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(Republished from GNXP.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Science 
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  1. Is Watson one of these people who has balls only when he’s dealing with people lower down the ladder, and none when he is dealing with people who can do him harm?

  2. Had to stop reading almost immediately. Presumably, his confession ended with his execution by a pack of trained dogs.

  3. Is Watson one of these people who has balls only when he’s dealing with people lower down the ladder, and none when he is dealing with people who can do him harm? 
     
    Who knows? He’s an old man. 
     
    Maybe the woman who wrote up the article that got him into so much hot water really believed the old saying: 
     
    “On your way to the top, step on as many men as you like, but if you step on a woman, we’ll have your balls.”

  4. Huh? 
     
    Did you even bother to read what she wrote after the controversy errupted over the comments?

  5. Of course I have read it, and I just re read it. 
     
    I can not think of a better approach to destroying an old man all the while maintaining an air of innocence. 
     
    Of course, I don’t know that that was the intent, but personally, I would have been more circumspect with the gasoline.

  6. The “key” to improving Africa is “education” – how can one educate someone whose capacity to be educated is equivalent to an IQ between 70-85? 
     
    On Ethiopia, which on the map has the lowest IQ on the continent – “So they test very low on IQ, but I know enough of them—they’re bright”. Unless I miss my guess, the Ethiopians he knows are the elite who fled the place leaving the lower-testing people behind. So how is the sample of “people Watson knows” representative? 
     
    “Throw more money at a boondoggle to assuage my guilt” – check. “They’re not unintelligent, IQ doesn’t matter, some of my best friends are….” 
     
    Yep, he’s broken.

  7. “I don’t think it’s going to change things much. White runners will still try to beat black runners. And they’ll largely lose.” 
     
    But not if we educate them, eh James? 
     
    What a simpering, mewling weakling he is in this interview. Terrified and cowed.

  8. On Ethiopia, which on the map has the lowest IQ on the continent  
     
    come now. you don’t put any stock in their lowest score, do you? i mean, before somalia there was ethiopia. don’t overplay your hand, OK?

  9. toto says:

    how can one educate someone whose capacity to be educated is equivalent to an IQ between 70-85? 
     
    The same way you educated Eastern and Southern European migrants, who obtained similar scores in the early 20th century? Don’t get me started about the Irish. 
     
    Though I’d like to find references for the disappearing 10-pts difference between Irish and Scots that Watson mention in the interview. 
     
    Incidentally, the genial, matter-of-fact tone of Watson’s answers contrasts starkly with the amount of hate shown in this thread.

  10. Incidentally, the genial, matter-of-fact tone of Watson’s answers contrasts starkly with the amount of hate shown in this thread. 
     
    Did we read the same interview? Watson was all over the place, not “matter of fact.”

  11. Watson’s answers were completely sensible. 
     
    On Africa, I think there are lots of reasons to be optimistic. Better schooling and nutrition will certainly boost IQ, scholastic achievements, utilisation of technology and economic development. (On a personal note, I’ve been to Sub-saharan Africa once, and it made me a bit more optimistic in this regard – I recommend it!)  
     
    And even if there would be a some kind permanent handicap, due to either environment (or genes), nobody will stop Africans from utilising the innovations that are made on other continents.  
     
    And if DNA research shows that the IQ gap is genetic, what changes? Probably not that much. The IQ gap has been common knowledge from about 1969 after Jensen’s famous article, and despite that, the socioeconomic status of blacks has just risen. 
     
    The IQ story may be true but it’s not a show-stopper.

  12. -At 78, most people’s brains are pretty broken down from their peak state. Remember Watson as he was when he was the young genius 🙂 
     
    -HLG seems to stand out from his peers in having the balls to actually ask the question, ‘what if it is true?’ 
    HLG: Imagine if you were an African or an African-American intellectual. And it’s 10 years from now. And you pick up The New York Times and some geneticist says, A) that intelligence is genetic, and B) the difference as measured on standardized tests between black people and white people, is traceable to a genetic basis. What would you, as a black intellectual, do, do you think? 
    -In the big picture you have to laugh at how uninterested in reprogenetics society is (it doesn’t come up once in the interview), considering the effect it’s going to have on many of our most long-standing problems.

  13. people should watch the video too. not just read. i assume most of the people accusing watson of being a pussy regularly tell black americans that they think the B-W IQ difference has a genetic component to their faces seeing as none of you are anonymous pussies? (for the record, i’ve been honest in this way and people often react with appreciate with candor)

  14. Razib: 
     
    You’ve been lucky. I got ostracized for it, and I did it in as an oblique manner as possible.

  15. spike, well, lots of parameters go into (e.g., target audience). you’re in a liberal arts environment, right? 😉

  16. how can one educate someone whose capacity to be educated is equivalent to an IQ between 70-85 
     
    One way would be to improve/clarify instruction such that it does not involve a series of puzzles (i.e., the typical mode of instruction) that the student needs to solve in order to learn. Solving puzzles is highly g-loaded. Learning by a clear teacher presentation and sufficient repetition is not. 
     
    There’s a fair bit of scientific evidence that children with IQs under 71 and IQS between 71 and 90 are capable of mastering third grade content by the end of third grade. (See here, esp figs 2.11 and 2.12 ) 
     
    I can’t think of anything on the k-8 level that can’t be systematically taught to a third grader performing at grade level in third grade.

  17. how can one educate someone whose capacity to be educated is equivalent to an IQ between 70-85 
     
     
    Your host Razib is from Bangladesh (avg IQ 81). Methinks you just insulted him and his people.

  18. I thought Razib elsewhere stated that he didn’t think Bangladesh would be able to catch up to, say, China. As an individual though, I don’t think his IQ is as low as 81 and so it is not folly to expect to be able to educate him.

  19. razib: 
     
    I was at the time, but I’m done with it now. If you don’t mind me asking, what was your audience? I didn’t even bring up IQ explicitly with mine, it was more about statistical means and populations spreads in regards to a digression on the topic of basketball.

  20. Your host Razib is from Bangladesh (avg IQ 81). Methinks you just insulted him and his people. 
     
    “my people” happen to be americans, just so you know. and i assume that david has more priors in his model than my ethnicity to judge the character of my intellect. those who don’t think in a bayesian manner are just signalling their own low IQ 🙂 though speaking of which, that’s why objected to david bringing up ethiopia’s low IQ as a point of high likelihood, knowing its past history as the primary literate society of sub-saharan africa and its recent record of chaos and malnutrition it seems unlikely to me that it’s low IQ vis-a-vis the rest of the continent is due to some innate aspect. 
     
    As an individual though, I don’t think his IQ is as low as 81 and so it is not folly to expect to be able to educate him. 
     
    thanks 🙂 
     
    If you don’t mind me asking, what was your audience?  
     
    nerds. look, if you tell a black computer scientist that you think it is totally plausible that the B-W IQ difference has a genetic component it isn’t like people react with indifference. but, nerds can appreciate candor and statistical arguments. additionally, an audience which isn’t geared toward righteous indignation as the primary social signaller are used to candid and frank discussion of most ideas, so pushing the envelope in this direction doesn’t necessarily mean heads will explode. finally, there’s something in my mien which makes it hard to attribute malevolent intent on the part of most people (i look younger than my years, for one). in my day to day life i’m not particular closeted about my more heterodox views, though i’m not retarded enough (or frankly, that fixated on them) to talk about them constantly, and many of those not particularly comfortable with them don’t broach subjects which might elicit my opinions. since i doubt most of the people ragging on watson regularly talk to black people about how they have innately lower IQs i thought they were a bit much, though it seems pretty clear watson is playing an opinion shell-game.

  21. Methinks you just insulted him and his people. 
     
    Methinks you’ve just confused a group and an individual.

  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Those IQ numbers for African countries shouldn’t be taken at face value. I’m from a sub-Saharan African country. I took an IQ test and scored in the 70s. Really.  
    FWIW, I have just completed my PhD in economics at a top 15 US school. Make of that what you will.

  23. toto says:

    Razib: for the record, i’ve been honest in this way and people often react with appreciate with candor) 
    Spike: You’ve been lucky. I got ostracized for it, and I did it in as an oblique manner as possible. 
     
    Just for the record, what evidence did both of you use in support of your statements? That might be a source of difference in resulting attitudes. 
     
    lms: I took an IQ test and scored in the 70s. (…) FWIW, I have just completed my PhD in economics  
     
    Must… resist… obvious… joke… 😉

  24. Just for the record, what evidence did both of you use in support of your statements? That might be a source of difference in resulting attitudes. 
     
    the evolutionary genetic ones. i don’t lean heavily on psychometrics cuz i don’t know it as well and frankly it’s just a more complicated mess IMO, but argue from first principles that between group differences shouldn’t be implausible and therefore rejected a priori. i start with lewontin’s fallacy and just kept pushing the wedge. but i brought up the issue of B-W difference of IQ immediately and its possible genetic underpinning.

  25. rather than what i said though, i think the fact that everyone in the audience understood a term like “factor analysis” matters a lot more 🙂

  26. toto: 
     
    Well, since I had the rep of being “the math and statistics guy” in my department, despite being laughably incapable compared to the folks here, I couldn’t really take for granted they’d know what varience and deviations from the mean were, so I had to give physical examples from each case.  
     
    In this case, it started with a discussion on Yao Ming, and how one guy thought it was going to lead to a rush of Chinese players to the NBA, when I disagreed, by saying that East Asians on average were shorter than other folks and thus wouldn’t be able to field as many capable players as other places would, and well, it kinda spun off from there. I wasn’t really trying to get into that particular debate of genetics, but I found myself in it. I had the discussion before in one on one or one on two sorts of things and not have it go off as badly as this one did. The sad thing is, I didn’t even really mention IQ or intelligence, just that different groups of people have different average means in certain areas, which makes them more able as a group to do some things, and it’s not all a matter of diet and upbringing. 
     
    In any case, hoo boy, did my social life cool off for awhile.

  27. mc says:

    . The sad thing is, I didn’t even really mention IQ or intelligence, just that different groups of people have different average means in certain areas, which makes them more able as a group to do some things,: 
     
    good grief, these people sound like Manchurian candidates. Usually associating various types of physical prowess and recreational proclivities is not that controversial because form follows function. Nobody thinks of Asians as having many 6’5″ and that sort of loose-limbed way. They just don’t. 
    It has even been brazenly acknowledged that the Chinese have a penchant for ping-pong and that at least one group which shall remain nameless, has natural rhythm, and that they pride themselves on this. 
    I have heard respectable people describe certain population groups as really “smart.” Nobody gets apoplectic over it as long as that group is designated by some other term than color. 
    I don’t know where you are Gomez, but check for pods.

  28. Marc says:

    I had the discussion before in one on one or one on two sorts of things and not have it go off as badly as this one did. 
     
    I think this may be a key reason it went down the way it did. I’ve had the whole race-IQ debate with some very p.c. folks one-on-one, and most – not all – seemed open to the idea. One girl I met at a creative writing MFA program in Maine (it doesn’t get any more liberal or stuffwhitepeoplelike than that) literally smiled sadly and said, “Well, I think it was always naive to believe that different groups of people all have the exact same strengths and weaknesses.” I know that sounds like something out of a book (the sad smile and all) but that really is an accurate description of how she reacted. And even the ones who reacted angrily didn’t shun me afterward or anything like that, we just agreed to disagree. 
     
    I think the thing is that a lot of people feel that the idea that the b-w IQ gap is genetic or partly genetic is not out-of-bounds for private consideration or discussion, but definitely not something that should be discussed publicly, because they fear, not entirely unreasonably, that such discourse could devolve into something very ugly. So the negative reactions you get for speaking about it might have more to do with the fact that you are speaking publicly about it than the fact that your thoughts on it are heretical.

  29. “people should watch the video too. not just read. i assume most of the people accusing watson of being a pussy regularly tell black americans that they think the B-W IQ difference has a genetic component to their faces seeing as none of you are anonymous pussies? (for the record, i’ve been honest in this way and people often react with appreciate with candor)” 
     
    So he’s a pussy, but not a lonely pussy. Right?

  30. I don’t think black people have a problem with rational arguments by people on the topic. One thing that they may find irrational, and likely a sign of an ulterior motive (possible rascism) is the obsession with the b-w iq gap. There are lots of people on the planet, so if some white person wants to convince them that blacks are genetically set at an IQ of 80, you may want to also discuss the fact that india and iran are set at around the same level too.  
     
    Why the singular obsession with black people? Africa’s not particularly important on the economic stage, so why won’t intellectuals explore the dangers of Iran and it’s “dull” populace wielding weapons of destruction. What about India’s recent economic dominance? I read treatises on india versus china all the time, yet, not once has there been any major consideration of the fact that China’s IQ is 20 to 25 higher than India’s. A gap that’s larger than the b-w gap which everyone consistently obsesses over. In fact, I would say that in the west, no one would think of making such a statement as it seems somewhat irrelevant and mean spirited. Question is why is that not the same when discussing black people? It’s not silly to assume that whites havent quite gotten over their obsession with proving blacks to be inferior. It was the national sport until 50 years ago. Why would people stop now?  
    If we are going to be rational about this, let’s be fair and talk about everyone.  
     
    So for example, this site has pretty much settled on the fact that most of the social ills in america are due to 30 million african americans wielding IQs around 85. Well, what will happen to the world once 1.2 billion indians with IQs of 81 start running around with lots of money. WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO!!

  31. Marc says:

    Eniola, 
     
    People have focused on the b-w IQ gap because blacks were until very recently the largest minority in the United States, and their under-performance relative to the performance of the white majority is difficult to ignore. People don’t care about the IQ gap between the Indians and the Chinese because it doesn’t directly affect their lives. Black underperformance, on the other hand, directly affects where they choose to live and to what schools they feel safe sending their children.

  32. Marc, 
     
    You prove the point. These discussions are not about rationally discussing IQ differences between the races to get at the truth. It’s more about working backwards to get at what we already believe and need to justify. Why discuss indian IQ, afterall, the indians behave themselves here.  
    If it were really about getting at the truth, I would think science would be curious about why Indians, with average IQs that low could possibly outperform even the chinese in the US, which they do. I’ve heard some postulate that it’s because the Brahmins are smart while the other indians are stupid, which i think is ridiculous. There’s so much there to understand, but no one spends money on this kind of research, instead, the dead horse that is the b-w IQ gap is continuously beaten. Move on! 
     
    Truth is anyone who’s been to India and Africa would tell you that both places are similar in culture – mumbai and lagos are not too different except for the cows. Indians are even more obsessed with singing and dancing than africans and the two groups have a similar profile of diaspora: recent diaspora in the west are extremely accomplished (For example, the profile of Indians in the US is similar to that of Kenyans, Nigerians or Ghanaians )  
    Both groups of ancient diaspora were both abused by white people (african americans and gypsies) and both defied whites rather than acquiesce like the native americans did. They also developed a counterculture which trys it’s best not to “act white” and has been culturally influential, particularly musically (most of the best spanish music is gypsy influenced. Most importantly, both groups are still generally disliked by the overall population and associated with many social ills. 
     
    So i would postulate that the people who don’t care about examining these other avenues are the ones who don’t really care about getting at the truth. They just need to justify why they hate black people…and gypsies

  33. Plase stop harping on the IQ differences…. Since you’re all so high-IQ, why don’t you find methods to enhance the low-IQs? AFAIK, no reliable methods have been found yet. Why not put your high-g brains to work? Get to work!

  34. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility…

  35. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    A reason for India’s depressed mean IQ might be the same as the one Razib postulated for Africa’s: tropical IQ depression (which is multifactorial, I assume). Presumably Africa’s IQ will converge at least closer to the American Black average. Possibly, India’s might converge closer to the British Indian mean. The British Indian mean is closer to the British WASP mean, by the way. 
     
    Eniola: 
    “I’ve heard some postulate that it’s because the Brahmins are smart while the other indians are stupid, which i think is ridiculous.” 
     
    Why is the concept that India might have IQ stratification with Brahmins at the top so inane to you? It is plausible, even if there is some mean tropical IQ depression as a whole.  
     
    “So i would postulate that the people who don’t care about examining these other avenues are the ones who don’t really care about getting at the truth. They just need to justify why they hate black people…and gypsies” 
     
    I would postulate that you want to prematurely dismiss plausible reasons for India’s IQ stratification. I would postulate that you want to prematurely dismiss Marc’s still valid reasons for why Americans would be more interested in the Black-White IQ gap than the Indian-Chinese IQ gap. I would postulate that you want to unfairly impugn the motives of American IQ researchers despite the massive and germane implications such research has to American public policy centered around the Blank Slate paradigm, i.e. affirmative action, no child left behind, head start…  
     
    Ad hominem attacks by the Left is a big reason there may never be a real race debate in this country. Keep calling people racist. My guess is that White Flight will continue, and more moderate people will simply try to avoid groups like Blacks and Liberals who sometimes seem to get hysterical on issues like this.

  36. good while it lasted. no time to moderate this thread so i’ll cut the losses while we’re ahead.

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