8 0.8
England/N. Ireland (UK) 0.2 0.0 0.1
Average 7.3 5.6 6.4

As hypothesized, Korea has the largest cohort Flynn effect; in age-adjusted terms, while its young perform as well as the best (Japan, Netherlands, Finland), its elderly are near the back of the queue.

Incidentally, Turkey – not covered in the first round of this assessment, but I found figures for it in its national report from the second round – has a difference of 13.8 IQ points between its oldest and youngest cohorts. This makes patent sense in the context of it going from a Third World country in the 1950s, to an upper middle-income one today.

In contrast, the UK and the US – already relatively well developed countries in the 1950s, when their boomers appeared – barely eked out any increase in the ensuing fifty years.

The big exception here is Russia. As I speculated in my mega-article on Russian IQ for Sputnik and Pogrom, this may have been linked to the alcohol epidemic that began in Russia from around the mid-1960s, when life expectancy plateaued and consequently stagnated for the next half-century. It is not a big stretch to imagine there were similar dynamics in the country’s psychometric profile, with any Flynn effects from continuing development being annulled by the flood of vodka of the late Soviet era.

On the bright side, Russia’s alcohol epidemic has more or less ended, and – as I predicted back in 2012 – IQ amongst the youngest cohorts has been going up for the past decade (e.g. from 95 in PISA 2000-2009 to 99 by PISA 2015; Sugonyev’s yet unpublished military data).

Sociological observation of questionable validity: The three laggards here, the US, Russia, and the UK, are all especially (in)famous for developing a sizable lumpenproletariat class during this period (respectively, white/trailer trash, gopniks, and chavs).

Difference in Performance: Men vs. Women

. Literacy Numeracy Average
Flanders (Belgium) 2.0 4.4 3.2
Germany 1.6 4.8 3.2
Norway 2.0 4.1 3.1
Netherlands 1.2 4.6 2.9
Spain 2.0 3.5 2.7
Sweden 1.6 3.8 2.7
Canada 1.3 4.0 2.7
Australia 1.3 3.8 2.6
Ireland 1.6 3.3 2.4
England/N. Ireland (UK) 0.8 4.0 2.4
United States 0.7 3.9 2.3
Korea 1.7 2.9 2.3
Austria 0.7 3.7 2.2
Japan 0.7 3.4 2.0
Denmark 1.1 2.9 2.0
Czech Republic 1.4 2.5 1.9
France 0.6 3.0 1.8
Finland 0.7 2.8 1.8
Italy 0.1 3.0 1.5
Estonia 0.8 1.7 1.2
Cyprus -0.3 2.0 0.9
Slovak Republic -0.5 0.7 0.1
Poland -0.5 0.5 0.0
Russian Federation -1.3 -0.9 -1.1
Average 1.0 3.2 2.1

The Germanic lands – or perhaps countries characterized by the authoritarian family model – are characterized by significantly brighter males, while the Latin and Slavic lands lean in the other direction.

In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills. Possibly this is also a function of Russian men having borne the brunt of the 1965-2015 alcohol epidemic.

Difference in Performance: Natives vs. Immigrants

. Literacy Numeracy Average
Sweden 15.8 16.0 15.9
Finland 16.1 13.9 15.0
Norway 13.1 15.5 14.3
Flanders (Belgium) 14.5 13.9 14.2
Korea 16.2 12.2 14.2
Netherlands 12.1 13.2 12.6
Denmark 12.8 11.9 12.4
France 10.6 12.4 11.5
England/N. Ireland (UK) 10.3 11.8 11.0
Australia 11.1 10.5 10.8
Austria 9.4 11.2 10.3
Spain 10.2 9.4 9.8
Germany 9.3 9.8 9.5
Canada 9.9 8.7 9.3
United States 9.2 6.7 8.0
Italy 8.8 6.6 7.7
Ireland 8.7 6.2 7.4
Cyprus 7.8 6.0 6.9
Estonia 4.7 2.6 3.6
Czech Republic 1.0 1.5 1.3
Slovak Republic -0.5 0.4 -0.1
Japan . . .
Poland . . .
Russian Federation . . .
Average 10.1 9.5 9.8

No surprises here, I think. Seems to correlate with the PISA data (see “Not Sending Their Best”: World Map of IQ Drop Due to Immigration).

Difference in Performance: Skilled vs. Elementary Occupations

. Literacy Numeracy Average
Austria 7.9 9.4 8.7
England/N. Ireland (UK) 7.8 9.5 8.6
Canada 7.6 9.1 8.4
United States 7.5 8.2 7.8
Sweden 7.3 8.3 7.8
France 6.1 9.3 7.7
Norway 7.6 7.7 7.7
Czech Republic 6.8 8.4 7.6
Australia 7.1 7.7 7.4
Netherlands 7.0 7.2 7.1
Italy 6.0 8.1 7.1
Flanders (Belgium) 6.3 7.3 6.8
Germany 6.0 6.8 6.4
Poland 5.9 6.9 6.4
Finland 5.4 6.7 6.0
Denmark 5.5 6.0 5.7
Korea 5.7 5.6 5.7
Spain 5.1 6.1 5.6
Estonia 4.7 6.2 5.4
Japan 3.6 6.9 5.3
Cyprus 3.3 7.1 5.2
Ireland 3.8 5.0 4.4
Slovak Republic 2.9 5.3 4.1
Russian Federation 2.1 . 2.1
Average 6.1 7.3 6.7

To maximize output and social welfare, you want to cluster your brighter people in the skilled, complex jobs of the “O-Ring economy“, while simple, “foolproof” jobs can be done by pretty much anybody reasonably effectively. It doesn’t matter if a waiter is 145 IQ or 100 IQ, but it certainly does if he’s a CEO.

As Murray and Herrnstein showed in The Bell Curve, the effectiveness of this cognitive sorting mechanism has increased by leaps and bounds in the US since the 1950s.

The PIAAC data suggests Anglos and Scandinavians are the best at this, which might be one more factor that explains their unusual economic and scientific dynamism, even relative to their IQs.

The Japanese do worse at this, possibly being held back by cultural factors (deference to age and other elements of social status).

Russia is at the very bottom of the list, suggesting highly inefficient cognitive selection. The pessimistic but plausible explanation that comes to mind is endemic corruption and nepotism.

Parting Thoughts

1. In particular, we need a more serious, in-depth analysis of the PIAAC data. Conversion of disparate tables floating about in PDF and Excel format on the Internet into one database.

2. In general, greater focus on tracking IQ across all relevant dimensions (nations; subregions; time; cohorts) to enable deeper, finer-grained economic/demographic analysis.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Flynn Effect, IQ, Psychometrics 
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  1. I’ve heard of PIAAC before, though I’m not sure how relevant it is given that it tests a much broader cohort. For countries such as US or UK, that may make sense but for Korea or Poland, it makes a lot less sense given that there are huge skill gaps between generations. That probably also explains why Korea is doing rather poorly. In the case of Poland, we’ve had massive brain drain for decades now. Only now is this starting to subside. A large fraction of our best brains are now abroad.

    PISA measures inherent IQ better because emigration is not yet ongoing at age 15 in any large numbers and it neutralises any lagging generational gap.

    I would also question your last inference from the final table re: sorting. I don’t have any problems with your concept, only that the table is a good illustration of it. The Nordics have Sweden and Norway high on the list but Finland and Denmark are at or even below average. Denmark and Germany are both much more efficient economies but rank lower than France or Italy. Italy in particular is known for high nepotism and inefficient allocation of both human and economic capital, as well as being a stagnant economy. I don’t think a firm conclusion can be made from that table, too much noise for that hypothesis.

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  2. Russia is at the very bottom of the list, suggesting highly inefficient cognitive selection. The pessimistic but plausible explanation that comes to mind is endemic corruption and nepotism.

    Lol. No.

    Anybody who has ever lived in Russia knows that so-called “skilled” occupations is just a way of underhandedly distributing welfare money. Russia has no welfare as such, but instead millions of fake “teachers”, “doctors” and “researchers” who would be otherwise forced to dumpster dive for aluminum cans.

    This is a Soviet legacy and will slowly disappear over the next generation or two.

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    • Disagree: j
    • Replies: @Medvedev

    fake “teachers”, “doctors” and “researchers”
     

    This is a Soviet legacy
     
    Funny how fake students taught by fake teachers beat the cr*p out of competitors in math, physics, computer science etc.
    Fake teachers and scientists sent first artificial satellite into space, first human into space, built aircrafts and space rockets, had 2nd industrial military complex etc, etc, etc.
    Not being a fan of Soviet Union and communism, quite the opposite harsh critique of the communism. But your post is too arrogant.
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  3. This is somewhat OT, but we talk of TIMMS/PIRLS being a proxy for educational quality. Turns out that PISA has been focused on the same topic, by looking at the “most disadvantaged students” and how they perform as a measurement of school system efficiency. We often focus on the top performers, but looking at the bottom can sometimes also be beneficial for a more complete understanding.

    http://www.oecd.org/pisa/publications/pisainfocus.htm (It’s Number 80)

    It’s a brief but informative pdf. Finland and Korea have both seen large declines in their bottom-tier performance, which is defined as the percentage of their weakest students reaching level 3. Level 3 is merely okay, for context. Though to be fair to them both still do well. It’s just that their 2006 performance was superhuman(the comparison period).

    But what’s most interesting, though perhaps self-explanatory, is this:

    Across the vast majority of education systems examined, the likelihood that disadvantaged students are resilient is higher in schools where students reported a good disciplinary climate, compared to schools with more disruptive environments, even after accounting for differences in students’ and schools’ socio-economic profile and other individual characteristics associated with resilience

    So for all the flowery talk of “creativity and exploration”, it turns out that the weakest are best helped by a “good disciplinary environment”.

    By contrast, the likelihood of resilience among disadvantaged students is only weakly related to the amount of human and material resources available in their schools. Student-computer ratios, for example, are unrelated to the share of resilient students, after accounting for the disciplinary climate and student background; and the number of extracurricular activities is only weakly related to this share, on average across countries. In many countries, disadvantaged students are more likely to be resilient in schools that offer many extracurricular activities (and have the resources to do so); however, the average association between resilience and extracurricular activities is weak, and some countries even show a negative association between extracurricular activities and student resilience.

    Throwing more money or more activities at the problem won’t help either. Though we know that. What’s interesting is that they find a positive relationship with class size(not in the quote, but in the pdf), i.e. larger classes meant better performance. However they caution on this, and claim it could reflect compensatory factors.

    One interesting thing that stands out is Turkey. It actually increased it’s share of level 3 performance among the worst students, yet it’s overall scores have gone down in recent years. This may mean that, say, the Anatolian ignorants are now perhaps not (as) ignorant anymore. Maybe even the Kurds have been getting better education. At the same time, given the overall decline in scores, it would also mean that the smart fraction is shrinking rapidly, possibly due to dysgenic fertility patterns.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Finland and Korea have both seen large declines in their bottom-tier performance, which is defined as the percentage of their weakest students reaching level 3...

    So for all the flowery talk of “creativity and exploration”, it turns out that the weakest are best helped by a “good disciplinary environment”.
     
    There has been a strong pressure in South Korea to end corporal punishment in the recent decade. It is now illegal with a few exceptions, and I suspect the quantity of physical punishment doled out to pupils has declined sunbstantially whereas it was pervasive and quite harsh in the past.
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  4. utu says:

    Why results in some tables above are in pseudo-IQ scale? Who converted it, how and why?

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I did, using the average S.D.'s given here, on pp.259 and pp.264, because the standard IQ scale is more intuitive.
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  5. j says: • Website

    anonymous coward: In Israel we have many Russian immigrant professionals, and they possess superb hard science formation. I admit that it is possible that you are commenting on a different population, because no Jew in Russia ever was granted an “honorary” diploma. May be you are referring to Vladimir Putin’s Ph.D. or similar official functionaries, or just informal politeness addresses like calling professor the judo trainer.

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    • Replies: @ussr andy
    the USSR prided itself in having made "scientist" a mass occupation. this is an old perestroika meme, borne out of really existing resentment over people in skilled occupations but incompetent or with shitty work ethic and no recourse for the employer or colleagues to do anything about them, because Communism. the fact however is that one needs to be an above-average functioning person to graduate from university, even a Russian one, even in soft subjects. And it's not a Russian problem, in the West, they become professional SJWs and the like.
    , @anonymous coward

    I admit that it is possible that you are commenting on a different population, because no Jew in Russia ever was granted an “honorary” diploma. May be you are referring to Vladimir Putin’s Ph.D. or similar official functionaries, or just informal politeness addresses like calling professor the judo trainer.
     
    No, I'm talking about people stranded after the Soviet Union collapsed, continuing to fill jobs that now make no sense and that nobody needs.

    They can't be thrown out on the street, but they're not contributing in any productive manner to society either.
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  6. @utu
    Why results in some tables above are in pseudo-IQ scale? Who converted it, how and why?

    I did, using the average S.D.’s given here, on pp.259 and pp.264, because the standard IQ scale is more intuitive.

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    • Replies: @utu
    OK. I see. In table A2.2b they give Avg Mean = 270.7 and Avg SD =50.1 The average Avg is over individual countries where Mean and SD are within countries. The actual SD of combined (composite) populations of all countries will be larger than the Avg SD in the table however I do not think that by much. Though one could calculate it exactly from the data in the table (pooled variance).

    The other option would be to use Mean and SD for UK as Mean_IQ=100 and SD_IQ=15 suppose to be a standard. After looking at your table I realized that this is what you did. Perhaps using data for UK from table A2.4.

    I think it would be a good habit to give the additive and multiplicative factors that were used in data scaling just in case somebody wants to, say cite your note.
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  7. neutral says:

    What is the reason that PIAAC has so few countries taking part? Is it because of PC and it will show black countries consistently being last on the list?

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    • Replies: @wrd9
    Here's one analysis comparing African students math test scores to PISA scores.

    https://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/math-scores-fourteen-african-countries0.pdf

    Here's the confirmation -

    "Given the score gaps reported in Table 5, the most optimistic results would
    still imply several decades if not centuries are needed for African countries’ mathematics
    performance to converge to OECD levels at current rates of progress."

    And a not surprising article about South Africa's educational system. Reminds me of what's happening in cities like Baltimore. Notice that any successes are because of white leadership.

    https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21713858-why-it-bottom-class-south-africa-has-one-worlds-worst-education

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  8. Poles and especially Italians being that stupid is very surprising. A 98 IQ is barely smart enough to breath and a 94 IQ is retard tier.

    In America, the Italian Americans are all Sicilians, who are the stupidest of all of the Italian groups, and as somebody who went to high school with a lot of Italian Americans, there is no way that their average IQ is only 94.

    I liked the stuff about women being less intelligent than men but otherwise this study seems made up.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    It makes sense once you realize that IQ is at least as much about motivation as it is about innate ability, as you can't measure innate ability in the abstract. It always comes bundled up with motivation.

    Once you grasp that, the world makes so much more sense.

    Your Italians just weren't that interested in the kinds of stuff techno-utopians are, so their lack of motivation drags their "official" scores down.

    People have a need to assume their values are universally shared - which is why techno-utopians are unwilling to accept that motivation is a big part of IQ. It's natural and normal.

    It took me forever and tons of travel to realize my values weren't universally human. If you live in a bubble of like minded people you'll never realize it.

    The best way to take this list is to see at as a measure of which countries are most interested in tech stuff. Innate ability is a part of it, but it's impossible to tease out how much.

    This list can be very useful and interesting if seen this way.
    , @anon
    I have been wondering, given the objective utility of IQ and its general predictive value for higher living standards and advancement, if it could be maximized in a population, especially one with generally open values with strong visualization abilities, for example the Ashkenazi Jews. Wouldn't it maximize utilization of the limited resources on Earth if Ashkenazi population could be provided with the vast majority of liquid resources so that they can implement it for the betterment of humanity and slowly breed out the harmful impulses that are still in the majority of less developed humans?
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  9. AaronB says:
    @Greasy William
    Poles and especially Italians being that stupid is very surprising. A 98 IQ is barely smart enough to breath and a 94 IQ is retard tier.

    In America, the Italian Americans are all Sicilians, who are the stupidest of all of the Italian groups, and as somebody who went to high school with a lot of Italian Americans, there is no way that their average IQ is only 94.

    I liked the stuff about women being less intelligent than men but otherwise this study seems made up.

    It makes sense once you realize that IQ is at least as much about motivation as it is about innate ability, as you can’t measure innate ability in the abstract. It always comes bundled up with motivation.

    Once you grasp that, the world makes so much more sense.

    Your Italians just weren’t that interested in the kinds of stuff techno-utopians are, so their lack of motivation drags their “official” scores down.

    People have a need to assume their values are universally shared – which is why techno-utopians are unwilling to accept that motivation is a big part of IQ. It’s natural and normal.

    It took me forever and tons of travel to realize my values weren’t universally human. If you live in a bubble of like minded people you’ll never realize it.

    The best way to take this list is to see at as a measure of which countries are most interested in tech stuff. Innate ability is a part of it, but it’s impossible to tease out how much.

    This list can be very useful and interesting if seen this way.

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    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @Talha
    And IQ changes...

    "The most common way of assessing intelligence is IQ testing. The Flynn effect describes the phenomenon that over time average IQ scores have been increasing in all countries since the turn of the twentieth century (the earliest point in time for which data is available). The change in IQ scores has been approximately three IQ points per decade. One major implications of this trend is that an average individual alive today would have an IQ of 130 by the standards of 1910, making them more intelligent than 98% of the population at that time. Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world."
    https://ourworldindata.org/intelligence

    Apparently, the city of New York was built by a bunch of retarted people. Ditto the discovery of flight - amazing what retarded people can do!

    Peace.
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  10. utu says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I did, using the average S.D.'s given here, on pp.259 and pp.264, because the standard IQ scale is more intuitive.

    OK. I see. In table A2.2b they give Avg Mean = 270.7 and Avg SD =50.1 The average Avg is over individual countries where Mean and SD are within countries. The actual SD of combined (composite) populations of all countries will be larger than the Avg SD in the table however I do not think that by much. Though one could calculate it exactly from the data in the table (pooled variance).

    The other option would be to use Mean and SD for UK as Mean_IQ=100 and SD_IQ=15 suppose to be a standard. After looking at your table I realized that this is what you did. Perhaps using data for UK from table A2.4.

    I think it would be a good habit to give the additive and multiplicative factors that were used in data scaling just in case somebody wants to, say cite your note.

    Read More
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  11. In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills. Possibly this is also a function of Russian men having borne the brunt of the 1965-2015 alcohol epidemic.

    My subjective impression is that the population of Russian men seems to be either normally distributed but with extraordinarily large variance or perhaps not even normally distributed (!) and with extraordinarily fat tails. The population of Russian women, on the other hand, seems typical, except with a somewhat high mean for both intelligence and beauty. One result of this is that I see a depressing number of intelligent and good looking women with rather lackluster men.

    If I didn’t find handling one intelligent and beautiful Russian wife such hard work, I’d have to ask Talha to help me convert so that I could start a harem.

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  12. melanf says:

    In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills.

    For University students in Russia, this is obviously wrong – guys on average clearly smarter than the girls.

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    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    I’ve seen a fairly large sample of students in science. Of course the strongest students are men. But I very much disagree about the average. See my other comment. One very big problem with the men is that they are incredily irresponsible, and often unwilling to do even the most simple tasks in order to avoid failing a course and be sent off to Donbass and Syria. I haven’t seen anything like it in the other five countries where I’ve lived and worked, and I can’t get over it.

    melanf, I recognize your experience can be rather different from mine. Do you have a recent sample of university students? In which kind of subject?

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  13. In Russia, the school you attend determines your University entrance. Ordinary Russian parents believe teachers to be corrupt in awarding places.

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    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    This may be true on average (I don’t know), but our department gives an entrance exam that we ourselves write, and entrance is based mostly on the results of the exam. There’s no way, absolutely no way, to buy a position. Anyway, if you wanted to buy a position, you should do it in some trivial subject where you don’t have to do much work in order to pass.
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  14. @melanf

    In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills.
     
    For University students in Russia, this is obviously wrong - guys on average clearly smarter than the girls.

    I’ve seen a fairly large sample of students in science. Of course the strongest students are men. But I very much disagree about the average. See my other comment. One very big problem with the men is that they are incredily irresponsible, and often unwilling to do even the most simple tasks in order to avoid failing a course and be sent off to Donbass and Syria. I haven’t seen anything like it in the other five countries where I’ve lived and worked, and I can’t get over it.

    melanf, I recognize your experience can be rather different from mine. Do you have a recent sample of university students? In which kind of subject?

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    melanf, I recognize your experience can be rather different from mine. Do you have a recent sample of university students? In which kind of subject?
     
    technical University
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  15. @Philip Owen
    In Russia, the school you attend determines your University entrance. Ordinary Russian parents believe teachers to be corrupt in awarding places.

    This may be true on average (I don’t know), but our department gives an entrance exam that we ourselves write, and entrance is based mostly on the results of the exam. There’s no way, absolutely no way, to buy a position. Anyway, if you wanted to buy a position, you should do it in some trivial subject where you don’t have to do much work in order to pass.

    Read More
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  16. Cicerone says:

    Nice analysis! I am a bit puzzled by the low numbers of Italy. They are close to the performance of Southern Italian students (around 94) instead of being closer to but below 100.

    Read More
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  17. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Greasy William
    Poles and especially Italians being that stupid is very surprising. A 98 IQ is barely smart enough to breath and a 94 IQ is retard tier.

    In America, the Italian Americans are all Sicilians, who are the stupidest of all of the Italian groups, and as somebody who went to high school with a lot of Italian Americans, there is no way that their average IQ is only 94.

    I liked the stuff about women being less intelligent than men but otherwise this study seems made up.

    I have been wondering, given the objective utility of IQ and its general predictive value for higher living standards and advancement, if it could be maximized in a population, especially one with generally open values with strong visualization abilities, for example the Ashkenazi Jews. Wouldn’t it maximize utilization of the limited resources on Earth if Ashkenazi population could be provided with the vast majority of liquid resources so that they can implement it for the betterment of humanity and slowly breed out the harmful impulses that are still in the majority of less developed humans?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Toby Keith
    Ashkenazim are known more for verbal ability than spatial.

    The Talmud (and history) show that Jews are a race of murderers who will use any resources availed them to destroy the most productive and creative race (Whites).
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  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills.

    Nope. Acceptance rates for females in the elite schools like Физтех и МФТИ remains in the vicinity of 33%. Girl really are not that much into physics and engineering.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    ... like Физтех и МФТИ
     
    They're the same thing. :)
    , @AP

    In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills.

    Nope. Acceptance rates for females in the elite schools like Физтех и МФТИ remains in the vicinity of 33%. Girl really are not that much into physics and engineering.
     
    Likely explanation for this (which also explains why fewer females in STEM fields is not caused by discrimination against females):

    http://www.cds.web.unc.edu/files/2014/10/not_lack_of_ability.pdf

    In a national study of over 1,000 high school students, they found that:

    1. 70 percent more girls than boys had strong math and verbal skills;

    2. Boys were more than twice as likely as girls to have strong math skills but not strong verbal skills;

    3. People (regardless of whether they were male or female) who had only strong math skills as students were more likely to be working in STEM fields at age 33 than were other students;

    4. People (regardless of whether they were male or female) with strong math and verbal skills as students were less likely to be working in STEM fields at age 33 than were those with only strong math skills.

    “Results revealed that mathematically capable individuals who also had high verbal skills were less likely to pursue STEM careers than were individuals who had high math skills but moderate verbal skills. One notable finding was that the group with high math and high verbal ability included more females than males…

    Our study provides evidence that it is not lack of ability that causes females to pursue non-STEM careers, but rather the greater likelihood that females with high math ability also have high verbal ability and thus can consider a wider range of occupations than their male peers with high math ability, who are more likely to have moderate verbal ability.”
    , @Anon
    There are nerd-smarts and practical-smarts. Girls with high numerical skills in Russia are the usually the latter. That's why they go into accounting and finance. There were twice as many women than men in the finance sector in 2013: http://privetstudent.com/kursovyye/ekonomika-kursovyye/4067-zanyatost-naseleniya-v-rossii-sostoyanie-problemy-i-perspektivy.html
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  19. Talha says:
    @AaronB
    It makes sense once you realize that IQ is at least as much about motivation as it is about innate ability, as you can't measure innate ability in the abstract. It always comes bundled up with motivation.

    Once you grasp that, the world makes so much more sense.

    Your Italians just weren't that interested in the kinds of stuff techno-utopians are, so their lack of motivation drags their "official" scores down.

    People have a need to assume their values are universally shared - which is why techno-utopians are unwilling to accept that motivation is a big part of IQ. It's natural and normal.

    It took me forever and tons of travel to realize my values weren't universally human. If you live in a bubble of like minded people you'll never realize it.

    The best way to take this list is to see at as a measure of which countries are most interested in tech stuff. Innate ability is a part of it, but it's impossible to tease out how much.

    This list can be very useful and interesting if seen this way.

    And IQ changes…

    “The most common way of assessing intelligence is IQ testing. The Flynn effect describes the phenomenon that over time average IQ scores have been increasing in all countries since the turn of the twentieth century (the earliest point in time for which data is available). The change in IQ scores has been approximately three IQ points per decade. One major implications of this trend is that an average individual alive today would have an IQ of 130 by the standards of 1910, making them more intelligent than 98% of the population at that time. Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world.

    https://ourworldindata.org/intelligence

    Apparently, the city of New York was built by a bunch of retarted people. Ditto the discovery of flight – amazing what retarded people can do!

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Yes, Talha, but we must allow them their myths.

    I think it's a mistake to view this as about actual reality or science or whatever.

    It's a myth that helps them deal with certain aspects of reality. You saw that on the other thread when Karlin said Jewish influence can be explained by IQ, and then couldn't say anything when it was pointed out the numbers don't work out. It's not really about the numbers working out. Derbyshire is the same way.

    It's the same with the Hajnal Line white altruism thing. It's just a myth that gives them self confidence. Facts won't disprove it. It's a story.

    Forgive me for saying so, but Islam is also a myth - in the sense that it is a set of symbols helping us deal with an unknowable reality. Of course, Islam is a much better and more life sustaining myth, but I don't think we get to choose our myths. Myths choose us.

    Karlin has been captured by a particular myth, and he doesn't have any choice in the matter. Nor do I, nor do you. Facts aren't really the issue with IQ - the ability of the myth to help deal with a particular aspect of the world is, to create a feeling of control in an area that is of deep concern for you.

    Which myths capture our minds probably has to do with which aspects of reality we are trying to deal with. You're Muslin because you are trying to deal with certain aspects of reality that Karlin isn't, and I'm sympathetic to Islam for the same reason.

    Science itself is a set of symbols allowing us to deal with an unknowable reality. There may be more than one set of equations that allow airplanes to fly. We are just satisfied with the first ones that work. We would have no incentive to search for other ones, but they may exist.

    The medievals thought objects fall to the earth because they have souls and are attracted to each other. Newton said the exact same thing in slightly different language and called it gravity. Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    Both used symbols to deal with an ultimate reality that is unknowable.

    Science came out of the occult and magic, as we know, and for centuries the goal of the occult was to "make nature yield up its secrets". Science took over this goal and used a different set of symbols.

    How well your symbols deal with reality is different in each case. With the equations that make airplanes fly, the effectiveness of the symbols depends on whether airplanes actually fly (without telling us anything about what's really going on).

    With IQ, the effectiveness of the symbol is how it makes you feel about certain groups of people and the future of technology.

    Both sets of symbols perform their purpose well, or they would naturally disappear. People hold on to what works, we just don't always understand what it's supposed to do.

    IQ will disappear as a myth of it ever ceases performing it's function. It's just a mistake to think that it's function is to give an accurate picture of reality in fine detail. It's function is to help deal with an aspect of reality that some people find chaotic.

    I guess what I'm saying is, don't be such a stickler for truth and reality :)

    At the same time, for people like you and I pointing out the inadequacy of the IQ myth from the pov of those aspects of reality we seek to navigate is just as important, and I will continue doing so, and I appreciate your efforts.

    I realize you disagree with much here, and if you've read this far, I apologize for being so weird.
    , @dfordoom

    Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world.”
     
    And there's no reason to think that the rise in IQ started in 1910. If you go back another century the average IQ may have been closer to 40 by today's standards. Which explains why the Industrial Revolution never happened and there was no scientific progress in those days. People were too stupid. Those guys were just so dumb they couldn't tie their own shoe-laces.

    Apparently, the city of New York was built by a bunch of retarted people. Ditto the discovery of flight – amazing what retarded people can do!
     
    Well the early 20th century was after all the age of mental pygmies like Einstein.

    Or maybe IQ doesn't measure what we think it measures. Maybe it measures the ability to do IQ tests.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    I think that's more of a testimony that one shouldn't slavishly apply a single sociological principle to times x infinity more than anything else. The Flynn Effect has its limits, of course or else we would be seeing much more achievement from previously low-producing populations, but this has not been reflected in reality.
    , @dfordoom

    Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world.
     
    A question about the Flynn effect. OK, IQ results have gone up three points per decade. Has the distribution of IQ changed? Has the distribution become more even or more uneven over the past century?

    Do we take into account the fact that severely retarded babies are more likely to be aborted today compared to 1910? Do we account for the possibility that quite a few kids with genius-level IQs in 1910 might have performed very poorly on tests due to malnutrition or to a complete lack of educational opportunities? Do we take into account that schooling in 1910 was rather different compared to schooling in 2010?

    Do we take motivation into account? An American kid in 1920 might have considered an IQ test to be an amusing game whereas a Chinese kid in 2010 is going to take an IQ test very very seriously indeed.

    Has the content of IQ tests remained exactly the same for the past century?

    Are we sure that data from 1910 is directly comparable to data from 2010? Are we even sure that data from 1950 is directly comparable to data from 2010? How much data do we have from the pre-war period?

    IQ tests produce numbers and those numbers can be crunched in impressive-looking ways and when you have numbers that can be crunched it always looks like Science! but how confident are we that the data from the past, or the data from various countries, can be trusted?
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  20. @Anonymous

    In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills.
     
    Nope. Acceptance rates for females in the elite schools like Физтех и МФТИ remains in the vicinity of 33%. Girl really are not that much into physics and engineering.

    … like Физтех и МФТИ

    They’re the same thing. :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Yes. Mistake on my part. МИФИ, obviously.
    , @utu
    Perhaps you could plot scores from your table against country's IQ according to Lynn and calculate correlation (w/o correcting for the restricted range). In this narrow range of values the correlation will not be that high. Perhaps 0.4? And if you get rid of Japan it will drop even lower.
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  21. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    ... like Физтех и МФТИ
     
    They're the same thing. :)

    Yes. Mistake on my part. МИФИ, obviously.

    Read More
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  22. AaronB says:
    @Talha
    And IQ changes...

    "The most common way of assessing intelligence is IQ testing. The Flynn effect describes the phenomenon that over time average IQ scores have been increasing in all countries since the turn of the twentieth century (the earliest point in time for which data is available). The change in IQ scores has been approximately three IQ points per decade. One major implications of this trend is that an average individual alive today would have an IQ of 130 by the standards of 1910, making them more intelligent than 98% of the population at that time. Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world."
    https://ourworldindata.org/intelligence

    Apparently, the city of New York was built by a bunch of retarted people. Ditto the discovery of flight - amazing what retarded people can do!

    Peace.

    Yes, Talha, but we must allow them their myths.

    I think it’s a mistake to view this as about actual reality or science or whatever.

    It’s a myth that helps them deal with certain aspects of reality. You saw that on the other thread when Karlin said Jewish influence can be explained by IQ, and then couldn’t say anything when it was pointed out the numbers don’t work out. It’s not really about the numbers working out. Derbyshire is the same way.

    It’s the same with the Hajnal Line white altruism thing. It’s just a myth that gives them self confidence. Facts won’t disprove it. It’s a story.

    Forgive me for saying so, but Islam is also a myth – in the sense that it is a set of symbols helping us deal with an unknowable reality. Of course, Islam is a much better and more life sustaining myth, but I don’t think we get to choose our myths. Myths choose us.

    Karlin has been captured by a particular myth, and he doesn’t have any choice in the matter. Nor do I, nor do you. Facts aren’t really the issue with IQ – the ability of the myth to help deal with a particular aspect of the world is, to create a feeling of control in an area that is of deep concern for you.

    Which myths capture our minds probably has to do with which aspects of reality we are trying to deal with. You’re Muslin because you are trying to deal with certain aspects of reality that Karlin isn’t, and I’m sympathetic to Islam for the same reason.

    Science itself is a set of symbols allowing us to deal with an unknowable reality. There may be more than one set of equations that allow airplanes to fly. We are just satisfied with the first ones that work. We would have no incentive to search for other ones, but they may exist.

    The medievals thought objects fall to the earth because they have souls and are attracted to each other. Newton said the exact same thing in slightly different language and called it gravity. Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    Both used symbols to deal with an ultimate reality that is unknowable.

    Science came out of the occult and magic, as we know, and for centuries the goal of the occult was to “make nature yield up its secrets”. Science took over this goal and used a different set of symbols.

    How well your symbols deal with reality is different in each case. With the equations that make airplanes fly, the effectiveness of the symbols depends on whether airplanes actually fly (without telling us anything about what’s really going on).

    With IQ, the effectiveness of the symbol is how it makes you feel about certain groups of people and the future of technology.

    Both sets of symbols perform their purpose well, or they would naturally disappear. People hold on to what works, we just don’t always understand what it’s supposed to do.

    IQ will disappear as a myth of it ever ceases performing it’s function. It’s just a mistake to think that it’s function is to give an accurate picture of reality in fine detail. It’s function is to help deal with an aspect of reality that some people find chaotic.

    I guess what I’m saying is, don’t be such a stickler for truth and reality :)

    At the same time, for people like you and I pointing out the inadequacy of the IQ myth from the pov of those aspects of reality we seek to navigate is just as important, and I will continue doing so, and I appreciate your efforts.

    I realize you disagree with much here, and if you’ve read this far, I apologize for being so weird.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    You are getting better and better. However I doubt your interlocutor will get it. I have tried and failed once to make him see that banking fees are de facto interest (by other name) in Muslim banking. He just could not transcend his indoctrination and see it as mere semantical issue.

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?
    , @Daniel Chieh
    I mostly agree, but the point still stands that right now, IQ still serves that function. Like you, I'm fond of reading ancient explanations for phenomenon including much which seems weird to us. Its still interesting because as much in error as the miasma or humors theory was, it still often represents a coherent system of thought for dealing with the world.

    I feel ultimately that IQ is the cognitive equivalent of maximum oxygen consumption(VO2 max) as an indicator of fitness. Its not perfect - your ability to consume oxygen doesn't exactly give us details on fast-twitch or slow-twitch muscles and thus can only be a sufficient but nonexhaustive explanation of an individual's ability to runner.

    But until we have something much better to help us answer questions of "who will build spaceships and colonize the solar system", its the toolset we have to use.
    , @Talha
    Hey AaronB,

    Forgive me for saying so, but Islam is also a myth – in the sense that it is a set of symbols helping us deal with an unknowable reality.
     
    Nothing to forgive, I totally get what you are saying. There are simply limits to human understanding; in the books of our scholars, there are warnings about delving into impractical matters that are not under the purview of human comprehension. Or as the Second Caliph, Abu Bakr (ra) said (in poetry): "Your inability to comprehend God is your comprehension of God."

    And I get what you are saying, people have to anchor themselves somewhere. Extreme skepticism and doubt in everything will eventually lead to one questioning one's own doubt or even the reliability of one's own senses; am I awake, are my memories real, etc.

    An anchor is absolutely necessary to make sense of the chaos we observe and it needs to have some level of coherency to be useful. People then choose what "big picture" fits the questions they are looking to answer; the bigger one being - what's the purpose? Though from what I've observed, many people seem to sidestep that one.

    I realize you disagree with much here, and if you’ve read this far, I apologize for being so weird.
     
    No sweat, I enjoyed it, your comments are always welcome.

    Peace.
    , @Art
    Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    "Said the same thing?" ---- My I disagree?

    Intelligence is the measure of the ability to organize things. Definition and measuring are the building blocks of organization.

    Newton’s definitions and measuring skills put humanity on a whole new plane of organization. Pre-Newton and post-Newton are night and day for the human race.

    “Sameness” just does not do justice to the situation.

    Think Peace --- Art
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  23. utu says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    ... like Физтех и МФТИ
     
    They're the same thing. :)

    Perhaps you could plot scores from your table against country’s IQ according to Lynn and calculate correlation (w/o correcting for the restricted range). In this narrow range of values the correlation will not be that high. Perhaps 0.4? And if you get rid of Japan it will drop even lower.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    Correlation(PIAAC 2012, Country IQ) = 0.24
     
    I took the Average column from the first AK's table above and correlated it with country IQ from https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country.

    IQ is very poor predictor of PIAAC 2012 scores. Explains only 6% of variance.

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  24. ussr andy says:
    @j
    anonymous coward: In Israel we have many Russian immigrant professionals, and they possess superb hard science formation. I admit that it is possible that you are commenting on a different population, because no Jew in Russia ever was granted an "honorary" diploma. May be you are referring to Vladimir Putin's Ph.D. or similar official functionaries, or just informal politeness addresses like calling professor the judo trainer.

    the USSR prided itself in having made “scientist” a mass occupation. this is an old perestroika meme, borne out of really existing resentment over people in skilled occupations but incompetent or with shitty work ethic and no recourse for the employer or colleagues to do anything about them, because Communism. the fact however is that one needs to be an above-average functioning person to graduate from university, even a Russian one, even in soft subjects. And it’s not a Russian problem, in the West, they become professional SJWs and the like.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ussr andy
    >the USSR prided itself

    also, in having the highest tertiary enrollment.

    PS Solzh spoke of "obrazovanschina" (the educated class) which he opposed to real intellectuals.
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  25. ussr andy says:
    @ussr andy
    the USSR prided itself in having made "scientist" a mass occupation. this is an old perestroika meme, borne out of really existing resentment over people in skilled occupations but incompetent or with shitty work ethic and no recourse for the employer or colleagues to do anything about them, because Communism. the fact however is that one needs to be an above-average functioning person to graduate from university, even a Russian one, even in soft subjects. And it's not a Russian problem, in the West, they become professional SJWs and the like.

    >the USSR prided itself

    also, in having the highest tertiary enrollment.

    PS Solzh spoke of “obrazovanschina” (the educated class) which he opposed to real intellectuals.

    Read More
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  26. AP says:
    @Anonymous

    In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills.
     
    Nope. Acceptance rates for females in the elite schools like Физтех и МФТИ remains in the vicinity of 33%. Girl really are not that much into physics and engineering.

    In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills.

    Nope. Acceptance rates for females in the elite schools like Физтех и МФТИ remains in the vicinity of 33%. Girl really are not that much into physics and engineering.

    Likely explanation for this (which also explains why fewer females in STEM fields is not caused by discrimination against females):

    http://www.cds.web.unc.edu/files/2014/10/not_lack_of_ability.pdf

    In a national study of over 1,000 high school students, they found that:

    1. 70 percent more girls than boys had strong math and verbal skills;

    2. Boys were more than twice as likely as girls to have strong math skills but not strong verbal skills;

    3. People (regardless of whether they were male or female) who had only strong math skills as students were more likely to be working in STEM fields at age 33 than were other students;

    4. People (regardless of whether they were male or female) with strong math and verbal skills as students were less likely to be working in STEM fields at age 33 than were those with only strong math skills.

    “Results revealed that mathematically capable individuals who also had high verbal skills were less likely to pursue STEM careers than were individuals who had high math skills but moderate verbal skills. One notable finding was that the group with high math and high verbal ability included more females than males…

    Our study provides evidence that it is not lack of ability that causes females to pursue non-STEM careers, but rather the greater likelihood that females with high math ability also have high verbal ability and thus can consider a wider range of occupations than their male peers with high math ability, who are more likely to have moderate verbal ability.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @ussr andy
    that doesn't solve the problem of there being relatively more super-smart men (and morons alike) because in a sexually reproducing species males are "responsible" for the variation. even if there was one IQ 160 guy for >9000 IQ 140 females men would still be redeemed.
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  27. utu says:
    @AaronB
    Yes, Talha, but we must allow them their myths.

    I think it's a mistake to view this as about actual reality or science or whatever.

    It's a myth that helps them deal with certain aspects of reality. You saw that on the other thread when Karlin said Jewish influence can be explained by IQ, and then couldn't say anything when it was pointed out the numbers don't work out. It's not really about the numbers working out. Derbyshire is the same way.

    It's the same with the Hajnal Line white altruism thing. It's just a myth that gives them self confidence. Facts won't disprove it. It's a story.

    Forgive me for saying so, but Islam is also a myth - in the sense that it is a set of symbols helping us deal with an unknowable reality. Of course, Islam is a much better and more life sustaining myth, but I don't think we get to choose our myths. Myths choose us.

    Karlin has been captured by a particular myth, and he doesn't have any choice in the matter. Nor do I, nor do you. Facts aren't really the issue with IQ - the ability of the myth to help deal with a particular aspect of the world is, to create a feeling of control in an area that is of deep concern for you.

    Which myths capture our minds probably has to do with which aspects of reality we are trying to deal with. You're Muslin because you are trying to deal with certain aspects of reality that Karlin isn't, and I'm sympathetic to Islam for the same reason.

    Science itself is a set of symbols allowing us to deal with an unknowable reality. There may be more than one set of equations that allow airplanes to fly. We are just satisfied with the first ones that work. We would have no incentive to search for other ones, but they may exist.

    The medievals thought objects fall to the earth because they have souls and are attracted to each other. Newton said the exact same thing in slightly different language and called it gravity. Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    Both used symbols to deal with an ultimate reality that is unknowable.

    Science came out of the occult and magic, as we know, and for centuries the goal of the occult was to "make nature yield up its secrets". Science took over this goal and used a different set of symbols.

    How well your symbols deal with reality is different in each case. With the equations that make airplanes fly, the effectiveness of the symbols depends on whether airplanes actually fly (without telling us anything about what's really going on).

    With IQ, the effectiveness of the symbol is how it makes you feel about certain groups of people and the future of technology.

    Both sets of symbols perform their purpose well, or they would naturally disappear. People hold on to what works, we just don't always understand what it's supposed to do.

    IQ will disappear as a myth of it ever ceases performing it's function. It's just a mistake to think that it's function is to give an accurate picture of reality in fine detail. It's function is to help deal with an aspect of reality that some people find chaotic.

    I guess what I'm saying is, don't be such a stickler for truth and reality :)

    At the same time, for people like you and I pointing out the inadequacy of the IQ myth from the pov of those aspects of reality we seek to navigate is just as important, and I will continue doing so, and I appreciate your efforts.

    I realize you disagree with much here, and if you've read this far, I apologize for being so weird.

    You are getting better and better. However I doubt your interlocutor will get it. I have tried and failed once to make him see that banking fees are de facto interest (by other name) in Muslim banking. He just could not transcend his indoctrination and see it as mere semantical issue.

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Thank you, utu. Before I die, maybe ill figure out that I don't really know anything :)

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?
     
    Excellent point. It needs to be interpreted sociologically.

    It seems to be a kind of number mysticism, like the Pythagoreans. Numbers mystically explain everything. If on the surface the numbers fail to match up, on a deeper mystical level they do.

    Guys like Karlin and Derbyshire care a lot about racial pride, but their number mysticism means more to them. Math shows that, for instance, Jewish dominance can't be a question of IQ. But number mysticism would lead one to ignore math.

    Number mysticism isn't about math or science, clearly. It claims a deeper truth.

    Beyond that, it seems related to a pleasure in simple ranking, a very boyish trait, a utopian belief in technology, a desire for order and organization, a need for control, a discomfort with fuzzy and complex realities, and much more, no doubt, will emerge over time.

    As you note, it also has to do with a personal narrative - myth - of being a heartless and cold realist. And facts are irrelevant to myths.
    , @Darin

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?
     
    In bygone times, the great embarrassment for Marxist ideology was the fact that actual proletarian workers never rose above "trade union mentality" (IOW: wanted better pay) and had no interest in revolution and seizing the means of production. Fortunately, great man came and found a creative way to square the circle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguardism

    Now, the nascent IQ ideology have similar problem - as our esteemed host AK complained many times, the actual high IQ people have no interest. As great man asked: "What is to be done?"
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  28. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Talha
    And IQ changes...

    "The most common way of assessing intelligence is IQ testing. The Flynn effect describes the phenomenon that over time average IQ scores have been increasing in all countries since the turn of the twentieth century (the earliest point in time for which data is available). The change in IQ scores has been approximately three IQ points per decade. One major implications of this trend is that an average individual alive today would have an IQ of 130 by the standards of 1910, making them more intelligent than 98% of the population at that time. Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world."
    https://ourworldindata.org/intelligence

    Apparently, the city of New York was built by a bunch of retarted people. Ditto the discovery of flight - amazing what retarded people can do!

    Peace.

    Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world.”

    And there’s no reason to think that the rise in IQ started in 1910. If you go back another century the average IQ may have been closer to 40 by today’s standards. Which explains why the Industrial Revolution never happened and there was no scientific progress in those days. People were too stupid. Those guys were just so dumb they couldn’t tie their own shoe-laces.

    Apparently, the city of New York was built by a bunch of retarted people. Ditto the discovery of flight – amazing what retarded people can do!

    Well the early 20th century was after all the age of mental pygmies like Einstein.

    Or maybe IQ doesn’t measure what we think it measures. Maybe it measures the ability to do IQ tests.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    And if you go back far enough...well, one wonders if Socrates could clean himself after using the bathroom...

    Maybe it measures the ability to do IQ tests.
     
    Lot to agree with here. If you read the article I cited and listen to a TED talk by Prof. Flynn on the subject, it becomes abundantly clear that a lot of it has to do with the method of thinking; more abstract versus day-to-day. Certain societies, especially modern ones, drill abstract thinking into one’s head early on. For instance, a young child learns to move a mouse and sees the arrow moving on a screen disconnected to it - totally different than what a child learns from interactions on a rural farm.

    Peace.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Highly abstract, non-mundane tests like Ravens saw a 2S.D. increase. The increase in verbal and arithmetic ability was far more modest, on the order of a few points.
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  29. Ivy says:

    France results were a little surprising, in that native achievement would be expected to be higher, and immigrant segment not as negative as one might anticipate from other headlines.

    Read More
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  30. utu says:
    @utu
    Perhaps you could plot scores from your table against country's IQ according to Lynn and calculate correlation (w/o correcting for the restricted range). In this narrow range of values the correlation will not be that high. Perhaps 0.4? And if you get rid of Japan it will drop even lower.

    Correlation(PIAAC 2012, Country IQ) = 0.24

    I took the Average column from the first AK’s table above and correlated it with country IQ from https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country.

    IQ is very poor predictor of PIAAC 2012 scores. Explains only 6% of variance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    0.24 correlation is rather disappointing, right? Let's fix it. We can increase the correlation by correcting the restriction of range. Let's add to the list the Republic of Microcephalia that has IQ=0 and expected PIAAC score of 0. The correlation now is where we want it: 0.98 which means that IQ predicts 96% of variance of PIAAC scores. That's how you do (IQ) science!

    We could apply Thorndyke formula for correction and produce any number <1 with made up assumptions about the range. This is what is done routinely by psyshometricians so they can report high correlations. Obviously sometime the correction is justified but the temptation to improve result is also great and probably not always can be resisted. Therefore one always should take their claims that IQ has high correlation, say with income, with a grain of salt.

    Spearman also introduced a formula for correcting the attenuation effect (measurement errors) that also will boost correlation. The problem is that his formula sometimes produces results larger than 1. I am sure psychometrician love it. Spearman was very clever guy. Apparently they are still discussing it:


    https://www.ukessays.com/essays/psychology/corrections-for-attenuation-and-corrections-for-range-restriction-psychology-essay.php
    Corrections for attenuation and corrections for range restriction
    Psychometricians have offered various explanations for this phenomenon. Before the year ended, Karl Pearson (1904, in his appendix) had declared that any formula that produced correlation coefficients greater than one must have been improperly derived; however, no errors were subsequently found in Spearman's formula. This led to debate over both how correction for attenuation could result in a correlation greater than one and whether a procedure that often resulted in a correlation greater than one was valid. Many explanations for correction for attenuation's supposed flaw have been suggested.

    Others, including Spearman (1910), have attempted to explain corrected correlations greater than one as the normal result of sampling error. Worded more explicitly, this asserts that a corrected correlation of 1.03 should fall within the sampling distribution of corrected correlations produced by a population with a true-score correlation less than or equal to one. Despite this, it was some time before researchers first began to examine the sampling distributions of corrected correlations. However, some early studies that have examined the accuracy of correction for attenuation are of note [3] .

    Johnson's conclusion that "Corrected coefficients greater than one are caused by fluctuations in observed coefficients due to errors of measurement and not by fluctuations caused by errors of sampling, as suggested by Spearman" (Johnson, 1944, p. 536). Garside (1958) referenced the various bases of error variance in the coefficients as "function fluctuations".
     
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  31. melanf says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    I’ve seen a fairly large sample of students in science. Of course the strongest students are men. But I very much disagree about the average. See my other comment. One very big problem with the men is that they are incredily irresponsible, and often unwilling to do even the most simple tasks in order to avoid failing a course and be sent off to Donbass and Syria. I haven’t seen anything like it in the other five countries where I’ve lived and worked, and I can’t get over it.

    melanf, I recognize your experience can be rather different from mine. Do you have a recent sample of university students? In which kind of subject?

    melanf, I recognize your experience can be rather different from mine. Do you have a recent sample of university students? In which kind of subject?

    technical University

    Read More
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  32. utu says:
    @utu

    Correlation(PIAAC 2012, Country IQ) = 0.24
     
    I took the Average column from the first AK's table above and correlated it with country IQ from https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country.

    IQ is very poor predictor of PIAAC 2012 scores. Explains only 6% of variance.

    0.24 correlation is rather disappointing, right? Let’s fix it. We can increase the correlation by correcting the restriction of range. Let’s add to the list the Republic of Microcephalia that has IQ=0 and expected PIAAC score of 0. The correlation now is where we want it: 0.98 which means that IQ predicts 96% of variance of PIAAC scores. That’s how you do (IQ) science!

    We could apply Thorndyke formula for correction and produce any number <1 with made up assumptions about the range. This is what is done routinely by psyshometricians so they can report high correlations. Obviously sometime the correction is justified but the temptation to improve result is also great and probably not always can be resisted. Therefore one always should take their claims that IQ has high correlation, say with income, with a grain of salt.

    Spearman also introduced a formula for correcting the attenuation effect (measurement errors) that also will boost correlation. The problem is that his formula sometimes produces results larger than 1. I am sure psychometrician love it. Spearman was very clever guy. Apparently they are still discussing it:

    https://www.ukessays.com/essays/psychology/corrections-for-attenuation-and-corrections-for-range-restriction-psychology-essay.php

    Corrections for attenuation and corrections for range restriction
    Psychometricians have offered various explanations for this phenomenon. Before the year ended, Karl Pearson (1904, in his appendix) had declared that any formula that produced correlation coefficients greater than one must have been improperly derived; however, no errors were subsequently found in Spearman’s formula. This led to debate over both how correction for attenuation could result in a correlation greater than one and whether a procedure that often resulted in a correlation greater than one was valid. Many explanations for correction for attenuation’s supposed flaw have been suggested.

    Others, including Spearman (1910), have attempted to explain corrected correlations greater than one as the normal result of sampling error. Worded more explicitly, this asserts that a corrected correlation of 1.03 should fall within the sampling distribution of corrected correlations produced by a population with a true-score correlation less than or equal to one. Despite this, it was some time before researchers first began to examine the sampling distributions of corrected correlations. However, some early studies that have examined the accuracy of correction for attenuation are of note [3] .

    Johnson’s conclusion that “Corrected coefficients greater than one are caused by fluctuations in observed coefficients due to errors of measurement and not by fluctuations caused by errors of sampling, as suggested by Spearman” (Johnson, 1944, p. 536). Garside (1958) referenced the various bases of error variance in the coefficients as “function fluctuations”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    "That’s how you do (IQ) science!"

    What an ignorant fellow. Read this,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leverage_(statistics)

    and this,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partial_leverage

    "The leverage is typically defined as the diagonal of the hat matrix, which is

    H = X ( X ′ X ) − 1 X ′

    In your case with 1 independent variable, it is a column.

    Y = 1.7765 +1.0041*X1;

    Mult-R R-Squared AdjRsq SEest F(1,21) Sig
    0.9836 0.9676 0.9660 3.9187 626.4212 0

    Y Fitted Resid HatValue
    107.2000 107.2041 -0.0041 0.0553
    105.1000 101.1796 3.9204 0.0457
    104.3000 102.1837 2.1163 0.0468
    103.4000 101.1796 2.2204 0.0457
    103.2000 102.1837 1.0163 0.0468
    102.2000 100.1756 2.0244 0.0448
    102.1000 98.1674 3.9326 0.0437
    102.1000 101.1796 0.9204 0.0457
    102.0000 100.1756 1.8244 0.0448
    102.0000 100.1756 1.8244 0.0448
    101.5000 99.1715 2.3285 0.0442
    101.4000 102.1837 -0.7837 0.0468
    101.0000 101.1796 -0.1796 0.0457
    100.7000 101.1796 -0.4796 0.0457
    100.3000 108.2081 -7.9081 0.0576
    99.8000 93.1471 6.6529 0.0447
    98.9000 101.1796 -2.2796 0.0457
    98.4000 100.1756 -1.7756 0.0448
    98.3000 94.1511 4.1489 0.0441
    97.4000 100.1756 -2.7756 0.0448
    94.7000 100.1756 -5.4756 0.0448
    94.7000 104.1919 -9.4919 0.0495
    0.0000 1.7765 -1.7765 0.9773 <---

    Although the residue of the added point is small (-1.7765), the HatValue stands up like a sore thumb.
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  33. Talha says:
    @dfordoom

    Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world.”
     
    And there's no reason to think that the rise in IQ started in 1910. If you go back another century the average IQ may have been closer to 40 by today's standards. Which explains why the Industrial Revolution never happened and there was no scientific progress in those days. People were too stupid. Those guys were just so dumb they couldn't tie their own shoe-laces.

    Apparently, the city of New York was built by a bunch of retarted people. Ditto the discovery of flight – amazing what retarded people can do!
     
    Well the early 20th century was after all the age of mental pygmies like Einstein.

    Or maybe IQ doesn't measure what we think it measures. Maybe it measures the ability to do IQ tests.

    And if you go back far enough…well, one wonders if Socrates could clean himself after using the bathroom…

    Maybe it measures the ability to do IQ tests.

    Lot to agree with here. If you read the article I cited and listen to a TED talk by Prof. Flynn on the subject, it becomes abundantly clear that a lot of it has to do with the method of thinking; more abstract versus day-to-day. Certain societies, especially modern ones, drill abstract thinking into one’s head early on. For instance, a young child learns to move a mouse and sees the arrow moving on a screen disconnected to it – totally different than what a child learns from interactions on a rural farm.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    This is a fascinating article even though I am not sure what "intelligence" really means, let alone how one measures it without having to resort to arbitrariness. Can the mind really measure itself without falling into the type of paradox envisioned by Goedel? Mmm...maybe. Maybe not. Dunno. The bottom line is that intelligence may in the end be only definable in the same fashion as Justice Potter Stewart defined pornography: "I know it when I see it."
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  34. Medvedev says:
    @anonymous coward

    Russia is at the very bottom of the list, suggesting highly inefficient cognitive selection. The pessimistic but plausible explanation that comes to mind is endemic corruption and nepotism.
     
    Lol. No.

    Anybody who has ever lived in Russia knows that so-called "skilled" occupations is just a way of underhandedly distributing welfare money. Russia has no welfare as such, but instead millions of fake "teachers", "doctors" and "researchers" who would be otherwise forced to dumpster dive for aluminum cans.

    This is a Soviet legacy and will slowly disappear over the next generation or two.

    fake “teachers”, “doctors” and “researchers”

    This is a Soviet legacy

    Funny how fake students taught by fake teachers beat the cr*p out of competitors in math, physics, computer science etc.
    Fake teachers and scientists sent first artificial satellite into space, first human into space, built aircrafts and space rockets, had 2nd industrial military complex etc, etc, etc.
    Not being a fan of Soviet Union and communism, quite the opposite harsh critique of the communism. But your post is too arrogant.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward
    "Soviet legacy" means something left over in a half-dead state after the 1991 collapse.

    The stuff you're talking about came way before. Of course things were different when the Soviet Union was still functioning.
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  35. @Talha
    And IQ changes...

    "The most common way of assessing intelligence is IQ testing. The Flynn effect describes the phenomenon that over time average IQ scores have been increasing in all countries since the turn of the twentieth century (the earliest point in time for which data is available). The change in IQ scores has been approximately three IQ points per decade. One major implications of this trend is that an average individual alive today would have an IQ of 130 by the standards of 1910, making them more intelligent than 98% of the population at that time. Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world."
    https://ourworldindata.org/intelligence

    Apparently, the city of New York was built by a bunch of retarted people. Ditto the discovery of flight - amazing what retarded people can do!

    Peace.

    I think that’s more of a testimony that one shouldn’t slavishly apply a single sociological principle to times x infinity more than anything else. The Flynn Effect has its limits, of course or else we would be seeing much more achievement from previously low-producing populations, but this has not been reflected in reality.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Daniel,
    Sure - I was being obviously facetious for a reason. The funny thing is, I have dealt with people on these forums that literally think the Mongol hordes of yesteryear had the same testable IQ value of Mongolians today. My point was simply that we know observable IQ changes so we have to account for this when trying to come to conclusions. AaronB had some great observations on this.

    Peace.
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  36. @dfordoom

    Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world.”
     
    And there's no reason to think that the rise in IQ started in 1910. If you go back another century the average IQ may have been closer to 40 by today's standards. Which explains why the Industrial Revolution never happened and there was no scientific progress in those days. People were too stupid. Those guys were just so dumb they couldn't tie their own shoe-laces.

    Apparently, the city of New York was built by a bunch of retarted people. Ditto the discovery of flight – amazing what retarded people can do!
     
    Well the early 20th century was after all the age of mental pygmies like Einstein.

    Or maybe IQ doesn't measure what we think it measures. Maybe it measures the ability to do IQ tests.

    Highly abstract, non-mundane tests like Ravens saw a 2S.D. increase. The increase in verbal and arithmetic ability was far more modest, on the order of a few points.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    This is obviously anecdotal, but I saw this difference very clearly in Japan and Korea. Even the educated older folks in these countries tend to have more of “experiential” knowledge, at times at much higher levels than the younger generation. So, they, for example, can recite ancient Chinese poetry or proverbs better than the young ones. Some of them are even better at arithmetic, having grown up with no computer or even calculator.

    But the younger ones are definitely more analytical and systematic in approaching problem solving. It’s like the algorithms in their respective generational brains are very different. As another example, if you were to ask for directions in these countries, older people are far more likely to provide (vague) walk- or drive-by directions with major landmarks as waypoints. Contrarily, younger respondents are more likely to give you coordinate-like information based on (this being East Asia) imaginary grids, absolute directions, and distance.

    I found this fascinating though in retrospect it makes perfect sense given the increase in abstract thinking ability.
    , @dfordoom

    Highly abstract, non-mundane tests like Ravens saw a 2S.D. increase. The increase in verbal and arithmetic ability was far more modest, on the order of a few points.
     
    That makes sense.

    Maybe part of the problem is that people keep arguing about genetic vs environmental factors. Maybe that's not quite the right way to look at it. Maybe there are genetic factors. And then there are environmental factors - which means an individual's immediate environment (schooling, parental influence etc). And then there are cultural factors (changes in the kinds of mental skills that society values and in the kinds of skills we absorb from society as a whole).

    There's also an interesting question - have improvements in abstract mental skills (which are easily measurable) come at the expense of other mental skills that are much more difficult to measure (and which we're not even making a real effort to measure)? Are we getting more intelligent overall, or more intelligent in some areas and less intelligent in others?

    I'm sure we've all read academic works by people who seem to have formidable analytical skills but who can't even write understandable prose. And I'm sure we've all encountered academics whose understanding of abstract reasoning is impressive but whose understanding of the real world is terrifyingly naïve and even childish.

    Are we going to end up with a population of high IQ idiots?
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  37. Twinkie says:
    @Polish Perspective
    This is somewhat OT, but we talk of TIMMS/PIRLS being a proxy for educational quality. Turns out that PISA has been focused on the same topic, by looking at the "most disadvantaged students" and how they perform as a measurement of school system efficiency. We often focus on the top performers, but looking at the bottom can sometimes also be beneficial for a more complete understanding.

    http://www.oecd.org/pisa/publications/pisainfocus.htm (It's Number 80)

    It's a brief but informative pdf. Finland and Korea have both seen large declines in their bottom-tier performance, which is defined as the percentage of their weakest students reaching level 3. Level 3 is merely okay, for context. Though to be fair to them both still do well. It's just that their 2006 performance was superhuman(the comparison period).

    But what's most interesting, though perhaps self-explanatory, is this:

    Across the vast majority of education systems examined, the likelihood that disadvantaged students are resilient is higher in schools where students reported a good disciplinary climate, compared to schools with more disruptive environments, even after accounting for differences in students’ and schools’ socio-economic profile and other individual characteristics associated with resilience
     

    So for all the flowery talk of "creativity and exploration", it turns out that the weakest are best helped by a "good disciplinary environment".

    By contrast, the likelihood of resilience among disadvantaged students is only weakly related to the amount of human and material resources available in their schools. Student-computer ratios, for example, are unrelated to the share of resilient students, after accounting for the disciplinary climate and student background; and the number of extracurricular activities is only weakly related to this share, on average across countries. In many countries, disadvantaged students are more likely to be resilient in schools that offer many extracurricular activities (and have the resources to do so); however, the average association between resilience and extracurricular activities is weak, and some countries even show a negative association between extracurricular activities and student resilience.
     
    Throwing more money or more activities at the problem won't help either. Though we know that. What's interesting is that they find a positive relationship with class size(not in the quote, but in the pdf), i.e. larger classes meant better performance. However they caution on this, and claim it could reflect compensatory factors.

    One interesting thing that stands out is Turkey. It actually increased it's share of level 3 performance among the worst students, yet it's overall scores have gone down in recent years. This may mean that, say, the Anatolian ignorants are now perhaps not (as) ignorant anymore. Maybe even the Kurds have been getting better education. At the same time, given the overall decline in scores, it would also mean that the smart fraction is shrinking rapidly, possibly due to dysgenic fertility patterns.

    Finland and Korea have both seen large declines in their bottom-tier performance, which is defined as the percentage of their weakest students reaching level 3…

    So for all the flowery talk of “creativity and exploration”, it turns out that the weakest are best helped by a “good disciplinary environment”.

    There has been a strong pressure in South Korea to end corporal punishment in the recent decade. It is now illegal with a few exceptions, and I suspect the quantity of physical punishment doled out to pupils has declined sunbstantially whereas it was pervasive and quite harsh in the past.

    Read More
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  38. @Medvedev

    fake “teachers”, “doctors” and “researchers”
     

    This is a Soviet legacy
     
    Funny how fake students taught by fake teachers beat the cr*p out of competitors in math, physics, computer science etc.
    Fake teachers and scientists sent first artificial satellite into space, first human into space, built aircrafts and space rockets, had 2nd industrial military complex etc, etc, etc.
    Not being a fan of Soviet Union and communism, quite the opposite harsh critique of the communism. But your post is too arrogant.

    “Soviet legacy” means something left over in a half-dead state after the 1991 collapse.

    The stuff you’re talking about came way before. Of course things were different when the Soviet Union was still functioning.

    Read More
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  39. @j
    anonymous coward: In Israel we have many Russian immigrant professionals, and they possess superb hard science formation. I admit that it is possible that you are commenting on a different population, because no Jew in Russia ever was granted an "honorary" diploma. May be you are referring to Vladimir Putin's Ph.D. or similar official functionaries, or just informal politeness addresses like calling professor the judo trainer.

    I admit that it is possible that you are commenting on a different population, because no Jew in Russia ever was granted an “honorary” diploma. May be you are referring to Vladimir Putin’s Ph.D. or similar official functionaries, or just informal politeness addresses like calling professor the judo trainer.

    No, I’m talking about people stranded after the Soviet Union collapsed, continuing to fill jobs that now make no sense and that nobody needs.

    They can’t be thrown out on the street, but they’re not contributing in any productive manner to society either.

    Read More
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  40. Twinkie says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Highly abstract, non-mundane tests like Ravens saw a 2S.D. increase. The increase in verbal and arithmetic ability was far more modest, on the order of a few points.

    This is obviously anecdotal, but I saw this difference very clearly in Japan and Korea. Even the educated older folks in these countries tend to have more of “experiential” knowledge, at times at much higher levels than the younger generation. So, they, for example, can recite ancient Chinese poetry or proverbs better than the young ones. Some of them are even better at arithmetic, having grown up with no computer or even calculator.

    But the younger ones are definitely more analytical and systematic in approaching problem solving. It’s like the algorithms in their respective generational brains are very different. As another example, if you were to ask for directions in these countries, older people are far more likely to provide (vague) walk- or drive-by directions with major landmarks as waypoints. Contrarily, younger respondents are more likely to give you coordinate-like information based on (this being East Asia) imaginary grids, absolute directions, and distance.

    I found this fascinating though in retrospect it makes perfect sense given the increase in abstract thinking ability.

    Read More
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  41. Talha says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    I think that's more of a testimony that one shouldn't slavishly apply a single sociological principle to times x infinity more than anything else. The Flynn Effect has its limits, of course or else we would be seeing much more achievement from previously low-producing populations, but this has not been reflected in reality.

    Hey Daniel,
    Sure – I was being obviously facetious for a reason. The funny thing is, I have dealt with people on these forums that literally think the Mongol hordes of yesteryear had the same testable IQ value of Mongolians today. My point was simply that we know observable IQ changes so we have to account for this when trying to come to conclusions. AaronB had some great observations on this.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  42. @AaronB
    Yes, Talha, but we must allow them their myths.

    I think it's a mistake to view this as about actual reality or science or whatever.

    It's a myth that helps them deal with certain aspects of reality. You saw that on the other thread when Karlin said Jewish influence can be explained by IQ, and then couldn't say anything when it was pointed out the numbers don't work out. It's not really about the numbers working out. Derbyshire is the same way.

    It's the same with the Hajnal Line white altruism thing. It's just a myth that gives them self confidence. Facts won't disprove it. It's a story.

    Forgive me for saying so, but Islam is also a myth - in the sense that it is a set of symbols helping us deal with an unknowable reality. Of course, Islam is a much better and more life sustaining myth, but I don't think we get to choose our myths. Myths choose us.

    Karlin has been captured by a particular myth, and he doesn't have any choice in the matter. Nor do I, nor do you. Facts aren't really the issue with IQ - the ability of the myth to help deal with a particular aspect of the world is, to create a feeling of control in an area that is of deep concern for you.

    Which myths capture our minds probably has to do with which aspects of reality we are trying to deal with. You're Muslin because you are trying to deal with certain aspects of reality that Karlin isn't, and I'm sympathetic to Islam for the same reason.

    Science itself is a set of symbols allowing us to deal with an unknowable reality. There may be more than one set of equations that allow airplanes to fly. We are just satisfied with the first ones that work. We would have no incentive to search for other ones, but they may exist.

    The medievals thought objects fall to the earth because they have souls and are attracted to each other. Newton said the exact same thing in slightly different language and called it gravity. Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    Both used symbols to deal with an ultimate reality that is unknowable.

    Science came out of the occult and magic, as we know, and for centuries the goal of the occult was to "make nature yield up its secrets". Science took over this goal and used a different set of symbols.

    How well your symbols deal with reality is different in each case. With the equations that make airplanes fly, the effectiveness of the symbols depends on whether airplanes actually fly (without telling us anything about what's really going on).

    With IQ, the effectiveness of the symbol is how it makes you feel about certain groups of people and the future of technology.

    Both sets of symbols perform their purpose well, or they would naturally disappear. People hold on to what works, we just don't always understand what it's supposed to do.

    IQ will disappear as a myth of it ever ceases performing it's function. It's just a mistake to think that it's function is to give an accurate picture of reality in fine detail. It's function is to help deal with an aspect of reality that some people find chaotic.

    I guess what I'm saying is, don't be such a stickler for truth and reality :)

    At the same time, for people like you and I pointing out the inadequacy of the IQ myth from the pov of those aspects of reality we seek to navigate is just as important, and I will continue doing so, and I appreciate your efforts.

    I realize you disagree with much here, and if you've read this far, I apologize for being so weird.

    I mostly agree, but the point still stands that right now, IQ still serves that function. Like you, I’m fond of reading ancient explanations for phenomenon including much which seems weird to us. Its still interesting because as much in error as the miasma or humors theory was, it still often represents a coherent system of thought for dealing with the world.

    I feel ultimately that IQ is the cognitive equivalent of maximum oxygen consumption(VO2 max) as an indicator of fitness. Its not perfect – your ability to consume oxygen doesn’t exactly give us details on fast-twitch or slow-twitch muscles and thus can only be a sufficient but nonexhaustive explanation of an individual’s ability to runner.

    But until we have something much better to help us answer questions of “who will build spaceships and colonize the solar system”, its the toolset we have to use.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    That's perfectly reasonable, Daniel.

    The "weak" IQ theory isn't the problem. The "strong" IQ theory is, and all the mental baggage that comes with it, and especially the ignoring of facts based on IQ science itself! (Jews dominate because IQ, the significance of the Flynn effect is ignored, Raven Matrices are at once most g loaded and most subject to the Flynn Effect, etc). That's a whole other level of weirdness, beyond just flaws in IQ theory itself.

    until we have something much better to help us answer questions of “who will build spaceships and colonize the solar system”, its the toolset we have to use.
     
    Oh, I'd largely agree, with caveats. One of the interesting things about IQ is that it doesn't predict radical inventiveness very well, though it does seem to correlate with incremental technological advances. In Europe, the radically inventive countries often have the same or even lower IQ than the "boring" countries.

    IQ seems best correlated with a desire and willingness to absorb technology and base society on it. But in America, high IQ Jews, for instance, increasingly go into things like media and law, and create media technology companies like Google or Facebook that have little scientific significance. The days of the Oppenheimers and Einstein's are over. Even here, motivation plays a role.

    But overall, id agree with you.
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  43. AaronB says:
    @utu
    You are getting better and better. However I doubt your interlocutor will get it. I have tried and failed once to make him see that banking fees are de facto interest (by other name) in Muslim banking. He just could not transcend his indoctrination and see it as mere semantical issue.

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?

    Thank you, utu. Before I die, maybe ill figure out that I don’t really know anything :)

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?

    Excellent point. It needs to be interpreted sociologically.

    It seems to be a kind of number mysticism, like the Pythagoreans. Numbers mystically explain everything. If on the surface the numbers fail to match up, on a deeper mystical level they do.

    Guys like Karlin and Derbyshire care a lot about racial pride, but their number mysticism means more to them. Math shows that, for instance, Jewish dominance can’t be a question of IQ. But number mysticism would lead one to ignore math.

    Number mysticism isn’t about math or science, clearly. It claims a deeper truth.

    Beyond that, it seems related to a pleasure in simple ranking, a very boyish trait, a utopian belief in technology, a desire for order and organization, a need for control, a discomfort with fuzzy and complex realities, and much more, no doubt, will emerge over time.

    As you note, it also has to do with a personal narrative – myth – of being a heartless and cold realist. And facts are irrelevant to myths.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    Beyond that, it seems related to a pleasure in simple ranking, a very boyish trait, a utopian belief in technology, a desire for order and organization, a need for control, a discomfort with fuzzy and complex realities, and much more, no doubt, will emerge over time.
     
    But you have to admit that beyond that Karlin is also a good sport.
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  44. AaronB says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    I mostly agree, but the point still stands that right now, IQ still serves that function. Like you, I'm fond of reading ancient explanations for phenomenon including much which seems weird to us. Its still interesting because as much in error as the miasma or humors theory was, it still often represents a coherent system of thought for dealing with the world.

    I feel ultimately that IQ is the cognitive equivalent of maximum oxygen consumption(VO2 max) as an indicator of fitness. Its not perfect - your ability to consume oxygen doesn't exactly give us details on fast-twitch or slow-twitch muscles and thus can only be a sufficient but nonexhaustive explanation of an individual's ability to runner.

    But until we have something much better to help us answer questions of "who will build spaceships and colonize the solar system", its the toolset we have to use.

    That’s perfectly reasonable, Daniel.

    The “weak” IQ theory isn’t the problem. The “strong” IQ theory is, and all the mental baggage that comes with it, and especially the ignoring of facts based on IQ science itself! (Jews dominate because IQ, the significance of the Flynn effect is ignored, Raven Matrices are at once most g loaded and most subject to the Flynn Effect, etc). That’s a whole other level of weirdness, beyond just flaws in IQ theory itself.

    until we have something much better to help us answer questions of “who will build spaceships and colonize the solar system”, its the toolset we have to use.

    Oh, I’d largely agree, with caveats. One of the interesting things about IQ is that it doesn’t predict radical inventiveness very well, though it does seem to correlate with incremental technological advances. In Europe, the radically inventive countries often have the same or even lower IQ than the “boring” countries.

    IQ seems best correlated with a desire and willingness to absorb technology and base society on it. But in America, high IQ Jews, for instance, increasingly go into things like media and law, and create media technology companies like Google or Facebook that have little scientific significance. The days of the Oppenheimers and Einstein’s are over. Even here, motivation plays a role.

    But overall, id agree with you.

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  45. utu says:
    @AaronB
    Thank you, utu. Before I die, maybe ill figure out that I don't really know anything :)

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?
     
    Excellent point. It needs to be interpreted sociologically.

    It seems to be a kind of number mysticism, like the Pythagoreans. Numbers mystically explain everything. If on the surface the numbers fail to match up, on a deeper mystical level they do.

    Guys like Karlin and Derbyshire care a lot about racial pride, but their number mysticism means more to them. Math shows that, for instance, Jewish dominance can't be a question of IQ. But number mysticism would lead one to ignore math.

    Number mysticism isn't about math or science, clearly. It claims a deeper truth.

    Beyond that, it seems related to a pleasure in simple ranking, a very boyish trait, a utopian belief in technology, a desire for order and organization, a need for control, a discomfort with fuzzy and complex realities, and much more, no doubt, will emerge over time.

    As you note, it also has to do with a personal narrative - myth - of being a heartless and cold realist. And facts are irrelevant to myths.

    Beyond that, it seems related to a pleasure in simple ranking, a very boyish trait, a utopian belief in technology, a desire for order and organization, a need for control, a discomfort with fuzzy and complex realities, and much more, no doubt, will emerge over time.

    But you have to admit that beyond that Karlin is also a good sport.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Oh, Karlin is the best sport. No question about that. I admire that he lets us have this conversation about him. Steve Sailer wouldn't.

    I even enjoy reading what Karlin writes, disagree though I may.
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  46. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills.
     
    Nope. Acceptance rates for females in the elite schools like Физтех и МФТИ remains in the vicinity of 33%. Girl really are not that much into physics and engineering.

    There are nerd-smarts and practical-smarts. Girls with high numerical skills in Russia are the usually the latter. That’s why they go into accounting and finance. There were twice as many women than men in the finance sector in 2013: http://privetstudent.com/kursovyye/ekonomika-kursovyye/4067-zanyatost-naseleniya-v-rossii-sostoyanie-problemy-i-perspektivy.html

    Read More
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  47. AaronB says:
    @utu

    Beyond that, it seems related to a pleasure in simple ranking, a very boyish trait, a utopian belief in technology, a desire for order and organization, a need for control, a discomfort with fuzzy and complex realities, and much more, no doubt, will emerge over time.
     
    But you have to admit that beyond that Karlin is also a good sport.

    Oh, Karlin is the best sport. No question about that. I admire that he lets us have this conversation about him. Steve Sailer wouldn’t.

    I even enjoy reading what Karlin writes, disagree though I may.

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  48. So what’s with the Polish national meltdown over people pointing out that that all the Nazi death camps were in Poland? I’m seeing it all over social media.

    The war was over 70 years ago guys. Move on with your lives.

    p.s.: It wouldn’t kill you to apologize for enthusiastically collaborating with the Nazis when they were carrying out the Final Solution and being the only country to have a pogrom after the war and then expelling all the Jews who remained en masse in the late 1960s. Do that and we’ll send you a fruit basket.

    Read More
    • Replies: @songbird
    Oh, heavens, it's not like Germany and Japan have some different guilt culture and one is being totally destroyed while the other is safe and sound. Why should the guilt of a few dead Polish collaborators become the guilt of all living? By that logic any country that is invaded is guilty, and the Ashkenazi are are not on top of the victimhood pyramid, but on top of the Nazi one because they had their collaborators too and they were more essential than any Poles. And that's just Nazism... I am still waiting for the Jewish apologies for Communism.
    , @anonymous
    Do the Yids have good fruit baskets?
    , @Pericles

    being the only country to have a pogrom after the war and then expelling all the Jews who remained

     

    Oh dear, can't you even keep count of your own grievances anymore? Far has the Jew fallen.

    Do that and we’ll send you a fruit basket.

     

    (PS. The fruit will obviously be poisoned.)
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  49. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Highly abstract, non-mundane tests like Ravens saw a 2S.D. increase. The increase in verbal and arithmetic ability was far more modest, on the order of a few points.

    Highly abstract, non-mundane tests like Ravens saw a 2S.D. increase. The increase in verbal and arithmetic ability was far more modest, on the order of a few points.

    That makes sense.

    Maybe part of the problem is that people keep arguing about genetic vs environmental factors. Maybe that’s not quite the right way to look at it. Maybe there are genetic factors. And then there are environmental factors – which means an individual’s immediate environment (schooling, parental influence etc). And then there are cultural factors (changes in the kinds of mental skills that society values and in the kinds of skills we absorb from society as a whole).

    There’s also an interesting question – have improvements in abstract mental skills (which are easily measurable) come at the expense of other mental skills that are much more difficult to measure (and which we’re not even making a real effort to measure)? Are we getting more intelligent overall, or more intelligent in some areas and less intelligent in others?

    I’m sure we’ve all read academic works by people who seem to have formidable analytical skills but who can’t even write understandable prose. And I’m sure we’ve all encountered academics whose understanding of abstract reasoning is impressive but whose understanding of the real world is terrifyingly naïve and even childish.

    Are we going to end up with a population of high IQ idiots?

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  50. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Talha
    And IQ changes...

    "The most common way of assessing intelligence is IQ testing. The Flynn effect describes the phenomenon that over time average IQ scores have been increasing in all countries since the turn of the twentieth century (the earliest point in time for which data is available). The change in IQ scores has been approximately three IQ points per decade. One major implications of this trend is that an average individual alive today would have an IQ of 130 by the standards of 1910, making them more intelligent than 98% of the population at that time. Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world."
    https://ourworldindata.org/intelligence

    Apparently, the city of New York was built by a bunch of retarted people. Ditto the discovery of flight - amazing what retarded people can do!

    Peace.

    Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world.

    A question about the Flynn effect. OK, IQ results have gone up three points per decade. Has the distribution of IQ changed? Has the distribution become more even or more uneven over the past century?

    Do we take into account the fact that severely retarded babies are more likely to be aborted today compared to 1910? Do we account for the possibility that quite a few kids with genius-level IQs in 1910 might have performed very poorly on tests due to malnutrition or to a complete lack of educational opportunities? Do we take into account that schooling in 1910 was rather different compared to schooling in 2010?

    Do we take motivation into account? An American kid in 1920 might have considered an IQ test to be an amusing game whereas a Chinese kid in 2010 is going to take an IQ test very very seriously indeed.

    Has the content of IQ tests remained exactly the same for the past century?

    Are we sure that data from 1910 is directly comparable to data from 2010? Are we even sure that data from 1950 is directly comparable to data from 2010? How much data do we have from the pre-war period?

    IQ tests produce numbers and those numbers can be crunched in impressive-looking ways and when you have numbers that can be crunched it always looks like Science! but how confident are we that the data from the past, or the data from various countries, can be trusted?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB

    Do we take motivation into account? An American kid in 1920 might have considered an IQ test to be an amusing game whereas a Chinese kid in 2010 is going to take an IQ test very very seriously indeed.
     
    They don't really consider these things, because they can't. Methodologies don't exist. They just pretty much ignore these things and pretend they don't matter.

    It's how the system works.
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  51. AaronB says:
    @dfordoom

    Equivalently, an individual alive in 1910 would have an IQ of 70 by today’s standards, a score that would be low enough to be considered intellectually disabled in the modern world.
     
    A question about the Flynn effect. OK, IQ results have gone up three points per decade. Has the distribution of IQ changed? Has the distribution become more even or more uneven over the past century?

    Do we take into account the fact that severely retarded babies are more likely to be aborted today compared to 1910? Do we account for the possibility that quite a few kids with genius-level IQs in 1910 might have performed very poorly on tests due to malnutrition or to a complete lack of educational opportunities? Do we take into account that schooling in 1910 was rather different compared to schooling in 2010?

    Do we take motivation into account? An American kid in 1920 might have considered an IQ test to be an amusing game whereas a Chinese kid in 2010 is going to take an IQ test very very seriously indeed.

    Has the content of IQ tests remained exactly the same for the past century?

    Are we sure that data from 1910 is directly comparable to data from 2010? Are we even sure that data from 1950 is directly comparable to data from 2010? How much data do we have from the pre-war period?

    IQ tests produce numbers and those numbers can be crunched in impressive-looking ways and when you have numbers that can be crunched it always looks like Science! but how confident are we that the data from the past, or the data from various countries, can be trusted?

    Do we take motivation into account? An American kid in 1920 might have considered an IQ test to be an amusing game whereas a Chinese kid in 2010 is going to take an IQ test very very seriously indeed.

    They don’t really consider these things, because they can’t. Methodologies don’t exist. They just pretty much ignore these things and pretend they don’t matter.

    It’s how the system works.

    Read More
    • Agree: Talha
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    They don’t really consider these things, because they can’t. Methodologies don’t exist. They just pretty much ignore these things and pretend they don’t matter.
     
    That's my assumption as well. IQ gets fetishised because it's so easy to come up with results that look impressive. Look at all these numbers! Look at all the pretty graphs! You know it's Science! because there are lots of graphs.

    IQ tests make intelligence seem so clean and clear-cut. The reality is that most likely intelligence is much more messy and complex and the reality may in fact be very very difficult to measure in a way that produces pretty graphs.
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  52. songbird says:
    @Greasy William
    So what's with the Polish national meltdown over people pointing out that that all the Nazi death camps were in Poland? I'm seeing it all over social media.

    The war was over 70 years ago guys. Move on with your lives.


    p.s.: It wouldn't kill you to apologize for enthusiastically collaborating with the Nazis when they were carrying out the Final Solution and being the only country to have a pogrom after the war and then expelling all the Jews who remained en masse in the late 1960s. Do that and we'll send you a fruit basket.

    Oh, heavens, it’s not like Germany and Japan have some different guilt culture and one is being totally destroyed while the other is safe and sound. Why should the guilt of a few dead Polish collaborators become the guilt of all living? By that logic any country that is invaded is guilty, and the Ashkenazi are are not on top of the victimhood pyramid, but on top of the Nazi one because they had their collaborators too and they were more essential than any Poles. And that’s just Nazism… I am still waiting for the Jewish apologies for Communism.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
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  53. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Greasy William
    So what's with the Polish national meltdown over people pointing out that that all the Nazi death camps were in Poland? I'm seeing it all over social media.

    The war was over 70 years ago guys. Move on with your lives.


    p.s.: It wouldn't kill you to apologize for enthusiastically collaborating with the Nazis when they were carrying out the Final Solution and being the only country to have a pogrom after the war and then expelling all the Jews who remained en masse in the late 1960s. Do that and we'll send you a fruit basket.

    Do the Yids have good fruit baskets?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Apologize and find out. Greasy, we’re holding you accountable, better have pineapples in there!
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  54. dfordoom says: • Website
    @AaronB

    Do we take motivation into account? An American kid in 1920 might have considered an IQ test to be an amusing game whereas a Chinese kid in 2010 is going to take an IQ test very very seriously indeed.
     
    They don't really consider these things, because they can't. Methodologies don't exist. They just pretty much ignore these things and pretend they don't matter.

    It's how the system works.

    They don’t really consider these things, because they can’t. Methodologies don’t exist. They just pretty much ignore these things and pretend they don’t matter.

    That’s my assumption as well. IQ gets fetishised because it’s so easy to come up with results that look impressive. Look at all these numbers! Look at all the pretty graphs! You know it’s Science! because there are lots of graphs.

    IQ tests make intelligence seem so clean and clear-cut. The reality is that most likely intelligence is much more messy and complex and the reality may in fact be very very difficult to measure in a way that produces pretty graphs.

    Read More
    • Agree: RobinG
    • Replies: @AaronB
    "Clear cut numbers" - Yup, it's number mysticism! Like the ancient Pythagoreans. You explain it well.

    John Gray thinks modern science is inspired by a version of Gnosticism - the idea that if we know just a bit more, figure out a few more things, we'll manage to escape our human predicament (salvation through gnosis).

    Point is, it's fascinating how these ancient religious systems, Gnosticism and Pythagorian number mysticism, inform the thinking of those whom pride themselves on being least religious.
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  55. AaronB says:
    @dfordoom

    They don’t really consider these things, because they can’t. Methodologies don’t exist. They just pretty much ignore these things and pretend they don’t matter.
     
    That's my assumption as well. IQ gets fetishised because it's so easy to come up with results that look impressive. Look at all these numbers! Look at all the pretty graphs! You know it's Science! because there are lots of graphs.

    IQ tests make intelligence seem so clean and clear-cut. The reality is that most likely intelligence is much more messy and complex and the reality may in fact be very very difficult to measure in a way that produces pretty graphs.

    “Clear cut numbers” – Yup, it’s number mysticism! Like the ancient Pythagoreans. You explain it well.

    John Gray thinks modern science is inspired by a version of Gnosticism – the idea that if we know just a bit more, figure out a few more things, we’ll manage to escape our human predicament (salvation through gnosis).

    Point is, it’s fascinating how these ancient religious systems, Gnosticism and Pythagorian number mysticism, inform the thinking of those whom pride themselves on being least religious.

    Read More
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  56. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @utu
    0.24 correlation is rather disappointing, right? Let's fix it. We can increase the correlation by correcting the restriction of range. Let's add to the list the Republic of Microcephalia that has IQ=0 and expected PIAAC score of 0. The correlation now is where we want it: 0.98 which means that IQ predicts 96% of variance of PIAAC scores. That's how you do (IQ) science!

    We could apply Thorndyke formula for correction and produce any number <1 with made up assumptions about the range. This is what is done routinely by psyshometricians so they can report high correlations. Obviously sometime the correction is justified but the temptation to improve result is also great and probably not always can be resisted. Therefore one always should take their claims that IQ has high correlation, say with income, with a grain of salt.

    Spearman also introduced a formula for correcting the attenuation effect (measurement errors) that also will boost correlation. The problem is that his formula sometimes produces results larger than 1. I am sure psychometrician love it. Spearman was very clever guy. Apparently they are still discussing it:


    https://www.ukessays.com/essays/psychology/corrections-for-attenuation-and-corrections-for-range-restriction-psychology-essay.php
    Corrections for attenuation and corrections for range restriction
    Psychometricians have offered various explanations for this phenomenon. Before the year ended, Karl Pearson (1904, in his appendix) had declared that any formula that produced correlation coefficients greater than one must have been improperly derived; however, no errors were subsequently found in Spearman's formula. This led to debate over both how correction for attenuation could result in a correlation greater than one and whether a procedure that often resulted in a correlation greater than one was valid. Many explanations for correction for attenuation's supposed flaw have been suggested.

    Others, including Spearman (1910), have attempted to explain corrected correlations greater than one as the normal result of sampling error. Worded more explicitly, this asserts that a corrected correlation of 1.03 should fall within the sampling distribution of corrected correlations produced by a population with a true-score correlation less than or equal to one. Despite this, it was some time before researchers first began to examine the sampling distributions of corrected correlations. However, some early studies that have examined the accuracy of correction for attenuation are of note [3] .

    Johnson's conclusion that "Corrected coefficients greater than one are caused by fluctuations in observed coefficients due to errors of measurement and not by fluctuations caused by errors of sampling, as suggested by Spearman" (Johnson, 1944, p. 536). Garside (1958) referenced the various bases of error variance in the coefficients as "function fluctuations".
     

    “That’s how you do (IQ) science!”

    What an ignorant fellow. Read this,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leverage_(statistics)

    and this,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partial_leverage

    “The leverage is typically defined as the diagonal of the hat matrix, which is

    H = X ( X ′ X ) − 1 X ′

    In your case with 1 independent variable, it is a column.

    Y = 1.7765 +1.0041*X1;

    Mult-R R-Squared AdjRsq SEest F(1,21) Sig
    0.9836 0.9676 0.9660 3.9187 626.4212 0

    Y Fitted Resid HatValue
    107.2000 107.2041 -0.0041 0.0553
    105.1000 101.1796 3.9204 0.0457
    104.3000 102.1837 2.1163 0.0468
    103.4000 101.1796 2.2204 0.0457
    103.2000 102.1837 1.0163 0.0468
    102.2000 100.1756 2.0244 0.0448
    102.1000 98.1674 3.9326 0.0437
    102.1000 101.1796 0.9204 0.0457
    102.0000 100.1756 1.8244 0.0448
    102.0000 100.1756 1.8244 0.0448
    101.5000 99.1715 2.3285 0.0442
    101.4000 102.1837 -0.7837 0.0468
    101.0000 101.1796 -0.1796 0.0457
    100.7000 101.1796 -0.4796 0.0457
    100.3000 108.2081 -7.9081 0.0576
    99.8000 93.1471 6.6529 0.0447
    98.9000 101.1796 -2.2796 0.0457
    98.4000 100.1756 -1.7756 0.0448
    98.3000 94.1511 4.1489 0.0441
    97.4000 100.1756 -2.7756 0.0448
    94.7000 100.1756 -5.4756 0.0448
    94.7000 104.1919 -9.4919 0.0495
    0.0000 1.7765 -1.7765 0.9773 <—

    Although the residue of the added point is small (-1.7765), the HatValue stands up like a sore thumb.

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    • Replies: @utu
    It did not occur to you that I was facetious?
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  57. Darin says:
    @utu
    You are getting better and better. However I doubt your interlocutor will get it. I have tried and failed once to make him see that banking fees are de facto interest (by other name) in Muslim banking. He just could not transcend his indoctrination and see it as mere semantical issue.

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?

    In bygone times, the great embarrassment for Marxist ideology was the fact that actual proletarian workers never rose above “trade union mentality” (IOW: wanted better pay) and had no interest in revolution and seizing the means of production. Fortunately, great man came and found a creative way to square the circle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguardism

    Now, the nascent IQ ideology have similar problem – as our esteemed host AK complained many times, the actual high IQ people have no interest. As great man asked: “What is to be done?”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Asking high IQ people to be interested is like asking the son of a capitalist who inherited a factory to be interested in handing over his properties to the workers. Of course the rich heir is likely to believe in some ideology in which he deserves his fortune and advantages in life.

    If you want to put it in social justice terms, those born with higher ability are unwilling to admit their unearned privilege and not only do they refuse to share the benefits of their unearned privilege, their denial creates belief in policies that are detrimental to the lower IQ members of their nations when they themselves are immune and, even worse, they fall for ideologies in which those born with lower intelligence through no fault of their own get branded morally inferior.
    , @utu

    the actual high IQ people have no interest
     
    They are. That's why they are quarantined in Mensa clubs where they can engage in solving puzzles with zero impact on society.

    The chief impact and possibly the only objective of IQ "ideology" is to convince masses that they belong to where they are. IQ "ideology" is pacifying and conservative not revolutionary. The top dogs do not need to believe in it as long as the masses do. The liberal Jewish left objections to it are not really wholehearted.
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  58. utu says:
    @Anon
    "That’s how you do (IQ) science!"

    What an ignorant fellow. Read this,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leverage_(statistics)

    and this,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partial_leverage

    "The leverage is typically defined as the diagonal of the hat matrix, which is

    H = X ( X ′ X ) − 1 X ′

    In your case with 1 independent variable, it is a column.

    Y = 1.7765 +1.0041*X1;

    Mult-R R-Squared AdjRsq SEest F(1,21) Sig
    0.9836 0.9676 0.9660 3.9187 626.4212 0

    Y Fitted Resid HatValue
    107.2000 107.2041 -0.0041 0.0553
    105.1000 101.1796 3.9204 0.0457
    104.3000 102.1837 2.1163 0.0468
    103.4000 101.1796 2.2204 0.0457
    103.2000 102.1837 1.0163 0.0468
    102.2000 100.1756 2.0244 0.0448
    102.1000 98.1674 3.9326 0.0437
    102.1000 101.1796 0.9204 0.0457
    102.0000 100.1756 1.8244 0.0448
    102.0000 100.1756 1.8244 0.0448
    101.5000 99.1715 2.3285 0.0442
    101.4000 102.1837 -0.7837 0.0468
    101.0000 101.1796 -0.1796 0.0457
    100.7000 101.1796 -0.4796 0.0457
    100.3000 108.2081 -7.9081 0.0576
    99.8000 93.1471 6.6529 0.0447
    98.9000 101.1796 -2.2796 0.0457
    98.4000 100.1756 -1.7756 0.0448
    98.3000 94.1511 4.1489 0.0441
    97.4000 100.1756 -2.7756 0.0448
    94.7000 100.1756 -5.4756 0.0448
    94.7000 104.1919 -9.4919 0.0495
    0.0000 1.7765 -1.7765 0.9773 <---

    Although the residue of the added point is small (-1.7765), the HatValue stands up like a sore thumb.

    It did not occur to you that I was facetious?

    Read More
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  59. ussr andy says:
    @AP

    In Russia, it seems women are brighter, not only on average, but even in terms of numerical skills.

    Nope. Acceptance rates for females in the elite schools like Физтех и МФТИ remains in the vicinity of 33%. Girl really are not that much into physics and engineering.
     
    Likely explanation for this (which also explains why fewer females in STEM fields is not caused by discrimination against females):

    http://www.cds.web.unc.edu/files/2014/10/not_lack_of_ability.pdf

    In a national study of over 1,000 high school students, they found that:

    1. 70 percent more girls than boys had strong math and verbal skills;

    2. Boys were more than twice as likely as girls to have strong math skills but not strong verbal skills;

    3. People (regardless of whether they were male or female) who had only strong math skills as students were more likely to be working in STEM fields at age 33 than were other students;

    4. People (regardless of whether they were male or female) with strong math and verbal skills as students were less likely to be working in STEM fields at age 33 than were those with only strong math skills.

    “Results revealed that mathematically capable individuals who also had high verbal skills were less likely to pursue STEM careers than were individuals who had high math skills but moderate verbal skills. One notable finding was that the group with high math and high verbal ability included more females than males…

    Our study provides evidence that it is not lack of ability that causes females to pursue non-STEM careers, but rather the greater likelihood that females with high math ability also have high verbal ability and thus can consider a wider range of occupations than their male peers with high math ability, who are more likely to have moderate verbal ability.”

    that doesn’t solve the problem of there being relatively more super-smart men (and morons alike) because in a sexually reproducing species males are “responsible” for the variation. even if there was one IQ 160 guy for >9000 IQ 140 females men would still be redeemed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Sure, but we are talking about the tens of thousands of people of sufficient intelligence to work in STEM fields, not rare geniuses (of which there are more men than women).
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  60. Talha says:
    @anonymous
    Do the Yids have good fruit baskets?

    Apologize and find out. Greasy, we’re holding you accountable, better have pineapples in there!

    Read More
    • LOL: Greasy William
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  61. @Darin

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?
     
    In bygone times, the great embarrassment for Marxist ideology was the fact that actual proletarian workers never rose above "trade union mentality" (IOW: wanted better pay) and had no interest in revolution and seizing the means of production. Fortunately, great man came and found a creative way to square the circle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguardism

    Now, the nascent IQ ideology have similar problem - as our esteemed host AK complained many times, the actual high IQ people have no interest. As great man asked: "What is to be done?"

    Asking high IQ people to be interested is like asking the son of a capitalist who inherited a factory to be interested in handing over his properties to the workers. Of course the rich heir is likely to believe in some ideology in which he deserves his fortune and advantages in life.

    If you want to put it in social justice terms, those born with higher ability are unwilling to admit their unearned privilege and not only do they refuse to share the benefits of their unearned privilege, their denial creates belief in policies that are detrimental to the lower IQ members of their nations when they themselves are immune and, even worse, they fall for ideologies in which those born with lower intelligence through no fault of their own get branded morally inferior.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Perceptive comment, interesting for unconsciously reflecting the attitude it decries.

    Since "innate ability" is significantly a reflection of ambition, those who are ambitious naturally will claim they deserve their fortune through being innately better at what "everyone is trying to do anyways". They will be blind to the extent that others aren't as ambitious as they are. They will even deny it.

    To admit it, would be to accept the contingent nature of their own success, and it's lack of even a naturalistic justification, much less a moral one.

    It's lame to admit you just wanted it more. That wouldn't do at all. It would even be dangerous. All elites must hide their true character and create a mystique for themselves.
    , @Lucius Somesuch
    Many people repeat this 'through no fault of their own' argument but what does it mean? Are they reincarnationists who believe that all souls are interchangeable blank slate slices of Brahman, to whom in earthly life are meted out unequal fates yet equal reciprocal obligations based upon the supposed metaphysical truth that all their differences are illusory?

    When you listen to Mozart do you think, "He didn't earn that musical ability!"?

    Besides the actual work involved in realizing one's potential, there is also the obvious point to be made that it is fanatical and fallacious to insist that people somehow do not enjoy an absolute right to the abilities they are born with. No non-Mozart has any right to complain that somehow Mozart has a duty to spill out his gifts into their heads, as if they should somehow get to own his music too--instead of being grateful just to get to hear it.
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  62. OT: Jews are smart and Iranians are stupid, but for the first time in history Iranians have managed to outsmart the Jews.

    I’m reading about the events on the Israeli/Syrian border and trying to piece together what happened and now it is all starting to become clear:

    1. Iran launched a worthless drone that they probably bought at Radio Shack for 75 bucks into Israeli airspace, knowing that Israel would do their usual “non-retaliation retaliation”.
    2. Israel goes to bomb the trailer Iran launched the drone from, thinking that this is just another day at the office.
    3. Iran, however, had actually packed the site with anti aircraft and then just lit up the sky with massed fire at the Israeli warplanes passing overhead.
    4. The sheer density of the fire caused an F-16 to get caught and subsequently crash.
    5. At this stage, Iran and Syria have scored an amazing propaganda coup over Israel, in some ways more impressive then what they achieved in 2006. This is the first time since 1973 that an Israeli fighter jet has been shot down and now Arab/Islamic media is going to be blaring about how they have finally neutralized the IAF.
    6. This whole thing was a bit of a gamble, because if Iran had tried to pull this crap against a country with even an iota of self respect, the response would have been devastating. But since Israeli’s are the most rootless and cowardly people in human history, Iran was pretty sure that Israel would do nothing. And they were right.

    Well played, Iran.

    Read More
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  63. AaronB says:
    @Jaakko Raipala
    Asking high IQ people to be interested is like asking the son of a capitalist who inherited a factory to be interested in handing over his properties to the workers. Of course the rich heir is likely to believe in some ideology in which he deserves his fortune and advantages in life.

    If you want to put it in social justice terms, those born with higher ability are unwilling to admit their unearned privilege and not only do they refuse to share the benefits of their unearned privilege, their denial creates belief in policies that are detrimental to the lower IQ members of their nations when they themselves are immune and, even worse, they fall for ideologies in which those born with lower intelligence through no fault of their own get branded morally inferior.

    Perceptive comment, interesting for unconsciously reflecting the attitude it decries.

    Since “innate ability” is significantly a reflection of ambition, those who are ambitious naturally will claim they deserve their fortune through being innately better at what “everyone is trying to do anyways”. They will be blind to the extent that others aren’t as ambitious as they are. They will even deny it.

    To admit it, would be to accept the contingent nature of their own success, and it’s lack of even a naturalistic justification, much less a moral one.

    It’s lame to admit you just wanted it more. That wouldn’t do at all. It would even be dangerous. All elites must hide their true character and create a mystique for themselves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Well, for what it is worth, as Jayman notes - there is a significant genetic component to all personality traits. "Wanting it more" is likely a functional combination of increased dopaminergic receptivity, dissatisfaction in present state might be a function of increased amygdala activity, and so on. We can't easily measure ambition, but its only by groping and testing what we can know(pattern recognition, ability to delay reward, educational patterns,etc.), that we learn more.

    And yes, confirmation bias is always a thing. But the experimental method at least allows us to at least try to eliminate nonreplicating ideas. Insofar as the contingent nature of success - I do think it is interesting that even in, say, liberal variations of such as in Jared Diamond's work, you still see a streak of moralism - just flipped.

    An actually nihilistic view that its all randomness, and random variations leading to meaningful patterns within subset that ultimately all doesn't matter...well, that's kind of like embracing the idea that nothing really matters since we all will suffer the heat death of the universe.

    Its not all that episdemically useful, even if its rational.
    , @Jaakko Raipala

    Since “innate ability” is significantly a reflection of ambition,
     
    I disagree. I studied theoretical physics. I picked it because I thought it would be an easy subject where I could pass courses with pure ability without ever having to do homework. For the first two years that was true and I watched a lot of the other students with much more motivation and work ethic put more effort into the subjects and get nowhere while for me it was free years of being paid student benefits for doing no work.

    It worked for me until I got to the more advanced courses like quantum field theory where I found out that things were no longer trivial and that to pass exams I needed to put hours of work into calculations every day. These courses had very few students since most people had dropped out earlier. Why is it that so many hard working students gave up in the first or second year when I stayed for the simple reason that it was effortless?

    Math ability is just something that I always had. Innate. I did nothing whatsoever to earn or develop it. And eventually I found out that my intelligence is not unlimited. Theoretical physics studies do not tend to produce IQ deniers since it's just too obvious in the experience that some people just do effortlessly what others cannot do and that everyone eventually reaches limits.

    I have a lot of relatives who have very high IQs without very high ambition, in fact a lot of Mensa members who boast about their IQs but do nothing with them beyond having parties with other Mensa members where they drink beer until their IQs are reduced to nothing. There's plenty of work for them in computers and the like and a high IQ person with low ambition is likely to turn out better paid than a low IQ person even if they'll miss the highest status professions that have tons of competition.

    A low IQ person can have a high work ethic and ambition but they're unlikely to get much out of it unless they have a rare skill like sports or music.
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  64. Talha says:
    @AaronB
    Yes, Talha, but we must allow them their myths.

    I think it's a mistake to view this as about actual reality or science or whatever.

    It's a myth that helps them deal with certain aspects of reality. You saw that on the other thread when Karlin said Jewish influence can be explained by IQ, and then couldn't say anything when it was pointed out the numbers don't work out. It's not really about the numbers working out. Derbyshire is the same way.

    It's the same with the Hajnal Line white altruism thing. It's just a myth that gives them self confidence. Facts won't disprove it. It's a story.

    Forgive me for saying so, but Islam is also a myth - in the sense that it is a set of symbols helping us deal with an unknowable reality. Of course, Islam is a much better and more life sustaining myth, but I don't think we get to choose our myths. Myths choose us.

    Karlin has been captured by a particular myth, and he doesn't have any choice in the matter. Nor do I, nor do you. Facts aren't really the issue with IQ - the ability of the myth to help deal with a particular aspect of the world is, to create a feeling of control in an area that is of deep concern for you.

    Which myths capture our minds probably has to do with which aspects of reality we are trying to deal with. You're Muslin because you are trying to deal with certain aspects of reality that Karlin isn't, and I'm sympathetic to Islam for the same reason.

    Science itself is a set of symbols allowing us to deal with an unknowable reality. There may be more than one set of equations that allow airplanes to fly. We are just satisfied with the first ones that work. We would have no incentive to search for other ones, but they may exist.

    The medievals thought objects fall to the earth because they have souls and are attracted to each other. Newton said the exact same thing in slightly different language and called it gravity. Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    Both used symbols to deal with an ultimate reality that is unknowable.

    Science came out of the occult and magic, as we know, and for centuries the goal of the occult was to "make nature yield up its secrets". Science took over this goal and used a different set of symbols.

    How well your symbols deal with reality is different in each case. With the equations that make airplanes fly, the effectiveness of the symbols depends on whether airplanes actually fly (without telling us anything about what's really going on).

    With IQ, the effectiveness of the symbol is how it makes you feel about certain groups of people and the future of technology.

    Both sets of symbols perform their purpose well, or they would naturally disappear. People hold on to what works, we just don't always understand what it's supposed to do.

    IQ will disappear as a myth of it ever ceases performing it's function. It's just a mistake to think that it's function is to give an accurate picture of reality in fine detail. It's function is to help deal with an aspect of reality that some people find chaotic.

    I guess what I'm saying is, don't be such a stickler for truth and reality :)

    At the same time, for people like you and I pointing out the inadequacy of the IQ myth from the pov of those aspects of reality we seek to navigate is just as important, and I will continue doing so, and I appreciate your efforts.

    I realize you disagree with much here, and if you've read this far, I apologize for being so weird.

    Hey AaronB,

    Forgive me for saying so, but Islam is also a myth – in the sense that it is a set of symbols helping us deal with an unknowable reality.

    Nothing to forgive, I totally get what you are saying. There are simply limits to human understanding; in the books of our scholars, there are warnings about delving into impractical matters that are not under the purview of human comprehension. Or as the Second Caliph, Abu Bakr (ra) said (in poetry): “Your inability to comprehend God is your comprehension of God.”

    And I get what you are saying, people have to anchor themselves somewhere. Extreme skepticism and doubt in everything will eventually lead to one questioning one’s own doubt or even the reliability of one’s own senses; am I awake, are my memories real, etc.

    An anchor is absolutely necessary to make sense of the chaos we observe and it needs to have some level of coherency to be useful. People then choose what “big picture” fits the questions they are looking to answer; the bigger one being – what’s the purpose? Though from what I’ve observed, many people seem to sidestep that one.

    I realize you disagree with much here, and if you’ve read this far, I apologize for being so weird.

    No sweat, I enjoyed it, your comments are always welcome.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Thanks, Talha. I figured you'd be broadlminded enough to get what I was saying.

    In a way it's a deeply religious position. Acceptance of mystery, of the basic unknowability of the world that makes a mockery of human self assertion.

    For me, formal religion can detract from the mystery. I also find that formal religions eventually become about escaping the human predicament rather than submitting to it. That's why I've decided modernity isn't fundamentally discontinuous with tradition, because what we now regard as tradition is itself discontinuous with a much older way of thinking.

    Yet, this older way of thinking - a mystical submission to the human predicament and the cosmos rather than grand schemes of escape which characterize both modernity and mainstream tradition - is preserved as a kernel of spirituality in all religions. In Islam it's Sufism, and even the word Islam - submission - points to this older sensibility.

    But sadly, all formal religion becomes about human self assertion and "cosmic revolt". Even Taoism, whose founding document is maybe the purest expression of cosmic submission we have, became about gimmicky attempts to gain immortality and other powers.

    To return to your "anchor" - I wonder if acceptance of mystery can allow us to dispense with the need for anchors. Perhaps the best of religion are symbols that point to the falling away of all anchors and a final dwelling in mystery.

    But these are speculations .
    , @RobinG
    You are (aren't you?) assuming there is a purpose.
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  65. AaronB says:
    @Talha
    Hey AaronB,

    Forgive me for saying so, but Islam is also a myth – in the sense that it is a set of symbols helping us deal with an unknowable reality.
     
    Nothing to forgive, I totally get what you are saying. There are simply limits to human understanding; in the books of our scholars, there are warnings about delving into impractical matters that are not under the purview of human comprehension. Or as the Second Caliph, Abu Bakr (ra) said (in poetry): "Your inability to comprehend God is your comprehension of God."

    And I get what you are saying, people have to anchor themselves somewhere. Extreme skepticism and doubt in everything will eventually lead to one questioning one's own doubt or even the reliability of one's own senses; am I awake, are my memories real, etc.

    An anchor is absolutely necessary to make sense of the chaos we observe and it needs to have some level of coherency to be useful. People then choose what "big picture" fits the questions they are looking to answer; the bigger one being - what's the purpose? Though from what I've observed, many people seem to sidestep that one.

    I realize you disagree with much here, and if you’ve read this far, I apologize for being so weird.
     
    No sweat, I enjoyed it, your comments are always welcome.

    Peace.

    Thanks, Talha. I figured you’d be broadlminded enough to get what I was saying.

    In a way it’s a deeply religious position. Acceptance of mystery, of the basic unknowability of the world that makes a mockery of human self assertion.

    For me, formal religion can detract from the mystery. I also find that formal religions eventually become about escaping the human predicament rather than submitting to it. That’s why I’ve decided modernity isn’t fundamentally discontinuous with tradition, because what we now regard as tradition is itself discontinuous with a much older way of thinking.

    Yet, this older way of thinking – a mystical submission to the human predicament and the cosmos rather than grand schemes of escape which characterize both modernity and mainstream tradition – is preserved as a kernel of spirituality in all religions. In Islam it’s Sufism, and even the word Islam – submission – points to this older sensibility.

    But sadly, all formal religion becomes about human self assertion and “cosmic revolt”. Even Taoism, whose founding document is maybe the purest expression of cosmic submission we have, became about gimmicky attempts to gain immortality and other powers.

    To return to your “anchor” – I wonder if acceptance of mystery can allow us to dispense with the need for anchors. Perhaps the best of religion are symbols that point to the falling away of all anchors and a final dwelling in mystery.

    But these are speculations .

    Read More
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  66. @AaronB
    Perceptive comment, interesting for unconsciously reflecting the attitude it decries.

    Since "innate ability" is significantly a reflection of ambition, those who are ambitious naturally will claim they deserve their fortune through being innately better at what "everyone is trying to do anyways". They will be blind to the extent that others aren't as ambitious as they are. They will even deny it.

    To admit it, would be to accept the contingent nature of their own success, and it's lack of even a naturalistic justification, much less a moral one.

    It's lame to admit you just wanted it more. That wouldn't do at all. It would even be dangerous. All elites must hide their true character and create a mystique for themselves.

    Well, for what it is worth, as Jayman notes – there is a significant genetic component to all personality traits. “Wanting it more” is likely a functional combination of increased dopaminergic receptivity, dissatisfaction in present state might be a function of increased amygdala activity, and so on. We can’t easily measure ambition, but its only by groping and testing what we can know(pattern recognition, ability to delay reward, educational patterns,etc.), that we learn more.

    And yes, confirmation bias is always a thing. But the experimental method at least allows us to at least try to eliminate nonreplicating ideas. Insofar as the contingent nature of success – I do think it is interesting that even in, say, liberal variations of such as in Jared Diamond’s work, you still see a streak of moralism – just flipped.

    An actually nihilistic view that its all randomness, and random variations leading to meaningful patterns within subset that ultimately all doesn’t matter…well, that’s kind of like embracing the idea that nothing really matters since we all will suffer the heat death of the universe.

    Its not all that episdemically useful, even if its rational.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    IYes, but all inherited traits are mediated by the environment. Our current methods to separate out environmental influence strike me as seriously inadequate.

    " Dissatisfied people" - the ambitious - may be victims of culture or family environment. A culture may begin as a random response from a limited set of choices to the human condition, and then become self-perpetuating with no one in control.

    Culture may be a combination of random factors within a system of constraints. There are not an infinite number of options, but variation may be random.

    Processes in the amygdala may be one small part of what is going on.

    Why fear randomness? It's another name for mystery. The attempt to perfectly understand phenomena like culture by describing it as entirely physiological is an attempt to banish mystery.


    well, that’s kind of like embracing the idea that nothing really matters since we all will suffer the heat death of the universe.
     
    Well, there's no need to embrace such a position. One can dwell in mystery, accepting that flashes of meaning come and go, that we can never really know what's going on, and that everything that gives our life value is unknowable - beauty, friendship, love.

    Indeed to understand everything would render the world meaningless. What can be intellectually known is trivial. Think about what you "understand" - you will find it has little to do with what gives your life meaning.

    Randomness, properly understood, isn't nihilistic. The attempt to understand everything is nihilistic. Or rather, the claim that all reality can be reduced to the categories of our intellect, is.

    As for epistemic usefulness, theories are determined by practical considerations.

    If your goal is a more egalitarian society, the theory that ambition, rooted in accidents of upbringing, is the distinguishing mark of an elite may be very epistemically useful.

    If your goal is "naturalizing" elites, then the theory that it is chiefly the result of innate ability (us today), or "character" (the British aristocracy), or the divine right of kings, is very epistemically useful.

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  67. AaronB says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    Well, for what it is worth, as Jayman notes - there is a significant genetic component to all personality traits. "Wanting it more" is likely a functional combination of increased dopaminergic receptivity, dissatisfaction in present state might be a function of increased amygdala activity, and so on. We can't easily measure ambition, but its only by groping and testing what we can know(pattern recognition, ability to delay reward, educational patterns,etc.), that we learn more.

    And yes, confirmation bias is always a thing. But the experimental method at least allows us to at least try to eliminate nonreplicating ideas. Insofar as the contingent nature of success - I do think it is interesting that even in, say, liberal variations of such as in Jared Diamond's work, you still see a streak of moralism - just flipped.

    An actually nihilistic view that its all randomness, and random variations leading to meaningful patterns within subset that ultimately all doesn't matter...well, that's kind of like embracing the idea that nothing really matters since we all will suffer the heat death of the universe.

    Its not all that episdemically useful, even if its rational.

    IYes, but all inherited traits are mediated by the environment. Our current methods to separate out environmental influence strike me as seriously inadequate.

    ” Dissatisfied people” – the ambitious – may be victims of culture or family environment. A culture may begin as a random response from a limited set of choices to the human condition, and then become self-perpetuating with no one in control.

    Culture may be a combination of random factors within a system of constraints. There are not an infinite number of options, but variation may be random.

    Processes in the amygdala may be one small part of what is going on.

    Why fear randomness? It’s another name for mystery. The attempt to perfectly understand phenomena like culture by describing it as entirely physiological is an attempt to banish mystery.

    well, that’s kind of like embracing the idea that nothing really matters since we all will suffer the heat death of the universe.

    Well, there’s no need to embrace such a position. One can dwell in mystery, accepting that flashes of meaning come and go, that we can never really know what’s going on, and that everything that gives our life value is unknowable – beauty, friendship, love.

    Indeed to understand everything would render the world meaningless. What can be intellectually known is trivial. Think about what you “understand” – you will find it has little to do with what gives your life meaning.

    Randomness, properly understood, isn’t nihilistic. The attempt to understand everything is nihilistic. Or rather, the claim that all reality can be reduced to the categories of our intellect, is.

    As for epistemic usefulness, theories are determined by practical considerations.

    If your goal is a more egalitarian society, the theory that ambition, rooted in accidents of upbringing, is the distinguishing mark of an elite may be very epistemically useful.

    If your goal is “naturalizing” elites, then the theory that it is chiefly the result of innate ability (us today), or “character” (the British aristocracy), or the divine right of kings, is very epistemically useful.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    And Daniel, I just want to make clear I'm mot a radical egalitarian.

    The ambitious, however they came to be, have to work out their unhapinesd through competition and hierarchy. Otherwise they will go nuts. And it would be cruel.

    And no truly non-ambitious person could care less if someone has more money or status than him. Absolute equality is about resentment and revenge, and may be just another scheme of the ambitious to cone to power. The average man doesn't want it.

    What I favor is coexistence between the ambitious and the non-ambitious. That is the basis of a stable society.

    Today, the ambitious have tried to stigmatize non ambition and make it impossible to be a "non productive" member of society. It's unstable.

    In medieval times, for instance, there was radical inequality but even s beggar was accorded some measure of respect and legitimacy.

    If we try and deny the ambitious an outlet, they will seek to destroy society. Likewise, if we deny the non ambitious an outlet, the ambitious will not be able to keep their position. As they will learn.
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  68. Pericles says:
    @Greasy William
    So what's with the Polish national meltdown over people pointing out that that all the Nazi death camps were in Poland? I'm seeing it all over social media.

    The war was over 70 years ago guys. Move on with your lives.


    p.s.: It wouldn't kill you to apologize for enthusiastically collaborating with the Nazis when they were carrying out the Final Solution and being the only country to have a pogrom after the war and then expelling all the Jews who remained en masse in the late 1960s. Do that and we'll send you a fruit basket.

    being the only country to have a pogrom after the war and then expelling all the Jews who remained

    Oh dear, can’t you even keep count of your own grievances anymore? Far has the Jew fallen.

    Do that and we’ll send you a fruit basket.

    (PS. The fruit will obviously be poisoned.)

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    • Replies: @Alden
    That porgrom was arranged and committed by the Jewish communist party and Jewish government of Poland.

    The reason was to create propaganda to make the United States believe that the Poles were anti Semitic nazis.

    Thus the United States, at the time the strongest country in the world would accept the Jewish communist take over of Poland.

    All during the war Jewish Polish communists trained in both Russia and the Russian occupied eastern Poland to take over the country when the war ended. Starting in 1944 the polish jeeish cominusts began a program of assassination of goyim democrat Poles who could have been leaders of a non communist Poland after the war.

    It was easy enough in the eastern Poland Russian sector. In 1944 communists infiltrated the western German sector and began murdering goyim Poles who would have been leaders of a non communist Poland

    The Israelis and AIPAC are not looking for an apology from Poland. They are looking to extort billions of US dollars from Poland as compensation for what the Germans allegedly did to Poles in Auschwitz.

    A constant theme in Jewish propaganda is that the Germans established the camps in Auschwitz because the Poles were sympathetic to the extermination of Jews.

    The real reason was that the town of Auschwitz was the European version of Chicago Re the railroad system. RR tracks from all over Europe east and west, north and south crosses in that town.
    So it was the perfect place for the factories, labor camps and military transport. Also, Poland was out of bombing range. Poland was the only German occupied country that had no government. The entire country was run as German army occupied territory.
    Not one Pole was involved in running the camps or capturing and sending anyone, Goy or Jew to the camps.

    It’s the Jewish communists who should apologize and pay compensation to Catholic Poland for what they did to Poland both during the occupation of Eastern Poland during the war and after the war.

    Having extorted tens of billions from other European countries, Israel and AIPAC now focus on Poland.

    But the Poles have the balls to resist.

    , @Alden
    The extortion demand for billions in compensation from Poland is an indication the the economy of Israel is in a down turn.

    It’s been that way for 70 years Whenever Israel has financial problems or is planning a new war against its neighbors, it discovers yet another country or institution that “ didn’t do enough to save Jews during the war “ and thus must cough up billions to support the parasite Israel. There is also the holocaust compensation industry. Thousands of Jews have very lucrative jobs in that industry. One interesting thing about the holicaust compensation industry, the survivors and Jews who lost property are never compensated. The extortion money goes on salaries and Israeli settlement and military expenditure.
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  69. “Russia is at the very bottom of the list, suggesting highly inefficient cognitive selection. The pessimistic but plausible explanation that comes to mind is endemic corruption and nepotism.”

    Interesting observation here on the cost to efficiency of corruption, apart from the more obvious social cost that comes to mind of stunted business formation in a setting of political risk, graft, etc.

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  70. utu says:
    @Darin

    As far as IQ as myth one should look at what is its function and utility. What does it do to people who succumb to this myth? What vulnerability it creates while wearing the mask of cold and heartless realist?
     
    In bygone times, the great embarrassment for Marxist ideology was the fact that actual proletarian workers never rose above "trade union mentality" (IOW: wanted better pay) and had no interest in revolution and seizing the means of production. Fortunately, great man came and found a creative way to square the circle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguardism

    Now, the nascent IQ ideology have similar problem - as our esteemed host AK complained many times, the actual high IQ people have no interest. As great man asked: "What is to be done?"

    the actual high IQ people have no interest

    They are. That’s why they are quarantined in Mensa clubs where they can engage in solving puzzles with zero impact on society.

    The chief impact and possibly the only objective of IQ “ideology” is to convince masses that they belong to where they are. IQ “ideology” is pacifying and conservative not revolutionary. The top dogs do not need to believe in it as long as the masses do. The liberal Jewish left objections to it are not really wholehearted.

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  71. AaronB says:
    @AaronB
    IYes, but all inherited traits are mediated by the environment. Our current methods to separate out environmental influence strike me as seriously inadequate.

    " Dissatisfied people" - the ambitious - may be victims of culture or family environment. A culture may begin as a random response from a limited set of choices to the human condition, and then become self-perpetuating with no one in control.

    Culture may be a combination of random factors within a system of constraints. There are not an infinite number of options, but variation may be random.

    Processes in the amygdala may be one small part of what is going on.

    Why fear randomness? It's another name for mystery. The attempt to perfectly understand phenomena like culture by describing it as entirely physiological is an attempt to banish mystery.


    well, that’s kind of like embracing the idea that nothing really matters since we all will suffer the heat death of the universe.
     
    Well, there's no need to embrace such a position. One can dwell in mystery, accepting that flashes of meaning come and go, that we can never really know what's going on, and that everything that gives our life value is unknowable - beauty, friendship, love.

    Indeed to understand everything would render the world meaningless. What can be intellectually known is trivial. Think about what you "understand" - you will find it has little to do with what gives your life meaning.

    Randomness, properly understood, isn't nihilistic. The attempt to understand everything is nihilistic. Or rather, the claim that all reality can be reduced to the categories of our intellect, is.

    As for epistemic usefulness, theories are determined by practical considerations.

    If your goal is a more egalitarian society, the theory that ambition, rooted in accidents of upbringing, is the distinguishing mark of an elite may be very epistemically useful.

    If your goal is "naturalizing" elites, then the theory that it is chiefly the result of innate ability (us today), or "character" (the British aristocracy), or the divine right of kings, is very epistemically useful.

    And Daniel, I just want to make clear I’m mot a radical egalitarian.

    The ambitious, however they came to be, have to work out their unhapinesd through competition and hierarchy. Otherwise they will go nuts. And it would be cruel.

    And no truly non-ambitious person could care less if someone has more money or status than him. Absolute equality is about resentment and revenge, and may be just another scheme of the ambitious to cone to power. The average man doesn’t want it.

    What I favor is coexistence between the ambitious and the non-ambitious. That is the basis of a stable society.

    Today, the ambitious have tried to stigmatize non ambition and make it impossible to be a “non productive” member of society. It’s unstable.

    In medieval times, for instance, there was radical inequality but even s beggar was accorded some measure of respect and legitimacy.

    If we try and deny the ambitious an outlet, they will seek to destroy society. Likewise, if we deny the non ambitious an outlet, the ambitious will not be able to keep their position. As they will learn.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bomag

    If we try and deny the ambitious an outlet, they will seek to destroy society. Likewise, if we deny the non ambitious an outlet, the ambitious will not be able to keep their position. As they will learn.
     
    It seems, almost by definition, that the ambitious win and prevail, while the unambitious lose and go away.

    What recourse do the non-ambitious have against the ambitious, other than to spool up more ambition in the game of life?
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  72. Dmitry says:

    The OECD might be useful for providing analysis of local housing markets.

    I’d be very sceptical of any of their other measurements – considering that I downloaded the PISA ‘maths’ test a couple weeks ago, and discovered that it has no maths in it.

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  73. OT: The New Angus Maddison Database update (2018) is out! It is a big update with a lot of methodological re-working. It seems quite credible to my mind, for instance Turkey’s GDP per capita (PPP-adjusted) is 18K in 2016. The official Turkstat number on the same metric is closer to 24K, but that is largely because they cook their numbers. India’s GDP per capita is also lower, which is also congruent with criticism from many Indian economists about the unreliability of Indian GDP data. China’s number is also somewhat lower, but not nearly as much of a downward revision as for Turkey or India, which gels with I have written for some time now. They all cook their numbers but China does it less than Turkey(worst offender) or India(pretty bad).

    The discrepancy between Maddison and their official numbers will be funny to watch.

    What is more fascinating is that Russia’s GDP per capita was moving up very rapidly up until 1970s, this is common knowledge, but according to the latest database revision, Russia was actually quite close to Norway up until the 1970s after it had a period of stagnation and then of course the disastrous 1990s.

    It makes you think: if Russia had moved to a Chinese reform system in the early 1970s, it’s per capita GDP could well be at Scandinavian levels. It was able to do very well up until the 1970s at the very least in PPP-adjusted terms.

    The excel database is here: https://www.rug.nl/ggdc/historicaldevelopment/maddison/data/mpd2018.xlsx

    I use LibreOffice (6.0) just fine, though for those of you who prefer Open Source.

    Also, here’s the background paper. It’s interesting reading!

    https://www.rug.nl/ggdc/html_publications/memorandum/gd174.pdf

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    if Russia had moved to a Chinese reform system in the early 1970s
     
    It was impossible. They had a huge Stalinist economic sector (basically, all of their economy), and moving to reform in some sectors would have caused disturbances in it. In Hungary when small scale private enterprises were allowed in the 1980s, directors of government owned firms used them to siphon off resources from their firms. Party secretaries etc. got their cuts so didn’t care. The same things happened in the USSR a few years later, albeit at an even larger scale, probably because the system there had been even more rigid.

    The problem with communism was that you could not reform it gradually. Actually, Gorbachev tried to do what people like Zyuganov were proposing retroactively, i.e. reform it gradually. It was impossible.

    In China the communist system was in a state of near collapse by the time of Mao’s death, and people started creating a market by themselves, regardless of what the authorities thought about it. They only had a small Stalinist economic sector, and it was barely functioning anyway. It had huge problems until well into the 2000s. But because it was a much smaller part of the whole economy (i.e. not the whole economy, only a smaller part of it), so it was possible to keep it on life support. They were starving for a few years anyway. It would have been impossible in the USSR with its much larger Stalinist economic sector.
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  74. @Polish Perspective
    OT: The New Angus Maddison Database update (2018) is out! It is a big update with a lot of methodological re-working. It seems quite credible to my mind, for instance Turkey's GDP per capita (PPP-adjusted) is 18K in 2016. The official Turkstat number on the same metric is closer to 24K, but that is largely because they cook their numbers. India's GDP per capita is also lower, which is also congruent with criticism from many Indian economists about the unreliability of Indian GDP data. China's number is also somewhat lower, but not nearly as much of a downward revision as for Turkey or India, which gels with I have written for some time now. They all cook their numbers but China does it less than Turkey(worst offender) or India(pretty bad).

    The discrepancy between Maddison and their official numbers will be funny to watch.

    What is more fascinating is that Russia's GDP per capita was moving up very rapidly up until 1970s, this is common knowledge, but according to the latest database revision, Russia was actually quite close to Norway up until the 1970s after it had a period of stagnation and then of course the disastrous 1990s.

    It makes you think: if Russia had moved to a Chinese reform system in the early 1970s, it's per capita GDP could well be at Scandinavian levels. It was able to do very well up until the 1970s at the very least in PPP-adjusted terms.

    The excel database is here: https://www.rug.nl/ggdc/historicaldevelopment/maddison/data/mpd2018.xlsx

    I use LibreOffice (6.0) just fine, though for those of you who prefer Open Source.

    Also, here's the background paper. It's interesting reading!

    https://www.rug.nl/ggdc/html_publications/memorandum/gd174.pdf

    if Russia had moved to a Chinese reform system in the early 1970s

    It was impossible. They had a huge Stalinist economic sector (basically, all of their economy), and moving to reform in some sectors would have caused disturbances in it. In Hungary when small scale private enterprises were allowed in the 1980s, directors of government owned firms used them to siphon off resources from their firms. Party secretaries etc. got their cuts so didn’t care. The same things happened in the USSR a few years later, albeit at an even larger scale, probably because the system there had been even more rigid.

    The problem with communism was that you could not reform it gradually. Actually, Gorbachev tried to do what people like Zyuganov were proposing retroactively, i.e. reform it gradually. It was impossible.

    In China the communist system was in a state of near collapse by the time of Mao’s death, and people started creating a market by themselves, regardless of what the authorities thought about it. They only had a small Stalinist economic sector, and it was barely functioning anyway. It had huge problems until well into the 2000s. But because it was a much smaller part of the whole economy (i.e. not the whole economy, only a smaller part of it), so it was possible to keep it on life support. They were starving for a few years anyway. It would have been impossible in the USSR with its much larger Stalinist economic sector.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    It was impossible.
     
    I disagree. Reform is always possible, but it is not enough to merely want it, implementation and pacing also matters a great deal. Remember that Chinese reforms were very gradualist, not at all like the shock doctrine of the 1990s.

    For instance, in the early days, much of the old system remained but any surplus that the Chinese peasant farmer generated he could sell on the market. There were also TVEs (township-village enterprises), which were organised on a local level. Today we think of these massive factories but those reforms did not happen until much later. The Chinese were very cautious in how they went about it, and of course corruption was everywhere.

    The problem with communism was that you could not reform it gradually
     
    What the Chinese had at the end of the Mao era was very much communism and they reformed it gradually.


    Gorbachev tried to do what people like Zyuganov were proposing retroactively, i.e. reform it gradually. It was impossible.
     
    Gorbachev did much more than that, he also tried to do political reform, unlike the Chinese. That led to instability in the system. The Chinese had their moment in the early 1990s with the Tienanmen Square massacres but they didn't blink.

    In China the communist system was in a state of near collapse by the time of Mao’s death
     
    No, this is not true. The worst excesses of Mao was in the 1950s with the "great leap forward". There was actually an improvement during his last years. While the reform period is often dated to 1978 as the start year, if you look at Chinese growth rates in the five years preceding 1978, it was actually quite brisk.

    They only had a small Stalinist economic sector
     
    Stalinist or Maoist may seem like a huge deal to someone who lived in a communist system, but to the outside world both are command-and-control systems which are enormously centralised and incredibly inefficient. I think you're overblowing the case here.
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  75. @AaronB
    Perceptive comment, interesting for unconsciously reflecting the attitude it decries.

    Since "innate ability" is significantly a reflection of ambition, those who are ambitious naturally will claim they deserve their fortune through being innately better at what "everyone is trying to do anyways". They will be blind to the extent that others aren't as ambitious as they are. They will even deny it.

    To admit it, would be to accept the contingent nature of their own success, and it's lack of even a naturalistic justification, much less a moral one.

    It's lame to admit you just wanted it more. That wouldn't do at all. It would even be dangerous. All elites must hide their true character and create a mystique for themselves.

    Since “innate ability” is significantly a reflection of ambition,

    I disagree. I studied theoretical physics. I picked it because I thought it would be an easy subject where I could pass courses with pure ability without ever having to do homework. For the first two years that was true and I watched a lot of the other students with much more motivation and work ethic put more effort into the subjects and get nowhere while for me it was free years of being paid student benefits for doing no work.

    It worked for me until I got to the more advanced courses like quantum field theory where I found out that things were no longer trivial and that to pass exams I needed to put hours of work into calculations every day. These courses had very few students since most people had dropped out earlier. Why is it that so many hard working students gave up in the first or second year when I stayed for the simple reason that it was effortless?

    Math ability is just something that I always had. Innate. I did nothing whatsoever to earn or develop it. And eventually I found out that my intelligence is not unlimited. Theoretical physics studies do not tend to produce IQ deniers since it’s just too obvious in the experience that some people just do effortlessly what others cannot do and that everyone eventually reaches limits.

    I have a lot of relatives who have very high IQs without very high ambition, in fact a lot of Mensa members who boast about their IQs but do nothing with them beyond having parties with other Mensa members where they drink beer until their IQs are reduced to nothing. There’s plenty of work for them in computers and the like and a high IQ person with low ambition is likely to turn out better paid than a low IQ person even if they’ll miss the highest status professions that have tons of competition.

    A low IQ person can have a high work ethic and ambition but they’re unlikely to get much out of it unless they have a rare skill like sports or music.

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    • Agree: dmitry
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  76. AaronB says:

    But that doesn’t show that what we call innate ability isn’t a function of motivation.

    First of all, you couldn’t possible compare your motivation to others. Appearances can be decieving.

    Secondly, you could have been highly motivated to regard intellectual pursuits as worthwhile and to regard problem solving in general as an activity worth doing. Having trained yourself in this fashion over years, it would become invisible to you, just second nature, and your ability would seem “effortless” to you. In fact you may be expending more effort than anyone else but it’s invisible to you.

    It’s a somewhat subtle argument, you see. Lots of hidden invisible factors.

    Of course, I’m not denying innate ability exists. I’m just saying we have no way of isolating it and measuring it. All we can measure is the “total person”.

    Among high IQ people, there may be many who have high innate ability and little motivation, and others with lower innate ability but much higher motivation (as a general life attitude towards problem solving, perhaps developed over years).

    We wouldn’t be able to distinguish between the two. They’d seem the same to us.

    What’s more, IQ tests themselves are boring and strenuous – it seems a safe assumption that people of similar innate ability will differ widely in their motivation to take the test seriously.

    This is so obvious and so simple a point that only vested interests can make one overlook it.

    So – not against the reality of innate ability. Just that the total human being – the only thing we can measure – is an indistinguishable product of innate ability, motivation, and lots of other factors. We cannot get st his insides.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry

    But that doesn’t show that what we call innate ability isn’t a function of motivation.

    First of all, you couldn’t possible compare your motivation to others. Appearances can be decieving.

    Secondly, you could have been highly motivated to regard intellectual pursuits as worthwhile and to regard problem solving in general as an activity worth doing. Having trained yourself in this fashion over years, it would become invisible to you, just second nature, and your ability would seem “effortless” to you. In fact you may be expending more effort than anyone else but it’s invisible to you.
     

    There's a fundamental difference between people who are methodical 'slow tortoise' and people who are naturally gifted. Teachers can usually perceive it in many areas simply by how fast the student learns, in comparison to others of the same age, and how deeply they seem to understand the subject.

    That said, it's possible for the methodical 'slow tortoise' to catch up and excell the naturally talented in many disciplines, and this is a pretty typical story in life - even in sports, let alone in academia.

    Methodical slow tortoises can be successful in all fields and disciplines, and outdo the naturally talented through sheer willpower.

    But at the highest level - for the natural geniuses of people like Srinivasa Ramanujan or John von Neumann - it's very easy to distinguish them even from a great biographical distance, from any other methodical people that have to work hard to get where they were (basically everyone else at a certain level).

    , @phil
    Being a naysayer and taking potshots seems easier for you than doing the real work of analyzing data.

    Depending on the context, sorting out motivation and innate ability can be done reasonably well. For example, tests of reaction times (decision-making times) for very simple mental challenges find that people of primarily sub-Saharan African descent generally have the slowest reaction times of all the major racial groups, but they have the fastest "movement times". I.e., they are the most physically gifted at moving their hands very fast from one button to another during the tests.

    Their fast movement times compared to other racial groups indicate that a lack of motivation is not a good explanation for why their reaction times are slow.

    The composite results of a whole battery of reaction time tests correlates well with general intelligence.

    Such people also do poorly on backwards digits tests, but not forward digits tests. If they do not do poorly on forward digits tests, a lack of motivation is not a good explanation for why they do poorly on backward digits tests.

    If you are serious about critiquing IQ research, write an article for Intelligence. Support your claims with data and submit it to the editor. If he does not reject the article out of hand, he will send it out to be anonymous referees.
    , @Bill
    "But that doesn’t show that what we call innate ability isn’t a function of motivation.

    First of all, you couldn’t possible compare your motivation to others. Appearances can be decieving."

    Strategic nihilism is what that's called.
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  77. dmitry says:

    I agree with your overall point, although it’s a little more complicated (think about the way you can suck at some courses, then somehow do really well at others, in the same field). ‘IQ’ does not seem the right word to describe it (how does ‘IQ’ explain that you can have talent for some branches, and not for others, in the same area?). I don’t understand why it’s not more accurate just to say ‘I’m naturally pretty mediocre at analysis’, or ‘I’m great at geometry’. Of course some of these things are necessarily related, when the fields are fundamentally based in each other – like you can’t suck at logic, but be good in geometry. But there is generally diversity in natural talents even within the same discipline. There natural talents have a large innate component to them, and (a broad section of these) might positively correlate with ‘IQ test scores’ to some extent, but they are not reducible to them. (Just as ability to do kickups with a ball might positively correlate with football skills in a population, but doing kickups nonetheless has very little in common with actual football skills – and innate football skills themselves vary widely from a defender to a striker).

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  78. Dmitry says:
    @AaronB
    But that doesn't show that what we call innate ability isn't a function of motivation.

    First of all, you couldn't possible compare your motivation to others. Appearances can be decieving.

    Secondly, you could have been highly motivated to regard intellectual pursuits as worthwhile and to regard problem solving in general as an activity worth doing. Having trained yourself in this fashion over years, it would become invisible to you, just second nature, and your ability would seem "effortless" to you. In fact you may be expending more effort than anyone else but it's invisible to you.

    It's a somewhat subtle argument, you see. Lots of hidden invisible factors.

    Of course, I'm not denying innate ability exists. I'm just saying we have no way of isolating it and measuring it. All we can measure is the "total person".

    Among high IQ people, there may be many who have high innate ability and little motivation, and others with lower innate ability but much higher motivation (as a general life attitude towards problem solving, perhaps developed over years).

    We wouldn't be able to distinguish between the two. They'd seem the same to us.

    What's more, IQ tests themselves are boring and strenuous - it seems a safe assumption that people of similar innate ability will differ widely in their motivation to take the test seriously.

    This is so obvious and so simple a point that only vested interests can make one overlook it.

    So - not against the reality of innate ability. Just that the total human being - the only thing we can measure - is an indistinguishable product of innate ability, motivation, and lots of other factors. We cannot get st his insides.

    But that doesn’t show that what we call innate ability isn’t a function of motivation.

    First of all, you couldn’t possible compare your motivation to others. Appearances can be decieving.

    Secondly, you could have been highly motivated to regard intellectual pursuits as worthwhile and to regard problem solving in general as an activity worth doing. Having trained yourself in this fashion over years, it would become invisible to you, just second nature, and your ability would seem “effortless” to you. In fact you may be expending more effort than anyone else but it’s invisible to you.

    There’s a fundamental difference between people who are methodical ‘slow tortoise’ and people who are naturally gifted. Teachers can usually perceive it in many areas simply by how fast the student learns, in comparison to others of the same age, and how deeply they seem to understand the subject.

    That said, it’s possible for the methodical ‘slow tortoise’ to catch up and excell the naturally talented in many disciplines, and this is a pretty typical story in life – even in sports, let alone in academia.

    Methodical slow tortoises can be successful in all fields and disciplines, and outdo the naturally talented through sheer willpower.

    But at the highest level – for the natural geniuses of people like Srinivasa Ramanujan or John von Neumann – it’s very easy to distinguish them even from a great biographical distance, from any other methodical people that have to work hard to get where they were (basically everyone else at a certain level).

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    That sounds reasonable to me, but it really does undermine the "strong" IQ theory and the mystique that of innate ability as distinguishing our elites.

    But there's another more subtle point I always try to make and always struggle to express clearly, perhaps because it's so counterintuitive to our modern ways of thinking.

    The "naturally gifted" may actually be to some degree a "slow tortoise" - and we cannot know that! Take two boys of equal ability and different temperaments. One is from an early age constantly honing, refining, and developing his thinking skills, and just brings immense effort and motivation to any challenge. The other is an easy going lackadaisical fellow who enjoys life and doesn't take much seriously.

    The first will SEEM "naturally gifted" in the way the other will not. But we simply cannot make any claims about human "innate ability". We cannot accurately measure it - in principle. It's not a failure of technique.

    What can be measured is the "total man" - we cannot, unfortunately, deconstruct this total man into elements. We must take it as we find it. Better yet, we can only measure "final performance" - we cannot deconstruct "final performance" into the various elements that go into it. They are inextricably, and invisibly, part of one matrix. They react upon each other and define each other.

    Now, this doesn't mean IQ is useless or that we can't make snap judgements about people's performance - it just means we can't make sweeping comprehensive claims about innate ability, and certainly not across populstions, and certainly not with the degree of exactitude we claim. That is just a political project for the purpose of "naturalizing" elites.
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  79. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    But that doesn’t show that what we call innate ability isn’t a function of motivation.

    First of all, you couldn’t possible compare your motivation to others. Appearances can be decieving.

    Secondly, you could have been highly motivated to regard intellectual pursuits as worthwhile and to regard problem solving in general as an activity worth doing. Having trained yourself in this fashion over years, it would become invisible to you, just second nature, and your ability would seem “effortless” to you. In fact you may be expending more effort than anyone else but it’s invisible to you.
     

    There's a fundamental difference between people who are methodical 'slow tortoise' and people who are naturally gifted. Teachers can usually perceive it in many areas simply by how fast the student learns, in comparison to others of the same age, and how deeply they seem to understand the subject.

    That said, it's possible for the methodical 'slow tortoise' to catch up and excell the naturally talented in many disciplines, and this is a pretty typical story in life - even in sports, let alone in academia.

    Methodical slow tortoises can be successful in all fields and disciplines, and outdo the naturally talented through sheer willpower.

    But at the highest level - for the natural geniuses of people like Srinivasa Ramanujan or John von Neumann - it's very easy to distinguish them even from a great biographical distance, from any other methodical people that have to work hard to get where they were (basically everyone else at a certain level).

    That sounds reasonable to me, but it really does undermine the “strong” IQ theory and the mystique that of innate ability as distinguishing our elites.

    But there’s another more subtle point I always try to make and always struggle to express clearly, perhaps because it’s so counterintuitive to our modern ways of thinking.

    The “naturally gifted” may actually be to some degree a “slow tortoise” – and we cannot know that! Take two boys of equal ability and different temperaments. One is from an early age constantly honing, refining, and developing his thinking skills, and just brings immense effort and motivation to any challenge. The other is an easy going lackadaisical fellow who enjoys life and doesn’t take much seriously.

    The first will SEEM “naturally gifted” in the way the other will not. But we simply cannot make any claims about human “innate ability”. We cannot accurately measure it – in principle. It’s not a failure of technique.

    What can be measured is the “total man” – we cannot, unfortunately, deconstruct this total man into elements. We must take it as we find it. Better yet, we can only measure “final performance” – we cannot deconstruct “final performance” into the various elements that go into it. They are inextricably, and invisibly, part of one matrix. They react upon each other and define each other.

    Now, this doesn’t mean IQ is useless or that we can’t make snap judgements about people’s performance – it just means we can’t make sweeping comprehensive claims about innate ability, and certainly not across populstions, and certainly not with the degree of exactitude we claim. That is just a political project for the purpose of “naturalizing” elites.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala

    That sounds reasonable to me, but it really does undermine the “strong” IQ theory and the mystique that of innate ability as distinguishing our elites.
     
    What the hell are you talking about? IQ denial is the ideology of the Western ruling class. It is YOU in this thread who is repeating the elite propaganda, the modern equivalent of the divine right of kings.

    It's the elites that constantly blast us with propaganda about how blood doesn't matter, how everyone can become anything and how the elites deserve to rule because they enforce this supposed "liberal", "enlightenment" ideal of "egalitarianism" on everyone. The average man on the street has usually never even heard of IQ and the nature/nurture debate. The blank slate is the dogma of elite universities where the most privileged children are gathered together to learn that their privileges are deserved and admitting that much of it comes from genes, an unearned privilege that came from the accident of birth, would contradict everything that the elites want to believe about themselves.

    Psychometrics as a field was developed by socialist intellectuals back in the day when socialist intellectuals were actually ideologically interested in human progress. It was the time when access to education was being widened from being the privilege of a tiny group of aristocrats and there were many intelligent men of working class and rural backgrounds who could be lifted to universities. Much of that process has now been done and the West is more IQ stratified by class and suddenly now the elites want to suppress IQ research.

    Genes are not magic. Working out the genetics of intelligence will be working out a bunch of processes where allele X launches the production of protein Y which influences brain development in fetal stage Z and so on. It will be possible to develop interventions that help those who haven't been lucky enough to inherit the best genes. The bloodlines with the most to gain from this research are those who are now the lowest in biological intelligence potential. The bloodlines that are now the most intelligent have the least to gain and in fact they're going to lose relative position if such interventions become available to the masses.

    And that's why Western elites want to keep the genetics of IQ a suppressed secret.
    , @dmitry

    But there’s another more subtle point I always try to make and always struggle to express clearly, perhaps because it’s so counterintuitive to our modern ways of thinking.

    The “naturally gifted” may actually be to some degree a “slow tortoise” – and we cannot know that! Take two boys of equal ability and different temperaments. One is from an early age constantly honing, refining, and developing his thinking skills, and just brings immense effort and motivation to any challenge. The other is an easy going lackadaisical fellow who enjoys life and doesn’t take much seriously.

    The first will SEEM “naturally gifted” in the way the other will not. But we simply cannot make any claims about human “innate ability”. We cannot accurately measure it – in principle. It’s not a failure of technique.
     
    It's a fair point to some extent (certain child prodigies, are described as youth that become angry and frustrated that they cannot understand something - so it might be motivation to study hard, more than talent in certain cases).

    It can also be difficult also to categorize people between such groups from a third-personal perspective (as with any groupings like this, where there is not a physical correlate to divide them), and one factor (e.g. hard work) can mask the other (lack of natural talent).

    But then there are many cases in history, where we can see that born pure natural talent (Gauss) or unthinkably mind-twisting unifying insights (Einstein) - which someone like me could probably not achieve by methodical hard work if I had hundreds of thousands of years to spend on it.
    , @Meimou
    Now, this doesn’t mean IQ is useless or that we can’t make snap judgements about people’s performance – it just means we can’t make sweeping comprehensive claims about innate ability, and certainly not across populstions, and certainly not with the degree of exactitude we claim. That is just a political project for the purpose of “naturalizing” elites.

    The heart of your denial. You are worried about people making "sweeping"(general) claims about non whites.

    If IQ test didn't measure anything they couldn't predict anything - like economic outcomes or brain density. Your denials and
    obfuscation are embarrassing.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  80. @AaronB
    That sounds reasonable to me, but it really does undermine the "strong" IQ theory and the mystique that of innate ability as distinguishing our elites.

    But there's another more subtle point I always try to make and always struggle to express clearly, perhaps because it's so counterintuitive to our modern ways of thinking.

    The "naturally gifted" may actually be to some degree a "slow tortoise" - and we cannot know that! Take two boys of equal ability and different temperaments. One is from an early age constantly honing, refining, and developing his thinking skills, and just brings immense effort and motivation to any challenge. The other is an easy going lackadaisical fellow who enjoys life and doesn't take much seriously.

    The first will SEEM "naturally gifted" in the way the other will not. But we simply cannot make any claims about human "innate ability". We cannot accurately measure it - in principle. It's not a failure of technique.

    What can be measured is the "total man" - we cannot, unfortunately, deconstruct this total man into elements. We must take it as we find it. Better yet, we can only measure "final performance" - we cannot deconstruct "final performance" into the various elements that go into it. They are inextricably, and invisibly, part of one matrix. They react upon each other and define each other.

    Now, this doesn't mean IQ is useless or that we can't make snap judgements about people's performance - it just means we can't make sweeping comprehensive claims about innate ability, and certainly not across populstions, and certainly not with the degree of exactitude we claim. That is just a political project for the purpose of "naturalizing" elites.

    That sounds reasonable to me, but it really does undermine the “strong” IQ theory and the mystique that of innate ability as distinguishing our elites.

    What the hell are you talking about? IQ denial is the ideology of the Western ruling class. It is YOU in this thread who is repeating the elite propaganda, the modern equivalent of the divine right of kings.

    It’s the elites that constantly blast us with propaganda about how blood doesn’t matter, how everyone can become anything and how the elites deserve to rule because they enforce this supposed “liberal”, “enlightenment” ideal of “egalitarianism” on everyone. The average man on the street has usually never even heard of IQ and the nature/nurture debate. The blank slate is the dogma of elite universities where the most privileged children are gathered together to learn that their privileges are deserved and admitting that much of it comes from genes, an unearned privilege that came from the accident of birth, would contradict everything that the elites want to believe about themselves.

    Psychometrics as a field was developed by socialist intellectuals back in the day when socialist intellectuals were actually ideologically interested in human progress. It was the time when access to education was being widened from being the privilege of a tiny group of aristocrats and there were many intelligent men of working class and rural backgrounds who could be lifted to universities. Much of that process has now been done and the West is more IQ stratified by class and suddenly now the elites want to suppress IQ research.

    Genes are not magic. Working out the genetics of intelligence will be working out a bunch of processes where allele X launches the production of protein Y which influences brain development in fetal stage Z and so on. It will be possible to develop interventions that help those who haven’t been lucky enough to inherit the best genes. The bloodlines with the most to gain from this research are those who are now the lowest in biological intelligence potential. The bloodlines that are now the most intelligent have the least to gain and in fact they’re going to lose relative position if such interventions become available to the masses.

    And that’s why Western elites want to keep the genetics of IQ a suppressed secret.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    You're thinking simplistically, my friend :)

    IQ is simultaneously promoted and denied. "Objective" scientists promote the validity of IQ while some elites decry it.

    At the same time, other elites promote it, like many in Silicon Valley who make much of innate ability, and the general use of SATs and similar tests imply acceptance of it.

    I realize SATs were meant as a way to identify innate ability among the masses...... but isn't that exactly my point :) It's meant to legitimize elites.

    SATs of course are widely accepted as legitimate way to identify talent, but IQ, for some reason, is more controversial. Does that strike you as strange and deeply, deeply weird????What could be the meaning of that? What's going on here?

    IQ is controversial but we just love all sorts of IQ like tests like the sats, the gmats, the lsats, etc.

    In political science, it's common for elites to divide their functions. One section must be seen as a semi independent "outside" faction that confers legitimacy on the entire structure of rule without itself being an interested party. In medieval times, this function was provided by the Church. Today, it is various "scientists".

    Since we are a democratic society, legitimizing elites is a bit more tricky. "Innate talent" satisfies some egalitarian impulses while offending others. A balance must be struck. Innate talent must be accepted in some forms (SAT), decried in others (IQ), and the elite cannot be seen to monolithically support the notion.

    One section of the elite must be "deeply troubled" by IQ science while "objective" third parties - who somehow get elite funding and publication - must promote it.

    In reality, IQ is merely the lightning rod that distracts attention from IQ - SATs, GMATs, etc. IQ is bad science and evil and we'd never use it! But I deserve to be a millionaire because I did really well on the LSATs, and there's nothing wrong with a system that rewards parasitic law so much, and I'm just better at what you'd like to be doing yourself!

    At the same, the notion that our elites deserve their position through being better at what everyone is doing is widely disseminated, and even though the message is presented in an equivocal fashion it seeps in, and also signals to aspirants to elite status which myths they must accept.

    Nor does this complex political process occur through central planning - it is an organic system that can be observed to spring up spontaneously in any system of elite rule, and is more opportunistic and makeshift than designed.

    But it's the subtle set of rule :)

    Wise up, my friend.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  81. dmitry says:
    @AaronB
    That sounds reasonable to me, but it really does undermine the "strong" IQ theory and the mystique that of innate ability as distinguishing our elites.

    But there's another more subtle point I always try to make and always struggle to express clearly, perhaps because it's so counterintuitive to our modern ways of thinking.

    The "naturally gifted" may actually be to some degree a "slow tortoise" - and we cannot know that! Take two boys of equal ability and different temperaments. One is from an early age constantly honing, refining, and developing his thinking skills, and just brings immense effort and motivation to any challenge. The other is an easy going lackadaisical fellow who enjoys life and doesn't take much seriously.

    The first will SEEM "naturally gifted" in the way the other will not. But we simply cannot make any claims about human "innate ability". We cannot accurately measure it - in principle. It's not a failure of technique.

    What can be measured is the "total man" - we cannot, unfortunately, deconstruct this total man into elements. We must take it as we find it. Better yet, we can only measure "final performance" - we cannot deconstruct "final performance" into the various elements that go into it. They are inextricably, and invisibly, part of one matrix. They react upon each other and define each other.

    Now, this doesn't mean IQ is useless or that we can't make snap judgements about people's performance - it just means we can't make sweeping comprehensive claims about innate ability, and certainly not across populstions, and certainly not with the degree of exactitude we claim. That is just a political project for the purpose of "naturalizing" elites.

    But there’s another more subtle point I always try to make and always struggle to express clearly, perhaps because it’s so counterintuitive to our modern ways of thinking.

    The “naturally gifted” may actually be to some degree a “slow tortoise” – and we cannot know that! Take two boys of equal ability and different temperaments. One is from an early age constantly honing, refining, and developing his thinking skills, and just brings immense effort and motivation to any challenge. The other is an easy going lackadaisical fellow who enjoys life and doesn’t take much seriously.

    The first will SEEM “naturally gifted” in the way the other will not. But we simply cannot make any claims about human “innate ability”. We cannot accurately measure it – in principle. It’s not a failure of technique.

    It’s a fair point to some extent (certain child prodigies, are described as youth that become angry and frustrated that they cannot understand something – so it might be motivation to study hard, more than talent in certain cases).

    It can also be difficult also to categorize people between such groups from a third-personal perspective (as with any groupings like this, where there is not a physical correlate to divide them), and one factor (e.g. hard work) can mask the other (lack of natural talent).

    But then there are many cases in history, where we can see that born pure natural talent (Gauss) or unthinkably mind-twisting unifying insights (Einstein) – which someone like me could probably not achieve by methodical hard work if I had hundreds of thousands of years to spend on it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I basically agree. Some clear cut cases of genius undoubtedly exist, not are they that rare. You're quite correct.

    No hard and fast rules can be given, and the situation is far more murky than we let on. I'm just against the fake pretension to rigor and precision, and the sweeping claims about human nature that are made based on it.

    IQ has its uses, I'd agree, but one of its illegitimate uses is political legitimation, and for some people, it seems to function as a mentally castrating number mysticism.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  82. AaronB says:
    @Jaakko Raipala

    That sounds reasonable to me, but it really does undermine the “strong” IQ theory and the mystique that of innate ability as distinguishing our elites.
     
    What the hell are you talking about? IQ denial is the ideology of the Western ruling class. It is YOU in this thread who is repeating the elite propaganda, the modern equivalent of the divine right of kings.

    It's the elites that constantly blast us with propaganda about how blood doesn't matter, how everyone can become anything and how the elites deserve to rule because they enforce this supposed "liberal", "enlightenment" ideal of "egalitarianism" on everyone. The average man on the street has usually never even heard of IQ and the nature/nurture debate. The blank slate is the dogma of elite universities where the most privileged children are gathered together to learn that their privileges are deserved and admitting that much of it comes from genes, an unearned privilege that came from the accident of birth, would contradict everything that the elites want to believe about themselves.

    Psychometrics as a field was developed by socialist intellectuals back in the day when socialist intellectuals were actually ideologically interested in human progress. It was the time when access to education was being widened from being the privilege of a tiny group of aristocrats and there were many intelligent men of working class and rural backgrounds who could be lifted to universities. Much of that process has now been done and the West is more IQ stratified by class and suddenly now the elites want to suppress IQ research.

    Genes are not magic. Working out the genetics of intelligence will be working out a bunch of processes where allele X launches the production of protein Y which influences brain development in fetal stage Z and so on. It will be possible to develop interventions that help those who haven't been lucky enough to inherit the best genes. The bloodlines with the most to gain from this research are those who are now the lowest in biological intelligence potential. The bloodlines that are now the most intelligent have the least to gain and in fact they're going to lose relative position if such interventions become available to the masses.

    And that's why Western elites want to keep the genetics of IQ a suppressed secret.

    You’re thinking simplistically, my friend :)

    IQ is simultaneously promoted and denied. “Objective” scientists promote the validity of IQ while some elites decry it.

    At the same time, other elites promote it, like many in Silicon Valley who make much of innate ability, and the general use of SATs and similar tests imply acceptance of it.

    I realize SATs were meant as a way to identify innate ability among the masses…… but isn’t that exactly my point :) It’s meant to legitimize elites.

    SATs of course are widely accepted as legitimate way to identify talent, but IQ, for some reason, is more controversial. Does that strike you as strange and deeply, deeply weird????What could be the meaning of that? What’s going on here?

    IQ is controversial but we just love all sorts of IQ like tests like the sats, the gmats, the lsats, etc.

    In political science, it’s common for elites to divide their functions. One section must be seen as a semi independent “outside” faction that confers legitimacy on the entire structure of rule without itself being an interested party. In medieval times, this function was provided by the Church. Today, it is various “scientists”.

    Since we are a democratic society, legitimizing elites is a bit more tricky. “Innate talent” satisfies some egalitarian impulses while offending others. A balance must be struck. Innate talent must be accepted in some forms (SAT), decried in others (IQ), and the elite cannot be seen to monolithically support the notion.

    One section of the elite must be “deeply troubled” by IQ science while “objective” third parties – who somehow get elite funding and publication – must promote it.

    In reality, IQ is merely the lightning rod that distracts attention from IQ – SATs, GMATs, etc. IQ is bad science and evil and we’d never use it! But I deserve to be a millionaire because I did really well on the LSATs, and there’s nothing wrong with a system that rewards parasitic law so much, and I’m just better at what you’d like to be doing yourself!

    At the same, the notion that our elites deserve their position through being better at what everyone is doing is widely disseminated, and even though the message is presented in an equivocal fashion it seeps in, and also signals to aspirants to elite status which myths they must accept.

    Nor does this complex political process occur through central planning – it is an organic system that can be observed to spring up spontaneously in any system of elite rule, and is more opportunistic and makeshift than designed.

    But it’s the subtle set of rule :)

    Wise up, my friend.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    IQ is simultaneously promoted and denied. “Objective” scientists promote the validity of IQ while some elites decry it.

    At the same time, other elites promote it, like many in Silicon Valley who make much of innate ability, and the general use of SATs and similar tests imply acceptance of it.

    I realize SATs were meant as a way to identify innate ability among the masses…… but isn’t that exactly my point :) It’s meant to legitimize elites.
     
    If the elites genuinely had a problem with IQ tests and similar tests they'd ban them on the grounds that they're racist, sexist, etc etc. It's not like they don't like banning things.

    But they don't do that. They tolerate IQ tests. It's almost as if their intention was to allow IQ tests to be used as long as they're used in practice to further the interests of the elites.
    , @Jaakko Raipala

    One section must be seen as a semi independent “outside” faction that confers legitimacy on the entire structure of rule without itself being an interested party. In medieval times, this function was provided by the Church. Today, it is various “scientists”.
     
    Exactly. And as the function of academics started shifting towards being the priestly caste, they started turning against IQ testing and it's still getting worse. The process of eliminating IQ testing is still unfinished but its definitely moving towards its goal.

    Another reason here, by the way, is that standardized IQ testing is a quick, effective way of judging employee quality which contradicts the interests of the academic class. We now have a whole credentials industry in which the universities have a monopoly on selling the documents necessary for the job market. If it turned out that a simple standardized test can do the job just as well as having most students spend a few years at an university getting graded for skills that they won't even need at their job, that's a lot of professor jobs lost.

    Hence, the academic credentials industry exists in a symbiosis with the political and financial elites who get to purchase credentials for their children and who aid the university system by eliminating threats to their power like the use of IQ testing in hiring. In medieval times, almost no one hired on "credentials" - the blacksmith would teach his sons or take an apprentice from a friendly family, guilds of various sorts would monopolize sectors of economy and so on. Apprenticeship would still be a great way of passing knowledge but it has been under heavy assault because the academic class wants to destroy everything that bypasses their sale of credentials.

    The only time when standardized testing (like SAT) is tolerated is when dealing with children - that doesn't threaten the academic class since children aren't in the market for buying credentials yet.
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  83. AaronB says:
    @dmitry

    But there’s another more subtle point I always try to make and always struggle to express clearly, perhaps because it’s so counterintuitive to our modern ways of thinking.

    The “naturally gifted” may actually be to some degree a “slow tortoise” – and we cannot know that! Take two boys of equal ability and different temperaments. One is from an early age constantly honing, refining, and developing his thinking skills, and just brings immense effort and motivation to any challenge. The other is an easy going lackadaisical fellow who enjoys life and doesn’t take much seriously.

    The first will SEEM “naturally gifted” in the way the other will not. But we simply cannot make any claims about human “innate ability”. We cannot accurately measure it – in principle. It’s not a failure of technique.
     
    It's a fair point to some extent (certain child prodigies, are described as youth that become angry and frustrated that they cannot understand something - so it might be motivation to study hard, more than talent in certain cases).

    It can also be difficult also to categorize people between such groups from a third-personal perspective (as with any groupings like this, where there is not a physical correlate to divide them), and one factor (e.g. hard work) can mask the other (lack of natural talent).

    But then there are many cases in history, where we can see that born pure natural talent (Gauss) or unthinkably mind-twisting unifying insights (Einstein) - which someone like me could probably not achieve by methodical hard work if I had hundreds of thousands of years to spend on it.

    I basically agree. Some clear cut cases of genius undoubtedly exist, not are they that rare. You’re quite correct.

    No hard and fast rules can be given, and the situation is far more murky than we let on. I’m just against the fake pretension to rigor and precision, and the sweeping claims about human nature that are made based on it.

    IQ has its uses, I’d agree, but one of its illegitimate uses is political legitimation, and for some people, it seems to function as a mentally castrating number mysticism.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  84. dfordoom says: • Website
    @AaronB
    You're thinking simplistically, my friend :)

    IQ is simultaneously promoted and denied. "Objective" scientists promote the validity of IQ while some elites decry it.

    At the same time, other elites promote it, like many in Silicon Valley who make much of innate ability, and the general use of SATs and similar tests imply acceptance of it.

    I realize SATs were meant as a way to identify innate ability among the masses...... but isn't that exactly my point :) It's meant to legitimize elites.

    SATs of course are widely accepted as legitimate way to identify talent, but IQ, for some reason, is more controversial. Does that strike you as strange and deeply, deeply weird????What could be the meaning of that? What's going on here?

    IQ is controversial but we just love all sorts of IQ like tests like the sats, the gmats, the lsats, etc.

    In political science, it's common for elites to divide their functions. One section must be seen as a semi independent "outside" faction that confers legitimacy on the entire structure of rule without itself being an interested party. In medieval times, this function was provided by the Church. Today, it is various "scientists".

    Since we are a democratic society, legitimizing elites is a bit more tricky. "Innate talent" satisfies some egalitarian impulses while offending others. A balance must be struck. Innate talent must be accepted in some forms (SAT), decried in others (IQ), and the elite cannot be seen to monolithically support the notion.

    One section of the elite must be "deeply troubled" by IQ science while "objective" third parties - who somehow get elite funding and publication - must promote it.

    In reality, IQ is merely the lightning rod that distracts attention from IQ - SATs, GMATs, etc. IQ is bad science and evil and we'd never use it! But I deserve to be a millionaire because I did really well on the LSATs, and there's nothing wrong with a system that rewards parasitic law so much, and I'm just better at what you'd like to be doing yourself!

    At the same, the notion that our elites deserve their position through being better at what everyone is doing is widely disseminated, and even though the message is presented in an equivocal fashion it seeps in, and also signals to aspirants to elite status which myths they must accept.

    Nor does this complex political process occur through central planning - it is an organic system that can be observed to spring up spontaneously in any system of elite rule, and is more opportunistic and makeshift than designed.

    But it's the subtle set of rule :)

    Wise up, my friend.

    IQ is simultaneously promoted and denied. “Objective” scientists promote the validity of IQ while some elites decry it.

    At the same time, other elites promote it, like many in Silicon Valley who make much of innate ability, and the general use of SATs and similar tests imply acceptance of it.

    I realize SATs were meant as a way to identify innate ability among the masses…… but isn’t that exactly my point :) It’s meant to legitimize elites.

    If the elites genuinely had a problem with IQ tests and similar tests they’d ban them on the grounds that they’re racist, sexist, etc etc. It’s not like they don’t like banning things.

    But they don’t do that. They tolerate IQ tests. It’s almost as if their intention was to allow IQ tests to be used as long as they’re used in practice to further the interests of the elites.

    Read More
    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    IQ tests have indeed been effectively banned in the US as "racist". In 1971 the Supreme Court ruled that IQ testing in hiring discriminates against African-Americans because blacks as a race score lower than whites and Asians in IQ tests:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griggs_v._Duke_Power_Co.

    Their ruling only leaves room for IQ testing if the employer is able to prove the necessity of such a test and they cannot simply test for IQ on the assumption that the higher IQ person would likely be a better employee. Given that the American legal system operates largely on precedents, IQ testing was effectively eliminated as a hiring practice in America as no company is going to take the risk of lawsuit.

    So no, the elites have not tolerated IQ tests. Schools, tech companies and the like who would definitely want to recruit on the principle of first finding intelligent people and only then figuring out what to use them for cannot do it as this is directly illegal. Instead they use proxies and workarounds (easier for schools as they can use SAT).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  85. @dfordoom

    IQ is simultaneously promoted and denied. “Objective” scientists promote the validity of IQ while some elites decry it.

    At the same time, other elites promote it, like many in Silicon Valley who make much of innate ability, and the general use of SATs and similar tests imply acceptance of it.

    I realize SATs were meant as a way to identify innate ability among the masses…… but isn’t that exactly my point :) It’s meant to legitimize elites.
     
    If the elites genuinely had a problem with IQ tests and similar tests they'd ban them on the grounds that they're racist, sexist, etc etc. It's not like they don't like banning things.

    But they don't do that. They tolerate IQ tests. It's almost as if their intention was to allow IQ tests to be used as long as they're used in practice to further the interests of the elites.

    IQ tests have indeed been effectively banned in the US as “racist”. In 1971 the Supreme Court ruled that IQ testing in hiring discriminates against African-Americans because blacks as a race score lower than whites and Asians in IQ tests:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griggs_v._Duke_Power_Co.

    Their ruling only leaves room for IQ testing if the employer is able to prove the necessity of such a test and they cannot simply test for IQ on the assumption that the higher IQ person would likely be a better employee. Given that the American legal system operates largely on precedents, IQ testing was effectively eliminated as a hiring practice in America as no company is going to take the risk of lawsuit.

    So no, the elites have not tolerated IQ tests. Schools, tech companies and the like who would definitely want to recruit on the principle of first finding intelligent people and only then figuring out what to use them for cannot do it as this is directly illegal. Instead they use proxies and workarounds (easier for schools as they can use SAT).

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    So there are permitted IQ tests and IQ tests that are not permitted.

    SATs are great because they find inmate talent in the rough, according to the myth i.e- allow elites to recruit based on desirable personality traits.

    IQ is bad because, what's the point? That would just be rubbing every ones face in it. We already utilize IQ tests in the firm of SATs and the like.

    So "bad IQ" acts as a distraction from "good IQ". Bad IQ is racist. Good IQ democratically let's us find deserving people.

    It's kabuki theater - ah, the arts of power and rule!

    Of course, even bad IQ has some legitimacy from some sectors.
    , @jilles dykstra
    A weird country, the USA, again.
    L'Amerique insolite' was long ago the title of a tv report on the USA.
    I around 1990 had fifty graduated economists, without work experience, tested collectively, I needed fifteen.
    I hired the fifteen best, best in analytical skills.
    The test predictions came true.
    About one of them was doubt in social skills, this also became true, nevertheless, hiring him was not a failure.
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  86. @AaronB
    You're thinking simplistically, my friend :)

    IQ is simultaneously promoted and denied. "Objective" scientists promote the validity of IQ while some elites decry it.

    At the same time, other elites promote it, like many in Silicon Valley who make much of innate ability, and the general use of SATs and similar tests imply acceptance of it.

    I realize SATs were meant as a way to identify innate ability among the masses...... but isn't that exactly my point :) It's meant to legitimize elites.

    SATs of course are widely accepted as legitimate way to identify talent, but IQ, for some reason, is more controversial. Does that strike you as strange and deeply, deeply weird????What could be the meaning of that? What's going on here?

    IQ is controversial but we just love all sorts of IQ like tests like the sats, the gmats, the lsats, etc.

    In political science, it's common for elites to divide their functions. One section must be seen as a semi independent "outside" faction that confers legitimacy on the entire structure of rule without itself being an interested party. In medieval times, this function was provided by the Church. Today, it is various "scientists".

    Since we are a democratic society, legitimizing elites is a bit more tricky. "Innate talent" satisfies some egalitarian impulses while offending others. A balance must be struck. Innate talent must be accepted in some forms (SAT), decried in others (IQ), and the elite cannot be seen to monolithically support the notion.

    One section of the elite must be "deeply troubled" by IQ science while "objective" third parties - who somehow get elite funding and publication - must promote it.

    In reality, IQ is merely the lightning rod that distracts attention from IQ - SATs, GMATs, etc. IQ is bad science and evil and we'd never use it! But I deserve to be a millionaire because I did really well on the LSATs, and there's nothing wrong with a system that rewards parasitic law so much, and I'm just better at what you'd like to be doing yourself!

    At the same, the notion that our elites deserve their position through being better at what everyone is doing is widely disseminated, and even though the message is presented in an equivocal fashion it seeps in, and also signals to aspirants to elite status which myths they must accept.

    Nor does this complex political process occur through central planning - it is an organic system that can be observed to spring up spontaneously in any system of elite rule, and is more opportunistic and makeshift than designed.

    But it's the subtle set of rule :)

    Wise up, my friend.

    One section must be seen as a semi independent “outside” faction that confers legitimacy on the entire structure of rule without itself being an interested party. In medieval times, this function was provided by the Church. Today, it is various “scientists”.

    Exactly. And as the function of academics started shifting towards being the priestly caste, they started turning against IQ testing and it’s still getting worse. The process of eliminating IQ testing is still unfinished but its definitely moving towards its goal.

    Another reason here, by the way, is that standardized IQ testing is a quick, effective way of judging employee quality which contradicts the interests of the academic class. We now have a whole credentials industry in which the universities have a monopoly on selling the documents necessary for the job market. If it turned out that a simple standardized test can do the job just as well as having most students spend a few years at an university getting graded for skills that they won’t even need at their job, that’s a lot of professor jobs lost.

    Hence, the academic credentials industry exists in a symbiosis with the political and financial elites who get to purchase credentials for their children and who aid the university system by eliminating threats to their power like the use of IQ testing in hiring. In medieval times, almost no one hired on “credentials” – the blacksmith would teach his sons or take an apprentice from a friendly family, guilds of various sorts would monopolize sectors of economy and so on. Apprenticeship would still be a great way of passing knowledge but it has been under heavy assault because the academic class wants to destroy everything that bypasses their sale of credentials.

    The only time when standardized testing (like SAT) is tolerated is when dealing with children – that doesn’t threaten the academic class since children aren’t in the market for buying credentials yet.

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @AaronB
    A pretty intelligent comment that's analyzing it from the right perspective at least.

    But we are every bit as enamored of LSATs and such as we are of SAT, so it's not just permitted for kids.

    Demonization of IQ by elites probably has multiple motivations, one of which may be what you describe.

    But it's important to note that 1) the demonization is equivocal and even plain IQ tests have some legitimacy among elites 2) The concept of "innate ability" is widely and vocally celebrated in the form of our various university entrance exams

    In practice, this means IQ tests are celebrated and denounced at the same time in an act of political theater meant to justify elites while simultaneously establishing their democratic credentials.

    It's a political balancing act of the kind elites always engage in when values conflict.

    American society has multiple myths - that anyone can become elite if he is worthy and talented (in fact social mobility is miniscule, and the talents needed to become elite are far from what is advertised), and that everyone is equal.

    The juggling act with IQ beautifully balances these conflicting values. It's political deftness of a high order.
    , @Bliss

    Hence, the academic credentials industry exists in a symbiosis with the political and financial elites who get to purchase credentials for their children and who aid the university system by eliminating threats to their power like the use of IQ testing in hiring.
     
    Very interesting observation. Plus, IQ testing in hiring is a threat to these nepotist elites as well. For it could expose their corruption: how did their children get into the Ivy League with such low IQs? And also raise doubts about their own intelligence since according to dogma IQ is inherited.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/the-story-behind-jared-kushners-curious-acceptance-into-harvard

    The Story Behind Jared Kushner’s Curious Acceptance into Harvard
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  87. AaronB says:
    @Jaakko Raipala
    IQ tests have indeed been effectively banned in the US as "racist". In 1971 the Supreme Court ruled that IQ testing in hiring discriminates against African-Americans because blacks as a race score lower than whites and Asians in IQ tests:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griggs_v._Duke_Power_Co.

    Their ruling only leaves room for IQ testing if the employer is able to prove the necessity of such a test and they cannot simply test for IQ on the assumption that the higher IQ person would likely be a better employee. Given that the American legal system operates largely on precedents, IQ testing was effectively eliminated as a hiring practice in America as no company is going to take the risk of lawsuit.

    So no, the elites have not tolerated IQ tests. Schools, tech companies and the like who would definitely want to recruit on the principle of first finding intelligent people and only then figuring out what to use them for cannot do it as this is directly illegal. Instead they use proxies and workarounds (easier for schools as they can use SAT).

    So there are permitted IQ tests and IQ tests that are not permitted.

    SATs are great because they find inmate talent in the rough, according to the myth i.e- allow elites to recruit based on desirable personality traits.

    IQ is bad because, what’s the point? That would just be rubbing every ones face in it. We already utilize IQ tests in the firm of SATs and the like.

    So “bad IQ” acts as a distraction from “good IQ”. Bad IQ is racist. Good IQ democratically let’s us find deserving people.

    It’s kabuki theater – ah, the arts of power and rule!

    Of course, even bad IQ has some legitimacy from some sectors.

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  88. AaronB says:
    @Jaakko Raipala

    One section must be seen as a semi independent “outside” faction that confers legitimacy on the entire structure of rule without itself being an interested party. In medieval times, this function was provided by the Church. Today, it is various “scientists”.
     
    Exactly. And as the function of academics started shifting towards being the priestly caste, they started turning against IQ testing and it's still getting worse. The process of eliminating IQ testing is still unfinished but its definitely moving towards its goal.

    Another reason here, by the way, is that standardized IQ testing is a quick, effective way of judging employee quality which contradicts the interests of the academic class. We now have a whole credentials industry in which the universities have a monopoly on selling the documents necessary for the job market. If it turned out that a simple standardized test can do the job just as well as having most students spend a few years at an university getting graded for skills that they won't even need at their job, that's a lot of professor jobs lost.

    Hence, the academic credentials industry exists in a symbiosis with the political and financial elites who get to purchase credentials for their children and who aid the university system by eliminating threats to their power like the use of IQ testing in hiring. In medieval times, almost no one hired on "credentials" - the blacksmith would teach his sons or take an apprentice from a friendly family, guilds of various sorts would monopolize sectors of economy and so on. Apprenticeship would still be a great way of passing knowledge but it has been under heavy assault because the academic class wants to destroy everything that bypasses their sale of credentials.

    The only time when standardized testing (like SAT) is tolerated is when dealing with children - that doesn't threaten the academic class since children aren't in the market for buying credentials yet.

    A pretty intelligent comment that’s analyzing it from the right perspective at least.

    But we are every bit as enamored of LSATs and such as we are of SAT, so it’s not just permitted for kids.

    Demonization of IQ by elites probably has multiple motivations, one of which may be what you describe.

    But it’s important to note that 1) the demonization is equivocal and even plain IQ tests have some legitimacy among elites 2) The concept of “innate ability” is widely and vocally celebrated in the form of our various university entrance exams

    In practice, this means IQ tests are celebrated and denounced at the same time in an act of political theater meant to justify elites while simultaneously establishing their democratic credentials.

    It’s a political balancing act of the kind elites always engage in when values conflict.

    American society has multiple myths – that anyone can become elite if he is worthy and talented (in fact social mobility is miniscule, and the talents needed to become elite are far from what is advertised), and that everyone is equal.

    The juggling act with IQ beautifully balances these conflicting values. It’s political deftness of a high order.

    Read More
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  89. 5371 says:

    Postwar Austria has been conspicuous among western European countries for the outsized importance of an OVP or SPO card in attaining professional success. So its appearance at the top of the skilled-unskilled difference table by itself explodes all flattering Anglocel interpretations of that data.

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  90. phil says:
    @AaronB
    But that doesn't show that what we call innate ability isn't a function of motivation.

    First of all, you couldn't possible compare your motivation to others. Appearances can be decieving.

    Secondly, you could have been highly motivated to regard intellectual pursuits as worthwhile and to regard problem solving in general as an activity worth doing. Having trained yourself in this fashion over years, it would become invisible to you, just second nature, and your ability would seem "effortless" to you. In fact you may be expending more effort than anyone else but it's invisible to you.

    It's a somewhat subtle argument, you see. Lots of hidden invisible factors.

    Of course, I'm not denying innate ability exists. I'm just saying we have no way of isolating it and measuring it. All we can measure is the "total person".

    Among high IQ people, there may be many who have high innate ability and little motivation, and others with lower innate ability but much higher motivation (as a general life attitude towards problem solving, perhaps developed over years).

    We wouldn't be able to distinguish between the two. They'd seem the same to us.

    What's more, IQ tests themselves are boring and strenuous - it seems a safe assumption that people of similar innate ability will differ widely in their motivation to take the test seriously.

    This is so obvious and so simple a point that only vested interests can make one overlook it.

    So - not against the reality of innate ability. Just that the total human being - the only thing we can measure - is an indistinguishable product of innate ability, motivation, and lots of other factors. We cannot get st his insides.

    Being a naysayer and taking potshots seems easier for you than doing the real work of analyzing data.

    Depending on the context, sorting out motivation and innate ability can be done reasonably well. For example, tests of reaction times (decision-making times) for very simple mental challenges find that people of primarily sub-Saharan African descent generally have the slowest reaction times of all the major racial groups, but they have the fastest “movement times”. I.e., they are the most physically gifted at moving their hands very fast from one button to another during the tests.

    Their fast movement times compared to other racial groups indicate that a lack of motivation is not a good explanation for why their reaction times are slow.

    The composite results of a whole battery of reaction time tests correlates well with general intelligence.

    Such people also do poorly on backwards digits tests, but not forward digits tests. If they do not do poorly on forward digits tests, a lack of motivation is not a good explanation for why they do poorly on backward digits tests.

    If you are serious about critiquing IQ research, write an article for Intelligence. Support your claims with data and submit it to the editor. If he does not reject the article out of hand, he will send it out to be anonymous referees.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    It isn't clear to me how this addresses motivation

    Backwards digit tests require more effort - some people may be willing to expend that effort, others may not.

    Same with decision making - decision making requires effort, hand movements are natural.

    The more difficult, unnatural, and counterintuitive the test, the worse the un-motivated will do on it.

    You cannot seperate out the effort component (motivation). It isn't a question of technique. It's theoretically impossible.

    They can only be conceptually sepetated, in thought.

    In real life, they present as a fused matrix.

    Better to admit this and make less hubristic claims for IQ. It's useful but let's not make it into a cult.

    It's not a question of data either - it's a philosphical question. More data can never solve it.

    In theory, any act of real world performance is an indissoluble mix of motivation and ability.

    Motivation, also, is only one challenge to the "strong" IQ theory, besides. There are others, where we already have rough data to contradict.
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  91. Working out the genetics of intelligence will be working out a bunch of processes where allele X launches the production of protein Y which influences brain development in fetal stage Z and so on. It will be possible to develop interventions that help those who haven’t been lucky enough to inherit the best genes.

    This is something that has been a fascination of mine for the last few years, or rather, the general state of understanding of how the brain works. But insofar as intelligence goes, at least in part, there is indeed evidence that some aspects of cognition are trainable and have transfer effects. The first part is obvious: skills are trainable, language is an example of a purely environmental effect(no one is born with a genetic language) and this extends to what can be physically observed with other skills, such as juggling increasing gray matter(Driemeyer, Boyke, Gaser, etc.(2008) Changes in Gray Matter Induced by Learning—Revisited) and general neuroplasticity even in adults but especially in children(Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis Review(2017)).

    Putting aside its potential to increase cognitive capabilities, the most direct and obvious use of it is forestalling the cognitive decline associated with aging:

    There is a decline in neurogenesis that occurs throughout the lifespan of an animal related to a decreasing proliferation of granule cell precursors and not attributable to a general aged-related metabolic impairment (ref). In one study, numbers of newborn neurons decreased roughly eight- to ninefold from middle-aged to aged rats (ref). Note that when older rats are given running exercise over several weeks, there is a remarkable increase in cell survival and neuronal differentiation, greatly reducing the aging effect (ref).

    That said, there is at least a reasonable amount of evidence-based science that training can indeed improve cognitive skills with some unusual transfer effect. For example, the Zero Hour PE was a program attempted with nineteen thousand students in Napersville which focused on increasing aerobic fitness of students and found a general increase of 17% improvement of reading/writing comprehension as opposed to the usual 10% improvement of controls. When tested for TIMSS, a study for student’s knowledge levels, Napersville students scored above 97% of the US and only behind Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. On science, they scored first, above Singapore.

    There is a mechanism behind this as well – the brain is an organ and increased capillary flow and blood oxygen improves its functioning(and this has been replicated in experiments), but on top of that, exercise appears to trigger the creation of BDNF, a hormone that stimulates dendrite growth and neurogenesis.

    This does not exclude innate genius, of course. Some people might naturally produce more BDNF without intervention, some people might have better cranial bloodflow anyway, plus there appears to be a significant part of cognition associated with “insights” which seem to be related to “temporary hyperfrontality” esp. abstract thought. Hyperfrontality is restriction of blood to the prefrontal cortex and is often associated with nasty things such schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but it does also seem to some”isolation” of individual structures of the brain to process information unbothered by the usual inhibitory fact-checking of the brain improves the ease of thinking highly theoretical/symbolic/abstract information – perhaps overall ability to grasp abstract thought is a kind of hacked-together mutation like much of the haphazard evolutionary structure of the human brain as it is.

    At any rate, I often have my doubts that knowledge of cognitive intervention won’t be politicized and will be applied for the general good of humanity. There is already studies that show forms of intervention as work, but you don’t really hear them being used that much. Even from a honest “blank slate” perspective, the education system isn’t operating to optimally benefit its students, its just mostly a cargo cult to create conformity and indoctrinate acceptable truths.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    My apologies - my reply was broken. The first blockquote is from post 80 from Jaakko Raipala.
    , @Anon

    At any rate, I often have my doubts that knowledge of cognitive intervention won’t be politicized and will be applied for the general good of humanity. There is already studies that show forms of intervention as work, but you don’t really hear them being used that much.
     
    There was a fad among mothers to boost their children's intelligence from infancy. Blasting Mozart over baby's crib, playing "developing games" etc. Then it was mostly laughed off as bullshit. As far as I know, modern science finds the best way to develop a child's mind is old-fashioned unguided outdoor play (in agreement with your running rats example). Someone even wrote a book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, arguing that intense parenting won't make your kid smarter as intelligence is mostly inborn - so better have more of them and hope some will turn out smart by chance.
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  92. @Daniel Chieh

    Working out the genetics of intelligence will be working out a bunch of processes where allele X launches the production of protein Y which influences brain development in fetal stage Z and so on. It will be possible to develop interventions that help those who haven’t been lucky enough to inherit the best genes.
     
    This is something that has been a fascination of mine for the last few years, or rather, the general state of understanding of how the brain works. But insofar as intelligence goes, at least in part, there is indeed evidence that some aspects of cognition are trainable and have transfer effects. The first part is obvious: skills are trainable, language is an example of a purely environmental effect(no one is born with a genetic language) and this extends to what can be physically observed with other skills, such as juggling increasing gray matter(Driemeyer, Boyke, Gaser, etc.(2008) Changes in Gray Matter Induced by Learning—Revisited) and general neuroplasticity even in adults but especially in children(Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis Review(2017)).

    Putting aside its potential to increase cognitive capabilities, the most direct and obvious use of it is forestalling the cognitive decline associated with aging:

    There is a decline in neurogenesis that occurs throughout the lifespan of an animal related to a decreasing proliferation of granule cell precursors and not attributable to a general aged-related metabolic impairment (ref). In one study, numbers of newborn neurons decreased roughly eight- to ninefold from middle-aged to aged rats (ref). Note that when older rats are given running exercise over several weeks, there is a remarkable increase in cell survival and neuronal differentiation, greatly reducing the aging effect (ref).
     

    That said, there is at least a reasonable amount of evidence-based science that training can indeed improve cognitive skills with some unusual transfer effect. For example, the Zero Hour PE was a program attempted with nineteen thousand students in Napersville which focused on increasing aerobic fitness of students and found a general increase of 17% improvement of reading/writing comprehension as opposed to the usual 10% improvement of controls. When tested for TIMSS, a study for student's knowledge levels, Napersville students scored above 97% of the US and only behind Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. On science, they scored first, above Singapore.

    There is a mechanism behind this as well - the brain is an organ and increased capillary flow and blood oxygen improves its functioning(and this has been replicated in experiments), but on top of that, exercise appears to trigger the creation of BDNF, a hormone that stimulates dendrite growth and neurogenesis.

    This does not exclude innate genius, of course. Some people might naturally produce more BDNF without intervention, some people might have better cranial bloodflow anyway, plus there appears to be a significant part of cognition associated with "insights" which seem to be related to "temporary hyperfrontality" esp. abstract thought. Hyperfrontality is restriction of blood to the prefrontal cortex and is often associated with nasty things such schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but it does also seem to some"isolation" of individual structures of the brain to process information unbothered by the usual inhibitory fact-checking of the brain improves the ease of thinking highly theoretical/symbolic/abstract information - perhaps overall ability to grasp abstract thought is a kind of hacked-together mutation like much of the haphazard evolutionary structure of the human brain as it is.

    At any rate, I often have my doubts that knowledge of cognitive intervention won't be politicized and will be applied for the general good of humanity. There is already studies that show forms of intervention as work, but you don't really hear them being used that much. Even from a honest "blank slate" perspective, the education system isn't operating to optimally benefit its students, its just mostly a cargo cult to create conformity and indoctrinate acceptable truths.

    My apologies – my reply was broken. The first blockquote is from post 80 from Jaakko Raipala.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Very interesting links, thank you.

    I remember my high school music teacher obsessing over playing Mozart for the baby while she was pregnant. The coming problems aren't going to be just politics, there's also going to be con artistry and eager parents that fall for fads.

    There's already a whole industry of shady surgeons in some Third World countries offering plastic surgeries with many times bigger implants that would be allowed in the West, sex changes without psychiatric evaluation and so on. In a few decades they're going to be selling genetic engineering...
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  93. AP says:
    @ussr andy
    that doesn't solve the problem of there being relatively more super-smart men (and morons alike) because in a sexually reproducing species males are "responsible" for the variation. even if there was one IQ 160 guy for >9000 IQ 140 females men would still be redeemed.

    Sure, but we are talking about the tens of thousands of people of sufficient intelligence to work in STEM fields, not rare geniuses (of which there are more men than women).

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  94. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Working out the genetics of intelligence will be working out a bunch of processes where allele X launches the production of protein Y which influences brain development in fetal stage Z and so on. It will be possible to develop interventions that help those who haven’t been lucky enough to inherit the best genes.
     
    This is something that has been a fascination of mine for the last few years, or rather, the general state of understanding of how the brain works. But insofar as intelligence goes, at least in part, there is indeed evidence that some aspects of cognition are trainable and have transfer effects. The first part is obvious: skills are trainable, language is an example of a purely environmental effect(no one is born with a genetic language) and this extends to what can be physically observed with other skills, such as juggling increasing gray matter(Driemeyer, Boyke, Gaser, etc.(2008) Changes in Gray Matter Induced by Learning—Revisited) and general neuroplasticity even in adults but especially in children(Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis Review(2017)).

    Putting aside its potential to increase cognitive capabilities, the most direct and obvious use of it is forestalling the cognitive decline associated with aging:

    There is a decline in neurogenesis that occurs throughout the lifespan of an animal related to a decreasing proliferation of granule cell precursors and not attributable to a general aged-related metabolic impairment (ref). In one study, numbers of newborn neurons decreased roughly eight- to ninefold from middle-aged to aged rats (ref). Note that when older rats are given running exercise over several weeks, there is a remarkable increase in cell survival and neuronal differentiation, greatly reducing the aging effect (ref).
     

    That said, there is at least a reasonable amount of evidence-based science that training can indeed improve cognitive skills with some unusual transfer effect. For example, the Zero Hour PE was a program attempted with nineteen thousand students in Napersville which focused on increasing aerobic fitness of students and found a general increase of 17% improvement of reading/writing comprehension as opposed to the usual 10% improvement of controls. When tested for TIMSS, a study for student's knowledge levels, Napersville students scored above 97% of the US and only behind Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. On science, they scored first, above Singapore.

    There is a mechanism behind this as well - the brain is an organ and increased capillary flow and blood oxygen improves its functioning(and this has been replicated in experiments), but on top of that, exercise appears to trigger the creation of BDNF, a hormone that stimulates dendrite growth and neurogenesis.

    This does not exclude innate genius, of course. Some people might naturally produce more BDNF without intervention, some people might have better cranial bloodflow anyway, plus there appears to be a significant part of cognition associated with "insights" which seem to be related to "temporary hyperfrontality" esp. abstract thought. Hyperfrontality is restriction of blood to the prefrontal cortex and is often associated with nasty things such schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but it does also seem to some"isolation" of individual structures of the brain to process information unbothered by the usual inhibitory fact-checking of the brain improves the ease of thinking highly theoretical/symbolic/abstract information - perhaps overall ability to grasp abstract thought is a kind of hacked-together mutation like much of the haphazard evolutionary structure of the human brain as it is.

    At any rate, I often have my doubts that knowledge of cognitive intervention won't be politicized and will be applied for the general good of humanity. There is already studies that show forms of intervention as work, but you don't really hear them being used that much. Even from a honest "blank slate" perspective, the education system isn't operating to optimally benefit its students, its just mostly a cargo cult to create conformity and indoctrinate acceptable truths.

    At any rate, I often have my doubts that knowledge of cognitive intervention won’t be politicized and will be applied for the general good of humanity. There is already studies that show forms of intervention as work, but you don’t really hear them being used that much.

    There was a fad among mothers to boost their children’s intelligence from infancy. Blasting Mozart over baby’s crib, playing “developing games” etc. Then it was mostly laughed off as bullshit. As far as I know, modern science finds the best way to develop a child’s mind is old-fashioned unguided outdoor play (in agreement with your running rats example). Someone even wrote a book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, arguing that intense parenting won’t make your kid smarter as intelligence is mostly inborn – so better have more of them and hope some will turn out smart by chance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    There was a fad among mothers to boost their children’s intelligence from infancy. Blasting Mozart over baby’s crib, playing “developing games” etc. Then it was mostly laughed off as bullshit.
     
    Well, it was bullshit and pretty much was seen as at least highly dubious at its onset by scientists: its not impossible that listening to something might elicit brainwave states but any mechanism that it would somehow transfer over to improved cognition is difficult. And it failed replication, so hokum went where it deserved.

    But its an excellent example of the kind of "cognitive enhancement" that is popular - anything that doesn't take any effort, the same source where gave us sleep training tapes and other nonsense. So in that sense, AaronB's remarks about motivation is remarkably relevant. What is likely beneficial is strenuous, and what is strenuous is only approached if there is motivation to do so. What sells to the public, though, are simplistic visions of easy improvement and so we have the Mozart Baby effect still making money to this day in spite of it being virtually science-free(the original positive study concerned young adults, not infants; what researchers promoted was music training(which shows some efficacy and transfer effects for intelligence) which was mangled into Mozart Effect).

    Insofar as modern science goes, adult neurogenesis is pretty much established and cognitive training remains a field of research. This was published in Intelligence just this month:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289617300818#bb0465


    •Fitness-cognitive-mindfulness interventions were designed to bolster intelligence.

    •Fitness-cognitive training showed control-adjusted gains in visuospatial reasoning.

    •Fitness only training did not bolster fluid intelligence performance.

    •Individuals varied in benefits to fluid intelligence from mindfulness training.

     

    Which roughly correlates with other papers which show that specific interventions do indeed do something. What's interesting is that there appears to be an individual(genetic?) component to those interventions as well: some individuals benefitted from both mindfulness as well as cognitive training, while others did not, resulting in a lowered overall mean improvement. So even in training, there is specialization to consider.
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  95. AaronB says:
    @phil
    Being a naysayer and taking potshots seems easier for you than doing the real work of analyzing data.

    Depending on the context, sorting out motivation and innate ability can be done reasonably well. For example, tests of reaction times (decision-making times) for very simple mental challenges find that people of primarily sub-Saharan African descent generally have the slowest reaction times of all the major racial groups, but they have the fastest "movement times". I.e., they are the most physically gifted at moving their hands very fast from one button to another during the tests.

    Their fast movement times compared to other racial groups indicate that a lack of motivation is not a good explanation for why their reaction times are slow.

    The composite results of a whole battery of reaction time tests correlates well with general intelligence.

    Such people also do poorly on backwards digits tests, but not forward digits tests. If they do not do poorly on forward digits tests, a lack of motivation is not a good explanation for why they do poorly on backward digits tests.

    If you are serious about critiquing IQ research, write an article for Intelligence. Support your claims with data and submit it to the editor. If he does not reject the article out of hand, he will send it out to be anonymous referees.

    It isn’t clear to me how this addresses motivation

    Backwards digit tests require more effort – some people may be willing to expend that effort, others may not.

    Same with decision making – decision making requires effort, hand movements are natural.

    The more difficult, unnatural, and counterintuitive the test, the worse the un-motivated will do on it.

    You cannot seperate out the effort component (motivation). It isn’t a question of technique. It’s theoretically impossible.

    They can only be conceptually sepetated, in thought.

    In real life, they present as a fused matrix.

    Better to admit this and make less hubristic claims for IQ. It’s useful but let’s not make it into a cult.

    It’s not a question of data either – it’s a philosphical question. More data can never solve it.

    In theory, any act of real world performance is an indissoluble mix of motivation and ability.

    Motivation, also, is only one challenge to the “strong” IQ theory, besides. There are others, where we already have rough data to contradict.

    Read More
    • Replies: @phil
    For the same number of digits, backward digits is more difficult than forward digits, but of course, the task can be made easier by reducing the number of digits. On average, people of sub-Saharan African descent find the task to be difficult at an earlier stage, i.e., for a lesser number of digits, than mestizos, Caucasians, or Northeast Asians.

    For recent administrations of the Armed Forces Qualifying Test, if a test-taker gets a certain percentage of questions wrong at an early stage, the (computerized) test automatically starts giving him a series of easier questions in case he is tempted to give up. No matter, African-Americans score lower than other racial groups, on average.

    Jensen sometimes gave motivation tests to African-Americans as a check on the test results he obtained. He found that motivation was not the issue. Mental ability, or the lack thereof, was the issue.

    I suspect that you will make endless excuses for poor black peformance on intelligence tests, but, as a group, you do seem to regard them as lazy.
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  96. @Anon

    At any rate, I often have my doubts that knowledge of cognitive intervention won’t be politicized and will be applied for the general good of humanity. There is already studies that show forms of intervention as work, but you don’t really hear them being used that much.
     
    There was a fad among mothers to boost their children's intelligence from infancy. Blasting Mozart over baby's crib, playing "developing games" etc. Then it was mostly laughed off as bullshit. As far as I know, modern science finds the best way to develop a child's mind is old-fashioned unguided outdoor play (in agreement with your running rats example). Someone even wrote a book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, arguing that intense parenting won't make your kid smarter as intelligence is mostly inborn - so better have more of them and hope some will turn out smart by chance.

    There was a fad among mothers to boost their children’s intelligence from infancy. Blasting Mozart over baby’s crib, playing “developing games” etc. Then it was mostly laughed off as bullshit.

    Well, it was bullshit and pretty much was seen as at least highly dubious at its onset by scientists: its not impossible that listening to something might elicit brainwave states but any mechanism that it would somehow transfer over to improved cognition is difficult. And it failed replication, so hokum went where it deserved.

    But its an excellent example of the kind of “cognitive enhancement” that is popular – anything that doesn’t take any effort, the same source where gave us sleep training tapes and other nonsense. So in that sense, AaronB’s remarks about motivation is remarkably relevant. What is likely beneficial is strenuous, and what is strenuous is only approached if there is motivation to do so. What sells to the public, though, are simplistic visions of easy improvement and so we have the Mozart Baby effect still making money to this day in spite of it being virtually science-free(the original positive study concerned young adults, not infants; what researchers promoted was music training(which shows some efficacy and transfer effects for intelligence) which was mangled into Mozart Effect).

    Insofar as modern science goes, adult neurogenesis is pretty much established and cognitive training remains a field of research. This was published in Intelligence just this month:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289617300818#bb0465

    •Fitness-cognitive-mindfulness interventions were designed to bolster intelligence.

    •Fitness-cognitive training showed control-adjusted gains in visuospatial reasoning.

    •Fitness only training did not bolster fluid intelligence performance.

    •Individuals varied in benefits to fluid intelligence from mindfulness training.

    Which roughly correlates with other papers which show that specific interventions do indeed do something. What’s interesting is that there appears to be an individual(genetic?) component to those interventions as well: some individuals benefitted from both mindfulness as well as cognitive training, while others did not, resulting in a lowered overall mean improvement. So even in training, there is specialization to consider.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Lots of fascinating stuff, Daniel.
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  97. AaronB says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    There was a fad among mothers to boost their children’s intelligence from infancy. Blasting Mozart over baby’s crib, playing “developing games” etc. Then it was mostly laughed off as bullshit.
     
    Well, it was bullshit and pretty much was seen as at least highly dubious at its onset by scientists: its not impossible that listening to something might elicit brainwave states but any mechanism that it would somehow transfer over to improved cognition is difficult. And it failed replication, so hokum went where it deserved.

    But its an excellent example of the kind of "cognitive enhancement" that is popular - anything that doesn't take any effort, the same source where gave us sleep training tapes and other nonsense. So in that sense, AaronB's remarks about motivation is remarkably relevant. What is likely beneficial is strenuous, and what is strenuous is only approached if there is motivation to do so. What sells to the public, though, are simplistic visions of easy improvement and so we have the Mozart Baby effect still making money to this day in spite of it being virtually science-free(the original positive study concerned young adults, not infants; what researchers promoted was music training(which shows some efficacy and transfer effects for intelligence) which was mangled into Mozart Effect).

    Insofar as modern science goes, adult neurogenesis is pretty much established and cognitive training remains a field of research. This was published in Intelligence just this month:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289617300818#bb0465


    •Fitness-cognitive-mindfulness interventions were designed to bolster intelligence.

    •Fitness-cognitive training showed control-adjusted gains in visuospatial reasoning.

    •Fitness only training did not bolster fluid intelligence performance.

    •Individuals varied in benefits to fluid intelligence from mindfulness training.

     

    Which roughly correlates with other papers which show that specific interventions do indeed do something. What's interesting is that there appears to be an individual(genetic?) component to those interventions as well: some individuals benefitted from both mindfulness as well as cognitive training, while others did not, resulting in a lowered overall mean improvement. So even in training, there is specialization to consider.

    Lots of fascinating stuff, Daniel.

    Read More
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  98. @Daniel Chieh
    My apologies - my reply was broken. The first blockquote is from post 80 from Jaakko Raipala.

    Very interesting links, thank you.

    I remember my high school music teacher obsessing over playing Mozart for the baby while she was pregnant. The coming problems aren’t going to be just politics, there’s also going to be con artistry and eager parents that fall for fads.

    There’s already a whole industry of shady surgeons in some Third World countries offering plastic surgeries with many times bigger implants that would be allowed in the West, sex changes without psychiatric evaluation and so on. In a few decades they’re going to be selling genetic engineering…

    Read More
    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
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  99. phil says:
    @AaronB
    It isn't clear to me how this addresses motivation

    Backwards digit tests require more effort - some people may be willing to expend that effort, others may not.

    Same with decision making - decision making requires effort, hand movements are natural.

    The more difficult, unnatural, and counterintuitive the test, the worse the un-motivated will do on it.

    You cannot seperate out the effort component (motivation). It isn't a question of technique. It's theoretically impossible.

    They can only be conceptually sepetated, in thought.

    In real life, they present as a fused matrix.

    Better to admit this and make less hubristic claims for IQ. It's useful but let's not make it into a cult.

    It's not a question of data either - it's a philosphical question. More data can never solve it.

    In theory, any act of real world performance is an indissoluble mix of motivation and ability.

    Motivation, also, is only one challenge to the "strong" IQ theory, besides. There are others, where we already have rough data to contradict.

    For the same number of digits, backward digits is more difficult than forward digits, but of course, the task can be made easier by reducing the number of digits. On average, people of sub-Saharan African descent find the task to be difficult at an earlier stage, i.e., for a lesser number of digits, than mestizos, Caucasians, or Northeast Asians.

    For recent administrations of the Armed Forces Qualifying Test, if a test-taker gets a certain percentage of questions wrong at an early stage, the (computerized) test automatically starts giving him a series of easier questions in case he is tempted to give up. No matter, African-Americans score lower than other racial groups, on average.

    Jensen sometimes gave motivation tests to African-Americans as a check on the test results he obtained. He found that motivation was not the issue. Mental ability, or the lack thereof, was the issue.

    I suspect that you will make endless excuses for poor black peformance on intelligence tests, but, as a group, you do seem to regard them as lazy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Lazy is a culturally loaded term. In many cultures, idleness is prized, like in ancient Greece.

    The examples you gave still don't address the motivation issue. They're just repeats of what you already said.

    Whatever innate differences exist between blacks and whites, we can't know what they are. This is much more so the case where the differences are much smaller.

    A difference of 10 IQ points can easily be due to motivation. Many anomalies are cleared up this way.

    Why not actually be rigorously scientific about this? Lets just stick to the facts as we know them. We know groups differ in IQ. We don't know, nor can know, how much of this difference has to do with innate ability or culture or motivation.

    For certain practical purposes, this may not matter. For others, like raising the IQ of a country, it does matter.

    Set aside all the myths and agendas.

    But you can't. For you, accomplishment gives life meaning, and laziness is a sin. IQ can only measure innate ability, because everyone must be equally motivated. To admit that some people don't care as much as you do, is to threaten your fragile hold on meaning. It's why some religious people need others to agree with them.

    I know the laziness is a sin type of person well.

    It doesn't matter. Believe what you need to.
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  100. AaronB says:
    @phil
    For the same number of digits, backward digits is more difficult than forward digits, but of course, the task can be made easier by reducing the number of digits. On average, people of sub-Saharan African descent find the task to be difficult at an earlier stage, i.e., for a lesser number of digits, than mestizos, Caucasians, or Northeast Asians.

    For recent administrations of the Armed Forces Qualifying Test, if a test-taker gets a certain percentage of questions wrong at an early stage, the (computerized) test automatically starts giving him a series of easier questions in case he is tempted to give up. No matter, African-Americans score lower than other racial groups, on average.

    Jensen sometimes gave motivation tests to African-Americans as a check on the test results he obtained. He found that motivation was not the issue. Mental ability, or the lack thereof, was the issue.

    I suspect that you will make endless excuses for poor black peformance on intelligence tests, but, as a group, you do seem to regard them as lazy.

    Lazy is a culturally loaded term. In many cultures, idleness is prized, like in ancient Greece.

    The examples you gave still don’t address the motivation issue. They’re just repeats of what you already said.

    Whatever innate differences exist between blacks and whites, we can’t know what they are. This is much more so the case where the differences are much smaller.

    A difference of 10 IQ points can easily be due to motivation. Many anomalies are cleared up this way.

    Why not actually be rigorously scientific about this? Lets just stick to the facts as we know them. We know groups differ in IQ. We don’t know, nor can know, how much of this difference has to do with innate ability or culture or motivation.

    For certain practical purposes, this may not matter. For others, like raising the IQ of a country, it does matter.

    Set aside all the myths and agendas.

    But you can’t. For you, accomplishment gives life meaning, and laziness is a sin. IQ can only measure innate ability, because everyone must be equally motivated. To admit that some people don’t care as much as you do, is to threaten your fragile hold on meaning. It’s why some religious people need others to agree with them.

    I know the laziness is a sin type of person well.

    It doesn’t matter. Believe what you need to.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    The IQ difference between Blacks and Whites suppose to explain the failure of American melting pot with respect to Blacks. But more important reason for melting pot failure are external phenotypical differences. People of different skin colors do not mix well and will always end up constructing separate ethnic identities that will prevent them for mutual assimilation. Is IQ a part of it, if say one group is on average smarter than another? Probably but it is of secondary matter as far as assimilation is concerned. For every Black American of given IQ there is a White American of not higher IQ. Let's pick 40 millions of Whites that are IQ equivalent to all Blacks so every Black can be paired with White from this group and their IQ's are similar. Let's call this group BEW - Black Equivalent Whites (in terms of IQ). Is BEW assimilated? Yes. What do we know about BEW? Nothing because as a group they do not exist. How does this group stand out? It does not. Who is concerned about this group? Nobody. Does this group have separate identity, cohesion, solidarity and separate goals. The answer is no, no, no and no. What did I demonstrate here? That Blacks could integrate into society if only they were not black.

    The reason external phenotypical differences like color of the skin and facial features between minority group and majority are sufficient to prevent harmonious integration is because there will be always a split , a fragmentation along the racial lines which will lead to creation of separate ethnic identity by the minority group that will most likely be hostile to majority. It has nothing to do with intelligence or IQ. As long a minority has a separate ethnic identity it will be hostile to majority whether it is a top dog like Jews or bottom dog like Blacks. Germans, Irish, Slavs succeed in integrating because they could go through the phase of mimicry. They could pretend to not being Germans, Irish or Slavs as long a they were careful not opening their mouth. They were trying to fool majority and in the end they fooled themselves by loosing their separate identity and integrating. Jews did the same but they did not loose their identity because they had more ambitious goals. They wanted to dominate. Which they achieved and mimicry was an important part of their strategy. Pretending to be like a WASP and fooling the host. Blacks can't do it. They can't fool themselves or anybody. Every morning while brushing their teeth they see in the mirror their black faces.

    Conclusions. America is permanently screwed. Some European country can still be saved and avoid America's fate if they stop immigration of phenotypically different minorities which is chiefly Africans, Middle Easterners and Asians. My point is that checking IQ on the border will not save those countries. We need to go back to good or bad old prejudices. It is all about the color of your skin and how your face looks like. African geniuses will screw up the cohesion of your society as much if not worse than African morons. Neither of them loose their identity and thus they will act as a hostile minority. The geniuses most likely will do more harm because the morons you can lock up in prisons while the genius may end up being on top and rule over you.
    , @jilles dykstra
    " Lazy is a culturally loaded term. In many cultures, idleness is prized, like in ancient Greece. "

    Do not agree, not working was the opportunity to philosophise, be active with science and politics.
    Doing nothing at all is an African custom.
    , @phil
    The way to try to sort out the respective impacts of intelligence and ambition is through empirical research. Social science is typically not easy, and there will be disagreements.

    The American Psychological Association formed a committee to see if there is a professional consensus on such matters. The consensus is that there is a real psychometric difference in intelligence between blacks and other major races. A related question is whether any difference has a significant genetic component. The APA committee as well as surveys of researchers have found that there is a real difference, and the most recent survey found that only about 1/6 of the researchers believe that there is no genetic component.

    Of course, a consensus can be wrong, and you are free to be a dissenter, but you haven't even done any research or read the available journal literature.

    I have made no moral judgement about laziness. I merely stated that you attribute low black IQ scores to a lack of ambition. Again, you are outside the consensus. Other things equal, most people would question the praiseworthiness of a person who is not motivated to do very much.

    Regarding utu's comment about colorism, it certainly may matter, but Fuerst and Kirkegaard's research, the most thorough thus far, found that differences in cognitive ability do much more to explain differences across racial groups in socioeconomic status. Colorism itself may represent a probabilistic exercise in judging people in situations of imperfect information; the elderly Chinese ladies that I see approaching me could possibly be violent people, but I judge them to be less dangerous than the black teenage boys nearby. (Jesse Jackson has said much the same thing.) The literature on stereotypes finds that, while they are sometimes crude, they are roughly accurate, and that people do make use of individuating information if it is not too costly to come by. (I recommend Pinker's discussion in The Blank Slate.)
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  101. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Two comments about Japan:

    1. The standard deviation may be narrower, which would account for the small skilled vs. elementary gap. And anyway, everyone is smarter to begin with.

    2. Jobs that are considered elementary or skilled may be judged differently. For example, civil service jobs are prestigious and graduates of top universities compete for them. Japan rotates its civil servants through jobs, so the lowly clerk serving you may be a Tokyo University honors graduate. Similarly, police work is more prestigious than in the U.S. And service jobs like grocery store cashiers and waiters are not considered careers and are filled by smart college students. So of course there is not going to be much of an IQ gap.

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  102. utu says:
    @AaronB
    Lazy is a culturally loaded term. In many cultures, idleness is prized, like in ancient Greece.

    The examples you gave still don't address the motivation issue. They're just repeats of what you already said.

    Whatever innate differences exist between blacks and whites, we can't know what they are. This is much more so the case where the differences are much smaller.

    A difference of 10 IQ points can easily be due to motivation. Many anomalies are cleared up this way.

    Why not actually be rigorously scientific about this? Lets just stick to the facts as we know them. We know groups differ in IQ. We don't know, nor can know, how much of this difference has to do with innate ability or culture or motivation.

    For certain practical purposes, this may not matter. For others, like raising the IQ of a country, it does matter.

    Set aside all the myths and agendas.

    But you can't. For you, accomplishment gives life meaning, and laziness is a sin. IQ can only measure innate ability, because everyone must be equally motivated. To admit that some people don't care as much as you do, is to threaten your fragile hold on meaning. It's why some religious people need others to agree with them.

    I know the laziness is a sin type of person well.

    It doesn't matter. Believe what you need to.

    The IQ difference between Blacks and Whites suppose to explain the failure of American melting pot with respect to Blacks. But more important reason for melting pot failure are external phenotypical differences. People of different skin colors do not mix well and will always end up constructing separate ethnic identities that will prevent them for mutual assimilation. Is IQ a part of it, if say one group is on average smarter than another? Probably but it is of secondary matter as far as assimilation is concerned. For every Black American of given IQ there is a White American of not higher IQ. Let’s pick 40 millions of Whites that are IQ equivalent to all Blacks so every Black can be paired with White from this group and their IQ’s are similar. Let’s call this group BEW – Black Equivalent Whites (in terms of IQ). Is BEW assimilated? Yes. What do we know about BEW? Nothing because as a group they do not exist. How does this group stand out? It does not. Who is concerned about this group? Nobody. Does this group have separate identity, cohesion, solidarity and separate goals. The answer is no, no, no and no. What did I demonstrate here? That Blacks could integrate into society if only they were not black.

    The reason external phenotypical differences like color of the skin and facial features between minority group and majority are sufficient to prevent harmonious integration is because there will be always a split , a fragmentation along the racial lines which will lead to creation of separate ethnic identity by the minority group that will most likely be hostile to majority. It has nothing to do with intelligence or IQ. As long a minority has a separate ethnic identity it will be hostile to majority whether it is a top dog like Jews or bottom dog like Blacks. Germans, Irish, Slavs succeed in integrating because they could go through the phase of mimicry. They could pretend to not being Germans, Irish or Slavs as long a they were careful not opening their mouth. They were trying to fool majority and in the end they fooled themselves by loosing their separate identity and integrating. Jews did the same but they did not loose their identity because they had more ambitious goals. They wanted to dominate. Which they achieved and mimicry was an important part of their strategy. Pretending to be like a WASP and fooling the host. Blacks can’t do it. They can’t fool themselves or anybody. Every morning while brushing their teeth they see in the mirror their black faces.

    Conclusions. America is permanently screwed. Some European country can still be saved and avoid America’s fate if they stop immigration of phenotypically different minorities which is chiefly Africans, Middle Easterners and Asians. My point is that checking IQ on the border will not save those countries. We need to go back to good or bad old prejudices. It is all about the color of your skin and how your face looks like. African geniuses will screw up the cohesion of your society as much if not worse than African morons. Neither of them loose their identity and thus they will act as a hostile minority. The geniuses most likely will do more harm because the morons you can lock up in prisons while the genius may end up being on top and rule over you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    You make many good points, but I would moderate your claims somewhat.

    BEW - rednecks - are a recognizably distinct group that creates social stresses if present in large numbers in cities. Today they live mostly in the countryside. But you are right, they are assimilated better.

    Also, some educated and intelligent blacks are able to successfully engage in "mimicry" and become quite assimilated. However, their features are typically softer and whiter, so this doesn't completely invalidate your point about phenotypes, only softens it.

    Now, we do have examples of multi-ethnic empires that were relatively stable, because there was a unifying ideal beyond race - empire. And the unity and stability of mono-ethnic societies should not be overemphasized. Unified England, for instance, had constant revolts and social stresses.

    I am not sure that ethnically unified societies were more socially stable than multi-ethnic empires, although they are more stable than ethnically diverse societies without a unifying principle.

    The situation in the west today is radically different in that we are ethnically diverse while at the same time our culture has demolished any unifying principle whatsoever, leaving crude biology as the only remaining principle of social organization.

    Identist politics + diversity seems like madness - the deliberate creation of strife.

    Can multi-ethnic societies achieve harmony if there is an overarching principle of unity? Or at least, can they achieve as much harmony as mono-ethnic societies who also experience frequent social strife which should not be glossed over?

    I honestly don't know.

    It seems that any principle of faction or division has the potential to create strife among humans. Race is one such principle, so why add to already existing factors?

    On the other hand, racial diversity may cancel out other forms of factionalism.

    Let us say there is a society of whites evenly divided along religious lines who are bitter foes. Constant strife ensues. Now let us say a large number of blacks who share the religion of one group is introduced, creating a society where one religion clearly predominates.

    Is it now more harmonious? Or do the two white factions now combine against the blacks?

    Is religion or race a more powerful glue? Today, we would say race, but that may be must because we are atheists. In the past, religion was taken incredibly seriously.

    I don't know. I think the human experiment is too incomplete to make sweeping generalizations.

    I would agree that in our current climate, race is a huge principle of strife, and there is an urgent need to effect some kind of separation to promote peace and harmony.

    I would limit myself to such a modest claim without erecting an eternal principle.

    Pessimism on the short term, without making conclusions about the long term.

    I was reading recently about the chaotic and ethnically diverse Pirate states of the Berber Coast. They were remarkably stable and harmonious despite enormous ethnic diversity (lots of whites, Arabs, blacks), if delightfully chaotic, and they were unified along two principles: Islam, and raiding and stealing the wealth of the established states ;)

    I don't know what this tells us!

    Yes, America is doomed, that much I agree with.

    In the end you may be right - only mono ethnic societies are viable. In the short term, in our materialistic culture, we definitely need to create as much unity as possible and not introduce any possible principles of strife.
    , @bomag
    You raise some good points.

    But there are other factors. Dark skinned sub-continental Indians fit in pretty seamlessly with White society; they largely share the same traits of time preference and narcissism.

    Your BEW group may be normed for IQ, but other salient factors would separate the groups: how much physical violence one is willing to use/put up with; rates of honesty; empathy; etc.
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  103. Antolx says:

    germany seem pretty low, please ,can you make a table with the result of natives iq ?

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  104. RobinG says:
    @Talha
    Hey AaronB,

    Forgive me for saying so, but Islam is also a myth – in the sense that it is a set of symbols helping us deal with an unknowable reality.
     
    Nothing to forgive, I totally get what you are saying. There are simply limits to human understanding; in the books of our scholars, there are warnings about delving into impractical matters that are not under the purview of human comprehension. Or as the Second Caliph, Abu Bakr (ra) said (in poetry): "Your inability to comprehend God is your comprehension of God."

    And I get what you are saying, people have to anchor themselves somewhere. Extreme skepticism and doubt in everything will eventually lead to one questioning one's own doubt or even the reliability of one's own senses; am I awake, are my memories real, etc.

    An anchor is absolutely necessary to make sense of the chaos we observe and it needs to have some level of coherency to be useful. People then choose what "big picture" fits the questions they are looking to answer; the bigger one being - what's the purpose? Though from what I've observed, many people seem to sidestep that one.

    I realize you disagree with much here, and if you’ve read this far, I apologize for being so weird.
     
    No sweat, I enjoyed it, your comments are always welcome.

    Peace.

    You are (aren’t you?) assuming there is a purpose.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Yup! Wouldn’t be Muslim otherwise - that would be silly. It’s fine if others think there is no purpose; it’s their choice. Of course, these things have consequences in the long run...how long can a society perpetuate itself where the people can’t agree to a general purpose of life? I guess we’ll see where this goes...

    Peace.
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  105. Alas OECD is the club dictating economic and social policy in the EU, paid by the EU, that is, the Brussels oligarchy, where 4000 civil servants have a higher salary than Merkel.
    OECD staff hardly ever can be seen in person, but I remember quite well one of them who said ‘we did not expect that the liberation of the labour market in France would be so difficult politically’

    In a German article Schulz’s income after taxes was calculated at € 280.000 yearly.
    Not bad for someone who never finished high school, has been al acoholic, was trained as a bookbinder, and had a small bookstore.
    His pension rights were not mentioned.

    So, why should I trust OECD as being objective ?
    ‘Whose bread one eats, whose language one speaks’.

    If OECD also is the club behind the mass migration, possible.
    If so, trying to lower the average age of the population in the EU member states, their calculations did not consider that the great majority of the migrants do not work, just are a financial burden.
    Economists are not sociologists, they may never have considered that doing nothing all day in many countries is what males want.

    And so Merkels ‘wir schaffen das’, ‘we will succeed’, in integration, now is ‘eine grosse Herausforderung’, ‘ a big challenge’.
    How impopular Merkel has become,because mainly of immigration, is shown by her yesterday statement ‘I will remain chancellor for the full next four years’.
    If politicians make statements like this, they are nearly finished.
    But she’s right about the immigrants, saying ‘they’re already here’.
    That the second wave is coming, reuniting families, the German taxpayer does not yet know.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Economists are not sociologists
     
    Good point. Economists see people as economic units. They measure success and virtue in monetary terms. The idea that GDP growth alone is not enough to produce a healthy happy society never occurs to them. They assume that everyone is motivated entirely by the desire to have more money. Economists might understand money but they don't understand people.
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  106. @AaronB
    Lazy is a culturally loaded term. In many cultures, idleness is prized, like in ancient Greece.

    The examples you gave still don't address the motivation issue. They're just repeats of what you already said.

    Whatever innate differences exist between blacks and whites, we can't know what they are. This is much more so the case where the differences are much smaller.

    A difference of 10 IQ points can easily be due to motivation. Many anomalies are cleared up this way.

    Why not actually be rigorously scientific about this? Lets just stick to the facts as we know them. We know groups differ in IQ. We don't know, nor can know, how much of this difference has to do with innate ability or culture or motivation.

    For certain practical purposes, this may not matter. For others, like raising the IQ of a country, it does matter.

    Set aside all the myths and agendas.

    But you can't. For you, accomplishment gives life meaning, and laziness is a sin. IQ can only measure innate ability, because everyone must be equally motivated. To admit that some people don't care as much as you do, is to threaten your fragile hold on meaning. It's why some religious people need others to agree with them.

    I know the laziness is a sin type of person well.

    It doesn't matter. Believe what you need to.

    ” Lazy is a culturally loaded term. In many cultures, idleness is prized, like in ancient Greece. ”

    Do not agree, not working was the opportunity to philosophise, be active with science and politics.
    Doing nothing at all is an African custom.

    Read More
    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @AaronB
    In ancient Greece, contemplation not action was the ideal. Our science, which is technology, they would have despised.

    The ideal of "action" is unique to societies that prize progress - because things have value only because of what they matmy lead to. Perpetual dissatisfsction. Societies that value things for themselves prize "contemplation".

    The leisured gentleman was the u deal of nearly all societies before ours.

    Work was for slaves. Modern "wage slaves" are essentially similar to the ancient institution of slavery, and some theorists think it was an attempt to copy slavery (as opposed to contractual feudalism, where the Lord had obligations to his serf).

    The valorizatipn of work today is needed to make people submit to slavery. "Laziness" was a big part of that.

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  107. @Jaakko Raipala
    IQ tests have indeed been effectively banned in the US as "racist". In 1971 the Supreme Court ruled that IQ testing in hiring discriminates against African-Americans because blacks as a race score lower than whites and Asians in IQ tests:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griggs_v._Duke_Power_Co.

    Their ruling only leaves room for IQ testing if the employer is able to prove the necessity of such a test and they cannot simply test for IQ on the assumption that the higher IQ person would likely be a better employee. Given that the American legal system operates largely on precedents, IQ testing was effectively eliminated as a hiring practice in America as no company is going to take the risk of lawsuit.

    So no, the elites have not tolerated IQ tests. Schools, tech companies and the like who would definitely want to recruit on the principle of first finding intelligent people and only then figuring out what to use them for cannot do it as this is directly illegal. Instead they use proxies and workarounds (easier for schools as they can use SAT).

    A weird country, the USA, again.
    L’Amerique insolite’ was long ago the title of a tv report on the USA.
    I around 1990 had fifty graduated economists, without work experience, tested collectively, I needed fifteen.
    I hired the fifteen best, best in analytical skills.
    The test predictions came true.
    About one of them was doubt in social skills, this also became true, nevertheless, hiring him was not a failure.

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  108. Talha says:
    @RobinG
    You are (aren't you?) assuming there is a purpose.

    Yup! Wouldn’t be Muslim otherwise – that would be silly. It’s fine if others think there is no purpose; it’s their choice. Of course, these things have consequences in the long run…how long can a society perpetuate itself where the people can’t agree to a general purpose of life? I guess we’ll see where this goes…

    Peace.

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  109. Bliss says:
    @Jaakko Raipala

    One section must be seen as a semi independent “outside” faction that confers legitimacy on the entire structure of rule without itself being an interested party. In medieval times, this function was provided by the Church. Today, it is various “scientists”.
     
    Exactly. And as the function of academics started shifting towards being the priestly caste, they started turning against IQ testing and it's still getting worse. The process of eliminating IQ testing is still unfinished but its definitely moving towards its goal.

    Another reason here, by the way, is that standardized IQ testing is a quick, effective way of judging employee quality which contradicts the interests of the academic class. We now have a whole credentials industry in which the universities have a monopoly on selling the documents necessary for the job market. If it turned out that a simple standardized test can do the job just as well as having most students spend a few years at an university getting graded for skills that they won't even need at their job, that's a lot of professor jobs lost.

    Hence, the academic credentials industry exists in a symbiosis with the political and financial elites who get to purchase credentials for their children and who aid the university system by eliminating threats to their power like the use of IQ testing in hiring. In medieval times, almost no one hired on "credentials" - the blacksmith would teach his sons or take an apprentice from a friendly family, guilds of various sorts would monopolize sectors of economy and so on. Apprenticeship would still be a great way of passing knowledge but it has been under heavy assault because the academic class wants to destroy everything that bypasses their sale of credentials.

    The only time when standardized testing (like SAT) is tolerated is when dealing with children - that doesn't threaten the academic class since children aren't in the market for buying credentials yet.

    Hence, the academic credentials industry exists in a symbiosis with the political and financial elites who get to purchase credentials for their children and who aid the university system by eliminating threats to their power like the use of IQ testing in hiring.

    Very interesting observation. Plus, IQ testing in hiring is a threat to these nepotist elites as well. For it could expose their corruption: how did their children get into the Ivy League with such low IQs? And also raise doubts about their own intelligence since according to dogma IQ is inherited.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/the-story-behind-jared-kushners-curious-acceptance-into-harvard

    The Story Behind Jared Kushner’s Curious Acceptance into Harvard

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  110. Bliss says:

    So according to the data here on average female IQ is only 2% lower than male IQ. Even though female brains are 10% smaller than male brains. Doesn’t that make Rushton look like a fool for claiming that the IQ of african-americans is 15% lower than that of euro-americans because of a 6% difference in brain size? The IQ difference between young koreans and their grandparents is also around 15%. Is there a 6% difference in their brain sizes?

    This ain’t science folks.

    Btw, Einstein’s brain was around 9% smaller than the average for white americans….

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  111. Where are all of the countries wherein those ‘of color’ reside? Is race not an issue? How can one extrapolate ‘global’ IQ when the largest segment of global population is ignored? Your population sample is way too small.

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  112. bomag says:
    @AaronB
    And Daniel, I just want to make clear I'm mot a radical egalitarian.

    The ambitious, however they came to be, have to work out their unhapinesd through competition and hierarchy. Otherwise they will go nuts. And it would be cruel.

    And no truly non-ambitious person could care less if someone has more money or status than him. Absolute equality is about resentment and revenge, and may be just another scheme of the ambitious to cone to power. The average man doesn't want it.

    What I favor is coexistence between the ambitious and the non-ambitious. That is the basis of a stable society.

    Today, the ambitious have tried to stigmatize non ambition and make it impossible to be a "non productive" member of society. It's unstable.

    In medieval times, for instance, there was radical inequality but even s beggar was accorded some measure of respect and legitimacy.

    If we try and deny the ambitious an outlet, they will seek to destroy society. Likewise, if we deny the non ambitious an outlet, the ambitious will not be able to keep their position. As they will learn.

    If we try and deny the ambitious an outlet, they will seek to destroy society. Likewise, if we deny the non ambitious an outlet, the ambitious will not be able to keep their position. As they will learn.

    It seems, almost by definition, that the ambitious win and prevail, while the unambitious lose and go away.

    What recourse do the non-ambitious have against the ambitious, other than to spool up more ambition in the game of life?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Good question.

    They have non-participation, evasion, malingering, subtle sabotage and non compliance as options.

    Secondly, they have revolt. In the Middle Ages there were hundreds of revolts. Revolutions continued to happen in Europe until recently.

    Periods of relative stability are always characterized by balance between the ambitious and the non ambitious. But it's fragile, and never lasts.

    Our current political order is crumbling because, once again, the balance has come to favor the ambitious too much, among other reasons, leading to widespread depression.

    I would describe the ambitious as people suffering from chronic depression who need to work out their unhappiness through seeking external validation.

    Which is fine. Such people must be recognized as a bloc and given opportunities to realize their ambitions. A hierarchy must be created so that they can receive the external validation they so crave.

    However, depression is inherently destabilizing, and the depression of the ambitious leads to increasingly extreme attempts to create hierarchy - like a junkie.

    It may be that democracy has made this process worse. Democracy seeks to destroy hierarchy, denying the ambitious the external validation they need to deal with their depression.

    The ambitious then turn to ever more extreme forms of wealth accumulation and "unofficial" hierarchy creation in order to give them their high. - IQ, endless "entrepreneurship", extreme wealth inequality.

    If you look at Japan, it is formally much more hierarchical than America, yet wealth inequality is far, far lower. CEOS make far less compared to the average worker than in America.

    It may be that democracy is actually an unstable attempt at political balance that channels elite energies into creating far more extreme and ruthless "unofficial" hierarchies to satisfy their need for external validation.

    After all, "nobles oblige" is a virtue of systems that confer formal validation on the ambitious. "Go fuck yourself, you loser, I got mine" seems to be the motto of the ambitious when they are denied formal validation for their insecure egos.

    It does seem that countries that are more formally unequal, like Mexico, have less ruthless and vicious hierarchies.
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  113. AaronB says:
    @bomag

    If we try and deny the ambitious an outlet, they will seek to destroy society. Likewise, if we deny the non ambitious an outlet, the ambitious will not be able to keep their position. As they will learn.
     
    It seems, almost by definition, that the ambitious win and prevail, while the unambitious lose and go away.

    What recourse do the non-ambitious have against the ambitious, other than to spool up more ambition in the game of life?

    Good question.

    They have non-participation, evasion, malingering, subtle sabotage and non compliance as options.

    Secondly, they have revolt. In the Middle Ages there were hundreds of revolts. Revolutions continued to happen in Europe until recently.

    Periods of relative stability are always characterized by balance between the ambitious and the non ambitious. But it’s fragile, and never lasts.

    Our current political order is crumbling because, once again, the balance has come to favor the ambitious too much, among other reasons, leading to widespread depression.

    I would describe the ambitious as people suffering from chronic depression who need to work out their unhappiness through seeking external validation.

    Which is fine. Such people must be recognized as a bloc and given opportunities to realize their ambitions. A hierarchy must be created so that they can receive the external validation they so crave.

    However, depression is inherently destabilizing, and the depression of the ambitious leads to increasingly extreme attempts to create hierarchy – like a junkie.

    It may be that democracy has made this process worse. Democracy seeks to destroy hierarchy, denying the ambitious the external validation they need to deal with their depression.

    The ambitious then turn to ever more extreme forms of wealth accumulation and “unofficial” hierarchy creation in order to give them their high. – IQ, endless “entrepreneurship”, extreme wealth inequality.

    If you look at Japan, it is formally much more hierarchical than America, yet wealth inequality is far, far lower. CEOS make far less compared to the average worker than in America.

    It may be that democracy is actually an unstable attempt at political balance that channels elite energies into creating far more extreme and ruthless “unofficial” hierarchies to satisfy their need for external validation.

    After all, “nobles oblige” is a virtue of systems that confer formal validation on the ambitious. “Go fuck yourself, you loser, I got mine” seems to be the motto of the ambitious when they are denied formal validation for their insecure egos.

    It does seem that countries that are more formally unequal, like Mexico, have less ruthless and vicious hierarchies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bomag
    I'm not sure Mexico is a good example of a more functional society.

    Self control by the elites seems to be key here. Socrates talked about this, discussing how a hierarchy works well because the upper watches over the lower. When asked who watches the apex upper, he said that they must watch themselves.

    Today the apex uppers in the West seem happy to hack the system for themselves, even if it crashes the system.
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  114. AaronB says:
    @jilles dykstra
    " Lazy is a culturally loaded term. In many cultures, idleness is prized, like in ancient Greece. "

    Do not agree, not working was the opportunity to philosophise, be active with science and politics.
    Doing nothing at all is an African custom.

    In ancient Greece, contemplation not action was the ideal. Our science, which is technology, they would have despised.

    The ideal of “action” is unique to societies that prize progress – because things have value only because of what they matmy lead to. Perpetual dissatisfsction. Societies that value things for themselves prize “contemplation”.

    The leisured gentleman was the u deal of nearly all societies before ours.

    Work was for slaves. Modern “wage slaves” are essentially similar to the ancient institution of slavery, and some theorists think it was an attempt to copy slavery (as opposed to contractual feudalism, where the Lord had obligations to his serf).

    The valorizatipn of work today is needed to make people submit to slavery. “Laziness” was a big part of that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    " Our science, which is technology, they would have despised. "

    Our science is not technology, our advanced technology is applied science.
    We still do not know what 'Greek fire' was, we do not know what machinery Archimedes invented to fight a naval attack.
    Realise that applied science, technology, in fact began in Britain, using coal to pump mines.
    This lead to the steam engine, both machines would not have been possible without iron ore in the vicinity.
    And the British river transport was a great advantage, as well as sea transport, being an island.
    Coincidences can have important consequences.
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  115. AaronB says:
    @utu
    The IQ difference between Blacks and Whites suppose to explain the failure of American melting pot with respect to Blacks. But more important reason for melting pot failure are external phenotypical differences. People of different skin colors do not mix well and will always end up constructing separate ethnic identities that will prevent them for mutual assimilation. Is IQ a part of it, if say one group is on average smarter than another? Probably but it is of secondary matter as far as assimilation is concerned. For every Black American of given IQ there is a White American of not higher IQ. Let's pick 40 millions of Whites that are IQ equivalent to all Blacks so every Black can be paired with White from this group and their IQ's are similar. Let's call this group BEW - Black Equivalent Whites (in terms of IQ). Is BEW assimilated? Yes. What do we know about BEW? Nothing because as a group they do not exist. How does this group stand out? It does not. Who is concerned about this group? Nobody. Does this group have separate identity, cohesion, solidarity and separate goals. The answer is no, no, no and no. What did I demonstrate here? That Blacks could integrate into society if only they were not black.

    The reason external phenotypical differences like color of the skin and facial features between minority group and majority are sufficient to prevent harmonious integration is because there will be always a split , a fragmentation along the racial lines which will lead to creation of separate ethnic identity by the minority group that will most likely be hostile to majority. It has nothing to do with intelligence or IQ. As long a minority has a separate ethnic identity it will be hostile to majority whether it is a top dog like Jews or bottom dog like Blacks. Germans, Irish, Slavs succeed in integrating because they could go through the phase of mimicry. They could pretend to not being Germans, Irish or Slavs as long a they were careful not opening their mouth. They were trying to fool majority and in the end they fooled themselves by loosing their separate identity and integrating. Jews did the same but they did not loose their identity because they had more ambitious goals. They wanted to dominate. Which they achieved and mimicry was an important part of their strategy. Pretending to be like a WASP and fooling the host. Blacks can't do it. They can't fool themselves or anybody. Every morning while brushing their teeth they see in the mirror their black faces.

    Conclusions. America is permanently screwed. Some European country can still be saved and avoid America's fate if they stop immigration of phenotypically different minorities which is chiefly Africans, Middle Easterners and Asians. My point is that checking IQ on the border will not save those countries. We need to go back to good or bad old prejudices. It is all about the color of your skin and how your face looks like. African geniuses will screw up the cohesion of your society as much if not worse than African morons. Neither of them loose their identity and thus they will act as a hostile minority. The geniuses most likely will do more harm because the morons you can lock up in prisons while the genius may end up being on top and rule over you.

    You make many good points, but I would moderate your claims somewhat.

    BEW – rednecks – are a recognizably distinct group that creates social stresses if present in large numbers in cities. Today they live mostly in the countryside. But you are right, they are assimilated better.

    Also, some educated and intelligent blacks are able to successfully engage in “mimicry” and become quite assimilated. However, their features are typically softer and whiter, so this doesn’t completely invalidate your point about phenotypes, only softens it.

    Now, we do have examples of multi-ethnic empires that were relatively stable, because there was a unifying ideal beyond race – empire. And the unity and stability of mono-ethnic societies should not be overemphasized. Unified England, for instance, had constant revolts and social stresses.

    I am not sure that ethnically unified societies were more socially stable than multi-ethnic empires, although they are more stable than ethnically diverse societies without a unifying principle.

    The situation in the west today is radically different in that we are ethnically diverse while at the same time our culture has demolished any unifying principle whatsoever, leaving crude biology as the only remaining principle of social organization.

    Identist politics + diversity seems like madness – the deliberate creation of strife.

    Can multi-ethnic societies achieve harmony if there is an overarching principle of unity? Or at least, can they achieve as much harmony as mono-ethnic societies who also experience frequent social strife which should not be glossed over?

    I honestly don’t know.

    It seems that any principle of faction or division has the potential to create strife among humans. Race is one such principle, so why add to already existing factors?

    On the other hand, racial diversity may cancel out other forms of factionalism.

    Let us say there is a society of whites evenly divided along religious lines who are bitter foes. Constant strife ensues. Now let us say a large number of blacks who share the religion of one group is introduced, creating a society where one religion clearly predominates.

    Is it now more harmonious? Or do the two white factions now combine against the blacks?

    Is religion or race a more powerful glue? Today, we would say race, but that may be must because we are atheists. In the past, religion was taken incredibly seriously.

    I don’t know. I think the human experiment is too incomplete to make sweeping generalizations.

    I would agree that in our current climate, race is a huge principle of strife, and there is an urgent need to effect some kind of separation to promote peace and harmony.

    I would limit myself to such a modest claim without erecting an eternal principle.

    Pessimism on the short term, without making conclusions about the long term.

    I was reading recently about the chaotic and ethnically diverse Pirate states of the Berber Coast. They were remarkably stable and harmonious despite enormous ethnic diversity (lots of whites, Arabs, blacks), if delightfully chaotic, and they were unified along two principles: Islam, and raiding and stealing the wealth of the established states ;)

    I don’t know what this tells us!

    Yes, America is doomed, that much I agree with.

    In the end you may be right – only mono ethnic societies are viable. In the short term, in our materialistic culture, we definitely need to create as much unity as possible and not introduce any possible principles of strife.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    Obviously more diverse state are more stable because people are squabbling with each other w/o challenging the system. Diversity offers easier implementation of divide and rule. That's exactly the reason they want to diversify Europe because then people will not be able to challenge the neoliberal order. Monoethnic society has higher cohesion, solidarity and altruism that's why it is able to challenge the system better to transform it into a more just one. So it is likely there will be more revolts against the socio-economic order in monotonic society. While in your pirate state that has high diversity you have your "delightful" chaos. Your "delightful" chaos may work in society of thieves of zero mutual trust.

    They want to change us into pirates. There is also an anti-Christian element in it.

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  116. Factorize says:

    I have read an interesting book titled “The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone” .
    Apparently the ideas suggested in the book have had some uptake at the national level (for example, in the UK). The Spirit Level demonstrates that across a large range of social outcomes, more equal societies do considerably better. An especially interesting insight from the book is that it is not only disadvantaged segments of the community that would benefit from a more equal society: Everyone benefits! Several examples in the text illustrate how more equal nations outperform nations; even with substantially greater wealth. These results were true at all strata of society.

    The insights presented in the book might be of special importance to creating a successful society in Russia. While Russia’s experiment with radical egalitarianism in the 20th Century was not successful, perhaps a development path that included a conscious effort to reduce a stratification of the community would yield the substantial dividends of such a strategy as suggested in the book.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    That may be true, but inequality is psychologically satisfying - necessary - to those whose mental health requires them to seek external validation for their self-worth.

    So, you have to give them opportunities to do so, or they will seek them in informal ways.

    I wonder if "formal" hierarchies permit much more "informal" equality? In the case of Japan, it seems formal hierarchy goes together with much greater wealth equality.

    In America, the more formally egalitarian we become, the more informally tyranous we become. For instance, fifty years ago Americans were far more tolerant of eccentrics and bohemians, whereas today rigid conformity in a strict but "informal" hierarchical system based on work and "productivity" is trying to eliminate all alternatives.

    It seems that society benefits from "formal" hierarchies - mechanism by which the insecure can find external validation - which paradoxically allow the informal flourishing of alternative lifestyles.

    In a utopia, equality would be ideal. But in our reality, society is much better accommodating those who need to feel superior than in forcing them to pursue their drug in destructive ways.

    Anything that gets forced underground resurfaces in darker ways. Democracy may have merely created darker hierarchies.
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  117. Alden says:
    @Pericles

    being the only country to have a pogrom after the war and then expelling all the Jews who remained

     

    Oh dear, can't you even keep count of your own grievances anymore? Far has the Jew fallen.

    Do that and we’ll send you a fruit basket.

     

    (PS. The fruit will obviously be poisoned.)

    That porgrom was arranged and committed by the Jewish communist party and Jewish government of Poland.

    The reason was to create propaganda to make the United States believe that the Poles were anti Semitic nazis.

    Thus the United States, at the time the strongest country in the world would accept the Jewish communist take over of Poland.

    All during the war Jewish Polish communists trained in both Russia and the Russian occupied eastern Poland to take over the country when the war ended. Starting in 1944 the polish jeeish cominusts began a program of assassination of goyim democrat Poles who could have been leaders of a non communist Poland after the war.

    It was easy enough in the eastern Poland Russian sector. In 1944 communists infiltrated the western German sector and began murdering goyim Poles who would have been leaders of a non communist Poland

    The Israelis and AIPAC are not looking for an apology from Poland. They are looking to extort billions of US dollars from Poland as compensation for what the Germans allegedly did to Poles in Auschwitz.

    A constant theme in Jewish propaganda is that the Germans established the camps in Auschwitz because the Poles were sympathetic to the extermination of Jews.

    The real reason was that the town of Auschwitz was the European version of Chicago Re the railroad system. RR tracks from all over Europe east and west, north and south crosses in that town.
    So it was the perfect place for the factories, labor camps and military transport. Also, Poland was out of bombing range. Poland was the only German occupied country that had no government. The entire country was run as German army occupied territory.
    Not one Pole was involved in running the camps or capturing and sending anyone, Goy or Jew to the camps.

    It’s the Jewish communists who should apologize and pay compensation to Catholic Poland for what they did to Poland both during the occupation of Eastern Poland during the war and after the war.

    Having extorted tens of billions from other European countries, Israel and AIPAC now focus on Poland.

    But the Poles have the balls to resist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    And Merkel seems to have the balls to resist Israel for the first time, stating that Germany is guilty of the holocaust.
    , @jilles dykstra
    Auschwitz, even Elie Wiesel describes it, was a great industrial centre.
    It had abundant coal and water, ground water level just beneath the surface.
    From coal and water synthetic rubber, BUNA, synthetic oil and high octane aircraft ful was produced.
    The USA during WWII also used the IG Farben method for producing rubber, without that method war would not have been possible.
    From autumn 1944 Auschwitz industries were bombed from N Italy.
    It then was possible to bomb the camps too, the Jewish Council in Jerusalem, USA consul present, decided that the camps should not be bombed 'jews might be killed'.
    See a copy of the minutes as appendix in
    Neufeld and Berenbaum, editors ‘The bombing of Auschwitz’, 2000, New York
    Elie Wiesel, 'La Nuit', 1958, 2007
    Raul Hilberg, ‘The destruction of the European Jews’, student edition, Teaneck, 1985
    In this standard work on the holocaust, the admission that Auschwitz was a great industrial centre, one finds after a few hundred pages.
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  118. AaronB says:
    @Factorize
    I have read an interesting book titled "The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone" .
    Apparently the ideas suggested in the book have had some uptake at the national level (for example, in the UK). The Spirit Level demonstrates that across a large range of social outcomes, more equal societies do considerably better. An especially interesting insight from the book is that it is not only disadvantaged segments of the community that would benefit from a more equal society: Everyone benefits! Several examples in the text illustrate how more equal nations outperform nations; even with substantially greater wealth. These results were true at all strata of society.

    The insights presented in the book might be of special importance to creating a successful society in Russia. While Russia's experiment with radical egalitarianism in the 20th Century was not successful, perhaps a development path that included a conscious effort to reduce a stratification of the community would yield the substantial dividends of such a strategy as suggested in the book.

    That may be true, but inequality is psychologically satisfying – necessary – to those whose mental health requires them to seek external validation for their self-worth.

    So, you have to give them opportunities to do so, or they will seek them in informal ways.

    I wonder if “formal” hierarchies permit much more “informal” equality? In the case of Japan, it seems formal hierarchy goes together with much greater wealth equality.

    In America, the more formally egalitarian we become, the more informally tyranous we become. For instance, fifty years ago Americans were far more tolerant of eccentrics and bohemians, whereas today rigid conformity in a strict but “informal” hierarchical system based on work and “productivity” is trying to eliminate all alternatives.

    It seems that society benefits from “formal” hierarchies – mechanism by which the insecure can find external validation – which paradoxically allow the informal flourishing of alternative lifestyles.

    In a utopia, equality would be ideal. But in our reality, society is much better accommodating those who need to feel superior than in forcing them to pursue their drug in destructive ways.

    Anything that gets forced underground resurfaces in darker ways. Democracy may have merely created darker hierarchies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Factorize
    AaronB, thank you for your response.

    If everyone would benefit, then why would we let those who are psychologically unwell or irrational be the ones to decide? Inequality is a social construct enabled by the few, while equality could be a social construct created by the many.

    The current form of the developed world economy is not economically or socially efficient. Wealth is measured in currency and not actual well-being. As a rational person I want to maximize my personal utility. If social variables could be adjusted that would increase my utility, then why would I and others not accept such an adjustment?

    I added this suggestion to this thread because Russia has had a long term experience with a form of equality, so it might be easier for Russia to make this a success. They could turbocharge their development path by simply concentrating on utility and not wealth as their policy target.

    The current demographic reality of many developed nations is bleak. The Total Fertility Rate is almost universally below replacement. It now seems entirely possible that societies that continue to underperform simply will have no long term viability. Nations that could use the insight about equality creating a better life for all would then be unequally successful.

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  119. bomag says:
    @utu
    The IQ difference between Blacks and Whites suppose to explain the failure of American melting pot with respect to Blacks. But more important reason for melting pot failure are external phenotypical differences. People of different skin colors do not mix well and will always end up constructing separate ethnic identities that will prevent them for mutual assimilation. Is IQ a part of it, if say one group is on average smarter than another? Probably but it is of secondary matter as far as assimilation is concerned. For every Black American of given IQ there is a White American of not higher IQ. Let's pick 40 millions of Whites that are IQ equivalent to all Blacks so every Black can be paired with White from this group and their IQ's are similar. Let's call this group BEW - Black Equivalent Whites (in terms of IQ). Is BEW assimilated? Yes. What do we know about BEW? Nothing because as a group they do not exist. How does this group stand out? It does not. Who is concerned about this group? Nobody. Does this group have separate identity, cohesion, solidarity and separate goals. The answer is no, no, no and no. What did I demonstrate here? That Blacks could integrate into society if only they were not black.

    The reason external phenotypical differences like color of the skin and facial features between minority group and majority are sufficient to prevent harmonious integration is because there will be always a split , a fragmentation along the racial lines which will lead to creation of separate ethnic identity by the minority group that will most likely be hostile to majority. It has nothing to do with intelligence or IQ. As long a minority has a separate ethnic identity it will be hostile to majority whether it is a top dog like Jews or bottom dog like Blacks. Germans, Irish, Slavs succeed in integrating because they could go through the phase of mimicry. They could pretend to not being Germans, Irish or Slavs as long a they were careful not opening their mouth. They were trying to fool majority and in the end they fooled themselves by loosing their separate identity and integrating. Jews did the same but they did not loose their identity because they had more ambitious goals. They wanted to dominate. Which they achieved and mimicry was an important part of their strategy. Pretending to be like a WASP and fooling the host. Blacks can't do it. They can't fool themselves or anybody. Every morning while brushing their teeth they see in the mirror their black faces.

    Conclusions. America is permanently screwed. Some European country can still be saved and avoid America's fate if they stop immigration of phenotypically different minorities which is chiefly Africans, Middle Easterners and Asians. My point is that checking IQ on the border will not save those countries. We need to go back to good or bad old prejudices. It is all about the color of your skin and how your face looks like. African geniuses will screw up the cohesion of your society as much if not worse than African morons. Neither of them loose their identity and thus they will act as a hostile minority. The geniuses most likely will do more harm because the morons you can lock up in prisons while the genius may end up being on top and rule over you.

    You raise some good points.

    But there are other factors. Dark skinned sub-continental Indians fit in pretty seamlessly with White society; they largely share the same traits of time preference and narcissism.

    Your BEW group may be normed for IQ, but other salient factors would separate the groups: how much physical violence one is willing to use/put up with; rates of honesty; empathy; etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    Dark skinned sub-continental Indians fit in pretty seamlessly with White society; they largely share the same traits of time preference and narcissism.
     
    I do not know enough about dark skinned sub-continental Indians. Nevertheless I have some doubt how seamless is their integration. They maintain their separate ethnic identity and they might be smart enough to adopt "make no waves" strategy of mimicry so far. At the same time they seem to produce quite a few of SJW's where they can vent their hostility to the host.

    Personally I would not like to have dark skinned sub-continental Indians in any European country. They will bring troubles sooner than later. Societies simply can't take risks because the process is basically irreversible barring ethnic cleansing or holocaust.
    , @songbird
    I disagree about the seamless part. I once saw Douglas Murray give a speech. He was calling attention to the unprecedented levels of immigration to the UK and a need for a pause.

    Staring back at him was a sea of very hostile brown faces.
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  120. Alden says:
    @Pericles

    being the only country to have a pogrom after the war and then expelling all the Jews who remained

     

    Oh dear, can't you even keep count of your own grievances anymore? Far has the Jew fallen.

    Do that and we’ll send you a fruit basket.

     

    (PS. The fruit will obviously be poisoned.)

    The extortion demand for billions in compensation from Poland is an indication the the economy of Israel is in a down turn.

    It’s been that way for 70 years Whenever Israel has financial problems or is planning a new war against its neighbors, it discovers yet another country or institution that “ didn’t do enough to save Jews during the war “ and thus must cough up billions to support the parasite Israel. There is also the holocaust compensation industry. Thousands of Jews have very lucrative jobs in that industry. One interesting thing about the holicaust compensation industry, the survivors and Jews who lost property are never compensated. The extortion money goes on salaries and Israeli settlement and military expenditure.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    Whenever Israel has financial problems...
     
    The question is where do the money go? According to Norman Finkelstein not much more ends up in the hand of actual survivors. The claims are made on behalf on international Jewish organizations like World Jewish Congress. Do we know what WJC does with money and where does it go when they receive it, say after forcing Switzerland to pay several billions? When Eliot Spitzer was Attorney General of NY he went after WJC and the leadership of WJC was totally reshuffled. Obviously there was no trial only some money has changed hands. All actions of Spitzer "against" the Walls Street were like this. They never resulted in convictions and trials but in money transfer. Still it seems he made some people unhappy that he ended up being brought down by an affair with an escort from Israeli run escort service in NYC.

    It is possible that Israel is not the main recipient of the extortion racket. Though in recent years Israel decided to get the seat at the table where who gets the proceeds is being decided.
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  121. bomag says:
    @AaronB
    Good question.

    They have non-participation, evasion, malingering, subtle sabotage and non compliance as options.

    Secondly, they have revolt. In the Middle Ages there were hundreds of revolts. Revolutions continued to happen in Europe until recently.

    Periods of relative stability are always characterized by balance between the ambitious and the non ambitious. But it's fragile, and never lasts.

    Our current political order is crumbling because, once again, the balance has come to favor the ambitious too much, among other reasons, leading to widespread depression.

    I would describe the ambitious as people suffering from chronic depression who need to work out their unhappiness through seeking external validation.

    Which is fine. Such people must be recognized as a bloc and given opportunities to realize their ambitions. A hierarchy must be created so that they can receive the external validation they so crave.

    However, depression is inherently destabilizing, and the depression of the ambitious leads to increasingly extreme attempts to create hierarchy - like a junkie.

    It may be that democracy has made this process worse. Democracy seeks to destroy hierarchy, denying the ambitious the external validation they need to deal with their depression.

    The ambitious then turn to ever more extreme forms of wealth accumulation and "unofficial" hierarchy creation in order to give them their high. - IQ, endless "entrepreneurship", extreme wealth inequality.

    If you look at Japan, it is formally much more hierarchical than America, yet wealth inequality is far, far lower. CEOS make far less compared to the average worker than in America.

    It may be that democracy is actually an unstable attempt at political balance that channels elite energies into creating far more extreme and ruthless "unofficial" hierarchies to satisfy their need for external validation.

    After all, "nobles oblige" is a virtue of systems that confer formal validation on the ambitious. "Go fuck yourself, you loser, I got mine" seems to be the motto of the ambitious when they are denied formal validation for their insecure egos.

    It does seem that countries that are more formally unequal, like Mexico, have less ruthless and vicious hierarchies.

    I’m not sure Mexico is a good example of a more functional society.

    Self control by the elites seems to be key here. Socrates talked about this, discussing how a hierarchy works well because the upper watches over the lower. When asked who watches the apex upper, he said that they must watch themselves.

    Today the apex uppers in the West seem happy to hack the system for themselves, even if it crashes the system.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Sure, but the idea that the elites will watch themselves seems rather utopian.

    I think it's more realistic that if elites get what they are really after - external validation for insecure egos, what else is wealth? - they won't be so obsessed with creating informal hierarchies of extreme inequality that expand to fill the entire social space.

    You say the elites don't care if they crash the system - I don't think they can help themselves. Their psychology requires external validation - it's like a drug.

    They can't get this external validation in a formal way, because we're a democracy. Formal hierarchies put restraints on elites. Informal hierarchies seem to let the elites run wild.

    The problem of elite psychology can never be finally solved, but only worked around. Utopian schemes of equality may make the problem worse.

    As for Mexico, there is far more real world equality there than in America, and I think it's because there is far more formal hierarchy. What I mean is, people are far more polite and gracious and treat each other with respect in day to day life - which i consider to be a mark of social equality. Whereas Americans are always trying to dominate each other, set up hierarchies, compete with each other, put each other down, etc.

    It seems formal hierarchies alleviate status anxiety and it's pathologies.

    Like you, I favor equality - I am just wondering if, in a non utopian world, giving it up in one way, we get more of it another more real way, and if trying to abolish inequality completely, we create more of it in an underground way, like in America.

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  122. Factorize says:
    @AaronB
    That may be true, but inequality is psychologically satisfying - necessary - to those whose mental health requires them to seek external validation for their self-worth.

    So, you have to give them opportunities to do so, or they will seek them in informal ways.

    I wonder if "formal" hierarchies permit much more "informal" equality? In the case of Japan, it seems formal hierarchy goes together with much greater wealth equality.

    In America, the more formally egalitarian we become, the more informally tyranous we become. For instance, fifty years ago Americans were far more tolerant of eccentrics and bohemians, whereas today rigid conformity in a strict but "informal" hierarchical system based on work and "productivity" is trying to eliminate all alternatives.

    It seems that society benefits from "formal" hierarchies - mechanism by which the insecure can find external validation - which paradoxically allow the informal flourishing of alternative lifestyles.

    In a utopia, equality would be ideal. But in our reality, society is much better accommodating those who need to feel superior than in forcing them to pursue their drug in destructive ways.

    Anything that gets forced underground resurfaces in darker ways. Democracy may have merely created darker hierarchies.

    AaronB, thank you for your response.

    If everyone would benefit, then why would we let those who are psychologically unwell or irrational be the ones to decide? Inequality is a social construct enabled by the few, while equality could be a social construct created by the many.

    The current form of the developed world economy is not economically or socially efficient. Wealth is measured in currency and not actual well-being. As a rational person I want to maximize my personal utility. If social variables could be adjusted that would increase my utility, then why would I and others not accept such an adjustment?

    I added this suggestion to this thread because Russia has had a long term experience with a form of equality, so it might be easier for Russia to make this a success. They could turbocharge their development path by simply concentrating on utility and not wealth as their policy target.

    The current demographic reality of many developed nations is bleak. The Total Fertility Rate is almost universally below replacement. It now seems entirely possible that societies that continue to underperform simply will have no long term viability. Nations that could use the insight about equality creating a better life for all would then be unequally successful.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB

    If everyone would benefit, then why would we let those who are psychologically unwell or irrational be the ones to decide? I
     
    Because unfortunately, these people are generally much more driven and intense than everyone else, and so punch far above their weight in numbers. This makes them very formidable.

    That is why we can't simply divide factions into the healthy many and the sick few - the sick few punch far above their weight in numbers.

    I believe history has shown attempts to sideline the sick few by the many tends to backfire. Maybe, a better solution would be to pacify the sick few - give them their baubles and shiny gewgaws, their IQ tests, their ranks and decorations. Maybe the fury in their brain might subside just enough to let other people live.

    It is a modus vivendi - your solution is great in principle, but doesn't account for messy human realities.

    Your point about material efficiency is a good one - but it may conflict with the psychological needs of a formidable sector of the population, and backfire.

    Paradoxically, by creating formal hierarchies we may pacify the sick few, leading to informal equality in many ways, resulting in increased well being, and by sacrificing maximum efficiency, we may reach reasonable levels of efficiency that are more stable.
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  123. AaronB says:
    @bomag
    I'm not sure Mexico is a good example of a more functional society.

    Self control by the elites seems to be key here. Socrates talked about this, discussing how a hierarchy works well because the upper watches over the lower. When asked who watches the apex upper, he said that they must watch themselves.

    Today the apex uppers in the West seem happy to hack the system for themselves, even if it crashes the system.

    Sure, but the idea that the elites will watch themselves seems rather utopian.

    I think it’s more realistic that if elites get what they are really after – external validation for insecure egos, what else is wealth? – they won’t be so obsessed with creating informal hierarchies of extreme inequality that expand to fill the entire social space.

    You say the elites don’t care if they crash the system – I don’t think they can help themselves. Their psychology requires external validation – it’s like a drug.

    They can’t get this external validation in a formal way, because we’re a democracy. Formal hierarchies put restraints on elites. Informal hierarchies seem to let the elites run wild.

    The problem of elite psychology can never be finally solved, but only worked around. Utopian schemes of equality may make the problem worse.

    As for Mexico, there is far more real world equality there than in America, and I think it’s because there is far more formal hierarchy. What I mean is, people are far more polite and gracious and treat each other with respect in day to day life – which i consider to be a mark of social equality. Whereas Americans are always trying to dominate each other, set up hierarchies, compete with each other, put each other down, etc.

    It seems formal hierarchies alleviate status anxiety and it’s pathologies.

    Like you, I favor equality – I am just wondering if, in a non utopian world, giving it up in one way, we get more of it another more real way, and if trying to abolish inequality completely, we create more of it in an underground way, like in America.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bliss

    the idea that the elites will watch themselves seems rather utopian. I think it’s more realistic that if elites get what they are really after – external validation for insecure egos, what else is wealth? – they won’t be so obsessed with creating informal hierarchies of extreme inequality that expand to fill the entire social space. You say the elites don’t care if they crash the system – I don’t think they can help themselves. Their psychology requires external validation – it’s like a drug.
     
    So who is going to watch the ambitious elite, genius, and stop them from crashing your system of “formal hierarchy”? The non-ambitious lazy losers? You really think ambitious elitists will be satisfied by the “validation” of people they despise? Get real.

    Secondly, not all ambitious men are a threat to society. The most ambitious entrepreneur on the planet today is Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX. Like Steve Jobs of Apple before him, he is widely loved and admired. You are guilty of simplistic generalizing and silly theorizing.

    By the way, Elon Musk is a proponent of Universal Basic Income which is a far more rational, moral and realistic solution to the plight of the non-ambitious than the nonsensical, wishful fantasy you are peddling.
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  124. utu says:
    @AaronB
    You make many good points, but I would moderate your claims somewhat.

    BEW - rednecks - are a recognizably distinct group that creates social stresses if present in large numbers in cities. Today they live mostly in the countryside. But you are right, they are assimilated better.

    Also, some educated and intelligent blacks are able to successfully engage in "mimicry" and become quite assimilated. However, their features are typically softer and whiter, so this doesn't completely invalidate your point about phenotypes, only softens it.

    Now, we do have examples of multi-ethnic empires that were relatively stable, because there was a unifying ideal beyond race - empire. And the unity and stability of mono-ethnic societies should not be overemphasized. Unified England, for instance, had constant revolts and social stresses.

    I am not sure that ethnically unified societies were more socially stable than multi-ethnic empires, although they are more stable than ethnically diverse societies without a unifying principle.

    The situation in the west today is radically different in that we are ethnically diverse while at the same time our culture has demolished any unifying principle whatsoever, leaving crude biology as the only remaining principle of social organization.

    Identist politics + diversity seems like madness - the deliberate creation of strife.

    Can multi-ethnic societies achieve harmony if there is an overarching principle of unity? Or at least, can they achieve as much harmony as mono-ethnic societies who also experience frequent social strife which should not be glossed over?

    I honestly don't know.

    It seems that any principle of faction or division has the potential to create strife among humans. Race is one such principle, so why add to already existing factors?

    On the other hand, racial diversity may cancel out other forms of factionalism.

    Let us say there is a society of whites evenly divided along religious lines who are bitter foes. Constant strife ensues. Now let us say a large number of blacks who share the religion of one group is introduced, creating a society where one religion clearly predominates.

    Is it now more harmonious? Or do the two white factions now combine against the blacks?

    Is religion or race a more powerful glue? Today, we would say race, but that may be must because we are atheists. In the past, religion was taken incredibly seriously.

    I don't know. I think the human experiment is too incomplete to make sweeping generalizations.

    I would agree that in our current climate, race is a huge principle of strife, and there is an urgent need to effect some kind of separation to promote peace and harmony.

    I would limit myself to such a modest claim without erecting an eternal principle.

    Pessimism on the short term, without making conclusions about the long term.

    I was reading recently about the chaotic and ethnically diverse Pirate states of the Berber Coast. They were remarkably stable and harmonious despite enormous ethnic diversity (lots of whites, Arabs, blacks), if delightfully chaotic, and they were unified along two principles: Islam, and raiding and stealing the wealth of the established states ;)

    I don't know what this tells us!

    Yes, America is doomed, that much I agree with.

    In the end you may be right - only mono ethnic societies are viable. In the short term, in our materialistic culture, we definitely need to create as much unity as possible and not introduce any possible principles of strife.

    Obviously more diverse state are more stable because people are squabbling with each other w/o challenging the system. Diversity offers easier implementation of divide and rule. That’s exactly the reason they want to diversify Europe because then people will not be able to challenge the neoliberal order. Monoethnic society has higher cohesion, solidarity and altruism that’s why it is able to challenge the system better to transform it into a more just one. So it is likely there will be more revolts against the socio-economic order in monotonic society. While in your pirate state that has high diversity you have your “delightful” chaos. Your “delightful” chaos may work in society of thieves of zero mutual trust.

    They want to change us into pirates. There is also an anti-Christian element in it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    I pretty much agree with your analysis, I'm only not sure if applies as an eternal principle.

    But in our current climate, you're quite correct.
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  125. @AaronB
    In ancient Greece, contemplation not action was the ideal. Our science, which is technology, they would have despised.

    The ideal of "action" is unique to societies that prize progress - because things have value only because of what they matmy lead to. Perpetual dissatisfsction. Societies that value things for themselves prize "contemplation".

    The leisured gentleman was the u deal of nearly all societies before ours.

    Work was for slaves. Modern "wage slaves" are essentially similar to the ancient institution of slavery, and some theorists think it was an attempt to copy slavery (as opposed to contractual feudalism, where the Lord had obligations to his serf).

    The valorizatipn of work today is needed to make people submit to slavery. "Laziness" was a big part of that.

    ” Our science, which is technology, they would have despised. ”

    Our science is not technology, our advanced technology is applied science.
    We still do not know what ‘Greek fire’ was, we do not know what machinery Archimedes invented to fight a naval attack.
    Realise that applied science, technology, in fact began in Britain, using coal to pump mines.
    This lead to the steam engine, both machines would not have been possible without iron ore in the vicinity.
    And the British river transport was a great advantage, as well as sea transport, being an island.
    Coincidences can have important consequences.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Aristotle was explicitly against the use of technology to improve lives, it was considered that was the purpose of lower classes to be occupied with drudgery. This thinking was common among Greek philosophers.
    , @AaronB
    Makes sense. Technology is really contingent.

    Antibiotics is the paradigmatic example of a vital discovery being utterly contingent.

    But as context, you probably need a society that devotes its energies to progress over finding perfection inf the moment.
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  126. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Talha
    And if you go back far enough...well, one wonders if Socrates could clean himself after using the bathroom...

    Maybe it measures the ability to do IQ tests.
     
    Lot to agree with here. If you read the article I cited and listen to a TED talk by Prof. Flynn on the subject, it becomes abundantly clear that a lot of it has to do with the method of thinking; more abstract versus day-to-day. Certain societies, especially modern ones, drill abstract thinking into one’s head early on. For instance, a young child learns to move a mouse and sees the arrow moving on a screen disconnected to it - totally different than what a child learns from interactions on a rural farm.

    Peace.

    This is a fascinating article even though I am not sure what “intelligence” really means, let alone how one measures it without having to resort to arbitrariness. Can the mind really measure itself without falling into the type of paradox envisioned by Goedel? Mmm…maybe. Maybe not. Dunno. The bottom line is that intelligence may in the end be only definable in the same fashion as Justice Potter Stewart defined pornography: “I know it when I see it.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Good point and I urge people not to mistake "intelligence" for "wisdom" - I have lived long enough on this earth to know the are not the same. Can anyone measure wisdom? I'd pay to see that.

    Peace.
    , @jilles dykstra
    Nobody can define intelligence.
    IQ tests just measure IQ.
    , @jilles dykstra
    He may know, but I think he never visited the museum of, what we now see as pornography, in Pompei.
    It exists since about 1900, but was just a decade ago opened to the public.
    I was in Pompei around 1976.

    I visited the brothel in Pompei, above the small rooms are pornographic pictures, historians assert these pictures were part of the price system.
    Anyhow, they did not know it, but I was standing behind a group og giggling young USA women, one of them reluctanly, but giggling, holding the flashlight to light up the pictures.

    Their male Greek guide remained outside, a somewhat older USA woman asked 'are you not going to explain anything to us ?'.
    His anwer 'would be too embarrasing for me'.
    So, what pornography is, over time a quite different notion, and even now subject of much hypocrisy.
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  127. @Alden
    That porgrom was arranged and committed by the Jewish communist party and Jewish government of Poland.

    The reason was to create propaganda to make the United States believe that the Poles were anti Semitic nazis.

    Thus the United States, at the time the strongest country in the world would accept the Jewish communist take over of Poland.

    All during the war Jewish Polish communists trained in both Russia and the Russian occupied eastern Poland to take over the country when the war ended. Starting in 1944 the polish jeeish cominusts began a program of assassination of goyim democrat Poles who could have been leaders of a non communist Poland after the war.

    It was easy enough in the eastern Poland Russian sector. In 1944 communists infiltrated the western German sector and began murdering goyim Poles who would have been leaders of a non communist Poland

    The Israelis and AIPAC are not looking for an apology from Poland. They are looking to extort billions of US dollars from Poland as compensation for what the Germans allegedly did to Poles in Auschwitz.

    A constant theme in Jewish propaganda is that the Germans established the camps in Auschwitz because the Poles were sympathetic to the extermination of Jews.

    The real reason was that the town of Auschwitz was the European version of Chicago Re the railroad system. RR tracks from all over Europe east and west, north and south crosses in that town.
    So it was the perfect place for the factories, labor camps and military transport. Also, Poland was out of bombing range. Poland was the only German occupied country that had no government. The entire country was run as German army occupied territory.
    Not one Pole was involved in running the camps or capturing and sending anyone, Goy or Jew to the camps.

    It’s the Jewish communists who should apologize and pay compensation to Catholic Poland for what they did to Poland both during the occupation of Eastern Poland during the war and after the war.

    Having extorted tens of billions from other European countries, Israel and AIPAC now focus on Poland.

    But the Poles have the balls to resist.

    And Merkel seems to have the balls to resist Israel for the first time, stating that Germany is guilty of the holocaust.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    She is also sending a message to Poland and other EU countries that putting all eggs in one American/Israeli basket was a mistake. That Germany in long run might be much better partner for Poland than America and Israel.
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  128. AaronB says:
    @Factorize
    AaronB, thank you for your response.

    If everyone would benefit, then why would we let those who are psychologically unwell or irrational be the ones to decide? Inequality is a social construct enabled by the few, while equality could be a social construct created by the many.

    The current form of the developed world economy is not economically or socially efficient. Wealth is measured in currency and not actual well-being. As a rational person I want to maximize my personal utility. If social variables could be adjusted that would increase my utility, then why would I and others not accept such an adjustment?

    I added this suggestion to this thread because Russia has had a long term experience with a form of equality, so it might be easier for Russia to make this a success. They could turbocharge their development path by simply concentrating on utility and not wealth as their policy target.

    The current demographic reality of many developed nations is bleak. The Total Fertility Rate is almost universally below replacement. It now seems entirely possible that societies that continue to underperform simply will have no long term viability. Nations that could use the insight about equality creating a better life for all would then be unequally successful.

    If everyone would benefit, then why would we let those who are psychologically unwell or irrational be the ones to decide? I

    Because unfortunately, these people are generally much more driven and intense than everyone else, and so punch far above their weight in numbers. This makes them very formidable.

    That is why we can’t simply divide factions into the healthy many and the sick few – the sick few punch far above their weight in numbers.

    I believe history has shown attempts to sideline the sick few by the many tends to backfire. Maybe, a better solution would be to pacify the sick few – give them their baubles and shiny gewgaws, their IQ tests, their ranks and decorations. Maybe the fury in their brain might subside just enough to let other people live.

    It is a modus vivendi – your solution is great in principle, but doesn’t account for messy human realities.

    Your point about material efficiency is a good one – but it may conflict with the psychological needs of a formidable sector of the population, and backfire.

    Paradoxically, by creating formal hierarchies we may pacify the sick few, leading to informal equality in many ways, resulting in increased well being, and by sacrificing maximum efficiency, we may reach reasonable levels of efficiency that are more stable.

    Read More
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  129. AaronB says:
    @utu
    Obviously more diverse state are more stable because people are squabbling with each other w/o challenging the system. Diversity offers easier implementation of divide and rule. That's exactly the reason they want to diversify Europe because then people will not be able to challenge the neoliberal order. Monoethnic society has higher cohesion, solidarity and altruism that's why it is able to challenge the system better to transform it into a more just one. So it is likely there will be more revolts against the socio-economic order in monotonic society. While in your pirate state that has high diversity you have your "delightful" chaos. Your "delightful" chaos may work in society of thieves of zero mutual trust.

    They want to change us into pirates. There is also an anti-Christian element in it.

    I pretty much agree with your analysis, I’m only not sure if applies as an eternal principle.

    But in our current climate, you’re quite correct.

    Read More
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  130. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @jilles dykstra
    " Our science, which is technology, they would have despised. "

    Our science is not technology, our advanced technology is applied science.
    We still do not know what 'Greek fire' was, we do not know what machinery Archimedes invented to fight a naval attack.
    Realise that applied science, technology, in fact began in Britain, using coal to pump mines.
    This lead to the steam engine, both machines would not have been possible without iron ore in the vicinity.
    And the British river transport was a great advantage, as well as sea transport, being an island.
    Coincidences can have important consequences.

    Aristotle was explicitly against the use of technology to improve lives, it was considered that was the purpose of lower classes to be occupied with drudgery. This thinking was common among Greek philosophers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    He did invent machinery to protect his own life.
    Given the absence of abundant wood, coal and iron, and wind, most of the time, what the Greeks thought was pretty irrelevant.
    They did use water power, though I do not know when it started.
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  131. @Alden
    That porgrom was arranged and committed by the Jewish communist party and Jewish government of Poland.

    The reason was to create propaganda to make the United States believe that the Poles were anti Semitic nazis.

    Thus the United States, at the time the strongest country in the world would accept the Jewish communist take over of Poland.

    All during the war Jewish Polish communists trained in both Russia and the Russian occupied eastern Poland to take over the country when the war ended. Starting in 1944 the polish jeeish cominusts began a program of assassination of goyim democrat Poles who could have been leaders of a non communist Poland after the war.

    It was easy enough in the eastern Poland Russian sector. In 1944 communists infiltrated the western German sector and began murdering goyim Poles who would have been leaders of a non communist Poland

    The Israelis and AIPAC are not looking for an apology from Poland. They are looking to extort billions of US dollars from Poland as compensation for what the Germans allegedly did to Poles in Auschwitz.

    A constant theme in Jewish propaganda is that the Germans established the camps in Auschwitz because the Poles were sympathetic to the extermination of Jews.

    The real reason was that the town of Auschwitz was the European version of Chicago Re the railroad system. RR tracks from all over Europe east and west, north and south crosses in that town.
    So it was the perfect place for the factories, labor camps and military transport. Also, Poland was out of bombing range. Poland was the only German occupied country that had no government. The entire country was run as German army occupied territory.
    Not one Pole was involved in running the camps or capturing and sending anyone, Goy or Jew to the camps.

    It’s the Jewish communists who should apologize and pay compensation to Catholic Poland for what they did to Poland both during the occupation of Eastern Poland during the war and after the war.

    Having extorted tens of billions from other European countries, Israel and AIPAC now focus on Poland.

    But the Poles have the balls to resist.

    Auschwitz, even Elie Wiesel describes it, was a great industrial centre.
    It had abundant coal and water, ground water level just beneath the surface.
    From coal and water synthetic rubber, BUNA, synthetic oil and high octane aircraft ful was produced.
    The USA during WWII also used the IG Farben method for producing rubber, without that method war would not have been possible.
    From autumn 1944 Auschwitz industries were bombed from N Italy.
    It then was possible to bomb the camps too, the Jewish Council in Jerusalem, USA consul present, decided that the camps should not be bombed ‘jews might be killed’.
    See a copy of the minutes as appendix in
    Neufeld and Berenbaum, editors ‘The bombing of Auschwitz’, 2000, New York
    Elie Wiesel, ‘La Nuit’, 1958, 2007
    Raul Hilberg, ‘The destruction of the European Jews’, student edition, Teaneck, 1985
    In this standard work on the holocaust, the admission that Auschwitz was a great industrial centre, one finds after a few hundred pages.

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  132. Talha says:
    @anonymous
    This is a fascinating article even though I am not sure what "intelligence" really means, let alone how one measures it without having to resort to arbitrariness. Can the mind really measure itself without falling into the type of paradox envisioned by Goedel? Mmm...maybe. Maybe not. Dunno. The bottom line is that intelligence may in the end be only definable in the same fashion as Justice Potter Stewart defined pornography: "I know it when I see it."

    Good point and I urge people not to mistake “intelligence” for “wisdom” – I have lived long enough on this earth to know the are not the same. Can anyone measure wisdom? I’d pay to see that.

    Peace.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    There is no wisdom. It cannot be measured, so it does not exist :)
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  133. @anonymous
    This is a fascinating article even though I am not sure what "intelligence" really means, let alone how one measures it without having to resort to arbitrariness. Can the mind really measure itself without falling into the type of paradox envisioned by Goedel? Mmm...maybe. Maybe not. Dunno. The bottom line is that intelligence may in the end be only definable in the same fashion as Justice Potter Stewart defined pornography: "I know it when I see it."

    Nobody can define intelligence.
    IQ tests just measure IQ.

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  134. @anonymous
    Aristotle was explicitly against the use of technology to improve lives, it was considered that was the purpose of lower classes to be occupied with drudgery. This thinking was common among Greek philosophers.

    He did invent machinery to protect his own life.
    Given the absence of abundant wood, coal and iron, and wind, most of the time, what the Greeks thought was pretty irrelevant.
    They did use water power, though I do not know when it started.

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  135. @reiner Tor

    if Russia had moved to a Chinese reform system in the early 1970s
     
    It was impossible. They had a huge Stalinist economic sector (basically, all of their economy), and moving to reform in some sectors would have caused disturbances in it. In Hungary when small scale private enterprises were allowed in the 1980s, directors of government owned firms used them to siphon off resources from their firms. Party secretaries etc. got their cuts so didn’t care. The same things happened in the USSR a few years later, albeit at an even larger scale, probably because the system there had been even more rigid.

    The problem with communism was that you could not reform it gradually. Actually, Gorbachev tried to do what people like Zyuganov were proposing retroactively, i.e. reform it gradually. It was impossible.

    In China the communist system was in a state of near collapse by the time of Mao’s death, and people started creating a market by themselves, regardless of what the authorities thought about it. They only had a small Stalinist economic sector, and it was barely functioning anyway. It had huge problems until well into the 2000s. But because it was a much smaller part of the whole economy (i.e. not the whole economy, only a smaller part of it), so it was possible to keep it on life support. They were starving for a few years anyway. It would have been impossible in the USSR with its much larger Stalinist economic sector.

    It was impossible.

    I disagree. Reform is always possible, but it is not enough to merely want it, implementation and pacing also matters a great deal. Remember that Chinese reforms were very gradualist, not at all like the shock doctrine of the 1990s.

    For instance, in the early days, much of the old system remained but any surplus that the Chinese peasant farmer generated he could sell on the market. There were also TVEs (township-village enterprises), which were organised on a local level. Today we think of these massive factories but those reforms did not happen until much later. The Chinese were very cautious in how they went about it, and of course corruption was everywhere.

    The problem with communism was that you could not reform it gradually

    What the Chinese had at the end of the Mao era was very much communism and they reformed it gradually.

    Gorbachev tried to do what people like Zyuganov were proposing retroactively, i.e. reform it gradually. It was impossible.

    Gorbachev did much more than that, he also tried to do political reform, unlike the Chinese. That led to instability in the system. The Chinese had their moment in the early 1990s with the Tienanmen Square massacres but they didn’t blink.

    In China the communist system was in a state of near collapse by the time of Mao’s death

    No, this is not true. The worst excesses of Mao was in the 1950s with the “great leap forward”. There was actually an improvement during his last years. While the reform period is often dated to 1978 as the start year, if you look at Chinese growth rates in the five years preceding 1978, it was actually quite brisk.

    They only had a small Stalinist economic sector

    Stalinist or Maoist may seem like a huge deal to someone who lived in a communist system, but to the outside world both are command-and-control systems which are enormously centralised and incredibly inefficient. I think you’re overblowing the case here.

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    • Replies: @utu
    I agree. USSR did not reform economically because it fell apart due to ill thought political reforms. Chinese did not make this mistake.
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  136. @anonymous
    This is a fascinating article even though I am not sure what "intelligence" really means, let alone how one measures it without having to resort to arbitrariness. Can the mind really measure itself without falling into the type of paradox envisioned by Goedel? Mmm...maybe. Maybe not. Dunno. The bottom line is that intelligence may in the end be only definable in the same fashion as Justice Potter Stewart defined pornography: "I know it when I see it."

    He may know, but I think he never visited the museum of, what we now see as pornography, in Pompei.
    It exists since about 1900, but was just a decade ago opened to the public.
    I was in Pompei around 1976.

    I visited the brothel in Pompei, above the small rooms are pornographic pictures, historians assert these pictures were part of the price system.
    Anyhow, they did not know it, but I was standing behind a group og giggling young USA women, one of them reluctanly, but giggling, holding the flashlight to light up the pictures.

    Their male Greek guide remained outside, a somewhat older USA woman asked ‘are you not going to explain anything to us ?’.
    His anwer ‘would be too embarrasing for me’.
    So, what pornography is, over time a quite different notion, and even now subject of much hypocrisy.

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  137. AaronB says:
    @Talha
    Good point and I urge people not to mistake "intelligence" for "wisdom" - I have lived long enough on this earth to know the are not the same. Can anyone measure wisdom? I'd pay to see that.

    Peace.

    There is no wisdom. It cannot be measured, so it does not exist :)

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  138. AaronB says:
    @jilles dykstra
    " Our science, which is technology, they would have despised. "

    Our science is not technology, our advanced technology is applied science.
    We still do not know what 'Greek fire' was, we do not know what machinery Archimedes invented to fight a naval attack.
    Realise that applied science, technology, in fact began in Britain, using coal to pump mines.
    This lead to the steam engine, both machines would not have been possible without iron ore in the vicinity.
    And the British river transport was a great advantage, as well as sea transport, being an island.
    Coincidences can have important consequences.

    Makes sense. Technology is really contingent.

    Antibiotics is the paradigmatic example of a vital discovery being utterly contingent.

    But as context, you probably need a society that devotes its energies to progress over finding perfection inf the moment.

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  139. I must admit I don’t take IQ tests seriously. I did some time ago, but, at the end, I’ve come to the conclusion not unlike Protagoras’ on God/gods: “About the gods, I am not able to know whether they exist or do not exist, nor what they are like in form; for the factors preventing knowledge are many: the obscurity of the subject and the shortness of human life”.

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  140. phil says:
    @AaronB
    Lazy is a culturally loaded term. In many cultures, idleness is prized, like in ancient Greece.

    The examples you gave still don't address the motivation issue. They're just repeats of what you already said.

    Whatever innate differences exist between blacks and whites, we can't know what they are. This is much more so the case where the differences are much smaller.

    A difference of 10 IQ points can easily be due to motivation. Many anomalies are cleared up this way.

    Why not actually be rigorously scientific about this? Lets just stick to the facts as we know them. We know groups differ in IQ. We don't know, nor can know, how much of this difference has to do with innate ability or culture or motivation.

    For certain practical purposes, this may not matter. For others, like raising the IQ of a country, it does matter.

    Set aside all the myths and agendas.

    But you can't. For you, accomplishment gives life meaning, and laziness is a sin. IQ can only measure innate ability, because everyone must be equally motivated. To admit that some people don't care as much as you do, is to threaten your fragile hold on meaning. It's why some religious people need others to agree with them.

    I know the laziness is a sin type of person well.

    It doesn't matter. Believe what you need to.

    The way to try to sort out the respective impacts of intelligence and ambition is through empirical research. Social science is typically not easy, and there will be disagreements.

    The American Psychological Association formed a committee to see if there is a professional consensus on such matters. The consensus is that there is a real psychometric difference in intelligence between blacks and other major races. A related question is whether any difference has a significant genetic component. The APA committee as well as surveys of researchers have found that there is a real difference, and the most recent survey found that only about 1/6 of the researchers believe that there is no genetic component.

    Of course, a consensus can be wrong, and you are free to be a dissenter, but you haven’t even done any research or read the available journal literature.

    I have made no moral judgement about laziness. I merely stated that you attribute low black IQ scores to a lack of ambition. Again, you are outside the consensus. Other things equal, most people would question the praiseworthiness of a person who is not motivated to do very much.

    Regarding utu’s comment about colorism, it certainly may matter, but Fuerst and Kirkegaard’s research, the most thorough thus far, found that differences in cognitive ability do much more to explain differences across racial groups in socioeconomic status. Colorism itself may represent a probabilistic exercise in judging people in situations of imperfect information; the elderly Chinese ladies that I see approaching me could possibly be violent people, but I judge them to be less dangerous than the black teenage boys nearby. (Jesse Jackson has said much the same thing.) The literature on stereotypes finds that, while they are sometimes crude, they are roughly accurate, and that people do make use of individuating information if it is not too costly to come by. (I recommend Pinker’s discussion in The Blank Slate.)

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    Unfortunately, not all problems are amenable to empirical research. In our culture, such problems tend to get ignored. That's why the problem of motivation has been disregarded.

    The problems I am proposing are philosophical - problems of method - and not problems of data. Problems in principle, and not empirical research.

    Therefore they cannot be solved via empirical research. They are anterior to it.

    Nevertheless, the data so far is notable for not containing anything that even tends to weaken the motivation tbeory, when it might d have. For instance, low IQ countries are notorious for being lazy, and high IQ countries are notorious for being workaholic. A single exception to this pattern might have provided us with some evidence that IQ is independent of motivation - a high IQ nation that was notorious for being lazy, for instance.

    However, if you reflect for a moment, you will realize that such a country cannot exist, which brings us back to critique of method, and the illusion that data can clear this up. IQ tests require effort that progresses as you go along. To do well on them, you must expend serious effort. You must persevere in the face of challenges and difficulties. You must have a will to mastery and power.

    Now, obviously, you must also have innate ability. No amount of motivation will allow you to succeed without innate ability. The problem is simply one of measurement - since ability cannot show itself in the world separated from effort, since any demonstration of ability has as its necessary precondition a willingness to expend effort, how can we measure ability without measuring effort?

    A truer expression of ability would be - ability = effort + innate ability.

    (Effort+innate ability) may be the smallest unit of measurement we can make. If true, this would make us rethink what we claim for IQ.

    Now, absent scientific rigor, we can make intelligent guesses about the role of culture and motivation in the total phenomenon known as "ability" (which is the smallest unit we can measure). Social relations, life goals and values, and motivation, would all be seen as components of "ability". For instance, if a precondition for developing abstract thought to a high level requires a reorganization of social relations away from the family and towards individualism, because, perhaps, family life requires one to become habituated to a "holistic" way of viewing the world which impedes abstract analysis, or because abstract analysis requiresn emotional detachment incompatible with fostering warm and close social relations, then one can see how culture may play a vital role in IQ.

    To accept this, would involve a massive reevaluation of our own cultural arrogance - our blithe assumption that our values are universal. This, however , is threatening, and requires humility.

    As for consensus, only a very myopic view would be unduly influenced by it - they are place and time bound. And only a timid person would seem refuge within it.

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  141. AaronB says:
    @phil
    The way to try to sort out the respective impacts of intelligence and ambition is through empirical research. Social science is typically not easy, and there will be disagreements.

    The American Psychological Association formed a committee to see if there is a professional consensus on such matters. The consensus is that there is a real psychometric difference in intelligence between blacks and other major races. A related question is whether any difference has a significant genetic component. The APA committee as well as surveys of researchers have found that there is a real difference, and the most recent survey found that only about 1/6 of the researchers believe that there is no genetic component.

    Of course, a consensus can be wrong, and you are free to be a dissenter, but you haven't even done any research or read the available journal literature.

    I have made no moral judgement about laziness. I merely stated that you attribute low black IQ scores to a lack of ambition. Again, you are outside the consensus. Other things equal, most people would question the praiseworthiness of a person who is not motivated to do very much.

    Regarding utu's comment about colorism, it certainly may matter, but Fuerst and Kirkegaard's research, the most thorough thus far, found that differences in cognitive ability do much more to explain differences across racial groups in socioeconomic status. Colorism itself may represent a probabilistic exercise in judging people in situations of imperfect information; the elderly Chinese ladies that I see approaching me could possibly be violent people, but I judge them to be less dangerous than the black teenage boys nearby. (Jesse Jackson has said much the same thing.) The literature on stereotypes finds that, while they are sometimes crude, they are roughly accurate, and that people do make use of individuating information if it is not too costly to come by. (I recommend Pinker's discussion in The Blank Slate.)

    Unfortunately, not all problems are amenable to empirical research. In our culture, such problems tend to get ignored. That’s why the problem of motivation has been disregarded.

    The problems I am proposing are philosophical – problems of method – and not problems of data. Problems in principle, and not empirical research.

    Therefore they cannot be solved via empirical research. They are anterior to it.

    Nevertheless, the data so far is notable for not containing anything that even tends to weaken the motivation tbeory, when it might d have. For instance, low IQ countries are notorious for being lazy, and high IQ countries are notorious for being workaholic. A single exception to this pattern might have provided us with some evidence that IQ is independent of motivation – a high IQ nation that was notorious for being lazy, for instance.

    However, if you reflect for a moment, you will realize that such a country cannot exist, which brings us back to critique of method, and the illusion that data can clear this up. IQ tests require effort that progresses as you go along. To do well on them, you must expend serious effort. You must persevere in the face of challenges and difficulties. You must have a will to mastery and power.

    Now, obviously, you must also have innate ability. No amount of motivation will allow you to succeed without innate ability. The problem is simply one of measurement – since ability cannot show itself in the world separated from effort, since any demonstration of ability has as its necessary precondition a willingness to expend effort, how can we measure ability without measuring effort?

    A truer expression of ability would be – ability = effort + innate ability.

    (Effort+innate ability) may be the smallest unit of measurement we can make. If true, this would make us rethink what we claim for IQ.

    Now, absent scientific rigor, we can make intelligent guesses about the role of culture and motivation in the total phenomenon known as “ability” (which is the smallest unit we can measure). Social relations, life goals and values, and motivation, would all be seen as components of “ability”. For instance, if a precondition for developing abstract thought to a high level requires a reorganization of social relations away from the family and towards individualism, because, perhaps, family life requires one to become habituated to a “holistic” way of viewing the world which impedes abstract analysis, or because abstract analysis requiresn emotional detachment incompatible with fostering warm and close social relations, then one can see how culture may play a vital role in IQ.

    To accept this, would involve a massive reevaluation of our own cultural arrogance – our blithe assumption that our values are universal. This, however , is threatening, and requires humility.

    As for consensus, only a very myopic view would be unduly influenced by it – they are place and time bound. And only a timid person would seem refuge within it.

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    • Replies: @Mikel
    Can we be really sure that dogs perform worse on average than humans in intelligence tests simply due to innate cognitive differences? How can we determine the exact magnitude of motivation, training, social norms, etc in the results of those tests? It's a-priori impossible.

    I think that this is what you are saying, if I understand correctly.
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  142. utu says:
    @bomag
    You raise some good points.

    But there are other factors. Dark skinned sub-continental Indians fit in pretty seamlessly with White society; they largely share the same traits of time preference and narcissism.

    Your BEW group may be normed for IQ, but other salient factors would separate the groups: how much physical violence one is willing to use/put up with; rates of honesty; empathy; etc.

    Dark skinned sub-continental Indians fit in pretty seamlessly with White society; they largely share the same traits of time preference and narcissism.

    I do not know enough about dark skinned sub-continental Indians. Nevertheless I have some doubt how seamless is their integration. They maintain their separate ethnic identity and they might be smart enough to adopt “make no waves” strategy of mimicry so far. At the same time they seem to produce quite a few of SJW’s where they can vent their hostility to the host.

    Personally I would not like to have dark skinned sub-continental Indians in any European country. They will bring troubles sooner than later. Societies simply can’t take risks because the process is basically irreversible barring ethnic cleansing or holocaust.

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  143. utu says:
    @jilles dykstra
    And Merkel seems to have the balls to resist Israel for the first time, stating that Germany is guilty of the holocaust.

    She is also sending a message to Poland and other EU countries that putting all eggs in one American/Israeli basket was a mistake. That Germany in long run might be much better partner for Poland than America and Israel.

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  144. utu says:
    @Polish Perspective

    It was impossible.
     
    I disagree. Reform is always possible, but it is not enough to merely want it, implementation and pacing also matters a great deal. Remember that Chinese reforms were very gradualist, not at all like the shock doctrine of the 1990s.

    For instance, in the early days, much of the old system remained but any surplus that the Chinese peasant farmer generated he could sell on the market. There were also TVEs (township-village enterprises), which were organised on a local level. Today we think of these massive factories but those reforms did not happen until much later. The Chinese were very cautious in how they went about it, and of course corruption was everywhere.

    The problem with communism was that you could not reform it gradually
     
    What the Chinese had at the end of the Mao era was very much communism and they reformed it gradually.


    Gorbachev tried to do what people like Zyuganov were proposing retroactively, i.e. reform it gradually. It was impossible.
     
    Gorbachev did much more than that, he also tried to do political reform, unlike the Chinese. That led to instability in the system. The Chinese had their moment in the early 1990s with the Tienanmen Square massacres but they didn't blink.

    In China the communist system was in a state of near collapse by the time of Mao’s death
     
    No, this is not true. The worst excesses of Mao was in the 1950s with the "great leap forward". There was actually an improvement during his last years. While the reform period is often dated to 1978 as the start year, if you look at Chinese growth rates in the five years preceding 1978, it was actually quite brisk.

    They only had a small Stalinist economic sector
     
    Stalinist or Maoist may seem like a huge deal to someone who lived in a communist system, but to the outside world both are command-and-control systems which are enormously centralised and incredibly inefficient. I think you're overblowing the case here.

    I agree. USSR did not reform economically because it fell apart due to ill thought political reforms. Chinese did not make this mistake.

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  145. Art says:
    @AaronB
    Yes, Talha, but we must allow them their myths.

    I think it's a mistake to view this as about actual reality or science or whatever.

    It's a myth that helps them deal with certain aspects of reality. You saw that on the other thread when Karlin said Jewish influence can be explained by IQ, and then couldn't say anything when it was pointed out the numbers don't work out. It's not really about the numbers working out. Derbyshire is the same way.

    It's the same with the Hajnal Line white altruism thing. It's just a myth that gives them self confidence. Facts won't disprove it. It's a story.

    Forgive me for saying so, but Islam is also a myth - in the sense that it is a set of symbols helping us deal with an unknowable reality. Of course, Islam is a much better and more life sustaining myth, but I don't think we get to choose our myths. Myths choose us.

    Karlin has been captured by a particular myth, and he doesn't have any choice in the matter. Nor do I, nor do you. Facts aren't really the issue with IQ - the ability of the myth to help deal with a particular aspect of the world is, to create a feeling of control in an area that is of deep concern for you.

    Which myths capture our minds probably has to do with which aspects of reality we are trying to deal with. You're Muslin because you are trying to deal with certain aspects of reality that Karlin isn't, and I'm sympathetic to Islam for the same reason.

    Science itself is a set of symbols allowing us to deal with an unknowable reality. There may be more than one set of equations that allow airplanes to fly. We are just satisfied with the first ones that work. We would have no incentive to search for other ones, but they may exist.

    The medievals thought objects fall to the earth because they have souls and are attracted to each other. Newton said the exact same thing in slightly different language and called it gravity. Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    Both used symbols to deal with an ultimate reality that is unknowable.

    Science came out of the occult and magic, as we know, and for centuries the goal of the occult was to "make nature yield up its secrets". Science took over this goal and used a different set of symbols.

    How well your symbols deal with reality is different in each case. With the equations that make airplanes fly, the effectiveness of the symbols depends on whether airplanes actually fly (without telling us anything about what's really going on).

    With IQ, the effectiveness of the symbol is how it makes you feel about certain groups of people and the future of technology.

    Both sets of symbols perform their purpose well, or they would naturally disappear. People hold on to what works, we just don't always understand what it's supposed to do.

    IQ will disappear as a myth of it ever ceases performing it's function. It's just a mistake to think that it's function is to give an accurate picture of reality in fine detail. It's function is to help deal with an aspect of reality that some people find chaotic.

    I guess what I'm saying is, don't be such a stickler for truth and reality :)

    At the same time, for people like you and I pointing out the inadequacy of the IQ myth from the pov of those aspects of reality we seek to navigate is just as important, and I will continue doing so, and I appreciate your efforts.

    I realize you disagree with much here, and if you've read this far, I apologize for being so weird.

    Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    “Said the same thing?” —- My I disagree?

    Intelligence is the measure of the ability to organize things. Definition and measuring are the building blocks of organization.

    Newton’s definitions and measuring skills put humanity on a whole new plane of organization. Pre-Newton and post-Newton are night and day for the human race.

    “Sameness” just does not do justice to the situation.

    Think Peace — Art

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    I just meant in that particular. Theory of gravity says nothing new "some occult force causes objects to adhere to each other".

    Newtons work sprang from his interest in the occult, and some of it is a "mechanical" reworking of occult ideas.

    Objects behaved the same, but instead of being alive and having souls, were now "dead", and could be pinned down and measured.

    Quantum mechanics is now restoring "aliveness".
    , @utu
    Newton is overrated.
    , @Ilyana_Rozumova
    Newton slept under apple tree, Apple fell on his head. From then on he become nuts.
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  146. utu says:
    @Alden
    The extortion demand for billions in compensation from Poland is an indication the the economy of Israel is in a down turn.

    It’s been that way for 70 years Whenever Israel has financial problems or is planning a new war against its neighbors, it discovers yet another country or institution that “ didn’t do enough to save Jews during the war “ and thus must cough up billions to support the parasite Israel. There is also the holocaust compensation industry. Thousands of Jews have very lucrative jobs in that industry. One interesting thing about the holicaust compensation industry, the survivors and Jews who lost property are never compensated. The extortion money goes on salaries and Israeli settlement and military expenditure.

    Whenever Israel has financial problems…

    The question is where do the money go? According to Norman Finkelstein not much more ends up in the hand of actual survivors. The claims are made on behalf on international Jewish organizations like World Jewish Congress. Do we know what WJC does with money and where does it go when they receive it, say after forcing Switzerland to pay several billions? When Eliot Spitzer was Attorney General of NY he went after WJC and the leadership of WJC was totally reshuffled. Obviously there was no trial only some money has changed hands. All actions of Spitzer “against” the Walls Street were like this. They never resulted in convictions and trials but in money transfer. Still it seems he made some people unhappy that he ended up being brought down by an affair with an escort from Israeli run escort service in NYC.

    It is possible that Israel is not the main recipient of the extortion racket. Though in recent years Israel decided to get the seat at the table where who gets the proceeds is being decided.

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  147. Bill says:
    @AaronB
    But that doesn't show that what we call innate ability isn't a function of motivation.

    First of all, you couldn't possible compare your motivation to others. Appearances can be decieving.

    Secondly, you could have been highly motivated to regard intellectual pursuits as worthwhile and to regard problem solving in general as an activity worth doing. Having trained yourself in this fashion over years, it would become invisible to you, just second nature, and your ability would seem "effortless" to you. In fact you may be expending more effort than anyone else but it's invisible to you.

    It's a somewhat subtle argument, you see. Lots of hidden invisible factors.

    Of course, I'm not denying innate ability exists. I'm just saying we have no way of isolating it and measuring it. All we can measure is the "total person".

    Among high IQ people, there may be many who have high innate ability and little motivation, and others with lower innate ability but much higher motivation (as a general life attitude towards problem solving, perhaps developed over years).

    We wouldn't be able to distinguish between the two. They'd seem the same to us.

    What's more, IQ tests themselves are boring and strenuous - it seems a safe assumption that people of similar innate ability will differ widely in their motivation to take the test seriously.

    This is so obvious and so simple a point that only vested interests can make one overlook it.

    So - not against the reality of innate ability. Just that the total human being - the only thing we can measure - is an indistinguishable product of innate ability, motivation, and lots of other factors. We cannot get st his insides.

    “But that doesn’t show that what we call innate ability isn’t a function of motivation.

    First of all, you couldn’t possible compare your motivation to others. Appearances can be decieving.”

    Strategic nihilism is what that’s called.

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    • Replies: @AaronB
    I agree - science, sticking to facts, saying no more than we can - is nihilistic.

    We need myths and illusions. The IQ myth works for you, and that's cool.

    I'm just deconstructing it for the benefit of those for whom it doesn't work.

    You don't have to pay attention unless you aren't satisfied with the IQ myth. Youb would be wise to not pay attention.
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  148. AaronB says:
    @Bill
    "But that doesn’t show that what we call innate ability isn’t a function of motivation.

    First of all, you couldn’t possible compare your motivation to others. Appearances can be decieving."

    Strategic nihilism is what that's called.

    I agree – science, sticking to facts, saying no more than we can – is nihilistic.

    We need myths and illusions. The IQ myth works for you, and that’s cool.

    I’m just deconstructing it for the benefit of those for whom it doesn’t work.

    You don’t have to pay attention unless you aren’t satisfied with the IQ myth. Youb would be wise to not pay attention.

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  149. AaronB says:
    @Art
    Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    "Said the same thing?" ---- My I disagree?

    Intelligence is the measure of the ability to organize things. Definition and measuring are the building blocks of organization.

    Newton’s definitions and measuring skills put humanity on a whole new plane of organization. Pre-Newton and post-Newton are night and day for the human race.

    “Sameness” just does not do justice to the situation.

    Think Peace --- Art

    I just meant in that particular. Theory of gravity says nothing new “some occult force causes objects to adhere to each other”.

    Newtons work sprang from his interest in the occult, and some of it is a “mechanical” reworking of occult ideas.

    Objects behaved the same, but instead of being alive and having souls, were now “dead”, and could be pinned down and measured.

    Quantum mechanics is now restoring “aliveness”.

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  150. Art says:

    Quantum mechanics is now restoring “aliveness”.

    AaronB,

    How so????? What does “aliveness” mean?

    Art

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Deterministic causality is dead. A bit of the "magic" and unpredictability underlying the very nature of "nature" is back.

    Peace.
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  151. songbird says:
    @bomag
    You raise some good points.

    But there are other factors. Dark skinned sub-continental Indians fit in pretty seamlessly with White society; they largely share the same traits of time preference and narcissism.

    Your BEW group may be normed for IQ, but other salient factors would separate the groups: how much physical violence one is willing to use/put up with; rates of honesty; empathy; etc.

    I disagree about the seamless part. I once saw Douglas Murray give a speech. He was calling attention to the unprecedented levels of immigration to the UK and a need for a pause.

    Staring back at him was a sea of very hostile brown faces.

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    • Agree: utu
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  152. @Jaakko Raipala
    Asking high IQ people to be interested is like asking the son of a capitalist who inherited a factory to be interested in handing over his properties to the workers. Of course the rich heir is likely to believe in some ideology in which he deserves his fortune and advantages in life.

    If you want to put it in social justice terms, those born with higher ability are unwilling to admit their unearned privilege and not only do they refuse to share the benefits of their unearned privilege, their denial creates belief in policies that are detrimental to the lower IQ members of their nations when they themselves are immune and, even worse, they fall for ideologies in which those born with lower intelligence through no fault of their own get branded morally inferior.

    Many people repeat this ‘through no fault of their own’ argument but what does it mean? Are they reincarnationists who believe that all souls are interchangeable blank slate slices of Brahman, to whom in earthly life are meted out unequal fates yet equal reciprocal obligations based upon the supposed metaphysical truth that all their differences are illusory?

    When you listen to Mozart do you think, “He didn’t earn that musical ability!”?

    Besides the actual work involved in realizing one’s potential, there is also the obvious point to be made that it is fanatical and fallacious to insist that people somehow do not enjoy an absolute right to the abilities they are born with. No non-Mozart has any right to complain that somehow Mozart has a duty to spill out his gifts into their heads, as if they should somehow get to own his music too–instead of being grateful just to get to hear it.

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  153. Talha says:
    @Art
    Quantum mechanics is now restoring “aliveness”.

    AaronB,

    How so????? What does "aliveness" mean?

    Art

    Deterministic causality is dead. A bit of the “magic” and unpredictability underlying the very nature of “nature” is back.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  154. wayfarer says:

    Had a “brilliant” friend at UCSD, who was in the physics program. I was in the AMES program, although I felt like a one-armed midget, trying to compete on an NBA court.

    I was a serious student, he was not. My academic performance was uninspiring, his was beyond exceptional.

    The night before an exam he’d seal himself in a safe room, with absolutely zero distractions. There he’d slowly flip through the realm of partial differential equations in an advanced mathematical physics textbook, making a photographic snapshot of each and every detail within the pages.

    Then the next day he’d walk out of a lecture hall, with several hundred other physics students, having scored somewhere in the top five, every time. He never skipped a beat. He never broke a sweat.

    I couldn’t crack off-the-wall jokes with him, as he didn’t seem to grasp the nature of humor. I also couldn’t discuss topics that were outside the philosophical dimensions of logic and science.

    I’ve had many UFO sightings throughout my life, beginning when I was young. I’ve even had a close encounter of the third kind, face-to-face, with a malicious ET being, which included telepathic communication. Along with many other very unusual experiences that have shaded my outlier’s perception of physical/spiritual realities.

    He’d have nothing to do with these otherworldly stories or interests of mine, as his academic laws/theories of physical science were unable to account for them.

    This rendering is quiet similar to the ET being, which I encountered one night.
    source:

    Try to mention this wicked dude to a Catholic priest in a private confessional, and he’d tell you that it was Satan, assigning several hundred Our Father and Hail Mary prayers, as penance.

    End of my IQ story.

    …..

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  155. @anon
    I have been wondering, given the objective utility of IQ and its general predictive value for higher living standards and advancement, if it could be maximized in a population, especially one with generally open values with strong visualization abilities, for example the Ashkenazi Jews. Wouldn't it maximize utilization of the limited resources on Earth if Ashkenazi population could be provided with the vast majority of liquid resources so that they can implement it for the betterment of humanity and slowly breed out the harmful impulses that are still in the majority of less developed humans?

    Ashkenazim are known more for verbal ability than spatial.

    The Talmud (and history) show that Jews are a race of murderers who will use any resources availed them to destroy the most productive and creative race (Whites).

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  156. wayfarer says:

    edit: [hopefully this can replace the previous hack post - apologize for the large image]

    Had a “brilliant” friend at UCSD, who was in the physics program. I was in the AMES program, although I felt like a midget trying to compete on an NBA court.

    I was a serious student, he was not. My academic performance was uninspiring, his was beyond exceptional.

    The night before an exam he’d seal himself in a room, with absolutely no distractions. There he’d slowly flip through the chapters in an advanced mathematical physics textbook, making a photographic snapshot of its cryptic partial differential equations.

    Then the next day he’d walk out of a lecture hall, with several hundred other physics students, having scored somewhere in the top five, every time. He never skipped a beat, he never broke a sweat.

    I couldn’t crack off-the-wall jokes around him, as he didn’t seem to grasp humor. I also couldn’t discuss topics that were outside the philosophical dimensions of logic and science.

    I’ve had many UFO sightings throughout my life, even had a close encounter of the third kind, with a malicious ET being, which included telepathic communication. Along with other very unusual experiences that have shaded my outlier’s perception of physical and spiritual realities.

    He’d have nothing to do with these otherworldly stories or interests, as his academic laws and theories were unable to account for them.

    End of story.

    …..

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  157. Mikel says:
    @AaronB
    Unfortunately, not all problems are amenable to empirical research. In our culture, such problems tend to get ignored. That's why the problem of motivation has been disregarded.

    The problems I am proposing are philosophical - problems of method - and not problems of data. Problems in principle, and not empirical research.

    Therefore they cannot be solved via empirical research. They are anterior to it.

    Nevertheless, the data so far is notable for not containing anything that even tends to weaken the motivation tbeory, when it might d have. For instance, low IQ countries are notorious for being lazy, and high IQ countries are notorious for being workaholic. A single exception to this pattern might have provided us with some evidence that IQ is independent of motivation - a high IQ nation that was notorious for being lazy, for instance.

    However, if you reflect for a moment, you will realize that such a country cannot exist, which brings us back to critique of method, and the illusion that data can clear this up. IQ tests require effort that progresses as you go along. To do well on them, you must expend serious effort. You must persevere in the face of challenges and difficulties. You must have a will to mastery and power.

    Now, obviously, you must also have innate ability. No amount of motivation will allow you to succeed without innate ability. The problem is simply one of measurement - since ability cannot show itself in the world separated from effort, since any demonstration of ability has as its necessary precondition a willingness to expend effort, how can we measure ability without measuring effort?

    A truer expression of ability would be - ability = effort + innate ability.

    (Effort+innate ability) may be the smallest unit of measurement we can make. If true, this would make us rethink what we claim for IQ.

    Now, absent scientific rigor, we can make intelligent guesses about the role of culture and motivation in the total phenomenon known as "ability" (which is the smallest unit we can measure). Social relations, life goals and values, and motivation, would all be seen as components of "ability". For instance, if a precondition for developing abstract thought to a high level requires a reorganization of social relations away from the family and towards individualism, because, perhaps, family life requires one to become habituated to a "holistic" way of viewing the world which impedes abstract analysis, or because abstract analysis requiresn emotional detachment incompatible with fostering warm and close social relations, then one can see how culture may play a vital role in IQ.

    To accept this, would involve a massive reevaluation of our own cultural arrogance - our blithe assumption that our values are universal. This, however , is threatening, and requires humility.

    As for consensus, only a very myopic view would be unduly influenced by it - they are place and time bound. And only a timid person would seem refuge within it.

    Can we be really sure that dogs perform worse on average than humans in intelligence tests simply due to innate cognitive differences? How can we determine the exact magnitude of motivation, training, social norms, etc in the results of those tests? It’s a-priori impossible.

    I think that this is what you are saying, if I understand correctly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Indeed, as Montaigne said " when I play with my cat, how do I know she isn't playing with me?".

    Descartes thought animals are machines, and threw cats out of his window, to test their reactions.

    Much of what humans say about animals is similarly stupid, and cannot be known. But we love claiming we know when we don't.
    , @wayfarer

    Can we be really sure that dogs perform worse on average than humans in intelligence tests simply due to innate cognitive differences?
     
    Take ten random dogs, and ten random human beings.

    Perform a crude experiment, that measures unconditional empathy IQ.

    Attempt to befriend all twenty creatures.

    I'll bet in a year, 100% of the dogs will be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, brave, and reverent friends.

    As for the human beings, I wouldn't bet even 20% have an above average empathy IQ.

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  158. wayfarer says:

    Have you had a conversation with a scientist or priest lately, regarding crop circles?

    Just wondering.

    source: http://temporarytemples.co.uk/crop-circles/2017-crop-circles

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  159. AaronB says:
    @Mikel
    Can we be really sure that dogs perform worse on average than humans in intelligence tests simply due to innate cognitive differences? How can we determine the exact magnitude of motivation, training, social norms, etc in the results of those tests? It's a-priori impossible.

    I think that this is what you are saying, if I understand correctly.

    Indeed, as Montaigne said ” when I play with my cat, how do I know she isn’t playing with me?”.

    Descartes thought animals are machines, and threw cats out of his window, to test their reactions.

    Much of what humans say about animals is similarly stupid, and cannot be known. But we love claiming we know when we don’t.

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  160. I guess the ingenious La Griffe du Lion (whom I have heard nothing of for a long time) could devise a measuring system. Would you not start with perhaps s couple of hundred typical markers of the wise v. unwise. Then you csll “wise” those ehose positives exceed negatives by a sufficient margin. Maybe that theoreticslly valid spproach would run into practicsl problems of collecting sufficient data but a few rules of thumb should work well enough. E.g. wise people don’t make too many bsd investments they can’t afford. Wise people usually don’t leave major risks uninsured. Wise people don’t render themselves or those that matter to them vulnerable ttto harm by taking alcohol or other drugs to excess. Etc.

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  161. Bliss says:
    @AaronB
    Sure, but the idea that the elites will watch themselves seems rather utopian.

    I think it's more realistic that if elites get what they are really after - external validation for insecure egos, what else is wealth? - they won't be so obsessed with creating informal hierarchies of extreme inequality that expand to fill the entire social space.

    You say the elites don't care if they crash the system - I don't think they can help themselves. Their psychology requires external validation - it's like a drug.

    They can't get this external validation in a formal way, because we're a democracy. Formal hierarchies put restraints on elites. Informal hierarchies seem to let the elites run wild.

    The problem of elite psychology can never be finally solved, but only worked around. Utopian schemes of equality may make the problem worse.

    As for Mexico, there is far more real world equality there than in America, and I think it's because there is far more formal hierarchy. What I mean is, people are far more polite and gracious and treat each other with respect in day to day life - which i consider to be a mark of social equality. Whereas Americans are always trying to dominate each other, set up hierarchies, compete with each other, put each other down, etc.

    It seems formal hierarchies alleviate status anxiety and it's pathologies.

    Like you, I favor equality - I am just wondering if, in a non utopian world, giving it up in one way, we get more of it another more real way, and if trying to abolish inequality completely, we create more of it in an underground way, like in America.

    the idea that the elites will watch themselves seems rather utopian. I think it’s more realistic that if elites get what they are really after – external validation for insecure egos, what else is wealth? – they won’t be so obsessed with creating informal hierarchies of extreme inequality that expand to fill the entire social space. You say the elites don’t care if they crash the system – I don’t think they can help themselves. Their psychology requires external validation – it’s like a drug.

    So who is going to watch the ambitious elite, genius, and stop them from crashing your system of “formal hierarchy”? The non-ambitious lazy losers? You really think ambitious elitists will be satisfied by the “validation” of people they despise? Get real.

    Secondly, not all ambitious men are a threat to society. The most ambitious entrepreneur on the planet today is Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX. Like Steve Jobs of Apple before him, he is widely loved and admired. You are guilty of simplistic generalizing and silly theorizing.

    By the way, Elon Musk is a proponent of Universal Basic Income which is a far more rational, moral and realistic solution to the plight of the non-ambitious than the nonsensical, wishful fantasy you are peddling.

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    • Replies: @utu

    Secondly, not all ambitious men are a threat to society. The most ambitious entrepreneur on the planet today is Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX. Like Steve Jobs of Apple before him, he is widely loved and admired.
     
    I am sure you also believe that Apple by slowing iPhones really wanted to save our batteries to prevent our phones from crushing and it absolutely had nothing to do with them wanting us buying new phones because this kind of thought could not possible occur to anybody in Apple. We know it for sure and that is why Apple is widely loved and admired.
    , @AaronB
    No one, my dear bliss, is going to watch the elites. The hope is that if they get the external validation they so need, they wont be so driven to destroy society in their quest for ego validation.

    External validation - money, achievement, status. All that is done to prove themselves worthy. If we just give the ambitious rank and titles and a code of deference maybe they will calm down a little bit. The fire in their brain will subside.

    They'll still need wealth and status and the rest, but maybe they won't sell out entire industries by outsourcing to add a few extra bucks to their pile because they can't get their drugbin a democracy that pretends everyone is equal.

    Elon Musk should be allowed to play with his rockets and electric cars, for sure, but it would be even better if we knighted him or made him a lord. He'll still play with his rockets, but maybe he'll chill out a bit. Learn to enjoy himself.

    Steve Jobs, have you heard how insanely driven he was? You've gotta feel sorry for the man. He used to cry at board meetings. All for mildly more attractive electronic devices.

    If we made Jobs a Baron, maybe he'd stop crying. If we made the CEO of Apple an Earl, maybe he wouldn't slow down people's batteries for a few extra bucks because he doesn't know how else to get his drug.

    I am very happy to hear Musk supports basic income - that's exactly the kind of chilled out thing I have in mind from elites who have a regular and steady supply of their drug.

    Musk must realize that he won't be allowed to play with his rockets if he doesn't reach an understanding with the lazy losers whose validation he needs.

    He's like me. I'm not a utopian, and I want to help people like Musk and Jobs get their drug. I really do. They didn't ask to be born this way, and it would be cruel to deny then what they need.

    Musk understands that instead of extreme solutions we have to cooperate and live together - that way he gets his drug, and we get some peace and quiet.
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  162. wayfarer says:
    @Mikel
    Can we be really sure that dogs perform worse on average than humans in intelligence tests simply due to innate cognitive differences? How can we determine the exact magnitude of motivation, training, social norms, etc in the results of those tests? It's a-priori impossible.

    I think that this is what you are saying, if I understand correctly.

    Can we be really sure that dogs perform worse on average than humans in intelligence tests simply due to innate cognitive differences?

    Take ten random dogs, and ten random human beings.

    Perform a crude experiment, that measures unconditional empathy IQ.

    Attempt to befriend all twenty creatures.

    I’ll bet in a year, 100% of the dogs will be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, brave, and reverent friends.

    As for the human beings, I wouldn’t bet even 20% have an above average empathy IQ.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikel
    OK. But take that up with AaronB, who is the one saying that you cannot make reliable inferences from those results.
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  163. dfordoom says: • Website
    @jilles dykstra
    Alas OECD is the club dictating economic and social policy in the EU, paid by the EU, that is, the Brussels oligarchy, where 4000 civil servants have a higher salary than Merkel.
    OECD staff hardly ever can be seen in person, but I remember quite well one of them who said 'we did not expect that the liberation of the labour market in France would be so difficult politically'

    In a German article Schulz's income after taxes was calculated at € 280.000 yearly.
    Not bad for someone who never finished high school, has been al acoholic, was trained as a bookbinder, and had a small bookstore.
    His pension rights were not mentioned.

    So, why should I trust OECD as being objective ?
    'Whose bread one eats, whose language one speaks'.

    If OECD also is the club behind the mass migration, possible.
    If so, trying to lower the average age of the population in the EU member states, their calculations did not consider that the great majority of the migrants do not work, just are a financial burden.
    Economists are not sociologists, they may never have considered that doing nothing all day in many countries is what males want.

    And so Merkels 'wir schaffen das', 'we will succeed', in integration, now is 'eine grosse Herausforderung', ' a big challenge'.
    How impopular Merkel has become,because mainly of immigration, is shown by her yesterday statement 'I will remain chancellor for the full next four years'.
    If politicians make statements like this, they are nearly finished.
    But she's right about the immigrants, saying 'they're already here'.
    That the second wave is coming, reuniting families, the German taxpayer does not yet know.

    Economists are not sociologists

    Good point. Economists see people as economic units. They measure success and virtue in monetary terms. The idea that GDP growth alone is not enough to produce a healthy happy society never occurs to them. They assume that everyone is motivated entirely by the desire to have more money. Economists might understand money but they don’t understand people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    When you have a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail.

    Peace.
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  164. utu says:
    @Bliss

    the idea that the elites will watch themselves seems rather utopian. I think it’s more realistic that if elites get what they are really after – external validation for insecure egos, what else is wealth? – they won’t be so obsessed with creating informal hierarchies of extreme inequality that expand to fill the entire social space. You say the elites don’t care if they crash the system – I don’t think they can help themselves. Their psychology requires external validation – it’s like a drug.
     
    So who is going to watch the ambitious elite, genius, and stop them from crashing your system of “formal hierarchy”? The non-ambitious lazy losers? You really think ambitious elitists will be satisfied by the “validation” of people they despise? Get real.

    Secondly, not all ambitious men are a threat to society. The most ambitious entrepreneur on the planet today is Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX. Like Steve Jobs of Apple before him, he is widely loved and admired. You are guilty of simplistic generalizing and silly theorizing.

    By the way, Elon Musk is a proponent of Universal Basic Income which is a far more rational, moral and realistic solution to the plight of the non-ambitious than the nonsensical, wishful fantasy you are peddling.

    Secondly, not all ambitious men are a threat to society. The most ambitious entrepreneur on the planet today is Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX. Like Steve Jobs of Apple before him, he is widely loved and admired.

    I am sure you also believe that Apple by slowing iPhones really wanted to save our batteries to prevent our phones from crushing and it absolutely had nothing to do with them wanting us buying new phones because this kind of thought could not possible occur to anybody in Apple. We know it for sure and that is why Apple is widely loved and admired.

    Read More
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  165. Talha says:
    @dfordoom

    Economists are not sociologists
     
    Good point. Economists see people as economic units. They measure success and virtue in monetary terms. The idea that GDP growth alone is not enough to produce a healthy happy society never occurs to them. They assume that everyone is motivated entirely by the desire to have more money. Economists might understand money but they don't understand people.

    When you have a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail.

    Peace.

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  166. Mikel says:
    @wayfarer

    Can we be really sure that dogs perform worse on average than humans in intelligence tests simply due to innate cognitive differences?
     
    Take ten random dogs, and ten random human beings.

    Perform a crude experiment, that measures unconditional empathy IQ.

    Attempt to befriend all twenty creatures.

    I'll bet in a year, 100% of the dogs will be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, brave, and reverent friends.

    As for the human beings, I wouldn't bet even 20% have an above average empathy IQ.

    OK. But take that up with AaronB, who is the one saying that you cannot make reliable inferences from those results.

    Read More
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  167. utu says:
    @Art
    Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    "Said the same thing?" ---- My I disagree?

    Intelligence is the measure of the ability to organize things. Definition and measuring are the building blocks of organization.

    Newton’s definitions and measuring skills put humanity on a whole new plane of organization. Pre-Newton and post-Newton are night and day for the human race.

    “Sameness” just does not do justice to the situation.

    Think Peace --- Art

    Newton is overrated.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wayfarer
    Nikola Tesla, is underrated.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla
    , @wayfarer

    Newton is overrated.
     
    I was actually quite impressed, with Isaac Newton's achievements.

    Not to mention, his applied calculus and physics word problems always tended to kick my sorry ass.

    You have to at least admit, the dude was a trailblazer.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton
    source: https://learnodo-newtonic.com/isaac-newton-accomplishments

    , @CanSpeccy
    Are not all great men overrated?

    People are fascinated by the extraordinary, by tales of exceptional strength, valor, or intellect. Naturally, therefore, in telling the stories of the great, there will be exaggeration and distortion.

    In science, the greats are the systematizers and synthesizers who make coherent what is already in the wind.

    Newton may have borrowed more than he created, but he wrote the Principia.

    The idea of organic evolution is at least two thousand years old, but Darwin, with a vast knowledge of natural history and an excellent grounding in geology, laid out the evidence for evolution in a way that transformed an idea into an established fact.

    Likewise, Einstein, with special relativity, gave coherence to ideas already in circulation.

    That Newton's work was flawed does not, therefore, detract from the fact that his work was symbolic of greatness.
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  168. wayfarer says:
    @utu
    Newton is overrated.

    Nikola Tesla, is underrated.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla

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  169. wayfarer says:
    @utu
    Newton is overrated.

    Newton is overrated.

    I was actually quite impressed, with Isaac Newton’s achievements.

    Not to mention, his applied calculus and physics word problems always tended to kick my sorry ass.

    You have to at least admit, the dude was a trailblazer.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton
    source: https://learnodo-newtonic.com/isaac-newton-accomplishments

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    Newton's second law? F = m a

    Newton was not the first to suggest "Newton's second law". In 1669 (18 years before Newton), Royal Society member John Wallis wrote,

    For body at rest hath a repugnance to motion and body in motion hath a repugnance to rest, though Body as Body is indifferent to either, and will therefore continue as it is (whether at rest or in motion) till some positive cause alter its condition. And when such positive cause comes, its acts proportionally to its strength, the lesser the strength with which it moves, and the heavier the body to be moved, the slower will be the motion.

    Also, Thomas Hobbes published his book Leviathan 1651 (36 years before Newton),

    That when a thing lies still, unless somewhat else stir it, it will lie still forever, is a truth that no man doubts. But [the proposition] that when a thing is in motion it will eternally be in motion unless somewhat else stay it, though the reason be the same (namely that nothing can change itself), is not so easily assented to.

    Newton's law of gravity?

    Hooke presented a new gravity/motion theory to the Royal society in 1666 in which he said:
    I will explain a system of the world very different from any yet received. It is founded on the following positions.

    That all the heavenly bodies have not only a gravitation of their parts to their own proper centre, but that they also mutually attract each other within their spheres of action.

    That all bodies having a simple motion, will continue to move in a straight line, unless continually deflected from it by some extraneous force, causing them to describe a circle, an ellipse, or some other curve.

    That this attraction is so much the greater as the bodies are nearer.

    In 1672, Hooke tried to prove the Earth moves in an ellipse round the Sun and in 1679, he proposed an inverse square law for gravity to explain planetary motions an attractive motion towards the central body ... my supposition is that the attraction always is in a duplicate proportion to the distance from the center reciprocal ...

    Although Hooke did not give a mathematical proof of his conjectures, he made first claim to the inverse square law for gravity. This led to a bitter dispute with Newton who then removed most references to Hooke from the Principia. Their feud lasted decades. In a 1690 lecture to the Royal Society, Hooke said concerning those properties of gravity which I myself first discovered and showed to this Society and years since, which of late Mr Newton has done me the favour to print and publish as his own inventions.

    Newton's law of light?

    An initial cordial relationship between Hooke and Newton became angry and bitter. Newton suffered two mental breakdowns and Hooke became cynical and withdrawn. Hooke claimed Newton's theory of light and color was stolen from ideas he produced 7 years earlier (in 1665). The Royal Society's Hooke papers and the sole portrait of Hooke painted for the Royal Society were ``lost'' by Newton when he became President of the Royal Society (they were recently rediscovered). Newton wanted to burn all of Hooke's papers (he did not succeed). Ironically, Newton's famous quote (below) appeared in a February 5, 1676 letter from Newton to the very short Hooke.

    If I have seen further, it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants

    Newton's discovery of Calculus?
     
    Although Newton and Leibniz share the discovery of calculus their relationship was contentious - with Newton and Leibniz and their respective supporters alleging plagiarism and undermining each other's credibility.

    As President of the Royal Society, Newton appointed an ``impartial'' committee to decide whether he or Leibniz invented calculus. He wrote the committee's official published report (although not under his name) and then wrote a review (again anonymously) which appeared in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

    Ironically, the introverted Newton died at 80-years old a national hero of England with a state funeral of the highest honors (normally reserved for English statesmen and generals). whereas the more sociable Leibniz's died at 70-years old, almost completely forgotten, with a funeral attended by only his secretary.

    Newton's daunting reputation intimidated British mathematicians. England did not produce another first-rate mathematician for over a century. Undaunted and unintimidated by their English neighbors, the rest of Europe, lead by the Bernoulli family, Leonard Euler, D'Alembert, Lagrange, Laplace, Fourier, and many others, quickly expanded analytical analysis through differential equations, the calculus of variations, etc.
     
    Leibniz had much greater impact on the development of calculus than Newton. Newton's ideas were incomprehensible. He often arrived at correct solutions but his reasoning was hard to follow and verify. While having calculus he often did not apply it as if he did not know how. For some reason it took him many years to produce the critical result that a sphere is equivalent to a point which requires 3D integration which greatly delayed publication his work on gravity. In the end did not use his calculus to get this result.

    Turning Newton into a giant was the result of a very successful PR by English in service of their Empire. There are many similarities to idolization of Einstein after WWI and thereafter. In both case many determined individuals and great resources were used to create idols.
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  170. AaronB says:
    @Bliss

    the idea that the elites will watch themselves seems rather utopian. I think it’s more realistic that if elites get what they are really after – external validation for insecure egos, what else is wealth? – they won’t be so obsessed with creating informal hierarchies of extreme inequality that expand to fill the entire social space. You say the elites don’t care if they crash the system – I don’t think they can help themselves. Their psychology requires external validation – it’s like a drug.
     
    So who is going to watch the ambitious elite, genius, and stop them from crashing your system of “formal hierarchy”? The non-ambitious lazy losers? You really think ambitious elitists will be satisfied by the “validation” of people they despise? Get real.

    Secondly, not all ambitious men are a threat to society. The most ambitious entrepreneur on the planet today is Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX. Like Steve Jobs of Apple before him, he is widely loved and admired. You are guilty of simplistic generalizing and silly theorizing.

    By the way, Elon Musk is a proponent of Universal Basic Income which is a far more rational, moral and realistic solution to the plight of the non-ambitious than the nonsensical, wishful fantasy you are peddling.

    No one, my dear bliss, is going to watch the elites. The hope is that if they get the external validation they so need, they wont be so driven to destroy society in their quest for ego validation.

    External validation – money, achievement, status. All that is done to prove themselves worthy. If we just give the ambitious rank and titles and a code of deference maybe they will calm down a little bit. The fire in their brain will subside.

    They’ll still need wealth and status and the rest, but maybe they won’t sell out entire industries by outsourcing to add a few extra bucks to their pile because they can’t get their drugbin a democracy that pretends everyone is equal.

    Elon Musk should be allowed to play with his rockets and electric cars, for sure, but it would be even better if we knighted him or made him a lord. He’ll still play with his rockets, but maybe he’ll chill out a bit. Learn to enjoy himself.

    Steve Jobs, have you heard how insanely driven he was? You’ve gotta feel sorry for the man. He used to cry at board meetings. All for mildly more attractive electronic devices.

    If we made Jobs a Baron, maybe he’d stop crying. If we made the CEO of Apple an Earl, maybe he wouldn’t slow down people’s batteries for a few extra bucks because he doesn’t know how else to get his drug.

    I am very happy to hear Musk supports basic income – that’s exactly the kind of chilled out thing I have in mind from elites who have a regular and steady supply of their drug.

    Musk must realize that he won’t be allowed to play with his rockets if he doesn’t reach an understanding with the lazy losers whose validation he needs.

    He’s like me. I’m not a utopian, and I want to help people like Musk and Jobs get their drug. I really do. They didn’t ask to be born this way, and it would be cruel to deny then what they need.

    Musk understands that instead of extreme solutions we have to cooperate and live together – that way he gets his drug, and we get some peace and quiet.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    Steve Jobs, have you heard how insanely driven he was? You’ve gotta feel sorry for the man. He used to cry at board meetings.
     
    Really? Not a manipulation by a narcissistic psychopath? He made his friend and buddy, Steve Wozniak cry many, many years later when he learned that Jobs cheated him when Jobs worked for Atari and asked Wozniak for help.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/steve-wozniak-cried-jobs-kept-atari-bonus-267711
    When asked if he was bitter about the deal, Wozniak said no, but confessed: "I cried, I cried quite a bit when I read that in a book." It was years later that Wozniak discovered he had been cheated by the tech guru.

    Atari had also offered a bonus if the number of chips used in the game was kept to a minimum. In his biography, Steve Jobs, the author Walter Isaacson documented the episode: "Wozniak was thrilled when Jobs asked him to help and proposed splitting the fee. 'This was the most wonderful offer in my life, to actually design a game that people would use,' he recalled.

    "Jobs said it had to be done in four days and with the fewest chips possible. What he hid from Wozniak was that the deadline was one that Jobs had imposed, because he needed to get to the All One Farm to help prepare for the apple harvest. He also didn't mention that there was a bonus [from Atari] tied to keeping down the number of chips."

    Wozniak worked day and night for four days to finish the game as quickly as he could, for which he received half of what he believed to be the base rate.

    "It would be another 10 years before Wozniak discovered (by being shown the tale in a book on the history of Atari titled Zap) that Jobs had been paid the bonus," Isaacson wrote.
     
    Cheating, manipulating, treating people instrumentally! Im my (and Dante's) world he belongs to the 9th circle of hell. Murderers go only to the 7th circle.
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  171. utu says:
    @wayfarer

    Newton is overrated.
     
    I was actually quite impressed, with Isaac Newton's achievements.

    Not to mention, his applied calculus and physics word problems always tended to kick my sorry ass.

    You have to at least admit, the dude was a trailblazer.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton
    source: https://learnodo-newtonic.com/isaac-newton-accomplishments

    Newton’s second law? F = m a

    Newton was not the first to suggest “Newton’s second law”. In 1669 (18 years before Newton), Royal Society member John Wallis wrote,

    For body at rest hath a repugnance to motion and body in motion hath a repugnance to rest, though Body as Body is indifferent to either, and will therefore continue as it is (whether at rest or in motion) till some positive cause alter its condition. And when such positive cause comes, its acts proportionally to its strength, the lesser the strength with which it moves, and the heavier the body to be moved, the slower will be the motion.

    Also, Thomas Hobbes published his book Leviathan 1651 (36 years before Newton),

    That when a thing lies still, unless somewhat else stir it, it will lie still forever, is a truth that no man doubts. But [the proposition] that when a thing is in motion it will eternally be in motion unless somewhat else stay it, though the reason be the same (namely that nothing can change itself), is not so easily assented to.

    Newton’s law of gravity?

    Hooke presented a new gravity/motion theory to the Royal society in 1666 in which he said:
    I will explain a system of the world very different from any yet received. It is founded on the following positions.

    That all the heavenly bodies have not only a gravitation of their parts to their own proper centre, but that they also mutually attract each other within their spheres of action.

    That all bodies having a simple motion, will continue to move in a straight line, unless continually deflected from it by some extraneous force, causing them to describe a circle, an ellipse, or some other curve.

    That this attraction is so much the greater as the bodies are nearer.

    In 1672, Hooke tried to prove the Earth moves in an ellipse round the Sun and in 1679, he proposed an inverse square law for gravity to explain planetary motions an attractive motion towards the central body … my supposition is that the attraction always is in a duplicate proportion to the distance from the center reciprocal …

    Although Hooke did not give a mathematical proof of his conjectures, he made first claim to the inverse square law for gravity. This led to a bitter dispute with Newton who then removed most references to Hooke from the Principia. Their feud lasted decades. In a 1690 lecture to the Royal Society, Hooke said concerning those properties of gravity which I myself first discovered and showed to this Society and years since, which of late Mr Newton has done me the favour to print and publish as his own inventions.

    Newton’s law of light?

    An initial cordial relationship between Hooke and Newton became angry and bitter. Newton suffered two mental breakdowns and Hooke became cynical and withdrawn. Hooke claimed Newton’s theory of light and color was stolen from ideas he produced 7 years earlier (in 1665). The Royal Society’s Hooke papers and the sole portrait of Hooke painted for the Royal Society were “lost” by Newton when he became President of the Royal Society (they were recently rediscovered). Newton wanted to burn all of Hooke’s papers (he did not succeed). Ironically, Newton’s famous quote (below) appeared in a February 5, 1676 letter from Newton to the very short Hooke.

    If I have seen further, it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants

    Newton’s discovery of Calculus?

    Although Newton and Leibniz share the discovery of calculus their relationship was contentious – with Newton and Leibniz and their respective supporters alleging plagiarism and undermining each other’s credibility.

    As President of the Royal Society, Newton appointed an “impartial” committee to decide whether he or Leibniz invented calculus. He wrote the committee’s official published report (although not under his name) and then wrote a review (again anonymously) which appeared in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

    Ironically, the introverted Newton died at 80-years old a national hero of England with a state funeral of the highest honors (normally reserved for English statesmen and generals). whereas the more sociable Leibniz’s died at 70-years old, almost completely forgotten, with a funeral attended by only his secretary.

    Newton’s daunting reputation intimidated British mathematicians. England did not produce another first-rate mathematician for over a century. Undaunted and unintimidated by their English neighbors, the rest of Europe, lead by the Bernoulli family, Leonard Euler, D’Alembert, Lagrange, Laplace, Fourier, and many others, quickly expanded analytical analysis through differential equations, the calculus of variations, etc.

    Leibniz had much greater impact on the development of calculus than Newton. Newton’s ideas were incomprehensible. He often arrived at correct solutions but his reasoning was hard to follow and verify. While having calculus he often did not apply it as if he did not know how. For some reason it took him many years to produce the critical result that a sphere is equivalent to a point which requires 3D integration which greatly delayed publication his work on gravity. In the end did not use his calculus to get this result.

    Turning Newton into a giant was the result of a very successful PR by English in service of their Empire. There are many similarities to idolization of Einstein after WWI and thereafter. In both case many determined individuals and great resources were used to create idols.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wayfarer
    You've sparked my insatiable curiosity.

    One has to wonder, how much of the historical record is fact or fiction, political or apolitical, written by the “winners” or those deplorable “losers.”

    It's certain though that Isaac Newton worked off a rather sturdy scientific foundation, and at the tailend of a renaissance period, which had flourished for hundreds of years just prior to his lifetime.

    I'm going to spend some spare time today, reviewing wiki quote's Isaac Newton page.
    source: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton

    One thing's indisputable, the field of mathematics and science has its enchanting nature, whether it be applied or pure.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton
    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance

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  172. utu says:

    See also Newton and the brachistochrone curve

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachistochrone_curve
    In June 1696, Johann Bernoulli had proposed a mathematical challenge in the Acta Eruditorum Lipsidae to find the form of the curve joining 2 fixed points that a mass will slide down in the minimum time. The solution was originally to be submitted within 6 months. At the suggestion of Leibniz he extended the challenge till Easter 1697, by means of a printed text, called ‘Programma’, published in Groeningen, the Netherlands.

    The Programma is dated ‘New Year’s Day’, 1 January 1697, in the Gregorian Calendar. This was 22 December 1696 in the Julian Calendar, in use in Britain. Newton, claimed he had been unaware of the challenge until he first saw it at 4 pm on 29 January, some 5 weeks after its publication.

    He further claims that he solved it by 4 am the following morning, and his solution is dated 30 January. It seems highly suspicious that it would take so long for a communication from Groeningen to arrive in London. Newton’s account should be viewed with scepticism as he was not always truthful about his accomplishments, especially when it comes to his dealings with Leibniz and his associates.

    Newton’s solution was that the curve was the cycloid, though he never publicly demonstrated his method of proof. Bernoulli, writing to Henri Basnage in March 1697, recognised that although the author, ‘by an excess of modesty’ had not revealed his name, yet even from the scant details supplied he knew that it was from Mr Newton, ‘as the lion by its claw’ [ex ungue Leonem].

    It is even possible that Newton had previous knowledge of the challenge. His teacher, Wallis in Oxford, who was 80 had been made aware of it in September 1696, by Bernoulli’s youngest brother, Hieronymus, and had spent 3 months attempting a solution before passing it to David Gregory in December, who also failed to solve it. After Newton had submitted his solution, Gregory asked him for the details and made notes from their conversation. These can be found in the University of Edinburgh Library, manuscript A 78 dated 7 March 1697.

    Newton gives no indication of how he discovered that the cycloid satisfied this last relation. It may have been by trial and error, or he may have recognised immediately that it implied the curve was the cycloid.

    The bottom line is that Newton did not use calculus in modern sense which was already spelled out by Leibniz and used by Bernoulli brothers to solve the brachistochrone curve problem before Newton.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    Newton did not solve differential equation to prove that orbits are conical curves using his calculus. He assumed an elliptical orbit after Kepler and geometrically proved that inverse square law force is consistent with this orbit.

    http://www.mikeraugh.org/CentralForce.pdf

    Assuming Kepler’s law that the planets travel in ellipses with the Sun at a focus, Newton answered these question: What acceleration is experienced by a point-mass moving on an ellipse subject only to a central force acting from the focus of the ellipse? How must the force change as a function of position on the ellipse? These questions lead to the inverse-square law of gravitation, as I show in this article. By starting with an ellipse, Newton avoided the more difficult reverse problem of starting with the inverse-square law and solving the differential equations of motion to infer an ellipse, a feat performed first by Johann Bernoulli in Newton’s lifetime. Newton derived his results in the Principia using innovative geometric arguments

    Newton did not formulate and solve the problem of planetary motion in terms of differential equations. It would have been feasible for him to do so using his calculus methods, which he shared pri- vately among a few close associates. But he presented his results to the public in the Principia using an original method of geometric analysis that he stated would be more easily understood by his contemporaries familiar with classical geometry. The more difficult task of formulating and solving the differential equations of motion as- suming a central inverse-square-law of attraction was accomplished first by Johann Bernoulli in Basel, based on the version of differential and integral calculus advanced by Leibniz. These methods were eventually crystallized by Euler, and with rigor contributed in later generations by Cauchy, Weierstrass, Riemann, Dedekind and Cantor, they formed the basis for modern calculus.
     
    , @utu
    Newton was presented with the problem formulated by Haley and claimed that he had already solved it but could not demonstrate and after 18 month later he published his greatest work in which still there was no solution.

    http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath658/kmath658.htm
    Wren, Hooke, and Halley had discussed the problem at a coffee house following a meeting of the Royal Society in January of 1684, and Wren had offered a cash prize to whoever could provide a derivation of the shape of planetary orbits under the assumption of an inverse-square central force of attraction toward the (presumed stationary) sun. Hooke had claimed to have a proof that the paths were ellipses, but never provided it. Against this background, Halley paid a visit to Newton, who later told Abraham De Moivre about the fateful meeting. According to De Moivre

    In 1684 Dr Halley came to visit him at Cambridge. After they had been some time together, the Dr asked him what he thought the curve would be that would be described by the planets supposing the force of attraction towards the sun to be reciprocal to the square of their distance from it. Sir Isaac replied immediately that it would be an ellipse. The Doctor, struck with joy and amazement, asked him how he knew it. Why, saith he, I have calculated it. Whereupon Dr Halley asked him for his calculation without any farther delay. Sir Isaac looked among his papers but could not find it, but he promised him to renew it and then to send it him…

    As is well known, Halley’s question prompted Newton to formulate his ideas about mechanics and universal gravitation. The answer to Halley grew and became progressively more comprehensive until, in a remarkably short time (about 18 months), Newton had composed the three-volume work entitled The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, usually called by the Latin title “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica”, or simply “Principia”, comprising the foundation of modern physics.
     

    And yet, it’s a curious fact that when the Principia was published (at Halley’s expense) in 1687, it did not actually contain the demonstration that Halley had requested. In a careful series of propositions (11 to 13 of Book 1), the Principia shows that a planet moving in a conical orbit under the influence of a central force toward one of the foci is undergoing acceleration toward that foci with a magnitude proportional to the reciprocal of the squared distance, and hence is subject to an inverse-square force. This is the converse of Halley’s question, which asked for a demonstration of the shape of an orbit given that the planet was subjected to an inverse-square force. The first edition of Principia simply stated that the answer to Halley’s question “followed from” the converse proposition, which of course is not a generally valid argument. Newton later claimed that he hadn’t included the proof for the original question – the one that prompted the entire work – because he regarded it as “very obvious”. Whether this is a plausible reason for omitting it is debatable.

    Furthermore, the assertion of obviousness is questionable, in view of the degree of difficulty evident in the demonstration of Proposition 41
     

    So what do we learn from this about Newton's character?

    Furthermore synthetic/geometric proof by Newton was challenged and occasionally still is challenged. Bernoulli probably never accepted its validity. Newtons' approach was the road to nowhere. It did not evolve as nobody has used it except for him.


    Bernoulli agreed that Newton’s proof was valid, although he continued to claim that the analytic approach using the Leibnizian notation was the surer way of achieving general and comprehensive results. Even though almost all modern scholars agree that Newton’s “sketch of a proof” was valid (at least in the third edition, and augmented with some fairly obvious supplemental statements),.modern science has followed Bernoulli’s advice, and no one today would dream of trying to approach such problems using the synthetic geometrical methods of Newton. In fact, Newton’s neo-classical methods were never used successfully by anyone other than himself.

    Surprisingly, though, the controversy over the validity of Newton’s key demonstrations has not entirely ended. To this day, there occasionally appear papers in scholarly journals complaining that Newton never actually gave a valid answer to Halley’s question, and specifically that the reasoning presented in support of Corollary 1 of Proposition 13, even in the third edition, is inadequate if not outright specious. Such charges are invariably met with a flurry of responses, carefully explaining the subtle force of Newton’s reasoning, and disposing of purported counter-examples.
     
    Was Newton unwilling to provide the proof or just did not know how to do it with "his calculus" because creamy he could not do it with his synthetic/geometric method.

    Adding to the confusion of these discussions, Newton once seemed to imply that Proposition 17 gives a rigorous answer to Halley’s original question. This proposition does indeed give explicit constructions for the path of a planet subjected to a central inverse-square force, but the demonstration explicitly assumes that the path is a conic. Unfortunately, this stipulation is not mentioned in the statement of the proposition itself, so the content of the proposition has sometimes been misconstrued. It gives the elliptical, parabolic, or hyperbolic paths explicitly for a given set of initial conditions, but only on the assumption that the path is a conic, which is why Corollary 1 to Proposition 13 is needed, to establish that the path must be a conic. This again emphasizes the importance of the corollary, the very answer to Halley’s original question, making it all the more odd that Newton was so persistently reticent about it’s explicit demonstration. Perhaps he was conscious of the need for an explicit use of calculus to do justice to the demonstration, and he had been unwilling (at least in the first edition) to reveal many of the techniques he possessed.
     
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  173. utu says:
    @utu
    See also Newton and the brachistochrone curve

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachistochrone_curve
    In June 1696, Johann Bernoulli had proposed a mathematical challenge in the Acta Eruditorum Lipsidae to find the form of the curve joining 2 fixed points that a mass will slide down in the minimum time. The solution was originally to be submitted within 6 months. At the suggestion of Leibniz he extended the challenge till Easter 1697, by means of a printed text, called ‘Programma’, published in Groeningen, the Netherlands.

    The Programma is dated ‘New Year’s Day’, 1 January 1697, in the Gregorian Calendar. This was 22 December 1696 in the Julian Calendar, in use in Britain. Newton, claimed he had been unaware of the challenge until he first saw it at 4 pm on 29 January, some 5 weeks after its publication.

    He further claims that he solved it by 4 am the following morning, and his solution is dated 30 January. It seems highly suspicious that it would take so long for a communication from Groeningen to arrive in London. Newton’s account should be viewed with scepticism as he was not always truthful about his accomplishments, especially when it comes to his dealings with Leibniz and his associates.

    Newton’s solution was that the curve was the cycloid, though he never publicly demonstrated his method of proof. Bernoulli, writing to Henri Basnage in March 1697, recognised that although the author, ‘by an excess of modesty’ had not revealed his name, yet even from the scant details supplied he knew that it was from Mr Newton, ‘as the lion by its claw’ [ex ungue Leonem].

    It is even possible that Newton had previous knowledge of the challenge. His teacher, Wallis in Oxford, who was 80 had been made aware of it in September 1696, by Bernoulli’s youngest brother, Hieronymus, and had spent 3 months attempting a solution before passing it to David Gregory in December, who also failed to solve it. After Newton had submitted his solution, Gregory asked him for the details and made notes from their conversation. These can be found in the University of Edinburgh Library, manuscript A 78 dated 7 March 1697.

    Newton gives no indication of how he discovered that the cycloid satisfied this last relation. It may have been by trial and error, or he may have recognised immediately that it implied the curve was the cycloid.
     
    The bottom line is that Newton did not use calculus in modern sense which was already spelled out by Leibniz and used by Bernoulli brothers to solve the brachistochrone curve problem before Newton.

    Newton did not solve differential equation to prove that orbits are conical curves using his calculus. He assumed an elliptical orbit after Kepler and geometrically proved that inverse square law force is consistent with this orbit.

    http://www.mikeraugh.org/CentralForce.pdf

    Assuming Kepler’s law that the planets travel in ellipses with the Sun at a focus, Newton answered these question: What acceleration is experienced by a point-mass moving on an ellipse subject only to a central force acting from the focus of the ellipse? How must the force change as a function of position on the ellipse? These questions lead to the inverse-square law of gravitation, as I show in this article. By starting with an ellipse, Newton avoided the more difficult reverse problem of starting with the inverse-square law and solving the differential equations of motion to infer an ellipse, a feat performed first by Johann Bernoulli in Newton’s lifetime. Newton derived his results in the Principia using innovative geometric arguments

    Newton did not formulate and solve the problem of planetary motion in terms of differential equations. It would have been feasible for him to do so using his calculus methods, which he shared pri- vately among a few close associates. But he presented his results to the public in the Principia using an original method of geometric analysis that he stated would be more easily understood by his contemporaries familiar with classical geometry. The more difficult task of formulating and solving the differential equations of motion as- suming a central inverse-square-law of attraction was accomplished first by Johann Bernoulli in Basel, based on the version of differential and integral calculus advanced by Leibniz. These methods were eventually crystallized by Euler, and with rigor contributed in later generations by Cauchy, Weierstrass, Riemann, Dedekind and Cantor, they formed the basis for modern calculus.

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  174. utu says:
    @utu
    See also Newton and the brachistochrone curve

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachistochrone_curve
    In June 1696, Johann Bernoulli had proposed a mathematical challenge in the Acta Eruditorum Lipsidae to find the form of the curve joining 2 fixed points that a mass will slide down in the minimum time. The solution was originally to be submitted within 6 months. At the suggestion of Leibniz he extended the challenge till Easter 1697, by means of a printed text, called ‘Programma’, published in Groeningen, the Netherlands.

    The Programma is dated ‘New Year’s Day’, 1 January 1697, in the Gregorian Calendar. This was 22 December 1696 in the Julian Calendar, in use in Britain. Newton, claimed he had been unaware of the challenge until he first saw it at 4 pm on 29 January, some 5 weeks after its publication.

    He further claims that he solved it by 4 am the following morning, and his solution is dated 30 January. It seems highly suspicious that it would take so long for a communication from Groeningen to arrive in London. Newton’s account should be viewed with scepticism as he was not always truthful about his accomplishments, especially when it comes to his dealings with Leibniz and his associates.

    Newton’s solution was that the curve was the cycloid, though he never publicly demonstrated his method of proof. Bernoulli, writing to Henri Basnage in March 1697, recognised that although the author, ‘by an excess of modesty’ had not revealed his name, yet even from the scant details supplied he knew that it was from Mr Newton, ‘as the lion by its claw’ [ex ungue Leonem].

    It is even possible that Newton had previous knowledge of the challenge. His teacher, Wallis in Oxford, who was 80 had been made aware of it in September 1696, by Bernoulli’s youngest brother, Hieronymus, and had spent 3 months attempting a solution before passing it to David Gregory in December, who also failed to solve it. After Newton had submitted his solution, Gregory asked him for the details and made notes from their conversation. These can be found in the University of Edinburgh Library, manuscript A 78 dated 7 March 1697.

    Newton gives no indication of how he discovered that the cycloid satisfied this last relation. It may have been by trial and error, or he may have recognised immediately that it implied the curve was the cycloid.
     
    The bottom line is that Newton did not use calculus in modern sense which was already spelled out by Leibniz and used by Bernoulli brothers to solve the brachistochrone curve problem before Newton.

    Newton was presented with the problem formulated by Haley and claimed that he had already solved it but could not demonstrate and after 18 month later he published his greatest work in which still there was no solution.

    http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath658/kmath658.htm
    Wren, Hooke, and Halley had discussed the problem at a coffee house following a meeting of the Royal Society in January of 1684, and Wren had offered a cash prize to whoever could provide a derivation of the shape of planetary orbits under the assumption of an inverse-square central force of attraction toward the (presumed stationary) sun. Hooke had claimed to have a proof that the paths were ellipses, but never provided it. Against this background, Halley paid a visit to Newton, who later told Abraham De Moivre about the fateful meeting. According to De Moivre

    In 1684 Dr Halley came to visit him at Cambridge. After they had been some time together, the Dr asked him what he thought the curve would be that would be described by the planets supposing the force of attraction towards the sun to be reciprocal to the square of their distance from it. Sir Isaac replied immediately that it would be an ellipse. The Doctor, struck with joy and amazement, asked him how he knew it. Why, saith he, I have calculated it. Whereupon Dr Halley asked him for his calculation without any farther delay. Sir Isaac looked among his papers but could not find it, but he promised him to renew it and then to send it him…

    As is well known, Halley’s question prompted Newton to formulate his ideas about mechanics and universal gravitation. The answer to Halley grew and became progressively more comprehensive until, in a remarkably short time (about 18 months), Newton had composed the three-volume work entitled The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, usually called by the Latin title “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica”, or simply “Principia”, comprising the foundation of modern physics.

    And yet, it’s a curious fact that when the Principia was published (at Halley’s expense) in 1687, it did not actually contain the demonstration that Halley had requested. In a careful series of propositions (11 to 13 of Book 1), the Principia shows that a planet moving in a conical orbit under the influence of a central force toward one of the foci is undergoing acceleration toward that foci with a magnitude proportional to the reciprocal of the squared distance, and hence is subject to an inverse-square force. This is the converse of Halley’s question, which asked for a demonstration of the shape of an orbit given that the planet was subjected to an inverse-square force. The first edition of Principia simply stated that the answer to Halley’s question “followed from” the converse proposition, which of course is not a generally valid argument. Newton later claimed that he hadn’t included the proof for the original question – the one that prompted the entire work – because he regarded it as “very obvious”. Whether this is a plausible reason for omitting it is debatable.

    Furthermore, the assertion of obviousness is questionable, in view of the degree of difficulty evident in the demonstration of Proposition 41

    So what do we learn from this about Newton’s character?

    Furthermore synthetic/geometric proof by Newton was challenged and occasionally still is challenged. Bernoulli probably never accepted its validity. Newtons’ approach was the road to nowhere. It did not evolve as nobody has used it except for him.

    Bernoulli agreed that Newton’s proof was valid, although he continued to claim that the analytic approach using the Leibnizian notation was the surer way of achieving general and comprehensive results. Even though almost all modern scholars agree that Newton’s “sketch of a proof” was valid (at least in the third edition, and augmented with some fairly obvious supplemental statements),.modern science has followed Bernoulli’s advice, and no one today would dream of trying to approach such problems using the synthetic geometrical methods of Newton. In fact, Newton’s neo-classical methods were never used successfully by anyone other than himself.

    Surprisingly, though, the controversy over the validity of Newton’s key demonstrations has not entirely ended. To this day, there occasionally appear papers in scholarly journals complaining that Newton never actually gave a valid answer to Halley’s question, and specifically that the reasoning presented in support of Corollary 1 of Proposition 13, even in the third edition, is inadequate if not outright specious. Such charges are invariably met with a flurry of responses, carefully explaining the subtle force of Newton’s reasoning, and disposing of purported counter-examples.

    Was Newton unwilling to provide the proof or just did not know how to do it with “his calculus” because creamy he could not do it with his synthetic/geometric method.

    Adding to the confusion of these discussions, Newton once seemed to imply that Proposition 17 gives a rigorous answer to Halley’s original question. This proposition does indeed give explicit constructions for the path of a planet subjected to a central inverse-square force, but the demonstration explicitly assumes that the path is a conic. Unfortunately, this stipulation is not mentioned in the statement of the proposition itself, so the content of the proposition has sometimes been misconstrued. It gives the elliptical, parabolic, or hyperbolic paths explicitly for a given set of initial conditions, but only on the assumption that the path is a conic, which is why Corollary 1 to Proposition 13 is needed, to establish that the path must be a conic. This again emphasizes the importance of the corollary, the very answer to Halley’s original question, making it all the more odd that Newton was so persistently reticent about it’s explicit demonstration. Perhaps he was conscious of the need for an explicit use of calculus to do justice to the demonstration, and he had been unwilling (at least in the first edition) to reveal many of the techniques he possessed.

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    • Replies: @Art
    Hey utu --- my other two major intellectual heroes are Jesus and Darwin – have at them - go for it. Art
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  175. Art says:
    @utu
    Newton was presented with the problem formulated by Haley and claimed that he had already solved it but could not demonstrate and after 18 month later he published his greatest work in which still there was no solution.

    http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath658/kmath658.htm
    Wren, Hooke, and Halley had discussed the problem at a coffee house following a meeting of the Royal Society in January of 1684, and Wren had offered a cash prize to whoever could provide a derivation of the shape of planetary orbits under the assumption of an inverse-square central force of attraction toward the (presumed stationary) sun. Hooke had claimed to have a proof that the paths were ellipses, but never provided it. Against this background, Halley paid a visit to Newton, who later told Abraham De Moivre about the fateful meeting. According to De Moivre

    In 1684 Dr Halley came to visit him at Cambridge. After they had been some time together, the Dr asked him what he thought the curve would be that would be described by the planets supposing the force of attraction towards the sun to be reciprocal to the square of their distance from it. Sir Isaac replied immediately that it would be an ellipse. The Doctor, struck with joy and amazement, asked him how he knew it. Why, saith he, I have calculated it. Whereupon Dr Halley asked him for his calculation without any farther delay. Sir Isaac looked among his papers but could not find it, but he promised him to renew it and then to send it him…

    As is well known, Halley’s question prompted Newton to formulate his ideas about mechanics and universal gravitation. The answer to Halley grew and became progressively more comprehensive until, in a remarkably short time (about 18 months), Newton had composed the three-volume work entitled The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, usually called by the Latin title “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica”, or simply “Principia”, comprising the foundation of modern physics.
     

    And yet, it’s a curious fact that when the Principia was published (at Halley’s expense) in 1687, it did not actually contain the demonstration that Halley had requested. In a careful series of propositions (11 to 13 of Book 1), the Principia shows that a planet moving in a conical orbit under the influence of a central force toward one of the foci is undergoing acceleration toward that foci with a magnitude proportional to the reciprocal of the squared distance, and hence is subject to an inverse-square force. This is the converse of Halley’s question, which asked for a demonstration of the shape of an orbit given that the planet was subjected to an inverse-square force. The first edition of Principia simply stated that the answer to Halley’s question “followed from” the converse proposition, which of course is not a generally valid argument. Newton later claimed that he hadn’t included the proof for the original question – the one that prompted the entire work – because he regarded it as “very obvious”. Whether this is a plausible reason for omitting it is debatable.

    Furthermore, the assertion of obviousness is questionable, in view of the degree of difficulty evident in the demonstration of Proposition 41
     

    So what do we learn from this about Newton's character?

    Furthermore synthetic/geometric proof by Newton was challenged and occasionally still is challenged. Bernoulli probably never accepted its validity. Newtons' approach was the road to nowhere. It did not evolve as nobody has used it except for him.


    Bernoulli agreed that Newton’s proof was valid, although he continued to claim that the analytic approach using the Leibnizian notation was the surer way of achieving general and comprehensive results. Even though almost all modern scholars agree that Newton’s “sketch of a proof” was valid (at least in the third edition, and augmented with some fairly obvious supplemental statements),.modern science has followed Bernoulli’s advice, and no one today would dream of trying to approach such problems using the synthetic geometrical methods of Newton. In fact, Newton’s neo-classical methods were never used successfully by anyone other than himself.

    Surprisingly, though, the controversy over the validity of Newton’s key demonstrations has not entirely ended. To this day, there occasionally appear papers in scholarly journals complaining that Newton never actually gave a valid answer to Halley’s question, and specifically that the reasoning presented in support of Corollary 1 of Proposition 13, even in the third edition, is inadequate if not outright specious. Such charges are invariably met with a flurry of responses, carefully explaining the subtle force of Newton’s reasoning, and disposing of purported counter-examples.
     
    Was Newton unwilling to provide the proof or just did not know how to do it with "his calculus" because creamy he could not do it with his synthetic/geometric method.

    Adding to the confusion of these discussions, Newton once seemed to imply that Proposition 17 gives a rigorous answer to Halley’s original question. This proposition does indeed give explicit constructions for the path of a planet subjected to a central inverse-square force, but the demonstration explicitly assumes that the path is a conic. Unfortunately, this stipulation is not mentioned in the statement of the proposition itself, so the content of the proposition has sometimes been misconstrued. It gives the elliptical, parabolic, or hyperbolic paths explicitly for a given set of initial conditions, but only on the assumption that the path is a conic, which is why Corollary 1 to Proposition 13 is needed, to establish that the path must be a conic. This again emphasizes the importance of the corollary, the very answer to Halley’s original question, making it all the more odd that Newton was so persistently reticent about it’s explicit demonstration. Perhaps he was conscious of the need for an explicit use of calculus to do justice to the demonstration, and he had been unwilling (at least in the first edition) to reveal many of the techniques he possessed.
     

    Hey utu — my other two major intellectual heroes are Jesus and Darwin – have at them – go for it. Art

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    • Replies: @utu
    How old are you that you still have intellectual heroes? Do you still have imaginary friends?
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  176. utu says:
    @AaronB
    No one, my dear bliss, is going to watch the elites. The hope is that if they get the external validation they so need, they wont be so driven to destroy society in their quest for ego validation.

    External validation - money, achievement, status. All that is done to prove themselves worthy. If we just give the ambitious rank and titles and a code of deference maybe they will calm down a little bit. The fire in their brain will subside.

    They'll still need wealth and status and the rest, but maybe they won't sell out entire industries by outsourcing to add a few extra bucks to their pile because they can't get their drugbin a democracy that pretends everyone is equal.

    Elon Musk should be allowed to play with his rockets and electric cars, for sure, but it would be even better if we knighted him or made him a lord. He'll still play with his rockets, but maybe he'll chill out a bit. Learn to enjoy himself.

    Steve Jobs, have you heard how insanely driven he was? You've gotta feel sorry for the man. He used to cry at board meetings. All for mildly more attractive electronic devices.

    If we made Jobs a Baron, maybe he'd stop crying. If we made the CEO of Apple an Earl, maybe he wouldn't slow down people's batteries for a few extra bucks because he doesn't know how else to get his drug.

    I am very happy to hear Musk supports basic income - that's exactly the kind of chilled out thing I have in mind from elites who have a regular and steady supply of their drug.

    Musk must realize that he won't be allowed to play with his rockets if he doesn't reach an understanding with the lazy losers whose validation he needs.

    He's like me. I'm not a utopian, and I want to help people like Musk and Jobs get their drug. I really do. They didn't ask to be born this way, and it would be cruel to deny then what they need.

    Musk understands that instead of extreme solutions we have to cooperate and live together - that way he gets his drug, and we get some peace and quiet.

    Steve Jobs, have you heard how insanely driven he was? You’ve gotta feel sorry for the man. He used to cry at board meetings.

    Really? Not a manipulation by a narcissistic psychopath? He made his friend and buddy, Steve Wozniak cry many, many years later when he learned that Jobs cheated him when Jobs worked for Atari and asked Wozniak for help.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/steve-wozniak-cried-jobs-kept-atari-bonus-267711
    When asked if he was bitter about the deal, Wozniak said no, but confessed: “I cried, I cried quite a bit when I read that in a book.” It was years later that Wozniak discovered he had been cheated by the tech guru.

    Atari had also offered a bonus if the number of chips used in the game was kept to a minimum. In his biography, Steve Jobs, the author Walter Isaacson documented the episode: “Wozniak was thrilled when Jobs asked him to help and proposed splitting the fee. ‘This was the most wonderful offer in my life, to actually design a game that people would use,’ he recalled.

    “Jobs said it had to be done in four days and with the fewest chips possible. What he hid from Wozniak was that the deadline was one that Jobs had imposed, because he needed to get to the All One Farm to help prepare for the apple harvest. He also didn’t mention that there was a bonus [from Atari] tied to keeping down the number of chips.”

    Wozniak worked day and night for four days to finish the game as quickly as he could, for which he received half of what he believed to be the base rate.

    “It would be another 10 years before Wozniak discovered (by being shown the tale in a book on the history of Atari titled Zap) that Jobs had been paid the bonus,” Isaacson wrote.

    Cheating, manipulating, treating people instrumentally! Im my (and Dante’s) world he belongs to the 9th circle of hell. Murderers go only to the 7th circle.

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    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AaronB
    That's a good point. He sounds like a psychopath. The more you read about the elite the more you realize that the skills needed to succeed are not what are advertised. The naive still worship guys like Jobs and Musk for their "talent". I've heard some weird stories about Musk too.

    I've had the misfortune of knowing quite a few psychopaths in my life, and they are pathetic and pitiful men underneath the bluster. Dangerous, yes. Incurable, yes. And one must protect oneself without being sentimental.

    But it is pitiful that Jobs had a fire in his brain that made him expend such ridiculous amounts of acting energy for such trivial ends. And steal and msmipulate his naive friend for s few more bucks. Psycopaths in the end seek endless amounts of external validation (I know in the literature they are supposed to not care, but I don't agree.)

    For a long time I wondered if we could cure or sideline psycopsths (the elite). But I now think the attempt may backfire. Maybe we need to learn how to better accommodation the needs of our psycopsths and find better ways of giving them what they want - external validation - so that we can have some kind of stability. Kind of "corral" their energy and render it less harmful.

    It's a thought, I may be wrong. In the end no political order lasts, and psycopathy is inherently destabilizing - it metastasizes, like a cancer. Probably the best we can hope for are crashes followed by revivals, in a cycle.
    , @wrd9
    Well, Jobs got his comeuppance in the end. And by his own hand, too. It's too bad it doesn't happen to them all.
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  177. utu says:
    @Art
    Hey utu --- my other two major intellectual heroes are Jesus and Darwin – have at them - go for it. Art

    How old are you that you still have intellectual heroes? Do you still have imaginary friends?

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  178. wayfarer says:
    @utu

    Newton's second law? F = m a

    Newton was not the first to suggest "Newton's second law". In 1669 (18 years before Newton), Royal Society member John Wallis wrote,

    For body at rest hath a repugnance to motion and body in motion hath a repugnance to rest, though Body as Body is indifferent to either, and will therefore continue as it is (whether at rest or in motion) till some positive cause alter its condition. And when such positive cause comes, its acts proportionally to its strength, the lesser the strength with which it moves, and the heavier the body to be moved, the slower will be the motion.

    Also, Thomas Hobbes published his book Leviathan 1651 (36 years before Newton),

    That when a thing lies still, unless somewhat else stir it, it will lie still forever, is a truth that no man doubts. But [the proposition] that when a thing is in motion it will eternally be in motion unless somewhat else stay it, though the reason be the same (namely that nothing can change itself), is not so easily assented to.

    Newton's law of gravity?

    Hooke presented a new gravity/motion theory to the Royal society in 1666 in which he said:
    I will explain a system of the world very different from any yet received. It is founded on the following positions.

    That all the heavenly bodies have not only a gravitation of their parts to their own proper centre, but that they also mutually attract each other within their spheres of action.

    That all bodies having a simple motion, will continue to move in a straight line, unless continually deflected from it by some extraneous force, causing them to describe a circle, an ellipse, or some other curve.

    That this attraction is so much the greater as the bodies are nearer.

    In 1672, Hooke tried to prove the Earth moves in an ellipse round the Sun and in 1679, he proposed an inverse square law for gravity to explain planetary motions an attractive motion towards the central body ... my supposition is that the attraction always is in a duplicate proportion to the distance from the center reciprocal ...

    Although Hooke did not give a mathematical proof of his conjectures, he made first claim to the inverse square law for gravity. This led to a bitter dispute with Newton who then removed most references to Hooke from the Principia. Their feud lasted decades. In a 1690 lecture to the Royal Society, Hooke said concerning those properties of gravity which I myself first discovered and showed to this Society and years since, which of late Mr Newton has done me the favour to print and publish as his own inventions.

    Newton's law of light?

    An initial cordial relationship between Hooke and Newton became angry and bitter. Newton suffered two mental breakdowns and Hooke became cynical and withdrawn. Hooke claimed Newton's theory of light and color was stolen from ideas he produced 7 years earlier (in 1665). The Royal Society's Hooke papers and the sole portrait of Hooke painted for the Royal Society were ``lost'' by Newton when he became President of the Royal Society (they were recently rediscovered). Newton wanted to burn all of Hooke's papers (he did not succeed). Ironically, Newton's famous quote (below) appeared in a February 5, 1676 letter from Newton to the very short Hooke.

    If I have seen further, it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants

    Newton's discovery of Calculus?
     
    Although Newton and Leibniz share the discovery of calculus their relationship was contentious - with Newton and Leibniz and their respective supporters alleging plagiarism and undermining each other's credibility.

    As President of the Royal Society, Newton appointed an ``impartial'' committee to decide whether he or Leibniz invented calculus. He wrote the committee's official published report (although not under his name) and then wrote a review (again anonymously) which appeared in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

    Ironically, the introverted Newton died at 80-years old a national hero of England with a state funeral of the highest honors (normally reserved for English statesmen and generals). whereas the more sociable Leibniz's died at 70-years old, almost completely forgotten, with a funeral attended by only his secretary.

    Newton's daunting reputation intimidated British mathematicians. England did not produce another first-rate mathematician for over a century. Undaunted and unintimidated by their English neighbors, the rest of Europe, lead by the Bernoulli family, Leonard Euler, D'Alembert, Lagrange, Laplace, Fourier, and many others, quickly expanded analytical analysis through differential equations, the calculus of variations, etc.
     
    Leibniz had much greater impact on the development of calculus than Newton. Newton's ideas were incomprehensible. He often arrived at correct solutions but his reasoning was hard to follow and verify. While having calculus he often did not apply it as if he did not know how. For some reason it took him many years to produce the critical result that a sphere is equivalent to a point which requires 3D integration which greatly delayed publication his work on gravity. In the end did not use his calculus to get this result.

    Turning Newton into a giant was the result of a very successful PR by English in service of their Empire. There are many similarities to idolization of Einstein after WWI and thereafter. In both case many determined individuals and great resources were used to create idols.

    You’ve sparked my insatiable curiosity.

    One has to wonder, how much of the historical record is fact or fiction, political or apolitical, written by the “winners” or those deplorable “losers.”

    It’s certain though that Isaac Newton worked off a rather sturdy scientific foundation, and at the tailend of a renaissance period, which had flourished for hundreds of years just prior to his lifetime.

    I’m going to spend some spare time today, reviewing wiki quote’s Isaac Newton page.
    source: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton

    One thing’s indisputable, the field of mathematics and science has its enchanting nature, whether it be applied or pure.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton
    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance

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  179. AaronB says:
    @utu

    Steve Jobs, have you heard how insanely driven he was? You’ve gotta feel sorry for the man. He used to cry at board meetings.
     
    Really? Not a manipulation by a narcissistic psychopath? He made his friend and buddy, Steve Wozniak cry many, many years later when he learned that Jobs cheated him when Jobs worked for Atari and asked Wozniak for help.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/steve-wozniak-cried-jobs-kept-atari-bonus-267711
    When asked if he was bitter about the deal, Wozniak said no, but confessed: "I cried, I cried quite a bit when I read that in a book." It was years later that Wozniak discovered he had been cheated by the tech guru.

    Atari had also offered a bonus if the number of chips used in the game was kept to a minimum. In his biography, Steve Jobs, the author Walter Isaacson documented the episode: "Wozniak was thrilled when Jobs asked him to help and proposed splitting the fee. 'This was the most wonderful offer in my life, to actually design a game that people would use,' he recalled.

    "Jobs said it had to be done in four days and with the fewest chips possible. What he hid from Wozniak was that the deadline was one that Jobs had imposed, because he needed to get to the All One Farm to help prepare for the apple harvest. He also didn't mention that there was a bonus [from Atari] tied to keeping down the number of chips."

    Wozniak worked day and night for four days to finish the game as quickly as he could, for which he received half of what he believed to be the base rate.

    "It would be another 10 years before Wozniak discovered (by being shown the tale in a book on the history of Atari titled Zap) that Jobs had been paid the bonus," Isaacson wrote.
     
    Cheating, manipulating, treating people instrumentally! Im my (and Dante's) world he belongs to the 9th circle of hell. Murderers go only to the 7th circle.

    That’s a good point. He sounds like a psychopath. The more you read about the elite the more you realize that the skills needed to succeed are not what are advertised. The naive still worship guys like Jobs and Musk for their “talent”. I’ve heard some weird stories about Musk too.

    I’ve had the misfortune of knowing quite a few psychopaths in my life, and they are pathetic and pitiful men underneath the bluster. Dangerous, yes. Incurable, yes. And one must protect oneself without being sentimental.

    But it is pitiful that Jobs had a fire in his brain that made him expend such ridiculous amounts of acting energy for such trivial ends. And steal and msmipulate his naive friend for s few more bucks. Psycopaths in the end seek endless amounts of external validation (I know in the literature they are supposed to not care, but I don’t agree.)

    For a long time I wondered if we could cure or sideline psycopsths (the elite). But I now think the attempt may backfire. Maybe we need to learn how to better accommodation the needs of our psycopsths and find better ways of giving them what they want – external validation – so that we can have some kind of stability. Kind of “corral” their energy and render it less harmful.

    It’s a thought, I may be wrong. In the end no political order lasts, and psycopathy is inherently destabilizing – it metastasizes, like a cancer. Probably the best we can hope for are crashes followed by revivals, in a cycle.

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    • Replies: @Talha

    In the end no political order lasts, and psycopathy is inherently destabilizing – it metastasizes, like a cancer.
     
    "All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted." - Chapterhouse: Dune

    Probably the best we can hope for are crashes followed by revivals, in a cycle.
     
    I have observed that those that wish to bring utopian dreams to the world tend to introduce hellish nightmares for everyone else. One of the more recent examples being the Triumphant Caliphate to End All Muslim Failures a la Daesh. If one takes the position that life is a test, then one understands that no generation can bring about heaven-on-earth, for if all problems are solved, exactly how are subsequent generations supposed to be tested? One generation enters the room, does what they can and leaves to get their marks - followed by the next generation of test takers whose test is partially influenced by the results of the previous ones. This does not mean one is apathetic, rather one does the best they can on their test and tries as much as possible not to make it any harder for the next iteration.

    Kind of “corral” their energy and render it less harmful.
     
    It is interesting, and I'm not sure when this tradition stopped, but if you ask Saudis who are from two generations ago, they will still remember the time when any person; lowly or high could have his grievance heard directly by the king in his presence in the tent that they would hold for this purpose. As you said; giving them a way to feel like they can help people will hopefully channel their energies in a beneficial way. Fancy-sounding titles help also.

    Peace.
    , @AP
    Steve Jobs had very strong psychopathic traits and seems to have been a horrible human being. He was probably not a pure psychopath, however - he was too disciplined, not impulsive enough, not criminal enough, and his pattern of screwing others over was targeted and not pervasive enough. Pure psychopaths (most of whom are not violent) show a constellation of behaviors that result in inevitably getting found out, fired, cheating on their spouses, etc. They are the ones who seem superficially bright but try to screw over their bosses or coworkers, get let go (but perhaps blackmail their employer to write a nice letter of recommendation), moving from job to job. Many get in trouble of white collar crimes. Shameless liars, they are more likely to get early release than are non-psychopathic criminals.

    Some degree of psychopathic traits seems to be correlated with achieving power and economic/social success, but too much leads to failure in life. Jobs seems to have been at that sweet spot.
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  180. wrd9 says:
    @neutral
    What is the reason that PIAAC has so few countries taking part? Is it because of PC and it will show black countries consistently being last on the list?

    Here’s one analysis comparing African students math test scores to PISA scores.

    https://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/math-scores-fourteen-african-countries0.pdf

    Here’s the confirmation -

    “Given the score gaps reported in Table 5, the most optimistic results would
    still imply several decades if not centuries are needed for African countries’ mathematics
    performance to converge to OECD levels at current rates of progress.”

    And a not surprising article about South Africa’s educational system. Reminds me of what’s happening in cities like Baltimore. Notice that any successes are because of white leadership.

    https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21713858-why-it-bottom-class-south-africa-has-one-worlds-worst-education

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  181. wrd9 says:
    @utu

    Steve Jobs, have you heard how insanely driven he was? You’ve gotta feel sorry for the man. He used to cry at board meetings.
     
    Really? Not a manipulation by a narcissistic psychopath? He made his friend and buddy, Steve Wozniak cry many, many years later when he learned that Jobs cheated him when Jobs worked for Atari and asked Wozniak for help.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/steve-wozniak-cried-jobs-kept-atari-bonus-267711
    When asked if he was bitter about the deal, Wozniak said no, but confessed: "I cried, I cried quite a bit when I read that in a book." It was years later that Wozniak discovered he had been cheated by the tech guru.

    Atari had also offered a bonus if the number of chips used in the game was kept to a minimum. In his biography, Steve Jobs, the author Walter Isaacson documented the episode: "Wozniak was thrilled when Jobs asked him to help and proposed splitting the fee. 'This was the most wonderful offer in my life, to actually design a game that people would use,' he recalled.

    "Jobs said it had to be done in four days and with the fewest chips possible. What he hid from Wozniak was that the deadline was one that Jobs had imposed, because he needed to get to the All One Farm to help prepare for the apple harvest. He also didn't mention that there was a bonus [from Atari] tied to keeping down the number of chips."

    Wozniak worked day and night for four days to finish the game as quickly as he could, for which he received half of what he believed to be the base rate.

    "It would be another 10 years before Wozniak discovered (by being shown the tale in a book on the history of Atari titled Zap) that Jobs had been paid the bonus," Isaacson wrote.
     
    Cheating, manipulating, treating people instrumentally! Im my (and Dante's) world he belongs to the 9th circle of hell. Murderers go only to the 7th circle.

    Well, Jobs got his comeuppance in the end. And by his own hand, too. It’s too bad it doesn’t happen to them all.

    Read More
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  182. Talha says:
    @AaronB
    That's a good point. He sounds like a psychopath. The more you read about the elite the more you realize that the skills needed to succeed are not what are advertised. The naive still worship guys like Jobs and Musk for their "talent". I've heard some weird stories about Musk too.

    I've had the misfortune of knowing quite a few psychopaths in my life, and they are pathetic and pitiful men underneath the bluster. Dangerous, yes. Incurable, yes. And one must protect oneself without being sentimental.

    But it is pitiful that Jobs had a fire in his brain that made him expend such ridiculous amounts of acting energy for such trivial ends. And steal and msmipulate his naive friend for s few more bucks. Psycopaths in the end seek endless amounts of external validation (I know in the literature they are supposed to not care, but I don't agree.)

    For a long time I wondered if we could cure or sideline psycopsths (the elite). But I now think the attempt may backfire. Maybe we need to learn how to better accommodation the needs of our psycopsths and find better ways of giving them what they want - external validation - so that we can have some kind of stability. Kind of "corral" their energy and render it less harmful.

    It's a thought, I may be wrong. In the end no political order lasts, and psycopathy is inherently destabilizing - it metastasizes, like a cancer. Probably the best we can hope for are crashes followed by revivals, in a cycle.

    In the end no political order lasts, and psycopathy is inherently destabilizing – it metastasizes, like a cancer.

    “All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.” – Chapterhouse: Dune

    Probably the best we can hope for are crashes followed by revivals, in a cycle.

    I have observed that those that wish to bring utopian dreams to the world tend to introduce hellish nightmares for everyone else. One of the more recent examples being the Triumphant Caliphate to End All Muslim Failures a la Daesh. If one takes the position that life is a test, then one understands that no generation can bring about heaven-on-earth, for if all problems are solved, exactly how are subsequent generations supposed to be tested? One generation enters the room, does what they can and leaves to get their marks – followed by the next generation of test takers whose test is partially influenced by the results of the previous ones. This does not mean one is apathetic, rather one does the best they can on their test and tries as much as possible not to make it any harder for the next iteration.

    Kind of “corral” their energy and render it less harmful.

    It is interesting, and I’m not sure when this tradition stopped, but if you ask Saudis who are from two generations ago, they will still remember the time when any person; lowly or high could have his grievance heard directly by the king in his presence in the tent that they would hold for this purpose. As you said; giving them a way to feel like they can help people will hopefully channel their energies in a beneficial way. Fancy-sounding titles help also.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Very interesting. Of course I've heard of the idea that life is a test, but maybe it's never been explained that way before, or it just struck me now.

    But it's a brilliant idea. Effort and action are meaningful even without the illusion of progress - that you are working towards an ever improving world.

    Generally, if progress is an illusion, then effort is seem as meaningless. But here, it's meaningful to erect a worthwhile civilization even if it will be destroyed in the next generation.

    Good example with yhe Saudis.

    The essential political problem is dealing with the pathology of ambition and power - democracy was an attempt to neutralize the problem, but perhaps now we can admit that it merely drove it underground and forced it to express itself in destructive ways.

    Perhaps it's better to "manage" the problem and give the pathological an outlet to express their pathologies on better ways. Denial and repression do not seem yo work.
    , @AP

    If one takes the position that life is a test, then one understands that no generation can bring about heaven-on-earth, for if all problems are solved, exactly how are subsequent generations supposed to be tested? One generation enters the room, does what they can and leaves to get their marks – followed by the next generation of test takers whose test is partially influenced by the results of the previous ones. This does not mean one is apathetic, rather one does the best they can on their test and tries as much as possible not to make it any harder for the next iteration.
     
    I seem to recall this having been written by C.S. Lewis although it's been many years since I read that.
    , @Kratoklastes

    It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.
     
    That ties in with something I wrote a few years back - about how Acton's aphorism was misdirectional (and probably intentionally so):

    Do not be misled by the masterful misdirection of Acton ("Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"): the actual fact of the matter is that only the already-corrupt are attracted to positions of power
     
    and

    The great misdirection of Acton's aphorism ("power tends to corrupt, and absolute power to corrupt absolutely") is the unstated premise that those who seek positions of power are not corrupt to begin with.

    So rather than saying "giving people power causes a form of brain damage", I would assert that creating positions of power attracts people with a specific form of personality damage… namely, sociopathic megalomaniacs.
     
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  183. AaronB says:
    @Talha

    In the end no political order lasts, and psycopathy is inherently destabilizing – it metastasizes, like a cancer.
     
    "All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted." - Chapterhouse: Dune

    Probably the best we can hope for are crashes followed by revivals, in a cycle.
     
    I have observed that those that wish to bring utopian dreams to the world tend to introduce hellish nightmares for everyone else. One of the more recent examples being the Triumphant Caliphate to End All Muslim Failures a la Daesh. If one takes the position that life is a test, then one understands that no generation can bring about heaven-on-earth, for if all problems are solved, exactly how are subsequent generations supposed to be tested? One generation enters the room, does what they can and leaves to get their marks - followed by the next generation of test takers whose test is partially influenced by the results of the previous ones. This does not mean one is apathetic, rather one does the best they can on their test and tries as much as possible not to make it any harder for the next iteration.

    Kind of “corral” their energy and render it less harmful.
     
    It is interesting, and I'm not sure when this tradition stopped, but if you ask Saudis who are from two generations ago, they will still remember the time when any person; lowly or high could have his grievance heard directly by the king in his presence in the tent that they would hold for this purpose. As you said; giving them a way to feel like they can help people will hopefully channel their energies in a beneficial way. Fancy-sounding titles help also.

    Peace.

    Very interesting. Of course I’ve heard of the idea that life is a test, but maybe it’s never been explained that way before, or it just struck me now.

    But it’s a brilliant idea. Effort and action are meaningful even without the illusion of progress – that you are working towards an ever improving world.

    Generally, if progress is an illusion, then effort is seem as meaningless. But here, it’s meaningful to erect a worthwhile civilization even if it will be destroyed in the next generation.

    Good example with yhe Saudis.

    The essential political problem is dealing with the pathology of ambition and power – democracy was an attempt to neutralize the problem, but perhaps now we can admit that it merely drove it underground and forced it to express itself in destructive ways.

    Perhaps it’s better to “manage” the problem and give the pathological an outlet to express their pathologies on better ways. Denial and repression do not seem yo work.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    If this is true, them the IQ mythology should be seen as serving a much needed function and similar to conferring titles of nobility.

    Maybe myths that legitimize an elite are necessary and can take the edge of the pathology of power, and our society suffers from a lack of such myths, which makes our elites unusually pathological and restless.
    , @Talha

    The essential political problem is dealing with the pathology of ambition and power
     
    I had an interesting conversation about this with JS on a previous thread and I mentioned to him a couple of reports we have in our tradition on the subject.

    A couple of Companions (ra) had asked the Prophet (pbuh) to be granted a leadership position, these were just a couple of his reported responses:
    ” O Abu Dharr, you are weak and it is certainly a position of public trust. Verily, on the Day of Resurrection it will only result in regret except for one who fulfills its rights and discharges its duties.”

    “Verily, by Allah, we do not appoint anyone to this position who asks for it or is desirous for it.” – both reported in Muslim

    Basically, those who seek power out should be prevented from taking it (if this can be done without bloodshed); their covetousness of it is the first sign that they are disqualified.

    Seeking out leadership (or ambition for power) is a spiritual disease – it is a blot on the heart and must be excised from the soul. It is not a good characteristic; it is a decidedly negative and blameworthy trait. I don't know a single one of the Sufi masters that did not warn against this. I am surprised that so many in our day and age think that it something positive.

    You are right about democracy and they way it hides a lot of these things from our eyes and makes people who search after these things seem more respectable. In the past, they were quite easy to figure out; when a king died, his sons would literally kill each other (or blind the other and throw them in the dungeon) to take the throne. Nothing like fratricide to make clear the kind of person one is dealing with.

    An example from a not so particularly pleasant part of our history:
    "Seen from this perspective, it might be argued that the Ottomans’ decline set in early in the 17th century, precisely at the point when they abandoned the policy of ritually murdering a significant proportion of the royal family whenever a sultan died, and substituted the Western notion of simply giving the job to the first-born son instead. Before then, Ottoman succession had been governed by the “law of fratricide” drawn up by Mehmed II in the middle of the 15th century. Under the terms of this remarkable piece of legislation, whichever member of the ruling dynasty succeeded in seizing the throne on the death of the old sultan was not merely permitted, but enjoined, to murder all his brothers (together with any inconvenient uncles and cousins) in order to reduce the risk of subsequent rebellion and civil war."
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-ottoman-empires-life-or-death-race-164064882/#q3vGZplMxp3jRFuC.99

    Sometimes you have to let the elites have a legalized version of "The Purge" in order to make sure they don't include everyone else in on it.

    Peace.
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  184. AP says:
    @AaronB
    That's a good point. He sounds like a psychopath. The more you read about the elite the more you realize that the skills needed to succeed are not what are advertised. The naive still worship guys like Jobs and Musk for their "talent". I've heard some weird stories about Musk too.

    I've had the misfortune of knowing quite a few psychopaths in my life, and they are pathetic and pitiful men underneath the bluster. Dangerous, yes. Incurable, yes. And one must protect oneself without being sentimental.

    But it is pitiful that Jobs had a fire in his brain that made him expend such ridiculous amounts of acting energy for such trivial ends. And steal and msmipulate his naive friend for s few more bucks. Psycopaths in the end seek endless amounts of external validation (I know in the literature they are supposed to not care, but I don't agree.)

    For a long time I wondered if we could cure or sideline psycopsths (the elite). But I now think the attempt may backfire. Maybe we need to learn how to better accommodation the needs of our psycopsths and find better ways of giving them what they want - external validation - so that we can have some kind of stability. Kind of "corral" their energy and render it less harmful.

    It's a thought, I may be wrong. In the end no political order lasts, and psycopathy is inherently destabilizing - it metastasizes, like a cancer. Probably the best we can hope for are crashes followed by revivals, in a cycle.

    Steve Jobs had very strong psychopathic traits and seems to have been a horrible human being. He was probably not a pure psychopath, however – he was too disciplined, not impulsive enough, not criminal enough, and his pattern of screwing others over was targeted and not pervasive enough. Pure psychopaths (most of whom are not violent) show a constellation of behaviors that result in inevitably getting found out, fired, cheating on their spouses, etc. They are the ones who seem superficially bright but try to screw over their bosses or coworkers, get let go (but perhaps blackmail their employer to write a nice letter of recommendation), moving from job to job. Many get in trouble of white collar crimes. Shameless liars, they are more likely to get early release than are non-psychopathic criminals.

    Some degree of psychopathic traits seems to be correlated with achieving power and economic/social success, but too much leads to failure in life. Jobs seems to have been at that sweet spot.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Right, I've read that, but I think it's an artificial distinction. Like with anything, there will be led skilled and more skilled psycopaths, and more and less determined ones, and more and less intelligent ones.

    But perhaps the underlying pathology is the same.
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  185. AaronB says:
    @AaronB
    Very interesting. Of course I've heard of the idea that life is a test, but maybe it's never been explained that way before, or it just struck me now.

    But it's a brilliant idea. Effort and action are meaningful even without the illusion of progress - that you are working towards an ever improving world.

    Generally, if progress is an illusion, then effort is seem as meaningless. But here, it's meaningful to erect a worthwhile civilization even if it will be destroyed in the next generation.

    Good example with yhe Saudis.

    The essential political problem is dealing with the pathology of ambition and power - democracy was an attempt to neutralize the problem, but perhaps now we can admit that it merely drove it underground and forced it to express itself in destructive ways.

    Perhaps it's better to "manage" the problem and give the pathological an outlet to express their pathologies on better ways. Denial and repression do not seem yo work.

    If this is true, them the IQ mythology should be seen as serving a much needed function and similar to conferring titles of nobility.

    Maybe myths that legitimize an elite are necessary and can take the edge of the pathology of power, and our society suffers from a lack of such myths, which makes our elites unusually pathological and restless.

    Read More
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  186. AP says:
    @Talha

    In the end no political order lasts, and psycopathy is inherently destabilizing – it metastasizes, like a cancer.
     
    "All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted." - Chapterhouse: Dune

    Probably the best we can hope for are crashes followed by revivals, in a cycle.
     
    I have observed that those that wish to bring utopian dreams to the world tend to introduce hellish nightmares for everyone else. One of the more recent examples being the Triumphant Caliphate to End All Muslim Failures a la Daesh. If one takes the position that life is a test, then one understands that no generation can bring about heaven-on-earth, for if all problems are solved, exactly how are subsequent generations supposed to be tested? One generation enters the room, does what they can and leaves to get their marks - followed by the next generation of test takers whose test is partially influenced by the results of the previous ones. This does not mean one is apathetic, rather one does the best they can on their test and tries as much as possible not to make it any harder for the next iteration.

    Kind of “corral” their energy and render it less harmful.
     
    It is interesting, and I'm not sure when this tradition stopped, but if you ask Saudis who are from two generations ago, they will still remember the time when any person; lowly or high could have his grievance heard directly by the king in his presence in the tent that they would hold for this purpose. As you said; giving them a way to feel like they can help people will hopefully channel their energies in a beneficial way. Fancy-sounding titles help also.

    Peace.

    If one takes the position that life is a test, then one understands that no generation can bring about heaven-on-earth, for if all problems are solved, exactly how are subsequent generations supposed to be tested? One generation enters the room, does what they can and leaves to get their marks – followed by the next generation of test takers whose test is partially influenced by the results of the previous ones. This does not mean one is apathetic, rather one does the best they can on their test and tries as much as possible not to make it any harder for the next iteration.

    I seem to recall this having been written by C.S. Lewis although it’s been many years since I read that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    I gleaned this insight from my spiritual teachers (it is not my own) - but it does not surprise me that someone like him would have come to a similar conclusion.

    Peace.
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  187. AaronB says:
    @AP
    Steve Jobs had very strong psychopathic traits and seems to have been a horrible human being. He was probably not a pure psychopath, however - he was too disciplined, not impulsive enough, not criminal enough, and his pattern of screwing others over was targeted and not pervasive enough. Pure psychopaths (most of whom are not violent) show a constellation of behaviors that result in inevitably getting found out, fired, cheating on their spouses, etc. They are the ones who seem superficially bright but try to screw over their bosses or coworkers, get let go (but perhaps blackmail their employer to write a nice letter of recommendation), moving from job to job. Many get in trouble of white collar crimes. Shameless liars, they are more likely to get early release than are non-psychopathic criminals.

    Some degree of psychopathic traits seems to be correlated with achieving power and economic/social success, but too much leads to failure in life. Jobs seems to have been at that sweet spot.

    Right, I’ve read that, but I think it’s an artificial distinction. Like with anything, there will be led skilled and more skilled psycopaths, and more and less determined ones, and more and less intelligent ones.

    But perhaps the underlying pathology is the same.

    Read More
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  188. Talha says:
    @AP

    If one takes the position that life is a test, then one understands that no generation can bring about heaven-on-earth, for if all problems are solved, exactly how are subsequent generations supposed to be tested? One generation enters the room, does what they can and leaves to get their marks – followed by the next generation of test takers whose test is partially influenced by the results of the previous ones. This does not mean one is apathetic, rather one does the best they can on their test and tries as much as possible not to make it any harder for the next iteration.
     
    I seem to recall this having been written by C.S. Lewis although it's been many years since I read that.

    I gleaned this insight from my spiritual teachers (it is not my own) – but it does not surprise me that someone like him would have come to a similar conclusion.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  189. Utu.

    You say the following;

    Sorry for some reason or another the reply function doesn’t work

    “Newton’s second law? F = m a

    Newton was not the first to suggest “Newton’s second law”. In 1669 (18 years before Newton), Royal Society member John Wallis wrote,

    For body at rest hath a repugnance to motion and body in motion hath a repugnance to rest, though Body as Body is indifferent to either, and will therefore continue as it is (whether at rest or in motion) till some positive cause alter its condition. And when such positive cause comes, its acts proportionally to its strength, the lesser the strength with which it moves, and the heavier the body to be moved, the slower will be the motion.

    Also, Thomas Hobbes published his book Leviathan 1651 (36 years before Newton),

    That when a thing lies still, unless somewhat else stir it, it will lie still forever, is a truth that no man doubts. But [the proposition] that when a thing is in motion it will eternally be in motion unless somewhat else stay it, though the reason be the same (namely that nothing can change itself), is not so easily assented to.

    Newton’s law of gravity?

    Hooke presented a new gravity/motion theory to the Royal society in 1666 in which he said:
    I will explain a system of the world very different from any yet received. It is founded on the following positions.

    That all the heavenly bodies have not only a gravitation of their parts to their own proper centre, but that they also mutually attract each other within their spheres of action.

    That all bodies having a simple motion, will continue to move in a straight line, unless continually deflected from it by some extraneous force, causing them to describe a circle, an ellipse, or some other curve.

    That this attraction is so much the greater as the bodies are nearer.

    In 1672, Hooke tried to prove the Earth moves in an ellipse round the Sun and in 1679, he proposed an inverse square law for gravity to explain planetary motions an attractive motion towards the central body … my supposition is that the attraction always is in a duplicate proportion to the distance from the center reciprocal …

    Although Hooke did not give a mathematical proof of his conjectures, he made first claim to the inverse square law for gravity. This led to a bitter dispute with Newton who then removed most references to Hooke from the Principia. Their feud lasted decades. In a 1690 lecture to the Royal Society, Hooke said concerning those properties of gravity which I myself first discovered and showed to this Society and years since, which of late Mr Newton has done me the favour to print and publish as his own inventions.

    Newton’s law of light?

    An initial cordial relationship between Hooke and Newton became angry and bitter. Newton suffered two mental breakdowns and Hooke became cynical and withdrawn. Hooke claimed Newton’s theory of light and color was stolen from ideas he produced 7 years earlier (in 1665). The Royal Society’s Hooke papers and the sole portrait of Hooke painted for the Royal Society were “lost” by Newton when he became President of the Royal Society (they were recently rediscovered). Newton wanted to burn all of Hooke’s papers (he did not succeed). Ironically, Newton’s famous quote (below) appeared in a February 5, 1676 letter from Newton to the very short Hooke.

    If I have seen further, it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants

    Newton’s discovery of Calculus?

    Although Newton and Leibniz share the discovery of calculus their relationship was contentious – with Newton and Leibniz and their respective supporters alleging plagiarism and undermining each other’s credibility.

    As President of the Royal Society, Newton appointed an “impartial” committee to decide whether he or Leibniz invented calculus. He wrote the committee’s official published report (although not under his name) and then wrote a review (again anonymously) which appeared in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

    Ironically, the introverted Newton died at 80-years old a national hero of England with a state funeral of the highest honors (normally reserved for English statesmen and generals). whereas the more sociable Leibniz’s died at 70-years old, almost completely forgotten, with a funeral attended by only his secretary.

    Newton’s daunting reputation intimidated British mathematicians. England did not produce another first-rate mathematician for over a century. Undaunted and unintimidated by their English neighbors, the rest of Europe, lead by the Bernoulli family, Leonard Euler, D’Alembert, Lagrange, Laplace, Fourier, and many others, quickly expanded analytical analysis through differential equations, the calculus of variations, etc.”

    But you can’t deny that he formalized physics i.e put the language of mathematics into it. Otherwise the quotes you quote could be like Hindus or Chinese quoting their ancient texts and saying that they invented Quantum Mechanics, or Evolution or Whatever.

    F= MA

    F=(Gm1*m2)/R*R

    and the laws of motion he put the language of mathematics into it.

    As far as Calculus yes dy/dx is Leibnitz’ notation. I also agree that he was a revolting asshole and I think that in his old age he was in charge of hanging forgers of coins and he hung many. A revolting bastard and a Genius.

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  190. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu
    Newton is overrated.

    Are not all great men overrated?

    People are fascinated by the extraordinary, by tales of exceptional strength, valor, or intellect. Naturally, therefore, in telling the stories of the great, there will be exaggeration and distortion.

    In science, the greats are the systematizers and synthesizers who make coherent what is already in the wind.

    Newton may have borrowed more than he created, but he wrote the Principia.

    The idea of organic evolution is at least two thousand years old, but Darwin, with a vast knowledge of natural history and an excellent grounding in geology, laid out the evidence for evolution in a way that transformed an idea into an established fact.

    Likewise, Einstein, with special relativity, gave coherence to ideas already in circulation.

    That Newton’s work was flawed does not, therefore, detract from the fact that his work was symbolic of greatness.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    the fact that his work was symbolic of greatness
     
    He was great. No question about it. But he was not that great. His greatness was constructed and to large extend by him himself which by doing so he retarded development of mathematics in England by one century. And the "symbolic of greatness" comes from every textbook repeating his name over and over again and wrongly attributing to him results that he did not produce but only claimed that he did.

    As you yourself once admitted you can't read math and take pride in it so you are in no position to have first hand opinion about Newton and his work. Perhaps you may be more qualified to opinionated on his mambo jumbo biblical numerology, kabbalah and occult.
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  191. Talha says:
    @AaronB
    Very interesting. Of course I've heard of the idea that life is a test, but maybe it's never been explained that way before, or it just struck me now.

    But it's a brilliant idea. Effort and action are meaningful even without the illusion of progress - that you are working towards an ever improving world.

    Generally, if progress is an illusion, then effort is seem as meaningless. But here, it's meaningful to erect a worthwhile civilization even if it will be destroyed in the next generation.

    Good example with yhe Saudis.

    The essential political problem is dealing with the pathology of ambition and power - democracy was an attempt to neutralize the problem, but perhaps now we can admit that it merely drove it underground and forced it to express itself in destructive ways.

    Perhaps it's better to "manage" the problem and give the pathological an outlet to express their pathologies on better ways. Denial and repression do not seem yo work.

    The essential political problem is dealing with the pathology of ambition and power

    I had an interesting conversation about this with JS on a previous thread and I mentioned to him a couple of reports we have in our tradition on the subject.

    A couple of Companions (ra) had asked the Prophet (pbuh) to be granted a leadership position, these were just a couple of his reported responses:
    ” O Abu Dharr, you are weak and it is certainly a position of public trust. Verily, on the Day of Resurrection it will only result in regret except for one who fulfills its rights and discharges its duties.”

    “Verily, by Allah, we do not appoint anyone to this position who asks for it or is desirous for it.” – both reported in Muslim

    Basically, those who seek power out should be prevented from taking it (if this can be done without bloodshed); their covetousness of it is the first sign that they are disqualified.

    Seeking out leadership (or ambition for power) is a spiritual disease – it is a blot on the heart and must be excised from the soul. It is not a good characteristic; it is a decidedly negative and blameworthy trait. I don’t know a single one of the Sufi masters that did not warn against this. I am surprised that so many in our day and age think that it something positive.

    You are right about democracy and they way it hides a lot of these things from our eyes and makes people who search after these things seem more respectable. In the past, they were quite easy to figure out; when a king died, his sons would literally kill each other (or blind the other and throw them in the dungeon) to take the throne. Nothing like fratricide to make clear the kind of person one is dealing with.

    An example from a not so particularly pleasant part of our history:
    “Seen from this perspective, it might be argued that the Ottomans’ decline set in early in the 17th century, precisely at the point when they abandoned the policy of ritually murdering a significant proportion of the royal family whenever a sultan died, and substituted the Western notion of simply giving the job to the first-born son instead. Before then, Ottoman succession had been governed by the “law of fratricide” drawn up by Mehmed II in the middle of the 15th century. Under the terms of this remarkable piece of legislation, whichever member of the ruling dynasty succeeded in seizing the throne on the death of the old sultan was not merely permitted, but enjoined, to murder all his brothers (together with any inconvenient uncles and cousins) in order to reduce the risk of subsequent rebellion and civil war.”

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-ottoman-empires-life-or-death-race-164064882/#q3vGZplMxp3jRFuC.99

    Sometimes you have to let the elites have a legalized version of “The Purge” in order to make sure they don’t include everyone else in on it.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Right, but sadly power hungry people cannot be sidelined in that fashion, it would seem.

    Ideally, those who want power should be denied. But they'll find a way around it - pretend not to want it, create rival power blocs then launch attacks on the main power bloc, etc.

    People who want power develop their cunning to a high pitch, while you and I use our intellect for other things. We can't compete.

    My solutions indeed involves giving power to those who want it - but giving them so much external validation that it takes the edge of their need somewhat .

    It is far from a perfect solution, but may be a good imperfect solution.

    I like that ottoman policy! Can you imagine applying it at Google or Apple?
    , @dfordoom

    Basically, those who seek power out should be prevented from taking it (if this can be done without bloodshed); their covetousness of it is the first sign that they are disqualified.
     
    That's why monarchy, for all its faults, is preferable to democracy. It's better to be ruled by a man who has power thrust upon him by an accident of birth than to be ruled by a man who seeks it out.

    It's also why feudalism was not such a bad system. It was a good way to limit the opportunities for seeking absolute power.

    Monarchy can produce bad rulers or good rulers. Democracy can only produce bad rulers.
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  192. AaronB says:
    @Talha

    The essential political problem is dealing with the pathology of ambition and power
     
    I had an interesting conversation about this with JS on a previous thread and I mentioned to him a couple of reports we have in our tradition on the subject.

    A couple of Companions (ra) had asked the Prophet (pbuh) to be granted a leadership position, these were just a couple of his reported responses:
    ” O Abu Dharr, you are weak and it is certainly a position of public trust. Verily, on the Day of Resurrection it will only result in regret except for one who fulfills its rights and discharges its duties.”

    “Verily, by Allah, we do not appoint anyone to this position who asks for it or is desirous for it.” – both reported in Muslim

    Basically, those who seek power out should be prevented from taking it (if this can be done without bloodshed); their covetousness of it is the first sign that they are disqualified.

    Seeking out leadership (or ambition for power) is a spiritual disease – it is a blot on the heart and must be excised from the soul. It is not a good characteristic; it is a decidedly negative and blameworthy trait. I don't know a single one of the Sufi masters that did not warn against this. I am surprised that so many in our day and age think that it something positive.

    You are right about democracy and they way it hides a lot of these things from our eyes and makes people who search after these things seem more respectable. In the past, they were quite easy to figure out; when a king died, his sons would literally kill each other (or blind the other and throw them in the dungeon) to take the throne. Nothing like fratricide to make clear the kind of person one is dealing with.

    An example from a not so particularly pleasant part of our history:
    "Seen from this perspective, it might be argued that the Ottomans’ decline set in early in the 17th century, precisely at the point when they abandoned the policy of ritually murdering a significant proportion of the royal family whenever a sultan died, and substituted the Western notion of simply giving the job to the first-born son instead. Before then, Ottoman succession had been governed by the “law of fratricide” drawn up by Mehmed II in the middle of the 15th century. Under the terms of this remarkable piece of legislation, whichever member of the ruling dynasty succeeded in seizing the throne on the death of the old sultan was not merely permitted, but enjoined, to murder all his brothers (together with any inconvenient uncles and cousins) in order to reduce the risk of subsequent rebellion and civil war."
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-ottoman-empires-life-or-death-race-164064882/#q3vGZplMxp3jRFuC.99

    Sometimes you have to let the elites have a legalized version of "The Purge" in order to make sure they don't include everyone else in on it.

    Peace.

    Right, but sadly power hungry people cannot be sidelined in that fashion, it would seem.

    Ideally, those who want power should be denied. But they’ll find a way around it – pretend not to want it, create rival power blocs then launch attacks on the main power bloc, etc.

    People who want power develop their cunning to a high pitch, while you and I use our intellect for other things. We can’t compete.

    My solutions indeed involves giving power to those who want it – but giving them so much external validation that it takes the edge of their need somewhat .

    It is far from a perfect solution, but may be a good imperfect solution.

    I like that ottoman policy! Can you imagine applying it at Google or Apple?

    Read More
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    I like that ottoman policy!
     
    But instead of Christian child slaves castrated and brought up as Muslims, Muslim child slaves castrated and brought up as Christians.
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  193. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @AaronB
    Right, but sadly power hungry people cannot be sidelined in that fashion, it would seem.

    Ideally, those who want power should be denied. But they'll find a way around it - pretend not to want it, create rival power blocs then launch attacks on the main power bloc, etc.

    People who want power develop their cunning to a high pitch, while you and I use our intellect for other things. We can't compete.

    My solutions indeed involves giving power to those who want it - but giving them so much external validation that it takes the edge of their need somewhat .

    It is far from a perfect solution, but may be a good imperfect solution.

    I like that ottoman policy! Can you imagine applying it at Google or Apple?

    I like that ottoman policy!

    But instead of Christian child slaves castrated and brought up as Muslims, Muslim child slaves castrated and brought up as Christians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    How about just the children of our corporate elite castrated and brought up as slaves?
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  194. AaronB says:
    @CanSpeccy

    I like that ottoman policy!
     
    But instead of Christian child slaves castrated and brought up as Muslims, Muslim child slaves castrated and brought up as Christians.

    How about just the children of our corporate elite castrated and brought up as slaves?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey AaronB,

    Check out this article from a personal friend - fascinating stuff...
    https://medium.com/@azharcomedy/dear-internet-184469c2d53b

    Just an aside, I have asked whether this decision was connected or not to it, but he had a near-death experience last year where he was tossed into the air after getting hit by a car. People who witnessed it were surprised he lived because of what happened to his skull.

    Actually thinking of taking his advice - to the extent that I can. Tell me what you think...it says a lot, I mean a lot of things - so just wondering a general take away - if you have time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc1tZ8JsZvg

    The scene at the end with the monks brought tears to my eyes.

    Peace.

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  195. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    How about just the children of our corporate elite castrated and brought up as slaves?

    There might be some genetic problems. Hereditary psychopathology, for example.

    Read More
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  196. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Talha

    The essential political problem is dealing with the pathology of ambition and power
     
    I had an interesting conversation about this with JS on a previous thread and I mentioned to him a couple of reports we have in our tradition on the subject.

    A couple of Companions (ra) had asked the Prophet (pbuh) to be granted a leadership position, these were just a couple of his reported responses:
    ” O Abu Dharr, you are weak and it is certainly a position of public trust. Verily, on the Day of Resurrection it will only result in regret except for one who fulfills its rights and discharges its duties.”

    “Verily, by Allah, we do not appoint anyone to this position who asks for it or is desirous for it.” – both reported in Muslim

    Basically, those who seek power out should be prevented from taking it (if this can be done without bloodshed); their covetousness of it is the first sign that they are disqualified.

    Seeking out leadership (or ambition for power) is a spiritual disease – it is a blot on the heart and must be excised from the soul. It is not a good characteristic; it is a decidedly negative and blameworthy trait. I don't know a single one of the Sufi masters that did not warn against this. I am surprised that so many in our day and age think that it something positive.

    You are right about democracy and they way it hides a lot of these things from our eyes and makes people who search after these things seem more respectable. In the past, they were quite easy to figure out; when a king died, his sons would literally kill each other (or blind the other and throw them in the dungeon) to take the throne. Nothing like fratricide to make clear the kind of person one is dealing with.

    An example from a not so particularly pleasant part of our history:
    "Seen from this perspective, it might be argued that the Ottomans’ decline set in early in the 17th century, precisely at the point when they abandoned the policy of ritually murdering a significant proportion of the royal family whenever a sultan died, and substituted the Western notion of simply giving the job to the first-born son instead. Before then, Ottoman succession had been governed by the “law of fratricide” drawn up by Mehmed II in the middle of the 15th century. Under the terms of this remarkable piece of legislation, whichever member of the ruling dynasty succeeded in seizing the throne on the death of the old sultan was not merely permitted, but enjoined, to murder all his brothers (together with any inconvenient uncles and cousins) in order to reduce the risk of subsequent rebellion and civil war."
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-ottoman-empires-life-or-death-race-164064882/#q3vGZplMxp3jRFuC.99

    Sometimes you have to let the elites have a legalized version of "The Purge" in order to make sure they don't include everyone else in on it.

    Peace.

    Basically, those who seek power out should be prevented from taking it (if this can be done without bloodshed); their covetousness of it is the first sign that they are disqualified.

    That’s why monarchy, for all its faults, is preferable to democracy. It’s better to be ruled by a man who has power thrust upon him by an accident of birth than to be ruled by a man who seeks it out.

    It’s also why feudalism was not such a bad system. It was a good way to limit the opportunities for seeking absolute power.

    Monarchy can produce bad rulers or good rulers. Democracy can only produce bad rulers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    Monarchy can produce bad rulers or good rulers.
     
    This is usually the issue. Unfortunately, sometimes the bad son tries to make the bid for the crown and can ruin everyone's life. The good son doesn't really care much for it so doesn't make a grab for it.

    But some monarchies are quite tame and the rulers do actually care a lot for their people. And the people look up to them as a father figure - a kind of personification of the nation.

    A young scholar I know went to teach a few classes in Malaysia, he reported that the people love the current ruling sultan of Malaysia (out of the rotating 5 sultanates). He is a very pious and humble, down-to-earth man.

    He is known to have gone to help with flood relief victims (in 2014) with just one body guard in tow and ready to help and mix with the poor:
    "During the 2014 floods that took the northeastern state by storm, Sultan Muhammad V went down on the field to help the flood victims, all without regarding official protocols or escorts. He dressed like an average commoner and received orders from a Major to assist in relief operations. At one point, a person mistook His Majesty for an ordinary citizen due to his casual appearance and was later shocked to find out that the individual he was talking carelessly with was actually the Sultan...He will never forget one occasion, when the Sultan came to his restaurant unannounced but unfortunately, the restaurant was full. “That day the restaurant was packed, even the VIP room was not spared. When the Sultan came and found out about it, he apologised to me for not making a reservation in advance and left. I felt really bad about it,” said Chan about the fateful night."
    http://www.malaysiandigest.com/features/671300-sultan-muhammad-v-a-people-centric-humble-and-pious-ruler.html

    Once in a while you get true statesmen.

    Peace.

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  197. Talha says:
    @dfordoom

    Basically, those who seek power out should be prevented from taking it (if this can be done without bloodshed); their covetousness of it is the first sign that they are disqualified.
     
    That's why monarchy, for all its faults, is preferable to democracy. It's better to be ruled by a man who has power thrust upon him by an accident of birth than to be ruled by a man who seeks it out.

    It's also why feudalism was not such a bad system. It was a good way to limit the opportunities for seeking absolute power.

    Monarchy can produce bad rulers or good rulers. Democracy can only produce bad rulers.

    Monarchy can produce bad rulers or good rulers.

    This is usually the issue. Unfortunately, sometimes the bad son tries to make the bid for the crown and can ruin everyone’s life. The good son doesn’t really care much for it so doesn’t make a grab for it.

    But some monarchies are quite tame and the rulers do actually care a lot for their people. And the people look up to them as a father figure – a kind of personification of the nation.

    A young scholar I know went to teach a few classes in Malaysia, he reported that the people love the current ruling sultan of Malaysia (out of the rotating 5 sultanates). He is a very pious and humble, down-to-earth man.

    He is known to have gone to help with flood relief victims (in 2014) with just one body guard in tow and ready to help and mix with the poor:
    “During the 2014 floods that took the northeastern state by storm, Sultan Muhammad V went down on the field to help the flood victims, all without regarding official protocols or escorts. He dressed like an average commoner and received orders from a Major to assist in relief operations. At one point, a person mistook His Majesty for an ordinary citizen due to his casual appearance and was later shocked to find out that the individual he was talking carelessly with was actually the Sultan…He will never forget one occasion, when the Sultan came to his restaurant unannounced but unfortunately, the restaurant was full. “That day the restaurant was packed, even the VIP room was not spared. When the Sultan came and found out about it, he apologised to me for not making a reservation in advance and left. I felt really bad about it,” said Chan about the fateful night.”

    http://www.malaysiandigest.com/features/671300-sultan-muhammad-v-a-people-centric-humble-and-pious-ruler.html

    Once in a while you get true statesmen.

    Peace.

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  198. @Art
    Today we laugh at the medievals, and praise Newton, yet they said the same thing.

    "Said the same thing?" ---- My I disagree?

    Intelligence is the measure of the ability to organize things. Definition and measuring are the building blocks of organization.

    Newton’s definitions and measuring skills put humanity on a whole new plane of organization. Pre-Newton and post-Newton are night and day for the human race.

    “Sameness” just does not do justice to the situation.

    Think Peace --- Art

    Newton slept under apple tree, Apple fell on his head. From then on he become nuts.

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  199. With all due respect this is Fen garbage.
    Intelligence of the individual does not depend on the race.
    Intelligence is two prong ability.
    Young couple gets married. they will have several children.
    First child born will be strongest physically but the child will have a lest intelligence.
    Last child will be most intelligent but he will have least in physical strength,
    Older people tend to have more intelligent offspring.

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  200. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Ilyana_Rozumova
    With all due respect this is Fen garbage.
    Intelligence of the individual does not depend on the race.
    Intelligence is two prong ability.
    Young couple gets married. they will have several children.
    First child born will be strongest physically but the child will have a lest intelligence.
    Last child will be most intelligent but he will have least in physical strength,
    Older people tend to have more intelligent offspring.
    Read More
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  201. Talha says:
    @AaronB
    How about just the children of our corporate elite castrated and brought up as slaves?

    Hey AaronB,

    Check out this article from a personal friend – fascinating stuff…

    https://medium.com/@azharcomedy/dear-internet-184469c2d53b

    Just an aside, I have asked whether this decision was connected or not to it, but he had a near-death experience last year where he was tossed into the air after getting hit by a car. People who witnessed it were surprised he lived because of what happened to his skull.

    Actually thinking of taking his advice – to the extent that I can. Tell me what you think…it says a lot, I mean a lot of things – so just wondering a general take away – if you have time.

    The scene at the end with the monks brought tears to my eyes.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Thanks for linking to that Talha. Fascinating essay by your friend and I hope he funds the peace he's looking for.

    I think it's s great idea! I've thought of doing it myself and I will at some point.

    He touches on an idea I've been toying with myself - that technology begins as a project of human control but then becomes a vector for larger and more mysterious forces.

    Technology may seem to be imprisoning us in an entirely human world that is cut off from nature but nature will enter through the back door and subtly alter everything.

    Well call it random and "stochastic" processes but that's just another name for forces we can't control or understand.

    Already we have "lost control" and seem powerless in the face of technology that was meant to empower us.

    The very idea that humans CAN exert such control over nature is based on a false conception of human beings - that we are God-like instead of radically fallible animals.

    Everything we do is prone to error and confusion and unexpected deviations - this will be different?

    The dream is to transcend humanity - but technology can only "mirror" humanity and its flaws, and the project of human control will fall under the control of outside forces.

    No, the interesting question is HOW nature and mystery will reemerge in the virtual world, and WHAT forces will begin to operate within it.

    No human activity can allow us to transcend humanity and seperate ourselves from nature or God - all human activity is necessarily a reflection of our flaws rather than a transcendence of them. And always, there are other forces at work, mocking our efforts

    The human predicament seems to start with radical dissatisfaction with our world and being. We are perpetually unhappy and restless and not simply content and satisfied.

    There are two ways we can deal with the inadequacy of the Self - grow the Self, assert it and aggrandize it, seek control, seek in essence to become Gods, or go beyond the Self, leave it behind and seek meaning as parts of a larger whole that is beyond the human and greater and more mysterious than it.

    To my surprise, I have found that many do called religious people hate the concept of true mystery - because it points to something greater than humanity and outside it's control. And for myself, I increasingly think that only mystery can give live meaning, only what is beyond our understanding or control, and what cannot be expressed on words or thoughts.

    Modernity and much of mainstream religion takes the first choice - and the best of religion takes the second choice, your own Sufi tradition being a good example.

    Mormons, for instance, hope to become actual God's through their own efforts, and the Talmud says God must submit to the interpretation. of the rabbis!

    The Internet is obviously a dream of human self assertion and control, but it will merely be a reflection of human inadequacy and fall under the control of forces beyond the human, whether you think of them as nature or the daemonic.

    We may think we need to fight this project of human self-assertion, but it cannot possibly succeed - it can only develop in confounding and contradictory ways that reflect human finitude and the mysterious forces that shape our world.

    As for the sinister forces your friend alludes to, I am sure they are there, but are they ever the only forces around?

    As a species we are massively overdue for a correction - paradoxical the Internet and our current technologies may be the beginning of the loss of hunsn control, and the "classical" period of human control may have been the last 500 years with Newtonian mechanics.

    The idea that we are entering a period of accelerating control may be in fact an illusion, and the opposite may be happening.

    An interesting thought!

    Well, as always sorry for this rambling and over long comment - when I get going I never know egere I'll end up :)

    Thanks for the illntetestong link and video Talha!
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  202. utu says:
    @CanSpeccy
    Are not all great men overrated?

    People are fascinated by the extraordinary, by tales of exceptional strength, valor, or intellect. Naturally, therefore, in telling the stories of the great, there will be exaggeration and distortion.

    In science, the greats are the systematizers and synthesizers who make coherent what is already in the wind.

    Newton may have borrowed more than he created, but he wrote the Principia.

    The idea of organic evolution is at least two thousand years old, but Darwin, with a vast knowledge of natural history and an excellent grounding in geology, laid out the evidence for evolution in a way that transformed an idea into an established fact.

    Likewise, Einstein, with special relativity, gave coherence to ideas already in circulation.

    That Newton's work was flawed does not, therefore, detract from the fact that his work was symbolic of greatness.

    the fact that his work was symbolic of greatness

    He was great. No question about it. But he was not that great. His greatness was constructed and to large extend by him himself which by doing so he retarded development of mathematics in England by one century. And the “symbolic of greatness” comes from every textbook repeating his name over and over again and wrongly attributing to him results that he did not produce but only claimed that he did.

    As you yourself once admitted you can’t read math and take pride in it so you are in no position to have first hand opinion about Newton and his work. Perhaps you may be more qualified to opinionated on his mambo jumbo biblical numerology, kabbalah and occult.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    As you yourself once admitted you can’t read math and take pride in it so you are in no position to have first hand opinion about Newton and his work.
     
    LOL. All I said about Newton was that he wrote the Principia .... Which is correct, actually. I also said that like all great men, he was overrated, and for the reason I stated, which was not a claim to assess the work of all great men.

    But irrelevant rudeness, ad hominens, and broad generalizations on subjects about which you apparently know little if anything, is it seems, all one can expect from someone with your bizarre personality.

    As for math, I did teach our kid, up to around Grade 8, who scored 800 on the SAT math and went on to win the faculty prize at a major North American University. So, as a matter of fact, I am numerate.

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  203. AaronB says:
    @Talha
    Hey AaronB,

    Check out this article from a personal friend - fascinating stuff...
    https://medium.com/@azharcomedy/dear-internet-184469c2d53b

    Just an aside, I have asked whether this decision was connected or not to it, but he had a near-death experience last year where he was tossed into the air after getting hit by a car. People who witnessed it were surprised he lived because of what happened to his skull.

    Actually thinking of taking his advice - to the extent that I can. Tell me what you think...it says a lot, I mean a lot of things - so just wondering a general take away - if you have time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc1tZ8JsZvg

    The scene at the end with the monks brought tears to my eyes.

    Peace.

    Thanks for linking to that Talha. Fascinating essay by your friend and I hope he funds the peace he’s looking for.

    I think it’s s great idea! I’ve thought of doing it myself and I will at some point.

    He touches on an idea I’ve been toying with myself – that technology begins as a proje