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Estimates vary, and fall short of basic data quality. The highest estimate I can find for Afghanistan is IQ 83, and it is just that: an estimate. Say IQ 86 for Iran and Iraq, IQ 83 for Pakistan and IQ 86 for Turkey and we need not quibble about individual points, but the general range in the neighbourhood is clear.

Let us take the US Army recruitment requirement of IQ 93 to see what that means for training an army in Afghanistan. On that basis, recruiters would have to reject 75% of the Afghan population, (compared to rejecting 25% of the US population). The high rate of rejection means that the top 25% of the Afghan population may have some easier and safer occupations than to take up arms, which makes it difficult, but not impossible to get the talent you need for modern warfare.

If you are recruiting officers, they need to be about 2 standard deviations above the population average. (The intermediate level of sergeants at 1 standard deviation above average “translate” between soldiers and officers). So, Afghan sergeants will be IQ 83+15 = 98 and Afghan officers 83+30 = 113

These levels will not be sufficient to handle high technology weapon systems, nor sufficient to maintain them, nor even sufficient to check that maintenance has been completed properly. Not only that, but even that lower ability officer class will be harder to find. Only 16% will make sergeant level, and only 2% officer level. A government job doing something pleasant in an office will be more attractive to brighter Afghans.

These facts might explain why the Afghan Army did not match the performance of the American Army even when provided with American Army equipment. Little details like not paying troops regularly, nor properly supporting those deployed in distant outposts will not have helped morale.

So, how did the Taliban do so well? Here we have to understand the fundamental design principle of the AK-47. Mikhail Kalashnikov knew that for his weapon to be successful, it must be simple enough to be handled by a simple Russian peasant boy. Kalashnikov was himself a soldier, and knew what conditions in the field were like, and the environments in which his rifle must operate without jamming. He also knew exactly what weapons the enemy would use against Russia, and had no need to re-invent the wheel. He stressed simplicity and reliability. Without being stated, it was designed to be easy to use by even the simplest recruit. It has been stripped of intellectual content. The weapon is popular because it is easy to use, and cheap.

As to transport, no need for tanks. The Taliban have used readily available pick-up trucks. Very serviceable. Helicopters are fine, but complicated.

In the early stages of the Vietnam war, historian Arnold Toynbee argued (in Playboy magazine) that a strong external ally always damages the side which it supports. Why? For the obvious reason that if one party relies on a strong external ally, it can relax, knowing that the heavy lifting will always be done by the ally. While the insurgents take casualties, and become bitter, and harder, and better soldiers, more willing to die for their cause (having invested so much blood) the other side enjoy their wages, and become softer, lazier, and very aware of the advantages of an easy life, as opposed to the nasty, noisy and frankly dangerous chore of defending their liberty.

A final observation: in any country where you marry your cousin, your first duty is to your cousin, not your country.

 
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  1. In insurgencies, the “regime” side with less morale/zeal needs to make up with technology, force multipliers like air power, and discipline.

    Higher IQ countries, all else equal, would do better: Can actually use their advanced hardware advantage effectively, and also tend to be better at the discipline component, too. Soviet Vietnam lasted for two years, after all.

    Still, the scale and speed of the ANA collapse was so total that I don’t think IQ alone explains it, two additional factors are that (1) the US appears to have never actually trained ANA to operate independently as an Army, so they were left completely in the lurch when the US abruptly cut out air support – note that the Soviet-trained Afghan Army lasted for three years, and was able to carry out multi-division operations against the jihadists until Yeltsin cut off support; (2) the Taliban appear to have simply reached behind the scenes deals with many of the generals; (3) the Big Brain idea of spreading your military across the entire country, as opposed to concentrating it around Kabul and the north, where anti-Taliban sentiment was highest.

  2. @Anatoly Karlin

    Lots of errors on the part of the regime. I agree that husbanding resources by massing them where the people are mostly on your side would be a good idea in a fractured country. Also agree they did not train the “regime” army to act independently. (Thanks for the “regime” tag which I was searching for and could not formulate).
    Also agree that, in a fit of national unity, they all went back to what they all understood: backdoor deals!

    Question I should have asked: will street prices for heroin go down, or was production untouched by all this US intervention?

  3. res says:

    Any thoughts on whether the IQ estimates are reasonable? Looking at David Becker’s spreadsheet I see no papers referenced for Afghanistan, and the estimates are all geography based (as you describe).

    Looking around I did see this 1965 paper (full text on Sci-Hub).
    Educational Testing in Afghanistan
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/44124205

    Unfortunately, although the author talks about all of the testing done, there are no numbers given.

    This 61 page 2012 paper gives lots of numbers, but none that seem useful for assessing country IQ.
    The Effect of Village-Based Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Afghanistan
    https://www.nber.org/papers/w18039

    I wonder if anything could be done with the underlying data from either of those. Though I doubt the 1965 era data is even available now.

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

    Question I should have asked: will street prices for heroin go down, or was production untouched by all this US intervention?

    Good question. Any idea if there is price history overlapping the initial invasion?

    Here are some sources, but it will take a while before we see the impact of current events and they don’t go back to 2001.
    https://dataunodc.un.org/drugs/heroin_and_cocaine_prices_in_eu_and_usa-2017
    https://dataunodc.un.org/data/drugs/Retail%20drug%20price%20and%20purity%20level

    I doubt the US will see much change given the prevalence of synthetic fentanyl and Mexican heroin.
    https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/us-opioid-epidemic

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  5. The U.S has also lost advanced weapon operating capability. So far they have been unable to even test their hypersonic missile projects they recently failed their second attempt at a test flight, the first attempt was a failure and so far I have not heard of a third test https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/41761/air-forces-fails-in-second-attempt-to-conduct-a-test-flight-of-its-first-hypersonic-missile

    Not only are the engineers morale-less (they have no greater values to work for and know their work is meant to produce excess cost) they are stupid too.

    Any institution with a big ‘independent thinkers, fuck off!’ sign on the door, will eventually have the issues of lack of morale and dullards composing the institutions leaders and workers. This describes the current state of all institutions in the West.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @Chinaman
  6. SafeNow says:

    Ernest King, the Chief of US Naval Operations during WWII, said “I have to kick ass every six weeks, or they slack off.” Even in the best militaries, getting your ass kicked is part of the protocol for success. I doubt the US trainers of the Afghan army were authorized to, or inclined to, kick ass. Maybe the big question is whether the sergeants and officers of the Afghan army cared to do that. Now, on the other hand, if I were in the Taliban, I really really would not want to get my ass kicked, and I think my superiors would have no hesitancy about doing so, and were proficient at it.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  7. @James Thompson

    Poppy cultivation in the past decade was concentrated in Taliban areas, because the Americans cracked down on it on their sector (a nice gesture but one that boosted Taliban coffers). https://twitter.com/jeffreypclemens/status/1426930911778463753

    I suppose it now depends on how much the Taliban will need foreign currency. If aid stops, as it surely will, there’s going to be a severe humanitarian crisis, given the extent to which Afghanistan depends on foreign aid.

    PS. “Soviet Vietnam” – typo, meant South Vietnam of course.

    ***

    @ res,

    Tajikistan was the lowest scoring country in the PISA tests. As I recall, ~75 adjusted to Greenwich norms. And Tajiks are more civilized than Pashtuns, and Tajikistan is vastly more socially developed than Afghanistan (everything is relative). I suspect 83 is optimistic.

  8. Without a doubt, Afghani males are envious of their countrymen living abroad in Europe, more so since the introduction of the smart phone.

    No work. No fighting. Days on the dole with working toilets and electricity. An alternative life in a welfare state. Perhaps a menial job which could support bringing over a wife someday.

    The real possibility of illegally going to Europe was a demoralizing factor which sapped their fighting spirit, or rather their zeal to die for an occupying government.

  9. @James Thompson

    Thanks Anatoly.. Still, the grifters were all over Afghanistan for 20 years, theirs and ours. Major contribution to the loss. Our grift, via defense contractors and corrupt American generals, was far more vast. The American defense establishment is beyond criminal. They’ve stolen such wealth as to ever be redeemed. They should hang for Iraq and Afghanistan. And all their agents. Seriously, am I wrong? What would Vladimir do with them?

    • Replies: @Decoy
  10. Max Payne says:

    I wish some of these IQ guys would do a stint in a Western military to see what their IQ numbers REALLY mean.

    Funny thing is I’m trying to find an intelligence researcher over the age of 40 that isn’t constantly displaying their overt technological illiteracy (and this is in today’s age where they have made EVERYTHING 70-IQ proof).

    Fear and discipline > IQ

    True story.

  11. high birth rate probably explains most of it. every guy was able to make 4 or 5 more guys in just the 20 years the US tried to occupy the place. the population was 20 million when Bush invaded and 38 million when Biden pulled out. it almost doubled during the occupation. killing a few thousand of these guys every year didn’t even put a dent in their military capacity. enemy force numbers were growing every year instead of depleting.

    contrast this with the natives in North America around 1500. they had been there for about 15,000 years and by that point they had made about 2 million of themselves. with disease and battles they were reduced to 1 million by 1600. over the next 300 years their population started to come back, but at the usual 1% growth rate of zero tech people, so they were never able to get back to the high numbers they had before. the British colonists were at 1:1 population with the natives by the early 1700s and 2:1 by the late 1700s. with their tech advantage and 3:1 population advantage by 1800 it was all over but the battles.

  12. How about this for an idea: if your side gets comprehensively towelled-up by a bunch of people you think are too stupid to be trained… maybe you’ve got the shitty end of the stick.

    The Taliban-dominated madrassas in Pakistan are harder to get into than the US Ivies. They might study stuff that I consider to be primitive horse-shit (same as yeshiva students and seminary students), but they are still a genuine cognitive elite.

    Anyone who takes the failure of the ANA as an example of cognitive inferiority, is too stupid to be permitted outside without adult supervision.

    The US got beat – humiliated, actually. The only way to win, would have been to commit genocide, which doesn’t fit their brand.

    It got beat strategically – despite having technological superiority and absolute command of the skies – because it stupidly refused to examine the history of the place (or if it did examine the history, it hubristically assumed that its own strategy was inherently superior than Auckland’s or the USSR’s).

    The fact that the Taliban had the good sense not to confront the US Death Machine in ‘serried ranks’-style infantry battles, should have helped you form a less stupendously asinine guesstimate as to the cognitive chops of the Afghani.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Anonymous
  13. Trying to reduce this to a matter of IQ is idiotic, regardless of the quality of your estimates. In what world is what the ANA did unintelligent? What incentive might they have to prop up the government, especially knowing what the risks are?

    The key fact is that the Afghan Army was gutted in the wake of the Afghan-Soviet war, as the US felt that its officers were too friendly to the Soviets. This was made worse by the alienation of the Northern Alliance in pursuit of a centralized state, and the fact that Ghani would go on to remove the vast majority of officers with pre-Taliban experience during his tenure. To ignore this history (or rather, to be ignorant of it) and try to frame everything in terms of IQ is a form of (ironically enough) low-IQ autism that many on the right have rightfully derided and moved past.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  14. @Anatoly Karlin

    An unstated reason you will not see in the news is: ethnic diversity in ANA ranks. When the Northern Alliance took Afghanistan in 2001 with US air support, their leadership (Tajiks and Uzbeks) were integrated into the new government, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Rashid_Dostum.
    The US naturally took a large roll in organizing the government and military. The US following its basic ideology ensured the Army was diverse. Hence, Tajik officers over Pashtuns and vice versa. In a society that values relationship and tribe over everything, led to rampant corruption and overall poor management. The militias could perform well but due to politics of the new president, they were not as substantial as they were in 2001.
    I’ve read reports that the commandos performed well against the Taliban and I personally doubt it. Anecdotally, I found them to be just as cowardly, stupid, and prone to drug use as the rest of the ANA, if only slightly more willing to fight.

  15. Anonymous[267] • Disclaimer says:

    There are some videos that went viral of US soldiers trying to train Afghan soldiers in basic calisthenics like jumping jacks and the Afghan soldiers struggling to perform them. I had a summer job in college working with “learning disabled” kids in summer camps for them. These “learning disabled” kids were kids who were not technically mentally retarded but significantly below average. They had similar difficulties as the Afghan soldiers in the videos following directions and performing the physical activities and motions for the games we’d prepare for them, as well as doing basic reading and arithmetic.

  16. @HBD Cucks BTFO

    The key fact is that the Afghan Army was gutted in the wake of the Afghan-Soviet war, as the US felt that its officers were too friendly to the Soviets.

    I realise that “Afghan-Soviet war” is a thing on Wikipedia, but don’t you wanna use your brain sometimes? Do you realise how nonsensical that sensence sounds?

  17. @res

    Absence of real data, as far as I can see, but am asking around if there are better particulars. Delusional optimism is common wherever people simply won’t accept that there are individual and group differences in ability. Common in nation building abroad, and nation transforming at home.

  18. @res

    On reflection, it seem US already sells stupifiers over the counter.

  19. @anyone with a brain

    Doesn’t look good, but SpaceX has had problems as well. Don’t know how far China has got with this, but some successes have been touted recently, I think.

    • Replies: @dux.ie
  20. @SafeNow

    Perhaps the measure is how often families get sent martyrdom payments when ass kicking go to their logical conclusion. In many armies soldiers only fight because there is an executioner commisar standing behind them.

  21. @Anatoly Karlin

    Thanks. I knew that had been a stop/start conflict about poppy cultivation, but did not know the result was as bad as you explain, with cultivation migrating to Taliban areas. Naive.

    Afghanistan will be short of funds, but I assumed they could get by with local crops. Have population numbers gone unsustainably high under US largesse?

    Soviet Vietnam. I assumed you were talking about Afghanistan, which was the Soviet’s Vietnam!

  22. @Max Payne

    What do the IQ numbers in Western military really mean?

  23. @Max Payne

    That’s what I was thinking. IQ (which was presumably the same for both team blue and team red) is not an ingredient in any explanation, nor is the ability for someone trained to use a weapon to pick up any other similar type of weapon and use it after a minute of inspection.

    Instead, this all comes down to morale: low morale made it easy for team red to convince mid-ranking officers on team blue to order their men to lay down their weapons.

  24. @James Thompson

    These days – nothing. It’s all about having the correct skin colour, disability, and sexual deviation. The Western armed forces, administrations and education systems no longer serve their original purposes but exist merely for the sake of providing effortless livelihood for “the oppressed”, i.e. the most hysterical and noisy faggots and orcs they could find.

  25. Realist says:

    If you are recruiting officers, they need to be about 2 standard deviations above the population average. (The intermediate level of sergeants at 1 standard deviation above average “translate” between soldiers and officers). So, Afghan sergeants will be IQ 83+15 = 98 and Afghan officers 83+30 = 113

    Who the hell believes that is true for the U. S. military? Anyone who believes that U. S. military officers have an IQ of 130…or more and sergeants 115…or more, knows nothing about the U. S. military.

    • Replies: @res
    , @James Thompson
  26. res says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Thanks. Could you tell me where you see Tajikistan results? I can’t find Tajikistan at
    https://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa/pisa-participants.htm
    David Becker gives 87.71 for it based on a single 2017 study. His numbers for Kazakhstan (see below) are in a similar range.

    Did you mean Kazakhstan by any chance? They have a history of performing badly. Here is their 2018 country note.
    https://www.oecd.org/pisa/publications/PISA2018_CN_KAZ.pdf

    This 2010 article does not inspire optimism about the region.
    https://eurasianet.org/kyrgyzstan-ranks-last-in-major-education-assessment

    The only other former Soviet Central Asian country in the PISA rankings was oil-rich Kazakhstan, which landed in 59th place. One long-time observer of the region said ruefully that Kyrgyzstan could perhaps take solace in the fact that the testing did not cover neighboring Tajikistan, as its performance would have surely been even worse.

    P.S. The country note link works with other 3 letter country codes.
    https://laendercode.net/en/3-letter-list.html
    I am sure there is an index page of those country notes somewhere, but I have been unable to find it.

    Over in this thread I talked about the per country item reports (different from country notes), but still have not found them.
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/costly-immigration/#comment-4767683
    I ran across a footnote in this paper which makes me wonder if they require a special request.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326778443_How_Robust_Are_Cross-Country_Comparisons_of_PISA_Scores_to_the_Scaling_Model_Used

    8 The item-level PISA data are available from http://www.oecd.org/pisa/data/2015database/. International item parameters are available from http://www.oecd.org/pisa/data/2015-technical-report/. Information on item-bycountry interactions were provided to the authors by the OECD.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  27. res says:
    @Kratoklastes

    The Taliban-dominated madrassas in Pakistan are harder to get into than the US Ivies. They might study stuff that I consider to be primitive horse-shit (same as yeshiva students and seminary students), but they are still a genuine cognitive elite.

    Anyone who takes the failure of the ANA as an example of cognitive inferiority, is too stupid to be permitted outside without adult supervision.

    Aren’t you kind of making the opposite point by juxtaposing those two paragraphs? If the Taliban has a cognitive elite core and the ANA does not…

    Agreed that reducing the US failure in Afghanistan to a matter of Afghan IQ is overly simplistic, but it sure seems like an important factor in both:
    1. Why the nation building attempt failed.
    2. Why creating a functional ANA failed.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  28. res says:
    @Realist

    That’s certainly true in The Current Year, but things were different in the US as recently as 1985.
    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2015/07/24/understanding-the-steady-and-troubling-decline-in-the-average-intelligence-of-marine-corps-officers/

    I’d be interested in hearing Dr. Thompson expand on that point. As I remember it the 2 SD figure for leaders vs. followers was more of an upper bound. And the intermediate level helps with that as noted. Also, is the 2 SD figure relative to the group average or the group threshold?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  29. @Realist

    Is there data I can see on actual levels?

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @res
    , @dux.ie
  30. Realist says:
    @James Thompson

    Is there data I can see on actual levels?

    You tell me. You stated it as a rule of thumb.

    My point is from the military decisions made by top brass it seems unlikely they are made by those in the upper 97 percent of the U. S. population.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  31. Realist says:

    The article you provided says nothing about IQ or the relationship between GCT and IQ.

    • Replies: @res
  32. @res

    Interesting question: use threshold or population average? I pondered it while puting forward a few figures in this post. In fact the 1 sd and 2 sd figures are a speculation from Chris Brand, when we were discussing how people communicated between different levels of intelligence. He suggested that a 1 sd gap was the manageable effective limit, hence the structure of Army ranks.

    The figures are rough and ready, but now I have better data from the Rand Corporation, on AFQT in military tasks which I am reading now, thanks to “Mac Tonight” who tweeted me the link.

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

    I have trouble finding data other than that for marines which I linked above. Here is a more detailed article on that.

    https://ndupress.ndu.edu/JFQ/Joint-Force-Quarterly-81/Article/702026/officers-are-less-intelligent-what-does-itmean/

    This 449 page book has a history of testing and test details, but I don’t see much data (it is possible I missed it). They do reference the paper above. Some other tidbits.

    US Army AGCT OCS threshold in WWII was 110. Table 5-1 on page 149 has interesting data on OCS failure percentage by AGCT score by 5 point buckets up to 141. See text for discussion of raising the threshold to 130 (did not happen).

    From page 343-344

    As Matthew Cancian points out, the drop in intelligence levels shows up not only in the middle of the distribution, but also at the top. Cancian notes how in the Marine Corps not only the average General Classification Test (GCT) score of officers has declined, but also the number of officers who are achieving the highest scores. In 1980, 14 Marine officer candidates attained a score above 155 on the GCT—a test with a maximum score of 160. By 2005, there were only two officer candidates who had a score above 155. In 2014, the number was zero.22 The general technical (GT) scores of Officer Candidate School (OCS) candidates in the Army have seen a similar decline.23

    Looking at service academy admissions is a possible source of data. Here is West Point (Army).
    https://www.westpoint.edu/admissions/class-profile

    P.S. The solution to the marine officer test score kerfuffle…eliminating the test.
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/whatever-happened-to-the-uss-bonhomme-richard/#comment-4729748

  34. Unit472 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I don’t use opioids but here in Florida fentanyl has replaced heroin as the heavy narcotic. It is made in a lab and requires no cultivation and processing of crops. A very small amount can kill you which a big problem here as the crackdown on ‘pill mills’ where people could buy pharmaceutical pain pills and know how much they were taking has forced addicts to switch to fentanyl laced drugs with no idea how much fentanyl they might be injecting into themselves.

  35. res says:
    @Realist

    I assume you were replying to me. If you want more detail this is a good source.
    Military Officer Quality in the All-Volunteer Force
    https://www.nber.org/papers/w21372

    It turns out the GCT is differently normed than IQ tests, so thanks for making me look.

    First, though, I think the end of the abstract gives an idea of how closely one should read the details (i.e. this sure seems likely to be a lie to me).

    We argue that the source of this decline is the greater number of young Americans in college since Marine officers must have a four-year degree. The increasing diversity of the pool of incoming officers has not contributed to the decline in GCT scores.

    GCT description.

    The GCT was designed to have a mean score of 100 and a standard deviation of 20 (standard IQ tests have standard deviations of 15). Those who took the test were placed in one of five categories, with Category I being those with the highest scores. In a 1946 Science article, one of the creators of the test, Walter V.D. Bingham, stated that the average score for college graduates was 130, which was the lower boundary for a test-taker to place in Category I.

    The link between intelligence, as measured by the GCT, and military performance was systematically studied during World War II. Research found that enlisted soldiers in Category IV or V (those with GCT scores below 90) were not able to learn at the same pace as soldiers of average mental ability, and Special Training Units were established to prepare these men for basic training.10 Studies also showed that the GCT was a powerful tool for predicting officer performance in basic training.

    • Replies: @Realist
  36. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Thanks. Could you link that data here to attach it to this conversation? I am not finding the tweet with a quick search and that will become even harder as time passes.

    Regarding the communications gap, here is a comment of mine from 4 years ago here with some references.
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/men-4-points-ahead/?showcomments#comment-2037106
    I think there is a military paper reference as well, but I am not finding it by searching my comments.

    Was your discussion with Chris Brand written down anywhere?

  37. @res

    Sorry, bad mistake which led you on a wild goose chase, forgot that it was Kyrgyzstan participating in PISA, not Tajikistan.

  38. All my discussions with Chris Brand lost in an email crash long ago.
    working through Rand report now

  39. @Realist

    Collective decision making has a bias towards stupid. Groups require members to show belonging and loyalty by supporting ideas that are clearly untrue.Virtue signalling is the result. More than three or four people and the virtues of the organization must be signalled.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @Realist
  40. The highest estimate I can find for Afghanistan is IQ 83, and it is just that: an estimate. Say IQ 86 for Iran and Iraq, IQ 83 for Pakistan and IQ 86 for Turkey and we need not quibble about individual points, but the general range in the neighbourhood is clear.

    That’s why non-IQers don’t take you guys seriously.

    IQ of US blacks is, we are told, 85, so basically the same (or even more) as Afghan.

    And does anyone seriously think that blacks are capable of building & running anything various Afghan peoples had done in past, say, 5-8 centuries.

    This is silly …

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  41. The joyriders boarding the undercarriages of aircraft taking off at Kabul airport illustrate a different psychological problem to IQ. A common feature of Afghanistani cultures seems to be extreme machismo. This seems to lower impluse control in social situations. Hence the joyriding. Boy what a buzz! So, if the group is shifting into a new direction, say desertion, everyone will whatever the loss of salary or implications for future prospects. One’s fate is in Allah’s hands anyway.

    That said, I still think the collapse of the army owes much to bribery. Who paid? Was it in real cash or an untraceable form of crypto? The Taliban body language in Kabul was absolutely confident. There was no indication that they expected the slightest resistance.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  42. Realist says:
    @res

    Sorry, yes the reply was meant for you.

  43. Realist says:
    @Philip Owen

    Collective decision making has a bias towards stupid.

    Shouldn’t these gifted to very gifted officers know that?

    Groups require members to show belonging and loyalty by supporting ideas that are clearly untrue.

    Doesn’t sound very intelligent to me.

    Take Milley:
    Milley graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics in 1980 after completing a 185-page-long senior thesis titled “A Critical Analysis of Revolutionary Guerrilla Organization in Theory and Practice”. Milley also holds a Master of Arts degree in international relations from Columbia University and another Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. He is also an attendee of the MIT Center for International Studies Seminar XXI National Security Studies Program.

    BA and MA degrees are less rigorous than BS and MS degrees and when you take the subject matter (politics, relations, studies) into account his scholastic record is not so impressive. No STEM studies suggest run of the mill IQ

    • Agree: Decoy
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  44. Decoy says:
    @Jim Christian

    What would Vladimir do is a really good question. I think that by now Blinken, Milley, and Austin would already be gone. The rumors would already be swirling about the next 10 to be purged.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Realist
  45. Anonymous[158] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kratoklastes

    The Taliban-dominated madrassas in Pakistan are harder to get into than the US Ivies.

    That’s just nonsense. It’s a K-12 program. They start’em young. Lesson #1: learn Arabic. And it’s only by rote. So hardly “the Ivies”.

    Fun fact: the Taliban started in Pakistan.

  46. @res

    The Taliban-dominated madrassas in Pakistan are harder to get into than the US Ivies. They might study stuff that I consider to be primitive horse-shit (same as yeshiva students and seminary students), but they are still a genuine cognitive elite.

    Anyone who takes the failure of the ANA as an example of cognitive inferiority, is too stupid to be permitted outside without adult supervision.

    Aren’t you kind of making the opposite point by juxtaposing those two paragraphs? If the Taliban has a cognitive elite core and the ANA does not

    (Emphasis mine)

    The ANA was absolutely rife with Taliban ‘cleanskins’ – who were selected for their ability to get through the recruitment vetting and remain on-station (while surreptitiously furnishing intelligence and diverting matériel, and inducing or suborning incompetence in their classmates).

    These were young men who were taking significant personal risk – not least because they were identifiable (because of the tribal nature of Afghanistan).

    The non-Taliban in the ANA faced a pretty straightforward calculus:
    Ⓐ do your ANA job well and have your extended family killed… or
    Ⓑ drag your heels and play ‘Afghan Gomer Pyle’.

    Choose Ⓐ or Ⓑ: they get the same paycheck, but Ⓑ means lower risk to your extended family – and likely less-than-harsh treatment when the invaders leave.

    That’s one of the easiest Ⓐ/Ⓑ choices imaginable.

    And if the paymaster fails to distribute the paycheck, the default becomes Ⓑ for anyone with an IQ above 70.

    It’s seriously that straightforward: if you’re trying to stand up an ocupation-led military that is motivated entirely by material reward, you best make sure every motherfucker gets paid.

    .

    If we’re ‘going there’ in the IQ/HBD space… how stupid does some US bohunk from Bumfuck Indiana have to be, to sign up to go to the place known as the Graveyard of Empires?

    I’m no fan of Kipling – I’m a Wilfred Owen man: for many years I was certain Kipling must’ve written ‘The White Man’s Burden‘ ironically, or as a cautionary tale… but nope, not a bit of it.

    However one piece I do rather like is ‘Arithmetic on the Frontier‘.

    While the third stanza (the one that includes ‘two thousand pounds of education/drops to a 10-rupee jezail‘) is good, the fifth gives a better grasp of the relevant incentives:

    One sword-knot stolen from the camp
    Will pay for all the school expenses
    Of any Kurrum Valley scamp
    Who knows no word of moods and tenses,
    But, being blessed with perfect sight,
    Picks off our messmates left and right.

    I mean that’s crystal clear: the Afghans who appear to be allies, are there to steal – and spend their time off taking potshots (or in the modern version, setting IEDs or monitoring troop movements).

    I guess nobody in Bumfuck Indiana reads poetry – or history, or much of anything.

  47. dux.ie says:
    @James Thompson

    From the NLS data, the IQ distribution of US Armed Forces seems to be trimodal.
    Thus it might be logical to assume that they are corresponding to the Enlisted, NCO and Officer.
    Those siting for the Armed Forces test will have a bell curve distribution. Note the NLS data are people already in the US Armed Forces. The NLS Armed Forces IQ distribution is the composite of the 3 truncated group IQ distributions and each groups have their specific number quota.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @Realist
  48. dux.ie says:
    @James Thompson

    From the patent granted to SpaceX, most of the top inventors seem to be with Iranian or MENA ancestry.

    Company=SpaceX, from 2009-03-17 to 2021-07-06, NInventor=32, NPatent=31

    Rank| NPatent | Name
    1| 5 | Alireza Mahanfar
    2| 4 | Nil Apaydin
    2| 4 | Javier Rodriguez De Luis
    4| 2 | Souren Shamsinejad
    4| 2 | Shaya Karimkashi Arani
    4| 2 | Omid Nasiby
    4| 2 | Masoud Kahrizi
    4| 2 | Ka Shun Carson Pun
    4| 2 | Ersin Yetisir
    4| 2 | Alireza Mehrnia
    4| 2 | Alex Ahmad Mirzaei

    However, the top inventors from BlueOrigin seem to be “American”.

    Company=BlueOrigin, from 2013-04-02 to 2020-11-03, NInventor=18, NPatent=29

    Rank| NPatent | Name
    1| 9 | Mark Featherstone
    2| 5 | Roger E. Ramsey
    2| 5 | Frederick W. Boelitz
    4| 4 | David M. Biggs
    5| 3 | John Michael Sanders
    5| 3 | Douglas Lewis Grose
    8| 2 | Dennis Arthur Trimble
    11| 1 | Sean Robert Findlay
    11| 1 | Sean R. Findlay
    11| 1 | Ray Miryekta
    11| 1 | Michael C. Krene
    11| 1 | Mark O. Hilstad
    11| 1 | Jeffrey P. Bezos <–
    11| 1 | Gerald A. Lee
    11| 1 | Gary Lai

    • Replies: @dearieme
  49. BHO says:

    This chap seem more intelligent and knowledgable than most Americans

  50. @Bardon Kaldian

    Thanks. Can you tell me where the temple is, and when it was built? I agree that buildings of this sort are potentially contrary evidence, though much can happen to a people in 5-8 centuries, which is 32 generations. Depending on the strength of selective forces, 8 to 16 generations can show differences in ability, and 32 generations pretty well certainly.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @Bardon Kaldian
  51. @Philip Owen

    Lower impulse control a standard feature of low IQ.
    Bribery is a very likely feature of Afghan life. Another low IQ aspect, as discussed in previous blogs. Put “honesty” into my search bar.

  52. LondonBob says:

    Watching parliament’s debate, we really are in trouble.

  53. dearieme says:
    @dux.ie

    It must be fun distinguishing the two Findlays.

    Would I be right to guess that Bezos appearing on a patent is likelier to be more vanity than inventiveness?

  54. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    Did Afghans build it? Could imported architects and labour have done it?

  55. @dux.ie

    Thanks. Astounding! Never saw a surmise confirmed so quickly. Why are the enlisted of such poor ability? Assumed the McNamara era was over.

    US Marines appear to be in deep trouble. Any reason for this? Are other occupations paying much more for less dangerous work? Alarming.

    • Replies: @Realist
  56. Cannot understand this discrepant pool of talent. I know that Engineering is a very popular option in Middle East nations, but the SpaceX achievement is a very great one.

    • Replies: @songbird
  57. Yoyu says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Name me one ethnicity that is not more civilized than the Pashtuns?

    The Sentinelese maybe?

  58. Realist says:
    @Decoy

    What would Vladimir do is a really good question. I think that by now Blinken, Milley, and Austin would already be gone.

    They would have never been.

  59. Realist says:
    @dux.ie

    The first chart lends credence to my reply #25.

    The NCOs never reach one standard deviation above the population average. And worst of all officers start at less than one standard deviation and few if any attain two standard deviations.

    While this is horrible it is in keeping with what is observed from the actions and achievements of the U. S. military brass…also from their scholastic pursuits.

  60. @James Thompson

    This is famous Afghanistan blue mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh province: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazrat_Ali_Mazar

    https://www.dreamstime.com/photos-images/afghanistan-blue-mosque.html

    It was built in the 15th C, sponsor being a Seljuk Turk sultan, but architects, as unknown as our builders of the Notre Dame cathedral, certainly belonged to Iranian speaking “races” (modern Iranians, Tajiks, Pushtu, …)

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @Blade
  61. @Realist

    Not likely to believe very much in game theory then or even Lanchester’s early work on rate of fire.

    • Thanks: Realist
  62. songbird says:
    @James Thompson

    In the past, Musk has said something like, SpaceX does not file patents because that would allow the Chinese to copy their technology. I suspect that they may still hold to that philosophy in part, and so the list may not be representative.

  63. @Bardon Kaldian

    Very beautiful and complex structure. Certainly the work of skillful people. Sad that it now requires perpetual repair from visitors taking the mosaics, which suggest to me that current citizens are very different from those who made it. Either the constructors were an elite or, perhaps more likely, those ancestors’ abilities were subjec to some dysgenic trend, (such as James Flynn thought was at work in the UK, based on loss of ability at Piagetian tasks over 40 years).

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  64. @James Thompson

    C’mon, a little taste of reality. US blacks have, at average, IQ 85. Do you think, really, that the Taliban, however detestable their view on life and everything, can be as dumb as blacks?

    Blacks could never accomplish anything remotely similar, now or ever before. The Taliban are lunatics, religious fanatics ruled by their psycho religion, but they are not stupid. No significant group with IQ 85 could accomplish anything comparable, with or without Chinese or Russian or …support.

    They have no future with such a world view, but they’re not dumb. This whole stuff is simply- wrong. There are tons of intelligent lunatics out there.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  65. Realist says:
    @James Thompson

    Why are the enlisted of such poor ability?

    Generally, intelligent people do not voluntarily go into the military

  66. Bite Moi says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Anatoly Karlin———Higher IQ is a good thing to have. Balls are also helpful if you want a winning team.

  67. Amon Dool says:

    The Taliban did well because their cause was right.

    The fake ‘afghan’ regime American scum put in place did badly because they were nothing but puppets of the most evil empire ever to exist.

  68. @Bardon Kaldian

    It has long been standard, when looking back at civilizations, to judge them by, inter alia, the quality of their buildings, both the most prestigious high status funereal ones (think neolithic Long Barrows, Stonehenge, Taj Mahal) and the far more common middle class homes. So, leaving aside buildings which will have been made by access to Western technology, what is your estimate of 19th century Afghan intelligence, based on their domestic and prestige buildings?

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  69. dearieme says:

    SpaceX does not file patents because that would allow the Chinese to copy their technology

    A colleague and I decided not to apply for patents for a couple of instruments we’d designed for that reason (though our fear was not just of the Chinese; a Western corporation could have stolen them and we’d never have been able to afford to sue them). We copyrighted the drawings and instruction manuals instead, as a cheap measure conceivably offering a little protection.

    When I was much younger I did make a patent application on my own but my patent agent advised me not to pursue it because it would be easy for someone to copy the idea but keep its use confidential within his company so that I’d probably never hear of the breach of patent.

    Software was easier: we just copyrighted it.

    On the other hand a friendly outfit in Bavaria used to write to me from time to time telling me about the progress of my two Euro patents – one for boats, one for cars – that were, in fact, nothing whatever to do with me. What larks.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  70. @James Thompson

    This is, as Wolfgang Pauli would have said, not even wrong. It is useless and non-scientific to try to assess a collective’s intelligence just through some tests. And there are no methods that would give us anything persuasive just by looking at the test results and ignoring historical, economic and cultural situation.

    Afghanistan has been ravaged by war as we all know; also, modern architecture is international enterprise, so we cannot conclude anything from that.

    These are pictures from Afghanistan: https://diversebulletin.com/world/taliban-encounter-afghan-cities-remade-in-their-absence/, and thes ear from Lagos, Nigeria: https://www.google.com/search?q=lagos&client=firefox-b-e&sxsrf=ALeKk01-gguOb1Uw0G6pUWJGW5QARw9Bjw:1629390612482&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwipvaCFwb3yAhXumIsKHdClAkEQ_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1280&bih=893

    Does anyone seriously think that Nigerians had, mostly, designed and built modern buildings?

    So, these questions don’t matter much …

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  71. VICB3 says:
    @James Thompson

    …they did not train the “regime” army to act independently.

    I would point out that it’s pretty much not in their natures to act independently and cross-train. Some more than others – Afghans are not Arabs to be sure – but it’s overall a cultural thing for the region. Could be in error here; You decide:

    -Why Arabs Can’t Fight – The Arab Culture Theory
    http://ontology.buffalo.edu/smith/courses01/rrtw/Pollock.htm

    -Why Arabs Lose Wars
    https://www.meforum.org/441/why-arabs-lose-wars

    -More
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=WHY+ARAB+ARMIES+CAN%27T+FIGHT&t=newext&ia=web

    That’s not the same thing as saying that can’t use them as a sort of horde and win. Merely it’s that they’re tribal, afraid of losing face and diluting whatever personal power they might possess by sharing skills or information.

    Or that’s how I sort of see it anyway.

    Just a thought.

    VicB3

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  72. @dearieme

    You are absolutely right about not patenting if you are a small firm. I used to advise my smaller clients to publish in some obscure journal unlikely to be searched by anyone in the field so the idea was in the public domain. Then they could use it but no one could block them. Unless you have \$\$ on the scale to match the market potential, you will almost never successfully prosecute and it can take decades to get a resolution.

    As for patents for processes, as you describe, it is almost impossible to prove the breach.

    Bezos appears to be using 1950s British rocket technology as his base. We spent all our considerable Marshall Aid money on planes and rockets. There was a huge flourishing in aerospace. Harold Wilson had to say “enough!”.

  73. @Bardon Kaldian

    I suggested 19th century architecture, which could still be a relevant indicator. So are all cognitive and scholastic achievements.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  74. @VICB3

    Excellent. de Atkine particularly good, and highly critical of “culture” as a feeble explanation. I enjoyed his piece very much. It is of course consistent with low ability, and consistent with cousin-marriage clanish families. Culture has to come from somewhere.

    I smiled as I read it, because it chimed with my few experiences with Arab students, who really could not understand that they must question authorities and judge evidence for themselves.

    So, if you want to achieve power, go with the grain of the people. Keep the proposition simple, and exploit low-trust preferences to divide and rule.

  75. @James Thompson

    Where such things could be found? This is a tribal land.

    Anyway, I’ve long since criticized this approach…This all is absurd.

    https://iq-research.info/en/average-iq-by-country/mn-mongolia

    Mongolia: Avg. IQ 101

    GDP per capita- PPP: \$12,317

    https://iq-research.info/en/average-iq-by-country/lt-lithuania

    Lithuania: Avg. IQ 91

    GDP per capita- PPP: \$37,231

  76. @Bardon Kaldian

    You say “all this is absurd”. Then you appear to be suggesting that you refute a general correlation between IQ and GDP by citing two discrepant examples.
    Really?

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  77. @James Thompson

    I am not trying to refute anything. One has to prove there is a significant correlation between collective IQ (which is a highly debatable notion) and wealth of a country, wealth not generated only by foreign investments or natural resources.

    Simply, a low level education country without any creative individuals can be extremely wealthy due to much needed mineral resources or to specific historical situation (Luxembourg, Monaco); then, a country like Ireland can flourish for some time and even score high is, say, PISA tests, while no one of sane mind actually think that Ireland is, as a country, capable of feats like Russia in sciences, engineering etc., per capita.

    This all is trying to prove the evident, without taking into account more important traits that are not clearly measurable, like creativity, general and work ethic, type of religious culture etc.

    IQ tests are like this: According to Diogenes Laërtius’ third-century Lives and Opinions of the Eminent Philosophers, Plato was applauded for his definition of man as a featherless biped, so Diogenes the Cynic “plucked the feathers from a cock, brought it to Plato’s school, and said, ‘Here is Plato’s man.’

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  78. Blade says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    This is a typical example of Central Asian Turkic architecture, unlikely that it was architected by anyone other than the Turks. Not saying that Iranians could not build things, but this doesn’t seem Iranian at all from its yurt-shaped domes to the choice of sky blue color.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  79. @Blade

    Most of Turkic central Asian architects had been of ethnic Iranian origin. The same goes for Mughal India.

    • Replies: @Blade
  80. @Bardon Kaldian

    Heiner Rindermann. Cognitive Capitalism. Cambridge University Press. 2018.
    This is a recent look at the topic, which goes into the contribution made by intelligence, both on average, and at the higher levels (which has even more impact).

    The general approach in the previous literature is to see the established link between IQ/scholastic attainment and prospertity as an important causal factor. The other major ingredient for prosoperity is to have a market economy. Democracy is not essential. So, brighter countries with open economies do well. However, there are two ways in which a country of low ability can become richer. The first is by providing raw material (like oil) to richer countries. The other way is by providing recreation, as in tourism.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  81. Blade says:

    Interesting. One look at International Math Olympiad results and you can see that supposedly low IQ Iran pulled more medals than France, and Turkey more than Italy despite the lower income, less participation, and fewer opportunities in those countries. How does IQ explain that? Moreover, tiny Romania got more medals than the UK. At the same time despite the supposedly highest IQ, longest study hours, and giant population, China is terribly underperforming. What is the explanation?

    Could it be that there are few things more retarded than claiming IQ difference based on country? Why should people with identical cranial capacity have almost two deviation differences in their IQs?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @res
  82. Blade says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Rather Farsis, embarrassed of 1000+ years of Turkish rule, twist the reality and like to claim all Turkish heritage as Persian. A very good example of this fact is the Taj Mahal. Even though architects are from Istanbul, and students of Sinan, Iranians claim architects were Iranians. Again none of the architecture indicates that it was designed by Farsis. Farsi mosques are modeled after their house architecture, also do not have sky blue. Sky blue is widely used in Turkish culture due to the influence of the Sky God (Kok Tengri) faith. Turks of Central Asia had their own architects and mathematicians by the middle ages, they did not need Farsi architects. Perhaps you would like to point to some famous Central Asian architecture and tell the names of their Farsi architects.

  83. @Blade

    I agree that Maths Olympiad results are a relevant source of additional data about country IQ.
    On that basis it would be relevant to look at the full results for each country and plot those against country IQs. That would be a way of showing the relationship between country maths result and country IQ.

    Picking a few countries and assembling an argument on supposed discrepancies does not invalidate and general effects. I think it would be better to look at the entire data set.

    • Replies: @res
  84. @James Thompson

    Raw materials, I agree.

    Tourism, my agreement is partial. High IQ people (who exist in all cultures) can make a difference through innovation. The New Zealand tourist industry developed a whole range of extreme sports such as bungee jumping, parachuting strapped to a guide and those human sized balls for rolling down slopes. Ziplines were developed in Wales (our aerial ropeways in Scouts were similar but Ziplines take it much further). Snowboards and skateboards (enthusiasts go to Frankfurt to the skate park there) are other examples. I am not quite so sure about spacecraft being a tourist innovation. Spacecraft don’t do much more than deliver a new destination for the cruise ship industry. I see them as an extension.

    I am speaking in favour of IQ being somewhat correlating with IQ here but that is not the same argument as “genetics is absolute”. An uneducated, inbred, malnourished, stressed, disease ridden human from a grain field in the tribal areas of Pakistan is not going to have a high IQ. His landlord’s daughter might be luckier.

  85. res says:
    @Blade

    One look at International Math Olympiad results and you can see that supposedly low IQ Iran pulled more medals than France, and Turkey more than Italy despite the lower income, less participation, and fewer opportunities in those countries. How does IQ explain that?

    That there is more to country IMO performance than country average IQ? Culture, special skills, societal priorities, smart subgroups, etc.

    Plus see below about your interpretation of the statistics.

    At the same time despite the supposedly highest IQ, longest study hours, and giant population, China is terribly underperforming.

    Kind of hard to justify that when China leads the gold medal count.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_medal_count_at_International_Mathematical_Olympiad

    Let’s take a closer look at the full statistics linked there.
    https://www.imo-official.org/results_country.aspx

    We see that the PRC started participating in 1985 (Romania started in 1959) and since then has 212 participants who have brought home 168/36/6 gold/silver/bronze medals.

    And let’s take a closer look at 2020 where “underperforming” China had the largest point total (the 1-2 place point gap was larger than the 2-13 place gap) and brought home 5 golds and a silver.
    https://www.imo-official.org/year_country_r.aspx?year=2020

    I think you are reading the IMO statistics in a naive fashion. Maybe try to do better before slinging words like “retarded” about?

    BTW, Russia is pretty impressive. Started participating in 1992. 180 participants bringing home 106/62/12 gold/silver/bronze medals. Narrowly beat out the US for second in 2020.

    Could it be that there are few things more retarded than claiming IQ difference based on country?

    I actually kind of agree with the sentiment (if not the language) of that. Though it falls into the category of working with the best data we have. It is amazing how predictive country IQ is in Rindermann’s work given all of the other factors in play.

    For example, when a country has significant differences (genetic, culture, etc.) between large segments of its population it is necessary to look more closely. So let’s take a closer look at Iran.

    This paper provides a clue.
    Mathematics And Science Performance Of Persian And Non–Persian Language Students
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261850400_Mathematics_And_Science_Performance_Of_Persian_And_Non-Persian_Language_Students

    On TIMSS 2003 for their study sample the overall mean/SD was 394.26/84.94. That’s lowered from the country average because they used equal sized groups of frequently/sometimes/never spoke Persian while I believe Iran is majority Persian (I see numbers in the vicinity of 55%). The official average country score was 411.
    https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2005/timss03/tables/table_03.asp?popup=1

    The (always spoke) Persian mean/SD was 434.81/88.48
    The never spoke Persian mean/SD was 359.78/74.98 (almost a full SD lower).

    That does not fully explain things, but provides a start. Would be interesting to see other subgroups (say urban Persians).

    I’m curious what makes you say Iran has low participation. This Quora answer describes their selection process. It appears quite comprehensive (likely to pull in most of their best talent from a population of 83 million) and demonstrates that as a society they take the IMO very seriously (another clue). Also notice the additional training provided to those who pass their process (another clue).
    https://www.quora.com/International-Mathematical-Olympiad-IMO/What-is-the-International-Math-Olympiad-IMO-selection-process-like-in-your-country/answer/Sam-Sinai

    So why do you think Iran performs so well if not IQ?

    P.S. I think it likely that high end Math Olympiad performance has an element of special skill that is not picked up fully by typical “mathematics” tests. My guess would be spatial skills are part of that. Has anybody analyzed high end math ability in detail?

    P.P.S. Here is some IMO history. Helps give some reasons for Romania’s performance. Longest time participating (especially when there were fewer participants) as well as being a priority for them.
    https://www.maa.org/math-competitions/history-of-the-imo

    The first International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) was held in 1959 in Romania. It was originally intended for Eastern Bloc countries only, but since then the list has grown to over 90 of participating countries from all over the world.

    Here are the countries which participated in the 1959 IMO.
    https://www.imomath.com/index.php?options=I&mod=23&ttn=IMO

    In 1959, the following seven countries gathered to compete in the first IMO: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.

    To be clear, I think Romania punches well above its population weight in math. It’s just that the raw IMO medal statistics overstate that IMO.

    • Replies: @Blade
  86. res says:
    @James Thompson

    On that basis it would be relevant to look at the full results for each country and plot those against country IQs. That would be a way of showing the relationship between country maths result and country IQ.

    That sounds like a great idea. How about we take the 2020 results (point total seems like the best metric) and do that for both IQ and population? Plus maybe regress against both of those and income?
    https://www.imo-official.org/year_country_r.aspx?year=2020

    One interesting example is Nigeria which outscored quite a few countries.

    On reflection, perhaps a better metric would be looking at the average total point score over an extended period (decade?).

    It might be worth adding another metric of first year participated. The raw data is at this link, but would need tweaking to deal with defunct teams which now have different names.
    https://www.imo-official.org/results_country.aspx

    BTW, if one wants to see an interesting outlier check out North Korea in 2019!
    https://www.imo-official.org/year_country_r.aspx?year=2019&column=total&order=desc
    The country list allows moving between years which is handy for countries with inconsistent participation like PRK.
    https://www.imo-official.org/team_r.aspx?code=PRK&year=2019&column=total&order=desc
    I wonder why they default those pages to hiding the gender.

    IMO results seem like a great way to analyze far right tail math ability. Perhaps it would be possible to combine those with PISA mathematics scores to make some smart fraction inferences? Especially for those countries (like Iran) which seem to outperform their country averages.

    P.S. It might also be interesting to do surname analysis on people in these lists.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_International_Mathematical_Olympiad_participants

    For those interested in sex differences, worth noting that third on the list of high scorers is a woman.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Sauermann

    Even better, do surname analysis on the full individual results from each year aggregated into one group.
    https://www.imo-official.org/year_individual_r.aspx?year=2017&column=total&order=desc

    Ron Unz talked about surname analysis for the US IMO teams, but concluded the sample sizes were too small for Weyl analysis so did direct surname analysis.
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/meritocracy-response-to-prof-gelman-on-jewish-elite-overrepresentation/
    I wonder if the full contestant samples over a decade would be large enough.

  87. Excellent. I was about to check if anyone had already done it. I would go for a composite score (gold, silver, bronze, honorable mention as a percentage of all those awarded for each category) corrected by square root of population size (or just plain population size), and for years of participation. On that last variable, I think I would want to go easy on it, because brighter countries would have seen the advantages of participation, so let’s try it with and without that correction.
    Also need to check pictures of participants. Many countries magically have thoroughly local residents who look very Chinese. South Africa, for example! Also to note the boys and girls. Boys, mostly.

    • Replies: @res
    , @res
    , @res
  88. Blade says:
    @res

    That there is more to country IMO performance than country average IQ? Culture, special skills, societal priorities, smart subgroups, etc.

    That’s what I am pointing to, it is not a counterargument to my points. If you can say this about IMO results, then why can’t you say the same about other facts such as differences in development levels or civilizational achievement?

    Kind of hard to justify that when China leads the gold medal count.

    Actually, Russia is leading if you include USSR. But that aside, I didn’t say that China isn’t leading, I said despite purported higher IQ (like 20 or so more than Iran’s), long study hours, and the giant population they are underperforming terribly. With these factors, they have to be leading by a large margin. But they don’t.

    I actually kind of agree with the sentiment (if not the language) of that.

    No point in expanding that. It is clear that it should be agreed on. There is no physiological reason that explains why should there be 20 points difference in two separate Caucasian groups.

    I’m curious what makes you say Iran has low participation.

    It means that countries like Iran or Turkey did not even participate in as many IMOs unlike say France or Italy. Due to development levels but also because of war or political upheavel.

    So why do you think Iran performs so well if not IQ?

    It sounds like you misunderstand just about everything I said in such a short comment. I am saying that this IQ of nations idea holds no water. I would guess in order to get a medal in IMO you’d need to have at least around 130 IQ, if not higher. If the Iranian or Turkish average was indeed 86, the possibility of finding someone with such intelligence is near impossible even if we assume a 10 point standard deviation. However, medals say otherwise.

    • Replies: @res
    , @James Thompson
  89. res says:
    @Blade

    That there is more to country IMO performance than country average IQ? Culture, special skills, societal priorities, smart subgroups, etc.

    That’s what I am pointing to, it is not a counterargument to my points. If you can say this about IMO results, then why can’t you say the same about other facts such as differences in development levels or civilizational achievement?

    It was not meant to be a counterargument. It was meant to establish my position. Which is that both IQ and those other factors matter. The argument as I see it is how much IQ contributes. And you seem to be arguing not at all. But please feel free to clarify your position.

    Kind of hard to justify that when China leads the gold medal count.

    Actually, Russia is leading if you include USSR. But that aside, I didn’t say that China isn’t leading, I said despite purported higher IQ (like 20 or so more than Iran’s), long study hours, and the giant population they are underperforming terribly. With these factors, they have to be leading by a large margin. But they don’t.

    Let’s compare country ranking for the (arguably) top 3 countries along with Iran since 1985 (when both China and Iran started). Russia started in 1992 so I added Soviet Union to it before that.
    https://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx

    Year 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 00 99 98 97 96 95 94 93 92 91 90 89 88 87 86 85
    CHN 1 1 1 3 2 3 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 6 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 2 8 4 32
    IRN 29 18 23 19 5 24 7 21 10 8 10 16 15 5 12 8 4 9 17 11 18 10 8 1 3 9 8 8 6 14 8 14 14 20 26 31
    RUS 2 2 6 2 11 7 8 4 4 4 4 2 3 2 1 2 3 3 5 2 2 2 1 6 4 4 3 3 4 6 1 2 3 1 3 1 6
    USA 4 3 1 1 4 1 1 2 3 3 2 3 6 3 5 5 2 2 3 3 2 3 10 3 4 2 11 1 7 2 5 3 5 6 5 1 2

    Iran definitely is overperforming its population, but if those results for China indicate underperformance then I wish I could underperform like that myself.

    Also consider this from my earlier comment. Do you always skip over the strongest points when you reply?

    And let’s take a closer look at 2020 where “underperforming” China had the largest point total (the 1-2 place point gap was larger than the 2-13 place gap) and brought home 5 golds and a silver.
    https://www.imo-official.org/year_country_r.aspx?year=2020

    There is no physiological reason that explains why should there be 20 points difference in two separate Caucasian groups.

    How much would you consider possible? Do you include Ashkenazi Jews in that?

    I’m curious what makes you say Iran has low participation.

    It means that countries like Iran or Turkey did not even participate in as many IMOs unlike say France or Italy. Due to development levels but also because of war or political upheavel.

    So you mean historically (as opposed to percentage of present population). The country results give number of years of participation.
    https://www.imo-official.org/results_country.aspx
    Iran has participated 35 years starting in 1985 (missing only 1986). That is at the 3rd quartile upper boundary for number of years of the countries at that page. Not sure that qualifies as “low.”

    So why do you think Iran performs so well if not IQ?

    It sounds like you misunderstand just about everything I said in such a short comment. I am saying that this IQ of nations idea holds no water. I would guess in order to get a medal in IMO you’d need to have at least around 130 IQ, if not higher. If the Iranian or Turkish average was indeed 86, the possibility of finding someone with such intelligence is near impossible even if we assume a 10 point standard deviation. However, medals say otherwise.

    That helps clarify your position. So you are saying that the average IQ of nations does not contribute at all to country IMO success, but individual IQ matters. Right?

    First though, a 10 point SD would imply less variation than the standard 15 point SD. Did you mean 20? But let’s run some numbers for a 15 point SD. Which would make 130 +2 SD (about 2 in 100) over typical 100 and +3 SD (about 1 in 1000) over an 86 average. So about a factor of 20 less common. Not impossible. Though the numbers get worse quickly as you make the threshold higher.

    But I think your basic point is sound. Iran is far overrepresented relative to country IQ and population. Which is why I asked about your explanation for their success. You might notice I gave a few possibilities in my earlier comment.

  90. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Please let me know if you find somebody has already done this.

    Is there any reason you would go for a composite score rather than just using their point totals?
    You can see point totals (also broken down by participant) in the results for a given year.
    https://www.imo-official.org/year_country_r.aspx?year=2020
    That page has sex information on it as well.

    Here is a link which has the medal score thresholds for 2020:
    https://www.imo-official.org/year_info.aspx?year=2020
    But the gold threshold does not seem consistent with the results for Germany so not sure what to make of this.

    How about just looking at the average score for each country over the last 10 years? That would pick up some of the infrequent participants (e.g. North Korea, which tends to do well when it shows up).

    One thing I like about using the scores is I think it provides a cleaner range both at the top and bottom. Though comparing 2017 and 2020 the medal threshold can vary a fair bit so maybe your approach would make sense.

    Also need to check pictures of participants. Many countries magically have thoroughly local residents who look very Chinese. South Africa, for example!

    And the US for that matter ;-/ The country pages list names for all participants (back to 1974 for the US).
    https://www.imo-official.org/country_individual_r.aspx?code=USA&column=year&order=desc&gender=show&nameform=western

    If you click on the icons next to contestant you can see only the females. There were 5 (3 unique) female participants for the US. All since 1998.
    https://www.imo-official.org/country_individual_r.aspx?code=USA&column=year&order=desc&gender=show&nameform=western

    Photo of the 2019 first place team.
    https://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2019/july/us-first-in-math-competiton.html

    Their coach
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/po-shen-loh-led-the-u-s-math-team-back-to-first-place-20210216/

    P.S. The first answer to this question has some discussion of the IMO in the context of guesstimating the average IQ in North Korea.
    https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/16039/does-north-korea-have-the-third-highest-iq

  91. res says:
    @James Thompson

    I took a first cut at the analysis using only the 2020 totals. A CSV of the data is after the MORE. QNW is from David Becker. Population is from Worldmeter. Country codes are included to make merging your own data in easier.

    The basic result is that country IQ explains a bit over a quarter of the variance in IMO total score. Adding log(population) [worked a bit better than sqrt, which was better than linear] took the regression R^2 to just over 0.5. I’ll probably try adding a participation variable later.

    The IMO – IQ scatterplot is interesting. It is almost like there are three parallel regression lines fairly far apart.

    One thing I found interesting is that log(Population) increased the two variable model R^2 more (0.23) than it provided by itself (0.13). Those two variables are negatively correlated = -0.21

    Here is some R code to use with the CSV to show all of that and make some pretty pictures which help to see the outliers. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. If I read the component+residual plots properly China actually does underperform in the two variable model (it vastly outperforms in both single variable regressions), but only by a little.

    [MORE]

    IMO.country.2020.small <- read.csv("save.csv")
    str(IMO.country.2020.small)

    cor(IMO.country.2020.small\$Total, IMO.country.2020.small\$QNW)
    cor(IMO.country.2020.small\$Total, IMO.country.2020.small\$Population)
    cor(IMO.country.2020.small\$Total, sqrt(IMO.country.2020.small\$Population))
    cor(IMO.country.2020.small\$Total, log(IMO.country.2020.small\$Population))
    cor(IMO.country.2020.small\$QNW, log(IMO.country.2020.small\$Population))

    require(car)
    scatterplot(Total ~ QNW, data = IMO.country.2020.small, id=list(method="mahal", n=nrow(IMO.country.2020.small), cex=1, col=carPalette()[-1], location="lr", labels=IMO.country.2020.small\$Country),
    ellipse=TRUE, smooth=list(style="lines"))

    scatterplot(Total ~ log(Population), data = IMO.country.2020.small, id=list(method="mahal", n=nrow(IMO.country.2020.small), cex=1, col=carPalette()[-1], location="lr", labels=IMO.country.2020.small\$Country),
    ellipse=TRUE, smooth=list(style="lines"))

    #IMO.mod.1 <- lm(Total ~ QNW + sqrt(Population), data=IMO.country.2020.small)
    IMO.mod.1 <- lm(Total ~ QNW + log(Population), data=IMO.country.2020.small)
    summary(IMO.mod.1)
    anova(IMO.mod.1)
    crPlots(IMO.mod.1, id=list(method="mahal", n=nrow(IMO.country.2020.small), cex=1, col=carPalette()[-1], location="lr", labels=IMO.country.2020.small\$Country))

    IMO.mod.2 <- lm(Total ~ QNW, data=IMO.country.2020.small)
    summary(IMO.mod.2)
    anova(IMO.mod.2)

    IMO.mod.3 <- lm(Total ~ log(Population), data=IMO.country.2020.small)
    summary(IMO.mod.3)
    anova(IMO.mod.3)

    IMO.mod.4 <- lm(Total ~ sqrt(Population), data=IMO.country.2020.small)
    summary(IMO.mod.4)
    anova(IMO.mod.4)

    [MORE]

    “code”,”Country”,”Total”,”Population”,”QNW”
    “ARG”,”Argentina”,99,45195774,95.52
    “AUS”,”Australia”,168,25499884,99.54
    “AUT”,”Austria”,66,9006398,98.37
    “BEL”,”Belgium”,99,11589623,97.3
    “BGD”,”Bangladesh”,118,164689383,74.36
    “BGR”,”Bulgaria”,118,6948445,87.1
    “BIH”,”Bosnia and Herzegovina”,85,3280819,90.71
    “BLR”,”Belarus”,111,9449323,101.6
    “BOL”,”Bolivia”,21,11673021,77.35
    “BRA”,”Brazil”,165,212559417,85.3
    “BWA”,”Botswana”,5,2351627,76.06
    “CAN”,”Canada”,161,37742154,97.86
    “CHE”,”Switzerland”,100,8654622,97.27
    “CHL”,”Chile”,19,19116201,89.88
    “CHN”,”People’s Republic of China”,215,1439323776,104.66
    “COL”,”Colombia”,129,50882891,85.65
    “CRI”,”Costa Rica”,28,5094118,89.1
    “CYP”,”Cyprus”,36,1207359,95.75
    “CZE”,”Czech Republic”,145,10708981,90.62
    “DEU”,”Germany”,140,83783942,101.66
    “DNK”,”Denmark”,95,5792202,96.84
    “ECU”,”Ecuador”,71,17643054,78.24
    “ESP”,”Spain”,133,46754778,92.26
    “EST”,”Estonia”,84,1326535,99.33
    “FIN”,”Finland”,81,5540720,98
    “GBR”,”United Kingdom”,167,67886011,98.44
    “GHA”,”Ghana”,21,31072940,61.95
    “GRC”,”Greece”,86,10423054,86.38
    “HKG”,”Hong Kong”,139,7496981,106.08
    “HRV”,”Croatia”,130,4105267,93.72
    “HUN”,”Hungary”,160,9660351,99.22
    “IDN”,”Indonesia”,130,273523615,79.07
    “IRL”,”Ireland”,53,4937786,90.01
    “IRN”,”Islamic Republic of Iran”,149,83992949,78.87
    “IRQ”,”Iraq”,15,40222493,89.45
    “ISL”,”Iceland”,22,341243,100.5
    “ISR”,”Israel”,146,8655535,90.64
    “ITA”,”Italy”,171,60461826,91.51
    “JPN”,”Japan”,149,126476461,107.31
    “KAZ”,”Kazakhstan”,146,18776707,84.27
    “KEN”,”Kenya”,2,53771296,75.22
    “KGZ”,”Kyrgyzstan”,42,6524195,86.94
    “KOR”,”Republic of Korea”,175,51269185,97.59
    “LKA”,”Sri Lanka”,77,21413249,86.62
    “LTU”,”Lithuania”,94,2722289,94.73
    “LVA”,”Latvia”,64,1886198,91.14
    “MAR”,”Morocco”,26,36910560,68.7
    “MEX”,”Mexico”,111,128932753,90.44
    “MNG”,”Mongolia”,135,3278290,99.36
    “MYS”,”Malaysia”,130,32365999,86.05
    “NGA”,”Nigeria”,30,206139589,67.83
    “NIC”,”Nicaragua”,19,6624554,60.22
    “NLD”,”Netherlands”,135,17134872,100.32
    “NOR”,”Norway”,83,5421241,99.66
    “NPL”,”Nepal”,4,29136808,60
    “NZL”,”New Zealand”,102,4822233,99.58
    “OMN”,”Oman”,2,5106626,83.32
    “PAK”,”Pakistan”,34,220892340,80.05
    “PER”,”Peru”,127,32971854,85.34
    “PHL”,”Philippines”,113,109581078,92.29
    “POL”,”Poland”,171,37846611,94.74
    “PRI”,”Puerto Rico”,38,2860853,81.89
    “PRT”,”Portugal”,112,10196709,89.65
    “ROU”,”Romania”,152,19237691,83.19
    “RUS”,”Russian Federation”,185,145934462,93.18
    “SAU”,”Saudi Arabia”,82,34813871,78.73
    “SGP”,”Singapore”,151,5850342,105.11
    “SRB”,”Serbia”,144,8737371,87.89
    “SVK”,”Slovakia”,117,5459642,95.32
    “SVN”,”Slovenia”,117,2078938,98.74
    “SWE”,”Sweden”,117,10099265,94.92
    “SYR”,”Syria”,102,17500658,72.99
    “THA”,”Thailand”,174,69799978,90.3
    “TJK”,”Tajikistan”,47,9537645,87.71
    “TUR”,”Turkey”,140,84339067,87.15
    “TWN”,”Taiwan”,145,23816775,108.71
    “TZA”,”Tanzania”,14,59734218,74.76
    “UGA”,”Uganda”,29,45741007,76.48
    “UKR”,”Ukraine”,164,43733762,88.61
    “USA”,”United States of America”,183,331002651,95.91
    “UZB”,”Uzbekistan”,60,33469203,89.01
    “VEN”,”Venezuela”,33,28435940,82.37
    “VNM”,”Vietnam”,150,97338579,77.84
    “ZAF”,”South Africa”,77,59308690,79.59

    • Replies: @res
  92. @Blade

    “I am saying that this IQ of nations idea holds no water. ”

    As explained, in order to test that sweeping claim, based on the IMO results, you have to do the sort of work which “res” has done. It cannot be asserted by picking a few countries for comparison. It must include the whole dataset.

    “Why should people with identical cranial capacity have almost two deviation differences in their IQs?”

    Let us assume identical cranial capacity. Then let us consider that there may be other differences, such as connectivity. Connectivity seems to vary between high and low ability subjects. Curiously, fewer connections are associated with higher ability. They seem to be better connections, subject to less noise.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Blade
  93. res says:
    @res

    First, some notes.

    [MORE]

    IMO uses nonstandard country codes (e.g. GER rather than DEU for Germany). Be careful. I am using ISO 3 letter country codes looked up by:
    IMO.countries\$code IMO.country.2020.small[IMO.country.2020.small\$code %in% c(“RUS”, “CZE”, “SVK”, “DEU”, “BIH”, “HRV”, “MKD”, “SVN”),]
    code Country Total Population QNW Participations All
    7 BIH Bosnia and Herzegovina 85 3280819 90.71 66 422
    19 CZE Czech Republic 145 10708981 90.62 62 411
    20 DEU Germany 140 83783942 101.66 62 480
    31 HRV Croatia 130 4105267 93.72 62 420
    66 RUS Russian Federation 185 145934462 93.18 59 384
    70 SVK Slovakia 117 5459642 95.32 62 411
    71 SVN Slovenia 117 2078938 98.74 66 427

    The new CSV is after the MORE. I also fixed a problem with a space character in the NIQ code for France which caused it to be omitted before.

    Here is a correlation matrix. Taking the sqrt or log of Population turns the correlation with QNW negative.

    Total Population QNW Participations All
    Total 1.0000000 0.3041071363 0.53461884 0.634437397 0.6294678451
    Population 0.3041071 1.0000000000 0.08263487 0.006314919 0.0003114832
    QNW 0.5346188 0.0826348661 1.00000000 0.556725687 0.5403585852
    Participations 0.6344374 0.0063149187 0.55672569 1.000000000 0.9892153249
    All 0.6294678 0.0003114832 0.54035859 0.989215325 1.0000000000

    Adding the Participations variable to the regression model increases the R^2 to 0.65. Though one could argue about the direction of causality there (probably some of both). Here is an ANOVA.

    Df Sum Sq Mean Sq F value Pr(>F)
    QNW 1 71683 71683 69.132 1.800e-12 ***
    log(Population) 1 58642 58642 56.555 6.569e-11 ***
    Participations 1 36486 36486 35.187 7.066e-08 ***
    Residuals 81 83989 1037

    [MORE]

    “code”,”Country”,”Total”,”Population”,”QNW”,”Participations”,”All”
    “ARG”,”Argentina”,99,45195774,95.52,33,195
    “AUS”,”Australia”,168,25499884,99.54,41,246
    “AUT”,”Austria”,66,9006398,98.37,51,326
    “BEL”,”Belgium”,99,11589623,97.3,43,263
    “BGD”,”Bangladesh”,118,164689383,74.36,17,93
    “BGR”,”Bulgaria”,118,6948445,87.1,62,414
    “BIH”,”Bosnia and Herzegovina”,85,3280819,90.71,66,422
    “BLR”,”Belarus”,111,9449323,101.6,29,172
    “BOL”,”Bolivia”,21,11673021,77.35,17,77
    “BRA”,”Brazil”,165,212559417,85.3,42,249
    “BWA”,”Botswana”,5,2351627,76.06,7,38
    “CAN”,”Canada”,161,37742154,97.86,41,246
    “CHE”,”Switzerland”,100,8654622,97.27,31,167
    “CHL”,”Chile”,19,19116201,89.88,18,73
    “CHN”,”People’s Republic of China”,215,1439323776,104.66,36,212
    “COL”,”Colombia”,129,50882891,85.65,41,244
    “CRI”,”Costa Rica”,28,5094118,89.1,17,89
    “CYP”,”Cyprus”,36,1207359,95.75,37,210
    “CZE”,”Czech Republic”,145,10708981,90.62,62,411
    “DEU”,”Germany”,140,83783942,101.66,62,480
    “DNK”,”Denmark”,95,5792202,96.84,31,180
    “ECU”,”Ecuador”,71,17643054,78.24,23,132
    “ESP”,”Spain”,133,46754778,92.26,39,228
    “EST”,”Estonia”,84,1326535,99.33,29,171
    “FIN”,”Finland”,81,5540720,98,48,302
    “FRA”,”France”,154,65273511,97.48,52,331
    “GBR”,”United Kingdom”,167,67886011,98.44,54,350
    “GHA”,”Ghana”,21,31072940,61.95,8,28
    “GRC”,”Greece”,86,10423054,86.38,43,264
    “HKG”,”Hong Kong”,139,7496981,106.08,34,204
    “HRV”,”Croatia”,130,4105267,93.72,62,420
    “HUN”,”Hungary”,160,9660351,99.22,61,402
    “IDN”,”Indonesia”,130,273523615,79.07,33,194
    “IRL”,”Ireland”,53,4937786,90.01,34,204
    “IRN”,”Islamic Republic of Iran”,149,83992949,78.87,36,211
    “IRQ”,”Iraq”,15,40222493,89.45,6,32
    “ISL”,”Iceland”,22,341243,100.5,37,197
    “ISR”,”Israel”,146,8655535,90.64,40,238
    “ITA”,”Italy”,171,60461826,91.51,42,245
    “JPN”,”Japan”,149,126476461,107.31,32,192
    “KAZ”,”Kazakhstan”,146,18776707,84.27,28,168
    “KEN”,”Kenya”,2,53771296,75.22,5,25
    “KGZ”,”Kyrgyzstan”,42,6524195,86.94,29,158
    “KOR”,”Republic of Korea”,175,51269185,97.59,34,204
    “LKA”,”Sri Lanka”,77,21413249,86.62,26,129
    “LTU”,”Lithuania”,94,2722289,94.73,29,174
    “LVA”,”Latvia”,64,1886198,91.14,29,174
    “MAR”,”Morocco”,26,36910560,68.7,39,231
    “MEX”,”Mexico”,111,128932753,90.44,36,214
    “MNG”,”Mongolia”,135,3278290,99.36,50,326
    “MYS”,”Malaysia”,130,32365999,86.05,27,148
    “NGA”,”Nigeria”,30,206139589,67.83,14,72
    “NIC”,”Nicaragua”,19,6624554,60.22,8,35
    “NLD”,”Netherlands”,135,17134872,100.32,51,328
    “NOR”,”Norway”,83,5421241,99.66,38,220
    “NPL”,”Nepal”,4,29136808,60,5,30
    “NZL”,”New Zealand”,102,4822233,99.58,34,204
    “OMN”,”Oman”,2,5106626,83.32,2,12
    “PAK”,”Pakistan”,34,220892340,80.05,16,89
    “PER”,”Peru”,127,32971854,85.34,28,153
    “PHL”,”Philippines”,113,109581078,92.29,33,168
    “POL”,”Poland”,171,37846611,94.74,61,400
    “PRI”,”Puerto Rico”,38,2860853,81.89,22,95
    “PRT”,”Portugal”,112,10196709,89.65,33,197
    “ROU”,”Romania”,152,19237691,83.19,62,410
    “RUS”,”Russian Federation”,185,145934462,93.18,59,384
    “SAU”,”Saudi Arabia”,82,34813871,78.73,17,97
    “SGP”,”Singapore”,151,5850342,105.11,34,204
    “SRB”,”Serbia”,144,8737371,87.89,16,96
    “SVK”,”Slovakia”,117,5459642,95.32,62,411
    “SVN”,”Slovenia”,117,2078938,98.74,66,427
    “SWE”,”Sweden”,117,10099265,94.92,54,349
    “SYR”,”Syria”,102,17500658,72.99,13,75
    “THA”,”Thailand”,174,69799978,90.3,33,198
    “TJK”,”Tajikistan”,47,9537645,87.71,17,98
    “TUR”,”Turkey”,140,84339067,87.15,38,230
    “TWN”,”Taiwan”,145,23816775,108.71,30,180
    “TZA”,”Tanzania”,14,59734218,74.76,7,23
    “UGA”,”Uganda”,29,45741007,76.48,10,53
    “UKR”,”Ukraine”,164,43733762,88.61,29,174
    “USA”,”United States of America”,183,331002651,95.91,47,294
    “UZB”,”Uzbekistan”,60,33469203,89.01,20,112
    “VEN”,”Venezuela”,33,28435940,82.37,28,84
    “VNM”,”Vietnam”,150,97338579,77.84,45,270
    “ZAF”,”South Africa”,77,59308690,79.59,30,180

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

    “Why should people with identical cranial capacity have almost two deviation differences in their IQs?”

    Let us assume identical cranial capacity. Then let us consider that there may be other differences, such as connectivity. Connectivity seems to vary between high and low ability subjects. Curiously, fewer connections are associated with higher ability. They seem to be better connections, subject to less noise.

    Also worth considering a simple existence proof. Einstein’s brain was at the lower end of average modern human cranial capacity at 1230 grams.
    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2009/04/closer-look-einsteins-brain

    This 1979 paper is available on Sci-Hub.
    Brain size and intelligence in man
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/526851/

    Lots of interesting data there including histograms on page 9/261 of brain weights for men and women in their study.

    Hopefully advances in genetics will cast some light on the size/efficiency/IQ relationships.

  95. res says:
    @res

    Argh. First paragraph was messed up by the way special characters are handled here and I failed to notice when I posted. The main thing lost was the description of the Participations (years) and All (# participants) variables. The countries listed are those where I corrected those variables because of country reshuffling.

    Dr. Thompson, did you add the extra MORE or did I make a mistake? I did not realize it was possible to have multiple MOREs. That is a useful thing to remember.

  96. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Here is a paper doing much the same thing. They use PISA math scores among many other variables.
    Country performance at the International Mathematical Olympiad
    https://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/39771

    Section 5.3 and Table 6 look most relevant to me. Some discussion in the text.

    The average PISA scores of top students in mathematics are positively associated with the IMO performance. A difference of one standard deviation in PISA scores between countries is associated with an expected difference at the IMO of around 4 points (approximately 10% in scoring). The percentage of the population aged 15-24 that has completed secondary education is found to have no influence. The inclusion of measures of schooling input and human capital does not alter the results. Again, PISA scores are positively correlated with the performance of Olympians, while the coefficient of percentage of population ages 15-24 who has completed secondary education is not significantly different from zero.

    I wish they had done an ANOVA. I think that makes it clearer which variables are contributing the most to the model (though intercorrelation can obscure things).

    They also used ln(population) which was significant in their Table 4 models. But ln(per capita GDP) was not significant. Which I find interesting. I might try adding that to my model (e.g. to see score vs. GDP scatterplot with country labels). From the text.

    In contrast to studies on sporting events, there is no evidence that GDP per capita is associated with achievement.

    That seems exceptionally interesting. What do you think?

    I only see two papers (neither in English) citing this one at:
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/46163962_Country_performance_at_the_International_Mathematical_Olympiad

    • Replies: @res
  97. Blade says:
    @James Thompson

    No both @res and you are getting it wrong. To be sure, I don’t care about IMO results as well, I posted it as input for your standards and considerations. There are obviously a bunch of factors, including math education, the importance attributed to the olympiad, focus on test culture, population size, and so on. I would say math education is probably the most important factor as proven by Hungary and Romania.

    I could write a whole rebuttal and close this topic for once and all, but I have more pressing concerns. Supposedly the highest IQ people in the world are Koreans, yet until America supported them post-Korean War they were one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world, China which is supposedly another one of the high IQ nations was worse than many parts of Africa until Western elites robbed their own lower classes to invest in China. How does the IQ of nations theory explain that? Why were high IQ Japanese, Chinese, etc. living middle ages when the West invented modernity? What if the West never invested in China but instead chose, say Vietnam or India to open factories would China be anywhere near close to where it is today (the answer is “No”)? It is not as simple as “one is high IQ other is low.” Culture and mindset play a far larger role in development than the IQ, there are cultures and philosophies that actively discourage development.

    It doesn’t mean that I completely deny the hypothesis of IQ difference or that IQ is dependent on factors like nutrition and environment as well, in the case of blacks supposedly there is a significant difference in brain volume, I can listen to that and it is worth studying. But when it is claimed that Greeks have 90 IQ (but Italians have 102 IQ) there is nothing to do but laugh. It gets even more ridiculous (and dumber) when the same people claim Turkey has 86 average, but at the same time claim, Turks are a mix of ancient Greeks and Mongols, purportedly two high IQ nations. At that point, it is just a tool for racists to claim supremacy and nothing worth intellectual interest. Simply put, such claims conflict with most knowledge we have.

    I also observed that IQ tests can be easily studied. With some familiarity and practice, one can easily get a whole standard deviation higher. Is there any study on that? I guess not. Give the test to two identical intelligence people, one of whom never took a single test in his entire life (such as in Africa) and the other grew up in a test culture (such as in China), I hypothesize there’ll be at least 2 std dev difference between the two, again I don’t expect such tests had been carried out. It doesn’t mean that Africans are as smart as Chinese, but it means that there are a bunch of other factors that are not considered and until those are sorted out we don’t really have a very reliable tool to measure the intelligence of differing populations, including within the same nation (go to Appalachia and see if they score as high as the whites from New York).

    I hope this was enough clarification, I leave IMO results as an exercise to those who need to justify why France gets less medals than Iran despite a much higher supposed IQ, I have no interest in that.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  98. res says:
    @res

    I added GDP. It was useless for the model. One interesting thing is I had more variance explained from the IQ*GDP interaction than GDP itself, but not significant (p=0.1).

    There is a nice collection of low (under \$20k per capita PPP) GDP but high scoring countries that might be worth exploring. The low/low and high/high countries are unsurprising. The most notable high GDP low scoring countries are: Cyprus, Oman, Iceland, Ireland, Austria, Norway, and Switzerland.

    I’d like to add PISA math 95th percentile scores (should be easy) and the paper’s outcome variable (hard) if possible, but not sure if I will have time/motivation.

  99. Ron Unz says:
    @Blade

    But when it is claimed that Greeks have 90 IQ (but Italians have 102 IQ) there is nothing to do but laugh. It gets even more ridiculous (and dumber) when the same people claim Turkey has 86 average, but at the same time claim, Turks are a mix of ancient Greeks and Mongols, purportedly two high IQ nations.

    By purest chance, I happened to notice this exchange. If you haven’t already done so, I strongly suggest that you read my own article on the subject from almost a decade ago:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/race-iq-and-wealth/

    As well as the long series of follow-up columns:

    https://www.unz.com/author/ron-unz/topic/race-iq/?ItemOrder=ASC

    I hope this was enough clarification, I leave IMO results as an exercise to those who need to justify why France gets less medals than Iran despite a much higher supposed IQ, I have no interest in that.

    And your IMO issue is a very significant one, which was new to me.

    • Replies: @Blade
    , @res
    , @vass
  100. Blade says:
    @Ron Unz

    I have not read the article until now. Even more arguments could be added but it is already sufficient to show that IQ of nations theory doesn’t make sense across national borders. Moreover, outliers on both sides make zero sense; am I supposed to believe the average IQ of a whole country’s population is on par with people with intellectual disabilities? Another population’s 16% are at Harvard-level? The thing is I don’t even disagree with the heritability, elasticity, and differences of intelligence, moreover, I think it should be studied but thanks to dumb arguments like this no one can dare to actually research this stuff without risking their careers (maybe we could find strong proof for certain claims, maybe we could interfere or fix it if we knew there was an issue). It is as bad as Leftists banning (implicitly or explicitly) discussing certain topics, perhaps worse because at least modern Leftists are objectively subjective, while this kind of broken science blocks real science by pretending (it is actually an interesting research subject, wonder if anyone researched the impact of bad science over real science?).

    And your IMO issue is a very significant one, which was new to me.

    I didn’t think it was significant because I knew some of the facts you listed in your article, know some history and science. When some argument cannot pass basic logical tests, it is not really worthwhile (for me) to look as far as IMO results. I only brought it because it causes the other side of an argument to bend backwards when the argument includes undeniable data in the form of test results. As a side note, Hungary produced so many superstar mathematicians, it has a lot to do with the reforms in their education system in the 19th century. I’d guess a similar story with say Romania.

    People work really hard to prove that hard work doesn’t work despite all the contrary evidence. Until we have hard proof on this topic, I don’t think it is worth debating long about. People don’t care to change their opinions when those opinions ignore facts they don’t like.

    • Replies: @res
  101. res says:
    @Blade

    Even more arguments could be added but it is already sufficient to show that IQ of nations theory doesn’t make sense across national borders.

    What does this mean to you? As I see it the reality is that you seem to be calling the IQ of nations theory worthless while I believe it lies somewhere in the middle of the continuum between useless and exact and completely determinative of various outcomes.

    When I observe that a regression of IMO 2020 total score shows the NIQ (national IQ) estimates explaining 28% of variance and log(population) adding another 22% I think it is clear that NIQ explains something important about the world. Though far from perfectly. Explaining 50% of variance with a simple two variable model (especially two variables which seem so logically likely to be causal) . Most of social science is lucky to get variables which are even significant (p < 0.05).

    Heiner Rindermann's work expands on this argument relative to other metrics in MUCH more detail.

    When some argument cannot pass basic logical tests, it is not really worthwhile (for me)

    This conversation would be much better if you would concisely lay out the argument you think is not passing the logical tests.

    As a side note, Hungary produced so many superstar mathematicians, it has a lot to do with the reforms in their education system in the 19th century. I’d guess a similar story with say Romania.

    Strongly agreed about that. Have you read about “The Martians” in any detail?

    But do you think those reforms would give the same results in sub-Saharan Africa? You need both the hard work and the human capital.

    People work really hard to prove that hard work doesn’t work despite all the contrary evidence.

    This discussion seems to be more about you engaging with some unstated strawman than anything anyone here is saying.

  102. res says:
    @Ron Unz

    Hi Ron,

    Not sure if this is the right place to have this conversation. If you would rather it be elsewhere feel free to move it there.

    I see this as the meat of your argument (from the conclusion of your link). If you have a better summary, please point me to it.

    If we combine this apparent rural/urban achievement pattern with the evidence of the Flynn Effect, we might speculate that scoring well on an IQ test tends to require a certain amount of “mental priming” or complex stimulation while growing up and that in the past such stimulation tended to be lacking in poor rural areas compared with more urban, affluent, or industrial ones. Obviously, working on a farm in a less developed country carries its own complexity, but it could be that the mental skills exercised are far less applicable to the strongly abstract and analytical thinking required on an IQ test.

    This might help to explain the enormous variance in test scores recorded in individual European countries better than the chance possibility that large tested samples overwhelmingly consisted of especially bright or especially dim individuals. Based on this data, the hypothesized developmental impact of a lack of sufficient mental stimulation might be to reduce tested IQs by as much as 10–15 points. And once this socio-cultural environment substantially changes—as in the case of the Irish or Mexican-Americans—what might be called a “Super-Flynn Effect” can occur, involving a very rapid rise in nominal IQs. Obviously, all of this is quite speculative and warrants further investigation.

    Interestingly enough, these rapid rises in IQ due to changes in the general socio-economic environment appear completely absent when we examine the international or domestic IQ data for East Asian populations, for whom even tenfold differences in real per capita GDP seem to have little or no impact on IQ. Missing this unexpected contrast between the impact of socio-economic factors on Europeans and on East Asians may have been a major reason that Lynn and Vanhanen failed to notice the serious flaws in their “Strong IQ Hypothesis.”

    From the same link I think this summarizes your view of the “Strong IQ Hypothesis.”

    The central thesis of Lynn and Vanhanen’s work might be called the “Strong IQ Hypothesis,” namely that IQ accurately reflects intelligence, that IQ is overwhelmingly determined by genetics, and that IQ is subject to little or no significant cultural or economic influence after we adjust for the universal Flynn Effect.

    I am not sure you have accurately represented L&V’s work there, but I would rather talk about what you believe than what they believe.

    I basically agree with your points in that excerpt. My primary quibble is I think your “Super-Flynn Effect” would be more accurately described as different countries (groups would be more accurate, varies both within and between countries) starting from and occupying different places on what I would call a “Flynn Continuum” over time. Put differently, experiencing the FE at different points in time.

    A simplistic and tautological definition of the “Flynn Continuum” might be “ordered ranking of environments by their contribution to phenotypic IQ.” Reality is more complex (e.g. the ranking is neither simple nor one dimensional, also optimal environments may vary by group genetics), but I think that simple definition is worth using in this conversation. If you disagree, please elaborate on your objections and discuss alternative definitions.

    Key points I see about this Flynn Continuum.

    – Intelligence is not one dimensional. It is treated as being so here by using IQ. I think the points below apply to all dimensions, but the particular FC curves involved would vary. As would the genetics involved.

    – Different countries/groups occupy different positions on the FC at points in time and change with different trajectories.

    – A group of countries changing over time with a relatively similar positive trajectory is what we know as the “Flynn Effect.”

    – Direction of change on the FC can be both positive and negative. I think we have seen this change in the West from the 20th Century positive Flynn Effect to a negative change (while the developing world is still experiencing the FE). Possible causative factors including poor diet (e.g. obesity), less rigorous schooling (varies), and pollution.

    – There will be within group as well as between group variation in FC status. I think this is obvious (individuals vary), but needs to be made explicit.

    – The FC applies to a group (or an individual) in a manner which relates to (is dictated by IMO) their genetics. Phenotypic IQ depends on both FC environmental status and genetics. In a hard to know proportion. Which is also hard to express since heritability depends on the amount of both environmental and genetic variation in the group being examined.

    – I think the effect of FC differences on phenotypic IQ is likely to resemble a sigmoid curve. With humans being fairly robust to survivable negative environments below a certain point and there being diminishing returns as FC improves (counterpoint, genetic engineering ala Steve Hsu). In this view the FE represents a group transitioning the steep part of the phenotypic IQ vs. FC curve.

    – The phenotypic IQ vs. FC curve varies depending on group genetics. A simple way of looking at it which I think is useful is regarding the peak of the sigmoid curve as “genetic IQ potential” or “genotypic IQ.”

    – We are still in the early days of understanding the genetics of IQ. I think Steve Hsu et al.’s work is good for looking at what we know about variation in European individuals. I think Davide Piffer’s work provides a suggestive (though far from definitive) look at group differences.

    Hopefully that establishes enough of a framework to discuss the utility of country IQs. I am interested in what others think of the “Flynn Continuum” formulation.

    Ron, I believe all of the above is consistent with your argument above. Do you agree or disagree?

    Now on to country IQs. Some key points there.

    – Countries are not demographically uniform (in either genetics or environment). A single IQ number for a country is inherently a rough approximation of the underlying reality.

    – Nonetheless, country IQ offers significant predictive power (in a social science, not a physics, sense) for various outcomes. That is true despite obvious outliers.

    – I view those obvious outliers as an opportunity for improving the model rather than a refutation of it. For example, Blade’s discussion of Hungarian mathematicians. What are various countries/groups doing well/poorly to achieve those results? Can we model those effects?

    – I think there are group genetic differences in potential IQ. The best estimates we have of those are from country IQs and from Davide Piffer’s work. These estimates are imperfect (again, obvious outliers, with the same message, try to improve the model).

    – Your work looks at some of those outliers (e.g. Ireland historically, Mexican immigrants to the US more recently). I see that work validating (to some degree, originating) the FC idea. In particular, consider where those groups have ended up as being representative of what I call genotypic IQ. The question is how much of a better estimate is now vs. those earlier times?

    The country IQ points are IMHO much more arguable than the FC points. So I am hoping to hear compelling counterarguments (the excessive detail is a likely unsuccessful attempt to avoid being strawmanned).

    Next to lastly, view all of that through the lens of what can be done with knowledge of country differences in IQ or with even finer grained information about group differences in IQ in general.

    To pull this long digressive side conversation back on topic for a moment, consider that maybe trying to outfit a country with average IQ in the 80s (Afghanistan) with military equipment designed for a military with a minimum IQ threshold higher than that was not a great idea.

    Then expand that to something like how to help Africa best achieve its potential? I think knowledge of country IQs can help with that. Ideally it would be an iterative process where adjustments are made as those IQs improve.

    Lastly, regarding the IMO topic, here are a number of variable correlations with 2020 IMO total scores by country. Notice how QNW (country IQ) correlates better than everything but how often a country has participated.

    Total Population QNW Participations All GDP.PPP.PC.2017 GDP.PPP.nominal.2017 ln.pop ln.GDP.PC
    Total 1.0000000 0.305395771 0.53043196 0.644220922 0.62899619 0.3098850 0.2163291 0.36364184 0.44851161

    Total – 2020 IMO total scores by country
    QNW – one of David Becker’s country IQ measures
    Participations – number of years of IMO participation
    All – total number of IMO participants (people)
    Hopefully the rest are self explanatory, but if not feel free to ask.

    After the more is a CSV of the data used for those correlations in case anyone else wants to do their own analysis.

    [MORE]

    “code”,”Country”,”Total”,”Population”,”QNW”,”Participations”,”All”,”GDP.PPP.PC.2017″,”GDP.PPP.nominal.2017″,”ln.pop”,”ln.GDP.PC”
    “ARG”,”Argentina”,99,45195774,95.52,33,195,20829,14508,17.6265141448563,9.94410152542138
    “AUS”,”Australia”,168,25499884,99.54,41,246,49378,53831,17.0541844610987,10.8072602598513
    “AUT”,”Austria”,66,9006398,98.37,51,326,53879,47261,16.0134457716276,10.8944960705896
    “BEL”,”Belgium”,99,11589623,97.3,43,263,49367,43325,16.2656206867455,10.8070374637594
    “BGD”,”Bangladesh”,118,164689383,74.36,17,93,3877,1564,18.9195717304107,8.26281693767093
    “BGR”,”Bulgaria”,118,6948445,87.1,62,414,20948,8197,15.7540284515,9.94979845539938
    “BIH”,”Bosnia and Herzegovina”,85,3280819,90.71,66,422,13108,5387,15.0036036443136,9.4809780098187
    “BLR”,”Belarus”,111,9449323,101.6,29,172,18896,5762,16.061453656692,9.84670553843714
    “BOL”,”Bolivia”,21,11673021,77.35,17,77,7576,3351,16.2727908396566,8.93274063486591
    “BRA”,”Brazil”,165,212559417,85.3,42,249,15553,9881,19.1747321166571,9.65200882504456
    “BWA”,”Botswana”,5,2351627,76.06,7,38,17024,7894,14.6706179869888,9.74237939214137
    “CAN”,”Canada”,161,37742154,97.86,41,246,46510,44841,17.4462881709978,10.7474226222181
    “CHE”,”Switzerland”,100,8654622,97.27,31,167,66307,80296,15.9736040714619,11.1020507512945
    “CHL”,”Chile”,19,19116201,89.88,18,73,24747,15001,16.7660467533769,10.1164595485288
    “CHN”,”People’s Republic of China”,215,1439323776,104.66,36,212,16842,8612,21.0874392402377,9.73163104558994
    “COL”,”Colombia”,129,50882891,85.65,41,244,14503,6429,17.7450372953505,9.58211080356025
    “CRI”,”Costa Rica”,28,5094118,89.1,17,89,17110,11573,15.4435970987605,9.74741836688624
    “CYP”,”Cyprus”,36,1207359,95.75,37,210,36012,18695,14.0039458875044,10.4916074952284
    “CZE”,”Czech Republic”,145,10708981,90.62,62,411,38020,20291,16.1865932931728,10.5458676160424
    “DEU”,”Germany”,140,83783942,101.66,62,480,52556,44680,18.2437519241786,10.8696345467617
    “DNK”,”Denmark”,95,5792202,96.84,31,180,54356,57545,15.5720230881302,10.9033102820404
    “ECU”,”Ecuador”,71,17643054,78.24,23,132,11612,6214,16.6858527228095,9.35979432514452
    “ESP”,”Spain”,133,46754778,92.26,39,228,39037,28175,17.6604270116851,10.5722651933121
    “EST”,”Estonia”,84,1326535,99.33,29,171,33448,20170,14.0980808374361,10.4177472730364
    “FIN”,”Finland”,81,5540720,98,48,302,46344,45778,15.5276350141778,10.7438471127765
    “FRA”,”France”,154,65273511,97.48,52,331,44033,39827,17.9940968611058,10.6926946317909
    “GBR”,”United Kingdom”,167,67886011,98.44,54,350,44920,39532,18.0333405477391,10.7126384088524
    “GHA”,”Ghana”,21,31072940,61.95,8,28,4502,2026,17.2518479019328,8.41227702146668
    “GRC”,”Greece”,86,10423054,86.38,43,264,28583,19214,16.1595306415581,10.2605674144845
    “HKG”,”Hong Kong”,139,7496981,106.08,34,204,61671,46733,15.8300109641349,11.0295690831938
    “HRV”,”Croatia”,130,4105267,93.72,62,420,26296,13200,15.2277813413844,10.1771721153441
    “HUN”,”Hungary”,160,9660351,99.22,61,402,28799,14364,16.0835405409323,10.268095943299
    “IDN”,”Indonesia”,130,273523615,79.07,33,194,12310,3837,19.4268985197918,9.4181672191785
    “IRL”,”Ireland”,53,4937786,90.01,34,204,76745,69727,15.4124276105646,11.2482435167475
    “IRN”,”Islamic Republic of Iran”,149,83992949,78.87,36,211,20885,5628,18.2462434128082,9.94678647693128
    “IRQ”,”Iraq”,15,40222493,89.45,6,32,16935,5114,17.5099369244754,9.73713776525187
    “ISL”,”Iceland”,22,341243,100.5,37,197,55322,73233,12.7403501124504,10.9209259384151
    “ISR”,”Israel”,146,8655535,90.64,40,238,38868,42852,15.9737095586624,10.5679265689593
    “ITA”,”Italy”,171,60461826,91.51,42,245,40924,32038,17.9175227486458,10.6194719669988
    “JPN”,”Japan”,149,126476461,107.31,32,192,42067,38214,18.6555667697656,10.64701886432
    “KAZ”,”Kazakhstan”,146,18776707,84.27,28,168,26491,9009,16.7481276702566,10.184560331648
    “KEN”,”Kenya”,2,53771296,75.22,5,25,3292,1578,17.8002503511549,8.09925056179696
    “KGZ”,”Kyrgyzstan”,42,6524195,86.94,29,158,3735,1222,15.6910281319146,8.22550309756692
    “KOR”,”Republic of Korea”,175,51269185,97.59,34,204,38824,29958,17.7526004473979,10.5667938910851
    “LKA”,”Sri Lanka”,77,21413249,86.62,26,129,12863,4135,16.8795204005708,9.46211025207872
    “LTU”,”Lithuania”,94,2722289,94.73,29,174,33253,16709,14.8169836284901,10.4119002675778
    “LVA”,”Latvia”,64,1886198,91.14,29,174,28362,15613,14.4500737207584,10.2528055000213
    “MAR”,”Morocco”,26,36910560,68.7,39,231,8225,3083,17.4240082469312,9.01493357563357
    “MEX”,”Mexico”,111,128932753,90.44,36,214,18656,9224,18.674801531831,9.83392308915022
    “MNG”,”Mongolia”,135,3278290,99.36,50,326,12946,3672,15.0028325029512,9.46854213910546
    “MYS”,”Malaysia”,130,32365999,86.05,27,148,29511,10118,17.2926190161623,10.2925183541809
    “NGA”,”Nigeria”,30,206139589,67.83,14,72,5887,1969,19.1440641137803,8.68050180902826
    “NIC”,”Nicaragua”,19,6624554,60.22,8,35,5855,2164,15.7062936068157,8.67505127603182
    “NLD”,”Netherlands”,135,17134872,100.32,51,328,54422,48796,16.6566262431725,10.9045237628563
    “NOR”,”Norway”,83,5421241,99.66,38,220,62183,75428,15.5058353139966,11.0378369294737
    “NPL”,”Nepal”,4,29136808,60,5,30,2702,900,17.1875128125804,7.90174751852014
    “NZL”,”New Zealand”,102,4822233,99.58,34,204,40748,43415,15.388747656755,10.61516203771
    “OMN”,”Oman”,2,5106626,83.32,2,12,41331,15170,15.4460494701304,10.6293681027127
    “PAK”,”Pakistan”,34,220892340,80.05,16,89,5539,1467,19.213185991465,8.6195692580331
    “PER”,”Peru”,127,32971854,85.34,28,153,13463,6723,17.3111648464059,9.50770046097924
    “PHL”,”Philippines”,113,109581078,92.29,33,168,8361,2982,18.5121752715878,9.03133331615006
    “POL”,”Poland”,171,37846611,94.74,61,400,29924,13871,17.4490519961904,10.3064161129923
    “PRT”,”Portugal”,112,10196709,89.65,33,197,32554,21316,16.1375755791339,10.3906555279514
    “ROU”,”Romania”,152,19237691,83.19,62,410,26660,10781,16.772381985605,10.1909195937327
    “RUS”,”Russian Federation”,185,145934462,93.18,59,384,25763,10846,18.7986681884802,10.1566946330647
    “SAU”,”Saudi Arabia”,82,34813871,78.73,17,97,53893,20747,17.3655264572821,10.8947558783334
    “SGP”,”Singapore”,151,5850342,105.11,34,204,94105,56746,15.5820106790377,11.4521664591247
    “SRB”,”Serbia”,144,8737371,87.89,16,96,15432,4692,15.9831199014667,9.64419855458556
    “SVK”,”Slovakia”,117,5459642,95.32,62,411,32371,17551,15.5128937778059,10.3850182392451
    “SVN”,”Slovenia”,117,2078938,98.74,66,427,36387,23488,14.5473677443656,10.501966846977
    “SWE”,”Sweden”,117,10099265,94.92,54,349,51405,54075,16.1279732068862,10.8474907229768
    “THA”,”Thailand”,174,69799978,90.3,33,198,17910,6579,18.0611442525463,9.79311449505476
    “TJK”,”Tajikistan”,47,9537645,87.71,17,98,3202,805,16.0707571576048,8.07153089355666
    “TUR”,”Turkey”,140,84339067,87.15,38,230,28002,10498,18.2503557438549,10.2400312151779
    “TZA”,”Tanzania”,14,59734218,74.76,7,23,2948,975,17.9054155799952,7.98888225330923
    “UGA”,”Uganda”,29,45741007,76.48,10,53,1868,631,17.6385057620577,7.53262361878879
    “UKR”,”Ukraine”,164,43733762,88.61,29,174,8699,2521,17.5936309475874,9.07096335550754
    “USA”,”United States of America”,183,331002651,95.91,47,294,59928,59939,19.6176369423727,11.0008991206277
    “UZB”,”Uzbekistan”,60,33469203,89.01,20,112,6880,1554,17.3261362605347,8.83637393092739
    “VNM”,”Vietnam”,150,97338579,77.84,45,270,6790,2366,18.3937059639478,8.82320622055274
    “ZAF”,”South Africa”,77,59308690,79.59,30,180,13526,6120,17.8982663962333,9.51236903813489

  103. vass says:
    @Ron Unz

    I believe the key is language.
    In Chinese, numbers are usually pronounced with a single syllable and the counting rules are simple. I am not familiar with French, but French counting rules are well known to be very cumbersome.
    This affects so much.

  104. Heiner Rindermann has done a whole chapter on IMO results and country intelligence. As usual, very thorough treatment of the issue.

    Rindermann, H. (2011). Results in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) as indicators of the intellectual classes’ cognitive-ability level. In A. Ziegler & Ch. Perleth (Eds.). Excellence. Essays in honour of Kurt A. Heller. Münster: Lit.

    The correlation, depending on a number of assumptions, mostly about population size per country and how to correct for that, ranges from r = .58 to .68

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rC81d86KjviYQ-akJ6RCH_URPxdgORzD/view?usp=sharing

    As regards ad hoc comparisons of countries, I do not regard these as refuting overall correlations.

    As regards saying that country IQs do not match economic histories, the thesis has always been that bright people flourish where there is economic freedom. As Jensen noted, achievement depends on ability, effort and opportunity. The rise of the Chinese economy once it was liberalized is a clear example.

    Further comments in due course.

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

    Thanks. I wonder why that did not appear in my searches. Emil has an OCRed PDF of the paper version at
    https://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/Results-in-the-International-Mathematical-Olympiad-IMO-as-indicators-of-the-intellectual-classes-cognitive-ability-level.pdf

    One thing I did not understand:

    Only country ranks based on medals are reported for each Olympiad.

    Has this changed since 2011? The pages I referenced had score data for all individuals. There are ceiling issues though relative to the participants.

    Regarding this footnote:

    5 It may be hard to believe, but there are no IQ measurements of IMO participants.

    Not sure exactly what he meant there, but some IMO participants were part of the SMPY.
    Making the IMO Team: The Power of Early Identification and Encouragement
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/107621758701000208?icid=int.sj-abstract.similar-articles.2
    https://www.gwern.net/docs/iq/smpy/1987-stanley.pdf

    It looks like the best specific example is Terence Tao who participated in 3 IMOs for Australia from 1986-1988 (aged 10-12!!!).
    https://www.imo-official.org/participant_r.aspx?id=1581

    From the paper above.

    Another of SMPY’s proteges in the 1986 IMO was Terence Tao of Australia. At age 8 he had scored 760 on SAT—Μ the first time he took that test, and a year later visited the United States with his parents to plan his education (Gross, 1986; Stanley, 1986a, b). On Australia’s IMO team at age 10, he won a bronze medal.

    I was able to find this reference which is a brief letter with some more info:
    Stanley, J.C. (November/December 1986). Terry Tao: Tops at ten. The Gifted Child Today. 9(6), p. 25.
    Get the DOI from the page 25 article and you can find it on Libgen.
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/107621758600900608

    Also see this reference.
    Stanley, J.C. (July/August 1986). Insight. The Gifted Child Today. 9(4), pp. 10-11.
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/107621758600900402

    More on both of those after the MORE.

    This 2009 paper looking at sex differences largely based on the IMO might also be of interest.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2689999/
    Related discussion related to Janet Mertz’s criticism of some of Ron’s work.
    https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2013/03/18/mertzs-reply-to-unzs-response-to-mertzs-comments-on-unzs-article/
    Related from Ron: https://www.unz.com/runz/meritocracy-almost-as-wrong-as-larry-summers/

    [MORE]

    10.1177/107621758600900608

    Terry Tao Tops at Ten

    Terry Tao, the brilliant young mathematical reasoner from Australia (G/C/T, July/August 1986), won a bronze medal as a member of Australia’s six-person team in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO)in Poland during July of 1986.His team ranked 15th among the 37 nations competing, excellent for a country so sparsely populated. No other member of Australia’s team won more than a bronze medal. Terry, still 10 years old when the IMO ended, is the youngest participant ever to win a medal. He’s aiming for a gold medal in 1987. His performance the first day was excellent, but the next day he misread a question and did not have time enough to finish. By 1987 his verbal reasoning ability should have increased further, from 290 on SAT-Verbal at age 8, 380 at age 9, and probably about 450-500 at age 10. Undoubtedly, most other IMO competitors had a decided advantage on Terry in verbal reasoning ability, but he’s catching up fast. He’s done splendidly thus far, chiefly by using his great mathematical and nonverbal reasoning ability well.

    Julian C. Stanley, Director
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, MD

    DOI 10.1177/107621758600900402 is a ten page article about Terence Tao. No OCR, so no cut and paste.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  106. @res

    Fascinating stuff.
    Perhaps you could contact Rindermann?
    [email protected]

    • Thanks: res
  107. Chinaman says:

    What does it say about white people when they cannot win a war when given 20 years and overwhelming military advantage and was ultimately defeated by a people with an IQ of 83 ?

    What an embarrassment!

    Where did the author find the audacity to talk about intelligence when they were the losers and the defeated ???

  108. Chinaman says:
    @anyone with a brain

    The U.S has also lost advanced weapon operating capability. So far they have been unable to even test their hypersonic missile projects they recently failed their second attempt at a test flight

    Hypersonic missiles? That’s Chinese technology and reserved for Americans sitting on aircraft carriers messing around the South China Sea. 19x speed of sound.

    Are you telling me Americans tried to steal Chinese IP and failed at replicating it?

    Just as the Afghans can’t maintain modern military equipment, a low IQ people cannot build hypersonic missiles.

    The IQ gap between Afghans and America are about the same between Americans and the Chinese.

  109. Factorize says:

    The Genetic Singularity Event is approaching! ISIR2021 has reported an Educational Attainment GWAS with ~3 million participants. The human cognitive genome is unlocking! The newest result might provide another 100 IQ points of causal cognitive ability, though it does not appear to have been published as a peer reviewed article as of yet. When will people become very very concerned about the genetic revolution that is now underway? If 1 million students writing the SAT were to provide their genotypes, then the entire cognitive genome could be revealed! How will survive as a species when the potential for 1,000 IQ humanoids suddenly becomes plausible?

  110. Factorize says:

    @Chinaman, what is your impression of how Chinese might respond to current genetic knowledge? Are you aware of widespread interest in embryo selection using polygenic scores in China?

    I recently received my full genome sequence. It was stunning. Future generations of my family could have enormous genetic advantages if careful embryo selection were applied. All of my family’s medical problems can clearly be identified in our genome sequences. We know what is causing our problems; it would be so easy to simply select against these problems. All of the hospitals could then be shut down as the coming generations are genetically selected not to have medical or other problems. Medicine is probably now the worst career path with the least long term potential.

  111. Factorize says:

    Are they kidding? ssgac no longer wants open science with respect to GWAS studies because the results might not conform to their view of what the answers ought to be? Science found the wrong answer, so instead of accepting the answer as the truth– censor it? Is this really happening? This is the clearest sign yet: Genetic uplift is now underway!

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