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The Franco-German media organization Arte recently produced a documentary about the decline of global average IQ.

What courage in the Current Year! What resolve! Not only do they treat IQ as a legitimate concept, but are even willing to seriously contemplate whether it is declining, and what could be done about it.

Could the tide really be turning in the struggle against the cultural Left’s media monopoly in Yurop?

Don’t pop open the champagne just yet.

What actually happened is described in an article by Sputnik: Fällt IQ der Menschheit doch nicht wegen „Umwelthormonen“? – Was in Arte-Doku fehlte (via Google Translate):

Human intelligence is diminishing. This frightening message Arte published on 7 November as part of a documentary. The reason given by several researchers in the program is that they have chemicals that have a negative effect on the child’s brain development, especially in the womb. The message is clear: it’s bad for humanity. But the way out of misery is also clearly outlined: to strengthen environmental awareness, remove harmful substances from the environment and not let them get into them – and we are on the right path again.

What is not known: Arte had previously also conducted an interview with the anthropologist Edward Dutton, who has been researching for years in this area and teaches at the University in Oulu, Finland. But the explanation that he had provided for the documentation was replaced by more and more expert opinions, which focused solely on environmental influences. Finally, Dutton’s attitude had been excluded from the documentation as a “huge side note”. What was that explanation? And why did she have no place in the documentation?

woodley-effect-illustratedEdward Dutton’s explanation centered on the Woodley Effect – the basic idea that whereas genotypic IQ has declined since the 19th century in much of the industrialized world, due to dysgenic fertility patterns, it was – until recently – more than compensated for by environmental gains (see illustration right, also via Sputnik).

For Dutton, “Intelligence is 80 percent inheritable.” In practice, a strong natural selection used to favor intelligent people: those who were more intelligent became more prosperous within a society, and those who were more prosperous were more successful.

“Until the industrial revolution, the 50 richer percent of the population in every generation had 40 percent more surviving children than the poorer 50 percent. This means that intelligence has increased in every generation. That went from the Middle Ages to about 1800. By 1800, the intelligence was so high that it gave this massive breakthrough with the many inventions, the industrial revolution,” said Dutton.

With the onset of industrial revolution , however, the situation of the people and thus also the selection changed: “It came to things like vaccinations and lowered the child mortality on and on,” explains Dutton. In addition, contraceptives have been developed and the following applies: “People who are smarter tend to use more contraceptives because they think ahead and act less impulsively. You can plan better,” says Dutton.

So while poor families were surviving more and more children, the wealthy families produced fewer and fewer descendants. This tendency was reinforced by feminism: smarter women spent more and more time on education, thereby producing fewer or no children. And the religions also played their role, with their request: be fruitful and multiply. As a result, religious families would tend to put more children into the world. And for the researcher, it is clear that religiosity goes hand in hand with low intelligence.

Arte cut all of that hateful extremism out, in effect wasting a day of Dutton’s life. They left in just the comments on declining IQ, but attributed it all to muh environment.

At Arte, it was chemicals blamed for breaking down intelligence. But Dutton’s objection to this statement is: “If environmental chemicals really were the cause, then the decline in IQ would not have begun until the mid-nineties.” Because the chemicals accumulated in the environment since about 1907 and not just since the 90s. However, the data showed that the negative Flynn effect did not start until this time.

I would furthermore note that most pollution indicators peaked in the 1970s in the First World, and are now much lower than they were back then – whereas the decline in IQ only started becoming increasingly evident in the 2000s.

Initially, the Arte documentation should revolve around the genetic explanation approach. But in the end just this approach was omitted. “I do not know if they were afraid to present my explanation,” Dutton says. But he already had similar experiences with the experts of his scientific work: “There was always a review that said: Yes, that’s excellent, publish it. And another reviewer would say: That’s terrible, that’s basically nothing other than eugenics, and you should not publish this. “In one case, even the two reviewers would have been convinced of the work, but then the publisher had put on the brake,” because the readers would not like that “.

In the leftist universe, IQ is a social construct.

Except when you can use it to advance the Green agenda or save retarded felons from the death penalty.

Then it becomes very real.

However, since some fake news is faker than others, it is Sputnik that is getting barred from advertising on Twitter, being listed as a foreign agent in the US, and having its press accreditation revoked in Congress. Meanwhile, the beliefs espoused by Arte and the censorship practiced by its “journalists” remains universally handshakeworthy.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Fake News, IQ, Propaganda 
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  1. I thought Sputnik and RT were basically hard leftists except that they were pro-Russia hard leftists. It’s good to learn that some science managed to sneak into Sputnik at least.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I know that RT Deutsch is hard left, but I don't know whether that's also the case within Sputnik Deutschland. Maybe not.
    , @ussr andy
    "RT"-RT is neutral. RT America and RT Deutsch (sic) are SJW Centrals, the sole redeeming quality being they also pick up genuine lefty stuff like war, Big Pharma and mass surveillance.
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  2. @reiner Tor
    I thought Sputnik and RT were basically hard leftists except that they were pro-Russia hard leftists. It’s good to learn that some science managed to sneak into Sputnik at least.

    I know that RT Deutsch is hard left, but I don’t know whether that’s also the case within Sputnik Deutschland. Maybe not.

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  3. Brabantian says: • Website

    In other news from Germany, an article from the Gatestone Institute about the huuge number of attacks on German police officers since the grand migrant waves arrived

    This can be a major political turning point, once the praetorian guard which the rulers think is their tool, begin themselves to feel under personal threat by the rulers’ policies

    The Federal Criminal Police Office (BundesKriminalAmt, BKA) reported 36,755 attacks against German police in 2016 – or an average of 100 per day, a significant increase over previous years … Anecdotal evidence corroborates claims by police that migrants are behind many of the attacks

    Though it is very funny about the ‘Gatestone Institute’, whose board includes a bunch of Israeli-tied neo-cons such as John Bolton … though they publish enormous catalogues of criminal acts attributed to migrants and Muslims, they seem to never wish to speak about WHO exactly is helping ship in the migrants, about George Soros and his oligarch friends etc

    Also funny is that the Gatestone Institute laments ‘the decline of free speech in Europe’ regarding all the arrests of people for ‘racism’ because of Facebook posts etc against migrants or Muslims … yet Gatestone is quite silent about similar censorship of those who speak of the Jewish influence groups, who of course are very heavily enmeshed with Gatestone

    There are some funny old short films from the USA, 1930s-1950s, by a Jewish comedy trio, ‘The Three Stooges’, also at times shown in Europe … In one episode, the Three Stooges get work as ‘pest exterminators’, and in order to be hired by a wealthy family, the Stooges first infest the house with various insects and rodents, then knock on the door to offer their services, ‘Create the problem, then offer the solution’ … George Soros & Gatestone look to be playing a similar game here

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Also funny is that the Gatestone Institute laments ‘the decline of free speech in Europe’ regarding all the arrests of people for ‘racism’ because of Facebook posts etc against migrants or Muslims … yet Gatestone is quite silent about similar censorship of those who speak of the Jewish influence groups, who of course are very heavily enmeshed with Gatestone
     
    Hypocrisy on freedom of speech appears to be commonplace, especially on the political left, and arguably jewish hypocrisy is some of the most obvious because they are both amongst the highest scoring groups for claims to believe in freedom of speech, while they also lead the legislative push to suppress freedom of speech, as noted by LondonBob on Steve Sailer's relevant thread:

    Support for Free Speech: It's an IQ Thing
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  4. Randal says:
    @Brabantian
    In other news from Germany, an article from the Gatestone Institute about the huuge number of attacks on German police officers since the grand migrant waves arrived

    This can be a major political turning point, once the praetorian guard which the rulers think is their tool, begin themselves to feel under personal threat by the rulers' policies


    The Federal Criminal Police Office (BundesKriminalAmt, BKA) reported 36,755 attacks against German police in 2016 - or an average of 100 per day, a significant increase over previous years ... Anecdotal evidence corroborates claims by police that migrants are behind many of the attacks

     

    Though it is very funny about the 'Gatestone Institute', whose board includes a bunch of Israeli-tied neo-cons such as John Bolton ... though they publish enormous catalogues of criminal acts attributed to migrants and Muslims, they seem to never wish to speak about WHO exactly is helping ship in the migrants, about George Soros and his oligarch friends etc

    Also funny is that the Gatestone Institute laments 'the decline of free speech in Europe' regarding all the arrests of people for 'racism' because of Facebook posts etc against migrants or Muslims ... yet Gatestone is quite silent about similar censorship of those who speak of the Jewish influence groups, who of course are very heavily enmeshed with Gatestone

    There are some funny old short films from the USA, 1930s-1950s, by a Jewish comedy trio, 'The Three Stooges', also at times shown in Europe ... In one episode, the Three Stooges get work as 'pest exterminators', and in order to be hired by a wealthy family, the Stooges first infest the house with various insects and rodents, then knock on the door to offer their services, 'Create the problem, then offer the solution' ... George Soros & Gatestone look to be playing a similar game here

    Also funny is that the Gatestone Institute laments ‘the decline of free speech in Europe’ regarding all the arrests of people for ‘racism’ because of Facebook posts etc against migrants or Muslims … yet Gatestone is quite silent about similar censorship of those who speak of the Jewish influence groups, who of course are very heavily enmeshed with Gatestone

    Hypocrisy on freedom of speech appears to be commonplace, especially on the political left, and arguably jewish hypocrisy is some of the most obvious because they are both amongst the highest scoring groups for claims to believe in freedom of speech, while they also lead the legislative push to suppress freedom of speech, as noted by LondonBob on Steve Sailer’s relevant thread:

    Support for Free Speech: It’s an IQ Thing

    Read More
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  5. This kind of quasi-religious environmentalist nonsense is extremely common in Germany, doesn’t surprise me at all that ARTE pushed this. Probably also somewhat of a delayed reaction to Thilo Sarrazin’s very successful books from early in this decade.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ussr andy
    I couldn't watch arte even back when I used to watch TV. I was triggered the whole time. The Russia reporting was Novodvorskaya-worthy (hysterically liberal.) The kind of people who watch arte are turtleneck-wearing, Volvo driving Greens voters and their double-barrelled name wives, ugh
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  6. I know next to nothing about IQ as a topic, so my question(s) will surely be very naïve. Nevertheless, you say that the decline of genetic IQ was compensated by environmental/dietary factors up to around 2000. Yet according to Robert J. Gordon, there was a huge decline in innovation in the post-1950s period. Certainly when compared to the 1800-1950 years.

    Now some of that may be due to the increasing complexity required to do innovation, but what makes me wonder is the huge drop-off in innovation that does occur in 1950. Except the internet, most of the innovation was just “faster, more efficient” versions of existing technology. Even EVs are old as a technology, over a century in fact. Airplanes have actually regressed(see concorde), though there is some hope with recent developments re: scramjets and the like.

    Basically, it seems to me that the drop-off in genetic IQ was not compensated fully by these other factors, or so it would seem given the huge decline in innovative capacity in the world in the post-1950 period. Is this a plausible hypothesis?

    Second, what are your opinions on the Chinese efforts at eugenics through their BGI research center. I’m not as clued in to transhumanism as you are, but aren’t the chances decent that this decline in genetic IQ will be halted and perhaps even reversed with gene-editing, embryo-selection and so on? If that would be the case, then we’d likely see increased innovation from 2050 onwards, though I would posit that given the advances of AI, quantum computing and so on that we’re currently seeing an explosion of (I believe James Thompson wrote an interesting piece on it recently), we’re already seeing a large innovative phase. Maybe future innovation will become less human-dependent.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Average IQ across population would rise due to better diets etc. bringing up the IQs of poor people; however, the elite IQ would not be helped as much by these factors. As a result, while national IQ averages are higher now than before, IQs of the brightest and most elite people are not. I suspect that those probably peaked a few decades ago, perhaps in the early 20th century.

    So for example average IQ in modern Germany is probably higher now than in the early 20th century, but modern Germany has not produced an Einstein, Planck or Heisenberg.

    , @Anatoly Karlin

    Yet according to Robert J. Gordon, there was a huge decline in innovation in the post-1950s period... Now some of that may be due to the increasing complexity required to do innovation...
     
    I believe this is exactly the case. The "discovery threshold" for making new fundamental advances in science and technology almost never falls, and usually rises.

    I fleshed this out more fully here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/intro-apollos-ascent/

    Airplanes have actually regressed(see concorde)...
     
    I don't think this is true. Concorde failed for economic reasons (sonic booms, horrendous fuel economy), not as a result of inability to maintain the technology.

    I’m not as clued in to transhumanism as you are, but aren’t the chances decent that this decline in genetic IQ will be halted and perhaps even reversed with gene-editing, embryo-selection and so on?
     
    Yes, there are all real technologies, and embryo selection for IQ is already becoming practical.

    Here is the best analysis of the situation today: https://www.gwern.net/Embryo-selection

    My default assumption is that much of the genomics of IQ will be uncovered within the next decade, allowing up to 10 IQ points / generation gain via embryo selection; within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.

    The question of when general AI appears is a black box. Might be in ten years, might be in 100, might be in 2018 (unlikely but not impossible). At that point, it is likely everything will start to change very quickly. Hopefully it will not occur too soon because AI safety is still very underdeveloped.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. AP says:
    @Polish Perspective
    I know next to nothing about IQ as a topic, so my question(s) will surely be very naïve. Nevertheless, you say that the decline of genetic IQ was compensated by environmental/dietary factors up to around 2000. Yet according to Robert J. Gordon, there was a huge decline in innovation in the post-1950s period. Certainly when compared to the 1800-1950 years.

    Now some of that may be due to the increasing complexity required to do innovation, but what makes me wonder is the huge drop-off in innovation that does occur in 1950. Except the internet, most of the innovation was just "faster, more efficient" versions of existing technology. Even EVs are old as a technology, over a century in fact. Airplanes have actually regressed(see concorde), though there is some hope with recent developments re: scramjets and the like.

    Basically, it seems to me that the drop-off in genetic IQ was not compensated fully by these other factors, or so it would seem given the huge decline in innovative capacity in the world in the post-1950 period. Is this a plausible hypothesis?

    Second, what are your opinions on the Chinese efforts at eugenics through their BGI research center. I'm not as clued in to transhumanism as you are, but aren't the chances decent that this decline in genetic IQ will be halted and perhaps even reversed with gene-editing, embryo-selection and so on? If that would be the case, then we'd likely see increased innovation from 2050 onwards, though I would posit that given the advances of AI, quantum computing and so on that we're currently seeing an explosion of (I believe James Thompson wrote an interesting piece on it recently), we're already seeing a large innovative phase. Maybe future innovation will become less human-dependent.

    Average IQ across population would rise due to better diets etc. bringing up the IQs of poor people; however, the elite IQ would not be helped as much by these factors. As a result, while national IQ averages are higher now than before, IQs of the brightest and most elite people are not. I suspect that those probably peaked a few decades ago, perhaps in the early 20th century.

    So for example average IQ in modern Germany is probably higher now than in the early 20th century, but modern Germany has not produced an Einstein, Planck or Heisenberg.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Average IQ across population would rise due to better diets etc. bringing up the IQs of poor people; however, the elite IQ would not be helped as much by these factors.
     
    This is a very common impression, but it seems to be wrong - the Flynn effect has historically acted on all social classes almost uniformly. The national environment seems to be all-important.

    I suspect the reason that Germany hasn't produced any world-beating geniuses since Einstein et al. is:

    1. Problems became far harder.
    2. Many of them left in the 1930s (Nazis) and 1950s/60s (brain drain).
    3. Other big countries (primarily: USA) developed large-scale research university systems; in the late 19th century, Germany was almost in a class of its own in this respect.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. @Polish Perspective
    I know next to nothing about IQ as a topic, so my question(s) will surely be very naïve. Nevertheless, you say that the decline of genetic IQ was compensated by environmental/dietary factors up to around 2000. Yet according to Robert J. Gordon, there was a huge decline in innovation in the post-1950s period. Certainly when compared to the 1800-1950 years.

    Now some of that may be due to the increasing complexity required to do innovation, but what makes me wonder is the huge drop-off in innovation that does occur in 1950. Except the internet, most of the innovation was just "faster, more efficient" versions of existing technology. Even EVs are old as a technology, over a century in fact. Airplanes have actually regressed(see concorde), though there is some hope with recent developments re: scramjets and the like.

    Basically, it seems to me that the drop-off in genetic IQ was not compensated fully by these other factors, or so it would seem given the huge decline in innovative capacity in the world in the post-1950 period. Is this a plausible hypothesis?

    Second, what are your opinions on the Chinese efforts at eugenics through their BGI research center. I'm not as clued in to transhumanism as you are, but aren't the chances decent that this decline in genetic IQ will be halted and perhaps even reversed with gene-editing, embryo-selection and so on? If that would be the case, then we'd likely see increased innovation from 2050 onwards, though I would posit that given the advances of AI, quantum computing and so on that we're currently seeing an explosion of (I believe James Thompson wrote an interesting piece on it recently), we're already seeing a large innovative phase. Maybe future innovation will become less human-dependent.

    Yet according to Robert J. Gordon, there was a huge decline in innovation in the post-1950s period… Now some of that may be due to the increasing complexity required to do innovation…

    I believe this is exactly the case. The “discovery threshold” for making new fundamental advances in science and technology almost never falls, and usually rises.

    I fleshed this out more fully here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/intro-apollos-ascent/

    Airplanes have actually regressed(see concorde)…

    I don’t think this is true. Concorde failed for economic reasons (sonic booms, horrendous fuel economy), not as a result of inability to maintain the technology.

    I’m not as clued in to transhumanism as you are, but aren’t the chances decent that this decline in genetic IQ will be halted and perhaps even reversed with gene-editing, embryo-selection and so on?

    Yes, there are all real technologies, and embryo selection for IQ is already becoming practical.

    Here is the best analysis of the situation today: https://www.gwern.net/Embryo-selection

    My default assumption is that much of the genomics of IQ will be uncovered within the next decade, allowing up to 10 IQ points / generation gain via embryo selection; within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.

    The question of when general AI appears is a black box. Might be in ten years, might be in 100, might be in 2018 (unlikely but not impossible). At that point, it is likely everything will start to change very quickly. Hopefully it will not occur too soon because AI safety is still very underdeveloped.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Greasy William

    Yes, there are all real technologies, and embryo selection for IQ is already becoming practical.
     
    1. Can you do it for beauty, height and athleticism too?

    2. What does embryo selection have to do with transhumanism?

    , @inertial

    within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.
     
    I can see that you have no kids. Families where children are several standard deviations smarter than parents would be horror show. No normal parents would wants that.

    The question of when general AI appears is a black box. Might be in ten years, might be in 100, might be in 2018 (unlikely but not impossible).
     
    Or it might be the likeliest alternative of all: never. AI is cargo cult.
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  9. @AP
    Average IQ across population would rise due to better diets etc. bringing up the IQs of poor people; however, the elite IQ would not be helped as much by these factors. As a result, while national IQ averages are higher now than before, IQs of the brightest and most elite people are not. I suspect that those probably peaked a few decades ago, perhaps in the early 20th century.

    So for example average IQ in modern Germany is probably higher now than in the early 20th century, but modern Germany has not produced an Einstein, Planck or Heisenberg.

    Average IQ across population would rise due to better diets etc. bringing up the IQs of poor people; however, the elite IQ would not be helped as much by these factors.

    This is a very common impression, but it seems to be wrong – the Flynn effect has historically acted on all social classes almost uniformly. The national environment seems to be all-important.

    I suspect the reason that Germany hasn’t produced any world-beating geniuses since Einstein et al. is:

    1. Problems became far harder.
    2. Many of them left in the 1930s (Nazis) and 1950s/60s (brain drain).
    3. Other big countries (primarily: USA) developed large-scale research university systems; in the late 19th century, Germany was almost in a class of its own in this respect.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Average IQ across population would rise due to better diets etc. bringing up the IQs of poor people; however, the elite IQ would not be helped as much by these factors.

    This is a very common impression, but it seems to be wrong – the Flynn effect has historically acted on all social classes almost uniformly.
     
    Is there evidence for this? Curricula at top schools seem to have been declining for decades. Literacy has grown, but literature has not improved (this may be subjective, but it has become simpler).

    1. Problems became far harder.
    2. Many of them left in the 1930s (Nazis) and 1950s/60s (brain drain).
    3. Other big countries (primarily: USA) developed large-scale research university systems; in the late 19th century, Germany was almost in a class of its own in this respect.
     
    1. This may be true. Although I suppose had the decline occurred 100 earlier one could have said the same.
    2. and 3. Sure. But has any place nowadays produced an Einstein, Planck or Heisenberg, despite the global population being much larger, and global literate population larger still, than it was in their time? Does Hawking belong in the category?
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  10. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Average IQ across population would rise due to better diets etc. bringing up the IQs of poor people; however, the elite IQ would not be helped as much by these factors.
     
    This is a very common impression, but it seems to be wrong - the Flynn effect has historically acted on all social classes almost uniformly. The national environment seems to be all-important.

    I suspect the reason that Germany hasn't produced any world-beating geniuses since Einstein et al. is:

    1. Problems became far harder.
    2. Many of them left in the 1930s (Nazis) and 1950s/60s (brain drain).
    3. Other big countries (primarily: USA) developed large-scale research university systems; in the late 19th century, Germany was almost in a class of its own in this respect.

    Average IQ across population would rise due to better diets etc. bringing up the IQs of poor people; however, the elite IQ would not be helped as much by these factors.

    This is a very common impression, but it seems to be wrong – the Flynn effect has historically acted on all social classes almost uniformly.

    Is there evidence for this? Curricula at top schools seem to have been declining for decades. Literacy has grown, but literature has not improved (this may be subjective, but it has become simpler).

    1. Problems became far harder.
    2. Many of them left in the 1930s (Nazis) and 1950s/60s (brain drain).
    3. Other big countries (primarily: USA) developed large-scale research university systems; in the late 19th century, Germany was almost in a class of its own in this respect.

    1. This may be true. Although I suppose had the decline occurred 100 earlier one could have said the same.
    2. and 3. Sure. But has any place nowadays produced an Einstein, Planck or Heisenberg, despite the global population being much larger, and global literate population larger still, than it was in their time? Does Hawking belong in the category?

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    While Einstein and other early twentieth century physicists had very important conceptual insights, in the end the ideas were quite simple and the mathematics involved rather elementary (from a contemporary perspective). And further major conceptual advances in particle physics were made in the middle and second half of the twentieth century. Dyson, Schwinger, Feynman, Gell-Mann, Glashow, Weinberg, Salam are important names too.

    While they are very unlikely to be as important in the history of science as the above, Einstein’s successors at the Institute for Advanced Study are certainly doing work of far greater complexity than Einstein ever did:

    http://www.sns.ias.edu/faculty

    I certainly think that the remaining open problems in physics are genuinely harder than those they have already been solved.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Haven't looked at curricula, but this...

    Literacy has grown, but literature has not improved (this may be subjective, but it has become simpler).
     
    I disagree with.

    Old prose tends to be turgid and overwrought. Modern prose is shorter, more efficient, much more readable.

    Yes, it is simpler, but simpler is better. I don't want to wade through 9,000 words for some verbose philosopher of yore to make the most trivial point.

    (In fairness, they didn't have modern word processors. Editing for brevity/clarity was a bitch without them).
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  11. Mr. XYZ says:

    : Are people who were born wealthy in Third World countries envrionmentally deprived, though? I mean, I understand that a high IQ poor person in the Third World could be envrionmentally deprived–with his or her actual IQ being lower than his or her genetic IQ potential–but what about a high IQ person in the Third World who was born wealthy (and who presumably had access to Western-style medical care and a Western-style standard of living for his or her entire life)?

    Also, are you suggesting that black children from wealthy families in the U.S. underperform relative to their genetic IQ? After all, black children from wealthy families in the U.S. perform about as well on the SAT as white children from poor families do. (Also, I would think that a black family which makes, say, $100 K or $200 K a year would have access to similar health care and a similar standard of living to a white family which makes that kind of money.)

    In addition to all of this, in regards to this part:

    within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.

    I used to think that this would be an extremely massive breakthrough. However, what has recently got me thinking is this–would many parents actually want to have a child which is, say, 5 standard deviations above them in intelligence? After all, with the cognitive clustering which is apparently going on in society right now, an extremely high IQ child might stop having a lot of contact with his or her low IQ parents (and let’s face, it, even a 130 IQ person would have a low IQ relative to a 200 IQ child) in adulthood. Plus, even during childhood, the extremely massive IQ gap between parents and their children could make it extremely hard for them to connect and even to interact to some extent. After all, there probably won’t be much shared interests between the low IQ parents and their high IQ children in such a scenario due to the fact that low IQ people and high IQ people appear to have very different interests (or, at least, this is what I suspect).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Darin

    However, what has recently got me thinking is this–would many parents actually want to have a child which is, say, 5 standard deviations above them in intelligence?
     
    Only already intelligent ones. Ordinary customers will design their children to resemble their favorite celebrities ( that will be long forgotten when the child grows up ;-) )

    But has any place nowadays produced an Einstein, Planck or Heisenberg, despite the global population being much larger, and global literate population larger still, than it was in their time?
     
    100 years ago, science was prestigious and scientists were admired, science today is low status and "nerds" are hated and despised. Modern geniuses pursue careers in banking, finance, law, community organizing etc, anything but science.
    , @The Big Red Scary
    Among scientists, there is a large gap between, say, high school science teachers and the real geniuses, but they still have plenty in common. It’s not unusual that both would enjoy good music, literature, foreign languages, travel. Do you think that some hyperintelligent child of intelligent parents would somehow be bored by Bach or Shakespeare? Maybe. But then the future is frightening indeed.
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  12. @Anatoly Karlin

    Yet according to Robert J. Gordon, there was a huge decline in innovation in the post-1950s period... Now some of that may be due to the increasing complexity required to do innovation...
     
    I believe this is exactly the case. The "discovery threshold" for making new fundamental advances in science and technology almost never falls, and usually rises.

    I fleshed this out more fully here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/intro-apollos-ascent/

    Airplanes have actually regressed(see concorde)...
     
    I don't think this is true. Concorde failed for economic reasons (sonic booms, horrendous fuel economy), not as a result of inability to maintain the technology.

    I’m not as clued in to transhumanism as you are, but aren’t the chances decent that this decline in genetic IQ will be halted and perhaps even reversed with gene-editing, embryo-selection and so on?
     
    Yes, there are all real technologies, and embryo selection for IQ is already becoming practical.

    Here is the best analysis of the situation today: https://www.gwern.net/Embryo-selection

    My default assumption is that much of the genomics of IQ will be uncovered within the next decade, allowing up to 10 IQ points / generation gain via embryo selection; within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.

    The question of when general AI appears is a black box. Might be in ten years, might be in 100, might be in 2018 (unlikely but not impossible). At that point, it is likely everything will start to change very quickly. Hopefully it will not occur too soon because AI safety is still very underdeveloped.

    Yes, there are all real technologies, and embryo selection for IQ is already becoming practical.

    1. Can you do it for beauty, height and athleticism too?

    2. What does embryo selection have to do with transhumanism?

    Read More
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  13. man if we are just able to genetically engineer Mike Tysons and Lebron James’ at will, sports are going to be totally pointless.

    The world is about to become a very boring place.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rifleman

    man if we are just able to genetically engineer Mike Tysons and Lebron James’ at will, sports are going to be totally pointless.
     
    You are underestimating robotics.

    Robot "athletes" are going to put human athletes out of business.

    Even this robot here is primitive compared to what is coming:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRj34o4hN4I
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  14. Darin says:
    @Mr. XYZ
    @Anatoly Karlin: Are people who were born wealthy in Third World countries envrionmentally deprived, though? I mean, I understand that a high IQ poor person in the Third World could be envrionmentally deprived--with his or her actual IQ being lower than his or her genetic IQ potential--but what about a high IQ person in the Third World who was born wealthy (and who presumably had access to Western-style medical care and a Western-style standard of living for his or her entire life)?

    Also, are you suggesting that black children from wealthy families in the U.S. underperform relative to their genetic IQ? After all, black children from wealthy families in the U.S. perform about as well on the SAT as white children from poor families do. (Also, I would think that a black family which makes, say, $100 K or $200 K a year would have access to similar health care and a similar standard of living to a white family which makes that kind of money.)

    In addition to all of this, in regards to this part:

    within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.
     
    I used to think that this would be an extremely massive breakthrough. However, what has recently got me thinking is this--would many parents actually want to have a child which is, say, 5 standard deviations above them in intelligence? After all, with the cognitive clustering which is apparently going on in society right now, an extremely high IQ child might stop having a lot of contact with his or her low IQ parents (and let's face, it, even a 130 IQ person would have a low IQ relative to a 200 IQ child) in adulthood. Plus, even during childhood, the extremely massive IQ gap between parents and their children could make it extremely hard for them to connect and even to interact to some extent. After all, there probably won't be much shared interests between the low IQ parents and their high IQ children in such a scenario due to the fact that low IQ people and high IQ people appear to have very different interests (or, at least, this is what I suspect).

    However, what has recently got me thinking is this–would many parents actually want to have a child which is, say, 5 standard deviations above them in intelligence?

    Only already intelligent ones. Ordinary customers will design their children to resemble their favorite celebrities ( that will be long forgotten when the child grows up ;-) )

    But has any place nowadays produced an Einstein, Planck or Heisenberg, despite the global population being much larger, and global literate population larger still, than it was in their time?

    100 years ago, science was prestigious and scientists were admired, science today is low status and “nerds” are hated and despised. Modern geniuses pursue careers in banking, finance, law, community organizing etc, anything but science.

    Read More
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  15. ussr andy says:
    @reiner Tor
    I thought Sputnik and RT were basically hard leftists except that they were pro-Russia hard leftists. It’s good to learn that some science managed to sneak into Sputnik at least.

    “RT”-RT is neutral. RT America and RT Deutsch (sic) are SJW Centrals, the sole redeeming quality being they also pick up genuine lefty stuff like war, Big Pharma and mass surveillance.

    Read More
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  16. ussr andy says:
    @German_reader
    This kind of quasi-religious environmentalist nonsense is extremely common in Germany, doesn't surprise me at all that ARTE pushed this. Probably also somewhat of a delayed reaction to Thilo Sarrazin's very successful books from early in this decade.

    I couldn’t watch arte even back when I used to watch TV. I was triggered the whole time. The Russia reporting was Novodvorskaya-worthy (hysterically liberal.) The kind of people who watch arte are turtleneck-wearing, Volvo driving Greens voters and their double-barrelled name wives, ugh

    Read More
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  17. inertial says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Yet according to Robert J. Gordon, there was a huge decline in innovation in the post-1950s period... Now some of that may be due to the increasing complexity required to do innovation...
     
    I believe this is exactly the case. The "discovery threshold" for making new fundamental advances in science and technology almost never falls, and usually rises.

    I fleshed this out more fully here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/intro-apollos-ascent/

    Airplanes have actually regressed(see concorde)...
     
    I don't think this is true. Concorde failed for economic reasons (sonic booms, horrendous fuel economy), not as a result of inability to maintain the technology.

    I’m not as clued in to transhumanism as you are, but aren’t the chances decent that this decline in genetic IQ will be halted and perhaps even reversed with gene-editing, embryo-selection and so on?
     
    Yes, there are all real technologies, and embryo selection for IQ is already becoming practical.

    Here is the best analysis of the situation today: https://www.gwern.net/Embryo-selection

    My default assumption is that much of the genomics of IQ will be uncovered within the next decade, allowing up to 10 IQ points / generation gain via embryo selection; within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.

    The question of when general AI appears is a black box. Might be in ten years, might be in 100, might be in 2018 (unlikely but not impossible). At that point, it is likely everything will start to change very quickly. Hopefully it will not occur too soon because AI safety is still very underdeveloped.

    within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.

    I can see that you have no kids. Families where children are several standard deviations smarter than parents would be horror show. No normal parents would wants that.

    The question of when general AI appears is a black box. Might be in ten years, might be in 100, might be in 2018 (unlikely but not impossible).

    Or it might be the likeliest alternative of all: never. AI is cargo cult.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Families where children are several standard deviations smarter than parents would be horror show. No normal parents would wants that.
     
    Indeed, the state should raise them.

    AI is cargo cult.
     
    But this cargo is smarter than us.
    Worship it!
    , @jimmyriddle
    " Families where children are several standard deviations smarter than parents would be horror show"


    That would seem to depend on personality types - would the IQ increase be correlated with increased psychopathy, reduced agreeableness etc?

    But competition will play a part in uptake - if your neighbours are boosting the IQ of their kids, yours won't get into universities, or find middle class work. So, it becomes a case of force majeure.

    I am pretty alarmed at the prospect, but once the tech works there is a certain inevitability about it.
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  18. Mitleser says:
    @inertial

    within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.
     
    I can see that you have no kids. Families where children are several standard deviations smarter than parents would be horror show. No normal parents would wants that.

    The question of when general AI appears is a black box. Might be in ten years, might be in 100, might be in 2018 (unlikely but not impossible).
     
    Or it might be the likeliest alternative of all: never. AI is cargo cult.

    Families where children are several standard deviations smarter than parents would be horror show. No normal parents would wants that.

    Indeed, the state should raise them.

    AI is cargo cult.

    But this cargo is smarter than us.
    Worship it!

    Read More
    • Replies: @S3

    the state should raise them.
     
    You underestimate the difficulty of controlling people like me.
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  19. World War II saw a a huge acceleration in important technologies. 6 years of “just do it, forget about the costs”. So, the late 40s saw things like jet airliners, helicopters, atomic energy, transistors.

    The pace was bound to drop after that. And a lot of European Jews, and hence a large proportion of the very high IQ population, perished.

    Read More
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  20. @inertial

    within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.
     
    I can see that you have no kids. Families where children are several standard deviations smarter than parents would be horror show. No normal parents would wants that.

    The question of when general AI appears is a black box. Might be in ten years, might be in 100, might be in 2018 (unlikely but not impossible).
     
    Or it might be the likeliest alternative of all: never. AI is cargo cult.

    ” Families where children are several standard deviations smarter than parents would be horror show”

    That would seem to depend on personality types – would the IQ increase be correlated with increased psychopathy, reduced agreeableness etc?

    But competition will play a part in uptake – if your neighbours are boosting the IQ of their kids, yours won’t get into universities, or find middle class work. So, it becomes a case of force majeure.

    I am pretty alarmed at the prospect, but once the tech works there is a certain inevitability about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @S3

    That would seem to depend on personality types
     
    No. I am three standard deviations above my family, and as agreeable as you can get. I still don't feel very much for them.

    there is a certain inevitability about it
     
    I don't know about that. One Hollywood movie about a genetically engineered psychopath murdering his parents might be enough to stop it.
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  21. S3 says:
    @jimmyriddle
    " Families where children are several standard deviations smarter than parents would be horror show"


    That would seem to depend on personality types - would the IQ increase be correlated with increased psychopathy, reduced agreeableness etc?

    But competition will play a part in uptake - if your neighbours are boosting the IQ of their kids, yours won't get into universities, or find middle class work. So, it becomes a case of force majeure.

    I am pretty alarmed at the prospect, but once the tech works there is a certain inevitability about it.

    That would seem to depend on personality types

    No. I am three standard deviations above my family, and as agreeable as you can get. I still don’t feel very much for them.

    there is a certain inevitability about it

    I don’t know about that. One Hollywood movie about a genetically engineered psychopath murdering his parents might be enough to stop it.

    Read More
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  22. S3 says:
    @Mitleser

    Families where children are several standard deviations smarter than parents would be horror show. No normal parents would wants that.
     
    Indeed, the state should raise them.

    AI is cargo cult.
     
    But this cargo is smarter than us.
    Worship it!

    the state should raise them.

    You underestimate the difficulty of controlling people like me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Old fogey
    "You underestimate the difficulty of controlling people like me."

    Somehow, S3, you do not sound as "agreeable" as you claim to be.
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  23. @AP

    Average IQ across population would rise due to better diets etc. bringing up the IQs of poor people; however, the elite IQ would not be helped as much by these factors.

    This is a very common impression, but it seems to be wrong – the Flynn effect has historically acted on all social classes almost uniformly.
     
    Is there evidence for this? Curricula at top schools seem to have been declining for decades. Literacy has grown, but literature has not improved (this may be subjective, but it has become simpler).

    1. Problems became far harder.
    2. Many of them left in the 1930s (Nazis) and 1950s/60s (brain drain).
    3. Other big countries (primarily: USA) developed large-scale research university systems; in the late 19th century, Germany was almost in a class of its own in this respect.
     
    1. This may be true. Although I suppose had the decline occurred 100 earlier one could have said the same.
    2. and 3. Sure. But has any place nowadays produced an Einstein, Planck or Heisenberg, despite the global population being much larger, and global literate population larger still, than it was in their time? Does Hawking belong in the category?

    While Einstein and other early twentieth century physicists had very important conceptual insights, in the end the ideas were quite simple and the mathematics involved rather elementary (from a contemporary perspective). And further major conceptual advances in particle physics were made in the middle and second half of the twentieth century. Dyson, Schwinger, Feynman, Gell-Mann, Glashow, Weinberg, Salam are important names too.

    While they are very unlikely to be as important in the history of science as the above, Einstein’s successors at the Institute for Advanced Study are certainly doing work of far greater complexity than Einstein ever did:

    http://www.sns.ias.edu/faculty

    I certainly think that the remaining open problems in physics are genuinely harder than those they have already been solved.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim
    Describing mathematics of the past as "elementary" because it's well-understood today is problematical. Was Archimedes's quadrature of the parabola elementary?
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  24. @Mr. XYZ
    @Anatoly Karlin: Are people who were born wealthy in Third World countries envrionmentally deprived, though? I mean, I understand that a high IQ poor person in the Third World could be envrionmentally deprived--with his or her actual IQ being lower than his or her genetic IQ potential--but what about a high IQ person in the Third World who was born wealthy (and who presumably had access to Western-style medical care and a Western-style standard of living for his or her entire life)?

    Also, are you suggesting that black children from wealthy families in the U.S. underperform relative to their genetic IQ? After all, black children from wealthy families in the U.S. perform about as well on the SAT as white children from poor families do. (Also, I would think that a black family which makes, say, $100 K or $200 K a year would have access to similar health care and a similar standard of living to a white family which makes that kind of money.)

    In addition to all of this, in regards to this part:

    within the next few decades, CRISPR or other gene editing technologies will advance to a stage where increases on the order of several standard deviations / generation become feasible.
     
    I used to think that this would be an extremely massive breakthrough. However, what has recently got me thinking is this--would many parents actually want to have a child which is, say, 5 standard deviations above them in intelligence? After all, with the cognitive clustering which is apparently going on in society right now, an extremely high IQ child might stop having a lot of contact with his or her low IQ parents (and let's face, it, even a 130 IQ person would have a low IQ relative to a 200 IQ child) in adulthood. Plus, even during childhood, the extremely massive IQ gap between parents and their children could make it extremely hard for them to connect and even to interact to some extent. After all, there probably won't be much shared interests between the low IQ parents and their high IQ children in such a scenario due to the fact that low IQ people and high IQ people appear to have very different interests (or, at least, this is what I suspect).

    Among scientists, there is a large gap between, say, high school science teachers and the real geniuses, but they still have plenty in common. It’s not unusual that both would enjoy good music, literature, foreign languages, travel. Do you think that some hyperintelligent child of intelligent parents would somehow be bored by Bach or Shakespeare? Maybe. But then the future is frightening indeed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Do you think that some hyperintelligent child of intelligent parents would somehow be bored by Bach or Shakespeare?
     
    It’s difficult to enjoy talking to someone who doesn’t have any insight into, well, anything. Do you think you could talk about Bach to a professional conductor in a way which he would find interesting?

    It’s not enough to have a topic you both like to be able to have a conversation.

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  25. phil says:

    Anatoly,

    A key point about the Woodley Effect is that it is on ‘g’ (“general intelligence”) and is not about IQ per se. As some of your readers are aware, ‘g’ can be calculated by applying factor analysis to the results of the various IQ sub-tests. As highlighted by Arthur Jensen, it is more strongly correlated with biological factors (nerve conduction velocity, brain size, brain-wave amplitude, etc.) than IQ itself (which is more susceptible to environmental influences).

    Innovation depends on ‘g’ and not on IQ per se, which explains why innovation was falling off even as the famous Flynn effect was raising IQ scores; the Flynn effect raised IQ scores, but not ‘g’. ‘g’ was falling because of dysgenic fertility patterns–and it is still falling. But doing something about falling ‘g’ means practicing eugenics, which is taboo.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    The first point is correct. The second ("innovation depends on ‘g’ and not on IQ per se") isn't at all obvious.
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  26. @phil
    Anatoly,

    A key point about the Woodley Effect is that it is on 'g' ("general intelligence") and is not about IQ per se. As some of your readers are aware, 'g' can be calculated by applying factor analysis to the results of the various IQ sub-tests. As highlighted by Arthur Jensen, it is more strongly correlated with biological factors (nerve conduction velocity, brain size, brain-wave amplitude, etc.) than IQ itself (which is more susceptible to environmental influences).

    Innovation depends on 'g' and not on IQ per se, which explains why innovation was falling off even as the famous Flynn effect was raising IQ scores; the Flynn effect raised IQ scores, but not 'g'. 'g' was falling because of dysgenic fertility patterns--and it is still falling. But doing something about falling 'g' means practicing eugenics, which is taboo.

    The first point is correct. The second (“innovation depends on ‘g’ and not on IQ per se”) isn’t at all obvious.

    Read More
    • Replies: @phil
    See Michael Woodley, "The social and scientific temporal correlates of genotypic intelligence and the Flynn effect," Intelligence 40, 189-204 (2012), for empirical work on the matter.

    From the abstract:
    "This finding indicates that the Flynn effect, whilst associated with developmental
    indicators and wealth, only minimally influences innovation rates, which appear instead to be most strongly promoted or inhibited by changes in genotypic intelligence" ['g'].

    , @phil
    The lag between the change in fertility patterns in the 19th century and the change in the rate of innovation in the mid-20th century should also be noted. A change in the per capita innovation rate occurred first, but this change was obscured by the fact that there was still population growth in the developed world to such an extent that the overall rate of innovation was maintained. However, the fall in 'g'/'genotypic intelligence' was eventually substantial enough to cause the overall rate of innovation to fall.

    The continued increase in population in Africa and in places receiving a lot of immigrants is not relevant in that the g-level/genotypic IQs of the people involved are not high enough to much affect the overall rate of innovation. Most innovation is due to people with genotypic IQs of 135 or higher.

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  27. @AP

    Average IQ across population would rise due to better diets etc. bringing up the IQs of poor people; however, the elite IQ would not be helped as much by these factors.

    This is a very common impression, but it seems to be wrong – the Flynn effect has historically acted on all social classes almost uniformly.
     
    Is there evidence for this? Curricula at top schools seem to have been declining for decades. Literacy has grown, but literature has not improved (this may be subjective, but it has become simpler).

    1. Problems became far harder.
    2. Many of them left in the 1930s (Nazis) and 1950s/60s (brain drain).
    3. Other big countries (primarily: USA) developed large-scale research university systems; in the late 19th century, Germany was almost in a class of its own in this respect.
     
    1. This may be true. Although I suppose had the decline occurred 100 earlier one could have said the same.
    2. and 3. Sure. But has any place nowadays produced an Einstein, Planck or Heisenberg, despite the global population being much larger, and global literate population larger still, than it was in their time? Does Hawking belong in the category?

    Haven’t looked at curricula, but this…

    Literacy has grown, but literature has not improved (this may be subjective, but it has become simpler).

    I disagree with.

    Old prose tends to be turgid and overwrought. Modern prose is shorter, more efficient, much more readable.

    Yes, it is simpler, but simpler is better. I don’t want to wade through 9,000 words for some verbose philosopher of yore to make the most trivial point.

    (In fairness, they didn’t have modern word processors. Editing for brevity/clarity was a bitch without them).

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Old prose tends to be turgid and overwrought. Modern prose is shorter, more efficient, much more readable.

    Yes, it is simpler, but simpler is better. I don’t want to wade through 9,000 words for some verbose philosopher of yore to make the most trivial point.
     

    I have a similar subjective impression as you do, because I am also a child of the modern world. But my interpretation is less optimistic (or self-aggrandizing?) than yours: perhaps we, bombarded by much more stimulation in short bursts, are simply less patient and contemplative than our great-grandparents? Something reduced to bullet-point may be quicker to read or digest, but does it provide the same meaning, nuances or subleties as a long, "verbose" text? What if the great-great-grandchildren communicate largely in something like emojis, abandoning written words almost entirely?

    Spengler wrote very poetically about this; he wrote at a time when newspapers and radio were replacing books (so in his time there was still more contemplative verbosity than in the age of the internet):

    " Man does not speak to man, the press and its associate, the electrical news service, keep the waking consciousness of whole peoples and continents under a deafening drum-fire of theses, catchwords, standpoints, scenes, feelings, day by day and year by year, so that every Ego becomes a mere function of a monstrous intellectual Something..."

    "Today we live so cowed under the bombardment of this intellectual artillery that hardly anyone can attain tot he inward detachment that is required for a clear view of the monstrous drama. The will-to-power operating under a pure democratic disguise has finished off its masterpiece so well that the object's sense of freedom is actually flattered by the most thorough- going enslavement that has ever existed...The book-world, with its profusion of standpoints that compelled thought to select and criticize, is now a profession for the few. The people reads one paper, "its" paper, which forces itself through the front doors by millions daily, drives the book into oblivion by its more engaging layout..."

    "There is no more appalling caricature of freedom of thought. Formerly no one was allowed to think freely; now it is permitted, but no one is capable of it any more."

    Spengler was making a point about mass indoctrination, but this observation can also point to how the intellect itself has become weaker due to constant distraction, a process that has accelerated from Spengler's age of newspapers and radio.

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  28. gdpbull says:

    Birth control has shifted human evolution into reverse. That’s been obvious for at least 40 years.

    Read More
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  29. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Haven't looked at curricula, but this...

    Literacy has grown, but literature has not improved (this may be subjective, but it has become simpler).
     
    I disagree with.

    Old prose tends to be turgid and overwrought. Modern prose is shorter, more efficient, much more readable.

    Yes, it is simpler, but simpler is better. I don't want to wade through 9,000 words for some verbose philosopher of yore to make the most trivial point.

    (In fairness, they didn't have modern word processors. Editing for brevity/clarity was a bitch without them).

    Old prose tends to be turgid and overwrought. Modern prose is shorter, more efficient, much more readable.

    Yes, it is simpler, but simpler is better. I don’t want to wade through 9,000 words for some verbose philosopher of yore to make the most trivial point.

    I have a similar subjective impression as you do, because I am also a child of the modern world. But my interpretation is less optimistic (or self-aggrandizing?) than yours: perhaps we, bombarded by much more stimulation in short bursts, are simply less patient and contemplative than our great-grandparents? Something reduced to bullet-point may be quicker to read or digest, but does it provide the same meaning, nuances or subleties as a long, “verbose” text? What if the great-great-grandchildren communicate largely in something like emojis, abandoning written words almost entirely?

    Spengler wrote very poetically about this; he wrote at a time when newspapers and radio were replacing books (so in his time there was still more contemplative verbosity than in the age of the internet):

    ” Man does not speak to man, the press and its associate, the electrical news service, keep the waking consciousness of whole peoples and continents under a deafening drum-fire of theses, catchwords, standpoints, scenes, feelings, day by day and year by year, so that every Ego becomes a mere function of a monstrous intellectual Something…”

    “Today we live so cowed under the bombardment of this intellectual artillery that hardly anyone can attain tot he inward detachment that is required for a clear view of the monstrous drama. The will-to-power operating under a pure democratic disguise has finished off its masterpiece so well that the object’s sense of freedom is actually flattered by the most thorough- going enslavement that has ever existed…The book-world, with its profusion of standpoints that compelled thought to select and criticize, is now a profession for the few. The people reads one paper, “its” paper, which forces itself through the front doors by millions daily, drives the book into oblivion by its more engaging layout…”

    “There is no more appalling caricature of freedom of thought. Formerly no one was allowed to think freely; now it is permitted, but no one is capable of it any more.”

    Spengler was making a point about mass indoctrination, but this observation can also point to how the intellect itself has become weaker due to constant distraction, a process that has accelerated from Spengler’s age of newspapers and radio.

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  30. I’m curious about how the Woodley effect would work in a particular place like North Korea. It’s definitely industrialized, but still unique in that keeps Malthusian features.

    Upkeeping its bloated military, and pursuing their weapons programs require certain meritocratic selection. Its TFR is considerably higher than in the South and we know them to encourage fertility to catch up with them. It seems they’re accused of practising eugenics, too, and if we’re to believe the “Cleanest race” thesis, quite racially conscious as well. Don’t know how much stock to put in all this, though.

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  31. The Germans will tell you it is things like Glycophosphates, etc., which is why one cannot find useful things like Roundup weed killer and gel deodorant in Germany while, oddly enough, you can find them in France: Yet both countries experience comparable cognitive decline. Ceteris paribus, the main constant among the two and indeed across the broader group of other higher-IQ nations in the developed world is overwhelming migration from LDCs.

    I will also posit that the Western obsession with protecting the common person from the real and perceived dangers in the world is defeating the salutary effects of Darwinian natural selection. That coupled with an obsession to other-sexualize society in ways that suppress child-bearing among those who might otherwise be considered the brighter bulbs in society necessarily leads to a dilution in the IQ pool.

    ‘Duh’ is probably more appropriate here than QED or QEF.

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  32. phil says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    The first point is correct. The second ("innovation depends on ‘g’ and not on IQ per se") isn't at all obvious.

    See Michael Woodley, “The social and scientific temporal correlates of genotypic intelligence and the Flynn effect,” Intelligence 40, 189-204 (2012), for empirical work on the matter.

    From the abstract:
    “This finding indicates that the Flynn effect, whilst associated with developmental
    indicators and wealth, only minimally influences innovation rates, which appear instead to be most strongly promoted or inhibited by changes in genotypic intelligence” ['g'].

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  33. phil says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    The first point is correct. The second ("innovation depends on ‘g’ and not on IQ per se") isn't at all obvious.

    The lag between the change in fertility patterns in the 19th century and the change in the rate of innovation in the mid-20th century should also be noted. A change in the per capita innovation rate occurred first, but this change was obscured by the fact that there was still population growth in the developed world to such an extent that the overall rate of innovation was maintained. However, the fall in ‘g’/’genotypic intelligence’ was eventually substantial enough to cause the overall rate of innovation to fall.

    The continued increase in population in Africa and in places receiving a lot of immigrants is not relevant in that the g-level/genotypic IQs of the people involved are not high enough to much affect the overall rate of innovation. Most innovation is due to people with genotypic IQs of 135 or higher.

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  34. Jim says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    While Einstein and other early twentieth century physicists had very important conceptual insights, in the end the ideas were quite simple and the mathematics involved rather elementary (from a contemporary perspective). And further major conceptual advances in particle physics were made in the middle and second half of the twentieth century. Dyson, Schwinger, Feynman, Gell-Mann, Glashow, Weinberg, Salam are important names too.

    While they are very unlikely to be as important in the history of science as the above, Einstein’s successors at the Institute for Advanced Study are certainly doing work of far greater complexity than Einstein ever did:

    http://www.sns.ias.edu/faculty

    I certainly think that the remaining open problems in physics are genuinely harder than those they have already been solved.

    Describing mathematics of the past as “elementary” because it’s well-understood today is problematical. Was Archimedes’s quadrature of the parabola elementary?

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  35. Old fogey says:
    @S3

    the state should raise them.
     
    You underestimate the difficulty of controlling people like me.

    “You underestimate the difficulty of controlling people like me.”

    Somehow, S3, you do not sound as “agreeable” as you claim to be.

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    Teen Me versus Pre-Teen Me
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  36. Rifleman says:
    @Greasy William
    man if we are just able to genetically engineer Mike Tysons and Lebron James' at will, sports are going to be totally pointless.

    The world is about to become a very boring place.

    man if we are just able to genetically engineer Mike Tysons and Lebron James’ at will, sports are going to be totally pointless.

    You are underestimating robotics.

    Robot “athletes” are going to put human athletes out of business.

    Even this robot here is primitive compared to what is coming:

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  37. S3 says:
    @Old fogey
    "You underestimate the difficulty of controlling people like me."

    Somehow, S3, you do not sound as "agreeable" as you claim to be.

    Teen Me versus Pre-Teen Me

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  38. @The Big Red Scary
    Among scientists, there is a large gap between, say, high school science teachers and the real geniuses, but they still have plenty in common. It’s not unusual that both would enjoy good music, literature, foreign languages, travel. Do you think that some hyperintelligent child of intelligent parents would somehow be bored by Bach or Shakespeare? Maybe. But then the future is frightening indeed.

    Do you think that some hyperintelligent child of intelligent parents would somehow be bored by Bach or Shakespeare?

    It’s difficult to enjoy talking to someone who doesn’t have any insight into, well, anything. Do you think you could talk about Bach to a professional conductor in a way which he would find interesting?

    It’s not enough to have a topic you both like to be able to have a conversation.

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