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Many people have very strong beliefs about intelligence testing. All too often those beliefs are negative and unrepresentative of intelligence research. For intelligence researchers, it is a bemusing, irritating, and depressing state of affairs.

Steven Pinker, being interviewed at the International Society for Intelligence Research conference in Montreal in 2017, when asked why public understanding of intelligence was so bad, said he could not understand it, but someone should have a look at how the psychology of intelligence was being taught.

https://www.unz.com/jthompson/fear-and-loathing-in-psychology

Without a further word everyone pointed at Russell Warne, who the day before had presented a study on the intelligence content of all the most popular US psychology textbooks. He had found that the topic accounted for 3.3% of textbook space, and what was in those few pages was not always a fair representation of research findings. In that vein, Russell has now looked at this sorry state of affairs in more detail, and sought to correct the many misconceptions about intelligence.

In the Know. Debunking 35 Myths about Human Intelligence. Russel T. Warne

What are the myths, and does he debunk them? Is he the avenging angel who will protect the righteous from the calumny of false witnesses?

I am listing out the 35 Chapter headings, so that you have a detailed look at what the book covers.

Content
Section 1 The nature of intelligence
1 Intelligence Is Whatever Collection of Tasks a Psychologist Puts on a Test
2 Intelligence Is Too Complex to Summarize with One Number
3 IQ Does Not Correspond to Brain Anatomy or Functioning
4 Intelligence Is a Western Concept that Does Not Apply to Non-Western Cultures
5 There Are Multiple Intelligences in the Human Mind
6 Practical Intelligence Is a Real Ability, Separate from General Intelligence

Section 2 Measuring intelligence
7 Measuring Intelligence Is Difficult
8 The Content of Intelligence Tests Is Trivial and Cannot Measure Intelligence
9 Intelligence Tests Are Imperfect and Cannot Be Used or Trusted
10 Intelligence Tests Are Biased against Diverse Populations

Section 3 Influences on intelligence
11 IQ Only Reflects a Person’s Socioeconomic Status
12 High Heritability for Intelligence Means that Raising IQ Is Impossible
13 Genes Are Not Important for Determining Intelligence
14 Environmentally Driven Changes in IQ mean that Intelligence Is Malleable
15 Social Interventions Can Drastically Raise IQ
16 Brain-Training Programs Can Raise IQ
17 Improvability of IQ Means Intelligence Can Be Equalized

Section 4 Intelligence and education
18 Every Child Is Gifted
19 Effective Schools Can Make Every Child Academically Proficient
20 Non-cognitive Variables Have Powerful Effects on Academic Achievement
21 Admissions Tests Are a Barrier to College for Underrepresented Students

Section 5 Life consequences of intelligence
22 IQ Scores Only Measure How Good Someone Is at Taking Tests
23 Intelligence Is Not Important in the Workplace
24 Intelligence Tests Are Designed to Create or Perpetuate a False Meritocracy
25 Very High Intelligence Is Not More Beneficial than Moderately High Intelligence
26 Emotional Intelligence Is a Real Ability that Is Helpful in Life

Section 6 Demographic group differences
27 Males and Females Have the Same Distribution of IQ Scores
28 Racial/Ethnic Group IQ Differences Are Completely Environmental in Origin
29 Unique Influences Operate on One Group’s Intelligence Test Scores
30 Stereotype Threat Explains Score Gaps among Demographic Groups

Section 7 Societal and ethical issues
31 Controversial or Unpopular Ideas Should Be Held to a Higher Standard of Evidence
32 Past Controversies Taint Modern Research on Intelligence
33 Intelligence Research Leads to Negative Social Policies
34 Intelligence Research Undermines the Fight against Inequality
35 Everyone Is About as Smart as I Am

In the spirit of correcting misapprehensions quickly, here are some snap answers to the first 6 questions:

1 In fact, when the same people are given very different intelligence tests, including tests constructed in the belief that there is no general factor, the general factors extracted from the disparate tests correlate at above the .9 level.

2 Mental tasks correlate with each other, and it is easy to extract a general factor (and also some group factors) so it is not unwarranted to summarize people’s general level of ability with one number.

3 Brain size is weakly related .2 to .4 with intelligence, frontal lobes probably in the higher part of that range. Brighter people have more neurons in their brains, and those neurons are more densely packed together and, perhaps counter-intuitively, have fewer connections branching off each neurone. So, intelligence does have a relation to brain function, but research is at an early stage.

4 If intelligence really varies in character between different cultures, then it should be very difficult to extract the “Western” general factor, yet in 31 countries, and using a wide variety of tests, 94 of the 97 (96.9%) samples produced g either immediately or after a second factor analysis. Moreover, the g factor is about as strong in the non-Western samples as it is in typical Western samples. Most countries find “Western” intelligence tests very useful, once they have been translated and some language and specific knowledge items altered or removed. To cap it all, dogs, rats, mice, donkey and primates show g factors. It looks like an evolutionary adaptation.

5 Everyone seems to want multiple intelligences, particularly educationalists. However, even when researchers attempt to measure these multiple intelligences, the result is a series of correlated variables that produce a general factor, which is exactly what should never occur, according to the theory. Moreover, the proposer of the theory did not think it necessary to make it testable.

6 If practical intelligence could be measured, American Football teams would find it extremely useful. Instead, they use the Wonderlic intelligence test, because it correlates with some of the more complicated playing abilities. The proposer of the theory does not specify what results will prove that practical intelligence differs from general intelligence.

I hope I have given you enough brief answers to the first items to make you want to read the book. Some sections are longer and deeper, serving to explain how intelligence tests are constructed, tested for representativeness and fairness, and evaluated against real-life attainments.

Every score achieved on a test, including academic examinations, medical results, brain scans and astronomical surveys of the universe, contains some measurement error, so the underlying true score is never in perfect focus. However, error terms can be reduced by refining methods, increasing sample sizes and examining individual items carefully. In terms of intelligence tests, the practical implication is that an intelligence test result is correct to within 3 to 4 IQ points either way. Since the usual range is from 70 to 130, the error is roughly 5% to 6% of the range.

Academic attainment tests can certainly pick out “college ready” students at 85-89% correctness levels. Those who demand perfect standards of tests should have a look at the lower reliabilities of other selection methods, the ones traditionally used when testing is prohibited. Stopping testing always means testing by other, less reliable, methods.

It is worth giving a longer summary of what Warne says about the most contentious issues, like test bias (chapter 10), one of the most common misconceptions in psychology text-books. Warne describes all the procedures through which tests must pass before they are fit for use. Warne says that this is a complicated procedure, and gives further references. He does not mention Jensen’s rule of thumb: if a test is biased against a group, that group will do better in real life than the test predicts. Incidentally, it is good to have the Ellis Island procedures spelt out, and to find that the major causes of rejection were not low ability, which between 1892 and 1931 was diagnosed in only 0.02% of immigrants.

In Chapter 28 Warne says that “Racial IQ differences are completely environmental in origin” is a myth. Warne makes a good case for dismissing this “official” mainstream view, and to some extent achieves this in one table which I reproduce below. To begin with it makes for a difficult read, but persist, and it rewards.

Heritability within groups and heritability between groups are algebraically related. This means that one can work out, in the case of the 15 IQ point difference between African Americans and European Americans (d = 1.00) how big the environmental difference would have to be to create a 15-point difference in intelligence.

You can find that out by looking at the first column on the far left, ranging from .00 to .90, these being estimates of the heritability of intelligence. Let us assume the mid-point heritability figure of .50 which is well validated in the literature. Let us now take the extreme but mainstream media view that none of the black/white intelligence difference is due to genetics, but that it must be due to bad environments. Look at the next column and you will see that the black environment must be 1.414 worse than the white environment to account for the 15-point deficit. That is a very big environmental difference.

If the heritability of intelligence is in fact .60 (probably the case in adult life) then the environment would have to be 1.581 worse to account for the difference. Micro-aggressions are not going to do the job. There will have to be some macro, glaring, major, persistent environmental disadvantages, easily visible to the naked eye. The national standards of health, education, and housing will have to be at less than the 6th percentile rank, in order for the environment to drive down African American intelligence to its measured position at the 16th percentile rank. Remember, in these calculations we must use external causal variables, almost like confinement in ghettos or reservations, not measures which could themselves be a consequence of lower intelligence, such as less-well-paid jobs.

Environmentalists have often made the weak but persistent argument that there must be something, of some undefined sort, a Factor X, which causes intellectual damage. The above calculation shows that these factors, whatever they are, will have to amount to a big effect, to account for the observed 15-point gap.

Chapter 29 is a good, balanced, and brief summary of the position on the genetics of racial differences in genetics, and it is worth buying the book for that chapter alone.

In subsequent chapters Warne disposes of hypotheses about the X factor that may be causing African American low scores, and about stereotype threat, which appears to be a casualty of the replication crisis.

The last section looks at societal and ethical issues, such as whether research on racial differences should be banned, or held to higher standards. At this point, I should admit I don’t like “debunking of myths” as a format. “Myths” begs the point, as does “debunking”. I know it is a popular format, and my alternative “35 arguments evaluated” is hardly going to pull in the readers, but I think it is more restrained in its claims, and more in the spirit of discovery.

This section is very good, in that it examines difficult debates carefully. The tone is far more philosophical, and more based on competing values than competing facts. I agree with Warne that studies of group differences should be held to the same standards as all other research, not special additional ones; that the dangers of intelligence research have been over-done; that past political controversies and errors should not be used to condemn and prevent new inquiries; that compulsory eugenic legislation was usually promoted on medical and psychiatric grounds, and less frequently on psychometric ones; that intelligence research need not lead to negative social policies (on the contrary, better policies might be more likely); that society does not have to become more unequal (on the contrary, ability differences might be seen as requiring social adjustments and assistance) and indeed that heritability is higher in uniformly good and equal environments.

In Warne’s capable hands, each mistaken popular assertion is examined empirically and then logically. He gives short shrift to hypotheses which turn out to be unsupported, or formulated so vaguely as to be untestable. His process is entirely polite, but lethal. Proponents are treated kindly, false theories dispatched promptly and humanely. He asserts that our view of the world should not be obscured by proven errors, however much we may want to believe them.

Warne is judicious in his use of examples, and often at his best in his footnotes. Example, foot of page 71:

Some people prefer the term “IQ tests,” but I do not. As Geisinger (2019) stated, the tests do not measure IQ. Rather, they measure intelligence and produce a score called the IQ. A test should be named after the trait it is designed to measure – not the score it produces.

Faced with a wall of confident ignorance about intelligence, most researchers are tempted to shake their heads and go back to their lonely studies. Warne has kept his temper and thought carefully about his readers. He has bound together this disparate collection of misunderstandings (often the consequence of misinformation) into a common theme: hypotheses must be testable; proofs must cover the skills under discussion, and not be anecdotal or cherry-picked; where statistics are used to buttress a theory they must be fairly used and presented; and once some general results have been replicated, then then can be called into play to explain phenomena.

The amusing fact about intelligence is that it is very easy to measure. Indeed, many tests which purport to be tests of something else turn out to be intelligence tests of varying scope and power, but intelligence tests nonetheless. Brain power will out. It is a disgrace that so many canards about our mental abilities have been promulgated and accepted.

This book will go a long way to countering misinformed opinions. If it is widely read it will improve people’s general understanding of mental ability. I hope that happens, particularly for the sake of education, which seems particularly prone to distorted accounts and unsubstantiated claims. Will this book enter the mainstream of teacher training as an essential text? I fear it might not be read, because views have become so entrenched that empiricism on this topic is not welcomed.

This book deserves to be read. If not, at least it will provide intelligence researchers with a readily available text, and when critics refer once again to an unsubstantiated misconception, they can be answered with a chapter number, and a reference to this book.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: IQ, Political Correctness, Psychometrics 
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  1. Stargazer says:

    Okay, you sold me. I will buy and read a copy.

  2. botazefa says:

    Thank you for the engaging review.

    Amazon is stating In The Know will be released October 31. It is available for pre-order now.

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  3. dearieme says:

    9 Intelligence Tests Are Imperfect and Cannot Be Used or Trusted
    Newtonian mechanics is imperfect but can be used and trusted for a vast number of tasks.

    10 Intelligence Tests Are Biased against Diverse Populations
    Yep, really hard on the Japanese, ain’t they?

    13 Genes Are Not Important for Determining Intelligence
    I wonder what they are important for.

    19 Effective Schools Can Make Every Child Academically Proficient
    Never argue with a tautology (especially if it involves an entirely hypothetical entity).

    21 Admissions Tests Are a Barrier to College for Underrepresented Students
    Don’t engage with statements that use vocabulary such as “underrepresented”.

    Suggestions too stupid to waste time on:
    18 Every Child Is Gifted
    23 Intelligence Is Not Important in the Workplace
    28 Racial/Ethnic Group IQ Differences Are Completely Environmental in Origin
    29 Unique Influences Operate on One Group’s Intelligence Test Scores
    30 Stereotype Threat Explains Score Gaps among Demographic Groups
    31 Controversial or Unpopular Ideas Should Be Held to a Higher Standard of Evidence
    33 Intelligence Research Leads to Negative Social Policies
    34 Intelligence Research Undermines the Fight against Inequality
    35 Everyone Is About as Smart as I Am

    Perhaps it’s because I’m a country boy but I do tend to wonder why so many people can persuade themselves that humans simply don’t share well established characteristics of other animals.

  4. @botazefa

    How long will it take the wokesters at Amazon to drop it?

    • Replies: @botazefa
  5. res says:

    This book and associated post look like an embarrassment of riches. You could probably justify a standalone blog post on most of those topics. Even those dearieme calls stupid since they seem to be some of the most cherished myths.

    Hopefully this will save some time for us here in the future. Just imagine how many comments can be responded to with “That is #x in Warne’s book,” or a link to a standalone blog post on #x.

    Table 28.1 is an interesting way to look at group differences. It would be extremely useful if we could tie that table to a less controversial trait where we have better estimates of both heritabilities (to allow estimating the environmental differences). As usual, height comes to mind. Can we look at height with that framework and get an idea of the respective heritabilities, observed difference, and required environmental difference? Perhaps the first groups to compare would be men and women to check the method? I would expect h_b and h_w both near 1 (say 0.9 – 1). Cohen’s d is something like 1.4. We would need finer resolution in the bottom right of the chart (is there a reason there is no h_w = 1 row?), but it seems clear the value for required environmental difference (which should be 0, right?) is very sensitive to the exact values of h_w and h_b (note the value for 0.9/0.9 is 1 SD).

    That situation is very different from IQ which as you observed probably falls more towards the middle of the chart. This paper looks at pygmies.
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.21512
    Table 1 gives an estimate of d in the range 1.5-2, but again both heritabilities are likely to be high.

    Any thoughts on how we might estimate between group environmental differences in terms of Cohen’s d?

    Leaving that aside, I think this point of yours is very interesting.

    3 Brain size is weakly related .2 to .4 with intelligence, frontal lobes probably in the higher part of that range. Brighter people have more neurons in their brains, and those neurons are more densely packed together and, perhaps counter-intuitively, have fewer connections branching off each neurone. So, intelligence does have a relation to brain function, but research is at an early stage.

    Here is a paper looking at brain traits and intelligence for different animals.

    Neuronal factors determining high intelligence

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4685590/
    Excerpt from the abstract.

    The best fit between brain traits and degrees of intelligence among mammals is reached by a combination of the number of cortical neurons, neuron packing density, interneuronal distance and axonal conduction velocity—factors that determine general information processing capacity (IPC), as reflected by general intelligence. The highest IPC is found in humans, followed by the great apes, Old World and New World monkeys. The IPC of cetaceans and elephants is much lower because of a thin cortex, low neuron packing density and low axonal conduction velocity. By contrast, corvid and psittacid birds have very small and densely packed pallial neurons and relatively many neurons, which, despite very small brain volumes, might explain their high intelligence. The evolution of a syntactical and grammatical language in humans most probably has served as an additional intelligence amplifier, which may have happened in songbirds and psittacids in a convergent manner.

    I am most interested in axial conduction velocity because I think that can be influenced by the environment both during development and in the immediate present.

    Two mechanisms I see for that influence are electrolyte balance (represented by the Nernst potential) and myelination.

    I would expect Nernst potential to be most relevant in the present with myelination being most (?) influenced by early development but with a smaller influence possible on a time scale of years throughout life.

    This paper looks at nerve conduction velocity when insulin production is suppressed. They see some small but significant changes (though one might argue there is p-fishing here, effect was a decrease of about 2 m/s from an initial value of 60) which they attribute to electrolytes.
    Nerve conduction velocity in man: influence of glucose, somatostatin and electrolytes
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7895951/

    This paper offers an overview of myelin.
    Myelin Fat Facts: An Overview of Lipids and Fatty Acid Metabolism
    https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4409/9/4/812

    My sense is myelination imposes significant and specific metabolic demands which might be affected by nutrition (particularly consumption of specific fatty acids). Excerpt from the abstract.

    Myelin is critical for the proper function of the nervous system and one of the most complex cell–cell interactions of the body. Myelination allows for the rapid conduction of action potentials along axonal fibers and provides physical and trophic support to neurons. Myelin contains a high content of lipids, and the formation of the myelin sheath requires high levels of fatty acid and lipid synthesis, together with uptake of extracellular fatty acids.

    From the paper body.

    Although the turnover of myelin lipids in humans is uncharacterized, studies in mice showed that lipids within the myelin sheath are continuously remodeled, and lipid turnover rates are differently regulated through life [4]. Thus, biosynthesis, storage, and cellular trafficking of myelin lipids are essential to the assembly and maintenance of myelin in the nervous system through life span.

    The myelin sheath is characterized by a high proportion of lipids (70%–85%) and consequently a low proportion of proteins (15%–30%). In contrast, most biological membranes have approximatively equivalent ratio of proteins to lipids (50% lipid/50% protein) [8].

    In addition, the enrichment in specific classes of lipids is also required for the long-term maintenance of myelin [10]. The three major classes of membrane lipids are cholesterol, phospholipids (e.g., plasmalogen, lecithin, sphingomyelin) and glycolipids (e.g., galactosylceramide). The lipid composition of myelin sheath is distinctive, made of high amounts
    of cholesterol and enriched in glycolipid, in a ratio of 40%:40%:20% (cholesterol, phospholipid,
    and glycolipid, respectively) compared to most biological membranes (25%:65%:10%) [11].

    The brain contains about 20% of the body’s cholesterol, which makes it the richest cholesterol-containing organ [29]. The largest pool of free cholesterol in mammals resides in the myelin [30] (Table 1). In myelin, cholesterol inserts into the membrane bilayers to increase myelin viscosity and stabilize myelin lipids and proteins [31]. Myelin cannot be synthesized without
    cholesterol, and cholesterol availability is a critical prerequisite and a limiting factor of myelin membrane growth during CNS maturation [32]. Due to the blood–brain barrier (BBB) in the CNS, the cholesterol present in myelin mostly comes from de novo synthesis in oligodendrocytes or neighboring astrocytes [32–35]. The rate of cholesterol synthesis is highest during periods of active myelination, and following completion of myelination the production of cholesterol drops by 90% [36,37].

    Perhaps interfering with cholesterol production with pharmaceuticals is not the wisest thing to do?
    Statin Therapy Inhibits Remyelination in the Central Nervous System
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671276/

  6. botazefa says:
    @Jim Bob Lassiter

    I was wondering the same thing. Hopefully I can get a copy before anyone’s the wiser. Not that there’s much wisdom in wokeness.

  7. Wyatt says:

    Here’s how you can tell if someone’s metric of intelligence is valid or not.

    Are blacks on average dumber than whites and east asians? Yes? Good measure.

    • Agree: Sulu
  8. @res

    Any thoughts on how we might estimate between group environmental differences in terms of Cohen’s d?

    I smiled when I noted your question, which arose in my mind when I wrote it, and decided to postpone. The more I look at it, the more behavioural/genetic confounders come to mind. Here goes.

    Health

    Pollution levels in neighborhoods. Traffic, noise, street level pollution. Uptake of vaccinations; uptake of antenatal care; doctors, nurses and hospital beds per local population. Population density.

    Education

    Spending on schools; teacher/pupil ratios; any independent measures of teacher and school quality

    Housing

    Area per household: area per person; quality measures, particularly those relating to ability to study.

    These local measures would be expressed in terms of deviations from the national average.

    • Thanks: res
    • Replies: @SaneClownPosse
  9. @dearieme

    I do tend to wonder why so many people can persuade themselves that humans simply don’t share well established characteristics of other animals.

    I

    – Well that’s what makes us human – see: That we don’t make such – inhuman (raw, uncivilized) comparisons.

    II

    People in cities often experience animals that have nothing much to do than being around. – This might make their senses (and thoughts) dull.

    • Replies: @Flubber
    , @Badger Down
  10. @res

    Thank you for the link to the Dicke and Roth paper. I have seen versions of fig 2 in many a lecture, sometimes including corvids if bird people are going to show us (selected) masterpieces of avian intelligence.
    I think it is a good and thorough paper, but I was rushing through a bit, waiting for Fig 3, when they would present their synthesis of factors, and get the mental ability points in a nice straight line. It may be premature, but they seemed to have the data available to put forward a tentative predictive equation.

    • Replies: @res
  11. res says:
    @James Thompson

    You are right that the paper seems to be crying out for a “tying it all together” section and figure. Or perhaps a table summarizing how the different species compare in each measurement?

    Moving back to humans, I wonder how much human intelligence variation we could express by looking at individual variation in these variables.

    EQ = E_ind / E_ave (an analog of EQ in the paper, captures brain size)
    NPD – neuron packing density, is this much known? Is there much variation within the species?
    CV – nerve conduction velocity, this varies by specific nerves, but I am guessing the variation between people is somewhat consistent and we could express this as a ratio

    It seems to me a simple properly fitted (e.g. the NPD term probably has an exponent, both from more neurons and shorter connections) model might explain a substantial amount of individual intelligence variation. It would be interesting to be able to check.

    Any idea if chemical details at the synapse would have much important (and measurable) variation? Any other variables you would include?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  12. Intelligence is ability to create links and patterns in brain. (even false ones.)

  13. @dearieme

    Yep. I think you are more sheep dog than Labrador.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  14. Flubber says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Your reply is rude and ignorant.

    Try harder smug fool.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  15. @res

    As I read about the brain’s need for cholesterol I had the same thought as you. As my late father had his first heart attack at 41 it is not surprising that I was prescribed statins many years ago and now take Rosuvastatin/Crestor (10mg daily) which has resulted in absolutely model HDL/LDL levels and ratios. I also retain a good memory and Martin Gardner type problem solving ability. But both are very important to me so can you please give me further follow up reading.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Avalanche
  16. denjae says:

    35 Mistaken Beliefs . . . well . . . ok . . .

    35 Myths . . . ? . . . Nah

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @res
  17. You have no examples of people turning children into geniuses. I do.

    And don’t tell me they are related to him. Here is the proof that the daughters did not get their genius from their genes.

    A. Polgar is a mediocre chess player. His wife no good at the game at all. Neither are a genius by any stretch of the imagination. If genetics is the answer, then they should have passed on mediocre chess skills to their daughters.

    But Polgar is a great, great teacher and his wife a great, great homemaker and mother.

    B. ALL THREE SISTERS, not one or two of them, are geniuses.

    I haven’t done the arithmetic, but common sense will tell you that the odds of 3 genius daughters being born to a moderately smart couple are much much lower than of that of 1 genius being born to a moderately smart couple. Very much lower. Almost impossible to conceive.

    https://productiveclub.com/polgar-sisters-story/

    Everybody knows you get to Carnegie Hall by “practice, practice, practice,” not “genes, genes, genes.”

    What are you people ranting on about? Get over it.

  18. For the bemused intelligence researchers who cannot understand why public understanding is so bad … Of course you are not really so dense as to not understand this, but just in case …

    If

    1) Intelligence is a biological reality
    2) It can be measured with a reasonable degree of accuracy
    3) The measurements show that races differ significantly in regards to intelligence

    Then

    4) Our beloved globalist elites have been feeding us a mess of lies, deceptions and fairy tales for the past 75 years or so.

    Therefore a proof by contradiction: Since (4) is impossible, at least one of (1), (2) and (3) must be false. Since (3) is indisputable, that leaves either (1) or (2) as the culprit.

    QED

    • Agree: Some Guy
    • Replies: @SevenSigma
  19. @dearieme

    Perhaps it’s because I’m a country boy but I do tend to wonder why so many people can persuade themselves that humans simply don’t share well established characteristics of other animals.

    First, I have labored under the apparent misapprehension that you were female, perhaps only because of your pseudonym and my association of the phrase with elderly female relatives.

    Second, as a bi-cultural (50% Detriot ghetto cracker, 50% farm boy) guy, I too have often thought about the relationship between lack of contact with the natural world (ie livestock & husbandry) and lost grasp on reality. The argument against eugenics, for instance, is simply insane (evil if you’re religious). Even a single litter of purebred puppies yields a mountain of evidence on heritability of traits.

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
    • Replies: @Bert
  20. dually says:

    You could just as easily be measuring stupidity with this cloud of pointlessly variable “correlations” and such. What is the criteria of “intelligence”? Who gets to decide what is “intelligence”? This is the ancient, and insoluble, Problem of the Criterion.

  21. JosephB says:
    @res

    Table 28.1 is an interesting way to look at group differences. It would be extremely useful if we could tie that table to a less controversial trait where we have better estimates of both heritabilities (to allow estimating the environmental differences). As usual, height comes to mind. Can we look at height with that framework and get an idea of the respective heritabilities, observed difference, and required environmental difference?

    One concern I have with height vs intelligence is I suspect environmental impacts on intelligence are greatest in the prenatal stage, with diminishing impact the first few years of life. If nutrients are insufficient, the developmental cycle wants to make darn sure there is a functioning heart, lungs, 4 limbs, etc. In comparison, shortchanging intelligence is a great deal — at least until very recently in our evolutionary history.

    Adult height has a lot to due with pubertal growth spurt, with has a bit to do with delay adolescence via diet as a kid, while ensuring there are enough nutrients for proper growth.

    So the timing of when the environmental factors occur is an issue. If group A starts taking prenatal vitamins and avoids alcohol months before trying to conceive, and group B wonders why their alcohol tolerance is so bad that they’re vomiting in the morning, I could easily imagine 1+ SD differences in environmental factors.

    To be clear, my hunch is that most of the observed difference is due to genetic effects, but think nailing it down via measuring environmental factors will be tricky, at best. Finding common genes for intelligence would be a better route: a purely genetic intelligence test that was a decent predictor across races. I doubt it would be as good as a paper-based test (at least for a long time), but showing equal predictive power across races would be a strong argument.

    • Agree: Occasional lurker
    • Replies: @res
  22. @res

    I think you should propose to the authors that they concentrate on those 3 variables, and see what they come up with. If they won’t, I wonder whether there is a data source where we could pick them up and have a go.
    On the chemical details at the synapse, simply don’t know about this, despite many distinguished teachers trying to help me with it. Perhaps it is the word “chemistry” which causes the problem.

  23. Some Guy says:
    @obwandiyag

    Here is the proof that the daughters did not get their genius from their genes.

    Polgar is a mediocre chess player. His wife no good at the game at all. Neither are a genius by any stretch of the imagination. If genetics is the answer, then they should have passed on mediocre chess skills to their daughters.

    But Polgar is a great, great teacher

    A great, great teacher huh? Almost a genius(at teaching) one might say? If Einstein had a kid that became a genius in a different field, would you say genes had nothing to do with it?

    IQ is highly heritable, and both the parents had high IQs. Of course the specific skills that children develop depends on what they actually practice.

    And don’t forget the Y-chromosome. They became some of the best female chess players, but were never close to being the best male players. Why is that, if not genetics?

  24. @Flubber

    In case – just in case, that this comment of yours was not meant to be ironic, it could be – in this case then – proof that you overlooked or underestimated the sarcasm in my comment above.

    So – if what I write here would be right, it would come with some kind of irony in it, wouldn’t it?

    • LOL: Jim Christian
  25. @denjae

    “Mistaken beliefs” is a phrase that is not catchy. It even sounds a bit tiresome. So – if you want to sell books (which contain ideas) – – – you rather use the Myth word. Myths are so – mythical… – readers are intrigued. Btw. -Roland Barthes wrote a whole famous book about the Mythologies (1964) – of everyday life. These are pretty much the Traces (Ernst Bloch, Stanford University Press 2006- another mythologist of everyday life), in which Russel T. Warne is wandering on with his 35 Myths. – A strong and witty tradition.

    • Replies: @JackOH
  26. @dually

    This is the ancient, and insoluble, Problem of the Criterion

    There is no single criterion for intelligence, that’s right. What’s necessary here are, therefore – criteria – and these can be quite easily found right here: You click James Thompson Archive above – and you’re done – criteria aplenty for the concept of intelligence. You might want to try Nine Snappy Questions on Intelligence for a start.

    • Replies: @dually
  27. Scotist says:

    “There will have to be some macro, glaring, major, persistent environmental disadvantages, easily visible to the naked eye.”

    The culture of the typical African American family?

    • Agree: Occasional lurker
    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  28. @obwandiyag

    Well I don’t suppose anyone gets called a genius without exceptional performance at a task or tasks involving effective use of part at least of the brain. So, in the case of chess it would be surprising if outstanding players did not have high IQs but, consistently,they could have a relatively unbalanced set of cognitive abilities which allowed them to be credited with high IQs but not ane in 50 000 levels because the really superior abilities were narrow and specific. I have a young relation who scored from120 to 150 on different segments of intelligence tests. (Happily she is doing well at one of the top Ivies). Her abilities could not easily be honed to make her a good chess player. The Polgar sisters obviously exhibit different balances of cognitive abilities.

    • Replies: @Bert
  29. @Zarathustra

    No, if you have spoken to a schizophrenic for some time it would strike you that your definition of intelligence is lacking something essential. Intelliigence requires that the seeing or creating links and patterns results in the *correct * or at least useful solution of problems.

    • Replies: @Zarathustra
  30. JackOH says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Dieter, agree that “myths” is punchier than “mistaken beliefs” for a book title on this subject matter. It’s a pretty safe bet there was at least some discussion of titling between author and editor before publication, and “mistaken beliefs” may have been one of several alternate choices for a subtitle.

    I’ve never read Barthes’s Mythologies, but I gather it’s about associations and congruencies of various sorts. For intelligence researchers, such as Prof. Thompson and his colleagues, I suppose it might be worthwhile to uncover the associations that make intelligence research so controversial.

    I’ll just toss out a few thoughts on possible negative associations: Oppenheimer and his high IQ buds at Alamogordo–eugenics–Nazis–incomprehensible wizardry–magic–elitism–know-it-all-ism–athletic inability–sexual backwardness–anti-egalitarianism–condescension, and so on.

    In other words, like professional-level athletic ability, high intelligence is not universally admired.

  31. I am surprised the book got past gatekeepers at Cambridge University Press.

    The institution is so woke the vice-chancellor, a Canadian, has assigned Indians like Priyamvada Gopal to monitor ‘racist’ British members of staff.

    • Agree: for-the-record
    • Replies: @for-the-record
  32. @Zarathustra

    Intelligence is ability to create links and patterns in brain. (even false ones.)

    False ones are cognitive illusions.

    Noticing certain real patterns is just heretical to some.

    • Thanks: annamaria
  33. gotmituns says:

    I dont no when all this dum stuf start’d about being so smart but forghettaboudit. The onlie thing that matturs aniemore is markmenshop – won round, won hit.

    • Agree: nokangaroos
  34. @Zarathustra

    So using false logic and making false causal connections is a sign of intelligence?

  35. A Texan says:

    I believe IQ is one component of intelligence. The test alone can not measure aptitude in certain areas. Plenty of high IQ people who subscribe to leftist/Marxist stupidity and even are workplace psychopaths; too bad that can’t be measure and these people removed from society.

  36. EQ vs IQ

    Emotional Intelligence is a more deep rooted power in human problem solving.

    9 Houses (compartments in brain) and Q Gong exercises to stimulate/exercise = very ancient practice.

    Grounding vital, T’ai Chi / Chi Gong of some kind.

    Chinese after Opium Wars not nearly as well connected to “ancient treasures”. Hua Ching Ni from Taiwan.

  37. This book will be used as ammunition by the mis-education industry as further excuse for the systemic destruction of the youth. Mark my words…. its coming.

    • Replies: @gotmituns
  38. Bert says:
    @Stan d Mute

    I have often thought that urban society would be a lot less solipsistic if every member of it were forced periodically to live alone for a week or ten days in a state of nature: nude and the only possession being a hunting knife. Like the 1950’s fraternity hazing midnight drop-off in a maze of dirt roads, but on steroids.

    The average urban driver imbibes everyday a subliminal message that because he can press down on an accelerator and blast down the road in a machine beyond his functional understanding, because of that speed alone he’s a master of the universe in his own eyes, at least momentarily. It’s bad karma to feel that way even a little bit. More nature = less craziness; until the petroleum is gone, then it’s nature and craziness.

    • Replies: @Majority of One
  39. Biff says:

    Has anyone considered access to clean water as a variable?

  40. gotmituns says:
    @InnerCynic

    I don’t know. It seems this Gen Z grouping of young people don’t buy into all the BS as much as the Millennials.

  41. Bert says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    INTJs are the Myers-Briggs personality type with the second highest average IQ. But their greatest strength is a subconscious mind that spontaneously and periodically emits original ideas. The correlation between the degree of such originality and actual IQ seems worthy of investigation.

    • Thanks: Wizard of Oz
  42. @Amerimutt Golems

    I am surprised the book got past gatekeepers at Cambridge University Press.

    And of course, there’s also this:

    Noah Carl is a British sociologist and intelligence researcher. He was investigated and subsequently dismissed from his position as a Toby Jackman Newton Trust Research Fellow at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge after over 500 academics signed a letter repudiating his research and public stance on race and intelligence, calling it “ethically suspect and methodologically flawed”. [Wiki]

  43. @Dieter Kief

    Crows are wary.
    Pigeons are blithe.
    Sparrows are cheeky.
    And all three are very intelligent, and individual.

  44. dfordoom says: • Website

    This is a political issue, not a scientific one. It’s deluded to think that if only enough scientific evidence can be amassed that people will accept ideas like racial differences in intelligence, HBD, etc. But they won’t. They won’t accept those ideas no matter how much scientific evidence you accumulate.

    And there are perfect valid reasons for the aversion that people have for these concepts. It’s perfectly reasonable to fear that if these ideas become accepted that they will be used as justification for some pretty unpleasant policies. It’s also perfectly reasonable to fear that if these ideas become accepted that race relations will become a hell of a lot more poisonous that they already are. No matter how bad race relations are in the US they could get a whole lot worse.

    It’s all very well to talk about how precious the truth is but the truth can be dangerous and accepting truths can lead to catastrophic consequences. It’s just not possible for a country like the US to face up to certain truths. Sometimes myths are the only things that hold societies together.

    • Agree: utu
  45. dfordoom says: • Website

    that society does not have to become more unequal (on the contrary, ability differences might be seen as requiring social adjustments and assistance)

    If you accept that ability differences are real you are left with two options. You can accept a much much higher degree of socialism than exists at present, or you can look forward to social chaos.

    • Replies: @utu
  46. vot tak says:

    Only $99.00 and the shipping is free.

    It’s all about the Benjamin’s baby.

    • Thanks: Agent76
    • Replies: @amina
  47. @Wizard of Oz

    Maybe we should notice this: ” retards never get crazy”
    It is intelligent person with too many false connections could become schizophrenic.
    So retard is stable and and nothing influence his condition. he was born that way and he will newer change.
    While schizophrenic was not born that way he become schizophrenic and so there he could change with help.
    (BTW not many Black people are schizophrenics……………….so make your own deductions.)
    .

  48. @Some Guy

    And don’t forget the Y-chromosome. They became some of the best female chess players, but were never close to being the best male players. Why is that, if not genetics?

    Judit peaked as the 8th highest rated player in the world in July 2005, which qualifies as being among the best male players. No other woman has come anywhere close to that, as apparently only two other women have even made it into the top 100. (Maia Chiburdanidze peaked at 42nd in August 1985, and Hou Yifan’s peak so far is 55th in May 2015. Hou is currently 86th.)

    That said, using the accomplishments of a family of Hungarian Jews as a counter to the idea that intelligence is heritable is a dubious ploy.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    , @Some Guy
  49. @Biff

    If not, it should be. It is a disgrace how lousy the drinking the water is in parts of the country. Some of it is by design with fluoridation. Some of it is by stupidity with fertilizer and nitrates. Some of it is simply by neglect and obsolescence of the public water infrastructure.

  50. You can be a great musician and not be a genius. Does playing chess require you to be a genius? First that I heard of that requirement. It always struck me as a board game that requires a lot of leisure time first and foremost.

  51. dearieme says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Very percipient. I am indeed a Border Collie.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  52. @Zarathustra

    Rates of schizophrenia in Black Africans 6 times higher, in Afro Caribbeans 9 times higher than UK population.

    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/scientist-stabbed-to-death-by-mentally/

    Read the second part for the references.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  53. The book will make no difference because “environmentalists” are the scientific equivalent of witch doctors or voodoo priests.
    They are not interested in the truth.

    • Replies: @Nicholas Stix
  54. Polemeros says:

    The ONLY reason that IQ is “problematic” (except when it comes to saving murderous retards from execution) is because Blacks always come out on the bottom.

    I can see that clearly because I have a high IQ.

  55. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I don’t have much on the brain connection, and the overall topic is a huge discussion. Perhaps start with these two thoughts.

    – What do you consider model numbers? Some of the targets out there are IMHO extremely low.

    – Do you take CoQ10? If not, it might be a good idea. At this point even the mainstream seem OK with the idea.
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/coenzyme-q10/faq-20058176
    A less mainstream, but science based and well referenced, point of view.
    https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2020/10/consumer-confusion-about-cholesterol-and-statin-drugs

    • Thanks: Wizard of Oz
  56. res says:
    @denjae

    Dr. Thompson made a similar point.

    At this point, I should admit I don’t like “debunking of myths” as a format. “Myths” begs the point, as does “debunking”. I know it is a popular format, and my alternative “35 arguments evaluated” is hardly going to pull in the readers, but I think it is more restrained in its claims, and more in the spirit of discovery.

    If this was a research paper then you both are absolutely correct. But for a book you are trying to sell, I can see why he would use the “Myth” format.

    Does Warne comment on the “myth” idea in the book?

    • Agree: JackOH
  57. Decades ago employers would routinely give the Wonderlic test to applicants. There were three versions that I constantly encountered. I always did extremely well on those timed tests, rarely getting a question wrong, but even when I took the same version I could never complete the damn thing. Comparing my results with other people’s, I always felt the tests correlated pretty well with everyone’s general intelligence level. I never met anyone who got every single question correct, but I’m sure there were some job-seekers who did. After all, there were a few guys in my high school who got perfect 1600 SAT scores. (I got 1295 — pretty good.)

  58. res says:
    @JosephB

    One concern I have with height vs intelligence is I suspect environmental impacts on intelligence are greatest in the prenatal stage, with diminishing impact the first few years of life. If nutrients are insufficient, the developmental cycle wants to make darn sure there is a functioning heart, lungs, 4 limbs, etc. In comparison, shortchanging intelligence is a great deal — at least until very recently in our evolutionary history.

    An excellent point. I would add to that the nutrients contributing most to height and intelligence are probably different as well. I allude to that with my focus on lipids in the earlier comment. I expect height is more about nutrients like calcium and calories.

  59. Tim too says:

    3. “Brighter people have more neurons in their brains, and those neurons are more densely packed together and, perhaps counter-intuitively, have fewer connections branching off each neurone.”

    I was just looking at a paper on related topics, and conduction velocity, speed of neural transmission appears to be central. Slow nerves, not so bright. Large brain sizes of cetaceans are offset by slow transmission. Some birds with small brains have fast transmission, and so are brighter.

    Can I find the paper?

    Oh, I see you have conduction velocity in a quote. Is that the same paper I was looking at?

    • Replies: @Tim too
  60. Tim too says:
    @Tim too

    That quote was from res, and yes, it’s the same paper I was looking at. I was looking at topics about BDNF, Trkb, VGF, etc, snps in bdnf, and related molecular biology/biochem, and distributions in various humans.

  61. Agent76 says:

    “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Socrates

    • Replies: @Biff
  62. @dfordoom

    This is a political issue, not a scientific one. It’s deluded to think that if only enough scientific evidence can be amassed that people will accept ideas like racial differences in intelligence, HBD, etc. But they won’t. They won’t accept those ideas no matter how much scientific evidence you accumulate.

    The problem is the same as that of China in the 19th century, only in reverse. Reality then showed that Western social organization was superior to the Chinese models, rather than the other way around. But admitting as much would also mean admitting the bankruptcy of the system and its corrupt ruling classes. They couldn’t survive such a transition. So unsurprisingly, nothing was done — or not enough, at any rate. The few truthsayers were all too often dismissed as dangerous radicals.

    Thus, the funny pale foreigners kept flooding the country with drugs, demanding gibz and burning down the coastal cities when they didn’t get them. And the funny clever little men from Japan were busy buying up everything the others hadn’t already stolen at fire sale prices. The mandarins hunkered down in their gated communities, practiced their beautiful calligraphy and heaped increasingly hollow praise on their great civilization that would surely be able to assimilate these rowdies eventually. After all, it had done so before with the Mongols…

    Eventually though, there was no ruin left in the country that had been the world’s greatest just a century before. The system collapsed. Truth had defeated the lies. If sadly not before they had killed tens of millions and wrecked a great nation.

    It’s all very well to talk about how precious the truth is but the truth can be dangerous and accepting truths can lead to catastrophic consequences. It’s just not possible for a country like the US to face up to certain truths. Sometimes myths are the only things that hold societies together.

    Quite so. The United States regime of today is an evil empire built on lies. It cannot stand the light of truth, and thus must fall.

    The real question is what replaces it.

    • Replies: @Francis Miville
  63. Tim too says:
    @res

    “I am most interested in axial conduction velocity because I think that can be influenced by the environment both during development and in the immediate present.

    Two mechanisms I see for that influence are electrolyte balance (represented by the Nernst potential) and myelination.”

    res, you can also look at it from the other, opposite end also, that is, what makes for poor function, slow transmission.

    Perceptually, ‘brain fog’. How to clear the brain fog. => decrease inflammation. Inflammation results in increased concentrations of neurotoxic factors such as glutamate, that decrease nerve performance. Lower output of trophic factors such as BDNF also result in diminished capability. Multiple such things are in operation. The nerve cells are not the largest cell population in the brain. It is astrocytes. The function of astrocytes supports neuron function. Astrocytes, for example, scavenge glutamate. So in searching for ways to increase nerve performance, one needs to look at the accompanying cell populations, particularly astrocytes, oligodendrites, and microgia. See also the tripartite synapse, or the tetrapartite synapse. If you want improved neuron performance, you need to support all those other cells properly also.

    tripartite synapse:
    https://neuraldevelopment.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13064-018-0104-y

    Something you might look at: exercise inducible increases in BDNF via VGF. Exercise increases release of BDNF and improves nerve performance.

    • Replies: @res
  64. canspeccy says: • Website
    @dually

    This is the ancient, and insoluble, Problem of the Criterion.

    Yes, the IQ-ist scam depends on never admitting the English language meaning of the word intelligence; namely:

    The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills,

    Once that definition is acknowledged, you don’t need a test to know if someone is intelligent, you can just observe their competence at whatever it is at which they have striven for competence.

    Sure, if someone’s a lazy bum and isn’t highly competent at anything, e.g., a good many of those super high IQ Harvard graduates, who cares what score they get on a 20-minute test of verbal an numerical reasoning that is absurdly presented as a measure of the capacity to acquire every conceivable form of knowledge and skill.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @haha
    , @dually
  65. @Scotist

    If transracial adoption had been shown to work it would be mandatory by now.

    (read: phew!)

  66. @Some Guy

    Typical Frank Luntz certified changing of the subject.

    You didn’t address one of my contentions.

  67. res says:
    @Tim too

    res, you can also look at it from the other, opposite end also, that is, what makes for poor function, slow transmission.

    Thanks! It looks to me like that is along the lines of my question in comment 11: “Any idea if chemical details at the synapse would have much important (and measurable) variation?”

    Is it possible to measure quantitative differences between people in that factor?

    Something you might look at: exercise inducible increases in BDNF via VGF. Exercise increases release of BDNF and improves nerve performance.

    Here is an article discussing that.
    https://www.the-scientist.com/features/this-is-your-brain-on-exercise-64934

    It reads to me like the primary improvement from BDNF is improving growth and maturation of new nerve cells. Is that accurate?

    • Replies: @Tim too
    , @Tim too
  68. @nobodyofnowhere

    Thank you for kiboshing the dumbbell.

    And yeah, and she was not born that way–her father made her that way.

  69. @dfordoom

    If that’s what you believe your duty before God is to leave the US at once for a poorer country such as India where people have absolutely no problem believing the inequalities they suffer from are genetic and God-ordained. I for one believe that the day is no longer so far when most blacks heed the truth at last that they have a hard time in life due to a low g-factor and start puking all liberals who pretend the contrary.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  70. @John Regan

    Not the US regime of today : the US regime of always. It started on day one as an evil empire built on lies like there had never been since Carthage. Heed the words from the Marine’s first anthem, the US, though still dirt-poor and counting on their barbarity alone to compensate for the low quality of their ships, were already proud of burning cities all around the planet from Tripoli to Montezuma : the US was a legalized pirate state. The beautiful constitution was written exactly for the same reason Stalin would later on in history write his which was on paper the most democratic ever : to garner support among the useful idiots in Europe, in France in particular, so as to make them pay. In reality behind that Potemkin constitution two things were happening : slavery, which concerned Irish as well as Blacks, was being maintained and protected from all phasing out that would have resulted from America still being part of Europe politically, and the hunt season was open onto not only amerindians but all settlers living a too free life.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  71. @James Thompson

    There is also a strong association (debated by others) between use of strong cannabis and schizophrenia. It’s a difficult subject to discuss because it turns the problem of the disease back on the afflicted community.

    • Replies: @SaneClownPosse
  72. @James Thompson

    Education, money can never compensate for undesirable group characteristics.

    Environment, the desire to study and learn can compensate for lack of a proper study area. A stable family situation. A parent, who has the desire to do whatever it takes to see their offspring succeed and do better.

    Health, don’t forget about the easy availability of mind destroying street drugs.

    There is a organized effort to keep black people down. Who funds and directs that effort? The Music industry that promotes Rap music, especially violent gangster rap. The promotion of undesirable behavior as cool in movies and TV. Who owns and controls the Entertainment industry? Who financed the WAP video? Not white people.

  73. @Philip Owen

    Afflicted, because they made the choice to use.

    But hey, Media, Inc has been glamorizing cannabis and hard drug use forever. Why shouldn’t they think it’s okay.

  74. @Francis Miville

    That has the whiff of anachronism to me. And, as a matter of fact, didn’t the US outlasted international slave trade very shortly after the UK?

  75. annamaria says:
    @dually

    I wonder, what is your vocation. Are you a neurosurgeon of the highest caliber, an astrophysicist famous for her/his discoveries, or a molecular biologist? Perhaps you need to ponder on the ages-proven idea of giving children tests and exams before entrusting them with any serious jobs such as building the bridges and designing the aircraft.
    The very first IQ test was used to find if a person is intelligent enough to serve in an army. The test was used for practical ends. The politically correct wokes are surely in arms against such blatant support for the idea of inequality — till they or their children need qualified help. The best med. doctor I know is superbly intelligent: she has an amazing ability for pattern recognition, stellar memory, and excellent reaction time.
    The meritocracy-protecting tests do help to find the ablest among humans. The philosophizing on “the insoluble criteria of intelligence” has nothing to do with hard work conducted by great researchers in a field of human consciousness.
    Sorry to disappoint you but humans are not born equal; some children have greater general intelligence, specifically a better fluid intelligence, than others. Ask any parent with several children.

  76. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Francis Miville

    I for one believe that the day is no longer so far when most blacks heed the truth at last that they have a hard time in life due to a low g-factor

    If you actually believe that you’re in for a big disappointment.

    • Replies: @Francis Miville
  77. Tim too says:
    @res

    res, my instinct about the question of conduction velocity (unmyelinated nerves), was that since conduction along the nerve is a depolarization wave, dependent on voltage gated ion channels, that the velocity would depend on the density of such channels. On search, this was found:

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2017.00798/full

    “the conduction velocity of unmyelinated nerves is theoretically shown to be proportionate to the square root of channel density”

    It seems that velocity depends on the square root of the density. Which is natural, as the distribution is a surface distribution, that is, density is proportional to area, and so linear velocity would be dependent on the square root. What I didn’t get was that the nerve diameter would come into play:

    “conduction velocity in unmyelinated nerves was theoretically shown to be proportionate to the square root of axonal diameter”

    And he goes on with comparison to Hodgkin and Huxley’s model.

    The giant squid neurons come to mind. Large diameter. “Action potentials travel faster in a larger axon than a smaller one”

    About BDNF, my understanding is, it important throughout life. => memory formation, hippocampal function, synaptogenesis, etc and an important snp is the val/met issue,
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12553913/
    same guys
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12890761/
    https://www.cell.com/fulltext/S0092-8674(03)00035-7

    It also matters what are the Trkb levels.

    there’s a lot of refs to the val/met issue, and those papers can give some idea of bdnf function in adults. And several environmental factors influence the levels of expressed BDNF and it’s receptor, Trkb and the low affinity receptor.

    E&OE!

    • Replies: @Tim too
  78. @Bert

    Some good points, Bert. Currently I am residing in a 4th tier suburb, with family. By April I should be able to return to my rural homestead, with a ratty old shack, three large gardens, trees totally surrounding the property, wood heating and cookstove, walking water and running outhouse. Electricity from the grid, but only most essential appliances. Internet connection and landline phone service. Never bought a new piece of furniture, allowed a boobtoob into my home and I do maintain a belief that credit-cards are an un-necessary evil.

    In this suburb, it appears that everyone mows their lawn, virtually in conjunction with their neighbors. ..Weekly, like clockwork. Most lawns are “serviced” by firms that apply chemical warfare to destroy dandelions and other unwanted species. They put up little signs that warn off residents to not allow children or pets to spend time on that yard for some unspecified period. Also notable is that residents commonly purchase bottled water or the filtered type, but employ the taps for coffee, tea and cooking uses. Gardening is extremely rare and if it happens, is limited to tiny plots. Farmers markets are popular, as they provide real strawberries rather than the fake ones that look nice but taste like cardboard. Ditto, the tomatoes. Very few greens and herbs in the diet. Much ordering out for pizza and suchlike comestibles. Many keep dogs in the HOUSE–unheard of among more traditional countryfolk. The poor critters tend to be saturated with neuroses. Sheepdogs of various breeds are quite the rage. These poor things tend to be among the most neurotic, because they were bred to herd critters. The list of inanities and insanities could go on and on…

    In brief, suburban Americans live in an almost totally abstract, counter-natural set of environmental unrealities. They live in these places because they are relatively “safe” and in environments where “good jobs” are readily available for the mis-educated boasters of various academic degrees. The one element most absent in this habitat of a majority of the “great overwashed” is elementary common-sense. It simply ain’t happening here in the burbs.

    • Replies: @Bert
  79. @Biff

    Racists sabotage the water works to give blacks dirty water to make them dumb.

  80. Tim too says:
    @res

    “Is it possible to measure quantitative differences between people in that factor?”

    You can do this:
    (brain) microdialysis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2953244/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7382826/

    I don’t how much smaller you can go. But you can get some idea of what is happening on the extremely small scale in the brain, because various peripheral phenomena are recapitulated in the brain. Often, if you know what’s happening peripherally, you have a pretty good idea what’s happening centrally.

  81. haha says:

    Here are some excerpts from the table of contents of the book:

    13 Genes Are Not Important for Determining Intelligence
    14 Environmentally Driven Changes in IQ mean that Intelligence Is Malleable
    15 Social Interventions Can Drastically Raise IQ
    16 Brain-Training Programs Can Raise IQ
    17 Improvability of IQ Means Intelligence Can Be Equalized

    and then “Every child is gifted”.

    Now that is as woke a list as is possible to imagine. A woke table of contents to sell a neutral psychology textbook or a roadmap to a woke text ahead?

    Let us take “Social interventions can drastically raise IQ”. Hasn’t happened so far, after some five decades and hundreds of billions of dollars spent on closing the “educational gap”.

    Now to “… mean that intelligence is malleable”. Not our experience in life at all. The slow-witted and the outright stupid remain thus throughout life, despite all sincere and serious efforts by their teachers, parents, special tutors, and employers.

    “Brain training programs can raise IQ”. Tutoring and coaching have been seen to raise performance on IQ tests, perhaps to an extent more than the inventors of IQ tests would care to admit, but converting the dullards to shining intellectual luminosities? Ain’t seen one example in my entire life. The slow wits at school remain slow in general life and dim-wits at work.

    “Every child is gifted”. Now that is a cute one! Of course every child is cute. Even the donkey produces cute offspring, but to find giftedness in dull children requires more faith than most of us possess.

    I leave it others to delve into this book and post some reviews, my financial power being modest and in decline.

  82. Tim too says:
    @Tim too

    The relationship between nerve conduction velocity and fiber morphology during peripheral nerve regeneration

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/brb3.61

    “Recovery of mean fiber diameter was well correlated with MCV, even though regenerating nerves likely contained many small nonconducting fibers”

  83. Fróði says:

    I did not succeed to share this blogpost on Facebook. Got this message (Google translate from Danish): “Your message could not be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abuse.” Activists must be active.

    • Replies: @res
    , @James Thompson
  84. haha says:
    @canspeccy

    “(Intelligence is) the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills…. Once that definition is acknowledged, you don’t need a test to know if someone is intelligent, you can just observe their competence at whatever it is at which they have striven for competence”.

    Very sensible approach and perhaps as good if not better than IQ tests. The IQ testers and defenders have degenerated into a cult, purporting to measure something so all-encompassing as intelligence to the second decimal point. Yes, general intelligence (the g-load or g-factor in IQese) is a very real thing, and we all see its presence and absence in people we come in contact with. Different races do seem to exhibit differences in general intelligence and, more to the point, the way they put their abundant or deficient faculties to use.

    Your example of super high IQ Harvard graduates who are functionally useless brings to mind the massive spread of woke stupidity in places inhabited by high IQ types, the universities. What on earth has happened to their superior intelligence?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  85. res says:
    @Fróði

    You might try using the techniques described here.
    How to circumvent Facebook’s content censorship using archive
    https://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?p=9031

  86. dually says:
    @canspeccy

    The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills

    Of necessity, this would mean acquiring the truth, at least, because the ability to acquire falsity would be the same as “stupid”, and therefore useless. So what is this “truth” that only the intelligent can cypher? What’s this universal constant criteria?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  87. dually says:
    @Dieter Kief

    There is no single criterion for intelligence

    The presumption of the IQ test is that there is such an absolutely objective, one-size-fits-all criteria – and that it can be tested. However, no matter how well-informed our definition may be, no such definition can ever escape being a subjective opinion, relative to our own point of view. That’s the problem.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  88. @Fróði

    Unfortunately, Facebook bans any reference to unz.com but there is a way round it by using the archive function.

    https://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?p=9031

  89. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @haha

    What on earth has happened to their superior intelligence?

    What has happened is wide acceptance of the idea that Intelligence = IQ, whereas in fact Intelligence = (innate ability * the infinite capacity to take pains). Or as Winston Churchill put that another way, genius is one percent inspiration and 99% perspiration.

    As for innate ability, that may entail any one of many properties of the nervous system beyond the purview of the IQ-ist. That is why a person’s ability at the kind of puzzles presented by an IQ test tells virtually nothing of their ability to compose a symphony, write the great novel, excise a brain tumor, manage a battlefield, fly a warplane, find a path in the wilderness, or paint a sunflower.

  90. @dfordoom

    “And there are perfect valid reasons for the aversion that people have for these concepts.”

    And that reason is that you can insult a person in many ways and they may squawk, but in insulting their intelligence, even the stupidest guy on the planet will lock horns with you.

    “No matter how bad race relations are in the US they could get a whole lot worse.”

    Which is why we want separation. Many countries have broken up peacefully. There is a bit of bother with population transfer and staking out the fuzzy edges, but nothing that we can’t, in good faith, work out. The last presidential vote by county would make a good place to start.

    We’re not kidding. We want away from Democrats. They’re not our brothers, our sisters. They are literally and figuratively, aliens. The sooner we can separate, the sooner we people of sound mind can build a healthy, decent society.

    Secession now!

    • Replies: @Badger Down
    , @dfordoom
  91. spare me says:

    This debate gets tiresome…Of course genes play a role in IQ and intelligence. Intelligence is inherited thru genes in a significant way. Also true is that many other things effect IQ /intelligence lie diet, affluence, upbringing etc…
    No one has said that genes are a 100% responsible for IQ…
    Why can’t many things be true all at once??

  92. @Zarathustra

    ” retards never get crazy”

    As someone who has worked with the “developmentally disabled” , diagnosed with an IQ below 70 before the age of 19, this is not true. A very large portion of that population is on various anti psychotics and other psychiatric medications for everything from depression and schizophrenia to various low level psychiatric disorders such as pica. Downs Syndrome sufferers tended to be fairly stable, but some of them did have emotional issues and would copulate like rabbits with anyone willing.

  93. Some Guy says:
    @nobodyofnowhere

    Judit peaked as the 8th highest rated player

    If you peak at 8th fastest man in the world, are you close to being Usain Bolt, or some unknown nobody? Guess it depends on what one means by close.

    Good point about Hungarian Jews though.

  94. haha says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Yes, you make partly valid points. I think we both agree that there is some such thing as inherent intelligence (or quick-wittedness or mental sharpness) and some have it in abundance, most in moderation, and in some it does seem to be in short supply. Like in individuals, same differences across races. We also agree that to measure it in a single variable or measure such as IQ is not the full story. However, I do believe that an IQ test is not devoid of value. It does sort out fairly accurately the above 120s from the below 100s. What it does not do is to accurately tell the difference between someone with a measure of 116 from someone who measures 124.

    The SAT (and many student exams) are perhaps a better measure because they point to innate intelligence as well as the owners’ propensities to use or not use their brains in productive endeavors. Of course, to paint like a Master or to be a musical composer needs talents that are not measured by most IQ tests. However, a talented brain surgeon had to have had a high SAT score to have gotten into medical school, has to possess a sharp and quick mind to do his job, and in all likelihood will score high in an IQ test.

    Most of us, of course, concentrate on doing well at school and then in our professions. If we end up doing well, we don’t worry about our IQ scores. But occasionally, when we come across dullards in medicine or other professions (yes, some do somehow sneak through!), we do get tempted to look into their past. And then we often find a history of mediocre scholastic performance, mediocre schools, and mediocre exam results. And these things do correlate strongly with IQ scores.

    Just my two cents based on life experience, not any expert knowledge.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  95. Factorize says:

    I am uncertain whether
    15 Social Interventions Can Drastically Raise IQ
    is actually a muth.

    Increasing an IQ WAIS subtest score by d>= 1.2 through a 14 minute intervention is not a drastic increase? Other content free subtests in the perceptual raising scale (inclusing block design) are likely also readily open to a coaching effect.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0160289620300519

    • Replies: @res
    , @James Thompson
  96. res says:
    @Factorize

    One quote from the paper.

    Secondly, we provided in the video information about specifically those rules that were underlying the later administered figural matrices tasks, thereby maximizing the alignment between our treatment and our dependent variable. Therefore, the interpretation of our results is probably linked to such an exact fit of the explained rules in the video and the administered tasks. With the same objective, Loesche et al. (2015) excluded 10 of the 36 Raven items in their investigations to increase the fit. However, figural matrices tasks are based on diverse underlying rules (e.g., Hornke & Habon, 1986; Jacobs & Vandeventer, 1972; Preckel, 2003). Therefore and as mentioned before, it remains an open question whether and to what extent our results generalize to other figural matrices tasks.

    It is worth noting that such a homogeneous sample is going to reduce the standard deviation of the results and hence inflate d. They mention the homogeneous sample, but I did not see an acknowledgement of this specific point.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  97. Biff says:
    @Agent76

    “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Socrates

    “I know nothing!”
    Sergeant Shultz

    • LOL: Mark G.
  98. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dually

    Of necessity, this would mean acquiring the truth, at least, because the ability to acquire falsity would be the same as “stupid”

    But there are many forms of truth. How to apply paint to a canvas, seduce a maid, sell a used car, solve a differential equation, or beat a defender on the soccer field. Individuals differ greatly in the truths that they acquire.

    In part, such variation reflects interests, education, opportunity, etc. But it also reflects innate differences in intellectual capacity, for specific tasks. Leo Tolstoy never would have come up with the theory of relativity, Einstein would never have written a first rate novel, and van Gogh would never have succeeded as either a scientist or a novelist.

    Intelligence is thus not one thing. Different mental activities depend on different neural lobes, networks and ganglia, or on hierarchies of lobes, networks and ganglia. Moreover, these components of the brain are far from identical in physiology and structure. There are many types of both cells and cell-to-cell signalling processes within the brain, the latter dependent on at least eighty neurotransmitters. Despite the subjective unity of mind, the brain is thus a collection of many anatomical components and neurological mechanisms, each with its own genetic determinants and each modified by its own past experience.

  99. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @haha

    However, I do believe that an IQ test is not devoid of value. It does sort out fairly accurately the above 120s from the below 100s. What it does not do is to accurately tell the difference between someone with a measure of 116 from someone who measures 124.

    I think that is pretty well entirely wrong.

    Yes, of course an IQ measures something. Specifically it measures ability to solve certain types of verbal, numerical and diagrammatic puzzles. But that doesn’t mean that a sub-Saharan African who has had, like the average sub-Sahara African, just three years of schooling and who scores 80 on an IQ test is less sharp or quit-witted, to use your terminology, than an American with an IQ of 100. Indeed, on a soccer field, or in a knife fight, your African might prove a lot sharper than your average IQ American.

    And believe me, there are environments where winning in a fight or on the soccer field is much more important than being able to score high on a so-called intelligence test.

  100. utu says:

    “3 Brain size is weakly related .2 to .4 with intelligence”. – It is not 0.4.

    Meta-analysis of associations between human brain volume and intelligence differences:
    http://www.larspenke.eu/pdfs/Pietschnig%20et%20al_in_press_-_Meta-analysis_brain_volume_intelligence.pdf

    First, brain volume was significantly positively associated with all three investigated intelligence domains (full-scale IQ, performance IQ, verbal IQ). In all, 6%, 4%, and 4% of variance respectively. (p.14)

    6%= 0.245 correlation
    4%=0.2 correlation

    One may get 0.4 (16% variance explained0 after correction for range restriction and attenuation which might be questionable.

    we did not apply range restriction corrections for sample attenuation in the present meta-analysis which might have led to a slight underestimation of overall effects. We decided not to apply corrections because for a majority of the included samples standard deviations for test performance were not reported. Therefore, correcting for range restriction would have required us to interpolate estimates for these studies based on a comparatively small number of reported parameters, thus introducing further uncertainty rather than allowing us to assess a hypothesized true value.

  101. Jett Rucker says: • Website

    Short thrift? Autocorrect?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  102. utu says:

    2 Mental tasks correlate with each other, and it is easy to extract a general factor (and also some group factors) so it is not unwarranted to summarize people’s general level of ability with one number.

    The correlation is between tests scores. The general factor is usually dominant but it does not have to be so. Imagine a battery of tests. Each test is a series of tasks. Do factor analysis and get the first two greatest factors g and s (g>s). Look for the task among the tests that upon removal it from the test the ratio g/s will be reduced. Continue this process. In the end you won’t be able to claim that the second factor s can be ignored.

    The fact that g is usually dominant is because tests were constructed to so. There is a good reason to believe that one general factor dogma of Spearman influenced test constructions once the dissents believing in multiple factors were purged. Spearman dogma came from late 19th century thinking coming among scientists who were driven by desire to replicate successes of physics – in other words the physics envy.

    • Replies: @res
  103. Anonymous[107] • Disclaimer says:

    The article should be more accurate and break down the WHITE category…jews, non jews, catholics, rural, urbans, Western Europeans, Eastern Europeans, protestants, mix race whites, South vrs North, …now that Affrimative action harms high IQ ASIANS… now JEWS are demanding guarantee CUOTAS for less qualify jews to key careers…

  104. @dearieme

    You make the grade (especially according to the joke I got from Steve Sailer about the dog breeds responses when asked if they could change a light bulb. Labrador: Oh, please,please let me change some light bulbs. Collie: While I’m at it would you like me to check the wiring?). Mind you our best ever dog looked like well bred German Shepherd mother but with contribution from local Labrador’s partial ear floppiness. Imagine one which was as snappy as an Alsatian can be and as greedy as a Labrador! Now imagine the reverse, with a big sense of fun and affection thrown in.

  105. @ThreeCranes

    Good Grief! There’s no need for torture.
    “staking out the fuzzy edges” is a step too far.

  106. Factorize says:
    @res

    res, thank you for your reply and for the clarification.

    I continue to be concerned that a coaching effect might be present on the WAIS subtests especially those in the perceptual reasoning scale (POI). These tests have no content, so if there were only a few tricks involved, then substantial subtests score improvement as seen in the article (for a subset of questions as you noted) might be achievable: test validity would then be compromised. Specifically for the matrices subtest I seem to recall that a computer was actually trained on matrices questions from an Intelligence and it found that only a small number of tricks were in fact involved (can’t locate that article at this time).

    The same observation would apply to another WAIS-IV subtest: block design. Even after a few minutes of viewing online videos that demonstrate the WAIS puzzles it becomes clear that fairly simple strategies could be applied to increase subtest scores. Even just “seeing” the blocks properly makes a large difference. All that is needed is to start with the corner pieces and observe the colors of the outside sides. This simple perceptual shift makes solving the cubes much easier. A screen to determine what the initial subtest skill level of testees would seem to me to be a very helpful idea. Those who were test naive would have large learning curves; those who were fully test aware would not demonstrate such effects. It is not clear to me why on an intelligence test learning is not more emphasized; learning ability is the actually feature that one is interested in with intelligence, even more so than merely reporting the correct answer. When I mentioned this concern to my psychometrics tutor (who is clinically trained in IQ administration), the tutor replied that if it were apparent that a testee had been oviously coached for an IQ test then a notation would be made that the test could not be considered valid. Yet, I am not aware of any sworn declaration attesting to non-test preparation that is required of testees.

    When I mentioned my suspicion about this on an online forum one of the posters confirmed that large coaching effects have been observed with the block design subtest. Has research into this question never been published? I do not see how including these subtests on an IQ test could create a psychometrically acceptable instrument, if scores are so manipulable.

    My suspicions are further heightened with https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0160289609001287 Here we see in Table 2 a 1 SD difference in the German tests between the POI (i.e., the perceptual reasoning subtests such as matrices and block design) and PSI. Table 3 specifies actual subtests scores; Germany has a large advantage over the UK on matrices and yet on a nearly equally g loaded subtest– digit span the UK takes the lead. In fact, it is only on the matrices and block design both from POI that there is a German advantage. The tests that are not as easily coachable do not show such advantages.

    • Replies: @The Wobbly Guy
  107. anon[206] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s amazing how some people have the uncanny ability to take any interesting subject and turn it into a math class with graphs, tables and equations and in the process putting to sleep 95% of the population.

    • Replies: @res
  108. @CanSpeccy

    You are I know a provocatively anti-IQ extremist but, think about it: for managing a battlefield, if one fit soldier had a measured IQof 120 (plus excellent connections to examine why No. 150/400 in his class got to where he is) and another 140 you would choose the latter for sure unless you had a hell of a lot of evidence of non performance or specific disability.

  109. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    In whole or part, the rather slight correlation between IQ and brain size may reflect correlations between socio-economic status, diet and education, i.e., poor people are smaller than the rich because they eat less well both in quality and quantity, which results in lower (non-obese) body mass, including brain mass. At the same time they generally have less and poorer education which negatively affects IQ.

  110. utu says:

    If intelligence really varies in character between different cultures, then it should be very difficult to extract the “Western” general factor, yet in 31 countries, and using a wide variety of tests, 94 of the 97 (96.9%) samples produced g either immediately or after a second factor analysis.

    This is presumable based on Russell T. Warne and Cassidy Burningham paper:

    Spearman’sgFound in 31 Non-Western Nations: Strong Evidence ThatgIs a Universal Phenomenon
    https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2019-01683-001.pdf

    In the Table 3 authors list “% of variance explained in first unrotated factor” for 96 battery tests applied in many countries. The values have very wide range: 75% for Zambia (88) to 18% for Sudan (6). The authors do not plot histogram of the 96 numbers, do not list mean, median and variance. Clearly the range is huge and clearly a single factor explains different things in different places.

    I would ignore the part “after a second factor analysis” which belongs to the alchemical recipes devised by Jensen to get what he wanted by torturing data until the confess.

    The title and conclusion are a complete mis-represention of the actual results. Shame.

  111. res says:
    @utu

    The correlation is between tests scores. The general factor is usually dominant but it does not have to be so. Imagine a battery of tests. Each test is a series of tasks. Do factor analysis and get the first two greatest factors g and s (g>s). Look for the task among the tests that upon removal it from the test the ratio g/s will be reduced. Continue this process. In the end you won’t be able to claim that the second factor s can be ignored.

    This would be MUCH more convincing if you actually performed the exercise rather than just hypothesizing about it.

    • Replies: @utu
  112. res says:
    @anon

    It is amazing how the 5% of the population which actually understands graphs, tables and equations tends to find the process much less boring.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  113. utu says:

    1.414 worse than the white environment to account for the 15-point deficit. That is a very big environmental difference.

    The number 1.414 comes from the equation connecting two heritability’s. This is a tautology. Environmental difference is not defined independently. We do not what it is. Nobody has any idea whether 1.414 is big or not. Show us two environments that differ by square root of two on a specific real life example. How much smoking two joints per day is worth on that scale or being a prostitute at age 16?

    The assumption that heritability is around 50% seems to be reasonable from twin studies. The problem is that no GWAS result is anywhere near. At best with 100’s of 1000’s SNP’s IQ score or educational attainment were around 13% of variance explained. If we plug 13% into the table the instead on 1.414 we get a smaller number. Would this number be still big?

  114. utu says:
    @dfordoom

    And the next step would be to brand 40 millions whites who are IQ equivalent to 40 millions of blacks. Society can tolerate and find useful roles for the so-called low IQ whites. Actually society Always did that. However once you tattoo their IQ’s on their foreheads this won’t be possible as they will rebel and will dis-assimilate. The harmony of society hinges on the ability of mimicry that people at first can pretend they are assimilating and in the next stage they internalize this state, i.e., they become assimilated and have a genuine feeling of belonging. Blacks can’t do mimicry too well because of the external phenotype so they create a separate cultural identity. The so-called low IQ whites with IQ scores tattooed on their foreheads will develop a separate identity and will become another hostile minority just like blacks.

    Anyway, the IQists are idiots. The question is are they useful idiots? Who possibly could find them useful? Who possibly would like to increase the ethnic strife in society and kill the ability for society to be effective and well functioning?

    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @dfordoom
  115. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    think about it: for managing a battlefield, if one fit soldier had a measured IQof 120 (plus excellent connections to examine why No. 150/400 in his class got to where he is) and another 140 you would choose the latter for sure unless you had a hell of a lot of evidence of non performance or specific disability.

    A ridiculous argument.

    Obviously, for a challenging task you pick the individual with, to your knowledge, the best qualifications. If the only thing you know is that one man is 6 feet 4 inches tall and the other is five feet ten inches, you’d surely pick the former since he could be expected to have a more commanding presence. Likewise, if all you know is that one man has a higher IQ than the other, you’d pick the guy with the high IQ on the assumption that he could figure out a better strategy.

    But that’s not how people get picked for a job. They get picked on the basis of their past performance on relevant tasks. Given a choice for battle field general between (a) a dyslexic with an IQ of 90 who happens to be world heavyweight boxing champion and to have the personality of the late Muhamed Ali, and (b) a guy with an IQ of 140 who’s risen through the ranks of the catering corps, and I certainly chose the former.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  116. My favorite test of intelligence was articulated by the screenwriter for True Grit, many years ago, when he had, in the script, the John Wayne character saying about another character “I like her, she reminds me of me”.

    Now, if you have just read this comment and are thinking, right now, that it was a foolish statement by a foolish person, well maybe you are right.

    If you have just read this comment and are thinking, right now, well, after all, what is the point of testing intelligence unless you assume that most people you test will have less of it than you, well maybe you on a right path. Probably not – but maybe.

    If you have just read this comment and ARE THINKING, well, I have my faults, but I have really really understood a few things, here and there, over the years, and anyone who has understood similar things … well, they must have access (or must have had access) to something important, something that I understand (or understood) very very well …….and maybe, for better or worse, it is worth recognizing that ……

    I am gonna stop there. If you know where I was going, you know what I was trying to say.

    • Replies: @Nicholas Stix
  117. @Chris Bridges

    Perhaps, but if the book had not been written and published (assuming Amazon doesn’t kill it), that would make a considerable difference.

    At the rate things are moving within the antiversity and the Luegenpresse, within a generation, 99% of the population will know no true facts about intelligence.

  118. @CanSpeccy

    Now you are really getting provocatively ridiculous – with your finishing flourish. But I’m not going to let you wriggle out of the truth I adverted to because I might have seemed to be hypothesing that the choice was made on IQ scores. No, you know very well that, given roughly comparable experience and stamina, it would be the higher IQ general you would expect to perform better.

    To test your extremism: would you not expect an immigration policy which limited visas to people with measured IQs above 100 on tests they had been coached for to produce more contribution to national prosperity than one which had no s uch requirement cet.par.?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  119. @anonymous as usual

    In the context of the scene, there was nothing foolish about the statement. Like the entire story, it was about will, not intelligence.

    The John Wayne character had sought to thwart the teenaged Kim Darby character. However, when she escaped the trap he’d laid for her, and pursued him on her horse, he was praising her tenacity.

    The picture’s title, after all, was True Grit, not True Wit.

    • Replies: @anonymous as usual
  120. dfordoom says: • Website
    @ThreeCranes

    “No matter how bad race relations are in the US they could get a whole lot worse.”

    Which is why we want separation.

    I think you’ll find that this “we” you’re talking about is in fact a rather small minority. A minority that lacks everything a successful political movement needs – money, power, leadership, a coherent plan, mass support. The only thing this minority has is an infinite capacity for wishful thinking.

    I think you’ll find that most whites do not want separation. I think you’ll find that most Republican supporters do not want separation. I think you’ll find that most Trump voters do not want separation. I’m quite sure that a large proportion of white Christians would be vehemently opposed to any breakup of the nation. And do you seriously think the military-worshipping Gods ands Guns folks in flyover country would be in favour of breaking up the US?

    And the people with the money and the power would be absolutely and irrevocably determined to ensure that separation does not happen.

    It’s entirely a childish wish-fulfilment fantasy.

    Many countries have broken up peacefully.

    You mean like the way the American colonies peacefully broke away from Britain? Or the way the secessionist states peacefully broke away from the Union? Or perhaps you’re thinking of the Partition of India, which was mostly peaceful apart from a few million people getting killed? You really would be happy to take the risk of a bloodbath?

    There is a bit of bother with population transfer and staking out the fuzzy edges, but nothing that we can’t, in good faith, work out.

    Ethnic cleansing always ends up being mostly peaceful, as long as you’re not one of the people who inevitably winds up getting killed. And the chances of negotiating something like that in good faith are precisely zero because, in case you hadn’t noticed, there isn’t much good faith around these days.

    Secession now!

    It certainly worked brilliantly last time. How is the Confederacy going these days?

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  121. dfordoom says: • Website
    @res

    It is amazing how the 5% of the population which actually understands graphs, tables and equations tends to find the process much less boring.

    That’s fine, as long as you have no interest in reaching that other 95% of the population. Which means that even if you can convince yourself that you’ve won some argument with your graphs, tables and equations it’s totally irrelevant because 95% of the population isn’t listening to you.

  122. utu says:
    @res

    I am not saying that from a given battery of tests the g/s ratio by removing some tasks, say, maximum 15% of them, can be made arbitrarily small or large. But obviously the ratio can be reduced making the second factor more prominent and possibly to the point that it can’t be ignore. I do not think I have to do it to convince you that this is so, because you do know that this is so. If we could add extra tasks that correlate more with s than with g then we can make s>g.

    You, the IQists people, have similar reverence for various historical tests as Mormons for the book dictated by Angel Moroni or Jews for the tablets allegedly given by Yahweh to Moses. Binet, Galton, Spearman, Raven were not Yahweh nor the Angel Moroni. This suppose to be science no religion. That’s what you, guys, claim. But every new test introduced by ambitious younger generation psychologists is being tuned and harmonized with past tests, so the ‘science’ of psychometry is perpetuating the original assumptions that were implicitly contained in the first tests. By doing so you promulgate the dogma of one dominant factor.

    What I am saying is nothing new. Look at L.L. Thurstone:

    In contrast, L.L. Thurstone argued that a g factor extracted from a test battery reflects the average of all the abilities called for by the particular battery, and that g therefore varies from one battery to another and “has no fundamental psychological significance.”[72] Along similar lines, John Horn argued that g factors are meaningless because they are not invariant across test batteries, maintaining that correlations between different ability measures arise because it is difficult to define a human action that depends on just one ability. – wiki

    The criticisms by Thurstone and Horn were addressed by more harmonizations between the tests so some studies could show that g from different batteries of test correlate very high with each other. But not everybody was pliable to the dogma, e.g., Cattell’s g does not correlate that well. Apparently he was not a team player.

  123. dfordoom says: • Website
    @utu

    And the next step would be to brand 40 millions whites who are IQ equivalent to 40 millions of blacks.

    And there are plenty of people around these days who would just love to have an excuse to say that those low IQ whites are just useless mouths and that they should ideally be sterilised. White Nationalists might like to think about that before getting too enthused by concepts like HBD.

    Trump supporters might also like to ponder the fact that a lot of the MAGA hat-wearers are going to end up with tattoos on their foreheads identifying them as useless eaters.

    • Replies: @John Regan
  124. @CanSpeccy

    From the review alone, you will know that there are strong arguments against your views, so often repeated. Might you deign to read the actual book, and then consider whether you will ever change your mind? You are free to repeat yourself as often as you like, but it gets boring.

    • Replies: @canspeccy
  125. @Tim Howells

    If you replaced (3) with “The measurements show that the folks mentioned in (4) are smart, but not THE smartest” you might be getting closer to the real agenda.

  126. @Factorize

    Not sure what you mean by block design tests, but many years back I took a psychometric test to identify gifted students, only granted to those who scored 3 A stars for the Singapore PSLE exam.

    I had spent the previous few weeks obsessively playing Block Out, so the block shape manipulation questions (they gave a big complex shape, then presented several options asking us which of the options was the same block, albeit rotated in space) were relatively easy for me. Very clearly, this is a skill that could be trained.

    I qualified for the Gifted label, but I didn’t take up the offer for the best school in Sg. I went to a slightly lower tier school, but hey, our prime minister went there too!

    • Replies: @Factorize
  127. @Jett Rucker

    Sorry, my error. Corrected, with thanks.

  128. @dfordoom

    And yet, and yet…..many countries have broken up peacefully.

    “That which is great becomes small. That which is small becomes great.” Lao Tzu (slightly mangled because I’m too lazy to lay hands on the actual quote, but the spirit is there)

    Don’t assume that what you see today will always be as it is. Change is the norm.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  129. @dfordoom

    You don’t need the excuses of race realism or IQ realism to hold poor whites in deepest contempt if that’s what you feel like doing. Or to promote policies that destroy their lives. On the contrary, the world leaders in both these sports are precisely the most race-denying and IQ-denying liberals. So this argument is disingenuous at best.

    The more important point is another one, however. You can keep appealing to more or less fanciful consequences all you like, but the facts aren’t going away just because you don’t want to hear of them. Any more than the Boxer Rebels in China became immune to barbaric American bullets through their superior Chinese spirituality, as their gurus said they would.

    As science progresses further, the biological inequality of man will be not just objectively proven (it already is) but inescapably obvious. Even if the nihilists in charge can manage to impose a complete ban on all science and critical thinking in the West, the Indians and Chinese won’t stop looking into human biology. And as their understanding of such matters advances and they successfully implement ever more of it as social policy, the West will fall ever farther behind unless it reciprocates. Until it has rendered itself completely irrelevant, far more so than Qing China in AD 1900.

    Earlier in this thread you accuse other posters of lacking realism. This criticism is fair in at least some measure, but you illustrate an even more profound divorce from reality yourself with this noble-lie, see-no-evil mindset.

    What you call HBD is inevitable. The West needs it to survive. Just as China and Japan in the 19th century needed railways, battleships and public schools. And even if the West fails to survive in the end, it’s inevitable anyway. China refusing modernity and digging in its heels until it crashed and burned didn’t keep the railways out. The only difference the resistance made was that when they came, they were built to serve the interests of American, Japanese and other foreign imperialists. Rather than the Chinese people.

    In our times the stakes are even higher. So instead of screeching about possible horrible results of accepting the facts, we ought to try to face reality and make the best of it that we can. A polity that gives decent lives to as much of the nation as possible, while still competitive enough to defend the people’s happiness and long-term viability from its enemies. Within or without. And built on a foundation of truth, not delusions or willful lies.

    In other words, be Meiji Japan, not Qing China.

  130. @Factorize

    Thanks for the link to this interesting paper.
    As you say, the effect is large, and achieved quickly with instruction, so deserves attention.

    This paper is an example of what Jensen called “teaching to the test”, namely some type of instruction which closely matches the test material which is about to be presented.

    Several authors have already done this with Raven’s Matrices, with procedures which take “no more than a few minutes”. Denney 1990.

    Skuy et al. (2002)tested another 70 psychology students who averaged an IQ equivalent of 83. After receiving training on how to solve Matrices-type items, their mean scores rose to an IQ equivalent of 96.

    Rushton also found a training effect.

    https://philipperushton.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Performance-on-Raven%E2%80%99s-Advanced-Progressive-Matrices-by-African-East-Indian-and-White-Engineering-Students-in-South-Africa-2003-by-John-Philippe-Rushton-Mervyn-Skuy-Peter-Fridjhon.pdf

    Of course, the test is a test because you look at the items cold, and have to work out what the operating principles are, first hand. That is why it tests intelligence. That is also why there is a re-test effect which the authors quote as being .37 (mean difference equivalent) and also a retest equivalent on an alternate form of the test of .23

    Problems seen for the first time are the most real tests of intelligence, those that approximate most to novel threats and opportunities.

    What researchers rarely do, and what Jensen said they ought to do, is to show that this instruction has improved performance on other intelligence tests. For example, does it boost Block Design, Digit Span, Coding and Arithmetic?

    Last point, which “res” has already covered, it would be good to see more studies in the general population, where the standard deviations are much wider, and where even a video explaining the test construction may be to difficult to implement successfully. (I think there will be an effect, simply because you will save time if you know you must use some simple strategies, which you would otherwise have spent time deducing)

    • Replies: @Factorize
  131. @dfordoom

    No, it’s actually starting. Even in SA many Blacks are missing the days when the Boers were in charge as they rightfully associate more and more Black supremacism and Soviet marxism and its gulags. It’s no more oxymoronic than cohorts of former marxist workers voting conservative in Britain or Le Pen in France. You don’t hear it in the media but it Is happening. One thing is sure : Black vote in the US is a democratic plantation guarded by real black criminals and most Blacks just want to escape it anywhereto.

  132. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    But I’m not going to let you wriggle out of the truth I adverted to

    Wiz of Oz correct, critic of Wiz of Oz incorrect. LOL. At least my IQ is high enough to see through that.

    No, you know very well that, given roughly comparable experience and stamina, it would be the higher IQ general you would expect to perform better.

    And with that you concede my point, although I concede I did not put it well.

    I have already said that if there is no other differentiating information, then one would likely go for the guy with the higher IQ.

    But that is never the way that any important appointment is made.

    How many corporate CEO’s are picked on the basis of their IQ, not their past management performance?

    Answer: none.

    How many academics are picked for their IQ, rather than the impact of their published work?

    Answer: none.

    How many fighting generals are picked for their balls, their charisma, and their savvy, not their IQ?

    Every one of them — one would hope.

    (Which is why I mentioned Ali, who was certainly a very smart man, despite a low IQ, reflecting his dyslexia — though sadly he was too proud to get out of the ring before his brain got damaged. Otherwise, he might have made a better first black American President than Obama, despite the latter’s no doubt high IQ).

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  133. @John Regan

    I don’t agree : there is a danger that scientific racism applies first to poor Whites and White dissidents as it is a legit target : I have seen that at work in Montreal in the Douglas hospital being applied to French Canadians, Irish Catholic and even poor Jews (there are many) of the kind the master Zionist Jews consider deadwood : they all get sterilized in priority and are never given life-saving treatments when their life is at risk. And then extends without problem to poor people of all races versus their own master races : the Indian caste system in being reestablished and explained in a scientific way.

    You cannot compare HBD to railways, electricity or rockets : genetic engineering though it can wreak exceptionally awful havoc is based, like psychatric pharmacology, on ideology and world control ambitions. When you build a car industry it is to make everybody’s life easier and you weigh the pros and cons, whether you will end up with more or less time passed in toilsome transportation when everyone has a car : it depends mostly on the type of city, region, climate… But with contemporary genetics the matter is very different : it is based on Darwinism and Darwinian theory of species to species evolution, and it is damn known to whomever wants to delve that it is a domain rife with frauds and where every seductive hypothesis in fashion turns out to have been based on fraudulent evidence ten or fifteen years later, indicative of a heavily sponsored global will to convert scientists to some religion, not to open their minds to new horizons. It is based on so many assumptions that are for the most part based on ideology, especially social darwinism. It is based among others on the assumption that everything you need to build a new species is in the DNA, discounting many researches that maybe far more information is in the mitochondria, reducing the DNA-linked information to the role of options within a given model of life form and not of the whole plan of it. Last but not least genetic research is at the hands of big pharma and what they are in quest of is not truth but global control through enforced lies. If you give free rein to genetic research under big pharma sponsoring the whole Western culture of discovery, creativity, political idealism is at risk of being explained away as the fruits of bad genes of the kind to be found in the white lower castes (not the higher ones) and to be suppressed as such. This is already being done in psychiatry.

  134. @John Regan

    Your comparison with China is disparaging at best. China was defeated not because of lack of technological involvement : it was as such more interested in the first railways than many Western nations especially mediterranean who were reluctant. It was prevented from developing by the Jewish Sasson family and its tentacular network of corruption at all levels, especially among mandarins, which ordered deliberately conceived regressive policies like the EU bureaucrats of now. China had always some advance in the development of explosives, which contrary to the legend were not limited to peaceful uses such as fireworks. Japan developed because it opened itself to British-Jewish finance and investment while the same financial powers had decided that China had to be destroyed, exterminated and enslaved by all means in a majestic operation of revenge for imaginary crimes committed in Biblical times, like many white nations are now. Japan could develop because it sided with the Jewish-British capital and was ready to act as a proxy to destroy China, like it would later on be used as a proxy to destroy Eastern Russia in 1905. China up to 1850 was developing at least as fast as Britain. The onslaught onto China was Jewish (Sassoon) and Western powers which were at war with each other everywhere else were in perfect unison againt China because they could China only by the Sassoon’s permission.

    As for the Boxer’s own belief in supernatural imperviousness to bullets, it was in reality rather based upon parapsychological techniques to make the adversary incapable of shooting accurately and this kind of parapsychologists were used during WWII on the Soviet side with variable but generally quite great success against the Germans : it is generally a weapon to be found on the most evil side in great battles.

  135. canspeccy says:
    @James Thompson

    From the review alone, you will know that there are strong arguments against your views, so often repeated. Might you deign to read the actual book

    LOL. If Einstein had written a book entitled Thirty-Five Myths About Relativity Debunked, we`d know his theory was wrong.

  136. MarkU says:
    @dfordoom

    It’s all very well to talk about how precious the truth is but the truth can be dangerous and accepting truths can lead to catastrophic consequences.

    Accepting untruths can also lead to catastrophic consequences and I consider it pretty obvious that untruths are more likely to lead to catastrophe than truths.

    What you are apparently suggesting is that we must accept some untruths to ‘keep the peace’, particularly in the area of race relations. By rejecting the notion that racial disparities exist simply in order to “hold societies together” we now apparently have to accept the alternative notion, that all differences in outcomes and representation are entirely due to racism. Hasn’t that alternative notion also led to some pretty unpleasant policies? Hasn’t that notion led to the idea that there is racism everywhere because there are differences everywhere? and hasn’t that led to anger and hatred? In what way has that notion kept the peace and held society together? Tell me, how is that notion working out for Americans so far? Race relations all sorted out and everything? nothing toxic going on?

    Given a choice I would always go for the truth, at least that way we can find a way to address the problem realistically. Personally I think the only rational and workable solution to those problems is to treat people entirely according to their merits as individuals, regardless of race, creed or gender (real or imaginary) anything else is bullshit. Affirmative action – combating racism by treating people differently depending on what race they are, I don’t want to live in a world where I have to pretend that makes sense (the same with the gender equivalent)

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    , @Dieter Kief
  137. Bert says:
    @Majority of One

    The list of inanities and insanities could go on and on…

    I’m sure it could.

    Glad that you will get out of suburbia soon. I never lived in a city large enough to have 4th tier suburbs but I can believe that it can only hurt one’s mental health to stay too long. As for your frugality, my wife and I did the same, saved >50% of our salaries, owned only two used and three new vehicles in 60 years of driving. We had a couple of country places, but dealing with poachers and thieves got to be tiresome and so we moved to a lot near town tucked away from neighbors and future development. Fruit from April through December (kakis hang on the trees a long time). Best wishes.

  138. dfordoom says: • Website
    @ThreeCranes

    And yet, and yet…..many countries have broken up peacefully.

    And many haven’t. Many people have played Russian Roulette and lived to tell the tale. And many haven’t.

    The idea that the US would break up peacefully merely because that’s what you’d like to see happen is classic magical thinking.

    Look, don’t get me wrong. I would love to see the US broken up. The US is a menace to the entire world. Anything that weakens the US is a good thing for everybody. I just think that the odds are disturbingly high that any attempt at a breakup would result in a bloodbath. I don’t like the US but I have nothing against Americans and I do not relish the thought of large numbers of ordinary Americans dying as a result of an attempt at secession.

    There have been two examples in American history of secession, the first being the secession of the original colonies from Britain and the second being the one in the 1860s. Both led to lengthy wars. The first attempt only succeeded because the colonies got a lot of direct support from foreign powers, the second was a catastrophic failure.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  139. dfordoom says: • Website
    @John Regan

    As science progresses further, the biological inequality of man will be not just objectively proven (it already is) but inescapably obvious.

    Lots of things are inescapably obvious. It’s inescapably obvious that putting on a frock does not transform a man into a woman. And yet we live in a society in which the belief that men can turn themselves into women is widely accepted. You’re underestimating the extraordinary capacity of human beings to believe things that are inescapably obviously absurd.

    Human beings do not believe things on the basis of scientific evidence. Human beings believe things because they find those beliefs comforting. That’s how the human mind works. We are not rational creatures. Emotion always trumps reason.

    Scientific evidence will never persuade people to believe something they don’t want to believe.

    You can keep appealing to more or less fanciful consequences all you like

    Take a look at historical examples of one group of people (whether that group is an ethnicity, a cultural group or a religion) deciding that another group of people is inherently inferior. The results have not been pleasant.

    • Replies: @John Regan
  140. @CanSpeccy

    It seems likely that we are agreed on one thing, namely, that it is better, cet.par., to increase or at least not decrease the average IQ of one’s country. So, it would make sense, for example, when there are tens of millions of refugees in the world for Australia to choose the 18000 it takes for potenially permanent residence each year by requiring them to score >100 on an IQ test???

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  141. @dfordoom

    Let the blood flow! America needs to be purged, to be bled! Only through suffering can she be cleansed of her sins. For after all,

    “The crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.”

    “These men are all talk. What we need is action, action.” John Brown

    and

    “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth pilfered by the Negro’s fifty years of indolence and violent criminality be repaid, and until every drop of White blood drawn with the slash of the Negro’s machete shall be paid by another drawn with the sword of Justice, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” The Great Emancipator (somewhat modified)

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  142. @MarkU

    Good points, MarkU.

    @ dfordoom

    Simply tell the truth.

    “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.” Lincoln

  143. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    It seems likely that we are agreed on one thing, namely, that it is better, cet.par., to increase or at least not decrease the average IQ of one’s country.

    Not necessarily. There is nothing more dangerous and destructive than a surplus of high IQ educated people. If there’s nothing useful for them to do they’ll spend their time destroying society. Because they’re easily bored and because high IQ and educated they think they can improve society.

    A healthy society requires a small number of high IQ people. Once you have more than the required number you have big problems.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @Wizard of Oz
  144. canspeccy says: • Website

    when there are tens of millions of refugees in the world for Australia to choose the 18000 it takes for potenially permanent residence each year by requiring them to score >100 on an IQ test?

    Australia’s fertility rate is 1.76 births per woman (2017), which will result in around 300,000 births this year, many of those births to recent immigrants.

    Australia is planning for 160,000 immigrants this year, not eighteen thousand as you state.

    Australia is thus intent on largely replacing its own posterity with people from elsewhere and the children of people from elsewhere.

    Why not cut the flood of immigrants from one half to, say, one tenth of the present Australian birth rate and introduce a sensible tax policy that rewards intelligent women for devoting more of their life’s work to motherhood instead of, as now, striving to show that women are capable of doing the work of policemen, firemen, front line soldiers, corporate CEO’s, etc.

    That way the Government of Australia would be acting in the interests of the people of Australia, as one should expect of a government claiming to be democratic, while at the same time making future generations of Australians more intelligent, perhaps, than the present lot.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  145. @MarkU

    By rejecting the notion that racial disparities exist simply in order to “hold societies together” we now apparently have to accept the alternative notion, that all differences in outcomes and representation are entirely due to racism.

    Right. That and – history.

    These are on one side – and false or pseudo-solutions are on the other. Two communicating tubes. The source of a rather unpleasant dynamic.

  146. @dfordoom

    Not necessarily. There is nothing more dangerous and destructive than a surplus of high IQ educated people.

    I too think that this is indeed more of a problem than is usually accepted (or understood). That’s what culture – music, religion, and the arts and the sciences too, in a way, are for. Arno Borst eminent historian of the Middle Ages understood this phenomenon very well.

    Medieval Worlds: Barbarians, Heretics and Artists in the Middle Ages 1st Edition
    by Arno Borst (Author), Eric Hansen (Translator)

    The Ordering of Time: From the Ancient Computus to the Modern Computer 1st Edition
    by Arno Borst (Author), Andrew Winnard (Translator)

  147. dfordoom says: • Website
    @ThreeCranes

    Let the blood flow!

    You might change your mind when it’s your blood that’s flowing. Or the blood of your loved ones. Keyboard warriors fantasising about civil war need to talk to a few people who have lived through actual civil wars, or do a bit of reading about actual civil wars.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  148. @Nicholas Stix

    Nicholas – you get it. The Rooster Cogburn character was neither lacking in wit or intelligence.
    I agree with every word you said.
    Thanks for reading and replying.

  149. @dfordoom

    I suppose your point leads to the CCP making sure STEM is emphasised for the education of its high IQ people**. Contrast the chaos of America where the children of Jewish Nobel Prize winners go to law school and create vulture funds and lawfare!

    **It has occurred to me that invention of the tech future is not a priority for the West. We have already got, or have the potential for good healthy lives of over 80 years and Chinese inventions will be available to us after 20 years at worst if they aren’t selling to us already in year 2.

    *** ***
    The real fallacy of your objection is that we need to increase or keep up our Smart Fraction just to make sure there are competent people looking after our parents in nursing homes.

  150. @canspeccy

    I know by a certain age what we tell others becomes much more important than what they tell us, but you really have exceeded your licensed quota for proof of that.

    You were evidently intending to reply to me but, as well as not clicking on Reply you completely misconceived my “18,000” which clearly referred only to refugees.

    Still, I largely agree with your suggestion that Australia’s birth rate should be increased – amongst bright women at least. I would go whole hog with incentives to professional women and honours graduates so they could afford to have three or more children before they were 35, bearing in mind that realistically, in Australia, they are going to want to be able to afford private education or at least to live in up market suburbs where the schools are good.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  151. anon[105] • Disclaimer says:

    Dr. Thompson, thank you for this article, and for your patience with the morons who are cluttering up the comments.

  152. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    Hey Oz, you pompous ass, no need to be so fucking rude.

    Your reference to the “18000 [Australia] takes for potenially [sic] permanent residence” by no means “clearly” refers to refugees.

    But now you’ve made it clear that your proposal is to prohibit entry to Australia of refugees with an IQ below 100, one sees what a miserable anti-humanitarian you are.

    If a refugee from a place of war or famine has difficulty with a question such as:

    Two families go bowling. While they are bowling, they order a pizza for £12, six sodas for £1.25 each, and two large buckets of popcorn for £10.86 [each]. If they are going to split the bill between the families, how much does each family owe?

    What does it mean?

    Most likely that they don’t understand the language, don’t know what bowling is, don’t know what a pizza is, and have never in their lives seen twelve quid.

    What it doesn’t mean is that that are stupid, though they may be.

    Anyhow, the simplest way to raise Australia’s birthrate is to close the doors to immigrants. That way house prices in Australia would go from being among the highest in the world to among the lowest. That would largely free young people wanting to set up a family home from the grasp of the moneylenders. Women would then be under less pressure to contribute a major share of household income, and kids would likely become popular again.

  153. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    Incidentally, that IQ test question I quoted, how’s it supposed to identify a genius?

    Surely, anyone who is basically literate and numerate could get the answer more or less right.

    But how would it identify the billion-dollar (at today’s prices) artist Vincent van Gogh, or a mathematical genius such as Turing or Goedel, or a multi-faceted entrepreneur such as Elon Musk?

    It seems to me it wouldn’t differentiate any of them from just your average mentally competent and educated person.

    But perhaps Anon at #151, can provide me with the answer.

  154. Factorize says:
    @The Wobbly Guy

    The Wobbly Guy, the block design subtest is from WAIS-IV and is considered to be the gold standard of adult intelligence testing. This subtest was derived from Koh’s blocks circa 1920 and involves constructing block patterns using 2, 4 or 9 blocks. All blocks have faces that are either all red, all white or half red and half white. The half and half faces do not have left and right chiral forms so there are only 4 orientation for these faces.

    After exploring the internet and carefully observing videos of testees being administered the Block Design subtest it occurred to me that it could be readily learned. I asked around about this online and was told that a large score improvement is possible through coaching/learning (~2 SD).

    These blocks can be bought online (some with included design patterns for ~$25; make your own to save money). Some of the ads for the blocks show kindergarten age children working on block designs of similar complexity to that of the hardest WAIS-IV items. It might be fun to do our own empirical study to demonstrate the learnable of this subtest, if posters on thread are interested.

    Yes, I have also noticed a large learning effect on a range of video games, etc.. One of the standard questions on most IQ tests is to show a cube in a 2-dimentsional representation and ask to reconstruct it. I have typically found this a tricky problem, though I have started to see tricks that simplify the task.

    One of my most successful score improvements after recognizing a trick was the leaping frog memory task. The goal is to remember the path that a frog takes as it leaps around a flower garden. At first I had no idea how to remember the jumps. Yet, as soon as I gave each of the flower positions a number I immediately achieved a maximal score. It is always important to convert problems to something you find meaningful.

    Wobbly Guy, thank you for identifying your location. I am working away now on a course on inequality and your insights would be helpful to me. The below url illustrates one of my ideas about inequality. As we can see, we have the UK, China and Singapore– TFR vs Income (per capita).

    What I find so interesting is how random the UK’s path to development was (especially with respect to the Total Fertility Rate). This is quite shocking and worrisome. The UK had a TFR near to that of current Sub-Saharan Africa while it was trying to transition into a modern society as a ~2 Level economy two centuries after the start of the industrial revolution? This is alarming. Such an environment would have been highly inappropriate for children (especially those who were disadvantaged). I can begin to appreciate the perspective of English society that Marx developed during his stay in London. Such a development path clearly would create class conflict. One does not need to be particularly clairvoyant to perceive the lingering effects of such development in several modern nations including the UK, USA and others.

    It is uplifting to see how China and Singapore navigated this same transition once they were prepared for economic development. They were able to avoid so much of the misery that we experienced as we tired to become modern.

    Singapore appears to start this transition in 1958 and China in 1970. Singapore does a fairly good job in staying on course once the path is set. As can be seen, China clearly learned from the experience of other nations and appears to trace out a curve fitting perfectly to a regression equation. This is a remarkable achievement. Developing a nation in this way avoids almost all of the hardships that were encountered by the Anglosphere with their random walk. In particular, China avoided essentially all of the high TFR and level 2 income level region which would have caused extensive income inequality strain. Being poor can be OK, but being poor while others are rich can pose problems.

    Wobbly Guy, I am interested in your comments on inequality and the Asian experience. Would you agree that Asian society has largely avoided the infighting of Western nations that has likely resulted from a rich versus poor path to development? My theory is that Asian nations should now have a much more harmonious political system not so much because Asian society is so communitarian but more so because everyone has been able to rise up at the same time.

    An interpretation of the Asian view on government benefits would also be appreciated. I was quite surprised recently when I read that only ~7% of pregnant girls in Japan accept government mother’s allowance. That is diametrically different from Western norms. My thinking once again appeals to my theory that the Japanese (Asian) behavior in this way exactly because they experienced society wide economic growth all at the same time. In such a climate with everyone working hard to move ahead together, it would seem highly unlikely to me that anyone could just demand that others provide for them (even teenage mothers). In typical Western nations the right to such benefits is almost universally recognized across the political spectrum. Creating these ground rules would almost completely preempt the endless right/left division that is almost universal in Western society.

    Any comments that you might post would be greatly appreciated.

    https://www.gapminder.org/tools/#$state$time$value=2019;&[email protected]$country=chn&trailStartTime=1800;&$country=sgp&trailStartTime=1800;&$country=gbr&trailStartTime=1800;;&axis_y$which=children_per_woman_total_fertility&domainMin:null&domainMax:null&zoomedMin:null&zoomedMax:null&spaceRef:null;;;&chart-type=bubbles

    (Copy and paste the url above and enter it into your browser. Might need to hit the arrow on the bottom left a few times to have the animation run properly.)

  155. @dually

    IQ is a measure and a comparison – both criteria are necessary to make it work.

    What you say would be true for example if the (social) world would be new every day.

    There are experiences though because the (social) world is rather stable. IQ makes those a little handier.

  156. @CanSpeccy

    Well you were being implicitly just as rude because, if you suggest I wasn’t “clearly” referring to refugees it is only because you were attributing to
    me abysmal ignorance of my own country 😎

    As for your example of a question you imagine being asked of immigrants to ensure we don’t continue downhill i won’t waste time going into detail but merely note that we only need rough and ready tests of what the original Stanford-Binet tests were aimed at, namely low grade performance based on low grade ability. Would you really find it difficult to devise tests that would give you a fair degree of accuracy in sorting thousands of applicants into the unlukely-to-be productive net taxpayers and the probably able to be productive Australians or at least have children who will be?
    I wish your solution to the fertility problem wrt bright women were so simple. Life for QCs, scientists and medical specialists Is so much more interesting than being mostly stay at home mother that enormous incentives are needed to get them thinking of more than two being desirable.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @dfordoom
  157. @Wizard of Oz

    Add to the end of the first par that my proposals wrt refugees (of which we should take fewer, like Japan) include the humanitarian one of spending our money much more efficiently to help many more in countries of first asylum instead of preening ourselves on the generosity of our insignificant quota.

    At the end I should have added that I found superficially pious objection by a federal Treasurer when I proposed, as I still do, the small measure of waiving student debt for graduates who have say three children by 35 (say 50, 25, 25%).

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  158. @dfordoom

    Scientific evidence will never persuade people to believe something they don’t want to believe.

    In that case there’s no need for you to worry about the possible consequences of an impossible eventuality. If egalitarianism is undefeatable, none of the vaguely frightening scenarios you imagine have any chance of coming about.

    There is cause for more optimism in this regard however. The human capacity for denial of reality is certainly great, but not infinite. When contradictions between belief and reality become too great, in purely material terms if nothing else, reality tends to reassert itself.

    There is also the fact that even today, despite all the gaslighting, most people don’t really believe in egalitarian dogma at heart. No matter what they feel forced to confess publicly. Otherwise white flight would not be a thing, for example. Once admitting the truth is no longer punished with ostracism and terror, a great many will be very happy to do so.

    The present American system certainly won’t abandon its lies willingly. But like Qing China, they will be punished for it. Once their power dwindles away into nothing in a melting pot of dysgenics and multiracial chaos, they will fall to others who are stronger. Their replacements (whoever they are) will not be so stupid and evil.

    Of course, the regime will have caused untold suffering before then. Their crimes against the peoples of America and the West will rank among the very greatest villainies in all of history. But no matter how much they are willing to destroy to cling to their lies, the truth will prevail in the end.

  159. @dfordoom

    Can’t you tell when someone’s bullshi!!ing? Quoting the wild-eyed zealot John Brown for instance? Oh, never mind.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  160. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    At the end I should have added that I found superficially pious objection by a federal Treasurer when I proposed, as I still do, the small measure of waiving student debt for graduates who have say three children by 35 (say 50, 25, 25%).

    Either our political leadership is mor0nic, or it actively seeks to mongrelize the white nations, so one should expect nothing useful from them in the way of upgrading the human capital of those nations, other than by bringing in a replacement population.

    And population replacement through suppressed native reproduction and mass immigration is fully in accord with the objectives of the globalist elite that rules the Western nations now.

    Mass immigration:

    (1) Destroys the nation upon which the coherence of the sovereign, democratic nation state depends;

    (2) Drives down wages;

    (3) Drives up the demand for housing, and public infrastructure, thereby driving up the profits of the property development industry, the greatest source of wealth in every Western nation.

    If you really wanted intelligent white women, of whom there are increasingly few, to have more children you’d have to get serious about reversing the social changes of the last 100 years.

    In particular, you’d have to restore the economic equivalent of the sanctity of marriage. When a shit like Boris Johnson can, without a word of public criticism, take his latest mistress to Downing St., after sloughing off several wives, why the hell would any woman accept the traditional role of wife. Certainly, no woman with a brain.

    No, you have to tie children to their fathers by mandatory DNA testing (this especially important in nailing the fathers of the welfare class) — with mothers severely economically penalized for failing to identify partners responsible for their progeny.

    Then you have to extract money from the fathers for the life of the mother. This you do through child tax credits paid in cash to the mothers.

    The credits would be based on the income of the father. But payments would be subject to priority. The guy whose already fathered ten kids, likely won’t yield much to a woman who has his eleventh kid. Moreover, the status of any male, in terms of what he will yield to a potential mother of his child must be a matter of public knowledge. That way a woman can make sensible decisions about whose child she will bear.

  161. dearieme says:
    @ThreeCranes

    Zealot? He was a terrorist.

  162. MarkU says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Your example of an IQ test question and its claim of cultural bias is somewhat questionable. Let me illustrate my point by devising an example question….

    Two flookies go gleebing, they order a Znagz for 12 fligs, 6 drongs for 1.25 fligs each and two large grigs of krells for 10.86 fligs each. If they are going to split the bill equally between the flookies how much does each flookie owe?

    Are you seriously telling me that you are unable to answer that question because of your cultural unfamiliarity? Or even that it would be noticeably more difficult?

    • Replies: @canspeccy
  163. canspeccy says: • Website
    @MarkU

    Are you seriously telling me that you are unable to answer that question because of your cultural unfamiliarity?

    I think I probably could get the right answer either way, but I said nothing about “cultural unfamiliarity”. What I said was:

    Most likely that they don’t understand the language, don’t know what bowling is, don’t know what a pizza is, and have never in their lives seen twelve quid.

    To call ignorance of a language “cultural unfamiliarity” would be absurd. However, to suggest that the terminology used does not affect the response is certainly incorrect. The meaning of each word must be weighed if one is to be sure that one has correctly grasped the question. Thus “cultural familiarity” will affect the speed and possibly the accuracy of the response. If “cultural familiarity” were not an issue, why not put the question in its clearest and simplest form:

    (2 * 12) + (6 * 1.25) + (2 * 10.86) = ?

    But to me, what would be most interesting to know is whether two families that spend so much to consume such junk while engaged in what might otherwise have been a session of healthy physical exercise have a combined IQ in excess of a bucket of popcorn. Also, one would be interested to know their average body mass index and hence their susceptibility to a severe outcome in the event of a Covid19 infection.

    • Replies: @MarkU
  164. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    I wish your solution to the fertility problem wrt bright women were so simple. Life for QCs, scientists and medical specialists Is so much more interesting than being mostly stay at home mother that enormous incentives are needed to get them thinking of more than two being desirable.

    I think that’s the key to the fertility problem. Even if you’re not at the top of the socioeconomic ladder, as long as you’re somewhere in the middle class then life offers much more attractive options than motherhood. So even those middle-class women who want to have children are increasingly going to choose the option of having just one child.

    I honestly don’t see what could be done to make motherhood seem like an exciting life option. Even massive economic incentives are unlikely to have much effect (in fact they’ll probably have no effect). I’m also very very sceptical that providing more childcare is going to achieve anything.

    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
  165. MarkU says:
    @canspeccy

    To call ignorance of a language “cultural unfamiliarity” would be absurd

    Which is why I did not do it.

    The term I coined (cultural unfamiliarity) was obviously aimed at “don’t know what bowling is, don’t know what a pizza is, and have never in their lives seen twelve quid.” and I fail to see why you are making such a big deal of a reasonably appropriate phrase. Perhaps you are simply an egotist that cannot gracefully concede even a minor point and are simply blowing a smokescreen.

    • Replies: @canspeccy
  166. canspeccy says: • Website
    @MarkU

    I fail to see why you are making such a big deal of a reasonably appropriate phrase.

    Your phrase is fine. You just don’t seem to understand its significance in the context under discussion.

    Perhaps you are simply an egotist that cannot gracefully concede even a minor point and are simply blowing a smokescreen.

    LOL. Pot, Kettle, Black.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  167. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @canspeccy

    Yet the point in question is not minor.

    The question is how much does the language of a test affect a test taker’s performance, and the answer must be that it affects it greatly.

    The particular question at issue was essentially a matter of arithmetic. To make the test as culturally neutral as possible, one would surely need to state the question in the language of arithmetic rather than in English? To state the question in English, puts a non-native speaker of English at a disadvantage. And if the test taker is innumerate, then the question will have no meaning however stated and however “bright” the individual maybe as measured by the standards of their own culture.

    You may say these are quibbles, but they are not quibbles in the case of refugees the majority of whom come from the poorest and least educated societies in the world.

    For such people, I suppose one could put the question in diagrammatic form that even an innumerate person might understand. Nevertheless, an educated person can be expected to have a huge advantage over an uneducated person in the interpretation of diagrams — simply because education involves exposure to, and interpretation of, a vast quantity of diagrams. Therefore, I would say that assessing the intelligence of refugees relative to, say, the average Australian, by means of any kind of IQ test would be a largely meaningless exercise due to the “cultural unfamiliarity” the test process.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  168. Factorize says:
    @James Thompson

    Thank you for replying Dr. Thompson.

    I am somewhat unsure about what d means. Is d measured in standard deviations?

    Isn’t the central concern raised that the validity of the test is then called into question?

    As you noted “problems seen for the first are the most real tests of intelligence”. I agree. Yet, Koh’s blocks have been in circulation for ~100 years. Many people are highly familiar with these problems or problems that are very similar. Why pretend otherwise? Tests that were uncheatable would restore confidence in the testing process.

    The gains in IQ tests of ~40 points over the last century begin to be explainable.People might be no more intelligent than they were in the past; they might have simply more been exposed more to the test contents . I recently took an online version of the official Raven’s matrices test and received a perfect score with a reported IQ of 150+. This score is essentially meaningless. While I did not specifically prepare for the test I was highly test aware of the Raven. Creating a computer administered test using IRT theory would be a great move forward.

    I have been very excited over the last few days with a finding from the literature concerning the cognitive effects of lead on the human brain. It is quite startling. It appears that a global pandemic of psychopathy was caused by leaded gas in the 1970, 1980s and 1990s. The extreme levels of violence that occurred during those times can be partially explained by lead. Neuroimaging of those with high lead levels showed reductions in the prefrontal cortex: a region needed for impulse control. Now that lead has been a large reduction in lead, a criminal justice revolution is underway. Apparently, there are almost no young offenders; numbers are down ~90% or more. Over the next few decades the prison system might need to be mothballed.

    Is it really true that no industrialized nation made an effort to take randomized samples of their youth population in order to chart their neurodevelopment? This is very difficult to believe. Analyzing the neurohealth of the next generation is not a priority? One could well imagine that some nation might make maximizing the cognitive well-being of their children as the central mission in life. If this were done, then the entire planet might avoid repeating a tragedy similar to the lead pandemic. That no nation on the planet could actually recognize the problem during the time in which there was leaded gas and then only reversed the pandemic when lead was phased out due to problems with catalytic converters is more than absurd.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  169. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    And let me add, that cultural bias likely invalidates just about every comparison of groups by IQ test.

    This is evident from the Flynn effect, which according to James Flynn is largely due to change over time in score on the “comparisons” test section. Thus, for example, asked to say why a cat and a dog are similar, those of our grandparents generation, having little on no schooling in science, would likely have said something like, both are four-legged, or furry, or warm-blooded.

    Today, most children are exposed in school to a smattering of science and scientific jargon. Thus, many would say a cat and a dog are similar because both are mammals. That, apparently, is the correct answer, although Richard Feynman’s father would have disagreed.

    But obviously this difference in response, which is of a kind that accounts for much of the rise over the last several generations in population mean IQ in the developed world had nothing to do with a change in native wit. It reflects solely a change in the content of education. Then kids learned to read, write and do arithmetic, today they learn socializing, sexuality and political correctness, with a smattering of fancy terminology thrown in.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Chinaman
  170. amina says:
    @vot tak

    Only $99.00 and the shipping is free.
    It’s all about the Benjamin’s baby.

    The paperback is USD26 and the Kindle edition is USD21.
    It may not be all about the Benjamins but it is also about the Benjamins. Or are you a trust fund baby?

  171. Avalanche says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Wizard, go read around Dr Mike Eades’ blog (proteinpower: and it’s a com site). He has many brilliant and well-backed entries on cholesterol and health, including disassembling many ads and journal papers about it. No surprise, a LOT of MSmedicalM are lying through their … body parts … about it!

    Very useful!

  172. Avalanche says:
    @obwandiyag

    How do you know that A. Polgar and his wife were not ‘stunted and blunted’ as children by any number of ‘nurture’ factors? Maybe they ate lead-based paint as toddlers; maybe they were fed insufficient diets…

    “If genetics is the answer, then they should have passed on mediocre chess skills to their daughters. … ALL THREE SISTERS… geniuses.”

    So it’s entirely possible (likely?) that Polgar and his wife AVOIDED for their daughters the blunting that they themselves suffered?

    And, oh-yeah: N=2 (parents) or N=3 (offspring) in ENTIRELY anecdotal, and not data at all! You’ll have to assuage your outrage with some other method, preferably one that suits actual science?.

  173. @Factorize

    Cohen’ d is the difference in group means divided by the standard deviation of the data (both groups pooled) and can be used like a Z score. The usual range is .2 to .8 Typically, psychological therapies are about .6 before they can be considered to be any good.

    Tests can wear out due to familiarity, but computer generated versions of many tests can get round this problem to a large extent.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  174. anon[555] • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    And let me add, that cultural bias likely invalidates just about every comparison of groups by IQ test.

    Is there any means of comparison between groups that you find valid?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  175. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @anon

    Is there any means of comparison between groups that you find valid?

    Intelligence is:

    the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills,

    So if you want to compare groups on the ability to acquire or apply knowledge of a particular kind or a skill of a particular kind, go ahead: make the comparison, based on an appropriate sampling scheme and method of data analysis. Just don’t imagine that because the little green men from Planet Zog are better than humans at acquiring the art of nurdling and applying it to useful effect, they are necessarily better than a bunch of lads from Arkansas when it come to stick whittling.

    Likewise with IQ tests. Some groups undoubtedly score higher than others. Just don’t assume that a Silicon Valley billionaire with an astronomical IQ, can necessarily follow a trail in the wilderness like a South African Bushman, an Australian Aboriginal or a Canadian Innuit, whatever may be their IQs.

  176. Factorize says:
    @James Thompson

    Thank you, Dr. Thompson. d was so close in meaning to z that I had been unable to make the discrimination.

    Might you know the game theoretic term in which all players pursue their own personally maximizing strategies, while not bringing about reduced utility to any other player. I am thinking of a psychology “economy” in which the players choose to maximize their self-interests without causing others to experience a negative externality. Thus, maximization does not occur at the global maximum, but under the condition specified. (I do not expect this is considered pareto optimal. In a purely economic instance, the actual solution would be for none of the players to consume anything because this would then leave less for the rest. I am thinking of a game environment in which players have a range of game states available that do not automatically disadvantage anyone else.).

    For example, consider players A, B, C, and D. They can all stay in their condo and have utility of 10 each. Now, if A were to become friends with B, then both their utilities would increase to 15. Total utility is now 50. D assesses the friendship of A and B to enhance personal utility by 20. Total utility is now 70.

    C then becomes friends with D with total utility increasing to 105. However, A is not happy with this arrangement and has a 5 unit reduction in utility. Total utility has now been reduced to 100. Once C and D become aware of A’s unhappiness they call off their friendship. which reduces utility back down to 50. this game state has the maximal utility for all players given they all reject creating negative externalities for other players at the expense of achieving a global maximum utility.

  177. mikemikev says:
    @CanSpeccy

    You are confusing acquired skills with the ability to acquire skills.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  178. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @mikemikev

    You are confusing acquired skills with the ability to acquire skills.

    I may be confusing the issue but I am not confused — entirely.

    But there is a problem with the terminology as it is currently defined.

    Psychologists have foisted the idea of general intelligence upon the world and the compilers of dictionaries have been taken in, though less so now than in the past, when it was common for dictionaries to define intelligence in terms of IQ. That, one is glad to see, the Oxford Dictionaries at least, no longer do.

    In fact, just about all one can say with certainty of a person’s intelligence must be based on the actual demonstration thereof. Moreover, it is abundantly clear that the polymath is vastly rarer than the genius in a specific domain, and the omnimath, to coin a term, a person with the ability to excel in every field of intellectual endeavor, most likely has never existed.

    But the idea that because I excelled at x, a claim that almost everyone can make, I must be really intelligent in every conceivable way, strongly reinforces unquestioning acceptance of the assumption that there exists a single neurological variable underlying the effectiveness of all mental activity.

    What is difficult to believe is that such an assumption can be maintained by anyone with any understanding of brain structure and function.

    • Replies: @mikemikev
  179. mikemikev says:
    @CanSpeccy

    No it’s probably several neurological variables. We’ve been over this before, using the analogy of the top speed of a car.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  180. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @mikemikev

    No it’s probably several neurological variables.

    “Several”? More likely hundreds.

    But either way, the current theoretical model is wrong.

  181. Factorize says:

    @James Thompson

    Thank you for replying. I was always confused when they introduced the prisoner’s dilemma into economics or other courses; it seemed to me to be so disconnected from the rest of the material. However, the extent to which those in a community can recognize the mutual benefits from cooperation truly is of central importance to economic well-being. Self-interests can predominate over attaining maximal total utility.

    The approaching genetic uplift in intelligence and other human traits is likely being delayed for this very reason. Changing genotypes on a population scale will have overwhelming community benefits for everyone. This will without doubt create a new era of human existence; a near new utopia. Are we really waiting because it might disadvantage (relatively) a few?

    Very interesting research! One of the first studies to investigate income inequality with neuroimaging. Somewhat odd result; the thickness of boys’ cortex was unaffected in any combination (income, inequality). Poor boys in low income inequality environments did almost exactly the same as poor boys in high income inequality environments. If anything the slight advantage for poor boys was with high income inequality. These results were almost precisely duplicated with rich boys. All boys in all income inequality settings fit nearly onto an overlapping regression line. Income inequality did not matter for boys.

    Different story for girls. This is what all the headlines for the research reported. For girls income inequality did matter. Poor girls did somewhat better in low inequality environments, rich girls did slightly better in high inequality environments. When they conditioned on 2 different genotypes (NR3C1, and AR) the differences for the girls all magnified in the direction noted in the first result. One result showed a 0.5 z difference in the low income group for girls. Rich girls showed largish differences as well conditioned on genotypes. In these results rich girls in high income inequality environments did quite a bit better (vs. low inequality environments).

    Conditioning on genotypes again made some difference for the low income boys, though this was mostly apparent in the upper half of gene expression.

    The narrative that could be fit to these results is that boys are wired to compete. Income inequality is something they largely ignore by competing more. For girls, income inequality does matter to the development of their cortex thickness. To overcome this poor girls could be placed with other poor girls and this is maximal for their brain development (here we are replacing low income inequality with low income). In this environment they can form better friendships and not feel outclassed by rich girls. Only the rich girls do not have a readily available optimal strategy. For them high income inequality is optimal. They develop thicker cerebral cortices. The just so narrative is they can use their social position to acquire social advantage. Dominant guys do not pursue this strategy because they are too preoccupied with competing. It is also of interest that under all scenarios girls develop thicker cortices than boys.

    This finding could redefine the discussion about income inequality. This first study found that the effects were gender determined with only the rich girls having the supposed paradoxical result of being better off in high income inequality environments. This result suggests that income segregation might produce the optimal outcome.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-07735-2

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  182. @Factorize

    Thanks for the paper. I thought it was a very, very complex analysis to do on roughly 800 subjects, so while interesting, I would have preferred to see simply how the cortical thickness measures related to ordinary demographic variables. In that way I could see what general factors were likely to be involved.

    “Too clever by quarters” is my initial reaction.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  183. can they measure discipline? I have been training locksmith for 20 years already and there is no more valuable asset than the discipline. Give me one discipline individual and you keep the smarts.

  184. @CanSpeccy

    Likewise with IQ tests. Some groups undoubtedly score higher than others. Just don’t assume that a Silicon Valley billionaire with an astronomical IQ, can necessarily follow a trail in the wilderness like a South African Bushman, an Australian Aboriginal or a Canadian Innuit, whatever may be their IQs.

    I have seen this sort of statement from several people.

    And yes, the people you mention are very good at those things, mainly because they have been selected for hardware support for those activities.

    There is at least one paper out there that points out that Australian Aborigines have larger striate cortex areas than the rest of us and that supports their greater visual acuity and their tracking ability.

    However, that really does not matter because the world has mostly moved on from that sort of lifestyle.

    If and when we see nuclear winter or some other great catastrophe those abilities may well be selected for again, but that does not mean that IQ is not a valid measure.

    Indeed, IMO, IQ is very important in large-scale civilizations because of the complexity of living in such civilizations.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  185. Chinaman says:
    @CanSpeccy

    I think the part of the Flynn effect is just kids maturing faster due to better nutrition. I believe the Flynn effect for adults in the West flatlined long time ago.

    With so much emotional baggage associated with IQ, real world tests like PISA or number of IMO winners are much better representation of cognitive abilities. Look at America’s IMO team.

  186. ABCStar says:
    @Chinaman

    [Simply repeating the same ignorant comment on multiple threads is bad behavior and may get most of your future comments trashed.]

  187. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Chinaman

    real world tests like PISA or number of IMO winners are much better representation of cognitive abilities.

    Yes, performance reflects actual cognitive ability, whereas potential assessed by IQ test offers only a vague and uncertain indication of what performance might be if motivation and education combined in a favorable way.

    That is why I say that grading young people by IQ can be seriously harmful. It discourages those of high score from working hard since, being so smart, what’s the need, and it discourages those of low score from working hard hard since, being so dumb, what’s the point.

    • Agree: dfordoom
  188. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    Indeed, IMO, IQ is very important in large-scale civilizations because of the complexity of living in such civilizations.

    Is that really true? It’s undoubtedly true that modern large-scale civilisations require a certain number of high IQ individuals. But does the average person in a modern large-scale civilisation need a high IQ? How smart do you need to be to be a cubicle drone, or a barista, or a manicurist, or a diversity counsellor, or a Uber driver, or a salesman, or a bureacrat?

    If you look at the history of personal computers, smartphones, etc, the trend has been towards making these devices incredibly simply for morons to use. And now we’re moving towards self-driving cars which means that a person with an IQ of 60 can drive a car. Even without self-driving cars all modern cars tell people how to get from Point A to Point B. You don’t even need to be able to read a map. In our modern society you don’t even need to be able to read.

    We are in fact moving towards a society which requires only a very low level of intelligence from most of its citizens.

    I’d argue that for most people in the modern world survival is much less complex than it was a hundred years ago. It’s even possible that survival in the modern world is less complex than survival in pre-industrial societies.

    Our society could survive just fine with a very small high-IQ intellectual elite and with 95% of the population being functionally illiterate with IQs of around 85.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  189. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dfordoom

    Our society could survive just fine with a very small high-IQ intellectual elite and with 95% of the population being functionally illiterate with IQs of around 85.

    But, really, why bother with the 95% at all? Best to sterilize the lot of them, or the next best thing, destroy their fertility by cultural means. And that is the way the Western nations are going, with H1b visa immigrants increasingly to provide the techies the elite need to keep the machinery of upper class civilization and lower class repression running smoothly.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  190. Factorize says:
    @James Thompson

    This is extremely fascinating research!

    800? For an initial study? That is quite large scale. I was expecting more like 10 per arm (though the figures clearly show more than that). This study must have cost millions of dollars; MRI scanning is not free. I am not aware of typical research protocols to disagree with confidence on the study design or sample sizes used, though 100 per subgroup seems more than adequate. Especially when you consider the consistency of some of the data (e.g., all the boys (~400) could arguably be combined into a single group). In a rural setting with substantial endogamy, the study subjects would likely be quite homogeneous.

    The patterns of regularity in the figures are amazingly strong (this even crosses the gender line). So, all the 4 subgroups of boys on the top line regression are essentially exactly on the same regression line. Yet, strangely the low income (Li) high income inequality (hii) girls (together Lihii) are also almost exactly on that same regression equation. Apparently, challenging social circumstances can masculinize female brains. The low income (Li) low income inequality (lii) girls (together Lilii) can be placed on basically the exact same regression as the high income (Hi) girls. Thus, conversely a female friendly context exists where the more expected female behavioral phenotype emerges. With boys there is no condition under which a male brain does not occur (i.e., male brains never feminized).

    I am confused about the result of the girls with boy brains. How could that happen when the girls would have so much less testosterone? The x-axes on the figures for AR (testosterone) for girls and boys are on the scale which further heightens the confusion. shouldn’t boys have much higher AR expression (than girls)?

    When we look at the cortical thickness by AR expression we can provide some nuance to the results. Once again we see that the all 4 subgroups of the boys have a very similar regression line. However, in this instance we see a deflection upwards of the regression line for the rich boys (Hihii and Hilii) . There seems to be at least some aspect of a too cool to compete for boys of about -0.1 z of cortical thickness at maximal AR.

    Once again we see poor hii girls with nearly exactly the same regression as boys (especially the combined poor boy regression (Lilii and Lihii). What is now more than slightly interesting is that the rich lii girls are now basically also perfectly overlapping the male regression curve (especially the combined Lilii and Lihii regression). This is somewhat uncertain as the two top points of this figure have a great deal of leverage and probably have singlehandedly rotated down the rich girl lii regression line. Without those points lii rich girls would have a flattish regression with quite a bit of cortical thinking across all AR expressions. Once again the Lilii and Hihii girls have almost the same regressions. Both of these subgroups do not have to compete like boys and apparently this creates a beneficial effect on cortical thickness (i.e., thicker). In summary, this figure also gives
    us two regressions: one a stereotypical boy brain (which includes the Lihii and the Hilii girls) and the other a stereotypical girl brain (Lilii and Hihii girls).

    OK, the above discussion about the AR expression figures is not exactly correct. The y-axis used was actually z-transformed correlations between cortical thickness and age in 34 brain regions. I am very unclear whether you can now compare these figures to Figure 1 (They are using different y-axes!). Nevertheless, one of the more striking results in these AR figures is that hii an dlii datapoints dramatically fractionate (especially with the girls). Look at the bottom of the AR figure subpanel a. It is remarkable. Starting from the bottom almost every point is black until roughly -0.3. The hii black dots for the girls are almost exclusively below the lii white dots for the Li girls.
    Ditto for the Hi lii girls. Ditto to a somewhat extent for the Li lii boys. It is not clear to me whether this would allow you to take these correlations and then make inferences about individuals (my guess is no). Combining datapoints often gives neat separations that can then not be meaningfully de-aggregated to the individual level.

    The Nr3C1 (cortisol) figures give nearly the same result as the AR (testosterone) figures.

    This is very intriguing research. The bottom line summary– competitive behaviors (conditioned on income and income inequality) appear to act to thin the cerebral cortices of maturing teenagers. Boys will always be boys, though sometimes under specific conditions of income and income inequality, the brains of girls can become boy brains.

    This is the narrative that the article appears to be suggesting. However, after reading some of the cortical thickness literature I am not so sure. The literature speaks of how high intelligence people actually have more cortical thinning during their teenage years. Also it appears that cortical thinning does not represent some permanent injury but there is life long remodeling. I would have thought (in aggreement with the authors that cortical thickness during adolescence) would be an ideal way of testing the income inequality hypothesis, though I am now unsure.

    Also of note is their research hypothesis is that the changes in cortical thickness that they documented will lead to mental health consequences for some of the participants in the study. Basically, they are now waiting for the subjects to convert to being mentally ill and then they can
    collect hospital records of their commitment as verification. I am very unsure about the ethics involved here. Has everyone truly been fully consented for this study? Are they fully aware of the research related to cortical thickness and mental health problems? Given modern standards I suspect everything is above board, though I would still not feel comfortable with the plan. Especially when it seems quite likely that one could have strong predictive ability in selecting those who are probably on their way to trouble. For instance they could use the cortical thickness measures, along with AR, NR3C1 and possibly genotypes.

    This is the research that could finally radically redefine the 21st century. This is powerful science that will allow us to deeply probe how our societies function at the neuroexperiential level. Such research might bring us to the game state in which everyone can achieve their maximal utility without disadvantaging anyone else. Apparently in this study optimal strategies are available to everyone with the need for mass income transfer.

    One last note: in the study “poor” and “rich” are defined as ~$37K and ~$75K respectively. Such income levels would greatly constrain the extent to which the “rich” in the study could choose the affluenza option.

  191. dfordoom says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    But, really, why bother with the 95% at all? Best to sterilize the lot of them, or the next best thing, destroy their fertility by cultural means.

    The 95% serve three essential functions. Firstly, they consume. There is no higher service a citizen can render to society. Low IQ people make superb consumers.

    Secondly, where’s the fun in being a wealthy member of the elite if you don’t have the 95% to look down on?

    Thirdly, the 95% are needed for those jobs that rich people won’t do but that rich people consider to be essential services – the 95% provide the nannies, the gardeners, the baristas, the manicurists, the waiters, the Uber drivers, the cleaners, etc. Without the existence of the 95% rich women might have to their own nails and care for their own children. The horror, the horror.

    • Replies: @canspeccy
  192. bispora says:
    @obwandiyag

    Polgárs are ashkenazi jews. Once I red a 150+ IQ test result for Judit. Working 10 hours day by day from as early as 4 years old with a cognitive capacity above 130 on the very specific, learnable and logic field like chess yielded 3GM in the Polgár family. It is not miracle it is as predictable a s physics…

  193. canspeccy says: • Website
    @dfordoom

    The 95% serve three essential functions.

    Ha! You are no doomster. In future I shall refer to you as Candide.

    Firstly, you say, they [the 95%] consume.

    Well Jeff Bezos and the Walton family may miss the 95%, but they’ll get over it. They’ll revise their business model from selling five dollar crap to the sweaty debt-laden masses to selling five-million dollar crap to the perfumed rich and idle.

    Secondly, you say, where’s the fun in being a wealthy member of the elite if you don’t have the 95% to look down on?

    Don’t worry, there will always be a 95% for the elite to lord it over even as the world population is reduced to — what is it the Georgia DoomStones require — 500 million? There will be the H1b visa crowd and the brighter, more subservient, and better looking natives. These will make up the class of techies and fawning personal servants who will build the super yachts, the executive jets, the mansions and castles of the elite, and provide the masseuses, and whores for the gratification of Jeffrey Epstein and his elite friends.

    Thirdly, you say, that the 95% are needed for those jobs that rich people won’t do.

    But most of those jobs are really 95 percenters doing stuff for other 95 percenters. And anyhow automation will take care of most of the work. Buildings will be 3-D printed, the production distribution of goods will follow models being pioneered by Musk and Bezos, goods will be manufactured in lights-out factories and distributed by way of stores with no staff, and by home delivery by autonomous vans and drones.

    No, the world is going to be a much better place — for some. For the rest, don’t worry. You will be eased out of this world with a synthetic virus while your useless posterity is effectively sterilized through sex “education” that promotes, and in time only tolerates, non-reproductive sex.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  194. Factorize says:

    Very exciting!

    Genomics England wants to up the ante of the UKBB 500K’s full genomes to 5M. Startling. UKBB 500K is below the scale needed for a full unlock of the human genome. It has been frustrating to be within range of the unlock, yet just short. 5M moves you to phase boundary and probably beyond. Fully unlocking the human genome … that will be fascinating.

    Of course, things could become even more interesting if they were to open up a portal on the cloud and let those of English ancestry upload their full genome sequences and report phenotype information. Full genome sequencing is moving to $100. There could be hundreds of millions of genomes that would like to be uploaded. This would be a remarkably effective way of finding human variants of interest. When you get it right from the start, prosperity beats a path to your door.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @res
  195. dfordoom says: • Website
    @canspeccy

    No, the world is going to be a much better place — for some. For the rest, don’t worry. You will be eased out of this world with a synthetic virus while your useless posterity is effectively sterilized through sex “education” that promotes, and in time only tolerates, non-reproductive sex.

    If the elites want population reduction why are they so determined to increase population through immigration?

    Maybe the answer is that the elites are not monolithic. Maybe the elites are actually divided into multiple factions all with different agendas, and are united only by their desire to maintain elite power and by their fear of losing that power.

    There seem to be members of the elites who subscribe to doomsday environmentalist beliefs (OMG the planet will die unless we reduce world population by 90%!) but they’re just one small faction. The majority view within the elites seems to be that capitalism requires a continually increasing population. There are members of the elites who would like to see the UN become a world government, but there are others who want a global American Empire run entirely from Washington.

    There are members of the elites who care about nothing but corporate profits. There are others who are ideologically motivated and want to socially engineer a perfect world. There are members of the elites who are True Believers in the LGBT and feminist agendas while there are others who see those ideologies merely as tools to maintain their power by divide-and-conquer tactics.

    There are members of the elites who would like to see totally unfettered free markets, while there are others who favour rule by massive bureaucracies.

    Maybe we’re not dealing with a single vast conspiracy but with half a dozen or more elite factions all pursuing their own goals.

    • Thanks: JackOH
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  196. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dfordoom

    If the elites want population reduction why are they so determined to increase population through immigration?

    That’s obvious. They want to destroy the sovereign nation state. This is a necessary prelude to globalization. So the solution is to suppress native reproduction but bring in people from elsewhere to keep the property developers happy and house prices sky high (a requirement of the native sterilization program).

    The immigrants, like settlers anywhere, wish to suppress the native interest and so favor globalization and will duly vote for it.

    Maybe we’re not dealing with a single vast conspiracy but with half a dozen or more elite factions all pursuing their own goals.

    That’s correct. But all elites wish to remain elites, which means continuing to make as much money as possible, while doing as much harm as possible to as many people as possible, to quote the slightly jaundiced view of the late Gore Vidal. So, my dear Candide, what you can be sure of is that none of the elites, whatever their specific plans, give a damn about you.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  197. dfordoom says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    That’s obvious. They want to destroy the sovereign nation state. This is a necessary prelude to globalization. So the solution is to suppress native reproduction but bring in people from elsewhere to keep the property developers happy and house prices sky high (a requirement of the native sterilization program).

    That doesn’t make sense. The most enthusiastic supporters of the globalist project are white people. The most enthusiastic supporters of all the projects being pushed by globalists are white people. Globalism is a white person ideology.

    But all elites wish to remain elites, which means continuing to make as much money as possible, while doing as much harm as possible to as many people as possible

    That doesn’t make sense either. The one thing the elites do not want is social chaos. Elites always fear social chaos. If society collapses the elites go down the toilet along with everybody else.

    That’s the problem with most right-wing conspiracy theories. When you examine them closely they make no sense.

    • Agree: utu
  198. @Factorize

    This is good news, and should lead to considerably greater understanding of the role of genetics.

  199. JackOH says:
    @dfordoom

    Your comment earlier regarding the non-monolithic nature of elites rates gold-border and comment of the month status.

  200. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @dfordoom

    That doesn’t make sense. The most enthusiastic supporters of the globalist project are white people. The most enthusiastic supporters of all the projects being pushed by globalists are white people. Globalism is a white person ideology.

    There you go again, Candide, whatever horror appears before you, you always manage to see in it the best in the best of all possible worlds.

    But it is actually what you and Utu think that makes no sense, or rather is simply false. One hundred and seventy-five years ago, British Prime Minister to be, the Jew Benjamin Disraeli, wrote, there are in England:

    “Two nations; between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws.– THE RICH AND THE POOR.”

    The divide remains to this day throughout the the Western nations. And the rich of the formerly white and now distinctly mixed color nations have always shafted their own people without restraint and certainly have no intention of ceasing to do so now.

    As for elites not wanting society to collapse, I said nothing about collapse. Damaging the mass of mankind doesn’t harm elites, it strengthens them. And what, incidentally, is right wing about pointing out that the ultra far right wing elite taking their own nations apart to maximize their own profits?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  201. res says:
    @Factorize

    Thanks. Do you have any recent information on this? Here is a 2018 article which gave a 5 year timeline for reaching 5 million.
    https://www.genomicsengland.co.uk/matt-hancock-announces-5-million-genomes-within-five-years/

    • Replies: @Factorize
  202. dfordoom says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    As for elites not wanting society to collapse, I said nothing about collapse. Damaging the mass of mankind doesn’t harm elites, it strengthens them.

    Damaging the mass of mankind is what leads to revolutions, and revolutions often end with members of the elites getting lined up against a wall and shot. A situation that does not please the elites. The elites are generally indifferent to the sufferings of ordinary people and regard ordinary people with contempt but inflicting harm on ordinary people merely for the joy of causing harm makes no sense. That’s a guaranteed way to end up swinging from a lamp-post.

    Elites generally understand that it necessary to ensure that the masses don’t suffer too much. Even the English ruling class of the 19th century made efforts to ameliorate the sufferings of the working class. The number one priority of all elites is avoiding a getting-lined-up-against-a-wall-and-shot situation.

    It’s also again important to remember that the elites are not monolithic. To take the 19th century English elites as an example, they included psychotic bastards but they also included do-gooders who had genuine concerns for the poor and they included cynics who recognised that it was advisable not to make the lives of the poor too miserable. Churchill is a good example. Winston Churchill was one of the most vicious, cynical, dishonest bastards who ever walked the Earth but he was a strong believer in social programs to help the poor because he believed that was the only way to avoid a socialist revolution which would have ended with people like Winston Churchill hanging from lamp-posts.

    I think it’s true of our modern elites as well. Some are psychotic monsters. Some are well-intentioned but misguided. Some genuinely believe their social engineering projects will make society better. Some are motivated by a desire to avoid getting lined up against a wall and shot.

    The elites are a coalition of interest groups with widely varying agendas. Some of those agendas are pure evil (such as the neocon agenda), but some are paternalistic and in their own way well-meaning. Some of the elites are simply old-fashioned American imperialists. Some are sincere internationalists. Some are motivated by pure greed while others are ideologically motivated. Some are motivated by hate and some by fear. Some are egotists who want to be seen as saviours. Some are degenerates (such as those pushing the LGBT agenda), some are idealists.

  203. Factorize says:
    @res

    res, thank you for replying. It is a great honor to have a gold star unzer responding to my post.

    Thank you also for double checking my claim. As you noted this is really not news as it was originally announced a few years ago. Yet, what I think is important is to check every once and while on how things are drifting forward and as is your specialty to double-check all claims of supposed fact (especially when these claims seem fantastical).

    When I recently stumbled upon the 5 million genome claim again I was startled. While I believe that this specific news item has been previously discussed on this blog, it heightened my interest because we know that 5 million would give us nearly a complete unlock of the human genome. I have been worried all day thinking about this. The science that is being done now is of high social significance. Truly unlocking the human genome could rapidly create profound social change.

    The idea that flashed in my mind today was that 5 M genomes moves us into the event horizon of a total fertility collapse. There is no possible scenario in which someone who had the choice now to delay reproduction until after the unlock (I had thought this would be 2023/24 as per my understanding of the Genomics England site) would not make this choice as their optimal rational strategy. Scientific research creates consequences. I am not sure whether these consequences are fully recognized by mainstream society.

    I did double check with the Genomics England site and in their latest news update they confirm
    the 2023/2024 timeframe, though they are talking about only 500,000 full genomes and another 4 million + genome analyses which I take to mean genechips. This will not give a full unlock. It is somewhat disappointing.

    However, it is not clear to me that the unlock will need to wait past 2023/2024. Full genome sequencing has fallen below $1000 after holding at that price for about 5 years. The announcement in February of this year suggested biobank scale pricing of about $100. A million genomes for ~$100 million that seems quite reasonable. The cost savings that could be achieved by investing at such scale into genomic sequencing for the many health challenges we face could be very very large.

    If anything government is now behind the curve. At the current price, full scale genome sequencing is likely just at the point of rapid consumer uptake. If true, there might be millions of consumer full genome sequencing that could be uploaded to government servers (possibly for free) relatively soon. I have been an early adopter on genomics products. I feel that I am now behind the curve on going full genome. If the vendors could clarify their policies I would certainly be in ~$250. This once cost $ 1 billion! With all of these genomes about existing genomic investment could be greatly leveraged. One could easily imagine consumers with British ancestry paying for the right to access the UK 500K and other genomic database to cross check their sequences. Perhaps even a synthetic genome could be offered.

    Nail biting time has arrived. An unlock might occur soon. The American million veteran biobank recently published an 800K height GWAS. What was quite surprising to me was how blase they were about this. They only had a few lines of text describing the study and it was only mentioned to provide confidence in the quality of their dataset. Have we already reached the time that a nearly 1 M GWAS elicits little more than a yawn? If they were to publish a one million EA or IQ GWAS, then this would be more than yawn worthy. Of course the US military (along with most other modern militaries) is highly psychometrically aware. An unlock announcement could happen at any time by one of several possible biobanks which should keep all of us on our toes. Several other large scale biobanks are also emerging.

    • Replies: @res
  204. annamaria says:

    A study in diversity: https://www.hannenabintuherland.com/mideast/brutal-killings-and-ethnic-cleansing-in-south-africa-the-brendin-horner-murder/

    Young Brendan Horner, age 21, was recently savagely beaten, tortured, tied to a post and then murdered on October 1st, 2020. …

    Farm murders are an explosive issue in South Africa, where some white minority activist groups promote the idea that they are victims of a ‘white genocide’ that aims to force landowners to flee. …

    The openly racist against white South Africans who repeatedly has asked for the “killing of whites”, communist leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Party, led by Julius Malema has reportedly written tweets, urging “Fighters, attack!” have promised to be at the bail hearings as well. The allegation is that they are calling for civil war in South Africa, in a country where clashes and brutal murders have been happening for many years now. Malema and his group are the ones who are constantly inciting the “killing of all whites” without much repercussion from the international mainstream media.

    The South African police minister, Bheki Cele, has refused to make these attacks priority crimes and recently said that ‘farmers must not complain if they get hurt.’ And the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has also denied, on a world stage, that theses atrocities exist.

  205. res says:
    @Factorize

    The American million veteran biobank recently published an 800K height GWAS. What was quite surprising to me was how blase they were about this. They only had a few lines of text describing the study and it was only mentioned to provide confidence in the quality of their dataset.

    Thanks. You are following the news in these areas more closely than I am. Can you give a reference to this GWAS? I am not finding it.

  206. Factorize says:

    res, I have been thinking about income inequality lately and I have been making a fair amount of progress in developing an understanding of the issues involved. Any insights that you might be able to offer on income inequality would be greatly appreciated. One of the larger mysteries is why there is such a gradient in social outcomes at all levels of society (even the very top). Yet, graphs I have seen suggest that this is simply an IQ (not an income inequality) effect.

    (This one is fascinating. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6001628/ It makes the Preston Curve disappear!)

    I was curled up in the fetal position for about a week trying to figure out what was cause and what was effect. The social sciences are super confusing. There are all of these variables and it is very unclear what should be labeled an x and what should be a y, or possibly both an x and a y? Extremely confusing. Hopefully this post can help unmuddle anyone else out there who is also confused by this.

    I have gradually worked my way out of this morass by extensive reading and occassional flashes of insight. One idea that helped a great deal was to simply grab a whole bunch of social variables and make them into a correlogram; this was motivated by the S factor literature. This was an incredibly helpful tool. This technique should be taught to everyone in high school and college. It is a primitive form of a factor analysis; yet it is very very helpful in revealing latent structure. Using a proper factor analysis technique an S factor emerges which is then highly correlated to G. So, no matter what road you take with social statistics there is a g lurking somewhere. It really makes no difference what social variables are used with around 10 variables you wind up with S and then G.

    Second breakthrough idea was from my reading which noted that psychology is the central social science. Psychology investigates the atomic social form of society (i.e., the individual mind). Understand a person, then you can understand people. It becomes increasingly convoluted if you try and start with masses of people and then start trying to say things about a person. Trying to understand society without starting with a person is a hopelessly flawed approach. You wind up talking about all sorts of derived variables and this completely obscures the driving variables. This line of thinking lead me to neuroimaging research. Neuroimaging provides great insight into the thought processes of persons (especially people with problems).

    Third discovery was the crime and lead hypothesis. This helped to narrow down g to explain temporal changes. g theory is somewhat vague about why things happen over the medium term. With a largely constant genetic background, how could there be such large social cycles? How is it that youth crime in America has almost disappeared?

    The lead hypothesis is truly fascinating. Many people might wonder how much difference could a 5-10 rightward shift in the IQ Bell Curve make? The lead hypothesis suggests that this has been transformative for American and global society.

    Fourth idea was that there is a big Bell Curve of IQ that includes all of the risk factors such as lead, mercury, organophosphates … . Shifting this risk curve around at the tails of the curve greatly amplifies social response.

    1. Mix in all the risk factors — genetics, environmental toxins, alcohol, drugs, … , parenting behaviors etc.;
    2. Measure them with population scale neuroimaging and report a neurosocial well being index;
    3. Make it a national goal to achieve year by year improvements.

    This could profoundly change our society. There was no recognition during the lead pandemic that there was even a problem. If we could collectively row in the right direction, the sky’s the limit. A 7.5 point IQ shift to the right in the Bell Curve, changes the proportion of helpers (normal curve z=1.645) of 5% and the proportion of needers (normal curve z= -1.645) of 5% (i.e., ratio of helpers to needers 1:1) to 12.5% helpers and 1.2% needs (i.e., a ratio of helpers to needers of 10:1). Whoa!

    People get so worn down by yet more massively expensive social programs. Typically after spending billions or trillions of dollars minimal social improvement is discernable. This is usually then interpreted as a sign that we need to dig deeper and more vigorously. Using a neuroimaging perspective, provable and verifiable progress could be made year by year. No progress –> no more money. When clear returns on investment can be demonstrated, a willingness to invest more might be created. We have already seen accidentally through the removal of lead, a known neruotoxin, from our environment how much we can all benefit.

    Here’s the Million Man GWAS. Clearly we have reached the time in which a full unlock of the human genome could be reported at any time. People should be more concerned about this than they appear to be. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.06.896613v1.full

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @res
  207. @Factorize

    Thanks for your comments, and for the link to the height GWAS. Did they give anything so mundane as a predictive accuracy score anywhere? They seem to have concentrated on the genetic detail, and the accuracy is not easily found. I wanted to compare it with Steve Hsu’s predictions.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Factorize
  208. res says:
    @James Thompson

    As you observed, they focused on the genetic detail. This excerpt from the abstract indicates they are leaving the GWAS aspect (i.e. finding associations) to others (or at least another paper).

    This current data set has been made available to approved MVP researchers for genome-wide association studies and other downstream analyses.

    The preprint was published in January so I would have expected Steve Hsu et al. to be all over this, but I don’t see any mention in his blog.

    My guess would be there is a GWAS in the pipeline.

    • Replies: @res
  209. res says:
    @Factorize

    Thanks! That is very interesting material.

    I wish their Table 1 had included R^2 for the univariate models as well as the correlation between GDP per person and education. It is hard to tease out causality between two such tightly correlated variables (as they discuss at length).

    IMHO one might be better off just focusing on countries where the GDP/education correlation breaks down. In that subset, which of the variables offers more explanatory power? How obvious are the relationships in that group?

    As you observe, I think extending their analysis to include both IQ and income inequality as explanatory variables would be helpful.

    To run with one of your points.

    Third discovery was the crime and lead hypothesis. This helped to narrow down g to explain temporal changes. g theory is somewhat vague about why things happen over the medium term. With a largely constant genetic background, how could there be such large social cycles? How is it that youth crime in America has almost disappeared?

    The lead hypothesis is truly fascinating. Many people might wonder how much difference could a 5-10 rightward shift in the IQ Bell Curve make? The lead hypothesis suggests that this has been transformative for American and global society.

    I think it is important to separate crime and IQ here. Crime (within society as a whole) is a phenomena of the tails. In other words there are few criminals so creating a small number more makes a big difference.

    On the other hand, average IQ (within society as a whole) is a phenomena of the broad middle. What happens at the upper and lower tails does not make that much difference to the overall average IQ.

    My issue with most of the lead and IQ studies is they never seem to address how widespread the lead effect is and what impact it has on overall average IQ. I definitely agree there is a serious effect on individuals which needs to be addressed, but I think the concern over the effect on average population IQs is overblown.

    As a hypothetical assume 5% of the population has serious lead exposure issues. If that greatly increases their chances of criminality then you have probably moved the overall criminality proportion substantially since it starts from a low base. But if ALL of that group incurs a 10 IQ point deficit (which is a high estimate IMHO) then you have only moved the population average IQ half an IQ point lower. BTW, this is also a good thought experiment for understanding why small changes in average population IQs might be important.

    Another though experiment is to consider what would happen if the top and/or bottom 1% IQs within the population were changed to average. The resulting average would be little changed, but the effect on society would be dramatic (for any of the three cases) IMHO.

    P.S. Thanks for the MVP link! It looks like I missed this in the abstract when I was replying to Dr. Thompson.

    We also demonstrated the quality of the MVP dataset by replicating established genetic associations with height in European Americans and African Americans ancestries.

    Relevant section.

    GWAS of Height
    Height measurements, dates of measurement, dates of birth for each participant were extracted from the VA healthcare system’s EHR. Any height measurement outside the range of 48 to 84 inches was excluded17, and inches were converted to meters. Age at measurement was calculated by subtracting the date of birth from the date of height measurement. Individuals younger than 18 or older than 120 years old were excluded. Sex was genetically determined sex by PLINK.

    Markers whose genotype missingness was greater than 1%, as well as non-autosomal markers, were removed. Samples whose missingness was over 5% were also excluded. Using the results of the relatedness analysis described below, we also removed all closely related pairs.

    After marker and sample filtering, we ran association tests using BOLT-LMM18 with sex, age, age-squared and the first 10 PCs as covariates. LD scores were calculated from the 1000 Genomes Project population subsets using ldsc 1.019. Model SNPs were generated using PLINK 2.0 by pruning unrelated samples with an R-squared threshold of 0.2 (–pairwise-indep 1000 50 0.2). Principal components (PCs) were also generated using PLINK 2.0 (–pca approx) on the cohorts that had model SNPs extracted.

    We extracted the effect size, direction of effect, and allele for each previously associated marker from the GWAS catalog on March 21, 2019 and then extracted the effects for the markers present in the MVP association analysis. We then scaled the effect values within each study to between 0 and 1 to account for different height units and plotted the previously derived effects against those inferred in MVP.

    Based on this excerpt I am guessing they did not report predictive results because they were not that good.

    Of the 822 reported associations with height listed in the GWAS catalog28, 230 were present in the MVP EA GWAS, and 209 were present in the MVP AA GWAS.

  210. res says:
    @res

    That comment of mine was wrong. Sorry. See the P.S. in the comment which followed.

  211. @res

    I had intended to add that the study was yet another “of course race exists” publication, but that was obvious when reading it.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  212. @dfordoom

    The most enthusiastic supporters of the globalist project are (((white people))).

    FIFY.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  213. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    The most enthusiastic supporters of the globalist project are (((white people))).

    FIFY.

    No, I don’t agree. White gentiles are enthusiastic proponents of globalism, Social Justice and Wokeism. White Christians support those positions to an astonishing degree.

    Like most people on the far right you’re living in the past when there was a huge Silent Majority of white gentiles who were socially conservative God-fearing patriots. That Silent Majority no longer exists. Most white gentiles today are obsessed with the environment and antiracism, they’re obsessed with saving the planet, they think homosexuality is awesome and that Love Is Love.

  214. Factorize says:
    @James Thompson

    Dr. Thompson, the height GWAS write-up does appear to be very minimal. res suggested that a follow-up article will investigate height, though I am unable to verify whether this has been published to date. There have already been GWAS of height into the millions, so perhaps predictive accuracy might no longer be felt to be as important. The importance of height as the lead phenotype in GWAS to understand human genetics might be topping out. Yet, it will still be interesting to see what the results will be when full genome sequences are available and as also to compare the MVP GWAS with previous large scale height studies.

  215. Factorize says:
    @res

    res, the big breakthrough idea for me is that social science can be distilled down to a psychometric core and then (this is the really big idea) the psychometric core can be fractionated into elements that can actually be manipulated. Behold the potential for psychometric intervention! Recognizing the central importance of psychometrics was only step one; step two is a successful psychometric intervention with profound economic payback.

    Psychometrics has been yet another of the dismal sciences. It could tell you what the problem was (low IQ), though it could do nothing meaningful to increase IQ. Science then becomes more descriptive than practical. The crime problem in America of the 1990s was seen as a problem of low intelligence that could be solved by building an enormous prison system.

    With interventional psychometrics, social dysfunction can vanish. When the crime pandemic was underway in America, there were no other available viable options than to turn to mass incarceration. Yet, somewhat by accident in the middle of this social crisis, the effects of lead removal began to have wide effects across a range of social indicators. Youth crime steadily declined, teenage fertility was dramatically reduced … .

    There are no convoluting variables involved; people who lack a functioning prefrontal cortex, as measured in brain imaging studies, are going to be at risk for a great many problems in their life. Creating a national policy that specifically measures the neurological health of at risk communities and develops interventions to reduce this risk has to make sense (economically and ethically). Mothballing the prison system would produce savings of ~$200 billion per year out to eternity.

    Understanding the miracle of the 1990s could allow us to create our own miracles on a more scientifically defined time schedule. How did this magical outcome emerge by accident that ended a social catastrophe? The social sciences have always dreamed that they could achieve a similar result, though instead have produced near endless failures. However, when you can identify and then manipulate a causal factor in a social process, very powerful control can be gained.

    The research with lead is strong. Lead was a pervasive environmental neurotoxin that was removed from the environment in most nations between 1990 and 2000. High lead exposure was found to reduce IQ by ~10 points. What is of particular interest is how much higher lead levels were in certain minority communities in the US. This is what made it so difficult to separate race from lead. Some white neighborhoods that were in relatively close proximity to minority neighborhoods that very different lead exposures. For example, soil lead levels were up to ~100 fold higher in the minority neighborhoods.

    I then read about additional risk factors. Tobacco, for example, had additional negative effects. When the risk of lead and tobacco are combined the risk is then super multiplicatively synergistic. There are also a range of genetic effects that influence the extent to which these environmental exposures are neurologically harmful. Most of the research considers each risk separately with a bell curve stylistically showing the effect of shifting the curve one risk at a time. Instead put all of the risk factors into one big bell curve and the shift this curve to the right. That is exactly what happened starting in the 1990s.

    What I think is also of importance to mention is that when you are able to find a central causal factor (here lead) in the positive manifold of g, then nice things start to happen. A positive feedback can powerfully enhance the original intervention. So not only do you have a large reduction in lead, but around the same time there was a large decrease in tobacco, a large decline in teenage fertility, the end of the crack epidemic, an upgraded definition of what a “high school diploma” means, … . The entire g correlational matrix entered into a positive feedback cycle amplifying the original intervention.

    Wahoo! Wahoo! That is exciting! We can move beyond the endless, massive sociological failures of the past. Yet, one was supposed to overlook such outcomes. When Jensen noted that we tried and it just was not successful, one could well imagine that many agreed with him yet wished that we had not been so honest.

    All we need to do is find some interventions and then see what happens. Piggybacking on something that is already in the works would help to leverage the result and push the outcome in the right direction (e.g. the upcoming move to electric cars). Removing more airborne toxins probably will be of value in improving psychometric ability in the community. Add in population scale genetic screening. Providing potential parents who could have an embryo in the 10% highest genetic risk of prefrontal damage with embryo selection could have a large population scale effect. One of the articles mentioned that 5% of adult/youth males commit 50% of the violent crime in the community. This is political gold. Profound social changes are clearly in our future.

  216. Factorize says:
    @res

    res, this is part 2 to the response to your post. I wanted to start off with some comments about the potential of psychometric intervention. As a rough guess, I would estimate that American minority communities probably did see a 5-10 point rightward shift in their Bell Curves starting in the 1990s, and this has dramatically reshaped their ability to exhibit functional behavior.

    People really should give this some careful thought. This is what a 5-10 point IQ shift looks like. As a reminder, the consensus opinion across the US political spectrum in the 1990s was that a generation of Superpredators (i.e., American children) had emerged and the power of the state would need to be applied to stop them overthrowing American society (i.e., through mass imprisonment). A generation later the talk of Superpredators has disappeared to be replaced by praising the nice polite teenagers of today. Reality shifted and many people simply never a.) got the memo, b.) read the memo or c.) understood the memo.

    GWAS have already reported SNPs that could increase population scale IQ by 30 points. There could be a mass freak out. A 30 point shift would have truly profound social effects. The 1990s example gives a feel for what is on the way.

    OK, back to your post.

    Your initial comment triggered my frustration about the current state of science. In your first paragraph you mentioned all you have to do is take the correlation. I was thinking, yeah, “I can do this!”, and then I realize “No, I can’t do this”. The article has no dataset! The article completely obscures all of its calculations and is part of faith based science. How is that even science? It is completely unverifiable! ERRRR! Very frustrating. I think it is a great trick, though.

    Basically, in my assignments I am going to do the same thing. I can just start making up numbers and provide no code, no dataset, nothing. If asked, my reply will be, “Believe me”. Yeah, woke science. Reality is whatever I say it is and I need offer no factual basis for my statements. Fiction becomes fact. It is abysmal. Yet, it is pretty much the standard. In the article I posted above about cortical thickness it was the same thing. No dataset. I was able to hack back some of the data points though there was a great deal of information that simply was not presented. What was the income data on a continuous basis and not on high/low. This was not a nickel and dime study; ~1,000 brain scans would cost ~ $1 miilion. At some point taxpayers will not be amused with how their money is being spent. Answer is super easy: all scientific publications should be in R markup. Finding the correlation that you suggested would require not much more than forking a line of code.

    Income and education with life expectancy gave me another migraine. Being able to afford to continue with education is highly dependent upon being able to forego income. The variables are highly intertwined. Also with life expectancy it does at an intuitive level seem reasonable that a nation could create a policy that would enhance national life expectancy. For example, a national program for selecting embryos (given even current knowledge) would likely be abel to achieve such a goal.

    Regarding crime, yes I agree. My reading found that 5% of young males cause 50% of the violent crime. My impression is that after a certain age, police simply are no longer interested in certain demographics. I doubt if even an “Arrest me” protest would help that much; it must be psychologically stressful for radicals to realize that a certain age they have aged through and they can no longer even be arrested anymore.

    This is a good point about the influence on lead on the average of the IQ distribution. My overall take is that what really happened was that it wasn’t the simple stylized shift of the IQ distribution that is often used to describe it. One of the most conspicuous feature of the lead story for me is how much of mystery it was. It is something that you have to read in a newspaper because it never reached your neighborhood. This story largely bypassed the white middle class. This is why crime is still a hot button political issue even when there has been extremely dramatic reductions in crime (~90%). The typical mainstream person is so oblivious to street level reality that you can tell them anything about minority communities and they will probably believe.

    With the IQ distribution, there were different shifts that happened at different z levels. In disadvantaged urban minority communities, the IQ/social functioning shift was probably quite large. Being right beside major urban freeways would have deposited large amounts of lead into their community. Yet, in a typical suburban community that might even be quite close to high lead communities lead levels could be much much less. All of this could have created a compression effect on the Bell Curve. Everyone probably benefited, though communities with especially high lead levels probably benefited more. Add in other positive feedback effects such as reduced smoking etc. and the benefits amplify.

    The research into lead seems solid. Brain imaging can show the effects on the prefrontal cortex. This brain imaging seems to be the key to creating a much much better society. There are no intervening variables to worry about. All you need to do is focus attention on interventions that will create healthier brains. This could be a prominent measure of social progress that could be published for a nation along their HDI. Perhaps call it the Superpredator Index. Make everyone aware that if this index is not carefully monitored and reasonable interventions applied to make progress, then we can all go back to the time when children were considered irredeemable. The problem of course is that once all the lead has been cleaned up, the problem starts to reemerge and then another generation of superpredators does emerge. This cycle has been recurring for centuries.

    My impression is that much of the social crisis of the 1990s was highly concentrated in disadvantaged communities. The url below notes that the average lead level in 1976 would have been expected to reduce population average IQ by ~ 7 points (see url1 below) . (There were some communities that were quite a bit above average). I suspect that this might not truly reflect what happened on the ground. Mainstream media has been able to ignore the magnitude of the lead story largely because the broad middle class has been and continues to be almost completely unaware of what actually happened. Is the community truly that divided? Understanding what happened is very important. We have now entered a time in which large shifts in the IQ curve could happen again. It is very insightful to realize how large of an effect removing lead had on social behaviors. There were some communities that were quite a bit above average.

    This image is how the bell curve shift is often depicted.
    Here’s another. Sometimes the effects will go beyond simple IQ measures (e.g., executive functioning deficits do not always translate to IQ scores.)

    What I find especially comforting is that endless rebuttals and counter-rebuttals are not necessary here. Everything is not wrapped up in an inter penetrable fog of convolution. Brain imaging can demonstrate the neuropathology that was present and this can be used as a guide to implement powerful interventions that can dramatically help communities.

    I was confused by the SNP replication as well. from the 1.1 million EA GWAS they mentioned that even a sample of 75 could replicate the PGS. MVP has ~800K.

    I am searching around for the MVP results on pubmed and it appears that especially over the last few months it has been ramping up. Yeah! I am not quite sure what to make of their schizophrenia GWAS. Isn’t the point that the military selects against various traits (including, for example, low IQ, presumably mental illness, etc.)?

    The US military in particular appears to be very focused on psychometrics. They likely have very precise g scores for all those in the MVP. They could run an 800K GWAS for g any time they wanted to and it might only take a few hours (probably less) of computer processing given their access to mass CPU. I can hardly wait! That would significantly unlock human IQ. wonder why they have not already published this result?

    • Replies: @Peripatetic Commenter
  217. Factorize says:
    @James Thompson

    Race is an important aspect of the MVP. Is there any other large scale African GWAS/BB out there?
    UKBB helped to start the conversation about the difficult questions that emerge from a large scale genetic database. However, UKBB sidestepd many tricky questions of race by including only those with white ancestry. The MVP has chosen to include a multi-racial sample. Difficult issues could emerge with such a sample.

    Yet, even more of a concern is that all of this science denialism is creating an enormous knowledge gap between African and other populations. I have been in ongoing contact with extended family from all over the world regarding our shared genomes. It is quite amazing when you email a relative from a genetic database and you ask them whether they have a rare illness and they reply “yes, how did you know, my doctor never mentioned it?”. “Because we share stretch A on Chromosome B”. There are entire hospitals that will close as my relatives select against these variants. There is a spreading network effect where the genome at the personal level is already unlocking. Our family level genetic quirks could be selected against in a single generation. Creating such a generation of people lacking genetic handicaps would result in a large racial divide as this knowledge has not been acquired at a similar rate for all peoples. This could create a large social divide conditioned on race.

  218. @Factorize

    As a rough guess, I would estimate that American minority communities probably did see a 5-10 point rightward shift in their Bell Curves starting in the 1990s, and this has dramatically reshaped their ability to exhibit functional behavior.

    Serious question.

    To what extent is this caused by people who would have classified themselves as white in earlier times (or their parents would have classified themselves as white) are no classifying themselves as minority because they have some minority introgression?

    That is to say, how much is this result biased by white introgression?

  219. I see a lot of fallacies, but no myths. Go to Bulfinch for those.

    “Journalists” are so illiterate these days.

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