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Are Intelligence and Creativity Much the Same?
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A preprint:

Intelligence and Creativity Share a Common Cognitive and Neural Basis

Emily Frith, Daniel Elbich, Alexander Christensen, Monica D. Rosenberg, Qunlin Chen, Paul Silvia, Paul Seli, Roger Beaty
CREATED ON November 19, 2019

Abstract

Are intelligence and creativity distinct abilities, or do they rely on the same cognitive and neural systems? We sought to quantify the extent to which intelligence and creativity overlap in brain and behavior by combining machine learning of fMRI data and latent variable modeling of cognitive ability data in a sample of young adults (N= 186) who completed a battery of intelligence and creativity tasks. Thestudyhad three analytic goals: (a) to assess contributions of specific facets of intelligence (e.g., fluid and crystallized intelligence) and general intelligence to creative ability (i.e., divergent thinking originality), (b) to model whole-brain functional connectivity networks that predict intelligence facets and creative ability, and (c) to quantify the degree to which these predictive networks over lap in the brain.Using structural equation modeling, we found a large effect of general intelligence on creative ability (β = .63). A bi-factor model further showed joint effects of general intelligence and crystallized intelligence(Gc) on creative ability. Using connectome-based predictive modeling, we found that functional brain networks that predict intelligence facets overlap to varying degrees with a network that predicts creative ability, particularly within the right frontal cortex of the executive control network. Notably, a network that predicted general intelligence shared over half of its functional connections with a network that predicted creative ability—including connections linking frontal executive regions with posterior default regions—indicating that intelligence and creativity rely on similar neural and cognitive systems.

I know very little about creativity research. My attitudes toward creativity research are much the same as the conventional wisdom toward intelligence research:

Me: “You guys have probably never thought of … Obvious Objection X!”

Creativity Researchers: “Actually, there’s been much progress on that admitted problem since Smith’s seminal paper on the question in 1962 set off a lively debate that carried on into the mid-1980s before the current consensus approach emerged in Jones’ 1986 meta-analysis.”

Me: “Huh … Well … You guys have probably never thought of Obvious Objection Y!”

I know very little about creativity research. It would be helpful if researchers would offer more examples of what kinds of creativity they think they are measuring: Newton-Einstein-style creativity? Kanye West-style creativity?

Broadly, creativity encompasses the ability to generate novel ideas and solutions that are task-appropriate and effective (Diedrich et al. 2015; Runco & Jaegar, 2012). Similarly, intelligence is denoted by a composite of several general abilities that hinge on executing goal-directed behavior (Gottfredson, 1997; Jensen, 1998)

It would be interesting to look at examples of people whose creativity and intelligence aren’t in sync. Is, say, Quentin Tarantino, a middle school dropout, an example of high creativity without high intelligence? Or is Tarantino, as he has claimed, somebody who scored 160 on an IQ test (but seems to suffer from some sort of dyslexia problem with reading)?

In Paul Johnson’s book Creators, he nominated Victor Hugo (Hunchback of Notre Dame) as the best example of high creativity without high intelligence. But he said this disparity was rare.

It could be that to be highly creative, a solid IQ is necessary but not sufficient.

Another angle is that what gets considered “creative” depends upon genre. For example, much of creative success in “creative arts” is dependent upon having a strong sense of rhythm. For example, say you have creative and clever ideas for song lyrics … but you have no sense of rhythm. Sorry, you are not going to become a famously creative songwriter.

 
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  1. Anonymous[136] • Disclaimer says:

    For example, say you have creative and clever ideas for song lyrics … but you have no sense of rhythm. Sorry, you are not going to become a famously creative songwriter.

    That’s a little bit funny – I hope you don’t mind if I suggest that might not be entirely correct – I can think of at least one counterexample (although it might be a long, long time til I can think of another)

    • Replies: @Jon
    , @Autochthon
    , @anon
  2. J.Ross says:

    Intellect prepares the ground, discipline ensures the result, work ethic makes everything possible. But creativity? I am not sure how to honestly define it. I believe it performs (and so is) the same operations falling under the above virtues, but was later recognized in hindsight as having escaped limiting presuppositions. Is it really a thing in itself? And if someone has creativity but none of the above virtues, we’ll never know.
    I really think “creativity” might be a non-concept, an unhelpful conflation of other things, enabled by excitement over success or innovation. Like if you had an idiot boss who admonishes you that you need “stick-to-ittiveness” or “that New York style.”
    ————
    It’s over Nazis, the Subaru just pulled up.

  3. Polynices says:

    I think it is correct to note that a proper IQ test (the real kind administered 1-on-1 by a trained tester) won’t (or shouldn’t?) report a score if the results are discordant between subtests. A genius with dyslexia will do great on parts of the test and terrible on other parts of the test and a careful examiner won’t report a numerical score as a result, only broad ranges. So I am skeptical of someone claiming a 160 IQ but having obvious deficits.

    Source: both my sons took full long-form IQ tests and scored so discordantly between subtests that the examiner wouldn’t give either a precise score.

  4. Nonynana says:

    30 some years ago when in my twenties I went to a so-called Testing Center to be advised on a career change. They tested my IQ to be 130. I took some other test which had a maximum score of 100. I got 95. I was told that to be a medical doctor one should score 85 or above on that test or 65 or more to be a lawyer. What was that test?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  5. Kronos says:
    @J.Ross

    I’d like to get a Subaru Outback, but it’s got a bad social association with liberals. I don’t think any NRA sticker is going to cover it.

    • Replies: @Whiskey
    , @SFG
    , @BenKenobi
  6. Anonymous[192] • Disclaimer says:

    In Paul Johnson’s book Creators, he nominated Victor Hugo (Hunchback of Notre Dame) as the best example of high creativity without high intelligence. But he said this disparity was rare.

    It’s more likely that one could have lots of creative energies and inspirations, but, without intelligence to guide the muse, they won’t come to fruition. Thus, we generally don’t hear of people with creative energies minus high intelligence. They got the fuel but not the engine. Same with athletes in certain sports that require some degree of mental ability. They can be strong and powerful but lacking in the mental knack to learn and strategize. It’d be like having lots of seeds but poor soil, little rain and sun. This may not be classic intelligence but a kind of ‘intuigence’, and not everyone has them. Ali beat a lot of tougher, bigger, stronger boxers because he had remarkable ‘intuigence’. He wasn’t much of a reader but he could read body motions and rhythms.

    But then, there are plenty of high IQ people with little imagination, inspiration, or a kind of ‘sense’. Being smart, they can learn the craft and do a creditable job but won’t produce masterpieces. Sydney Pollack came across as a very smart guy who certainly mastered the craft and made some creditable movies but nothing of great lasting value. In contrast, Peckinpah was bright but not too bright but had powerful film sense. When his rather undisciplined mind mustered the will to control his creative energies, he was formidable.

    Also, it depends on the art. Literature, especially poetry, seems to favor high IQ. And certain genres, such as mystery, require a mind both logical and tricky. Play-writing requires witty dialogue, difficult to do for dimmies.
    While painting certainly needs intelligence, it seems some people have a natural knack with the brush while others don’t. There are plenty of high-IQ people who can’t draw worth shi*, not even a straight line. And many have awful penmanship. Others, though of lower IQ, have a knack with pencil or brush.

    Some might argue that music is the most mysterious art form that goes beyond IQ, and it seems there are plenty of low IQ musical stars, esp in rap. But that might tell us more about the stupidity of the masses than intelligence of the musicians.
    The finest composers of the best songs tend to be pretty smart and nimble in their mental ability. They can quickly pick up new styles and fashion them into something new. Think of Carole King and Smokey Robinson.
    However, X-factor seems to matter more in music because when composers lose it, they really lose it. While every artist has his peak, even a writer past his peak can write something of worth. But when people like McCartney or Wilson lose the muse, they are left treading water.

    Then, there is mastery vs originality. Intelligence is surely useful in mastery as smart people learn, understand, and retain lessons better. On the other hand, mastery is open to all in the sense of putting in long hours. Via endless practice, even the non-bright can master a certain task. Originality seems to favor high intelligence for obvious reasons, but then, there are cases where intelligence, being essentially an analytical tool, stands in the way of originality. Always focused on understanding, intelligence may inhibit the means to just let go and venture into lala land. Harold Bloom was a very smart guy but could he have succeeded as a fiction writer? Maybe but maybe not. Too much interpretive inclinations getting in the way of inspiration. Also true of Sontag, better as analyst than artist.

    Scorsese, unlike Pollack, had intelligence and inspiration, which made him the most important American film artist of his generation. But there was the third factor, sensibility, something sorely lacking in Tarantino who’s emotionally stuck in teen-hood and has the most vulgar trashy tastes. He thinks BATTLE ROYALE, a vile heap of trash, is the best film of the 90s. Scorsese has a certain taste for trashy movies too but also a sense of hierarchy of what is truly important and meaningful.

  7. J.Ross says:
    @Nonynana

    >lawyer is twenty less than doctor
    I kind of want this to be true, but every lawyer I’ve ever met was objectively smarter than almost every doctor I’ve ever met. When you go hunting for stories about dumb educated people you are gathering anecdotes about medical doctors.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @Jon
    , @SimpleSong
    , @Houston 1992
  8. “Creativity” is not only, as Joyce once said, one of those big words that makes us so unhappy, it is also a crazy thing to try to define and measure, because unlike standard ideas about IQ, it comes and goes.

    Take the cases of Bob Dylan and John Lennon. From the early sixties to the early seventies, the Muse seems to have whispered directly into both mens’ ears, and what they produced during that time had a nature bordering on magic inspiration or holy writ; then later on the Muse stopped talking, but they could still rely on craft to produce competent if not prophetical material. (The Muse seems to have visited Lennon one last time at the end of his life, for “Starting Over” and “Watching the Wheels”; Dylan has soldiered on bravely and done some lovely work, but after “John Wesley Harding” he never did anything again that glowed in the dark.)

    Hell, even John Coltrane, when asked if he could play the legendary saxophone solo on “Blue Train” a second time, replied, “What, are you kidding me? I was lucky I could even do that ONCE.”

  9. Its interesting that you can be a great novelist without being creative. Some novelist are very creative, they write incredible novels about worlds they never knew and characters unlike themselves. Tolstoy wrote Anna Karenina and War and Peace, and wasn’t born in 1815 and obviously, was never a woman.

    OTOH, some un-creative novelists just “Write what they know” and because they knew about a war or some interesting people they knew, they did OK. Hemingway, pretty much made himself the thinly disguised hero of every novel, and wrote “What he knew”. newspaper guy in Paris circa 1925, Ambulance driver it Italy in WW 1, Key West, Spanish Civil war, 50 y/o WW 2 vet with a aristocratic girlfriend in Venice, etc. Probably the only exception is “the old man and the sea”. Hemingway was an old man in Cuba, and loved to fish but he wasn’t an old Cuban.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  10. Alfa158 says:
    @J.Ross

    Those nice liberals are going to get their asses in a jam. I heard them repeatedly use the descriptive term “White Nationalists” instead of the slur “White Supremacists”. O’Brien is going to have them in for a little therapy.

  11. Bill P says:

    If creativity is “the ability to generate novel ideas and solutions that are task appropriate and effective,” then it has an implicit association with intelligence. I’d argue that creativity so defined would be impossible to clearly disaggregate from intelligence, which weakens the concept of creativity as a separate mental ability.

    Remove “task appropriate and effective” but keep the “novel ideas and solutions” and then maybe the study will have some value.

    • Replies: @SimpleSong
  12. @J.Ross

    I really think “creativity” might be a non-concept, an unhelpful conflation of other things, enabled by excitement over success or innovation.

    I think this is just about right. ‘Creativity’ can be ‘defined’ in so many ways as to negate any definition.

    In the education field, there’s a persistent mania for ‘teaching our children to be creative’, which has always struck me as quixotic to the point of idiocy — which is precisely why it’s a persistent mania in the education field, but that’s another post.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  13. Anon[166] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve known way too many intelligent people who aren’t creative. The most important factor appears to be temperament. Some people just don’t like to create, or get no pleasure from it, or think it too much work, or appear to be unnerved by the messy mental jumble that’s necessary for creativity. Good creativity definitely requires some degree of intelligence, however.

    • Agree: S. Anonyia
    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
  14. ricpic says:

    An intelligent person has an insight but will reality test that insight, will use prudence before incorporating it into his world view and acting on it in future.

    A creative person has a hunch and must follow that hunch impulsively, must act on it, must gamble that the hunch, the instinct, a aha moment is valid, must leap and maybe fly maybe fall, intelligence be damned.

    • Agree: Pheasant
  15. Anon[166] • Disclaimer says:

    My pick for creative guy with little intelligence is Leo Tolstoy. His insights are never more than B- caliber.

    • Disagree: Old Prude
  16. Whiskey says: • Website
    @Kronos

    In the U.K. the Impreza is the car of choice for yobbos or so said Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear.

  17. @Anonymous

    Good insights; many thanks.

    The ancient Greeks knew something about being intelligent, but they certainly remembered to invoke the muses to help them raise their performance from merely human to inspired.

    On the theme of ‘creative but not especially intelligent’ writers, isn’t that the very picture of Stephen King?

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @SFG
  18. @Anonymous

    There’s a word for people who are creative but lacking in the intelligence or inspiration: stoners. Their conversations more interesting than that of a lot of accountants, but they never go anywhere. There are actually a fair amount of people who are creative but not that intelligent.

    • Replies: @Paw
  19. Jon says:
    @Anonymous

    This would be a better comment if you shared the counter-example.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  20. MarkinLA says:
    @Anonymous

    It’s more likely that one could have lots of creative energies and inspirations, but, without intelligence to guide the muse, they won’t come to fruition.

    It also can work in the opposite direction. An intelligent person can simply have a lot of ideas on how to solve a problem, more so than most. Since most ideas when advancing the boundaries of science are wrong or half-baked, having a lot of possible possibilities and intelligence to more quickly ferret out the faults, the untimate outcome looks like creativity but it is just the case of brainpower overpowering the problem like is done with brute-force algorithms in computer science.

    • Agree: Monsieur le Baron
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  21. Jon says:
    @J.Ross

    every lawyer I’ve ever met

    That’s the answer. There are enough law schools that just about anyone can get in somewhere, and the bar exams (especially outside of places like New York and California) are seriously overrated as any kind of barrier to entry. But your life would have to take a serious turn for the worse for you to ever come into contact with any of the true dregs of the profession.

    • Agree: Abe
  22. SFG says:
    @Kronos

    Come on, put an NRA sticker, a GOP sticker, a Trump sticker, they’ll get the message…

    I always wanted to buy a Prius and put a Trump sticker on it, but I figured my car would get keyed where I live.

  23. SFG says:
    @J.Ross

    It exists, though. I mean, people differ in originality. There are pluses and minuses too–it seems negatively correlated with discipline, for example.

    ‘stick-it-to-iveness’ means ‘don’t get distracted’ or ‘don’t give up’, and probably correlates negatively with creativity. 😉

    ‘New York style’ could mean dressing fashionably or being more aggressive, depending on the context. It probably correlates positively with being an asshole.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  24. @The Last Real Calvinist

    I was once made to attend a seminar by a corporate employer purporting to teach us all how to be more innovative (I shit you negative).

    It was the as ridiculous and futile as you surely imagine.

    Some things cannot be taught; at least, not in any meaningful way beyond the most rudimentary aspects of them; so rudimentary as to represent no real progress or achievement at all.

    I’m reminded of the skit I’ve posted before wherein Eminem advises Jimmy Kimmel to use his weaknesses as clever ways to make himself seem cool, and the result.* Compare the comical result to the protagonist B. Rabbit’s effective use of that strategy at the end of 8 Mile and you have a pretty illustrative metaphor of actual creativity and the result of futile attempts to teach it.

    (*Yes, it’s scripted, and the hilarity of the skit, ironically, show’s that, at the level of meta-analsyis, Kimmel is of course very effective and creative and effectively using self-deprecation to be cool, but I mean here for one to think of the dorky character Kimmel is playing, not Kimmel himself…)

  25. SFG says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Is he creative though? I think a lot of his stuff reads the same, though he’s very good at plot and character, which are obviously a big deal for a fiction writer. 😉

    As a cultural conservative, I see nothing wrong with producing large amounts of workmanlike tales for people to enjoy. Not everyone has to be Kafka or Celine, and I couldn’t copy any of them.

  26. A123 says:

    It could be that to be highly creative, a solid IQ is necessary but not sufficient.

    This is a good starting concept for exploration.
    _____

    Both pre-med and pre-engineering students take Organic Chemistry. I was in the latter group. There was a viable impact on the room during each test.

    — The first half emphasized memorization, all smiles from the pre-meds while the engineers were slogging.
    — The second half was “synthesis” — Take chemical “A” and make it into “B”. The pre-meds has visible shock, fear, occasional tears. The engineers were all of sudden happy. Multiple solutions to the problem, so as long as you had 80%+ of the memorization… the puzzle/test was fun.

    The pre-meds had memorization, but not problem solving / creativity. However, without sufficient memorization no amount of creativity could solve the problem.

    PEACE

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
  27. As a musician who deals with a lot of great musicians I am of the mind that high intelligence does not correlate with creativity/musical talent.

    Also, have you ever listened to interviews with musicians? They seem rather average on the intellectual scale. The depth of their music is almost a creation by critics

    But this is music. I’m sure it’s very different with writing

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  28. @J.Ross

    J. Ross wrote:

    Intellect prepares the ground, discipline ensures the result, work ethic makes everything possible. But creativity? I am not sure how to honestly define it. I believe it performs (and so is) the same operations falling under the above virtues, but was later recognized in hindsight as having escaped limiting presuppositions. Is it really a thing in itself?

    Yeah. During the last decade, I have come to know several professors of music. I always thought music was worthwhile (obviously!), but I have come to realize that the music professors were much smarter than I had expected. I was also surprised to find out that they had a high opinion of physicists: specifically, several were fans of my own mentor, Richard Feynman.

    I am beginning to think there are fairly bright, very hardworking people in a lot of different fields, and that is pretty much the story in terms of intelligence/creativity.

    To be sure, some fields are a bit stronger in spatial intelligence (physicists, engineers, architects, etc.). On the other hand, I had always assumed that perfect pitch was innate, and yet one of my own kids developed perfect pitch after she became very intense about composition and improvisation. So, I’m beginning to wonder how much even spatial abilities are also due simply to intensely working at it.

    I’ve taken classes with three Nobel laureates and worked for a couple others. All presumably creative and, of course, all reasonably bright. But, above all, all very highly motivated and very hard workers.

    Same with the best engineers I’ve worked with, and I’ve known the guy credited with inventing TTL logic (Jim Buie) and the Lange coupler (Julius Lange), both extremely nice fellows, by the way.

    So, I concur with J. Ross and with Edison’s famous “99 percent perspiration” remark.

  29. @Bill P

    I agree, this is just comparing two different types of intelligence tests.

    I would argue creativity could be defined as the ability to come up with novel solutions to problems in a totally unstructured environment, in which it is not even clear if a solution exists to any given problem, the problems themselves are not even clearly defined, and the tools to solve the problem are also unknown and may not exist.

    Testing by its nature has to provide structure and clearly defined problems and thus creativity (as defined above) is by definition non-testable. A ‘creativity test’ is just another type of intelligence test, and so of course it correlates with other types of intelligence tests.

    Having said that, I have definitely noticed a correlation between intelligent people and creative people, but the strongest correlation I have noted seems to be with certain personality traits. Specifically, creative people also seem to be 1.) introverted, 2.) novelty seeking, 3.) ruminative.

  30. Lot says:

    The total package, 3.5 billion views.

  31. Coag says:

    Newton-Einstein genius is a mathematical and logical creativity that collects, reconciles, exploits, and exhausts the bewildering array of logical relationships in reality to their most extreme extents and into frighteningly coherent wholes, resulting in counterintuitive revelations that stupefy and astound their fellow mortals who are still in old paradigms.

    Kanye genius, and African genius in general, is the exact opposite of the above, and strives to do away with all logic or causality, and seeks to maximally exploit the sensual present by casting away any and all reference to past or future, to seek the perfect state of disinhibited id. This is the famous African musicality.

    Freud’s “civilization and its discontents” idea explains why the rest of us straight laced mankind will always have a fascination with “soulful” African culture and its derivatives—it’s an anarchic outlet for the industrialized and regimented grind of daily life in the modern world.

  32. Anonymous[921] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Interesting comments. I think the phenomenon of “losing the muse” applies particularly to modern popular music. You don’t see much see it in classical music history (if anything composers tend to get better with experience), nor in folk styles where reputations remain high even as fingers lose agility and voices degrade.

  33. jpp says:

    The preponderance of Chinese people I’ve ever met testify to the distinction between these traits.

    • Replies: @Pheasant
  34. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    The Germ Theory of Disease wrote:

    Take the cases of Bob Dylan and John Lennon. From the early sixties to the early seventies, the Muse seems to have whispered directly into both mens’ ears, and what they produced during that time had a nature bordering on magic inspiration or holy writ; then later on the Muse stopped talking…

    Maybe the Muse that stopped talking to Lennon was named “Paul McCartney”?

    Most of their stuff was jointly credited, but historians seem to have untangled who wrote what. And most of their best stuff, in my judgment and, it seems, what the public still likes, was by Sir Paul.

    To be sure, McCartney also has never replicated what he did in the ’60s. There is something to the energy of youth.

    • Replies: @Anon
  35. @J.Ross

    I haven’t really found physicians to be more or less intelligent than other professionals (for what it’s worth I am a retired physician) but given how selective medical school is they should be getting brighter people. And I’ve certainly heard plenty anecdotes about physicians acting dumb. Possibilities:

    1.) 100 hour work weeks during residency cause brain damage. [note: they don’t do this anymore.]

    2.) The MCAT is not a great screening test. Compared to the LSAT or the GRE it is much more of a subject/knowledge test than an aptitude test, and thus a high MCAT score indicates diligent preparation instead of intrinsic ability.

    3.) Physicians with the highest USMLE scores frequently go into the fields with the least amount of patient contact, such as radiology or anesthesiology, so the general public is not necessarily interacting with the top of any given class.

    4.) Physicians usually have mastered some cognitively difficult specialty or sub-specialty and fail to appreciate that this gives them no special advantage in unrelated fields.

    • Agree: Houston 1992
    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Coag
  36. When I was a kid in grade school I was a straight-A’s nerd but also a caustic smart-ass, which kind of moved me from the “picked-on and beaten up” category to the “warily avoided and ignored” category, which was just fine.

    Some time around fourth or fifth grade, other kids began stealing my school notebooks on a regular basis. At first I just groaned and put up with it, but finally it started happening so often I got fed up. One day I confronted a kid in the hallway who was carrying one of my stolen notebooks.

    I yelled at him, “Why are you doing that?! We’re both in the same damn class! If you really can’t take good notes, just ASK me, and I’ll happily help you out, it’s not a problem!”

    He looked a little sheepish.

    “Don’t you know?” he finally said. “We don’t steal your notebooks for the class notes. We steal them for all the cartoons and the crazy-ass doodles in the margins.”

    Therein lies a heuristic and a differential of sorts.

    IQ: good grades in school.
    Creativity: People steal your notebooks for the doodles.

  37. anonymous[684] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jon

    wwebd said —– Bob Dylan, if the commenter is a median iSteve commenter.

    Nabokov, whose prose style, both in English and Russian, was famously unmusical, if the commenter is one of Steve’s more bookish fans.

    Among great mathematicians/physicists of the 20th century, Neumann ( who understood patterns at a near-angelic level but failed to understand simple ways patterns changed into other patterns, whether rhythmically or chromatically, at even the level of an average dancer at an average Parisian bistro) was famously devoid of human-level rhythm (although on Mars he would probably have been normal) and Einstein also failed, completely, to understand what many less intense thinkers intuitively understood (Mach and his bucket, LaPlace and his chains of gravity, and Alexander Graham Bell and, well, PHONE CALLS and PHONE NUMBERS)

    Chaplin and WC Fields and all 7 of the 3 stooges had miraculous gifts of rhythm

    Abbot and Costello, Groucho and Chico Marx, and Martin from Martin and Lewis – not so much

    non omnes omnia possum

    • Replies: @Pheasant
  38. J.Ross says:
    @SimpleSong

    There is also the fact that lawyers are literally experts in sounding smart (you cannot be a good lawyer without organizational skills, speaking and presentation ability, verbal intelligence, etc), whereas doctors must devote resources to demonstrations of intelligence that outsiders cannot readily see or check, like stoichiometry, or memorizing idiotic drug names and knowing their counterindications.

  39. J.Ross says:
    @SFG

    Right, they’re real things, but imprecisely named, and so really more like bundles of other things. Creativity is probably pragmatism meeting drive and a certain lack of deference to authority.

  40. Coag says:
    @SimpleSong

    To add to the possibilities—

    -Eloquence is valued in law and indifferent in medicine, so lawyers might on average make a much better impression on anyone they meet, while technically proficient or great doctors can survive with horrible bedside manner or subpar or even quasi-autistic basic communication skills.

    -The actual duty of jurisprudence and the legal profession is to “go by the book” and therefore lawyers more than anybody are familiar with the book and in many cases wrote the “book” themselves. As it goes in their professional lives, it bleeds over to their personal lives and lawyers are more comfortable with envisioning and setting well defined limits and guidelines for living their own lives. Whereas doctors have no such instinct—for example I have heard of several anecdotes of doctors who egomaniacally think they must be good at flying airplanes just because they are good at doing surgery or whatever, and die in fiery crashes when they dabble in piloting prop planes on weekends.

    • Replies: @SimpleSong
  41. Anonymous[157] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    I have worked with several blacks who had beautiful penmanship but were of typical black cognition and judgment.

  42. anonymous[684] • Disclaimer says:
    @PhysicistDave

    wwebd said- J Ross and Edison were both wrong, by the way. Think about it from the point of view of what we now know.

    Neumann did not have it.
    Einstein did not have it – the first got lucky by having a perfect Asperger fit to the problem of his day, the second was basically an above average physical philosopher who thought hard about the problems that Mach and his peers had almost, but not quite, perfected.

    Sure, Feynman had it, but he lived in between the eras where his gifts would have been really impressive.

    By the way, physicist Dave, I am a Little disappointed to hear you were so affiliated with great physicists – your condescending replies to me (mushrooms? really —- sad!) were obviously beneath someone with your gifts in life – I am gonna have to think about that, physicist Dave.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  43. @PhysicistDave

    I had always assumed that perfect pitch was innate, and yet one of my own kids developed perfect pitch after she became very intense about composition and improvisation.

    Yes and no; sort of. All (healthy) children are born without perfect pitch, but with the ability to develop it, just as all (healthy) children are born without speaking any language, but with the ability to speak any language. Most do not ever develop perfect pitch just as most never develop the ability (and certainly not native fluency in more than one language). Developing ability in a foreign language as an adult is somewhat comparable to developing comparative pitch as an adult, but I digress, and the analogy is imperfect anyway.

    Adults cannot develop perfect pitch because they have lost the capacity to differentiate and isolate the notes. A much better musician and teacher than I am explains (with help from his child with perfect pitch!):

    Your daughter probably had perfect pitch even when you (and she?) thought she did not; her “development” of it after hard work was probably her development of the ability to correctly name the relevant notes (pitches). Thus, she had already been able to differentiate a D♭from an F#; she just had never been explained (or understood, anyway, and remembered) the names for them…. She had (whether she consciously realised it or verbalised it or not) the sounds in the same way Rick’s son knew how to repeat “Star Wars” even before the boy knew that sound was a B♭(cf. Rick’s explanation at about eleven minutes into his explanation).

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  44. @J.Ross

    I want to agree that MDs >> JDs but many MDs and science types can earnestly hold truly daft political views.
    Some PhDs whom I have spoken to from top schools really lacked the logical reasoning skills to see how poorly thought out their political views were that they had arrived

    I think good verbal skills make JDs seem smart although they must not be very wise or benevolent when one reviews Congress , SCOTUS etC and the deteriorating state of the USA under their leadership

  45. Altai [AKA "Altai_4"] says:

    Other forms of creativity exist in sports, often from players who don’t seem to be conventionally regarded as highly intellectual.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  46. I won’t try to define creativity. But it must be sad and frustrating to lose it, because it’s sad to watch someone else lose it.

    When pro athletes lose their prowess, somehow that’s acceptable. I’m a big Phillies fan, and watching Chase Utley’s last years in LA was like watching the leaves fall off the trees in autumn.

    But, for example, when I read the incandescence of Hunter S. Thompson’s early stuff, and then read anything he wrote after round about 1975, it’s just sad and pathetic.

  47. J.Ross says:

    Will you get into Razorfist now?
    Okilly Dokilly is a Nedal band, a heavy metal band devoted conceptually to Ned Flanders.

  48. anonymous[684] • Disclaimer says:

    wwebd said —- steve don’t worry about posting my stuff …
    i am not crazy, or deluded, i merely am a gifted historian of science in my leisure hours, and the readers of your blog will not have wasted their time reading my relatively short comments on deep matters ….

    don’t believe me? think about it this way …

    for example, you would have no problem in naming which third basemen belong in the hall of fame and which do not, although, as far as I know, you never fielded a major league scorcher hit at a third baseman, in the majors, in triple A, in double A , or even in single A.

    physicist dave – no, Neumann was not that bright, he was just the most perfect Sperg of his day.
    Einstein did not ever say anything much more interesting than Mach had said (with respect to relativity) and with respect to the complicated discoveries of the guys who won their little Nobels for describing what the machines had logged, as machines do, in extreme specifics, with respect to very hard to discern notations (which most of them – not all of them, but most of them – did not fully understand) – with respect to those guys, Einstein was, well, inconveniently clueless.

    There is a reason Einstein loved talking to Godel, it is the same reason most people have when they talk to someone much smarter than them, we like to think there are people who are exponentially smarter than us.

    Sometimes, Physicist Dave, it is true, which is why they charge so much at Caltech. Poor Einstein would have paid millions of dollars to go to Caltech if all the professors were Godels ….

    Sometimes it is not true.

    Tell me again about the fictional mushrooms you, in your pride, charged me with having indulged in.

    Sad!

  49. @Houston 1992

    I work a lot with JDs. Most have high verbal IQs but have a very difficult time with quantitative reasoning.

  50. @Altai

    Derrick Rose was a very creative basketball player although he is box of rocks dumb even for a basketball player.

  51. David says:

    Creativity is the combination of an ability to visualize a lot of permutations and the good taste to choose the best.

  52. 6dust6 says:

    Creativity is problem solving. Everthing else is rote in one form or another.

  53. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says:

    Very curious about this subject. I have consistently scored low on standardized tests with little preparation, but with extensive preparation (granted, coaching myself), I have had respectable scores on the SAT and GRE.

    However, when it comes to creativity in the workplace in a cognitively-demanding field, I have walked over CalTech, Stanford and Ivy grads, which has led to rapid promotions. I can appreciate they process information quicker and more accurately. I have always wondered if creativity = reasonable intelligence + contrarianism + work ethic. However, I’m pretty sure that in any field — aside from maybe physics, pure math, and chess — I would kick their asses, over and over.

  54. The ability to “keep time,” especially with odd time signatures, is a good litmus test.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  55. In Paul Johnson’s book Creators, he nominated Victor Hugo (Hunchback of Notre Dame) as the best example of high creativity without high intelligence. But he said this disparity was rare.

    It’s a little odd that Johnson chose Victor Hugo as such an example.

    Catherine Cox conducted a pretty well known study many decades ago into the “estimated IQ” of famous historical people, basing the estimate on what was known about their childhood intellectual development from their biographies. Obviously, this estimate was pretty crude and speculative, but, for what it’s worth, Victor Hugo came out relatively very high, with an estimated IQ of 180.

    https://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/Cox300.aspx

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  56. If you’re lazy, creativity is a good way to show off whatever wits you may have.

    Don’t ask me how I know this.

  57. Anonymous[112] • Disclaimer says:

    Would suggest you watch Peterson’s lecture on this:

  58. Don’t forget about so called maximisers, people who anguish over finding the perfect solution, rather than settling with something OK.

  59. @Autochthon

    Authochthon wrote to me:

    Your daughter probably had perfect pitch even when you (and she?) thought she did not; her “development” of it after hard work was probably her development of the ability to correctly name the relevant notes (pitches). Thus, she had already been able to differentiate a D♭from an F#; she just had never been explained (or understood, anyway, and remembered) the names for them….

    Well, she learned to read music before she was four (Suzuki piano, which has its strengths but also real weaknesses). She first realized she had perfect pitch when, around age fourteen, she played a harpsichord that was tuned to “Baroque pitch,”415 Hz, instead of 440 Ha (for A4, of course). I was there when she started playing it, and she kept asking me if I could hear that the pitch was all wrong! I couldn’t, of course, but then we realized she had perfect pitch (she had been warned by the music prof of the Baroque tuning, but thought nothing of it, since we “knew” she did not have perfect pitch).

    After that, she started testing herself on a normal piano, and discovered she did have perfect pitch.

    She is better at perfect pitch on pianos, her main instrument, than other instruments, and better at musical instruments than random sounds.

    So, I guess this does fit what you are saying.

  60. Rosie says:

    I am creative defined as capable of generating novel solutions, perspectives and ideas, but I can’t produce anything beautiful like some of my girlfriends can. I wish I could knit.

    • Agree: Pheasant
  61. Do tests for creativity have any validity?

    How do they measure outcomes?

  62. @MarkinLA

    “the untimate outcome looks like creativity but it is just the case of brainpower overpowering the problem like is done with brute-force algorithms in computer science.”

    In the Coen Brothers’ most hated movie, The Hudsucker Proxy,” there’s a great scene of 3 ad agency creatives trying to come up with a name for the “You know, for kids!” toy that Tim Robbins drew on a piece of paper. Two guys bounce dozens of possible names off each other, while a third has his head down on the desk. Finally, the third guy raises his head and announces: “The Hula Hoop!”

    And that’s what it is.

  63. @SFG

    Is [Stephen King] creative though? I think a lot of his stuff reads the same, though he’s very good at plot and character, which are obviously a big deal for a fiction writer.

    Yes, that’s a pertinent question, but isn’t it really just restating the ‘what is creativity?’ conundrum?

    As a cultural conservative, I see nothing wrong with producing large amounts of workmanlike tales for people to enjoy. Not everyone has to be Kafka or Celine, and I couldn’t copy any of them.

    I completely agree with this. There are some days when I come home from work and feel like tackling a chapter or two of Dostoyevsky. And then there are a lot of days when I don’t.

  64. Sean says:

    Autism is a disease of high intelligence (“A suite of recent studies has reported positive genetic correlations between autism risk and measures of mental ability. These findings indicate that alleles for autism overlap broadly with alleles for high intelligence”). You can be intelligent in the way an engineer is while still being dumb as a stump socially, but then John Gotti scored 140 on a prison administered IQ test.

    According to a recent book by genetics researcher Andreas Wagner, intelligence is analogous to natural selection, but creativity is more like genetic drift.

    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/andreas-wagner/life-finds-a-way/

    Most readers associate evolution with Darwinian natural selection, but Wagner points out its limited creative capacity. In natural selection, a better adapted organism produces more offspring. This preserves good traits and discards bad ones until it reaches a peak of fitness. This process works perfectly in an “adaptive landscape” with a single peak, but it fails when there are many—and higher—peaks. Conquering the highest—true creativity—requires descending into a valley and trying again. Natural selection never chooses the worse over the better, so it can’t descend. Wagner devotes most of his book to the 20th-century discovery of the sources of true biological creativity: genetic drift, recombination, and other processes that inject diversity into the evolutionary process.

    Tarantino was not successful by doubling down on what was currently working for other directors, but rather amassed an unrivalled knowledge of forgotten, neglected and obscure popular culture, and gossip, like the one about grappler Gene LeBell humiliating Bruce Lee (both were from entertainment backgrounds and LeBell’s story about defeating a knuckle duster-welding boxer is more laughable than any Lee boast) then synthesised something new. Of late he has become less creative than outright magpie, because I do think Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is heavily influenced by the Good Guys. The porn star party with a line of dancing girls is very reminiscent of the Tarantino’s Playboy bunnies scene. Once you get to the plant the flag on top of Everest there is no reason to go down into the slough of creativity again!

    Wagner does not think much of the way things are done in China, as the reviewer writes

    The human parallel with natural selection is laissez faire competition, which is efficient but equally intolerant of trial and error. Far more productive are systems that don’t penalize failure but encourage play, experimentation, dreaming, and diverse points of view. In this vein, American schools fare poorly, but Asian schools are worse.

    Wagner also mentions in the book, that US bankruptcy laws are designed to encourage businesspeople, but got to be exploited by predatory business (el presidente) men so were tightened up. But the basic idea is to not be pushing for immediate results all the time.

  65. In the popular imagination, it often seems that ‘creativity’ is just skill at a craft that is difficult to master but easy to understand/appreciate. For example Beethoven and Michelangelo are considered creative while Euler is not. It is hard to write music but (relatively) easy to appreciate. It is hard to paint but easy to appreciate a painting. Mathematics however is not easy to appreciate. Thus Euler is considered intelligent but not creative.

    However the handful of people with a deep understanding of music and a deep understanding of math would probably say Euler was certainly as creative as Beethoven, probably more so.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Kratoklastes
  66. @Coag

    The nickname for the Beechcraft Bonanza (the butterfly tailed single engine private plane) was ‘doctor killer.’

  67. Anon[166] • Disclaimer says:
    @PhysicistDave

    There seem to be times when a creative person goes dry because their muse was never anything but a person who was good to bounce ideas off of, or was someone good at with feeding you suggestions or introducing you to work that got your gears rolling. In music, this happens a lot. Kindling another mind or planting suggestions is the work of a very wise (and sneaky) muse.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
  68. Anon[166] • Disclaimer says:
    @Houston 1992

    Read the comments over at the Volokh Conspiracy. There are a ton of liberal lawyers yapping in the comments who know the law but who can’t reason their way from A to B, if the reasoning goes against their prejudices.

  69. unit472 says:

    My take is that since much of what people consider ‘creative genius’ occurs in younger men and fades when they grow older intelligence and creativety are linked but not synonymous. Dylan and McCartney could write dozens of hit songs per year when they were 21 but haven’t done much at all when they grew older. Literature seems less age dependent but even here the best work seems to come at an early age. Even business acumen fades with age. Colonel Sanders is often cited as a man who made his fortune when he was in his sixties but he is a rarity.

  70. anonymous[391] • Disclaimer says:
    @SimpleSong

    SimpleSong, I agree ….

    Bach
    Mozart
    Euler
    Beethoven
    Gauss

    in that order, but on a good day Mozart was exponentially closer to God than any of them.

    I could be wrong I do not presume to be one of the handful of whom you speak.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @PhysicistDave
  71. unit472 says:
    @SimpleSong

    It wasn’t the plane it was the pilot. Doctors had the income and the need to own small aircraft but not always the training to fly in bad weather. Unfortunately, when you have a airplane that can fly for 6 hours weather conditions can deteriorate by the time you reach your destination and if you are not instrument rated you are in a world of hurt trying to land.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  72. Tulip says:

    Creativity is largely driven by sublimated (male) sexual repression.

    It is correlated with IQ, but indirectly.

    High-T, High-IQ and despised by females in youth is the key.

    Fortunately, we are replacing creative males with humorless, childless but high IQ, conscientious and agreeable members of the female worker ant caste, and leaving the breeding to the queen ant caste, which we select for on the basis of low IQ and low conscientiousness, so in five generations, the Hive will never be troubled by creative males again.

  73. @Anon

    To be creative one needs to make decisions. You need to try something, believe in it and stick to it. Some intelligent people are bad in this regard, they question everything, even their ideas from 5 minutes ago. That way you never reach any product.

  74. @SimpleSong

    Specifically, creative people also seem to be 1.) introverted, 2.) novelty seeking, 3.) ruminative.

    Ecce Homo:

    • LOL: Old Palo Altan
  75. “Creativity researchers” … the same type of charlatan that tries to pretend to know how to teach ‘entrepreneurship’.

    This fits really well with Feynman’s criticism of fields that have vague hypotheses… if the definition of ‘creative’ is so vague that it’s up to the ‘researcher’ to set the taxonomy, then it’s not ‘research’, it’s just that typical checklist nonsense that these types use to pigeonhole people; they’re too woke to come right out and say “This is a set of characteristics that I like”, so they have to tart it up.

    Is finding a way to refactor code so that it does its job faster, ‘creative’? Nope … but daubing shit on a canvas is, so long as the daubs fit into the prevailing norm as viewed by some high-end welfare queens.

    My personal ‘research’ has shown that anyone who self-defines as ‘creative’ is almost invariably a hack. If they self-define as ‘a‘ creative, then it’s no longer almost invariably – it’s as good an indicator as a man-bun plus sleeve tattoos.

    It is an indictment on the humanities that there is a publication venue for this schlock. Shit like this belongs on Quora or Medium.

  76. @SimpleSong

    Euler, Gauss, the Bernoullis, von Neumann… people literally have no idea how much civilisation owes to their creativity. There are a hundred more names that could be on that list, but tards like these ‘researchers’ would put Steve fucking Jobs in their top 10.

  77. Steve has let me gab on about this at length before (much appreciated), but to repeat myself with a little concision: after decades hanging around the NYC arts-and-media world, I concluded that creativity is a lot more like athletic ability than it is like IQ-style brainpower. There are tons of brainy people out there who’d like to be creative (in the arts sense, anyway) and who just aren’t; and there are tons of accomplished creative people out there who are surprisingly dim in an intellectual sense.

    • Replies: @Hail
  78. @Kibernetika

    Keeping track of where ‘one’ is, is just a skill that is acquired through practice. Really good journeyman session drummers can do it easily (bassists, too). I’m shit at most ‘creative’ things, but when I practiced a lot it just ‘happened’ eventually, and took a fairly extended period to deteriorate.

    Really good polyrhythms are the outcome of assiduous attention to detail and inhuman amounts of practice; the fact that it’s like that is in no way meant to diminish it… I don’t have that silly bias that ‘prodigious’ talent is somehow better or more interesting than diligence and application-to-craft. (Perhaps because I don’t have those things: if I can’t do a thing at top-decile level fairly quickly, I just put in my list of things I don’t like and I stop doing it).

    I think that the widespread bias for prodigies (soi-disant and actual) is because it gives the schlubs an idea that one of their offspring might get the rub of the green. It’s like expecting Dershowitz and Bader-Ginsberg to produce Milla Jovovich, but nobody should expect introspection from schlubs.

  79. I am very curious who thinks Victor Hugo was low IQ, and why.
    Starting age 15, he won all poetry awards in France, founded a successful magazine at age 17, had his first best selling book at age 21. He was speechwriter for the King at age 22 and received the légion d’honneur at age 23. By age 25 he was already a super star and had changed the European literary scene forever.
    At 35 he started his own theater, at age 39 he was the youngest member of the Académie Française.
    At 42 he became special advisor to the King, at 43 he was senator, at 47 mayor of the richest district of Paris and in charge of the security of the whole city.
    At the same time he was the best selling author of Europe.
    He was then elected several times congressman, and became the leading figure of French politics.
    At some point when he was 68, he was very close to be chosen as the dictator of France.
    When he died, 2 million people joined the funeral.
    All of this doesn’t sound very low IQ.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
  80. Thestudyhad

    Was he Greek, or Arab?

    Obvious Objection X!

    Obvious Objection X = “Cut jive. Nix booboos.”

  81. High intelligence will get you in the door but it won’t turn the lights on. In baseball, to be an elite hitter you must have exceptional hand-eye coordination, no exceptions, but even for those granted this, it’s not enough.

  82. @SimpleSong

    The nickname for the Beechcraft Bonanza (the butterfly tailed single engine private plane) was ‘doctor killer.’

    Cessn who? The competition?

    Butterfly designs seem to be controversial. Chaos theory, pethaps?


  83. George says:

    How fake ‘celebrity geniuses’ fooled the internet
    https://www.dailyedge.ie/celebrity-genius-mensa-944924-Jun2013/

    Hollywood uses genius as a slang term for successful? Hollywood reporters love the word genius.

    The Genius of Steven Soderbergh’s Silent Moments
    https://www.creativeplanetnetwork.com/news/genius-steven-soderberghs-silent-moments-616578

    A typical article that claims various people had massive IQs but not how those IQs were determined. Did Einstein take an IQ test? A net search suggests High IQ: Any score over 140, Genius IQ Score: 160 and up. Maybe Einstien was IQ 140 but very tenacious. Part of IQ tests is speed but Einstein the professional Patent inspector and physics hobbyist only needed to be as fast as other patent inspectors.

    Top 12 People with Highest IQ in the World
    https://listovative.com/top-12-people-highest-iq-world/

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  84. Anonymous[373] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    There’s a theory that this is why so many writers become alcoholics in middle age. They feel their creative abilities declining and find that drinking counteracts it – for a time.

  85. @Anon

    My pick for creative (?) guy of little intelligence is Anon 166 – whose “insight” here is emphatically of F-caliber.

    • Agree: Old Prude
  86. @The real Jackson Houston

    The only great classical composer who was otherwise a bit of a dunce was Mozart.

    There can be no doubt at all that J S Bach had one of the finest minds the world had ever seen … er, heard.

  87. @SimpleSong

    The “forked tailed surgeon killer”?

    The V-tail Bonanza is not just a single-engine general-aviation airplane, it is a high-performance single-engine general-aviation airplane. Its reputation is that if you get the least bit disoriented in one and enter a dive, you don’t have much time before it overspeeds and starts falling apart. It is the combination of an aerodynamically slick aircraft, the unorthodox V-tail that may have an aerodynamic flutter problem if one goes faster than its maximum safe speed along with the training and preparation of the people flying it.

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

    The reason for the “doctor/surgeon killer” reputation is that you have to be reasonable well off to afford one. It is more expensive and also higher performance than your garden-variety Cessna 152 or 172. Whereas a 152 or a 172-class aircraft is far from cheap nowadays, a Bonanza still requires sharper piloting skills and quicker reactions, somewhat like the difference between a Porsche 911 and a Camry. With the Porsche, however, you can stay out of trouble by driving it around like a Camry whereas in an aircraft you don’t have that option. The Bonanza flies faster, expecially in even a slight dive, things happen much more quickly, and a pilot has to stay “ahead of the airplane.”

    So with doctors owning and operating Bonanzas, the reputation may be a combination of financial resources to indulge one’s ego. John F. Kennedy Jr. was no doctor, but he perished in a Piper Saratoga, also a higher performance craft than a more entry-level Piper Warrior for the level of training and low number of flight hours that he had. Perhaps the Saratoga is a more forgiving aircraft than the Bonanza, but Mr. Kennedy took on a flight over water under hazy, failing-light conditions way over his experience level and flying skills, it is believed.

    The V-tail Bonanza, by the way, was the ill-fated charter aircraft in The Day the Music Died.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  88. @SimpleSong

    It wasn’t the doctors causing the crashes. The aircraft had a terrible flaw that caused them to fall from the sky with some regularity. They killed doctors because it was a higher performance, high cost aircraft that smart doctors both were able to qualify for and afford.

  89. @candid_observer

    One of my favourite books, which I devoured when I was 12. The list by itself is very dry bones: one must read the full studies of each of the “geniuses” covered to fully appreciate the quality of the work done.
    I should add that the entire series of the Terman study was, back in 1960, on the open shelves at the Palo Alto public library. No longer, as nobody here will be surprised to learn.

  90. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    The 1960s just seems to have been a very creative decade. Many musical artists did their best work in the 60s.

    Comic books suddenly got a lot better in the early-to-middle 60s. Three of the best artists of that era, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, and Carmine Infantino, had been doing mediocre work for twenty or more years before that. Kane and Infantino were in their late thirties, and Kirby pushing fifty, when they all got very good at the same time, all reaching a peak around 1966-67.

  91. If you stick to usual definitions- no. By the way- what is intelligence? Beethoven couldn’t learn to multiply ordinary numbers, say, 4*8.

    There you are.

  92. Anonymous[266] • Disclaimer says:
    @unit472

    Early Bonanza buyers were often farmers who flew day VFR only and had few problems. When solid state avionics made full IFR panels popular professionals flew them that way and the death toll started. Root cause was the airplane was very clean and there was no good way to slow it down if you had a little whifferdill. Single pilot IFR in an airplane with an engine that really needed a flight engineer and wives, mistresses and/ or squalling kids in the back led to this.

    Pwoduct wiability just smeared the shit.

    • Agree: Old Prude
  93. @SimpleSong

    More like socially maladapted, introverted and depressive losers seek novelty and like to think of themselves as creative.

  94. BenKenobi says:
    @Kronos

    Here’s a helpful list, number one being the worst and going from there.

    If you drive any of these vehicles, rest assured you are a clueless asshole that needs to drive faster:

    1. Subaru
    2. Lexus
    3. Toyota Sienna (model specific)
    4. Volvo
    5. Any car-share vehicle

  95. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    Is, say, Quentin Tarantino, a middle school dropout, an example of high creativity without high intelligence? Or is Tarantino, as he has claimed, somebody who scored 160 on an IQ test (but seems to suffer from some sort of dyslexia problem with reading)?

    Tarantino famously has a huge knowledge base of movies, from mainstream to obscure, that he built up while working as a video stork clerk and watching movies. His movies combine all sorts of elements and obscure references from this encyclopedic knowledge of movies.

  96. Wilkey says:
    @FromParisWithLove

    I can’t imagine anyone thinking Hugo wasn’t an incredibly intelligent man. I say that even as someone who is pretty much 100% certain he’d be out on the far left end of the political spectrum were he alive today (though he seems an independent enough intellect that he could easily surprise in that regard). Les Miserables was a tough slog in parts, but it’s certainly one of the greatest novels of all time, and I can’t imagine going to my gave without having read it.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  97. @NJ Transit Commuter

    Speaking of IQ/creativity, I remain dumbfounded by the fact that when Beethoven composed his Ninth “Choral” Symphony he was almost (if not totally) stone deaf.

  98. @J.Ross

    memorizing idiotic drug names and knowing their counterindications.

    Does not require much intelligence. Most doctors use a limited range of drugs that they know very well over a period of many years.

    However doctors have to work long hours and make vast numbers of important decisions and any error can have serious consequences for the patient and/or the doctor, so they need plenty of spare mental capacity to use in times of emergencies, or when expected results are not achieved.

    In my experience dentists tend to have more creativity than doctors , however doctors involved in teaching and research tend to be more creative and often make new discoveries and inventions out of a desire to do something better or make it easier or more efficient.

  99. @SFG

    I could see someone who identifies as a conservative (like Jeb Bush) endorsing prose as work-day drudgery and disposable product to constantly be churned out, since that’s totally consistent with the liberal conception of art; that is as something that through accident is a mildly pleasing distraction, not different in essence from wallpaper.

    It’s not that every work need be a masterpiece, or even of outstanding form, but they must be anything other than “workmanlike”. The aesop’s fables are quite simple but worth reading a thousand times, but stories that I feel like I’ve read before without finishing aren’t worth reading once. Stephen King is a supposedly “great” writer (he is certainly a competent one), but he’s been writing worse and worse versions of the same stories for at least the last three decades, to read somethong he put out today would be a tremendous waste of time.

  100. Dorkbaby says:

    “Creativity” is a pseudo concept—it’s basically strategic thinking, which is definitely related to g.

  101. @PhysicistDave

    several were fans of my own mentor, Richard Feynman.

    Oh, do tell more please. Surely You are Joking Mr. Feynman was great fun to read back when I was a newbie in graduate school. Tell us the story! You cannot leave us hanging.

  102. @Bardon Kaldian

    Beethoven famously also couldn’t tell when his symphonies were actually over, which was generally about 45 minutes before he finally put a stop to them.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  103. anonymous[391] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wilkey

    Hugo was also a very very creative poet, but the problem his critics see is that he was a party-line stooge, which he thought was just fine because he was a “fighter” in the Voltairean mode. The party-line shifted very frequently in France back in the day, so Hugo never seemed like someone who does not change his mind …. but that is deceptive, he really did not change his mind on important subjects, he merely changed his allegiances, which is very French, but not “incredibly intelligent.”

    In France, long ago, all educated people knew that there was a saying – “the greatest French poet of the 19th century was Victor Hugo – alas!”.

    He has been criticized for pre-judging people. Imagine the writer Tom Wolfe would have been if, for example, Tom Wolfe considered everyone who believes that Jesus is our savior is a dummy or a shyster. Hugo’s way of putting people in a category before trying to understand their heart is what makes him a second-class intellect, in many people’s opinion, despite his obvious ability to portray human emotions. But remember, emotions are concepts and people are people – even someone who suffers from Aspergers can become an expert on emotions, although the same person may not ever hope to come close to understanding a real human being. Of course, when I say “in many people’s opinion”, I am wildly exaggerating – we are a country of nearly half a billion people and maybe two or three hundred people have given this any sustained thought, even though Hugo is one of the most famous novelists who ever lived.

    So, my best guess is that he was very talented, but “incredibly intelligent” – there is no real proof of that.

    If alive, I assume he would be a Rosanne Barr or Morrissey type.

    • Replies: @Frompariswithlove
  104. Anonymous[209] • Disclaimer says:

    Many here don’t seem to get it despite being supposed HBDers/race realists. Creativity is a product of individualism and individualistic societies, and white societies are far and away the most conducive to producing or rewarding creative or innovative individuals, hence why whites dominate in creative endeavors. Perhaps this is implied. But you just don’t find this creative or artistic drive among non-whites except for rare outliers.

  105. @A123

    Engineers appear to be a working mix of problem solving and creativity. They have an added benefit that they generally don’t stray into realms outside of their expertise. Lawyers may be competent in their field, but are prone to stray into regions they do not understand, where they inadverantly destroy the functional. Medical professionals appear in the main to be assimilators, not innovators, and I venture this outcome is near optimal, given the nature of their trade.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  106. Paw says:
    @S. Anonyia

    You can kill Mozart ,Bach, Dostojevski and others,all over many times and he/they do not say and would not know what intelligence and creativity is. Incredibly they did not ,higgledy,piggledy, even care..Either.
    It is a theme exclusively for pedagogues , ideologues and Intelligentists..of all sorts.
    And they do their utmost, to kill any traces of it.

  107. Pheasant says:
    @anonymous

    John von neuman?

    He was like a genius right?

  108. Pheasant says:
    @jpp

    https://amp.toofab.com/2019/11/21/doctor-saves-mans-life-by-sucking-urine-from-his-bladder/

    ‘Clearing out the staff area they made a makeshift bed. He then rigged a device together using the materials that were available to him, including a portable oxygen mask, a syringe needle, straws from milk boxes and tape.’

    Check it out-the mcguyver of doctors is Chinese.

    • Replies: @Jpp
  109. Hail says: • Website
    @Paleo Retiree

    Steve has let me gab on about this at length before (much appreciated)

    Where? When? Link. Thx.

  110. @anonymous

    in that order, but on a good day Mozart was exponentially closer to God than any of them.

    Mozart was a workhorse, as well as a creature of his father’s “laboratory”. He knew how to crank it out, and fast, but where is the evidence that this is the result of superior intelligence? That’s like calling Tiger Woods a great athlete. (He isn’t an athlete at all!)

    Many of the greatest musicians come across as dimbulbs. (Bernstein and the Panthers, anybody? For that matter, Mozart and Freemasonry?) That doesn’t make their work any less inspiring.

  111. Hail says: • Website

    Dr. Davide Piffer on creativity:

    Creativity is not a single cognitive function or ability. Hence, it is not possible to measure creativity with paper and pencil or computer tests, unlike, for example, intelligence, or working memory.

    Creativity is the capacity to produce creative products, such as scientific theories, poems, paintings, sculptures, inventions that are novel and useful or meaningful. Hence, the only way to measure a person’s creativity is by his creative output, which is the sum of the creative products over the lifetime of an individual (or a society or race).

    A lot of cognitive abilities contribute to creativity, and in my paper (Piffer, 2012) I argued that the widespread assumption by researchers that divergent thinking is the sole measure of creativity is a mistake. In fact, there are many cognitive and personality predictors of creative achievement besides divergent thinking, such as IQ or general mental ability, working memory, openness to experience, and non-clinical schizophrenic tendencies (i.e. “shizotypy” to use the psychiatrist’s jargon). Hypomania, or the tendency to feel positive emotions, has been linked to creativity, as has bipolar disorder. All of these factors constitute what I call “cognitive potential.”

    Divergent thinking (DT) is actually an important cognitive function which has generally been studied only as part of creativity research. However, studying it would benefit other areas of psychology as well. My opinion is that it would be better to regard DT as a form of intelligence, and to include divergent thinking measures in psychometric batteries and standardized intelligence tests, such as the WAIS. Since psychometrically it is correlated to general cognitive ability but it taps into different neurological substrates, it would provide a more complete picture of one’s mental power, possibly less tied to academic intelligence and more to artistic or daily-life accomplishments.

    So Piffer appears to think:

    Creativity = IQ+DT+Other

    maybe weighted at 40+40+20?

    What we understand as creativity probably requires decent-to-strong inputs from all.

    From an evolutionary perspective, the ability to come up with many original ideas and find a novel way to light a fire or kill an animal would have increased someone’s fitness more than the ability to, say, learn a mathematical equation or find the next number in a sequence. Moreover, divergent thinking predicts creative accomplishments above and beyond general intelligence, so the usual counter-argument by hard core “generalists,” that it’s all about g, doesn’t stand up from an evolutionary perspective.

    From interview, Creativity, Genes, and Racial Differences,” Gregoire Canlorbe interviewes Davide Piffer, American Renaissance, Nov. 8, 2019.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  112. Creativity is what the Jews have. Intelligence is more of a thing for people whose parents are not cousins.

  113. @J.Ross

    Actually, it’s the other around. Ability to remember “idiotic drug names” can be easily tested and scored, while “organizational skill” is something I could see being assigned mostly to a Trump / Clinton by one of their sycophants.

  114. Jpp says:
    @Pheasant

    Well then, plaudits to this particular creative Chinese doctor. Notice that in my response I never claimed that Chinese people are categorically uncreative or that they are categorically intelligent but uncreative, or any similar such pejorative. I simply posited that the “preponderance” are. Here the word “preponderance” denotes “the quality or fact of being greater in number, quantity, or importance”, or in lay person’s terms, “majority”. While I have no particular racist vendetta against the Chinese, I submit that most Americans who interact with Chinese – whether these Chinese are grade grubbing high schoolers or college students, competitive graduate students or postdocs, or tech professionals – will find that a striking proportion of these Chinamen exhibit the property of being high in processing power but low in originality and low in commitment towards higher outside-the-box principles of innovation. I feel no need to scrupulously document this claim here. As one instantiation, I recall reading an Unz comment a month or so back which compared the synthetic, creative astronomical innovations of Ole Rømer to the more rote measurement oriented astronomical contributions of the Chinese in a similar period.

    Note also that everything I have hither adumbrated is perfectly compatible with the possibility that a higher proportion of Chinese people are likely to be intelligent and creative as compared to the proportion of such Caucasian people. I am simply submitting that given the volume of intelligent / literate / competent Chinese people one experiences in American life, and given the subset of these one experiences who lack creative gifts, one can therefore infer a certain wedge of différance between the concepts of intelligence and creativity. I will underscore, one could indeed maintain that Chinese people are the most supremely creative / creative-and-intelligent race while still granting my contentions.

    Incidentally, I don’t necessarily agree with the thesis of the foregoing paragraph. As evidence, one can point to the reality that while multitudinous Chinese musicians are dominating positions in prestigious professional orchestras, high school all state and all regional orchestras, etc, the Chinese still lag behind the west in musical composition. For instance, Magnus Lindberg, Thomas Ades, Wolfgang Rihm, Sofia Gubaidulina, Salvatore Sciarrino, Tristan Murail, or Kaija Saariaho all comprise living composers who easily blow away any of China’s composers, now or ever (there aren’t many and I’ve looked). It would seem to me that compared to Caucasians, Chinese fit more naturally into the role of performers and technicians of music than as creators of music.

  115. @Neil Templeton

    I read an article in the New Yorker by their surgeon writer on some incredibly innovative Boston doctor. He more or less invented skin grafts for burn victims, then invented two more hugely important techniques. Then having gone 3 for 3, he came up with a 4th extremely promising innovation. But it was a complete disaster and made his patients much worse off.

    So, there are limits to the benefits of creativity in medicine, even with an all-time great.

    • Replies: @Dacian Julien Soros
  116. @Reg Cæsar

    “Mozart was a workhorse”

    Ahem.

    Mozart wrote ‘Don Giovanni’, the greatest opera in existence; he wrote the String Quintet in G Minor, he wrote the Piano Concerto in A, and also the one in D Minor, and a clarinet concerto that some people still gossip about. If you ever have the grace and privilege to enter into the kingdom of Heaven, you will hear Mozart playing at great length within the gates.

    Please not to be sniping at Herr Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a saint among saints, a greater artist than your shoes can hope to make junior jumbles about.

    Really.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Desiderius
  117. @anonymous

    anonymous[684] wrote to me:

    By the way, physicist Dave, I am a Little disappointed to hear you were so affiliated with great physicists – your condescending replies to me (mushrooms? really —- sad!) were obviously beneath someone with your gifts in life – I am gonna have to think about that, physicist Dave.

    I think you are confusing me with someone else: it was kaganovitch who made the snarky comment about “shrooms” (I did click “AGREE,” to be sure.

    You did, after all, say some quite goofy things such as “Pasteur was not a fool for spending his life on “math”…” Pasteur did not spend his life on math.

    As to your claim about who did and did not have “it,” all I can say is that this sounds as if you are Werner Erhard of EST fame.

    You wrote:

    Sure, Feynman had it, but he lived in between the eras where his gifts would have been really impressive.

    Well, I knew Feynman over a period of four years and took classes from him two of those four years. I take it you did not.

    And, therefore I can say with some justification that while Feynman was of course quite bright, the most important traits leading to his success were extreme persistence and very hard work.

    You are free to disagree, but remember, for four academic years, I saw him on a nearly weekly basis and talked with him extensively. And, you didn’t.

  118. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    What does any of that have to do with intelligence?

    Einstein didn’t write symphonies; nor did Newton and Leibniz. You really think Mozart could come up with calculus?

    Your circular argument is making me dizzy.

  119. Anonymous[467] • Disclaimer says:
    @Houston 1992

    Depends a lot on the specialty. Surgeons tend to be jockish, but like quarterbacks-they are not stupid. Certain other specialties attract the people without much on the ball besides memorization. You can be 105-110 IQ and get through med school if you can get in and are a great memorizer.

  120. @Hail

    Hail wrote, quoting Dr. Davide Piffer:

    Divergent thinking (DT) is actually an important cognitive function which has generally been studied only as part of creativity research. However, studying it would benefit other areas of psychology as well. My opinion is that it would be better to regard DT as a form of intelligence, and to include divergent thinking measures in psychometric batteries and standardized intelligence tests, such as the WAIS.

    Yeah. But, of course, all human beings engage in “divergent thinking”: I challenge anyone to deny that he often has pretty “divergent” dreams!

    The problem is how to properly harness divergent thinking.

    My own experience is that whenever I learn a new subject, I wander around, nothing seems to make sense, I seem to be lost, and, when I try to get it all straight, I seem to be wrong every time.

    My instinct is to try to just get it all straight from the beginning and not get confused.

    And that never works.

    You can never really fully understand one part of a subject until you completely understand all the other parts of the subject. Which is impossible.

    So, what learning anything of value, and even more so truly creative work, consists of is embracing your mistakes and confusion and using those as tools.

    Of course, you have to eventually surmount the mistakes and confusion, but they are not something that can be avoided.

    Feynman once told our class on quantum mechanics that, because we were human beings, we were going to make mistakes and we should not be afraid of that. Rather, we should try to catch our mistakes, correct them, and move on with no regrets.

    Apparently the cognitive-science guys have found out that one real problem with labeling kids as “gifted” or similar terms is that many such kids then become afraid of making mistakes because that might show that they are not truly “gifted.” That can basically paralyze the development of their abilities.

    And, so I myself have never much liked terms like “gifted” or “creative.”

    Was Stan Lee of Marvel comics fame “creative”? I don’t know, but I enjoyed his comics when I was a kid. And that’s enough.

  121. @Jpp

    Jpp wrote:

    Incidentally, I don’t necessarily agree with the thesis of the foregoing paragraph. As evidence, one can point to the reality that while multitudinous Chinese musicians are dominating positions in prestigious professional orchestras, high school all state and all regional orchestras, etc, the Chinese still lag behind the west in musical composition.

    My daughter, the college student who plays piano and who would like to be the next John Williams, has made the same point to me repeatedly. (She’s half-Chinese, so she has no ax to grind on either side of the debate.)

    Of course, East Asian culture has tended to be much more group-oriented and much less individualistic than Western culture, which may explain the difference.

    • Replies: @d dan
    , @Jpp
  122. @anonymous

    anonymous[391] wrote:

    Bach
    Mozart
    Euler
    Beethoven
    Gauss

    Hmmm…. Now, I would say:

    Bach
    Beethoven
    Gauss
    Euler
    Mozart

    But I suppose the only person qualified to adjudicate this debate is someone as good at music as Beethoven and as good at math as Gauss.

    Statistically speaking, such a person almost certainly has never existed.

    The closest, by the way,, may be Sir William Herschel, who, for a time, made his living as a musical performer and composer to support his “hobby” (!) of astronomy. (A remarkable guy — it is worth skimming the Wikipedia article, his sister and son were also high achievers.)

  123. @Reg Cæsar

    Oh I don’t give a fig about the argument concerning intelligence; it’s just that I won’t stand to hear a bad word said against Saint Wolfie.

    Don’t make me have to choose between calculus and “Don Giovanni.” You might have to live in a world without air travel, but at least you’d get to keep the Champagne Aria.

    Which is simply a different form of air travel.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  124. anon[136] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    …I meant Bernie Taupin. (They can’t all be zingers, I guess.)

  125. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    It would have been much funnier if you had assumed the selfie and then made an oblique reference to it, rather than drawing explicit attention to it. You could have said something like, “You must have been really creative to click that self stick, Arty O’Dactyl,” or something like that. Do I even have to insult myself for you guys?

    Try to spend more time learning from Hawkeye and BJ, Chaaahls.

  126. @PhysicistDave

    Such lists make no sense. It is, I think, impossible to rank people in the same field who live in more or less the same epoch & culture; ranking individuals in different areas is just meaningless.

    There is, I think, general agreement that Bach and Beethoven are “greater” than Schumann or Palestrina, but who of the two is “greater” doesn’t make much sense. Einstein was, there is a rather strong consensus, the last universal physicist & in the rank of Newton. Just, who is “greater”? In my opinion, Newton, with the calculus being the central differential. Others may disagree.

    Who is greater, Homer or Shakespeare? Meaningless.

    Protean Thomas Young accomplished so much, he was a super-human genius, but his creative energy had covered so many fields that he won’t be considered no 1. or 2. or even 10. in any discipline.

    As for mathematics, it could be that Grothendieck is of, more or less, the same range of creativity as Euler, but he was living in different times, which resulted in a significantly narrower output. Also, it may be that Edward Witten is a greater mind than Einstein – but, apart from mathematical contribution, he could be, in not so distant future, considered just a footnote in physics.

    As for Descartes or Viete, they were “too early” in comparison with Euler and Gauss, as Hilbert and Grothendieck were “too late”.

    With regard to other areas, although I’m averse to ranking, I happen to agree with George Steiner on Tolstoy & Flaubert (the same broadly defined Western culture, the same age, the same topic of female adultery):

    We can speak in one breath of the Iliad and War and Peace, of King Lear and The Brothers Karamazov. It is as simple and as complex as that. But I say again that such a statement is not subject to rational proof. There is no conceivable way of demonstrating that someone who places Madame Bovary above Anna Karenina or considers The Ambassadors comparable in authority and magnitude to The Possessed is mistaken—that he has no “ear” for certain essential tonalities. But such “tone-deafness” can never be overcome by consequent argument (who could have persuaded Nietzsche, one of the keenest minds ever to deal with music, that he was perversely in error when he regarded Bizet as superior to Wagner?). There is, moreover, no use lamenting the “non-demonstrability” of critical judgments. Perhaps because they have made life difficult for artists, critics are destined to share something of the fate of Cassandra. Even when they see most clearly, they have no way of proving that they are right and they may not be believed. But Cassandra was right.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  127. @Honesthughgrant

    War and Peace is about Tolstoy’s parents (Nick and Mary) and their social set with Bezhukov as Tolstoy and Sonya as his wife..

  128. @PhysicistDave

    Apples and Oranges. Leibniz and Goethe belong in there somewhere.

  129. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    My 27-month-old (his brother is into shapes, although he can sing spontaneously in tune) can recognize Mozart. He’ll say the name when he hears his music. He doesn’t do that with anyone else (although he’ll say piano or violin, etc…).

  130. d dan says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “Of course, East Asian culture has tended to be much more group-oriented and much less individualistic than Western culture, which may explain the difference.”

    In my opinion, it is the other way around. The importance of creativity is overrated by the west. Granted that the concept is nebulous, but I believe almost everyone can be creative in one way or another. It is mostly a function of motivation, experience, hard work, personality and maybe others. There was an experiment that shows how squirrels use creative ways to get its nuts that surprised the designer of the experiment. I once saw an old cleaning lady helped my supposedly “high IQ” CEO open a jammed cabinet by going through a hole from behind.

    Also, creativity can be simulated through brute force search or algorithm (subjected to the scaling factor of search space, of course). Several years ago, I participated in some Internet discussion groups after the Alpha Go beat Lee Se Dol (background to readers: a computer software that beat world champion in weiqi a.k.a. “go”, a game that has order of magnitude more possibilities than Chess) One of the remark among the experts from Korea and China was that Alpha Go executed several very creative moves. And of course, just open your senses and you can see, hear, smell etc all the creativity of the nature with its colors, sounds, living organisms, etc, brought to us through countless combination of possibilities of physical, chemical and biological laws.

    Finally, take it whatever its worth. Look at the quotes of two most creative persons:

    “Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.” – Thomas Edison
    “Genius is 99% hard work and 1% talent” – Albert Einstein.

    There is only so much role for creativity in human success.

    Intelligence, however is a much more rare and difficult concept to define, to simulate, to understand or to achieve through hard works or brute force search efforts. You can called me biased, but I believe world history are mostly shaped (good or bad) by intelligent people rather than creative people.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  131. black sea says:
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    Hunter Thompson gave himself over to an attempt to live out an adolescent romance which simply couldn’t be squared with the encroaching realities which the middle aged mind no longer has the energy or the naivete to successfully evade.

  132. @Desiderius

    That’s pretty cool. Are the boys twins? One is visual, one is musically astute, sounds like iSteve material…

    Weird factoid: I’m a classically-trained pianist from childhood, but I didn’t start listening to Mozart until I was twenty.

    I was never talented enough to be considered soloist quality or professional quality (I just did it as a fun, civilized hobby), so my teachers emphasized Bach, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin and Satie, because all those guys wrote short pieces that a student could digest easily. Mozart is really a long-form kind of guy, his genius comes out in concertos, not in etudes.

    The first time I heard Mozart for real, was the overture of Don Giovanni, the opening chord actually made me fall out of my chair, similar to what Dylan says happened to him when he heard the opening chord of “A Hard Day’s Night.”

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  133. @anonymous

    Strange, from’ Hugo’s books I have read, he is very subtle about politics. In his masterpiece, 93, neither the royalists nor the revolutionaries are fully black or white.
    What makes you think he was particularly highly biased?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  134. @Jpp

    Well, Chinese have created I Ching. I’ve been using this “oracle” for long time & can only say that there is nothing comparable in the whole world. Probably materialists/physicalists & traditional religionists will dismiss it as another superstition of a bygone era, but, all I can say: it crushes all -isms & it is not some tarot, runes, astrology in Oriental disguise.

    This book of change is also book of wisdom,wonder, …everything. How it works I have only vague idea- but, by Jove- it works! If I were to go to a desert island, the proverbial book I would have taken with me is, without slightest doubt-I Ching.

  135. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    …it’s just that I won’t stand to hear a bad word said against Saint Wolfie.

    There were no “bad words”. Ascribing his success to perspiration rather than to inspiration is a compliment.

    Speaking of air travel, Wolfi shares with Louis Armstrong and A. C. Jobim the honor of having an eponymous airport.

  136. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Inquiring Mind

    The term “high performance” in genavspeak does not mean what the uninitiated think: it means anything much faster than a Cessna 172, and even “much” needs qualifying.

    usually “high performance airplane” and “complex airplane” are used in the sense of FAR Part 61:

    Additional training required for operating high-performance airplanes.

    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of a high-performance airplane (an airplane with an engine of more than 200 horsepower), unless the person has –

    and

    Complex airplane
    Complex airplane means an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller, including airplanes equipped with an engine control system consisting of a digital computer and associated accessories for controlling the engine and propeller, such as a full authority digital engine control; or, in the case of a seaplane, flaps and a controllable pitch propeller, including seaplanes equipped with an engine control system consisting of a digital computer and associated accessories for controlling the engine and propeller, such as a full authority digital engine control.
    Source

    14 CFR § 61.1

    These are pretty low bars. Every airplane used in any part of UPT since WWII would meet both except for the T-41 Mescalero, which has a 210 hp O-360 engine and a constant speed prop but fixed gear.

    The Bonanza was the basis for the T-34 Mentor, the primary trainer used by both the USAF and the USN for quite a while. It had a decent safety record used for both contact (VFR) and instrument flying. It had a tandem front and rear cockpit, conventional horiontal and vertical stabilizers rather than the ruddervator, and is highly desirable (big $$$) on the market now.

    As I said, the Kansas farmers who bought them and flew Bonanzas day VFR had few problems, but as soon as people started IFR operations problems begin. Yet the military wasn’t losing its students at an especially high rate despite this being the first airplane most flew and in that era not every student was all that apt. So people correctly figured that the problem was a complex one involving several factors.

    The problem was apparent by the early sixties and Beech, on the advice of attorneys, did exactly nothing until the mid-80s. They then cajoled the FAA into issuing an AD, because they were told that to act independently would be admitting fault and could, maybe, be used against them by the twial lawyers. It was engineering by Elmer G. Fudd, Esq, and everyone knew it.

    Of course Beech could have fixed the issue. The first thing the airplane needed was a way to slow it down without cracking cylinders or losing the gear doors, which means an effective speed brake installation. This was obvious. They also needed to beef up the empennage to eliminate an aeroelastic resonance that was incurred just over Vne, which the airplane got to pretty quickly with the nose down. They were told this repeatedly and deftly officially avoided hearing this. The aviation press was also aware of it but open discussion of the issue “was perceived by the staffs” as leading to the end of those multipage full color ads the manufacturers took out that made their personal airplane payments, so any coverage of the issue was invariably pro-manufacturer.

    Looking back, a class action resulting in a “Plant Key Judgment” would probably have been the best solution for all involved. (That’s where the judgment exceeds insured coverage by such a margin they just throw the plaintiffs the keys to the plant and walk away.) It would have been a trainwreck and wealthy corporate jet customers would have been so impacted they would simply have made it impossible to sue anyone for anything in aviation and put in a board as with worker’s comp, staffed by industry people, at fixed, predictable and low rates, with no juries and no big dick trial studs like Arthur Alan Wolk involved. Short term pain, long term no more goddamned pwoduct wiability bitching.

  137. @BenKenobi

    anybody that drives big and rough, noisy 2.5 pu’s,(I dont’t include Tundra and Titan owners) pony cars, euro cars ,harleys are low IQ racists and a menace to society.

  138. anonymous[391] • Disclaimer says:
    @Frompariswithlove

    His depiction of the bishop in Les Miserables is detestably dishonest – Tolstoy was similarly dishonest when describing young women. Tolstoy famously mistreated women – like his idol Pushkin he probably inflicted venereal disease on dozens of women whose parents were poor – and, if you know much about Hugo, you know he was similarly self-centered. Sad – people like that do not ever have access to the real genius of the real artist who loves his fellow people in a way proportionate, at the humble level of the true artist, to the way God loves us all.

    Like Dickens, he (Victor Hugo) was an extremely lucky person, having been born and raised in an environment full of gossipers of genius, full of desperate characters seeking to be remembered, and full of the great joy in life that the early Industrial age gave to the lucky people who grew rich in still-fairly clean and well-governed (except during years of tumult) cities.

    Sadly, our great American west was not all that populous, so all we got was a bunch of really good Western movies —– populous France got Hugo and a few more like him, populous England got Dickens and a few more like him, we got the Western movies of the 40s and 50s.

    Still, John Ford, Bruce Boetticher, and Henry Hathaway, and people like them, while they might not have had the genius of a Hugo or a Tolstoy, understood people, and left us first rate versions of what art is like when second rate people do their best at making art in which real depictions of real people are important. Poor Hugo will always have people who are ready to say he was a great artist, but I know he did not really understand, or even, unless they were of some use to him, like people. A great poet but not a very bright person, when it comes to the greatest intellectual task any of us are faced with, that is, understanding our fellow men and women.

    Sad!

    Hope that answers your question.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  139. @Reg Cæsar

    “Perspiration rather than to inspiration”

    Oh, dude… Duuuude… you just have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

    Here’s a ball. Perhaps you’d like to bounce it.

  140. So you’re saying he didn’t earn it. Bah.

  141. Jpp says:
    @PhysicistDave

    I wish your daughter luck in any compositional endeavors.

    One interesting facet of this topic is that the Japs have indeed had some success in musical composition in the post war period. If you are unfamiliar with Toru Takemitsu, just google search him to find one example of a composer who, even without the Stravinsky bump, would have achieved international prominence. And there are a few others, Samei Satoh, being one, who, while somewhat more provincial, are still very good, and ring familiar in certain American conservatory circles. It is also interesting to note that some of France’s most influential 20th century composers were keenly interested in Japanese art and music. How these considerations associate with differences in East Asian cultures, and the manner in which these differences map to creative output …. is something I haven’t quite thought through.

  142. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Fraternal.

    I know exactly what you mean. Performing Mozart’s Requiem changed my world. Felt like a Metallica concert, except we all got to be Lars as one.

    Rex Tremendae, motherfucker!

  143. @Bardon Kaldian

    BK wrote to me:

    Such lists make no sense. It is, I think, impossible to rank people in the same field who live in more or less the same epoch & culture; ranking individuals in different areas is just meaningless.

    Of course — all such lists are a bit tongue-in-cheek.

    On the other hand, there is a serious point here. There really are people who think that Gauss was a genius, but Beethoven was just a “creative” workaholic. Or, the reverse: Beethoven was a creative genius, but Gauss was just a workaholic.

    I, and I think the guy I was replying to, would argue that such people are making a grave mistake. Anyone who doubts that both Beethoven and Gauss were both brilliant and creative is, in my opinion, ignorant.

  144. @d dan

    d dan wrote to me:

    In my opinion, it is the other way around. The importance of creativity is overrated by the west. Granted that the concept is nebulous, but I believe almost everyone can be creative in one way or another. It is mostly a function of motivation, experience, hard work, personality and maybe others.

    I’ve been making similar points in this thread.

    However, to date, musicians of Chinese descent do seem to have been more outstanding as performers than composers. It is an interesting question as to why that has been so. Of course, maybe it’s just temporary.

  145. @George

    George wrote (skeptically):

    Top 12 People with Highest IQ in the World
    https://listovative.com/top-12-people-highest-iq-world/

    Of course, the hilarious thing about absurd lists like this is that the people who fabricate them do not know that if some adult did have an IQ of 210 it would be impossible to measure it! After all, where do you find a test-maker who is smart enough to make a test that is challenging to a person with an IQ of 210??

    Worse than that, if you use the standard normal-distribution definition of IQ for adults, the fraction of people who have IQs above 210 is less than one in three hundred billion!!

    I.e., there is no such person on earth.

    The little secret about IQ is that it is mainly useful for people within a couple sigma of the mean, and, even there, it is most significant for differences of a sigma or more.

    I.e., someone with an IQ of 120 really can do things that are difficult or impossible for most people with an IQ of 90. But give me a choice between a hard-working guy with an IQ of 120 and a lazy bum with an IQ of 125, and I’ll bet on the 120 guy every time.

    Of course, the funniest entry on the list is:

    Christopher Michael Langan

    This genius scored a perfect score in SAT even thought he slept his way through the exam.

    I mean, WOW. He was able to fill in the little bubbles even though he was asleep!

    Seriously, Mr. Langan has graced the world with his genius magnum opus: The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe:A New Kind of Reality Theory.

    As it happens, I have some demonstrated professional expertise in two of the areas that Langan claims to address: quantum theory and information theory.

    And so I can say with some authority that Langan’s work is not even funny as a practical joke.

    The one amazing thing about Langan is the number of hits he gets on google — which just proves that there is indeed a sucker born very minute.

  146. @Steve Sailer

    Many of the “hugely important” techniques are merely perceived as important because they are pushed by their inventors, oversold by their admin helpers (university of corporate alike), and protected from head-to-head comparison with stuff invented elsewhere. In fact, many of the new drugs approved since Trump took over are not even tested against current drugs.

    When the benefits are mostly made-up, and tests are avoided though magic speech, I guess that a majority of the “important discoveries” are bad for the end-user. In your example, the first three innovations may be as deleterious as the fourth.

  147. anonymous[684] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    Or I could be wrong. When I get pushback from intelligent people on subjects that most people do not care about, there is a high likelihood that they are right and I am wrong.

    That being said ….

    Nabokov hilariously underestimated Finnegans Wake because he did not have any friends who understood Finnegans Wake, and did not, in his 50s when he first read that book, have access to university libraries with the scholarly information that he DEMANDED to have before he would say the book was good —– the absolute worst written thing Nabokov ever wrote was his sad “parody” of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake …..

    Shakespeare is loved by everybody but there are many people who can read ancient Greek as if it were their mother tongue (I am one such person, every once in a while) who know in their heart that Shakespeare’s obvious love for Ovid (and Horace, and Plautus, and Vergil, and Sophocles, God knows in what translation) was greater than his love for Homer. Problem is, Homer really was a fantastic poet, almost angelic. And if you know that Shakespeare never really understood Homer, you (a) are amazed at how good Shakespeare was, for a person who did not really understand Homer and (b) you wonder what would have happened if he had lived a few more years, and had decided to try and rival Homer (face it, Lear and Hamlet and even Rosalind and Cleopatra simply are not up to the Homeric level, as characters, and they could have been , if Shakespeare, God bless his heart, had been more interested in the Iliad and the Odyssey than he was.)

    As always, getting back to what we were talking about, I could be wrong, and maybe Hugo actually wrote about real human beings as if they were real human beings.

    I have been wrong before, so there’s that.

  148. anonymous[684] • Disclaimer says:

    wwebd said – well, to show that I am not ignorant, I will say that Rosalind was at the Homeric level.

    slightly above the Homeric level, actually. Falstaff, too, and, being generous, Ophelia (definitely) and Hamlet (maybe).

    Today I did something I almost never do, I set foot on a university campus (to look at the spectacular collection of autumn trees in my beloved Northern Virginia that thrive on the campus of GMU) (and to see if there were any investment opportunities at the
    “Geology and Mineral” convention at GMU (George Mason University)).

    Among other observations which almost nobody will care about much (for example, at a stamp collector/post card collector convention, out of every 100 exhibitors maybe two or three are physically attractive to the average person of the opposite sex, at a geology and mineral convention, the number is closer to 20 or so – who knew?) one of the saddest things I saw was a TV monitor in one of the hallways near the “Geology and Mineral” convention, and the monitor would display, for about 30 seconds or so, a 1980s-era “Power-Point” -style slide describing a “class” on some impossibly intricate subject (“religious counterpoints in the medieval Mid-East”, “Chaucer and Renaissance influences in early English poetry”, that sort of thing), and it made me sad – I mean, either you are going to be able to live a life in which (a) you either know about those things or at a minimum you do not care that you wasted your time on such things or (b) you didn’t care, and you were never fooled into thinking “taking a class” on the subject would make you understand anything useful.

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