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Of course you’re bright, darling
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Although I did not entirely ignore the subject. I should have paid more attention to people’s estimates of their own intelligence. Self-estimates are error prone, and may have negative consequences in real life, as well as making discussions about intelligence remarkable error-prone.

Adrian Furnham did several papers on this topic, and Sophie Von Stumm made a particularly good contribution in 2013.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/so-you-think-youre-intelligent/

Von Stumm looked at self-estimated intelligence, asking people to rate themselves in general (Distal Self Estimated) and then regarding a particular mental task they had just completed (Proximal Self Estimated) and compared it with actual test results on that intelligence test.

Von Stumm said:

Two meta-analyses reported that IQ scores correlated at about .30 with SEI, suggesting that people have some insight into the rank-order of their IQ score compared with others. At the same time, however, people generally overestimate their IQ with SEI scores being typically 1 Standard Deviation (SD; i.e., 115) above people’s actual IQ test scores. The above-average-effect is thought to result from people’s need to maintain optimistic self-judgements to lead a productive, happy life in a sometimes uncaring world.

The above-average-effect tends to be greater for people of low ability, who may be either unable (i.e., lack of insight) or unwilling (i.e.,embarrassment) to acknowledge their mental deficits. For example, college students with exam scores in the 10th percentile estimated their scores to be in the 60th percentile. By comparison, students who scored in the 90th percentile also estimated their scores to be in the 90th percentile.

Men tend to report higher SEI than women–a phenomenon which is known as the ‘male hubris – female humility’ bias. Also, children rate their fathers as more intelligent than their mothers, and parents think their sons are more intelligent than their daughters with (112 IQ points compared to 105 IQ points. That said, gender differences in SEI distortions are largely independent of actual intelligence or personality differences between men and women but they seem to be related to gender stereotypes.

Here are the results in a graph:

The graph shows (green line) the average IQ of each quartile, based on intelligence testing. The other lines show for men (squares) and women (circles) their self estimated intelligence in general (distal) and their estimate of how well they did on the intelligence tests in particular. People in the lower intelligence quartile strongly over-estimate their abilities. People in the upper quartile somewhat under-estimate their abilities.

Dunning-Kruger rules, and the extent of the problem is clear to see.

Here is von Stumm’s discussion about the reasons behind the discrepancy:

Dunning et al. (2003) suggested that top performers’ underestimation has a different source than the overestimation of poor performers: top performers know how well they perform in absolute terms, such as their raw test scores, but they overestimate how well other people are doing on the same test (Fussell & Krauss, 1992). Conversely, poor performers overestimate their intelligence because they ‘lack the skills to produce correct answers, [and]they are also cursed with an inability to know when their answers,or anyone else’s,are right or wrong’ (Dunning et al., 2003, p. 85). Overall, people tend to have imperfect information about their own intelligence and even worse information about others’ intelligence (Moore & Healy, 2008).

These finding have wide relevance. Half the population over-estimate their intelligence because they can’t work out how badly they have done, and the other half under-estimate their intelligence because they over-estimate the other half’s abilities.

As a consequence, half the population will have a sneaking suspicion that intelligence tests are a cheat, the other half a conviction that intelligence is so widespread that testing not necessary. Overall, everyone will have the mistaken impression that they are pretty much alike in intelligence, so actual differences in mental power will be compressed and minimized in public estimation.

Now a new paper has come out about romantic couple’s estimates of their intelligence. This is interesting in itself, and the results also throw light on popular views about intelligence, and perhaps also why manny people belittle intelligence testing.

People tend to overestimate their romantic partner’s intelligence even more than their own.

Gilles E. Gignac, Marcin Zajenkowski. Intelligence 73 (2019) 41–51.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1r8F0iv8huMItwFnlG-4nVGpfpE2SPfZK

One feature stands out:

Dwelling on this a moment, one thing becomes clear: many people are immensely deluded. They think themselves two standard deviations brighter than they really are.

In fact, the scores on the Raven’s Matrices were corrected for two decades of Flynn Effect. Without the correction, the scores would still be 1.5 standard deviations too high. Lake Wobegon on steroids.

Back to the main point: people seem to be over-estimating their intelligence by 30 IQ points and their partner’s IQ by 38 points in the case of women doing the judgments, and 36 points in the case of men doing the judgments. People are deluded about their abilities, and deluded about their partners’ abilities. Delusion plus 7 points. This is dreadful, but also highly illuminating. No wonder so many people hate actual intelligence tests.

We have seen that the estimates of intelligence are wildly exaggerated. It is small comfort that they correlate at roughly r= 0.3 with actual intelligence, which suggests limited insight. However, people value intelligence in prospective romantic partners, but for that to have real-life consequences they have to be able to judge intelligence accurately. They seem able to do so only to a limited extent, in that couples correlate 0.3 – 0.4 for measured intelligence, perhaps based more on verbal abilities, which are easier to judge.

Subjects were 218 heterosexual Polish couples, average age 28, and having spent 6 years together, time enough surely to note intellectual abilities or the lack of them. They had been selected by trained pollsters. Couples rated their own and their partner’s intelligence on a 25 point scale. Everyone did the Advanced Progressive Matrices test, and the 1994 norms were used. I assume none of them separated when they were debriefed about the results. (Actually, I would be interested in hearing the estimates given by divorced couples after the decree absolute).

Women were no better than men at predicting their partner’s results. Intelligence differences did not relate to relationship satisfaction. Although intelligence rates second or third in the list of desirable partner characteristics, couples do not show evidence of active assortment by intelligence. Perhaps they are matching up by prettiness (which was not measured in this study, but which has an impact in real life).

Why are these estimated so wildly exaggerated? The usual over-estimation is about 8 points, but that figure comes from a small sample of undergraduates, so is probably unrepresentative. If we stick with these results, leaving aside possible problems with self-estimation measures, the effect may be due to narcissism, which leads to poor decisions and more accidents. The finding is consistent with the observation that a majority of people think that they are better than average at most things. (It would follow from this that the average person does not understand averages. However, depending on the distributions, they may be using the median, not the average). One reason the self-estimates were so high is that they were made before intelligence testing, which generally reduces self-estimates by 5 points, because delusions are somewhat deflated. However, realism wears off after a week or so.

This is a good paper, well conducted, and modestly written up, with a clear view of what could be added in further research. In my view the couples aspect is interesting because intelligence turns out not to be much of a selection criterion. However, that finding is put in the shade by the sheer magnitude of the high regard people have for their intellectual powers. No-one wants to be average, even when they are.

I don’t do policy, but it seems prudent not to take people at their own high self-regard, but to test them carefully before letting them get close to heavy equipment.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Intelligence, IQ, Love and Marriage 
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  1. dearieme says:

    How to impress your romantic partner with your intelligence.

    One evening I got home from work and was putting my bike in the garage when my wife hurried from the kitchen to tell me about the Challenger disaster. “Anything unusual about the circumstances?” I sherlocked. “There had been a hard frost overnight” she watsonned. “Ah well”, said I, “some component that should have been nice and yielding will have been made brittle, and will have failed accordingly. Rubber, or a silicone rubber, or some other polymer, probably, though even steel can become brittle if you haven’t prepared it for the circs.”

    And, lo, the months went by and eventually a fellow appeared on the telly to explain the problem with the O-rings, and the papers all said what a genius he was. And my beloved was kind enough to remark that I had analysed the problem in seconds, and wasn’t I clever?

    Was I so brutish as to explain that intelligence wasn’t enough, but that familiarity with the phenomenon was necessary too? Certainly not.

  2. res says:

    Dwelling on this a moment, one thing becomes clear: many people are immensely deluded. They think themselves two standard deviations brighter than they really are.

    That is stunning. Isn’t that a much larger discrepancy than Sophie Von Stumm found? Any idea what might be going on there?

    The Figure 3 histograms of partner differences are interesting, but it seems to me those would be better (more informative, but also much more complex, so really a tradeoff) expressed as scatterplots. For example, that would let us see if there are systematic differences in assortative mating at the extremes.

    BTW, speaking of her 2013 paper. The quartiles plot (Figure 2 in your post) is useful for conveying a quick understanding, but is there any chance of seeing a scatterplot matrix of the different variables (along with regression lines)? It would be interesting to get a better sense of the finer grained behavior (e.g. how linear is the Dunning-Kruger effect) as well as seeing what kind of outliers are present.

    A presentation I would like to see is two scatterplots for uncorrected proximal and distal SEI vs. IQ with sex indicated with different symbols and sex-specific regression lines and confidence intervals.

  3. BCB232 says:

    Most people think of linear scales. “A 130 IQ is 30% higher than average” or something like this. This may be why they overestimate.

  4. Polynices says:

    Interesting results. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Weird for me to read about it because I was given a full IQ test at age 4 and again at age 14 (pure coincidence, the testing circumstances weren’t related) so I’ve never not known how my intelligence quantifies. Plus, when I met my wife in college one of the things we happened to learn about each other was our SAT scores so I’ve also always had a rough idea of how we compare on that.

    I guess not everyone takes the SAT and/or not everyone takes it seriously as a reasonable evaluation of intelligence?

  5. @dearieme

    Now – what would you think: Did your wife care more about your explanation or more about the fact that it was your explanation?

    Being in a partnership means to share a perspective – and for many people, to share the most important perspective. How could this not result in overestimating your partner. One has to be generous with those coupled ones. Our shared experience trumps the objective (=naked = unembedded) truth. It’s not that easy to live a married life – and it’s nice, that it comes with some rewards, isn’t it?

    • Replies: @dearieme
  6. @BCB232

    The explained what the points meant in terms of the average person.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  7. dearieme says:
    @Dieter Kief

    “One has to be generous”: spot on. A life together of beady-eyed, ruthlessly objective assessments would be unbearable.

  8. Also, children rate their fathers as more intelligent than their mothers, and parents think their sons are more intelligent than their daughters with (112 IQ points compared to 105 IQ points.

    There is something in the order of a 5 IQ gap between men and women; there is, or there was, when the test items bringing into light the gap had not been removed yet.
    Moreover, IQ is far from measuring all of what a mind can do, hence it is far from conveying the entirety of the gap between different groups (different genders, or other).

  9. @dearieme

    It was as early as Twain’s time that it was said: No-one could live without somebody always telling the truth, and luckily nobody has to.

    Luckily, it stays true also when looked at from the other side: no-one who lacks self-deception and the will to deceive alike has to live with another person.

  10. @dearieme

    A life together of beady-eyed, ruthlessly objective assessments would be unbearable.

    And it might at times turn out to be dysfunctional.

    Everyday life dwells a lot on making and keeping things nice and easy. I think that’s something that might add up to a paradoxical outcome: That growing dumber (= less rational in an individually fitting manner) and therefore in a useful way together might be very effective. This might even lead to a point, where it is at times quite rewarding to be dumb (German saying: Luck is with the idiot).

    The experience from all this might then go along quite well with the mutual overestimation of IQ in couples. Because the commonly approved complexity reduction in its end result might at times allow for more charms and laughter and relaxation – and fewer worries (about the dollar not spent perfectly well, for example). Being/ acting rational all the time in a reproducible and universally valid way might just not be what is useful – and humane – in everyday life (now I think of Goethe’s precious simplemindedness – and of Lau Tzu.

    Whether or not I’m bright in the eyes of my partner is indeed something highly subjective and therefore at its humane core no subject for rational measurement (Adorno: Love = the allowance to be weak).

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  11. Whosoever wishes to stay in a couple needs to be that deluded, and/or that delusive, about anything concerning in any way the ego of the other.
    It’s easy to envision what a hurdle it would be for the mind and the conscience, to be that delusive without being self-deluded.
    If one relies on evolution to explain the dynamics of life, one draws the conclusion that the self-delusion is there because it enables the necessary deluding.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  12. AaronB says:

    In a highly competitive and often brutal world, people probably have a pretty good idea on how mentally capable they are compared to others.

    Evolution would certainly have selected against people who wildly overestimate their abilities or who cannot compare their competitiveness with others fairly accurately. Such people would meet a swift and ignominious end, and their faulty genes would not be passed on, leading to a survivor population with fairly accurate self assessment capabilities.

    Self assessment is surely a highly important survival trait as we match wits against others and our environment in a brutal world, and would have been highly selected for.

    Clearly, then, people are highly aware that they far more mentally competitive against others than their IQ scores suggest – demonstrating on yet one more level the inutility of IQ tests in assessing real world ability rather than self-referential academic skills that don’t translate to real world accomplishment.

    Another nail in the IQ coffin – ironically provided by IQ true believers themselves, who as usual misunderstand their own findings.

  13. Goatweed says:

    A friend’s brother is so much brighter than I am that my perception is that we aren’t of the same species.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  14. renfro says:

    I have observed through out my life two kinds of people…..some are people who believe other people, like those with power or some position are smarter than they are….then there are other people who believe they are smarter than anyone else.

    I wonder what IQ has to do with that.

    • Replies: @Vojkan
    , @PhysicistDave
  15. I’m fairly certain that a follow up study would show that the estimated IQ of ex-partners is much lower. Accuracy is probably at maximum right around the time you realize that their little flaws aren’t really that cute after all.

    • Replies: @atlantis_dweller
  16. Bruno says:

    « people generally overestimate their IQ with SEI scores being typically 1 Standard Deviation (SD; i.e., 115) above people’s actual IQ test scores »

    And

    « people seem to be over-estimating their intelligence by 30 IQ points and their partner’s IQ by 38 points in the case of women doing the judgments, and 36 points in the case of men doing the judgments. »

    —-> test score guessing versus intelligence estimates ? Lots of data seems incoherent (Parents would give their girl only 5 IQ points above their score while giving themselves 30 and 36/38 points … Seems impossible).

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  17. Anonymous[403] • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme

    ‘One has to be generous”: spot on. A life together of beady-eyed, ruthlessly objective assessments would be unbearable.’

    I recently realised I am autistic (genuinely autistic not snowflake autistic) and apparently this is a major problem that partners of autistics face- it apparently becomes unbearable. Read testimonies from the wives of (what used to be) aspergers sufferers it is horrendous.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  18. @atlantis_dweller

    Love is the end result of a life well spent, love and work. And love means or implies here, to be not perfect and work, to be (or behave) not necessarily optimal (=perfectly rational) all the time.

    (At the heart of the monks order (ora et labora (=pray and work) ) and Freud (!) (not being/acting neurotic is shown by – one’s ability to love and work is – in the light of the Christian New Testament’s believe, love and hope a the big threesome and love thy neighbour like yourselfetc. not too much difference.

    (btw. – from a standpoint of rational action in everyday contexts – in Max Weber’s Protestant Ethics the very core of capitalist rationality – in a strict sense, – it is dumb to the nth degree to write on a blog like this).

  19. Anonymous[403] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    ‘Evolution would certainly have selected against people who wildly overestimate their abilities or who cannot compare their competitiveness with others fairly accurately’

    Explain dunning kruger

  20. Anonymous[188] • Disclaimer says:

    These finding have wide relevance. Half the population over-estimate their intelligence because they can’t work out how badly they have done, and the other half under-estimate their intelligence because they over-estimate the other half’s abilities.

    Welcome to Sweden. Native whites believe that the invaders will stop free-range raping their women/children if given a hug and the browns are taking what’s ‘rightfully theirs’. The (((Tribe))) is bypassing the usual pro-IQ selection of white females (*) with indoctrination and pouring fiat money, migration, chain-immigration, narratives & opportunities into browns vs whites.

    * Western women, given a chance, are used to favouring a high-IQ mate. A winner used to be a powerful, smart, successful, confident, humorous and optimistic person (all IQ-related). That’s no longer the case.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  21. ‘…The finding is consistent with the observation that a majority of people think that they are better than average at most things…’

    It may not be completely irrelevant to speculate that people avoid doing things they’re no good at. It’s possible, therefore, that they really are better than average at most of the things they in fact do.

    • Replies: @res
  22. My wife tells me how smart I am, and I note how smart she really is.

  23. @AaronB

    ‘In a highly competitive and often brutal world, people probably have a pretty good idea on how mentally capable they are compared to others…’

    You seem to be assuming that intelligence is the only trait determining survival — and surviving to reproduce.

    That’s obviously not the case. I doubt if it ever has been.

    There’s also a decided irony in that you wind up attempting to effectively dismiss the very concept of measurable intelligence — after having just assumed that measurable intelligen would be the only trait of any value.

    • Replies: @SidVic
  24. Sean says:

    The high self-regard of a low IQ person is demostrated by them saying they have a high IQ. High self-regard of high IQ person is proved by them saying they would fail an IQ test. Discussing your own IQ is an IQ test in itself.

    • Replies: @atlantis_dweller
  25. ‘…I don’t do policy, but it seems prudent not to take people at their own high self-regard, but to test them carefully before letting them get close to heavy equipment.’

    Well, what people tell themselves — and tell others — may not be what they actually believe.

    I would guess that most men tell themselves that they could handle themselves reasonably well in a physical fight. At the same time, most men observably avoid testing that hypothesis.

  26. @Dieter Kief

    ‘A life together of beady-eyed, ruthlessly objective assessments would be unbearable.

    And it might at times turn out to be dysfunctional…’

    That reminds me of a related observation that falls outside of the strictly interpersonal.

    I’ve long noticed that when it comes to auto mechanics, plumbers, doctors, etc, people tend to decide Joe is just wonderful. He can do no wrong, he’s supremely competent, his charges are invariably fair, etc.

    Then at some point the scales fall from their eyes. He becomes incompetence and dishonesty incarnate.

    Actually, neither assessment was ever completely accurate. Joe was the same guy all along. We just found it easier to unconditionally trust him in all respects, then, when that was no longer tenable, to go to the opposite extreme.

    The couple phenomenon might just be a special case of ‘my country right or wrong.’ We tend to takeup positions of unconditional — and uncritical — loyalty or hostility to just about everything. I’d guess it’s human nature. It seems to be very difficult to actually maintain a mixed opinion about someone or something. Instead we fall into — and out of — love.

  27. Biff says:
    @AaronB

    Another nail in the IQ coffin – ironically provided by IQ true believers themselves, who as usual misunderstand their own findings.

    Spoken like a self-absorbed know-it-all. Turns out psychopaths think very highly of themselves, and believe they are much smarter than others.
    Who knew James Thompson could pen up an article and the focal point of his topic would turn up in the comments section?

  28. the most interesting results here were:

    1) polish capability on this test is about 95, corroborating decades of other test data.
    2) even on the ultra rigged raven’s matrices, men still perform about 1.5 points better than women.

    once you dig deep into intelligence testing, you are forced to realize men are just clearly smarter than women, in a technical, specific sense of the term. men and women don’t have the same gauss approximation of population capability. the less rigged the test is, the bigger this difference gets.

    real life is not rigged at all in women’s favor, and life outcomes show it. this is probably where the disconnect occurs between women appearing to TEST about the same as men, but then after going out into the real world, they’re nowhere close in performance. real life is not a pencil and paper test rigged for equalization. it is further confounded by women being estrogen based humans, and men being testosterone based humans. at all equal intelligence levels, men are more effective decision makers, women are better empathisers. due to hormones which have little to due with background g.

    one of steve sailer’s old phrases, that there are many men smarter than average women, and also many men dumber than average women, is probably not correct. there’s probably a lot of women less intelligent than almost all the men. even using dr thompson’s numbers, with men’s mean of 102 and SD of 15, versus women’s mean of 98 and SD 14, likely understates things slightly. those numbers are based on wechsler tests which are also rigged, although rigged less, so men are only 3 to 4 points more capable. similar differences show up on the SAT, both the old one and the new one.

    • Replies: @Anon
  29. germane to the topic, men don’t care about women’s intelligence, broadly speaking. it probably has less to do with inaccurate ability to evaluate this, than it does to do with, they don’t care much about evaluating this. for most men most of the the time, the woman’s reserve of brainpower is usually as important as her reserve of money – not that relevant.

    if it was important to evaluate women’s intelligence, men would be better at it. it’s not, so they haven’t developed a great sense of this, other than, women are usually less smart. it IS important to make women laugh, hence, men are funny. although they vary in humor across a spectrum, it’s something they have, and women don’t. it IS important to be able to throw objects at targets with force and accuracy, and it’s something men have, and again women don’t. these things are on purpose.

    likewise, most women seem to have an innate fashion sense, very likely built into them from thousands of years of having to look good to men. it’s not that hard to evaluate how much money or prestige a man has, so women are good enough at evaluating the thing that matters the most to them – the guy’s resources. how intelligent the man is, is less important to evaluate with precision. an ordinal ranking is sufficient. smarter than steve, but not as smart as john – good enough. 117, but not 129 – way too precise.

    TL/DNR – historically speaking it was not that important for men or women to be able to evaluate the other person’s intelligence to any great precision, social order gave enough information, so they don’t have this ability.

  30. RobRich says: • Website

    This isn’t delusion. It’s quite logical, just not thought through. I repeat my comment from last time: the low IQ will compare themselves to the lesser IQ with whom they live and decide correctly that they’re comparatively pretty smart, as anyone able to complete an IQ test will be smarter than some significant fraction of the population.

    The higher IQ tend NOT to live with the lower IQ but the higher IQ with many likely smarter than they are, so will conclude in most cases they’re comparatively less smart and folks are generally smart–or if not, deluded (like the silly researchers here) if they act against ‘rational’ expectations.

    We see this in goofy far-left pro-socialist economic tropes. How shocking the bottom 40% have little and the top 1% are wealthy! The bottom 40% of IQ have trouble tying their shoes and thinking a few days ahead. The top 1% do calculus and linear algebra in their heads and plan over decades. It’ s like comparing kids to adults and demanding they be equal because you expect so.

  31. @Sean

    What low-IQ people demonstrate by saying (to themselves, even) they have a high-IQ is their low self-esteem.
    I concur with your point on high-IQ people.

    Basically, whenever somebody makes an exertion to believe or say they believe something, it’s because they in truth believe the opposite (consciously, or not).

  32. Anon[412] • Disclaimer says:
    @prime noticer

    real life is not rigged at all in women’s favor

    Have you looked carefully into that?…
    It goes against your own, reality-respecful though still understated, comments about the gap in cognitive faculties.
    If you want to know what group has had it harder, look at who has developed more. This is a universal rule, applying to sex, race, individuals, and whatever group-difference and difference type is assessed.

    gaussian curves for males and females in every measurement

    • Replies: @prime noticer
  33. @atlantis_dweller

    Women are blithering idiots, devoid of any ability to think logically and are obstinate and argumentative and have to be constantly told what they want to hear or else they’ll pout. Also, their conversation is moronic at best and that is why we “never listen to them.” Lastly, if they’re not killed before then, they only arrive at adulthood about the age of sixty. Having said that, thank you Lord for putting women in this world.

  34. @dearieme

    “Once you have accepted the impossibility of the sexes ever living in harmony, whatever relations remain, however unpalatable, must be your bio.”
    ~ Unsurelock Holmes, “I’m OK, You’re . . . Meh”

    • LOL: ThreeCranes
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  35. Anonymous[388] • Disclaimer says:

    Not to sound like Taleb, but if you’re in the social and behavioral sciences you might be on the left side of the bell curve.

  36. I’m unclear on what insight this lends. Of course people overestimate their worth. So what? The entire first 18-25 years of our lives are spent assigning iq and ability in this society.

  37. dearieme says:

    “it IS important to be able to throw objects at targets with force and accuracy”. Maybe. I used to play cricket which left me in no doubt that I didn’t have a ‘good arm’. That is, I couldn’t throw the ball a long way with force and accuracy. But I did have fast reflexes and was very good at catching the ball with either hand. (You catch with your bare hands in cricket.)

    Maybe I descend from a hunter-gatherer who dived around plucking birds from the air rather than merely throwing sticks at them?

  38. @dearieme

    Richard Feyman tells a story about how, when he was Los Alamos, he was dispatched to Oak Ridge to help them out with the construction of a chemical plant to process uranium.

    Oak Ridge didn’t exactly know what they were supposed to build, so some brass decided that Los Alamos would be allowed to dispatch a boffin and instruct Oak Ridge on the arcane matters of nuclear physics.

    And here’s Richard Feynman, twenty-three or thereabouts, assembled with the top engineers from Oak Ridge, when someone shows him a stack of blueprints of the plant and asks him what he thinks.

    Feynman has never seen a blueprint in his life before, and after he has stood pondering the mysterious diagram for some time, it occurs to him that now it’s too late to admit he has no idea what he’s looking at. So, playing for time and to get a handle on the blueprints, he notices a square with an x through, a symbol that looks like it might well mark a valve. To test his theory, he points to one of the squares and asks “What does this valve do”?

    The Oak Ridge-people stare at the blueprint for a moment, and then go into a huddle. After much debate and gesturing at the blueprint, the chief engineer looks at Feynman with naked awe in his eyes: “You’re absolutely correct, Mr. Feynman! That valve is turning the wrong way.”

  39. … one thing becomes clear: many people are immensely deluded. They think themselves two standard deviations brighter than they really are.

    Even an extremely moronic and ignernt dumb sheete such as moi has long observed that they’re (we’re) immensely deluded about many things. For example they believe themselves much more attractive by any measure than they really are, much more knowledgeable than they ever could be, and they think themselves so special that all they have to do is trust some politician to care about their precious little selves and their preferences.

    Clearly, many of us are immensely and permanently deluded, puerile, and narcissistic. So, what’s new in Podunk?

    PS: Thanks for the “ammo,” Dr Thompson!

  40. @joeshittheragman

    ‘Women are blithering idiots, devoid of any ability to think logically and are obstinate and argumentative and have to be constantly told what they want to hear or else they’ll pout. Also, their conversation is moronic at best and that is why we “never listen to them.” Lastly, if they’re not killed before then, they only arrive at adulthood about the age of sixty. Having said that, thank you Lord for putting women in this world.’

    Do you offer this in a version suitable for framing?

  41. Heh, heh, heh…

    All one has to do is live long enough, and not very long, either, to discover and understand this concept.:

    The above-average-effect tends to be greater for people of low ability, who may be either unable (i.e., lack of insight) or unwilling (i.e.,embarrassment) to acknowledge their mental deficits. For example, college students with exam scores in the 10th percentile estimated their scores to be in the 60th percentile. By comparison, students who scored in the 90th percentile also estimated their scores to be in the 90th percentile.

  42. I think we’re all familiar with total morons who insist they’re smart. Their identities run the gamut – from the bumptious jock type or hunky black dude who thinks he has some intellectual “higher power” because horny chicks pretend to listen to him and his latent homosexual beta-buddies see him as a “leader”, through the obvious dullard who imagines he has brains just because he belongs to a minority famous for its above-averageness, IQ-wise (e.g., Jews), and various other types, most of them obnoxious and often bully-boys of one sort of another. Trump, for example.

    • Replies: @Threestars
  43. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Back to the main point: people seem to be over-estimating their intelligence by 30 IQ points.

    Even psychologists do that. Jordan Peterson, who failed the Canadian LSAT (minimum required IQ estimated at 120) having laid claim to an IQ in excess of 150.

    • Replies: @m___
  44. There are different types of intelligence. Example:

    When I was in college and struggling with calculus, I got approval from a math-whiz buddy to sit behind him during a final exam, so I could discreetly look at his work if necessary.

    The first two problems caused me to panic. Worth ten points apiece, they each presented a formula with the challenge of calculating its integral, and they were tough as hell. I had no choice but to skip over them and complete the rest of the exam, which was, fortunately, surprisingly straightforward and easy.

    Then it was back to the two integrals. I looked up and saw that my friend was struggling with them, too. Erasing like mad, he had nothing. Then, I had a flash of insight — the reverse process of an integral was a derivative!… and calculating a derivative was much easier than calculating an integral.

    So, I took educated guesses at the correct answers, refined them via trial-and-error multiple times, and when I arrived at the formulas of the two questions I was absolutely certain that I’d reached the correct answers. I scribbled in some goofy “work” to suggest that I’d obtained the answers in the proper manner, figuring I’d get half-credit.

    I felt bad about not being able to help my pal, but that feeling vaporized during our post-exam discussion when he made light of my brilliant insight. Later, he got nothing for the first two questions and a 78 on the exam. I got full credit on those questions and a 94, and we both ended up with a B for the course, which was amusing since he was by far the better calculus student and smarter than I was overall.

    But not when it came to problem solving.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    , @Colin Wright
  45. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    People are deluded about their abilities, and deluded about their partners’ abilities.

    Is that really so, or are they just BS-ing. After all, it pays to do good PR for oneself.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  46. Do you offer this in a version suitable for framing?

    Unsolicited advice.: Don’t get it framed until this,” they only arrive at adulthood about the age of sixty” gets modified, especially if they’re Americans or Israelis, and the concept applies to men as well. It appears that neither population matures well if at all, and further, maturation seems to correlate negatively with material prosperity.

    tRump, for instance.

  47. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Clearly what Dr. Thompson (IQ unknown) is advocating is for everyone to have their IQ tattooed on their forehead. This will make organization of the Fascist New World Order so much easier. People will then realize that those placed in authority above them have wiser heads than their own and that all the fuss about democracy was just a delusion based on the foolish idea that ordinary people knew what they wanted and how they might reasonably get it.

  48. res says:
    @Colin Wright

    It may not be completely irrelevant to speculate that people avoid doing things they’re no good at. It’s possible, therefore, that they really are better than average at most of the things they in fact do.

    That’s a good point. But I’m not sure your second sentence holds up to closer inspection. In any group 50% of people are (strictly speaking) below average. That said, there are other effects in play.

    – People tend to overestimate their place within groups (IMHO). And apply favorable categorization (e.g. 40% is average, but 60% is well above average).
    – People tend to seek favorable comparisons (a great example here is the way Okechukwu always compares African countries to the worst performers around the world).
    – The poorer performers within a group (in my experience) tend to compare their performance to the rest of the world instead (e.g. the worst student in a dojo might be pretty awesome out in the world).

    Put another way (and perhaps this is what you meant) I think your sentiment holds. Compared to the general population (e.g. an average bowler is likely to be far above average at bowling compared to the general population) most people rank higher across the things they do than they do for a broader ability comparison.

    There is an interesting question here regarding potential vs. realized ability. Especially for something like bowling with a large practice effect.

  49. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Clearly what Dr. Thompson (IQ unknown)

    He has been open about what estimates are elsewhere in this blog. As you no doubt know, psychologists usually undergo their own methods during education. And no, I am not doing anyone else’s legwork on this one.

    I’d be really interested in any examples of people actually espousing your strawman fantasy. I for one am interested in having reasonable competence in positions which require it. And whether that is judged by IQ tests or plumbing tests (etc.) I think having metrics is useful–even if they are only approximations of ability. But anyone who thinks it is as simple as rank ordering people by IQ (or any other single number metric) is a fool.

    P.S. Reading “Slide Rule” now. Thanks for the pointer.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  50. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    And if everyone’s not delusional about their IQ, but BSing, with morons of IQ 70 boasting an IQ of 100, then I, with an IQ of 100, would be a moron not to boast an IQ of 130.

  51. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    Fantasy? Not sure what you’re referring to. But if it’s the IQ-ordered New World Order that I mentioned, then it’s not my fantasy but that of Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World.

    • Replies: @res
  52. @dearieme

    >“Anything unusual about the circumstances?” I sherlocked. “There had been a hard frost overnight”

    Don’t pat yourself on the back. Since that was the only piece of information you had to work with there weren’t many other assumptions you could have made. Hell, even I thought you were going to say something about rubber freezing over after the wife made the mention, (and I assume many other people reading that did). I don’t really think you can even name “specific knowledge” as a real limiting factor for making the same guess, since everyone and their cat knows that rubber doesn’t do well after exposure to low temperatures.

    • Replies: @res
  53. @Angry WASP

    lol Someone’s been stuck in too many lockers.

    • Replies: @Angry WASP
  54. @dearieme

    Experience, i.e., environment, not “intelligence” whatever that is.

  55. This article is just another dumb person calling other people dumb.

    • Replies: @res
  56. @CheatlessWonder

    So a low IQ is smarter than a high IQ.

    Now that’s what I call enlightening.

  57. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    then it’s not my fantasy but that of Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World.

    Your version (rank ordering by IQ) is even more extreme. Huxley primarily divided people into castes. And IIRC that was based on both IQ and work.

  58. res says:
    @Threestars

    Things like that are obvious once you know the answer. And a big part of intelligence is knowing the right questions to ask (here, what was different, and his wife gets credit for answering with the salient fact). I think dearieme deserves a pat on the back for making that observation. Especially right off the cuff.

    That’s the kind of thing smart people do. And less smart people scorn.

  59. I’ll tell what stupid is. I say that Aborigines are so smart they know how to live out in the desert where white people would die in short order. And some Rocket Scientist on here replies, “No, white people prefer to drive through the desert in climate-controlled comfort.” Yeah. In cars they did not invent. Did not build. And do not know how they work. In other words, stupid, retarded, incompetent, clueless white people can only drive through deserts in cars other people invented built and understand, because they are stupid, retarded, clueless, and incompetent.

    That reply was the perfect epitome of a stupid person thinking he’s smart. So I guess this article has some merit. Showing how stupid most of the troglodytes on here are.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Anonymous
    , @By-tor
  60. res says:
    @obwandiyag

    Any resemblance of that statement to obwandiyag’s comments is strictly a coincidence.

  61. @Bard of Bumperstickers

    “If we could survive without a wife, citizens of Rome, all of us would do without that nuisance; but since nature has so decreed that we cannot manage comfortably with them, nor live in any way without them,we must plan for our lasting preservation rather than for our temporary pleasure.”

    (Speech of the censor Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus about the law requiring men to marry in order to produce children, 131 BC. It was quoted by Augustus when he introduced similar laws.)

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  62. m___ says:

    On the header illustration toppling the title and text.

    Better watch out Mr. Thompson, the feel-good illustration is growing to The Intercept size. It might topple and dwarf whatever you might have to say soon. We would not want you to get trapped in the rubble.

  63. Anon[331] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t see how an individual’s place on a bell curve would be estimable by them unless they would be familiar with both statistical (how IQ data is plotted and skews) and test standardization concepts (and therefore what IQ actually refers to).

    It roughly would be akin to asking someone to estimate the temperature without having some anchor in what Fahrenheit or Celsius measurements roughly correlate to in terms of “hot” and “cold”. They would know what hot and cold and smart and not-smart roughly looked and felt like relative to their other experiences, but no way to give a quantity measurement for them.

    Many people are good at estimating their relative intelligence (smarter than, dumber than), but I offer that skill generally only holds when measuring against people who are actually less smart.

    I would offer that it is difficult for humans to empathize with what higher intelligence looks like past a certain point (maybe past their standard deviation?). When they can identify it in daily life it likely just looks “smart” without any further anchor to an IQ that they do not experience or surpass themselves. It is likely that we have difficulty with higher intelligence in the manner that cats cannot empathize and truly identify our intelligence or that the broader human race might have issues doing the same with telepathic, time traveling aliens. Of course, that hyperbole holds more and less true as the IQ gap widens and closes.

    Lower intelligence more or less is immediately clear when people have issues solving for new models and problems that the observer does not.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  64. If the guy in the picture above continues to meet that lithesome co-ed in the library, I’ll wager his grade point average will go up one point. If they take their act elsewhere, all bets are off.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  65. Anonymous[187] • Disclaimer says:

    Interesting. Only a little surprising, i.e. the magnitude, but not very convincing sample populations I think.

    Have I, I wondered,anything to contribute beyond a little narcissistic musing? Perhaps I have because I have had an adult life long interest in IQ, from reading Eysenck but also learning at the age of 17 what mine and that of my school contemporaries had been measured at – in my case last at the age of 10. (It was 146, perhaps Stanford Binet and I recalled that I had cheated in the sense that I remembered doing a similar test a year or so before and therefore knew I didn’t need to read the whole text into which multiple choices in brackets were intermittently posed.

    Later I was favourably impressed to learn that the 17 year old, as she was when my being an undergraduate with a car attracted her at one dimly lit party in North xxxx, had her IQ tested twice at approx. 175 as her teacher mother who ran a small private school told me when she said “the only one I couldn’t teach to spell was X so I had her tested”. She is still dyslexic when tired but amazingly accurate on the Greek-Latin botanical names she writes much about. She is my wife and the co-grandparent of young ladies now at Cambridge and Columbia, with more academic achievement achieved and to come.

    She is an amusing writer and very good no notes speaker on her several subjects. She could have been an outstanding court advocate if her health and energy were up to it. While it has occurred to me that her 175 might be Cattell and therefore approx 3 sds it is interesting for me to see how differently her brain works and how much better on some things. I am sure her mathematical IQ was very high but she is not determinedly, persistently, if not pedantically numerate like me, nor as pedantic as I in remembering precise words used and sense conveyed. Yet what she would get out of a play when we both went to the theatre would enthral me. She is very quick with her hands and an extremely good efficient cook and her visual taste and powers of observation of e.g furniture and paintings are exceptional and decidedly unclichéd. I choose not to compete, would you believe. She can also be quite adamant that she has told me certain things when I, in my comparatively pedantic way, and with a good and unemotional memory, am sure she has not.

    So I am you see quite unlike the deluded estimators of their own and their spouses IQs. (Sadly my one child whose brain worked at the same speed as mine and my wife’s and who seemed quite a throwback to her brilliant but alcoholic father – though only in style of intellect not the alcohol or unreliability – died of a rare cancer at university). The one of the others who lagged longest in extended adolescence eventually got first class honours and topped his faculty before taking an age to earn a PhD with plenty of maths in it. Another gave up the prospect of a first to grab a prized job, which was a good decision, and the other, a world class chick magnet and outstanding sportsman dropped out of his graduate studies and has improvised pretty successfully in a bipolar sort of way ever since. (Bank of Dad helps them all. How to to make the grandchildren recognise that the need for heads down hard work has risen exponentially with the passing generations exercises me a bit. I am, after all, conscious that I am antedeluvian inasmuch as my quite famous headmaster was able to assure me at the age of 15 of a place at Oxbridge by his being able to say to my father’s old college “he’s a clever boy: you should take him”. At least I got a decent degree unlike a couple of 17 or 18 year olds he got over the line and who got Thirds!).

    I trust that even CanSpeccy can see that I am conscious of, as well as interested in the limitations of IQ scores. I have always behaved like someone who needs 36 hours in a day to follow up all the things sparking in my brain so haven’t been very well organised or a good time manager while fortunately having enough justified confidence in my clear thinking – aided by having my first employment working for the most observant, logical and efficient thinker I have ever known (who, fwiw, I remember scoffing at IQ tests which was perhaps appropriate for one who had proceeded from good but not stellar academic results to stratospheric heights of professional and reputational standing). More than those with IQs of 200 I envy those who can get by healthily and efficiently on 5.5 hours sleep a night.

    It would be interesting to list those activities for which extra IQ points are still useful as the decades pass and one, normally, becomes expert in just a few matters. But the observation I proffer is that my comparative IQ advantage has been in giving me the mental horsepower, and the confidence, to question expert advice and some entrepreneurial salesmen. It’s good for tax law too! It applies to seeing the problem in proposed legislation (cp. bring the first with the Latin translation), and it applies to being the only one out of hundreds who picked a simple mathematical error in the slide presentation of a salesman for an algorithmic trading system. However CanSpeccy won’t be surprised to know that my wife could well say at this point “well, you should be able to learn to cook”. I enjoy, but I try to be realistic about, the fact that, without ever proving myself a mathematician’s mathematician in the realm of Gauss, Riemann, Hilbert, Wiles etc. I could characteristically beat people like Oxbridge professors of Economics and NASA scientists at getting the answers to mathematical and logical puzzles quickly. Possibly I exaggerate a short burst in my 60s which was prompted by a school contemporary who had become a distinguished STEM professor decided to shut me up for a while (after I had drunk a bottle of wine) round a camp fire by posing one of those “what age was the vicar” type puzzles to me. I took 45 minutes but didn’t find anyone drunk or sober who beat that, even if they didn’t give up.

    That leads to the question of what differences are generally noticed. My old friend obviously remembered me as the boy who had been promoted into his class where he had been the youngest by some months but where I was a full 16 months under the average age of the class and ten months younger than him. He noticed how quick I was. I am not sure whether I ever properly appreciated the delightful brain of my gently witty and teasing friend, nine months younger than me who was, over 9 years mostly in the year behind but sometimes in the same class. I noted that his IQ had been measured at 183 and at 137 with a sage comment from a master that “it was probably somewhere in between”! While I prepared to play football quite well he won state wide science prizes for research during the holidays, and he wrote poetry. He became an Oxbridge physics don before becoming a leading QC, not surprisingly the leader in IP. Our relationship, and that with the other friend I have mentioned, suggests that at somewhere about the 2.5 to 3 SD level there are too few people with higher IQs for differences to matter. I have also noted in the past that there could be an interface problem supervening. How fast can you listen or talk after all? But there is a problem of differences between say a 120 IQ – good solid female politician with a Master of Arts degree, a minister no less, I am thinking of, who clearly couldn’t assess the relative intellectual horse power of those 20 or so points higher in IQ. By contrast a couple of smart lawyers would acknowledge that I was ahead of them on relevant problems. They would both have had 130+ IQs. These observations may fit in with something I read many years ago about communication breaking down in the army between officers and ORs where the IQ difference was greater than 25.

    Enough, more than enough. BTW feel free to ask Ron to doxx me to you if you haven’t already worked out who I am.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @j2
    , @m___
  66. Anon[221] • Disclaimer says:
    @obwandiyag

    I say that Aborigines are so smart they know how to live out in the desert

    So do camels.

    where white people would die in short order.

    Nope. We invented air conditioning and we know how to transport it.

    Yeah. In cars they did not invent. Did not build.

    White people both invented cars and build the best cars in the world.

    In other words, stupid, retarded, incompetent, clueless white people can only drive through deserts in cars other people invented built and understand, because they are stupid, retarded, clueless, and incompetent.

    I know low IQ niggers generally to be angry and spiteful people.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @obwandiyag
  67. @YetAnotherAnon

    Now that’s interesting.

    An for those who can’t survive without a wife, smart or not, here’s some more advice from a while back.

    Xenophon, Oeconomicus, How to train a wife, Chap 7, Athens, 4th cent. B.C. Translated by H. G. Dakyns

  68. @ThreeCranes

    Yeah, well, he’s entitled to think he’s smart in any case!

  69. j2 says:

    How were these people asked to state their estimate of their IQ, that is, were they asked to say if they are better than certain percentage of the local population, like 2%, or were they asked to give a number, like 130? I would imagine that most people have no idea what percentages some IQ value corresponds to and find it also hard to believe that people would not have some rather correct idea how smart they are compared with the others.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  70. @joeshittheragman

    Henry Higgins said it better:

    Women are irrational, that’s all there is to that! There heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags! They’re nothing but exasperating, irritating, vacillating, calculating, agitating, maddening, infuriating hags!

    Followed by:

    Damn! Damn! Damn! Damn! I’ve grown accustomed to her face…

  71. @Anonymous

    One of the great insights (well, the only great one I know of) of Greg Lakoff is, that is is no good idea to try to understand – language especially (but, I add: Life as well) – while looking at it from the extremes.
    And I think, that is what you just did.

    Btw. I happen to know some autistic people. One of them is just not capable to live in an intimate partnership. I told him so – and he was relieved – not least because he had been misdiagnosed before in quite severe ways.w
    Convention makes people believe it is good to follow them – which is right, but not all the time. It is very important in order to understand conventions properly, to think of the exceptions as well. To live well reminds me rather of an art form than of a nomological enterprise. Erich Fromm pointed that out quite often.

  72. @Anonymous

    BTW feel free to ask Ron to doxx me to you if you haven’t already worked out who I am.

    Lets me wonder who this Ron is, you mention?
    (Maybe the one who should add a smile button to this – otherwise just brilliant – comment software? Yep – smile would do.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  73. iffen says:
    @AaronB

    Evolution would certainly have selected against people who wildly overestimate their abilities or who cannot compare their competitiveness with others fairly accurately</i

    Bleeding hearts trump unrestrained evolution and have for a few millennia..

  74. @Threestars

    Not at all. Never happened. I only speak the truth. Besides I’m six foot one, wear a size 44 long, and do 1500 bicep curls a week with a pair of 40 pound free weights. I could probably beat you up. I just have never liked goons – of which you may be one.

  75. @Anon

    that chart is wrong, as i’ve posted about many times. men and women DO NOT have the same mean. i don’t suspect, i don’t posit, i don’t suggest. i flat out state, that chart is totally incorrect, period.

    that chart is an incorrect as posting a similar chart for height. in fact, that’s how intelligence is, exactly. men are CLEARLY taller than women, and they are clearly more intelligent in the same exact way. there is a difference of degree, but not of nature, in the two groups divergence on height and intelligence. this is due to bones. which is where height, and skull volume, come from. the same exact underlying mechanism. there are instructions on the Y chromosome which tell female fetuses to turn into male fetuses and grow bigger bones.

    the rigging of intelligence tests over the last 100 years is specifically designed to produce a result where the mean between the two groups is as close as possible. items and batteries where there is too much divergence are removed. yet, even after all that, the means are still not equal. and if you take the rigging away, men’s capability goes up by a good amount – enough to shift the men’s mean a good amount to the right, producing a different graph. a graph, which lines up much more with our observations in life.

    that there are a few women taller than than the average man, but there’s tons of women shorter than almost all the men. and, what a surprise, g is about the same way. the not so smart guys are still smarter than a huge group of women at the bottom of the g ladder.

    g tests have, over the last century, been deliberated nerfed so they don’t measure a lot of mechanical aptitude and spatial capability that men have and need for survival, in order to get a more comparable result with women test takers.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  76. @CheatlessWonder

    ‘There are different types of intelligence. Example:

    When I was in college and struggling with calculus…’

    I experienced a variation on that in a high school world lit class.

    So neither Eric nor I ever did anything. We came into class one day and discovered that there was going to be a surprise quiz on the eighteenth century French play we were supposed to have read.

    In the minute or so of life left to us, we cornered Richard Sisson and got him to summarize the play for us. He got about a quarter the way in, and then we had to start the quiz.

    I stuck with what I had picked up, and got a ‘C.’ Richard himself got a ‘B.’ Eric decided to go with what the playwright would have written, given what Richard had told him of the beginning.

    Eric got an ‘A.’ I suppose it helps if your vision isn’t cluttered with excessive detail.

  77. j2 says:
    @Anonymous

    ” These observations may fit in with something I read many years ago about communication breaking down in the army between officers and ORs where the IQ difference was greater than 25. ”

    This is only a myth. The IQ of an average university student is about 110-115 and that of better science/technical professors is typically over 150, yet there is no communication problem because of IQ difference over 25 points. There could be some age/culture communication problem if one would talk about some topics, but you certainly can supervise their thesis quite well and that depends on the their (and yours) intelligence. Poor students are less inventive, but they all understand everything when you explain in an easily way and show what you mean. It is the same with army officers. I have much experience with them. They also understand everything when you explain well and avoid things they do not know, like mathematics, or anything difficult. It is never really needed to explain things in a difficult way. There were some research people who did not care (or know how) to explain and army officers are not the most patient listeners and have no interest in those things, but that is a culture difference.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Kratoklastes
  78. @CanSpeccy

    This will make organization of the Fascist New World Order so much easier.

    This is a quote from the article The Mismeasurements of Stephen Jay Gould by Russel T. Warne in Quillette (online since March 2019), which I still recommend to you, because I think it is very insightful: – –

    – – My father became a leftist, along with so many other idealists, during upheavals of the depression, the Spanish Civil War, and the growth of Nazism and fascism. He remained politically active . . . and politically committed. I shall always be gratified to the point of tears that, although he never saw The Mismeasure of Man in final form, he lived just long enough to read the galley proofs and know . . . that his scholar son had not forgotten his roots. (p. 39)

    I think it is wrong, to be against IQ on the ground of anti-fascism. And that is the short-cut you share with Stephen Jay Gould: Knowledge about IQ = Fascist New World Order.

    Knowledge in itself is neither good (=emancipative) nor bad (fascist) – it always depends on the way in which it is used. And there are lots of ways, to make proper use of knowledge about IQ.
    By and large I think, that Sam Harris hit the nail on its head when he stated, that IQ is relatively new (that’s scary in itself) and it was not very important for a long time for lots of people, but that has changed – most drastically maybe with the financing and IT business and the big, immensely influential global media giants.

    The best Harris sentence in Harris really insightful talk with Charles Murray was this one, to my ears: IQ is surrounded by quite a few nested together taboos. – That’s how it was by and large until lately – and these taboos had affected not least – – – – Sam Harris himself, as admits in his podcast – maybe you lend this one your ears? It is a rewarding intellectual adventure.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @CanSpeccy
  79. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    The IQ of better science/technical professors is typically over 150.

    Where do such numbers as these come from? Self reporting by professors exaggerating their own IQ by 30 points?

    According to Quora, a 1967 study of Cambridge University faculty using a standardized test (WAIS, SD=+/- 15) gave following results:

    Social Scientists: 121
    Agriculture: 121
    Mathematicians and chemists: 126
    Biologists: 126
    Medicine: 127
    Physicists: 128,

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @res
  80. Anonymous[730] • Disclaimer says:
    @obwandiyag

    obwandiyag

    I’ll tell what stupid is…

    Is it wrong if I stopped reading right there?

    • Replies: @res
  81. @j2

    The scale and the explanation is in the paper.

  82. m___ says:
    @Anonymous

    Smooth, reads like a poem, just enough to entice one up to the last line. Effortless. Compliments. The final proof would be in the minutes of time it took the author to jot this down.

    We should shoulder this myth of Mr. Unz as a superior processor, we see to little of his-es over here on unz.com.

  83. Anonymous[730] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief

    By and large I think, that Sam Harris hit the nail on its head when he stated, that IQ is relatively new (that’s scary in itself) and it was not very important for a long time for lots of people

    Rubbish. Even a high(er)-IQ animal would have a significant advantage over its peers.

  84. anon[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    I know low IQ niggers generally to be angry and spiteful people.

    99.999% of the things he uses every day invented by someone other than his own people and he’s still an ingrate

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @jeff stryker
  85. @dearieme

    A life together of beady-eyed, ruthlessly objective assessments would be unbearable.

    Probably not: it’s more likely that one or other of the people involved would take their business elsewhere, and would do so pretty early in the proceedings.

    People whose relationship can’t stand up to objective internal review (with or without ruth), are short-changing themselves and each other.

    It reminds me of a comedy ‘bit’ that I particularly like:

    HR: What’s your worst feature?

    Me: Oh, that’s easy… I’m way too honest.

    HR: Too honest? I don’t think that honesty’s a negative trait.

    Me: I don’t give a fuck what you think.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  86. m___ says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Jordan Peterson,

    Indeed, his philosophy seems to find it’s clientele.

  87. Anonymous[187] • Disclaimer says:
    @j2

    You may have put your finger on ir with your concluding reference to “culture diffetence”. That could be the usual reason for something that you declare to be “only a myth”because I note that you don’t refute the myth with direct empirical evidence, only reasonable inference from the facts you cite.

    As to the facts you cite I am more than a bit sceptical about your claim that the “better science/technical professors [not just full professors] ” typically have IQs over 150 in universities where the average student IQ is 110-115. I. Of course the Flynn Effect complicates everything but I recall some calculations that led to the conclusion that the average full professor of physics (surely the top of the tech/science tree) would have an IQ of about 130. Trying to resurrect that I Googled for “what is the average IQ of a physics professor” and got quite a lot of confirmation (including from Quora discussions) that the figure would be no higher. If you just think of it in terms of the number of SDs of 15 points you will certainly come to doubt that science and technology have corralled such a high proportion as you implicitly propose of the 3.3x SD people (with male emphasis) into teaching students at undistinguished universities STEM subjects, or medicine.

  88. Anonymous[187] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief

    I only meant my message re doxxing (by Ron Unz privately) to be for James Thompson 🙂

  89. Anonymous[187] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Thanks.

  90. @CanSpeccy

    all the fuss about democracy was just a delusion based on the foolish idea that ordinary people knew what they wanted and how they might reasonably get it

    If you genuinely believe that’s what democracy is about, or that democracy has the faintest hope of ever reflecting social preferences… well, you should tiptoe quietly out of the room and leave the conversation to the grownups.

    Unfiltered expressions of breathless naïveté can be quite sweet when observed in an infant, but after grade school such expressions are more likely to signal that the utterer hasn’t thought things through.

    Democracy has either
    caused the domination of the political class by the type of people we observe (i.e., parasitic sociopathic megalomaniacs), or
    ② has been unable to prevent that domination from happening.

    (For those playing at home: the correct answer is ①, because the type of people who are in charge are the ones that designed the evolution of the system … towards one that enables them to satisfy their objectives).

    Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem (and its extension, the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem [GS]) tells anyone who passed 9th grade mathematics, that even direct (and in the case of G-S, direct cardinal-preference) democracy can’t reflect social preferences – so nobody has any excuse for pretending it can.

    Democracy has about the same intellectual defensibility as the Divine Right of Kings: it just has better marketing. It’s an inherently religious idea, in that it that requires belief in the face of contradictory evidence.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  91. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Link to the Quora page in question: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-average-IQ-of-faculty-members-at-a-well-known-university

    I would not recommend taking that answer too seriously. It proposes that Anne Roe’s numbers used an IQ SD of 24 while if you look at her book she is clearly discussing deviation IQs with a 15 point SD on page 153. Also, Anne Roe was not a “him.” Using her own test was an issue, but she discusses that on pp. 157-160 and mentions that her test was given as part of a battery taken by PhD students allowing limited equivalency tables to other tests to be established. I found it interesting that she chose to use a three test (VSM) battery. One piece of trivia is that she claimed the spatial test correlation with age was -0.40 (page 167).

    The 1967 Cambridge University study is of scientists, not necessarily faculty AFAICT. Paper abstract (including DOI which might be useful for finding it) is here: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1967-11916-001
    Here is the abstract:

    Studies on the deviation IQ of scientists at the University of Cambridge show that there is a considerable variation among scientists. However, IQ seems not to be related to success as a scientist, provided that it is greater than a certain threshold which varies according to the particular scientific discipline.

    Unfortunately, I was unable to find full text. Does anyone have a copy? The paper is only five pages long and I would like to see how they substantiated the claim in the abstract.

    This 2014 paper: http://www.religjournal.com/pdf/ijrr10001.pdf
    is useful because it summarizes results from both Roe (1953) and Gibson and Light (1967) as well as looking at some other data sources.

    Some interesting tables.
    Table 2: Academic Discipline and Modal Personality
    Table 3: Belief in God Among Elite University Scientists in the United States
    Table 4: Politics in U.S. Academia

    Comments about Gibson and Light:

    148 academics at Cambridge University

    Social scientists: 121.8
    Agricultural scientists: 121.6
    Mathematicians, biochemists, and chemists: 130.0
    Biologists: 126.1
    Medicine: 127.0
    Physicists: 127.7

    Small sample. Male only. Age range: 25–34 years. Used the Weschler Adult Intelligence Test. Study does not state whether subjects have Ph.D.s but merely that they are academic staff. Considerable range overlap in IQ (e.g., 112–132 for social scientists and 112–136 for physicists). Scientists not ranked “eminent,” as in Roe’s study, but working at Cambridge University implies a certain degree of eminence (Simonton 2002) and it is possible (though not detailed in the study) that they have higher IQs than average among Ph.D. holders. It is also possible, though not documented, that average IQ of Cambridge academics have increased since 1967, owing to increased competition to work there.

    Note there was some odd rounding and the mathematicians number in the Quora answer was simply wrong.

    P.S. Anne Roe’s book available at https://www.gwern.net/docs/iq/roe/1953-roe-makingscientist.pdf

  92. res says:
    @Anonymous

    Is it wrong if I stopped reading right there?

    Yes. You should have stopped after your first blockquote.

  93. Anonymous[730] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    What’s the 0.001%? Knee-high pants? I don’t believe it counts.

  94. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Dieter Kief

    The best Harris sentence in Harris really insightful talk with Charles Murray was this one, to my ears:

    IQ is surrounded by quite a few nested together taboos. – That’s how it was by and large until lately – and these taboos had affected not least

    Um. I hate to read his worst sentence.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  95. By-tor says:
    @obwandiyag

    https://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-malawi-albinos-hunted-2017-story.html

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/un-condemns-ritual-killings-of-tanzanian-albino-children-for-body-parts/

    We know that Sub-Saharan African blacks did not discover the wheel, heavy carriage, metallurgy, mathematics, nor even construct two-story buildings. Some consume the sex organs of Albino African children in 2019 either in medicines or wearing them as charms.

  96. @j2

    The IQ of an average university student is about 110-115 and that of better science/technical professors is typically over 150

    The ‘better’ science/technical professors aren’t in the 150s – unless it’s not using a standard (100,15) metric.

    150 @ (100,15) is 3.3σ above the median, which is top 0.043%-ile (about 1 in 2,300 people).

    Anyone in that space will be kept well away from the average university student, and will generally only teach graduate subjects (if they teach at all), and only at elite institutions. (That said, there should be 160,000 people at that level or higher in the US – and 3× that many in China).

    Putting a 150-IQ person in a room full of average undergraduates would be worse than trying to fit wheels to a tomato (or “like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all“).

    I also think that the idea that the average university student hits 110-115, requires examination.

    If university entry was meritocratic, an average student score of 110 would mean that only the top 20% would go to university… however in the US 84% of 27-year olds have ‘some college'[1] – see Figure 1 on p7 and Table 1 on p8 of [1] (in Australia it’s 37% of all 20-year-olds).

    From what I’ve seen “in the lit-rit-cha” (and from my experience in the 90s of teaching 3rd year undergraduates in a technical discipline at a top100 university), 110-115 is more indicative of the average university graduate from a half-decent institution.

    The average student seems more like ~100, when taken across all
    ① disciplines – including shit ‘disciplines’ like teaching, psych, journalism and various forms of grievance studies;
    ② institutions – including ‘universities’ that admit anyone who can fog a mirror and sign a loan agreement.

    The average STEM graduate who goes on to grad study at a top100 university (where all the talented STEM profs are) would easily be in the mid-120s (i.e., 1-in-25 at μ+1.6σ).

    My working hypothesis is that increases in intelligence have decreasing returns that start to be noticeable at or above μ+2.5σ (~138).

    The ‘happy place’ is in the mid-120s; enough grunt to differentiate oneself from the herd, but a lack of syncretic insight[2]. Folks in this range can happily trudge away on some bullshit hamster wheel trying to earn enough to buy shit to impress people who don’t matter.

    μ+3.5σ starts getting into territory that is easily conflated with a mild-to-moderate personality disorder.

    [1] “Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS: 2002): A First Look at 2002 High School Sophomores 10 Years Later First Look” NCES 2014-363. U.S. Department of Education. January 2014. (PDF).

    [2] That’s not just my view that I’ve pulled out of my arse; in the PIAAC studies, only the top 5% of adults (roughly an IQ of 124) can

    perform multiple-step operations to integrate, interpret, or synthesise information from complex or lengthy continuous, non-continuous, mixed, or multiple-type texts that involve conditional and/or competing information. They can make complex inferences and appropriately apply background knowledge as well as interpret or evaluate subtle truth claims or arguments.

    and only the top 0.7% (Level V – roughly an IQ of 137… that number again) can

    perform tasks that involve searching for and integrating information across multiple, dense texts; constructing syntheses of similar and contrasting ideas or points of view, or evaluating evidence and arguments. They can apply and evaluate logical and conceptual models, and evaluate the reliability of evidentiary sources and select key information. They are aware of subtle, rhetorical cues and are able to make high-level inferences or use specialised background knowledge.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @j2
  97. Anonymous[356] • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme

    “Anything unusual about the circumstances?” I sherlocked. “There had been a hard frost overnight” she watsonned.

    Dear dearime,
    You are a clever man indeed! Clever enough to marry a woman that would feed you the only relevant “circumstance” that would lead you to the conclusion that she had already reached, and then fawn over your brilliance in reaching it.

  98. anonymous[342] • Disclaimer says:
    @Goatweed

    wwebd said – That was a well produced sentence, Goatweed, and I assume that you would score above average on any well-designed intelligence test.

    I wonder how smart your friend’s brother can be if he has voluntarily given you the impression he gave you of his great intelligence, and thereby forsook the opportunity to speak to you heart to heart as an equal on important subjects, and to learn things from you.

    In the old days, many very intelligent people went into the family religion business – nephews of learned priests became priests, the “rabbi’s son”, and so on – and the vast literature on how they lived their lives reflects that many of them liked to use high-g tricks to make people believe that they could “read your soul” (I used to do this to my dogs but would never do it to a human being – and during the years, late in my dogs’ life, where I had some hope of teaching them, if not to talk, at least to discuss for a few moments, in some way, interesting subjects that most dogs do not discuss – their specific hopes and dreams, that sort of thing – I stopped doing it – stopped using high-g tricks).

    The general consensus of those who recorded such phenomena – that is, the phenomena of very bright people in the religion business using their intelligence as a way of garnering esteem – was that the ones who seemed to be at the highest levels almost never were. (I am basing this on extensive reading of Jewish and Christian hagiographies and memoirs of very charismatic people – including non-religious people, like poor Wittgenstein and Feynman and Berlioz).

    In India, magicians are a lot more popular and respected than they are in the USA. Because in India they get to use chemical powders that are, for safety reasons, banned for personal use here, to perform their tricks.

    My best guess is every single person who is well known for being extremely “intellectually” gifted, including the supremely gifted psychologists and poets, is deformed by specialization, and that the difference in g between, say, a good sportswriter on a big metropolitan paper and a Dante is nowhere near as large as most people who praise Dante would admit.

    And if they are not well known, then most of us do not know who they are, and therefore we can’t make the comparison.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  99. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    Atlantis dweller gets it.

    • Agree: atlantis_dweller
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  100. @dearieme

    Come on now, dearieme, admit that you made that one up, OK?

  101. Anonymous[730] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    Judging from his comments here, atlantis_dweller never got anything right in his life.

  102. @Kratoklastes

    Aha! I like it. But have I got all of it? Does HR stand for Human Resources? And while unpacking your suspected cuteness should we take your “ruth” to be, not a typo but a jeu d’esprit meaning “not ruthless”?

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  103. @res

    Yep against those who try and deny all utility to IQ it is worth making the point about thresholds. For some reason I have has lodged in my mind for a long time the idea that 125 is about the lower limit for full professors of physics.

  104. @anonymous

    That’s a very low high-g trick: to gull so many of us who can be made silly by our dogs (even though we know that the family cats despise it) 🙂

    • Replies: @anonymous
  105. @Kratoklastes

    Thank you. And i hope you have made a contributiin to the amiable enough and quite intelligent j2 getting out and becoming less of an eccentric isolate.

    BTW I suppose you would agree that the ridiculous expansion of pseudo university education has led to the rise of fashionable left opinion amongst those doing IQ 100 subjects taught by barely or < IQ 110 teachers who all now imagine that they can think and produce worthwhile thoughts (as their grandparents might have on how to get the rats out of the drains). Exhibit No.1 for me is total failure to take opportunity cost into account when it should be the No.1 concept involved in thinking about, e.g. closing down coal fired power stations or imposing the costs of windfarms on everybody. (Don't get me wrong. I love the fact that China has hugely brought down the cost of solar power and that storage is responding – oh dear it sounds so crassly Philistine – to price signals) 😉

  106. @AaronB

    Such people would meet a swift and ignominious end

    Failing that, rapid advancement to management or election to public office.

  107. anonymous[479] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    wwebd said – I have shared my home with dogs (44 years, total, from the point of view of the 5 dogs, all of whom I remember with complete respect and affection) and I have shared my home with cats (19 years, total, from the point of view of the 4 cats who were really my cats when I lived with a roommate with 4 cats for 3 years and the 1 cat who I fostered for 3 years,all of whom I remember with complete respect and affection) ) and I once lived in an apartment, for scientific and humanitarian reasons, for about 2 years with several hundred or several thousand cockroaches enjoying their life in the dark places that cockroaches like to live in (so let’s say about about a thousand cockroach years), but I have never had the good fortune to share a home with both a dog and a cat at the same time.

    So after 44 plus 19 dog and cat years (each year a wonderful year as God is my witness) and after 2 times either several hundred or several thousand cockroach years (who can count such things? but to tell the truth I grew fond of the little creatures, who really do exhibit interesting and social behaviors, but I grew fond of them only because there were no children in the house and there is no way a few stray cockroaches would ever make me, a modern person who understands medicine and health, sick — but I would not have tried that kind of life at a time in my life when I had a family and children — any thought of the little creatures being a hazard to anyone but me would have excluded fondness of any kind)
    …. so after all those years with animals …
    who can blame me if my animal-related tricks are not high but low.

    anyway
    rem acu tetigisti

  108. Anonymous[730] • Disclaimer says:

    Fuck it!

    I see a bunch of new comments on a topic but when I come here it’s just fucking Wizard of Oz endlessly chewing through the comment section with his inanities like it’s his personal diary.

    Could someone, please, provide a link to some old-age Bingo websites? Maybe it’ll defect some of the damage if we get him hooked. He needs a friend – or Bingo.

    • LOL: utu
    • Replies: @Anon
  109. @Anon

    YOU didn’t invent nothing you ignorant piece of white trash detritus.

    You can’t even read my post correctly. Illiterate piece of white trash detritus.

    • Agree: CanSpeccy
  110. @CanSpeccy

    Sigh. You might like it, if you’d listen to it.

  111. @Wizard of Oz

    Yes to both –

    ① HR is the awful, tedious jobbers and Twitmarshes that infest firms with more than 5 employees;
    ② if somebody’s not ruthless, surely that means that they have some ruth squirrelled away.

    I don’t have the originality to come up with stuff like that; the HR interaction is from a bit by Jimeoin (and Ozzie-Irish comedian), and I think I nicked the ‘ruthless’ bit from James Acaster (an English comedian from Kettering – although I doubt that anyone there has kettered in ages)

    PS… out of curiosity I looked up the etymology for ruthless; sure enough, ruth used to be a thing – it means “pity, distress or grief” in archaic English, and is originally from Old Norse hrygth which is cognate with ‘rue’ (bitterly regret; pity (self); repent).

  112. Mike-SMO says:

    I am considering the difference between “smart” [common sense] and “smart” [IQ, operative throught, System II, calculus]. It seems obvious that there are highly intelligent “smart” people [“absent-minded professor” who can’t operate a screwdriver and who can’t identify a tripped circuit breaker] and “smart” [functional, creative, capable as long as there is nothing “abstract” involved].

    Is there a good test or scoring system for the “common-sense” type of “smart”?

  113. j2 says:
    @Kratoklastes

    “If university entry was meritocratic, an average student score of 110 would mean that only the top 20% would go to university… however in the US 84% of 27-year olds have ‘some college'[1] – see Figure 1 on p7 and Table 1 on p8 of [1] (in Australia it’s 37% of all 20-year-olds)”

    They go to some college. As my comment was about the IQ difference of over 25 point causing communication problems or not, I speak of my own experiences and therefore from Finland, not from the USA.

    Also in Finland a very high fraction of young people go to some college, but the majority go to a college which is not a university. Now these colleges are called professional universities (ammattikorkeakoulu) and the older name was opisto, not yliopisto (universtity). If we talk about universities in Finland there are yearly about 15,000 university degrees from a year class of 60,000. That is 25%. You have links here:
    https://www.stat.fi/til/yop/2016/yop_2016_2017-05-10_tie_001_fi.html
    https://www.stat.fi/til/synt/2016/synt_2016_2017-04-11_tie_001_fi.html
    Sorry about the language, it is official statistics. The first is university degrees, the second one is the number of births.

    With SD=15, 25% corresponds to IQ 110. In more scientific/technical universities the average IQ of a student is a bit higher, it is between 110-115 just as I wrote.

    You give the IQ of an average professor of mathematics as 130. My claim is that in Finland the typical IQ of better professors in science/technical topics is over 150. These claims are not necessarily so much in contradiction as I mean the better ones, say 10-25% best, and you mean the average including the already senile ones. I know exactly IQs of two professors in Finland in technical topics. One is mine, it was measured by a standard test by a psychology firm in a job interview as 3.6 SD i.e. 154. The other one is from my colleague who was the head of Finnish Mensa for some time, he told he got full points and if he gave the name of the test correctly, that test gives full points at 160. I have many times spoken with many Finnish professors of mathematics, theoretical physics and more mathematical telecommunication topics and the intelligence of the better ones on those topics in Finland is not any different that mine or that colleague of mine. Thus, the average of the better professors on those fields is over 150, just as I wrote.

    I simple calculation shows that it must be so. Let’s take this 3.6 SD that I was measured to, it is 154. It means that 800 people in Finland of 5 million people have IQ at least this. The average life span is 80 years, so we have 10 people in each year class. Professors are professors typically for 20 year, so we should consider 20 year classes, that is 160 people. Most of these very bright people go to an academic career and become full professors, say 100 becomes full professors. There are 2000 full professors in Finland. Reduce from this number the softer fields (humanistic, psychology and other dumb fields) and keep only the hard mathematical fields, there remains maybe 1/5, so 400. Then you would conclude that 25% of these professors have an IQ above 154, which in my personal estimation is fairly correct. The average IQ of professors on these fields can be roughly estimated as 4*800 in 5 million, i.e., 0.00064 giving an IQ or 140. It is not much different from your 130 and the difference is explained by you counting all colleges as universities. The IQ of professors is lower in lower level institutes.

  114. utu says:

    Intelligence is driven by motivation.

  115. @anon

    Advances in technology are not quite that “Black and white”.

    Arabs invented basic math; paper and writing also originated in Mesopotamia and reached the Mediterranean by way of transmission first through Southeast Europe and Greece and then Rome. Much of the basics of modern law and political systems were invented by not-so-white Greeks and Italians.

    Arabs also popularized the compass from the Chinese lodestone and Chinese invented gunpowder.

    To say everything was invented in Northwest Europe is inaccurate…but aboriginals invented almost nothing except the boomerang.

    • Replies: @anon
  116. @Bruno

    Yes, two papers, discussing past work and then reporting their results. Looks like a range of +1.5 to +2.00 sd.

  117. @Anon

    The scale used (linear) is described and illustrated in the paper.

  118. Edward says:

    I wonder whether this effect depends on the race of the spouse: do white men with black partners overestimate their partners’ IQs to the same degree, if at all? What about white women with black partners? After all, a decent proportion of whites in the United States believe that blacks are less intelligent, on average, than whites.

    At medical school at an elite university, I had a friend of Asian Indian origin who had a full-scale IQ north of 150. He was in the top three of the cohort, and got together with a girl who was in the top three of her compsci cohort. He admitted that, because the girl was Ashkenazi Jewish, this might have biased upward his estimates of her IQ. He also thought that this would be reflected in her subtest scores. From the information we had, it was clear that her IQ was north of 130-135, but we didn’t know how much higher.

  119. anon[359] • Disclaimer says:
    @jeff stryker

    To say everything was invented in Northwest Europe is inaccurate….

    i never made that claim. apparently a millenia ago the middle east contributed a few things, not sure what they’ve done lately though except benefit from unearned oil wealth (thanks to western invention)

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  120. Vojkan says:
    @renfro

    Well, intelligent people usually know that “authority” resorts to the “argument of authority” fallacy when it lacks logical arguments. Both categories you mention obviously consider the argument of authority to be valid therefore neither can be considered really smart. Anyway, there are also people like me who think that intelligence, or lack of, and ethics, or lack of, are different concepts, and that for people to rise to power, intelligence is irrelevant, what matters is the level of psychopathy. I don’t mind people being cleverer or dumber than me, as long as we share a core of common moral values.

  121. @anon

    ANON

    Having said that, Texas cities like Dallas or Louisiana have loads of oil and still are a hotbed of crime and poverty.

    For whatever reason, the oil profits in Kuwait or even Norway seem to trickle down. Meanwhile, for all of its oil wealth, Louisiana took forever to rebuild after Katrina.

    I’m American and I have constantly heard that the US is the richest country in the world but I never saw poverty like Detroit or Phoenix in Dubai or Western Europe.

    Western Europe really seemed to be supercharged after the Renaissance.

  122. Edward says:
    @res

    Unfortunately, I was unable to find full text. Does anyone have a copy? The paper is only five pages long and I would like to see how they substantiated the claim in the abstract.

    I once had the full text, but I cannot link to it unfortunately. It didn’t actually substantiate the claim. What it actually said was: “whether those with higher scores enjoy more success in a particular scientific subject is not known and to generalize from the present data would be as misleading as the statement often made that all scientists have high IQs.”

    The IQ numbers are probably underestimates of the IQs of these scientists too. Firstly, they weren’t necessarily senior academics or professors: they were aged 25-34, so they were just starting their careers. Secondly, they didn’t make a distinction between theoretical and experimental physicists. Third, admission to Cambridge in the 1960s was considerably less meritocratic than it is today.

    Fourth, 37 out of 185 of the people who met the inclusion criteria for the study were either abroad, refused to take part, or were already familiar with the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). This group of 37 people were likely significantly more intelligent than the people who were actually included in the study.

    Nevertheless, the figures are likely in the right ballpark.

    In the mid-2000s, the average university student in the United States had an average IQ of 111. In a 1971-1972 study, the average Dartmouth student had an average IQ of 123.5. In 2003, the average IQ of a Harvard student was ~124.

    I used data from a study which administered the SAT to UK students to estimate that the average Oxford student has an IQ of around 120.5, and the average Cambridge student has an IQ of 128.

    We know that William Shockley and Luis Alvarez – both of whom won the Nobel Prize in Physics – had IQs in the mid-130s. The Fields Medalist Richard Borcherds has a full-scale IQ of 137 (and a non-verbal IQ of 147). Francis Crick was tested at >144 by Arthur Jensen. Roe’s 64 eminent scientists had average IQs of around 155.

    Ben Bernanke, going off his SAT score, likely has an IQ north of 155. Susan Athey, the first woman to win the John Bates Clark Medal in Economics, has an IQ of above 155, as does Colin Camerer, the founder of neuroeconomics and recipient of a MacArthur grant (both were participants in the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth). Terence Tao was tested at >175 on the Stanford-Binet.

    Small sample sizes, though, as with the other studies, but a picture begins to emerge. Students at elite universities likely have IQs in the top 5-10% of the population (120-125). Hard scientists at elite universities likely have average IQs of around 130, give or take 5 points. It’s possible to achieve eminence in physics and mathematics with full-scale IQs in the mid-130s, but there’s a wide spectrum, from Shockley and Alvarez on the one hand to Terence Tao on the other. Most eminent scientists likely have IQs above 145.

    • Replies: @res
  123. j2 says:
    @res

    “148 academics at Cambridge University

    Social scientists: 121.8
    Agricultural scientists: 121.6
    Mathematicians, biochemists, and chemists: 130.0
    Biologists: 126.1
    Medicine: 127.0
    Physicists: 127.7

    Small sample. Male only. Age range: 25–34 years. ”

    Let’s look at this your data and estimate what is the IQ of the professor. These are doctorate or post-doctorate students judging from the age, and they are the majority of the staff today. In the States they may be called Assistant Professors, but in other places they are called assistants or senior assistants, not professors. Professor is the full professor who supervises these guys.
    One professor typically supervises about 1 doctorate a year, so in 20 years has supervised 20 doctors. The best of them replaces the professor as the professor of the next generation. Thus, the IQ of the professor is the average IQ of the doctor students and post-doctorates + a level, which corresponds to 1/20. That level is 1.6 standard deviations (1.6 SD is the best 5.28%). Adding 130+1.6*15=154. This is what you should expect from their supervisor, and it is reasonable: with an IQ under 130 you hardly become a professor on any of the hard fields, competition is too hard, professorship is the only decent job in a university for a grown up.

    • Replies: @res
    , @CanSpeccy
    , @res
  124. res says:
    @Edward

    Thank you for your detailed response. Many good points there.

    We know that William Shockley and Luis Alvarez – both of whom won the Nobel Prize in Physics – had IQs in the mid-130s.

    One interesting wrinkle there is that Alvarez was actually included in Anne Roe’s study. So in theory we have his results both for the school aged Terman test (low math ceiling? and little spatial?) and her high ceiling MVS tests. There is some speculation that Alvarez is the experimental physicist who had a notably low verbal score in Roe’s book, but I don’t think anyone has gone to the trouble of checking Roe’s individual data (it should be available once all the participants are deceased IIUC). In particular, it would be interesting to know Alvarez’s spatial score.

    Do you know much about the math/verbal/spatial balance and ceilings for the Terman test?

    a picture begins to emerge. Students at elite universities likely have IQs in the top 5-10% of the population (120-125). Hard scientists at elite universities likely have average IQs of around 130, give or take 5 points. It’s possible to achieve eminence in physics and mathematics with full-scale IQs in the mid-130s, but there’s a wide spectrum, from Shockley and Alvarez on the one hand to Terence Tao on the other. Most eminent scientists likely have IQs above 145.

    Those averages (right?) sound reasonable to me. I have a sense of elite university students as being higher, but that is biased by my experience being mostly with STEM so in your 130 +/-5 category. In my particular college that would have been an underestimate (but not by much, IIRC) based on average SAT scores. Worth emphasizing that there is (IMHO) a decent representation of 140+ outliers in all of those groups.

    What it actually said was: “whether those with higher scores enjoy more success in a particular scientific subject is not known and to generalize from the present data would be as misleading as the statement often made that all scientists have high IQs.”

    Thanks. I have long suspected there was some kind of (all too common, apparently) abstract-body disconnect there. I think the SMPY provides convincing evidence to the contrary of the abstract version.

    Your additional details and thoughts on that paper were also helpful. Thank you.

    • Replies: @Edward
  125. res says:
    @j2

    That analysis sounds plausible to me (I like your method). My gut says your 154 estimate is high given Anne Roe’s estimates for eminent scientists though. Not sure how to reconcile those sentences.

    Perhaps by considering that the Cambridge data likely has significant representation from lower level professors who are probably intermediate between the postdocs and full professors? And maybe even an occasional superstar young professor (though perhaps those were more in Edward’s excluded group?)?

    • Replies: @dearieme
  126. SidVic says:
    @Colin Wright

    Probably immune system competence was best survival trait for most of human history. I guess being smart enuf to avoid stepping in shit complemented a good immune system.

  127. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Kratoklastes

    all the fuss about democracy was just a delusion based on the foolish idea that ordinary people knew what they wanted and how they might reasonably get it

    If you genuinely believe that’s what democracy is about …

    For God’s sake, it’s not what I believe or said that I believe.

  128. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    Thanks a lot for the reference to the Cambridge study.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  129. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @j2

    with an IQ under 130 you hardly become a professor on any of the hard fields

    You do realize, don’t you, that during the 20th Century, those poor low-grade Cambridge professors won 107 Nobel Prizes, more than any country other than the United States, and all but 25 of the Nobel Prizes won in the UK. So maybe the low IQ estimates for Cambridge professors reflects simply the hard-headed resistance of top scholars to IQ-ist bullshit.

  130. res says:
    @j2

    I thought about this some more and I think there is a problem with your analysis. If you look at a normal distribution truncated fairly far into the tail (which approximates this IMO) then the average tends to be fairly close to the threshold, the SD decreases, and the remaining data is decidedly non-normal.

    I did a quick simulation in R to test the implications of this. Hopefully this is readable enough.

    require(truncnorm)
    ## Loading required package: truncnorm
    # Make this reproducible
    set.seed(2)
    sample.n <- 10000
    iqs <- rtruncnorm(n=sample.n, a=125, b=Inf, mean = 100, sd = 15)
    summary(iqs)
    ## Min. 1st Qu. Median Mean 3rd Qu. Max.
    ## 125.0 127.0 129.7 131.2 133.9 164.4
    sd(iqs)
    ## [1] 5.536268
    iqs <- sort(iqs, decreasing = TRUE)
    sel.iqs <- iqs[1:sample.n/20]
    summary(sel.iqs)
    ## Min. 1st Qu. Median Mean 3rd Qu. Max.
    ## 142.5 143.8 145.5 146.6 148.2 164.4
    sd(sel.iqs)
    ## [1] 3.840391

    Truncating at 125 gives a mean of 131.2 which seems close enough to the 130 we have (and results in my estimate being biased high). Taking the top 5% of that group leaves sel.iqs above which has a mean of 146.6 and SD of 3.8.

    147 seems like a more reasonable estimate than 154 to me (half SD difference). Does anyone have any thoughts about that? Note that my other concern (overrepresentation of high achievers in Cambridge age 25-34 scientists relative to just looking at post-docs) also still applies.

    • Replies: @j2
  131. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    And I think the abstract of that paper reporting in Nature the results of a study of IQ test scores for Cambridge University scientists is worth reading in full:

    Gibson, J., & Light, P. (1967). Intelligence among university scientists. Nature, 213(5075), 441-443.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/213441a0
    Abstract
    THE WAIS WAS ADMINISTERED TO 148 25-34 YR. OLD SCIENTISTS AT CAMBRIDGE. THE RANGE OF IQ SCORES ACROSS ALL GROUPS WAS 110-141. WHEN CLASSIFIED INTO GROUPS BASED ON THE PRINCIPAL SUBJECT OF THE BACHELOR DEGREE, SCIENTISTS WHO HAD SPECIALIZED IN MATHEMATICS OBTAINED THE HIGHEST MEAN DEVIATION IQ. THE LARGE PROPORTION OF SCIENTISTS IN ALL DISCIPLINES WITH IQ SCORES FALLING BELOW 130 IS NOTED AND IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE DATA PRESENTED SUPPORT THE VIEW THAT THERE MAY BE AN IQ THRESHOLD BELOW WHICH AN INDIVIDUAL IS UNLIKELY TO BECOME A SCIENTIST. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

    What they reveals is that among 148 young scientists at Cambridge University:

    1. Not one of them exceeds Jordan Peterson’s claimed IQ “in excess of 150” despite the extraordinary success of Cambridge scientists in scooping Nobel Prizes — far more of them than scientists at any other university.

    2. There may be a threshold for achievement in science, and that the threshold appears to be slightly higher in math/physics, etc., than in the more descriptive sciences, but in either case is not especially high.

    The key question those findings raise is this:

    How is it that Cambridge scientists, who without apparent exception have IQ’s no greater than one to two standard deviations above the mean, manage to achieve so much (107 Nobel prizes).

    The answer to that question must surely be the culture. Specifically the traditional Cambridge model of higher education, which spurns (or used to*) multiple choice tests and other newfangled American ideas, while promoting literacy and rational debate, thereby enabling mortals of no extraordinary brilliance to achieve brilliantly in the world of science.

    Before the US of A goes totally down the tubes in the wake of Boeing and the purveyors of 5G technology, Americans might give serious thought to the possibility that their educational culture is total crap.

    ——
    * Now, sadly, as their haul of Nobel Prizes slumps, Cambridge seems to have adopted the rotten American practice of assessing students by means of silly puzzlers, instead of testing whether they actually know anything and can write about what they know with a degree of literacy.

    Post-Brexit Britain, tied as it will be to the US Empire, is evidently headed for cultural oblivion.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  132. Precious says:
    @AaronB

    Clearly, then, people are highly aware that they far more mentally competitive against others than their IQ scores suggest – demonstrating on yet one more level the inutility of IQ tests in assessing real world ability rather than self-referential academic skills that don’t translate to real world accomplishment.

    ^This is what people of average and below average intelligence say.

    The problem is that society doesn’t take into account people with high IQ have special needs just like people with low IQ have special needs. Except that they are a different type of special need.

    The world has to be designed and built for the average…yes absolutely true. But without providing an environment for high IQ people to thrive in the real world, all we do is lose out on the better ideas that they could have come up with. We should be able to build environments for high IQ people to thrive in, but we don’t do it, in part because other people tend to envy people with very high IQs.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  133. AaronB says:

    Hmmm.

    IQ tests as a sign of intellectual decline.

    You know, back in WW2 the German army used interviews to select officers, and the American army used IQ style tests.

    The results speak for themselves.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  134. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @AaronB

    The results speak for themselves.

    Ha! Irony. Nearly had me fooled there.

  135. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Precious

    We should be able to build environments for high IQ people to thrive in, but we don’t do it, in part because other people tend to envy people with very high IQs.

    The US has about 350,000 people with an IQ in excess of 150, and it has about 1.5 million university professors. So what more do these geniuses want? And anyhow, since all they’ve done is turn the universities into loonie bins for snowflakes, it is clear that people of high IQ can’t manage even their own affairs, so why would we want them to run the world?

    In time it will surely be discovered that an exceptionally high IQ is evidence of some form of savantism, unrelated to common sense or the power of logical thought, i.e., a sort of mental illness. At that point, most of the commentators at Unz.com will just slink away and never be heard from again.

    • Replies: @Precious
    , @Anonymous
  136. Edward says:
    @res

    Thanks for your response. I don’t know much about the ceiling of the Terman test, but the average IQ of those in Terman study was around 144 (converted from ratio to deviation IQ). Jensen said that Crick scored significantly in excess of this. I do know that the Terman test was verbally-loaded though, which is perhaps why Alvarez and Shockley missed out.

    Those averages (right?) sound reasonable to me

    Yes, averages. I suspect that the average IQ of STEM students at elite universities is around 125-130. Over the past few months, I’ve been convinced that those of us who are interested in intelligence have somewhat overestimated the IQ required to function in any given setting.

    I wonder whether this is a function of the university system: STEM students, for instance, are going to be exposed to people with visuo-spatial and other nonverbal abilities that are significantly in excess of their full-scale IQs, especially due to the greater degree of scatter observed in individuals at higher g levels (‘g predicts success, but specific abilities predict the type of success’). This may lead to an upward bias in our estimates of the standing on g of our peers.

  137. j2 says:
    @res

    Your result of 147 is quite fine, so is your argument.

    But there is another issue that I can mention: my calculation depends on how many doctors are graduating. In traditional mathematics departments are made much fewer doctorates in a year than there are professors. But there are many assistants and lecturers who are less intelligent. They are people who will never get a professorship but hang in the department and try to make their living there. They lower the average IQ of the department staff. So, the average IQ of the staff can be around 130.

    But in certain fields it is just as I wrote, one doctor per professor per year (an idiotic idea we learned from abroad), the best are encouraged to stay in the department and the best becomes the future professor, so then there is an IQ difference between the IQ of the supervisor and the average IQ of the researchers because of the mechanism I mentioned. Here the supervised have the average IQ of about 125-130 and the supervisor is typically around 145-160.

    The reason why the required intelligence to get a professorship goes so high in basic exact sciences, like mathematics and theoretical physics, is that there are very few work places, so doctors either stay in the department and hope to get a professorship sometime in the future or move to another field. Many do not want to change a field. The result is that there is a long queue of aspirants for any professorship that may open. Weak candidates know that they will not succeed, and those who have a chance to be full professors are well over IQ 130.

    Notice that 130 is just 1 over 50. You have to be much better than that in mathematics to get a professorship when there is high competition for the job. Mathematical talent correlates quite much with general intelligence, so these mathematically talented people also have a quite high IQ, in the range of 145-160, even without being eminent.

    Some commenters here mentioned that Cambridge had all young researchers had IQs below 141 and yet the university got so many Nobel Prizes. I met one of their (older) full professors and he was said to be a genius, very intelligent, so maybe there was a difference between researchers and full professors also there.

    But in general, I do not think eminent scientists as a rule have any higher IQ than these normal professors of exact fields as science prizes are not given because somebody has a superior IQ but for having done something extraordinary. I, like quite many people, have such a high IQ, but I have not done anything extraordinary. IQ is simply a measure of something that is not very relevant for science prizes. I do not think high IQ is even an requirement for being able to do something extraordinary, but it correlates well with the talent needed to get and keep a job in a mathematical department: they like to throw out the less talented assistants before they manage to do anything extraordinary and their evaluation of the talent of their students is excelling in exams and other similar less extraordinary tests of talent.

    So, it you ask what is the average IQ of a full professor in exact fields, I would say that because of high competition it is quite high, and it you ask is this high IQ necessary for getting a Nobel Prize (or the Fields medal), I would say, your IQ is irrelevant: do something extraordinary. Finns got the very first Fields medal, but after that time Finland learned from abroad (the USA) all these clever ways of improving the level of science. These methods did not work, so we never got a second prize. In fact, all time of a full professor is now spent on supervising students, who are less talented than the professor himself and will not contribute any major breakthroughs.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @CanSpeccy
  138. anonymous[124] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    * Western women, given a chance, are used to favouring a high-IQ mate. A winner used to be a powerful, smart, successful, confident, humorous and optimistic person (all IQ-related). That’s no longer the case.

    I see. So not only is IQ just a score on a test, but the high IQ-god also confers upon his chosen people power, success, confidence, humor, and optimism. Maybe someone in this this IQ-worshipping synagogue of a thread can direct me to a study that establishes that IQ positively correlates with “objective” measures of confidence, humor, and optimism. I ask because it seems to me as though many of the practitioners of this IQ religion (Is it ok to call them “IQews”?) are simply using IQ as a proxy word for any trait/attribute/characteristic that they themselves personally value as important, regardless of whether or not these things actually have anything to do with measured IQ.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  139. dearieme says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Have we any idea how representative of young Cambridge scientists of the era the 148 were? If they were far from representative then the data are scarcely worth discussing.

    I ask because, based on my experience, “Cambridge scientists, who without apparent exception have IQ’s no greater than one to two standard deviations above the mean” seems (subjectively) to be an absurd claim. At least they slip in an “apparent”. Mind you, 1957 was before my time at university. Let me try to be more objective.

    In my British secondary school in approx 1957 you had to have an IQ of 118 to get into the two top streams. Selection was based on IQ and attainment in arithmetic and English; it was taken seriously, so that children arriving from primary schools in different towns and villages would be treated equitably. The number “118” sticks in my memory – but I have no idea of the name of the tests used nor their standard deviation. So I’ll assume sd = 15.

    If the top stream was about the same size as the second stream then the qualifying IQ in the top stream might be somewhere about 123 – 124. It was pupils in the top “A” stream who were expected to go to university; the second “B” streamers were thought more likely to, for instance, take their higher education in a Teacher Training College or a Technical College. (It was still common for some pupils who might have gone to university not to do so – one could still enter professions such as law, accounting, or architecture by a sort of apprenticeship-plus-exams system – a degree was not essential.)

    Am I to believe that a non-negligible proportion of a representative selection of Cambridge scientists had IQs that would not fit them to be in the A stream in my school? Am I to believe that their chances of having a higher IQ than the three outstandingly intelligent pupils in my A stream class were pretty low? I mean, I know perfectly well that in my lifetime there has been at least one US president who wouldn’t have been admitted, but we’re talking about Cambridge scientists here.

    I have another reason to be sceptical of the work: they talks of “scientists” but include “social scientists”. Hm.

    On the other hand the data are what they are, so “Am I to believe?” might just be pompous silliness. I think not, but you never know. Has anyone ever repeated this sort of work?

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @dearieme
    , @res
    , @CanSpeccy
  140. Precious says:
    @CanSpeccy

    The US has about 350,000 people with an IQ in excess of 150, and it has about 1.5 million university professors. So what more do these geniuses want? And anyhow, since all they’ve done is turn the universities into loonie bins for snowflakes

    The average IQ of a university professor is about 128, which is certainly a high IQ, but nowhere close to a very high IQ. University professors are about 1 to 1.5 standard deviations below people with a very high IQ. The reason for this is because other people tend to envy people with very high IQs, and that is especially true of people who have high but not very high IQ. Smart people are good at excluding very smart people from university. If you want some evidence for this, go look up and read Chris Langan’s story. Universities turning into loonie bins is not the fault of people with IQs above 145 or so.

    it is clear that people of high IQ can’t manage even their own affairs, so why would we want them to run the world?

    I didn’t say anything about people of very high IQ “running the world”. I said that we need to provide an environment for them to thrive so we can benefit from their better ideas. Let’s not assume that their better idea is that they should be running things, only that their better ideas will run things better than the way we run things now.

    In time it will surely be discovered that an exceptionally high IQ is evidence of some form of savantism, unrelated to common sense or the power of logical thought, i.e., a sort of mental illness.

    ^This is what people of average and below average intelligence say.

    But let me give one concrete example of what we should do. Studies have shown that two people with a measured IQ gap of 30 points or more are not able to understand each other when communicating. Most people with very high IQ don’t have the skill to communicate with people of significantly lower intelligence than themselves.

    All children should be tested and those with very high IQ need to be connected to other children of very high IQ so they can have someone to relate to. This is especially critical for women, who have greater need to communicate socially with other women. Very high IQ women are more prone to mental illness precisely because they are starved for communication that they can’t get from average IQ women. And they absolutely need help finding very high IQ men they would be willing to marry because they are demonstrably unable to accomplish that task on their own based on how increasing IQ correlates to less children for the mother. We don’t help them at all, which only means those very high IQ genetics are lost to the next generation.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @j2
  141. dearieme says:
    @res

    “Anne Roe’s estimates for eminent scientists”: are estimates worth anything? I once saw one idiot “estimate” JFK’s IQ in the 150s. His measured IQ was less than 120. An estimate that is off by about two SDs isn’t much use, is it?

    • Replies: @res
  142. AaronB says:
    @dearieme

    Perhaps you should reconsider your belief that IQ measures intelligence.

    Its stuff like this, repeated a hundred times, that made me question my belief in IQ. I kept on noticing that it just didn’t add up. I used, once, to be a true believer. I was very much like our young res here, maybe worse.

    At a certain point, you can’t help but conclude the emperor has no clothes.

    I think for each person, that point is different.

    • Replies: @res
  143. dearieme says:
    @dearieme

    Ah bugger: was it 1967 rather than 1957? Oh well, possibly not much turns on that – both dates were before the Forces of Progress started their assault on the British secondary schools.

  144. res says:
    @dearieme

    Estimates was my word. It might have been a bad one to use given the common articles “estimating” the IQ of various people. Such as the example you give.

    She actually made a serious and AFAICT conscientious effort to gather real data. The issues I usually see raised are her use of her own test (needed for high ceiling, and the math ceiling still wasn’t high enough for the hard scientists) and life stage of the scientists studied (e.g. she talks about one who, paraphrasing from memory, obviously did not do himself justice).

    To be clear, we are talking about all of the scientists taking a battery of math/verbal/spatial tests. With a variety of summary statistics being published and analyzed.

    I think her work deserves to be taken seriously. She gives a nice full length treatment in her book (though I wish there was an academic paper like version). As far as I am aware this is the only study of its kind and IMHO is therefore a valuable resource.

    Her papers are available at https://search.amphilsoc.org/collections/view?docId=ead/Mss.B.R621-ead.xml
    It would be interesting to revisit her data. Sounds like a potential grad student project to me.

    • Replies: @j2
    , @dearieme
  145. @prime noticer

    there are instructions on the Y chromosome which tell female fetuses to turn into male fetuses and grow bigger bones.

    There is no such thing.

    A fetus is undifferentiated until about week 8. It is a bi-potential fetus. It has two separate sets of ducts, one set of which will be come vas deferens etc, and the other set will be come the vagina and etc.

    If it has a Y chromosome, then SRY starts it down the path towards being a male and the parts that would become female parts are resorbed into the body and destroyed.

    If it does not have a Y chromosome, then WNT and others set it off down the path towards being female and the parts that would be come male are resorbed and destroyed.

    In addition, the penis and scrotum are fashioned from the same tissues that the inner labia etc are fashioned from.

  146. j2 says:
    @res

    Making the Flynn correction is not justified in this study.
    The Flynn correction can be made to conclude that if these people would be moved to the year 1986 with the knowledge they had in 1952 they would have got a score 138 if given the 1986 test, but the relevant issue is not the score but that they were among the 1/5000 most intelligent part of the population. Thus, had they lived today and learned the same as people learn today, they would still be among the 1/5000 most intelligent part of the population and get the score 152.

    The reason I took up this topic here was not what might or might not be an average IQ of a university professor but to refute the claim that there is some 25 point limit in communicating with people.

    Take the most stupid troll in this site. You may find it hard to explain to him the most simple argument, but it does not depend on you having the IQ of 110 or 170. It depends solely on the low IQ of the troll. It is not a difference of IQs, it is the absolute value of the low IQ.

    Why people have problems in communicating is that they use jargon from their culture. Let us take for instance army officers and Operations Research (OR) civilian researchers. Army officers have their own jargon consisting of acronyms of military technical systems and concepts of operational art and tactic, while Operational Research of the old was mathematics and consisted of various optimization and other methods. Naturally, if the sides spoke their own jargon, which the other side does not know, they could not communicate meaningfully. It would have been the same result if their Native American mail sender had spoken to them Navaho. It is fully possible to communicate over any IQ gap and get everything understood, but naturally you cannot discuss a topic that requires its special terms to describe what is discussed with a person that does not know the topic, totally irrespective of any IQ gap.

    It is also so that spouses do not necessarily so much select for a similar IQ level. It is just so that before marrying somebody you first have to meet the person and you meet more often people that are more similar to you in the IQ level, like you go to the same university, are in the same work place, or like me with my wife, give a talk in the same scientific conference. Then, of course, you are rather close in IQ also.

    • Replies: @res
  147. res says:
    @dearieme

    Thanks for your perspective. Regarding

    Has anyone ever repeated this sort of work?

    Dutton and Lynn (2014) which I linked above: http://www.religjournal.com/pdf/ijrr10001.pdf
    is a survey so I suspect their list is relatively complete. They focus on Roe (1953) and Gibson and Light (1967) so I think that is an indicator those are the best sources available. But they do discuss others.

    This looked like it might be relevant.

    Ecklund and Scheitle’s (2007) sample of academics at elite U.S. universities

    Ecklund and Scheitle’s sample were from twenty-one elite colleges that were selected according to how often they appeared in the top twenty-five universities for nine indicators, including research funding, endowment assets, faculty awards, and doctorates granted.

    But the paper appears to focus on religion.
    Ecklund, E., and C. Scheitle. 2007. “Religion Among Academic Scientists: Distinctions, Disciplines and Demographics.” Social Problems 54: 289–307.
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/sp.2007.54.2.289

    BTW, I made an embarrassing mistake earlier. When I was searching for Gibson and Light (1967) before I was looking under the wrong category (books rather than scientific articles) on libgen. Full text is available there in PDF which should add significantly to this conversation. Unfortunately, AFAICT the PDF has not had OCR run on it so no cut and paste.

    Edward’s excerpts above are there, plus more. One interesting detail is they look at bachelor degree class as it relates both to IQ and to the distribution of degree classes in each field.

    Their second reference is available at libgen and looks possibly relevant: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1963-04959-001

    Abstract

    “Creativity… is a process extended in time and characterized by originality, adaptiveness, and realization.” Except for mathematicians “where there is a low positive correlation between intelligence and the level of creativeness, we have found within our creative samples essentially zero relationship between the two variables.” A research study of the characteristics and background of creative architects is extensively discussed. Implications of the nature of creative talent for the nurturing of it in school and college through the processes of education are considered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

    Unfortunately that paper is from a lecture and contains no figures or tables. There is an extended discussion of what is creativity and how to evaluate that. To summarize, they looked at actual creative accomplishment in one’s field.

    Much of the discussion in the paper was focused on architects.

    I would recommend the IQ haters here read that paper. Few numbers and lots of words they will find affirming. I’m still not quite sure what to make of it.

  148. Anonymous[119] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    And anyhow, since all they’ve done is turn the universities into loonie bins for snowflakes, it is clear that people of high IQ can’t manage even their own affairs, so why would we want them to run the world?

    You’re correct about the universities but that didn’t come from high-IQ people. Our problem today is that those who actually run the world are not very intelligent. They came from a rigged, non-meritocratic and dysgenic structure that was established long ago by their grand-grand-parents, tribesmen or secret society brethren.

    If we put a brand new society in a petri dish, a number of “elites” will quickly form. The one to watch for is the money/power elite. At the start they’ll have quite a few smart members but now they’ll want to secure the realm for their people – in perpetuity. This is a relatively normal human reaction but it’s even more normal for those who were interested in money/power to begin with.

    SO they’ll use their position to rig the system and cheat – which, in time, makes them less competitive, because they’re not competing, so they have to cheat more and on and on it goes.

    At some point, the society in the petri dish ends up being ruled by completely moronic “elite”, and the glass breaks.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  149. res says:
    @j2

    Making the Flynn correction is not justified in this study.

    Not sure why you are making this reply to me?

    One thing worth noting about the Flynn Effect for those who like to apply the correction to high IQ groups (like the eminent scientists of Anne Roe’s study).

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect#Rise_in_IQ

    Some studies have found the gains of the Flynn effect to be particularly concentrated at the lower end of the distribution. Teasdale and Owen (1989), for example, found the effect primarily reduced the number of low-end scores, resulting in an increased number of moderately high scores, with no increase in very high scores.[15] In another study, two large samples of Spanish children were assessed with a 30-year gap. Comparison of the IQ distributions indicated that the mean IQ scores on the test had increased by 9.7 points (the Flynn effect), the gains were concentrated in the lower half of the distribution and negligible in the top half, and the gains gradually decreased as the IQ of the individuals increased.[16] Some studies have found a reverse Flynn effect with declining scores for those with high IQ.[17][13]

    • Replies: @j2
  150. dearieme says:
    @res

    Thank you, res. IIRC Dr T here believes that above some value of IQ you’re better off not using tests but just asking conspicuously clever people to rate each other relatively.

    The thing that surprises me about the results on the Cambridge scientists isn’t that some have modest IQs, it’s that none had particularly high IQs. I simply find it hard to believe the “none”, based on my experience in university life – though not any experience of measuring IQs, I must admit.

    Some features of British academic life then are probably unfamiliar now, especially to Americans. It was always the habit that many of the cleverest undergraduates didn’t have any interest in entering academic life. Even if a clever undergraduate did a PhD he might easily decide that academic life was not for him. Academic science tended to involve long hours and rather poor pay. It might make a satisfying career for a chap obsessed with his science, especially if he had taken the wise precaution of inheriting or marrying money. Or if he was prepared to live a bachelor life in his College rooms.

    I tend to remember the account of Jim Watson. He was a bright chap, having shone as an undergraduate and taken his PhD young. But he always said that he found Francis Crick to be much cleverer than him. How did the survey miss any Cricks who might have been around at the time? Or had they vanished by then?

  151. @j2

    IQ 130 is 1 in 44 rather than 1 in 50. Not all that rare.
    Against all your reasonable points, Lubinski and Benbow.

  152. @anonymous

    See Detterman, also Lubinski and Benbow.

  153. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    Our problem today is that those who actually run the world are not very intelligent. They came from a rigged, non-meritocratic and dysgenic structure that was established long ago … At some point, the society in the petri dish ends up being ruled by completely moronic “elite”, and the glass breaks.

    Are you referring to the likes of our glorious leader, Justin Trudeau, the trust fund kid with the famous name?

    But yes, plutocracy in the guise of democracy, which is what the “free world” has, is as Winston Churchill remarked, “the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried,” and to that, one might add, even some of the others might well be better.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  154. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Precious

    The average IQ of a university professor is about 128, which is certainly a high IQ, but nowhere close to a very high IQ. University professors are about 1 to 1.5 standard deviations below people with a very high IQ.

    Now wait a minute. Isn’t that a tautology? I mean if you define a very high IQ as 1 to 1.5 standard deviations above a high IQ, then necessarily those with a very high IQ must have an IQ 1 to 1.5 standard deviations above those with a high IQ.

    The reason for this is because other people tend to envy people with very high IQs, and that is especially true of people who have high but not very high IQ

    The reason for this? For what? What you just said? I don’t think a tautology needs an explanation. It’s a self-verifiying proposition!

    Smart people are good at excluding very smart people from university. If you want some evidence for this, go look up and read Chris Langan’s story.

    I did and you’re wrong. According to Wikipedia:

    Langan attended Reed College and later on Montana State University, however, faced with severe financial and transportation problems, and believing that he could teach his professors more than they could teach him, he dropped out

    So Langan was not kept out of university, he opted out of his own accord.

    But let me give one concrete example of what we should do. Studies have shown that two people with a measured IQ gap of 30 points or more are not able to understand each other when communicating. Most people with very high IQ don’t have the skill to communicate with people of significantly lower intelligence than themselves.

    Says you. With no evidence whatsoever. I’m sure the average Nobel Prize winner is perfectly well able to make himself understood by the average municipal sanitary worker, and indeed, vice versa.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Precious
  155. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dearieme

    I ask because, based on my experience, “Cambridge scientists, who without apparent exception have IQ’s no greater than one to two standard deviations above the mean” seems (subjectively) to be an absurd claim.

    Not sure I can do much to manage your subjective experience.

    However, I have had much experience in dealing with scientists from the uppermost ranks to the rawest laboratory recruits and I assure you that in my experience a surprisingly large proportion of those from even the most famous schools seem not even half as sharp as my dear, departed, mother-in-law, who I believe left school at age 15.

    Indeed, the idea that schools such as Cambridge, England or Cambridge, Mass are brimming with geniuses is absurd. Most of the undergrads are either legacy kids who are lazy, non-academic or plain stupid, or all A’s non-entities whose careers leave no trace. And among the faculty, the vast majority shine in the reflected glory of a few stars, which the top universities can easily recruit because they confer the prestige to which academics most aspire.

    Try reading Evelyn Waugh’s Handful of Dust, you`ll never think of the Oxbridge class of schools the same way again.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  156. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Says you. With no evidence whatsoever. I’m sure the average Nobel Prize winner is perfectly well able to make himself understood by the average municipal sanitary worker, and indeed, vice versa.

    I’m having trouble digging up the references right now, but I looked into that before and the idea was based on US Army research. The type of communication matters. I tend to think the phenomenon is as much (or maybe more) about tendency to communicate in abstract vs. concrete fashion than it is about IQ.

    FWIW I think this idea goes a long way to explain the division of military command into commissioned and non-commissioned officers. The noncoms serve as a communications bridge. There are other things going on as well (e.g. I think it’s fair to say noncoms can get their hands a bit dirtier administering discipline).

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  157. res says:
    @AaronB

    young res

    It’s comments like this that help affirm my assessment of your perceptiveness and judgment.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  158. Precious says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Now wait a minute. Isn’t that a tautology? I mean if you define a very high IQ as 1 to 1.5 standard deviations above a high IQ, then necessarily those with a very high IQ must have an IQ 1 to 1.5 standard deviations above those with a high IQ.

    Sure, you can define a very high IQ as 145 (3 standard deviations above average) or 150 (the number you first gave) or even higher. The important point is that most university professors don’t have a very high IQ, they only have a high IQ.

    The reason for this? For what? What you just said?

    The reason for why very high IQ people are rarely university professors. Something like only 3-5% of university professors have an IQ above 140.

    I did and you’re wrong. According to Wikipedia:

    No, you are wrong, I am correct.

    I applied to two colleges, each of which offered me a full academic scholarship…To make a long story short, I found myself with a case of culture shock and intellectual alienation, an “advisor” harder to track down than Bigfoot, and sharp personality conflicts with two or three of the worst and most self-absorbed instructors I could have imagined…Although I encountered unexpected physical difficulties that I tried hard to resolve, the university administrators – citing my problems at the first institution – refused to budge in my direction, leaving me no choice but to depart in mid-winter…On several occasions after that, I allowed myself to be persuaded by others to give the system yet another chance. On the first occasion, the college claimed to have “lost” my application after the enrollment deadline. On the last occasion, I applied to the PhD program at a foreign university only to have my application rejected without explanation despite glowing written recommendations from various highly credentialed people. I could go on.

    So Langan was not kept out of university, he opted out of his own accord.

    Wrong, next time dig a little deeper than Wikipedia.

    Says you.

    No, I didn’t do the studies. My name is not Leta Hollingworth, nor is it D.K. Simonton.

    With no evidence whatsoever.

    You can look it up.

    I’m sure the average Nobel Prize winner is perfectly well able to make himself understood by the average municipal sanitary worker

    If the average Nobel Prize winner has an IQ of less than 130 and the average municipal sanitary worker has an IQ of 100-105, you would be correct.

    But if the Nobel Prize winner has an IQ of 145 and the municipal sanitary worker has an IQ of 95, the most likely outcome is the sanitary worker isn’t going to understand what the Nobel Prize winner is saying and will think the Nobel Prize winner is stupid.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  159. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Precious

    But if the Nobel Prize winner has an IQ of 145 and the municipal sanitary worker has an IQ of 95, the most likely outcome is the sanitary worker isn’t going to understand what the Nobel Prize winner is saying and will think the Nobel Prize winner is stupid.

    Well obviously if the Nobel Prize winner starts muttering about “g mu nu” or some such double Dutch the sanitation worker will be confused. But if he says, “Hang on a minute, the bin’s round the back, I’ll wheel it round right away,” then where’s the problem?

    True, if the sanitation worker were to ask:

    “Where’s your bin?”

    Then only another ebonics speaker would be able to respond correctly with some such statement as:

    “I’s bin upstairs, where’s your bin?”

    But the thing is, such difficulties have nothing to do with intelligence, only with a non-shared knowledge base and vocabulary.

  160. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    One reason attempting to measure intelligence quantitatively yields only nonsense is that intelligence refers to the quality of mental performance not to quantity. Thus to say x is twice as intelligent as y is like saying sea green is twice as green as emerald green. What can that possibly mean?

    And even if intelligence were in some way intelligibly quantifiable, there is no reason to suppose that an IQ score, which reflects the individual’s performance relative to the rest of the population, is proportional to the quantitative difference in intelligence.

    If we compare men by the amount they can lift, then a guy who lifts half a ton is about ten times stronger than the average guy who can lift 100 pounds, and dozens of times stronger than the weakest guy alive. But if we consider height, the the tallest man in the world, at a bout eight feet, is only about 50% taller than the average guy, and barely twice the height of the shortest guy.

    So what about intelligence? Is the cleverest guy in the world with an IQ of 214 ten times as clever as the average guy or only 50% cleverer. IQ measurements tell us nothing about that, so what do the differences mean, other than in terms of frequency relative to the population as a whole.

    Or consider another analogy. X can crack ten nuts in his teeth per minute, Y, can crack only one nut per minute, but Y can crack a nut. So is X ten times as good a nut cracker as Y or just about the same, but faster. IQ test comparisons raise similar questions.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  161. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @j2

    You make good sense, although the fact that math profs have higher IQ’s than profs in most other fields surely reflects the emphasis on numerical puzzles in IQ tests. I bet in some test or other, maybe putting colored blocks together, I’d beat you even though I was never a math prof.

    And there remains the Feynman problem. An unquestioned math genius with an IQ in the 120’s, confirmed by both his wife and his sister (also a physicist with, so she claimed, a slightly higher IQ).

    I do not think high IQ is even an requirement for being able to do something extraordinary

    There is evidence to support that. Not only the case of Feynman but the only candidates for the Terman study of high IQ individuals who went on to win the Nobel prize (Shockley and Alvarez) both failed to make the IQ-135 cut.

    The focus on IQ only detracts from the need to get on and “accomplish sump’n,” as Thomas Edison, speaking to a new recruit, summarized the objectives of his workshop.

    If I may make a personal remark, your high IQ must reflect not only your mathematical aptitude, but the fact that unlike Richard Feynman (when not ghosted) you write well, and so presumably would do well at the verbal as well as the numerical and diagrammatic sections of an IQ test. That being the so, maybe you’re not really so hot at math!

  162. AaronB says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Here’s something that interests me.

    IQ tests are timed. But someone who scored say 110, may have gotten many more answers right given a reasonable amount of extra time.

    Another person who scores 110, may never get any more answers right. Or may need twice as much extra time as the first guy.

    Are they equally intelligent? They both scored 110.

    IQ tests utilize a singe time scale. Lets say, how many questions you get right in 30 minutes. Difficulty of questions is factored in too.

    Lets say it utilized another time scale. 45 minutes. Would all people who scored 110 under the 30 minute time scale, now do better? What if only some will?

    Has this been tested? Or has it simply been assumed that everyone with a particular score in one time scale will increase by the same amount with extra time?

    Perhaps young res can help us out here?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @CanSpeccy
  163. AaronB says:
    @res

    You should have more respect for my judgement. My early instincts regarding the Boeing crashes were proven substantially correct, while your early instincts proved wrong.

    And the horse you backed – FB – was shown to not be credible.

    If you’re not young, I apologize. But you have surely led a sheltered life. There is a certain naivete to your thinking.

    Not necessarily a bad thing in abstract fields, but at the interface of science and the human world, where complexity creates a much higher cognitive load, it can lead to misleadingly simple conclusions.

    • LOL: res
  164. Anonymous[119] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Are you referring to the likes of our glorious leader, Justin Trudeau, the trust fund kid with the famous name?

    He’d be a part of that system but small fry. I was talking about people upstairs from there who installed him and chose his tasks. They are, on average, dumber than their subordinates. It might sound counter-intuitive but the further you go upstairs, the less meritocracy you’ll find. In a way, the “all-seeing eye” at the top of the pyramid is actually blind.

    That’s why high-IQ professors “run” universities in increasingly stupid fashion and official Western leaders – who are usually not low-IQ – “run” their countries badly. They’re not in charge and the people who do run their worlds are dim bulbs.

    This is not a moral judgement. Their aims are wrong and their methods for achieving those aims are wrong – because they didn’t, and couldn’t, think this through. So they’ll fail in trying to attempt the wrong objective.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  165. Anonymous[119] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    Are they equally intelligent? They both scored 110.

    If they scored the same in the allotted time there shouldn’t be that much difference between them if the test was prolonged. If one of them was much brighter they wouldn’t be in that position to begin with.

    As to your second question, increasing the allotted time means that you’d have to recalibrate the values. So you’d get more right answers but they’d be worth less and the final results should match.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  166. AaronB says:
    @Anonymous

    If they scored the same in the allotted time there shouldn’t be that much difference between them if the test was prolonged. If one of them was much brighter they wouldn’t be in that position to begin with

    Are you just assuming this or has this been tested.

    I ask this out of personal experience. When friends of mine were studying for the LSAT, there were a few who would always score roughly the same on the timed test. But given a bit more time, some would be able to solve more of the difficult questions. Others needed much more time.

    If this happens with IQ also, then it makes IQ scores much less meaningful.

    As to your second question

    I only had one question…

    • Replies: @utu
    , @kelvin150
  167. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    FWIW I think this idea goes a long way to explain the division of military command into commissioned and non-commissioned officers. The noncoms serve as a communications bridge.

    Well the commissioned officers have all received officer training, so naturally they know more, theoretically, than the non-comms. about how to proceed.

    In Britain, the distinction between commissioned and non-commissioned officers was, during the first half of the 20th century based not on intelligence but class. The officer training schools took well-to-do young men from the privates schools who were too dumb, or at least too ill-prepared to get a place at university: Winston Churchill, for example. Private schools and the grammar schools also provided officer training, which further reinforced the class division between the commissioned officers and the non-comms. Only with the advent of WWII, were working class men considered for officer training in the navy, this change being at the behest of Winston Churchill, whose experience in the trenches in France during WWI gave him a good opinion of working class men.

    In his autobiography, Lord Carrington, UK Foreign Secretary under Thatcher, described the frequent imbecility of the officer class, who were generally idiotically snobbish and incompetent to a degree that made them a danger to all and sundry on the battlefield.

    Non-comms. on the other hand could be astute men. The English poet, Robert Graves in Goodbye to All That, describes the good advice he received from his non-comm. subordinate when he arrived in the trenches during WW1.

    With commendable keenness, Graves had his men bang away at the Huns in the face of furious German fire. The situation was extremely unpleasant until Graves’ non-comm. deputy pointed out that “if we shoot at them, they will shoot back.” Graves thought about that and then ordered his men to shoot only in return of German fire. Thereafter, both sides had a relatively much quieter time.

    Another, presumably intelligent non-comm. was Hilary Clinton’s father. He seems to have been a sadistic SOB, which is a desirable trait in non-comms. who supervise men in basic training. The thing is to bully the recruits relentlessly, thus to induce automatic obedience to any command including the command to go and get yourself killed — now. Ask almost anyone who’s been through British army training and I bet they will tell you of the brutal bullying they experienced. Lord Carrington, in his autobiography provides one such example. Having disassembled his rifle, cleaned the parts and laid them out on his bed in preparation for reassembly, a non-commissioned officer walked over, gathered up the blanket on which the parts rested and shook it out the window. Carrington then spent days poking around in the dirt to find every last nut, bolt and screw.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @dearieme
  168. utu says:
    @AaronB

    There are deep thinkers and there are quick thinkers. The former are rarely quick. The quick thinkers are satisfied with the first solution and it makes them rest on their laurels while the deep slow thinkers look for larger patterns and end up going further. The quick thinkers are great at spotting low hanging fruits. The deep thinkers can explain why there are no fruits. The two types often irritate each other but if they get along they can produce exceptional synergy up to a point. A good example is Feynman vs. Gell-Mann. In the end Gell-Mann could not stand Feynman attention craving antics and his studied and rehearsed sprezzatura.

    The German Shepherd in the comment #115 is a quick thinker. A Feynman amount German Shepherds. He can crack locks but he does not care about the lock he does it to impress the bitch.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @AaronB
  169. utu says:
    @utu

    Correction: “A Feynman among German Shepherds”

  170. utu says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “the frequent imbecility of the officer class” – “The Good Soldier Švejk” by Jaroslav Hašek is full of this imbecility.

  171. j2 says:
    @res

    “Not sure why you are making this reply to me?”

    I addressed it to you for the simple reason that you seemed to know something of these things and could write a meaningful comment.

  172. dearieme says:
    @CanSpeccy

    On the other hand the Chief of the Imperial General Staff for much of the First World War was Wullie Robertson, a village boy who joined the army as a trooper (i.e. private). He qualified for entry to officer training at Sandhurst aided by some of the officers of his regiment tutoring their bright young sergeant-major for the entrance exams.

    Who would his US equivalent be; Pershing perhaps? WKPD: “Pershing attended a school in Laclede that was reserved for precocious students who were also the children of prominent citizens.” Quite a difference.

  173. dearieme says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “the idea that schools such as Cambridge, England or Cambridge, Mass are brimming with geniuses is absurd” Well, of course it is. A genius is a Shakespeare, Newton, Rembrandt, Mozart, Gauss, …..

  174. AaronB says:
    @utu

    Makes sense. And IQ at best tests for some version of quick problem solving on a very basic level – low hanging fruit.

    This is perhaps why IQ scores correlate so poorly with high level achievement of any kind.

    The kind of thinking IQ tests for has a very low ceiling – so even a stellar IQ does not imply genius.

    The timed element also helps explain the Flynn Factor. Timed tasks are most susceptible to training. They are skills, not abilities.

    In this context, it makes perfect sense that IQ tests were designed merely to weed out the mentally retarded. I can see how that would be its primary use, and would do a decent job at it.

    It reminds me of Taleb and Via Negativa – we are on much surer ground cognitively eliminating something than adding. When something designed to be Via Negativa become a Via Positiva, very stupid things start happening.

    But our culture has a Via Positiva bias, and lacks the restraint to be epistemicaly humble. That is why increasingly why our science produces less and less good knowledge. Epistemic humility actually results in a better understanding of the world and a better ability to control it, because it is more honest and real.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @res
  175. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    So speed in picking low hanging fruit – speed in handling cognitively undemanding tasks (relatively) – does not “scale” up to high cognitive ability.

    This strikes me as another major break through in the critique of IQ. The element of Time, and reliance up it. We have uncovered another implicit assumption that seems to not be based in reality, but only theory.

    Even theoretical might be too generous a term. It is simply an assumption, like the assumption that motivation doesn’t affect IQ.

    • Replies: @kelvin150
  176. res says:
    @AaronB

    This is perhaps why IQ scores correlate so poorly with high level achievement of any kind.

    Source of that graphic: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0963721410391442

    Don’t you ever get tired of spouting nonsense?

    P.S. For regular readers, this is from the SMPY research of Lubinski and Benbow which Dr. Thompson refers to frequently. Here is a comprehensive bibliography: https://my.vanderbilt.edu/smpy/publications/david-lubinski/
    This Nature article provides a good summary: https://www.nature.com/news/how-to-raise-a-genius-lessons-from-a-45-year-study-of-super-smart-children-1.20537

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Dieter Kief
  177. AaronB says:
    @res

    So between 10-30 percent of people in the highest quartile achieve distinction in any of the measures on that graph.

    So yeah, low correlation.

    But there is a much larger problem.

    Most of those “distinctions” are low hanging fruit, and circular (they are IQ like tasks that do not interface with the real world, like PHDs (!), peer reviewed articles, etc).

    When I said high achievement of any kind, I meant achievement at the interface between mind and the real world.

    You know, like the fact that a billion high IQ Chinese can’t make a jet engine as good as a 100 plus million Russians can. Or produce genius mathematicians in the past 100 years. (Terence Tao?). But what they can do, is get PHDs, and probably lots of peer reviewed articles published.

    The problem with you, res, is that you don’t know how to think. Your own mind does not interface with the real world

    You have already uploaded your mind onto the abstract plane and see PHDs as validating tests that test for PHD like tasks. Do you understand that this is circular? Do you understand that these tests can only be validated if their results extend to cognitive tasks that are not just reiterations of the test itself? Do you understand construct validity?

    If a group of people get zillions of PHDs and peer reviewed articles – and cannot build jet engines or produce genius mathematicians – then we have a problem with construct validity with regard to these tests?

    No, you don’t understand this. You can’t understand this. Because your mind is already uploaded onto the technological continuum and you have lost sight of the distinction between concrete reality and artifacts of the mind.

    You are a good example of our sci-fi future.

  178. j2 says:
    @Precious

    “The US has about 350,000 people with an IQ in excess of 150, and it has about 1.5 million university professors.”

    The USA has a population of 327 million, thus the faction of professors is 1.5/327=0.00458.
    Finland has a population of 5,5 million and 2000 university professors, so the fraction of professors is
    2000/5500,000=0.00036. The fraction in Finland is quite typical for any developed country.

    There is a difference of more than a decade. Clearly, this your figure of the number of professors in the USA does not mean full professors in a real university. You count all people called in some sense professors, like Assistant Professors and teachers in a low level college. There are much fewer full professors in universities that you honestly can call universities, and in exact fields you will not get a full professorship by being the best in you primary school class (the best in 44, IQ 130). In any European capital, if you want to become a professor in exact fields in an appreciated university, you certainly should have much higher talent. I understand that IQ psychologists may not get this simple fact, but they are the dumbest of all researchers in the academia and an embarrassment for all real scientists, so we try to understand.

  179. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    Those with inherited wealth may certainly exercise power, overtly or covertly: think Rockerfellers, Kennedys and the likes. But mostly the Money power is corporate as I explained here: the New world Order: How It Works. Our puppet Justin apparently works mainly for the deeply corrupt, Canada-based multi-national engineering firm, SNC-Lavelin.

  180. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @AaronB

    IQ tests are timed. But someone who scored say 110, may have gotten many more answers right given a reasonable amount of extra time.

    Maybe that’s a factor, but not an important one. IQ tests are not reasoning tests (and indeed IQ test results correlate poorly with tests of reasoning capacity), they are, as the Flynn Effect indicates, tests of culture and specific learned responses.

    That is why midwits do well at IQ tests. Here’s a typical test question:

    1234x, what is x.

    The African with an average of only three years of schooling may hardly be able to count, so he’ll probably say, WTF, dunno.

    The educated mid-wit will instantly give the learned response, i.e., that 5 follows 4 in the sequence 1234, for which he gets an IQ point.

    The person who is both educated and somewhat thoughtful, will say, um, could be any number at all, for example, x might be 5 or 1235, or any one of an infinite number of alternatives.

    Incidentally, the information just released on the on the BoeingMAX crashes, seem to confirm FB’s analysis making your refutation appear untenable.

    • Replies: @j2
    , @AaronB
  181. j2 says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “could be any number at all, for example, x might be 5 or 1235,”

    The more logical alternatives include x=56, x=5678.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  182. AaronB says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Basically correct.

    Tests of culture and specific learned responses, with a low ceiling. Useful for what it was originally designed for – only to detect extreme mental deficiency.

    In the end reality has the last say – as it becomes increasingly clear that IQ does not correlate with high achievement, it will become increasingly impossible to defend it.

    Reality is a harsh mistress. You can fool it for a time, and show how IQ correlates to PHDs lol, but the real, concrete, physical world has the last laugh with regard to human theories.

    Your example with numbers – well its numbers, so it must be culture neutral 🙂

    As for MCAS, that article does not disprove my theory. FB argued that MCAS threw the plane into an unrecoverable dive before the pilot had the chance to throw the cutout switches.

    We know that the pilot in each crash had more than 24 times to throw those switches (MCAS activated more than 24 times on each flight). The Ethiopian Air pilot even had the time to take out the technical manual and study it.

    At this point, the ultimate report cannot validate what FB said. We always knew enough that what he was saying made no sense.

    The only real funding that would invalidate pilot incompetence is that other systems were also malfunctioning.

  183. @AaronB

    You will see that the figure also includes income, which I assume you accept as a real world variable.
    Here is a link to another relevant publication regarding income and wealth.
    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/are-rich-americans-bright/

    • Replies: @AaronB
  184. AaronB says:
    @James Thompson

    Income was the lowest. 10%.

  185. Anonymous[325] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    Man, this was painful to read.

  186. kelvin150 says:
    @AaronB

    > speed in handling cognitively undemanding tasks (relatively) – does not “scale” up to high cognitive ability.

    There are two possibility with fast thinker. One because of the extra time for thinking they can go deeper. Two they cannot think of anything else. So it is fifty fifty.

    For the slow thinker (in processing the fact, not the speed they offer the solution) by definition do not have time to think any deeper. Thus it is a certainty they are not that bright.

    Between the two type, on average the fast thinker might be brighter.

    You on the other hand jump to conclusion fast, we can see you are the later type.

  187. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @AaronB

    You know, like the fact that a billion high IQ Chinese can’t make a jet engine as good as a 100 plus million Russians can.

    These things take time. The Chinese have been working seriously at such things only since Mao departed the scene. Up till then, for centuries, the Chinese were either opposed to technological change, or were expected to achieve technological change through the dictates of the buffoonish tyrant, Mao. Today, China is on a different track. I expect within a decade they will be making quite good jet engines, maybe as good as anyone’s, and almost certainly much more cheaply.

    The problem with you, res, is that you don’t know how to think. Your own mind does not interface with the real world

    But what you say about thought in interaction with reality is interesting. A Japanese study of fairly recent vintage concluded that most of the important technological innovations that have made the modern world were made in Britain. How could that be? The Brits are not very numerous and they are not particularly intelligent as judged by IQ tests or any other known measure. The conclusion must be, therefore, that their culture is, or was, unique. In what way, would take more words than I have time for now. But clearly creativity is dependent on a mode of thought, not some special neurology. So there is hope for Res yet. He just needs nudging in the right direction.

  188. kelvin150 says:
    @AaronB

    > But given a bit more time, some would be able to solve more of the difficult questions. Others needed much more time.

    You are the type that believe that a monkey with a typewriter, given enough time it will produce a Shakespear level play.

  189. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    And here’s an amazing link Res provided on the most recent Boeing crash thread:

    https://humanvarieties.org/2016/01/31/iq-and-permanent-income-sizing-up-the-iq-paradox/

    It shows that a person classified by IQ as a moron can earn as much as the average for persons with an IQ of 140.

    Makes you wonder doesn’t it. Should a young person follow the PhD route or skip the education, with all its cost and tedious reading, and just pursue the moron track.

  190. @renfro

    renfro wrote:

    then there are other people who believe they are smarter than anyone else

    Hmmm… In my experience, most high IQ people are able to acknowledge that there are people smarter than they are.

    For example, I know that I am quite bright by various objective measurements (SAT scores, various STEM contests, etc.). However, when I was a sophomore in college I became friends with a math prodigy who entered grad school in math at Caltech, when he was 15 (four years younger than me). This guy was so far beyond me in math that I could not follow him: he was nice about it and would change subjects when it became clear I was lost. I was one of the top students at Caltech, and yet it was clear that, at least in math, this guy was enormously brighter than me.

    Most of us physicists think that Ed Witten is smarter than we are. I think that most mathematicians thought that Atiyah was smarter than they were.

    Of course, maybe your point is that really smart people do not suffer from either of the fallacies you present: i.e., those of us who are actually smart know that there are others smarter than we are.

    This does fit with the study Thompson discusses: the upper part of the Gaussian were fairly accurate in judging their own intelligence.

    • Replies: @renfro
  191. @AaronB

    AaaronB wrote:

    You have already uploaded your mind onto the abstract plane and see PHDs as validating tests that test for PHD like tasks.

    Well, as a Ph.D., I will grant you that there are Ph.D.s even in STEM areas who are not exceptionally bright (let’s just leave aside non-STEM Ph.D.s, for obvious reasons).

    But even the dumber STEM Ph.D.s I’ve known were brighter than average people.

    AaronB also wrote:

    You know, like the fact that a billion high IQ Chinese can’t make a jet engine as good as a 100 plus million Russians can. Or produce genius mathematicians in the past 100 years. (Terence Tao?).

    I think you under-estimate the number of high-performing Chinese mathematicians — off the top of my head, S. S. Chern and S. T. Yau are certainly on that list.

    And, if you look at younger mathematicians, well, there are a lot more Chinese names than when I was a student forty years ago. It will be a while before we know which of them has made lasting contributions, but they are certainly moving up.

    • Replies: @utu
  192. NewMoney says:

    > It shows that a person classified by IQ as a moron can earn as much as the average for persons with an IQ of 140.

    Ha. What a joker. Cherry picking results. I wonder if he is smart enough to read charts and equations.

    There are lots of old money and the only smart the morons have was to pick rich parents. Even so the chart and the equations clearly showed that on average income increases with IQ.

    ln(Income) = +0.025*IQ + 7.896

    That could be too much for him to understand. How sad.

  193. @CanSpeccy

    Badenian (= southern German) saying: Being dumb doesn’t matter as long as someone knows what to do.

  194. @CanSpeccy

    I have read the reference, and cannot understand your remarks. The paper shows big effect of intelligence on income. Can you explain your comments further?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  195. utu says:
    @PhysicistDave

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinichi_Mochizuki
    On August 30, 2012 Shinichi Mochizuki released four preprints, whose total size was about 500 pages, that develop inter-universal Teichmüller theory and apply it to attempt to prove several very famous problems in Diophantine geometry.[8] These include the strong Szpiro conjecture, the hyperbolic Vojta conjecture and the abc conjecture over every number field. While there were no experts on IUT in 2012, their number increased to a two-digital one in 2017.[2] The papers are expected to be published in 2018 by Publications of RIMS

    Titans of Mathematics Clash Over Epic Proof of ABC Conjecture
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/titans-of-mathematics-clash-over-epic-proof-of-abc-conjecture-20180920/

    Between 12 and 18 mathematicians who have studied the proof in depth believe it is correct, wrote Ivan Fesenko of the University of Nottingham in an email. But only mathematicians in “Mochizuki’s orbit” have vouched for the proof’s correctness, Conrad commented in a blog discussion last December. “There is nobody else out there who has been willing to say even off the record that they are confident the proof is complete.”

    That has now changed. In their report, Scholze and Stix argue that a line of reasoning near the end of the proof of “Corollary 3.12” in Mochizuki’s third of four papers is fundamentally flawed. The corollary is central to Mochizuki’s proposed abc proof.

    But the meeting led to an oddly unsatisfying conclusion: Mochizuki couldn’t convince Scholze and Stix that his argument was sound, but they couldn’t convince him that it was unsound. Mochizuki has now posted Scholze’s and Stix’s report on his website, along with several reports of his own in rebuttal. (Mochizuki and Hoshi did not respond to requests for comments for this article.)

    In his rebuttal, Mochizuki attributes Scholze and Stix’s criticism to “certain fundamental misunderstandings” about his work. Their “negative position,” he wrote, “does not imply the existence of any flaws whatsoever” in his theory.

  196. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    Re: the Human Varieties online paper entitled:IQ and Permanent Income: Sizing Up the “IQ Paradox”, you say:

    I have read the reference, and cannot understand your remarks. By “remarks”

    I take it that you refer to my statement that:

    It (the paper in question) shows that a person classified by IQ as a moron can earn as much as the average for persons with an IQ of 140.

    I have not read the paper in its entirety, but understand from glancing over it, that it examined the relationship between what it calls “permanent income” and IQ, the former being defined thus:

    the average income calculated from up to nine biennial income reports from age 32 or 33 to age 47 or 48.

    The paper includes several unnumbered dot plots showing permanent income, or log sub 10 permanent income, versus IQ. What those plots appear to show is that some individuals with an IQ of around 70, which I believe is considered to be a moronic level of intelligence, had a permanent income equal to the point where what I take to be a regression line of income on IQ intersects IQ 140. From that I made the inference quoted above. Is that not correct? If not, please explain.

    • Replies: @NewMoney
    , @James Thompson
  197. Anon[289] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Well we all have something to be grateful for: your brevity when you have got out of the wrong side of the bed and started the day with angry and fatuous sniping. Sensible of you only to expose Anonymous [730] as shameful spokesman for your lesser self.

  198. @CanSpeccy

    Greg Clark’s “A Farewell to Alms: a Brief Economic History of the World” provided convincing evidence that the poor in Britain for several hundred years were outbred by the literate, numerate children of the successful commercial and professional classes and, though not inheriting enough to stop them being, initially, downwardly mobile, they produced the industrial revolution. Obviousl they had advantages compared with the Chinese that becoming literate was much easier and the absence of great deference to their seniors. While Clark’s book doesn’t emphasise it he clearly accepts that there was a good big lump on the right hand end of the IQ Normal Curve – at least until birth control and WW1 took their toll.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @James Thompson
  199. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @j2

    The more logical alternatives include x=56, x=5678.

    I’m sure you’re right, and in which case, it means that a mathematically sophisticated person has to work harder than the average guy to get a decent IQ-test score, since they have to figure out what’s in the tiny mind of the test creator before answering the question.

    • Replies: @j2
  200. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    Greg Clark’s “A Farewell to Alms: a Brief Economic History of the World” provided convincing evidence that the poor in Britain for several hundred years were outbred by the literate, numerate children of the successful commercial and professional classes and, though not inheriting enough to stop them being, initially, downwardly mobile, they produced the industrial revolution.

    Yes. That’s more or less what Adam Smith said.

    Unfortunately, the descendants of those who created the industrial revolution are too dumb, ignorant or corrupt to rectify today’s clearly dysgenic breeding policy, which encourages welfare-based reproduction while providing every economic impediment to intelligent people achieving even a replacement fertility rate.

    The Treason Class rules, which is to say that the object of population policy in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand is to displace Europeans as the majority by suppressing there fertility and at the same time promoting mass immigration of people of alien race, religion and culture. Without racially and culturally defined nations, the sovereign, democratic nation state is no more. In its place will emerge administrative units, post-national states as the globalist puppet Justin Trudeau describes Canada, who are subordinate to institutions of global governance under the hidden hand of the Money Power.

    The same plan operates in America, cf. : My Plan To Destroy America

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Wizard of Oz
  201. @Wizard of Oz

    Clarke may be making things clear in his next book, expected shortly.

  202. j2 says:
    @CanSpeccy

    I would also seriously consider x=9 since the numbers interleave two series
    1 3 9 27 …
    and
    2 4 8 16 …

    There is also the solution x= =10, i.e., 1234=10, the sum

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  203. NewMoney says:
    @CanSpeccy

    > It shows that a person classified by IQ as a moron can earn as much as the average for persons with an IQ of 140. Makes you wonder doesn’t it. Should a young person follow the PhD route or skip the education, with all its cost and tedious reading, and just pursue the moron track.

    In context of your argument, selectively picking a small number of the best from a lower group to compare with the average of another higher group rather than looking at the overall results, and used that to support your argument is dishonest cherry picking, the lowest of the low. People can judge one’s true character for themselves.

    There are a few dogs and cats that inherited great wealth. Why don’t they be used as proof as well?

  204. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    selectively picking a small number of the best from a lower group to compare with the average of another higher group rather than looking at the overall results, and used that to support your argument is dishonest cherry picking

    Don’t be a low IQ idiot. What I said was factually correct.

    Moreover the data reveal only a poor correlation between IQ and income, such that there are many exceptions to the overall trend of increasing income with IQ.

    That is consistent with the results of the Terman study which found a significant proportion of the high IQ subjects of study ended up in such mundane and low-paid occupations as janitor or fisherman. The study that Res pointed to indicates the converse, namely that many with low IQ’s ended up in high paid occupations.

    So IQ may be the best thing psychology has to offer as a means of predicting income, but its highly unreliable. Likely it is somewhat more reliable in predicting academic success. But many of those who have some success academically do not necessarily go on to careers that generate income commensurate with their academic achievement.

    But it is interesting to see the frenzy excited in some people by any challenge to the notion that IQ measures intelligence — which it obviously does not, if by intelligence is meant what the dictionary says intelligence means — and the idea that social rewards and authority should be allocated according to IQ. Apparently, to the IQ-ist, other characteristics, such as morality, culture, taste, judgement, aesthetic sensibility, creativity, wisdom, experience and knowledge come nowhere in competition with IQ in the establishment of social rank. Such an obsession, it seems to me, is the mark of a dangerously authoritarian personality.

    • Replies: @NewMoney
  205. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @j2

    Yes, numbers are deeply fascinating, some of course being more interesting than others.

    But I suppose one could go beyond numbers. X could represent the accession to personal rule of Louis IX of France, aka St. Louis, which occurred in the Year 1234, although, sadly, that is an answer that would only confirm one’s serious mental limitation.

    • Replies: @j2
  206. NewMoney says:
    @CanSpeccy

    > Moreover the data reveal only a poor correlation between IQ and income, such that there are many exceptions to the overall trend of increasing income with IQ.

    From the paper: “Here’s what the scatterplot and the parameter estimates look like when the natural logarithm of permanent income is regressed on IQ:”

    People can clearly see, the significant level (p-val) is at 0.000, i.e. very very low probability of false error, very very statistically significant. You lied through the teeth. The lowest of the low. Waste of time going further.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  207. renfro says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Of course, maybe your point is that really smart people do not suffer from either of the fallacies you present: i.e., those of us who are actually smart know that there are others smarter than we are.

    I see you are smart enough to get my point..

  208. j2 says:
    @CanSpeccy

    You are of course quite right, it could be a year, but assuming that it is a mathematical problem, consider these two solutions:
    the unique solution that completes the sequence of numbers as a series is x=…
    1234…
    But the question asked for the next term, not completing it.
    One solution to the problem that I personally would accept is
    x=567890
    because
    1234
    cannot be an infinite series without delimiters between numbers (i.e., cannot go beyond 9) and therefore is not a series but a sequence of digits and the complete digits is
    1234567890
    but if it is called a series in the problem setting, we need to add more terms, something like
    1234567890 2345678901 3345679012 …
    for instance, circular permutation would be a logical thing to do with a sequence of digits,
    but the problem setting does not give any hint to what the rule for the terms might be.

    Therefore the unique correct answer is that the problem is poorly defined and cannot be solved.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  209. @CanSpeccy

    If you take more time to consider the paper, what is your judgment about the points it makes about the relationship between IQ and income?

    I have looked at it and I think it shows that IQ predicts income. Indeed, that each IQ point confers an extra $1130 in earnings. “Human Varieties” is a bit surprised by this finding as well, but these are actual findings which are relevant to the general issue of whether IQ makes real life predictions. For most of us, earning an income is a real life task.

    So, could you look at it further, and give what you consider to be a fair and balanced account of the findings?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @CanSpeccy
  210. Anonymous[102] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Thompson

    For most of us, earning an income is a real life task.

    Haha, well said. I’d go even further and say that IQ tests themselves happen in real life and the ability to problem-solve, figure out, connect the dots or reach insight doesn’t disappear upon accomplishing that particular task.

  211. AaronB says:
    @CanSpeccy

    You are undoubtedly correct about there being something specific about the concrete reality of Britain that produced geniuses.

    When I first began to question the significance of IQ, I began to notice that only a handful of European countries were extraordinarily fecund in geniuses from among a group that all had roughly similar IQs.

    It was clear that national IQ did not correlate well with high level of achievement of any kind.

    This point is most dramatically illustrated between Asia and Europe, but can just as easily be demonstrated between European countries.

    The problem is science itself – numbers. Numbers are abstract universals. The more you think in numbers the more you train your mind to only see the universal aspect of a situation and not the concrete specificity of it.

    The more you think in numbers, the more you see “human beings” – the abstract universal shared by all humans – and fail to see Englishmen, Frenchmen, or Chinese.

    So a Chinese must be interchangeable with an Englishmen – because you’ve trained your mind only to think in terms of abstract universals.

    I prefer to include concrete detail in my analysis – I am not capable of understanding all the complex factors that distinguish a Chinese from an Englishmen, and I know that I cannot know, so I rely on the specific demonstrated record of ability and character between the two countries – which I assume contains information about them that I do not necessarily know in coded form.

    It is a kind of epistemic humility – what Taleb calls decision making under opacity.

    Only someone who has trained his mind to see only the abstract universals of a situation can not understand that that he cannot know the full complexity of the situation.

    Lacking epistemic humility and operating under a form of Dunning Kreuger, he assumes the universals of the situation are all there are. He does not know that he does not know. So he just assumes an Englishmen is interchangeable with a Chinese man. They are both human, and that aspect of intelligence that can be expressed in the universal language of numbers are not too dissimilar, therefore we must be seeing the same results from both.

    If we don’t see that, then we must say it will happen in the future – always the future.

    I know your position is more subtle and intelligent – I am just doing a broad sweep description here.

    Thinking in numbers was the essence of the scientific revolution. It has been tremendously successful and powerful. But we are now reaching the historical limits of its usefulness, and there is beginning to be seen a shift towards integrating concrete detail into our analysis. Of course the numbers revolution will never be lost and will permanently enrich human thinking.

    Ironically, science began as epistemic humility – all advances in human knowledge have epistemic humility as their basis.

    And the next advance will depend on the breakup of the current paradigm of hardened knowledge – the believe that only universals matter. Just as science depended on the breakup of the Aristotelian paradigm.

    This is no tragedy and how humanity advances – scholastics like res and Thompson are the defenders of the old paradigm.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @dc.sunsets
  212. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    It was endlessly puzzling to me that res and I could see the same figures and cone to such different conclusions.

    For instance, that g only explains 40% of variance. To me this seemed extremely insignificant. To him this seemed to justify claims that g is practically synonymous with the essence of intelligence.

    And above where only 10% of people in the highest SAT quartile are in the 95th income bracket. To me this seems obviously to mean IQ predicts income extremely poorly. Faced with a bunch of people from that bracket, I’d have to tell them despite their high IQ the odds are significantly against them being well off.

    Yet to Thompson and res, this is exactly a good example of IQ correlating with wealth.

    Why this vast difference?

    I believe the explanation is psychological.

    Res and Thompson have trained their minds to only see the universal aspect of a situation. It is a particular mental training that results in a form of Dunning Kreuger. So they can no longer see the concrete reality – the interface between mind and reality.

    These numbers are mathematically significant – they are just real world insignificant.

    But for them the function of mathematics has been turned on its head – it no longer interfaces with the real world but is its own abstract universe, where one can live in on its own terms, remote from real life. Numbers have become untethered from the real world and valid on their own terms – not in terms of their real world predictive ability.

    And this is the result of a long historical process where the Western mind has trained itself to think in universals, which is reaching its senile end.

    • LOL: res
  213. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    I have looked at it and I think it shows that IQ predicts income. Indeed, that each IQ point confers an extra $1130 in earnings.

    No one, at least not me, is disputing that there is an overall trend. That is obvious. You don’t need statistics to prove it.

    What I said was that according to the data presented:

    a person classified by IQ as a moron can earn as much as the average for persons with an IQ of 140.

    That is a fact.

    Do you dispute it?

    If not, what is all the fuss about?

    (Note, I am not saying every moron does earn as much as the average earned by persons of IQ 140, or that they could. I am saying merely that some do earn as much as persons of IQ 140.)

    As for the trend, yes, there is an overall positive relation between IQ and income, although it is a very weak correlation, hence numerous and glaring exceptions to the rule that people of low IQ must have low incomes.

    Specifically, the correlation coefficient for the relationship between IQ and income is 0.37 (virtually the same as the Garett Jones study that the author cites. meaning that a mere 14% of the variation in income is accounted for by variation in IQ.

    I assure you I am not disputing that conclusion. Obviously being able to read, write, add up, and interpret, or draw inferences from, simple diagrams as required by a successful IQ test taker are necessary attributes in many jobs. The absense of some correlation between IQ test score and income would therefore be extraordinary. What is extraordinary, in fact, the remarkably low correlation between IQ test score, a fairly good indicator of academic aptitude, and earnings. But then despite today’s clamor about education, there has never been much connection between learning and earning.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  214. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @NewMoney

    Waste of time going further.

    With you, yes. Your understanding of the meaning of statistics is as minimal as your IQ.

  215. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @j2

    Therefore the unique correct answer is that the problem is poorly defined and cannot be solved.

    Well done.

    But obviously I’m not going to give you any IQ points for pointing out that I’m a lousy test maker.

    No test maker will do that Except, I suppose, in the math department, where t seem to hey find the relentless application of logic a worthwhile occupation.

  216. Anonymous[216] • Disclaimer says:

    Another march of the stubborn anti-IQ dullards. What a surprise.

    Once again, AaronB and Can Speccy can’t figure out intelligence in exactly the same way a sociopath can’t understand love.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  217. This late in the comments is probably too late to offer any meaningful addition (or ask a question of Dr. Thompson) but I’ll make the attempt anyway.

    The “polymath” blog offered a massive insight into the question of high(er) intelligence some time ago, showing that what data exists suggests that people above 140 IQ (sd=15) people face systematic exclusion from the most respected professions (although I disagree with the author’s label of “inappropriately” excluded, preferring instead “unfortunately” or “understandably.”)

    Like most others, I’m reluctant to take a formal IQ test for fear the results might disappoint. I’ve always wished I was smarter than I am, after most of a lifetime of finding my reach not quite meeting my aspirations. This is funny, though, given that I didn’t realize until just a few years ago that my GRE results from the mid-1980’s correlate to an IQ of over 140, and (if viewed from best angle, more like 150.)

    My wife, by the way, is also very bright. How do I know? She stays with me (physically, and metaphorically as a conversant) despite literally hours and hours per week for decades spent discussing with me the abstractions that fill my mind. So take THAT, original article!

    I find today’s discussion of intelligence fascinating. I offer my own view in metaphor (as must be.)

    Intelligence is like a hill or a mountain.
    The maximum one has is the top, and what Adam notices is when Bruce can leap effortlessly to the top of the mountain to which Adam climbed with difficulty.

    There are two problems, however, with this metaphor: First, today’s complex world rewards people for deep knowledge of complicated areas of study like law, medicine or any of the sciences. Deep knowledge is the opening ante for sitting at the table of Very Big Contributors to Important Things. Deep knowledge requires years of formal study and almost always years of occupational immersion. This provides the “experts” in many fields the appearance of brilliance, but is it so?
    The second problem is the definition of brilliance in and of itself. What is more “brilliant,” someone who can intuitively see the pattern in a mathematical progression or can most quickly and easily match two similar words (common problems in “g” loaded tests) or the person whose insight transcends those of others, who can synthesize entirely new and more accurate notions from the mix of available data?

    Most people would probably answer the latter is “more brilliant.” But how do you test for such analytical transcendence? And would most people know it if they saw it? I aver that the answer for the latter is an emphatic no.

    For those who question the very concept of measuring intelligence I offer this bone: In a world as complex as ours today, the value of an IQ above 140 is in most cases negative. Of the 1-in-500 people with an IQ this high, few will have the innate conscientiousness or outside guidance to channel their abilities long enough to tough their way through the crushing tedium of formal education required for entry into elite occupations. They can leap to the top of the mountain on whose top you stand, but while their mountain rises into mists through which you cannot see, most will be too used to mundane things coming too easily to have the will to slog up the switchbacks of those higher altitudes to which they could, but often do not, rise. Most will be trapped in a world that doesn’t understand them and in which they have no obvious role, trapped between the benefits and the costs of their innate abilities.

    Ludwig von Mises irrefutably published his proof of socialism’s fatal defect in 1922, but the USSR outlived him. His hypothesis rests on axiom, it cannot be refuted, yet “reality” utterly ignored it for 70 years. Today, the only way a person’s “brilliance” is clearly recognized is if it delivers immediate and unequivocal benefits to observers. In fact, those who appear to deliver such benefits can enjoy this accolade whether they were simply in the right place at the right time with a self-promoting rationalization to take credit for a spontaneously generated occurrence, or if their knowledge is deep enough to simply baffle the audience.

    Transcendent insight today is valueless because the world of Men can and does predictably ignore such insights for long enough to render them continually invisible to all but those who see them, and by doing so causes those who see them to question their own sanity.

  218. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    Another march of the stubborn anti-IQ dullards.

    The usual fact-free hate speech from a lowIQ IQ-ist faced with evidence of the fatuity of their own belief.

    Speaking of facts, does anyone have data on high school GPA versus income? Or data on intergenerational income correlation. As we have now established on this thread that IQ accounts for only about 14% of the variation in individual income, one has to wonder (a) what accounts for the other 86% of the variation, and (b) whether it is even true, as the IQ-ists claim, that IQ is the best predictor of income.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    , @res
  219. @AaronB

    And the next advance will depend on the breakup of the current paradigm of hardened knowledge – the believe that only universals matter. Just as science depended on the breakup of the Aristotelian paradigm.

    That smacks of metaphysics to me.

    Here’s the real problem:

    The easy stuff is already done. “Easy stuff” is innovation that occurred when the body of knowledge was small and relatively easily assimilated. A man with high intelligence didn’t have to sit for years in tedious acquisition of abyssal-deep “basics” in order to move on to pushing into new territory.

    Today’s “experts” were people (1) bright enough to handle the material and (2) conscientious or dogmatic enough to tough out the endless tedium acquiring the entry-level credentials for academic or scientific fields. I offer to you that very bright people, used to effortlessly doing what everyone around them labors to accomplish, are very often conditioned to extreme intolerance of boredom. It is this that causes a breakdown in the linearity between IQ and income, prestigious occupations and such.

    In the horsepower/transmission metaphor, where the above-average person has 120 hp and a well-matched transmission so that all of that power gets to the road, the very high IQ person has 150 hp but paradoxically a transmission that was weakened by his constantly being held to only putting out what “everyone else” did, and doing so easily. He metaphorically broke his transmission by being surrounded his whole life by things being too easy and other people being too slow.

    The even-more-real problem is that the “experts” who run our institutions and who are the “advisers” of our ruling systems are just as, if not MORE prone to well-understood cognitive errors as are everyone else. They are at least as prone to ignoring the limits of their knowledge. We are saturated with people who march in utter certainty of themselves, who demonstrate the axiomatic nature of, “Fools are certain where the wise are cautious.”

    We live in a time of astonishing certainty about things that are, to me, obviously “what we know that just ain’t so.” THIS is the crap that must be broken up, certainly by extreme and punishing failure and a period of crushing hardship, before real progress is likely to resume.

    Out with the old dogma.
    Let’s have some time in a relatively dogma-reduced condition.
    Eventually, sclerosis will reoccur. That’s how we’re wired.

    tl;dr As long as actionable benefits arrive mostly by building step-wise on a vast foundation of deep knowledge, they’ll come from organized teams of well-educated but often not especially brilliant people while the breakthrough insights of very highly intelligent people will usually be invisible to those who lack the ability to see them in the first place.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  220. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dc.sunsets

    LOL, DC, trying to figure out what is the essence of intelligence on an IQist Web site is like asking the customers at a brothel what is the purpose of life.

    IQ is the number everyone must have tattooed on their forehead in the coming New World Order, where the Order is from the top down in classic Fascist style, and everyone must know their place.

    That incidentally, is why it is so shattering to the IQ-ist when it is pointed out that IQ and income are only slightly correlated, for after all it is money that rules and it is vital, therefore, to establish the virtue of wealth through its correlation with the most respected human attribute, intelligence.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @dc.sunsets
  221. @CanSpeccy

    Speaking of facts, does anyone have data on high school GPA versus income? Or data on intergenerational income correlation.

    Why would this matter? This strikes me as a perfect example of how statistical analysis of some things doesn’t yield any relevant knowledge.

    My HS gpa was nothing special. Ditto my undergrad. My grad gpa (in a science) was essentially a 4.0. My GRE (from back when it’s considered an IQ test surrogate) results are at the 95th, 71st and 98th percentile among college graduates intending to apply to graduate degree programs, as reported on the form.

    Exactly what would including me in a database prove?

    I could relate my sons’ data and outcomes but I won’t. All I’ll say is that those searching for a cookbook list of ingredients for success are likely to be disappointed. Intelligence matters, and some tests/credentials are related to what IQ tests reveal, but most of these discussions get lost in the trees so that the forest is no longer visible.

    Also, I recommend the polymath’s discussion of this topic:
    http://polymatharchives.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-inappropriately-excluded.html

    While I believe that the communication gap he describes plays a role in causing people with 140+ IQ’s to be under-represented in prestigious occupations, I think the real issue is that when life is always on the Easy Setting, most of us get used to being lazy and develop a serious intolerance of the tedium that accompanies acquisition of credentials for those occupations.

    It also gets old, discovering that when you talk about what you find interesting, others think you’re just being an asshole who’s insulting their intelligence.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  222. AaronB says:
    @CanSpeccy

    https://michaelochurch.wordpress.com

    This guy is brilliant in general and he has a post now on this.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    , @CanSpeccy
  223. @CanSpeccy

    That incidentally, is why it is so shattering to the IQ-ist when it is pointed out that IQ and income are only slightly correlated, for after all it is money that rules and it is vital, therefore, to establish the virtue of wealth through its correlation with the most respected human attribute, intelligence.

    I’m wealthy by some standards, but not nearly as wealthy as many people I’ve met who were nowhere near able to follow my thoughts. So what? My occupation put me in contact with very, very highly educated people each and every day, their occupation noted for having a mean IQ almost two standard deviations below mine, and yes, they out-earned me by quite a margin.

    I just don’t get why this is relevant.

    Smart people still do dumb things. Dumb people don’t often do especially smart things. Physicians often raise dysfunctional kids (even though you’d assume that their kids are unlikely to be all that innately stupid.)

    Life well lived has but a tangential relationship with wealth, but I’ll bet if we could come up with an objective measure of “life-well-lived” it would correlate better with IQ than does wealth.

    As far as I’m concerned, the real issues of the value of intelligence go far beyond IQ and test performance. By percentile rank I’m above (in some cases WAY above) 95th in height, muscle mass and intelligence. Do I think life is easier as a man when you’re big? Strong? Smart?

    Yes. I do. I could as easily ask if life is easier for young, attractive women (vs those who are unattractive?)

    Paradoxically, doing life on the Easy Setting is itself a handicap. Helping my own kids avoid that trap was probably among the most useful of all my parenting endeavors.

    Again…so what?

    IQ does matter. It just doesn’t seem to matter in ways on which most people dwell. Do you agree?

    • Replies: @res
    , @CanSpeccy
  224. Steps for alienating acquaintances:
    1. Find the empirical data on human cognitive pathways fascinating.
    2. Share that interest with acquaintances by reviewing some interesting test questions:

    A. If a bat and ball together cost $1.10, and the bat costs a dollar more than the ball, what does the ball cost?
    B. How many 1″ cubes does it take to build a 2″ cube?
    C. As a contestant on “Let’s Make A Deal,” if you choose Door #1 and Montey then reveals the zero-value behind Door #3, should you stick with your original choice or switch your choice to Door #2?

    Congratulations, you’ve now pissed off everyone within earshot.

    Empiricism is fascinating.

    • Replies: @res
  225. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Speaking of facts, does anyone have data on high school GPA versus income?

    I think this is what you are looking for: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/05/20/heres-how-much-your-high-school-grades-predict-how-much-you-make-today

    A bit more detail at https://web.archive.org/web/20180320183301/http://www.as.miami.edu/news/news-archive/your-high-school-gpa-could-affect-your-income.html

    Full study (available at libgen): https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/eej.2014.22

    One interesting observation from the abstract (I don’t think this is at all unexpected given affirmative action, and see their comment below).

    Interesting and somewhat unexpected findings emerge for race in that, after controlling for innate ability, academic performance, and other economic and demographic variables, African Americans advance further in the formal educational system than their White counterparts.

    It is worth noting that I would expect their data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to be more reliable than most data sources in this area (e.g. GPA from transcript rather than survey question).

    They use the Add Health PVT (AH-PVT) is a computerized, abridged version of the Peabody PVT as a measure of cognitive ability (scored as roughly mean 100, SD 15). They use log(income) in their regressions.

    Table 2A gives coefficients for highest level of education. Interesting how small the PVT coefficient was. Not sure how much of that effect might have been captured in the large GPA coefficient. And the African American coefficient was fairly large at a bit more than a quarter of a GPA point.

    Tables 5A and 5B do a similar analysis for log(income) for men and women respectively. R^2 for the best models is ~0.25-0.3. One result I found interesting is the African American coefficients are negative and a good bit larger for men (~-0.14 for men and ~-0.02 for women). They are using the natural log so 0.14 is roughly 15%.

    This was interesting:

    In other words, it is possible that African–American students with better high school grades are more motivated to complete college and attain an advanced degree. It is beyond the scope of this paper to determine whether this estimated disparity can be attributed to affirmative action programs, differences in unobserved personal characteristics, or some other phenomenon.

    Here is their income measure. It seems like a good one for this purpose.

    Respondents were asked to report how much income they received from personal earnings before taxes (i.e., wages or salaries, including tips, bonuses, and overtime pay, and income from self-employment). The question refers to personal income earned in the calendar year before the interview.

    That was an interesting paper. Thanks for motivating me to find it.

    This one below isn’t what you want, but is interesting nonetheless. Here they are looking at household (parents) income and student results.

    Looks like the HSGPA-income correlation is smaller than for IQ (here SAT as proxy).
    http://educationalpolicy.org/publications/EPIGraph/150114_EPIGraph.html

    Full paper linked at the bottom has much more detail. Their intent was to see how SAT results predict FYGPA (first year college GPA).

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @CanSpeccy
  226. res says:
    @dc.sunsets

    Thanks for your thoughtful and interesting comments.

  227. @AaronB

    “This guy” is far from brilliant.

    I don’t have enough life left to chronicle half of the irrational and Utopian statements he made in that single (long) column.

    Suffice it to say, absent the most inhumane and demonic eugenics program ever imagined, there will never be an “end to poverty.” No, the Great Depression had absolutely zero to do with wealth inequality. No, the long trend of the last 150 years toward bigger, better, faster, nicer, etc., cannot continue forever and, by every measure available, moves inexorably toward an inflection point (and no, one doesn’t have to channel Malthus to realize this must axiomatically be true under every rule of biology we must recognize.)

    Why is it that someone with such little life experience feels the need to share his wisdom?

    One of my abiding experiences is that it doesn’t take much to impress the natives. I guess this is an artifact of living as we do in a Cargo Cult, and if the metaphor be made more apt, a Cargo Cult within The Matrix.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  228. res says:
    @dc.sunsets

    C. seems especially effective in that regard. The Marilyn vos Savant Monty Hall problem kerfuffle was epic. This is a good exposition of that including a number of interesting details (e.g. historical antecedents, details of Monty offering cash not to switch): https://priceonomics.com/the-time-everyone-corrected-the-worlds-smartest/

    CanSpeccy, you might enjoy all of the “high IQ” (or at least well credentialed ; ) people making fools of themselves in that incident.

    dc.sunsets, do you find “reviewing” the test questions to be the problem, or is the issue posing problems to people which they either can’t solve or get wrong? Or are those inextricably linked?

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  229. AaronB says:
    @dc.sunsets

    You don’t have to agree with everything he says to find him brilliant. I disagree with stuff he says and find him too liberal for my tastes and naive about some things.

    But he’s undeniably original and brilliant and stimulating.

    • Agree: dc.sunsets
  230. AaronB says:
    @dc.sunsets

    Science occured at the intersection of skepticism and empiricism. It was based on epistemic humility 1) Let’s be skeptical about all those scholastic Aristotelians who assert we “know” 2) let’s test things out in reality.

    As was inevitable, science ossified into the kind of thing it replaced. That always happens. All institutions start well, then start rotting.

    In the hands of its creator Alfred Binet, IQ was classic science in the good sense. Let’s not make any positive statements about what intelligence is, and let’s see if it can be used to identify mentally deficient people on the real world.

    This was admirable epistemic humility and empiricism in the best scientific tradition. No grandiose claims to definitive knowledge of an incredibly complex domain, and practical utility of a limited kind tested in the real world.

    In the hands of the New Scholastics (midwits like res and Thompson), IQ has become rigid positive scholastic knowledge – no epistemic humility but reduction of vast complex subject to sound bites that are asserted as total positive knowledge 2) empirical inutility considered less important than scholastic “knowledge”.

    Now the New Scholasticism, a sign of loss of intellectual vitality, will have to be broken up for the next advance in human knowledge. And the New Scholasticism means basically to be wholly captured by a specific mental paradigm that replace a a vital connection to the real world.

    This paradigm says g explaining 40% of variance means it is the essence of intelligence, and that 10% of high IQ people achieving high income is enormous correlation between wealth and income.

    In other words, the paradigm has lost vital contact with empirical reality, and has become about mental games in a rarefied world – similar to debates about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    “Statistical significance” is a similar thing – a nice mental game, but remote from the real world, where 10% is bubkas.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  231. @res

    Until recently I didn’t really understand what it was about my personality that seemed to inevitably rub other people the wrong way.

    I’m like the guy whose knowledge of football statistics and history is so deep, and his obsession so wide, that it is almost all he seems to talk about. He inevitably bores people, often without awareness.

    The difference is that I’m fascinated by something about which everyone cares, me included, and about which everyone is at least faintly insecure, me included.

    Only the truly deluded can believe themselves more than smart “enough.” In theory, I’m supposed to be the smartest person in a room of at least 500 people, but what exactly does that mean in the Real World where we actually live? The answer to that is no less elusive to me than to anyone else. This makes me always wish that I was taller, stronger and above all smarter than I am. In self-analysis I fall short of my aspirations. I suspect I’m far from alone.

    So when I ask those questions, others seem to flinch at the fact that (usually) their first answer isn’t correct, even though (as you no doubt understand) they’re NOT questions relating to intelligence. The first one is an OPEN test of a cognitive glitch to which essentially all people are prone. The second is spacial/IQ/abstraction related, sure, and the third is obviously pretty complicated (a condition I believe stems at least in my case from the lousy explanation for Bayesian probability with which I started.) But as you note, even highly intelligent people may struggle (or not) with any or all of those questions.

    I think people’s irritation arises from the notion that I’m using the question or questions as a means of demonstrating my “superiority” rather than me simply sharing how weirdly our minds actually seem to work.

    I’m convinced that humanity exists entirely in a fog of belief currently disguised as “knowledge,” and it does so largely because we don’t actually think the way we think we think. I see things to which others are blind, but that really doesn’t change anything. I’m not able to capitalize on what I see because, due to the way people actually act under conditions of pervasive uncertainty (i.e., they herd), there’s no effective way to model reality such that it yields even probabilistic success. Too many black swans, and too many trends continue despite the certainty of their change.

    It just turns out that anything that’s “invisible” yet easily inferred from simple empiric observation is already well-understood, and what’s left that’s not understood predictably ignored as well as invisible. Then, when that insight finally bears fruit, it’s STILL not recognized because it’s human nature to prefer visible, post-hoc logical fallacies as “explanatory.” Entire industries (and entire departments in academia) exist to culture these rationalizations disguised at explanations.

    The kid who points out the Emperor Has No Clothes will get stuffed in a box and dumped in the sea. The sighted man in the land of the blind will shut his mouth lest he be burned at the stake as a heretic when he describes the colors of a rainbow.

    • Replies: @res
  232. @res

    thanks for these references.

  233. @dc.sunsets

    Thanks for your comments.

    In a world as complex as ours today, the value of an IQ above 140 is in most cases negative.

    Lubinski and Benbow, in the largest up to date studies of high ability, find that its is usually highly positive.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    , @res
  234. @AaronB

    AaronB, I can’t decide if we agree or disagree.

    In a nutshell: There’s a difference between me and people who understand what I can and what I cannot, as long as understanding is based on widely-known information. No, I don’t understand a lot of the science in things I read now, largely because I forgot most of what I learned 30+ years ago and didn’t use it since, but when it comes to grasping abstractions, I am way better than most, poorer possibly than some (although in the area or two where I’m particularly active, I’ve not “met” anyone whose abstractions are better developed assuming I could recognize it.)

    Whatever it is at which I excel is probably difficult to test. It may have some degree of correlation to IQ tests (I’ve not taken a formal one) or surrogates (I have no idea to what degree the old-style GRE was “g” loaded according to people who determine such things.) I didn’t hit my stride until 24 years of age, prior to which by any objective measure I was just “modestly above average.”

    I honestly do not know if I would realize I conversed with someone who was leaving me in the dust, if for no other reason than I know for a fact that I often leave others in the dust and it’s clear they don’t notice it.

    It’s all well-and-good, but none of this is an ingredient list whereby one could either engineer a “better kid” or choose a “better ruler,” a “better employee” or a “better boss.” I’m not surprised in the least that more conscientious people (than me) end up being wealthier. So, too, do people with Dark Triad personalities, something of which (if I were one of them) I’d not be proud. In the occupation in which I labored, being smarter was quite literally a handicap. The most successful people in my occupation were of average intelligence but with dogmatic determination. I’m glad I was hired for jobs, but I doubt I’d have hired me. Square peg, indeed.

    I do think it’s a CRIME to try to “educate” kids across four (and I mean FOUR) standard deviations of intelligence in a single classroom, and yes, this is exactly how it’s done in our Equalism-saturated Idiocracy.

    I like reading Dr. Thompson’s columns so I find your criticism hard to follow. No dog in the fight, so to speak.

  235. res says:
    @dc.sunsets

    I think people’s irritation arises from the notion that I’m using the question or questions as a means of demonstrating my “superiority” rather than me simply sharing how weirdly our minds actually seem to work.

    I think that nails it. And I know I can find it hard to be self-aware enough to be sure that is not what I am doing even if it is not my conscious intent.

    It does get frustrating though to get that reaction when one is just doing what one does well (e.g. school). It seems to me athletes tend to get the opposite response (admired rather than scorned by the majority) which is both frustrating and odd to me.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  236. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dc.sunsets

    Speaking of facts, does anyone have data on high school GPA versus income? Or data on intergenerational income correlation.

    Why would this matter? This strikes me as a perfect example of how statistical analysis of some things doesn’t yield any relevant knowledge.

    The relevant knowledge it would provide bears on the validity of the iQ-ist claim that IQ is the best predictor of lifetime income. The validity of that claim, or lack thereof, is important for the reason I have already stated.

    • Replies: @res
  237. @James Thompson

    I suppose (without looking, so it’s conjecture) that it depends on what L&B used for determining what constitutes positive.

    A researcher might rate multiple aspects of my life fabulously positive. I see and am proud of the positives, but I also note the ocean of missed opportunity, of aptitudes gone unused. This last was quite the motivator when it came to being a parent, and yielded what are objectively good results.

    Science isn’t anecdote, I know. But I’m highly suspicious that if you interviewed 500 people with IQ’s measured at 140 or more you’d find a whole lot of folks disappointed with themselves despite many objectively positive measures. From my point of view, IQ isn’t like athleticism where being in rare form gets you greatly out-sized rewards. It’s more like wondering how, if I’m supposedly this smart and I find living this life well so challenging, do people way down the food chain even survive from day to day?

    Life’s an adventure.

    • Replies: @res
    , @James Thompson
  238. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    Thank you for the links. The studies referenced may not be exactly in accord. The French et al. paper reports:

    The Results consistently show that high school GPA is a positive and statistically significant predictor of educational attainment and earnings in adulthood. Moreover, the coefficient estimates are large and economically important for each gender.

    Which sounds promising. However, the abstract does not give the coefficient estimates and I’m too cheap to pay Springer Verlag $39.95 for access to the full text, and too lazy to hack into a university library to steal access. However, “large and economically important” sounds interesting, perhaps better than the O.3 something for the Human Varieties article.

    But the other article you cite suggests SAT test data are better than HSGPA, so the question of which is most important may remain to be resolved.

    • Replies: @res
  239. @res

    It does get frustrating though to get that reaction when one is just doing what one does well (e.g. school).

    One day when my middle kid was in college I was in town to pick him up for lunch. I found him walking from the engineering building toward his dorm after taking a test and watched a classmate not-at-all jokingly yell at him for blowing up the curve. The tests were intended to be essentially impossible to complete but my kid always finished them; his experience on H.S. math team taught him shortcuts for extremely complex math problems such that he could avoid brute-force A-to-Z calculations. Was it an “unfair advantage?” Bottom line: he was no one’s friend for doing that.

    It seems to me athletes tend to get the opposite response (admired rather than scorned by the majority) which is both frustrating and odd to me.

    Cliff’s Notes for why we’re doomed. Humanity under conditions of accumulating innovation (enabled by writing, then everything that followed) short-circuited Nature’s normal culling of people with weak: immune systems, intelligence, time-preference, physical strength, etc., etc., such that we’re engaged in the largest dysgenic breeding program in the history of animals.

    Not that I want to return to the harsh conditions of the State of Nature our distant ancestors survived. I’m not stupid enough to think I (or my kids or further descendants) am actually capable of surviving those harsh conditions. But by protecting ourselves from Nature, we axiomatically make us weaker with each passing generation. Eventually that’s going to have a host of very bad consequences, with the only hope being a Pollyanna-like delusion that !!Science!! will allow us to “engineer” better people. Anyone who believes this last has read way too much science fiction.

    One doesn’t have to be a fundamentalist Christian to read Reality as informing us that we’re not and never will be god(s.) Not any more than ants will be people.

    To the point of the OP: People should make every attempt to find mates who are equal to or smarter than they are, but evidence suggests that we’re terrible at it. As I understand it there is some correlation between physical attractiveness and intelligence, but Dumb Blonde jokes exist for a reason.

    • Replies: @res
  240. res says:
    @James Thompson

    I think there are interesting subtleties here which might be worth exploring. Some thoughts.

    Lubinski and Benbow clearly show positive effects on achievement rates with increasing IQ. Do you know what other metrics they used? My sense is the Terman study looked at more overall measurements (e.g. health problems, myopia, height) and gave more information of that sort (which is quite useful for debunking some of the nerd stereotypes, or confirming them–myopia).

    This looks at a 180+ IQ sample from the Terman study (what would that be in deviation IQ?): https://www.davidsongifted.org/Search-Database/entry/A10192
    Also has some additional references.

    Despite all of this, I think there is a negative effect along the lines of what dc.sunsets and that polymath blog post discuss. This may just be bias on my part, but I don’t think so. Possibly that effect just manifests as some people falling through the cracks (e.g. the school haters who never find an area to shine), which is then far outweighed by the outperformance of the rest of the group. But I do think there is some disconnect between a substantial number of the most able and the average. Many of the most able end up in realms where they are closer to the average (e.g. research scientists) which helps mitigate the negative effect. I think the outcomes in the SMPY graphic I posted are tilted to areas where objective success matters favoring the most able (which is sensible). I wonder how things compare in areas where subjectivity matters more.

    One way of testing this would be to look at full distributions of achievement rather than just thresholds. But that is difficult given different individual choices.

    To summarize my view, I think the negative effect exists but is second order relative to the ability benefit. But a small number of flame-outs make it appear more important.

    P.S. One interesting tie-in with this thread, that polymath blog post uses Gibson and Light (1967) to argue for the inappropriate exclusion of the high IQ (and also quotes the Roe data mentioned above). I’ll bet CanSpeccy loves that reasoning ; )

    P.P.S. That blog post and this: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2017/08/31/myth-30-iq-communication-range
    both attribute the 30 IQ point difference leadership/communication issue to Leta Hollingworth.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  241. @BCB232

    Most people think of linear scales. “A 130 IQ is 30% higher than average” or something like this. This may be why they overestimate.

    I think this is probably correct. The survey would only be valid if it were framed in terms of self-assessed percentiles — e.g., “Do you think you are smarter than 50%, 90%, or 99% of other people.”

    Asking people to estimate their “IQ” just creates a confounding variable as to whether they understand the statistical concept of a bell curve/standard deviation. Should anyone be surprised that the less intelligent have the most trouble with this concept.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  242. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    The relevant knowledge it would provide bears on the validity of the iQ-ist claim that IQ is the best predictor of lifetime income.

    Has anyone here actually said that? If so, was any evidence presented?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  243. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @AaronB

    Yes, he makes some good points, especially when he makes the point I do!

    it’s not enough for the American rich to have more money than we do, and all the material comforts that follow: bigger houses, speedier cars, golden toilets. They have to be smarter than us, too. But God did a funny thing: when She was handing out talents, she didn’t even in look in the daddies’ bank accounts.

    Well put.

    and he makes some points our admirer of von Mises, detests, rightly, I suspect.

  244. res says:
    @dc.sunsets

    I also note the ocean of missed opportunity, of aptitudes gone unused. This last was quite the motivator when it came to being a parent, and yielded what are objectively good results.

    I would appreciate any advice (either personal or references) you have to offer here.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  245. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    The studies referenced may not be exactly in accord.

    I guess I wasn’t explicit enough about the two studies being of different things. The first was looking at person’s GPA -> person’s income in adulthood. Which was what I think you were interested in. The second looked at parents’ income -> student’s GPA. Which is a fairly different question for which I would expect different results.

    However, the abstract does not give the coefficient estimates

    The first paper had log(income) coefficients of ~0.1 for GPA and ~0 for PVT. So about a 10% change in income per full point of GPA. (the text gives numbers 1-3% higher because they focus on Model E)

    One interesting observation is that including school level variables (Model F also includes days skipped school, ever suspended or expelled from school, and trouble getting homework done everyday or almost everyday.) had a negligible effect on R^2 while including school fixed effects (model E, I did not see a clear explanation of what effects those were, perhaps it is supposed to be obvious?) increased the R^2 ~25-30%! I am curious what exactly constitutes “school fixed effects.”

    BTW, the income models including only the African American variable had almost as much explanatory power is all of the other models except model E. I wish they had given single variable GPA and PVT results as well for comparison. I also wish they had given more information about how their variables were inter-correlated (e.g. subgroup means for the binary variables).

    The education models don’t give R^2 because they used a different technique (ordered probit).

  246. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dc.sunsets

    IQ does matter.

    Depends what is meant by “IQ matters.”

    Having whatever it takes to answer IQ test questions correctly matters, inasmuch as one would be in trouble without it — at least some degree of it.

    But as I have tried to point out, those particular skills are only a small subset of the gifts that constitute intelligence, as that term is generally understood. Others forms of intelligence more or less unrelated to IQ, include, morality, aesthetic sensibility, judgement, creativity, musicality, verbal facility, humor, and memory. And that is to name but a few.

    It just doesn’t seem to matter in ways on which most people dwell. Do you agree?

    If, by “the ways in which most people dwell,” you mean to the exclusion of all others aspects of mentality, I agree absolutely.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  247. res says:
    @dc.sunsets

    Bottom line: he was no one’s friend for doing that.

    I became more sympathetic to that view when I learned enough about statistics to understand what a 1 in a (n >> 25) person does to the curve in a 25 person classroom–assuming the test has enough ceiling to notice. It’s pretty bad when that happens in an engineering classroom (and yes, it does) where the average is much higher and intellect should be more valued. Those “impossible” tests are vicious, but do a great job of showing the highest performers.

    only hope being a Pollyanna-like delusion that !!Science!! will allow us to “engineer” better people. Anyone who believes this last has read way too much science fiction.

    I think this is more likely than you appear to (to be clear, I think embryo selection is much more likely than large scale genetic engineering of humans). My concerns with that center around:
    1. Unintended consequences.
    2. What society considers “better.” We’re likely to end up with 7′ tall men and women who look like Barbie.
    3. Inequality implications.
    4. Issues with not breeding true requiring artificial reproduction in subsequent generations increasing societal fragility. (simple example, consider choosing people heterozygous for Sickle Cell trait in an effort to improve malaria resistance.

    To the point of the OP: People should make every attempt to find mates who are equal to or smarter than they are, but evidence suggests that we’re terrible at it.

    Do you have some evidence for that? What evidence I see indicates there is substantial assortative mating for intelligence. For example: Assortative mating and intelligence: an analysis of pedigree data
    https://www.nature.com/articles/hdy197322.pdf?origin=ppub
    It can be hard for someone in the far tail to find someone in that vicinity, but becomes much easier if one frequents higher IQ hangouts with a decent sex ratio.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  248. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    Has anyone here actually said that?

    Yes, Canada’s intellectual superstar, Jordan B. Peterson. Don’t have time right now to dig through his thousands of hours of U-Tube self-advertisement to find the quote. Will look later.

    • Replies: @res
  249. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    I took a look at the transcript of this video (only 13 minutes and looks like the most relevant, title: Controversial Facts about IQ): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSo5v5t4OQM
    and he appears to say reasonable things about the predictive power of IQ. It is worth noting he focuses on psychological traits. Is there evidence showing any of those are better than IQ at predicting income?

    I think one example of a better income predictor than IQ is parental income: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-chart-shows-that-your-parents-income-determines-your-future-2015-07-24

    But it would be interesting to see a multivariate regression that included parental income along with individual traits.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  250. @res

    Oh, that’s a can of worms. I’m extremely opinionated.

    I have a long list of items I think matter, but of course they’re predicated on (1) actually having had an effect and (2) applicability to other’s kids. Neither is assured, of course.

    A current partial list in no special order, some observations, some pithy sayings:

    Everything we do becomes a part of us
    – How we spend our finite time defines us
    – Minutes seem free when you’re young, but decades later you’ll realize just how badly you squandered them. If you were lazy or just burned time gaming, etc., you’ll later regret it…bad.
    Add these: Spend your time pouring into yourself that which will make those who love you proud, and avoid experiences that will do the opposite. I wish I’d spent the years either side of 15 doing the hard work to fill out talents I could have enjoyed for the next 75 years. I’m trying to make up for this now by learning the piano, after missing a whole lot of enjoyment.

    -Being different for the sake of being different is the essence of conformity. Pity those who dye their hair funny colors, get weird piercings, dress funny or announce they’re the LGBTQ+ weirdo-of-the-week just so they can get attention, just so they’re “noticed.” Sadly, the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. People will kill themselves to avoid other’s indifference to them.

    -There are two and only two kinds of control: Self-control and “others-control.” As your father it’s my job to teach you self-control while I’m 100 times stronger than you and will control you out of love. When you grow up and you’re my size, if you don’t exercise self-control the “others” who will control you come with badges, guns and bad attitudes. This started at about age 3(?) and if not in play by age 5-7 I suspect it’s too late. Large numbers of kids now have zero self-control. It’s tragic.

    -Instead of asking kids “what do you want to be when you grow up” maybe we should ask them what kind of LIFE do they want to lead, the “Common Life” or the “Uncommon Life?” The former is a traditional life including marriage, partnership, division of labor, mutual dependence, kids, etc., usually “working to live” rather than living to work. The latter is celebrity, notoriety, fame, pinnacle professions, etc. and from my view, it turns out that few people living the Uncommon Life are happy. Some, perhaps many who live the Common Life are happy. It’s a probability thing. I’d start asking kids this question at 12-1/2 for girls, maybe 13 for boys because everything we do becomes a part of us and kids start to be “eligible” to make really bad choices (esp. regarding sexuality) shortly there after. I told my sons: (1) I want grandkids, and I’d pay Big $ to avoid seeing a grandchild aborted. (2) Don’t accept the offer of a young woman’s body freely given. You don’t want to know that many people that well! Remember, everything you do becomes a part of you. Each experience fills your mind with memories, and over time your mind can and will warp them. I’ve known men who fondly recalled “more exciting” experiences from youth where, unlike their wives, the “partner” never aged. NOT a good ingredient for happiness. Pop culture LIES to us. I weep at the folly of adolescents today, putting into permanent records hosts of information they’ll live to regret (not least of which are selfies, clothed and not.) I stand astonished as pop culture encourages young people to cultivate physical intimacy without emotional intimacy, when as adults one of life’s greatest gifts is the use of physical intimacy to enhance and deepen our emotional intimacy with our spouse. I don’t believe for one second that once broken in youth, this connection can be repaired. Young people who foolishly follow encouragement to do all that seems “fun” right now will almost certainly never find future happiness. There are two paths: The Path of Least Resistance and the Path of Least Regrets. They’re not parallel.

    Life is like a hallway full of doors. When you’re young they’re all open. Actions you take (or don’t take) will begin to close doors, and you may find later than a closed door blocks your access to the life you wanted to live. Don’t close doors when you don’t have to. This means taking school seriously (to keep doors to academically-demanding careers open) and keeping your involvement with the opposite sex (or sex in general) to a minimum, because Pretty Woman is a lie; Nobody wants to marry someone who Did Dallas.

    We helped our kids identify their aptitudes early. It was easy, they were all good at math. They were encouraged to look at occupations that would value people with their aptitude(s) because people tend to better tolerate jobs where their input is relevant, where what they bring is “special.” Every chance to let the kids try different things was offered, including an unpaid internship that crowded out a paying part-time job.

    Once they settled on an occupation they were encouraged to find the fastest, cheapest way to obtain the necessary credentials and knowledge, go to it and be among the top 10% doing so. College was seen as a JOB, not some sort of all-expenses-paid extension of adolescence in a brothel. The cost of each lecture hour was calculated as Tuition+room+board+opportunity cost of a modest job. This helped them better grasp just how serious was that endeavor. There were “kids” in college who had no idea how to plan to graduate even after being there for three years! My kids all did the gen-eds at the local community college, even the kid who attended university on a full scholarship. The grades didn’t matter and for the kids without a full scholarship going to school “year round” got them OUT of college way faster, in one case where my kid started programming classes at night at 15 years of age and graduated with a comp sci degree at 20, went straight into the Business Tech dept of a major financial firm. NO DEBT. Nobody goes to a stupid private college because “oh, I just fell in love with the wooded campus!”
    [Yes, I have my biases.]

    I’ll stop ranting here. Like I said, I have strong biases a product of the usual:

    Some people can read the instructions.
    Others learn by watching other’s experiences.
    But some folks learn only by peeing on the electric fence for themselves.

    I was lucky to be able to mostly read the instructions, and I’ve learned that some folks don’t learn no matter how often they’ve peed on the electric fence for themselves. Life’s funny that way.

    PS: I left out a whole other rant about out how spot when someone’s trying to manipulate you.

    • Replies: @res
  251. @res

    That’s what the MRS degree used to constitute, selection by intelligence (or class, take your pick.) Now that ebwebuddy goes to college, that’s kind of dead in the water.

    Your point is well made. I withdraw my claim, in part because I married such a bright young girl (whose intelligence I failed to fully grasp for a long, long time. Blame it on getting married very early by today’s standards, before the point where even I can admit I hit adulthood. It took a while to realize how much I won the lottery.)

    The ink on her college diploma was almost literally still wet. Mine had a few months to dry. (wink)

  252. @CanSpeccy

    Well, I think we’ll agree on two points:
    1. Citing ones (>132) IQ as part of a debate is a clear sign of stupidity.
    2. A nicely high figure for it alone won’t get you a cup of coffee until you pony up a dollar (basis McDonalds.)

  253. res says:
    @dc.sunsets

    Thanks! Much food for thought there.

    I’m extremely opinionated.

    I never would have guessed ; )

    maybe we should ask them what kind of LIFE do they want to lead, the “Common Life” or the “Uncommon Life?” The former is a traditional life including marriage, partnership, division of labor, mutual dependence, kids, etc., usually “working to live” rather than living to work. The latter is celebrity, notoriety, fame, pinnacle professions, etc. and from my view, it turns out that few people living the Uncommon Life are happy. Some, perhaps many who live the Common Life are happy.

    I’m not sure about this one. It seems to me rather than framing this is a dichotomy perhaps it is better to think of both of those as aspects of one’s life? I think the importance of having a satisfactory “Common Life” remains, but does not preclude striving for achievement. It does mean that striving beyond a certain level of effort/focus becomes a tradeoff.

    PS: I left out a whole other rant about out how spot when someone’s trying to manipulate you.

    I would be interested in that one as well. Perhaps something will come up (more likely on iSteve?) which makes it relevant. My one related rant would be on being alert for people who only want to criticize, and don’t seem to care very much if their “reasons” are valid or consistent.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  254. @CanSpeccy

    P. J. O’Rourke once summed this problem up stating that A’s teach, and B’s later in life work for those with the C’s. Peter Thiel seems to share at least a part of this observation. I too would say, that the correlation between income and IQ is not very strong. – At the same time, it might be safe to say though, that there are no billionaires which are not quite a bit above average.

    On a lesser scale: I know a guy, who decided to become a multi-millionaire at age twenty. He studied economics and succeeded – after lots of failures, with a bratwurst chain in Berlin. The niche he found was to look out for spots for mobile bratwurst stands: Turned out, those were poorly regulated and thus open for someone with a clear strategy and the will to overcome the hassles, that came along with the very fact, that constituted this niche: No clear rules.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @CanSpeccy
  255. Anonymous[351] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief

    it might be safe to say though, that there are no billionaires which are not quite a bit above average.

    Why would you think that? In that sphere, inheritance and connections are much more important than IQ.

  256. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Dieter Kief

    there are no billionaires which are not quite a bit above average.

    At least half of all Americans seem to dispute that conclusion in the case of Donald Trump.

    As for intelligence and money making, it is likely that most intelligent young people, if they have considerable education, rate money making rather low in their scale of priorities.

    When I was an undergraduate in england in the early sixties, a superb money making opportunity must have been known to a large number of my fellow students. At that time, Victorian era row housing in most industrial towns was dirt cheap, because rents had been controlled at minimal levels. However a newly elected conservative government had just abolished rent controls. Thus, in many towns, it was possible to buy a three story nine or ten room house for under a thousand pounds and rent the rooms to students or whoever, for two pounds a week. Many of us did the math, but having been raised in Britain during Britain’s era of democratic communism —when major industries, utilities and transportation services were nationalized, that kind of crass money making was held in contempt. However, a good many loutish individuals of likely minimal intelligence became rich fast, pyramiding their ridiculous return on investment into ever larger rental housing empires.

    More recently, there have surely been similar opportunities in pornography one imagines, or selling donuts or some other toxic fast food. Not much brainpower required for such businesses, surely. The numbers crunching can be outsourced to an accountant and insofar as intelligence is required to run the business, there are plenty of intelligent people desperate for a job who will work at almost anything. In fact, that clearly is how the tech industry works. Elon Musk may be smart, but the smartest thing he’s done is hire a lot of very smart people to design, build and market his rockets, cars and batteries.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  257. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    I’ll try to find the exact Peterson quote. The parent/child income correlation is interesting, although I suppose what’s involved is difficult to determine. Is it mostly culture, influence, etc. or genes. Social science is just to damn hard.

  258. anonymous[342] • Disclaimer says:
    @dc.sunsets

    I also say, thanks for your comments., dc sunsets/////

    May I disagree with you on “transcendent insight”, though, assuming that you and me mean the same thing by that phrase???

    Let me start this way —- I was hated as a child by the sort of person (ah the poor creatures, they are all very very old now, or have passed away) who hates people who are obviously smarter than them, and I did not mind at all at the time because I was sustained by the distant but obviously real affection that some people, who were very different from the people who hated me, feel for people, even much younger people, who are obviously smarter than them (I remember!). We all deal with that in this world, all of us are smarter than somebody in some way, some people respect us, some people do not.

    I was a grateful child.

    Look, you are smarter than you think. Give me a couple hundred hours teaching you how to think like an angel (Aquinas defined the difference between angelic intelligence and human intelligence thusly – angels comprehend immediately, humans struggle to understand) — just give me a couple hundred hours to show you how to be as intelligent as you can possibly be – and I am not saying you will win an Abel prize or get your beloved little poems immediately accepted for publication at the liberal New Yorker – but I can promise you better than that.

    I can promise you this ….

    Read Proverbs 8 over and over again 50 or so times, in the morning, in the evening, right about suppertime, and all sorts of other times, memorize some of that chapter so well that you can remember it in dreams and know you will remember what you need to say at the moment of death …..

    and pray for wisdom.

    God will grant you the wisdom you pray for, and you will know why I said I (not speaking on my own behalf but just explaining what God promises) can promise you better than that.

    (Just kidding about that part of “give me a couple hundred hours” this bargain is between you and God I am just way off to the side…._ you don’t need a single hour with someone like me – I am not a teacher I am just someone who is sometimes a good conversationalist —- you just need to be the person, the human creature, God wants you to be.)

    Thanks for reading.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  259. @joeshittheragman

    Care to elaborate on the Thanks to the Lord part?

    A side note: a member of one of the two sexes critically demolishing the opposite sex while not finding any fault with his demographic isn’t very consistent, in that each of the sexes reflects the opposite’s preferences.

    So when we portray truthfully one of the two sexes, we at the same time portray the (majority of) other sex too.

    For instance one can haddly help be stricken by the lack of self-awareness in the scores of “I long for a sincere man, why is there none around?” women. They do not know at all that if one thing is a warranty of rejection, by their sex and themselves, it is sincerity.
    How could someone compete in the mating/romance market being sincere, when choices are made out of liking, and a calculated move, insincere and/or untrue, is easily thought of that will be more likable than sincerity/truth?

    If somebody wanted sincerity and truth, they would reward them, reacting positively to things that annoyed them and/or were not to their taste. Not a shadow of this, anywhere, and much of its opposite.

  260. @Sollipsist

    That would predictably be lower than even a realistic assessment.

  261. @res

    I have a more recent Lubinski and Benbow paper I haven’t commented on yet, but they are the best on high ability, and the picture is good on any measure. The super-bright are more socially involved, even. In that sample there were some very obvious “flame outs”. They stick in the mind “as when a fine chronometer is spoiled by some fluff” (Galton, badly remembered, but my thesis is not to hand). Sure, we all know those. However, I have met many very bright people, at least 3 sigma bright, and most of them are friendly and helpful, and fun to talk with. Carl Sagan and Douglas Adams come to mind. Won’t mention anyone alive.

  262. @Hypnotoad666

    8.2.1. Subjectively assessed intelligence

    Participants assessed their own and their partner’s intelligence on a
    1–25 point rating scale. Five groups of five columns were labelled as
    very low, low, average, high or very high, respectively (see Fig. 1).
    Participants’ SAI was indexed with the marked column counting from
    the first to the left; thus the score ranged from 1 to 25 (see Zajenkowski
    et al., 2016 for more details). Prior to providing a response to the scale,
    the following instruction was presented:

    People differ with respect to their intelligence and can have a low,
    average or high level. Using the following scale, please indicate
    where you can be placed compared to other people. Please mark an
    X in the appropriate box corresponding to your level of intelligence.

  263. @Anonymous

    try reading some studies on the relationship between ability and billionare status. Say, Lubinski?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  264. @anonymous

    (smile) Correct, my use of “transcendence” was anything but theological. I’m an Occam’s Razor guy mixed with a massive dose of “I don’t know, I can’t know, so in light of that, I don’t deliberate on the subject (which obviously means I don’t debate it.)

    In place of “He who dies with the most toys wins,” I prefer “He who dies the wisest wins, especially if he was able to walk his Path satisfied with wisdom’s value.” The real challenge is the event horizon between what a man can learn for himself alone and how much of what he’s learned he can pass along to those he loves. I current stand painfully on the razor’s edge between fearing that evidence of wisdom’s communicability is absent vs hope that something at the margin of that can be passed down. If my Path has another 15 or 20 years of stones in its pavement (odds favor me, but no man is promised tomorrow) I might have some anecdotal answers to that (i.e., grandkids into adulthood.)

    As to teaching, Nock’s Isaiah’s Job is a foundation stone of my epistemology.

    The “debate” within this comment thread highlights for me the tension between what is called intelligence and what is understood as wisdom.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  265. @res

    As with everything complicated, all thoughts (and necessarily discussions thereof) become gross oversimplifications.

    As you noticed and questioned, I didn’t include that from my POV few things are actually bimodal. For example, my “mental map” holds that all of us are born to a segment on the spectrum for each and every human attribute (however many of those one posits exist.) We exercise a degree of self-determination WRT where on that segment we express that attribute, but we have no real ability to break out of that segment into a (better, be it higher or lower) part of the total spectrum. In other words, we have the opportunity to be the best (or worst, or somewhere in between) available version of ourselves.

    Regarding the common vs the uncommon life, I personally faced what I then saw as a bimodal choice between a career in the performance arts and the “married, kids, house-in-suburbs/white-picket-fence” life. I continue to see that as bimodal because I see little evidence that people in the performance arts enjoy the parts of life I hold dear (since I obviously chose the latter path…before, as it turned out, fate chose it for me anyway.) A pivotal experience for me later was a frank discussion with the president of the medium-sized corporation for which I then worked. A few drinks had shut off his “deliberative mind” (which would likely have moderated is self-honesty, at least to a subordinate he hardly knew) and he admitted that he hardly knew his now-adult son and daughter because he’d been consumed climbing to the top of his career. This man wore Italian loafers, European suits, drove a high end European luxury sedan (provided by the firm, of course) and had just stepped off the Concorde SST returning from a meeting with his masters (so this both dates my experience and shows that everyone has masters, from my view.) He was at the peak of a pretty amazing career and was rather despondent about the trade-off his choices required.

    There may well be ways to have the deep love associated with being a cornerstone of ones own nuclear family while also pursuing occupations associated with the uncommon life, I do not remotely claim omniscience, but my experience and observations tell me that it’s not the way to bet. Had any of my kids expressed desire to reach for an uncommon life (and one actually is trending toward a potentially uncommon-life career track**) I’d counsel both caution and having a Plan B.

    ** One of the hardest things in life to confront, in my opinion, is the realization that your kids are not your clones, they end up looking more and more alien as they mature. This might seem harsh, but it’s kind of true. The parts of you (and of their other parent, whose attributes you hopefully loved enough to desire to produce children with them) that you recognize in them fade as they inevitably become more of who they really are, unique persons whose genes may be 50% you but the resulting mixture is something entirely new and different. I will never cease being astonished at how complex we people are.

  266. @Anonymous

    You’ve obviously never played the futures market.

    Tropes of Hollywood cloud the grasp of reality of everyone. Pretty Woman is a lie, firearm “silencers” aren’t remotely silent (and every actual person who engaged in the usual action-adventure shoot-em-up would be permanently deaf), people who have been “knocked out” don’t wake up, fight and win the battle and stupid people don’t remain rich for very long.

    Perhaps “trust fund babies” remain wealthy because someone (or a committee) administers the underlying wealth, but people who have no concept for how a fortune was amassed are without doubt the same as lottery winners. We know that most lotto winners squander their wealth in no time. Extremely few people, it seems, are content to live modestly on the yield from T-bills.

    Nothing, but nothing sets up failure like success. If it’s true that those the Gods would destroy they first make mad, then nothing corrupts reason faster than power and wealth. Madness follows the embrace of ones own PR.

  267. @CanSpeccy

    More recently, there have surely been similar opportunities in pornography one imagines, or selling donuts or some other toxic fast food. Not much brainpower required for such businesses, surely.

    To me this is an observation consistent with the thesis that we’ve entered a very visible part of the declining phase of a civilization cycle, where parasitism is open (because it’s widely approved, i.e., fashionable.)

    Related to the discussion of IQ and intelligence are the observations about how we humans actually think, nicely codified in Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow.

    Discussions about intelligence are confounded by (in my opinion) evidence of irrational cognition stemming from what amounts to the committee in each person’s head vying to control downstream actions on a moment-by-moment basis. We’re not robots, and our cognitive processes are anything but consistent and coherent. Preexisting beliefs (premises), herding impulsion and raw emotion redirect our minds constantly and invisibly, so that the sterile environment of a test (Raven’s Matrices, Wechsler, etc.) is only a glimpse at a much richer environment of cognition, one where the results of cognition (AKA actions) are a source of endless conjecture (note the irony there.)

    I know everyone interested enough to read any of this OP by Dr. Thompson knows this; I restate the obvious only because I must always remind myself that the map really isn’t the territory. Debates about the map are but windows into a much larger unknown, and the future is the most unknown of all.

  268. Anonymous[351] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks. Can you please recommend a specific link from this list? Do we have data on actual billionaires or is it just assumed that the path to becoming well-off or even a millionaire is the same for billionaires? I have no problem believing that high-IQ individuals can better rise through the ranks – up to a point – where the real “masters of the universe” reside (people who own these ranks).

    This layer, in my experience, is not meritocratic and not high-IQ. For starters, we can see here that a large segment of billionaires inherited their billions with who knows how many rising from nine to ten figures. Technically speaking, a person with 999 000 000$ is a self-made billionaire if he reaches a billion.

    The club at the top has captured the system in order to live by their own rules – IMO.

  269. @Anonymous

    I still think the study of outliers is a waste of time. [I admit it’s hard to avoid envy, though.]

    This is especially true if one embraces the notion that “current conditions” are always impermanent, but by definition understood to be unchanging.

    Studying today’s billionaires is meaningless because they became billionaires during an astonishingly unique period in human history, the greatest credit bubble ever recorded. What parallels can we draw between members of today’s 99.99999th percentile vs members of the same percentile that occurred during the Gilded Age (at the end of the meat of the Industrial Revolution?)

    Few indeed. I don’t see much relationship between John D. Rockefeller’s innovations in the development of petroleum fuels (where his firms fueled a massive rise in supply and resultant rising living standards even as they also fueled massive price-cutting) vs Gates, Musk, etc. Sorry, I just think there’s several orders of magnitude of relevance between these two epoch’s signature innovators. If nothing else, political and regulatory capture (AKA corruption) have metastasized in this late-stage civilization that one could reasonably conclude that the path to fabulous wealth is to be the most demonic, narcissistic, sociopathic and Machiavellian creature to ever walk the Earth. But it’s difficult to see the water and understand what it means to be wet when we’re all fish.

    Perhaps I oversimplify, but study of anything entails one or both of two things: Understanding how effect is produced (basic science) and learning how to harness that understanding (applied science or engineering.) Few outcomes offer more confounding data and less opportunity for useful application than the study of the pinnacle of any human society. By the time you figure out a plausible “how it happened” the conditions for it happening again will have radically changed.

    PS: Meritocracy is Utopian. The first thing each and every person on Earth does once they’ve obtained some good is try to figure out how to never lose it. Job #1 usually entails crippling the competition for it. Human nature is a product of Nature (which is an unending process), it is not perfectible (which is an end state, i.e., dead.) Watching people over the course of history attempt to perfect it is like watching an ant farm that you’ve shaken.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Anonymous
  270. @Anonymous

    Orwell captured the reality underlying your beef about system capture in his book-within-a-book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism.

    Paraphrasing, throughout human history there has always been a High, a Middle and a Low. The Low basically don’t matter, and historical strife comes from the High resisting efforts of the Middle to displace them at the top. Most of the time membership in these three groups is fairly static, but on occasion, usually when members of the High lose their focus, elements of the Middle recruit the Low to besiege the High and, if successful, those elements of the Middle displace members of the High, the latter of whom are pushed down to the Middle (or killed outright.)

    The first thing the new members of the High do is kick their erstwhile allies in the Low back to the gutter.

    Anyone who actually believes the PR from the High (or elements of the Middle seeking to displace them) that “if I’m elected I’ll use my power to make your (that’s you, personally!) life better” is a child too short for this ride. [Where lies the line between self-deception and delusion?]

    Today’s Team Trump vs The Deep State cage match is fascinating insofar as it’s a rare opportunity for the grass (us) to recognize an actual battle between elephants (Team Trump and Deep State members.) The elements involved have removed most of the veneers and we see (if we look) just how much our actual reality diverges from the tissue of lies on which each and every one of us was raised. Few people in history existed in a more complete fog of mythology characterized by the term “American Exceptionalism.” No people in history were so besotted with self-satisfaction that they invited self-destruction from every point of the compass. Nothing sets up failure like success, and we in the USA raised success to an art form.

    But human history is cyclical because it is the product of a spontaneously organized phenomenon. We’re offered ringside seats to a battle, so we might as well enjoy the spectacle even if we also grasp the ancient African proverb: “When elephants battle it’s the grass that suffers.”

    My conviction is unshakable: What we all now think is normal is a once-in-a-thousand-years social mood mania, it produced the largest credit bubble ever, which fueled a simultaneous asset mania. When this inevitably ends, who will lose (nominally) the most? Those who gained the most as the bubble inflated. Of course, nominal losses are of questionable relevance: A billionaire who loses 99% is still a heck of a lot better off than Joe Citizen who loses 90% of his $250,000 life’s savings. I guess time will tell, if the cycle arrives in a relevant time. I’m criticized for learning from Mises, who didn’t live to see his irrefutable critique of socialism bear fruit.

  271. res says:
    @dc.sunsets

    I don’t see much relationship between John D. Rockefeller’s innovations in the development of petroleum fuels (where his firms fueled a massive rise in supply and resultant rising living standards even as they also fueled massive price-cutting) vs Gates, Musk, etc.

    I’m not sure about that. It seems to me there are similarities in how each of those people identified an opportunity and worked to take advantage of it. Of particular interest would be how each managed to deal with competition and achieve growth along the way. It is not like they were the only ones to identify those opportunities in advance.

    How much of both the opportunity identification and exploitation were luck vs. skill is another interesting question.

    P.S. If Musk manages to succeed in the end in competition against the existing major car companies that will be a business story for the ages. How often do we see a new entrant succeed in such a well developed area (cars in general) populated with so many immense and capable competitors? The other examples you gave were all exploiting a new market. I think it’s fair to say all of the other (non-bankrupt, cf. DeLorean)new car companies over the last half century or so have received a significant boost from their governments (either direct or through access to protected markets).

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  272. Anonymous[351] • Disclaimer says:
    @dc.sunsets

    Meritocracy is Utopian

    I disagree. Looks like China is on an infinitely better path even if only half of these claims are correct. Meritocracy – especially at the top where it’s needed the most – is absolutely crucial if we want to survive as a species.

    Meanwhile, Western world is captured and corrupted by a tiny group of undeserving “elite” mediocrities on a mission to genocide large segments of the herd and enslave the rest. I’m not jealous. I’m livid.

    It’s a matter of basic survival and a sense of justice. Even monkeys know what it means:

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  273. @res

    CanSpeccy highlighted the key difference, where your view and mine diverge: Rockefeller fed a fantastic rise in living standards (because energy utilization IS living standard by any honest measure) while I could write a book series detailing how today’s Richest largely feed systems that hijack human weakness for profit, i.e., they’re parasitic. I admit this is all about moral judgement, so good people can disagree. I guess it’s largely because all the low-hanging fruit was picked. The last 40 years witnessed a vast credit bubble, but the cost of living didn’t rise because most goods manufacturing was exported and the quality of goods largely plummeted. We now have the illusion of an inexpensive lifestyle, paid for by pyramiding savings into IOU’s, which to me is a fuse of indeterminate length burning down to a near-doomsday bomb. It’s what I see. So “business opportunity” moves ever further into profiting by feeding people’s self-destructive impulses.

    I guess I should open a casino/brothel/video-game, social media & virtual-reality firm. Or do it the easy way and open a university.

    In my view Musk is just a far more skilled version of Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos’ infamous head con artist. Anyone who studies energy use, production and consumption and has a calculator can tell us that replacing petroleum-fueled cars en masse with battery-operated ones is utterly impossible (and probably an ecological catastrophe) as things even remotely stand. This is part of why I rated support for the latest idiocy, the Green New Deal, to be a signal of just how much Life now imitates the Art of Idiocracy. “Sustainable” and “Everything Electric” are synonyms for reducing living standards by a percentage people would NEVER, in a million years, willingly (and peacefully) accept. [Whether burning hydrocarbons is sustainable or not is a question I think is dishonestly answered on a continuous basis.]

    I think Tesla is a vast con game, it exists entirely due to regulatory capture (as you acknowledged) combined with our social mood mania’s limitless magical thinking. Battery-operated cars DON’T WORK in the winter, when it’s cold, above a certain latitude. I am amazed just how much you lose with even a HYBRID automobile**, I know this first hand (so if I read some clown tell me otherwise, I’d know he’s a CLOWN.) I think Tesla cars are hobby toys, not actual transportation. A used Geo Metro has more range and more utility (but none of the cache, I get it.)

    **I’ve heard that Teslas lose literally half their range if you leave the heat on where it gets cold in winter, partly due to reduced battery efficiency, mostly because an electric heater is an energy hog. My hybrid loses nothing when I turn on the A/C, but running the heat in winter (which is NOT resistance heating, it’s a different problem) my mileage economy collapses.

    • Replies: @res
  274. @Anonymous

    I didn’t say I don’t prefer meritocracy.
    I’d prefer a meritocratic aristocracy to any form of democracy you could posit. I just don’t think it’s really among the available options, people being how we are.

    China (and parts of Europe as I understand it) place considerable trust in systems that test people and move them into “appropriate” channels based on the results. I suppose this is as good a system as many others, surely superior to propaganda/popularity contests we call elections, where as Hayek was fond of saying, the scum rises to the top.
    —————————–
    I don’t know what’s coming. I do know that behavior, including the varieties of human social behavior, is genetically coded. Chinese people are not Anglo-Saxons are not Sub-Saharan Africans are not Ashkenazis are not Roma are not…. It is (in my view) quite literally a category error to imagine importing some other people’s system and expect it to work. I think it’s a belly laugh that people believe China has imported market-based capitalism (not that the West actually practices it.)

    People are not so intermingled, genetically, that distinct subpopulations, virtually subspecies, do not remain. Despite gray borders, we remain very distinct peoples. (This means that the USA is headed for some real problems because putting 300 million increasingly disparate people under one polity is a prescription for disaster.)

    If the USA was placed on a full meritocratic system today it would set off a civil war immediately. Even if East Asian IQ superiority might mean that East Asian immigrants should take over rule and tell me how to live, top to bottom, I’d never accept it. Look how well it has worked for blacks under previously mostly-white rule. I’m not East Asian, and their genetically-coded behavior norms are not mine. It’s not a question of superiority, it’s a question of differential preference. This applies to me vs East Asians vs people of mostly Sub-Saharan African or South Asian or North Asian or Native American ancestry.

    Magic Dirt cargo-cult thinking is endemic. People tried to live John Lennon’s lyrics to Imagine, forgetting that while we ALL want the trappings of the good life, we all don’t have the means to create it nor do we have the culture to actually tolerate the presence of the means to create it. It is human (collective, hive, herd, tribe) nature to kill the geese that lay the golden eggs, not to suddenly switch DNA so we too can lay them.

    The system we’ve enjoyed in the West was a product of the unique conditions that produced our ancestors, the people who literally created Western Prosperity by adding their unique social behaviors to the foundation blocks of civilizations that preceded them. Between eliminating the harsh conditions that selected for our ancestors (my ancestors, the Anglo-Saxons) and diluting our polities with peoples who (this is KEY) didn’t produce Western Prosperity WHERE THEY CAME FROM, ever in history (so far), we’ve essentially destroyed the very system by which what we take for granted came about.

    We’re the offspring of billionaire entrepreneurs who rejected the values and wisdom of our parents/grandparents, fell in with the con artists of the world (Marx, Lenin, Alinsky, Strauss, Shaw,ad nauseum) and decided to squander our vast fortune. Now that little of that capital remains, we’ve put our lifestyles on the MasterCard for 38 years.

    But most people look back at the past trend, turn forward and project that growth into perpetuity.

    I don’t think that’s how this will work.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  275. res says:
    @dc.sunsets

    I think our biggest difference is I was focusing on how they succeeded while you are focusing on their societal impacts. You make good points. Thanks.

    Tesla has a huge con game element to it. Though I am impressed that they have been able to produce competitive cars at all (and they have revolutionized acceleration performance expectations IMHO, and self driving MAY prove to be revolutionary). I do wonder if Musk will be able to turn it into something lasting. Not to mention coming close to meeting the expectations set by the current valuation.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  276. Anonymous[351] • Disclaimer says:
    @dc.sunsets

    Even if East Asian IQ superiority might mean that East Asian immigrants should take over rule and tell me how to live, top to bottom, I’d never accept it.

    Oh boy, wait until you see what a much smaller, inferior, immigrant tribe has in store for all of us.

    • Agree: dc.sunsets
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    , @jeff stryker
  277. @Anonymous

    Propaganda, like statute legislation, does not change actual reality.

    Every means of beating a people into submission (moral preening, holier-than-thou, citing past wrongs, or the more common cattle prods and rubber bullets) has a life span. One form or another of fatigue sets in, and tolerance to the prodding builds, parallel to resentment, then rage.

    Today our “betters” have upped the volume of their “Telling Us To Shape Up Or Else” to a deafening level. We see endless advertising pushing BM/WF couples, celebrating the SWPLness of Joey’s Two Soccer Dads, and my favorite-of-favorites, the Ultimate Cargo Cult image of a man who thinks he’s a woman not only because he dresses like a one but pays Dr. Frankenstein’s cousin to surgically make him into The Bride…well, at some point even the blind can see desperation.

    I may have lost most of my academic connect, but I was by first education a biologist. My epistemology rests on law, mostly Nature’s law(s), most specifically genetics and its innumerable downstream consequences. The territory to which I align my “mental map” is actual reality, not some Utopian delusion.

    What TV show or movie does not now depict a person of predominantly African ancestry as the smartest doctor, cleverest lawyer, most advanced scientist or, well…..GOD? What procedural crime drama doesn’t place a white guy in the Ebil Bad Guy role while heroic POC’s (and grrrpwr women) save the day? [Let’s not forget how much trouble “reality” TV cop shows generate by revealing a pervasive truth we’re not to notice.] I repeat: IT IS A CARGO CULT. What’s the definition of a cargo cult? A belief that by building the appearance of something you can create its essence.

    Facepalm.

    Yes, I know to what specific ancestry group most of those making these ads and shows belong. And per the discussion of this entire article, I’m not some kind of inbred, HS-drop-out loser with an alcohol addiction and a history of failed jobs and marriages.

    Those Who Can See are, in fact, not amused. (h/t to MG at http://thosewhocansee.blogspot.com/ )

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  278. @Anonymous

    ANONYMOUS

    Okay, so Jews are purportedly inferior. And I am not one, so I don’t care. But here is a question.

    Why do Jews make so much money?

    Why are Jewish areas of NYC or LA wealthy?

    Why are rural Anglo-Saxon protestant evangelical regions of the US interior poor?

    Why aren’t East Asians affected by Jews to the same degree as whites? Or Hindus? Or even Muslims?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @dc.sunsets
  279. Anonymous[372] • Disclaimer says:
    @dc.sunsets

    True. Let’s hope we can fix it before it’s too late (WW3 and/or NWO).

  280. Anonymous[372] • Disclaimer says:
    @jeff stryker

    Why do Jews make so much money?

    Compound nepotism.

  281. @jeff stryker

    ANONYMOUS

    Okay, so Jews are purportedly inferior. And I am not one, so I don’t care. But here is a question.

    Why do Jews make so much money?

    In-group Nepotism.

    Why are Jewish areas of NYC or LA wealthy?

    In-group Nepotism.

    Why are rural Anglo-Saxon protestant evangelical regions of the US interior poor?

    Funny. As I recall, a somewhat dated inquiry into the mean IQ of various Protestant sects held that Episcopalians (the apex WASPs, at the time probably 99.9% Anglo-Saxon) had a mean IQ of 120. No, I don’t have a link.

    Why aren’t East Asians affected by Jews to the same degree as whites? Or Hindus? Or even Muslims?

    Do you live under a ROCK? How about the lawsuit against Harvard regarding race-based admissions?

    I can only assume you’ve missed the entire library of columns on Unz.com detailing the gross over-representation of the Ashkenazim in “elite” occupations and universities, even if you accept the most optimistic estimates of Ashkenazi mean IQ. They hire and promote their own, just as do all genetically-predisposed clannish people. Look up Jayman and HBD chick on clannishness.

    Lastly, the data I find interesting shows that the “deliberative mind,” the “System 2” described in Kahneman’s book, is split into the algorithmic mind (the part that lights up on an IQ test) and the reasoning or rational mind. It appears entirely common for someone to be strong on the former, weak on the latter.

    I have elsewhere described this phenomenon I call The Colloquy Effect.

    When I look at the ancestry of dominant figures in industries I consider absolutely toxic (Hollywood, the MSM and three of the four dominant advertising agencies) I can explain the (I can’t call it anything but) evil they push in only two ways:
    1. They know not what they do because they’re very smart in IQ but utterly lack common sense, or
    2. It’s an unconscious or coherent conspiracy, and they’re an existential enemy.

    I think it’s healthier to assume it’s number 1.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  282. @res

    Tesla has not done much to improve the acceleration of e-cars – if anything at all. E-cars accelerate fast.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Dieter Kief
  283. anonymous[479] • Disclaimer says:
    @dc.sunsets

    wwebd said – Nock is one of those writers I have heard good things about for a while but have never actually read, I will give it a try, sounds interesting.

    Good luck on the next few decades, I hope everything turns out well. God loves us all, Jews and Christians and the rest.

  284. res says:
    @Dieter Kief

    I think Tesla brought that acceleration into broad availability. Did any widely available e-cars prior to Tesla accelerate like that? I recall the Model S out-accelerating supercars being a big deal early on. Now it is expected (that’s what was revolutionary!).

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  285. @CanSpeccy

    If you were to focus your attention on Australia and decide whether you really want to apply your broad brush to it I would read what you say with great interest. My optimistic take is that our immigration policy is probably ensuring that our national average intelligence, and numbers of outliers on the upside, is not declining so there is some hope for us even after Labor governments have done their best to buy the votes of leaners and muddled thinking young Greens and China begins to source most of its raw materials from Africa and Russia…. Also, the ethnic Chinese and Indians (if only as political donors) should keep Australia safe for capitalism 🙂

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  286. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dc.sunsets

    When I look at the ancestry of dominant figures in industries I consider absolutely toxic (Hollywood, the MSM and three of the four dominant advertising agencies) I can explain the (I can’t call it anything but) evil they push in only two ways:
    1. They know not what they do because they’re very smart in IQ but utterly lack common sense, or
    2. It’s an unconscious or coherent conspiracy, and they’re an existential enemy.

    You have only to read the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible to understand that Jews, inasmuch as they are adherents of Judaism, are racial supremacists, a people ready to commit genocide against other groups.

    This is an ugly fact about Jews. It is also an ugly fact about the Christian nations of the West where the New Testament has always been solely for home consumption, while the Jewish law of the Old Testament was the manual for managing the “lesser breeds without the Law.”

    As for Jewish intelligence, I think it would be interesting if one could take a bunch of Jewish babies and a bunch of Episcopalian babies and bring them up in incubators under one of two educational regimes. One would be a traditional Jewish education, with intensive study of the Torah or Talmud, plus regular schooling driven by a Jewish mother; while the other would be the usual US K-12 ed., lots of multiple choice crap, PC indoctrination, sex “ed” according to which the only sexual vice is reproduction, all this combined with junk food, permissive parents, the latter mostly spaced-out on opioids or hooked on TV sports.

    After 12 years of such treatment, does anyone seriously doubt that the Jewish regime will produce brighter kids, whereas the influence of the racial factor is negligible.

    When I look at the ancestry of dominant figures in industries I consider absolutely toxic (Hollywood, the MSM and three of the four dominant advertising agencies) I can explain the (I can’t call it anything but) evil they push in only two ways:
    1. They know not what they do because they’re very smart in IQ but utterly lack common sense, or
    2. It’s an unconscious or coherent conspiracy, and they’re an existential enemy.

    Mainly 2. But Christians in Africa, the Americas, India and elsewhere behaved with a contempt for the interest of the indigenous people fully the equal of of that displayed by Jewish Hollywood scumbags.

    But you have to recognize that just as there were decent Europeans in India and other Western colonies, there are many Jews who are more or less assimilated to the local culture, and have an allegiance to the nation in which they live. For example, it is said that 150,000 Jews served in Hitler’s armed forces.

    And in such experience as most North Americans have of Jews, most will have found Jews to be good people, loyal people, people of decent sensibilities: people in fact, like Aaron the print salesman, an employee of a firm owned by a Mr. Cohen, through whom for many years I received excellent service, at an excellent price.

    Aaron and the proprietor for whom he worked were, in fact, typical of a large class of Jews, who make it their business to make money in business by providing the best value for money, something they are able to do chiefly by being both diligent and skillful at what they do.

    So here is a real problem. The Jews who dominate in the porn industry, Hollywood, the media, these and the Israel-firsters are in many cases scoundrels indeed. But the antagonism that these people generate is usually directed at Jews in general, which creates a degree of paranoia that drives Jews to greater group loyalty and paranoia about anti-Semitism.

    That is the reason one has to wonder about the Unz Review, with its furious attacks on Jews, led by the publisher himself. I won’t speculate on Ron Unz’s motivation, but if his objective is to promote Jewish assimilation, I very much doubt the effectiveness of the approach chosen. Anti-Semitism, or whatever is interpreted by most Jews as anti-Semitism, only promotes a Jewish sense of isolation, distinctiveness, and resentful superiority. Moreover, perpetual harping about anti-Semitism by the ADL B’nai Brith, and the media, only exacerbates the effect. And by pissing off non-Jews with their hyped or entirely false allegations of anti-Semitism, the likes of the ADL stoke undiscriminating dislike of Jews, which generates genuine anti-Semitism, as intended, thereby to strengthen Jewish solidarity.

  287. @CanSpeccy

    “SPACED OUT ON OPOIDS”

    Why do whites but not Jews abuse opoids, eat too much junk food and get hooked on TV sports played by a bunch of sullen black thugs like Colin who won’t salute the flag?

    Why don’t whites adhere to something more similar to the Jewish regime?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @dc.sunsets
  288. @CanSpeccy

    I am sure you are mostly right, not least in emphasising the role of antisemitism generating some of the reasons for antisemitism and vice versa. Just one tiny dissent. Your comment on the Brits in India should, I think, have distinguished between the pre 1857 buccaneering days of the East India Company and the 90 years when good young servants of Empire were sent out to do the right thing, and mostly tried to. The progress of a great number of post Enlightenment Jews to equivalence in honest public spiritedness can’t perhaps be dated so neatly but, sadly, it is still at best a work in progress thanks to the distortions caused by having to support Israel even in a most conscientiously discriminating way.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  289. WIZARD

    Australia was a colony at the same time as the US and got most of the same desperate European backwater immigrants from Ireland and then the Mediterranean (More Greek and Balkan than Italian like the US) and finally Eastern Europe at roughly the same time.

    Unlike the US, Australia never got huge waves of Jews.

    It developed just fine without Jews.

  290. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @jeff stryker

    Why don’t whites adhere to something more similar to the Jewish regime?

    Because the state, the judiciary, the media, and the church itself have all turned against Christianity and hence the Jewish discipline that the church, before it was subverted, used to teach.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  291. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    Your comment on the Brits in India should, I think, have distinguished between the pre 1857 buccaneering days of the East India Company and the 90 years when good young servants of Empire were sent out to do the right thing, and mostly tried to.

    Absolutely. From the time of the Government of India Act (1833), the notion of India advancing through education* to the status of a Westernized, self-governing country was increasingly widely entertained, such that by the end of the 19th century it was a question of when, not whether, independence would be achieved. Given the ethos of the private schools attended by most who went to India as members of the Raj, one can be reasonably sure that this was the end to which many of them earnestly labored.

    *Cf Thomas Macaulay’s 1835 minute on Indian education.

  292. @CanSpeccy

    QUESTIONS

    Why wouldn’t Jews, perceiving Muslims in the US to be their chief adversary of the moment (Omar was blatant about this) not attempt to subvert THAT religion? Why more success with Christianity?

    Why don’t other white Americans, seeing the Jewish recipe for success (Nepotism, higher education, value of money, staying off soul-destroying hard drugs like Heroin or Crack) not simply imitate them?

    Why wouldn’t Hispanics and Irish-Americans on the East Coast who so strongly Catholic be affected to the degree of Christians in the US interior? It would seem to me that the Christians like Italians or Irish living elbow-to-anus with Jews are not suffering cultural degradation to the degree of those in the Bible Belt?

    Why is the Bible Belt poorer than Catholic blocs in NYC?

    Why are Jews less affected by the PC media and judiciary system’s sudden emphasis on liberalism in its worse forms like glorifying gay promiscuity or do-what-you-want hedonism than whites?

    Why do whites so completely believe the media and accept it as some sort of scripture. Jews themselves know it is all lies. Asians and Muslims don’t care. They only care about money. But why are whites so completely brainwashed by cocaine addicts and child molesters out in Los Angeles. Even after all the tales of Hollywood degradation-the molestation of child stars like Corey Haim, the debauched madness of Charlie Sheen who exposed thousands to HIV….The Kardashians for example, are merely the slutty daughters of some greasy Armenian dirtbag lawyer who probably aided and abetted OJ in killing two people. Why worship them?

    • Replies: @AaronB
  293. @Dieter Kief

    Yep – availability – not improvement. Tesla did nothing to improve e-cars technically. It’s the very nature of e-engines to accelerate fast.

  294. Anonymous[372] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks, I’ll check it out.

    The first article doesn’t look very useful, though. All the links require sign-on, the study was mixing billionaires with their employees and using college attendance to estimate IQ.

    “He studied the educational backgrounds of Senators, Congressmen, top Judges, the top 500 CEOs, and billionaires, and then looked up the entrance requirements of the colleges they attended, thus getting good estimates of their intelligence.

    This might seem an error-prone procedure, but there are some intriguing validity checks which emerge from the findings.”

    • LOL: CanSpeccy
    • Replies: @res
  295. PENTECOSTAL QUESTION

    Of non-Jews, Irish-Catholics are probably the whites with the greatest degree of influence in media, publishing and politics.

    If you look at Hollywood, chances are anyone who is not Jewish is an Irish-Catholic. Same with the judiciary system, East Coast politics and newspapers.

    So if Episcopalians or whoever are so intelligent, why is it that Catholics-mostly Irish and some Italians like Pelosi or Cuomo-are so heavily influential?

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  296. @jeff stryker

    I do wish you’d surf over to thosewhocansee blog and read up on commonwealth orientation vs. clannishness.

    Your questions would be 100% answered.

    “Whites” (perhaps better, those whose ancestors lived inside the Hajnal Line) have both blessing and curse in openness.

    By the way, re: opioids, you might also note that suicide is a white/East Asian thing, and rather rare among those of mostly Sub-Saharan African ancestry. I suspect this has to do with differential ability to project personal conditions (including existential angst) into the future.

    Some people live in the Perpetual Now.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  297. @CanSpeccy

    I concur with much of your position, and add (admitting I might have missed it) that the ranks of Lenin’s and Stalin’s most bloodthirsty enforcers (e.g., the NKVD) witnessed vast over-representation by Ashkenazis. Of course, Mao’s Red Guards probably weren’t Jewish emigres. (wink)

    I still stand by my view that high “intelligence” is commonly accompanied by low rationality/reason/common sense, and this is part of why, during these times of paper-qualification advancement (something more than a few Ashkenazi people excel at) and Jewish nepotism/clannishness we get so many public policies that are bat-guano crazy and stupid.

    There are plenty of examples of where ostensibly bright Jews not only espouse utterly senseless ideals, they try to live them too.

    As I’ve stated, in my view the epistemology based on humans transcending, via science and reason, our collective and self-destructive foibles is false. All evidence I see argues it’s false, even though I wish it were true.

    This is a corollary to Nock’s Isaiah’s Job. Just as there is no “saving the masses” from a philosophical or theological perspective, there’s no “saving the masses” via promotion of science, reason and rationality.

    We’re just not wired that way, no matter how much our egocentric reflection in the mirror pounds the table with objections.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  298. @jeff stryker

    (Sigh.)

    Out. Group. Altruism.

    Based on the conditions well-described in HBD Chick’s blog.

    Had WASPs in America in 1820 been clannish (like pretty much the rest of the world’s people) they’d have sunk every boat coming in from Italy and Ireland, same as would have Native American tribes if they’d have had the technology and coordination to do so.

    Waves of immigration change conditions, but it takes at least two generations to do so.
    Wave 1: Immigrants happy just to be in new place, even if the locals treat them like dirt.
    Wave 2: Kids of immigrants flock together because the locals don’t like them.
    Wave 3: Kids/grandkids of immigrants, having achieved sufficient density to stop mimicking the locals and resume behaving just like their DNA tells them to behave, set about trying to change the rules to mirror those from the cesspit their parents/grandparents fled.

    Who was behind the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act?

    It wasn’t a WASP.

    Who squats on our courts, jamming down our throats one thing after another that violates the black-letter English in our supposed “founding documents?” It ain’t WASPs.

    Again: Outgroup Altruism.

    The system that created what people flock(ed) to America to obtain was based in part on treating other people like extended family. This was a product of conditions in Medieval Europe and England. It was unique and it is GONE, diluted by its practitioners’ own folly. WASPs were (and remain, largely) addicted to Animal-Rescue-Hoarder pathological altruism. What else could describe the collectively insane notion of “rescuing” tens of millions of the world’s people, taking them into “our house” even as “our house” is already full of problems resulting from people similar to those “we’re” rescuing?

    An ice age approaches.

    • Agree: Trevor H.
  299. @dc.sunsets

    To the extent that rationality can be measured it correlates 0.7 with intelligence, so rationality is a reasonable subtest on any intelligence test, so long as one accepts it takes a long time to administer, and probably doesn’t add very much.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @CanSpeccy
  300. @dc.sunsets

    DC

    I’d never heard of John Hajnal until you mentioned him. His theorem is simply the Protestant and Catholic divide (Ireland and Spain fall on the other side of it) or so it seems.

    As for drug abuse, I dated a nurse who noted that Jews and East Asians in the dot.com era who did heaps of cocaine tended to develop acute schizophrenia while Caucasians merely burned out and became clinical depressives.

    Science has yet to determine brain chemistry or why, for example, heroin addiction blights Asians but few Korean-Americans got hooked on crack cocaine in the ghetto of Los Angeles compared to blacks.

    On the subject of the perpetual now, I suspect that if whites lived in the situation that Africans or Amerindians in Latin America do, they would commit suicide.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  301. AaronB says:
    @jeff stryker

    I assume your questions are rhetorical, but I’ll answer them anyways.

    Europeans at some point developed a cult of Reason – the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, etc.

    Reason destroys tradition – the accumulated wisdom of the ages. It also destroys instinct – your body’s guide to what’s good for you.

    So now European derived people’s are disconnected from their instincts and traditions. They’re defenseless.

    Everyone else still has their instincts and tradition to defend them against silliness.

    But a natural correction is setting in. People are already beginning to realize that numbers applied to people don’t work all that well. More and more people are beginning to realize counting calories makes you fat and IQ is a spurious number that doesn’t reflect ability.

    This is a natural swing in the pendulum.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  302. @AaronB

    AARON

    A WASP myself I left the US in 1999 before Bush was elected. It would seem that the last 20 years completely demoralized WASPS and Anglo-Americans to the point, but moreover, they lost all common sense.

    Clinton’s election in the 1990’s was the beginning of the celebration of lower-depth white trash norms. Lying, blatant infidelity with trashy Jewish girls, glorification of the pot culture (Which I was part of in the 90’s myself of course) and hippiedom, self-interest, cynicism.

    Clinton’s personal qualities seemed to become fused with the nascent political correctness of the era. A few years earlier, Gary Hart lost the nomination because of an affair and Quayle was mercilessly hounded about allegedly smoking pot in college.

    But all of the sudden PC made it politically incorrect to acknowledge that only losers smoke pot after age 25 or so; that serial philanderers have other moral problems like Clinton had.

    I will say that Jews, Asians, Hindus, Muslims retained more sanity but whites just lost or rejected every moral fiber and common sense.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  303. Anonymous[372] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Thompson

    None of those articles reveal anything about our billionaire masters of the universe. The last one, and the linked paper, very convincingly proves that high IQ matters a lot when climbing through the usual ranks but that’s a given. It’s the people who own those ranks that I’m worried about.

    Thanks anyway.

  304. @James Thompson

    Sorry, I’ll have to agree to disagree.

    One of the researchers Kahneman cites on this subject includes, in his list of irrationality signals, “believing in conspiracy theories.” In fact, the last three items on the jpg list you included in your column are in my view utterly laughable. What’s today’s “anti-science? Disbelief in the Global Warming theology. What’s NOT on the “dysfunctional personal belief” list? The notion that a fully functional (biologically) man with an XY chromosome pair in every somatic cell of his body can exercise his innate right to “feel like a woman” by cross-dressing and getting his genitals amputated, turned inside out and gets to spend the REST OF HIS LIFE using a dildo-like instrument to keep his body from naturally closing up the artificial invagination.

    Conspiracy theories?

    Really? Anyone who doubts the official explanation for a complicated event expresses irrationality?
    So I suppose anyone who watched the Zapruder film, the part where part of Kennedy’s head lands on the back of the car and Jackie paradoxically chases after it, is irrational for wondering about how basic physics was turned upside down when a bullet supposedly hitting him in the BACK of the head caused a chunk of it to go backwards. Or that we STILL are not allowed to see all the data from that event. No, no secrets here folks.

    I guess I’m some kind of irrational when I, knowing as little as I do about the TWO (yes, it’s two) systems for immunologic reaction, question the official viewpoint on vaccines (which only tweak ONE of those systems for developing immunity?) I worked in the pharmaceutical industry. It’s not like I have no personal insight here.

    I can think of no more obvious realm of propaganda than for special people to determine, not that certain beliefs are a signal of insanity (Stalin’s folks perfected that one) but that those beliefs are simply signs of irrationality.

    This once again highlights the fact that NO ONE is outside the Matrix. Science cannot be separated from scientists, and scientists cannot be separated from whatever universal fads and fashions form at any one time the basic theology of a society.

    It is extremely rare that I don’t encounter some kind of verbal tic, essentially an unconscious genuflection to deep herd-driven beliefs, even among the writing of people I generally respect.

    Belief trumps everything. It gets the results of the impulsive mind rubber-stamped by the deliberative mind of even the smartest persons on Earth.

    PS: I aver I could be wrong: possibly it is the least rational among very smart people who are generally the loudest mouthed. Sample bias is everywhere.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  305. @jeff stryker

    On the subject of the perpetual now, I suspect that if whites lived in the situation that Africans or Amerindians in Latin America do, they would commit suicide.

    No. They’d FIX IT.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
    , @res
  306. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    To the extent that rationality can be measured it correlates 0.7 with intelligence

    There you go again. You make “intelligence” synonymous with IQ, leading to the absurd corollary that rationality is something apart from intelligence. LOL.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  307. Anonymous[372] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    IQ literally means intelligence quotient. What’s wrong with you?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  308. AaronB says:
    @jeff stryker

    “Moral fiber and common sense” became replaced by rational schemes for organising one’s life.

    We are in the last decades of a revolution that began 500 years ago in Europe. Its been a tremendous adventure and has had incredible successes, but like all things, it has gone too far, and has become rotten.

    For instance, we used to know how to eat well and healthily, following a mix of instinct (taste) and tradition.

    This served us well for thousands if years, where we were thin and fit.

    Suddenly, this was no longer good enough.

    Science would devise a healthier diet than tradition or instinct ever could. So these new diets ignored our biologically endowed taste buds as well as tradition. It knew better. The result is obesity and a raft of modern diseases.

    Similarly with IQ. For thousands of years, we successfully sorted people by ability. All complex societies had to. Since ability is incredibly complex, we did it based on real world observation – in field assessment as it were – and wide ranging personal assessment (interviews, extended contact, etc).

    But then we decided that science could come up with a better method. The result is a single number that fails to capture most of the complexity involved in ability and cremated weakly to high ability of any kind.

    The German Army in WW2 relied on these traditional methods of assessing ability for their officer corp, while the American Army applied the new scientific method. The result was a German Army significantly more capable and effective.

    Oxbridge universities used to select people based on traditional ways of assessing ability, and produced a raft of Nobel Prize winners. Contemporary selection methods, are, of course, much more scientific, and produce nonentities.

    Our whole way of living has been reorganized along rational lines and has discarded tradition and instinct. The result is a way of life that most people feel is profoundly unsatisfying and deeply maladaptive.

    Hence so many whites are despairing, sickening, and dying. No other group of people has chosen to live so much against instinct. The malicious anti-white tropes of stale white male, square boring white guy, etc, though driven by malice, obviously contain a grain of truth. Whites have chosen to divest themselves of local character and color – tradition and instinct – and live by abstract universals to an extent that no other people has.

    But we are biological creatures who evolved robust defenses in the form of instinctual preferences and tastes. We’ve also developed the ability to store the results of millions of experiments as tradition.

    Discard both, and of course you’re defenseless and maladaptive. You’re also disconnected from your own emotions and desires – and life become a burden, boring. Despair sets in.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  309. @dc.sunsets

    DC

    Whites can be blamed for the situation in Latin America. It is, after all, White Supremacy that Amerindians are fleeing from.

    • LOL: dc.sunsets
    • Replies: @res
  310. @AaronB

    AARON

    Jews and East Asians are too smart, in a shrewd way, to care how they are portrayed by the media.

    Blacks, Mestizos and Muslims have the lower-depths cynicism only to care about brute force.

    But the recipe works on whites.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @AaronB
  311. AaronB says:
    @jeff stryker

    Its the opposite. Jews and East Asians are less “intellectual” than whites. You live in Asia – you must know this is true. Asians don’t go in for abstraction and theories.

    It has often been observed that high intellectual ability puts one at a severe disadvantage in practical life. In business, in outwitting others, in detecting falsehoods. The more educated and intellectual you are the worse you will do.

    Taleb describes these people as “intellectuals yet idiots”. (IYI)

    Whites have developed the most purely intellectual culture the world has ever known – the most cleanly cut off from the body and the instincts.

    Of course whites are at a disadvantage in practical affairs and business.

    Let me tell you something – for whites to become competitive again in the practical scrimmage of life they must become stupider, they must become less intellectual, more like Jews, Asians, and everyone else.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  312. res says:
    @Anonymous

    The big problem with retrospective (vs. prospective) studies of IQ and achievement is the differing numbers of people across the ability spectrum. ~2% of people have an IQ over 130 with ~0.1% over 145 and ~0.003% over 160 (~16% over 115 for an additional comparison). Guess which groups will appear more frequently if skills other than IQ (or luck!) matter at all. A 20x or 1000x difference in population numbers matters.

    This is precisely why the SMPY is so valuable. It allows looking at relative outcomes for groups which are so rare (e.g. 1 in 10,000) that they will appear infrequently (if at all) in retrospective studies.

    Cohort 3 of the SMPY has 501 participants at the 1 in 10,000 level:
    https://my.vanderbilt.edu/smpy/participants/

    This means the study is looking at the top end from a population of about 5 million people. Similar calculations for first two cohorts total up to less than half a million. They increased the catchment region greatly over the first three cohorts:
    Maryland -> Mid-Atlantic States -> US
    Cohorts 4 and 5 looked at college students so I tend to think about them separately.

    A quick calculation based on the data at this page: https://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/055/
    Indicates there were about 3.5 million Americans aged 13 each year from 1980-1983 so they captured 5 million out of roughly 14 million 13 year olds in the US over that period.

  313. AaronB says:
    @jeff stryker

    Jews and East Asians are too smart, in a shrewd way

    Shrewdness is intellect as applied to practical life and human nature. You cannot live in the cold rarefied heights of abstract intellection and be shrewd.

    Shrewdness depends on constantly keeping the sordid facts of human nature in front of you (and also extensive experience of said sordidness). Shrewdness is the enemy of ideals and principles, and of elegant abstractions.

    Now abstract intellection is good for one thing – creating models of the physical world, to better control it. Physics and engineering. A people that sacrifices shrewdness for abstraction may invent machines that for a time give it a decided advantage over others.

    But it will lose touch with practical reality and human nature, and be at a disadvantage in other ways.

    It is of vital importance that a people committed to abstraction remain separate – erect a kind of circle around themselves. Because they simply cannot deal successfully with people who develop shrewdness with regard to human nature and practical life.

    However, it is precisely people who develop abstraction that will lose sight of the sordidness of ordinary human nature and fail to appreciate the need for separation.

    Great abstraction cannot, then, survive long – as we are seeing. It is too frail a plant. And quite aside from its vulnerability, it creates an increasingly unsatisfying way of life that destroys itself from within ad it is counter instinctual.

    We must climb down from the heights, Jeff, and reenter the real world. Its much more fun. And its necessary for survival.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  314. res says:
    @dc.sunsets

    It is amazing how much lack of agency permeates the thinking of so many people. Has anyone ever done a serious look at this by race?

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  315. res says:
    @jeff stryker

    That is very different from your first statement. Do you realize that?

    Here they both are.

    Comment 306:

    On the subject of the perpetual now, I suspect that if whites lived in the situation that Africans or Amerindians in Latin America do, they would commit suicide.

    Comment 315:

    Whites can be blamed for the situation in Latin America. It is, after all, White Supremacy that Amerindians are fleeing from.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  316. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    Shrewdness also relies on tradition and experience. It is not rational or abstract. It is experience based. And tradition is the wisdom of stored experience. It is earthy, concrete.

    Anyone living in the heights of Reason is disconnected from experience and stored experience aka tradition. Such a person cannot be shrewd.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  317. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    IQ literally means intelligence quotient. What’s wrong with you?

    Just because you and other IQists call scores on a certain type of paper and pencil test an Intelligence Quotient, does not mean that that test measures intelligence as the term intelligence is generally understood and as it is defined by dictionaries. That you cannot understand that is what is wrong with you.

  318. @AaronB

    AARON B

    I don’t think the Anglo-Saxon individualistic pioneer mentality of WASPS in the US helps. They tend to idealize lone wolfs with elitist personalities who go their own way and are self-reliant. This translates to a powerless anonymity in modern-day capitalism.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @dc.sunsets
  319. @res

    When I refer to Latin American “whites” I’m referring to the old Spanish families at the top of the social tree like Vincente Fox.

    Curiously, wealthy Mexicans look like Charlie Sheen and poor ones look like Danny Trejo.

    Latin American Spanish creoles own everything.

  320. @res

    Yep – availability – but no improvement. It’s the very nature of e-engines to accelerate fast.

  321. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    If you were to focus your attention on Australia and decide whether you really want to apply your broad brush to it I would read what you say with great interest.

    It’s most flattering of you to say that, though the truth is I know little about Oz, other than through contacts with in-laws, many of whom seemed to have a proclivity for extreme Southward migration.

    My view on Australian immigration policy is thus no more than a generalization of my view of immigration to the Euro-dominated world in general, and it is this: The European peoples are dying faster than they are producing children, but they are more than making up the deficit by mass immigration of people of alien race, religion and culture. Moreover, insofar as the Europeans have a breeding policy it is a dysgenic policy of promoting love on the dole. This is an amazing thing. We, the human race, are the remote descendants of the first life that appeared on earth over four billion years ago. That first life form gave rise to millions, billions, trillions, and quintillions of progeny, virtually all of which died out. But of every quintillion in each generation a few spawned a mass of progeny of their own, among which again a few were succeeded by their own living progeny, and so on generation after generation.

    What is the probability that we are the ones still standing at this stage of such an incredible survival game? One in a number so large it seems beyond realistic estimation. Yet as the miraculous winners in this fantastic survival race, the European peoples say, now, after four billion years of it, “we give up the struggle. We depart this mortal coil and leave it to those more irrational than ourselves to continue the struggle, for another generation, or a thousand generations or another four billion years.”

    Amazing, astounding, insane?

    But then surely some disagree. And Australians must be among the last on Earth to call themselves wimps.

    The great mass of Australians, surely, wish, into the future, to boldly go. So here’s my proposal.

    The Australian Government should create a super ministry of Finance, Population and Welfare.

    The reason for this particular combination is that the survival of the Australian people depends on restoring the positive relationship between fertility and productivity upon which the maintenance of a healthy and intelligent population depends. How to do this would take up too much space to detail here. But in brief, there must be a tax regime that rewards intelligent women who seek, not to distinguish themselves, but to raise distinguished sons. At the same time there must be a welfare regime that sternly discourages reproduction.

    These incentives have to reverse the malign effects of no-fault divorce, and feminism and the craze for girls’ education on the fertility of intelligent women, an of welfare on the fertility of unitelligent women.

    The best incentive I can think of for intelligent women to have children is to provide them with large, very large, tax breaks for every child. These breaks would be based on the combined income of both parents (paternity would be determined by compulsory DNA genotyping) and would be paid as a cash rebate to the mother for the rest of her life.

    What I’m thinking is a break of $50 to 100 thousand per child. This would bring no benefit to the indigent, but would assure the partners of able men a slice of that man’s income for life, whether or not he sticks around to help raise the kid. This I believe would greatly reduce the incentive intelligent women have now, which is to put career before family for purely economic reasons.

    In addition, partners of welfare mothers would be required to pay child maintenance. Those unable to do so would go to debtors jail where their chances of further procreation would be limited.

    Obviously, these ideas could do with some refinement and elaboration. I’d like to see Australia set up a high powered think tank, a sort of Reproductive Rand Corp, staffed by the best and the brightest, to develop rational population targets and eugenic means to get their.

    Much as I like, and indeed greatly respect, Chinese, Indians, Africans, and even the Muslims personally known to me, I think there is enough of each of these groups, and therefore, their movement en masse to the Euro nations should be halted.

  322. AaronB says:
    @jeff stryker

    In Jungian terms, everything has a “shadow”.

    The West developed all these “killer apps”, but we are now seeing their shadow. Individualism is a powerful vehicle for progress – up to a point. Then it becomes destructive.

    Most of the Western “killer apps” have reached the point where their shadow is now paramount.

    We are due for a correction.

    Everything is a polarity, and a healthy and vital culture balances opposites. You much individualism is as disastrous as too much collectivism. One sidedness is barbarism.

    Of course, being one-sided can give you tremendous momentum – for a while. But then the shadow comes to the fore.

    That’s what’s happening now.

    Already, the lack of intellectual rigor and vitality in things like IQ are becoming evident.

    • Agree: Dieter Kief
  323. @AaronB

    Let me tell you something – for whites to become competitive again in the practical scrimmage of life they must become stupider, they must become less intellectual, more like Jews, Asians, and everyone else.

    Maybe. Or maybe when things get bad enough, those who still recall the past will just get really, really angry.

    (Just kidding. I actually think that this long period of collective delusion mostly characterized by pathological altruism will run its course and what comes after will be a return to, shall we say, more visceral kinds of interactions. To me, it’s inescapable to conclude that history is NEVER chosen deliberately. Spontaneous organization is a much more adventurous means of seeing what’s next.)

    • Replies: @AaronB
  324. @res

    I call ’em as I see ’em.

    From my pov it’s self-evident that few people actually navigate their lives based on a “map” for which they had any cartography at all. Most clearly exhibit mostly herding behavior and path dependency, and I don’t excerpt myself from that, either.

    I submit a single example: Few people are successful traders. Most day-traders lose money, because of the quirks of human cognition. People are almost always boldest on the long side after a period of rising prices and most risk-averse after a period of falling prices. Most people buy high and sell low. It’s just the way it is.

    What’s particularly interesting is when you can watch a position go against you, and see the technicals all align with your market opinion, but as each penny ticks away, you can almost feel like a third party observer as your hand clicks the mouse on SELL. People tend to be uncanny at setting stop-loss levels at zones JUST BEFORE a market reverses. This is frankly astonishing how often it works.

    Do people have agency? I suppose it depends on definitions. People appear to have relatively little control over their impulses in some or much of their lives. What is addiction to any vice but the inability of ones Deliberative Mind to, seeing the continuous self-harm that comes from indulgence in ones vice, override the Impulsive Mind’s control?

    Agency may exist in theory, but in practice? Now THAT would be an interesting thing to study.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @AaronB
  325. @jeff stryker

    You guys talk around clannishness without appearing to know it.

    If you’re not familiar with it, I think you’d really find much inspiration in Jayman’s discussion of clannishness. I think it’s on Unz.com as well.

  326. AaronB says:
    @dc.sunsets

    I agree.

    1) Everything runs its course. Nothing stays the same forever 2) Conscious choice is not the engine of history 3) Spontaneous developments are.

    The current disconnect from instinct, nature, and history in favor of abstract reason will spontaneously give way to a more complete engagement of the entire man.

    The benefits of abstract reason were very real for a time. Their inability to produce new fruits and their growing ability to create harm are becoming apparent to more and more people.

    Mankind wants to live and flourish, and will reach for the correct tools unconsciously.

    Of course, when I say we must become more “stupid”, I mean in real terms to become much more intelligent about reality. Much more respectful of it.

    And yes, we cannot choose to become more realistic about reality. Conscious choice is precisely what must be relaxed, and natural developments allowed to occur without our interfere.

    It is our attempt to control everything through conscious will that has landed us in our current predicament.

    I don’t know about you d.c sunsets, but I feel a strange sense of optimism lately, coming from I know not where. We’ll be all right.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  327. @dc.sunsets

    Have a look at what they included in their life measures.

  328. @dc.sunsets

    To be clear, I do not think much of the test of “rationality”. That was my point. Rationality was being claimed as something which intelligence tests “left out”. That claim, in my view, is not supported. The rationality tests did not turn out to be very good. If anything, they are clumsy intelligence tests.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  329. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dc.sunsets

    Few people are successful traders.

    Agreed. Yet it seems so obvious what I must do to win. I must simply do the opposite of what I have a mind to do. I know this, but I never seem able to do it.

    • Agree: dc.sunsets
  330. AaronB says:
    @dc.sunsets

    It seems to me that the West suffers from too much agency. We attempt to control everything. Predict, control, etc.

    We can’t just let things happen. Observe without interfering.

    What interesting things might emerge if we relaxed control a bit…not too much, but a bit….

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  331. @AaronB

    To be more specific, my first education was microbiology. A big chunk of my occupation dealt with treatment of infectious disease.

    No, I’m not optimistic. Human innovation, compounded across generations by writing and then dissemination of innovation via the printing press and now electronics, let us dam the river of Nature’s normal culling, of natural selection. Innovations of the very brightest were harnessed in each generation, culminating in what we see today, a world of people who by-and-large wouldn’t exist without the zookeepers feeding and sheltering them.

    How many humans existed on Earth 10,000 years ago? There are now, what, 7 billion?

    I used the metaphor of a dam for a reason. Today’s discussion of a Universal Basic Income, a kind of zookeeper permanent welfare arrangement, floats on a partial glimpse of the near-future, where manual labor is all but valueless in a “modern” economy, where people who are in the 0-90th percentile in talent have no economic contribution. Heck, what is the rise of porn and the increasing acceptance of prostitution but a recognition of how little so many have to market?

    No one seems to grasp what happens “next.” What happens when today’s dysgenic breeding incentives are raised to an exponent. People can understand what would happen if we raised dogs this way. Somehow they can’t grasp the concept in relationship to US.

    Idiocracy was neither a comedy nor was it accurate. A world of talentless people is a pile of corpses. Pol Pot’s Killing Fields is just a stop along the way, when the talentless discover their zeal for killing the talented.

    I agree with you, that this (current collective delusion) will pass. What will follow it next is complete conjecture, but if history is any guide, it will be a passage through the Valley of Death in ways not all that metaphorical. Our 7 billion person zoo exists on thin, increasingly fragile supply lines (which include the spontaneous cooperation of uncountable people, people who will soon replace cooperation with warfare.) When times were easy and everyone complacent, the zoo animals were allowed to breed at will. When the feed and water and maintenance couldn’t be paid for with cash, the zookeepers began putting it all on a MasterCard, which was (paradoxically) funded by the zookeepers’ own savings. It was and is a pyramid scheme.

    When the social cooperation that underlies this, already operating at the level of pathological altruism and pathological optimism, fails then we’ll have the scales fall from our eyes.

    Every Man For Himself + Lifeboat Rules. That characterizes what I think is the next phase of human collective experience. I think the popularity of the Zombie Apocalypse fictional genre is the greatest illustration of Art foreshadowing Life ever.

    I wish I thought otherwise.

  332. @AaronB

    We collectively believe our own PR.

    Humans look back at the last 150 years and project that trend into the future. Lifestyles of the Jetsons looks certain: We’ll have complete freedom from want, poverty will be eliminated as will be racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., etc..

    Who is most zealous in demanding utter obedience to the Leftist, Universalist, Equalist Narrative? Those whose lifestyles are already many times higher than that of King Louis XIV. They look at what they have, they have zero understanding of the process by which it arrived, and they exist in a mass delusion that is the Gnostic Heresy in all its facets.

    They believe we are on a Holy Mission to create the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth (even if they consider themselves atheists and see it in secular, Utopian terms.) It is a theology, complete with saints (MLK, Lincoln, etc.), Satan (Adolph Hitler), and a hierarchy of holiness based on Diversity Pokemon Points (h/t to Sailer.)

    Its hierarchy of sinners is based on historical success: The more successful your identity group, the greater your original sin.

    Its dogma is a logical fallacy mixed with logical inversion: Equalism, celebrating Diversity. (I guess it takes brain damage to see how if we’re equal, we can’t be diverse and if we’re diverse, we can’t be equal.)

    tl;dr Our ruling ethos is central control in the service of immamentizing the eschaton.

    It’s 1) a cargo cult, 2) today’s dominant theology and 3) what I think is Nature’s way of cutting a too-successful organism down to size. We’re not apart from Nature, we are of Nature, and the biological world is a buffered system. We’re setting ourselves up, due to over-expression of natural human social behavior, for being culled en masse.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
    , @AaronB
  333. @James Thompson

    I’ve obviously let my ego drift my participation in this conversation a country mile from its original point, and for that I’m embarrassed.

    In my view, you’re right, and I missed your point earlier.

    For what little it’s worth, I agree with your main premise, that IQ tests do test (albeit imperfectly, as must be the case in all things heterogeneous) for a general talent that confers an advantage across the breadth of human action. This truth is evident across my life’s experiences and personal observations. That I also see the trade-offs is beside that point.

    As with the whole “multiple intelligences” sideshow, the arguments in this space all boil down to imprecision in the language, if nothing else an expression of the saying, “The map is not the territory.” I often find myself arguing for a while, then realizing that the entire reason for the debate rests on differing notions of what the words mean. As everyone knows, what one person says is not always what another person hears. Even what I read must pass through the filter of my emotions, biases and premises. What emerges may often be a fun-house mirror image of the original.

    Thank you for insightfully helping me to reorient in this rather convoluted discussion.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  334. @dc.sunsets

    When I was in my teens and twenties in the 90’s people thought that about the 2000’s. If you told the average 20 year old in 1994 that there would have been wars in the ME for twenty years, or that families would be homeless or that California would become a third world country nobody would have believed that.

    So I am skeptical.

  335. @dc.sunsets

    Now you sound like someone who detects the importance of the foundations of all such discussions – and these are indeed language an logic.

    So – you either leave it at that – or you might want to have a look into the discussions taking place in the field of speech-philosophy, communications-theory, logic …

    If you don’t mind: One of the best books I know of in this field is Jürgen Habermas’ Truth and Justification. (The Introuction will suffice for a start. Then jump to No. 5 – Truth and Justification -about Rorty’s pragmatic U-turn.

    Or here – that’s easier – but even though quite insightful – (the Swiss-Television interview (link 2) has an English channel):

  336. AaronB says:
    @dc.sunsets

    Maybe. I am somewhat sympathetic to apocalyptic scenarios. Zombie shows are fun.

    The basic idea, which I think you agree with, is that some sort of correction will be setting in shortly. Whether it will involve massive destrucion or a a gradual turn away from today’s sterile top-down scientism towards a more realistic and fruitful science, away from abstraction and back towards the body, emotions, and instincts, away from dreams of total control towards fruitful engagement with reality, away from growth for growths sake and towards a vision of growth subject to human flourishing, remains to be seen.

    Historically, the breakup of a system can be catastrophic or gradual. The end of the Middle Ages wasn’t so catastrophic. But todays science has reached a dead end as this thread on IQ has amply demonstrated. And the Western Paradigm – abstraction, universalism (epistemically not ethically), control, and growth for growths sake, is collapsing.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @dc.sunsets
  337. @AaronB

    1) You only resume half of modern thinking/progress. It’s not only about science and economics and soulless globalization.
    It’s also about free speech, political freedom and social and ethical and aesthetical liberation/differentiation.

    2) Pinker (Enlightenment Now!)is at least partly right – and Habermas fully – now I think of his seminal book Philosophical Discourse of Modernity – which illustrates my point 1).

    • Replies: @AaronB
  338. AaronB says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Of course, not all aspects of modernity are bad.

    Nor do I want to get rid of abstraction and logic and such things. I just want to restore balance. Modern life has developed in certain directions in too extreme a way, thats all.

    This developement towards extreme abstraction and logic is always a possibility and has happened before in the Middle Ages. It was known as Scholasticism. It was admirably logical and abstract, it just failed to deal with real life. The way we broke out of it was to unite logic with empiricism, restore its contact with the real world.

    I feel we today have wound up once again, with Scholasticism. Which is natural and expected. And the way out again will be to restore contact with the real world, empiricism. But once again united to logic of course.

    This whole IQ debate illustrates this wonderfully. IQ has lost contact with the “messy” real world. It doesn’t want to explore things like motivation. It doesn’t predict high end achievement very well at all. It exists in a kind of rarefieid ether where it is “right” on its own terms. Its the old angels dancing on the head of a pin again.

  339. @AaronB

    The end of the Middle Ages wasn’t so catastrophic.

    Ah, but the sacking of Rome (and what followed) was.

    I like my hot, running water, indoor plumbing and 33 flavors of food available with a couple miles of my home. I like having three different kinds of canned tomatoes (including the organic kind.)

    I like that common congenital malformations (e.g. a patent ductus arteriosus) are fixable, or a host of modern medical and engineering “miracles.” I like a whole lot of things available today due to a deep and wide spontaneously organized cooperative market, whose depth and breadth is a function of too much trust, too much Just-in-time reliance, too much Kumbaya.

    It’s obviously possible to enjoy some of the effects of a condition while abhorring others. And as I’ve written before, (1) it’s not a Chinese Menu of what conditions will stay and what will go when this period of Plenitude-on-the-MasterCard ends, (2) notions that such determinations will be made by reasonable people are not supported by history, (3) babies are often thrown out with the bathwater, (4) things people take for granted as permanent inexplicably prove NOT to be [for example, the “secret” of making concrete, certainly widespread under the Roman Empire, and LOST for something like 1500 years] and nothing matters until it happens to YOU.

    We have several modern examples of just how off-sanity things can get: Cambodia’s Killing Fields, Hutus exterminating Tutsis in Rwanda and the breakup of Yugoslavia and siege of Sarajevo. Given how utterly immiscible are a host of beliefs now percolating in North America, this last might offer consider cause for concern. Our Winner-Takes-All vision of Utopia doesn’t brook heresy.

    No one knows what’s coming around the next corner. It could be the same as today (Plan A) or it could be Plan B, Plan C or Plan D (AKA the zombie apocalypse.) The way to bet is Plan A….until one day when that bet is catastrophically wrong.

    We’re not going to individually or collectively think our way out of the we’ve dug these past 50 or 150 years. Of that I’m fairly confident. This is not the America of my childhood. Not. Even. Close.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  340. AaronB says:
    @dc.sunsets

    More or less agree with all your points.

    And yes, we definitely won’t be thinking our way out of this. Nature and reality will compel us to adapt.

    True, it could get really horrific and bad and humanity does go insane every now and then. But it doesn’t necessarily have to.

    Towards the end of the Middle Ages there was widespread pessimism and gloom. A sense that the old culture just didn’t work anymore, the old solutions didn’t work anymore.

    Barbara Tuchman wrote a very interesting book about this period.

    Interestingly, towards the end of the Greco-Roman world there was also this sense of widespread pessimism and gloom. Stoicism is a very joyless and gloomy philosophy (and, ominously, it is becoming popular again today). Goethe said it was impossible to live by stoicism.

    Christianity of course provided an uplifting, optimistic, and hopeful replacement for the pessimistic and weary ancient world.

    But then Christianity itself became a source of hopelessness by the late Middle Ages, and was replaced by the more optimistic philosophies of the modern world.

    Now these modern philosophies have become the new source of hopelessness and the new mental prisons. Our new ideas no longer liberate us and create possibilities, but imprison us. Genetics and IQ, for instance, seek to fix us within rigid and narrow parameters.

    Our culture no longer works anymore. The old solutions don’t work anymore. There is widespread pessimism and gloom.

    So what new development will restore optimism and hope again? It will be for sure a return to ways of life that work, that actually make us satisfied and a science that actually produces results.

    Each time culture gets disconnected from empirical reality – and collapses in gloom as nothing seems to work anymore, either in terms of life or science.

    Then a new movement restores that connection, and flourishes for a while.

    We are on the cusp of such a development.

    Whether it will be attended by upheavals and earthquakes, massacres and wars, I do not know.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @dc.sunsets
  341. @AaronB

    Just because there are no traces of the late middle ages in the US does not mean they were doomed and gloomy.
    Sarcasm off.

    I think the basic line of your ideas about Tuchman is a bit gloomy itself.

    The Middle Ages left huge amounts of accomplishments and allowed renaissance to happen – that would be my perspective.
    But I have it easier, because around here, Lake of Constance, you can experience the late Middle Ages in everyday life.

    Two more thoughts: Architecture, the way cities were built, music, poetry, the novel, art – now I think of Grunewald’s Isenheimer Altar over in Colmar – it is still there, survived the ages, and to it’s far far away from any gloomy mood.

    Bach’s Music reflects the Middle Ages. It does so in many ways.

    Arno Borst Life Forms in the Middle Ages and the same author: Computus – about time and numbers and the rise of science and history in the middle ages.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Dieter Kief
  342. Also worth reading Jean Gimpel “The Medieval Machine”. His view, and I paraphrase brutally, is that the cathedral builders were written out of the picture by more verbal humanities-based historians, who could not be bothered with mere artisans.

    https://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Machine-Industrial-Revolution-Middle/dp/0140045147

    • Replies: @res
    , @dearieme
  343. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks for the recommendation. I also found this review useful: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R20CUB9JQ7NTM4

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  344. AaronB says:
    @Dieter Kief

    The late Middle Ages as a whole were for sure a period of great cultural achievement, and elements of it certainly went into making the Renaissance.

    But this is true of the Ancient World and the modern period that is now ending too. Ancient philosophy went into Christianity.

    This isn’t about denying the achievements of these periods, which are undeniable.

    But each period ended, essentially, by becoming untrue to itself. We see this with science today. It is no longer what it was at its beginning.

    So to say that the late Middle Ages were infected with gloom and pessimism isn’t to dismiss its achievements at all. It is to point out that it got corrupted at some point, and certain developments went too far.

    Even good things decay and need renewal.

  345. @Dieter Kief

    Another big systematic point would be the detection of the inner world (and the “I”) by sheer excentric/excellent/virtuoso German (in these cases) writing. I think of Walther von der Vogelweide and Eckhardt and – the most beautiful and most sophisticated and charming and humble and precise and flat out astonishing one: Heinrich Seuse (= Suso in Latin (Lake of Constance too, – just like Hermanus Contractus (=Herrmann der Lahme – who is the main figure in the above mentioned Computus by Arno Borst (For those who can read German: Mönche am Bodensee and Ritte übe den Bodensee)).
    The German 20th century poet who dug this is German Peter Rühmkorf – see his book Walter von der Vogelweide, Klopstock und ICH – with ICH he meant both: himself and the “I”.

    Hermannus Contractus – a few hundred words in English
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07266a.htm

    The two Arno Borst books available in English: The Ordering of Time – From the Ancient Computus to the modern Computer and

    Medieval Worlds: Barbarians, Heretics and Artists in the Middle Ages
    (Translation of Lebensformen im Mittelalter)

    It is very unlikely that something like the Reformation and the Renaissance’ scientific development could have happened without the Middle Ages.

    a) laying the foundation in the discovery of the self. Luther owes quite a lot to the mystic tradition (Eckhart,Tauler, Seuse). And

    b) without the centuries-long theological/philosophical quarrel between the nominalists and the realists – or the Universalia Argument/ Problem of the Universals. These two (= a) + b) are two steps in European culture, which can’t be overestimated – but which to underestimate is laughably easy (and most common, to this day – one of the more relevant of the many mistakes, which are being made today, I’d hold).

    One word here could do to sum this all up: That the universities came into existence and started to bloom throughout Europe over these controversies. And in these universities in London, Paris, Cologne,Straßburg, Basel, Siena, Prague a culture of sophisticated argumentation was developed, that enabled dissent (heterodoxy in Jonathan Haidts terms). Europe started to agree to disagree publicly. And I think if you really want to understand what happened here, you’d have to emphasize every word: Europe, sophistication (=complicated (= multi-faceted!) arguments)), dissent, public shpere.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @dearieme
  346. AaronB says:
    @Dieter Kief

    The Christian mystics were inspired by Dionysius the Aereopagite, who was transmitting ancient neo-Platonic mystical traditions.

    I agree the mystics insistence on direct personal experience of the divine played a role in creating a climate of thought favorable to empiricism, direct investigation of the world. Which is ironic considering how hostile science has been to mysticism.

    But the Christian mystics were not anything essentially new, and have their counterparts all over the world.

    But I agree with your general point – the Renaissance was not a mere rediscovery of ancient culture, but a unique new culture shaped by developments in Medieval European civilization, which was quite sophisticated.

    But this culture too is now dying. Like before, not everything in it will be lost, but the best of it one hopes and suspects will go into the new cultural phase.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  347. @AaronB

    History exhibits cycles (this is obvious) and I adhere to Socionomic Theory on this (for the most part.) No system grows continuously. Nothing in nature does. All things in nature exhibit fractal growth and for the most part I find they do conform to the simplest growth fractal that has ebb and flow: R.N. Elliott’s Wave Principle.

    The Middle Ages were the forge of Modern Man. They were the springboard of the Renaissance. Everything that follows is always baked in by the past and present. The seeds for everything we LIKE about modern times were all sown in prior periods, regardless of how much historians denigrate those “benighted” times.

    We’re at the top of a fifth wave (in Wave Principle Terms) of a fifth of a fifth of a fifth (depending on your interpretation.) We’re coasting into a top of very, very large degree of trend, most likely either capping a rise that began in the early 1700’s or one that began prior to the Middle Ages.

    The last move in a 5-wave Elliott progression tends to be internally weaker than the prior ones. If you compare the economic and social health of the West during this last 10 year run it’s lousier than during the 1982-2000 run and the 1941-1965 run. If you compare the social health of the 1932-today period to the meat of the Industrial Revolution it’s obvious that living standards were rising in far more meaningful ways during the earlier period.

    All of this informs me that the upward momentum underlying things is waning, and waning fast. These last 10 years, despite being nominally astonishing (the DJIA is up 20,000 points or so) occur against a backdrop of beliefs so absurd that I’d struggle to find a single one as epitome. Perhaps the tranny thing…? Women in combat roles? Gay “marriage?”

    If you graph the DJIA on arithmetic scale from 1928 forward, recent times look like a Saturn V rocket boost. Events of the past simply disappear due to scale issues. If you then use log scale, reality jumps right out at you. The first run up in the major move was 1941 to 1965 for 874%, the “third wave” was likely 1974-2000 for a 1181% increase and the last 10 years (and counting) are, so far only about 320%, obviously far weaker despite the jaw-dropping nominal rise.

    It’s all due to a vast credit bubble, represented by the St. Louis Fed’s graph of total credit market debt during the last near-40 years. Credit creation flowed into asset prices instead of consumer goods, so people don’t call it inflation….but it is.

    I really enjoy these times in many ways. Unlike most, I don’t take them for granted, largely because by my hypothesis they are fragile and on borrowed time.

    Humans herd. We cycle from optimism to pessimism and back again, and all of the stuff in “the news” simply reflects actions driven by this cycle of changing underlying conditions.

    When things look as good as they can be, and everyone is certain of the trend continuing, it’s time to prepare for winter.

  348. @res

    From your linked review:

    Gimpel concludes his book with an essay on the nature of cycles in civilization. They grow, lose momentum, then collapse and/or stagnate. He sketches a myriad of factors to gauge this.

    Many observers have written about cycles in civilization.

    Only one (as far as I know) has connected what we now largely believe about human cognition with a mechanism to explain human social behavior, cycles and their internal character (i.e., early vitality, middle broad strength, and late weakness/sclerosis that presages trend reversal) and above all the fractal nature of those cycles.
    https://www.socionomics.net/learn-about-socionomics/

    Clearly, when a civilizational cycle tops we don’t see things return to the prior origin. But smaller cycles do sometimes end well below their origin. What we see (if we look for them) are cycles within cycles…a fractal. R.N. Elliott described this decades before Mandelbrot characterized the term fractal.

    Full disclosure: I learned to take what Bob Prechter writes with a large grain of salt. I respect his contribution but I also think he grossly oversells its predictive value.

    One of the abiding problems of our times is the confusion between descriptive science and applied science. I am quite certain that there are areas of knowledge where an accurate understanding of a process remains utterly impossible to harness (applied science/engineering.) Perhaps a major breakthrough in the mathematics of complex systems will change that (but I doubt it, because by definition I do not believe the future to be accurately predictable.)

    I think Socionomics is the very best explanation for human history’s cyclical/fractal nature, but I also think it’s worthless for navigating this life. Timing isn’t just important, it’s really the only factor that matters, and no one ever has a crystal ball for that.

    What do we know for sure:
    1. no trend goes forever.
    2. don’t bet against the trend until it changes.

    America’s (and the entire Western World’s) momentum has waned markedly during this last, debt-ocean-filling romp higher. It’s not a sign of health when someone has to put their lifestyle on the MasterCard.

    The real insight from Socionomics is that depending on ones interpretation, we’re due to top and roll over from a very, very long rise and that the ensuring “bear market in social mood” will be commensurate. The last such period at the likeliest degree of trend we face was the 64 year bear market on the London Stock Exchange that followed the bursting of the South Sea Bubble. By its end, England had lost her American colonies.

    I think our current 38 year love affair with debt promises something quite a bit larger than that will follow.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  349. AaronB says:
    @dc.sunsets

    Yes, civilization is certainly cyclical – or at least it follows pendulum swings.

    And that is because the structure of reality is polarity -any trend followed too long begins to reverse itself.

    I wonder if Jung’s theory of psychosis might shed some light on recent developements in Western civilization – for Jung, psychosis is an eruption of the irrational in someone who tries to to rigidly conrol himself through his conscious mind and suppress all irrational elements. Its the revenge of the irrational, so to speak,

    Clearly, the last 500 years of Western civilization have been a tremendous attempt to repress everything irrational and rely on conscious control through logic and reason. Since the unconscous was denied, it is having its revenge today, so to speak, through a massive upsurge of irrational destructiveness.

    I use ‘irrational’ here not in a pejorative sense, but simply as involving the emotions and the side of life not relating to reason. If this side of ones self is accepted, it becomes a source of creativity and strength. If repressed, it has its revenge through taking control in a destructive way.

    Its obvious Western civilization is seriously imbalanced, and due for a massive correction. You just ‘t can’t choose one side of reality and develop it to an extreme, and ignore – or worse yet, repress – all other aspects of reality or your self. Obviously there will be backlash, and it won’t be pretty.

    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
  350. @AaronB

    I

    Yep – mysticism is a universal thing. Ernst Bloch wrote at great length about this subject – as did (in his footsteps Erich Fromm). And the second big thing that sparked Renaissance and the Enlightenment: The debates over nominalism/realism and the public sphere of dissent (=universities) they created – spread out over all of (core) Europe: From Italy to England, and from Salamanca to Prague.

    I have looked thoroughly (for a few years, actually) into the changes of the German language (=world), that mysticism brought along. And from this – experience -, I can clearly say, that whatever happened in the German-speaking part of the world is deeply rooted in these two intertwinded traditions: The Universalia-Debate and Mysticism).

    And that implies not only Einstein, Goethe and Haeckel (no Haeckel without Goethe), and Kant, Zeiss and Frege, Böhme and Hegel, Raiffeisen and Max Weber, but also Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and Bach and Schiller and Beethoven and the painters Meister von Meßkirch, Matthias Grunewald, Caspar David Friedrich – up to the artist Joseph Beuys and painter Gerhard Richter).

    Coda

    1) Luck is part of what’s going on on earth (luck and death – it’s counterpart). That’s one reason we long for (or are in need of) transcendence. And – here I agree with your last remarks: We better look out for: Continuity in Change (That’s Goethe’s poetic answer to Heraclitus’ idea of change as A) a constant in human life – or B) life’s tricky foundation. –

    – B) is the subject of Goethe’s Faust – that’s why his Mephisto is funny,= sarcastic,= ironic. Mick Jagger got this perfectly right in Sympathy for the Devil.

    (Whenever you see a Faust and find it boring – take this aspect into consideration: That Mephisto has not been approached “with some sympathy and some taste” (Jagger)).

    • Replies: @AaronB
  351. @AaronB

    What is fascinating is an appreciation for just how ephemeral is “everyone knows.”

    • Agree: AaronB
  352. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    A late friend of mine, a notable intellectual and an engineer by profession, once told me that he had taken to looking at paintings that showed anything practical, to see whether there was evidence that the artists understood how the object worked. He thought that Renaissance paintings on the whole suggested that the painters did understand what they included. By the nineteenth century the balance had reversed.

    Decades after we had that conversation I read a remark by a distinguished landscape historian. He said that until recently virtually no artist had painted trees well enough that the viewer could unambiguously recognise the varieties depicted.

  353. dearieme says:
    @Dieter Kief

    “And in these universities in London …” Actually, not in London.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  354. AaronB says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Interesting comment.

    Few people would accept that mysticism was essential in the development of the modern European intellectual tradition. I suggested this once on Karlin’s blog and was widely ridiculed. But then the people there are historically and intellectually illiterate.

    Also agree about the importance of nominalism/realism debate – and one can see how that ties into mysticism, grew out of it. And in a lesser form, this debate also seems to be a human perennial and is found other places also.

    Continuity in change – this expresses the true polarity of life. Neither side dominates.

    By luck you seem to mean the opposite of entropy (death). A positive force, unless I am mistaking you. But luck is usually seen as randomness – and one might say we long for transcendence to overcome the randomness of our existence. But I would say transcendence already exists. If randomness exists, so must its opposite. We just have to see directly.

    Didn’t Goethe write that Mephistopheles is that force that tries to do evil but ends up doing good – so he is not radically evil, and might be more on the level of mischief making – whatever his intentions. It’s the force of opposition that lets us reach a higher unity (rather then remaining stuck in one side, we encounter its opposite as opposition, but the conflict get a resolved in balancing of both – the ultimate task of culture).

    I miss those old profound German thinkers who emerged out if the mystical movement!

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  355. @dearieme

    Interesting. Of course, artistic licence is everything, but it best when artists are close observers. Mind you, none were so close as a camera obscura, which is what changed everything. Cf Vermeer, though he was not interested in machinery, but sunlight in interiors.

  356. @dearieme

    Right.

    Not far away though.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  357. @dearieme

    Artists who got plants right:

    Robert Zünd

    https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GCEA_enDE754DE754&q=robert+z%C3%BCnd+eichenwald&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjP9vPz4cjhAhUH66QKHbUrBrEQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1707&bih=865

    The thing with Zünd is: Very few people cared about his very close look at oaks for example for quite a long time – with very few exceptions, such as the great writer Goffried Keller (Der Grüne Heinrich/ Leute von Seldwyla).

    It was just recently, that Robert Zünds Oak or Oak-Forest painting from 1882 in the Kunsthalle Zürich became indeed one of the iconic paintings of this collection. Here you have an artist way ahead of his time. Before him, nobody was too interested in such a “banal” subject.

    And here’s a contemporary maniac of freaks – and plants (!) especially:

    Franz Gertsch Pestwurz (=butterbur) painting No. 6 in the link below, (ca. 2×3 meters !) for example

    http://www.museum-franzgertsch.ch/de/franz-gertsch/die-werke/

    And Friedrich studied all kind of plants in depth:

    Caspar David Friedrich Eichen
    https://www.google.com/search?q=friedrich+gem%C3%A4lde+eiche&rlz=1C1GCEA_enDE754DE754&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=ltQTXApKXMrSCM%253A%252CU2BKNGU-HXJgGM%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kSUlkqpat183h3wvQYRn1JZDZK6Dw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjYzqvC5MjhAhWwMewKHYGGAbgQ9QEwA3oECAkQCA#imgrc=ltQTXApKXMrSCM:

    • Replies: @dearieme
  358. @Dieter Kief

    Plus – William Ockham left Oxford to teach in – London, in the Franciscan Study House in 1320 (I’ve just read a study about Ockham and had this little info in the back of my mind).

  359. @AaronB

    Protestantism and Calvinism are rooted in the mystic tradition – they strengthen the individual in the footsteps of the mystics. There is even a popular book out now discussing this subject: Volker Leppin – Die Fremde Reformation – Martin Luther’s Mystische Wurzeln, 2016 (The Strange Reformation – Luther’s Mystic Roots). Then there is Jakob Böhme and with him, the field of philosophical speculation – Hegel admired and quoted Böhme quite often – as did – in Hegel’s footsteps, Ernst Bloch (Subject – Object (on Hegel – no English translation) and: Atheism in Christianity).
    Now – if you follow Max Weber, you are at the roots of modernity when tackling these questions of faith and individuality, of Protestantism and Calvinism and Capitalism and rationality/rationalization. – There are necessarily an awful lot of things, which are of some importance and Anatoly Karlin knows zilch about. Of course, this can’t be otherwise. It’s funny though: It looks as if you and I have both tried to get the very same points across to Anatoly Karlin. We should just keep on keepin’ on (like a bird that flew…. (Bob Dylan)).

    Whether you call something chance or luck or entropy or death is just a question of the perspective (the aspects, you take into consideration), I’d hold. The most important common ground here is: The world is not “tight”, as philosopher Ernst Bloch loved to joke (tight in German: Dicht – and dicht ist a compound of the verb dichten and this verb has two meanings: To write poetry and: To tighten something…). Another way to put it: The world is still on its way to – become what it is (meant to be – that’s Bloch again: His central thought: The Not-Yet! – as an ontological category)).

    So luck and entropy and death and chance are in this Blochian logic just different ways to show, that we are not in control of the world – and we better try to understand (and respect) this existential truth. Because unless we do so, we are inclined to make fools of ourselves – in many ways. Religion is a way to make this existential fact clear (=known) to people – or understood by them – or at least respected by them…

    Goethe’s genius is really very close to the 23-year-old Mick Jagger: Those who don’t accept the forces of evil in the world and don’t try to approach them with sympathy and taste, are in danger like the troubadours, who get killed, before they rech Bombay. Not only, because they might become lazy- as you rightfully mentioned in this context, but also, because it is not always that easy to determine just who is the evil one and who is not. – It’s easier to make Corrections (Jonathan Franzen) if one accepts this basic insight into our human nature.

    Btw. – this is all Heidegger territory – all minus humor, that is. Of humor, Heidegger knows very little. – Maybe that is the reason, that makes Anatoly Karlin think, Heidegger is truly great (hehe).

    Ah, and humor – that’s the subject, where Jean Paul comes to my mind, and Heine and Hegel (who loved Jean Paul) and Wilhelm Busch (the funniest Schopenhauer- pupil). – And Eckhart Henscheid – one of the truly important German writers of the second half of the 20th century. As important as Franzen, I’d hold. But unlike Franzen, Henscheid is not available in both languages. Playful, funny, insightful, astonishing, witty notes from Jean Paul were edited some twenty years back (ca. 240 years after his death) – 302 pages of brilliant prose under the title Ideas Milling Around (Ideen-Gewimmel) – just where is the publisher who cares enough, to make a decent English translation available? There’s so much to discover, just because our world is not tight! All it would take were two to three adventurous minds in this case. Which is not that much. Or is it too much?

    (The latter, I sigh…).

  360. @atlantis_dweller

    Homo sapiens seems to be the only species with the pretense of equality of the sexes.

    (It does, after all, mean “wise man: not “wise woman”)

  361. dearieme says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Thank you. The landscape historian would probably have reckoned 1882 as “recently”: his examples of unrecognisable trees tended to be from the greatest age of painting i.e. the masters from the Low Countries. The preceding Renaissance chaps couldn’t get them right either.

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