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School Test Scores in Africa

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the West Indies only occasionally participate in the big international school achievement tests, PISA and TIMSS. Fortunately, a number of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have their own test: SACMEQ. (Here are the math scores for SACMEQ III in 2006-2011. SACMEQ IV doesn’t appear to have been released yet.)

Here’s a paper by Justin Sandefur comparing SACMEQ scores to TIMSS scores:

Internationally Comparable Mathematics Scores for Fourteen African Countries

Abstract
Internationally comparable test scores play a central role in both research and policy debates on education. However, the main international testing regimes, such as PISA, TIMSS, or PIRLS, include very few low-income countries. For instance, most countries in Southern and Eastern Africa have opted instead for a regional assessment known as SACMEQ. This paper exploits an overlap between the SACMEQ and TIMSS tests—in both country coverage, and questions asked—to assesses the feasibility of constructing global learning metrics by equating regional and international scales. I compare three different equating methods and find that learning levels in this sample of African countries are consistently (a) low in absolute terms, with average pupils scoring below the fifth percentile for most developed economies; (b) significantly lower than predicted by African per capita GDP levels; and (c) converging slowly, if at all, to the rest of the world during the 2000s. While these broad patterns are robust, average performance in individual countries is quite sensitive to the method chosen to link scores. Creating test scores which are truly internationally comparable would be a global public good, requiring more concerted effort at the design stage.

Here’s Sandefur’s list of SACMEQ scores from the year 2000:

Mauritius 585
Kenya 562 (teachers 967)
Seychelles 554 (teachers 868)
Mozambique 530 (teachers 789)
Swaziland 518 (teachers 804)
Tanzania 517 (teachers 792)
Botswana 513 (teachers 751)
Uganda 506 (teachers 827)
South Africa 483
Zanzibar 476 (teachers 686)
Lesotho 448 (teachers 737)
Malawi 434 (teachers 770)
Zambia 432 (teachers 749)
Namibia 431 (teachers 731)

Sandefur writes:

Focusing exclusively on the set of common items administered to both pupils and teachers, pupils answered an average of 28% of items correctly, while teachers answered 73% correctly. Across countries, pupils’ percent correct ranged from just over 20% in Malawi and Zambia to 41% in Mauritius (the latter country did not administer the teacher test). Teacher scores ranged from just 58% in Zanzibar to 91% in Kenya.

Sandefur’s three methods of comparing SACMEQ to TIMSS scores suggest that the African test is inflated by 150-225 points or so. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for African countries to have an easier test that encourages them to try to improve to outdo their peers, just as Ivy League football teams measure themselves against Ivy League football teams rather than against, say, the U. of Alabama.

Random comments:

Mauritius isn’t really an African country, it’s more like an Indian Ocean version of Trinidad, with mixed South Asian, African, French, and East Asian populations.

Kenya’s students scored the best in 2000 and their teachers did quite well. Sandefur estimates that Kenyan teachers would have done better than world-leading Singaporean 15-year-olds on the TIMSS. Way back in 1981 I had a summer job involving Africa. Back then, Kenya’s GDP per capita was quite low by African standards. But most of what I read for the job that was of a qualitative nature implied that, GDP statistics be damned, Kenya, as Olympic medals and foreign tourism would suggest, was the best country in black Africa. Employing smart math teachers would seem to me to be a good measure of a country’s quality.

The Seychelles are similar to Mauritius demographically, with African, South Asian, European, and East Asian ancestries, although perhaps more African than Mauritius.

Both Mauritius and the Seychelles islands were uninhabited before Europeans arrived in the early 1500s, although it’s likely they were visited earlier. The flightless, easy-to-eat dodo bird lived in Mauritius so it’s safe to assume that no humans had made Mauritius their home for long previously.

Modern scientists say the dodo was probably about as smart as its relative, the pigeon. It’s just that the dodo lacked an instinct to fear newcomers. So by 1662 the dodo was extinct.

 
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  1. There are also some mammals which might go extinct because neither Africans nor Arabs have visited their lands much before and so they don’t have fear of them, these mammals are the so-called “Europeans”.

    Read More
    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    As Charles Martel could tell you, the Arabs have visited before.
    , @Opinionator
    I wondered if Steve intended to suggest that obliquely.
    , @JohnnyWalker123
    Not Eastern Europeans.

    "According to police the scene (Hostel) was attended by around 120 cars with 3-4 men in each. The "southerners", the Arabs and the Moroccans, tried to resist and fired guns. But they were beaten with baseball bats and bar stools. The "Rusaki" (as the Russian migrants in Germany call themselves) strolled across all floors — said the source to "top secret" about the number of Russian migrants residing in Germany.
     

    According to the source, the cause of the massacre could be the rape of the displaced 13-year-old Russian girl Lisa. As was previously reported by the media, in Berlin a group of refugees for over 30 hours raped a 13-year-old schoolgirl. The child was kidnapped on January 11, near the railway station when she was returning home from school.
     
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  2. I know of a very smart Kenyan who became POTUS some time ago.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Flip
    You should read up on Frank Marshall Davis. Seems pretty compelling to me.
  3. I am surprised about Zanzibar. I would guess that a port city for trade between east Africa and the middle East (slaves and otherwise) would produce a trading caste like Canton/Guangzhou, Singapore, Venice etc. Then again, New Orleans is a trading town.

    Read More
    • Replies: @With the thoughts you'd be thinkin
    The Sultanate of Zanzibar ended in 1964 due to a communist revolution which expelled and massacred the Indian and Arab ruling class. A bit of history, Zanzibar was ruled by Oman until a dynastic dispute split Zanzibar and other african territories from Oman. Zanibar eventually became a British puppet after the 38 minute war. Eventually Britain and other imperial powers started leaving Africa and African nationalists started expelling, massacring and otherwise mistreating colonial era minorities and loyalists, Indians in Uganda, European settlers in other countries and others. Fact is that much of the large scale post war immigration into Western Europe is the result of this, Harkis from Algeria to France, Indians to the UK., etc. Interesting fact Oman's overseas territories ended in the 50s when they returned some lands to Pakistan.

    Also the only known footage of the massacre was filmed by a documentry (shockumentary?) on africa called Africa Addio by the same people who directed Mondo Cane. They also recorded massacres of Belgian colonists during the Simba rebellion in the Congo and other nasty stuff.
    , @snorlax
    They used to have such a caste; the natives massacred them. Was captured on film in the 1966 (hate-)documentary "Africa Addio," which ought to be required viewing.
  4. I dig how the envoi touches on Avian Biodiversity and the problem of Open Borders:

    Modern scientists say the dodo was probably about as smart as its relative, the pigeon. It’s just that the dodo lacked an instinct to fear newcomers. So by 1662 the dodo was extinct.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    I dig how the envoi touches on Avian Biodiversity and the problem of Open Borders:

     

    It's too bad the dodos didn't have the chance to see the Angry Birds Movie.
  5. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Another glimpse of the Sailer subconscious.

    Anyhow, I wager that yer average dodo had had an infinitely higher intelligence and cognitive ability than German chancellor Angela Merkel.
    OK, no dodo ever held a PhD in quantum chemistry, but considering the physiological limitations of the dodo brain and CNS, it’s unlikely that given the choice, and the opportunity to make a judgement, any self-respecting dodo would have made the executive decision to *invite in* ship-loads of rather unpleasant, scurvy, Cockney sailors ( with an ‘e’) not well noted for their ‘animal-rights’ credentials.

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  6. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I’m skimming the paper right now. There’s an interesting graph on page 13. It shows that South Africa has a median TIMSS 2003 Math score for 8th grade somewhat above 200.

    On the next page, you see a comparison. Most African countries score below Syria and Saudi Arabia. Mauritius is interesting though. It’s bottom 5th percentile scores about as bad as the worst in Africa. It’s 95th percentile is on par with the top students in the US and Australia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The government of Mauritius doesn't collect racial statistics (presumably, following the French example).

    I read a Frederick Forsythe short story about a middle-aged hen-pecked Englishman who takes his shrewish wife on holiday to Mauritius. In the happy ending, he sends her packing back home and buys a fishing boat charter company on the island.

    , @jon

    Mauritius is interesting though. It’s bottom 5th percentile scores about as bad as the worst in Africa. It’s 95th percentile is on par with the top students in the US and Australia.
     
    Looking at the info I could find across a few pages on wikipedia, the demographics of Mauritius are thus:

    Indian - 68%
    Chinese - 3%
    French (or predominately so) - 2%
    Creole (which includes African/Indian, African/European and pure African) - the rest

    Seeing that, it doesn't seem too surprising that the top Indian, Chinese and French students would be competitive with their South Asian, East Asian, and European peers in the US and Australia. Nor does it seem a surprise that the lowest scoring Creoles would perform as poorly as their African counterparts.
  7. @Hodag
    I am surprised about Zanzibar. I would guess that a port city for trade between east Africa and the middle East (slaves and otherwise) would produce a trading caste like Canton/Guangzhou, Singapore, Venice etc. Then again, New Orleans is a trading town.

    The Sultanate of Zanzibar ended in 1964 due to a communist revolution which expelled and massacred the Indian and Arab ruling class. A bit of history, Zanzibar was ruled by Oman until a dynastic dispute split Zanzibar and other african territories from Oman. Zanibar eventually became a British puppet after the 38 minute war. Eventually Britain and other imperial powers started leaving Africa and African nationalists started expelling, massacring and otherwise mistreating colonial era minorities and loyalists, Indians in Uganda, European settlers in other countries and others. Fact is that much of the large scale post war immigration into Western Europe is the result of this, Harkis from Algeria to France, Indians to the UK., etc. Interesting fact Oman’s overseas territories ended in the 50s when they returned some lands to Pakistan.

    Also the only known footage of the massacre was filmed by a documentry (shockumentary?) on africa called Africa Addio by the same people who directed Mondo Cane. They also recorded massacres of Belgian colonists during the Simba rebellion in the Congo and other nasty stuff.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    So Zanzibar should have been the Hong Kong of East Africa but instead became the Haiti?
  8. There are other, less formal, measures of intelligence than the ability to score well on an academic test. Commerce and industry for example can bring to those who excel great riches and that is a far greater incentive than winning admission to some elite school or academic honors.

    Here to Africa scores abysmally. There just are no large African companies that compete internationally. No goods manufacturers or service providers of any scale at all outside the legacy companies of South Africa. Even the government owned resource extractive industries have to partner with outside companies to mine, drill or market commodities.

    Perhaps most telling, since it bypasses government entirely, is the lack of even large scale criminal enterprises of the sort you find in Latin America and Asia. I assume illegal narcotics can be grown or manufactured in Africa with greater ease than almost anyplace else on earth owing to the lack of government authority yet, as far as I can tell, Africa is not a major supplier of these illegal but highly profitable products.

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  9. @reiner Tor
    I know of a very smart Kenyan who became POTUS some time ago.

    You should read up on Frank Marshall Davis. Seems pretty compelling to me.

    Read More
  10. @reiner Tor
    There are also some mammals which might go extinct because neither Africans nor Arabs have visited their lands much before and so they don't have fear of them, these mammals are the so-called "Europeans".

    As Charles Martel could tell you, the Arabs have visited before.

    Read More
  11. @reiner Tor
    There are also some mammals which might go extinct because neither Africans nor Arabs have visited their lands much before and so they don't have fear of them, these mammals are the so-called "Europeans".

    I wondered if Steve intended to suggest that obliquely.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Are you micro-aggressing that I'm destroying all that subtlety?

    Not impossible, to be honest...
  12. As in the earlier discussions about the US and India, the averages are somewhat meaningless – all they do is reflect the population weights of the various racial or caste groups that go into them. What is important in Africa is not what country you are in but what tribe you belong to – some of the tribes are smarter than others. Igbos are quite clever. Pygmies mental stature matches their physical stature.

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  13. [significantly lower than predicted by African per capita GDP levels]

    Well, duh. African GDP statistics are invented.

    Read More
  14. The cahow in Bermuda also became almost extinct after hogs were introduced by humans. In fact it was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1951 living on some rocks that were uninhabited by humans and other predators.

    Most oceanic islands have very few predators as the predators have not been able to get there from the continents. There are a few tigers in Great Britain, but since they are all in zoos, it is a fair bet that their passage was assisted by humans rather than by the Channel Tunnel.

    Which raises the question of how the dodos got to Mauritius in the first place, not being able to fly, unless they swam. I imagine they might have been left there by earlier human visitors as a future food supply. This is how the hogs got to Bermuda.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Wikipedia article assumes the ancestors of dodo birds flew to the islands millions of years ago and then evolved to be giant and flightless. That's a pretty common pattern on islands. New Zealand had a 500 pound bird and Madagascar had a 1,000 pound bird.

    Of course, there's also a pattern of island creatures getting smaller: the Channel Islands of California had miniature wooly mammoths: I imagine that there will be a fad among California movie stars and tech zillionaires in 2100 to own miniature wooly mammoth pets revitalized from old DNA.

    , @snorlax
    They probably used to be able to fly, until after many generations of living on an island with no predators.
  15. This seems to have face validity.

    Curiously, assuming the gap is around 200, Kenya is a bit higher than India (based on average of Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, neither of which are anywhere near the worst Indian regions).

    On the other hand, once you go much further down than Mozambique, they start performing worse than the worst PISA performers over the years – India, Kyrgyzstan, the Dominican Republic.

    The only Black African chess grandmaster is a Zambian.

    Read More
  16. Interesting that Botswana, Daron Acemoglu’s darling, has such unremarkable score.
    That South Africa, far wealthier and with large non-african minorities, scores so low is an even bigger surprise.

    Read More
    • Replies: @(((Owen)))
    It's not such a surprise. African GDP figures are mostly made up from pure imagination to make the ruling regime look better. In Africa, the lower the GDP figures are, the more honest the government was in actually collecting the data.

    And honest government promotes productivity, so a low GDP indicates that an African country might actually be richer and more prosperous.

    Likewise with test scores. A low one probably means the invigilators are being honest and not cheating. Honesty on tests correlates with IQ. Therefore a low score could indicate a better educated population. Not always, but you'd have to inquire as to the honesty or corruption of the Education Ministry to guess.

    So low scores for Botswana and Namibia may just mean Botswana and Namibia are better governed.
  17. @reiner Tor
    There are also some mammals which might go extinct because neither Africans nor Arabs have visited their lands much before and so they don't have fear of them, these mammals are the so-called "Europeans".

    Not Eastern Europeans.

    “According to police the scene (Hostel) was attended by around 120 cars with 3-4 men in each. The “southerners”, the Arabs and the Moroccans, tried to resist and fired guns. But they were beaten with baseball bats and bar stools. The “Rusaki” (as the Russian migrants in Germany call themselves) strolled across all floors — said the source to “top secret” about the number of Russian migrants residing in Germany.

    According to the source, the cause of the massacre could be the rape of the displaced 13-year-old Russian girl Lisa. As was previously reported by the media, in Berlin a group of refugees for over 30 hours raped a 13-year-old schoolgirl. The child was kidnapped on January 11, near the railway station when she was returning home from school.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    First pass makes it look that article about Russians is made up. Do you have a credible news source?
  18. Former British colonies seem to have emerged as the best of post-colonial nations (with exceptions, of course). Nairobi looks like a beautiful city.

    Read More
  19. “improve to outdo their peers” – you’re suggesting that a spirit of competition could improve educational achievement? You’d think it would, and I’ve often wondered why the possible impact of the Buckley Amendment on classroom dynamics is never discussed. When I was in second or third grade, the teacher would post a list of high scorers on the blackboard after every test, with perhaps a gold star for particularly good accomplishments. Nowadays, a teacher who did that would be committing a federal crime. If statistics for athletes were carefully-guarded secrets, would that improve performances? Hardly – why would it?

    Of course, if Buckley secrecy were jettisoned, we could identify individual recipients of affirmative action, and if a teacher said something really, really stupid in the classroom, we might have means to confirm our suspicions. That alone assures the continuation of secrecy forever.

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  20. Richard Lynn used national test score data to derive IQ scores for a large number of countries.

    http://www.ttu.ee/public/m/mart-murdvee/EconPsy/2/Lynn_Meisenberg_2010_National_IQs_calculated_and_validated_for_108_nations.pdf

    Mauritius does poorly (73.7 IQ), but still a lot better than the African average (58.8 IQ). Trinidad converts to a 87.4 IQ.

    Here’s a chart of test scores for the various Caribbean countries. They take a regional test called the CXC. See page 34.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=fyriN8QqcmsC&pg=PA19&lpg=PA19&dq=caribbean+countries+pisa&source=bl&ots=KC9zWwDele&sig=uJUFD73YA-MeZlYuRewu3dLTmJQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizzLyhg-XQAhVB5mMKHZyrDscQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=caribbean%20countries%20pisa&f=false

    Guyana and Trinidad are both about half South Asian by population, but their test scores are similar to the other Caribbean countries.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago do not have same scores as rest.

    PISA is the first proof. T&T score 425, while Dominica scores 332.

    If you look at CXC scores, Dominica scores highest while T&T at 4/10 nations. This is because you cannot really compare "passing rate" with scores.

    Kids may have a higher passing rate in Dominica but they might be having a lower test score, as evident in PISA.

    Secondly, T&T only underscores Dominica, Belzie and St. Kitts by 15% passing percentage, 4% and 7% passing percentage.

    If you read the book on Page 31 "Out of school kids".
    "There is significant proportion of kids out of school in half of 10 countries, especially in Dominica and Belzie".

    68% of 200 is higher than 83% of 140.

    If Dominica is having higher scores in CXC among all nations in Caribbean, then it is has significant (highest %) of kids out of school as well.
  21. From the paper:

    Most of the national test-score averages I estimate for the thirteen African countries in my sample fall more than two standard deviations below the TIMSS average, which places them below the 5th percentile in most European, North American, and East Asian countries. In contrast, scores from the SACMEQ test administered to math teachers are much higher, but fall only modestly above the TIMSS sample average for seventh- and eighth-grade pupils, in line with earlier analysis by Spaull and van der Berg (2013). African test scores appear low relative to national GDP levels; in a regression of average scores on per capita GDP in PPP terms, average scores in the SACMEQ sample are signi cantly below the predicted value using all three linking methodologies. Furthermore, there is little sign that African scores were improving rapidly or converging to OECD levels during the 2000s.

    And later on in the paper:

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

    So, again, why was Watson Watsoned?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    why was Watson Watsoned?
     
    You can get away with some crimethink some of the time, especially if you keep a low enough profile, but don't expect to always get away with any crimethink, especially if you are a well-known science celebrity.
    , @oddsbodkins
    Watson is famous among biologists for his ego and abrasiveness. I suspect many colleagues were glad to see him go.
    , @melendwyr
    Because he pointed out that the Emperor had nothing on.
  22. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable for African countries to have an easier test that encourages them to try to improve

    Sounds like a good idea – or even not easier, just say it is different so can’t be compared with PISA.

    The rankings are interesting as a thing and i think most of it is genetic potential but there will be some environmental/fixable factors involved and odd disparities between groups will be the clues that lead to finding out what those are.

    Same with India having their own separate PISA to test each state.

    I’d bet the environmental factors (where they applied) could improve average IQ maybe 5pts at the top end and substantially more at the bottom end.

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  23. @candid_observer
    From the paper:

    Most of the national test-score averages I estimate for the thirteen African countries in my sample fall more than two standard deviations below the TIMSS average, which places them below the 5th percentile in most European, North American, and East Asian countries. In contrast, scores from the SACMEQ test administered to math teachers are much higher, but fall only modestly above the TIMSS sample average for seventh- and eighth-grade pupils, in line with earlier analysis by Spaull and van der Berg (2013). African test scores appear low relative to national GDP levels; in a regression of average scores on per capita GDP in PPP terms, average scores in the SACMEQ sample are signi cantly below the predicted value using all three linking methodologies. Furthermore, there is little sign that African scores were improving rapidly or converging to OECD levels during the 2000s.
     
    And later on in the paper:

    Given the score gaps reported in Table 5, the most optimistic results would still imply several decades if not centuries are needed for African countries' mathematics performance to converge to OECD levels at current rates of progress.
     
    So, again, why was Watson Watsoned?

    why was Watson Watsoned?

    You can get away with some crimethink some of the time, especially if you keep a low enough profile, but don’t expect to always get away with any crimethink, especially if you are a well-known science celebrity.

    Read More
  24. 20% PASS MARK FOR MATHS COMES WITH STRICT CONDITIONS

    http://ewn.co.za/2016/12/07/20-pass-mark-for-maths-comes-with-strict-conditions

    The teacher’s union is very powerful here, note no teacher’s scores.

    On a downward spiral I fear.

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  25. Here’s something less grim from Sandefur: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/2013-12-16/let-people-go

    On May 29, 2013, British immigration officers raided the Alternative Tuck Shop, a café just down the road from Oxford University’s economics department, where South Asian and Middle Eastern employees serve tea, scones, and sandwiches. The agents seized two young men, one from Bangladesh and one from Algeria, under suspicion of working in the United Kingdom without authorization. And they shuttered the business temporarily, meaning that hungry Oxford economists would have to walk farther down Holywell Street for their midday panini.

    Read More
  26. Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    sometimes outright evil
     
    Only sometimes? I'd be careful with the deviationist comments if I were you, comrade Duck.
    , @Mr. Blank
    Come on, Tiny Duck. You're phoning it in. You can do better than that!
    , @Buffalo Joe
    TD, A week ago I asked you to take a couple of weeks off and chill. You are losing it buddy. I am starting to think of you as the faithful mutt that needs to be put down. Come on, you can do better than this.
    , @bomag

    white people are the most overrated thing ever...
     
    Indeed. A superlative people in a multitude of ways.
  27. @candid_observer
    From the paper:

    Most of the national test-score averages I estimate for the thirteen African countries in my sample fall more than two standard deviations below the TIMSS average, which places them below the 5th percentile in most European, North American, and East Asian countries. In contrast, scores from the SACMEQ test administered to math teachers are much higher, but fall only modestly above the TIMSS sample average for seventh- and eighth-grade pupils, in line with earlier analysis by Spaull and van der Berg (2013). African test scores appear low relative to national GDP levels; in a regression of average scores on per capita GDP in PPP terms, average scores in the SACMEQ sample are signi cantly below the predicted value using all three linking methodologies. Furthermore, there is little sign that African scores were improving rapidly or converging to OECD levels during the 2000s.
     
    And later on in the paper:

    Given the score gaps reported in Table 5, the most optimistic results would still imply several decades if not centuries are needed for African countries' mathematics performance to converge to OECD levels at current rates of progress.
     
    So, again, why was Watson Watsoned?

    Watson is famous among biologists for his ego and abrasiveness. I suspect many colleagues were glad to see him go.

    Read More
  28. Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the national bird the turkey, which is clever enough to avoid human hunters unless extreme measures are taken. He was outvoted in favor of the bald eagle.

    In hindsight, we should have chosen the dodo for America’s national symbol. Perhaps Obama can have it changed before his time in office runs out.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    I had family that lived in a North Georgia golf community located in the mountains. You could have shot the turkeys from your golf cart. In midday.

    Coming back from a hike once, a flock of turkeys flew up from the side of the road. One of them flew right into the car in front of me. We weren't traveling more than 25 mph.

    I think the North American turkey is becoming as domesticated as the Canada goose.
  29. enrolment rates are low in those countries, the real scores might be lower

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  30. A Liberian teacher in this news report said that he didn’t learn to read until the age of 17. I believe his education was delayed by the civil war.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bomag

    I believe his education was delayed by the civil war.
     
    There always seems to be a civil war in which they are engaged, or from which they are recovering; they are structurally incapable of accomplishing much civilization.
  31. @Tiny Duck
    white people are the most overrated thing ever and are sometimes outright evil

    http://verysmartbrothas.com/the-worlds-most-overrated-things-ranked-from-least-overrated-to-most-overrated/

    http://verysmartbrothas.com/its-time-to-stop-allowing-ourselves-to-be-seduced-by-shitty-white-women/

    sometimes outright evil

    Only sometimes? I’d be careful with the deviationist comments if I were you, comrade Duck.

    Read More
  32. I’ve actually been to Kenya. It’s a surprisingly nice place by third world standards. Even the beggars were nice and polite.

    I don’t know how much of that was due to British influence and how much of that was due to native culture. I do know that the East Africans of Kenya saw themselves as quite distinct from (and superior to) West Africans, and that consequently, they tended to have a low opinion of American blacks, whom they associated with West Africa.

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  33. @Tiny Duck
    white people are the most overrated thing ever and are sometimes outright evil

    http://verysmartbrothas.com/the-worlds-most-overrated-things-ranked-from-least-overrated-to-most-overrated/

    http://verysmartbrothas.com/its-time-to-stop-allowing-ourselves-to-be-seduced-by-shitty-white-women/

    Come on, Tiny Duck. You’re phoning it in. You can do better than that!

    Read More
  34. @candid_observer
    From the paper:

    Most of the national test-score averages I estimate for the thirteen African countries in my sample fall more than two standard deviations below the TIMSS average, which places them below the 5th percentile in most European, North American, and East Asian countries. In contrast, scores from the SACMEQ test administered to math teachers are much higher, but fall only modestly above the TIMSS sample average for seventh- and eighth-grade pupils, in line with earlier analysis by Spaull and van der Berg (2013). African test scores appear low relative to national GDP levels; in a regression of average scores on per capita GDP in PPP terms, average scores in the SACMEQ sample are signi cantly below the predicted value using all three linking methodologies. Furthermore, there is little sign that African scores were improving rapidly or converging to OECD levels during the 2000s.
     
    And later on in the paper:

    Given the score gaps reported in Table 5, the most optimistic results would still imply several decades if not centuries are needed for African countries' mathematics performance to converge to OECD levels at current rates of progress.
     
    So, again, why was Watson Watsoned?

    Because he pointed out that the Emperor had nothing on.

    Read More
  35. @Hodag
    I am surprised about Zanzibar. I would guess that a port city for trade between east Africa and the middle East (slaves and otherwise) would produce a trading caste like Canton/Guangzhou, Singapore, Venice etc. Then again, New Orleans is a trading town.

    They used to have such a caste; the natives massacred them. Was captured on film in the 1966 (hate-)documentary “Africa Addio,” which ought to be required viewing.

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  36. @Jonathan Mason
    The cahow in Bermuda also became almost extinct after hogs were introduced by humans. In fact it was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1951 living on some rocks that were uninhabited by humans and other predators.

    Most oceanic islands have very few predators as the predators have not been able to get there from the continents. There are a few tigers in Great Britain, but since they are all in zoos, it is a fair bet that their passage was assisted by humans rather than by the Channel Tunnel.

    Which raises the question of how the dodos got to Mauritius in the first place, not being able to fly, unless they swam. I imagine they might have been left there by earlier human visitors as a future food supply. This is how the hogs got to Bermuda.

    The Wikipedia article assumes the ancestors of dodo birds flew to the islands millions of years ago and then evolved to be giant and flightless. That’s a pretty common pattern on islands. New Zealand had a 500 pound bird and Madagascar had a 1,000 pound bird.

    Of course, there’s also a pattern of island creatures getting smaller: the Channel Islands of California had miniature wooly mammoths: I imagine that there will be a fad among California movie stars and tech zillionaires in 2100 to own miniature wooly mammoth pets revitalized from old DNA.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I read somewhere that on islands the trend for mammals was to get smaller but for birds and reptiles to get bigger.
  37. @Jonathan Mason
    The cahow in Bermuda also became almost extinct after hogs were introduced by humans. In fact it was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1951 living on some rocks that were uninhabited by humans and other predators.

    Most oceanic islands have very few predators as the predators have not been able to get there from the continents. There are a few tigers in Great Britain, but since they are all in zoos, it is a fair bet that their passage was assisted by humans rather than by the Channel Tunnel.

    Which raises the question of how the dodos got to Mauritius in the first place, not being able to fly, unless they swam. I imagine they might have been left there by earlier human visitors as a future food supply. This is how the hogs got to Bermuda.

    They probably used to be able to fly, until after many generations of living on an island with no predators.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna

    They probably used to be able to fly, until after many generations of living on an island with no predators.
     
    What, negroes? Sorry, I've been skimming.

    Magic indeed.
  38. Modern scientists say the dodo was probably about as smart as its relative, the pigeon. It’s just that the dodo lacked an instinct to fear newcomers. So by 1662 the dodo was extinct.

    Heh…Nice one, iSteve!

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  39. This is a very useful paper, in the way that cross-validated data overlaps usually are. This would allow a considerable extension of PISA-derived IQ estimates to much of Africa. Maths is such a lovely measure! Having teacher measures is a double bonus.

    Talking of birds, don’t forget the cuckoo.

    https://drjamesthompson.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/the-cuckoo.html

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  40. Regardong the unwise fearlessness of the Dodo, I was surprised to find that even alley cats varied and how much of a scaredy-cat to they were in different countries. I wonder if that’s common to other animals too

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  41. @With the thoughts you'd be thinkin
    The Sultanate of Zanzibar ended in 1964 due to a communist revolution which expelled and massacred the Indian and Arab ruling class. A bit of history, Zanzibar was ruled by Oman until a dynastic dispute split Zanzibar and other african territories from Oman. Zanibar eventually became a British puppet after the 38 minute war. Eventually Britain and other imperial powers started leaving Africa and African nationalists started expelling, massacring and otherwise mistreating colonial era minorities and loyalists, Indians in Uganda, European settlers in other countries and others. Fact is that much of the large scale post war immigration into Western Europe is the result of this, Harkis from Algeria to France, Indians to the UK., etc. Interesting fact Oman's overseas territories ended in the 50s when they returned some lands to Pakistan.

    Also the only known footage of the massacre was filmed by a documentry (shockumentary?) on africa called Africa Addio by the same people who directed Mondo Cane. They also recorded massacres of Belgian colonists during the Simba rebellion in the Congo and other nasty stuff.

    So Zanzibar should have been the Hong Kong of East Africa but instead became the Haiti?

    Read More
    • Replies: @With the thoughts you'd be thinkin
    Probably wouldn't have been that functional but Oman is apparently very well run and Zanzibar was something like 30% Arab and Indian before the massacre, I don't know what the demographics are today but I think they're a pretty small percentage nowadays. Zanzibar is a autonomous part of Tanzania and I'm wondering why Tanzania outscores it?

    Also I would be interested in finding about Madagascar's scores, as it was originally settled by Austronesians from Borneo in the same style of those other Austronesians the Polynesians. Other comparisons that would be interesting would be the scores of Reunion and Mayotte, the Indian ocean islands owned by France. One interesting thing about Mauritius is that all of it's Prime ministers bar one have been Indians, the exception a white man. Seychelles' ex- president Albert Rene who served 27 year (1977-2004) was pretty light as well, but South Africa and the CIA sponsored a coups against him so he probably wasn't a beneficiry of white privilege.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Prime_Ministers_of_Mauritius
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_Seychelles
    , @sb
    Didn't the family of the late Freddy Mercury come from Zanzibar?

    All the listed countries are in the Commonwealth

  42. @Anonymous
    I'm skimming the paper right now. There's an interesting graph on page 13. It shows that South Africa has a median TIMSS 2003 Math score for 8th grade somewhat above 200.

    On the next page, you see a comparison. Most African countries score below Syria and Saudi Arabia. Mauritius is interesting though. It's bottom 5th percentile scores about as bad as the worst in Africa. It's 95th percentile is on par with the top students in the US and Australia.

    The government of Mauritius doesn’t collect racial statistics (presumably, following the French example).

    I read a Frederick Forsythe short story about a middle-aged hen-pecked Englishman who takes his shrewish wife on holiday to Mauritius. In the happy ending, he sends her packing back home and buys a fishing boat charter company on the island.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Studley
    I remember that one. Had a nice 'Old Man and The Sea' vibe to it.

    "Who is that uncouth man? From Perth? He doesn't sound like a Scotsman."
    "Perth, Australia, my dear."
    "Good onya Murgatroyd!"
  43. @Tiny Duck
    white people are the most overrated thing ever and are sometimes outright evil

    http://verysmartbrothas.com/the-worlds-most-overrated-things-ranked-from-least-overrated-to-most-overrated/

    http://verysmartbrothas.com/its-time-to-stop-allowing-ourselves-to-be-seduced-by-shitty-white-women/

    TD, A week ago I asked you to take a couple of weeks off and chill. You are losing it buddy. I am starting to think of you as the faithful mutt that needs to be put down. Come on, you can do better than this.

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  44. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    If there are so many white countries with higher GDP per capita than east Asian countries with higher iq, I think we must begin to question how much real world value tests like these actually have.

    Read More
  45. @JohnnyWalker123
    Not Eastern Europeans.

    "According to police the scene (Hostel) was attended by around 120 cars with 3-4 men in each. The "southerners", the Arabs and the Moroccans, tried to resist and fired guns. But they were beaten with baseball bats and bar stools. The "Rusaki" (as the Russian migrants in Germany call themselves) strolled across all floors — said the source to "top secret" about the number of Russian migrants residing in Germany.
     

    According to the source, the cause of the massacre could be the rape of the displaced 13-year-old Russian girl Lisa. As was previously reported by the media, in Berlin a group of refugees for over 30 hours raped a 13-year-old schoolgirl. The child was kidnapped on January 11, near the railway station when she was returning home from school.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgJRjy2Xc0c

    First pass makes it look that article about Russians is made up. Do you have a credible news source?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    First pass makes it look that article about Russians is made up. Do you have a credible news source?
     
    What's your idea of "credible source"? The original was published in Russian "well-informed tabloid" Top Secret: http://www.sovsekretno.ru/news/id/8943/
  46. @Steve Sailer
    The Wikipedia article assumes the ancestors of dodo birds flew to the islands millions of years ago and then evolved to be giant and flightless. That's a pretty common pattern on islands. New Zealand had a 500 pound bird and Madagascar had a 1,000 pound bird.

    Of course, there's also a pattern of island creatures getting smaller: the Channel Islands of California had miniature wooly mammoths: I imagine that there will be a fad among California movie stars and tech zillionaires in 2100 to own miniature wooly mammoth pets revitalized from old DNA.

    I read somewhere that on islands the trend for mammals was to get smaller but for birds and reptiles to get bigger.

    Read More
  47. @Opinionator
    I wondered if Steve intended to suggest that obliquely.

    Are you micro-aggressing that I’m destroying all that subtlety?

    Not impossible, to be honest…

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  48. @Pseudonymic Handle
    Interesting that Botswana, Daron Acemoglu's darling, has such unremarkable score.
    That South Africa, far wealthier and with large non-african minorities, scores so low is an even bigger surprise.

    It’s not such a surprise. African GDP figures are mostly made up from pure imagination to make the ruling regime look better. In Africa, the lower the GDP figures are, the more honest the government was in actually collecting the data.

    And honest government promotes productivity, so a low GDP indicates that an African country might actually be richer and more prosperous.

    Likewise with test scores. A low one probably means the invigilators are being honest and not cheating. Honesty on tests correlates with IQ. Therefore a low score could indicate a better educated population. Not always, but you’d have to inquire as to the honesty or corruption of the Education Ministry to guess.

    So low scores for Botswana and Namibia may just mean Botswana and Namibia are better governed.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "So low scores for Botswana and Namibia may just mean Botswana and Namibia are better governed."

    Which appears to be the qualitative judgment of people familiar with Africa.

  49. @(((Owen)))
    It's not such a surprise. African GDP figures are mostly made up from pure imagination to make the ruling regime look better. In Africa, the lower the GDP figures are, the more honest the government was in actually collecting the data.

    And honest government promotes productivity, so a low GDP indicates that an African country might actually be richer and more prosperous.

    Likewise with test scores. A low one probably means the invigilators are being honest and not cheating. Honesty on tests correlates with IQ. Therefore a low score could indicate a better educated population. Not always, but you'd have to inquire as to the honesty or corruption of the Education Ministry to guess.

    So low scores for Botswana and Namibia may just mean Botswana and Namibia are better governed.

    “So low scores for Botswana and Namibia may just mean Botswana and Namibia are better governed.”

    Which appears to be the qualitative judgment of people familiar with Africa.

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  50. I wish Ethiopia had participated. I’d be curious to see if their Caucasian admixture gave them better test scores like it gave their women better looks.

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  51. The dodo wasn’t killed by man – directly. The first European visitors tried some and thought they tasted awful. So they left goats and pigs there instead. (This was a common practice on those far-flung but conveniently-located islands on the ship routes.)

    It was those animals, plus the occasional errant mouse and rat, which plundered the dodos’ nests and drove them extinct.

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  52. @slumber_j
    I dig how the envoi touches on Avian Biodiversity and the problem of Open Borders:

    Modern scientists say the dodo was probably about as smart as its relative, the pigeon. It’s just that the dodo lacked an instinct to fear newcomers. So by 1662 the dodo was extinct.
     

    I dig how the envoi touches on Avian Biodiversity and the problem of Open Borders:

    It’s too bad the dodos didn’t have the chance to see the Angry Birds Movie.

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  53. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “There are also some mammals which might go extinct because neither Africans nor Arabs have visited their lands much before and so they don’t have fear of them, these mammals are the so-called “Europeans”.

    That-s what Sailer meant with his dodo metaphor, obviously.

    What nobody seems to be getting is that this is masochism more than candidness.
    It is unawareness on the part of the masses (who are just tools, as they have been ever), masochism on the part of (a part of) the elite, and selfish/criminal aims for the other part of the elite.

    We remember Gordon Brown on that woman, don’t we?
    Our Republics are old and worn out, there’s no connection left between who governs and the governed.
    It’s over.
    Which doesn’t mean it can’t start over… after much more trouble becomes evident, and a moment before.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon

    Our Republics are old and worn out, there’s no connection left between who governs and the governed.
     
    There is - that's why the media have to lie to the upper middle class about what is happening down below.
  54. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “If there are so many white countries with higher GDP per capita than east Asian countries with higher iq, I think we must begin to question how much real world value tests like these actually have.”

    1) As has been explained by Murray et al (but we shouldn’t need it to be clarified, or should we), communism-type government can screw bad any country, even a 150 average IQ one.

    2) IQ isn’t everything. It is a great “sketch value” of mental ability.
    It doesn’t measure creativity, and many other things.
    So, IQ is required to do important things, but other, more hardly measurable attributes are required too, especially for cultural leaps forward.
    One thing is to invent and revolutionize, one to be dutiful technicians and perfect what others have conceived first.
    Caucasians have contributed at least 90%, but possibly about 98%, of intellect-driven progress in world civilization (just think the computer, the Internet, mobile devices…).

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  55. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Two white kids stranded in wilderness teeming with big killer bears.

    Their main worry? That the ‘gentle giant’ might be killed by Evil White Guys.

    Michael Brown Bear.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Dck0rIKj0M

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  56. @melendwyr
    Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the national bird the turkey, which is clever enough to avoid human hunters unless extreme measures are taken. He was outvoted in favor of the bald eagle.

    In hindsight, we should have chosen the dodo for America's national symbol. Perhaps Obama can have it changed before his time in office runs out.

    I had family that lived in a North Georgia golf community located in the mountains. You could have shot the turkeys from your golf cart. In midday.

    Coming back from a hike once, a flock of turkeys flew up from the side of the road. One of them flew right into the car in front of me. We weren’t traveling more than 25 mph.

    I think the North American turkey is becoming as domesticated as the Canada goose.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melendwyr
    Well, there are no *native* turkeys in northern North America. They're native to regions much further south - the Aztecs had them, and the Spanish imported them to Europe. The Pilgrims likely did have some turkey at the first Thanksgiving, but they were brought over with them.

    Nevertheless, the escapees from captivity that became wild were noted for being quite difficult for human hunters to sneak up on. I suspect the ones you describe are descended from more recent thoroughly-domesticated strains, which are noted for being brick-stupid.
  57. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Chrisnonymous
    First pass makes it look that article about Russians is made up. Do you have a credible news source?

    First pass makes it look that article about Russians is made up. Do you have a credible news source?

    What’s your idea of “credible source”? The original was published in Russian “well-informed tabloid” Top Secret: http://www.sovsekretno.ru/news/id/8943/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Hmm. I don't know. At least it didn't originate as a blog post...
  58. @Steve Sailer
    So Zanzibar should have been the Hong Kong of East Africa but instead became the Haiti?

    Probably wouldn’t have been that functional but Oman is apparently very well run and Zanzibar was something like 30% Arab and Indian before the massacre, I don’t know what the demographics are today but I think they’re a pretty small percentage nowadays. Zanzibar is a autonomous part of Tanzania and I’m wondering why Tanzania outscores it?

    Also I would be interested in finding about Madagascar’s scores, as it was originally settled by Austronesians from Borneo in the same style of those other Austronesians the Polynesians. Other comparisons that would be interesting would be the scores of Reunion and Mayotte, the Indian ocean islands owned by France. One interesting thing about Mauritius is that all of it’s Prime ministers bar one have been Indians, the exception a white man. Seychelles’ ex- president Albert Rene who served 27 year (1977-2004) was pretty light as well, but South Africa and the CIA sponsored a coups against him so he probably wasn’t a beneficiry of white privilege.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Prime_Ministers_of_Mauritius
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_Seychelles

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mike
    In addition to Mauritius, I spent a little time in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

    Tanzania was awful... Hated the place... I can't imagine that Zanzibar, being an autonomous part of that country, would be a nice place, except for maybe a couple of beach resorts. Dar es Salaam was a very unpleasant place to visit. Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda were positively delightful in comparison. I could maybe be incentivized to go back to both of those cities. They were enjoyable to visit. You couldn't pay me to go back to Tanzania.

    I think it has to do with the dominant religion in Tanzania. Just a guess...

    The trip to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda was a group business junket arranged by the Mauritian government.

    Oh my God I could tell stories about that part of the world... But it is too late and I'm running out of bourbon. So some other night.

    But it was that trip and that job in Mauritius that started me down the path of noticing things that didn't exactly align with what I had been reading. Up until I found this site...

    Your observation about the Mauritian Prime Ministers is accurate. My observation of the place: You have an island nation with a population less than the city of Dallas, or at least the Dallas area. The Prime Minister of Mauritius has less power than the mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings. But yet he is a "national leader." Politics in Mauritius are vicious because the stakes are so low.

    The beaches are lovely though...
  59. @Anonymous
    I'm skimming the paper right now. There's an interesting graph on page 13. It shows that South Africa has a median TIMSS 2003 Math score for 8th grade somewhat above 200.

    On the next page, you see a comparison. Most African countries score below Syria and Saudi Arabia. Mauritius is interesting though. It's bottom 5th percentile scores about as bad as the worst in Africa. It's 95th percentile is on par with the top students in the US and Australia.

    Mauritius is interesting though. It’s bottom 5th percentile scores about as bad as the worst in Africa. It’s 95th percentile is on par with the top students in the US and Australia.

    Looking at the info I could find across a few pages on wikipedia, the demographics of Mauritius are thus:

    Indian – 68%
    Chinese – 3%
    French (or predominately so) – 2%
    Creole (which includes African/Indian, African/European and pure African) – the rest

    Seeing that, it doesn’t seem too surprising that the top Indian, Chinese and French students would be competitive with their South Asian, East Asian, and European peers in the US and Australia. Nor does it seem a surprise that the lowest scoring Creoles would perform as poorly as their African counterparts.

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    • Replies: @Mike
    I spent 9 months working in Mauritius.

    Your assessment is correct.

    It is further strengthened by the fact that nobody I've met does a better job of cramming for the test than the Mauritians.

    They are a very interested in credentials.

    Well, at least the 70% or so that are ethnically Indian.
  60. @Steve Sailer
    So Zanzibar should have been the Hong Kong of East Africa but instead became the Haiti?

    Didn’t the family of the late Freddy Mercury come from Zanzibar?

    All the listed countries are in the Commonwealth

    Read More
    • Replies: @With the thoughts you'd be thinkin
    Yes, Freddy Mercury was an ethnic Parsi and he and his family were some of the Indians who fled Zanzibar because of the revolution.
  61. @jon

    Mauritius is interesting though. It’s bottom 5th percentile scores about as bad as the worst in Africa. It’s 95th percentile is on par with the top students in the US and Australia.
     
    Looking at the info I could find across a few pages on wikipedia, the demographics of Mauritius are thus:

    Indian - 68%
    Chinese - 3%
    French (or predominately so) - 2%
    Creole (which includes African/Indian, African/European and pure African) - the rest

    Seeing that, it doesn't seem too surprising that the top Indian, Chinese and French students would be competitive with their South Asian, East Asian, and European peers in the US and Australia. Nor does it seem a surprise that the lowest scoring Creoles would perform as poorly as their African counterparts.

    I spent 9 months working in Mauritius.

    Your assessment is correct.

    It is further strengthened by the fact that nobody I’ve met does a better job of cramming for the test than the Mauritians.

    They are a very interested in credentials.

    Well, at least the 70% or so that are ethnically Indian.

    Read More
  62. @unit472
    There are other, less formal, measures of intelligence than the ability to score well on an academic test. Commerce and industry for example can bring to those who excel great riches and that is a far greater incentive than winning admission to some elite school or academic honors.

    Here to Africa scores abysmally. There just are no large African companies that compete internationally. No goods manufacturers or service providers of any scale at all outside the legacy companies of South Africa. Even the government owned resource extractive industries have to partner with outside companies to mine, drill or market commodities.

    Perhaps most telling, since it bypasses government entirely, is the lack of even large scale criminal enterprises of the sort you find in Latin America and Asia. I assume illegal narcotics can be grown or manufactured in Africa with greater ease than almost anyplace else on earth owing to the lack of government authority yet, as far as I can tell, Africa is not a major supplier of these illegal but highly profitable products.

    419?

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  63. @With the thoughts you'd be thinkin
    Probably wouldn't have been that functional but Oman is apparently very well run and Zanzibar was something like 30% Arab and Indian before the massacre, I don't know what the demographics are today but I think they're a pretty small percentage nowadays. Zanzibar is a autonomous part of Tanzania and I'm wondering why Tanzania outscores it?

    Also I would be interested in finding about Madagascar's scores, as it was originally settled by Austronesians from Borneo in the same style of those other Austronesians the Polynesians. Other comparisons that would be interesting would be the scores of Reunion and Mayotte, the Indian ocean islands owned by France. One interesting thing about Mauritius is that all of it's Prime ministers bar one have been Indians, the exception a white man. Seychelles' ex- president Albert Rene who served 27 year (1977-2004) was pretty light as well, but South Africa and the CIA sponsored a coups against him so he probably wasn't a beneficiry of white privilege.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Prime_Ministers_of_Mauritius
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_Seychelles

    In addition to Mauritius, I spent a little time in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

    Tanzania was awful… Hated the place… I can’t imagine that Zanzibar, being an autonomous part of that country, would be a nice place, except for maybe a couple of beach resorts. Dar es Salaam was a very unpleasant place to visit. Nairobi, Kenya and Kampala, Uganda were positively delightful in comparison. I could maybe be incentivized to go back to both of those cities. They were enjoyable to visit. You couldn’t pay me to go back to Tanzania.

    I think it has to do with the dominant religion in Tanzania. Just a guess…

    The trip to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda was a group business junket arranged by the Mauritian government.

    Oh my God I could tell stories about that part of the world… But it is too late and I’m running out of bourbon. So some other night.

    But it was that trip and that job in Mauritius that started me down the path of noticing things that didn’t exactly align with what I had been reading. Up until I found this site…

    Your observation about the Mauritian Prime Ministers is accurate. My observation of the place: You have an island nation with a population less than the city of Dallas, or at least the Dallas area. The Prime Minister of Mauritius has less power than the mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings. But yet he is a “national leader.” Politics in Mauritius are vicious because the stakes are so low.

    The beaches are lovely though…

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  64. @Tiny Duck
    white people are the most overrated thing ever and are sometimes outright evil

    http://verysmartbrothas.com/the-worlds-most-overrated-things-ranked-from-least-overrated-to-most-overrated/

    http://verysmartbrothas.com/its-time-to-stop-allowing-ourselves-to-be-seduced-by-shitty-white-women/

    white people are the most overrated thing ever…

    Indeed. A superlative people in a multitude of ways.

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  65. @snorlax
    They probably used to be able to fly, until after many generations of living on an island with no predators.

    They probably used to be able to fly, until after many generations of living on an island with no predators.

    What, negroes? Sorry, I’ve been skimming.

    Magic indeed.

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  66. @sb
    Didn't the family of the late Freddy Mercury come from Zanzibar?

    All the listed countries are in the Commonwealth

    Yes, Freddy Mercury was an ethnic Parsi and he and his family were some of the Indians who fled Zanzibar because of the revolution.

    Read More
  67. @Steve Sailer
    The government of Mauritius doesn't collect racial statistics (presumably, following the French example).

    I read a Frederick Forsythe short story about a middle-aged hen-pecked Englishman who takes his shrewish wife on holiday to Mauritius. In the happy ending, he sends her packing back home and buys a fishing boat charter company on the island.

    I remember that one. Had a nice ‘Old Man and The Sea’ vibe to it.

    “Who is that uncouth man? From Perth? He doesn’t sound like a Scotsman.”
    “Perth, Australia, my dear.”
    “Good onya Murgatroyd!”

    Read More
  68. A few months ago I met a Japanese man who spoke the most unlikely English sentence imaginable. “I built an amusement park in Zanzibar. “

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  69. @Anonymous

    First pass makes it look that article about Russians is made up. Do you have a credible news source?
     
    What's your idea of "credible source"? The original was published in Russian "well-informed tabloid" Top Secret: http://www.sovsekretno.ru/news/id/8943/

    Hmm. I don’t know. At least it didn’t originate as a blog post…

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  70. @Triumph104
    A Liberian teacher in this news report said that he didn't learn to read until the age of 17. I believe his education was delayed by the civil war.

    https://youtu.be/WuBERPHD86c

    I believe his education was delayed by the civil war.

    There always seems to be a civil war in which they are engaged, or from which they are recovering; they are structurally incapable of accomplishing much civilization.

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  71. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anonymous
    "There are also some mammals which might go extinct because neither Africans nor Arabs have visited their lands much before and so they don’t have fear of them, these mammals are the so-called “Europeans”.

    That-s what Sailer meant with his dodo metaphor, obviously.

    What nobody seems to be getting is that this is masochism more than candidness.
    It is unawareness on the part of the masses (who are just tools, as they have been ever), masochism on the part of (a part of) the elite, and selfish/criminal aims for the other part of the elite.

    We remember Gordon Brown on that woman, don't we?
    Our Republics are old and worn out, there's no connection left between who governs and the governed.
    It's over.
    Which doesn't mean it can't start over... after much more trouble becomes evident, and a moment before.

    Our Republics are old and worn out, there’s no connection left between who governs and the governed.

    There is – that’s why the media have to lie to the upper middle class about what is happening down below.

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  72. @The Anti-Gnostic
    I had family that lived in a North Georgia golf community located in the mountains. You could have shot the turkeys from your golf cart. In midday.

    Coming back from a hike once, a flock of turkeys flew up from the side of the road. One of them flew right into the car in front of me. We weren't traveling more than 25 mph.

    I think the North American turkey is becoming as domesticated as the Canada goose.

    Well, there are no *native* turkeys in northern North America. They’re native to regions much further south – the Aztecs had them, and the Spanish imported them to Europe. The Pilgrims likely did have some turkey at the first Thanksgiving, but they were brought over with them.

    Nevertheless, the escapees from captivity that became wild were noted for being quite difficult for human hunters to sneak up on. I suspect the ones you describe are descended from more recent thoroughly-domesticated strains, which are noted for being brick-stupid.

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    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Thanks for the eyewitness account. Is your long life because you are a vampire? Or are you a member of some other long-lived species? Do tell.
  73. @melendwyr
    Well, there are no *native* turkeys in northern North America. They're native to regions much further south - the Aztecs had them, and the Spanish imported them to Europe. The Pilgrims likely did have some turkey at the first Thanksgiving, but they were brought over with them.

    Nevertheless, the escapees from captivity that became wild were noted for being quite difficult for human hunters to sneak up on. I suspect the ones you describe are descended from more recent thoroughly-domesticated strains, which are noted for being brick-stupid.

    Thanks for the eyewitness account. Is your long life because you are a vampire? Or are you a member of some other long-lived species? Do tell.

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  74. I don’t think that the gap between TIMSS and SCAMEQ is as high as 150-225 points.
    Look at the TIMSS score of African nations:-

    South Africa: 372 TIMSS, 458 SCAMEQ. (gap of 86)
    Bostwana: 391 TIMSS, 513 SCAMEQ. (gap of 122)

    So, 150-225 gap is gross over-estimate as Bostwana and South Africa show much lower gaps on TIMSS vs SCAMEQ.

    I would take 100 points gap (observed average of Bostwana/South Africa gap). IQ estimates of African nations as such (500 TIMSS as 100 IQ):-

    Mauritius 585 (97 IQ)
    Kenya 562 (94.3 IQ)
    Seychelles 554 (92.5 IQ)
    Mozambique 530 (88 IQ)
    Swaziland 518 (87 IQ)
    Tanzania 517 (87 IQ)
    Botswana 513 (86.5 IQ)
    Uganda 506 (85.5 IQ)
    South Africa 483 (82 IQ)
    Zanzibar 476 (81.5 IQ)
    Lesotho 448 (77.5 IQ)
    Malawi 434 (73 IQ)
    Zambia 432 (73 IQ)
    Namibia 431 (73 IQ)

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  75. JOHANNESBURG – Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the country urgently needs to create its own unique way of teaching maths to demystify the perception that South African children are not mathematically inclined…

    The minister says innovative ways need to be explored to address poor learning outcomes in mathematics.

    http://ewn.co.za/2016/12/07/20-pass-mark-for-maths-comes-with-strict-conditions

    Evidence that between Black-African educators and their White colleagues in the U.S. the Stupidity Gap at last has been closed.

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  76. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @JohnnyWalker123
    Richard Lynn used national test score data to derive IQ scores for a large number of countries.

    http://www.ttu.ee/public/m/mart-murdvee/EconPsy/2/Lynn_Meisenberg_2010_National_IQs_calculated_and_validated_for_108_nations.pdf

    Mauritius does poorly (73.7 IQ), but still a lot better than the African average (58.8 IQ). Trinidad converts to a 87.4 IQ.

    Here's a chart of test scores for the various Caribbean countries. They take a regional test called the CXC. See page 34.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=fyriN8QqcmsC&pg=PA19&lpg=PA19&dq=caribbean+countries+pisa&source=bl&ots=KC9zWwDele&sig=uJUFD73YA-MeZlYuRewu3dLTmJQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizzLyhg-XQAhVB5mMKHZyrDscQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=caribbean%20countries%20pisa&f=false

    Guyana and Trinidad are both about half South Asian by population, but their test scores are similar to the other Caribbean countries.

    Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago do not have same scores as rest.

    PISA is the first proof. T&T score 425, while Dominica scores 332.

    If you look at CXC scores, Dominica scores highest while T&T at 4/10 nations. This is because you cannot really compare “passing rate” with scores.

    Kids may have a higher passing rate in Dominica but they might be having a lower test score, as evident in PISA.

    Secondly, T&T only underscores Dominica, Belzie and St. Kitts by 15% passing percentage, 4% and 7% passing percentage.

    If you read the book on Page 31 “Out of school kids”.
    “There is significant proportion of kids out of school in half of 10 countries, especially in Dominica and Belzie”.

    68% of 200 is higher than 83% of 140.

    If Dominica is having higher scores in CXC among all nations in Caribbean, then it is has significant (highest %) of kids out of school as well.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Trinidad isn't the most intellectual of countries, but it has a lot more interesting people than most other West Indian countries. The single most awesome celebrity encounter of my life was standing in a checkout line behind Geoffrey Holder telling a clerk who exclaimed, "You're ... you're ..."

    "Yes. You are absolutely right! I am James Earl Jones. But don't tell anyone. I'm traveling in-cog-nit-o! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

  77. @Anon
    Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago do not have same scores as rest.

    PISA is the first proof. T&T score 425, while Dominica scores 332.

    If you look at CXC scores, Dominica scores highest while T&T at 4/10 nations. This is because you cannot really compare "passing rate" with scores.

    Kids may have a higher passing rate in Dominica but they might be having a lower test score, as evident in PISA.

    Secondly, T&T only underscores Dominica, Belzie and St. Kitts by 15% passing percentage, 4% and 7% passing percentage.

    If you read the book on Page 31 "Out of school kids".
    "There is significant proportion of kids out of school in half of 10 countries, especially in Dominica and Belzie".

    68% of 200 is higher than 83% of 140.

    If Dominica is having higher scores in CXC among all nations in Caribbean, then it is has significant (highest %) of kids out of school as well.

    Trinidad isn’t the most intellectual of countries, but it has a lot more interesting people than most other West Indian countries. The single most awesome celebrity encounter of my life was standing in a checkout line behind Geoffrey Holder telling a clerk who exclaimed, “You’re … you’re …”

    “Yes. You are absolutely right! I am James Earl Jones. But don’t tell anyone. I’m traveling in-cog-nit-o! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!”

    Read More
  78. Apologies if I’m asking a dumb question, as I haven’t so much as skimmed the cited source paper. But: When they tested the teachers, did their sample include US-native Peace Corps volunteers? And if so, did that materially affect the results?

    I ask because I used to date a bright young woman (MIT grad) who did two years of teaching with the Peace Corps in Mozambique. And, I used to work with a smart dude (Caltech grad) who did two years teaching in Cameroon.

    If either of them had been part of a similar test, they could have skewed the teacher results radically – depending on sample size and such, of course.

    Read More

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