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The IQ Problem


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#81
caltrek

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Why are economic powerhouses those countries with high average IQs (such as Japan and South Korea)?

 

 

 

Why do some people insist on confusing cause with effect?

 

(I love playing answer a question with a question :bye: )


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#82
caltrek

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I'd like to ask both of you a question:  (1) do you deny Natural Selection is still taking place in every species?  (2) What do you think would have happened if humans existed as isolated groups around the world for a couple of million of years?

 

 1. No.

 

2. That is such a hypothetical that, detached from our apparent collective past as it is, is not even worth answering.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#83
nomad

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Wait, Outlook was on Stormfront? 

:rabbi: Oi vey!
Anyways, assuming different populations have evolved slightly differently, you can't objectively say any of them are the Master Race anymore than you can say that a certain ice cream flavor is the Master Flavor. So what if there are some consistent differences, nobody here seems to feel the need to be a jerk about it. A world of genetic clones leave humanity wide open to mass pandemic deaths anyways.


Cats.


#84
TheComrade

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Anyways, assuming different populations have evolved slightly differently, you can't objectively say any of them are the Master Race anymore than you can say that a certain ice cream flavor is the Master Flavor.

 

It seems this topic (evolutionary differences of human races) is a strict taboo in Western culture. Anyway, if even such differences are real, we can say for sure that they are much less significant than cultural differences. Other words, your socio-cultural environment is more important than your ancestry. Also, even in this case, it is very difficult to define "master culture" or "backward culture". One culture may promote individualism and another one may promote collectivism and conformism. And each trait may be useful or harmful, depending on the specific situation...



#85
caltrek

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Yes, I think agree to disagree pretty much sums it up.

 

Where  I do agree:

 

 

Just in conclusion, I am not saying any culture/race is superior to any other. I am simply saying that racial differences are based in the genetic code... as should be obvious, as all information on protein formation is encoded in the genome, and it is the difference in protein formation that causes the differences we see amongst the races.

 

 

 

What I find more problematic is the equation of race and culture and the very use of the notion of evolution.  Organisms don't evolve to be "the best" for their surroundings, whatever that may mean. They survive and they reproduce. Evolution selects what survives and what reproduces. Surroundings have a lot to do with that, but so does dumb luck. (I suggest you read Chance and Necessity by Jacques Monod on that score).

 

"Culture" is the same way. What survives is what survives. It is not "the best", it is simply what survived.  Again surroundings have a lot to do with that, but so does dumb luck.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#86
kjaggard

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back onto the topic of IQ rather than genetics, cultures, and racial aspects.

 


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#87
caltrek

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http://www.professor...elligences.html

 

 

Since publishing his original list of seven intelligences, Gardner has added Naturalist and Existential to bring the total number to nine Intelligences.

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#88
caltrek

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It would be foolhardy to argue that the "General Intelligence" of an Albert Einstein was no greater than what in the past we referred to as a mentally retarded individual.  In that sense, I don't have a problem with the notion of General Intelligence so long as it is kept in its proper box. 

 

  1. I presume that aptitudes vary from person to person.  So that any person of high General Intelligence will still have relative strengths and weaknesses.
  2. I question whether an IQ test can measure such general intelligence with any great precision.  For example, let us take a language that you do not know how to speak and to which you have had little exposure.  If I were to administer an IQ test to you in that language, I might end up concluding that you ar an imbecile.  Such foreign language could in other cases include the "language" of mathematics, its symbols and historically developed concepts.  So any such test of necessity involves cultural bias.
  3. Grammar is an interesting subject in this regard.  I heard somewhere that consistancy in the use of grammar is actually greater among low income ghetto dwellers of a shared ethnic background than it is among highly educated individuals.  Yet, certain subgroups of a population throw certain switches in their heads so that their grammar, consistent as it might be, does not conform to what is considered to be good grammar in the larger population.  Different grammatical structures can also result in confusion as to meaning. So there again you have a cultural bias.
  4. There is the old cliche about the number of different words that Eskimos have for "snow".  Such individuals might do very well in regards to questions regarding "snow", but may very well be perplexed by discussions of "cactus". 
  5. So the lexicon that one is exposed to in the course of one's life might impact upon how one does in dealing with intelligence tests.
  6. I read somewhere that the actor James Woods is thought to have one of the highest IQs ever determined for an individual in human history. While Woods is an accomplished actor, he has done very little to otherwise demonstrate his high intillegence.  At least not like say Albert Einstein. Yet Wood's IQ is actually rated higher than that of Einstein. Moreover, there are many other actors and actresses of IQs substantially below that of Woods who have turned in performances that are probably rated by their peers as better than the best that Woods has produced.
  7. IQ scores as averaged across populations do improve based on the circumstances of that population.  That is why, when you adjust for the variables of such circumstances, the IQs of all ethnic groups on average are virtually the same.  Well within the margin of error for such measurements. 

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#89
StanleyAlexander

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There are many (certainly at least 8-12) different ways to define intelligence.  Some might be more practical than others when it comes to thriving in the future.  But humanity has always been diverse in its capabilities, and far from holding us back, those who question advancements and are skeptical of new technologies help keep us honest and our developments strong...even if they seem like crazy hyperreligious luddites at the time.  It would be better for billions to advance slowly and surely, benefitting as many as possible, than for thousands to advance quickly and haphazardly, possibly endangering everyone.

 

In other words: IMO, "dumb people" don't hurt us, they help us.


Humanity's destiny is infinity

#90
caltrek

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In other words: IMO, "dumb people" don't hurt us, they help us.

 

 

 

 

I find that many people that some here might consider to be "dumb" are actually very honest in comparison to a minority of very intelligent people. They often work very hard and are sometimes generous to a fault in helping out others less fortunate than they are in material circumstance.  This, despite the fact that they themselves are often poorly paid and have little wealth to their name. Personally, I often have difficulty telling apart people who do well in academics from people who have poor reading and writing skills until occassions arise where I review their written work.  Such people can also have impressive knowledge, skills and insights in relation to their work experience, even though they are not good test takers. They often express themselves verbally as clearly as folks of supposed higher intelligence. They can also suprise you on occassion with brilliant insights. It is just that those insights are fewer and farther in between than those of "higher" intelligence.  That doesn't make their insights any less brilliant when they do manifest themselves.  So, yes, they can have the effect of keeping others of high intellect "honest". 

 

Alternatively, they are more worth socializing with than an individual of high intelligence that will, metaphorically speaking, stab you in the back at the drop of a hat. They are at least more trustworthy and worthy of friendship, even if they can be a bit boring to hang out with sometimes.    


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#91
StanleyAlexander

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^ Agreed.  Simple intelligence, no matter how multi-faceted it may be, is not a good indicator of what is truly most valuable to human civilization or to its advancement.


Humanity's destiny is infinity

#92
RoboTheo

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Quite surprised that this topic was so controversial.

The scientific consensus is pretty clear on IQ and intelligence. In 1994, a note called 'Mainstream Science on Intelligence' was published in the Wall Street Journal, having been authored and signed by a number of experts. It was authored in response to a controversial book (The Bell Curve), the critics of which were often guilty of misunderstanding science or promoting pseudoscience. While this note is dated, and opinions fluctuate (even at the time, it had its critics), it still very much represents the scientific consensus on IQ and intelligence. This view is held by the overwhelming majority of specialists, including high-profile scholars like (Stephen) Pinker and (Douglas) Hofstadter. 

As to the importance of IQ - it depends on the context of the question. Those disciplines that have been demonstrated to require high levels of 'innate brilliance' (maths, philosophy, economics, etc.) tend to be filled by high IQ people, and with some minor caveats and exceptions to the rule, the higher the IQ, the better they tend to be at their discipline. Of course, genius - like Feynman or Einstein - requires more than innate ability. It requires environmental stimuli (in the form of access to education, for example), determination, creativity etc. Academic disciplines in general require high intelligence, but the extent to which is largely dependent on  the field. There are plenty of very necessary occupations that don't require high IQ, and it is obviously not the be all and end all, even in affairs of the mind.

As an aside, the Feynman, it is worth exercising a little skepticism - the test Feynman claimed to have scored 125 on is never mentioned, and there is no guarantee that it was a proper IQ test, or that he was trying to do particularly well, or that any number of things didn't throw him off on the day, or even that he wasn't just making it up because he thought IQ was a pointless metric and wanted to encourage people to rely on effort rather than innate ability. An IQ of 125 is below the average for a physics graduate, and success in physics is highly correlated with high IQ.

I think IQ is probably best thought of in the same way as athleticism - a broad underlying measurement of ability that can be expressed differently in different people and is important in a context dependent way. Gymnasts aren't Footballers - but they share that underlying trait.

Without attempting to insult anyone here, I think sensitivity to IQ differentials is a direct results of three things: that the belief in equality is fundamental to the structure of western culture and society; individualism is similarly fundamental to western identity, perhaps as a hold-over from Christian thought, which postulates an individual soul; and that we live in what is (nominally, if not actually) a meritocracy - worth is directly tied to ability. 

It's worth mentioning that in China (and the East more generally), these qualms are notably absent. The Chinese government is actively attempting to isolate the genetic causes of IQ disparity and increase the nation's average IQ. Of course they would - IQ is hugely important for a society, far more so than it is for an individual. An individual with a low IQ can achieve success in any number of meaningful occupations; but a nation that is severely handicapped in regards to IQ will see its scientists, politicians, military leaders and the like significantly disadvantaged. 

So, I think the op is a good one. With the rise of the automated economy, millions of people who are currently employed in positions that do not require a high IQ (truck drivers, factory workers and the like) will be displaced. The jobs that may replace them - computer programming, for example - generally require more intellectual ability. As a (hopefully) enlightened society, how can we provide for people who fall through the cracks? What happens to those in a capitalist meritocracy who no longer have merit (utility) as a form of capital (for the production of wealth)? In socialist countries like France, the state will be placed under a crippling burden; in places like America, the fall out could be far worse.

One obvious answer to address this coming shit storm is through the re-allocation of resources. Inequality is probably the great (social) challenge of our time. But it is not as simple as simply reallocating existent resources (which would be morally repugnant anyway - bizarrely, this is not the first time the communist revolution has been mentioned in this thread) - we need to construct a self-sustaining methodology for future sharing. 

 



#93
caltrek

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So, I think the op is a good one. With the rise of the automated economy, millions of people who are currently employed in positions that do not require a high IQ (truck drivers, factory workers and the like) will be displaced. The jobs that may replace them - computer programming, for example - generally require more intellectual ability. As a (hopefully) enlightened society, how can we provide for people who fall through the cracks? What happens to those in a capitalist meritocracy who no longer have merit (utility) as a form of capital (for the production of wealth)? In socialist countries like France, the state will be placed under a crippling burden; in places like America, the fall out could be far worse

 

I think you are way too pessimistic here.  Perhaps you have missed the discussions of how robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are displacing the work force.  This means the same amount of production occurs with a smaller work force due to increased productivity.  Therefore, there will be no "crippling burden".  Instead, what will be needed is a system of equitable wealth distribution.

 

Also, your comments appear  to assume that capitalist systems are inherently fair meritocracies. This is simply not the case.  Inherited wealth and related circumstances of race and ethnic heritage have a huge impact on the distribution of wealth.  People with high IQs are often thwarted in their aspirations due to the poor availability of education, racial, ethnic, and gender based discrimination, etc. Related to this point, education is also probably a far more significant variable than is IQ. I find that I often win debates against people who claim IQs higher than my own simply because I was lucky enough to receive a superior education. When I say "win" I mean based on quality of sources cited, agreement with those sources, and approval of others who are reviewing the debates and offering their own opinions as to who is right and who has missed the boat. Environmental factors can also be important.  Just talk to the Flint, Michigan residents whose children's IQs have been reduced due to lead poisoning.

 

Finally, future societies should be "user friendly".  People should have work places where they can produce wealth with the assistance of  AI and robots. They should not be completely replaced by such devices unless they are given adequate resources to live comfortable lives.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#94
RoboTheo

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Hi Caltrek, thanks for the reply. I have replied to your post in the quote so I can do it point by point. Apologies if that makes it harder to read:

 

 

 

So, I think the op is a good one. With the rise of the automated economy, millions of people who are currently employed in positions that do not require a high IQ (truck drivers, factory workers and the like) will be displaced. The jobs that may replace them - computer programming, for example - generally require more intellectual ability. As a (hopefully) enlightened society, how can we provide for people who fall through the cracks? What happens to those in a capitalist meritocracy who no longer have merit (utility) as a form of capital (for the production of wealth)? In socialist countries like France, the state will be placed under a crippling burden; in places like America, the fall out could be far worse

 

CAL: I think you are way too pessimistic here.  Perhaps you have missed the discussions of how robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are displacing the work force.  This means the same amount of production occurs with a smaller work force due to increased productivity.  Therefore, there will be no "crippling burden".  Instead, what will be needed is a system of equitable wealth distribution.

 

ROB: Is the above a typo? I.e: "This means the same amount of production occurs with a smaller work force due to increased productivity." If not, then you are reiterating my point: a smaller workforce will produce more - the question is, what happens to the people who used to be part of this workforce when it was larger? I agree that we need a system of equitable wealth distribution - I am perhaps more pessimistic than you as to whether or not we can find one quickly enough. Out of interest, if we can't or don't manage to redistribute wealth to people, what do you see as the fate of those people whose work has been displaced? Or do you subscribe to the belief that the rise of new forms of labor will occupy as many or more people than those forms which have been displaced?

 

CAL: Also, your comments appear  to assume that capitalist systems are inherently fair meritocracies.

ROB: That's actually not my position. Of course, it is possible to have capitalist societies that are not meritocracies and vice versa. I actually described our society as "nominally, if not actually, a meritocracy". What I mean here is that, regardless of how wealth is actually distributed, our explanations for the divergence is through merit. It is also worth mentioning that, at least the way capitalism is usually practised in the west, this is a direct offshoot of the free market, where products and services compete. From its inception, Smith proclaimed that the 'invisible hand of the market' would be a self-regulatory force - that is, the better services and products would experience more demand, and therefore those people that offered them would profit accordingly.

CAL: This is simply not the case.  Inherited wealth and related circumstances of race and ethnic heritage have a huge impact on the distribution of wealth.  People with high IQs are often thwarted in their aspirations due to the poor availability of education, racial, ethnic, and gender based discrimination, etc. Related to this point, education is also probably a far more significant variable than is IQ. I find that I often win debates against people who claim IQs higher than my own simply because I was lucky enough to receive a superior education. When I say "win" I mean based on quality of sources cited, agreement with those sources, and approval of others who are reviewing the debates and offering their own opinions as to who is right and who has missed the boat. Environmental factors can also be important.  Just talk to the Flint, Michigan residents whose children's IQs have been reduced due to lead poisoning.

 

ROB: This, I agree with wholeheartedly. I also agree with the ethical position of your final statement below, although I am skeptical as to whether that is what we will see in practise, at least initially.

 

CAL: Finally, future societies should be "user friendly".  People should have work places where they can produce wealth with the assistance of  AI and robots. They should not be completely replaced by such devices unless they are given adequate resources to live comfortable lives.

 



#95
caltrek

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@RoboTheo,

 

Thank you for your clarification.  We are closer than I initially thought.

 

I think my optimism is based on what is technologically feasible.  Politically, it is possible to be far more pessimistic.  A lot will depend upon political will.  


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls





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