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Taleb on Fat Tony vs. Dr. John
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From Quora:

Could you explain the character of Fat Tony in Antifragile by Taleb?

Aaron Brown, Quant to the bone
Answered May 12, 2017 · Author has 6.5k answers and 8.8m answer views

Fat Tony is the foil to Dr. John. Dr. John is nerdy, meticulous, careful and academic; Fat Tony is confident, loud, careless and shrewd. Both of them make errors, but of different types. Dr. John can make gigantic errors that affect other people by ignoring reality in favor of assumptions. Fat Tony makes smaller errors that affect only himself, but more seriously (they kill him).

I know three people who have parts of Fat Tony’s character, so I consider him an amalgam of real people; but Nassim Taleb claims that he is entirely imaginary.

The most famous contrast between the two is the question of what to think about a fair coin that has tossed heads 99 times in a row.

This is much like one of Daniel Kahneman’s Nobel-winning brain-teasers:

The mean I.Q. of the population of eighth-graders in a city is known to be 100. You have selected a random sample of 50 children for a study of educational achievement. The first child tested has an I.Q. of 150. What do you expect the mean I.Q. to be for the whole sample?

According to Kahneman, he has stipulated that the sample is random and the mean is 100, so that’s all you need to know. Hence, the rational answer is 101 and no other responses are acceptable.It is irrational for you to worry about real-world concerns like whether or not the IQ test might be misnormed, like the way the Pentagon’s AFQT test had bad scoring inflating recruits’ scores from 1976-1980.

Senator Sam Nunn kept asking the Pentagon why drill sergeants kept complaining to him that military was letting in some literal morons lately, and the Pentagon kept answering that by definition the median score on the AFQT equaled the median score in the population … until they admitted after a few years that they’d totally screwed up the scoring since 1976 and, yeah, had been letting in a bunch of real morons (see Stripes).

By the way, does anybody know (or have an opinion on) whether the AFQT misnorming was an honest mistake by the Pentagon or whether it was a scam to make the Volunteer Army seem to work? Eventually, Ronald Reagan came up with the high IQ genius solution to the problem of recruiting a volunteer army: “Let’s pay our soldiers a decent wage and tell them often that we are proud of them.”

Quora goes on:

Dr. John insists that because the coin is fair, the answer has to be 50%. But this is incorrect, and an example of a common misunderstanding among theoretically minded people of what a fair coin is.
One way to define a fair coin is to say that for any small number

 
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  1. And that’s when the murders began.

    • Replies: @Altai
    All purpose comment for any article mentioning Taleb.
  2. Wouldn’t the opposite of a “theoretical minded” smart person be an equally as intelligent person who deals only with actual experience, not some blathering Neanderthal blockhead?

  3. Something got lost at the end of your post.

  4. John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150, and I think Hitler was also up there. Neither Pinker or Taleb want to believe that organised violence can be the result of a superior intellect figuring out how things work and coming to a correct appreciation of the best strategy to improve its own situation.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150,
     
    More like 110:

    The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong. In Crime and Human Nature, James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein present data indicating that criminals have IQs clustered around 92, i.e., eight points below the national average. So Gotti's modest test result is not an exception to the general rule about high scorers rising to the top.
     

    and I think Hitler was also up there.
     
    Dunno about Hitler (Was he ever tested?), but we do have figures for some of the top guys in the Nazi regime:

    The Nazi war criminals tested after the end of World War II proved to be quite intelligent. For example, Hermann Goering had an IQ of 138, Franz Von Papen 134, Albert Speer 128.
     
    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1991/07/15/75242/index.htm
    , @Anonymous

    John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150, and I think Hitler was also up there. Neither Pinker or Taleb want to believe that organised violence can be the result of a superior intellect
     
    Hitter wanted peace. But he overestimated the IQs of the British, French, and Americans.

    Japan and Italy have some of the highest IQs in the world.
    , @adreadline
    Wasn't it Thomas Sowell who said that to create ''a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs''? It's said that having an higher IQ is ''almost always better'' (per JayMan). Almost always better for one to screw up everyone with lower IQs, perhaps.
  5. Let me see if I got this straight. This Taleb guy is supposed to be some pop-cult intellectual genius keen observer of ordinary things (in the line I suppose of Gladwell, Pinker, and that “All I Learned in Kindergarten” guy), and yet he /doesn’t know/ that in the pantheon of American pop culture, the names “Fat Tony” and “Dr. John” are both ALREADY TAKEN?!

    They already denote other characters, who typify their own specific things. This is like Gladwell saying, “I made up these two characters to illustrate my point: one is named Patti Smith, and the other is named Woody Harrelson”.

    My oh my. This oversight alone is a regular –how you say again?– Black Swan Event.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    Pinker and Gladwell are barely even the same species - any remotely sensible taxonomy should have them separated by about the same distance as that between, say, Schopenhauer and Jordan Peterson (which is to say, a chasm).

    Even though he is on the wrong end of the ideological spectrum, Pinker is a 'proper' intellectual - whereas Gladwell is a dilettante charlatan (like Jon Ronson, Peterson, and other such self-promoting fucktards).

    Taleb is strictly not inferior to Pinker, and he's much much stronger than Pinker when it comes to analysing things quantitatively (and even more relevant, knowing when something is amenable to quantitative analysis, and which tools to use).

    Disclosure; I bought "Fooled By Randomness" (1st ed) in hard-cover in an actual bookshop in 2001. I'm not precisely certain, but it may be the very last hardcover book I bought... and I have read or listened to Taleb's entire oeuvre. I won't say I'm a fan though: I'm halfway between respect for his effort to get the issue into the public discourse, and outright hostility at his misrepresentation of the state of play in quantiative risk analytics (something I know a bit about). Taleb's malfeasance in that regard is well-captured by Jon Vos (author of "Fooled by a Red Herring" - Chapter 2 deals pretty harshly with the cartoonish Dr John/'Fat Tony false dichotomy)
  6. Let me see if I got this straight.

    This Taleb guy is I guess supposed to be some sharp-eyed observant popular intellectual Noticer of Things The Rest of Us Don’t (in the line of Gladwell, Pinker, and the “All I Learned in Kindergarten” guy). And yet somehow he doesn’t know that, in the American pop-culture pantheon, both the names “Fat Tony” and “Dr. John” are ALREADY TAKEN?!

    They both already signify things which are quite specific in the public imagination. It’s like Gladwell saying, “I made up these two characters to illustrate my point. I call them Patti Smith and Barney Rubble.”

    It is –how you say?– a regular Black Swan Event.

    • Replies: @njguy73

    They both already signify things which are quite specific in the public imagination. It’s like Gladwell saying, “I made up these two characters to illustrate my point. I call them Patti Smith and Barney Rubble.”
     
    OK, Gladwell wouldn't say anything that dumb.

    Gladwell may be a hack, but at least he's not Tom Friedman.

    https://www.steynonline.com/6519/meet-the-jetstones
    , @Mr McKenna
    Thank you. Reading through the piece, I kept wondering when the obvious connections were going to be made. Hard to imagine that degree of, um, insularity in a so-called public intellectual. Unless...
  7. I would ban IQ testing in America at a time when the Native Born White American Working Class is experiencing very stressful racial displacement and economic violence…..IQ Testing is a one way ticket to a canon fodder career…..If part is an economic and political system that favors the Asian Fifth Column in it’s efforts to colonize Native Born White American Living and Breeding Space=California….

    An American History where the 1965 Immigration Reform Act is not passed…and National Origins Immigration Policy that excludes Asians…and nonwhites in general=a post-1965 America where it is too costly between 1991-2018 to slaughter the Native Born White American Working Class in Syria…Iraq…Afghanistan….on the Ukraine-Christian Russia border….

    Steve

    Intellectual honesty….so let my response to Pinchar Martin go through in the initial thread about Nicholas Taleb….

  8. And if there is a “specification” type problem in IQ Test Score Psychometrics like there is in econometrics(well known for years…and it’s the reason that George Borjas denounced most-all the immigration econometric research twenty years ago in a leading economics journal)….well, to paraphrase John Maynard Keyenes…and later Martin Feldman….IQ Test Score Psychometrics is as “scientific” as Witchcraft…..

  9. There is this video I want to leave here (also found it here, can’t remember to whom I should give kudos).

    I have a question, regarding Steve’s last comment. Do you guys actually pay your soldiers well? As opposed to generals, of course. I keep reading opposite interpretations on the Internet – some people say yes, others say emphatically no.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    They're paid well (and receive excellent benefits) relative to other jobs that only require a secondary school education, but poorly relative to skilled work.

    Officers are if anything the underpaid ones since most could make a lot more in the private sector.
    , @Nathan
    The pay keeps up with inflation, for the most part. It's everyone else that gets paid poorly these days.
    , @George
    Do you guys actually pay your soldiers well?

    There are multiple financial benefits for being in the military. All former members of the US military are considered veterans irrespective of if they were involved in combat.

    Civil Service Preference for Veterans
    https://www.nj.gov/military/veterans/civil-service-preference/

    The veterans hiring preference taken with hiring preferences for racial minorities and women means that ordinary white males will have difficulty getting civil service employment unless they are veterans.
    , @Anonymous

    There is this video I want to leave here (also found it here, can’t remember to whom I should give kudos).
     
    Superb video!
  10. @Romanian
    There is this video I want to leave here (also found it here, can't remember to whom I should give kudos).

    https://youtu.be/_J2VwFDV4-g

    I have a question, regarding Steve's last comment. Do you guys actually pay your soldiers well? As opposed to generals, of course. I keep reading opposite interpretations on the Internet - some people say yes, others say emphatically no.

    They’re paid well (and receive excellent benefits) relative to other jobs that only require a secondary school education, but poorly relative to skilled work.

    Officers are if anything the underpaid ones since most could make a lot more in the private sector.

    • Replies: @dvorak

    Officers are if anything the underpaid ones since most could make a lot more in the private sector.
     
    Are you sure you're comparing all of the apples to comparable apples, with respect to officer compensation?

    Government workers have a million scams to get more money out of the government. Like retiring/resigning and coming right back in as a higher-paid consultant (see the CIA). Unions can co-opt management by giving managers a $5 million pension (see state and local governments).

    They have all the time in the world to plot against their employer. Like Andy Dufresne.

    , @Lugash
    Military service is a huge plus to get hired for civilian jobs as well, particularly for white men.
    , @Romanian
    Thank you very much (and to Lugash as well) for the answer!
    , @Mikey Darmody
    I am speaking from relative ignorance, but my understanding is that an officer's position is lower risk-lower reward than the private sector & that it rewards low-time preference individuals.
    An officer as officer can't expect to pull in $250,000/yr. However, he can expect a good pay until retirement, a DoD job concurrent w/ his military pension on the other end, 4 yrs of free college (giftable to anyone he desires) and pretty good free healthcare for life (plus the potential supplement of a disability check -- 100% of the retired officers I've met are DoD-employed, on pension, & diagnosed with at least sleep apnea). Moreover, an officer can use his GI Bill-derived free college to pursue post-graduation education and thereby qualify for higher pay working for the DoD.
    All in all, the career path isn't bad. It's not Taleb-style risk-taking, but it does guarantee a comfortable, Prussian-style bureaucratic life.
    Since officers must pass essentially an IQ test to qualify for this life, it actually might be better if they were to be released into the private sector.
  11. War on IQ Testing……

    Mathematically speaking…correlation is not necessarily TRANSITIVE….I haven’t read Taleb’s tweets….but perhaps this is the point he is making…..

    The transitivity of correlation in IQ Test Score Psychometrics may very well be a mathematical artifact of the of the way the whole “science” of IQ testing psychometrics is set up….so it wouldn’t be suprising that transitivity of correlation pops out in IQ testing psychometrics so strongly….but this may have very little to do with the real world…..and IQ Testing Psychometrics may be little more than Bible Code “Science”….

  12. The whole “street smarts vs. book smarts” thing can easily become overwrought in the mind of insecure man. And you have to wonder about someone like Taleb, who makes his living in the academic field (or at least on the periphery thereof), excoriating his fellow bookworms simply for being what they are. Why beat up on such easy targets?

    I think most academics know that they are not street smart. They accept it; they don’t go trying to fight Carlito Brigante on his own turf. The customary ethic of their own way of life demands a sort of resignation in the face of the forces and passions which govern the intercourse of the more earthy types. In return they have all the joys of an intellectual world, where they have significance and respect. They may never be taken for sexy beasts or high-rolling millionaires, but they can have wives and a decent living if they so desire them.

    Similarly, the real-life thugs don’t go around beating up brainiacs, at least not after high school is over. There is no profit and no honor in it, so they don’t bother. Furthermore, they eventually acquire a sort of respect for book smarts and those who have them, feeling like a big brother who needs to protect the nerds from the genuine creeps and psychos out there.

    But then you have guys like Taleb who, like Don Quixote fighting the funeral procession but without the romantic innocence, simply lays waste to his academic brethren (who are unprepared for these sorts of assaults) in a sadistic attempt to act tough. This more than anything else tells me that Taleb is behaving like a Dave Kleinfeld, thinking he can outsmart the gangsters and out-muscle the dorks.

    This is a very depraved, sick individual we are dealing with in Taleb, reveling in the power he wields over helpless victims. This should have been obvious from the very beginning. Nobody would write a book like Antifragile unless he were engaged in some sort of ritual desecration of those who aroused his envy. Such things are never, ever written about by those who embody them. A real man would be too busy being antifragile so that he could write about something else, he wouldn’t be writing about antifragility.

    Taleb’s star is setting. He will soon be revealed to all and sundry for the pathetic fraud that he is. Let him be ground down to dust. Let his children curse and despise him. Let his books be ignored and forgotten. To such a one as this not even politeness is owed. The sooner the world shuffles him off, the better.

    • Agree: Tiny Duck.
    • Replies: @snorlax
    Taleb's point is an excellent one.

    Take the example of economists. They insist, fanatically, that free trade and immigration are beneficial policies because economic theory says (or "proves") so.

    But, those countries that have most liberalized trade and immigration over the past several decades have seen yearly GDP growth approximately cut in half over that time period, and large declines in many standard of living metrics for the left half of the income curve, which is literally and extremely visible simply by traveling anywhere outside of major cities and upper-middle-class communities in those countries.

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? Or, more accurately, whether the entire field of economics is a crock? With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.

    Another economics example: When examining the track record of the Federal Reserve (or insert central bank here), it stands out that they have, consistently, followed aggressively contractionary policies immediately prior to recessions, and aggressively inflationary policies during asset bubbles or periods of high inflation. This observed reality indicates that rather than following countercyclical policies, the Fed tends to exacerbate economic cycles, and this is likely because the factors they use to set policy, GDP growth and CPI, are in fact trailing indicators.

    Further, and particularly since Reagan, the Fed has a clear bias towards contractionary policies under GOP Presidents and inflationary policies under Democrats. This observed reality indicates that the Fed is not in fact independent of political considerations, and monetary policy would be more soundly set by an algorithm rather than human (and politically biased) economists.

    But do economists reexamine their assumptions on these issues? Although there are at least a few dissenters, who aren't let anywhere near the Fed, again the vast bulk do not nor even really understand why anyone might see a problem.

    Or take psychology and climatology. Papers and studies in those fields are shown to have severe methodological issues, to be outright falsified and/or not to be replicable far more often than is typical for other disciplines. Further, various theories in those fields, which were until recently the consensus (as a couple examples among several, Freudianism and "global cooling") have been proved to be complete falsehoods, based on utter nonsense all the way down.

    Does any of this cause psychologists or climatologists to reexamine their smug certitudes? Or, more accurately, whether the entire fields of psychology and climatology are crocks? Not at all.

    Intellectuals, yet idiots.
    , @Anonymous

    Taleb’s star is setting. He will soon be revealed to all and sundry for the pathetic fraud that he is.
     
    Do any of his ideas and argument have merit?
    , @South Texas Guy
    Snorlax's reply to this comment is best, but let me take issue with something Intelligent Daein wrote:

    "I think most academics know that they are not street smart. They accept it..."

    I don't think they do. In fact, they have a whole lot invested in the whole 'smart is smart' concept.

    If they had to admit that translating Plato from ancient Greek, calculating the path needed for a landing module to intercept one of Jupiter's moons, or, as is most often the case, as certain verbal nimbleness (or bullshit artistry colloquially) could be translated to high achievement in other walks of life, they would have to admit they are no more talented or skilled than someone in the plumbing, carpentry or auto repair fields.

  13. Dr John had an awesome hit “Right Place Wrong Time.”

    He was great on SCTV. Polynesian Town. That crane shot with John Candy!

  14. The errors here are fairly easy to tease out: Fat Tony knows he is being lied to while Dr John “knows” that theory is infallible. I haven’t read Taleb’s take on this.
    This is the difference between a successful person in a business (where reality matters) and failures. The failure will know their system is right despite repeated evidence to the contrary.
    The bottom line is that 99 straight tails in a coin toss is theoretically possible but impossible in the real world.

    • Replies: @Forbes
    That's about right. Fat Tony knows how things work based on experience and human nature, including (especially) human fallibility. Dr. John relies on how things are supposed to work.

    Taleb's take is usually a story from ancient history or philosophy, or an aphorism--and he lets you decide the implication. Fat Tony and Dr. John are used in contemporary examples.

    99 straight tails would mean it's not a fair coin or a fair toss--9 straight would be all Fat Tony needed to know unfairness.
  15. Here’s a brain teaser for Taleb:

    People of African heritage are basically the same as people of European heritage. The first 100 societies created by Africans have been dysfunctional messes. What are the odds the next society created by Africans will be a dysfunctional mess?

    Fat Tony knows the answer.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    Apropos that, a good video comparing Haiti to the Dominican Republic:
    https://youtu.be/4WvKeYuwifc

    The SJW reporter's ideological blind spots only add to the entertainment value.
  16. @snorlax
    They're paid well (and receive excellent benefits) relative to other jobs that only require a secondary school education, but poorly relative to skilled work.

    Officers are if anything the underpaid ones since most could make a lot more in the private sector.

    Officers are if anything the underpaid ones since most could make a lot more in the private sector.

    Are you sure you’re comparing all of the apples to comparable apples, with respect to officer compensation?

    Government workers have a million scams to get more money out of the government. Like retiring/resigning and coming right back in as a higher-paid consultant (see the CIA). Unions can co-opt management by giving managers a $5 million pension (see state and local governments).

    They have all the time in the world to plot against their employer. Like Andy Dufresne.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute

    Government workers have a million scams to get more money out of the government.
     
    We crossed the Rubicon on private versus public sector wages some time ago. And Carlton Meyer (g2mil.com & frequent commenter here) has published an analysis of military wages showing officers especially are overpaid.

    The insanity of public sector unions, when these parasites already are permitted to vote for more money & benefits for themselves, is only paralleled by Congressional compensation. My advice to any reasonably bright kid today is pursue a career in the Air Force or Navy, do your 20 years, then double dip. You really can’t do any better in the private sector unless you are highly entrepreneurial.

    https://reason.org/policy-brief/public-sector-private-sector-salary/

    http://www.allgov.com/news/where-is-the-money-going/it-pays-well-to-join-the-military?news=840441
  17. i was but a simple enlisted guy who joined in the mid to late 70s. i was my boot camp unit’s educational person. we had our share of 70 – 80 IQ-types. our company commander kept yelling “you disgust me!” at one low IQ person who could not march correctly. (even marching correlates with “g”:) we had folks with only an 8th grade education & some who could barely speak english. none were coddled. the one who couldn’t march was so scared he could not stop shaking for days. he got set back & never made it through boot camp. he was often humiliated by the company commanders. oh the horror:)

    • Replies: @egregious philbin
    PS - having all those dummies in boot camp (& later "A" school) took the heat off of us mildly smart folks:) tho - punishment was often dispensed to the group for an individual's error, so we took some of the flak. but overall, having dummies around helped us non-dumb people stay out of trouble! so, there's that anyway:)
  18. @snorlax
    They're paid well (and receive excellent benefits) relative to other jobs that only require a secondary school education, but poorly relative to skilled work.

    Officers are if anything the underpaid ones since most could make a lot more in the private sector.

    Military service is a huge plus to get hired for civilian jobs as well, particularly for white men.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    Didn't Steve once say that it was especially a plus for minorities? And I seem to remember him quoting some study saying that race disparities in callbacks for job offers were much reduced when the Black applicant was former military, because it acted as a signal.
  19. I must be really out of it; I thought this would be about Mac Rebennack, the old rocker.

  20. @snorlax
    They're paid well (and receive excellent benefits) relative to other jobs that only require a secondary school education, but poorly relative to skilled work.

    Officers are if anything the underpaid ones since most could make a lot more in the private sector.

    Thank you very much (and to Lugash as well) for the answer!

  21. @Lugash
    Military service is a huge plus to get hired for civilian jobs as well, particularly for white men.

    Didn’t Steve once say that it was especially a plus for minorities? And I seem to remember him quoting some study saying that race disparities in callbacks for job offers were much reduced when the Black applicant was former military, because it acted as a signal.

    • Agree: fish
    • Replies: @Federalist
    To enlist, one must have a clean criminal record (for the most part). Also, the AFQT that Steve discusses is more or less an IQ test. While serving, the military is going to be checking for drug use and otherwise looking out for criminal behavior. Any military job is going to require the serviceman to do what he's told; live where he is stationed; and usually work longer hours than in the civilian world, etc.

    So, anyone who was allowed to enlist and went on to serve in the military without being kicked out is going to tend to be less criminally inclined and more responsible than average. Also, while they aren't necessarily geniuses, they won't be from the very low end of the intelligence scale.

    Military service would be a bigger advantage in the job market for minorities who otherwise tend to be inclined to criminal behavior, lower intelligence, and being less responsible employees.
  22. Reflexively pro Military on an anti-war blog. Hmmm it’s almost as if the military has taken over isteve. Or maybe isteve was a front for the military all along.

    Stop building up the benefits of military service. I’ve noticed a high correlation between military service and subsequent poverty or at least limited earning potential. I think the hierarchical nature of the military may have something to do with this. Lower echelon better make the lower wages. Also there’s often severe dysfunction among this population including but not limited to substance abuse.

    Generally your ramblings about Taleb range from the incoherent to the farcical. You might want to lay this topic to rest and exchange it for something more within your ken. Just sayin.

  23. OT: Canadian money to bear images commemorating country’s earlier suppression of homosexuals:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/coin-loonie-royal-canadian-mint-cabinet-trudeau-homosexuality-1.4954537

    Peak identity politics? Just a hint of things to come?

    • Replies: @Whiskey
    The coins should bear the images of the greatest Canadians ever. The co directors of "Mutants of 2051 AD"

    The McKenzie Brothers. Bob and Doug eh? All I know about Canada eh I learned from watching Great White North eh
  24. @egregious philbin
    i was but a simple enlisted guy who joined in the mid to late 70s. i was my boot camp unit's educational person. we had our share of 70 - 80 IQ-types. our company commander kept yelling "you disgust me!" at one low IQ person who could not march correctly. (even marching correlates with "g":) we had folks with only an 8th grade education & some who could barely speak english. none were coddled. the one who couldn't march was so scared he could not stop shaking for days. he got set back & never made it through boot camp. he was often humiliated by the company commanders. oh the horror:)

    PS – having all those dummies in boot camp (& later “A” school) took the heat off of us mildly smart folks:) tho – punishment was often dispensed to the group for an individual’s error, so we took some of the flak. but overall, having dummies around helped us non-dumb people stay out of trouble! so, there’s that anyway:)

  25. We’re paid well across the board. It’s not the 90’s anymore. I was an E3 in ’98 with one child and we qualified for (and received) WIC.

    It’s a good wage no matter what your education level. Officer’s make a great wage, particularly if you popped out of State U with a non STEM degree.

    I can take a reasonly intelligent 18 year old and qualify them for a “computer” job in the Air Force. They leave for Boot Camp after high school graduation. They come back one year later and here’s what they have (if they pick the right job/career field). Depending on their propensity for saving they can bank between $1K-$5K in savings. They have 31 semester hours of college credit, and they also have a decent computer certification making them fairly employable. This will work for active duty but works best for reservists and guardsmen.

    Ton’s of options throughout the military. Better than going into debt at the local CC or fizzling out after your second semester at some state college almost done with your “business degree”. Work experience, training, education, free money for college on top of GI Bill money for college.

    Works best for kids who are not window lickers. Middle class white boys who SHOULD avoid going to a college campus. They ones that “fell” (ignored) through the cracks in the local public school district.

    Numbers:
    ENLISTED
    An E4 with 2 years in service will make $28,000 on salary alone. All his housing and most of his food is taken care of along with all medical and dental care. So that $28K is spending money. If he chooses or is allowed to live out in town and not on base in the dorms, his pay goes well aboe $40K per year depending on where he’s located. 2 years. 20 year old in charge of other people and/or millions of dollars of equipment. Same dude makes E5 and has 5 years in service and his salary living out in town is $50K.

    OFFICER
    Average military office makes Captain, O-3, and has 6 years in service. They’re making $68K living on base with everything taken care off. They move out in town and that salary jumps to over $85K per year. Your uncle who is a Major in the Army, O-4, and has his 20 years in makes $92K per year, if he lives out in town he’s making almost $120K per year.

    And, don’t listen to the whining cunts. Deployments may be dangerous at times, but they’re some of the best things most people will ever do in their lives.

    No, we’re not underpaid by any stretch. The military should no longer be thought of as a “last resort” unless your last name is Vanderbuilt or Kadashian. For the Smith’s, Maxwell’s and Newton’s from lower middle class whiteville it should be a first choice. College is the last choice. At least college on campus.

    • Agree: Stan d Mute
  26. @snorlax
    They're paid well (and receive excellent benefits) relative to other jobs that only require a secondary school education, but poorly relative to skilled work.

    Officers are if anything the underpaid ones since most could make a lot more in the private sector.

    I am speaking from relative ignorance, but my understanding is that an officer’s position is lower risk-lower reward than the private sector & that it rewards low-time preference individuals.
    An officer as officer can’t expect to pull in $250,000/yr. However, he can expect a good pay until retirement, a DoD job concurrent w/ his military pension on the other end, 4 yrs of free college (giftable to anyone he desires) and pretty good free healthcare for life (plus the potential supplement of a disability check — 100% of the retired officers I’ve met are DoD-employed, on pension, & diagnosed with at least sleep apnea). Moreover, an officer can use his GI Bill-derived free college to pursue post-graduation education and thereby qualify for higher pay working for the DoD.
    All in all, the career path isn’t bad. It’s not Taleb-style risk-taking, but it does guarantee a comfortable, Prussian-style bureaucratic life.
    Since officers must pass essentially an IQ test to qualify for this life, it actually might be better if they were to be released into the private sector.

  27. By the way, does anybody know (or have an opinion on) whether the AFQT misnorming was an honest mistake by the Pentagon or whether it was a scam to make the Volunteer Army seem to work?

    I joined just after Vietnam and the end of the draft, and the holdovers from earlier were for the most part the better and brighter of the lot, but not enough in numbers to field a capable Military that could absorb the first punch and counter with appropriate force. IOW, you needed some amount of canon fodder, so lowering ASVAB/AFQT scoring standards would be a plausible way of keeping enough bodies in the billets while making the transition to a voluntary military force structure. If it was an error, it was bloody convenient.

    Eventually, Ronald Reagan came up with the high IQ genius solution to the problem of recruiting a volunteer army: “Let’s pay our soldiers a decent wage and tell them often that we are proud of them.”

    I don’t remember being well paid, but Reagan-era payraises were appreciable. I remember one of my first civilian interviews; when asked why I was leaving the military, I replied “I want to make more money.” The interviewer had the gall to say, “That’s not very patriotic!” to which I shot back, “How long did you serve?” (Hint: Goose-egg).

    • Replies: @donut
    "I joined just after Vietnam and the end of the draft, and the holdovers from earlier were for the most part the better and brighter of the lot."
    That may be because during the draft era the USN and USAF had a lot of college grads serving as enlisted men who didn't dodge the draft they just dodged Vietnam .
    A lot of people who did go to college to avoid the draft just weren't up to the work , they tended to gravitate towards the easiest majors which IIRC were teaching and psychology . So I wonder what effect it may have had on our society when all these bitter , poorly motivated under qualified "revolutionaries" were let loose in society as teachers , social workers and various other BS gov't tit jobs .
  28. Although I like Taleb, the pretentiousness of the Fat Tony crap was always a bit much. He fancies himself a fine raconteur (and bricoleur) but he is finally rather more of an embarrassing third world try-hard than the aphorist and philosophe he whinnies toward.

    Ultimately, Taleb is the Mary Beard of IQ Science.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    "Taleb is the Mary Beard of IQ Science." My wife met Beard on the train once and found her a pleasant, chatty soul. Taleb is less pleasant, I'd guess. On the other hand Beard doesn't half make tedious, plonkingly mechanical, TV shows, with a tiresome PC bias.
  29. Asking if the military deliberately mis-normed the ASVAB runs into the New Coke test of any conspiracy. Would the perpetrators of any given conspiracy be simultaneously smart enough to plan/execute the conspiracy while being dumb enough not to see the conspiracy’s obvious flaws?

    (When asked directly if Coca Cola introduced New Coke in the 1980s as a ploy to drive up sales of their old product, a Coca Cola executive said “we’re not that smart and we’re not that dumb.” Hence the New Coke test for conspiracies.)

    Everything I’ve read about the ASVAB misnorming indicates that during the years that it was misnormed, it was due to each iteration being normed against the previous year’s test takers. How this affected the final scoring is… a little fuzzy. I dont actually know if this error only inflated scores at the lower end somehow, or if it shifted the entire bell curve left. Assuming that each year during these years was not representative, and that recruits kept scoring lower and each subsequent test was re-normed to a new, lower median would shift the entire curve to the left, but this would have disastrous consequences beyond just letting in poor recruits. Remember, all branches use the ASVAB, and even the Army and Marines need smart people for the majority of jobs. Screwing with the norming would mean putting under qualified people behind nuclear reactors and turbine aircraft engines. Nobody wants that just to bag a few thousand more bodies.

    Also, isn’t that brain teaser a classic example of the begging the question logical fallacy? You have to assume your starting assumptions are true, even when your first data point indicates that they are not.

  30. @Romanian
    Didn't Steve once say that it was especially a plus for minorities? And I seem to remember him quoting some study saying that race disparities in callbacks for job offers were much reduced when the Black applicant was former military, because it acted as a signal.

    To enlist, one must have a clean criminal record (for the most part). Also, the AFQT that Steve discusses is more or less an IQ test. While serving, the military is going to be checking for drug use and otherwise looking out for criminal behavior. Any military job is going to require the serviceman to do what he’s told; live where he is stationed; and usually work longer hours than in the civilian world, etc.

    So, anyone who was allowed to enlist and went on to serve in the military without being kicked out is going to tend to be less criminally inclined and more responsible than average. Also, while they aren’t necessarily geniuses, they won’t be from the very low end of the intelligence scale.

    Military service would be a bigger advantage in the job market for minorities who otherwise tend to be inclined to criminal behavior, lower intelligence, and being less responsible employees.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    Membership in street gangs is ~70x greater in the US military, than it is in civilian life. And we can pretty much stipulate that there's not going to be many Airmen sporting MS13 or AB ink; maybe a few sailors... nope, you can pretty much take it as read that all the 'bangers will be Army and Marines, which increases the gang-related 'rate' even higher than 70x.

    See

    Gang presence in the United States military (Wikipedia) or

    Gang-Related Activity in the US Armed Forces Increasing (report by the DoJ's National Gang Intelligence Centre) or

    • the FBI's 2011 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment.

    What was it that Erasmus said in Panegyric?


    At the first mention and whiff, as it were, of a campaign, the dregs of humanity are roused to come out of their hiding-places, and collect like bilge-water from all over the world: men burdened by disgrace or debt or fearful of the threats of the law on account of their misdeeds, or men who are conscious of their crimes and so think they cannot be safe in time of peace, or who have dissolutely squandered their capital and are now led astray by sordid poverty to the worse crime of robbing others. Finally, there are men whose evil disposition and evil mind so act on them (as if they were born for crime) that they would have dared to do such things at the risk of their lives even without the prospect of going unpunished or the offer of pay. Wars have to be carried on with these sweepings of humanity; such dregs have to be received into cities and homes, although a whole generation will hardly be enough to clean the stink from your citizens’ morals. If indeed we learn nothing so easily as depravity, there is also nothing so difficult to forget
     
  31. In some ways, both the Kahneman example and the Taleb example really expose a more basic issue: what does a “thought experiment” really mean and capture?

    In real life, in either the Kahneman case or the Taleb case, we would start to question the assumptions of the thought experiment. How likely would we be to find that the very first IQ tested in a random selection was 150? Maybe 1 in a 500? And how about the Taleb case? One in many gazillions. In either case, one would have to start wondering whether the assumptions could possibly be true.

    So the real question is how we should understand the significance of a thought experiment. We can of course simply take it and its assumptions at face value, and work through from those assumptions in an abstract way. But if, in real life, we would essentially never take those assumptions for granted in a case in which the facts of the thought experiment came to be, it does make the concept of a thought experiment seem quite artificial.

    • Replies: @candid_observer
    Essentially, when one sets up thought experiments like those of Kahneman and Taleb, one is describing a model for the situation. But in real life, the single most important question that must be answered before using a model is: are the assumptions of the model satisfied in this case? In both cases, the most natural answer is: very likely, no.
    , @Nathan
    Try 1 in 2,330. That's literally what a 150 IQ means.
  32. @Romanian
    There is this video I want to leave here (also found it here, can't remember to whom I should give kudos).

    https://youtu.be/_J2VwFDV4-g

    I have a question, regarding Steve's last comment. Do you guys actually pay your soldiers well? As opposed to generals, of course. I keep reading opposite interpretations on the Internet - some people say yes, others say emphatically no.

    The pay keeps up with inflation, for the most part. It’s everyone else that gets paid poorly these days.

  33. @candid_observer
    In some ways, both the Kahneman example and the Taleb example really expose a more basic issue: what does a "thought experiment" really mean and capture?

    In real life, in either the Kahneman case or the Taleb case, we would start to question the assumptions of the thought experiment. How likely would we be to find that the very first IQ tested in a random selection was 150? Maybe 1 in a 500? And how about the Taleb case? One in many gazillions. In either case, one would have to start wondering whether the assumptions could possibly be true.

    So the real question is how we should understand the significance of a thought experiment. We can of course simply take it and its assumptions at face value, and work through from those assumptions in an abstract way. But if, in real life, we would essentially never take those assumptions for granted in a case in which the facts of the thought experiment came to be, it does make the concept of a thought experiment seem quite artificial.

    Essentially, when one sets up thought experiments like those of Kahneman and Taleb, one is describing a model for the situation. But in real life, the single most important question that must be answered before using a model is: are the assumptions of the model satisfied in this case? In both cases, the most natural answer is: very likely, no.

  34. Military pay is very back-loaded for those who stay in. You can retire after 20 years and get lifelong pension and decent (but not great) cheap healthcare. Twenty years may sound like a long time when you’re 18 but having a pension starting at age 38 isn’t too bad. The relatively low pay (or I guess the pay isn’t even low according to comments above?) for those who get out after just a few years balances that out, I suppose.

  35. @candid_observer
    In some ways, both the Kahneman example and the Taleb example really expose a more basic issue: what does a "thought experiment" really mean and capture?

    In real life, in either the Kahneman case or the Taleb case, we would start to question the assumptions of the thought experiment. How likely would we be to find that the very first IQ tested in a random selection was 150? Maybe 1 in a 500? And how about the Taleb case? One in many gazillions. In either case, one would have to start wondering whether the assumptions could possibly be true.

    So the real question is how we should understand the significance of a thought experiment. We can of course simply take it and its assumptions at face value, and work through from those assumptions in an abstract way. But if, in real life, we would essentially never take those assumptions for granted in a case in which the facts of the thought experiment came to be, it does make the concept of a thought experiment seem quite artificial.

    Try 1 in 2,330. That’s literally what a 150 IQ means.

    • Replies: @candid_observer
    Well, it probably makes more sense to think of the situation as being a two sided test, so more like 2 in 2,330.

    Point is, you'd be equally surprised, and for the same reason, if the first tested IQ was 50.

    , @Kratoklastes

    Try 1 in 2,330. That’s literally what a 150 IQ means.
     
    It's what a score of 150 means iff the assumptions underlying the distribution of IQ are true. (iff: if and only if).

    That's the whole point of Taleb's entire schtick:that Gaussian distributions are not generally a good idea; he is almost a one trick pony on the whole idea that many real-world phenomena are better estimated by something more platykurtic (for IQ I would go the other way and tilt towards leptokurtic).

    Personally I would also chuck in some excess skewness as well: it has been my operating assumption since grad school that the actual incidence of high IQ is significantly rarer than what would be implied by a N(100,15), and that this rarity is not symmetric about the median.

    Psychosophasters use a Gaussian distribution because it makes the algebra easier; μ=100 is an assumption that is simply not borne out by casual examination of the milling throngs of mouth-breathing retards at any shopping mall, unless the distribution is skewed...in which case the average may well be 100, but the median is going to be lower .

    If IQ is as skewed as income, then 62% of people would have an IQ below the mean... that sounds about right; the median IQ would be 88 (taking into account the very tight truncation of IQ scores, which are practically bounded well above zero) .

  36. Don’t listen to these bozos. If military paid that well “out in the town” the houses in towns would be much nicer than they are. Criminal records have been tolerated more and more to keep recruitment high. Most military service isn’t a career. And, most importantly, the US government couldn’t afford it. Weapons, planes, ships, food and housing cost plenty. There’s not enough money to pay a yearly salary around $30000 to your average enlisted. Also there’d be few civilian jobs to compete with military salaries so lowering standards for criminal records would never have been necessary.

    Propagandize for a living? Work at the local recruitment office? Nobody’s buying it.

    • Replies: @Nathan
    No need to question it. The pay tables are all available to th public.

    https://militarybenefits.info/military-pay-calculator/
    , @ATate
    Regale us with your experience then! Fill us in on the true remuneration of active duty military.

    @Nathan already linked to a pay calculator. Here's a few more;

    https://militarypay.defense.gov/Calculators/RMC-Calculator/

    http://www.militarypaycalc.com/

    The "out in town" that you're too dumb to pick up on includes additional "benefits" for enlisted and officer in the form of two allowances. BAH for housing (based on location it varies a great deal) which can be well over $10K and up. The other is BAS (Food basically, since you're no longer eating on base at the chow hall for free) and is a couple of hundred a month depending. Both of those are tax free.

    Some branches are a little lax with the recruitment of "criminal records" but you'd be surprised at who cannot get in. In fact the vast majority are unable to qualify for the military to the tune of over 70%; http://time.com/2938158/youth-fail-to-qualify-military-service/

    Nodoby is buying it? No the simpleton's who can't be bothered to do 5 minutes of research are unable to "buy it".

    Like I said, It's a secret that few are aware of and willing to take advantage of. I'm not retired, just served a couple of enlistments in the Marine Corps. Got a TS clearance and some money for school.

    I shout it from the rooftops.

    If a half wit white lower class mediocrity like me can get in and prosper and get 2 Bachelor's degrees and be on my way to earning a second Master's degree all with ZERO DEBT-while simultaneously being gainfully employed in such a way that allows me to provide for my family, save for retirement and have a bit of disposable income too...well plenty of "bozos" can use the path just like me. So yeah, I think it's pretty great and for some kids can make a lifetime of difference. I'm passionate about it. And I profit nothing from it other than perhaps sparking an interest in someone or even heaven forbid getting people to do a bit of research about it (present company excluded, since you clearly have it already figured out).

    Getting someone to look into it as not a last option but THE go to option, for many people like me

    By the by, what's your guidance and advice to kids 17-and up?

    , @Stan d Mute

    Propagandize for a living? Work at the local recruitment office? Nobody’s buying it.
     
    Right on, because who’s gonna know more about military pay - a wise old spinster from St Mary Mead or a blog full of ex-military guys plus a handful of published sources on the topic?

    You tell ‘em sister!
  37. @Mike1
    The errors here are fairly easy to tease out: Fat Tony knows he is being lied to while Dr John "knows" that theory is infallible. I haven't read Taleb's take on this.
    This is the difference between a successful person in a business (where reality matters) and failures. The failure will know their system is right despite repeated evidence to the contrary.
    The bottom line is that 99 straight tails in a coin toss is theoretically possible but impossible in the real world.

    That’s about right. Fat Tony knows how things work based on experience and human nature, including (especially) human fallibility. Dr. John relies on how things are supposed to work.

    Taleb’s take is usually a story from ancient history or philosophy, or an aphorism–and he lets you decide the implication. Fat Tony and Dr. John are used in contemporary examples.

    99 straight tails would mean it’s not a fair coin or a fair toss–9 straight would be all Fat Tony needed to know unfairness.

  38. @Sean
    John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150, and I think Hitler was also up there. Neither Pinker or Taleb want to believe that organised violence can be the result of a superior intellect figuring out how things work and coming to a correct appreciation of the best strategy to improve its own situation.

    John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150,

    More like 110:

    The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong. In Crime and Human Nature, James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein present data indicating that criminals have IQs clustered around 92, i.e., eight points below the national average. So Gotti’s modest test result is not an exception to the general rule about high scorers rising to the top.

    and I think Hitler was also up there.

    Dunno about Hitler (Was he ever tested?), but we do have figures for some of the top guys in the Nazi regime:

    The Nazi war criminals tested after the end of World War II proved to be quite intelligent. For example, Hermann Goering had an IQ of 138, Franz Von Papen 134, Albert Speer 128.

    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1991/07/15/75242/index.htm

    • Replies: @Sean
    Look harder, you'll find he was definitely tested in prison during the sixties at 140, and I think I've read in a book on him that he scored 150 in high school. Hitler would be a guess, but I find it difficult to put him below Gotti.
    , @dearieme
    "Hermann Goering had an IQ of 138": and he was brave, a fine pilot, somewhat cultured, loyal to his brother, and could be good company. But he was an evil man and a drug addict. It takes all sorts ...
    , @Hypnotoad666

    criminals have IQs clustered around 92,
     
    That's probably the IQ of the criminals who get caught.
  39. BTW, Fat Tony (and a dentist–might’ve been Dr. John–I don’t recall) were introduced in Taleb’s Fooled By Randomness (2001).

  40. The mean I.Q. of the population of eighth-graders in a city is known to be 100. You have selected a random sample of 50 children for a study of educational achievement. The first child tested has an I.Q. of 150. What do you expect the mean I.Q. to be for the whole sample?

    According to Kahneman, he has stipulated that the sample is random and the mean is 100, so that’s all you need to know. Hence, the rational answer is 101 and no other responses are acceptable.

    This doesn’t sound right. The way he’s worded it, you pre-selected your random 50 in advance before testing the first and finding 150; thus the testing of subsequent kids are not, statistically, independent events. And in real life the pool of eighth-graders from which the sample is chosen is not going to be infinite, either, so if we know the mean is 100 and that we have removed an example of 150 we know that we are taking away one of the “upper” balancers and the IQ of the remaining population must be lower. Intuitively this would also be the case if the sample were representative, but granted we don’t know that. However, the authors seem to commit the same fallacy as the students who answered 100, only the former assumed the 49 remaining were representative and the latter assumed the original 50 were representative.

    Am I wrong here? This doesn’t seem to be a case where the gambler’s fallacy applies in the same way. But if I’m right, and if that kind of mathematical incompetence won a Nobel prize and was subsequently used as the basis of any recruiting norms that would explain a lot of things.

    • Replies: @Stebbing Heuer
    My reasoning is the same as yours.
    , @Kratoklastes
    If the sample (of 50) is random, and the variable being measured has a finite variance (it does), then a sample of 50 is sufficient for the expected value of the sample mean to equal the population mean.

    That's literally just a re-wording of a standard Central Limit Theorem.

    So the expected value of the sample mean is 100, regardless of what the first kid's IQ is.

    Anyone who tells you otherwise is violating the premises of the question (random sample from a population; variable that has a known mean and finite variance in the population).

    And anyhow... fuck Kahnemann - he's a worse charlatan than Taleb by several orders of magnitude.

  41. Best of Fat Tony:

    • LOL: Nathan
  42. @miss marple
    Don't listen to these bozos. If military paid that well "out in the town" the houses in towns would be much nicer than they are. Criminal records have been tolerated more and more to keep recruitment high. Most military service isn't a career. And, most importantly, the US government couldn't afford it. Weapons, planes, ships, food and housing cost plenty. There's not enough money to pay a yearly salary around $30000 to your average enlisted. Also there'd be few civilian jobs to compete with military salaries so lowering standards for criminal records would never have been necessary.

    Propagandize for a living? Work at the local recruitment office? Nobody's buying it.

    No need to question it. The pay tables are all available to th public.

    https://militarybenefits.info/military-pay-calculator/

  43. @Nathan
    Try 1 in 2,330. That's literally what a 150 IQ means.

    Well, it probably makes more sense to think of the situation as being a two sided test, so more like 2 in 2,330.

    Point is, you’d be equally surprised, and for the same reason, if the first tested IQ was 50.

    • Replies: @Nathan
    I'm not sure I get it. What do you mean a two sided test?

    A 150 IQ, in a normal population with a 100 average IQ and a 15 point standard deviation, is expected 1 in 2,330 times. If you select a random person, the odds that this person has a 150 IQ is 1 in 2,330.
  44. @syonredux

    John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150,
     
    More like 110:

    The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong. In Crime and Human Nature, James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein present data indicating that criminals have IQs clustered around 92, i.e., eight points below the national average. So Gotti's modest test result is not an exception to the general rule about high scorers rising to the top.
     

    and I think Hitler was also up there.
     
    Dunno about Hitler (Was he ever tested?), but we do have figures for some of the top guys in the Nazi regime:

    The Nazi war criminals tested after the end of World War II proved to be quite intelligent. For example, Hermann Goering had an IQ of 138, Franz Von Papen 134, Albert Speer 128.
     
    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1991/07/15/75242/index.htm

    Look harder, you’ll find he was definitely tested in prison during the sixties at 140, and I think I’ve read in a book on him that he scored 150 in high school. Hitler would be a guess, but I find it difficult to put him below Gotti.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Look harder, you’ll find he was definitely tested in prison during the sixties at 140,
     
    Got a link?

    and I think I’ve read in a book on him that he scored 150 in high school.
     
    Guy that I linked to upthread said that his High School score was 110*. Remember, leaders of organizations typically have IQs that are above the group average. So, if criminals average around 92, Gotti's 110 sounds about right.

    Hitler would be a guess, but I find it difficult to put him below Gotti.
     
    Well, if Gotti was 110, that sounds reasonable. Given the scores of the other Nazi leaders, I would guess that Hitler was somewhere in the 120+ range.

    *The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong.
     
  45. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    Let me see if I got this straight.

    This Taleb guy is I guess supposed to be some sharp-eyed observant popular intellectual Noticer of Things The Rest of Us Don't (in the line of Gladwell, Pinker, and the "All I Learned in Kindergarten" guy). And yet somehow he doesn't know that, in the American pop-culture pantheon, both the names "Fat Tony" and "Dr. John" are ALREADY TAKEN?!

    They both already signify things which are quite specific in the public imagination. It's like Gladwell saying, "I made up these two characters to illustrate my point. I call them Patti Smith and Barney Rubble."

    It is --how you say?-- a regular Black Swan Event.

    They both already signify things which are quite specific in the public imagination. It’s like Gladwell saying, “I made up these two characters to illustrate my point. I call them Patti Smith and Barney Rubble.”

    OK, Gladwell wouldn’t say anything that dumb.

    Gladwell may be a hack, but at least he’s not Tom Friedman.

    https://www.steynonline.com/6519/meet-the-jetstones

  46. @Chriscom
    And that's when the murders began.

    All purpose comment for any article mentioning Taleb.

  47. OT

    Apple has been making iphones in India for years to avoid the strong local tariffs. Its sales are still pretty low there, showing it can split up production to different factories just fine.

    https://www.engadget.com/amp/2018/12/27/apple-iphone-x-assembled-in-india-2019/

    Trump exempted iPhones from round 1 of China tariffs. Time to go to round 2. Apple needs to get ready. April 1 is his promise. No more delay.

    We are also 8+ years without a federal minimum wage increase. Trump can either claim this winning issue, or deal with local Dems around the USA using ballot initiatives to raise the minimum and drive up Dem turnout in 2020.

  48. @Sean
    Look harder, you'll find he was definitely tested in prison during the sixties at 140, and I think I've read in a book on him that he scored 150 in high school. Hitler would be a guess, but I find it difficult to put him below Gotti.

    Look harder, you’ll find he was definitely tested in prison during the sixties at 140,

    Got a link?

    and I think I’ve read in a book on him that he scored 150 in high school.

    Guy that I linked to upthread said that his High School score was 110*. Remember, leaders of organizations typically have IQs that are above the group average. So, if criminals average around 92, Gotti’s 110 sounds about right.

    Hitler would be a guess, but I find it difficult to put him below Gotti.

    Well, if Gotti was 110, that sounds reasonable. Given the scores of the other Nazi leaders, I would guess that Hitler was somewhere in the 120+ range.

    *The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
    Leaders IQ has to be somewhere near their follower's IQ, preferably above, so that they can communicate about abstractions. My rule of thumb is that communication becomes very difficult over a gap of more than 20 points. Pick your own from personal experience, but I'll use 20 points here. Example: Linus Pauling was never going to be politician, nor would an of the IQ 80 recruits mentioned in other posts, because their abstractions are not comprehensible to the bulk of political participants.
    So: Hitler has to write a book that appeals to the average reader/opinion leader, who can explain it to those who don't read. Hitler has to give speeches that at least seem to make sense (emotional and rational). If he things in terms of differential equations, he's out of politics.
    Assuming IQ 110 for opinion leaders (lead opinions from IQ 110 to IQ 90, the bulk of the population, including street fighters), that puts a limit of IQ 130 for Hitler. He has to communicate using the same abstractions ("place in the sun", "blood of the Folk", "Welfare of the Folk") the opinion leaders are using, so Hitler wouldn't be at 130, where communication is difficult, maybe at 120, 125, that range. This lets him communicate with his higher IQ planners _and_ the opinion leaders.

    Now, let's take another case, one more like that of the criminals: Southern slave owners, 1840s. _Their IQ is limited by their slaves' IQ_, same reason as Hitler's IQ was limited. For small Plantation owners and standard IQ,, that's an IQ of maybe 90. If the Plantation owner has a supervisor, that puts the plantation's absolute max IQ up to 110 before he lose contact with a supervisor who is near losing contact with the slaves. In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart -- obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
    Ever wonder why the South didn't support universities, and the Yankees did? Theology and high tech manufacturing industries both reward intelligence to some extent. Slavery, on either side, doesn't.
    For further applications, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Plunkitt, and especially selections from Plunket's method of operation, available at Project Gutenberg and recorded in a political classic book: William L. Riordon; Terrence J. McDonald (15 November 1993). Plunkitt of Tammany Hall. Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 978-0-312-08444-8.
    Tammany is credited by many as having passed the initial legislation for our current Welfare state. Once that was done, Tammany was made obsolete by the bureaucracy it had legislatively created.

    Counterinsurgency

  49. I skimmed the NNT twitter thread on IQ and my hot take was…yes? And also the sky is blue? I wasn’t sure how what he was saying was contrarian enough to warrant any discussion. Basically it seemed like he was simply arguing for the existence if IQ thresholds in various professions, which I thought was just commonly accepted.

    That is, every profession requires a constellation of characteristics for success, one of which is intelligence, but personality characteristics such as conscientiousness, openness to experience, etc., are also highly important. Once an individual is ‘smart enough’ for a particular job the importance of IQ recedes, other characteristics dominate, and random noise (aka luck) starts to play a prominent role. Every profession has a different threshold, of course, and the speed of the ‘roll-off’ as you exceed that threshold is different.

    Anyway I spent years helping to pick medical residents (although I was not the primary decision maker) but I saw all of their USMLE scores, then I worked with them for the next 4-6 years. My impression, which was shared by other interviewers, was that for residents a higher USMLE step 1 predicted a better resident, up until about 240, after which the correlation was pretty tenuous, and above 250 there was no correlation. Now the USMLE is not an IQ test, and it’s not even designed to be used the way we were using it (it’s supposed to be pass-fail) but I imagine it correlates somewhat with IQ. Anyway once they hit 240 the real questions were whether they could tolerate sleep deprivation, connect with patients in difficult situations, etc., so that was the focus in the interview process.

    This was just for my subfield. Some fields are more, or less cognitively intense. And academic medicine, as opposed to community practice, definitely puts more of a premium on intellect.

    Now what I did find interesting from NNTs thread was that the threshold for finance types appears to be an IQ of about 130 or so. It would be pretty interesting to figure out what the roll off is for different professions. For theoretical physics I would guess it is like 180 or so, for MMA fighter probably 90. Bartender–110? I have to wonder if some of NNT’s rejection of IQ is the implication from the data that you only need to be kinda bright to do well in finance, not super bright, which hurts the feelings of the Masters of the Universe.

    Interestingly since I have been semi-retired/consulting I work for a company that hires a lot of engineers and I sometimes screen resumes; while they don’t include test scores you can kinda infer them from what school they went to and grades. As far as I can tell I don’t see an upper threshold for engineers. For them, the brighter the better, to the point that it is worth tolerating someone with terrible personality flaws if they are otherwise brilliant.

  50. @The Alarmist

    By the way, does anybody know (or have an opinion on) whether the AFQT misnorming was an honest mistake by the Pentagon or whether it was a scam to make the Volunteer Army seem to work?
     
    I joined just after Vietnam and the end of the draft, and the holdovers from earlier were for the most part the better and brighter of the lot, but not enough in numbers to field a capable Military that could absorb the first punch and counter with appropriate force. IOW, you needed some amount of canon fodder, so lowering ASVAB/AFQT scoring standards would be a plausible way of keeping enough bodies in the billets while making the transition to a voluntary military force structure. If it was an error, it was bloody convenient.

    Eventually, Ronald Reagan came up with the high IQ genius solution to the problem of recruiting a volunteer army: “Let’s pay our soldiers a decent wage and tell them often that we are proud of them.”
     
    I don't remember being well paid, but Reagan-era payraises were appreciable. I remember one of my first civilian interviews; when asked why I was leaving the military, I replied "I want to make more money." The interviewer had the gall to say, "That's not very patriotic!" to which I shot back, "How long did you serve?" (Hint: Goose-egg).

    “I joined just after Vietnam and the end of the draft, and the holdovers from earlier were for the most part the better and brighter of the lot.”
    That may be because during the draft era the USN and USAF had a lot of college grads serving as enlisted men who didn’t dodge the draft they just dodged Vietnam .
    A lot of people who did go to college to avoid the draft just weren’t up to the work , they tended to gravitate towards the easiest majors which IIRC were teaching and psychology . So I wonder what effect it may have had on our society when all these bitter , poorly motivated under qualified “revolutionaries” were let loose in society as teachers , social workers and various other BS gov’t tit jobs .

  51. Enough of the IQ shit for awhile Sailer . You’re like the flight crew that becomes fixated on their instruments and forgets to look out the window .

  52. @candid_observer
    Well, it probably makes more sense to think of the situation as being a two sided test, so more like 2 in 2,330.

    Point is, you'd be equally surprised, and for the same reason, if the first tested IQ was 50.

    I’m not sure I get it. What do you mean a two sided test?

    A 150 IQ, in a normal population with a 100 average IQ and a 15 point standard deviation, is expected 1 in 2,330 times. If you select a random person, the odds that this person has a 150 IQ is 1 in 2,330.

    • Replies: @BrownBear
    Point being that Reality is not a Stochastic Gaussian Process. The evolution of a process in Reality is interrupted by people who are messy, dishonest, forgetful and biased.

    If you assume your data has been provided by a error-free oracle, then proceed with the rational calculation. If on the other hand the data was collected by an over-worked grad student with no concern for ethical academic standards....
  53. @Intelligent Dasein
    The whole "street smarts vs. book smarts" thing can easily become overwrought in the mind of insecure man. And you have to wonder about someone like Taleb, who makes his living in the academic field (or at least on the periphery thereof), excoriating his fellow bookworms simply for being what they are. Why beat up on such easy targets?

    I think most academics know that they are not street smart. They accept it; they don't go trying to fight Carlito Brigante on his own turf. The customary ethic of their own way of life demands a sort of resignation in the face of the forces and passions which govern the intercourse of the more earthy types. In return they have all the joys of an intellectual world, where they have significance and respect. They may never be taken for sexy beasts or high-rolling millionaires, but they can have wives and a decent living if they so desire them.

    Similarly, the real-life thugs don't go around beating up brainiacs, at least not after high school is over. There is no profit and no honor in it, so they don't bother. Furthermore, they eventually acquire a sort of respect for book smarts and those who have them, feeling like a big brother who needs to protect the nerds from the genuine creeps and psychos out there.

    But then you have guys like Taleb who, like Don Quixote fighting the funeral procession but without the romantic innocence, simply lays waste to his academic brethren (who are unprepared for these sorts of assaults) in a sadistic attempt to act tough. This more than anything else tells me that Taleb is behaving like a Dave Kleinfeld, thinking he can outsmart the gangsters and out-muscle the dorks.

    This is a very depraved, sick individual we are dealing with in Taleb, reveling in the power he wields over helpless victims. This should have been obvious from the very beginning. Nobody would write a book like Antifragile unless he were engaged in some sort of ritual desecration of those who aroused his envy. Such things are never, ever written about by those who embody them. A real man would be too busy being antifragile so that he could write about something else, he wouldn't be writing about antifragility.

    Taleb's star is setting. He will soon be revealed to all and sundry for the pathetic fraud that he is. Let him be ground down to dust. Let his children curse and despise him. Let his books be ignored and forgotten. To such a one as this not even politeness is owed. The sooner the world shuffles him off, the better.

    Taleb’s point is an excellent one.

    Take the example of economists. They insist, fanatically, that free trade and immigration are beneficial policies because economic theory says (or “proves”) so.

    But, those countries that have most liberalized trade and immigration over the past several decades have seen yearly GDP growth approximately cut in half over that time period, and large declines in many standard of living metrics for the left half of the income curve, which is literally and extremely visible simply by traveling anywhere outside of major cities and upper-middle-class communities in those countries.

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? Or, more accurately, whether the entire field of economics is a crock? With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.

    Another economics example: When examining the track record of the Federal Reserve (or insert central bank here), it stands out that they have, consistently, followed aggressively contractionary policies immediately prior to recessions, and aggressively inflationary policies during asset bubbles or periods of high inflation. This observed reality indicates that rather than following countercyclical policies, the Fed tends to exacerbate economic cycles, and this is likely because the factors they use to set policy, GDP growth and CPI, are in fact trailing indicators.

    Further, and particularly since Reagan, the Fed has a clear bias towards contractionary policies under GOP Presidents and inflationary policies under Democrats. This observed reality indicates that the Fed is not in fact independent of political considerations, and monetary policy would be more soundly set by an algorithm rather than human (and politically biased) economists.

    But do economists reexamine their assumptions on these issues? Although there are at least a few dissenters, who aren’t let anywhere near the Fed, again the vast bulk do not nor even really understand why anyone might see a problem.

    Or take psychology and climatology. Papers and studies in those fields are shown to have severe methodological issues, to be outright falsified and/or not to be replicable far more often than is typical for other disciplines. Further, various theories in those fields, which were until recently the consensus (as a couple examples among several, Freudianism and “global cooling”) have been proved to be complete falsehoods, based on utter nonsense all the way down.

    Does any of this cause psychologists or climatologists to reexamine their smug certitudes? Or, more accurately, whether the entire fields of psychology and climatology are crocks? Not at all.

    Intellectuals, yet idiots.

    • Replies: @Samuel Skinner
    The Soviet Academy of Scientists produced countless papers to show the superiority of socialism. They weren't idiots- they were doing that they were paid to do. Same with our professors. Just look at how homosexuality and transexuality's status changed based on political winds.

    The truth is people who declare they are impartial searchers for the truth are lying to you in order to manipulate you.
    , @Anonymous

    Taleb’s point is an excellent one.
     
    Which "point" are you referring to?
    , @International Jew

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? ... With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.
     
    If you could write that then you don't have the slightest familiarity with what economists have been up to.

    Google "'gains from trade' aeaweb" or "deindustrialization aeaweb" and you'll get lots of examples of economists addressing your issues in the pages of a leading journal.

    I don't expect you to read any of these papers, but in case you want to make the effort to do so, I'd be happy to discuss any of them with you.

    , @Forbes
    A challenge for most (not all) economic theory are the simplifying assumptions, i.e. no taxes, et al., as the issue or question is analyzed in isolation from all other variables. The usual assumption is--all other variables held constant--which is pathetic in a dynamic world where outcomes change with human behavior, which doesn't remain constant.

    And primarily why it is observed that incentives (and penalties) matter, i.e. trade-offs, choices matter because that's where human behavior occurs. People act on preferences (likes and dislikes), not theory.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

     

    Which is why Hong Kong has always been the poorest place in Asia.
  54. Anonymous[147] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean
    John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150, and I think Hitler was also up there. Neither Pinker or Taleb want to believe that organised violence can be the result of a superior intellect figuring out how things work and coming to a correct appreciation of the best strategy to improve its own situation.

    John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150, and I think Hitler was also up there. Neither Pinker or Taleb want to believe that organised violence can be the result of a superior intellect

    Hitter wanted peace. But he overestimated the IQs of the British, French, and Americans.

    Japan and Italy have some of the highest IQs in the world.

  55. @snorlax
    Taleb's point is an excellent one.

    Take the example of economists. They insist, fanatically, that free trade and immigration are beneficial policies because economic theory says (or "proves") so.

    But, those countries that have most liberalized trade and immigration over the past several decades have seen yearly GDP growth approximately cut in half over that time period, and large declines in many standard of living metrics for the left half of the income curve, which is literally and extremely visible simply by traveling anywhere outside of major cities and upper-middle-class communities in those countries.

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? Or, more accurately, whether the entire field of economics is a crock? With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.

    Another economics example: When examining the track record of the Federal Reserve (or insert central bank here), it stands out that they have, consistently, followed aggressively contractionary policies immediately prior to recessions, and aggressively inflationary policies during asset bubbles or periods of high inflation. This observed reality indicates that rather than following countercyclical policies, the Fed tends to exacerbate economic cycles, and this is likely because the factors they use to set policy, GDP growth and CPI, are in fact trailing indicators.

    Further, and particularly since Reagan, the Fed has a clear bias towards contractionary policies under GOP Presidents and inflationary policies under Democrats. This observed reality indicates that the Fed is not in fact independent of political considerations, and monetary policy would be more soundly set by an algorithm rather than human (and politically biased) economists.

    But do economists reexamine their assumptions on these issues? Although there are at least a few dissenters, who aren't let anywhere near the Fed, again the vast bulk do not nor even really understand why anyone might see a problem.

    Or take psychology and climatology. Papers and studies in those fields are shown to have severe methodological issues, to be outright falsified and/or not to be replicable far more often than is typical for other disciplines. Further, various theories in those fields, which were until recently the consensus (as a couple examples among several, Freudianism and "global cooling") have been proved to be complete falsehoods, based on utter nonsense all the way down.

    Does any of this cause psychologists or climatologists to reexamine their smug certitudes? Or, more accurately, whether the entire fields of psychology and climatology are crocks? Not at all.

    Intellectuals, yet idiots.

    The Soviet Academy of Scientists produced countless papers to show the superiority of socialism. They weren’t idiots- they were doing that they were paid to do. Same with our professors. Just look at how homosexuality and transexuality’s status changed based on political winds.

    The truth is people who declare they are impartial searchers for the truth are lying to you in order to manipulate you.

  56. @Intelligent Dasein
    The whole "street smarts vs. book smarts" thing can easily become overwrought in the mind of insecure man. And you have to wonder about someone like Taleb, who makes his living in the academic field (or at least on the periphery thereof), excoriating his fellow bookworms simply for being what they are. Why beat up on such easy targets?

    I think most academics know that they are not street smart. They accept it; they don't go trying to fight Carlito Brigante on his own turf. The customary ethic of their own way of life demands a sort of resignation in the face of the forces and passions which govern the intercourse of the more earthy types. In return they have all the joys of an intellectual world, where they have significance and respect. They may never be taken for sexy beasts or high-rolling millionaires, but they can have wives and a decent living if they so desire them.

    Similarly, the real-life thugs don't go around beating up brainiacs, at least not after high school is over. There is no profit and no honor in it, so they don't bother. Furthermore, they eventually acquire a sort of respect for book smarts and those who have them, feeling like a big brother who needs to protect the nerds from the genuine creeps and psychos out there.

    But then you have guys like Taleb who, like Don Quixote fighting the funeral procession but without the romantic innocence, simply lays waste to his academic brethren (who are unprepared for these sorts of assaults) in a sadistic attempt to act tough. This more than anything else tells me that Taleb is behaving like a Dave Kleinfeld, thinking he can outsmart the gangsters and out-muscle the dorks.

    This is a very depraved, sick individual we are dealing with in Taleb, reveling in the power he wields over helpless victims. This should have been obvious from the very beginning. Nobody would write a book like Antifragile unless he were engaged in some sort of ritual desecration of those who aroused his envy. Such things are never, ever written about by those who embody them. A real man would be too busy being antifragile so that he could write about something else, he wouldn't be writing about antifragility.

    Taleb's star is setting. He will soon be revealed to all and sundry for the pathetic fraud that he is. Let him be ground down to dust. Let his children curse and despise him. Let his books be ignored and forgotten. To such a one as this not even politeness is owed. The sooner the world shuffles him off, the better.

    Taleb’s star is setting. He will soon be revealed to all and sundry for the pathetic fraud that he is.

    Do any of his ideas and argument have merit?

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    Do any of his ideas and argument have merit?
     
    I'm sure some of them do. The point is that they aren't really his.

    One of the tricksiest and safest ways of attaining to unearned fame and fortune is simply to get out in front of some idea that is already percolating and pretend to be leading the movement. This is such a basic and deep-rooted temptation that it may not even feel like fraud, not even to the person committing it, who may very well believe that he is just seizing a legitimate opportunity.

    Only time will reveal, in such cases, that it was not the man who generated the movement with the power of his mind and soul, but the movement that tossed up the man like a bobbing cork upon the waves. The question is not whether the ideas are right or wrong, but whether the man is deep or shallow, a mover or a thing moved. Taleb seems to be losing the aura of a mover and is looking mire and more like a cork.
  57. @snorlax
    Taleb's point is an excellent one.

    Take the example of economists. They insist, fanatically, that free trade and immigration are beneficial policies because economic theory says (or "proves") so.

    But, those countries that have most liberalized trade and immigration over the past several decades have seen yearly GDP growth approximately cut in half over that time period, and large declines in many standard of living metrics for the left half of the income curve, which is literally and extremely visible simply by traveling anywhere outside of major cities and upper-middle-class communities in those countries.

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? Or, more accurately, whether the entire field of economics is a crock? With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.

    Another economics example: When examining the track record of the Federal Reserve (or insert central bank here), it stands out that they have, consistently, followed aggressively contractionary policies immediately prior to recessions, and aggressively inflationary policies during asset bubbles or periods of high inflation. This observed reality indicates that rather than following countercyclical policies, the Fed tends to exacerbate economic cycles, and this is likely because the factors they use to set policy, GDP growth and CPI, are in fact trailing indicators.

    Further, and particularly since Reagan, the Fed has a clear bias towards contractionary policies under GOP Presidents and inflationary policies under Democrats. This observed reality indicates that the Fed is not in fact independent of political considerations, and monetary policy would be more soundly set by an algorithm rather than human (and politically biased) economists.

    But do economists reexamine their assumptions on these issues? Although there are at least a few dissenters, who aren't let anywhere near the Fed, again the vast bulk do not nor even really understand why anyone might see a problem.

    Or take psychology and climatology. Papers and studies in those fields are shown to have severe methodological issues, to be outright falsified and/or not to be replicable far more often than is typical for other disciplines. Further, various theories in those fields, which were until recently the consensus (as a couple examples among several, Freudianism and "global cooling") have been proved to be complete falsehoods, based on utter nonsense all the way down.

    Does any of this cause psychologists or climatologists to reexamine their smug certitudes? Or, more accurately, whether the entire fields of psychology and climatology are crocks? Not at all.

    Intellectuals, yet idiots.

    Taleb’s point is an excellent one.

    Which “point” are you referring to?

  58. In case anyone was wondering, the chance of a fair coin being heads 99 times in a row is ¹/₆₃₃,₈₂₅,₃₀₀,₁₁₄,₁₁₄,₇₀₀,₇₄₈,₃₅₁,₆₀₂,₆₈₈ .

    • Replies: @snorlax
    Or, spelled out, one in six hundred thirty three octillion, eight hundred twenty five septillion, three hundred sextillion, one hundred fourteen quintillion, one hundred fourteen quadrillion, seven hundred trillion, seven hundred forty eight billion, three hundred fifty one million, six hundred two thousand, six hundred eighty eight.
  59. RAPE! RAAAAPE! It is RAPE! if you hit on a girl who is not larger than yourself. That’s actually what the rule is. Sailer’s law of female journalism is becoming Sailer’s law of female administration. RAAAPE!


    Also note the “yes this is literally totally unaccountable Alice in Wonderland Red Queen reasoning” admission.

  60. @snorlax
    In case anyone was wondering, the chance of a fair coin being heads 99 times in a row is ¹/₆₃₃,₈₂₅,₃₀₀,₁₁₄,₁₁₄,₇₀₀,₇₄₈,₃₅₁,₆₀₂,₆₈₈ .

    Or, spelled out, one in six hundred thirty three octillion, eight hundred twenty five septillion, three hundred sextillion, one hundred fourteen quintillion, one hundred fourteen quadrillion, seven hundred trillion, seven hundred forty eight billion, three hundred fifty one million, six hundred two thousand, six hundred eighty eight.

    • Replies: @fish

    Or, spelled out, one in six hundred thirty three octillion, eight hundred twenty five septillion, three hundred sextillion, one hundred fourteen quintillion, one hundred fourteen quadrillion, seven hundred trillion, seven hundred forty eight billion, three hundred fifty one million, six hundred two thousand, six hundred eighty eight.
     
    Wow! That’s barely even a little bit Native American!
  61. @Jonah
    Here’s a brain teaser for Taleb:

    People of African heritage are basically the same as people of European heritage. The first 100 societies created by Africans have been dysfunctional messes. What are the odds the next society created by Africans will be a dysfunctional mess?

    Fat Tony knows the answer.

    Apropos that, a good video comparing Haiti to the Dominican Republic:

    The SJW reporter’s ideological blind spots only add to the entertainment value.

  62. @snorlax
    Or, spelled out, one in six hundred thirty three octillion, eight hundred twenty five septillion, three hundred sextillion, one hundred fourteen quintillion, one hundred fourteen quadrillion, seven hundred trillion, seven hundred forty eight billion, three hundred fifty one million, six hundred two thousand, six hundred eighty eight.

    Or, spelled out, one in six hundred thirty three octillion, eight hundred twenty five septillion, three hundred sextillion, one hundred fourteen quintillion, one hundred fourteen quadrillion, seven hundred trillion, seven hundred forty eight billion, three hundred fifty one million, six hundred two thousand, six hundred eighty eight.

    Wow! That’s barely even a little bit Native American!

    • LOL: South Texas Guy
  63. Gotti led line managers who led made men in a Mafia family, who bossed average criminals, not only was was he two or three levels above street criminals, he had a meteoric and audacious career to reach that level . Anyway.

    New York Magazine – 23 Jun 1986 – Vol. 19, No. 25
    The New Godfather the rise of John Gotti by Michael Daly

    “He was a well-behaved inmate, and tests showed his IQ to be around 140”

    One thing that stands out about Gotti was what engaging talker and storyteller he was as even the FBI agents listening in on him had to admit. Hitler was not tested but in speeches he spoke his own words and to not inconsiderable effect. Hardly unreasonable to put him on the same plane as Gotti, or Fat Tony. It must be remembered that Fat Tony is a man of action like Gotti and er, Hitler (forgive me). Taleb’s Fat Tony figured out the important things about the way the world works and successfully acted on it. A real world Fat Tony would need to be as smart as Gotti and it would show up in an IQ test too. To quote Fat Tony “Bullshit Tawks. Money Wawks”.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Gotti led line managers who led made men in a Mafia family, who bossed average criminals, not only was was he two or three levels above street criminals, he had a meteoric and audacious career to reach that level .
     
    Let's see:

    92 IQ: Street thugs

    100 IQ: Supervising street thugs

    105: Supervising the supervisors

    110: Top guy

    Sounds about right....


    Anyway.


    New York Magazine – 23 Jun 1986 – Vol. 19, No. 25
    The New Godfather the rise of John Gotti by Michael Daly

    “He was a well-behaved inmate, and tests showed his IQ to be around 140″
     
    Sounds pretty vague. I'll stick with the 110 IQ results from his High School :

    The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong. In Crime and Human Nature, James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein present data indicating that criminals have IQs clustered around 92, i.e., eight points below the national average. So Gotti’s modest test result is not an exception to the general rule about high scorers rising to the top.
     
    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1991/07/15/75242/inde

    One thing that stands out about Gotti was what engaging talker and storyteller he was as even the FBI agents listening in on him had to admit. Hitler was not tested but in speeches he spoke his own words and to not inconsiderable effect. Hardly unreasonable to put him on the same plane as Gotti, or Fat Tony.

     

    Since Hitler was running a nation whose mean IQ was a tad higher than 92, I would tend to think that his IQ was probably at least ten points higher than Gotti's.
  64. @snorlax
    Taleb's point is an excellent one.

    Take the example of economists. They insist, fanatically, that free trade and immigration are beneficial policies because economic theory says (or "proves") so.

    But, those countries that have most liberalized trade and immigration over the past several decades have seen yearly GDP growth approximately cut in half over that time period, and large declines in many standard of living metrics for the left half of the income curve, which is literally and extremely visible simply by traveling anywhere outside of major cities and upper-middle-class communities in those countries.

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? Or, more accurately, whether the entire field of economics is a crock? With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.

    Another economics example: When examining the track record of the Federal Reserve (or insert central bank here), it stands out that they have, consistently, followed aggressively contractionary policies immediately prior to recessions, and aggressively inflationary policies during asset bubbles or periods of high inflation. This observed reality indicates that rather than following countercyclical policies, the Fed tends to exacerbate economic cycles, and this is likely because the factors they use to set policy, GDP growth and CPI, are in fact trailing indicators.

    Further, and particularly since Reagan, the Fed has a clear bias towards contractionary policies under GOP Presidents and inflationary policies under Democrats. This observed reality indicates that the Fed is not in fact independent of political considerations, and monetary policy would be more soundly set by an algorithm rather than human (and politically biased) economists.

    But do economists reexamine their assumptions on these issues? Although there are at least a few dissenters, who aren't let anywhere near the Fed, again the vast bulk do not nor even really understand why anyone might see a problem.

    Or take psychology and climatology. Papers and studies in those fields are shown to have severe methodological issues, to be outright falsified and/or not to be replicable far more often than is typical for other disciplines. Further, various theories in those fields, which were until recently the consensus (as a couple examples among several, Freudianism and "global cooling") have been proved to be complete falsehoods, based on utter nonsense all the way down.

    Does any of this cause psychologists or climatologists to reexamine their smug certitudes? Or, more accurately, whether the entire fields of psychology and climatology are crocks? Not at all.

    Intellectuals, yet idiots.

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? … With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.

    If you could write that then you don’t have the slightest familiarity with what economists have been up to.

    Google “‘gains from trade’ aeaweb” or “deindustrialization aeaweb” and you’ll get lots of examples of economists addressing your issues in the pages of a leading journal.

    I don’t expect you to read any of these papers, but in case you want to make the effort to do so, I’d be happy to discuss any of them with you.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Did you miss all the mass media-platformed economists defending NAFTA with first-year textbook nonsense ("protectionism is bad, mmkay") for a year?
    , @Counterinsurgency
    Could you be a bit more specific? In any kind of feedback systems, time delay in system state estimation is a killer, and leads to instability. Think of pushing a swing when you don't know quite where is is -- you would push sometimes before the swing reached its high point, thus taking energy out of the system rather than putting it in, and the system would become erratic.
    Use of lagging indicators would do the same sort of thing. What's being done to look into that? Please? I'm interested.

    Counterinsurgency.
  65. Fat Tony is the foil to Dr. John… Fat Tony makes smaller errors that affect only himself, but more seriously (they kill him).

    Fat Tony is in the wrong place at the right time?

  66. Dr. John can make gigantic errors that affect other people by ignoring reality in favor of assumptions.

    Here’s a big one:

    Frenchman, 71, Aims to Cross the Atlantic in a Giant Barrel

    The video shows he’s bringing his iPad. I doubt the cell service is that reliable, but he’ll have plenty of time to do sudoku.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    You laugh, but that barrel is going to come in mighty handy when he encounters the inevitable waterfalls en route.
    , @Joe Stalin
    Well hell, we got a bus in Chicago called "The Barrel Bus," so I can understand that Frenchie.

    https://www.thebarrelrun.com/
  67. @Nico


    The mean I.Q. of the population of eighth-graders in a city is known to be 100. You have selected a random sample of 50 children for a study of educational achievement. The first child tested has an I.Q. of 150. What do you expect the mean I.Q. to be for the whole sample?
     
    According to Kahneman, he has stipulated that the sample is random and the mean is 100, so that’s all you need to know. Hence, the rational answer is 101 and no other responses are acceptable.
     
    This doesn’t sound right. The way he’s worded it, you pre-selected your random 50 in advance before testing the first and finding 150; thus the testing of subsequent kids are not, statistically, independent events. And in real life the pool of eighth-graders from which the sample is chosen is not going to be infinite, either, so if we know the mean is 100 and that we have removed an example of 150 we know that we are taking away one of the “upper” balancers and the IQ of the remaining population must be lower. Intuitively this would also be the case if the sample were representative, but granted we don’t know that. However, the authors seem to commit the same fallacy as the students who answered 100, only the former assumed the 49 remaining were representative and the latter assumed the original 50 were representative.

    Am I wrong here? This doesn’t seem to be a case where the gambler’s fallacy applies in the same way. But if I’m right, and if that kind of mathematical incompetence won a Nobel prize and was subsequently used as the basis of any recruiting norms that would explain a lot of things.

    My reasoning is the same as yours.

  68. “By the way, does anybody know (or have an opinion on) whether the AFQT misnorming was an honest mistake by the Pentagon or whether it was a scam to make the Volunteer Army seem to work”

    I took the army test back in 1974. My GT score ( a subset of the total test and the GT score I read was an IQ test of sorts) was either 123 or 133. I worked as an army mechanic. One day the sergeant asked me to go to HQ/HRC and get birth dates of the people in the motor pool. I peeked at other data and saw GT scores of around 90 or so. That made sense as the people I was surrounded by definitely were not potential chem or physics majors. Don’t know if that GT score had anything to do with physical ability but I was first in battalion basic training in rifle and fourth in the PT part.

    This was one of the first years where the army was all volunteer. We had an encyclopedia salesman stop by and he asked how many had completed high school and only about half raised their hand.

  69. @Romanian
    There is this video I want to leave here (also found it here, can't remember to whom I should give kudos).

    https://youtu.be/_J2VwFDV4-g

    I have a question, regarding Steve's last comment. Do you guys actually pay your soldiers well? As opposed to generals, of course. I keep reading opposite interpretations on the Internet - some people say yes, others say emphatically no.

    Do you guys actually pay your soldiers well?

    There are multiple financial benefits for being in the military. All former members of the US military are considered veterans irrespective of if they were involved in combat.

    Civil Service Preference for Veterans
    https://www.nj.gov/military/veterans/civil-service-preference/

    The veterans hiring preference taken with hiring preferences for racial minorities and women means that ordinary white males will have difficulty getting civil service employment unless they are veterans.

  70. @Enraged Canadian
    OT: Canadian money to bear images commemorating country's earlier suppression of homosexuals:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/coin-loonie-royal-canadian-mint-cabinet-trudeau-homosexuality-1.4954537

    Peak identity politics? Just a hint of things to come?

    The coins should bear the images of the greatest Canadians ever. The co directors of “Mutants of 2051 AD”

    The McKenzie Brothers. Bob and Doug eh? All I know about Canada eh I learned from watching Great White North eh

  71. @International Jew

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? ... With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.
     
    If you could write that then you don't have the slightest familiarity with what economists have been up to.

    Google "'gains from trade' aeaweb" or "deindustrialization aeaweb" and you'll get lots of examples of economists addressing your issues in the pages of a leading journal.

    I don't expect you to read any of these papers, but in case you want to make the effort to do so, I'd be happy to discuss any of them with you.

    Did you miss all the mass media-platformed economists defending NAFTA with first-year textbook nonsense (“protectionism is bad, mmkay”) for a year?

    • Replies: @International Jew
    And that has what relevance for Snorlax's blanket statement about the profession and its research programs?
  72. @snorlax
    Taleb's point is an excellent one.

    Take the example of economists. They insist, fanatically, that free trade and immigration are beneficial policies because economic theory says (or "proves") so.

    But, those countries that have most liberalized trade and immigration over the past several decades have seen yearly GDP growth approximately cut in half over that time period, and large declines in many standard of living metrics for the left half of the income curve, which is literally and extremely visible simply by traveling anywhere outside of major cities and upper-middle-class communities in those countries.

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? Or, more accurately, whether the entire field of economics is a crock? With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.

    Another economics example: When examining the track record of the Federal Reserve (or insert central bank here), it stands out that they have, consistently, followed aggressively contractionary policies immediately prior to recessions, and aggressively inflationary policies during asset bubbles or periods of high inflation. This observed reality indicates that rather than following countercyclical policies, the Fed tends to exacerbate economic cycles, and this is likely because the factors they use to set policy, GDP growth and CPI, are in fact trailing indicators.

    Further, and particularly since Reagan, the Fed has a clear bias towards contractionary policies under GOP Presidents and inflationary policies under Democrats. This observed reality indicates that the Fed is not in fact independent of political considerations, and monetary policy would be more soundly set by an algorithm rather than human (and politically biased) economists.

    But do economists reexamine their assumptions on these issues? Although there are at least a few dissenters, who aren't let anywhere near the Fed, again the vast bulk do not nor even really understand why anyone might see a problem.

    Or take psychology and climatology. Papers and studies in those fields are shown to have severe methodological issues, to be outright falsified and/or not to be replicable far more often than is typical for other disciplines. Further, various theories in those fields, which were until recently the consensus (as a couple examples among several, Freudianism and "global cooling") have been proved to be complete falsehoods, based on utter nonsense all the way down.

    Does any of this cause psychologists or climatologists to reexamine their smug certitudes? Or, more accurately, whether the entire fields of psychology and climatology are crocks? Not at all.

    Intellectuals, yet idiots.

    A challenge for most (not all) economic theory are the simplifying assumptions, i.e. no taxes, et al., as the issue or question is analyzed in isolation from all other variables. The usual assumption is–all other variables held constant–which is pathetic in a dynamic world where outcomes change with human behavior, which doesn’t remain constant.

    And primarily why it is observed that incentives (and penalties) matter, i.e. trade-offs, choices matter because that’s where human behavior occurs. People act on preferences (likes and dislikes), not theory.

    • Agree: snorlax
  73. You will live to see the internet completely paved over and replaced with an electronic shopping mall containing an arcade and a gossip shop. And, of course, a police station.

    https://thegrio.com/2018/12/23/black-student-leader-sued-her-racist-online-harassers-and-wins-groundbreaking-settlement/

    Black student leader sued her racist online harassers and wins groundbreaking settlement

    The student leader sued Evan James McCarty of Eugene, Ore., and two other defendants, including the publisher of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, after she was pummeled with racist pictures and derogatory messages online [let us reconsider the wisdom of Tyler the Creator]. As part of the settlement, filed this past week, McCarty said he will apologize, repudiate white supremacy, go to counseling and join forces with civil rights organizations to help them fight hatred and racism, according to The New York Times.

    Dumpson, 22, told the newspaper that this should serve as a warning to racists who hide behind the cover of the Internet or the shield of night to do their cowardly deeds, “that they’re going to be held accountable.”

    “I’m using what was a traumatic experience for me to help promote racial justice,”

    In the lawsuit, Dumpson said she feared for her life and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

    One of the people eager to join in was McCarty, also now 22, a student and actor who had been leading a clandestine life on the Internet, posting racist messages under the alias “Byron De La Vandal,” a nod to Byron De La Beckwith of the Ku Klux Klan who killed Medgar Evers. McCarty’s true identity was unveiled by an anti-fascist group in April.

    As part of the settlement, McCarty agreed to assist Dumpson as she sued his two co-defendants, Anglin and Brian Andrew Ade. McCarty must also apologize to Dumpson in writing and on video, which she can then use for “civil rights advocacy, outreach and educational activities,” according to the settlement.

    McCarty also agreed to undergo anti-hate training and at least one year of counseling, complete four academic classes on race and gender issues and perform 200 hours of community service related to racial justice. Dumpson’s legal team will monitor his compliance and will hit him with monetary penalties if he fails to comply, according to The Times.

    “What we are doing here is pulling back the veil on online racist trolls*,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which filed the lawsuit on Ms. Dumpson’s behalf, according to The NY Times. “For too long, they’ve been allowed to act with impunity.”

    Any traditionalist who goes to a well-established federal station like Daily Stormer gets what he deserves (notice that they claim that this has something to do with anonymity). Also consider that every hour, unmoderated, rule-breaking, raiding leftists threaten violence on 4chan. In this world you can threaten to kill or disfigure a white person but you had better not hurt a black person’s feelings.

    *Anglin is a known federal informant, but he cannot be a “troll” in any sense of the term I am familiar with on his own site and talking to people who voluntarily came there. If he went to the Grio and gratuitously messed with people who were trying to discuss something else he’d be a troll.

  74. Never understood the big deal with Taleb.

    There are no black swans. Politics causes extreme movements in markets…both the housing market and the Nasdaq collapsed because of the Federal Reserve.

  75. I don’t get it. Obviously if the coin is fair, the 100th flip will be 50 -50 .
    It doesn’t matter what the previous 99 flips are, they may as well have not even happened. The probability of a coin flipping heads is 50-50. It always will be, it can’t be anything but. That’s the correct answer.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    I agree. The original wording of the problem stipulated that the coin was fair. That means that the coin is fair, and that's that. Now, if Taleb's answer is to say "Yeah, but Fat Tony knows it really isn't," that's just complete bum-fuckery of the worst, context-killing kind.

    It's like stage magician saying "Okay, now everyone close your eyes."
    , @snorlax
    The odds of a fair coin being heads 99 times in a row is about 634 octillion to 1. For comparison, that's larger than the ratio of the circumference of a proton to the circumference of the Earth—about 457 octillion to one.

    A 634 octillion to 1 event cannot occur. Cannot. It is not possible.

    A real-world example of an event that is considered so astronomically improbable that it cannot ever occur is randomly generating the same UUID (universally unique identifier) twice, which is known as a "collision."

    The number of UUIDs you would need to randomly generate before there is a 50% probability of at least one collision is about 2.71 quintillion.

    The number of times you would need to flip a fair coin before there is a 50% probability of there being at least one sequence of either heads or tails 99 or more times in a row is about 220 octillion.

    220 octillion: 220,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
    2.71 quintillion:                             2,710,000,000,000,000,000

    220 octillion is 81.2 billion (81,200,000,000) times larger than 2.71 quintillion.

    If there is ever a collision between randomly generated UUIDs, that can only mean that they were not, in fact, randomly generated. The assumption that they were randomly generated was faulty.

    That goes double, or rather 81.2 billion times more, for a fair coin showing heads or tails 99 times in a row. That can only mean it is not a fair coin. The assumption that it is a fair coin is faulty.
  76. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    Let me see if I got this straight.

    This Taleb guy is I guess supposed to be some sharp-eyed observant popular intellectual Noticer of Things The Rest of Us Don't (in the line of Gladwell, Pinker, and the "All I Learned in Kindergarten" guy). And yet somehow he doesn't know that, in the American pop-culture pantheon, both the names "Fat Tony" and "Dr. John" are ALREADY TAKEN?!

    They both already signify things which are quite specific in the public imagination. It's like Gladwell saying, "I made up these two characters to illustrate my point. I call them Patti Smith and Barney Rubble."

    It is --how you say?-- a regular Black Swan Event.

    Thank you. Reading through the piece, I kept wondering when the obvious connections were going to be made. Hard to imagine that degree of, um, insularity in a so-called public intellectual. Unless…

  77. @Reg Cæsar

    Dr. John can make gigantic errors that affect other people by ignoring reality in favor of assumptions.
     
    Here's a big one:

    Frenchman, 71, Aims to Cross the Atlantic in a Giant Barrel


    http://cdn2.tstatic.net/jogja/foto/bank/images/jean-jacques-savin-dan-tong-yang-akan-digunakannya-menyeberangi-samudera-atlantik.jpg


    The video shows he's bringing his iPad. I doubt the cell service is that reliable, but he'll have plenty of time to do sudoku.


    http://thisisindexed.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/card6053-380x230.jpg

    You laugh, but that barrel is going to come in mighty handy when he encounters the inevitable waterfalls en route.

  78. During the 2016 election campaign there were several near-fatal blows landed on establishment media, especially in terms of internet traffic, subscription numbers, and the effectiveness of advertising. After about a year, several media giants appeared to have recovered, and claimed record sales. Today Elaine Pao (remember her?) unironically said that all internet metrics are faked — approximated, because nobody really knows how to measure them.
    What can we do to give this lady a daily talk show?

    http://archive.is/hbt58

    >Pao was responding to a tweet by the Washington Post’s Aram Zucker-Schariff, quoting the following segment of the article:

    >The metrics are fake.

    >Take something as seemingly simple as how we measure web traffic. Metrics should be the most real thing on the internet: They are countable, trackable, and verifiable, and their existence undergirds the advertising business that drives our biggest social and search platforms. Yet not even Facebook, the world’s greatest data–gathering organization, seems able to produce genuine figures. In October, small advertisers filed suit against the social-media giant, accusing it of covering up, for a year, its significant overstatements of the time users spent watching videos on the platform (by 60 to 80 percent, Facebook says; by 150 to 900 percent, the plaintiffs say). According to an exhaustive list at MarketingLand, over the past two years Facebook has admitted to misreporting the reach of posts on Facebook Pages (in two different ways), the rate at which viewers complete ad videos, the average time spent reading its “Instant Articles,” the amount of referral traffic from Facebook to external websites, the number of views that videos received via Facebook’s mobile site, and the number of video views in Instant Articles.

    >Can we still trust the metrics? After the Inversion, what’s the point? Even when we put our faith in their accuracy, there’s something not quite real about them: My favorite statistic this year was Facebook’s claim that 75 million people watched at least a minute of Facebook Watch videos every day — though, as Facebook admitted, the 60 seconds in that one minute didn’t need to be watched consecutively. Real videos, real people, fake minutes. -NYMag

  79. How about a blog post on this one Steve?

    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/422545-dems-worry-top-three-candidates-in-polls-are-all-white-men

    Democrats are worried that they have a problem: The three people leading polls in the very early stages of their presidential race are all white men.

    The party traditionally battles over identity politics and wants to be seen as promoting diversity.

    Its last three nominees have been Barack Obama, who became the nation’s first African-American president, and Hillary Clinton, the first woman to win the popular vote.

    Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) are this year’s top-tier candidates, according to a recent and very early Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll.

    It showed that 32 percent of those polled in Iowa favored Biden, while 19 percent preferred Sanders and 11 percent liked O’Rourke.

    While some Democrats believe the early polls are merely a metric on name recognition, they say it defies the party’s mission to be more diverse and more inclusive that the top three candidates are all white men.

    “It’s almost like we’re moving backwards,” said one Democratic strategist. “We elected a black president in 2008 and 2012, we nominated a woman in 2016, so why are we now back with three white men at the top of the polls?”

    Democratic strategist Seth Bringman added that it “definitely sends the wrong message about who our party is.”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks.
  80. @miss marple
    Don't listen to these bozos. If military paid that well "out in the town" the houses in towns would be much nicer than they are. Criminal records have been tolerated more and more to keep recruitment high. Most military service isn't a career. And, most importantly, the US government couldn't afford it. Weapons, planes, ships, food and housing cost plenty. There's not enough money to pay a yearly salary around $30000 to your average enlisted. Also there'd be few civilian jobs to compete with military salaries so lowering standards for criminal records would never have been necessary.

    Propagandize for a living? Work at the local recruitment office? Nobody's buying it.

    Regale us with your experience then! Fill us in on the true remuneration of active duty military.

    already linked to a pay calculator. Here’s a few more;

    https://militarypay.defense.gov/Calculators/RMC-Calculator/

    http://www.militarypaycalc.com/

    The “out in town” that you’re too dumb to pick up on includes additional “benefits” for enlisted and officer in the form of two allowances. BAH for housing (based on location it varies a great deal) which can be well over $10K and up. The other is BAS (Food basically, since you’re no longer eating on base at the chow hall for free) and is a couple of hundred a month depending. Both of those are tax free.

    Some branches are a little lax with the recruitment of “criminal records” but you’d be surprised at who cannot get in. In fact the vast majority are unable to qualify for the military to the tune of over 70%; http://time.com/2938158/youth-fail-to-qualify-military-service/

    Nodoby is buying it? No the simpleton’s who can’t be bothered to do 5 minutes of research are unable to “buy it”.

    Like I said, It’s a secret that few are aware of and willing to take advantage of. I’m not retired, just served a couple of enlistments in the Marine Corps. Got a TS clearance and some money for school.

    I shout it from the rooftops.

    If a half wit white lower class mediocrity like me can get in and prosper and get 2 Bachelor’s degrees and be on my way to earning a second Master’s degree all with ZERO DEBT-while simultaneously being gainfully employed in such a way that allows me to provide for my family, save for retirement and have a bit of disposable income too…well plenty of “bozos” can use the path just like me. So yeah, I think it’s pretty great and for some kids can make a lifetime of difference. I’m passionate about it. And I profit nothing from it other than perhaps sparking an interest in someone or even heaven forbid getting people to do a bit of research about it (present company excluded, since you clearly have it already figured out).

    Getting someone to look into it as not a last option but THE go to option, for many people like me

    By the by, what’s your guidance and advice to kids 17-and up?

    • Replies: @miss marple
    Obviously, you're leaving important information out. You also admit to being average so you know your information is incomplete. And I'd advise 17 year olds to avoid being corrupted by military culture but also to avoid frivolous college majors. It's dangerous when government jobs pay more than private sector in this country. Such a situation weakens our economy and erodes our political ideals.
  81. @Reg Cæsar

    Dr. John can make gigantic errors that affect other people by ignoring reality in favor of assumptions.
     
    Here's a big one:

    Frenchman, 71, Aims to Cross the Atlantic in a Giant Barrel


    http://cdn2.tstatic.net/jogja/foto/bank/images/jean-jacques-savin-dan-tong-yang-akan-digunakannya-menyeberangi-samudera-atlantik.jpg


    The video shows he's bringing his iPad. I doubt the cell service is that reliable, but he'll have plenty of time to do sudoku.


    http://thisisindexed.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/card6053-380x230.jpg

    Well hell, we got a bus in Chicago called “The Barrel Bus,” so I can understand that Frenchie.

    https://www.thebarrelrun.com/

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Well hell, we got a bus in Chicago called “The Barrel Bus,” so I can understand that Frenchie.

     

    Calls to mind a certain Steppenwolf gatefold:



    https://i.etsystatic.com/8442543/r/il/d8590d/1134517482/il_570xN.1134517482_m8wh.jpg
  82. @Cloud of Probable Matricide
    Although I like Taleb, the pretentiousness of the Fat Tony crap was always a bit much. He fancies himself a fine raconteur (and bricoleur) but he is finally rather more of an embarrassing third world try-hard than the aphorist and philosophe he whinnies toward.

    Ultimately, Taleb is the Mary Beard of IQ Science.

    “Taleb is the Mary Beard of IQ Science.” My wife met Beard on the train once and found her a pleasant, chatty soul. Taleb is less pleasant, I’d guess. On the other hand Beard doesn’t half make tedious, plonkingly mechanical, TV shows, with a tiresome PC bias.

  83. @dvorak

    Officers are if anything the underpaid ones since most could make a lot more in the private sector.
     
    Are you sure you're comparing all of the apples to comparable apples, with respect to officer compensation?

    Government workers have a million scams to get more money out of the government. Like retiring/resigning and coming right back in as a higher-paid consultant (see the CIA). Unions can co-opt management by giving managers a $5 million pension (see state and local governments).

    They have all the time in the world to plot against their employer. Like Andy Dufresne.

    Government workers have a million scams to get more money out of the government.

    We crossed the Rubicon on private versus public sector wages some time ago. And Carlton Meyer (g2mil.com & frequent commenter here) has published an analysis of military wages showing officers especially are overpaid.

    The insanity of public sector unions, when these parasites already are permitted to vote for more money & benefits for themselves, is only paralleled by Congressional compensation. My advice to any reasonably bright kid today is pursue a career in the Air Force or Navy, do your 20 years, then double dip. You really can’t do any better in the private sector unless you are highly entrepreneurial.

    https://reason.org/policy-brief/public-sector-private-sector-salary/

    http://www.allgov.com/news/where-is-the-money-going/it-pays-well-to-join-the-military?news=840441

  84. @syonredux

    John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150,
     
    More like 110:

    The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong. In Crime and Human Nature, James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein present data indicating that criminals have IQs clustered around 92, i.e., eight points below the national average. So Gotti's modest test result is not an exception to the general rule about high scorers rising to the top.
     

    and I think Hitler was also up there.
     
    Dunno about Hitler (Was he ever tested?), but we do have figures for some of the top guys in the Nazi regime:

    The Nazi war criminals tested after the end of World War II proved to be quite intelligent. For example, Hermann Goering had an IQ of 138, Franz Von Papen 134, Albert Speer 128.
     
    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1991/07/15/75242/index.htm

    “Hermann Goering had an IQ of 138”: and he was brave, a fine pilot, somewhat cultured, loyal to his brother, and could be good company. But he was an evil man and a drug addict. It takes all sorts …

  85. @syonredux

    Look harder, you’ll find he was definitely tested in prison during the sixties at 140,
     
    Got a link?

    and I think I’ve read in a book on him that he scored 150 in high school.
     
    Guy that I linked to upthread said that his High School score was 110*. Remember, leaders of organizations typically have IQs that are above the group average. So, if criminals average around 92, Gotti's 110 sounds about right.

    Hitler would be a guess, but I find it difficult to put him below Gotti.
     
    Well, if Gotti was 110, that sounds reasonable. Given the scores of the other Nazi leaders, I would guess that Hitler was somewhere in the 120+ range.

    *The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong.
     

    Leaders IQ has to be somewhere near their follower’s IQ, preferably above, so that they can communicate about abstractions. My rule of thumb is that communication becomes very difficult over a gap of more than 20 points. Pick your own from personal experience, but I’ll use 20 points here. Example: Linus Pauling was never going to be politician, nor would an of the IQ 80 recruits mentioned in other posts, because their abstractions are not comprehensible to the bulk of political participants.
    So: Hitler has to write a book that appeals to the average reader/opinion leader, who can explain it to those who don’t read. Hitler has to give speeches that at least seem to make sense (emotional and rational). If he things in terms of differential equations, he’s out of politics.
    Assuming IQ 110 for opinion leaders (lead opinions from IQ 110 to IQ 90, the bulk of the population, including street fighters), that puts a limit of IQ 130 for Hitler. He has to communicate using the same abstractions (“place in the sun”, “blood of the Folk”, “Welfare of the Folk”) the opinion leaders are using, so Hitler wouldn’t be at 130, where communication is difficult, maybe at 120, 125, that range. This lets him communicate with his higher IQ planners _and_ the opinion leaders.

    Now, let’s take another case, one more like that of the criminals: Southern slave owners, 1840s. _Their IQ is limited by their slaves’ IQ_, same reason as Hitler’s IQ was limited. For small Plantation owners and standard IQ,, that’s an IQ of maybe 90. If the Plantation owner has a supervisor, that puts the plantation’s absolute max IQ up to 110 before he lose contact with a supervisor who is near losing contact with the slaves. In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart — obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
    Ever wonder why the South didn’t support universities, and the Yankees did? Theology and high tech manufacturing industries both reward intelligence to some extent. Slavery, on either side, doesn’t.
    For further applications, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Plunkitt, and especially selections from Plunket’s method of operation, available at Project Gutenberg and recorded in a political classic book: William L. Riordon; Terrence J. McDonald (15 November 1993). Plunkitt of Tammany Hall. Bedford/St. Martin’s. ISBN 978-0-312-08444-8.
    Tammany is credited by many as having passed the initial legislation for our current Welfare state. Once that was done, Tammany was made obsolete by the bureaucracy it had legislatively created.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Ever wonder why the South didn’t support universities, and the Yankees did?

    The pre-Civil War South had pretty good liberal arts colleges. Southern elites did not lag northern elites in law or theology. But the north was ahead in middle class education and the gap widened.

    But once the south was out of the union, the north could pass federal laws facilitating setting up land grant public universities for smart farm boys who wanted to study technical subjects.

    , @syonredux

    . In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart — obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
     
    Jefferson and Madison, yes,......but not Washington. His virtues were of the type that used to be called manly. Put him in a room, though, with men like Hamilton, Jefferson, and Franklin, and no one would describe him as terribly bright.

    Here's John Adams on Washington:


    Self taught or Book learned in the Arts, our Hero was much indebted to his Talents for "his immense elevation above his Fellows." Talents? you will say, what Talents? I answer. 1. An handsome Face. That this is a Talent, I can prove by the authority of a thousand Instances in all ages: and among the rest Madame Du Barry who said Le veritable Royaute est la Beaute.

    2. A tall Stature, like the Hebrew Sovereign chosen because he was taller by the Head than the other Jews.

    3 An elegant Form.

    4. graceful Attitudes and Movement:

    5. a large imposing Fortune consisting of a great landed Estate left him by his Father and Brother, besides a large Jointure with his Lady, and the Guardianship of the Heirs of the great Custis Estate, and in addition to all this, immense Tracts of Land of his own acquisition. There is nothing, except bloody Battles and Splendid Victories, to which Mankind bow down with more reverence than to great fortune. They think it impossible that rich Men especially immensely rich Men, Should Submit to the trouble of Serving them but from the most benevolent and disinterested Motives. . . . Such is their Love of the Marvellous, and Such their Admiration of uncommon Generosity that they will believe extraordinary pretensions to it and the Pope Says, Si bonus Populus vult decipi, decipiatur. Washington however did not deceive them. I know not that they gave him more credit for disinterestedness, than he deserved, though they have not given many others so much.

    6. Washington was a Virginian. This is equivalent to five Talents. Virginian Geese are all Swans. Not a Bearne in Scotland is more national, not a Lad upon the High Lands is more clannish, than every Virginian I have ever known. They trumpet one another with the most pompous and mendacious Panegyricks. The Phyladelphians and New Yorkers who are local and partial enough to themselves are meek and modest in Comparison with Virginian Old Dominionisms Washington of course was extolled without bounds.

    7. Washington was preceeded by favourable Anecdotes. The English had used him ill, in the Expedition of Braddock. They had not done Justice to his Bravery and good Council They had exaggerated and misrepresented his defeat and Capitulation: which interested the Pride as well as compassion of Americans in his favour. . . .


    8 He possessed the Gift of Silence. This I esteem as one of the most precious Talents.

    9. He had great Self Command. It cost him a great Exertion Sometimes, and a constant Constraint, but to preserve So much Equanimity as he did, required a great Capacity.

    10. Whenever he lost his temper as he did Sometimes, either Love or fear in those about him induced them to conceal his Weakness from the World. Here you See I have made out ten Talents without saying a Word about Reading Thinking or writing, upon all which Subjects you have Said all that need be Said. – You See I Use the word Talents in a larger Sense than usual, comprehending every Advantage. Genius Experience, Learning, Fortune Birth, Health are all Talents, though I know not how, the Word has been lately confined to the faculties of the Mind.
    , @gcochran
    All wrong.
    , @Sean
    Regarding what slavery rewarded,

    Stephen Duncan (March 4, 1787 – January 29, 1867) became a major planter and banker in Mississippi in the antebellum years, migrating there from his home state of Pennsylvania after getting a medical degree. He became the wealthiest cotton planter in the South prior to the American Civil War,
     
    Nathan Bedford Forrest is well known as a Civil War commander (Joseph Johnston said Forrest would have been "the great central figure of the war had he the benefit of a military education"), but not only had he discover the probing for weak points followed by high tempo attack that in all times and places has been the military spear of destiny, Forrest was a genuine business genius who starting from nothing had amassed a fortune comparable to Duncan's by the begining of the war.

    Anyway, private first class Adolph trained a terrier to perform tricks and even wild animals can be trained by humans, despite the disparity in understanding of what the purpose of their training is. There is something in what you say, inasmuch William Shockely (IQ of 125-129) was quite unsuccessful as a project manager. I suspect he was unable to get on the wavelength of his higher IQ subordinates, or put it another way people expect their boss to be really smart and are insubordinate if he is is not, Intelligence is general as Robert Plomin says, and it's very easy to get an idea whether someone is above or below one's level from conversation. The origin of intelligence must have been something like what Robin Dunbar suggests: there to build relationships through social grooming.

    My rule of thumb is that communication becomes very difficult over a gap of more than 20 points.
     

    Two way communication, yes. That would be what Alasdair MacIntyre calls "conversational justice", similar to the balance that Taleb in Skin In The Game cites
    The Book of the Courtier
    advocating, whereby no one is dominating the exchanges.

    Hitler, however, was not up there on the podium kibitzing, he was trying to get his ideas across, sowing memes and about Jews and winning the next war, but above all demonstrating his sky high intelligence to establish that he was someone worth following. Doctor Goebbels ("Such a sparkling mind can be my leader. I bow to the greater one , the political genius") is perhaps too discredited but let me give you some appreciation of Hitler at his peak from someone of quite respectable intelligence and experience of elite minds and who was critical of Hitler by the time he wrote- Egon Hangstaengl


    No one who judges his abilities as a speaker by his performances in his later years can have any true insight into his gifts ... In his early years he had a command of voice, phrase and effect which have never been equaled
     
    And Hitler spoke his own words, not a speechwriter's (Norman Mailer is said to have had an IQ of 170).

    In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart — obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
     
    They got progressively less smart for reasons that should be obvious if you look at Jefferson Davis and his lady love.

    http://www.northstarnewstoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/vanna-howell-davis2-1-e1459300012637.jpg

    , @snorlax
    Intelligent people do not have difficulty communicating with unintelligent people. It is difficult to explain a complex, g-loaded topic to an unintelligent person, but that's just the definition of intelligence. Intelligent people may also have Aspergian traits that hinder their communication skills in general, but that's correlated with, not caused by IQ.

    The lowest-common denominator and extremely popular UK tabloid The Sun, whose house style is to write all stories at a third-grade reading level, hires almost only Oxford and Cambridge graduates.
  86. @miss marple
    Don't listen to these bozos. If military paid that well "out in the town" the houses in towns would be much nicer than they are. Criminal records have been tolerated more and more to keep recruitment high. Most military service isn't a career. And, most importantly, the US government couldn't afford it. Weapons, planes, ships, food and housing cost plenty. There's not enough money to pay a yearly salary around $30000 to your average enlisted. Also there'd be few civilian jobs to compete with military salaries so lowering standards for criminal records would never have been necessary.

    Propagandize for a living? Work at the local recruitment office? Nobody's buying it.

    Propagandize for a living? Work at the local recruitment office? Nobody’s buying it.

    Right on, because who’s gonna know more about military pay – a wise old spinster from St Mary Mead or a blog full of ex-military guys plus a handful of published sources on the topic?

    You tell ‘em sister!

    • Replies: @miss marple
    Just when did this get to be a blog full of ex military?
  87. @International Jew

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? ... With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.
     
    If you could write that then you don't have the slightest familiarity with what economists have been up to.

    Google "'gains from trade' aeaweb" or "deindustrialization aeaweb" and you'll get lots of examples of economists addressing your issues in the pages of a leading journal.

    I don't expect you to read any of these papers, but in case you want to make the effort to do so, I'd be happy to discuss any of them with you.

    Could you be a bit more specific? In any kind of feedback systems, time delay in system state estimation is a killer, and leads to instability. Think of pushing a swing when you don’t know quite where is is — you would push sometimes before the swing reached its high point, thus taking energy out of the system rather than putting it in, and the system would become erratic.
    Use of lagging indicators would do the same sort of thing. What’s being done to look into that? Please? I’m interested.

    Counterinsurgency.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    Those considerations have come up in the debates over using monetary policy to smooth out the business cycle. Google some of the words I just used and you'll get lots of good hits.
  88. John Taylor Gatto, a teacher in the New York Public Schools, illustrates the Dr John’s Perfect Coin concept in an anecdote in his foundational Underground History of American Public Education. He was dropping his daughter off at an Air Force location. The Air Force had a whole gang of military people, about to be deployed that next morning, some for years in distant places, all in one big room for the night. Some of you recognize what that room would therefore sound like without having to be told. Gatto looked at the room, looked at his daughter, and said, “I’m getting you a hotel.” His butterbar daughter wanted to go in there and command everybody to knock it off and behave themselves or else they were sure going to get it. Gatto said, “Yyyeah, we’re getting a hotel room. We’ll still be back well in time for the flight.”
    Important point: barring some injury or major undeniable damage, at what point does the intellectual abstract rulemaker recognize little flukes like a warehouseful of drunken enlisted men, or an “uncanny” coin flip result? Notice: neither interrupts the system. They are what the functioning system looks like, and still produce the right overall result.
    The answer is never, but really, even after some big disaster, they may cling to their orthodoxy, and have to be unseated by some new intellectual school (which will introduce its own fetishes). So it’s less than never.

  89. @syonredux

    John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150,
     
    More like 110:

    The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong. In Crime and Human Nature, James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein present data indicating that criminals have IQs clustered around 92, i.e., eight points below the national average. So Gotti's modest test result is not an exception to the general rule about high scorers rising to the top.
     

    and I think Hitler was also up there.
     
    Dunno about Hitler (Was he ever tested?), but we do have figures for some of the top guys in the Nazi regime:

    The Nazi war criminals tested after the end of World War II proved to be quite intelligent. For example, Hermann Goering had an IQ of 138, Franz Von Papen 134, Albert Speer 128.
     
    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1991/07/15/75242/index.htm

    criminals have IQs clustered around 92,

    That’s probably the IQ of the criminals who get caught.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    criminals have IQs clustered around 92,

    That’s probably the IQ of the criminals who get caught.
     
    Well, if Gotti's anything to go by, even the ones with 110 IQs seem to run afoul of the law.....
  90. @Counterinsurgency
    Leaders IQ has to be somewhere near their follower's IQ, preferably above, so that they can communicate about abstractions. My rule of thumb is that communication becomes very difficult over a gap of more than 20 points. Pick your own from personal experience, but I'll use 20 points here. Example: Linus Pauling was never going to be politician, nor would an of the IQ 80 recruits mentioned in other posts, because their abstractions are not comprehensible to the bulk of political participants.
    So: Hitler has to write a book that appeals to the average reader/opinion leader, who can explain it to those who don't read. Hitler has to give speeches that at least seem to make sense (emotional and rational). If he things in terms of differential equations, he's out of politics.
    Assuming IQ 110 for opinion leaders (lead opinions from IQ 110 to IQ 90, the bulk of the population, including street fighters), that puts a limit of IQ 130 for Hitler. He has to communicate using the same abstractions ("place in the sun", "blood of the Folk", "Welfare of the Folk") the opinion leaders are using, so Hitler wouldn't be at 130, where communication is difficult, maybe at 120, 125, that range. This lets him communicate with his higher IQ planners _and_ the opinion leaders.

    Now, let's take another case, one more like that of the criminals: Southern slave owners, 1840s. _Their IQ is limited by their slaves' IQ_, same reason as Hitler's IQ was limited. For small Plantation owners and standard IQ,, that's an IQ of maybe 90. If the Plantation owner has a supervisor, that puts the plantation's absolute max IQ up to 110 before he lose contact with a supervisor who is near losing contact with the slaves. In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart -- obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
    Ever wonder why the South didn't support universities, and the Yankees did? Theology and high tech manufacturing industries both reward intelligence to some extent. Slavery, on either side, doesn't.
    For further applications, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Plunkitt, and especially selections from Plunket's method of operation, available at Project Gutenberg and recorded in a political classic book: William L. Riordon; Terrence J. McDonald (15 November 1993). Plunkitt of Tammany Hall. Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 978-0-312-08444-8.
    Tammany is credited by many as having passed the initial legislation for our current Welfare state. Once that was done, Tammany was made obsolete by the bureaucracy it had legislatively created.

    Counterinsurgency

    Ever wonder why the South didn’t support universities, and the Yankees did?

    The pre-Civil War South had pretty good liberal arts colleges. Southern elites did not lag northern elites in law or theology. But the north was ahead in middle class education and the gap widened.

    But once the south was out of the union, the north could pass federal laws facilitating setting up land grant public universities for smart farm boys who wanted to study technical subjects.

    • Replies: @mr. wild
    But once the south was out of the union, the north could pass federal laws facilitating setting up land grant public universities for smart farm boys who wanted to study technical subjects.

    Great, underappreciated point, Steve.

    Southerners thankfully came to their senses after the war. My GG Grandfather sent his son to the newly minted A and M school after the war that was being presided by his former general. My state finally had a school for the common man.

    Mixture of the liberal arts with practical industry, research focus, providing ag extension agents, partnerships with rural counties- the original conception of the land grant university is the summit of education, period.

    , @Counterinsurgency
    Liberal arts takes you up to an IQ of maybe 115 if you only want to be cultured. More to do original work, but the South was not known for original work. We may be using different definitions of "smart" here. My claim amounts to saying that everybody from IQ 80 to IQ 120 can understand (and consider important) what an IQ 100 person understands (and consider's imortant), but the IQ 120 person can't understand (and believe in the importance of) what an IQ 90 person can, and can just barely understand (and consider important) what an IQ 100 person considers important. And vice versa, of course.
    Jordan Peterson, in _Maps of Meaning_, suggests that being educated (as those here are) means having been maintained in a very regulated environment in which everybody was highly selected and in which everybody did about the same thing (academic stuff, like rioting, senseless feuds, and attending classes). Those who violated the behavior code (slugging professors, for example) were escorted off campus. Peterson suggests that this led to an over-development of ability to live in a well understood environment, and underdevelopment of ability to live in a poorly structured environment. That is, educated people don't have much experience chaos, in a realization that the universe isn't what you thought it was and that you have to explore at risk of being hurt or killed (or just permanently unemployed) until you've worked out what the new section of the universe is about.
    Example: the Kafka scenario -- you are suddenly out of favor for reasons you'll never know, the organization says you're no longer wanted (the flying phone booth program was "too White", as the Democrat operative told me at the X conference, and indeed it was shut down after the one flight) and you have to change your entire field of work. I shrugged it off at the time, but I should have re-thought everything. Too well educated, perhaps?)
    Professional work environments are as highly selective for IQ range as colleges (as are landscape gardeners, although the IQ range is different). Perhaps the illusion of universal communication comes from selection bias in your work environment? And perhaps it is sustained by a lack of practice in recognizing chaos? Believe me, recognizing chaos isn't easy, although hiding from it without admitting that you're in the middle of it is common.

    In any case, having at one time actually been an assistant professor, I'm not that impressed by colleges as proofs of intelligence. Most professors are good at established parts of some single established field, and that's it. Smart, but 115 -120 range. Some aren't even that, but do hide it well. Some really are, but outside of the top research schools they tend not to last.

    Counterinsurgency
  91. An Argie radio host accused of gender discrimination has been ordered to give air time over to his opponents, and neither interrupt them not criticize their statements.
    Angel Etchecopar must not interrupt his guests for 10 minutes, nor can he criticise them after they finish.

    >An Argentine radio host accused of misogynist diatribes has been ordered to host a feminist guest every week for five months as part of a deal with prosecutors, reports say. It comes after prosecutors accused him of gender discrimination.

    >He had used his programme on Radio 10 to attack feminists as “feminazis” and “disgusting people”, Le Monde reported. Prosecutor Federico Vilalba Diaz told La Nación newspaper that Etchecopar had been charged with “disrespectful, insulting, denigrating and discriminatory” outbursts against women.

    >”But Etchecopar came to the inquiry with a repentant attitude and showed himself to be very different from the personality I had seen in the media,” Mr Diaz said. Etchecopar – nicknamed “Baby” – convinced the authorities of his desire to change his ways and a female judge agreed to drop the case against him in favour of a probation-based solution, La Nación said.

    >Under the terms of the agreement, prosecutors will provide a list of gender specialists and Argentina’s special gender violence prosecutor Veronica Guagnino will come up with the topics for discussion. Etchecopar also has to avoid making further discriminatory remarks for a year and has made a small donation to a Catholic charity. If he breaks the terms the case against him will be resurrected.

    >Earlier this month Argentina’s parliament approved a new law requiring all officials to undertake gender equality training. The law was named after Micaela Garcia, a 21-year-old woman who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 2017 in a case that shocked the country and prompted demonstrations. Ms Garcia had been a supporter of Argentina’s “ni una menos” (not one less) movement that seeks to protect women from male violence, BBC Mundo reported (in Spanish).

    https://archive.is/3nYvj

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-46667636

  92. @Mike Pink
    How about a blog post on this one Steve?


    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/422545-dems-worry-top-three-candidates-in-polls-are-all-white-men


    Democrats are worried that they have a problem: The three people leading polls in the very early stages of their presidential race are all white men.

    The party traditionally battles over identity politics and wants to be seen as promoting diversity.

    Its last three nominees have been Barack Obama, who became the nation’s first African-American president, and Hillary Clinton, the first woman to win the popular vote.

    Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) are this year’s top-tier candidates, according to a recent and very early Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll.

    It showed that 32 percent of those polled in Iowa favored Biden, while 19 percent preferred Sanders and 11 percent liked O'Rourke.

    While some Democrats believe the early polls are merely a metric on name recognition, they say it defies the party’s mission to be more diverse and more inclusive that the top three candidates are all white men.

    “It’s almost like we’re moving backwards,” said one Democratic strategist. “We elected a black president in 2008 and 2012, we nominated a woman in 2016, so why are we now back with three white men at the top of the polls?”

    Democratic strategist Seth Bringman added that it “definitely sends the wrong message about who our party is.”

    Thanks.

  93. @Sean
    John Gotti had a tested IQ of 140, maybe 150, and I think Hitler was also up there. Neither Pinker or Taleb want to believe that organised violence can be the result of a superior intellect figuring out how things work and coming to a correct appreciation of the best strategy to improve its own situation.

    Wasn’t it Thomas Sowell who said that to create ”a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs”? It’s said that having an higher IQ is ”almost always better” (per JayMan). Almost always better for one to screw up everyone with lower IQs, perhaps.

  94. @Hypnotoad666

    criminals have IQs clustered around 92,
     
    That's probably the IQ of the criminals who get caught.

    criminals have IQs clustered around 92,

    That’s probably the IQ of the criminals who get caught.

    Well, if Gotti’s anything to go by, even the ones with 110 IQs seem to run afoul of the law…..

  95. https://slatestarcodex.com/2018/12/25/links-12-18-boughs-of-hollink/

    Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122, is widely believed to be the oldest person ever.

    Calment was a fraud …

    … he expresses bafflement on how Calment lived so much longer than theory would predict possible. Remember, your strength as a rationalist depends on your ability to notice your own confusion

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Wasn't there a cluster of improbably old Caucasians (which generated a Yoplait commercial) until someone realized that they were just using documentary dishonesty to avoid military service?
  96. @Counterinsurgency
    Leaders IQ has to be somewhere near their follower's IQ, preferably above, so that they can communicate about abstractions. My rule of thumb is that communication becomes very difficult over a gap of more than 20 points. Pick your own from personal experience, but I'll use 20 points here. Example: Linus Pauling was never going to be politician, nor would an of the IQ 80 recruits mentioned in other posts, because their abstractions are not comprehensible to the bulk of political participants.
    So: Hitler has to write a book that appeals to the average reader/opinion leader, who can explain it to those who don't read. Hitler has to give speeches that at least seem to make sense (emotional and rational). If he things in terms of differential equations, he's out of politics.
    Assuming IQ 110 for opinion leaders (lead opinions from IQ 110 to IQ 90, the bulk of the population, including street fighters), that puts a limit of IQ 130 for Hitler. He has to communicate using the same abstractions ("place in the sun", "blood of the Folk", "Welfare of the Folk") the opinion leaders are using, so Hitler wouldn't be at 130, where communication is difficult, maybe at 120, 125, that range. This lets him communicate with his higher IQ planners _and_ the opinion leaders.

    Now, let's take another case, one more like that of the criminals: Southern slave owners, 1840s. _Their IQ is limited by their slaves' IQ_, same reason as Hitler's IQ was limited. For small Plantation owners and standard IQ,, that's an IQ of maybe 90. If the Plantation owner has a supervisor, that puts the plantation's absolute max IQ up to 110 before he lose contact with a supervisor who is near losing contact with the slaves. In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart -- obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
    Ever wonder why the South didn't support universities, and the Yankees did? Theology and high tech manufacturing industries both reward intelligence to some extent. Slavery, on either side, doesn't.
    For further applications, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Plunkitt, and especially selections from Plunket's method of operation, available at Project Gutenberg and recorded in a political classic book: William L. Riordon; Terrence J. McDonald (15 November 1993). Plunkitt of Tammany Hall. Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 978-0-312-08444-8.
    Tammany is credited by many as having passed the initial legislation for our current Welfare state. Once that was done, Tammany was made obsolete by the bureaucracy it had legislatively created.

    Counterinsurgency

    . In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart — obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.

    Jefferson and Madison, yes,……but not Washington. His virtues were of the type that used to be called manly. Put him in a room, though, with men like Hamilton, Jefferson, and Franklin, and no one would describe him as terribly bright.

    Here’s John Adams on Washington:

    Self taught or Book learned in the Arts, our Hero was much indebted to his Talents for “his immense elevation above his Fellows.” Talents? you will say, what Talents? I answer. 1. An handsome Face. That this is a Talent, I can prove by the authority of a thousand Instances in all ages: and among the rest Madame Du Barry who said Le veritable Royaute est la Beaute.

    2. A tall Stature, like the Hebrew Sovereign chosen because he was taller by the Head than the other Jews.

    3 An elegant Form.

    4. graceful Attitudes and Movement:

    5. a large imposing Fortune consisting of a great landed Estate left him by his Father and Brother, besides a large Jointure with his Lady, and the Guardianship of the Heirs of the great Custis Estate, and in addition to all this, immense Tracts of Land of his own acquisition. There is nothing, except bloody Battles and Splendid Victories, to which Mankind bow down with more reverence than to great fortune. They think it impossible that rich Men especially immensely rich Men, Should Submit to the trouble of Serving them but from the most benevolent and disinterested Motives. . . . Such is their Love of the Marvellous, and Such their Admiration of uncommon Generosity that they will believe extraordinary pretensions to it and the Pope Says, Si bonus Populus vult decipi, decipiatur. Washington however did not deceive them. I know not that they gave him more credit for disinterestedness, than he deserved, though they have not given many others so much.

    6. Washington was a Virginian. This is equivalent to five Talents. Virginian Geese are all Swans. Not a Bearne in Scotland is more national, not a Lad upon the High Lands is more clannish, than every Virginian I have ever known. They trumpet one another with the most pompous and mendacious Panegyricks. The Phyladelphians and New Yorkers who are local and partial enough to themselves are meek and modest in Comparison with Virginian Old Dominionisms Washington of course was extolled without bounds.

    7. Washington was preceeded by favourable Anecdotes. The English had used him ill, in the Expedition of Braddock. They had not done Justice to his Bravery and good Council They had exaggerated and misrepresented his defeat and Capitulation: which interested the Pride as well as compassion of Americans in his favour. . . .

    8 He possessed the Gift of Silence. This I esteem as one of the most precious Talents.

    9. He had great Self Command. It cost him a great Exertion Sometimes, and a constant Constraint, but to preserve So much Equanimity as he did, required a great Capacity.

    10. Whenever he lost his temper as he did Sometimes, either Love or fear in those about him induced them to conceal his Weakness from the World. Here you See I have made out ten Talents without saying a Word about Reading Thinking or writing, upon all which Subjects you have Said all that need be Said. – You See I Use the word Talents in a larger Sense than usual, comprehending every Advantage. Genius Experience, Learning, Fortune Birth, Health are all Talents, though I know not how, the Word has been lately confined to the faculties of the Mind.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
    Ok, got that one wrong. Can't always be right, but, in compensation, I can't always be wrong.

    Counterinsurgency
    , @Anonymous
    They wanted a leader who wasn't going to make himself king.
  97. @Kyle
    I don’t get it. Obviously if the coin is fair, the 100th flip will be 50 -50 .
    It doesn’t matter what the previous 99 flips are, they may as well have not even happened. The probability of a coin flipping heads is 50-50. It always will be, it can’t be anything but. That’s the correct answer.

    I agree. The original wording of the problem stipulated that the coin was fair. That means that the coin is fair, and that’s that. Now, if Taleb’s answer is to say “Yeah, but Fat Tony knows it really isn’t,” that’s just complete bum-fuckery of the worst, context-killing kind.

    It’s like stage magician saying “Okay, now everyone close your eyes.”

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Imagine being this close and this unaware.
    , @Nathan
    His point is pretty straight-forward. Who you gunna believe, him or your lyin' eyes? Witnessing a fair coin flip one way 99 times is a truly cosmic improbability. You've only been TOLD it's a fair coin. More likely than that cosmic improbability is that you're being lied to, or are simply mistaken in thinking it's a fair coin. However, this raises the question, so what? So people lie? There are loaded coins? Are there really two types of people in the world, Dr. Johns and Fat Tonys? Probably not.
    , @snorlax
  98. @Steve Sailer
    Ever wonder why the South didn’t support universities, and the Yankees did?

    The pre-Civil War South had pretty good liberal arts colleges. Southern elites did not lag northern elites in law or theology. But the north was ahead in middle class education and the gap widened.

    But once the south was out of the union, the north could pass federal laws facilitating setting up land grant public universities for smart farm boys who wanted to study technical subjects.

    But once the south was out of the union, the north could pass federal laws facilitating setting up land grant public universities for smart farm boys who wanted to study technical subjects.

    Great, underappreciated point, Steve.

    Southerners thankfully came to their senses after the war. My GG Grandfather sent his son to the newly minted A and M school after the war that was being presided by his former general. My state finally had a school for the common man.

    Mixture of the liberal arts with practical industry, research focus, providing ag extension agents, partnerships with rural counties- the original conception of the land grant university is the summit of education, period.

    • Agree: Nathan
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    All sorts of big stuff in the social sciences got pioneered at land grant colleges, typically Big Ten ones in the upper Midwest.
  99. @Anonymous
    https://slatestarcodex.com/2018/12/25/links-12-18-boughs-of-hollink/

    Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122, is widely believed to be the oldest person ever.

    Calment was a fraud ...

    ... he expresses bafflement on how Calment lived so much longer than theory would predict possible. Remember, your strength as a rationalist depends on your ability to notice your own confusion
     

    Wasn’t there a cluster of improbably old Caucasians (which generated a Yoplait commercial) until someone realized that they were just using documentary dishonesty to avoid military service?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    About 50 years ago, when yogurt was becoming fashionable in America, you heard a lot about all the Armenian yogurt eaters over 100 years old. I think it turned out to be that to avoid the Czarist army's 25 year conscription terms, a lot of young Armenians had assumed their fathers' identities.
  100. @mr. wild
    But once the south was out of the union, the north could pass federal laws facilitating setting up land grant public universities for smart farm boys who wanted to study technical subjects.

    Great, underappreciated point, Steve.

    Southerners thankfully came to their senses after the war. My GG Grandfather sent his son to the newly minted A and M school after the war that was being presided by his former general. My state finally had a school for the common man.

    Mixture of the liberal arts with practical industry, research focus, providing ag extension agents, partnerships with rural counties- the original conception of the land grant university is the summit of education, period.

    All sorts of big stuff in the social sciences got pioneered at land grant colleges, typically Big Ten ones in the upper Midwest.

  101. @Intelligent Dasein
    I agree. The original wording of the problem stipulated that the coin was fair. That means that the coin is fair, and that's that. Now, if Taleb's answer is to say "Yeah, but Fat Tony knows it really isn't," that's just complete bum-fuckery of the worst, context-killing kind.

    It's like stage magician saying "Okay, now everyone close your eyes."

    Imagine being this close and this unaware.

  102. @Intelligent Dasein
    I agree. The original wording of the problem stipulated that the coin was fair. That means that the coin is fair, and that's that. Now, if Taleb's answer is to say "Yeah, but Fat Tony knows it really isn't," that's just complete bum-fuckery of the worst, context-killing kind.

    It's like stage magician saying "Okay, now everyone close your eyes."

    His point is pretty straight-forward. Who you gunna believe, him or your lyin’ eyes? Witnessing a fair coin flip one way 99 times is a truly cosmic improbability. You’ve only been TOLD it’s a fair coin. More likely than that cosmic improbability is that you’re being lied to, or are simply mistaken in thinking it’s a fair coin. However, this raises the question, so what? So people lie? There are loaded coins? Are there really two types of people in the world, Dr. Johns and Fat Tonys? Probably not.

  103. “Fat Tony” represents stupid and fragile white guys. The opposite are Jews and other people of colour.

  104. @Sean
    Gotti led line managers who led made men in a Mafia family, who bossed average criminals, not only was was he two or three levels above street criminals, he had a meteoric and audacious career to reach that level . Anyway.

    New York Magazine - 23 Jun 1986 - Vol. 19, No. 25
    The New Godfather the rise of John Gotti by Michael Daly

    "He was a well-behaved inmate, and tests showed his IQ to be around 140"
     

    One thing that stands out about Gotti was what engaging talker and storyteller he was as even the FBI agents listening in on him had to admit. Hitler was not tested but in speeches he spoke his own words and to not inconsiderable effect. Hardly unreasonable to put him on the same plane as Gotti, or Fat Tony. It must be remembered that Fat Tony is a man of action like Gotti and er, Hitler (forgive me). Taleb's Fat Tony figured out the important things about the way the world works and successfully acted on it. A real world Fat Tony would need to be as smart as Gotti and it would show up in an IQ test too. To quote Fat Tony "Bullshit Tawks. Money Wawks".

    Gotti led line managers who led made men in a Mafia family, who bossed average criminals, not only was was he two or three levels above street criminals, he had a meteoric and audacious career to reach that level .

    Let’s see:

    92 IQ: Street thugs

    100 IQ: Supervising street thugs

    105: Supervising the supervisors

    110: Top guy

    Sounds about right….

    Anyway.

    New York Magazine – 23 Jun 1986 – Vol. 19, No. 25
    The New Godfather the rise of John Gotti by Michael Daly

    “He was a well-behaved inmate, and tests showed his IQ to be around 140″

    Sounds pretty vague. I’ll stick with the 110 IQ results from his High School :

    The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong. In Crime and Human Nature, James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein present data indicating that criminals have IQs clustered around 92, i.e., eight points below the national average. So Gotti’s modest test result is not an exception to the general rule about high scorers rising to the top.

    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1991/07/15/75242/inde

    One thing that stands out about Gotti was what engaging talker and storyteller he was as even the FBI agents listening in on him had to admit. Hitler was not tested but in speeches he spoke his own words and to not inconsiderable effect. Hardly unreasonable to put him on the same plane as Gotti, or Fat Tony.

    Since Hitler was running a nation whose mean IQ was a tad higher than 92, I would tend to think that his IQ was probably at least ten points higher than Gotti’s.

    • Replies: @Sean
    I have no problem with Hitler having an IQ 10 points above Gotti (ie of of 150). Alow me, if I may, to point out again that FBI agents listening in on his conversations despised him, but had to admit he was a beguiling conversationalist. And again, Gotti was not a standard leader of a mafia family, he had a meteoric rise to become an exceptionally powerful captain, then audaciously usurped power without asking the other families.

    Here is a Gotti made man


    Robert "DiB" DiBernardo (May 31, 1937 in Hewlett, New York – June 5, 1986) was a member of the Gambino crime family and one of John Gotti's subordinates, who was reputed to control much of the commercial pornography in the US. During the 1984 US presidential election, publicity about DiBernardo having rented business premises from the husband of Geraldine Ferraro embroiled her in damaging media innuendo about organized crime.
     
    Another, this one was a particular protege of Gotti.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/feb/17/pressandpublishing.dailyexpress

    Richard Martino, 45, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in a scam which is claimed to have netted the mafia $650m
     

    The statistics for criminals are actually statistics for prisoners, and Gotti was in prison more than once and tested officially more than once. The first test was in 1968 and he scored 14o. The book Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob By Howard Blum with assistance from the commander of the Federal anti-Gotti squad cites the FBI's own background file on Gotti for him having an IQ of 140.
  105. @J.Ross
    Wasn't there a cluster of improbably old Caucasians (which generated a Yoplait commercial) until someone realized that they were just using documentary dishonesty to avoid military service?

    About 50 years ago, when yogurt was becoming fashionable in America, you heard a lot about all the Armenian yogurt eaters over 100 years old. I think it turned out to be that to avoid the Czarist army’s 25 year conscription terms, a lot of young Armenians had assumed their fathers’ identities.

    • Replies: @danand
    That’s similar to what was, maybe still is, a std practice of Filipino immigrants to the “mainland”. They age a decade, or at least their documentation does, on the trip over. I’ve worked with many relatively youthful Filipino Social Security beneficiaries over the years. The majority of them were very pleasent, fun loving, individuals: I guess I can’t really fault them if it’s the normal/standard/expected practice?
  106. @Intelligent Dasein
    The whole "street smarts vs. book smarts" thing can easily become overwrought in the mind of insecure man. And you have to wonder about someone like Taleb, who makes his living in the academic field (or at least on the periphery thereof), excoriating his fellow bookworms simply for being what they are. Why beat up on such easy targets?

    I think most academics know that they are not street smart. They accept it; they don't go trying to fight Carlito Brigante on his own turf. The customary ethic of their own way of life demands a sort of resignation in the face of the forces and passions which govern the intercourse of the more earthy types. In return they have all the joys of an intellectual world, where they have significance and respect. They may never be taken for sexy beasts or high-rolling millionaires, but they can have wives and a decent living if they so desire them.

    Similarly, the real-life thugs don't go around beating up brainiacs, at least not after high school is over. There is no profit and no honor in it, so they don't bother. Furthermore, they eventually acquire a sort of respect for book smarts and those who have them, feeling like a big brother who needs to protect the nerds from the genuine creeps and psychos out there.

    But then you have guys like Taleb who, like Don Quixote fighting the funeral procession but without the romantic innocence, simply lays waste to his academic brethren (who are unprepared for these sorts of assaults) in a sadistic attempt to act tough. This more than anything else tells me that Taleb is behaving like a Dave Kleinfeld, thinking he can outsmart the gangsters and out-muscle the dorks.

    This is a very depraved, sick individual we are dealing with in Taleb, reveling in the power he wields over helpless victims. This should have been obvious from the very beginning. Nobody would write a book like Antifragile unless he were engaged in some sort of ritual desecration of those who aroused his envy. Such things are never, ever written about by those who embody them. A real man would be too busy being antifragile so that he could write about something else, he wouldn't be writing about antifragility.

    Taleb's star is setting. He will soon be revealed to all and sundry for the pathetic fraud that he is. Let him be ground down to dust. Let his children curse and despise him. Let his books be ignored and forgotten. To such a one as this not even politeness is owed. The sooner the world shuffles him off, the better.

    Snorlax’s reply to this comment is best, but let me take issue with something Intelligent Daein wrote:

    “I think most academics know that they are not street smart. They accept it…”

    I don’t think they do. In fact, they have a whole lot invested in the whole ‘smart is smart’ concept.

    If they had to admit that translating Plato from ancient Greek, calculating the path needed for a landing module to intercept one of Jupiter’s moons, or, as is most often the case, as certain verbal nimbleness (or bullshit artistry colloquially) could be translated to high achievement in other walks of life, they would have to admit they are no more talented or skilled than someone in the plumbing, carpentry or auto repair fields.

    • Replies: @South Texas Guy
    * Sorry. Sub the phrase 'high achievement' with 'high degree of common sense' in that final graf. That's still not exactly right, but it's late and bourbon is good.
  107. @South Texas Guy
    Snorlax's reply to this comment is best, but let me take issue with something Intelligent Daein wrote:

    "I think most academics know that they are not street smart. They accept it..."

    I don't think they do. In fact, they have a whole lot invested in the whole 'smart is smart' concept.

    If they had to admit that translating Plato from ancient Greek, calculating the path needed for a landing module to intercept one of Jupiter's moons, or, as is most often the case, as certain verbal nimbleness (or bullshit artistry colloquially) could be translated to high achievement in other walks of life, they would have to admit they are no more talented or skilled than someone in the plumbing, carpentry or auto repair fields.

    * Sorry. Sub the phrase ‘high achievement’ with ‘high degree of common sense’ in that final graf. That’s still not exactly right, but it’s late and bourbon is good.

  108. Sailer is so butthurt that a guy like Taleb, who truly knows statistics and probability— and not some watered-down BS social science understanding of it— pointed out what a fraud his psychometrics work is. It’s like Sailer has been building some little fort which his constantly reinforces and then one day a U.S. Army Abrams tanks comes rolling by and crushes his fort into nothing in no time. Sailer has no background in real science and/or math so he has no business even challenging someone like NNT. Sailer should’ve stuck to movie reviews.

  109. @Steve Sailer
    About 50 years ago, when yogurt was becoming fashionable in America, you heard a lot about all the Armenian yogurt eaters over 100 years old. I think it turned out to be that to avoid the Czarist army's 25 year conscription terms, a lot of young Armenians had assumed their fathers' identities.

    That’s similar to what was, maybe still is, a std practice of Filipino immigrants to the “mainland”. They age a decade, or at least their documentation does, on the trip over. I’ve worked with many relatively youthful Filipino Social Security beneficiaries over the years. The majority of them were very pleasent, fun loving, individuals: I guess I can’t really fault them if it’s the normal/standard/expected practice?

  110. @Anonymous

    Taleb’s star is setting. He will soon be revealed to all and sundry for the pathetic fraud that he is.
     
    Do any of his ideas and argument have merit?

    Do any of his ideas and argument have merit?

    I’m sure some of them do. The point is that they aren’t really his.

    One of the tricksiest and safest ways of attaining to unearned fame and fortune is simply to get out in front of some idea that is already percolating and pretend to be leading the movement. This is such a basic and deep-rooted temptation that it may not even feel like fraud, not even to the person committing it, who may very well believe that he is just seizing a legitimate opportunity.

    Only time will reveal, in such cases, that it was not the man who generated the movement with the power of his mind and soul, but the movement that tossed up the man like a bobbing cork upon the waves. The question is not whether the ideas are right or wrong, but whether the man is deep or shallow, a mover or a thing moved. Taleb seems to be losing the aura of a mover and is looking mire and more like a cork.

  111. @Nathan
    I'm not sure I get it. What do you mean a two sided test?

    A 150 IQ, in a normal population with a 100 average IQ and a 15 point standard deviation, is expected 1 in 2,330 times. If you select a random person, the odds that this person has a 150 IQ is 1 in 2,330.

    Point being that Reality is not a Stochastic Gaussian Process. The evolution of a process in Reality is interrupted by people who are messy, dishonest, forgetful and biased.

    If you assume your data has been provided by a error-free oracle, then proceed with the rational calculation. If on the other hand the data was collected by an over-worked grad student with no concern for ethical academic standards….

  112. @Joe Stalin
    Well hell, we got a bus in Chicago called "The Barrel Bus," so I can understand that Frenchie.

    https://www.thebarrelrun.com/

    Well hell, we got a bus in Chicago called “The Barrel Bus,” so I can understand that Frenchie.

    Calls to mind a certain Steppenwolf gatefold:

  113. @snorlax
    Taleb's point is an excellent one.

    Take the example of economists. They insist, fanatically, that free trade and immigration are beneficial policies because economic theory says (or "proves") so.

    But, those countries that have most liberalized trade and immigration over the past several decades have seen yearly GDP growth approximately cut in half over that time period, and large declines in many standard of living metrics for the left half of the income curve, which is literally and extremely visible simply by traveling anywhere outside of major cities and upper-middle-class communities in those countries.

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

    But do they reexamine whether the predictions of economic theory on those topics is in fact accurate? Or, more accurately, whether the entire field of economics is a crock? With vanishingly rare exception, they do not, and maintain their smug certitude on those and other topics.

    Another economics example: When examining the track record of the Federal Reserve (or insert central bank here), it stands out that they have, consistently, followed aggressively contractionary policies immediately prior to recessions, and aggressively inflationary policies during asset bubbles or periods of high inflation. This observed reality indicates that rather than following countercyclical policies, the Fed tends to exacerbate economic cycles, and this is likely because the factors they use to set policy, GDP growth and CPI, are in fact trailing indicators.

    Further, and particularly since Reagan, the Fed has a clear bias towards contractionary policies under GOP Presidents and inflationary policies under Democrats. This observed reality indicates that the Fed is not in fact independent of political considerations, and monetary policy would be more soundly set by an algorithm rather than human (and politically biased) economists.

    But do economists reexamine their assumptions on these issues? Although there are at least a few dissenters, who aren't let anywhere near the Fed, again the vast bulk do not nor even really understand why anyone might see a problem.

    Or take psychology and climatology. Papers and studies in those fields are shown to have severe methodological issues, to be outright falsified and/or not to be replicable far more often than is typical for other disciplines. Further, various theories in those fields, which were until recently the consensus (as a couple examples among several, Freudianism and "global cooling") have been proved to be complete falsehoods, based on utter nonsense all the way down.

    Does any of this cause psychologists or climatologists to reexamine their smug certitudes? Or, more accurately, whether the entire fields of psychology and climatology are crocks? Not at all.

    Intellectuals, yet idiots.

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

    Which is why Hong Kong has always been the poorest place in Asia.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Most American people would not know what [Republic of] Korea was without protectionism; now everyone has a Korean phone, and many have Korean cars and Korean entertainment products. Hong Kong wasn't anarchist, it was administered by Britain, and the British had a very sneaky understanding of "free trade."
    , @Romanian
    Hong Kong was an entrepot. It was (still, is, for some time, although Shanghai has surpassed it) a place designed to concentrate trade and finance for a much wider field. You cannot run a country the way you run (or ran) a city-state.
  114. @Romanian
    There is this video I want to leave here (also found it here, can't remember to whom I should give kudos).

    https://youtu.be/_J2VwFDV4-g

    I have a question, regarding Steve's last comment. Do you guys actually pay your soldiers well? As opposed to generals, of course. I keep reading opposite interpretations on the Internet - some people say yes, others say emphatically no.

    There is this video I want to leave here (also found it here, can’t remember to whom I should give kudos).

    Superb video!

  115. @Counterinsurgency
    Could you be a bit more specific? In any kind of feedback systems, time delay in system state estimation is a killer, and leads to instability. Think of pushing a swing when you don't know quite where is is -- you would push sometimes before the swing reached its high point, thus taking energy out of the system rather than putting it in, and the system would become erratic.
    Use of lagging indicators would do the same sort of thing. What's being done to look into that? Please? I'm interested.

    Counterinsurgency.

    Those considerations have come up in the debates over using monetary policy to smooth out the business cycle. Google some of the words I just used and you’ll get lots of good hits.

  116. @J.Ross
    Did you miss all the mass media-platformed economists defending NAFTA with first-year textbook nonsense ("protectionism is bad, mmkay") for a year?

    And that has what relevance for Snorlax’s blanket statement about the profession and its research programs?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    How many economists in your citations see NAFTA the way mid-westerners do, and have become vocal opponents of globalization? Is there even one? What sort of a career do they have now? Economists justify what the ruling caste wants to do using models and slanted readings of history. When George Borjas discovered that immigration was no longer the win-win situation he had celebrated decades earier (because of a shift in the type of people seeking to emigrate, as a result of improved opportunitues for qualified people at home), he was confronted by credentialled wind-up monkeys quoting his own older data to him.
  117. @Reg Cæsar

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

     

    Which is why Hong Kong has always been the poorest place in Asia.

    Most American people would not know what [Republic of] Korea was without protectionism; now everyone has a Korean phone, and many have Korean cars and Korean entertainment products. Hong Kong wasn’t anarchist, it was administered by Britain, and the British had a very sneaky understanding of “free trade.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    NO industrial nation anywhere was built without protectionism and none ever will be. It's always cheaper to import off the shelf than tool up, train and build a plant no matter how big the labor differential cost.
    , @Thom
    Very true.

    That nation has reaped wealth from brutal economic tariffs and trade protectionism, and spits in the face of bilateral trade reform.
  118. @J.Ross
    Most American people would not know what [Republic of] Korea was without protectionism; now everyone has a Korean phone, and many have Korean cars and Korean entertainment products. Hong Kong wasn't anarchist, it was administered by Britain, and the British had a very sneaky understanding of "free trade."

    NO industrial nation anywhere was built without protectionism and none ever will be. It’s always cheaper to import off the shelf than tool up, train and build a plant no matter how big the labor differential cost.

  119. @International Jew
    And that has what relevance for Snorlax's blanket statement about the profession and its research programs?

    How many economists in your citations see NAFTA the way mid-westerners do, and have become vocal opponents of globalization? Is there even one? What sort of a career do they have now? Economists justify what the ruling caste wants to do using models and slanted readings of history. When George Borjas discovered that immigration was no longer the win-win situation he had celebrated decades earier (because of a shift in the type of people seeking to emigrate, as a result of improved opportunitues for qualified people at home), he was confronted by credentialled wind-up monkeys quoting his own older data to him.

  120. @Stan d Mute

    Propagandize for a living? Work at the local recruitment office? Nobody’s buying it.
     
    Right on, because who’s gonna know more about military pay - a wise old spinster from St Mary Mead or a blog full of ex-military guys plus a handful of published sources on the topic?

    You tell ‘em sister!

    Just when did this get to be a blog full of ex military?

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
    You’re supposed to be adept at following clues, maybe you need some new reading glasses dear?
    , @J.Ross
    One of my favorite things about the 2016 election campaign online was CTR trying to intimidate Trump supporters by calling them basement teenagers, and we would start talking about military service and/or sabotage-enabling trade skills. Do you people not remember demanding, and getting, an illegal and economy-wrecking war, without end and based on lies?
    , @Counterinsurgency
    When the political situation became became dire. The "march through the institutions" was always an insurgency, by definition. It's only near novelty was the idea of becoming the institution and then changing everything in a revolutionary way, and that idea was arguably held by the Progressives. At base, it's just the French Revolution warmed over for the nth time.
    And now we're in the end game, where the institutions have been marched through, the base population is told that its days are numbered, and foreign insurgents ("young men of military age", as the media says) are crossing the borders at about a million per year. Shadow governments, with their on political paramilitary forces (antifa), run perhaps most of the larger cities (SMSAs) and are telling the Feds that the Feds don't have jurisdiction in their cities anymore. California is close to or has a shadow government in defiance of the Feds.
    Trump is playing either Marius or Sulla, take your pick. An executive that sides with the base population often, not always, has a good chance of winning.
    So we're down to a standard insurgency / counterinsurgency situation, which has been a staple of military theory and interest since the 1960s. _Of course_ the military people are discussing it. It's interesting, and its also their neck too. And they're doing it here because they can and because it might do some good.

    Counterinsurgency
  121. @ATate
    Regale us with your experience then! Fill us in on the true remuneration of active duty military.

    @Nathan already linked to a pay calculator. Here's a few more;

    https://militarypay.defense.gov/Calculators/RMC-Calculator/

    http://www.militarypaycalc.com/

    The "out in town" that you're too dumb to pick up on includes additional "benefits" for enlisted and officer in the form of two allowances. BAH for housing (based on location it varies a great deal) which can be well over $10K and up. The other is BAS (Food basically, since you're no longer eating on base at the chow hall for free) and is a couple of hundred a month depending. Both of those are tax free.

    Some branches are a little lax with the recruitment of "criminal records" but you'd be surprised at who cannot get in. In fact the vast majority are unable to qualify for the military to the tune of over 70%; http://time.com/2938158/youth-fail-to-qualify-military-service/

    Nodoby is buying it? No the simpleton's who can't be bothered to do 5 minutes of research are unable to "buy it".

    Like I said, It's a secret that few are aware of and willing to take advantage of. I'm not retired, just served a couple of enlistments in the Marine Corps. Got a TS clearance and some money for school.

    I shout it from the rooftops.

    If a half wit white lower class mediocrity like me can get in and prosper and get 2 Bachelor's degrees and be on my way to earning a second Master's degree all with ZERO DEBT-while simultaneously being gainfully employed in such a way that allows me to provide for my family, save for retirement and have a bit of disposable income too...well plenty of "bozos" can use the path just like me. So yeah, I think it's pretty great and for some kids can make a lifetime of difference. I'm passionate about it. And I profit nothing from it other than perhaps sparking an interest in someone or even heaven forbid getting people to do a bit of research about it (present company excluded, since you clearly have it already figured out).

    Getting someone to look into it as not a last option but THE go to option, for many people like me

    By the by, what's your guidance and advice to kids 17-and up?

    Obviously, you’re leaving important information out. You also admit to being average so you know your information is incomplete. And I’d advise 17 year olds to avoid being corrupted by military culture but also to avoid frivolous college majors. It’s dangerous when government jobs pay more than private sector in this country. Such a situation weakens our economy and erodes our political ideals.

    • Replies: @South Texas Guy
    The military isn't the end all and be all, and a lot of the opportunities they rave about just don't exist in the civillian world (I knew an army medic who still had to go to EMT school to get a job), but I can say that as someone who put on a uniform at 17-years old, I don't regret it a bit.

    You go from being a high school puke to being a man doing man things. Plus the paycheck and the bennies. As a career, it's not for everyone, but for the few years I spent in it, I have very few regrets.
    , @ATate
    What important information am I leaving out? Speak up lady.

    You should add your wise all knowing intel to my incomplete knowledge.

    Jesus Christ.
  122. @miss marple
    Obviously, you're leaving important information out. You also admit to being average so you know your information is incomplete. And I'd advise 17 year olds to avoid being corrupted by military culture but also to avoid frivolous college majors. It's dangerous when government jobs pay more than private sector in this country. Such a situation weakens our economy and erodes our political ideals.

    The military isn’t the end all and be all, and a lot of the opportunities they rave about just don’t exist in the civillian world (I knew an army medic who still had to go to EMT school to get a job), but I can say that as someone who put on a uniform at 17-years old, I don’t regret it a bit.

    You go from being a high school puke to being a man doing man things. Plus the paycheck and the bennies. As a career, it’s not for everyone, but for the few years I spent in it, I have very few regrets.

  123. @Counterinsurgency
    Leaders IQ has to be somewhere near their follower's IQ, preferably above, so that they can communicate about abstractions. My rule of thumb is that communication becomes very difficult over a gap of more than 20 points. Pick your own from personal experience, but I'll use 20 points here. Example: Linus Pauling was never going to be politician, nor would an of the IQ 80 recruits mentioned in other posts, because their abstractions are not comprehensible to the bulk of political participants.
    So: Hitler has to write a book that appeals to the average reader/opinion leader, who can explain it to those who don't read. Hitler has to give speeches that at least seem to make sense (emotional and rational). If he things in terms of differential equations, he's out of politics.
    Assuming IQ 110 for opinion leaders (lead opinions from IQ 110 to IQ 90, the bulk of the population, including street fighters), that puts a limit of IQ 130 for Hitler. He has to communicate using the same abstractions ("place in the sun", "blood of the Folk", "Welfare of the Folk") the opinion leaders are using, so Hitler wouldn't be at 130, where communication is difficult, maybe at 120, 125, that range. This lets him communicate with his higher IQ planners _and_ the opinion leaders.

    Now, let's take another case, one more like that of the criminals: Southern slave owners, 1840s. _Their IQ is limited by their slaves' IQ_, same reason as Hitler's IQ was limited. For small Plantation owners and standard IQ,, that's an IQ of maybe 90. If the Plantation owner has a supervisor, that puts the plantation's absolute max IQ up to 110 before he lose contact with a supervisor who is near losing contact with the slaves. In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart -- obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
    Ever wonder why the South didn't support universities, and the Yankees did? Theology and high tech manufacturing industries both reward intelligence to some extent. Slavery, on either side, doesn't.
    For further applications, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Plunkitt, and especially selections from Plunket's method of operation, available at Project Gutenberg and recorded in a political classic book: William L. Riordon; Terrence J. McDonald (15 November 1993). Plunkitt of Tammany Hall. Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 978-0-312-08444-8.
    Tammany is credited by many as having passed the initial legislation for our current Welfare state. Once that was done, Tammany was made obsolete by the bureaucracy it had legislatively created.

    Counterinsurgency

    All wrong.

  124. @syonredux

    Gotti led line managers who led made men in a Mafia family, who bossed average criminals, not only was was he two or three levels above street criminals, he had a meteoric and audacious career to reach that level .
     
    Let's see:

    92 IQ: Street thugs

    100 IQ: Supervising street thugs

    105: Supervising the supervisors

    110: Top guy

    Sounds about right....


    Anyway.


    New York Magazine – 23 Jun 1986 – Vol. 19, No. 25
    The New Godfather the rise of John Gotti by Michael Daly

    “He was a well-behaved inmate, and tests showed his IQ to be around 140″
     
    Sounds pretty vague. I'll stick with the 110 IQ results from his High School :

    The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong. In Crime and Human Nature, James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein present data indicating that criminals have IQs clustered around 92, i.e., eight points below the national average. So Gotti’s modest test result is not an exception to the general rule about high scorers rising to the top.
     
    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1991/07/15/75242/inde

    One thing that stands out about Gotti was what engaging talker and storyteller he was as even the FBI agents listening in on him had to admit. Hitler was not tested but in speeches he spoke his own words and to not inconsiderable effect. Hardly unreasonable to put him on the same plane as Gotti, or Fat Tony.

     

    Since Hitler was running a nation whose mean IQ was a tad higher than 92, I would tend to think that his IQ was probably at least ten points higher than Gotti's.

    I have no problem with Hitler having an IQ 10 points above Gotti (ie of of 150). Alow me, if I may, to point out again that FBI agents listening in on his conversations despised him, but had to admit he was a beguiling conversationalist. And again, Gotti was not a standard leader of a mafia family, he had a meteoric rise to become an exceptionally powerful captain, then audaciously usurped power without asking the other families.

    Here is a Gotti made man

    Robert “DiB” DiBernardo (May 31, 1937 in Hewlett, New York – June 5, 1986) was a member of the Gambino crime family and one of John Gotti’s subordinates, who was reputed to control much of the commercial pornography in the US. During the 1984 US presidential election, publicity about DiBernardo having rented business premises from the husband of Geraldine Ferraro embroiled her in damaging media innuendo about organized crime.

    Another, this one was a particular protege of Gotti.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/feb/17/pressandpublishing.dailyexpress

    Richard Martino, 45, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in a scam which is claimed to have netted the mafia $650m

    The statistics for criminals are actually statistics for prisoners, and Gotti was in prison more than once and tested officially more than once. The first test was in 1968 and he scored 14o. The book Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob By Howard Blum with assistance from the commander of the Federal anti-Gotti squad cites the FBI’s own background file on Gotti for him having an IQ of 140.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My recollection is that the late Dan Seligman mentioned that John Gotti had tested at 110 IQ. Where did he get that number?
    , @syonredux

    I have no problem with Hitler having an IQ 10 points above Gotti (ie of of 150). Alow me, if I may, to point out again that FBI agents listening in on his conversations despised him, but had to admit he was a beguiling conversationalist.
     
    Stupid people (e.g., Muhammad Ali) can be good conversationalists.

    And again, Gotti was not a standard leader of a mafia family, he had a meteoric rise to become an exceptionally powerful captain, then audaciously usurped power without asking the other families
     
    .

    Which means that he out-maneuvered a bunch of not terribly bright people....

    The statistics for criminals are actually statistics for prisoners, and Gotti was in prison more than once and tested officially more than once. The first test was in 1968 and he scored 14o. The book Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob By Howard Blum with assistance from the commander of the Federal anti-Gotti squad cites the FBI’s own background file on Gotti for him having an IQ of 140.
     
    So, between High School and 1968 (Gotti was born in 1940) his IQ grew by 30 points? Sounds dubious to me...
    , @syonredux

    The first test was in 1968 and he scored 14o. The book Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob By Howard Blum with assistance from the commander of the Federal anti-Gotti squad cites the FBI’s own background file on Gotti for him having an IQ of 140.

     

    Just Googled the book. It says that Gotti's High School score was 140:


    https://books.google.com/books?id=2KKKKEouo9oC&pg=PA62&dq=Gangland:+How+the+FBI+Broke+the+Mob+By+Howard+Blum+iq&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXgJCQysPfAhXmv1QKHS87BWsQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=Gangland%3A%20How%20the%20FBI%20Broke%20the%20Mob%20By%20Howard%20Blum%20iq&f=false

    In contrast, Gene Mustain andJerry Capeci's Mob Star: The Story of John Gotti agrees with the 110 IQ that I cited upthread and states that the 140 IQ claim was just something that he told people....

    https://books.google.com/books?id=QbDFyjuaQGYC&pg=PT104&dq=gotti+iq&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_s-q-y8PfAhWEDnwKHUMFAZ8Q6AEIOTAD#v=onepage&q=gotti%20iq&f=false
  125. @Sean
    I have no problem with Hitler having an IQ 10 points above Gotti (ie of of 150). Alow me, if I may, to point out again that FBI agents listening in on his conversations despised him, but had to admit he was a beguiling conversationalist. And again, Gotti was not a standard leader of a mafia family, he had a meteoric rise to become an exceptionally powerful captain, then audaciously usurped power without asking the other families.

    Here is a Gotti made man


    Robert "DiB" DiBernardo (May 31, 1937 in Hewlett, New York – June 5, 1986) was a member of the Gambino crime family and one of John Gotti's subordinates, who was reputed to control much of the commercial pornography in the US. During the 1984 US presidential election, publicity about DiBernardo having rented business premises from the husband of Geraldine Ferraro embroiled her in damaging media innuendo about organized crime.
     
    Another, this one was a particular protege of Gotti.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/feb/17/pressandpublishing.dailyexpress

    Richard Martino, 45, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in a scam which is claimed to have netted the mafia $650m
     

    The statistics for criminals are actually statistics for prisoners, and Gotti was in prison more than once and tested officially more than once. The first test was in 1968 and he scored 14o. The book Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob By Howard Blum with assistance from the commander of the Federal anti-Gotti squad cites the FBI's own background file on Gotti for him having an IQ of 140.

    My recollection is that the late Dan Seligman mentioned that John Gotti had tested at 110 IQ. Where did he get that number?

    • Replies: @Sean
    It was real enough that low test. The earliest test of Gotti's IQ was maybe much less publicized. I think the cops got a bit sick of the Goodfella's thing. Anyway, They test your IQ when you're start a prison sentence and Gotti was tested a few times. That 110 was about his last test and apart from being older and fatter, I dare say with 23 hours a day locked in a tiny cell with one shower a week for the rest of his life to look forward to, his performance was perfunctory. Most mafioso are really stupid, but Gotti was the wunderkind of the whole organisation.

    People think that having high intelligence will make one nerdy, that is only true for the type of specialized intellect that results from associative mating as when people in MIT meet and marry (and increasingly end up with autistic spectrum traits in their children), but Gotti was one of 13 children of a day labourer. He got the type of general intelligence that can learn quickly from experience. Like Fat Tony he did not virtue signal, preferring to take the risk of starting a profit making enterprise -- one where guys who escape from the trunk of your car are unfortunately not not claimable as a business loss

  126. @miss marple
    Just when did this get to be a blog full of ex military?

    You’re supposed to be adept at following clues, maybe you need some new reading glasses dear?

  127. @Counterinsurgency
    Leaders IQ has to be somewhere near their follower's IQ, preferably above, so that they can communicate about abstractions. My rule of thumb is that communication becomes very difficult over a gap of more than 20 points. Pick your own from personal experience, but I'll use 20 points here. Example: Linus Pauling was never going to be politician, nor would an of the IQ 80 recruits mentioned in other posts, because their abstractions are not comprehensible to the bulk of political participants.
    So: Hitler has to write a book that appeals to the average reader/opinion leader, who can explain it to those who don't read. Hitler has to give speeches that at least seem to make sense (emotional and rational). If he things in terms of differential equations, he's out of politics.
    Assuming IQ 110 for opinion leaders (lead opinions from IQ 110 to IQ 90, the bulk of the population, including street fighters), that puts a limit of IQ 130 for Hitler. He has to communicate using the same abstractions ("place in the sun", "blood of the Folk", "Welfare of the Folk") the opinion leaders are using, so Hitler wouldn't be at 130, where communication is difficult, maybe at 120, 125, that range. This lets him communicate with his higher IQ planners _and_ the opinion leaders.

    Now, let's take another case, one more like that of the criminals: Southern slave owners, 1840s. _Their IQ is limited by their slaves' IQ_, same reason as Hitler's IQ was limited. For small Plantation owners and standard IQ,, that's an IQ of maybe 90. If the Plantation owner has a supervisor, that puts the plantation's absolute max IQ up to 110 before he lose contact with a supervisor who is near losing contact with the slaves. In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart -- obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
    Ever wonder why the South didn't support universities, and the Yankees did? Theology and high tech manufacturing industries both reward intelligence to some extent. Slavery, on either side, doesn't.
    For further applications, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Plunkitt, and especially selections from Plunket's method of operation, available at Project Gutenberg and recorded in a political classic book: William L. Riordon; Terrence J. McDonald (15 November 1993). Plunkitt of Tammany Hall. Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 978-0-312-08444-8.
    Tammany is credited by many as having passed the initial legislation for our current Welfare state. Once that was done, Tammany was made obsolete by the bureaucracy it had legislatively created.

    Counterinsurgency

    Regarding what slavery rewarded,

    Stephen Duncan (March 4, 1787 – January 29, 1867) became a major planter and banker in Mississippi in the antebellum years, migrating there from his home state of Pennsylvania after getting a medical degree. He became the wealthiest cotton planter in the South prior to the American Civil War,

    Nathan Bedford Forrest is well known as a Civil War commander (Joseph Johnston said Forrest would have been “the great central figure of the war had he the benefit of a military education”), but not only had he discover the probing for weak points followed by high tempo attack that in all times and places has been the military spear of destiny, Forrest was a genuine business genius who starting from nothing had amassed a fortune comparable to Duncan’s by the begining of the war.

    Anyway, private first class Adolph trained a terrier to perform tricks and even wild animals can be trained by humans, despite the disparity in understanding of what the purpose of their training is. There is something in what you say, inasmuch William Shockely (IQ of 125-129) was quite unsuccessful as a project manager. I suspect he was unable to get on the wavelength of his higher IQ subordinates, or put it another way people expect their boss to be really smart and are insubordinate if he is is not, Intelligence is general as Robert Plomin says, and it’s very easy to get an idea whether someone is above or below one’s level from conversation. The origin of intelligence must have been something like what Robin Dunbar suggests: there to build relationships through social grooming.

    My rule of thumb is that communication becomes very difficult over a gap of more than 20 points.

    Two way communication, yes. That would be what Alasdair MacIntyre calls “conversational justice”, similar to the balance that Taleb in Skin In The Game cites
    The Book of the Courtier
    advocating, whereby no one is dominating the exchanges.

    Hitler, however, was not up there on the podium kibitzing, he was trying to get his ideas across, sowing memes and about Jews and winning the next war, but above all demonstrating his sky high intelligence to establish that he was someone worth following. Doctor Goebbels (“Such a sparkling mind can be my leader. I bow to the greater one , the political genius”) is perhaps too discredited but let me give you some appreciation of Hitler at his peak from someone of quite respectable intelligence and experience of elite minds and who was critical of Hitler by the time he wrote- Egon Hangstaengl

    No one who judges his abilities as a speaker by his performances in his later years can have any true insight into his gifts … In his early years he had a command of voice, phrase and effect which have never been equaled

    And Hitler spoke his own words, not a speechwriter’s (Norman Mailer is said to have had an IQ of 170).

    In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart — obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.

    They got progressively less smart for reasons that should be obvious if you look at Jefferson Davis and his lady love.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    That image is a famous fake.
  128. @Steve Sailer
    My recollection is that the late Dan Seligman mentioned that John Gotti had tested at 110 IQ. Where did he get that number?

    It was real enough that low test. The earliest test of Gotti’s IQ was maybe much less publicized. I think the cops got a bit sick of the Goodfella’s thing. Anyway, They test your IQ when you’re start a prison sentence and Gotti was tested a few times. That 110 was about his last test and apart from being older and fatter, I dare say with 23 hours a day locked in a tiny cell with one shower a week for the rest of his life to look forward to, his performance was perfunctory. Most mafioso are really stupid, but Gotti was the wunderkind of the whole organisation.

    People think that having high intelligence will make one nerdy, that is only true for the type of specialized intellect that results from associative mating as when people in MIT meet and marry (and increasingly end up with autistic spectrum traits in their children), but Gotti was one of 13 children of a day labourer. He got the type of general intelligence that can learn quickly from experience. Like Fat Tony he did not virtue signal, preferring to take the risk of starting a profit making enterprise — one where guys who escape from the trunk of your car are unfortunately not not claimable as a business loss

    • Replies: @syonredux

    It was real enough that low test. The earliest test of Gotti’s IQ was maybe much less publicized. I think the cops got a bit sick of the Goodfella’s thing. Anyway, They test your IQ when you’re start a prison sentence and Gotti was tested a few times. That 110 was about his last test and apart from being older and fatter, I dare say with 23 hours a day locked in a tiny cell with one shower a week for the rest of his life to look forward to, his performance was perfunctory.
     
    The 110 score was from a test taken in High School....

    The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong. In Crime and Human Nature, James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein present data indicating that criminals have IQs clustered around 92, i.e., eight points below the national average. So Gotti’s modest test result is not an exception to the general rule about high scorers rising to the top.
     
    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1991/07/15/75242/inde

    Most mafioso are really stupid, but Gotti was the wunderkind of the whole organisation.
     
    If the people around you are really stupid, being a wunderkind doesn't take much.....I remember reading once about how Meyer Lansky's cronies were impressed by the fact that he belonged to the Book-of-the-Month Club....
  129. @miss marple
    Obviously, you're leaving important information out. You also admit to being average so you know your information is incomplete. And I'd advise 17 year olds to avoid being corrupted by military culture but also to avoid frivolous college majors. It's dangerous when government jobs pay more than private sector in this country. Such a situation weakens our economy and erodes our political ideals.

    What important information am I leaving out? Speak up lady.

    You should add your wise all knowing intel to my incomplete knowledge.

    Jesus Christ.

  130. @Kyle
    I don’t get it. Obviously if the coin is fair, the 100th flip will be 50 -50 .
    It doesn’t matter what the previous 99 flips are, they may as well have not even happened. The probability of a coin flipping heads is 50-50. It always will be, it can’t be anything but. That’s the correct answer.

    The odds of a fair coin being heads 99 times in a row is about 634 octillion to 1. For comparison, that’s larger than the ratio of the circumference of a proton to the circumference of the Earth—about 457 octillion to one.

    A 634 octillion to 1 event cannot occur. Cannot. It is not possible.

    A real-world example of an event that is considered so astronomically improbable that it cannot ever occur is randomly generating the same UUID (universally unique identifier) twice, which is known as a “collision.”

    The number of UUIDs you would need to randomly generate before there is a 50% probability of at least one collision is about 2.71 quintillion.

    The number of times you would need to flip a fair coin before there is a 50% probability of there being at least one sequence of either heads or tails 99 or more times in a row is about 220 octillion.

    220 octillion: 220,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
    2.71 quintillion:                             2,710,000,000,000,000,000

    220 octillion is 81.2 billion (81,200,000,000) times larger than 2.71 quintillion.

    If there is ever a collision between randomly generated UUIDs, that can only mean that they were not, in fact, randomly generated. The assumption that they were randomly generated was faulty.

    That goes double, or rather 81.2 billion times more, for a fair coin showing heads or tails 99 times in a row. That can only mean it is not a fair coin. The assumption that it is a fair coin is faulty.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    Well-expressed - it's of a piece with my assertion that a 'string' of unbroken 100+ profitable trades, by its very existence, should lead to a comprehensive rejection of the hypothesis that securities returns follow a random walk.

    And yet I've done that twice, across 20 instruments (Index ETFs, Bond ETFs, Currency ETFs, and Commodity ETFs). 111 consecutive 'wins' over a course of 2 months in the first instance, and 163 (over the course of a year) in the second.

    First time was in 2015 (between 20150818 and 20151028) - I won $10k on a bet that well-timed contrarianism would always beat trend-followers. (I refer to it as a 'bet', but it wasn't really. I don't 'bet', because bets have a negative expected return, whereas Pr(I would win) was always exactly 100%).

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5ptpfpgg8tjpw03/Summary%2020150818%20to%2020151028.png?dl=1

    Second time was in 2016-2017 (between 20160204 and 20170204)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wezfefmaum80qmx/Summary%2020160204%20to%2020170204.png?dl=1


    Small accounts both times (in fact the same account).

    (Note to anyone who wants to verify that these were actual executed, trades: I'll happily put you in touch with the broking firm that held the account)
  131. @Intelligent Dasein
    I agree. The original wording of the problem stipulated that the coin was fair. That means that the coin is fair, and that's that. Now, if Taleb's answer is to say "Yeah, but Fat Tony knows it really isn't," that's just complete bum-fuckery of the worst, context-killing kind.

    It's like stage magician saying "Okay, now everyone close your eyes."
  132. @J.Ross
    Most American people would not know what [Republic of] Korea was without protectionism; now everyone has a Korean phone, and many have Korean cars and Korean entertainment products. Hong Kong wasn't anarchist, it was administered by Britain, and the British had a very sneaky understanding of "free trade."

    Very true.

    That nation has reaped wealth from brutal economic tariffs and trade protectionism, and spits in the face of bilateral trade reform.

  133. @Sean
    I have no problem with Hitler having an IQ 10 points above Gotti (ie of of 150). Alow me, if I may, to point out again that FBI agents listening in on his conversations despised him, but had to admit he was a beguiling conversationalist. And again, Gotti was not a standard leader of a mafia family, he had a meteoric rise to become an exceptionally powerful captain, then audaciously usurped power without asking the other families.

    Here is a Gotti made man


    Robert "DiB" DiBernardo (May 31, 1937 in Hewlett, New York – June 5, 1986) was a member of the Gambino crime family and one of John Gotti's subordinates, who was reputed to control much of the commercial pornography in the US. During the 1984 US presidential election, publicity about DiBernardo having rented business premises from the husband of Geraldine Ferraro embroiled her in damaging media innuendo about organized crime.
     
    Another, this one was a particular protege of Gotti.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/feb/17/pressandpublishing.dailyexpress

    Richard Martino, 45, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in a scam which is claimed to have netted the mafia $650m
     

    The statistics for criminals are actually statistics for prisoners, and Gotti was in prison more than once and tested officially more than once. The first test was in 1968 and he scored 14o. The book Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob By Howard Blum with assistance from the commander of the Federal anti-Gotti squad cites the FBI's own background file on Gotti for him having an IQ of 140.

    I have no problem with Hitler having an IQ 10 points above Gotti (ie of of 150). Alow me, if I may, to point out again that FBI agents listening in on his conversations despised him, but had to admit he was a beguiling conversationalist.

    Stupid people (e.g., Muhammad Ali) can be good conversationalists.

    And again, Gotti was not a standard leader of a mafia family, he had a meteoric rise to become an exceptionally powerful captain, then audaciously usurped power without asking the other families

    .

    Which means that he out-maneuvered a bunch of not terribly bright people….

    The statistics for criminals are actually statistics for prisoners, and Gotti was in prison more than once and tested officially more than once. The first test was in 1968 and he scored 14o. The book Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob By Howard Blum with assistance from the commander of the Federal anti-Gotti squad cites the FBI’s own background file on Gotti for him having an IQ of 140.

    So, between High School and 1968 (Gotti was born in 1940) his IQ grew by 30 points? Sounds dubious to me…

  134. @Sean
    It was real enough that low test. The earliest test of Gotti's IQ was maybe much less publicized. I think the cops got a bit sick of the Goodfella's thing. Anyway, They test your IQ when you're start a prison sentence and Gotti was tested a few times. That 110 was about his last test and apart from being older and fatter, I dare say with 23 hours a day locked in a tiny cell with one shower a week for the rest of his life to look forward to, his performance was perfunctory. Most mafioso are really stupid, but Gotti was the wunderkind of the whole organisation.

    People think that having high intelligence will make one nerdy, that is only true for the type of specialized intellect that results from associative mating as when people in MIT meet and marry (and increasingly end up with autistic spectrum traits in their children), but Gotti was one of 13 children of a day labourer. He got the type of general intelligence that can learn quickly from experience. Like Fat Tony he did not virtue signal, preferring to take the risk of starting a profit making enterprise -- one where guys who escape from the trunk of your car are unfortunately not not claimable as a business loss

    It was real enough that low test. The earliest test of Gotti’s IQ was maybe much less publicized. I think the cops got a bit sick of the Goodfella’s thing. Anyway, They test your IQ when you’re start a prison sentence and Gotti was tested a few times. That 110 was about his last test and apart from being older and fatter, I dare say with 23 hours a day locked in a tiny cell with one shower a week for the rest of his life to look forward to, his performance was perfunctory.

    The 110 score was from a test taken in High School….

    The only gangster whose IQ we have come across is John Gotti, who weighed in at 110 when tested at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, an institution in which he did not linger overlong. In Crime and Human Nature, James Q. Wilson and Richard J. Herrnstein present data indicating that criminals have IQs clustered around 92, i.e., eight points below the national average. So Gotti’s modest test result is not an exception to the general rule about high scorers rising to the top.

    http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1991/07/15/75242/inde

    Most mafioso are really stupid, but Gotti was the wunderkind of the whole organisation.

    If the people around you are really stupid, being a wunderkind doesn’t take much…..I remember reading once about how Meyer Lansky’s cronies were impressed by the fact that he belonged to the Book-of-the-Month Club….

  135. @Sean
    I have no problem with Hitler having an IQ 10 points above Gotti (ie of of 150). Alow me, if I may, to point out again that FBI agents listening in on his conversations despised him, but had to admit he was a beguiling conversationalist. And again, Gotti was not a standard leader of a mafia family, he had a meteoric rise to become an exceptionally powerful captain, then audaciously usurped power without asking the other families.

    Here is a Gotti made man


    Robert "DiB" DiBernardo (May 31, 1937 in Hewlett, New York – June 5, 1986) was a member of the Gambino crime family and one of John Gotti's subordinates, who was reputed to control much of the commercial pornography in the US. During the 1984 US presidential election, publicity about DiBernardo having rented business premises from the husband of Geraldine Ferraro embroiled her in damaging media innuendo about organized crime.
     
    Another, this one was a particular protege of Gotti.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/feb/17/pressandpublishing.dailyexpress

    Richard Martino, 45, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in a scam which is claimed to have netted the mafia $650m
     

    The statistics for criminals are actually statistics for prisoners, and Gotti was in prison more than once and tested officially more than once. The first test was in 1968 and he scored 14o. The book Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob By Howard Blum with assistance from the commander of the Federal anti-Gotti squad cites the FBI's own background file on Gotti for him having an IQ of 140.

    The first test was in 1968 and he scored 14o. The book Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob By Howard Blum with assistance from the commander of the Federal anti-Gotti squad cites the FBI’s own background file on Gotti for him having an IQ of 140.

    Just Googled the book. It says that Gotti’s High School score was 140:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=2KKKKEouo9oC&pg=PA62&dq=Gangland:+How+the+FBI+Broke+the+Mob+By+Howard+Blum+iq&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXgJCQysPfAhXmv1QKHS87BWsQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=Gangland%3A%20How%20the%20FBI%20Broke%20the%20Mob%20By%20Howard%20Blum%20iq&f=false

    In contrast, Gene Mustain andJerry Capeci’s Mob Star: The Story of John Gotti agrees with the 110 IQ that I cited upthread and states that the 140 IQ claim was just something that he told people….

    https://books.google.com/books?id=QbDFyjuaQGYC&pg=PT104&dq=gotti+iq&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_s-q-y8PfAhWEDnwKHUMFAZ8Q6AEIOTAD#v=onepage&q=gotti%20iq&f=false

    • Replies: @Sean
    I cannot imagine Gotti boasting about his IQ to anyone. There is no question that a magazine article at the height of Gottis fame which does not cite its sources, and the author of a much later book I cited which was clearly written with the assistance of J. Bruce Mouw who was was the Supervisor of Sqaud C-16 tasked with getting Gotti and goes into exhaustive detail said Gotti had tested 140 in an IQ test. The confusion about when and where may be deliberate because the FBI were not supposed to have access to his high school test results, or maybe the prison objected to details of his 1968 results being publicized, or Mouw wanted deniability. You just Googled it? Making a fool of me, eh?
  136. @Counterinsurgency
    Leaders IQ has to be somewhere near their follower's IQ, preferably above, so that they can communicate about abstractions. My rule of thumb is that communication becomes very difficult over a gap of more than 20 points. Pick your own from personal experience, but I'll use 20 points here. Example: Linus Pauling was never going to be politician, nor would an of the IQ 80 recruits mentioned in other posts, because their abstractions are not comprehensible to the bulk of political participants.
    So: Hitler has to write a book that appeals to the average reader/opinion leader, who can explain it to those who don't read. Hitler has to give speeches that at least seem to make sense (emotional and rational). If he things in terms of differential equations, he's out of politics.
    Assuming IQ 110 for opinion leaders (lead opinions from IQ 110 to IQ 90, the bulk of the population, including street fighters), that puts a limit of IQ 130 for Hitler. He has to communicate using the same abstractions ("place in the sun", "blood of the Folk", "Welfare of the Folk") the opinion leaders are using, so Hitler wouldn't be at 130, where communication is difficult, maybe at 120, 125, that range. This lets him communicate with his higher IQ planners _and_ the opinion leaders.

    Now, let's take another case, one more like that of the criminals: Southern slave owners, 1840s. _Their IQ is limited by their slaves' IQ_, same reason as Hitler's IQ was limited. For small Plantation owners and standard IQ,, that's an IQ of maybe 90. If the Plantation owner has a supervisor, that puts the plantation's absolute max IQ up to 110 before he lose contact with a supervisor who is near losing contact with the slaves. In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart -- obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
    Ever wonder why the South didn't support universities, and the Yankees did? Theology and high tech manufacturing industries both reward intelligence to some extent. Slavery, on either side, doesn't.
    For further applications, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Plunkitt, and especially selections from Plunket's method of operation, available at Project Gutenberg and recorded in a political classic book: William L. Riordon; Terrence J. McDonald (15 November 1993). Plunkitt of Tammany Hall. Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 978-0-312-08444-8.
    Tammany is credited by many as having passed the initial legislation for our current Welfare state. Once that was done, Tammany was made obsolete by the bureaucracy it had legislatively created.

    Counterinsurgency

    Intelligent people do not have difficulty communicating with unintelligent people. It is difficult to explain a complex, g-loaded topic to an unintelligent person, but that’s just the definition of intelligence. Intelligent people may also have Aspergian traits that hinder their communication skills in general, but that’s correlated with, not caused by IQ.

    The lowest-common denominator and extremely popular UK tabloid The Sun, whose house style is to write all stories at a third-grade reading level, hires almost only Oxford and Cambridge graduates.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    And Sun journalists are Oxbridge-educated because, counterintuitively, it's very g-loaded to write stories the left half of the IQ curve understand and won't find confusing.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    Intelligent people do not have difficulty communicating with unintelligent people. It is difficult to explain a complex, g-loaded topic to an unintelligent person, but that’s just the definition of intelligence.
     
    So they do not have difficulty communicating it, but the recipient can't understand what intelligent people are communicating.

    You should check the definition of communication again.
  137. @snorlax
    Intelligent people do not have difficulty communicating with unintelligent people. It is difficult to explain a complex, g-loaded topic to an unintelligent person, but that's just the definition of intelligence. Intelligent people may also have Aspergian traits that hinder their communication skills in general, but that's correlated with, not caused by IQ.

    The lowest-common denominator and extremely popular UK tabloid The Sun, whose house style is to write all stories at a third-grade reading level, hires almost only Oxford and Cambridge graduates.

    And Sun journalists are Oxbridge-educated because, counterintuitively, it’s very g-loaded to write stories the left half of the IQ curve understand and won’t find confusing.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
    And what is the result of the communication? Do the low IQ people understand what the high IQ people do, or do they understand something else? Can they do what the high IQ people can do? If not, do they understand what they can't do?
    You remember the story of the person who asked what radio was, and was told that, while telegraphs were like very long cat with at tail in New York and a head in Illinois so that the cat mewed when somebody bit its tail, radio was very similar but there wasn't any cat. A considerable number of high IQ to low IQ communications are like that.
    Here's an example I've been using recently:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J2VwFDV4-g
    The speaker couldn't get the idea of lobbing a grenade through to the under 83 IQ people. Listen to his stories. Think about it. And that was within 17 IQ points ( _less than_ 20 IQ points) below the median of 100. I'm probably being optimistic in assuming that 20 points marks the cutoff.

    The idea that high IQ reporters (a very strange combination of words, that) can communicate with readers used to be generally accepted. Then it came out that the high IQ reporters (just ask them) quite often despised their readership, and were not communicating, but propagandizing. Propagandizing can require high g loading, but, well, it's been said that one way communication isn't a conversation between equals, hence not a true test of understanding.

    The difficulty of communicating over a wide IQ gap is the basic reason why the military has an NCO corps between the officers and the bulk of the enlisted, and why private industry has middle managers and line foremen between executives and line workers.

    As far as aspergian traits, yep, definitely. Perhaps that's from having so few people to talk to?

    Fortunately, everybody understands "I'll trade you this item for that much money", and can interact on that level. If they want to.

    Counterinsurgency
  138. @miss marple
    Just when did this get to be a blog full of ex military?

    One of my favorite things about the 2016 election campaign online was CTR trying to intimidate Trump supporters by calling them basement teenagers, and we would start talking about military service and/or sabotage-enabling trade skills. Do you people not remember demanding, and getting, an illegal and economy-wrecking war, without end and based on lies?

  139. @snorlax
    And Sun journalists are Oxbridge-educated because, counterintuitively, it's very g-loaded to write stories the left half of the IQ curve understand and won't find confusing.

    And what is the result of the communication? Do the low IQ people understand what the high IQ people do, or do they understand something else? Can they do what the high IQ people can do? If not, do they understand what they can’t do?
    You remember the story of the person who asked what radio was, and was told that, while telegraphs were like very long cat with at tail in New York and a head in Illinois so that the cat mewed when somebody bit its tail, radio was very similar but there wasn’t any cat. A considerable number of high IQ to low IQ communications are like that.
    Here’s an example I’ve been using recently:

    The speaker couldn’t get the idea of lobbing a grenade through to the under 83 IQ people. Listen to his stories. Think about it. And that was within 17 IQ points ( _less than_ 20 IQ points) below the median of 100. I’m probably being optimistic in assuming that 20 points marks the cutoff.

    The idea that high IQ reporters (a very strange combination of words, that) can communicate with readers used to be generally accepted. Then it came out that the high IQ reporters (just ask them) quite often despised their readership, and were not communicating, but propagandizing. Propagandizing can require high g loading, but, well, it’s been said that one way communication isn’t a conversation between equals, hence not a true test of understanding.

    The difficulty of communicating over a wide IQ gap is the basic reason why the military has an NCO corps between the officers and the bulk of the enlisted, and why private industry has middle managers and line foremen between executives and line workers.

    As far as aspergian traits, yep, definitely. Perhaps that’s from having so few people to talk to?

    Fortunately, everybody understands “I’ll trade you this item for that much money”, and can interact on that level. If they want to.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    So MacNamara was a typical blank-slater who believed dumb people are produced by dumb environments. Putting them the army would make them smart!

    It is literal hipocrisy for liberals to criticise MacNamara's 'Moron Corps'. It's no different (except in lethality) to every other 'social reform' they have tried to implement since the 1950s.

  140. @syonredux

    . In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart — obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
     
    Jefferson and Madison, yes,......but not Washington. His virtues were of the type that used to be called manly. Put him in a room, though, with men like Hamilton, Jefferson, and Franklin, and no one would describe him as terribly bright.

    Here's John Adams on Washington:


    Self taught or Book learned in the Arts, our Hero was much indebted to his Talents for "his immense elevation above his Fellows." Talents? you will say, what Talents? I answer. 1. An handsome Face. That this is a Talent, I can prove by the authority of a thousand Instances in all ages: and among the rest Madame Du Barry who said Le veritable Royaute est la Beaute.

    2. A tall Stature, like the Hebrew Sovereign chosen because he was taller by the Head than the other Jews.

    3 An elegant Form.

    4. graceful Attitudes and Movement:

    5. a large imposing Fortune consisting of a great landed Estate left him by his Father and Brother, besides a large Jointure with his Lady, and the Guardianship of the Heirs of the great Custis Estate, and in addition to all this, immense Tracts of Land of his own acquisition. There is nothing, except bloody Battles and Splendid Victories, to which Mankind bow down with more reverence than to great fortune. They think it impossible that rich Men especially immensely rich Men, Should Submit to the trouble of Serving them but from the most benevolent and disinterested Motives. . . . Such is their Love of the Marvellous, and Such their Admiration of uncommon Generosity that they will believe extraordinary pretensions to it and the Pope Says, Si bonus Populus vult decipi, decipiatur. Washington however did not deceive them. I know not that they gave him more credit for disinterestedness, than he deserved, though they have not given many others so much.

    6. Washington was a Virginian. This is equivalent to five Talents. Virginian Geese are all Swans. Not a Bearne in Scotland is more national, not a Lad upon the High Lands is more clannish, than every Virginian I have ever known. They trumpet one another with the most pompous and mendacious Panegyricks. The Phyladelphians and New Yorkers who are local and partial enough to themselves are meek and modest in Comparison with Virginian Old Dominionisms Washington of course was extolled without bounds.

    7. Washington was preceeded by favourable Anecdotes. The English had used him ill, in the Expedition of Braddock. They had not done Justice to his Bravery and good Council They had exaggerated and misrepresented his defeat and Capitulation: which interested the Pride as well as compassion of Americans in his favour. . . .


    8 He possessed the Gift of Silence. This I esteem as one of the most precious Talents.

    9. He had great Self Command. It cost him a great Exertion Sometimes, and a constant Constraint, but to preserve So much Equanimity as he did, required a great Capacity.

    10. Whenever he lost his temper as he did Sometimes, either Love or fear in those about him induced them to conceal his Weakness from the World. Here you See I have made out ten Talents without saying a Word about Reading Thinking or writing, upon all which Subjects you have Said all that need be Said. – You See I Use the word Talents in a larger Sense than usual, comprehending every Advantage. Genius Experience, Learning, Fortune Birth, Health are all Talents, though I know not how, the Word has been lately confined to the faculties of the Mind.

    Ok, got that one wrong. Can’t always be right, but, in compensation, I can’t always be wrong.

    Counterinsurgency

  141. @Steve Sailer
    Ever wonder why the South didn’t support universities, and the Yankees did?

    The pre-Civil War South had pretty good liberal arts colleges. Southern elites did not lag northern elites in law or theology. But the north was ahead in middle class education and the gap widened.

    But once the south was out of the union, the north could pass federal laws facilitating setting up land grant public universities for smart farm boys who wanted to study technical subjects.

    Liberal arts takes you up to an IQ of maybe 115 if you only want to be cultured. More to do original work, but the South was not known for original work. We may be using different definitions of “smart” here. My claim amounts to saying that everybody from IQ 80 to IQ 120 can understand (and consider important) what an IQ 100 person understands (and consider’s imortant), but the IQ 120 person can’t understand (and believe in the importance of) what an IQ 90 person can, and can just barely understand (and consider important) what an IQ 100 person considers important. And vice versa, of course.
    Jordan Peterson, in _Maps of Meaning_, suggests that being educated (as those here are) means having been maintained in a very regulated environment in which everybody was highly selected and in which everybody did about the same thing (academic stuff, like rioting, senseless feuds, and attending classes). Those who violated the behavior code (slugging professors, for example) were escorted off campus. Peterson suggests that this led to an over-development of ability to live in a well understood environment, and underdevelopment of ability to live in a poorly structured environment. That is, educated people don’t have much experience chaos, in a realization that the universe isn’t what you thought it was and that you have to explore at risk of being hurt or killed (or just permanently unemployed) until you’ve worked out what the new section of the universe is about.
    Example: the Kafka scenario — you are suddenly out of favor for reasons you’ll never know, the organization says you’re no longer wanted (the flying phone booth program was “too White”, as the Democrat operative told me at the X conference, and indeed it was shut down after the one flight) and you have to change your entire field of work. I shrugged it off at the time, but I should have re-thought everything. Too well educated, perhaps?)
    Professional work environments are as highly selective for IQ range as colleges (as are landscape gardeners, although the IQ range is different). Perhaps the illusion of universal communication comes from selection bias in your work environment? And perhaps it is sustained by a lack of practice in recognizing chaos? Believe me, recognizing chaos isn’t easy, although hiding from it without admitting that you’re in the middle of it is common.

    In any case, having at one time actually been an assistant professor, I’m not that impressed by colleges as proofs of intelligence. Most professors are good at established parts of some single established field, and that’s it. Smart, but 115 -120 range. Some aren’t even that, but do hide it well. Some really are, but outside of the top research schools they tend not to last.

    Counterinsurgency

  142. @miss marple
    Just when did this get to be a blog full of ex military?

    When the political situation became became dire. The “march through the institutions” was always an insurgency, by definition. It’s only near novelty was the idea of becoming the institution and then changing everything in a revolutionary way, and that idea was arguably held by the Progressives. At base, it’s just the French Revolution warmed over for the nth time.
    And now we’re in the end game, where the institutions have been marched through, the base population is told that its days are numbered, and foreign insurgents (“young men of military age”, as the media says) are crossing the borders at about a million per year. Shadow governments, with their on political paramilitary forces (antifa), run perhaps most of the larger cities (SMSAs) and are telling the Feds that the Feds don’t have jurisdiction in their cities anymore. California is close to or has a shadow government in defiance of the Feds.
    Trump is playing either Marius or Sulla, take your pick. An executive that sides with the base population often, not always, has a good chance of winning.
    So we’re down to a standard insurgency / counterinsurgency situation, which has been a staple of military theory and interest since the 1960s. _Of course_ the military people are discussing it. It’s interesting, and its also their neck too. And they’re doing it here because they can and because it might do some good.

    Counterinsurgency

  143. @syonredux

    The first test was in 1968 and he scored 14o. The book Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob By Howard Blum with assistance from the commander of the Federal anti-Gotti squad cites the FBI’s own background file on Gotti for him having an IQ of 140.

     

    Just Googled the book. It says that Gotti's High School score was 140:


    https://books.google.com/books?id=2KKKKEouo9oC&pg=PA62&dq=Gangland:+How+the+FBI+Broke+the+Mob+By+Howard+Blum+iq&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXgJCQysPfAhXmv1QKHS87BWsQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=Gangland%3A%20How%20the%20FBI%20Broke%20the%20Mob%20By%20Howard%20Blum%20iq&f=false

    In contrast, Gene Mustain andJerry Capeci's Mob Star: The Story of John Gotti agrees with the 110 IQ that I cited upthread and states that the 140 IQ claim was just something that he told people....

    https://books.google.com/books?id=QbDFyjuaQGYC&pg=PT104&dq=gotti+iq&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_s-q-y8PfAhWEDnwKHUMFAZ8Q6AEIOTAD#v=onepage&q=gotti%20iq&f=false

    I cannot imagine Gotti boasting about his IQ to anyone. There is no question that a magazine article at the height of Gottis fame which does not cite its sources, and the author of a much later book I cited which was clearly written with the assistance of J. Bruce Mouw who was was the Supervisor of Sqaud C-16 tasked with getting Gotti and goes into exhaustive detail said Gotti had tested 140 in an IQ test. The confusion about when and where may be deliberate because the FBI were not supposed to have access to his high school test results, or maybe the prison objected to details of his 1968 results being publicized, or Mouw wanted deniability. You just Googled it? Making a fool of me, eh?

    • Replies: @syonredux

    I cannot imagine Gotti boasting about his IQ to anyone.
     
    I can. I can also imagine him inflating his IQ by about 30 points.
  144. @Reg Cæsar

    Meanwhile, those countries which have maintained protectionist trade and/or immigration policies have also done far better at improving or maintaining their standards of living.

     

    Which is why Hong Kong has always been the poorest place in Asia.

    Hong Kong was an entrepot. It was (still, is, for some time, although Shanghai has surpassed it) a place designed to concentrate trade and finance for a much wider field. You cannot run a country the way you run (or ran) a city-state.

  145. @snorlax
    Intelligent people do not have difficulty communicating with unintelligent people. It is difficult to explain a complex, g-loaded topic to an unintelligent person, but that's just the definition of intelligence. Intelligent people may also have Aspergian traits that hinder their communication skills in general, but that's correlated with, not caused by IQ.

    The lowest-common denominator and extremely popular UK tabloid The Sun, whose house style is to write all stories at a third-grade reading level, hires almost only Oxford and Cambridge graduates.

    Intelligent people do not have difficulty communicating with unintelligent people. It is difficult to explain a complex, g-loaded topic to an unintelligent person, but that’s just the definition of intelligence.

    So they do not have difficulty communicating it, but the recipient can’t understand what intelligent people are communicating.

    You should check the definition of communication again.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    The issue is not that high-IQ people are incapable of communicating, it is that lower-IQ people are incapable of having certain topics communicated to them. For example, it is impossible to get an IQ 90 person to understand computational fluid dynamics.
  146. @Charles Erwin Wilson II

    Intelligent people do not have difficulty communicating with unintelligent people. It is difficult to explain a complex, g-loaded topic to an unintelligent person, but that’s just the definition of intelligence.
     
    So they do not have difficulty communicating it, but the recipient can't understand what intelligent people are communicating.

    You should check the definition of communication again.

    The issue is not that high-IQ people are incapable of communicating, it is that lower-IQ people are incapable of having certain topics communicated to them. For example, it is impossible to get an IQ 90 person to understand computational fluid dynamics.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Communication can be said to have taken place after the receiving party understands. Success is given available materials. If you could've succeeded given different materials then you couldn't have succeeded. This is pure Tony/John stuff.
  147. @snorlax
    The issue is not that high-IQ people are incapable of communicating, it is that lower-IQ people are incapable of having certain topics communicated to them. For example, it is impossible to get an IQ 90 person to understand computational fluid dynamics.

    Communication can be said to have taken place after the receiving party understands. Success is given available materials. If you could’ve succeeded given different materials then you couldn’t have succeeded. This is pure Tony/John stuff.

  148. @Sean
    I cannot imagine Gotti boasting about his IQ to anyone. There is no question that a magazine article at the height of Gottis fame which does not cite its sources, and the author of a much later book I cited which was clearly written with the assistance of J. Bruce Mouw who was was the Supervisor of Sqaud C-16 tasked with getting Gotti and goes into exhaustive detail said Gotti had tested 140 in an IQ test. The confusion about when and where may be deliberate because the FBI were not supposed to have access to his high school test results, or maybe the prison objected to details of his 1968 results being publicized, or Mouw wanted deniability. You just Googled it? Making a fool of me, eh?

    I cannot imagine Gotti boasting about his IQ to anyone.

    I can. I can also imagine him inflating his IQ by about 30 points.

  149. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    Let me see if I got this straight. This Taleb guy is supposed to be some pop-cult intellectual genius keen observer of ordinary things (in the line I suppose of Gladwell, Pinker, and that "All I Learned in Kindergarten" guy), and yet he /doesn't know/ that in the pantheon of American pop culture, the names "Fat Tony" and "Dr. John" are both ALREADY TAKEN?!

    They already denote other characters, who typify their own specific things. This is like Gladwell saying, "I made up these two characters to illustrate my point: one is named Patti Smith, and the other is named Woody Harrelson".

    My oh my. This oversight alone is a regular --how you say again?-- Black Swan Event.

    Pinker and Gladwell are barely even the same species – any remotely sensible taxonomy should have them separated by about the same distance as that between, say, Schopenhauer and Jordan Peterson (which is to say, a chasm).

    Even though he is on the wrong end of the ideological spectrum, Pinker is a ‘proper’ intellectual – whereas Gladwell is a dilettante charlatan (like Jon Ronson, Peterson, and other such self-promoting fucktards).

    Taleb is strictly not inferior to Pinker, and he’s much much stronger than Pinker when it comes to analysing things quantitatively (and even more relevant, knowing when something is amenable to quantitative analysis, and which tools to use).

    Disclosure; I bought “Fooled By Randomness” (1st ed) in hard-cover in an actual bookshop in 2001. I’m not precisely certain, but it may be the very last hardcover book I bought… and I have read or listened to Taleb’s entire oeuvre. I won’t say I’m a fan though: I’m halfway between respect for his effort to get the issue into the public discourse, and outright hostility at his misrepresentation of the state of play in quantiative risk analytics (something I know a bit about). Taleb’s malfeasance in that regard is well-captured by Jon Vos (author of “Fooled by a Red Herring” – Chapter 2 deals pretty harshly with the cartoonish Dr John/’Fat Tony false dichotomy)

  150. @Federalist
    To enlist, one must have a clean criminal record (for the most part). Also, the AFQT that Steve discusses is more or less an IQ test. While serving, the military is going to be checking for drug use and otherwise looking out for criminal behavior. Any military job is going to require the serviceman to do what he's told; live where he is stationed; and usually work longer hours than in the civilian world, etc.

    So, anyone who was allowed to enlist and went on to serve in the military without being kicked out is going to tend to be less criminally inclined and more responsible than average. Also, while they aren't necessarily geniuses, they won't be from the very low end of the intelligence scale.

    Military service would be a bigger advantage in the job market for minorities who otherwise tend to be inclined to criminal behavior, lower intelligence, and being less responsible employees.

    Membership in street gangs is ~70x greater in the US military, than it is in civilian life. And we can pretty much stipulate that there’s not going to be many Airmen sporting MS13 or AB ink; maybe a few sailors… nope, you can pretty much take it as read that all the ‘bangers will be Army and Marines, which increases the gang-related ‘rate’ even higher than 70x.

    See

    Gang presence in the United States military (Wikipedia) or

    Gang-Related Activity in the US Armed Forces Increasing (report by the DoJ’s National Gang Intelligence Centre) or

    • the FBI’s 2011 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment.

    What was it that Erasmus said in Panegyric?

    At the first mention and whiff, as it were, of a campaign, the dregs of humanity are roused to come out of their hiding-places, and collect like bilge-water from all over the world: men burdened by disgrace or debt or fearful of the threats of the law on account of their misdeeds, or men who are conscious of their crimes and so think they cannot be safe in time of peace, or who have dissolutely squandered their capital and are now led astray by sordid poverty to the worse crime of robbing others. Finally, there are men whose evil disposition and evil mind so act on them (as if they were born for crime) that they would have dared to do such things at the risk of their lives even without the prospect of going unpunished or the offer of pay. Wars have to be carried on with these sweepings of humanity; such dregs have to be received into cities and homes, although a whole generation will hardly be enough to clean the stink from your citizens’ morals. If indeed we learn nothing so easily as depravity, there is also nothing so difficult to forget

  151. @Nathan
    Try 1 in 2,330. That's literally what a 150 IQ means.

    Try 1 in 2,330. That’s literally what a 150 IQ means.

    It’s what a score of 150 means iff the assumptions underlying the distribution of IQ are true. (iff: if and only if).

    That’s the whole point of Taleb’s entire schtick:that Gaussian distributions are not generally a good idea; he is almost a one trick pony on the whole idea that many real-world phenomena are better estimated by something more platykurtic (for IQ I would go the other way and tilt towards leptokurtic).

    Personally I would also chuck in some excess skewness as well: it has been my operating assumption since grad school that the actual incidence of high IQ is significantly rarer than what would be implied by a N(100,15), and that this rarity is not symmetric about the median.

    Psychosophasters use a Gaussian distribution because it makes the algebra easier; μ=100 is an assumption that is simply not borne out by casual examination of the milling throngs of mouth-breathing retards at any shopping mall, unless the distribution is skewed…in which case the average may well be 100, but the median is going to be lower .

    If IQ is as skewed as income, then 62% of people would have an IQ below the mean… that sounds about right; the median IQ would be 88 (taking into account the very tight truncation of IQ scores, which are practically bounded well above zero) .

  152. @Nico


    The mean I.Q. of the population of eighth-graders in a city is known to be 100. You have selected a random sample of 50 children for a study of educational achievement. The first child tested has an I.Q. of 150. What do you expect the mean I.Q. to be for the whole sample?
     
    According to Kahneman, he has stipulated that the sample is random and the mean is 100, so that’s all you need to know. Hence, the rational answer is 101 and no other responses are acceptable.
     
    This doesn’t sound right. The way he’s worded it, you pre-selected your random 50 in advance before testing the first and finding 150; thus the testing of subsequent kids are not, statistically, independent events. And in real life the pool of eighth-graders from which the sample is chosen is not going to be infinite, either, so if we know the mean is 100 and that we have removed an example of 150 we know that we are taking away one of the “upper” balancers and the IQ of the remaining population must be lower. Intuitively this would also be the case if the sample were representative, but granted we don’t know that. However, the authors seem to commit the same fallacy as the students who answered 100, only the former assumed the 49 remaining were representative and the latter assumed the original 50 were representative.

    Am I wrong here? This doesn’t seem to be a case where the gambler’s fallacy applies in the same way. But if I’m right, and if that kind of mathematical incompetence won a Nobel prize and was subsequently used as the basis of any recruiting norms that would explain a lot of things.

    If the sample (of 50) is random, and the variable being measured has a finite variance (it does), then a sample of 50 is sufficient for the expected value of the sample mean to equal the population mean.

    That’s literally just a re-wording of a standard Central Limit Theorem.

    So the expected value of the sample mean is 100, regardless of what the first kid’s IQ is.

    Anyone who tells you otherwise is violating the premises of the question (random sample from a population; variable that has a known mean and finite variance in the population).

    And anyhow… fuck Kahnemann – he’s a worse charlatan than Taleb by several orders of magnitude.

  153. @snorlax
    The odds of a fair coin being heads 99 times in a row is about 634 octillion to 1. For comparison, that's larger than the ratio of the circumference of a proton to the circumference of the Earth—about 457 octillion to one.

    A 634 octillion to 1 event cannot occur. Cannot. It is not possible.

    A real-world example of an event that is considered so astronomically improbable that it cannot ever occur is randomly generating the same UUID (universally unique identifier) twice, which is known as a "collision."

    The number of UUIDs you would need to randomly generate before there is a 50% probability of at least one collision is about 2.71 quintillion.

    The number of times you would need to flip a fair coin before there is a 50% probability of there being at least one sequence of either heads or tails 99 or more times in a row is about 220 octillion.

    220 octillion: 220,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
    2.71 quintillion:                             2,710,000,000,000,000,000

    220 octillion is 81.2 billion (81,200,000,000) times larger than 2.71 quintillion.

    If there is ever a collision between randomly generated UUIDs, that can only mean that they were not, in fact, randomly generated. The assumption that they were randomly generated was faulty.

    That goes double, or rather 81.2 billion times more, for a fair coin showing heads or tails 99 times in a row. That can only mean it is not a fair coin. The assumption that it is a fair coin is faulty.

    Well-expressed – it’s of a piece with my assertion that a ‘string’ of unbroken 100+ profitable trades, by its very existence, should lead to a comprehensive rejection of the hypothesis that securities returns follow a random walk.

    And yet I’ve done that twice, across 20 instruments (Index ETFs, Bond ETFs, Currency ETFs, and Commodity ETFs). 111 consecutive ‘wins’ over a course of 2 months in the first instance, and 163 (over the course of a year) in the second.

    First time was in 2015 (between 20150818 and 20151028) – I won $10k on a bet that well-timed contrarianism would always beat trend-followers. (I refer to it as a ‘bet’, but it wasn’t really. I don’t ‘bet’, because bets have a negative expected return, whereas Pr(I would win) was always exactly 100%).

    Second time was in 2016-2017 (between 20160204 and 20170204)

    Small accounts both times (in fact the same account).

    (Note to anyone who wants to verify that these were actual executed, trades: I’ll happily put you in touch with the broking firm that held the account)

  154. @syonredux

    . In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart — obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
     
    Jefferson and Madison, yes,......but not Washington. His virtues were of the type that used to be called manly. Put him in a room, though, with men like Hamilton, Jefferson, and Franklin, and no one would describe him as terribly bright.

    Here's John Adams on Washington:


    Self taught or Book learned in the Arts, our Hero was much indebted to his Talents for "his immense elevation above his Fellows." Talents? you will say, what Talents? I answer. 1. An handsome Face. That this is a Talent, I can prove by the authority of a thousand Instances in all ages: and among the rest Madame Du Barry who said Le veritable Royaute est la Beaute.

    2. A tall Stature, like the Hebrew Sovereign chosen because he was taller by the Head than the other Jews.

    3 An elegant Form.

    4. graceful Attitudes and Movement:

    5. a large imposing Fortune consisting of a great landed Estate left him by his Father and Brother, besides a large Jointure with his Lady, and the Guardianship of the Heirs of the great Custis Estate, and in addition to all this, immense Tracts of Land of his own acquisition. There is nothing, except bloody Battles and Splendid Victories, to which Mankind bow down with more reverence than to great fortune. They think it impossible that rich Men especially immensely rich Men, Should Submit to the trouble of Serving them but from the most benevolent and disinterested Motives. . . . Such is their Love of the Marvellous, and Such their Admiration of uncommon Generosity that they will believe extraordinary pretensions to it and the Pope Says, Si bonus Populus vult decipi, decipiatur. Washington however did not deceive them. I know not that they gave him more credit for disinterestedness, than he deserved, though they have not given many others so much.

    6. Washington was a Virginian. This is equivalent to five Talents. Virginian Geese are all Swans. Not a Bearne in Scotland is more national, not a Lad upon the High Lands is more clannish, than every Virginian I have ever known. They trumpet one another with the most pompous and mendacious Panegyricks. The Phyladelphians and New Yorkers who are local and partial enough to themselves are meek and modest in Comparison with Virginian Old Dominionisms Washington of course was extolled without bounds.

    7. Washington was preceeded by favourable Anecdotes. The English had used him ill, in the Expedition of Braddock. They had not done Justice to his Bravery and good Council They had exaggerated and misrepresented his defeat and Capitulation: which interested the Pride as well as compassion of Americans in his favour. . . .


    8 He possessed the Gift of Silence. This I esteem as one of the most precious Talents.

    9. He had great Self Command. It cost him a great Exertion Sometimes, and a constant Constraint, but to preserve So much Equanimity as he did, required a great Capacity.

    10. Whenever he lost his temper as he did Sometimes, either Love or fear in those about him induced them to conceal his Weakness from the World. Here you See I have made out ten Talents without saying a Word about Reading Thinking or writing, upon all which Subjects you have Said all that need be Said. – You See I Use the word Talents in a larger Sense than usual, comprehending every Advantage. Genius Experience, Learning, Fortune Birth, Health are all Talents, though I know not how, the Word has been lately confined to the faculties of the Mind.

    They wanted a leader who wasn’t going to make himself king.

  155. @Sean
    Regarding what slavery rewarded,

    Stephen Duncan (March 4, 1787 – January 29, 1867) became a major planter and banker in Mississippi in the antebellum years, migrating there from his home state of Pennsylvania after getting a medical degree. He became the wealthiest cotton planter in the South prior to the American Civil War,
     
    Nathan Bedford Forrest is well known as a Civil War commander (Joseph Johnston said Forrest would have been "the great central figure of the war had he the benefit of a military education"), but not only had he discover the probing for weak points followed by high tempo attack that in all times and places has been the military spear of destiny, Forrest was a genuine business genius who starting from nothing had amassed a fortune comparable to Duncan's by the begining of the war.

    Anyway, private first class Adolph trained a terrier to perform tricks and even wild animals can be trained by humans, despite the disparity in understanding of what the purpose of their training is. There is something in what you say, inasmuch William Shockely (IQ of 125-129) was quite unsuccessful as a project manager. I suspect he was unable to get on the wavelength of his higher IQ subordinates, or put it another way people expect their boss to be really smart and are insubordinate if he is is not, Intelligence is general as Robert Plomin says, and it's very easy to get an idea whether someone is above or below one's level from conversation. The origin of intelligence must have been something like what Robin Dunbar suggests: there to build relationships through social grooming.

    My rule of thumb is that communication becomes very difficult over a gap of more than 20 points.
     

    Two way communication, yes. That would be what Alasdair MacIntyre calls "conversational justice", similar to the balance that Taleb in Skin In The Game cites
    The Book of the Courtier
    advocating, whereby no one is dominating the exchanges.

    Hitler, however, was not up there on the podium kibitzing, he was trying to get his ideas across, sowing memes and about Jews and winning the next war, but above all demonstrating his sky high intelligence to establish that he was someone worth following. Doctor Goebbels ("Such a sparkling mind can be my leader. I bow to the greater one , the political genius") is perhaps too discredited but let me give you some appreciation of Hitler at his peak from someone of quite respectable intelligence and experience of elite minds and who was critical of Hitler by the time he wrote- Egon Hangstaengl


    No one who judges his abilities as a speaker by his performances in his later years can have any true insight into his gifts ... In his early years he had a command of voice, phrase and effect which have never been equaled
     
    And Hitler spoke his own words, not a speechwriter's (Norman Mailer is said to have had an IQ of 170).

    In a hierarchical upper class of slave owners, some of the owners might be smart — obviously Washington and Jefferson were, but they would be exceptions.
     
    They got progressively less smart for reasons that should be obvious if you look at Jefferson Davis and his lady love.

    http://www.northstarnewstoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/vanna-howell-davis2-1-e1459300012637.jpg

    That image is a famous fake.

  156. @Counterinsurgency
    And what is the result of the communication? Do the low IQ people understand what the high IQ people do, or do they understand something else? Can they do what the high IQ people can do? If not, do they understand what they can't do?
    You remember the story of the person who asked what radio was, and was told that, while telegraphs were like very long cat with at tail in New York and a head in Illinois so that the cat mewed when somebody bit its tail, radio was very similar but there wasn't any cat. A considerable number of high IQ to low IQ communications are like that.
    Here's an example I've been using recently:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J2VwFDV4-g
    The speaker couldn't get the idea of lobbing a grenade through to the under 83 IQ people. Listen to his stories. Think about it. And that was within 17 IQ points ( _less than_ 20 IQ points) below the median of 100. I'm probably being optimistic in assuming that 20 points marks the cutoff.

    The idea that high IQ reporters (a very strange combination of words, that) can communicate with readers used to be generally accepted. Then it came out that the high IQ reporters (just ask them) quite often despised their readership, and were not communicating, but propagandizing. Propagandizing can require high g loading, but, well, it's been said that one way communication isn't a conversation between equals, hence not a true test of understanding.

    The difficulty of communicating over a wide IQ gap is the basic reason why the military has an NCO corps between the officers and the bulk of the enlisted, and why private industry has middle managers and line foremen between executives and line workers.

    As far as aspergian traits, yep, definitely. Perhaps that's from having so few people to talk to?

    Fortunately, everybody understands "I'll trade you this item for that much money", and can interact on that level. If they want to.

    Counterinsurgency

    So MacNamara was a typical blank-slater who believed dumb people are produced by dumb environments. Putting them the army would make them smart!

    It is literal hipocrisy for liberals to criticise MacNamara’s ‘Moron Corps’. It’s no different (except in lethality) to every other ‘social reform’ they have tried to implement since the 1950s.

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