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Little Uruguay: Big Scholastic Expectations
The foundation of every state is the education of its youth. Diogenes.
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I am in favour of countries, in the same way that I am in favour of houses having lockable front doors. Countries have good precedents: the first biological cell seen by Robert Hook in 1665 seemed to him like the small cellular rooms monks lived in. The cell is the motor of life, and it has a well-defended boundary. The great advantage of having a national border is that you can repel boarders, in the same way that biological cells repel intruders that seek to invade and destroy it.

Within a country you can establish laws that regulate what happens in the street outside your front door. That is useful, because even if your house is your castle, it is no use to you if strangers are allowed to lay siege to it. You must be able to have the quiet enjoyment of your abode, at the cost of paying taxes for the laws that protect it. Good fences make good neighbours, and fences are strongest when backed up by national laws. By Saxon times most arable land in England was spoken for, and in Mediaeval times most litigation was about access to water power, where every inch of water level mattered.

Question is: What is the right size for a nation? Too large and the nation may fall apart, under the weight of its contradictions. Too small and it is held hostage by more powerful entities. Is there a rational way to scale the optimal size of a nation? Small and homogenous sounds very good for a friendly and tranquil life. Large and sparsely populated sounds better for an independent and more exciting existence. This is an active debate in the United Kingdom, where Scotland wishes, or partly wishes, to leave England, and appears to be an incipient debate in the United States, where some states would like to be rid of some other states, particularly those which are costly nuisances. Right sizing a country is a difficult business.

Russia is very, very large; Canada, China, United States, Brazil and Australia are very large, but the wealthiest countries (on a per capita basis) tend to be smaller. Have those smaller places some secret sauce? Are there beacon countries, admired and envied, as in their time England and the United States were, and then Sweden perhaps, and so on, which have lessons to impart?

Recently the Financial Times suggested Uruguay, as The Economist had done some years ago. It is worth studying that recommendation, using the past beacons of US and UK as comparison, and taking as regional benchmarks Uruguay’s two big neighbours, Argentina and Brazil, and as cultural and genetic reference points Italy and Spain, where most Uruguayans come from.

Is Uruguay a special case?

Consider wealth per adult. Look at the map of the world, and it is evident that Europeans are the wealthiest in the world, (plus Japanese and Koreans). Europeans build wealth even in the frozen wastes of Canada and in the baking deserts of Australia. Not even Gilbert and Sullivan operettas can drive them to penury.

Find South America (bottom left) and note there is only one country on that continent where median wealth is in the $20,000-30,000 dollar range. That country, Uruguay, is 87.7% European. Case proved? It is on a level found in Eastern Europe, and in newly risen China.

Here is a small comparative table, drawn from United Nations or World Bank data. Remember that all these figures contain an error term, and other sources will be slightly different, though the rankings will be pretty similar. I prefer actual figures to rankings, since they are more informative.

Adult mill: adult population in millions
Density: population per square kilometre
GDP: per capita in actual dollars
GDP ppp: per capita adjusted in terms of local buying power (Nominal rates are more important for trade and influence, purchasing power parity for those who wish to emigrate in either direction).
Wealth: median wealth, which is most representative of the average person
GINI: coefficient of wealth differences, high score meaning large differences
HDI: human development index, showing the general quality of life per country
Honesty: meaning the opposite of corrupt
PISA: overall scholastic scores in most recent studies.

Population adult:
Population density:

Median wealth:

Uruguay is a very small country, with low population density, high wages, high GDP, and very wealthy in regional terms. It has a smaller gap between rich and poor than its neighbours, has a good human development index, and is extremely honest. Its countries of origin are more corrupt, its neighbouring countries even more so. (One of Uruguay’s biggest industries, paper mills owned by Finns, came to Uruguay because Argentine corruption was outrageous).

Can all these good things be true? If so, how do you become a resident?

Very simple: You need a clean criminal record and must be able to prove a monthly income of around 1500 USD per person. If you are a family of four, the main applicant having an income of $2,000 is permissible. Married people are preferred. (Despite my pleas, Uruguayans think in months). 1,500 USD is a good wage in Uruguay. Well qualified young people make about 1800 to 2000 USD per month. Those skilled in IT, mostly working for US companies, can earn two or three times that. The above route gets you citizenship in 3 years for families to 5 years singletons. Caution: in your first year you will be expected to be here for 9 to 10 months. By the way, when I say dollars, I mean the real market rate for the greenback. There are no restrictive lower rates imposed by the government.

For those in more of a hurry, invest. For a person to become a tax resident by having main economic interests in Uruguay, they must invest in real estate or an enterprise and stay in Uruguay for at least 60 days per year. The minimum amount accepted for a real estate investment is $390,000. The minimum amount for an enterprise is $1.7 million, so long as that company also creates 15 jobs throughout the year.

Those that move their tax residence to Uruguay are eligible for a tax holiday on their foreign-sourced financial income. As of 2020, a tax residence act extended this holiday to 11 years. After that, tax residents will pay a standard 12% personal income tax on foreign interest and dividends. Uruguay tax residents can live tax-free on any foreign-sourced income for 11 years.

All good? There are some drawbacks. The current Government is still clearing up the excesses of the last one. The economy is picking up, people are feeling richer, though prices are high relative to earnings. Like in other parts of the world, the young are finding it very difficult to buy property. Some youngsters prefer social benefits to employment. A barbershop owner tells me he has vacancies for another 3 to 4 haircutters, but cannot find them. The last candidate lasted a fortnight, then left. The owner was relieved, since the young man had spent most of his time on his iPhone.

Uruguay is an entrepot for the drugs trade, bringing cocaine down from Bolivia to be hidden in containers in the port of Montevideo. Gang warfare has somewhat intensified in response renewed police action against the trade which is damaging the gangs’ earnings, which now fight more over their market shares.

The greatest sadness, however, is the parlous state of education, which was formerly good. Countries do sometimes have a golden age. The post-war period of the late 40s and early 50s was a time of good agricultural profits and a cultural flowering. When commodity prices fell around 1957 the cultural and social quality slowly deflated. Many youngsters left in the terrible 60s. According to international studies like PISA, Uruguay has been at a low level for at least 20 years.
For example, let us look at Uruguay’s score in PISA for 2018

Students in Uruguay scored lower than the OECD average in reading, mathematics and science.

Compared to the OECD average, a smaller proportion of students in Uruguay performed at the highest levels of proficiency (Level 5 or 6) in at least one subject; at the same time a smaller proportion of students achieved a minimum level of proficiency (Level 2 or higher) in at least one subject.

In Uruguay, 58% of students attained at least Level 2 proficiency in reading (OECD average: 77%). At a minimum, these students can identify the main idea in a text of moderate length, find information based on explicit, though sometimes complex criteria, and can reflect on the purpose and form of texts when explicitly directed to do so.

Some 2% of students in Uruguay were top performers in reading, meaning that they attained Level 5 or 6 in the PISA reading test (OECD average: 9%). At these levels, students can comprehend lengthy texts, deal with concepts that are abstract or counterintuitive, and establish distinctions between fact and opinion, based on implicit cues pertaining to the content or source of the information. In 20 education systems, including those of 15 OECD countries, more than 10% of 15-year-old students were top performers.

Some 49% of students in Uruguay attained Level 2 or higher in mathematics (OECD average: 76%). At a minimum, these students can interpret and recognise, without direct instructions, how a (simple) situation can be represented mathematically (e.g. comparing the total distance across two alternative routes, or converting prices into a different currency).

The share of 15-year-old students who attained minimum levels of proficiency in mathematics (Level 2 or higher) varied widely – from 98% in Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang (China) to 2% in Zambia, which participated in the PISA for Development assessment in 2017.

On average across OECD countries, 76% of students attained at least Level 2 proficiency in mathematics.

In Uruguay, 1% of students scored at Level 5 or higher in mathematics (OECD average: 11%). Six Asian countries and economies had the largest shares of students who did so: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang (China) (44%), Singapore (37%), Hong Kong (China) (29%), Macao (China) (28%), Chinese Taipei (23%) and Korea (21%). These students can model complex situations mathematically, and can select, compare and evaluate appropriate problem-solving strategies for dealing with them.

Some 56% of students in Uruguay attained Level 2 or higher in science (OECD average: 78%). At a minimum, these students can recognise the correct explanation for familiar scientific phenomena and can use such knowledge to identify, in simple cases, whether a conclusion is valid based on the data provided.

In Uruguay, 1% of students were top performers in science, meaning that they were proficient at Level 5 or 6 (OECD average: 7%). These students can creatively and autonomously apply their knowledge of and about science to a wide variety of situations, including unfamiliar ones.

As regards education, Uruguay is in the 52nd rank of the global class (though many countries don’t participate, probably very prudently). More to the point, it feels like a remedial class. What has gone wrong? Sure, it is above rivals Brazil and Argentina, but this is hardly a jewel in the crown.
Here is the comparative table again:

Uruguay is not at Italian or Spanish levels. What has gone wrong? Opinions vary, but it is clear that Uruguayan schooling, like most Latin American instruction, laid emphasis on memorisation of approved texts, which were then declaimed. Far less emphasis was placed on testing whether knowledge could be applied in novel circumstances. Content only, rather than competence in applying knowledge. Teachers of History were taught the texts they must use, and not a critical approach to historical records. Rhetoric rather than empiricism.

So, what the Uruguayans are trying to do is to move from parrot-like declamation to real competence. The difference between bewailing misfortune and finding a way out of prison.
One observer, Jana Rodriguez Hertz, said that the main thing which needed to be done was to pay teachers properly: “you cannot get a Finnish level education if you invest at the Namibia level”. Later, we will consider whether that would work.

A more recent problem is that after the pandemic many children have missed a lot of schooling, and many have remained truant. One group, Eduy21 is trying to boost school attendance, which fell because of the pandemic, and among other things, aims increase teaching hours in vulnerable neighbourhoods, and to monitor pupil progress every two months.

Uruguay understands it needs to improve its educational system, and so has set up a reform process which begins to be implemented this year. The assessment system is to be made more consistent over grades, and the curriculum will have more real-world problems as the focus of teaching. The new emphasis is on establishing competences. You advance once you have shown a basic level of competency (which must be tested) before you are taken to the next level. The system is focussed on the rhythm of learning of each student.

That is all well and good, but the reformed curriculum envisages the following Competencies:

meta-cognitive, intrapersonal, interpersonal, initiative and action oriented, communication, creative thought, critical thought, scientific thought, computational thought, and competence in citizenship locally, globally and digitally.

Guillermo Fossati, a member of the team tasked with assessing all this says mildly: “This will be a great challenge”. He adds: “Traditional schools fail to support students in addressing critical gaps in knowledge and skill. Consequently, students become increasingly burdened by learning gaps that accumulate and widen over time. Schools measure proficiency in highly variable ways, both within courses and between different schools.

A competency-based education will require consistent definitions of the proposed competencies and skills. Teachers have to measure student mastery consistently and hold all students to the same standards. We need to establish shared expectations for what students will know and be able to do at every performance level”.

Another educationalist said: “The government knows progress must be gradual, so each school can choose 3 competencies to begin with”.

Less mildly, I would say that grandiose statements of this sort damage pupil’s ability to read, write and count. Education departments all over the world adore this noble posturing, and find the daily task of teaching less interesting. Perhaps the best thing education managers could do is quit making mission statements and start dealing with the nitty gritty of school performance: making sure teachers and pupils show up, that classes start on time and are well organised, that classrooms are conducive to learning (including control of distracting students), that homework is set and marked, and that the best examples are exhibited. Basic stuff. (These points came from UK research on successful schools. Class size had no particular effect).

Would all state educational systems be improved if parents were issued with vouchers? This would allow parents to avoid weak schools, which would have to be put under improvement conditions, or eventually closed. Competition would drive an increase in standards, advocates claim. There would have to be stipulations that the vouchers must be used with approved schools, and there would have to be some adjustments if so many schools were being avoided that the system had no chance to improve itself. When I float this possibility I am told, with a weary smile, that it has no chance of being implemented because the teaching unions would not agree to it.

What should educational systems prioritise? They tend to want to do everything, which may account for the shortfalls. Perhaps what all education systems should concentrate on is the basics of teaching.

Direct Instruction is one of those approaches which stands out from other teaching philosophies by its simplicity and restricted focus. It is based on reinforcement learning, which is no longer popular, though it emerges in another form in all artificial intelligence learning models.
Its proponents describe it as:

a model for teaching that emphasizes well-developed and carefully planned lessons designed around small learning increments and clearly defined and prescribed teaching tasks. It is based on the theory that clear instruction eliminating misinterpretations can greatly improve and accelerate learning.
Students are placed in instruction at their skill level. When students begin the program, each student is tested to find out which skills they have already mastered and which ones they need to work on. From this, students are grouped together with other students needing to work on the same skills. These groups are organized by the level of the program that is appropriate for students, rather than the grade level the students are in.

The program’s structure is designed to ensure mastery of the content.
The program is organized so that skills are introduced gradually, giving children a chance to learn those skills and apply them before being required to learn another new set of skills. Only 10% of each lesson is new material. The remaining 90% of each lesson’s content is review and application of skills students have already learned but need practice with in order to master. Skills and concepts are taught in isolation and then integrated with other skills into more sophisticated, higher-level applications. All details of instruction are controlled to minimize the chance of students’ misinterpreting the information being taught and to maximize the reinforcing effect of instruction.

So, the approach is based on “modeling, reinforcement, feedback, and successive approximations”(Joyce, Weil, & Calhoun, 2000, p. 337). Joyce and colleagues specified the instructional design principles, which include the framing of learner performance into goals and tasks, breaking these tasks into smaller component tasks, designing training activities for mastery, and arranging the learning events into sequences that promote transfer and achievement of pre-requisite learning before moving to more advance learning. Essentially, Direct Instruction is “modelling with reinforced guided performance” (Joyce et al., p. 337)

Why is this not more widely used?

One reason seems to be that it is a very prescribed approach, requiring strict adherence to protocols, and works best when delivered by specially trained teaching assistants rather than conventional teachers. This makes teachers reject it. Another reason is that there are so many different educational fads that it may have got lost in the noise, and it cannot be fully evaluated until it is tried out more widely. The approach may be over-sold.

However, there is another problem, which is more fundamental. How much can schooling boost scholastic attainment? In relatively wealthy countries, probably no more than 10% at the very most. Detterman 2016. Basically, the main source of variance is the student, not the school.

Schools and teachers account for very little of the variance in academic achievement and should not be the focus of improving academic achievement. Doug Detterman, 2016

This has been known since the Coleman report in 1966.

Coleman report: variations in school quality (per pupil expenditure, size of school library, etc) showed little association with educational attainment, when students of comparable social backgrounds were compared across schools.

Coleman 1972: “All factors considered, the most important variable—in or out of school—in a child’s performance remains his family’s education background.”

Of course, family’s education background is closely related to family’s intelligence background, but Coleman did not go that far. He may have suspected it, but as a sociologist he was not willing to spell it out.

Coleman Report 1996 Teachers 1% of variance, schools 10-20%. Most of the differences were between students within schools, and not between schools.

Jencks, Smith, Ackland, Bane, et al. (1972) is the most extensive follow up study. They upheld the above results. 10% of variance in academic achievement due to school. Teachers must be less than 10%.

Gamoran and Long (2006) reviewed 40+ years of data from developing countries, and found that if average per capita income is greater than $16,000 per year, schools account for 10% of variance.

Expenditures on education make a difference when little has been spent, and as expenditures increase then a plateau is reached.

Average per capita income for Uruguay is 20,018, so well above the 16,000 cutoff point. The basics will already have been established, and the facilities, whatever they are, will be materially more substantial than the Shtetl shacks of Ashkenazi children. Perhaps of more note, teaching days in those Jewish schools were 10 hours long, and there was much to memorize. Learning and education were the ultimate measures of worth in the eyes of the community, while money was secondary to status.

If the most important thing in a school is whether they can attract bright children, then choice of school is unlikely to be crucial. The students provide the variance, not the schools.

Surely matters will be better when students struggle to get to the best universities? Won’t those high citadels of learning made a big boost in academic prowess? Apparently not, or more precisely, only 7% better. Angoff and Johnson (1990) studied US colleges and universities. 22,923 took the Scholastic Aptitude Test and 4-5 years later the GRE. Selected 7,954 students at 292 colleges or universities with more than 10 students. Used SAT Maths plus Major subject studied, plus gender to predict their GRE Math scores. The original scores and the eventual scores after 4 to 5 years of college/university education had an R squared of 0.93. That is to say, the original student scores accounted for 93 % of the variance. No more than 9% could be accounted for by the way they had been taught in their universities.

So, perhaps Uruguay should not expect too much from educational reforms, yet it seems churlish not to attempt them. (I should remind you that, to great international acclaim, Uruguay made sure that every child had a computer. I was proud to hear that. It was proposed in 2006, implemented in 2009, (cost £120 million) and there is no evidence from PISA scores (essentially a plateau) that it boosted scholastic attinments. However, it may have boosted computer skills.

Indeed, most countries with above $16,000 per capita GDP probably cannot improve educational outcomes, not even at university levels. Not with present educational policies, anyway. Some schools are experimenting: with bilingual English/Spanish tuition, access to artificial intelligence, and projects based on engineering technology. One simple approach would be to concentrate on teaching English, the language of commerce and science; teaching mathematics including simple statistics, and giving everyone employable skills in Excel spreadsheet use.

Either we should try far more radical approaches, or we should accept that the scope for improvement is limited. It is the innate ability of students which plays the largest part in their eventual attainments.

• Category: Culture/Society, Science • Tags: PISA, Public Schools, Uruguay 
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  1. meamjojo says:

    Thanks for this. Uruguay is one of the countries I am considering relocating to outside the USA at a future time.

  2. The stranger laying siege to your castle is always from the gov’t (taxes, rules, permits, etc) or is as a result of gov’t action (allowing invasion from the south) or inaction (protecting criminals from swift retribution).

    Shallow thinking article.

    • Replies: @William Williams
  3. Privatise Education!
    Plus: eliminate all the requirements that force parents to educate their children at all.

    That’d be one step ahead in the right direction, towards FREEDOM!

    Uruguay is more White than Argentina – but, on the other hand, more Black…
    Uruguay would profit so much from a ‘Eugenics Programme’…

  4. Really interesting, especially that short (sort-of) scientific review near the end. If ever there was an argument for meritocracy, as well as for separated schools and individual tutoring…

    On the other hand – as you also seem to suggest – I can’t help but think that it is not that simple. In China, for example, the educational system is unusually tough. The college entrance test, the dreaded “gaokao”, is extensively studied for by the students, and is of a very high level for their age-group (there are examples of the test on the internet).

    My point is: when a lot is demanded of the students, more of them might be pushed to do well – and this may be part of the reason that China tops the PISA-list.

    Nature and nurture, and all that…

    Thanks for the article 🙂

  5. dearieme says:

    By Saxon times most arable land in England was spoken for

    Could be true of the Neolithic and almost certainly true of the Bronze Age. There are Bronze Age field boundaries still identifiable on Dartmoor. Probably people were ploughing on Dartmoor then. Why? Population pressure perhaps. Or maybe because part of the BA was a warm, dry spell and Dartmoor would presumably still get decent amounts of rain. But I digress.

    Uruguay: how very tempting. We could take an equity release mortgage, invest in property, and then spend the British winter in Uruguay every year. Would I find their summer too hot though?
    Alas we’re too old to make much contribution to educating Uruguayan kiddywinks which would clearly be a noble task.

    Based on the strengths and weaknesses of my own Secondary education I recommend to the good people of Uruguay: (i) Do not pay teachers on a uniform scale: if there is a shortage of, say, physics teachers then pay physics teachers more. (ii) Do stream the schools: nobody will gain educationally by having the bright sparks and the knuckledraggers in the same class. (iii) The school sports for the boys should be rugby, football, and cricket. (Somehow I didn’t see cricket on your list of educational suggestions. Tut, tut.) For the girls: dunno, I plead ignorance.

    P.S. Your map shows the Aussies and Kiwis to be rich. Should well educated Uruguayans emigrate there?

    (NZ puzzles me a little: when we lived there it didn’t feel rich. A very agreeable First World country of course but not conspicuously rich. Maybe North Island is different. Or maybe wealth figures are dominated by house prices and maybe they’ve shot up since our day.)

  6. @dearieme

    Uruguayans emigrated to Australia, Europe and the USA. At a quickly organised party in London for the President Lacalle Pou, over 300 people attended. All in pretty good jobs, science, university teaching, finance and so on.

    • Replies: @c matt
  7. @meamjojo

    Uruguay is one of the countries I am considering relocating to outside the USA at a future time.

    You’re a Hasbara troll living in IraHell. Things are obviously getting too hot.

    • Replies: @Z-man
  8. @meamjojo

    They don’t want you either.

    • LOL: Son of a Jedi
  9. Factorize says:

    The UKBB has a massive database showing correlations between fluid IQ and various aspects of life. The actual fluid intelligence score itself is numbered 20016 (move through the pages to find fluid intelligence, best to choose 100 items per page for speed.). Could also type it into the url below.

    What were some of the findings for fluid IQ (correlations)?

    Time spent outdoors in winter/summer -0.64
    Time spent using a computer 0.51
    Time watching TV -0.41
    smoker in household -0.58
    place of birth UK north coordinate -0.60
    cheese intake 0.55
    bread type wholemeal 0.53
    cereal type muesli 0.48
    tea intake -0.30
    ground coffee 0.49
    average weekly red wine intake 0.51
    average intake versus 10 years ago -0.37
    workplace often noisy -0.57
    leisure social activities adult education class 0.66

    Time to stock up on that cheese.

  10. @Factorize

    Correlation is not causation : actually computer work even at program design level causes mean IQ to drop and the proof is that computer company billionaires limit very severely the time their heirs spend on computers, even as computer scientists : natural sciences alone are good for the brain when done by the experimental method and in computer science there is absolutely no investigation nor questioning about any natural fact, with the tiny exception of linguistics. Spending time outdoors, especially doing scouting activities, is good for the brain first and foremost, and Baden Powell had a clear idea how and why. It is true that TV decreases IQ but so does reading of newspapers, opinion journals, fiction works (Nobel prized or not) and philosophical works beyond a certain level that is quickly reached : only books of hard study have a positive impact. Reading the DT, the NYT or the Economist is worse than having TV as a kind of background noise (especially if you keep the TV set on mostly to observe what the people think and are fed with without counting on it in any way to be fed yourself), and it has been so since George Orwell’s times at least : you can verify that by checking the wrong choices over-reading people tend to make as for the country’s destiny as well as for their own finances or health : Naipaul is a very talented writer and fact observer but he does no good to your brain but only speculates on his readership’s emotions. Apart from being a poison, correlation with smoking is negative for purely historical reasons : it used to be very positive one century earlier. For the brain nicotine is a short term stimulant but a long term depressor. The situation in North England is also a purely historical phenomenon : at an earlier date it used to be the reverse until the higher IQs chose to migrate southwards and nearer the City and had the opportunity to do so as the Northern economy has been laid fallow on purpose : earlier in British history intelligent people couldn’t stand regions such as Sussex that rewarded hypocrisy together with protective stupidity and liked only cities where technological development took place or high intellectual life which used to most stimulating in Scotland which even the Jews were afraid of intellectually. Dairy products taken at adult age don’t have a positive incidence on brain activity. For once, intake of whole grains and nuts do have a positive incidence. Tea, especially herbal, has a positive incidence and also a positive correlation. Coffee is not so bad but its incidence is not positive. The correlation shown here is purely economical : intelligent people move out of the anglo culture which is stultifying (and impoversihing) and rather go for a more Northern-Italian like one more associated with espressos and capuccinos. Wine, even when of good quality, may have a moderately positive influence on the brawn but always has a negative incidence on the brain, especially the kinds of wines most valued in England and it used as a stultifying drink anyway. It is pure class correlation : proles cannot drink claret nor port. Beer is per se better as it can be nutrient provided it is of quality : only industrial beer is bad but not so much.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  11. @Factorize

    Interesting list, which could be added to Dettermann’s summary.

  12. Folkvangr says:

    The great philosopher and educator John Frederick Herbart stated in his Cardinal Doctrine that education itself should be consciously directed toward moral ends and should be based on five principles. These, according to Herbart, are the fundamental ideas of the moral life.
    1. Inner freedom
    2. Efficiency of the will
    3. Good will
    4. Justice or prevention of strife
    4. Equality or retribution

    Unfortunately, those principles have been discarded by our amoral civilization.
    The teacher does not attempt to cultivate the conscientious mind, or the strong, focused, and consistent being of the true ethical order of the world, nor does he teach the recognition of the validity of an alien ego in which the good of another is willed as if for oneself. Its opposite is ill-will, a feeling whose impulse is to injure, destroy, or subordinate a foreign ego.
    The modern American educational system has rejected these principles, and we are reaping the disgusting fruits of our thoughtless attitude toward character building.

  13. res says:

    Thanks! That is very interesting. It includes both genetic (rg) and phenotypic (rp) correlations as well as the p value for rg.

    The link you gave is actually number of questions attempted. Here is the Fluid intelligence score link.

    The volcano plot is much more useful if you make good use of the plot features. In particular isolating categories, hover info boxes, and zoom.

    One correlation which looked very interesting to me is

    ID Phenotype rg p rp
    20491 Someone to take to doctor when needed as a child 0.58 1.0e-23 0.14

    Seems reasonable because of the link to parental IQ (presumably), but seems odd to me that rg is so high with minimal rp. Thoughts? That seems to be a general trend (see below).

    Your cheese observation is interesting. Here is the full line.
    1408 Cheese intake 0.53 4.5e-112 0.14
    Also striking is how much lower that correlation is for number of questions attempted (which correlates 0.824 with score)
    1408 Cheese intake 0.28 4.2e-15 0.05

    Some others which struck me.
    110001 Invitation to complete online 24-hour recall dietary questionnaire, acceptance 0.68 4.2e-80 0.14
    20077 Number of diet questionnaires completed 0.66 3.7e-58 0.17
    100017 Magnesium 0.43 1.8e-13 0.07
    738 Average total household income before tax 0.63 9.4e-251 0.25
    816 Job involves heavy manual or physical work -0.82 9.7e-252 -0.29

    The (magnitude of) rg/rp discrepancies really bother me. Does anyone have any ideas for the causes?

    I wish they allowed sorting by columns. A scatter/regression plot of rg and rp would also be interesting (especially since it would include a plot by rp).

    Or just let us download the data easily and make our own plots ; )

    P.S. I went looking for data.

    This page is a great overview of the genetic correlations.

    The rg page appears to have the data in a 1 GB zip file.
    I downloaded and a quick look shows more work than I want right now. The phenotype correlation file by itself is 3GB.

    The rg browser allows specifying Fluid intelligence score as phenotype 1 then sorting by rg (but no rp in the data).

    I was not able to find a browser for rp.

    The correlation PCA is interesting, but I am not sure how to interpret. Try looking at just cognitive function variables and observe the fairly strong linear trends of the plots. Then contrast with the touchscreen variables.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  14. Frappe says: • Website

    Ex- pat here,live in centro America, same here. All u need is a steady income and u can live a good life

  15. “This is an active debate in the United Kingdom, where Scotland wishes or partly wishes, to leave England”

    Scotland can’t leave England, because it’s never been part of it. The United Kingdom, consists of two kingdoms, England and Scotland and and a principality, Wales. Some in Scotland want to leave the United Kingdom and become an independent kindom or republic.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  16. Alrenous says: • Website

    That is useful, because even if your house is your castle, it is no use to you if strangers are allowed to lay siege to it.

    Who is ‘allowing’ them? Who is stopping me from hiring a mercenary company to relieve the siege?

    Oh right. The country. The country is ‘allowing’ them. The thing that’s supposed to be protecting me. Oops, haha.

    Tucker Carlson knows. State-sponsored household sieges.

    You must be able to have the quiet enjoyment of your abode, at the cost of paying taxes for the laws that protect it.

    “You’re allowed to secure your property as long as you’re not allowed to secure your property and instead enslave yourself to a country.”

    Imagine you were allowed to sue the cops when they allowed a burglary to happen. Imagine you could fine the cops for the value of the stolen goods.

    You can’t. Legally, you are livestock.

    Cells and walls and boundaries are good, yes. If the above is what a ‘country’ is, then we need to get rid of countries precisely so we can have walls and boundaries and communities.

    No matter how many sieges are allowed, how many sieges do you suppose there would be if I had a standing subscription to a siege-reliever?

    Are you familiar with Conquest’s first law? Generalized, it means you don’t know anything unless it’s your job to know.
    Thompson’s PhD is not in sociology. (Not that modern sociology degree makes you an expert in sociology either.)

    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
  17. Alrenous says: • Website

    Have those smaller places some secret sauce?

    Yes. I call it the lordship shortage.

    Due to unequal population growth, there is nowhere near enough global management supply to meet global management demand. However, if you have a small country, you can steal other people’s lords and bring local supply up to meet local demand. Once it happens it’s self-perpetuating. Your population will unequally grow again, but the well-commanded environs are attractive to new foreign lords.

    A more recent problem is that after the pandemic many children have missed a lot of schooling, and many have remained truant.

    Like any IQ intervention, the effect of schooling washes out in 1-2 years. There is no cumulative effect.

    The main study on this was accidental. They had no idea what they were doing or what they found. Nevertheless, they found that fifth-grade-age children who had never been to school or been homeschooled – those who effectively skipped every day of school – had a fourth-grade education. As expected from the general IQ findings.

    Schools are explicitly and avowedly designed to produce NPCs. There is no reason to suppose they are anything but excellent at this task.

    Less mildly, I would say that grandiose statements of this sort damage pupil’s ability to read, write and count.

    Very unlikely. Just as positive IQ interventions wash out, negative IQ interventions wash out, unless they include head trauma thus neuron death.

    Almost all meaningful training is on-the-job and math training is included.

    What should educational systems prioritise?

    Self-annihilation. NPCs are anti-educated.
    Victims of schools very strongly associate “learning” with pain and thus have a very strong aversion response to new information.

    It is plausible to suppose this NPC training is a major cause behind Conquest’s first law. Unless someone stands over them with a metaphorical whip, such as their boss at work, the victims of schools will not learn.

  18. FKA Max says: • Website

    Interestingly enough, the urbanization rate for Uruguay (96%), Argentina (92%) and Brazil (87%) is on average appreciably higher (~92% vs. ~80%) than for the UK (84%), the USA (83%), Spain (81%) and Italy (71%), despite having a significantly lower average population density (~21 vs. ~153 per square kilometer).


    Could (extreme) urbanization over a certain threshold (>90% of population), potentially cause (perhaps due to higher air, light and noise pollution, etc.) lower educational attainment and/or wealth for a country?

    Also FYI,

    The Guarani Aquifer in South America is a huge underground reservoir that lies under Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil, covering an area of land the size of Texas and California combined.

    The aquifer contains enough fresh water to sustain the world’s population for 200 years, and as water shortages affect us all in the future, the Guarani Aquifer could be a lifeline for millions.
    (George W Bush owns a huge ranch on the aquifer which some activists are interpreting as an American neo-imperialist threat to South America’s sovereignty).
    the James Bond movie, The Quantum of Solace, despite being set in Bolivia, is allegedly based on the Guarani Aquifer. or

  19. JosephD says:

    The discussion of SAT predicting GRE misses the point: the GRE (circa 1990) purposefully did not test any college-level math. It was designed to be “fair” with respect to students who were in technical fields vs those in the humanities. If anything, the GRE’s math was easier on account of people forgetting things over 4 years.

    So finding that college major didn’t affect GRE scores definitely falls under “dog bites man” category news. I wouldn’t read anything into it. Give a test that includes calculus, discrete math, and linear algebra, probability, and abstract algebra, and the results would be extremely different.

  20. I know a guy whose graduate son has been out there for some years and is enjoying it. Seems to be making a life out there.

  21. @Factorize

    Off the top of my head some of these factors (wholemeal bread, red wine, ground coffee, not smoker) just say “middle class upbringing”.

    (Tea drinker here, damn used coffee grounds get everywhere…)

    And factors like time outdoors could correlate with employment type. Brickies, digger drivers and scaffolders spend a lot of their working lives outside, same with fencing guys and concrete layers. I bet the amount of leisure time spent outdoors correlates with intelligence.

  22. @Joe Paluka

    Thanks. Your constitutional reply is better than my shorthand.

  23. Factorize says:
    @Francis Miville

    Thank you for replying, Francis Miville. That was an especially insightful comment.

    Your idea about how various forms of intellectual engagement including TV, newspapers, and even some journals and books can be a very shallow experience resonated deeply with me. I now realize that these experiences were not the way to unlock my human potential. The variables provided on the url involving deep engagement with ideas showed time and time again strong positive correlations with higher fluid intelligence. As you mentioned, books continue to offer one of the deepest engagements of all the forms invented by humans.

    Surprisingly, in the online courses that I have taken there have been many complaints from the students that there are not more videos to watch, so that they would not have to study their textbooks as much: They want university to be more like kindergarten? As you noted, deliberately seeking out experiences that develop deep literacy skills is a great way to increase intelligence.

    In fact, if we wanted to engineer a Renaissance in our own time that would be my goto choice on how to achieve it. The problem is that people almost always will reject this suggestion. They do not seem to recognize that if your brain hurts then you are probably on the right track not the wrong track. So we wind up on the wrong track and public discourse devolves into non-rational discussions that move us ever further away from the needed preconditions for an intellectual awakening. Of course, new technologies are always arising that promise a short-cut — an easy way that avoid hard brain work to become more intelligent and inevitably it is more about entertainment than actual enlightenment.

    When I look at the correlation matrix provided on the url, there seem to be at least 3 strong factors (clearly, one would expect one of these to be none other than g which is probably in the top left hand corner). It would be great to see the factor analysis for this dataset.

    • Replies: @Francis Miville
  24. dearieme says:

    cereal type muesli 0.48

    But, but, but, surely intelligent people don’t east breakfast cereal at all? Porridge and then a kipper, perhaps, or smoked haddock and poached egg, or kedgeree, or bacon, egg, black pudding, and fried bread.

    Or in my case ham and a pear. What a fine combo that is.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @CSFurious
  25. Implications of the Marxist State Theory in Venezuela.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
    , @QCIC
  26. This whole socioeconomic system is collapsing anyway, this article is stupid and a complete waste of time. The fake, debt based hyper financialized economy is done

    • Thanks: TruthSeeker88
  27. Anon[398] • Disclaimer says:

    The easiest way to vote-with-your-feet is to sell your US home, pay your capital gains tax, take the equity and buy a little house plus a little rental property for cash overseas.

    Bingo ! – you meet local income requirements for residency.

  28. India failed miserably and left PISA after 2009 to save the embarrassment of low ranking exposed to the world as it aspire to be a “world superpower”. It is not surprising considering the GDP per capita is similar to the GDP per capita of collective sub-Saharan Africa.

    “India, which is not a member of the OECD, had last participated in Pisa in 2009, when it had ranked 73rd among 74 countries, above only Kyrgyzstan.”,74%20countries%2C%20above%20only%20Kyrgyzstan.

    • Replies: @Hacienda
  29. Bloody good footballers, Uruguayans, too.

    • Agree: PUTINFAN, James Thompson
  30. @loner feral cat

    Filthy garbage. Brutal US sanctions and sabotage by the parasite castes subverted Venezuela.

    • Agree: Brian Damage
    • Replies: @Malla
  31. @FKA Max

    It’s probably polluted with glyphosate, but what isn’t? Always looking for new natural resources to plunder and destroy is Homo destructans. The game’s nearly over.

  32. Is the value of the house or apartment owned by people who inhabit them taken into account for the calculation? B/c you see, if home-owning w/o twenty years mortgage owed to banksters, the average Serb has way more capital than the average French. Granted the average French can indulge himself with way more useless gadgets every couple of years than the average Serb, but he is also much more likely to experience homelessness than the average Serb.
    All in all, yet another set of bullshit stats to promote the vacuous, godless, Western style of living.

    PS: I lived in both countries, and I promise you, each has has its share of assholes, but overall people are far less miserable in Serbia than in France. Western stats are total crap.

    • Thanks: PetrOldSack
  33. Z-man says:

    I will warn them.

    • Thanks: ariadna
    • LOL: Poupon Marx
  34. Or they can privatize schools and give every students a scholarship. Like that every student can do what is best for him.
    This overbearing Nanny State despotism and uterly failure is what happens when government representatives adopt the authoritarian notion that the government knows best and therefore must control, regulate and dictate almost everything about the citizenry’s public, private and professional lives.

    And do not tell me that it promote the rich. The rich like this mind-boggling system of public school. It make it much easyer for their kids to preveil.

    • Agree: Gvaltar
  35. Z-man says:

    In the first map shouldn’t Ireland be dark green and shouldn’t Argentina be at least the same color as Brazil? Just sayin’. 😁

  36. Levtraro says:

    Good article, thanks.

    You have a serious omission though. There is another country in South America with similar statistics: Chile.

    Similar ethnic composition (CL: 89% European; UY: 88% European), GDP per capita (both UY and CL are the only South American countries classified a high-income by the WB), and similar PISA scores (CL: a bit higher in science and reading, CL and UY equal in Maths).

    Chile is a lot bigger (18-20 million), spanning 38 degrees of latitude, with many different climates, from the desertic north to the polar south.

    I was there last year on business and there is a serious immigration issue and increasing crime mostly due to immigration (Venezuelans mostly; Haitians had invaded earlier but apparently they decided to leave or were sent back home by the Chileans), but this problem was prevalent in the North and the capital city, while the south still was clean and nearly 100% Chilean.

    Fishing in the south is great, also mountain hiking and trekking. The sea is too cold but it is very rich, diving in the southern fjords (3/4 inches thick rubber, lol!) is an incredible experience, at the level of diving in warm waters coral reefs. On the other hand Uruguay is super flat and homogeneous so not much to experience in terms of nature.

    In terms of business-friendliness and acceptance of expats, Chile is also as good as Uruguay.

    Either we should try far more radical approaches, or we should accept that the scope for improvement is limited. It is the innate ability of students which plays the largest part in their eventual attainments.

    This is an important insight and it means that as managers of the educational system, state people should focus on (1) increasing fertility in the highly educated segment of the population and (2) active seeking and promotion of the odd talented child in the less educated segments of the population.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  37. Sooo…. According to that map Venezuelans earns more than Argentinians. Yep, totally reliable map.

  38. Jim H says:

    Cerro Catedral (“Cathedral Hill”) is the highest point in Uruguay, with an altitude of 514 meters (1,685 ft). Most of Uruguay is pretty flat; not much landscape drama there. It’s been described as ‘Iowa by the sea.’

    One boost that Uruguay receives comes from Argentines taking the ferry across the Río de la Plata to Colonia or Montevideo, to convert their near-worthless pesos to dollars and deposit them in Uruguay’s plentiful banks, including many European ones.

    Last I checked, Uruguay still offered some degree of banking secrecy, though international organizations such as OECD are working insidiously to destroy it. And Americans, of course, thanks to FATCA, will be politely turned away at the door. The US government has made expat USians into lepers, as far as foreign banks are concerned.

    • Replies: @ariadna
    , @Z-man
  39. Beto says:

    It is an article that ignores historical issues of the Southern Hemisphere.
    Uruguay is a tax haven, where money from Argentina and Brazil is laundered. Uruguayan youth who do not live in this sector end up emigrating to their neighbors in search of better education and life opportunities.
    Argentina and Brazil could have been economic powers, but they suffered numerous coups d’état orchestrated from Washington and London.
    Argentina is part of the select group of countries with the capacity to consult satellites, nuclear power plants and top-level software companies. This indicates that even if investment is made in education, foreign incidents can collapse the development of the countries.

    • Thanks: Alrenous
  40. ariadna says:

    Please don’t. Based on your comments in UR you need not apply.

    • LOL: Petermx
    • Replies: @meamjojo
    , @J M
  41. ariadna says:
    @Jim H

    “Last I checked, Uruguay still offered some degree of banking secrecy”
    Check again. Socialist Mujica rubbished that after Obama promised him that the US would import a couple more oranges from Uruguay. So the US gets to check the bank accounts of US ex-pats living in Uruguay, which caused a lot of them to leave.
    Mujica’s Frente Amplio has been partially removed from power (still strong in municipal bureaucracies and in teachers’ trade unions). The current president– Lacalle Pou– is a conservative who has undone some of the damage done by decades of socialist governance but he cannot be re-elected (the Constitution does not allow two consecutive terms) and he is skating on thin ice being the only conservative president in the region. The current governments of Chile, Argentina and Brasil are leftists and woke… Furthermore he is the only one who did not impose “sanitary” lockdowns or obligatory Pfizer jabbing.

    • Disagree: PUTINFAN
    • Replies: @Jim H
  42. ariadna says:

    The article ignores one of the most important causes for the decay of education in Uruguay: a couple of decades of socialist governance that debased it with woke ideology, introducing “social promotion” — allowing students to proceed to the next grade despite failing grades “to avoid damaging their self-esteem”– empowering teachers’ unions (their dependable voting block) to weaken standards for teachers’ performance. Weighting the curriculum with feminist gender identity propaganda to ther detriment of basic education.

    • Agree: Bro43rd
    • Disagree: PUTINFAN
    • Thanks: Petermx, Alrenous
    • Replies: @PUTINFAN
  43. Z-man says:
    @Jim H

    Their ‘Gold Coast’ is very nice. I was at Punta del’Este back in 1991-seems like a lifetime ago…and is.😄 It was as nice as Ft. Lauderdale.
    Devils Point (Punta del Diablo) is rocky and picturesque.
    Yeah, it’s practically an extension of Argentina. All the rich Argentines have property there.

    • Replies: @ariadna
  44. QCIC says:
    @loner feral cat

    I eventually recognized the Venezuelan people are fighting against outside powers who controlled key aspects of the country for a very long time. Chavez (who I used to completely discount) took power away from foreign and oligarchical powers. Unfortunately in the process, much of the “smart fraction” of the country was driven out. Since then, Socialists are trying to make Venezuela into a ‘worker’s paradise’, but it seems this will not happen since they have not empowered enough bright people to participate. Not to mention their economic ideas are probably ridiculous. In the process they have also accelerated dysgenic population patterns.

    I suspect if the Socialists lost power and the non-oligarchical parts of the smart fraction diaspora returned, Venezuela could become prosperous again.

    • Replies: @Brian Damage
  45. anon[948] • Disclaimer says:

    I went a bit out of my comfort zone when I read up meamjojo’s latest post.

    Not because the content was uncomfortable, but because I am not really sure how in the hell to process it! I mean it is obvious why you might want to read his content: you might be single, you might be lonely, you might really want to get laid night after night. So if you fall in that category meamjojo’s posts will fill you with positive energy and the motivation necessary to transcend life’s adversities. His wit, humor, and political savvy never cease to tickle your funny bone.

    I tabbed this post to death because I was like hahaha THAT’S SO FUNNY I MUST TAB IT.

  46. Please please PLEASE do not send people to the last unspoiled places on earth. Americans in particular will just ruin them. They’re nice because first-worlders have mostly left them alone. Why the flimsy education cover for your sick expat promotion?

    This transformation reccently happened in my immediate area. The large Southern US city 25 miles away got ‘discovered’ during the Covidiocy, and all manner of obnoxious people from the most highly touted Northern metropoles have suddenly realized their way of life was a death trap and come swarming in. Never mind that they’ve scorned the South and its people all their lives and hate our politics, history and religion. They haven’t mobbed my much smaller city but overnight house prices soared 25-50% here and are continuing to, just because of the proximity. They didn’t in 2008 etc.

    • Replies: @Hacienda
  47. QCIC says:

    Is there independent IQ test data from Uruguay? What is the average IQ implied by the PISA results, something like 90?

    • Thanks: QCIC
    • Replies: @James Thompson
  48. QCIC says:

    What countries have the highest ratio of PISA test results to measured childhood IQ?

    This ratio might be a good metric to evaluate an ‘education system’, assuming “training for the test” is not a problem.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @dearieme
  49. Jim H says:

    ‘Socialist Mujica rubbished that [banking secrecy]’ — ariadna

    Sorry to hear this. I haven’t visited Uruguay for awhile.

    Socialism is an ever-present political risk in LatAm. It applies as well to Levtraro’s comment #37 about Chile — one of the few other serious countries in LatAm besides Uruguay.

  50. Panadechi says:

    Uruguay a European enclave in South America. For now. It had no confinement policies due to COVID. Can he control the jaws of globalism and avoid highly criminal, low IQ third world mass immigration?
    The southernmost country in America Chile has been flooded these last 10 years with millions of Afro-Caribbean Haitians, Venezuelans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, it has been filled with favelas and crime of all kinds.

  51. HT says:

    Uruguay could be an option as the USA continues to deteriorate but it still has problems and risks as other Latin American countries do. Obviously, if you are under 50, you have to consider all viable options and there are a few in South America including Uruguay and Chile. That we have allowed Western civilization and culture to be destroyed by non-Whites in America, causing people to consider leaving, is disgusting.

  52. PUTINFAN says:

    YOUR article was interesting to a Latin American, white, with English ancestry because Uruguay is a White country and proud of that fact. I was there 20 years ago on business and saw no blacks living there although there are a few near Brazil.

    You never stated if you live there.

    Argentinians and Uruguayians basically hate Americans. Listen to how Diego Maradona speaks about Gringos and that is the general feeling of the population.

    As for education in LATAM, all countries are basically the same (I sent 4 kids through the system here).

    All wear uniforms through high school. No pink or blue hair, etc permitted. No nose rings, etc. There is no racism discussed, each SCHOOL probably having 50 different skin colors. No politics is permitted, no discusión of gayness is permitted. No teacher is allowed to openly appear gay. No confrontational act or bullying is permitted and the student engaging therein is immediately permanently expelled.

    I personally think your stats have no meaning, they are promulgated by liberal-democrat philosophies. The educational system here doesn’t believe them and ignores them. We have our traditional and cultural method of education that we are happy with.

  53. PUTINFAN says:

    This is completely made up and has not 1 ounce of truth. I am a retired educator in LATAM. Ignore this post.

    • Disagree: Petermx
    • Thanks: Alrenous
    • Troll: ariadna
    • Replies: @Alrenous
  54. PUTINFAN says:

    These governments are far left and do not support wokism as espoused by the center-left liberal democracies. These goverments support Ortega, Maduro, Castillo, Morales, Bukele all of whom support Russia privately but publicly state they are neutral (except NIC and VEN) only to keep receiving foreign aid.


    • Troll: Petermx, ariadna
  55. @QCIC

    I eventually recognized the Venezuelan people are fighting against outside powers who controlled key aspects of the country for a very long time. Chavez (who I used to completely discount) took power away from foreign and oligarchical powers. Unfortunately in the process, much of the “smart fraction” of the country was driven out. Since then, Socialists are trying to make Venezuela into a ‘worker’s paradise’, but it seems this will not happen since they have not empowered enough bright people to participate. Not to mention their economic ideas are probably ridiculous. In the process they have also accelerated dysgenic population patterns.

    I suspect if the Socialists lost power and the non-oligarchical parts of the smart fraction diaspora returned, Venezuela could become prosperous again.

    The pro-US Oligarchs never developed Venezuela. It was an oil economy that’s about it. When the oil price crashed at the end of 1998 to historic lows. As low as the low of 1946, the economy crashed. Hugo Chavez came into power and kicked out all those corrupt politicians and the oil oligarchs.

    US with lots of petroleum interests in Venezuela began to put horrific sanctions on the country. Chaves was painted by Western media as a tyrant, and authoritarian, a communist, causing hardships to the people of Venezuela.

    Nicolas Maduro, successor of Chavez, not really a capable President, was put under extreme pressure by the US and had to perform. The economy was in taters and the 2019 election saw Maduro won again but under suspect circumstances as only 25% of the opposition voters came to vote while pro-Maduro voters were at 46%. US claimed the election was a sham and recognized opposition leader Juan Guido as the defacto leader of Venezuela. Venezuelan gold stored in UK was even confiscated by the British government.

    • Troll: Malla
    • Replies: @QCIC
  56. joy says:

    Shallow thinking indeed with no backstory to apply this information to the future direction or fate of these rich countries .

    Boone told that first billion was the toughest .Multi billionaire then a given .

    How did those countries become rich at first place ? Author has no clue or doesn’t want to have a clue because that will prick the ballon of hubris and racism.

    There was one academic whose name I forgot once told that the current western had grown around a myth of hard work an innovation leading to the current prosperity . Nothing could be farther from the truth .

    That truth ,the leaders and the elite know .Thats why they have been destabilizing the third world for resources as late as yesterday . Macron goes to Africa and says :” we wont do it and we haven’t been doing it for a while “ America steals oil from Syria openly . It has drained dry so many oil wells in Iran , Libya ,Nigeria and Iraq over last 60 yrs that billions have turned into trillions .

    Now tell this author – where the fuck is the defensible gate and tough fence . We would love gates around these countries so that the murdering thieves don’t show up at the border.

    Why does he (west ) keep on coming when no-one wants him and it’s nation. Is it to show how kind and generous France or west is ?

    Why does US want a war with China?

    I see – its freedom !

    The lies haven’t changed .Have it?

    After destroying the local system and looting the resources , west made its first billion .

    It has not forgot that easy route to grow more wealth and to protect what it has .It keeps on looting .

    Then Karl Rove type of advice explains the rich history as product of innovation and hard work and possibly some sort of Christianity .

    • Replies: @Malla
  57. @Levtraro

    Yes, could have added other countries, but my justification was given at the start, 2 countries as neighbours, two countries of origin, and two wealth countries. Simplification. Next time, back to all the countries for which we have data.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  58. @QCIC

    88. Searching for better data now.

    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn
  59. @QCIC

    Agreed. Will go back to the Rindermann studies on all countries later.

    • Thanks: QCIC
  60. Hacienda says:

    Please please PLEASE do not send people to the last unspoiled places on earth.

    Are you European yourself?

    • Replies: @NeoconsNailed
  61. Hacienda says:
    @Brian Damage

    It is a courageous thing that the Philippines still take these tests. Talk about taking one for the team.

    • Replies: @Brian Damage
  62. Anon[218] • Disclaimer says:

    I highly doubt you are the type of citizen they desire.

  63. Anon[151] • Disclaimer says:

    Sounds delish!

  64. CSFurious says:

    Umm, I think that i am “intelligent” and I would never eat cereal. LOL!

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  65. Alrenous says: • Website

    I am a retired educator

    Thanks for this confession. I will invert your opinions accordingly. I wouldn’t be brave enough to say any such thing in public.

  66. @Hacienda

    No, but what difference does that make?

    • Replies: @Hacienda
  67. dearieme says:

    What countries have the highest ratio of PISA test results to measured childhood IQ?

    This ratio might be a good metric to evaluate … how many dumb clucks they hide from the gullible foreigners.

    • Replies: @Brian Damage
    , @QCIC
  68. Malla says:
    @mulga mumblebrain

    Venezuela was looted out by Chavez and Castro.
    Chavez’s daughter is a millionaire and she openly flaunts her wealth in front of Venezuelans for being stupid enough to support her greedy scumbag Marxist Dad.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  69. Malla says:

    Smoking Weed with the President of Uruguay (Full Length) Vice

    This video shows that Uruguay is going woke.

    If you watch the Brazilian movie Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite) part 1, it shows most upper Middle class college kids turned inot wokenuts by their Marxist professors. A highly recommended movie about druglords in favelas also frequented by dumb Eloi upper middle class college kids for social work with some bad results. College kids listening to songs about “fuck the police” at parties.
    The movie will make you based, super-based.

    ELITE SQUAD – Official Trailer

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  70. @Alrenous

    To add to the grief asi presented, the joyous mention of “GDP” and “per capita” as texture of some data sources on which to query for causation. “The bend [in reasoning] is the means to the end.”

  71. @Hacienda

    It is a courageous thing that the Philippines still take these tests. Talk about taking one for the team.

    I was doing some extrapolation of the numbers for Southeast Asian countries based on the info below.

    Singapore and Hongkong score 556.3, 530.7 respectively. Averaging 543.5
    Indonesia score 382
    Malaysia with 21% of its population are ethnic Chinese similar to Singapore and Hongkong scores 431.

    That means 79% are non-ethnic Chinese.

    If we take the average score for Indonesia of 382 times 79% = 301.78
    The average score of Singapore/HongKong of 544 times 21% = 114.24

    Total them together, it equals a score of 416. Close enough to the reported score of 431. I guess due to more ethnic Chinese taking the PISA tests than local Malays.

    I didn’t use the Philippines score because Filipinos are slightly different while Malays and Indonesians are quite similar plus the religion is similar.

    Thailand has up to 14% ethnic Chinese but it is difficult get a more accurate correlation. If we were to use the formula above, the average score based on 86% native and 14% ethnic Chinese, it would average 391 but, a portion of native Thais are mixed with ethnic Chinese. Also the tests are probably done in bigger cities where there are more ethnic Chinese.

    China’s score is a bit too high partly because of the test done in big cities where the cream of the crop went to school. I would put it around the Macao score of 542. In between Singapore and HongKong

  72. Malla says:

    There was one academic whose name I forgot once told that the current western had grown around a myth of hard work an innovation leading to the current prosperity . Nothing could be farther from the truth .

    That is true to a large extent.

    .Thats why they have been destabilizing the third world for resources as late as yesterday .

    90% of the problems in the Third World are created by the populations of the Third World. I live in the Third World, fool some dumb Whitey eloi if you want, but your worn out old nonsense cannot fool me.

  73. @dearieme

    What countries have the highest ratio of PISA test results to measured childhood IQ?

    This ratio might be a good metric to evaluate … how many dumb clucks they hide from the gullible foreigners.

    The chart below shows a strong correlation between IQ and PISA test scores. The outliers maybe due to better/worse educational system/facilities. Or, the locations where the tests were taken. Overall, it correlates very well.

    • Thanks: dearieme
    • Replies: @QCIC
  74. meamjojo says:

    I don’t believe that I need YOUR approval to do anything.

    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
  75. @James Thompson

    Unless they have lots of oil, no country can be economically successful with an IQ below 90

    • Replies: @Brian Damage
  76. Alrenous says: • Website

    I went zero carb and it made me smarter.

    Not to mention the benefits in strength, endurance, and lucidity. I also got a nice dose-response curve where getting closer to zero increased the benefits.

    Are seeds bird food?
    There are no drawbacks, unless you count the fact rice is dirt cheap and real food isn’t.

    • Replies: @res
  77. Alrenous says: • Website

    Somalia, hardly the world centre of the smart industrial types, experimented with throwing the UN out.

    The result was a massive explosion in prosperity. Child mortality dropped like a stone and they went from importing cattle from Ethiopia to exporting. Everyone got TVs and cellphones. Went from sub-40th African country to top 10.

    Yes, even under the most sound possible governance the third world would not be peak civilization. We’re still talking about Africa here. However, 90% is far too high. Most of it is exposure to America.

    • Replies: @Anon
  78. Alrenous says: • Website

    Meanwhile, El Salvador just went full Hitler and threw all their gangs into concentration camps. The left are calling it ‘inhumane’ and all those things so you know they’re not messing around. Result: murder dropped off a cliff.

    Notably all crimes are strongly correlated with each other. You can’t take one down without taking all the rest down with it.

    Turns out America proper is just too poor and weak to manage to suppress its criminal element. Unlike the central Latins. Everyone know exactly who needs to be locked up (or, for preference, executed) they simply can’t figure out how to get it done.

    • Replies: @PUTINFAN
    , @Malla
  79. @TelfoedJohn

    Unless they have lots of oil, no country can be economically successful with an IQ below 90

    Like India, Rwanda seems to have the delusions of grandeur.

    Rwandans are calling Rwanda the Singapore of Africa. Just because you are following Singapore’s template doesn’t mean you will be like Singapore in the future.

    BTW, Look at the outliers of IQ versus GDP Per capita. Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar stood out like sore thumbs.

  80. Anon[267] • Disclaimer says:

    There was a study by university of Berne ( Switzerland ) before US out of hubris arrogance and massive bribery – induced pressure , attacked Somalia in 2006 directly and indirectly through proxies ( Ethiopia and Kenya ) showing Somali without a functioning government was doing better than Kenya and Ethiopia .

    After that invasions many problems started erupting including piracy . Taking advantage of the confusion and total breakdown of coastal security , Nordic countries started dumping radioactive waste off coast of Somalia while Japan and other countries started sending trawlers for illegal commercial fishing .Soon the livelihood of the local fisheries were gone .
    This gave rise to piracy .

    Somalia was no paradise but it was not killing each other and was not foraying into neighboring countries and neither was engaging into piracy .
    Nobody even heard of Somalia trying to escape Somalia .

    The revenge of Somalia will visit its nemesis one day . That’s justice .

    • Replies: @Malla
  81. @Malla

    Indians make such perfect Uncle Toms. It’s the ‘Aryan’ delusion I suppose.

    • Replies: @Malla
  82. @Malla

    Punka walla lie like pig in shit.

    • Replies: @Malla
  83. Hacienda says:

    Do you know the meaning of “irony”?

  84. @Vergissmeinnicht

    I would say that if the European/North American culture had not been taken in by the lure of Mammon Worship, and could also tell the truth as a good habit then public Education is a workable practice.

    Otherwise, your preaching Libretardarianism.
    However, for forcing kids to go to public school… I would agree.

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  85. @Vergissmeinnicht

    Privatise Education!

    Depending on where you live. In “better areas”, public schools are better. Kids from Private Schools in those areas do not do as good as those who went to Public Schools in “Good Universities”.

    “Better areas” probably meant kids with higher IQ. So it is not about Private versus Public schools. It is about IQ. You can have all the private schools you want but if your students are low on the IQ side, it doesn’t matter.

    • Replies: @Anon
  86. Brewer says:

    El Pepe is still going at nearly ninety God bless him!

    • Replies: @ariadna
  87. Alrenous says: • Website

    Public education is a euphemism for Communist education.

    Fichte made the Prussian system that American imported. William Torrey Harris was education minister for America.

    Private prisons are still prisons. America treats its children like serious criminals, who committed the crimes of being born and being young.

  88. Anon[929] • Disclaimer says:
    @Brian Damage

    “if your students are low on the IQ side, it doesn’t matter.”


    According to Lynn and Vanhanen, Uruguay has an average IQ of 96, about that of Slovakia. *

    I live in Montevideo (Uruguay capital) and business and government competence is about on the Mississippi level. Minus the blacks. But plus the “latinx.”


  89. @Anon

    “if your students are low on the IQ side, it doesn’t matter.”


    According to Lynn and Vanhanen, Uruguay has an average IQ of 96, about that of Slovakia. *

    I live in Montevideo (Uruguay capital) and business and government competence is about on the Mississippi level. Minus the blacks. But plus the “latinx.”

    I was not talking about Uruguay. Uruguay’s IQ at 96 is as expected. Its development is as expected.

  90. QCIC says:

    I suppose one would needs to take this into account! Thanks.

  91. QCIC says:
    @Brian Damage

    Thanks. I think this PISA-IQ correlation has been chewed over at Unz, my question was taking that for granted. I agree the outliers might hold a partial answer to my question, which is almost about the deviations from the basic correlation.

    I am assuming PISA scores are somewhat influenced by education, while early IQ scores less so and therefore represent more the intrinsic capability of the kids. So how much boost from age 5 to 17 can be attributed to the general quality of the education system? To be clear this is not an actual boost in IQ, I am assuming it is an improvement in thinking skills.

    As examples, I can imagine that a really good education system might give PISA scores correlating to IQ of 105 for a population which has an early measured IQ of 100.

    On the other hand, a poor system such as the contemporary American public school education, might take a group with IQ around 100 and lead them to PISA test at an IQ equivalent of around 95.

    I understand this question should include all the great many valid caveats which go with the territory.

    • Replies: @Brian Damage
  92. Cortes says:

    I live in Montevideo (Uruguay capital) and business and government competence is about on the Mississippi level. Minus the blacks. But plus the “latinx.””

    The only place I have felt really unsafe in Latin America was in Montevideo. Straying one block off of the main drag had my nerves on end. The following morning, taking photos in the main square, 0800 or thereabouts, I was targeted by the deranged nutcase from Central Casting and headed for the haven of the closest hotel lobby. The doorman ushered me inside and boy, was I grateful.

    I’ve walked around several cities and towns in different Latin American countries including Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Panama City and Santiago (Chile) without the “vibes” I picked up in Montevideo. It struck me as a nuttier version of Glasgow, where I’m from…

    The notion of picking up a cheapo 7 bedroom flat with enormous suntrap terrace? I’ll pass.

  93. @Factorize

    People say I am an obscurantist when I speak that way. Hell no. What I am stating is that a population can only afford the college and university system that will undo all the real work the grade schools have managed to achieve. Real evolving geniuses manage to stay in grade school attitude their whole intellectual life long, and avoid any such collegiate subjects as “studies”. Real brain-work is even more ungrateful than menial work, to the point that even wood or metal repair work seems leisurely in comparison. Whenever any “intellectual” performance correlates positively with cocaine intake and with the pleasure derived from gay sex (which I am not even condemning per se) it constitutes an avowal that it is a form of play (as is the blatant case with Noah Yuval Hariri) like poker or roulette, not of work.

    Woke indoctrination can happen only when universities have been first converted into counter-schools so to speak, and wokery can be defined as that optimally purports at destroying all what any school of any kind might have achieved to manifest a child’s drive towards brain development. Brain is far more like a muscle than you can imagine : it needs gymnastics, not gluttony, no athlete can develop merely by ingesting the right pleasing stuff. As a camper (I love the Baden Powell approach minus the British Imperial sheen) it is not the variety of landscapes that will do you good, it is the kind of difficult terrain you have to adapt your feet to, and then only the feet will lead you to the kind of landscapes in Africa or elsewhere you deserve. Now they all want the landscape without the walking.

    Universities have become unaffordable because they are used and managed as resorts, not schools. Britain (and not only Britain) can be now described as the basket case of an un-developing country, where all that leads to future under-development is rewarded and all that might set it back on the right progressive track is punished.

    It can ba now compared to China during the late Manchu reigns when the chattering classes chattered more loudly than ever in their history as if they were the only really powerful political power on the world map while the anglo (actually Jewish) gunboats already steamed the yang tse upstream to enforce drug consumption. Comparing the woke onslaught onto the Western world to Mao’s Great Cultural Revolution is a disgracious comparison for the latter : for China it was a catastrophe numbering in the tens of millions of casualties of course but it rapidly proved to have had the same training effect the American Civil War could have on the general mentality to make it more amenable to industrial development, while after the Great Awokening of America what you will get will be pre-revolutionary China where facts no longer matter, only orthodoxy relatively to a regressive collective mentality.

    The Great Leap Forward was the last great famine of modern China, the conclusion of which being the cultural revolution : Mao due to his ideology would of course applaud the wokesters and their book burnings but while taking care to send them all to do hard labour in many country places needing it to combat famine, while the great awokening does the very reverse : punishing those who who are still so stupid as to work with their hands, while extolling such basket cases as Haiti as models to strive to by imitating the behaviour of their would-be criminal elites. My justified fear is that it could go as far as to the teaching of sorcery and black magic as the new grandest way to make it in life : many former very prosperous states of ancient India died that way before turning back into jungle or desert and being enslaved by the nearest conqueror on the block.

    No matter your ideology what you must do to avoid America centuries of Hunger Games is urgent closing of all universities and also all entertainment media outlets and manufacturing centres, especially Hollywood. All diplomas relating to those institutions should be declared null and void and giving preference to degrees and experience in those domains should be legally sanctioned as discrimination on the basis of irrelevant class signalling knowledge.

    • Replies: @Factorize
  94. QCIC says:
    @Brian Damage

    This seems accurate, but I think there is more to it. The West did invest in Venezuela, building advanced dams and hydroelectric projects, aluminum smelters and major factories. However, I assume the terms were similar to what John Perkins “The Economic Hitman” describes, that is they left control of the economy in foreign hands.

    I guess my point is that Venezuela probably had enough of a smart fraction to be a viable stand alone economy but this was lost and may not be replaceable. It is an interesting case study. People like to blame Chavez for the whole mess, but there is more to it.

    After the collapse, US oil companies craftily set things up so that Venezuela required American oil to dilute and produce their own heavy crude. This keeps the oil revenue intrinsically low until the Venezuelan government can be driven out and a more compliant one reinstalled. It is known how to process the oil and avoid this step, but no Western company will implement this since they do not want to risk having expensive plants nationalized.

    I think the West may have overestimated how much “sun people” care about prosperity above a minimum level–they don’t seem to care very much!

    Guaido is another episode which undermines the credibility of the USA.

    • Agree: Brian Damage
  95. @RoatanBill

    I have heard, from more than one norteamericano resident in Uruguay, that while residency is easy enough to get, Uruguayan citizenship is in practice only given to those who are ‘deeply integrated’ into local life – e.g. married to a local, raising kids, running a genuine business operation which employs locals etc.

    Buying a condo at Punta del Este and living off dividends and/or a pension will likely not be sufficient to get citizenship. Or so I’m told….

  96. @QCIC

    I am assuming PISA scores are somewhat influenced by education, while early IQ scores less so and therefore represent more the intrinsic capability of the kids. So how much boost from age 5 to 17 can be attributed to the general quality of the education system? To be clear this is not an actual boost in IQ, I am assuming it is an improvement in thinking skills.

    As examples, I can imagine that a really good education system might give PISA scores correlating to IQ of 105 for a population which has an early measured IQ of 100.

    On the other hand, a poor system such as the contemporary American public school education, might take a group with IQ around 100 and lead them to PISA test at an IQ equivalent of around 95.

    I understand this question should include all the great many valid caveats which go with the territory.

    As an IQ “enthusiast” No. Pisa scores are about science and math. While “education” may have some effect on the scores, given the sample size, it got drowned out by the number of testers. At the end of the day, IQ is still the determinant of the scores. The scatter plot I posted earlier shows that there is a powerful correlation between IQ and PISA scores.

    Your thesis may be relevant to those outliers but not the norm.

    • Replies: @QCIC
  97. @dearieme

    The beaches on the southern coast are filthy from the mouth stream of Rio De La Plata.

  98. J M says:

    Moving from LA or Brooklyn to Texas, Florida or North Dakota wouldn’t be a big enough bugger up. He’s a Man with a Mission.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  99. @Vergissmeinnicht

    Private school isn’t the panacea that people think it is, especially if you’re in a blue state.

    Because the state certifies teachers, both public and private. Private school teachers have to go to the same continuing education classes as public school teachers. They attend the same seminars. And in my experience private school teachers seem to have a chip on their shoulders and crave the acceptance of public school educators.

    I used to send my kids to Catholic school. In any blue area, your Catholic schools will be crammed to the brim with the children of well-to-do leftist hypocrites who lack the courage to send their children to the public schools to get the full measure of diverse, bilingual LGBT instruction that they vote for other children to receive. But then they roll up their sleeves and agitate for as much of that shit to be introduced in the Catholic schools as possible.

    I’ve seen protests of the firing of gay teachers in Catholic schools get organized and run out of other Catholic schools. I’ve seen parents send their kids to Catholic schools in “Love Wins” rainbow t-shirts and the administration barely contain its glee. I’ve seen the youth minister of a Catholic school proudly tweet, to paraphrase: “we, the laity, need to send a message to the Archbishop and the Pope that we won’t tolerate this discrimination” like he was a modern-day Martin Luther and the PTA of the school clap like fat, dumb seals. None of these people are Catholic, they just wrap themselves in the pelt of that organization, seizing its legitimacy to hide their hypocrisy. They want the whole menu of the modern zeitgeist, just without the hoi polloi.

    I homeschool now.

    • Agree: c matt
    • Thanks: RadicalCenter
  100. @meamjojo

    You mean right before the time you and your ilk have left the USA in a smoking, nuclear ruin? Doesn’t surprise me in the least. Although I heard most of the Davos types are considering New Zealand.

  101. Malla says:
    @mulga mumblebrain

    Indians make such perfect Uncle Toms.

    No they don’t. Just because one does not agree with Chinese cunning tactics or Marxist bullshit, does not an uncle Tom make. India is one of the most revolutioanry nation on Earth who in one go gave a middle finger to both the West and China. Childish tricks like calling Indians “Uncle Tom” for not kowtowing to China’s demands will have zero effect. We suggest, you stop wasting your time with such rubbish.

    It’s the ‘Aryan’ delusion I suppose.

    That was 4000 years ago and it is not a delusion.

  102. Uruguay is self-sufficient in food. And studies of the effects of nuclear winter show that the Southern Hemisphere would not be as greatly affected as the Northern. On the other hand, with the breakdown of society Uruguay would be easy pickings for starving Brazilians or Argentinians. Chile might be a better bet, being protected from invasion by mountains and desert.

  103. Malla says:
    @mulga mumblebrain

    Interesting that a guy who screams and screeches about racism, eagerly uses racist terms. Typical typical racists. Like those anti-fa commies guys who attacked a bunch of proud boys Hispanics calling them “beaners”. Classic lefard scums.ávez-net-worth-hugo-chávezs-daughter-richest-woman-in-venezuela-worth-4-2-billion.htm
    Maria Gabriela Chávez Net Worth: Hugo Chávez’s Daughter Richest Woman in Venezuela, Worth $4.2 Billion
    Rich Kids Of Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s Daughter Flaunts Wealth

    Fat Maduro hogs on expensive beef dishes served by this weirdo Turkish celebrity chef Nusret Gökçe at the famous Nusr-Et steakhouse while his nation starves. Even marxist news outlet Guardian had to admit this sad fact.

    Typical typical Commie elites, loot out wealth created by the hardwork of others. Destroyed the Middle Class while enriching oneself.

  104. QCIC says:
    @Brian Damage

    There are several things tangled together in my question (nature/nurture/quality of nurture/etc) and this is probably not the best way to sort them out. It was just a thought.

    The idea is how does one evaluate test results with a large enough sample set to decide what educational approach works best as opposed to what we suppose works best? I am happy enough to favor my own ideas on education, but I don’t claim to have proof they are best. By “best” I mean maximizes the ability of the students to think well.

    I imagine there are a lot of ‘modern’ people who believe the PISA test actually does this in the first place, since these folks may believe all students are equal and interchangeable and therefore the PISA test results only reflect nurture.

    If the PISA test is not comprehensive, substitute whatever test seems appropriate. Compare the final test results with the early IQ test results, not to see how well they correlate, rather to see how well they do not correlate. This is about evaluating the education systems, not the students. Of course the data on education systems may be too noisy to give any ranking.

    The easiest way to do this is to apply different education systems to similar groups of students (same IQ distribution). The goal of the question is to recover the same information from existing data without having to do a simple but practically impossible comparison test.

    • Replies: @Brian Damage
  105. Malla says:

    This is pure B.S., the USA attacked Somalia through proxies?? How do you buffons make up B.S. shit like this? When Ethiopia fought Somalia, Ethiopia was a SOVIET SATELITE state and Somalia was a Communist country too. It was Somalia which attacked Ethiopia.
    Somalia’s problems started during Communist times when COMMUNIST SOMALIA run by the Supreme Revolutionary Council’s Revolutionary Army went to war with COMMUNIST DERGIST ETHIOPIA (or Communist Somalia invaded Communist Ethiopia because of some ethnic Somali region) Executions and rape of civilians and refugees by Ethiopian, Somali and Cuban troops were prevalent throughout the war.

    Ogaden War

    Captured Cuban POW near Harar during the Somalia-Ethiopia War 1977

  106. Levtraro says:
    @James Thompson

    Next time, back to all the countries for which we have data.

    Looking forward to it.

  107. Uruguay might be the most Socialist of the SA countries. Not so much Marxist as anti-corruption and anti-oligarch. High taxes and a huge government bureaucracy that tracks all goods and services down to a fine granular level stifles innovation and discourages entrepreneurship.

    This is my impression after doing much research and spending a few weeks there some years ago. I took a local bus into Montevideo from a close suburb and waved off the small slip of a receipt that the bus driver offered me after paying the inexpensive fare. He insisted that I take it so that he and I could prove the transaction to anyone that may be inspecting or observing. This tracing of all transactions is part and parcel of everyday life and business there.

    It was very clean, orderly and mostly white, unlike some areas of Brazil — the northern part especially. I didn’t see favelas or homeless people. Social services seem to take care of the less fortunate and the people seemed upright, educated, cultured and proud, if a little held down by the insufferable bureaucracy.

    • Agree: ariadna
  108. @QCIC

    IMHO, the PISA test is just like any other objective tests. At least it is not a test based on subjective qualifications. 1+1=2. Totally unqualified therefore the measurement is more reliable and not subjected to biases and cultural differences. You need that to make semiconductors, jet engines or any other tangible products. Not opinions and “points of views” which belong in the realm of art.

    The easiest way to do this is to apply different education systems to similar groups of students (same IQ distribution).

    Just use the ethnic Han Chinese people as as example. They are well distributed all across the world. A sizeable amount of them are in Southeast Asia. Each Southeast Asian country has its own educational system. A small amount are in North America, going through its educational system. From expensive private schools to ghetto public schools. The Chinese students in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. All very different educational system. Hong Kong is based on the British system, Taiwan has a system that pre-dated the current PRC’s system. China has its own post-communist system.

    All performed similarly despite being in a different country, different educational system, different culture, different language abilities..

  109. @William Williams

    Citizenship is the official ownership classification that the gov’t owns you as their property. It is the primary mechanism that allows gov’t to tax you and in general determine the course of your life via the arbitrary ‘laws’ their political class invents out of nothing. It’s what gives gov’t the right to force you into their military to potentially die for their mafia and many of the mental slaves actually volunteer to murder people in foreign lands and destroy their infrastructure when those foreigners have done nothing to deserve it. Citizenship promotes gov’t worship and criminality; it induces a Stockholm Syndrome mentality in people to actually side with their criminal mafia.

    If it’s not the citizenship you were born into, then it’s one you sought, essentially asking to be the gov’ts slave. The passport that comes along with that citizenship is the gov’ts permission to temporarily leave or enter their open air prison and is respected by other govt’s as in honor among thieves. Placing some difficulties in the pursuit of any mafia’s citizenship somehow makes it more attractive to the mental slaves that seek it. In most cases, it allows those mental midgets to vote for their masters periodically.

    Why anyone would want citizenship anywhere eludes me. From my perspective, the best approach is to be a PT, a Perpetual Tourist, a Previous Taxpayer, that no country owns, to be a free man, not gov’t property. Sadly, the various mafias of the world have rigged the game to make this near impossible to obtain unless one wants to spend their lives as a stateless person that every gov’t hates for defying their rules.

    BTW – I’m an expat on the island of Roatan, Honduras. I have no connection to or interest in Uruguay.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  110. @res

    The (magnitude of) rg/rp discrepancies really bother me. Does anyone have any ideas for the causes?

    No. Gregory Clark had the same debate about which to use when looking at his surname history data, and in the end decided it didn’t matter! Or that is how we left it a year ago.

    So, no idea.

    • Replies: @res
  111. @FKA Max

    Very interesting resource.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  112. @Anon

    Assume you mean IQ 94. PISA estimations are 88, but we don’t have good data, although I am looking for some.

  113. PUTINFAN says:

    It needs to be clear that I am not a Marxist and support I show here for far left govts that oppose the USA is for that reason. THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY FRIEND.

    Now let us get into some detail about the supposed “far left, Marxist government” of Nicaragua, where I have spent about a year of my life.

    O’Biden, O’Clinton and O’Bush hate Nicaragua. Why? The leaders of NIC think and are correct that those people are PSYCHO KILLERS. THE color revolution unleashed against those kind people by USA psychopaths a few years back killed about 600 people. Based on population that would be 25,000 in the USA. Then include the 100,000 killed there 1978 to 1990 in a civil war.

    1. NIC has no transgenderism, no hospital in the country will do these operations.
    2. NIC has no gay marriage.
    3. NIC has no legal abortion.
    4. THE leaders there do not discuss or espouse climate change.
    5. Voting is only in person with PHOTO ID.
    6. THERE were no COVID vaccine mandates and no mask rules. The leaders there did not believe COVID was real
    7. NIC has little or no business regulación, free enterprise is the Rule.

    Nicaragua restricts oposición press. Who doesn’t???

    SOUNDS like one of freeest countries in the world to me.
    VENEZUELA is almost exactly the same except they don’t heavily censor opposition press. So VEN is WOKE communist?????

    • Thanks: RadicalCenter
  114. res says:

    I also got a nice dose-response curve where getting closer to zero increased the benefits.

    Could you please elaborate on this? Say 100 is your original level of carbs and 0 is the obvious none, what did the dose response curve look like? In particular, was it nonlinear? If so with what behavior?

    Thank you.

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  115. PUTINFAN says:

    President Bukele has a 75% approval rating, 2nd highest in LATAM after Rodrigo Chávez in my Costa Rica who has 80%.

    Guess who opposes Bukele G. SOROS and AMNESTY INT. Who woulda thought????

    THE people approve, the PSYCHOS oppose.

    • Replies: @Alrenous
  116. res says:
    @James Thompson

    Thank you for your reply.

    No. Gregory Clark had the same debate about which to use when looking at his surname history data, and in the end decided it didn’t matter! Or that is how we left it a year ago.

    I find that surprising given the magnitude of the differences and how many rp seem to be near noise level. I find it hard to think about this without a scatterplot and regression to get an idea of how systematically they relate. Did Gregory Clark do anything like that as part of his analysis?

    Perhaps I should just suck it up and do the work, but there are other things I really should be working on.

    P.S. It would be interesting to hear some elaboration on what he was doing. I don’t see how this UKBB data relates to his wealth correlations.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  117. Alrenous says: • Website

    Mainly asymptotic.

    At say 50 carbs there was a barely noticeable effect. Hard to see if you’re not looking for it.

    At ~15 carbs I found out I used to be addicted to sugar. You know how alcoholics get euphoria when they break their booze addiction? I got a low-intensity version of that. Given fructose stresses the liver, this makes sense to me. After the euphoria my natural mood setpoint was raised, as expected from healthy eating.

    At ~5 I saw noticeable declines in well-being from having a cup of milk. I could distinctly taste the lactose, and while it was a lesser problem than the same dose of sucrose (ruling out lactose intolerance), it was still a problem. Switched to cream.

    At ~4 I noticed that carrots are too starchy and removed them.

    Between 1 and 0 doesn’t seem to have much effect, though. Caps out at around 2. “Zero” carb isn’t actually zero. (And thank goodness, my kitchen is not a laboratory-standard clean room.)

    After many years of very low carb I have become ever so slightly more tolerant. Found out I like peas. Probably for the vitamin k. I’m still suspicious but it hasn’t been an issue so far. Also suspicious about the lactose in my cream, but like I said the benefits finally tapered off so I’m not terribly motivated to fix it, and it would cost a lot of effort.

    By contrast a bolus of white rice will literally get me high. Woozy and stuff. Again, dose-response. More rice, stronger symptoms, linear in this case. Unlikely to be placebo because I wasn’t expecting it. I was expecting to feel bad later (or not at all, given it’s glucose) not weird immediately. I was expecting insulin stress, not psychoactive compounds. (Don’t worry I got the insulin stress too.)

    P.S. I originally decided to try low-carb because I noticed all starches, ‘healthy’ or not, give me a light burning sensation in the stomach. I consider it my duty to respond to such negative feedback.

    Disclaimer: this is an n=1 experiment. While I’m confident it will work for anyone with an intact metabolism, there are several confounders which could also be the source of the previous issues. Maybe all my local starches are contaminated, that sort of thing. E.g. I baked my own bread from scratch a few times and it had puzzling results.

    • Thanks: res
  118. Alrenous says: • Website

    THE people approve, the PSYCHOS oppose.

    See also: all the most popular movies on Rotten Tomatoes.

  119. @RoatanBill

    “Stateless life” is utterly impractical, especially for people who have children, are not hermits, and wish to move about the world for education, business, tourism and plain old living.

    Also, Bill, some countries will tax you even if you don’t live a majority of the year there and aren’t a citizen there, if you e.g. spend more time there than any other one country during the year. I think you know this already, just pointing it out for those who don’t. It pays to establish “tax residency” in a place like Georgia, Dubai, or wherever won’t tax any income generated outside their borders. Yes, the government gangs want to know that you’re submitting to being fleeced to some degree by one of their ilk.

    But as you also know, there are lump-sum tax programs for foreigners settling in some countries, e.g. Switzerland and Italy, or the “uk” territories of Jersey and Gibraltar — usually worthwhile for very-high-income people, above my family’s level.

    In many other countries, there are long-term tax incentives to entice foreigners to acquire permanent residence or citizenship and spend some time there each year. This includes countries that otherwise are definitely NOT low-income-tax countries for their own native-born citizens, such as Turkey, Mexico, Colombia, Portugal, and Chile.

    It makes good sense to acquire multiple citizenships and passports, to have options. Where do you have the right to go and live for as long as you want, if your island starts to fall below your standards of day-to-day freedom, safety, civility, stability, affordable food and energy supply, affordable housing, air quality, cultural decency, whatever? (excluding the US, which presumably you agree doesn’t stack up well against dozens of other countries in important respects these days)

    We want our children to have numerous options, which means numerous citizenships and passports, precisely because people running governments are no damn good and they should never have their lives or assets all in one basket. Even two baskets.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
    , @Alrenous
  120. @William Williams

    By the way, Uruguay offers a faster path to citizenship for married couples: we can apply after only three years as permanent residents, instead of five years for single people.

  121. @J M

    Depending on one’s situation — especially how much “location-independent income” you have, i.e. from an online business, remote job, stock or REIT dividends, and interest — it often makes sense to leave the usa entirely.

    Other countries in numerous regions often offer a better quality of life, including excellent medical care, better mass transit, lower rates of murder or rape, better roads and infrastructure, better investment returns, etc. ….. all at a lower financial cost for expats with proper tax planning, with a less perverse, vulgar, angry, anti-white, anti-family culture than the USA (yes, very much including overrated overpriced semi-free TX and FL, and to a lesser extent the Dakotas).

    As Andrew Henderson of Nomad Capitalist fame says, “if you’re gonna move, you might as well MOVE.”

    That’s not to say that a move within the US can’t have benefits in terms of cost of living, local culture, friendliness, and safety. We may move the family from California to Texas for starters. But we understand why some Americans just keep on going, right past FL and TX, out of this dying arrogant and aggressive country. As we may do someday as well.

  122. @RadicalCenter

    I agree completely on your take on stateless existence and indicated as much in my comment.

    To the best of my knowledge, most countries won’t tax on foreign earnings NOW, but that’s likely to change. The US and Eritrea were the only countries to tax their citizens worldwide but that might have changed, I haven’t looked into it. Most people have no foreign earnings, so it’s not a primary issue. I also don’t care much about how the really rich structure their existence in Dubai, Monaco, etc.

    I never mentioned residency. I urge people to gain residency where they intend to reside long term, but not citizenship unless it’s part of a long term residency program. People are paying for ‘golden visa’ programs all over the world for the privilege of becoming tax cattle. I believe it was Doug Casey or possibly Bill Bonner that said a smart person will have citizenship in one place live in a second and bank in a third. That’s good advice.

    Young people are becoming ‘digital nomads’, living a short time in any given location and then moving on. No nation is counting them in their tax base unless they’re a citizen of the US. They’re not even getting residency and as such are the PT types I mentioned. YouTube has loads of videos from these folks.

    As for tax incentives, lots of times it amounts to investing in overpriced real estate or some gov’t boondoggle. The areas where these exceptions can be applied are usually delineated to mulct a high net worth individual that can probably afford it.

    I have the ability to get citizenship in a minimum of two European countries, but I’m in no hurry to pursue it. I have an interest in Portugal and if I decide to relocate there, I probably will use that to cut out all the red tape. To the best of my knowledge, the US frowns on second passports unless you’re part of the (((tribe))). I could be wrong on this, but I think you must give up US citizenship to acquire another.

    I’m a guy that’s been living outside the US going on two decades. You folks have little experience in what it takes to be in another environment so the many positives you hear about sound wonderful. What they fail to reveal are the gotchas. If you plan on moving, pick a spot and seriously investigate the specifics of what it take. And get a move on, since once the SHTF it will be a world wide event and ports of entry will snap shut like a bear trap.

  123. ariadna says:

    All true. Pta del Este was built up with Argentinian money (most of it dinero lavado). It suffered a bit under the insane lockdowns due to Covid hysteria in Argentina when hotel occupancy was way down but now it is roaring again. Pta del Diablo is not what you saw in 1991. Sadly it was built up…

    • Thanks: Z-man
  124. ariadna says:
    @William Williams

    Kids make no difference and marriage to a local either. Proof of having bought property/owning a business is what you need. I know a couple who bought a sliver of land so small that it could barely accommodate a shanty but the mere document showing proof of “property” was enough.
    The advantage of having the Uruguayan citizenship is not that you can vote but that you can travel to more countries than with a US passport and… without embarrassment.

  125. @res

    He is still working on this. Wealth can be passed on, and this stands out from the general finding, which is that status can only be passed on by the biological parents. Nothing they do in life seems to make any difference, including dying. Dead parents are as powerful a source of status as alive parents. When ranked by genetic distance, distant relatives you have never met (including those who died before you were born) are as influential as your nearby cousin or uncle who might have offered you your first job. Also, the genetic model is a simple additive one. Also, despite some noise, there is no social mobility. None.

    All good stuff.

    • Thanks: res
  126. ariadna says:

    No, the disgusting, filthy (literally, the sight of his feet make you vomit) old murderer (he did murder an innocent man when he was a tupamaro) is not “still going” although he still has a pulse. No, he never donated his salary to the poor, but to the PARTY! Frente Amplio, that is.

  127. Alrenous says: • Website

    “Stateless life” is utterly impractical, especially for people who have children

    Well, certainly with that attitude it is. Or is this a character thing?

    The Amish have plenty of children last I checked, though.

    It pays to establish “tax residency” in a place like Georgia, Dubai,

    It pays more to stay put and arrange to be a net tax consumer.

    In the modern world at the very least, folk didn’t broadly submit to being taxed, it would be impossible to tax them.

    It is certain that, for example, the Amish consume more in military defence than they pay in taxes. Pacifism gives them superiority over the State. I wouldn’t suggest that in particular, but it clearly works.

  128. FKA Max says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    I just looked up Montevideo’s drinking water quality, since almost 60% of Uruguay’s population lives in the metropolitan region “a population of an estimated 3.4 million, of whom around 2 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo.
    And this is what I found, which could be relevant to this discussion since…

    Tap Water Consumption Is Associated with Schoolchildren’s Cognitive Deficits in Afghanistan

    2022 Jul or
    Lower IQ among older children is possibly attributed to chronic stress experienced by adolescents due to living conditions in Afghanistan. While using tap water prevents fecal peril, it may expose children to toxic elements such as lead which is known to lower their intellectual development.

    Water supply and sanitation in Uruguay
    The total expenditure of OSE between 1990 and 2005 was US$797 million, which is on annual average 0.24% of the Uruguayan GDP or US$15.3 per capita. The annual investment was highest at the end of the 1990s, reaching US$30.8 in 1996 and US$31.2 per capita in 1999. Since 2001, it fell back to only US$5.1 per capita in 2003.

    Pollution in Montevideo, Uruguay or


    Maintaining Excellent Water Quality in Uruguay
    May 31, 2017

    Uruguay is the only country in Latin America that has access to a safe drinking water supply. As a result, most of the localities receive disinfected water continuously. Water quality in Uruguay is considered to be good, but over the years it has become an issue.
    Clean water is provided by Obras Sanitarias del Estado (OSE) throughout Uruguay. OSE is also in charge of sanitation, except in the department of Montevideo, where sanitation is provided by the Municipality of Montevideo. About 98 percent of the population has access to drinkable water. However, only 34 percent of the population is connected to the sanitation systems.
    In the midst of the problem lies Santa Lucia River, watershed and water source for the metropolitan area and Montevideo. The excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides (agrochemicals) have caused pollution in the area. The pollution has also caused eutrophication-induced cyanobacteria.
    The National Environment Office of the Ministry of Environment, responsible for monitoring the water resources, reported that from 2009 to 2013 the phosphorus level has exceeded the maximum permitted levels. In the watersheds that provide potable water, 25 micrograms per liter is the maximum level allowed. Unfortunately, the phosphorus level in Santa Lucia River Basin has skyrocketed to more than 150 micrograms per liter.

  129. Thanks. Generally, tap water is trusted, and people drink it. Bottled water is usually preferred at more formal meetings.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  130. Malla says:

    El Salvadorans have faced decades of Commie terrorism and gang wars. Populations in these places put self survival over some moral superiority and these populations are more likely to survive in this Darwinian Universe. Many whites in North America and Europe and the Pacific have become eloi and put moral superiority above self interest. Hence nature wants them gone.

  131. @James Thompson

    Hi James. In case it is not you removing the “Your comment is awaiting moderation” tag from your old article please have a look at my comments at the end of your 7 Tribes piece from way back. if you had time for nothing more can you give me some idea about the use of the Cattell IQ test for English school children about 1950?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  132. dearieme says:

    Having watched the France match on Saturday I suddenly realised that the England rugby team should try to arrange a game against Uruguay. I’m sure they wouldn’t ship 53 points against those gallant lads from the south.

  133. @Wizard of Oz

    Will look. Don’t know if the Cattell was used much. Mostly the Murray House 11+ tests, I think.

    • Thanks: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @dearieme
  134. Factorize says:
    @Francis Miville

    Thank you for your reply Francis Miville.

    It is such a pleasure to converse with someone of like mind.
    My strategy of choosing near random interlocutors in the bricks and mortar world has not resulted in many satisfying exchanges. However, opening up the audience to a global online forum has resulted in much better conversations.

    While it does make me somewhat of a bore in conversations to constantly restate some of my core beliefs, it is nonetheless helpful to indicate where my thinking is grounded and perhaps open up a potential path to correcting any of my misconceptions.

    Core Belief #1: Lead explains everything. I am recovering from a previous belief that g explains everything. The last quarter century has witnessed a profound reduction in crime, teenage fertility, high school underachievement, etc. etc.. From my current understanding, lead poisoning caused extreme social dysfunction throughout most of the 20th Century. Lead caused all of it.

    As a consequence of Core Belief #1, the current youth constitute a genius generation. They are committing almost no crime; their fertility rates are plunging etc.. I understand a part of wokism as being related to a higher level of consciousness that they can access due to their reduced level of neuropathology resulting from much lower lead levels. The clinching piece of evidence that changed my perspective from g-centric to lead-centric was the neuroimaging of the prefrontal cortex of those with high early life lead levels. Their prefrontal cortices had stark reductions over large portions of this brain region– this is the area of the brain that controls impulses. One can then easily see that it was not so much a problem of straight cognitive ability that was their central challenge, as it was their inability to maintain impulse control. It wasn’t primarily that many people who made bad life choices could not recognize that they were made bad choices as it was impossible for them to bridge themselves over a moment of rage, etc..

    Core Belief #2: Genetic Singularity is near. We are now at the most exciting moment in the history of our species. We have the power to genetically edit and select our future. The potential of polygenic selection etc. to rapidly evolve our species is of profound importance. The trial run with lead reduction showed us what a world with 95% less crime is like. Many people liked that a lot. Now we can try this again with a genetic uplift. This will be fascinating. Considering that they have now launched ChatGPT 4 and it is already approaching superhuman cognitive ability, it no longer seems that we have a big choice about genetic enhancement: If we do not move soon artificial intelligence might be the only intelligence in the universe that people will have an interest in interacting with. If humans want humans to remain competitive in the intelligence race, then we will need to redesign ourselves.

    Observation #1: Emerging nations (such as China) have exhibited an elegant path to development. This is another central idea that I have returned to ad nauseam on forum, though I think it deserves yet another reiteration. Western nations have struggled at the vanguard of the development frontier since the 18th century to create the modern world. However, without a clear roadmap to the future, it was an exhausting journey. For example, even into the late 19th Century the UK had astonishingly high total fertility rates. This made their transition to modern capitalism very difficult. Indeed this is exactly why Marxism was able to gain a foothold. Yet, those nations such as China observed this unfold for centuries and waited and waited. Once they clearly understood what the formula for development was they were able to flawlessly launch their society into the modern age without most of the misery that the West went through. I am very impressed by how rapidly this transition to modernity can be when done right.

    Part of how I understand wokism relates to the ongoing struggle in the West to move the frontier forward in our modern post-economic reality.

    Given the above, I am actually highly optimistic. We have the tools to genetically re-engineer ourselves and it becomes all the more likely that such genetic enhancement will occur as we continue to witness the collapse of Western civilization. At no time in our history have we had the technological ability to reverse such decay once it had set in. In previous times, centuries of demographic, economic, social … decline could occur before the next up-cycle occurred. Genetic engineering offers the opportunity to reverse such a decline in a single generation. It can only be hoped that parents will offer their children such a bright future (instead of the bleak future that would seem to be our expected fate without such correction).

  135. c matt says:
    @James Thompson

    Same with Argentina – a fair amount of its best and brightest got out of there mainly due to the complete corruption/incompetence of its government.

  136. c matt says:

    HDI: human development index, showing the general quality of life per country

    This seems a rather subjective, and almost unquantifiable index. If I can earn enough to eat and live in Greece and wake up every morning staring at the Mediterranean, how is that a “lower quality of life” than a 9-5 grind in some cookie cutter suburb of Cleveland?

    Honesty: meaning the opposite of corrupt

    How does the USA not rank at least in the bottom third? Have to question the accuracy of this index.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  137. res says:

    Dr. Thompson, any thoughts on Steve Sailer’s post about the Bryan Pesta lawsuit?

    Or about this recent salvo in that ongoing battle?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  138. @c matt

    Purchasing Power Parity is an attempt to see how far your money really goes in each country, but as to the relative joy of a Greek sunny morning to a cold English evening, these are not financial matters.

    As to corruption, it really does vary. It is important, and if you have a better measure I will move to it.

    Remember, all these things have an error term, but are better than nothing.

  139. @res

    My comment is that Emil does much better work, and is the person to follow for intelligence research.

    Turkheimer has done good work, but is also clear that his political views are more important, and that in his opinion research on race is dangerous and should be avoided.

    Bryan Pesta does good work and has been very badly treated. I hope he wins his case.

  140. Scythian says:

    Prepare to be massively disappointed.

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