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Here’s a graph from an interesting article comparing IQ scores (although the dread letters “IQ” don’t appear in the article) to school achievement test scores, especially in five in-demand Boston charter schools:

What Effective Schools Do: Stretching the cognitive limits on achievement

By Martin R. West, Christopher F. O. Gabrieli, Amy S. Finn, Matthew A. Kraft and John D.E. Gabrieli

1 COMMENT | PRINT | NO PDF | SHAREFALL 2014 / VOL. 14, NO. 4

Arguably, the most important development in K–12 education over the past decade has been the emergence of a growing number of urban schools that have been convincingly shown to have dramatic positive effects on the achievement of disadvantaged students. Those with the strongest evidence of success are oversubscribed charter schools. These schools hold admissions lotteries, which enable researchers to compare the subsequent test-score performance of students who enroll to that of similar students not given the same opportunity. Through careful study of the most effective of these charter schools, researchers have identified common practices—a longer school day and year, regular coaching to improve teacher performance, routine use of data to inform instruction, a culture of high expectations—that have yielded promising results when replicated in district schools.

ednext_XIV_4_west_img01We have only a limited understanding of how these practices translate into higher academic achievement, however. It may be that attending a school that employs them enhances those basic cognitive skills—such as processing speed, working memory, and reasoning—that research in psychological science has shown contribute to success in the classroom and later in life. Do schools that succeed in raising test scores do so by improving their students’ underlying cognitive capacities? Or do effective schools help their students achieve at higher levels than would be predicted based on measures of cognitive ability alone?

To address this question, we draw on unique data from a sample of more than 1,300 8th graders attending 32 public schools in Boston, including traditional public schools, exam schools that admit only the city’s most academically talented students, and charter schools. In addition to the state test scores typically used by education researchers, we also gathered several measures of the cognitive abilities psychologists refer to as fluid cognitive skills. Our data confirm that the latter are powerful predictors of students’ academic performance as measured by standardized tests.

Yet while the schools in our sample vary widely in their success in raising test scores, with oversubscribed charter schools in particular demonstrating clear positive results, we find that attending a school that produces strong test-score gains does not improve students’ fluid cognitive skills. Put differently, our evidence indicates that effective schools help their students achieve at higher levels than expected based on their fluid cognitive skills. It also suggests that developing school-based strategies to raise those skills could be an important next step in helping schools to provide even greater benefits for their students.

Crystallized Knowledge and Fluid Cognitive Skills

Despite decades of relying on standardized test scores to assess and guide education policy and practice, surprisingly little work has been done to connect these measures of learning with the measures developed over a century of research by cognitive psychologists studying individual differences in cognition. Psychologists now consider cognitive ability (few dare say “intelligence” anymore) to have two primary components: crystallized knowledge and fluid cognitive skills.

Obviously, the authors are IQ scholars. What better illustrates Jonathan Haidt’s argument about the intensity of ideological bias in the field of psychology that IQ experts don’t “dare” mention the name of their subject anymore?

Crystallized knowledge comprises acquired knowledge such as vocabulary and arithmetic, while fluid skills are the abstract-reasoning capabilities needed to solve novel problems (such as the ability to identify patterns and make extrapolations) independent of how much factual knowledge has been acquired. The terms were coined by the late psychologist Raymond Cattell, who first distinguished two types of intelligence. Cattell noted that one “has the ‘fluid’ quality of being directable at almost any problem,” while the other “is invested in particular areas of crystallized skills which can be upset individually without affecting others.”

Hundreds of studies show that, at any point in time, the two are highly correlated: people with strong fluid cognitive skills are at an advantage when it comes to accumulating the kinds of crystallized knowledge assessed by most standardized tests.

That these capabilities are nonetheless distinct is best illustrated by the fact that fluid cognitive skills decline with age starting even in one’s twenties, while crystallized knowledge tends to rise over the decades, in some cases peaking as late as one’s seventies. In an influential 2002 study involving people ages 20 to 92, University of Texas at Dallas psychologist Denise Park and colleagues found that the fluid cognitive skills of participants in their twenties exceeded those of participants in their seventies by as much as 1.5 standard deviations.

For example, my working memory for random information is shot. Back in the 1980s, I could look at a 7-digit phone number and remember it long enough to write it down. Now 10 digit phone numbers require three glances.

Of course, we don’t know how much of the achievement test scores seen above are due to short-term test prep or cheating. But let’s assume for the moment that they are valid.

The graph above is consistent with my long-held view that while it’s difficult (but not necessarily impossible) to boost adult IQ through schooling, schools could generally be doing better with the IQs that students bring to the table. Thus, I’ve argued that rather than try to Close the Gap of about 1 standard deviation between Non-Asian Minorities and Asians and whites, our national goal should instead be to boost each group’s average performance by one-half standard deviation over current levels. That would have about the same total national improvement in test scores, and is far more feasible due to diminishing returns as you try to move from +0.5 sd to +1.0 sd.

KIPP charters are basically militaristic boot camps for hard-working kids with IQs probably averaging in the 90s. The idea is to get them away from the layabouts and troublemakers in regular schools and then drill them intensively in the basics. This isn’t going to turn them into the next John Updikes, but it likely will mean they will be employable in positions like, say, assistant managers of Walmarts and other jobs better than, say, hauling pallets around Walmarts, which is all they’ll be qualified for if they don’t learn to read and figure.

(I recently visited a prosperous small town with few illegal immigrants. While shopping at the local Walmart, I learned not to ask pallet-haulers where items in the cavernous store were. They’d have to bring their heavily laden carts to a stop, then think for 15 seconds, then tell me they don’t know but I could ask somebody else, then get their loads moving again. In other words, in this town far from the Mexican border, Walmart employs borderline retarded Americans, which is a good thing.)

You’ll notice from the graph that the gains in test scores are more than twice as large in math as in reading. Math is something that few kids do outside of school or tutor sessions, while those who get good at reading do a lot of reading on their own.

There is quite a bit of evidence that America is doing a somewhat better job of teaching math than in the Fast Times at Ridgemont High era. But as Education Realist has argued, verbal skills such as reading comprehension are probably more important overall for our economy and society than math skills. And we’re not making as much progress with that.

Finally, the gains in IQ subcomponents, while small, shouldn’t be wholly dismissed. Maybe there is nothing that can be done about working memory, but the other gains could add up over time. Of course, that’s a huge question: do they keep going up a little year after year, or do they soon plateau?

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: IQ 
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  1. BTW, I was applying online for a job last week and party of the third-party screening test was clearly Raven Matrices or similar..plus some other logic, business math and vocab questions.

    I thought it was illegal to use IQ tests.

    • Replies: @Ed
    P&G uses reasoning tests that look a lot like IQ tests. They won't consider anyone who doesn't take one.
    , @Anonymous
    Tests are only illegal where they are not necessary. In other words you can't screen employees using IQ tests unless you can show the tests are themselves good measures of the required job.
  2. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:

    This is ideologically handicapped.

  3. Steve, good topic and discussion, as always. I’d be concerned about the sample size here. Also, as is usually the case in social science, we’re talking really, really blunt instruments. The authors looked at a bunch of students at a bunch of schools using a bunch of educational techniques in one city during one time period. They’re observing a very small piece of a much bigger picture with extremely coarse instruments.

    But on another topic: Do you have children? If so, are you concerned about the influence of your political/sociological worldview on them? Don’t get me wrong — I’m a huge fan of yours and think you speak the truth better than just about anyone else out there. But, roughly speaking, The Narrative has won. Our elites in academia, media, and politics speak with one voice, and it’s a voice that very frequently ritualistically denies blindingly obvious and unmistakable patterns and explanations (your “War on Noticing”). Not toeing the line could easily get a person ostracized and close down many opportunities. We’re basically living in a mild version of 1984.

    So about your kids, if you have any: is it better to teach them the truth or to teach them The Narrative?

    I suggest you write a book on the subject, perhaps with a partner who likes writing long-form non-fiction. “How to Raise Good Kids in a Liberal World”.

    • Replies: @retired
    Move out of the bay area for starters, that's what we did for our kid.
    , @Anonymous
    This is a really important issue.

    I don't have children, but I'd like to, and I worry about how I would deal with the conflict between my views and what kids are taught and expected to believe outside the home.

    Do I try to impart my own views and culture on my children or would it just be easier and better to step aside and let the 'professionals' mould them in their image? I used to pride myself as being a pretty regular Joe, but I'm more and more starting to feel like a cranky, eccentric reactionary !

    I just can't go along with a smile as things degenerate, and I'm actually worried that society is going to teach my children to hate me....the flip side is the fear that even if I can de-program them and teach them morality/reality as I see it, they are going to be at a big disadvantage constantly having to swim against the tide.

    It's a quandary.

  4. “Finally, the gains in IQ subcomponents, while small, shouldn’t be wholly dismissed.”

    Well, since they don’t even reach statistical significance, they probably should be.

    Even the 0.06 improvement in reading didn’t reach statistical significance, so the IQ components are likely well away from significance.

  5. 6 and 13 percent of a standard deviation equate to 1 and 2 points of IQ, respectively (if they were, in fact, improvements in IQ, which they aren’t). I guess one can get excited about that, but it’s not really the sort of improvement you’d break out the big fireworks to celebrate.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    But that's the gain in one year. If you could keep it up for, say, fifth grade through eighth (I think those are Kipp's years), that's not bad.
  6. @Jon
    6 and 13 percent of a standard deviation equate to 1 and 2 points of IQ, respectively (if they were, in fact, improvements in IQ, which they aren't). I guess one can get excited about that, but it's not really the sort of improvement you'd break out the big fireworks to celebrate.

    But that’s the gain in one year. If you could keep it up for, say, fifth grade through eighth (I think those are Kipp’s years), that’s not bad.

  7. I love the lone comment on the article:

    “Fantastic, original research. This is the kind of fresh thinking that will drive our understanding of how students acquire different types of knowledge and skills forward.”

    Oh yeah, real original. They are just comparing IQ gains, finding none exist and that they learn more math and reading skills as they get through school.

    This “original” finding has been around for a long, long time. School can’t make you any smarter, but they can teach you things.

    Which is completely backwards from what most people believe in 2014. They think that school magically makes people smarter, when it clearly does not.

  8. But is the crystallized vs. fluid intelligence distinction still tenable? This paper argues that the relationship is more complex than the conventional theories of ‘g’ suggest:

    “Our result showing that culture-loaded knowledge tests (crystallized tests) are more strongly related to general intelligence than are culture-reduced cognitive processing tests (fluid tests) fits better with the idea that g loadings reflect societal demands (Dickens, 2008) than that they reflect cognitive demands (Jensen, 1987). Furthermore, in adult samples, our finding that the heritability coefficients of culture-loaded tests tend to be larger than those of culture-reduced tests calls for an explanation, given that this result does not follow from the subtest-complexity and investment hypotheses of g theory and fluid-crystallized theory.”

    http://scottbarrykaufman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Kees-Jan-et-al.-2013.pdf

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Perhaps culture-free tests are kind of like simpler sports like sprinting or weightlifting, while culture-loaded tests (e.g., vocabulary) are like the really popular sports like soccer and baseball that involve a variety of skills.
    , @Chuck
    I don't see how a strict reading of Cattel's investment hypothesis (which portrays crystal intelligence solely as an outcomes, not source) is still tenable, as crystal intelligence seems to have a genetic basis semi-independent from fluid; See, for example: Christoforou, et al. (2014) "GWAS‐based pathway analysis differentiates between fluid and crystallized intelligence":

    "Here, using two GWAS datasets, in which the polygenicity of gF and gC traits was previously confirmed, a gene- and pathway-based approach was undertaken with the aim of characterizing and differentiating their genetic architecture. Pathway analysis, using genes selected on the basis of relaxed criteria, revealed notable differences between these two traits. gF appeared to be characterized by genes affecting the quantity and quality of neurons and therefore neuronal efficiency, whereas long-term depression (LTD) seemed to underlie gC. Thus, this study supports the gF–gC distinction at the genetic level and identifies functional annotations and pathways worthy of further investigation."
  9. “Maybe there is nothing that can be done about working memory”: or maybe not. I may have told you before of the working memory test I did as a freshman. My result for strings of digits was so poor that I was told I’d never graduate, in fact never reach second year. The outcome was quite otherwise. What the psychology researcher had omitted to ask me was how many digits were in the phone numbers where I grew up. The answer was three.

    That led to my first inkling that a limit to the usefulness of psychological testing might be set by the not very elevated intelligence of psychologists.

  10. @Wade
    But is the crystallized vs. fluid intelligence distinction still tenable? This paper argues that the relationship is more complex than the conventional theories of 'g' suggest:

    "Our result showing that culture-loaded knowledge tests (crystallized tests) are more strongly related to general intelligence than are culture-reduced cognitive processing tests (fluid tests) fits better with the idea that g loadings reflect societal demands (Dickens, 2008) than that they reflect cognitive demands (Jensen, 1987). Furthermore, in adult samples, our finding that the heritability coefficients of culture-loaded tests tend to be larger than those of culture-reduced tests calls for an explanation, given that this result does not follow from the subtest-complexity and investment hypotheses of g theory and fluid-crystallized theory."

    http://scottbarrykaufman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Kees-Jan-et-al.-2013.pdf

    Perhaps culture-free tests are kind of like simpler sports like sprinting or weightlifting, while culture-loaded tests (e.g., vocabulary) are like the really popular sports like soccer and baseball that involve a variety of skills.

    • Replies: @Wade
    Here is Kees's own formulation of the dilemma this poses for traditional 'g' theory:

    "A good way of thinking about our results is the following: If heritability of Fullscale IQ (FSIQ) is 80% and (2*)GE covariance would account for 30% of the variance, then assigning people randomly to environments (rather than on the basis of cognitive outcome measures) this would yield a drop in heritability of FSIQ from to 50%. And if we would assign on the basis of cognitive outcome measures so that (2*)GE cov would contribute -30%, heritability would drop to 20%.

    In g-Gf/Gc theory a vocabulary test is clearly a highly culturally loaded test (which makes sense also for the non-g theorist). Most importantly, g theory might explain why vocabulary is highly heritable, but not why is is the HIGHEST heritable.

    Proof:
    Introduce the following variables:
    g (the biological, but unknown variable in g theory)
    F (fluid intelligence)
    C (crystallized intelligence, a result of fluid intelligence, (cultural dependent) education and other influences)
    Edu (education)
    and a scaling constant k (not really necessary)

    F = g + ξf (in Jensen’s view the residual ξf is 0, because he considers g and fluid intelligence to be one and the same variable, but I’ll leave this an open question)

    C = k*F + Edu + ξc (investment hypothesis)

    Note that if there is no gene-environment covariance heritability of educational attainment will be 0. Note that if education is assumed homogeneous, variance in Edu equals/approaches 0 (and covariance between fluid intelligence and education will be absent anyway). Also residual variance is by definition independent from g, so there are no covariance terms that contribute to variance in crystallized intelligence.

    σ(C) = σ(k*F) + σ(Edu) + σ(ξc)

    Heritability of crystallized intelligence is thus a weighted sum of the heritability of education (which is 0 under the assumptions above), the heritability of the residual and the heritability of fluid intelligence. In g theory the residual is less heritable than fluid intelligence (this is assumed in order to explain the positive correlation between g-loading and heritability coefficients of fluid tasks). This implies the heritability of crystallized intelligence is expected not to exceed the heritability of fluid intelligence. If environmental variance approaches 0 and heritability of the residual wouldn’t differ too much from the heritability of g, the heritability of crystallized intelligence approaches that of fluid intelligence. If the heritability of the residual is assumed higher than the heritability of g crystallized intelligence can be higher than heritability of fluid, but then 1) the assumption that g is main source of genetic differences is discarded and hence 2) g theory does not provide an explanation of the correlation between g-loading and heritability anymore. This would run against our findings."

    , @Wade
    Here is Kees's own formulation of the dilemma this poses for traditional 'g' theory:

    "A good way of thinking about our results is the following: If heritability of Fullscale IQ (FSIQ) is 80% and (2*)GE covariance would account for 30% of the variance, then assigning people randomly to environments (rather than on the basis of cognitive outcome measures) this would yield a drop in heritability of FSIQ from to 50%. And if we would assign on the basis of cognitive outcome measures so that (2*)GE cov would contribute -30%, heritability would drop to 20%.

    In g-Gf/Gc theory a vocabulary test is clearly a highly culturally loaded test (which makes sense also for the non-g theorist). Most importantly, g theory might explain why vocabulary is highly heritable, but not why is is the HIGHEST heritable.

    Proof:
    Introduce the following variables:
    g (the biological, but unknown variable in g theory)
    F (fluid intelligence)
    C (crystallized intelligence, a result of fluid intelligence, (cultural dependent) education and other influences)
    Edu (education)
    and a scaling constant k (not really necessary)

    F = g + ξf (in Jensen’s view the residual ξf is 0, because he considers g and fluid intelligence to be one and the same variable, but I’ll leave this an open question)

    C = k*F + Edu + ξc (investment hypothesis)

    Note that if there is no gene-environment covariance heritability of educational attainment will be 0. Note that if education is assumed homogeneous, variance in Edu equals/approaches 0 (and covariance between fluid intelligence and education will be absent anyway). Also residual variance is by definition independent from g, so there are no covariance terms that contribute to variance in crystallized intelligence.

    σ(C) = σ(k*F) + σ(Edu) + σ(ξc)

    Heritability of crystallized intelligence is thus a weighted sum of the heritability of education (which is 0 under the assumptions above), the heritability of the residual and the heritability of fluid intelligence. In g theory the residual is less heritable than fluid intelligence (this is assumed in order to explain the positive correlation between g-loading and heritability coefficients of fluid tasks). This implies the heritability of crystallized intelligence is expected not to exceed the heritability of fluid intelligence. If environmental variance approaches 0 and heritability of the residual wouldn’t differ too much from the heritability of g, the heritability of crystallized intelligence approaches that of fluid intelligence. If the heritability of the residual is assumed higher than the heritability of g crystallized intelligence can be higher than heritability of fluid, but then 1) the assumption that g is main source of genetic differences is discarded and hence 2) g theory does not provide an explanation of the correlation between g-loading and heritability anymore. This would run against our findings."
  11. “What effective schools do” – choose the right parents.

  12. Off-topic:

    This Stack Overflow seems to be another example of ambitious opportunists using feminist equalism as a nice feel-good cover for profiteering and career advancement. The PTB over there have been purging party-line-divergent comments, but the top-voted response is an appropriately skeptical one.

    http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/269992/volunteer-to-help-mentor-one-of-16-new-graduates-starting-a-career-in-programmin/270029#270029

  13. @carol
    BTW, I was applying online for a job last week and party of the third-party screening test was clearly Raven Matrices or similar..plus some other logic, business math and vocab questions.

    I thought it was illegal to use IQ tests.

    P&G uses reasoning tests that look a lot like IQ tests. They won’t consider anyone who doesn’t take one.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    P&G paid a lot of money to validate their hiring tests to the government's satisfaction along time ago. It helps to have a big bureaucratic system where job performance is carefully put down on paper.

    In contrast, the much smaller marketing research firm I worked at had simply used one of the founders' Marketing Research 302 exams from the U. of Iowa as a hiring test. That worked quite well -- it was a hard test that I had to work on for several hours. The secretary was amazed that I kept saying I wasn't done yet, but after they graded it, the CEO called me up the next day to schedule a full day of interviews.

    But, when the firm grew big enough to get on the EEOC's radar, management decided to junk the exam rather than try to jump through all the hoops to have it validated.

    , @Steve Sailer
    P&G paid a lot of money to validate their hiring tests to the government's satisfaction along time ago. It helps to have a big bureaucratic system where job performance is carefully put down on paper.

    In contrast, the much smaller marketing research firm I worked at had simply used one of the founders' Marketing Research 302 exams from the U. of Iowa as a hiring test. That worked quite well -- it was a hard test that I had to work on for several hours. The secretary was amazed that I kept saying I wasn't done yet, but after they graded it, the CEO called me up the next day to schedule a full day of interviews.

    But, when the firm grew big enough to get on the EEOC's radar, management decided to junk the exam rather than try to jump through all the hoops to have it validated.

  14. @Ed
    P&G uses reasoning tests that look a lot like IQ tests. They won't consider anyone who doesn't take one.

    P&G paid a lot of money to validate their hiring tests to the government’s satisfaction along time ago. It helps to have a big bureaucratic system where job performance is carefully put down on paper.

    In contrast, the much smaller marketing research firm I worked at had simply used one of the founders’ Marketing Research 302 exams from the U. of Iowa as a hiring test. That worked quite well — it was a hard test that I had to work on for several hours. The secretary was amazed that I kept saying I wasn’t done yet, but after they graded it, the CEO called me up the next day to schedule a full day of interviews.

    But, when the firm grew big enough to get on the EEOC’s radar, management decided to junk the exam rather than try to jump through all the hoops to have it validated.

    • Replies: @Ed
    I wonder what argument they used to get it passed the government? I also wonder what their diversity numbers are as a result? I do recall a black alum that worked at P&G that came and spoke to us at business school, but I'd be surprised if they had a higher percentage of blacks than your average Silicon Valley company.
  15. @BayAreaBill
    Steve, good topic and discussion, as always. I'd be concerned about the sample size here. Also, as is usually the case in social science, we're talking really, really blunt instruments. The authors looked at a bunch of students at a bunch of schools using a bunch of educational techniques in one city during one time period. They're observing a very small piece of a much bigger picture with extremely coarse instruments.

    But on another topic: Do you have children? If so, are you concerned about the influence of your political/sociological worldview on them? Don't get me wrong -- I'm a huge fan of yours and think you speak the truth better than just about anyone else out there. But, roughly speaking, The Narrative has won. Our elites in academia, media, and politics speak with one voice, and it's a voice that very frequently ritualistically denies blindingly obvious and unmistakable patterns and explanations (your "War on Noticing"). Not toeing the line could easily get a person ostracized and close down many opportunities. We're basically living in a mild version of 1984.

    So about your kids, if you have any: is it better to teach them the truth or to teach them The Narrative?

    I suggest you write a book on the subject, perhaps with a partner who likes writing long-form non-fiction. "How to Raise Good Kids in a Liberal World".

    Move out of the bay area for starters, that’s what we did for our kid.

  16. The reality is that there was never a particularly big difference between crystallized g and fluid g — they appear to be fairly hard to pull out as distinct factors, if they are pulled out at all. (And I don’t take the Math and Reading components in this particular study to be good examples even of crystallized g — since they are described as in part “skills”, my guess is that they are better described as achievement components).

    As for the greater heritability of crystallized g (only very slightly greater if at all) I’d expect that that stems from the fact that an inclination to do the sorts of things that turn into crystallized g, such as reading or working math problems, is also quite heritable – so why shouldn’t crystallized g be more heritable than fluid g?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "As for the greater heritability of crystallized g (only very slightly greater if at all) I’d expect that that stems from the fact that an inclination to do the sorts of things that turn into crystallized g, such as reading or working math problems, is also quite heritable – so why shouldn’t crystallized g be more heritable than fluid g?"

    Right. It's not clear that everything an intelligence test measures is solely IQ. It also measures stick-to-it-iveness and the like. But if the goal is to predict future achievement, then a test that measures both intelligence and diligence might be better than one that just tests intelligence.
  17. @Ed
    P&G uses reasoning tests that look a lot like IQ tests. They won't consider anyone who doesn't take one.

    P&G paid a lot of money to validate their hiring tests to the government’s satisfaction along time ago. It helps to have a big bureaucratic system where job performance is carefully put down on paper.

    In contrast, the much smaller marketing research firm I worked at had simply used one of the founders’ Marketing Research 302 exams from the U. of Iowa as a hiring test. That worked quite well — it was a hard test that I had to work on for several hours. The secretary was amazed that I kept saying I wasn’t done yet, but after they graded it, the CEO called me up the next day to schedule a full day of interviews.

    But, when the firm grew big enough to get on the EEOC’s radar, management decided to junk the exam rather than try to jump through all the hoops to have it validated.

  18. Even though we have an economy that is referred to as knowledge based, not that many jobs require a high powered education and a high IQ.

    Assistant manager at a Walmart might be considered simply a solid, middle class sort of position. And it means managing a workforce of several hundred employees. Which is an excellent background to manage anywhere. Much better than an undergraduate degree or an MBA. The only way to learn to manage people is to manage people. Even the standard example of the worst service job — McDonalds — offers opportunities to become shift managers, assistant managers, and managers. These are great preparation for better jobs.

    Since we are increasingly becoming a service economy, soft skills are essential. Communication, empathy, people skills.

    It may be impossible to teach these skills, but it is far from impossible to learn them.

    Which puts a little different spin on the problem of dismal economic outcomes for ghetto residents. But intensive training in social skills sounds a lot more promising than closing IQ gaps.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Blacks do okay in the Army, in part because the Army imposes quite a bit of culture on them.
    , @daggersedge
    @FWIW

    Communication, empathy, people skills... you say these put a little different spin on the problem of dismal economic outcomes for ghetto residents.

    I disagree. Ghetto resididents - you mean blacks, don't you ? - have on average low IQs. Do you really think that low IQs facilitate communication, empathy and people skills? If you read what Steve Sailer said, the pallet haulers at that Walmart he was in were, according to him, borderline retarded. They had to think for 15 seconds before they could tell him to ask someone else. Do you think this is a demonstration of good communication skills?

    Communication skills require knowledge and the ability to express that knowledge. In other words, if these different types of intelligence are real, it requires both crystallised knowlege and fluid cognitive skills.

    What about empathy? How much empathy do ghetto dwellers show? They live off benefits, draining money from taxpayers. Certain groups like to riot and even burn down their own ghettos. They rob people. They steal. Wow! All that demonstrates loads of empathy, doesn't it? They are certainly concerned about the well-being of others, aren't they?

    'People skills' - what are those? Are they the ability to steal a box of cigarillos and then strong-arm the shop assistant? Are they the ability to whine for more money based on the 'terrible legacy of slavery'? Are they the ability to decide not to learn the language of the inhabitants of the country and not to assimilate to the local culture? Are they the ability shoot someone because he looked at you in the wrong way?

    All the skills you mentioned require a decent IQ, a good concept of the future, and a penchant for not being violent at the drop of a hat. That leaves out most, if not all, ghetto dwellers, doesn't it?
    , @Jonathan Silber
    It may be impossible to teach these skills [soft skills], but it is far from impossible to learn them.

    Right; and "business skills" are little more than those skills--plus showing up for work, on time; completing your tasks, on time; and being polite.

    The best training I ever got in learning how to deal with people--a skill that, even by itself, can help take you far in life--was waiting tables in restaurants.

    But to learn the lessons available from that kind of work--or any work--you still have to reflect on the experience, draw correct conclusions about it, and modify your behavior accordingly. And many people are disinclined or unable to do so.

    Even the standard example of the worst service job — McDonalds — offers opportunities to become shift managers, assistant managers, and managers. These are great preparation for better jobs.

    The first CEO of McDonalds after the era of Ray Kroc got his start with the company in the "dead-end job" of burger flipper.

    If you can read a little, add and subtract, and deal well with people, you've most of what it takes to get on in the world, even in our supposed high-tech, global, knowledge economy.

    , @Luke Lea
    Good point.
  19. I need to write up my thoughts on this, but until then:

    I thought that study seemed unduly cheery in its analysis, but Jay Green had what I thought was the correct response to it, from a reformer’s standpoint (Green is one of the major choice wonks). He correctly (in my view) sees this as an explanation for why reform school kids aren’t doing well in college (and, as I’ve said, in high school).

    http://jaypgreene.com/2014/08/27/is-ed-reform-tripping-with-a-testing-high/

    I patted myself on the back for considerable prescience. I’ve written about the “false god” of elementary school scores: https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/the-false-god-of-elementary-school-test-scores/

    Elementary school is linear. High school is incredibly difficult and non-linear. It’s also much more abstract, which is the obvious (and thus far unmentioned) reason why kids with lower fluid intelligence wouldn’t do well.

    I’ve been thinking more about memory since the beginning of the year, and I wonder if part of the reason the No Excuses reforms work is because they are relentlessly forcing kids to turn episodic memories into semantic ones. https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/memory-palace-for-thee-but-not-for-me/

    That is definitely a good thing, and we can’t do this in public schools until we institute tracking. But as I’ve written before, fluency in facts does not translate to better abstract thinking. https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/math-fluency/

  20. palette-haulers should be spelled pallet-haulers

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    Yeah. I had this brief vision of Walmart associates in their blue shirts and name tags running around with paint palletes hooked over their hands, like artists in Paris.
    , @John Jeremiah Smith
    In Arkansas, it's "pellet hollers".
    , @art guerrilla
    1. that is hysterical, rose... guess we have room for one more pallet mover... hhh
    2. i will only say that the portion where the author takes the supposed gains of a charter (or ANY) school at face value is precious... in these high stakes games, ANYTHING goes; and BESIDES all the 'legal' means charter schools have to winnow out low-performers, i would bet dollars to donut holes that any number of 'great' charter schools have seen a sharp rise in administrators buying erasers...
    ask michelle rhee about that... oh wait, she'll run away, don't bother...
    3. the supposed ability that the author and several posters posit is necessary for our society is overstated by about a factor of 10; this can easily be proven by observing driving behavior on your daily commute: a minimum of 90% of the drivers are obviously retarded, yet they continue to function at a minimal enough level to keep the cheeseburgers and fries flowing...
    4. i won't beat the dead horse of the insane testing regime to death for the millionth time, but will say that the present 'system' has NOTHING to do with identifying weaknesses of students, blah blah blah, because the teachers/students/parents essentially NEVER get any meaningful feedback from these tests... the TEACHERS are NOT ALLOWED to not only see their students ACTUAL RESULTS (ie the test answers), they can't see the freaking QUESTIONS themselves... WTF kind of 'helpful' test is it where NO ONE can know what was on it ? ? ?
  21. @Steve Sailer
    Perhaps culture-free tests are kind of like simpler sports like sprinting or weightlifting, while culture-loaded tests (e.g., vocabulary) are like the really popular sports like soccer and baseball that involve a variety of skills.

    Here is Kees’s own formulation of the dilemma this poses for traditional ‘g’ theory:

    “A good way of thinking about our results is the following: If heritability of Fullscale IQ (FSIQ) is 80% and (2*)GE covariance would account for 30% of the variance, then assigning people randomly to environments (rather than on the basis of cognitive outcome measures) this would yield a drop in heritability of FSIQ from to 50%. And if we would assign on the basis of cognitive outcome measures so that (2*)GE cov would contribute -30%, heritability would drop to 20%.

    In g-Gf/Gc theory a vocabulary test is clearly a highly culturally loaded test (which makes sense also for the non-g theorist). Most importantly, g theory might explain why vocabulary is highly heritable, but not why is is the HIGHEST heritable.

    Proof:
    Introduce the following variables:
    g (the biological, but unknown variable in g theory)
    F (fluid intelligence)
    C (crystallized intelligence, a result of fluid intelligence, (cultural dependent) education and other influences)
    Edu (education)
    and a scaling constant k (not really necessary)

    F = g + ξf (in Jensen’s view the residual ξf is 0, because he considers g and fluid intelligence to be one and the same variable, but I’ll leave this an open question)

    C = k*F + Edu + ξc (investment hypothesis)

    Note that if there is no gene-environment covariance heritability of educational attainment will be 0. Note that if education is assumed homogeneous, variance in Edu equals/approaches 0 (and covariance between fluid intelligence and education will be absent anyway). Also residual variance is by definition independent from g, so there are no covariance terms that contribute to variance in crystallized intelligence.

    σ(C) = σ(k*F) + σ(Edu) + σ(ξc)

    Heritability of crystallized intelligence is thus a weighted sum of the heritability of education (which is 0 under the assumptions above), the heritability of the residual and the heritability of fluid intelligence. In g theory the residual is less heritable than fluid intelligence (this is assumed in order to explain the positive correlation between g-loading and heritability coefficients of fluid tasks). This implies the heritability of crystallized intelligence is expected not to exceed the heritability of fluid intelligence. If environmental variance approaches 0 and heritability of the residual wouldn’t differ too much from the heritability of g, the heritability of crystallized intelligence approaches that of fluid intelligence. If the heritability of the residual is assumed higher than the heritability of g crystallized intelligence can be higher than heritability of fluid, but then 1) the assumption that g is main source of genetic differences is discarded and hence 2) g theory does not provide an explanation of the correlation between g-loading and heritability anymore. This would run against our findings.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Your theory fails to account for the fact the the locus of contravariant tensor has non-commutative divergence in the region of transfinite singularity.
  22. @Steve Sailer
    Perhaps culture-free tests are kind of like simpler sports like sprinting or weightlifting, while culture-loaded tests (e.g., vocabulary) are like the really popular sports like soccer and baseball that involve a variety of skills.

    Here is Kees’s own formulation of the dilemma this poses for traditional ‘g’ theory:

    “A good way of thinking about our results is the following: If heritability of Fullscale IQ (FSIQ) is 80% and (2*)GE covariance would account for 30% of the variance, then assigning people randomly to environments (rather than on the basis of cognitive outcome measures) this would yield a drop in heritability of FSIQ from to 50%. And if we would assign on the basis of cognitive outcome measures so that (2*)GE cov would contribute -30%, heritability would drop to 20%.

    In g-Gf/Gc theory a vocabulary test is clearly a highly culturally loaded test (which makes sense also for the non-g theorist). Most importantly, g theory might explain why vocabulary is highly heritable, but not why is is the HIGHEST heritable.

    Proof:
    Introduce the following variables:
    g (the biological, but unknown variable in g theory)
    F (fluid intelligence)
    C (crystallized intelligence, a result of fluid intelligence, (cultural dependent) education and other influences)
    Edu (education)
    and a scaling constant k (not really necessary)

    F = g + ξf (in Jensen’s view the residual ξf is 0, because he considers g and fluid intelligence to be one and the same variable, but I’ll leave this an open question)

    C = k*F + Edu + ξc (investment hypothesis)

    Note that if there is no gene-environment covariance heritability of educational attainment will be 0. Note that if education is assumed homogeneous, variance in Edu equals/approaches 0 (and covariance between fluid intelligence and education will be absent anyway). Also residual variance is by definition independent from g, so there are no covariance terms that contribute to variance in crystallized intelligence.

    σ(C) = σ(k*F) + σ(Edu) + σ(ξc)

    Heritability of crystallized intelligence is thus a weighted sum of the heritability of education (which is 0 under the assumptions above), the heritability of the residual and the heritability of fluid intelligence. In g theory the residual is less heritable than fluid intelligence (this is assumed in order to explain the positive correlation between g-loading and heritability coefficients of fluid tasks). This implies the heritability of crystallized intelligence is expected not to exceed the heritability of fluid intelligence. If environmental variance approaches 0 and heritability of the residual wouldn’t differ too much from the heritability of g, the heritability of crystallized intelligence approaches that of fluid intelligence. If the heritability of the residual is assumed higher than the heritability of g crystallized intelligence can be higher than heritability of fluid, but then 1) the assumption that g is main source of genetic differences is discarded and hence 2) g theory does not provide an explanation of the correlation between g-loading and heritability anymore. This would run against our findings.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Or perhaps Vocabulary has the highest heritability because it's a very good all around test of intelligence.

    A culture-free test of Fluid Intelligence like the Ravens Matrices is an extraordinarily abstracted test of intelligence, kind of like the various skill tests (40 yard dash, jump, Wonderlic, etc.) given to potential draftees at the NFL Combines are abstracted versions of football. The prospects don't have to know each team's playbooks, they just have to execute certain skills that are common to almost all teams. Similarly, you don't have to speak English to take the Ravens Matrices.

    In contrast, a vocabulary test is to intelligence more like a scrimmage is to a football game. You won't do well if you haven't had the opportunity to study the playbook.

    NFL coaches and general managers use both kinds of information to predict future game performance. They'd likely prefer the scrimmage if they had to choose one, but for reasons of practicality both are highly useful.

  23. “How to Raise Good Kids in a Liberal World”.

    “How to Raise Smart Kids in a Tard-Loving World”

  24. @Wade
    Here is Kees's own formulation of the dilemma this poses for traditional 'g' theory:

    "A good way of thinking about our results is the following: If heritability of Fullscale IQ (FSIQ) is 80% and (2*)GE covariance would account for 30% of the variance, then assigning people randomly to environments (rather than on the basis of cognitive outcome measures) this would yield a drop in heritability of FSIQ from to 50%. And if we would assign on the basis of cognitive outcome measures so that (2*)GE cov would contribute -30%, heritability would drop to 20%.

    In g-Gf/Gc theory a vocabulary test is clearly a highly culturally loaded test (which makes sense also for the non-g theorist). Most importantly, g theory might explain why vocabulary is highly heritable, but not why is is the HIGHEST heritable.

    Proof:
    Introduce the following variables:
    g (the biological, but unknown variable in g theory)
    F (fluid intelligence)
    C (crystallized intelligence, a result of fluid intelligence, (cultural dependent) education and other influences)
    Edu (education)
    and a scaling constant k (not really necessary)

    F = g + ξf (in Jensen’s view the residual ξf is 0, because he considers g and fluid intelligence to be one and the same variable, but I’ll leave this an open question)

    C = k*F + Edu + ξc (investment hypothesis)

    Note that if there is no gene-environment covariance heritability of educational attainment will be 0. Note that if education is assumed homogeneous, variance in Edu equals/approaches 0 (and covariance between fluid intelligence and education will be absent anyway). Also residual variance is by definition independent from g, so there are no covariance terms that contribute to variance in crystallized intelligence.

    σ(C) = σ(k*F) + σ(Edu) + σ(ξc)

    Heritability of crystallized intelligence is thus a weighted sum of the heritability of education (which is 0 under the assumptions above), the heritability of the residual and the heritability of fluid intelligence. In g theory the residual is less heritable than fluid intelligence (this is assumed in order to explain the positive correlation between g-loading and heritability coefficients of fluid tasks). This implies the heritability of crystallized intelligence is expected not to exceed the heritability of fluid intelligence. If environmental variance approaches 0 and heritability of the residual wouldn’t differ too much from the heritability of g, the heritability of crystallized intelligence approaches that of fluid intelligence. If the heritability of the residual is assumed higher than the heritability of g crystallized intelligence can be higher than heritability of fluid, but then 1) the assumption that g is main source of genetic differences is discarded and hence 2) g theory does not provide an explanation of the correlation between g-loading and heritability anymore. This would run against our findings."

    Or perhaps Vocabulary has the highest heritability because it’s a very good all around test of intelligence.

    A culture-free test of Fluid Intelligence like the Ravens Matrices is an extraordinarily abstracted test of intelligence, kind of like the various skill tests (40 yard dash, jump, Wonderlic, etc.) given to potential draftees at the NFL Combines are abstracted versions of football. The prospects don’t have to know each team’s playbooks, they just have to execute certain skills that are common to almost all teams. Similarly, you don’t have to speak English to take the Ravens Matrices.

    In contrast, a vocabulary test is to intelligence more like a scrimmage is to a football game. You won’t do well if you haven’t had the opportunity to study the playbook.

    NFL coaches and general managers use both kinds of information to predict future game performance. They’d likely prefer the scrimmage if they had to choose one, but for reasons of practicality both are highly useful.

    • Replies: @Wade
    You could be correct, you do you acknowledge that what you're saying here contradicts what many hereditarians -- from Raymond Cattell to Arthur Jensen -- have claimed for the last century, which is that the more "culture fair" or "culturally neutral" a test, the better it measures 'g'? That's exactly what Wicherts, Kees, et al. pointed out.

    Here is an excerpt from Jensen himself:


    If one hypothesizes that the black IQ deficit may be due to poor motivation or uncooperative attitudes of blacks in the test situation, then one must explain why little or no difference in scores occurs between blacks and whites on tests involving rote learning and memory. Such tests are just as demanding in terms of attention, effort and persistence, but do not call upon the kinds of abstract reasoning abilities that characterize the culture-fair intelligence tests. We have devised experimental tests, which look to pupils like any other tests, that minimize the need for reasoning and abstract ability, and maximize the role of nonconceptual learning and memory. On these tests black and white children average about the same scores. Therefore, the racial difference clearly does not involve all mental abililities equally. It involves mainly conceptual and abstract reasoning, and not learning and memory.
     
    Now let's say that Vocabulary really IS a better test of abstract reasoning than Raven's Matrices (though this certainly hasn't been obvious to many hereditarians)...no one can deny that there's lots of room for culture, as well as rote learning and memory, wrt how well one performs on the Vocabulary section. In your own words, "you won’t do well if you haven’t had the opportunity to study the playbook."

    IIRC, you were a lot more open-minded towards Duckworth's paper on motivation than lots of other hereditarians. Following the logic above, this means that there could be much more room to close racial gaps by focusing on non-cognitive traits like James Heckman's "character skills", which are also more malleable:

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w19656.pdf?new_window=1

    To assume otherwise is to assume that all groups in the U.S. are equally motivated now and that measures to increase motivation or conscientiousness etc. would raise the motivation or conscientiousness of all groups, thus retaining the gaps. I'm not so sure that's the case. For one, I think the East Asian-White gap is to a large extent mediated by differences in work ethic and conscientiousness. East Asian motivation is probably already "maxed out." I don't think East Asians have a genuine cognitive advantage over Whites, but that's a different discussion.

    On that note, I'll also mention that the East Asian "IQ advantage" is in Math but NOT in Verbal. Not only hereditarians, but also the general public, tend to take mathematical ability as the ne plus ultra of intelligence, but I've shifted to the belief, expressed by Education Realist and others on your blog, that math ability -- especially at the high school and undergrad level -- is much more "trainable" and dependent on dedication than people realize. Thus the kind of motivation discussed above would play a much greater role.

  25. @FWIW
    Even though we have an economy that is referred to as knowledge based, not that many jobs require a high powered education and a high IQ.

    Assistant manager at a Walmart might be considered simply a solid, middle class sort of position. And it means managing a workforce of several hundred employees. Which is an excellent background to manage anywhere. Much better than an undergraduate degree or an MBA. The only way to learn to manage people is to manage people. Even the standard example of the worst service job -- McDonalds -- offers opportunities to become shift managers, assistant managers, and managers. These are great preparation for better jobs.

    Since we are increasingly becoming a service economy, soft skills are essential. Communication, empathy, people skills.

    It may be impossible to teach these skills, but it is far from impossible to learn them.

    Which puts a little different spin on the problem of dismal economic outcomes for ghetto residents. But intensive training in social skills sounds a lot more promising than closing IQ gaps.

    Blacks do okay in the Army, in part because the Army imposes quite a bit of culture on them.

    • Replies: @Curle
    A friend, formerly in the JAG, said his job consisted mostly of dispensing punishment to misbehaving African Americans. Any crime stats by race for the various branches of the armed services?
  26. @candid_observer
    The reality is that there was never a particularly big difference between crystallized g and fluid g -- they appear to be fairly hard to pull out as distinct factors, if they are pulled out at all. (And I don't take the Math and Reading components in this particular study to be good examples even of crystallized g -- since they are described as in part "skills", my guess is that they are better described as achievement components).

    As for the greater heritability of crystallized g (only very slightly greater if at all) I'd expect that that stems from the fact that an inclination to do the sorts of things that turn into crystallized g, such as reading or working math problems, is also quite heritable - so why shouldn't crystallized g be more heritable than fluid g?

    “As for the greater heritability of crystallized g (only very slightly greater if at all) I’d expect that that stems from the fact that an inclination to do the sorts of things that turn into crystallized g, such as reading or working math problems, is also quite heritable – so why shouldn’t crystallized g be more heritable than fluid g?”

    Right. It’s not clear that everything an intelligence test measures is solely IQ. It also measures stick-to-it-iveness and the like. But if the goal is to predict future achievement, then a test that measures both intelligence and diligence might be better than one that just tests intelligence.

    • Replies: @bored identity
    Attention, shoppers!
    Am I the only one to notice the unbearable ligthness of Steve's fallacy?

    (I recently visited a prosperous small town with few illegal immigrants. While shopping at the local Walmart, I learned not to ask pallet-haulers where items in the cavernous store were. They’d have to bring their heavily laden carts to a stop, then think for 15 seconds, then tell me they don’t know but I could ask somebody else, then get their loads moving again. In other words, in this town far from the Mexican border, Walmart employs borderline retarded Americans, which is a good thing.)
     
    While I do agree that working manual jobs in discount supermarkets for mostly minimum wage statisticaly would qualify you as a person with a lower mental ability, this particular anegdote was nothing but maliciously constructed improv used to deliver equally lousy conclusion;

    If a smalltown Wallmart Pallet-Hauler (that has been interrupted by a sophisticated but languorous aisle-hole shopper, whose sudden inability to exercise his superior IQ potentials prevented him from following simple, yet obviously way above his head placed colorful and enumerated placards ) is not of any help to our hapless blogger, than it means only one thing - that Wallmart Pallet-Hauler is Borderline Retarded. Borderline Retarded American- to be more precise.

    After all, we all know that a corporate labyrinth's superelaborateness does easily overwhelm any modern Theseus; and since Ariadne is not available at this point, an inland Walmart employs Borderline Retarded Americans......and that is a good thing.

    Also, to put a side Sailer's brief but unintentionally pythonesque description of his holiday encounters with peasants, did it ever occur to him that Walmart's undermensch maybe had to bring their heavily laden carts to a stop due to mandatory rules that prevents Borderline Retarded Americans from a simultaneously operating equipment and chatting with a menopausing megacity- dwellers?

    Could it be possible that the Borderline Retard used the equally degrading estimate of Sailer's intelectual capacity while he was describing to his third wife rashomonized epizode of the unwaranted rendezvous with a hasty customer?

    Borderline Retarded American retelling his day in the office:
    " So, I'm about to unload like my last batch for the day, when suddenly and out of nowhere this douche catches on me with an excuse-me-my-personal-walmart-associate face expression ....so, I totally stop doing my thing to see like what the hell he wants from me, and this friggin' tourist is like, where can he find some 'Stevia Extract In The Raw Zero-Calorie Sweetener'....and I think to myself; seriously dude, I've been here only for a month, and there are huuuge signs everywhere, and there's that desk with a computer and items inventory, and Samantha is boondoggling and like probably sexting at her customer's desk as we speak, and I have to pick my second wife's niece from a basketball practice in 20 minutes, and it's really not my job for nine bucks per hour to know all the stuff we sell...but, I know that it would be for the best if I don't even open my big mouth, and I learned not to fret over clueless dumb$hits asking where items in the cavernous store were, so I just nod for 15 seconds, and pretend to listen and care about darn sweetener and I smile and I politely say that I don't know but he could ask somebody else ...and I go back to work, and I think to myself - what a borderline retard... non dare to call it."
     
    Can Steve digest that, during his quest for the grail of all Wallmart merchandise, a single questionable decision to bypass a first station - and that would be, for the English speaking shoppers, something called a Customer Service desk - somehow grotesquely reflects on almost everything that Sailerism promotes here: an order of things based on use of logic, common sense, rationality, diligence, civility, procedure ...?
  27. @Steve Sailer
    P&G paid a lot of money to validate their hiring tests to the government's satisfaction along time ago. It helps to have a big bureaucratic system where job performance is carefully put down on paper.

    In contrast, the much smaller marketing research firm I worked at had simply used one of the founders' Marketing Research 302 exams from the U. of Iowa as a hiring test. That worked quite well -- it was a hard test that I had to work on for several hours. The secretary was amazed that I kept saying I wasn't done yet, but after they graded it, the CEO called me up the next day to schedule a full day of interviews.

    But, when the firm grew big enough to get on the EEOC's radar, management decided to junk the exam rather than try to jump through all the hoops to have it validated.

    I wonder what argument they used to get it passed the government? I also wonder what their diversity numbers are as a result? I do recall a black alum that worked at P&G that came and spoke to us at business school, but I’d be surprised if they had a higher percentage of blacks than your average Silicon Valley company.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    IQ tests aren't illegal, it's just that a strong burden of proof is on the employer. In contrast, using a college degree as a job requirement doesn't impose much burden of proof on most employers.

    My impression is that the P&G just wore down the government by dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's on its paperwork in its usual thorough manner.

  28. To go back to the value of a vocabulary test, consider the question of who is more intelligent: Tom Wolfe v. John Updike. Which one of these two major American authors born in the early 1930s and educated at Yale (Wolfe) and Harvard (Updike) seems more intelligent? I’d vote for Updike (this would be on the SAT Verbal scale of 200 to 800 on which Wolfe might score 1050 and Updike 1190). An important data point in my estimation would Updike’s supreme vocabulary.

    Now, I, personally, have gotten more out of reading Wolfe than out of reading Updike, so intelligence isn’t everything.

    Which one would have scored higher on the Raven’s Matrices? I don’t know. The Raven’s don’t come up much. That they correlate so amazingly with so much else is extraordinary. But still, a vocabulary test is closer to a direct measure of how we judge, in part, the intelligence of, say, authors, so I’m hardly surprised that vocabulary is such a good measure of intelligence.

    Of course, vocabulary is a good way to compare the intelligence of Updike and Wolfe because they are so similar in culture and era. I wouldn’t feel as confident comparing Updike in this manner to, say, Joseph Conrad, who didn’t speak fluent English until he was in his mid-20s.

    • Replies: @peterike
    An important data point in my estimation would Updike’s supreme vocabulary.

    Based on his writing vs. Wolfe's? Isn't a lot of that simply a stylistic choice? Wolfe has always been a proponent of clarity in writing, has a journalistic background and so forth. Updike, with his New Yorker heritage, is a more academic type of writer. Maybe he just spends more time with his Thesaurus.
    , @Luke Lea
    About Updike's intelligence: being something of a fan (understatement) I picked up the fact somewhere that Updike was reputed to have an IQ of 154 while an undergraduate at Harvard. What percentage of the population has an IQ that high? It's less than one out of a million (= 5 sigma or IQ of 160, according to Lubos Motl). In other words there are thousands of people in our society who are as intelligent as Updike. Yet there have been but a very tiny handful of Americans in history with anything like his talent for words (Eliot in poetry, though on a much smaller scale, Hawthorne in prose, but only in some of his shorter pieces). From this I conclude that Updike had a specifically verbal genius* that is very rare indeed, almost Shakespearean.

    Since g is, by definition, merely that mental faculty that correlates best -- which doesn't mean very well, necessarily -- with all forms of mental ability, this leaves room for particular abilities in some people that are way out of line with their general IQ. It probably has to do with wild variance in some particular substructure of their brains that sticks out like a sore thumb, much as a little piece of Einstein's brain was way overdeveloped, or so I am told. He was a good but not a great mathematician, it is generally agreed by those who would know; but, boy, could he do classical physics.


    * Talent has been defined as doing easily what other people find hard to do; genius as doing easily what others find impossible.

  29. @Ed
    I wonder what argument they used to get it passed the government? I also wonder what their diversity numbers are as a result? I do recall a black alum that worked at P&G that came and spoke to us at business school, but I'd be surprised if they had a higher percentage of blacks than your average Silicon Valley company.

    IQ tests aren’t illegal, it’s just that a strong burden of proof is on the employer. In contrast, using a college degree as a job requirement doesn’t impose much burden of proof on most employers.

    My impression is that the P&G just wore down the government by dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s on its paperwork in its usual thorough manner.

  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @BayAreaBill
    Steve, good topic and discussion, as always. I'd be concerned about the sample size here. Also, as is usually the case in social science, we're talking really, really blunt instruments. The authors looked at a bunch of students at a bunch of schools using a bunch of educational techniques in one city during one time period. They're observing a very small piece of a much bigger picture with extremely coarse instruments.

    But on another topic: Do you have children? If so, are you concerned about the influence of your political/sociological worldview on them? Don't get me wrong -- I'm a huge fan of yours and think you speak the truth better than just about anyone else out there. But, roughly speaking, The Narrative has won. Our elites in academia, media, and politics speak with one voice, and it's a voice that very frequently ritualistically denies blindingly obvious and unmistakable patterns and explanations (your "War on Noticing"). Not toeing the line could easily get a person ostracized and close down many opportunities. We're basically living in a mild version of 1984.

    So about your kids, if you have any: is it better to teach them the truth or to teach them The Narrative?

    I suggest you write a book on the subject, perhaps with a partner who likes writing long-form non-fiction. "How to Raise Good Kids in a Liberal World".

    This is a really important issue.

    I don’t have children, but I’d like to, and I worry about how I would deal with the conflict between my views and what kids are taught and expected to believe outside the home.

    Do I try to impart my own views and culture on my children or would it just be easier and better to step aside and let the ‘professionals’ mould them in their image? I used to pride myself as being a pretty regular Joe, but I’m more and more starting to feel like a cranky, eccentric reactionary !

    I just can’t go along with a smile as things degenerate, and I’m actually worried that society is going to teach my children to hate me….the flip side is the fear that even if I can de-program them and teach them morality/reality as I see it, they are going to be at a big disadvantage constantly having to swim against the tide.

    It’s a quandary.

    • Replies: @BayAreaBill
    Yeah, this is really important to me and I think about it often. I'm raising my kids not just to be "good people" in general, but to be smart, analytical, and realistic. I enjoy teaching my kids "how the world works" (as best as I have figured, anyway), but our conversations sometimes venture into territory where there's a choice between obliviousness and Crime Think. I find it profoundly difficult to just lie to my kids and blame all the world's troubles on Evil Old White Men and Racism. But I'm genuinely very concerned my kids won't become fluent in The Narrative. I've often seen the way liberal elites speak about Narrative Deniers and their viciousness and contempt are really scary. But they really do control the world in which my family and I live, at least.
    , @Bill

    I don’t have children, but I’d like to, and I worry about how I would deal with the conflict between my views and what kids are taught and expected to believe outside the home.
     
    First, observe, they are your kids. They are going to figure it out eventually anyway. The only decision you are making is between being, in their memory, one of the liars and not being one of the liars.

    Just tell them the truth. Then tell them that if they mention the truth in school/work, they will be punished and that there is nothing you can do about it. Commiserate with them about the injustice of all this. Bright children figure out that their teachers are both wrong about some stuff and lying about other stuff. You aren't going to do them any harm by accelerating their discovery process a bit.

    Mel Gibson's dad rather famously has unusual beliefs. Mel Gibson's take on that is "My father never lied to me." I want my kids to think the same some day.
  31. WhatEvvs [AKA "Cookies"] says:

    It is funny how much you like both Wolfe and Updike. They didn’t much like each other. Updike dismissed Wolfe’s fiction as being bad, even for light entertainment. Wolfe responded by calling Updike one of “My Three Stooges.” Guess who the other two were.

    In the other day’s news, Brangelina tied the knot. It’s still important to be married.

  32. • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    That's sad. I've always enjoyed her work over a long, long time.
    , @Luke Lea
    My first thought on Joan River's situation? Time for a one liner.

    After all that was her response to her husband's suicide.
    , @dcite
    I don't know what Steve thinks about it, but when Joan said publicly that Obama was our first gay president, and Michelle was a tranny, and get over it because "we all know it", I worried for her safety. I hoped she would not be Breitbarted.
  33. @Steve Sailer
    Or perhaps Vocabulary has the highest heritability because it's a very good all around test of intelligence.

    A culture-free test of Fluid Intelligence like the Ravens Matrices is an extraordinarily abstracted test of intelligence, kind of like the various skill tests (40 yard dash, jump, Wonderlic, etc.) given to potential draftees at the NFL Combines are abstracted versions of football. The prospects don't have to know each team's playbooks, they just have to execute certain skills that are common to almost all teams. Similarly, you don't have to speak English to take the Ravens Matrices.

    In contrast, a vocabulary test is to intelligence more like a scrimmage is to a football game. You won't do well if you haven't had the opportunity to study the playbook.

    NFL coaches and general managers use both kinds of information to predict future game performance. They'd likely prefer the scrimmage if they had to choose one, but for reasons of practicality both are highly useful.

    You could be correct, you do you acknowledge that what you’re saying here contradicts what many hereditarians — from Raymond Cattell to Arthur Jensen — have claimed for the last century, which is that the more “culture fair” or “culturally neutral” a test, the better it measures ‘g’? That’s exactly what Wicherts, Kees, et al. pointed out.

    Here is an excerpt from Jensen himself:

    If one hypothesizes that the black IQ deficit may be due to poor motivation or uncooperative attitudes of blacks in the test situation, then one must explain why little or no difference in scores occurs between blacks and whites on tests involving rote learning and memory. Such tests are just as demanding in terms of attention, effort and persistence, but do not call upon the kinds of abstract reasoning abilities that characterize the culture-fair intelligence tests. We have devised experimental tests, which look to pupils like any other tests, that minimize the need for reasoning and abstract ability, and maximize the role of nonconceptual learning and memory. On these tests black and white children average about the same scores. Therefore, the racial difference clearly does not involve all mental abililities equally. It involves mainly conceptual and abstract reasoning, and not learning and memory.

    Now let’s say that Vocabulary really IS a better test of abstract reasoning than Raven’s Matrices (though this certainly hasn’t been obvious to many hereditarians)…no one can deny that there’s lots of room for culture, as well as rote learning and memory, wrt how well one performs on the Vocabulary section. In your own words, “you won’t do well if you haven’t had the opportunity to study the playbook.”

    IIRC, you were a lot more open-minded towards Duckworth’s paper on motivation than lots of other hereditarians. Following the logic above, this means that there could be much more room to close racial gaps by focusing on non-cognitive traits like James Heckman’s “character skills”, which are also more malleable:

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w19656.pdf?new_window=1

    To assume otherwise is to assume that all groups in the U.S. are equally motivated now and that measures to increase motivation or conscientiousness etc. would raise the motivation or conscientiousness of all groups, thus retaining the gaps. I’m not so sure that’s the case. For one, I think the East Asian-White gap is to a large extent mediated by differences in work ethic and conscientiousness. East Asian motivation is probably already “maxed out.” I don’t think East Asians have a genuine cognitive advantage over Whites, but that’s a different discussion.

    On that note, I’ll also mention that the East Asian “IQ advantage” is in Math but NOT in Verbal. Not only hereditarians, but also the general public, tend to take mathematical ability as the ne plus ultra of intelligence, but I’ve shifted to the belief, expressed by Education Realist and others on your blog, that math ability — especially at the high school and undergrad level — is much more “trainable” and dependent on dedication than people realize. Thus the kind of motivation discussed above would play a much greater role.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "the more “culture fair” or “culturally neutral” a test, the better it measures ‘g’?"

    Keep in mind that I picked Wolfe and Updike for my example because their cultural backgrounds are, in the big picture, close to identical. Vocabulary size is affected by language a lot and also by other social factors. A Raven's test was a pretty amazing breakthrough in its day because it didn't look much like anything earthly. Now, however, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if social factors aren't playing a role because some people are more exposed to this kind of test than others.

    If you made admission to Manhattan kindergartens contingent upon the Ravens (which I they are sort of doing), pretty soon you'll see a lot of small rich children highly familiar with Ravens. It will still work pretty well but the prepped kids will have an advantage over the unprepped kids.

    Anyway, to come back to a vocabulary test for figuring out if Updike is smarter than Wolfe, well, that's kind of like testing baseball players at a batting cage. It's a test that overlaps a lot with the behavior we want to predict.

    On the other hand, if Lionel Messi didn't do that well at a batting cage, well, you wouldn't draw that many conclusions about his future in soccer from it. But still I'd expect Messi to be pretty good at eye-hand coordination since he's supreme at eye-foot coordination.

    , @Anonymous
    One can certainly make the argument that Heckman's work shows that we might get better non cognitive outcomes even if we accept that IQ is not malleable; despite the views of many hereditarians. My only concern would be that much larger (general) studies tend to show these types of behavioural characteristics also have high heritability.
    , @WhatEvvs
    "On that note, I’ll also mention that the East Asian “IQ advantage” is in Math but NOT in Verbal."

    Right, and with Ashk. Jews it's the other way around. Splain that one to me.

    I tend to agree w/you in general but I wouldn't rule out some kind of mutation(s) which affect calm conscientiousness, which helps achievement.
    , @Luke Lea
    About Wade's revolutionary revelations: take that study to the profession and try to convince them. Bearing in mind that most research findings are wrong. It particularly annoys me when anyone tries to sell the lay public on some revolutionary new scientific truth with a complex, jargon-filled argument. Cranks and crackpots do that all the time in physics. That number includes a lot of academically accredited physicists.
    , @Twinkie
    "For one, I think the East Asian-White gap is to a large extent mediated by differences in work ethic and conscientiousness. East Asian motivation is probably already “maxed out.” I don’t think East Asians have a genuine cognitive advantage over Whites, but that’s a different discussion."

    This strikes me too much as "hey, black-white difference is innate, but white-Asian difference is just environment." The difference between a genuine, scientific race realist and a racist pretending to be a race realist (or realist of any sort) is whether one can accept a result or an evidence that may be emotionally unpalatable of his race not being the best at everything.

    "I’ve shifted to the belief, expressed by Education Realist and others on your blog, that math ability — especially at the high school and undergrad level — is much more “trainable” and dependent on dedication than people realize."

    "Education Realist" seems to have a serious deficiency in basic statistics and reading comprehension. Both here and on Razib Khan's blog, other commenters and I challenged his repeated and tiresome claims of East Asian academic success being due to prevalent cheating by demonstrating the mismatch between Asian test scores and subsequent performance in college and graduate school. At first he ignored the requests (and implied that *I* lied about my own educational experience of reading advanced materials in junior high and high school; I graduated from Stuyvesant HS, top ten undergrad and grad schools and taught at universities), but later responded by claiming that Asians have higher college dropout and academic probation rates than other races, an example of the mismatch between their scores and performance. The citations he provided actually showed that Asians have dropout/probation rates *similar to, or lower than,* other races, including whites. Ooops.

    You should not put too much stock in a guy who claims that studying really hard is cheating. That's what he called my intense effort to improve my English vocabulary by spending a whole summer during junior high school reading a lot and going through several dictionaries - he said that I cheated/gamed the system and then, in a rather uncouth and petty manner, even questioned my worth as a person and an American (something along the lines of "all that studying got you is a good job probably, but what did America gain -- you probably just took some real American's job").

    Despite his constant claims of "loving" his (Asian) students, he seems to harbor enormous resentment and envy toward high performing and striving Asian students. He reminds me of Matthew Broderick's teacher character in "Election."
  34. “But as Education Realist has argued, verbal skills such as reading comprehension are probably more important overall for our economy and society than math skills. And we’re not making as much progress with that.”

    You mean in the internet age with tons of emoticons and texting which helps to dumb down the basic vocabulary even further, that US verbal skills are stagnating or starting to decrease compared to previous generations? Seriously?

    “KIPP charters are basically militaristic boot camps for hard-working kids with IQs probably averaging in the 90s. The idea is to get them away from the layabouts and troublemakers in regular schools and then drill them intensively in the basics.”

    Yes, but how many KIPP schools can the nation operate from a practical basis? Anyone know if the late Michael Brown had attended a KIPP school?

    “Blacks do okay in the Army, in part because the Army imposes quite a bit of culture on them.”

    At present, what is the overall rate of blacks who enlist in the army compared to other minorities? Is it enough to make a statistical difference in the overall groups IQ?

    And thus, in 2014land, we are tending to see more and more spokespersons along the lines of Rachel Jeantel. In about another 15yrs or so, she will be a full fledged member of the talented tenth.

    How’s that going to work out for the community?

    And therein lies the rub.

    We has pickle, we does.

  35. @Wade
    You could be correct, you do you acknowledge that what you're saying here contradicts what many hereditarians -- from Raymond Cattell to Arthur Jensen -- have claimed for the last century, which is that the more "culture fair" or "culturally neutral" a test, the better it measures 'g'? That's exactly what Wicherts, Kees, et al. pointed out.

    Here is an excerpt from Jensen himself:


    If one hypothesizes that the black IQ deficit may be due to poor motivation or uncooperative attitudes of blacks in the test situation, then one must explain why little or no difference in scores occurs between blacks and whites on tests involving rote learning and memory. Such tests are just as demanding in terms of attention, effort and persistence, but do not call upon the kinds of abstract reasoning abilities that characterize the culture-fair intelligence tests. We have devised experimental tests, which look to pupils like any other tests, that minimize the need for reasoning and abstract ability, and maximize the role of nonconceptual learning and memory. On these tests black and white children average about the same scores. Therefore, the racial difference clearly does not involve all mental abililities equally. It involves mainly conceptual and abstract reasoning, and not learning and memory.
     
    Now let's say that Vocabulary really IS a better test of abstract reasoning than Raven's Matrices (though this certainly hasn't been obvious to many hereditarians)...no one can deny that there's lots of room for culture, as well as rote learning and memory, wrt how well one performs on the Vocabulary section. In your own words, "you won’t do well if you haven’t had the opportunity to study the playbook."

    IIRC, you were a lot more open-minded towards Duckworth's paper on motivation than lots of other hereditarians. Following the logic above, this means that there could be much more room to close racial gaps by focusing on non-cognitive traits like James Heckman's "character skills", which are also more malleable:

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w19656.pdf?new_window=1

    To assume otherwise is to assume that all groups in the U.S. are equally motivated now and that measures to increase motivation or conscientiousness etc. would raise the motivation or conscientiousness of all groups, thus retaining the gaps. I'm not so sure that's the case. For one, I think the East Asian-White gap is to a large extent mediated by differences in work ethic and conscientiousness. East Asian motivation is probably already "maxed out." I don't think East Asians have a genuine cognitive advantage over Whites, but that's a different discussion.

    On that note, I'll also mention that the East Asian "IQ advantage" is in Math but NOT in Verbal. Not only hereditarians, but also the general public, tend to take mathematical ability as the ne plus ultra of intelligence, but I've shifted to the belief, expressed by Education Realist and others on your blog, that math ability -- especially at the high school and undergrad level -- is much more "trainable" and dependent on dedication than people realize. Thus the kind of motivation discussed above would play a much greater role.

    “the more “culture fair” or “culturally neutral” a test, the better it measures ‘g’?”

    Keep in mind that I picked Wolfe and Updike for my example because their cultural backgrounds are, in the big picture, close to identical. Vocabulary size is affected by language a lot and also by other social factors. A Raven’s test was a pretty amazing breakthrough in its day because it didn’t look much like anything earthly. Now, however, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if social factors aren’t playing a role because some people are more exposed to this kind of test than others.

    If you made admission to Manhattan kindergartens contingent upon the Ravens (which I they are sort of doing), pretty soon you’ll see a lot of small rich children highly familiar with Ravens. It will still work pretty well but the prepped kids will have an advantage over the unprepped kids.

    Anyway, to come back to a vocabulary test for figuring out if Updike is smarter than Wolfe, well, that’s kind of like testing baseball players at a batting cage. It’s a test that overlaps a lot with the behavior we want to predict.

    On the other hand, if Lionel Messi didn’t do that well at a batting cage, well, you wouldn’t draw that many conclusions about his future in soccer from it. But still I’d expect Messi to be pretty good at eye-hand coordination since he’s supreme at eye-foot coordination.

  36. In other words, in this town far from the Mexican border, Walmart employs borderline retarded Americans, which is a good thing.

    In middle america in the booming 90’s, all the local grocery stores had multiple “organic retardation” white employees doing bagging.

    I still sometimes see retarded grocery employees in nice San Diego neighborhoods, but it is rarer.

    The most notable thing about our San Diego Wal-Mart stockers is that so many of them are butch Mexican-American lesbians. Some of them even burly.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    There you go: "burly lesbian" -- now that's a stereotype!
  37. @Anonymous
    Steve, any thoughts on Joan Rivers' coma situation?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2736852/Joan-Rivers-81-emergency-care-stopped-breathing-throat-surgery.html

    That’s sad. I’ve always enjoyed her work over a long, long time.

  38. @Lot

    In other words, in this town far from the Mexican border, Walmart employs borderline retarded Americans, which is a good thing.
     
    In middle america in the booming 90's, all the local grocery stores had multiple "organic retardation" white employees doing bagging.

    I still sometimes see retarded grocery employees in nice San Diego neighborhoods, but it is rarer.

    The most notable thing about our San Diego Wal-Mart stockers is that so many of them are butch Mexican-American lesbians. Some of them even burly.

    There you go: “burly lesbian” — now that’s a stereotype!

  39. Priss Factor [AKA "pierogi western"] says:

    How about someone write a satiric self-help book on PQ, or political-correctness quotient?

    How to boost your PQ to get ahead in life.

    My PQ is 5.

  40. But the Bay Area is ascendant and ascending. I am surrounded by millionaires and soon-to-be millionaires. DC, NYC, LA, and the SF Bay Area are where elites go. Like it or not, these are the places where the future is made. I’m sure iSteve readers pride themselves on their realism. Let’s be realistic about these facts.

  41. @attilathehen
    palette-haulers should be spelled pallet-haulers

    Yeah. I had this brief vision of Walmart associates in their blue shirts and name tags running around with paint palletes hooked over their hands, like artists in Paris.

  42. Interesting article re NYC subsidized housing:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140804/downtown-brooklyn/developers-struggle-fill-546-a-month-apartments-downtown-brooklyn

    Two key parts:

    The affordable housing lottery at 66 Rockwell Place opened in March of 2013. After several lottery rounds, developers, who must give priority to local residents, could not find enough qualified applicants from Community Board 2 for the affordable units.

    Now if you had inside knowledge about this lottery, or just followed housing lotteries closely, you could “rent” a room nearby and be assured of winning since they had more slots than local applicants.

    Even then it seems hard to believe they couldn’t find enough people to live in DT Brooklyn in a new development for $546-789/mo, well under half the market rate. But…

    Solano gave tips on how to get applications seen by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which runs affordable housing lotteries for the city.

    “They won’t even look at applications that are sent in large envelopes or via Priority Mail,” he said. “They will throw out paper applications that have whiteout on the sheets.”

    Solano added that couples who apply together but do not share finances can also be disqualified.

    But most people are turned away because of late payments on student loans, credit card bills and rent checks.

    “Developers say the biggest obstacle to getting affordable housing in Downtown Brooklyn is credit,” Public Advocate Letitia James said. “Raise your hand if you have an 800 credit score — I know I don’t.”

    Lifelong Community Board 2 resident, Olu Alaka, has been denied housing in six Brooklyn buildings because of his credit score.

    The 30-year-old caterer makes $27,000 a year and applied to 66 Rockwell Place in Downtown Brooklyn, Navy Green in Clinton Hill and 1133 Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint but was denied because he filed for bankruptcy at age 22 after a former friend stole his credit card and ran up astronomical bills, he said.

    Although he filed a police report for identity theft and is working to build up his credit score, he still does not qualify.

    It seems screening for bad credit lets buildings avoid people whose friends steal credit cards and run up “astronomical bills.” They are OK with low-income tenants, they just have to have spotless credit and the high-IQ required to fill out the forms just right, supposedly without using whiteout or oversized envelopes.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "“They won’t even look at applications that are sent in large envelopes or via Priority Mail,” he said. “They will throw out paper applications that have whiteout on the sheets.”"

    That's kind of like sending in a spec script to the producers of a sit-com or hour-long TV drama: there are extremely picky standards about margins, typeface (primitive Courier), and how many brass fasteners to use in the three hole punch paper (two, never three). There are functional reasons (the number of pages should correlate closely to the running length -- a veteran can tell if a script needs to be cut to fit the time slot just from its weight). But a big one is to show that you follow rules well and are less likely to throw a snit over your idiosyncrasies. TV writing is factory work.

    , @notsaying
    Maybe they are looking for reasons to reject them. Maybe what they are looking for are technically "low income" people who grew up middle class and have relatives who send them money when they can't afford to pay their bills.

    Throwing out the applications that have white-out on them is ridiculous and should not be allowed. I've used whiteout many times on my tax forms. Frankly, though, I am surprised to hear many people have it at home.

    Low income people as a group would have credit problems. That would be particularly true in big cities with very high rents, like New York.

    How does any public housing or Section 8 program function if its standards are so high that it turns down most of the people it's there to serve?
  43. http://youtu.be/eMrTwZo0QnU

    There’s a lot about Galloway I don’t like and even despise, but I love his style and bluster.

    We need people like that in the US.

  44. @Wade
    But is the crystallized vs. fluid intelligence distinction still tenable? This paper argues that the relationship is more complex than the conventional theories of 'g' suggest:

    "Our result showing that culture-loaded knowledge tests (crystallized tests) are more strongly related to general intelligence than are culture-reduced cognitive processing tests (fluid tests) fits better with the idea that g loadings reflect societal demands (Dickens, 2008) than that they reflect cognitive demands (Jensen, 1987). Furthermore, in adult samples, our finding that the heritability coefficients of culture-loaded tests tend to be larger than those of culture-reduced tests calls for an explanation, given that this result does not follow from the subtest-complexity and investment hypotheses of g theory and fluid-crystallized theory."

    http://scottbarrykaufman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Kees-Jan-et-al.-2013.pdf

    I don’t see how a strict reading of Cattel’s investment hypothesis (which portrays crystal intelligence solely as an outcomes, not source) is still tenable, as crystal intelligence seems to have a genetic basis semi-independent from fluid; See, for example: Christoforou, et al. (2014) “GWAS‐based pathway analysis differentiates between fluid and crystallized intelligence”:

    “Here, using two GWAS datasets, in which the polygenicity of gF and gC traits was previously confirmed, a gene- and pathway-based approach was undertaken with the aim of characterizing and differentiating their genetic architecture. Pathway analysis, using genes selected on the basis of relaxed criteria, revealed notable differences between these two traits. gF appeared to be characterized by genes affecting the quantity and quality of neurons and therefore neuronal efficiency, whereas long-term depression (LTD) seemed to underlie gC. Thus, this study supports the gF–gC distinction at the genetic level and identifies functional annotations and pathways worthy of further investigation.”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I'm probably higher in crystallized intelligence than fluid intelligence (obviously, more so as I age, but even adjusted for age). I don't deal well with new challenges like setting up devices, but I am still pretty good at drawing analogies between this large stock of examples I've accumulated.

    For example, a commenter just listed some of the absurdly picky rules you have to follow when applying for one of those "affordable housing" subsidized apartments in a new luxury building in New York. I'd no doubt screw up on one of the rules and have to use white out on my application, thus violating the "No White-Out" rule. But I'm good at things like saying, oh, this is like how if you want a TV producer to read your sitcom spec script, you have to follow exactly a bunch of arcane formatting rules: they are both designed to demonstrate that you will follow the rules.

  45. @Lot
    Interesting article re NYC subsidized housing:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140804/downtown-brooklyn/developers-struggle-fill-546-a-month-apartments-downtown-brooklyn

    Two key parts:

    The affordable housing lottery at 66 Rockwell Place opened in March of 2013. After several lottery rounds, developers, who must give priority to local residents, could not find enough qualified applicants from Community Board 2 for the affordable units.
     
    Now if you had inside knowledge about this lottery, or just followed housing lotteries closely, you could "rent" a room nearby and be assured of winning since they had more slots than local applicants.

    Even then it seems hard to believe they couldn't find enough people to live in DT Brooklyn in a new development for $546-789/mo, well under half the market rate. But...

    Solano gave tips on how to get applications seen by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which runs affordable housing lotteries for the city.

    "They won't even look at applications that are sent in large envelopes or via Priority Mail," he said. "They will throw out paper applications that have whiteout on the sheets."

    Solano added that couples who apply together but do not share finances can also be disqualified.

    But most people are turned away because of late payments on student loans, credit card bills and rent checks.

    “Developers say the biggest obstacle to getting affordable housing in Downtown Brooklyn is credit,” Public Advocate Letitia James said. “Raise your hand if you have an 800 credit score — I know I don’t.”

    Lifelong Community Board 2 resident, Olu Alaka, has been denied housing in six Brooklyn buildings because of his credit score.

    The 30-year-old caterer makes $27,000 a year and applied to 66 Rockwell Place in Downtown Brooklyn, Navy Green in Clinton Hill and 1133 Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint but was denied because he filed for bankruptcy at age 22 after a former friend stole his credit card and ran up astronomical bills, he said.

    Although he filed a police report for identity theft and is working to build up his credit score, he still does not qualify.
     
    It seems screening for bad credit lets buildings avoid people whose friends steal credit cards and run up "astronomical bills." They are OK with low-income tenants, they just have to have spotless credit and the high-IQ required to fill out the forms just right, supposedly without using whiteout or oversized envelopes.

    ““They won’t even look at applications that are sent in large envelopes or via Priority Mail,” he said. “They will throw out paper applications that have whiteout on the sheets.””

    That’s kind of like sending in a spec script to the producers of a sit-com or hour-long TV drama: there are extremely picky standards about margins, typeface (primitive Courier), and how many brass fasteners to use in the three hole punch paper (two, never three). There are functional reasons (the number of pages should correlate closely to the running length — a veteran can tell if a script needs to be cut to fit the time slot just from its weight). But a big one is to show that you follow rules well and are less likely to throw a snit over your idiosyncrasies. TV writing is factory work.

  46. @Chuck
    I don't see how a strict reading of Cattel's investment hypothesis (which portrays crystal intelligence solely as an outcomes, not source) is still tenable, as crystal intelligence seems to have a genetic basis semi-independent from fluid; See, for example: Christoforou, et al. (2014) "GWAS‐based pathway analysis differentiates between fluid and crystallized intelligence":

    "Here, using two GWAS datasets, in which the polygenicity of gF and gC traits was previously confirmed, a gene- and pathway-based approach was undertaken with the aim of characterizing and differentiating their genetic architecture. Pathway analysis, using genes selected on the basis of relaxed criteria, revealed notable differences between these two traits. gF appeared to be characterized by genes affecting the quantity and quality of neurons and therefore neuronal efficiency, whereas long-term depression (LTD) seemed to underlie gC. Thus, this study supports the gF–gC distinction at the genetic level and identifies functional annotations and pathways worthy of further investigation."

    I’m probably higher in crystallized intelligence than fluid intelligence (obviously, more so as I age, but even adjusted for age). I don’t deal well with new challenges like setting up devices, but I am still pretty good at drawing analogies between this large stock of examples I’ve accumulated.

    For example, a commenter just listed some of the absurdly picky rules you have to follow when applying for one of those “affordable housing” subsidized apartments in a new luxury building in New York. I’d no doubt screw up on one of the rules and have to use white out on my application, thus violating the “No White-Out” rule. But I’m good at things like saying, oh, this is like how if you want a TV producer to read your sitcom spec script, you have to follow exactly a bunch of arcane formatting rules: they are both designed to demonstrate that you will follow the rules.

  47. I remember reading some years ago that in the intelligence/personality test that Walmart gave to applicants for employment, there were several questions that laid out problems and asked what the applicant should do in that situation. Supposedly, the right answer was always, “Ask a manager.” I don’t know if it’s true, but it sounds right and it’s too good a story to fact-check.

  48. Psychologists and Economists talk about something called “Future Time orientation” that is related to IQ. I think there should be more talk about something called “Past Time orientation”. That being defined by knowledge of what our near and far ancestors did and how they lived and what was normal. I happen to believe that what has happened in the 20th century has absolutely distorted this for modern western people.

  49. @carol
    BTW, I was applying online for a job last week and party of the third-party screening test was clearly Raven Matrices or similar..plus some other logic, business math and vocab questions.

    I thought it was illegal to use IQ tests.

    Tests are only illegal where they are not necessary. In other words you can’t screen employees using IQ tests unless you can show the tests are themselves good measures of the required job.

    • Replies: @keypusher
    In theory, yes. In practice, under the legal precedents, the burden of showing that an IQ test is justified is impossible to carry.
  50. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Wade
    You could be correct, you do you acknowledge that what you're saying here contradicts what many hereditarians -- from Raymond Cattell to Arthur Jensen -- have claimed for the last century, which is that the more "culture fair" or "culturally neutral" a test, the better it measures 'g'? That's exactly what Wicherts, Kees, et al. pointed out.

    Here is an excerpt from Jensen himself:


    If one hypothesizes that the black IQ deficit may be due to poor motivation or uncooperative attitudes of blacks in the test situation, then one must explain why little or no difference in scores occurs between blacks and whites on tests involving rote learning and memory. Such tests are just as demanding in terms of attention, effort and persistence, but do not call upon the kinds of abstract reasoning abilities that characterize the culture-fair intelligence tests. We have devised experimental tests, which look to pupils like any other tests, that minimize the need for reasoning and abstract ability, and maximize the role of nonconceptual learning and memory. On these tests black and white children average about the same scores. Therefore, the racial difference clearly does not involve all mental abililities equally. It involves mainly conceptual and abstract reasoning, and not learning and memory.
     
    Now let's say that Vocabulary really IS a better test of abstract reasoning than Raven's Matrices (though this certainly hasn't been obvious to many hereditarians)...no one can deny that there's lots of room for culture, as well as rote learning and memory, wrt how well one performs on the Vocabulary section. In your own words, "you won’t do well if you haven’t had the opportunity to study the playbook."

    IIRC, you were a lot more open-minded towards Duckworth's paper on motivation than lots of other hereditarians. Following the logic above, this means that there could be much more room to close racial gaps by focusing on non-cognitive traits like James Heckman's "character skills", which are also more malleable:

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w19656.pdf?new_window=1

    To assume otherwise is to assume that all groups in the U.S. are equally motivated now and that measures to increase motivation or conscientiousness etc. would raise the motivation or conscientiousness of all groups, thus retaining the gaps. I'm not so sure that's the case. For one, I think the East Asian-White gap is to a large extent mediated by differences in work ethic and conscientiousness. East Asian motivation is probably already "maxed out." I don't think East Asians have a genuine cognitive advantage over Whites, but that's a different discussion.

    On that note, I'll also mention that the East Asian "IQ advantage" is in Math but NOT in Verbal. Not only hereditarians, but also the general public, tend to take mathematical ability as the ne plus ultra of intelligence, but I've shifted to the belief, expressed by Education Realist and others on your blog, that math ability -- especially at the high school and undergrad level -- is much more "trainable" and dependent on dedication than people realize. Thus the kind of motivation discussed above would play a much greater role.

    One can certainly make the argument that Heckman’s work shows that we might get better non cognitive outcomes even if we accept that IQ is not malleable; despite the views of many hereditarians. My only concern would be that much larger (general) studies tend to show these types of behavioural characteristics also have high heritability.

  51. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Due to my, admittedly limited, experience I am less than convinced that student selection, even where a lottery systems exists, is completely random. Do other people know more about this question.
    As has been pointed out above the gains are either not significant, ie THEY do not exist, or so small that they are most likely noise (given the sample size). Thus much of the discussion seems moot. Although of course any result no matter how meaningless that suggests schools improve performance, close gaps, raise IQ etc must always be extensively praised and repeated. (I would be happy for all these things to be true it’s just that I would like equal rigour to be applied to both sides of the question)

  52. “US verbal skills are stagnating or starting to decrease compared to previous generations? ”

    That’s not what I said–not the sort of thing I do. What I pointed out was that very high math scores are more frequent than very high verbal scores on the old GRE. I noticed that they “fixed” this–no doubt by making the new GRE easier, but I haven’t been coaching it in years.

  53. Steve

    Your point about verbal vs maths IQ — why are they given equal weighting on academic achievement tests — if you made it 75:25 the Asian advantage would be massively reduced (and hence they crowding out at top schools). When we gave GMAT tests to potential employees in Shanghai they always did better than me at maths but verbal was the other way. Also the maths score did not indicate any ability to handle statistics and come up with interesting and relevant conclusions.

    Similarly why spend so much time on teaching kids how to do something they will never use — mental arithmetic.I would actually say be teaching time maths should only get 10% of what English gets…

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    "...why spend so much time on teaching kids how to do something they will never use — mental arithmetic."

    Because it improves ability to hold multiple data sets and manipulate them, strengthening the mind's capacity to solve complex problems.

    I'm in my fifties now, but I still occasionally devote time to working on mental arithmetic, noticing an increased ability to focus afterwards.
  54. @Steve Sailer
    To go back to the value of a vocabulary test, consider the question of who is more intelligent: Tom Wolfe v. John Updike. Which one of these two major American authors born in the early 1930s and educated at Yale (Wolfe) and Harvard (Updike) seems more intelligent? I'd vote for Updike (this would be on the SAT Verbal scale of 200 to 800 on which Wolfe might score 1050 and Updike 1190). An important data point in my estimation would Updike's supreme vocabulary.

    Now, I, personally, have gotten more out of reading Wolfe than out of reading Updike, so intelligence isn't everything.

    Which one would have scored higher on the Raven's Matrices? I don't know. The Raven's don't come up much. That they correlate so amazingly with so much else is extraordinary. But still, a vocabulary test is closer to a direct measure of how we judge, in part, the intelligence of, say, authors, so I'm hardly surprised that vocabulary is such a good measure of intelligence.

    Of course, vocabulary is a good way to compare the intelligence of Updike and Wolfe because they are so similar in culture and era. I wouldn't feel as confident comparing Updike in this manner to, say, Joseph Conrad, who didn't speak fluent English until he was in his mid-20s.

    An important data point in my estimation would Updike’s supreme vocabulary.

    Based on his writing vs. Wolfe’s? Isn’t a lot of that simply a stylistic choice? Wolfe has always been a proponent of clarity in writing, has a journalistic background and so forth. Updike, with his New Yorker heritage, is a more academic type of writer. Maybe he just spends more time with his Thesaurus.

  55. The “I” word?

  56. I’m somewhat lost here in dealing with the ‘gap’ in scores between whites and blacks. Is it wrong to assume that if black scores are raised, then white scores would show a similar rise? Or do we assume that whites have reached their peak and can rise no higher, while blacks scores can rise one standard deviation while everyone else remains stagnant? IOW, would not the gap continue to exist in real terms? I’m talking more here about test taking – crystallized knowledge – than fluid cognitive skills.

    If Blacks and Hispanics can become better at CK, why not Whites and Asians show a similar improvement?

    Just wondering. Oh, my head hurts!

  57. A world full of whore-nalists.

    Ironic that Kristof who rails against forced prostitution is little more than a whournalist who pimps himself out to PC.

  58. @Anonymous
    This is a really important issue.

    I don't have children, but I'd like to, and I worry about how I would deal with the conflict between my views and what kids are taught and expected to believe outside the home.

    Do I try to impart my own views and culture on my children or would it just be easier and better to step aside and let the 'professionals' mould them in their image? I used to pride myself as being a pretty regular Joe, but I'm more and more starting to feel like a cranky, eccentric reactionary !

    I just can't go along with a smile as things degenerate, and I'm actually worried that society is going to teach my children to hate me....the flip side is the fear that even if I can de-program them and teach them morality/reality as I see it, they are going to be at a big disadvantage constantly having to swim against the tide.

    It's a quandary.

    Yeah, this is really important to me and I think about it often. I’m raising my kids not just to be “good people” in general, but to be smart, analytical, and realistic. I enjoy teaching my kids “how the world works” (as best as I have figured, anyway), but our conversations sometimes venture into territory where there’s a choice between obliviousness and Crime Think. I find it profoundly difficult to just lie to my kids and blame all the world’s troubles on Evil Old White Men and Racism. But I’m genuinely very concerned my kids won’t become fluent in The Narrative. I’ve often seen the way liberal elites speak about Narrative Deniers and their viciousness and contempt are really scary. But they really do control the world in which my family and I live, at least.

    • Replies: @FWIW
    Bay Area Bill .....

    I will guarantee you that what you think will be important issues with children are not going to be important, and vice versa.

    If they are logical and analytical thinkers they will figure it out in their own time frame without a lot of coaching from Dad.

    The most amazing thing is when they rebel against your bad habits. I never believed it was possible until I experienced it.

    The only censorship I ever did was hiding some overly postmodern books. But, they were appalled by it at first glance. They avoided the English Department and anything involving gender like the plague. The professors that are involved in this are no longer young, and it is no longer new ... it is something middle aged professors argue about that seems idiotic to college kids. They have already been exposed to the notion that everything is a cultural construct. Once that point has been argued, there is really no place to go. It seems both obvious and boring to college kids.

    When do you want kids to figure this stuff out? Through Elementary School, they have their hands full with more basic and appropriate things. Plus, you can only not see what is obvious. Not seeing takes a lot of effort. Kids don't have the focus to ignore the obvious.

    And, in spite of all the discussion on the decline of whites in America, White is still a great brand. Kids seem to figure that out at a very early age.

    When a kid is five, they will see someone on the street and blurt out that the person is fat. Everyone knows the person is fat, but it is bad manners to point it out in public, in front of the person. There is an aspect of PC that is now considered simple manners. Not a bad thing to absorb. It is sort of like Sex to Victorians. Now we have other taboos and social conventions. As far as how much it matters? Not much unless you are doing some hard thinking about social and educational policy. Which means not much for a kid.

    My kids are very politically correct as far as speech. But they seem to easily figure out what they need to know when they need to know it. Maybe a little talk before they go off to college explaining the reason why you live as far as possible from ghettos is in order. Other than that, relax.

  59. @Lot
    Interesting article re NYC subsidized housing:

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140804/downtown-brooklyn/developers-struggle-fill-546-a-month-apartments-downtown-brooklyn

    Two key parts:

    The affordable housing lottery at 66 Rockwell Place opened in March of 2013. After several lottery rounds, developers, who must give priority to local residents, could not find enough qualified applicants from Community Board 2 for the affordable units.
     
    Now if you had inside knowledge about this lottery, or just followed housing lotteries closely, you could "rent" a room nearby and be assured of winning since they had more slots than local applicants.

    Even then it seems hard to believe they couldn't find enough people to live in DT Brooklyn in a new development for $546-789/mo, well under half the market rate. But...

    Solano gave tips on how to get applications seen by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which runs affordable housing lotteries for the city.

    "They won't even look at applications that are sent in large envelopes or via Priority Mail," he said. "They will throw out paper applications that have whiteout on the sheets."

    Solano added that couples who apply together but do not share finances can also be disqualified.

    But most people are turned away because of late payments on student loans, credit card bills and rent checks.

    “Developers say the biggest obstacle to getting affordable housing in Downtown Brooklyn is credit,” Public Advocate Letitia James said. “Raise your hand if you have an 800 credit score — I know I don’t.”

    Lifelong Community Board 2 resident, Olu Alaka, has been denied housing in six Brooklyn buildings because of his credit score.

    The 30-year-old caterer makes $27,000 a year and applied to 66 Rockwell Place in Downtown Brooklyn, Navy Green in Clinton Hill and 1133 Manhattan Ave. in Greenpoint but was denied because he filed for bankruptcy at age 22 after a former friend stole his credit card and ran up astronomical bills, he said.

    Although he filed a police report for identity theft and is working to build up his credit score, he still does not qualify.
     
    It seems screening for bad credit lets buildings avoid people whose friends steal credit cards and run up "astronomical bills." They are OK with low-income tenants, they just have to have spotless credit and the high-IQ required to fill out the forms just right, supposedly without using whiteout or oversized envelopes.

    Maybe they are looking for reasons to reject them. Maybe what they are looking for are technically “low income” people who grew up middle class and have relatives who send them money when they can’t afford to pay their bills.

    Throwing out the applications that have white-out on them is ridiculous and should not be allowed. I’ve used whiteout many times on my tax forms. Frankly, though, I am surprised to hear many people have it at home.

    Low income people as a group would have credit problems. That would be particularly true in big cities with very high rents, like New York.

    How does any public housing or Section 8 program function if its standards are so high that it turns down most of the people it’s there to serve?

  60. Where can I take the Raven’s Matrices test? The eponymous website wants $19.95, but is it reliable? Any suggestions for the test in paper form?

  61. I do recall a black alum that worked at P&G that came and spoke to us at business school, but I’d be surprised if they had a higher percentage of blacks than your average Silicon Valley company.

    When I worked in advertising, P&G was one of our clients. They had some obvious make-work jobs for blacks; for example, at meetings they sometimes had a black sketch artist who would produce rough drawings illustrating the ideas expressed. (This was a full-time job.) There was also diversity training, which some of the agency people had to attend. My partner went and found it useful, bless his heart. He shared with me his learning, such that the term “black” was okay, you don’t always have to say “African American,” and that blacks have a different work-style which involves more socializing, and that’s a good thing. (I have noticed this style when I have had to interrupt black clerks at Walmart who are clustered together discussing their weekend.)

    On Tom Wolfe vs John Updike, it seems to me that Wolfe sets about writing a novel in order to make a specific point, or a number of points, while Updike sets about writing a novel with no point in mind whatsoever. The last Updike I read was “Villages,” which meandered through a number of affairs a middle-aged man had had, described with a sort of world-weariness and anomie. You get to the end and wonder what you have reaped from your investment of time. Well written, though!

  62. @FWIW
    Even though we have an economy that is referred to as knowledge based, not that many jobs require a high powered education and a high IQ.

    Assistant manager at a Walmart might be considered simply a solid, middle class sort of position. And it means managing a workforce of several hundred employees. Which is an excellent background to manage anywhere. Much better than an undergraduate degree or an MBA. The only way to learn to manage people is to manage people. Even the standard example of the worst service job -- McDonalds -- offers opportunities to become shift managers, assistant managers, and managers. These are great preparation for better jobs.

    Since we are increasingly becoming a service economy, soft skills are essential. Communication, empathy, people skills.

    It may be impossible to teach these skills, but it is far from impossible to learn them.

    Which puts a little different spin on the problem of dismal economic outcomes for ghetto residents. But intensive training in social skills sounds a lot more promising than closing IQ gaps.

    Communication, empathy, people skills… you say these put a little different spin on the problem of dismal economic outcomes for ghetto residents.

    I disagree. Ghetto resididents – you mean blacks, don’t you ? – have on average low IQs. Do you really think that low IQs facilitate communication, empathy and people skills? If you read what Steve Sailer said, the pallet haulers at that Walmart he was in were, according to him, borderline retarded. They had to think for 15 seconds before they could tell him to ask someone else. Do you think this is a demonstration of good communication skills?

    Communication skills require knowledge and the ability to express that knowledge. In other words, if these different types of intelligence are real, it requires both crystallised knowlege and fluid cognitive skills.

    What about empathy? How much empathy do ghetto dwellers show? They live off benefits, draining money from taxpayers. Certain groups like to riot and even burn down their own ghettos. They rob people. They steal. Wow! All that demonstrates loads of empathy, doesn’t it? They are certainly concerned about the well-being of others, aren’t they?

    ‘People skills’ – what are those? Are they the ability to steal a box of cigarillos and then strong-arm the shop assistant? Are they the ability to whine for more money based on the ‘terrible legacy of slavery’? Are they the ability to decide not to learn the language of the inhabitants of the country and not to assimilate to the local culture? Are they the ability shoot someone because he looked at you in the wrong way?

    All the skills you mentioned require a decent IQ, a good concept of the future, and a penchant for not being violent at the drop of a hat. That leaves out most, if not all, ghetto dwellers, doesn’t it?

  63. @gbloco
    Steve

    Your point about verbal vs maths IQ -- why are they given equal weighting on academic achievement tests -- if you made it 75:25 the Asian advantage would be massively reduced (and hence they crowding out at top schools). When we gave GMAT tests to potential employees in Shanghai they always did better than me at maths but verbal was the other way. Also the maths score did not indicate any ability to handle statistics and come up with interesting and relevant conclusions.

    Similarly why spend so much time on teaching kids how to do something they will never use -- mental arithmetic.I would actually say be teaching time maths should only get 10% of what English gets...

    “…why spend so much time on teaching kids how to do something they will never use — mental arithmetic.”

    Because it improves ability to hold multiple data sets and manipulate them, strengthening the mind’s capacity to solve complex problems.

    I’m in my fifties now, but I still occasionally devote time to working on mental arithmetic, noticing an increased ability to focus afterwards.

  64. @BayAreaBill
    Yeah, this is really important to me and I think about it often. I'm raising my kids not just to be "good people" in general, but to be smart, analytical, and realistic. I enjoy teaching my kids "how the world works" (as best as I have figured, anyway), but our conversations sometimes venture into territory where there's a choice between obliviousness and Crime Think. I find it profoundly difficult to just lie to my kids and blame all the world's troubles on Evil Old White Men and Racism. But I'm genuinely very concerned my kids won't become fluent in The Narrative. I've often seen the way liberal elites speak about Narrative Deniers and their viciousness and contempt are really scary. But they really do control the world in which my family and I live, at least.

    Bay Area Bill …..

    I will guarantee you that what you think will be important issues with children are not going to be important, and vice versa.

    If they are logical and analytical thinkers they will figure it out in their own time frame without a lot of coaching from Dad.

    The most amazing thing is when they rebel against your bad habits. I never believed it was possible until I experienced it.

    The only censorship I ever did was hiding some overly postmodern books. But, they were appalled by it at first glance. They avoided the English Department and anything involving gender like the plague. The professors that are involved in this are no longer young, and it is no longer new … it is something middle aged professors argue about that seems idiotic to college kids. They have already been exposed to the notion that everything is a cultural construct. Once that point has been argued, there is really no place to go. It seems both obvious and boring to college kids.

    When do you want kids to figure this stuff out? Through Elementary School, they have their hands full with more basic and appropriate things. Plus, you can only not see what is obvious. Not seeing takes a lot of effort. Kids don’t have the focus to ignore the obvious.

    And, in spite of all the discussion on the decline of whites in America, White is still a great brand. Kids seem to figure that out at a very early age.

    When a kid is five, they will see someone on the street and blurt out that the person is fat. Everyone knows the person is fat, but it is bad manners to point it out in public, in front of the person. There is an aspect of PC that is now considered simple manners. Not a bad thing to absorb. It is sort of like Sex to Victorians. Now we have other taboos and social conventions. As far as how much it matters? Not much unless you are doing some hard thinking about social and educational policy. Which means not much for a kid.

    My kids are very politically correct as far as speech. But they seem to easily figure out what they need to know when they need to know it. Maybe a little talk before they go off to college explaining the reason why you live as far as possible from ghettos is in order. Other than that, relax.

  65. @Anonymous
    Tests are only illegal where they are not necessary. In other words you can't screen employees using IQ tests unless you can show the tests are themselves good measures of the required job.

    In theory, yes. In practice, under the legal precedents, the burden of showing that an IQ test is justified is impossible to carry.

  66. Admitting that IQ exits doesn’t mean we have to be overly deterministic about the concept of cognitive ability and label people with digits. The widespread use of illegal and legal nootropics to boost test performance by high IQ types in Ivy League colleges and elsewhere, in addition to the intense educational regimens of the high IQ overachievers, suggests that there is a plasticity to cognitive ability which science has not yet fully explained, which is not a surprise, due to science’s limited understanding of the human brain. We don’t know all the answers, but science and genetic therapy should be able to create widespread cognitive equality during the 21st century.

  67. ““Villages,” which meandered through a number of affairs a middle-aged man had had, described with a sort of world-weariness and anomie.”

    The man was younger in “Couples”.

    “You get to the end and wonder what you have reaped from your investment of time. “

    Yup. Other than a vaguely envious (of the hero’s pulling power) feeling ?

    “Well written, though”

    Agreed. Few writers have described a woman’s used underwear so evocatively.

  68. I recently visited a prosperous small town with few illegal immigrants…

    A month or two ago, at my big-city supermarket, I noticed something strange about one of the cashiers that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I racked my brains for quite a while- there wasn’t anything obviously unusual about her. She was just a regular teen-aged or early twenties white American girl; good-looking in the way that most healthy young people are, but not a knockout, and with a fairly ordinary name spelled in an ordinary fashion (by that, I mean something like “Elizabeth” or “Mary”, rather than “Ilyzibyth” or “Maree”). She had no weird tattoos or piercings, and she wasn’t overweight.

    That was what was so strange about her, I realized. Almost all of the cashiers I see there are immigrants of one sort or another, from all the four corners of the Earth. It’s gotten so that a normal, lower-middle-class white kid working a register as a summer job seems strange and exotic.

  69. @FWIW
    Even though we have an economy that is referred to as knowledge based, not that many jobs require a high powered education and a high IQ.

    Assistant manager at a Walmart might be considered simply a solid, middle class sort of position. And it means managing a workforce of several hundred employees. Which is an excellent background to manage anywhere. Much better than an undergraduate degree or an MBA. The only way to learn to manage people is to manage people. Even the standard example of the worst service job -- McDonalds -- offers opportunities to become shift managers, assistant managers, and managers. These are great preparation for better jobs.

    Since we are increasingly becoming a service economy, soft skills are essential. Communication, empathy, people skills.

    It may be impossible to teach these skills, but it is far from impossible to learn them.

    Which puts a little different spin on the problem of dismal economic outcomes for ghetto residents. But intensive training in social skills sounds a lot more promising than closing IQ gaps.

    It may be impossible to teach these skills [soft skills], but it is far from impossible to learn them.

    Right; and “business skills” are little more than those skills–plus showing up for work, on time; completing your tasks, on time; and being polite.

    The best training I ever got in learning how to deal with people–a skill that, even by itself, can help take you far in life–was waiting tables in restaurants.

    But to learn the lessons available from that kind of work–or any work–you still have to reflect on the experience, draw correct conclusions about it, and modify your behavior accordingly. And many people are disinclined or unable to do so.

    Even the standard example of the worst service job — McDonalds — offers opportunities to become shift managers, assistant managers, and managers. These are great preparation for better jobs.

    The first CEO of McDonalds after the era of Ray Kroc got his start with the company in the “dead-end job” of burger flipper.

    If you can read a little, add and subtract, and deal well with people, you’ve most of what it takes to get on in the world, even in our supposed high-tech, global, knowledge economy.

  70. WhatEvvs [AKA "Cookies"] says:
    @Wade
    You could be correct, you do you acknowledge that what you're saying here contradicts what many hereditarians -- from Raymond Cattell to Arthur Jensen -- have claimed for the last century, which is that the more "culture fair" or "culturally neutral" a test, the better it measures 'g'? That's exactly what Wicherts, Kees, et al. pointed out.

    Here is an excerpt from Jensen himself:


    If one hypothesizes that the black IQ deficit may be due to poor motivation or uncooperative attitudes of blacks in the test situation, then one must explain why little or no difference in scores occurs between blacks and whites on tests involving rote learning and memory. Such tests are just as demanding in terms of attention, effort and persistence, but do not call upon the kinds of abstract reasoning abilities that characterize the culture-fair intelligence tests. We have devised experimental tests, which look to pupils like any other tests, that minimize the need for reasoning and abstract ability, and maximize the role of nonconceptual learning and memory. On these tests black and white children average about the same scores. Therefore, the racial difference clearly does not involve all mental abililities equally. It involves mainly conceptual and abstract reasoning, and not learning and memory.
     
    Now let's say that Vocabulary really IS a better test of abstract reasoning than Raven's Matrices (though this certainly hasn't been obvious to many hereditarians)...no one can deny that there's lots of room for culture, as well as rote learning and memory, wrt how well one performs on the Vocabulary section. In your own words, "you won’t do well if you haven’t had the opportunity to study the playbook."

    IIRC, you were a lot more open-minded towards Duckworth's paper on motivation than lots of other hereditarians. Following the logic above, this means that there could be much more room to close racial gaps by focusing on non-cognitive traits like James Heckman's "character skills", which are also more malleable:

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w19656.pdf?new_window=1

    To assume otherwise is to assume that all groups in the U.S. are equally motivated now and that measures to increase motivation or conscientiousness etc. would raise the motivation or conscientiousness of all groups, thus retaining the gaps. I'm not so sure that's the case. For one, I think the East Asian-White gap is to a large extent mediated by differences in work ethic and conscientiousness. East Asian motivation is probably already "maxed out." I don't think East Asians have a genuine cognitive advantage over Whites, but that's a different discussion.

    On that note, I'll also mention that the East Asian "IQ advantage" is in Math but NOT in Verbal. Not only hereditarians, but also the general public, tend to take mathematical ability as the ne plus ultra of intelligence, but I've shifted to the belief, expressed by Education Realist and others on your blog, that math ability -- especially at the high school and undergrad level -- is much more "trainable" and dependent on dedication than people realize. Thus the kind of motivation discussed above would play a much greater role.

    “On that note, I’ll also mention that the East Asian “IQ advantage” is in Math but NOT in Verbal.”

    Right, and with Ashk. Jews it’s the other way around. Splain that one to me.

    I tend to agree w/you in general but I wouldn’t rule out some kind of mutation(s) which affect calm conscientiousness, which helps achievement.

  71. @FWIW
    Even though we have an economy that is referred to as knowledge based, not that many jobs require a high powered education and a high IQ.

    Assistant manager at a Walmart might be considered simply a solid, middle class sort of position. And it means managing a workforce of several hundred employees. Which is an excellent background to manage anywhere. Much better than an undergraduate degree or an MBA. The only way to learn to manage people is to manage people. Even the standard example of the worst service job -- McDonalds -- offers opportunities to become shift managers, assistant managers, and managers. These are great preparation for better jobs.

    Since we are increasingly becoming a service economy, soft skills are essential. Communication, empathy, people skills.

    It may be impossible to teach these skills, but it is far from impossible to learn them.

    Which puts a little different spin on the problem of dismal economic outcomes for ghetto residents. But intensive training in social skills sounds a lot more promising than closing IQ gaps.

    Good point.

  72. @Steve Sailer
    To go back to the value of a vocabulary test, consider the question of who is more intelligent: Tom Wolfe v. John Updike. Which one of these two major American authors born in the early 1930s and educated at Yale (Wolfe) and Harvard (Updike) seems more intelligent? I'd vote for Updike (this would be on the SAT Verbal scale of 200 to 800 on which Wolfe might score 1050 and Updike 1190). An important data point in my estimation would Updike's supreme vocabulary.

    Now, I, personally, have gotten more out of reading Wolfe than out of reading Updike, so intelligence isn't everything.

    Which one would have scored higher on the Raven's Matrices? I don't know. The Raven's don't come up much. That they correlate so amazingly with so much else is extraordinary. But still, a vocabulary test is closer to a direct measure of how we judge, in part, the intelligence of, say, authors, so I'm hardly surprised that vocabulary is such a good measure of intelligence.

    Of course, vocabulary is a good way to compare the intelligence of Updike and Wolfe because they are so similar in culture and era. I wouldn't feel as confident comparing Updike in this manner to, say, Joseph Conrad, who didn't speak fluent English until he was in his mid-20s.

    About Updike’s intelligence: being something of a fan (understatement) I picked up the fact somewhere that Updike was reputed to have an IQ of 154 while an undergraduate at Harvard. What percentage of the population has an IQ that high? It’s less than one out of a million (= 5 sigma or IQ of 160, according to Lubos Motl). In other words there are thousands of people in our society who are as intelligent as Updike. Yet there have been but a very tiny handful of Americans in history with anything like his talent for words (Eliot in poetry, though on a much smaller scale, Hawthorne in prose, but only in some of his shorter pieces). From this I conclude that Updike had a specifically verbal genius* that is very rare indeed, almost Shakespearean.

    Since g is, by definition, merely that mental faculty that correlates best — which doesn’t mean very well, necessarily — with all forms of mental ability, this leaves room for particular abilities in some people that are way out of line with their general IQ. It probably has to do with wild variance in some particular substructure of their brains that sticks out like a sore thumb, much as a little piece of Einstein’s brain was way overdeveloped, or so I am told. He was a good but not a great mathematician, it is generally agreed by those who would know; but, boy, could he do classical physics.

    * Talent has been defined as doing easily what other people find hard to do; genius as doing easily what others find impossible.

    • Replies: @Melendwyr
    The standard deviation (sigma) of IQ scores is generally recognized to be 15 points. So an IQ of 150 isn't five sigma from the mean, it's a little bit more than three.

    Three sigma is something like three out of a thousand. Let's be conservative and say that one out of a thousand people is three-and-change sigma away. That means that out of every million people, there will be a thousand who are that level or higher.

    The US population is said to be about 318 million people. Which would mean that in this country there are 318,000 people with IQ scores of 150 or higher.

    Updike may possess literay talents, but his IQ isn't all that special.
  73. About how to raise our children in a politically correct world:

    In the case of my own daughter I gradually told her what I thought was the truth as she got older but warned her not to say so in public if she wanted to be accepted. I also told her I might be wrong. In general I did not try to impose, or even completely reveal, my world view her as she grew up. Since leaving home she’s also learned a few politically incorrect truths the hard way, as many people do. You’ve got to be pretty sheltered from society not to.

  74. Curses on Unz’s five minute edit window.

  75. @Anonymous
    Steve, any thoughts on Joan Rivers' coma situation?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2736852/Joan-Rivers-81-emergency-care-stopped-breathing-throat-surgery.html

    My first thought on Joan River’s situation? Time for a one liner.

    After all that was her response to her husband’s suicide.

  76. @Wade
    You could be correct, you do you acknowledge that what you're saying here contradicts what many hereditarians -- from Raymond Cattell to Arthur Jensen -- have claimed for the last century, which is that the more "culture fair" or "culturally neutral" a test, the better it measures 'g'? That's exactly what Wicherts, Kees, et al. pointed out.

    Here is an excerpt from Jensen himself:


    If one hypothesizes that the black IQ deficit may be due to poor motivation or uncooperative attitudes of blacks in the test situation, then one must explain why little or no difference in scores occurs between blacks and whites on tests involving rote learning and memory. Such tests are just as demanding in terms of attention, effort and persistence, but do not call upon the kinds of abstract reasoning abilities that characterize the culture-fair intelligence tests. We have devised experimental tests, which look to pupils like any other tests, that minimize the need for reasoning and abstract ability, and maximize the role of nonconceptual learning and memory. On these tests black and white children average about the same scores. Therefore, the racial difference clearly does not involve all mental abililities equally. It involves mainly conceptual and abstract reasoning, and not learning and memory.
     
    Now let's say that Vocabulary really IS a better test of abstract reasoning than Raven's Matrices (though this certainly hasn't been obvious to many hereditarians)...no one can deny that there's lots of room for culture, as well as rote learning and memory, wrt how well one performs on the Vocabulary section. In your own words, "you won’t do well if you haven’t had the opportunity to study the playbook."

    IIRC, you were a lot more open-minded towards Duckworth's paper on motivation than lots of other hereditarians. Following the logic above, this means that there could be much more room to close racial gaps by focusing on non-cognitive traits like James Heckman's "character skills", which are also more malleable:

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w19656.pdf?new_window=1

    To assume otherwise is to assume that all groups in the U.S. are equally motivated now and that measures to increase motivation or conscientiousness etc. would raise the motivation or conscientiousness of all groups, thus retaining the gaps. I'm not so sure that's the case. For one, I think the East Asian-White gap is to a large extent mediated by differences in work ethic and conscientiousness. East Asian motivation is probably already "maxed out." I don't think East Asians have a genuine cognitive advantage over Whites, but that's a different discussion.

    On that note, I'll also mention that the East Asian "IQ advantage" is in Math but NOT in Verbal. Not only hereditarians, but also the general public, tend to take mathematical ability as the ne plus ultra of intelligence, but I've shifted to the belief, expressed by Education Realist and others on your blog, that math ability -- especially at the high school and undergrad level -- is much more "trainable" and dependent on dedication than people realize. Thus the kind of motivation discussed above would play a much greater role.

    About Wade’s revolutionary revelations: take that study to the profession and try to convince them. Bearing in mind that most research findings are wrong. It particularly annoys me when anyone tries to sell the lay public on some revolutionary new scientific truth with a complex, jargon-filled argument. Cranks and crackpots do that all the time in physics. That number includes a lot of academically accredited physicists.

  77. OT but in the Steve-arena. The New Yorker has managed to find the perfect story for our times. “The Man Without a Mask,” about Cassandro, the gay drag-queen Mexican wrestler.

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/01/man-without-mask

    It has everything. A kid growing up shuttling easily from America to Mexico. Early gay awareness. Sexual abuse, drug abuse, religious reawakening (yeah some Catholic but also Mayan and Native American spirituality), massive egos and attention whoring and a wrestler who gives talks on diversity.

  78. Priss Factor [AKA "tandoori pizza"] says:

    http://youtu.be/kFXP33Q3JsA

    None dare call it ‘paki-stani’.

    Better rapist than ‘racist’.

  79. @Anonymous
    This is a really important issue.

    I don't have children, but I'd like to, and I worry about how I would deal with the conflict between my views and what kids are taught and expected to believe outside the home.

    Do I try to impart my own views and culture on my children or would it just be easier and better to step aside and let the 'professionals' mould them in their image? I used to pride myself as being a pretty regular Joe, but I'm more and more starting to feel like a cranky, eccentric reactionary !

    I just can't go along with a smile as things degenerate, and I'm actually worried that society is going to teach my children to hate me....the flip side is the fear that even if I can de-program them and teach them morality/reality as I see it, they are going to be at a big disadvantage constantly having to swim against the tide.

    It's a quandary.

    I don’t have children, but I’d like to, and I worry about how I would deal with the conflict between my views and what kids are taught and expected to believe outside the home.

    First, observe, they are your kids. They are going to figure it out eventually anyway. The only decision you are making is between being, in their memory, one of the liars and not being one of the liars.

    Just tell them the truth. Then tell them that if they mention the truth in school/work, they will be punished and that there is nothing you can do about it. Commiserate with them about the injustice of all this. Bright children figure out that their teachers are both wrong about some stuff and lying about other stuff. You aren’t going to do them any harm by accelerating their discovery process a bit.

    Mel Gibson’s dad rather famously has unusual beliefs. Mel Gibson’s take on that is “My father never lied to me.” I want my kids to think the same some day.

  80. So if they don’t dare mention the subject of their supposed scholarship, are they really scholars?

  81. Priss Factor [AKA "pizza with hot pepper"] says:

    http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2014/08/intellectual-virtues.html

    Brooks is essentially saying HE is the ideal intellectual since he’s a middle of the roader on everything.

  82. OT

    IBD: Holder Cut Left-Wing Groups In On $17 Bil BofA Deal

    Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder’s record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America.

    Buried in the fine print of the deal,…

    Like they say: read the whole thing. Note this part:

    BofA gets extra credit if it makes at least $100 million in direct donations to IOLTA and housing activist groups approved by HUD.

    According to the list provided by Justice, those groups include come of the most radical bank shakedown organizations in the country, including:

    National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Washington’s most aggressive lobbyist for the disastrous Community Reinvestment Act;

    Maybe some “scholars” can look into this further.

  83. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The other night I was with some friends and the topic of poor educational outcomes in certain “poor” areas came up.

    Everyone began vigorously arguing, in unison, that it’s the family, it’s the environment, I don’t think there are any dumb kids, every one can succeed equally if given the chance.

    It’s interesting seeing these displays. Everyone agrees. Yet finds the need to begin listing a litany of reasons justifying their position. Who are they arguing against?

  84. @attilathehen
    palette-haulers should be spelled pallet-haulers

    In Arkansas, it’s “pellet hollers”.

  85. @Wade
    You could be correct, you do you acknowledge that what you're saying here contradicts what many hereditarians -- from Raymond Cattell to Arthur Jensen -- have claimed for the last century, which is that the more "culture fair" or "culturally neutral" a test, the better it measures 'g'? That's exactly what Wicherts, Kees, et al. pointed out.

    Here is an excerpt from Jensen himself:


    If one hypothesizes that the black IQ deficit may be due to poor motivation or uncooperative attitudes of blacks in the test situation, then one must explain why little or no difference in scores occurs between blacks and whites on tests involving rote learning and memory. Such tests are just as demanding in terms of attention, effort and persistence, but do not call upon the kinds of abstract reasoning abilities that characterize the culture-fair intelligence tests. We have devised experimental tests, which look to pupils like any other tests, that minimize the need for reasoning and abstract ability, and maximize the role of nonconceptual learning and memory. On these tests black and white children average about the same scores. Therefore, the racial difference clearly does not involve all mental abililities equally. It involves mainly conceptual and abstract reasoning, and not learning and memory.
     
    Now let's say that Vocabulary really IS a better test of abstract reasoning than Raven's Matrices (though this certainly hasn't been obvious to many hereditarians)...no one can deny that there's lots of room for culture, as well as rote learning and memory, wrt how well one performs on the Vocabulary section. In your own words, "you won’t do well if you haven’t had the opportunity to study the playbook."

    IIRC, you were a lot more open-minded towards Duckworth's paper on motivation than lots of other hereditarians. Following the logic above, this means that there could be much more room to close racial gaps by focusing on non-cognitive traits like James Heckman's "character skills", which are also more malleable:

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w19656.pdf?new_window=1

    To assume otherwise is to assume that all groups in the U.S. are equally motivated now and that measures to increase motivation or conscientiousness etc. would raise the motivation or conscientiousness of all groups, thus retaining the gaps. I'm not so sure that's the case. For one, I think the East Asian-White gap is to a large extent mediated by differences in work ethic and conscientiousness. East Asian motivation is probably already "maxed out." I don't think East Asians have a genuine cognitive advantage over Whites, but that's a different discussion.

    On that note, I'll also mention that the East Asian "IQ advantage" is in Math but NOT in Verbal. Not only hereditarians, but also the general public, tend to take mathematical ability as the ne plus ultra of intelligence, but I've shifted to the belief, expressed by Education Realist and others on your blog, that math ability -- especially at the high school and undergrad level -- is much more "trainable" and dependent on dedication than people realize. Thus the kind of motivation discussed above would play a much greater role.

    “For one, I think the East Asian-White gap is to a large extent mediated by differences in work ethic and conscientiousness. East Asian motivation is probably already “maxed out.” I don’t think East Asians have a genuine cognitive advantage over Whites, but that’s a different discussion.”

    This strikes me too much as “hey, black-white difference is innate, but white-Asian difference is just environment.” The difference between a genuine, scientific race realist and a racist pretending to be a race realist (or realist of any sort) is whether one can accept a result or an evidence that may be emotionally unpalatable of his race not being the best at everything.

    “I’ve shifted to the belief, expressed by Education Realist and others on your blog, that math ability — especially at the high school and undergrad level — is much more “trainable” and dependent on dedication than people realize.”

    “Education Realist” seems to have a serious deficiency in basic statistics and reading comprehension. Both here and on Razib Khan’s blog, other commenters and I challenged his repeated and tiresome claims of East Asian academic success being due to prevalent cheating by demonstrating the mismatch between Asian test scores and subsequent performance in college and graduate school. At first he ignored the requests (and implied that *I* lied about my own educational experience of reading advanced materials in junior high and high school; I graduated from Stuyvesant HS, top ten undergrad and grad schools and taught at universities), but later responded by claiming that Asians have higher college dropout and academic probation rates than other races, an example of the mismatch between their scores and performance. The citations he provided actually showed that Asians have dropout/probation rates *similar to, or lower than,* other races, including whites. Ooops.

    You should not put too much stock in a guy who claims that studying really hard is cheating. That’s what he called my intense effort to improve my English vocabulary by spending a whole summer during junior high school reading a lot and going through several dictionaries – he said that I cheated/gamed the system and then, in a rather uncouth and petty manner, even questioned my worth as a person and an American (something along the lines of “all that studying got you is a good job probably, but what did America gain — you probably just took some real American’s job”).

    Despite his constant claims of “loving” his (Asian) students, he seems to harbor enormous resentment and envy toward high performing and striving Asian students. He reminds me of Matthew Broderick’s teacher character in “Election.”

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Despite his constant claims of “loving” his (Asian) students, he seems to harbor enormous resentment and envy toward high performing and striving Asian students. He reminds me of Matthew Broderick’s teacher character in “Election.”

    That she performed well was not what irritated the Matthew Broderick character about Tracy Flick.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8lU0xfQ-V4
  86. Any well-funded public school will do just as well as as the private, so-called charter schools. Trouble is, the right has been cutting public school funding for decades, with the approval of the “left”. All part of the privatization-of-everything agenda, that “both” parties support. And then, blame it on the teachers …

    • Replies: @Hare Krishna
    A public school that's well funded, enforces discipline, and is not unionized, that is.

    If we could run our public schools like a Catholic school, or like public schools in certain other countries, our system would be fixed. Or, even better, like a 1950s Catholic school.
  87. I’ve been relegated to “monitored comments” at TheGuardianDotCom because I dared to use the word “tribe” about a year ago. Why? Because though the world 2000 years ago was nothing but tribes, more or less, the PC world today can’t cope with word “tribe” or the idea of tribes still existing. So sects clans societies ilks and stock better not be mentioned in regards to people.

  88. @Luke Lea
    About Updike's intelligence: being something of a fan (understatement) I picked up the fact somewhere that Updike was reputed to have an IQ of 154 while an undergraduate at Harvard. What percentage of the population has an IQ that high? It's less than one out of a million (= 5 sigma or IQ of 160, according to Lubos Motl). In other words there are thousands of people in our society who are as intelligent as Updike. Yet there have been but a very tiny handful of Americans in history with anything like his talent for words (Eliot in poetry, though on a much smaller scale, Hawthorne in prose, but only in some of his shorter pieces). From this I conclude that Updike had a specifically verbal genius* that is very rare indeed, almost Shakespearean.

    Since g is, by definition, merely that mental faculty that correlates best -- which doesn't mean very well, necessarily -- with all forms of mental ability, this leaves room for particular abilities in some people that are way out of line with their general IQ. It probably has to do with wild variance in some particular substructure of their brains that sticks out like a sore thumb, much as a little piece of Einstein's brain was way overdeveloped, or so I am told. He was a good but not a great mathematician, it is generally agreed by those who would know; but, boy, could he do classical physics.


    * Talent has been defined as doing easily what other people find hard to do; genius as doing easily what others find impossible.

    The standard deviation (sigma) of IQ scores is generally recognized to be 15 points. So an IQ of 150 isn’t five sigma from the mean, it’s a little bit more than three.

    Three sigma is something like three out of a thousand. Let’s be conservative and say that one out of a thousand people is three-and-change sigma away. That means that out of every million people, there will be a thousand who are that level or higher.

    The US population is said to be about 318 million people. Which would mean that in this country there are 318,000 people with IQ scores of 150 or higher.

    Updike may possess literay talents, but his IQ isn’t all that special.

  89. @Anonymous
    Steve, any thoughts on Joan Rivers' coma situation?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2736852/Joan-Rivers-81-emergency-care-stopped-breathing-throat-surgery.html

    I don’t know what Steve thinks about it, but when Joan said publicly that Obama was our first gay president, and Michelle was a tranny, and get over it because “we all know it”, I worried for her safety. I hoped she would not be Breitbarted.

  90. Here’s where Twinkie told his story, for which he expected much praise, and my response. (#17 and #19): http://www.unz.com/comments/isteve/whats-missing-word-in-stuyvesant-hs-oped/

    Here’s where I posted on Razib’s blog saying I AM NOT ASSERTING ANYTHING: http://www.unz.com/gnxp/the-invisible-asian-student/#comments

    Bottom line: I have no “proof”, I see a pattern that a whole bunch of anecdotal evidence supports. I also know that many Asians have the chops that their scores show, and am not denying otherwise. And Twinkie thinks his behavior back in the 80s was inspiring, whereas I find it unattractive.

    And while I’m at it, I want to be sure people aren’t misconstruing:

    1) I wonder, for lack of a better word, if both Asians (Chinese/Korean mostly) and blacks are somehow not measured by tests as accurately as whites (and to my anecdotal experience Hispanics) are. I don’t have enough knowledge of IQ per se to speculate, but I’m certain that our tests were designed for a white population. (In fact, I’ve just now wondered if the AP History test changes–which I don’t care for—are an attempt to get around Asian gaming. Probably not. They are soooooo political.

    2) Regardless of that, I am certain that many but not all Chinese/Korean/Indians in America, immigrants through maybe second generation, and much closer to all coming here from overseas, are cheating. I don’t know to what extent that misrepresents their abilities.

    3) Twinkie keeps demanding proof, and I’ve said this is just speculation supported by the evidence. However, there is no doubt that colleges have dramatically changed because of their increased Asian population, that cheating is a *huge* problem, and that the colleges are generally unhappy with the changes that have been forced on them. If anyone can find a college saying “Wow, this is great. Our campus has an increased amount of Asians and they’ve really upped everyone else’s game, are sharper, more intellectually curious, and just interested in the world at large in a way that we never see in white kids.” then by all means, let me know. I’m serious. I’ve looked.

    4) I do think that we are increasing our math abilities in a way that we aren’t increasing our verbal and yes, I think it’s because it’s harder to do. This doesn’t mean that advanced, original math isn’t just as hard as it always was.

    Two anecdotal points on African Americans, both girls: both did very well in my classes, which is fairly g-loaded. Both just barely squeaked by the state math exam, one got below 400 on the SAT math. That’s *ridiculous*. I’m not blaming the test. I think it needs to be studied by finding African Americans who have demonstrated ability in math but abnormally low math scores. What is happening when they go in that room?

    • Replies: @The most deplorable one

    Here’s where Twinkie told his story, for which he expected much praise,
     
    It does not seem to me that he expected much praise. It seemed like he was pretty much matter of fact.

    Two anecdotal points on African Americans, both girls: both did very well in my classes, which is fairly g-loaded. Both just barely squeaked by the state math exam, one got below 400 on the SAT math. That’s *ridiculous*. I’m not blaming the test. I think it needs to be studied by finding African Americans who have demonstrated ability in math but abnormally low math scores. What is happening when they go in that room?
     
    Gasp. Stereotype threat :-). Perhaps the test is a fair measure of their real abilities. Note, also that IQ tests and the SAT Math test are poor measures of AfAm intelligence.

    If you are going to suggest that IQ tests and SAT tests are not a good measure of their abilities, then perhaps you should suggest an alternative set of tests that are objective.
  91. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Education Realist
    Here's where Twinkie told his story, for which he expected much praise, and my response. (#17 and #19): http://www.unz.com/comments/isteve/whats-missing-word-in-stuyvesant-hs-oped/

    Here's where I posted on Razib's blog saying I AM NOT ASSERTING ANYTHING: http://www.unz.com/gnxp/the-invisible-asian-student/#comments

    Bottom line: I have no "proof", I see a pattern that a whole bunch of anecdotal evidence supports. I also know that many Asians have the chops that their scores show, and am not denying otherwise. And Twinkie thinks his behavior back in the 80s was inspiring, whereas I find it unattractive.

    And while I'm at it, I want to be sure people aren't misconstruing:

    1) I wonder, for lack of a better word, if both Asians (Chinese/Korean mostly) and blacks are somehow not measured by tests as accurately as whites (and to my anecdotal experience Hispanics) are. I don't have enough knowledge of IQ per se to speculate, but I'm certain that our tests were designed for a white population. (In fact, I've just now wondered if the AP History test changes--which I don't care for---are an attempt to get around Asian gaming. Probably not. They are soooooo political.

    2) Regardless of that, I am certain that many but not all Chinese/Korean/Indians in America, immigrants through maybe second generation, and much closer to all coming here from overseas, are cheating. I don't know to what extent that misrepresents their abilities.

    3) Twinkie keeps demanding proof, and I've said this is just speculation supported by the evidence. However, there is no doubt that colleges have dramatically changed because of their increased Asian population, that cheating is a *huge* problem, and that the colleges are generally unhappy with the changes that have been forced on them. If anyone can find a college saying "Wow, this is great. Our campus has an increased amount of Asians and they've really upped everyone else's game, are sharper, more intellectually curious, and just interested in the world at large in a way that we never see in white kids." then by all means, let me know. I'm serious. I've looked.

    4) I do think that we are increasing our math abilities in a way that we aren't increasing our verbal and yes, I think it's because it's harder to do. This doesn't mean that advanced, original math isn't just as hard as it always was.

    Two anecdotal points on African Americans, both girls: both did very well in my classes, which is fairly g-loaded. Both just barely squeaked by the state math exam, one got below 400 on the SAT math. That's *ridiculous*. I'm not blaming the test. I think it needs to be studied by finding African Americans who have demonstrated ability in math but abnormally low math scores. What is happening when they go in that room?

    Here’s where Twinkie told his story, for which he expected much praise,

    It does not seem to me that he expected much praise. It seemed like he was pretty much matter of fact.

    Two anecdotal points on African Americans, both girls: both did very well in my classes, which is fairly g-loaded. Both just barely squeaked by the state math exam, one got below 400 on the SAT math. That’s *ridiculous*. I’m not blaming the test. I think it needs to be studied by finding African Americans who have demonstrated ability in math but abnormally low math scores. What is happening when they go in that room?

    Gasp. Stereotype threat :-). Perhaps the test is a fair measure of their real abilities. Note, also that IQ tests and the SAT Math test are poor measures of AfAm intelligence.

    If you are going to suggest that IQ tests and SAT tests are not a good measure of their abilities, then perhaps you should suggest an alternative set of tests that are objective.

    • Replies: @The most deplorable one

    If you are going to suggest that IQ tests and SAT tests are not a good measure of their abilities, then perhaps you should suggest an alternative set of tests that are objective.
     
    To be fair, and at risk of launching another set of excuses for why blacks do not perform as well as whites on IQ tests and other areas, have you considered the effects of not having a Visual Word Form Area? (VFWA)

    There are quite a lot of articles around on it, and it is said that the effort to read without a VFWA is great. I note that there are not a lot of blacks in tech areas (or indeed, STEM) in Silicon Valley and observe that you have to do an enormous amount of reading to get into STEM careers and stay in them.
  92. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @The most deplorable one

    Here’s where Twinkie told his story, for which he expected much praise,
     
    It does not seem to me that he expected much praise. It seemed like he was pretty much matter of fact.

    Two anecdotal points on African Americans, both girls: both did very well in my classes, which is fairly g-loaded. Both just barely squeaked by the state math exam, one got below 400 on the SAT math. That’s *ridiculous*. I’m not blaming the test. I think it needs to be studied by finding African Americans who have demonstrated ability in math but abnormally low math scores. What is happening when they go in that room?
     
    Gasp. Stereotype threat :-). Perhaps the test is a fair measure of their real abilities. Note, also that IQ tests and the SAT Math test are poor measures of AfAm intelligence.

    If you are going to suggest that IQ tests and SAT tests are not a good measure of their abilities, then perhaps you should suggest an alternative set of tests that are objective.

    If you are going to suggest that IQ tests and SAT tests are not a good measure of their abilities, then perhaps you should suggest an alternative set of tests that are objective.

    To be fair, and at risk of launching another set of excuses for why blacks do not perform as well as whites on IQ tests and other areas, have you considered the effects of not having a Visual Word Form Area? (VFWA)

    There are quite a lot of articles around on it, and it is said that the effort to read without a VFWA is great. I note that there are not a lot of blacks in tech areas (or indeed, STEM) in Silicon Valley and observe that you have to do an enormous amount of reading to get into STEM careers and stay in them.

  93. “It does not seem to me that he expected much praise. It seemed like he was pretty much matter of fact.”

    And yet, he got very upset when he wasn’t praised. And no, when you say you worked the amount of time he did, you aren’t being matter of fact.

    “Gasp. Stereotype threat”

    No.

    “Perhaps the test is a fair measure of their real abilities. ”

    This is utterly irrelevant, which is kind of my point.

    “Note, also that IQ tests and the SAT Math test are poor measures of AfAm intelligence.”

    I don’t believe the research supports that, but in any event, you appear not to realize that this is what I was saying.

    “If you are going to suggest that IQ tests and SAT tests are not a good measure of their abilities, then perhaps you should suggest an alternative set of tests that are objective.”

    I don’t have to do any such thing, since I made no such suggestion.

  94. Addendum: some of you get so hyper about things. I observe. I am not asserting. I wonder. I’m certainly not an IQ denialist. Whenever you all start saying things like “Well, if you’re going to say X, then you have to prove Y!” or “if you think X is wrong, then you have to come up with Y” and that’s just moronic. I don’t have to do any such thing.

    I’ve got a hell of a lot more experience working with Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and whites of all ability levels, throughout all age groups (although lately high school). My experience is relatively unique. That experience has led me to wonder about things. Find my thoughts interesting, or don’t. But don’t get all worked up demanding I proooooove them. If I have evidence, I’ll mention it. If the evidence is anecdotal, I’ll say so.

    Sheesh.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    And yet, he got very upset when he wasn’t praised. And no, when you say you worked the amount of time he did, you aren’t being matter of fact.
     
    I did not get upset because I was not praised. I get all the "validation" I need from, you know, actual life. I don't need it from a random stranger on the internet who purports to teach at a cram school. I simply shared my experience regarding the amount work it took for me to get into Stuyvesant (which was the topic at hand) and to excel there.

    The things that annoyed me were, in no particular order:

    1. You make unwarranted accusations of widespread cheating by Asians in America, but provide no evidence.
    2. By extension of point 1, you disparage my hard work and success.
    3. You imply that I lie about my experience and qualifications (or even the kind of books I read).
    4. You pretend to provide evidence that turns out to be contradictory to your claims, then disappear when confronted about it, only to resurface on other threads making the same claims all over again ad nauseam.
    5. When pressed for logic and evidence, you retreat to "just wondering, not asserting, sheesh!"

    In other words, you are either too incompetent and uneducated to understand the basic tenets of the scientific method or intellectually dishonest, or perhaps both.

    But don’t get all worked up demanding I proooooove them.
     
    In other words, we should all just believe you and take your word as Gospel. You call yourself "Education Realist." Well, a realist is somebody who bases his hypotheses on reality, you know, hard facts and evidence, and is willing to face falsification of his hypotheses. I am probably wasting my keyboard strokes, but it might do you some good to read a book or two on philosophy of science. Try Karl Popper, for starters.

    Otherwise, you are just a guy with a chip on his shoulder ranting and raving about people who are more successful than you are, based on sour grapes that people who "gamed the system" (i.e. studied really hard) got ahead of someone (i.e. you) who apparently "had a life" as a pupil.

    I’ve got a hell of a lot more experience working with Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and whites of all ability levels, throughout all age groups (although lately high school). My experience is relatively unique.
     
    I hate to burst your "legend in your own mind" bubbles, but your experience is not all that unique or noteworthy.

    I taught at universities. Unlike you, I actually caught college students cheating every year during that time. In those cases, the overwhelming majority of cheaters were athletes, who were mostly black and white (and the administrations frequently intervened on their behalf). Among the very few remaining cheaters, most were whites, almost always upper middle class kids with a strong sense of entitlement, whose parents were often involved with the university and could pull strings to save them from trouble.

    Several other commenters, Razib Khan, and I stated more than once that, logically, if Asian high test scores were due to widespread cheating, there would be a mismatch (e.g. high dropout rates subsequently in college and graduate school). You then claimed that Asians had higher academic probation rates and freshman dropout rates than whites. The citations you provided actually showed that, at one university, they had similar rates as whites, and in another, larger study, they had far lower freshman dropout rates than did whites (who in turn had much lower rates than NAMs).

    However, there is no doubt that colleges have dramatically changed because of their increased Asian population, that cheating is a *huge* problem, and that the colleges are generally unhappy with the changes that have been forced on them. If anyone can find a college saying “Wow, this is great. Our campus has an increased amount of Asians and they’ve really upped everyone else’s game, are sharper, more intellectually curious, and just interested in the world at large in a way that we never see in white kids.” then by all means, let me know. I’m serious. I’ve looked.
     
    Universities aren't trying to keep Asian numbers low because Asians cheat. They are unhappy with increased (and increasing) number of high performing Asian students because this is in conflict with their ideology of the blank slate and also because they want to reserve room for favored minorities.

    If you were claim were true, they would try harder to recruit high performing poor rural white kids. They don't. You might read Ron Unz's iconoclastic expose of elite education in this country on this site about who the favored minorities are and who the class enemies of the race proletariat are in today's academia.

    I'll give you the simple version: Jews, blacks, and Hispanics good, Asians and rural/downscale/Christian whites bad. Also, womyn good, men bad.
  95. @Twinkie
    "For one, I think the East Asian-White gap is to a large extent mediated by differences in work ethic and conscientiousness. East Asian motivation is probably already “maxed out.” I don’t think East Asians have a genuine cognitive advantage over Whites, but that’s a different discussion."

    This strikes me too much as "hey, black-white difference is innate, but white-Asian difference is just environment." The difference between a genuine, scientific race realist and a racist pretending to be a race realist (or realist of any sort) is whether one can accept a result or an evidence that may be emotionally unpalatable of his race not being the best at everything.

    "I’ve shifted to the belief, expressed by Education Realist and others on your blog, that math ability — especially at the high school and undergrad level — is much more “trainable” and dependent on dedication than people realize."

    "Education Realist" seems to have a serious deficiency in basic statistics and reading comprehension. Both here and on Razib Khan's blog, other commenters and I challenged his repeated and tiresome claims of East Asian academic success being due to prevalent cheating by demonstrating the mismatch between Asian test scores and subsequent performance in college and graduate school. At first he ignored the requests (and implied that *I* lied about my own educational experience of reading advanced materials in junior high and high school; I graduated from Stuyvesant HS, top ten undergrad and grad schools and taught at universities), but later responded by claiming that Asians have higher college dropout and academic probation rates than other races, an example of the mismatch between their scores and performance. The citations he provided actually showed that Asians have dropout/probation rates *similar to, or lower than,* other races, including whites. Ooops.

    You should not put too much stock in a guy who claims that studying really hard is cheating. That's what he called my intense effort to improve my English vocabulary by spending a whole summer during junior high school reading a lot and going through several dictionaries - he said that I cheated/gamed the system and then, in a rather uncouth and petty manner, even questioned my worth as a person and an American (something along the lines of "all that studying got you is a good job probably, but what did America gain -- you probably just took some real American's job").

    Despite his constant claims of "loving" his (Asian) students, he seems to harbor enormous resentment and envy toward high performing and striving Asian students. He reminds me of Matthew Broderick's teacher character in "Election."

    Despite his constant claims of “loving” his (Asian) students, he seems to harbor enormous resentment and envy toward high performing and striving Asian students. He reminds me of Matthew Broderick’s teacher character in “Election.”

    That she performed well was not what irritated the Matthew Broderick character about Tracy Flick.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    That she performed well was not what irritated the Matthew Broderick character about Tracy Flick.
     
    Of course, his excuse to himself is that Tracy ripped downed the election poster of her rival and because his best friend's tryst with her led to that teacher's dismissal -- "We are in love!"

    But the whole movie makes it very clear that he favored the rich, affable, dense kid (toward whom he could condescend as an intellectual superior) and intensely disliked the striver from a poor background, someone who would outdo him in real life.

    Two scenes at the end of the film make that crystal clear. He throws his drink at the limo that Tracy rode ("Who does she think she is!") and then he makes that face at the little girl straining to raise her hand and answer his question at the museum.

    Despite his contorted and outlandish attempts to punish Tracy for her wrongdoing and self-vision as the moral arbiter of the high school, we see that in reality he himself is a vindictive, jealous fraud and an adulterer.

    It's a darkly comedic and sly indictment of secondary school teachers in America today. My wife's family has two high school teachers (one relatively young, in his thirties, who is also a superb tennis coach, and the other older and near retirement) and they both thought Broderick's portrayal was just too painfully funny, because it rang true.
  96. @Education Realist
    Addendum: some of you get so hyper about things. I observe. I am not asserting. I wonder. I'm certainly not an IQ denialist. Whenever you all start saying things like "Well, if you're going to say X, then you have to prove Y!" or "if you think X is wrong, then you have to come up with Y" and that's just moronic. I don't have to do any such thing.

    I've got a hell of a lot more experience working with Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and whites of all ability levels, throughout all age groups (although lately high school). My experience is relatively unique. That experience has led me to wonder about things. Find my thoughts interesting, or don't. But don't get all worked up demanding I proooooove them. If I have evidence, I'll mention it. If the evidence is anecdotal, I'll say so.

    Sheesh.

    And yet, he got very upset when he wasn’t praised. And no, when you say you worked the amount of time he did, you aren’t being matter of fact.

    I did not get upset because I was not praised. I get all the “validation” I need from, you know, actual life. I don’t need it from a random stranger on the internet who purports to teach at a cram school. I simply shared my experience regarding the amount work it took for me to get into Stuyvesant (which was the topic at hand) and to excel there.

    The things that annoyed me were, in no particular order:

    1. You make unwarranted accusations of widespread cheating by Asians in America, but provide no evidence.
    2. By extension of point 1, you disparage my hard work and success.
    3. You imply that I lie about my experience and qualifications (or even the kind of books I read).
    4. You pretend to provide evidence that turns out to be contradictory to your claims, then disappear when confronted about it, only to resurface on other threads making the same claims all over again ad nauseam.
    5. When pressed for logic and evidence, you retreat to “just wondering, not asserting, sheesh!”

    In other words, you are either too incompetent and uneducated to understand the basic tenets of the scientific method or intellectually dishonest, or perhaps both.

    But don’t get all worked up demanding I proooooove them.

    In other words, we should all just believe you and take your word as Gospel. You call yourself “Education Realist.” Well, a realist is somebody who bases his hypotheses on reality, you know, hard facts and evidence, and is willing to face falsification of his hypotheses. I am probably wasting my keyboard strokes, but it might do you some good to read a book or two on philosophy of science. Try Karl Popper, for starters.

    Otherwise, you are just a guy with a chip on his shoulder ranting and raving about people who are more successful than you are, based on sour grapes that people who “gamed the system” (i.e. studied really hard) got ahead of someone (i.e. you) who apparently “had a life” as a pupil.

    I’ve got a hell of a lot more experience working with Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and whites of all ability levels, throughout all age groups (although lately high school). My experience is relatively unique.

    I hate to burst your “legend in your own mind” bubbles, but your experience is not all that unique or noteworthy.

    I taught at universities. Unlike you, I actually caught college students cheating every year during that time. In those cases, the overwhelming majority of cheaters were athletes, who were mostly black and white (and the administrations frequently intervened on their behalf). Among the very few remaining cheaters, most were whites, almost always upper middle class kids with a strong sense of entitlement, whose parents were often involved with the university and could pull strings to save them from trouble.

    Several other commenters, Razib Khan, and I stated more than once that, logically, if Asian high test scores were due to widespread cheating, there would be a mismatch (e.g. high dropout rates subsequently in college and graduate school). You then claimed that Asians had higher academic probation rates and freshman dropout rates than whites. The citations you provided actually showed that, at one university, they had similar rates as whites, and in another, larger study, they had far lower freshman dropout rates than did whites (who in turn had much lower rates than NAMs).

    However, there is no doubt that colleges have dramatically changed because of their increased Asian population, that cheating is a *huge* problem, and that the colleges are generally unhappy with the changes that have been forced on them. If anyone can find a college saying “Wow, this is great. Our campus has an increased amount of Asians and they’ve really upped everyone else’s game, are sharper, more intellectually curious, and just interested in the world at large in a way that we never see in white kids.” then by all means, let me know. I’m serious. I’ve looked.

    Universities aren’t trying to keep Asian numbers low because Asians cheat. They are unhappy with increased (and increasing) number of high performing Asian students because this is in conflict with their ideology of the blank slate and also because they want to reserve room for favored minorities.

    If you were claim were true, they would try harder to recruit high performing poor rural white kids. They don’t. You might read Ron Unz’s iconoclastic expose of elite education in this country on this site about who the favored minorities are and who the class enemies of the race proletariat are in today’s academia.

    I’ll give you the simple version: Jews, blacks, and Hispanics good, Asians and rural/downscale/Christian whites bad. Also, womyn good, men bad.

    • Replies: @The most deplorable one

    I’ll give you the simple version: Jews, blacks, and Hispanics good, Asians and rural/downscale/Christian whites bad. Also, womyn good, men bad.
     
    Dude, you are a marked man, I am sure.
  97. @Art Deco
    Despite his constant claims of “loving” his (Asian) students, he seems to harbor enormous resentment and envy toward high performing and striving Asian students. He reminds me of Matthew Broderick’s teacher character in “Election.”

    That she performed well was not what irritated the Matthew Broderick character about Tracy Flick.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8lU0xfQ-V4

    That she performed well was not what irritated the Matthew Broderick character about Tracy Flick.

    Of course, his excuse to himself is that Tracy ripped downed the election poster of her rival and because his best friend’s tryst with her led to that teacher’s dismissal — “We are in love!”

    But the whole movie makes it very clear that he favored the rich, affable, dense kid (toward whom he could condescend as an intellectual superior) and intensely disliked the striver from a poor background, someone who would outdo him in real life.

    Two scenes at the end of the film make that crystal clear. He throws his drink at the limo that Tracy rode (“Who does she think she is!”) and then he makes that face at the little girl straining to raise her hand and answer his question at the museum.

    Despite his contorted and outlandish attempts to punish Tracy for her wrongdoing and self-vision as the moral arbiter of the high school, we see that in reality he himself is a vindictive, jealous fraud and an adulterer.

    It’s a darkly comedic and sly indictment of secondary school teachers in America today. My wife’s family has two high school teachers (one relatively young, in his thirties, who is also a superb tennis coach, and the other older and near retirement) and they both thought Broderick’s portrayal was just too painfully funny, because it rang true.

  98. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Twinkie

    And yet, he got very upset when he wasn’t praised. And no, when you say you worked the amount of time he did, you aren’t being matter of fact.
     
    I did not get upset because I was not praised. I get all the "validation" I need from, you know, actual life. I don't need it from a random stranger on the internet who purports to teach at a cram school. I simply shared my experience regarding the amount work it took for me to get into Stuyvesant (which was the topic at hand) and to excel there.

    The things that annoyed me were, in no particular order:

    1. You make unwarranted accusations of widespread cheating by Asians in America, but provide no evidence.
    2. By extension of point 1, you disparage my hard work and success.
    3. You imply that I lie about my experience and qualifications (or even the kind of books I read).
    4. You pretend to provide evidence that turns out to be contradictory to your claims, then disappear when confronted about it, only to resurface on other threads making the same claims all over again ad nauseam.
    5. When pressed for logic and evidence, you retreat to "just wondering, not asserting, sheesh!"

    In other words, you are either too incompetent and uneducated to understand the basic tenets of the scientific method or intellectually dishonest, or perhaps both.

    But don’t get all worked up demanding I proooooove them.
     
    In other words, we should all just believe you and take your word as Gospel. You call yourself "Education Realist." Well, a realist is somebody who bases his hypotheses on reality, you know, hard facts and evidence, and is willing to face falsification of his hypotheses. I am probably wasting my keyboard strokes, but it might do you some good to read a book or two on philosophy of science. Try Karl Popper, for starters.

    Otherwise, you are just a guy with a chip on his shoulder ranting and raving about people who are more successful than you are, based on sour grapes that people who "gamed the system" (i.e. studied really hard) got ahead of someone (i.e. you) who apparently "had a life" as a pupil.

    I’ve got a hell of a lot more experience working with Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and whites of all ability levels, throughout all age groups (although lately high school). My experience is relatively unique.
     
    I hate to burst your "legend in your own mind" bubbles, but your experience is not all that unique or noteworthy.

    I taught at universities. Unlike you, I actually caught college students cheating every year during that time. In those cases, the overwhelming majority of cheaters were athletes, who were mostly black and white (and the administrations frequently intervened on their behalf). Among the very few remaining cheaters, most were whites, almost always upper middle class kids with a strong sense of entitlement, whose parents were often involved with the university and could pull strings to save them from trouble.

    Several other commenters, Razib Khan, and I stated more than once that, logically, if Asian high test scores were due to widespread cheating, there would be a mismatch (e.g. high dropout rates subsequently in college and graduate school). You then claimed that Asians had higher academic probation rates and freshman dropout rates than whites. The citations you provided actually showed that, at one university, they had similar rates as whites, and in another, larger study, they had far lower freshman dropout rates than did whites (who in turn had much lower rates than NAMs).

    However, there is no doubt that colleges have dramatically changed because of their increased Asian population, that cheating is a *huge* problem, and that the colleges are generally unhappy with the changes that have been forced on them. If anyone can find a college saying “Wow, this is great. Our campus has an increased amount of Asians and they’ve really upped everyone else’s game, are sharper, more intellectually curious, and just interested in the world at large in a way that we never see in white kids.” then by all means, let me know. I’m serious. I’ve looked.
     
    Universities aren't trying to keep Asian numbers low because Asians cheat. They are unhappy with increased (and increasing) number of high performing Asian students because this is in conflict with their ideology of the blank slate and also because they want to reserve room for favored minorities.

    If you were claim were true, they would try harder to recruit high performing poor rural white kids. They don't. You might read Ron Unz's iconoclastic expose of elite education in this country on this site about who the favored minorities are and who the class enemies of the race proletariat are in today's academia.

    I'll give you the simple version: Jews, blacks, and Hispanics good, Asians and rural/downscale/Christian whites bad. Also, womyn good, men bad.

    I’ll give you the simple version: Jews, blacks, and Hispanics good, Asians and rural/downscale/Christian whites bad. Also, womyn good, men bad.

    Dude, you are a marked man, I am sure.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Dude, you are a marked man, I am sure.
     
    To paraphrase the Nazis, Wahrheit macht frei.

    Or more elegantly, to coopt Thomas Paine's words, "Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul..."

    It's one thing on which Saul Alinsky and I agree (Alinsky quotes it on the front page of his "Rules for Radicals").
  99. @The most deplorable one

    I’ll give you the simple version: Jews, blacks, and Hispanics good, Asians and rural/downscale/Christian whites bad. Also, womyn good, men bad.
     
    Dude, you are a marked man, I am sure.

    Dude, you are a marked man, I am sure.

    To paraphrase the Nazis, Wahrheit macht frei.

    Or more elegantly, to coopt Thomas Paine’s words, “Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul…”

    It’s one thing on which Saul Alinsky and I agree (Alinsky quotes it on the front page of his “Rules for Radicals”).

  100. I can’t help wondering what the I.Q.’s are of those responsible for creating the stupidest foreign policies ever. Can smart people do the dumbest things? Are the most intelligent the ones most capable of outsmarting themselves? Or is even the greatest human intelligence possible still only too smart by half?

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I can’t help wondering what the I.Q.’s are of those responsible for creating the stupidest foreign policies ever. Can smart people do the dumbest things? Are the most intelligent the ones most capable of outsmarting themselves? Or is even the greatest human intelligence possible still only too smart by half?
     
    Intelligence does not always equate wisdom.
  101. From the study:
    “Through careful study of the most effective of these charter schools, researchers have identified common practices—a longer school day and year, regular coaching to improve teacher performance, routine use of data to inform instruction, a culture of high expectations—that have yielded promising results when replicated in district schools.

    We have only a limited understanding of how these practices translate into higher academic achievement, however.”

    —-

    So, less capable people having to work harder than more capable people in order to achieve (more) similar results is hard to understand? Somehow, I’m not surprised. It’s an inefficient use of resources to spend more on poor performing students, but I understand the motivation, in some respects – possibly avoiding some of the social costs of delinquency and crime. That, however, is spending money to take away a negative rather than spending money to create a positive. We Americans spend too much money on our bad students. We’re like the stage moms or dads who devote all of their resources to their musically mediocre child; the child ends up being better than they would’ve been, maybe, but still can’t compete with real talent, so all of that money and effort was wasted.

  102. Blacks in the UK have dramatically lower murder rate than blacks in America. england is filled with blacks but has half the murder rate of black-free scotland

  103. @Fran Macadam
    I can't help wondering what the I.Q.'s are of those responsible for creating the stupidest foreign policies ever. Can smart people do the dumbest things? Are the most intelligent the ones most capable of outsmarting themselves? Or is even the greatest human intelligence possible still only too smart by half?

    I can’t help wondering what the I.Q.’s are of those responsible for creating the stupidest foreign policies ever. Can smart people do the dumbest things? Are the most intelligent the ones most capable of outsmarting themselves? Or is even the greatest human intelligence possible still only too smart by half?

    Intelligence does not always equate wisdom.

  104. @attilathehen
    palette-haulers should be spelled pallet-haulers

    1. that is hysterical, rose… guess we have room for one more pallet mover… hhh
    2. i will only say that the portion where the author takes the supposed gains of a charter (or ANY) school at face value is precious… in these high stakes games, ANYTHING goes; and BESIDES all the ‘legal’ means charter schools have to winnow out low-performers, i would bet dollars to donut holes that any number of ‘great’ charter schools have seen a sharp rise in administrators buying erasers…
    ask michelle rhee about that… oh wait, she’ll run away, don’t bother…
    3. the supposed ability that the author and several posters posit is necessary for our society is overstated by about a factor of 10; this can easily be proven by observing driving behavior on your daily commute: a minimum of 90% of the drivers are obviously retarded, yet they continue to function at a minimal enough level to keep the cheeseburgers and fries flowing…
    4. i won’t beat the dead horse of the insane testing regime to death for the millionth time, but will say that the present ‘system’ has NOTHING to do with identifying weaknesses of students, blah blah blah, because the teachers/students/parents essentially NEVER get any meaningful feedback from these tests… the TEACHERS are NOT ALLOWED to not only see their students ACTUAL RESULTS (ie the test answers), they can’t see the freaking QUESTIONS themselves… WTF kind of ‘helpful’ test is it where NO ONE can know what was on it ? ? ?

  105. @Steve Sailer
    "As for the greater heritability of crystallized g (only very slightly greater if at all) I’d expect that that stems from the fact that an inclination to do the sorts of things that turn into crystallized g, such as reading or working math problems, is also quite heritable – so why shouldn’t crystallized g be more heritable than fluid g?"

    Right. It's not clear that everything an intelligence test measures is solely IQ. It also measures stick-to-it-iveness and the like. But if the goal is to predict future achievement, then a test that measures both intelligence and diligence might be better than one that just tests intelligence.

    Attention, shoppers!
    Am I the only one to notice the unbearable ligthness of Steve’s fallacy?

    (I recently visited a prosperous small town with few illegal immigrants. While shopping at the local Walmart, I learned not to ask pallet-haulers where items in the cavernous store were. They’d have to bring their heavily laden carts to a stop, then think for 15 seconds, then tell me they don’t know but I could ask somebody else, then get their loads moving again. In other words, in this town far from the Mexican border, Walmart employs borderline retarded Americans, which is a good thing.)

    While I do agree that working manual jobs in discount supermarkets for mostly minimum wage statisticaly would qualify you as a person with a lower mental ability, this particular anegdote was nothing but maliciously constructed improv used to deliver equally lousy conclusion;

    If a smalltown Wallmart Pallet-Hauler (that has been interrupted by a sophisticated but languorous aisle-hole shopper, whose sudden inability to exercise his superior IQ potentials prevented him from following simple, yet obviously way above his head placed colorful and enumerated placards ) is not of any help to our hapless blogger, than it means only one thing – that Wallmart Pallet-Hauler is Borderline Retarded. Borderline Retarded American- to be more precise.

    After all, we all know that a corporate labyrinth’s superelaborateness does easily overwhelm any modern Theseus; and since Ariadne is not available at this point, an inland Walmart employs Borderline Retarded Americans……and that is a good thing.

    Also, to put a side Sailer’s brief but unintentionally pythonesque description of his holiday encounters with peasants, did it ever occur to him that Walmart’s undermensch maybe had to bring their heavily laden carts to a stop due to mandatory rules that prevents Borderline Retarded Americans from a simultaneously operating equipment and chatting with a menopausing megacity- dwellers?

    Could it be possible that the Borderline Retard used the equally degrading estimate of Sailer’s intelectual capacity while he was describing to his third wife rashomonized epizode of the unwaranted rendezvous with a hasty customer?

    Borderline Retarded American retelling his day in the office:
    ” So, I’m about to unload like my last batch for the day, when suddenly and out of nowhere this douche catches on me with an excuse-me-my-personal-walmart-associate face expression ….so, I totally stop doing my thing to see like what the hell he wants from me, and this friggin’ tourist is like, where can he find some ‘Stevia Extract In The Raw Zero-Calorie Sweetener’….and I think to myself; seriously dude, I’ve been here only for a month, and there are huuuge signs everywhere, and there’s that desk with a computer and items inventory, and Samantha is boondoggling and like probably sexting at her customer’s desk as we speak, and I have to pick my second wife’s niece from a basketball practice in 20 minutes, and it’s really not my job for nine bucks per hour to know all the stuff we sell…but, I know that it would be for the best if I don’t even open my big mouth, and I learned not to fret over clueless dumb$hits asking where items in the cavernous store were, so I just nod for 15 seconds, and pretend to listen and care about darn sweetener and I smile and I politely say that I don’t know but he could ask somebody else …and I go back to work, and I think to myself – what a borderline retard… non dare to call it.”

    Can Steve digest that, during his quest for the grail of all Wallmart merchandise, a single questionable decision to bypass a first station – and that would be, for the English speaking shoppers, something called a Customer Service desk – somehow grotesquely reflects on almost everything that Sailerism promotes here: an order of things based on use of logic, common sense, rationality, diligence, civility, procedure …?

  106. […] Schools help with crystallized knowledge but not with fluid cognitive skills. […]

  107. @Steve Sailer
    Blacks do okay in the Army, in part because the Army imposes quite a bit of culture on them.

    A friend, formerly in the JAG, said his job consisted mostly of dispensing punishment to misbehaving African Americans. Any crime stats by race for the various branches of the armed services?

  108. @Tired of It All
    Any well-funded public school will do just as well as as the private, so-called charter schools. Trouble is, the right has been cutting public school funding for decades, with the approval of the "left". All part of the privatization-of-everything agenda, that "both" parties support. And then, blame it on the teachers ...

    A public school that’s well funded, enforces discipline, and is not unionized, that is.

    If we could run our public schools like a Catholic school, or like public schools in certain other countries, our system would be fixed. Or, even better, like a 1950s Catholic school.

  109. @Wade
    Here is Kees's own formulation of the dilemma this poses for traditional 'g' theory:

    "A good way of thinking about our results is the following: If heritability of Fullscale IQ (FSIQ) is 80% and (2*)GE covariance would account for 30% of the variance, then assigning people randomly to environments (rather than on the basis of cognitive outcome measures) this would yield a drop in heritability of FSIQ from to 50%. And if we would assign on the basis of cognitive outcome measures so that (2*)GE cov would contribute -30%, heritability would drop to 20%.

    In g-Gf/Gc theory a vocabulary test is clearly a highly culturally loaded test (which makes sense also for the non-g theorist). Most importantly, g theory might explain why vocabulary is highly heritable, but not why is is the HIGHEST heritable.

    Proof:
    Introduce the following variables:
    g (the biological, but unknown variable in g theory)
    F (fluid intelligence)
    C (crystallized intelligence, a result of fluid intelligence, (cultural dependent) education and other influences)
    Edu (education)
    and a scaling constant k (not really necessary)

    F = g + ξf (in Jensen’s view the residual ξf is 0, because he considers g and fluid intelligence to be one and the same variable, but I’ll leave this an open question)

    C = k*F + Edu + ξc (investment hypothesis)

    Note that if there is no gene-environment covariance heritability of educational attainment will be 0. Note that if education is assumed homogeneous, variance in Edu equals/approaches 0 (and covariance between fluid intelligence and education will be absent anyway). Also residual variance is by definition independent from g, so there are no covariance terms that contribute to variance in crystallized intelligence.

    σ(C) = σ(k*F) + σ(Edu) + σ(ξc)

    Heritability of crystallized intelligence is thus a weighted sum of the heritability of education (which is 0 under the assumptions above), the heritability of the residual and the heritability of fluid intelligence. In g theory the residual is less heritable than fluid intelligence (this is assumed in order to explain the positive correlation between g-loading and heritability coefficients of fluid tasks). This implies the heritability of crystallized intelligence is expected not to exceed the heritability of fluid intelligence. If environmental variance approaches 0 and heritability of the residual wouldn’t differ too much from the heritability of g, the heritability of crystallized intelligence approaches that of fluid intelligence. If the heritability of the residual is assumed higher than the heritability of g crystallized intelligence can be higher than heritability of fluid, but then 1) the assumption that g is main source of genetic differences is discarded and hence 2) g theory does not provide an explanation of the correlation between g-loading and heritability anymore. This would run against our findings."

    Your theory fails to account for the fact the the locus of contravariant tensor has non-commutative divergence in the region of transfinite singularity.

  110. Walmart also opens its doors to borderline retarded customers, who ask truck unloaders where merchandise is in the store.

  111. To the man who wonders what to tell his future children about the realities of life —

    I would say, say little or nothing until around age 10 or 11. When you start telling them the truth, they need to be old enough to understand that saying, “Well, my dad says . . . .” could undermine your career. But when they are about to start junior high or middle school, I would tell them that whatever black friends that they had in their elementary classroom will probably drop them socially when they start junior high, and that this is inevitable and not to be hurt or surprised.

    I would also point out the differences in crime levels and educational potential, as well as some of the more obvious absurdities of what they are taught at school. Monday: “Human differences don’t exist.” Tuesday: “Human differences make the world a rich and vibrant place.”

    I also told my children not to date non-whites, but as they had taken city buses to and from a private junior high for several years, they had seen enough vibrant behavior to know that they weren’t interested. The kids who have no real exposure to non-whites are often the ones who end up being victims of violent crime, etc., because their belief that “everybody is the same” causes them to enter the wrong neighborhoods, etc.

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