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world in turmoil boatfull of people

What is the use of Psychology? Surely knowing some psychology should confer an advantage? I mean a real advantage, over and above being able to give complicated post-event commentaries?

How about this? If survival means avoiding premature death, then living is perpetual problem solving, and the better the solutions to problems, the better the standard of living among the survivors. Given that we intend to describe the whole world, a useful unit of account is the Country. Within each country there are common laws and customs, and statistics (of variable quality) regarding living standards and income. Yes, there are regional differences within countries, and yes some countries are alike and could be grouped into regional blocs, but let us make a start with countries. World politics involves relations between 195 countries. Some will have peaceful and prosperous trading relationships and others less so.

Most of the country data you can look up on international databases. These will give you many economic and social variables, and the PISA dataset, together with TIMSS and PIRLS, edge towards telling you how well people in those countries solve the problems of living. They measure scholastic attainment, which on the more difficult subjects like Maths and Science are good proxies for intelligence, but still subject to the effects of tuition.

There is another dataset, collected by one researcher in his book lined study, which aims to go further. It gathers together all intelligence test results and groups them by country. Some countries are missing; some have only a few relevant studies; some have studies based on proper, representative samples; and a few wealthy and diligent countries have many population based studies. As in real life, things vary. In one sense this database is a projective test. Population based statisticians (frequentists) always ask for more and better samples, and are quite right to do so. Bayesians know that if you are hunting a submarine then one radio location from a submarine broadcast is far, far better than nothing. For them, one study based at a school somewhere in the countryside stands as the first indicator of the intelligence of that country, until later and better indicators can be found. As a general rule the notion of calculating a country IQ is no sillier than the rest of behavioural science, in which universal rules of human behaviour are sought from studies conducted almost exclusively on university students of psychology, patients at local hospitals and such passers-by as can be bothered to stop and answer silly questions.

The Richard Lynn database on intelligence by countries is now being updated by David Becker and colleagues. It is in its Second Edition, and with your help many more editions will follow as we try to trace particular references, and add as yet uncatalogued studies. Here is a background post on the project:

Here is the link to the Second Edition. David Becker explains the new format:


I think the table is now in its final form, where it is much easier to add new material. Studies with more than one value are now differentiated, and absolutely all information necessary for traceability are now included.

Blue lines are already absolutely complete, others still have some “???” which must to be replaced from time to time. A special tab “CALCULATIONS” will make any additional necessary calculations transparent.

Where it was currently possible, IQs per source are now calculated automatically. My aim is to implement this for as many scores as possible, to avoid errors.

Look at the spreadsheet, find a country in Column B and the mean IQ in Column P and median IQ in Column Q. The nature of any adjustments for the Flynn effect are also shown, as is the full reference. Our aim is that everything should be traceable, and if there are any errors they can be corrected immediately for all to see. The more people who know about it, get involved in adding to it, and use it in their predictions about world affairs, the better.

In order to manage your expectations about world politics, I asked David Becker to estimate World IQ. He cautioned that we only had data from 148 nations with a total of 6,953,727,177 people, around 94.88% of world population. This will leave out poorer countries with less organised education systems.

By simple calculation IQ of the 148 nations is:
84.99 (using nation’s means)
85.02 (using nation’s medians)

If weighted for population size (newest data CIA-factbook):
88.44 (using nation’s means)
88.53 (using nations’ medians)

Allowing for the fact that some poorer countries have not been included, I think that World IQ is about 88. It is better not to use decimal points when our coverage of many countries is sparse. In contrast with The Man on the Clapham Omnibus, the gold standard for the average English person beloved of the judiciary, the man on the World Omnibusis at the 21st percentile compared to Greenwich Mean Intelligence. That means that if prestigious jobs requiring IQ 130 are allocated solely on the basis of intelligence, then in a fair contest between equal numbers of “Westerners” and “Rest of World people” the former will be 9 times more likely to get the best jobs. If no-one is really worth hiring in the world economy unless they are IQ 93 or above, then that cuts out 32% of Westerners and 63% of Rest of World-ers. This is likely to cause big problems.

The world is most like Brazil 87, Colombia 86, Costa Rica 88, Cuba 86, Dominican Republic 88, Kazakhstan 87, Kuwait 87, Lebanon 86, Moldova 89, Suriname 89, Tajikistan 89, Thailand 86, Tibet 86, Tonga 86, Trinidad 87, Tunisia 87, Venezuela 88. Leaving aside the income flows from Westerners wanting oil or tourism, prospects are not particularly good, though better than many sub-Saharan countries.

Looking at how those world average countries conduct themselves will give you a good guide as to what to expect in 2017, and and probably far beyond. You can also predict the direction of travel for those looking for a better life.

Happy 2017 to you all.

• Category: Science • Tags: IQ 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    They measure scholastic attainment, which on the more difficult subjects like Maths and Science are good proxies for intelligence

    Is this a step back from your usual statement that verbal intelligence is the best single intelligence based on which to assess a mind’s potential?

    Maths and Science seem “more difficult” because humanities and languages are no longer taught (and performance is assessed in a subjective, feel-good, egalitarian fashion) even in the few countries of the world where it made sense to teach them.

    A more technologized world will see a starker division of its people in castes: it won’t be on skin color or racial lines, but by intellectual capital (which will look rather like the former, and beget racial tensions).
    I can see advantages for many, and more fairness for all in a Internet-centered world.
    If you have Internet as a child, the close-mindedness and ignorance permeating your surroundings (home, school) become much easier to overcome. It will give everyone possibilities similar to physically traveling across the whole world.

    You are a 12 year old living in a rural area in Venezuela and can listen to all symphonies composed in modern Germany or have access to medieval French literature, all while learning your first coding language.

    Same goes for migration. People won’t be divided by national borders. They will be divided by income borders and/or intellectual capital within what used to be nations.
    A vertical division, no less stark than the divisions it advertises itself as the means to erase, will replace the current horizontal one.

    We’ll see what role China (and Russia) will play in all of this.

    In history, all educated people believe they can foresee the future and make plans, but unpredictability is the main actor at every turn.

    • Replies: @Montefrío
  2. dearieme says:

    Happy New Year, Doc.

    But are you really Doc T? Are you instead a Russian agent intruded into Unz to undermine the American republic?

  3. Thanks for that second IQ database link, it contains IQs of various nomadic/non-urban ethnic Chinese minorities.

    If anyone’s curious:

    Baoan(northern China) – 101.1
    Xibo(northern China) – 99.8
    Daur(northern China) – 97.4
    Yugur(northern China) – 96.7
    Evenki(northern China) – 96.5
    Hasake(northern China) – 95.4
    Dongxiang(northern China) – 95.1
    Uyghur(northern China) – 86.4
    Kyrgyz(northern China) – 85.6

    Tujia(central China) – 102.5
    Tibetan(central China) – 92

    Li(southern China) – 103.3
    Hui(southern China) – 103.1
    Naxi(southern China) – 95.6
    Miao(southern China) – 95.1
    Dai(southern China) – 93.9

    Based on Greenwich/British IQ at 100 and Han Chinese at 103. Sample sizes are tiny unfortunately, although it generally makes sense given larger sample size studies on Inner Mongolians(99.5) and Vietnamese(high 90s or mid 90s).

    Awhile back you had an article doubting the cold winter theory because of Kazakh and Uzbek IQ. I hope you know Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Uyghurs, Kyrgyz all have significant Middle-Eastern admixture(and European admixture) and are not pure East Asian populations, although seemingly not enough to drop these populations down to the mid 80 level, given outside North Africa/Arabian Peninsula Middle-Eastern populations are in the mid 80s. The Central Asian steppe also has very warm summers and a lot of sunlight, something to factor in. Anyway, regardless, still lots of evidence for cold winter theory being a major, if not main factor, especially since even southern Chinese people are most likely from a northern source(they still ofc have the northern epi eye fold) as all Han Chinese cluster pretty closely together on PCA plots.

    The biggest detractor to it is Amerindians, but most of Amerindian history could very well have been spent in the arctic, where challenges were likely different than a more seasonal but cold European/Chinese like climate. Amerindian IQ also seems very consistent, from Canada to Peru around the 87 range except near the equator where it drops to 80 in Guatemala, and where it rises to 91 as you get more East Asian admixture in Inuits. Very important to point out that Amerindians are their own genetic cluster, not within the East Asian cluster, neither inbetween East Asians/Europeans as a mix.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  4. G_LORD says:

    James is making the mistake (which is surprising that he is a psychologist) of confusing FSIQ scores for that what they measure (cognitive ability).

    Cognitive tests (that from which FSIQ scores are based) do not measure cognition directly, they measure behaviour, from which inferences about cognition can be based. In a clinical context, provided that across domains (verbal, visual, working memory etc.) there is reasonable consistency in scores, then a FSIQ score can be thought of providing an ESTIMATED account of the individuals cognitive ability (often with 95% CI’s that overlap qualitative ranges). If there is inconsistency then FSIQ scores are generally ignored.

    In this context, performance on tests (it’s behaviour not cognition that is being assessed remember) are subject to many factors, one of which is cognitive ability, another is performance validity/motivation, another is familiarity with test taking, another is language (i.e. all tests have a verbal component), and other is cultural relevance (others may be anxiety, self-efficacy beliefs etc.)

    In this context, it is likely that a considerable proportion of the non-western scores are due to the lack of familiarity with test taking and cultural irrelevance (esp language). This is why clinicians are trained (unlike James I assume) to consider culture when administering tests. Because (coming back to my original point), IQ test scores provide an INDEX of cognitive ability. That is, it is entirely possible that these differences are due to artifacts of testing, rather than underlying actual cognitive differences. As any clinician who works with neurological/forensic populations knows.

    • Agree: edNels
    • Replies: @Salger
  5. All actual measures can be considered estimates compared to an abstract ideal. In that light, both your comments and my reply can be considered estimates of what we intended to say. However, if we mention possible confounders in any scores we have to be able to show evidence for the systematic effects of those confounders, systematic effects so strong as to overcome large samples, varied samples, different tests, different testers. The possible effects of test familiarity are certainly one of those factors, and much debated in the literature about group differences. Also the effects of possible cultural irrelevance, though that is a limited argument, in that if much of simple cognition is considered culturally irrelevant, then the argument is lost.
    So, any test score is the best approximation to underlying ability. Wider testing, re-testing, using different forms and so on can improve the estimate.

    Since the topic is large, and much discussed, I can suggest only a few links.

    • Replies: @G-Lord
    , @AP
  6. G-Lord says:
    @James Thompson

    There is a huge body of neuropsychological literature that deals with and highlights the huge issue of cultural and social differences and their effects on robust cognitive assessment. To the extent that different norms have been/are being developed for these populations.

    My view is that the proportion of variance in cognitive scores explained by ‘g’ differs very little across cultures and contexts, however other variance (some of which is described above) makes a considerable contribution to cognitive test performance, and it is these factors than explain the differences you describe. This view is entirely consistent with the vast neuropsychological literature.

  7. G_LORD says:

    I had a look at your links, it is noted that WAIS-IV subtests that load on to g are heavily weighted in the verbal domain (5 of 7) , and the most influenced by education effects.

    I also note that your post considerably under-estimates the importance of good neuropsychological training. Yes, administering tests is easy, but interpreting them is very (very) hard, are requires many years of training and if not training, then good supervison The consequences of getting neuropsych assessment wrong are huge for patients/clients.

    In fact, this quote (if it did represent your training, is quite scary, but also provides good insight into your knowledge of neuropsych/cognitive testing generally): “A psychologist of modest intellect could be trained to use all these materials in a matter of weeks, and then they were tested on a patient or two by a senior psychologist, after which they were considered competent to begin their testing careers.”

    • Replies: @Carl
    , @James Thompson
  8. Carl says:

    Hopefully with enough hard training we will be able to invalidate the fraudulent gaps.

    • Replies: @Salger
    , @G lord
  9. @G-Lord

    Culture tend to influence the software but i doubt have the same effect in hardware. And people who have higher intelligence and specially higher curiosity/intellectual openess tend to be less prone to become provincial… they tend to look exactly like a ”international citizen”.

    Average humans tend to be satisfactory with their group-culture while the higher is their intellectual intelligence higher will be their ”size” to be completed. To the highly intellectual-clever the glass is always empty.

    Over-intellectually-stimulating people, if they no have exterior references, they will tend to create their own whatever environment they are. The usual situation is: generally in little tribes of hunter gatherers and or in populations ”with” lower ”iq” this type of people tend to be basically nonexistent or happen/there are sporadically.

    Populations who created a over-stimulative environments already tend to have [comparatively] great proportion of this restless minds.

    And of course different environments tend to have different impact on us… but the only way to really understand it must be using clones being created in different environments. We already know that many identical twins, who are not clones, are so identical that many bizarre cohincidences tend to happen between them even/specially when they are created in different environments, mutually separated.

    • Replies: @utu
  10. Sean says:

    That means that if prestigious jobs requiring IQ 130 are allocated solely on the basis of intelligence, then in a fair contest between equal numbers of “Westerners” and “Rest of World people” the former will be 9 times more likely to get the best jobs. If no-one is really worth hiring in the world economy unless they are IQ 93 or above, then that cuts out 32% of Westerners and 63% of Rest of World-ers. This is likely to cause big problems.

    Applicable to second generation immigrants. But it ignores the contest that will be between immigrating and indigenous populations as predicted by Paul Collier’s Exodus, with the most capable in poor countries up against the run of the mill population of rich countries. It won’t be fair because the immigrants have the key advantage inasmuch they are all that keeps wages under control – increase of supply reduces the price that can be demanded. Foreign doctors and surgeons in the UK for example. Unstoppable.

    • Replies: @Alden
  11. Salger says:

    Tell us more on how the repeatedly low performance of Negroid populations is from dey culcha.

  12. Salger says:

    You sound like a Leftist.

    • Replies: @G-Lord
  13. Salger says:

    Would it show Negroids not performing lowly?

  14. G lord says:

    At least limit the damage to clients/patients.

  15. @G-Lord

    Thanks. Please send me a link to the best examples so I can have a look at them.

    • Replies: @G-Lord
  16. @G_LORD

    Agree that the interpretation of results is harder than test administration. Early test training was relatively simple, a matter of several weeks, but the testing of the tester was quite hard, and was set in the context of very frequent testing. Test construction was covered in greater depth. Psychologists doing face to face assessments usually would carry out roughly 400+ Wechsler tests in three years of training.

    • Replies: @G-Lord
  17. G-Lord says:

    Well I am a forensic psych so yeah, socially I am a leftist. Fiscally I’m more centre-right (although I am from NZ so political spectrums differ a lot).

    i.e our right wing approximates the left in the US.

  18. G-Lord says:
    @James Thompson

    Yes, it is interesting how training is so different across both countries and generations of clinicians.

    For me, I had a year of ‘sort-of’ intensive training, mostly around TBI, MS, Huntingtons, Stroke, MCI, dementia’s etc with the emphasis on test interpretation. Very little time spent on administration and very little on mental health related cognitive assessment. I was lucky that my honours level project was on performance validity testing and my doctoral thesis included a neuropsych element, so i was able to administer and interpret a number of other assessments during my training, my thesis supervisor was also a neuropsychologist which was great.

    Overall, although I don’t do neuropsychology every day, I consider it a core skill and I use it quite often. To me skills in this area are a central feature of a good and well rounded clinician.


  19. @G-Lord

    Thanks for these. Lots to look at and consider.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  20. @GrenadierGunther

    Kyrgyz(northern China) – 85.6

    Looks like Kyrgyzstan’s very low PISA results were not an anomaly after all, and it’s one of the less bad countries in the region.

    Central Asia is an IQ black hole and Russia needs a big beautiful Trumpian wall across the central Kazakh steppe.

    • Replies: @GrenadierGunther
  21. @Anonymous

    “You are a 12 year old living in a rural area in Venezuela and can listen to all symphonies composed in modern Germany or have access to medieval French literature, all while learning your first coding language.”

    This seems ingenuous to me. If you are the 12 yr old, assuming you have internet access, you have no idea what a symphony is and probably have never heard of Germany other than as an important soccer team. Medieval means nothing to you. You have no time for learning coding because you have to go get water from someplace and more than likley you lack the necessar intelligence3 in any case.

    I live in a rural South American village, a prosperous one, and even in this place,the level of ignorance is appalling. If the 12 yr old’s parents are uneducated and uncultured, it is almost certain their children will be as well. Sad but true.

    • Agree: utu
  22. @James Thompson

    I see a couple of big gaps in the thread. One (unless I have failed to see that the Fĺynn Effect has been comprehensively allowed for in all your data and analysis) is the absence of prospective Flynn increases in measured IQs. It stands to reason that most of the IQ <90 countries of Latin America and Central Asia have great scope for registering Flynn increases as anyone who recalls Ron Unz's demolition job on some of the figures solemnly quoted by Lynn and Vanhenen (notably the Irish) would agree. (I was put off taking their figures too seriously by their absurd figures like 57 or 63 for Australian Aborigines without it seems any consideration of the practical or logical implications).

    Of course there are substantial inherited ethnic group differences in average cognitive ability and it would be surprising if some of those weren"t related to survival in Ice Age bound Eurasia over many generations. I mention this in particular because one comment seemed to suggest that the cold environment had some recent effects, which, even if true, would only have been a small part of the story.

    You have replied to G-Lord with proper courtesy but I think it might have been pointed out to him that all the training he writes about as though you and the general run of psychometricians lacked what was necessary to do or assess research properly is beside the point. Testing for all those pathologies and individual's deficiencies that he mentions has nothing to do with testing the average IQ of large populations, though the mathematics required for validating and analysing the test results is obviously important.

  23. The link to thae Becker 2nd Edition shows what adjustments have been made to the published papers. “Prospective Flynn increases in measured IQs” have of course not been put in the table, because although we expect some of them to happen, we cannot be sure till testing reveals them. An estimate of what might be expected was given in the Special Issue of Intelligence on the Flynn Effect, which I edited. At the current rate, Africa will catch up in 60 years, or 340 years, depending on assumptions. All these are predictions. Of course, if European levels drop because of migration, it will all happen faster!

  24. If having the higher IQ and the better jobs and the better standards of living and the more refined or developed culture does not instill the reason (common sense) to take action to defend those things from being diluted and eventually overrun and extinguished by the unwashed masses, then can one count those advantages as being anything more than illusory?

    We seem in the West to have stopped caring how our children or grandchildren will fare in the world … that is one area where the teeming masses have it in spades over us.

    • Replies: @Alden
  25. @Montefrío

    I live in a rural South American village, a prosperous one, and even in this place,the level of ignorance is appalling.

    I live in a well to do American city full of “high IQ” professionals that prides itself on being in the “avant garde” of 21st century science, and spends lavishly to promote itself as one of the wonders of the world, yet even in this place the level of ignorance is appalling. Mind numbing even.

    The levels of moral and spiritual insight are down around amoeba level or something too. These people wallow in a miasma of mythology and don’t even seem to care.

  26. AP says:
    @James Thompson

    However, if we mention possible confounders in any scores we have to be able to show evidence for the systematic effects of those confounders, systematic effects so strong as to overcome large samples, varied samples, different tests, different testers. The possible effects of test familiarity are certainly one of those factors, and much debated in the literature about group differences.

    With all due respect to G-Lord, I suspect there may be confusion in terms of the difference between testing individuals for clinical/diagnostic purposes and testing in order to generate population norms. The latter involves strictly-adhered to protocols with the expectation that differences due to individual factors such as motivation, psychopathology, etc. are washed out.

    When testing individuals, on the other hand, a purpose is to determine capability and to take into account motivational factors, attitude, etc. The administration protocol need not be rigidly applied, if doing so interferes with the ability to assess actual capability. Someone with schizophrenia who is distracted by internal stimuli might need to be continually redirected or have instructions repeated throughout the testing if one wants to get a more-or-less accurate estimate of his actual cognitive ability. Doing so involves going well off script, while also being careful not to muddy the actual results, dependent on the clinician’s judgement and experience.

    It takes much training and experience to be able to competently test individuals and draw appropriate conclusions from the information. G-Lord is correct about that. But this is not as much the case when developing norms for the test, for which a rigid adherence to test protocol is called for. Being able to accurately follow a script in this way does indeed require much less training and experience. I don’t think that G-Lord’s objections are that applicable, with respect to these studies of national samples involving thousands of subjects.

  27. @Montefrío

    Please allow me to compliment you on your accurate use of “ingenuous.”

    • Replies: @Montefrío
  28. Note to all the IQ wankers out there…

    It ain’t what ya got, but how ya use it.

    Is pee-wee length a genetic or an acquired trait? You can bet “WooWoo” never gave that a second thought.

    At 5’11” and 135 lbs., he hardly had the looks of an irresistible ladies’ man. “Ellsworth is a big boy for his age,” his mother explained after the 1944 elopement. Not so, said one judge, who reportedly had Sonny’s sexual equipment measured by a doctor before pronouncing him a “normal” physical specimen. Perhaps girlfriend Eleanor (who later returned to her Gl husband) had the best answer. “You can put in your story,” she told one journalist, “that he really knows how to make love.”

  29. utu says:

    “Culture tend to influence the software but i doubt have the same effect in hardware. ”

    There is only hardware in brain. Software is only used to grow new hardware. The hardware is reflection of culture.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  30. that second link would probably become the go to source for most us 🙂 thanks.

  31. @Daniel Chieh

    Thanks, but I’m 70, had university educated parents (my mother taught university-level English lit and my father was an attorney) and attended schools that still properly educated their students, so I’d be ashamed if I didn’t know the proper use of the word. I believe parents play a large role in proper education, as does a home library. As I’ve aged, I’ve begun to despair of the world to be inhabited by my posterity, but assuming I last, my young grandsons, who live on the same property as I, will have the benefits of a large and varied home library, educated parents and their doting but demanding grandpa, all of whom will teach them how to learn and take advantage of the wealth of information available on the web.

  32. @Montefrío

    Honest question: What distinctions, if any, do you make between schooling and education? Explain please.

    • Replies: @Montefrío
  33. Alden says:

    In America affirmative action for anything but White totally destroys the idea that IQ determines who has the STEM jobs and who is admitted to medical, engineering and scientific education.
    In California at least, it is difficult to find a White American male dr. after 50 years of discrimination against White American men in medical school admissions.

    And in Silicon valley, there are entire departments in all the tech companies where the workers speak Mandarin instead of English.

    But the CEOs of the tech companies claim that in this country of 320 million they just can’t find any White Americans capable of writing code.

  34. Alden says:
    @The Alarmist

    I do so agree. I graduated from Stanford 1964 with all those young White men who created the tech industry in this country.

    And now due to government affirmative action against its own White citizens and capitalist corporate greed the entire industry is filled with affirmative action non Whites.

    • Replies: @G-Lord
  35. edNels says:

    Oh damn! I couldn’t bring up the old ape to man evolution graphic, only one version with extensive dismissive boilerplate explaining it as anachronistic racist and passe.

    The chimpanzi at the left, is like they tend to be, dark, then each of several ”improvements” toward ”modern” man become taller, more upright, and lighter, and less body hair.

    But to me, I think both of the end products at the right side, are passable representations of humans, even seen today, whereas the third one back is more of a rare occurance, but to be seen here and there if you pay attention. That’s no indication of IQ, cause Mr. Hydrogen bomb looked like that! The early anthropologists were very imaginative, and well, with all their IQ they were still full of BS!

    But the second one from the end, there is the problem, he isn’t really as ”good looking” as the final product, who really stands for the Northern European. That second one is chaffin’ at the bit, he don’t like sniffin’ farts offn’ his master!

    You figure if he can, he will find some way to get into the front of the line, look out there Pal!

  36. Agent76 says:

    Mar 2, 2014 Jeremy Scahill: The One Party State, The War Party

    Is the United States of America an Oligarchy? During the 2014 ISFLC, Jeremy Scahill speaks on the fact that in today’s world behemoth corporations are able to buy off politicians and pull the strings to impact legislature.

  37. @jacques sheete

    Well, for me, schooling is encompassed by education. Schooling is instruction in academic disciplines, whereas education goes well beyond that. Given that I speak Spanish on a daily basis, far more than English (my son is the only other native speaker in the village and in fact the only other English speaker), I suspect that Spanish sometimes influences my thoughts, given that I always think in it when I speak it. “Education” in Spanish often refers to upbringing; a “maleducadois an ill-bred individual.

    Etiquette, for example, is part of the education one typically receives at home. Much cultural learning also takes place outside the home: I knew quite a lot about opera and classical music from an early age because my mother was a big fan and a neighbor with a daughter my age was the conductor of a very well known orchestra and another neighbor had been a recital pianist in her youth. I learned a great deal from family travel. I attended very well respected schools with fellow students from similar backgrounds, but even so, I believe I learned a great deal more outside the schools than in them, save for specialization schooling at university.

    I guess that about covers it. Thanks for asking!

  38. @Montefrío

    your grandsons are very lucky.

    • Replies: @Montefrío
  39. I guess that about covers it.

    And quite splendidly, I might add.

    However, what prompted me to ask was this statement, “Thanks, but I’m 70, had university educated parents (my mother taught university-level English lit and my father was an attorney) and attended schools that still properly educated their students…”

    University educated? Schools that properly educated? Ummm, schools, while they can contribute to one’s education, never educate anyone and I believe the distinction(s) between schooling and education are critical.

    In the States at least, most schools are instruments of propaganda, and as such are actually anti-education because they stifle initiative, useful experience, the ability to think, and they routinely replace the truth with fabrications.

    I know many lawyers, teachers, doctors, businessmen, engineers, nurses, accountants and other professionals and although they are all successful and competent in their fields, and all of them have attended good schools, not one of them is well educated even though they would argue otherwise.

    • Replies: @Montefrío
    , @utu
  40. @Astuteobservor II

    Thank you! Actually, I was a lucky grandson myself. My paternal grandfather, a self-made man, taught me a great deal about the workings and management of money along with the importance of rectitude, dignity and honor. My maternal grandmother taught me much about virtue in general, along with a large helping of common sense. I’m just trying to pass down what I was fortunate to have been taught as I passed it to my own children.

    I’m a lucky grandfather because my son and the boys live seventy yards away on the same property!

  41. @jacques sheete

    Thanks and you make a very good point! I left out other facets of a proper education that from what I understand are taught less and less if at all in most schools, universities included: morals, ethics, the value of thrift and austerity, discretion, how to listen, the value of traditional roles, etc. And last but by no means least, the inestimable value of listening to, learning from and respecting one’s elders, heh heh!

    Public and to a lesser extent private primary and secondary schools down here are slowly but surely becoming propaganda mills as well, another reason I’m so determined to provide a supplement for what the boys will be taught at the private bilingual academy they’ll attend and for what their very hardworking parents can provide in their free time.

    I’d like to believe you’re wrong about the professionals, but I know from experience you’re not and by now it must be even worse than it was during my more active life. The day of the polymath has largely drawn to a close, more’s the pity.

    My one regret is I never learned a manual skill, but my son is a hands-on engineer, so my grandsons should have that covered. Their mother, a Latina, will impart to them the inestimable value of unconditional love, great emotional warmth and a spontaneous sense of kindness that cannot be taught, only learned from observation and experience with one who possesses it.

  42. utu says:
    @jacques sheete

    “schools, while they can contribute to one’s education, never educate anyone” – Nowadays it is probably true. But you generalize too much. Good schools in societies are possible and there are many examples in history and probably could be found in the present. You as a libertarian-anarchist make self serving generalizations. Very typical to your kind. You lack imagination, I think. Perhaps because of bad schooling, Then all what is left for undereducated young people with some aspirations for intellectualization are silly libertarian anarchistic ideations. Sometimes I think it is by design. The system likes people with libertarian or anarchistic ideations.

    “I know many lawyers, teachers, doctors, businessmen, engineers, nurses, accountants and other professionals and although they are all successful and competent in their fields, and all of them have attended good schools, not one of them is well educated even though they would argue otherwise.” – You won’t find intellectuals among professionals. They are just memebers of obrazovanshchina, i.e., merely educated.

  43. G-Lord says:

    To be fair, most technical or technological developments do not occur as a consequence of high IQ (although that is a related factor) but instead the ability to think creatively, and in this context, the ability to think divergently.

    In this context, cognitive tests do not provide an index of divergent thinking (which is the ability to create novel associations and ideas in a non-linear manner by combining information ACROSS semantic memory networks) instead cognitive tests provide an index of convergent thinking (i.e. the ability to solve problems in a systematic and typically learned, rule based manner, typically using knowledge from a single semantic network).

    This is an important distinction…yes, the best worker bees have high IQ, but the innovators are able to think divergently.

  44. @Anatoly Karlin

    Let’s not forget the legal residents in the Caucasus. This area also needs a wall, as well as territories being kicked out/given indepencence(oil revenue is a small cost to prevent what could be a very similar situation with what happened in the US during the early 20th century, a large number of southern US blacks moving into all northern large cities, keeping said minority from being in one part of the country to being scattered all around, all done perfectly legally).

    That or some sort of mutual autonomy system where as people from autonomous regions/krais cannot move into ethnic Russian states, and of course vice versa so it’s a fair system.

  45. @Montefrío

    You are a 12 year old living in a rural area in Venezuela and can listen to all symphonies composed in modern Germany or have access to medieval French literature, all while learning your first coding language

    So western culture is superior…

    • Replies: @Montefrío
  46. @utu

    Yes i agree with you partially, but i’m saying that hardware is the basis to start something, aka, software. If i create a new culture my hypothetical sons will inherited my hardware, anyway. Some people are perfectly fit to certain culture, my hypothetical sons can born weakly fited to my hypothetical culture. Sound Lamarckism.

    A man who built their muscles, create for himself a ”culture of muscles”, but he will not pass genetically this culture to their hypothetical sons, ONLY if a progressively strong selection filter is happening. What usually happens with non-human animals, the selection is so strong that only the most-of-the-most fit for a certain culture-environment that can thrive demographically.

    So how does a parasitic wasp know how to hide its prey in a hole by putting leaves/sheets on top *

    Because this ability has been intensely selected OR only the wasps that knew how to do this that were being selected, perhaps for thousands, millions of years.

    Humans seems have this assymetry between their hardware and their software, so maybe it’s not wrong to say we have both. Humans inherit a fine layer of freedom.

    So i believe there is a degree of tolerance or compatibility between our hardware and our current (and definitive*) software.

  47. @Santoculto

    That was the example offered by the author of the article, not my own. “Superior” is a subjective (and loaded) word when it comes to culture, imo. The author could just have easily inserted Chinese culture, for example, and it would be unlikely that the 12 yr old living in rural Venezuela or most other parts of South America would be busily investigating the concepts behind the use of empty space in Chinese painting, the key differences among Taoism, Confucianism and Ch’an Buddhism, even after watching a Bruce Lee movie, or perhaps Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon if stumbled across. Even imagining that child pondering the wit and wisdom of Chairman Mao is a bit of a stretch.

    Western culture, however, does have a depth and breadth that other cultures lack.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
  48. @G-Lord

    Most technological development arises from high intelligence.
    Thinking creatively requires high intelligence to provide anything of value.
    Divergent thinking bereft of high ability contributes little.
    You can contest these statements by showing that any measure of “creativity” or “divergent thinking” is related to technological development, once you have controlled for general intelligence.
    Rex Jung a good person to read on these issues.

    More directly, on technological innovation

    • Replies: @edNels
    , @G-lord
  49. @G-Lord

    That’s all good and nice, but ignoring potential arguments that one socio or ethnic group may or may not be more creative than others, you need safety and security to give you enough time to apply your creativity, and you are less likely to have that luxury in a diverse environment. As said before in these pages, there is a higher correlation between diversity and violence than there is between guns and violence.

  50. edNels says:
    @James Thompson

    Crows have learned some neat tricks even with a bird brain. Insects too, all of the natural fawna and even flora have technologically complex behaviors, and they can’t really even take your IQ tests that you love so much.

    Another thing that might be factored in, is so called parallel development. two or more, many, have developed technological devices throughout time.

    I think you are completely self obsessed with your own and your buddies high IQ scores, and don’t enjoy anything that might diminish that form of exceptionalism that you types bask in. I just read another book that confirms my experience about the useless nature of Math: the Math Myth by Hacker. He if I might infer, says math is really about excluding masses of students from further studies, as a Screen out: As a teacher I knew used to say.

    So many high IQ people are so very conversant on so many acedemic subjects, and so very thin on practical nuts and bolts or real world applications. he race to get rich

  51. @Montefrío

    Subjectivity come from objectivity, they are not separated things.

    Objectivity come from object that come from concrete things.

    Yes, ”’western’ culture” is not linearly superior than ”’eastern ‘culture””, this differences can be understood as ”subjective”, but i prefer to see them as mutually diverse in their comparative perspectives, i mean, for something ”western” culture is superior than ”eastern” culture, for otherthing ”western” culture will be the same than ”eastern” culture, for plusthing ”western” culture will be inferior than ”eastern” culture. If the ”western world” were a paradise if compared with ”eastern world” so no doubt ”western culture” would be superior, but we are talking about two spheres with a variety of qualitative aspects, the hell, the purgatory and the heaven can be found in both.

    But, my opinion, it’s not subjective.

    subjective usually are two or ”in pair” ”things” that are in the same qualitative levels but varies in quantitative levels or otherwise.

    For example, if you eat killed pigs or dogs, specially for you and/for most here, it’s subjective. So cultural comparisons between ”west” and ”east” will be ”subjective”.

    My comment directed to you was based on the idea that someone who live isolated from western culture probably is in bad situation while this hypothetical individual can be living very well and embodied by a personally useful culture, isn’t*

  52. G-lord says:
    @James Thompson

    Perhaps, but many populations who you would likely describe as low intelligence rely on creativity and divergent thinking ability in order to survive in extremely unforgiving/harsh environments.

    E.g. aboriginals from Aus etc.

    So once again, we can see that environmental context and in particular culture affects such outcomes.

    More broadly the greatest ‘creative’ contribution of the 20th century (in an artistic sense) arose from African-American peoples (aka Jazz: the greatest cultural contribution that the US made to the world) which is again, inconsistent with your thesis that African-Americans are less intelligent than Euros.

  53. @G-lord

    More broadly the greatest ‘creative’ contribution of the 20th century (in an artistic sense) arose from African-American peoples (aka Jazz: the greatest cultural contribution that the US made to the world)


    the greatest cultural contribution that the US made to the world


    • Replies: @G-Lord
  54. @G-lord

    ” Jazz ,the greatest cultural contribution that the US made to the world”
    Of course the african-american input to the art form of jazz is huge and undeniable, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and many many others were nothing short of musical geniuses, however in the the jazz world, of which I have been a member for the last fifty years, there is a old, well know axiom with which every jazz player, black or white, is familiar, and that being : “JS Bach was the first jazz musician”, and for non-musicians this may sound strange however there are definite musical justifications, for this viewpoint beginning with his, Bach’s, concept of eight/sixteenth note movement, and his relentless drive or one could say swing. Aside from this jazz music employs european harmony, scales etc, which were unknown in african music such as was four beat meter, africans used a six or three beat meter.
    No one could ever deny the importance of african american contribution to jazz music, however many of the ground breakers, innovators, such as Bix Beiderbecke, were white and in the jazz community there is absolutely no discussion of this issue as white and black jazz player respect each other on the basis of creativity.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

    • Replies: @G-Lord
  55. G-Lord says:

    I disagree. It’s went a little like this (in reverse order).

    Pop music (hip hop, rock, metal you name it etc.)
    Blues (tonality of field songs in addition to western instruments)
    Field songs (African/Blues tonalities).
    Slavery (unique in the US where instruments were not allowed to come from Africa, unlike more South American slaves: hence the different instrumentation).

    Blues/Jazz (and therefore all popular music) is a descendant of the political/geo-political context of slavery, in which African-American’s (through their creative genius) were able to combine the tonality of their ancestors with the instrumentation of the European world. Nothing has made a greater mark on the cultural landscape of the world (including sports) than the proliferation of African musics within an American context, which have given rise to basically all popular music that exists today, in addition to trillions in economic benefit and improvement in wellbeing for most of humanity etc. It is the greatest creative/artistic revolution of (possibly) all time. And it was African-Americans that did it.

  56. G-Lord says:

    I am (was) a jazz musician too…

    I agree with some of what you say. The point I’m making is that the James’ argument about IQ providing an index of potential or economic benefit of peoples is simplistic and is a culturally deterministic value judgement. The example of Jazz was intended to argue that African-America people (who he determines to be of less intelligence that euros) made the greatest cultural contribution of the 20th century, which if we include the descents of jazz (pop, hip hop etc.), makes/made an un-measurable contribution to the wellbeing of people (both psychologically and economically).

  57. Unmeasurable contributions are unmeasurable.

  58. @G-Lord

    Your point of views. You’re saying african-american artists give greatest contributions to the music in the XX century. I agree that they give great contributions, but i don’t think it was greatest ones, supremacist way. XX century music become very diverse, with so many artists, many them who are unfairly not-so-popular. At the same time the musical menu become more diverse, interesting, also become more unequal in quality, with gems and germs, but also very democratic.

    Well, you’re great fan of Jazz music, i’m not. I respect, i find great quality there but i prefer instrumental music with existential appeal like this:

  59. @G-Lord

    ” Were able to combine the tonality of their ancestors with the instrumentation of the european world”.

    This is profoundly wrong, simply because european instruments are/were constructed to employ european tonality, and therefore it would have been impossible to employ the “Tonality” of their ( african) ancestors upon european instruments.
    The first blues creators were employing european tonality within their music whether you like it or not.
    The flat seventh (blue note) of a major scale , and the flat third ( blue note) existed long before US slavery, and were used throughout europe, and were very much a part of Scotch/Irish folk music, meaning, if you will that the Scotch and Irish musicians were playing “blues” music,from an expanded point of view without having set foot in the US.

    “Blues/ Jazz ( and therefore all popular music) is a descendant of the political/geopolitical context of slavery”

    This is beyond rediculous ” Therefore all popular music”, as you are implying that the French, German, Italian, Scotch,Irish,French, English settlers had no input in the area of popular music, and if you had any knowledge of european musical history you would never make such an absurd statement.

    Authenticjazzman, “Mensa ” society member of froty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

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