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Uncovered: Puerto Rico's PISA Scores
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With Puerto Rico in the news for threatening to go broke, Paul Krugman is worried that hedge funds want to “destroy the island’s education system in the name of fiscal responsibility.” But it turns out that Puerto Rican school administrators have largely done that already. Although Puerto Rico spends more per public school student than Utah and Idaho, and more per student on certain obscure but lucrative categories of school administration than any of the 50 states, its test scores are horrific.

It’s interesting to discover that Puerto Rico actually participated — on a preliminary basis — in the 2012 international PISA test of 15-year-olds, although PR’s scores were not released in 2013 like most places’ were.

Instead, a report on Puerto Rico’s PISA scores surfaced a half year later. This is similar to how quietly Puerto Rico’s scores on the federal NAEP test were released.

The PISA is scored like the SAT with an intended average (in wealthy OECD countries) of 500 and a standard deviation of 100.

As on the NAEP, Puerto Rico did really bad on the Math portion of the PISA, worse than Jordan, and better than only Colombia, Qatar, Indonesia, and Peru. (No doubt there are countries that would score worse than Peru, but they don’t participate in PISA.)

Puerto Rico averaged a 382, 99 points or about a standard deviation behind the U.S.’s 481.

Screenshot 2015-08-02 21.17.11

On PISA’s 0 to 6 scale of proficiency in math, 34% of Puerto Rican students scored at the lowest (0) level, and not enough students out of the sample size of 1668 scored at any of the three highest levels (4 > 544, 5>607, or 6>669) to report a statistically reliable percentage.

I’m estimating 0.8% scored in any of the top three ranges. In contrast, almost 1/4th of U.S. students scored at the 4-6 levels.

Public schools in Puerto Rico are notoriously ineffectual and corruptly administered, so 23% of all students in the commonwealth are sent to private schools. The PISA test included private school students in its sample, however.

More math score details from the report:

The U.S. Hispanic average score (455) was significantly higher than the Puerto Rico average score (382) by 73 scale score points.

The U.S. Hispanic female average score (450) was significantly higher than the Puerto Rico female average score (377) by 73 scale score points. Similarly, the U.S. Hispanic male average score (460) was significantly higher than the Puerto Rico male average score (387) by scale score points.

The U.S. Hispanic public school student average score (455) was significantly higher than the Puerto Rico public school student average score (370) by 85 scale score points. The U.S. Hispanic private school student average score (477) was significantly higher than the Puerto Rico private school student average score (424) by 53 scale score points.

Puerto Rico’s 10th percentile did badly, of course, but not superbad relative to other backwards places. Puerto Rico’s 90th percentile, however, scored as badly as the 90th percentile in any country.

This phenomenon of the Apathetic Elite seems more common in Latin America than most other places. For example, Mexico and Turkey are fairly similar overall, except that the really smart kids in Turkey, while relatively few in number, are still really smart, while Mexico just doesn’t seem to have much of a high end at all.

But Puerto Rico’s 90th percentile is way below even Mexico’s 90th percentile. My guess is that the high end Puerto Rican families get out of Puerto Rico, but that’s not particularly true for high end Mexicans, so I don’t know.

In defense of Puerto Rico, however, the test administrators rounded up a quite reasonable 91% of the 15-year-olds who were supposed to take the test, which is comparable to the coverage in the U.S., although not as good as in Finland or Netherlands. In contrast, Mexico somehow or other lost almost half of the youths who were supposed to take the test, and Costa Rica skimmed the cream even harder.

(Argentina’s miserable performance is related in part to the test administrators conscientiously rounding up about 4/5ths of the eligible youths. Conversely, Shanghai’s stratospheric scores may be related to test administrators not being all that diligent about rounding up the city’s huge population of children of proletarian migrants without legal permission to reside in Shanghai.)

Puerto Rico did slightly less awful on Science, scoring 401, 96 points behind the U.S. Two percent of Puerto Ricans scored at Level 4 on the 0 to 6 scale, versus 26% of Americans scoring 4, 5, or 6.

Puerto Rico did best in reading, scoring 404, which is 94 points behind the U.S.

 
• Tags: Education, NAEP, PISA, Puerto Rico 
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  1. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    The amateur commentary is priceless.

    https://youtu.be/R_LiOY5iy4Y

    Read More
    • Replies: @unit472
    That was truly an appalling video.
    , @WhatEvvs
    What was more appalling was the ad I was forced to watch (no opt out at 5 secs) from Tylenol, showing a white guy and a black guy and "their" black kid saying, "We don't need permission to have a family." They might not need permission from the state, but how do they acquire children?
    , @Gato de la Biblioteca
    Yeah, the old white guy's commentary is kind of funny. But it's just another example of BBB, so ultimately, who cares?
    , @V Vega

    The amateur commentary is priceless.
     
    Maybe I'm a snot, but I think they're even better with professional commentary:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f46_1438624384
    , @Reg Cæsar
    We need to license chicken fries. With comprehensive background checks
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  2. Anon says: • Disclaimer
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    • Replies: @Ed
    Help whom? Who asked the Italians to "rescue" anyone?
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  3. Lot says:

    The migrants are being placed in nice hotels in addition to the $50 a week in spending money:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3182633/MAIL-SUNDAY-COMMENT-nation-wrecked-naive-kindness.html

    Here is description of one of the hotels:

    The BEST WESTERN Park Hall Hotel near Preston is set within 140 acres of beautiful wooded countryside. A world away from everyday life, this hotel combines the feel of a modern, contemporary hotel with the charm of authentic historical buildings.

    We offer rooms that sleep up to 5, so there’s plenty of room for everyone! For those here on business, we offer secretarial services as well as a fantastic setting (and an authentic Medieval Banqueting Hall dating back to 966 AD) for a meeting or conference. Whatever your reason for visiting, the hotel offers comfortable rooms, great surroundings (beside a tree-fringed lake with private jetty, perfect for feeding the ducks!) and fantastic leisure facilities. There’s also a spa here for even more relaxation!

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    • Replies: @FactsAreImportant

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3182633/MAIL-SUNDAY-COMMENT-nation-wrecked-naive-kindness.html
     
    The third video in the Daily Mail video is pretty funny. Migrants "storm" past armed "guards" by simply running around them. The "guards" try to use air horns to stop them. It's straight out of Monty Python.

    I remember seeing a comedy skit about thirty years ago where illegal immigrants snuck across the border disguised as a cardboard rocket ship. Anyone else remember this? It might have been a Monty Python skit.

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  4. Brain drain can have an outsized impact on small countries like Puerto Rico (which you do allude to).

    Another example: Moldova. ~400 on PISA, versus ~430 for Romania (Moldovans are basically partially Russified Romanians). And Romania had a lot of brain drain itself. So in total, you’re probably looking at about a 0.5SD reduction for Moldova relative to what would have happened if it hadn’t lost tons of people to brain drain.

    Moldova and PR both have almost the exact same population (3.5mn) and are similarly surrounded by neighbors who significantly richer than them. I suspect that the scale of relative brain drain in Puerto Rico is probably on about the same scale as in Moldova.

    Third example: Ireland (also had a population of ~3-3.5 million throughout most of the 20th century, high fertility rates being canceled out by massive emigration). Before it got rich, it was also 0.5-1SD below its current performance in IQ tests.

    If this approximately the case here as well, then PR’s PISA score should be ~430, around the level of the better Latin American countries.

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    • Agree: Travis
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Since IQ (and g loaded test scores such as PISA) correlate strongly with race, you would expect PR's test scores to equal the better Latin American countries only if the racial composition was similar. My impression is that Puerto Rico is browner than say Argentina. Argentina is not as European as it pretends to be - there is actually a significant Amerindian contribution to their gene pool, but they have negligible African genes and overall they are mostly European. PR, OTOH, has a significant % of African inheritance. So, brain drain aside, it's "natural" level is not going to be quite as high as the whiter Latin American countries.

    Remember that Puerto Rico (and Cuba) remained inside the Spanish empire until 1898. If you ever see an especially light skinned Cuban or Puerto Rican and you talk to them, they will usually tell you "my grandfather immigrated from Spain" or something like that - they look European because they are. These are the kind of people you are more likely to find nowadays in Miami than on the islands themselves.

    , @Romanian
    I would have expected my people to do better than they did, though still worse than the US in the aggregate and Western Europe. Your brain drain hypothesis rings true, especially with Moldova, which, at one point, had the second largest ratio of remittances to GDP in the world, after Tajikistan. I don't think that there is such a wide intelligence distribution within the core Romanian population (basically excluding Roma) that you can have (still, with all the brain drain) a very good yearly run at international Math competitions with children from all social classes and still have low scores for the general population. Someone above posted a report on goiter in Romania which blew my mind away, because I had no idea that the Communists hadn't eradicated the problem and it persisted at least until a few years ago. Also, there is a suspicion that the official 3% census figure on the Roma minority is actually 10% in reality, which will impact tests over time (assuming the children attend school) because of the differing distribution of raw IQ.


    I am young enough (I turn 27 today actually) to still remember my high school days in small town Romania, but I can't recall any PISA tests. Do they test only in certain cities or schools in the country? I would expect the scores to be better in that case, especially since admittance to high schools within a city is done by student preferences and in order of grades and 8th grade exams. People already know which schools aggregate the best students in certain fields and their children will order their school preferences accordingly.

    I might also posit a general decay in student ability not just because of a shift in the population, but also because of the decay of the school system. The old guard of fire and brimstone and very competent Communist professors (especially in what Americans would call STEM fields) is retiring and their replacements are the people who couldn't get work within public administration or the private sector (you have yearly reports of wannabe Math teachers failing Math exams etc). When you have the kind of in-depth syllabus we do, even the best students require a good teacher from time to time, to go over things with clarity. The students are also experiencing a sort of ennui - they feel the country does not reward book learning properly (as opposed to the wealth of "role models" on TV) and so do not apply themselves beyond trying to get passing grades. There is also a kind of fatigue setting in - you're not very interested in school in the first place, but the education regimen is very varied and expansive, to enable students to get a feel for what they want and be able to apply to the specialized University. This means that you're not just feeding students the minimum to be a good citizen and succeed in a white collar position or whatever, but a lot more than that, leading to the now classic exclamations "What the f*** do I need Combinatorics for? I'm gonna be a Med Student" or "Who cares about the f****** Assyrians or when Rome was sacked or the root causes of the 30 Year War? F*** Cincinnatus and Martin Luther!"

    There is no Pre-Med or Pre-Law in Romania, a system of colleges to attend before your main University. High schools in general need to prepare the same class of students for whatever they might wish to apply to directly - enough Biology to get into Med School (I loved genetics lessons and cell theory, but hated plants and anatomy), or Veterinary School, enough Math to get into Polytechnic (Combinatorics, Derivatives, stuff you don't teach in High School in the West), Physics of all kinds for choosing your Faculty within the Polytechnic, enough literature and grammar to get into Letters, History, Geography (I had a teacher who insisted on us learning every National capital and would quiz us), two foreign languages, plus at least a year's worth of other subjects (my school had a year of Latin, in addition to the earlier Latin classes, a year of Economics, a year of Logic and one of Political Theory). That rounds up to about 8-9 hours a day (50 minute lessons plus 10 minute breaks), five days a week, plus the sort of private tutoring groups you get for the most important subjects like those of the Baccalaureate. I flourished in school and still appreciate a well rounded education, but a lot of my colleagues struggled under the very diverse information burden, even the ones who went on to being bright enough students in their chosen fields (or the colleague who became a nuclear physics student at MIT and who struggled in Humanistic classes).
    , @sprfls
    Very good point about brain drain. The comparison to Moldova is certainly apt. (Though I think poor little Moldova has it worse than anybody especially considering, in addition to many capable Moldovans/Russians leaving, its significant Jewish population dwindling to basically zero overnight.)

    In general I think the idea that current Western immigration policies really hurt developing countries isn't hammered home enough by open borders opponents.
    , @Realist
    "Brain drain can have an outsized impact on small countries like Puerto Rico (which you do allude to)."

    Brain drain? Too funny.
    , @Tony
    Brain Drain? Say What? The ricans here in America do almost as bad as the blacks. Very few geniuses among them.
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  5. Lot says:

    except that the really smart kids in Turkey, while relatively few in number, are still really smart,

    Those would be the crypto-Jews and Greeks the Ottoman elite have been importing and intermarrying with for centuries.

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  6. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    You’ve got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
    Despite their ‘penchant’ for nefarious activities, these two ethnicities must be admitted, by all those in the know, as two of the very smartest ethnicities on earth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "I fear Greeks, even bearing gifts."

    “Trust a snake before a Jew and a Jew before a Greek, but don't trust an Armenian.”
    , @syonredux

    You’ve got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
    Despite their ‘penchant’ for nefarious activities, these two ethnicities must be admitted, by all those in the know, as two of the very smartest ethnicities on earth.
     
    Relative to the contemporary Levant/Near East, sure.On the other hand, the Armenians don't exactly have a world-class output in the arts and the sciences

    The Greeks, of course, did lead the world in just about every field of human accomplishment....two thousand years ago.For the last 1500 years, their output has been somewhat less impressive.
    , @iSteveFan

    You’ve got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
     
    Really? I would have thought Turks were a major contributor to modern Greece's gene pool.
    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    Turks also have trace amounts of East Asian in their gene pool as well, from the original stock of nomadic conquerors. The closest relatives of these nomads are isolated Turkic-speaking tribes in the farther reaches of Siberia.
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  7. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    You've got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
    Despite their 'penchant' for nefarious activities, these two ethnicities must be admitted, by all those in the know, as two of the very smartest ethnicities on earth.

    “I fear Greeks, even bearing gifts.”

    “Trust a snake before a Jew and a Jew before a Greek, but don’t trust an Armenian.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Derbyshire
    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.
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  8. Dan Kurt says:

    While in college in the early 1960s I had a math professor who was from Poland originally but was displaced by WWII and ended up in South America then Mexico and finally the USA. He taught at Universities math and mechanical engineering. He, BTW, had a double doctorate: Math and Mechanical Engineering, something common at one time in Europe unlike America where STEM Ph.D.s get their degree and then do a series of Post Docs until they land a job.
    Once after class he was talking to a group of us and he said that he was dumfounded to discover that while in South America and Mexico he never encountered a university student with a first rate mind. The students were often eager and diligent but they lacked innate talent. The professor was Catholic not Jewish.
    Dan Kurt

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    • Replies: @Kent Gatewood
    Explanation for Singapore?

    A fourth of its population is Indian and Malay, do they only test the Chinese?

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  9. Anon says: • Disclaimer
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  10. unit472 says:
    @Anon
    The amateur commentary is priceless.

    https://youtu.be/R_LiOY5iy4Y

    That was truly an appalling video.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    That's why the cops are so hyped up - not an excuse but no cure until the truth is accepted in the public domain.

    #

    on topic:

    iodine deficiency (magnified in some places by fluoride in the water)

    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2004/9241592001.pdf?q=iodine-status-worldwide

    Romania and Moldova are on p. 30

    http://kan-kaz.org/english/files/romania_vignette.pdf

    goiter and cretinism in Romania, mountainous areas especially

    and another

    http://www.unicef.org/ceecis/UNICEF_USI_Strategies_Report_summary_E_print.pdf

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  11. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    H1b-positive.

    The virus that attacks the immune system of American Employment.

    http://personalliberty.com/another-company-clamors-for-foreign-visa-workers-while-laying-off-americans/

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    • Agree: Travis
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  12. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    We all assume (with some justification) that Portugal has the dumbest people in Western Europe but why then are its PISA scores ok?

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  13. Bliss says:

    Puerto Rico did really bad on the Math portion of the PISA, worse than Jordan, and better than only Colombia, Qatar, Indonesia, and Peru. (No doubt there are countries that would score worse than Peru, but they don’t participate in PISA.)

    And yet Peru performs the best of all the Latin American nations in the International Math Olympiad. It ranked #16 in the 2015 IMO, well above developed nations like Japan, Germany, Spain, Israel etc

    https://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx

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    • Replies: @Harold
    IMO rankings mean little since so few people care about the IMO.
    , @Anonymous
    IMO means something. It means that those two Peruvians with gold medals in 2015 are among the most brilliant pre-college math students in the world . With one placing 17th in the world out of almost 600 of the world top pre-college participants.
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  14. OT

    “The Twitter bot that ‘corrects’ people who say ‘illegal immigrant’

    Two American journalists have built a tool that messages anyone who tweets the term, and offers an alternative. “

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-33735177

    and new H1b stats

    Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers

    http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/H-1B/h-1B-characteristics-report-14.pdf

    The number of H-1B petitions filed increased 6 percent from 299,467 in FY 2013 to 318,824 in FY 2014.
    The number of H-1B petitions approved increased 10 percent from 286,773 in FY 2013 to 315,857 in FY 2014.1
    Seventy-two percent of H-1B petitions approved in FY 2014 were for workers between the ages of 25 and 34.
    Forty-five percent of H-1B petitions approved in FY 2014 were for workers with a bachelor’s degree, 43 percent had a master’s degree, 8 percent had a doctorate, and
    4 percent were for workers with a professional degree.
    Sixty-five percent of H-1B petitions approved in FY 2014 were for workers in computer-related occupations.
    The median salary of beneficiaries of approved petitions increased from $72,000 for FY 2013 to $75,000 for FY 2014.

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  15. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @unit472
    That was truly an appalling video.

    That’s why the cops are so hyped up – not an excuse but no cure until the truth is accepted in the public domain.

    #

    on topic:

    iodine deficiency (magnified in some places by fluoride in the water)

    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2004/9241592001.pdf?q=iodine-status-worldwide

    Romania and Moldova are on p. 30

    http://kan-kaz.org/english/files/romania_vignette.pdf

    goiter and cretinism in Romania, mountainous areas especially

    and another

    http://www.unicef.org/ceecis/UNICEF_USI_Strategies_Report_summary_E_print.pdf

    Read More
    • Replies: @Romanian
    I had no idea... This is news to me, even though I wondered once (when I still had a TV) why they still had public interest ads with iodine table salt. Thank you for this, I am going to share this around on the Romanian grievance pipeline.
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  16. Rifleman says:

    Puerto Ricans don’t make good nerds, is that news??!!

    Can you imagine a fight among Puerto Ricans where they taunt each other over their math skills?

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  17. Ed says:
    @Anon
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/02/us-europe-migrants-italy-idUSKCN0Q70H520150802

    Help

    Help whom? Who asked the Italians to “rescue” anyone?

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  18. Harold says:
    @Bliss

    Puerto Rico did really bad on the Math portion of the PISA, worse than Jordan, and better than only Colombia, Qatar, Indonesia, and Peru. (No doubt there are countries that would score worse than Peru, but they don’t participate in PISA.)
     
    And yet Peru performs the best of all the Latin American nations in the International Math Olympiad. It ranked #16 in the 2015 IMO, well above developed nations like Japan, Germany, Spain, Israel etc

    https://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx

    IMO rankings mean little since so few people care about the IMO.

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    IMO rankings mean little since so few people care about the IMO
     
    Few people like you perhaps. Those who care about math and understand it's importance will have a different opinion. IMO medal winners often go on to win the Fields Medal which is like the Nobel Prize of math, the latest examples being Artur Avila of Brazil and Maryam Mirzakhani (a female) of Iran. IMO medalists have also become notable computer scientists:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_International_Mathematical_Olympiad_participants
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  19. anon says: • Disclaimer

    OT:

    Here is what appears to be a quite “high-brow” critique of Wade’s Book a Troublesome Inheritance:

    http://nothinginbiology.org/2014/07/01/a-guide-to-the-science-and-pseudoscience-of-a-troublesome-inheritance-part-i-the-genetics-of-human-populations/

    As far as I can tell, the author says that human genetic variation is correlated with ancestry, but to call this “race” is wrong because ….well because Semantics.

    “So, in summary, we find that although human populations exhibit geographic variation, this is not the same thing as ‘race.’ Genetic data do indicate that human populations are genetically variable (unsurprisingly), and that populations that are geographically nearby each other are more similar to each other than populations of people that live on opposite sides of the world (also unsurprising). “

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  20. Just goes to prove what they say is true; among Hispanics, Puerto Ricans are the lowest of the low. And by “they” I mean mostly other Hispanics. A person I know who lived in PR told me a story about how he had to have work done on his house and asked a friend for the name of a good contractor. The friend gave him a name, but also felt the need to add “don’t worry, he’s Cuban”. And the friend was himself Puerto Rican.

    One might be tempted to rank Haitians below Puerto Ricans, if you want to count Haitians as Latin Americans. But people I’ve known in South Florida have said that despite their flaws, Haitians tend to be very hard workers. No one I know has ever said that about Puerto Ricans.

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    • Agree: Travis
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  21. Bliss says:
    @Harold
    IMO rankings mean little since so few people care about the IMO.

    IMO rankings mean little since so few people care about the IMO

    Few people like you perhaps. Those who care about math and understand it’s importance will have a different opinion. IMO medal winners often go on to win the Fields Medal which is like the Nobel Prize of math, the latest examples being Artur Avila of Brazil and Maryam Mirzakhani (a female) of Iran. IMO medalists have also become notable computer scientists:

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

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harold

    Few people like you perhaps. Those who care about math and understand it’s importance will have a different opinion.
     
    Mathematics and computer science are my areas of expertise. I could talk about my contributions thereto but I would risk identifying myself. I also grew up in a household in which mathematics was seen as important; my mother has a degree in mathematics (and also a degree in computer science).

    IMO medal winners often go on to win the Fields Medal which is like the Nobel Prize of math
     
    I know it has often been said that the Fields Medal is “the Nobel Prize of mathematics”, but this is an outdated notion. The Abel Prize is more like the “Nobel Prize of mathematics”.

    Few people care about the IMO. A lot of people who are enthusiatic about Mathematics are completely uninterested in the IMO. Moreover, it is much more of a thing in some countries than others, making it useless for between country comparisons of mathematical ability.

    , @syonredux
    Well, here's a list of Fields Medal winners.It's dominated by Europeans and Asians:


    United States 12

    France 10

    Soviet Union (3) / Russia (6) 9

    United Kingdom 7

    Japan 3
    Belgium 2

    West Germany (1) / Germany (0) 1

    Australia 1

    British Hong Kong 1

    Finland 1

    Israel 1

    Italy 1

    Norway 1

    New Zealand 1

    Sweden 1

    Vietnam 1

    Iran 1

    Brazil 1

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  22. eah says:

    At the moment Drudge is linking to a story that claims in the next ten years the US will issue more green cards than the population of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina combined (it’s left as an exercise to determine approx how many that is). Question: In aggregate, ie on average, will these people have PISA scores closer to the US average, or to the Puerto Rican average?

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  23. Blobby5 says:

    While the Pentagon is tipping over Guam, maybe they can have the navy tow Ghetto Rico closer to Canada.

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  24. There is probably more to it than genetics and brain drain. Read Richard Feynman’s account of the authoritarian, memorization-based education system in Brazil and what it was doing even to bright university students.

    (Note: Feynman never hesitated to go red-pill when the evidence demanded it.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Difference Maker
    He found a grand total of two bright students in the entire country, and who unsurprisingly evinced their abilities: one was self taught and the other had managed to land an education in Germany
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  25. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous
    You've got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
    Despite their 'penchant' for nefarious activities, these two ethnicities must be admitted, by all those in the know, as two of the very smartest ethnicities on earth.

    You’ve got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
    Despite their ‘penchant’ for nefarious activities, these two ethnicities must be admitted, by all those in the know, as two of the very smartest ethnicities on earth.

    Relative to the contemporary Levant/Near East, sure.On the other hand, the Armenians don’t exactly have a world-class output in the arts and the sciences

    The Greeks, of course, did lead the world in just about every field of human accomplishment….two thousand years ago.For the last 1500 years, their output has been somewhat less impressive.

    Read More
    • Replies: @sprfls
    I've always wondered -- what happened to the Greeks? Is it...

    that some other Europeans merely caught up?
    too many upper-class Greeks got their heads chopped off?
    dilution of ancient Greek gene pool?
    Greek IQ has a particularly wide variance? (e.g., there's a noticeable presence of smart Greek guys in UK and Dutch universities. Brain drain again...)

    I guess some combo of all of these.
    , @Glossy
    Based on stereotypes and observation I would say that both Armenians and Greeks have bifurcated IQ distributions. They have a lot more top-notch people than you'd expect from countries with a 90-ish mean. A part of their population is descended from Mediterranean peasants and another part from Ottoman-era mercantile, market-dominant minorities. So I would expect their distributions to have two humps, which isn't very bell-curve-like.
    , @Anonymous
    What about the Byzantine Empire, which lasted until 500 years ago?

    Also, the world's smartest man is Greek:

    http://psiq.org/world_genius_directory_geniuses/geniuses.htm

    Note that 5 out of the 20 smartest men in the world are Greek, and that Greeks seem to be very overrepresented on the list overall.
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  26. Prole says:

    Puerto Ricans may not be smart but Puerto Rican women are considered the “perfect” human, says a Berkeley biologist, because they have the closest genetic information to the ideal genotype

    http://www.medicaldaily.com/biologist-says-puerto-rican-women-possess-ideal-genotype-perfect-human-dna-ancestry-313956

    Women who reside in the U.S. but were born on the island have been shown to have a mixture of 50 percent European, 30 percent West African, and 20 percent Native American. The perfect human is believed to have existed, and it could’ve been Yuiza (Loiza), a Taina woman who became the only female Cacique (chief) of her tribe in Puerto Rico’s history. This suggests to collect all the “good” alleles it is necessary to be admixed, but this itself is not sufficient for perfection, according to Pachter.

    “It makes sense that an individual homozygous for all ‘good’ alleles should be admixed. And that is exactly what Puerto Ricans are, but admixture itself is not sufficient for perfection.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @HandsomeWhiteDevil
    "Puerto Ricans may not be smart but Puerto Rican women are considered the “perfect” human, says a Berkeley biologist, because they have the closest genetic information to the ideal genotype"

    You left out the best part of the article:

    "This "ideal genotype" of these "perfect" humans is expressed most succinctly in the cranial capacities of the cerebral cortex as manifested in the skeletal conformation of the neurocranium to be inferred through phrenological examination of the ossified protuberances, most apparently when Neptune is rising in Sagittarius, and especially when Mercury and Venus are in occultatious conjunction."


    Our overlords really do think there is one born every minute.

    (And they say right-wingers are prone to pseudoscience...)
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  27. syonredux says:

    This phenomenon of the Apathetic Elite seems more common in Latin America than most other places. For example, Mexico and Turkey are fairly similar overall, except that the really smart kids in Turkey, while relatively few in number, are still really smart, while Mexico just doesn’t seem to have much of a high end at all.

    Mexican mediocrity: A concept that Ron Unz simply does not understand.Or maybe he can’t allow himself to understand.Self-deception* is a powerful thing

    *The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life,

    by Robert Trivers

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Folly-Fools-Deceit-Self-Deception/dp/0465085970

    Read More
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  28. @Anonymous
    "I fear Greeks, even bearing gifts."

    “Trust a snake before a Jew and a Jew before a Greek, but don't trust an Armenian.”

    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.
     
    And it takes more than three
    -yan Armenians to beat one LA lifeguard.
    , @Gato de la Biblioteca
    I knew I liked Armenians for a reason!
    , @HA
    "It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek..."

    There are various permutations of that saying, but this is the first one I've heard that had Arabs in it, let alone Arabs being above Greeks. Here are a few:

    Turks<Franks<Greeks<Jews<Armenians

    Turks<Franks<Greeks<Jews<Armenians (the last ineq. by a factor of 6, not 2)


    This one comes closest to your version:

    Jews<Greeks<Syrians<Armenians (all ineq. by a factor of 3, not 2)

    , @Twinkie

    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.
     
    Arabs? No. Maybe Persians, but Arabs? No.
    , @Difference Maker
    It takes the wit of four Turks to over-reach one Frank; two Franks to cheat one Greek; two Greeks to cheat one Jew, and six Jews to cheat one Armenian
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  29. Jack D says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Brain drain can have an outsized impact on small countries like Puerto Rico (which you do allude to).

    Another example: Moldova. ~400 on PISA, versus ~430 for Romania (Moldovans are basically partially Russified Romanians). And Romania had a lot of brain drain itself. So in total, you're probably looking at about a 0.5SD reduction for Moldova relative to what would have happened if it hadn't lost tons of people to brain drain.

    Moldova and PR both have almost the exact same population (3.5mn) and are similarly surrounded by neighbors who significantly richer than them. I suspect that the scale of relative brain drain in Puerto Rico is probably on about the same scale as in Moldova.

    Third example: Ireland (also had a population of ~3-3.5 million throughout most of the 20th century, high fertility rates being canceled out by massive emigration). Before it got rich, it was also 0.5-1SD below its current performance in IQ tests.

    If this approximately the case here as well, then PR's PISA score should be ~430, around the level of the better Latin American countries.

    Since IQ (and g loaded test scores such as PISA) correlate strongly with race, you would expect PR’s test scores to equal the better Latin American countries only if the racial composition was similar. My impression is that Puerto Rico is browner than say Argentina. Argentina is not as European as it pretends to be – there is actually a significant Amerindian contribution to their gene pool, but they have negligible African genes and overall they are mostly European. PR, OTOH, has a significant % of African inheritance. So, brain drain aside, it’s “natural” level is not going to be quite as high as the whiter Latin American countries.

    Remember that Puerto Rico (and Cuba) remained inside the Spanish empire until 1898. If you ever see an especially light skinned Cuban or Puerto Rican and you talk to them, they will usually tell you “my grandfather immigrated from Spain” or something like that – they look European because they are. These are the kind of people you are more likely to find nowadays in Miami than on the islands themselves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Remember that Puerto Rico (and Cuba) remained inside the Spanish empire until 1898. If you ever see an especially light skinned Cuban or Puerto Rican and you talk to them, they will usually tell you “my grandfather immigrated from Spain” or something like that – they look European because they are. These are the kind of people you are more likely to find nowadays in Miami than on the islands themselves."

    Even many light skin Puerto Ricans/Cubans have significant Negro ancestry and are not genetically pure Spaniard. This light skin Puerto Rican girl for example is 23 percent Sub Saharan African according to her 23AndMe results.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTERqO9aIhI

    In Latin America, skin color is not exactly the best indicator of racial purity. Can you image trying to apply a one drop rule in Latin America, what a mess that would be.
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  30. Romanian says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Brain drain can have an outsized impact on small countries like Puerto Rico (which you do allude to).

    Another example: Moldova. ~400 on PISA, versus ~430 for Romania (Moldovans are basically partially Russified Romanians). And Romania had a lot of brain drain itself. So in total, you're probably looking at about a 0.5SD reduction for Moldova relative to what would have happened if it hadn't lost tons of people to brain drain.

    Moldova and PR both have almost the exact same population (3.5mn) and are similarly surrounded by neighbors who significantly richer than them. I suspect that the scale of relative brain drain in Puerto Rico is probably on about the same scale as in Moldova.

    Third example: Ireland (also had a population of ~3-3.5 million throughout most of the 20th century, high fertility rates being canceled out by massive emigration). Before it got rich, it was also 0.5-1SD below its current performance in IQ tests.

    If this approximately the case here as well, then PR's PISA score should be ~430, around the level of the better Latin American countries.

    I would have expected my people to do better than they did, though still worse than the US in the aggregate and Western Europe. Your brain drain hypothesis rings true, especially with Moldova, which, at one point, had the second largest ratio of remittances to GDP in the world, after Tajikistan. I don’t think that there is such a wide intelligence distribution within the core Romanian population (basically excluding Roma) that you can have (still, with all the brain drain) a very good yearly run at international Math competitions with children from all social classes and still have low scores for the general population. Someone above posted a report on goiter in Romania which blew my mind away, because I had no idea that the Communists hadn’t eradicated the problem and it persisted at least until a few years ago. Also, there is a suspicion that the official 3% census figure on the Roma minority is actually 10% in reality, which will impact tests over time (assuming the children attend school) because of the differing distribution of raw IQ.

    [MORE]

    I am young enough (I turn 27 today actually) to still remember my high school days in small town Romania, but I can’t recall any PISA tests. Do they test only in certain cities or schools in the country? I would expect the scores to be better in that case, especially since admittance to high schools within a city is done by student preferences and in order of grades and 8th grade exams. People already know which schools aggregate the best students in certain fields and their children will order their school preferences accordingly.

    I might also posit a general decay in student ability not just because of a shift in the population, but also because of the decay of the school system. The old guard of fire and brimstone and very competent Communist professors (especially in what Americans would call STEM fields) is retiring and their replacements are the people who couldn’t get work within public administration or the private sector (you have yearly reports of wannabe Math teachers failing Math exams etc). When you have the kind of in-depth syllabus we do, even the best students require a good teacher from time to time, to go over things with clarity. The students are also experiencing a sort of ennui – they feel the country does not reward book learning properly (as opposed to the wealth of “role models” on TV) and so do not apply themselves beyond trying to get passing grades. There is also a kind of fatigue setting in – you’re not very interested in school in the first place, but the education regimen is very varied and expansive, to enable students to get a feel for what they want and be able to apply to the specialized University. This means that you’re not just feeding students the minimum to be a good citizen and succeed in a white collar position or whatever, but a lot more than that, leading to the now classic exclamations “What the f*** do I need Combinatorics for? I’m gonna be a Med Student” or “Who cares about the f****** Assyrians or when Rome was sacked or the root causes of the 30 Year War? F*** Cincinnatus and Martin Luther!”

    There is no Pre-Med or Pre-Law in Romania, a system of colleges to attend before your main University. High schools in general need to prepare the same class of students for whatever they might wish to apply to directly – enough Biology to get into Med School (I loved genetics lessons and cell theory, but hated plants and anatomy), or Veterinary School, enough Math to get into Polytechnic (Combinatorics, Derivatives, stuff you don’t teach in High School in the West), Physics of all kinds for choosing your Faculty within the Polytechnic, enough literature and grammar to get into Letters, History, Geography (I had a teacher who insisted on us learning every National capital and would quiz us), two foreign languages, plus at least a year’s worth of other subjects (my school had a year of Latin, in addition to the earlier Latin classes, a year of Economics, a year of Logic and one of Political Theory). That rounds up to about 8-9 hours a day (50 minute lessons plus 10 minute breaks), five days a week, plus the sort of private tutoring groups you get for the most important subjects like those of the Baccalaureate. I flourished in school and still appreciate a well rounded education, but a lot of my colleagues struggled under the very diverse information burden, even the ones who went on to being bright enough students in their chosen fields (or the colleague who became a nuclear physics student at MIT and who struggled in Humanistic classes).

    Read More
    • Replies: @International Jew
    Funny to hear you presenting the late Communist era "fire and brimstone" teachers as an example of excellence. Some old Romanians I've talked to, whose education took place in the 30s and 40s, like to say that the universities went to pot when the prewar generation, educated in Paris and Vienna, got replaced by semiliterate affirmative action cases the Communists pushed through on account of their "healthy" peasant and proletarian background.
    , @Vendetta
    Fascinating commentary on your country. Learned quite a bit from it.
    , @Jim
    I believe that Eastern Europe particularly the Balkans has an iodine deficiency problem.
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  31. Romanian says:
    @anon
    That's why the cops are so hyped up - not an excuse but no cure until the truth is accepted in the public domain.

    #

    on topic:

    iodine deficiency (magnified in some places by fluoride in the water)

    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2004/9241592001.pdf?q=iodine-status-worldwide

    Romania and Moldova are on p. 30

    http://kan-kaz.org/english/files/romania_vignette.pdf

    goiter and cretinism in Romania, mountainous areas especially

    and another

    http://www.unicef.org/ceecis/UNICEF_USI_Strategies_Report_summary_E_print.pdf

    I had no idea… This is news to me, even though I wondered once (when I still had a TV) why they still had public interest ads with iodine table salt. Thank you for this, I am going to share this around on the Romanian grievance pipeline.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Yes, that's the whole reason for putting iodine in table salt, because many regions are poor in iodine which normally occurs in the soil and is taken up by plants. I have heard it was a particular problem in parts of Switzerland; the original "cretins" were iodine deficient persons in the French Alps. The other problem is is that an iodine deficiency will cause goiters, also an issue in areas where the soil is poor in iodine.
    , @anon
    It's an odd thing in that it has been known about for years including operations in Africa to give iodine supplements to kids in the worst effected areas but from the WHO reports it looks like up to half the planet might be operating below their genetic capacity - including many in the west as some of the brightest countries assumed they wouldn't have the problem but they do - they could be brighter.

    It particularly effects mountainous regions - which is why it should be of particular interest to the Balkans - and goiter is one of the signs as it has the same cause.

    Putting it in salt has been the standard response - although UK put it in cattle feed instead so it would get into the milk - but then you get health fads about using less salt or milk having too much fat so the people who need it most, young mothers, don't get enough and their kids are 10% dumber than they would be by genetics.

    It's one of the things that might explain the cases where average national IQ doesn't fit ancestry.
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  32. polynikes says:

    Utah spends the least in the US on public education, per capita, but they still generate better than average test results.

    Guess all that clean living counts for something.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Utah spends the least in the US on public education, per capita, but they still generate better than average test results.

    Guess all that clean living counts for something."

    Utah's racial demographics also help, as that state is significantly Whiter than the national U.S average.
    , @Ivy
    Community participation goes a long ways in helping individual performance. Mormons, Jews, Chinese and other groups benefit by the positive pressures imposed by their communities. Think "The eyes of Texas are upon you" applied at church, school, sports, cultural events, etc instead of the Eye of Sauron. The first strengthens, the second atomizes.
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  33. sprfls says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Brain drain can have an outsized impact on small countries like Puerto Rico (which you do allude to).

    Another example: Moldova. ~400 on PISA, versus ~430 for Romania (Moldovans are basically partially Russified Romanians). And Romania had a lot of brain drain itself. So in total, you're probably looking at about a 0.5SD reduction for Moldova relative to what would have happened if it hadn't lost tons of people to brain drain.

    Moldova and PR both have almost the exact same population (3.5mn) and are similarly surrounded by neighbors who significantly richer than them. I suspect that the scale of relative brain drain in Puerto Rico is probably on about the same scale as in Moldova.

    Third example: Ireland (also had a population of ~3-3.5 million throughout most of the 20th century, high fertility rates being canceled out by massive emigration). Before it got rich, it was also 0.5-1SD below its current performance in IQ tests.

    If this approximately the case here as well, then PR's PISA score should be ~430, around the level of the better Latin American countries.

    Very good point about brain drain. The comparison to Moldova is certainly apt. (Though I think poor little Moldova has it worse than anybody especially considering, in addition to many capable Moldovans/Russians leaving, its significant Jewish population dwindling to basically zero overnight.)

    In general I think the idea that current Western immigration policies really hurt developing countries isn’t hammered home enough by open borders opponents.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Romanian
    You're very much right. You might get rid of unemployment or political trouble from lack of opportunity, but you are permanently losing a part of your genetic resources and also a workforce which is in the prime of its life, after you have already paid for their schooling (and the opportunity cost of not having trained someone else in their stead). Like Aral Vorkosigan said in Bujold's sci-fi books, "all true wealth is biological". A bit of an exaggeration, but true enough, when you see how badly IQ poor and resource rich countries have fared. Almost makes one be ashamed of the 120 IQ types one has languishing around as barristas and community organizers. Or traitors.
    , @Gato de la Biblioteca
    In general I think the idea that current Western immigration policies really hurt developing countries isn’t hammered home enough by open borders opponents.

    That can only really be applied if one believes in the genetic component of intelligence, and the open borders crowd doesn't believe in such things.
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  34. sprfls says:
    @syonredux

    You’ve got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
    Despite their ‘penchant’ for nefarious activities, these two ethnicities must be admitted, by all those in the know, as two of the very smartest ethnicities on earth.
     
    Relative to the contemporary Levant/Near East, sure.On the other hand, the Armenians don't exactly have a world-class output in the arts and the sciences

    The Greeks, of course, did lead the world in just about every field of human accomplishment....two thousand years ago.For the last 1500 years, their output has been somewhat less impressive.

    I’ve always wondered — what happened to the Greeks? Is it…

    that some other Europeans merely caught up?
    too many upper-class Greeks got their heads chopped off?
    dilution of ancient Greek gene pool?
    Greek IQ has a particularly wide variance? (e.g., there’s a noticeable presence of smart Greek guys in UK and Dutch universities. Brain drain again…)

    I guess some combo of all of these.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    I’ve always wondered — what happened to the Greeks? Is it…

    that some other Europeans merely caught up?
    too many upper-class Greeks got their heads chopped off?
    dilution of ancient Greek gene pool?
    Greek IQ has a particularly wide variance? (e.g., there’s a noticeable presence of smart Greek guys in UK and Dutch universities. Brain drain again…)

    I guess some combo of all of these.
     
    I dunno, but it is disquieting.From the 8th century BC (the period when the Homeric epics coalesced) to roughly the 3rd century AD, the Greeks led the world in the arts and the sciences.Then things started to go downhill.
    , @anon

    I’ve always wondered — what happened to the Greeks? Is it…
     
    I don't think IQ is enough on its own and there's some other x factor involved.

    It's like China being ahead of the game for a long time and then stalling.

    Personally I think a minimum average IQ and a small amount of "wildness" may be necessary where by wildness I mean certain genes that are useful to HGs but not so useful to farmers and get bred out over time.

    So maybe innovation gradually creates civilization and then civilization gradually kills innovation.
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  35. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @John Derbyshire
    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.

    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.

    And it takes more than three
    -yan Armenians to beat one LA lifeguard.

    Read More
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  36. I recently dropped off a bagful of bottles at a local supermarket to redeem the deposit. A young non-White-non-Asian-minority women behind the counter toted up what I was due on a calculator and handed me $27.55. I’d been doing the calcualtion in my head and figured I was actually due $2.75. I never did figure out where the extra nickel in her calculation came from. I was tempted to penalize her employer for allowing someone with this level of incompetence a job but honesty won out (those northern European genes and an intact family rearing I guess).

    It is frightening to me that this pathetic young woman had so little grasp of arithmetic that she did not at once realize that an order of magnitude discrepancy with reality signaled an error in the answer her calculator had provided. This level of innumeracy is nearly beyond belief but seems to be more common as time passes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hibernian
    I've had 2 incidents (1 on vacation in NYC and 1 at home in Chicago) where a cashier made a small error in my favor which I didn't notice, then yelled at me accusing me of cheating as I was about to leave the store with my purchase. Somehow I think at least 1 of the 2 was deliberate.
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  37. gwood says:

    …while Mexico just doesn’t seem to have much of a high end at all.

    Miguel Alcubierre doesn’t seem too dull. I wonder why some Silicon Valley zillionare doesn’t offer him big bucks to be Resident Deep Thinker? Think of the diversity points you’d get for that. (Plus the Trekkies would love it.)

    Read More
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  38. @Romanian
    I would have expected my people to do better than they did, though still worse than the US in the aggregate and Western Europe. Your brain drain hypothesis rings true, especially with Moldova, which, at one point, had the second largest ratio of remittances to GDP in the world, after Tajikistan. I don't think that there is such a wide intelligence distribution within the core Romanian population (basically excluding Roma) that you can have (still, with all the brain drain) a very good yearly run at international Math competitions with children from all social classes and still have low scores for the general population. Someone above posted a report on goiter in Romania which blew my mind away, because I had no idea that the Communists hadn't eradicated the problem and it persisted at least until a few years ago. Also, there is a suspicion that the official 3% census figure on the Roma minority is actually 10% in reality, which will impact tests over time (assuming the children attend school) because of the differing distribution of raw IQ.


    I am young enough (I turn 27 today actually) to still remember my high school days in small town Romania, but I can't recall any PISA tests. Do they test only in certain cities or schools in the country? I would expect the scores to be better in that case, especially since admittance to high schools within a city is done by student preferences and in order of grades and 8th grade exams. People already know which schools aggregate the best students in certain fields and their children will order their school preferences accordingly.

    I might also posit a general decay in student ability not just because of a shift in the population, but also because of the decay of the school system. The old guard of fire and brimstone and very competent Communist professors (especially in what Americans would call STEM fields) is retiring and their replacements are the people who couldn't get work within public administration or the private sector (you have yearly reports of wannabe Math teachers failing Math exams etc). When you have the kind of in-depth syllabus we do, even the best students require a good teacher from time to time, to go over things with clarity. The students are also experiencing a sort of ennui - they feel the country does not reward book learning properly (as opposed to the wealth of "role models" on TV) and so do not apply themselves beyond trying to get passing grades. There is also a kind of fatigue setting in - you're not very interested in school in the first place, but the education regimen is very varied and expansive, to enable students to get a feel for what they want and be able to apply to the specialized University. This means that you're not just feeding students the minimum to be a good citizen and succeed in a white collar position or whatever, but a lot more than that, leading to the now classic exclamations "What the f*** do I need Combinatorics for? I'm gonna be a Med Student" or "Who cares about the f****** Assyrians or when Rome was sacked or the root causes of the 30 Year War? F*** Cincinnatus and Martin Luther!"

    There is no Pre-Med or Pre-Law in Romania, a system of colleges to attend before your main University. High schools in general need to prepare the same class of students for whatever they might wish to apply to directly - enough Biology to get into Med School (I loved genetics lessons and cell theory, but hated plants and anatomy), or Veterinary School, enough Math to get into Polytechnic (Combinatorics, Derivatives, stuff you don't teach in High School in the West), Physics of all kinds for choosing your Faculty within the Polytechnic, enough literature and grammar to get into Letters, History, Geography (I had a teacher who insisted on us learning every National capital and would quiz us), two foreign languages, plus at least a year's worth of other subjects (my school had a year of Latin, in addition to the earlier Latin classes, a year of Economics, a year of Logic and one of Political Theory). That rounds up to about 8-9 hours a day (50 minute lessons plus 10 minute breaks), five days a week, plus the sort of private tutoring groups you get for the most important subjects like those of the Baccalaureate. I flourished in school and still appreciate a well rounded education, but a lot of my colleagues struggled under the very diverse information burden, even the ones who went on to being bright enough students in their chosen fields (or the colleague who became a nuclear physics student at MIT and who struggled in Humanistic classes).

    Funny to hear you presenting the late Communist era “fire and brimstone” teachers as an example of excellence. Some old Romanians I’ve talked to, whose education took place in the 30s and 40s, like to say that the universities went to pot when the prewar generation, educated in Paris and Vienna, got replaced by semiliterate affirmative action cases the Communists pushed through on account of their “healthy” peasant and proletarian background.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Vendetta
    That's decades removed from the time he was talking about. Both may well be true since there was a generational gap between them.
    , @Jack D
    Not to mention that most of the Jews left. I don't know what the situation was in Romania, but 99% of the time when you hear about a brilliant Hungarian mathematician/scientist, etc. the fellow turns out to actually be Jewish (or at least of Jewish descent - it was not uncommon for successful Jews to convert in Hungary ), not ethnic Hungarian.
    , @reiner Tor
    Actually, if Hungary is any guide, while there was a drop in standards after 1945, enough of the old guard stayed on to eventually train the next generation of whatever background (affirmative action for workers' and peasants' children ceased after 1956), and quality remained relatively high (at least in STEM fields which were way less politicized). Yes, these guys often knew no Latin, neither did they speak foreign languages, but they were good enough to teach the STEM subjects well.
    , @Romanian
    Well, you don't need to be a genius with 140 IQ to teach High School children or lower than that. Nor do you need to study abroad for it (that has always been to compensate for lack of in-country opportunities and for credentialism... also for determining a political bent for a later career). It might actually be a disadvantage to be that smart and teach, or teach below University level, because of the repetitiveness and the correlation with lack of social graces. You only need to be intelligent enough to handle the workload (especially for advanced Math and other subjects), the rest is about discipline, enforcing standards and having interpersonal skills to at least get the information across to students, especially the all important middle segment of not too dumb, but not too bright. That's what I meant by fire and brimstone.

    Given Romania's increasing population at the time (rapidly increasing in later years, with the pro-natalist policies), whatever brain drain we had after the Communists took over (which was, admittedly, significant) was compensated for by the rest of the population. You can argue, like one other poster, that we also lost a lot of Jews over time (quite a lot of Romanian speakers in Israel, as well as in the States, if the commenter Old Jew who left Romania in the 1970s is any indication) as well as some other possibly higher achieving minorities, like Hungarians and definitely Germans, which would affect National output regardless of the increase in the main ethnicity (we went from 70% to 90% Romanians during Communist times, though a lot of that was also due to losing Bessarabia, Budjak and Hertza (Chernivtsi) which were much more diverse than the core country). Lynn and Kahneman have the Romanian IQ at somewhere around 96 (I hope it's a bit larger now due to Flynn effect), which allows for quite a healthy dollop of intelligent sorts, especially if there is a firm hand sifting for them through the general population.

    The Communists might actually have had it better in certain ways, though other posters rightly point out political considerations in promoting undeserving fellows or in the politicized conduct of certain types of teaching and research (like that of Economics and Social Sciences, as opposed to STEM). The Soviets and their allies relied on resource mobilization to achieve rapid economic growth, which is why they seemed to grow so rapidly versus the West in the beginning and lagged terribly later. This explains, for instance, the Soviet success in reducing child mortality faster than the US and also in absolute terms before it rebounded in the 1980s. Romania was still very much a peasant and rural society before the Commies, despite its rapid advances in industrialization, infrastructure construction and the important metric of having an indigenous intellectual elite (which was not all Jewish). But it was the Commies who promoted rapid social mobility through education and equity feminism among the population (the good kind of feminism). Sure, you had a lot of up-jumped peasants mucking about (Ceausescu, for instance), but they also discovered quite a lot of brainpower languishing in villages and the fields. If you analyze the backgrounds of some of our most important pre-WW2 intellectuals, you will note a high incidence of an aristocratic or at least landed gentry background (or foreign mercantile origin). With their (admittedly shameful) sidelining and dispossession during Communism as class enemies, you start to see, especially in the technical fields, the rise of the peasants' children, especially since the rewards of education were obvious, basically guaranteed and highly sought after, unlike today.

    I made the point before, somewhere else on this site, that my own origins are rather humble - poor peasants with basic literacy and numeracy taught by the village priest (different villages, so at least I'm not inbred). My parents were the first generation in their families to finish high school and then attend University (like all of their siblings and cousins), married late and became an Engineer and Economist, upper middle class both (also in the Communist pecking order, where durables like housing and cars were allotted centrally).

    It is also important to remember that, while this has important social and economic costs, the distribution of jobs was also regulated centrally by the government (those "sent to Siberia" jokes). Unless you had some specialty that demanded a certain location, like an Oil Extraction Engineer being placed near sites and so on, the general rule was that the best were assigned to the most important cities - the best medical students would become doctors in the Capital, the second best in major cities etc. It was the same for most other positions, with the exceptions of those that follow the jobs (people in refining went to where the refineries were, automotive engineers went to the respective factories and unskilled labor had the least say in where the were sent, which was also how emptier parts of the country, like Dobrogea, were developed etc). So you had a lot of brainpower determining social class and clustering together with eugenic effects. And, within cities, there was a clustering according to talent, where the best schools were assigned the best teachers and would receive the best students (after 8th grade), the best general hospitals would be the most prestigious posting etc. This also ensured high performance in the attribution of scarce human resources.

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  39. Vendetta says:
    @Romanian
    I would have expected my people to do better than they did, though still worse than the US in the aggregate and Western Europe. Your brain drain hypothesis rings true, especially with Moldova, which, at one point, had the second largest ratio of remittances to GDP in the world, after Tajikistan. I don't think that there is such a wide intelligence distribution within the core Romanian population (basically excluding Roma) that you can have (still, with all the brain drain) a very good yearly run at international Math competitions with children from all social classes and still have low scores for the general population. Someone above posted a report on goiter in Romania which blew my mind away, because I had no idea that the Communists hadn't eradicated the problem and it persisted at least until a few years ago. Also, there is a suspicion that the official 3% census figure on the Roma minority is actually 10% in reality, which will impact tests over time (assuming the children attend school) because of the differing distribution of raw IQ.


    I am young enough (I turn 27 today actually) to still remember my high school days in small town Romania, but I can't recall any PISA tests. Do they test only in certain cities or schools in the country? I would expect the scores to be better in that case, especially since admittance to high schools within a city is done by student preferences and in order of grades and 8th grade exams. People already know which schools aggregate the best students in certain fields and their children will order their school preferences accordingly.

    I might also posit a general decay in student ability not just because of a shift in the population, but also because of the decay of the school system. The old guard of fire and brimstone and very competent Communist professors (especially in what Americans would call STEM fields) is retiring and their replacements are the people who couldn't get work within public administration or the private sector (you have yearly reports of wannabe Math teachers failing Math exams etc). When you have the kind of in-depth syllabus we do, even the best students require a good teacher from time to time, to go over things with clarity. The students are also experiencing a sort of ennui - they feel the country does not reward book learning properly (as opposed to the wealth of "role models" on TV) and so do not apply themselves beyond trying to get passing grades. There is also a kind of fatigue setting in - you're not very interested in school in the first place, but the education regimen is very varied and expansive, to enable students to get a feel for what they want and be able to apply to the specialized University. This means that you're not just feeding students the minimum to be a good citizen and succeed in a white collar position or whatever, but a lot more than that, leading to the now classic exclamations "What the f*** do I need Combinatorics for? I'm gonna be a Med Student" or "Who cares about the f****** Assyrians or when Rome was sacked or the root causes of the 30 Year War? F*** Cincinnatus and Martin Luther!"

    There is no Pre-Med or Pre-Law in Romania, a system of colleges to attend before your main University. High schools in general need to prepare the same class of students for whatever they might wish to apply to directly - enough Biology to get into Med School (I loved genetics lessons and cell theory, but hated plants and anatomy), or Veterinary School, enough Math to get into Polytechnic (Combinatorics, Derivatives, stuff you don't teach in High School in the West), Physics of all kinds for choosing your Faculty within the Polytechnic, enough literature and grammar to get into Letters, History, Geography (I had a teacher who insisted on us learning every National capital and would quiz us), two foreign languages, plus at least a year's worth of other subjects (my school had a year of Latin, in addition to the earlier Latin classes, a year of Economics, a year of Logic and one of Political Theory). That rounds up to about 8-9 hours a day (50 minute lessons plus 10 minute breaks), five days a week, plus the sort of private tutoring groups you get for the most important subjects like those of the Baccalaureate. I flourished in school and still appreciate a well rounded education, but a lot of my colleagues struggled under the very diverse information burden, even the ones who went on to being bright enough students in their chosen fields (or the colleague who became a nuclear physics student at MIT and who struggled in Humanistic classes).

    Fascinating commentary on your country. Learned quite a bit from it.

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  40. SPMoore8 says:
    @Romanian
    I had no idea... This is news to me, even though I wondered once (when I still had a TV) why they still had public interest ads with iodine table salt. Thank you for this, I am going to share this around on the Romanian grievance pipeline.

    Yes, that’s the whole reason for putting iodine in table salt, because many regions are poor in iodine which normally occurs in the soil and is taken up by plants. I have heard it was a particular problem in parts of Switzerland; the original “cretins” were iodine deficient persons in the French Alps. The other problem is is that an iodine deficiency will cause goiters, also an issue in areas where the soil is poor in iodine.

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  41. Vendetta says:
    @International Jew
    Funny to hear you presenting the late Communist era "fire and brimstone" teachers as an example of excellence. Some old Romanians I've talked to, whose education took place in the 30s and 40s, like to say that the universities went to pot when the prewar generation, educated in Paris and Vienna, got replaced by semiliterate affirmative action cases the Communists pushed through on account of their "healthy" peasant and proletarian background.

    That’s decades removed from the time he was talking about. Both may well be true since there was a generational gap between them.

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  42. iSteveFan says:
    @Anonymous
    You've got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
    Despite their 'penchant' for nefarious activities, these two ethnicities must be admitted, by all those in the know, as two of the very smartest ethnicities on earth.

    You’ve got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.

    Really? I would have thought Turks were a major contributor to modern Greece’s gene pool.

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    • Replies: @Nico

    Really? I would have thought Turks were a major contributor to modern Greece’s gene pool.
     
    Alas, no. The Turkic peoples' homeland is near the highlands of Mongolia and yet the contribution of the Central/East Asian/Mongoloid type to the gene pool of contemporary Asia Minor is relatively small (around 10 to 15 percent if I'm not mistaken), and the "Asiatic" phenotype is relatively rare in contemporary Turkey.

    Meanwhile, the Islamist prime minister Erdogan is pretty open about his Georgian genetic heritage, and reports have been coming in of a growing number of "Crypto-Armenians" in Turkey, converted superficially during the Armenian Genocide, openly reverting to their ancestral names as well as to Christianity.
    , @Anonymous
    From what I understand, the Turks were a small military caste who ruled over large agricultural populations such as the Anatolians and Greeks. "Turk" is apparently more of a linguistic and cultural signifier, and it may actually be more Islamic and native Anatolian in culture than Turkic.
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  43. @Lot
    The migrants are being placed in nice hotels in addition to the $50 a week in spending money:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3182633/MAIL-SUNDAY-COMMENT-nation-wrecked-naive-kindness.html

    Here is description of one of the hotels:

    The BEST WESTERN Park Hall Hotel near Preston is set within 140 acres of beautiful wooded countryside. A world away from everyday life, this hotel combines the feel of a modern, contemporary hotel with the charm of authentic historical buildings.

    We offer rooms that sleep up to 5, so there's plenty of room for everyone! For those here on business, we offer secretarial services as well as a fantastic setting (and an authentic Medieval Banqueting Hall dating back to 966 AD) for a meeting or conference. Whatever your reason for visiting, the hotel offers comfortable rooms, great surroundings (beside a tree-fringed lake with private jetty, perfect for feeding the ducks!) and fantastic leisure facilities. There's also a spa here for even more relaxation!
     

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3182633/MAIL-SUNDAY-COMMENT-nation-wrecked-naive-kindness.html

    The third video in the Daily Mail video is pretty funny. Migrants “storm” past armed “guards” by simply running around them. The “guards” try to use air horns to stop them. It’s straight out of Monty Python.

    I remember seeing a comedy skit about thirty years ago where illegal immigrants snuck across the border disguised as a cardboard rocket ship. Anyone else remember this? It might have been a Monty Python skit.

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  44. @Dan Kurt
    While in college in the early 1960s I had a math professor who was from Poland originally but was displaced by WWII and ended up in South America then Mexico and finally the USA. He taught at Universities math and mechanical engineering. He, BTW, had a double doctorate: Math and Mechanical Engineering, something common at one time in Europe unlike America where STEM Ph.D.s get their degree and then do a series of Post Docs until they land a job.
    Once after class he was talking to a group of us and he said that he was dumfounded to discover that while in South America and Mexico he never encountered a university student with a first rate mind. The students were often eager and diligent but they lacked innate talent. The professor was Catholic not Jewish.
    Dan Kurt

    Explanation for Singapore?

    A fourth of its population is Indian and Malay, do they only test the Chinese?

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    • Replies: @hodag
    Singapore does not have the run of the mill Han, but their core Chinese population is the Cantonese diaspora who have been the traders and moneymen for hundreds of years....same population prrssures as Ashkernazi Jews, the Lebanese trading class (Salma Hayek!), some Indian subcaste (Patel, etc) and even Igbo in Africa. Their Han are very, very smart
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  45. Realist says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Brain drain can have an outsized impact on small countries like Puerto Rico (which you do allude to).

    Another example: Moldova. ~400 on PISA, versus ~430 for Romania (Moldovans are basically partially Russified Romanians). And Romania had a lot of brain drain itself. So in total, you're probably looking at about a 0.5SD reduction for Moldova relative to what would have happened if it hadn't lost tons of people to brain drain.

    Moldova and PR both have almost the exact same population (3.5mn) and are similarly surrounded by neighbors who significantly richer than them. I suspect that the scale of relative brain drain in Puerto Rico is probably on about the same scale as in Moldova.

    Third example: Ireland (also had a population of ~3-3.5 million throughout most of the 20th century, high fertility rates being canceled out by massive emigration). Before it got rich, it was also 0.5-1SD below its current performance in IQ tests.

    If this approximately the case here as well, then PR's PISA score should be ~430, around the level of the better Latin American countries.

    “Brain drain can have an outsized impact on small countries like Puerto Rico (which you do allude to).”

    Brain drain? Too funny.

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  46. iffen says:

    People give liberals a hard time. You should at least acknowledge their resourcefulness.

    If you can’t keep them from dropping out of school, take the school to them in a place where they can’t drop out.

    U.S. Department of Education Launches Second Chance Pell Pilot Program for Incarcerated Individuals

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  47. WhatEvvs [AKA "aamirkhanfan"] says:
    @Anon
    The amateur commentary is priceless.

    https://youtu.be/R_LiOY5iy4Y

    What was more appalling was the ad I was forced to watch (no opt out at 5 secs) from Tylenol, showing a white guy and a black guy and “their” black kid saying, “We don’t need permission to have a family.” They might not need permission from the state, but how do they acquire children?

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    • Replies: @shk12344
    Adblock Plus. It's a must.
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  48. OT: Trump supports cops and mildly criticizes #blacklivesmatters.

    http://crooksandliars.com/2015/08/trump-black-lives-matter-we-have-give

    First immigration, now all the Ferguson anti-cop nonsense. Trump is getting a lot of mileage out of being the only Republican willing to oppose open borders. The logical next step for him is to say some obviously true things about all this Ferguson nonsense. Mainstream Republicans have left these issues wide open to anyone independent enough to address them honestly.

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  49. Barnard says:

    I’m starting to think Puerto Rican independence may be our top immigration priority, even above the border surge and refugee issues. At a minimum, the law needs to be changed so they can’t move to the United States and instantly vote.

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  50. Gato de la Biblioteca [AKA "Icepick"] says:
    @Anon
    The amateur commentary is priceless.

    https://youtu.be/R_LiOY5iy4Y

    Yeah, the old white guy’s commentary is kind of funny. But it’s just another example of BBB, so ultimately, who cares?

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  51. Gato de la Biblioteca [AKA "Icepick"] says:
    @John Derbyshire
    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.

    I knew I liked Armenians for a reason!

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  52. Nico says:
    @iSteveFan

    You’ve got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
     
    Really? I would have thought Turks were a major contributor to modern Greece's gene pool.

    Really? I would have thought Turks were a major contributor to modern Greece’s gene pool.

    Alas, no. The Turkic peoples’ homeland is near the highlands of Mongolia and yet the contribution of the Central/East Asian/Mongoloid type to the gene pool of contemporary Asia Minor is relatively small (around 10 to 15 percent if I’m not mistaken), and the “Asiatic” phenotype is relatively rare in contemporary Turkey.

    Meanwhile, the Islamist prime minister Erdogan is pretty open about his Georgian genetic heritage, and reports have been coming in of a growing number of “Crypto-Armenians” in Turkey, converted superficially during the Armenian Genocide, openly reverting to their ancestral names as well as to Christianity.

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  53. @Anonymous
    You've got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
    Despite their 'penchant' for nefarious activities, these two ethnicities must be admitted, by all those in the know, as two of the very smartest ethnicities on earth.

    Turks also have trace amounts of East Asian in their gene pool as well, from the original stock of nomadic conquerors. The closest relatives of these nomads are isolated Turkic-speaking tribes in the farther reaches of Siberia.

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  54. Jack D says:
    @International Jew
    Funny to hear you presenting the late Communist era "fire and brimstone" teachers as an example of excellence. Some old Romanians I've talked to, whose education took place in the 30s and 40s, like to say that the universities went to pot when the prewar generation, educated in Paris and Vienna, got replaced by semiliterate affirmative action cases the Communists pushed through on account of their "healthy" peasant and proletarian background.

    Not to mention that most of the Jews left. I don’t know what the situation was in Romania, but 99% of the time when you hear about a brilliant Hungarian mathematician/scientist, etc. the fellow turns out to actually be Jewish (or at least of Jewish descent – it was not uncommon for successful Jews to convert in Hungary ), not ethnic Hungarian.

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    The entire center part of Rumania is Transylvania and, until recently (and maybe still) was well known as the home for four distinct ethnic minorities (Rumanians, Hungarians (specifically, Szekelys, where Louis CK gets his name), Germans ("Saxons", brought in many centuries ago), and Yiddish speaking Jews (e.g., Elie Wiesel)).

    Intermarriage and conversion very common among ethnic Jews in Hungary, but part of that is there really isn't a Hungarian *race*, since it is understood that the origin is ultimately a wide variety of Turkic tribes and tribes affiliated with them. It's more a "Sprachbund" and if you learn or speak Hungarian you are generally just considered Hungarian, regardless of origin. Some of the most nationalist Hungarians I have ever known were strongly Jewish in background. OTOH, you do get some abrupt anti-Semitic attitudes, even in the same families.
    , @reiner Tor
    Edward Teller was very well respected in Hungary on both the Left and the Right. On the Left because he was Jewish, and on the Right because of his anti-communist credentials and also because of the patriotic noises he made whenever being interviewed on Hungarian TV in the 90s.
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  55. “The PISA is scored like the SAT with an intended average (in wealthy OECD countries) of 500 and a standard deviation of 100.”

    I can see the intended average, how the hell do you get an intended standard deviation without already having done intensive studies of proficiencies almost on a percentile basis?

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  56. Glossy says: • Website
    @syonredux

    You’ve got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
    Despite their ‘penchant’ for nefarious activities, these two ethnicities must be admitted, by all those in the know, as two of the very smartest ethnicities on earth.
     
    Relative to the contemporary Levant/Near East, sure.On the other hand, the Armenians don't exactly have a world-class output in the arts and the sciences

    The Greeks, of course, did lead the world in just about every field of human accomplishment....two thousand years ago.For the last 1500 years, their output has been somewhat less impressive.

    Based on stereotypes and observation I would say that both Armenians and Greeks have bifurcated IQ distributions. They have a lot more top-notch people than you’d expect from countries with a 90-ish mean. A part of their population is descended from Mediterranean peasants and another part from Ottoman-era mercantile, market-dominant minorities. So I would expect their distributions to have two humps, which isn’t very bell-curve-like.

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    • Replies: @anon
    That's an interesting thought - a downhome population back in the home territory and a large diaspora of mercantile minority scattered all round the med.
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  57. SPMoore8 says:
    @Jack D
    Not to mention that most of the Jews left. I don't know what the situation was in Romania, but 99% of the time when you hear about a brilliant Hungarian mathematician/scientist, etc. the fellow turns out to actually be Jewish (or at least of Jewish descent - it was not uncommon for successful Jews to convert in Hungary ), not ethnic Hungarian.

    The entire center part of Rumania is Transylvania and, until recently (and maybe still) was well known as the home for four distinct ethnic minorities (Rumanians, Hungarians (specifically, Szekelys, where Louis CK gets his name), Germans (“Saxons”, brought in many centuries ago), and Yiddish speaking Jews (e.g., Elie Wiesel)).

    Intermarriage and conversion very common among ethnic Jews in Hungary, but part of that is there really isn’t a Hungarian *race*, since it is understood that the origin is ultimately a wide variety of Turkic tribes and tribes affiliated with them. It’s more a “Sprachbund” and if you learn or speak Hungarian you are generally just considered Hungarian, regardless of origin. Some of the most nationalist Hungarians I have ever known were strongly Jewish in background. OTOH, you do get some abrupt anti-Semitic attitudes, even in the same families.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    The Hungarian language came to Europe from the Urals about a thousand years ago, but the Hungarian people are mostly descended from the pre-historic population of what's now Hungary. The unusual language was brought in by a small group of invaders who were quickly assimilated by the locals. This often happened in pre-modern times. And this language is Uralic, not Turkic. Linguistically Hunagrians stand out from their neighbors, but visually, genetically and culturally they're like other Central Europeans.
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  58. Glossy says: • Website
    @SPMoore8
    The entire center part of Rumania is Transylvania and, until recently (and maybe still) was well known as the home for four distinct ethnic minorities (Rumanians, Hungarians (specifically, Szekelys, where Louis CK gets his name), Germans ("Saxons", brought in many centuries ago), and Yiddish speaking Jews (e.g., Elie Wiesel)).

    Intermarriage and conversion very common among ethnic Jews in Hungary, but part of that is there really isn't a Hungarian *race*, since it is understood that the origin is ultimately a wide variety of Turkic tribes and tribes affiliated with them. It's more a "Sprachbund" and if you learn or speak Hungarian you are generally just considered Hungarian, regardless of origin. Some of the most nationalist Hungarians I have ever known were strongly Jewish in background. OTOH, you do get some abrupt anti-Semitic attitudes, even in the same families.

    The Hungarian language came to Europe from the Urals about a thousand years ago, but the Hungarian people are mostly descended from the pre-historic population of what’s now Hungary. The unusual language was brought in by a small group of invaders who were quickly assimilated by the locals. This often happened in pre-modern times. And this language is Uralic, not Turkic. Linguistically Hunagrians stand out from their neighbors, but visually, genetically and culturally they’re like other Central Europeans.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Hungarian nationalists often dwell on the uniqueness of the language, and this often gets outright absurd. For example it's standard knowledge among the tinfoil hat nationalists that Hungarian is not a Finno-Ugric language but instead closely related to Sumerian/Parthian/Turkish/Japanese/all of the above. Some have put forward the extremely crazy theory of Hungarians arriving from a planet of the star Sirius.

    Of course these are not mainstream nationalist views, but proponents of these views often are relatively well-connected to more mainstream nationalist politicians, especially in Jobbik, but to a lesser extent even in Fidesz.
    , @SPMoore8
    I am not sure about the ethnicity. Some Hungarians I have known look quite unique for Eastern Europe. I am aware that the Magyars are not technically Turkic, however, I don't have time to go into how this ties into the Ural Altaic language family hypothesis and/or Khazar hypothesis and/or the notion that the Szekely's are considered Ur-Magyar even though they are not actually Magyar but apparently Turkic.
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  59. V Vega says:
    @Anon
    The amateur commentary is priceless.

    https://youtu.be/R_LiOY5iy4Y

    The amateur commentary is priceless.

    Maybe I’m a snot, but I think they’re even better with professional commentary:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f46_1438624384

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  60. Anon says: • Disclaimer
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  61. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Newsmax Prime | Pat Buchanan talks about Donald Trump’s surge in the polls

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  62. @International Jew
    Funny to hear you presenting the late Communist era "fire and brimstone" teachers as an example of excellence. Some old Romanians I've talked to, whose education took place in the 30s and 40s, like to say that the universities went to pot when the prewar generation, educated in Paris and Vienna, got replaced by semiliterate affirmative action cases the Communists pushed through on account of their "healthy" peasant and proletarian background.

    Actually, if Hungary is any guide, while there was a drop in standards after 1945, enough of the old guard stayed on to eventually train the next generation of whatever background (affirmative action for workers’ and peasants’ children ceased after 1956), and quality remained relatively high (at least in STEM fields which were way less politicized). Yes, these guys often knew no Latin, neither did they speak foreign languages, but they were good enough to teach the STEM subjects well.

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    • Replies: @Romanian
    You can see that also by checking out the International Math Olympiad started by the Communist countries in 1956 (I doubt Dwayne Camacho Mountain Dew Elizondo from Idiocracy would start a Math Olympiad) and then expanded to include many other countries.

    This website has a lot of data you can sift through - individual scores, team scores, medals, rankings.

    https://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx

    It isn't representative for the whole population, but you can see, even until the late Communist period and the post-Communist period, when the pre-War types had died out, that performance was very high in Eastern Europe. So, there was a kind of continuity of excellence at least in STEM.
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  63. @Glossy
    The Hungarian language came to Europe from the Urals about a thousand years ago, but the Hungarian people are mostly descended from the pre-historic population of what's now Hungary. The unusual language was brought in by a small group of invaders who were quickly assimilated by the locals. This often happened in pre-modern times. And this language is Uralic, not Turkic. Linguistically Hunagrians stand out from their neighbors, but visually, genetically and culturally they're like other Central Europeans.

    Hungarian nationalists often dwell on the uniqueness of the language, and this often gets outright absurd. For example it’s standard knowledge among the tinfoil hat nationalists that Hungarian is not a Finno-Ugric language but instead closely related to Sumerian/Parthian/Turkish/Japanese/all of the above. Some have put forward the extremely crazy theory of Hungarians arriving from a planet of the star Sirius.

    Of course these are not mainstream nationalist views, but proponents of these views often are relatively well-connected to more mainstream nationalist politicians, especially in Jobbik, but to a lesser extent even in Fidesz.

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Because Hungarian is agglutinative (i.e., tacks endings onto nouns to create meaning) I have seen it associated with everything from the third language on the Rock of Behistun to the Dravidian family to the Indus Valley family, etc. etc.

    When there's only 10 million of you in a sea of Rumanians, Slavs, and Germans, you have to work at your identity.
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  64. @Jack D
    Not to mention that most of the Jews left. I don't know what the situation was in Romania, but 99% of the time when you hear about a brilliant Hungarian mathematician/scientist, etc. the fellow turns out to actually be Jewish (or at least of Jewish descent - it was not uncommon for successful Jews to convert in Hungary ), not ethnic Hungarian.

    Edward Teller was very well respected in Hungary on both the Left and the Right. On the Left because he was Jewish, and on the Right because of his anti-communist credentials and also because of the patriotic noises he made whenever being interviewed on Hungarian TV in the 90s.

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  65. SPMoore8 says:
    @Glossy
    The Hungarian language came to Europe from the Urals about a thousand years ago, but the Hungarian people are mostly descended from the pre-historic population of what's now Hungary. The unusual language was brought in by a small group of invaders who were quickly assimilated by the locals. This often happened in pre-modern times. And this language is Uralic, not Turkic. Linguistically Hunagrians stand out from their neighbors, but visually, genetically and culturally they're like other Central Europeans.

    I am not sure about the ethnicity. Some Hungarians I have known look quite unique for Eastern Europe. I am aware that the Magyars are not technically Turkic, however, I don’t have time to go into how this ties into the Ural Altaic language family hypothesis and/or Khazar hypothesis and/or the notion that the Szekely’s are considered Ur-Magyar even though they are not actually Magyar but apparently Turkic.

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  66. SPMoore8 says:
    @reiner Tor
    Hungarian nationalists often dwell on the uniqueness of the language, and this often gets outright absurd. For example it's standard knowledge among the tinfoil hat nationalists that Hungarian is not a Finno-Ugric language but instead closely related to Sumerian/Parthian/Turkish/Japanese/all of the above. Some have put forward the extremely crazy theory of Hungarians arriving from a planet of the star Sirius.

    Of course these are not mainstream nationalist views, but proponents of these views often are relatively well-connected to more mainstream nationalist politicians, especially in Jobbik, but to a lesser extent even in Fidesz.

    Because Hungarian is agglutinative (i.e., tacks endings onto nouns to create meaning) I have seen it associated with everything from the third language on the Rock of Behistun to the Dravidian family to the Indus Valley family, etc. etc.

    When there’s only 10 million of you in a sea of Rumanians, Slavs, and Germans, you have to work at your identity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I'm Hungarian, and I think this strategy of "working on our identity" by creating crazy tinfoil hat theories about our descent from Sumerians is bad in the extreme. Hungarian history is full of things we could be proud of without inventing these crazy things.

    Actually, older Hungarian nationalists (like Bálint Hóman 70 years ago) didn't think Hungarians were related to Huns/Kazakhs/Turks/Japanese/Sumerians/Scythians/Persians/Arabs/whoever seems cool unlike those boring Finns/all of the above. What's wrong with being related to Finns, anyway? Or being related to other Central Europeans? (Especially the Poles, who we consider to be brothers anyway. OK, I can see objections to being related to Slovakians and Romanians, but many Hungarians have some Slovak ancestry, and Romanians might be a bit more distantly related than other neighboring nations, but still there was some admixture in Transylvania, so it would be extremely unlikely that we would be totally unrelated to them.)

    , @Romanian
    I would disagree with that sea of Romanians etc. First, the Slavs are divided and their historical weakness is in the name and the bloody past. Though some Romanians used to say that our only friends are the Serbs and the Black Sea. If you look at the map, Hungary has a larger population than all of its neighbors except Romania and Ukraine (with which it has a small border). That's larger than 4 out of 6 countries. It also has significant populations in neighboring countries that are politically active and ethnically oriented. And I wouldn't exactly consider Ukrainian and Romanian identity threatening - the populations are neither growing (rapidly decreasing in fact), the economies are less dynamic than one could hope for, the cultures are not expansionist, nor are they characterized by some sort of cultural virility that overwhelms others (like it appears certain Muslim populations possess). In all respects, including respect for their sovereignty and their heritage and forwardness in defending them (notice the current kulturkampf in Hungary regarding refugees and the Roma), the Hungarians outclass all their neighbors except for Austria. If there is any reason to be paranoid and over-protective about their identity, the reason would be historical scars from their loss of territory, imperial splendor and co-ethnics at the end of WW1 (Admiral Horthy had no coastline and no navy). There was this Danish political drama I very much enjoyed, called Borgen (The Castle), and it had quotes before every episode. One of them went something like - "the story of the Danes is that of the fall of a great tribe". It fits here too.


    PS If you want crackpot theories on ethnicity, my employer has a menial employee who is what Ceausescu would term a "protochronist", someone who ascribes exaggerated importance to our Thracian forebears.

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

    Among other things, he believes that the source of European civilization is in the Carpathians, because of the abundance of easy to reach salt for human consumption, trade and food preservation. He also thinks there are millions of speakers of Romanian in India (although all the Indian speakers of Romanian that have been attested to are right here with us :D) because of the similarities between quite a large number of words. This would, theoretically, be down to the Indo-European roots of the languages, but it leads protochronists to thoughts like Roman culture having its early roots in Thracian territories etc. Very ouroboros circular kind of thinking.

    https://andreeasoarero.wordpress.com/in-asia-over-80-000-000-people-speak-romanian/
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  67. @SPMoore8
    Because Hungarian is agglutinative (i.e., tacks endings onto nouns to create meaning) I have seen it associated with everything from the third language on the Rock of Behistun to the Dravidian family to the Indus Valley family, etc. etc.

    When there's only 10 million of you in a sea of Rumanians, Slavs, and Germans, you have to work at your identity.

    I’m Hungarian, and I think this strategy of “working on our identity” by creating crazy tinfoil hat theories about our descent from Sumerians is bad in the extreme. Hungarian history is full of things we could be proud of without inventing these crazy things.

    Actually, older Hungarian nationalists (like Bálint Hóman 70 years ago) didn’t think Hungarians were related to Huns/Kazakhs/Turks/Japanese/Sumerians/Scythians/Persians/Arabs/whoever seems cool unlike those boring Finns/all of the above. What’s wrong with being related to Finns, anyway? Or being related to other Central Europeans? (Especially the Poles, who we consider to be brothers anyway. OK, I can see objections to being related to Slovakians and Romanians, but many Hungarians have some Slovak ancestry, and Romanians might be a bit more distantly related than other neighboring nations, but still there was some admixture in Transylvania, so it would be extremely unlikely that we would be totally unrelated to them.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Why the objection to Slovaks and Romanians?
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  68. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @syonredux

    You’ve got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
    Despite their ‘penchant’ for nefarious activities, these two ethnicities must be admitted, by all those in the know, as two of the very smartest ethnicities on earth.
     
    Relative to the contemporary Levant/Near East, sure.On the other hand, the Armenians don't exactly have a world-class output in the arts and the sciences

    The Greeks, of course, did lead the world in just about every field of human accomplishment....two thousand years ago.For the last 1500 years, their output has been somewhat less impressive.

    What about the Byzantine Empire, which lasted until 500 years ago?

    Also, the world’s smartest man is Greek:

    http://psiq.org/world_genius_directory_geniuses/geniuses.htm

    Note that 5 out of the 20 smartest men in the world are Greek, and that Greeks seem to be very overrepresented on the list overall.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    What about the Byzantine Empire, which lasted until 500 years ago?
     
    Well, the the Byzantine Empire (330-1453) had its moments, but you can't really compare it to the glory that was Ancient Greece: Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Diophantus, Thucydides, Archimedes, Eratosthenes, etc

    Also, the world’s smartest man is Greek:

    http://psiq.org/world_genius_directory_geniuses/geniuses.htm

    Note that 5 out of the 20 smartest men in the world are Greek, and that Greeks seem to be very overrepresented on the list overall.
     
    I'm afraid that I find lists like that rather less impressive than ones that catalogue people who have achieved great things in the arts and the sciences.Take, for example, this Dr Evangelos Katsioulis, with his 198 IQ.Has he invented technologies that rival those of Watt and Edison? Has he made mathematical discoveries that equal those of Gauss and Euler? As a physicist, is he a peer of Newton and Einstein?etc, etc

    Having the world's highest measured IQ is much less impressive than inventing the steam engine or creating calculus....
    , @Kolchak
    Greek men also rate themselves as the world's sexiest. Who was measuring IQ?
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  69. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    http://web.mit.edu/physics/about/diversity.html

    MIT Department of Physics

    The MIT Physics Department is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty and student populations to improve our excellence and to better serve the society that supports our work.

    Like in many physics departments, white males are over-represented in our student and faculty populations. There are several reasons to pursue change, seeking to increase the number of women and under-represented minorities in our community:

    As the US becomes more diverse, we must evolve to remain relevant.
    White males are a decreasing minority in the US. The MIT mission statement calls us to serve the nation and the world.

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  70. Anon says: • Disclaimer
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  71. hodag says:
    @Kent Gatewood
    Explanation for Singapore?

    A fourth of its population is Indian and Malay, do they only test the Chinese?

    Singapore does not have the run of the mill Han, but their core Chinese population is the Cantonese diaspora who have been the traders and moneymen for hundreds of years….same population prrssures as Ashkernazi Jews, the Lebanese trading class (Salma Hayek!), some Indian subcaste (Patel, etc) and even Igbo in Africa. Their Han are very, very smart

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Singapore does not have the run of the mill Han, but their core Chinese population is the Cantonese diaspora who have been the traders and moneymen for hundreds of years
     
    Not exactly. Singaporean Chinese are mostly speakers of Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, and Hainanese, in decreasing population size. By a sizable margin, the plurality is Hokkien-speakers from southern Fujian or descended from that group.
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  72. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @reiner Tor
    I'm Hungarian, and I think this strategy of "working on our identity" by creating crazy tinfoil hat theories about our descent from Sumerians is bad in the extreme. Hungarian history is full of things we could be proud of without inventing these crazy things.

    Actually, older Hungarian nationalists (like Bálint Hóman 70 years ago) didn't think Hungarians were related to Huns/Kazakhs/Turks/Japanese/Sumerians/Scythians/Persians/Arabs/whoever seems cool unlike those boring Finns/all of the above. What's wrong with being related to Finns, anyway? Or being related to other Central Europeans? (Especially the Poles, who we consider to be brothers anyway. OK, I can see objections to being related to Slovakians and Romanians, but many Hungarians have some Slovak ancestry, and Romanians might be a bit more distantly related than other neighboring nations, but still there was some admixture in Transylvania, so it would be extremely unlikely that we would be totally unrelated to them.)

    Why the objection to Slovaks and Romanians?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Oh, we have some minor territorial disputes with them, like Hungary lost two thirds of its territory to them (and to Serbia) in 1918-20, including a third of its ethnically Hungarian population. Romanians (but not Slovakians) are also seen as an extremely backwards Balkan people, less cultured then our other neighbors. If I had to name just one enemy nation, I'd name Romania.

    Of course most people don't care for that anymore, since everybody knows that Romania is twice the size of Hungary, so we'd have no chance against them. Also Transylvania now has an 80+% Romanian majority, with the only two majority Hungarian counties being in the middle of Romania hundreds of kilometers from the Hungarian border, so the last remaining nationalist goal is autonomy for those two counties. I don't think we'll get even that. Not that it matters, we are on our way of losing the remaining country to an ever increasing Gypsy population, and possibly also "refugees".

    There's a funny (probably apocriphal) story about Hungary (and its relation to Romania) from the time of WW2. At the time the Hungarian head of state was Admiral Horthy as regent (he had been the admiral of the Austro-Hungarian Navy). Following German pressure Hungary declared war on the US, and according to the story while receiving the memorandum about the war an American diplomat asked a Hungarian diplomat some questions.
    "You are a kingdom. So, do you have a king?"
    "No, we have an admiral."
    "I see. So you must have a fleet."
    "No, we're landlocked."
    "So, what are your claims against the US?"
    "We have none. We have territorial claims against Romania."
    "So why are you not declaring war on Romania?"
    "We're allied to them."
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  73. OT, there was a strange attack against a young white woman in Shreveport, LA. We learn that a group of young men did the senseless attack.

    Later an arrest is made. You guessed it, a black guy.

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  74. The incredulity here at the idea that the territory that used to be the richest, most advanced part of the Roman Empire and then later the seat of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires might still produce a lot of smart people never fails to amuse.

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  75. HA says:
    @John Derbyshire
    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.

    “It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek…”

    There are various permutations of that saying, but this is the first one I’ve heard that had Arabs in it, let alone Arabs being above Greeks. Here are a few:

    Turks<Franks<Greeks<Jews<Armenians

    Turks<Franks<Greeks<Jews<Armenians (the last ineq. by a factor of 6, not 2)

    This one comes closest to your version:

    Jews<Greeks<Syrians<Armenians (all ineq. by a factor of 3, not 2)

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  76. With Puerto Rico in the news for threatening to go broke,

    Sad to say, there is one word too many in that clause…

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  77. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Bliss

    Puerto Rico did really bad on the Math portion of the PISA, worse than Jordan, and better than only Colombia, Qatar, Indonesia, and Peru. (No doubt there are countries that would score worse than Peru, but they don’t participate in PISA.)
     
    And yet Peru performs the best of all the Latin American nations in the International Math Olympiad. It ranked #16 in the 2015 IMO, well above developed nations like Japan, Germany, Spain, Israel etc

    https://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx

    IMO means something. It means that those two Peruvians with gold medals in 2015 are among the most brilliant pre-college math students in the world . With one placing 17th in the world out of almost 600 of the world top pre-college participants.

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  78. Twinkie says:
    @John Derbyshire
    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.

    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.

    Arabs? No. Maybe Persians, but Arabs? No.

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    • Replies: @PB and J
    Look at the implied region from the ethnicities mentioned -- Anatolia, most likely Constantinople/Istanbul or perhaps one of the three littoral regions.

    The "Arabs" in the saying are not from the Arabian peninsula or Morocco or the Persian Gulf or wherever...and remember that because of Arabization the term "Arab" covers many ethnic groups.

    As for the ordering, I'm agnostic.
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  79. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous
    What about the Byzantine Empire, which lasted until 500 years ago?

    Also, the world's smartest man is Greek:

    http://psiq.org/world_genius_directory_geniuses/geniuses.htm

    Note that 5 out of the 20 smartest men in the world are Greek, and that Greeks seem to be very overrepresented on the list overall.

    What about the Byzantine Empire, which lasted until 500 years ago?

    Well, the the Byzantine Empire (330-1453) had its moments, but you can’t really compare it to the glory that was Ancient Greece: Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Diophantus, Thucydides, Archimedes, Eratosthenes, etc

    Also, the world’s smartest man is Greek:

    http://psiq.org/world_genius_directory_geniuses/geniuses.htm

    Note that 5 out of the 20 smartest men in the world are Greek, and that Greeks seem to be very overrepresented on the list overall.

    I’m afraid that I find lists like that rather less impressive than ones that catalogue people who have achieved great things in the arts and the sciences.Take, for example, this Dr Evangelos Katsioulis, with his 198 IQ.Has he invented technologies that rival those of Watt and Edison? Has he made mathematical discoveries that equal those of Gauss and Euler? As a physicist, is he a peer of Newton and Einstein?etc, etc

    Having the world’s highest measured IQ is much less impressive than inventing the steam engine or creating calculus….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    He's done lots of work in medicine and psychiatry. Lots of great men are unknown or unheard of during their lifetimes.

    Katsioulis may be the smartest man to have ever lived. Statistically, his IQ is at the 1 out of 38 billion expectation, and there haven't been 38 billion alive so far:

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

    The statistical interpretation of these numbers is that assuming a normal, Gaussian, distribution of IQ scores in the general population, Katsioulis' performance is expected by only 1 person out of 38,000,000,000 of the unselected population.
     
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  80. Twinkie says:
    @hodag
    Singapore does not have the run of the mill Han, but their core Chinese population is the Cantonese diaspora who have been the traders and moneymen for hundreds of years....same population prrssures as Ashkernazi Jews, the Lebanese trading class (Salma Hayek!), some Indian subcaste (Patel, etc) and even Igbo in Africa. Their Han are very, very smart

    Singapore does not have the run of the mill Han, but their core Chinese population is the Cantonese diaspora who have been the traders and moneymen for hundreds of years

    Not exactly. Singaporean Chinese are mostly speakers of Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, and Hainanese, in decreasing population size. By a sizable margin, the plurality is Hokkien-speakers from southern Fujian or descended from that group.

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    • Replies: @PandaAtWar
    Adding on that to be more precisely, Singapore Chinese were from Malaysia Chinese stock. Their forefathers were mostly landless-peasants in Fujian and Canton who couldn't compete in China no more and tried to find livinghood in "Nan Yang" ( translate "South China Sea" aka Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Phillipines etc) for a fresh start. Also there were some from the South China who tried to escape wars during the turn of dynasties, or to escape political prosecutions or crimes cmmitted in China. Even in Taiwan just decades ago, if some local mafia members committed crimes and tried to escape, where they'd most likely go? it would be Chinese communities in Nan Yang where the laws have been loose and much easiler for them to blend in.

    So average IQ of their forefathers were definately way below Chinese average in the beginning when they first arrived in Nan Yang . But with generations of Mean Reversal and tough local political/social pressure selection, their average IQ, Panda figures, is about the Han Chinese average now, but still below many branches of Han Chinese in the Eastern, Central, Western (Sichuan mainly) and Northern China.

    , @Romanian
    Lee Kuan Yew was Hokkien, just like Deng Xiaoping. Might account for some of the interest with which Deng observed the reforms in Singapore after expulsion from the Federation of Malaya.
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  81. @Anonymous
    Why the objection to Slovaks and Romanians?

    Oh, we have some minor territorial disputes with them, like Hungary lost two thirds of its territory to them (and to Serbia) in 1918-20, including a third of its ethnically Hungarian population. Romanians (but not Slovakians) are also seen as an extremely backwards Balkan people, less cultured then our other neighbors. If I had to name just one enemy nation, I’d name Romania.

    Of course most people don’t care for that anymore, since everybody knows that Romania is twice the size of Hungary, so we’d have no chance against them. Also Transylvania now has an 80+% Romanian majority, with the only two majority Hungarian counties being in the middle of Romania hundreds of kilometers from the Hungarian border, so the last remaining nationalist goal is autonomy for those two counties. I don’t think we’ll get even that. Not that it matters, we are on our way of losing the remaining country to an ever increasing Gypsy population, and possibly also “refugees”.

    There’s a funny (probably apocriphal) story about Hungary (and its relation to Romania) from the time of WW2. At the time the Hungarian head of state was Admiral Horthy as regent (he had been the admiral of the Austro-Hungarian Navy). Following German pressure Hungary declared war on the US, and according to the story while receiving the memorandum about the war an American diplomat asked a Hungarian diplomat some questions.
    “You are a kingdom. So, do you have a king?”
    “No, we have an admiral.”
    “I see. So you must have a fleet.”
    “No, we’re landlocked.”
    “So, what are your claims against the US?”
    “We have none. We have territorial claims against Romania.”
    “So why are you not declaring war on Romania?”
    “We’re allied to them.”

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    • Replies: @Romanian
    I wrote a comment above that relates a bit to what you said. I'm always a bit saddened by the reflexive enmity between our peoples, even though it has died down quite a bit, since I very much admire Hungary (I'm a Wallachian Romanian, verbose trickter not taciturn grudge holders like Transylvanians, so my ancestral beef is with Turks :))) ). Then again, you might say that it is easy for me to take that position, since, despite the bad luck of winding up in the Communist Camp, Romania did come out mostly on top of the WW shuffles (it gained a lot after WW1 when it became Greater Romania and only lost a fifth of its territory after WW2, the most diverse fifth in fact, which went well for us in the long run, with Russia's new assertiveness). Only the Yugoslavs had it better, though they floundered in time despite having the most reasonable and liberal Communist regime.


    I personally disagree with autonomy because I don't believe a non-unitary state can function well without prior fat reserves to burn (meaning we are not successful enough economically and institutionally to handle the costs and waste of bureaucratic complexities and the inevitable ethnic jockeying for resources, conflict etc). I also think it won't fly politically for historic reasons as tensions in Slovakia over Magyar passports (I'm fuzzy on the details) also show. I also think little of ethnicity based parties, as opposed to ethnicity blind ideological parties, because of the same reason, except for the parties of the very small minorities which are assured of disproportional representation in Parliament. I do think that devolution of responsibility to counties has offered or is in the course of offering the two majority Magyar counties most of everything they wanted, not to mention the usual provisions for quality of life for large minority populations in other counties. In the end, it's a Pyrrhic victory, since the Hungarian population is also diminishing rapidly due to aging. I don't know what your thoughts are on this, or those of your countrymen, but given the rapidly decreasing populations in both our countries, I would be in favor of trying to attract not just the Romanian diaspora to return, but also the historic Romanian communities in surrounding countries (including the Megleno-Romanian, Istro-Romanian, Aromanian minorities). I would think Hungary would pursue the same tactic, rather than risk being inundated with refugees and immigrants.

    My turn for a joke (hope you don't take offense, it's self-deprecatory):

    An Israeli settler and a Palestinian are fighting somewhere in the West Bank. They fire their guns at each other, take cover etc. At one point, the Israeli lobs a grenade at his opponent. It explodes safely away, but rattles the Palestinian's teeth, so he swears obscenely... in Romanian. The Israeli pokes his head out:
    "Did I hear you speak Romanian?"
    "Yes, you speak it too???"
    "This is amazing. Yes, I do, I was born in Romania, came here as a child and studied there later. What a coincidence"
    "Seriously? I studied in Romania too. I have very fond memories. Where did you study?"
    "Engineering at the Bucharest Polytechnic"
    "Awesome! I had a cousin there"
    "Where did you study?"
    "Medicine in Cluj Napoca!"
    The Israeli's face falls off and he starts shooting again, all of a sudden, screaming "Die Hungarian!!!!!"
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  82. syonredux says:
    @sprfls
    I've always wondered -- what happened to the Greeks? Is it...

    that some other Europeans merely caught up?
    too many upper-class Greeks got their heads chopped off?
    dilution of ancient Greek gene pool?
    Greek IQ has a particularly wide variance? (e.g., there's a noticeable presence of smart Greek guys in UK and Dutch universities. Brain drain again...)

    I guess some combo of all of these.

    I’ve always wondered — what happened to the Greeks? Is it…

    that some other Europeans merely caught up?
    too many upper-class Greeks got their heads chopped off?
    dilution of ancient Greek gene pool?
    Greek IQ has a particularly wide variance? (e.g., there’s a noticeable presence of smart Greek guys in UK and Dutch universities. Brain drain again…)

    I guess some combo of all of these.

    I dunno, but it is disquieting.From the 8th century BC (the period when the Homeric epics coalesced) to roughly the 3rd century AD, the Greeks led the world in the arts and the sciences.Then things started to go downhill.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.
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  83. @Prole
    Puerto Ricans may not be smart but Puerto Rican women are considered the “perfect” human, says a Berkeley biologist, because they have the closest genetic information to the ideal genotype

    http://www.medicaldaily.com/biologist-says-puerto-rican-women-possess-ideal-genotype-perfect-human-dna-ancestry-313956

    Women who reside in the U.S. but were born on the island have been shown to have a mixture of 50 percent European, 30 percent West African, and 20 percent Native American. The perfect human is believed to have existed, and it could’ve been Yuiza (Loiza), a Taina woman who became the only female Cacique (chief) of her tribe in Puerto Rico’s history. This suggests to collect all the “good” alleles it is necessary to be admixed, but this itself is not sufficient for perfection, according to Pachter.

    "It makes sense that an individual homozygous for all 'good' alleles should be admixed. And that is exactly what Puerto Ricans are, but admixture itself is not sufficient for perfection."

    “Puerto Ricans may not be smart but Puerto Rican women are considered the “perfect” human, says a Berkeley biologist, because they have the closest genetic information to the ideal genotype”

    You left out the best part of the article:

    “This “ideal genotype” of these “perfect” humans is expressed most succinctly in the cranial capacities of the cerebral cortex as manifested in the skeletal conformation of the neurocranium to be inferred through phrenological examination of the ossified protuberances, most apparently when Neptune is rising in Sagittarius, and especially when Mercury and Venus are in occultatious conjunction.”

    Our overlords really do think there is one born every minute.

    (And they say right-wingers are prone to pseudoscience…)

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  84. Jefferson says:
    @Jack D
    Since IQ (and g loaded test scores such as PISA) correlate strongly with race, you would expect PR's test scores to equal the better Latin American countries only if the racial composition was similar. My impression is that Puerto Rico is browner than say Argentina. Argentina is not as European as it pretends to be - there is actually a significant Amerindian contribution to their gene pool, but they have negligible African genes and overall they are mostly European. PR, OTOH, has a significant % of African inheritance. So, brain drain aside, it's "natural" level is not going to be quite as high as the whiter Latin American countries.

    Remember that Puerto Rico (and Cuba) remained inside the Spanish empire until 1898. If you ever see an especially light skinned Cuban or Puerto Rican and you talk to them, they will usually tell you "my grandfather immigrated from Spain" or something like that - they look European because they are. These are the kind of people you are more likely to find nowadays in Miami than on the islands themselves.

    “Remember that Puerto Rico (and Cuba) remained inside the Spanish empire until 1898. If you ever see an especially light skinned Cuban or Puerto Rican and you talk to them, they will usually tell you “my grandfather immigrated from Spain” or something like that – they look European because they are. These are the kind of people you are more likely to find nowadays in Miami than on the islands themselves.”

    Even many light skin Puerto Ricans/Cubans have significant Negro ancestry and are not genetically pure Spaniard. This light skin Puerto Rican girl for example is 23 percent Sub Saharan African according to her 23AndMe results.

    In Latin America, skin color is not exactly the best indicator of racial purity. Can you image trying to apply a one drop rule in Latin America, what a mess that would be.

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  85. @Twinkie

    Singapore does not have the run of the mill Han, but their core Chinese population is the Cantonese diaspora who have been the traders and moneymen for hundreds of years
     
    Not exactly. Singaporean Chinese are mostly speakers of Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, and Hainanese, in decreasing population size. By a sizable margin, the plurality is Hokkien-speakers from southern Fujian or descended from that group.

    Adding on that to be more precisely, Singapore Chinese were from Malaysia Chinese stock. Their forefathers were mostly landless-peasants in Fujian and Canton who couldn’t compete in China no more and tried to find livinghood in “Nan Yang” ( translate “South China Sea” aka Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Phillipines etc) for a fresh start. Also there were some from the South China who tried to escape wars during the turn of dynasties, or to escape political prosecutions or crimes cmmitted in China. Even in Taiwan just decades ago, if some local mafia members committed crimes and tried to escape, where they’d most likely go? it would be Chinese communities in Nan Yang where the laws have been loose and much easiler for them to blend in.

    So average IQ of their forefathers were definately way below Chinese average in the beginning when they first arrived in Nan Yang . But with generations of Mean Reversal and tough local political/social pressure selection, their average IQ, Panda figures, is about the Han Chinese average now, but still below many branches of Han Chinese in the Eastern, Central, Western (Sichuan mainly) and Northern China.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Their forefathers were mostly landless-peasants in Fujian and Canton who couldn’t compete in China no more
     
    Maybe. Or maybe they had less risk-aversion and were less sheep-like than the majority who stayed home in China.

    But with generations of Mean Reversal and tough local political/social pressure selection, their average IQ, Panda figures, is about the Han Chinese average now, but still below many branches of Han Chinese in the Eastern, Central, Western (Sichuan mainly) and Northern China.
     
    You wish.

    In any case, Singaporeans don't pee/defecate in the streets. Far, far from it.

    There is a great deal of resentment in Singapore now about rich Chinese immigrants who engage in conspicuous consumption (the Chinese equivalent of the "gold chain people") while completely disregarding local customs and laws, including traffic regulations. Most native Singaporeans detest them, but the government in all its wisdom has seen fit to bring in these foreigners who seem to be wrecking the local social cohesion.

    , @Difference Maker
    People always say Fujian is a poor province, but at a glance it looks pretty comfortable to me, notwithstanding the clan wars and lack of air conditioning.

    A surprising number of intelligent people hail from there, again from cursory research, including, if I may, some of my own ancestors. In activities other than what may be termed orthodox Chinese, of course, as Twinkie alludes to

    Linguists and missionaries seem to be a tendency, and the clannish mountain holds along with the piratical lifestyle have no doubt had an impact, of historical attestation.

    Simply by being on the coast, separated from the interior by mountains and intercourse with Taiwan and further means that they are already out of the Imperial orbit.
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  86. Jefferson says:
    @polynikes
    Utah spends the least in the US on public education, per capita, but they still generate better than average test results.

    Guess all that clean living counts for something.

    “Utah spends the least in the US on public education, per capita, but they still generate better than average test results.

    Guess all that clean living counts for something.”

    Utah’s racial demographics also help, as that state is significantly Whiter than the national U.S average.

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  87. shk12344 says:
    @WhatEvvs
    What was more appalling was the ad I was forced to watch (no opt out at 5 secs) from Tylenol, showing a white guy and a black guy and "their" black kid saying, "We don't need permission to have a family." They might not need permission from the state, but how do they acquire children?

    Adblock Plus. It’s a must.

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    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    Thanks. Those ads drive me nuts.
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  88. Jefferson says:

    “For example, Mexico and Turkey are fairly similar overall, except that the really smart kids in Turkey, while relatively few in number, are still really smart, while Mexico just doesn’t seem to have much of a high end at all.”

    It also helps that Turks have significantly less Nonwhite ancestry than Mexicans and Turkey has a higher human development index than Mexico.

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  89. @syonredux

    I’ve always wondered — what happened to the Greeks? Is it…

    that some other Europeans merely caught up?
    too many upper-class Greeks got their heads chopped off?
    dilution of ancient Greek gene pool?
    Greek IQ has a particularly wide variance? (e.g., there’s a noticeable presence of smart Greek guys in UK and Dutch universities. Brain drain again…)

    I guess some combo of all of these.
     
    I dunno, but it is disquieting.From the 8th century BC (the period when the Homeric epics coalesced) to roughly the 3rd century AD, the Greeks led the world in the arts and the sciences.Then things started to go downhill.

    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    After Alexander's conquest a lot of Greeks moved to the Middle East. Greece's population fell by half and the intellectual capital of the world moved from Athens to Alexandria. These Greeks were gradually assimilated by Middle Eastern polulations. Also, the Greeks imported a lot of slaves (cheap labor) from the Middle East into Greece itself. Basically after conquering the East the Greeks merged with it. This began with Alexander himself who decreed that his soldiers should marry Persian women in order to create a homogenous empire. He set the example by marrying Roxana.

    As a consequence of all this Greeks' level of intellectual achievent gradually merged with that if the Middle East.

    , @Twinkie

    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.
     
    Isn't the old stereotype that the ancient Greeks were scientists while the Romans were engineers?
    , @syonredux

    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.
     
    Yeah, I've heard of speculations along those lines before.You do seem to see a slowdown in Greek science from roughly the 2nd century BC on:

    Hipparchus( c. 190 – c. 120 BC)

    Hero of Alexandria (c. 10 – c. 70 AD)

    Menelaus of Alexandria (c. 70 – 140 AD)

    Ptolemy (90 – c. 168 AD)

    Diophantus (3rd century AD)

    , @Douglas Knight
    Right. There is a gap in Greek science 150 BC - 50 AD.

    The greatest center of Greek learning was in Alexandria, in Egypt. This was a client state, not annexed by Rome until 30 BC. But in 145 Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II suppressed the Greek elite, especially the scholars, as part of civil war with his sister-wife

    The second greatest center of learning was in Pergamon. The king willed his kingdom to Rome in 133 BC. I find it quite mysterious that the science failed to survive this peaceful transition. I think visual art fell apart, too.
    , @Chiron
    Greek Philosophy was actually looked down by the most conservative Romans during the Republic period.

    The Stoic philosophy that became popular in Rome was totally different from the original Stoic school created by Zeno of Kition (a Phoenician/Canaanite merchant who become a philosopher in Athens), Zeno had wrote a book called Politeia (The Republic, a reference to Plato) where he advocated a pure communism, property and women being shared by all men in his ideal State, this book was later igonored and forgotten by the Stoics themselves.

    , @anon
    If while they had their constantly warring city-states some wildness was kept in the Greek gene pool then maybe the Romans made Greece too safe?
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  90. Tony says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Brain drain can have an outsized impact on small countries like Puerto Rico (which you do allude to).

    Another example: Moldova. ~400 on PISA, versus ~430 for Romania (Moldovans are basically partially Russified Romanians). And Romania had a lot of brain drain itself. So in total, you're probably looking at about a 0.5SD reduction for Moldova relative to what would have happened if it hadn't lost tons of people to brain drain.

    Moldova and PR both have almost the exact same population (3.5mn) and are similarly surrounded by neighbors who significantly richer than them. I suspect that the scale of relative brain drain in Puerto Rico is probably on about the same scale as in Moldova.

    Third example: Ireland (also had a population of ~3-3.5 million throughout most of the 20th century, high fertility rates being canceled out by massive emigration). Before it got rich, it was also 0.5-1SD below its current performance in IQ tests.

    If this approximately the case here as well, then PR's PISA score should be ~430, around the level of the better Latin American countries.

    Brain Drain? Say What? The ricans here in America do almost as bad as the blacks. Very few geniuses among them.

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  91. Glossy says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.

    After Alexander’s conquest a lot of Greeks moved to the Middle East. Greece’s population fell by half and the intellectual capital of the world moved from Athens to Alexandria. These Greeks were gradually assimilated by Middle Eastern polulations. Also, the Greeks imported a lot of slaves (cheap labor) from the Middle East into Greece itself. Basically after conquering the East the Greeks merged with it. This began with Alexander himself who decreed that his soldiers should marry Persian women in order to create a homogenous empire. He set the example by marrying Roxana.

    As a consequence of all this Greeks’ level of intellectual achievent gradually merged with that if the Middle East.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Here's the Google Image result for Fayum portraits.

    They were drawn in the realistic Greek style in Egypt from the 1st to the 4th centuries AD. They're pictures of the deceased that were attached to their mummies. Some have Greek writing on them. The people they depict shared in many aspects of Greek culture, but looked modern Egyptian.

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

    "It is estimated that as much as 30 percent of the population of Faiyum was Greek during the Ptolemaic period, with the rest being native Egyptians.[14] By the Roman period, much of the "Greek" population of Faiyum was made-up of either Hellenized Egyptians or people of mixed Egyptian-Greek origins.[15]"

    , @Douglas Knight
    No, all great science and art of the Greeks is after Alexander. Think of the Library of Alexandria! Partly because the conquest gave them riches to fund their work. Partly because the expansion lead to contact with other cultures. Philosophy and literature went downhill, though.
    , @Anonymous
    That's an old argument Nordicists have been making forever, but it's not true:

    http://archhades.blogspot.gr/2014/12/historical-greek-racial-continuity-and.html

    It is occasionally stated that today's Greek speaking population of Greece and the Aegean & Ionian seas bare little physical resemblance, and have little to no ancestral connection to the Greeks of old. The doubters usually say so out of ignorance or an obvious racial bias of their own. However, regardless of anyone's opinion, the notion is completely falsified by hard scientific inquiry. There exists much data and summaries in the (physical) anthropological literature refuting those type of dubious claims.
     
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  92. Twinkie says:
    @PandaAtWar
    Adding on that to be more precisely, Singapore Chinese were from Malaysia Chinese stock. Their forefathers were mostly landless-peasants in Fujian and Canton who couldn't compete in China no more and tried to find livinghood in "Nan Yang" ( translate "South China Sea" aka Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Phillipines etc) for a fresh start. Also there were some from the South China who tried to escape wars during the turn of dynasties, or to escape political prosecutions or crimes cmmitted in China. Even in Taiwan just decades ago, if some local mafia members committed crimes and tried to escape, where they'd most likely go? it would be Chinese communities in Nan Yang where the laws have been loose and much easiler for them to blend in.

    So average IQ of their forefathers were definately way below Chinese average in the beginning when they first arrived in Nan Yang . But with generations of Mean Reversal and tough local political/social pressure selection, their average IQ, Panda figures, is about the Han Chinese average now, but still below many branches of Han Chinese in the Eastern, Central, Western (Sichuan mainly) and Northern China.

    Their forefathers were mostly landless-peasants in Fujian and Canton who couldn’t compete in China no more

    Maybe. Or maybe they had less risk-aversion and were less sheep-like than the majority who stayed home in China.

    But with generations of Mean Reversal and tough local political/social pressure selection, their average IQ, Panda figures, is about the Han Chinese average now, but still below many branches of Han Chinese in the Eastern, Central, Western (Sichuan mainly) and Northern China.

    You wish.

    In any case, Singaporeans don’t pee/defecate in the streets. Far, far from it.

    There is a great deal of resentment in Singapore now about rich Chinese immigrants who engage in conspicuous consumption (the Chinese equivalent of the “gold chain people”) while completely disregarding local customs and laws, including traffic regulations. Most native Singaporeans detest them, but the government in all its wisdom has seen fit to bring in these foreigners who seem to be wrecking the local social cohesion.

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  93. Harold says:
    @Bliss

    IMO rankings mean little since so few people care about the IMO
     
    Few people like you perhaps. Those who care about math and understand it's importance will have a different opinion. IMO medal winners often go on to win the Fields Medal which is like the Nobel Prize of math, the latest examples being Artur Avila of Brazil and Maryam Mirzakhani (a female) of Iran. IMO medalists have also become notable computer scientists:

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

    Few people like you perhaps. Those who care about math and understand it’s importance will have a different opinion.

    Mathematics and computer science are my areas of expertise. I could talk about my contributions thereto but I would risk identifying myself. I also grew up in a household in which mathematics was seen as important; my mother has a degree in mathematics (and also a degree in computer science).

    IMO medal winners often go on to win the Fields Medal which is like the Nobel Prize of math

    I know it has often been said that the Fields Medal is “the Nobel Prize of mathematics”, but this is an outdated notion. The Abel Prize is more like the “Nobel Prize of mathematics”.

    Few people care about the IMO. A lot of people who are enthusiatic about Mathematics are completely uninterested in the IMO. Moreover, it is much more of a thing in some countries than others, making it useless for between country comparisons of mathematical ability.

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    • Replies: @Bliss

    Mathematics and computer science are my areas of expertise
     
    Then why do you denigrate the IMO when so many of its medalists have gone on to do cutting edge work in mathematics and computer science?

    I know it has often been said that the Fields Medal is “the Nobel Prize of mathematics”, but this is an outdated notion.
     
    Tell that to the New York Times (note the date):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/science/top-math-prize-has-its-first-female-winner.html


    The Abel Prize is more like the “Nobel Prize of mathematics”.
     
    Tell that to the Nobel Foundation:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1600-0498.12038/abstract

    But seriously, you are just being petty...

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  94. Twinkie says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.

    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.

    Isn’t the old stereotype that the ancient Greeks were scientists while the Romans were engineers?

    Read More
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  95. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.

    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.

    Yeah, I’ve heard of speculations along those lines before.You do seem to see a slowdown in Greek science from roughly the 2nd century BC on:

    Hipparchus( c. 190 – c. 120 BC)

    Hero of Alexandria (c. 10 – c. 70 AD)

    Menelaus of Alexandria (c. 70 – 140 AD)

    Ptolemy (90 – c. 168 AD)

    Diophantus (3rd century AD)

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  96. Ivy says:
    @polynikes
    Utah spends the least in the US on public education, per capita, but they still generate better than average test results.

    Guess all that clean living counts for something.

    Community participation goes a long ways in helping individual performance. Mormons, Jews, Chinese and other groups benefit by the positive pressures imposed by their communities. Think “The eyes of Texas are upon you” applied at church, school, sports, cultural events, etc instead of the Eye of Sauron. The first strengthens, the second atomizes.

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    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Community participation goes a long ways in helping individual performance. Mormons, Jews, Chinese and other groups benefit by the positive pressures imposed by their communities. Think “The eyes of Texas are upon you” applied at church, school, sports, cultural events, etc instead of the Eye of Sauron. The first strengthens, the second atomizes."

    I wonder what is the IQ of the average American Mormon? I read that statistically they are the second most financially successful religious group in America in terms of average household income, second only to the Jews.

    No wonder a lot of Mormon guys can financially afford to have several wives at the same time and not live off taxpayer funded welfare. On a per capita basis there are a lot of successful Mormon businessmen even though they make up only 2 percent of the U.S population.

    Here is an interesting fact, in the U.S there are more Mormon billionaires and millionaires in pure raw numbers than there are Black billionaires and millionaires even though the Black population in the U.S is a lot larger than the Mormon population. Blacks really do financially punch below their weight in the U.S.

    Mormons are the Jews of The Republican Party when it comes to being a small religious Minority group who financially punch well above their weight.

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  97. Glossy says: • Website
    @Glossy
    After Alexander's conquest a lot of Greeks moved to the Middle East. Greece's population fell by half and the intellectual capital of the world moved from Athens to Alexandria. These Greeks were gradually assimilated by Middle Eastern polulations. Also, the Greeks imported a lot of slaves (cheap labor) from the Middle East into Greece itself. Basically after conquering the East the Greeks merged with it. This began with Alexander himself who decreed that his soldiers should marry Persian women in order to create a homogenous empire. He set the example by marrying Roxana.

    As a consequence of all this Greeks' level of intellectual achievent gradually merged with that if the Middle East.

    Here’s the Google Image result for Fayum portraits.

    They were drawn in the realistic Greek style in Egypt from the 1st to the 4th centuries AD. They’re pictures of the deceased that were attached to their mummies. Some have Greek writing on them. The people they depict shared in many aspects of Greek culture, but looked modern Egyptian.

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

    “It is estimated that as much as 30 percent of the population of Faiyum was Greek during the Ptolemaic period, with the rest being native Egyptians.[14] By the Roman period, much of the “Greek” population of Faiyum was made-up of either Hellenized Egyptians or people of mixed Egyptian-Greek origins.[15]“

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My take on the Fayum funerary pictures:

    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/11/kitsch-down-through-ages.html

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  98. Hibernian says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...
    I recently dropped off a bagful of bottles at a local supermarket to redeem the deposit. A young non-White-non-Asian-minority women behind the counter toted up what I was due on a calculator and handed me $27.55. I'd been doing the calcualtion in my head and figured I was actually due $2.75. I never did figure out where the extra nickel in her calculation came from. I was tempted to penalize her employer for allowing someone with this level of incompetence a job but honesty won out (those northern European genes and an intact family rearing I guess).

    It is frightening to me that this pathetic young woman had so little grasp of arithmetic that she did not at once realize that an order of magnitude discrepancy with reality signaled an error in the answer her calculator had provided. This level of innumeracy is nearly beyond belief but seems to be more common as time passes.

    I’ve had 2 incidents (1 on vacation in NYC and 1 at home in Chicago) where a cashier made a small error in my favor which I didn’t notice, then yelled at me accusing me of cheating as I was about to leave the store with my purchase. Somehow I think at least 1 of the 2 was deliberate.

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  99. @Glossy
    Here's the Google Image result for Fayum portraits.

    They were drawn in the realistic Greek style in Egypt from the 1st to the 4th centuries AD. They're pictures of the deceased that were attached to their mummies. Some have Greek writing on them. The people they depict shared in many aspects of Greek culture, but looked modern Egyptian.

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

    "It is estimated that as much as 30 percent of the population of Faiyum was Greek during the Ptolemaic period, with the rest being native Egyptians.[14] By the Roman period, much of the "Greek" population of Faiyum was made-up of either Hellenized Egyptians or people of mixed Egyptian-Greek origins.[15]"

    Read More
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Three remarks:

    1. On the general theme under discussion, it's worth keeping in mind that Greece still produced after Alexander Epicurean, Skeptical, and Stoical philosophical schools, which had a great influence on Rome and subsequently throughout Western Culture.

    2. Along those lines, worth keeping in mind that the New Testament was written in Greek, and the Eastern Empire was no slouch for a millenia or more while the West was in its Dark Age.

    3. Speaking of kitsch, I now link to what may well be the greatest expression of kitsch in film, which I found while following up on William Saroyan (who won an academy award for this story). I am soft hearted, and cry easily in movies, but even I was thinking of the Frito Bandito at one point:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2PKTEgsvBQ
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  100. SPMoore8 says:
    @Steve Sailer
    My take on the Fayum funerary pictures:

    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/11/kitsch-down-through-ages.html

    Three remarks:

    1. On the general theme under discussion, it’s worth keeping in mind that Greece still produced after Alexander Epicurean, Skeptical, and Stoical philosophical schools, which had a great influence on Rome and subsequently throughout Western Culture.

    2. Along those lines, worth keeping in mind that the New Testament was written in Greek, and the Eastern Empire was no slouch for a millenia or more while the West was in its Dark Age.

    3. Speaking of kitsch, I now link to what may well be the greatest expression of kitsch in film, which I found while following up on William Saroyan (who won an academy award for this story). I am soft hearted, and cry easily in movies, but even I was thinking of the Frito Bandito at one point:

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Along those lines, worth keeping in mind that the New Testament was written in Greek,
     
    The New Testament is revered for religious, not aesthetic reasons. There's some good writing in it (Luke and Acts in particular), but it doesn't equal things like The Iliad and The Odyssey.

    and the Eastern Empire was no slouch for a millenia or more while the West was in its Dark Age.
     
    The Eastern/Byzantine Empire was a slouch compared to what the Greek world produced from the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD.None of the Byzantine thinkers reached the level of Archimedes, Aristotle, Plato,Diophantus, etc
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  101. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @iSteveFan

    You’ve got to remember that two major contributors to the Turkish gene pool are Armenians and Greeks.
     
    Really? I would have thought Turks were a major contributor to modern Greece's gene pool.

    From what I understand, the Turks were a small military caste who ruled over large agricultural populations such as the Anatolians and Greeks. “Turk” is apparently more of a linguistic and cultural signifier, and it may actually be more Islamic and native Anatolian in culture than Turkic.

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    • Replies: @Jim
    "Turkic" is a name applied to a large family of languages most of which are spoken in Central Asia, Afghanistan, the Caucasus,etc.. Together with Mongolian and other languages they form a linguistic family called "Altaic".

    This family is part of Joseph Greenberg's "Euro-Asiatic" super-family which includes Indo-European, Uralic-Yukagir,Altaic, Chukotian, Eskimo-Aleut,Korean,Japanese,Ainu and an isolated language Gilyak spoken by a hundred or so people.

    From what I've read although Turkish invaders imposed their language in Anatolia their genetic contribution to the present Anatolian population was relatively small, probably less than 10%.
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  102. @Steve Sailer
    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.

    Right. There is a gap in Greek science 150 BC – 50 AD.

    The greatest center of Greek learning was in Alexandria, in Egypt. This was a client state, not annexed by Rome until 30 BC. But in 145 Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II suppressed the Greek elite, especially the scholars, as part of civil war with his sister-wife

    The second greatest center of learning was in Pergamon. The king willed his kingdom to Rome in 133 BC. I find it quite mysterious that the science failed to survive this peaceful transition. I think visual art fell apart, too.

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  103. Chiron says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.

    Greek Philosophy was actually looked down by the most conservative Romans during the Republic period.

    The Stoic philosophy that became popular in Rome was totally different from the original Stoic school created by Zeno of Kition (a Phoenician/Canaanite merchant who become a philosopher in Athens), Zeno had wrote a book called Politeia (The Republic, a reference to Plato) where he advocated a pure communism, property and women being shared by all men in his ideal State, this book was later igonored and forgotten by the Stoics themselves.

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  104. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @syonredux

    What about the Byzantine Empire, which lasted until 500 years ago?
     
    Well, the the Byzantine Empire (330-1453) had its moments, but you can't really compare it to the glory that was Ancient Greece: Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Diophantus, Thucydides, Archimedes, Eratosthenes, etc

    Also, the world’s smartest man is Greek:

    http://psiq.org/world_genius_directory_geniuses/geniuses.htm

    Note that 5 out of the 20 smartest men in the world are Greek, and that Greeks seem to be very overrepresented on the list overall.
     
    I'm afraid that I find lists like that rather less impressive than ones that catalogue people who have achieved great things in the arts and the sciences.Take, for example, this Dr Evangelos Katsioulis, with his 198 IQ.Has he invented technologies that rival those of Watt and Edison? Has he made mathematical discoveries that equal those of Gauss and Euler? As a physicist, is he a peer of Newton and Einstein?etc, etc

    Having the world's highest measured IQ is much less impressive than inventing the steam engine or creating calculus....

    He’s done lots of work in medicine and psychiatry. Lots of great men are unknown or unheard of during their lifetimes.

    Katsioulis may be the smartest man to have ever lived. Statistically, his IQ is at the 1 out of 38 billion expectation, and there haven’t been 38 billion alive so far:

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

    The statistical interpretation of these numbers is that assuming a normal, Gaussian, distribution of IQ scores in the general population, Katsioulis’ performance is expected by only 1 person out of 38,000,000,000 of the unselected population.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    He’s done lots of work in medicine and psychiatry.
     
    I read through his CV; I didn't spot anything earth-shattering

    Lots of great men are unknown or unheard of during their lifetimes.
     
    And lots of great men are acclaimed during their lifetimes: Newton, Beethoven, Leonardo, Edison, Einstein, etc

    Katsioulis may be the smartest man to have ever lived. Statistically, his IQ is at the 1 out of 38 billion expectation, and there haven’t been 38 billion alive so far:

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

    The statistical interpretation of these numbers is that assuming a normal, Gaussian, distribution of IQ scores in the general population, Katsioulis’ performance is expected by only 1 person out of 38,000,000,000 of the unselected population.
     
    And, so far, he's not done anything with his IQ that deserves our attention.
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  105. @Glossy
    After Alexander's conquest a lot of Greeks moved to the Middle East. Greece's population fell by half and the intellectual capital of the world moved from Athens to Alexandria. These Greeks were gradually assimilated by Middle Eastern polulations. Also, the Greeks imported a lot of slaves (cheap labor) from the Middle East into Greece itself. Basically after conquering the East the Greeks merged with it. This began with Alexander himself who decreed that his soldiers should marry Persian women in order to create a homogenous empire. He set the example by marrying Roxana.

    As a consequence of all this Greeks' level of intellectual achievent gradually merged with that if the Middle East.

    No, all great science and art of the Greeks is after Alexander. Think of the Library of Alexandria! Partly because the conquest gave them riches to fund their work. Partly because the expansion lead to contact with other cultures. Philosophy and literature went downhill, though.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    The complexity of Greek intellectual life continued to increase after Alexander's conquest. The peak was reached a couple of centuries after it, actually. This is consistent with the theory that Greek intellectual progress was stopped by the merger with the East. The West is now merging with the third world, yet scientific progress still continues. It takes quite a few generations for the process to work itself out.

    One of the consequences of the merger that I didn't mention was the orientalization of Greek political life. In the centuries after Alexander democracy was replaced with absolute monarchy in Greece itself. The currency of the old poleis depicted impersonal symbols of the state. The owl in the case of Athens, for example. During the Hellenistic period currency in Greece itself started to depict the reigning monarchs.
    , @Jim
    The two greatest Greek mathematicians, Archimedes and Apollinius, were 3rd century BC figures coming after Alexander but Greek mathematics and science had already accomplished a lot before Alexander. Thales, Pythagoras, Democritus, Hippocrates of Chios, Eudoxus all came before Alexander.

    Achievements of pre-Alexandrine Greek scientists and mathemticians included the invention of axiomatic geometry, the discovery of irrationals, the atomic hypothesis, the spherical shape of the Earth. the method of exhaustion and the Eudoxine theory of geometric magnitude and proportion.
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  106. syonredux says:
    @SPMoore8
    Three remarks:

    1. On the general theme under discussion, it's worth keeping in mind that Greece still produced after Alexander Epicurean, Skeptical, and Stoical philosophical schools, which had a great influence on Rome and subsequently throughout Western Culture.

    2. Along those lines, worth keeping in mind that the New Testament was written in Greek, and the Eastern Empire was no slouch for a millenia or more while the West was in its Dark Age.

    3. Speaking of kitsch, I now link to what may well be the greatest expression of kitsch in film, which I found while following up on William Saroyan (who won an academy award for this story). I am soft hearted, and cry easily in movies, but even I was thinking of the Frito Bandito at one point:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2PKTEgsvBQ

    Along those lines, worth keeping in mind that the New Testament was written in Greek,

    The New Testament is revered for religious, not aesthetic reasons. There’s some good writing in it (Luke and Acts in particular), but it doesn’t equal things like The Iliad and The Odyssey.

    and the Eastern Empire was no slouch for a millenia or more while the West was in its Dark Age.

    The Eastern/Byzantine Empire was a slouch compared to what the Greek world produced from the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD.None of the Byzantine thinkers reached the level of Archimedes, Aristotle, Plato,Diophantus, etc

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  107. Glossy says: • Website
    @Douglas Knight
    No, all great science and art of the Greeks is after Alexander. Think of the Library of Alexandria! Partly because the conquest gave them riches to fund their work. Partly because the expansion lead to contact with other cultures. Philosophy and literature went downhill, though.

    The complexity of Greek intellectual life continued to increase after Alexander’s conquest. The peak was reached a couple of centuries after it, actually. This is consistent with the theory that Greek intellectual progress was stopped by the merger with the East. The West is now merging with the third world, yet scientific progress still continues. It takes quite a few generations for the process to work itself out.

    One of the consequences of the merger that I didn’t mention was the orientalization of Greek political life. In the centuries after Alexander democracy was replaced with absolute monarchy in Greece itself. The currency of the old poleis depicted impersonal symbols of the state. The owl in the case of Athens, for example. During the Hellenistic period currency in Greece itself started to depict the reigning monarchs.

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    • Agree: Romanian
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  108. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Glossy
    After Alexander's conquest a lot of Greeks moved to the Middle East. Greece's population fell by half and the intellectual capital of the world moved from Athens to Alexandria. These Greeks were gradually assimilated by Middle Eastern polulations. Also, the Greeks imported a lot of slaves (cheap labor) from the Middle East into Greece itself. Basically after conquering the East the Greeks merged with it. This began with Alexander himself who decreed that his soldiers should marry Persian women in order to create a homogenous empire. He set the example by marrying Roxana.

    As a consequence of all this Greeks' level of intellectual achievent gradually merged with that if the Middle East.

    That’s an old argument Nordicists have been making forever, but it’s not true:

    http://archhades.blogspot.gr/2014/12/historical-greek-racial-continuity-and.html

    It is occasionally stated that today’s Greek speaking population of Greece and the Aegean & Ionian seas bare little physical resemblance, and have little to no ancestral connection to the Greeks of old. The doubters usually say so out of ignorance or an obvious racial bias of their own. However, regardless of anyone’s opinion, the notion is completely falsified by hard scientific inquiry. There exists much data and summaries in the (physical) anthropological literature refuting those type of dubious claims.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    What do you think was the cause of Greek intellectual decline after the second century BC? Do you have an alternative explanation?
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  109. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Is there any evidence that that high iq people from low iq groups will still produce lower iq descendants over many generations, I seem to recall that despite the us getting the higher iq segment of the Philippine population, Filipino students in us schools still somewhat underperform whites as a group.

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  110. E. Harding says: • Website
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  111. rvg says:

    Is there any study tying altruism or being a good and morally upright person to IQ, or are high and above average IQ people simply better at avoiding detection for their shenanigans?

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  112. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    It’s interesting that Moscow has an iq as high as Singapore or Hong Kong, I remember when I went the the lady tourist guide took a 200 percent commsion on the bolshoi tickets which I only knew a lot later.

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  113. Glossy says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    That's an old argument Nordicists have been making forever, but it's not true:

    http://archhades.blogspot.gr/2014/12/historical-greek-racial-continuity-and.html

    It is occasionally stated that today's Greek speaking population of Greece and the Aegean & Ionian seas bare little physical resemblance, and have little to no ancestral connection to the Greeks of old. The doubters usually say so out of ignorance or an obvious racial bias of their own. However, regardless of anyone's opinion, the notion is completely falsified by hard scientific inquiry. There exists much data and summaries in the (physical) anthropological literature refuting those type of dubious claims.
     

    What do you think was the cause of Greek intellectual decline after the second century BC? Do you have an alternative explanation?

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  114. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Romanian
    I had no idea... This is news to me, even though I wondered once (when I still had a TV) why they still had public interest ads with iodine table salt. Thank you for this, I am going to share this around on the Romanian grievance pipeline.

    It’s an odd thing in that it has been known about for years including operations in Africa to give iodine supplements to kids in the worst effected areas but from the WHO reports it looks like up to half the planet might be operating below their genetic capacity – including many in the west as some of the brightest countries assumed they wouldn’t have the problem but they do – they could be brighter.

    It particularly effects mountainous regions – which is why it should be of particular interest to the Balkans – and goiter is one of the signs as it has the same cause.

    Putting it in salt has been the standard response – although UK put it in cattle feed instead so it would get into the milk – but then you get health fads about using less salt or milk having too much fat so the people who need it most, young mothers, don’t get enough and their kids are 10% dumber than they would be by genetics.

    It’s one of the things that might explain the cases where average national IQ doesn’t fit ancestry.

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    • Agree: Romanian
    • Replies: @Difference Maker
    I recall that there were some mountain tribes studied that quite adamantly and determinedly sought to acquire seafood in their diet
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  115. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @sprfls
    I've always wondered -- what happened to the Greeks? Is it...

    that some other Europeans merely caught up?
    too many upper-class Greeks got their heads chopped off?
    dilution of ancient Greek gene pool?
    Greek IQ has a particularly wide variance? (e.g., there's a noticeable presence of smart Greek guys in UK and Dutch universities. Brain drain again...)

    I guess some combo of all of these.

    I’ve always wondered — what happened to the Greeks? Is it…

    I don’t think IQ is enough on its own and there’s some other x factor involved.

    It’s like China being ahead of the game for a long time and then stalling.

    Personally I think a minimum average IQ and a small amount of “wildness” may be necessary where by wildness I mean certain genes that are useful to HGs but not so useful to farmers and get bred out over time.

    So maybe innovation gradually creates civilization and then civilization gradually kills innovation.

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    • Replies: @rvg
    So why is Moscow a lot less functional or efficient than hong kong, tokyo, osaka, singapore, taipei, seoul, or sapporo despite having similar iq scores.
    , @syonredux

    I don’t think IQ is enough on its own
     
    It clearly is not.Look at Ashkenazi Jews.Left to their own devices, they contributed very little to the world in terms of art and science.Forced to integrate into European Civilization in the 19th century, they started making massive contributions.
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  116. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Glossy
    Based on stereotypes and observation I would say that both Armenians and Greeks have bifurcated IQ distributions. They have a lot more top-notch people than you'd expect from countries with a 90-ish mean. A part of their population is descended from Mediterranean peasants and another part from Ottoman-era mercantile, market-dominant minorities. So I would expect their distributions to have two humps, which isn't very bell-curve-like.

    That’s an interesting thought – a downhome population back in the home territory and a large diaspora of mercantile minority scattered all round the med.

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    • Replies: @anon
    with the downhome part of the population staying dumb as rocks while the trader part of the population get the IQ selection.

    (added for clarity)
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  117. Strictly anecdotal, of course, but I came to generally dislike Puerto Ricans while I was in the military because of several separate incidents with different ones where they were running the show and everything came nearly to a halt because efficiency took a back seat to machismo. An underling would suggest a better way to do something, I’d watch the wheels slowly turning:

    “Hmm that is clearly better than how I ordered them to do it, but if I let them do it that way they won’t respect me. I know! I’ll wait a few minutes and try to frame it as my idea! It’s bound to work!”

    Inevitably, 5-10 minutes later the PR “leader” would bring up the same idea as if he’d just thought of it.

    I never understood Spanish pride – what exactly are they so proud of?

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    • Replies: @Brutusale
    "This sad little lizard told me that he was a brontosaurus on his mother's side. I did not laugh; people who boast of ancestry often have little else to sustain them."--Robert Heinlein
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  118. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Steve Sailer
    I was looking at a book that claimed that Greek science collapsed with the Roman takeover in the second century BC. If so, it would be interestingly subtle phenomenon because the Romans were, in their own minds, pro-Greek culture.

    If while they had their constantly warring city-states some wildness was kept in the Greek gene pool then maybe the Romans made Greece too safe?

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  119. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @anon
    That's an interesting thought - a downhome population back in the home territory and a large diaspora of mercantile minority scattered all round the med.

    with the downhome part of the population staying dumb as rocks while the trader part of the population get the IQ selection.

    (added for clarity)

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  120. Romanian says:
    @International Jew
    Funny to hear you presenting the late Communist era "fire and brimstone" teachers as an example of excellence. Some old Romanians I've talked to, whose education took place in the 30s and 40s, like to say that the universities went to pot when the prewar generation, educated in Paris and Vienna, got replaced by semiliterate affirmative action cases the Communists pushed through on account of their "healthy" peasant and proletarian background.

    Well, you don’t need to be a genius with 140 IQ to teach High School children or lower than that. Nor do you need to study abroad for it (that has always been to compensate for lack of in-country opportunities and for credentialism… also for determining a political bent for a later career). It might actually be a disadvantage to be that smart and teach, or teach below University level, because of the repetitiveness and the correlation with lack of social graces. You only need to be intelligent enough to handle the workload (especially for advanced Math and other subjects), the rest is about discipline, enforcing standards and having interpersonal skills to at least get the information across to students, especially the all important middle segment of not too dumb, but not too bright. That’s what I meant by fire and brimstone.

    Given Romania’s increasing population at the time (rapidly increasing in later years, with the pro-natalist policies), whatever brain drain we had after the Communists took over (which was, admittedly, significant) was compensated for by the rest of the population. You can argue, like one other poster, that we also lost a lot of Jews over time (quite a lot of Romanian speakers in Israel, as well as in the States, if the commenter Old Jew who left Romania in the 1970s is any indication) as well as some other possibly higher achieving minorities, like Hungarians and definitely Germans, which would affect National output regardless of the increase in the main ethnicity (we went from 70% to 90% Romanians during Communist times, though a lot of that was also due to losing Bessarabia, Budjak and Hertza (Chernivtsi) which were much more diverse than the core country). Lynn and Kahneman have the Romanian IQ at somewhere around 96 (I hope it’s a bit larger now due to Flynn effect), which allows for quite a healthy dollop of intelligent sorts, especially if there is a firm hand sifting for them through the general population.

    [MORE]

    The Communists might actually have had it better in certain ways, though other posters rightly point out political considerations in promoting undeserving fellows or in the politicized conduct of certain types of teaching and research (like that of Economics and Social Sciences, as opposed to STEM). The Soviets and their allies relied on resource mobilization to achieve rapid economic growth, which is why they seemed to grow so rapidly versus the West in the beginning and lagged terribly later. This explains, for instance, the Soviet success in reducing child mortality faster than the US and also in absolute terms before it rebounded in the 1980s. Romania was still very much a peasant and rural society before the Commies, despite its rapid advances in industrialization, infrastructure construction and the important metric of having an indigenous intellectual elite (which was not all Jewish). But it was the Commies who promoted rapid social mobility through education and equity feminism among the population (the good kind of feminism). Sure, you had a lot of up-jumped peasants mucking about (Ceausescu, for instance), but they also discovered quite a lot of brainpower languishing in villages and the fields. If you analyze the backgrounds of some of our most important pre-WW2 intellectuals, you will note a high incidence of an aristocratic or at least landed gentry background (or foreign mercantile origin). With their (admittedly shameful) sidelining and dispossession during Communism as class enemies, you start to see, especially in the technical fields, the rise of the peasants’ children, especially since the rewards of education were obvious, basically guaranteed and highly sought after, unlike today.

    I made the point before, somewhere else on this site, that my own origins are rather humble – poor peasants with basic literacy and numeracy taught by the village priest (different villages, so at least I’m not inbred). My parents were the first generation in their families to finish high school and then attend University (like all of their siblings and cousins), married late and became an Engineer and Economist, upper middle class both (also in the Communist pecking order, where durables like housing and cars were allotted centrally).

    It is also important to remember that, while this has important social and economic costs, the distribution of jobs was also regulated centrally by the government (those “sent to Siberia” jokes). Unless you had some specialty that demanded a certain location, like an Oil Extraction Engineer being placed near sites and so on, the general rule was that the best were assigned to the most important cities – the best medical students would become doctors in the Capital, the second best in major cities etc. It was the same for most other positions, with the exceptions of those that follow the jobs (people in refining went to where the refineries were, automotive engineers went to the respective factories and unskilled labor had the least say in where the were sent, which was also how emptier parts of the country, like Dobrogea, were developed etc). So you had a lot of brainpower determining social class and clustering together with eugenic effects. And, within cities, there was a clustering according to talent, where the best schools were assigned the best teachers and would receive the best students (after 8th grade), the best general hospitals would be the most prestigious posting etc. This also ensured high performance in the attribution of scarce human resources.

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    • Replies: @International Jew
    Very interesting.

    At this point, with university students several generations removed from the wartime cohort, what fraction of Romania's high-achieving youth would you say share your peasant background, and what fraction are the great-grandchildren of the pre-war aristocracy and grand bourgeoisie (whose own children were victimized by the post-war affirmative action)?
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  121. rvg says:
    @anon

    I’ve always wondered — what happened to the Greeks? Is it…
     
    I don't think IQ is enough on its own and there's some other x factor involved.

    It's like China being ahead of the game for a long time and then stalling.

    Personally I think a minimum average IQ and a small amount of "wildness" may be necessary where by wildness I mean certain genes that are useful to HGs but not so useful to farmers and get bred out over time.

    So maybe innovation gradually creates civilization and then civilization gradually kills innovation.

    So why is Moscow a lot less functional or efficient than hong kong, tokyo, osaka, singapore, taipei, seoul, or sapporo despite having similar iq scores.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    wildness has a lot of negatives - that's why it gets bred out.
    , @Kolchak
    Russians.
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  122. Romanian says:
    @reiner Tor
    Actually, if Hungary is any guide, while there was a drop in standards after 1945, enough of the old guard stayed on to eventually train the next generation of whatever background (affirmative action for workers' and peasants' children ceased after 1956), and quality remained relatively high (at least in STEM fields which were way less politicized). Yes, these guys often knew no Latin, neither did they speak foreign languages, but they were good enough to teach the STEM subjects well.

    You can see that also by checking out the International Math Olympiad started by the Communist countries in 1956 (I doubt Dwayne Camacho Mountain Dew Elizondo from Idiocracy would start a Math Olympiad) and then expanded to include many other countries.

    This website has a lot of data you can sift through – individual scores, team scores, medals, rankings.

    https://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx

    It isn’t representative for the whole population, but you can see, even until the late Communist period and the post-Communist period, when the pre-War types had died out, that performance was very high in Eastern Europe. So, there was a kind of continuity of excellence at least in STEM.

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  123. Romanian says:
    @sprfls
    Very good point about brain drain. The comparison to Moldova is certainly apt. (Though I think poor little Moldova has it worse than anybody especially considering, in addition to many capable Moldovans/Russians leaving, its significant Jewish population dwindling to basically zero overnight.)

    In general I think the idea that current Western immigration policies really hurt developing countries isn't hammered home enough by open borders opponents.

    You’re very much right. You might get rid of unemployment or political trouble from lack of opportunity, but you are permanently losing a part of your genetic resources and also a workforce which is in the prime of its life, after you have already paid for their schooling (and the opportunity cost of not having trained someone else in their stead). Like Aral Vorkosigan said in Bujold’s sci-fi books, “all true wealth is biological”. A bit of an exaggeration, but true enough, when you see how badly IQ poor and resource rich countries have fared. Almost makes one be ashamed of the 120 IQ types one has languishing around as barristas and community organizers. Or traitors.

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  124. Romanian says:
    @SPMoore8
    Because Hungarian is agglutinative (i.e., tacks endings onto nouns to create meaning) I have seen it associated with everything from the third language on the Rock of Behistun to the Dravidian family to the Indus Valley family, etc. etc.

    When there's only 10 million of you in a sea of Rumanians, Slavs, and Germans, you have to work at your identity.

    I would disagree with that sea of Romanians etc. First, the Slavs are divided and their historical weakness is in the name and the bloody past. Though some Romanians used to say that our only friends are the Serbs and the Black Sea. If you look at the map, Hungary has a larger population than all of its neighbors except Romania and Ukraine (with which it has a small border). That’s larger than 4 out of 6 countries. It also has significant populations in neighboring countries that are politically active and ethnically oriented. And I wouldn’t exactly consider Ukrainian and Romanian identity threatening – the populations are neither growing (rapidly decreasing in fact), the economies are less dynamic than one could hope for, the cultures are not expansionist, nor are they characterized by some sort of cultural virility that overwhelms others (like it appears certain Muslim populations possess). In all respects, including respect for their sovereignty and their heritage and forwardness in defending them (notice the current kulturkampf in Hungary regarding refugees and the Roma), the Hungarians outclass all their neighbors except for Austria. If there is any reason to be paranoid and over-protective about their identity, the reason would be historical scars from their loss of territory, imperial splendor and co-ethnics at the end of WW1 (Admiral Horthy had no coastline and no navy). There was this Danish political drama I very much enjoyed, called Borgen (The Castle), and it had quotes before every episode. One of them went something like – “the story of the Danes is that of the fall of a great tribe”. It fits here too.

    [MORE]

    PS If you want crackpot theories on ethnicity, my employer has a menial employee who is what Ceausescu would term a “protochronist”, someone who ascribes exaggerated importance to our Thracian forebears.

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

    Among other things, he believes that the source of European civilization is in the Carpathians, because of the abundance of easy to reach salt for human consumption, trade and food preservation. He also thinks there are millions of speakers of Romanian in India (although all the Indian speakers of Romanian that have been attested to are right here with us :D) because of the similarities between quite a large number of words. This would, theoretically, be down to the Indo-European roots of the languages, but it leads protochronists to thoughts like Roman culture having its early roots in Thracian territories etc. Very ouroboros circular kind of thinking.

    https://andreeasoarero.wordpress.com/in-asia-over-80-000-000-people-speak-romanian/

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    • Agree: SPMoore8
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  125. Romanian says:
    @Twinkie

    Singapore does not have the run of the mill Han, but their core Chinese population is the Cantonese diaspora who have been the traders and moneymen for hundreds of years
     
    Not exactly. Singaporean Chinese are mostly speakers of Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, and Hainanese, in decreasing population size. By a sizable margin, the plurality is Hokkien-speakers from southern Fujian or descended from that group.

    Lee Kuan Yew was Hokkien, just like Deng Xiaoping. Might account for some of the interest with which Deng observed the reforms in Singapore after expulsion from the Federation of Malaya.

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  126. Romanian says:
    @reiner Tor
    Oh, we have some minor territorial disputes with them, like Hungary lost two thirds of its territory to them (and to Serbia) in 1918-20, including a third of its ethnically Hungarian population. Romanians (but not Slovakians) are also seen as an extremely backwards Balkan people, less cultured then our other neighbors. If I had to name just one enemy nation, I'd name Romania.

    Of course most people don't care for that anymore, since everybody knows that Romania is twice the size of Hungary, so we'd have no chance against them. Also Transylvania now has an 80+% Romanian majority, with the only two majority Hungarian counties being in the middle of Romania hundreds of kilometers from the Hungarian border, so the last remaining nationalist goal is autonomy for those two counties. I don't think we'll get even that. Not that it matters, we are on our way of losing the remaining country to an ever increasing Gypsy population, and possibly also "refugees".

    There's a funny (probably apocriphal) story about Hungary (and its relation to Romania) from the time of WW2. At the time the Hungarian head of state was Admiral Horthy as regent (he had been the admiral of the Austro-Hungarian Navy). Following German pressure Hungary declared war on the US, and according to the story while receiving the memorandum about the war an American diplomat asked a Hungarian diplomat some questions.
    "You are a kingdom. So, do you have a king?"
    "No, we have an admiral."
    "I see. So you must have a fleet."
    "No, we're landlocked."
    "So, what are your claims against the US?"
    "We have none. We have territorial claims against Romania."
    "So why are you not declaring war on Romania?"
    "We're allied to them."

    I wrote a comment above that relates a bit to what you said. I’m always a bit saddened by the reflexive enmity between our peoples, even though it has died down quite a bit, since I very much admire Hungary (I’m a Wallachian Romanian, verbose trickter not taciturn grudge holders like Transylvanians, so my ancestral beef is with Turks :))) ). Then again, you might say that it is easy for me to take that position, since, despite the bad luck of winding up in the Communist Camp, Romania did come out mostly on top of the WW shuffles (it gained a lot after WW1 when it became Greater Romania and only lost a fifth of its territory after WW2, the most diverse fifth in fact, which went well for us in the long run, with Russia’s new assertiveness). Only the Yugoslavs had it better, though they floundered in time despite having the most reasonable and liberal Communist regime.

    [MORE]

    I personally disagree with autonomy because I don’t believe a non-unitary state can function well without prior fat reserves to burn (meaning we are not successful enough economically and institutionally to handle the costs and waste of bureaucratic complexities and the inevitable ethnic jockeying for resources, conflict etc). I also think it won’t fly politically for historic reasons as tensions in Slovakia over Magyar passports (I’m fuzzy on the details) also show. I also think little of ethnicity based parties, as opposed to ethnicity blind ideological parties, because of the same reason, except for the parties of the very small minorities which are assured of disproportional representation in Parliament. I do think that devolution of responsibility to counties has offered or is in the course of offering the two majority Magyar counties most of everything they wanted, not to mention the usual provisions for quality of life for large minority populations in other counties. In the end, it’s a Pyrrhic victory, since the Hungarian population is also diminishing rapidly due to aging. I don’t know what your thoughts are on this, or those of your countrymen, but given the rapidly decreasing populations in both our countries, I would be in favor of trying to attract not just the Romanian diaspora to return, but also the historic Romanian communities in surrounding countries (including the Megleno-Romanian, Istro-Romanian, Aromanian minorities). I would think Hungary would pursue the same tactic, rather than risk being inundated with refugees and immigrants.

    My turn for a joke (hope you don’t take offense, it’s self-deprecatory):

    An Israeli settler and a Palestinian are fighting somewhere in the West Bank. They fire their guns at each other, take cover etc. At one point, the Israeli lobs a grenade at his opponent. It explodes safely away, but rattles the Palestinian’s teeth, so he swears obscenely… in Romanian. The Israeli pokes his head out:
    “Did I hear you speak Romanian?”
    “Yes, you speak it too???”
    “This is amazing. Yes, I do, I was born in Romania, came here as a child and studied there later. What a coincidence”
    “Seriously? I studied in Romania too. I have very fond memories. Where did you study?”
    “Engineering at the Bucharest Polytechnic”
    “Awesome! I had a cousin there”
    “Where did you study?”
    “Medicine in Cluj Napoca!”
    The Israeli’s face falls off and he starts shooting again, all of a sudden, screaming “Die Hungarian!!!!!”

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    It'd be nice to discuss these things, but I have little time today. I only noticed your comments recently here, but I hope you'll stay around at iSteve or Unz.
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  127. Bliss says:
    @Harold

    Few people like you perhaps. Those who care about math and understand it’s importance will have a different opinion.
     
    Mathematics and computer science are my areas of expertise. I could talk about my contributions thereto but I would risk identifying myself. I also grew up in a household in which mathematics was seen as important; my mother has a degree in mathematics (and also a degree in computer science).

    IMO medal winners often go on to win the Fields Medal which is like the Nobel Prize of math
     
    I know it has often been said that the Fields Medal is “the Nobel Prize of mathematics”, but this is an outdated notion. The Abel Prize is more like the “Nobel Prize of mathematics”.

    Few people care about the IMO. A lot of people who are enthusiatic about Mathematics are completely uninterested in the IMO. Moreover, it is much more of a thing in some countries than others, making it useless for between country comparisons of mathematical ability.

    Mathematics and computer science are my areas of expertise

    Then why do you denigrate the IMO when so many of its medalists have gone on to do cutting edge work in mathematics and computer science?

    I know it has often been said that the Fields Medal is “the Nobel Prize of mathematics”, but this is an outdated notion.

    Tell that to the New York Times (note the date):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/science/top-math-prize-has-its-first-female-winner.html

    The Abel Prize is more like the “Nobel Prize of mathematics”.

    Tell that to the Nobel Foundation:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1600-0498.12038/abstract

    But seriously, you are just being petty…

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    • Replies: @Harold

    Then why do you denigrate the IMO when so many of its medalists have gone on to do cutting edge work in mathematics and computer science?
     
    I didn’t denigrate the IMO, I just think it means little for between country comparisons. To be good at rugby requires athletic ability, New Zealand is better than America at rugby, therefore New Zealanders are more athletic than Americans? No, because few people care about rugby.

    I also think it means little for between ethnicity comparisons since it appeals to certain cultural factors and personality types which are more prevalent in certain ethnicities than others. If you hear about someone breaking a record for some daredevil feat they were probably ethnically European. They probably weren’t East Asian or Jewish. Does this mean the ethnically European have more of whatever skill it takes to acccomplish the feat? Was it a White man who walked a tightrope across the Grand Canyon because Whites have better balance than other races? No. Few people care about doing daring feats so it comes down more to the cultural factors and personality types of who attempts them than who has the most ability.

    Tell that to the New York Times
     
    Oh, well if a New York Times reporter says so I guess I better change my ideas.

    Your mentioning of the NYT reminds me of the following opinion of Doron Zeilberger. Doron Zeilberger being a famous mathematician whose “opinions of Doron Zeilberger” are well known amongst mathematicians (if often disagreed with).

    Since (apocryphally) Mittag-Leffler had a love affair with Alfred Nobel's non-existent wife, the inventor of TNT decided not to give out a Nobel prize in mathematics. So we mathematicians felt inferior to physicists, chemists, biologists, authors, and even economists. Some of us (e.g. beautiful-mind John Nash) got the Economics prize (that was not Alfred's idea), but the closest analog, until nine years ago, was the Fields medal whose monetary value is epsilontic, and is only awarded to (relatively speaking) epsilons.

    Finally, in 2003, Norway decided to honor its most gifted mathematical child, Niels Abel, by introducing a mathematical analog of a Nobel prize, and named it the Abel prize, and we finally had a prize of our own, and were hoping to get at least some of the attention that our scientific, pseudo-scientific (i.e. economists), and literary colleagues enjoy. Of course none of them can equal the celebrity of sports and movie celebs, after all, like us, they are also just nerds, but even our dream of getting the modest attention that our scientific colleagues get, apparently did not get fulfilled, even with the Abel prize.

    As soon as I found out that my Rutgers colleague Endre Szemerédi won the "math Nobel", I looked at the front page of the New [York] Times, then in the inside pages. Nothing! Then I went to google news, and saw that besides a short and perfunctory article in the Washington Post (that proves that it is a better daily than the NYT), and a charming but mathematically inaccurate (how many errors can you spot?) article in the regional newspaper, the Newark Star-Ledger, no major American newspaper wrote about it. Even the French, who traditionally, at least, have much greater respect for mathematics, didn't do as well as expected. Le Figaro had a short article, and Le Monde, even though a search in their website revealed that it covered all the previous years' Abel awards, had nothing about this year's. Hooray to India's "The Hindu" that had a decent coverage.
     
    http://www.math.rutgers.edu/~zeilberg/Opinion122.html

    The media doesn’t cover the Abel Prize because it is so little known, and it remains so little known because the media doesn’t cover it. I would like to see it better known, which is what was behind what you interpreted as my pettiness.
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  128. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous
    He's done lots of work in medicine and psychiatry. Lots of great men are unknown or unheard of during their lifetimes.

    Katsioulis may be the smartest man to have ever lived. Statistically, his IQ is at the 1 out of 38 billion expectation, and there haven't been 38 billion alive so far:

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

    The statistical interpretation of these numbers is that assuming a normal, Gaussian, distribution of IQ scores in the general population, Katsioulis' performance is expected by only 1 person out of 38,000,000,000 of the unselected population.
     

    He’s done lots of work in medicine and psychiatry.

    I read through his CV; I didn’t spot anything earth-shattering

    Lots of great men are unknown or unheard of during their lifetimes.

    And lots of great men are acclaimed during their lifetimes: Newton, Beethoven, Leonardo, Edison, Einstein, etc

    Katsioulis may be the smartest man to have ever lived. Statistically, his IQ is at the 1 out of 38 billion expectation, and there haven’t been 38 billion alive so far:

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

    The statistical interpretation of these numbers is that assuming a normal, Gaussian, distribution of IQ scores in the general population, Katsioulis’ performance is expected by only 1 person out of 38,000,000,000 of the unselected population.

    And, so far, he’s not done anything with his IQ that deserves our attention.

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  129. syonredux says:
    @anon

    I’ve always wondered — what happened to the Greeks? Is it…
     
    I don't think IQ is enough on its own and there's some other x factor involved.

    It's like China being ahead of the game for a long time and then stalling.

    Personally I think a minimum average IQ and a small amount of "wildness" may be necessary where by wildness I mean certain genes that are useful to HGs but not so useful to farmers and get bred out over time.

    So maybe innovation gradually creates civilization and then civilization gradually kills innovation.

    I don’t think IQ is enough on its own

    It clearly is not.Look at Ashkenazi Jews.Left to their own devices, they contributed very little to the world in terms of art and science.Forced to integrate into European Civilization in the 19th century, they started making massive contributions.

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  130. Truth says:

    http://psiq.org/world_genius_directory_geniuses/geniuses.htm

    Some Greek feller is at the top with a paltry 198 IQ, and you aren’t listed, Unz, I’d sue.

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  131. @John Derbyshire
    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.

    It takes the wit of four Turks to over-reach one Frank; two Franks to cheat one Greek; two Greeks to cheat one Jew, and six Jews to cheat one Armenian

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  132. @PandaAtWar
    Adding on that to be more precisely, Singapore Chinese were from Malaysia Chinese stock. Their forefathers were mostly landless-peasants in Fujian and Canton who couldn't compete in China no more and tried to find livinghood in "Nan Yang" ( translate "South China Sea" aka Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Phillipines etc) for a fresh start. Also there were some from the South China who tried to escape wars during the turn of dynasties, or to escape political prosecutions or crimes cmmitted in China. Even in Taiwan just decades ago, if some local mafia members committed crimes and tried to escape, where they'd most likely go? it would be Chinese communities in Nan Yang where the laws have been loose and much easiler for them to blend in.

    So average IQ of their forefathers were definately way below Chinese average in the beginning when they first arrived in Nan Yang . But with generations of Mean Reversal and tough local political/social pressure selection, their average IQ, Panda figures, is about the Han Chinese average now, but still below many branches of Han Chinese in the Eastern, Central, Western (Sichuan mainly) and Northern China.

    People always say Fujian is a poor province, but at a glance it looks pretty comfortable to me, notwithstanding the clan wars and lack of air conditioning.

    A surprising number of intelligent people hail from there, again from cursory research, including, if I may, some of my own ancestors. In activities other than what may be termed orthodox Chinese, of course, as Twinkie alludes to

    Linguists and missionaries seem to be a tendency, and the clannish mountain holds along with the piratical lifestyle have no doubt had an impact, of historical attestation.

    Simply by being on the coast, separated from the interior by mountains and intercourse with Taiwan and further means that they are already out of the Imperial orbit.

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    • Replies: @PandaAtWar
    My bad...was a bit lazy lumping Fujianese and Cantonese together like that in the previous post as if they were interchanable .

    Fujian province is not that poor, but the problem is that it has mostly been like that in the history due to its moutainous geography hence difficulties of transport & commerce, particular in pre-industrial era.

    So there has been almost a tradition there to immigrant to overseas for some sub-groups of them. Don't get Panda wrong, I should have said it more clearly that the average IQ of those who have chosen to immigrate to "Nan Yang" was lower compared to that of even the Fujianese in Fujian.

    Han Chinese in Fujian should be much "purer" than Cantonese anyway and hence almost centainly have higher average IQ than the Cantonese. It shows clearly in Fujian's historical Gao Kao results and the difficuties of the major STEM subjects of its pre-Gao Kao mockups. Fujianese most likely have avg IQ slightly higher than the average of Han Chinese in China.

    Taiwanese, however, are another story entirely. Panda guesses that their relatively older Fujianese (pre-KMT) average IQ suffered quite a lot, due to low IQ genes inflows from the indigenous tribes , the Japanese, and the Phillipinos in different historical stages, to the extend that Panda estimates that about 1/4 to 1/3 of pre-KMT Taiwanese (Fujianese) got affected even though officially they are still called ethnic Han.

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  133. @Jean Cocteausten
    There is probably more to it than genetics and brain drain. Read Richard Feynman's account of the authoritarian, memorization-based education system in Brazil and what it was doing even to bright university students.

    (Note: Feynman never hesitated to go red-pill when the evidence demanded it.)

    He found a grand total of two bright students in the entire country, and who unsurprisingly evinced their abilities: one was self taught and the other had managed to land an education in Germany

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  134. @anon
    It's an odd thing in that it has been known about for years including operations in Africa to give iodine supplements to kids in the worst effected areas but from the WHO reports it looks like up to half the planet might be operating below their genetic capacity - including many in the west as some of the brightest countries assumed they wouldn't have the problem but they do - they could be brighter.

    It particularly effects mountainous regions - which is why it should be of particular interest to the Balkans - and goiter is one of the signs as it has the same cause.

    Putting it in salt has been the standard response - although UK put it in cattle feed instead so it would get into the milk - but then you get health fads about using less salt or milk having too much fat so the people who need it most, young mothers, don't get enough and their kids are 10% dumber than they would be by genetics.

    It's one of the things that might explain the cases where average national IQ doesn't fit ancestry.

    I recall that there were some mountain tribes studied that quite adamantly and determinedly sought to acquire seafood in their diet

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    • Replies: @anon
    That would be interesting to know.
    , @res
    This is a theme of Weston A. Price's book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. For example, see figure 130 at http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200251h.html .
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  135. Brutusale says:
    @ATX Hipster
    Strictly anecdotal, of course, but I came to generally dislike Puerto Ricans while I was in the military because of several separate incidents with different ones where they were running the show and everything came nearly to a halt because efficiency took a back seat to machismo. An underling would suggest a better way to do something, I'd watch the wheels slowly turning:

    "Hmm that is clearly better than how I ordered them to do it, but if I let them do it that way they won't respect me. I know! I'll wait a few minutes and try to frame it as my idea! It's bound to work!"

    Inevitably, 5-10 minutes later the PR "leader" would bring up the same idea as if he'd just thought of it.

    I never understood Spanish pride - what exactly are they so proud of?

    “This sad little lizard told me that he was a brontosaurus on his mother’s side. I did not laugh; people who boast of ancestry often have little else to sustain them.”–Robert Heinlein

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  136. syonredux says:
    @Bliss

    IMO rankings mean little since so few people care about the IMO
     
    Few people like you perhaps. Those who care about math and understand it's importance will have a different opinion. IMO medal winners often go on to win the Fields Medal which is like the Nobel Prize of math, the latest examples being Artur Avila of Brazil and Maryam Mirzakhani (a female) of Iran. IMO medalists have also become notable computer scientists:

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

    Well, here’s a list of Fields Medal winners.It’s dominated by Europeans and Asians:

    United States 12

    France 10

    Soviet Union (3) / Russia (6) 9

    United Kingdom 7

    Japan 3
    Belgium 2

    West Germany (1) / Germany (0) 1

    Australia 1

    British Hong Kong 1

    Finland 1

    Israel 1

    Italy 1

    Norway 1

    New Zealand 1

    Sweden 1

    Vietnam 1

    Iran 1

    Brazil 1

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    • Replies: @Jim
    The Finnish medalist is Ahlfors who was born in Finland but was a Swedish speaker.
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  137. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @rvg
    So why is Moscow a lot less functional or efficient than hong kong, tokyo, osaka, singapore, taipei, seoul, or sapporo despite having similar iq scores.

    wildness has a lot of negatives – that’s why it gets bred out.

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  138. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Difference Maker
    I recall that there were some mountain tribes studied that quite adamantly and determinedly sought to acquire seafood in their diet

    That would be interesting to know.

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  139. res says:
    @Difference Maker
    I recall that there were some mountain tribes studied that quite adamantly and determinedly sought to acquire seafood in their diet

    This is a theme of Weston A. Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. For example, see figure 130 at http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200251h.html .

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  140. @Anon
    The amateur commentary is priceless.

    https://youtu.be/R_LiOY5iy4Y

    We need to license chicken fries. With comprehensive background checks

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  141. @Difference Maker
    People always say Fujian is a poor province, but at a glance it looks pretty comfortable to me, notwithstanding the clan wars and lack of air conditioning.

    A surprising number of intelligent people hail from there, again from cursory research, including, if I may, some of my own ancestors. In activities other than what may be termed orthodox Chinese, of course, as Twinkie alludes to

    Linguists and missionaries seem to be a tendency, and the clannish mountain holds along with the piratical lifestyle have no doubt had an impact, of historical attestation.

    Simply by being on the coast, separated from the interior by mountains and intercourse with Taiwan and further means that they are already out of the Imperial orbit.

    My bad…was a bit lazy lumping Fujianese and Cantonese together like that in the previous post as if they were interchanable .

    Fujian province is not that poor, but the problem is that it has mostly been like that in the history due to its moutainous geography hence difficulties of transport & commerce, particular in pre-industrial era.

    So there has been almost a tradition there to immigrant to overseas for some sub-groups of them. Don’t get Panda wrong, I should have said it more clearly that the average IQ of those who have chosen to immigrate to “Nan Yang” was lower compared to that of even the Fujianese in Fujian.

    Han Chinese in Fujian should be much “purer” than Cantonese anyway and hence almost centainly have higher average IQ than the Cantonese. It shows clearly in Fujian’s historical Gao Kao results and the difficuties of the major STEM subjects of its pre-Gao Kao mockups. Fujianese most likely have avg IQ slightly higher than the average of Han Chinese in China.

    Taiwanese, however, are another story entirely. Panda guesses that their relatively older Fujianese (pre-KMT) average IQ suffered quite a lot, due to low IQ genes inflows from the indigenous tribes , the Japanese, and the Phillipinos in different historical stages, to the extend that Panda estimates that about 1/4 to 1/3 of pre-KMT Taiwanese (Fujianese) got affected even though officially they are still called ethnic Han.

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  142. PB and J says:
    @Twinkie

    It takes two Turks to cheat one Greek.
    It takes two Greeks to cheat one Arab.
    It takes two Arabs to cheat one Jew.
    It takes two Jews to cheat one Armenian.
     
    Arabs? No. Maybe Persians, but Arabs? No.

    Look at the implied region from the ethnicities mentioned — Anatolia, most likely Constantinople/Istanbul or perhaps one of the three littoral regions.

    The “Arabs” in the saying are not from the Arabian peninsula or Morocco or the Persian Gulf or wherever…and remember that because of Arabization the term “Arab” covers many ethnic groups.

    As for the ordering, I’m agnostic.

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  143. A few notes on Greece:

    (1) Ancient Greece had unusually good nutrition, outbreeding (hbdchick), stem family system (Todd), and a literacy rate of 5%-10% (Harris 1991) that while of course low was up to that point unprecedented in any previous society. There factors all came together during the period we know as Classical Greece and produced a cultural and scientific explosion that would not be matched anywhere else until the Renaissance.

    (2) Many of the factors that once made Greece great started to decline after ~200BC. Admixing with the populations of the Near East I suspect had little to do with it (it wouldn’t explain the decline of intellectual achievement in core Greece/Asia Minor at any rate!).

    (3) The Greeks started adopting Middle East cultural practices regarding marriages, which translated to higher aggregate inbreeding (I don’t know if this has been firmly established in the literature, but there a LOT of indicators such as naming and social conventions that this was happening). The stem family system came to an end. Core intelligence very likely declined, from the maybe ~90 or so level of Classical Greece to the ~85 level of the Byzantines (since raised to ~95-97 by modernity). We know from bell curve dynamics that even relatively modest changes in mean IQ have very big effects on the tails. Less speculatively, there was also a decline in literacy associated with the imperial collapse, albeit it was nowhere near as drastic as in the contemporaneous West.

    (4) Demography – So far as intellectual potential went, Classical Greece in its heyday was pretty much the only game in town in Western Europe! Any discoveries made then would by dint of probability accrue almost exclusively to the Greeks. At the time, there were ~8 million Greeks throughout the oikoumene. In later periods, this figure never changed in any drastic fashion. At the height of the Byzantine Empire in the 11th century, its population was ~12 million. But now they were also now competing intellectually against other, much more populous civilizations – for instance, the population of the Abbasid Caliphate was 30mn (and it didn’t include Andalusia) – and they no longer had the special IQ advantages they had a millennium prior.

    (5) The Byzantine Empire might have been sluggish relative to Ancient Greece – as was everyone else until 15th century Italy – but it is not true that no intellectual achievements took place there. It’s just that it tended to be of a specific variety. The Empire was militarily strained throughout its history, so a lot of its aggregate mindpower went into the military sphere (e.g. Greek fire! still unsure how to exactly replicate it today. Byzantine military theory was also probably the world’s most advanced at the time). Though much less famous than Anna Komnena, Michael Psellos was arguably a precursor to Leonardo da Vinci. In short: It might not have matched Arab (well, more like Arabized) science and Song technology, but given its precaurious geopolitical position and modest demographic reserves I do not think it’s valid to say the Byzantines really lagged behind the other great medieval empires.

    (6) Fnally: A clear, unambiguous, and cardinal surpassing of Ancient Greek scientific achievements arguably only happened in 17th Century Europe; the Renaissance doesn’t quite quality. 17th century core Europe had such a vast panoply of historical and demographic advantages over the Greeks that no conclusions about the Greeks’ radical dumbening down as the reason why they didn’t carry out a Scientific Revolution themselves can be legitimately reached.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Hbdchick said that there isn't much evidence for outbreeding in ancient Greece. Ancient Greece was organized into demes and tribes.

    Also, women didn't have much freedom in ancient Greece. They generally had to stay at home and weren't allowed to leave the house or go to the temple without their husbands' permission. Women did have more freedom in Sparta, but that was a military state ruling over a large helot population, and Sparta is not known for its cultural achievements. So in some respects, ancient Greece resembled Middle Eastern culture more than it did liberal Western culture.

    Somebody once said that Arthur Jensen claimed that ancient Greece had an average IQ of 120.
    , @syonredux

    Core intelligence very likely declined, from the maybe ~90 or so level of Classical Greece to the ~85 level of the Byzantines (since raised to ~95-97 by modernity).
     
    I'm always uncomfortable with attempts to quantify IQ for ancient populations.

    That being said, 90 ish seems too low to me.Just about everyone in the ancient Med thought that the Greeks were smarter than everyone else.Maybe they had a mean of 100?
    , @Twinkie

    At the time, there were ~8 million Greeks throughout the oikoumene. In later periods, this figure never changed in any drastic fashion.
     
    Similarly, lack of fertility seems to have been a significant problem for the ancient Greeks in their, ultimately, futile attempt to hold onto the empires they built.

    The Spartan peers were, of course, famously very few and declined in number as various wars took their toll.

    The Diadochi, especially those in Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Bactria had great difficulty in maintaining the number of Greek veterans/settlers necessary to furnish the bulk of their combat power, which resulted in recruitment of locals trained in the "Macedonian" manner.

    It seems that the ancient Greeks just didn't reproduce in sufficient numbers, in contrast to the Republican Romans who apparently were highly fertile and were also excellent at assimilating their neighbors into Latin-ness... this allowed the Romans to endure defeat after defeat, including some disasters such as Lake Trasimene and Cannae. Like a proverbial horde, the Romans were able to regenerate armies after armies in ways that Greeks never could.

    Byzantine military theory was also probably the world’s most advanced at the time
     
    On what do you base this over-the-top conclusion?
    , @Commenter
    Very interesting points
    I would add that, your remark about the military sphere is correct but you should mention the peculiar genius of the Empire, and one that is often cited. That is, its diplomacy.

    It is its diplomacy, more than martial prowess, that explains the very sustained longevity of the Empire in a highly hostile environment.

    One famous example of this sophisticated and far-reaching diplomacy is the Sicilian Vespers in 1282 that Byzantines fomented against French-born Charles I of Anjou. They learnt about his ambitions and his military preparations to use his Sicilian kingdom as a springboard to attack Constantinople and dethrone the emperor, -not an implausible pursuit as the Franks already managed to do that in 1204.
    Michel VIII Palaiologos, who hismelf restored Greek rule in Constantinople after ousting the Latins, would not have been able to match the 400 ships Charles had in his various Mediterranean ports and the extensive alliances he enjoyed (Serbs and Bulgars' rulers, Byzantine dissidents, as well as an amenable Pope, his relatives the kings of France and Hungary and Venice)

    Instead, he took advantage of Sicilian politics where the French had become odious to the population, and where the Norman Kingship they eliminated with Papal complicity left some European royal branches with an axe to grind and opportunities to seize. Thus, the French population of 3000 men and women was massacred, 70 ships intended for the siege of Constantinople were destroyed at the arsenal of Messina, and the king Peter of Aragon landed to claim the crown in the name of his wife Constance, who was the daughter of Manfred, the last Norman King which Charles' army killed.

    Charles died three years later, estranged from the rich island and his dreams of conquest buried, the Papacy which had supported him against Manfred and his house of Hohenstaufen was dealt a blow, and the Aragonese inherited Sicily for the centuries to come, the island remaining in the Spanish sphere with little interruption until the Italian unification.

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  144. @Romanian
    I wrote a comment above that relates a bit to what you said. I'm always a bit saddened by the reflexive enmity between our peoples, even though it has died down quite a bit, since I very much admire Hungary (I'm a Wallachian Romanian, verbose trickter not taciturn grudge holders like Transylvanians, so my ancestral beef is with Turks :))) ). Then again, you might say that it is easy for me to take that position, since, despite the bad luck of winding up in the Communist Camp, Romania did come out mostly on top of the WW shuffles (it gained a lot after WW1 when it became Greater Romania and only lost a fifth of its territory after WW2, the most diverse fifth in fact, which went well for us in the long run, with Russia's new assertiveness). Only the Yugoslavs had it better, though they floundered in time despite having the most reasonable and liberal Communist regime.


    I personally disagree with autonomy because I don't believe a non-unitary state can function well without prior fat reserves to burn (meaning we are not successful enough economically and institutionally to handle the costs and waste of bureaucratic complexities and the inevitable ethnic jockeying for resources, conflict etc). I also think it won't fly politically for historic reasons as tensions in Slovakia over Magyar passports (I'm fuzzy on the details) also show. I also think little of ethnicity based parties, as opposed to ethnicity blind ideological parties, because of the same reason, except for the parties of the very small minorities which are assured of disproportional representation in Parliament. I do think that devolution of responsibility to counties has offered or is in the course of offering the two majority Magyar counties most of everything they wanted, not to mention the usual provisions for quality of life for large minority populations in other counties. In the end, it's a Pyrrhic victory, since the Hungarian population is also diminishing rapidly due to aging. I don't know what your thoughts are on this, or those of your countrymen, but given the rapidly decreasing populations in both our countries, I would be in favor of trying to attract not just the Romanian diaspora to return, but also the historic Romanian communities in surrounding countries (including the Megleno-Romanian, Istro-Romanian, Aromanian minorities). I would think Hungary would pursue the same tactic, rather than risk being inundated with refugees and immigrants.

    My turn for a joke (hope you don't take offense, it's self-deprecatory):

    An Israeli settler and a Palestinian are fighting somewhere in the West Bank. They fire their guns at each other, take cover etc. At one point, the Israeli lobs a grenade at his opponent. It explodes safely away, but rattles the Palestinian's teeth, so he swears obscenely... in Romanian. The Israeli pokes his head out:
    "Did I hear you speak Romanian?"
    "Yes, you speak it too???"
    "This is amazing. Yes, I do, I was born in Romania, came here as a child and studied there later. What a coincidence"
    "Seriously? I studied in Romania too. I have very fond memories. Where did you study?"
    "Engineering at the Bucharest Polytechnic"
    "Awesome! I had a cousin there"
    "Where did you study?"
    "Medicine in Cluj Napoca!"
    The Israeli's face falls off and he starts shooting again, all of a sudden, screaming "Die Hungarian!!!!!"

    It’d be nice to discuss these things, but I have little time today. I only noticed your comments recently here, but I hope you’ll stay around at iSteve or Unz.

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  145. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anatoly Karlin
    A few notes on Greece:

    (1) Ancient Greece had unusually good nutrition, outbreeding (hbdchick), stem family system (Todd), and a literacy rate of 5%-10% (Harris 1991) that while of course low was up to that point unprecedented in any previous society. There factors all came together during the period we know as Classical Greece and produced a cultural and scientific explosion that would not be matched anywhere else until the Renaissance.

    (2) Many of the factors that once made Greece great started to decline after ~200BC. Admixing with the populations of the Near East I suspect had little to do with it (it wouldn't explain the decline of intellectual achievement in core Greece/Asia Minor at any rate!).

    (3) The Greeks started adopting Middle East cultural practices regarding marriages, which translated to higher aggregate inbreeding (I don't know if this has been firmly established in the literature, but there a LOT of indicators such as naming and social conventions that this was happening). The stem family system came to an end. Core intelligence very likely declined, from the maybe ~90 or so level of Classical Greece to the ~85 level of the Byzantines (since raised to ~95-97 by modernity). We know from bell curve dynamics that even relatively modest changes in mean IQ have very big effects on the tails. Less speculatively, there was also a decline in literacy associated with the imperial collapse, albeit it was nowhere near as drastic as in the contemporaneous West.

    (4) Demography - So far as intellectual potential went, Classical Greece in its heyday was pretty much the only game in town in Western Europe! Any discoveries made then would by dint of probability accrue almost exclusively to the Greeks. At the time, there were ~8 million Greeks throughout the oikoumene. In later periods, this figure never changed in any drastic fashion. At the height of the Byzantine Empire in the 11th century, its population was ~12 million. But now they were also now competing intellectually against other, much more populous civilizations - for instance, the population of the Abbasid Caliphate was 30mn (and it didn't include Andalusia) - and they no longer had the special IQ advantages they had a millennium prior.

    (5) The Byzantine Empire might have been sluggish relative to Ancient Greece - as was everyone else until 15th century Italy - but it is not true that no intellectual achievements took place there. It's just that it tended to be of a specific variety. The Empire was militarily strained throughout its history, so a lot of its aggregate mindpower went into the military sphere (e.g. Greek fire! still unsure how to exactly replicate it today. Byzantine military theory was also probably the world's most advanced at the time). Though much less famous than Anna Komnena, Michael Psellos was arguably a precursor to Leonardo da Vinci. In short: It might not have matched Arab (well, more like Arabized) science and Song technology, but given its precaurious geopolitical position and modest demographic reserves I do not think it's valid to say the Byzantines really lagged behind the other great medieval empires.

    (6) Fnally: A clear, unambiguous, and cardinal surpassing of Ancient Greek scientific achievements arguably only happened in 17th Century Europe; the Renaissance doesn't quite quality. 17th century core Europe had such a vast panoply of historical and demographic advantages over the Greeks that no conclusions about the Greeks' radical dumbening down as the reason why they didn't carry out a Scientific Revolution themselves can be legitimately reached.

    Hbdchick said that there isn’t much evidence for outbreeding in ancient Greece. Ancient Greece was organized into demes and tribes.

    Also, women didn’t have much freedom in ancient Greece. They generally had to stay at home and weren’t allowed to leave the house or go to the temple without their husbands’ permission. Women did have more freedom in Sparta, but that was a military state ruling over a large helot population, and Sparta is not known for its cultural achievements. So in some respects, ancient Greece resembled Middle Eastern culture more than it did liberal Western culture.

    Somebody once said that Arthur Jensen claimed that ancient Greece had an average IQ of 120.

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  146. Jefferson says:
    @Ivy
    Community participation goes a long ways in helping individual performance. Mormons, Jews, Chinese and other groups benefit by the positive pressures imposed by their communities. Think "The eyes of Texas are upon you" applied at church, school, sports, cultural events, etc instead of the Eye of Sauron. The first strengthens, the second atomizes.

    “Community participation goes a long ways in helping individual performance. Mormons, Jews, Chinese and other groups benefit by the positive pressures imposed by their communities. Think “The eyes of Texas are upon you” applied at church, school, sports, cultural events, etc instead of the Eye of Sauron. The first strengthens, the second atomizes.”

    I wonder what is the IQ of the average American Mormon? I read that statistically they are the second most financially successful religious group in America in terms of average household income, second only to the Jews.

    No wonder a lot of Mormon guys can financially afford to have several wives at the same time and not live off taxpayer funded welfare. On a per capita basis there are a lot of successful Mormon businessmen even though they make up only 2 percent of the U.S population.

    Here is an interesting fact, in the U.S there are more Mormon billionaires and millionaires in pure raw numbers than there are Black billionaires and millionaires even though the Black population in the U.S is a lot larger than the Mormon population. Blacks really do financially punch below their weight in the U.S.

    Mormons are the Jews of The Republican Party when it comes to being a small religious Minority group who financially punch well above their weight.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    No wonder a lot of Mormon guys can financially afford to have several wives at the same time and not live off taxpayer funded welfare.
     
    Actually, polygamous Mormons are notorious for welfare fraud:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/sep/09/news/mn-43824


    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/who-foots-bill-for-polygamist-communities/

    http://www.childbrides.org/taxes.html
    , @syonredux
    "I wonder what is the IQ of the average American Mormon? "


    Mean IQ for Protestant White Americans

    Episcopalian 109.9
    Lutheran 107.4
    Mormon 105.7
    Presbyterian 102.3
    United Methodists 101.8
    Southern Baptists 98.0
    Assembly of God 94.5
    Pentecostal 92.2

     

    http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2008/02/odd-religions-and-iq-discussion-of.html
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  147. Kolchak says:
    @rvg
    So why is Moscow a lot less functional or efficient than hong kong, tokyo, osaka, singapore, taipei, seoul, or sapporo despite having similar iq scores.

    Russians.

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  148. syonredux says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    A few notes on Greece:

    (1) Ancient Greece had unusually good nutrition, outbreeding (hbdchick), stem family system (Todd), and a literacy rate of 5%-10% (Harris 1991) that while of course low was up to that point unprecedented in any previous society. There factors all came together during the period we know as Classical Greece and produced a cultural and scientific explosion that would not be matched anywhere else until the Renaissance.

    (2) Many of the factors that once made Greece great started to decline after ~200BC. Admixing with the populations of the Near East I suspect had little to do with it (it wouldn't explain the decline of intellectual achievement in core Greece/Asia Minor at any rate!).

    (3) The Greeks started adopting Middle East cultural practices regarding marriages, which translated to higher aggregate inbreeding (I don't know if this has been firmly established in the literature, but there a LOT of indicators such as naming and social conventions that this was happening). The stem family system came to an end. Core intelligence very likely declined, from the maybe ~90 or so level of Classical Greece to the ~85 level of the Byzantines (since raised to ~95-97 by modernity). We know from bell curve dynamics that even relatively modest changes in mean IQ have very big effects on the tails. Less speculatively, there was also a decline in literacy associated with the imperial collapse, albeit it was nowhere near as drastic as in the contemporaneous West.

    (4) Demography - So far as intellectual potential went, Classical Greece in its heyday was pretty much the only game in town in Western Europe! Any discoveries made then would by dint of probability accrue almost exclusively to the Greeks. At the time, there were ~8 million Greeks throughout the oikoumene. In later periods, this figure never changed in any drastic fashion. At the height of the Byzantine Empire in the 11th century, its population was ~12 million. But now they were also now competing intellectually against other, much more populous civilizations - for instance, the population of the Abbasid Caliphate was 30mn (and it didn't include Andalusia) - and they no longer had the special IQ advantages they had a millennium prior.

    (5) The Byzantine Empire might have been sluggish relative to Ancient Greece - as was everyone else until 15th century Italy - but it is not true that no intellectual achievements took place there. It's just that it tended to be of a specific variety. The Empire was militarily strained throughout its history, so a lot of its aggregate mindpower went into the military sphere (e.g. Greek fire! still unsure how to exactly replicate it today. Byzantine military theory was also probably the world's most advanced at the time). Though much less famous than Anna Komnena, Michael Psellos was arguably a precursor to Leonardo da Vinci. In short: It might not have matched Arab (well, more like Arabized) science and Song technology, but given its precaurious geopolitical position and modest demographic reserves I do not think it's valid to say the Byzantines really lagged behind the other great medieval empires.

    (6) Fnally: A clear, unambiguous, and cardinal surpassing of Ancient Greek scientific achievements arguably only happened in 17th Century Europe; the Renaissance doesn't quite quality. 17th century core Europe had such a vast panoply of historical and demographic advantages over the Greeks that no conclusions about the Greeks' radical dumbening down as the reason why they didn't carry out a Scientific Revolution themselves can be legitimately reached.

    Core intelligence very likely declined, from the maybe ~90 or so level of Classical Greece to the ~85 level of the Byzantines (since raised to ~95-97 by modernity).

    I’m always uncomfortable with attempts to quantify IQ for ancient populations.

    That being said, 90 ish seems too low to me.Just about everyone in the ancient Med thought that the Greeks were smarter than everyone else.Maybe they had a mean of 100?

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  149. Kolchak says:
    @Anonymous
    What about the Byzantine Empire, which lasted until 500 years ago?

    Also, the world's smartest man is Greek:

    http://psiq.org/world_genius_directory_geniuses/geniuses.htm

    Note that 5 out of the 20 smartest men in the world are Greek, and that Greeks seem to be very overrepresented on the list overall.

    Greek men also rate themselves as the world’s sexiest. Who was measuring IQ?

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  150. Gato de la Biblioteca [AKA "Icepick"] says:
    @sprfls
    Very good point about brain drain. The comparison to Moldova is certainly apt. (Though I think poor little Moldova has it worse than anybody especially considering, in addition to many capable Moldovans/Russians leaving, its significant Jewish population dwindling to basically zero overnight.)

    In general I think the idea that current Western immigration policies really hurt developing countries isn't hammered home enough by open borders opponents.

    In general I think the idea that current Western immigration policies really hurt developing countries isn’t hammered home enough by open borders opponents.

    That can only really be applied if one believes in the genetic component of intelligence, and the open borders crowd doesn’t believe in such things.

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  151. Great comments by Anatoly Karlin. The national past time of the Athenian citizens was debate. There’s intelligence, and then there’s skill in using what intelligence you have. Debate develops that skill. (Writing a blog post on that – expect in about another week.) Another issue – too much attention is paid to averages. More interesting are standard deviations and smart fractions. Migrations, trade, and refugees probably meant higher SDs peaked then. Get enough people with high enough intelligence and skill in using that intelligence in control of setting the social norms and cultural trends .. etc.

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  152. Twinkie says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    A few notes on Greece:

    (1) Ancient Greece had unusually good nutrition, outbreeding (hbdchick), stem family system (Todd), and a literacy rate of 5%-10% (Harris 1991) that while of course low was up to that point unprecedented in any previous society. There factors all came together during the period we know as Classical Greece and produced a cultural and scientific explosion that would not be matched anywhere else until the Renaissance.

    (2) Many of the factors that once made Greece great started to decline after ~200BC. Admixing with the populations of the Near East I suspect had little to do with it (it wouldn't explain the decline of intellectual achievement in core Greece/Asia Minor at any rate!).

    (3) The Greeks started adopting Middle East cultural practices regarding marriages, which translated to higher aggregate inbreeding (I don't know if this has been firmly established in the literature, but there a LOT of indicators such as naming and social conventions that this was happening). The stem family system came to an end. Core intelligence very likely declined, from the maybe ~90 or so level of Classical Greece to the ~85 level of the Byzantines (since raised to ~95-97 by modernity). We know from bell curve dynamics that even relatively modest changes in mean IQ have very big effects on the tails. Less speculatively, there was also a decline in literacy associated with the imperial collapse, albeit it was nowhere near as drastic as in the contemporaneous West.

    (4) Demography - So far as intellectual potential went, Classical Greece in its heyday was pretty much the only game in town in Western Europe! Any discoveries made then would by dint of probability accrue almost exclusively to the Greeks. At the time, there were ~8 million Greeks throughout the oikoumene. In later periods, this figure never changed in any drastic fashion. At the height of the Byzantine Empire in the 11th century, its population was ~12 million. But now they were also now competing intellectually against other, much more populous civilizations - for instance, the population of the Abbasid Caliphate was 30mn (and it didn't include Andalusia) - and they no longer had the special IQ advantages they had a millennium prior.

    (5) The Byzantine Empire might have been sluggish relative to Ancient Greece - as was everyone else until 15th century Italy - but it is not true that no intellectual achievements took place there. It's just that it tended to be of a specific variety. The Empire was militarily strained throughout its history, so a lot of its aggregate mindpower went into the military sphere (e.g. Greek fire! still unsure how to exactly replicate it today. Byzantine military theory was also probably the world's most advanced at the time). Though much less famous than Anna Komnena, Michael Psellos was arguably a precursor to Leonardo da Vinci. In short: It might not have matched Arab (well, more like Arabized) science and Song technology, but given its precaurious geopolitical position and modest demographic reserves I do not think it's valid to say the Byzantines really lagged behind the other great medieval empires.

    (6) Fnally: A clear, unambiguous, and cardinal surpassing of Ancient Greek scientific achievements arguably only happened in 17th Century Europe; the Renaissance doesn't quite quality. 17th century core Europe had such a vast panoply of historical and demographic advantages over the Greeks that no conclusions about the Greeks' radical dumbening down as the reason why they didn't carry out a Scientific Revolution themselves can be legitimately reached.

    At the time, there were ~8 million Greeks throughout the oikoumene. In later periods, this figure never changed in any drastic fashion.

    Similarly, lack of fertility seems to have been a significant problem for the ancient Greeks in their, ultimately, futile attempt to hold onto the empires they built.

    The Spartan peers were, of course, famously very few and declined in number as various wars took their toll.

    The Diadochi, especially those in Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Bactria had great difficulty in maintaining the number of Greek veterans/settlers necessary to furnish the bulk of their combat power, which resulted in recruitment of locals trained in the “Macedonian” manner.

    It seems that the ancient Greeks just didn’t reproduce in sufficient numbers, in contrast to the Republican Romans who apparently were highly fertile and were also excellent at assimilating their neighbors into Latin-ness… this allowed the Romans to endure defeat after defeat, including some disasters such as Lake Trasimene and Cannae. Like a proverbial horde, the Romans were able to regenerate armies after armies in ways that Greeks never could.

    Byzantine military theory was also probably the world’s most advanced at the time

    On what do you base this over-the-top conclusion?

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  153. Commenter says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    A few notes on Greece:

    (1) Ancient Greece had unusually good nutrition, outbreeding (hbdchick), stem family system (Todd), and a literacy rate of 5%-10% (Harris 1991) that while of course low was up to that point unprecedented in any previous society. There factors all came together during the period we know as Classical Greece and produced a cultural and scientific explosion that would not be matched anywhere else until the Renaissance.

    (2) Many of the factors that once made Greece great started to decline after ~200BC. Admixing with the populations of the Near East I suspect had little to do with it (it wouldn't explain the decline of intellectual achievement in core Greece/Asia Minor at any rate!).

    (3) The Greeks started adopting Middle East cultural practices regarding marriages, which translated to higher aggregate inbreeding (I don't know if this has been firmly established in the literature, but there a LOT of indicators such as naming and social conventions that this was happening). The stem family system came to an end. Core intelligence very likely declined, from the maybe ~90 or so level of Classical Greece to the ~85 level of the Byzantines (since raised to ~95-97 by modernity). We know from bell curve dynamics that even relatively modest changes in mean IQ have very big effects on the tails. Less speculatively, there was also a decline in literacy associated with the imperial collapse, albeit it was nowhere near as drastic as in the contemporaneous West.

    (4) Demography - So far as intellectual potential went, Classical Greece in its heyday was pretty much the only game in town in Western Europe! Any discoveries made then would by dint of probability accrue almost exclusively to the Greeks. At the time, there were ~8 million Greeks throughout the oikoumene. In later periods, this figure never changed in any drastic fashion. At the height of the Byzantine Empire in the 11th century, its population was ~12 million. But now they were also now competing intellectually against other, much more populous civilizations - for instance, the population of the Abbasid Caliphate was 30mn (and it didn't include Andalusia) - and they no longer had the special IQ advantages they had a millennium prior.

    (5) The Byzantine Empire might have been sluggish relative to Ancient Greece - as was everyone else until 15th century Italy - but it is not true that no intellectual achievements took place there. It's just that it tended to be of a specific variety. The Empire was militarily strained throughout its history, so a lot of its aggregate mindpower went into the military sphere (e.g. Greek fire! still unsure how to exactly replicate it today. Byzantine military theory was also probably the world's most advanced at the time). Though much less famous than Anna Komnena, Michael Psellos was arguably a precursor to Leonardo da Vinci. In short: It might not have matched Arab (well, more like Arabized) science and Song technology, but given its precaurious geopolitical position and modest demographic reserves I do not think it's valid to say the Byzantines really lagged behind the other great medieval empires.

    (6) Fnally: A clear, unambiguous, and cardinal surpassing of Ancient Greek scientific achievements arguably only happened in 17th Century Europe; the Renaissance doesn't quite quality. 17th century core Europe had such a vast panoply of historical and demographic advantages over the Greeks that no conclusions about the Greeks' radical dumbening down as the reason why they didn't carry out a Scientific Revolution themselves can be legitimately reached.

    Very interesting points
    I would add that, your remark about the military sphere is correct but you should mention the peculiar genius of the Empire, and one that is often cited. That is, its diplomacy.

    It is its diplomacy, more than martial prowess, that explains the very sustained longevity of the Empire in a highly hostile environment.

    One famous example of this sophisticated and far-reaching diplomacy is the Sicilian Vespers in 1282 that Byzantines fomented against French-born Charles I of Anjou. They learnt about his ambitions and his military preparations to use his Sicilian kingdom as a springboard to attack Constantinople and dethrone the emperor, -not an implausible pursuit as the Franks already managed to do that in 1204.
    Michel VIII Palaiologos, who hismelf restored Greek rule in Constantinople after ousting the Latins, would not have been able to match the 400 ships Charles had in his various Mediterranean ports and the extensive alliances he enjoyed (Serbs and Bulgars’ rulers, Byzantine dissidents, as well as an amenable Pope, his relatives the kings of France and Hungary and Venice)

    Instead, he took advantage of Sicilian politics where the French had become odious to the population, and where the Norman Kingship they eliminated with Papal complicity left some European royal branches with an axe to grind and opportunities to seize. Thus, the French population of 3000 men and women was massacred, 70 ships intended for the siege of Constantinople were destroyed at the arsenal of Messina, and the king Peter of Aragon landed to claim the crown in the name of his wife Constance, who was the daughter of Manfred, the last Norman King which Charles’ army killed.

    Charles died three years later, estranged from the rich island and his dreams of conquest buried, the Papacy which had supported him against Manfred and his house of Hohenstaufen was dealt a blow, and the Aragonese inherited Sicily for the centuries to come, the island remaining in the Spanish sphere with little interruption until the Italian unification.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    It is its diplomacy, more than martial prowess, that explains the very sustained longevity of the Empire in a highly hostile environment.
     
    Absolutely. The Byzantines never had the kind of national martial valor that the Roman civitas entailed. Furthermore, they were perpetually short of trained military manpower, which led to extensive use of warlike allies as mercenaries (including the famed Varangians from Northern Europe).

    The "Romaioi" were very adept at using their diplomacy, marriage, coinage, and ancient prestige to co-opt various barbarian groups against each other. Daughters were frequently married off to various Turkic and other allied groups. One illegitimate princess of an emperor was even given as a bride to a Mongol warlord to buy his assistance.
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  154. syonredux says:
    @Jefferson
    "Community participation goes a long ways in helping individual performance. Mormons, Jews, Chinese and other groups benefit by the positive pressures imposed by their communities. Think “The eyes of Texas are upon you” applied at church, school, sports, cultural events, etc instead of the Eye of Sauron. The first strengthens, the second atomizes."

    I wonder what is the IQ of the average American Mormon? I read that statistically they are the second most financially successful religious group in America in terms of average household income, second only to the Jews.

    No wonder a lot of Mormon guys can financially afford to have several wives at the same time and not live off taxpayer funded welfare. On a per capita basis there are a lot of successful Mormon businessmen even though they make up only 2 percent of the U.S population.

    Here is an interesting fact, in the U.S there are more Mormon billionaires and millionaires in pure raw numbers than there are Black billionaires and millionaires even though the Black population in the U.S is a lot larger than the Mormon population. Blacks really do financially punch below their weight in the U.S.

    Mormons are the Jews of The Republican Party when it comes to being a small religious Minority group who financially punch well above their weight.

    No wonder a lot of Mormon guys can financially afford to have several wives at the same time and not live off taxpayer funded welfare.

    Actually, polygamous Mormons are notorious for welfare fraud:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/sep/09/news/mn-43824

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/who-foots-bill-for-polygamist-communities/

    http://www.childbrides.org/taxes.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Actually, polygamous Mormons are notorious for welfare fraud:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/sep/09/news/mn-43824

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/who-foots-bill-for-polygamist-communities/

    http://www.childbrides.org/taxes.html"

    But Mormons are not overrepresented among welfare recipients like Mestizos, Amerindians, and Blacks.

    Mormons make up 2 percent of the U.S population, but they do not make up significantly more than 2 percent of welfare recipients in this country.
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  155. syonredux says:
    @Jefferson
    "Community participation goes a long ways in helping individual performance. Mormons, Jews, Chinese and other groups benefit by the positive pressures imposed by their communities. Think “The eyes of Texas are upon you” applied at church, school, sports, cultural events, etc instead of the Eye of Sauron. The first strengthens, the second atomizes."

    I wonder what is the IQ of the average American Mormon? I read that statistically they are the second most financially successful religious group in America in terms of average household income, second only to the Jews.

    No wonder a lot of Mormon guys can financially afford to have several wives at the same time and not live off taxpayer funded welfare. On a per capita basis there are a lot of successful Mormon businessmen even though they make up only 2 percent of the U.S population.

    Here is an interesting fact, in the U.S there are more Mormon billionaires and millionaires in pure raw numbers than there are Black billionaires and millionaires even though the Black population in the U.S is a lot larger than the Mormon population. Blacks really do financially punch below their weight in the U.S.

    Mormons are the Jews of The Republican Party when it comes to being a small religious Minority group who financially punch well above their weight.

    “I wonder what is the IQ of the average American Mormon? ”

    Mean IQ for Protestant White Americans

    Episcopalian 109.9
    Lutheran 107.4
    Mormon 105.7
    Presbyterian 102.3
    United Methodists 101.8
    Southern Baptists 98.0
    Assembly of God 94.5
    Pentecostal 92.2

    http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2008/02/odd-religions-and-iq-discussion-of.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Mormon 105.7"

    The average American Mormon has the same IQ as the average Japanese person. That would explain Mormon financial prosperity in the U.S.

    , @Twinkie

    Episcopalian 109.9
    Lutheran 107.4
    Mormon 105.7
     
    Episcopalians and Lutheran may have higher average IQs than Mormons, but the latter have much more intense social cohesion. Asabiyyah and all that.

    Mormons make great allies and neighbors when they are in the minority, but they make terrible overlords (when they are in the majority).
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  156. Jefferson says:
    @syonredux
    "I wonder what is the IQ of the average American Mormon? "


    Mean IQ for Protestant White Americans

    Episcopalian 109.9
    Lutheran 107.4
    Mormon 105.7
    Presbyterian 102.3
    United Methodists 101.8
    Southern Baptists 98.0
    Assembly of God 94.5
    Pentecostal 92.2

     

    http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2008/02/odd-religions-and-iq-discussion-of.html

    “Mormon 105.7″

    The average American Mormon has the same IQ as the average Japanese person. That would explain Mormon financial prosperity in the U.S.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    The average American Mormon has the same IQ as the average Japanese person. That would explain Mormon financial prosperity in the U.S.
     
    Razib Khan points to studies that show that the Mormons aren't all that exceptional; they just have a higher floor:

    These data data seem to imply that Mormons are average white folk. So why the perception that they’re more educated? Part of it probably has to do with the reality that the “floor” of Mormon achievement is above the national norm. Fewer high school dropouts, fewer poor people.
     
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/09/mormons-are-average/#.VcF-efNViko

    Mormons are slightly more likely to be in a middle income bracket than the general population; 38% of Mormons report earning between $50,000 and $100,000 annually, compared with 30% among the population overall in this income category. Mormons are slightly less likely than the general public to be in the lowest income bracket (26% earn $30,000 or less per year compared with 31% among the general public), but they are about as likely to make $100,000 or more annually as the rest of the population (16% and 18%, respectively). This places Mormons roughly in the middle of other religious traditions on the socioeconomic spectrum.
     
    http://www.pewforum.org/2009/07/24/a-portrait-of-mormons-in-the-us/
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  157. Jefferson says:
    @syonredux

    No wonder a lot of Mormon guys can financially afford to have several wives at the same time and not live off taxpayer funded welfare.
     
    Actually, polygamous Mormons are notorious for welfare fraud:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/sep/09/news/mn-43824


    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/who-foots-bill-for-polygamist-communities/

    http://www.childbrides.org/taxes.html

    “Actually, polygamous Mormons are notorious for welfare fraud:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/sep/09/news/mn-43824

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/who-foots-bill-for-polygamist-communities/

    http://www.childbrides.org/taxes.html&#8221;

    But Mormons are not overrepresented among welfare recipients like Mestizos, Amerindians, and Blacks.

    Mormons make up 2 percent of the U.S population, but they do not make up significantly more than 2 percent of welfare recipients in this country.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    But Mormons are not overrepresented among welfare recipients like Mestizos, Amerindians, and Blacks.

    Mormons make up 2 percent of the U.S population, but they do not make up significantly more than 2 percent of welfare recipients in this country.
     
    Mainstream Mormons abjure polygamy.Hence, the percentage of Mormons who are polygamists is quite small:

    Mormon fundamentalism (also called fundamentalist Mormonism) is a belief in the validity of selected fundamental aspects of Mormonism as taught and practiced in the nineteenth century, particularly during the administrations of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the first two presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Mormon fundamentalists seek to uphold tenets and practices no longer held by mainstream Mormons (members of the LDS Church). The principle most often associated with Mormon fundamentalism is plural marriage, a form of polygyny first taught by Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. A second and closely associated principle is that of the United Order, a form of egalitarian communalism. Mormon fundamentalists believe that these and other principles were wrongly abandoned or changed by the LDS Church in its efforts to become reconciled with mainstream American society. Today, the LDS Church excommunicates any of its members who practice plural marriage or who otherwise closely associate themselves with Mormon fundamentalist practices.

    There is no single authority accepted by all Mormon fundamentalists; viewpoints and practices of individual groups vary. Fundamentalists have formed numerous small sects, often within cohesive and isolated communities in the Western United States, Western Canada, and northern Mexico. At times, sources have claimed there are as many as 60,000 Mormon fundamentalists in the United States,[2][3] with fewer than half of them living in polygamous households.[4] However, others have suggested that there may be as few as 20,000 Mormon fundamentalists[5][6] with only 8,000 to 15,000 practicing polygamy.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_fundamentalism
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  158. Twinkie says:
    @Commenter
    Very interesting points
    I would add that, your remark about the military sphere is correct but you should mention the peculiar genius of the Empire, and one that is often cited. That is, its diplomacy.

    It is its diplomacy, more than martial prowess, that explains the very sustained longevity of the Empire in a highly hostile environment.

    One famous example of this sophisticated and far-reaching diplomacy is the Sicilian Vespers in 1282 that Byzantines fomented against French-born Charles I of Anjou. They learnt about his ambitions and his military preparations to use his Sicilian kingdom as a springboard to attack Constantinople and dethrone the emperor, -not an implausible pursuit as the Franks already managed to do that in 1204.
    Michel VIII Palaiologos, who hismelf restored Greek rule in Constantinople after ousting the Latins, would not have been able to match the 400 ships Charles had in his various Mediterranean ports and the extensive alliances he enjoyed (Serbs and Bulgars' rulers, Byzantine dissidents, as well as an amenable Pope, his relatives the kings of France and Hungary and Venice)

    Instead, he took advantage of Sicilian politics where the French had become odious to the population, and where the Norman Kingship they eliminated with Papal complicity left some European royal branches with an axe to grind and opportunities to seize. Thus, the French population of 3000 men and women was massacred, 70 ships intended for the siege of Constantinople were destroyed at the arsenal of Messina, and the king Peter of Aragon landed to claim the crown in the name of his wife Constance, who was the daughter of Manfred, the last Norman King which Charles' army killed.

    Charles died three years later, estranged from the rich island and his dreams of conquest buried, the Papacy which had supported him against Manfred and his house of Hohenstaufen was dealt a blow, and the Aragonese inherited Sicily for the centuries to come, the island remaining in the Spanish sphere with little interruption until the Italian unification.

    It is its diplomacy, more than martial prowess, that explains the very sustained longevity of the Empire in a highly hostile environment.

    Absolutely. The Byzantines never had the kind of national martial valor that the Roman civitas entailed. Furthermore, they were perpetually short of trained military manpower, which led to extensive use of warlike allies as mercenaries (including the famed Varangians from Northern Europe).

    The “Romaioi” were very adept at using their diplomacy, marriage, coinage, and ancient prestige to co-opt various barbarian groups against each other. Daughters were frequently married off to various Turkic and other allied groups. One illegitimate princess of an emperor was even given as a bride to a Mongol warlord to buy his assistance.

    Read More
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  159. Twinkie says:
    @syonredux
    "I wonder what is the IQ of the average American Mormon? "


    Mean IQ for Protestant White Americans

    Episcopalian 109.9
    Lutheran 107.4
    Mormon 105.7
    Presbyterian 102.3
    United Methodists 101.8
    Southern Baptists 98.0
    Assembly of God 94.5
    Pentecostal 92.2

     

    http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2008/02/odd-religions-and-iq-discussion-of.html

    Episcopalian 109.9
    Lutheran 107.4
    Mormon 105.7

    Episcopalians and Lutheran may have higher average IQs than Mormons, but the latter have much more intense social cohesion. Asabiyyah and all that.

    Mormons make great allies and neighbors when they are in the minority, but they make terrible overlords (when they are in the majority).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "but they make terrible overlords (when they are in the majority)."

    In your eyes why do they make for terrible overlords?
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  160. syonredux says:
    @Jefferson
    "Actually, polygamous Mormons are notorious for welfare fraud:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/sep/09/news/mn-43824

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/who-foots-bill-for-polygamist-communities/

    http://www.childbrides.org/taxes.html"

    But Mormons are not overrepresented among welfare recipients like Mestizos, Amerindians, and Blacks.

    Mormons make up 2 percent of the U.S population, but they do not make up significantly more than 2 percent of welfare recipients in this country.

    But Mormons are not overrepresented among welfare recipients like Mestizos, Amerindians, and Blacks.

    Mormons make up 2 percent of the U.S population, but they do not make up significantly more than 2 percent of welfare recipients in this country.

    Mainstream Mormons abjure polygamy.Hence, the percentage of Mormons who are polygamists is quite small:

    Mormon fundamentalism (also called fundamentalist Mormonism) is a belief in the validity of selected fundamental aspects of Mormonism as taught and practiced in the nineteenth century, particularly during the administrations of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the first two presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Mormon fundamentalists seek to uphold tenets and practices no longer held by mainstream Mormons (members of the LDS Church). The principle most often associated with Mormon fundamentalism is plural marriage, a form of polygyny first taught by Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. A second and closely associated principle is that of the United Order, a form of egalitarian communalism. Mormon fundamentalists believe that these and other principles were wrongly abandoned or changed by the LDS Church in its efforts to become reconciled with mainstream American society. Today, the LDS Church excommunicates any of its members who practice plural marriage or who otherwise closely associate themselves with Mormon fundamentalist practices.

    There is no single authority accepted by all Mormon fundamentalists; viewpoints and practices of individual groups vary. Fundamentalists have formed numerous small sects, often within cohesive and isolated communities in the Western United States, Western Canada, and northern Mexico. At times, sources have claimed there are as many as 60,000 Mormon fundamentalists in the United States,[2][3] with fewer than half of them living in polygamous households.[4] However, others have suggested that there may be as few as 20,000 Mormon fundamentalists[5][6] with only 8,000 to 15,000 practicing polygamy.

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

    Read More
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  161. syonredux says:
    @Jefferson
    "Mormon 105.7"

    The average American Mormon has the same IQ as the average Japanese person. That would explain Mormon financial prosperity in the U.S.

    The average American Mormon has the same IQ as the average Japanese person. That would explain Mormon financial prosperity in the U.S.

    Razib Khan points to studies that show that the Mormons aren’t all that exceptional; they just have a higher floor:

    These data data seem to imply that Mormons are average white folk. So why the perception that they’re more educated? Part of it probably has to do with the reality that the “floor” of Mormon achievement is above the national norm. Fewer high school dropouts, fewer poor people.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/09/mormons-are-average/#.VcF-efNViko

    Mormons are slightly more likely to be in a middle income bracket than the general population; 38% of Mormons report earning between $50,000 and $100,000 annually, compared with 30% among the population overall in this income category. Mormons are slightly less likely than the general public to be in the lowest income bracket (26% earn $30,000 or less per year compared with 31% among the general public), but they are about as likely to make $100,000 or more annually as the rest of the population (16% and 18%, respectively). This places Mormons roughly in the middle of other religious traditions on the socioeconomic spectrum.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2009/07/24/a-portrait-of-mormons-in-the-us/

    Read More
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  162. Jefferson says:
    @Twinkie

    Episcopalian 109.9
    Lutheran 107.4
    Mormon 105.7
     
    Episcopalians and Lutheran may have higher average IQs than Mormons, but the latter have much more intense social cohesion. Asabiyyah and all that.

    Mormons make great allies and neighbors when they are in the minority, but they make terrible overlords (when they are in the majority).

    “but they make terrible overlords (when they are in the majority).”

    In your eyes why do they make for terrible overlords?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    In your eyes why do they make for terrible overlords?
     
    Because they have superb asabiyyah and primarily care about their own co-religionists, at times to the detriment of others. Once in the majority and in power, they tend to crush all others. They are not, er, pluralistic.
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  163. Harold says:
    @Bliss

    Mathematics and computer science are my areas of expertise
     
    Then why do you denigrate the IMO when so many of its medalists have gone on to do cutting edge work in mathematics and computer science?

    I know it has often been said that the Fields Medal is “the Nobel Prize of mathematics”, but this is an outdated notion.
     
    Tell that to the New York Times (note the date):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/science/top-math-prize-has-its-first-female-winner.html


    The Abel Prize is more like the “Nobel Prize of mathematics”.
     
    Tell that to the Nobel Foundation:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1600-0498.12038/abstract

    But seriously, you are just being petty...

    Then why do you denigrate the IMO when so many of its medalists have gone on to do cutting edge work in mathematics and computer science?

    I didn’t denigrate the IMO, I just think it means little for between country comparisons. To be good at rugby requires athletic ability, New Zealand is better than America at rugby, therefore New Zealanders are more athletic than Americans? No, because few people care about rugby.

    I also think it means little for between ethnicity comparisons since it appeals to certain cultural factors and personality types which are more prevalent in certain ethnicities than others. If you hear about someone breaking a record for some daredevil feat they were probably ethnically European. They probably weren’t East Asian or Jewish. Does this mean the ethnically European have more of whatever skill it takes to acccomplish the feat? Was it a White man who walked a tightrope across the Grand Canyon because Whites have better balance than other races? No. Few people care about doing daring feats so it comes down more to the cultural factors and personality types of who attempts them than who has the most ability.

    Tell that to the New York Times

    Oh, well if a New York Times reporter says so I guess I better change my ideas.

    Your mentioning of the NYT reminds me of the following opinion of Doron Zeilberger. Doron Zeilberger being a famous mathematician whose “opinions of Doron Zeilberger” are well known amongst mathematicians (if often disagreed with).

    Since (apocryphally) Mittag-Leffler had a love affair with Alfred Nobel’s non-existent wife, the inventor of TNT decided not to give out a Nobel prize in mathematics. So we mathematicians felt inferior to physicists, chemists, biologists, authors, and even economists. Some of us (e.g. beautiful-mind John Nash) got the Economics prize (that was not Alfred’s idea), but the closest analog, until nine years ago, was the Fields medal whose monetary value is epsilontic, and is only awarded to (relatively speaking) epsilons.

    Finally, in 2003, Norway decided to honor its most gifted mathematical child, Niels Abel, by introducing a mathematical analog of a Nobel prize, and named it the Abel prize, and we finally had a prize of our own, and were hoping to get at least some of the attention that our scientific, pseudo-scientific (i.e. economists), and literary colleagues enjoy. Of course none of them can equal the celebrity of sports and movie celebs, after all, like us, they are also just nerds, but even our dream of getting the modest attention that our scientific colleagues get, apparently did not get fulfilled, even with the Abel prize.

    As soon as I found out that my Rutgers colleague Endre Szemerédi won the “math Nobel”, I looked at the front page of the New [York] Times, then in the inside pages. Nothing! Then I went to google news, and saw that besides a short and perfunctory article in the Washington Post (that proves that it is a better daily than the NYT), and a charming but mathematically inaccurate (how many errors can you spot?) article in the regional newspaper, the Newark Star-Ledger, no major American newspaper wrote about it. Even the French, who traditionally, at least, have much greater respect for mathematics, didn’t do as well as expected. Le Figaro had a short article, and Le Monde, even though a search in their website revealed that it covered all the previous years’ Abel awards, had nothing about this year’s. Hooray to India’s “The Hindu” that had a decent coverage.

    http://www.math.rutgers.edu/~zeilberg/Opinion122.html

    The media doesn’t cover the Abel Prize because it is so little known, and it remains so little known because the media doesn’t cover it. I would like to see it better known, which is what was behind what you interpreted as my pettiness.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It's hard to get a new science prize off the ground, even when it's well-funded and being given out by fair-minded Nordics. For example, the Swedish Crafoord prize is given to biologists and some others scientists who only intermittently get Nobels. The King of Sweden hands it out in a big ceremony and it's gone to some famous names like Edward O. Wilson and William D. Hamilton, both of whom treated it as a high honor. But almost nobody in the general American public has heard of the Crafoord Prize.
    , @Bliss

    New Zealand is better than America at rugby, therefore New Zealanders are more athletic than Americans? No, because few people care about rugby.
     
    That is a ridiculous comparison. Very few nations play rugby. On the other hand every nation teaches math to it's children, and the majority of nations compete in the International Math Olympiads.

    The media doesn’t cover the Abel Prize because it is so little known, and it remains so little known because the media doesn’t cover it.
     
    The media has far better coverage of the Field's Medal and the IMO. Yet you insist that very few care about it.
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  164. @Harold

    Then why do you denigrate the IMO when so many of its medalists have gone on to do cutting edge work in mathematics and computer science?
     
    I didn’t denigrate the IMO, I just think it means little for between country comparisons. To be good at rugby requires athletic ability, New Zealand is better than America at rugby, therefore New Zealanders are more athletic than Americans? No, because few people care about rugby.

    I also think it means little for between ethnicity comparisons since it appeals to certain cultural factors and personality types which are more prevalent in certain ethnicities than others. If you hear about someone breaking a record for some daredevil feat they were probably ethnically European. They probably weren’t East Asian or Jewish. Does this mean the ethnically European have more of whatever skill it takes to acccomplish the feat? Was it a White man who walked a tightrope across the Grand Canyon because Whites have better balance than other races? No. Few people care about doing daring feats so it comes down more to the cultural factors and personality types of who attempts them than who has the most ability.

    Tell that to the New York Times
     
    Oh, well if a New York Times reporter says so I guess I better change my ideas.

    Your mentioning of the NYT reminds me of the following opinion of Doron Zeilberger. Doron Zeilberger being a famous mathematician whose “opinions of Doron Zeilberger” are well known amongst mathematicians (if often disagreed with).

    Since (apocryphally) Mittag-Leffler had a love affair with Alfred Nobel's non-existent wife, the inventor of TNT decided not to give out a Nobel prize in mathematics. So we mathematicians felt inferior to physicists, chemists, biologists, authors, and even economists. Some of us (e.g. beautiful-mind John Nash) got the Economics prize (that was not Alfred's idea), but the closest analog, until nine years ago, was the Fields medal whose monetary value is epsilontic, and is only awarded to (relatively speaking) epsilons.

    Finally, in 2003, Norway decided to honor its most gifted mathematical child, Niels Abel, by introducing a mathematical analog of a Nobel prize, and named it the Abel prize, and we finally had a prize of our own, and were hoping to get at least some of the attention that our scientific, pseudo-scientific (i.e. economists), and literary colleagues enjoy. Of course none of them can equal the celebrity of sports and movie celebs, after all, like us, they are also just nerds, but even our dream of getting the modest attention that our scientific colleagues get, apparently did not get fulfilled, even with the Abel prize.

    As soon as I found out that my Rutgers colleague Endre Szemerédi won the "math Nobel", I looked at the front page of the New [York] Times, then in the inside pages. Nothing! Then I went to google news, and saw that besides a short and perfunctory article in the Washington Post (that proves that it is a better daily than the NYT), and a charming but mathematically inaccurate (how many errors can you spot?) article in the regional newspaper, the Newark Star-Ledger, no major American newspaper wrote about it. Even the French, who traditionally, at least, have much greater respect for mathematics, didn't do as well as expected. Le Figaro had a short article, and Le Monde, even though a search in their website revealed that it covered all the previous years' Abel awards, had nothing about this year's. Hooray to India's "The Hindu" that had a decent coverage.
     
    http://www.math.rutgers.edu/~zeilberg/Opinion122.html

    The media doesn’t cover the Abel Prize because it is so little known, and it remains so little known because the media doesn’t cover it. I would like to see it better known, which is what was behind what you interpreted as my pettiness.

    It’s hard to get a new science prize off the ground, even when it’s well-funded and being given out by fair-minded Nordics. For example, the Swedish Crafoord prize is given to biologists and some others scientists who only intermittently get Nobels. The King of Sweden hands it out in a big ceremony and it’s gone to some famous names like Edward O. Wilson and William D. Hamilton, both of whom treated it as a high honor. But almost nobody in the general American public has heard of the Crafoord Prize.

    Read More
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  165. Bliss says:
    @Harold

    Then why do you denigrate the IMO when so many of its medalists have gone on to do cutting edge work in mathematics and computer science?
     
    I didn’t denigrate the IMO, I just think it means little for between country comparisons. To be good at rugby requires athletic ability, New Zealand is better than America at rugby, therefore New Zealanders are more athletic than Americans? No, because few people care about rugby.

    I also think it means little for between ethnicity comparisons since it appeals to certain cultural factors and personality types which are more prevalent in certain ethnicities than others. If you hear about someone breaking a record for some daredevil feat they were probably ethnically European. They probably weren’t East Asian or Jewish. Does this mean the ethnically European have more of whatever skill it takes to acccomplish the feat? Was it a White man who walked a tightrope across the Grand Canyon because Whites have better balance than other races? No. Few people care about doing daring feats so it comes down more to the cultural factors and personality types of who attempts them than who has the most ability.

    Tell that to the New York Times
     
    Oh, well if a New York Times reporter says so I guess I better change my ideas.

    Your mentioning of the NYT reminds me of the following opinion of Doron Zeilberger. Doron Zeilberger being a famous mathematician whose “opinions of Doron Zeilberger” are well known amongst mathematicians (if often disagreed with).

    Since (apocryphally) Mittag-Leffler had a love affair with Alfred Nobel's non-existent wife, the inventor of TNT decided not to give out a Nobel prize in mathematics. So we mathematicians felt inferior to physicists, chemists, biologists, authors, and even economists. Some of us (e.g. beautiful-mind John Nash) got the Economics prize (that was not Alfred's idea), but the closest analog, until nine years ago, was the Fields medal whose monetary value is epsilontic, and is only awarded to (relatively speaking) epsilons.

    Finally, in 2003, Norway decided to honor its most gifted mathematical child, Niels Abel, by introducing a mathematical analog of a Nobel prize, and named it the Abel prize, and we finally had a prize of our own, and were hoping to get at least some of the attention that our scientific, pseudo-scientific (i.e. economists), and literary colleagues enjoy. Of course none of them can equal the celebrity of sports and movie celebs, after all, like us, they are also just nerds, but even our dream of getting the modest attention that our scientific colleagues get, apparently did not get fulfilled, even with the Abel prize.

    As soon as I found out that my Rutgers colleague Endre Szemerédi won the "math Nobel", I looked at the front page of the New [York] Times, then in the inside pages. Nothing! Then I went to google news, and saw that besides a short and perfunctory article in the Washington Post (that proves that it is a better daily than the NYT), and a charming but mathematically inaccurate (how many errors can you spot?) article in the regional newspaper, the Newark Star-Ledger, no major American newspaper wrote about it. Even the French, who traditionally, at least, have much greater respect for mathematics, didn't do as well as expected. Le Figaro had a short article, and Le Monde, even though a search in their website revealed that it covered all the previous years' Abel awards, had nothing about this year's. Hooray to India's "The Hindu" that had a decent coverage.
     
    http://www.math.rutgers.edu/~zeilberg/Opinion122.html

    The media doesn’t cover the Abel Prize because it is so little known, and it remains so little known because the media doesn’t cover it. I would like to see it better known, which is what was behind what you interpreted as my pettiness.

    New Zealand is better than America at rugby, therefore New Zealanders are more athletic than Americans? No, because few people care about rugby.

    That is a ridiculous comparison. Very few nations play rugby. On the other hand every nation teaches math to it’s children, and the majority of nations compete in the International Math Olympiads.

    The media doesn’t cover the Abel Prize because it is so little known, and it remains so little known because the media doesn’t cover it.

    The media has far better coverage of the Field’s Medal and the IMO. Yet you insist that very few care about it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harold

    That is a ridiculous comparison.
     
    Oh country air! It is a perfectly apt comparison.

    Very few nations play rugby.
     
    Very few nations care about the IMO.

    On the other hand every nation teaches math to it’s children,
     
    The standard maths curriculum no more prepares one to do well in the IMO than general physical education prepares one to do well in rugby. Both require special training.

    and the majority of nations compete in the International Math Olympiads.
     
    That is a ridiculous comparison. It is easy to find the handful of people needed to participate, even if few people care.

    The media has far better coverage of the Field’s Medal and the IMO. Yet you insist that very few care about it.

     

    Maybe the media cover the IMO in countries that care, I have never seen it mentioned in my home country’s media and had never even heard of it while I was in highschool. I just checked the British newspaper The Telegraph, the only times they have ever mentioned the IMO are in reviewing a film called X+Y and an offhand quote by someone about their son in an article about education in Liechtenstein.
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  166. Harold says:
    @Bliss

    New Zealand is better than America at rugby, therefore New Zealanders are more athletic than Americans? No, because few people care about rugby.
     
    That is a ridiculous comparison. Very few nations play rugby. On the other hand every nation teaches math to it's children, and the majority of nations compete in the International Math Olympiads.

    The media doesn’t cover the Abel Prize because it is so little known, and it remains so little known because the media doesn’t cover it.
     
    The media has far better coverage of the Field's Medal and the IMO. Yet you insist that very few care about it.

    That is a ridiculous comparison.

    Oh country air! It is a perfectly apt comparison.

    Very few nations play rugby.

    Very few nations care about the IMO.

    On the other hand every nation teaches math to it’s children,

    The standard maths curriculum no more prepares one to do well in the IMO than general physical education prepares one to do well in rugby. Both require special training.

    and the majority of nations compete in the International Math Olympiads.

    That is a ridiculous comparison. It is easy to find the handful of people needed to participate, even if few people care.

    The media has far better coverage of the Field’s Medal and the IMO. Yet you insist that very few care about it.

    Maybe the media cover the IMO in countries that care, I have never seen it mentioned in my home country’s media and had never even heard of it while I was in highschool. I just checked the British newspaper The Telegraph, the only times they have ever mentioned the IMO are in reviewing a film called X+Y and an offhand quote by someone about their son in an article about education in Liechtenstein.

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  167. @Romanian
    Well, you don't need to be a genius with 140 IQ to teach High School children or lower than that. Nor do you need to study abroad for it (that has always been to compensate for lack of in-country opportunities and for credentialism... also for determining a political bent for a later career). It might actually be a disadvantage to be that smart and teach, or teach below University level, because of the repetitiveness and the correlation with lack of social graces. You only need to be intelligent enough to handle the workload (especially for advanced Math and other subjects), the rest is about discipline, enforcing standards and having interpersonal skills to at least get the information across to students, especially the all important middle segment of not too dumb, but not too bright. That's what I meant by fire and brimstone.

    Given Romania's increasing population at the time (rapidly increasing in later years, with the pro-natalist policies), whatever brain drain we had after the Communists took over (which was, admittedly, significant) was compensated for by the rest of the population. You can argue, like one other poster, that we also lost a lot of Jews over time (quite a lot of Romanian speakers in Israel, as well as in the States, if the commenter Old Jew who left Romania in the 1970s is any indication) as well as some other possibly higher achieving minorities, like Hungarians and definitely Germans, which would affect National output regardless of the increase in the main ethnicity (we went from 70% to 90% Romanians during Communist times, though a lot of that was also due to losing Bessarabia, Budjak and Hertza (Chernivtsi) which were much more diverse than the core country). Lynn and Kahneman have the Romanian IQ at somewhere around 96 (I hope it's a bit larger now due to Flynn effect), which allows for quite a healthy dollop of intelligent sorts, especially if there is a firm hand sifting for them through the general population.

    The Communists might actually have had it better in certain ways, though other posters rightly point out political considerations in promoting undeserving fellows or in the politicized conduct of certain types of teaching and research (like that of Economics and Social Sciences, as opposed to STEM). The Soviets and their allies relied on resource mobilization to achieve rapid economic growth, which is why they seemed to grow so rapidly versus the West in the beginning and lagged terribly later. This explains, for instance, the Soviet success in reducing child mortality faster than the US and also in absolute terms before it rebounded in the 1980s. Romania was still very much a peasant and rural society before the Commies, despite its rapid advances in industrialization, infrastructure construction and the important metric of having an indigenous intellectual elite (which was not all Jewish). But it was the Commies who promoted rapid social mobility through education and equity feminism among the population (the good kind of feminism). Sure, you had a lot of up-jumped peasants mucking about (Ceausescu, for instance), but they also discovered quite a lot of brainpower languishing in villages and the fields. If you analyze the backgrounds of some of our most important pre-WW2 intellectuals, you will note a high incidence of an aristocratic or at least landed gentry background (or foreign mercantile origin). With their (admittedly shameful) sidelining and dispossession during Communism as class enemies, you start to see, especially in the technical fields, the rise of the peasants' children, especially since the rewards of education were obvious, basically guaranteed and highly sought after, unlike today.

    I made the point before, somewhere else on this site, that my own origins are rather humble - poor peasants with basic literacy and numeracy taught by the village priest (different villages, so at least I'm not inbred). My parents were the first generation in their families to finish high school and then attend University (like all of their siblings and cousins), married late and became an Engineer and Economist, upper middle class both (also in the Communist pecking order, where durables like housing and cars were allotted centrally).

    It is also important to remember that, while this has important social and economic costs, the distribution of jobs was also regulated centrally by the government (those "sent to Siberia" jokes). Unless you had some specialty that demanded a certain location, like an Oil Extraction Engineer being placed near sites and so on, the general rule was that the best were assigned to the most important cities - the best medical students would become doctors in the Capital, the second best in major cities etc. It was the same for most other positions, with the exceptions of those that follow the jobs (people in refining went to where the refineries were, automotive engineers went to the respective factories and unskilled labor had the least say in where the were sent, which was also how emptier parts of the country, like Dobrogea, were developed etc). So you had a lot of brainpower determining social class and clustering together with eugenic effects. And, within cities, there was a clustering according to talent, where the best schools were assigned the best teachers and would receive the best students (after 8th grade), the best general hospitals would be the most prestigious posting etc. This also ensured high performance in the attribution of scarce human resources.

    Very interesting.

    At this point, with university students several generations removed from the wartime cohort, what fraction of Romania’s high-achieving youth would you say share your peasant background, and what fraction are the great-grandchildren of the pre-war aristocracy and grand bourgeoisie (whose own children were victimized by the post-war affirmative action)?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    In Hungary the majority of high-achieving youth have grandparents of humble background, for example yours truly. You have to keep in mind that as late as the 1930s over 60% of the population were peasants and the majority of the rest were quite a bit poor, too, like factory workers.
    , @Romanian
    I do not know of any study, unfortunately. I keep repeating here in Romania that we should be prioritizing extensive social and psychometric studies to get a picture of the population - IQ (since Lynn and Vanhanen found only studies with very low sample sizes), ideal family size according to women, ancestry, emigrant characteristics (brain drain), rural IQ distribution (for targeted uplifting in a very poor environment etc), Roma IQ, and you can fill in whatever other gaps you can think of. This would have been easier done by Communists. The nearest thing to this we have is a recent book called "The Psychology of Romanians" by Daniel David, which seems to have no English translation yet.

    http://www.rri.ro/en_gb/romanians_psychological_profile_in_post_communism-2530253
    http://www.romaniajournal.ro/romanians-have-the-herd-syndrome-are-ambitious-yet-undisciplined-study-says/

    My assertion regarding the social mobility of peasants rests on four points:

    - the fact that a peasant society with a small but comparatively brilliant aristocratic elite at the top could be converted, in less than 25 years, into an industrial one with a very extensive middle class of professionals in an environment hostile to hereditary privilege (of the pre-Communist variety, because the Communist nomenclatura also feathered the nests of their children) suggests that most of the people had a peasant background.

    - anecdotally, through discussions with basically old people, professionals and retired people formerly in high places (including the technocratic elements of Romanian leadership and diplomats), which yielded a lot of "born in the village", including outside Romania's current borders, and "lived as a boarder" backgrounds, or parental roots in rural areas.

    - anecdotally, through name analysis. Most Romanians were given family names in the XIXth century and, like in most other countries, they tend to be demonyms (Olteanu, Mureseanu - from Olt, from Mures), occupational or related to some ancestor (very common are names ending in escu which derives from the Latin word iscum, an adjectiv suffix indicating descent). Aristocratic types have more interesting names, maybe even notorious, or less common root words, or foreign sounding. Romania had a "dynasty" of escu presidents (Ceausescu, Iliescu, Constantinescu, Iliescu again, Basescu) of similarly low parental origin, broken by the German origin Iohannis. I myself am an -escu surrounded in every stage of my life by other -escus (Georgescu, Ionescu, Popescu etc).

    -anecdotally, through the prevalence of the existence of the "countryside" phenomena. Most people will at least mention sometimes having a "countryside", which is a rural place where their grandparents' homesteads are located. It is a place you went to on vacations when you were younger, or which you associate with family traditions, traditional food, simple living. It's a very mythologized aspect of Romanian life. Rapid urbanization in Romania lead to this phenomenon. People who don't have a countryside are relatively few and would indicate an urban origin (with relative affluence or openness) even before the Communists began an ample program of urbanization (with the stereotypically grey, drab buildings), though they are fewer now because of mixing. For instance, Bucharest had only 300.000 people before the Communists came to power, and over 2 million now.

    My significant other's family is interesting in that they have been city people (not in her current city, but in Transylvania, but still) since before her 95 year old grandmother was born. This is a petty bourgeois family of people who played the piano at home, had a yearly photo taken in good clothes and went to concerts and the theater. They weathered Communism well, though I'd say with a loss of status derived from cultural consumption markers (high culture was viewed suspiciously as being aristo, while middlebrow culture formed for the middle classes, which began to afford to go to the theater, concerts etc). By the time I got together with my gf, there was no difference between her parents and mine other than city of residence, though she does, from time to time, compare my family's provincial and less noble roots (basically redneck) unfavorably to her more refined background to highlight how lucky I am that she is uplifting me.

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  168. WhatEvvs [AKA "AamirKhanFan"] says:
    @shk12344
    Adblock Plus. It's a must.

    Thanks. Those ads drive me nuts.

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  169. Twinkie says:
    @Jefferson
    "but they make terrible overlords (when they are in the majority)."

    In your eyes why do they make for terrible overlords?

    In your eyes why do they make for terrible overlords?

    Because they have superb asabiyyah and primarily care about their own co-religionists, at times to the detriment of others. Once in the majority and in power, they tend to crush all others. They are not, er, pluralistic.

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  170. Jim says:
    @Romanian
    I would have expected my people to do better than they did, though still worse than the US in the aggregate and Western Europe. Your brain drain hypothesis rings true, especially with Moldova, which, at one point, had the second largest ratio of remittances to GDP in the world, after Tajikistan. I don't think that there is such a wide intelligence distribution within the core Romanian population (basically excluding Roma) that you can have (still, with all the brain drain) a very good yearly run at international Math competitions with children from all social classes and still have low scores for the general population. Someone above posted a report on goiter in Romania which blew my mind away, because I had no idea that the Communists hadn't eradicated the problem and it persisted at least until a few years ago. Also, there is a suspicion that the official 3% census figure on the Roma minority is actually 10% in reality, which will impact tests over time (assuming the children attend school) because of the differing distribution of raw IQ.


    I am young enough (I turn 27 today actually) to still remember my high school days in small town Romania, but I can't recall any PISA tests. Do they test only in certain cities or schools in the country? I would expect the scores to be better in that case, especially since admittance to high schools within a city is done by student preferences and in order of grades and 8th grade exams. People already know which schools aggregate the best students in certain fields and their children will order their school preferences accordingly.

    I might also posit a general decay in student ability not just because of a shift in the population, but also because of the decay of the school system. The old guard of fire and brimstone and very competent Communist professors (especially in what Americans would call STEM fields) is retiring and their replacements are the people who couldn't get work within public administration or the private sector (you have yearly reports of wannabe Math teachers failing Math exams etc). When you have the kind of in-depth syllabus we do, even the best students require a good teacher from time to time, to go over things with clarity. The students are also experiencing a sort of ennui - they feel the country does not reward book learning properly (as opposed to the wealth of "role models" on TV) and so do not apply themselves beyond trying to get passing grades. There is also a kind of fatigue setting in - you're not very interested in school in the first place, but the education regimen is very varied and expansive, to enable students to get a feel for what they want and be able to apply to the specialized University. This means that you're not just feeding students the minimum to be a good citizen and succeed in a white collar position or whatever, but a lot more than that, leading to the now classic exclamations "What the f*** do I need Combinatorics for? I'm gonna be a Med Student" or "Who cares about the f****** Assyrians or when Rome was sacked or the root causes of the 30 Year War? F*** Cincinnatus and Martin Luther!"

    There is no Pre-Med or Pre-Law in Romania, a system of colleges to attend before your main University. High schools in general need to prepare the same class of students for whatever they might wish to apply to directly - enough Biology to get into Med School (I loved genetics lessons and cell theory, but hated plants and anatomy), or Veterinary School, enough Math to get into Polytechnic (Combinatorics, Derivatives, stuff you don't teach in High School in the West), Physics of all kinds for choosing your Faculty within the Polytechnic, enough literature and grammar to get into Letters, History, Geography (I had a teacher who insisted on us learning every National capital and would quiz us), two foreign languages, plus at least a year's worth of other subjects (my school had a year of Latin, in addition to the earlier Latin classes, a year of Economics, a year of Logic and one of Political Theory). That rounds up to about 8-9 hours a day (50 minute lessons plus 10 minute breaks), five days a week, plus the sort of private tutoring groups you get for the most important subjects like those of the Baccalaureate. I flourished in school and still appreciate a well rounded education, but a lot of my colleagues struggled under the very diverse information burden, even the ones who went on to being bright enough students in their chosen fields (or the colleague who became a nuclear physics student at MIT and who struggled in Humanistic classes).

    I believe that Eastern Europe particularly the Balkans has an iodine deficiency problem.

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    • Agree: Romanian
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  171. Jim says:
    @Anonymous
    From what I understand, the Turks were a small military caste who ruled over large agricultural populations such as the Anatolians and Greeks. "Turk" is apparently more of a linguistic and cultural signifier, and it may actually be more Islamic and native Anatolian in culture than Turkic.

    “Turkic” is a name applied to a large family of languages most of which are spoken in Central Asia, Afghanistan, the Caucasus,etc.. Together with Mongolian and other languages they form a linguistic family called “Altaic”.

    This family is part of Joseph Greenberg’s “Euro-Asiatic” super-family which includes Indo-European, Uralic-Yukagir,Altaic, Chukotian, Eskimo-Aleut,Korean,Japanese,Ainu and an isolated language Gilyak spoken by a hundred or so people.

    From what I’ve read although Turkish invaders imposed their language in Anatolia their genetic contribution to the present Anatolian population was relatively small, probably less than 10%.

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  172. Jim says:
    @Douglas Knight
    No, all great science and art of the Greeks is after Alexander. Think of the Library of Alexandria! Partly because the conquest gave them riches to fund their work. Partly because the expansion lead to contact with other cultures. Philosophy and literature went downhill, though.

    The two greatest Greek mathematicians, Archimedes and Apollinius, were 3rd century BC figures coming after Alexander but Greek mathematics and science had already accomplished a lot before Alexander. Thales, Pythagoras, Democritus, Hippocrates of Chios, Eudoxus all came before Alexander.

    Achievements of pre-Alexandrine Greek scientists and mathemticians included the invention of axiomatic geometry, the discovery of irrationals, the atomic hypothesis, the spherical shape of the Earth. the method of exhaustion and the Eudoxine theory of geometric magnitude and proportion.

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  173. Jim says:
    @syonredux
    Well, here's a list of Fields Medal winners.It's dominated by Europeans and Asians:


    United States 12

    France 10

    Soviet Union (3) / Russia (6) 9

    United Kingdom 7

    Japan 3
    Belgium 2

    West Germany (1) / Germany (0) 1

    Australia 1

    British Hong Kong 1

    Finland 1

    Israel 1

    Italy 1

    Norway 1

    New Zealand 1

    Sweden 1

    Vietnam 1

    Iran 1

    Brazil 1

    The Finnish medalist is Ahlfors who was born in Finland but was a Swedish speaker.

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  174. @International Jew
    Very interesting.

    At this point, with university students several generations removed from the wartime cohort, what fraction of Romania's high-achieving youth would you say share your peasant background, and what fraction are the great-grandchildren of the pre-war aristocracy and grand bourgeoisie (whose own children were victimized by the post-war affirmative action)?

    In Hungary the majority of high-achieving youth have grandparents of humble background, for example yours truly. You have to keep in mind that as late as the 1930s over 60% of the population were peasants and the majority of the rest were quite a bit poor, too, like factory workers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @International Jew
    Interesting. Romania and Hungary need a Gregory Clark to research this matter in depth. The destruction of the pre-war elite, cruel though it was, amounts to a terrific natural experiment (as the economists say).

    I daresay there's a lesson to be learned about human biodiversity: when the ruling class (ie white colonists) departed subsaharan Africa (in the 1960s), the local peasant class didn't quite step up to the plate (that's baseball for yous furners) the way you guys say it did in Romania and Hungary.
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  175. @reiner Tor
    In Hungary the majority of high-achieving youth have grandparents of humble background, for example yours truly. You have to keep in mind that as late as the 1930s over 60% of the population were peasants and the majority of the rest were quite a bit poor, too, like factory workers.

    Interesting. Romania and Hungary need a Gregory Clark to research this matter in depth. The destruction of the pre-war elite, cruel though it was, amounts to a terrific natural experiment (as the economists say).

    I daresay there’s a lesson to be learned about human biodiversity: when the ruling class (ie white colonists) departed subsaharan Africa (in the 1960s), the local peasant class didn’t quite step up to the plate (that’s baseball for yous furners) the way you guys say it did in Romania and Hungary.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Romanian
    Well, the colonial class in Africa ruled over a people which was distinct from them in basic IQ, appearance, personality traits, culture, world view etc. Neither did the indigenous population have at least a basic seed of an intellectual elite drawn from their ranks for hundreds of years, the way Europeans had for more than a thousand years through the existence of an educated (at least literate) clergy with institutions devoted to their education, on the one hand, and to enforcing a sort of authority when they are dispersed everywhere in the territory.

    Think of how long priests were not only hoarders, users and sponsors of knowledge (ancient works, mathematics and physics for church construction, medicine, liberal arts etc), but also the basic and main providers of education to children (and even tutors to noble children). And there were a lot of priests, monks and church establishments everywhere. A single Medieval Romanian king, Stephen the Great, built 44 new churches and monasteries, one for every battle he won in his 47 year reign. And this religious infrastructure was the first to build permanent educational establishments and use the printing press. This situation persisted even after most European countries decreed a minimum standard of education for their subjects in the XIXth century, which meant putting in place an educational establishment starting with cities, which left the countryside to the priests until those areas could have separate teachers too. And, of course, schools with a religious bent still exist today and offer high quality education. The indigenous Africans had none of that, beyond some people with Islamic culture, though some took to Western learning better than others (the Igbo).

    We might grumble about aristocrats being out of touch with the common person, but they are still derived from the same stock, no matter what traits might have been accentuated by restricted breeding. Eastern European nobles, in particular I think, had a very high attrition rate from constant warfare with the Ottomans and others, which meant that new ones were being drawn from the population through war, marriage or political appointment (in Romania, as elsewhere, a source of upward mobility for future boyars was through appointment of deserving landed people, soldiers and others to positions such as cupbearers, falconbearers, assistants for armoring the king, mounting his horse, personal guard).

    Rulers would also seek to identify somewhat with the common man, even when distinct from them ethnically. The German kings that ruled most of Europe, including Greece and Romania, learned the local language, adapted their names to the local customs, and often raised their children in the local churches. The Romanians' Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen kings were probably the most assimilated of all to the extent that they even went against Germany in WW1. Also the Saxa Coburg line in England adopted the name Windsor to repudiate its roots.

    Aside from Gordon-Pasha of Khartoum and other such figures made dashing by supposed cultural assimilation, in what way did European colonials start to identify with the local population in order to uplift them? They didn't. At most, they bred with them to create mixed populations as intermediary castes (the Indo-Dutch, the Anglo-Indians, the French-Everything). And that was mostly in places with already established high civilizations.
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  176. Romanian says:
    @International Jew
    Very interesting.

    At this point, with university students several generations removed from the wartime cohort, what fraction of Romania's high-achieving youth would you say share your peasant background, and what fraction are the great-grandchildren of the pre-war aristocracy and grand bourgeoisie (whose own children were victimized by the post-war affirmative action)?

    I do not know of any study, unfortunately. I keep repeating here in Romania that we should be prioritizing extensive social and psychometric studies to get a picture of the population – IQ (since Lynn and Vanhanen found only studies with very low sample sizes), ideal family size according to women, ancestry, emigrant characteristics (brain drain), rural IQ distribution (for targeted uplifting in a very poor environment etc), Roma IQ, and you can fill in whatever other gaps you can think of. This would have been easier done by Communists. The nearest thing to this we have is a recent book called “The Psychology of Romanians” by Daniel David, which seems to have no English translation yet.

    http://www.rri.ro/en_gb/romanians_psychological_profile_in_post_communism-2530253

    http://www.romaniajournal.ro/romanians-have-the-herd-syndrome-are-ambitious-yet-undisciplined-study-says/

    My assertion regarding the social mobility of peasants rests on four points:

    [MORE]

    - the fact that a peasant society with a small but comparatively brilliant aristocratic elite at the top could be converted, in less than 25 years, into an industrial one with a very extensive middle class of professionals in an environment hostile to hereditary privilege (of the pre-Communist variety, because the Communist nomenclatura also feathered the nests of their children) suggests that most of the people had a peasant background.

    - anecdotally, through discussions with basically old people, professionals and retired people formerly in high places (including the technocratic elements of Romanian leadership and diplomats), which yielded a lot of “born in the village”, including outside Romania’s current borders, and “lived as a boarder” backgrounds, or parental roots in rural areas.

    - anecdotally, through name analysis. Most Romanians were given family names in the XIXth century and, like in most other countries, they tend to be demonyms (Olteanu, Mureseanu – from Olt, from Mures), occupational or related to some ancestor (very common are names ending in escu which derives from the Latin word iscum, an adjectiv suffix indicating descent). Aristocratic types have more interesting names, maybe even notorious, or less common root words, or foreign sounding. Romania had a “dynasty” of escu presidents (Ceausescu, Iliescu, Constantinescu, Iliescu again, Basescu) of similarly low parental origin, broken by the German origin Iohannis. I myself am an -escu surrounded in every stage of my life by other -escus (Georgescu, Ionescu, Popescu etc).

    -anecdotally, through the prevalence of the existence of the “countryside” phenomena. Most people will at least mention sometimes having a “countryside”, which is a rural place where their grandparents’ homesteads are located. It is a place you went to on vacations when you were younger, or which you associate with family traditions, traditional food, simple living. It’s a very mythologized aspect of Romanian life. Rapid urbanization in Romania lead to this phenomenon. People who don’t have a countryside are relatively few and would indicate an urban origin (with relative affluence or openness) even before the Communists began an ample program of urbanization (with the stereotypically grey, drab buildings), though they are fewer now because of mixing. For instance, Bucharest had only 300.000 people before the Communists came to power, and over 2 million now.

    My significant other’s family is interesting in that they have been city people (not in her current city, but in Transylvania, but still) since before her 95 year old grandmother was born. This is a petty bourgeois family of people who played the piano at home, had a yearly photo taken in good clothes and went to concerts and the theater. They weathered Communism well, though I’d say with a loss of status derived from cultural consumption markers (high culture was viewed suspiciously as being aristo, while middlebrow culture formed for the middle classes, which began to afford to go to the theater, concerts etc). By the time I got together with my gf, there was no difference between her parents and mine other than city of residence, though she does, from time to time, compare my family’s provincial and less noble roots (basically redneck) unfavorably to her more refined background to highlight how lucky I am that she is uplifting me.

    Read More
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  177. Romanian says:
    @International Jew
    Interesting. Romania and Hungary need a Gregory Clark to research this matter in depth. The destruction of the pre-war elite, cruel though it was, amounts to a terrific natural experiment (as the economists say).

    I daresay there's a lesson to be learned about human biodiversity: when the ruling class (ie white colonists) departed subsaharan Africa (in the 1960s), the local peasant class didn't quite step up to the plate (that's baseball for yous furners) the way you guys say it did in Romania and Hungary.

    Well, the colonial class in Africa ruled over a people which was distinct from them in basic IQ, appearance, personality traits, culture, world view etc. Neither did the indigenous population have at least a basic seed of an intellectual elite drawn from their ranks for hundreds of years, the way Europeans had for more than a thousand years through the existence of an educated (at least literate) clergy with institutions devoted to their education, on the one hand, and to enforcing a sort of authority when they are dispersed everywhere in the territory.

    Think of how long priests were not only hoarders, users and sponsors of knowledge (ancient works, mathematics and physics for church construction, medicine, liberal arts etc), but also the basic and main providers of education to children (and even tutors to noble children). And there were a lot of priests, monks and church establishments everywhere. A single Medieval Romanian king, Stephen the Great, built 44 new churches and monasteries, one for every battle he won in his 47 year reign. And this religious infrastructure was the first to build permanent educational establishments and use the printing press. This situation persisted even after most European countries decreed a minimum standard of education for their subjects in the XIXth century, which meant putting in place an educational establishment starting with cities, which left the countryside to the priests until those areas could have separate teachers too. And, of course, schools with a religious bent still exist today and offer high quality education. The indigenous Africans had none of that, beyond some people with Islamic culture, though some took to Western learning better than others (the Igbo).

    We might grumble about aristocrats being out of touch with the common person, but they are still derived from the same stock, no matter what traits might have been accentuated by restricted breeding. Eastern European nobles, in particular I think, had a very high attrition rate from constant warfare with the Ottomans and others, which meant that new ones were being drawn from the population through war, marriage or political appointment (in Romania, as elsewhere, a source of upward mobility for future boyars was through appointment of deserving landed people, soldiers and others to positions such as cupbearers, falconbearers, assistants for armoring the king, mounting his horse, personal guard).

    Rulers would also seek to identify somewhat with the common man, even when distinct from them ethnically. The German kings that ruled most of Europe, including Greece and Romania, learned the local language, adapted their names to the local customs, and often raised their children in the local churches. The Romanians’ Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen kings were probably the most assimilated of all to the extent that they even went against Germany in WW1. Also the Saxa Coburg line in England adopted the name Windsor to repudiate its roots.

    Aside from Gordon-Pasha of Khartoum and other such figures made dashing by supposed cultural assimilation, in what way did European colonials start to identify with the local population in order to uplift them? They didn’t. At most, they bred with them to create mixed populations as intermediary castes (the Indo-Dutch, the Anglo-Indians, the French-Everything). And that was mostly in places with already established high civilizations.

    Read More
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