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Genc Figure_4 fewer connections

The ISIR July 2017 meeting in Montreal seems a long time ago, and that feeling is entirely explicable by it being 10 months since I heard the lecture in question. I was chairing the session, which normally diminishes attention to the actual content, but this talk was the exception. It came up with a counter-intuitive finding, and it has been difficult to avoid talking about it. Brighter brains have fewer connections between neurones. Cool.

It has been a real struggle to keep quiet about this remarkable result, and a relief that the embargo has been lifted today, 14 months after receipt of the paper by the publishers. Publish and be damn delayed. Blogging is the future.

As you will see from the author list, particularly the last author, this is a team which has been working on this topic for decades, (with important results from at least 1988) and has always sought to have reliable measures and large sample sizes before publishing anything. In ISIR 2014, tired of reading neuro-bollocks in the media, I lobbed Rex Jung what I thought might be a tricky question: How reliable are your neuro-imaging measures? He replied that he and Rich Haier had always put their subjects into the scanner twice: once briefly so as to get benchmark reliability measures, and then again for the full session. Jung and Haier also held back from publication until they had large sample sizes, although in early years this meant a long wait, since they were mostly working in the odd free spaces between the high priority medical school clinical use of the sole scanner available. Things have got better in recent years.

Another feature of this duo is that when they were offered an celebratory session at ISIR 2017 they chose to invite their critics to knock hell into them. Several did, and I pursue them every now and then to make their P-FIT theory more specific. So, it is great to be able to report some new and very specific findings.

Diffusion markers of dendritic density and arborization in gray matter predict differences in intelligence. Erhan Genç, Christoph Fraenz, Caroline Schlüter, Patrick Friedrich, Rüdiger Hossiep, Manuel C. Voelkle, Josef M. Ling, Onur Güntürkün & Rex E. Jung

Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 1905 (2018)
doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04268-8

The first two authors contributed equally. Take a good look at their reference list, which is a roll-call of the top people in the field, and those one should turn to for further comments on this paper and its implications.

Here is the main finding in full screen size, with the relevant explanations.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04268-8/figures/4

Here is the link to the entire paper:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04268-8

Here is the abstract:

Previous research has demonstrated that individuals with higher intelligence are more likely to have larger gray matter volume in brain areas predominantly located in parieto-frontal regions. These findings were usually interpreted to mean that individuals with more cortical brain volume possess more neurons and thus exhibit more computational capacity during reasoning. In addition, neuroimaging studies have shown that intelligent individuals, despite their larger brains, tend to exhibit lower rates of brain activity during reasoning. However, the microstructural architecture underlying both observations remains unclear. By combining advanced multi-shell diffusion tensor imaging with a culture-fair matrix-reasoning test, we found that higher intelligence in healthy individuals is related to lower values of dendritic density and arborization. These results suggest that the neuronal circuitry associated with higher intelligence is organized in a sparse and efficient manner, fostering more directed information processing and less cortical activity during reasoning.

“Intelligence is not a function of how hard the brain works but rather how efficiently it works”.

In terms of method, the team collected 259 participants (138 males) between 18 and 40 years of age (M = 24.31, SD = 4.41) which gives the analysis of results sufficient power. Participants had no history of psychiatric or neurological disorders and matched the standard inclusion criteria for fMRI examinations. Each participant completed the matrix-reasoning test and neuroimaging measurements.
To validate the results obtained from sample of 259 subjects, the team downloaded additional data provided by the Human Connectome Project, namely, the “S500 plus MEG2” release. This set includes 506 participants with data suitable for their analyses. The best papers now give what would formerly have been two papers, for the price of one. The first sample is the sample of discovery, the second the sample of validation. Some things in science are getting better.

The measures themselves are a new variant of diffusion imaging analysis. If you will forgive a simplistic analysis: a pipe full of water will show different measures if measured end-on (where all the water in the pipe vibrates with the imposed resonance) as compared to when measured at right angles to the pipe (where only a small amount of water is available for resonance to be detected). In this way you can deduce which way the dendrites run in the brain.

Currently, the most promising technique for the quantification of neurite morphology is a diffusion MRI technique known as neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI). This technique is based on a multi-shell high-angular-resolution diffusion imaging protocol and offers a novel way to analyze diffusion-weighted data with regard to tissue microstructure. It features a three-compartment model distinguishing intra-neurite, extra-neurite, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) environments. NODDI is based on a diffusion model that was successfully validated by histological examinations utilizing staining methods in gray and white matter of rats and ferrets. In addition, Zhang, Schneider have shown that NODDI is also capable of estimating diffusion markers of neurite density and orientation dispersion by in vivo measurements in humans. Direct validation of NODDI has recently been performed in a study investigating neurite dispersion as a potential marker of multiple sclerosis pathology in post-mortem spinal cord specimens. The authors reported that neurite density obtained from NODDI significantly matched neurite density, orientation dispersion, and myelin density obtained from histology. Furthermore, the authors also found that NODDI neurite dispersion matched the histological neurite dispersion. This indicates that NODDI metrics are closely reflecting their histological conditions.

The point is that this study confirms previous findings, that “measures of neurite density and arborization show negative relationships to measures of intelligence, implicating neural efficiency, particularly within parieto-frontal brain regions, as suggested by the vast majority of neuroimaging studies of intelligence”.

The study also provides a partial confirmation of the P-FIT theory, in that a majority of the observed associations between brain areas and intelligence conform to the predictions from P-FIT as proposed by Haier and Jung, or as further elaborated by Basten. The score could be called a 4 out of 5 area confirmation.

Our results indicate that neurite density and neurite orientation dispersion within the cortex are both negatively associated with intelligence. At first glance, this finding might appear counterintuitive to the central working hypothesis of differential neuroscience, which usually finds that “bigger is better” (i.e., more neuronal mass is associated with higher ability levels). However, our results conform well to findings on the mechanisms of maturation-induced and learning-induced synaptic plasticity.

Brain maturation is associated with a sharp increase of synapse number, followed by a massive activity-dependent synaptic pruning that reduces synaptic density by half, thereby enabling the establishment of typical mature cortical microarchitecture. Maturation-associated synaptic pruning is not only an event of early childhood, but proceeds at a rapid rate at least until the end of the second decade of life. Most importantly, the mechanisms of synaptic growth and pruning during maturation overlap with those of learning in the mature brain.

Consequently, diverse learning tasks are associated with simultaneous growth and retraction of dendritic and synaptic processes in involved neural zones. Microstructural studies with confocal imaging on organotypic brain cultures reveal that long-term potentiation initially induces synaptic growth, followed by an increased loss of connections within 10% of non-stimulated hippocampal spines. Thus, both the ability to produce and prune neural connections constitutes the neurobiological foundation of learning and cognition.

The authors say:

First, our findings confirm an important observation from previous research, namely, that bigger brains with a higher number of neurons are associated with higher intelligence.

Second, we demonstrate that higher intelligence is associated with cortical mantles with sparsely and well-organized dendritic arbor, thereby increasing processing speed and network efficiency.
Importantly, the findings obtained from our experimental sample were confirmed by the analysis of an independent validation sample from the Human Connectome Project. This replication of results is particularly striking given that both data sets are very different on many levels. For example, two different cognitive tests were used in order to measure intelligence, i.e., BOMAT and PMAT24. Both of them are culture-fair matrix-reasoning instruments capable of assessing the construct of fluid intelligence. Nevertheless, both tests tend to produce different results when testing individuals from high-IQ ranges. This might be attributed to the fact that BOMAT, in contrast to PMAT24 and other matrix-reasoning tests, was deliberately designed to avoid ceiling effects in very intelligent samples such as university students or high potentials.
[ ]
Both data sets indicate that intelligence is associated with neurite density and orientation dispersion. Equally important, both data sets also show that this association points into a negative direction. This general pattern is clearly visible in both data sets. Moreover, one has to acknowledge that most of the statistically significant cortical areas, despite lacking a perfect match between data sets, show an impressive overlap with regions previously identified as belonging to the P-FIT network (about 70%).

Finally, to the best of our knowledge, these results are the first to offer a neuroanatomical explanation underlying the neural efficiency hypothesis of intelligence.

Higher intelligence is organized in a sparse and efficient manner, fostering more directed information processing and less cortical activity during reasoning.

Let me repeat what I told Erhan Genc at the end of his presentation in July 2017.

“I think that this is a major finding”. It pushes the boundary of what we know about brainpower.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Brain Scans, Brighter Brains, Intelligence, IQ 
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  1. dearieme says:

    Hindsight explains that “intelligent individuals, despite their larger brains, tend to exhibit lower rates of brain activity during reasoning” is a consequence of able people finding it a doddle to solve IQ test problems. But did anyone’s foresight predict that?

    Does anyone know the extent to which such features as brain size, high number of neurons, and cortical mantles with sparsely and well-organized dendritic arbor, are determined genetically?

    Anyway here’s a question for you, doc, about styles of solving puzzles. I find that I solve puzzles on the internet in two different ways. (i) I deduce the answer directly. (ii) I ‘see’ what the answer must be and then ask myself what would be a neat way to prove I’m right (‘neat’ = terse, or elegant, or amusing). Finding that neat way to proving the truth of an insight can take far longer than just deducing the answer in the first place – but it can be more fun. Maybe someday MRI will shed light on such questions too.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  2. @dearieme

    Brain wiring probably all under genetic control, bar presence of neurological contaminants like lead.
    Your self-report of problem-solving is a covariate of your intellectual level. Currently there is no way to discern exactly how the subjects solve the problems presented to them, but the films taken of brain activity as people solve intelligence test items in a scanner suggest that the task is broken down into elements which are dealt with by different regions swapping partial solutions till the final result is integrated.

  3. On a non-biological level, it would be interesting to see if computational (engineering application) neural networks become more accurate with pruning.

    • Replies: @res
  4. res says:

    One thing which caught my eye (this was the only mention of myelin in the paper):

    The authors reported that neurite density obtained from NODDI significantly matched neurite density, orientation dispersion, and myelin density obtained from histology.

    Can anyone elaborate on what that matching entailed (e.g. positive correlation)? I looked around and found this paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811918301058
    which seems to indicate myelin and neurite density are positively correlated (R = 0.68!):
    Neurite density index (NDI), Orientation dispersion index (ODI), cortical thickness

    It seems to me a positive correlation of NDI with myelin adds another aspect of counterintuitiveness to this finding. Any thoughts?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  5. res says:
    @Johan Meyer

    Good question. This page has a good overview of pruning neural networks: Pruning deep neural networks to make them fast and small

    https://jacobgil.github.io/deeplearning/pruning-deep-learning

    It looks like this is an active area of research which has not really made it to production use yet. The focus seems to be on decreasing size and increasing efficiency rather than improving accuracy.

    Another interesting connection here is “dropout.” In DNN training dropout (selective deletion of neurons) is used to prevent model overfitting. Search for the Medium.com article “Dropout in (Deep) Machine learning”

    • Replies: @Johan Meyer
  6. hyperbola says:

    A sample size of a few hundred means that this “study” is highly unreliable. Especially if we consider all the other “influences” which are claimed to contribute to intelligence. It seems telling that no statistics are given in any of the excerpts above and suspicious that “important results were obtained already in 1988″ when sample size was probably a few tens. There are also clear inconsistencies in the above:

    For example, two different cognitive tests were used in order to measure intelligence, i.e., BOMAT and PMAT24. Both of them are culture-fair matrix-reasoning instruments capable of assessing the construct of fluid intelligence. Nevertheless, both tests tend to produce different results when testing individuals from high-IQ ranges.

    In other words, the tests of IQ are inconsistent with each other, but the correlation with neuron density is preserved – a clear indication of serious problems.

    Seems more over estimation by psychologists. Striking that it also seems to contradict the recent claims about high IQ/youth fostering the learning of language. So children who learn languages (and many other things) rapidly do so because their intelligence is impaired by incomplete pruning of neurons!

    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
  7. songbird says:

    It will be interesting to see if this has any bearing on politics.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  8. @James Thompson

    Given the importance of pruning is it not perhaps a bit misleading to say that brain wiring is probably all under genetic control? That would presumably require one to be able to say that pruning was under genetic control. No doubt genes and epigenetics have an important part in how pruning works in a given individual but the detail needs elaboration and comparison with the genetic control of the original pre pruning brain needs attention, does it not?

    I see that res and others much more knowledgeable than I have focused on pruning to some extent. Can you say something more about the place of pruning in the creation of the efficient adult brain? (En passant I note that it would be interesting to know what similar studies – similar to the one you write about – of the young brains might show). Would you expect for example that the identical twin who went off to work as a circus acrobat at 12 would have more diffuse and less efficient cognitive patterns than those of the twin who remained at an academic school and got 4 A*s in maths and science A levels?

  9. FKA Max says:


    “Brain maturation is associated with a sharp increase of synapse number, followed by a massive activity-dependent synaptic pruning that reduces synaptic density by half, thereby enabling the establishment of typical mature cortical microarchitecture. Maturation-associated synaptic pruning is not only an event of early childhood, but proceeds at a rapid rate at least until the end of the second decade of life. Most importantly, the mechanisms of synaptic growth and pruning during maturation overlap with those of learning in the mature brain.”

    Psychologist and psychology professor Robert McGivern from San Diego University confirmed the conclusions from the SUNY team. His study showed that at the onset of puberty, males and females take significantly longer to perform a simple matching activity than their pre- and post-puberty peers. However, McGivern and his associates attribute the longer time to an excess of synopses, or connections, in the brain that are waiting to be pruned. As a neglected tree, the connections in the brain also grow wild and need to be pruned for optimum potential. Puberty is the season for such pruning and organization that often makes it difficult for adolescents to process information.

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/genetics-of-racial-differences-in-intelligence-updated/#comment-1897268

    Until recently, most scientists believed the brain stopped changing after early childhood. There was little evidence to support or refute this until new, non-invasive brain imaging technology emerged, allowing scientists to record detailed images of the developing human brain.

    Brain imaging has revealed that certain areas, in particular the prefrontal cortex, continue to develop well into the teens and even into the twenties. Whether prefrontal cortex development underlies teenage angst and rebellion and other adolescent traits is a hot topic.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/3323232/Why-the-teens-are-a-difficult-time.html

    The conclusion I draw from this is that IQ tests should probably not be administered before the age of 25, maybe, to ensure that complete or satisfactory pruning/development has been reached, in order to achieve the most accurate readings and results.

    The following – participants in the study who are below the age of 25 – could therefore be a major flaw or shortcoming of the study’s design, in my opinion, with age being/becoming a confounding factor, due to younger participants not having completed full brain development/pruning, yet:

    Methods

    Participants in the S259 sample

    Two hundred fifty-nine participants (138 males) between 18 and 40 years of age (M = 24.31, SD = 4.41) took part in the study.

    This is probably a better and more reliable cohort (S498), since mean age is 5 years (29.16) older/higher than in sample S259 (24.31):


    Participants in the S498 sample

    Thus, all of the reported analyses were performed on data from 498 participants (202 males) between 22 and 36 years of age (M = 29.16, SD = 3.48).

    Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04268-8

    • Replies: @Anonymous Jew
    , @Anon
    , @EG
    , @Anon
  10. Interesting, but what I miss is the idea, theory, that each neuron processes information:
    Roger Penrose, ‘The Emperor’s New Mind, Concerning computers, minds, and the laws of physics’, 1989 Oxford
    thus far more than some transistor switch.
    How, at the time the book was written, hardly any idea.

  11. @James Thompson

    ” there is no way to discern exactly ”
    The word ‘exactly’ seems quite superfluous to me.
    Several times a day I’m amazed at how my brain works.
    Even when repairing a shoe of my grandson.
    Walking to my garage I had hardly any idea how to do it, then remembered a tool last used around 1973.

  12. It’s not size vs efficiency, it’s size and/or efficiency. One model doesn’t exclude the other.

    Now, didn’t the recent meta-analysis on intelligence genes highlight genes of the same type of pathways as the research here describes? I believe I read something recently that also posed that increased evolutionary selection on brain efficiency rather then size has been the predominant way of increasing humans intelligence since just going for a bigger head proved to be a bit icky due to hip and vagina size, squeezed baby skulls and labor-related deaths.

    • Replies: @res
  13. j2 says:

    The conclusion is that what we have called high IQ is actually low IQ. Those with lowest IQ do best in the school since they do not question anything or think about the questions but just straight go to the answer following the methods the teacher told them. Their brain is pruned of all alternative ways of thinking, so they are fine for this Orwellian society. It is all very logical.

    • Replies: @üeljang
    , @Santoculto
  14. m___ says:

    Concerning formatting not content

    Concerning the feeds to your(and other authors’) specific articles and their comments, not the whole of the articles(column) of James Thompson –do not work.

    A per column, in this case http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-well-tempered-clavichord/ feed is present in the list of possibilities to subscribe too, but doing so does not result. Using client software “live bookmarks” of the Firefox browser.

    This is annoying concerning specific columns one would like to subscribe to, in case of having added a comment oneself, in case of primary content as the above column. One of the “blog” features of interest is that the author, can add, tweak, correct his writings and in our opinion should do so, this contrary to a dead printed analog text. That makes rss/atom usefull and additional to flat bookmarking.

  15. @James Thompson

    Brain wiring probably all under genetic control, bar presence of neurological contaminants like lead.

    Dr. Thompson,

    I’ve become increasingly dubious of this, in part due to the presence of more than a few chemicals(such as hormones) that are able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier but also with research that the brain actually does develop differently due to training in juggling as well as meditation. The results of the use of birth control in women have also demonstrated measurable changes in the brain and likely impacts its efficiency; certainly has non-temporary effects on the brain. There is also significant impact from physical exercise; even without assuming a nootropic effect, it at least has significant neuroprotective effect from aging and decline.

    I wouldn’t disagree that it might largely genetically gated, but I think the evidence now is leaning nontrivially that the brain is not isolated from the rest of the body now.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Anon
  16. @res

    Well, I should add one thing which I read(can’t find source atm) which may contribute to why neuronal density would decrease IQ: effectively overdensity can lead to signal interference a bit like unwanted sparks getting into machinery and throwing off a process of cognition in this case. Such may be the case with some austic individuals, who show greater proficiency in certain areas despite having increased neuron death and neural isolation.

    • Replies: @res
  17. Biff says:

    MobyDick outsmarted Ahab with his larger brain – that’s all I need to know(he also had a bigger Dick).

    • LOL: Meimou
  18. @songbird

    None.

    Science exists only in politics when it is useful as a totem for for the faith which a given ideological group wishes to believe in already. When a probable majority of voters will agree that an estrogen-soaked brain operates exactly the same as a testosterone-soaked brain while at the same time affirming the importance of hormonal treatments for children for gender-identification, we are clearly dealing with powerful anterior cingulate cortexes here.

    • Replies: @songbird
  19. One wonders if “intelligence” cultists realize all well-tempered clavichords may not necessarily be well tempered. Or, if in fact, some are just nuts.

    Braasch’s Yale biography page says she received not one, but two degrees from the University of Minnesota — aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering — and graduated summa cum laude in both. She was a recipient of an “Astronaut Scholarship Foundation” scholarship for three consecutive years in the mid-1990s.

    She completed both engineering degrees in just five years, by age 22

    “I was racking up prizes and awards and scholarships and fellowships and internships and whatever other honors I could get my hands on,” Braasch writes. “I wanted medals and certificates and esteem. Mostly esteem. I was fueled by rage and hatred. Hatred and rage.”

    http://www.citypages.com/news/ah-shit-yale-woman-who-called-cops-on-napping-black-student-is-from-minnesota/482373941

    Yes, “intelligence” is all good. Yup.

    • Replies: @manorchurch
    , @Anon
    , @utu
  20. Ultimate intelligence “tests” is heuristics or factual understanding (and I also coined the term aesthetic consciousness to explain emotional or sentient judgment after cognitive/sensorial perception). This is “organic cognitive potential”. As we know a lot of so called higher IQ individuals are very poor on heuristics, and also in moral heuristics…

    But I hope someday hbds and its “intelligence-experts” colleagues will talk about qualitative aspects of intelligence… Or not.

    Seems impossible for them to accept the existence of highly intelligent people with lower or below average IQ and highly stupid people with above or higher IQ people.

    Intelligence is not only the cognitive or computational aspect but also emotional and Intellectual (often this is basically the combination between emotional and cognitive and or real world achievements of all sort).

    I read somewhere that highly creative people at least based on divergent test scores have highly connected brains… If I remember correctly.

    If we start to think about humans as we do about non human living beings for example certain “point of views” would be at priori treated as more-correct: “anti Semitism”: Capacity to detect implicit patterns about macro political and cultural changes caused by eternal “victims” or “misunderstood angels”…

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  21. üeljang says:
    @j2

    “The conclusion is that what we have called high IQ is actually low IQ.”

    How about analyses of neurite density and neurite orientation dispersion versus psychopathy/sociopathy and other personality traits?

  22. @Santoculto

    ”doble peepow”

    Chinese credit is not TOTALLY wrong at all, indeed would be interesting if ”we” have intellectual credit too… our capacity to retain high quality- information specially about the most important facts for us.

    Chinese social credit is yes, wrong or have potential to be very wrong, just because east asians are highly intelligent simple-minded, on avg.

  23. @j2

    They are domesticated or ”puppies”, quantitatively smart, what IQ measure, but qualitatively disappointing… and i think most of this ”intelligence-experts” are unconfortable to analyse this aspects. One of the reasons psychology is not a full science is that behavior without real world contexts make little sense.

    domestication often mean =high quantitative or computational capacity but low qualitative or survive-like capacity.

    All the time when they talk about ”highly intelligent” people, we must translate this to ”highly intelligent WORKERS”, it’s what they want. It’s ”still” a class struggle.

    It doesn’t mean IQ no have any value, it does, but many factual-correct tools THIS people invented are used by evil elites to take the control over the people.

    IQ = teeths quality.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
    , @Anon
  24. @Santoculto

    Inevitably psychology in the real sense towards real philosophy…

  25. @jacques sheete

    One wonders if “intelligence” cultists realize all well-tempered clavichords may not necessarily be well tempered. Or, if in fact, some are just nuts. Yes, “intelligence” is all good. Yup.

    Oh, now don’t be sheete-y. Here now we have exciting evidence that well-spaced dendrites absorb bad information faster than dense dendrites. It’s proof that Escalades beat the hell outa Fiats, see? And they go crazy waaaaay faster.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  26. Jake says:

    “Intelligence is not a function of how hard the brain works but rather how efficiently it works”.

    That made me think first of the old Affirmative Action defense puked out by every black: we have to work twice as hard as whites just to be able to get Affirmative Action.

    • Replies: @manorchurch
  27. “Intelligence is not a function of how hard the brain works but rather how efficiently it works”.

    Intelligence IS the achievement/ the behavior, FROM the most intimate to the most generalizable, for example, ”food ethical choice” [our ''wise-aged'' Thompy can't understand].

    And of course, always repetitive [but ''intelligence experts'' also are very repetitive too]:

    self-knowledge

    Only reason defaux smarter people aren’t eliminated in nature is exactly because that confortable human environment many them often live.

    If you can live your whole life believing in bulshit and environment will not, sooner or late, eliminated you, so…

    and worst, when environment SELECT you exactly because your bulshitism, from religion to current ideology.

  28. utu says:

    Fig. 2 scatter plots at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04268-8
    which they call “partial correlation analyses” do not inspire confidence that there is anything to it.

    Perhaps it should be emphasized that the picture on top of this note which is Fig. 4 in the article is a schematic depiction. So what we are being shown was drawn by an artist based on…on what?

    Please note, this depiction does not correspond to the actual magnitude of effect sizes reported in the study. For the purpose of an easier visual understanding, differences in both macrostructural and microstructural brain properties are highly accentuated

    It would be interesting to indicate on one of scatter plots from Fig. 2 points that have very low and very hight neurite densities so we could see how this neurite density is related to intelligence particularly on the plot with correlation r≈0.0.

    • Troll: manorchurch
    • Replies: @res
    , @CanSpeccy
  29. @Jake

    “Intelligence is not a function of how hard the brain works but rather how efficiently it works”.

    Silliness. Efficiency is mostly irrelevant. Producing the most effective response to a problem is intelligence, plain and simple. Doing that more quickly is more efficient intelligence.

    Having the right answer is the minimal required function.

  30. Liza says:

    Fixation on intelligence is useless. Is it “intelligent” for persons of high IQ and great achievement in science, engineering, professions, art, inventing things, etc. to be incapable of even identifying with their own interests? I am referring to the intelligentsia in western countries who can’t wait to wipe out their own selves through the welcoming attitude they have to mass immigration of parties who are obviously hostile to them.

    What is so schit hot about “computational capacity” if you can’t see what is right in front of your nose? Are you really intelligent if you don’t worry about the welfare of your own children and grandchildren? The slugs in my garden are smarter than the highly “intelligent” who are running things for us – right into the ground.

    How many intelligent, high-IQ folks are good at running their own personal lives? If people were truly intelligent, would they not also automatically be wise to what is in their own interests? Indeed, isn’t that the ultimate test of intelligence? Trying to separate intelligence and wisdom is not a smart thing to do at all. It is not an issue of high-IQ intelligence vs shrewdness & horse sense. These aren’t two different things. It only looks that way to those of standard-issue “high” intelligence.

  31. @FKA Max

    Except that IQ is already stable and highly heritable by mid puberty, never mind 25. This suggests much of these brain changes in puberty and early adulthood are strongly mediated by heritable factors, and not the environment (at least within ‘normal’ environments).

    • Replies: @res
  32. utu says:
    @Liza

    Usefulness of useful idiots increases with their IQ.

    “High IQ” Bolsheviks had to murder “low IQ” peasants because they could not indoctrinate them while they had no difficulty indoctrinating the so-called intelligentsia.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anon
  33. MarkinLA says:
    @Liza

    Is it “intelligent” for persons of high IQ and great achievement in science, engineering, professions, art, inventing things, etc. to be incapable of even identifying with their own interests?

    It is not intelligent to you (and most normal people). However, to them, they are “beyond” that type of thinking and see “farther” than you and realize what is “truly” important. Therefore, what they think is the real intelligent thought.

  34. EH says:

    I’m pressed for time, but this seems consistent with Gerald Edelman’s hypothesis of “Neural Darwinism“, but it’s a very difficult theory to understand let alone summarize. When I read it back in ’89, the summary was the densest scientific prose I had ever encountered, and remains so to this day.

    • Replies: @res
  35. res says:
    @T.Theodore

    It’s not size vs efficiency, it’s size and/or efficiency. One model doesn’t exclude the other.

    I agree with that in the outcome sense. In the developmental sense I think there are processes which operate in opposition with respect to those dimensions. In particular, growth vs. pruning. I suspect that is also true in the evolutionary sense. For one thing, that would help explain the larger brained but supposedly less intelligent Neanderthals. And how admixing some of those genetic variants might be helpful for human intelligence. Has anyone looked to see if there is any overlap between SNPs originating with Neanderthals and SNPs found by IQ/EA GWAS?

    This paper looks at Neanderthal influence in the UKBB: The Contribution of Neanderthals to Phenotypic Variation in Modern Humans

    https://www.cell.com/ajhg/fulltext/S0002-9297(17)30379-8

    They give a table of all UKBB phenotypes in Table S1 and this:
    Table S3: Significantly associated phenotypes that show an over- or under-representation of Neandertal alleles
    I do not see any of the education or intelligence phenotypes in Table S3. That is an interesting table, but it is worth noting the high p-value and FDR rates for many entries.

    Abstract:

    Assessing the genetic contribution of Neanderthals to non-disease phenotypes in modern humans has been difficult because of the absence of large cohorts for which common phenotype information is available. Using baseline phenotypes collected for 112,000 individuals by the UK Biobank, we can now elaborate on previous findings that identified associations between signatures of positive selection on Neanderthal DNA and various modern human traits but not any specific phenotypic consequences. Here, we show that Neanderthal DNA affects skin tone and hair color, height, sleeping patterns, mood, and smoking status in present-day Europeans. Interestingly, multiple Neanderthal alleles at different loci contribute to skin and hair color in present-day Europeans, and these Neanderthal alleles contribute to both lighter and darker skin tones and hair color, suggesting that Neanderthals themselves were most likely variable in these traits.

    For an alternate methodology see the list of (putative) Neanderthal SNPs at this blog post: https://web.archive.org/web/20100612084618/http://spittoon.23andme.com/2010/05/06/new-evidence-suggests-interbreeding-between-humans-and-neanderthals/
    I checked this list of SNPs against the full Lee EA SNP list (from Piffer’s R code) and got no matches.

    That list only had 15 SNPs though. Let’s try with the full list of 6200+ SNPs from Table S4 of the paper above. Unfortunately that list did not include rsIDs, but I was able to get them from (note Table S4 uses hg19 not the hg38 default here) http://db.systemsbiology.net/kaviar/

    Merging that list with the Lee EA SNPs gave only these two:

    MarkerName CHR POS A1 A2 EAF Beta SE Pval
    3076 rs73075037 20 3141098 A G 0.2993 -0.00868 0.00169 2.9e-07
    7316 rs3780836 9 130912857 C T 0.9898 0.02167 0.00535 5.2e-05

    https://www.gwascentral.org/marker/HGVM2284927/results?t=ZERO

    Looking at rs3780836 more closely, from Table S4 it appears (I would appreciate a double check) the reference allele is C and the Neanderthal allele is T (frequency 0.019 in UKBB). This is interesting because the effect size is quite large (~4x the mean, comparable to the smallest p-value SNPs). Here are the summary statistics for all effect sizes in the UKBB EA study:
    summary(gwas$Beta)
    Min. 1st Qu. Median Mean 3rd Qu. Max.
    -9.982e-02 -8.660e-03 -2.500e-05 3.586e-05 8.560e-03 8.792e-02

    So if I interpret things correctly rs3780836 T is a low frequency allele with a large positive effect on EA originating from Neanderthals. Interesting.

    Looks like it is most common in Asia: http://popgen.uchicago.edu/ggv/?data=%221000genomes%22&chr=9&pos=130912857
    About 50% frequency in Peruvians?! What is up with that? Japanese frequency is >75% so perhaps that is the explanation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Peruvians
    Makes me wonder about the representativeness of the 1000 Genomes PEL – Peruvians from Lima, Peru sample.

    P.S. If anyone is interested, I ran across this spreadsheet which looks like it contains a 2100 SNP PGS for height from the UKBB: https://static-content.springer.com/esm/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41416-018-0063-4/MediaObjects/41416_2018_63_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx
    From this paper: Height and overall cancer risk and mortality: evidence from a Mendelian randomisation study on 310,000 UK Biobank participants

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41416-018-0063-4

    From the paper:

    We used a total of 2059 independent genetic variants as instruments for standing height, explaining ~11% of the phenotypic variance.

    Interesting how far off that is from the ~40% achieved by Hsu et al. using the UKBB data.

  36. res says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    That juggling link was interesting. Thanks. It intrigues me that the brain changes did not appear to be proportional to skill achieved. Any thoughts on that?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  37. res says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    That makes sense. I wonder if the total myelin (more neurons -> more myelin) vs. myelin per neuron could explain some of this. It would be interesting to see what a multivariate regression of IQ on NDI and myelin (or perhaps NDI and myelin per neuron would be better) would show. Any thoughts?

    If you think of myelin as an insulator in your analogy then it would become even more important at high NDI.

    • Replies: @EG
  38. res says:
    @utu

    Fig. 2 scatter plots at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04268-8
    which they call “partial correlation analyses” do not inspire confidence that there is anything to it.

    Controlling for age and sex seems reasonable to me. I wonder if that attenuates the relationships or not. I think the top two plots do indicate something is going on there. It is also worth noting that the orientation (right two plots) is more significant in both cases (bottom right is p = 0.06, just misses significance).

    • Replies: @utu
  39. res says:
    @Anonymous Jew

    Agreed, but some of FKA Max’s points might be important if it is possible to influence development by targeted interventions. Also see Daniel Chieh’s comment 15.

    This (from FKA Max) on the other hand is misguided IMO: “The conclusion I draw from this is that IQ tests should probably not be administered before the age of 25″

  40. Looking through the reactions it surprises me that hardly anyone writes that we hardly have a clue how our brain works, or how intelligence can be defined.
    I even did not see a definition of brain.
    Anyone who knows a little about the odd way different organs, seen evolutionary, interact which each other knows that even a definition of brain is lacking, or difficult.
    What I also do not see mentioned is conciousness, or free will.
    The only book I know that tries to shed light on all this is
    Roger Penrose, ‘The Emperor’s New Mind, Concerning computers, minds, and the laws of physics’, 1989 Oxford
    Penrose speculates that quantum mechanics may solve the free will puzzle.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  41. JackOH says:
    @Liza

    Liza, agree, pretty much. Our local high-IQ state university faculty are organized into a labor union, an organization mostly thought of as a way for lower-IQ workers to check the power of higher-IQ managements and owners. Plus, by virtue of them being the masters in the master-pupil relationship, many faculty cultivate a truly obnoxious sage-on-the-stage persona, where they simply feign knowledge they don’t actually have through bad manners and a haughty, stand-offish manner.

    The low-IQ thug is a retail threat to a good society. The high-IQ thugs, lawyers and politicians and so on, do it wholesale with clean fingernails and Mont Blanc pens.

    I like Prof. Thompson’s contributions here, and the comments of folks who seem to have expertise where I have none. But, I think there’s other stuff going on in the world besides IQ.

    • Replies: @Liza
    , @jacques sheete
  42. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    This is a fine example of the sensationalist, tendentious, but highly tweetable paper that Nature, a commercial publishing venture, likes to publish. That Manorchurch considers you a troll for pointing out the triviality of the observed effects reveals how readily the general public is taken in by scientific twaddle dressed up with fake evidence.

    For example, the drawing in Figure 4, which as you point out vastly exaggerates the inferred difference in neurite density between cortical regions of high and low BOMAT-scoring individuals, also illustrates the variation in IQ with brain volume by means of two rectangles, one being 49% larger than the other. That is a preposterous way to illustrate the trivial effect of brain volume on IQ. Moreover, it is remains to be shown that after excluding those afflicted with some kind of brain pathology, for example as a result of infection by the Zika virus, a cause of microcephaly, the correlation between IQ and brain volume remains.

    But for what it’s worth, the data in Figure 2 show that neurite density inferred from NODDI measurements on the basis of correlations observed in rats and ferrets, accounts for about 1.6% of the variation in BOMAT test scores. Pfui.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @utu
  43. Liza says:
    @JackOH

    @Jack OH. Thanks for replying to my comment. I can’t just click on “Agree” because I don’t have enough comments here on Unz. So, maybe I should just say a bunch of BS 10 times in one month and then voila, I get to “Agree”. LOL.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @JackOH
  44. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @jilles dykstra

    Penrose speculates that quantum mechanics may solve the free will puzzle.

    Whatever merit the Penrose Hameroff model of the mind may have, it will not provide an account of free will since free will is an illusion. To quote myself:

    If Cain willed to kill Abel, how could he have acted otherwise than to go ahead and kill him? Could he, at the same time, have willed not to will to kill Abel? But if so, what if the will to kill Abel were stronger? Could he then have willed to will not to kill Abel more strongly? This leads to an infinite regress.

    The conclusion seems to be that we will what we will and that’s that for good or ill. And if sometimes our actions are theoretically unpredictable due to classical or quantum indeterminism, our actions are nevertheless driven either by chance or necessity, which is rather different from the idea that most people have of free will.

    The concept of free will is nevertheless important in judging questions of legal responsibility. To quote myself further:

    To many, the notion that Cain could do no other than kill his brother means that he was not morally responsible for his actions and therefore should not have been held accountable or punished. But “moral responsibility” is not synonymous with “legal responsibility.” Under the law of sane and civilized society, Cain would be held responsible for killing Abel, for the simple reason that he did indeed kill Abel.

    Furthermore, under the law of any sane and civilized society, Cain would be punished for killing Abel, not because of his moral culpability but to deter others who might otherwise emulate his crime.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  45. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I was speaking (albeit rather vaguely) in the more literal sense, of brain structures and biological predispositions. I think it quite likely that most of politics is evolutionary strategy (weaponized by technology), so perhaps nothing significant would show up on this spectrum, after all.

    I do have the forlorn hope that one day people will realize that elections are basically just censuses, and adopt a more libertarian view of government. Or at least that new civilizations will spring up that will have hard requirements on the immigrant: must have a non-SJW brain; we will scan and test gene frequencies.

  46. Nobody knows what IQ tests (all of them) are measuring. However, we all know that there is a difference in intelligence between people. It is sometimes quite striking.
    Interestingly, people studying animal behavior say that the smarter the animal, the greater individual variation in any task that involves cognition. E.g., mice show much less variation than dogs, dogs less than chimps. Naturally, the variation in human intelligence is huge.

  47. @manorchurch

    And they go crazy waaaaay faster.

    No “study” needed to ascertain that truth!

  48. @CanSpeccy

    …how readily the general public is taken in by scientific twaddle dressed up with fake evidence.

    True, but they love their twaddle whether scientific or not and they take it straight. No embellishment needed, not that it doesn’t help.

  49. @JackOH

    But, I think there’s other stuff going on in the world besides IQ.

    ;)

    • Replies: @JackOH
  50. @Liza

    So, maybe I should just say a bunch of BS 10 times in one month…

    Well, if you do that, you needn’t fear being “different.”

    • Replies: @Liza
  51. EH says:
    @res

    Thanks, good references.

  52. @res

    Will check them out, thanks

  53. “Second, we demonstrate that higher intelligence is associated with cortical mantles with sparsely and well-organized dendritic arbor, thereby increasing processing speed and network efficiency.”

    This sounds suspiciously similar to what arborists find when they try to prune fruit trees for maximum production.

    I’ve talked with the arborists who came around and ended up pruning a sizable number of fruit trees in my neighborhood — and they followed the same idea — fewer and better branches of the tree produced better and more fruit. The proof of their theory was in the years after their pruning and the owners reported vastly improved fruit-bearing of their trees.

    Very interesting article here — thanks.

    • Replies: @Liza
  54. Liza says:
    @jacques sheete

    @Jacques Sheete. LOL!

    Hope the above comment counts as #3 for the 30-day period starting today!

  55. Liza says:
    @Anthony Aaron

    @Anthony. So, how do we go about pruning brains?

  56. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    The Bolsheviks murdered the kulaks, who were the high IQ capitalist farmers and potential competition of the urban intelligentsia.

    • Replies: @utu
  57. utu says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Yes, sensationalism and probably much the worse. I do not blame our host here for it but the Nature. I give our host a benefit of doubt that he even as practicing IQist believer if he was an editor of Nature he would not allow for this kind of deceptive chutzpah to slide. This artist rendered picture (Fig. 4) is scandalous because it misrepresents magnitude of discovery, if there is any, in a very suggestive and compelling way. This artist renders picture makes the discovery.

    If differences between lo and hi iq’s were anything like in this artist rendered picture the correlations would be high but they are pathetically low, basically negligible in reality (in Fig. 2).

    This artist render picture is what makes the sale here but it is FAKE! Everybody here focuses on it and will go home holding this meme of how dendrite look in stupid people comparing to smart people in mind, but this is BS. The differences between lo and hi whatever they are imperceptible. Otherwise they would not need artist rendition!

    Furthermore this artist rendered Fig. 4 has a feel of NAZI propaganda poster pointing to cleanliness, orderliness and organization of nice Nordic lad’s mind as opposed to disorderliness and messiness of some dirty Ostjuden or Gypsy brain. The paper is Made in Germany, right? I wonder how will they feel when they get hit with NAZI insinuations? Hey, CanSpeccy perhaps you could write a letter to them just for kicks to see them getting shits. You can pretend you are a very offended Holocaust surviver.

    But seriously, I demand to know what the the artist was shown and told before he produced this picture!

    NB: the 1930′s style gave all gov propaganda posters whether in the US, Soviet Union or NAZI Germany the same feel.

    (The guy who “trolled” me is on revenge warpath because I “trolled” him recently for lack of more adequate button as he was arguing some IQist nonsense.)

    • Troll: manorchurch
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  58. utu says:
    @res

    Controlling for age and sex seems reasonable to me.

    Yes. Why not show couple scatter plots for women, men and different age groups separately? But in general one must be careful when interpreting results of multivariate regression. They actually bring up this issue:

    This condition, in which an independent variable shows no correlation with the dependent variable, but makes a significant contribution in the context of a multiple regression analysis with other variables, is called “suppression” in statistics. The variable suppresses variance that is not related to the dependent measure in other independent variables and thereby enhances predictive power of the variable set as a whole

  59. utu says:
    @Anonymous

    It was not about IQ. It was about Christianity and owning the means of production and thus being economically independent that made them impregnable to Bolshevik propaganda BS. City intelligentsia which was atheist and usually had no tangible property thought of themselves as being more intelligent and more progressive than peasants (this is a favorite Jewish anti-peasant prejudice to feel contempt for peasants which has nothing to do with pogroms) was actually much more susceptible to BS than the peasants.

    It was no different then than what it is now. SJW’s are basically Jewish in spirit and stupidity just like their grandfather Bolsheviks. Fortunately they are not killing the deplorables and other peasants yet as their grandfather Bolsheviks did in Russia. But they can. They are capable of killing their enemies. Read the Old Testament.

    • Replies: @Anon
  60. @hyperbola

    Language acquisition in infants is a special case, and not strongly related to general intelligence. That’s why it is almost impossible to acquire a native accent after childhood – Kissinger has been in America since he was 15 and still sounds German.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @hyperbola
  61. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Birth control has been around for about 5,000 years. Exactly what method of birth control are you talking about?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  62. JackOH says:
    @Liza

    Liza, thanks, and a belated “Welcome aboard”. Lots of good stuff on these pages.

  63. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @jacques sheete

    So why isn’t she working? Not many jobs in aerospace, but plenty of jobs in mechanical engineering.

  64. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Liza

    Totally agree. Education is just another word for brainwashing. Since about 1950!in America 1970 in Europe the educated elites seem to want to kill all Whites off thinking they will survive.

    But they won’t.

    Pick the synonym for conservative
    Correct answer loser.

    Synonym for educated intellectual
    Correct answer brainwashed zombie

  65. @Anon

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/womens-brains-on-steroids/

    Obviously something that can get through the blood-brain barrier.

    • Replies: @Anon
  66. utu says:
    @jacques sheete

    Reading about this women at Yale made me think of Tom Wolfe’s novel “I Am Charlotte Simmons.”

    • Replies: @Anon
  67. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @FKA Max

    Every kindergarten to 8 teacher has noticed that IQ is pretty stable by the time kids start school.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @FKA Max
  68. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Santoculto

    Psychology isn’t a science at all. It’s just a mass of lies. Consider until about 1880 homosexuality was considered a sex preference. Depending on the society it might be illegal or sinful.

    Then around 1880 the bogus psychology was invented by a bunch of horny old perverts . They decided that homosexuality was a mental illness that could only be cured by years, nay decades of talk therapy. It was quite profitable for the psychology fraudsters

    Then around 1970 the gays decided they didn’t like being categorized as mentally ill because of their sex practices. So within a year the horny old perverts meet and removed homosexuality from the list of mental illness

    Psychologists are no longer allowed to testify as expert court witnesses Why?

    Because the judicial council commissioned some studies that proved practicing degreed licensed psychologists knew no more about mental illness than the average person who never studied psychology.

    Some science huh?

    • Replies: @hyperbola
    , @Santoculto
  69. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    As I said educated is the synonym for brainwashed zombie.

  70. utu says:
    @Anon

    Every kindergarten to 8 teacher has noticed that IQ is pretty stable by the time kids start school.

    If this was so the variance of IQ distribution that is not accounted by genes that amounts to 25%-50% according to twin studies must have been caused by environmental factors prior to starting the school, i.e., in the first six years of life. What environment factors in first six years of life account for up 50% of IQ variance? If we identified them we could change them and possible reduce the IQ variance in population by factor of 2 from SD^2=(15)^2=225 to 112.5=(10.6)^2=SD^2. This effect of trimming standard deviation would occur mostly on the low end of the bell curve as the effect of changing of environment factors would be only positive.

    Perhaps if you have IQ that you. hight not be happy about you should ask what would be your IQ max limit if you had the most optimal environment in the first six years of life? After asking the question you can proceed with murdering your parents or staring a revolution.

    • Replies: @Anon
  71. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    Absolutely right. Whether you’re a dishwasher or dr. If you’re dependent on a job you’re a dependent.

  72. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @jimmyriddle

    I believe Kissinger’s accent was carefully cultivated to make him distinctive or something. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had an acting coach to keep his accent intact all those years.

  73. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I read the article. There was no conclusion. It claimed that BC hormones might have some permanent effect on the brain.

    It’s just grant hustling. So far the authors have found nothing. It’s just speculating The authors are looking for grants to continue their research.

    Thanks for doing the research and posting the article

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  74. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    I read Charlotte Simmons. She wasn’t anything like the nutso at Yale. She felt out of place because of her family background which was nice normal loving supportive working class.

    • Replies: @utu
  75. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    I was tested to get into my private school when I was 4. Lowest IQ admitted was 115. The school accepted me. At the end of first grade conference the teacher told my mother my IQ tested to 127.

    So I guess my first 6 years were ok.

    That school still requires a test. I’m the oldest of 5 sibs 4 tested in the 120s. One brother tested 133.

    So what? And what business is it of yours?

    • Replies: @utu
  76. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    In these days of affirmative action which will
    never end in our or our children’s or grandchildren’s lifetimes why in the world do White people still discuss IQ??

    Pathetic, think if you’re really smart and get perfect test scores and do all your homework and obey all the rules and join all the clubs you’ll get some reward? Pathetic

  77. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Thompson

    Hasn’t lead paint been banned fitvsbout 75 years? Low IQ is rampant in 2 demographics in California despite the fact that most houses in California were built after the lead paint ban.

    • Replies: @Johan Meyer
  78. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Liza

    Is it “intelligent” for persons of high IQ and great achievement in science, engineering, professions, art, inventing things, etc. to be incapable of even identifying with their own interests?

    Intelligence, as that is understood by the IQists, is a measure not of the capacity for adaptive behavior, but of potential value to the power structure: a measure, that is, of value as a wage slave.

    To be a slave is not what any intellectually and emotionally well-adapted person wants to be. To the latter, intelligence is manifest not only by the ability to perform verbal and numerical logical operations, but the wit and wisdom to apply those abilities in ways that maximize the chance of a fulfilled life. To those whose emotions are, in the Darwinian sense, well adapted, a fulfilled life will be one that conduces to the successful perpetuation of one’s own family, tribe, race and nation.

  79. utu says:
    @Anon

    So what? And what business is it of yours?

    I do not care. I did not ask about your IQ. I only suggest that you can kill your parents if you are unhappy with it.

    This is not about your IQ anyway. In my comment I was trying to redirect to the conclusion that large part of IQs if we take various claims made by IQists on the face value lead to conclusion thatch first six years of life is critical when IQs can be significantly impoved. Potentially the variance can be shrunk by 50% by moving IQ’s upwards.

    • Troll: manorchurch
  80. utu says:
    @Anon

    It was just my first thought after reading about Sarah Braasch which was her were poor and rural origins. John Derbyshire captures this in his today’s note about Wolfe:

    The class angle. Modern U.S. society is addled with class snobbery. Poor and rural Americans are coarse-looking, ill-dressed, speak in dialect, and have lousy dietary habits. Rich suburban and high-urban Americans would much rather have nothing to do with them. When confrontations do occur, the rustics are insecure but defensive, the rich patronizing but impatient, with a frisson of guilt. Again, these are things known to everyone, but we are not supposed to notice them. Wolfe does notice them, and draws them to a “t.”

    • Replies: @Anon
  81. j2 says:

    Did they control for personality traits? It is known that Extraversion and Agreeableness correlate negatively with grey material density (density of neurons), see

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23512407

    “These results suggest that pro-social personality traits seem to be associated with decreases in grey matter density in more frontal regions for Extraversion, and more posterior regions for Agreeableness.”

  82. FKA Max says:
    @Anon

    Also a reply to comment #31: http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-well-tempered-clavichord/#comment-2333483

    How do you explain these findings then:

    Met allele carriers’ scores improved markedly with increasing yrs ed, whereas the scores of Val/Val individuals were only marginally influenced by yrs ed. There was a crossover of effects at 11–12 yrs ed: in the less educated group, Met allele carriers actually performed worse than Val/Val individuals perhaps because of emotional vulnerability to educational adversity, but in the better educated group, Met allele carriers excelled.
    [...]
    In 1972, at the age of 4, there was a 10 point IQ difference between blacks and whites on average in the United States. In 2002, the gap had narrowed by 5 points, but there was still a 5 point difference at age 4. By the age of 24, the gap widened to a 17 point difference. This is better than the 22 point difference found in 1972 for age 24, but it’s still quite alarming.

    How does this IQ score gap widening with age square with IQ supposedly being stable/fixed by age 6 or 7?

    Black-White difference in 1972

    Age 4 8 12 16 20 24

    -10 -12.4 -14.8 -17.2 -19.6 -22.0

    Black-White difference in 2002

    Age 4 8 12 16 20 24

    -5 -7.5 -9.8 -12.2 -14.6 -17

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/beautiful-minds/201207/men-women-and-iq-setting-the-record-straight

    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @utu
    , @res
    , @Anon
  83. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max

    I forgot to provide the link/source to the first quoted paragraph in my above post:

    - http://www.unz.com/jthompson/genetics-of-racial-differences-in-intelligence-updated/#comment-1903682

    This is the first study cited:

    COMT Val158Met and cognition: main effects and interaction with educational attainment Enoch et al. (2008) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1601-183X.2008.00441.x/abstract

  84. JackOH says:
    @jacques sheete

    Yeah. Deceit and trickery among our overlords seem to me not to require a stratospheric IQ.

    Ohio’s bureau of unemployment comp has quietly introduced unusual reporting rules that go against the spirit of the law to interpret “liberally” the relevant statutes. The chump–er, citizen–who was once laid off, collected a few weeks of unemployment, then got called back to work, now faces new requirements. He has to fill out “career planning” mumbo-jumbo, with multiple deadlines extending beyond the period he was actually collecting unemployment comp. Failure to do so, from what I understand, disqualifies the applicant from collecting comp the next time around.

    Nice racket. “Saves” unemployment comp. Probably leads to underreporting of the unemployed. High IQ not required to hobble a chump with novel and cumbersome reporting requirements.

  85. @res

    I’m guessing that “effort” and time involved might have something to do with myelin insulation added(the harder it is, but the more the brain has to do it, the more myelin the brain lays down). Probably genetically regulated as well.

    Here’s to wild guessing, anyway.

  86. utu says:
    @FKA Max

    The same question one may ask why heritability twin studies show that heritability increases with age. This means that IQ’s of two identical twins converge as they grow older in childhood beyond 6 years old.

    Basically IQ is not stable. It is a myth. But it is a necessary myth to justify the concept of g, i.e., that IQ is chiefly genetic.

    There is a serious empirical question. How possibly we could verify stability of IQ? It seems simple. Just keep giving people tests at different ages and compare, right? No, it can’t be done because tests for different ages are different or scaled differently. And in adulthood how frequently can you give tests w/o affecting the outcome of tests?

    Where are the studies showing stability? The longitude Scottish study showed correlation of 0.7-0.75 form teens to old age. Does it mean that IQ is really stable?

    The stability myth is a part of reification process that occurs among the believers of the IQism. Every -ism is to large extent based on various reifications to make people believe that something that has a dubious ontology is actually real. Like the ‘will of proletariat’ or ‘historical forces’ which can be invoked and used to send you to Gulag for 10 years. It means they are real since they have such power.

    • Troll: manorchurch
    • Replies: @res
  87. @Anon

    Well, it passes the smell test, too. Besides the obvious self-reports from women on birth control, if you used any other chemical that could easily get through the blood-brain barrier such as NGF, testosterone or any other neurally active hormone, you will probably get alterations in the brain. The prefrontal cortex will alter itself slightly differently even on viewing the same thing from a different angle for two twins(the brain sets up neural connections based on perceptions, thus differences in memory will be actual physical differences in conectivity, at least, if not more).

    Once such connections and neural alterations exist, and with hormones its going to be fairly brute, the only way the brain can later fix it is through neural die-off and pruning, and that usually doesn’t just happen on its own.

    There’s really no logical reason to expect that the brain will behave in a way that’s completely distinct from any other organ in the body. Yes, it has that blood-brain barrier to protect it, but once anything gets through it and in the modern world, that’s an increasing number of chemicals, its playing host to unexpected actors in its environment now.

  88. EG says:
    @res

    The NDI myelin association is not a straightforward one. The Grussu et al study (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/acn3.445) confirms this association on a histological level for cases of multiple sclerosis, but this association is absent in healthy individuals. Even if we have an association between NDI myelin, the shared variance is at around 50%. The remaining 50% of variance of NDI could have an influence on intelligence “independently” from myelin.

    • Replies: @res
  89. EG says:
    @FKA Max

    As it is stated in the methods the authors controlled for the confounding factor of age by computing partial correlations or multiple regressions.

  90. res says:
    @FKA Max

    How does this IQ score gap widening with age square with IQ supposedly being stable/fixed by age 6 or 7?

    1. You are comparing within group differences to between group differences.
    2. Different rates of maturation for different groups.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @FKA Max
  91. res says:
    @utu

    The same question one may ask why heritability twin studies show that heritability increases with age. This means that IQ’s of two identical twins converge as they grow older in childhood beyond 6 years old.

    It seems reasonable to explain this as random environmental variation averaging out over time. And genetic drivers of environment (people do create their own environments to some degree) becoming more important as people enter phases of their life where they have more influence on their environment.

    • Replies: @utu
  92. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    Different rates of maturation for different groups.

    Yes, and different rates of maturation for different individuals within groups. Some white girls menstruate at at the age of eight, some not til their teens. So why would IQ develop uniformly within the group?

    Anyway, why is anyone debating a ridiculous proposition advanced without the slightest evidence by someone claiming anonymity?

    • Replies: @manorchurch
    , @res
  93. res says:
    @EG

    Thanks for the link. I’m not sure how to interpret its assessment of the NDI myelin relationship. Some relevant bits:

    The relationship within focal lesions between NSF (histological neuro-axonal density) and NDI (MRI-derived neurite density) is complex. While NDI always decreases within lesions, NSF does not necessarily behave similarly, highlighting variable degrees of axonal loss in different lesions (Fig. 2). In contrast, NDI always drops dramatically within lesions, similar to myelin density MSF. This finding is not surprising as NDI is a surrogate index equivalent to NSF/(1–MSF)26,43 (post hoc analysis confirms a correlation between these two measures).

    Is that NDI = NSF/(1–MSF) relationship only in MS cases?

    Importantly, NODDI NDI offers sensitivity to the local density of axon/dendrites but is also strongly influenced by variations of myelination, limiting its interpretability without the support of myelin mapping techniques.

    Finally, we point out that this work shows the potential utility of NODDI metrics, but also highlights some caveats related to their interpretation. We stress that NODDI metrics should always be interpreted with care: NODDI indices are designed to measure geometrical features of neurite morphology, but in practice they can be influenced by other factors, as for example myelin for the case of NDI.

    Here is Figure 6 showing r = 0.74 (r^2 = 55%) for MS cases and essentially no correlation for the control cases.

    Here is another paper link which includes the figures as images and has Supplemental Material: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5590517/

    Table S3 has the complete regression models. Search for ndi_model4 to find the NDI ~ MSF + NSF models. The MS model has R^2 = 61%, the control model has R^2 = 0.

    The lack of an NDI ~ MSF relationship in the controls is very surprising to me. Any thoughts on how neurite density would not relate at all to myelin? Does that observation hold up in larger studies? If I read correctly, there were only four people in this study:

    We related quantitative metrics from histology and MRI in four post mortem spinal cord specimens (two controls; two progressive multiple sclerosis cases).

  94. @CanSpeccy

    Anyway, why is anyone debating a ridiculous proposition advanced without the slightest evidence by someone claiming anonymity?

    LOL. Sounds like you think the comment base should consist of but ten cogent remarks? Double LOL.

    • Replies: @res
    , @CanSpeccy
  95. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    The paper is Made in Germany, right? I wonder how will they feel when they get hit with NAZI insinuations? Hey, CanSpeccy perhaps you could write a letter to them just for kicks to see them getting shits. You can pretend you are a very offended Holocaust surviver.

    Nah. They’d never publish it. Editors, in my experience, are loathe to admit an error of judgement, and the Editor of Nature (Sir Philip Campbell, FRAS, FInstP, astrophysicist) probably thinks he’s God.

    Anyway, the inspiration for this well-polished example of scientific sleight of hand pretty certainly came not from the bunch of Germans at the Universitaet Bunchum, or wherever, but from this guy, who is a seriously for profit academic back on the good ol’ US of A, the home of fake news, fake, food, fake sex and, evidently, fake science. Jung’s CV is worth examining. He’s pretty well solved all the big questions concerning the mind by putting people’s heads in a scanner.

    • Replies: @utu
  96. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Yes, and different rates of maturation for different individuals within groups. Some white girls menstruate at at the age of eight, some not til their teens. So why would IQ develop uniformly within the group?

    This seems like a classic within/between groups differences issue. IQ does not develop uniformly within the group, but the variations are statistically small so it appears roughly stable with age. It is important to note that this apparent stability depends on the group used for age norming the tests!

    But if there are systematic differences in between group maturation rates then those should show up in group averaged intelligence vs. age curves (and create differing gaps by age).

    Anyway, why is anyone debating a ridiculous proposition advanced without the slightest evidence by someone claiming anonymity?

    I am assuming you mean “Different rates of maturation for different groups.” Rushton tends to be the best initial reference for things like this (and follow the collection of studies he references). See pages 1012-1013 of http://philipperushton.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/iq-race-brain-size-r-k-theory-sex-rushton-personality-individual-differences-1988.pdf

    If you’d like more evidence I can present the underlying studies as well as more done since 1988.

    To be clear, my point does not depend on there being genetic differences in between group maturation rate. Whatever the underlying reasons, it seems reasonable to expect group differences in maturation rate to correspond to group differences in IQ trajectory. Even the CDC admits there are group differences in maturation rates–they just focus on claiming it is environmental rather than genetic: https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/growthcharts/training/overview/page4.html

    CDC promotes one set of growth charts for all racial and ethnic groups. Racial- and ethnic-specific charts are not recommended because studies support the premise that differences in growth among various racial and ethnic groups are the result of environmental rather than genetic influences (Garza and de Onis, 2004; Lusky, 2000; Mei, Yip, Trowbridge, 1998; Kuczmarski et al 2002).

    P.S. You might consider how your final sentence applies to your own evidence-free statements.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  97. res says:
    @manorchurch

    His focus on evidence is even funnier given how seldom he presents any.

    • Replies: @manorchurch
  98. @res

    If one questions the purported validity and/or accuracy and/or applicability of “evidence” presented by someone else, in what way is one obligated to present evidence at all?

    If you were to say “The sky is green”, I might be inclined to observe that “It looks blue to me.”, but there is no requirement on my part to do anything other than demand you justify your statement. If you assert the sky is green, the burden is on you to prove it so, not on me to prove it not so.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Greeny1
  99. hyperbola says:
    @jimmyriddle

    I chose to use acquisition of language as an example only because an equally specious article on language appeared here on unz recently. If one looks at the actual data (Fig. 2), the so-called correlations can only be regarded as highly misleading.

  100. utu says:
    @res

    Why not explain it in terms of IQ scores rather than invoking that children have some IQ now and different IQ later if we are not even certain what IQ is. But we know that tests exist and there is method to create score for the tests.

    All we have are empirical results that children take tests. The simplest explanation might be that as they grow older they make less random mistakes and thus correlation between the scores of twins increases.

    To verify this one would have to study test retest correlations at different ages. If test retest correlations do not change then I am wrong and something else is happening than random errors.

    Anyway, the talking point to the world at large is that IQ is stable remains, right? IQ does not change!

    The IQism is very strong on claims concerning some reified entity and very weak on errors analysis of their methodology.

    Whatever claim is being made as to the value of heritability the question pops up what about the environmental part? If heritability is, say 50% could we reduce variance by 50% if we improved environment? Why the IQist do not seem interested in this aspect that if they did it would show that they have some semblance of human concerns? Instead they seem to dream of tattooing IQ scores of people’s foreheads in their utopia and then doing high five and saying ‘the job well done’.

    .

    • Replies: @res
  101. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @manorchurch

    Sounds like you think the comment base should consist of but ten cogent remarks?

    It would certainly be great if all comments were cogent, but that is too much to hope. However, one can work toward clarity by debunking what is manifestly bunkum, vacuity, or outright misrepresentation, as with Figure 4 of the article featured here.

  102. hyperbola says:
    @Anon

    Psychology is a religious/racist fraud that was never meant to be a science.

    Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, and the War on the West
    “We are bringing them the plague.”—Sigmund Freud, on his way to America in 1909[1]

    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/12/24/sigmund-freud-psychoanalysis-and-the-war-on-the-west/

    …Jewish psychologists played a big role in bringing about this cultural warfare. “Under Jewish influence, American psychology became Talmudic as well….it was seen as a weapon against Christian culture.”[5]

    Freud was on a Jewish mission. Jewish professor of psychiatry Thomas Szasz of New York University writes that “one of Freud’s most powerful motives in life was…to inflict vengeance on Christianity.”[10]

    Other Jewish scholars such as Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter noted the same thing, adding that….

    ….Freud in fact had a secret library in which he housed books on the Kabbala, and a copy of the Zohar,[16] which is “the most important document in Jewish mysticism,” and which, among other things, “taught the Jews to sacrifice Christian virgins for God’s pleasure.”[17]

    In addition, Freud took part in the B’nai B’rith lodge in Vienna, and “among his recreations was his weekly game of taroc, a popular card game based on Kabbala.”[18]

    As we shall see, Freud used scientific pretensions to unleash a venom—psychoanalysis—upon the Western world, but psychoanalysis has close to nothing to do with science….

    • Replies: @Anon
  103. utu says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Don’t write to editor. Write to their department at German university that this artist rendering of low and high IQ brains made you think of Nazi propaganda how it pictured the deficient brains of lower races while the brains of the Master Race race were pure, organized, orderly… You would like to find out what motivated and inspired the artist who was directed by researchers to do this stigmatizing rendition and bring the worst connotations from the tragic past…. that should never be repeated. And you would like them to retract the paper and republish with actual pictures taken from their scans and not made by florid imagination of the artist who perhaps is innocent but somehow his imagination was tainted by possibly still function Neo-Nazi memes in German society. And then you may hint that you will go away if they donate $xxx to your Never Again foundation with headquarters in your basement. Believe me, Germans do pay.

    • Troll: manorchurch
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  104. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @res

    IQ does not develop uniformly within the group, but the variations are statistically small so it appears roughly stable with age.

    From someone who accuses me of failing to provide evidence in support of my assertion of fact, that is a fine piece of wiffle waffle without any supporting data.

    I am assuming you mean “Different rates of maturation for different groups.”

    No, I was referring to Anon’s bald and certainly false statement that:

    Every kindergarten to 8 teacher has noticed that IQ is pretty stable by the time kids start school.

    For one thing, what the Hell do K to 8 teachers know about the stability of student’s IQ’s, do they test them every week or what? And what does Anon know about the opinion of “every Kindergarten to 8 teacher”? F all, obviously.

    The fact is children do not develop in lockstep. Some boys need to shave at the age of ten, others have but a whisp of fuzz at the age of 18. Same sort of variation is obvious in other areas of physical development. Why then would the development of the brain be any different?

    • Replies: @res
    , @Anon
  105. res says:
    @utu

    All we have are empirical results that children take tests. The simplest explanation might be that as they grow older they make less random mistakes and thus correlation between the scores of twins increases.

    Interesting thought. I would be interested in hearing what someone well versed in test design and scoring thinks about that.

    Anyway, the talking point to the world at large is that IQ is stable remains, right? IQ does not change!

    Those two sentences are different. The difference is important. High correlation is not the same as identical.

    Whatever claim is being made as to the value of heritability the question pops up what about the environmental part? If heritability is, say 50% could we reduce variance by 50% if we improved environment? Why the IQist do not seem interested in this aspect that if they did it would show that they have some semblance of human concerns?

    I am very interested in that question. The following facts are relevant though:
    1. IQ heritability appears to be higher than 0.5.
    2. Most of the rest is “unshared environment.” That covers many things, including error. This is a good post about that: http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/03/16/non-shared-environment-doesnt-just-mean-schools-and-peers/
    3. What studies we have of educational interventions tend to show little lasting effect. Nutritional interventions on certain deficient populations (e.g. iodine) seem to help. I have seen little evidence of intentional large group interventions having a significant and lasting effect.

    If I seem uninterested in improving environment (which is not the case) it is probably more disgust with how much the idea of improving IQ through intentional environmental change has been oversold relative to actual results. The Flynn Effect seems to be ample evidence that environmental improvement can matter, but we have not worked out how to make that an intentional thing.

    • Replies: @utu
  106. res says:
    @manorchurch

    If you assert the sky is green, the burden is on you to prove it so, not on me to prove it not so.

    Are you implying the questions we discuss here are resolvable in such a simplistic black and white (or would that be blue and green?) fashion? In other words, are the answers obvious by inspection? Who decides?

    There is no requirement on anyone to present evidence here, but I do think people who live in glass houses should refrain from stone throwing.

    I find your argument most frequently used as a cop out by hypocrites who want a different standard applied to themselves than they apply to others (cf. isolated demands for rigor). I have little patience with that.

    • Replies: @manorchurch
  107. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    LOL

    You write, Utu. You’d do it much better than I could. And good luck with the shake down.

    • Replies: @manorchurch
  108. res says:
    @CanSpeccy

    From someone who accuses me of failing to provide evidence in support of my assertion of fact, that is a fine piece of wiffle waffle without any supporting data.

    It is as well (or better) argued and supported as what you are writing. Are you disagreeing with either of these?
    - IQ does not develop uniformly within the group. (a point you made)
    - IQ appears roughly stable with age.

    If not, what explanation do you propose for reconciling those as an alternative to my “the variations are statistically small”?

    For evidence of the stability of IQ see http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0012-1649.27.1.18

    Developmental increases in the stability of intelligence are well established, at least through childhood. Evidence comes from several domains. It has been known for some time that correlations between juvenile and adult IQ increase throughout childhood (Anderson, 1939; Honzik, McFarlane & Allen, 1948), as do correlations between child and parent IQ (Honzik,
    1957) and between consecutive testings in childhood (Humphreys & Davey, 1988; Wilson, 1987). Whether increases in the stability of intelligence continue throughout adulthood has been studied less intensively, but the trend does seem to continue, albeit at a decelerated pace (Schuerger & Witt, 1989). Note that the stability of intelligence throughout the life span is conceptually separate from changes in its mean. Mean ability increases throughout childhood, remains stable in adulthood,
    and declines (to a controversial degree) in old age (Botwinick, 1977). The stability of intelligence depends on its predictability across time within individuals and is independent of changes in the mean.

    That paper has some interesting observations. For example, their hypothetical 3D plot of phenotypic intelligence vs. environment and genotype which is used to begin a discussion of changes over time and the canalization theory. This seems like as good a summary as any: “The canalization model implies that individuals get stuck in diverging ruts as they age. Stating the matter baldly makes it clear why the model has always seemed so plausible.”

    Back to you:

    No, I was referring to Anon’s bald and certainly false statement that:

    Then please be more specific. How was I (or anyone) supposed to infer that from your comment?

    For one thing, what the Hell do K to 8 teachers know about the stability of student’s IQ’s, do they test them every week or what?

    Schools have records. And teachers talk to each other. I say this as someone whose academic reputation followed him through primary and secondary school. Teachers tended to be well aware of that sort of thing.

    Your criticism of “every” is on point, but Anon is far from the only commenter here to engage in a bit of hyperbole.

    The fact is children do not develop in lockstep.

    No kidding. The very first words you quoted from me are an acknowledgement of that.

    P.S. The funny thing is my initial (deleted) draft comment asked which assertion you meant, but upon rereading I decided your lead quote was the most likely interpretation so I rewrote my comment. Oh well…

  109. utu says:
    @res

    Interesting thought. I would be interested in hearing what someone well versed in test design and scoring thinks about that.

    In the realm of IQ tests and scales they are de facto the same as tests are normalized and scaled separately for each age group to have the same mean and variance so then a correlation of 1 implies equality.

    how much the idea of improving IQ through intentional environmental change has been oversold relative to actual results.

    The IQists are not too interested and environmentalist are disgusted with IQists so they do not even talk in these terms because they do not want to give even one inch. Then there are fantasists who will dream of genetical modification of IQ to 1,500 level. In the US the issue is mixed with and also chiefly driven by racial issues which guarantees that the issue can’t be approached rationally. Nevertheless if heritability results are to be believed then it means that 25%-50% of variance in principle could be shrunk by modification of environment. These changes in environment should be identified and studied.

    If Steve Hsu ever achieved predictor function close to twin based heritability then residuals would show environmental factors. You could plot them against the polygenic score and in narrow intervals where polygenic score changes little you would have many residuals going up and down within upper and lower envelopes. All subjects in this group with right environmental adjustment in principle could be moved to the upper envelope if the interventions were don at the right time in their lives. The upper envelope does not define the absolute environmental upper limit but the limit of the current environment. Frankly, however I have more and more doubts whether Hsu’s dream of finding the predictor function will be realized. The progress is way too slow indicating that there is a real problem there.

    Anyway, the environmental intervention/improvement is a very interesting issue but the fact that it is not talked about it tells a lot about the real motives and attitudes of people who are into the IQism. They are not interest in intelligence. They are interested in genetic intelligence part only. This is not surprising as this field was started by a bunch of racists. If however younger researchers begin to emphasize the environmental part of intelligence they could improve the image and reputation of this field.

    • LOL: manorchurch
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  110. @res

    Are you implying the questions we discuss here are resolvable in such a simplistic black and white (or would that be blue and green?) fashion?

    No, I am stating that an assertion of fact leaves the burden of proof on he who asserts. Read it again, if you are having comprehension issues with simple English sentences.

    In other words, are the answers obvious by inspection? Who decides?

    Non sequitur, and don’t bullshit just to bullshit.

    There is no requirement on anyone to present evidence here, but I do think people who live in glass houses should refrain from stone throwing.

    Requirement? Who said there was a requirement? Something stated as fact is NOT fact without supporting verifiable evidence. You may, per the usual, choose to just bullshit and let fly.

    I find your argument most frequently used as a cop out by hypocrites who want a different standard applied to themselves than they apply to others (cf. isolated demands for rigor). I have little patience with that.

    I find your failure to present neither argument, refutation, nor evidence merely typical. Your flaring irritation at being called on it is also typical. Personally, I am tres patient with that, too, boy. :-)

    • LOL: res
    • Replies: @res
  111. @CanSpeccy

    Lotsa rage around here today. :-)

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  112. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @manorchurch

    Lotsa rage around here today.

    Rage is about all you got when you’re defending the claim that one point something percent of the variation in a questionable measure of intelligence is accounted for by imperceptible (without artistic enhancement) variation in dendrite density — assuming, that is, that the relation between some type of head scan and dendrite density in rats and ferrets is valid for humans, and ignoring the fact that in some parts of the brain the relationship is positive and in other parts it is negative.

    For the defenders of this kind of science it appears that the choice is between bluster and bullying on the one hand, or throwing in the towel and quitting the profession on the other hand. That we’re seeing, at this point in the discussion, folks bringing out flick knives and knuckle dusters is thus pretty much inevitable.

    • Replies: @manorchurch
  113. @CanSpeccy

    For the defenders of this kind of science it appears that the choice is between bluster and bullying on the one hand, or throwing in the towel and quitting the profession on the other hand.

    twas ever thus, and thus ’twill ever be

  114. res says:
    @manorchurch

    boy

    When you have nothing else it is time for the insults.

    Or as I used to like to say here:

    Ad hominems – best way ever to say to someone arguing with you – “you win.”

    • Replies: @manorchurch
  115. FKA Max says:
    @res

    1. You are comparing within group differences to between group differences.
    2. Different rates of maturation for different groups.

    res,

    I am not quite sure how this is relevant to refuting the point “that IQ is pretty stable by the time kids start school.” http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-well-tempered-clavichord/#comment-2334148 or “Except that IQ is already stable and highly heritable by mid puberty, never mind 25.” – http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-well-tempered-clavichord/#comment-2333483 ? Maybe, if you could, go into the details of this argument I would appreciate, because it doesn’t necessarily make sense to me that different maturation rates can make this big of a difference in widening IQ test score differentials with increasing age. I think the explanation is much more likely environmental/cultural, etc.

    The differing maturation rates and stages between the races don’t explain this widening IQ gap with age, in my opinion. They are too minuscule — but I could be wrong about this — to be a significant factor/influence. Shouldn’t the gap stay pretty stable and not continue widening with age or is this some sort of compound growth/maturation?

    I mean it is not like blacks are fully grown by age 16 and whites continue to develop till age 24 or something like that, and East Asians take even longer till age 30. According to Rushton and his hypothesis blacks are 1-2 years ahead of whites and presumably 3-4 years ahead in maturation compared to East Asians:

    One study of over 17,000 American girls in the 1997 issue of Pediatrics found that puberty begins a year earlier for Black girls than for White girls. By age eight, 48% of the Black girls (but only 15% of the White girls) had some breast development, pubic hair, or both. For Whites this did not happen until ten years. The age when girls began to menstruate was between 11 and 12 for Black girls. White girls began a year later.

    Sexual maturity in boys also differs by race. By age 11, 60% of Black boys have reached the stage of puberty marked by fast penis growth. Two percent have already had sex. White boys tend not to reach this stage for another 1.5 years. Orientals lag one to two years behind Whites in both sexual development and the start of sexual interest.

    – p. 14 http://www.harbornet.com/folks/theedrich/JP_Rushton/Race.htm Archived link: http://archive.is/tEoA3

    To illustrate the point look at the following figure from the paper, the head size gap does not widen with increasing age, it stays pretty much stable as one would expect throughout development:

    Source: p. 11 http://www.harbornet.com/folks/theedrich/JP_Rushton/Race.htm

    But maybe I am missing something…

    • Replies: @res
  116. @res

    Ad hominems – best way ever to say to someone arguing with you – “you win.”

    Oh, dear, terror strikes. Will I ever sleep soundly again?

    You called me “hypocrite”; I called you “boy”. Lest you lead yourself to believe that I see any necessity for avoiding ad hominems, go fuck yourself. Got it now?

    • Replies: @res
  117. MarkinLA says:
    @utu

    Nevertheless if heritability results are to be believed then it means that 25%-50% of variance in principle could be shrunk by modification of environment. These changes in environment should be identified and studied.

    Just for fun, what if those environmental factors had to do with race, like say willingness to spend long hours studying instead of balling or willingness of parents to try and teach their kids to read or add by 3? How far do you think your discussion of environment would go? The problem is that environment isn’t just living in a house with a coat of lead paint safely under 10 coats of non-lead paint and pretending the lead paint is the culprit and if we just removed it the gap would close as the environmentalists assert.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @utu
  118. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @FKA Max

    Do you even read the stuff you clip and paste? I think not. And clipping and pasting your old comments what’s up with that?

  119. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    You’re right about rural. But Charlottes family was poor only in comparison to the very rich kids she met at Duke

    And her family was supportive and living and normal, not religious fanatics

    • Replies: @utu
  120. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @FKA Max

    I bet you didn’t even read your clip
    And paste. Go argue with some one else.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  121. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @hyperbola

    Thanks, I know all about dr Fraud. He axtually set back advances in mental health about 130 years. Drs always thought there would be some chemical way to cure or alleviate symptoms.

    They now have Zoloft Prozac and numerous drugs that actually alleviate symptoms enough that’s it’s realky a cure.

    But for about 120 years it was talk talk talk therapy and the scientific research just stopped.
    You should look up his patient Dora. Her father wanted her to sleep with his business partner. She was 14 and refused. So Jewish papa sent her to Fraud to be cured of her frigidity.

    That theory of fridgity was total curse on women for about 7o years When some intellectual creep was turned down he would launch into a discussion that the woman was frigid and her health demanded that she have sex with el creep0

    The only reason his fraud became popular was that it was based on sex. So the idiot intellectuals could get a little frisson while discussing the latest psych theory

    Fraud also claimed little girls wanted to play with daddy’s penis because it’s siniliar to a doll.

    Truly sick mofa

  122. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    I am right because I am always right therefore I am always right forever and ever amen.

  123. res says:
    @FKA Max

    I wasn’t trying to refute “that IQ is pretty stable by the time kids start school.” I happen to agree with that, although I do think my comment about which group is used to norm the age progression is relevant.

    Regarding the changing B/W gap with age, small differences matter because the gap changes are on the order of 3-5 IQ points (0.2 – 0.33 SD) between ages around 5, 10, and 14.

    From pages 358-359 of The g Factor (numbers are in SDs, please excuse the formatting):

    Age Variation. Black infants score higher than white infants on developmental scales that depend mainly on sensorimotor abilities. Scores on these infant scales have near-zero correlation with IQ at school age, because the IQ predominantly reflects cognitive rather than sensorimotor development. Between ages three and five years, which is before children normally enter school, the mean W-B IQ difference steadily increases. By five to six years of age, the mean difference is about 0.70c (eleven IQ points), then approaches about l a during the elementary school years, remaining fairly constant until puberty, when it increases slightly and stabilizes at about 1.2a. The latest (1986) Stanford-Binet IV norms show a W-B difference in prepubescent children that is almost five IQ points smaller than the W-B difference in postpubescent children.
    (The W-B difference is 0.80a for ages 2 through 11 as compared with 1.10a for ages 12 through 23.) This could constitute evidence that the mean W-B difference in the population is decreasing. Or it could simply be that the W-B difference increases from early to later childhood. The interpretation of this age effect on the size of the W-B mean difference remains uncertain in this instance, as it is based entirely on cross-sectional rather than longitudinal data. Both kinds of data are needed to settle the issue. The cause of variation in the mean IQ of different age groups all tested within the same year (a cross-sectional study) may not be the same as the cause of variation (if any) in mean IQ of the same group of individuals when tested at different ages (a longitudinal study).

    Note Jensen’s point about the need for longitudinal studies. This is more in the line of evidence for a widening gap rather than proof of it.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
    , @FKA Max
  124. res says:
    @manorchurch

    Hypocrite is descriptive of you and accurate. Boy is neither for me. Notice the difference.

    Got it now?

    Got it. You are not worth interacting with. Thank you for making that clear.

  125. @Anon

    Lead paint was banned in the late 1970s in the US. Lead petrol/gasoline fallout is still a problem in many areas. Youth should be much less affected, and youth convictions for serious crimes have dropped considerably. Perhaps it is time for a new longitudinal study of youth.

  126. FKA Max says:
    @Anon

    This is you, Alden, right? Here a cut-and-paste just for you from yours truly hahahaha

    Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    April 17, 2018 at 4:31 pm GMT • 100 Words
    [...]
    Senator Feinstein is old now but was a drop dead beauty back in the day. She never photographed well I know. She had white white skin shiny black hair grayish hazel eyes and perfect features.
    In fact she closely resembles the Friends actress Courtney Cox.

    https://www.unz.com/article/can-we-judge-people-by-what-they-look-like-in-fact-yes/#comment-2292418

    Alden says:
    September 10, 2017 at 4:38 am GMT • 200 Words
    [...]
    Senator Dianne Feinstein is a democrat married to a multi billionaire liberal. I saw her a lot when I lived near her in San Francisco when she was young.
    Drop dead beautiful, much prettier than she photographed.

    https://www.unz.com/article/the-fat-heather-heyer-hoax/#comment-2000472

    Please, go cyber harass/stalk someone else and be grumpy somewhere else. Thank you.

  127. FKA Max says:
    @res

    [...] The interpretation of this age effect on the size of the W-B mean difference remains uncertain in this instance, as it is based entirely on cross-sectional rather than longitudinal data. Both kinds of data are needed to settle the issue. The cause of variation in the mean IQ of different age groups all tested within the same year (a cross-sectional study) may not be the same as the cause of variation (if any) in mean IQ of the same group of individuals when tested at different ages (a longitudinal study).

    Note Jensen’s point about the need for longitudinal studies. This is more in the line of evidence for a widening gap rather than proof of it.

    Thank you very much, res. This is great information.

    This actually strengthens my conviction that the widening is likelier due to environmental/cultural than genetic factors, i.e. educational attainment and attendance rates and length, etc.:

    Across 142 effect sizes from 42 data sets involving over 600,000 participants, we found consistent evidence for beneficial effects of education on cognitive abilities, of approximately 1 to 5 IQ points for an additional year of education.

    http://www.unz.com/article/americas-cultural-revolution-the-obsession-with-self-esteem/#comment-2294222

    Everyone knows that public school officials in the American South violated the Supreme Court’s separate-but-equal decision. But did the violations matter? Yes, enforcement of separate-but-equal would have narrowed racial differences in school attendance in the early twentieth century South. But separate-but-equal was not enough. Black children still would have attended school less often than white children because black parents were poorer and less literate than white parents.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/1935961

    Source: https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/01/28/us-education-still-separate-and-unequal

    I don’t know if you saw this comment of mine, yet, probably not:

    High Test Scores At A Nationally Lauded Charter Network, But At What Cost?

    https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/06/24/477345746/high-test-scores-at-a-nationally-lauded-charter-network-but-at-what-cost

    [Today there are 13 Rocketship schools, with 6,000 students, in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nashville, Tenn., and Milwaukee, with one scheduled to open in Washington, D.C., this fall. The students, largely low-income and Hispanic, outperform their peers on state tests.]
    [...]
    [Independent research commissioned by Rocketship also shows students' test score gains persisting after leaving the schools, into middle school.]
    [...]
    However, several of the current and former staffers said, and one provided internal emails indicating, that teachers habitually had students retake portions of standardized tests — especially the NWEA tests. Borja and other staffers suggested this was done in an attempt to raise scores tied to teacher bonuses.

    Retaking can inflate scores on certain tests “a massive amount,” says Andrew Ho, a student measurement expert at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Of course, there are computer glitches and other mitigating circumstances where a do-over is fair game. But in general, he added, “it should be painfully obvious that whenever there is an incentive for teachers and administrators to increase scores … retests should be recorded, monitored and tracked.”

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/nyt-meet-the-renegades-of-the-intellectual-dark-web/#comment-2324975

    • Replies: @annamaria
  128. utu says:
    @Anon

    What are you arguing with my impressions?

  129. @CanSpeccy

    Maybe you have the time and intellectual stamina to do us all a favour by reading, explaining and reviewing “The Mind Matters’ by David Hodgson.

    I read an article in Quadrant Magazine by him on free will (at least that was the part that interested me) and corresponded with him. He referred to his book. We aimed to meet after he retired from the New South Wales Court of Appeal bench which I had assumed would be at 70. In NSW it was 72 and he died within months after retiring so I never got round to finishing the reading for my tutorial.

    After topping New South Wales in mathematics before a university law degree he went as a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford where the professor supervising his PhD said he was the most intelligent student he had ever had. For the purpose of “The Mind Matters” he taught himself Quantum Mechanics while he was a judge… Maybe we’ll need to call on our host Ron to grade it for us.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  130. @James Thompson

    Allow me a return visit to both Divergent (cp. Convergent) thinking and also to pruning.

    Is there a connection? My hypothesis is that divergent/original thinkers/creative minds may have been subjected to less pruning? Does that make sense to you?

    If true it would be interesting to know about the trade offs. And specifically it would be interesting to know what training, or other characteristics, might allow some high IQ convergent thinkers to perform without appreciable handicap despite a profusion of unregimented thoughts which count as original thinking.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  131. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    Re: “The Mind Matters’ by David Hodgson

    Sounds interesting. I’ve ordered a used copy in “very good” condition from Amazon for $6.95. If I understand any of it, I’ll get back to you.
    Cheers.

  132. @Wizard of Oz

    Creativity turns out to be closely related to ability. That is, creativity which is recognised as changing a field considerably, rather than just throwing stuff together to make an impression which quickly fades.

  133. @Sean

    Very interesting and leading on to a lot of other stimulating links.

    But maybe Braess’s paradox is to be distinguished because there it is presumed that the paradoxical result arises from individual decisions made about the use of the changed structure.

    Aha. I went back to find another little point of distinction that occurred to me and then it struck me. Of course you are referring to the other side of Braess’s coin. Knock out a rat-runner’s route, or just one respectable choice of route and you may speed things up. An example was given of the loss of one of three bridges which resulted in many trips not being undertaken at all. There’s the pruning analogy which I suppose you were referring to???? The trouble is that it does look as though something could be lost. There is no reason to assume that all the trips given up were of little value.

    • Replies: @utu
  134. Greeny1 says:
    @manorchurch

    > ‘”If you were to say “The sky is green”’

    In Biblical times green covered a range of colors.

    https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-word-of-the-day-yarok-1.5329433 “yarok … the modern Hebrew word for green, but as we will see – in years of yore it was also the word for yellow and every color in between. ”

    > ‘”I might be inclined to observe that “It looks blue to me.” ‘

    What? You Bible revisionist, believing in something not supported by the Bible. You did not read the bible in detail, boy. Welcome to the dark-side.

    https://www.haaretz.com/word-of-the-day-kakhol-1.5331764 “You may be surprised to find out that such a prevalent color appearing in sea and sky goes unnamed in the Hebrew Bible, nor is it mentioned in the Mishnah and Talmud. … What about tekhelet, you ask? Well, while tekhlet in modern Hebrew means “light blue” (like the Russian word goluboy) – in Biblical times it referred to a dye made of a liquid extracted from a kind of sea urchin, which was purple.”

    • Replies: @manorchurch
  135. FKA Max says:
    @res

    Typo: … if you could, go into the details of this argument I would appreciate *it*, …

    res,

    I found a very interesting longitudinal study, which could offer some new interesting insights and shed some light on the reasons for the widening B-W IQ score gap with age, which appear to be environmental, as I suspected. The urban cohort/population is 84% non-white and the sub-urban cohort/population is is 5.5% non-white.:

    Stability and Change in Children’s Intelligence Quotient Scores: A Comparison of Two Socioeconomically Disparate Communities

    The authors estimated the influence of familial factors and community disadvantage on changes in children’s intelligence quotient (IQ) scores from age 6 years to age 11 years. Data were obtained from a longitudinal study of the neuropsychiatric sequelae of low birth weight in two socioeconomically disparate, geographically defined communities in the Detroit, Michigan, metropolitan area. Representative samples of low birth weight and normal birth weight children from the City of Detroit (urban) and nearby middle-class suburbs (suburban) were assessed at age 6 years (in 1990–1992) and age 11 years (in 1995–1997) (n = 717).
    [...]
    The IQs of urban children, regardless of birth weight, declined from age 6 years to age 11 years. The downward shift increased by 50% the proportion of urban children scoring 1 standard deviation below the standardized IQ mean of 100. A negligible change was observed in suburban children. Maternal IQ, education, and marital status and low birth weight predicted IQ at age 6 years but were unrelated to IQ change. Growing up in a racially segregated and disadvantaged community, more than individual and familial factors, may contribute to a decline in IQ score in the early school years.

    https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/154/8/711/131324 Archived link: http://archive.is/7EYmD

    And I believe the same or a very similar study and cohort/population continued/tracked until age 17:

    Low birthweight and social disadvantage: Tracking their relationship with children’s IQ during the period of school attendance

    Generalized estimating equations were used to examine the relation of low birthweight, an indicator of adverse perinatal events, and social disadvantage to IQ changes during the period of school attendance. Data are from a longitudinal study of low birthweight and normal birthweight children in two disparate communities, an inner-city and near-by suburbs in southeast Michigan (n = 773). Wechsler intelligence tests were administered at ages 6, 11 and 17. Low birthweight-related deficits (vs. normal birthweight) detected at the start of schooling were about 5 IQ points and these remained constant up to age 17. Initial IQ deficits associated with urban environment (vs. suburban) increased significantly from age 6 to 11, but no further by age 17. These trends were independent of one another: The low birthweight deficit was constant across social environments; the social disadvantage deficit was uniform across birthweight groups. The finding that the urban–suburban gap did not continue to widen after age 11 probably resulted from an atypical IQ decline of suburban children. The causes of this unexpected finding are unclear.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289605001091

    Initial IQ deficits associated with urban environment (vs. suburban) increased significantly from age 6 to 11

    but no further by age 17.

    • Replies: @res
    , @FKA Max
  136. utu says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Braess’s paradox which is really interesting cannot occur in any network of natural flows of electricity or liquids, I think. Possibly in case of nonlinearities like turbulences somebody could envision something like the paradox, but I doubt.

    • Replies: @res
  137. res says:
    @FKA Max

    Two thoughts.

    1. I think it is good to distinguish between studies looking at “normal” conditions and those looking at abnormal (e.g. low birth weight) conditions. The “normal” case usually has much more potential for explaining variance in the larger population. The abnormal condition studies may expose good opportunities for intervention though.

    2. I am very leery of studies which claim to prove nurture is more important of nature. They very rarely even allow for the possibility that there are genetic racial differences. And often they don’t even allow for systematic racial phenotypic differences (e.g. not controlling for race as a variable).

    Also:

    The IQs of urban children, regardless of birth weight, declined from age 6 years to age 11 years.

    This is exactly what I would expect if Blacks have different developmental trajectories and they are taking IQ tests normed for a white developmental trajectory (and yes, I mean averages). Though the limited change from 11 to 17 does not accord with my reading of the Jensen excerpt.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  138. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max

    Typo: One *is* too many, corrected version: The urban cohort/population is 84% non-white and the sub-urban cohort/population [] is 5.5% non-white.

    A description of the urban and suburban samples with respect to sociodemographic and neonatal characteristics is presented in table 1. Compared with the suburban sample, the City of Detroit sample had markedly higher percentages of minority children (84.2 percent vs. 5.5 percent), children born to single mothers (58.1 percent vs. 9.7 percent), and mothers with less than a high school education (26.7 percent vs. 6.7 percent). With few exceptions, minority children were Black, reflecting the racial-ethnic composition of the Detroit area.

    TABLE 1. https://academic.oup.com/view-large/1015495
    Sociodemographic and neonatal characteristics (%) of urban and suburban children (n = 717) in a study of changes in intelligence quotient (IQ) scores, Detroit, Michigan, metropolitan area, 1990–1992 and 1995–1997

    Mean values and standard deviations for descriptive data, including full-scale, verbal, and performance IQ scores by age, low birth weight versus normal birth weight, and urban versus suburban community, appear in table 2. We focus here on full-scale IQ. Analyses of verbal and performance IQ data yielded similar results (available from the authors). These data suggest a decline in IQ between ages 6 and 11 years in urban children but not in suburban children.

    TABLE 2. https://academic.oup.com/view-large/1015504
    Mean scores on the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children–Revised at ages 6 and 11 years, by type of community and birth weight status (n = 717), Detroit, Michigan, metropolitan area, 1990–1992 and 1995–1997

    Source: https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/154/8/711/131324

  139. @Greeny1

    > ‘”If you were to say “The sky is green”’

    In Biblical times green covered a range of colors.

    Oh, of course. If you were to say “The sky is green”, you really mean to say “The sky is many colors.” And you would be right, as the sky is many colors.

    I am not concerned in the slightest with what points you miss.

  140. The forum furors over IQ, sliced and diced, cubed and chopped, leave me with an absolute sense of wonder at the focused myopia (how’s that for metaphor?) of obsessive preoccupation with trivia.

    Perhaps you all could come up with a method of attaching GPS coordinates to IQ scores, as some sort of midpoint intersection of global points of genetic origin. You know, put some real meaning into it! Real information! Useful information! Location!!

    Then you can all sit around the campfire and fart green plumes, since you ain’t gonna do jack-shit about IQ scores, now are you? Not a goddamned thing.

  141. res says:
    @utu

    I think.

    That was a wise qualification.

    Physical proof of the occurrence of the Braess Paradox in electrical circuits

    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1209/0295-5075/115/28004/meta

    The Braess Paradox and Its Impact on Natural-Gas-Network Performance

    https://www.onepetro.org/journal-paper/SPE-160142-PA

    • Replies: @utu
  142. FKA Max says:
    @res

    This is exactly what I would expect if Blacks have different developmental trajectories and they are taking IQ tests normed for a white developmental trajectory…

    What do you attribute it to? The earlier onset of puberty?

    What I would expect if it were a genetically caused widening, is that the black IQ test scores stay stable and the whites ones would increase, not for the black IQ test scores to drop and the white ones to stay stable, but I guess it is just a matter of perspective and definition, as you said, you suspect this phenomenon is due to “IQ tests normed for a white developmental trajectory”, but it is just difficult for me to imagine, since it feels so counter-intuitive, that someone’s IQ test score is dropping/decreasing while their brain is growing and their knowledge is expanding.

    You have probably seen this comprehensive post already, which favors a stable B-W IQ test score gap explanation, but I am just going to share it here in case other readers and commenters would like to explore this topic more in depth. Mr. Thompson actually commented on that post:

    Dr James Thompson

    June 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Excellent detailed work, and very useful. Thanks for all the hours this must have taken.

    https://humanvarieties.org/2013/05/26/the-onset-and-development-of-b-w-ability-differences-early-infancy-to-age-3-part-1/#comment-244

    The Onset and Development of B-W Ability Differences: Early Infancy to Age 3 (Part 1)

    https://humanvarieties.org/2013/05/26/the-onset-and-development-of-b-w-ability-differences-early-infancy-to-age-3-part-1/ Archived link: http://archive.is/7eukb

    Farkas & Beron (2004) used longitudinal data from the CNLSY to track children’s scores on the PPVT from early childhood through junior highschool. They showed that PPVT gaps were at least 1 SD at age 3, and do not continue to grow after children enter kindergarten, or as they progress through school (Figure II).

    Figure II: Stable IQ gap from ages 3 to 13 in the CNLSY

    This post adds evidence relevant to these interrelated issues by confirming for the first time that a gap of 1 full standard deviation is already apparent on IQ tests at 36 months of age, and that there has been no obvious convergence in this early performance difference over time.

    If there is a 1 SD gap at age 3, this precludes an IQ gap that has room to grow much wider during school, unless A) the B-W school age gap is larger than we previously thought, or B) the IQ gap actually shrinks between ages 4-6, and then grows wider again later on. Neither of these theories is particularly compelling.

    This also form the post:

    Much like Fryer & Levitt (2004), Dickens & Flynn (2006a) argue that performance gaps have dramatically narrowed among young children since the 1980s, and that gaps grow much wider after children enter school. Extrapolating from recent standardizations of the Stanford-Binet and Wechsler intelligence tests, Dickens and Flynn argue that the IQ gap among black and white four year olds since the year 2000 is only 4.6 points (.31σ). They even boldly state that “no recent data pose a serious challenge” to this estimate. (Dickens & Flynn, 2006b, p. 924)

    I actually agree with Flynn (the gap might be a little wider than 4.6 points though, maybe 7-8 points) and I believe later widening of the gap can be attributed to environmental/cultural factors, as elaborated on up-thread.

    • Replies: @Johan Meyer
    , @FKA Max
  143. @FKA Max

    I suspect that if you were to take another old urban centre, but one with a larger white population, and you were to consider the white urban population separately from the black population, both would show IQ decreases with age, but the black population would show greater IQ decreases (genetically variable sensitivity to environment, hence heritability in twin studies; particularly greater uptake of Pb due to weak or missing bronze age), with smaller to absent IQ losses with age in younger (built post paint and petrol/gasoline Pb phase-out) neighborhoods.

    Sporadic poisoning makes any one measure of blood lead be unrepresentative of cumulative dose; biological half-life is 35 days in blood. Continuous dose, which would yield dose-representative blood lead is absent. Instead one gets hyperbolic (inverse-proportional) distribution of blood lead e.g. per CDC lead surveillance. Dose-representative blood lead would have a Gaussian distribution under continuous poisoning, and a near-uniform (flat) distribution under sporadic poisoning.

  144. Sparkon says:

    Visually, at first blush, it looks like the pathways are open and running well in the brighter minds, because some part of intelligence is making or having the right connections with our available information, so no need to forge new links for the hi-Q types, where in the thicker set, those connections aren’t made — or there is inadequate energy, or perhaps blockage, even inflammation or other biochemical disorders or imbalances — and you can’t get here from there.

    And so there would seem to be ongoing but apparently futile attempts to make the right connections in the low-Q set, and we see these reflected in the bushy arborizations and branches, like many roads going nowhere.

    Ergo vs. Duh

    —————-

    nb: an celebratory session

    • Replies: @utu
  145. annamaria says:
    @FKA Max

    The powerful psychopaths are successful at diluting the academic standards by inserting the useful friends (however dirty) and useful idiots (however unqualified) on the important academic positions.
    Here are two spectacular cases in point when a scoundrel and an ignoramus received important academic appointments in the UK:
    1. Stefan Halper, “a long-time CIA operative with extensive links to the Bush family who was responsible for a dirty and likely illegal spying operation in the 1980 presidential election” has been teaching in Cambridge (whoa!) https://theintercept.com/2018/05/19/the-fbi-informant-who-monitored-the-trump-campaign-stefan-halper-oversaw-a-cia-spying-operation-in-the-1980-presidential-election/
    2. Elliot Higgins who “had no formal intelligence training, could not speak or read Arabic, had never set foot in the Middle East” and who had never studied engineering and chemistry, is nevertheless considered as an important expert in all the above (intelligence, Middle East, engineering, and chemistry) by the “thinkers” at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/people/visiting/higgins.aspx https://www.kcl.ac.uk/aboutkings/principal/Indexnew.aspx

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  146. utu says:
    @Sparkon

    The fake picture these manipulative fuckers

    Erhan Genç, Christoph Fraenz, Caroline Schlüter, Patrick Friedrich, Rüdiger Hossiep, Manuel C. Voelkle, Josef M. Ling, Onur Güntürkün & Rex E. Jung

    published is hard to shake off. This fuckers succeed with planting this suggestive meme in my mind. This meme is fake.

    It is really amazing that such fakery can be so successful. If they just succeeded fucking up the goner brain of res I would not mind even though I feel empathy for mono-neural creatures like res. But they succeeded with me and that makes me really upset. Just like salesmen in used car commercial. The same ethical level. But I do not care about cars. So these fuckers

    Erhan Genç, Christoph Fraenz, Caroline Schlüter, Patrick Friedrich, Rüdiger Hossiep, Manuel C. Voelkle, Josef M. Ling, Onur Güntürkün & Rex E. Jung

    will be remembered.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  147. FKA Max says:
    @FKA Max

    Here is the excerpt which makes me believe that under ideal/equal conditions the B-W IQ test score gap is about a 7 to 8 IQ points difference:

    Results

    I applied Flynn Effect adjustments to the data when possible, but the specific administration dates and test norms are not always reported. The weighted average IQ for the 14 disadvantaged black samples is 84.9, the average for the 16 normal samples is 86.5, and the average for the 5 privileged black samples is 99.4. The average IQ of all 35 samples is 86.7.
    [...]
    The 4 middle class white samples averaged an IQ of 106.6. This gives us a gap of 7.2 (.48σ) for the privileged samples. Similarly, the Early Head Start Project, the only sample with both disadvantaged blacks and whites, gives us an IQ gap of 7.8 (.52σ).

    https://humanvarieties.org/2013/05/26/the-onset-and-development-of-b-w-ability-differences-early-infancy-to-age-3-part-1/

  148. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    Re: “will be remembered.”

    Most of those guys are probably just hypnotized victims.

    The guy Jung is really something, though: take a look at his cv. . Millions for brain scans from the Templeton Foundation, Darpa, Department of Defense, National Institute of Mental Health, etc., etc.

    Amazing. Next, he’ll likely be running a hedge fund.

    And don’t forget the Editor of Nature. Nature a commercial enterprise, will publish anything that’ll turn heads. And they rarely if ever publish rebuttals.

  149. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @annamaria

    1. Stefan Halper, “a long-time CIA operative with extensive links to the Bush family who was responsible for a dirty and likely illegal spying operation in the 1980 presidential election” has been teaching in Cambridge (whoa!)

    And he’ still there,

    And if the CIA has spies at Cambridge, they will surely have them at Oxford, a much more political university than Cambridge. So who are the Oxford spies and agents? Theresa May? She’s an Oxford grad, like that scoundrel Blair.

  150. G Pinfold says:

    So ‘dense’ is apposite as a metaphor for the scientific condition of ‘thickness’, as in ‘thick as a fencepost’. It also seems that someone tightly-knotted above the neck could have some ‘sense slapped into him’, if sufficient force was applied so as to loosen the grey matter.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Daniel Chieh
  151. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @G Pinfold

    Gilbert, there is no need to think of bashing your head against the wall to shake up your dendrites. You just need to lay off the bottle for a bit and the voices will go away.

  152. G Pinfold says:

    Yes. But what about the infernal music?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  153. @MarkinLA

    There are clearly things that you can control by environment as per Dr. Nisbett: if you simply dropped someone in the middle of a bunch of other students who all studied long hours(at least with men), you will successfully induce conformity effect to also induce the person to study more. This isn’t even rational – it appears to happen at the limbic level. Vice versa, if Nisbett found that if you introduced one alcoholic roommate, you would decrease the grade point of the subject by almost half as opposed to a teetotaling roommate; it also increased the likelihood of drinking by the subject, and if the subject then took on alcoholism himself, his grades would plummet.

    utu is ultimately not incorrect at all; while you can’t go strictly environmentalist, you can almost certainly get even a zebra to behave more horse-like if you used the right stimuli, and get a horse to behave more zebra-like. This is especially true, I think, if you’re aiming to influence general rather than specific behavior.

    • Replies: @res
    , @AaronB
  154. res says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Do you have a link to the Nisbett paper? I am having trouble finding it.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  155. @res

    Its from his book Mindware; I’ll look it up tonight and get you the source from it tonight.

    • Replies: @res
  156. res says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Thanks! I think that was enough for me to find it (also, would you recommend the book overall?). Nisbett was not an author of the paper hence my confusion. This was discussed on page 41 of Mindware. If I read correctly the GPA effect size was a quarter point for males only. For male students who drank frequently earlier the effect was a full point!

    https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.22.3.189

    Abstract:

    This paper examines the extent to which college students who drink alcohol influence their peers. We exploit a natural experiment in which students at a large state university were randomly assigned roommates through a lottery system. We find that on average, males assigned to roommates who reported drinking in the year prior to entering college had a Grade Point Average (GPA) one quarter-point lower than those assigned to nondrinking roommates. The effect of initial assignment to a drinking roommate persists into the second year of college and possibly grows. The effect is especially large for students who drank alcohol themselves in the year prior to college. In contrast to the males, females’ GPAs do not appear affected by roommates’ drinking prior to college. Furthermore, students’ college GPA is not significantly affected by roommates’ high school grades, admission test scores, or family background. These findings are more consistent with models in which peers change people’s preferences than with models in which peers change people’s choice sets. Surprisingly, the policy of segregating drinkers by having substance-free housing could potentially lower average GPA in the university.

    A good summary (also see Table 4 for roommate/self drinking interaction):

    As shown in Table 2, when data on males and females are combined together, point estimates of the impact of roommate drinking on grade point average are substantially negative, but they are only statistically significant at the 10 percent level when comparing occasional drinkers and nondrinkers (column 1). However, this overall average treatment effect conceals an effect that is highly concentrated among males. Males’ GPAs are reduced by 0.28 points by having a roommate who drank frequently in the year prior to college and by 0.26 points by having a roommate who drank occasionally (column 3).5 Both of these effects are very large and statistically significant at the 5 percent level. For comparison, the effect of roommate drinking on college grade point average is slightly larger than the effect of a half-point reduction in a student’s own high school grade point average, and is equivalent to the effect of a reduction of 50 SAT points or 1.2 ACT points in the students’ own aptitude test.

    P.S. Amazon “Look Inside” worked great for chasing this down.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  157. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @G Pinfold

    Yes. But what about the infernal music?

    To deal with that you’ll need an exorcist, unless a bump on the head will do it.

  158. @res

    The book is interesting – I’m still working through it. I would recommend it, though naturally you should know that Nisbett is a pretty strong environmentalist and therefore the arguments work from that bias; nonetheless, it is extremely interesting in how well it argues that lack of awareness that we have, the self-deception that our conscious mind inflicts upon us, and the essential silliness of the notion that there is a “self” that’s independent from the environment given how much people can be swayed by below-the-consciousness stimuli.

    • Replies: @res
  159. AaronB says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Fascinating!

    This is what stupid white individualists cannot comprehend.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  160. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Daniel Chieh

    The examples provided by the Isigoria post on trauma-induced genius greatly undermine the notion that genius depends on IQ. Rather, it indicates that genius depends on an abnormal pattern of mental activity, a conclusion supported by anecdotal evidence of the weirdness of geniuses: Einstein’s socklessness, Tesla’s OCD, which required him to calculate the volume of every item on his plate before eating, Clerk Mawell’s youthful weirdness that, at school, earned him the nickname “Dafti,”etc.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  161. @AaronB

    Its not merely a “white individualist” issue, I would say; the fundamental attribution error has always been with us, but exacerbated immeasureably by the Enlightenment.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  162. @CanSpeccy

    It certainly contributes to the notion that genius is substantially about seeing the world with different optics, so perhaps the many bouts of irradiation that N. Telsa subjected his head to might have helped after all. Or at least, inspired love letters to pigeons.

  163. utu says:
    @MarkinLA

    Just for fun, what if those environmental factors had to do with [genes], like say willingness to spend long hours studying instead…

    If a trait like IQ is a function of G genes and E environment: IQ=IQ(G,E)) and the heritability, i.e., variance explained by genes is, say 50%, then it does not mean that remaining 50% is explained by environment only. The function IQ(E,G) can be uniquely decomposed into a sum of three functions:

    IQ(E,G)=f(G)+g(E)+r(G,E),

    where f(G), g(E) maximize variance explained by genes and environment, respectively and r(G,E) is residual function of joint effects that can’t be decoupled. Let’s suppose that f(G) explains 50% and g(E) explains 30% and r(G,E) explains 20%. The presence of residual function r(G,E) means that for two genetically different individuals G1 and G2 the same environment E does not necessarily produce the same effect because r(G1,E)≠r(G2,E). So different environments are required to maximize (in positive sense) their effects on IQ for different individuals.

    • Troll: manorchurch
  164. AaronB says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Fair enough. I’d agree with that. The Enlightenment didn’t come out of nowhere, after all. It amplified beyond all reason pre-existing human tendencies.

    But today whites seem uniquely afflicted with a virulent strain of this disease, and Asians seem to have it much less bad.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  165. @utu

    You seem to have a dedicated fan now.

    • Agree: utu
    • Troll: manorchurch
  166. @AaronB

    I suppose one thing to consider is that the East Asian view is most contextual and therefore arguably is more useful when dealing with humans who are really less rational than we believe, and therefore the insulation against the fundamental attribution error, etc. is useful insofar as how it can work with humans and large groups of humans.

    However, the contrary methodology of the analytical viewpoint, which is highly reliant on rationality, is much more useful in grasping the material world and thus necessary for science, at least so far.

    In such, both are tools: its important to use the right tool to the task. Attempting to use the fully rational view to humans, and assuming human rationality, even from a purely materialistic standpoint, seems really hard to defend these days. In that sense, Mindware has a gold mine of various errors in human perceptions of themselves as being much more rational than they really are.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  167. AaronB says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    However, the contrary methodology of the analytical viewpoint, which is highly reliant on rationality, is much more useful in grasping the material world and thus necessary for science, at least so far.

    This I agree with. As I sometimes struggle to explain, I am not against logic – in its proper sphere. It is quite valid in the material realm, up to a point. However, even when it comes to the material realm, logic breaks down when applied with consistency – which simply means, the material realm is something like an illusion. But quite compelling in its own way.

    However, I think logic is misapplied not just in the realm of human psychology – a sort of middle realm – but also when we are making claims about the nature of ultimate reality – and all that implies for humanity in terms of values.

    Finally – I feel too rigorous a training in thinking exclusively logically, results in impoverished thinking even in science – for instance, I can’t help but gnash my teeth at the unintelligent way the discussion on IQ takes place (the fundamental attribution error, etc).

    So logic is necessary for science, and indeed life – but when it takes over, life and science become impoverished.

  168. @Anon

    First of all, psychology IS a science, because many psychologists are not brainies doesn’t mean that psychology no have any validation;

    Secondly, psychiatry is part of psychology, and yes, if it’s not absolutely a pseudo-science it’s near to be SPECIALLY when they talk about Freud and others;

    Thirdly, i don’t understand your comment quite well, i will try to answer properly. Subjective morality is what most human moral systems has been evolved and not well done, because it’s a INCOMPLETE moral system. We have many correct JUDGEMENTS or decisions and many incorrect blurred one each other in each society. Homossexuality is a not a mental illness start from the moment it’s don’t cause any SPECIFIC cognitive impairment or difficulty as autism or adhd. It’s a mild sexual disorder, and not at priori a sexual disease, like impotence. And bissexuality is not even a disorder. Homossexuality correlates with mental disorders but i doubt most homossexuals have some of this full blown ones, i believe they tend to have more mild versions than the average heterossexual.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  169. utu says:
    @utu

    Let me try to explain it better that two individuals have different responses to the same environment is taken care by the residual function r(G,E). The same environment E produces different response for two individuals G1 and G2 because of interaction of genes with environment, so we may write

    IQ1=f(G1)+g(E)+r(G1,E)
    IQ2=f(G2)+g(E)+r(G2,E)

    and even if genes by by themselves produce similar effect, i.e., f(G1)≈f(G2) the phenotypes are not equal IQ1≠IQ2 because interactions with environment for two individual are not equal, i.e., r(G1,E)≠r(G2,E). This might be a case when two similar individuals have seemingly similar abilities but one has more sitzfleisch than the other so he will amplify the effect of the same environment and end up having higher IQ.

    • Troll: manorchurch
  170. @utu

    Using heuristics as the need arises, should the residual have a high or low heritability, using twin studies to estimate the heritability? If no heuristics are available, consider the case where an environmental dose is multiplied by a genetically determined sensitivity, when the standard deviation of dose is small (using limits as the need arises).

    My money is on the residual being larger in standard deviation than the combination of the other two components.

    • Replies: @utu
  171. @Santoculto

    I reconsider treat impotence as a disease, another disorder.

    We still don’t know if many of homossexual individuals who suffer from mild mental disorders to given social context born that way or enormous discrimination they suffer have a impact to increase a vulnerability.

  172. utu says:
    @Johan Meyer

    It is nearly impossible to mathematize environment and genes interactions. It makes sense to talk about effects that are additive but talking about multiplicative effects is a stretch. But one could imagine a theoretical experiments: let say you have N clones and measure their IQ and subject each clone to different dose of lead, alcohol, classical music, teaching math, etc. and see how linear is the function and what is its slope and then do the same for clones of genetically different individual. This way one could quantify the sensitivity to environment for different genetic makeups you brought up.

    I think development psychologists talk about robustness and resilience of some children who turn out quite well despite of harsh environment like abusive parents and so on.

    • Replies: @Johan Meyer
  173. @utu

    Multiplication is quite plausible when the “dose” is in terms of toxins in the external environment, with the multiplier being the uptake of the poison into the bloodstream, when exposure/uptake leads to a selective pressure against increased uptake (lead in the blood leads to reduced sperm quality).

    Do you have any particular argument against varying sensitivity and hence multiplicative models?

  174. utu says:

    Do you have any particular argument against varying sensitivity and hence multiplicative models?

    It is not a model yet. It is a hypothesis. In my previous comment I addressed the issue of the empirical verification that it would be very difficult to derive genetically dependent sensitivity. Besides trivial cases of lead or alcohol poisoning are not really interesting. To screw up somebody’s brain is easy. What we want is to find environmental factors that can improve functioning of the brain which might be factors that are impossible to mathematized and thus sensitivity can’t be quantified.

    • Replies: @Johan Meyer
  175. @utu

    I gave an example of genetically variable sensitivity, in the form of varying uptake of lead; I also have evidence for it, and such evidence is suggestive of group differences in IQ, once the deficiencies of lead epidemiology are understood mathematically (biological half-lives, sporadic poisoning and when arithmetic means are appropriate and geometric means are inappropriate).

    Other than basic nutrients, whose IQ effects show mainly in the absence of the nutrients, I am not aware of any environmental cause that improves IQ. I am not interested in chasing after things that are likely not to exist, and for which no evidence has been provided.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Daniel Chieh
  176. res says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I started reading the book. It looks like an interesting topic, reads easily, and he seems to say many sensible things. But I get to the bottom of page 29 and see this:

    Simply put, we see patterns in the world where there are none because we don’t understand just how un-random-looking random sequences can be. We suspect the dice roller of cheating because he gets three 7s in a row. In fact, three 7s are precisely as likely as 3, 7, 4 or 2, 8, 6. We hail a friend as a stock guru because all four of the stocks he bought last year did better than the market as a whole. But four hits is no less likely to happen by chance than two hits and two misses or three hits and one miss. So it’s premature to hand over your portfolio to your friend.

    Please take a moment to think about that. I would appreciate a double check.

    [MORE]

    Let’s look at each of those statements more closely.

    In fact, three 7s are precisely as likely as 3, 7, 4 or 2, 8, 6.

    Except 7 is the most likely roll of two dice: 6/36. The actual probabilities of those examples are:
    three 7s = (6/36)^3 = 0.005 (5e-3)
    3, 7, 4 = 2/36 * 6/36 * 3/36 = 8e-4
    2, 8, 6 = 1/36 * 5/36 * 5/36 = 5e-4

    Oops. This is the man teaching us about probability and reasoning?! And what about the reviewers?

    Now that observation actually supports Nisbett’s argument. The real problem is he is ignoring the issue of multiple hypothesis testing. 7 is special because it is a winning roll. I wonder how he feels about green jelly beans: https://xkcd.com/882/
    Three 7s in a row might not constitute proof of cheating, but it seems to me it is enough evidence to start paying closer attention. And count your money.

    But four hits is no less likely to happen by chance than two hits and two misses or three hits and one miss.

    Someone was sleeping during the combinatorics lecture. If I remember correctly the number of combinations for each possibility is 1:4:6:4:1 (total 16).
    It appears he is also assuming equal and independent chances of up vs. down. Which seems fairly reasonable compared to the market.

    Both of his arguments seem to be failing to address the issue of multiple hypothesis testing. Which I think is one of the more important topics a book of this sort should cover. I do not see it mentioned in the index.

    My problem here is the book appears to be filled with fairly subtle arguments with numerous assumptions about the world. How am I supposed to trust Nisbett’s judgment on those when he can’t get the relatively simple objective things correct? Some of his arguments and conclusions about group differences also raise a similar concern for me. The book is interesting and has some good information, but caveat lector.

  177. @res

    Did not realize he was that bad. I had dipped into some of his work years ago, and felt that he was bending stuff too much. I knew that he (and colleagues) made errors in reading papers, errors that went in favour of his hypotheses, but did not regard that as a hanging offence.

    Will find the link and post it up here.

    Combinations and permutations are always fun. My source for these matters is M.J.Moroney “Facts from Figures” Chapter 2. Published in 1951. Still a good read.

    • Replies: @res
  178. Here I have caught Nisbett and others mis-representing a paper in favour of their argument, a paper they would have trashed if the results had gone the other way.
    I have not made a fuss about it. I do not say “all their work has been discredited”. They bent things in their favour. They may have made valid points elsewhere. Everyone is allowed some mistakes.

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/on-best-understanding-nisbett-and-co

  179. utu says:
    @Johan Meyer

    I gave an example of genetically variable sensitivity

    I think I missed it. Are you saying that there is evidence that some people can tolerate higher doses of lead poisoning than other. Were genetic markers identified?

    Other than basic nutrients, whose IQ effects show mainly in the absence of the nutrients, I am not aware of any environmental cause that improves IQ. I am not interested in chasing after things that are likely not to exist, and for which no evidence has been provided.

    What about being around smart and nurturing people as opposed to being around stupid and dysfunctional people?

    • Replies: @Johan Meyer
  180. utu says:
    @res

    He is sloppy but I would give him a benefit of doubt. He used an example of a pattern a sequence (7,7,7) and not (1,1,1) or (2,2,2) for a reason. The sequence of 7′s is more likely than (3,7,4). Humans believe repetition as less likely for various reasons and he gave an example to the contrary of this belief but his “precisely as likely as” is clearly wrong.

    Then he talks about stock but he really means a coin toss. 4 heads has the same probability as 2 heads and 2 tails as an ordered sequence however unordered sequence of 2 heads and 2 tails which would be more appropriate for the scenario of “four of the stocks he bought last year” where you do not care in which order you gain or lose money is 5 times more likely.

    Good that you caught it.

    • Troll: manorchurch
    • Replies: @res
  181. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks for the book recommendation. For anyone in the US who is interested, abebooks.com has many inexpensive copies. Both UK and US Amazon reviews are good.

  182. res says:
    @utu

    I agree with your analysis, but struggle with “I would give him a benefit of doubt.” I agree anyone could make those mistakes, but the following points caused me not to give the benefit of the doubt.

    The two mistakes were in a single paragraph and were the only examples used there.

    They appeared in a book (editorial process). About reasoning and probability!

    They led to arguably wrong conclusions. I could argue either side. As I said before, they are not conclusive proof (which I take to be Nisbett’s point), but they are fairly strong evidence in favor of the interpretations he is critiquing.

    The mistakes run squarely up against one of my heuristics for judging people’s reliability on complex topics with some subjectivity and/or assumptions present.

    1. As I mentioned in my earlier comment. Do they get the simple, objective things right?

    Another heuristic which I find relevant is how someone reacts to disagreement and/or pointing out of errors and/or misrepresentations. That is not germane to the book, but see Dr. Thompson’s link to Nisbett et al.’s paper. (this heuristic can run into trouble in a world of personalities and power relationships)

    Though the two heuristics are not perfect, I think they do a pretty good job. Especially in combination (we all make mistakes).

    I would like to check one aspect of my reaction. To my mind those are not mistakes a basically numerate (comfortable with thinking using numbers) person would make. Perhaps I set that bar too high, but I would think a numerically oriented person would not make mistakes like that (or catch them on a reread). I have a similar reaction to Gould’s mistake regarding Morton skull size means outside the range of group values. Thoughts?

    • Replies: @utu
  183. @utu

    Some people can handle higher doses of e.g. ingested lead than others, as less lead shows up in their blood (i.e. more would remain in the stool, be breathed out of the lungs etc.). The sensitivity to lead in the blood is presumably the same.

    The ethnic groups that had severe bronze ages (with associated lead poisoning in antiquity) tend to have higher IQs, and direct evidence of reduced uptake may be seen in NHANES99 data. To wit, at higher blood lead levels, where the US distribution tends to inverse (i.e. hyperbolic), blacks have three times the white proportional representation in inner cities, where lead paint is concentrated, which suggests that the black uptake of lead is three times that of whites, for the same environment.

    Lead has thus two multipliers, namely uptake, and blood lead dose response. Genetically varying uptake is adequate to produce heritability in twin studies.

    Any set of genes that correlate with bronze age is a viable candidate for causing varying uptake, although the matter should be tested directly, e.g. on elderly volunteers. Piffer’s models constitute such sets.

    • Replies: @utu
  184. @res

    I agree with your appraisal – as indicated, I think that he has a certain bias toward environmentalism and sloppiness with his mathematical thinking as you indicated. His overall presentation and introduction to studies, however, is still quite worthwhile.

    Incidentally, I wonder if he has an email or other means of contact by which you could reach him and ask him on that error?

  185. @Johan Meyer

    Although surely atypical, wouldn’t the existence of trauma-induced genius indicate a certain environmental effect with positive cognitive results?

  186. utu says:
    @res

    He tried to make a good point with which I agree with and he used good examples but explained them incorrectly which suggests that he got them second hand w/o truly understanding maths and probability behind them. It is safe to conclude that he does not understand these things.

    If I were his editor these mistakes would have to be corrected. If I found out that he did not understand the issue I would ask him to remove the probability section altogether or refuse to publish the whole thing. Yes, it is not germane to the book but it makes one wonder and undermines credibility.

    Now about you. Would you demonstrate similar tenacity for hunting errors and mistakes among your ideological allies? Does adversarial system work where you let your witness slide and destroy the witness of your opponent on not germane to the issue matters? You know what I mean.

    I haven’t thought about what heuristic I use. But let me think. What about the Fig. 4 which you and Dr. Thompson keep quiet about which implies you feel it was perfectly OK to publish it as a very suggestive illustration for the paper discussed by this note of Dr, Thompson.

    • Troll: manorchurch
    • Replies: @res
  187. utu says:
    @Johan Meyer

    Genetically varying uptake is adequate to produce heritability in twin studies.

    I do not understand what you wanted to say.

    • Replies: @Johan Meyer
  188. res says:
    @utu

    good point with which I agree

    Could you be more specific? What was your takeaway from that excerpt?

    Would you demonstrate similar tenacity for hunting errors and mistakes among your ideological allies?

    I think I am better about that than most people. It is a good way to become unpopular if one is not careful. How about you?

    Since words like that are cheap, I’ll refer you to my comment 161 above where I gently correct Daniel Chieh’s excellent but not perfect memory (half vs. quarter GPA point and males only).

    What about the Fig. 4 which you and Dr. Thompson keep quiet about which implies you feel it was perfectly OK to publish it as a very suggestive illustration for the paper discussed by this note of Dr, Thompson.

    What do you mean by that? Are you referring to this?

    Please note, this depiction does not correspond to the actual magnitude of effect sizes reported in the study. For the purpose of an easier visual understanding, differences in both macrostructural and microstructural brain properties are highly accentuated

    If so, I think Dr. Thompson got it right by linking to the figure and explanations in the body of the text. He also explicitly mentioned the explanations in his comment.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Daniel Chieh
  189. utu says:
    @res

    The only take away from the text if it was written correctly w/o blatant mistakes would be this:

    Simply put, we see patterns in the world where there are none because we don’t understand just how un-random-looking random sequences can be.

    where the only part I really agree with is the part in bold. This “un-random-looking random sequences ” is not the language I like and I doubt any mathematician would say anything like that.

    depiction does not correspond to the actual magnitude of effect sizes reported in the study. [...] microstructural brain properties are highly accentuated

    If I drew my penis I can accentuate its size. It will be a lie but it will not be a lie about whether I have a penis or not. The effect they measure is so small that one may wonder whether it really exist. The correlation is around 0.1-0.15. This means that if they had N subjects and looked at slopes ∆IQ divided by ∆Density_of_Microstructure of all possible pairs chances of finding a pair with positive or negative slope are about the same, i.e, 0.5. I they wanted to illustrate it with real pictures presuming one can create some ‘real pictures’ by selecting two subjects: one with the highest IQ and one with lowest IQ there is good chance that the slope will be in opposite sign to the effect they claim. The same would be if they selected two subjects based on lowest and highest density. If they presented a drawing of two brains that maximize the slope it would be a cherry picking because one could present a drawing of a pair that has a slope with opposite sign and similar size with almost the same probability.

    They are drawing a dick they do not have. But the drawing in Fig. 4 drives a very strong message “we have a dick,” yes, we accentuated it, but we have one. They do not. Their dick can’t be discerned from clitoris yet. But the message of sparse and neat dendrites as opposed to dense and hairy dendrites is what people will take home. This is what Dr. Thompson is peddling. This is what you seem to approve of. They perpetrated a perfidious misrepresentation and manipulation.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  190. @res

    For what it is worth, I was aware it applied only to male students but didn’t feel it was relevant or specific enough to quote. At any rate, have you read on and what are your thoughts? One thing which I’ve disliked about it and which has slowed my reading a bit is that it has, in my opinion, meandered quite extensively from its original premise of “common sense and its discontents” after a few chapters.

    The overall collection of experiments and studies, I think, generally supports and helped provoke my thoughts to give more credence to environmentalist explanations. That said, I’ve always been wary due to the combination of motivated reasoning that can happen, and occasionally, disturbing instances of outright fraud.

    But, the idea that social influence can get us to do unwise things and that the conscious mind is but a subset of the larger mind is generally sound, and in that sense, hardly even novel.

    • Replies: @res
  191. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    They are drawing a dick they do not have.

    Well put, Utu.

    But the authors didn’t lie.

    The authors presented data showing that the claimed effect amounts to less than four fifths of f-all (and in fact is not even consistent among brain areas). And their highly misleading Figure 4 is clearly identified both as a drawing and as exaggerating the effect observed.

    So who’s a fault here? Clearly, the authors, particularly one might assume Rex E. Jung, who seems to be very much on the make, presented their trivial findings in a way designed to give the hasty reader a false impression of the biological significance of their results. But it is the editor of Nature who must take responsibility for the dissemination of such a misleading paper. Moreover, one can assume that Nature published the article precisely because, to the casual reader, it conveys the false impression that something of significance has been discovered.

    So Nature seems to have colluded with the authors in presenting a triviality as an important discovery. That’s fairly standard practice for Nature. Provided the message is sexy and the presentation is slick enough, they seem willing to publish just about anything. They are scientific leaders in the age of the fake. They started along that path by promoting claims about spoon bending, and with other absurdities during the interim, one cannot be surprised, therefore, that they have taken up the IQist standard.

    • Agree: utu
  192. @utu

    Dose is a linear (linear time invariant) function of blood lead level (e.g. BLL’+BLL’/\tau=Dose’ where prime denotes time derivative).

    If two individuals are subject to the same external environment, breathing or digesting the same mass of lead in the same chemical form, one may have a higher blood lead level over time relative to the lead intake than the other, and the other may excrete more lead without absorption, due to genetic differences. Presumably the IQ loss would be due to the dose that each absorbs, rather than the external lead that they both consumed.

    The rate of uptake is a form of sensitivity, that multiplies the BLL dose response, to get from external environment to IQ. Thus one may define an external dose (as opposed to absorbed BLL dose, along the lines of radiation exposure and absorption), which then has a multiplicative dose by definition. BLL is then also genetically dependent on environment, as a random variable.

    • Replies: @utu
  193. res says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I was aware it applied only to male students but didn’t feel it was relevant or specific enough to quote.

    Fair enough. I was not surprised the effect was less for women, but was a bit surprised at the magnitude of the difference (effect of frequent drinking roommate 0.12 GPA points positive [not significant though] for women compared to 0.28 negative for men).

    have you read on

    Not much. I was pretty active today and probably for the next few days so am a bit tired and busy for reading like that. Should be back to it in a few days.

    provoke my thoughts to give more credence to environmentalist explanations.

    I give much more credence to environmental explanations when they are not being used to attempt to say other differences (e.g. genetic or sex) are nonexistent or irrelevant. For me the most interesting thing about environmental explanations is the possibility of changing the environment, but efforts to make those changes seem distressingly ineffective. Which leads me to conclude that much of the “environment” is genetically mediated anyway.

    But, the idea that social influence can get us to do unwise things and that the conscious mind is but a subset of the larger mind is generally sound, and in that sense, hardly even novel.

    Agreed.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  194. @res

    For me the most interesting thing about environmental explanations is the possibility of changing the environment, but efforts to make those changes seem distressingly ineffective. Which leads me to conclude that much of the “environment” is genetically mediated anyway.

    Doubtless it is; but as commentator utu noted, the fact that it the effect of the environment is influenced by genetics does not mean that all such efforts to understand or influence in the future are vain. As an analogy, humans are very sight-mediated, and the overwhelming dominance of the sense of sight in us which we then apply to external influences, such that the color-blind among us see a different and perhaps less rich world than those who are not. However, this still means that effective usage of sight-stimuli will nonetheless still be effective as a form of communication and instruction for the vast majority, even the sight-impaired humans. Only for the completely blind would this environmental stimuli be useless, and such individuals would be plainly obvious.

    I think from the utilitarian standpoint, environmental control and influence has plainly shown its capabilities historically to deliver value, or else we wouldn’t have things like military training which for much of recent history was targeted specifically at pretty low human capita in order to make them part of an effective machine. The value is far from unlimited(you can’t turn everyone into someone who can qualify for special forces, for example), but its clearly present.

    • Replies: @res
  195. res says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I think from the utilitarian standpoint, environmental control and influence has plainly shown its capabilities historically to deliver value

    Agreed. But I tend to think the best examples of the influence of environmental effects are things like the Flynn effect, similar height effect, and the obesity epidemic. I’m not sure how controllable those examples are.

    things like military training which for much of recent history was targeted specifically at pretty low human capita in order to make them part of an effective machine. The value is far from unlimited(you can’t turn everyone into someone who can qualify for special forces, for example), but its clearly present.

    This is an excellent example of controllable environmental influence (does anyone know any others as good? perhaps compulsory education?). I’m most familiar with the US military, which has intelligence and behavioral standards (more so in peacetime than wartime I think) so they are not drawing from the worst. Can any military historians out there comment on what kind of selection processes historically existed in military forces?

    Overall though I think there is so much environmental variation in the world it is hard to change enough of it intentionally to make a difference sufficient to have a big effect on the total outcome variance. Which is what makes the explanatory power of genetics so amazing to me. And drives how frustratingly limiting models which ignore intrinsic traits (e.g. genetics and accumulated environmental influence until the present) are for understanding much less influencing the world.

    For an analogy, “how about “swimming against the tide”? I think that works in the literal sense, as an observation on how hard it can be to try to change one’s environment in a useful way as an individual (peer pressure), and as an observation on how hard it is to change other people’s behavior.

  196. utu says:
    @Johan Meyer

    OK, but how this is going to “to produce heritability in twin studies?”

    • Replies: @Johan Meyer
  197. @res

    US military training data is one of the best confirmations of the benefits of intelligence testing. Gottfredson a good source on the main findings.

  198. @utu

    Uptake multiplies dose response. Uptake is likely genetic. Insofar as twins are subject to the same environment, the difference in lead uptake between the twins will be due to genetic differences between the twins. Thus the correlations in IQ between identical twins will be greater than between fraternal twins, in the same way that direct genetic contribution to IQ would create such correlations, e.g. the Falconer model. Strictly, the IQ would not be heritable, but the heritability would be high, as calculated from twin correlations using the Falconer equations.

    FWIW, the differential equation above should read BLL’+BLL/\tau=Dose’
    I.e. no prime on second BLL.

    • Replies: @utu
  199. utu says:
    @Johan Meyer

    Interesting. From Falconer formula heritability would be higher if lead was present than w/o lead if DZ twins had different sensitivities. Counter intuitive but that is what Falconer’s formula implies.

    By comparing with similar studies of twins who have not been exposed to lead one could test some ideas about lead sensitivity difference. However, it is not practical. Twin studies are not sensitive enough to detect small differences. Look at low reproducibility of twin studies.

    Thanks.

    • Replies: @Johan Meyer
  200. @utu

    It would be interesting to compare reproducibility of twin studies prior to and after phase-downs and phase-outs of lead petrol in different countries (paint is sporadic poisoning, so twins subject to the same Poissonian poisoning process may be subject to radically different doses).

    • Replies: @utu
  201. @res

    Its interesting that you use that analogy, since I’ve often used a similar analogy for the opposite concept: “A fish is not independent of the water it is in,” as we’ve seen from the unpleasant results of water contamination on the development of fish. Likening the environment to the water we are in, I do think that even if we can only control a few factors in it, it will have significant results – lead contamination being one, of course. Obviously we risk heading back toward Cochran’s ultimate absurdity of environmental influence(a twin fired out of a cannon has 100% environmental influence of being not alive).

    Insofar as the military example goes, for a long time historically, soldiers and sailors were pulled from the dregs of society after replacing an earlier model of medieval elites; a macro-environmental effect from the superiority of simple massed gunfire over individual technical skill. A great deal of effort was put into rigorous drilling, reloading, and so on for the age of line infantry and muskets, to deal with what is technically the most uncontrollable environment: combat. It nonetheless proved quite successful.

    Would there be a certain level beneath which such training would be useless? Sure. I’ve never heard of any Down Syndrome brigades. But it is my opinion that the evidence shows that we can do a lot with low human capital given the appropriate controls. CanSpeccy, who posts here sometimes, also mentioned praise to tutoring and boarding school systems, which were also examples of definite controlled environments.

    • Replies: @utu
  202. utu says:
    @Johan Meyer

    In theory yes, it would be interesting. In practice twin studies produce such vastly different estimates of heritability that I doubt they could capture effects like the hypothetical difference of response to lead level between two DZ twins. The hypothetical here is a key word.

  203. utu says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Metaphors of water and examples of military won’t do. The so-called IQ science is purely empirical. Let’s look at empirical data: Twin studies imply that 50-75% variance in population IQ scores is due to genetics. One or two years ago Sailer discussed a paper where meta studies of heritability was performed of various traits and the heritability for IQ score was concluded to be 50%. So, what about the remaining 50%? The IQ-ist doctrinaires like ‘res’ are not really interested in this issue. Whether it is the metaphorical water or military discipline and structure the 50% of variance is due to environment. The changes due to environment are acquired over some time during the development. We know that IQ score is not stable in childhood. Between ages 12 and 16 verbal and performance IQ scores correlate at 0.809 and 0.589 levels, respectively:

    Verbal and nonverbal intelligence changes in the teenage brain

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3672949/

    Correlations 0.809 and 0.598 imply large changes. IQ scores can go up an down by quite a lot. For example r=0.809 for verbal scores implies that IQ-score at 12 can change by more than ±12 IQ point at age 16 with probability of 0.32.

    The IQ-ists ideologues would want you to believe that these large changes occurring between ages from 12 to 16 are inevitably some form of genetic expressions. Just look at the bias in this statement of ‘res’:

    Which is what makes the explanatory power of genetics so amazing to me.

    His amazement is so great that it killed his rudimentary curiosity and fundamental even handedness. He can’t explain the other 50% and he does not care!

    In the meantime in the trenches where people do a real work instead of being just hand waving doctrinaires and ideologues, GWAS can explain only 7% of IQ variance with all the markers they found so far and Steve Hsu could explain 9% of educational attainment variance with thousands of SNPs. We are nowhere near the 50% heritability. Nevertheless, ‘res’ does not cease to bask in his amazement.

    I think I said it already somewhere above that I do not blame solely the IQ-ist. The ‘nurturers’ refuse to engage the IQ-ists in constructive criticism and to meet them half-way. They demonized, often for good reasons, the IQ-ists so much that they do not want to yield even an inch.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @res
  204. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    His amazement is so great that it killed his rudimentary curiosity and fundamental even handedness. He can’t explain the other 50% and he does not care!

    To attribute 50% of the variation in IQ to genetics does not mean that one has explained 50% of the variation in intelligence.

    IQ tests measure only a narrow range of mental attributes, mainly the capacities for speedy verbal and numerical reasoning. But there is much more than that to the capacity of mind, for which reason the significance of IQ as a measure of human intellect is vastly overblown.

    Consistent with that conclusion is the fact that few if any organizations use IQ tests to select among candidates for appointment to demanding positions, whether in academia, the arts, business, or public administration. Such appointments are based mainly on track record and manifestation of relevant skills. If IQ tests were more useful, surely the world would have figured that out by now.

    • Replies: @utu
  205. utu says:
    @CanSpeccy

    To attribute 50% of the variation in IQ to genetics does not mean that one has explained 50% of the variation in intelligence.

    Yes, but I try to avoid this issue altogether. Please look at my comment again. I haven’t used the term IQ by itself. I always try to remember to use the term IQ score instead. I do not care at this point what the IQ score represents. It is an empirical number which apparently has measurable heritability and thus it can be considered to be a trait that has some genetic basis.

    By using the term IQ score instead of the term IQ I avoid the reification issue which most IQ-ist fell for thinking that this IQ has some ontological existence in some realm. I am trying to have a purely empirical approach akin to the Mach’s program in physics. Most IQ-ists have crossed several reification lines dividing the empirical reality and imaginary worlds and sadly are unlikely to return. It would perhaps be useful to look at variety of epistemological errors and fallacies the IQ-ists commit often not being aware of them and sometimes with full awareness and premeditation. It depends on which level of charlatanry hierarchy you are.

    I think that the reification is a trick that is often used in many cult like endeavors in the process of indoctrination. Korzybski (The map is not the territory) , who ironically gained a cult like following, warned about dangers of using the verb is like in the sentence: ‘His IQ is 125′. Empirically correct statement would be: ‘His IQ score was 125′ leaving a room for a possibility that in the next test it might be 110 or 135. Clinton was onto something when he said ‘it depends upon what your definition of is is.’

    What is interesting that the hard core IQ-ists when asked about their own IQ may become somewhat vague like Jordan Peterson who would said something like ‘when I was tested…blah, blah, blah’ which basically shows that they leave a room for a possibility that the score could have been different, probably higher, on another occasion or in different circumstances, meaning that they themselves do not solidify this concept of IQ when applied to them and see it as merely a score of some test.

    The IQ-ists claim that the repeatability if IQ test score is r=0.9. This means that with probability p=0.32 two consecutive tests may differ by more that 4.5 IQ points.

  206. @utu

    Hey, Utu. I was wondering about your thoughts on inflation.

    I have 2 questions. I posed the same questions to Unz in another thread.

    1. What are your thoughts on the inflation rate? Given the rapid increase in the cost of living (housing, tuition, healthcare), do you think inflation is being vastly underestimated? If yes, what are the implications of this? In 1980 and again in the early 90s, adjustments were made to how the inflation rate was calculated, which lowered the inflation rate substantially. Under the pre-1980 calculation method, the inflation rate would be much higher. What do you think about this change in calculation methodology?

    2. What’s your opinion of PPP vs nominal GDP? Do you think PPP is a legitimate adjustment or an unneeded adjustment? Do you think that when comparing the relative economic strengths of 2 nations, PPP or nominal GDP (per capita) should be utilized?

    Thanks.

  207. utu says:

    During Reagan times they added military personnel to calculation of unemployment to look better. I would suspect that any change of calculation of inflation index served a similar purpose to disinform and hide something.

    Inflation has different meaning for the rich and for the poor. For the poor inflation is when basic things are getting more expensive. For the rich it is when labor is getting more expensive, i.e., wages are high. These two perspectives are linked but when banks like FED under Volcker in late 1970 and 1980′s decided to fight what they called inflation they did it by increasing unemployment to drive wages down. They increased interest rates to slow down economy so they could bust union by increasing unemployment and driving industry to the ‘right to work’ states. In the process they made many people miserable and since then real wages (purchasing power) of workers did not increase.

  208. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @utu

    What is interesting that the hard core IQ-ists when asked about their own IQ may become somewhat vague like Jordan Peterson

    When you seek Messiah status, it’s a bit awkward having to acknowledge that, by your own standard, you are intellectually not much brighter than the average graduate student.

    That an IQ is no more than a test score, is a point well made. And the idea that it tells all that can be known about the individual’s mental capacity is an absurdity that would be less commonly held if psychology were taught in conjunction with brain anatomy and physiology.

    The brain is highly compartmented. There is, for example, a tiny piece of the male brain that lights up at a girl’s smile. Moreover, portions of the brain that are often considered as distinct modules are themselves highly differentiated among components that underlie overall function. The visual cortex, for example, includes a distinct area for the recognition of color, and another for the recognition of lines.

    The brain is thus a collection of modules that work together to produce, normally, a coherent behavioral response to the circumstances of the organism, such responses being understood, in common language, as the manifestation of intelligence. In the same way, the sound of an orchestra depends on the coordination of many instruments, the tone, tempo, timbre and articulation of each contributing to the quality of the combined effect.

    So not only is an IQ merely a test score, not a thing in itself, but it is no more a test of intelligence than a trumpet voluntary measures the musicality of an orchestra.

  209. res says:
    @utu

    The IQ-ist doctrinaires like ‘res’ are not really interested in this issue.

    LOL! The all knowing utu speaks.

    Actually I am quite interested in where the environmental variance in IQ comes from and what that implies about our ability to improve the environment in ways that improve IQ (both in a personal and group sense). I am also overwhelmed and more than a bit burnt out on the excessive claims continuously being made in this area which fail to stand up to closer examination.

    And of course if there are major negative environmental factors like lead present then removing them will help. The question is what will help enough people already living in a typical first world environment to have an appreciable positive impact on the group.

    Nevertheless, ‘res’ does not cease to bask in his amazement.

    Actually, what amazes me is the height results. And what they imply will be likely for other highly heritable traits once sample sizes are large enough.

    And I do find it amazing that genetics can result in heritability of 50% (or more) for a trait like IQ or height given how much variation in experiences (environment) there can be over decades of life. Are you telling me you don’t find that amazing?

    Utu, please do me a favor. You speak for yourself and I will speak for myself. Don’t pretend you know what is in my mind, much less my heart.

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