The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewJames Thompson Archive
Cognitive Capitalism
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

The concept of “cognitive capitalism” was used by Yann Boutang in 2008 (modern economies are becoming more knowledge based), but I first heard it used by Heiner Rindermann in a somewhat different sense: cognitive ability is the cause of wealth. Heiner’s earliest mention of it in the title of a paper is one which we did together in 2011. Now he has written a major book on the topic, 576 pages long, and published by Cambridge University Press, no less. In this way the argument that it is people, not natural resources, which build national wealth has moved from sedition to the foothills of orthodoxy.

Cognitive Capitalism: Human Capital and the Wellbeing of Nations. Paperback – 31 Jan 2018
by Heiner Rindermann

The range of the book is extraordinary. It begins by looking at large wealth differences across time and nations; then the well-being of nations; human capital, cognitive ability and intelligence; history, culture and the Burgher-civic world; the impact of cognitive-intellectual classes; causes of national differences in cognitive ability (a major section, this one); global models for education, cognitive capital, production, wealth and wellbeing; the challenges of future development and predictions as to what will happen; a detailed review of some notable theoretical positions and ends with a set of detailed suggestions. This book is a tour de force. I hope it will be read by economists and all those interested in international development. In fact, most of the economic indicators are showing very welcome positive changes, but improvements in other continents outstrip those so far achieved in Africa as a whole. Concentrating on human capital could be a sensible way forwards.

Deciding how to describe the book is an intellectual task in itself. One way of starting is with the first table 1.1 showing estimates of global and continental income since 1500. Five centuries ago Africa, America and Australia were on $400, Asia $550 and Europe $688. By 2010 North America led the pack with $47,094, Northern Europe $35,308, Australia $25,438 and then a big fall down to South America with $10,607, Asia (India) with $3,337 and Africa (Kenya) with $1,628. The good news is that all countries are very much richer. The interesting story is that some countries have shot well ahead, prompting a debate as to how this happened.

Rindermann takes great care to compare all the measures of economic activity, and to contrast their various characteristics. He is aware that dollar totals do not capture all of the real wealth of nations, so discusses both narrow and broad measures. He uses Gross National Income as his basic measure, but notices that quality of local services is not fully captured by this measure.

It is because of those shortcomings that he devotes a full chapter to the well-being of nations, looking first at height and then at longevity to provide more substance. The good news for the world is that longevity has shot up in the last six decades. Though far behind, Sub-Saharan Africa has made a gain of 17 years. The Human Development Index gets a thorough examination, and even the less successful Gross National Happiness gets a mention.

As to human capital, Adam Smith understood perfectly that it comprised “superior reasoning and understanding, by which we are capable of discerning the remote consequences of all our actions, and of foreseeing the advantage or detriment which is likely to result from them: and secondly self-command, by which we are enabled to obtain a greater pleasure or to avoid a greater pain in some future time. In the union of those two qualities consists the virtue of prudence, of all the virtues that which is most useful to the individual.”

To my mind, that wraps it up. However, Friedrich List spelt it out once again in his 1841 version: “Everywhere and at all times has the well-being of the nation been in equal proportion to the intelligence, morality, and industry of its citizens; according to these, wealth has accrued or been diminished”.

We know that cognitive abilities are the best predictors of job performance. Rindermann follows through, arguing that the intelligence of nations are the best predictors of national performance. He then turns to what he calls “contentious issues”. He points out that intelligence research is blithely ignored by PISA, PIRLS and TIMSS, who act as if cognitive ability does not vary from one student to another. This is an obtuse posture.

Another misunderstanding is the Nazi attitude to intelligence testing: in fact, the Nazis were opposed to intelligence research, which they saw as an instrument of “Jewry”. They specially opposed the concept of intelligence as a “one-dimensional dimension” and as “one common central factor”. They wanted measures of “realism” and “conscientiousness”, not what they regarded as “theoretical intelligence” and “intellectualism”. They favoured “practical intelligence”. In their view, general intelligence did not exist. Odd, isn’t it, that these views, a commonplace today among those who reject intelligence research, should be so similar to the Nazi position.

Rindermann reviews the literature on international ability differences. This is an important chapter, and well worth reading on its own. Rindermann adds a whole section of what he calls Everyday Life Evidence and Sediments. This section will probably make some people angrily accuse him of descending to anecdotes. Rindermann argues that if the intelligence tests scores are valid, then a visitor to each country should find evidence of how bright the people in that country really are. He discusses his own experiences as a traveller (and since he did research in many countries he has much to report). He reports on airport malfunctions, local variations in the standards of global companies, irrational beliefs, rates of innovation and crime possibly can be dismissed as isolated incidents, yet they are real life tests which, if supported by other travellers, are real data which ought to convince sceptics about country differences.

Rindermann has a look at the traditional explanations for national wealth: investments, economic freedom, rule of law, education, cultural and religious factors, geography, and politics. He evaluates each of these against the dataset. The effects of economic freedom with GNI seem to be strongly positive at r=.60 to .70. Countries which come out from the Communist yoke do better. However, cognitive ability seems to be even more powerful. Market economies favour rational actors who can assess their competences and the quality of their products in the market place and alter their plans accordingly. Quality of institutions is also relevant: rule of law, low corruption and government effectiveness correlate .7 with GNI. As regards the argument Jared Diamond famously put forwards in “Guns, Germs and Steel” that geography is the key determining factor (all this argued without data tables) Rindermann points out that, even if true, why would this be relevant to national wealth today, when every region in the world has access to knowledge, food and commodities? It could only be genetics or culture that would have the lasting imprint of adaptation to the original geographies. Paradoxically, nations with few natural resources have often prospered, since (as David Landes quipped) nothing so concentrates the mind as lack of money.

Rindermann lays more stock on culture, in the sense of the world view of the Burgher-Civic world, which one would usually describe as middle-class or bourgeois: appreciation of education, knowledge and rationality, diligence, order, meritocracy and thrift, rule of law, effective government, self-responsibility, realism and pragmatism. These virtues can be practiced in any geography, and lead to eventual success.

Further chapters in the book deal with the extra advantage conferred by the smart fraction in any country; with evolution and genes; predictions in research, models for wealth development and even a final section entitled “What can be done”.

It is hard to do justice to the full scope of this major work, so I can only suggest you look at it yourself. You will find much which is new, and entertaining, and much which is important supportive knowledge crucial for an informed debate on the wealth of nations.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Capitalism, IQ, Iq and Wealth 
Hide 67 CommentsLeave a Comment
67 Comments to "Cognitive Capitalism"
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. res says:

    Sounds like a great book. Just ordered a copy. Thanks! Do you know how much of the data he uses for the analysis is publicly available?

    Thanks for this insight:

    Another misunderstanding is the Nazi attitude to intelligence testing: in fact, the Nazis were opposed to intelligence research, which they saw as an instrument of “Jewry”. They specially opposed the concept of intelligence as a “one-dimensional dimension” and as “one common central factor”. They wanted measures of “realism” and “conscientiousness”, not what they regarded as “theoretical intelligence” and “intellectualism”. They favoured “practical intelligence”. In their view, general intelligence did not exist. Odd, isn’t it, that these views, a commonplace today among those who reject intelligence research, should be so similar to the Nazi position.

    The US Amazon page for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Cognitive-Capitalism-Capital-Wellbeing-Nations/dp/1107651085
    has an interesting review by Volkmar Weiss. He wrote Wikipedia reference 19 below: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkmar_Weiss

    The DUF1220 CNV was new to me. I must have missed it when you wrote about it (Wikipedia reference 13 below, Davis et al. 2014) three years ago:

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/copy-number-intelligence/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DUF1220

    Cognitive dysfunction is a feature of multiple neuropsychiatric diseases, and many individuals with 1q21 deletion and duplication syndromes have developmental delay. Given this, the role of DUF1220 in cognitive function has been investigated. Results of this research demonstrate that DUF1220 copy number is linearly associated with increased cognitive function as measured by total IQ and mathematical aptitude scores, a finding identified in two independent populations.[13][19]. This association has important implications for understanding the interplay between cognitive function and autism phenotypes.[20] These findings also provide additional support for the involvement of DUF1220 in a genomic trade-off model involving the human brain: the same key genes that have been major contributors to the evolutionary expansion of the human brain and human cognitive capacity may also, in different combinations, underlie psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. [14]

    Has there been any followup on DUF1220 and IQ since then?
    I see 8 papers citing Davis et al. (2014): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?linkname=pubmed_pubmed_citedin&from_uid=25287832
    The only one which looks focused on intelligence is Chen et al. (2017): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28155865
    but I did not see any mention of DUF1220 in the text when I did a quick search.

    This was an interesting tidbit from Davis: “The interaction of CON2 × sex was significant (p = 0.038), suggesting a more pronounced effect in males.” Doubly interesting since the NZ data indicates a greater effect on math ability.

    As a commenter (and you) noted in your 2015 post, the effect sizes quoted seem ridiculous. They make a bit more sense when noting that the abstract and Table 1 both pull out males in the NA population which was already selected for brain size extremes. The R^2 for Total WISC IQ seen for that group was nuts: 0.13 or 0.22 depending on measure.

    The NZ results seem more realistic (while still shockingly high, if true) with an R^2 for Total WISC IQ of 0.03 and for PAT math of 0.10 (AFAICT that was both males and females, why did they not break out by sex given the NA results?).

    Some terminology information which might be useful for followup: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29399325

    Some more papers:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3511999/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5556342/ – from that paper it looks like there is a great deal of variation in that area:

    They include much supplementary material including software to use their methodology to evaluate 1000 Genomes data: https://github.com/dpastling/plethora
    It is beyond my ability, but it would be interesting to analyze the 1000 Genomes data for the population characteristics of DUF1220.

    An interesting patent: https://patents.google.com/patent/WO2014028768A2/en
    Check out the first claim:

    1. A method to select an individual who is predicted to have a low or high intelligence quotient (IQ) comprising:
    a) detecting in a biological sample of cells from an individual a level of a CON2 subtype of DUF1220 biomarker selected from the group consisting of:
    i) a level of CON2 subtype DUF1220 domain;
    ii) a level of expression of CON2 subtype DUF1220 protein;
    b) comparing the level of the CON2 subtype DUF1220 biomarker in the biological sample of cells to a control level of the CON2 subtype DUF1220 biomarker selected from the group consisting of:
    i) a control level of the CON2 subtype DUF1220 biomarker that has been correlated with IQ less than 100; and
    ii) a control level of the CON2 subtype DUF1220 biomarker that has been correlated with IQ greater than or equal to 140; and
    c) selecting the individual as being predicted to have low IQ, if the level of the DUF1220 biomarker in the individual’s cell sample is statistically similar to or less than the control level of the DUF1220 biomarker that has been correlated with IQ less than 100, or d) selecting the individual as being predicted to have high IQ, if the level of the DUF1220 biomarker in the individual’s cell sample is statistically similar to or greater than the control level of the DUF1220 biomarker that has been correlated with IQ greater than 140.

    More on the inventor (last author of Davis et al. 2014): http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/departments/biochemistry/Faculty/PrimaryFaculty/Pages/Sikela.aspx
    Note DUF1220 mouse models.
    His papers: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/browse/collection/46221981/?sort=date&direction=descending

    Dr. Thompson, any chance of a post on this January 2018 paper?: Genomic trade-offs: are autism and schizophrenia the steep price of the human brain?/i> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29335774
    Full text at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00439-017-1865-9
    Abstract:

    Evolution often deals in genomic trade-offs: changes in the genome that are beneficial overall persist even though they also produce disease in a subset of individuals. Here, we explore the possibility that such trade-offs have occurred as part of the evolution of the human brain. Specifically, we provide support for the possibility that the same key genes that have been major contributors to the rapid evolutionary expansion of the human brain and its exceptional cognitive capacity also, in different combinations, are significant contributors to autism and schizophrenia. Furthermore, the model proposes that one of the primary genes behind this trade-off may not technically be “a gene” or “genes” but rather are the highly duplicated sequences that encode the Olduvai protein domain family (formerly called DUF1220). This is not an entirely new idea. Others have proposed that the same genes involved in schizophrenia were also critical to the rapid expansion of the human brain, a view that has been expressed as “the same ‘genes’ that drive us mad have made us human”. What is new is that a “gene”, or more precisely a protein domain family, has been found that may satisfy these requirements.

    Fascinating:

    The most plausible explanation for this unusual distribution is that there is a sequence (or sequences) within the 1q21 CNVs, the dosage of which contributes to these two disorders in opposite ways: high-dosage producing autism while low-dosage producing schizophrenia. Such a shared genomic location for autism and schizophrenia has also been found for three other genomic regions where deletions are associated with one disorder, while duplications are associated with the other,13. These results suggest that autism and schizophrenia are related disorders and may have a shared underlying genomic etiology that involves opposite changes in the dosage of the same specific genes.

    That corresponds nicely to a liability threshold model as well.

    Figure 4 is an interesting look at the wide distribution of the different Olduvai (DUF1220) subtypes across Chromosome 1.

    Note the connection to this idea which I have mentioned before: https://www.amazon.com/Madness-Adam-Eve-Schizophrenia-Humanity/dp/055299930X
    The Sikela paper has a good history of this idea back to Crow in 1995.

  2. Looking forwards to picking it up and reviewing it when in London.

  3. Wow, a lot to understand and comment on. As you know, the general trend is away from individual snippets of code to polygenic scores, so although I note the topic was alive last year, I don’t know the current status.
    My next task (James Lee findings) probably begins tomorrow, but I will bear the DUF1220 issue in mind.

    • Replies: @res
  4. anon[598] • Disclaimer says:

    “Adam Smith understood perfectly that it composed”
    Make that ‘comprised’

    Good piece though. Thanks

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  5. Electrifying post!

    How come Heiner Rindermann’s book is available since January and nobody seemed to care? – Except on amazon… I’ll order my copy in a minute (at my local book shop).
    I’m very pleased to hear that Cognitive Capitalism is published by Cambridge University Press (“and no less”).

    The informations about Nazi’s ideas about IQ testing will be hard to swallow for the usual crowd of IQ-deniers.

    Thanks!

  6. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Sorry. I got excited and went off on a very interesting (to me anyway) tangent. It’s pretty bad when my comment is as long as your post. I debated using a MORE tag, but was concerned that might cause issues with me (or others) doing text searches for keywords in my comment in the future.

    James Lee findings also sound interesting. Looking forward to seeing that.

    Do you have any idea how much the DUF1220 issue is on the radar of cognitive genomics researchers like James Lee? If that 3% R^2 (plus 10% R^2 for math test!) in the New Zealand sample is close to real I would expect it to be a big deal.

    If the copy number relationship is close to linear that would fit in well with a PGS. Except for the data being much harder to extract than SNPs. I have not read the research I linked closely enough to be sure, but there appears to be significant complexity in the detailed composition and location of the copies involved.

    P.S. The site software has not shown my last two comments after I posted them. I almost double posted that monster. That is why I failed to catch my italics editing error.

  7. @res

    Genomic trade-offs: are autism and schizophrenia the steep price of the human brain?

    What does this show? Does this imply that regression to the mean could be understood as being functional – a defence mechanism against schizophrenia and autism?
    Could the low reproduction rates of autists and schizophrenics be understodd in (roughly) the same way?

    • Replies: @res
  8. @anon

    Corrected. Thanks for noticing.

    • Replies: @Lochearn
  9. dearieme says:

    You make this book sound fascinating, Dr T. I have a birthday this summer: should I be dropping hints that this book should be one of my presents? (I am a burgher after all, though one of our garden walls divided us from a cow pasture, and one of our hedges from a meadow.)

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  10. Wow! Thanks, I could have missed that.

    BTW, in the next 25 years, expect to see some countries remove their Capitalist yokes and don the the Communist yoke. All they need make the switch is to see Communism done right, rather than stupidly and to see Capitalism done wrong.

  11. res says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Interesting thoughts. My take would be:

    Does this imply that regression to the mean could be understood as being functional – a defence mechanism against schizophrenia and autism?

    I don’t think regression to the mean is related. Regression to the mean is more about environmental extremes being muted out when extreme phenotypes reproduce. Though after writing the rest of this comment I think I see what you might be getting at, there is some intuitive similarity with tendency to stabilize around the mean. There might be a tie in with the possibility of tending to regress towards the mean outcome expected from a liability threshold model. Put another way, not very “liable” (genotypically lower risk, say near the threshold) but still dysfunctional individuals are more likely to be functional in the next generation. While genotypically higher risk (well exceeding the threshold) individuals who are also dysfunctional may be more likely to just not reproduce as you discuss below.

    Could the low reproduction rates of autists and schizophrenics be understodd in (roughly) the same way?

    That seems like a reasonable way of maintaining the gene pool close to an optimum middle ground when either extreme is a problem. It seems necessary to achieve a stable equilibrium in the face of random genetic variation.

    What does this show?

    (Referring to “Genomic trade-offs: are autism and schizophrenia the steep price of the human brain?”)

    I think a reasonable summary would be that qualities intrinsic to having (creating and maintaining genetically over time) a human caliber brain also make it a tense equilibrium between autism and schizophrenia with inevitable variation into both extremes.

    • Replies: @Allison
  12. Anon[105] • Disclaimer says:

    The Amazon customer review by Volkmar Weiss is worth reading:

    “The landmark book by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen “IQ and the Wealth of Nations” (2002) was and is the most remarkable achievement in this field for the one hundred years since the invention of IQ tests. By correcting IQ phenotypic values biased by the Flynn effect into genotypic IQ values, Richard Lynn laid the groundwork for comparing national differences. In a number of scholarly papers Heiner Rindermann has extended this approach adding the scores of student achievement tests to these comparisons. In this impressive monograph Rindermann extends and generalizes his findings and conclusions. Some chapters, for example, “4. International Ability Differences and Their Development”, pp. 85-164, are written in a very entertaining way. In his final chapter Rindermann suggests, what can be done by human capital policies to improve the world.

    However, completely lacking in this book is a basic chapter on the scaling and the measurement error of the variables used and commented by the author….

    Only a few psychologists all over the world, as Wilhelm Peters (1880-1963), understood ever what geneticists mean by genetic causation, and Rindermann is no exception. The chapter 10, “Causes of National and Historical Differences in Cognitive Ability”, pp. 224-370, a backbone of his book, is about correlations and not of causation….

    It is not true, that there is no ratio scale for general intelligence….

    Rindermann complains that Hanushek and colleagues usually do not cite psychological research. But why Rindermann himself does not cite Oded Galors’ “Natural selection and the origin of economic growth”? …. Rindermann characterizes intelligence without any reference to the “Handbuch Intelligenz” … of his German colleague Detlef H. Rost.

    Despite all this criticism this monograph presents an outstanding contribution of applied science worth reading every page. Rindermann sees very well that his models of linear development are endangered by below average IQ immigration, by differential fertility and by different generation lengths of social strata.

  13. @dearieme

    Worth buying. It is an argument supported by facts which can be tested by re-running the analyses and by finding new data. It will help you overcome the stultifying effects of adjacent cow pastures.
    And, happy birthday.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  14. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    stultifying? Invigorating: dancing around the cow pats while running home for lunch was part of my education. Not every burgher need be a dull dog.

  15. Allison says:
    @res

    That’s really interesting! Do you know anything about where bipolar disorder might fit in there?

    • Replies: @res
  16. res says:
    @Allison

    Good question. I did not see anything about DUF1220 and bipolar disorder when I was researching my initial comment. A quick search now also did not give any good hits.

    I do think a connection is plausible though. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder seem to be related genetically. For example, see this from 2013: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2013/new-data-reveal-extent-of-genetic-overlap-between-major-mental-disorders.shtml

    My guess would be it is mostly a matter of the DUF1220 and bipolar research just not having been done yet. It looks like the primary researchers are running with their schizophrenia/autism idea (e.g. not actively expanding the scope of their research) and I think DUF1220 genotyping is complex and unusual enough that it won’t show up in studies unless someone is making a special effort to look at it. Seems like a good opportunity for someone to pursue.

    Here is some recent research which connects autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180208141346.htm
    The SCZ-BD transcription and SNP-based correlations reported in Figure 2C of the underlying paper http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6376/693 are by far the highest at ~0.7 for both.

    What do you think?

  17. To those of you interested in evolution and schizophrenia I would suggest the The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Jaynes. The Behavioral Psychos at the University level tried to diss Jaynes but he may get the last laugh from his grave because the more you read the book the more relevant his analyses become.

    • Replies: @res
  18. utu says:

    Looks like Heiner Rindermann despite all his virtue signaling about Nazis still is not a good company.

    Peter Thiel Shamed for Association with Racists

    https://www.queerty.com/peter-thiel-shamed-association-racists-20160729

    It’s the annual conference of the Property and Freedom Society, and while the name may sound boring its members are anything but. There’s founder Hans Hermann-Hoppe from the University of Nevada, who said that in his ideal society, homosexuals and communists “will have to be physically separated and expelled from society.” There’s also Gerd Schulze-Ronhof, an author who says that the US, not Hitler, caused World War II. And Heiner Rindermann, a psychologist whose work is often cited by racists seeking to prove that immigrants have low IQs.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  19. Lochearn says:
    @James Thompson

    You were right first time.

    From dictionary.com. …Comprise is a verb that means “to include or contain” or “to consist of” as in The pie comprises 8 slices. Compose means “to be or constitute a part of element of” or “to make up or form the basis of,” as in Eight slices compose the pie. The key rule to remember is that the whole comprises the elements or parts, and the elements or parts compose the whole.

    In your sentence beginning “As to human capital, Adam Smith understood perfectly that it comprised “superior reasoning and understanding,” it is clear that human capital is the whole and superior reasoning and understanding are the parts.

  20. Well, it’s actually the application of human capital to resources that unlocks the value of both, but I guess that is self-evident.

    Nothing about magic dirt, eh?

    • Replies: @Fredtard
  21. @utu

    Re queerty — Geez, what a massive faggotry…. Homos, it seems, don’t want equality; they want live to in their own Homotopia, where everything is related to their version of sex & life…

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  22. Stogumber says:

    ” They (the”Nazis”) wanted measures of “realism” and “conscientiousness”, not what they regarded as “theoretical intelligence” and “intellectualism”. ”
    Well, that’s an interesting subject for future debates. I am inclined to assume that “intellectualism” has not much to do with intelligence (more with an emotional relation to things like concepts and theories). Also I suppose that “conscientiousness” helps: Is an intelligent people where everyone tries to deceive the other really as successful as a conscientious people?
    On the whole I doubt that the whole bunch of “Nazis” were adversary to the concept of general intelligence. For example, when prominent “Nazi” Adolf Helbok proposed to start the Austrian Atlas of Folklore with a map of local/regional intelligence measurements (a proposal pooh-poohed by his post-war fellow researchers), he spoke about intelligence in general.

    • Replies: @res
    , @songbird
  23. Sort of off topic, but the New Statesman seem to have raised the white flag on genetics and intelligence. This, by one Philip Ball.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/2018/04/iq-trap-how-new-genetics-could-transform-education

    “What does the science tell us about genes and intelligence? For geneticists, the challenge with any behavioural trait is to distinguish inherited influences from environmental ones. Are you smart (or not) because of your genes, or your home and school environment? For many years, the only way to separate these factors was through twin studies. This is a somewhat coarse way of controlling for genetic similarity, which entails looking at how the traits of identical and non-identical twins (who are 100 per cent or 50 per cent genetically identical, respectively) differ when they share or don’t share the same background – for example, when they are adopted into different family environments.

    But now it’s possible to look directly at people’s genomes: to read the molecular code (sequence) of large proportions of an individual’s DNA. Over the past decade the cost of genome sequencing has fallen sharply, making it possible to look more directly at how genes correlate with intelligence. The data both from twin studies and DNA analysis are unambiguous: intelligence is strongly heritable. Typically around 50 per cent of variations in intelligence between individuals can be ascribed to genes, although these gene-induced differences become markedly more apparent as we age. As Ritchie says: like it or not, the debate about whether genes affect intelligence is over.”

    Mind, I agree with Steven Pinker’s tweet – you don’t need DNA testing to know someone’s IQ, a plain old IQ test is better.

    • Replies: @res
    , @hyperbola
  24. res says:
    @niteranger

    Thanks. I have that book but have not read it yet. Should try to find it.

    One thing that intrigues me is this comment (I did a quick search on unz.com): https://www.unz.com/pcockburn/on-schizophrenia/#comment-2008979

    I’m curious if either Henry or his father have read Julian Jaynes’ book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”, and what they think of it. Jaynes suggests that schizophrenia is a remnant of a condition that used to be much more common, before humans became conscious in the way we think of consciousness today, and when “talking to gods” (who he suggests actually resided in a “hidden” part of the brain which analyzed the world and then gave commands that sounded like disembodied voices) was commonplace. It sounds kind of farfetched, but he makes a surprisingly good case.

    It is interesting that this is almost the opposite hypothesis of that proposed in The Madness of Adam and Eve (and the DUF1220 work) if I understand both correctly (increasing vs. decreasing rate of schizophrenia with human consciousness).

  25. res says:
    @Stogumber

    On the whole I doubt that the whole bunch of “Nazis” were adversary to the concept of general intelligence.

    I think you are right, but Jews scoring higher on IQ tests was an inconvenient truth. Hence the rationalizations. Does the book provide contemporary references about Nazi views on intelligence and IQ?

    P.S. Utu, I interpreted the Nazi passage (what does the book actually say?) more as an ironic observation than as virtue signaling.

    • Replies: @jack daniels
  26. Fredtard says:
    @The Alarmist

    And therein lies the rub. Adam Smith’s calling out of prudence as the key virtue was more than prescient. Superior intelligence has led to greater ability to employ technology to extract/exploit and militarily/economically control resources. But resources, even cognitive ones, are finite.

    Are we affluent, industrious, and intelligent societies too lacking in humility, to enamored of our string of successes conquering nature and nations, that we can not or will not admit to and/or deal with the rapidly approaching ecological collapse that is closing in on all sides? Deny if you must, but the dire warnings are all around us. My cataloguing them won’t wake anyone up whose basic worldview doesn’t want to countenance the harsh realities.

    Maybe we’re too smart for our own good, or at a minimum lack the capacity to adequately address the slowly approaching existential issues. Global warming and the so far unresolved national debt crisis are two examples of failure to act. My favored answer to Fermi’s paradox is the one which posits that all advanced civilizations self-destruct(ed).

    Too bad hope and faith are neither intelligent nor prudent.

  27. res says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    The New Statesman piece is one of the best treatments of genetics and intelligence I have seen in the popular press. Thanks! I hope Philip Ball does not get Watsoned.

    That Steven Pinker tweet is a great example of his ability to find a true yet politically palatable position. I might quibble with “overblown”, but the rest is hard to argue with. What he studiously ignores is the cases where genotyping might be useful. He also artfully uses “probably” twice obscuring his own views.

    P.S. I managed to miss the Toby Young blog post kerfuffle. Here is a Quillete piece about it: http://quillette.com/2017/10/31/education-ngo-faces-backlash-academics-retracting-essay-citing-intelligence-research/
    and the controversial blog post (reproduced here after deletion): http://www.nosacredcows.co.uk/opinion_pieces/3050/article.html

  28. Just an observation — there’s no way to accurately assess the impact of human capital as described in this article, when the societies have engaged in social maldistribution of access to said foundations of the capital in question.

    Europe’s wealth during the Victorian age is the direct result of hoarding and managing resources derived from other countries and not investing human or material capital in the same.

    In the US the wealth of the country at one period was derived from the slave trade up to 50% It’s hard to calculate the value of human capital under conditions when the human capital was slavery.

    Slipping in the Wealth of Nations in this scenario is to misunderstand what Adam Smith explicated which was to vest human capital and worth based ion fair an honest dealings – one’s resources as a market value from which they derive profit.

    In fact what is being assessed her is the consequence of short term gain. King Leopold’s privatizing of the Congo under what was essentially a money laundering schema by which to protect profits of illegal, untoward and altogether unsavory business practices could hardly assessed as some manner of naturally occurring human capital of thinking human beings seeking to better that region from which the wealth was derived.

    How one defines human capital matters.And even if one wanted label intelligence or material — that it was not invested as understood in this article or at the time strongly suggests.

    _______________

    Maybe I am just jealous. But acknowledging that investing in people’s intellectual, social and personal investiture is beneficial for one’s country hardly sounds all that ground breaking.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  29. “The good news for the world is that longevity has shot up…”

    I’m sceptical of the uncritical acceptance of longevity as good news. Longevity in itself contains no useful information about the conditions under which the additional years are spent, nor the ability of those added years to be of any general benefit.

    Many of the commonly used indicators of health and success have a similar myopic “penny wise, pound foolish” view. Decreased infant mortality is great… but is it really? Human beings cannot be the sole exception to the basic rule that scarcity and demand determines value. Increased surplus inevitably becomes a liability.

    The creation of wealth is proportional to a lot of measurements. Cancer incidence, waste production, deforestation… one may as well say that cognitive ability mainly exists to provide each successive generation with partial solutions and additional challenges. Establishing that cognition and wealth are directly correlated does not in itself entail regarding either measurement as a purely or even largely positive one.

    “If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth and population would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger but not a better or a happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity compels them to it.” – John Stuart Mill

  30. Adam Smith noted that human capital consists not only in having intelligent people who can figure out what is best to do, but self-disciplined people who, having figured out what they should do, have the will-power actually to do it! Additionally, such attributes as courage, honesty, loyalty, civility, and concern for others would appear relevant to “merit” as in “meritocracy.” Not only are they good traits in themselves, but workers with these traits will perform better.

    This is especially important since the vast majority of the public are not engaged in thinking up innovations but are charged with executing the plans of others.

    If a society grows fat and lazy, clever innovations are worth less than in a society where there are plenty of diligent, energetic people to bring plans to fruition.

    It’s interesting to imagine a society without a lot of smart people but with a lot of energetic and disciplined people. Such a society can trade brawn for brains by inducing inventors to set up shop locally and benefit from virtuous local laborers.

    This introduces a second issue: A country that for one reason or another has a superior army can enslave or subjugate a country with a good work force and get the benefits of its virtuous habits without sharing the incremental fruits those habits produce. Or will the workers be less virtuous when working for occupiers? Or will the land of virtuous workers trade enough brawn to get some good generals who can build up an effective army? Isn’t game theory wonderful?

  31. @res

    While adding a racial qualifier, the Nazis promoted the usual socialist thesis that every person of good will can make meaningful contributions and is roughly equal in overall ability to others. One thing I notice in writers on both left and right who promote the importance of IQ is that they tend to overlook the importance of other merits such as self-discipline, honesty, courage, loyalty, concern for others, etc. Adam Smith did not overlook these when defining human capital. For example, Jews are brighter on average but bright ideas require a work force to follow through on, and if the work force is of low quality the final addition to wealth will be smaller than otherwise.

    • Replies: @Steve Gittelson
  32. songbird says:
    @Stogumber

    I’m inclined to agree. There were many German intellectuals who were considered Nazis or pre-cursors to the Nazi movement. I can easily see some of them spouting such ideas without it having much relevancy to how the government and military actually operated.

  33. @Fredtard

    My favored answer to Fermi’s paradox is the one which posits that all advanced civilizations self-destruct(ed).

    The response to that position is “truly advanced civilizations do not self-destruct”.

    Fermi’s paradox really isn’t. In an unbounded Universe, the probability that any advanced civilization will encounter another advanced civilization is random, at best.

    And don’t forget: probability has yet to be a cause of anything at all.

    • Replies: @middle aged vet . . .
  34. One way of starting is with the first table 1.1 showing estimates of global and continental income since 1500. Five centuries ago Africa, America and Australia were on $400, Asia $550 and Europe $688. By 2010 North America led the pack with $47,094, Northern Europe $35,308, Australia $25,438 and then a big fall down to South America with $10,607, Asia (India) with $3,337 and Africa (Kenya) with $1,628.

    Although these numbers don’t meaningfully affect the overall argument, they are considerably different to both international historical comparisons provided by the most prestigious institutes dedicated to the task, such as The Conference Board or the Groningen Growth and Development Centre (based on Angus Maddison’s pioneering work) as well as current-year PPP GDP estimates made by the IMF, CIA and World Bank. I don’t want to accuse Rindermann of sloppiness, but unless there is some very good reason he used (or developed himself, which is highly doubtful) the above numbers, it’s hard to see what else to call it.

  35. @jack daniels

    One thing I notice in writers on both left and right who promote the importance of IQ is that they tend to overlook the importance of other merits such as self-discipline, honesty, courage, loyalty, concern for others, etc.

    Mostly irrelevant. Resources and opportunity are what count the most — ask any Eskimo.

  36. This section will probably make some people angrily accuse him of descending to anecdotes. Rindermann argues that if the intelligence tests scores are valid, then a visitor to each country should find evidence of how bright the people in that country really are.

    I like the ‘smell test’ argument, at least as an introduction, and it surprises me that it’s not used more often. I find it particularly useful for making the point about individual (ie non-racial) intelligence differences. I like to ask people whether their own experience of school doesn’t comport perfectly with the hereditarian position: wasn’t it obvious that a small number of pupils grasped new concepts with supreme ease; that the great majority could, with some effort, make headway even after a shaky start; and that another small handful were such hopeless cases that it was generally pointless attempting explanations at all?

    With respect to countries, I would urge more caution. The reason is that it’s all too easy to see what you want to see. I spent some time in southeast Europe about a dozen years after the fall of communism. One of the most aggravating differences I found compared to western countries was the consistently poor, lazy and rude customer service – it stood out like a sore thumb. I surely would have been wrong to conclude this was a racial trait, however, since the customer service in neighboring Greece and Turkey – which can hardly be thought to differ genetically to any great degree – was often excellent.

  37. pyrrhus says:
    @res

    Great comment, and sounds like a great book! Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Dr. Thompson! I’ll buy a copy for myself and my kids…
    On the policy end, however, I think there will be problems…With anything resembling eugenics being ruled out by the ruling classes, it’s tough to see what third world countries can do, because their main problems in this area are dysgenic breeding patterns and major amounts of Brain Drain with respect to their smartest people….With respect to the West, the failure of more intelligent women to have adequate numbers of children, and perhaps other factors, has resulted in steadily declining average IQs, about 1 point per generation according to recent estimates. (I think it’s higher than that.)
    Given that mass education has clearly had no effect on these trends, I wonder what the author recommends?

  38. You cannot consider Adam Smith’s theory without considering a ventral point concerning human capital

  39. utu says:

    Rindermann’s most cited paper with which he crossed to the “other, the dark or deplorable side” is :

    The g-Factor of International Cognitive Ability Comparisons: The Homogeneity of Results in PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS and IQ-Tests Across Nations, Eur. J. Pers. 21: 667–706 (2007).

    http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/The-g-factor-of-international-cognitive-ability-comparisons-the-homogeneity-of-results-in-PISA-TIMSS-PIRLS-and-IQ-tests-across-nations.pdf

    which he wrote 10 years after his Ph.D and 2 years after his habilitation, meaning that his professional position was already secured and presumably safe.

    I have looked through the paper. It is really trivial yet it has over 300 citations. He gets high correlations among various tests including IQ’s compiled by Lynn (there are some tests that do not correlate well with others, see Table 1). The chief reason for it is because his lists must contain the full range defining countries like Singapore and Yemen. When not so long ago A. Karlin showed a list of PIAAC 2012 scores that he scaled to make it look like quasi IQ (Russia looked very smart on this list) he did not have poor countries on it. I calculated a correlation between his list and Lynn’s IQs and it was merely 0.24 which means IQ explains only 6% of variance of PIAAC scores and vice versa PIAA explains 6% of IQ variance:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/iq-in-time-and-space/#comment-2197150

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/iq-in-time-and-space/#comment-2197201

    It would be more interesting to look at PISA or TIMMS results over longer period of time and see how various countries go up und down depending on their education policies, economic successes and failures. Some countries go up and down on the lists. These countries can be used to undermine the claims that test score results are racially driven.

    One more thing, I do not understand Rindermann’s exercise of extracting some “g-factor” for this battery of tests. It does not contribute anything.

  40. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website

  41. @Steve Gittelson

    Steve G. that was a very eloquent comment, sometimes I think I read too many comments on too many comment threads and then I read a really well written one like that.

    That being said, and feel free, or course, to ignore this, here are some related thoughts:

    you stated “in an unbounded universe”:

    There is no evidence, beyond evidence that only, so far, “appears” to be evidence, and which may or may not be reliable, that the universe is unbounded outside of evidence that can be called “negative inference”.

    That being said, according to an impressively well written popular science book I recently read, there probably is reliable, measured, and accurate evidence that if the universe is not unbounded, it is still (or nevertheless, if you prefer) approximately at least 1,000 times as large as the Hubble Sphere (so if the universe is finite, it is still approximately big enough that our 26 billion wide observable part of it is one thousandth of it). (Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis are my source for this, and they are quoting an unpublished interview with Max Tegmark, on page 1 of “The Shape of Inner Space” (Basic Books, 2010). To quote: “the Hubble volume we see is just one out of at least one thousand such volumes that must exist.”

    So your assessment stands, because the randomness of “an unbounded universe” and the randomness of a universe that is a thousand times as large as the Hubble volume are, for deductive purposes, almost indistinguishable over the recent time frame of SETI exploration.

    That being said, please recognize that it is possible that the universe is just a few thousand years old, that Adam and Eve spent some time in the Garden of Eden, and that miracles have occurred, and will continue to occur, because such possibilities are not inconsistent with anything anybody has ever discovered. Heart speaks to heart, after all, cor ad cor loquitur.

    This next paragraph is long, but I do think it makes sense. Please be indulgent, and try to remember I am discussing things I have learned from people who are much smarter than myself: …. Yes you might think: but Science! but Evidence! and I would reply: I have no doubt that the stars we see are just as far away as they seem, and that the cosmic distance ladder (Rowan-Robinson’s book was one of the best books on the subject) is a Real Thing: but when people wax on about how awesomely large the universe is, I – who 50 years ago decided that, since the best physicists did not look on other physicists as people who understood the world but just people who worked on problems – and they were right! – well I decided it would be just as much fun to wait around and see what they discovered as to do it myself, and I decided to try and understand people, which is the task of a lifetime, just as the task of understanding physics is the task of a lifetime. And when you understand people, you ask yourself, at the end of the day – what makes more sense than Adam and Eve? Why wouldn’t there actually be a Fish that kept Jonah alive for 3 days? (and I did read enough Newton and Gauss and Euler to understand that, no, the night sky is not awesomely large – it is just big enough to be big enough to produce, by the actual and confirmed processes we know, the type of things that are necessary for a complex mind – supernova-remnant complex molecules, et cetera, you know what I am talking about). (For the record, I realize that this paragraph is not written in a way that can be understood the first time through. Please read it twice. I said that science is real and that cosmological measurements are accurate but then I said that physicists do not progress by “learning more about everything” but by working on finite problems. People are more complex than the universe, and understanding people leads to the conclusion that every word of the Bible is true. Yes, just as much as millions of Americans watched some HBO show last week, fascinated and entertained, even so Jonah spent a couple days in the belly of a fish, except HBO is there for money, Jonah was there for the truth.)

    To change the subject, Greg Cochran is a go-to guy on why advanced civilizations “do not self-destruct”, he has described why our perceptions of the world reach, or tend to, a healthy equilibrium, because that is how our consciousness functions (in a post that I have not been able to find), and he has also said a lot of true things (in my humble opinion) about how civilizations (and, even in the last 4,000 years that I think we have lived, and a fortiori in the dozens of thousands of years Cochran thinks modern humans have lived), there have been a lot of civilizations, not the ten or twenty you might think if you just think of “Roman” and “Hittite” and “Babylonian” and “Chinese” and so on, but exponentially more than that.

    Thanks for reading. I am not a performance artist I really think Adam and Eve loved each other, and had those bickering children we read about. Sad! But also, if I am right, felix peccatum (oh happy fault) = the world is a better place than the most enthusiastic and most gifted mere scientist would feel comfortable claiming that it is. ((**God loves us the way we are, even the physicists, but loves us too much to let us stay that way**)) (a slightly modified quote from “Junebug”, a movie from a decade or two ago).

    • Replies: @Steve Gittelson
  42. phil says:

    For those who still believe that group differences in socioeconomic outcomes (S) are largely explained by skin color and racial discrimination (‘colorism’), note the following results for major racial groups in the Americas (North, Central, and South):

    Fuerst and Kirkegaard 2016 (regional units within the Americas):

    Correlation between S and skin reflectance: 0.60
    Correlation between S and skin reflectance, controlling for genomic ancestry: 0.19

    Ruiz-Linares et. al 2014 (individuals in the Americas)

    Correlation between S and self-identified race: 0.52
    Correlation between S and self-identified race, controlling for genomic ancestry: 0.08

    • Replies: @phil
    , @res
  43. phil says:
    @phil

    Slight amendment to the previous comment:
    For those who still believe that group differences in socioeconomic outcomes (S) are largely explained by skin color and racial discrimination (‘colorism’), note the following results for major racial groups in the Americas (North, Central, and South):

    Fuerst and Kirkegaard 2016 (regional units within the Americas):

    Correlation between S and skin reflectance: 0.60
    Correlation between S and skin reflectance, controlling for genomic ancestry: 0.19

    Ruiz-Linares et. al 2014 (nations within the Americas)

    Correlation between S and self-identified race: 0.52
    Correlation between S and self-identified race, controlling for genomic ancestry: 0.08

  44. dearieme says:

    “North America … $47,094, Northern Europe $35,308, Australia $25,438″: I’ve lived in Australia, in two different states. Those numbers aren’t remotely representative of the Australia I knew. So much so that I wonder whether there’s typo and the last number should be $35,438.

  45. @Fredtard

    My leanings are somewhere between libertarian and conservative, but I drove past a garbage mountain the other day, one of those you can smell for miles, and my first thought was that externalities make it possible for too many people to buy too many things they could not afford if they were on the hook for the entire lifecycle of the product.

    If we did true capitalism and had an ethical government that really cared about proper stewardship of the planet and its resources and life-forms, there would be a collapse of economic life as we know it. Maybe, like Ike and the concentration camps, we should parade the citizenry frequently past the garbage mountains, and then show how much worse it is in the developing world where they care even less.

    To the point about global warming, the science is junk, but it does at least approach addressing the externality of carbon waste. But as we go deeper into the solar minimum we have entered, we’ll probably wish we had triggered more global warming.

    In any case, we need to reduce waste and pollution.

  46. @EliteCommInc.

    No, if “macro-parasiticism” as has been called entirely accounted for wealth in the world, then the Mongols and Umayyads would be the great civilizations on Earth.

    They are not.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  47. @middle aged vet . . .

    There is no evidence, beyond evidence that only, so far, “appears” to be evidence, and which may or may not be reliable, that the universe is unbounded outside of evidence that can be called “negative inference”.

    The universe appears to be unbounded. That is, there is no evidence that it is bounded. I find the concept of an unbounded universe to be much preferable to that of a bounded universe. An unbounded universe is philosophically pleasing; a bounded universe requires inventive explanation as to why, how, and to what extent it is bounded, and by what barriers, containers, or energies it is bounded. If I were a creator-god, I would have willed it into existence as infinite and eternal.

    I cannot believe the Adam/Eve story, any more than I could believe any of the many creation myths human societies have invented, from Aramaic to Zoroastrian. Primitive human societies were just that: primitive. They lacked sophistication of concept, but apparently literature as novel-form came naturally. That’s a joke. I make many little jokes.

    I worry very little about gods. I have my own problems, and they have theirs. One must assume the gods can handle their own problems — doubtlessly much better than we do ours.

    • Replies: @middle aged vet . . .
  48. res says:
    @phil

    For those who want to follow up on this, the Fuerst and Kirkegaard 2016 results are in Section 14 and Table 48 of https://www.researchgate.net/publication/298214364_Admixture_in_the_Americas_Regional_and_National_Differences
    Note that the cognitive ability correlations are similar at 0.62 and 0.18.

    Table 49 has even stronger evidence rejecting a culture hypothesis (European identity controlled for European ancestry) for both S and CA.

    Section 18 and Table 58 have correlations (within the US) for S and CA with parasite load with and without control for European ancestry.

    More at https://osf.io/78nvf/

  49. @Daniel Chieh

    Colonial practice is not “macro-parasiticism”. The colonial practices of japan and Europe engage practices of complete ownership of resources, not siphoning off the wealth of others.

    A different model entirely.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  50. @EliteCommInc.

    This is also why Saudi Arabia is a superstar state now. Please.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  51. @Steve Gittelson

    Steve – I am not going to disagree with you and say you are wrong, I respect your statements and believe that you are sincere. Smarter people than me have been wrong about God for many more decades than I was.

    I have never believed in the “gods”, although when I was young I thought of the ancient Roman gods with deep respect, based on the portraits of Vergilian dolphins on the plastic inflatable swimming pools of the day (“the day” being, roughly, summertime America 50 years ago, with lots of green trees and presumably lots of inflatable swimming pools, whether one lived near or far from the realm of Poseidon – for me, it was a 20 minute car ride to the ocean, but I did not own a car!!! sad, I loved the Ocean !!!!) , and based on the devastatingly accurate corn goddesses one often saw depicted, in beautifully wrought oak or pine woodwork, on the cuckoo clocks in rich people’s houses, and based on the fleeting versions of Aphrodite and Apollo and Minerva one saw, depicted sculptures on the back of the stages of plays that almost everybody but me has mostly forgotten, on TV or at the local college theater, back in the day, or in other venues, maybe in the atrium of the college library or maybe on the local village green ….

    But I do believe in God, and I have no reason to believe that God does not need the help of people like you.

    He can do without my help, of course, I lived decades and decades thinking that I knew for certain, and was ok with that, that I could only know the silence of God, even though I knew who He was. But every once in a while I remembered those days when God looked at me with those innocent stupid eyes of His and with that unmatchable empathy of His which I now know is his trademark for most of us (days before I was born, maybe, or when I was uneducated, very uneducated, or days when I faced the prospect of likely death (only 30 or 40 days in my first four decades, but that is still a lot) or days when I faced the likelihood of chronic disease – well, the sort of days we all face, sooner or later) and then I remembered, with a start, that the silence was because I did not want to help Him as much as he would have liked me to. The silence was not because He wanted me to spend a moment thinking he could be silent! Not at all! He was innocent but not stupid, and his empathy was not just what I used to think of as empathy but it was a truth that I ought to have shared as best I could! And,at times, in my humble way, I did: as God is my witness, I tried. That was long ago, yesterday is so long ago to people like us, Steve, remembering the truths of mathematics and arithmetic.

    (What follows is a paragraph of run-on sentences. Please read those sentences, imagining how much better you could have written them: thanks….) It is no small thing to say I did not understand God until I understood that he needed my friendship –
    and it is no small thing to say that once I understood that I remembered every single human interaction I had ever had that demonstrated the truth that, in fact, not only did Adam and Eve and all that gang live real lives, long ago, but also the truth that I, and almost every one I will ever talk to, except them, is older than them, in their fantastic youth: well, once I understood that, I realized that Adam was no myth and Eve was no myth, they may not have felt much of a need to talk to me but if they only knew how many funny stories I could tell them about their grandchildren – well, you know how you go to a party and at first it is kind of awkward and an hour or two later everyone is talking as if they had been friends forever? Like I said, sometime you feel you knew them when they were a lot younger than they are. Memories and all that, and hope.

    Just saying. I have been wrong before. But come on, don’t you remember a party that was that good, or almost that good?

    • Replies: @Steve Gittelson
  52. @middle aged vet . . .

    Frankly, I believe you have created a number of stories in your mind, and you indulge in variations and adaptations of those stories.

    Far be it from me to concern myself with what you believe and why you believe it.

    But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
    –Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

    • Replies: @middle aged vet . . .
  53. @Daniel Chieh

    If you can explain how this is any manner related to my comments or your for that matter, I will address it — but as it is — it makes no sense.

    The Middle East has been the target of colonial dynamics.

  54. @Steve Gittelson

    Thanks, Steve, for trying to understand. And thanks for the interesting responses.

    I am not going to ramble on here, but if you are interested, I have posted a couple hundred times as “Efim Polenov” at the Marginal Revolution blog, where I attempt to explain, again and again, in a kind-hearted and sometimes consciously foolish way, why intelligent scientists and scholars and honest citizens of our contemporary democratic world should at least feel some respect for those who claim to understand why, exactly why, we all know God loves us, even if we are ignoring that knowledge day to day (if you are a person interested in words, the Book of Proverbs, along with Isaiah, is the wonderful gentle place to which I subtly refer every single time, but it is my failing that it is not the whole Bible I refer to, every single time – Eliot was good on this intellectual (just kidding, “intellectual” is not the word that you want) type of lifelong references to books that are, as Schnabel said about musical compositions he liked, better than they can be played – Little Gidding, for example, which refers again and again to the letters of John the Apostle, when read with compassion for the poet’s failings, explains lots of my basic rhetorical tricks in the referring-to-Proverbs-and-Isaiah way. It is kind of simple and not really complicated, but accurate, which is not nothing) .

    If you are not interested in how I explain everything, that is ok too. I have a couple dozen pals who long ago professed their vows as nuns or priests or contemplatives with vows of poverty and I will ask each and every one of them to pray for each of us to understand the world better. God loves us all. Cor ad cor loquitur, dixit Deus, septimo vespertino hora (heart speaks to heart, said God, in the evening hour of the seventh day)

  55. anonymous[402] • Disclaimer says:

    middle aged vet said: I rarely reread my comments, but I felt a little bad, after hitting “publish comment” on my latest comment on this thread, when I recollected that I may have used the verb “posted” referring to my comments on the Marginal Revolution blog, not the more accurate and humble verb “commented” — on the blog in question.

    One of my pals has read more of Shakespeare than the most Tolkien-Loving reader has ever read of Tolkien, and my young Shakespeare-loving friend has told me that it is extremely important to get verbs right, the fantastic number of textual ambiguities in the Shakespeare sources does not bother my friend much, but it is clear that one would have hoped otherwise, when so many beautiful lines were almost in question, and who knows what sounds better, when we are talking about the most empathetic words in the most empathetic order in our language. Shakespeare’s or not? The question is easily answered, or not …

    Anyway, if you are one of those people who have the gift of writing things that other people, upon reading, laugh at or cry at upon reading the words that touched their soul— if you are one of those people, you know that if you get the verbs right, then you can relax with the nouns and the participles and the adjectives. (J.D. Denniston, a scholar of whom I know nothing beyond the fact that he published the supremely useful book titled the Greek Participles – a bargain at its current price on Amazon, just saying – well, J.D.D. wrote a few paragraphs in that wonderful book that explain why small words are, in their way, as worthy of as much respect as the tallest tree in the most sacred wood is … (that last sentence was a pastiche of Wallace Stevens, just saying) (my name is life could be the name of a good book and if someone wrote the title any other way than 2 4 2 4 – well, the question is not that hard, it is nice to see that it so easily answered, if i write a book or two the name of the first book will be my name is life).

  56. @Bardon Kaldian

    Supposed to be, you don’t want to live in your own kaldiantopia…

  57. ”Cognitive capitalism”

    ”high IQ” sociopaths [ =/= than psychop] run society based on: agressivity, greed, manipulation..

    IQ = part of [human] intelligence which is required to serve the [unfair/often problematic] system: learn and apply commands and knowledges.

    knowledge as a coin to be used to serve the ”system” as well those who possess it.

    sociopaths and below-empathetic people compete one each other to ”win” at the top of social hierarchy.

    normies compete one each other to serve the ”system” which is often dominated by sociopaths/parasites and below-empathetic people, of course, the elites also have some drop of high functioning normies.

    Most humans are just like domestic dogs while elites are often composed by less-domesticated-types.

    Capitalism ALWAYS mean huge wealth to a tiny fraction of population.

  58. res says:
    @res

    I just started reading the book. It does look to be a tour de force and have much fascinating material.

    The paragraph at the end of page 68 seems like a perfect storm of topics for this blog–GWAS/GCTA for IQ, Davide Piffer, COMT Val158Met polymorphism, DUF1220, and the final sentence “After finding correlative evidence for single genes, molecular ways to amino acids, the nervous system and intelligence have to be found.”

    It is interesting how by the time of publication the point about disappointing GWAS results so far (middle of page 68) has already been invalidated (IMHO) by recent research. Things are moving quickly!

    The US Amazon page https://www.amazon.com/Cognitive-Capitalism-Capital-Wellbeing-Nations/dp/1107651085 offers “Search Inside This Book” which is handy (e.g. searching for researcher names).

    Dr. Thompson, thanks again for the recommendation!

  59. hyperbola says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    More distortion by those who are not qualified to comment. The combination of “psychologists” and “journalists” seems to be a deadly perversion.

    Typically around 50 per cent of variations in intelligence between individuals can be ascribed to genes,

    The reality is that over 500 genes have been correlated with “intelligence” (which is a very poorly defined trait) and those 500 genes are only capable of “explaining” less than 10% of “IQ”.

    The evidence is already in: “IQ” (however it may be defined) is a trait that is so complex that no small number of genes can “explain” it AND the number of potential combinations of variants of several hundred genes is so large that there are not enough human beings on the earth to ever do any statistics that will be relevant to individual persons or small numbers of “races” (white, blacks, asians, ….. ).

    But one should have known that Rindermann is a fraud from the opening sentences of this “article”.

    It begins by looking at large wealth differences across time and nations; then the well-being of nations; human capital, cognitive ability and intelligence

    Now, for how many thousands of years have human beings been measured for “cognitive ability and intelligence”, or for how many thousands of years have statistics on the “well-being of nations” been accumulated (keep in mind that the nation state itself is about 500 years old)?

    This “book” is propaganda for the gullible. We should start investigating what sects support such “research” as part of the racist-supremacism of their sect.

    • Replies: @hyperbola
    , @Santoculto
  60. hyperbola says:
    @hyperbola

    Keep in mind that Rindermann is a “psychologist” in a second rate East German university (TU Chemnitz) who is just loved by the extreme right-wing, racist-supremacist, zionist sites like “Geller Report”. Is this another “divide and conquer” game by the “chosen people”?

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  61. @hyperbola

    Keep in mind that Rindermann is a “psychologist” in a second rate East German university (TU Chemnitz)

    Appeal to authority.

    who is just loved by the extreme right-wing, racist-supremacist AND/OR zionist sites like “Geller Report”. Is this another “divide and conquer” game by the “chosen people”?

    Extreme white wing is often ”anti-semitic”.

    • Replies: @RaceRealist88
  62. @hyperbola

    Seems they are basing on heritability studies…

  63. res says:

    Reposting my comment verbatim from http://www.unz.com/article/this-will-not-stand-academic-establishment-suppresses-italian-anthropologists-proof-that-race-iq-differences-are-genetic-for-now/#comment-2320777
    This is probably better discussed here. My starting point is in reference to Piffer’s PGS numbers for Africans and Amerindians.

    As matters stand, the findings for Amerindians vs. sub-Saharan Africans are not what a “race-realist” would have expected.

    As an alternative hypothesis to explain that seeming inconsistency, how about consanguinity? I am reading Rindermann’s book and in Table 10.9 on page 314 there are three regions which have notably high rates of consanguinity.

    Africa (sub-Sahara) 37.5 – e.g. Nigeria 51.2
    North Africa M-East 29.24 – e.g. Egypt 23.89
    Asia (Central-South 30.44 – e.g. India 21.90

    All of these areas are underachievers in the country wide IQ data which is suggestive. Rindermann finds correlations of about 0.6 for consanguinity and cognitive ability.

    I wonder how a two factor model with Piffer’s PGS and consanguinity would do for predicting country IQ?

    From a why does this matter perspective I see some important points:
    1. This provides an explanation for the dramatic underperformance of some countries.
    2. This is an issue which in theory is easily remedied. One generation of outbreeding eliminates the immediate problem in that generation (though there may be ongoing issues if THAT group keeps interbreeding).
    3. Rindermann also finds that consanguinity correlations are lower for the top 5% (i.e. the elites) than for the bottom 5%. This helps explain how a country might have smarter elites than its average IQ might suggest. See Chanda Chisala’s posts for more on this. I need to add this to my list of possible explanations there.

  64. @res

    res, what are your thoughts on this paper that shows that ASD doesn’t have biological or construct validity? It’s the latest review I could find, from 2016.

    https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs40489-016-0085-x.pdf

    Further,it seems that schizophrenia, as we know it, does not have an evolutionary history.

    My refutation of this natural kind view suggests that schizophrenia is in fact a reified umbrella concept, covering a heterogeneous group of disorders. Therefore, schizophrenia, as we now know it, simply doesn’t have an evolutionary history.

    http://sci-hub.tw/10.1007/s10539-006-9042-x

    • Replies: @res
  65. @Santoculto

    “Appeal to authority.”

    this is not an appeal to authority. learn to call out fallacies

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  66. res says:
    @RaceRealist88

    Looking at the ASD paper I see things like (from Table 1):

    Is there a consistent developmental course or life outcome for ASD?
    No. ASD is found with varied developmental courses and varied life outcomes.

    Which comes across as a strawman. How many disorders don’t have: “varied developmental courses and varied life outcomes”?

    A paper that takes that seriously as a reason for rejecting the validity of something does not seem serious to me.

    The schizophrenia paper strikes me as all too familiar poor reasoning and I don’t have the inclination to dig into it deeply right now.

  67. @RaceRealist88

    Teach me about it, you’re expert on toss fallacies all the time…

    Yes it is, implicitly, when you’re underrating someone because it get its diploma by ”second rate” university.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All James Thompson Comments via RSS