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Intelligent Brains

Haier IQ diffs on meg activations

No story about the brain is simple; no one study is definitive; and it takes many years to sort out conflicting and inconsistent findings and establish a weight of evidence.

It is a fundamental truth that any researcher who can put a person in a scanner can publish a paper. Any researcher able to talk 20 undergraduates into being scanned, perhaps while being asked to imagine an ice cream cone, can announce that the brain centre for ice cream cones has been established, at least to the researcher’s satisfaction. Behind each aspiring researcher is a perspiring technician, who knows that the raw readout will not be understood by a researcher in too much of a hurry to become well known, so that instead the results will have to be shown as a brightly coloured picture. That picture will then be presented at a conference, and will show, beyond any dispute, that we now know a great deal about the neuroscience of imaginary confectionary. Privately, the technician will know that the same readout could have produced another picture, vaguely similar but different in important respects, and that his version of how to colour-in the results is different from other people’s interpretations, but he cannot make too much of this, because other researchers are clamouring for his assistance. The cavalcade of pretty pictures continues.

Here is some background on scanning the brain:

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/processing-speed-and-white-matter-mark

It was with this admittedly slightly sceptical frame of mind that I questioned Rex Jung at a conference about some results he and Rich Haier had obtained, and was reassured by being given details about how they tried to overcome such problems, not least by reliability checks and large sample sizes.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/fractionating-smoke-and-mirrors

So, it was with keen anticipation that I turned to Rich Haier’s new tome “The Neuroscience of Intelligence”. www.amazon.co.uk/Neuroscience-Intelligence-Cambridge-Fundamentals-Psychology/dp/110746143X/

Tome it is. In the best American tradition of weighty volumes, it ploughs into a question which I rate as crucial: “Why are some people smarter than others? This book is about what neuroscience tells us about intelligence and the brain.

What We Know About Intelligence from the Weight of Studies

What is Intelligence? Do You Know It When You See It? Defining Intelligence for Empirical Research; The Structure of Mental Abilities and The g – Factor; Alternative Models; Focus on the g – Factor; Measuring Intelligence and IQ; Some Other Intelligence Tests; Myth: Intelligence Tests are Biased or Meaningless; The Key Problem for “Measuring” Intelligence; Four Kinds of Predictive Validity for Intelligence Tests; Intelligence Definitions and Me

Nature More than Nurture: The Impact of Genetics on Intelligence

The Evolving View of Genetics; Early Failures to Boost IQ; “Fraud” Fails to Stop Genetic Progress; Quantitative Genetic Findings also Support a Role for Environmental Factors; Molecular Genetics and the Hunt for Intelligence Genes; Seven Recent Noteworthy Studies of Molecular Genetic Progress

Peeking Inside the Living Brain: Neuroimaging is a Game- changer for Intelligence Research

The First PET Studies; Brain Efficiency; Not All Brains Work in the Same Way; What the Early PET Studies Revealed and What They Did Not; The First MRI Studies; Basic Structural MRI Findings; Improved MRI Analyses Yield Consistent and Inconsistent Results Imaging White Matter Tracts with Two Methods; Functional MRI (fMRI); The Parieto- frontal Integration Theory (PFIT); Einstein’s Brain

50 Shades of Gray Matter: A Brain Image of Intelligence is Worth a Thousand Words

Brain Networks and Intelligence; Functional Brain Effi ciency – is Seeing Believing? Predicting IQ From Brain Images; Are “Intelligence” and “Reasoning” Synonyms? Common Genes for Brain Structure and Intelligence; Brain Imaging and Molecular Genetics

The Holy Grail: Can Neuroscience Boost Intelligence?

Case 1: Mozart and the Brain; Case 2: You Must Remember This, and This, and This … Case 3: Can Computer Games for Children Raise IQ? Where are the IQ Pills? Magnetic Fields, Electric Shocks, and Cold Lasers Target Brain Processes; The Missing Weight of Evidence for Enhancement

As Neuroscience Advances, What’s Next for Intelligence Research?

From Psychometric Testing to Chronometric Testing; Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory and Super- Memory; Bridging Human and Animal Research with New Tools Neuron by Neuron; Bridging Human and Machine Intelligence Circuit by Circuit; Consciousness and Creativity; Neuro- poverty and Neuro- Social- Economic Status: Implications for Public Policy Based on the Neuroscience of Intelligence; Final Thoughts

 

The book tackles the definition of intelligence with flair and good sense. This is a fresh approach, and a welcome change from the usual one. If someone you know doubts intelligence differences, shown them the functional literacy data which Linda Gottfredson references:

Haier Gottfredson picture

 

That is right. Only 4% of the white population can do all the tasks in the list. 21% get to the 4th level but cannot do carpet cost type problems, and at the very bottom 14% have very simple skills, which do not include locating an intersection on a street map. For many of you reading this, the finding will seem incredible. It is incredible. Human differences are hard to believe, but they are matters to be demonstrated, beliefs notwithstanding.

 

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-7-tribes-of-intellect

Haier in his sweeping overview makes measured judgments about the major studies in psychometry, including The Bell Curve on the social consequences of different levels of ability; Terman’s work on genius (the first to show that high ability people were not puny, shambling wrecks; but extremely productive and successful, and happier and better-adjusted than controls), the Study for Mathematically Precocious Youth, point out among many other things that the “brighter you are the more you achieve” holds even at the highest levels of intellect “The upper quartile within the top 1% were 18 times more likely to get a STEM doctorate than the bottom quartile within the top 1%.”

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g- factors derived from different test batteries correlate nearly perfectly with each other as long as each battery has a sufficient number of tests that sample a broad range of mental abilities and the tests are given to people sampled from the wide range of ability (Johnson et al ., 2004 , 2008b ). A recent study of 180 college students reported that a g -factor derived from their performance on a battery of video games correlated highly (0.93) with a g - factor extracted from their performance on a battery of cognitive tests (Ángeles Quiroga et al ., 2015)

Somewhat to my surprise, Haier believes that epigenetic research shows promise. This is not my field, but Robert Plomin, as far as I know, is doubtful that this will prove fruitful. We shall see.

In a large Dutch twin study (Posthuma et al ., 2003b ),the same identical twins were given mental test batteries repeatedly over time to assess general intelligence. The heritability estimate of general intelligence was 26% at age 5, 39% at age 7, 54% at age 10, 64% at age 12, and starting at age18 the estimate grew to over 80%. The increases could be due to several factors including more genes “turning on” with increasing age or gene– environment interactions.

In this context, a fascinating study of social class in Poland during its socialist years addressed this issue in an unusual way. This is an older study but quite illustrative ( Firkowska et al ., 1978 ). Here is the summary quoted directly from the published report: “The city of Warsaw was razed at the end of World War II and rebuilt under a socialist government whose policy was to allocate dwellings, schools, and health facilities without regard to social class. Of the 14,238 children born in 1963 and living in Warsaw, 96 percent were given the Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test and an arithmetic and a vocabulary test in March to June of 1974. Information was collected on the families of the children, and on characteristics of schools and city districts. Parental occupation and education were used to form a family factor, and the district data were collapsed into two factors, one relating to social marginality, and the other to distance from city center. Analysis showed that the initial assumption of even distribution of family, school, and district attributes was reasonable.6 Mental performance was unrelated either to school or district factors. It wasrelated to parental occupation and education in a strong and regular gradient.It is concluded that an egalitarian social policy executed over a generation failed to override the association of social and family factors with cognitive development that is characteristic of more traditional industrial societies.” In the context of this chapter, the confounding of genetic and SES factors leads to a possible alternative conclusion: Any influence of social policy on mental performance failed to override the influence of genetic factors. The same confounding is apparent in new studies that suggest that SES accounts for brain differences underlying cognitive/ achievement gaps, and we will detail them in Chapter 6.

Since the confounding of genetic effects with presumed social class effects is a bugbear of mine, I have copied out the main conclusions on the topic from Chapter 6 below:

Dr. David Lubinski has written a comprehensive review of the SES/ intelligence confounding issue (Lubinski, 2009 ). Although the context for his paper is Cognitive Epidemiology, the argument applies to all research using SES as a variable. Essentially, if a study incorporates measures of both SES and intelligence, statistical methods can help disentangle their respective effects. The interpretation of results from any study of SES cannot disentangle which factor is driving the result unless a measure of intelligence is included in the study. Studies of intelligence without considering SES are also problematic. When both variables are included in multivariate studies in large samples, the results typically show that general cognitive ability measures correlate with a particular variable of interest even after the effects of SES are statistically removed. For example, in a study of 641 Brazilian school children, SES did not predict scholastic achievement, but intelligence test scores did (Colom & Flores-Mendoza, 2007). An even larger classic study had data on 155,191 students from 41 American colleges and universities. Their analyses showed that SAT scores predicted academic performance about the same even after SES was controlled; that is, SES added no additional predictive power (Sackett et al ., 2009 ). Another study of 3,233 adolescents in Portugal found that parents’ level of education predicted intelligence in the children regardless of family income (Lemos et al ., 2011 ). These researchers stated their conclusion straightforwardly: “Adolescents from more affluent families tend to be brighter because their parents are brighter, not because they enjoy better family environments.”

 

The chapter goes on to make restrained criticism of the neuro-poverty interpretation placed on scanning results by Prof Noble, which I have discussed in detail before.

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/income-brain-race-and-big-gap

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/income-brain-race-prof-kimberly-noble

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/howitzer-or-katyusha-reply-to-prof-noble

The neuropsychology results begin in Chapter 3. This goes into the history of scanning, and the early days of scanning subjects either trying to solve problems while being scanned, and/or comparing brain activity given knowledge of their ability scores.

In 1988 Haier published the first PET study of students taking the Raven’s Matices test, showing that the brains of such students differed in terms of areas activated from those students doing a simpler attention task. In a master-stroke he correlated the Raven’s scores with brain activity, showing that the brightest students showed less brain activity. That’s right: less activity. Hence my frequent advice to earnest people who want to use more of their brain, which is that they should be bright enough to use less of their brain. Why sweat the small stuff?

 

Haier and colleagues proposed the brain efficiency hypothesis of intelligence:higher intelligence requires less brainwork. As Detterman would say, bright people overcome the bottleneck effect of brain inefficiency which is the main cause of the g factor. After studying student who had practiced Tetris many times, brains of experienced players showed less activity than brains of naïve players. Their interpretation was that the brain learned what areas NOT to use and became more efficient with practice. They also noticed a trend in this study for the people with the highest intelligence test scores to show the greatest decreases in brain activity after practice (Haier et al., 1992a). This finding is generally true, but not the whole story. Brains differ in how they learn and operate, and for example men and women matched for equal Maths scores show different patterns of brain activation as they solve mathematical problems.

Intelligence test scores are related to brain glucose metabolism. This helps validate that the test scores were not meaningless numbers representing a statistical artifact. In fact, as neuroimaging studies of intelligence continue to increase, old criticisms about intelligence test scores having no meaning are less and less meaningful, if they were ever meaningful at all.

Haier argues that men and women’s brains must be analysed separately, just as different ages must be so analysed.

We found a nearly perfect linear relationship between the g – loading of each subtest of the WAIS and the amount of gray matter correlated to each subtest score (Colom et al .,2006a ). Thus, we come to another important observation. IQ tests have the advantages of a standardized test battery but the scores combine the general factor along with other specific factors. So the question of how intelligence correlates to brain structure and function depends on whether the question is about g or about more specific mental abilities. Inconsistent results among these early studies likely result from confusion on this issue as well as from issues about sampling and image analysis.

Haier is a good explainer. He introduces each new technique with a crisp account of how it works and what data it produces. The result is a kindly introduction to a complex subject, all too often accepted on trust, because the pictures are pretty. Here we get a sober account of what can and cannot be deduced.

Even though fMRI had been used in hundreds of cognitive studies by 2006, only 17 studies included any measure of intelligence or reasoning. Of these 17 fMRI studies, all but three had sample sizes of 16 or fewer and there were a variety of control tasks (or the lack of any control task in some studies) and a variety of intelligence/ reasoning measures. None of the measures in these early studies were based on a battery of tests to estimate the g – factor.

Hence, most of the studies are very probably neuro-bollocks.

Haier and his colleague Rex Jung are proponents of the PFIT model of brain organization. Haier says: Note that “Integration” emphasizes that communication among the salient areas was key to the model because we have always recognized that identifying specific brain areas was only the beginning of a useful brain model of intelligence. Understanding the temporal and sequential interactions among networks that link the areas would be key.

Haier P-FIT brain

In stage 1, information enters the back portions of the brain through sensory perception channels. In stage 2, the information then flows forward to association areas of the brain that integrate relevant memory, and in stage 3 all this continues forward to the frontal lobes that consider the integrated information, weigh options, and decide on any action, so in stage 4 motor or speech areas for action are engaged if required. This is unlikely to be a strictly sequential, one- way flow. Complex problems are likely to require multiple, parallel sequences back and forth among networks as the problem is worked in real time.

The basic idea is that the intelligent brain integrates sensory information in posterior areas, and then the information is further integrated to higher- level processing as it flows to anterior areas. The PFIT also suggests that any one person need not have all these areas engaged to be intelligent. Several combinations may produce the same level of general intelligence, but with different strengths and weaknesses for other cognitive factors. For example, two people might have the same IQ, or g level, but one excels in verbal reasoning, and the other in mathematical reasoning. They may both have some PFIT areas in common, but it is likely they will differ in other areas.

Our hypothesis is that individual differences in intelligence, whether the g – factor or other specific factors, are rooted both in the structural characteristics of the specific PFIT areas and in the way information flows around these areas. Some people will have more gray matter in important areas or more white matter fibers connecting areas and some people will have more efficient information flow around the PFIT areas. These brain features lead some individuals to score higher on intelligence and mental ability tests, and other individuals to be less effi cient, and less good at problem solving. How the salient brain features may develop is a separate issue for future longitudinal studies of children and adolescents. In the next chapter we will see newer imaging methods that show millisecond changes in information flow throughout the brain so hypotheses about efficient information flow and intelligence can be tested.

Frameworks like the original and revised PFIT have conceptual problems related to a reliance on correlations that are fundamentally not interpretable regarding cause and effect between brain measures and cognitive measures (Kievit et al .,2011 ). One promising possibility for addressing this limitation that might advance the study of “neuro- g ” may be the use of analyses based on multiple indicators and multiple causes (Kievit et al ., 2012 ).

We are identifying the individual instruments in the orchestra. Learning how they work together to create the symphony of intelligence is a new challenge that requires even better technology such as the magneto- encephalogram (MEG).

Overall, the weight of results across multiple studies provides considerable, if not overwhelming, support for the parietal– frontal distribution hypothesis (albeit with some modifications) and some tentative support for the efficiency hypothesis based on measures of brain connectivity.

On one hand, efficiency remains a popular concept for thinking about neural circuit activity and how it relates to complex cognition (Bassett et al ., 2015 ). On the other hand, the concept has been characterized as so vague as to be useless, although it still has potential explanatory power if better defined and measured (Poldrack, 2015 ).

Will college entry one day be done by a restful brain scan rather than a stressful exam? The IQ-predicting power of brain scans has recently improved considerably, so this might be feasible one day.

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Genes influence brain networks and intelligence. Until specific genes and their expression are identified, we cannot distinguish directly whether genes influence brain morphometry, which then influences intelligence, or whether genes influence intelligence, which then influences brain morphometry. It is also possible that many genes influence both brain morphometry and intelligence (pleiotropy) and only some of them are common to both.

Conclusion

This is a good book at several levels. It has some good jokes scattered throughout the text, a great plus in my opinion. It gives a good introductory overview of intelligence research, and is another book to recommend to those who claim to have difficulty understanding the concept of intelligence as a measurable characteristic. It disposes of the popular memes of “boost your IQ by listening to Mozart/remembering numbers a few numbers back/eating special foods/doing crossword/playing computer games” which have to be countered at least once every 5 years. It also disposes of the view that a yet to be constructed test of “rationality” can replace tests of intelligence. It also succeeds in its intended purpose of giving a summary of the development of brain imaging and its application to understanding the link between brain functioning and intelligent behaviour. It hammers home a message about scientific progress: individual studies are unlikely to settle major questions, but a pattern of such studies may eventually lead to identifying general principles underlying the observed results. Results of individual studies confuse for at least two reasons. The first is about error: sample sizes are initially too small (though they are now getting larger), scanning techniques each have their peculiarities which lead errors; and the jumble of experimental tasks contribute noise. The second is about discovery: it may be necessary to study male and female brains separately, because they achieve fairly similar end products by different means; there may indeed be a P-FIT dance of brain messages, but different pathways may exist for bright and dull participants. P-FIT is still in the running, and a version of it may be refined and confirmed. At the moment, it is the leading theory for explaining intelligent brains. Eventually, a convergence of different scanning techniques, and a systematization of intellectual test conditions may lead to very big samples being gathered, sufficient to act as proper standardization samples for brain activity. That will push the whole field forwards from the cottage industry of small samples of restricted range of intelligence subjects doing disparate intellectual tasks to more broadly based collaborative studies using common methods of scanning and a core of agreed mental tasks.

Keep watching the scans.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Brain Scans, Brain Size, Intelligence, IQ 
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109 Comments to "Intelligent Brains"
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  1. James Thompson:
    It also disposes of the view that a yet to be constructed test of “rationality” can replace tests of intelligence.

    Keith E. Stanovich recently constructed this rationality test, named the “Comprehensive Assessment of Rational Thinking”. According to Stuart Ritchie CART test scores strongly correlate with IQ.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Thank you for sending me the reference, which I have read with interest. The paper shows that a test has been constructed, but gives no results. Prof Stanovich lists it on his own website as his most recent publication on rationality. However, though published in 2016 it relates to 2014. My comment still holds about the published literature. However, I will check to see if I can find something more up to date which may have been presented at a conference but not yet circulated. If you can find any test results, please send me the reference.
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  2. @B.B.
    James Thompson:
    It also disposes of the view that a yet to be constructed test of “rationality” can replace tests of intelligence.

    Keith E. Stanovich recently constructed this rationality test, named the "Comprehensive Assessment of Rational Thinking". According to Stuart Ritchie CART test scores strongly correlate with IQ.

    Thank you for sending me the reference, which I have read with interest. The paper shows that a test has been constructed, but gives no results. Prof Stanovich lists it on his own website as his most recent publication on rationality. However, though published in 2016 it relates to 2014. My comment still holds about the published literature. However, I will check to see if I can find something more up to date which may have been presented at a conference but not yet circulated. If you can find any test results, please send me the reference.

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  3. ”constructed test of “rationality” can replace tests of intelligence”

    Why someone quoted rationality word*

    I know when a sociologist quote the word truth, ;)

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  4. You say up above:

    The chapter goes on to make retrained criticism of the neuro-poverty interpretation placed on scanning results by Prof Noble, which I have discussed in detail before.

    Did you mean “restrained”?

    Given the 4% figure above, I wonder what percentage can program to the level where they can use all the tools available to generate code that builds and runs?

    Actually, what percentage can even program? There seems to be a naïve belief that we can teach lots of school children to do that and get great jobs in Silicon Valley.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Typo corrected, thanks. Programming is difficult, but I don't have actual figures on the levels of ability required.
    , @pyrrhus
    My impression of good software designers is that they are highly intelligent, and especially good in math. Top 1% at a minimum...I have known quite a few of them...
  5. “the first to show that high ability people were not puny, shambling wrecks; but extremely productive and successful, and happier and better-adjusted than controls”: surely many of us noticed that when we were at secondary school? In my school the teachers determined where pupils sat in class. The clever kids were assigned to the back couple of rows. There they were: on average taller, stronger, quicker; they filled the rugby and cricket teams, ran the school magazine, dominated in the debating society and the drama club. He’s bloody unfair, is God.

    “Human differences are hard to believe”: one striking way that that shows up is in the extraordinarily mistakes people make in doing something unfamiliar. You look at it and wonder “how could anyone be so dim?” On the other hand, even someone quite dim can become very skilful indeed at familiar tasks which might lead the clever to become bored, inattentive and therefore prone to mistakes. It takes all sorts.

    P.S. Isn’t it “confectionery”?

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  6. @Peripatetic commenter
    You say up above:

    The chapter goes on to make retrained criticism of the neuro-poverty interpretation placed on scanning results by Prof Noble, which I have discussed in detail before.
     
    Did you mean "restrained"?

    Given the 4% figure above, I wonder what percentage can program to the level where they can use all the tools available to generate code that builds and runs?

    Actually, what percentage can even program? There seems to be a naïve belief that we can teach lots of school children to do that and get great jobs in Silicon Valley.

    Typo corrected, thanks. Programming is difficult, but I don’t have actual figures on the levels of ability required.

    Read More
  7. I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans, and how the ‘width’ of that spectrum compares to other traits in humans and traits in other species. For example, I doubt there is a huge spectrum of ‘maximum speed’ in cheetahs, since if any individual fell far below the average it’s unlikely it would hand its genes on.

    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread – and that before the division of labor the spectrum of cognitive ability was much narrower? In other words, a division of labor in larger human groups created different evolutionarily succesful paths for being reproductively succesful (physical strength, honesty, obedience, various character traits) among which was exceptional IQ. If that’s true, would we find a narrower range of cognitive ability among peoples who have been primarily hunter gatherers for millennia?

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    • Replies: @Lauris Kaplinski
    It may be because of 2 somewhat related factors: a) A very large number of genes have to work in precise coherence to achieve high intelligence and thus random mutations and sub-optimal gene combinations break it more easily. b) Very high intelligence is evolutionarily novel (about 1 000 000 years old) and thus evolution has not yet produced the stable gene network that results in "optimal" level of intelligence with high level of redundancy.
    Also in strict sense it is impossible to compare the variability of intelligence to that of running speed, because in case of the former we do not have absolute scale (both mean and SD are normalized to arbitrary values) but the latter are measured in absolute physical units.
    , @James Thompson
    Interesting question. The prehistoric division of labour is unlikely to be the answer, because one would have to ask why there was a division of labour other than because people had different characteristics. As to hunter-gatherers I can't answer at the moment. The current remaining hunter-gatherers are not bright, but there could be many reasons for that, in that it is no longer a particularly viable way of life. Thanks for the comment, and the hypotheses.Also, see my next answer.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    That interesting question can perhaps be helpfully apporoached in other ways; e.g. by asking why intelligence and g haven't just gone on increasing much faster and to higher levels than appears to have been and be the case.

    Just as we have a problem now with the welfare state helping dysgenic breeding there was presumably no lack of pregnancies among nubile but dim women in many primitive societies and the dim but pretty would be impregnated more often by higher g males than by low g males. But the deficiencies of the dim females as mothers may have tended to counter that eugenic aspect of tribal sexual life.

    And could it be that there was a limit to the number of high g people that would be conducive to tribal or ethnic reproductive success in some societies. Let me pose an analogous question which may prompt thougjt about that. I worked with a couple of leaders who could get by and function adequately on remarkably little sleep. One I knew particularly well was not obviously seriously high g (certainly *well* below 140 IQ) and might well be yawning when someone tried to explain a problem at 11 pm on a busy day which he had begun by getting his driver to pick him up at 5 am to take him to a quick country meeting but still he funcioned. I used to compare him with Margaret Thatcher's reputed 4 hours a night and proffered the theory that tribes needed people who were alert late at night and others who were alert early in the morning (set aside for present purposes the idea that there was also utility in the neurotic insomniacs at 2 am) but that more than a very few dynamic people who were alert early and late could produce damaging clashes between ambitious and opinionated people of enormous energy.

    , @dave chamberlin
    I really like your question and have been thinking about this for some time. There is an enormous spectrum in functional IQ in people and from a simple evolutionary point of view it should not be there.

    Your analogy of the poor thinkers being slow cheetahs and that they should have been bred out of existence makes sense until you look at the complexity of the human brain. One third of our 25,000 genes are expressed in brain function. So many things can go wrong to make brain function sub optimal and evolution is so hit and miss in correcting error it is a wonder that humans evolved at all.

    Francis Crick was fascinated with the human brain and liked to use the analogy of the eye to human intelligence. It is a very interesting analogy. For one thing once life evolved the eye, life changed very dramatically as life forms exploded in complexity with the chasers and the chased. There were other causes of the Cambrian explosion but the evolution of the eye was one of the primary reasons for it. Are we once again approaching a singularity where life moves in unexpected directions because of the evolution of a new sensory organ? It is fun to think about.

    All it takes for the eye to require glasses is for it to be slightly oblong, not a perfect circle. There must be a thousand ways for a brain to function sub optimally.

    Keep posting James Thompson and thank you for the recommendation of a book that sounds very much worth reading.
    , @art guerrilla
    if you don't know, approx 25% of the population are authoritarians...
    i figure it came about because your stupider nekkid apes glommed onto the fattest, wiliest Big Daddy, and drank what he drank, ate what he ate, hated who Big Daddy hated (even if that changes arbitrarily tomorrow), and essentially did WHATEVER Big Daddy said to do...
    easy life : leave all the thinking to Big Daddy and go along for the ride...
    related to why even obvious and highly desirable social changes are so difficult, because we have a hard corps 25% who bark at anything new, and only accept it if Big Daddy says it is okay...
    , @iffen
    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread

    Maybe it was an early prehistoric caring about the survival of everyone in the group.
    , @The most deplorable one
    We know that in any environment there are often related species that exploit different niches.

    We also know that humans select different breeds of certain animals for their own use. Eg, dogs, horses ...

    What if? Nah, it's too ugly to even consider.

    , @another fred

    I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans,...
     
    The most popular theory (hypothesis) is that it was a combination of environmental stress and environmental opportunity.

    In Africa, where seasons do not vary as widely it is easier to make a living. The women work the fields and men hunt for protein. There are a lot of resources, but not so much of a need to come up with new ways to exploit them.

    As you move into Eurasia the seasons vary more and more planning is required. There are still lots of resources and a high premium for coming up with a way to exploit them. As you move farther, above the Arctic Circle e.g., the environmental stress is very high, but the resources are limited. The greatest reward is on repeating careful behavior on limited resources (not as much opportunity to innovate, so not as much reward).

    That seems to be the most popular theory anyway, a combination of stress which places a high value on innovation and the opportunity to innovate because of available resources. Both being necessary, neither being sufficient.

    Living in the SE USA I will also tell you that heavy vegetation and deep soil are very effective at hiding mineral resources.

  8. @blank-misgivings
    I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans, and how the 'width' of that spectrum compares to other traits in humans and traits in other species. For example, I doubt there is a huge spectrum of 'maximum speed' in cheetahs, since if any individual fell far below the average it's unlikely it would hand its genes on.

    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread - and that before the division of labor the spectrum of cognitive ability was much narrower? In other words, a division of labor in larger human groups created different evolutionarily succesful paths for being reproductively succesful (physical strength, honesty, obedience, various character traits) among which was exceptional IQ. If that's true, would we find a narrower range of cognitive ability among peoples who have been primarily hunter gatherers for millennia?

    It may be because of 2 somewhat related factors: a) A very large number of genes have to work in precise coherence to achieve high intelligence and thus random mutations and sub-optimal gene combinations break it more easily. b) Very high intelligence is evolutionarily novel (about 1 000 000 years old) and thus evolution has not yet produced the stable gene network that results in “optimal” level of intelligence with high level of redundancy.
    Also in strict sense it is impossible to compare the variability of intelligence to that of running speed, because in case of the former we do not have absolute scale (both mean and SD are normalized to arbitrary values) but the latter are measured in absolute physical units.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Agree with a) and am interested in the possibilities of b).
    As to speed, this is less of a problem, because all we are interested in is the standard deviation of completion times. Setting a race of fixed length we note the times taken by, say, a class of children to complete the race. Then we set the class a set of mental tasks, and again measure time to completion of each child.
    If we want other physical measures, grip strenght is a good candidate among many others.
    As a rule of thumb there is a five-fold difference between the fastest and the slowest child in completing a mental task.
    , @James Thompson
    Agree with a) and am interested in the possibilities of b).
    As to speed, this is less of a problem, because all we are interested in is the standard deviation of completion times. Setting a race of fixed length we note the times taken by, say, a class of children to complete the race. Then we set the class a set of mental tasks, and again measure time to completion of each child.
    If we want other physical measures, grip strenght is a good candidate among many others.
    As a rule of thumb there is a five-fold difference between the fastest and the slowest child in completing a mental task.
  9. […] No story about the brain is simple; no one study is definitive; and it takes many years to sort out conflicting and inconsistent findings and establish a weight of evidence. It is a fundamental truth that any researcher who can put a person in a scanner can publish a paper. Any researcher able to talk […] – Read full story at Hacker News […]

    Read More
  10. It’s always a Terman study replication…

    but and creativity**

    ;)

    “the first to show that high ability people were not puny, shambling wrecks; but extremely productive and successful, and happier and better-adjusted than controls”

    Or, realistic interpretation

    ”they” tend to be conformist [whatever monster...], morally stupid and little concerned about well being of their supposed fellows, ;)

    Read More
  11. Thanks, Prof. Thompson. Non-expert casual reader here, and something of an insider-observer of my local Podunk Tech. I’m learning something about the complexity of the subject matter, that’s for sure.

    Your work and that of your colleagues may offer some political corrective to a mind-set or dogma that’s common in the States. That mind-set runs something like this: Bright students will always do well no matter how few resources are devoted to their education. Less bright students will always do better if only more resources were devoted to their education.

    I’ve broad-brushed the idea, of course, but I think it undergirds much of the hypocrisy, bureaucratic sloth, and sheer waste within our education establishments here.

    Read More
    • Agree: dearieme
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets

    Bright students will always do well no matter how few resources are devoted to their education. Less bright students will always do better if only more resources were devoted to their education.
     
    You have NO IDEA.

    My wife is a 4th grade public school teacher. During the last 10 years the district implemented Federally-mandated "Special Ed Inclusion," which means that children with IQ's as low as 56 (not a misprint) are placed in regular classes with students whose IQ's are as high as any parent will send to a public school.

    Imagine trying to teach long division to a class where a third of the students have IQ's below 80.
    1. Some of those kids cannot EVER learn the material. Below a certain point, people have zero carryover from day to day. Each attempt to practice a skill is like Groundhog Day, the movie.
    2. Average and above-average students get bored...and eventually begin to act out. Kids whose parents taught them self-control begin to actually regress, and schools increasingly look like Lord of the Flies.

    Inclusion is now universal across the USA. Yes, by the time kids get to Middle School (age 12 or so) most districts will begin to split the very low from the rest, but in grade schools you can have 27 kids in a single classroom spanning four or more standard deviations in intelligence.

    Anyone who thinks this makes sense redefines ideologically blinded. Yet any discussion of reversing this worst-in-the-history-of-pedagogy policy is shouted down as being "against the handicapped." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/choosing-sides-on-school-inclusion_us_57ba1a52e4b007f18198d771

    If a man with a fully-functional set of male genitalia is deemed a woman just by him saying so and should be allowed to shower nude next to 10 year old girls, and desegregation of schools demands that there be a white student assigned to sit next to a black student (because the latter will benefit, even as the former is sacrificed), then the education of the able student must be sacrificed so that the disabled student is raised some arbitrary amount.

    Socialism hasn't died. Leftists just want the "From whom according to their ability" to be defined in non-monetary terms, so that the bright cannot be allowed the full benefit of what Nature distributed to them.

    They do this to your children, by the way.

    Grade schools across the USA are now completely dysfunctional, diverting vast resources away from the Middle in favor of raising the low...a Utopian goal just as impossible as is equalizing the median physical strength between men and women or the educational attainment & family wealth between those of predominantly Northern European ancestry and those of African ancestry.

  12. @blank-misgivings
    I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans, and how the 'width' of that spectrum compares to other traits in humans and traits in other species. For example, I doubt there is a huge spectrum of 'maximum speed' in cheetahs, since if any individual fell far below the average it's unlikely it would hand its genes on.

    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread - and that before the division of labor the spectrum of cognitive ability was much narrower? In other words, a division of labor in larger human groups created different evolutionarily succesful paths for being reproductively succesful (physical strength, honesty, obedience, various character traits) among which was exceptional IQ. If that's true, would we find a narrower range of cognitive ability among peoples who have been primarily hunter gatherers for millennia?

    Interesting question. The prehistoric division of labour is unlikely to be the answer, because one would have to ask why there was a division of labour other than because people had different characteristics. As to hunter-gatherers I can’t answer at the moment. The current remaining hunter-gatherers are not bright, but there could be many reasons for that, in that it is no longer a particularly viable way of life. Thanks for the comment, and the hypotheses.Also, see my next answer.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I wrote #11 before seeing this.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Further to #11 & #12 can I tempt you to say something about how much sleep human beings need (need for what? Iam happy to hear you say if you will also answer it!)

    Time and againit is said that people are not getting enough sleep and that they need 7 or 8 hours a night but it seems obvious to me that the need for sleep is distributed like other polygenetic attributes on something like a normal curve. Let's just say 7.25 hours is about right for an adult and the sd is 1 hour. Does that make sense. Rupert Murdoch's mother (still vigorous in mind and body till close to her death at 102) was noted for her energy and stamina and said when asked that she had averaged 5.5 hours a night in adult life. Mind you she could be seen with her eyes closed in the front row when a musical recital was being given for charity at her house. Fair enough perhaps at 90+. It is an important question because maybe a 2sd person working 17 hours a day will give more value than the 3sd person who works 11 hours. That could be true even in a profession like the law, e.g. scanning transcripts for clues as to what really happened or where a lie has been told. How many Nobel Prizes have been won by time in the lab rather than sheer brilliance while lying flat in bed?
  13. @blank-misgivings
    I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans, and how the 'width' of that spectrum compares to other traits in humans and traits in other species. For example, I doubt there is a huge spectrum of 'maximum speed' in cheetahs, since if any individual fell far below the average it's unlikely it would hand its genes on.

    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread - and that before the division of labor the spectrum of cognitive ability was much narrower? In other words, a division of labor in larger human groups created different evolutionarily succesful paths for being reproductively succesful (physical strength, honesty, obedience, various character traits) among which was exceptional IQ. If that's true, would we find a narrower range of cognitive ability among peoples who have been primarily hunter gatherers for millennia?

    That interesting question can perhaps be helpfully apporoached in other ways; e.g. by asking why intelligence and g haven’t just gone on increasing much faster and to higher levels than appears to have been and be the case.

    Just as we have a problem now with the welfare state helping dysgenic breeding there was presumably no lack of pregnancies among nubile but dim women in many primitive societies and the dim but pretty would be impregnated more often by higher g males than by low g males. But the deficiencies of the dim females as mothers may have tended to counter that eugenic aspect of tribal sexual life.

    And could it be that there was a limit to the number of high g people that would be conducive to tribal or ethnic reproductive success in some societies. Let me pose an analogous question which may prompt thougjt about that. I worked with a couple of leaders who could get by and function adequately on remarkably little sleep. One I knew particularly well was not obviously seriously high g (certainly *well* below 140 IQ) and might well be yawning when someone tried to explain a problem at 11 pm on a busy day which he had begun by getting his driver to pick him up at 5 am to take him to a quick country meeting but still he funcioned. I used to compare him with Margaret Thatcher’s reputed 4 hours a night and proffered the theory that tribes needed people who were alert late at night and others who were alert early in the morning (set aside for present purposes the idea that there was also utility in the neurotic insomniacs at 2 am) but that more than a very few dynamic people who were alert early and late could produce damaging clashes between ambitious and opinionated people of enormous energy.

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  14. @James Thompson
    Interesting question. The prehistoric division of labour is unlikely to be the answer, because one would have to ask why there was a division of labour other than because people had different characteristics. As to hunter-gatherers I can't answer at the moment. The current remaining hunter-gatherers are not bright, but there could be many reasons for that, in that it is no longer a particularly viable way of life. Thanks for the comment, and the hypotheses.Also, see my next answer.

    I wrote #11 before seeing this.

    Read More
  15. @Lauris Kaplinski
    It may be because of 2 somewhat related factors: a) A very large number of genes have to work in precise coherence to achieve high intelligence and thus random mutations and sub-optimal gene combinations break it more easily. b) Very high intelligence is evolutionarily novel (about 1 000 000 years old) and thus evolution has not yet produced the stable gene network that results in "optimal" level of intelligence with high level of redundancy.
    Also in strict sense it is impossible to compare the variability of intelligence to that of running speed, because in case of the former we do not have absolute scale (both mean and SD are normalized to arbitrary values) but the latter are measured in absolute physical units.

    Agree with a) and am interested in the possibilities of b).
    As to speed, this is less of a problem, because all we are interested in is the standard deviation of completion times. Setting a race of fixed length we note the times taken by, say, a class of children to complete the race. Then we set the class a set of mental tasks, and again measure time to completion of each child.
    If we want other physical measures, grip strenght is a good candidate among many others.
    As a rule of thumb there is a five-fold difference between the fastest and the slowest child in completing a mental task.

    Read More
  16. @James Thompson
    Interesting question. The prehistoric division of labour is unlikely to be the answer, because one would have to ask why there was a division of labour other than because people had different characteristics. As to hunter-gatherers I can't answer at the moment. The current remaining hunter-gatherers are not bright, but there could be many reasons for that, in that it is no longer a particularly viable way of life. Thanks for the comment, and the hypotheses.Also, see my next answer.

    Further to #11 & #12 can I tempt you to say something about how much sleep human beings need (need for what? Iam happy to hear you say if you will also answer it!)

    Time and againit is said that people are not getting enough sleep and that they need 7 or 8 hours a night but it seems obvious to me that the need for sleep is distributed like other polygenetic attributes on something like a normal curve. Let’s just say 7.25 hours is about right for an adult and the sd is 1 hour. Does that make sense. Rupert Murdoch’s mother (still vigorous in mind and body till close to her death at 102) was noted for her energy and stamina and said when asked that she had averaged 5.5 hours a night in adult life. Mind you she could be seen with her eyes closed in the front row when a musical recital was being given for charity at her house. Fair enough perhaps at 90+. It is an important question because maybe a 2sd person working 17 hours a day will give more value than the 3sd person who works 11 hours. That could be true even in a profession like the law, e.g. scanning transcripts for clues as to what really happened or where a lie has been told. How many Nobel Prizes have been won by time in the lab rather than sheer brilliance while lying flat in bed?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I acknowledge that the evidence that high IQ people use less mental energy, cet. par., than lower IQ people on a given cognitive task is relevant here.

    That is to say the extra hours put in by the lower IQ person will not only achieve results more slowly but they will cost more in energy per unit of value achieved.

  17. @Wizard of Oz
    Further to #11 & #12 can I tempt you to say something about how much sleep human beings need (need for what? Iam happy to hear you say if you will also answer it!)

    Time and againit is said that people are not getting enough sleep and that they need 7 or 8 hours a night but it seems obvious to me that the need for sleep is distributed like other polygenetic attributes on something like a normal curve. Let's just say 7.25 hours is about right for an adult and the sd is 1 hour. Does that make sense. Rupert Murdoch's mother (still vigorous in mind and body till close to her death at 102) was noted for her energy and stamina and said when asked that she had averaged 5.5 hours a night in adult life. Mind you she could be seen with her eyes closed in the front row when a musical recital was being given for charity at her house. Fair enough perhaps at 90+. It is an important question because maybe a 2sd person working 17 hours a day will give more value than the 3sd person who works 11 hours. That could be true even in a profession like the law, e.g. scanning transcripts for clues as to what really happened or where a lie has been told. How many Nobel Prizes have been won by time in the lab rather than sheer brilliance while lying flat in bed?

    I acknowledge that the evidence that high IQ people use less mental energy, cet. par., than lower IQ people on a given cognitive task is relevant here.

    That is to say the extra hours put in by the lower IQ person will not only achieve results more slowly but they will cost more in energy per unit of value achieved.

    Read More
  18. No story about the brain is simple; no one study is definitive; and it takes many years to sort out conflicting and inconsistent findings and establish a weight of evidence.

    Even then there will be no shortage of people who will waste no time perverting ,twisting, and misapplying the best of evidence it in every disgusting way imaginable.

    And don’t forget that with enough coin, one can probably buy any evidence he desires.

    Read More
  19. @Peripatetic commenter
    You say up above:

    The chapter goes on to make retrained criticism of the neuro-poverty interpretation placed on scanning results by Prof Noble, which I have discussed in detail before.
     
    Did you mean "restrained"?

    Given the 4% figure above, I wonder what percentage can program to the level where they can use all the tools available to generate code that builds and runs?

    Actually, what percentage can even program? There seems to be a naïve belief that we can teach lots of school children to do that and get great jobs in Silicon Valley.

    My impression of good software designers is that they are highly intelligent, and especially good in math. Top 1% at a minimum…I have known quite a few of them…

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  20. Many thanks for such an informative and lengthy article, Dr. Thompson!

    Read More
  21. @Lauris Kaplinski
    It may be because of 2 somewhat related factors: a) A very large number of genes have to work in precise coherence to achieve high intelligence and thus random mutations and sub-optimal gene combinations break it more easily. b) Very high intelligence is evolutionarily novel (about 1 000 000 years old) and thus evolution has not yet produced the stable gene network that results in "optimal" level of intelligence with high level of redundancy.
    Also in strict sense it is impossible to compare the variability of intelligence to that of running speed, because in case of the former we do not have absolute scale (both mean and SD are normalized to arbitrary values) but the latter are measured in absolute physical units.

    Agree with a) and am interested in the possibilities of b).
    As to speed, this is less of a problem, because all we are interested in is the standard deviation of completion times. Setting a race of fixed length we note the times taken by, say, a class of children to complete the race. Then we set the class a set of mental tasks, and again measure time to completion of each child.
    If we want other physical measures, grip strenght is a good candidate among many others.
    As a rule of thumb there is a five-fold difference between the fastest and the slowest child in completing a mental task.

    Read More
  22. I went though a period of obsession with IQ, and now realize it was a quixotic search for grounding confidence in my conclusions in some sort of objective benchmark.

    Cognition, to me, is very heterogeneous. A person capable of factoring complex mathematical equations in his head may demonstrate poor social skills or blindness to common manipulative behaviors in others. Very bright and extraordinarily brilliant people arrive at some extraordinarily foolish conclusions, indicating to me that biases and beliefs form a filter through which their rational cognition must pass, yielding rationalizations, not valid conclusions.

    For a time I joined Colloquy Society (IQ min = 140) and while the high intellects of members were sometimes quite visible, their conclusions about social phenomena (which often inform politics) exhibited mountain-sized biases. These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.

    That’s as large a caution about the infallibility of “intelligence” as I can imagine. No matter how high the IQ, no man can escape the filter of emotion, ego and hardwired bias. My search for bedrock on which to trust my own conclusions was destroyed.

    The politico-social implications of intelligence, its heritability and emerging knowledge about Human BioDiversity grow rapidly as what amounts to a 50-year Theocratic Rule of the West fights tooth and nail to close this Pandora’s Box. Many people fear the truth will lead to justifications for what they consider unconscionable political policies.

    Read that again. They fear the truth.

    The Cult of Homogeneous Diversity (and the vast industry supported by it) is The Emperor’s New Clothes. Socialist (coercive) redistribution of the fruits of Nature’s DNA shuffle is losing its central thesis (natural, innate equality), and as it does so, attempts to prop it are draining what remains of its moral high ground.

    This is a change every bit as profound as the Lutheran Reformation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res

    For a time I joined Colloquy Society (IQ min = 140) and while the high intellects of members were sometimes quite visible, their conclusions about social phenomena (which often inform politics) exhibited mountain-sized biases. These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.
     
    Do you encounter similarly smart people in your work or other social settings? There is a meme that high IQ societies implicitly select for people lacking other accomplishments in their lives and/or time consuming activities which use that intellect (i.e. quite possibly lacking some important non-IQ skills). I certainly don't buy this as a universal rule (I'm guessing you qualify as an existence proof for my contention that it is not universal), but I think there is some truth in that meme. This makes me reluctant to use high IQ societies to evaluate the traits of high IQ people in general.

    What do you think?

    P.S. To be clear, I definitely agree with this conclusion: "No matter how high the IQ, no man can escape the filter of emotion, ego and hardwired bias."
    , @another fred

    Many people fear the truth will lead to justifications for what they consider unconscionable political policies.
    Read that again. They fear the truth.
     
    Some will proudly acknowledge that they are denying reality - as a sign of their virtue.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Well, they are using their very high IQ in order to confabulate explanations away from what may be an unpleasant reality. Its a time-honored tradition in the spirit of the best scholars of both past and present.
    , @Bobzilla

    These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.
     
    My experiences align with yours. I have worked with many people who are extremely intelligent. Yet, you can take two of those people and their views on socio-political, religious, and even matters of science (e.g. origins of man), are completely opposite. Clearly. intelligence is not the only (or overriding) factor in how people arrive at certain conclusions. My own experience tells me that people on the Left eschew the data (or truth), more so than their counterparts on the right, in order to justify their beliefs.
  23. @JackOH
    Thanks, Prof. Thompson. Non-expert casual reader here, and something of an insider-observer of my local Podunk Tech. I'm learning something about the complexity of the subject matter, that's for sure.

    Your work and that of your colleagues may offer some political corrective to a mind-set or dogma that's common in the States. That mind-set runs something like this: Bright students will always do well no matter how few resources are devoted to their education. Less bright students will always do better if only more resources were devoted to their education.

    I've broad-brushed the idea, of course, but I think it undergirds much of the hypocrisy, bureaucratic sloth, and sheer waste within our education establishments here.

    Bright students will always do well no matter how few resources are devoted to their education. Less bright students will always do better if only more resources were devoted to their education.

    You have NO IDEA.

    My wife is a 4th grade public school teacher. During the last 10 years the district implemented Federally-mandated “Special Ed Inclusion,” which means that children with IQ’s as low as 56 (not a misprint) are placed in regular classes with students whose IQ’s are as high as any parent will send to a public school.

    Imagine trying to teach long division to a class where a third of the students have IQ’s below 80.
    1. Some of those kids cannot EVER learn the material. Below a certain point, people have zero carryover from day to day. Each attempt to practice a skill is like Groundhog Day, the movie.
    2. Average and above-average students get bored…and eventually begin to act out. Kids whose parents taught them self-control begin to actually regress, and schools increasingly look like Lord of the Flies.

    Inclusion is now universal across the USA. Yes, by the time kids get to Middle School (age 12 or so) most districts will begin to split the very low from the rest, but in grade schools you can have 27 kids in a single classroom spanning four or more standard deviations in intelligence.

    Anyone who thinks this makes sense redefines ideologically blinded. Yet any discussion of reversing this worst-in-the-history-of-pedagogy policy is shouted down as being “against the handicapped.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/choosing-sides-on-school-inclusion_us_57ba1a52e4b007f18198d771

    If a man with a fully-functional set of male genitalia is deemed a woman just by him saying so and should be allowed to shower nude next to 10 year old girls, and desegregation of schools demands that there be a white student assigned to sit next to a black student (because the latter will benefit, even as the former is sacrificed), then the education of the able student must be sacrificed so that the disabled student is raised some arbitrary amount.

    Socialism hasn’t died. Leftists just want the “From whom according to their ability” to be defined in non-monetary terms, so that the bright cannot be allowed the full benefit of what Nature distributed to them.

    They do this to your children, by the way.

    Grade schools across the USA are now completely dysfunctional, diverting vast resources away from the Middle in favor of raising the low…a Utopian goal just as impossible as is equalizing the median physical strength between men and women or the educational attainment & family wealth between those of predominantly Northern European ancestry and those of African ancestry.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets
    I might add that very low intelligence students usually come from (obviously) very low intelligence homes. It is impossible for a school to remediate this; by the time a child reaches 4th grade, if they're capable then mom (and/or dad) has drilled them in multiplication facts so learning "4th grade math" is fast and straightforward.

    Kids from "the trailer park" rarely get this. Their parents cannot do 4th grade math (and some of those parents show up as "paraprofessionals" in classrooms, a discussion for a different topic.)

    The Inclusion Model is "It Takes A Village" combined with the Leftist Cult's raising of the state to the status of an Earthly God, able to make wine out of water and calculus-capable high schoolers out of what used to be termed "mentally retarded" grade schoolers.

    Ideas have consequences, and as the current folie a plusiers embrace of "unlimited resouces" crashes into the reality that borrowing cannot go on forever, emerging truths about intelligence, heritability and HBD are poised to fuel a sea change in how schools allocate what will suddenly be very scarce resources.
    , @JackOH
    Thanks, and, I may not have been clear, but the mind-set I sketched is something I'm opposed to.

    "My wife is a 4th grade public school teacher. During the last 10 years the district implemented Federally-mandated “Special Ed Inclusion,” which means that children with IQ’s as low as 56 (not a misprint) are placed in regular classes with students whose IQ’s are as high as any parent will send to a public school."

    I don't have anything to match the nightmarish classroom (so it seems to me) your wife works in.

    I've privately admitted to myself that maybe 80% of the students at my local Podunk Tech probably benefit little or not at all from higher education, and even secondary education is probably a dubious proposition for many students who'd be happier entering the work force as informal apprentices working limited hours until they reached adult age.

    But, the "helping professions" (teaching, medicine, perhaps law enforcement, and others) can be among the most vicious of lobbyists, essentially using their specialized skills and positions to extort concessions from legislatures and the public.
  24. @dc.sunsets
    I went though a period of obsession with IQ, and now realize it was a quixotic search for grounding confidence in my conclusions in some sort of objective benchmark.

    Cognition, to me, is very heterogeneous. A person capable of factoring complex mathematical equations in his head may demonstrate poor social skills or blindness to common manipulative behaviors in others. Very bright and extraordinarily brilliant people arrive at some extraordinarily foolish conclusions, indicating to me that biases and beliefs form a filter through which their rational cognition must pass, yielding rationalizations, not valid conclusions.

    For a time I joined Colloquy Society (IQ min = 140) and while the high intellects of members were sometimes quite visible, their conclusions about social phenomena (which often inform politics) exhibited mountain-sized biases. These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.

    That's as large a caution about the infallibility of "intelligence" as I can imagine. No matter how high the IQ, no man can escape the filter of emotion, ego and hardwired bias. My search for bedrock on which to trust my own conclusions was destroyed.

    The politico-social implications of intelligence, its heritability and emerging knowledge about Human BioDiversity grow rapidly as what amounts to a 50-year Theocratic Rule of the West fights tooth and nail to close this Pandora's Box. Many people fear the truth will lead to justifications for what they consider unconscionable political policies.

    Read that again. They fear the truth.

    The Cult of Homogeneous Diversity (and the vast industry supported by it) is The Emperor's New Clothes. Socialist (coercive) redistribution of the fruits of Nature's DNA shuffle is losing its central thesis (natural, innate equality), and as it does so, attempts to prop it are draining what remains of its moral high ground.

    This is a change every bit as profound as the Lutheran Reformation.

    For a time I joined Colloquy Society (IQ min = 140) and while the high intellects of members were sometimes quite visible, their conclusions about social phenomena (which often inform politics) exhibited mountain-sized biases. These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.

    Do you encounter similarly smart people in your work or other social settings? There is a meme that high IQ societies implicitly select for people lacking other accomplishments in their lives and/or time consuming activities which use that intellect (i.e. quite possibly lacking some important non-IQ skills). I certainly don’t buy this as a universal rule (I’m guessing you qualify as an existence proof for my contention that it is not universal), but I think there is some truth in that meme. This makes me reluctant to use high IQ societies to evaluate the traits of high IQ people in general.

    What do you think?

    P.S. To be clear, I definitely agree with this conclusion: “No matter how high the IQ, no man can escape the filter of emotion, ego and hardwired bias.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets

    Do you encounter similarly smart people in your work or other social settings?
     
    No. Funny you should ask. (grin) My wife is very bright in a practical/functional way so with her I enjoy excellent dialogue. I worked in sales (medical/pharmaceutical) where being a bit above average is optimal. The first person to be "sold" on anything is the salesperson, and the ability to too easily see behind the curtain hurts this. Other social settings are actually quite unpleasant to me. I spent a career in sales mimicking other people in order to be successful; I'm happy not to have to do that any more. This is doubly true when one considers that the average IQ of physicians is 120-121, and their average arrogance quotient is 99% or higher, meaning that I found calling on many of them (as my customers) exceedingly punishing. Every one of them always thinks they're the smartest person in every room they enter. OTOH, I always was (just kidding.)

    Colloquy had quite a spectrum. There were unemployed young people and others whose occupations were so technical, specialized and demanding of astronomical intellect that I could only marvel at what they wrote in the forum. There were physicians (perhaps more arrogant even than typical) and other professions were well represented.

    Their political persuasion skewed waaaaay left. I learned that the smarter one is, the more capable one becomes at constructing elaborate, impenetrable rationalizations for what to a 70 year old farmer with an 8th grade education would be laughably stupid beliefs. A fair number of those folks wouldn't last a day stranded in snow storm and if you dropped them off in Chicago's Englewood at 5 PM on Friday they'd be in the morgue by Sunday morning.

    There is definitely a sample bias problem involved; it takes a certain kind of person to seek the external affirmation of joining such a group. Colloquy is free on on-line, and accepts a broad range of surrogate tests (e.g., the GRE) so the low barrier to entry might slightly reduce this bias, but I can't say for sure. I hear Mensa is a nest of nasty people convinced they're always the smartest person in the room. I didn't get a lot of that at Colloquy, only the "you're a bad person if you don't share the Left Cult sacraments."

    I'm suspicious that once you reach a certain level, you become more aware that no matter how much you know, the breadth and depth of what you don't know is astronomically larger. This is how I envision it:


    Imagine you're in a dark warehouse, holding a flashlight. The circle of illumination is the sum of your knowledge. The total space of the warehouse is the sum of all possible knowledge and while you can't see the walls or ceiling, you have a sense of immensity.

    You add to your knowledge (get a graduate degree, take a class on US history, read David Stockman's The Great Deformation, etc.) so your flashlight gets brighter. The problem is, while you can illuminate more of the warehouse, your sense of its total size just grew by several orders of magnitude. As you know more, the sum of total knowledge rises even faster.
     

    My inquiry into this came full circle. I always believed I was a pinch short of smart enough to be happy about it, and I'm still just a pinch short of being smart enough. The best I can say is that all three of my sons are extremely bright, all employed in STEM fields and producing way above their ages and job titles. All are "Millennials," but are enjoying the full "American Dream" path of good employment, marriage, home ownership and having kids. Life really is an IQ test, and it now requires a lot more IQ horsepower to obtain what our parents had. Charles Murray is right about this looming crisis, although I disagree with his proposed fixes.
  25. @dc.sunsets

    Bright students will always do well no matter how few resources are devoted to their education. Less bright students will always do better if only more resources were devoted to their education.
     
    You have NO IDEA.

    My wife is a 4th grade public school teacher. During the last 10 years the district implemented Federally-mandated "Special Ed Inclusion," which means that children with IQ's as low as 56 (not a misprint) are placed in regular classes with students whose IQ's are as high as any parent will send to a public school.

    Imagine trying to teach long division to a class where a third of the students have IQ's below 80.
    1. Some of those kids cannot EVER learn the material. Below a certain point, people have zero carryover from day to day. Each attempt to practice a skill is like Groundhog Day, the movie.
    2. Average and above-average students get bored...and eventually begin to act out. Kids whose parents taught them self-control begin to actually regress, and schools increasingly look like Lord of the Flies.

    Inclusion is now universal across the USA. Yes, by the time kids get to Middle School (age 12 or so) most districts will begin to split the very low from the rest, but in grade schools you can have 27 kids in a single classroom spanning four or more standard deviations in intelligence.

    Anyone who thinks this makes sense redefines ideologically blinded. Yet any discussion of reversing this worst-in-the-history-of-pedagogy policy is shouted down as being "against the handicapped." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/choosing-sides-on-school-inclusion_us_57ba1a52e4b007f18198d771

    If a man with a fully-functional set of male genitalia is deemed a woman just by him saying so and should be allowed to shower nude next to 10 year old girls, and desegregation of schools demands that there be a white student assigned to sit next to a black student (because the latter will benefit, even as the former is sacrificed), then the education of the able student must be sacrificed so that the disabled student is raised some arbitrary amount.

    Socialism hasn't died. Leftists just want the "From whom according to their ability" to be defined in non-monetary terms, so that the bright cannot be allowed the full benefit of what Nature distributed to them.

    They do this to your children, by the way.

    Grade schools across the USA are now completely dysfunctional, diverting vast resources away from the Middle in favor of raising the low...a Utopian goal just as impossible as is equalizing the median physical strength between men and women or the educational attainment & family wealth between those of predominantly Northern European ancestry and those of African ancestry.

    I might add that very low intelligence students usually come from (obviously) very low intelligence homes. It is impossible for a school to remediate this; by the time a child reaches 4th grade, if they’re capable then mom (and/or dad) has drilled them in multiplication facts so learning “4th grade math” is fast and straightforward.

    Kids from “the trailer park” rarely get this. Their parents cannot do 4th grade math (and some of those parents show up as “paraprofessionals” in classrooms, a discussion for a different topic.)

    The Inclusion Model is “It Takes A Village” combined with the Leftist Cult’s raising of the state to the status of an Earthly God, able to make wine out of water and calculus-capable high schoolers out of what used to be termed “mentally retarded” grade schoolers.

    Ideas have consequences, and as the current folie a plusiers embrace of “unlimited resouces” crashes into the reality that borrowing cannot go on forever, emerging truths about intelligence, heritability and HBD are poised to fuel a sea change in how schools allocate what will suddenly be very scarce resources.

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  26. Dr. Thompson,

    I thought I might alert to you a recent paper by Amy Wax, “The Poverty of the Neuroscience of Poverty.” (Her work has been praised in the HBD-sphere before.) Her most recent paper makes many references to your blog; thus you might be interested to read it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Thank you so much for alerting me to this, which I would have not otherwise seen. Refreshing to see an academic paper referencing the arguments put forward in a blog.
  27. @res

    For a time I joined Colloquy Society (IQ min = 140) and while the high intellects of members were sometimes quite visible, their conclusions about social phenomena (which often inform politics) exhibited mountain-sized biases. These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.
     
    Do you encounter similarly smart people in your work or other social settings? There is a meme that high IQ societies implicitly select for people lacking other accomplishments in their lives and/or time consuming activities which use that intellect (i.e. quite possibly lacking some important non-IQ skills). I certainly don't buy this as a universal rule (I'm guessing you qualify as an existence proof for my contention that it is not universal), but I think there is some truth in that meme. This makes me reluctant to use high IQ societies to evaluate the traits of high IQ people in general.

    What do you think?

    P.S. To be clear, I definitely agree with this conclusion: "No matter how high the IQ, no man can escape the filter of emotion, ego and hardwired bias."

    Do you encounter similarly smart people in your work or other social settings?

    No. Funny you should ask. (grin) My wife is very bright in a practical/functional way so with her I enjoy excellent dialogue. I worked in sales (medical/pharmaceutical) where being a bit above average is optimal. The first person to be “sold” on anything is the salesperson, and the ability to too easily see behind the curtain hurts this. Other social settings are actually quite unpleasant to me. I spent a career in sales mimicking other people in order to be successful; I’m happy not to have to do that any more. This is doubly true when one considers that the average IQ of physicians is 120-121, and their average arrogance quotient is 99% or higher, meaning that I found calling on many of them (as my customers) exceedingly punishing. Every one of them always thinks they’re the smartest person in every room they enter. OTOH, I always was (just kidding.)

    Colloquy had quite a spectrum. There were unemployed young people and others whose occupations were so technical, specialized and demanding of astronomical intellect that I could only marvel at what they wrote in the forum. There were physicians (perhaps more arrogant even than typical) and other professions were well represented.

    Their political persuasion skewed waaaaay left. I learned that the smarter one is, the more capable one becomes at constructing elaborate, impenetrable rationalizations for what to a 70 year old farmer with an 8th grade education would be laughably stupid beliefs. A fair number of those folks wouldn’t last a day stranded in snow storm and if you dropped them off in Chicago’s Englewood at 5 PM on Friday they’d be in the morgue by Sunday morning.

    There is definitely a sample bias problem involved; it takes a certain kind of person to seek the external affirmation of joining such a group. Colloquy is free on on-line, and accepts a broad range of surrogate tests (e.g., the GRE) so the low barrier to entry might slightly reduce this bias, but I can’t say for sure. I hear Mensa is a nest of nasty people convinced they’re always the smartest person in the room. I didn’t get a lot of that at Colloquy, only the “you’re a bad person if you don’t share the Left Cult sacraments.”

    I’m suspicious that once you reach a certain level, you become more aware that no matter how much you know, the breadth and depth of what you don’t know is astronomically larger. This is how I envision it:

    Imagine you’re in a dark warehouse, holding a flashlight. The circle of illumination is the sum of your knowledge. The total space of the warehouse is the sum of all possible knowledge and while you can’t see the walls or ceiling, you have a sense of immensity.

    You add to your knowledge (get a graduate degree, take a class on US history, read David Stockman’s The Great Deformation, etc.) so your flashlight gets brighter. The problem is, while you can illuminate more of the warehouse, your sense of its total size just grew by several orders of magnitude. As you know more, the sum of total knowledge rises even faster.

    My inquiry into this came full circle. I always believed I was a pinch short of smart enough to be happy about it, and I’m still just a pinch short of being smart enough. The best I can say is that all three of my sons are extremely bright, all employed in STEM fields and producing way above their ages and job titles. All are “Millennials,” but are enjoying the full “American Dream” path of good employment, marriage, home ownership and having kids. Life really is an IQ test, and it now requires a lot more IQ horsepower to obtain what our parents had. Charles Murray is right about this looming crisis, although I disagree with his proposed fixes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    Thanks for a very interesting response! I LOLed (literally) at your comments about physicians. All too true.

    I learned that the smarter one is, the more capable one becomes at constructing elaborate, impenetrable rationalizations for what to a 70 year old farmer with an 8th grade education would be laughably stupid beliefs.
     
    I understand this (and probably live it sometimes). I am not finding a good reference (I think it was from Less Wrong), but have you seen the meme that the least smart are wrong, somewhere in the middle people become right, then the smartest are wrong for the reason you describe? Although not always true, I think it explains a lot about politics.

    I’m suspicious that once you reach a certain level, you become more aware that no matter how much you know, the breadth and depth of what you don’t know is astronomically larger. This is how I envision it:
     
    This. One thousand times over. I have never understood how people can become know it alls as they learn more and more. I understand how people can sound like know it alls (and do a good impression myself on occasion it seems). But my experience has been feeling absolutely overwhelmed by the feeling you describe. Every time I dig deep into some subsubfield and realize how quickly even a small scope becomes unknowable by one person, then realize how many subsubfields there are....

    Colloquy sounds interesting. Perhaps I'll check it out sometime when I am feeling a little less triggered by the leftist cult than I am post-election (I have enough hard to avoid exposure that I don't need to add more). I tend to make the mistake (?) of letting Mensa complaints/stereotypes color my perception of all high IQ societies. Probably also not fair to Mensa. I doubt all chapters are the same.

    Happy to hear things are working out for your sons and glad that there are smart and functional Millennials out there.
  28. @dc.sunsets
    I went though a period of obsession with IQ, and now realize it was a quixotic search for grounding confidence in my conclusions in some sort of objective benchmark.

    Cognition, to me, is very heterogeneous. A person capable of factoring complex mathematical equations in his head may demonstrate poor social skills or blindness to common manipulative behaviors in others. Very bright and extraordinarily brilliant people arrive at some extraordinarily foolish conclusions, indicating to me that biases and beliefs form a filter through which their rational cognition must pass, yielding rationalizations, not valid conclusions.

    For a time I joined Colloquy Society (IQ min = 140) and while the high intellects of members were sometimes quite visible, their conclusions about social phenomena (which often inform politics) exhibited mountain-sized biases. These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.

    That's as large a caution about the infallibility of "intelligence" as I can imagine. No matter how high the IQ, no man can escape the filter of emotion, ego and hardwired bias. My search for bedrock on which to trust my own conclusions was destroyed.

    The politico-social implications of intelligence, its heritability and emerging knowledge about Human BioDiversity grow rapidly as what amounts to a 50-year Theocratic Rule of the West fights tooth and nail to close this Pandora's Box. Many people fear the truth will lead to justifications for what they consider unconscionable political policies.

    Read that again. They fear the truth.

    The Cult of Homogeneous Diversity (and the vast industry supported by it) is The Emperor's New Clothes. Socialist (coercive) redistribution of the fruits of Nature's DNA shuffle is losing its central thesis (natural, innate equality), and as it does so, attempts to prop it are draining what remains of its moral high ground.

    This is a change every bit as profound as the Lutheran Reformation.

    Many people fear the truth will lead to justifications for what they consider unconscionable political policies.
    Read that again. They fear the truth.

    Some will proudly acknowledge that they are denying reality – as a sign of their virtue.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto

    as a sign of their virtue.
     
    I doubt about it...

    and in the end, they are not totally wrong, truth always need to be hard*

    OR

    many people think unpoliteness and truth are the same thing*
    , @dc.sunsets

    Some will proudly acknowledge that they are denying reality – as a sign of their virtue.
     
    We live in a time of pervasive addictions; I argue that the most pathological of all of them is addiction to dopamine rewards from basking the the glow of virtue signaling.

    Recall the experiment of the monkey with a button that, when he pushes it, tickles electrodes in the pleasure centers of his brain with current. The monkey would push the button to the exclusion of eating and drinking.

    We are surrounded by people pushing those buttons constantly, whether they are men sitting in their parents' basement playing video games between the hours of surfing pornography or Social Justice Warriors seeking to raise their social capital by pointing at a vulnerable target and branding them with a Scarlet Letter R (or H, or T, or whatever herd the Virtue Signaler is trying to impress.)

    Porn or virtue signaling, it's all the same reward center, all the same Brain Dope, and unlike addiction to booze, gambling or cocaine, it lacks the physical hangover to signal that it's a vice.

    At least the porn addict only harms himself. Virtue-signalers are actually tormentors, addicted to humiliating and harming others (often by coordinating lynch mobs to disemploy and economically ruin their victims.) Leftists are kings of projection; they are the epitome of Apex Bullies yet project the evil stains on their souls on those they deem "bad."
  29. James Thompson:

    Only 4% of the white population can do all the tasks in the list. 21% get to the 4th level but cannot do carpet cost type problems… For many of you reading this, the finding will seem incredible. It is incredible.

    Assuming that those who can figure out the carpet cost problem also have the highest IQ, what would be the minimum IQ of those at the top 4%?

    IQ of 126.3.

    How many economically active whites are able to perform the carpet calculation?

    About 5.3 million.

    This seems like a very low number for a country like the US. And if the number of high IQ people in the US is so low, imagine what it would be for some Third World country – Brazil, for example. Certainly it would be lower, right?

    But there are those who will try to deceive themselves and prop up those numbers, in any way they can. There is paper by Flores-Mendoza (Considerations about IQ and human capital in Brazil) in which she tries to estimate the number of high IQ Brazilians, and she comes up with no less than 20 million:

    After computations involving the population distribution and rate of high performing students in various areas of Brazil, we estimated the top human capital of Brazil to be approximately 20,000,000 persons. … this number rivals the human capital of developed countries in both quality and potential.

    But another paper came out last year which showed that only 8% of Brazilians were considered functionally literate at a proficient level (and, shockingly, almost 40% of Brazilian university students did not achieve this level of literacy). There are 80 million economically active Brazilians – thus only about 6.4 million could even begin to be considered as “top human capital”, though the number is probably a lot lower.

    Anyway, I was quite shocked that so few were able to figure out Gottfredson’s carpet problem and that the Brazilian functional illiteracy rates were so high. These numbers have given me a whole new and frightening perspective on the United States, Brazil, and really the whole world. I knew people were – let’s say, “limited”, but I didn’t know to what extent and that there were so many of them! I have come to view the human condition quite differently, after these readings. It’s quite depressing, actually…

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    • Replies: @dc.sunsets

    I knew people were – let’s say, “limited”, but I didn’t know to what extent and that there were so many of them! I have come to view the human condition quite differently, after these readings. It’s quite depressing, actually…
     
    On the contrary, look how well (collectively) we do in spite of this.

    Something with which you may be familiar, or might appreciate:
    http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/sft.htm
    Smart Fraction Theory & the Wealth of Nations.
  30. @another fred

    Many people fear the truth will lead to justifications for what they consider unconscionable political policies.
    Read that again. They fear the truth.
     
    Some will proudly acknowledge that they are denying reality - as a sign of their virtue.

    as a sign of their virtue.

    I doubt about it…

    and in the end, they are not totally wrong, truth always need to be hard*

    OR

    many people think unpoliteness and truth are the same thing*

    Read More
  31. @Fin of a Cobra
    James Thompson:

    Only 4% of the white population can do all the tasks in the list. 21% get to the 4th level but cannot do carpet cost type problems… For many of you reading this, the finding will seem incredible. It is incredible.
     
    Assuming that those who can figure out the carpet cost problem also have the highest IQ, what would be the minimum IQ of those at the top 4%?

    IQ of 126.3.

    How many economically active whites are able to perform the carpet calculation?

    About 5.3 million.

    This seems like a very low number for a country like the US. And if the number of high IQ people in the US is so low, imagine what it would be for some Third World country – Brazil, for example. Certainly it would be lower, right?

    But there are those who will try to deceive themselves and prop up those numbers, in any way they can. There is paper by Flores-Mendoza (Considerations about IQ and human capital in Brazil) in which she tries to estimate the number of high IQ Brazilians, and she comes up with no less than 20 million:

    After computations involving the population distribution and rate of high performing students in various areas of Brazil, we estimated the top human capital of Brazil to be approximately 20,000,000 persons. … this number rivals the human capital of developed countries in both quality and potential.
     
    But another paper came out last year which showed that only 8% of Brazilians were considered functionally literate at a proficient level (and, shockingly, almost 40% of Brazilian university students did not achieve this level of literacy). There are 80 million economically active Brazilians – thus only about 6.4 million could even begin to be considered as "top human capital", though the number is probably a lot lower.

    Anyway, I was quite shocked that so few were able to figure out Gottfredson's carpet problem and that the Brazilian functional illiteracy rates were so high. These numbers have given me a whole new and frightening perspective on the United States, Brazil, and really the whole world. I knew people were – let's say, "limited", but I didn't know to what extent and that there were so many of them! I have come to view the human condition quite differently, after these readings. It's quite depressing, actually…

    I knew people were – let’s say, “limited”, but I didn’t know to what extent and that there were so many of them! I have come to view the human condition quite differently, after these readings. It’s quite depressing, actually…

    On the contrary, look how well (collectively) we do in spite of this.

    Something with which you may be familiar, or might appreciate:

    http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/sft.htm

    Smart Fraction Theory & the Wealth of Nations.

    Read More
  32. @another fred

    Many people fear the truth will lead to justifications for what they consider unconscionable political policies.
    Read that again. They fear the truth.
     
    Some will proudly acknowledge that they are denying reality - as a sign of their virtue.

    Some will proudly acknowledge that they are denying reality – as a sign of their virtue.

    We live in a time of pervasive addictions; I argue that the most pathological of all of them is addiction to dopamine rewards from basking the the glow of virtue signaling.

    Recall the experiment of the monkey with a button that, when he pushes it, tickles electrodes in the pleasure centers of his brain with current. The monkey would push the button to the exclusion of eating and drinking.

    We are surrounded by people pushing those buttons constantly, whether they are men sitting in their parents’ basement playing video games between the hours of surfing pornography or Social Justice Warriors seeking to raise their social capital by pointing at a vulnerable target and branding them with a Scarlet Letter R (or H, or T, or whatever herd the Virtue Signaler is trying to impress.)

    Porn or virtue signaling, it’s all the same reward center, all the same Brain Dope, and unlike addiction to booze, gambling or cocaine, it lacks the physical hangover to signal that it’s a vice.

    At least the porn addict only harms himself. Virtue-signalers are actually tormentors, addicted to humiliating and harming others (often by coordinating lynch mobs to disemploy and economically ruin their victims.) Leftists are kings of projection; they are the epitome of Apex Bullies yet project the evil stains on their souls on those they deem “bad.”

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    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Yes, many times ''virtue-signalizers'' ''victimize''

    bullies,

    hypo-emotional or morally idiots,

    sadistic

    often the same [un]kind of people.
    , @Santoculto

    Virtue-signalers are actually tormentors
     
    If most people stop to pay attention to this fake-social justice worriors this ''torment'' will be strongly reduced. try it.
    , @another fred

    We live in a time of pervasive addictions; I argue that the most pathological of all of them is addiction to dopamine rewards from basking the the glow of virtue signaling.
     
    Agree, but I think the virtue signaling is rooted in what Panksepp calls the CARE system. CARING for others has become the greatest virtue. CARING is important to our survival, but it has become for some the single answer to all problems, like those idiotic "Violence is not the answer" signs the virtuous put in their front yards.

    Anyone who understands anything about the world knows that violence has been around since the "autotroph began to drool" and damn well answers a lot. The whole idea of putting an end to violence is overflowing with hubris, but they do not see that.

    As far as addiction to our endogenous opiods go, can there be any greater addiction than that which the "baby mommas" have to the flood of rewards that pregnancy and nurturing a baby yield? When the child gets big enough that the "cuteness" subsides they turn that one out and get pregnant again. What could possibly go wrong?

  33. @blank-misgivings
    I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans, and how the 'width' of that spectrum compares to other traits in humans and traits in other species. For example, I doubt there is a huge spectrum of 'maximum speed' in cheetahs, since if any individual fell far below the average it's unlikely it would hand its genes on.

    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread - and that before the division of labor the spectrum of cognitive ability was much narrower? In other words, a division of labor in larger human groups created different evolutionarily succesful paths for being reproductively succesful (physical strength, honesty, obedience, various character traits) among which was exceptional IQ. If that's true, would we find a narrower range of cognitive ability among peoples who have been primarily hunter gatherers for millennia?

    I really like your question and have been thinking about this for some time. There is an enormous spectrum in functional IQ in people and from a simple evolutionary point of view it should not be there.

    Your analogy of the poor thinkers being slow cheetahs and that they should have been bred out of existence makes sense until you look at the complexity of the human brain. One third of our 25,000 genes are expressed in brain function. So many things can go wrong to make brain function sub optimal and evolution is so hit and miss in correcting error it is a wonder that humans evolved at all.

    Francis Crick was fascinated with the human brain and liked to use the analogy of the eye to human intelligence. It is a very interesting analogy. For one thing once life evolved the eye, life changed very dramatically as life forms exploded in complexity with the chasers and the chased. There were other causes of the Cambrian explosion but the evolution of the eye was one of the primary reasons for it. Are we once again approaching a singularity where life moves in unexpected directions because of the evolution of a new sensory organ? It is fun to think about.

    All it takes for the eye to require glasses is for it to be slightly oblong, not a perfect circle. There must be a thousand ways for a brain to function sub optimally.

    Keep posting James Thompson and thank you for the recommendation of a book that sounds very much worth reading.

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    • Replies: @Santoculto

    ''Your analogy of the poor thinkers being slow cheetahs and that they should have been bred out of existence makes sense until you look at the complexity of the human brain.''

     

    So, media is right about deplorability levels of ''alt-reich'' people*
    , @melendwyr
    Eyes were evolved independently something like nineteen times - I forget the exact statistic. But as an evolutionary strategy the benefits are so immense, and the basic physics sufficiently simple, that you get similar adaptations appearing time after time.

    Human-style cognition seems to have developed only very rarely (birds are smarter than most realize), and traits like being fascinated by fire and spontaneously generating language occur in only a single known species.

    Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus far is of no known long-term survival advantage. We're probably a flash in the pan.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    You prompt me to recall and toss up again for consideration a speculative hypothesis I first thought up many years ago - to no applause or grateful approbation that I recall.

    Suppose some psychic phenomena are real. Suppose some odd means of transferring data or images from one brain to another had evolved tens or hundreds of thousands or even many millions of years ago, or just some faculty of intuition based on some faint physical events, but suppose it failed to evolve to the point where it gave sufficient selective advantage to become common and well recognised. Isn't it possible that some people have remnants of this ancient abortive experimental function? Unreliable pf course or it would have got better and better then fixed.
  34. @dc.sunsets

    Do you encounter similarly smart people in your work or other social settings?
     
    No. Funny you should ask. (grin) My wife is very bright in a practical/functional way so with her I enjoy excellent dialogue. I worked in sales (medical/pharmaceutical) where being a bit above average is optimal. The first person to be "sold" on anything is the salesperson, and the ability to too easily see behind the curtain hurts this. Other social settings are actually quite unpleasant to me. I spent a career in sales mimicking other people in order to be successful; I'm happy not to have to do that any more. This is doubly true when one considers that the average IQ of physicians is 120-121, and their average arrogance quotient is 99% or higher, meaning that I found calling on many of them (as my customers) exceedingly punishing. Every one of them always thinks they're the smartest person in every room they enter. OTOH, I always was (just kidding.)

    Colloquy had quite a spectrum. There were unemployed young people and others whose occupations were so technical, specialized and demanding of astronomical intellect that I could only marvel at what they wrote in the forum. There were physicians (perhaps more arrogant even than typical) and other professions were well represented.

    Their political persuasion skewed waaaaay left. I learned that the smarter one is, the more capable one becomes at constructing elaborate, impenetrable rationalizations for what to a 70 year old farmer with an 8th grade education would be laughably stupid beliefs. A fair number of those folks wouldn't last a day stranded in snow storm and if you dropped them off in Chicago's Englewood at 5 PM on Friday they'd be in the morgue by Sunday morning.

    There is definitely a sample bias problem involved; it takes a certain kind of person to seek the external affirmation of joining such a group. Colloquy is free on on-line, and accepts a broad range of surrogate tests (e.g., the GRE) so the low barrier to entry might slightly reduce this bias, but I can't say for sure. I hear Mensa is a nest of nasty people convinced they're always the smartest person in the room. I didn't get a lot of that at Colloquy, only the "you're a bad person if you don't share the Left Cult sacraments."

    I'm suspicious that once you reach a certain level, you become more aware that no matter how much you know, the breadth and depth of what you don't know is astronomically larger. This is how I envision it:


    Imagine you're in a dark warehouse, holding a flashlight. The circle of illumination is the sum of your knowledge. The total space of the warehouse is the sum of all possible knowledge and while you can't see the walls or ceiling, you have a sense of immensity.

    You add to your knowledge (get a graduate degree, take a class on US history, read David Stockman's The Great Deformation, etc.) so your flashlight gets brighter. The problem is, while you can illuminate more of the warehouse, your sense of its total size just grew by several orders of magnitude. As you know more, the sum of total knowledge rises even faster.
     

    My inquiry into this came full circle. I always believed I was a pinch short of smart enough to be happy about it, and I'm still just a pinch short of being smart enough. The best I can say is that all three of my sons are extremely bright, all employed in STEM fields and producing way above their ages and job titles. All are "Millennials," but are enjoying the full "American Dream" path of good employment, marriage, home ownership and having kids. Life really is an IQ test, and it now requires a lot more IQ horsepower to obtain what our parents had. Charles Murray is right about this looming crisis, although I disagree with his proposed fixes.

    Thanks for a very interesting response! I LOLed (literally) at your comments about physicians. All too true.

    I learned that the smarter one is, the more capable one becomes at constructing elaborate, impenetrable rationalizations for what to a 70 year old farmer with an 8th grade education would be laughably stupid beliefs.

    I understand this (and probably live it sometimes). I am not finding a good reference (I think it was from Less Wrong), but have you seen the meme that the least smart are wrong, somewhere in the middle people become right, then the smartest are wrong for the reason you describe? Although not always true, I think it explains a lot about politics.

    I’m suspicious that once you reach a certain level, you become more aware that no matter how much you know, the breadth and depth of what you don’t know is astronomically larger. This is how I envision it:

    This. One thousand times over. I have never understood how people can become know it alls as they learn more and more. I understand how people can sound like know it alls (and do a good impression myself on occasion it seems). But my experience has been feeling absolutely overwhelmed by the feeling you describe. Every time I dig deep into some subsubfield and realize how quickly even a small scope becomes unknowable by one person, then realize how many subsubfields there are….

    Colloquy sounds interesting. Perhaps I’ll check it out sometime when I am feeling a little less triggered by the leftist cult than I am post-election (I have enough hard to avoid exposure that I don’t need to add more). I tend to make the mistake (?) of letting Mensa complaints/stereotypes color my perception of all high IQ societies. Probably also not fair to Mensa. I doubt all chapters are the same.

    Happy to hear things are working out for your sons and glad that there are smart and functional Millennials out there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dc.sunsets

    I understand how people can sound like know it alls (and do a good impression myself on occasion it seems).
     
    There's a difference between someone who is excited about a subject and bores anyone within earshot with arcane insights about it and someone whose presentation is intended to make everyone else feel inferior.

    I used to get chided at sales meetings for using unfamiliar words or going off on (what I thought were) interesting tangents. It clearly bothered some people, but I was very quick to point out that I couldn't discuss the latest sports news or celebrity gossip. All it constituted was a difference in focus.

    OTOH, my sister & brother-in-law clearly went out of their way to make my wife feel inferior (which was anything but the case.) Sociopaths surround us, as do those leftist cult zealots.

    I don't know who has the answers. I know I don't, I know most of those I deem smarter than me don't, and I know for a fact that Dunning-Kruger afflicts the tier below me. I wish I could worry less about it all, but that doesn't seem to be in my nature. I either have glass-half-empty DNA or my formative years gifted me with it. [Which is odd, given that I'm actually in a very happy place in life. I guess the half-empty part is always afraid I'll lose what I have.]

    I believe we have the "honor" to be living during a time of an extraordinarily large change in trend in human social behavior. Its ripples are spreading through every aspect of society, producing things people haven't seen before, emotions they've not felt, changes in beliefs they thought were permanent. Trying to stay out of the weeds is difficult, though.
  35. @dc.sunsets

    Some will proudly acknowledge that they are denying reality – as a sign of their virtue.
     
    We live in a time of pervasive addictions; I argue that the most pathological of all of them is addiction to dopamine rewards from basking the the glow of virtue signaling.

    Recall the experiment of the monkey with a button that, when he pushes it, tickles electrodes in the pleasure centers of his brain with current. The monkey would push the button to the exclusion of eating and drinking.

    We are surrounded by people pushing those buttons constantly, whether they are men sitting in their parents' basement playing video games between the hours of surfing pornography or Social Justice Warriors seeking to raise their social capital by pointing at a vulnerable target and branding them with a Scarlet Letter R (or H, or T, or whatever herd the Virtue Signaler is trying to impress.)

    Porn or virtue signaling, it's all the same reward center, all the same Brain Dope, and unlike addiction to booze, gambling or cocaine, it lacks the physical hangover to signal that it's a vice.

    At least the porn addict only harms himself. Virtue-signalers are actually tormentors, addicted to humiliating and harming others (often by coordinating lynch mobs to disemploy and economically ruin their victims.) Leftists are kings of projection; they are the epitome of Apex Bullies yet project the evil stains on their souls on those they deem "bad."

    Yes, many times ”virtue-signalizers” ”victimize”

    bullies,

    hypo-emotional or morally idiots,

    sadistic

    often the same [un]kind of people.

    Read More
  36. @dave chamberlin
    I really like your question and have been thinking about this for some time. There is an enormous spectrum in functional IQ in people and from a simple evolutionary point of view it should not be there.

    Your analogy of the poor thinkers being slow cheetahs and that they should have been bred out of existence makes sense until you look at the complexity of the human brain. One third of our 25,000 genes are expressed in brain function. So many things can go wrong to make brain function sub optimal and evolution is so hit and miss in correcting error it is a wonder that humans evolved at all.

    Francis Crick was fascinated with the human brain and liked to use the analogy of the eye to human intelligence. It is a very interesting analogy. For one thing once life evolved the eye, life changed very dramatically as life forms exploded in complexity with the chasers and the chased. There were other causes of the Cambrian explosion but the evolution of the eye was one of the primary reasons for it. Are we once again approaching a singularity where life moves in unexpected directions because of the evolution of a new sensory organ? It is fun to think about.

    All it takes for the eye to require glasses is for it to be slightly oblong, not a perfect circle. There must be a thousand ways for a brain to function sub optimally.

    Keep posting James Thompson and thank you for the recommendation of a book that sounds very much worth reading.

    ”Your analogy of the poor thinkers being slow cheetahs and that they should have been bred out of existence makes sense until you look at the complexity of the human brain.”

    So, media is right about deplorability levels of ”alt-reich” people*

    Read More
  37. @dc.sunsets

    Some will proudly acknowledge that they are denying reality – as a sign of their virtue.
     
    We live in a time of pervasive addictions; I argue that the most pathological of all of them is addiction to dopamine rewards from basking the the glow of virtue signaling.

    Recall the experiment of the monkey with a button that, when he pushes it, tickles electrodes in the pleasure centers of his brain with current. The monkey would push the button to the exclusion of eating and drinking.

    We are surrounded by people pushing those buttons constantly, whether they are men sitting in their parents' basement playing video games between the hours of surfing pornography or Social Justice Warriors seeking to raise their social capital by pointing at a vulnerable target and branding them with a Scarlet Letter R (or H, or T, or whatever herd the Virtue Signaler is trying to impress.)

    Porn or virtue signaling, it's all the same reward center, all the same Brain Dope, and unlike addiction to booze, gambling or cocaine, it lacks the physical hangover to signal that it's a vice.

    At least the porn addict only harms himself. Virtue-signalers are actually tormentors, addicted to humiliating and harming others (often by coordinating lynch mobs to disemploy and economically ruin their victims.) Leftists are kings of projection; they are the epitome of Apex Bullies yet project the evil stains on their souls on those they deem "bad."

    Virtue-signalers are actually tormentors

    If most people stop to pay attention to this fake-social justice worriors this ”torment” will be strongly reduced. try it.

    Read More
  38. @dc.sunsets
    I went though a period of obsession with IQ, and now realize it was a quixotic search for grounding confidence in my conclusions in some sort of objective benchmark.

    Cognition, to me, is very heterogeneous. A person capable of factoring complex mathematical equations in his head may demonstrate poor social skills or blindness to common manipulative behaviors in others. Very bright and extraordinarily brilliant people arrive at some extraordinarily foolish conclusions, indicating to me that biases and beliefs form a filter through which their rational cognition must pass, yielding rationalizations, not valid conclusions.

    For a time I joined Colloquy Society (IQ min = 140) and while the high intellects of members were sometimes quite visible, their conclusions about social phenomena (which often inform politics) exhibited mountain-sized biases. These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.

    That's as large a caution about the infallibility of "intelligence" as I can imagine. No matter how high the IQ, no man can escape the filter of emotion, ego and hardwired bias. My search for bedrock on which to trust my own conclusions was destroyed.

    The politico-social implications of intelligence, its heritability and emerging knowledge about Human BioDiversity grow rapidly as what amounts to a 50-year Theocratic Rule of the West fights tooth and nail to close this Pandora's Box. Many people fear the truth will lead to justifications for what they consider unconscionable political policies.

    Read that again. They fear the truth.

    The Cult of Homogeneous Diversity (and the vast industry supported by it) is The Emperor's New Clothes. Socialist (coercive) redistribution of the fruits of Nature's DNA shuffle is losing its central thesis (natural, innate equality), and as it does so, attempts to prop it are draining what remains of its moral high ground.

    This is a change every bit as profound as the Lutheran Reformation.

    Well, they are using their very high IQ in order to confabulate explanations away from what may be an unpleasant reality. Its a time-honored tradition in the spirit of the best scholars of both past and present.

    Read More
  39. @res
    Thanks for a very interesting response! I LOLed (literally) at your comments about physicians. All too true.

    I learned that the smarter one is, the more capable one becomes at constructing elaborate, impenetrable rationalizations for what to a 70 year old farmer with an 8th grade education would be laughably stupid beliefs.
     
    I understand this (and probably live it sometimes). I am not finding a good reference (I think it was from Less Wrong), but have you seen the meme that the least smart are wrong, somewhere in the middle people become right, then the smartest are wrong for the reason you describe? Although not always true, I think it explains a lot about politics.

    I’m suspicious that once you reach a certain level, you become more aware that no matter how much you know, the breadth and depth of what you don’t know is astronomically larger. This is how I envision it:
     
    This. One thousand times over. I have never understood how people can become know it alls as they learn more and more. I understand how people can sound like know it alls (and do a good impression myself on occasion it seems). But my experience has been feeling absolutely overwhelmed by the feeling you describe. Every time I dig deep into some subsubfield and realize how quickly even a small scope becomes unknowable by one person, then realize how many subsubfields there are....

    Colloquy sounds interesting. Perhaps I'll check it out sometime when I am feeling a little less triggered by the leftist cult than I am post-election (I have enough hard to avoid exposure that I don't need to add more). I tend to make the mistake (?) of letting Mensa complaints/stereotypes color my perception of all high IQ societies. Probably also not fair to Mensa. I doubt all chapters are the same.

    Happy to hear things are working out for your sons and glad that there are smart and functional Millennials out there.

    I understand how people can sound like know it alls (and do a good impression myself on occasion it seems).

    There’s a difference between someone who is excited about a subject and bores anyone within earshot with arcane insights about it and someone whose presentation is intended to make everyone else feel inferior.

    I used to get chided at sales meetings for using unfamiliar words or going off on (what I thought were) interesting tangents. It clearly bothered some people, but I was very quick to point out that I couldn’t discuss the latest sports news or celebrity gossip. All it constituted was a difference in focus.

    OTOH, my sister & brother-in-law clearly went out of their way to make my wife feel inferior (which was anything but the case.) Sociopaths surround us, as do those leftist cult zealots.

    I don’t know who has the answers. I know I don’t, I know most of those I deem smarter than me don’t, and I know for a fact that Dunning-Kruger afflicts the tier below me. I wish I could worry less about it all, but that doesn’t seem to be in my nature. I either have glass-half-empty DNA or my formative years gifted me with it. [Which is odd, given that I'm actually in a very happy place in life. I guess the half-empty part is always afraid I'll lose what I have.]

    I believe we have the “honor” to be living during a time of an extraordinarily large change in trend in human social behavior. Its ripples are spreading through every aspect of society, producing things people haven’t seen before, emotions they’ve not felt, changes in beliefs they thought were permanent. Trying to stay out of the weeds is difficult, though.

    Read More
  40. @EB
    Dr. Thompson,

    I thought I might alert to you a recent paper by Amy Wax, "The Poverty of the Neuroscience of Poverty." (Her work has been praised in the HBD-sphere before.) Her most recent paper makes many references to your blog; thus you might be interested to read it.

    Thank you so much for alerting me to this, which I would have not otherwise seen. Refreshing to see an academic paper referencing the arguments put forward in a blog.

    Read More
  41. Props to SMPY! Woo-hoo!

    Seriously, Dr. Julian Stanley was a wonderful, kind, and intelligent man.

    Read More
  42. @dc.sunsets

    Some will proudly acknowledge that they are denying reality – as a sign of their virtue.
     
    We live in a time of pervasive addictions; I argue that the most pathological of all of them is addiction to dopamine rewards from basking the the glow of virtue signaling.

    Recall the experiment of the monkey with a button that, when he pushes it, tickles electrodes in the pleasure centers of his brain with current. The monkey would push the button to the exclusion of eating and drinking.

    We are surrounded by people pushing those buttons constantly, whether they are men sitting in their parents' basement playing video games between the hours of surfing pornography or Social Justice Warriors seeking to raise their social capital by pointing at a vulnerable target and branding them with a Scarlet Letter R (or H, or T, or whatever herd the Virtue Signaler is trying to impress.)

    Porn or virtue signaling, it's all the same reward center, all the same Brain Dope, and unlike addiction to booze, gambling or cocaine, it lacks the physical hangover to signal that it's a vice.

    At least the porn addict only harms himself. Virtue-signalers are actually tormentors, addicted to humiliating and harming others (often by coordinating lynch mobs to disemploy and economically ruin their victims.) Leftists are kings of projection; they are the epitome of Apex Bullies yet project the evil stains on their souls on those they deem "bad."

    We live in a time of pervasive addictions; I argue that the most pathological of all of them is addiction to dopamine rewards from basking the the glow of virtue signaling.

    Agree, but I think the virtue signaling is rooted in what Panksepp calls the CARE system. CARING for others has become the greatest virtue. CARING is important to our survival, but it has become for some the single answer to all problems, like those idiotic “Violence is not the answer” signs the virtuous put in their front yards.

    Anyone who understands anything about the world knows that violence has been around since the “autotroph began to drool” and damn well answers a lot. The whole idea of putting an end to violence is overflowing with hubris, but they do not see that.

    As far as addiction to our endogenous opiods go, can there be any greater addiction than that which the “baby mommas” have to the flood of rewards that pregnancy and nurturing a baby yield? When the child gets big enough that the “cuteness” subsides they turn that one out and get pregnant again. What could possibly go wrong?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I believe the reason is because nature abhors a vacuum: therefore, as we have more energy and resources in the system, so have our consumption increases come to use up all possibly inputs. Eventually it becomes necessary to further waste resources on what appears to be sympathetic concerns but essentially is an example of how every fringe branch seeks to gorge itself in funding, status and other forms of societal energy in order to be validated.

    This continues until the overall cultural entropy of the system basically drags us all down.

    Society won't supernova. Its cultural heat death.

    , @dc.sunsets

    can there be any greater addiction than that which the “baby mommas” have to the flood of rewards that pregnancy and nurturing a baby yield? When the child gets big enough that the “cuteness” subsides they turn that one out and get pregnant again. What could possibly go wrong?
     
    When incentives mismatch, bad things happen.

    This is the dirty little secret: You can't mitigate the suffering of children without enabling the pathologies of their parents, including the production of more suffering children. Feeding the fawns in the forest doesn't work out, either. My favorite now are commercials pushing the need to send kids home from school on Fri with backpacks of food, else they'll go hungry. Nowhere in the commercial is mention of their mommy, much less daddy. Why? The kid reeks of cigarette smoke, or mom's an addict, or dad's in jail, or....

    We have a "family" in the neighborhood. Grandma owns the house, mom and the grandkids live there. Dad's an inveterate criminal; every time he gets out of jail he knocks up the mommy and then commits a new crime, sending him back inside.

    Our society has been putting its "good feelz," it's CARING on the credit card for 50 years. The effect is that "wealth" people think exists is actually just a bunch of IOU's. The real wealth was simply consumed. The reality is that we thought we were able to eat our cake and still have it later to eat.

    Pretty stupid, huh? But this is the fractal-patterned sine wave curve of social mood as described by the theory of Socionomics. (www.socionomics.net) People herd, the herd was in an optimistic mood and got so carried away that it came to believe early limits were no more, kind of like the Jungian archetype of "flight."

    Someday, maybe starting this year, that flight will run out of fuel and we'll discover society has the glide characteristics of a brick.
  43. @another fred

    We live in a time of pervasive addictions; I argue that the most pathological of all of them is addiction to dopamine rewards from basking the the glow of virtue signaling.
     
    Agree, but I think the virtue signaling is rooted in what Panksepp calls the CARE system. CARING for others has become the greatest virtue. CARING is important to our survival, but it has become for some the single answer to all problems, like those idiotic "Violence is not the answer" signs the virtuous put in their front yards.

    Anyone who understands anything about the world knows that violence has been around since the "autotroph began to drool" and damn well answers a lot. The whole idea of putting an end to violence is overflowing with hubris, but they do not see that.

    As far as addiction to our endogenous opiods go, can there be any greater addiction than that which the "baby mommas" have to the flood of rewards that pregnancy and nurturing a baby yield? When the child gets big enough that the "cuteness" subsides they turn that one out and get pregnant again. What could possibly go wrong?

    I believe the reason is because nature abhors a vacuum: therefore, as we have more energy and resources in the system, so have our consumption increases come to use up all possibly inputs. Eventually it becomes necessary to further waste resources on what appears to be sympathetic concerns but essentially is an example of how every fringe branch seeks to gorge itself in funding, status and other forms of societal energy in order to be validated.

    This continues until the overall cultural entropy of the system basically drags us all down.

    Society won’t supernova. Its cultural heat death.

    Read More
  44. Two points:

    1)Interest in IQ test score interests is devoid of deep scientific-theoretical interest. It is fundamentally an obsession with economic-resource allocation

    2)At best the science behind IQ Test psychometrics is just crude behaviorist empiricism…the g-factor=y factor=yawn factor.

    Read More
    • Agree: CanSpeccy
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    2)At best the science behind IQ Test psychometrics is just crude behaviorist empiricism…the g-factor=y factor=yawn factor.
     
    Disagree. Behaviorialism, especially as espoused by BF Skinner in its radical interpretation, necessarily embraced a blank statism such that the response would be a function of external environmental inputs, present and past. I do not believe that IQ interest correlates with the blank state theory in any way or form.
  45. @War for Blair Mountain
    Two points:

    1)Interest in IQ test score interests is devoid of deep scientific-theoretical interest. It is fundamentally an obsession with economic-resource allocation

    2)At best the science behind IQ Test psychometrics is just crude behaviorist empiricism...the g-factor=y factor=yawn factor.

    2)At best the science behind IQ Test psychometrics is just crude behaviorist empiricism…the g-factor=y factor=yawn factor.

    Disagree. Behaviorialism, especially as espoused by BF Skinner in its radical interpretation, necessarily embraced a blank statism such that the response would be a function of external environmental inputs, present and past. I do not believe that IQ interest correlates with the blank state theory in any way or form.

    Read More
    • Replies: @War for Blair Mountain
    Daniel

    Thanks for responding.

    Quick history lesson:the debate between empiricist and rationalist was-is about how much pre-quipped cognitive structure humans have. Empiricists posit much less than the rationalist. Almost no one ever believed in the pure-blank slate theory.


    My whole point is that IQ psychometrics rests upon a very very stripped down theory of the mind-brain structure...quite possibly totally scientifically-theoretically vacuous.



    My much much larger point:IQ Test Score Enthusiast are not at all interested in deep scientific-theoretical understanding...They are fundamentally interested in economic resource allocation issues....completely different realm than scientifically-theoretically understanding the human brain-mind.
  46. @another fred

    We live in a time of pervasive addictions; I argue that the most pathological of all of them is addiction to dopamine rewards from basking the the glow of virtue signaling.
     
    Agree, but I think the virtue signaling is rooted in what Panksepp calls the CARE system. CARING for others has become the greatest virtue. CARING is important to our survival, but it has become for some the single answer to all problems, like those idiotic "Violence is not the answer" signs the virtuous put in their front yards.

    Anyone who understands anything about the world knows that violence has been around since the "autotroph began to drool" and damn well answers a lot. The whole idea of putting an end to violence is overflowing with hubris, but they do not see that.

    As far as addiction to our endogenous opiods go, can there be any greater addiction than that which the "baby mommas" have to the flood of rewards that pregnancy and nurturing a baby yield? When the child gets big enough that the "cuteness" subsides they turn that one out and get pregnant again. What could possibly go wrong?

    can there be any greater addiction than that which the “baby mommas” have to the flood of rewards that pregnancy and nurturing a baby yield? When the child gets big enough that the “cuteness” subsides they turn that one out and get pregnant again. What could possibly go wrong?

    When incentives mismatch, bad things happen.

    This is the dirty little secret: You can’t mitigate the suffering of children without enabling the pathologies of their parents, including the production of more suffering children. Feeding the fawns in the forest doesn’t work out, either. My favorite now are commercials pushing the need to send kids home from school on Fri with backpacks of food, else they’ll go hungry. Nowhere in the commercial is mention of their mommy, much less daddy. Why? The kid reeks of cigarette smoke, or mom’s an addict, or dad’s in jail, or….

    We have a “family” in the neighborhood. Grandma owns the house, mom and the grandkids live there. Dad’s an inveterate criminal; every time he gets out of jail he knocks up the mommy and then commits a new crime, sending him back inside.

    Our society has been putting its “good feelz,” it’s CARING on the credit card for 50 years. The effect is that “wealth” people think exists is actually just a bunch of IOU’s. The real wealth was simply consumed. The reality is that we thought we were able to eat our cake and still have it later to eat.

    Pretty stupid, huh? But this is the fractal-patterned sine wave curve of social mood as described by the theory of Socionomics. (www.socionomics.net) People herd, the herd was in an optimistic mood and got so carried away that it came to believe early limits were no more, kind of like the Jungian archetype of “flight.”

    Someday, maybe starting this year, that flight will run out of fuel and we’ll discover society has the glide characteristics of a brick.

    Read More
  47. @blank-misgivings
    I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans, and how the 'width' of that spectrum compares to other traits in humans and traits in other species. For example, I doubt there is a huge spectrum of 'maximum speed' in cheetahs, since if any individual fell far below the average it's unlikely it would hand its genes on.

    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread - and that before the division of labor the spectrum of cognitive ability was much narrower? In other words, a division of labor in larger human groups created different evolutionarily succesful paths for being reproductively succesful (physical strength, honesty, obedience, various character traits) among which was exceptional IQ. If that's true, would we find a narrower range of cognitive ability among peoples who have been primarily hunter gatherers for millennia?

    if you don’t know, approx 25% of the population are authoritarians…
    i figure it came about because your stupider nekkid apes glommed onto the fattest, wiliest Big Daddy, and drank what he drank, ate what he ate, hated who Big Daddy hated (even if that changes arbitrarily tomorrow), and essentially did WHATEVER Big Daddy said to do…
    easy life : leave all the thinking to Big Daddy and go along for the ride…
    related to why even obvious and highly desirable social changes are so difficult, because we have a hard corps 25% who bark at anything new, and only accept it if Big Daddy says it is okay…

    Read More
  48. @dave chamberlin
    I really like your question and have been thinking about this for some time. There is an enormous spectrum in functional IQ in people and from a simple evolutionary point of view it should not be there.

    Your analogy of the poor thinkers being slow cheetahs and that they should have been bred out of existence makes sense until you look at the complexity of the human brain. One third of our 25,000 genes are expressed in brain function. So many things can go wrong to make brain function sub optimal and evolution is so hit and miss in correcting error it is a wonder that humans evolved at all.

    Francis Crick was fascinated with the human brain and liked to use the analogy of the eye to human intelligence. It is a very interesting analogy. For one thing once life evolved the eye, life changed very dramatically as life forms exploded in complexity with the chasers and the chased. There were other causes of the Cambrian explosion but the evolution of the eye was one of the primary reasons for it. Are we once again approaching a singularity where life moves in unexpected directions because of the evolution of a new sensory organ? It is fun to think about.

    All it takes for the eye to require glasses is for it to be slightly oblong, not a perfect circle. There must be a thousand ways for a brain to function sub optimally.

    Keep posting James Thompson and thank you for the recommendation of a book that sounds very much worth reading.

    Eyes were evolved independently something like nineteen times – I forget the exact statistic. But as an evolutionary strategy the benefits are so immense, and the basic physics sufficiently simple, that you get similar adaptations appearing time after time.

    Human-style cognition seems to have developed only very rarely (birds are smarter than most realize), and traits like being fascinated by fire and spontaneously generating language occur in only a single known species.

    Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus far is of no known long-term survival advantage. We’re probably a flash in the pan.

    Read More
    • Replies: @War for Blair Mountain
    Yeah...that's a very reasonable position to take...There was a lengthy discussion on Reddit about this.
    , @War for Blair Mountain
    And it would mean that there could-can be a scientific study of human nature...and this would be a very profound scientific endeavor.
    , @another fred

    Eyes were evolved independently something like nineteen times –
     
    I read something not too long ago where they have found light sensitive organelles on single-celled organisms. The light sensitive organelles send chemical signals to which the organism responds.

    Pretty easy to see that since responding to light is present at that level then eyes would "evolve" many times, but if they are all built on the same chemistry one might argue whether this is evidence of separate "evolutions". Would we say digestion in all animals was evidence of separate evolution?
    , @CanSpeccy

    But as an evolutionary strategy ....
     
    Sorry, but that's nearly all wrong!

    There is no such thing as an "evolutionary strategy" except perhaps in the case of humans should humans who understand the process of evolution consciously adopt a strategy for the evolutionary success of their own descendants. For example, certain religions might be viewed as evolutionary strategies — or plans for the colonization of the solar system to ensure humans survive whatever catastrophe we may precipitate here on earth, (though I don't see why we wouldn't cause the same catastrophe on Mars too).

    Otherwise, evolution is blind. The outcome of chance genetic change acted upon by unanticipated selective contingencies.


    Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus far is of no known long-term survival advantage. We’re probably a flash in the pan.
     
    Again, a teleological construction inapplicable to evolutionary processes. Moreover, intelligence has, in fact, emerged in some degree in virtually all branches of the animal kingdom, even, by some accounts, in the lowly planarian worm. Intelligence thus appears to be a near essential characteristic of successful multi-cellular heterotrophic life forms.

    Humans may indeed prove to be "a flash in the pan," perhaps with DT's finger on the nuclear button in a literal sense, but rats with brains sharing virtually all the features of the brain of the American President, will no doubt long outlive us.

    , @dave chamberlin
    "Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus of no known long-term survival advantage. We're probably a flash in the pan."

    We could be a flash in the pan, but in my opinion we are more likely in a very brief transition period to where ever genetic engineering takes us next. Intelligence I would argue is a huge survival advantage and barring stupidity that causes our extinction will inalterably stay that way.

  49. @Daniel Chieh

    2)At best the science behind IQ Test psychometrics is just crude behaviorist empiricism…the g-factor=y factor=yawn factor.
     
    Disagree. Behaviorialism, especially as espoused by BF Skinner in its radical interpretation, necessarily embraced a blank statism such that the response would be a function of external environmental inputs, present and past. I do not believe that IQ interest correlates with the blank state theory in any way or form.

    Daniel

    Thanks for responding.

    Quick history lesson:the debate between empiricist and rationalist was-is about how much pre-quipped cognitive structure humans have. Empiricists posit much less than the rationalist. Almost no one ever believed in the pure-blank slate theory.

    My whole point is that IQ psychometrics rests upon a very very stripped down theory of the mind-brain structure…quite possibly totally scientifically-theoretically vacuous.

    My much much larger point:IQ Test Score Enthusiast are not at all interested in deep scientific-theoretical understanding…They are fundamentally interested in economic resource allocation issues….completely different realm than scientifically-theoretically understanding the human brain-mind.

    Read More
  50. @melendwyr
    Eyes were evolved independently something like nineteen times - I forget the exact statistic. But as an evolutionary strategy the benefits are so immense, and the basic physics sufficiently simple, that you get similar adaptations appearing time after time.

    Human-style cognition seems to have developed only very rarely (birds are smarter than most realize), and traits like being fascinated by fire and spontaneously generating language occur in only a single known species.

    Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus far is of no known long-term survival advantage. We're probably a flash in the pan.

    Yeah…that’s a very reasonable position to take…There was a lengthy discussion on Reddit about this.

    Read More
  51. @melendwyr
    Eyes were evolved independently something like nineteen times - I forget the exact statistic. But as an evolutionary strategy the benefits are so immense, and the basic physics sufficiently simple, that you get similar adaptations appearing time after time.

    Human-style cognition seems to have developed only very rarely (birds are smarter than most realize), and traits like being fascinated by fire and spontaneously generating language occur in only a single known species.

    Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus far is of no known long-term survival advantage. We're probably a flash in the pan.

    And it would mean that there could-can be a scientific study of human nature…and this would be a very profound scientific endeavor.

    Read More
    • Replies: @another fred

    And it would mean that there could-can be a scientific study of human nature…
     
    If that subject interests you there is a very good book, The Archaeology of Mind by Jaak Panksepp. He goes into the biological (brain) base of behavior and emotions.
  52. @dc.sunsets
    I went though a period of obsession with IQ, and now realize it was a quixotic search for grounding confidence in my conclusions in some sort of objective benchmark.

    Cognition, to me, is very heterogeneous. A person capable of factoring complex mathematical equations in his head may demonstrate poor social skills or blindness to common manipulative behaviors in others. Very bright and extraordinarily brilliant people arrive at some extraordinarily foolish conclusions, indicating to me that biases and beliefs form a filter through which their rational cognition must pass, yielding rationalizations, not valid conclusions.

    For a time I joined Colloquy Society (IQ min = 140) and while the high intellects of members were sometimes quite visible, their conclusions about social phenomena (which often inform politics) exhibited mountain-sized biases. These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.

    That's as large a caution about the infallibility of "intelligence" as I can imagine. No matter how high the IQ, no man can escape the filter of emotion, ego and hardwired bias. My search for bedrock on which to trust my own conclusions was destroyed.

    The politico-social implications of intelligence, its heritability and emerging knowledge about Human BioDiversity grow rapidly as what amounts to a 50-year Theocratic Rule of the West fights tooth and nail to close this Pandora's Box. Many people fear the truth will lead to justifications for what they consider unconscionable political policies.

    Read that again. They fear the truth.

    The Cult of Homogeneous Diversity (and the vast industry supported by it) is The Emperor's New Clothes. Socialist (coercive) redistribution of the fruits of Nature's DNA shuffle is losing its central thesis (natural, innate equality), and as it does so, attempts to prop it are draining what remains of its moral high ground.

    This is a change every bit as profound as the Lutheran Reformation.

    These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.

    My experiences align with yours. I have worked with many people who are extremely intelligent. Yet, you can take two of those people and their views on socio-political, religious, and even matters of science (e.g. origins of man), are completely opposite. Clearly. intelligence is not the only (or overriding) factor in how people arrive at certain conclusions. My own experience tells me that people on the Left eschew the data (or truth), more so than their counterparts on the right, in order to justify their beliefs.

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt, has many useful observations about that.
  53. So, the more intelligent, the less is brain activity. What an interesting piece of info.

    I guess it makes sense for me.

    One type of intelligence is something like a “synthesis conceptual” intelligence, the one which tries to see the principles of knowledge. I think im good at that.

    It is as if you decompose knowledge, fitting these pieces into a “general knowledge abstract mental structure” in your mind. And conclusions and explanations need to be derived from this “frame” alone. The beauty of it lies on the fact that it explains any concrete raw info as a logical conclusion from the most simple principles. The beauty of high complexity arising from limited simplicity. This type of reasoning generates an economy of info!

    So, maybe intelligent people have these “abstract mental structures” which binds and indexes independent pieces of info, making analysis much more simple, rather than more aleatory effort.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto

    So, the more intelligent, the less is brain activity
     
    Or, more efficient activity, and not exacly less brain activity.
    , @utu
    "So, the more intelligent, the less is brain activity. What an interesting piece of info."

    The activity comes from the conscious effort, from striving for a solution. When you do not know you strive more. Particularly under test conditions which can be stressful. The solution in some sense must be constructed because it is not there. But there is much less effort if the answer is already there. It just pops out w/o prompts or help from our will.
  54. @blank-misgivings
    I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans, and how the 'width' of that spectrum compares to other traits in humans and traits in other species. For example, I doubt there is a huge spectrum of 'maximum speed' in cheetahs, since if any individual fell far below the average it's unlikely it would hand its genes on.

    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread - and that before the division of labor the spectrum of cognitive ability was much narrower? In other words, a division of labor in larger human groups created different evolutionarily succesful paths for being reproductively succesful (physical strength, honesty, obedience, various character traits) among which was exceptional IQ. If that's true, would we find a narrower range of cognitive ability among peoples who have been primarily hunter gatherers for millennia?

    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread

    Maybe it was an early prehistoric caring about the survival of everyone in the group.

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  55. @melendwyr
    Eyes were evolved independently something like nineteen times - I forget the exact statistic. But as an evolutionary strategy the benefits are so immense, and the basic physics sufficiently simple, that you get similar adaptations appearing time after time.

    Human-style cognition seems to have developed only very rarely (birds are smarter than most realize), and traits like being fascinated by fire and spontaneously generating language occur in only a single known species.

    Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus far is of no known long-term survival advantage. We're probably a flash in the pan.

    Eyes were evolved independently something like nineteen times –

    I read something not too long ago where they have found light sensitive organelles on single-celled organisms. The light sensitive organelles send chemical signals to which the organism responds.

    Pretty easy to see that since responding to light is present at that level then eyes would “evolve” many times, but if they are all built on the same chemistry one might argue whether this is evidence of separate “evolutions”. Would we say digestion in all animals was evidence of separate evolution?

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  56. @War for Blair Mountain
    And it would mean that there could-can be a scientific study of human nature...and this would be a very profound scientific endeavor.

    And it would mean that there could-can be a scientific study of human nature…

    If that subject interests you there is a very good book, The Archaeology of Mind by Jaak Panksepp. He goes into the biological (brain) base of behavior and emotions.

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  57. Humans has been selected for compete, firstly. So most human personality types are based on this competitive imperative, less in women, but still there, and more in men. The fundamental goal for most people is not the knowledge itself but to be invariably well succesful in their social environment and for ”smarter people” knowledge is used ALSO as tool to their own success. This explain cognitive biases. To be well succesful in social environment and engaging in less hard challenges it’s necessary to be conformist to the authority. This competitive imperative, instead cooperative and/or intelectual imperatives, make people, specially ”smarter ones” lie too much about their ultimative ends, to combine at the same time their genuine but incomplete and obtuse willingness to know, to learn + their personal/competitive imperatives.

    So as repetitive conclusion because most humans are more or less but characteristically competitive they can’t see the value of the truth itself but as a tool to their own goals = be well succesful.

    orrrrrrr
    nein

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  58. @Brzjp
    So, the more intelligent, the less is brain activity. What an interesting piece of info.

    I guess it makes sense for me.

    One type of intelligence is something like a "synthesis conceptual" intelligence, the one which tries to see the principles of knowledge. I think im good at that.

    It is as if you decompose knowledge, fitting these pieces into a "general knowledge abstract mental structure" in your mind. And conclusions and explanations need to be derived from this "frame" alone. The beauty of it lies on the fact that it explains any concrete raw info as a logical conclusion from the most simple principles. The beauty of high complexity arising from limited simplicity. This type of reasoning generates an economy of info!

    So, maybe intelligent people have these "abstract mental structures" which binds and indexes independent pieces of info, making analysis much more simple, rather than more aleatory effort.

    So, the more intelligent, the less is brain activity

    Or, more efficient activity, and not exacly less brain activity.

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    • Replies: @Brzjp
    Text refers explicitly to less brain activity. Raw data is brain activity x iq. In fact, the concrete stuff is brain activity. This can be measured.
    , @Santoculto
    Yes I saw but maybe this less brain activity is a result of better efficiency.
  59. An old-fashioned way of saying that a task is easy is to say that it can be done without thinking. Figure 4.8 at the head of this article confirms the merit of the expression. What one knows how to do, one does with a minimum of cerebral activity, whereas what one does not know how to do, sets the mind racing in search of a solution to the challenge.

    That 96% of white Americans “cannot do carpet cost type problems” is a sad reflection not on white Americans, but on American schools. In an hour or two, I could teach almost any ten-year-old how to do carpet cost problems — provided that they already knew how to perform the basic operations of arithmetic. In a month, I could teach them arithmetic too.

    The idea underlying IQ testing is that intelligence is a unitary property, which is absurd. Sure, people with high IQ’s are good at IQ tests and similar challenges such as writing software, learning mathematical routines or trading stocks. But except in the current condition of civilization, those are relatively unimportant activities, and even today they are unimportant to the reproductive success of the great majority of the world’s population. Indeed, there seems to be a clear negative relationship between evolutionary success and high IQ, whether judged on a societal or an individual basis.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    If our tests are arbitrary, partial, narrow and invalid then their lives (of very bright people) will be no different from the average person, possibly worse, as they will be enmeshed in useless analytic ponderings, and lack multiple intelligence, emotional intelligence, everyday intelligence, street smarts and common sense. They will be freaks, basket cases, quivering incompetent wrecks cowering in the far reaches of sanatoria and liberal arts departments.

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-comparative-advantage-of-eminence
    , @dc.sunsets

    In an hour or two, I could teach almost any ten-year-old how to do carpet cost problems — provided that they already knew how to perform the basic operations of arithmetic. In a month, I could teach them arithmetic too.
     
    You've clearly not been in a grade school lately.

    Come to my wife's 4th grade classroom for a few days. You won't make that claim any more.

    Mind you, she's taught 4th grade in the 1980's as well as the last 15 years, so it's not like she suddenly lost the capacity to teach long division.

    You simply have no idea how bad things have gotten now. I hate to imagine how many "high school grads" will be so innumerate that they can't make change at a retail counter.
  60. @melendwyr
    Eyes were evolved independently something like nineteen times - I forget the exact statistic. But as an evolutionary strategy the benefits are so immense, and the basic physics sufficiently simple, that you get similar adaptations appearing time after time.

    Human-style cognition seems to have developed only very rarely (birds are smarter than most realize), and traits like being fascinated by fire and spontaneously generating language occur in only a single known species.

    Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus far is of no known long-term survival advantage. We're probably a flash in the pan.

    But as an evolutionary strategy ….

    Sorry, but that’s nearly all wrong!

    There is no such thing as an “evolutionary strategy” except perhaps in the case of humans should humans who understand the process of evolution consciously adopt a strategy for the evolutionary success of their own descendants. For example, certain religions might be viewed as evolutionary strategies — or plans for the colonization of the solar system to ensure humans survive whatever catastrophe we may precipitate here on earth, (though I don’t see why we wouldn’t cause the same catastrophe on Mars too).

    Otherwise, evolution is blind. The outcome of chance genetic change acted upon by unanticipated selective contingencies.

    Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus far is of no known long-term survival advantage. We’re probably a flash in the pan.

    Again, a teleological construction inapplicable to evolutionary processes. Moreover, intelligence has, in fact, emerged in some degree in virtually all branches of the animal kingdom, even, by some accounts, in the lowly planarian worm. Intelligence thus appears to be a near essential characteristic of successful multi-cellular heterotrophic life forms.

    Humans may indeed prove to be “a flash in the pan,” perhaps with DT’s finger on the nuclear button in a literal sense, but rats with brains sharing virtually all the features of the brain of the American President, will no doubt long outlive us.

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  61. @CanSpeccy
    An old-fashioned way of saying that a task is easy is to say that it can be done without thinking. Figure 4.8 at the head of this article confirms the merit of the expression. What one knows how to do, one does with a minimum of cerebral activity, whereas what one does not know how to do, sets the mind racing in search of a solution to the challenge.

    That 96% of white Americans "cannot do carpet cost type problems" is a sad reflection not on white Americans, but on American schools. In an hour or two, I could teach almost any ten-year-old how to do carpet cost problems — provided that they already knew how to perform the basic operations of arithmetic. In a month, I could teach them arithmetic too.

    The idea underlying IQ testing is that intelligence is a unitary property, which is absurd. Sure, people with high IQ's are good at IQ tests and similar challenges such as writing software, learning mathematical routines or trading stocks. But except in the current condition of civilization, those are relatively unimportant activities, and even today they are unimportant to the reproductive success of the great majority of the world's population. Indeed, there seems to be a clear negative relationship between evolutionary success and high IQ, whether judged on a societal or an individual basis.

    If our tests are arbitrary, partial, narrow and invalid then their lives (of very bright people) will be no different from the average person, possibly worse, as they will be enmeshed in useless analytic ponderings, and lack multiple intelligence, emotional intelligence, everyday intelligence, street smarts and common sense. They will be freaks, basket cases, quivering incompetent wrecks cowering in the far reaches of sanatoria and liberal arts departments.

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-comparative-advantage-of-eminence

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    If our tests are arbitrary, partial, narrow and invalid...
     
    Depends what you're trying to measure, obviously. But clearly IQ is not the measure of superiority in every dimension relating to the function of the central nervous system.

    For example, a classmate of long ago, the son of a surgeon, spent five years near the bottom of the lower stream at the school I attended. But in the biological laboratory he'd dissect out the cranial nerves of a dogfish beautifully in minutes while the rest of us would more or less botch the task in hours. On the football field he would appear to stroll through a line of defense, selling a dummy here, changing course by a few degrees there. Was he just lazy? I don't think so. He never showed a spark of intellectual brilliance, yet his central nervous system was clearly vastly superior to the rest of us in certain respects.

    One could cite examples from many other worlds, for example, the world of music. Glen Gould being one name that springs to mind. Analytically, I don't think he had a powerful mind, but musically, he was extraordinary.

    As for whether high IQ types are enmeshed in useless analytic ponderings, lacking multiple intelligence, emotional intelligence, everyday intelligence, street smarts and common sense, etc., look at the record.

    Did the likes of Newton, Einstein, Darwin, Goedel, John Nash have high IQ's? If so, yes, high IQ types are enmeshed, etc. (though their analytic ponderings are clearly not useless). If not, then IQ is missing the most powerful kind of intelligence.

  62. @another fred

    And it would mean that there could-can be a scientific study of human nature…
     
    If that subject interests you there is a very good book, The Archaeology of Mind by Jaak Panksepp. He goes into the biological (brain) base of behavior and emotions.

    Thanks for the info Mr. Fred…

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  63. @Brzjp
    So, the more intelligent, the less is brain activity. What an interesting piece of info.

    I guess it makes sense for me.

    One type of intelligence is something like a "synthesis conceptual" intelligence, the one which tries to see the principles of knowledge. I think im good at that.

    It is as if you decompose knowledge, fitting these pieces into a "general knowledge abstract mental structure" in your mind. And conclusions and explanations need to be derived from this "frame" alone. The beauty of it lies on the fact that it explains any concrete raw info as a logical conclusion from the most simple principles. The beauty of high complexity arising from limited simplicity. This type of reasoning generates an economy of info!

    So, maybe intelligent people have these "abstract mental structures" which binds and indexes independent pieces of info, making analysis much more simple, rather than more aleatory effort.

    “So, the more intelligent, the less is brain activity. What an interesting piece of info.”

    The activity comes from the conscious effort, from striving for a solution. When you do not know you strive more. Particularly under test conditions which can be stressful. The solution in some sense must be constructed because it is not there. But there is much less effort if the answer is already there. It just pops out w/o prompts or help from our will.

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    • Replies: @War for Blair Mountain
    By a very..at best crude...possibly l0gically vacuous definition of intelligence...


    It's like saying a have a camera...photograph a flower...bingo:botanists understand flowers!!!
  64. @James Thompson
    If our tests are arbitrary, partial, narrow and invalid then their lives (of very bright people) will be no different from the average person, possibly worse, as they will be enmeshed in useless analytic ponderings, and lack multiple intelligence, emotional intelligence, everyday intelligence, street smarts and common sense. They will be freaks, basket cases, quivering incompetent wrecks cowering in the far reaches of sanatoria and liberal arts departments.

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-comparative-advantage-of-eminence

    If our tests are arbitrary, partial, narrow and invalid…

    Depends what you’re trying to measure, obviously. But clearly IQ is not the measure of superiority in every dimension relating to the function of the central nervous system.

    For example, a classmate of long ago, the son of a surgeon, spent five years near the bottom of the lower stream at the school I attended. But in the biological laboratory he’d dissect out the cranial nerves of a dogfish beautifully in minutes while the rest of us would more or less botch the task in hours. On the football field he would appear to stroll through a line of defense, selling a dummy here, changing course by a few degrees there. Was he just lazy? I don’t think so. He never showed a spark of intellectual brilliance, yet his central nervous system was clearly vastly superior to the rest of us in certain respects.

    One could cite examples from many other worlds, for example, the world of music. Glen Gould being one name that springs to mind. Analytically, I don’t think he had a powerful mind, but musically, he was extraordinary.

    As for whether high IQ types are enmeshed in useless analytic ponderings, lacking multiple intelligence, emotional intelligence, everyday intelligence, street smarts and common sense, etc., look at the record.

    Did the likes of Newton, Einstein, Darwin, Goedel, John Nash have high IQ’s? If so, yes, high IQ types are enmeshed, etc. (though their analytic ponderings are clearly not useless). If not, then IQ is missing the most powerful kind of intelligence.

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    Not that Einstein was as wacky as the others, his chief eccentricity being an alleged refusal to wear socks. In addition, his political ideas were seemingly naive, or as George Kennan, architect of post-war US foreign policy remarked of his Princeton colleague, "I knew nothing of his subject and knew it, he knew nothing of my subject and didn't know it."

    There are plenty of other geniuses, however, who were clearly not all round intelligent, including Pythagoras, Lord Byron and Michaelangelo, as amusingly related here.
  65. Watching the Sally Kellerman episode of Star Trek…Gary Mitchell’s exponential growth in brain power. In some way this, idea intersects in a deep way what’s wrong with IQ Tests.

    What the hell would an exponential increase in intelligence even mean? IQ tests are like the equivalent of a weight lifting competition….in some wierd unatural range of movement.

    I also strongly suspect their is a connection between the failure of AI research and IQ tests…..mental wieght lifting c0mpetiti0ns along some wierd and meaningless dimensions….

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  66. @utu
    "So, the more intelligent, the less is brain activity. What an interesting piece of info."

    The activity comes from the conscious effort, from striving for a solution. When you do not know you strive more. Particularly under test conditions which can be stressful. The solution in some sense must be constructed because it is not there. But there is much less effort if the answer is already there. It just pops out w/o prompts or help from our will.

    By a very..at best crude…possibly l0gically vacuous definition of intelligence…

    It’s like saying a have a camera…photograph a flower…bingo:botanists understand flowers!!!

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    • Replies: @Brzjp
    I refered to what i believe to be one type of intelligence. Certainly one individual need several types of intelligences in order to function.

    Im trying to use your example of camera

    The "camera" would be a processing method based on principles, concepts, logic and coherence. Example: if you understand the principle of numerical proportion, you do not have to memorize dozens of formulas in physics, chemistry, math, you can use analogy in order to recognize where this abstract concept applies.

    Your example of "camera" is the basic frame of all type of formal knowledge: concepts, principles and logic. So even botanists use them to "bingo!" understand flowers
  67. Regarding genetic differences between individual/groups with respect IQ and the Big Five Personality Traits (conscientiousness, open-to-experience, tough-mindedness, neuroticism, extroversion), I believe that the United States should fully subsidize the availability of germ-line genetic engineering, embryo selection/IVF, and cloning to every citizen of America. No one would be forced to use these technologies, but it would be available to those who want to use it to create children with good genes to increase their chances of having a better life.

    Regarding the proverb “Give a man a fish, he eats just today; teach him how to fish, he eats forever,” my suggested voluntary eugenics policy will help ensure that individuals are more self-sufficient and less in need of life-long welfare services, saving money for the government.

    Another issue: environment CAN improve “g” if we actually alter the biological correlates of it. For example, we know that the quantity of brain neurons in the various areas of the cerebral cortex positively correlates to IQ. The parietal lobe accounts for visuo-spatial IQ, while the temporal lobes account for verbal IQ. And I believe the prefrontal cortex accounts for general reasoning and works synergistically with the other lobes.

    As such, if we can increase the quantity of neurons in these areas, we can increase the various forms of IQ. Promising methods include delivering stem cells to the cerebral cortex which would replicate and increase neuron quantity.

    Similarly, we can try to alter the other biological correlates of IQ such as the speed of nerve conduction and so forth. But of course, much more research is required. We do know what does NOT work, such as “enriched” educational environments. The brain is not a magical organ that grows by talking to it; rather, it is a computer. I can talk to my laptop all I want, but it will not make it smarter; rather, I need to directly alter its physical qualities to boost its IQ, such as put in more RAM and a faster processor chip. And to increase the computer’s visuo-spatial IQ, I would have to put in a separate graphics processing unit (GPU) (analogous to the parietal lobe).

    A computer’s RAM is analogous to the quantity of neurons in the cerebral cortex, and a computer’s CPU is analogous to nerve conduction speed (though I am no doubt simplifying much of this).

    A better RAM module has more capacitors so more charges can be held (one charge is held per capacitor), and each charge corresponds to a bit (0 or 1). A higher capacitor processor can thus hold more complex software and manipulate it. Similarly, in the brain, each neuron is analogous to a RAM capacitor – more neurons mean more complex ideas can be held and manipulated. A neuron with its dendrites and axons hold charges, and a more complex idea, such as engineering calculus, would require more brain charges to represent it, similar to how a more complex computer software would have more bits and would require more RAM capacitors to hold and manipulate it. So, more brain neurons would be required to hold and manipulate the engineering calculus “software.” Given this simple analogy, it makes no scientific sense for Cultural Marxists to claim that brain size has no effect on intelligence.

    Plus, if one considers how the DNA builds the fetal brain in the uterus, it becomes apparent that “educational enrichment” can’t change brain biology. The building blocks of the brain are neurons. In the womb, DNA is being read which instructs how often the fetal brain cells should replicate, and in what patterns, to create the final size and structure of the brain. Once the brain size and structure has been reached according to the DNA blueprint (and I am not sure if the specified number of cell splittings to achieve the number of neurons the DNA calls for is achieved before birth or continues for a while after birth), I don’t see how educational “enrichment” can alter the genetic code to increase brain cell splittings to create more cerebral cortex neurons (unless you are aware of some epigenetic effect, which so far has not been proven to exist).

    So, let’s say we have an individual with bad genes. The above six paragraphs on environmental manipulation explain how we can boost his various IQs, while the two paragraphs above that explain how we can ensure his offspring will be born with good genes. And I believe the government should subsidize this environmental manipulation as well for all citizens (by environmental manipulation, I mean making any changes to the phenotype that was not already done by the genotype).

    Science tells us what genes are desirable (though I understand that “desirable” is, objectively speaking, purely subjective since value is in the eye of the beholder). So, if all the ethnic groups of mankind decided to alter their respective gene pools to eventually reach this genetic status quo, we would all end up becoming the same: IQ of 200 in all three IQ types, high conscientiousness, high “Open-to-Experience” (The Big-Five personality trait that accounts for creativity),” balanced “Altruism/Agreeableness,” physically robust body with a strong and adaptive immune system, excellent athletic ability and coordination, etc. We would achieve scientifically valid equality, not the pseudo-scientific equality as supported by current Cultural Marxists.
    _________________________________________________________________

    One thing I forgot to mention is that if we were to try to increase the number of neurons in an adult, the brain volume would increase and would require a corresponding increase in skull size. I am sure scientists can figure out how to do this.
    _________________________________________________________________

    I was thinking about an analogy between providing an “enriched” environment for the human brain in the attempts to increase IQ versus providing an “enriched” environment for a laptop computer to increase its IQ.

    With the human brain, Cultural Marxists try to get the human brain to process various “enrichments” such as classical music, mathematics, parental coddling, and so forth in an attempt to alter the biological correlates of IQ.

    Well, let us try the same with a laptop computer. Let’s take a computer with an old 1995 Pentium Pro processor running at 200 MHz and with 500 megabytes of RAM. This would be analogous to, let’s say, a person with an IQ of 70.

    Now, let’s see if we can augment the laptop’s IQ by providing it with a “rich” environment. With the laptop, we would do this by trying to run software that are more complex than it can currently handle. For example, we can try installing Windows 7 on it, or the latest Macintosh, or Microsoft Office 2016.

    We can also play classical music CDs on the computer and run astronomy lectures from YouTube in the computer’s browser.

    Let’s do all of this for a few years. Now, let’s re-examine the laptop’s IQ. Did the processor improve and make a leap from Pentium Pro to Intel Core i7 quad-core? Did the RAM jump up to eight gigabytes?

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Similarly, we can try to alter the other biological correlates of IQ such as the speed of nerve conduction and so forth. But of course, much more research is required. We do know what does NOT work, such as “enriched” educational environments.

     

    Well, there are parts of the brain that do add more neurons over time

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

    Its limited, though. Whatever g is, it probably isn't affected by this, and as the wiki indicates "the overall findings that adult neurogenesis is important for any kind of learning are equivocal."

    One thing I read, and I can try to find the reference for Dr. Thompson, is that observed IQ does slightly improve after at least a month of aerobic exercise. The correlation implies that improved blood flow assists the brain, not an entirely illogical concept.

  68. Another analogy:IQ test score psychometrics reminds me of the philosophers in Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy…after a million year wait..the answer to the MEANING OF LIFE!!!=49….WTF?

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  69. @Santoculto

    So, the more intelligent, the less is brain activity
     
    Or, more efficient activity, and not exacly less brain activity.

    Text refers explicitly to less brain activity. Raw data is brain activity x iq. In fact, the concrete stuff is brain activity. This can be measured.

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  70. “The heritability estimate of general intelligence was 26% at age 5, 39% at age 7, 54% at age 10, 64% at age 12, and starting at age18 the estimate grew to over 80%. ”

    I have a problem with this. Do IQ tests for 5 years old can be compared with the test for 18 years old? Do they measure the same intelligence? If I bring a Bushman to NYC at young age he will be really different from other people in NYC but after twelve years he will know how to make a phone call, how to eat with knife and fork, … and he will be less different, he conformed. Do the results imply that when we are young we can be very different because we are not constrained yet by what we have learned but when we get older we are more constrained, we conform more and more and this result in greater similarities between us. So, twins living apart becoming more alike as they get older and we misconstrue it as increase of heritable fraction.

    The 2006 review in Nature http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v14/n6/full/5201588a.html does not cite this work.

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    • Replies: @Santoculto
    Intelligence become less plastic with the age and no more "heritable" as well personality. So intelligence become more stable and among identical twins their similarities often will becoming more similar or predicta-ble. They are misusing the words all the time. It's sad and ridiculous. Heritability is the prediction to the inheritance. At least in Portuguese language the word "herdável" = heritable mean something that can be inherited. Just like other words of the same class: Excusable, understandable, viable... All of this words are adjectives about something that can or not happen, in the future.

    Seems twins heritability is viable only for them because they have higher levels of genetic similarity while we are all less genetically near-to-identical even to our parents.
    , @James Thompson
    The general observation is that heritability estimates for intelligence increase with age, which is directly contrary to the argument from experience, because as people accumulate different life experiences you might expect, on the basis of the environmental hypothesis, that they would differ more. In fact, they show a greater effect of heritability.
    A summary of main findings are given here:
    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/five-gold-rings-inherited
    For the "inheritance increases with age" finding, see Ian Deary giving a lecture on intelligence
    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/original-paper-teaching-intelligence
  71. @CanSpeccy

    If our tests are arbitrary, partial, narrow and invalid...
     
    Depends what you're trying to measure, obviously. But clearly IQ is not the measure of superiority in every dimension relating to the function of the central nervous system.

    For example, a classmate of long ago, the son of a surgeon, spent five years near the bottom of the lower stream at the school I attended. But in the biological laboratory he'd dissect out the cranial nerves of a dogfish beautifully in minutes while the rest of us would more or less botch the task in hours. On the football field he would appear to stroll through a line of defense, selling a dummy here, changing course by a few degrees there. Was he just lazy? I don't think so. He never showed a spark of intellectual brilliance, yet his central nervous system was clearly vastly superior to the rest of us in certain respects.

    One could cite examples from many other worlds, for example, the world of music. Glen Gould being one name that springs to mind. Analytically, I don't think he had a powerful mind, but musically, he was extraordinary.

    As for whether high IQ types are enmeshed in useless analytic ponderings, lacking multiple intelligence, emotional intelligence, everyday intelligence, street smarts and common sense, etc., look at the record.

    Did the likes of Newton, Einstein, Darwin, Goedel, John Nash have high IQ's? If so, yes, high IQ types are enmeshed, etc. (though their analytic ponderings are clearly not useless). If not, then IQ is missing the most powerful kind of intelligence.

    Not that Einstein was as wacky as the others, his chief eccentricity being an alleged refusal to wear socks. In addition, his political ideas were seemingly naive, or as George Kennan, architect of post-war US foreign policy remarked of his Princeton colleague, “I knew nothing of his subject and knew it, he knew nothing of my subject and didn’t know it.”

    There are plenty of other geniuses, however, who were clearly not all round intelligent, including Pythagoras, Lord Byron and Michaelangelo, as amusingly related here.

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  72. @Bobzilla

    These same people who joined a high IQ society often argued against the very validity of IQ testing, direct or surrogate. When very smart people engage in doublethink, the clash of their cognitive dissonance is deafening.
     
    My experiences align with yours. I have worked with many people who are extremely intelligent. Yet, you can take two of those people and their views on socio-political, religious, and even matters of science (e.g. origins of man), are completely opposite. Clearly. intelligence is not the only (or overriding) factor in how people arrive at certain conclusions. My own experience tells me that people on the Left eschew the data (or truth), more so than their counterparts on the right, in order to justify their beliefs.

    The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt, has many useful observations about that.

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  73. @War for Blair Mountain
    By a very..at best crude...possibly l0gically vacuous definition of intelligence...


    It's like saying a have a camera...photograph a flower...bingo:botanists understand flowers!!!

    I refered to what i believe to be one type of intelligence. Certainly one individual need several types of intelligences in order to function.

    Im trying to use your example of camera

    The “camera” would be a processing method based on principles, concepts, logic and coherence. Example: if you understand the principle of numerical proportion, you do not have to memorize dozens of formulas in physics, chemistry, math, you can use analogy in order to recognize where this abstract concept applies.

    Your example of “camera” is the basic frame of all type of formal knowledge: concepts, principles and logic. So even botanists use them to “bingo!” understand flowers

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  74. @Santoculto

    So, the more intelligent, the less is brain activity
     
    Or, more efficient activity, and not exacly less brain activity.

    Yes I saw but maybe this less brain activity is a result of better efficiency.

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  75. @utu
    "The heritability estimate of general intelligence was 26% at age 5, 39% at age 7, 54% at age 10, 64% at age 12, and starting at age18 the estimate grew to over 80%. "

    I have a problem with this. Do IQ tests for 5 years old can be compared with the test for 18 years old? Do they measure the same intelligence? If I bring a Bushman to NYC at young age he will be really different from other people in NYC but after twelve years he will know how to make a phone call, how to eat with knife and fork, ... and he will be less different, he conformed. Do the results imply that when we are young we can be very different because we are not constrained yet by what we have learned but when we get older we are more constrained, we conform more and more and this result in greater similarities between us. So, twins living apart becoming more alike as they get older and we misconstrue it as increase of heritable fraction.

    The 2006 review in Nature http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v14/n6/full/5201588a.html does not cite this work.

    Intelligence become less plastic with the age and no more “heritable” as well personality. So intelligence become more stable and among identical twins their similarities often will becoming more similar or predicta-ble. They are misusing the words all the time. It’s sad and ridiculous. Heritability is the prediction to the inheritance. At least in Portuguese language the word “herdável” = heritable mean something that can be inherited. Just like other words of the same class: Excusable, understandable, viable… All of this words are adjectives about something that can or not happen, in the future.

    Seems twins heritability is viable only for them because they have higher levels of genetic similarity while we are all less genetically near-to-identical even to our parents.

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  76. @War for Blair Mountain
    Another analogy:IQ test score psychometrics reminds me of the philosophers in Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy...after a million year wait..the answer to the MEANING OF LIFE!!!=49....WTF?

    42

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    • Replies: @War for Blair Mountain
    Thank you very kindly for the correction...


    Douglas Adams:"Nobody writes jokes in base 13.....I may be pretty sad person....but I don't write jokes in base 13....". Our resident number theorist John Derbyshire can provide the details...


    The Almighty Grothendieck once had to ask a fellow mathematician if 49 was a prime number...


    The Almighty Grothendieck and Goro Shimura both were not very good math jock competition mathletes.....I speculate-c0njecture that this might have significance for IQ testing:problems with no meaningfull context. For the purpose of our discussion let us assume a syntax-semantics distinction in the human mind-brain system. Now I have no idea if this is even true. But if it is, I conjecture this is the problem with IQ Tests as a serious measure of human cognitive aptitude..


    I am just attempting to present "wierd"-hidden angle type critique of the conceptual foundations of IQ testing-psychometrics.


    My much larger point...and I submit that my way more important point is this:IQ testing research-psychometrics is just a disguised economics resource allocation problem of 0 relevance to understanding the human mind-brain in any scientifically-theoretically interesting way...



    And that's my 42 cents.....



    May you Rest In Peace Almighty Grothendieck...
  77. @utu
    "The heritability estimate of general intelligence was 26% at age 5, 39% at age 7, 54% at age 10, 64% at age 12, and starting at age18 the estimate grew to over 80%. "

    I have a problem with this. Do IQ tests for 5 years old can be compared with the test for 18 years old? Do they measure the same intelligence? If I bring a Bushman to NYC at young age he will be really different from other people in NYC but after twelve years he will know how to make a phone call, how to eat with knife and fork, ... and he will be less different, he conformed. Do the results imply that when we are young we can be very different because we are not constrained yet by what we have learned but when we get older we are more constrained, we conform more and more and this result in greater similarities between us. So, twins living apart becoming more alike as they get older and we misconstrue it as increase of heritable fraction.

    The 2006 review in Nature http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v14/n6/full/5201588a.html does not cite this work.

    The general observation is that heritability estimates for intelligence increase with age, which is directly contrary to the argument from experience, because as people accumulate different life experiences you might expect, on the basis of the environmental hypothesis, that they would differ more. In fact, they show a greater effect of heritability.
    A summary of main findings are given here:

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/five-gold-rings-inherited

    For the “inheritance increases with age” finding, see Ian Deary giving a lecture on intelligence

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/original-paper-teaching-intelligence

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    • Replies: @utu
    Thanks for the links.

    I have some doubts about validity of the studies that claim that heritability h2 increases with age. The most reliable result could be obtained from studying MZ twins reared apart (MZA) and together (MZT). It is the most direct method. Using just sibling data requires making more assumptions on genetic differences that can not be verified.

    If the claim is correct ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg (∆IQ=IQ(twin1)-IQ(twin2) and IQavg=(IQ(twin1)-IQ(twin2))/2 ) should decrease with age. Was it ever observed? Does there even exist a data set that could directly demonstrate that the variance of ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg decreases with age?

    If variance of IQ's in MZ twin population suppose to decreases with age one could argue that variance of IQ's of the whole population should decrease with age. Anybody observed that St.Dev. of IQ among children is smaller than among young adults? Anyway, I am not making this argument.

    How is the stability of IQ test among children and among adults? If I test a 5 year old kid 2 times in one day what is the expected differences between IQ's? How does it compare to the difference for a young adult. I am just hypothesizing here that when I make IQ test of two 5 year old twins I may get bigger difference because they are just kids who cannot not sit still, one can have a bad day, etc.

    IQ tests administered at, say age 5 and age 15 are very different. How do we know that the scales of the two tests are identical? If there is a multiplicative incongruence between the scales of the two tests the normalized value ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg should not be affected by it. As far as I know the normalized values are not used. Rather ∆IQ(MZA) is used in data manipulation. However if the incongruence is of additive nature then the normalized ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg will be sensitive to the value of the additive factor because it affects the denominator.
  78. ”Inheritance increase with age”

    If a couple have a kid when they have 25 years old the heritability of their traits will be lower than when they have 35 years old*

    Inheritance or heritability*

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  79. @dc.sunsets

    Bright students will always do well no matter how few resources are devoted to their education. Less bright students will always do better if only more resources were devoted to their education.
     
    You have NO IDEA.

    My wife is a 4th grade public school teacher. During the last 10 years the district implemented Federally-mandated "Special Ed Inclusion," which means that children with IQ's as low as 56 (not a misprint) are placed in regular classes with students whose IQ's are as high as any parent will send to a public school.

    Imagine trying to teach long division to a class where a third of the students have IQ's below 80.
    1. Some of those kids cannot EVER learn the material. Below a certain point, people have zero carryover from day to day. Each attempt to practice a skill is like Groundhog Day, the movie.
    2. Average and above-average students get bored...and eventually begin to act out. Kids whose parents taught them self-control begin to actually regress, and schools increasingly look like Lord of the Flies.

    Inclusion is now universal across the USA. Yes, by the time kids get to Middle School (age 12 or so) most districts will begin to split the very low from the rest, but in grade schools you can have 27 kids in a single classroom spanning four or more standard deviations in intelligence.

    Anyone who thinks this makes sense redefines ideologically blinded. Yet any discussion of reversing this worst-in-the-history-of-pedagogy policy is shouted down as being "against the handicapped." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/choosing-sides-on-school-inclusion_us_57ba1a52e4b007f18198d771

    If a man with a fully-functional set of male genitalia is deemed a woman just by him saying so and should be allowed to shower nude next to 10 year old girls, and desegregation of schools demands that there be a white student assigned to sit next to a black student (because the latter will benefit, even as the former is sacrificed), then the education of the able student must be sacrificed so that the disabled student is raised some arbitrary amount.

    Socialism hasn't died. Leftists just want the "From whom according to their ability" to be defined in non-monetary terms, so that the bright cannot be allowed the full benefit of what Nature distributed to them.

    They do this to your children, by the way.

    Grade schools across the USA are now completely dysfunctional, diverting vast resources away from the Middle in favor of raising the low...a Utopian goal just as impossible as is equalizing the median physical strength between men and women or the educational attainment & family wealth between those of predominantly Northern European ancestry and those of African ancestry.

    Thanks, and, I may not have been clear, but the mind-set I sketched is something I’m opposed to.

    “My wife is a 4th grade public school teacher. During the last 10 years the district implemented Federally-mandated “Special Ed Inclusion,” which means that children with IQ’s as low as 56 (not a misprint) are placed in regular classes with students whose IQ’s are as high as any parent will send to a public school.”

    I don’t have anything to match the nightmarish classroom (so it seems to me) your wife works in.

    I’ve privately admitted to myself that maybe 80% of the students at my local Podunk Tech probably benefit little or not at all from higher education, and even secondary education is probably a dubious proposition for many students who’d be happier entering the work force as informal apprentices working limited hours until they reached adult age.

    But, the “helping professions” (teaching, medicine, perhaps law enforcement, and others) can be among the most vicious of lobbyists, essentially using their specialized skills and positions to extort concessions from legislatures and the public.

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  80. “A recent study of 180 college students reported that a g-factor derived from their performance on a battery of video games correlated highly (0.93) with a g – factor extracted from their performance on a battery of cognitive tests (Ángeles Quiroga et al ., 2015)”

    Did they actually calculate the g-factor for each subject? I haven’t seen it done before. Usually g-factor is not calculated but only the value of g-loading is calculate which is a global value for the battery of tests and has no meaning for individual subjects.

    Anyway, in the book they also say that the correlation between the scores from video games and scores from cognitive tests was over 0.96 which is more than 0.93. This suggests that the scores form two batteries of tests have more commonality than g-factors. The difference of 0.03 between 0.96 and 0.93 might not be significant. Possibly it comes from crappy factorial analysis algorithm. But if significant, it is counter intuitive because one would expect that it is the other way around, i.e, correlation between g-factors is higher not lower of the two.

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  81. @AshkeNietzsche
    Regarding genetic differences between individual/groups with respect IQ and the Big Five Personality Traits (conscientiousness, open-to-experience, tough-mindedness, neuroticism, extroversion), I believe that the United States should fully subsidize the availability of germ-line genetic engineering, embryo selection/IVF, and cloning to every citizen of America. No one would be forced to use these technologies, but it would be available to those who want to use it to create children with good genes to increase their chances of having a better life.

    Regarding the proverb "Give a man a fish, he eats just today; teach him how to fish, he eats forever," my suggested voluntary eugenics policy will help ensure that individuals are more self-sufficient and less in need of life-long welfare services, saving money for the government.

    Another issue: environment CAN improve "g" if we actually alter the biological correlates of it. For example, we know that the quantity of brain neurons in the various areas of the cerebral cortex positively correlates to IQ. The parietal lobe accounts for visuo-spatial IQ, while the temporal lobes account for verbal IQ. And I believe the prefrontal cortex accounts for general reasoning and works synergistically with the other lobes.

    As such, if we can increase the quantity of neurons in these areas, we can increase the various forms of IQ. Promising methods include delivering stem cells to the cerebral cortex which would replicate and increase neuron quantity.

    Similarly, we can try to alter the other biological correlates of IQ such as the speed of nerve conduction and so forth. But of course, much more research is required. We do know what does NOT work, such as "enriched" educational environments. The brain is not a magical organ that grows by talking to it; rather, it is a computer. I can talk to my laptop all I want, but it will not make it smarter; rather, I need to directly alter its physical qualities to boost its IQ, such as put in more RAM and a faster processor chip. And to increase the computer's visuo-spatial IQ, I would have to put in a separate graphics processing unit (GPU) (analogous to the parietal lobe).

    A computer's RAM is analogous to the quantity of neurons in the cerebral cortex, and a computer's CPU is analogous to nerve conduction speed (though I am no doubt simplifying much of this).

    A better RAM module has more capacitors so more charges can be held (one charge is held per capacitor), and each charge corresponds to a bit (0 or 1). A higher capacitor processor can thus hold more complex software and manipulate it. Similarly, in the brain, each neuron is analogous to a RAM capacitor - more neurons mean more complex ideas can be held and manipulated. A neuron with its dendrites and axons hold charges, and a more complex idea, such as engineering calculus, would require more brain charges to represent it, similar to how a more complex computer software would have more bits and would require more RAM capacitors to hold and manipulate it. So, more brain neurons would be required to hold and manipulate the engineering calculus "software." Given this simple analogy, it makes no scientific sense for Cultural Marxists to claim that brain size has no effect on intelligence.

    Plus, if one considers how the DNA builds the fetal brain in the uterus, it becomes apparent that "educational enrichment" can't change brain biology. The building blocks of the brain are neurons. In the womb, DNA is being read which instructs how often the fetal brain cells should replicate, and in what patterns, to create the final size and structure of the brain. Once the brain size and structure has been reached according to the DNA blueprint (and I am not sure if the specified number of cell splittings to achieve the number of neurons the DNA calls for is achieved before birth or continues for a while after birth), I don't see how educational "enrichment" can alter the genetic code to increase brain cell splittings to create more cerebral cortex neurons (unless you are aware of some epigenetic effect, which so far has not been proven to exist).

    So, let's say we have an individual with bad genes. The above six paragraphs on environmental manipulation explain how we can boost his various IQs, while the two paragraphs above that explain how we can ensure his offspring will be born with good genes. And I believe the government should subsidize this environmental manipulation as well for all citizens (by environmental manipulation, I mean making any changes to the phenotype that was not already done by the genotype).

    Science tells us what genes are desirable (though I understand that "desirable" is, objectively speaking, purely subjective since value is in the eye of the beholder). So, if all the ethnic groups of mankind decided to alter their respective gene pools to eventually reach this genetic status quo, we would all end up becoming the same: IQ of 200 in all three IQ types, high conscientiousness, high "Open-to-Experience" (The Big-Five personality trait that accounts for creativity)," balanced "Altruism/Agreeableness," physically robust body with a strong and adaptive immune system, excellent athletic ability and coordination, etc. We would achieve scientifically valid equality, not the pseudo-scientific equality as supported by current Cultural Marxists.
    _________________________________________________________________

    One thing I forgot to mention is that if we were to try to increase the number of neurons in an adult, the brain volume would increase and would require a corresponding increase in skull size. I am sure scientists can figure out how to do this.
    _________________________________________________________________

    I was thinking about an analogy between providing an "enriched" environment for the human brain in the attempts to increase IQ versus providing an "enriched" environment for a laptop computer to increase its IQ.

    With the human brain, Cultural Marxists try to get the human brain to process various "enrichments" such as classical music, mathematics, parental coddling, and so forth in an attempt to alter the biological correlates of IQ.

    Well, let us try the same with a laptop computer. Let's take a computer with an old 1995 Pentium Pro processor running at 200 MHz and with 500 megabytes of RAM. This would be analogous to, let's say, a person with an IQ of 70.

    Now, let's see if we can augment the laptop's IQ by providing it with a "rich" environment. With the laptop, we would do this by trying to run software that are more complex than it can currently handle. For example, we can try installing Windows 7 on it, or the latest Macintosh, or Microsoft Office 2016.

    We can also play classical music CDs on the computer and run astronomy lectures from YouTube in the computer's browser.

    Let's do all of this for a few years. Now, let's re-examine the laptop's IQ. Did the processor improve and make a leap from Pentium Pro to Intel Core i7 quad-core? Did the RAM jump up to eight gigabytes?

    Similarly, we can try to alter the other biological correlates of IQ such as the speed of nerve conduction and so forth. But of course, much more research is required. We do know what does NOT work, such as “enriched” educational environments.

    Well, there are parts of the brain that do add more neurons over time

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

    Its limited, though. Whatever g is, it probably isn’t affected by this, and as the wiki indicates “the overall findings that adult neurogenesis is important for any kind of learning are equivocal.”

    One thing I read, and I can try to find the reference for Dr. Thompson, is that observed IQ does slightly improve after at least a month of aerobic exercise. The correlation implies that improved blood flow assists the brain, not an entirely illogical concept.

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  82. @dave chamberlin
    I really like your question and have been thinking about this for some time. There is an enormous spectrum in functional IQ in people and from a simple evolutionary point of view it should not be there.

    Your analogy of the poor thinkers being slow cheetahs and that they should have been bred out of existence makes sense until you look at the complexity of the human brain. One third of our 25,000 genes are expressed in brain function. So many things can go wrong to make brain function sub optimal and evolution is so hit and miss in correcting error it is a wonder that humans evolved at all.

    Francis Crick was fascinated with the human brain and liked to use the analogy of the eye to human intelligence. It is a very interesting analogy. For one thing once life evolved the eye, life changed very dramatically as life forms exploded in complexity with the chasers and the chased. There were other causes of the Cambrian explosion but the evolution of the eye was one of the primary reasons for it. Are we once again approaching a singularity where life moves in unexpected directions because of the evolution of a new sensory organ? It is fun to think about.

    All it takes for the eye to require glasses is for it to be slightly oblong, not a perfect circle. There must be a thousand ways for a brain to function sub optimally.

    Keep posting James Thompson and thank you for the recommendation of a book that sounds very much worth reading.

    You prompt me to recall and toss up again for consideration a speculative hypothesis I first thought up many years ago – to no applause or grateful approbation that I recall.

    Suppose some psychic phenomena are real. Suppose some odd means of transferring data or images from one brain to another had evolved tens or hundreds of thousands or even many millions of years ago, or just some faculty of intuition based on some faint physical events, but suppose it failed to evolve to the point where it gave sufficient selective advantage to become common and well recognised. Isn’t it possible that some people have remnants of this ancient abortive experimental function? Unreliable pf course or it would have got better and better then fixed.

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  83. @James Thompson
    The general observation is that heritability estimates for intelligence increase with age, which is directly contrary to the argument from experience, because as people accumulate different life experiences you might expect, on the basis of the environmental hypothesis, that they would differ more. In fact, they show a greater effect of heritability.
    A summary of main findings are given here:
    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/five-gold-rings-inherited
    For the "inheritance increases with age" finding, see Ian Deary giving a lecture on intelligence
    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/original-paper-teaching-intelligence

    Thanks for the links.

    I have some doubts about validity of the studies that claim that heritability h2 increases with age. The most reliable result could be obtained from studying MZ twins reared apart (MZA) and together (MZT). It is the most direct method. Using just sibling data requires making more assumptions on genetic differences that can not be verified.

    If the claim is correct ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg (∆IQ=IQ(twin1)-IQ(twin2) and IQavg=(IQ(twin1)-IQ(twin2))/2 ) should decrease with age. Was it ever observed? Does there even exist a data set that could directly demonstrate that the variance of ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg decreases with age?

    If variance of IQ’s in MZ twin population suppose to decreases with age one could argue that variance of IQ’s of the whole population should decrease with age. Anybody observed that St.Dev. of IQ among children is smaller than among young adults? Anyway, I am not making this argument.

    How is the stability of IQ test among children and among adults? If I test a 5 year old kid 2 times in one day what is the expected differences between IQ’s? How does it compare to the difference for a young adult. I am just hypothesizing here that when I make IQ test of two 5 year old twins I may get bigger difference because they are just kids who cannot not sit still, one can have a bad day, etc.

    IQ tests administered at, say age 5 and age 15 are very different. How do we know that the scales of the two tests are identical? If there is a multiplicative incongruence between the scales of the two tests the normalized value ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg should not be affected by it. As far as I know the normalized values are not used. Rather ∆IQ(MZA) is used in data manipulation. However if the incongruence is of additive nature then the normalized ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg will be sensitive to the value of the additive factor because it affects the denominator.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Many points, which I will take as separate themes. On the ACE methodology and its application to intelligence, Robert Plomin is the best person to read. Modern methods, in addition to twin studies, look at unrelated persons who are genetically similar as opposed to genetically dissimilar, and find that the former are more alike in intelligence than the latter.
    On the test-retest reliability of intelligence the usual period studied is 6 months, and measures of about .9 can be achieved with a full form Wechsler test. Any subtest with less than .5 or .6 is generally side-lined.
    On the test at young age correlation with older ages, young ages have lower correlations, and these rise from 5 onwards, but by 11 you are getting to good predictive levels, though those increase up to 18. The Moray House test at 11 was an excellent predictor of IQ age 70. See Ian Deary for all these results.
    The test items used at 5 differ from those at 15, but digit span, symbol-digit coding and similar tests remain the same in basic design, as do many memory tests.
    The same heritability estimate procedures are used at all ages, usually on the total test scores, or the derived g factors, and those scores produce comparable percentile ranks.
  84. @melendwyr
    Eyes were evolved independently something like nineteen times - I forget the exact statistic. But as an evolutionary strategy the benefits are so immense, and the basic physics sufficiently simple, that you get similar adaptations appearing time after time.

    Human-style cognition seems to have developed only very rarely (birds are smarter than most realize), and traits like being fascinated by fire and spontaneously generating language occur in only a single known species.

    Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus far is of no known long-term survival advantage. We're probably a flash in the pan.

    “Intelligence is difficult to acquire, and thus of no known long-term survival advantage. We’re probably a flash in the pan.”

    We could be a flash in the pan, but in my opinion we are more likely in a very brief transition period to where ever genetic engineering takes us next. Intelligence I would argue is a huge survival advantage and barring stupidity that causes our extinction will inalterably stay that way.

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  85. @CanSpeccy
    An old-fashioned way of saying that a task is easy is to say that it can be done without thinking. Figure 4.8 at the head of this article confirms the merit of the expression. What one knows how to do, one does with a minimum of cerebral activity, whereas what one does not know how to do, sets the mind racing in search of a solution to the challenge.

    That 96% of white Americans "cannot do carpet cost type problems" is a sad reflection not on white Americans, but on American schools. In an hour or two, I could teach almost any ten-year-old how to do carpet cost problems — provided that they already knew how to perform the basic operations of arithmetic. In a month, I could teach them arithmetic too.

    The idea underlying IQ testing is that intelligence is a unitary property, which is absurd. Sure, people with high IQ's are good at IQ tests and similar challenges such as writing software, learning mathematical routines or trading stocks. But except in the current condition of civilization, those are relatively unimportant activities, and even today they are unimportant to the reproductive success of the great majority of the world's population. Indeed, there seems to be a clear negative relationship between evolutionary success and high IQ, whether judged on a societal or an individual basis.

    In an hour or two, I could teach almost any ten-year-old how to do carpet cost problems — provided that they already knew how to perform the basic operations of arithmetic. In a month, I could teach them arithmetic too.

    You’ve clearly not been in a grade school lately.

    Come to my wife’s 4th grade classroom for a few days. You won’t make that claim any more.

    Mind you, she’s taught 4th grade in the 1980′s as well as the last 15 years, so it’s not like she suddenly lost the capacity to teach long division.

    You simply have no idea how bad things have gotten now. I hate to imagine how many “high school grads” will be so innumerate that they can’t make change at a retail counter.

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    Come to my wife’s 4th grade classroom for a few days. You won’t make that claim any more.
     
    My experience is limited: in fact confined solely to our own kid who ran into difficulties in preschool: came home with a large number 7, on an eight and a half by eleven sheet, stapled to his tee shirt.

    I decided to take him in hand. In a month he was counting to a hundred, in six months he was reasonably accurate with the multiplication tables, within a year he was doing long division.

    Several years later, he again ran into difficulty, becoming convinced that he could no longer do math. We solved that problem by a change of school.

    Now our kid is no dope—at university he won the faculty prize in math—but without some parental insight and attention he might very well have become, functionally, a mathematical dope and written off as such by his teachers.

    But I appreciate that in a class of those raised in the prevailing culture, the less gifted may indeed be largely beyond hope of even of the most capable teacher.

    , @Ivy
    When in England, survey the checkout counter clerks at various establishments for numeracy. You may find, as we did in too many cases, that they are unaware of basic arithmetic. When the customer has to monitor every step and then correct their efforts, educational failures have to contribute. Older clerks did not suffer from that problem, although being an older clerk represented other challenges in getting by.
  86. @dc.sunsets

    In an hour or two, I could teach almost any ten-year-old how to do carpet cost problems — provided that they already knew how to perform the basic operations of arithmetic. In a month, I could teach them arithmetic too.
     
    You've clearly not been in a grade school lately.

    Come to my wife's 4th grade classroom for a few days. You won't make that claim any more.

    Mind you, she's taught 4th grade in the 1980's as well as the last 15 years, so it's not like she suddenly lost the capacity to teach long division.

    You simply have no idea how bad things have gotten now. I hate to imagine how many "high school grads" will be so innumerate that they can't make change at a retail counter.

    Come to my wife’s 4th grade classroom for a few days. You won’t make that claim any more.

    My experience is limited: in fact confined solely to our own kid who ran into difficulties in preschool: came home with a large number 7, on an eight and a half by eleven sheet, stapled to his tee shirt.

    I decided to take him in hand. In a month he was counting to a hundred, in six months he was reasonably accurate with the multiplication tables, within a year he was doing long division.

    Several years later, he again ran into difficulty, becoming convinced that he could no longer do math. We solved that problem by a change of school.

    Now our kid is no dope—at university he won the faculty prize in math—but without some parental insight and attention he might very well have become, functionally, a mathematical dope and written off as such by his teachers.

    But I appreciate that in a class of those raised in the prevailing culture, the less gifted may indeed be largely beyond hope of even of the most capable teacher.

    Read More
    • Replies: @another fred

    I decided to take him in hand. In a month he was counting to a hundred, in six months he was reasonably accurate with the multiplication tables, within a year he was doing long division.
    Several years later, he again ran into difficulty, becoming convinced that he could no longer do math. We solved that problem by a change of school.
     
    The problem is discipline. Teachers no longer have control of the students. They have neither respect nor fear unless their parents have taught them. Even if a child wants to learn, the chaos in the school makes it almost impossible.
  87. @dc.sunsets

    In an hour or two, I could teach almost any ten-year-old how to do carpet cost problems — provided that they already knew how to perform the basic operations of arithmetic. In a month, I could teach them arithmetic too.
     
    You've clearly not been in a grade school lately.

    Come to my wife's 4th grade classroom for a few days. You won't make that claim any more.

    Mind you, she's taught 4th grade in the 1980's as well as the last 15 years, so it's not like she suddenly lost the capacity to teach long division.

    You simply have no idea how bad things have gotten now. I hate to imagine how many "high school grads" will be so innumerate that they can't make change at a retail counter.

    When in England, survey the checkout counter clerks at various establishments for numeracy. You may find, as we did in too many cases, that they are unaware of basic arithmetic. When the customer has to monitor every step and then correct their efforts, educational failures have to contribute. Older clerks did not suffer from that problem, although being an older clerk represented other challenges in getting by.

    Read More
  88. @James Thompson
    42

    Thank you very kindly for the correction…

    Douglas Adams:”Nobody writes jokes in base 13…..I may be pretty sad person….but I don’t write jokes in base 13….”. Our resident number theorist John Derbyshire can provide the details…

    The Almighty Grothendieck once had to ask a fellow mathematician if 49 was a prime number…

    The Almighty Grothendieck and Goro Shimura both were not very good math jock competition mathletes…..I speculate-c0njecture that this might have significance for IQ testing:problems with no meaningfull context. For the purpose of our discussion let us assume a syntax-semantics distinction in the human mind-brain system. Now I have no idea if this is even true. But if it is, I conjecture this is the problem with IQ Tests as a serious measure of human cognitive aptitude..

    I am just attempting to present “wierd”-hidden angle type critique of the conceptual foundations of IQ testing-psychometrics.

    My much larger point…and I submit that my way more important point is this:IQ testing research-psychometrics is just a disguised economics resource allocation problem of 0 relevance to understanding the human mind-brain in any scientifically-theoretically interesting way…

    And that’s my 42 cents…..

    May you Rest In Peace Almighty Grothendieck…

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    ...IQ testing research-psychometrics is just a disguised economics resource allocation problem of 0 relevance to understanding the human mind-brain in any scientifically-theoretically interesting way…
     
    Even I, with an IQ somewhere around my shoe size (American), can see that you have just proved yourself a true genius!

    Excellent comment.
  89. @Wizard of Oz
    You prompt me to recall and toss up again for consideration a speculative hypothesis I first thought up many years ago - to no applause or grateful approbation that I recall.

    Suppose some psychic phenomena are real. Suppose some odd means of transferring data or images from one brain to another had evolved tens or hundreds of thousands or even many millions of years ago, or just some faculty of intuition based on some faint physical events, but suppose it failed to evolve to the point where it gave sufficient selective advantage to become common and well recognised. Isn't it possible that some people have remnants of this ancient abortive experimental function? Unreliable pf course or it would have got better and better then fixed.

    No evidence for psychic abilities.

    Read More
    • Replies: @War for Blair Mountain
    Now hold on there...John Mayard Keynes:"In the wrong run....we are all dead..."

    Mighty POWERFULL display of psychic ability don't you think so?
  90. @James Thompson
    No evidence for psychic abilities.

    Now hold on there…John Mayard Keynes:”In the wrong run….we are all dead…”

    Mighty POWERFULL display of psychic ability don’t you think so?

    Read More
  91. @CanSpeccy

    Come to my wife’s 4th grade classroom for a few days. You won’t make that claim any more.
     
    My experience is limited: in fact confined solely to our own kid who ran into difficulties in preschool: came home with a large number 7, on an eight and a half by eleven sheet, stapled to his tee shirt.

    I decided to take him in hand. In a month he was counting to a hundred, in six months he was reasonably accurate with the multiplication tables, within a year he was doing long division.

    Several years later, he again ran into difficulty, becoming convinced that he could no longer do math. We solved that problem by a change of school.

    Now our kid is no dope—at university he won the faculty prize in math—but without some parental insight and attention he might very well have become, functionally, a mathematical dope and written off as such by his teachers.

    But I appreciate that in a class of those raised in the prevailing culture, the less gifted may indeed be largely beyond hope of even of the most capable teacher.

    I decided to take him in hand. In a month he was counting to a hundred, in six months he was reasonably accurate with the multiplication tables, within a year he was doing long division.
    Several years later, he again ran into difficulty, becoming convinced that he could no longer do math. We solved that problem by a change of school.

    The problem is discipline. Teachers no longer have control of the students. They have neither respect nor fear unless their parents have taught them. Even if a child wants to learn, the chaos in the school makes it almost impossible.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    "Even if a child wants to learn ...."

    Very sad.
    , @CanSpeccy
    See the tech industry is said to be in a panic about a possible end to the supply of H-1B visa talent under the new administration. LOL. Maybe the bastards will now do something to see that American kids get a proper education in future.
  92. @another fred

    I decided to take him in hand. In a month he was counting to a hundred, in six months he was reasonably accurate with the multiplication tables, within a year he was doing long division.
    Several years later, he again ran into difficulty, becoming convinced that he could no longer do math. We solved that problem by a change of school.
     
    The problem is discipline. Teachers no longer have control of the students. They have neither respect nor fear unless their parents have taught them. Even if a child wants to learn, the chaos in the school makes it almost impossible.

    “Even if a child wants to learn ….”

    Very sad.

    Read More
  93. @utu
    Thanks for the links.

    I have some doubts about validity of the studies that claim that heritability h2 increases with age. The most reliable result could be obtained from studying MZ twins reared apart (MZA) and together (MZT). It is the most direct method. Using just sibling data requires making more assumptions on genetic differences that can not be verified.

    If the claim is correct ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg (∆IQ=IQ(twin1)-IQ(twin2) and IQavg=(IQ(twin1)-IQ(twin2))/2 ) should decrease with age. Was it ever observed? Does there even exist a data set that could directly demonstrate that the variance of ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg decreases with age?

    If variance of IQ's in MZ twin population suppose to decreases with age one could argue that variance of IQ's of the whole population should decrease with age. Anybody observed that St.Dev. of IQ among children is smaller than among young adults? Anyway, I am not making this argument.

    How is the stability of IQ test among children and among adults? If I test a 5 year old kid 2 times in one day what is the expected differences between IQ's? How does it compare to the difference for a young adult. I am just hypothesizing here that when I make IQ test of two 5 year old twins I may get bigger difference because they are just kids who cannot not sit still, one can have a bad day, etc.

    IQ tests administered at, say age 5 and age 15 are very different. How do we know that the scales of the two tests are identical? If there is a multiplicative incongruence between the scales of the two tests the normalized value ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg should not be affected by it. As far as I know the normalized values are not used. Rather ∆IQ(MZA) is used in data manipulation. However if the incongruence is of additive nature then the normalized ∆IQ(MZA)/IQavg will be sensitive to the value of the additive factor because it affects the denominator.

    Many points, which I will take as separate themes. On the ACE methodology and its application to intelligence, Robert Plomin is the best person to read. Modern methods, in addition to twin studies, look at unrelated persons who are genetically similar as opposed to genetically dissimilar, and find that the former are more alike in intelligence than the latter.
    On the test-retest reliability of intelligence the usual period studied is 6 months, and measures of about .9 can be achieved with a full form Wechsler test. Any subtest with less than .5 or .6 is generally side-lined.
    On the test at young age correlation with older ages, young ages have lower correlations, and these rise from 5 onwards, but by 11 you are getting to good predictive levels, though those increase up to 18. The Moray House test at 11 was an excellent predictor of IQ age 70. See Ian Deary for all these results.
    The test items used at 5 differ from those at 15, but digit span, symbol-digit coding and similar tests remain the same in basic design, as do many memory tests.
    The same heritability estimate procedures are used at all ages, usually on the total test scores, or the derived g factors, and those scores produce comparable percentile ranks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    Thank you for your answer.

    My point was that in order to have heritability changing with age IQ must change with age. So your statement that "The Moray House test at 11 was an excellent predictor of IQ age 70. " is not really helpful unless you realize that being an excellent predictor does not imply constancy. It suffices that IQ at 70 is a linear function of IQ at 11 plus some environmental noise to have excellent predictability to within the noise band.

    In order to have the result that heritability at 5 is, say 30% and at 18 is 80%, statistically two twins IQ's must differ by more at 5 than at 18. I just wonder if it was observed on individual pairs of twins in longitudinal studies. I understand that the result may have come from different disjoint sets of twins and then no longitudinal observations are available.
  94. @War for Blair Mountain
    Thank you very kindly for the correction...


    Douglas Adams:"Nobody writes jokes in base 13.....I may be pretty sad person....but I don't write jokes in base 13....". Our resident number theorist John Derbyshire can provide the details...


    The Almighty Grothendieck once had to ask a fellow mathematician if 49 was a prime number...


    The Almighty Grothendieck and Goro Shimura both were not very good math jock competition mathletes.....I speculate-c0njecture that this might have significance for IQ testing:problems with no meaningfull context. For the purpose of our discussion let us assume a syntax-semantics distinction in the human mind-brain system. Now I have no idea if this is even true. But if it is, I conjecture this is the problem with IQ Tests as a serious measure of human cognitive aptitude..


    I am just attempting to present "wierd"-hidden angle type critique of the conceptual foundations of IQ testing-psychometrics.


    My much larger point...and I submit that my way more important point is this:IQ testing research-psychometrics is just a disguised economics resource allocation problem of 0 relevance to understanding the human mind-brain in any scientifically-theoretically interesting way...



    And that's my 42 cents.....



    May you Rest In Peace Almighty Grothendieck...

    …IQ testing research-psychometrics is just a disguised economics resource allocation problem of 0 relevance to understanding the human mind-brain in any scientifically-theoretically interesting way…

    Even I, with an IQ somewhere around my shoe size (American), can see that you have just proved yourself a true genius!

    Excellent comment.

    Read More
  95. @another fred

    I decided to take him in hand. In a month he was counting to a hundred, in six months he was reasonably accurate with the multiplication tables, within a year he was doing long division.
    Several years later, he again ran into difficulty, becoming convinced that he could no longer do math. We solved that problem by a change of school.
     
    The problem is discipline. Teachers no longer have control of the students. They have neither respect nor fear unless their parents have taught them. Even if a child wants to learn, the chaos in the school makes it almost impossible.

    See the tech industry is said to be in a panic about a possible end to the supply of H-1B visa talent under the new administration. LOL. Maybe the bastards will now do something to see that American kids get a proper education in future.

    Read More
  96. I can see that utu and CanSpeccy are here, repeating the same arguments they had at the Chandy’s piece. It’s good that dr Thompson is here too. I hope that you finally stop saying the same thing again and again, and ignore the arguments against.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    What if those arguments are correct?

    They certainly have not been effectively rebutted. But then IQism is more a matter of faith than of compelling science, so serious criticism is not, I suppose, to be seriously entertained.

  97. @szopen
    I can see that utu and CanSpeccy are here, repeating the same arguments they had at the Chandy's piece. It's good that dr Thompson is here too. I hope that you finally stop saying the same thing again and again, and ignore the arguments against.

    What if those arguments are correct?

    They certainly have not been effectively rebutted. But then IQism is more a matter of faith than of compelling science, so serious criticism is not, I suppose, to be seriously entertained.

    Read More
  98. Gottfredson has a presentation (WARNING: downloads ppt slides) in which she gives the percentage of blacks who can do the carpet problem:

    0%

    She actually writes less than one percent (“<1%"), but the previous rows add up to 100%, which means that, statistically, there are no blacks who can perform the "Use calculator to determine cost of carpet for a room" problem.

    Read More
  99. @blank-misgivings
    I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans, and how the 'width' of that spectrum compares to other traits in humans and traits in other species. For example, I doubt there is a huge spectrum of 'maximum speed' in cheetahs, since if any individual fell far below the average it's unlikely it would hand its genes on.

    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread - and that before the division of labor the spectrum of cognitive ability was much narrower? In other words, a division of labor in larger human groups created different evolutionarily succesful paths for being reproductively succesful (physical strength, honesty, obedience, various character traits) among which was exceptional IQ. If that's true, would we find a narrower range of cognitive ability among peoples who have been primarily hunter gatherers for millennia?

    We know that in any environment there are often related species that exploit different niches.

    We also know that humans select different breeds of certain animals for their own use. Eg, dogs, horses …

    What if? Nah, it’s too ugly to even consider.

    Read More
  100. @blank-misgivings
    I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans, and how the 'width' of that spectrum compares to other traits in humans and traits in other species. For example, I doubt there is a huge spectrum of 'maximum speed' in cheetahs, since if any individual fell far below the average it's unlikely it would hand its genes on.

    Could it be that an early prehistoric division of labor created the spread - and that before the division of labor the spectrum of cognitive ability was much narrower? In other words, a division of labor in larger human groups created different evolutionarily succesful paths for being reproductively succesful (physical strength, honesty, obedience, various character traits) among which was exceptional IQ. If that's true, would we find a narrower range of cognitive ability among peoples who have been primarily hunter gatherers for millennia?

    I wonder if there is any research on why, from an evolutionary perspective, there is such a large spectrum of cognitive ability in humans,…

    The most popular theory (hypothesis) is that it was a combination of environmental stress and environmental opportunity.

    In Africa, where seasons do not vary as widely it is easier to make a living. The women work the fields and men hunt for protein. There are a lot of resources, but not so much of a need to come up with new ways to exploit them.

    As you move into Eurasia the seasons vary more and more planning is required. There are still lots of resources and a high premium for coming up with a way to exploit them. As you move farther, above the Arctic Circle e.g., the environmental stress is very high, but the resources are limited. The greatest reward is on repeating careful behavior on limited resources (not as much opportunity to innovate, so not as much reward).

    That seems to be the most popular theory anyway, a combination of stress which places a high value on innovation and the opportunity to innovate because of available resources. Both being necessary, neither being sufficient.

    Living in the SE USA I will also tell you that heavy vegetation and deep soil are very effective at hiding mineral resources.

    Read More
  101. @James Thompson
    Many points, which I will take as separate themes. On the ACE methodology and its application to intelligence, Robert Plomin is the best person to read. Modern methods, in addition to twin studies, look at unrelated persons who are genetically similar as opposed to genetically dissimilar, and find that the former are more alike in intelligence than the latter.
    On the test-retest reliability of intelligence the usual period studied is 6 months, and measures of about .9 can be achieved with a full form Wechsler test. Any subtest with less than .5 or .6 is generally side-lined.
    On the test at young age correlation with older ages, young ages have lower correlations, and these rise from 5 onwards, but by 11 you are getting to good predictive levels, though those increase up to 18. The Moray House test at 11 was an excellent predictor of IQ age 70. See Ian Deary for all these results.
    The test items used at 5 differ from those at 15, but digit span, symbol-digit coding and similar tests remain the same in basic design, as do many memory tests.
    The same heritability estimate procedures are used at all ages, usually on the total test scores, or the derived g factors, and those scores produce comparable percentile ranks.

    Thank you for your answer.

    My point was that in order to have heritability changing with age IQ must change with age. So your statement that “The Moray House test at 11 was an excellent predictor of IQ age 70. ” is not really helpful unless you realize that being an excellent predictor does not imply constancy. It suffices that IQ at 70 is a linear function of IQ at 11 plus some environmental noise to have excellent predictability to within the noise band.

    In order to have the result that heritability at 5 is, say 30% and at 18 is 80%, statistically two twins IQ’s must differ by more at 5 than at 18. I just wonder if it was observed on individual pairs of twins in longitudinal studies. I understand that the result may have come from different disjoint sets of twins and then no longitudinal observations are available.

    Read More
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