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google culture wars

My impression of Damore’s Google Memo is that it is a thoughtful and well-considered personal opinion about workplace differences in abilities and attitudes. The tone is reserved, measured, and reasonable, avoiding sweeping claims. For example, it restricts its scope to the particular office in which he worked, and not Google as a whole. It is clearly written, with minimal jargon. Damore is at pains to explain himself, to clear up misunderstandings and to support his opinions with references. That does not mean that he gets everything right, nor is it intended to be a complete review of the literature of the sort one might find in a journal, but he makes a reasoned case for biological factors in sex differences. He makes helpful suggestions for Google to implement. I cannot comment directly on Google because I do not know about it first-hand, but I can look at the key assertions in this memo which can be tested by reference to psychological research. These have relevance for all workplaces.

I should make clear right away that I find most of his opinions perfectly reasonable and well supported by the research literature, though on some others I doubt their relevance or that they settle the issue. Of course, there is debate about all these matters, partly because there is debate about many important issues, but even more so because social science is often reluctant to consider biological causes for people’s abilities and attitudes. So, while on each of these topics there are references which favour either biological or cultural positions, there will be a majority which follow cultural interpretations. Damore is correct to say that there is a Left bias in social science, and unfortunately it has affected the interpretations placed on human behaviour, to the detriment of alternative biological explanations. Nonetheless, to associate a set of arguments with a particular point of view, Left or Right, is not to refute them. That must be done by a fair and balanced assessment of the evidence. In my view, there are many strong arguments to support the points Damore makes, though I can see that many people will not find them conclusive. Indeed, the research literature is as prone to culture wars as government regulated workplaces. Rival factions arrange their evidence in battle lines. As Buz Hunt used to say: “they are lawyerly rather than scholarly”. References from different perspectives rarely overlap, and often run in parallel, a case of perpetual confirmation bias. Even when a finding would seem to strengthen or weaken a particular position (I think that neonate visual preferences are in this category) the main flow of argument continues unabated. Are we swayed by evidence? Only sometimes, it would appear.

I find the ferocity of some of the replies to Damore extreme. The vehemence of the opposition is coruscating, and absolute. These issues should be matters of scholarly debate, in which the findings matter, and different interpretations contend against each other. Expressing different opinions should be a cue for debate, not outrage. We are far from having definite proofs about these matters, though personally I think we can see the direction of travel of the debate, which is that the case for genetics being a part cause of individual differences is gaining ground. It is only doing so because it can increasingly account for some of variance. A decade ago it was not possible to associate the genetic code with intelligent behaviour. Now studies which link snippets of code to intelligence are being published every few months. The pace of discovery is extraordinary. “Nature” and other science journals report frequently on new genetic correlations with important human behaviours, notably mental ability and mental illness and health generally.

Curiously, many people have reacted to Damore’s memo by assuming that cultural explanations for sexual and racial differences must be right, by definition. It is assumed that a culture-only explanation has triumphed because of the weight of the evidence. Damore’s view that both biological and cultural factors are involved in human differences seems to have been interpreted as him saying that only biological factors are involved. Damore has clearly argued for culture and biology being involved.

Worse, it has been assumed by some commentators that the consideration of biological explanations for sex differences is of itself reprehensible. As Jim Flynn said wryly to me of himself: “I know that I am on the side of the angels”. Whether they come from purported angels or devils, all hypotheses should be tested. As Jensen pointed out long ago, the Culture Only faction have to make a more fundamentalist case than the Heredity and Culture faction. The latter can concede at least 50% of the variance on a case by case basis, the former have to posit cultural explanations for all observations: a more demanding requirement.

The furore surrounding this memo seems to be based on sex differences, not racial differences, so I will concentrate on the former, though it has implications for the latter.

By way of background, it would be good to put the technology business into context, because many occupations, if not most, do not have a 50% representation of the sexes. An occupation is not an opinion poll: occupations represent competence, not opinions. In my view, there should be no requirement that a workplace be a mirror of society. Not every man wants to be a clinical psychologist. Personally, I have no objection to my technical computer assistance coming largely from Indian and Tamil men. I am interested in getting 5-star advice. As regards nurses and doctors, my main requirement is that they should be kind, and give me evidence-based and compassionate care.
Here are some issues raised in the memo on which I feel I can make some comments.

1 Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership.

Of course. The phrase “may in part explain” is general and not contentious. We need to look at the distribution of traits between and women to see if there are any such differences in traits, and if so, how big they are, and whether they “may in part explain” the representation of women in technology and leadership. We do not actually have to show what causes them, but it would help to show how easily they could be changed, and over what time span and with what amount of effort. For example, if women can be trained to be better at three dimensional tasks that is a good thing, but probably not of immediate comfort to a potential employer.

There are numerous sources, because the literature on sex differences is so extensive. I have made some suggestions in a previous post “Google Sex”. Here are a few I forgot to add to that list:

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/sex-differences-in-intelligence-in-nigeria

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/girls-and-boys-in-sudan

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/advice-to-men-caught-unawares

I would add that meta-analyses are not sacrosanct. They certainly provide larger sample sizes, but there can be idiosyncratic judgements about what is included and how the results are depicted. There will always be strategic differences between “lumpers” and “splitters”. Hyde (2014) is a case in point.

http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115057

Hyde has done a very large scale meta-analysis, which is often quoted. Like most others, she uses Cohen’s d and rightly says that it assumes normal distributions and equal variances. This is a problem with sex differences, because males tend to have wider standard deviations than females. She considers this matter towards the end of her paper, and provides comparative statistics. In general, I think she tends toward lumping together. For example, she looks at many behaviours which are not considered likely to show sex differences. Of course, there is very much in common between the sexes. That should not be forgotten, but is not at issue. The questions are whether the sex differences which people notice are really there, how big they are, and whether they matter.

Here is a post on whether sex differences are underplayed or exaggerated:

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/

On mathematical ability Hyde summarised the field thus:

Overall, then, it appears that girls have reached parity with boys in mathematics performance, at least in the United States. The gender difference in complex problem solving in high school is smaller than it was in the 1990 meta-analysis and has even disappeared in one analysis of National Assessment of Educational Progress data (Hyde et al. 2008a).

Of course, from an employment point of view we need to look at young men and women, either when they leave school at 17/18 or when they graduate at 21/23. For a highly desired job, such as Google, one should concentrate at the 2 sigma levels, that is, the top 2% or so. You will see from the research I list in Google Sex that men predominate at those levels.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/maths-is-man-thing/

On spatial ability, usually considered a male forte, Hyde argues thus:

According to an early meta-analysis, the gender difference in 3D mental rotation is large, favoring males, d=0.73 (Linn & Petersen 1985). In a later meta-analysis, the gender difference was moderate in magnitude, d=0.56 (Voyer et al. 1995). These overall effect sizes, however, mask some complexities. Gender researchers have suspected for some time that, for mathematical and spatial performance, tightly timed tests—which measure speed as much as skill—are advantageous to males, whereas untimed tests or tests with ample time provide more opportunity for females to display their skills. One meta-analysis found that, indeed, with short time limits, the gender difference in mental rotation was large (d=1.03), whereas in tests with no time limits the effect size was only moderate (d=0.51) (Voyer 2011; see also Maeda & Yoon 2013)

This argument makes me smile. Hyde seems to take as granted that males have an advantage on “tightly timed tests for mathematical and spatial tasks”. Is it simply my male point of view that to do well on any test, in the sense of getting things right, and doing so quickly, would be considered a double advantage? Why regard speedy thinking as a complexity of interpretation? Why is speed in correctly completing a task judged to be “speed as much as skill”? Absurdly, the prompt and correct completion of a task seems to be cast as mere male impetuosity. Furthermore, any employer reading this argument would be justified in thinking “On difficult tasks involving maths and spatial analysis, women need more time” so, given a chance, it might be better not to employ them.

Hyde mentions neonate preferences:

There is some evidence from individual studies that a male advantage in mental rotation emerges as early as infancy (Moore & Johnson 2008, Quinn & Liben 2008). However, it is a bit too early to tell exactly what these findings mean.

Well, in my view these findings mean that there is a male advantage, until someone does a study which shows otherwise.

Hyde does not mention one of the most striking results on neonate social preferences: Connellan, J., Baron-Cohen, S., Wheelwright, S., Batki, A., & Ahluwalia, J. (2000). Sex differences in human neonatal social perception. Infant Behavior and Development, 23, 113–118. Newborn boys are more likely to look at things than people.

This was also found at 12 months of age by Lutchmaya and Baron-Cohen 2002.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/222401837_Human_sex_differences_in_social_and_non-social_looking_preferences_at_12_months_of_age

Publications like this strongly suggest that the “things versus people” dimension is an innate sex difference. Prof Simon Baron-Cohen confirmed to me today that he has not come across a replication study, and says it may be due to the requirement to test 100 neonates. Such a replication study might have called into question this male advantage. This is a very telling, because the neonate study currently stands as a way of showing an important sex difference which could not be due to cultural factors. You would think it would be a good target for an attempted refutation, yet no one has done so. As per usual, I offer a bottle of fine French wine to the first researcher to carry out this obvious test of innate sex preferences. As it stands, newborn males show a preference for things. (Not all of them. It is an average difference.) However, using a different method of choices on 48 infants, Escudero et al. (2013) do not find sex preferences in 4-5 month old infants. We should keep gathering findings for yet another meta-analysis.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766397/#R8

I think that the debate about sex differences could be put into context by looking at sex ratios in intelligence under two assumptions: equal intelligence with a 1-point higher male variability; and a 4-point male advantage with the same 1-point higher male variability. The first assumption is generally held among intelligence researchers; the second is held by a minority, though with growing supportive evidence.

sex diffs with equal IQ

Assuming no sex differences in average intelligence, and a slightly narrower standard deviation for women, at IQ 130 there will be 59% men and at IQ 145 67% men. So, in a very intellectually demanding occupation, simply by appointing people according to ability, we might expect to find that two thirds are men.

sex diffs at 3 sigma

On the minority view (Lynn and Irwing, 2004) that there is a 4-point male advantage in intelligence, such that it is reasonable to consider male intelligence at 102 and female intelligence at 98, then at IQ 130 there will be 74% men and at IQ 145 84% men.

If you have not already seen it, you will find relevant studies here:

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/google-sex/

By the way, I am still not sure that the 4-point male advantage is proved, in the sense of being shown in current population studies, so I am tentative about it, but the brain scanning work comes up with that figure, and it will be interesting to see if that male advantage is retained as the sample size increases from n=900 to the recently released n=1200.

I do not know what intelligence levels are required at Google, nor how levels differ between different roles in that organization, so these figures are for illustration only. However, I would assume that they can recruit very bright people, as many of them as they need, so the upper levels may be the most appropriate for the key roles in that organization.

On the general matter of sex differences in preferences it is useful to look some summaries
Richard Lippa (2010) Gender Differences in Personality and Interests: When, Where, and Why? Lippa concludes:

Results show that gender differences in Big Five personality traits are ‘small’ to ‘moderate,’ with the largest differences occurring for agreeableness and neuroticism (respective ds = 0.40 and 0.34; women higher than men). In contrast, gender differences on the people–things dimension of interests are ‘very large’ (d = 1.18 ), with women more people-oriented and less thing-oriented than men.
Gender differences in personality tend to be larger in gender-egalitarian societies than in gender-inegalitarian societies, a finding that contradicts social role theory but is consistent with evolutionary, attributional, and social comparison theories. In contrast, gender differences in interests appear to be consistent across cultures and over time, a finding that suggests possible biologic influences.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2010.00320.x/full

In the Sternberg and Kaufman Handbook of Intelligence Halpern et al. Chapter 13 say “on average, women and men live systematically different lives”. At more length (page 263) they go through the evidence, saying:

There are substantial differences in the values, attitudes and interests of contemporary males and females, which may help to explain cognitive sex differences.

They tend to a social and cultural explanation of these differences, saying (page 266) that biology cannot explain “the vast improvement of female performance on certain measures such as the increasing numbers of females at the highest end on the SAT Math test (Blackburn, 2004).”

You should balance this view against the more recent publications described in “Maths is a man thing*”

By the way, I am late in posting about this, but in conference proceedings this May, Guy Madison of the University of Umea, Sweden, guy@transinfinite.se described an interesting technique to detect bias against women in academia. Sweden is of particular relevance because it has done so much to try to reduce sex differences.

Sex differences among higher academics in Sweden

ABSTRACT: There are significantly fewer women than men among the highest academic ranks in most countries. Many different explanations have been proposed, from sex discrimination to interests and priorities and cognitive ability in the high range. Any of these explanations could be consistent with the widely varying sex distribution among professors across disciplines (10-30% in the technical and natural sciences and 40-95 percent in the Humanities, Social sciences, and in Medicine and Veterinary science). In Sweden, several measures have been taken to increase the overall proportion of women to at least 40 percent (Utbildningsdepartementet, 1994, p. 37), but after more than a decade of these policies, women constitute only 24 percent of professors across all disciplines (Sandström & Wold, 2016). Here, we test the hypothesis that this difference is due to discrimination, according to which women should have higher merits than men at the point in their career when they are appointed to the position of professor. Specifically, preferential hiring of men at the expense of equally or more qualified women should be reflected in the latter having published more scientific papers and having had greater scientific impact in terms of more citations, and publishing in journals with higher impact factors.
From the total population of 1,345 professors appointed in 2009 to 2014 at the five largest universities in Sweden, we drew two random samples of about 100 persons from each sex, and compiled all their publications from the Web of Science. Differences across disciplines were relatively small within the social sciences, with a mean of 4.5 publications and 30 citations, but professors in medicine had a mean of 30 publications and 500 citations. Contrary to the hypothesis, male professors had about 80% more publications and 40% more citations than female in the social sciences, and in medicine the males had about 60% more publications and 200% more citations. There were no significant sex differences in impact factor.

2 Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices:

There are two issues here:
A) Are political orientations based on deep moral preferences?
B) Do the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media and Google lean left?

On A) I am unsure of whether political orientation is based on moral preferences, but it is certainly based on deep differences in outlook, and the table of biases (preferences) seems a reasonable summary. Here are some posts on the link between intelligence and political attitudes.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/election-special-are-republicans

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/us-academics-lefty-and-liberal-because

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/are-lefties-clever-or-just-grasping

On B) Social Sciences in the US lean heavily to the Left, perhaps because they are brighter.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/us-academics-lefty-and-liberal-because

The media also seem to lean Left.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/lefties-and-media

I do not know about political orientations within Google.

However, Left wing orientation does not of itself prove or disprove the strength of the arguments. It may show that much of the literature considers environmental and social variables to the detriment of genetic ones, but once again we have to consider the strength of the arguments, and not just count the numbers of publications.

3) At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it’s far from the whole story.
On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed because:
• They’re universal across human cultures
• They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
• Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males
• The underlying traits are highly heritable
• They’re exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective
Note, I’m not saying that all men differ from women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

Comment: implicit unconscious biases. That has certainly been widely asserted, but more recent work suggests that the implicit association method is not a reliable predictor of real life attitudes.

Universal across cultures. Largely so, though not entirely. Biological explanations are not invalidated by exceptions, but biological factors seem to cover the main findings pretty well, in that there is a general picture of sex related preferences across virtually all social groups. However, exceptions to the rule are instructive, and there can be great social changes for cultural reasons such as religious prohibitions and legal changes, so both biology and culture can be influences on sex differences.

Clear biological/testosterone. Well, there is certainly a strong case that males and females differ biologically, and it is very probably the case that hormones are involved, but the mechanism is not crucial. What is crucial is how well one can establish sex differences, and whether they can be linked to biological causes in general.

Biological males castrated at birth. I don’t know, and cannot find good papers on this.

Heritable. Yes, most human behaviours are heritable, and that is true of mental ability. If anyone is really denying that, they are wrong. If, however, anyone argues that such behaviours are heritable it means that they are not subject to environmental influences, then I think that they would be wrong. Damore does not make that mistake in his memo. Here are Turkheimer’s (2000) three laws of genetics:

“First Law: All human behavioural traits are heritable.
Second Law: The effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of the genes.
Third Law: A substantial portion of the variation in complex human behavioural traits is not accounted for by the effects of genes or families.”

Evolutionary psychology. Although it is true that evolutionary psychology certainly deals with these issues, and has much supportive evidence, it still needs to be demonstrated what that supportive evidence is. The best approach is to read the literature. On the question of sex differences, journals like Intelligence, and Personality and Individual Differences are good sources of research findings. My links only cover a few papers. For a text book summary look at the evolution of intelligence written in 2011 see Gaborra and Russon’s evolutionary history of intelligence, which is Chapter 17 in Sternberg and Kaufman “The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence” 2011.

The Note makes it very clear that men and women “differ in part due to biological causes”, that many such differences are small, with significant overlaps, and that you cannot say anything about an individual on the basis of population level distributions.

The last point is not strictly true. In fact, you can say some things about individuals given population level distributions of male and female traits if there is a sizeable difference in mean, and/or standard deviations. For example, you can estimate that 90% of men have more upper body strength than 90% of women. Many of these estimates would be error-prone, but would still be better than chance. The bigger the mean differences the better the predictive power. In my view it would be a good guess that a man selected at random would be better at visualizing the rotation of three dimensional shapes than a woman selected at random. Interestingly, if people have been properly selected by Google, none of these observations matter. All Google employees will be good at algorithms, and will have the necessary intellectual power to carry out the correct, accurate and fair classification of the world’s knowledge. Making allowances for their sex and race would be redundant.

Conclusion

My main reaction to the Damore memo is that much research can be found to back up his claims, even though the culture-only narrative is predominant in social research. There is much contention on many of the points he makes. I think he is well supported, but not all the findings run his way, and that is the general rule if you are evidence-based. Faced with contrary results you try to give a summary, and plot out the main trends, but there will always be contrary findings.

Others have given their opinions about these matters, and as I have said, I am struck by the intolerance of many of Damore’s critics. Their negative comments, often extremely vehement and dismissive, have an absolute quality, usually claiming that he is totally wrong and that his views have no merit whatsoever. No one can really pretend to be neutral on all matters of opinion, though they do not have to have an opinion on everything, but finding out which version of reality contains the fewest errors should be a cooperative procedure. I know that is hard to achieve, but I think it worth trying.

I would have been both briefer and more comprehensive in my coverage, but I wanted to comment whilst this topic is still a matter of public debate. As always, I am open to further reading (and have several tabs open on specific studies so as to be able to add more later).

For those who are curious and open-minded there is much to read and discuss, and I hope some of the references shown here will encourage you to look into the topic yourself.

 
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  1. OT, but I am looking for a list of references to criticism of the criticism of The Bell Curve or supporters of The Bell Curve.

    Can anyone help. A quick search via Duck Duck Go turned up a couple.

    Read More
    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Fine, but better to read a few chapters of the book.
    , @res
    Perhaps a good start is to read (or at least skim) Intelligence, Genes, and Success: Scientists Respond to The Bell Curve as a collection of critiques of The Bell Curve which seem better than most. Then look for critiques of that book and its papers.

    Another approach would be to look at Linda Gottfredson's work, most notably: Mainstream Science on Intelligence: An Editorial With 52 Signatories, History, and Bibliography
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.366.7808&rep=rep1&type=pdf
    Though IIRC that is more useful as a source of information to form critiques than as ready made rebuttals to any particular work.

    P.S. I agree with Dr. Thompson about reading TBC, but based on your other comments assume you have done so already.
    , @utu
    The Tainted Sources of ‘The Bell Curve’
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1994/12/01/the-tainted-sources-of-the-bell-curve/

    The Inferiority Complex
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1981/10/22/the-inferiority-complex/

    Is Intelligence for Real? An Exchange
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1982/02/04/is-intelligence-for-real-an-exchange/
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  2. @Peripatetic commenter
    OT, but I am looking for a list of references to criticism of the criticism of The Bell Curve or supporters of The Bell Curve.

    Can anyone help. A quick search via Duck Duck Go turned up a couple.

    Fine, but better to read a few chapters of the book.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Peripatetic commenter
    I have actually, but it was a while ago, so I forget much of it.
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  3. res says:

    Thank you for your comprehensive post.

    One thought about:

    This argument makes me smile. Hyde seems to take as granted that males have an advantage on “tightly timed tests for mathematical and spatial tasks”. Is it simply my male point of view that to do well on any test, in the sense of getting things right, and doing so quickly, would be considered a double advantage? Why regard speedy thinking as a complexity of interpretation? Why is speed in correctly completing a task judged to be “speed as much as skill”? Absurdly, the prompt and correct completion of a task seems to be cast as mere male impetuosity. Furthermore, any employer reading this argument would be justified in thinking “On difficult tasks involving maths and spatial analysis, women need more time” so, given a chance, it might be better not to employ them.

    Agreed, but the timing issue for spatial tests actually strikes me as even more important than that. I am good at typical spatial tests, but one thing I have noticed is that for the hardest items I find myself going through a very working memory loaded process of checking whether a rotation works for a variety of details (number of details being limited by WM). I am pretty sure this process is more g loaded than spatial (have to find, remember, and analyze these differences). It is also slow at my WM limits (I trial and error choose which details to focus on for the hardest items). I am certain I could improve my performance by making pen and paper notes, but consider that cheating on those tests. It would be interesting to explore differences in solution speed and style both within and between groups (e.g. do similar scoring men and women differ in technique?).

    Thus I tend to think the need for more time indicates a relative deficit in “real” spatial skill in favor of g. Whether this “real” spatial skill is what drives the relationship of spatial skills with programming is unclear, but I think it might be. I would hypothesize that it might not be easy for someone like me to emulate the reasoning a higher spatial ability person might use to solve real world problems (rotations are a relatively simple special case problem). If so, presumably this problem would be even worse for someone with even less “real” spatial ability.

    Part of what I base my self assessment on is my sense that some people just immediately see the answer to hard spatial problems. Another part of this is my experience with tasks like navigating in complex topographical environments (I suspect that is a related skill). I routinely encounter people who I think are much better at navigation than I am (especially considered in tandem with more g loaded differences). My sense is that this instant recognition correlates with g but is a separate ability (perhaps more separate than the spatial test correlations indicate given my substitutability observation above). I would be very interested in either anecdotal observations or research discussing this!

    Overall, my takeaways from the whole l’affaire Damore (surprised I haven’t seen this pun used yet, just searched and here is a use, though I disagree with it that post and the comments are worth a look) are:
    - Preferences are important and should be the first differences mentioned in this discussion.
    - Relevant measurable trait and preference differences exist and the magnitudes seem in the right ballpark (given tail effects) to explain the representation differences we observe.
    - The evidence for biological vs. cultural explanations for these differences is not definitive and therefore is controversial. This controversy provides much of the heat underlying the overall debate IMHO.
    - Sexism and discrimination probably exist. In both directions (Google’s hiring practices are clearly discriminatory in intent, the reason for Damore’s memo!). I am not sure which direction is greater in effect in the Current Year.
    - There are an astonishing number of inept thinkers out there (not a surprise, but rarely is ineptness displayed so proudly). More than a few call themselves scientists.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed comments.
    On the speed issue, for all tasks, I was objecting to Hyde's implied distinction between speed and ability, because ability is related to speed. I think that W.D.Furneaux was onto this issue years ago, and progressed it well. From memory, I have classified his key insight as saying that intellectual achievement depended on: speed, accuracy and persistence.
    The first two are often a trade-off, though of course the brightest people are both speedy and accurate. Persistence is often an ignored characteristic, though it is a key part of most great intellectual achievements.
    As regards g, at higher levels of ability it account for less variance.


    1. Furneaux, W. D., Nature, 170, 37 (1952). | ISI |
    2. Furneaux, W. D. "The Determinants of Success in Intelligence Tests" (paper read to Brit. Assoc. Adv. Sci., 1955).
    3. Furneaux, W. D., Manual of Nufferno Speed Tests (Nat. Found. Educ. Res., London, 1955).
    4. Furneaux, W. D., in Intellectual Abilities and Problem Solving Behaviour in Handbook of Abnormal Psychology (edit. by Eysenck, H. J.) (Pergamon Press, London, 1960)
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  4. res says:
    @Peripatetic commenter
    OT, but I am looking for a list of references to criticism of the criticism of The Bell Curve or supporters of The Bell Curve.

    Can anyone help. A quick search via Duck Duck Go turned up a couple.

    Perhaps a good start is to read (or at least skim) Intelligence, Genes, and Success: Scientists Respond to The Bell Curve as a collection of critiques of The Bell Curve which seem better than most. Then look for critiques of that book and its papers.

    Another approach would be to look at Linda Gottfredson’s work, most notably: Mainstream Science on Intelligence: An Editorial With 52 Signatories, History, and Bibliography

    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.366.7808&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    Though IIRC that is more useful as a source of information to form critiques than as ready made rebuttals to any particular work.

    P.S. I agree with Dr. Thompson about reading TBC, but based on your other comments assume you have done so already.

    Read More
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  5. @James Thompson
    Fine, but better to read a few chapters of the book.

    I have actually, but it was a while ago, so I forget much of it.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Assumed that, and found as I looked at it again earlier this evening that I had forgotten a lot about it!
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  6. The Note makes it very clear that men and women “differ in part due to biological causes”, that many such differences are small, with significant overlaps, and that you cannot say anything about an individual on the basis of population level distributions.

    So, noting that on average, men have 90% more upper body strength than women, would I not be able to claim that any woman my height or less will not have my upper body strength?

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    • Replies: @res
    Short answer, no. Though it arguably depends on where you fall in the male range and the population size (which controls how much of an outlier one can expect to occur). If you want to make this more concrete, here is a paper on strength differences which seems to imply (though I don't see it stated) a Cohen's d of about 3 for upper body strength: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756754/
    Plugging that into the visualizer here (3 is the maximum value supported) you see only 13% overlap: http://rpsychologist.com/d3/cohend/
    Worth noting that these analyses don't account for size differences (so your equal height condition skews things).

    To answer your question a different way, try looking at world championship weightlifting results. Can you lift more than the strongest woman there less than or equal to you in height (or weight as a proxy)? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world_records_in_Olympic_weightlifting
    https://rawpowerlifting.com/records/world_records/

    Razib's grip strength post is a worthwhile look at this sort of thing: https://www.unz.com/gnxp/men-are-stronger-than-women-on-average
    , @James Thompson
    I think you are right if we alter it from "any woman" to "almost any woman", simply because the difference in body strength (in the paper Res references, and in the others) is a d of 3.5 so I wouldn't bother with further calculations to correct for height. What would make a difference is the small numbers of elite women athletes, as shown in the paper Razib posted.
    If one simplifies the whole issue to look at height, weight and body strength together, then women are at risk in any physical encounter with men, even old ones. This has been noticed before, resulting in kind societies paying extra respect to and showing more consideration for women, and in less kind societies to their abuse.
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  7. res says:
    @Peripatetic commenter

    The Note makes it very clear that men and women “differ in part due to biological causes”, that many such differences are small, with significant overlaps, and that you cannot say anything about an individual on the basis of population level distributions.
     
    So, noting that on average, men have 90% more upper body strength than women, would I not be able to claim that any woman my height or less will not have my upper body strength?

    Short answer, no. Though it arguably depends on where you fall in the male range and the population size (which controls how much of an outlier one can expect to occur). If you want to make this more concrete, here is a paper on strength differences which seems to imply (though I don’t see it stated) a Cohen’s d of about 3 for upper body strength: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756754/
    Plugging that into the visualizer here (3 is the maximum value supported) you see only 13% overlap: http://rpsychologist.com/d3/cohend/
    Worth noting that these analyses don’t account for size differences (so your equal height condition skews things).

    To answer your question a different way, try looking at world championship weightlifting results. Can you lift more than the strongest woman there less than or equal to you in height (or weight as a proxy)? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world_records_in_Olympic_weightlifting

    https://rawpowerlifting.com/records/world_records/

    Razib’s grip strength post is a worthwhile look at this sort of thing: https://www.unz.com/gnxp/men-are-stronger-than-women-on-average

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  8. To answer your question a different way, try looking at world championship weightlifting results. Can you lift more than the strongest woman there less than or equal to you in height (or weight as a proxy)?

    I don’t do weight training … but if I did, I think I could … and I would assert that world championship male weight lifters could.

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  9. I started reading https://people.ok.ubc.ca/lgabora/papers/Gabora-Russon-EOI-2011.pdf

    and found this:

    The more we learn about nonhuman intelligence, however, the more we find that abilities previously thought to be uniquely human are not. For example, it was thought until the 1960s that humans alone make tools. But then Jane Goodall (1963) found wild chimpanzees making them. Later, several other species were found making tools too (Beck, 1980). Thus, ideas about what marks the boundary between human and nonhuman intelligence have undergone repeated

    There is an enormous qualitative difference between the tools that Chimps (or other primates) use and something like, say, https://www.thoughtco.com/acheulean-handaxe-first-tool-171238.

    What is the use of making such statements? Chimps are not going to suddenly start making screw drivers or knives or bows and arrows etc. Is it thought that all other tool making is layered on top of the neural support Chimps use for making their very primitive tools?

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    "Is it thought that all other tool making is layered on top of the neural support Chimps use for making their very primitive tools?"

    Yes. Although of course we are not chimps, nor are we directly descended from chimps. The human brain is immensely flexible and adaptable, and once the practice of solving problems by making tools became established, a whole vast new world opened up. Note that people were making stone tools for a very, very long time before the first metals were discovered. Note also that many of the human race's greatest discoveries may have been made only once or twice before spreading worldwide.

    One serious weakness that most humans suffer from is an inability to visualize long periods of time. Just as, to the average citizen, a million, a billion, and a trillion are all more or less just "lots and lots", most of us really cannot conceive of a million years or what might happen in such a time. At about three generations per century, a million years represents about 30,000 generations. A mere 50 generations ago the Roman Empire was still flourishing.
    , @James Thompson
    Agree that their comment about tool making chimps is only interesting to refute an absolute: "no other species make tools". It should be followed up with "how many tools, and how good are they?"
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  10. @Peripatetic commenter
    I have actually, but it was a while ago, so I forget much of it.

    Assumed that, and found as I looked at it again earlier this evening that I had forgotten a lot about it!

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    Cspan had an excellent two hour or so interview of the guy on one of their weekend book shows a decade or so ago.
    Worth the search and a download of at least the audio.
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  11. Expressing different opinions should be a cue for debate, not outrage.

    I may be splitting hairs, but I would rephrase that to “Expressing different opinions should be a cue for discussion, not outrage.”

    Debate is inherently adversarial, and relies on rhetorical artifice and emotional appeals to the audience that frequently depend on logical fallacies. We have far too much of it in public discourse.

    That aside, thank you for a sober and comprehensive review article.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    In the previous sentences I had said "scholarly debate" so I was assuming that. On reflection, much purportedly scholarly debate isn't scholarly.
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  12. 2 Kevins says we are living ‘matriarchy’.

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  13. wayfarer says:

    “Google Memo: Fired Employee Speaks Out!”

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    • Replies: @DFH
    A little OT, but the astonishing badness of Stef's actual attempts at 'philosophy' make me think that he is
    (a) stupid
    and/or
    (b) so narcissistic he cannot consider criticism
    , @Wally
    Goolag T-shirts here:

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1893/2419/products/s_1592_6bpJwjS3fteCz3UejsVh5LWWrgYrxhWhite_480x.png?v=1502636977


    https://bornmay.com/products/goolag-t-shirt

    , @Wally
    Google: Tampons Kept in Men’s Restrooms Because ‘Some Men Menstruate’

    http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/08/17/rebels-of-google-tampons-kept-in-mens-restrooms-because-some-men-menstruate/
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  14. utu says:
    @Peripatetic commenter
    OT, but I am looking for a list of references to criticism of the criticism of The Bell Curve or supporters of The Bell Curve.

    Can anyone help. A quick search via Duck Duck Go turned up a couple.
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  15. Tom Welsh says:

    I suspect that no one with enough intelligence to think clearly understands what all the fuss is about. I have never been particularly successful at anything, despite my IQ of over 160 (according to Mensa). The only clearcut effect this has had, as far as I can make out, is that most people find my conversation obscure and boring.

    If an IQ 60% above average confers no apparent practical advantage, what is the point in squabbling heatedly about hypothetical differences on the order of 1%? It is surely well established, even if it weren’t glaringly obvious to common sense, that while pure intelligence is vital in some fields of work, its effects are usually swamped by those of other characteristics such as persistence, enthusiasm, charisma and empathy.

    Indeed, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the very most intelligent people are disproportionately prone to mental disorders, existential horror, and despair. There is a lot to hate and fear in the world, and most people seem to be spared the worst consequences by the simplest of defence mechanisms – a sheer failure to notice.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Dear Tom,
    An IQ of 160 is only found in 1 in 31,560 persons, being higher than 99.9976142490% of the population. This is more than a 60% advantage over the average citizen. IQ points are not percentages.
    The work of Benbow and Lubinski shows that the higher the intelligence the greater the achievement. While other personality factors may be involved, they have yet to be shown to be as important.
    Typically, high ability people are shown to be more balanced than average, with lower rates of mental disorder.
    , @anonymous declaimer
    Tom - interesting comment. I would have agreed with you back in the day, but I now think intelligence is as much of a shield as stupidity. (I don't like either word, intelligence or stupidity, but that is a whole n'other comment.) For reasons too long to go into here - in part, but just in part - I grew up in a crowded house with two or three significantly unpleasant but very intelligent - not top 1 percent, but close - people in it, and as a survival strategy - I needed to think long and hard about how to keep them from being even worse than they were. I.e., I have thought a lot about really smart people, and for that reason maybe I can make a not completely un-useful reply to your comment. Greg Cochran, not a very empathetic guy, but someone who has intensely studied these things, accurately noted that the human brain is built, with all its various sets and subsets, to keep us from going too far off track: from that point of view, the more powerful the specific human brain is, the more sets and subsets of thinking there are to keep it on track: it is not like a Rolls Royce swerving back and forth on an icy lake, it is more like a very sluggish (relative to the non-sluggishness of reality, measured accurately or even fairly inaccurately) person wading through a shoulder-deep pond, full of aquatic plants (Sorry if that analogy doesn't help, it is the best I can do at the moment to express how correct I think Cochran was. He is a friendly guy and would be glad to tell you how inaccurate my analogy was, if you ask him). The Cochran reference was point one, here is point two. Everybody is profoundly stupid about almost everything, which is why few loving parents hope their child will be a clever child with little common sense, as opposed to a not too clever child with common sense (at least on the rare occasions when a young mother named her child after me, that is how she thought! and good for her!). Sure there are people who seem smart and on top of things but that is almost always mostly a sham. So there is really nobody who needs to worry about being too smart or about the effect that being too smart might have on them. Once in a while someone, for a week or two, or at the most for, let's say, 2 or 3 hundred afternoons, gets some small aspect of reality correct, and is able to communicate that. Good for them if they make a good career out of the skills they have learned! But: For the rest of the time, we are all just here to amuse each other. (Of course I am talking about the human limit of intelligence for 2 or 3 hundred useful afternoons, at most, in the context of simple raw and accurate intelligence, i.e., whatever it was that made people like von Neumann talk about 8 digit numbers as if every single such number was a personal friend. I am not talking about moral intelligence, which is much more common and infinitely more angelic (see Aquinas on how angels understand versus how humans understand), and about which one probably should not speak, even if one does know what it is to live a life never having had a friend in this world for the first few decades but having, one day, after many years, realized that one had such a friend. (Suffering, too, protects us, in this sublunar world, albeit too much suffering is always a tragedy, and the phrase "too little suffering" is not a phrase that a decent person would ever want to pronounce.) (2 or 3 hundred useful afternoons is a long time, by the way: even the best of Mozart's music can be listened and re-listened to in about 50 afternoons, at most. And who was better at getting things right for longer than Mozart was?) (Summary: I think intelligence is often as much of a shield as stupidity).
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  16. Tom Welsh says:
    @Peripatetic commenter
    I started reading https://people.ok.ubc.ca/lgabora/papers/Gabora-Russon-EOI-2011.pdf

    and found this:

    The more we learn about nonhuman intelligence, however, the more we find that abilities previously thought to be uniquely human are not. For example, it was thought until the 1960s that humans alone make tools. But then Jane Goodall (1963) found wild chimpanzees making them. Later, several other species were found making tools too (Beck, 1980). Thus, ideas about what marks the boundary between human and nonhuman intelligence have undergone repeated
     
    There is an enormous qualitative difference between the tools that Chimps (or other primates) use and something like, say, https://www.thoughtco.com/acheulean-handaxe-first-tool-171238.

    What is the use of making such statements? Chimps are not going to suddenly start making screw drivers or knives or bows and arrows etc. Is it thought that all other tool making is layered on top of the neural support Chimps use for making their very primitive tools?

    “Is it thought that all other tool making is layered on top of the neural support Chimps use for making their very primitive tools?”

    Yes. Although of course we are not chimps, nor are we directly descended from chimps. The human brain is immensely flexible and adaptable, and once the practice of solving problems by making tools became established, a whole vast new world opened up. Note that people were making stone tools for a very, very long time before the first metals were discovered. Note also that many of the human race’s greatest discoveries may have been made only once or twice before spreading worldwide.

    One serious weakness that most humans suffer from is an inability to visualize long periods of time. Just as, to the average citizen, a million, a billion, and a trillion are all more or less just “lots and lots”, most of us really cannot conceive of a million years or what might happen in such a time. At about three generations per century, a million years represents about 30,000 generations. A mere 50 generations ago the Roman Empire was still flourishing.

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    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
    What? 3 generations a century? That would mean people are having kids in their 30s.... Which didnt happen until this last century. Its more like 4-5, maybe even 6, generations a century.

    I agree humans can't visualize large spans of time. Plus, a very large minority think the world was created 2017 years ago, so that doesn't help.
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  17. DFH says:
    @wayfarer
    "Google Memo: Fired Employee Speaks Out!"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN1vEfqHGro&t

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxIw9fyIK_c

    A little OT, but the astonishing badness of Stef’s actual attempts at ‘philosophy’ make me think that he is
    (a) stupid
    and/or
    (b) so narcissistic he cannot consider criticism

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  18. In the news it’s said Daily Stormer is no longer protected by Cloudflare.

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/17/technology/business/cloudflare-drops-daily-stormer/

    It seems this company protects sites from cyberattacks.

    Why isn’t the government in the business of doing that?

    Cyberattacks, as I understand it, are illegal, even criminal. Then, it should be the role of the state to protect the internet from such attacks. Why should private companies do the bulk of that job?

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    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    Your government can't even be bothered to backtrack phishing and openly criminal (fraud) phone calls you receive on a land line (said calls are undoubtedly trivially easy to trace to source.)

    Your state won't do it. Your FedGov won't do it. Your local or county won't do it.

    I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that our "public servants" can be bothered to track down rapists, murderers and armed robbers. Then again, reading the Second City Cop blog, Cook County (Chicago) doesn't even really do that, either.

    We're On. Our. Own.

    No one is insuring your foods are safe.
    No one is insuring your wealth is secure from theft (in fact, Gov't is probably the biggest single threat to it.)
    No one is keeping drunk illegals off your streets. In fact, your Sanctuary Scum do all they can to put drunk Mestizos right back behind the wheel.

    We've reached the point where government has become a black hole; resources go in, nothing of value comes back out.
    , @schrub
    No loss.

    The Daily Stormer was so outlandish and extreme that the first time I read it, I immediately thought it was a disinformation site put up and paid for by someone connected to either the ADL or the government. (AKA, sorta of like all the faux Nazi sites.)

    The ADL is probably contacting the ACLU right now to get the site back up.
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  19. @res
    Thank you for your comprehensive post.

    One thought about:

    This argument makes me smile. Hyde seems to take as granted that males have an advantage on “tightly timed tests for mathematical and spatial tasks”. Is it simply my male point of view that to do well on any test, in the sense of getting things right, and doing so quickly, would be considered a double advantage? Why regard speedy thinking as a complexity of interpretation? Why is speed in correctly completing a task judged to be “speed as much as skill”? Absurdly, the prompt and correct completion of a task seems to be cast as mere male impetuosity. Furthermore, any employer reading this argument would be justified in thinking “On difficult tasks involving maths and spatial analysis, women need more time” so, given a chance, it might be better not to employ them.
     
    Agreed, but the timing issue for spatial tests actually strikes me as even more important than that. I am good at typical spatial tests, but one thing I have noticed is that for the hardest items I find myself going through a very working memory loaded process of checking whether a rotation works for a variety of details (number of details being limited by WM). I am pretty sure this process is more g loaded than spatial (have to find, remember, and analyze these differences). It is also slow at my WM limits (I trial and error choose which details to focus on for the hardest items). I am certain I could improve my performance by making pen and paper notes, but consider that cheating on those tests. It would be interesting to explore differences in solution speed and style both within and between groups (e.g. do similar scoring men and women differ in technique?).

    Thus I tend to think the need for more time indicates a relative deficit in "real" spatial skill in favor of g. Whether this "real" spatial skill is what drives the relationship of spatial skills with programming is unclear, but I think it might be. I would hypothesize that it might not be easy for someone like me to emulate the reasoning a higher spatial ability person might use to solve real world problems (rotations are a relatively simple special case problem). If so, presumably this problem would be even worse for someone with even less "real" spatial ability.

    Part of what I base my self assessment on is my sense that some people just immediately see the answer to hard spatial problems. Another part of this is my experience with tasks like navigating in complex topographical environments (I suspect that is a related skill). I routinely encounter people who I think are much better at navigation than I am (especially considered in tandem with more g loaded differences). My sense is that this instant recognition correlates with g but is a separate ability (perhaps more separate than the spatial test correlations indicate given my substitutability observation above). I would be very interested in either anecdotal observations or research discussing this!

    Overall, my takeaways from the whole l'affaire Damore (surprised I haven't seen this pun used yet, just searched and here is a use, though I disagree with it that post and the comments are worth a look) are:
    - Preferences are important and should be the first differences mentioned in this discussion.
    - Relevant measurable trait and preference differences exist and the magnitudes seem in the right ballpark (given tail effects) to explain the representation differences we observe.
    - The evidence for biological vs. cultural explanations for these differences is not definitive and therefore is controversial. This controversy provides much of the heat underlying the overall debate IMHO.
    - Sexism and discrimination probably exist. In both directions (Google's hiring practices are clearly discriminatory in intent, the reason for Damore's memo!). I am not sure which direction is greater in effect in the Current Year.
    - There are an astonishing number of inept thinkers out there (not a surprise, but rarely is ineptness displayed so proudly). More than a few call themselves scientists.

    Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed comments.
    On the speed issue, for all tasks, I was objecting to Hyde’s implied distinction between speed and ability, because ability is related to speed. I think that W.D.Furneaux was onto this issue years ago, and progressed it well. From memory, I have classified his key insight as saying that intellectual achievement depended on: speed, accuracy and persistence.
    The first two are often a trade-off, though of course the brightest people are both speedy and accurate. Persistence is often an ignored characteristic, though it is a key part of most great intellectual achievements.
    As regards g, at higher levels of ability it account for less variance.

    1. Furneaux, W. D., Nature, 170, 37 (1952). | ISI |
    2. Furneaux, W. D. “The Determinants of Success in Intelligence Tests” (paper read to Brit. Assoc. Adv. Sci., 1955).
    3. Furneaux, W. D., Manual of Nufferno Speed Tests (Nat. Found. Educ. Res., London, 1955).
    4. Furneaux, W. D., in Intellectual Abilities and Problem Solving Behaviour in Handbook of Abnormal Psychology (edit. by Eysenck, H. J.) (Pergamon Press, London, 1960)

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    • Replies: @res
    Thanks for expanding on the speed, accuracy and persistence idea. And giving references!

    I am having trouble chasing down your references though. This 1967 letter gives a very similar list of references but states that there were errors in the 1952 Furneaux paper equations: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v214/n5092/abs/2141056a0.html

    This book (The Measurement of Intelligence, edited by Michael? Eysenck, copyright 1973, I actually have a copy but am having trouble finding it, I think that chapter would be a good starting point for me): https://books.google.com/books?id=wjLpCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA236&lpg=PA236
    gives a title for your first reference: Some Speed, Error and Difficulty Relationships within a Problem-solving Situation
    From which I find: https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v170/n4314/abs/170037a0.html
    It is nice that Nature assigns DOIs to its old papers. That appears to be a two page letter. Interesting, but I am having trouble drawing inferences from it.

    I am not sure I communicated my agreement with your earlier speed, accuracy, and persistence comments. I was trying to extend the idea to consider that slow speed might be an indicator of the substitution of skills (other than persistence, though that is certainly critical there) for the skill nominally being tested for. In my earlier example, g for spatial ability. For another example, I took an online autism test a while ago (identifying emotions from pictures). I scored above average (in a good way ; ), but found myself again using a more "logical" (g based IMHO) process for the harder items. I doubt that is the way most people approach that test (though I could be wrong) and my result might overstate my ability on the skill they are trying to test.

    The fundamental distinction I am trying to make is between solving a problem in the same way (or sufficiently similar) just more slowly and solving the problem using a fundamentally different approach (or skill/ability?!). The former could be viewed as changing the clock speed on a computer and I think corresponds with the point you make about persistence. For the latter envision a case where one person solves a problem using visual intuition and a quick mathematical check while another person uses an extended mathematical derivation. I think this kind of substitutabiltity could be a problem in subtests intended to measure a specific skill (e.g. spatial!). And g is a very useful Swiss army knife ; ).

    Perhaps this is a second order effect relative to the basic speed/persistence issue and should (could?) not really be considered until that has been solved? I guess I am just interested in anyone who has thought about this substitutability idea in the more general form. Furneaux seems focused on the speed side. In particular, Furneaux limits his consideration to the 10-85% range of difficulty while my personal experience is much more about the hard end of the difficulty scale.

    This seems like a fairly obvious idea to me so I presume it has been considered. Perhaps some combination of "second order effect" and "hard to test" prevents something having been done about it?

    One other thought that occurs to me. Does Furneaux's deemphasis of higher D(ifficulty) items say something about the difficulty of creating high ceiling tests? Is it possible that the combination of substitutability and more idiosyncratic skill profiles at the high end are part of that problem?
    , @Wizard of Oz
    I am not sure I fully understand the import of your last sentence about g not accounting for so much of the variance at high[er] levels of ability. Would you please spell out the evidence and implications.
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  20. @Peripatetic commenter

    The Note makes it very clear that men and women “differ in part due to biological causes”, that many such differences are small, with significant overlaps, and that you cannot say anything about an individual on the basis of population level distributions.
     
    So, noting that on average, men have 90% more upper body strength than women, would I not be able to claim that any woman my height or less will not have my upper body strength?

    I think you are right if we alter it from “any woman” to “almost any woman”, simply because the difference in body strength (in the paper Res references, and in the others) is a d of 3.5 so I wouldn’t bother with further calculations to correct for height. What would make a difference is the small numbers of elite women athletes, as shown in the paper Razib posted.
    If one simplifies the whole issue to look at height, weight and body strength together, then women are at risk in any physical encounter with men, even old ones. This has been noticed before, resulting in kind societies paying extra respect to and showing more consideration for women, and in less kind societies to their abuse.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    Not to worry. We have Hollywood providing young women with all the confidence necessary that, should she walk down a dark alley and be accosted by a man, she will likely strike him a few times in the face and walk away unscathed.

    /sarc off.

    If women grasped even vaguely just how great is the gulf between them and the overwhelming majority of men, I suspect we'd see a lot fewer women using their divorce attorney to torment their soon-to-be (or already) ex-husband. I've watched women metaphorically poke the most dangerous animal on Planet Earth, an adult male human, as he sits in a cage that lacks bars.

    The only time I've seen the "Entertainment Industry" show what can really happen in a confrontation between a typical woman and a typical (in this case viciously predatory) man, it was in a foreign-made film titled "Irreversible," available on Amazon Video. It was without a doubt the most horrifying rape-beating ever put on film, and watching it would scare the living daylights out of women. It ran rings around any horror film ever made.
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  21. @PiltdownMan

    Expressing different opinions should be a cue for debate, not outrage.
     
    I may be splitting hairs, but I would rephrase that to "Expressing different opinions should be a cue for discussion, not outrage."

    Debate is inherently adversarial, and relies on rhetorical artifice and emotional appeals to the audience that frequently depend on logical fallacies. We have far too much of it in public discourse.

    That aside, thank you for a sober and comprehensive review article.

    In the previous sentences I had said “scholarly debate” so I was assuming that. On reflection, much purportedly scholarly debate isn’t scholarly.

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  22. Miro23 says:

    I find the ferocity of some of the replies to Damore extreme. The vehemence of the opposition is coruscating, and absolute. These issues should be matters of scholarly debate, in which the findings matter, and different interpretations contend against each other.

    Or maybe it’s not for ferocious attacks or scholarly debate.

    It’s just a difference of opinion (remember “diversity”) – not something to get so excited about.
    The problem is that PC is on the way to functioning like militant Islam with regard to unbelievers and apostates.

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    • Replies: @res

    It’s just a difference of opinion (remember “diversity”) – not something to get so excited about.
     
    The supreme irony of l'affaire Damore is that was a primary point of Damore's memo and the response was perhaps the best proof of the validity of that point possible. Hence my "inept thinkers" comment.
    , @El Dato
    100% correct.

    It's religion, with high priests, memorials, saints, sinners, apostates, churches, circular thinking and virulent reaction to anything that might hollow out the meme complex.
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  23. Moi says:

    Free speech is an interesting concept–but don’t try to put it into practice.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    That's nothing new, either.

    "It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them".

    - Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Ch. XX
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  24. @Tom Welsh
    I suspect that no one with enough intelligence to think clearly understands what all the fuss is about. I have never been particularly successful at anything, despite my IQ of over 160 (according to Mensa). The only clearcut effect this has had, as far as I can make out, is that most people find my conversation obscure and boring.

    If an IQ 60% above average confers no apparent practical advantage, what is the point in squabbling heatedly about hypothetical differences on the order of 1%? It is surely well established, even if it weren't glaringly obvious to common sense, that while pure intelligence is vital in some fields of work, its effects are usually swamped by those of other characteristics such as persistence, enthusiasm, charisma and empathy.

    Indeed, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the very most intelligent people are disproportionately prone to mental disorders, existential horror, and despair. There is a lot to hate and fear in the world, and most people seem to be spared the worst consequences by the simplest of defence mechanisms - a sheer failure to notice.

    Dear Tom,
    An IQ of 160 is only found in 1 in 31,560 persons, being higher than 99.9976142490% of the population. This is more than a 60% advantage over the average citizen. IQ points are not percentages.
    The work of Benbow and Lubinski shows that the higher the intelligence the greater the achievement. While other personality factors may be involved, they have yet to be shown to be as important.
    Typically, high ability people are shown to be more balanced than average, with lower rates of mental disorder.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    Thanks for the information, James. However, you have not quite addressed what I said. In the words of Alfred Korzybski, "I have said what I have said. I have not said what I have not said".

    I did not say that an IQ of 160 confers "a 60% advantage over the average citizen". I spoke of "an IQ 60% above average". I think you will admit that IQ is expressed as an integer, and furthermore that - as an integer - 160 is 60% more than 100. That is all I meant.

    Similarly, I asserted that "there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the very most intelligent people are disproportionately prone to mental disorders, existential horror, and despair". I know a few such people, and I have read about others - hence my use of the qualifier "anecdotal".

    Also, your statement that "high ability people are shown to be more balanced than average" does not - at least, not in the exact words you used - exclude the possibility that the very most intelligent are prone to mental disorders. I do not refer only to mental illness as normally understood - although much of that may turn out to be as imaginary as Schiaparelli's canals on Mars - but the horror and despair that can be caused by perceiving reality too clearly.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    The proportion of the population you refer to is of course one given by an uncomplicated normal curve based on the asdumption, inter alia, of no assortative mating (or actual figures). Given Burt's genuine data on the lump above 170 and Greg Clark's researches which tend to explain that lump have you any data on any residual benefit the UK may be getting from itd once fertile successful classes and its welcome to bright refugees and immigrants?

    Another, barely related, question. Has any formal work been done on what might be called intelligence bottlenecks? Most obviously it would manifest itself as an interface problem. Thus you might be able to evaluate the logic of spoken words twice as fast as I but physically not able to take them in any faster at all so that someone speaking very fast would deprive you of your IQ advantage. And, perhaps a better example, your speed of speech or writing, even when good, might hold you back close to the field of hesitant non-shouters and the simply slow.
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  25. @Priss Factor
    In the news it's said Daily Stormer is no longer protected by Cloudflare.

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/17/technology/business/cloudflare-drops-daily-stormer/

    It seems this company protects sites from cyberattacks.

    Why isn't the government in the business of doing that?

    Cyberattacks, as I understand it, are illegal, even criminal. Then, it should be the role of the state to protect the internet from such attacks. Why should private companies do the bulk of that job?

    Your government can’t even be bothered to backtrack phishing and openly criminal (fraud) phone calls you receive on a land line (said calls are undoubtedly trivially easy to trace to source.)

    Your state won’t do it. Your FedGov won’t do it. Your local or county won’t do it.

    I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that our “public servants” can be bothered to track down rapists, murderers and armed robbers. Then again, reading the Second City Cop blog, Cook County (Chicago) doesn’t even really do that, either.

    We’re On. Our. Own.

    No one is insuring your foods are safe.
    No one is insuring your wealth is secure from theft (in fact, Gov’t is probably the biggest single threat to it.)
    No one is keeping drunk illegals off your streets. In fact, your Sanctuary Scum do all they can to put drunk Mestizos right back behind the wheel.

    We’ve reached the point where government has become a black hole; resources go in, nothing of value comes back out.

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    "No one is insuring your foods are safe".

    Actually, Western governments have for decades been going out of their way to recommend actively unhealthy foods and drinks. In 1865, in 1910 and in 1939 it was clearly understood everywhere that meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, and nuts, together with some dairy and fruit, were the essential dietary items. Carbohydrates, sugars and grains in particular, were clearly understood to be fattening and probably causative of many diseases.

    Yet since the US government led the charge with its McGovern Committee Report in the 1970s, Western governments have been warning against meat, saturated fat, and other healthy foods while urging consumption of more foods made from sugars and grains. We all require about 20% of daily energy from protein, and the rest is a mixture of fats and carbs. Cut out the fats, and that means 70-80% carbs, which leads inexorably to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and for many people eventual diabetes.

    Did I mention that Senator McGovern represented a grain-producing state?
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  26. @James Thompson
    I think you are right if we alter it from "any woman" to "almost any woman", simply because the difference in body strength (in the paper Res references, and in the others) is a d of 3.5 so I wouldn't bother with further calculations to correct for height. What would make a difference is the small numbers of elite women athletes, as shown in the paper Razib posted.
    If one simplifies the whole issue to look at height, weight and body strength together, then women are at risk in any physical encounter with men, even old ones. This has been noticed before, resulting in kind societies paying extra respect to and showing more consideration for women, and in less kind societies to their abuse.

    Not to worry. We have Hollywood providing young women with all the confidence necessary that, should she walk down a dark alley and be accosted by a man, she will likely strike him a few times in the face and walk away unscathed.

    /sarc off.

    If women grasped even vaguely just how great is the gulf between them and the overwhelming majority of men, I suspect we’d see a lot fewer women using their divorce attorney to torment their soon-to-be (or already) ex-husband. I’ve watched women metaphorically poke the most dangerous animal on Planet Earth, an adult male human, as he sits in a cage that lacks bars.

    The only time I’ve seen the “Entertainment Industry” show what can really happen in a confrontation between a typical woman and a typical (in this case viciously predatory) man, it was in a foreign-made film titled “Irreversible,” available on Amazon Video. It was without a doubt the most horrifying rape-beating ever put on film, and watching it would scare the living daylights out of women. It ran rings around any horror film ever made.

    Read More
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  27. Tom Welsh says:
    @Moi
    Free speech is an interesting concept--but don't try to put it into practice.

    That’s nothing new, either.

    “It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them”.

    – Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, Ch. XX

    Read More
    • Replies: @Moi
    Sam Clemens was sui generis. And I love this one of his: "There are only two important days in the life of any person, the day that your are born and they day you find out why."

    :-)
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  28. Tom Welsh says:
    @James Thompson
    Dear Tom,
    An IQ of 160 is only found in 1 in 31,560 persons, being higher than 99.9976142490% of the population. This is more than a 60% advantage over the average citizen. IQ points are not percentages.
    The work of Benbow and Lubinski shows that the higher the intelligence the greater the achievement. While other personality factors may be involved, they have yet to be shown to be as important.
    Typically, high ability people are shown to be more balanced than average, with lower rates of mental disorder.

    Thanks for the information, James. However, you have not quite addressed what I said. In the words of Alfred Korzybski, “I have said what I have said. I have not said what I have not said”.

    I did not say that an IQ of 160 confers “a 60% advantage over the average citizen”. I spoke of “an IQ 60% above average”. I think you will admit that IQ is expressed as an integer, and furthermore that – as an integer – 160 is 60% more than 100. That is all I meant.

    Similarly, I asserted that “there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the very most intelligent people are disproportionately prone to mental disorders, existential horror, and despair”. I know a few such people, and I have read about others – hence my use of the qualifier “anecdotal”.

    Also, your statement that “high ability people are shown to be more balanced than average” does not – at least, not in the exact words you used – exclude the possibility that the very most intelligent are prone to mental disorders. I do not refer only to mental illness as normally understood – although much of that may turn out to be as imaginary as Schiaparelli’s canals on Mars – but the horror and despair that can be caused by perceiving reality too clearly.

    Read More
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  29. Moi says:
    @Tom Welsh
    That's nothing new, either.

    "It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them".

    - Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Ch. XX

    Sam Clemens was sui generis. And I love this one of his: “There are only two important days in the life of any person, the day that your are born and they day you find out why.”

    :-)

    Read More
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  30. szopen says:

    Well, I was looking for people-vs-things preference differences expressed in easily calculable terms (i.e. something in terms of “men are rated as 10 on this trait, with SD 2, while women as 8, with SD 1.8″) but I couldn’t; Can anyone help?

    The best I could found was the study which claimed that in people-vs-things rating, within the top 25% of topc scorers – which would be, if I understood correctly, people who are the most interested in things (as contrasted with “interested in people”) ratio of women to men is 0.287. That would mean there would be around 78% men, 22% women.

    Now, the question is what is the cutoff for going to STEM, ie. what is average “things” preference for people to decide to follow career in STEM (or, more specifically, in engineering and computer science). Depending on value of this cutoff, the gap in CS and engineering might be, indeed, completely explained away by difference in people-vs-things interest, or even might imply men are discriminated against, HOWEVER, seeing as some of those preferences are calculated, I wonder whether it is not a kind of circular argument, kind of “there are more men into computer-related work, because more men are interested in computers”.

    Also, it seems that i saw in one study taht this difference decreases with age, which is strange. This would contradict the theory that the preference is driven by the social expectations (because, then “sexist” expectations would cause is to go up with age) but this could be explained by “it is caused by biology” theory; HOWEVER, the bad thing and the weakness is that “it’s caused by biology” could be used to justify BOTH increasing and decreasing the gap – a realisation which leaves bad taste in my mouth.

    Anyway I’d love to see
    (1) studies quantifying the differences on a scale, not saying “the effect is large with Cohen’s d=1.23″
    (2) studies looking at specifically computer science and comparing their preferences with general population
    (3) studies measuring the trait in very early age

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    • Replies: @res
    Interesting and thoughtful comment. I am having trouble understanding what you want though when I see these two statements juxtaposed:

    Well, I was looking for people-vs-things preference differences expressed in easily calculable terms (i.e. something in terms of “men are rated as 10 on this trait, with SD 2, while women as 8, with SD 1.8″) but I couldn’t; Can anyone help?
     

    (1) studies quantifying the differences on a scale, not saying “the effect is large with Cohen’s d=1.23″
     
    Cohen's d seems to be the preferred way to quantify these differences. Could you be more specific about what you want (exactly your first paragraph?)? Does this Cohen's d visualizer help you answer any of your questions? http://rpsychologist.com/d3/cohend/

    Lippa 2010 quoted in an earlier post by Dr. Thompson gives a d of 1.18 for the sex difference on people-things for what that is worth. That roughly means the means of the two groups are 1.18 SD apart.

    If you are looking for results in the mean/SD format you gave it is probably better to look at individual studies than meta-studies. But then you lose the benefit of the greater sample sizes. I have seen data in that form elsewhere (e.g. some physical difference comments I have made recently), but not for people-things. Part of the problem might be that if I understand correctly people-things is not a real world measurement (is it a Z score or what?) so the mean/SD is not tremendously useful by itself (contrast with something like vertical jump).

    Now, the question is what is the cutoff for going to STEM, ie. what is average “things” preference for people to decide to follow career in STEM (or, more specifically, in engineering and computer science). Depending on value of this cutoff, the gap in CS and engineering might be, indeed, completely explained away by difference in people-vs-things interest, or even might imply men are discriminated against, HOWEVER, seeing as some of those preferences are calculated, I wonder whether it is not a kind of circular argument, kind of “there are more men into computer-related work, because more men are interested in computers”.
     
    I have been using 2SD (~top 2%) as an off the cuff estimate for computer science, but that may very well be a bit high. I think of it as a fuzzy rather than sharp threshold, but use the sharp assumption to estimate representation.

    The circular argument concern is interesting. Here are definitions of people and things from Prediger 1982: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223519841_Dimensions_underlying_Holland's_hexagon_Missing_link_between_interests_and_occupations

    “Things tusks: Nonpersonal tasks involving machines, materials, tools, biological mechanisms, and so forth” (p. 22). Bricklayers, laboratory technicians, and bus drivers work mainly with things.
    “People tusks: Interpersonal tasks such as caring for, persuading, entertaining, or directing others (including animals treated as if they were human)” (p. 22). Elementary school teachers, social workers, and vocational counselors work mainly with people.
     
    Regarding your:

    (2) studies looking at specifically computer science and comparing their preferences with general population
     
    I would love to see this as well. Anyone?

    (3) studies measuring the trait in very early age
     
    Seems to me Dr. Thompson addressed this above: https://www.unz.com/jthompson/google-culture-wars/#p_1_30

    I am surprised there is not more research about this considering how significant the people-things sex difference is in children anecdotally.
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  31. res says:
    @James Thompson
    Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed comments.
    On the speed issue, for all tasks, I was objecting to Hyde's implied distinction between speed and ability, because ability is related to speed. I think that W.D.Furneaux was onto this issue years ago, and progressed it well. From memory, I have classified his key insight as saying that intellectual achievement depended on: speed, accuracy and persistence.
    The first two are often a trade-off, though of course the brightest people are both speedy and accurate. Persistence is often an ignored characteristic, though it is a key part of most great intellectual achievements.
    As regards g, at higher levels of ability it account for less variance.


    1. Furneaux, W. D., Nature, 170, 37 (1952). | ISI |
    2. Furneaux, W. D. "The Determinants of Success in Intelligence Tests" (paper read to Brit. Assoc. Adv. Sci., 1955).
    3. Furneaux, W. D., Manual of Nufferno Speed Tests (Nat. Found. Educ. Res., London, 1955).
    4. Furneaux, W. D., in Intellectual Abilities and Problem Solving Behaviour in Handbook of Abnormal Psychology (edit. by Eysenck, H. J.) (Pergamon Press, London, 1960)

    Thanks for expanding on the speed, accuracy and persistence idea. And giving references!

    I am having trouble chasing down your references though. This 1967 letter gives a very similar list of references but states that there were errors in the 1952 Furneaux paper equations: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v214/n5092/abs/2141056a0.html

    This book (The Measurement of Intelligence, edited by Michael? Eysenck, copyright 1973, I actually have a copy but am having trouble finding it, I think that chapter would be a good starting point for me): https://books.google.com/books?id=wjLpCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA236&lpg=PA236
    gives a title for your first reference: Some Speed, Error and Difficulty Relationships within a Problem-solving Situation
    From which I find: https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v170/n4314/abs/170037a0.html
    It is nice that Nature assigns DOIs to its old papers. That appears to be a two page letter. Interesting, but I am having trouble drawing inferences from it.

    I am not sure I communicated my agreement with your earlier speed, accuracy, and persistence comments. I was trying to extend the idea to consider that slow speed might be an indicator of the substitution of skills (other than persistence, though that is certainly critical there) for the skill nominally being tested for. In my earlier example, g for spatial ability. For another example, I took an online autism test a while ago (identifying emotions from pictures). I scored above average (in a good way ; ), but found myself again using a more “logical” (g based IMHO) process for the harder items. I doubt that is the way most people approach that test (though I could be wrong) and my result might overstate my ability on the skill they are trying to test.

    The fundamental distinction I am trying to make is between solving a problem in the same way (or sufficiently similar) just more slowly and solving the problem using a fundamentally different approach (or skill/ability?!). The former could be viewed as changing the clock speed on a computer and I think corresponds with the point you make about persistence. For the latter envision a case where one person solves a problem using visual intuition and a quick mathematical check while another person uses an extended mathematical derivation. I think this kind of substitutabiltity could be a problem in subtests intended to measure a specific skill (e.g. spatial!). And g is a very useful Swiss army knife ; ).

    Perhaps this is a second order effect relative to the basic speed/persistence issue and should (could?) not really be considered until that has been solved? I guess I am just interested in anyone who has thought about this substitutability idea in the more general form. Furneaux seems focused on the speed side. In particular, Furneaux limits his consideration to the 10-85% range of difficulty while my personal experience is much more about the hard end of the difficulty scale.

    This seems like a fairly obvious idea to me so I presume it has been considered. Perhaps some combination of “second order effect” and “hard to test” prevents something having been done about it?

    One other thought that occurs to me. Does Furneaux’s deemphasis of higher D(ifficulty) items say something about the difficulty of creating high ceiling tests? Is it possible that the combination of substitutability and more idiosyncratic skill profiles at the high end are part of that problem?

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Good points. Sorry about the references: I took the first ones to hand, and should have searched through my own posts. Have done that now, and found this:
    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/you-want-it-good-or-you-want-it-tuesday

    This will add some content, but I agree that I did not properly answer your question. I think the question you raise would be considered a task solving strategy problem: "I have tried shape, as I did on the easier items, but that doesn't work for this more difficult problems, so I will try feature categorization". That is, you went from a modular solution to a g-loaded general strategy when the module seemed to fail you.
    My first point is that if we can find someone who solves even the difficulty problem easily, we hire them because their module does the job for us!
    Second, and more interestingly, most problem solving approaches fail when the problem is both novel and very difficult. (I cannot say what makes a problem difficult, but it probably relates to the number of items and the number of operations involved in solving it). At that point in the act of creation, people try all manner of re-framings and re-descriptions, in the hope that an analogy might open up a new line of attack. For example, I cannot assist anyone with finding new elements. Despite that, out of ignorance I can make some suggestions. For example, would anything be gained by taking the target close down to absolute zero? Would it make it easier to hit something?

    So, problem-solving strategies often become the real test. That also involves working out what problems you don't have to solve. During the Manhattan project one group started worrying that in focusing the charges they would get wear in the system which would throw out their very crucial calculations about the critical mass required. After a while a team member pointed out the obvious fact that the firing mechanism would only be used once.

    You are right that a different approach is what we generally need for very difficult problems.
    Sorry that I cannot answer all your interesting questions.
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  32. res says:
    @Miro23

    I find the ferocity of some of the replies to Damore extreme. The vehemence of the opposition is coruscating, and absolute. These issues should be matters of scholarly debate, in which the findings matter, and different interpretations contend against each other.
     
    Or maybe it's not for ferocious attacks or scholarly debate.

    It's just a difference of opinion (remember "diversity") - not something to get so excited about.
    The problem is that PC is on the way to functioning like militant Islam with regard to unbelievers and apostates.

    It’s just a difference of opinion (remember “diversity”) – not something to get so excited about.

    The supreme irony of l’affaire Damore is that was a primary point of Damore’s memo and the response was perhaps the best proof of the validity of that point possible. Hence my “inept thinkers” comment.

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    I would like, in this context, to repeat my quotation of Alfred Korzybski's declaration.

    "I have said what I have said. I have not said what I have not said".

    Intelligent, let alone constructive, discourse will not be possible until everyone understands that saying and takes care to make sure they understand what others mean.
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  33. Tom Welsh says:
    @dc.sunsets
    Your government can't even be bothered to backtrack phishing and openly criminal (fraud) phone calls you receive on a land line (said calls are undoubtedly trivially easy to trace to source.)

    Your state won't do it. Your FedGov won't do it. Your local or county won't do it.

    I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that our "public servants" can be bothered to track down rapists, murderers and armed robbers. Then again, reading the Second City Cop blog, Cook County (Chicago) doesn't even really do that, either.

    We're On. Our. Own.

    No one is insuring your foods are safe.
    No one is insuring your wealth is secure from theft (in fact, Gov't is probably the biggest single threat to it.)
    No one is keeping drunk illegals off your streets. In fact, your Sanctuary Scum do all they can to put drunk Mestizos right back behind the wheel.

    We've reached the point where government has become a black hole; resources go in, nothing of value comes back out.

    “No one is insuring your foods are safe”.

    Actually, Western governments have for decades been going out of their way to recommend actively unhealthy foods and drinks. In 1865, in 1910 and in 1939 it was clearly understood everywhere that meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, and nuts, together with some dairy and fruit, were the essential dietary items. Carbohydrates, sugars and grains in particular, were clearly understood to be fattening and probably causative of many diseases.

    Yet since the US government led the charge with its McGovern Committee Report in the 1970s, Western governments have been warning against meat, saturated fat, and other healthy foods while urging consumption of more foods made from sugars and grains. We all require about 20% of daily energy from protein, and the rest is a mixture of fats and carbs. Cut out the fats, and that means 70-80% carbs, which leads inexorably to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and for many people eventual diabetes.

    Did I mention that Senator McGovern represented a grain-producing state?

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    • Agree: Bill Jones
    • Replies: @res
    It looks like we strongly agree on this topic at least ; )
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  34. Tom Welsh says:
    @res

    It’s just a difference of opinion (remember “diversity”) – not something to get so excited about.
     
    The supreme irony of l'affaire Damore is that was a primary point of Damore's memo and the response was perhaps the best proof of the validity of that point possible. Hence my "inept thinkers" comment.

    I would like, in this context, to repeat my quotation of Alfred Korzybski’s declaration.

    “I have said what I have said. I have not said what I have not said”.

    Intelligent, let alone constructive, discourse will not be possible until everyone understands that saying and takes care to make sure they understand what others mean.

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    • Replies: @res
    That is a good quote. Perhaps I am being a bit dense, but I don't see the applicability to my comment 32. Especially given that I was not responding to you. Perhaps you could elaborate?

    If anything the obligation to understand lies first with those criticizing Damore's memo.
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  35. I glanced through the article, and was unable to understand it, was even unable to understand in what direction the writer wants to go.
    Then I googled the memo, the memo that caused the fuss.
    Again, no idea what it is about.
    I can only think ‘God bless America’, the USA does need blessing.

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  36. @res
    Thanks for expanding on the speed, accuracy and persistence idea. And giving references!

    I am having trouble chasing down your references though. This 1967 letter gives a very similar list of references but states that there were errors in the 1952 Furneaux paper equations: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v214/n5092/abs/2141056a0.html

    This book (The Measurement of Intelligence, edited by Michael? Eysenck, copyright 1973, I actually have a copy but am having trouble finding it, I think that chapter would be a good starting point for me): https://books.google.com/books?id=wjLpCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA236&lpg=PA236
    gives a title for your first reference: Some Speed, Error and Difficulty Relationships within a Problem-solving Situation
    From which I find: https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v170/n4314/abs/170037a0.html
    It is nice that Nature assigns DOIs to its old papers. That appears to be a two page letter. Interesting, but I am having trouble drawing inferences from it.

    I am not sure I communicated my agreement with your earlier speed, accuracy, and persistence comments. I was trying to extend the idea to consider that slow speed might be an indicator of the substitution of skills (other than persistence, though that is certainly critical there) for the skill nominally being tested for. In my earlier example, g for spatial ability. For another example, I took an online autism test a while ago (identifying emotions from pictures). I scored above average (in a good way ; ), but found myself again using a more "logical" (g based IMHO) process for the harder items. I doubt that is the way most people approach that test (though I could be wrong) and my result might overstate my ability on the skill they are trying to test.

    The fundamental distinction I am trying to make is between solving a problem in the same way (or sufficiently similar) just more slowly and solving the problem using a fundamentally different approach (or skill/ability?!). The former could be viewed as changing the clock speed on a computer and I think corresponds with the point you make about persistence. For the latter envision a case where one person solves a problem using visual intuition and a quick mathematical check while another person uses an extended mathematical derivation. I think this kind of substitutabiltity could be a problem in subtests intended to measure a specific skill (e.g. spatial!). And g is a very useful Swiss army knife ; ).

    Perhaps this is a second order effect relative to the basic speed/persistence issue and should (could?) not really be considered until that has been solved? I guess I am just interested in anyone who has thought about this substitutability idea in the more general form. Furneaux seems focused on the speed side. In particular, Furneaux limits his consideration to the 10-85% range of difficulty while my personal experience is much more about the hard end of the difficulty scale.

    This seems like a fairly obvious idea to me so I presume it has been considered. Perhaps some combination of "second order effect" and "hard to test" prevents something having been done about it?

    One other thought that occurs to me. Does Furneaux's deemphasis of higher D(ifficulty) items say something about the difficulty of creating high ceiling tests? Is it possible that the combination of substitutability and more idiosyncratic skill profiles at the high end are part of that problem?

    Good points. Sorry about the references: I took the first ones to hand, and should have searched through my own posts. Have done that now, and found this:

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/you-want-it-good-or-you-want-it-tuesday

    This will add some content, but I agree that I did not properly answer your question. I think the question you raise would be considered a task solving strategy problem: “I have tried shape, as I did on the easier items, but that doesn’t work for this more difficult problems, so I will try feature categorization”. That is, you went from a modular solution to a g-loaded general strategy when the module seemed to fail you.
    My first point is that if we can find someone who solves even the difficulty problem easily, we hire them because their module does the job for us!
    Second, and more interestingly, most problem solving approaches fail when the problem is both novel and very difficult. (I cannot say what makes a problem difficult, but it probably relates to the number of items and the number of operations involved in solving it). At that point in the act of creation, people try all manner of re-framings and re-descriptions, in the hope that an analogy might open up a new line of attack. For example, I cannot assist anyone with finding new elements. Despite that, out of ignorance I can make some suggestions. For example, would anything be gained by taking the target close down to absolute zero? Would it make it easier to hit something?

    So, problem-solving strategies often become the real test. That also involves working out what problems you don’t have to solve. During the Manhattan project one group started worrying that in focusing the charges they would get wear in the system which would throw out their very crucial calculations about the critical mass required. After a while a team member pointed out the obvious fact that the firing mechanism would only be used once.

    You are right that a different approach is what we generally need for very difficult problems.
    Sorry that I cannot answer all your interesting questions.

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    • Replies: @res
    That response was very helpful (and the elaborations exactly on point). Thank you. I need to spend some time with your link later.

    If I might make another analogy. Say I want to measure lower body strength by measuring vertical jump. The first question is whether it should be standing or running. The latter has many more possibilities for substitution so let's use the former. Even there we have issues of technique and other areas of strength (e.g. a powerful arm swing). If what we truly care about is solely lower body strength we might not have the best metric. Then there is the issue of the relationship to weight. Do we really care about absolute or relative strength?

    This is exactly the key question: is this true--"we hire them because their module does the job for us!"
    In other words, are we measuring the right thing?
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Indeed res has raised interesttng questions and I shall folliw up on your answer too I hope, eventually.

    Looking at my own past experience (in respect of which I should probably exhibit the same civilised modesty as Tom Welsh) I recall, for example, finding that I could win money at poker from Oxbridge contemporaries. But I also remember that I had read the extensive poker section in Scarne on Card Games and, unlike some, never drank much while playing. I think that perhaps fits with the fact that once I had learned the rules for mathematics (I can only testify reliably on the symbol rather than geometric figure based maths up to differenial and integral calculus, applied mathemaics Newton would have recognised and a year of business graduate statistics) I could and did finish exam papers in well under the time limit.

    Bridge I read up but it was perhaps a wish for perfectionism in detail that put me off ever becoming a regular. When it came to the kind of mathematical puzzles that Martin Gardner's delightful books contained they seem to have only required a time for solution that wouldn't run up against any of my anti-time-wasting or frustration or boredom barriers. BUT... this is my emphasis here, I often resorted after initial thoughts to scribbling on paper rather than doing everything in my head. Maybe if I had an IQ of 200 I would never have needed the paper??

    The kind of puzzle I refer to is that delightful one involving the vicar, the bishop, the trio in the garden and the ultimate question "how old is the vicar?". It was thrown at me by a school friend from decades earlier to shut me up after drinking a bottle of wine on our old friends' not very tough camping holiday. I needed to scribble on napkins and it took me 40 minutes but at least I felt better when someone at NASA said it had taken him/her an hour. After all that anecdotal mildly self'congratulatoty chatter let me direct attention to the related question which is as to the significance of needing or not needing props like pieces of paper to record one's workings and rule off wrong turns in calculations and puzzle solving????

    *** *** ***
    One of the pleasures of following the threads from your articles is the absence from them of the swarm of assertive maddies ànd saddies that infest any thread that allows for dreary anti-Semitic clichés to be wheeled out and conspiracy theories brandished. Could it be that they are inhibited by consciousness of their unimpressive IQ scores unrelieved by contrasting worldly success? Mind you, when they wake up they will realise that this whole IQ business has become an Anglo-Zionist conspiracy run by the descendants of Ellis Island illiterates (in English) and managed for them by poor wage slaves like you.
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  37. @Peripatetic commenter
    I started reading https://people.ok.ubc.ca/lgabora/papers/Gabora-Russon-EOI-2011.pdf

    and found this:

    The more we learn about nonhuman intelligence, however, the more we find that abilities previously thought to be uniquely human are not. For example, it was thought until the 1960s that humans alone make tools. But then Jane Goodall (1963) found wild chimpanzees making them. Later, several other species were found making tools too (Beck, 1980). Thus, ideas about what marks the boundary between human and nonhuman intelligence have undergone repeated
     
    There is an enormous qualitative difference between the tools that Chimps (or other primates) use and something like, say, https://www.thoughtco.com/acheulean-handaxe-first-tool-171238.

    What is the use of making such statements? Chimps are not going to suddenly start making screw drivers or knives or bows and arrows etc. Is it thought that all other tool making is layered on top of the neural support Chimps use for making their very primitive tools?

    Agree that their comment about tool making chimps is only interesting to refute an absolute: “no other species make tools”. It should be followed up with “how many tools, and how good are they?”

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    • Replies: @Marshall Lentini

    It should be followed up with “how many tools, and how good are they?”

     

    The tools - just repurposed objects, though there is occasional modification - are exactly suited to their purposes: sticks for termite-fishing, stones for nut-cracking, leaves for bivouacking or bedding, etc. That they don't make nutcrackers is no argument against tool-use as such.

    And this is not only chimps, but all of the great apes. Orangutans have used sticks for fishing, getting honey, or scooping seeds out of fruits covered in spiny hair. For the latter two tasks, they actually strip the bark. Gorillas use sticks as crutches for certain tasks.

    nor are we directly descended from chimps.
     
    Again: we are not descended from chimps.

    Is it thought that all other tool making is layered on top of the neural support Chimps use for making their very primitive tools?

    It isn't "thought that", it is that, otherwise the human brain was created, i.e. without antecedents or prior evolutionary scaffolding.
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  38. schrub says:
    @Priss Factor
    In the news it's said Daily Stormer is no longer protected by Cloudflare.

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/17/technology/business/cloudflare-drops-daily-stormer/

    It seems this company protects sites from cyberattacks.

    Why isn't the government in the business of doing that?

    Cyberattacks, as I understand it, are illegal, even criminal. Then, it should be the role of the state to protect the internet from such attacks. Why should private companies do the bulk of that job?

    No loss.

    The Daily Stormer was so outlandish and extreme that the first time I read it, I immediately thought it was a disinformation site put up and paid for by someone connected to either the ADL or the government. (AKA, sorta of like all the faux Nazi sites.)

    The ADL is probably contacting the ACLU right now to get the site back up.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    I don't mind DS not existing.

    The question is IF they can go after DS, where does it end?

    Look how Canadian 'hate speech laws' began with silencing 'Neo-Nazis'(fake ones, btw) and then spread to going after those who don't use proper pronouns.

    Self-Righteous Addiction created all these Self-Righteous Junkies.
    , @Priss Factor
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soKJS8gUyvk

    Look at the video. Jordan Peterson is light yr away from Daily Stormer idiocy.
    He's not even much of a conservative. He's essentially an anti-radical and he opposes radicalism on all sides. He mostly argues against the 'left' because he works in academia which is filled with PC.

    But even this guy, who is in no shape or form a 'neo-nazi', was targeted by Google, and his account was restored ONLY BECAUSE of public outrage and some good people(principled Libs) inside Google.

    What is interesting is Google never gave him an answer as to why his account was suspended or shut down. It's like Joseph K was never told why he was being tried in Kafka's THE TRIAL.

    Google is the Castle.. or the Goostle.

    , @Bill Jones
    I've always ssumued it was a false flag Zionist operation.
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  39. res says:
    @szopen
    Well, I was looking for people-vs-things preference differences expressed in easily calculable terms (i.e. something in terms of "men are rated as 10 on this trait, with SD 2, while women as 8, with SD 1.8") but I couldn't; Can anyone help?

    The best I could found was the study which claimed that in people-vs-things rating, within the top 25% of topc scorers - which would be, if I understood correctly, people who are the most interested in things (as contrasted with "interested in people") ratio of women to men is 0.287. That would mean there would be around 78% men, 22% women.

    Now, the question is what is the cutoff for going to STEM, ie. what is average "things" preference for people to decide to follow career in STEM (or, more specifically, in engineering and computer science). Depending on value of this cutoff, the gap in CS and engineering might be, indeed, completely explained away by difference in people-vs-things interest, or even might imply men are discriminated against, HOWEVER, seeing as some of those preferences are calculated, I wonder whether it is not a kind of circular argument, kind of "there are more men into computer-related work, because more men are interested in computers".

    Also, it seems that i saw in one study taht this difference decreases with age, which is strange. This would contradict the theory that the preference is driven by the social expectations (because, then "sexist" expectations would cause is to go up with age) but this could be explained by "it is caused by biology" theory; HOWEVER, the bad thing and the weakness is that "it's caused by biology" could be used to justify BOTH increasing and decreasing the gap - a realisation which leaves bad taste in my mouth.

    Anyway I'd love to see
    (1) studies quantifying the differences on a scale, not saying "the effect is large with Cohen's d=1.23"
    (2) studies looking at specifically computer science and comparing their preferences with general population
    (3) studies measuring the trait in very early age

    Interesting and thoughtful comment. I am having trouble understanding what you want though when I see these two statements juxtaposed:

    Well, I was looking for people-vs-things preference differences expressed in easily calculable terms (i.e. something in terms of “men are rated as 10 on this trait, with SD 2, while women as 8, with SD 1.8″) but I couldn’t; Can anyone help?

    (1) studies quantifying the differences on a scale, not saying “the effect is large with Cohen’s d=1.23″

    Cohen’s d seems to be the preferred way to quantify these differences. Could you be more specific about what you want (exactly your first paragraph?)? Does this Cohen’s d visualizer help you answer any of your questions? http://rpsychologist.com/d3/cohend/

    Lippa 2010 quoted in an earlier post by Dr. Thompson gives a d of 1.18 for the sex difference on people-things for what that is worth. That roughly means the means of the two groups are 1.18 SD apart.

    If you are looking for results in the mean/SD format you gave it is probably better to look at individual studies than meta-studies. But then you lose the benefit of the greater sample sizes. I have seen data in that form elsewhere (e.g. some physical difference comments I have made recently), but not for people-things. Part of the problem might be that if I understand correctly people-things is not a real world measurement (is it a Z score or what?) so the mean/SD is not tremendously useful by itself (contrast with something like vertical jump).

    Now, the question is what is the cutoff for going to STEM, ie. what is average “things” preference for people to decide to follow career in STEM (or, more specifically, in engineering and computer science). Depending on value of this cutoff, the gap in CS and engineering might be, indeed, completely explained away by difference in people-vs-things interest, or even might imply men are discriminated against, HOWEVER, seeing as some of those preferences are calculated, I wonder whether it is not a kind of circular argument, kind of “there are more men into computer-related work, because more men are interested in computers”.

    I have been using 2SD (~top 2%) as an off the cuff estimate for computer science, but that may very well be a bit high. I think of it as a fuzzy rather than sharp threshold, but use the sharp assumption to estimate representation.

    The circular argument concern is interesting. Here are definitions of people and things from Prediger 1982: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223519841_Dimensions_underlying_Holland’s_hexagon_Missing_link_between_interests_and_occupations

    “Things tusks: Nonpersonal tasks involving machines, materials, tools, biological mechanisms, and so forth” (p. 22). Bricklayers, laboratory technicians, and bus drivers work mainly with things.
    “People tusks: Interpersonal tasks such as caring for, persuading, entertaining, or directing others (including animals treated as if they were human)” (p. 22). Elementary school teachers, social workers, and vocational counselors work mainly with people.

    Regarding your:

    (2) studies looking at specifically computer science and comparing their preferences with general population

    I would love to see this as well. Anyone?

    (3) studies measuring the trait in very early age

    Seems to me Dr. Thompson addressed this above: https://www.unz.com/jthompson/google-culture-wars/#p_1_30

    I am surprised there is not more research about this considering how significant the people-things sex difference is in children anecdotally.

    Read More
    • Replies: @szopen
    Thanks a lot for a link to "interpretating cohen's d"! FInally I understood the concept :D

    However, the problem with COhen's d is that it assumes - if I am not mistaken - the equal standard deviations, while I think it is quite likely that variation is bigger in males, as usual with many other traits. That would mean that using "d" would not truly reflect the ratios of population over some cutoff, am i right?
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  40. res says:
    @James Thompson
    Good points. Sorry about the references: I took the first ones to hand, and should have searched through my own posts. Have done that now, and found this:
    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/you-want-it-good-or-you-want-it-tuesday

    This will add some content, but I agree that I did not properly answer your question. I think the question you raise would be considered a task solving strategy problem: "I have tried shape, as I did on the easier items, but that doesn't work for this more difficult problems, so I will try feature categorization". That is, you went from a modular solution to a g-loaded general strategy when the module seemed to fail you.
    My first point is that if we can find someone who solves even the difficulty problem easily, we hire them because their module does the job for us!
    Second, and more interestingly, most problem solving approaches fail when the problem is both novel and very difficult. (I cannot say what makes a problem difficult, but it probably relates to the number of items and the number of operations involved in solving it). At that point in the act of creation, people try all manner of re-framings and re-descriptions, in the hope that an analogy might open up a new line of attack. For example, I cannot assist anyone with finding new elements. Despite that, out of ignorance I can make some suggestions. For example, would anything be gained by taking the target close down to absolute zero? Would it make it easier to hit something?

    So, problem-solving strategies often become the real test. That also involves working out what problems you don't have to solve. During the Manhattan project one group started worrying that in focusing the charges they would get wear in the system which would throw out their very crucial calculations about the critical mass required. After a while a team member pointed out the obvious fact that the firing mechanism would only be used once.

    You are right that a different approach is what we generally need for very difficult problems.
    Sorry that I cannot answer all your interesting questions.

    That response was very helpful (and the elaborations exactly on point). Thank you. I need to spend some time with your link later.

    If I might make another analogy. Say I want to measure lower body strength by measuring vertical jump. The first question is whether it should be standing or running. The latter has many more possibilities for substitution so let’s use the former. Even there we have issues of technique and other areas of strength (e.g. a powerful arm swing). If what we truly care about is solely lower body strength we might not have the best metric. Then there is the issue of the relationship to weight. Do we really care about absolute or relative strength?

    This is exactly the key question: is this true–”we hire them because their module does the job for us!”
    In other words, are we measuring the right thing?

    Read More
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  41. res says:
    @Tom Welsh
    I would like, in this context, to repeat my quotation of Alfred Korzybski's declaration.

    "I have said what I have said. I have not said what I have not said".

    Intelligent, let alone constructive, discourse will not be possible until everyone understands that saying and takes care to make sure they understand what others mean.

    That is a good quote. Perhaps I am being a bit dense, but I don’t see the applicability to my comment 32. Especially given that I was not responding to you. Perhaps you could elaborate?

    If anything the obligation to understand lies first with those criticizing Damore’s memo.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    I'm not quite sure either, in retrospect! Maybe I just liked the quotation so much that I just had to repeat it... 8-)

    I think, on the whole, I was again trying to express my agreement with your point, and perhaps to drive it home.
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  42. res says:
    @Tom Welsh
    "No one is insuring your foods are safe".

    Actually, Western governments have for decades been going out of their way to recommend actively unhealthy foods and drinks. In 1865, in 1910 and in 1939 it was clearly understood everywhere that meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, and nuts, together with some dairy and fruit, were the essential dietary items. Carbohydrates, sugars and grains in particular, were clearly understood to be fattening and probably causative of many diseases.

    Yet since the US government led the charge with its McGovern Committee Report in the 1970s, Western governments have been warning against meat, saturated fat, and other healthy foods while urging consumption of more foods made from sugars and grains. We all require about 20% of daily energy from protein, and the rest is a mixture of fats and carbs. Cut out the fats, and that means 70-80% carbs, which leads inexorably to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, and for many people eventual diabetes.

    Did I mention that Senator McGovern represented a grain-producing state?

    It looks like we strongly agree on this topic at least ; )

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    Yes, we certainly do agree! I am sorry if I was unclear. In these discussions it is all too easy to get wound up and be misunderstood.
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  43. @James Thompson
    Agree that their comment about tool making chimps is only interesting to refute an absolute: "no other species make tools". It should be followed up with "how many tools, and how good are they?"

    It should be followed up with “how many tools, and how good are they?”

    The tools – just repurposed objects, though there is occasional modification – are exactly suited to their purposes: sticks for termite-fishing, stones for nut-cracking, leaves for bivouacking or bedding, etc. That they don’t make nutcrackers is no argument against tool-use as such.

    And this is not only chimps, but all of the great apes. Orangutans have used sticks for fishing, getting honey, or scooping seeds out of fruits covered in spiny hair. For the latter two tasks, they actually strip the bark. Gorillas use sticks as crutches for certain tasks.

    nor are we directly descended from chimps.

    Again: we are not descended from chimps.

    Is it thought that all other tool making is layered on top of the neural support Chimps use for making their very primitive tools?

    It isn’t “thought that”, it is that, otherwise the human brain was created, i.e. without antecedents or prior evolutionary scaffolding.

    Read More
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  44. Tom Welsh says:
    @res
    It looks like we strongly agree on this topic at least ; )

    Yes, we certainly do agree! I am sorry if I was unclear. In these discussions it is all too easy to get wound up and be misunderstood.

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  45. Tom Welsh says:
    @res
    That is a good quote. Perhaps I am being a bit dense, but I don't see the applicability to my comment 32. Especially given that I was not responding to you. Perhaps you could elaborate?

    If anything the obligation to understand lies first with those criticizing Damore's memo.

    I’m not quite sure either, in retrospect! Maybe I just liked the quotation so much that I just had to repeat it… 8-)

    I think, on the whole, I was again trying to express my agreement with your point, and perhaps to drive it home.

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  46. @schrub
    No loss.

    The Daily Stormer was so outlandish and extreme that the first time I read it, I immediately thought it was a disinformation site put up and paid for by someone connected to either the ADL or the government. (AKA, sorta of like all the faux Nazi sites.)

    The ADL is probably contacting the ACLU right now to get the site back up.

    I don’t mind DS not existing.

    The question is IF they can go after DS, where does it end?

    Look how Canadian ‘hate speech laws’ began with silencing ‘Neo-Nazis’(fake ones, btw) and then spread to going after those who don’t use proper pronouns.

    Self-Righteous Addiction created all these Self-Righteous Junkies.

    Read More
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  47. @Tom Welsh
    "Is it thought that all other tool making is layered on top of the neural support Chimps use for making their very primitive tools?"

    Yes. Although of course we are not chimps, nor are we directly descended from chimps. The human brain is immensely flexible and adaptable, and once the practice of solving problems by making tools became established, a whole vast new world opened up. Note that people were making stone tools for a very, very long time before the first metals were discovered. Note also that many of the human race's greatest discoveries may have been made only once or twice before spreading worldwide.

    One serious weakness that most humans suffer from is an inability to visualize long periods of time. Just as, to the average citizen, a million, a billion, and a trillion are all more or less just "lots and lots", most of us really cannot conceive of a million years or what might happen in such a time. At about three generations per century, a million years represents about 30,000 generations. A mere 50 generations ago the Roman Empire was still flourishing.

    What? 3 generations a century? That would mean people are having kids in their 30s…. Which didnt happen until this last century. Its more like 4-5, maybe even 6, generations a century.

    I agree humans can’t visualize large spans of time. Plus, a very large minority think the world was created 2017 years ago, so that doesn’t help.

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    The Shiteelas of course are reproducing at age 15/16 so 6 would be about rght.
    , @Tom Welsh
    Good point about the length of generations. That's a rule of thumb I picked up when studying history, and as you say in primitive times there were probably more generations per century.

    But that doesn't weaken my argument - if anything, it strengthens it.
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  48. I find the ferocity of some of the replies to Damore extreme. The vehemence of the opposition is coruscating, and absolute. These issues should be matters of scholarly debate, in which the findings matter, and different interpretations contend against each other. Expressing different opinions should be a cue for debate, not outrage.

    this is why I support him.

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  49. @schrub
    No loss.

    The Daily Stormer was so outlandish and extreme that the first time I read it, I immediately thought it was a disinformation site put up and paid for by someone connected to either the ADL or the government. (AKA, sorta of like all the faux Nazi sites.)

    The ADL is probably contacting the ACLU right now to get the site back up.

    Look at the video. Jordan Peterson is light yr away from Daily Stormer idiocy.
    He’s not even much of a conservative. He’s essentially an anti-radical and he opposes radicalism on all sides. He mostly argues against the ‘left’ because he works in academia which is filled with PC.

    But even this guy, who is in no shape or form a ‘neo-nazi’, was targeted by Google, and his account was restored ONLY BECAUSE of public outrage and some good people(principled Libs) inside Google.

    What is interesting is Google never gave him an answer as to why his account was suspended or shut down. It’s like Joseph K was never told why he was being tried in Kafka’s THE TRIAL.

    Google is the Castle.. or the Goostle.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    What is interesting is Google never gave him an answer as to why his account was suspended or shut down.
     
    Why would they have been able to tell him when even the CEO of Google could not explain the firing of James Damore except, as the New York Times reported, by resort to crass medancity:

    He [Pichai] fired Damore and wrote, “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K.”

    That is a blatantly dishonest characterization of the memo. Damore wrote nothing like that about his Google colleagues. Either Pichai is unprepared to understand the research (unlikely), is not capable of handling complex data flows (a bad trait in a C.E.O.) or was simply too afraid to stand up to a mob.
     

    Probably Jordan Peterson's account was blocked by the same one-dollar-an-hour Tunisian moderators that Zuck employs. They probably don't understand the English language.

    The point of the exercise is surely not to evaluate content but to intimidate users so that they self censor anything that they think might offend someone. Thus does Political Correctness trump free speech.

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  50. The bigger question is why Homo Sapiens is the only primate on the planet where The female is expected to be equal to the male.

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  51. Art says:

    The whole argument “for equality” is fundamentally flawed – it is the wrong goal.

    As individuals we humans want to be different – not equal. We want to bring something different to the table of social interaction. People who are equal have nothing to give to each other.

    Our goal is to find a niche for ourselves – there is room for all different capabilities in a rational society. There is only so much need for rocket scientists.

    Proving that men and women are equal is fools work.

    Smart people will endeavor to prove that all work is of value – and deserving of a living compensation.

    Peace — Art

    p.s. No matter our intellectual capabilities, for 99% of us – doing a good job of raising our children – is the most lasting thing that we can ever do. They are our true legacy – what we do on the job is all too soon lost in the evolution of business.

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    • Replies: @Negrolphin Pool
    I guess Google never got the comparative advantage memo, presumably, they fired its author. Instead, Google seeks diversity. You know, the enforcement of equal outcomes on all groups. With diversity, everyone's exactly the same.

    And wouldn't it be great if everyone was exactly the same, (since they already are)? If everyone was just like you, it would be like hanging out with yourself all the time, just like solitary confinement or being marooned on a desolate island.

    , @Wizard of Oz
    I don't often agree with you but
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  52. @James Thompson
    Assumed that, and found as I looked at it again earlier this evening that I had forgotten a lot about it!

    Cspan had an excellent two hour or so interview of the guy on one of their weekend book shows a decade or so ago.
    Worth the search and a download of at least the audio.

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  53. szopen says:
    @res
    Interesting and thoughtful comment. I am having trouble understanding what you want though when I see these two statements juxtaposed:

    Well, I was looking for people-vs-things preference differences expressed in easily calculable terms (i.e. something in terms of “men are rated as 10 on this trait, with SD 2, while women as 8, with SD 1.8″) but I couldn’t; Can anyone help?
     

    (1) studies quantifying the differences on a scale, not saying “the effect is large with Cohen’s d=1.23″
     
    Cohen's d seems to be the preferred way to quantify these differences. Could you be more specific about what you want (exactly your first paragraph?)? Does this Cohen's d visualizer help you answer any of your questions? http://rpsychologist.com/d3/cohend/

    Lippa 2010 quoted in an earlier post by Dr. Thompson gives a d of 1.18 for the sex difference on people-things for what that is worth. That roughly means the means of the two groups are 1.18 SD apart.

    If you are looking for results in the mean/SD format you gave it is probably better to look at individual studies than meta-studies. But then you lose the benefit of the greater sample sizes. I have seen data in that form elsewhere (e.g. some physical difference comments I have made recently), but not for people-things. Part of the problem might be that if I understand correctly people-things is not a real world measurement (is it a Z score or what?) so the mean/SD is not tremendously useful by itself (contrast with something like vertical jump).

    Now, the question is what is the cutoff for going to STEM, ie. what is average “things” preference for people to decide to follow career in STEM (or, more specifically, in engineering and computer science). Depending on value of this cutoff, the gap in CS and engineering might be, indeed, completely explained away by difference in people-vs-things interest, or even might imply men are discriminated against, HOWEVER, seeing as some of those preferences are calculated, I wonder whether it is not a kind of circular argument, kind of “there are more men into computer-related work, because more men are interested in computers”.
     
    I have been using 2SD (~top 2%) as an off the cuff estimate for computer science, but that may very well be a bit high. I think of it as a fuzzy rather than sharp threshold, but use the sharp assumption to estimate representation.

    The circular argument concern is interesting. Here are definitions of people and things from Prediger 1982: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223519841_Dimensions_underlying_Holland's_hexagon_Missing_link_between_interests_and_occupations

    “Things tusks: Nonpersonal tasks involving machines, materials, tools, biological mechanisms, and so forth” (p. 22). Bricklayers, laboratory technicians, and bus drivers work mainly with things.
    “People tusks: Interpersonal tasks such as caring for, persuading, entertaining, or directing others (including animals treated as if they were human)” (p. 22). Elementary school teachers, social workers, and vocational counselors work mainly with people.
     
    Regarding your:

    (2) studies looking at specifically computer science and comparing their preferences with general population
     
    I would love to see this as well. Anyone?

    (3) studies measuring the trait in very early age
     
    Seems to me Dr. Thompson addressed this above: https://www.unz.com/jthompson/google-culture-wars/#p_1_30

    I am surprised there is not more research about this considering how significant the people-things sex difference is in children anecdotally.

    Thanks a lot for a link to “interpretating cohen’s d”! FInally I understood the concept :D

    However, the problem with COhen’s d is that it assumes – if I am not mistaken – the equal standard deviations, while I think it is quite likely that variation is bigger in males, as usual with many other traits. That would mean that using “d” would not truly reflect the ratios of population over some cutoff, am i right?

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    • Replies: @res
    My understanding is the official definition of Cohen's d uses the pooled SDs of the subpopulations, but I am not sure how rigorously that subtlety is observed. For example, this page gives them as alternate definitions: https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Cohen%27s_d

    I am not sure how much of a difference that makes in practice. That might be a good thing to investigate with some simulations.
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  54. @schrub
    No loss.

    The Daily Stormer was so outlandish and extreme that the first time I read it, I immediately thought it was a disinformation site put up and paid for by someone connected to either the ADL or the government. (AKA, sorta of like all the faux Nazi sites.)

    The ADL is probably contacting the ACLU right now to get the site back up.

    I’ve always ssumued it was a false flag Zionist operation.

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  55. @Delinquent Snail
    What? 3 generations a century? That would mean people are having kids in their 30s.... Which didnt happen until this last century. Its more like 4-5, maybe even 6, generations a century.

    I agree humans can't visualize large spans of time. Plus, a very large minority think the world was created 2017 years ago, so that doesn't help.

    The Shiteelas of course are reproducing at age 15/16 so 6 would be about rght.

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  56. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Priss Factor
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soKJS8gUyvk

    Look at the video. Jordan Peterson is light yr away from Daily Stormer idiocy.
    He's not even much of a conservative. He's essentially an anti-radical and he opposes radicalism on all sides. He mostly argues against the 'left' because he works in academia which is filled with PC.

    But even this guy, who is in no shape or form a 'neo-nazi', was targeted by Google, and his account was restored ONLY BECAUSE of public outrage and some good people(principled Libs) inside Google.

    What is interesting is Google never gave him an answer as to why his account was suspended or shut down. It's like Joseph K was never told why he was being tried in Kafka's THE TRIAL.

    Google is the Castle.. or the Goostle.

    What is interesting is Google never gave him an answer as to why his account was suspended or shut down.

    Why would they have been able to tell him when even the CEO of Google could not explain the firing of James Damore except, as the New York Times reported, by resort to crass medancity:

    He [Pichai] fired Damore and wrote, “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K.”

    That is a blatantly dishonest characterization of the memo. Damore wrote nothing like that about his Google colleagues. Either Pichai is unprepared to understand the research (unlikely), is not capable of handling complex data flows (a bad trait in a C.E.O.) or was simply too afraid to stand up to a mob.

    Probably Jordan Peterson’s account was blocked by the same one-dollar-an-hour Tunisian moderators that Zuck employs. They probably don’t understand the English language.

    The point of the exercise is surely not to evaluate content but to intimidate users so that they self censor anything that they think might offend someone. Thus does Political Correctness trump free speech.

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    "To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K.”

    Even if it demonstrably true.

    Can't let reality get in the way of the religion , can we?
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  57. res says:
    @szopen
    Thanks a lot for a link to "interpretating cohen's d"! FInally I understood the concept :D

    However, the problem with COhen's d is that it assumes - if I am not mistaken - the equal standard deviations, while I think it is quite likely that variation is bigger in males, as usual with many other traits. That would mean that using "d" would not truly reflect the ratios of population over some cutoff, am i right?

    My understanding is the official definition of Cohen’s d uses the pooled SDs of the subpopulations, but I am not sure how rigorously that subtlety is observed. For example, this page gives them as alternate definitions: https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Cohen%27s_d

    I am not sure how much of a difference that makes in practice. That might be a good thing to investigate with some simulations.

    Read More
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  58. @CanSpeccy

    What is interesting is Google never gave him an answer as to why his account was suspended or shut down.
     
    Why would they have been able to tell him when even the CEO of Google could not explain the firing of James Damore except, as the New York Times reported, by resort to crass medancity:

    He [Pichai] fired Damore and wrote, “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K.”

    That is a blatantly dishonest characterization of the memo. Damore wrote nothing like that about his Google colleagues. Either Pichai is unprepared to understand the research (unlikely), is not capable of handling complex data flows (a bad trait in a C.E.O.) or was simply too afraid to stand up to a mob.
     

    Probably Jordan Peterson's account was blocked by the same one-dollar-an-hour Tunisian moderators that Zuck employs. They probably don't understand the English language.

    The point of the exercise is surely not to evaluate content but to intimidate users so that they self censor anything that they think might offend someone. Thus does Political Correctness trump free speech.

    “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K.”

    Even if it demonstrably true.

    Can’t let reality get in the way of the religion , can we?

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  59. Wally says:
    @wayfarer
    "Google Memo: Fired Employee Speaks Out!"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN1vEfqHGro&t

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxIw9fyIK_c
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  60. Globalism is diversity of elites ruling over diversity of masses. DOE over DOM.

    Diversity of Elites live in their Elysium World. Diversity of Masses live in squalor.

    When White Imperialists used to ban non-white elites from Elite Western World, non-white elites identified with their own non-white masses and led them, often with resentment against the white elites.
    But when white imperialists opened their club to non-white elites, the latter preferred to rub shoulders and collaborate with white elites than identify with or represent their own non-white peoples. Aristos wanna hang with other Aristos.

    Elite Diversity is nice with all the riches and privileges.
    Mass Diversity is horrible with all the crime, confusion, squalor.

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    • Replies: @Incontrovertible
    "Globalism is diversity of elites ruling over diversity of masses."

    Globalism is Jewish masters ruling over everyone else. Sundra Pichai is just a puppet, a front man put up to give the appearance of diversity at the top. He needs approval from the Jewish masters upstairs even to go to the bathroom. He may be the CEO of Google, but Google is now a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., with Larry Page firmly at the helm calling all the shots. Pichai himself is surrounded by a gaggle of Jewish direct reports. They don't call it Jewgle for nothing.

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  61. SportsFan says:

    “Differences across disciplines were relatively small within the social sciences, with a mean of 4.5 publications and 30 citations, but professors in medicine had a mean of 30 publications and 500 citations. Contrary to the hypothesis, male professors had about 80% more publications and 40% more citations than female in the social sciences, and in medicine the males had about 60% more publications and 200% more citations. There were no significant sex differences in impact factor.”

    This is consistent with my experience. At a major conference in my field, the vast majority of the winners of the major awards in past years have been male. This year, the year of the First Woman President (that was not to be), most of the annual career awards were given to female scientists. The remarkable thing was that they had fewer than 50%, and in some cases, closer to 33% of the publications of the male winners of previous years, and in general, sort of run-of-the-mill CVs with modest h-indices that wouldn’t merit male a candidate a second glance. It truly is a different standard.

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  62. Wally says:
    @wayfarer
    "Google Memo: Fired Employee Speaks Out!"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN1vEfqHGro&t

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxIw9fyIK_c
    Read More
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  63. @Art
    The whole argument “for equality” is fundamentally flawed – it is the wrong goal.

    As individuals we humans want to be different – not equal. We want to bring something different to the table of social interaction. People who are equal have nothing to give to each other.


    Our goal is to find a niche for ourselves – there is room for all different capabilities in a rational society. There is only so much need for rocket scientists.

    Proving that men and women are equal is fools work.

    Smart people will endeavor to prove that all work is of value – and deserving of a living compensation.

    Peace --- Art

    p.s. No matter our intellectual capabilities, for 99% of us – doing a good job of raising our children – is the most lasting thing that we can ever do. They are our true legacy – what we do on the job is all too soon lost in the evolution of business.

    I guess Google never got the comparative advantage memo, presumably, they fired its author. Instead, Google seeks diversity. You know, the enforcement of equal outcomes on all groups. With diversity, everyone’s exactly the same.

    And wouldn’t it be great if everyone was exactly the same, (since they already are)? If everyone was just like you, it would be like hanging out with yourself all the time, just like solitary confinement or being marooned on a desolate island.

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  64. @Art
    The whole argument “for equality” is fundamentally flawed – it is the wrong goal.

    As individuals we humans want to be different – not equal. We want to bring something different to the table of social interaction. People who are equal have nothing to give to each other.


    Our goal is to find a niche for ourselves – there is room for all different capabilities in a rational society. There is only so much need for rocket scientists.

    Proving that men and women are equal is fools work.

    Smart people will endeavor to prove that all work is of value – and deserving of a living compensation.

    Peace --- Art

    p.s. No matter our intellectual capabilities, for 99% of us – doing a good job of raising our children – is the most lasting thing that we can ever do. They are our true legacy – what we do on the job is all too soon lost in the evolution of business.

    I don’t often agree with you but

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  65. @James Thompson
    Dear Tom,
    An IQ of 160 is only found in 1 in 31,560 persons, being higher than 99.9976142490% of the population. This is more than a 60% advantage over the average citizen. IQ points are not percentages.
    The work of Benbow and Lubinski shows that the higher the intelligence the greater the achievement. While other personality factors may be involved, they have yet to be shown to be as important.
    Typically, high ability people are shown to be more balanced than average, with lower rates of mental disorder.

    The proportion of the population you refer to is of course one given by an uncomplicated normal curve based on the asdumption, inter alia, of no assortative mating (or actual figures). Given Burt’s genuine data on the lump above 170 and Greg Clark’s researches which tend to explain that lump have you any data on any residual benefit the UK may be getting from itd once fertile successful classes and its welcome to bright refugees and immigrants?

    Another, barely related, question. Has any formal work been done on what might be called intelligence bottlenecks? Most obviously it would manifest itself as an interface problem. Thus you might be able to evaluate the logic of spoken words twice as fast as I but physically not able to take them in any faster at all so that someone speaking very fast would deprive you of your IQ advantage. And, perhaps a better example, your speed of speech or writing, even when good, might hold you back close to the field of hesitant non-shouters and the simply slow.

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  66. Your’s is a fair and balanced discussion of Damore’s Google-memo.

    I try to make an additional point:

    Damore did not assume, to make a scientific statement (a statement, that helps science advance), but a statement, that makes proper use of science in order to solve a practical question.

    a) You wish for people, who try to do this.

    b) You don’t expect, that such a use of science is correct to the n-th degree, but only to a reasonable degree. If it turns out, that somebody’s text is up to this standard, I’d say: Great. (And the inner-scientific debate would always (necessarily) progress from such a – comparably! – humble position, but maybe kind of – refreshed, because the best has happened, that can happen to social science: That smobody tries to make a proper use of it – in real life).

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  67. @Priss Factor
    Globalism is diversity of elites ruling over diversity of masses. DOE over DOM.

    Diversity of Elites live in their Elysium World. Diversity of Masses live in squalor.

    When White Imperialists used to ban non-white elites from Elite Western World, non-white elites identified with their own non-white masses and led them, often with resentment against the white elites.
    But when white imperialists opened their club to non-white elites, the latter preferred to rub shoulders and collaborate with white elites than identify with or represent their own non-white peoples. Aristos wanna hang with other Aristos.

    Elite Diversity is nice with all the riches and privileges.
    Mass Diversity is horrible with all the crime, confusion, squalor.

    “Globalism is diversity of elites ruling over diversity of masses.”

    Globalism is Jewish masters ruling over everyone else. Sundra Pichai is just a puppet, a front man put up to give the appearance of diversity at the top. He needs approval from the Jewish masters upstairs even to go to the bathroom. He may be the CEO of Google, but Google is now a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., with Larry Page firmly at the helm calling all the shots. Pichai himself is surrounded by a gaggle of Jewish direct reports. They don’t call it Jewgle for nothing.

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  68. @Tom Welsh
    I suspect that no one with enough intelligence to think clearly understands what all the fuss is about. I have never been particularly successful at anything, despite my IQ of over 160 (according to Mensa). The only clearcut effect this has had, as far as I can make out, is that most people find my conversation obscure and boring.

    If an IQ 60% above average confers no apparent practical advantage, what is the point in squabbling heatedly about hypothetical differences on the order of 1%? It is surely well established, even if it weren't glaringly obvious to common sense, that while pure intelligence is vital in some fields of work, its effects are usually swamped by those of other characteristics such as persistence, enthusiasm, charisma and empathy.

    Indeed, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the very most intelligent people are disproportionately prone to mental disorders, existential horror, and despair. There is a lot to hate and fear in the world, and most people seem to be spared the worst consequences by the simplest of defence mechanisms - a sheer failure to notice.

    Tom – interesting comment. I would have agreed with you back in the day, but I now think intelligence is as much of a shield as stupidity. (I don’t like either word, intelligence or stupidity, but that is a whole n’other comment.) For reasons too long to go into here – in part, but just in part – I grew up in a crowded house with two or three significantly unpleasant but very intelligent – not top 1 percent, but close – people in it, and as a survival strategy – I needed to think long and hard about how to keep them from being even worse than they were. I.e., I have thought a lot about really smart people, and for that reason maybe I can make a not completely un-useful reply to your comment. Greg Cochran, not a very empathetic guy, but someone who has intensely studied these things, accurately noted that the human brain is built, with all its various sets and subsets, to keep us from going too far off track: from that point of view, the more powerful the specific human brain is, the more sets and subsets of thinking there are to keep it on track: it is not like a Rolls Royce swerving back and forth on an icy lake, it is more like a very sluggish (relative to the non-sluggishness of reality, measured accurately or even fairly inaccurately) person wading through a shoulder-deep pond, full of aquatic plants (Sorry if that analogy doesn’t help, it is the best I can do at the moment to express how correct I think Cochran was. He is a friendly guy and would be glad to tell you how inaccurate my analogy was, if you ask him). The Cochran reference was point one, here is point two. Everybody is profoundly stupid about almost everything, which is why few loving parents hope their child will be a clever child with little common sense, as opposed to a not too clever child with common sense (at least on the rare occasions when a young mother named her child after me, that is how she thought! and good for her!). Sure there are people who seem smart and on top of things but that is almost always mostly a sham. So there is really nobody who needs to worry about being too smart or about the effect that being too smart might have on them. Once in a while someone, for a week or two, or at the most for, let’s say, 2 or 3 hundred afternoons, gets some small aspect of reality correct, and is able to communicate that. Good for them if they make a good career out of the skills they have learned! But: For the rest of the time, we are all just here to amuse each other. (Of course I am talking about the human limit of intelligence for 2 or 3 hundred useful afternoons, at most, in the context of simple raw and accurate intelligence, i.e., whatever it was that made people like von Neumann talk about 8 digit numbers as if every single such number was a personal friend. I am not talking about moral intelligence, which is much more common and infinitely more angelic (see Aquinas on how angels understand versus how humans understand), and about which one probably should not speak, even if one does know what it is to live a life never having had a friend in this world for the first few decades but having, one day, after many years, realized that one had such a friend. (Suffering, too, protects us, in this sublunar world, albeit too much suffering is always a tragedy, and the phrase “too little suffering” is not a phrase that a decent person would ever want to pronounce.) (2 or 3 hundred useful afternoons is a long time, by the way: even the best of Mozart’s music can be listened and re-listened to in about 50 afternoons, at most. And who was better at getting things right for longer than Mozart was?) (Summary: I think intelligence is often as much of a shield as stupidity).

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    "Sure there are people who seem smart and on top of things but that is almost always mostly a sham".

    For people like you and me - and most of us in this forum - I agree. But consider that many, if not most of the leaders in business and public life may exemplify the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt".
    - Bertrand Russell

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity".
    - William Butler Yeats

    "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool".
    - William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, Act v, Scene I (A brilliant formulation of the Dunning-Kruger effect)
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  69. Tom Welsh says:
    @Delinquent Snail
    What? 3 generations a century? That would mean people are having kids in their 30s.... Which didnt happen until this last century. Its more like 4-5, maybe even 6, generations a century.

    I agree humans can't visualize large spans of time. Plus, a very large minority think the world was created 2017 years ago, so that doesn't help.

    Good point about the length of generations. That’s a rule of thumb I picked up when studying history, and as you say in primitive times there were probably more generations per century.

    But that doesn’t weaken my argument – if anything, it strengthens it.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Indeed. It would ne interesting to extend your point about what I take to be just one example of a general deficit in numeracy to list the most important manifestations. The one you mention (a couple of comments back) is probably in the middle of the pack.

    Well ahead is the lack of feeling for differences in population size, and particularly their growth rate. Two examples I like to give, without looking at the dismal future, are
    1.Java's 5 million population in Raffles' day and 180 million now,
    2. 1913 births in Germany 2 million and in Russia 5 million, both enough to ensure numbers weren't lacking for a good punch up between Hitler and Stalin well before 1941. And enough to keep Hitler thinking Lebensraum was needed.

    Then there is the inflation that central banks positively intend with Treasury approval. The Reserve Bank of Australia's at 2 - 3 per cent is particularly egregious (though perhaps partly justified by so much of Australia's prosperity depending on other countries' decisions). What an incentive to patient investment it is to learn that thanks to 3 per cent inflation your investment will have had to double in real value in 24 years before you cease to pay capital gains tax on purely nominal gains!
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  70. Tom Welsh says:
    @anonymous declaimer
    Tom - interesting comment. I would have agreed with you back in the day, but I now think intelligence is as much of a shield as stupidity. (I don't like either word, intelligence or stupidity, but that is a whole n'other comment.) For reasons too long to go into here - in part, but just in part - I grew up in a crowded house with two or three significantly unpleasant but very intelligent - not top 1 percent, but close - people in it, and as a survival strategy - I needed to think long and hard about how to keep them from being even worse than they were. I.e., I have thought a lot about really smart people, and for that reason maybe I can make a not completely un-useful reply to your comment. Greg Cochran, not a very empathetic guy, but someone who has intensely studied these things, accurately noted that the human brain is built, with all its various sets and subsets, to keep us from going too far off track: from that point of view, the more powerful the specific human brain is, the more sets and subsets of thinking there are to keep it on track: it is not like a Rolls Royce swerving back and forth on an icy lake, it is more like a very sluggish (relative to the non-sluggishness of reality, measured accurately or even fairly inaccurately) person wading through a shoulder-deep pond, full of aquatic plants (Sorry if that analogy doesn't help, it is the best I can do at the moment to express how correct I think Cochran was. He is a friendly guy and would be glad to tell you how inaccurate my analogy was, if you ask him). The Cochran reference was point one, here is point two. Everybody is profoundly stupid about almost everything, which is why few loving parents hope their child will be a clever child with little common sense, as opposed to a not too clever child with common sense (at least on the rare occasions when a young mother named her child after me, that is how she thought! and good for her!). Sure there are people who seem smart and on top of things but that is almost always mostly a sham. So there is really nobody who needs to worry about being too smart or about the effect that being too smart might have on them. Once in a while someone, for a week or two, or at the most for, let's say, 2 or 3 hundred afternoons, gets some small aspect of reality correct, and is able to communicate that. Good for them if they make a good career out of the skills they have learned! But: For the rest of the time, we are all just here to amuse each other. (Of course I am talking about the human limit of intelligence for 2 or 3 hundred useful afternoons, at most, in the context of simple raw and accurate intelligence, i.e., whatever it was that made people like von Neumann talk about 8 digit numbers as if every single such number was a personal friend. I am not talking about moral intelligence, which is much more common and infinitely more angelic (see Aquinas on how angels understand versus how humans understand), and about which one probably should not speak, even if one does know what it is to live a life never having had a friend in this world for the first few decades but having, one day, after many years, realized that one had such a friend. (Suffering, too, protects us, in this sublunar world, albeit too much suffering is always a tragedy, and the phrase "too little suffering" is not a phrase that a decent person would ever want to pronounce.) (2 or 3 hundred useful afternoons is a long time, by the way: even the best of Mozart's music can be listened and re-listened to in about 50 afternoons, at most. And who was better at getting things right for longer than Mozart was?) (Summary: I think intelligence is often as much of a shield as stupidity).

    “Sure there are people who seem smart and on top of things but that is almost always mostly a sham”.

    For people like you and me – and most of us in this forum – I agree. But consider that many, if not most of the leaders in business and public life may exemplify the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt”.
    - Bertrand Russell

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity”.
    - William Butler Yeats

    “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”.
    - William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, Act v, Scene I (A brilliant formulation of the Dunning-Kruger effect)

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Bertrand Russell was one of my early heroes and I am particularly glad you quoted him.

    What one has to hope of those who would score 3 or more sds above (N European) average on IQ tests would be that they actually use their brains conscientiously and energetically so that they sort quickly through the five possible approaches which weren't originally under consideration and avoid ending up with people still waffling and unable to decide about three of them.
    , @Dieter Kief
    I like your quotes! Here are mine:


    The crowd needs the capable, but senses them as a burdon anyway.

    You can not protect yourself from critique nor can you defend yourself against it; you have to act against such obstinacy, and by and by, it will agree.

    A restricted, honest person will often look through the knavery of the finest doerers (faiseurs) trough and through.

    (All from Goethe's Maxism and Reflections. The last one is hard to swallow - it coincides with the fact, that Freudian defense mechanism of rationalization might even increase with the increase of the individual's capabilities/ mental powers).

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  71. El Dato says:
    @Miro23

    I find the ferocity of some of the replies to Damore extreme. The vehemence of the opposition is coruscating, and absolute. These issues should be matters of scholarly debate, in which the findings matter, and different interpretations contend against each other.
     
    Or maybe it's not for ferocious attacks or scholarly debate.

    It's just a difference of opinion (remember "diversity") - not something to get so excited about.
    The problem is that PC is on the way to functioning like militant Islam with regard to unbelievers and apostates.

    100% correct.

    It’s religion, with high priests, memorials, saints, sinners, apostates, churches, circular thinking and virulent reaction to anything that might hollow out the meme complex.

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  72. @Tom Welsh
    "Sure there are people who seem smart and on top of things but that is almost always mostly a sham".

    For people like you and me - and most of us in this forum - I agree. But consider that many, if not most of the leaders in business and public life may exemplify the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt".
    - Bertrand Russell

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity".
    - William Butler Yeats

    "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool".
    - William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, Act v, Scene I (A brilliant formulation of the Dunning-Kruger effect)

    Bertrand Russell was one of my early heroes and I am particularly glad you quoted him.

    What one has to hope of those who would score 3 or more sds above (N European) average on IQ tests would be that they actually use their brains conscientiously and energetically so that they sort quickly through the five possible approaches which weren’t originally under consideration and avoid ending up with people still waffling and unable to decide about three of them.

    Read More
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  73. @Tom Welsh
    Good point about the length of generations. That's a rule of thumb I picked up when studying history, and as you say in primitive times there were probably more generations per century.

    But that doesn't weaken my argument - if anything, it strengthens it.

    Indeed. It would ne interesting to extend your point about what I take to be just one example of a general deficit in numeracy to list the most important manifestations. The one you mention (a couple of comments back) is probably in the middle of the pack.

    Well ahead is the lack of feeling for differences in population size, and particularly their growth rate. Two examples I like to give, without looking at the dismal future, are
    1.Java’s 5 million population in Raffles’ day and 180 million now,
    2. 1913 births in Germany 2 million and in Russia 5 million, both enough to ensure numbers weren’t lacking for a good punch up between Hitler and Stalin well before 1941. And enough to keep Hitler thinking Lebensraum was needed.

    Then there is the inflation that central banks positively intend with Treasury approval. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s at 2 – 3 per cent is particularly egregious (though perhaps partly justified by so much of Australia’s prosperity depending on other countries’ decisions). What an incentive to patient investment it is to learn that thanks to 3 per cent inflation your investment will have had to double in real value in 24 years before you cease to pay capital gains tax on purely nominal gains!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe..."
    - H. G. Wells, “An Outline of History”, Chapter 41 (first published 1920)

    It seems to me that, ever since 1920, education has actually been going backwards. Just look, for example, at the last four presidents of the USA. Two slick confidence men and two outright half-wits.

    If the voters were educated, they would have seen through the confidence men and rejected the half-wits in disgust.

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  74. @James Thompson
    Good points. Sorry about the references: I took the first ones to hand, and should have searched through my own posts. Have done that now, and found this:
    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/you-want-it-good-or-you-want-it-tuesday

    This will add some content, but I agree that I did not properly answer your question. I think the question you raise would be considered a task solving strategy problem: "I have tried shape, as I did on the easier items, but that doesn't work for this more difficult problems, so I will try feature categorization". That is, you went from a modular solution to a g-loaded general strategy when the module seemed to fail you.
    My first point is that if we can find someone who solves even the difficulty problem easily, we hire them because their module does the job for us!
    Second, and more interestingly, most problem solving approaches fail when the problem is both novel and very difficult. (I cannot say what makes a problem difficult, but it probably relates to the number of items and the number of operations involved in solving it). At that point in the act of creation, people try all manner of re-framings and re-descriptions, in the hope that an analogy might open up a new line of attack. For example, I cannot assist anyone with finding new elements. Despite that, out of ignorance I can make some suggestions. For example, would anything be gained by taking the target close down to absolute zero? Would it make it easier to hit something?

    So, problem-solving strategies often become the real test. That also involves working out what problems you don't have to solve. During the Manhattan project one group started worrying that in focusing the charges they would get wear in the system which would throw out their very crucial calculations about the critical mass required. After a while a team member pointed out the obvious fact that the firing mechanism would only be used once.

    You are right that a different approach is what we generally need for very difficult problems.
    Sorry that I cannot answer all your interesting questions.

    Indeed res has raised interesttng questions and I shall folliw up on your answer too I hope, eventually.

    Looking at my own past experience (in respect of which I should probably exhibit the same civilised modesty as Tom Welsh) I recall, for example, finding that I could win money at poker from Oxbridge contemporaries. But I also remember that I had read the extensive poker section in Scarne on Card Games and, unlike some, never drank much while playing. I think that perhaps fits with the fact that once I had learned the rules for mathematics (I can only testify reliably on the symbol rather than geometric figure based maths up to differenial and integral calculus, applied mathemaics Newton would have recognised and a year of business graduate statistics) I could and did finish exam papers in well under the time limit.

    Bridge I read up but it was perhaps a wish for perfectionism in detail that put me off ever becoming a regular. When it came to the kind of mathematical puzzles that Martin Gardner’s delightful books contained they seem to have only required a time for solution that wouldn’t run up against any of my anti-time-wasting or frustration or boredom barriers. BUT… this is my emphasis here, I often resorted after initial thoughts to scribbling on paper rather than doing everything in my head. Maybe if I had an IQ of 200 I would never have needed the paper??

    The kind of puzzle I refer to is that delightful one involving the vicar, the bishop, the trio in the garden and the ultimate question “how old is the vicar?”. It was thrown at me by a school friend from decades earlier to shut me up after drinking a bottle of wine on our old friends’ not very tough camping holiday. I needed to scribble on napkins and it took me 40 minutes but at least I felt better when someone at NASA said it had taken him/her an hour. After all that anecdotal mildly self’congratulatoty chatter let me direct attention to the related question which is as to the significance of needing or not needing props like pieces of paper to record one’s workings and rule off wrong turns in calculations and puzzle solving????

    *** *** ***
    One of the pleasures of following the threads from your articles is the absence from them of the swarm of assertive maddies ànd saddies that infest any thread that allows for dreary anti-Semitic clichés to be wheeled out and conspiracy theories brandished. Could it be that they are inhibited by consciousness of their unimpressive IQ scores unrelieved by contrasting worldly success? Mind you, when they wake up they will realise that this whole IQ business has become an Anglo-Zionist conspiracy run by the descendants of Ellis Island illiterates (in English) and managed for them by poor wage slaves like you.

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    'The kind of puzzle I refer to is that delightful one involving the vicar, the bishop, the trio in the garden and the ultimate question “how old is the vicar?”'.

    At the risk of being unduly irreverent, that reminds me of the shaggy dog puzzles some boys used to tell at school when I was about ten. After about five minutes of continuous detail, the question would come: "Which way is the smoke from the engine blowing?"

    Whatever you answered, then came the crushing retort: "None. The very first sentence stated that it's an electric train".
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  75. I believe this debate and the “manifesto” itself are useless. The new studies comparing men and women in intellectual abilities are ridiculous. That’s because we already have the answer which becomes clear by reading any encyclopedia. Any encyclopedia gives you a study of these abilities on the level of 0,00..1 % of the highest intellectual achievements. Women there are near invisible.

    On the other end of the scale of intellectual abilities we have our simple daily tasks, and, as everybody knows, here men and women score equally or nearly so. The conclusion is absolutely clear: there is this curve where the increase in the complexity of the task shows women progressively more and more lagging behind men. This is a biological difference. I don’t see why this should be protested while we (those at least who remain sane) do not protest other biological differences between the two sexes.

    Now, what that difference, with its huge dependence on the complexity of the task, should mean practically? First, the difference is statistical, it does not apply to any particular man-woman pair. The predictions of the intellectual abilities based on sex, would treat men and women as cattle, not as individuals. Accordingly, we have a civilized law that forbids discrimination by the state.

    Of course, this law does not relate to a “discrimination” by the private individuals in their acts or opinions. In our glorious past we relied in these ethical questions on the decency of the community and on the Church. Unfortunately, these functions are now taken over by communists.

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  76. @Tom Welsh
    "Sure there are people who seem smart and on top of things but that is almost always mostly a sham".

    For people like you and me - and most of us in this forum - I agree. But consider that many, if not most of the leaders in business and public life may exemplify the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt".
    - Bertrand Russell

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity".
    - William Butler Yeats

    "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool".
    - William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, Act v, Scene I (A brilliant formulation of the Dunning-Kruger effect)

    I like your quotes! Here are mine:

    The crowd needs the capable, but senses them as a burdon anyway.

    You can not protect yourself from critique nor can you defend yourself against it; you have to act against such obstinacy, and by and by, it will agree.

    A restricted, honest person will often look through the knavery of the finest doerers (faiseurs) trough and through.

    (All from Goethe’s Maxism and Reflections. The last one is hard to swallow – it coincides with the fact, that Freudian defense mechanism of rationalization might even increase with the increase of the individual’s capabilities/ mental powers).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    Apparently this Goethe fellow was a century or two ahead of his time! The passages you cite reminded me, in every case, quite vividly of more modern statements that I find memorable. Just for comparison's sake, here they are.

    - "The crowd needs the capable, but senses them as a burdon anyway".

    I see you, and I'll raise you this:

    "Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded - here and there, now and then - are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    "This is known as 'bad luck'".
    - Robert A. Heinlein, “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long”, in “Time Enough for Love”

    - "You can not protect yourself from critique nor can you defend yourself against it; you have to act against such obstinacy, and by and by, it will agree".

    My 20th century version:

    "Every revolutionary idea seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases: (1) It's completely impossible. (2) It's possible, but it's not worth doing. (3) I said it was a good idea all along".
    - Arthur C Clarke

    - "A restricted, honest person will often look through the knavery of the finest doerers (faiseurs) trough and through".

    "This is one of those views which are so absurd that only very learned men could possibly adopt them".
    - Bertrand Russell, "My Philosophical Development" (1959)

    "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool”.
    - George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism" (1945)
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  77. Tom Welsh says:
    @Dieter Kief
    I like your quotes! Here are mine:


    The crowd needs the capable, but senses them as a burdon anyway.

    You can not protect yourself from critique nor can you defend yourself against it; you have to act against such obstinacy, and by and by, it will agree.

    A restricted, honest person will often look through the knavery of the finest doerers (faiseurs) trough and through.

    (All from Goethe's Maxism and Reflections. The last one is hard to swallow - it coincides with the fact, that Freudian defense mechanism of rationalization might even increase with the increase of the individual's capabilities/ mental powers).

    Apparently this Goethe fellow was a century or two ahead of his time! The passages you cite reminded me, in every case, quite vividly of more modern statements that I find memorable. Just for comparison’s sake, here they are.

    - “The crowd needs the capable, but senses them as a burdon anyway”.

    I see you, and I’ll raise you this:

    “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded – here and there, now and then – are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    “This is known as ‘bad luck’”.
    - Robert A. Heinlein, “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long”, in “Time Enough for Love”

    - “You can not protect yourself from critique nor can you defend yourself against it; you have to act against such obstinacy, and by and by, it will agree”.

    My 20th century version:

    “Every revolutionary idea seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases: (1) It’s completely impossible. (2) It’s possible, but it’s not worth doing. (3) I said it was a good idea all along”.
    - Arthur C Clarke

    - “A restricted, honest person will often look through the knavery of the finest doerers (faiseurs) trough and through”.

    “This is one of those views which are so absurd that only very learned men could possibly adopt them”.
    - Bertrand Russell, “My Philosophical Development” (1959)

    “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool”.
    - George Orwell, “Notes on Nationalism” (1945)

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    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    “Every revolutionary idea seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases: (1) It’s completely impossible. (2) It’s possible, but it’s not worth doing. (3) I said it was a good idea all along”.
    - Arthur C Clarke


    Just in case you'd be curious -this thought is brought forward by Daniel Everett too in a discussion in Aeon


    https://aeon.co/essays/why-language-is-not-everything-that-noam-chomsky-said-it-is


    The Swiss writer Adolf Muschg used this thought in a TV discussion with German immigration-critic Thilo Sarrazin. That was a bit weird, because Muschg first said, that he does not really agree with Sarrazin (both are Social Democrats), but the good man even though defended him, when he thought it'd be appropriate - he used the argument you have in the Arthur C. Clarke- quote, but he referred to Hegel's "Phenomenology of Mind" as his source.

    Everett quoted or referred to Schopenhauer, when bringing this very argument forward, but wasn't sure. I did not know either, and asked Konstanz' Schopenhauer expert Gottfried Gabriel, who said, he doesn't know the Schopenhauer quote, which means something, because he knows just about erverything that there is to know about Schopenhauer.

    Well - I think, the thought is (at least) German people's wisdom and older than Schopenhauer and Hegel.

    Btw. - Schopenhauer hated Hegel - therefor it could well be, that Everett, in favour of Schopenhauer deep down in his heart, got mixed up in confusion when remembering this thought for fear of betraying his beloved Schopenhauer with - a person, whom - as Everett might well know and as I've said, - hated Hegel....


    There are two well known American admirerers of Goethe: Steve Bannon (he quotes Faust here and there) - and the Freudian analytic Kurt R. Eissler, who wrote a psycho-biography, but only of Goethe's "formative" years, called "Goethe" (1500 p., 2 volumes).
    The best Goethe book is by Rüdiger Safransky, Goethe - Life as a Work of Art (2017)

    Btw. - none of the two gets Goethes Newton-critique and - his optical experiments right (all of which are replicable). To understand those, one can refer to Berlin Mathematician and Philosopher of science Olaf L. Müller - Mehr Licht - Goethe und Newton)
    http://farbenstreit.de/category/termine/ - there's a conference sceduled on this topic in Idar-Oberstein,Palatinate, on October this year - Goethe's Colour Controversy with Newton - a Vindication

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  78. Tom Welsh says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Indeed. It would ne interesting to extend your point about what I take to be just one example of a general deficit in numeracy to list the most important manifestations. The one you mention (a couple of comments back) is probably in the middle of the pack.

    Well ahead is the lack of feeling for differences in population size, and particularly their growth rate. Two examples I like to give, without looking at the dismal future, are
    1.Java's 5 million population in Raffles' day and 180 million now,
    2. 1913 births in Germany 2 million and in Russia 5 million, both enough to ensure numbers weren't lacking for a good punch up between Hitler and Stalin well before 1941. And enough to keep Hitler thinking Lebensraum was needed.

    Then there is the inflation that central banks positively intend with Treasury approval. The Reserve Bank of Australia's at 2 - 3 per cent is particularly egregious (though perhaps partly justified by so much of Australia's prosperity depending on other countries' decisions). What an incentive to patient investment it is to learn that thanks to 3 per cent inflation your investment will have had to double in real value in 24 years before you cease to pay capital gains tax on purely nominal gains!

    “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe…”
    - H. G. Wells, “An Outline of History”, Chapter 41 (first published 1920)

    It seems to me that, ever since 1920, education has actually been going backwards. Just look, for example, at the last four presidents of the USA. Two slick confidence men and two outright half-wits.

    If the voters were educated, they would have seen through the confidence men and rejected the half-wits in disgust.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Here's an alternative view on education since 1920 - or maybe 1946 . Educated people were once on average quite intelligent and led their communities and the nation without being constantly held back by the relatively dim. Since about half the population now think they are educated and have ideas as worth considering as anyone else's overt intelligence by politicians is dangerous to their chances of getting ahead.

    While we in the First World are now in a dysgenic phase and standards at the top may decline that wouldn't have started happening before the pill became popular from some time in the 60s. So it's the pretence of educating the not very bright that may be the real cause of the problem you see.
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  79. @Tom Welsh
    "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe..."
    - H. G. Wells, “An Outline of History”, Chapter 41 (first published 1920)

    It seems to me that, ever since 1920, education has actually been going backwards. Just look, for example, at the last four presidents of the USA. Two slick confidence men and two outright half-wits.

    If the voters were educated, they would have seen through the confidence men and rejected the half-wits in disgust.

    Here’s an alternative view on education since 1920 – or maybe 1946 . Educated people were once on average quite intelligent and led their communities and the nation without being constantly held back by the relatively dim. Since about half the population now think they are educated and have ideas as worth considering as anyone else’s overt intelligence by politicians is dangerous to their chances of getting ahead.

    While we in the First World are now in a dysgenic phase and standards at the top may decline that wouldn’t have started happening before the pill became popular from some time in the 60s. So it’s the pretence of educating the not very bright that may be the real cause of the problem you see.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    I quite agree. As the late Kingsley Amis used to insist - much to the disgust of the politically correct - "More means worse". In the USA, Albert Jay Nock felt the same even before 1910:

    https://www.amazon.com/Disadvantages-Being-Educated-Other-Essays/dp/0873190416/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503240484&sr=1-2

    But even in the 19th and early 20th century optimists - like Wells and Russell - certainly believed that it would become possible to educate at least three-quarters of the people, or perhaps one day all of them. (Mind you, they would probably have expected eugenics to trim off the least intelligent "tail" of the distribution).

    Isaac Asimov estimated that, regardless of claimed literacy rates, the number of active and serious readers in any culture - past or present - never exceeded 1%.

    , @res

    Educated people were once on average quite intelligent and led their communities and the nation without being constantly held back by the relatively dim. Since about half the population now think they are educated and have ideas as worth considering as anyone else’s overt intelligence by politicians is dangerous to their chances of getting ahead.
     
    Interesting. I might restate that as the Dunning Kruger Effect has gotten worse over that time. In turn that has led to more questioning of the able holding them back. This problem has been exacerbated (caused?) by education with an emphasis on rewarding participation (or even worse, parroting the Narrative) rather than ability.

    Is that a reasonable restatement? If so, not a happy thought given current trends.

    P.S. This is a decent take on the Dunning-Kruger Effect: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect
    But even there you see little gems like the figure caption that says (emphasis mine): "However, experimentally it was found that people consistently over-estimated their ability." Well, perhaps on average, but the figure to which you refer shows quite clearly that the top quartile is underestimating their ability. A bit like the team building exercise I once attended which droned on about how teams always outperform individuals--immediately after an exercise demonstrating the exact opposite.

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  80. @James Thompson
    Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed comments.
    On the speed issue, for all tasks, I was objecting to Hyde's implied distinction between speed and ability, because ability is related to speed. I think that W.D.Furneaux was onto this issue years ago, and progressed it well. From memory, I have classified his key insight as saying that intellectual achievement depended on: speed, accuracy and persistence.
    The first two are often a trade-off, though of course the brightest people are both speedy and accurate. Persistence is often an ignored characteristic, though it is a key part of most great intellectual achievements.
    As regards g, at higher levels of ability it account for less variance.


    1. Furneaux, W. D., Nature, 170, 37 (1952). | ISI |
    2. Furneaux, W. D. "The Determinants of Success in Intelligence Tests" (paper read to Brit. Assoc. Adv. Sci., 1955).
    3. Furneaux, W. D., Manual of Nufferno Speed Tests (Nat. Found. Educ. Res., London, 1955).
    4. Furneaux, W. D., in Intellectual Abilities and Problem Solving Behaviour in Handbook of Abnormal Psychology (edit. by Eysenck, H. J.) (Pergamon Press, London, 1960)

    I am not sure I fully understand the import of your last sentence about g not accounting for so much of the variance at high[er] levels of ability. Would you please spell out the evidence and implications.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Appears that at low levels of ability, g is a greater factor; less so at higher levels, where there is more specialization. Perhaps g is the basics, and other abilities flourish a bit more once the basics are already covered.
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  81. Tom Welsh says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Here's an alternative view on education since 1920 - or maybe 1946 . Educated people were once on average quite intelligent and led their communities and the nation without being constantly held back by the relatively dim. Since about half the population now think they are educated and have ideas as worth considering as anyone else's overt intelligence by politicians is dangerous to their chances of getting ahead.

    While we in the First World are now in a dysgenic phase and standards at the top may decline that wouldn't have started happening before the pill became popular from some time in the 60s. So it's the pretence of educating the not very bright that may be the real cause of the problem you see.

    I quite agree. As the late Kingsley Amis used to insist – much to the disgust of the politically correct – “More means worse”. In the USA, Albert Jay Nock felt the same even before 1910:

    https://www.amazon.com/Disadvantages-Being-Educated-Other-Essays/dp/0873190416/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503240484&sr=1-2

    But even in the 19th and early 20th century optimists – like Wells and Russell – certainly believed that it would become possible to educate at least three-quarters of the people, or perhaps one day all of them. (Mind you, they would probably have expected eugenics to trim off the least intelligent “tail” of the distribution).

    Isaac Asimov estimated that, regardless of claimed literacy rates, the number of active and serious readers in any culture – past or present – never exceeded 1%.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    Jefferson clearly enunciated the received Enlightenment view of the matter, which was undoubtedly shared by Voltaire, Condorcet, and many others.

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be".

    - Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey (1816)
    , @dearieme
    “More means worse” isn't exactly what he said. He wasn't generalising, he was making a specific prediction about a world he knew well - higher education. "More will mean worse."
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  82. Tom Welsh says:
    @Tom Welsh
    I quite agree. As the late Kingsley Amis used to insist - much to the disgust of the politically correct - "More means worse". In the USA, Albert Jay Nock felt the same even before 1910:

    https://www.amazon.com/Disadvantages-Being-Educated-Other-Essays/dp/0873190416/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503240484&sr=1-2

    But even in the 19th and early 20th century optimists - like Wells and Russell - certainly believed that it would become possible to educate at least three-quarters of the people, or perhaps one day all of them. (Mind you, they would probably have expected eugenics to trim off the least intelligent "tail" of the distribution).

    Isaac Asimov estimated that, regardless of claimed literacy rates, the number of active and serious readers in any culture - past or present - never exceeded 1%.

    Jefferson clearly enunciated the received Enlightenment view of the matter, which was undoubtedly shared by Voltaire, Condorcet, and many others.

    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be”.

    - Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey (1816)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    This Enlightenment view was shared by the authorities in the Soviet Union. Everyone could go to college. Did they do a bad job of educating the population? My impression is that they did a particularly good job in producing scientists and engineers.
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  83. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Here's an alternative view on education since 1920 - or maybe 1946 . Educated people were once on average quite intelligent and led their communities and the nation without being constantly held back by the relatively dim. Since about half the population now think they are educated and have ideas as worth considering as anyone else's overt intelligence by politicians is dangerous to their chances of getting ahead.

    While we in the First World are now in a dysgenic phase and standards at the top may decline that wouldn't have started happening before the pill became popular from some time in the 60s. So it's the pretence of educating the not very bright that may be the real cause of the problem you see.

    Educated people were once on average quite intelligent and led their communities and the nation without being constantly held back by the relatively dim. Since about half the population now think they are educated and have ideas as worth considering as anyone else’s overt intelligence by politicians is dangerous to their chances of getting ahead.

    Interesting. I might restate that as the Dunning Kruger Effect has gotten worse over that time. In turn that has led to more questioning of the able holding them back. This problem has been exacerbated (caused?) by education with an emphasis on rewarding participation (or even worse, parroting the Narrative) rather than ability.

    Is that a reasonable restatement? If so, not a happy thought given current trends.

    P.S. This is a decent take on the Dunning-Kruger Effect: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect
    But even there you see little gems like the figure caption that says (emphasis mine): “However, experimentally it was found that people consistently over-estimated their ability.” Well, perhaps on average, but the figure to which you refer shows quite clearly that the top quartile is underestimating their ability. A bit like the team building exercise I once attended which droned on about how teams always outperform individuals–immediately after an exercise demonstrating the exact opposite.

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    "... the figure to which you refer shows quite clearly that the top quartile is underestimating their ability".

    I think the Dunning-Kruger effect includes that phenomenon. I also leap at the chance to repeat my earlier quotations:

    “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt”.
    - Bertrand Russell

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity”.
    - William Butler Yeats

    “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”.
    - William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, Act v, Scene I (A brilliant formulation of the Dunning-Kruger effect)
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  84. Tom Welsh says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Indeed res has raised interesttng questions and I shall folliw up on your answer too I hope, eventually.

    Looking at my own past experience (in respect of which I should probably exhibit the same civilised modesty as Tom Welsh) I recall, for example, finding that I could win money at poker from Oxbridge contemporaries. But I also remember that I had read the extensive poker section in Scarne on Card Games and, unlike some, never drank much while playing. I think that perhaps fits with the fact that once I had learned the rules for mathematics (I can only testify reliably on the symbol rather than geometric figure based maths up to differenial and integral calculus, applied mathemaics Newton would have recognised and a year of business graduate statistics) I could and did finish exam papers in well under the time limit.

    Bridge I read up but it was perhaps a wish for perfectionism in detail that put me off ever becoming a regular. When it came to the kind of mathematical puzzles that Martin Gardner's delightful books contained they seem to have only required a time for solution that wouldn't run up against any of my anti-time-wasting or frustration or boredom barriers. BUT... this is my emphasis here, I often resorted after initial thoughts to scribbling on paper rather than doing everything in my head. Maybe if I had an IQ of 200 I would never have needed the paper??

    The kind of puzzle I refer to is that delightful one involving the vicar, the bishop, the trio in the garden and the ultimate question "how old is the vicar?". It was thrown at me by a school friend from decades earlier to shut me up after drinking a bottle of wine on our old friends' not very tough camping holiday. I needed to scribble on napkins and it took me 40 minutes but at least I felt better when someone at NASA said it had taken him/her an hour. After all that anecdotal mildly self'congratulatoty chatter let me direct attention to the related question which is as to the significance of needing or not needing props like pieces of paper to record one's workings and rule off wrong turns in calculations and puzzle solving????

    *** *** ***
    One of the pleasures of following the threads from your articles is the absence from them of the swarm of assertive maddies ànd saddies that infest any thread that allows for dreary anti-Semitic clichés to be wheeled out and conspiracy theories brandished. Could it be that they are inhibited by consciousness of their unimpressive IQ scores unrelieved by contrasting worldly success? Mind you, when they wake up they will realise that this whole IQ business has become an Anglo-Zionist conspiracy run by the descendants of Ellis Island illiterates (in English) and managed for them by poor wage slaves like you.

    ‘The kind of puzzle I refer to is that delightful one involving the vicar, the bishop, the trio in the garden and the ultimate question “how old is the vicar?”’.

    At the risk of being unduly irreverent, that reminds me of the shaggy dog puzzles some boys used to tell at school when I was about ten. After about five minutes of continuous detail, the question would come: “Which way is the smoke from the engine blowing?”

    Whatever you answered, then came the crushing retort: “None. The very first sentence stated that it’s an electric train”.

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  85. Tom Welsh says:
    @res

    Educated people were once on average quite intelligent and led their communities and the nation without being constantly held back by the relatively dim. Since about half the population now think they are educated and have ideas as worth considering as anyone else’s overt intelligence by politicians is dangerous to their chances of getting ahead.
     
    Interesting. I might restate that as the Dunning Kruger Effect has gotten worse over that time. In turn that has led to more questioning of the able holding them back. This problem has been exacerbated (caused?) by education with an emphasis on rewarding participation (or even worse, parroting the Narrative) rather than ability.

    Is that a reasonable restatement? If so, not a happy thought given current trends.

    P.S. This is a decent take on the Dunning-Kruger Effect: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect
    But even there you see little gems like the figure caption that says (emphasis mine): "However, experimentally it was found that people consistently over-estimated their ability." Well, perhaps on average, but the figure to which you refer shows quite clearly that the top quartile is underestimating their ability. A bit like the team building exercise I once attended which droned on about how teams always outperform individuals--immediately after an exercise demonstrating the exact opposite.

    “… the figure to which you refer shows quite clearly that the top quartile is underestimating their ability”.

    I think the Dunning-Kruger effect includes that phenomenon. I also leap at the chance to repeat my earlier quotations:

    “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt”.
    - Bertrand Russell

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity”.
    - William Butler Yeats

    “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”.
    - William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, Act v, Scene I (A brilliant formulation of the Dunning-Kruger effect)

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    • Replies: @res

    I think the Dunning-Kruger effect includes that phenomenon. I also leap at the chance to repeat my earlier quotations:
     
    Agreed (but not sure whether your comment is meta and thus a level above my literal response), but the figure caption is a misstatement. I am particularly cranky about this kind of thing at the moment because l'affaire Damore provided so many examples of misleading summaries of research findings. Which in turn is why I get so cranky about the lack of proper references (which tend to co-occur with the misleading summaries).

    Great quotes.
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  86. dearieme says:
    @Tom Welsh
    I quite agree. As the late Kingsley Amis used to insist - much to the disgust of the politically correct - "More means worse". In the USA, Albert Jay Nock felt the same even before 1910:

    https://www.amazon.com/Disadvantages-Being-Educated-Other-Essays/dp/0873190416/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503240484&sr=1-2

    But even in the 19th and early 20th century optimists - like Wells and Russell - certainly believed that it would become possible to educate at least three-quarters of the people, or perhaps one day all of them. (Mind you, they would probably have expected eugenics to trim off the least intelligent "tail" of the distribution).

    Isaac Asimov estimated that, regardless of claimed literacy rates, the number of active and serious readers in any culture - past or present - never exceeded 1%.

    “More means worse” isn’t exactly what he said. He wasn’t generalising, he was making a specific prediction about a world he knew well – higher education. “More will mean worse.”

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    • Replies: @res
    Thanks for the clarification. A 2008 article which leads off with that quote: http://www.economist.com/node/12270990
    Some good comments there as well.
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  87. @Tom Welsh
    Apparently this Goethe fellow was a century or two ahead of his time! The passages you cite reminded me, in every case, quite vividly of more modern statements that I find memorable. Just for comparison's sake, here they are.

    - "The crowd needs the capable, but senses them as a burdon anyway".

    I see you, and I'll raise you this:

    "Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded - here and there, now and then - are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    "This is known as 'bad luck'".
    - Robert A. Heinlein, “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long”, in “Time Enough for Love”

    - "You can not protect yourself from critique nor can you defend yourself against it; you have to act against such obstinacy, and by and by, it will agree".

    My 20th century version:

    "Every revolutionary idea seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases: (1) It's completely impossible. (2) It's possible, but it's not worth doing. (3) I said it was a good idea all along".
    - Arthur C Clarke

    - "A restricted, honest person will often look through the knavery of the finest doerers (faiseurs) trough and through".

    "This is one of those views which are so absurd that only very learned men could possibly adopt them".
    - Bertrand Russell, "My Philosophical Development" (1959)

    "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool”.
    - George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism" (1945)

    “Every revolutionary idea seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases: (1) It’s completely impossible. (2) It’s possible, but it’s not worth doing. (3) I said it was a good idea all along”.
    - Arthur C Clarke

    Just in case you’d be curious -this thought is brought forward by Daniel Everett too in a discussion in Aeon

    https://aeon.co/essays/why-language-is-not-everything-that-noam-chomsky-said-it-is

    The Swiss writer Adolf Muschg used this thought in a TV discussion with German immigration-critic Thilo Sarrazin. That was a bit weird, because Muschg first said, that he does not really agree with Sarrazin (both are Social Democrats), but the good man even though defended him, when he thought it’d be appropriate – he used the argument you have in the Arthur C. Clarke- quote, but he referred to Hegel’s “Phenomenology of Mind” as his source.

    Everett quoted or referred to Schopenhauer, when bringing this very argument forward, but wasn’t sure. I did not know either, and asked Konstanz’ Schopenhauer expert Gottfried Gabriel, who said, he doesn’t know the Schopenhauer quote, which means something, because he knows just about erverything that there is to know about Schopenhauer.

    Well – I think, the thought is (at least) German people’s wisdom and older than Schopenhauer and Hegel.

    Btw. – Schopenhauer hated Hegel – therefor it could well be, that Everett, in favour of Schopenhauer deep down in his heart, got mixed up in confusion when remembering this thought for fear of betraying his beloved Schopenhauer with – a person, whom – as Everett might well know and as I’ve said, – hated Hegel….

    There are two well known American admirerers of Goethe: Steve Bannon (he quotes Faust here and there) – and the Freudian analytic Kurt R. Eissler, who wrote a psycho-biography, but only of Goethe’s “formative” years, called “Goethe” (1500 p., 2 volumes).
    The best Goethe book is by Rüdiger Safransky, Goethe – Life as a Work of Art (2017)

    Btw. – none of the two gets Goethes Newton-critique and – his optical experiments right (all of which are replicable). To understand those, one can refer to Berlin Mathematician and Philosopher of science Olaf L. Müller – Mehr Licht – Goethe und Newton)
    http://farbenstreit.de/category/termine/ – there’s a conference sceduled on this topic in Idar-Oberstein,Palatinate, on October this year – Goethe’s Colour Controversy with Newton – a Vindication

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  88. res says:
    @Tom Welsh
    "... the figure to which you refer shows quite clearly that the top quartile is underestimating their ability".

    I think the Dunning-Kruger effect includes that phenomenon. I also leap at the chance to repeat my earlier quotations:

    “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt”.
    - Bertrand Russell

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity”.
    - William Butler Yeats

    “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”.
    - William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, Act v, Scene I (A brilliant formulation of the Dunning-Kruger effect)

    I think the Dunning-Kruger effect includes that phenomenon. I also leap at the chance to repeat my earlier quotations:

    Agreed (but not sure whether your comment is meta and thus a level above my literal response), but the figure caption is a misstatement. I am particularly cranky about this kind of thing at the moment because l’affaire Damore provided so many examples of misleading summaries of research findings. Which in turn is why I get so cranky about the lack of proper references (which tend to co-occur with the misleading summaries).

    Great quotes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    Yes, my comment was meta. I am afraid that I lean heavily to generalisation and abstraction, so I am very weak on details. It sounds as if you are much better in that respect! 8-)

    As to the Damore affair, I must admit to being very impatient and irritated by all this American incestuous nonsense, when there are so many really serious problems to be confronted. (But then maybe that helps to explain why the pseudo-problems get so much attention!)

    One of the most important aspects of education is the acquisition of values such as intellectual integrity (or perhaps we should simply say, "honesty"). The great number of people who never seem to have acquired that value helps, to my mind, to account for the atrocious levels of fallacious and downright evasive argument one sees nowadays. Unless people are prepared to engage in honest debate, admit when they are wrong, learn from others, and try hard to avoid misunderstanding, I feel their company is best avoided.

    One last quotation! 8-)

    "For as I detest the doorways of Death, I detest the man, who hides one thing in the depths of his heart, and speaks forth another".
    - Achilles to Odysseus, “The Iliad”
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  89. res says:
    @dearieme
    “More means worse” isn't exactly what he said. He wasn't generalising, he was making a specific prediction about a world he knew well - higher education. "More will mean worse."

    Thanks for the clarification. A 2008 article which leads off with that quote: http://www.economist.com/node/12270990
    Some good comments there as well.

    Read More
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  90. Tom Welsh says:
    @res

    I think the Dunning-Kruger effect includes that phenomenon. I also leap at the chance to repeat my earlier quotations:
     
    Agreed (but not sure whether your comment is meta and thus a level above my literal response), but the figure caption is a misstatement. I am particularly cranky about this kind of thing at the moment because l'affaire Damore provided so many examples of misleading summaries of research findings. Which in turn is why I get so cranky about the lack of proper references (which tend to co-occur with the misleading summaries).

    Great quotes.

    Yes, my comment was meta. I am afraid that I lean heavily to generalisation and abstraction, so I am very weak on details. It sounds as if you are much better in that respect! 8-)

    As to the Damore affair, I must admit to being very impatient and irritated by all this American incestuous nonsense, when there are so many really serious problems to be confronted. (But then maybe that helps to explain why the pseudo-problems get so much attention!)

    One of the most important aspects of education is the acquisition of values such as intellectual integrity (or perhaps we should simply say, “honesty”). The great number of people who never seem to have acquired that value helps, to my mind, to account for the atrocious levels of fallacious and downright evasive argument one sees nowadays. Unless people are prepared to engage in honest debate, admit when they are wrong, learn from others, and try hard to avoid misunderstanding, I feel their company is best avoided.

    One last quotation! 8-)

    “For as I detest the doorways of Death, I detest the man, who hides one thing in the depths of his heart, and speaks forth another”.
    - Achilles to Odysseus, “The Iliad”

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  91. @Tom Welsh
    Jefferson clearly enunciated the received Enlightenment view of the matter, which was undoubtedly shared by Voltaire, Condorcet, and many others.

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be".

    - Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey (1816)

    This Enlightenment view was shared by the authorities in the Soviet Union. Everyone could go to college. Did they do a bad job of educating the population? My impression is that they did a particularly good job in producing scientists and engineers.

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    Very good point, Stephen. I am afraid I lack the knowledge to be sure about the state of education in the USSR, but what I have heard does support your implication.

    If asked to go about adapting my belief to your fact, I would probably say something like, "In the USSR the rulers had sufficient control of the overall culture and of the power structure to make what they said stick. Everyone, from top to bottom, admired engineers; and moreover, they made good money and had relative security. Whereas in the West, a large part of society - including most of the ruling class - routinely mocked education and Enlightenment values".

    I know that, in the very good (relatively) multinational computer corporation that employed me for 19 years, managers routinely boasted in public of their lack of mathematical and scientific knowledge, and even of their inability to operate computers.

    This ended only when they were able to buy (on the company tab, obviously) their own personal computers. Then they became quite fanatical, and would stand at the coffee machine bragging quietly about their spreadsheets, databases and macros.

    Which led me to believe it was, fundamentally, a question of power. They hated to feel submissive to a dominant "technican" class, but as soon as they could control and use their PCs themselves, this became a badge of honour.

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  92. Tom Welsh says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond
    This Enlightenment view was shared by the authorities in the Soviet Union. Everyone could go to college. Did they do a bad job of educating the population? My impression is that they did a particularly good job in producing scientists and engineers.

    Very good point, Stephen. I am afraid I lack the knowledge to be sure about the state of education in the USSR, but what I have heard does support your implication.

    If asked to go about adapting my belief to your fact, I would probably say something like, “In the USSR the rulers had sufficient control of the overall culture and of the power structure to make what they said stick. Everyone, from top to bottom, admired engineers; and moreover, they made good money and had relative security. Whereas in the West, a large part of society – including most of the ruling class – routinely mocked education and Enlightenment values”.

    I know that, in the very good (relatively) multinational computer corporation that employed me for 19 years, managers routinely boasted in public of their lack of mathematical and scientific knowledge, and even of their inability to operate computers.

    This ended only when they were able to buy (on the company tab, obviously) their own personal computers. Then they became quite fanatical, and would stand at the coffee machine bragging quietly about their spreadsheets, databases and macros.

    Which led me to believe it was, fundamentally, a question of power. They hated to feel submissive to a dominant “technican” class, but as soon as they could control and use their PCs themselves, this became a badge of honour.

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  93. @Wizard of Oz
    I am not sure I fully understand the import of your last sentence about g not accounting for so much of the variance at high[er] levels of ability. Would you please spell out the evidence and implications.

    Appears that at low levels of ability, g is a greater factor; less so at higher levels, where there is more specialization. Perhaps g is the basics, and other abilities flourish a bit more once the basics are already covered.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Thanks. And I think what I referred to as the interface problem might add to this. Thus speed of reading and/or writing or just typing could increase with modest increases in g but speed beyond physical constraints might depend on having learned the right algorithm to use. (Then I get to my further commonsense speculation that high g is likely to speed up the application of the algorithm just as one would expect high g to allow quick application of precedents and mathematically based rules of thumb at chess or poker. There does seem to be a place for good teaching!)
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  94. @James Thompson
    Appears that at low levels of ability, g is a greater factor; less so at higher levels, where there is more specialization. Perhaps g is the basics, and other abilities flourish a bit more once the basics are already covered.

    Thanks. And I think what I referred to as the interface problem might add to this. Thus speed of reading and/or writing or just typing could increase with modest increases in g but speed beyond physical constraints might depend on having learned the right algorithm to use. (Then I get to my further commonsense speculation that high g is likely to speed up the application of the algorithm just as one would expect high g to allow quick application of precedents and mathematically based rules of thumb at chess or poker. There does seem to be a place for good teaching!)

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  95. Your assumption about sex differences in intelligence doesn’t make sense. For a male to have an IQ say 130, enough to work in computer science, his mother must have an IQ at least 130 too. IQ is clearly passed on from the mother, so all high IQ men have high IQ women, so there cannot be a sex difference in intelligence. The IQ of mother and son are very close. James Damore’s mom must have had an IQ very close to his.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    The prediction of a child's intelligence in adulthood will be based on the midpoint of parental intelligence, both father and mother, and a heritability of 60%
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  96. @john clark
    Your assumption about sex differences in intelligence doesn't make sense. For a male to have an IQ say 130, enough to work in computer science, his mother must have an IQ at least 130 too. IQ is clearly passed on from the mother, so all high IQ men have high IQ women, so there cannot be a sex difference in intelligence. The IQ of mother and son are very close. James Damore's mom must have had an IQ very close to his.

    The prediction of a child’s intelligence in adulthood will be based on the midpoint of parental intelligence, both father and mother, and a heritability of 60%

    Read More
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    Serious question:

    What is the probability of three sons having IQ's in the 140+ range? Only one parent has a guesstimate on IQ (from a surrogate test, the GRE from long ago) in the 140+ range. The other parent is bright, but test performance is unknown. Grandparents varied from average-plus (college, managerial career in STEM) to high performer (Ivy League, Wall Street.)

    Three kids, three performed in the 1-in-100 to 1-in-?,000 range in school, and punch way above their age/position in STEM occupations. They didn't experience any unusual environmental conditions (i.e., they went to a normal public school system.)

    Just trying to grasp the probabilities involved, especially the contribution of assortive mating.
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  97. @James Thompson
    The prediction of a child's intelligence in adulthood will be based on the midpoint of parental intelligence, both father and mother, and a heritability of 60%

    Serious question:

    What is the probability of three sons having IQ’s in the 140+ range? Only one parent has a guesstimate on IQ (from a surrogate test, the GRE from long ago) in the 140+ range. The other parent is bright, but test performance is unknown. Grandparents varied from average-plus (college, managerial career in STEM) to high performer (Ivy League, Wall Street.)

    Three kids, three performed in the 1-in-100 to 1-in-?,000 range in school, and punch way above their age/position in STEM occupations. They didn’t experience any unusual environmental conditions (i.e., they went to a normal public school system.)

    Just trying to grasp the probabilities involved, especially the contribution of assortive mating.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Assume both parents are actually IQ 140+ which fits with the likely ability of their own parents, and a heritability of intelligence .6 in adulthood, then the average of their children will be, roughly, IQ 124. Three children at IQ 140+ would be unusual, but it seems to happen in a few (unusual) families.
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  98. @dc.sunsets
    Serious question:

    What is the probability of three sons having IQ's in the 140+ range? Only one parent has a guesstimate on IQ (from a surrogate test, the GRE from long ago) in the 140+ range. The other parent is bright, but test performance is unknown. Grandparents varied from average-plus (college, managerial career in STEM) to high performer (Ivy League, Wall Street.)

    Three kids, three performed in the 1-in-100 to 1-in-?,000 range in school, and punch way above their age/position in STEM occupations. They didn't experience any unusual environmental conditions (i.e., they went to a normal public school system.)

    Just trying to grasp the probabilities involved, especially the contribution of assortive mating.

    Assume both parents are actually IQ 140+ which fits with the likely ability of their own parents, and a heritability of intelligence .6 in adulthood, then the average of their children will be, roughly, IQ 124. Three children at IQ 140+ would be unusual, but it seems to happen in a few (unusual) families.

    Read More
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