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Taleb: "IQ Is Largely a Pseudoscientific Swindle"
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Prof. NN Taleb has written up his denunciation of IQ testing:

IQ is largely a pseudoscientific swindle
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Jan 1

Background : “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”. The test is poorly thought out mathematically, and seemed to be promoted by

– racists/eugenists, people bent on showing some populations have inferior mental abilities based on IQ test=intelligence who have been upset with me for suddenly robbing them of a “scientific” tool (as evidenced by the bitter reactions to the initial post on twitter/smear campaigns by such mountebanks as Charles Murray). (Note: there were close to 3.1 million views of the tweetstorms).

– psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers (military, large corporations) buying the “this is the best measure in psychology” argument when it is not even technically a measure — it explains at best between 13% and 50% of the performance in some tasks, minus the data massaging and statistical cherrypicking by psychologists; it doesn’t satisfy the monotonicity and transitivity required to have a measure. No measure that fails 60–95% of the time should be part of “science”.

I dunno … A measure that succeeds 5-40% of the time sounds helpful to me.

Here’s my write-up of our debate last week in Taki’s Magazine:

Negotiating the [Bell] Curve:

It’s almost as if the IQ glass is somehow both half empty and half full at the same time…

 
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  1. Nassim Taleb IS the pseudoscientific swindle.

    he should start at Jensen’s 1980 Bias in Mental Testing & work forward from there. It’s no use arguing with someone who hasn’t done their homework.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    He does have a talent for gluing together bits of gibberish into a tune that sounds smart but is
    lacking in lyrics. However I think there are computer programs that can do the same thing and work for free. I always feel like I’m reading something generated by one of those Turing test generators.
    , @Anonymous

    Nassim Taleb IS the pseudoscientific swindle.

    he should start at Jensen’s 1980 Bias in Mental Testing & work forward from there. It’s no use arguing with someone who hasn’t done their homework.
     
    Is any of Taleb's work worth reading?
  2. “ it explains at best between 13% and 50% of the performance in some tasks,”

    So if you have three tested groups, 80, 100, 120 IQ, and hand them the pieces of a Soma Cube to assemble, IQ testing will AT BEST give a 50% measure of performance?

    I am pretty sure we could test that. If we really wanted to test it, we could try samples of 10 Asians, 10 Whites, and 10 Blacks….. Sure, in any academic milieu it would get you fired, but it is testable.

    Come to think of it, everything about IQ is testable, and other than for extremely small sample groups, remarkably accurate. Really, if Taleb actually has the courage of his convictions, we can obviously do away with the SAT, ACT, LSAT, Wonderlic, well, all of them, since they are “psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers” devoid of any sufficient predictive value.

    • Replies: @El Dato

    IQ testing will AT BEST give a 50% measure of performance?
     
    No, IQ will "explain between 13% and 50% of the performance".

    I don't know what that means.

    The IQ value should be a statistical predictor of performance. It doesn't "explain" anything. It would be like having an (approximate) probability of a successful outcome.

    A "performance rating of 110" may be followed by a Dead Parrot Sketch ...

    Actually Computer Science has this problem a lot - how do you measure the performance of an "AI" algorithm? Is it better than some other algorithm? In what conditions?
  3. Taleb might have a bit of a point.

    Let me give you and example. Alabama is playing for a 13th national title since 1960 in football in 7 days.

    1961, 64,65,73,78,79,92,90,11,12,15,17, …..18?

    The ENTIRE Pac10, a great football conference which has put mucho talent into the NFL has only 8 since 1960. USC has 7, Washington 1.

    13>8 right?

    Wrong. Many USC teams alone would have beaten Alabama since 1960, and a All-Pac10 team would have beaten Alabama every single year since 1960. A few outlier, workaholic, talented individuals with high IQs accomplish a ton, but a lot of people with impressive IQ scores really dont amount to very much.

    There is some other drive, not-quit, enthusiasm, optimistic factor there somewhere we cannot discount I think.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    A few outlier, workaholic, talented individuals with high IQs accomplish a ton, but a lot of people with impressive IQ scores really dont amount to very much.

    There is some other drive, not-quit, enthusiasm, optimistic factor there somewhere we cannot discount I think.
     
    Sure. But I'm not going to start counting on guys with 100 IQs but lotsa enthusiasm to start making breakthroughs in STEM anytime soon....
    , @Anonymous
    I don't see the analogy you are trying to draw. Which is the football group with the extra factor?
    , @Maciano
    No he does not have a point.

    If you read NNT's article you should read more IQ tesearch.

    NNT is glorified bro science.

    , @John Gritt
    You (stupidly): "Many USC teams alone would have beaten Alabama since 1960..."

    Every game ever played is played under unique, non-replicable conditions of weather, field conditions, and state of bodies and minds of athletes.

    You have no way of knowing who would win what hypothetical game because you can not account for the unique, non-replicable conditions nor can you conjure up what would be the cause-to-effect sequence of every play in a hypothetical game.

    You are living proof that your intellect, which likely measures between 109 to 119 IQ, inhibits you from seeing more until those with gifted IQs come along and teach you what is the bigger picture.

    You: "There is some other drive, not-quit, enthusiasm, optimistic factor there somewhere we cannot discount I think."

    Because of your limited intellect, you believe, erroneously, that champions of the validity of IQ claim that IQ is causal for success. Show us from the literature who makes that claim.

    Someone with a 105 IQ could be a quite successful owner / operator of a tree-cutting service, but never could he grasp the complexities to say work his way through medical school to become a surgeon or work his way through engineering school so he can design integrated circuits.

    Good luck!
    , @MarkinLA
    The Pac-12 has never been a great football conference and was usually know as USC and the seven dwarfs in its pre Pac 10 days when football scholarships weren't limited for each school. USC was always known for good defensive players and running backs and offensive linemen. Their quarterbacks were always second rate. They were the only school that could compete for the best football athletes with the other top teams of college football. Pat Haden remarked that a lot of their success was because they had guys sitting on their bench that could start at Cal or Oregon State.

    Many teams were restricted due to budget considerations. Their stadiums were small and TV money was scarce so they usually recruited in state to pay less for the scholarships. Because of that the PAC-8 schools were always considered soft (gutty little Bruins).

    USC has not been what it was since the institution of limits on college scholarships. Now the talent is more spread out and you have to recruit based on talent and need. Now a guy languishing on USC's bench is starting at Cal and developing for 5 years in a conference that used to play a lot closer to the pro game than any other which is why they may have developed an outsized amount of pro players.

    However, the Pac-12 overall does not play smash-mouth football. It creates a lot of skilled position players and a few great linemen but these teams don't have the overall ability to shove the football down your throat and control a physical game. This puts them in a disadvantage for running the table during the regular season and at the end of the year when key players may be injured.

    The SEC is the top football conference just like the Big 10 used to be. They have a better chance of recruiting people who think they are going pro. Alabama went through a long drought when the scholarship restrictions were introduced, just like all the powerhouse schools. Now they are consistently winning because all the talent is flocking to Alabama and ignoring some of the alternatives (like Tennessee).

    That Alabama is winning now is just the ability of a winner to recruit better even with limitations. USC enjoyed their little renaissance under Pete Carroll. Alabama is just going through a lucky period that says nothing about anything.
  4. Obviously IQ is real based on the fact Jewish people are 47% smarter than dumb whites. It’s science.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    Say, that’s a great new tack for your running spoof of Lefties: pretending to be innumerate. I had not suggested that as part of my comments when I was coaching you, so I’m pleased you came up with it on your own.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    And how many % points smarter are whites than dumb Jews?
    , @anon
    actually you stalinists are boxed in on this either blacks are not oppressed but rather stupid or jews are cheating in order to own half the wealth and power with 2% of population, of course jews are cheating but since they control the left they are not going to authorize a meme of cheating jews better stupid blacks.Denouement time fortunately for whites when we learn blacks are stupid and jews cant ever be trusted things will improve
  5. Maybe this genius can explain how “obedient” and “racist/eugenicist” wind up in the same boat together. They’re fucking opposites Taleb, you bigmouthed nimrod.

  6. MMM, is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score? If so, this seems to be taking it a tad far…..

    “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.

    Yeah, just as I thought. He’s upset that hairy men who wear gold chains tend not to do as well as people who look like Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs……

    racists/eugenists, people bent on showing some populations have inferior mental abilities based on IQ test=intelligence who have been upset with me for suddenly robbing them of a “scientific” tool (as evidenced by the bitter reactions to the initial post on twitter/smear campaigns by such mountebanks as Charles Murray).

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….

    psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers (military, large corporations) buying the “this is the best measure in psychology” argument when it is not even technically a measure 

    Dunno. Tossing out IQ scores seems like a bad idea…..After all, the US military tried a little experiment along those lines back in the ’60s…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    Project 100,000 (also McNamara’s 100,000) was a 1960s program by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to recruit soldiers that would previously have been below military mental or medical standards. Project 100,000 was initiated by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in October 1966 to meet the escalating manpower requirements during American involvement in the Vietnam War and ended in December 1971.[1]

    At various times in its history, the United States military has recruited people who measured below specific mental and medical standards. Those who scored in certain lower percentiles of mental aptitude tests were admitted into service during World War II, though this experience eventually led to a legal floor of IQ 80 to enlist. Another instance occurred in the 1980s due to a misnormed Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.[2]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    • Replies: @anon
    ...is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?

    Either that or he personally doesn't score as highly as he would like. I know that's why I think IQ is bullshit.

    , @Stan d Mute

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?
     
    Yep.

    And like most of his ilk, he has latched onto a grain of objective truth and built it into an enormous castle of sand. When viewed as a whole however one sees the male parallel to Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism..

    Without whitey and his ways, Taleb would have just been the hottest camel herder on the sand dune. He knows it just as every homely broad knows, every negro knows, and every street shitting hinpooh knows. His wiki photo tells all:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassim_Nicholas_Taleb#/media/File%3ATaleb_student.png
    , @Anonymous

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….
     
    What about Steve Jobs?
    , @Bliss

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?
     
    Lol. All you alt-right IQists should be butthurt too. For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders...

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?
    , @Seraphim
    Does anyone know the IQ of Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs...?
    Maxwell was quite hairy.
  7. James Watson can never be forgiven for unequivocally stating what everyone knows, including blacks themselves. However, if he repents, the establishment might permit him to make money groveling in corporate forums for a forgiveness that is never forthcoming.

  8. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.

    IQ’s robust correlations with health maintenance, life expectancy, and employment rate are Not Real Life according to Nassim Nicholas.

    Not sure it’s possible to reason with this one.

  9. Regardless of IQ, at the end of the day countries are a product of their people, and Africa is Africa and Europe is Europe: one produced modern civilization and is the nicest place in the world to live in and visit, and the other is, well…

    #themostimportantgraphintheworld #itstimetotalkaboutmassrepatriation #militarizethemediterranean

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    "Regardless of IQ, at the end of the day countries are a product of their people, and Africa is Africa and Europe is Europe: one produced modern civilization and WAS the nicest place in the world to live in and visit, and the other is, well…"

    Fixed that for you.
  10. This seems like thousands of words of obfuscation. If you look at his scatter plot of IQ versus SAT versus the supposedly deficient models they don’t look the same. The real data looks far more predictive than how he imagines it.

  11. This is just sad…..

    If you want to detect how someone fares at a task, say loan sharking, tennis playing, or random matrix theory, make him/her do that task; we don’t need theoretical exams for a real world function by probability-challenged psychologists.

    Certain kinds of jobs (surgeon, lawyer, etc) take quite a bit of training….You know, time+money (student loans)…..Don’t you think that it might be a good idea to give people a relatively inexpensive test before we start encouraging fellows who will never pass the bar exam to go to law school…..

    • Agree: Federalist
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    We'd be better off with more med schools and more med school starts but more washouts: 95% of people who start med school finish, which means something is up. It doesn't need to wash out 75% of people like BUD/S (it costs more to put someone through BUD/S than med school by the way) but some should be washing out.

    The seat is not precious.
    , @Svigor
    True. And conversely, proxy tests are a great way to quickly figure out if someone is suited to a task. E.g., if there was a written test that made a good proxy for tennis talent, it would make a lot of sense to use it to screen applicants, because then you wouldn't need a fucking tennis court, a racket (which might get broken), tennis shoes, or the risk of running some unqualified uncoordinated destined-to-injure-himself boob around at high speed, etc.

    Fuck this guy's stupid. Or dishonest. Given his ethnic background (west & south Asians lie like rugs) and reputation, probably the latter.

    , @tanabear
    Didn't William Buckley once say that he would rather be ruled by the first 400 names in the Boston phone directory than the faculty at Harvard?

    Certainly the faculty at Harvard would have higher IQs and would be much more likely to pass a bar exam but none of this is real world experience. I believe most conservatives would rather have our representatives chosen by lot than be governed by the Harvard faculty. Why? Because we understand on some level that your average Joe would make better decisions than high IQ Harvard professors.

    So if we got rid of test taking who would appear "smarter" based on real world outcomes which is what actually matters?
    , @Chrisnonymous
    or we could just let people take the bar exam and start practicing without requiring school first.

    That would actually be a great way to test Taleb's idea. Give people IQ tests and then let them loose in some field without training and see if success correlates with the test...

    , @gregor
    This recalls the Pinker (+Sailer) v. Gladwell debate a few years ago about QBs. In his book Outliers, Gladwell insists that it's *impossible* to predict performance of QBs. And school teachers. And presumably lots of other things.
  12. Some wag tweeted how that thread was Twitter’s version of Infinity War in regards to cameos after Mark Rippetoe showed up.

  13. @egregious philbin
    Nassim Taleb IS the pseudoscientific swindle.

    he should start at Jensen's 1980 Bias in Mental Testing & work forward from there. It's no use arguing with someone who hasn't done their homework.

    He does have a talent for gluing together bits of gibberish into a tune that sounds smart but is
    lacking in lyrics. However I think there are computer programs that can do the same thing and work for free. I always feel like I’m reading something generated by one of those Turing test generators.

  14. @scumbag
    Taleb might have a bit of a point.


    Let me give you and example. Alabama is playing for a 13th national title since 1960 in football in 7 days.

    1961, 64,65,73,78,79,92,90,11,12,15,17, .....18?

    The ENTIRE Pac10, a great football conference which has put mucho talent into the NFL has only 8 since 1960. USC has 7, Washington 1.


    13>8 right?


    Wrong. Many USC teams alone would have beaten Alabama since 1960, and a All-Pac10 team would have beaten Alabama every single year since 1960. A few outlier, workaholic, talented individuals with high IQs accomplish a ton, but a lot of people with impressive IQ scores really dont amount to very much.

    There is some other drive, not-quit, enthusiasm, optimistic factor there somewhere we cannot discount I think.

    A few outlier, workaholic, talented individuals with high IQs accomplish a ton, but a lot of people with impressive IQ scores really dont amount to very much.

    There is some other drive, not-quit, enthusiasm, optimistic factor there somewhere we cannot discount I think.

    Sure. But I’m not going to start counting on guys with 100 IQs but lotsa enthusiasm to start making breakthroughs in STEM anytime soon….

    • Agree: Realist
  15. Here’s 4x WSM Brian Shaw deadlifting 1021 pounds in 2016:

    I saw this in person. Eddie Hall (to Shaw’s right in the background) won the deadlift event pulling 1026, and Thor Bjornsson came in third. Arnold Schwarzenegger and JJ Watt were also on the stage.

    Perhaps Taleb can start schooling people on the pseudoscience behind Caucasians dominating the competitive branches of weight lifting.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Perhaps Taleb can start schooling people on the pseudoscience behind Caucasians* dominating the competitive branches of weight lifting.
     
    You mean the PED branches of the weight lifting.

    Tested Olympic contests tend to produce a bit different set of winners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Olympic_medalists_in_weightlifting

    *Actual Caucasians - you know, from the Caucasus - do pretty well.
  16. So Taleb has moderated his criticism of Murray from “Hawker-mountebank” to just “mountebank”. Makes sense. Murray doesn’t really do much hawking.

  17. @Tiny Duck.
    Obviously IQ is real based on the fact Jewish people are 47% smarter than dumb whites. It’s science.

    Say, that’s a great new tack for your running spoof of Lefties: pretending to be innumerate. I had not suggested that as part of my comments when I was coaching you, so I’m pleased you came up with it on your own.

    • LOL: bomag
    • Replies: @Hail
    Will 2019 bring more Tiny Ducks?

    New handle ideas for new iterations in the Tiny Duck series:

    - Tiny Duck,
    - TinyDuck,
    - TinyDuck
    - TinyDukkk
    - TinyDuck.
    - Tiny_Duck
    - Enormous Mallard
  18. @syonredux
    MMM, is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don't do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score? If so, this seems to be taking it a tad far.....

    “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.
     
    Yeah, just as I thought. He's upset that hairy men who wear gold chains tend not to do as well as people who look like Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs......

    racists/eugenists, people bent on showing some populations have inferior mental abilities based on IQ test=intelligence who have been upset with me for suddenly robbing them of a “scientific” tool (as evidenced by the bitter reactions to the initial post on twitter/smear campaigns by such mountebanks as Charles Murray).
     
    Look, I'm sorry, but greater Syria just hasn't done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years....

    psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers (military, large corporations) buying the “this is the best measure in psychology” argument when it is not even technically a measure 

     

    Dunno. Tossing out IQ scores seems like a bad idea.....After all, the US military tried a little experiment along those lines back in the '60s...


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    Project 100,000 (also McNamara's 100,000) was a 1960s program by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to recruit soldiers that would previously have been below military mental or medical standards. Project 100,000 was initiated by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in October 1966 to meet the escalating manpower requirements during American involvement in the Vietnam War and ended in December 1971.[1]
     

    At various times in its history, the United States military has recruited people who measured below specific mental and medical standards. Those who scored in certain lower percentiles of mental aptitude tests were admitted into service during World War II, though this experience eventually led to a legal floor of IQ 80 to enlist. Another instance occurred in the 1980s due to a misnormed Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.[2]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    …is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?

    Either that or he personally doesn’t score as highly as he would like. I know that’s why I think IQ is bullshit.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Taleb's a mathematician who's also a philologist. I'm pretty sure he has a high IQ.
    , @El Dato
    I you don't score high enough, just retake the test until you hover around a good mean and can't go any further. Only then you give up.

    I would probably score 100 but I'm too lazy to actually do a test.

    It's the constraint programming competition for humans! Like in MiniZinc Challenge 2017.
  19. To adapt a classic line of Sailer’s, Mr. Taleb (I assume he hates being referred to as “professor”) differs from his opponents in two ways:

    One, he understands graduate level statistics, because he’s pretty good at math, and they don’t, because they aren’t. If only they were smart enough to understand the such and such principle of statistics, they would see that only an imbecile would make their argument.

    Two, he believes that IQ is a totally irrelevant failure of metric that doesn’t matter to anything important in human life, and they don’t.

    • Replies: @Space Ghost
    "If only you idiots had a high IQ like me, you'd realize that IQ is meaningless!"
  20. I’ve always scored well on IQ tests and aptitude tests. I can’t say that my test-taking skills led to any greater success or happiness in life. If I had it to do over again, I’d rather be popular, than be a good test-taker. EQ >> IQ.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Even with high "EQ," if you don't conform to the people around you and accept their blue pill BS they still won't like you.

    "Hey what's the big idea? This guy thinks he's better than us! He thinks he's all smaht er sumthin'..."
    , @Svigor
    Conscientiousness>IQ>EQ

    IQ + conscientiousness will deliver you EQ. EQ doesn't deliver shit. Put another way, IQ is a proxy for EQ, but the reverse is not true. People with high IQs who do poorly on EQ tests are spergs who refuse to do well on EQ tests because too honest. Bullshitting is 90% of EQ.

    People fixate on IQ because it's important AND pretty easy to measure.

  21. Anon[327] • Disclaimer says:

    It explains at best between 13% and 50% of the performance in some tasks.

    Yeah, and 80-90% in others. But let’s conveniently leave that out.

    No one is disagreeing that IQ isn’t everything in real world tasks in all situations. It is merely one metric, just like height, weight, arm length and 40 time in football.

    Taleb is trying way too hard be an edgelord here and just publicly embarrassed himself. Time for him to go fade into obscurity and enjoy his billions. He had his one or two good insights.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Bill B.

    Taleb is trying way too hard be an edgelord here
     
    Yes. I quite enjoyed his spats with the likes of Mary Beard.

    Here he is being hoisted by his own petard: the stats are remarkable good on the predictive power of IQ.

    No one I have never met thinks IQ is the be-all and end-all: a high IQ, say, means nothing in itself. It is not an achievement. In my own personal life and career I've never had cause to even talk about IQ. I've judged people by their actions and character. If someone had ever asked me I'd have probably taken the Richard Nixon view that it might be important for a policy maker to have the information but that it should not be discussed in public.

    But politically it has been slid onto center stage - pace Taleb - by precisely the people who claim its uselessness.

    The diversity-über-alles zealots who insist on equal outcomes for all, including mandatory diversity notwithstanding achievement, invite skeptics to demonstrate with ugly statistics why these liberal shibboleths are incompatible with advanced society.

  22. @gp
    I've always scored well on IQ tests and aptitude tests. I can't say that my test-taking skills led to any greater success or happiness in life. If I had it to do over again, I'd rather be popular, than be a good test-taker. EQ >> IQ.

    Even with high “EQ,” if you don’t conform to the people around you and accept their blue pill BS they still won’t like you.

    “Hey what’s the big idea? This guy thinks he’s better than us! He thinks he’s all smaht er sumthin’…”

  23. @Stolen Valor Detective
    To adapt a classic line of Sailer's, Mr. Taleb (I assume he hates being referred to as "professor") differs from his opponents in two ways:

    One, he understands graduate level statistics, because he's pretty good at math, and they don't, because they aren't. If only they were smart enough to understand the such and such principle of statistics, they would see that only an imbecile would make their argument.

    Two, he believes that IQ is a totally irrelevant failure of metric that doesn't matter to anything important in human life, and they don't.

    “If only you idiots had a high IQ like me, you’d realize that IQ is meaningless!”

  24. @syonredux
    MMM, is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don't do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score? If so, this seems to be taking it a tad far.....

    “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.
     
    Yeah, just as I thought. He's upset that hairy men who wear gold chains tend not to do as well as people who look like Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs......

    racists/eugenists, people bent on showing some populations have inferior mental abilities based on IQ test=intelligence who have been upset with me for suddenly robbing them of a “scientific” tool (as evidenced by the bitter reactions to the initial post on twitter/smear campaigns by such mountebanks as Charles Murray).
     
    Look, I'm sorry, but greater Syria just hasn't done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years....

    psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers (military, large corporations) buying the “this is the best measure in psychology” argument when it is not even technically a measure 

     

    Dunno. Tossing out IQ scores seems like a bad idea.....After all, the US military tried a little experiment along those lines back in the '60s...


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    Project 100,000 (also McNamara's 100,000) was a 1960s program by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to recruit soldiers that would previously have been below military mental or medical standards. Project 100,000 was initiated by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in October 1966 to meet the escalating manpower requirements during American involvement in the Vietnam War and ended in December 1971.[1]
     

    At various times in its history, the United States military has recruited people who measured below specific mental and medical standards. Those who scored in certain lower percentiles of mental aptitude tests were admitted into service during World War II, though this experience eventually led to a legal floor of IQ 80 to enlist. Another instance occurred in the 1980s due to a misnormed Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.[2]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?

    Yep.

    And like most of his ilk, he has latched onto a grain of objective truth and built it into an enormous castle of sand. When viewed as a whole however one sees the male parallel to Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism..

    Without whitey and his ways, Taleb would have just been the hottest camel herder on the sand dune. He knows it just as every homely broad knows, every negro knows, and every street shitting hinpooh knows. His wiki photo tells all:

  25. anon[126] • Disclaimer says:

    My problem with Taleb: is he just too busy, or too smart, to make his meaning plain to dummies like me? Or is the subject under discussion so inherently complicated that it can’t be made any plainer?

    Or is he talking out of his arse?

    I know I can’t tell the difference. I suspect a lot of people who are in the same boat as me will err on the side of “it’s not bullshit”, for fear of looking foolish in case it really isn’t.

    So some of those who claim to understand him are lying, but perhaps some aren’t, and there really is something there to understand. Again, I can’t tell the difference. It’s very vexing.

    I suppose I could take the time to study enough mathematics and philosophy (e.g., learn whatever “convexity” actually means – because it surely means something other than what my dictionary is telling me) but (a) who gives a shit?, and (b) suppose he is talking out of his arse: then my time would have been wasted. Is whatever he’s selling worth the risk to my time? Probably not.

    It’s a shame: much of what he says sounds very reasonable (e.g. the education system doesn’t educate, rather trains people to be obedient and conformist), but I don’t know whether I ought to be taking him seriously at all. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, and all that.

    Moral of the story: if you’re going to publish your enlightening philosophy, it’s a good idea to make it easily distinguishable from a load of old guff. Otherwise people will disregard it, and your time will have been wasted.

    • Agree: silviosilver
    • Replies: @Simon Tugmutton
    He does come across as an obfuscatory knowall unencumbered by low self-esteem. If he really wants to influence people, and if his arguments really do have merit, he needs to use plainer language so that we dummies can understand his Important Thoughts.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=feynman+technique&t=ffab&ia=web
    , @Chrisnonymous
    I don't think he's talking out of his arse, but I don't have the ability to critique his critique of the literature. And apparently nobody else here does either.

    If Taleb dismissed IQ entirely, I 'd dismiss him. But he doesn't. He accepts it is predictive at the low end --a measure of unintelligence, he says. That seems reasonable to me. It's down to the research. Unfortunately, iSteve commenters and Steve himself aren't really engaging on that front.

    I think Taleb makes inflammatory statements, like calling IQ pseudoscience. It obviously isn't. But he may be right that what is assessed in an IQ test is not something that is highly predictive of life outcomes for people above average on that test.

    Again, it comes down to the research, and Taleb is making claims about it that I can't evaluate.
  26. @Alfa158
    Say, that’s a great new tack for your running spoof of Lefties: pretending to be innumerate. I had not suggested that as part of my comments when I was coaching you, so I’m pleased you came up with it on your own.

    Will 2019 bring more Tiny Ducks?

    New handle ideas for new iterations in the Tiny Duck series:

    – Tiny Duck,
    – TinyDuck,
    – TinyDuck
    – TinyDukkk
    – TinyDuck.
    – Tiny_Duck
    – Enormous Mallard

    • Troll: Tiny Duck.
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    I'm going with Microencephalitic Quetzalcoatlus, for the win.
    , @wow
    I always thought Tiny Duck was the UNZ satirist...bad satire, but a satirist nonetheless.
  27. @anon
    ...is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?

    Either that or he personally doesn't score as highly as he would like. I know that's why I think IQ is bullshit.

    Taleb’s a mathematician who’s also a philologist. I’m pretty sure he has a high IQ.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Taleb’s a mathematician who’s also a philologist. I’m pretty sure he has a high IQ.
     
    Has he been a beneficiary of affirmative action?
    , @anon
    Yes, outrageous to suggest that a credentialed academic isn't necessarily intelligent. Who would think such a thing, except for me and Nassem Taleb?
    , @Art Deco
    No. Finance maven. And not extensively published in peer-reviewed fora prior to 2008.
  28. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux
    This is just sad.....

    If you want to detect how someone fares at a task, say loan sharking, tennis playing, or random matrix theory, make him/her do that task; we don’t need theoretical exams for a real world function by probability-challenged psychologists.
     
    Certain kinds of jobs (surgeon, lawyer, etc) take quite a bit of training....You know, time+money (student loans).....Don't you think that it might be a good idea to give people a relatively inexpensive test before we start encouraging fellows who will never pass the bar exam to go to law school.....

    We’d be better off with more med schools and more med school starts but more washouts: 95% of people who start med school finish, which means something is up. It doesn’t need to wash out 75% of people like BUD/S (it costs more to put someone through BUD/S than med school by the way) but some should be washing out.

    The seat is not precious.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    What is BUD/S?
    , @Darin
    What about the students' opportunity cost? The seat is at least sort-of precious.
  29. The fact that the descendants of early 20th Century waves of Levantine peasant emigrants do well in the US and Europe & dominate Latin American politics & business, and current Lebanese keep the Gulf monarchies running is a good reason to doubt the business of national IQ scores, at least when it comes to the Levant.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Number of billionaires at home in the diaspora is a pretty good measure, and Lebanese (e.g., Carlos Slim) don't do badly in that.
    , @Jack D
    This give you no reason to doubt IQ. " National Averages" are deceptive when you speak about countries that contain two or more distinct populations. The Lebanese who have been successful abroad are mostly Christians like Taleb, a high IQ group. In the Gulf you might get high IQ urbanized Sunni from Beirut. Since a lot of the Christians and smarter Muslims have left and since the dumb Shiite peasants in the countryside have a high birth rate, Lebanon is now a low IQ country. What you have said is like saying that present day Detroit gives you reason to doubt the IQ of Henry Ford. These are not the same Detroiters and those are not the same Lebanese.
  30. @Hail
    Will 2019 bring more Tiny Ducks?

    New handle ideas for new iterations in the Tiny Duck series:

    - Tiny Duck,
    - TinyDuck,
    - TinyDuck
    - TinyDukkk
    - TinyDuck.
    - Tiny_Duck
    - Enormous Mallard

    I’m going with Microencephalitic Quetzalcoatlus, for the win.

    • Replies: @Hail

    Microencephalitic Quetzalcoatlus
     
    Whiskey-induced? [#114]
  31. @egregious philbin
    Nassim Taleb IS the pseudoscientific swindle.

    he should start at Jensen's 1980 Bias in Mental Testing & work forward from there. It's no use arguing with someone who hasn't done their homework.

    Nassim Taleb IS the pseudoscientific swindle.

    he should start at Jensen’s 1980 Bias in Mental Testing & work forward from there. It’s no use arguing with someone who hasn’t done their homework.

    Is any of Taleb’s work worth reading?

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    Is any of Taleb’s work worth reading?
     
    I tried one book of his (Anti-Fragile), and I say "No." He's basically an even more annoying version of Malcom Gladwell. It's all circular and/or trivial BS packaged in a jargon of his own invention. Yecht!

    If you already know that big, unpredictable events can be important then you won't learn anything knew.

    I have never heard anyone summarize any idea of his that wasn't dumb or obvious.
  32. @scumbag
    Taleb might have a bit of a point.


    Let me give you and example. Alabama is playing for a 13th national title since 1960 in football in 7 days.

    1961, 64,65,73,78,79,92,90,11,12,15,17, .....18?

    The ENTIRE Pac10, a great football conference which has put mucho talent into the NFL has only 8 since 1960. USC has 7, Washington 1.


    13>8 right?


    Wrong. Many USC teams alone would have beaten Alabama since 1960, and a All-Pac10 team would have beaten Alabama every single year since 1960. A few outlier, workaholic, talented individuals with high IQs accomplish a ton, but a lot of people with impressive IQ scores really dont amount to very much.

    There is some other drive, not-quit, enthusiasm, optimistic factor there somewhere we cannot discount I think.

    I don’t see the analogy you are trying to draw. Which is the football group with the extra factor?

  33. @syonredux
    MMM, is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don't do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score? If so, this seems to be taking it a tad far.....

    “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.
     
    Yeah, just as I thought. He's upset that hairy men who wear gold chains tend not to do as well as people who look like Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs......

    racists/eugenists, people bent on showing some populations have inferior mental abilities based on IQ test=intelligence who have been upset with me for suddenly robbing them of a “scientific” tool (as evidenced by the bitter reactions to the initial post on twitter/smear campaigns by such mountebanks as Charles Murray).
     
    Look, I'm sorry, but greater Syria just hasn't done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years....

    psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers (military, large corporations) buying the “this is the best measure in psychology” argument when it is not even technically a measure 

     

    Dunno. Tossing out IQ scores seems like a bad idea.....After all, the US military tried a little experiment along those lines back in the '60s...


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    Project 100,000 (also McNamara's 100,000) was a 1960s program by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to recruit soldiers that would previously have been below military mental or medical standards. Project 100,000 was initiated by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in October 1966 to meet the escalating manpower requirements during American involvement in the Vietnam War and ended in December 1971.[1]
     

    At various times in its history, the United States military has recruited people who measured below specific mental and medical standards. Those who scored in certain lower percentiles of mental aptitude tests were admitted into service during World War II, though this experience eventually led to a legal floor of IQ 80 to enlist. Another instance occurred in the 1980s due to a misnormed Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.[2]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….

    What about Steve Jobs?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Steve Jobs wasn't the richest, but I'd probably say he was the greatest businessman of my lifetime. He's half-Syrian genetically.

    The smartest guy at the company of 2000 I worked at in Chicago was a Christian guy from Lebanon.

    Lebanese, like Israelis, tend to be really brusque, so you have to keep that in mind and try not to get offended by them. I had to keep that in mind at my old market research job because the Lebanese genius executive could be quite rude, but, judging him on the Levantine curve, he wasn't brusquer than normal. Plus he was almost always right and obviously was going to rise very high in the company hierarchy.

    The Levant produces some fine businessmen.

    , @syonredux

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….

    What about Steve Jobs?
     
    50% German.

    Plus, he was not exactly in the same league as guys like Claude Shannon and Jack Kilby......
    , @Anon
    Greater Syria hasn't had enough stability or freedom in the last 500 years to provide the sort of environment in which the arts and sciences can flourish. When you're got a crazy religion and crazy politics and wars, the arts and sciences are screwed.
  34. @Dave Pinsen
    Taleb's a mathematician who's also a philologist. I'm pretty sure he has a high IQ.

    Taleb’s a mathematician who’s also a philologist. I’m pretty sure he has a high IQ.

    Has he been a beneficiary of affirmative action?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Is there affirmative action in book sales?
  35. This is just the flipside of Harmon’s tirade.

    1. Difference between black & white IQ are “primarily” environmental (Collins).

    2. IQ doesn’t mean anything anyway (Taleb).

    3. Therefore, we don’t have to worry about IQ at all in relation to blacks, immigrants, etc. It’s just not a factor. Once the immigrants get here we’ll change their environment and their IQs will be the same as whites and if they aren’t, IQ doesn’t mean squat anyway. So all you white people go back to sleep and don’t worry about all those 3rd world people arriving in the West.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    So all you white people go back to sleep and don’t worry about all those 3rd world people arriving in the West.
     
    Haven't Jews been able to thrive just fine in purportedly "low IQ" environments? (South Africa, North Africa, LatAm, Middle East, urban America, etc.) What is the concern?
  36. Taleb:

    No measure that fails 60–95% of the time should be part of “science”.

    Sailer:

    I dunno … A measure that succeeds 5-40% of the time sounds helpful to me

    .

    Sailer is admitting that Taleb is right with this weak response. Obviously IQ is not science. It just looks more “scientific” than the previous version of racial pseudoscience: nazi whackjobs running around Europe with calipers, measuring heads to decide which europeans were Aryan/Germanic and which subhuman/Slavic.

    • Troll: Lot
    • Replies: @El Dato
    The real question is:

    What does "failure" or "success" even mean?

    At this level, they are just words being thrown out, meant to elicit reader response.

    nazi whackjobs running around Europe with calipers, measuring heads to decide which europeans were Aryan/Germanic and which subhuman/Slavic.
     
    Nice rhetorical mix of a criterium that might at least be objective (Germanic/Slavic) and a criterium that is supremacist (Aryan/subhuman). Even if you find the latter distasteful, it doesn't follow that the former is necessarily void. This should be obvious.
    , @Peter Johnson
    That was almost a century ago.

    Your argument is equivalent to criticizing modern medicine by discussing early 20th century miracle-potion manufacturers and saying that ancient history proves that modern medicine is a sham.

    Plomin's recent book reviews how IQ differences can now be linked to DNA differences at the chemical level via polygenic index scores. We have come a long way from calipers to measure head sizes. Criticize modern research, not the ancient history of science.
    , @Jack D

    Obviously IQ is not science. It just looks more “scientific” than the previous version of racial pseudoscience:
     
    You could say this about virtually any psychological test and virtually all of the social sciences but we haven't shut down all the psych and social science depts. in universities and declared them "pseudoscience".

    The human brain is complex and we don't have the tools to measure it directly the way you measure blood pressure or strength. The measures that we have are imperfect and indirect but they are the best tools that we have and they are much better than nothing. The solution is to keep working on better tools, not just to abandon the effort. The human genome was not sequenced until the beginning of the 21st century. This doesn't mean that all of genetics prior to 2001 was "pseudoscience".

    BTW, studying cranial capacity is not as stupid as Gould would have you think. Again it is an imperfect measure but it is not without meaning. Leftists love to cloth themselves in the mantle of science and to dismiss things that they don't like as "unscientific" . Communism itself was supposed to be "scientific socialism". Belief in climate change is "science". But if you look closely, they are just playing mind games - the stuff that they like is "science" because they say so and the stuff they don't like is "pseudoscience" also because they say so. Often the difference between a "science" and a "pseudoscience" is whether Leftists like it or not.

  37. I didn’t bother to read the linked article, but in a way he is right and wrong. IQ is only a metric for g which is more of an abstruse topic. The only thing you can really say is that people who naturally do better at these sorts of simple questions are advantaged over those that fail altogether.

  38. Let me get this straight. You bozos think Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb?! Just because he affirms your pea-brained prejudices?! Nassim Taleb?! Do you know who he is?!

    I love how you not only think a moke like Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb. You think you are smarter! Hardeharhardeharhar.

    Also, just to keep things in perspective. Little Nigerian girls in England are smarter than you are.

    • Replies: @Joe, Averaged
    Interestingly, you know that the Nigerian girls in England are smarter than me because of their test results.
    , @Mr. Anon
    That's assuming that Taleb's assumptions are true. Why should I think they are? My experience has been that, in technical subjects, grades (which, ultimately mean test-scores) correlate pretty well with intelligence and actual ability.
    , @duncsbaby
    I'm pretty sure you left off a "har," there at the end. (A little Nigerian girl in England told me.)
    , @silviosilver
    How many Nigerians would Nassim Taleb want in Lebanon?
    , @Big Bill

    Also, just to keep things in perspective. Little Nigerian girls in England are smarter than you are.
     
    Well, let's be honest here. Not all little Nigerian girls. Little Igbo girls, maybe. And little Igbo girls with genes from parents who were smart enough and capable enough get the hell out of Nigeria probably are.

    Really, who on earth wants to spend their life supporting a bunch of dumb Hausa and Fulani in Nigeria if you have enough smarts to go live with intelligent, peaceful white folks in England?
  39. @syonredux
    MMM, is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don't do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score? If so, this seems to be taking it a tad far.....

    “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.
     
    Yeah, just as I thought. He's upset that hairy men who wear gold chains tend not to do as well as people who look like Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs......

    racists/eugenists, people bent on showing some populations have inferior mental abilities based on IQ test=intelligence who have been upset with me for suddenly robbing them of a “scientific” tool (as evidenced by the bitter reactions to the initial post on twitter/smear campaigns by such mountebanks as Charles Murray).
     
    Look, I'm sorry, but greater Syria just hasn't done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years....

    psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers (military, large corporations) buying the “this is the best measure in psychology” argument when it is not even technically a measure 

     

    Dunno. Tossing out IQ scores seems like a bad idea.....After all, the US military tried a little experiment along those lines back in the '60s...


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    Project 100,000 (also McNamara's 100,000) was a 1960s program by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to recruit soldiers that would previously have been below military mental or medical standards. Project 100,000 was initiated by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in October 1966 to meet the escalating manpower requirements during American involvement in the Vietnam War and ended in December 1971.[1]
     

    At various times in its history, the United States military has recruited people who measured below specific mental and medical standards. Those who scored in certain lower percentiles of mental aptitude tests were admitted into service during World War II, though this experience eventually led to a legal floor of IQ 80 to enlist. Another instance occurred in the 1980s due to a misnormed Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.[2]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?

    Lol. All you alt-right IQists should be butthurt too. For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders…

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    • Replies: @El Dato


    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?
     
    That there are many happy merchants in Lebanon?
    , @syonredux

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?

    Lol. All you alt-right IQists should be butthurt too. For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders…

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?
     
    That West Eurasian ethnies show variation in IQ?
    , @Hypnotoad666

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?
     
    That all the smart Lebanese emigrated to America a long time ago.
    , @Jack D

    For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders…
     
    Getting reliable IQ scores from some countries is difficult. Lebanon has been war torn and largely without a functional central government for decades, the education system has been disrupted, etc.
    Nevertheless, you have to be suspicious of any measure that averages a group of non-disabled white people below 80 - such scores are just not seen in whites or even Arab countries that don't have a large infusion of African DNA. Low 80's however is common in Arab countries. Shiite peasants are a pretty dumb group for white people and the US has spent billions if not trillions trying to educate and elevate African Americans (who also have a large white DNA component) so it wouldn't totally shock me if they scored a couple of points higher under current conditions. This is not really reflective of their natural talents under equal conditions.
    , @james wilson
    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    It tells me that there are those who have bred with first cousins for generations, and that those that don't have left. One group appears to be Muslim, and the other Christian.
  40. Taleb doesn’t like the fact that low IQ borrowing behaviour caused the last crash, not some hand wavey ‘black swan’ nonsense. Also, you should read his stuff about how Lebs are not Arabs at all, but Phoenician /European. He’s intensely sensitive about racial hierarchies.

    Also – roid rage.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Taleb doesn’t like the fact that low IQ borrowing behaviour caused the last crash, not some hand wavey ‘black swan’ nonsense.

    IIRC, subprime and Alt-A loans accounted for about 16% of outstanding mortgage debt at the end of 2008. The bulk of the negative equity was on prime loans and most of the value of delinquent loans was traceable to prime borrowers. Bad underwriting was a problem, but just one aspect of the crisis. Another was that about 10% of commercial banks' asset portfolios were invested in mortgage-backed-securities whose value was uncertain. They were derived from mortgage pools with escalating delinquency rates, and the two companies who assembled the pools were by then dependent on the U.S. Treasury to stay in business. The country's foremost insurance company was discovered to have written $400 bn worth of credit protection on pools the composition of which they did not know, and just warehoused the risk (other actors trading in these derivatives generally bought and sold credit protection). Another problem was the advent of universal banking in 1999. The FDIC had no history of running a universal bank as a receiver and the country's premier universal bank (Citigroup) was all but insolvent; also, 70% of its deposits were domiciled abroad. All these things these companies did to distribute risk actually spread it like a contagion.
  41. Why is it that a business school professor whose scholarly publications up to 2008 consisted of a couple of articles in finance journals is considered some sort of oracle on all human sciences? Hasn’t anyone bothered to compare his predictions ca. 2008 with what actually happened over the next 10 years?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Is any of his work worth reading?
    , @anon
    Hasn’t anyone bothered to compare his predictions ca. 2008 with what actually happened over the next 10 years?

    Have you?
  42. Nassim Taleb appreciates real world experience over theory. He is somewhat hostile to the idea of IQ tests because it doesn’t allow for 2nd order effects. On an IQ test all the necessary knowledge is contained in the short question; but in the real world decisions are almost always made with incomplete knowledge(uncertainty). People who are good at IQ tests but bad at thinking things through he refers to as IYIs(Intellectual yet Idiot). These IYIs have been in positions of influence in the West for decades now and when have you ever heard any one of them say anything that indicates they think beyond 1st order effects? Practically never; whether it be the Iraq war, the housing crisis, immigration, crime etc…

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….

    I believe this is due to the influence of Islam and the Turks. If Near Eastern Christians had their own country in the Middle East it would be comparable to most European countries. As Ibn Khaldun wrote, “Places that succumb to the Arabs are quickly ruined.”

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….

    I believe this is due to the influence of Islam and the Turks. If Near Eastern Christians had their own country in the Middle East it would be comparable to most European countries.As Ibn Khaldun wrote, “Places that succumb to the Arabs are quickly ruined.”
     
    Might be something to that. At the very least, it doesn't seem to be helping....
    , @Anonymous

    These IYIs have been in positions of influence in the West for decades now and when have you ever heard any one of them say anything that indicates they think beyond 1st order effects? Practically never; whether it be the Iraq war, the housing crisis, immigration, crime etc…
     
    Quite often, actually. "Say anything," occasionally. "Do something," constantly. Israel's relative power in the Middle East has increased, and the destruction of White population groups in the United States, Canada, and Europe continues apace.
    , @Jack D
    In the Islamic Golden Age (8th to the 14th century), Damascus (along with Baghdad and Cordoba) was a great center of learning, exceeding anything that was being done in Europe at the same time. We are used to thinking of the European world as advanced and the Arab world as backward but that wasn't always true. But then the Islamic world stagnated and Europe had the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution so Syria was left far behind.
    , @anonymous

    I believe this is due to the influence of Islam and the Turks. ... As Ibn Khaldun wrote, “Places that succumb to the Arabs are quickly ruined.”
     
    I have a quote; anonymous wrote, "Those who exult too much, in time will scream as much in agony."

    I guess you have no idea of the ruination which awaits you pagans, and the other assorted godless of your ilk.

    Perhaps y'all could harness your earthly ingenuity to make your fiery eternal life easier on the hide... space suits maybe... hmph! rofl!!!

  43. Taleb’s basic argument is that the number IQ is dubious on how it is derived. Furthermore, no matter what you do to massage or masturbate the number it’s not relevant and anyone who believes it has some validity is either a racist or a Eugenicist and so forth.

    Taleb has made some interesting points and few people on the planet probably have his mathematical ability. However, like the physicists Taleb decries he has fallen into his own trap. What he can prove mathematically like many theoretical physicists appears to have limited validity in the real world.

    Africa is a cesspool and there is no way of getting around it. It may take a certain IQ to be an engineer, let’s say 120. Having an IQ of 120 gives one the potential to be an engineer; it doesn’t guarantee it because one needs certain other aptitudes to be an engineer. Taleb seems impervious to the real world. The average IQ of most African countries is disastrous to put it mildly. Africa lacks proper infrastructure. When the British and other colonial powers left the native populations were unable to do much for upkeep or to develop anything new. The system collapsed. China and other countries are now building such structures at a severe price as Kenyans just found out with one of their ports being taken over by the Chinese.

    The reason that sub-saharian African was such a mess is because their civilizations consisted of tribal war lording factions which is still part of the problem today. They didn’t build squat. They had some better civilizations in the Nubian time period (which lasted less than 100 years) but for the most part these were not inquisitive motivated people and still are not in many respects. They produced lots of people and sold them into slavery by various war lords….mostly to the Muslims who contrary to the recent rewriting of history were and still are the greatest slave traders of all time. They were not exploratory…because they couldn’t build a boat to get off the damn continent.

    Perhaps Taleb thinks these people are suddenly going to become engineers and scientists by something in the air. The problem is the way the world is we don’t have another 3000 years to find out because of disease, famine, overpopulation, pollution and host of the problems. My friends work in Africa in the medical, scientific, and travel industries and they believe the continent will collapse. When you have a base population which consists of small group of really smart people, a small group of average intellects, and massive population of low IQ types democracies and civilizations are rare indeed. Many blacks in America and other Western nations have a chance to succeed because we have an infrastructure where they can fit in…like a niche whether it’s sports, music, entertainment or whatever. Without this infrastructure and lots of low IQs you get what you get in Africa.

    I will leave the Great Taleb with a quote from Bill Parcels: You are what your record shows you are and what does the record show for Africa and other places with such low IQs!

    • Agree: jim jones
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Related.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/1079668237145722882
  44. @syonredux
    This is just sad.....

    If you want to detect how someone fares at a task, say loan sharking, tennis playing, or random matrix theory, make him/her do that task; we don’t need theoretical exams for a real world function by probability-challenged psychologists.
     
    Certain kinds of jobs (surgeon, lawyer, etc) take quite a bit of training....You know, time+money (student loans).....Don't you think that it might be a good idea to give people a relatively inexpensive test before we start encouraging fellows who will never pass the bar exam to go to law school.....

    True. And conversely, proxy tests are a great way to quickly figure out if someone is suited to a task. E.g., if there was a written test that made a good proxy for tennis talent, it would make a lot of sense to use it to screen applicants, because then you wouldn’t need a fucking tennis court, a racket (which might get broken), tennis shoes, or the risk of running some unqualified uncoordinated destined-to-injure-himself boob around at high speed, etc.

    Fuck this guy’s stupid. Or dishonest. Given his ethnic background (west & south Asians lie like rugs) and reputation, probably the latter.

  45. @gp
    I've always scored well on IQ tests and aptitude tests. I can't say that my test-taking skills led to any greater success or happiness in life. If I had it to do over again, I'd rather be popular, than be a good test-taker. EQ >> IQ.

    Conscientiousness>IQ>EQ

    IQ + conscientiousness will deliver you EQ. EQ doesn’t deliver shit. Put another way, IQ is a proxy for EQ, but the reverse is not true. People with high IQs who do poorly on EQ tests are spergs who refuse to do well on EQ tests because too honest. Bullshitting is 90% of EQ.

    People fixate on IQ because it’s important AND pretty easy to measure.

    • Replies: @Svigor
    Meaning, if you have a high IQ you can easily ace an EQ test by simply giving the answers you know the test-makers want to hear. Which is as it should be; that's WTF EQ is. The reverse is not true; you can't use your feelz to ace an IQ test. IQ is real, EQ is bullshit.

    None of which I mean to diminish the handicap represented by autism/aspergers/etc.

    , @Hypnotoad666
    Didn't Gardner eventually have to admit that his whole "multiple intelligences" theory never actually panned out empirically?
    , @res
    I think there is something to EQ beyond IQ. Two elements are:
    - Ability to read emotions. This is probably correlated with IQ, but autism etc. clearly shows there is a distinction.
    - Ability to act in a way that appeals to others emotionally. (similar correlation/distinction)

    Both of those significantly load on conscientiousness, cultural affinity/knowledge, and willingness to conform IMO.

    If it were possible to get a good measure of EQ (I have yet to see one) it would be much more interesting and useful. Which brings us to...

    People fixate on IQ because it’s important AND pretty easy to measure.
     
    Strongly agree with this. I would add the characteristics of age stability (you can get pretty good results from children!) and broad applicability. IQ may matter more in some areas than others, but it seems to be important in most. Just perhaps not the most important thing in any one area (there is a reason the ASVAB has eight subject areas: https://www.todaysmilitary.com/videos/meps-asvab-testing-and-career-counseling )

    P.S. Some things to be cautious about when looking at studies which minimize the importance of IQ.
    - Selection effects. Looking at a trait in pre-selected populations (e.g. those who succeeded at business or specifically financial trading, or the NBA) is different from looking at that trait in the entire population. Arguably this is the key point and the others below are just refinements or examples of it.
    - IQ frequency distribution. As iSteve notes there are many more people in the broad middle than at the extremes. If there is a 200x difference in the number of people with IQ 130 compared to 160 then unless IQ is all important there is a good chance one of those 200 will get a (much!) better draw of luck and/or other skills.
    - Related to both of those is something which I think may affect Taleb. If one has been in a highly selected environment (e.g. elite colleges, elite financial traders, etc.) then it is likely the lower IQ people in those groups have been truly exceptional in something else needed to succeed there. They are NOT representative of the broader population at that IQ level. The height in the NBA analogy is useful here.
    - Restriction of range. Statistically, if you only look at part of a range for a trait (e.g. rough IQ thresholds in college, grad school, professions, etc.) the apparent correlation with that trait will be reduced http://davidmlane.com/hyperstat/A68809.html This applies to all parts of the range (e.g. looking at welfare recipients or professions which draw disproportionately from lower or intermediate parts of the IQ range).
  46. @Jack D
    This is just the flipside of Harmon's tirade.

    1. Difference between black & white IQ are "primarily" environmental (Collins).

    2. IQ doesn't mean anything anyway (Taleb).

    3. Therefore, we don't have to worry about IQ at all in relation to blacks, immigrants, etc. It's just not a factor. Once the immigrants get here we'll change their environment and their IQs will be the same as whites and if they aren't, IQ doesn't mean squat anyway. So all you white people go back to sleep and don't worry about all those 3rd world people arriving in the West.

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/08/05/us/05onfire1_xp/05onfire1_xp-jumbo-v2.jpg

    So all you white people go back to sleep and don’t worry about all those 3rd world people arriving in the West.

    Haven’t Jews been able to thrive just fine in purportedly “low IQ” environments? (South Africa, North Africa, LatAm, Middle East, urban America, etc.) What is the concern?

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Haven’t Jews been able to thrive just fine in purportedly “low IQ” environments? (South Africa, North Africa, LatAm, Middle East, urban America, etc.) What is the concern?
     
    Not all of us are Fred Reed......
    , @bomag

    Haven’t Jews been able to thrive just fine in purportedly “low IQ” environments? (South Africa, North Africa, LatAm, Middle East, urban America, etc.)
     
    Uhm, that kinda requires having a stable, agreeable West for support and trade.
  47. @Art Deco
    Why is it that a business school professor whose scholarly publications up to 2008 consisted of a couple of articles in finance journals is considered some sort of oracle on all human sciences? Hasn't anyone bothered to compare his predictions ca. 2008 with what actually happened over the next 10 years?

    Is any of his work worth reading?

    • Replies: @AKAHorace
    The Black Swan is pretty good. His more recent material is often riffs of this. He is always worth reading, but he has taken so many positions on such a wide range of issues that he is bound to be wrong at least occasionally. He does not seem to be capable of respecting anyone who disagrees with him.
  48. @Dave Pinsen
    Taleb's a mathematician who's also a philologist. I'm pretty sure he has a high IQ.

    Yes, outrageous to suggest that a credentialed academic isn’t necessarily intelligent. Who would think such a thing, except for me and Nassem Taleb?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    I didn't mention anything about his academic credentials there.
  49. @Svigor
    Conscientiousness>IQ>EQ

    IQ + conscientiousness will deliver you EQ. EQ doesn't deliver shit. Put another way, IQ is a proxy for EQ, but the reverse is not true. People with high IQs who do poorly on EQ tests are spergs who refuse to do well on EQ tests because too honest. Bullshitting is 90% of EQ.

    People fixate on IQ because it's important AND pretty easy to measure.

    Meaning, if you have a high IQ you can easily ace an EQ test by simply giving the answers you know the test-makers want to hear. Which is as it should be; that’s WTF EQ is. The reverse is not true; you can’t use your feelz to ace an IQ test. IQ is real, EQ is bullshit.

    None of which I mean to diminish the handicap represented by autism/aspergers/etc.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute

    if you have a high IQ you can easily ace an EQ test by simply giving the answers you know the test-makers want to hear.
     
    Exactly, years ago I did the implicit bias test and it showed I’m biased in favor of negro children and against my own white kin. Tests like the MMPI are no different. They’re all very easy to troll if you’re somewhat bright and motivated to screw with the proctor.
  50. @Art Deco
    Why is it that a business school professor whose scholarly publications up to 2008 consisted of a couple of articles in finance journals is considered some sort of oracle on all human sciences? Hasn't anyone bothered to compare his predictions ca. 2008 with what actually happened over the next 10 years?

    Hasn’t anyone bothered to compare his predictions ca. 2008 with what actually happened over the next 10 years?

    Have you?

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Has anyone bothered to compare Art Deco's predictions with anything that's actually happened?
    , @Art Deco
    You've forgotten that ca. 2008 he was a purveyor of the most lurid disaster scenarios and was of the opinion that banks would be reduced to custodial functions.
  51. @syonredux
    This is just sad.....

    If you want to detect how someone fares at a task, say loan sharking, tennis playing, or random matrix theory, make him/her do that task; we don’t need theoretical exams for a real world function by probability-challenged psychologists.
     
    Certain kinds of jobs (surgeon, lawyer, etc) take quite a bit of training....You know, time+money (student loans).....Don't you think that it might be a good idea to give people a relatively inexpensive test before we start encouraging fellows who will never pass the bar exam to go to law school.....

    Didn’t William Buckley once say that he would rather be ruled by the first 400 names in the Boston phone directory than the faculty at Harvard?

    Certainly the faculty at Harvard would have higher IQs and would be much more likely to pass a bar exam but none of this is real world experience. I believe most conservatives would rather have our representatives chosen by lot than be governed by the Harvard faculty. Why? Because we understand on some level that your average Joe would make better decisions than high IQ Harvard professors.

    So if we got rid of test taking who would appear “smarter” based on real world outcomes which is what actually matters?

    • Replies: @miss marple
    The old way of describing high IQ ridiculousness was to say someone had book smarts vs street smarts. My take is that academic types deal in untested theory more than reality. It could also be that they're aware of potential pitfalls but experiment recklessly every chance they get anyway.
    , @syonredux

    So if we got rid of test taking who would appear “smarter” based on real world outcomes which is what actually matters?
     
    "Real world outcome." You mean like designing an airplane or performing brain surgery? Well, I suppose that we could just start letting random guys off the street take a stab at it......You know, so we could see how they do....
    , @reiner Tor
    The issue with this Harvard example is that I think the Boston phone directory people would be even more susceptible to manipulation by media moguls. They’d simply be watching TV and doing whatever comes to their minds. They would also be even easier than career politicians to bribe or pressure into doing things, in case the manipulation didn’t work.
  52. Anon[304] • Disclaimer says:

    Low IQ people will always believe that IQ tests are a crock because of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Dumb people honestly believe they’re smarter than they are, so they don’t believe it when they score low on an IQ score. They think the test is rigged against them.

    Dunning-Kruger also indicates that people with high IQs tend to underestimate their own intelligence level. Many smart white liberals are convinced that they’re not that bright in comparison to other races, so when they get high test scores, they think it’s because of white privilege, not their brains. They think IQ tests are rigged in their favor for cultural reasons.

    Between both sets of these yo-yos, you can’t get any truth about IQ into the heads of the public.

  53. @tanabear
    Didn't William Buckley once say that he would rather be ruled by the first 400 names in the Boston phone directory than the faculty at Harvard?

    Certainly the faculty at Harvard would have higher IQs and would be much more likely to pass a bar exam but none of this is real world experience. I believe most conservatives would rather have our representatives chosen by lot than be governed by the Harvard faculty. Why? Because we understand on some level that your average Joe would make better decisions than high IQ Harvard professors.

    So if we got rid of test taking who would appear "smarter" based on real world outcomes which is what actually matters?

    The old way of describing high IQ ridiculousness was to say someone had book smarts vs street smarts. My take is that academic types deal in untested theory more than reality. It could also be that they’re aware of potential pitfalls but experiment recklessly every chance they get anyway.

  54. @Anonymous

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….
     
    What about Steve Jobs?

    Steve Jobs wasn’t the richest, but I’d probably say he was the greatest businessman of my lifetime. He’s half-Syrian genetically.

    The smartest guy at the company of 2000 I worked at in Chicago was a Christian guy from Lebanon.

    Lebanese, like Israelis, tend to be really brusque, so you have to keep that in mind and try not to get offended by them. I had to keep that in mind at my old market research job because the Lebanese genius executive could be quite rude, but, judging him on the Levantine curve, he wasn’t brusquer than normal. Plus he was almost always right and obviously was going to rise very high in the company hierarchy.

    The Levant produces some fine businessmen.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Lebanese also produce bright, attractive women, especially the Christian ones (though they tend to be a bit hirsute for my aesthetic taste).
    , @Anonymous
    Steve, what skills and talents in your opinion make for a good businessman? Like, what sort of thing was this guy constantly right about and how was he able to do it?
    , @Sarah Toga
    Since IQ is said to mostly come from the mother, wouldn't Mr. Jobs' white/Euro ancestors be most responsible for his smarts?
  55. IQ testing can effectively tell apart the smart from the dumb. But it can’t tell apart inspired intelligence from uninspired intelligence.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    IQ testing can effectively tell apart the smart from the dumb. But it can’t tell apart inspired intelligence from uninspired intelligence.
     
    Quite true. But Taleb doesn't want to stop there.....
  56. @Earl Lemongrab
    The fact that the descendants of early 20th Century waves of Levantine peasant emigrants do well in the US and Europe & dominate Latin American politics & business, and current Lebanese keep the Gulf monarchies running is a good reason to doubt the business of national IQ scores, at least when it comes to the Levant.

    Number of billionaires at home in the diaspora is a pretty good measure, and Lebanese (e.g., Carlos Slim) don’t do badly in that.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Did Carlos Slim come from a family of Levantine peasant immigrants?
  57. @obwandiyag
    Let me get this straight. You bozos think Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb?! Just because he affirms your pea-brained prejudices?! Nassim Taleb?! Do you know who he is?!

    I love how you not only think a moke like Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb. You think you are smarter! Hardeharhardeharhar.

    Also, just to keep things in perspective. Little Nigerian girls in England are smarter than you are.

    Interestingly, you know that the Nigerian girls in England are smarter than me because of their test results.

  58. @Anonymous

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….
     
    What about Steve Jobs?

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….

    What about Steve Jobs?

    50% German.

    Plus, he was not exactly in the same league as guys like Claude Shannon and Jack Kilby……

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Germans don't act like Steve Jobs. Jobs was 100% Levantine asshole in demeanor.
  59. @Anonymous
    Is any of his work worth reading?

    The Black Swan is pretty good. His more recent material is often riffs of this. He is always worth reading, but he has taken so many positions on such a wide range of issues that he is bound to be wrong at least occasionally. He does not seem to be capable of respecting anyone who disagrees with him.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Thank you.
    , @The Anti-Gnostic
    He's obviously a good trader, getting rich enough to hire Mark Rippetoe as his personal strength coach. People have decided they've got it all figured out with a lot less under their belts.

    I agree with syonredux's point. Taleb probably has some nationalist sensitivity on this issue. He's also correct that "IQ isn't everything," since plenty of high-IQ people believe stupid things like socialism and multiculturalism.
  60. it doesn’t satisfy the monotonicity and transitivity required to have a measure

    Wow mathematics words. Impressive. Not really.

    Do I really need to say that “human-scale” environment doesn’t work like a mathematical space?

    Yes, it should be an “IQ Vector” not an “IQ Value”. Deal with it.

    Protip: “redness” doesn’t satisfy monotonicity and transitivity either, but it’s pretty useful for picking out the berries.

    who have been upset with me for suddenly robbing them

    Overestimating one’s power outside the blogosphere.

  61. @Anon
    IQ testing can effectively tell apart the smart from the dumb. But it can't tell apart inspired intelligence from uninspired intelligence.

    IQ testing can effectively tell apart the smart from the dumb. But it can’t tell apart inspired intelligence from uninspired intelligence.

    Quite true. But Taleb doesn’t want to stop there…..

    • Replies: @Anon
    Is there a way to test ingenuity?

    It seems so smart people just learned to study and regurgitate.
  62. @anon
    Hasn’t anyone bothered to compare his predictions ca. 2008 with what actually happened over the next 10 years?

    Have you?

    Has anyone bothered to compare Art Deco’s predictions with anything that’s actually happened?

  63. @syonredux
    MMM, is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don't do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score? If so, this seems to be taking it a tad far.....

    “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.
     
    Yeah, just as I thought. He's upset that hairy men who wear gold chains tend not to do as well as people who look like Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs......

    racists/eugenists, people bent on showing some populations have inferior mental abilities based on IQ test=intelligence who have been upset with me for suddenly robbing them of a “scientific” tool (as evidenced by the bitter reactions to the initial post on twitter/smear campaigns by such mountebanks as Charles Murray).
     
    Look, I'm sorry, but greater Syria just hasn't done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years....

    psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers (military, large corporations) buying the “this is the best measure in psychology” argument when it is not even technically a measure 

     

    Dunno. Tossing out IQ scores seems like a bad idea.....After all, the US military tried a little experiment along those lines back in the '60s...


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    Project 100,000 (also McNamara's 100,000) was a 1960s program by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to recruit soldiers that would previously have been below military mental or medical standards. Project 100,000 was initiated by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in October 1966 to meet the escalating manpower requirements during American involvement in the Vietnam War and ended in December 1971.[1]
     

    At various times in its history, the United States military has recruited people who measured below specific mental and medical standards. Those who scored in certain lower percentiles of mental aptitude tests were admitted into service during World War II, though this experience eventually led to a legal floor of IQ 80 to enlist. Another instance occurred in the 1980s due to a misnormed Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.[2]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_100,000

    Does anyone know the IQ of Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs…?
    Maxwell was quite hairy.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Does anyone know the IQ of Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs…?
     
    I'd be willing to bet that it's over 100....

    Maxwell was quite hairy.
     

    Maxwell was quite hairy.
     
    Difficult to imagine Maxwell wearing gold chains....

    http://www.ghettoredhot.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/gangsta-chain-with-cross.jpg

    http://cdn.shutterstock.com/shutterstock/videos/18748211/thumb/10.jpg

    https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*bb514wpWGJY28jcRBz77mg.jpeg
  64. psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers (military, large corporations)

    Right, because those institutions have done so poorly.

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
  65. @Steve Sailer
    Steve Jobs wasn't the richest, but I'd probably say he was the greatest businessman of my lifetime. He's half-Syrian genetically.

    The smartest guy at the company of 2000 I worked at in Chicago was a Christian guy from Lebanon.

    Lebanese, like Israelis, tend to be really brusque, so you have to keep that in mind and try not to get offended by them. I had to keep that in mind at my old market research job because the Lebanese genius executive could be quite rude, but, judging him on the Levantine curve, he wasn't brusquer than normal. Plus he was almost always right and obviously was going to rise very high in the company hierarchy.

    The Levant produces some fine businessmen.

    Lebanese also produce bright, attractive women, especially the Christian ones (though they tend to be a bit hirsute for my aesthetic taste).

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Nothing that a little Nair can't fix.
  66. @tanabear
    Didn't William Buckley once say that he would rather be ruled by the first 400 names in the Boston phone directory than the faculty at Harvard?

    Certainly the faculty at Harvard would have higher IQs and would be much more likely to pass a bar exam but none of this is real world experience. I believe most conservatives would rather have our representatives chosen by lot than be governed by the Harvard faculty. Why? Because we understand on some level that your average Joe would make better decisions than high IQ Harvard professors.

    So if we got rid of test taking who would appear "smarter" based on real world outcomes which is what actually matters?

    So if we got rid of test taking who would appear “smarter” based on real world outcomes which is what actually matters?

    “Real world outcome.” You mean like designing an airplane or performing brain surgery? Well, I suppose that we could just start letting random guys off the street take a stab at it……You know, so we could see how they do….

    • Replies: @tanabear

    You mean like designing an airplane
     
    That is exactly where the airplane came from; high school drop out Orville Wright and his brother Wilbur.

    Nassim Taleb favors tinkering over testing. It is from tinkering that we grow to understand the world not from testing. The medicine we have today didn't come top down from academic medicine but bottom up from the barbers and surgeons. It is tinkerers who make the discoveries then academics who codify and formalize the knowledge.
  67. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Here's 4x WSM Brian Shaw deadlifting 1021 pounds in 2016:

    https://youtu.be/DXJ8YlVQzzg

    I saw this in person. Eddie Hall (to Shaw's right in the background) won the deadlift event pulling 1026, and Thor Bjornsson came in third. Arnold Schwarzenegger and JJ Watt were also on the stage.

    Perhaps Taleb can start schooling people on the pseudoscience behind Caucasians dominating the competitive branches of weight lifting.

    Perhaps Taleb can start schooling people on the pseudoscience behind Caucasians* dominating the competitive branches of weight lifting.

    You mean the PED branches of the weight lifting.

    Tested Olympic contests tend to produce a bit different set of winners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Olympic_medalists_in_weightlifting

    *Actual Caucasians – you know, from the Caucasus – do pretty well.

    • Replies: @EldnaYm
    Why are all the Chinese male weightlifters from the south of China?
    , @MikeatMikedotMike
    "You mean the PED branches of the weight lifting."

    Yes I do and so what. Give a Chinaman the same stack as Eddie Hall and he won't lift as much.

    "*Actual Caucasians – you know, from the Caucasus – do pretty well."

    I know they do:

    https://youtu.be/fCwYhpT4cvE
  68. @Anonymous

    So all you white people go back to sleep and don’t worry about all those 3rd world people arriving in the West.
     
    Haven't Jews been able to thrive just fine in purportedly "low IQ" environments? (South Africa, North Africa, LatAm, Middle East, urban America, etc.) What is the concern?

    Haven’t Jews been able to thrive just fine in purportedly “low IQ” environments? (South Africa, North Africa, LatAm, Middle East, urban America, etc.) What is the concern?

    Not all of us are Fred Reed……

  69. @Bliss
    Taleb:

    No measure that fails 60–95% of the time should be part of “science”.
     
    Sailer:

    I dunno … A measure that succeeds 5-40% of the time sounds helpful to me
     
    .

    Sailer is admitting that Taleb is right with this weak response. Obviously IQ is not science. It just looks more “scientific” than the previous version of racial pseudoscience: nazi whackjobs running around Europe with calipers, measuring heads to decide which europeans were Aryan/Germanic and which subhuman/Slavic.

    The real question is:

    What does “failure” or “success” even mean?

    At this level, they are just words being thrown out, meant to elicit reader response.

    nazi whackjobs running around Europe with calipers, measuring heads to decide which europeans were Aryan/Germanic and which subhuman/Slavic.

    Nice rhetorical mix of a criterium that might at least be objective (Germanic/Slavic) and a criterium that is supremacist (Aryan/subhuman). Even if you find the latter distasteful, it doesn’t follow that the former is necessarily void. This should be obvious.

  70. @obwandiyag
    Let me get this straight. You bozos think Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb?! Just because he affirms your pea-brained prejudices?! Nassim Taleb?! Do you know who he is?!

    I love how you not only think a moke like Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb. You think you are smarter! Hardeharhardeharhar.

    Also, just to keep things in perspective. Little Nigerian girls in England are smarter than you are.

    That’s assuming that Taleb’s assumptions are true. Why should I think they are? My experience has been that, in technical subjects, grades (which, ultimately mean test-scores) correlate pretty well with intelligence and actual ability.

  71. @Bliss

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?
     
    Lol. All you alt-right IQists should be butthurt too. For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders...

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    That there are many happy merchants in Lebanon?

  72. @anon
    Yes, outrageous to suggest that a credentialed academic isn't necessarily intelligent. Who would think such a thing, except for me and Nassem Taleb?

    I didn’t mention anything about his academic credentials there.

  73. @tanabear
    Nassim Taleb appreciates real world experience over theory. He is somewhat hostile to the idea of IQ tests because it doesn't allow for 2nd order effects. On an IQ test all the necessary knowledge is contained in the short question; but in the real world decisions are almost always made with incomplete knowledge(uncertainty). People who are good at IQ tests but bad at thinking things through he refers to as IYIs(Intellectual yet Idiot). These IYIs have been in positions of influence in the West for decades now and when have you ever heard any one of them say anything that indicates they think beyond 1st order effects? Practically never; whether it be the Iraq war, the housing crisis, immigration, crime etc...


    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….
     
    I believe this is due to the influence of Islam and the Turks. If Near Eastern Christians had their own country in the Middle East it would be comparable to most European countries. As Ibn Khaldun wrote, "Places that succumb to the Arabs are quickly ruined."

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….

    I believe this is due to the influence of Islam and the Turks. If Near Eastern Christians had their own country in the Middle East it would be comparable to most European countries.As Ibn Khaldun wrote, “Places that succumb to the Arabs are quickly ruined.”

    Might be something to that. At the very least, it doesn’t seem to be helping….

  74. @Anonymous

    Taleb’s a mathematician who’s also a philologist. I’m pretty sure he has a high IQ.
     
    Has he been a beneficiary of affirmative action?

    Is there affirmative action in book sales?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    What do book sale volumes have to do with accomplishments in mathematics or philology?
  75. @Bliss

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?
     
    Lol. All you alt-right IQists should be butthurt too. For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders...

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?

    Lol. All you alt-right IQists should be butthurt too. For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders…

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    That West Eurasian ethnies show variation in IQ?

  76. @Anonymous

    Nassim Taleb IS the pseudoscientific swindle.

    he should start at Jensen’s 1980 Bias in Mental Testing & work forward from there. It’s no use arguing with someone who hasn’t done their homework.
     
    Is any of Taleb's work worth reading?

    Is any of Taleb’s work worth reading?

    I tried one book of his (Anti-Fragile), and I say “No.” He’s basically an even more annoying version of Malcom Gladwell. It’s all circular and/or trivial BS packaged in a jargon of his own invention. Yecht!

    If you already know that big, unpredictable events can be important then you won’t learn anything knew.

    I have never heard anyone summarize any idea of his that wasn’t dumb or obvious.

    • Agree: Stan d Mute
    • Replies: @El Dato
    I wouldn't go so far. Does anyone still read in high school, as an undergrad or even a young professional? The info is useful.

    He’s basically an even more annoying version of Malcom Gladwell.
     
    IMPOSSIBRU!
  77. @Bliss

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?
     
    Lol. All you alt-right IQists should be butthurt too. For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders...

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    That all the smart Lebanese emigrated to America a long time ago.

  78. I dunno … A measure that succeeds 5-40% of the time sounds helpful to me.

    I’m certain a finance guy would never ignore that kind of metric if he had the chance to make money off it.

  79. @Anonymous
    We'd be better off with more med schools and more med school starts but more washouts: 95% of people who start med school finish, which means something is up. It doesn't need to wash out 75% of people like BUD/S (it costs more to put someone through BUD/S than med school by the way) but some should be washing out.

    The seat is not precious.

    What is BUD/S?

    • Replies: @El Dato
    That's some hardcore military training for SEALS and people going to kill Kzinti with bare hands.
    , @Anonymous
    https://navyseals.com/nsw/bud-s-basic-underwater-demolition-seal-training/

    BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) Training

    BUD/S is a 6-month SEAL training course held at the Naval Special Warfare Training Center in Coronado, CA. You’ll start with five weeks Indoctrination and Pre-Training as part of a Navy SEAL Class, then go through the Three Phases of BUD/S.

    First Phase is the toughest. It consists of 8 weeks of Basic Conditioning that peaks with a grueling segment called “Hell Week” at the midway point, where you’ll be tested to your limits.

    Hell Week is a test of physical endurance, mental tenacity and true teamwork where 2/3 or more of your class may call it quits or “ring the bell.” Physical discomfort and pain will cause many to decide it isn’t worth it. The miserable wet-cold approaching hypothermia will make others quit. Sheer fatigue and sleep deprivation will cause every candidate to question his core values, motivations, limits, and everything he’s made of and stands for. Those who grit it out to the finish will hear their Instructors yell the longed-for words, “Hell Week is secured!”

    There will be an exceptional few with burning desire who persevere when their bodies are screaming to quit, yet continue on. These men experience a tremendous sense of pride, achievement, brotherhood and a new self-awareness that, “I can do anything!!” The most outstanding among them — that man whose sheer force of example inspires his classmates to keep going when they’re ready to quit – is the “Honor Man” of the Class.

    These determined men will proceed on to Second Phase (8 weeks of Diving) and Third Phase (9 weeks of Land Warfare). Most men who have succeeded in Hell Week make it through these phases. If not, it’s usually due to academic issues (e.g., dive physics) in the Dive Phase, or weapons and demolitions safety/competency issues in the Land Warfare (weapons and tactics) Phase. After BUDS is completed, trainees go through 3 weeks of Basic Parachute Training.

    At this point, training shifts from testing how the men react in a high-stress “gut check” environment, to making sure the trainees are competent in their core tasks. The men go through a final 8 weeks of focused SEAL Qualification Training in mission planning, operations, and tactic, techniques and procedures. Upon completion, they are authorized to wear the coveted Navy SEAL Trident insignia on their uniform.

    SEAL training ends with the formal BUD/S Class Graduation. Here the proud few in their dress Navy uniforms are recognized for their achievement in the presence of family and senior SEAL leaders. The Commanding Officers and senior enlisted advisors of the Naval Special Warfare Groups and SEAL Teams attend. The BUD/s graduates, as their newest Teammates, will be reminded of the special group they have entered, to be worthy of the sacrifices of the courageous Frogmen who came before them, and the great honor it is to serve as a U.S. Navy SEAL.
     
  80. @Steve Sailer
    Number of billionaires at home in the diaspora is a pretty good measure, and Lebanese (e.g., Carlos Slim) don't do badly in that.

    Did Carlos Slim come from a family of Levantine peasant immigrants?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    No, he came from the elite. And his wife is a Gemayel, the most famous/notorious name in Lebanon in the last quarter of the 20th Century.
  81. @Svigor
    Conscientiousness>IQ>EQ

    IQ + conscientiousness will deliver you EQ. EQ doesn't deliver shit. Put another way, IQ is a proxy for EQ, but the reverse is not true. People with high IQs who do poorly on EQ tests are spergs who refuse to do well on EQ tests because too honest. Bullshitting is 90% of EQ.

    People fixate on IQ because it's important AND pretty easy to measure.

    Didn’t Gardner eventually have to admit that his whole “multiple intelligences” theory never actually panned out empirically?

    • Replies: @Svigor
    I seem to recall that, yes, but don't quote me. They're bullshit regardless, of course.
  82. @theMann
    " it explains at best between 13% and 50% of the performance in some tasks,"

    So if you have three tested groups, 80, 100, 120 IQ, and hand them the pieces of a Soma Cube to assemble, IQ testing will AT BEST give a 50% measure of performance?


    I am pretty sure we could test that. If we really wanted to test it, we could try samples of 10 Asians, 10 Whites, and 10 Blacks..... Sure, in any academic milieu it would get you fired, but it is testable.


    Come to think of it, everything about IQ is testable, and other than for extremely small sample groups, remarkably accurate. Really, if Taleb actually has the courage of his convictions, we can obviously do away with the SAT, ACT, LSAT, Wonderlic, well, all of them, since they are "psychometrics peddlers looking for suckers" devoid of any sufficient predictive value.

    IQ testing will AT BEST give a 50% measure of performance?

    No, IQ will “explain between 13% and 50% of the performance”.

    I don’t know what that means.

    The IQ value should be a statistical predictor of performance. It doesn’t “explain” anything. It would be like having an (approximate) probability of a successful outcome.

    A “performance rating of 110” may be followed by a Dead Parrot Sketch …

    Actually Computer Science has this problem a lot – how do you measure the performance of an “AI” algorithm? Is it better than some other algorithm? In what conditions?

  83. @obwandiyag
    Let me get this straight. You bozos think Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb?! Just because he affirms your pea-brained prejudices?! Nassim Taleb?! Do you know who he is?!

    I love how you not only think a moke like Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb. You think you are smarter! Hardeharhardeharhar.

    Also, just to keep things in perspective. Little Nigerian girls in England are smarter than you are.

    I’m pretty sure you left off a “har,” there at the end. (A little Nigerian girl in England told me.)

  84. @Dave Pinsen
    Is there affirmative action in book sales?

    What do book sale volumes have to do with accomplishments in mathematics or philology?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    What does affirmative action have to do with any of them?
  85. @Anonymous
    Did Carlos Slim come from a family of Levantine peasant immigrants?

    No, he came from the elite. And his wife is a Gemayel, the most famous/notorious name in Lebanon in the last quarter of the 20th Century.

  86. Anonymous[360] • Disclaimer says:
    @tanabear
    Nassim Taleb appreciates real world experience over theory. He is somewhat hostile to the idea of IQ tests because it doesn't allow for 2nd order effects. On an IQ test all the necessary knowledge is contained in the short question; but in the real world decisions are almost always made with incomplete knowledge(uncertainty). People who are good at IQ tests but bad at thinking things through he refers to as IYIs(Intellectual yet Idiot). These IYIs have been in positions of influence in the West for decades now and when have you ever heard any one of them say anything that indicates they think beyond 1st order effects? Practically never; whether it be the Iraq war, the housing crisis, immigration, crime etc...


    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….
     
    I believe this is due to the influence of Islam and the Turks. If Near Eastern Christians had their own country in the Middle East it would be comparable to most European countries. As Ibn Khaldun wrote, "Places that succumb to the Arabs are quickly ruined."

    These IYIs have been in positions of influence in the West for decades now and when have you ever heard any one of them say anything that indicates they think beyond 1st order effects? Practically never; whether it be the Iraq war, the housing crisis, immigration, crime etc…

    Quite often, actually. “Say anything,” occasionally. “Do something,” constantly. Israel’s relative power in the Middle East has increased, and the destruction of White population groups in the United States, Canada, and Europe continues apace.

  87. @Steve Sailer
    Steve Jobs wasn't the richest, but I'd probably say he was the greatest businessman of my lifetime. He's half-Syrian genetically.

    The smartest guy at the company of 2000 I worked at in Chicago was a Christian guy from Lebanon.

    Lebanese, like Israelis, tend to be really brusque, so you have to keep that in mind and try not to get offended by them. I had to keep that in mind at my old market research job because the Lebanese genius executive could be quite rude, but, judging him on the Levantine curve, he wasn't brusquer than normal. Plus he was almost always right and obviously was going to rise very high in the company hierarchy.

    The Levant produces some fine businessmen.

    Steve, what skills and talents in your opinion make for a good businessman? Like, what sort of thing was this guy constantly right about and how was he able to do it?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Jobs wasn't constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.

    Perhaps Bezos would qualify under that test as well since Amazon is really two things: a vast home delivery retailer and a wildly profitable cloud data storage company. But Jobs' comeback story is remarkable.

    , @utu

    what skills and talents in your opinion make for a good businessman
     
    Sociopathy. See how Wozniak cried when he learned how Jobs took advantage of him many years earlier.

    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has admitted he cried when he discovered that the late Steve Jobs had tricked him into designing a game for which Jobs received a majority of the profit.
    https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/steve-wozniak-cried-jobs-kept-atari-bonus-267711
    , @stillCARealist
    Nobody is a good businessman overall. There's too many skills needed and too many jobs to be done to have a successful, large business all on one's own. You can stay small and do well enough, or be part of a larger organization, but to really take off you need a team that can dole out the responsibilities.

    So I'd say the best businessman is the guy (or gal) who can pick the best people for the right job. I made a comment bearing on this earlier, about the doughnut maker who was doing exactly the right job for him. The woman who owned the store and who hired that baker was a good business woman for her size of vision (keeping a small, profitable store).
  88. @AKAHorace
    The Black Swan is pretty good. His more recent material is often riffs of this. He is always worth reading, but he has taken so many positions on such a wide range of issues that he is bound to be wrong at least occasionally. He does not seem to be capable of respecting anyone who disagrees with him.

    Thank you.

  89. @anon
    ...is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?

    Either that or he personally doesn't score as highly as he would like. I know that's why I think IQ is bullshit.

    I you don’t score high enough, just retake the test until you hover around a good mean and can’t go any further. Only then you give up.

    I would probably score 100 but I’m too lazy to actually do a test.

    It’s the constraint programming competition for humans! Like in MiniZinc Challenge 2017.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    That's not how it works. The tests are not designed to be taken over and over. They are not like the SAT where they keep producing different versions - it's the same questions and tasks every time. So if you keep taking it your score would go up but it wouldn't be a valid IQ score. You can cheat for bragging rights but then again you could cheat on measuring your blood pressure too - the only one you are really fooling is yourself. Cheating doesn't change your actual IQ, just your IQ score.
  90. @Anonymous
    What is BUD/S?

    That’s some hardcore military training for SEALS and people going to kill Kzinti with bare hands.

  91. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    What is BUD/S?

    https://navyseals.com/nsw/bud-s-basic-underwater-demolition-seal-training/

    BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) Training

    BUD/S is a 6-month SEAL training course held at the Naval Special Warfare Training Center in Coronado, CA. You’ll start with five weeks Indoctrination and Pre-Training as part of a Navy SEAL Class, then go through the Three Phases of BUD/S.

    First Phase is the toughest. It consists of 8 weeks of Basic Conditioning that peaks with a grueling segment called “Hell Week” at the midway point, where you’ll be tested to your limits.

    Hell Week is a test of physical endurance, mental tenacity and true teamwork where 2/3 or more of your class may call it quits or “ring the bell.” Physical discomfort and pain will cause many to decide it isn’t worth it. The miserable wet-cold approaching hypothermia will make others quit. Sheer fatigue and sleep deprivation will cause every candidate to question his core values, motivations, limits, and everything he’s made of and stands for. Those who grit it out to the finish will hear their Instructors yell the longed-for words, “Hell Week is secured!”

    There will be an exceptional few with burning desire who persevere when their bodies are screaming to quit, yet continue on. These men experience a tremendous sense of pride, achievement, brotherhood and a new self-awareness that, “I can do anything!!” The most outstanding among them — that man whose sheer force of example inspires his classmates to keep going when they’re ready to quit – is the “Honor Man” of the Class.

    These determined men will proceed on to Second Phase (8 weeks of Diving) and Third Phase (9 weeks of Land Warfare). Most men who have succeeded in Hell Week make it through these phases. If not, it’s usually due to academic issues (e.g., dive physics) in the Dive Phase, or weapons and demolitions safety/competency issues in the Land Warfare (weapons and tactics) Phase. After BUDS is completed, trainees go through 3 weeks of Basic Parachute Training.

    At this point, training shifts from testing how the men react in a high-stress “gut check” environment, to making sure the trainees are competent in their core tasks. The men go through a final 8 weeks of focused SEAL Qualification Training in mission planning, operations, and tactic, techniques and procedures. Upon completion, they are authorized to wear the coveted Navy SEAL Trident insignia on their uniform.

    SEAL training ends with the formal BUD/S Class Graduation. Here the proud few in their dress Navy uniforms are recognized for their achievement in the presence of family and senior SEAL leaders. The Commanding Officers and senior enlisted advisors of the Naval Special Warfare Groups and SEAL Teams attend. The BUD/s graduates, as their newest Teammates, will be reminded of the special group they have entered, to be worthy of the sacrifices of the courageous Frogmen who came before them, and the great honor it is to serve as a U.S. Navy SEAL.

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    You'll be hard put to find a SEAL with an IQ less than 110.
  92. @Anonymous
    Steve, what skills and talents in your opinion make for a good businessman? Like, what sort of thing was this guy constantly right about and how was he able to do it?

    Jobs wasn’t constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.

    Perhaps Bezos would qualify under that test as well since Amazon is really two things: a vast home delivery retailer and a wildly profitable cloud data storage company. But Jobs’ comeback story is remarkable.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Thanks. I meant those questions to refer to the guy you worked with at your old company but your big picture comment on Jobs and Bezos is interesting.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Jobs’s deal to get Microsoft to save Apple was smart.

    His idea to get record companies to sell songs for 99 cents was genius, and seeded the ecosystem for Apple’s smartphones.

    And his idea to open physical stores was a triumph as well.
    , @El Dato

    Jobs wasn’t constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.
     
    He didn't let himself be mentally restrained by the prevailing tired ideas and coszy trad arrangements. Especially for the smartphone, the taught the telecom companies that the value is in the phone, not in the jealously-protected, overbilled and customer-hostile network (a situation that persist in the US "cable" industry). He made them beg.

    That's pretty rad.

    (Not that Apple is particularly consumer friendly itself. Forcing upgrades, causing equipment to become obsolete and delivering overpriced and sometimes shoddy wares for which they can't be at fault worked while the stream of good ideas continued. But the steam seems out of the locomotive now.

    It's a lot of work, being popular: Apple, Tim Cook and the gilets jaunes
    No phones for the sans-culottes? It's an interesting strategy</a)
    , @Stan d Mute

    Jobs wasn’t constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.
     
    He was right about GUI and the mouse, desktop publishing and laser printing, object oriented programming, animation and CGI, touchscreens and device integration, etc. Where he failed was in personnel (ie John Sculley) and pushing too far too fast (ie Lisa). His gift was in discernment really as he could very quickly see that something was, in his words, “shit.” From a business standpoint, his decision to focus on children - Apple’s educational outreach vs Microsoft’s focus on corporate - ultimately proved itself correct and follows the logic used successfully by communists in taking over America’s education system.

    There’s a bigger lesson there somewhere. Something about focusing on the future rather than today’s net profits perhaps?
    , @anon

    Perhaps Bezos would qualify under that test as well since Amazon is really two things: a vast home delivery retailer and a wildly profitable cloud data storage company. But Jobs’ comeback story is remarkable.
     
    I prefer "glorified mail order catalogue".

    I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if some old mail-order catalogue company (I'm too young to know any of their names, hooray for me) had, by hook and crook, and luck, achieved the market dominance that Amazon has. (And/or also owned some other even more successful business.)

    Would they have been able to set prices lower than everybody else and convince people that they were the best thing since sliced bread?

    The internet is like 50% PR fluff.

  93. @Seraphim
    Does anyone know the IQ of Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs...?
    Maxwell was quite hairy.

    Does anyone know the IQ of Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs…?

    I’d be willing to bet that it’s over 100….

    Maxwell was quite hairy.

    Maxwell was quite hairy.

    Difficult to imagine Maxwell wearing gold chains….

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    Maxwell commented with humble astonishment towards the end of his life about the relative safety and comfort with which he had passed his earthly years, remarking that "he had never had so much as a hard shove." He was also an adult convert to a very evangelical sect of Protestantism.

    If he were alive today, he would be ridiculed both as "IYI" by Taleb for the former and as fundie freak by the Sailersphere for the latter, which I believe says more about the limitations of these two worldviews than about those of Mr. Maxwell.

    As I said in another recent post about Taleb, I have but little regard for academics who beat up on other academics for their supposed lack of manliness. This is one of the cheapest of all possible shots and it does no credit to him who takes it. And while I would under no circumstances endorse Protestantism as a valid form of religion, the fact that Christianity, even in this distorted and etiolated form, could still appeal to one of the finest scientific minds of the 19th century proves that the contemptuous dismissals of it one often reads here are the business of simpletons and churls.
  94. @niteranger
    Taleb's basic argument is that the number IQ is dubious on how it is derived. Furthermore, no matter what you do to massage or masturbate the number it's not relevant and anyone who believes it has some validity is either a racist or a Eugenicist and so forth.

    Taleb has made some interesting points and few people on the planet probably have his mathematical ability. However, like the physicists Taleb decries he has fallen into his own trap. What he can prove mathematically like many theoretical physicists appears to have limited validity in the real world.

    Africa is a cesspool and there is no way of getting around it. It may take a certain IQ to be an engineer, let's say 120. Having an IQ of 120 gives one the potential to be an engineer; it doesn't guarantee it because one needs certain other aptitudes to be an engineer. Taleb seems impervious to the real world. The average IQ of most African countries is disastrous to put it mildly. Africa lacks proper infrastructure. When the British and other colonial powers left the native populations were unable to do much for upkeep or to develop anything new. The system collapsed. China and other countries are now building such structures at a severe price as Kenyans just found out with one of their ports being taken over by the Chinese.

    The reason that sub-saharian African was such a mess is because their civilizations consisted of tribal war lording factions which is still part of the problem today. They didn't build squat. They had some better civilizations in the Nubian time period (which lasted less than 100 years) but for the most part these were not inquisitive motivated people and still are not in many respects. They produced lots of people and sold them into slavery by various war lords....mostly to the Muslims who contrary to the recent rewriting of history were and still are the greatest slave traders of all time. They were not exploratory...because they couldn't build a boat to get off the damn continent.

    Perhaps Taleb thinks these people are suddenly going to become engineers and scientists by something in the air. The problem is the way the world is we don't have another 3000 years to find out because of disease, famine, overpopulation, pollution and host of the problems. My friends work in Africa in the medical, scientific, and travel industries and they believe the continent will collapse. When you have a base population which consists of small group of really smart people, a small group of average intellects, and massive population of low IQ types democracies and civilizations are rare indeed. Many blacks in America and other Western nations have a chance to succeed because we have an infrastructure where they can fit in...like a niche whether it's sports, music, entertainment or whatever. Without this infrastructure and lots of low IQs you get what you get in Africa.

    I will leave the Great Taleb with a quote from Bill Parcels: You are what your record shows you are and what does the record show for Africa and other places with such low IQs!

    Related.

  95. @Steve Sailer
    Jobs wasn't constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.

    Perhaps Bezos would qualify under that test as well since Amazon is really two things: a vast home delivery retailer and a wildly profitable cloud data storage company. But Jobs' comeback story is remarkable.

    Thanks. I meant those questions to refer to the guy you worked with at your old company but your big picture comment on Jobs and Bezos is interesting.

  96. it explains at best between 13% and 50% of the performance in some tasks

    i’ve been too lazy to get back on twitter but to avoid getting banned again when i do i’m going to larp as an SJW and say stuff like this.

    “IQ only explains 30% of differences in performance”

    “it’s been scientifically proven that only homosexuality is genetic”

    “pit bulls only bite more people because their owners are the sort of people who want dogs that bite people”

    etc

  97. @Hypnotoad666

    Is any of Taleb’s work worth reading?
     
    I tried one book of his (Anti-Fragile), and I say "No." He's basically an even more annoying version of Malcom Gladwell. It's all circular and/or trivial BS packaged in a jargon of his own invention. Yecht!

    If you already know that big, unpredictable events can be important then you won't learn anything knew.

    I have never heard anyone summarize any idea of his that wasn't dumb or obvious.

    I wouldn’t go so far. Does anyone still read in high school, as an undergrad or even a young professional? The info is useful.

    He’s basically an even more annoying version of Malcom Gladwell.

    IMPOSSIBRU!

  98. @Anonymous
    What do book sale volumes have to do with accomplishments in mathematics or philology?

    What does affirmative action have to do with any of them?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Is affirmative action a factor in academia, especially in STEM?
  99. @Steve Sailer
    Jobs wasn't constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.

    Perhaps Bezos would qualify under that test as well since Amazon is really two things: a vast home delivery retailer and a wildly profitable cloud data storage company. But Jobs' comeback story is remarkable.

    Jobs’s deal to get Microsoft to save Apple was smart.

    His idea to get record companies to sell songs for 99 cents was genius, and seeded the ecosystem for Apple’s smartphones.

    And his idea to open physical stores was a triumph as well.

  100. @Steve Sailer
    Jobs wasn't constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.

    Perhaps Bezos would qualify under that test as well since Amazon is really two things: a vast home delivery retailer and a wildly profitable cloud data storage company. But Jobs' comeback story is remarkable.

    Jobs wasn’t constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.

    He didn’t let himself be mentally restrained by the prevailing tired ideas and coszy trad arrangements. Especially for the smartphone, the taught the telecom companies that the value is in the phone, not in the jealously-protected, overbilled and customer-hostile network (a situation that persist in the US “cable” industry). He made them beg.

    That’s pretty rad.

    (Not that Apple is particularly consumer friendly itself. Forcing upgrades, causing equipment to become obsolete and delivering overpriced and sometimes shoddy wares for which they can’t be at fault worked while the stream of good ideas continued. But the steam seems out of the locomotive now.

    It’s a lot of work, being popular: Apple, Tim Cook and the gilets jaunes
    No phones for the sans-culottes? It’s an interesting strategy</a)

  101. @Bliss
    Taleb:

    No measure that fails 60–95% of the time should be part of “science”.
     
    Sailer:

    I dunno … A measure that succeeds 5-40% of the time sounds helpful to me
     
    .

    Sailer is admitting that Taleb is right with this weak response. Obviously IQ is not science. It just looks more “scientific” than the previous version of racial pseudoscience: nazi whackjobs running around Europe with calipers, measuring heads to decide which europeans were Aryan/Germanic and which subhuman/Slavic.

    That was almost a century ago.

    Your argument is equivalent to criticizing modern medicine by discussing early 20th century miracle-potion manufacturers and saying that ancient history proves that modern medicine is a sham.

    Plomin’s recent book reviews how IQ differences can now be linked to DNA differences at the chemical level via polygenic index scores. We have come a long way from calipers to measure head sizes. Criticize modern research, not the ancient history of science.

    • Replies: @gregor
    Newer tools like DNA are better at clustering human populations than cephalic index, etc., but morphology and physical anthropology are still legit fields.

    No one raises an eyebrow when these methods are applied to the animal kingdom. Similarly whenever they dig up ancient hominid remains, you better believe they examine the skeletal and craniofacial features very carefully. It's only labeled "pseudoscience" when it's applied to modern homo sapiens. People just get uncomfortable when anyone points out that prevalence of prognathism varies by race, for example.
  102. @anon
    My problem with Taleb: is he just too busy, or too smart, to make his meaning plain to dummies like me? Or is the subject under discussion so inherently complicated that it can't be made any plainer?

    Or is he talking out of his arse?

    I know I can't tell the difference. I suspect a lot of people who are in the same boat as me will err on the side of "it's not bullshit", for fear of looking foolish in case it really isn't.

    So some of those who claim to understand him are lying, but perhaps some aren't, and there really is something there to understand. Again, I can't tell the difference. It's very vexing.

    I suppose I could take the time to study enough mathematics and philosophy (e.g., learn whatever "convexity" actually means - because it surely means something other than what my dictionary is telling me) but (a) who gives a shit?, and (b) suppose he is talking out of his arse: then my time would have been wasted. Is whatever he's selling worth the risk to my time? Probably not.

    It's a shame: much of what he says sounds very reasonable (e.g. the education system doesn't educate, rather trains people to be obedient and conformist), but I don't know whether I ought to be taking him seriously at all. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, and all that.

    Moral of the story: if you're going to publish your enlightening philosophy, it's a good idea to make it easily distinguishable from a load of old guff. Otherwise people will disregard it, and your time will have been wasted.

    He does come across as an obfuscatory knowall unencumbered by low self-esteem. If he really wants to influence people, and if his arguments really do have merit, he needs to use plainer language so that we dummies can understand his Important Thoughts.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=feynman+technique&t=ffab&ia=web

  103. IQ correlations are often understated because of non-random samples.

    For example, take a moderately selective college, or an entry level job position that pays 70,000. A 140 IQ person taking a job that pays that little, or going to UC Irvine, probably is well below average in other respects. Meanwhile, a 105 IQ guy going to UCI or getting a 70k entry level job probably is very strong on other qualities. If that college or employer looks at grade or performance compared to IQ, they won’t find that strong a correlation.

    • Replies: @miss marple
    Really. Just how high was your starting salary? Most professors would be grateful for $70000/yr. An average grad of an average university would find half that salary completely acceptable. You're full of it. So much so, I'd be surprised if you even make over $70000/yr.
    , @Counterinsurgency
    Yep. Membership in a social group is essential for getting ideas accepted, especially when all social groups are under pressure, as they are just now If the social group has a high aggregate income, so does the accepted person, smart or not.
    But there is a bit more to it than that. Communication is always a bit difficult, and becomes more so as IQ of speaker and audience diverges. Groups have some mean intelligence, and everybody in the group has to be close enough to the mean to permit communication. This limits the reward that the group can give to IQ very much different (higher _or_ lower) than the mean. This is, in large part, why scholars historically tended to have low pay -- they were just too far from the IQ (and interests, of course) of merchants, mechanics, etc. The old R&D centers were notorious to that. I was told at one point by Rockwell executives that their R&D center had spun off several billiions of dollars in value, all to startup companies. The Rockwell executive didn't mention that almost every spinoff was a concept that Rockwell executives had decided to defund.

    So, no, IQ isn't a magic number. There's an old quote, though, attributed to several people c.a. AD 1930s: "The race doesn't always go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet." IQ can help.

    Counterinsurgency
    , @David
    What you seem to be saying is that if two at least somewhat independent variables are summed up, the total isn't as closely correlated to one of the two variables as that single variable is to itself.
    , @utu

    IQ correlations are often understated because of non-random samples.
     
    Quite the opposite. Corrections for (1) attenuation and (2) restriction of range are applied and often not stated. Correlations before corrections are not reported. That's why Taleb is correct about " data massaging and statistical cherrypicking." Spearman's correction for attenuation can lead to correlations larger than 1. Sky is the limit for a motivated researcher.

    Properties of the Spearman Correction for Attenuation for Normal and Realistic Non-Normal Distributions
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/01466216970213005

    For lower reliability values, there was pronounced overcorrection, combined with extreme variability, especially for smaller sample sizes. Under these conditions, corrections exceeding 1.00 were frequent. The correction for attenuation appears to be useful only if the reliability coefficients of both measures are relatively high and sample size is relatively large.
     
    , @Chrisnonymous
    Isn't this kind of Taleb's point?
  104. Well, considering that The Economist writers and editors no doubt think of themselves as being ‘high IQ’ -despite, obviously, being the biggest, dumbest fools in creation – Taleb is on to something.

  105. @Lot
    IQ correlations are often understated because of non-random samples.

    For example, take a moderately selective college, or an entry level job position that pays 70,000. A 140 IQ person taking a job that pays that little, or going to UC Irvine, probably is well below average in other respects. Meanwhile, a 105 IQ guy going to UCI or getting a 70k entry level job probably is very strong on other qualities. If that college or employer looks at grade or performance compared to IQ, they won't find that strong a correlation.

    Really. Just how high was your starting salary? Most professors would be grateful for $70000/yr. An average grad of an average university would find half that salary completely acceptable. You’re full of it. So much so, I’d be surprised if you even make over $70000/yr.

  106. mm kay here is somthing that Taleb may want to think through, if IQ has nothing to do with anything. how about a society that is structured on genes (“meritocracy”) wherein his children (if any) are a part of the ruling class. who speaks for those that were not lucky when the gene cards were shuffled then dealt?..

  107. @Tiny Duck.
    Obviously IQ is real based on the fact Jewish people are 47% smarter than dumb whites. It’s science.

    And how many % points smarter are whites than dumb Jews?

  108. @obwandiyag
    Let me get this straight. You bozos think Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb?! Just because he affirms your pea-brained prejudices?! Nassim Taleb?! Do you know who he is?!

    I love how you not only think a moke like Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb. You think you are smarter! Hardeharhardeharhar.

    Also, just to keep things in perspective. Little Nigerian girls in England are smarter than you are.

    How many Nigerians would Nassim Taleb want in Lebanon?

  109. I score well on pseudoscientific IQ tests. I guess this explains the unfunny Christmas joke I wrote:

    “Three hoes go into a bar. A rake takes them out.”

    A friend who scores 3 SD above average, a neighbor who used to work at Bell Labs, and a bagger at the local grocery store who gets my rants about quantum singularities and will probably major in physics when he gets out of high school, all thought my joke was funny. No one else did. See? Pseudohumor.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    There are too many possible interpretations for it to be funny. I bet the three people you refer do did not interpret it in exactly the same way.
    , @anon
    The real question is, why do you think the people who didn't find it funny didn't find it funny?
  110. Anon[396] • Disclaimer says:

    Deadlifting is a pseudoscientific measure of strength. It is mean to select people in artificial competitions using weights arranged or “constructed” in unnatural configurations of two heavy parts connected by a specific type and diameter of bar that you’d rarely find in the real world. People who really succeed in physical jobs in real life need to be able to deal with weights in all shapes, with handholds of varying types — or no handholds — and with surface textures and slipperinesses of various values.

    In competition the deadlifted weight is only raised to waist height and returned straight down. In real life streetwise physical workers may need to place weights on truck beds localed above their waists.

    And real workers are not suckers who just use their hands and a piece of cloth to life. They know that there are gloves, ropes, and other tools that make the difference betwee a competition lifter and a successful teamster. In fact, they know that they can get fat and soft and just use a forkliflt or backhoe with a cable attached to it and lift anything they need to lift, even while wearing Birkenstocks, and play golf in the free time they create using such mechanical assistance.

    • LOL: Harry Baldwin
  111. Anon[422] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m having fun imagining IQ denialists/opponents hearing of Taleb’s claims and being excited to have some heavy scientific artillery on their side …

    … and then reading his tweets and Medium post and feeling a little queasy and backing away. “Uh, if there is anything legitimate in there, let’s wait until some other researchers pick it up and run with it … throwing our lot in with this guy might not be advised … he gives off the same aroma as a 9/11 truther … not that I have anything against 9/11 truthers …”

  112. @Twinkie

    Perhaps Taleb can start schooling people on the pseudoscience behind Caucasians* dominating the competitive branches of weight lifting.
     
    You mean the PED branches of the weight lifting.

    Tested Olympic contests tend to produce a bit different set of winners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Olympic_medalists_in_weightlifting

    *Actual Caucasians - you know, from the Caucasus - do pretty well.

    Why are all the Chinese male weightlifters from the south of China?

  113. @Twinkie

    Perhaps Taleb can start schooling people on the pseudoscience behind Caucasians* dominating the competitive branches of weight lifting.
     
    You mean the PED branches of the weight lifting.

    Tested Olympic contests tend to produce a bit different set of winners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Olympic_medalists_in_weightlifting

    *Actual Caucasians - you know, from the Caucasus - do pretty well.

    “You mean the PED branches of the weight lifting.”

    Yes I do and so what. Give a Chinaman the same stack as Eddie Hall and he won’t lift as much.

    “*Actual Caucasians – you know, from the Caucasus – do pretty well.”

    I know they do:

  114. @Lot
    IQ correlations are often understated because of non-random samples.

    For example, take a moderately selective college, or an entry level job position that pays 70,000. A 140 IQ person taking a job that pays that little, or going to UC Irvine, probably is well below average in other respects. Meanwhile, a 105 IQ guy going to UCI or getting a 70k entry level job probably is very strong on other qualities. If that college or employer looks at grade or performance compared to IQ, they won't find that strong a correlation.

    Yep. Membership in a social group is essential for getting ideas accepted, especially when all social groups are under pressure, as they are just now If the social group has a high aggregate income, so does the accepted person, smart or not.
    But there is a bit more to it than that. Communication is always a bit difficult, and becomes more so as IQ of speaker and audience diverges. Groups have some mean intelligence, and everybody in the group has to be close enough to the mean to permit communication. This limits the reward that the group can give to IQ very much different (higher _or_ lower) than the mean. This is, in large part, why scholars historically tended to have low pay — they were just too far from the IQ (and interests, of course) of merchants, mechanics, etc. The old R&D centers were notorious to that. I was told at one point by Rockwell executives that their R&D center had spun off several billiions of dollars in value, all to startup companies. The Rockwell executive didn’t mention that almost every spinoff was a concept that Rockwell executives had decided to defund.

    So, no, IQ isn’t a magic number. There’s an old quote, though, attributed to several people c.a. AD 1930s: “The race doesn’t always go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.” IQ can help.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @Endgame Napoleon
    This explains the symphony orchestra people, making average salaries despite rare mastery of a difficult skill. Amoral and aesthetically neutral, markets are indifferent to IQ. Markets care about one score only: the greenback score. The high-IQ orchestral performers communicate with such a small audience that they need volunteers to raise cash for them, helping to keep their non-profitable enterprises afloat.
  115. “IQ is largely a pseudoscientific swindle”

    “Largely”, but not completely.

    Pseudoscientific is poorly defined. He does not use words like false, fake, or even BS. He also does not address how he would approach the questions posed by psychology other than implying if you stuff a resume under his door make sure it has relevant job experience. Now to get such relevant job experience a young applicant probably worked for a large (sucker) corporation that used psychometric testing and mostly chose applicants that spent the previous decade in schools and the military that mostly used psychometric testing to chose and grade their applicants.

    Swindle is poorly defined. Taleb could make serious money by creating Taleb Psychometrics and doing it right.

    “IQ as a measure fails to meet statistical criteria, I personally do not screen job applicants with it.” (Big shot Taleb has the luxury of only accepting job applicants with relevant work histories, conscripted armies and the McDonald’s Corp don’t.)

    “this is the best measure in psychology” Corrected: This is the best estimator in psychology. Which leads to a better question, what is being estimated?

    Taleb is right about psychometric tests being a poor estimator. One reason medical costs are so large is that to become a low-level doctor in the US you have to meet the same criteria as a high-level doctor.

    Let’s say IQ is unhelpful in making employment decisions at his boutique investment firm. Is it stable from one person to the next? Is it inherited? How would I determine that?

  116. @anon
    Hasn’t anyone bothered to compare his predictions ca. 2008 with what actually happened over the next 10 years?

    Have you?

    You’ve forgotten that ca. 2008 he was a purveyor of the most lurid disaster scenarios and was of the opinion that banks would be reduced to custodial functions.

    • Replies: @anon
    You've assumed that I ever even knew that, or anything else. I don't. I wear flip-flops because I don't know how to tie my shoes.

    Anyway, the takeaway: Taleb's talking shit, and should be disregarded?
  117. @Dave Pinsen
    Taleb's a mathematician who's also a philologist. I'm pretty sure he has a high IQ.

    No. Finance maven. And not extensively published in peer-reviewed fora prior to 2008.

  118. @TelfoedJohn
    Taleb doesn’t like the fact that low IQ borrowing behaviour caused the last crash, not some hand wavey ‘black swan’ nonsense. Also, you should read his stuff about how Lebs are not Arabs at all, but Phoenician /European. He’s intensely sensitive about racial hierarchies.

    Also - roid rage.

    Taleb doesn’t like the fact that low IQ borrowing behaviour caused the last crash, not some hand wavey ‘black swan’ nonsense.

    IIRC, subprime and Alt-A loans accounted for about 16% of outstanding mortgage debt at the end of 2008. The bulk of the negative equity was on prime loans and most of the value of delinquent loans was traceable to prime borrowers. Bad underwriting was a problem, but just one aspect of the crisis. Another was that about 10% of commercial banks’ asset portfolios were invested in mortgage-backed-securities whose value was uncertain. They were derived from mortgage pools with escalating delinquency rates, and the two companies who assembled the pools were by then dependent on the U.S. Treasury to stay in business. The country’s foremost insurance company was discovered to have written $400 bn worth of credit protection on pools the composition of which they did not know, and just warehoused the risk (other actors trading in these derivatives generally bought and sold credit protection). Another problem was the advent of universal banking in 1999. The FDIC had no history of running a universal bank as a receiver and the country’s premier universal bank (Citigroup) was all but insolvent; also, 70% of its deposits were domiciled abroad. All these things these companies did to distribute risk actually spread it like a contagion.

  119. @obwandiyag
    Let me get this straight. You bozos think Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb?! Just because he affirms your pea-brained prejudices?! Nassim Taleb?! Do you know who he is?!

    I love how you not only think a moke like Sailer is smarter than Nassim Taleb. You think you are smarter! Hardeharhardeharhar.

    Also, just to keep things in perspective. Little Nigerian girls in England are smarter than you are.

    Also, just to keep things in perspective. Little Nigerian girls in England are smarter than you are.

    Well, let’s be honest here. Not all little Nigerian girls. Little Igbo girls, maybe. And little Igbo girls with genes from parents who were smart enough and capable enough get the hell out of Nigeria probably are.

    Really, who on earth wants to spend their life supporting a bunch of dumb Hausa and Fulani in Nigeria if you have enough smarts to go live with intelligent, peaceful white folks in England?

    • Replies: @bomag
    Notice the Narrative arc: IQ doesn't matter; but if it did, we'd kick your ass... by a factor of ten.
  120. @scumbag
    Taleb might have a bit of a point.


    Let me give you and example. Alabama is playing for a 13th national title since 1960 in football in 7 days.

    1961, 64,65,73,78,79,92,90,11,12,15,17, .....18?

    The ENTIRE Pac10, a great football conference which has put mucho talent into the NFL has only 8 since 1960. USC has 7, Washington 1.


    13>8 right?


    Wrong. Many USC teams alone would have beaten Alabama since 1960, and a All-Pac10 team would have beaten Alabama every single year since 1960. A few outlier, workaholic, talented individuals with high IQs accomplish a ton, but a lot of people with impressive IQ scores really dont amount to very much.

    There is some other drive, not-quit, enthusiasm, optimistic factor there somewhere we cannot discount I think.

    No he does not have a point.

    If you read NNT’s article you should read more IQ tesearch.

    NNT is glorified bro science.

  121. @AKAHorace
    The Black Swan is pretty good. His more recent material is often riffs of this. He is always worth reading, but he has taken so many positions on such a wide range of issues that he is bound to be wrong at least occasionally. He does not seem to be capable of respecting anyone who disagrees with him.

    He’s obviously a good trader, getting rich enough to hire Mark Rippetoe as his personal strength coach. People have decided they’ve got it all figured out with a lot less under their belts.

    I agree with syonredux’s point. Taleb probably has some nationalist sensitivity on this issue. He’s also correct that “IQ isn’t everything,” since plenty of high-IQ people believe stupid things like socialism and multiculturalism.

  122. @Lot
    IQ correlations are often understated because of non-random samples.

    For example, take a moderately selective college, or an entry level job position that pays 70,000. A 140 IQ person taking a job that pays that little, or going to UC Irvine, probably is well below average in other respects. Meanwhile, a 105 IQ guy going to UCI or getting a 70k entry level job probably is very strong on other qualities. If that college or employer looks at grade or performance compared to IQ, they won't find that strong a correlation.

    What you seem to be saying is that if two at least somewhat independent variables are summed up, the total isn’t as closely correlated to one of the two variables as that single variable is to itself.

  123. it doesn’t satisfy the monotonicity and transitivity required to have a measure

    What did he mean by this?

    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
    Monotonicity is a property of functions, requiring that they are everywhere nondecreasing or nonincreasing (one or the other). Such a function is called monotonic. Transitivity is a property of binary relations, like ">" ; a binary relation is transitive if and only if {a>b and b>c} implies a>c.
  124. @Svigor
    Meaning, if you have a high IQ you can easily ace an EQ test by simply giving the answers you know the test-makers want to hear. Which is as it should be; that's WTF EQ is. The reverse is not true; you can't use your feelz to ace an IQ test. IQ is real, EQ is bullshit.

    None of which I mean to diminish the handicap represented by autism/aspergers/etc.

    if you have a high IQ you can easily ace an EQ test by simply giving the answers you know the test-makers want to hear.

    Exactly, years ago I did the implicit bias test and it showed I’m biased in favor of negro children and against my own white kin. Tests like the MMPI are no different. They’re all very easy to troll if you’re somewhat bright and motivated to screw with the proctor.

  125. “Intellectuals Yet Idiots” explains the entire essay. Persons who read this blog should be well acquainted with the phenomenon. Our host points several examples out every day. And of course while it doesn’t make me believe that IQ testing is worthless, it does make me wonder sometimes about the nature of “intelligence”. So much of the West seems close to suicidal in their behavior.

  126. Anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:

    One thing I’ve noticed about Lebanese – and all Arabs, for that matter – is a tendency to hero worship violent thugs, whether out-and-out gangsters like the Kray Twins, ruthless military dictators, fictitous hard-man police officers etc.

    The hard-nosed DC Stemp from the ITV drama ‘The Bill’ was particularly admired.

  127. @Anonymous
    Steve, what skills and talents in your opinion make for a good businessman? Like, what sort of thing was this guy constantly right about and how was he able to do it?

    what skills and talents in your opinion make for a good businessman

    Sociopathy. See how Wozniak cried when he learned how Jobs took advantage of him many years earlier.

    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has admitted he cried when he discovered that the late Steve Jobs had tricked him into designing a game for which Jobs received a majority of the profit.
    https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/steve-wozniak-cried-jobs-kept-atari-bonus-267711

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    https://twitter.com/crimkadid/status/1078477275941752833
  128. @Earl Lemongrab
    The fact that the descendants of early 20th Century waves of Levantine peasant emigrants do well in the US and Europe & dominate Latin American politics & business, and current Lebanese keep the Gulf monarchies running is a good reason to doubt the business of national IQ scores, at least when it comes to the Levant.

    This give you no reason to doubt IQ. ” National Averages” are deceptive when you speak about countries that contain two or more distinct populations. The Lebanese who have been successful abroad are mostly Christians like Taleb, a high IQ group. In the Gulf you might get high IQ urbanized Sunni from Beirut. Since a lot of the Christians and smarter Muslims have left and since the dumb Shiite peasants in the countryside have a high birth rate, Lebanon is now a low IQ country. What you have said is like saying that present day Detroit gives you reason to doubt the IQ of Henry Ford. These are not the same Detroiters and those are not the same Lebanese.

  129. Wow, an IQ thread without the usual participants. How refreshing 😀

  130. @TheMediumIsTheMassage
    Regardless of IQ, at the end of the day countries are a product of their people, and Africa is Africa and Europe is Europe: one produced modern civilization and is the nicest place in the world to live in and visit, and the other is, well...

    #themostimportantgraphintheworld #itstimetotalkaboutmassrepatriation #militarizethemediterranean

    “Regardless of IQ, at the end of the day countries are a product of their people, and Africa is Africa and Europe is Europe: one produced modern civilization and WAS the nicest place in the world to live in and visit, and the other is, well…”

    Fixed that for you.

  131. @Steve Sailer
    Jobs wasn't constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.

    Perhaps Bezos would qualify under that test as well since Amazon is really two things: a vast home delivery retailer and a wildly profitable cloud data storage company. But Jobs' comeback story is remarkable.

    Jobs wasn’t constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.

    He was right about GUI and the mouse, desktop publishing and laser printing, object oriented programming, animation and CGI, touchscreens and device integration, etc. Where he failed was in personnel (ie John Sculley) and pushing too far too fast (ie Lisa). His gift was in discernment really as he could very quickly see that something was, in his words, “shit.” From a business standpoint, his decision to focus on children – Apple’s educational outreach vs Microsoft’s focus on corporate – ultimately proved itself correct and follows the logic used successfully by communists in taking over America’s education system.

    There’s a bigger lesson there somewhere. Something about focusing on the future rather than today’s net profits perhaps?

  132. @Anonymous
    https://navyseals.com/nsw/bud-s-basic-underwater-demolition-seal-training/

    BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) Training

    BUD/S is a 6-month SEAL training course held at the Naval Special Warfare Training Center in Coronado, CA. You’ll start with five weeks Indoctrination and Pre-Training as part of a Navy SEAL Class, then go through the Three Phases of BUD/S.

    First Phase is the toughest. It consists of 8 weeks of Basic Conditioning that peaks with a grueling segment called “Hell Week” at the midway point, where you’ll be tested to your limits.

    Hell Week is a test of physical endurance, mental tenacity and true teamwork where 2/3 or more of your class may call it quits or “ring the bell.” Physical discomfort and pain will cause many to decide it isn’t worth it. The miserable wet-cold approaching hypothermia will make others quit. Sheer fatigue and sleep deprivation will cause every candidate to question his core values, motivations, limits, and everything he’s made of and stands for. Those who grit it out to the finish will hear their Instructors yell the longed-for words, “Hell Week is secured!”

    There will be an exceptional few with burning desire who persevere when their bodies are screaming to quit, yet continue on. These men experience a tremendous sense of pride, achievement, brotherhood and a new self-awareness that, “I can do anything!!” The most outstanding among them — that man whose sheer force of example inspires his classmates to keep going when they’re ready to quit – is the “Honor Man” of the Class.

    These determined men will proceed on to Second Phase (8 weeks of Diving) and Third Phase (9 weeks of Land Warfare). Most men who have succeeded in Hell Week make it through these phases. If not, it’s usually due to academic issues (e.g., dive physics) in the Dive Phase, or weapons and demolitions safety/competency issues in the Land Warfare (weapons and tactics) Phase. After BUDS is completed, trainees go through 3 weeks of Basic Parachute Training.

    At this point, training shifts from testing how the men react in a high-stress “gut check” environment, to making sure the trainees are competent in their core tasks. The men go through a final 8 weeks of focused SEAL Qualification Training in mission planning, operations, and tactic, techniques and procedures. Upon completion, they are authorized to wear the coveted Navy SEAL Trident insignia on their uniform.

    SEAL training ends with the formal BUD/S Class Graduation. Here the proud few in their dress Navy uniforms are recognized for their achievement in the presence of family and senior SEAL leaders. The Commanding Officers and senior enlisted advisors of the Naval Special Warfare Groups and SEAL Teams attend. The BUD/s graduates, as their newest Teammates, will be reminded of the special group they have entered, to be worthy of the sacrifices of the courageous Frogmen who came before them, and the great honor it is to serve as a U.S. Navy SEAL.
     

    You’ll be hard put to find a SEAL with an IQ less than 110.

  133. @Bliss

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?
     
    Lol. All you alt-right IQists should be butthurt too. For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders...

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders…

    Getting reliable IQ scores from some countries is difficult. Lebanon has been war torn and largely without a functional central government for decades, the education system has been disrupted, etc.
    Nevertheless, you have to be suspicious of any measure that averages a group of non-disabled white people below 80 – such scores are just not seen in whites or even Arab countries that don’t have a large infusion of African DNA. Low 80’s however is common in Arab countries. Shiite peasants are a pretty dumb group for white people and the US has spent billions if not trillions trying to educate and elevate African Americans (who also have a large white DNA component) so it wouldn’t totally shock me if they scored a couple of points higher under current conditions. This is not really reflective of their natural talents under equal conditions.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    I doubt Shiites are so dumb when you look at Hezbollah. I know a Shiite Palestinian, he used to work front office for Goldman Sachs.

    Taleb says some interesting things, but a lot is saying what is obvious in a convoluted manner. What this does imply is that even finding allies with a potentially similar and related group that might have a common cause with us is unlikely. Even high functioning groups have a deep seated envy and resentment of us white folks.
  134. @Anonymous
    Steve, what skills and talents in your opinion make for a good businessman? Like, what sort of thing was this guy constantly right about and how was he able to do it?

    Nobody is a good businessman overall. There’s too many skills needed and too many jobs to be done to have a successful, large business all on one’s own. You can stay small and do well enough, or be part of a larger organization, but to really take off you need a team that can dole out the responsibilities.

    So I’d say the best businessman is the guy (or gal) who can pick the best people for the right job. I made a comment bearing on this earlier, about the doughnut maker who was doing exactly the right job for him. The woman who owned the store and who hired that baker was a good business woman for her size of vision (keeping a small, profitable store).

  135. @Lot
    IQ correlations are often understated because of non-random samples.

    For example, take a moderately selective college, or an entry level job position that pays 70,000. A 140 IQ person taking a job that pays that little, or going to UC Irvine, probably is well below average in other respects. Meanwhile, a 105 IQ guy going to UCI or getting a 70k entry level job probably is very strong on other qualities. If that college or employer looks at grade or performance compared to IQ, they won't find that strong a correlation.

    IQ correlations are often understated because of non-random samples.

    Quite the opposite. Corrections for (1) attenuation and (2) restriction of range are applied and often not stated. Correlations before corrections are not reported. That’s why Taleb is correct about ” data massaging and statistical cherrypicking.” Spearman’s correction for attenuation can lead to correlations larger than 1. Sky is the limit for a motivated researcher.

    Properties of the Spearman Correction for Attenuation for Normal and Realistic Non-Normal Distributions
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/01466216970213005

    For lower reliability values, there was pronounced overcorrection, combined with extreme variability, especially for smaller sample sizes. Under these conditions, corrections exceeding 1.00 were frequent. The correction for attenuation appears to be useful only if the reliability coefficients of both measures are relatively high and sample size is relatively large.

  136. @syonredux
    This is just sad.....

    If you want to detect how someone fares at a task, say loan sharking, tennis playing, or random matrix theory, make him/her do that task; we don’t need theoretical exams for a real world function by probability-challenged psychologists.
     
    Certain kinds of jobs (surgeon, lawyer, etc) take quite a bit of training....You know, time+money (student loans).....Don't you think that it might be a good idea to give people a relatively inexpensive test before we start encouraging fellows who will never pass the bar exam to go to law school.....

    or we could just let people take the bar exam and start practicing without requiring school first.

    That would actually be a great way to test Taleb’s idea. Give people IQ tests and then let them loose in some field without training and see if success correlates with the test…

    • Replies: @syonredux

    or we could just let people take the bar exam and start practicing without requiring school first.
     
    In order to pass the bar exam, one requires a certain level of legal knowledge.Hence, one imagines that those people would have to, à la Lincoln, read law.....which takes a while.....So why not have people take a quick test first? You know, so they don't waste their time?

    That would actually be a great way to test Taleb’s idea. Give people IQ tests and then let them loose in some field without training and see if success correlates with the test…
     
    I prefer the option that I described: Give people a test to see if they will benefit from training.
  137. @tanabear
    Nassim Taleb appreciates real world experience over theory. He is somewhat hostile to the idea of IQ tests because it doesn't allow for 2nd order effects. On an IQ test all the necessary knowledge is contained in the short question; but in the real world decisions are almost always made with incomplete knowledge(uncertainty). People who are good at IQ tests but bad at thinking things through he refers to as IYIs(Intellectual yet Idiot). These IYIs have been in positions of influence in the West for decades now and when have you ever heard any one of them say anything that indicates they think beyond 1st order effects? Practically never; whether it be the Iraq war, the housing crisis, immigration, crime etc...


    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….
     
    I believe this is due to the influence of Islam and the Turks. If Near Eastern Christians had their own country in the Middle East it would be comparable to most European countries. As Ibn Khaldun wrote, "Places that succumb to the Arabs are quickly ruined."

    In the Islamic Golden Age (8th to the 14th century), Damascus (along with Baghdad and Cordoba) was a great center of learning, exceeding anything that was being done in Europe at the same time. We are used to thinking of the European world as advanced and the Arab world as backward but that wasn’t always true. But then the Islamic world stagnated and Europe had the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution so Syria was left far behind.

    • Replies: @szopen
    In 8th century, but not in 14th century. Seems you've never heard about Carolingian renessaince and other such affairs.
    , @wow
    ...until Islam touched the M.E. with its black touch.
    , @LondonBob
    I don't think Europe was backward, the Vikings were exploring the new world, the great cathedrals were being constructed and the likes of Venerable Bede and Chaucer were doing their thing. The crusaders were an awesome achievement.

    Of course the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols and the killing of the Muslim intellectual elite hurt the Islamic world greatly.
  138. @Lot
    IQ correlations are often understated because of non-random samples.

    For example, take a moderately selective college, or an entry level job position that pays 70,000. A 140 IQ person taking a job that pays that little, or going to UC Irvine, probably is well below average in other respects. Meanwhile, a 105 IQ guy going to UCI or getting a 70k entry level job probably is very strong on other qualities. If that college or employer looks at grade or performance compared to IQ, they won't find that strong a correlation.

    Isn’t this kind of Taleb’s point?

    • Replies: @Sean
    No. Taleb does say that if someone has been a surgeon for decades despite being fat and disheveled with the appearance of an abattoir worker, then they are probably much better at performing surgery that a surgeon with the same time in who looks every inch the part.

    No one trying to make a good impression actually wears their high IQ on their sleeve by boasting about it. The tendency is very much the opposite, and Arthur Jensen long ago remarked that those who will say they would fail an IQ test are not intending their ostensible self depreciation to be taken seriously. I suppose Teleb's point is that someone who boasted about their own IQ would be failing to understand how the game is played and thus a fool.

    I think Taleb's main point is to not ignore the worldly context of a statistical calculation. A couple of Russians (a gerontologist and a mathematician) are currently saying that Jeanne Calment the French women who was supposed to be 122 when she died in the late 1990s was an impostor. No one else has has ever lived anything like that long or been as chipper at 113 as Calment so statistically their case is good. However the gap between the supposed age of Calment 122 years and and the age of 119 years' old Sarah Knause the second oldest person of all time is comparable to the gap between Knause and the half dozen of so people who lived to 117 (no one has died at 118).

    So Calment, the woman believed to be the oldest human of all time and Krause the second oldest (at least) died within a couple of years of each other two decades ago, which is remarkable if you put them in the context of improving care for the elderly since then and them both being freakish outliers.

    If Calment was a fraud, then (despite better hospitals) the oldest French person ever was a woman who died in 2001 aged 115. Coincidence? It most certainly could be, but there seems to be a possibility of extreme longevity among people of Calment and Knause's generation being rather more common than we can account for.

  139. @Twinkie
    Lebanese also produce bright, attractive women, especially the Christian ones (though they tend to be a bit hirsute for my aesthetic taste).

    Nothing that a little Nair can’t fix.

  140. anon[393] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tiny Duck.
    Obviously IQ is real based on the fact Jewish people are 47% smarter than dumb whites. It’s science.

    actually you stalinists are boxed in on this either blacks are not oppressed but rather stupid or jews are cheating in order to own half the wealth and power with 2% of population, of course jews are cheating but since they control the left they are not going to authorize a meme of cheating jews better stupid blacks.Denouement time fortunately for whites when we learn blacks are stupid and jews cant ever be trusted things will improve

  141. @Dave Pinsen
    What does affirmative action have to do with any of them?

    Is affirmative action a factor in academia, especially in STEM?

  142. @El Dato
    I you don't score high enough, just retake the test until you hover around a good mean and can't go any further. Only then you give up.

    I would probably score 100 but I'm too lazy to actually do a test.

    It's the constraint programming competition for humans! Like in MiniZinc Challenge 2017.

    That’s not how it works. The tests are not designed to be taken over and over. They are not like the SAT where they keep producing different versions – it’s the same questions and tasks every time. So if you keep taking it your score would go up but it wouldn’t be a valid IQ score. You can cheat for bragging rights but then again you could cheat on measuring your blood pressure too – the only one you are really fooling is yourself. Cheating doesn’t change your actual IQ, just your IQ score.

  143. @anon
    My problem with Taleb: is he just too busy, or too smart, to make his meaning plain to dummies like me? Or is the subject under discussion so inherently complicated that it can't be made any plainer?

    Or is he talking out of his arse?

    I know I can't tell the difference. I suspect a lot of people who are in the same boat as me will err on the side of "it's not bullshit", for fear of looking foolish in case it really isn't.

    So some of those who claim to understand him are lying, but perhaps some aren't, and there really is something there to understand. Again, I can't tell the difference. It's very vexing.

    I suppose I could take the time to study enough mathematics and philosophy (e.g., learn whatever "convexity" actually means - because it surely means something other than what my dictionary is telling me) but (a) who gives a shit?, and (b) suppose he is talking out of his arse: then my time would have been wasted. Is whatever he's selling worth the risk to my time? Probably not.

    It's a shame: much of what he says sounds very reasonable (e.g. the education system doesn't educate, rather trains people to be obedient and conformist), but I don't know whether I ought to be taking him seriously at all. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, and all that.

    Moral of the story: if you're going to publish your enlightening philosophy, it's a good idea to make it easily distinguishable from a load of old guff. Otherwise people will disregard it, and your time will have been wasted.

    I don’t think he’s talking out of his arse, but I don’t have the ability to critique his critique of the literature. And apparently nobody else here does either.

    If Taleb dismissed IQ entirely, I ‘d dismiss him. But he doesn’t. He accepts it is predictive at the low end –a measure of unintelligence, he says. That seems reasonable to me. It’s down to the research. Unfortunately, iSteve commenters and Steve himself aren’t really engaging on that front.

    I think Taleb makes inflammatory statements, like calling IQ pseudoscience. It obviously isn’t. But he may be right that what is assessed in an IQ test is not something that is highly predictive of life outcomes for people above average on that test.

    Again, it comes down to the research, and Taleb is making claims about it that I can’t evaluate.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "he may be right that what is assessed in an IQ test is not something that is highly predictive of life outcomes for people above average on that test"

    It depends on what you mean by highly predictive. It's highly predictive if you're looking at averages, not so much looking at individuals. I know plenty of people less smart than I am who earn more than I do - sometimes a lot more.

    And at the very top end of intelligence I doubt you find the very top end of income. From Bob Cringeley's Accidental Empires

    "This chapter is about smart people. My own, highly personal definition of what it means to be smart has changed over the years. When I was in the second grade, smart meant being able to read a word like Mississippi and then correctly announce how many syllables it had (four, right?). During my college days, smart people were the ones who wrote the most complex and amazing computer programs. Today, at college plus twenty years or so, my definition of smart means being able to deal honestly with people yet somehow avoid the twin perils of either pissing them off or of committing myself to a lifetime of indentured servitude by trying too hard to be nice. In all three cases, being smart means accomplishing something beyond my current level of ability, which is probably the way most other folks define it. Even you.

    But what if nothing is beyond your ability? What if you’ve got so much brain power that little things like getting through school and doing brain surgery (or getting through school while doing brain surgery) are no big sweat? Against what, then, do you measure yourself?

    Back in the 1960s at MIT, there was a guy named Harvey Allen, a child of privilege for whom everything was just that easy, or at least that’s the way it looked to his fraternity brothers. Every Sunday morning, Harvey would wander down to the frat house dining room and do the New York Times crossword puzzle before breakfast—the whole puzzle, even to the point of knowing off the top of his head that Nunivak is the seven-letter name for an island in the Bering Sea off the southwestern coast of Alaska.

    One of Harvey Allen’s frat brothers was Bob Metcalfe, who noticed this trick of doing crossword puzzles in the time it took the bacon to fry and was in awe. Metcalfe, no slouch himself, eventually received a Ph.D., invented the most popular way of linking computers together, started his own company, became a multimillionaire, put his money and name on two MIT professorships, moved into a 10,000-square-foot Bernard Maybeck mansion in California, and still can’t finish the New York Times crossword, which continues to be his definition of pure intelligence.

    Not surprisingly, Harvey Allen hasn’t done nearly as much with his professional life as Bob Metcalfe has because Harvey Allen had less to prove. After all, he’d already done the crossword puzzle."
     
  144. @Bliss
    Taleb:

    No measure that fails 60–95% of the time should be part of “science”.
     
    Sailer:

    I dunno … A measure that succeeds 5-40% of the time sounds helpful to me
     
    .

    Sailer is admitting that Taleb is right with this weak response. Obviously IQ is not science. It just looks more “scientific” than the previous version of racial pseudoscience: nazi whackjobs running around Europe with calipers, measuring heads to decide which europeans were Aryan/Germanic and which subhuman/Slavic.

    Obviously IQ is not science. It just looks more “scientific” than the previous version of racial pseudoscience:

    You could say this about virtually any psychological test and virtually all of the social sciences but we haven’t shut down all the psych and social science depts. in universities and declared them “pseudoscience”.

    The human brain is complex and we don’t have the tools to measure it directly the way you measure blood pressure or strength. The measures that we have are imperfect and indirect but they are the best tools that we have and they are much better than nothing. The solution is to keep working on better tools, not just to abandon the effort. The human genome was not sequenced until the beginning of the 21st century. This doesn’t mean that all of genetics prior to 2001 was “pseudoscience”.

    BTW, studying cranial capacity is not as stupid as Gould would have you think. Again it is an imperfect measure but it is not without meaning. Leftists love to cloth themselves in the mantle of science and to dismiss things that they don’t like as “unscientific” . Communism itself was supposed to be “scientific socialism”. Belief in climate change is “science”. But if you look closely, they are just playing mind games – the stuff that they like is “science” because they say so and the stuff they don’t like is “pseudoscience” also because they say so. Often the difference between a “science” and a “pseudoscience” is whether Leftists like it or not.

  145. @Intelligent Dasein
    I'm going with Microencephalitic Quetzalcoatlus, for the win.

    Microencephalitic Quetzalcoatlus

    Whiskey-induced? [#114]

    • Replies: @Hail
    For the record, "Tiny Duck" is thought to be a troll-operation by longtime iSteve-comment-section veteran and semi-troll Whiskey (see #77 by Dr Doom, here):

    Tiny Duck is Whiskey when he’s not drunk
     
    "Tiny Duck." is a different troll; if the latter is an iSteve regular, he is still undercover.
  146. @Hail

    Microencephalitic Quetzalcoatlus
     
    Whiskey-induced? [#114]

    For the record, “Tiny Duck” is thought to be a troll-operation by longtime iSteve-comment-section veteran and semi-troll Whiskey (see #77 by Dr Doom, here):

    Tiny Duck is Whiskey when he’s not drunk

    “Tiny Duck.” is a different troll; if the latter is an iSteve regular, he is still undercover.

  147. Taleb is correct that IQ is not monotonic or transitive, but he forgets to tell us where in the Torah it says that something is not a measure if its not monotonic or transitive.

    Pretty strange that psychometeric mountebanks could be measuring something for 100 years without realizing it is not a “measurement”. Why then are IQ results relatively stable over extended periods of time within an error bar? He is just regurgitating the “evolution” is not science because “it can’t be expressed in a system of differential equations from which we derive testable predictions like electromagnetism” position. If its not physics, then its not science.

    Climate and seasonal differences exist, but we can’t predict expected temperatures more than 4 or so days out. For Taleb, its not science that January 2019 will be colder than July 2019, yet it is a fact, even if I can’t scientifically predict what temperature it will be in New York City on January 19, 2019 or July 19, 2019, nor can I, in any specific way, tell you why it will be temperature X on 1/19 and Y on 7/19.

    I can’t tell if he virtue signalling, being perverse, or making the perfect the enemy of the good. Perhaps we should say–if psychology has any scientific validity at all, then IQ is the gold standard compared to the myriad findings that fail to replicate and/or turn out to be outright fraud. But then, why attack IQ, why not psychology itself (and biology too).

    • Replies: @utu

    Taleb is correct that IQ is not monotonic or transitive, but he forgets to tell us where in the Torah it says that something is not a measure if its not monotonic or transitive.
     
    To talk about metric the function must be of two arguments then it must be transitive. But I have no idea where did he get the monotonic property from. Anyway, IQ score is a function of one argument it is not meant to measure distance in any space so he is just BS-ing.
  148. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.

    Taleb is apparently suggesting here that test-taking ability is anti-correlated with real-life success. If he is correct, IQ tests do in fact have predictive skill.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    The problem is that he is not correct. There are people who are 7 feet tall who are nevertheless not great basketball players and people who are 5' 9" who play in the NBA, but generally speaking, being taller is better in basketball. In the game of life, having a higher IQ is positively correlated with life success (and the curve never turns backward even at the highest levels). Taleb is talking out his ass when he says that IQ is just for paper shufflers.
  149. @Svigor
    Conscientiousness>IQ>EQ

    IQ + conscientiousness will deliver you EQ. EQ doesn't deliver shit. Put another way, IQ is a proxy for EQ, but the reverse is not true. People with high IQs who do poorly on EQ tests are spergs who refuse to do well on EQ tests because too honest. Bullshitting is 90% of EQ.

    People fixate on IQ because it's important AND pretty easy to measure.

    I think there is something to EQ beyond IQ. Two elements are:
    – Ability to read emotions. This is probably correlated with IQ, but autism etc. clearly shows there is a distinction.
    – Ability to act in a way that appeals to others emotionally. (similar correlation/distinction)

    Both of those significantly load on conscientiousness, cultural affinity/knowledge, and willingness to conform IMO.

    If it were possible to get a good measure of EQ (I have yet to see one) it would be much more interesting and useful. Which brings us to…

    People fixate on IQ because it’s important AND pretty easy to measure.

    Strongly agree with this. I would add the characteristics of age stability (you can get pretty good results from children!) and broad applicability. IQ may matter more in some areas than others, but it seems to be important in most. Just perhaps not the most important thing in any one area (there is a reason the ASVAB has eight subject areas: https://www.todaysmilitary.com/videos/meps-asvab-testing-and-career-counseling )

    P.S. Some things to be cautious about when looking at studies which minimize the importance of IQ.
    – Selection effects. Looking at a trait in pre-selected populations (e.g. those who succeeded at business or specifically financial trading, or the NBA) is different from looking at that trait in the entire population. Arguably this is the key point and the others below are just refinements or examples of it.
    – IQ frequency distribution. As iSteve notes there are many more people in the broad middle than at the extremes. If there is a 200x difference in the number of people with IQ 130 compared to 160 then unless IQ is all important there is a good chance one of those 200 will get a (much!) better draw of luck and/or other skills.
    – Related to both of those is something which I think may affect Taleb. If one has been in a highly selected environment (e.g. elite colleges, elite financial traders, etc.) then it is likely the lower IQ people in those groups have been truly exceptional in something else needed to succeed there. They are NOT representative of the broader population at that IQ level. The height in the NBA analogy is useful here.
    – Restriction of range. Statistically, if you only look at part of a range for a trait (e.g. rough IQ thresholds in college, grad school, professions, etc.) the apparent correlation with that trait will be reduced http://davidmlane.com/hyperstat/A68809.html This applies to all parts of the range (e.g. looking at welfare recipients or professions which draw disproportionately from lower or intermediate parts of the IQ range).

    • Replies: @War for Blair Mountain
    The other possibility is that IQ tests are highly flawed....and that you can’t mathematically rule this very real possibility out..This is Taleb’s point....
    , @Svigor

    I think there is something to EQ beyond IQ. Two elements are:
    - Ability to read emotions. This is probably correlated with IQ, but autism etc. clearly shows there is a distinction.
     
    I'd put it another way: autists/spergs have a disability, one that doesn't obviate neurotypical IQ's applicability to "EQ."

    - Ability to act in a way that appeals to others emotionally. (similar correlation/distinction)
     
    This is all IQ. The part that's giving you trouble is that even stupid people are smart enough to ace "EQ" tests. Autists/spergs tend to have a disability that prevents them doing what even stupid people know to do - conform, or at least pretend to.
  150. Before I was banned from American Rennaissance, I warned the IQ Test Score Enthusiasts in the Alt-Right-White White Nationalists Realm that there are really smarty people out there who will challenge your IQ Text Score Psychometric Religion, and that the best you would be able to do is engage them in an endless debate….while….the post-1965 highly racialized nonwhite Democratic Party Voting Bloc continues to vote Whitey into a White Racial Foreigner in previously White Majority States……This is the endgame for IQ Nationalism….

    I recently asked the following two questions in an earlier thread about Nicholas Taleb:How would a 7-11year George Boole do on a 2018 version of an IQ Test….How would Michael Faraday…7-11 old Michael Faraday…do on a 2018 version of an IQ Test….only one Unz Review commenter responded to me…I highly recommend that you all go back and read commenter anon’s(Nicholas Taleb?)response to me…..

    George Boole and Michael Faraday aren’t the only ones….

  151. @res
    I think there is something to EQ beyond IQ. Two elements are:
    - Ability to read emotions. This is probably correlated with IQ, but autism etc. clearly shows there is a distinction.
    - Ability to act in a way that appeals to others emotionally. (similar correlation/distinction)

    Both of those significantly load on conscientiousness, cultural affinity/knowledge, and willingness to conform IMO.

    If it were possible to get a good measure of EQ (I have yet to see one) it would be much more interesting and useful. Which brings us to...

    People fixate on IQ because it’s important AND pretty easy to measure.
     
    Strongly agree with this. I would add the characteristics of age stability (you can get pretty good results from children!) and broad applicability. IQ may matter more in some areas than others, but it seems to be important in most. Just perhaps not the most important thing in any one area (there is a reason the ASVAB has eight subject areas: https://www.todaysmilitary.com/videos/meps-asvab-testing-and-career-counseling )

    P.S. Some things to be cautious about when looking at studies which minimize the importance of IQ.
    - Selection effects. Looking at a trait in pre-selected populations (e.g. those who succeeded at business or specifically financial trading, or the NBA) is different from looking at that trait in the entire population. Arguably this is the key point and the others below are just refinements or examples of it.
    - IQ frequency distribution. As iSteve notes there are many more people in the broad middle than at the extremes. If there is a 200x difference in the number of people with IQ 130 compared to 160 then unless IQ is all important there is a good chance one of those 200 will get a (much!) better draw of luck and/or other skills.
    - Related to both of those is something which I think may affect Taleb. If one has been in a highly selected environment (e.g. elite colleges, elite financial traders, etc.) then it is likely the lower IQ people in those groups have been truly exceptional in something else needed to succeed there. They are NOT representative of the broader population at that IQ level. The height in the NBA analogy is useful here.
    - Restriction of range. Statistically, if you only look at part of a range for a trait (e.g. rough IQ thresholds in college, grad school, professions, etc.) the apparent correlation with that trait will be reduced http://davidmlane.com/hyperstat/A68809.html This applies to all parts of the range (e.g. looking at welfare recipients or professions which draw disproportionately from lower or intermediate parts of the IQ range).

    The other possibility is that IQ tests are highly flawed….and that you can’t mathematically rule this very real possibility out..This is Taleb’s point….

    • Replies: @Hail

    Before I was banned from American Rennaissance
     
    This would be a good hashtag
    , @Neil Templeton
    Not sure what you mean by highly flawed, but the tests are designed to measure IQ, which is a manufactured variable defined to vary directly with the number of questions answered correctly. The entire point is to separate the test population according to this measure. Calling it an estimate is a misnomer. Because the characteristic is wholly manufactured, there is no "true" value of IQ for any individual other than the value achieved on the test. If the test had no predictive value, it would be no more useful than directing 100 individuals to draw numbers 1-100 from a hat without replacement. But apparently it does have some predictive value to recognize ability to solve real problems. It also was easy (before the social firestorm) and cheap to administer.

    Anyway, it's just a test. Just a way for people to get a little more information about themselves or someone else before they make decisions. Like all other bits of information regarding human potential behavior, its predictive power is far from perfect. It isn't a religion, or a useful basis for determining membership in a society. It is useful for predicting the presence of native ability to solve certain types of problems. If polite society determines that IQ tests can no longer be administered due to excessive pain and hardship, substitutes will be developed in short order by those whose livelihoods require them to recognize and discriminate on this basis. The substitutes may be more expensive, less efficient, and impose even greater pain on the discriminated, but the show must go on.

  152. “IQ” is not racist, its “IQist”.

    From the “IQist” perspective, a Black man with an IQ of 135 is interchangeable with a white “woke” lesbian with an IQ of 135, interchangeable with an Indian immigrant with an IQ of 135, interchangeable with a Mexican would-be DACA case with an IQ of 135. A true racist would regard these persons as fundamentally different, and probably something that does not belong in the racist order of things.

    It is only when you get to discussions of group differences that racism might float onto the scene, but no one can deny those group differences (they are well established, measurable facts), they can only argue about the causes (genetic, environmental, or both) or they can go flat earth like Taleb (and an excessive skepticism leaves you as ignorant as an excessive credulity). Frankly, “groups” don’t technically exist, so neither do “group differences”, and likewise “probabilities” (which are either calculated analytically or inferred from empirical data). If you roll a dice, you don’t get a probability, you get an actual result. However, just because something doesn’t exist (in the sense of having a definitive, empirical referent) doesn’t mean its not useful. There aren’t any frictionless planes either.

  153. @Jack D
    In the Islamic Golden Age (8th to the 14th century), Damascus (along with Baghdad and Cordoba) was a great center of learning, exceeding anything that was being done in Europe at the same time. We are used to thinking of the European world as advanced and the Arab world as backward but that wasn't always true. But then the Islamic world stagnated and Europe had the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution so Syria was left far behind.

    In 8th century, but not in 14th century. Seems you’ve never heard about Carolingian renessaince and other such affairs.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Yes, that's right. Cf. Wilhelm von Ockham (1288 - 1347) - he is quite a thinker - his echo can be heard even here on iSteve. As are Meister Eckhart or Hermann der Lahme (= Hermanus Contractus) or Augustinus or Nikolaus von Kues (Nicolaus Cusanus) or . . . Johannes Scotus Eriugena... Thomas of Aquinas, Duns Scotus...this impressive row starts in the 6th century... - and the questions discussed by these men still linger on (cf. Frege, Gödel, Searle, Quine, Dunnett...). and on the Islamic side we have - - ok, we have some thinkers - - Al Ghazali, Avincenna, Averroes - but just compare the number of them and then their traces, and the quite small number of questions they arose, which are still discussed today in an Islamic context...if there hadn't been the widespread Christian reception, there would hardly be anything left over of their thoughts - which mostly originated in the Greek tradition: The Islamic world just did not care too much for them.

    And yes: Art (sculpture, paintings - - - der Meister des Paradiesgärtleins, and the architects and craftsmen (most of them anonymous) who build the cathedrals and the beautiful cities and
    the music...and the invention of the novel in the middle ages.
  154. @Hail
    Will 2019 bring more Tiny Ducks?

    New handle ideas for new iterations in the Tiny Duck series:

    - Tiny Duck,
    - TinyDuck,
    - TinyDuck
    - TinyDukkk
    - TinyDuck.
    - Tiny_Duck
    - Enormous Mallard

    I always thought Tiny Duck was the UNZ satirist…bad satire, but a satirist nonetheless.

  155. @Jack D
    In the Islamic Golden Age (8th to the 14th century), Damascus (along with Baghdad and Cordoba) was a great center of learning, exceeding anything that was being done in Europe at the same time. We are used to thinking of the European world as advanced and the Arab world as backward but that wasn't always true. But then the Islamic world stagnated and Europe had the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution so Syria was left far behind.

    …until Islam touched the M.E. with its black touch.

  156. @Jack D

    For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders…
     
    Getting reliable IQ scores from some countries is difficult. Lebanon has been war torn and largely without a functional central government for decades, the education system has been disrupted, etc.
    Nevertheless, you have to be suspicious of any measure that averages a group of non-disabled white people below 80 - such scores are just not seen in whites or even Arab countries that don't have a large infusion of African DNA. Low 80's however is common in Arab countries. Shiite peasants are a pretty dumb group for white people and the US has spent billions if not trillions trying to educate and elevate African Americans (who also have a large white DNA component) so it wouldn't totally shock me if they scored a couple of points higher under current conditions. This is not really reflective of their natural talents under equal conditions.

    I doubt Shiites are so dumb when you look at Hezbollah. I know a Shiite Palestinian, he used to work front office for Goldman Sachs.

    Taleb says some interesting things, but a lot is saying what is obvious in a convoluted manner. What this does imply is that even finding allies with a potentially similar and related group that might have a common cause with us is unlikely. Even high functioning groups have a deep seated envy and resentment of us white folks.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    The national average IQ of Lebanon (to the extent it can be measured) is now in the low 80s. This is also consistent with nearby countries such as Syria and Iran. That you know one smart Shiite (who was smart enough to get his ass out of the Middle East) doesn't prove anything. (The vast majority of Palestinian Arabs were Sunni - the Shiites were all located in a few villages right on the northern border with Lebanon so your friend is a rare bird). Hezbollah has gotten a lot of assistance from Iran. Iranians (the ones who are still there) aren't that smart on average either but in a country of 80 million, even one with an average IQ of 84, you are going to have some number of smart people because even a small fraction multiplied by 80,000,000 gives a significant result.

    Arabs, with their average mid-80s IQs, can be clever in a way but it seems like they often turn their attention to diabolical schemes. They don't invent new medical devices or communication technology but are good at repurposing other people's technology for evil purposes - they will figure out how to turn cell phones into bomb detonators, hair care products into explosives, etc. Mid 80's IQ nationalities often are clever enough to repurpose other people's technology in novel ways - turn oil drums into musical instruments, jeeps into buses, etc. but Arabs seem to focus their energy on making weapons. You see the same thing in prisons where the prisoners are clever in a way but all their cleverness goes into making shivs, running scams from jail, etc. They may have some modest level of intelligence but their moral compass is completely absent.
  157. @Jack D
    In the Islamic Golden Age (8th to the 14th century), Damascus (along with Baghdad and Cordoba) was a great center of learning, exceeding anything that was being done in Europe at the same time. We are used to thinking of the European world as advanced and the Arab world as backward but that wasn't always true. But then the Islamic world stagnated and Europe had the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution so Syria was left far behind.

    I don’t think Europe was backward, the Vikings were exploring the new world, the great cathedrals were being constructed and the likes of Venerable Bede and Chaucer were doing their thing. The crusaders were an awesome achievement.

    Of course the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols and the killing of the Muslim intellectual elite hurt the Islamic world greatly.

  158. @Anonymous
    We'd be better off with more med schools and more med school starts but more washouts: 95% of people who start med school finish, which means something is up. It doesn't need to wash out 75% of people like BUD/S (it costs more to put someone through BUD/S than med school by the way) but some should be washing out.

    The seat is not precious.

    What about the students’ opportunity cost? The seat is at least sort-of precious.

  159. The value of IQ is that it provides a slightly better explanation for group differences than witchcraft/systematic racism/unconscious bias. The idea that group differences can be explained by natural differences in group talents is much simpler than trying to postulate demonic powers that unconsciously possess people and make them do evil things in subtle and invisible ways.

    IQ is an imperfect tool to measure cognitive aptitude, for the reasons Taleb mentions, but its better than demons and witches. [However, demons and witchcraft do support “demotic” solutions to social problems, and thus are a better basis for a Progressive cargo cult.] As far as white nationalism or a racially-defined national socialism, I don’t see how it helps, as some people (Jews and Asians) tend to out-score the true Aryans. Maybe the genetic explanation of IQ differences helps to reify the notion of “race” and an emphasis on ancestry, but its neither necessary nor sufficient for that purpose.

    I think if everyone believed in the (limited) validity of IQ and that group differences are mostly driven by genetics, I actually don’t believe it would change politics very much. Liberals would still want liberal things, conservatives would want conservative things, they would just frame their arguments differently. [After all, most people in the mid-20th century believed in genetic-based group differences, but politics was politics.]

    I think people view politics as motivated primarily by ideas, when in fact it is motivated primarily by interests. If ideas change (as well as facts change), interests do not. As it is, the Left argues as if we are still living in Emmett Till’s Mississippi of 1955 and Hidenburg just made Trump the new Chancellor of Germany.

  160. @scumbag
    Taleb might have a bit of a point.


    Let me give you and example. Alabama is playing for a 13th national title since 1960 in football in 7 days.

    1961, 64,65,73,78,79,92,90,11,12,15,17, .....18?

    The ENTIRE Pac10, a great football conference which has put mucho talent into the NFL has only 8 since 1960. USC has 7, Washington 1.


    13>8 right?


    Wrong. Many USC teams alone would have beaten Alabama since 1960, and a All-Pac10 team would have beaten Alabama every single year since 1960. A few outlier, workaholic, talented individuals with high IQs accomplish a ton, but a lot of people with impressive IQ scores really dont amount to very much.

    There is some other drive, not-quit, enthusiasm, optimistic factor there somewhere we cannot discount I think.

    You (stupidly): “Many USC teams alone would have beaten Alabama since 1960…”

    Every game ever played is played under unique, non-replicable conditions of weather, field conditions, and state of bodies and minds of athletes.

    You have no way of knowing who would win what hypothetical game because you can not account for the unique, non-replicable conditions nor can you conjure up what would be the cause-to-effect sequence of every play in a hypothetical game.

    You are living proof that your intellect, which likely measures between 109 to 119 IQ, inhibits you from seeing more until those with gifted IQs come along and teach you what is the bigger picture.

    You: “There is some other drive, not-quit, enthusiasm, optimistic factor there somewhere we cannot discount I think.”

    Because of your limited intellect, you believe, erroneously, that champions of the validity of IQ claim that IQ is causal for success. Show us from the literature who makes that claim.

    Someone with a 105 IQ could be a quite successful owner / operator of a tree-cutting service, but never could he grasp the complexities to say work his way through medical school to become a surgeon or work his way through engineering school so he can design integrated circuits.

    Good luck!

  161. @War for Blair Mountain
    The other possibility is that IQ tests are highly flawed....and that you can’t mathematically rule this very real possibility out..This is Taleb’s point....

    Before I was banned from American Rennaissance

    This would be a good hashtag

  162. The corporate backing for all this multicultural B.S. is simple. Its much easier hiring useless people for H.R. and having a cheap supply of foreign labor (cuz racism) than having to fight a politics directed at how the system is rigged against the working and middle classes for the benefit of oligarchs.

  163. Taleb should invest all his money in Africa if he thinks IQ tests have such limited applicability.

    • Agree: syonredux
  164. And then this happened:

    Stefan Molyneux [Verified]
    @StefanMolyneux

    Taleb blocked me

  165. @Tulip
    Taleb is correct that IQ is not monotonic or transitive, but he forgets to tell us where in the Torah it says that something is not a measure if its not monotonic or transitive.

    Pretty strange that psychometeric mountebanks could be measuring something for 100 years without realizing it is not a "measurement". Why then are IQ results relatively stable over extended periods of time within an error bar? He is just regurgitating the "evolution" is not science because "it can't be expressed in a system of differential equations from which we derive testable predictions like electromagnetism" position. If its not physics, then its not science.

    Climate and seasonal differences exist, but we can't predict expected temperatures more than 4 or so days out. For Taleb, its not science that January 2019 will be colder than July 2019, yet it is a fact, even if I can't scientifically predict what temperature it will be in New York City on January 19, 2019 or July 19, 2019, nor can I, in any specific way, tell you why it will be temperature X on 1/19 and Y on 7/19.

    I can't tell if he virtue signalling, being perverse, or making the perfect the enemy of the good. Perhaps we should say--if psychology has any scientific validity at all, then IQ is the gold standard compared to the myriad findings that fail to replicate and/or turn out to be outright fraud. But then, why attack IQ, why not psychology itself (and biology too).

    Taleb is correct that IQ is not monotonic or transitive, but he forgets to tell us where in the Torah it says that something is not a measure if its not monotonic or transitive.

    To talk about metric the function must be of two arguments then it must be transitive. But I have no idea where did he get the monotonic property from. Anyway, IQ score is a function of one argument it is not meant to measure distance in any space so he is just BS-ing.

  166. Yes, race realists put too much emphasis on IQ, but I suspect the statement:

    “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.

    is making the same mistake in the other direction.

    I do like the IYI acronym. It’s a little classier than “idiotlectual.”

  167. “Amount to much” is not a function of IQ. IQ, high IQ, does not = > $, or any particular performance metric. IQ is performance of the human mind. I can use myself as an example. High IQ. I started a biometric technology company that went public. I designed a replacement for a customers CRAY 1. From scratch, based only on interest in scalability and cost-effective CPU cycles. I read constantly, across a wide variety of topics. Insatiable desire to learn and to share that knowledge. Few listen. Most are interested in what money might do for them.

    I am not motivated in the least by money. I could live in sublime peace in a shack near some good mountain bike trails with high-speed Internet service and a grocery store within 10 miles. High IQ individuals are, in general, dedicated to feeding their minds. Sometimes we discover a process or invent a solution that is highly valued by commercial interests and we make money. But I have never known a Mensan or equivalent that was money driven.

    Some don’t even want to “make a difference”. Some are selfish, many are egotistical, and a few are very cool, they care and ache because the solutions are unreachable. And then there is “God”, and He is real. That is where I reside – with Him. Without Him, there is only evil and darkness. Mankind desperately needs to turn to Him, but will refuse right up to death, and die without Him because that is their choice. So the real problem that the world faces is simply the rejection of a God who made Himself known to His creation, His “masterpiece” as He refers to us. So we have problems.

    Damn, this “Big Love” (Fleetwood Mac) guitar work is awesome!

    Without a faithful and obedient submission to Yahuah, man is finished. There really is a heaven, a hell, a “satan”, fire, angels, creation, etc. Humans are so into themselves that they hate even the idea of obedience to Yahuah. That is the problem. That is THE problem. If THAT problem ever turns into obedience, into faith, into loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, we will live in peace all the days of our lives and never know hunger or thirst or want or need. And you can facilitate that.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    What do we have to do in order to obey him? What are we supposed to do?
  168. Here is a hypothesis I consider interesting:

    Humans, like all living creatures, are geared to survival.

    The IQ test is a 100% measurement of how someone did on the test that day.

    There is a very strong correlation between IQ results and test taking abilities. In places like China, where they have used standardized tests for thousands of years, the correlation between survival and doing well on tests would be higher than in countries which had no written language.

    There is a hypothesis that the intellectual requirements of being a Jew — reading the Torah, doing books, etc. led to those who could perform such tasks surviving in Jewish society.

    There is probably a strong correlation between the types of intelligence needed for survival in N and W Europe and whatever the IQ test measures.

    There may be a weaker correlation between the traits that lead to survival in Africa and pre-contact Australia and the IQ test.

    Environmental factors do matter. The same person raises as an illiterate would do worse on the IQ test than the child of university professors. Hence the Flynn Effect.

    Or this could all be a bunch of BS

  169. Yes, race realists put too much emphasis on IQ, but I suspect the statement:

    “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.

    is making the same mistake in the other direction.

  170. anonymous[278] • Disclaimer says:
    @tanabear
    Nassim Taleb appreciates real world experience over theory. He is somewhat hostile to the idea of IQ tests because it doesn't allow for 2nd order effects. On an IQ test all the necessary knowledge is contained in the short question; but in the real world decisions are almost always made with incomplete knowledge(uncertainty). People who are good at IQ tests but bad at thinking things through he refers to as IYIs(Intellectual yet Idiot). These IYIs have been in positions of influence in the West for decades now and when have you ever heard any one of them say anything that indicates they think beyond 1st order effects? Practically never; whether it be the Iraq war, the housing crisis, immigration, crime etc...


    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….
     
    I believe this is due to the influence of Islam and the Turks. If Near Eastern Christians had their own country in the Middle East it would be comparable to most European countries. As Ibn Khaldun wrote, "Places that succumb to the Arabs are quickly ruined."

    I believe this is due to the influence of Islam and the Turks. … As Ibn Khaldun wrote, “Places that succumb to the Arabs are quickly ruined.”

    I have a quote; anonymous wrote, “Those who exult too much, in time will scream as much in agony.”

    I guess you have no idea of the ruination which awaits you pagans, and the other assorted godless of your ilk.

    Perhaps y’all could harness your earthly ingenuity to make your fiery eternal life easier on the hide… space suits maybe… hmph! rofl!!!

  171. @Bliss

    is Taleb just butthurt over the fact that populations in the Levant don’t do terribly well in terms of mean IQ score?
     
    Lol. All you alt-right IQists should be butthurt too. For Levantines are classified as white Caucasians and their tested IQ ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s. Significantly lower than the IQ of African Americans, Mexicans, Malays, Pacific Islanders...

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    It tells me that there are those who have bred with first cousins for generations, and that those that don’t have left. One group appears to be Muslim, and the other Christian.

    • Replies: @Bliss

    One group appears to be Muslim, and the other Christian.
     
    They are both Lebanese and both are classified as white Caucasians. And Lebanon has an IQ lower than that African-Americans, Central Americans, Indonesians, Polynesians etc, etc

    Where is your evidence that Christian Lebanese have higher IQ than Muslim Lebanese? If that was the case why does Lebanon which is 40% Christian have the same or even lower IQ than Arab nations such as Jordan which are over 95% Muslim? Explain that away...
  172. @Chrisnonymous
    or we could just let people take the bar exam and start practicing without requiring school first.

    That would actually be a great way to test Taleb's idea. Give people IQ tests and then let them loose in some field without training and see if success correlates with the test...

    or we could just let people take the bar exam and start practicing without requiring school first.

    In order to pass the bar exam, one requires a certain level of legal knowledge.Hence, one imagines that those people would have to, à la Lincoln, read law…..which takes a while…..So why not have people take a quick test first? You know, so they don’t waste their time?

    That would actually be a great way to test Taleb’s idea. Give people IQ tests and then let them loose in some field without training and see if success correlates with the test…

    I prefer the option that I described: Give people a test to see if they will benefit from training.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    What concern is it of yours if people waste their time studying? If we actually had a free bar exam, an industry would rise up to help people study and provide them ways to evaluate themselves. Everything would work out without required tests.
  173. @syonredux

    Does anyone know the IQ of Newton-Maxwell-Gibbs…?
     
    I'd be willing to bet that it's over 100....

    Maxwell was quite hairy.
     

    Maxwell was quite hairy.
     
    Difficult to imagine Maxwell wearing gold chains....

    http://www.ghettoredhot.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/gangsta-chain-with-cross.jpg

    http://cdn.shutterstock.com/shutterstock/videos/18748211/thumb/10.jpg

    https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*bb514wpWGJY28jcRBz77mg.jpeg

    Maxwell commented with humble astonishment towards the end of his life about the relative safety and comfort with which he had passed his earthly years, remarking that “he had never had so much as a hard shove.” He was also an adult convert to a very evangelical sect of Protestantism.

    If he were alive today, he would be ridiculed both as “IYI” by Taleb for the former and as fundie freak by the Sailersphere for the latter, which I believe says more about the limitations of these two worldviews than about those of Mr. Maxwell.

    As I said in another recent post about Taleb, I have but little regard for academics who beat up on other academics for their supposed lack of manliness. This is one of the cheapest of all possible shots and it does no credit to him who takes it. And while I would under no circumstances endorse Protestantism as a valid form of religion, the fact that Christianity, even in this distorted and etiolated form, could still appeal to one of the finest scientific minds of the 19th century proves that the contemptuous dismissals of it one often reads here are the business of simpletons and churls.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    I was reading about Maxwell just today, and noted too the beautiful simplicity and pliability of his nature. He accepted his lot, even at school, where he was treated with disdain for his uncouth ways. He seems to have simply smiled, shrugged, and continued to use the intelligence God gave him to understand and explain the complexities of His world. Interestingly too, and a lesson to many here, he didn't give a thought to exam results, but followed his own interests, and learned what he needed to learn to comprehend those interests ever more fully.

    He has been called a second Newton: another genius who had no doubts that the study of God, in his Creation and in His Revelation, is the greatest of the concerns of man.
    , @EldnaYm
    And while I would under no circumstances endorse Protestantism as a valid form of religion, the fact that Christianity, even in this distorted and etiolated form, could still appeal to one of the finest scientific minds of the 19th century proves that the contemptuous dismissals of it one often reads here are the business of simpletons and churls.

    Are you not dismissing Protestantism in a similar way?
  174. @utu

    it doesn’t satisfy the monotonicity and transitivity required to have a measure
     
    What did he mean by this?

    Monotonicity is a property of functions, requiring that they are everywhere nondecreasing or nonincreasing (one or the other). Such a function is called monotonic. Transitivity is a property of binary relations, like “>” ; a binary relation is transitive if and only if {a>b and b>c} implies a>c.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Taleb is setting an unrealistically high bar. IQ is measured by crude and imperfect means and is not going to have the same level of mathematical reliability as say a temperature scale. But this doesn't mean that it is useless.

    In the old days before candy thermometers were available, the temperature of sugar syrup was measured by dropping a bit of the syrup into cold water and visually observing the resulting product - it could form a "thread" or a "soft ball" or a "hard ball", etc. (Even a thermometer is an indirect measure - what you are really trying to measure is the % of water that remains in the water sugar solution but there IS a rigorous relationship between temperature and concentration of water). They could have also attached numbers to these stages and called them Stage 1 to 5 or decreed soft ball to be 100, thread to be 85, etc. Even though the stages were crude ranges and probably lacked strict monotonicity and transitivity too ( there was subjectivity attached to the stages - what I judge to be "hard ball" might be softer than what you judge to be "soft ball") generally speaking they were close enough for everyday use - experienced candy makers were able to make actual useful candy without a precise measuring instrument and using only the crude tools they then had available to them (a spoon and a glass of water). This is where we are with IQ tests now, but Taleb apparently would have told candy makers that their tests were no good so they couldn't use them and they wouldn't have been able to separate fudge from lollipops.

    In the old days there were a lot of tests like that - blacksmiths would look at the color of the iron glowing in the forge, farmers would judge how hard the fruit clung to the vine, etc. and they were all perfectly useful measures in skilled hands despite lacking monotonicity and transitivity.

    Now we have thermometers and are able to attach precise numbers to these things using direct measurement (and probably some day there will be brain scans for IQ) but the results aren't really much better or different because the old way was useful enough.
    , @utu
    I know that. But in what sense IQ suppose to be monotonic? With respect to what variable? Obviously it can't be transitive because the transitive property can be expected from functions of two variables only. I do not see two variables. Taleb is BS-ing.
  175. @Anonymous

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….
     
    What about Steve Jobs?

    Greater Syria hasn’t had enough stability or freedom in the last 500 years to provide the sort of environment in which the arts and sciences can flourish. When you’re got a crazy religion and crazy politics and wars, the arts and sciences are screwed.

  176. Anon[354] • Disclaimer says:

    “Many USC teams alone would have beaten Alabama since 1960, and a All-Pac10 team would have beaten Alabama every single year since 1960.”

    Please. That must be sarcasm, because you clearly don’t know the sport. Probably no USC team before 2005 would have beaten any of the current year Alabama teams considering the talent pool and complexities of modern defensive and offensive schemes. Even the 2004 USC team would have struggled as they nearly lost to a middling Stanford the year they played an overmatched Oklahoma; that USC team is overrated due to that single performance on national television. They lost the next year in a shootout with a superior opponent. And considering how the PAC-12 has performed this year, an All-Pac 12 team would struggle even against LSU, let alone any Alabama team since 2010.

  177. @syonredux

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….

    What about Steve Jobs?
     
    50% German.

    Plus, he was not exactly in the same league as guys like Claude Shannon and Jack Kilby......

    Germans don’t act like Steve Jobs. Jobs was 100% Levantine asshole in demeanor.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Germans are notoriously blunt, aren't they? And what about Jobs' apparent appreciation for design and aesthetics?
    , @syonredux

    Germans don’t act like Steve Jobs. Jobs was 100% Levantine asshole in demeanor.
     
    You need to meet more Germans.
  178. Anon[347] • Disclaimer says:

    “The other possibility is that IQ tests are highly flawed….and that you can’t mathematically rule this very real possibility out..This is Taleb’s point….”

    The better point is to ask what the probability is that all of these tests are flawed considering all the data we’ve accumulated thus far. Personally, I think it is highly unlikely that anything so significant will be discovered as to overturn the entire thing. Mostly what seems to be happening is that the Coalition of the Ascendant doesn’t like what they see, so their defenders nitpick minor points in the hopes of swindling people into thinking major flaws exist when they probably don’t, not considering all the testing that has occurred thus far. IQ tests, at least as a measure of extremes in individuals or means over a large population size, seem okay measures of general intelligence.

    It’s hard for me to believe a test that correlates with other things we think are also associated with general intelligence (like how one performs in life and educational achievement) is flawed to such an extensive degree as to make it completely non-predictive of anything. We see IQ tests of various racial groups lining up pretty closely with how those groups do globally or even within the United States. I’m supposed to believe that is mere coincidence?

    I’m supposed to believe twin studies that measure heritability of intelligence are all flawed, despite being replicated multiple times? Adoption studies that show children take on the IQ of their native lands and not their adopted ones are all are somehow flawed? It’s coincidence? Some genes correlate with educational attainment and they vary between individuals but there can’t ever be a means of measuring those genes’s influence in a person (intelligence)? All of this just happens to be flawed in a way that supports the conventional wisdom? What’s the probability of that?

    What evidence does the conventional wisdom side present that isn’t related to misrepresenting the other side or doesn’t character attack the proponents? Where are their twin studies? Where are their genetic studies? Where are their mass sampled IQ tests showing black kids under equal circumstances outperform Han Chinese? These tests just happen to predict that are Asian kids are very smart while they simultaneously do well in school while the same tests also show other groups as less smart while they simultaneously perform in accordance to their test ranking and that is all somehow an elaborate coincidence?

    Conservapedia claims that belief in evolution is pseudoscientific and bad, thus guys like Hitler supported it. Much of their criticism of evolution is similar to the attacks on IQ testing (or the very existence of general intelligence variance): character attacks, a mass of minor nitpicks, fundamental misrepresentations, and ignoring supporting evidence while offering no substantial counter evidence of their own. How is this any different?

    “The other possibility is that IQ tests are highly flawed….and that you can’t mathematically rule this very real possibility out..This is Taleb’s point….”

    It’s mathematically possible that our supposed discovery of the Higgs boson is wrong. That’s why we have statistics: “what is the probability that what we are seeing is merely the result of random chance?” Sure, the Higgs boson might not exist, but what is the probability that it doesn’t based on what we’ve seen? Answer: very small. If Taleb’s point is to claim that the mere mathematical possibility that a discovery doesn’t exist proves that it must not exist (or probably doesn’t) than he is wrong. That’s not how mathematics or science works and he is being disingenuous. That same argument could be used to throw out evolution, relativity, and most of modern science. I mean, it is indeed possible under what we know of quantum mechanical principles that relativity is wrong and every measurement we’ve ever taken on the subject is just the result of an elaborately improbable set of events. Do you want to start claiming Einstein was a peddler of pseudoscience?

    Ironically, some do…because they don’t like the guy who came up with it. Sounds awfully like these kinds of attacks on intelligence testing – opponents either don’t like the advocate or they don’t like the results as it relates to them personally or some group that votes for their political party, so they conclude that they must be wrong.

  179. anon[347] • Disclaimer says:

    “Greater Syria hasn’t had enough stability or freedom in the last 500 years to provide the sort of environment in which the arts and sciences can flourish. When you’re got a crazy religion and crazy politics and wars, the arts and sciences are screwed.”

    If I water a withering daisy every day will it grow as tall as a redwood?

  180. @scumbag
    Taleb might have a bit of a point.


    Let me give you and example. Alabama is playing for a 13th national title since 1960 in football in 7 days.

    1961, 64,65,73,78,79,92,90,11,12,15,17, .....18?

    The ENTIRE Pac10, a great football conference which has put mucho talent into the NFL has only 8 since 1960. USC has 7, Washington 1.


    13>8 right?


    Wrong. Many USC teams alone would have beaten Alabama since 1960, and a All-Pac10 team would have beaten Alabama every single year since 1960. A few outlier, workaholic, talented individuals with high IQs accomplish a ton, but a lot of people with impressive IQ scores really dont amount to very much.

    There is some other drive, not-quit, enthusiasm, optimistic factor there somewhere we cannot discount I think.

    The Pac-12 has never been a great football conference and was usually know as USC and the seven dwarfs in its pre Pac 10 days when football scholarships weren’t limited for each school. USC was always known for good defensive players and running backs and offensive linemen. Their quarterbacks were always second rate. They were the only school that could compete for the best football athletes with the other top teams of college football. Pat Haden remarked that a lot of their success was because they had guys sitting on their bench that could start at Cal or Oregon State.

    Many teams were restricted due to budget considerations. Their stadiums were small and TV money was scarce so they usually recruited in state to pay less for the scholarships. Because of that the PAC-8 schools were always considered soft (gutty little Bruins).

    USC has not been what it was since the institution of limits on college scholarships. Now the talent is more spread out and you have to recruit based on talent and need. Now a guy languishing on USC’s bench is starting at Cal and developing for 5 years in a conference that used to play a lot closer to the pro game than any other which is why they may have developed an outsized amount of pro players.

    However, the Pac-12 overall does not play smash-mouth football. It creates a lot of skilled position players and a few great linemen but these teams don’t have the overall ability to shove the football down your throat and control a physical game. This puts them in a disadvantage for running the table during the regular season and at the end of the year when key players may be injured.

    The SEC is the top football conference just like the Big 10 used to be. They have a better chance of recruiting people who think they are going pro. Alabama went through a long drought when the scholarship restrictions were introduced, just like all the powerhouse schools. Now they are consistently winning because all the talent is flocking to Alabama and ignoring some of the alternatives (like Tennessee).

    That Alabama is winning now is just the ability of a winner to recruit better even with limitations. USC enjoyed their little renaissance under Pete Carroll. Alabama is just going through a lucky period that says nothing about anything.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Evening games on the West Coast don't draw big national TV ratings because they start so late in the Eastern and Midwestern time zones. The final scores don't make Sports Center at 10 pm Eastern time. This puts Western teams at a permanent disadvantage for national media attention.
    , @William Badwhite

    the SEC is the top football conference just like the Big 10 used to be. They have a better chance of recruiting people who think they are going pro.
     
    The SEC for college football has some enormous advantages over other conferences: It is concentrated in heavily black states that tend to worship football and (Vanderbilt excepted) the schools have virtually zero academic requirements for athletes.
    , @Sarah Toga
    Do a little research on "fast twitch muscle" and the people-groups with the genetics for that and where they live. There's your answer.
  181. Anon[193] • Disclaimer says:

    “Before I was banned from American Rennaissance, I warned the IQ Test Score Enthusiasts in the Alt-Right-White White Nationalists…”

    Pretty much. Only in multicultural America could such an impractical thing become a group signifier / religion, along with Reagan’s voodoo economics, neoconservatism, and Ron Paul’s libertarianism. Nations exist as safe spaces for families of connected individuals. IQ Nationalism was and is a red herring that doesn’t preserve our safe space, regardless of how accurate the test is. It does not matter one wit to me what some other group’s mean IQ is if they vote against my interests and beliefs. That’s why I think guys like Unz are wrong when they try pointing to group X’s crime rate or economic performance. I don’t care. It could be half and triple my own, but it wouldn’t matter if growing numbers of group X are able to outvote my people, oppress me, and remove my culture, freedoms, monuments, and safe spaces.

    Honestly, sites like American Renaissance and their naive founder Jarred Taylor serve only the opposition as they start from a position that ironically concedes a major point to the opposition at the outset – that multiculturalism can, under certain circumstances, be good for America’s founding stock; come back to me on that point when someone like Stacey Adams one day enacts reparations payments on whites, powered by high-IQ immigrant votes. It’s funny how such an otherwise intelligent man as Jarred Taylor (and his Amren posters) could be so confused on issues of human nature and fundamental political realities.

    • Replies: @War for Blair Mountain
    That’s right...the enemy gets to define the terms of debate...and as a consequence, the terms of surrender......
    , @War for Blair Mountain
    That’s right...the enemy gets to define the terms of debate...and as a consequence, the terms of surrender......
    , @Kyle
    "but it wouldn’t matter if growing numbers of group X are able to outvote my people, oppress me, and remove my culture, freedoms, monuments, and safe spaces."

    The eternal question is who, whom?
    , @Anonymous

    but it wouldn’t matter if growing numbers of group X are able to outvote my people, oppress me, and remove my culture, freedoms, monuments, and safe spaces.
     
    They won't necessarily oppress you though.
  182. @LondonBob
    I doubt Shiites are so dumb when you look at Hezbollah. I know a Shiite Palestinian, he used to work front office for Goldman Sachs.

    Taleb says some interesting things, but a lot is saying what is obvious in a convoluted manner. What this does imply is that even finding allies with a potentially similar and related group that might have a common cause with us is unlikely. Even high functioning groups have a deep seated envy and resentment of us white folks.

    The national average IQ of Lebanon (to the extent it can be measured) is now in the low 80s. This is also consistent with nearby countries such as Syria and Iran. That you know one smart Shiite (who was smart enough to get his ass out of the Middle East) doesn’t prove anything. (The vast majority of Palestinian Arabs were Sunni – the Shiites were all located in a few villages right on the northern border with Lebanon so your friend is a rare bird). Hezbollah has gotten a lot of assistance from Iran. Iranians (the ones who are still there) aren’t that smart on average either but in a country of 80 million, even one with an average IQ of 84, you are going to have some number of smart people because even a small fraction multiplied by 80,000,000 gives a significant result.

    Arabs, with their average mid-80s IQs, can be clever in a way but it seems like they often turn their attention to diabolical schemes. They don’t invent new medical devices or communication technology but are good at repurposing other people’s technology for evil purposes – they will figure out how to turn cell phones into bomb detonators, hair care products into explosives, etc. Mid 80’s IQ nationalities often are clever enough to repurpose other people’s technology in novel ways – turn oil drums into musical instruments, jeeps into buses, etc. but Arabs seem to focus their energy on making weapons. You see the same thing in prisons where the prisoners are clever in a way but all their cleverness goes into making shivs, running scams from jail, etc. They may have some modest level of intelligence but their moral compass is completely absent.

  183. @MarkinLA
    The Pac-12 has never been a great football conference and was usually know as USC and the seven dwarfs in its pre Pac 10 days when football scholarships weren't limited for each school. USC was always known for good defensive players and running backs and offensive linemen. Their quarterbacks were always second rate. They were the only school that could compete for the best football athletes with the other top teams of college football. Pat Haden remarked that a lot of their success was because they had guys sitting on their bench that could start at Cal or Oregon State.

    Many teams were restricted due to budget considerations. Their stadiums were small and TV money was scarce so they usually recruited in state to pay less for the scholarships. Because of that the PAC-8 schools were always considered soft (gutty little Bruins).

    USC has not been what it was since the institution of limits on college scholarships. Now the talent is more spread out and you have to recruit based on talent and need. Now a guy languishing on USC's bench is starting at Cal and developing for 5 years in a conference that used to play a lot closer to the pro game than any other which is why they may have developed an outsized amount of pro players.

    However, the Pac-12 overall does not play smash-mouth football. It creates a lot of skilled position players and a few great linemen but these teams don't have the overall ability to shove the football down your throat and control a physical game. This puts them in a disadvantage for running the table during the regular season and at the end of the year when key players may be injured.

    The SEC is the top football conference just like the Big 10 used to be. They have a better chance of recruiting people who think they are going pro. Alabama went through a long drought when the scholarship restrictions were introduced, just like all the powerhouse schools. Now they are consistently winning because all the talent is flocking to Alabama and ignoring some of the alternatives (like Tennessee).

    That Alabama is winning now is just the ability of a winner to recruit better even with limitations. USC enjoyed their little renaissance under Pete Carroll. Alabama is just going through a lucky period that says nothing about anything.

    Evening games on the West Coast don’t draw big national TV ratings because they start so late in the Eastern and Midwestern time zones. The final scores don’t make Sports Center at 10 pm Eastern time. This puts Western teams at a permanent disadvantage for national media attention.

    • Replies: @Alvin
    Steve,

    It was obvious from the Rose Bowl (and other bowls) that the Pac-12 does not have any elite teams that could match up against the best. This has been the case for close to 10 years now. You mentioned the national media attention (due to late night pacific time games) as one factor. But hasn't that always been the case?

    And what else is contributing to the relative decline of west coast football? Fewer black athletes on the west coast as compared to the deep south and atlantic? The south loves its football more - thus higher youth participation rates and more fans watching both Friday night high school football and Saturday college football? Not many other entertainment options? More corruption (players being paid under the table)?

    Alvin
  184. @Anonymous
    Germans don't act like Steve Jobs. Jobs was 100% Levantine asshole in demeanor.

    Germans are notoriously blunt, aren’t they? And what about Jobs’ apparent appreciation for design and aesthetics?

  185. @Patrick Sullivan

    It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.
     
    Taleb is apparently suggesting here that test-taking ability is anti-correlated with real-life success. If he is correct, IQ tests do in fact have predictive skill.

    The problem is that he is not correct. There are people who are 7 feet tall who are nevertheless not great basketball players and people who are 5′ 9″ who play in the NBA, but generally speaking, being taller is better in basketball. In the game of life, having a higher IQ is positively correlated with life success (and the curve never turns backward even at the highest levels). Taleb is talking out his ass when he says that IQ is just for paper shufflers.

  186. @utu

    what skills and talents in your opinion make for a good businessman
     
    Sociopathy. See how Wozniak cried when he learned how Jobs took advantage of him many years earlier.

    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has admitted he cried when he discovered that the late Steve Jobs had tricked him into designing a game for which Jobs received a majority of the profit.
    https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/steve-wozniak-cried-jobs-kept-atari-bonus-267711

  187. @Peter Johnson
    Monotonicity is a property of functions, requiring that they are everywhere nondecreasing or nonincreasing (one or the other). Such a function is called monotonic. Transitivity is a property of binary relations, like ">" ; a binary relation is transitive if and only if {a>b and b>c} implies a>c.

    Taleb is setting an unrealistically high bar. IQ is measured by crude and imperfect means and is not going to have the same level of mathematical reliability as say a temperature scale. But this doesn’t mean that it is useless.

    In the old days before candy thermometers were available, the temperature of sugar syrup was measured by dropping a bit of the syrup into cold water and visually observing the resulting product – it could form a “thread” or a “soft ball” or a “hard ball”, etc. (Even a thermometer is an indirect measure – what you are really trying to measure is the % of water that remains in the water sugar solution but there IS a rigorous relationship between temperature and concentration of water). They could have also attached numbers to these stages and called them Stage 1 to 5 or decreed soft ball to be 100, thread to be 85, etc. Even though the stages were crude ranges and probably lacked strict monotonicity and transitivity too ( there was subjectivity attached to the stages – what I judge to be “hard ball” might be softer than what you judge to be “soft ball”) generally speaking they were close enough for everyday use – experienced candy makers were able to make actual useful candy without a precise measuring instrument and using only the crude tools they then had available to them (a spoon and a glass of water). This is where we are with IQ tests now, but Taleb apparently would have told candy makers that their tests were no good so they couldn’t use them and they wouldn’t have been able to separate fudge from lollipops.

    In the old days there were a lot of tests like that – blacksmiths would look at the color of the iron glowing in the forge, farmers would judge how hard the fruit clung to the vine, etc. and they were all perfectly useful measures in skilled hands despite lacking monotonicity and transitivity.

    Now we have thermometers and are able to attach precise numbers to these things using direct measurement (and probably some day there will be brain scans for IQ) but the results aren’t really much better or different because the old way was useful enough.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  188. Using high correlation with a particular outcome as a threshold for acceptance is problematic. If 2 desired outcomes are weakly correlated with each other, it is impossible for a third variable like IQ/g to have high predictive validity on both outcomes. While the numbers can be worked out, I postulate that given a standard set of important real life outcomes ( say around a dozen) it would be very hard to beat IQ/g in accounting for variance across this diverse outcome set. If a measure is highly tuned to one outcome it will overlap less with other outcomes.

  189. @Anonymous
    Germans don't act like Steve Jobs. Jobs was 100% Levantine asshole in demeanor.

    Germans don’t act like Steve Jobs. Jobs was 100% Levantine asshole in demeanor.

    You need to meet more Germans.

  190. @Anon

    It explains at best between 13% and 50% of the performance in some tasks.
     
    Yeah, and 80-90% in others. But let's conveniently leave that out.

    No one is disagreeing that IQ isn't everything in real world tasks in all situations. It is merely one metric, just like height, weight, arm length and 40 time in football.

    Taleb is trying way too hard be an edgelord here and just publicly embarrassed himself. Time for him to go fade into obscurity and enjoy his billions. He had his one or two good insights.

    Taleb is trying way too hard be an edgelord here

    Yes. I quite enjoyed his spats with the likes of Mary Beard.

    Here he is being hoisted by his own petard: the stats are remarkable good on the predictive power of IQ.

    No one I have never met thinks IQ is the be-all and end-all: a high IQ, say, means nothing in itself. It is not an achievement. In my own personal life and career I’ve never had cause to even talk about IQ. I’ve judged people by their actions and character. If someone had ever asked me I’d have probably taken the Richard Nixon view that it might be important for a policy maker to have the information but that it should not be discussed in public.

    But politically it has been slid onto center stage – pace Taleb – by precisely the people who claim its uselessness.

    The diversity-über-alles zealots who insist on equal outcomes for all, including mandatory diversity notwithstanding achievement, invite skeptics to demonstrate with ugly statistics why these liberal shibboleths are incompatible with advanced society.

  191. @MarkinLA
    The Pac-12 has never been a great football conference and was usually know as USC and the seven dwarfs in its pre Pac 10 days when football scholarships weren't limited for each school. USC was always known for good defensive players and running backs and offensive linemen. Their quarterbacks were always second rate. They were the only school that could compete for the best football athletes with the other top teams of college football. Pat Haden remarked that a lot of their success was because they had guys sitting on their bench that could start at Cal or Oregon State.

    Many teams were restricted due to budget considerations. Their stadiums were small and TV money was scarce so they usually recruited in state to pay less for the scholarships. Because of that the PAC-8 schools were always considered soft (gutty little Bruins).

    USC has not been what it was since the institution of limits on college scholarships. Now the talent is more spread out and you have to recruit based on talent and need. Now a guy languishing on USC's bench is starting at Cal and developing for 5 years in a conference that used to play a lot closer to the pro game than any other which is why they may have developed an outsized amount of pro players.

    However, the Pac-12 overall does not play smash-mouth football. It creates a lot of skilled position players and a few great linemen but these teams don't have the overall ability to shove the football down your throat and control a physical game. This puts them in a disadvantage for running the table during the regular season and at the end of the year when key players may be injured.

    The SEC is the top football conference just like the Big 10 used to be. They have a better chance of recruiting people who think they are going pro. Alabama went through a long drought when the scholarship restrictions were introduced, just like all the powerhouse schools. Now they are consistently winning because all the talent is flocking to Alabama and ignoring some of the alternatives (like Tennessee).

    That Alabama is winning now is just the ability of a winner to recruit better even with limitations. USC enjoyed their little renaissance under Pete Carroll. Alabama is just going through a lucky period that says nothing about anything.

    the SEC is the top football conference just like the Big 10 used to be. They have a better chance of recruiting people who think they are going pro.

    The SEC for college football has some enormous advantages over other conferences: It is concentrated in heavily black states that tend to worship football and (Vanderbilt excepted) the schools have virtually zero academic requirements for athletes.

  192. @Intelligent Dasein
    Maxwell commented with humble astonishment towards the end of his life about the relative safety and comfort with which he had passed his earthly years, remarking that "he had never had so much as a hard shove." He was also an adult convert to a very evangelical sect of Protestantism.

    If he were alive today, he would be ridiculed both as "IYI" by Taleb for the former and as fundie freak by the Sailersphere for the latter, which I believe says more about the limitations of these two worldviews than about those of Mr. Maxwell.

    As I said in another recent post about Taleb, I have but little regard for academics who beat up on other academics for their supposed lack of manliness. This is one of the cheapest of all possible shots and it does no credit to him who takes it. And while I would under no circumstances endorse Protestantism as a valid form of religion, the fact that Christianity, even in this distorted and etiolated form, could still appeal to one of the finest scientific minds of the 19th century proves that the contemptuous dismissals of it one often reads here are the business of simpletons and churls.

    I was reading about Maxwell just today, and noted too the beautiful simplicity and pliability of his nature. He accepted his lot, even at school, where he was treated with disdain for his uncouth ways. He seems to have simply smiled, shrugged, and continued to use the intelligence God gave him to understand and explain the complexities of His world. Interestingly too, and a lesson to many here, he didn’t give a thought to exam results, but followed his own interests, and learned what he needed to learn to comprehend those interests ever more fully.

    He has been called a second Newton: another genius who had no doubts that the study of God, in his Creation and in His Revelation, is the greatest of the concerns of man.

  193. @Steve Sailer
    Steve Jobs wasn't the richest, but I'd probably say he was the greatest businessman of my lifetime. He's half-Syrian genetically.

    The smartest guy at the company of 2000 I worked at in Chicago was a Christian guy from Lebanon.

    Lebanese, like Israelis, tend to be really brusque, so you have to keep that in mind and try not to get offended by them. I had to keep that in mind at my old market research job because the Lebanese genius executive could be quite rude, but, judging him on the Levantine curve, he wasn't brusquer than normal. Plus he was almost always right and obviously was going to rise very high in the company hierarchy.

    The Levant produces some fine businessmen.

    Since IQ is said to mostly come from the mother, wouldn’t Mr. Jobs’ white/Euro ancestors be most responsible for his smarts?

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Since IQ is said to mostly come from the mother
     
    It is?
    , @Jack D

    Since IQ is said to mostly come from the mother,
     
    Who said this? No one, ever.
  194. @MarkinLA
    The Pac-12 has never been a great football conference and was usually know as USC and the seven dwarfs in its pre Pac 10 days when football scholarships weren't limited for each school. USC was always known for good defensive players and running backs and offensive linemen. Their quarterbacks were always second rate. They were the only school that could compete for the best football athletes with the other top teams of college football. Pat Haden remarked that a lot of their success was because they had guys sitting on their bench that could start at Cal or Oregon State.

    Many teams were restricted due to budget considerations. Their stadiums were small and TV money was scarce so they usually recruited in state to pay less for the scholarships. Because of that the PAC-8 schools were always considered soft (gutty little Bruins).

    USC has not been what it was since the institution of limits on college scholarships. Now the talent is more spread out and you have to recruit based on talent and need. Now a guy languishing on USC's bench is starting at Cal and developing for 5 years in a conference that used to play a lot closer to the pro game than any other which is why they may have developed an outsized amount of pro players.

    However, the Pac-12 overall does not play smash-mouth football. It creates a lot of skilled position players and a few great linemen but these teams don't have the overall ability to shove the football down your throat and control a physical game. This puts them in a disadvantage for running the table during the regular season and at the end of the year when key players may be injured.

    The SEC is the top football conference just like the Big 10 used to be. They have a better chance of recruiting people who think they are going pro. Alabama went through a long drought when the scholarship restrictions were introduced, just like all the powerhouse schools. Now they are consistently winning because all the talent is flocking to Alabama and ignoring some of the alternatives (like Tennessee).

    That Alabama is winning now is just the ability of a winner to recruit better even with limitations. USC enjoyed their little renaissance under Pete Carroll. Alabama is just going through a lucky period that says nothing about anything.

    Do a little research on “fast twitch muscle” and the people-groups with the genetics for that and where they live. There’s your answer.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Newsflash - There are blacks in California and some pretty good ones. Most of USCs famed running backs came from the state. You don't need fast twitch muscles to be a good offensive linemen. That was always USCs strength it's running backs and it's offensive linemen. In fact some of the most famous USC linemen weren't black - Anthony Munoz and Greg Yary.

    That there are a lot of blacks in the south has less to do with it than the fact that SEC schools likely have an easier time recruiting. There are 5 power conferences in college football and each only has 85 active scholarships. That means that only about 1200 athletes are offered a scholarship to one of those schools every year. If recruiting was a perfect science, then nobody would ever make the pros from a lower ranked conference, let alone an FCS or Division 2 school but it does happen.
  195. @Intelligent Dasein
    Maxwell commented with humble astonishment towards the end of his life about the relative safety and comfort with which he had passed his earthly years, remarking that "he had never had so much as a hard shove." He was also an adult convert to a very evangelical sect of Protestantism.

    If he were alive today, he would be ridiculed both as "IYI" by Taleb for the former and as fundie freak by the Sailersphere for the latter, which I believe says more about the limitations of these two worldviews than about those of Mr. Maxwell.

    As I said in another recent post about Taleb, I have but little regard for academics who beat up on other academics for their supposed lack of manliness. This is one of the cheapest of all possible shots and it does no credit to him who takes it. And while I would under no circumstances endorse Protestantism as a valid form of religion, the fact that Christianity, even in this distorted and etiolated form, could still appeal to one of the finest scientific minds of the 19th century proves that the contemptuous dismissals of it one often reads here are the business of simpletons and churls.

    And while I would under no circumstances endorse Protestantism as a valid form of religion, the fact that Christianity, even in this distorted and etiolated form, could still appeal to one of the finest scientific minds of the 19th century proves that the contemptuous dismissals of it one often reads here are the business of simpletons and churls.

    Are you not dismissing Protestantism in a similar way?

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    Are you not dismissing Protestantism in a similar way?
     
    Not at all. I know whereof I speak in this matter. I am well acquainted with Protestantism theologically, psychologically, and historically. When I reject it I do so out of knowledge, not out of ignorance.
  196. Professor Taleb could certainly prove us all wrong by doing the following.

    1. Created a web based standardized statistics course. To keep teaching to the test at a minimum.
    2. Have a standardized test bank of questions in which the course attendee’s take the test.
    3. Sort test results based on SAT or IQ score ranges such as 1. 1050-1200 band 2. 1200 to 1350 band 3. 1350 to 1500 etc…
    4. Publish results if he dares

  197. One year, in the Depression, New York City hired some cops, purely on their test results. They hired the top 300 out of 33,000 applicants.
    Average IQ was around 130. Over the years, that class did much better than average.

  198. @Steve Sailer
    Evening games on the West Coast don't draw big national TV ratings because they start so late in the Eastern and Midwestern time zones. The final scores don't make Sports Center at 10 pm Eastern time. This puts Western teams at a permanent disadvantage for national media attention.

    Steve,

    It was obvious from the Rose Bowl (and other bowls) that the Pac-12 does not have any elite teams that could match up against the best. This has been the case for close to 10 years now. You mentioned the national media attention (due to late night pacific time games) as one factor. But hasn’t that always been the case?

    And what else is contributing to the relative decline of west coast football? Fewer black athletes on the west coast as compared to the deep south and atlantic? The south loves its football more – thus higher youth participation rates and more fans watching both Friday night high school football and Saturday college football? Not many other entertainment options? More corruption (players being paid under the table)?

    Alvin

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    You mentioned the national media attention (due to late night pacific time games) as one factor. But hasn’t that always been the case? Also, the Pac 12 made the wrong business choice about 5 years ago in terms of partnering or not partnering with a network and that has cost them money.

    In the 1970s, there was like one college football game per week on national TV, so network TV money wasn't as big of a factor as it is now.

    High school football is moderately big in California (but it's been in decline since maybe 2010). Not as big as in Texas or Louisiana, but a fair percentage of blacks and whites in California had roots in Texas and Louisiana, so bigger than you'd expect. A surprising percentage of NFL players are from California.

    But high school football is declining in popularity in California. It's become not uncommon for losing teams to forfeit their last game or two of the regular season because nobody wants to keep playing. My son's old high school is dropping from 11 to 8 man football.

  199. In real science…like physics….exceptions-inconsistency to a scientific law…ushers in a scientific revolution…In IQ Psychometric “HARD SCIENCE!!!…exceptions-inconsistencies-outliers are written off with statistical hand-waving arguments…..

  200. While I’ve been critical of how IQ tests are applied in education, @nntaleb is incorrect that IQ tests are “meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient ITIs (intellectual yet idiots), ill adapted for ‘real life’”. See thread below.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    middle aged vet ,,,, said : I think Taleb, when he dialed down on his insults of Murray, realized that "going all in" on how smart he is


    is a great idea when he is messing with Pinker or Monsanto or Saudi spokespeople

    but is not such a good idea when messing with people like Cochran and Steve Hsu and ...

    well, I don't think he ought to be worried about Murray, in case you did not watch the context, Murray claims to be much much higher in IQ than Trump, and Taleb, for that reason alone, is justified in criticizing Murray, who is likely delusional when he talks about Trump's low IQ and his own apparently higher IQ.

    (sorry to bring politics into this, but that is a big part of all this .... as is the impatience Taleb correctly feels with people who know little about the Mediterranean and who pretend there is some difference between Italians and the Lebanese - at least the ancestral Lebanese - with respect to IQ)


    I am glad Taleb, whom I consider to be fairly brilliant, has tried to say what he wants to say on this subject.

    But he has never been a leader of men in a successful country.

    I have, and I can tell you this.

    Yes, a good American lieutenant can train a few dozen people in his squads, people with extremely low IQ test scores (yes I mean what I said because I have lived it) to be better soldiers than a bad American lieutenant would be able to do with a few dozen people with high IQs.

    and yes, concavity is important - for example, if you are very very intelligent and are designing, say, a large transport ship, you are going to build into the complicated operations of that ship such operations as are more easily comprehended by the EXACT sort of people who understand IQ tests than you would be inclined to build into such ship if you were looking for "creativity" in the mid-IQ helots of our day , and obviously this sort of gaming of the technical system will have real world residual effects that might contribute to the Fat Tail that seems to have confused Taleb ....

    I know how that works, and Taleb, bless his little heart, probably does too, but he is angry at his enemies and is trying to ambush them.

    Hopefully he will do better in the next reiteration of his views, some philosophers get better as they get older (I could name a few but I will leave this as an exercise for the reader) and some philosophers sort of go off the rails.

    (and if you are reading this and you can deadlift more than me, good for you, but if you have a beer belly, well, I don't and I would be happy to give you advice on how to get rid of yours).

    That being said, Taleb is so right on so many issues - Saudi Arabia, the pro-life issues, GMOs, lobbyists, Trump, that I do not like to criticize him.

    Everyone who talks about many things is going to be wrong once in a while.

  201. @syonredux

    So if we got rid of test taking who would appear “smarter” based on real world outcomes which is what actually matters?
     
    "Real world outcome." You mean like designing an airplane or performing brain surgery? Well, I suppose that we could just start letting random guys off the street take a stab at it......You know, so we could see how they do....

    You mean like designing an airplane

    That is exactly where the airplane came from; high school drop out Orville Wright and his brother Wilbur.

    Nassim Taleb favors tinkering over testing. It is from tinkering that we grow to understand the world not from testing. The medicine we have today didn’t come top down from academic medicine but bottom up from the barbers and surgeons. It is tinkerers who make the discoveries then academics who codify and formalize the knowledge.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    That is exactly where the airplane came from; high school drop out Orville Wright and his brother Wilbur.
     
    What would Taleb say ?Ah, I've got it....Skin in the Game: Would you take a flight on a plane that was built by high school dropouts?

    Taleb favors tinkering over testing. It is from tinkering that we grow to understand the world not from testing. The medicine we have today didn’t come top down from academic medicine but bottom up from the barbers and surgeons. It is tinkerers who make the discoveries then academics who codify and formalize the knowledge.
     
    Skin in the Game:Would you want a guy off the street with no medical credentials to be the one "tinkering" with your heart?
  202. My favorite line of Steven Pinker’s is the observation that fears of a looming AI singularity fail to consider that intelligence, rather than being one thing, is more like seventeen things. It seems to me that this idea is very close to Taleb’s point; perhaps Taleb is being too triumphant and punditty, but, as good as IQ is in predicting success, it’s a convenient handle that doesn’t represent enormously important factors. Could it be said that IQ is a good predictor for those cases where everything else is already sewn up anyway?

  203. I’m with Taleb on this point….evidence:Mitt Romney…George W Bush…Susan Rice…Samantha Powers….to quote Noam Ch0msky:”The carping of vapid minds..”….response to syronredux above….

  204. @Peter Johnson
    Monotonicity is a property of functions, requiring that they are everywhere nondecreasing or nonincreasing (one or the other). Such a function is called monotonic. Transitivity is a property of binary relations, like ">" ; a binary relation is transitive if and only if {a>b and b>c} implies a>c.

    I know that. But in what sense IQ suppose to be monotonic? With respect to what variable? Obviously it can’t be transitive because the transitive property can be expected from functions of two variables only. I do not see two variables. Taleb is BS-ing.

    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
    Yes I agree he is unclear and there is no obvious interpretation. He seems to be trying to use properties of utility theory in microeconomics and apply it to intelligence measurement. The "free disposal" assumption means that consumers prefer more to less so that positive monotonicity follows. If u() is the function which maps vectors of consumption bundles into a utility metric then u(a+x)>u(a) where a is a vector of goods and x is a strictly positive vector. Consumer preferences are also assumed to have the transitivity property that for consumption bundles a,b,c {a > b and b> c} implies a>c. Taleb is just trying to dazzle his audience with terminology but it means nothing in this context IMHO.
  205. @syonredux
    This is just sad.....

    If you want to detect how someone fares at a task, say loan sharking, tennis playing, or random matrix theory, make him/her do that task; we don’t need theoretical exams for a real world function by probability-challenged psychologists.
     
    Certain kinds of jobs (surgeon, lawyer, etc) take quite a bit of training....You know, time+money (student loans).....Don't you think that it might be a good idea to give people a relatively inexpensive test before we start encouraging fellows who will never pass the bar exam to go to law school.....

    This recalls the Pinker (+Sailer) v. Gladwell debate a few years ago about QBs. In his book Outliers, Gladwell insists that it’s *impossible* to predict performance of QBs. And school teachers. And presumably lots of other things.

  206. “it doesn’t satisfy the monotonicity and transitivity required to have a measure”

    That’s a strange comment. Taleb seems to be living in a different world from people who work with empirical data. If you study statistical inference or machine learning, you know that there are various forms of error involved in just about any task.

    He’s using the wrong vocabulary in many ways. Data scientists use terms like precision, recall, type I error, etc etc.

    Making inferences based on empirical observations is not the same thing as deductive proof in a formal system.

    • Agree: Peter Johnson
  207. In the two years I got to run an undergraduate engineering program, I found out that there was one number I needed when talking to a prospective student, Math ACT. Under 25 and I could tell Mom and Dad they were wasting their money and give them the business school advisor’s card. I know the Math ACT is not IQ but it’s a good proxy, and it was very reliable in preventing the worst part of the job. The worst part being around this time of year when I had to help students rearrange their schedule because they didn’t get a C in Calc I in the Fall. I’m fairly sure that Taleb never had to deal with people who couldn’t make it through Calc I.

  208. anonymous[180] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    While I’ve been critical of how IQ tests are applied in education, @nntaleb is incorrect that IQ tests are “meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient ITIs (intellectual yet idiots), ill adapted for ‘real life’”. See thread below.
     
    https://twitter.com/sbkaufman/status/1080601840918687744

    middle aged vet ,,,, said : I think Taleb, when he dialed down on his insults of Murray, realized that “going all in” on how smart he is

    is a great idea when he is messing with Pinker or Monsanto or Saudi spokespeople

    but is not such a good idea when messing with people like Cochran and Steve Hsu and …

    well, I don’t think he ought to be worried about Murray, in case you did not watch the context, Murray claims to be much much higher in IQ than Trump, and Taleb, for that reason alone, is justified in criticizing Murray, who is likely delusional when he talks about Trump’s low IQ and his own apparently higher IQ.

    (sorry to bring politics into this, but that is a big part of all this …. as is the impatience Taleb correctly feels with people who know little about the Mediterranean and who pretend there is some difference between Italians and the Lebanese – at least the ancestral Lebanese – with respect to IQ)

    I am glad Taleb, whom I consider to be fairly brilliant, has tried to say what he wants to say on this subject.

    But he has never been a leader of men in a successful country.

    I have, and I can tell you this.

    Yes, a good American lieutenant can train a few dozen people in his squads, people with extremely low IQ test scores (yes I mean what I said because I have lived it) to be better soldiers than a bad American lieutenant would be able to do with a few dozen people with high IQs.

    and yes, concavity is important – for example, if you are very very intelligent and are designing, say, a large transport ship, you are going to build into the complicated operations of that ship such operations as are more easily comprehended by the EXACT sort of people who understand IQ tests than you would be inclined to build into such ship if you were looking for “creativity” in the mid-IQ helots of our day , and obviously this sort of gaming of the technical system will have real world residual effects that might contribute to the Fat Tail that seems to have confused Taleb ….

    I know how that works, and Taleb, bless his little heart, probably does too, but he is angry at his enemies and is trying to ambush them.

    Hopefully he will do better in the next reiteration of his views, some philosophers get better as they get older (I could name a few but I will leave this as an exercise for the reader) and some philosophers sort of go off the rails.

    (and if you are reading this and you can deadlift more than me, good for you, but if you have a beer belly, well, I don’t and I would be happy to give you advice on how to get rid of yours).

    That being said, Taleb is so right on so many issues – Saudi Arabia, the pro-life issues, GMOs, lobbyists, Trump, that I do not like to criticize him.

    Everyone who talks about many things is going to be wrong once in a while.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    middle aged vet said: and yes, I meant residual and not recursive (imagine the aftermath of misunderstood or over-simplified orders, rather than the aftermath of clever orders consciously or conspiratorially misappropriated - the first is residual, the next is recursive, if the orders were not at fault in the first place)

    and I meant concavity and not convexity (imagine a well polished telescope and the aeons of years in the past you can see, the more exact and true to form the concavity is .... then imagine whatever you want about convexity)

  209. anonymous[180] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous
    middle aged vet ,,,, said : I think Taleb, when he dialed down on his insults of Murray, realized that "going all in" on how smart he is


    is a great idea when he is messing with Pinker or Monsanto or Saudi spokespeople

    but is not such a good idea when messing with people like Cochran and Steve Hsu and ...

    well, I don't think he ought to be worried about Murray, in case you did not watch the context, Murray claims to be much much higher in IQ than Trump, and Taleb, for that reason alone, is justified in criticizing Murray, who is likely delusional when he talks about Trump's low IQ and his own apparently higher IQ.

    (sorry to bring politics into this, but that is a big part of all this .... as is the impatience Taleb correctly feels with people who know little about the Mediterranean and who pretend there is some difference between Italians and the Lebanese - at least the ancestral Lebanese - with respect to IQ)


    I am glad Taleb, whom I consider to be fairly brilliant, has tried to say what he wants to say on this subject.

    But he has never been a leader of men in a successful country.

    I have, and I can tell you this.

    Yes, a good American lieutenant can train a few dozen people in his squads, people with extremely low IQ test scores (yes I mean what I said because I have lived it) to be better soldiers than a bad American lieutenant would be able to do with a few dozen people with high IQs.

    and yes, concavity is important - for example, if you are very very intelligent and are designing, say, a large transport ship, you are going to build into the complicated operations of that ship such operations as are more easily comprehended by the EXACT sort of people who understand IQ tests than you would be inclined to build into such ship if you were looking for "creativity" in the mid-IQ helots of our day , and obviously this sort of gaming of the technical system will have real world residual effects that might contribute to the Fat Tail that seems to have confused Taleb ....

    I know how that works, and Taleb, bless his little heart, probably does too, but he is angry at his enemies and is trying to ambush them.

    Hopefully he will do better in the next reiteration of his views, some philosophers get better as they get older (I could name a few but I will leave this as an exercise for the reader) and some philosophers sort of go off the rails.

    (and if you are reading this and you can deadlift more than me, good for you, but if you have a beer belly, well, I don't and I would be happy to give you advice on how to get rid of yours).

    That being said, Taleb is so right on so many issues - Saudi Arabia, the pro-life issues, GMOs, lobbyists, Trump, that I do not like to criticize him.

    Everyone who talks about many things is going to be wrong once in a while.

    middle aged vet said: and yes, I meant residual and not recursive (imagine the aftermath of misunderstood or over-simplified orders, rather than the aftermath of clever orders consciously or conspiratorially misappropriated – the first is residual, the next is recursive, if the orders were not at fault in the first place)

    and I meant concavity and not convexity (imagine a well polished telescope and the aeons of years in the past you can see, the more exact and true to form the concavity is …. then imagine whatever you want about convexity)

  210. @Counterinsurgency
    Yep. Membership in a social group is essential for getting ideas accepted, especially when all social groups are under pressure, as they are just now If the social group has a high aggregate income, so does the accepted person, smart or not.
    But there is a bit more to it than that. Communication is always a bit difficult, and becomes more so as IQ of speaker and audience diverges. Groups have some mean intelligence, and everybody in the group has to be close enough to the mean to permit communication. This limits the reward that the group can give to IQ very much different (higher _or_ lower) than the mean. This is, in large part, why scholars historically tended to have low pay -- they were just too far from the IQ (and interests, of course) of merchants, mechanics, etc. The old R&D centers were notorious to that. I was told at one point by Rockwell executives that their R&D center had spun off several billiions of dollars in value, all to startup companies. The Rockwell executive didn't mention that almost every spinoff was a concept that Rockwell executives had decided to defund.

    So, no, IQ isn't a magic number. There's an old quote, though, attributed to several people c.a. AD 1930s: "The race doesn't always go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet." IQ can help.

    Counterinsurgency

    This explains the symphony orchestra people, making average salaries despite rare mastery of a difficult skill. Amoral and aesthetically neutral, markets are indifferent to IQ. Markets care about one score only: the greenback score. The high-IQ orchestral performers communicate with such a small audience that they need volunteers to raise cash for them, helping to keep their non-profitable enterprises afloat.

  211. @Peter Johnson
    That was almost a century ago.

    Your argument is equivalent to criticizing modern medicine by discussing early 20th century miracle-potion manufacturers and saying that ancient history proves that modern medicine is a sham.

    Plomin's recent book reviews how IQ differences can now be linked to DNA differences at the chemical level via polygenic index scores. We have come a long way from calipers to measure head sizes. Criticize modern research, not the ancient history of science.

    Newer tools like DNA are better at clustering human populations than cephalic index, etc., but morphology and physical anthropology are still legit fields.

    No one raises an eyebrow when these methods are applied to the animal kingdom. Similarly whenever they dig up ancient hominid remains, you better believe they examine the skeletal and craniofacial features very carefully. It’s only labeled “pseudoscience” when it’s applied to modern homo sapiens. People just get uncomfortable when anyone points out that prevalence of prognathism varies by race, for example.

  212. I’m surprised Taleb doesn’t intuitively grasp IQ. Everyone I know who’s really struggled with math finds IQ obvious. Some people can shred a math problem, other people, such as myself, get bogged down trying to keep all the components and dynamics needed to think about the problem in our heads. Same with programming. At sufficiently high levels, working memory becomes a limiting factor, highly g-loaded as they say.

    Taleb characteristically loves to feel anger and outrage. For some reason this leads him to pick strange targets. Such as Pinker and his obvious claim that measured violence has declined. How dare Pinker make statements without first considering Taleb’s unfalsifiable claims about distributions without defined variance.

  213. Wasn’t pseudo-Scientific Race Hierarchy the defining gig of the Third Reich?

    • Agree: Bliss
  214. • Replies: @Jack D

    Educational Testing Services said they don't cancel scores based solely on a point increase. They said other factors, which they won't disclose, are taken into account.
     
    Reading between the lines, they suspect her of cheating. For example, all of her right and wrong answers are the same as someone else who took the test in the same room.

    If it doesn't validate the score after its review, Campbell will have to retake the test.
     
    Not a big imposition then. Since Kamilah has studied so hard, she should have no problem getting the same score or better the next time she takes it. Right?
    , @gregor
    "Because it improved for over 300 points, so they're saying I improved basically too much and that's skeptical for them," Campbell said.

    Gonna go out on a limb and say that 1200 isn't legit.
  215. For many fields, high IQ is necessary. Taleb’s complaint seems to be that it is nevertheless not sufficient.

    This is nothing but a massive strawman. Nobody of whom I’m aware claims that IQ in and of itself can be used to infallibly predict performance.

    I was listening to a Jordan Peterson interview today about IQ. If I remember right, he said IQ predicts 24% of performance. Which is massively higher than anything else measurable, with the next most relevant factor being Big 5 Trait conscientiousness, which comes in at 9%.

    IQ is by no means perfect nor infallible, but it is far and away the single most thoroughly validated psychometric factor.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    For many fields, high IQ is necessary. Taleb’s complaint seems to be that it is nevertheless not sufficient.
     
    If you deprived a 130-IQ person of sleep, food, and water for 7 days would they perform worse or better on a task than a person with a 100-IQ who was working on normal sleep and sustenance?

    There are obviously dozens of environmental factors that can trump IQ in influence on performance.
  216. @Hypnotoad666
    Didn't Gardner eventually have to admit that his whole "multiple intelligences" theory never actually panned out empirically?

    I seem to recall that, yes, but don’t quote me. They’re bullshit regardless, of course.

  217. @res
    I think there is something to EQ beyond IQ. Two elements are:
    - Ability to read emotions. This is probably correlated with IQ, but autism etc. clearly shows there is a distinction.
    - Ability to act in a way that appeals to others emotionally. (similar correlation/distinction)

    Both of those significantly load on conscientiousness, cultural affinity/knowledge, and willingness to conform IMO.

    If it were possible to get a good measure of EQ (I have yet to see one) it would be much more interesting and useful. Which brings us to...

    People fixate on IQ because it’s important AND pretty easy to measure.
     
    Strongly agree with this. I would add the characteristics of age stability (you can get pretty good results from children!) and broad applicability. IQ may matter more in some areas than others, but it seems to be important in most. Just perhaps not the most important thing in any one area (there is a reason the ASVAB has eight subject areas: https://www.todaysmilitary.com/videos/meps-asvab-testing-and-career-counseling )

    P.S. Some things to be cautious about when looking at studies which minimize the importance of IQ.
    - Selection effects. Looking at a trait in pre-selected populations (e.g. those who succeeded at business or specifically financial trading, or the NBA) is different from looking at that trait in the entire population. Arguably this is the key point and the others below are just refinements or examples of it.
    - IQ frequency distribution. As iSteve notes there are many more people in the broad middle than at the extremes. If there is a 200x difference in the number of people with IQ 130 compared to 160 then unless IQ is all important there is a good chance one of those 200 will get a (much!) better draw of luck and/or other skills.
    - Related to both of those is something which I think may affect Taleb. If one has been in a highly selected environment (e.g. elite colleges, elite financial traders, etc.) then it is likely the lower IQ people in those groups have been truly exceptional in something else needed to succeed there. They are NOT representative of the broader population at that IQ level. The height in the NBA analogy is useful here.
    - Restriction of range. Statistically, if you only look at part of a range for a trait (e.g. rough IQ thresholds in college, grad school, professions, etc.) the apparent correlation with that trait will be reduced http://davidmlane.com/hyperstat/A68809.html This applies to all parts of the range (e.g. looking at welfare recipients or professions which draw disproportionately from lower or intermediate parts of the IQ range).

    I think there is something to EQ beyond IQ. Two elements are:
    – Ability to read emotions. This is probably correlated with IQ, but autism etc. clearly shows there is a distinction.

    I’d put it another way: autists/spergs have a disability, one that doesn’t obviate neurotypical IQ’s applicability to “EQ.”

    – Ability to act in a way that appeals to others emotionally. (similar correlation/distinction)

    This is all IQ. The part that’s giving you trouble is that even stupid people are smart enough to ace “EQ” tests. Autists/spergs tend to have a disability that prevents them doing what even stupid people know to do – conform, or at least pretend to.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    When you read about EQ, a lot of it is about not having much emotions, of being cold-blooded and rational.

    Still, it strikes me as reasonable to say that, say, interviewer Barbara Walters has more ability to read and respond adroitly to other people's emotions than do Jimmy Carter or Mike Dukakis. I know that ability when I see it, but I don't know how to measure it.

  218. @syonredux

    or we could just let people take the bar exam and start practicing without requiring school first.
     
    In order to pass the bar exam, one requires a certain level of legal knowledge.Hence, one imagines that those people would have to, à la Lincoln, read law.....which takes a while.....So why not have people take a quick test first? You know, so they don't waste their time?

    That would actually be a great way to test Taleb’s idea. Give people IQ tests and then let them loose in some field without training and see if success correlates with the test…
     
    I prefer the option that I described: Give people a test to see if they will benefit from training.

    What concern is it of yours if people waste their time studying? If we actually had a free bar exam, an industry would rise up to help people study and provide them ways to evaluate themselves. Everything would work out without required tests.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    What concern is it of yours if people waste their time studying? If we actually had a free bar exam, an industry would rise up to help people study and provide them ways to evaluate themselves. Everything would work out without required tests.
     
    There ya go. Evaluations, tests, ...pretty much the same thing...

    Oh, I'm also guessing that that " industry [that] would rise up to help people study" wouldn't be free....which would kinda counter the whole free bar exam idea...

  219. Anonymous[133] • Disclaimer says:
    @Logan
    For many fields, high IQ is necessary. Taleb's complaint seems to be that it is nevertheless not sufficient.

    This is nothing but a massive strawman. Nobody of whom I'm aware claims that IQ in and of itself can be used to infallibly predict performance.

    I was listening to a Jordan Peterson interview today about IQ. If I remember right, he said IQ predicts 24% of performance. Which is massively higher than anything else measurable, with the next most relevant factor being Big 5 Trait conscientiousness, which comes in at 9%.

    IQ is by no means perfect nor infallible, but it is far and away the single most thoroughly validated psychometric factor.

    For many fields, high IQ is necessary. Taleb’s complaint seems to be that it is nevertheless not sufficient.

    If you deprived a 130-IQ person of sleep, food, and water for 7 days would they perform worse or better on a task than a person with a 100-IQ who was working on normal sleep and sustenance?

    There are obviously dozens of environmental factors that can trump IQ in influence on performance.

    • Replies: @Hail

    deprived a 130-IQ person of sleep, food, and water
     
    That's pretty extreme but raises a more reasonable question:

    Can we quantify the IQ 'hit' from sleep deprivation?

    100 IQer sleeps 24 good hours over a 72 hour period (8hrs/night)
    130 IQer sleeps fitfully for a total of nine hours over same period (3hrs/night)

    (Assume both function optimally at 8.0 hours/night.)

    How much of the IQ gap between Mr. 100 and Mr. 130 is effectively cancelled when both are assigned a given intellectual task at Hour 73?

    , @Logan
    No doubt, but I'm afraid I don't see your point.

    Of course IQ is not the only factor in play. It's one of many.

    As I said, for effective functioning in an abstraction-intense world, high IQ appears to be necessary but not sufficient.

    Great height will not make you a basketball star, but people who aren't very tall are a great deal less likely to achieve that status.

    People point to the many high-IQ people who don't succeed. This is a relevant point.

    But AFAIK nobody ever points to a low-IQ person who is a leading mathematician, scientist or indeed any other high-abstraction field. There might be some such, probably because he/she is just terrible at taking IQ tests and so they don't measure his actual intelligence.
  220. While I’ve been critical of how IQ tests are applied in education, @nntaleb is incorrect that IQ tests are “meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient ITIs (intellectual yet idiots), ill adapted for ‘real life’”. See thread below.

    True. I’m a textbook “IQ/scholastic test-acer.” I’m also sharp as fuck (problem-solving, arguing, general knowledge, memory, etc). I’m also one of the least obedient humans on the planet. I suppose “ill adapted for ‘real life’” hits the mark in some contexts (for whom is that not true?), though that goes against the “conformist” argument Taleb is making.

    The simple fact is that IQ is not to be conflated with conscientiousness, conformity, etc.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    The simple fact is that IQ is not to be conflated with conscientiousness, conformity, etc.
     
    Conformity is very important to the success of a society. Isn't that our ultimate objective?
  221. @Anon
    "Before I was banned from American Rennaissance, I warned the IQ Test Score Enthusiasts in the Alt-Right-White White Nationalists..."

    Pretty much. Only in multicultural America could such an impractical thing become a group signifier / religion, along with Reagan's voodoo economics, neoconservatism, and Ron Paul's libertarianism. Nations exist as safe spaces for families of connected individuals. IQ Nationalism was and is a red herring that doesn't preserve our safe space, regardless of how accurate the test is. It does not matter one wit to me what some other group's mean IQ is if they vote against my interests and beliefs. That's why I think guys like Unz are wrong when they try pointing to group X's crime rate or economic performance. I don't care. It could be half and triple my own, but it wouldn't matter if growing numbers of group X are able to outvote my people, oppress me, and remove my culture, freedoms, monuments, and safe spaces.

    Honestly, sites like American Renaissance and their naive founder Jarred Taylor serve only the opposition as they start from a position that ironically concedes a major point to the opposition at the outset - that multiculturalism can, under certain circumstances, be good for America's founding stock; come back to me on that point when someone like Stacey Adams one day enacts reparations payments on whites, powered by high-IQ immigrant votes. It's funny how such an otherwise intelligent man as Jarred Taylor (and his Amren posters) could be so confused on issues of human nature and fundamental political realities.

    That’s right…the enemy gets to define the terms of debate…and as a consequence, the terms of surrender……

  222. @Anon
    "Before I was banned from American Rennaissance, I warned the IQ Test Score Enthusiasts in the Alt-Right-White White Nationalists..."

    Pretty much. Only in multicultural America could such an impractical thing become a group signifier / religion, along with Reagan's voodoo economics, neoconservatism, and Ron Paul's libertarianism. Nations exist as safe spaces for families of connected individuals. IQ Nationalism was and is a red herring that doesn't preserve our safe space, regardless of how accurate the test is. It does not matter one wit to me what some other group's mean IQ is if they vote against my interests and beliefs. That's why I think guys like Unz are wrong when they try pointing to group X's crime rate or economic performance. I don't care. It could be half and triple my own, but it wouldn't matter if growing numbers of group X are able to outvote my people, oppress me, and remove my culture, freedoms, monuments, and safe spaces.

    Honestly, sites like American Renaissance and their naive founder Jarred Taylor serve only the opposition as they start from a position that ironically concedes a major point to the opposition at the outset - that multiculturalism can, under certain circumstances, be good for America's founding stock; come back to me on that point when someone like Stacey Adams one day enacts reparations payments on whites, powered by high-IQ immigrant votes. It's funny how such an otherwise intelligent man as Jarred Taylor (and his Amren posters) could be so confused on issues of human nature and fundamental political realities.

    That’s right…the enemy gets to define the terms of debate…and as a consequence, the terms of surrender……

  223. @Svigor

    I think there is something to EQ beyond IQ. Two elements are:
    - Ability to read emotions. This is probably correlated with IQ, but autism etc. clearly shows there is a distinction.
     
    I'd put it another way: autists/spergs have a disability, one that doesn't obviate neurotypical IQ's applicability to "EQ."

    - Ability to act in a way that appeals to others emotionally. (similar correlation/distinction)
     
    This is all IQ. The part that's giving you trouble is that even stupid people are smart enough to ace "EQ" tests. Autists/spergs tend to have a disability that prevents them doing what even stupid people know to do - conform, or at least pretend to.

    When you read about EQ, a lot of it is about not having much emotions, of being cold-blooded and rational.

    Still, it strikes me as reasonable to say that, say, interviewer Barbara Walters has more ability to read and respond adroitly to other people’s emotions than do Jimmy Carter or Mike Dukakis. I know that ability when I see it, but I don’t know how to measure it.

    • Replies: @Svigor
    I'll take your word for it, because IME, you've read a lot more than I have. I'm only going by my experience taking an "EQ" test. It was quite a few years ago, but my recollection is that it was a bunch of "should I give them the full blast of alt-righty/misogynist/unpc/etc troof or tell them what they want to hear?" type questions. And that it was pretty easy to divine what they wanted to hear.

    In fact, it was many years ago, because I remember arguing with a feminista stormfronter about it (oh yes, there are many feminista WNs). And I haven't been on SF since like 2005 or 2006 or something. She got all het up when I informed her that I used my IQ to score high on my EQ test (i.e., give the answers I knew the testers wanted, instead of giving them two barrels of truthiness); "cheating," she called it. LOL.

    To repeat myself: just try "cheating" on an IQ test using your "EQ," lol.

    , @The Last Real Calvinist

    When you read about EQ, a lot of it is about not having much emotions, of being cold-blooded and rational.

     

    Or being able to suppress and/or disguise the emotions you're experiencing, or being able to project an emotion (that you may or may not be feeling) that is helpful in a given context.

    These abilities are useful in many life situations, e.g. business negotiations, etc.

    , @anonymous
    reply to Steve Sailer at 3:22 AM GMT

    Here is how to measure it.

    Spend some time with various animals and reflect on their various levels of communication.

    then, after all that time, write down ... literally, write down .... the ten types of animals you know most.

    Then, quite simply,

    like a foreigner from some small but proud American town who decides one afternoon to be the first person to scale some Swiss mountain that the Swiss have ignored ....

    do this, and you will know how to get these things right, even if the locals have never succeeded:

    (what follows is the system I have developed over the years, of course the system you develop will differ)

    how much does the person remind you, one to ten, of the brave and faithful terrier?
    the slow affectionate hog?
    the amusing and unpredictable parrot?
    the lap cat, as opposed to the independent cat
    the independent cat, as opposed to the lap cat?
    that large snake that knew how to hold your gaze, thoughtfully?
    the playful monkey with its psychotic danger at the back of its glance, sometimes?
    the wise crow, and its attention to you when it is not hungry and not in a begging mood?
    the greyhound, and its glancing but substantial affection (you figure it out)
    the sturgeon or the muskie (trust me on this, I used to live in the UP), with its companionship and understanding and fellowship ......

    this world is an easy place to understand if you know or have tried to know how to talk to the animals


    ok, add 'em up/ one to ten for each, I hope it was not too difficult (if you appreciate the animals in your life it wasn't)

    Barbara Walters scoops none of those animals much but she does a good job with the cats and snakes and monkeys

    Carter and Dukakis score big reminding us of the snakes and the lap cats, but they are big fat zeros when compared to our friends the crows and monkeys and dogs and sturgeons

    That is how you count.

    , @Anonymous

    Still, it strikes me as reasonable to say that, say, interviewer Barbara Walters has more ability to read and respond adroitly to other people’s emotions than do Jimmy Carter or Mike Dukakis. I know that ability when I see it, but I don’t know how to measure it.
     
    Jews seem to have a very high aptitude for this.
  224. @danand
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kamilah-campbell-florida-student-fights-back-after-300-point-improvement-in-sat-score-deemed-invalid/

    Kamilah fights her IQ.

    Educational Testing Services said they don’t cancel scores based solely on a point increase. They said other factors, which they won’t disclose, are taken into account.

    Reading between the lines, they suspect her of cheating. For example, all of her right and wrong answers are the same as someone else who took the test in the same room.

    If it doesn’t validate the score after its review, Campbell will have to retake the test.

    Not a big imposition then. Since Kamilah has studied so hard, she should have no problem getting the same score or better the next time she takes it. Right?

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
  225. @Steve Sailer
    When you read about EQ, a lot of it is about not having much emotions, of being cold-blooded and rational.

    Still, it strikes me as reasonable to say that, say, interviewer Barbara Walters has more ability to read and respond adroitly to other people's emotions than do Jimmy Carter or Mike Dukakis. I know that ability when I see it, but I don't know how to measure it.

    I’ll take your word for it, because IME, you’ve read a lot more than I have. I’m only going by my experience taking an “EQ” test. It was quite a few years ago, but my recollection is that it was a bunch of “should I give them the full blast of alt-righty/misogynist/unpc/etc troof or tell them what they want to hear?” type questions. And that it was pretty easy to divine what they wanted to hear.

    In fact, it was many years ago, because I remember arguing with a feminista stormfronter about it (oh yes, there are many feminista WNs). And I haven’t been on SF since like 2005 or 2006 or something. She got all het up when I informed her that I used my IQ to score high on my EQ test (i.e., give the answers I knew the testers wanted, instead of giving them two barrels of truthiness); “cheating,” she called it. LOL.

    To repeat myself: just try “cheating” on an IQ test using your “EQ,” lol.

  226. @Anonymous

    For many fields, high IQ is necessary. Taleb’s complaint seems to be that it is nevertheless not sufficient.
     
    If you deprived a 130-IQ person of sleep, food, and water for 7 days would they perform worse or better on a task than a person with a 100-IQ who was working on normal sleep and sustenance?

    There are obviously dozens of environmental factors that can trump IQ in influence on performance.

    deprived a 130-IQ person of sleep, food, and water

    That’s pretty extreme but raises a more reasonable question:

    Can we quantify the IQ ‘hit’ from sleep deprivation?

    100 IQer sleeps 24 good hours over a 72 hour period (8hrs/night)
    130 IQer sleeps fitfully for a total of nine hours over same period (3hrs/night)

    (Assume both function optimally at 8.0 hours/night.)

    How much of the IQ gap between Mr. 100 and Mr. 130 is effectively cancelled when both are assigned a given intellectual task at Hour 73?

  227. @Chrisnonymous
    What concern is it of yours if people waste their time studying? If we actually had a free bar exam, an industry would rise up to help people study and provide them ways to evaluate themselves. Everything would work out without required tests.

    What concern is it of yours if people waste their time studying? If we actually had a free bar exam, an industry would rise up to help people study and provide them ways to evaluate themselves. Everything would work out without required tests.

    There ya go. Evaluations, tests, …pretty much the same thing…

    Oh, I’m also guessing that that ” industry [that] would rise up to help people study” wouldn’t be free….which would kinda counter the whole free bar exam idea…

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    "Free" not in the sense of money but in the sense of being available without prerequisites. Anyway, some books or prep courses would be a hell of a lot cheaper than law school.

    Evaluations, tests, …pretty much the same thing…
     
    Really, not the same thing. A voluntary practice version of an exam and a mandatory "predictive" exam that doesn't contain the same content as the actual exam are not the same thing.
  228. Still, it strikes me as reasonable to say that, say, interviewer Barbara Walters has more ability to read and respond adroitly to other people’s emotions than do Jimmy Carter or Mike Dukakis. I know that ability when I see it, but I don’t know how to measure it.

    Maybe. But to do my obligatory counter-signal (even when I’m agreeing with you), maybe Baba Wawa just has a firmer grasp on what will get you fucked up but quick in the (((Big Media))) environment because experience/enculturation.

  229. @Steve Sailer
    When you read about EQ, a lot of it is about not having much emotions, of being cold-blooded and rational.

    Still, it strikes me as reasonable to say that, say, interviewer Barbara Walters has more ability to read and respond adroitly to other people's emotions than do Jimmy Carter or Mike Dukakis. I know that ability when I see it, but I don't know how to measure it.

    When you read about EQ, a lot of it is about not having much emotions, of being cold-blooded and rational.

    Or being able to suppress and/or disguise the emotions you’re experiencing, or being able to project an emotion (that you may or may not be feeling) that is helpful in a given context.

    These abilities are useful in many life situations, e.g. business negotiations, etc.

  230. anonymous[417] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    When you read about EQ, a lot of it is about not having much emotions, of being cold-blooded and rational.

    Still, it strikes me as reasonable to say that, say, interviewer Barbara Walters has more ability to read and respond adroitly to other people's emotions than do Jimmy Carter or Mike Dukakis. I know that ability when I see it, but I don't know how to measure it.

    reply to Steve Sailer at 3:22 AM GMT

    Here is how to measure it.

    Spend some time with various animals and reflect on their various levels of communication.

    then, after all that time, write down … literally, write down …. the ten types of animals you know most.

    Then, quite simply,

    like a foreigner from some small but proud American town who decides one afternoon to be the first person to scale some Swiss mountain that the Swiss have ignored ….

    do this, and you will know how to get these things right, even if the locals have never succeeded:

    (what follows is the system I have developed over the years, of course the system you develop will differ)

    how much does the person remind you, one to ten, of the brave and faithful terrier?
    the slow affectionate hog?
    the amusing and unpredictable parrot?
    the lap cat, as opposed to the independent cat
    the independent cat, as opposed to the lap cat?
    that large snake that knew how to hold your gaze, thoughtfully?
    the playful monkey with its psychotic danger at the back of its glance, sometimes?
    the wise crow, and its attention to you when it is not hungry and not in a begging mood?
    the greyhound, and its glancing but substantial affection (you figure it out)
    the sturgeon or the muskie (trust me on this, I used to live in the UP), with its companionship and understanding and fellowship ……

    this world is an easy place to understand if you know or have tried to know how to talk to the animals

    ok, add ’em up/ one to ten for each, I hope it was not too difficult (if you appreciate the animals in your life it wasn’t)

    Barbara Walters scoops none of those animals much but she does a good job with the cats and snakes and monkeys

    Carter and Dukakis score big reminding us of the snakes and the lap cats, but they are big fat zeros when compared to our friends the crows and monkeys and dogs and sturgeons

    That is how you count.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    wwebd said: I was serious about my 3:39 AM comment.

    Imagine, if you do not believe me, that out of the 5 billion people in the world you are one of the ten or so who understand best our friends the cockroaches (assuming we live in a world where they were not that tempted by you or your kinfolk to be pests) and then imagine that someone asked you to explain human traits in terms of similar traits you have found in cockroaches (who are a complicated species).

    Sound stupid?

    If you think it is stupid, run the same mental experiment, not on our friends the unjustly despised cockroaches, but on friendly lovable bumblebees, or your belovedly (Unless you live with a chihuahua or a similar animal) mysterious local coyote populations, or on ALL the dogs anyone you have ever respected ever spent time with. Or on those simulacra of human beings, Hollywood characters. Or on any subset of your fellow creatures that you, in this world, have been imbued with sufficient grace to understand.

    Numbers are easy, getting to the place where you understand the numbers, that is what takes time. If you spend enough time, eventually you will think in terms of what the angels expect from us (I first learned that reading Aquinas, who described the difference between intuitive knowledge and deductive knowledge, or something like that, it does not matter, he got it wrong anyway, as he said before he died, all his works were as straw, but that being said he was so so close to getting things right - trust me or not)

    (also one day I will figure out how to post here without getting told someone else appears to have posted under my name and then having to post as anonymous, yet again)

    , @Neil Templeton
    I have a question. Is Crow wiser than Tiny Duck.?
  231. @Alvin
    Steve,

    It was obvious from the Rose Bowl (and other bowls) that the Pac-12 does not have any elite teams that could match up against the best. This has been the case for close to 10 years now. You mentioned the national media attention (due to late night pacific time games) as one factor. But hasn't that always been the case?

    And what else is contributing to the relative decline of west coast football? Fewer black athletes on the west coast as compared to the deep south and atlantic? The south loves its football more - thus higher youth participation rates and more fans watching both Friday night high school football and Saturday college football? Not many other entertainment options? More corruption (players being paid under the table)?

    Alvin

    You mentioned the national media attention (due to late night pacific time games) as one factor. But hasn’t that always been the case? Also, the Pac 12 made the wrong business choice about 5 years ago in terms of partnering or not partnering with a network and that has cost them money.

    In the 1970s, there was like one college football game per week on national TV, so network TV money wasn’t as big of a factor as it is now.

    High school football is moderately big in California (but it’s been in decline since maybe 2010). Not as big as in Texas or Louisiana, but a fair percentage of blacks and whites in California had roots in Texas and Louisiana, so bigger than you’d expect. A surprising percentage of NFL players are from California.

    But high school football is declining in popularity in California. It’s become not uncommon for losing teams to forfeit their last game or two of the regular season because nobody wants to keep playing. My son’s old high school is dropping from 11 to 8 man football.

  232. @Svigor

    While I’ve been critical of how IQ tests are applied in education, @nntaleb is incorrect that IQ tests are “meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient ITIs (intellectual yet idiots), ill adapted for ‘real life’”. See thread below.
     
    True. I'm a textbook "IQ/scholastic test-acer." I'm also sharp as fuck (problem-solving, arguing, general knowledge, memory, etc). I'm also one of the least obedient humans on the planet. I suppose "ill adapted for 'real life'" hits the mark in some contexts (for whom is that not true?), though that goes against the "conformist" argument Taleb is making.

    The simple fact is that IQ is not to be conflated with conscientiousness, conformity, etc.

    The simple fact is that IQ is not to be conflated with conscientiousness, conformity, etc.

    Conformity is very important to the success of a society. Isn’t that our ultimate objective?

  233. @tanabear

    You mean like designing an airplane
     
    That is exactly where the airplane came from; high school drop out Orville Wright and his brother Wilbur.

    Nassim Taleb favors tinkering over testing. It is from tinkering that we grow to understand the world not from testing. The medicine we have today didn't come top down from academic medicine but bottom up from the barbers and surgeons. It is tinkerers who make the discoveries then academics who codify and formalize the knowledge.

    That is exactly where the airplane came from; high school drop out Orville Wright and his brother Wilbur.

    What would Taleb say ?Ah, I’ve got it….Skin in the Game: Would you take a flight on a plane that was built by high school dropouts?

    Taleb favors tinkering over testing. It is from tinkering that we grow to understand the world not from testing. The medicine we have today didn’t come top down from academic medicine but bottom up from the barbers and surgeons. It is tinkerers who make the discoveries then academics who codify and formalize the knowledge.

    Skin in the Game:Would you want a guy off the street with no medical credentials to be the one “tinkering” with your heart?

    • Replies: @tanabear

    Would you want a guy off the street with no medical credentials to be the one “tinkering” with your heart?
     
    Ahh...There's my favorite word "credentials". It would not be some random guy off the street but someone who has real world experience in their craft. Credentials are just a way to signal.

    Was Daniel Boone a credentialed tour guide?
    Was Edward Jenner licensed to provide vaccinations?
    Was Nathan Bedford Forrest a West Point trained military tactician?
    Did Abraham Lincoln take any public speaking classes?

    America was not built by credentialed people.

    One of the themes of the movie The Wizard of Oz is anti-credentialism. Oz never gave nothing to the Tin Man he didn't already have. While the Wizard was a humbug.
    , @Neil Templeton
    I think he's got a point here. Tinkering has been very important in the historical development of technology. Sure, it helps to be highly intelligent, but the intuition developed through years of observation through trial and error is fundamental. Your comparison of choice is inappropriate. A better choice is whether you want the guy who went to the finest schools and passed all the written stuff and got his ticket stamped by the gatekeepers every step of the way to cut into your heart for, say $200,000; or would you choose the guy who never took a class, but apprenticed at a hospital for ten years before graduating to surgeon himself, to cut on you for half that price or less? What is the cost of the gatekeepers, and what is their value?
  234. Anonymous[133] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    When you read about EQ, a lot of it is about not having much emotions, of being cold-blooded and rational.

    Still, it strikes me as reasonable to say that, say, interviewer Barbara Walters has more ability to read and respond adroitly to other people's emotions than do Jimmy Carter or Mike Dukakis. I know that ability when I see it, but I don't know how to measure it.

    Still, it strikes me as reasonable to say that, say, interviewer Barbara Walters has more ability to read and respond adroitly to other people’s emotions than do Jimmy Carter or Mike Dukakis. I know that ability when I see it, but I don’t know how to measure it.

    Jews seem to have a very high aptitude for this.

  235. @Chrisnonymous
    Isn't this kind of Taleb's point?

    No. Taleb does say that if someone has been a surgeon for decades despite being fat and disheveled with the appearance of an abattoir worker, then they are probably much better at performing surgery that a surgeon with the same time in who looks every inch the part.

    No one trying to make a good impression actually wears their high IQ on their sleeve by boasting about it. The tendency is very much the opposite, and Arthur Jensen long ago remarked that those who will say they would fail an IQ test are not intending their ostensible self depreciation to be taken seriously. I suppose Teleb’s point is that someone who boasted about their own IQ would be failing to understand how the game is played and thus a fool.

    I think Taleb’s main point is to not ignore the worldly context of a statistical calculation. A couple of Russians (a gerontologist and a mathematician) are currently saying that Jeanne Calment the French women who was supposed to be 122 when she died in the late 1990s was an impostor. No one else has has ever lived anything like that long or been as chipper at 113 as Calment so statistically their case is good. However the gap between the supposed age of Calment 122 years and and the age of 119 years’ old Sarah Knause the second oldest person of all time is comparable to the gap between Knause and the half dozen of so people who lived to 117 (no one has died at 118).

    So Calment, the woman believed to be the oldest human of all time and Krause the second oldest (at least) died within a couple of years of each other two decades ago, which is remarkable if you put them in the context of improving care for the elderly since then and them both being freakish outliers.

    If Calment was a fraud, then (despite better hospitals) the oldest French person ever was a woman who died in 2001 aged 115. Coincidence? It most certainly could be, but there seems to be a possibility of extreme longevity among people of Calment and Knause’s generation being rather more common than we can account for.

  236. Intra racially he is correct.
    Inter racially he is incorrect.

    • Replies: @Kyle
    concise and cutting
  237. @Sarah Toga
    Since IQ is said to mostly come from the mother, wouldn't Mr. Jobs' white/Euro ancestors be most responsible for his smarts?

    Since IQ is said to mostly come from the mother

    It is?

  238. @Kyle
    Intra racially he is correct.
    Inter racially he is incorrect.

    concise and cutting

  239. anonymous[417] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous
    reply to Steve Sailer at 3:22 AM GMT

    Here is how to measure it.

    Spend some time with various animals and reflect on their various levels of communication.

    then, after all that time, write down ... literally, write down .... the ten types of animals you know most.

    Then, quite simply,

    like a foreigner from some small but proud American town who decides one afternoon to be the first person to scale some Swiss mountain that the Swiss have ignored ....

    do this, and you will know how to get these things right, even if the locals have never succeeded:

    (what follows is the system I have developed over the years, of course the system you develop will differ)

    how much does the person remind you, one to ten, of the brave and faithful terrier?
    the slow affectionate hog?
    the amusing and unpredictable parrot?
    the lap cat, as opposed to the independent cat
    the independent cat, as opposed to the lap cat?
    that large snake that knew how to hold your gaze, thoughtfully?
    the playful monkey with its psychotic danger at the back of its glance, sometimes?
    the wise crow, and its attention to you when it is not hungry and not in a begging mood?
    the greyhound, and its glancing but substantial affection (you figure it out)
    the sturgeon or the muskie (trust me on this, I used to live in the UP), with its companionship and understanding and fellowship ......

    this world is an easy place to understand if you know or have tried to know how to talk to the animals


    ok, add 'em up/ one to ten for each, I hope it was not too difficult (if you appreciate the animals in your life it wasn't)

    Barbara Walters scoops none of those animals much but she does a good job with the cats and snakes and monkeys

    Carter and Dukakis score big reminding us of the snakes and the lap cats, but they are big fat zeros when compared to our friends the crows and monkeys and dogs and sturgeons

    That is how you count.

    wwebd said: I was serious about my 3:39 AM comment.

    Imagine, if you do not believe me, that out of the 5 billion people in the world you are one of the ten or so who understand best our friends the cockroaches (assuming we live in a world where they were not that tempted by you or your kinfolk to be pests) and then imagine that someone asked you to explain human traits in terms of similar traits you have found in cockroaches (who are a complicated species).

    Sound stupid?

    If you think it is stupid, run the same mental experiment, not on our friends the unjustly despised cockroaches, but on friendly lovable bumblebees, or your belovedly (Unless you live with a chihuahua or a similar animal) mysterious local coyote populations, or on ALL the dogs anyone you have ever respected ever spent time with. Or on those simulacra of human beings, Hollywood characters. Or on any subset of your fellow creatures that you, in this world, have been imbued with sufficient grace to understand.

    Numbers are easy, getting to the place where you understand the numbers, that is what takes time. If you spend enough time, eventually you will think in terms of what the angels expect from us (I first learned that reading Aquinas, who described the difference between intuitive knowledge and deductive knowledge, or something like that, it does not matter, he got it wrong anyway, as he said before he died, all his works were as straw, but that being said he was so so close to getting things right – trust me or not)

    (also one day I will figure out how to post here without getting told someone else appears to have posted under my name and then having to post as anonymous, yet again)

  240. @Sarah Toga
    Since IQ is said to mostly come from the mother, wouldn't Mr. Jobs' white/Euro ancestors be most responsible for his smarts?

    Since IQ is said to mostly come from the mother,

    Who said this? No one, ever.

    • Replies: @Hail
    Google-Suggestions for "IQ comes from"

    iq comes from which parent
    iq comes from
    child's iq comes from mother
    the term iq comes from german
     
    These google-suggestions imply that many believe IQ comes from the mother.

    Who is responsible for this IQ hoax?
    , @Intelligent Dasein

    Who said this? No one, ever.
     
    Not true. Schopenhauer said quite emphatically that the intellect comes from the mother, the will from the father. His understanding of intellect comprised quite a bit more than that which we call IQ, however. He was talking about the largely veiled and mysterious manner in which the mind formulates ideas and assigns significances to the perceptions of sense, i.e. what Freud later termed the pre-conscious stream.

    But getting back to the point, we ought to end this whole IQ controversy by just renaming it some more descriptive and less sensitive. IQ should henceforth be called "abstractive aptitude," for that which we call IQ is nothing more than the ability to quickly form abstract conceptions and then make new combinations out of them. People take the word "intelligence" very personally, but I think they would be more open to discussing differences in abstractive aptitude. It wouldn't even really be a disgrace to admit that your own abilities in this area were limited. If you were to simply admit to a prospective employer that "I'm not really good at forming new ideas, I have a low abstractive aptitude," that would not only clear the air and mark you out as an honest individual, it would also give everybody a better sense of how to understand you and handle you. It might even make racial group differences less of a taboo subject. "Black people tend to have lower abstractive aptitude" sounds a hell of lot better than "Black people have lower intelligence."

  241. @danand
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kamilah-campbell-florida-student-fights-back-after-300-point-improvement-in-sat-score-deemed-invalid/

    Kamilah fights her IQ.

    “Because it improved for over 300 points, so they’re saying I improved basically too much and that’s skeptical for them,” Campbell said.

    Gonna go out on a limb and say that 1200 isn’t legit.

  242. @Jack D

    Since IQ is said to mostly come from the mother,
     
    Who said this? No one, ever.

    Google-Suggestions for “IQ comes from”

    iq comes from which parent
    iq comes from
    child’s iq comes from mother
    the term iq comes from german

    These google-suggestions imply that many believe IQ comes from the mother.

    Who is responsible for this IQ hoax?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Women do have one more X chromosome than men do.
  243. @Hail
    Google-Suggestions for "IQ comes from"

    iq comes from which parent
    iq comes from
    child's iq comes from mother
    the term iq comes from german
     
    These google-suggestions imply that many believe IQ comes from the mother.

    Who is responsible for this IQ hoax?

    Women do have one more X chromosome than men do.

  244. @syonredux

    That is exactly where the airplane came from; high school drop out Orville Wright and his brother Wilbur.
     
    What would Taleb say ?Ah, I've got it....Skin in the Game: Would you take a flight on a plane that was built by high school dropouts?

    Taleb favors tinkering over testing. It is from tinkering that we grow to understand the world not from testing. The medicine we have today didn’t come top down from academic medicine but bottom up from the barbers and surgeons. It is tinkerers who make the discoveries then academics who codify and formalize the knowledge.
     
    Skin in the Game:Would you want a guy off the street with no medical credentials to be the one "tinkering" with your heart?

    Would you want a guy off the street with no medical credentials to be the one “tinkering” with your heart?

    Ahh…There’s my favorite word “credentials”. It would not be some random guy off the street but someone who has real world experience in their craft. Credentials are just a way to signal.

    Was Daniel Boone a credentialed tour guide?
    Was Edward Jenner licensed to provide vaccinations?
    Was Nathan Bedford Forrest a West Point trained military tactician?
    Did Abraham Lincoln take any public speaking classes?

    America was not built by credentialed people.

    One of the themes of the movie The Wizard of Oz is anti-credentialism. Oz never gave nothing to the Tin Man he didn’t already have. While the Wizard was a humbug.

  245. @Anon
    "Before I was banned from American Rennaissance, I warned the IQ Test Score Enthusiasts in the Alt-Right-White White Nationalists..."

    Pretty much. Only in multicultural America could such an impractical thing become a group signifier / religion, along with Reagan's voodoo economics, neoconservatism, and Ron Paul's libertarianism. Nations exist as safe spaces for families of connected individuals. IQ Nationalism was and is a red herring that doesn't preserve our safe space, regardless of how accurate the test is. It does not matter one wit to me what some other group's mean IQ is if they vote against my interests and beliefs. That's why I think guys like Unz are wrong when they try pointing to group X's crime rate or economic performance. I don't care. It could be half and triple my own, but it wouldn't matter if growing numbers of group X are able to outvote my people, oppress me, and remove my culture, freedoms, monuments, and safe spaces.

    Honestly, sites like American Renaissance and their naive founder Jarred Taylor serve only the opposition as they start from a position that ironically concedes a major point to the opposition at the outset - that multiculturalism can, under certain circumstances, be good for America's founding stock; come back to me on that point when someone like Stacey Adams one day enacts reparations payments on whites, powered by high-IQ immigrant votes. It's funny how such an otherwise intelligent man as Jarred Taylor (and his Amren posters) could be so confused on issues of human nature and fundamental political realities.

    “but it wouldn’t matter if growing numbers of group X are able to outvote my people, oppress me, and remove my culture, freedoms, monuments, and safe spaces.”

    The eternal question is who, whom?

  246. @War for Blair Mountain
    The other possibility is that IQ tests are highly flawed....and that you can’t mathematically rule this very real possibility out..This is Taleb’s point....

    Not sure what you mean by highly flawed, but the tests are designed to measure IQ, which is a manufactured variable defined to vary directly with the number of questions answered correctly. The entire point is to separate the test population according to this measure. Calling it an estimate is a misnomer. Because the characteristic is wholly manufactured, there is no “true” value of IQ for any individual other than the value achieved on the test. If the test had no predictive value, it would be no more useful than directing 100 individuals to draw numbers 1-100 from a hat without replacement. But apparently it does have some predictive value to recognize ability to solve real problems. It also was easy (before the social firestorm) and cheap to administer.

    Anyway, it’s just a test. Just a way for people to get a little more information about themselves or someone else before they make decisions. Like all other bits of information regarding human potential behavior, its predictive power is far from perfect. It isn’t a religion, or a useful basis for determining membership in a society. It is useful for predicting the presence of native ability to solve certain types of problems. If polite society determines that IQ tests can no longer be administered due to excessive pain and hardship, substitutes will be developed in short order by those whose livelihoods require them to recognize and discriminate on this basis. The substitutes may be more expensive, less efficient, and impose even greater pain on the discriminated, but the show must go on.

  247. @syonredux

    That is exactly where the airplane came from; high school drop out Orville Wright and his brother Wilbur.
     
    What would Taleb say ?Ah, I've got it....Skin in the Game: Would you take a flight on a plane that was built by high school dropouts?

    Taleb favors tinkering over testing. It is from tinkering that we grow to understand the world not from testing. The medicine we have today didn’t come top down from academic medicine but bottom up from the barbers and surgeons. It is tinkerers who make the discoveries then academics who codify and formalize the knowledge.
     
    Skin in the Game:Would you want a guy off the street with no medical credentials to be the one "tinkering" with your heart?

    I think he’s got a point here. Tinkering has been very important in the historical development of technology. Sure, it helps to be highly intelligent, but the intuition developed through years of observation through trial and error is fundamental. Your comparison of choice is inappropriate. A better choice is whether you want the guy who went to the finest schools and passed all the written stuff and got his ticket stamped by the gatekeepers every step of the way to cut into your heart for, say $200,000; or would you choose the guy who never took a class, but apprenticed at a hospital for ten years before graduating to surgeon himself, to cut on you for half that price or less? What is the cost of the gatekeepers, and what is their value?

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    A better choice is whether you want the guy who went to the finest schools and passed all the written stuff and got his ticket stamped by the gatekeepers every step of the way to cut into your heart for, say $200,000; or would you choose the guy who never took a class, but apprenticed at a hospital for ten years before graduating to surgeon himself, to cut on you for half that price or less?
     
    Which one would you choose?
  248. @anonymous
    reply to Steve Sailer at 3:22 AM GMT

    Here is how to measure it.

    Spend some time with various animals and reflect on their various levels of communication.

    then, after all that time, write down ... literally, write down .... the ten types of animals you know most.

    Then, quite simply,

    like a foreigner from some small but proud American town who decides one afternoon to be the first person to scale some Swiss mountain that the Swiss have ignored ....

    do this, and you will know how to get these things right, even if the locals have never succeeded:

    (what follows is the system I have developed over the years, of course the system you develop will differ)

    how much does the person remind you, one to ten, of the brave and faithful terrier?
    the slow affectionate hog?
    the amusing and unpredictable parrot?
    the lap cat, as opposed to the independent cat
    the independent cat, as opposed to the lap cat?
    that large snake that knew how to hold your gaze, thoughtfully?
    the playful monkey with its psychotic danger at the back of its glance, sometimes?
    the wise crow, and its attention to you when it is not hungry and not in a begging mood?
    the greyhound, and its glancing but substantial affection (you figure it out)
    the sturgeon or the muskie (trust me on this, I used to live in the UP), with its companionship and understanding and fellowship ......

    this world is an easy place to understand if you know or have tried to know how to talk to the animals


    ok, add 'em up/ one to ten for each, I hope it was not too difficult (if you appreciate the animals in your life it wasn't)

    Barbara Walters scoops none of those animals much but she does a good job with the cats and snakes and monkeys

    Carter and Dukakis score big reminding us of the snakes and the lap cats, but they are big fat zeros when compared to our friends the crows and monkeys and dogs and sturgeons

    That is how you count.

    I have a question. Is Crow wiser than Tiny Duck.?

  249. @syonredux

    What concern is it of yours if people waste their time studying? If we actually had a free bar exam, an industry would rise up to help people study and provide them ways to evaluate themselves. Everything would work out without required tests.
     
    There ya go. Evaluations, tests, ...pretty much the same thing...

    Oh, I'm also guessing that that " industry [that] would rise up to help people study" wouldn't be free....which would kinda counter the whole free bar exam idea...

    “Free” not in the sense of money but in the sense of being available without prerequisites. Anyway, some books or prep courses would be a hell of a lot cheaper than law school.

    Evaluations, tests, …pretty much the same thing…

    Really, not the same thing. A voluntary practice version of an exam and a mandatory “predictive” exam that doesn’t contain the same content as the actual exam are not the same thing.

  250. Does anybody know a pro-IQ source that is addressing Taleb’s specific claims, like the non-replicating nature of psychometric research?

    • Replies: @gregor
    Here is the quick answer:

    https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/645301814955388930
  251. @Jack D

    Since IQ is said to mostly come from the mother,
     
    Who said this? No one, ever.

    Who said this? No one, ever.

    Not true. Schopenhauer said quite emphatically that the intellect comes from the mother, the will from the father. His understanding of intellect comprised quite a bit more than that which we call IQ, however. He was talking about the largely veiled and mysterious manner in which the mind formulates ideas and assigns significances to the perceptions of sense, i.e. what Freud later termed the pre-conscious stream.

    But getting back to the point, we ought to end this whole IQ controversy by just renaming it some more descriptive and less sensitive. IQ should henceforth be called “abstractive aptitude,” for that which we call IQ is nothing more than the ability to quickly form abstract conceptions and then make new combinations out of them. People take the word “intelligence” very personally, but I think they would be more open to discussing differences in abstractive aptitude. It wouldn’t even really be a disgrace to admit that your own abilities in this area were limited. If you were to simply admit to a prospective employer that “I’m not really good at forming new ideas, I have a low abstractive aptitude,” that would not only clear the air and mark you out as an honest individual, it would also give everybody a better sense of how to understand you and handle you. It might even make racial group differences less of a taboo subject. “Black people tend to have lower abstractive aptitude” sounds a hell of lot better than “Black people have lower intelligence.”

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    “Black people tend to have lower abstractive aptitude” sounds a hell of lot better than “Black people have lower intelligence.”

    Only until those who decide for the blacks what is good for them understand the trick - in about five seconds in other words.
    , @anon
    Yeah but even a modest intelligence can see through that one.

    The time to come up with a better name was right at the start, but that would have required wisdom and foresight on the part of the OG IQ boffins.
  252. @EldnaYm
    And while I would under no circumstances endorse Protestantism as a valid form of religion, the fact that Christianity, even in this distorted and etiolated form, could still appeal to one of the finest scientific minds of the 19th century proves that the contemptuous dismissals of it one often reads here are the business of simpletons and churls.

    Are you not dismissing Protestantism in a similar way?

    Are you not dismissing Protestantism in a similar way?

    Not at all. I know whereof I speak in this matter. I am well acquainted with Protestantism theologically, psychologically, and historically. When I reject it I do so out of knowledge, not out of ignorance.

  253. IQ is largely a pseudoscientific swindle

    You can’t dismiss something in such strong terms but hedge it with “largely.”

    [IQ measures] “a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.

    Psychometricians are pretty clear about what they mean by “intelligence,” and it conforms fairly well with how most people interpret that word. Taleb seems to be implicitly assuming that all the “2nd order” and “real world” traits are negatively correlated with IQ. Dubious.

    …it explains at best between 13% and 50% of the performance in some tasks…

    50% is huge. At any rate, throwing around explained variance doesn’t always mean much. SAT might only explain something like 15% of the variance in first-year GPA. But this understates things because of restriction of range and self-sorting into schools and majors.

    If IQ is Gaussian by construction and if real world performance were, net, fat tailed (it is), then either the covariance between IQ and performance doesn’t exist or it is uninformational.

    The convention of fitting IQ to a normal distribution seems like a pretty minor point. You could give the exact same IQ tests and just assign an ordinal ranking (percentile) and it would still have good predictive power.

    Regarding “performance,” who has ever suggested that IQ will be strongly predictive of the extremes success across all domains? The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. A lot of success is random (right place at the right time, winner take all effect, etc.).

    Another problem: when they say “black people are x standard deviations away”. Different populations have different variances, even different skewness and these comparisons require richer models.

    Richer models? Skewness? Give me a break. There is a mean difference that’s large enough to be casually observable. Which is why Fat Tony knows what neighborhoods to stay out of.

    It does correlate to negative performance (as it was initially designed to detect learning special needs) but then any measure would work there. A measure that works in left tail not right tail (IQ decorrelates as it goes higher) is problematic.

    Citation need that it’s only valid for the left tail. Consider something really demanding like solving the Riemann hypothesis. The bottom ninety-whatever percent have a ZERO probability of solving such of problem.

    Taleb demands that IQ be highly predictive in the right tail in every domain. But who says that’s the appropriate bar?

    It can measures some arbitrarily selected mental abilities (in a testing environment) believed to be useful. However, if you take a Popperian-Hayekian view on intelligence, you would realize that to measure it you would need to know the mental skills needed in a future ecology, which requires predictability of said future ecology. It also requires the skills to make it to the future (hence the need for mental biases for survival).

    Seems like he’s saying he doesn’t believe in g and thinks everything is domain specific. There’s lots of evidence against him on this point and he doesn’t offer any evidence for his view. Possibly he means it really broadly when he refers future ecology and survival and he thinks insects are highly intelligent by his definition.

    Hayek wrote a lot about information and the importance of localized knowledge, but I don’t think he ever commented on cognition. Hayek’s ideas could certainly explain the IYI phenomena and the failures of top-down central planning, but that is really neither here nor there.

    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
    Genetic research shows that the genetic causes of intelligence differences across individuals are highly polygenic, meaning that intelligence differences are caused by many genomic differences each one individually having a small impact. Approximate Guassianity of the resulting cross-sectional distribution of intelligence is then likely to follow from the central limit theorem. The central limit theorem shows under quite general conditions that the sum of a large collection of independent random variables is approximately normal. This central limit theorem based argument only applies to the genetic component of intelligence not the environmental component.
  254. @Chrisnonymous
    Does anybody know a pro-IQ source that is addressing Taleb's specific claims, like the non-replicating nature of psychometric research?

    Here is the quick answer:

  255. @James Speaks
    I score well on pseudoscientific IQ tests. I guess this explains the unfunny Christmas joke I wrote:

    "Three hoes go into a bar. A rake takes them out."

    A friend who scores 3 SD above average, a neighbor who used to work at Bell Labs, and a bagger at the local grocery store who gets my rants about quantum singularities and will probably major in physics when he gets out of high school, all thought my joke was funny. No one else did. See? Pseudohumor.

    There are too many possible interpretations for it to be funny. I bet the three people you refer do did not interpret it in exactly the same way.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Can you list and describe the different ways? I thought it was funny, and I could only think of two ways to interpret it--the two ways that made it funny.
  256. @Winston101
    "Amount to much" is not a function of IQ. IQ, high IQ, does not = > $, or any particular performance metric. IQ is performance of the human mind. I can use myself as an example. High IQ. I started a biometric technology company that went public. I designed a replacement for a customers CRAY 1. From scratch, based only on interest in scalability and cost-effective CPU cycles. I read constantly, across a wide variety of topics. Insatiable desire to learn and to share that knowledge. Few listen. Most are interested in what money might do for them.

    I am not motivated in the least by money. I could live in sublime peace in a shack near some good mountain bike trails with high-speed Internet service and a grocery store within 10 miles. High IQ individuals are, in general, dedicated to feeding their minds. Sometimes we discover a process or invent a solution that is highly valued by commercial interests and we make money. But I have never known a Mensan or equivalent that was money driven.

    Some don't even want to "make a difference". Some are selfish, many are egotistical, and a few are very cool, they care and ache because the solutions are unreachable. And then there is "God", and He is real. That is where I reside - with Him. Without Him, there is only evil and darkness. Mankind desperately needs to turn to Him, but will refuse right up to death, and die without Him because that is their choice. So the real problem that the world faces is simply the rejection of a God who made Himself known to His creation, His "masterpiece" as He refers to us. So we have problems.

    Damn, this "Big Love" (Fleetwood Mac) guitar work is awesome!

    Without a faithful and obedient submission to Yahuah, man is finished. There really is a heaven, a hell, a "satan", fire, angels, creation, etc. Humans are so into themselves that they hate even the idea of obedience to Yahuah. That is the problem. That is THE problem. If THAT problem ever turns into obedience, into faith, into loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, we will live in peace all the days of our lives and never know hunger or thirst or want or need. And you can facilitate that.

    What do we have to do in order to obey him? What are we supposed to do?

  257. @Anon
    "Before I was banned from American Rennaissance, I warned the IQ Test Score Enthusiasts in the Alt-Right-White White Nationalists..."

    Pretty much. Only in multicultural America could such an impractical thing become a group signifier / religion, along with Reagan's voodoo economics, neoconservatism, and Ron Paul's libertarianism. Nations exist as safe spaces for families of connected individuals. IQ Nationalism was and is a red herring that doesn't preserve our safe space, regardless of how accurate the test is. It does not matter one wit to me what some other group's mean IQ is if they vote against my interests and beliefs. That's why I think guys like Unz are wrong when they try pointing to group X's crime rate or economic performance. I don't care. It could be half and triple my own, but it wouldn't matter if growing numbers of group X are able to outvote my people, oppress me, and remove my culture, freedoms, monuments, and safe spaces.

    Honestly, sites like American Renaissance and their naive founder Jarred Taylor serve only the opposition as they start from a position that ironically concedes a major point to the opposition at the outset - that multiculturalism can, under certain circumstances, be good for America's founding stock; come back to me on that point when someone like Stacey Adams one day enacts reparations payments on whites, powered by high-IQ immigrant votes. It's funny how such an otherwise intelligent man as Jarred Taylor (and his Amren posters) could be so confused on issues of human nature and fundamental political realities.

    but it wouldn’t matter if growing numbers of group X are able to outvote my people, oppress me, and remove my culture, freedoms, monuments, and safe spaces.

    They won’t necessarily oppress you though.

  258. Anonymous[133] • Disclaimer says:
    @Neil Templeton
    I think he's got a point here. Tinkering has been very important in the historical development of technology. Sure, it helps to be highly intelligent, but the intuition developed through years of observation through trial and error is fundamental. Your comparison of choice is inappropriate. A better choice is whether you want the guy who went to the finest schools and passed all the written stuff and got his ticket stamped by the gatekeepers every step of the way to cut into your heart for, say $200,000; or would you choose the guy who never took a class, but apprenticed at a hospital for ten years before graduating to surgeon himself, to cut on you for half that price or less? What is the cost of the gatekeepers, and what is their value?

    A better choice is whether you want the guy who went to the finest schools and passed all the written stuff and got his ticket stamped by the gatekeepers every step of the way to cut into your heart for, say $200,000; or would you choose the guy who never took a class, but apprenticed at a hospital for ten years before graduating to surgeon himself, to cut on you for half that price or less?

    Which one would you choose?

    • Replies: @Logan
    Well, if I was going to die anyway, and I didn't have $200,000 available, I'd obviously take the cheap guy, since the expensive guy isn't available to me, and without treatment I'm done.
    , @Neil Templeton
    Third choice. Cherokee Walk.
  259. @utu
    I know that. But in what sense IQ suppose to be monotonic? With respect to what variable? Obviously it can't be transitive because the transitive property can be expected from functions of two variables only. I do not see two variables. Taleb is BS-ing.

    Yes I agree he is unclear and there is no obvious interpretation. He seems to be trying to use properties of utility theory in microeconomics and apply it to intelligence measurement. The “free disposal” assumption means that consumers prefer more to less so that positive monotonicity follows. If u() is the function which maps vectors of consumption bundles into a utility metric then u(a+x)>u(a) where a is a vector of goods and x is a strictly positive vector. Consumer preferences are also assumed to have the transitivity property that for consumption bundles a,b,c {a > b and b> c} implies a>c. Taleb is just trying to dazzle his audience with terminology but it means nothing in this context IMHO.

    • Replies: @gregor
    He might be drawing on the idea of “risk measure” from finance.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_measure
  260. @Anonymous
    There are too many possible interpretations for it to be funny. I bet the three people you refer do did not interpret it in exactly the same way.

    Can you list and describe the different ways? I thought it was funny, and I could only think of two ways to interpret it–the two ways that made it funny.

    • Replies: @James Speaks
    Thank you.
  261. @gregor

    IQ is largely a pseudoscientific swindle
     
    You can't dismiss something in such strong terms but hedge it with "largely."

    [IQ measures] "a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for "real life".
     
    Psychometricians are pretty clear about what they mean by "intelligence," and it conforms fairly well with how most people interpret that word. Taleb seems to be implicitly assuming that all the "2nd order" and "real world" traits are negatively correlated with IQ. Dubious.

    ...it explains at best between 13% and 50% of the performance in some tasks...
     
    50% is huge. At any rate, throwing around explained variance doesn't always mean much. SAT might only explain something like 15% of the variance in first-year GPA. But this understates things because of restriction of range and self-sorting into schools and majors.

    If IQ is Gaussian by construction and if real world performance were, net, fat tailed (it is), then either the covariance between IQ and performance doesn’t exist or it is uninformational.
     
    The convention of fitting IQ to a normal distribution seems like a pretty minor point. You could give the exact same IQ tests and just assign an ordinal ranking (percentile) and it would still have good predictive power.

    Regarding "performance," who has ever suggested that IQ will be strongly predictive of the extremes success across all domains? The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. A lot of success is random (right place at the right time, winner take all effect, etc.).


    Another problem: when they say “black people are x standard deviations away”. Different populations have different variances, even different skewness and these comparisons require richer models.
     
    Richer models? Skewness? Give me a break. There is a mean difference that's large enough to be casually observable. Which is why Fat Tony knows what neighborhoods to stay out of.

    It does correlate to negative performance (as it was initially designed to detect learning special needs) but then any measure would work there. A measure that works in left tail not right tail (IQ decorrelates as it goes higher) is problematic.
     
    Citation need that it's only valid for the left tail. Consider something really demanding like solving the Riemann hypothesis. The bottom ninety-whatever percent have a ZERO probability of solving such of problem.

    Taleb demands that IQ be highly predictive in the right tail in every domain. But who says that's the appropriate bar?


    It can measures some arbitrarily selected mental abilities (in a testing environment) believed to be useful. However, if you take a Popperian-Hayekian view on intelligence, you would realize that to measure it you would need to know the mental skills needed in a future ecology, which requires predictability of said future ecology. It also requires the skills to make it to the future (hence the need for mental biases for survival).
     
    Seems like he's saying he doesn't believe in g and thinks everything is domain specific. There's lots of evidence against him on this point and he doesn't offer any evidence for his view. Possibly he means it really broadly when he refers future ecology and survival and he thinks insects are highly intelligent by his definition.

    Hayek wrote a lot about information and the importance of localized knowledge, but I don't think he ever commented on cognition. Hayek's ideas could certainly explain the IYI phenomena and the failures of top-down central planning, but that is really neither here nor there.

    Genetic research shows that the genetic causes of intelligence differences across individuals are highly polygenic, meaning that intelligence differences are caused by many genomic differences each one individually having a small impact. Approximate Guassianity of the resulting cross-sectional distribution of intelligence is then likely to follow from the central limit theorem. The central limit theorem shows under quite general conditions that the sum of a large collection of independent random variables is approximately normal. This central limit theorem based argument only applies to the genetic component of intelligence not the environmental component.

  262. @Intelligent Dasein

    Who said this? No one, ever.
     
    Not true. Schopenhauer said quite emphatically that the intellect comes from the mother, the will from the father. His understanding of intellect comprised quite a bit more than that which we call IQ, however. He was talking about the largely veiled and mysterious manner in which the mind formulates ideas and assigns significances to the perceptions of sense, i.e. what Freud later termed the pre-conscious stream.

    But getting back to the point, we ought to end this whole IQ controversy by just renaming it some more descriptive and less sensitive. IQ should henceforth be called "abstractive aptitude," for that which we call IQ is nothing more than the ability to quickly form abstract conceptions and then make new combinations out of them. People take the word "intelligence" very personally, but I think they would be more open to discussing differences in abstractive aptitude. It wouldn't even really be a disgrace to admit that your own abilities in this area were limited. If you were to simply admit to a prospective employer that "I'm not really good at forming new ideas, I have a low abstractive aptitude," that would not only clear the air and mark you out as an honest individual, it would also give everybody a better sense of how to understand you and handle you. It might even make racial group differences less of a taboo subject. "Black people tend to have lower abstractive aptitude" sounds a hell of lot better than "Black people have lower intelligence."

    “Black people tend to have lower abstractive aptitude” sounds a hell of lot better than “Black people have lower intelligence.”

    Only until those who decide for the blacks what is good for them understand the trick – in about five seconds in other words.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    However, it's not meant to be a trick. It's meant to be honesty and it should bring a sense of relief to many people, including many Blacks. The demagogues can howl if they must, but they are a very minor constituency and I don't think they have much purchase with this one.
  263. @Chrisnonymous
    I don't think he's talking out of his arse, but I don't have the ability to critique his critique of the literature. And apparently nobody else here does either.

    If Taleb dismissed IQ entirely, I 'd dismiss him. But he doesn't. He accepts it is predictive at the low end --a measure of unintelligence, he says. That seems reasonable to me. It's down to the research. Unfortunately, iSteve commenters and Steve himself aren't really engaging on that front.

    I think Taleb makes inflammatory statements, like calling IQ pseudoscience. It obviously isn't. But he may be right that what is assessed in an IQ test is not something that is highly predictive of life outcomes for people above average on that test.

    Again, it comes down to the research, and Taleb is making claims about it that I can't evaluate.

    “he may be right that what is assessed in an IQ test is not something that is highly predictive of life outcomes for people above average on that test”

    It depends on what you mean by highly predictive. It’s highly predictive if you’re looking at averages, not so much looking at individuals. I know plenty of people less smart than I am who earn more than I do – sometimes a lot more.

    And at the very top end of intelligence I doubt you find the very top end of income. From Bob Cringeley’s Accidental Empires

    “This chapter is about smart people. My own, highly personal definition of what it means to be smart has changed over the years. When I was in the second grade, smart meant being able to read a word like Mississippi and then correctly announce how many syllables it had (four, right?). During my college days, smart people were the ones who wrote the most complex and amazing computer programs. Today, at college plus twenty years or so, my definition of smart means being able to deal honestly with people yet somehow avoid the twin perils of either pissing them off or of committing myself to a lifetime of indentured servitude by trying too hard to be nice. In all three cases, being smart means accomplishing something beyond my current level of ability, which is probably the way most other folks define it. Even you.

    But what if nothing is beyond your ability? What if you’ve got so much brain power that little things like getting through school and doing brain surgery (or getting through school while doing brain surgery) are no big sweat? Against what, then, do you measure yourself?

    Back in the 1960s at MIT, there was a guy named Harvey Allen, a child of privilege for whom everything was just that easy, or at least that’s the way it looked to his fraternity brothers. Every Sunday morning, Harvey would wander down to the frat house dining room and do the New York Times crossword puzzle before breakfast—the whole puzzle, even to the point of knowing off the top of his head that Nunivak is the seven-letter name for an island in the Bering Sea off the southwestern coast of Alaska.

    One of Harvey Allen’s frat brothers was Bob Metcalfe, who noticed this trick of doing crossword puzzles in the time it took the bacon to fry and was in awe. Metcalfe, no slouch himself, eventually received a Ph.D., invented the most popular way of linking computers together, started his own company, became a multimillionaire, put his money and name on two MIT professorships, moved into a 10,000-square-foot Bernard Maybeck mansion in California, and still can’t finish the New York Times crossword, which continues to be his definition of pure intelligence.

    Not surprisingly, Harvey Allen hasn’t done nearly as much with his professional life as Bob Metcalfe has because Harvey Allen had less to prove. After all, he’d already done the crossword puzzle.”

  264. @Anonymous

    For many fields, high IQ is necessary. Taleb’s complaint seems to be that it is nevertheless not sufficient.
     
    If you deprived a 130-IQ person of sleep, food, and water for 7 days would they perform worse or better on a task than a person with a 100-IQ who was working on normal sleep and sustenance?

    There are obviously dozens of environmental factors that can trump IQ in influence on performance.

    No doubt, but I’m afraid I don’t see your point.

    Of course IQ is not the only factor in play. It’s one of many.

    As I said, for effective functioning in an abstraction-intense world, high IQ appears to be necessary but not sufficient.

    Great height will not make you a basketball star, but people who aren’t very tall are a great deal less likely to achieve that status.

    People point to the many high-IQ people who don’t succeed. This is a relevant point.

    But AFAIK nobody ever points to a low-IQ person who is a leading mathematician, scientist or indeed any other high-abstraction field. There might be some such, probably because he/she is just terrible at taking IQ tests and so they don’t measure his actual intelligence.

  265. anon[312] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Jobs wasn't constantly right by any means. But he was very very right about two huge deals 30 years apart: the PC and the smartphone.

    Perhaps Bezos would qualify under that test as well since Amazon is really two things: a vast home delivery retailer and a wildly profitable cloud data storage company. But Jobs' comeback story is remarkable.

    Perhaps Bezos would qualify under that test as well since Amazon is really two things: a vast home delivery retailer and a wildly profitable cloud data storage company. But Jobs’ comeback story is remarkable.

    I prefer “glorified mail order catalogue”.

    I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if some old mail-order catalogue company (I’m too young to know any of their names, hooray for me) had, by hook and crook, and luck, achieved the market dominance that Amazon has. (And/or also owned some other even more successful business.)

    Would they have been able to set prices lower than everybody else and convince people that they were the best thing since sliced bread?

    The internet is like 50% PR fluff.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Sears was pretty close to dominance as a mail order company for farmers a hundred+ years ago. Then in the 1920s it did this brilliant switchover from mail order to stores that car owners would drive to to buy stuff to put in their garages. It was another vast success. Until it wasn't anymore.
  266. @Art Deco
    You've forgotten that ca. 2008 he was a purveyor of the most lurid disaster scenarios and was of the opinion that banks would be reduced to custodial functions.

    You’ve assumed that I ever even knew that, or anything else. I don’t. I wear flip-flops because I don’t know how to tie my shoes.

    Anyway, the takeaway: Taleb’s talking shit, and should be disregarded?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    My suggestion would be that he's not a bearer of any expertise or much insight, but has been talented at marketing himself and whatever apercus he's had of late. Part of that is saying things which are provocative but foolish.
  267. @Intelligent Dasein

    Who said this? No one, ever.
     
    Not true. Schopenhauer said quite emphatically that the intellect comes from the mother, the will from the father. His understanding of intellect comprised quite a bit more than that which we call IQ, however. He was talking about the largely veiled and mysterious manner in which the mind formulates ideas and assigns significances to the perceptions of sense, i.e. what Freud later termed the pre-conscious stream.

    But getting back to the point, we ought to end this whole IQ controversy by just renaming it some more descriptive and less sensitive. IQ should henceforth be called "abstractive aptitude," for that which we call IQ is nothing more than the ability to quickly form abstract conceptions and then make new combinations out of them. People take the word "intelligence" very personally, but I think they would be more open to discussing differences in abstractive aptitude. It wouldn't even really be a disgrace to admit that your own abilities in this area were limited. If you were to simply admit to a prospective employer that "I'm not really good at forming new ideas, I have a low abstractive aptitude," that would not only clear the air and mark you out as an honest individual, it would also give everybody a better sense of how to understand you and handle you. It might even make racial group differences less of a taboo subject. "Black people tend to have lower abstractive aptitude" sounds a hell of lot better than "Black people have lower intelligence."

    Yeah but even a modest intelligence can see through that one.

    The time to come up with a better name was right at the start, but that would have required wisdom and foresight on the part of the OG IQ boffins.

  268. @James Speaks
    I score well on pseudoscientific IQ tests. I guess this explains the unfunny Christmas joke I wrote:

    "Three hoes go into a bar. A rake takes them out."

    A friend who scores 3 SD above average, a neighbor who used to work at Bell Labs, and a bagger at the local grocery store who gets my rants about quantum singularities and will probably major in physics when he gets out of high school, all thought my joke was funny. No one else did. See? Pseudohumor.

    The real question is, why do you think the people who didn’t find it funny didn’t find it funny?

    • Replies: @James Speaks
    They didn't get the twin double entendres.
  269. @anon

    Perhaps Bezos would qualify under that test as well since Amazon is really two things: a vast home delivery retailer and a wildly profitable cloud data storage company. But Jobs’ comeback story is remarkable.
     
    I prefer "glorified mail order catalogue".

    I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if some old mail-order catalogue company (I'm too young to know any of their names, hooray for me) had, by hook and crook, and luck, achieved the market dominance that Amazon has. (And/or also owned some other even more successful business.)

    Would they have been able to set prices lower than everybody else and convince people that they were the best thing since sliced bread?

    The internet is like 50% PR fluff.

    Sears was pretty close to dominance as a mail order company for farmers a hundred+ years ago. Then in the 1920s it did this brilliant switchover from mail order to stores that car owners would drive to to buy stuff to put in their garages. It was another vast success. Until it wasn’t anymore.

    • Replies: @anon
    Yeah, but it's different this time, because computers something something information superhighway
  270. It seems people are willingly ignoring Mr Taleb’s point, which is well recapitulated in the last 2 graphs of his article : IQ correlates on “real life mastery” for low-IQ people (i.e. you need a fair bit of it to be successful), but only up to a certain point.
    Given the grotesque political, economical and academical circus purported by the so-called “high-IQ people” (who also happens to perpetuate literal new-age myths and legends like “Diversity is our Strength” and many others), it is clear that IQ is not such a useful measure — and might even be detrimental up to a certain point. These same high-IQ people brought about the financial crisis and currently are trying to maintain broken EU in place, these same people pretending you don’t can’t do their job because “you’re too dumb”.
    IQ as a measure seems to only really be needed when it comes to (more or less) mindlessly following orders (military), which is really not how real life is conducted for the vast majority of people.

    I think it’s only a logical conclusion from Taleb’s work on The Black Swan and in general, where he clearly examines the stupidity of the people in charge of economic policies and financial institutions. Taleb is at war with this fraudulent class of people he calls IYI (Intellectuals Yet Idiots), and rightfully so.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    I have a question for Steve and iSteve commenters:

    Does the military use an aptitude test for enlistees only or for the officer corps too?

    If not, why not?

    If it does, how high in rank are these aptitude tests used and why?
  271. @Anonymous

    A better choice is whether you want the guy who went to the finest schools and passed all the written stuff and got his ticket stamped by the gatekeepers every step of the way to cut into your heart for, say $200,000; or would you choose the guy who never took a class, but apprenticed at a hospital for ten years before graduating to surgeon himself, to cut on you for half that price or less?
     
    Which one would you choose?

    Well, if I was going to die anyway, and I didn’t have $200,000 available, I’d obviously take the cheap guy, since the expensive guy isn’t available to me, and without treatment I’m done.

  272. @syonredux

    IQ testing can effectively tell apart the smart from the dumb. But it can’t tell apart inspired intelligence from uninspired intelligence.
     
    Quite true. But Taleb doesn't want to stop there.....

    Is there a way to test ingenuity?

    It seems so smart people just learned to study and regurgitate.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    It seems so smart people just learned to study and regurgitate.
     
    Even Europeans and Japanese?
  273. @Peter Johnson
    Yes I agree he is unclear and there is no obvious interpretation. He seems to be trying to use properties of utility theory in microeconomics and apply it to intelligence measurement. The "free disposal" assumption means that consumers prefer more to less so that positive monotonicity follows. If u() is the function which maps vectors of consumption bundles into a utility metric then u(a+x)>u(a) where a is a vector of goods and x is a strictly positive vector. Consumer preferences are also assumed to have the transitivity property that for consumption bundles a,b,c {a > b and b> c} implies a>c. Taleb is just trying to dazzle his audience with terminology but it means nothing in this context IMHO.

    He might be drawing on the idea of “risk measure” from finance.

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

    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
    If so, that is extremely poor thinking on his part. Perhaps you are correct, but if so he is a charlatan. I am not saying that he is, but such a jump from intelligence measures to financial risk measures, two wildly different statistical concepts which happen to share one word in their names, would be nonsensical.
  274. @Steve Sailer
    Sears was pretty close to dominance as a mail order company for farmers a hundred+ years ago. Then in the 1920s it did this brilliant switchover from mail order to stores that car owners would drive to to buy stuff to put in their garages. It was another vast success. Until it wasn't anymore.

    Yeah, but it’s different this time, because computers something something information superhighway

  275. @james wilson
    The IQ of Lebanon is ~25 points lower than that of Singapore. What does that tell you?

    It tells me that there are those who have bred with first cousins for generations, and that those that don't have left. One group appears to be Muslim, and the other Christian.

    One group appears to be Muslim, and the other Christian.

    They are both Lebanese and both are classified as white Caucasians. And Lebanon has an IQ lower than that African-Americans, Central Americans, Indonesians, Polynesians etc, etc

    Where is your evidence that Christian Lebanese have higher IQ than Muslim Lebanese? If that was the case why does Lebanon which is 40% Christian have the same or even lower IQ than Arab nations such as Jordan which are over 95% Muslim? Explain that away…

  276. @anon
    You've assumed that I ever even knew that, or anything else. I don't. I wear flip-flops because I don't know how to tie my shoes.

    Anyway, the takeaway: Taleb's talking shit, and should be disregarded?

    My suggestion would be that he’s not a bearer of any expertise or much insight, but has been talented at marketing himself and whatever apercus he’s had of late. Part of that is saying things which are provocative but foolish.

    • Replies: @Sean
    Taleb

    https://thewaiterspad.com/2016/04/01/wilbur-and-orville-wright/

    “The best filtering heuristic, therefore, consists in taking into account the age of books and scientific papers. Books that are one year old are usually not worth reading (a very low probability of having the qualities for “surviving”), no matter the hype and how “earth-shattering” they may seem to be
     
    .
     

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/04/03/motley-fool-interview-nassim-nicholas-taleb.aspx

    "In the past, my targets in The Black Swan were academic/finance people.

    In Fooled by Randomness, the targets were rich idiots. Who -- anyway -- by now are poor. But -- a rich idiot at the time. So, journalists, you see, they loved it: "Someone is going against power, and it's not us." So phase one, they loved it. Although I criticized journalism, they said I was criticizing someone else.

    In phase 2, I went against economic people who use the bell curve... and statisticians. And again, journalists cheered.

    Now phase 3 -- phase 4 actually -- I went after the classes of people that include some people who review books. Therefore, I did not want to give them the chance to play with the book.
     

    "But perhaps its best to classify [Taleb] as a "flaneur," someone who -- according to the Oxford Dictionary, "saunters around observing society". He observed what happened to James Watson. Watson is ancient, but they are still hounding him. Razib having once put a exploratory toe across the line found that was enough to finish him in journalism.

    https://youtu.be/_-d1S79zt8c?t=119

    From Steven Pinker's position on IQ there is only one way to go. As Taleb says, there are some risks we cannot afford to take.

  277. @Anonymous

    A better choice is whether you want the guy who went to the finest schools and passed all the written stuff and got his ticket stamped by the gatekeepers every step of the way to cut into your heart for, say $200,000; or would you choose the guy who never took a class, but apprenticed at a hospital for ten years before graduating to surgeon himself, to cut on you for half that price or less?
     
    Which one would you choose?

    Third choice. Cherokee Walk.

  278. Anonymous[182] • Disclaimer says:

    Look, I’m sorry, but greater Syria just hasn’t done much in terms of the arts and the sciences for the last 500 years….

    I’m going to have to put in a word for Syrian and Lebanese music, at least.

    Syria continues to keep alive its classical repertoire. (This may look like too much of a party to be classical, but if nothing else, the vocal technique obviously is.)

    Lengthy introduction. This was a concert shortly after the liberation of Aleppo:

    There are also more preservationist projects like the work of Ghada Shbeir in Lebanon:

    But most of that is a bit rarefied for most of us. I think Syrian-born brother and sister Farid El-Atrache and Asmahan (Amal El-Atrache) are somewhat more accessible.

    Laure Daccache (who atypically for a female singer, especially at the time, composed her own material):

    Lebanon, of course, produced one of the biggest singing stars of the region, Fairouz:

    Marcel Khalife, particularly known (or best love anyway) for setting the poetry of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (for whom even Uber-Zionist Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai expressed admiration), Oumaima Khalil singing:

    Milhelm Barakat:

    Wadi El Safi:

    Bedouin Samira Toufic:

    I would say that in terms of music in the 20th century at least (which is admittedly less than the lat 500 years), the Levant was pretty fruitful.

  279. @Art Deco
    My suggestion would be that he's not a bearer of any expertise or much insight, but has been talented at marketing himself and whatever apercus he's had of late. Part of that is saying things which are provocative but foolish.

    Taleb

    https://thewaiterspad.com/2016/04/01/wilbur-and-orville-wright/

    “The best filtering heuristic, therefore, consists in taking into account the age of books and scientific papers. Books that are one year old are usually not worth reading (a very low probability of having the qualities for “surviving”), no matter the hype and how “earth-shattering” they may seem to be

    .

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/04/03/motley-fool-interview-nassim-nicholas-taleb.aspx

    “In the past, my targets in The Black Swan were academic/finance people.

    In Fooled by Randomness, the targets were rich idiots. Who — anyway — by now are poor. But — a rich idiot at the time. So, journalists, you see, they loved it: “Someone is going against power, and it’s not us.” So phase one, they loved it. Although I criticized journalism, they said I was criticizing someone else.

    In phase 2, I went against economic people who use the bell curve… and statisticians. And again, journalists cheered.

    Now phase 3 — phase 4 actually — I went after the classes of people that include some people who review books. Therefore, I did not want to give them the chance to play with the book.

    “But perhaps its best to classify [Taleb] as a “flaneur,” someone who — according to the Oxford Dictionary, “saunters around observing society”. He observed what happened to James Watson. Watson is ancient, but they are still hounding him. Razib having once put a exploratory toe across the line found that was enough to finish him in journalism.

    From Steven Pinker’s position on IQ there is only one way to go. As Taleb says, there are some risks we cannot afford to take.

  280. @Sylsau
    It seems people are willingly ignoring Mr Taleb's point, which is well recapitulated in the last 2 graphs of his article : IQ correlates on "real life mastery" for low-IQ people (i.e. you need a fair bit of it to be successful), but only up to a certain point.
    Given the grotesque political, economical and academical circus purported by the so-called "high-IQ people" (who also happens to perpetuate literal new-age myths and legends like "Diversity is our Strength" and many others), it is clear that IQ is not such a useful measure -- and might even be detrimental up to a certain point. These same high-IQ people brought about the financial crisis and currently are trying to maintain broken EU in place, these same people pretending you don't can't do their job because "you're too dumb".
    IQ as a measure seems to only really be needed when it comes to (more or less) mindlessly following orders (military), which is really not how real life is conducted for the vast majority of people.

    I think it's only a logical conclusion from Taleb's work on The Black Swan and in general, where he clearly examines the stupidity of the people in charge of economic policies and financial institutions. Taleb is at war with this fraudulent class of people he calls IYI (Intellectuals Yet Idiots), and rightfully so.

    I have a question for Steve and iSteve commenters:

    Does the military use an aptitude test for enlistees only or for the officer corps too?

    If not, why not?

    If it does, how high in rank are these aptitude tests used and why?

    • Replies: @William Badwhite

    Does the military use an aptitude test for enlistees only or for the officer corps too?
     
    The "military" does give aptitude tests to prospective officers, assuming they're coming in via Officer Candidate School. If they're coming in via the service academies the services already have access to their SAT/ACT scores. I'm not sure how they do it if the prospective officers are in ROTC. IIRC the aptitude tests differ from service to service. The US Air Force uses the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).

    If it does, how high in rank are these aptitude tests used and why?
     
    They're given prior to one's joining.
  281. @Old Palo Altan
    “Black people tend to have lower abstractive aptitude” sounds a hell of lot better than “Black people have lower intelligence.”

    Only until those who decide for the blacks what is good for them understand the trick - in about five seconds in other words.

    However, it’s not meant to be a trick. It’s meant to be honesty and it should bring a sense of relief to many people, including many Blacks. The demagogues can howl if they must, but they are a very minor constituency and I don’t think they have much purchase with this one.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    A feint then - a pretended softening of the blow to their pride which, once understood, will make them even angrier.

    Do you know any blacks well enough to try it on them? The typical ones will need the words explained to them, while the more intelligent will not appreciate your efforts on their behalf.

    But of course "IQ", although useful and suggestive, is a ridiculously reductionist way of talking about intellect, much less genius. Have you read the historical volume of Terman's Genetic Studies of Genius? It is clear from that that he and his colleagues had a much broader understanding of "genius" than do the vast majority of the commentators here, who seem to think that the only intelligence worth considering is mathematical and scientific. Terman would have recognised his views on the subject in your paraphrasing of Schopenhauer, or, to quote the great man himself:

    "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see".

    There are precious few people here who can even imagine the targets hit by Michelangelo, Bach, or Dante. Thus too their discomfiture when confronted by the theological concerns of Newton or Maxwell, Leibnitz or Pascal.
  282. @Sarah Toga
    Do a little research on "fast twitch muscle" and the people-groups with the genetics for that and where they live. There's your answer.

    Newsflash – There are blacks in California and some pretty good ones. Most of USCs famed running backs came from the state. You don’t need fast twitch muscles to be a good offensive linemen. That was always USCs strength it’s running backs and it’s offensive linemen. In fact some of the most famous USC linemen weren’t black – Anthony Munoz and Greg Yary.

    That there are a lot of blacks in the south has less to do with it than the fact that SEC schools likely have an easier time recruiting. There are 5 power conferences in college football and each only has 85 active scholarships. That means that only about 1200 athletes are offered a scholarship to one of those schools every year. If recruiting was a perfect science, then nobody would ever make the pros from a lower ranked conference, let alone an FCS or Division 2 school but it does happen.

  283. @Anonymous

    So all you white people go back to sleep and don’t worry about all those 3rd world people arriving in the West.
     
    Haven't Jews been able to thrive just fine in purportedly "low IQ" environments? (South Africa, North Africa, LatAm, Middle East, urban America, etc.) What is the concern?

    Haven’t Jews been able to thrive just fine in purportedly “low IQ” environments? (South Africa, North Africa, LatAm, Middle East, urban America, etc.)

    Uhm, that kinda requires having a stable, agreeable West for support and trade.

  284. @Big Bill

    Also, just to keep things in perspective. Little Nigerian girls in England are smarter than you are.
     
    Well, let's be honest here. Not all little Nigerian girls. Little Igbo girls, maybe. And little Igbo girls with genes from parents who were smart enough and capable enough get the hell out of Nigeria probably are.

    Really, who on earth wants to spend their life supporting a bunch of dumb Hausa and Fulani in Nigeria if you have enough smarts to go live with intelligent, peaceful white folks in England?

    Notice the Narrative arc: IQ doesn’t matter; but if it did, we’d kick your ass… by a factor of ten.

  285. @szopen
    In 8th century, but not in 14th century. Seems you've never heard about Carolingian renessaince and other such affairs.

    Yes, that’s right. Cf. Wilhelm von Ockham (1288 – 1347) – he is quite a thinker – his echo can be heard even here on iSteve. As are Meister Eckhart or Hermann der Lahme (= Hermanus Contractus) or Augustinus or Nikolaus von Kues (Nicolaus Cusanus) or . . . Johannes Scotus Eriugena… Thomas of Aquinas, Duns Scotus…this impressive row starts in the 6th century… – and the questions discussed by these men still linger on (cf. Frege, Gödel, Searle, Quine, Dunnett…). and on the Islamic side we have – – ok, we have some thinkers – – Al Ghazali, Avincenna, Averroes – but just compare the number of them and then their traces, and the quite small number of questions they arose, which are still discussed today in an Islamic context…if there hadn’t been the widespread Christian reception, there would hardly be anything left over of their thoughts – which mostly originated in the Greek tradition: The Islamic world just did not care too much for them.

    And yes: Art (sculpture, paintings – – – der Meister des Paradiesgärtleins, and the architects and craftsmen (most of them anonymous) who build the cathedrals and the beautiful cities and
    the music…and the invention of the novel in the middle ages.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Too few people here will know or care what you are talking about, Herr Kief. They are like Bertrand Russell, who dismisses Thomas Aquinas with a few lip-curled paragraphs in his History of Philosophy.
    And thank you for reminding me of the Paradiesgaertlein, which I have enjoyed anew thanks to your prompting.

    And what of Merkel dropping the mask lately? No "Volk", just a mass of individuals who happen to live in a territory called Germany.

    Is a greater treason even conceivable? And will no one make her pay the price a traitor should?
  286. @Chrisnonymous
    I have a question for Steve and iSteve commenters:

    Does the military use an aptitude test for enlistees only or for the officer corps too?

    If not, why not?

    If it does, how high in rank are these aptitude tests used and why?

    Does the military use an aptitude test for enlistees only or for the officer corps too?

    The “military” does give aptitude tests to prospective officers, assuming they’re coming in via Officer Candidate School. If they’re coming in via the service academies the services already have access to their SAT/ACT scores. I’m not sure how they do it if the prospective officers are in ROTC. IIRC the aptitude tests differ from service to service. The US Air Force uses the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT).

    If it does, how high in rank are these aptitude tests used and why?

    They’re given prior to one’s joining.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    So they're not used in promotion decisions?
  287. @gregor
    He might be drawing on the idea of “risk measure” from finance.

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

    If so, that is extremely poor thinking on his part. Perhaps you are correct, but if so he is a charlatan. I am not saying that he is, but such a jump from intelligence measures to financial risk measures, two wildly different statistical concepts which happen to share one word in their names, would be nonsensical.

  288. @Intelligent Dasein
    However, it's not meant to be a trick. It's meant to be honesty and it should bring a sense of relief to many people, including many Blacks. The demagogues can howl if they must, but they are a very minor constituency and I don't think they have much purchase with this one.

    A feint then – a pretended softening of the blow to their pride which, once understood, will make them even angrier.

    Do you know any blacks well enough to try it on them? The typical ones will need the words explained to them, while the more intelligent will not appreciate your efforts on their behalf.

    But of course “IQ”, although useful and suggestive, is a ridiculously reductionist way of talking about intellect, much less genius. Have you read the historical volume of Terman’s Genetic Studies of Genius? It is clear from that that he and his colleagues had a much broader understanding of “genius” than do the vast majority of the commentators here, who seem to think that the only intelligence worth considering is mathematical and scientific. Terman would have recognised his views on the subject in your paraphrasing of Schopenhauer, or, to quote the great man himself:

    “Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see”.

    There are precious few people here who can even imagine the targets hit by Michelangelo, Bach, or Dante. Thus too their discomfiture when confronted by the theological concerns of Newton or Maxwell, Leibnitz or Pascal.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    Have you read the historical volume of Terman’s Genetic Studies of Genius?
     
    I haven't, but I'll look into it. Thanks.
  289. @Dieter Kief
    Yes, that's right. Cf. Wilhelm von Ockham (1288 - 1347) - he is quite a thinker - his echo can be heard even here on iSteve. As are Meister Eckhart or Hermann der Lahme (= Hermanus Contractus) or Augustinus or Nikolaus von Kues (Nicolaus Cusanus) or . . . Johannes Scotus Eriugena... Thomas of Aquinas, Duns Scotus...this impressive row starts in the 6th century... - and the questions discussed by these men still linger on (cf. Frege, Gödel, Searle, Quine, Dunnett...). and on the Islamic side we have - - ok, we have some thinkers - - Al Ghazali, Avincenna, Averroes - but just compare the number of them and then their traces, and the quite small number of questions they arose, which are still discussed today in an Islamic context...if there hadn't been the widespread Christian reception, there would hardly be anything left over of their thoughts - which mostly originated in the Greek tradition: The Islamic world just did not care too much for them.

    And yes: Art (sculpture, paintings - - - der Meister des Paradiesgärtleins, and the architects and craftsmen (most of them anonymous) who build the cathedrals and the beautiful cities and
    the music...and the invention of the novel in the middle ages.

    Too few people here will know or care what you are talking about, Herr Kief. They are like Bertrand Russell, who dismisses Thomas Aquinas with a few lip-curled paragraphs in his History of Philosophy.
    And thank you for reminding me of the Paradiesgaertlein, which I have enjoyed anew thanks to your prompting.

    And what of Merkel dropping the mask lately? No “Volk”, just a mass of individuals who happen to live in a territory called Germany.

    Is a greater treason even conceivable? And will no one make her pay the price a traitor should?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    I don't know - I like the commentariat here on iSteve. You're part of it, not least...

    Right - the term volk is not inclusive, so Chancellor Merkel tries to circumvent the use of this word - especially since she thinks it hints at the nation-state and therewith directly to - the nationalist Adolf Hitler.

    The biggest irony in that is, that she does believe (I'm sure she does) that she follows in the footsteps of Jesus Christ: Hasn't Jesus said, that the humblest amongst men is - exactly like him? - so: A heartfelt welcome to the suppressed masses of the world - that's lived Christianity / Social Justice 2.0 for Ms. Merkel. She sure has her doubts, but in the end, I guess, she is convinced, she does the right thing.

    I bemoan the vanishing of theology in the public sphere. Robert Spaemann died not long ago, you might know his work, he was - with theological arguments not least, strongly against open borders. In the obituaries in the leading papers, this vivid (!) part of his thinking was left out completely. - De mortuis nihil nisi bene...

    - Tradition now simply seems to speak by and for itself = tradition is widely perceived as being ready for democratic self-service. But what's forgotten and/ or overlooked is this: You still (we'd still) need middlemen ("Mittler" / Goethe) between the holy and the profane, so to speak, because tradition (and history) are not holy, but the work of humans.

    The vanishing of the demarcations (=borders!) between the holy and the profane leads to a self-adoration of the democratic public sphere (= the liberal echo-chamber is becoming ever more self-centered/neurotic/narcissistic - and childish (=regressive) - (cf: The Coddling of the American Mind / Jonathan Haidt & Greg Lukianoff ).

    2 unsorted late night thoughts -

    1 The late middle-agean and early modern times' paintings are amongst the most beautiful works of art and - and almost a well-kept secret. If one visits the eminent collections in Basel, Zürich, Winterthur, Schaffhausen (!), Schwäbisch-Hall (!), Freiburg, Karlsruhe or Mainz, one is mostly completely undisturbed (oftentimes alone). On a slightly cynical note: Ignorance has its advantages, too, at least for the happy few.

    Grünewalds Isenheimer Altar is on its way to become a world tourist spot though. They just installed a second entrance-lane in the Unter den Linden Museum in Colmar. Twenty years ago, the place didn't even have decent walls, you could see through the cracks out on the streets, heard people talking outside, cards and motorbikes drive by ... - - - and therefore there simply was no heating in quite a few rooms...it worked like that for centuries - and perfectly well... A wonder of sorts. Now modernization has arrived - the masses roll in - mostly from Asia, I'd say, and some kind of new wonders are needed to make this new development work out well.

    2 Mathematics and logic and the like sure were a spiritual experience for some - but what some of those dedicated mathematicians and logicians etc. (Russell, I agree) didn't (and often times still don't) get is, that they are an exception (I think Wittgenstein understood this with the years quite well - I'm grateful that Russel (together with some colleagues - ) - made the philosopher Wittgenstein passible). A city consisting only of such people like Russel might be an even bigger nightmare than one consisting only of romantics - if this last one of my late night thoughts makes any sense at all.

    (As I said: If you happen to be near Konstanz, please let me know).

    , @Hail

    will no one make her pay the price a traitor should?
     
    In late 2015 and 2016, as the AfD emerged with a basically intact (and energetic) ethnonationalist wing, the calls for a formal charge of "Hochverrat" or "high treason" against Chancellor Merkel from the AfD base were frequent, second perhaps only to "Merkel Muss Weg" (Merkel Must Go).

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dq4v36aWsAAzGol.jpg

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dq41p2KWkAA_IvD.jpg

    I'm not sure if there have been any formal treason prosecutions in the Federal Republic since its founding in 1949,; they do frequently employ a soft form of "treason-lite" prosecution they call the Constitutional Protection Law (Verfassungsschutz), which allows them to imprison, inter alia, Holocaust revisionists ("deniers").
  290. @Anon
    Is there a way to test ingenuity?

    It seems so smart people just learned to study and regurgitate.

    It seems so smart people just learned to study and regurgitate.

    Even Europeans and Japanese?