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    Tang, Lichun et al. 2017 CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human zygotes using Cas9 protein Abstract: Gwern Branwen's comments: Back in February 2015, qualia researcher Mike Johnson predicted that dedicated billionaire with scant regard for legalistic regulations could start
  • @Abelard Lindsey
    Many of the "right" blogs on the internet is full of warnings about dysgenics and the coming idiocracy. Yet, many of those same blogs feature commentary that is actually opposed to using bio-engineering to overcome that dysgenics and coming idiocracy. Should not negative attitudes towards bio-engineering on the part of "right" thinking people also be considered an example of that dysgenics and idiocracy?

    I have done what I could to promote this viewpoint amongst the Alt Right, both online and in person, however I suppose it is ultimately up to the Alt Right themselves what to do about it.

    Some are in favor – generally the younger and higher IQ sorts, and some are aghast – generally the more religious/traditionalist wing.

    That said, I am not sure that the Progressive Left is all that more, or at all, … progressive on these issues. In my experience, they tend to have a very negative view of bioengineering, since they do in fact view it as being similar to eugenics and something which will magnify the gap between the haves and the have nots, the privileged and the unprivileged. This goes against their leveling philosophy.

    In my experience, the most technophilic political faction are libertarians.

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  • Many of the “right” blogs on the internet is full of warnings about dysgenics and the coming idiocracy. Yet, many of those same blogs feature commentary that is actually opposed to using bio-engineering to overcome that dysgenics and coming idiocracy. Should not negative attitudes towards bio-engineering on the part of “right” thinking people also be considered an example of that dysgenics and idiocracy?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I have done what I could to promote this viewpoint amongst the Alt Right, both online and in person, however I suppose it is ultimately up to the Alt Right themselves what to do about it.

    Some are in favor - generally the younger and higher IQ sorts, and some are aghast - generally the more religious/traditionalist wing.

    That said, I am not sure that the Progressive Left is all that more, or at all, ... progressive on these issues. In my experience, they tend to have a very negative view of bioengineering, since they do in fact view it as being similar to eugenics and something which will magnify the gap between the haves and the have nots, the privileged and the unprivileged. This goes against their leveling philosophy.

    In my experience, the most technophilic political faction are libertarians.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I’m for directed evolution. It can’t be any worse than the current evolutionarily regressive path man is on.

    We are the common ancestor-to-be of augmented man and machine intelligence.

    Exciting times, for sure.

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  • Sad!

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  • So now that I'm blogging more or less regularly again I've been thinking of setting up a bit more of a structured schedule. Probably it will be minor posts interspersed throughout the week, with a compendium of my best Ask.fm questions and major posts (called Big Posts) every Thursday or Friday which will (generally) run...
  • @Anonymous
    No, they don't indiscriminately project every negative attribute on each other. The various stereotypes in the region have a long history, they don't just completely change instantly depending on what the political situation is like at the moment. Rural primitivism is one of them, but stupidity or slowness just isn't. The big stereotype about Montenegrins is that they're lazy. If their average IQ was really so low, it seems obvious the others would taunt them over it. The Croats would especially have plenty of motivation to do so, as Montenegrins shelled Croatia's south in 1991. And yet they don't.

    Sure, popular prejudices don't prove anything, but they're enough for me to be skeptical of this. Are there other examples of the higher IQ group having no clue whatsoever that the other group is, on average, significantly dimmer?

    Bringing up Murray as proof that these estimates are correct doesn't make sense when Croats and Slovenes, with their supposedly much higher IQ, are just as irrelevant in Murray's findings.

    I don't reject the possibility of a difference in average IQ between these countries but, if there is one, I'd expect it to be a couple of points, similar to the one Lynn finds between Austria and the northwestern ex-Yugoslavian countries. My reluctance is surprise and skepticism not over there being an IQ gap, but over the size of this supposed gap, based on years of experience in the region.

    Very well, but without prolonging this further, let me ask you one question. If your problem is with the IQ disparity between Croats and Serbs, how is it that you can take that disparity as an excuse to revise Serb IQ upwards instead of revising Croat IQ downwards?

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  • @Anonymous
    Then how do you explain Slovenia having a much higher per capita GDP than Croatia? There's no Lynn IQ explanation there. People in the region see all of it as a consequence of which empire which country was part of historically. Slovenia and, to a lesser degree, Croatia had the advantage of being part of Austria-Hungary.

    Sure. Are people seriously claiming that Serbs genetically have a 6 point or whatever IQ disadvantage vs. Croats? The real and measurable Serb IQ disadvantage is probably mostly environmental and probably due to Serbs having been in the Balkan rather Austro-Hungarian world.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Irving
    Being that Croats and serbs fought a genocidal war vs one another, and hate each other till this day, it's hard to believe that of all the negative stereotypes they must of each other, none have to do with insulting the others intelligence. After all the bad blood, they probably project every negative attribute one each other indiscriminately. The point here is that it doesn't seem valid to base your rejection of the evidence for low serbia and Montenegrin iq on the basis of what the popular prejudices in that region may or may not be.

    And, I only brought up Murray in order to point out that were the serbs and Montenegrin s smarter than the evidence suggests they are, the expectation would be that they would be more intellectually accomplished than they are. After all, it makes sense that not much of value has come out of black africa, considering mean it's there. And the same is the case with the serbs.

    Anyway, there's been much research on this done by Lynn and Rushton, and many others besides, so I really don't get your reluctance to accept what the evidence, which is abundant, clearly suggests.

    No, they don’t indiscriminately project every negative attribute on each other. The various stereotypes in the region have a long history, they don’t just completely change instantly depending on what the political situation is like at the moment. Rural primitivism is one of them, but stupidity or slowness just isn’t. The big stereotype about Montenegrins is that they’re lazy. If their average IQ was really so low, it seems obvious the others would taunt them over it. The Croats would especially have plenty of motivation to do so, as Montenegrins shelled Croatia’s south in 1991. And yet they don’t.

    Sure, popular prejudices don’t prove anything, but they’re enough for me to be skeptical of this. Are there other examples of the higher IQ group having no clue whatsoever that the other group is, on average, significantly dimmer?

    Bringing up Murray as proof that these estimates are correct doesn’t make sense when Croats and Slovenes, with their supposedly much higher IQ, are just as irrelevant in Murray’s findings.

    I don’t reject the possibility of a difference in average IQ between these countries but, if there is one, I’d expect it to be a couple of points, similar to the one Lynn finds between Austria and the northwestern ex-Yugoslavian countries. My reluctance is surprise and skepticism not over there being an IQ gap, but over the size of this supposed gap, based on years of experience in the region.

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    • Replies: @Irving
    Very well, but without prolonging this further, let me ask you one question. If your problem is with the IQ disparity between Croats and Serbs, how is it that you can take that disparity as an excuse to revise Serb IQ upwards instead of revising Croat IQ downwards?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @AP
    Croatia has a much higher per capita GDP than Serbia or Montenegro, without a non-IQ explanation such as having superior natural resources. And this has been historically the case. Croatia's literacy rate is 99.2%, Serbia's is 98%. Croatia's tertiary education rate in 2012 was 62%, Serbia's 52%:

    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.TER.ENRR

    There is nothing surprising about Serbs having significantly low mean IQ than Croats.

    Then how do you explain Slovenia having a much higher per capita GDP than Croatia? There’s no Lynn IQ explanation there. People in the region see all of it as a consequence of which empire which country was part of historically. Slovenia and, to a lesser degree, Croatia had the advantage of being part of Austria-Hungary.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Sure. Are people seriously claiming that Serbs genetically have a 6 point or whatever IQ disadvantage vs. Croats? The real and measurable Serb IQ disadvantage is probably mostly environmental and probably due to Serbs having been in the Balkan rather Austro-Hungarian world.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anonymous
    Of course a population with an average IQ of 86 will still produce intelligent people. But these are neighboring groups that speak the same language and spent a century as part of the same country, they know each other intimately. They have so many stereotypes of each other, yet none of them are about the other group being dim. I can't think of another example of populations with such an IQ gap that are so familiar with each other without the higher IQ population regarding the lower IQ population as a bit dim.

    Not sure what Murray has to do with this. I'm not comparing Montenegrins to Northern and Western Europeans, I'm comparing them to other South Slavs. All of these groups have produced few internationally notable individuals, Croatia and Slovenia included. And at the local level, Serbia and Montenegro don't lag behind their supposedly smarter northern neighbors in producing stuff of value. All these groups are equally irrelevant to the wider world, and equally relevant locally. So I remain skeptical about this IQ gap.

    Being that Croats and serbs fought a genocidal war vs one another, and hate each other till this day, it’s hard to believe that of all the negative stereotypes they must of each other, none have to do with insulting the others intelligence. After all the bad blood, they probably project every negative attribute one each other indiscriminately. The point here is that it doesn’t seem valid to base your rejection of the evidence for low serbia and Montenegrin iq on the basis of what the popular prejudices in that region may or may not be.

    And, I only brought up Murray in order to point out that were the serbs and Montenegrin s smarter than the evidence suggests they are, the expectation would be that they would be more intellectually accomplished than they are. After all, it makes sense that not much of value has come out of black africa, considering mean it’s there. And the same is the case with the serbs.

    Anyway, there’s been much research on this done by Lynn and Rushton, and many others besides, so I really don’t get your reluctance to accept what the evidence, which is abundant, clearly suggests.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    No, they don't indiscriminately project every negative attribute on each other. The various stereotypes in the region have a long history, they don't just completely change instantly depending on what the political situation is like at the moment. Rural primitivism is one of them, but stupidity or slowness just isn't. The big stereotype about Montenegrins is that they're lazy. If their average IQ was really so low, it seems obvious the others would taunt them over it. The Croats would especially have plenty of motivation to do so, as Montenegrins shelled Croatia's south in 1991. And yet they don't.

    Sure, popular prejudices don't prove anything, but they're enough for me to be skeptical of this. Are there other examples of the higher IQ group having no clue whatsoever that the other group is, on average, significantly dimmer?

    Bringing up Murray as proof that these estimates are correct doesn't make sense when Croats and Slovenes, with their supposedly much higher IQ, are just as irrelevant in Murray's findings.

    I don't reject the possibility of a difference in average IQ between these countries but, if there is one, I'd expect it to be a couple of points, similar to the one Lynn finds between Austria and the northwestern ex-Yugoslavian countries. My reluctance is surprise and skepticism not over there being an IQ gap, but over the size of this supposed gap, based on years of experience in the region.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anonymous
    Of course a population with an average IQ of 86 will still produce intelligent people. But these are neighboring groups that speak the same language and spent a century as part of the same country, they know each other intimately. They have so many stereotypes of each other, yet none of them are about the other group being dim. I can't think of another example of populations with such an IQ gap that are so familiar with each other without the higher IQ population regarding the lower IQ population as a bit dim.

    Not sure what Murray has to do with this. I'm not comparing Montenegrins to Northern and Western Europeans, I'm comparing them to other South Slavs. All of these groups have produced few internationally notable individuals, Croatia and Slovenia included. And at the local level, Serbia and Montenegro don't lag behind their supposedly smarter northern neighbors in producing stuff of value. All these groups are equally irrelevant to the wider world, and equally relevant locally. So I remain skeptical about this IQ gap.

    Croatia has a much higher per capita GDP than Serbia or Montenegro, without a non-IQ explanation such as having superior natural resources. And this has been historically the case. Croatia’s literacy rate is 99.2%, Serbia’s is 98%. Croatia’s tertiary education rate in 2012 was 62%, Serbia’s 52%:

    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.TER.ENRR

    There is nothing surprising about Serbs having significantly low mean IQ than Croats.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Then how do you explain Slovenia having a much higher per capita GDP than Croatia? There's no Lynn IQ explanation there. People in the region see all of it as a consequence of which empire which country was part of historically. Slovenia and, to a lesser degree, Croatia had the advantage of being part of Austria-Hungary.
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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Irving
    It isn't clear that having an IQ of 86-90 makes someone stupid, per se. In any case, a population with that average IQ will be able to produce enough intelligent people (with 120+ IQs), such that no one will say the entire population is made up of idiots. In any case, have a look at Charles Murray's book Human Accomplishment. If we're to take him seriously, these populations have contributed as little as any other supposedly backwards population groups outside of Europe. If he's right, only Northern/Western Europeans and Northeast Asians have contributed anything of value

    Of course a population with an average IQ of 86 will still produce intelligent people. But these are neighboring groups that speak the same language and spent a century as part of the same country, they know each other intimately. They have so many stereotypes of each other, yet none of them are about the other group being dim. I can’t think of another example of populations with such an IQ gap that are so familiar with each other without the higher IQ population regarding the lower IQ population as a bit dim.

    Not sure what Murray has to do with this. I’m not comparing Montenegrins to Northern and Western Europeans, I’m comparing them to other South Slavs. All of these groups have produced few internationally notable individuals, Croatia and Slovenia included. And at the local level, Serbia and Montenegro don’t lag behind their supposedly smarter northern neighbors in producing stuff of value. All these groups are equally irrelevant to the wider world, and equally relevant locally. So I remain skeptical about this IQ gap.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Croatia has a much higher per capita GDP than Serbia or Montenegro, without a non-IQ explanation such as having superior natural resources. And this has been historically the case. Croatia's literacy rate is 99.2%, Serbia's is 98%. Croatia's tertiary education rate in 2012 was 62%, Serbia's 52%:

    http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.TER.ENRR

    There is nothing surprising about Serbs having significantly low mean IQ than Croats.
    , @Irving
    Being that Croats and serbs fought a genocidal war vs one another, and hate each other till this day, it's hard to believe that of all the negative stereotypes they must of each other, none have to do with insulting the others intelligence. After all the bad blood, they probably project every negative attribute one each other indiscriminately. The point here is that it doesn't seem valid to base your rejection of the evidence for low serbia and Montenegrin iq on the basis of what the popular prejudices in that region may or may not be.

    And, I only brought up Murray in order to point out that were the serbs and Montenegrin s smarter than the evidence suggests they are, the expectation would be that they would be more intellectually accomplished than they are. After all, it makes sense that not much of value has come out of black africa, considering mean it's there. And the same is the case with the serbs.

    Anyway, there's been much research on this done by Lynn and Rushton, and many others besides, so I really don't get your reluctance to accept what the evidence, which is abundant, clearly suggests.
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  • @AP
    Better late than never:

    The nationalists might not enjoy huge electoral support, but they have a lot of armed, violent men in their ranks, and that is likely what by far the most important consideration in Ukraine nowadays. If they can overthrow one President, then they can overthrow a second one as well, if the circumstances are right.
     
    Armed violent men would not have overthrown the previous President if the majority if the people of Kiev (and a plurality of the country) did not want the President to be overthrown. Unless this happens with Poroshenko, he will be safe form armed nationalists.

    But if we consider a what-if in which there was no WW1 and the Russian Empire did not become the USSR, it would also have avoided the “multinational” experiments that created Ukraine and Belarus, and both those regions would have become firmly Russian
     
    I'm no expert on Belarus, but I suspect Ukraine would not have been so easy to digest you would have hoped. Russians falsely and optimistically assume Ukrainians and Russians are one people and that Polish rule was an aberration. Minimizing the Polish impact on Ukrainian society (Ukrainian nationalists do this too, to a very large extent they whitewash Ukraine's Polish roots) leads to a false view of Ukrainians and incorrect "what-if" scenarios. Reality is that Polish linguistic and cultural influence on the Ukrainian was no less than French-Norman influence on the Germanic/Celtic people of England whom the Normans conquered. Ukraine spend more time as part of Poland-Lithuania than as part of Russia. Its elite (including Orthodox, including those who fought against the Polish state) spoke Polish for generations, and there was considerable mixing between the two peoples in all strata of society - Polish peasant settlers marrying their neighbors, Polish gentry marrying Rus gentry and Cossack officers. Just as English, a Germanic language, has more words in common with French than with German, so Ukrainian, an East Slavic language has more words in common with Polish than with Russian.

    This is reflected in historical events. Somehow Ukrainians were more likely to betray Russia than were other "Russians." There was no Mazepa in any ethnic Russian region.

    Prior to Bolshevism, various Ukrainian parties easily won the Russian Constituent Assembly election in 1917. During the Revolution and Civil War, there was virtually no support for the Whites among ethnic Ukrainians in Ukraine (Whites were the choice for Russian patriots), and very spotty support for the Reds. Ethnic Ukrainians supported a chaotic bunch of nationalists (Petliura) or anarchists (Makhno). Soviet nationality policy in Ukraine was more of an attempt to secure loyalty by appealing to native sentiments and coopting local elites than about the creation of new sentiments.

    I couldn’t copy-edit or revise my comment above. I wanted to add that Ukraine is neither “Rus” as Ukrainian nationalists claim (nor is Russia simply Rus), nor Russia as Russian nationalists insist it is. The historical, linguistic, and demographic ingredients are all present, for the existence of a separate ethnos that developed sometime in the 16th century. This explains events in Ukraine more realistically than does the idea of a series of Polish, Austrian, German, and neocon/zionist plots.

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  • Better late than never:

    The nationalists might not enjoy huge electoral support, but they have a lot of armed, violent men in their ranks, and that is likely what by far the most important consideration in Ukraine nowadays. If they can overthrow one President, then they can overthrow a second one as well, if the circumstances are right.

    Armed violent men would not have overthrown the previous President if the majority if the people of Kiev (and a plurality of the country) did not want the President to be overthrown. Unless this happens with Poroshenko, he will be safe form armed nationalists.

    But if we consider a what-if in which there was no WW1 and the Russian Empire did not become the USSR, it would also have avoided the “multinational” experiments that created Ukraine and Belarus, and both those regions would have become firmly Russian

    I’m no expert on Belarus, but I suspect Ukraine would not have been so easy to digest you would have hoped. Russians falsely and optimistically assume Ukrainians and Russians are one people and that Polish rule was an aberration. Minimizing the Polish impact on Ukrainian society (Ukrainian nationalists do this too, to a very large extent they whitewash Ukraine’s Polish roots) leads to a false view of Ukrainians and incorrect “what-if” scenarios. Reality is that Polish linguistic and cultural influence on the Ukrainian was no less than French-Norman influence on the Germanic/Celtic people of England whom the Normans conquered. Ukraine spend more time as part of Poland-Lithuania than as part of Russia. Its elite (including Orthodox, including those who fought against the Polish state) spoke Polish for generations, and there was considerable mixing between the two peoples in all strata of society – Polish peasant settlers marrying their neighbors, Polish gentry marrying Rus gentry and Cossack officers. Just as English, a Germanic language, has more words in common with French than with German, so Ukrainian, an East Slavic language has more words in common with Polish than with Russian.

    This is reflected in historical events. Somehow Ukrainians were more likely to betray Russia than were other “Russians.” There was no Mazepa in any ethnic Russian region.

    Prior to Bolshevism, various Ukrainian parties easily won the Russian Constituent Assembly election in 1917. During the Revolution and Civil War, there was virtually no support for the Whites among ethnic Ukrainians in Ukraine (Whites were the choice for Russian patriots), and very spotty support for the Reds. Ethnic Ukrainians supported a chaotic bunch of nationalists (Petliura) or anarchists (Makhno). Soviet nationality policy in Ukraine was more of an attempt to secure loyalty by appealing to native sentiments and coopting local elites than about the creation of new sentiments.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I couldn't copy-edit or revise my comment above. I wanted to add that Ukraine is neither "Rus" as Ukrainian nationalists claim (nor is Russia simply Rus), nor Russia as Russian nationalists insist it is. The historical, linguistic, and demographic ingredients are all present, for the existence of a separate ethnos that developed sometime in the 16th century. This explains events in Ukraine more realistically than does the idea of a series of Polish, Austrian, German, and neocon/zionist plots.
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  • @FLOR solitaria
    "Emmanuel Todd’s work suggests that a transition to Communism was not an accident. Virtually all countries/regions with the exogamous communitarian family system (Eurasia, China, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Cuba) took “naturally” to Communism, at least in the beginning."

    Go figure.
    So no bloody revolutions imposed from the outside with foreign money and foreign soldiers, no traitors to their own countries, no domestic terror to establish the one party system and wipe out the opposition, no destruction of religion and of the intellectual elites (which "naturally" lowers the collective IQ of a country)..
    It was all natural and benign, eh ?

    What you failed to notice amidst your rant is that I made exactly zero moral judgments.

    Communist rule in all those countries (plus Hungary which I forgot to mention) arose organically without the need for any foreign intervention except Bulgaria (and even there attitudes towards Communism were always far warmer than in states like Poland or Romania).

    The genius of Emmanuel Todd was in recognizing the family structure (strongly exogamous communitarianism) that underlay these otherwise seemingly unconnected countris – Russia, Hungary, China, Cuba.

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  • @German_reader
    Unconditional basic income, I'd suppose.

    Thanks.

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  • @szopen
    Compare popularity of communist party in France and Poland, by the way (before communism was imposed on Poland by USSR).

    before communism was imposed on Poland by USSR

    Did that imposition endear the communist party to the Polish population?

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  • @FLOR solitaria
    "Emmanuel Todd’s work suggests that a transition to Communism was not an accident. Virtually all countries/regions with the exogamous communitarian family system (Eurasia, China, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Cuba) took “naturally” to Communism, at least in the beginning."

    Go figure.
    So no bloody revolutions imposed from the outside with foreign money and foreign soldiers, no traitors to their own countries, no domestic terror to establish the one party system and wipe out the opposition, no destruction of religion and of the intellectual elites (which "naturally" lowers the collective IQ of a country)..
    It was all natural and benign, eh ?

    Compare popularity of communist party in France and Poland, by the way (before communism was imposed on Poland by USSR).

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    before communism was imposed on Poland by USSR
     
    Did that imposition endear the communist party to the Polish population?
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  • @reiner Tor
    What is UBI?

    Unconditional basic income, I’d suppose.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Thanks.
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  • @Anonymous
    But wouldn't the people notice? There are no "stupid Serb" or "stupid Montenegrin" stereotypes in Croatia. A couple of points I could buy, but 10 points between Croatia and Montenegro I can't really square with real life experience.

    It isn’t clear that having an IQ of 86-90 makes someone stupid, per se. In any case, a population with that average IQ will be able to produce enough intelligent people (with 120+ IQs), such that no one will say the entire population is made up of idiots. In any case, have a look at Charles Murray’s book Human Accomplishment. If we’re to take him seriously, these populations have contributed as little as any other supposedly backwards population groups outside of Europe. If he’s right, only Northern/Western Europeans and Northeast Asians have contributed anything of value

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Of course a population with an average IQ of 86 will still produce intelligent people. But these are neighboring groups that speak the same language and spent a century as part of the same country, they know each other intimately. They have so many stereotypes of each other, yet none of them are about the other group being dim. I can't think of another example of populations with such an IQ gap that are so familiar with each other without the higher IQ population regarding the lower IQ population as a bit dim.

    Not sure what Murray has to do with this. I'm not comparing Montenegrins to Northern and Western Europeans, I'm comparing them to other South Slavs. All of these groups have produced few internationally notable individuals, Croatia and Slovenia included. And at the local level, Serbia and Montenegro don't lag behind their supposedly smarter northern neighbors in producing stuff of value. All these groups are equally irrelevant to the wider world, and equally relevant locally. So I remain skeptical about this IQ gap.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • What is UBI?

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Unconditional basic income, I'd suppose.
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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    According to average PISA score in 2009 (converted to IQ):

    Croatia = 96
    Serbia = 91
    Bulgaria = 90
    Montenegro = 86
    Albania = 83

    But wouldn’t the people notice? There are no “stupid Serb” or “stupid Montenegrin” stereotypes in Croatia. A couple of points I could buy, but 10 points between Croatia and Montenegro I can’t really square with real life experience.

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    • Replies: @Irving
    It isn't clear that having an IQ of 86-90 makes someone stupid, per se. In any case, a population with that average IQ will be able to produce enough intelligent people (with 120+ IQs), such that no one will say the entire population is made up of idiots. In any case, have a look at Charles Murray's book Human Accomplishment. If we're to take him seriously, these populations have contributed as little as any other supposedly backwards population groups outside of Europe. If he's right, only Northern/Western Europeans and Northeast Asians have contributed anything of value
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • BCD says: • Website

    France’s higher productivity makes perfect sense when you consider the difficulty of firing people in France. If you’re an employer, you had better make damn sure you are hiring productive workers. Corollary: high French unemployment.

    By contrast, employers who can fire at will only need to find people who are marginally productive.

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  • “Emmanuel Todd’s work suggests that a transition to Communism was not an accident. Virtually all countries/regions with the exogamous communitarian family system (Eurasia, China, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Cuba) took “naturally” to Communism, at least in the beginning.”

    Go figure.
    So no bloody revolutions imposed from the outside with foreign money and foreign soldiers, no traitors to their own countries, no domestic terror to establish the one party system and wipe out the opposition, no destruction of religion and of the intellectual elites (which “naturally” lowers the collective IQ of a country)..
    It was all natural and benign, eh ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @szopen
    Compare popularity of communist party in France and Poland, by the way (before communism was imposed on Poland by USSR).
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    What you failed to notice amidst your rant is that I made exactly zero moral judgments.

    Communist rule in all those countries (plus Hungary which I forgot to mention) arose organically without the need for any foreign intervention except Bulgaria (and even there attitudes towards Communism were always far warmer than in states like Poland or Romania).

    The genius of Emmanuel Todd was in recognizing the family structure (strongly exogamous communitarianism) that underlay these otherwise seemingly unconnected countris - Russia, Hungary, China, Cuba.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    According to average PISA score in 2009 (converted to IQ):

    Croatia = 96
    Serbia = 91
    Bulgaria = 90
    Montenegro = 86
    Albania = 83
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  • @Anatoly Karlin

    That’s not ALL that late for going to med school.
     
    In the US you need to satisfy prerequisites (tons of biochemistry, biology, etc. courses). Since OP said he has a non-technical background that will involve doing the equivalent of at least 2 years of undergrad work.

    https://career.berkeley.edu/Medical/PrepPrereq

    Since he presumably already has a degree, financial aid is probably out of the question unless he is exceptionally brilliant (but ~130 IQ isn't).

    Then we have Med School itself, which is extremely expensive ($200-300K total).

    Taking the med route is going to be an exceptionally difficult and costly grind for someone in his circumstances.

    Frankly for someone in his position trying to go in Law will be better since at least he is likely to have fulfilled all the Law School prereqs and lawyerly work is more suited for people with a "soft"
    academic background. Although problem is that not only is there a surfeit of lawyers in the US but the sector is getting rapidly automated.

    I am not advising him to abandon his day job (whatever that is) but to start playing the winner-takes-all career lottery. For someone with an IQ of 130, that is more rational than, say, playing the slot machines.

    Frankly, no one should go to law school in my opinion. But, if the person that asked you that question were a NAM, then he would be well-positioned to get into a top-6 law school — which is to say, in ascending order, NYU, Chicago, Columbia, Stanford, Harvard, and Yale — provided that he get a passable, not even all that great, LSAT score. Which, if he is really at the 125 – 135 IQ level, should be no problem. Even with all of the automation, there are and will probably continue to be plenty of opportunities for people graduating from any of those schools.

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  • @Anonymous
    I do not see any obvious reasons for why the figures for the South Slavs should be incorrect so I assume they are more or less accurate.

    How about the fact Lynn changes the numbers from book to book? In the Balkans, he used to have Croatia's IQ as 90, and then just added 8 points, and now, apparently, Croatia's IQ is supposed to be 98. No reason to believe he won't change the figures for Serbia and the other Balkan countries as well. Besides, there's no way there's an 8 point difference between Croatia and Serbia, that's ridiculous.

    Its also the case, too, that Lynn, even when he was still reporting a 90 IQ for Croatia, said that their IQ was higher than that but that he only 2 studies at hand at the time. When more data came in, he revised it in 2012.

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  • As for the automation, meh. Tolkien said that labor saving machines only create “endless and worse labor.” I don’t know about necessarily worse but the endless part is right on target. I noticed that in learning the history of scientific and industrial progress, and I also observed it first hand in a little way in the course of my career. At first, yes, the new gizmo saves labor and often leads to jobs elimination. Then some propellerhead discovers that you can do things with the new toy that you couldn’t do before. Before you know it, this formerly impossible thing become the absolute minimum requirement.

    So what would be those new, yet undreamed of applications for the new automation stuff that is coming down the pike? I have not a foggiest idea. I wish I was able to foresee that – that’s how billions are made. I am not that talented though.

    Also, I don’t understand why everyone assumes that you’d have to be super smart to work with those future gadgets. This is not how it happened in the past. Quite the opposite, in fact. As the result of the first Industrial Revolution, highly skills craftsmen who had to train for years were replaced with poor slobs hired off the street and forced to do this all day. If anything, there is a kind of equilibrium: the smarter the machine the dumber the user can be.

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  • Re: GMO babies. I think you, like all techno-optimists, greatly underestimate the yuck factor in all this. Now, this could be overcome with decades of targeted propaganda (as the example of gay marriage shows) but there are rational reasons to oppose using CRISPR or some other genetic technique to increase IQ.

    First, are we arrogant enough to know that it will work 100% and won’t create unforeseen problems in the future? What if increases IQ for 90% of the children and renders the other 10% idiots? Or what if makes everyone smart but 60% of such kids develop a mental illness at the age of 40? You need a literal lifetime to know if this thing is really safe. Perhaps even two or more lifetimes, to make sure there are no adverse impact on future generations. You want to experiment on your offspring? I don’t.

    But suppose genetic manipulation is 100% safe, works every time, and with no side effects down the line. There is another issue to consider here. You are going to get a crop of kids who are far smarter than their parents. Such situations are currently rare, and when it does happen the parents are given partial credit for “good upbringing.” Obviously, this won’t happen with genetically modified kids.

    So you got a child who has 30-50 IQ points on his parents. What do you think his childhood will be like? Starting from the teen years he will realize that his parents are unbearably dumb. What will this do to his relationship with them?

    Now look at this from the parents’ perspective. Do you have kids of your own? I am guessing not. This will make it a bit harder to explain… Of course, every parent wants their child to succeed in life. But that’s not most important. So what is the most important, the number one thing we expect from our kids? We want, we expect them – to be like us. That’s why we get so excited when baby has daddy’s eyes. That’s why we sing them the same songs we heard as children, read the same books we read ourselves back then. We are transferring our culture to them. No parent wants perfect little aliens for kids. Let them be imperfect but let them be our continuation… Reducing genetic load is one thing, but dramatically increasing IQ is going against human nature. Most people are unlikely to do it voluntarily, and if a mass of them is made to do it against their will (e.g. in China) this would lead to a great social breakdown.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What is your opinion of the idea that Putin advisor Vladislav Surkov is responsible for the demise of Novorussia? There is certainly evidence to support it:

    Surkov convinced Putin that Ukraine would completely disintegrate before the end of 2014 and that it was better to wait for the collapse than to allow the militia to capture Mariupol, opposed helping pro-Russian forces in both Donbass and pre-reunification Crimea, has personal ties to and business interests with Ukrainian oligarchs (including Poroshenko), and has a long history of hostility to and dirty tricks against Russian nationalists (including Dmitry Rogozin). Add to that the fact that Surkov started his career working for then-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has Chechen ancestry, and his infamous story advocating (under a pseudonym) for his country to lose to a US-like country so that it would be rebuilt like “Germany and France after . . . the second World War,” and you have someone extremely hostile to both Russia and Russian nationalism.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What is your opinion of the idea that Putin advisor Vladislav Surkov is responsible for the demise of Novorussia? There is certainly evidence to support it:

    Surkov convinced Putin that Ukraine would completely disintegrate before the end of 2014 and that it was better to wait for the collapse than to allow the militia to capture Mariupol, opposed helping pro-Russian forces in both Donbass and pre-reunification Crimea, has personal ties to and business interests with Ukrainian oligarchs (including Poroshenko), and has a long history of hostility to and dirty tricks against Russian nationalists (including Dmitry Rogozin). Add to that the fact that Surkov started his career working for then-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has Chechen ancestry, and his infamous story advocating (under a pseudonym) for his country to lose to a US-like country so that it would be rebuilt like “Germany and France after . . . the second World War,” and you have someone extremely hostile to both Russia and Russian nationalism.

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  • @Anonymous
    I do not see any obvious reasons for why the figures for the South Slavs should be incorrect so I assume they are more or less accurate.

    How about the fact Lynn changes the numbers from book to book? In the Balkans, he used to have Croatia's IQ as 90, and then just added 8 points, and now, apparently, Croatia's IQ is supposed to be 98. No reason to believe he won't change the figures for Serbia and the other Balkan countries as well. Besides, there's no way there's an 8 point difference between Croatia and Serbia, that's ridiculous.

    According to average PISA score in 2009 (converted to IQ):

    Croatia = 96
    Serbia = 91
    Bulgaria = 90
    Montenegro = 86
    Albania = 83

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    • Replies: @Irving
    Apparently, Rushton put Serbian IQ to as low as 88:

    http://philipperushton.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Data-on-the-Ravens-Standard-Progressive-Matrices-from-Four-Serbian-Samples-2009-by-John-Philippe-Rushton-Jelena-%C4%8Cvorovi%C4%87.pdf
    , @Anonymous
    But wouldn't the people notice? There are no "stupid Serb" or "stupid Montenegrin" stereotypes in Croatia. A couple of points I could buy, but 10 points between Croatia and Montenegro I can't really square with real life experience.
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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I do not see any obvious reasons for why the figures for the South Slavs should be incorrect so I assume they are more or less accurate.

    How about the fact Lynn changes the numbers from book to book? In the Balkans, he used to have Croatia’s IQ as 90, and then just added 8 points, and now, apparently, Croatia’s IQ is supposed to be 98. No reason to believe he won’t change the figures for Serbia and the other Balkan countries as well. Besides, there’s no way there’s an 8 point difference between Croatia and Serbia, that’s ridiculous.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    According to average PISA score in 2009 (converted to IQ):

    Croatia = 96
    Serbia = 91
    Bulgaria = 90
    Montenegro = 86
    Albania = 83
    , @Irving
    Its also the case, too, that Lynn, even when he was still reporting a 90 IQ for Croatia, said that their IQ was higher than that but that he only 2 studies at hand at the time. When more data came in, he revised it in 2012.
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  • “Japan and South Korea will do okay but ultimately their potential is going to be constrained by their lower q factor (curiosity)”

    Care to elaborate? I have done some searching in the web and actually never saw this statement proven or even somehow researched. From what i know its just a theory by bloggers that explaining how come the west is outperforming the east while having slightly lower IQ . It may be because of several other reasons that are not the q factor. IMO comparing White Americans and East Asians Americans in terms of curiosity(Asians should be adjusted a bit lower because they are selectively migrate to the US unlike the natives East Asians) may put this theory on test.

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  • @Glossy
    "what would you suggest is a good long-term career path for someone who is in their early to mid 20s, in the 125-135 IQ range but with no technical skills? "

    That's not ALL that late for going to med school. One should avoid winner-take-all careers. As a consumer I'm glad there are talented writers, musicians and tech entrepreneurs out there, but from the perspective of a young person trying to choose a career winner-take-all is bad. Almost every smart, hardworking person who starts medical school ends up with a stable high-paying job. The MD career track is the opposite of winner-take-all.

    That’s not ALL that late for going to med school.

    In the US you need to satisfy prerequisites (tons of biochemistry, biology, etc. courses). Since OP said he has a non-technical background that will involve doing the equivalent of at least 2 years of undergrad work.

    https://career.berkeley.edu/Medical/PrepPrereq

    Since he presumably already has a degree, financial aid is probably out of the question unless he is exceptionally brilliant (but ~130 IQ isn’t).

    Then we have Med School itself, which is extremely expensive ($200-300K total).

    Taking the med route is going to be an exceptionally difficult and costly grind for someone in his circumstances.

    Frankly for someone in his position trying to go in Law will be better since at least he is likely to have fulfilled all the Law School prereqs and lawyerly work is more suited for people with a “soft”
    academic background. Although problem is that not only is there a surfeit of lawyers in the US but the sector is getting rapidly automated.

    I am not advising him to abandon his day job (whatever that is) but to start playing the winner-takes-all career lottery. For someone with an IQ of 130, that is more rational than, say, playing the slot machines.

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    • Replies: @Irving
    Frankly, no one should go to law school in my opinion. But, if the person that asked you that question were a NAM, then he would be well-positioned to get into a top-6 law school -- which is to say, in ascending order, NYU, Chicago, Columbia, Stanford, Harvard, and Yale -- provided that he get a passable, not even all that great, LSAT score. Which, if he is really at the 125 - 135 IQ level, should be no problem. Even with all of the automation, there are and will probably continue to be plenty of opportunities for people graduating from any of those schools.
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  • As the 18th and 19th centuries progressed, the word Ukraina became associated with the (approximately) modern area of the Ukraine more and more, but it’s my impression that this word overtook Malorossiya (Litte Russia) in popularity only after the Communist takeover. And because of it.

    Parties with “Ukrainian” in their name easily won elections in Russian-owned Ukraine in 1917, prior to Bolshevik rule. As for usage (published maps, references in books, etc.), since officially this was Little Russia you are probably correct.

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  • @szopen
    I really respect you, Anatolij, however I cannot agree that Ukraine was project of Poles and communist. Ukrainian nationalism existed before WWI and usually was directed AT the Poles. "Ukraine for Ukrainians" was slogan created before 1900, while first political Ukrainian party in Russian empire was something like 1900. The name "Ukraine" was used in Polish in XVI century. In 1903 Bruckner was already complaining that "Ukrainian" was incorrect term and Poles should be using "Rusin" or "Małorusin", meaning the term "Ukrainian" was widely used in his times.

    “The name “Ukraine” was used in Polish in XVI century.

    What’s now the middle of the European portion of Russia was sometimes called Zalesskaya Ukraina (the borderland beyond the forests) in the Middle Ages. Several other parts of Russia, including some in what’s now the Ukraine were sometimes called ukrainas (borderlands) in pre-modern times. If I had $100,000 for every time I’ve said that I grew up on the outskirts of Moscow (na okraine Moskvy), I’d probably be able to retire early and live off interest.

    As the 18th and 19th centuries progressed, the word Ukraina became associated with the (approximately) modern area of the Ukraine more and more, but it’s my impression that this word overtook Malorossiya (Litte Russia) in popularity only after the Communist takeover. And because of it.

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  • @Glossy
    "Moreover, contrary to eurofag propaganda, US healthcare and higher education is better than in almost all other European countries"

    The top 1% of US universities are the best in the world. The other 99% are pretty bad. Because of this the average European and the average Russian know more non-work-related, general-education-type stuff, both in soft and hard subjects, than the average White or Asian American.

    If you look at PISA scores by race, white American kids outperform almost every European country, US Latinos every Latin American country, and Asians almost every Asian country.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin

    Actually, the quantity of food bought by a working man’s income in England peaked in 1470-1530, never reached that level again till the mid-19th century, and the 17th century was on average the worst of all the last six.
     
    That is correct but the main point of comparison should be with contemporaneous European rivals, especially the highly populated scientific/cultural powerhouses like France, Spain, Prussia, A-H, and the German and Italian states.

    Not were the English quite as tall or long-lived as the inhabitants of Denmark, Norway, Sweden or Schleswig-Holstein.
     
    I downloaded Joerg Baten's historical male height data for some major European countries and GB which starts at 1710. Here it is.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/650237805063335937

    During the 18th century, GB is generally in the lead, with only Sweden and Netherlands consistently matching it.

    The Scandinavians match or exceed GB, sure, but they (1) have low populations and (2) it took longer for them to achieve high literacy levels.

    I’ve seen different figures – bear in mind that England had less of an approach to conscription than any other of these countries, so data will be lacking in quality. As for literacy, in the late eighteenth century England was behind both north-east France and lowland Scotland.

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  • @Mitleser
    So, Ukraine was a Polish project after all.

    Well, if hanging out with occasional Poles or being 1/4 Polish or whatever contaminates a project to the extent that it turns it into a “Polish” one, sure. However given the fact that Ukrainians themselves are heavily mixed with Poles, and spent centuries within Poland (Polish linguistic and cultural influence on Ukraine is quite comparable to Norman-French influence on England) it is odd to separate the two. A Russian claiming that Ukrainian is a fake nationality or Polish project and seeking to Russify the population and purge it of Polish influence is about as ridiculous as some sort of pan-German nationalist viewing English as a fake culture and seeking to “re-Germanize” the English people by removing Norman-French influence from their culture, language etc.

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  • @Seamus Padraig

    Which raises the really big puzzle of just WHY and HOW American GDP per capita is so much higher than that of the EU countries, and France/Germany in particular.
     
    GDP figures can sometimes be misleading, since the FIRE sector can have a very distorting impact on them. When analyzing countries like the US and UK, where finance and real-estate constitute such a large percentage of the economy, this should be borne in mind.

    In comments to past posts I’ve made a list of industries that make more contributions to the GDP in America than in other rich countries, while failing to generate more customer and citizen satisfaction. Higher ed, healthcare, retirement, transportation, etc. I just remembered another one – the legal profession. America is more litigious than other rich countries. All those legal fees contribute to the GDP.

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  • “Moreover, contrary to eurofag propaganda, US healthcare and higher education is better than in almost all other European countries”

    The top 1% of US universities are the best in the world. The other 99% are pretty bad. Because of this the average European and the average Russian know more non-work-related, general-education-type stuff, both in soft and hard subjects, than the average White or Asian American.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    If you look at PISA scores by race, white American kids outperform almost every European country, US Latinos every Latin American country, and Asians almost every Asian country.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • To comment on the question “What developed country has the most eugenic fertility? What about the least? My observation is that Britain has the most dysgenic but I haven’t seen the data? Where does America fit in there? ”

    As I have played a bit with the Wittgenstein database, I calculated the dysgenic trend for every country by using several assumptions (perfect correlation between IQ and the level of education, standard deviation for the IQ of 15 in all countries, all children will attain the same level of education as their parents). Since the first assumption is especially not really true for developing countries (still a lot of undiscovered talens roam around the woods or work as farmers), the dysgenics especially for the poor countries might be overstated.

    Anyway, here’s the map for the projected generational loss in average IQ:

    The strongest dysgenic trend among developed countries is in Israel (probably to high Arab fertility), followed by the US, HK/Macao and the Baltics. Poland isn’t developed yet, but also has a comparably strong dysgenic trend.

    The least dysgenic fertility is in Belgium (where it’s actually eugenic from the data), Scandinavia and Canada. Japan and Taiwan also have rather weak dysgenics. Scandinavia and Belgium though have lots of low-IQ immigration.

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  • “In terms of policy debates, there have been arguments by statist economists like Sergey Glazyev to use Russia’s accumulated oil funds to provide subsidized loans to strategic manufacturing sectors “

    Smart guy. What you said about the lack of popularity of this idea is really sad. Ever since the Industrial Revolution all truly successful, well-run, patriotic regimes were manufacturing regimes. China is the biggest success story of our lifetimes. One has to imitate winners, not losers.

    The Donald is 95% clown and 5% US patriot while Jeb and Hillary are 100% establishment lackeys and 0% US patriots. And surprise, surprise, the Donald is the one who’s been making protectionist, re-industrializing noises. It’s automatic – if one wishes one’s country well, one would want it to (re)industrialize more.

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  • “The Serbian IQ is that it isn’t much higher than that of black Americans, just 4 or 5 points higher, and yet they seem so much more civilized. “

    As Anatoly said, there’s a lot more to civilization than IQ. There are many double-digit-IQ but hardworking groups – Mexican and Peruvian Indians and Mestizos, low-caste East Indians, SE Asians. The capacity for hard work must be related to impulse control, which is itself related to criminality. It’s my impression that in Mexico people of Spanish descent are both smarter and less hard-working than people of Amerindian descent.

    Low IQ + low impulse control a double whammy civilization-wise.

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  • @AP
    It's more complex than that. Ukrainian national identity was born in the Russian Empire; it was the project of Cossack officer families and petty gentry. These people were intermarrying with Poles from this region (Gogol, typical example, had a Polish grandparent) and had very friendly relationships with them; both they and the Polish gentry in these areas viewed Russians as the mutual enemy, and because Poland did not claim these lands for itself (unlike as the case in Galicia) the two groups had no issues with each other. Most of the Poles here went local and Ukrainianized. So for example, Hrushevsky's teacher, Antonovich, was a Ukrainianized Pole:

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

    Some Russians will twist this reality to claim that Ukrainian identity was an evil Polish plot.

    Exiled Ukrainian activists from the Russian Empire helped to transform Galicians (who were undergoing an internal struggle, deciding whether they were Rusyns or Ukrainians or Russians) into Ukrainians. When they arrived, they were often shocked by the hostility between Poles and Ukrainians in Galicia.

    So, Ukraine was a Polish project after all.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Well, if hanging out with occasional Poles or being 1/4 Polish or whatever contaminates a project to the extent that it turns it into a "Polish" one, sure. However given the fact that Ukrainians themselves are heavily mixed with Poles, and spent centuries within Poland (Polish linguistic and cultural influence on Ukraine is quite comparable to Norman-French influence on England) it is odd to separate the two. A Russian claiming that Ukrainian is a fake nationality or Polish project and seeking to Russify the population and purge it of Polish influence is about as ridiculous as some sort of pan-German nationalist viewing English as a fake culture and seeking to "re-Germanize" the English people by removing Norman-French influence from their culture, language etc.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • “what would you suggest is a good long-term career path for someone who is in their early to mid 20s, in the 125-135 IQ range but with no technical skills? “

    That’s not ALL that late for going to med school. One should avoid winner-take-all careers. As a consumer I’m glad there are talented writers, musicians and tech entrepreneurs out there, but from the perspective of a young person trying to choose a career winner-take-all is bad. Almost every smart, hardworking person who starts medical school ends up with a stable high-paying job. The MD career track is the opposite of winner-take-all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    That’s not ALL that late for going to med school.
     
    In the US you need to satisfy prerequisites (tons of biochemistry, biology, etc. courses). Since OP said he has a non-technical background that will involve doing the equivalent of at least 2 years of undergrad work.

    https://career.berkeley.edu/Medical/PrepPrereq

    Since he presumably already has a degree, financial aid is probably out of the question unless he is exceptionally brilliant (but ~130 IQ isn't).

    Then we have Med School itself, which is extremely expensive ($200-300K total).

    Taking the med route is going to be an exceptionally difficult and costly grind for someone in his circumstances.

    Frankly for someone in his position trying to go in Law will be better since at least he is likely to have fulfilled all the Law School prereqs and lawyerly work is more suited for people with a "soft"
    academic background. Although problem is that not only is there a surfeit of lawyers in the US but the sector is getting rapidly automated.

    I am not advising him to abandon his day job (whatever that is) but to start playing the winner-takes-all career lottery. For someone with an IQ of 130, that is more rational than, say, playing the slot machines.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Which raises the really big puzzle of just WHY and HOW American GDP per capita is so much higher than that of the EU countries, and France/Germany in particular.

    GDP figures can sometimes be misleading, since the FIRE sector can have a very distorting impact on them. When analyzing countries like the US and UK, where finance and real-estate constitute such a large percentage of the economy, this should be borne in mind.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    In comments to past posts I've made a list of industries that make more contributions to the GDP in America than in other rich countries, while failing to generate more customer and citizen satisfaction. Higher ed, healthcare, retirement, transportation, etc. I just remembered another one - the legal profession. America is more litigious than other rich countries. All those legal fees contribute to the GDP.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The IQ in the Balkans will rise as the region modernizes and the people there are forced to think in more modern, abstract terms.

    It’s not anymore complicated than that. The only problem is that you need capital and time to modernize, and capital doesn’t like to flow to places with low IQ, for obvious reasons.

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  • @szopen
    I really respect you, Anatolij, however I cannot agree that Ukraine was project of Poles and communist. Ukrainian nationalism existed before WWI and usually was directed AT the Poles. "Ukraine for Ukrainians" was slogan created before 1900, while first political Ukrainian party in Russian empire was something like 1900. The name "Ukraine" was used in Polish in XVI century. In 1903 Bruckner was already complaining that "Ukrainian" was incorrect term and Poles should be using "Rusin" or "Małorusin", meaning the term "Ukrainian" was widely used in his times.

    It’s more complex than that. Ukrainian national identity was born in the Russian Empire; it was the project of Cossack officer families and petty gentry. These people were intermarrying with Poles from this region (Gogol, typical example, had a Polish grandparent) and had very friendly relationships with them; both they and the Polish gentry in these areas viewed Russians as the mutual enemy, and because Poland did not claim these lands for itself (unlike as the case in Galicia) the two groups had no issues with each other. Most of the Poles here went local and Ukrainianized. So for example, Hrushevsky’s teacher, Antonovich, was a Ukrainianized Pole:

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

    Some Russians will twist this reality to claim that Ukrainian identity was an evil Polish plot.

    Exiled Ukrainian activists from the Russian Empire helped to transform Galicians (who were undergoing an internal struggle, deciding whether they were Rusyns or Ukrainians or Russians) into Ukrainians. When they arrived, they were often shocked by the hostility between Poles and Ukrainians in Galicia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    So, Ukraine was a Polish project after all.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • In occupied Balkans (by Turks) people who could THINK got murdered, systematically. Also population was drained by “blood taxes”. Please, get informed

    You’re absolutely safe in Belgrade, women roam streets at a.m.night hours freely and safely

    It is advisable to know what you’re talking about especially if you’re talking about IQs, don’t you think?

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  • @5371
    [the English were unusually well fed by continental European standards from the 17th century onwards – they were a few cm’s taller, for instance]

    Actually, the quantity of food bought by a working man's income in England peaked in 1470-1530, never reached that level again till the mid-19th century, and the 17th century was on average the worst of all the last six. Not were the English quite as tall or long-lived as the inhabitants of Denmark, Norway, Sweden or Schleswig-Holstein.

    Actually, the quantity of food bought by a working man’s income in England peaked in 1470-1530, never reached that level again till the mid-19th century, and the 17th century was on average the worst of all the last six.

    That is correct but the main point of comparison should be with contemporaneous European rivals, especially the highly populated scientific/cultural powerhouses like France, Spain, Prussia, A-H, and the German and Italian states.

    Not were the English quite as tall or long-lived as the inhabitants of Denmark, Norway, Sweden or Schleswig-Holstein.

    I downloaded Joerg Baten’s historical male height data for some major European countries and GB which starts at 1710. Here it is.

    During the 18th century, GB is generally in the lead, with only Sweden and Netherlands consistently matching it.

    The Scandinavians match or exceed GB, sure, but they (1) have low populations and (2) it took longer for them to achieve high literacy levels.

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    • Replies: @5371
    I've seen different figures - bear in mind that England had less of an approach to conscription than any other of these countries, so data will be lacking in quality. As for literacy, in the late eighteenth century England was behind both north-east France and lowland Scotland.
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  • I really respect you, Anatolij, however I cannot agree that Ukraine was project of Poles and communist. Ukrainian nationalism existed before WWI and usually was directed AT the Poles. “Ukraine for Ukrainians” was slogan created before 1900, while first political Ukrainian party in Russian empire was something like 1900. The name “Ukraine” was used in Polish in XVI century. In 1903 Bruckner was already complaining that “Ukrainian” was incorrect term and Poles should be using “Rusin” or “Małorusin”, meaning the term “Ukrainian” was widely used in his times.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    It's more complex than that. Ukrainian national identity was born in the Russian Empire; it was the project of Cossack officer families and petty gentry. These people were intermarrying with Poles from this region (Gogol, typical example, had a Polish grandparent) and had very friendly relationships with them; both they and the Polish gentry in these areas viewed Russians as the mutual enemy, and because Poland did not claim these lands for itself (unlike as the case in Galicia) the two groups had no issues with each other. Most of the Poles here went local and Ukrainianized. So for example, Hrushevsky's teacher, Antonovich, was a Ukrainianized Pole:

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

    Some Russians will twist this reality to claim that Ukrainian identity was an evil Polish plot.

    Exiled Ukrainian activists from the Russian Empire helped to transform Galicians (who were undergoing an internal struggle, deciding whether they were Rusyns or Ukrainians or Russians) into Ukrainians. When they arrived, they were often shocked by the hostility between Poles and Ukrainians in Galicia.
    , @Glossy
    "The name “Ukraine” was used in Polish in XVI century.

    What's now the middle of the European portion of Russia was sometimes called Zalesskaya Ukraina (the borderland beyond the forests) in the Middle Ages. Several other parts of Russia, including some in what's now the Ukraine were sometimes called ukrainas (borderlands) in pre-modern times. If I had $100,000 for every time I've said that I grew up on the outskirts of Moscow (na okraine Moskvy), I'd probably be able to retire early and live off interest.

    As the 18th and 19th centuries progressed, the word Ukraina became associated with the (approximately) modern area of the Ukraine more and more, but it's my impression that this word overtook Malorossiya (Litte Russia) in popularity only after the Communist takeover. And because of it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • [the English were unusually well fed by continental European standards from the 17th century onwards – they were a few cm’s taller, for instance]

    Actually, the quantity of food bought by a working man’s income in England peaked in 1470-1530, never reached that level again till the mid-19th century, and the 17th century was on average the worst of all the last six. Not were the English quite as tall or long-lived as the inhabitants of Denmark, Norway, Sweden or Schleswig-Holstein.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Actually, the quantity of food bought by a working man’s income in England peaked in 1470-1530, never reached that level again till the mid-19th century, and the 17th century was on average the worst of all the last six.
     
    That is correct but the main point of comparison should be with contemporaneous European rivals, especially the highly populated scientific/cultural powerhouses like France, Spain, Prussia, A-H, and the German and Italian states.

    Not were the English quite as tall or long-lived as the inhabitants of Denmark, Norway, Sweden or Schleswig-Holstein.
     
    I downloaded Joerg Baten's historical male height data for some major European countries and GB which starts at 1710. Here it is.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/650237805063335937

    During the 18th century, GB is generally in the lead, with only Sweden and Netherlands consistently matching it.

    The Scandinavians match or exceed GB, sure, but they (1) have low populations and (2) it took longer for them to achieve high literacy levels.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • A few days ago The New York Times published a piece with the headline, A Scientific Ethical Divide Between China and West. My instinct as to what the piece was going to be focusing on was totally off. Whereas my own assumption was that it would focus on perceptions of widespread corner cutting, and sometimes...
  • yes, it was the product of japanese imperialism!

    Please elaborate.

    also, the choson dynasty destroying organized buddhism.

    Rather as Oda Nobunaga did, the centralizing statists of the Chosun Dynasty found Buddhists sects to be quarrelsome and dangerous and suppressed them. Once Buddhists were evicted from the political realm, they were not persecuted. I wouldn’t say that the Chosun Dynasty destroyed organized Buddhism so much as it de-politicized it (in contrast to the Goryeo Dynasty when Buddhism was practically state religion).

    Of course, Chosun also persecuted Christians severely when they did arrive. There is a sizable group of Korean martyrs.

    the post-world war 2 period has also seen a revival in the fortunes of buddhism, as the rising waters have lifted all boats. also, i think i’ll go along with your supposition to a first approximation, but american influence did help christianity.

    There is freedom of religion in South Korea, and religious conflict is generally rare (except for the occasional riot of two by Buddhist monks). It is also quite true that Protestantism has been seen as, not just American, but very modern and elite, something to be emulated by the middle class. Therefore it has had an outsized influence all out of whack with the proportion of the adherents in the larger South Korean society.

    also, last i checked catholicism, not protestantism, has really grown over the last 20 years.

    Both have grown, but Catholicism has grown at a much greater clip in the recent years, perhaps because of the increasing disaffection with the “entrepreneurial” character of many Protestant pastors. During the years of heady industrialization and military rule, Protestantism was seen as the religion of progress, modernity, and upward mobility. Catholicism (especially of a somewhat liberationist variety) was seen as the domain of intellectuals, dissidents, and the downtrodden (the main cathedral in Seoul frequently served as a refugee for dissidents), and was deemed with suspicion as seditious by conservatives.

    Such perspectives have changed greatly since the democratization. Rich-poor gap is more of a political concern now (which materializes in hot political potatoes like free school lunch), and there is now a greater appreciation in South Korea for both Catholic priests without personal wealth (unlike millionaire Protestant pastors) and for the Catholic economic and social ideas. And there are those traditionalists who argue that Catholicism is more compatible with Korean Confucianism (Catholicism in South Korea tolerates ancestor reverence/remembrance ceremony whereas Protestants discourage it as idolatry).

    finally, i have read that while seoul is a christian city, busan is a much more buddhist city, in its public architecture.

    Never read and never found that to be the case during my time in ROK. But could be, don’t know. For much of its recent history, South Korean elites hailed from the southeast where the largest city is Busan, for whatever that’s worth. Generally Buddhist architecture is found in mountains aside from prominent public works of historic note found in cities. When I hiked in ROK, I did visit several temples in the mountains.

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  • @Twinkie

    Philippines is the most xtian nation in Asia
     
    Yes it is. But it is predominantly Catholic. South Korea is the most Protestant nation in Asia, and its Christianity was not a product of Western imperialism as was the case in the Philippines or Goa.

    Also, xtians are nearly 20% of singapore’s population. I think the key as pointed out by Twinkie is that xtianity in S Korea is the dominant religion, while in Singapore it is not. Though, a higher % of Koreans are non-religious avowedly than Singaporeans (even if you limit Singaporeans to Chinese).
     
    When you walk the streets of Singapore and Seoul, the difference is immediately noticeable. One sees dozens and dozens of churches in Seoul (there are probably thousands in all in the city), and missionaries and street preachers often engage the passerby. One hardly sees a single church in Singapore, and the one prominent Catholic Church one sees is surrounded by barbed wire (or at least was when I visited it last). This is the kind of a stark difference one cannot ascertain from statistics alone (25% Christian in South Korea, 18% in Singapore).

    Though there may be more atheists in South Korea than in Singapore, the former has been profoundly influenced by Christianity, especially Protestantism.

    Yes it is. But it is predominantly Catholic. South Korea is the most Protestant nation in Asia, and its Christianity was not a product of Western imperialism as was the case in the Philippines or Goa.

    yes, it was the product of japanese imperialism! :-) also, the choson dynasty destroying organized buddhism. and interesting irony is that the post-world war 2 period has also seen a revival in the fortunes of buddhism, as the rising waters have lifted all boats. also, i think i’ll go along with your supposition to a first approximation, but american influence did help christianity. there is a reason south koreans are circumcized now!

    also, last i checked catholicism, not protestantism, has really grown over the last 20 years. that’s why the xtian % went from 25 to 30% over last 10 years. finally, i have read that while seoul is a christian city, busan is a much more buddhist city, in its public architecture.

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  • @Razib Khan
    Philippines is the most xtian nation in Asia :-) Also, xtians are nearly 20% of singapore's population. I think the key as pointed out by Twinkie is that xtianity in S Korea is the dominant religion, while in Singapore it is not. Though, a higher % of Koreans are non-religious avowedly than Singaporeans (even if you limit Singaporeans to Chinese).

    Philippines is the most xtian nation in Asia

    Yes it is. But it is predominantly Catholic. South Korea is the most Protestant nation in Asia, and its Christianity was not a product of Western imperialism as was the case in the Philippines or Goa.

    Also, xtians are nearly 20% of singapore’s population. I think the key as pointed out by Twinkie is that xtianity in S Korea is the dominant religion, while in Singapore it is not. Though, a higher % of Koreans are non-religious avowedly than Singaporeans (even if you limit Singaporeans to Chinese).

    When you walk the streets of Singapore and Seoul, the difference is immediately noticeable. One sees dozens and dozens of churches in Seoul (there are probably thousands in all in the city), and missionaries and street preachers often engage the passerby. One hardly sees a single church in Singapore, and the one prominent Catholic Church one sees is surrounded by barbed wire (or at least was when I visited it last). This is the kind of a stark difference one cannot ascertain from statistics alone (25% Christian in South Korea, 18% in Singapore).

    Though there may be more atheists in South Korea than in Singapore, the former has been profoundly influenced by Christianity, especially Protestantism.

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Yes it is. But it is predominantly Catholic. South Korea is the most Protestant nation in Asia, and its Christianity was not a product of Western imperialism as was the case in the Philippines or Goa.

    yes, it was the product of japanese imperialism! :-) also, the choson dynasty destroying organized buddhism. and interesting irony is that the post-world war 2 period has also seen a revival in the fortunes of buddhism, as the rising waters have lifted all boats. also, i think i'll go along with your supposition to a first approximation, but american influence did help christianity. there is a reason south koreans are circumcized now!

    also, last i checked catholicism, not protestantism, has really grown over the last 20 years. that's why the xtian % went from 25 to 30% over last 10 years. finally, i have read that while seoul is a christian city, busan is a much more buddhist city, in its public architecture.
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  • @ohwilleke
    Christians in Singapore, and non-religious people in Poland, respectively, are much more uncommon than in South Korea (the most Christian nation in Asia) and Poland (the most Catholic nation in the former WARSAW pact where, as in Ireland, Catholicism had a national resistance to the foreign overlords character).

    These factors likely drive the intensity of people who affiliate those ways and hence the intensity of the differences.

    South Korea's figures also may indicate the impact of Christianization on overall South Korean culture.

    Philippines is the most xtian nation in Asia :-) Also, xtians are nearly 20% of singapore’s population. I think the key as pointed out by Twinkie is that xtianity in S Korea is the dominant religion, while in Singapore it is not. Though, a higher % of Koreans are non-religious avowedly than Singaporeans (even if you limit Singaporeans to Chinese).

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Philippines is the most xtian nation in Asia
     
    Yes it is. But it is predominantly Catholic. South Korea is the most Protestant nation in Asia, and its Christianity was not a product of Western imperialism as was the case in the Philippines or Goa.

    Also, xtians are nearly 20% of singapore’s population. I think the key as pointed out by Twinkie is that xtianity in S Korea is the dominant religion, while in Singapore it is not. Though, a higher % of Koreans are non-religious avowedly than Singaporeans (even if you limit Singaporeans to Chinese).
     
    When you walk the streets of Singapore and Seoul, the difference is immediately noticeable. One sees dozens and dozens of churches in Seoul (there are probably thousands in all in the city), and missionaries and street preachers often engage the passerby. One hardly sees a single church in Singapore, and the one prominent Catholic Church one sees is surrounded by barbed wire (or at least was when I visited it last). This is the kind of a stark difference one cannot ascertain from statistics alone (25% Christian in South Korea, 18% in Singapore).

    Though there may be more atheists in South Korea than in Singapore, the former has been profoundly influenced by Christianity, especially Protestantism.
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  • @ohwilleke
    Christians in Singapore, and non-religious people in Poland, respectively, are much more uncommon than in South Korea (the most Christian nation in Asia) and Poland (the most Catholic nation in the former WARSAW pact where, as in Ireland, Catholicism had a national resistance to the foreign overlords character).

    These factors likely drive the intensity of people who affiliate those ways and hence the intensity of the differences.

    South Korea's figures also may indicate the impact of Christianization on overall South Korean culture.

    South Korea’s figures also may indicate the impact of Christianization on overall South Korean culture.

    I agree with this. Christianity in Singapore strikes me as, well, ceremonial, whereas South Korea has a very active, zealous Christian population (roughly 25% or so of the overall population) that has been very influential culturally, educationally, socially, politically, and economically in the country.

    In any case, there is no questioning the fact that Christianity is the dominant religion in South Korea whereas in Singapore Buddhists are the plurality.

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  • Genetic intervention, either at the organism level (through CRISPR or similar) or by intervention at the zygote level, will become widespread as soon as those who don’t take advantage of it have to compete with those who have.

    Here’s the interesting thing: What is the world like when there are so many optimal persons around? What happens when high intelligence is commonplace? How do you make hiring decisions…who do you trust with your company’s operations?

    My take: we’ll go tribal, and hire those that look like our cousins.

    Maybe not….but we’ll have to do the experiment to find out!

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  • For all the talk about culture, I think old fashioned Marxism and nationalism can explain the Chinese pushing the envelope

    Old fashioned Marxism has never existed in China, perhaps sometimes ago in Russia, but not China.

    And Nationalism? You talk with the Han Chinese about Nationalism? LoL Well, to paraphase Kevin Myer, the Chinese are more than nationalistic; we are a people for whom the concept of Herrenvolk is not some passing and malign idiosyncrasy, but a defining condition of self-identity.

    This is because we have repeatedly been in the forefront of human endeavour in our multi-millennia-long continuities , which is so deeply embedded within the consciousness of not only those who govern China, but also every single Han Chinese peasant, regardless we’re at the top of the world right now or at the bottom. The situation is irrelevent, because the self-confidence, what Panda calls “Civilisational Confidence” is just too deep, now picture this:

    – The Koreans, for the first time in their history, have been amongst the froefront oof the world technologically, or more precisely in areas of smartphones, for how long? 10 years? 5? . And the Koreans and the world at lrage have already kneel down before “Korean Wave”.

    –The Japanese , for the first time in their entire existence, have been among the forefront of the world technologically for how long? since the mid 80s? or 20 something years, and the Japanese, have already regarded themselves as “invincible” or “technological genius”, and by and large regarded by the rest of the world (except China of course) as such.

    –The Americans have been at the forefront of the world for how long? 30 years after the Cold War? or 70 years after the WWII? And the Americans have already developed so-called Pan-Americana Exceptionalism“.

    – The Europeans have been at the forefront fot he world for how long? 150 years after the The British won over Qing Dynasty China is the Opium Wars and displaced China being the spot of No.1 GDP producer in the world? Or let’s be generous, 250 or even 300 years since the end of Ming Dynasty whose tenologically power and military might made combined Europe (the era of Columbus) look like from a junior league. So with 300 years max the Europeans have already developed a so-called “God Syndrome”, rightly or wrongly.

    –now, take a wild guess how would the Han Chinese think with our world-leading civilisation from as early as 300BC to at least mid 17th century – roughly 2 millenia We, the Han Chinese at least must think ourselves in terms of being extreaterrials visiting you guys from another planet to be fair, right?

    Therefore, Panda suggests that:

    it is n-e-v-e-r a good idea trying to talk “nationalism” in China or Chinese-related topics, since it is like talking bamboo in front of Panda, but what do you mean? The Han Chinese invented Nationalism! ROFL

    In light of above pre-knowledge, we now have a good basis to see the 3 examples, namely Korea, Singapore and Poland” under new light:

    Who care about what these 3 countries think and have done to influence the world at the larger picture??

    – Singapore is merely a tiny anti-Chinese city-state in its desperate attempt to survival under a big threat from the giant Muslim neighbours, and between USA and China 2 superpowers. Whatever beliefs make Singapore safer, being Chritianity or else, Singaporeans would do it. If Aztecs’ belief system was better suited for Singapore’s survival in eyes of its leaders, Panda bets that the entire Singapore would switch to believe in Aztec’s Sun God withn a month!

    –Korea? “South Korea has historically been the most Confucian nation in the world”(RAZIB KHAN). Please Razib, that cliam is an insult to both the Han Chinese (the great grandpa of everything Confucius) and the Koreans as well, because not a single educated Korean with a bit of history knowldge and intellectual honesty dares to claim so. Korea to China, for the entire history, is a bit like the current Canada to USA if Panda is forced to make an analogy..

    –and Poland? well, Panda is not familiar on European history, but it seems that there are at least half a dozen European countries that have shaped the world much more than Poland has ever done.

    These 3 examples and their data points are useless!

    If want to discuss CRISPR, only 2 sample date seem making senses from historical POV and the one that could really shape the world’s future:

    1. China data Vs USA data (or UK data)

    2. in the absence of 1, Japan data Vs Germany (or France) data for the short term.

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  • Christians in Singapore, and non-religious people in Poland, respectively, are much more uncommon than in South Korea (the most Christian nation in Asia) and Poland (the most Catholic nation in the former WARSAW pact where, as in Ireland, Catholicism had a national resistance to the foreign overlords character).

    These factors likely drive the intensity of people who affiliate those ways and hence the intensity of the differences.

    South Korea’s figures also may indicate the impact of Christianization on overall South Korean culture.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    South Korea’s figures also may indicate the impact of Christianization on overall South Korean culture.
     
    I agree with this. Christianity in Singapore strikes me as, well, ceremonial, whereas South Korea has a very active, zealous Christian population (roughly 25% or so of the overall population) that has been very influential culturally, educationally, socially, politically, and economically in the country.

    In any case, there is no questioning the fact that Christianity is the dominant religion in South Korea whereas in Singapore Buddhists are the plurality.
    , @Razib Khan
    Philippines is the most xtian nation in Asia :-) Also, xtians are nearly 20% of singapore's population. I think the key as pointed out by Twinkie is that xtianity in S Korea is the dominant religion, while in Singapore it is not. Though, a higher % of Koreans are non-religious avowedly than Singaporeans (even if you limit Singaporeans to Chinese).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Even people who argue for fairly unlimited abortion rights can wind up being troubled by the extremes that position can lead to in practice. See Elisabeth Bumiller’s book “May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India” and the chapter ” ”No More Little Girls: Female Infanticide Among the Poor of Tamil Nadu and Sex-Selective Abortion Among the Rich of Bombay” where she can’t ignore the similarities between the two, including women arguing that they are the same thing.

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  • The (new) Outer Limits episode dealing with parents genetically modifying their kids to give them an edge. Even if you reject the pessimistic tone, it raises some good points about the pressure parents will face to do it.

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  • @PD Shaw
    "My experience of Japan is that many people dismiss cultural differences with the US as just instances of Christian belief . . ."

    According to the World Values Survey Cultural Map US culture is far more traditional than Japanese when traditional values are weighed against Secular-rational values.

    I don't think religion is unimportant, that Map finds religious groupings, but they are not that determinative. China is closer to Russia on that map than to Japan. Japan is closer to Germany than to South Korea.

    That’s not quite what I meant–it’s simply that, among my adult students, when there’s something they don’t understand, they ask, “Americans believe/do that because they’re Christians, right?” They seem to be strangely ignorant of any other types of influences/conflicts in the US. Of course, I am talking about middle-class business men and their wives and children, mostly. However, I also teach a number of academics and grad students who are surprisingly shallow in their knowledge of the world outside Japan.

    Also, in a country like Japan, looking at survey results about values that are surveyed because they are of interest to westerners creates an unbalanced view of the country. There are some very widespread and irrational beliefs that pop up from time to time. For example, with the recent Dannemora-prison-escapees story in the news, I’ve discovered there is a strong prejudice that having a prison in your town means you live in a “dangerous” town. I happen to be from near Dannemora in the US, but my students are incredulous that it could be, on the whole, a very safe and lowkey environment. The important point is that some wrong beliefs are not amenable to simply being overturned by someone with more/direct knowledge.

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  • @Razib Khan
    i agree 20 years. to me that's slow. we have time.

    I agree that the scientists involved will think the technology is ready to be used on human embryos, at great cost and profit to them, in 20 years. But in the US, at least, they will need hefty insurance coverage against the inevitable lawsuits when things don’t go quite right. That could delay things quite a bit, since the risks are pretty much unknown at this point…

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  • @Chrisnonymous
    These numbers are really interesting. Thanks. My experience of Japan is that many people dismiss cultural differences with the US as just instances of Christian belief, so I wonder how genuine Deng Rui was being.

    I tried to look up some trends once using the Japanese version of the GSS, but the questions change so much from one survey to the next that they're useless for tracking anything. I'll have to look into the WVS next time.

    “My experience of Japan is that many people dismiss cultural differences with the US as just instances of Christian belief . . .”

    According to the World Values Survey Cultural Map US culture is far more traditional than Japanese when traditional values are weighed against Secular-rational values.

    I don’t think religion is unimportant, that Map finds religious groupings, but they are not that determinative. China is closer to Russia on that map than to Japan. Japan is closer to Germany than to South Korea.

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    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    That's not quite what I meant--it's simply that, among my adult students, when there's something they don't understand, they ask, "Americans believe/do that because they're Christians, right?" They seem to be strangely ignorant of any other types of influences/conflicts in the US. Of course, I am talking about middle-class business men and their wives and children, mostly. However, I also teach a number of academics and grad students who are surprisingly shallow in their knowledge of the world outside Japan.

    Also, in a country like Japan, looking at survey results about values that are surveyed because they are of interest to westerners creates an unbalanced view of the country. There are some very widespread and irrational beliefs that pop up from time to time. For example, with the recent Dannemora-prison-escapees story in the news, I've discovered there is a strong prejudice that having a prison in your town means you live in a "dangerous" town. I happen to be from near Dannemora in the US, but my students are incredulous that it could be, on the whole, a very safe and lowkey environment. The important point is that some wrong beliefs are not amenable to simply being overturned by someone with more/direct knowledge.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Rick
    "Though CRISPR is much better than most older genetic engineering techniques in terms of specificity, for the near term future it is unlikely to be good enough that you’d want to “perfect” your child."

    This statement is extremely dependent on your definition of "near term future". I don't think a single scientist working in this field would rule out that in 20 years you could have 100% specific modifications, verified by whole genome sequencing, in less than a week or two. The only slow parts will be growing cells in vitro.

    All the parts are in place. And most of the improvements required are already being worked on. Look where this field was 20 years ago, and then tell me how slow the change will be.

    i agree 20 years. to me that’s slow. we have time.

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    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    I agree that the scientists involved will think the technology is ready to be used on human embryos, at great cost and profit to them, in 20 years. But in the US, at least, they will need hefty insurance coverage against the inevitable lawsuits when things don't go quite right. That could delay things quite a bit, since the risks are pretty much unknown at this point...
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  • These numbers are really interesting. Thanks. My experience of Japan is that many people dismiss cultural differences with the US as just instances of Christian belief, so I wonder how genuine Deng Rui was being.

    I tried to look up some trends once using the Japanese version of the GSS, but the questions change so much from one survey to the next that they’re useless for tracking anything. I’ll have to look into the WVS next time.

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    • Replies: @PD Shaw
    "My experience of Japan is that many people dismiss cultural differences with the US as just instances of Christian belief . . ."

    According to the World Values Survey Cultural Map US culture is far more traditional than Japanese when traditional values are weighed against Secular-rational values.

    I don't think religion is unimportant, that Map finds religious groupings, but they are not that determinative. China is closer to Russia on that map than to Japan. Japan is closer to Germany than to South Korea.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • “Though CRISPR is much better than most older genetic engineering techniques in terms of specificity, for the near term future it is unlikely to be good enough that you’d want to “perfect” your child.”

    This statement is extremely dependent on your definition of “near term future”. I don’t think a single scientist working in this field would rule out that in 20 years you could have 100% specific modifications, verified by whole genome sequencing, in less than a week or two. The only slow parts will be growing cells in vitro.

    All the parts are in place. And most of the improvements required are already being worked on. Look where this field was 20 years ago, and then tell me how slow the change will be.

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i agree 20 years. to me that's slow. we have time.
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  • Nature has a nice overview of the excitement over CRISPR. The plot above shows Google Trends, and it illustrates what's been going on. Friends of mine who were working with Talens and Zinc-finger methods are now switching to CRISPR. For a generation genetic engineering has been an idea, CRISPR brings that idea to life. As...
  • Maybe lots of people dislike it right now but once we have the first genetically engineered superhuman almost everyone else will follow. (assuming AI revolution will lag) I mean how many people play with a random character when there is a character creation page in a video game? In real life you try to rationalize it when the universe assigns your skills.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Possibly, another application of gene drives could be in watermarking genetic IP. Because CRISPR can make dominant alleles into “super-dominant” ones, it’s possible to “stamp” neutral loci with those, thereby obtaining a strong watermark that “sticks,” and is not easy to “erase,” unless one has advanced genetic engineering tools (i.e. is a state-level actor).

    A regular farmer attempting to steal genetic IP by cross-breeding a commercially produced mutant will have a really hard time avoiding also perpetuating the “watermark” loci. This will introduce the issue of accidental cross-breeding, but a solution could be in “terminator” seeds. A commercial seed producer, e.g. Monstanto, however, issued the following statement: http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/terminator-seeds.aspx. Fortunately, as this too radical of a solution, salvation came from the Supreme Court siding with Monstanto: http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-patents-sue-farmers-547/.

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  • Rick says:
    @Razib Khan
    the timescale for genetically modifying IQ is much further out than 2025. so don't worry about that.

    I think G. Church addressed the limitations of CRISPR gene drive for humans and domesticated animals and crops quite well. Basically, there will be no impact. It takes too long, and technology moves too fast. It is too easy to tell if it’s been done, and too easy to counteract (using different CRISPR RNAs).

    Gene drive CRISPR can only be useful for a short lived, quickly reproducing, totally ‘wild’ species that requires cross fertilization. Sorry, no impact on eliminating dandelions from your yard. But eliminating malaria by tweaking mosquitoes is very possible.

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  • If IVF is any guide, the main obstacle to CRISPR is cost, and the main component of that cost will be the professional fees. So, aside from the military black programs (The Bourne Identity), the market will likely be limited to the top 1%.

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  • @frizzled
    I believe CRISPR and similar technologies may become the new nuclear arms race. Whichever of the world's powerful nations that has the most intelligent children will have the long term advantage. The Chinese are certainly looking into this already, as there are no parents more eager for the smartest possible kids than the Chinese.

    By contrast, the West is embarking on a kind of mass intellectual suicide. Through first, mass immigration of anti-intellectual cultures, second ultra-leftist hatred of any kind of meritocracy, including affirmative action policies. And third, democracy and US style capitalism (blind short term profit maximization) themselves, which cannot produce intelligent long-range political or economic strategy.

    What is our answer going to be in 2025 when we find out the Chinese have been genetically manipulating their children for years to have minimum IQ of 125? I don't know how a country as comprehensively stupid as the USA can stop a country with millions of geniuses from doing whatever they want.

    the timescale for genetically modifying IQ is much further out than 2025. so don’t worry about that.

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    • Replies: @Rick
    I think G. Church addressed the limitations of CRISPR gene drive for humans and domesticated animals and crops quite well. Basically, there will be no impact. It takes too long, and technology moves too fast. It is too easy to tell if it's been done, and too easy to counteract (using different CRISPR RNAs).

    Gene drive CRISPR can only be useful for a short lived, quickly reproducing, totally 'wild' species that requires cross fertilization. Sorry, no impact on eliminating dandelions from your yard. But eliminating malaria by tweaking mosquitoes is very possible.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I believe CRISPR and similar technologies may become the new nuclear arms race. Whichever of the world’s powerful nations that has the most intelligent children will have the long term advantage. The Chinese are certainly looking into this already, as there are no parents more eager for the smartest possible kids than the Chinese.

    By contrast, the West is embarking on a kind of mass intellectual suicide. Through first, mass immigration of anti-intellectual cultures, second ultra-leftist hatred of any kind of meritocracy, including affirmative action policies. And third, democracy and US style capitalism (blind short term profit maximization) themselves, which cannot produce intelligent long-range political or economic strategy.

    What is our answer going to be in 2025 when we find out the Chinese have been genetically manipulating their children for years to have minimum IQ of 125? I don’t know how a country as comprehensively stupid as the USA can stop a country with millions of geniuses from doing whatever they want.

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    the timescale for genetically modifying IQ is much further out than 2025. so don't worry about that.
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  • The gene drive aspect certainly brings “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should” into new perspective. The debate certainly has a quality of that.

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  • Just about every futuristic horror first dreamed up by science fiction authors has been built when advances in technology have provided the first opportunity for scientists and engineers to do so. I don’t believe that Dr. Moreau’s monsters will be an exception to this rule.

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  • Everyone and their mother has heard of the story about the CRISPRed embryos by now. If you haven't, the original paper is open access. Second, Carl Zimmer's primer is excellent, Editing Human Embryos: So This Happened. For those who are overly alarmed by the non-ethical aspects, I think this is key: Livestock and pets. And...
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Better Drakas than Emberverse.

    Probably.

    That’s like a choice between unicorns and fairies or something.

    Both equally improbable and nonsensical.

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  • 1978 movie: The Boys From Brazil is another si- fi cloning

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  • Better Drakas than Emberverse.

    Probably.

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    • Replies: @B.R.
    That's like a choice between unicorns and fairies or something.

    Both equally improbable and nonsensical.
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  • TB says:
    @Abelard Lindsey
    To be a Draka, being genetically engineered via CRISPR is not enough. You have to undergo the Draka fitness program: physical, mental, and psychological starting in late infancy in order to be a respectable member of the Draka Domination.

    Remember, there are no fat Draka. Allowing yourself to get out of shape is a great shame and reflects poorly on your family upbringing and friends.

    Stolen from Michael Gilleland’s blog; http://laudatortemporisacti.blogspot.no/

    Aelian, Historical Miscellany 14.7 (tr. N.G. Wilson):

    This law is a Spartan one. The wording is as follows: no Spartan is to be seen with an effeminate complexion or a heavier body than exercise will produce — the one was a confession of idleness, the other of effeminacy. It was also provided in the law that every ten days the ephebes should without fail appear naked before the ephors. If they were well-built and strong, emerging from the gymnasium as if they had been sculpted or chiselled, they were complimented. But if there was anything flabby or soft in their limbs, any swelling of fat arising from idleness, they were beaten and punished on the spot. The ephors also made a point of reviewing their dress every day, to ensure that in each detail the proper style was maintained. Spartan cooks were expected to know about meat only; anyone with other skills was banished from Sparta, as if this were the purging of a sick element.

    The same authorities brought Nauclides son of Polybiades before the assembled inspectors. He was overweight and had become fat through luxurious living. They threatened him with the additional punishment of exile if he did not for the future change his habits, which were the subject of criticism and Ionian rather than Spartan. They claimed his appearance and physical condition brought disgrace on Sparta and its laws.

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  • To be a Draka, being genetically engineered via CRISPR is not enough. You have to undergo the Draka fitness program: physical, mental, and psychological starting in late infancy in order to be a respectable member of the Draka Domination.

    Remember, there are no fat Draka. Allowing yourself to get out of shape is a great shame and reflects poorly on your family upbringing and friends.

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    • Replies: @TB
    Stolen from Michael Gilleland's blog; http://laudatortemporisacti.blogspot.no/

    Aelian, Historical Miscellany 14.7 (tr. N.G. Wilson):

    This law is a Spartan one. The wording is as follows: no Spartan is to be seen with an effeminate complexion or a heavier body than exercise will produce — the one was a confession of idleness, the other of effeminacy. It was also provided in the law that every ten days the ephebes should without fail appear naked before the ephors. If they were well-built and strong, emerging from the gymnasium as if they had been sculpted or chiselled, they were complimented. But if there was anything flabby or soft in their limbs, any swelling of fat arising from idleness, they were beaten and punished on the spot. The ephors also made a point of reviewing their dress every day, to ensure that in each detail the proper style was maintained. Spartan cooks were expected to know about meat only; anyone with other skills was banished from Sparta, as if this were the purging of a sick element.

    The same authorities brought Nauclides son of Polybiades before the assembled inspectors. He was overweight and had become fat through luxurious living. They threatened him with the additional punishment of exile if he did not for the future change his habits, which were the subject of criticism and Ionian rather than Spartan. They claimed his appearance and physical condition brought disgrace on Sparta and its laws.
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  • I feel like genetic editing will be obsolete before being mainstream because of AI Revolution. What needs to be done is immediately cloning a lot of Von Neumann or Einstein to try to prevent malevolent AI.

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  • @O'really
    Nobody is going to CRISPR hundreds or even thousands of SNPs in embryos to breed smarter children, except in science fiction. That is, assuming that cognitive GWAS ever gets large enough sample sizes to even yield that many targets.

    Perhaps it’s not even worth it to build and apply genetic-cognitive models. Removing mutational load is easy and should go a very long way. It is just a matter of hammering the bits that stick out, relatively speaking.

    Iterated PGD (there has been some progress in producing gametes) looks like a much cheaper way to remove rare variants than ad-hoc CRISPR for the said rare variants. Iterated selection will result in greatgreat…grandchildren rather than children, but volumes (important for IVF) are a natural part of the process. Very cost-effective, not to mention smaller risks.

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  • @O'really
    Nobody is going to CRISPR hundreds or even thousands of SNPs in embryos to breed smarter children, except in science fiction. That is, assuming that cognitive GWAS ever gets large enough sample sizes to even yield that many targets.

    People are thinking of (and have already begun) using this technology to transform elephants into mammoths, and modern human cells into Neanderthal cells.

    Once this kind of thing has been successfully worked out, the leap to making thousands of SNP changes in your own children will be simple, and a small number of beneficial changes might be ‘normal’.

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  • Hmmm I guess I’m throwing my hat in the ring to be mocked, but to me at least it seems like ho hum news. (At least in regards to the big picture.)

    To expand on that sentiment, it just seems to me that organic intelligence is just too limited in the end as compared to what we can create using other media.

    Once upon a time I posted in another of your threads a similar sentiment, but you kind of poo poohed it.

    So I’m back for round 2.

    Here’s my argument.

    Let’s assume it is possible to create an artificial intelligence (and I do believe it to be possible).

    Let’s assume we can genetically engineer humans (not much of an assumption).

    Now let’s think about both of these possibilities.

    Which is the more profound and far reaching?

    You can’t get around it, the only way not to consider the question is to say that you cannot create a thinking AI using computational technology.

    If you can though, genetically engineering humans is like breeding a super horse when the first Model T comes off the assembly line.

    So whatever date we have for thinking machines, whether Kurzweil time, or a century from now, I just can’t see organic life as being competitive with artificial. Not that it has to die and go away because something better is around.

    But I’d put money on the machines if they went head to head with engineered superhumans. And it wouldn’t even be much of a fight, assuming a few generations of machines.

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  • Nobody is going to CRISPR hundreds or even thousands of SNPs in embryos to breed smarter children, except in science fiction. That is, assuming that cognitive GWAS ever gets large enough sample sizes to even yield that many targets.

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    • Replies: @Rick
    People are thinking of (and have already begun) using this technology to transform elephants into mammoths, and modern human cells into Neanderthal cells.

    Once this kind of thing has been successfully worked out, the leap to making thousands of SNP changes in your own children will be simple, and a small number of beneficial changes might be 'normal'.
    , @Esso
    Perhaps it's not even worth it to build and apply genetic-cognitive models. Removing mutational load is easy and should go a very long way. It is just a matter of hammering the bits that stick out, relatively speaking.

    Iterated PGD (there has been some progress in producing gametes) looks like a much cheaper way to remove rare variants than ad-hoc CRISPR for the said rare variants. Iterated selection will result in greatgreat...grandchildren rather than children, but volumes (important for IVF) are a natural part of the process. Very cost-effective, not to mention smaller risks.
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  • @O'really
    I still don't understand why you would use CRISPR to modify an embryo with a mutation, when you could just use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select an embryo without the mutation in the first place. Am I missing something?

    There’s more potential for abuse with CRISPR then PGD. I expect a lot of powerful people see that as an advantage.

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  • @O'really
    I still don't understand why you would use CRISPR to modify an embryo with a mutation, when you could just use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select an embryo without the mutation in the first place. Am I missing something?

    Think about how many genes you can select against with that. Now think about how many edits you could do with a refined CRISPR. Now think about the laws of behavioral genetics.

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  • […] around during the OMG DOLLY NOW WE’RE GOING TO CLONE HUMANS AND THE END IS NEAR panic, which as Khan noted, hasn’t happened–or at least, the Raelians haven’t made us believe. Will the same […]

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  • @O'really
    I still don't understand why you would use CRISPR to modify an embryo with a mutation, when you could just use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select an embryo without the mutation in the first place. Am I missing something?

    Reporting bias I think. CRISPR makes a better story. PGD seems much less like messing with Nature, so reporters get confused and have a hard time spinning it the right way. PGD seems like a unilaterally good thing, and they never liked those embryos anyway. Eugenics is supposed to be bad.

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  • @Kamran
    So the question is - who's going to be the first offender? North Korea?

    I would guess China. Metal chopsticks are great, but provide no advantage in this field ;)

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  • Apparently I’m not typical, since I don’t have a problem with the concept of “designer babies.” At least as long as the designing is done by the parents. Really, people have been designing their babies for generations based on their pick for a spouse.

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  • Do you really believe that there are no cloned humans out there?

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  • So the question is – who’s going to be the first offender? North Korea?

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    • Replies: @omarali50
    I would guess China. Metal chopsticks are great, but provide no advantage in this field ;)
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  • I still don’t understand why you would use CRISPR to modify an embryo with a mutation, when you could just use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select an embryo without the mutation in the first place. Am I missing something?

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    • Replies: @Esso
    Reporting bias I think. CRISPR makes a better story. PGD seems much less like messing with Nature, so reporters get confused and have a hard time spinning it the right way. PGD seems like a unilaterally good thing, and they never liked those embryos anyway. Eugenics is supposed to be bad.
    , @gwern
    Think about how many genes you can select against with that. Now think about how many edits you could do with a refined CRISPR. Now think about the laws of behavioral genetics.
    , @notanon
    There's more potential for abuse with CRISPR then PGD. I expect a lot of powerful people see that as an advantage.
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  • Founded by eight NASA scientists, the Rainbow Mansion is a kind of academic coop, where you have to demonstrate you're working on something interesting to get a rental agreement. The building itself is true to its name, a mansion spacious within, and surrounded by lush gardens without. Every week they host a group dinner, followed...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    The high genetic load of Africans may actually be caused by young, and not old, male parental age. Africans are known to breed early and often due to the diseases and wildlife hazards found in the jungle. and a recent Cambridge study found that young fathers (under 20) pass on more mutations to their children. http://news.investors.com/022415-740732-young-dads-mutation-links.htm

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  • Could you posts the links for the references for the ‘super-optimistic estimations’?

    I haven’t seen any published estimates for most of those.

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  • @JayMan

    Optimizing performance at the moment, by eliminating rare variants, no matter what metric is used to define ‘optimal’, will cripple development. The currently-maladaptive genes are the building blocks of future adaptation.
     
    This is true to some extent. But there are plenty of mutant alleles that are just bad all around.

    There are immensely more ways of screwing something up than improving it. Even with variable conditions considered.

    You don’t understand. The “lots of ways to screw something up, few ways to get it right” has nothing to do with biochemistry and everything to do with how you evaluate things.

    Nature already has methods of purging mutations which reduce fitness. It doesn’t use them. Instead, it goes out of its way to arrange for reproductive patterns which conserve rare mutations. Because in reality, if not in human minds, what “getting it right” means isn’t well-defined, and tends to change rapidly. It even changes every time something comes along which works better.

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  • @AG

    Chinese and East Asians in general don’t share these concerns
     
    Historically, East Asians care little about ideology/religion. Somehow I start believing higher the IQ, lesser conviction of ideology/religion. Ideology/religion are for stupid people to use as guidance to judge thing they do not understand; for smarter people to use as tools to manipulate the mass.

    Historically, East Asians care little about ideology/religion

    You must have a really constrained understanding of those terms.

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