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Posts Tagged ‘intelligence’

Is There A Type Of Thinking Unique To Western Civilization?

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Human biodiversity took the world by storm because we had been sleepwalking for so long under the assumptions of the blank slate fallacy that emerging from it was like discovering a whole new world.

In this new view of existence, instead of viewing all humans as identical and therefore able to understand the same things, we entered a time that was not linear but topographic, where each person occupied some height and those at the top could see more than the rest. This also awakened people to population IQ averages.

As part of that, people were quick to note that high Asians and Jews ranked at the highest on the average IQ scale, with whites below them, and low Asians, Hispanics and blacks below that. Even more interestingly, some of the least-performing white groups had higher average IQs. This prompted some to be critical of IQ itself.

More accurately, we can see two factors involved: first, that average IQs do not reveal the full distribution, in which a certain number of geniuses may coexist with a population far below them; second, that while IQ is a good first step in distinguishing intelligence, and a prerequisite toward any other dimensions of intelligence, it is not the whole story.

It turns out that different groups think differently, and that there is something unique about not just Europeans, but Western Europeans, who are the same genetic group that founded ancient Greece and Rome and live on in Western and North-Western Europe today.

Our first view of this unique intelligence of the West, ironically, comes from observing other groups and what they do well — as well as what they cannot do. Some insight into this comes from a critical look at the vaunted Chinese educational system:

She said that the Chinese economics students generally had superior math skills and the ability to quickly solve complex calculus problems, but her American students generally had a better grasp on the underlying concepts and context, were able to better recognize when certain calculations were incorrect (like a negative number for the price of a good), and were more creative with solutions.

Assuming that American students are generally Western European, as is the majority in America, we can see a difference in intelligence: better grasp of the structure of concepts, context and range of outcomes.

In other words, they have a stronger grasp of theory and a better “gut sense” of how it fits into the background and other underlying concepts, where the Asian approach is more linear and focused on a single point at a time.

We might generalize this as Westerners being more aware of context, or the relationship between the focal point and its background, including the underlying concepts necessary to understand the why of something.

Wanting to know reasons why correlates highly with context because it involves a tracking of cause-effect relationships, especially those which are not linear. Linear events involve a single motion triggering consequences, where non-linear events consist of thresholds, context and patterns.

This clash of approaches was first documented in Plato, who wrote his theory of causality as the study of forms, or patterns of events that repeat across time, in different media, and are consistent between intuition and material reality. A chair is a logical construct based on the demands of gravity, the human form and balance, and so it is consistent in our thinking and in the world. It is the simplest object that can serve its purpose, and we know it not purely through the visual, but through an understanding of its internal function, for example that the legs support the weight and the back keeps the person in the chair. That enables us to look at a stack of boxes and place it against a wall, knowing that the boxes serve as the legs and the wall as the back of the “chair.” The pattern remains consistent.

If there is a unique Western intelligence, it can be found in this seeking of a language of patterns for both objects observed and context, aware that causality is very rarely fully linear and that effects develop from completion of a pattern, rather than a single event being responsible for a wider spread of events. This in turn implies a closer look into context, from which transcendence — a sense of the benevolence of life that arises from understanding the reasoning for its patterns, which are chosen as the best possible result according to the background of logic and other events which must be supported — emerges as a natural direction of thought. When context is understood fully, thinking points toward a different direction in considering cause-effect relationships, and sees the possibility of the divine, which as we see from Western attempts to re-invent religion in secular form, seems hard-wired into the Western intelligence.

When Asiatics take over Western Civilizations, as is happening now with the Chinese purchases of land and businesses in America, this uniquely Western method of thinking is lost, replaced by more of a focus on the individual and “balance,” which is not a transcendental appreciation of life, but a pragmatic fatalism which attempts to adapt to conditions as they are instead of finding reasoning behind them and rising above them.

Some might attribute this to Asian thinking being too linear, but more likely it occurs because the traits of any racial or ethnic group are not singularly encoded, but through a matrix of similar related traits, and when this group is outbred, that ability is lost because huge parts of the matrix are replaced with competing traits from the other group. Even melding different white ethnic groups seems to lose whatever made each group distinctive and the powers conveyed to it.

We might see the failing of the West as being too non-linear, which means that we tolerate too much individualism because we do not impose hard standards enough. If the East is too linear, then the West has gone too much in the opposite direction, but perhaps that has occurred because the West has forgotten the nature of patterns to include both focal point and context, and instead has chosen focal point alone because it is most easily understood as relevant by the individual, and when social control takes over our societies, it becomes important to choose things that “everyone” can understand.

The fragmentation of Western thought has created a dictatorship of the clever over the intelligent. The clever can be intelligent enough to earn a lot of money, run a successful business, invent gadgets, program a computer, choose successful stocks, compose jazz or win an election, but they lack the ability to discern the world outside of the human social frameworks upon which they depend for context. The intelligent see a broader context in the patterns of the world, the universe and logic in parallel, and therefore are able to see farther ahead in time and reject many of the plans of the clever as limited to the short term.

Jewish intelligence provides an interesting counterpoint since Jews are essentially the product of Occident and Orient mixing in the middle East. While they are immensely talented in the areas of finance, mathematics and science, Jews seem to have lost something of the Western intelligence, as is shown by their lower performance in literature and classical music. A narrower focus toward the linear makes people immediately more productive, but precludes their ability to see the broader context necessary to make transcendent works and observations. This could be what distinguishes the West.

Similarly, when a Western empire falls and mixes with its imported populations, the Western intellect is lost and it gradually fails to produce any of the relevant cultural objects. As the West reconsiders its flirtation with multiculturalism, it makes sense to point out that when we hybridize, we lose the core of our thinking and perhaps, our souls.

And The Dumb Shall Inherit The Earth

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Houston, we have a problem. A worse problem than having Sheila Jackson Lee represent your fair city in Congress. This problem relates to how she can wonder where on Mars US astronauts put the flag and still keep getting reelected. Her being dumb is less problematic than a horde of gimmedat-seekers not caring how stupid she is as long the money keeps coming their way. If you want to know who is really stupid, take a look at all the people being born in the modern world.

The world’s IQ is currently in decline. Maybe its a slow decline, maybe its not in your neck of the woods. But it’s only five o’clock somewhere if the people in that locale are smart enough to read their watches or iPhones. That is increasingly debatable. With Dr. Richwine successfully burned at the stake as a sacrifice to the Cucks and the SJW Gods, perhaps we can get past chic outrage and actually lay out just how damn dumb it is really getting out there.

1. The population-weighted cross-national mean IQ-score is 89.03, with SD of 12.89, for 123 nations. There are roughly 550,000 individuals in the included samples.

2. The countries of Latvia and Belarus are new in the dataset and are included in the geographic means, but Latvia still has poor data quality.

3. At the level of records (source), my re-estimated (DB) and Richard’s original (L&V) data give:

DB: M=85.58; SD=13.73; N=358
L&V: M=85.36; SD=12.69; N=315

They are highly similar. The mean difference was estimated for 314 records as only 1.06, with a SD of 5.84. 75% of the re-estimated IQs are within this SD.

4. But I would also emphasize that there are some other re-estimated scores which more than 15 IQ-scores away from Richard’s and the reason for this has to be determined urgently. Especially scores from Coloured Progressive Matrices (the new ones) are sometimes implausible.

So, it is overall important for me to say that this is a work in progress and the dataset is more suitable to find global patterns rather than the exact IQs of single nations.

So let’s paint a picture of this for people who don’t speak the Sperg Tongue of Statistics on a regular basis.

How does this statistical model compare to what has been rigorously measured in the field? Here’s what has been measured about 15 years ago in the field.

These numbers came from a work carried out from 2002 to 2006 by Richard Lynn, a British Professor of Psychology, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish Professor of Political Science, who conducted IQ studies in more than 80 countries.

This gives us a slightly more nuanced view than the model. Countries can certainly get plenty dumb, but nobody produces a population of IQ 120 for example.

To get a sense of why Lynn-Verhanen is a bad news story, let’s juxtapose it against the predictive model.

So the obvious question then becomes which nations are having kids. Are they the smart ones or the dumb ones? The New Scientist tells us the following:

Could the population bomb be about to go off in the most unexpected way? Rather than a Malthusian meltdown, could we instead be on the verge of a demographic implosion?

To find out how and why, go to Japan, where a recent survey found that people are giving up on sex. Despite a life expectancy of 85 and rising, the number of Japanese is falling thanks to a fertility rate of just 1.4 children per woman, and a reported epidemic of virginity. The population, it seems, are too busy (and too shy) to procreate.

It’s catching. Half the world’s nations have fertility rates below the replacement level of just over two children per woman. Countries across Europe and the Far East are teetering on a demographic cliff, with rates below 1.5. On recent trends, Germany and Italy could see their populations halve within the next 60 years.

These are predominantly the White and South-East Asian Cultures. Where are children still being rapidly procreated? Here’s where according to The New Scientist.

For now, the world’s population continues to rise. From today’s 7.4 billion people, we might reach 9 billion or so, mostly because of high fertility in Africa. The UN predicts a continuing upward trend, with population reaching around 11.2 billion in 2100. But this seems unlikely. After hitting the demographic doldrums, no country yet has seen its fertility recover. Many demographers expect a global crash to be under way by 2076.

Again, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are two that will clue you in on where our next generational cohort is being born exactly.

Now the Liberal Arts Whiner would ask “But what does all this mean?”

Fair question and here’s your answer. We start by marrying out two data sets that track IQ by nation. These two data sets had a total of 182 countries that had both IQ and TFR data. Split these into deciles, and we can compare the smartest 18 countries (Decile 1) to the dumbest 18 countries (Decile 10) with regared to both IQ and Birthrate. The chart below shows us what we learn.

1) TFR and IQ are negatively correlated. (TFR = -0.0742(IQ) + 8.9213). It intercepts the Population Replacement TFR (2.10) at IQ = 91.93. The 51 highest IQ nations amongst those that had measured both IQ and TFR could be predicted to be below TFR. Only 4 statistical outlier nations amongst the 51 highest were above 2.10.

2) 131 Nations were below the 91.93 IQ threshold. Of those, only 90 had a TFR above replacement. This is a replacement rate of 70%. (90/131).

This obviously suggests that our future involves a continued decline in global IQ. Eventually, we will have to encourage the smarter people of the world to place a bet on the future. It belongs to the people who bother to show up, and those putting a hand in the air don’t seem to bring much to the table. Without a change in the attitudes of intelligent people towards reproducing, the dumb shall truly inherit the Earth.

Reddit User Correctly Satirizes Reddit Userbase

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Acknowledging the educated-but-not-intelligent nature of the social media userbase, Reddit user RasputinUK viciously satirized Reddit users with an unforgettable portrayal of the psychology of that group:

I applaud you for applying all the concepts you are learning at community college. I also recognize your courage in leaving the safe space to compose and send this response.

You impress me with your ability to incorporate phrases into a coherent foundation to support your arguments. I would even venture to say you are probably the smartest barista at the coffee shop or clerk at Whole Foods.

Modernity, by its denial of caste, has instructed people through its propaganda to believe that anyone can, if they are “educated,” be intelligent, when the truth is that intelligence occurs in varying degrees and is innate, although it is enhanced by nutrition and mental activity at a young age.

As a result of this education-propaganda industry, we now have baristas who can read and write well enough, but not understand any arguments more complex than one level of analysis. If you ever wonder why political debates seem like a battle between linguistic categories with no depth, this is why: the new American audience does not understand what it is discussing, but is sure that it is right and anyone with actual intelligence is wrong.

We can see this same problem in effect within the professional class of journalists and bureaucrats, who are stumped by relatively simple statements:

Days after the controversial right-wing media pundit said it was more “credible” to blame Hurricane Harvey’s devastation on the city’s election of a gay mayor than climate change, the official in question hit back with a succinct yet effective response:

I don’t believe Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that is more credible than “climate change.”

The response from gay mayor Annise Parker, who like her predecessors ignored the need to enhance or replace Houston’s flood control system, is not worth quoting, but the confusion of the Huffington Post is worth analyzing.

They say she said that it was “more ‘credible’ to blame Hurricane Harvey’s devastation on the city’s election of a gay mayor than climate change.” The use of the scare quotes around “credible” is designed to imply that she was in fact arguing for the notion that Hurricane Harvey’s devastation was attributable to a gay mayor (although, as said above, the devastation was in part her fault).

But let us look at the statement:

  • I don’t believe Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor.
  • But that is more credible than “climate change.”

The first hint to understanding this statement is to understand that the topic is climate change, which is compared to something which Coulter says she does not believe, which she then says is “more credible,” a relative measurement. In other words, she is trotting out a statement she thinks is wrong, and saying that this is more believable than climate change.

In other words, she is slamming climate change and the gay mayor hypothesis at once. This escaped the “professional” writers at the Huffington Post. This is exactly the same depthless and logic-averse perception that is common on Reddit, and while that level of intellect does not interfere with making adequate coffee, it is too weak for politics.

This shows us that while Idiocracy has gone from satire to prophecy to documentary during the Obama years, the real threat is not from people who are obvious idiots, but from our new ethnic- and racially-diverse middle class which specializes in looking intelligent but has zero penetration of analysis.

Our voters do not blatantly indulge in idiotic behavior, but instead are perfect mimics, dressing up in suits and acting as if they were politicians, leaders, and intellects. The epidemic of incompetence in American politics, law, business and academia reflects this new idiocratic “educated” class.

In the past, our people were saner and knew that with very few exceptions, the intelligence of the child reflects the abilities of the parents, and therefore that society can be divided into levels, called “castes,” based on the likely inherited intelligence and moral character of the offspring.

By doing that, we elevated the intelligent above the rest, knowing that the rest — even if “educated” — would be unable to do more than imitate understanding of complex ideas. Here is a rough breakdown of the intelligence aspect of caste:

  • Jarls — aristocrats, thinkers, religious leaders — 125 and above.
  • Karls — warriors and artisans — 115-120s.
  • Thralls — laborers — below 115.

The West thrived because, using this system, it was able to consistently produce people of genius by breeding the parents with the highest chance of producing such offspring, and because these roles were social as well as leadership-related, the people of higher intelligence defined the tastes, products, manners, language and common knowledge of that society.

In our inverted clown world, we have demanded the rejection of any qualitative thinking. This is necessary for us to accept “equality”; there can be no substantial inner differences between things, and the external appearance of them must define their essence. This produces an idiocracy of educated fools, and it is not surprising that our society is correspondingly incompetent at this point.

People Of Genius Made The West, But Only Hierarchy Protects Them

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Back in the delusional early 2000s, it was popular to bleat out the notion that the “wisdom of crowds” enabled humans to do great things in groups. This allows the individual to take credit for the achievements of the group and seems to enforce the idea of equality, which means it does not matter what unique traits individuals have, only that you put interchangeable average humans in the right order.

Recent research suggests that the “wisdom of crowds” is nonsense, and that higher-IQ individuals produce any greatness in a group:

Contrary to prediction, individual IQ accounted for around 80% of group-IQ differences. Hypotheses that group-IQ increases with number of women in the group and with turn-taking were not supported…The experiments instead showed that higher individual IQ enhances group performance such that individual IQ determined 100% of latent group-IQ. Implications for future work on group-based achievement are examined.

From the study itself:

For some time, it has been known that work-groups whose team-members have higher IQ out-perform teams of less-able members (Devine & Philips, 2001). Against this background, Woolley et al. (2010) asked whether groups themselves exhibit a general-factor of intelligence, if this might be distinct from individual IQ, and, if so, what the origins of such a collective intelligence might be.

…The three studies reported here and, especially, the joint modeling cast important light on the origins of high cognitive performance in groups. Rather than a small link of individual IQ to group-IQ, we found that the overlap of these two traits was indistinguishable from 100%. Smart groups are (simply) groups of smart people.

…The finding that IQ and group-IQ can be set equal bolsters studies reported in work-performance showing that groups of bright individuals outperform groups of less able individuals (Devine & Philips, 2001). We take this work to a new level, suggesting that, in terms of latent group-IQ, group performance reflects nothing beyond individual contributions to average IQ. Thus we found no support for the hypothesis that “group intelligence [has] relatively little to do with individual intelligence” (Woolley & Malone, 2011, p. 2).

In other words, if a crowd has wisdom, it is because of the intelligent people in that crowd. Remove those, and you have just organized idiocy, which is probably a good description for your average job.

The problem with crowds is that contrary to conventional wisdom, they are staffed by individualists. The individualist joins a crowd for the ability to be important without having to contribute or adapt, because the crowd is run entirely on social principles which are intuitive to the individualist.

This then creates a tragedy of the commons for social attention, which is a problem when one is seeking answers, because it means that the most digestible and distinctive expressions win out over the more accurate. A tragedy of the commons takes the following form:

The tragedy of the commons develops in this way. Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons. Such an arrangement may work reasonably satisfactorily for centuries because tribal wars, poaching, and disease keep the numbers of both man and beast well below the carrying capacity of the land. Finally, however, comes the day of reckoning, that is, the day when the long-desired goal of social stability becomes a reality. At this point, the inherent logic of the commons remorselessly generates tragedy.

As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain. Explicitly or implicitly, more or less consciously, he asks, “What is the utility to me of adding one more animal to my herd?” This utility has one negative and one positive component.

1) The positive component is a function of the increment of one animal. Since the herdsman receives all the proceeds from the sale of the additional animal, the positive utility is nearly +1.

2) The negative component is a function of the additional overgrazing created by one more animal. Since, however, the effects of overgrazing are shared by all the herdsmen, the negative utility for any particular decision-making herdsman is only a fraction of -1.

Adding together the component partial utilities, the rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. And another; and another…. But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit–in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.

Human attention in a social group is a commons. Whoever is willing to inject themselves into the dialogue, or perform a distracting behavior or stunt, is able to take some of the attention. This creates a force entirely opposite to the perception of reality, which is a force based in the recognition of human interest.

In contrast, what made the West great was its emphasis on results in reality that enabled it to create a hierarchy based on those who demonstrated exceptional ability to not just lead, but lead us toward the best results instead of simply bare minimums. For this reason, despite not having the highest average IQ, the West produced the greatest amount of genius, and those geniuses enabled the West to have exceptional competence. Leftists demand that we assume that this competence came from the form of the crowd itself, and not the composition of that crowd, including the exceptional individuals who did all the thinking for it. Hierarchy protected genius from this incursion of the crowd by ensuring that all key positions were held by people who could tell the difference between genius and idiocy, and therefore could elevate genius above the usual babble of the herd, where now the babble holds sway over anything intelligent.

The “wisdom of crowds” is merely a restatement of democracy. The idea there is that politics becomes a commons, and whoever distracts the greatest number of people from real problems, wins. Unfortunately, as the evidence from this above study shows, this marginalizes intelligence and guarantees an incompetent result.

Democracy’s Triumph: Idiocracy

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Why is it that, thousands of years after the collapse of the two most promising human societies, ancient Greece and Rome, the civilizations that have taken their place are essentially third-world ruins? These are populated with racially-mixed people who have moments of insight, but seem to achieve very little that requires long-term concentration.

The answer is that the people in these civilizations went insane, chasing the illusion of a universal truth, and in the process, because they were seeking equality, eliminated themselves genetically. Universalism creates an illusion that demands sacrifice of all functional things for the new god of equality, and this god is only happy when he leaves behind a mediocre, confused audience.

Universalism centers on the idea that all people are “equal,” or that, with the right external influences, we can make an idiot into a genius and a criminal into a noble. Comical, when you think about it, but it makes the majority of people feel good, and so it wins out wherever there are elections and popularity contests.

As it takes over, however, it suspends the need to demonstrate utility; after all, people are accepted whether they are retarded or genius. This makes it advantageous to be stupid, because one does not need to spend any effort in doing that. The intelligent, who are marginalized by their smaller numbers, are then tasked with babysitting the rest and somehow convincing them to do the right thing.

Obviously, this fails, and over the time the herd runs away with the narrative as usual. They gain the upper hand and demonize any of the ideas that intelligent people tend to have, which means that only stupidity wins. If you wonder why formerly great empires consist mostly of idiotic mixed-race opportunists and a small number of intelligent life drop-outs, this is what you are seeing: entropy consumes a population by steadily eroding the value of intelligence.

For example, look at Italy. In theory it has a high average IQ, around 107. The usual Italian one encounters however is not all that bright. What this means is that all of the intelligence was concentrated in relatively few people, and these are not the people one sees on the street. Maybe they are professionals, or hiding in small towns. But they are avoiding public life, because there, they cannot win.

The entire West is heading to an Italy-like duopoly. There will be a few really smart people, mainly because they have been refined by business, academia and having to live by their wits in a society where most people exist in a dysfunctional neurotic delirium. Everyone else will be dumb as rocks, essentially identical to our hominid ancestors but with cell phones.

We can see the first stages of this process through the drop in average IQ across the world:

“We tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were cleverer than modern populations using high-quality instruments, namely measures of simple visual reaction time in a meta-analytic study,” the researchers wrote in the study, which was published online in the journal Intelligence on Thursday. “Simple reaction time measures correlate substantially with measures of general intelligence and are considered elementary measures of cognition.”

…As UPI notes, previous research studies have found that women of higher intelligence tend to have fewer children on average, meaning that population growth may be driven by those with a lower IQ. And over time, the abundance of less intelligent offspring would affect the overall IQ average.

On average, the general intelligence of those populations measured dropped by 1.23 points per decade.

“These findings strongly indicate that with respect to general intelligence the Victorians were substantially cleverer than modern Western populations,” the study says.

So despite the “Flynn effect,” which was an 0.3 point increase per decade in average IQ that has reversed itself over the last decade, our intelligence is in freefall owing to dysgenic factors, the most interesting of which are education and careers. Smarter people spend more time in education, then invest another decade in their careers, leaving them to have fewer children on average, while those who take society less seriously keep on breeding and lower the average IQ.

This provides a sense of the futility of life in the modern West and why the population is committing suicide through dysgenics. To be intelligent is to be saddled with the obligation to take care of the rest of the herd of idiot monkeys, knowing that they cannot and will not care for themselves, so “someone” had better step up and be the “bigger man” and make everything work. That means that among the intelligent, there is fierce competition for jobs and simultaneously, zero support network because in an egalitarian society, there is no pity for someone from an affluent or high-IQ background. As a result, they work themselves to death, have trouble finding mates, have few children when they do, screw up those children with divorce or by trying to control them like their idiot monkey employees, and then only at age 65 do they have a “waking up” moment where they realize that they wasted their entire life on some stupid job, at which point they become miserable and a high percentage of them commit suicide.

The West is not dying because “the wealthy” are destroying it; it is dying because we are destroying “the wealthy,” which means the upper half of middle class people who are cleverer than most, usually of 125 IQ points or above.

And as a result, we have created an Idiocracy where the thoughtless freeload on the leadership of the thoughtful, and because we are all cordycepted by egalitarian ideals, the latter feel obligated to support the former. As a result, they face two cognitive options: first, admit that this is all a failure and that they want a way out, but cannot see one, or second, accept that this situation is failing and rationalize it as either consistent with history or necessary, at which point they feel better about themselves, which is the equivalent of being sure to run hot bath water before you get in the tub and slit your wrists, as that way you will not feel the spine-chilling cold as your vitality drains away.

Across all of the West, as we have gone into a society which is hostile to intelligent people, average IQ rose but now is dropping as intelligent people check out of society and fail to breed, or take it seriously and fail to breed much or well because they are too busy focused on careers and personal drama.

In Denmark, the most rapid rises in IQ, of about 3 points per decade, occurred from the 1950s to the 1980s. Scores peaked in 1998 and have actually declined by 1.5 points since then. Something similar seems to be happening in a few other developed countries, too, including the UK and Australia.

Equality made all of us nothing without our jobs, stuff and social status, which is the opposite of actual social rank because it is based on who is presumed to be “important” for economic reasons. That makes us manic for work, and oblivious to everything else, which then means those areas — family, soul, intellect, body, sanity — atrophy, resulting in people who are fundamentally unstable and not reproducing, a condition which afflicts the most sensitive (in the sense of sensitive instrument more than precious snowflake) people the worst, effecting killing off the next future generation of smarter people.

Naturally, some are going to have trouble with the concept of intelligence as relates to IQ testing itself. New Scientist is a perfect example after pasting this bumble into an article:

Poor performance by immigrants on IQ tests had nothing to do with ethnicity and everything to do with poverty. Malnutrition, poor health and lack of education all depress IQ. As social conditions have improved, IQ scores have shot up in country after country, in what is called the Flynn effect. In the US, they rose by 3 points per decade between 1932 and 1978.

…In some countries, the long rise in IQ scores has come to a halt, and there are even signs of a decline. The reason, according to a few researchers, is that improving social conditions have obscured an underlying decline in our genetic potential. Perhaps we are evolving to be stupid after all.

Their argument inverts itself. If IQ scores can rise but do not rise to the same level, then IQ scores have everything to do with ethnicity. However, these scores can be damaged by malnutrition and general uncertainty regarding tests. When scores go up, and then that effect stalls, it means that IQ was not increased, but there was a momentary advantage because of nutrition or other conditions, but now, that effect is decreasing which means that the overall pressure is downward. This suggests that world average IQ is falling.

Looking at another source, we can see a nuanced pattern:

IQ is rising in some countries, mainly those where nutrition was most depressed, and so those losses are being recaptured; at the same time, it is falling in the West, where there was not as wide a gap between average nutrition and ideal nutrition. It is also falling worldwide, which shows us the Italian pattern: after civilization falls, the average person becomes dumber, and a few smart people cluster at the other end of the scale, raising the average IQ but powerless (apparently) to fix their fallen civilization.

We fear the coming of idiocracy because it means that we will be powerless in such a way. We are dependent on civilization, but that means that it exerts power over us and determines whether the results of our actions will be appreciated or ignored. If we lose control of it, the rise of the dumb means oppression of the smart.

This is one of the reasons why the IQ debate becomes so threatening to modern people. It shows that our future is doom, and that we did it to ourselves by following illusions instead of looking at the hard reality that intelligence is unequal:

The functional importance of general mental ability in everyday life, however, means that without onerous restrictions on individual liberty, differences in mental competence are likely to result in social inequality. This gulf between equal opportunity and equal outcomes is perhaps what pains Americans most about the subject of intelligence. The public intuitively knows what is at stake: when asked to rank personal qualities in order of desirability, people put intelligence second only to good health.

Let’s translate that:

  1. Unless you live in a Communist state, smart people are going to naturally dominate the others.
  2. This means that even with equality and meritocracy laws, we will not have equality of outcomes.
  3. The intelligent will always be healthier, happier and more successful than others.

As parents tell small children, “Life isn’t fair.”

Personally, I would have preferred to have been born movie star handsome with a John Holmes style organ. It would have been great to have flawless vision and teeth, be good at sports, and maybe even naturally smooth with the ladies, instead of just blurting out Lord of the Rings references.

But, nothing is equal, because equality is entropy. If you created a society where everyone had the same IQ and abilities, no choice would be meaningful, and there would be no successes because nothing would change. Eventually, people would like prisoners in solitary confinement just stop trying and go catatonic.

Denial of reality and the mathematical and logical need for inequality has reduced us to this state. This seems to be how all great civilizations destroy themselves: once they are established, people take them for granted, and then those who are not successful demand that success itself be abolished, so that everyone can feel important.

At that point, the entire gig goes insane. Any amount of focus on “equality” is a denial of reality, and it becomes a powerful mental virus which quickly takes over and crowds out everything else. People cannot stop themselves from pursuing it because it makes them feel good to think that competition is over, everyone is important and therefore, they as individuals do not have to struggle for social rank, a process in which “being wrong” in even a small incident can cost them greatly.

Paradoxically, the solution to this is to lessen social competition by assigning people both vertical and horizontal rank. Vertical rank is caste, generally divided by layers reflecting the intersection of intelligence, moral character and creativity. Horizontal rank is localization, so that someone can be the blacksmith for his small town and be proud of that association.

Since we are natural lottery players, the human simians opted for the chance that an individual could rise above his station in the natural order and hierarchy of humans, and in so doing, have made all of our society into a struggle and obligation to demonstrate that rising above. This does not work for most people because, even if they rise in rank, their abilities remain unchanged, and so they make a mess of whatever is assigned to them, and their self-esteem can only survive by going into denial.

Enjoy Your Cognitive Privilege

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

I need to check my privilege. Hell, I’ll flat-out flex it in the mirror like my bulging bics and pecs. We now have a new concept to add to the list of social justice topics: Cognitive Privilege! You can advertise your fake guilt and humble-brag about your vast and fertile intellect at the same time. What a twofer! Dan Williams of the University of Iowa’s The Daily Iowan newspaper shows us how SJWs grotesquely condescend…

There are many kinds of privilege besides white privilege: cognitive privilege, for example. We now know that intelligence is not something we have significant control over but is something we are born with. We are living in a society in which success is increasingly linked to one’s intelligence. This is not to say that intelligence is the only factor that is important. All that is implied is that below a certain threshold of intelligence, there are fewer and fewer opportunities.

The columnist makes an accidental point or two as he demonstrates his SWPL bona fides. Life’s video game is easier when you’re “buffed” with a suitably functional brain. Had he stopped there, he would have earned his corn and could have availed himself to an invaluable opportunity to say nothing further. Yet he continued and rode forth into a gargantuan heap of pig dung.

But when doing so, we must also bear in mind the purpose of drawing attention to privileges. The purpose is not to instill a sort of Catholic guilt in someone’s psyche, nor is it an excuse to make oneself feel better by demonizing another. The purpose of pointing out someone’s privilege is to remind them of the infinite number of experiences that are possible and the very large number of experiences that are actual that they know very little about. The purpose is to enlarge their moral consciousness, to make them more sympathetic to people who are less fortunate than they are.

So it’s all just a crap shoot, and not just the end product from The Daily Iowan. This person is correctly claiming that ability determines success potential, but then makes this seem arbitrary. Like all SJW garbage, this is lying based upon resentment and probably a certain amount of envy.

Being born intelligent is only an inheritance of genetic potential. Someone born without it can never be intelligent, but those with potential and no follow-through will end up right where they started. The brain has to be trained and developed the same way your muscles do. Even more, the smartest people often do not end up wealthy, although those below about 120 IQ points never do.

Behind his words we can sense a hatred of intelligence. After all, intelligent people are highly susceptible to The Law of Attraction. An active mind will act . You control it, or it controls you in unanticipated ways.

Racists stereotype other people, for the most part, but there are also stereotypes about racists. And the stereotype about racists is that, well, they’re kind of dumb. But a new study complicates the narrative that only unintelligent people are prejudiced. The paper, published recently in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, suggests smart people are actually more at risk of stereotyping others. The study consisted of a series of experiments, all of which suggested that people who performed better on a test of pattern detection—a measure of cognitive ability—were also quicker to form and apply stereotypes.

People are down on intellectual ability because it enables the trained mind to defend itself. It enables people to shortcut quickly past disinformation. A stereotype is, after all, a data-driven heuristic. Stereotypes defend us from predation and danger. Intelligent minds form them more rapidly because they work better. The intelligent mind is like a Ferrari outrunning a Ford. Truly intelligent and educated people are instinctively capable of comparing past experience to present situation and coming up with the appropriate reaction. Stereotypes aren’t always right, but they do tend to be an accurate estimation of a Bayesian Probability.

If getting that sort of thing right is a cognitive privilege, I accept my privilege and will continue to use it to the hilt. Am I to feel guilty over this? I offer a two word response. The second word is “off.” I’ll give you three guesses on the first one and the first two don’t even count. I hope Dan Williams doesn’t graduate too soon. He still has a lot to learn about the world. I’ll be reality-shopping with my cognitive privilege platinum card. It may well be a while before I max the sucker out.

In Praise Of Leisure

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Modern society is based on the worker. Leftists harp on worker equality and want to send everyone to a job; mainstream conservatives (blight) parrot the same old tired dodge about waving the flag, going to church and working hard.

We might ask instead why jobs are so important. They provide income, but so does having a trade or business. Mostly, they are useful for turning cities into human factories where raw material is educated, indoctrinated and then sent off to do repetitive tasks, most of which are either not useful or for unnecessary business activities designed to signal the necessity of the personnel involved.

In other words, jobs are a method of control. They keep the population from engaging in rebellion by both making them dependent and giving them a sense of place and an activity to keep them occupied during the day. Perhaps that is why they refer to job titles as “occupation.”

But to a realist, jobs are only useful insofar as they achieve something necessary. Otherwise, people need time to become whole people — the opposite of factory people — by having the time for contemplating life, interacting with family and friends, exploring culture and really, just bumbling around and engaging in the pleasures, pitfalls and most of all, learning experiences of life.

Jobs destroy our souls.

Consider what jobs are designed to minimize, the development of intelligent people into people with depth so they can apply that intelligence instead of frittering it away on entertainment, workplace politics, shopping and alcohol:

New research seems to prove the theory that brainy people spend more time lazing around than their active counterparts.

Findings from a US-based study seem to support the idea that people with a high IQ get bored less easily, leading them to spend more time engaged in thought.

And active people may be more physical as they need to stimulate their minds with external activities, either to escape their thoughts or because they get bored quickly.

Jobs are designed to interrupt thinking. Not only are they repetitive, driving people into a stupor, but they are filled with interruptions and based on social behavior instead of functional, goal-driven behavior. It is more important to act as a good employee than to achieve the objectives of the business.

This keeps people compliant, which grants security to those above them, which is a tactic found in most dictatorships and third world countries. When people are busy and worried, they leave the power structure alone, which is what it wants, because it is addicted to power for the sake of power itself; this is the opposite of an aristocracy, which sees power as a means-to-an-end of achieving the best possible society and through it, the best possible life for individuals, each according to his own level in the hierarchy of natural ability.

Feudalism was more honest. It gave people roles, and then granted them most of their time to spend on life itself. They were lazy, maybe; they may have wasted much of that time on wine, women, food and song, but even those became more advanced as a result. Even so, their excess time led to more moments spent contemplating existence and finding comfort in it.

More intelligent people tend to be “lazy” because they spend more time thinking. This enables them to broaden their thinking and consider the “big questions” such as human purpose and the nature of the universe. That thinking contributes to the “reflective” nature of Western Civilization, where each thing had purpose toward a much broader and intangible goal.

The Necessity Of Genius

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

monkey_tool_use

The cornerstone of the Alt Right is that genetics determines culture, and culture determines everything else. Genetics also determines hierarchy. The question then arises, how do we find the best? Dr. James Thompson advances a good entry-level argument that centers the debate on the actual topic, instead of the tangents that most people will pursue:

In summary, you can spot exceptional minds early, if you bother to test for them. Verbal and mathematical tests provide powerful predictors. Adding spatial tests (done for some of them in later testing) assists in getting even better predictions. There is no upper limit after which additional smarts make no contribution. On the contrary, every increase in ability, like additional height in a basketball player, adds to achievement in life. Very bright people contribute a lot to society.

My digression is to note that although a simple explanation for the different directions these very bright people take in their occupations is that they play to their strengths, the observed differentiation is similar to the patterns of international trade as noted by Ricardo in his theory of comparative advantage. Ricardo sought to explain why a country like England which in 1817 could produce many things more efficiently than most other countries (such as Portugal) still bothered to trade with them. Similarly, why do very bright people, very much better at virtually all intellectual tasks than most people, still bother to specialise in only one of their manifold talents? Applying Ricardo’s theory to these very bright people, if any two eminent minds capable of producing two products, say Words and Sums, engage in a free market then each eminent mind can increase their overall consumption by selling the good for which they have comparative advantage while buying the other good, provided there are differences in productivity between both eminent minds. Bright people who are better at words will do wordy work, even though they are very much better than 9,999 other people at Maths. It is comparative advantage rather than absolute advantage that is responsible for intellectual specialisation and the trading of intellectual products.

While the basics are sound, it misses a couple of other key points:

  • Economic system is a proxy. Smart people are useful when they are rewarded for their work, because not rewarding them creates a de facto disadvantage because rewards for performance and non-performance are the same, making performance inefficient.

  • There are grades of highly intelligent. The above makes an initial cut for the talented people who are genetically gifted enough to offer thinking that no one else can do, and sensibly divides them between words people and maths people. But there are divisions within that structure as well.

In addition, we should identify that rarest of rara avis, the creative genius as identified by Bruce Charlton:

But why is genius so rare, even in places where there are a high concentration of geniuses – as there were here in England in the past few hundred years?

1. Genius requires very high intelligence – in a country with a high average IQ like England, this means in the top ten percent (above 120) and considerably higher for some subjects (e.g. mathematical subjects). But often geniuses are at intelligence levels of about the top one in ten thousand. Some societies have much lower average IQ than England.

2. Perseverance, self-motivation to pick-out and work in one area without need for external encouragement, autonomous indifference to the evaluations of others, ability to go it alone.

3. Creativity. This is Eysenck’s big contribution.

Creativity is associated with a style of thinking that is relatively loose in its associations, inclusive in its linking of disparate elements – a style of thinking akin to that of dreaming sleep, psychotic illness, and intoxication.

This would be the upper echelon of genius: the artists, philosophers, writers, composers and rare public figures like Arminius and Charlemagne.

On top of that, it must be said that lack of verbal ability excludes people from some fields. The greatest intelligences of my acquaintance, in the course of venturing through the top echelon of our educational and social layers, have been of the verbal variety as paired with a high ability to organize thoughts in a non-linear fashion, which seems to equate to the spatial or something like it.

STEM people, while intelligent, came nowhere close. This has been consistent for many years. STEM requires linear analysis of finite tasks; this is a bit easier than non-linear analysis of multiple factors, any of which may be weak or fallacious. That kind of balancing — a sort of architectonic thinking — belongs to the artists, writers and philosophers, and those are the upper crust of intelligence.

It is worth noting two points from Schopenhauer; first, the rest of us are Dunning-Krugered when it comes to genius, because we will not recognize it and it will sound like raving drivel to us:

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.

If we use the merely-talented/talented-plus-genius dichotomy, the merely-talented are generally confined to STEM fields, where the talented-by-genius can venture toward less concrete forms of thinking.

These modes of thought in the humanities are maligned by the Leftist takeover of these departments which occurred because most conservatives focus on the practical, allowing the Leftists to occupy this “lesser” territory. This parallels the difference between mainstream conservatism and actual conservatism: humanities as taught in US/EU 2016 are far different from humanities as they are understood on their own terms.

Schopenhauer also suggests that genius is not of practical value, but is useful in understanding the true nature of things and the transcendentals:

Although the intellect exists only to serve the will, in certain humans the intellect accorded by nature is so disproportionately large, it far exceeds the amount needed to serve the will. In such individuals, the intellect can break free of the will and act independently. A person with such an intellect is a genius (only men can have such a capability according to Schopenhauer), and this will-free activity is aesthetic contemplation or creation. The genius is thus distinguished by his ability to engage in will-less contemplation of the Ideas for a sustained period of time, which allows him to repeat what he has apprehended by creating a work of art. In producing a work of art, the genius makes the beautiful accessible for the non-genius as well. Whereas non-geniuses cannot intuit the Ideas in nature, they can intuit them in a work of art, for the artist replicates nature in the artwork in such a manner that the viewer is capable of viewing it disinterestedly, that is, freed from her own willing, as an Idea.

A genius can dig more deeply into structure — the patterns of existent, not their material substrates — and in so doing undertake the mentally-demanding task of ascertaining their true nature. Here Schopenhauer agrees with Charlton on the dream-like state of genius; the person bearing genius has transcended his human state, and as a result his thinking is not constrained by self-interest.

If anything has promoted the West, it has been its abundance of genius — especially in leadership. Most of the geniuses of the West are unknown to us because their work formed the groundwork for popularizers to express to the world, and history remembers those instead. But for every great discovery, the path ahead was found by lone geniuses working independently toward understanding the root of the problem.

Currently, our society is opposed to genius, because nothing makes a crowd feel less equal than the presence of genius. In fact, that it exists seems to refute our idea of equality entirely. At the far-right of the IQ curve, people are targets for the herd, which in its loss of confidence seeks to eliminate the symbols of its inequality.

Organizational Intelligence

Friday, August 12th, 2016

organizational_intelligence

Intelligence is a tantalizing subject due to its magic “wow” component. But it is also the one measure liberals will never, ever, discuss.

I found this “avoidance” technique fascinating in that it is quite a “telling” characteristic. Even Donald Trump mentioned that some topics are “not discussed.” Another more personal example is, while making a speech to (organizational) members of a black labor union, I noticed how, despite being a fairly responsive audience in general, they became (almost) deathly silent when I mentioned “pensions.” People reading this will automatically assume that the audience is “sensitive” to pensions because it is perhaps something they “really” desire. But you are wrong; it had nothing to do with being sensitive. It had everything to do with the fact that they want “my” pension (on an organizational basis) while vociferously arguing something else as a technique to distract “my” attention from their real intention.

There are more examples of this in every area of social design, but suffice it to say that when liberals (organizationally) go silent on the issue of intelligence, they have something up their sleeve which begs our attention as well as our intention.

Since I am only a middle-class, middle-drawer type guy, unfortunately with the ability to look up and down, I had to look around for guidance. Then Doug Detterman popped up via Dr. James Thompson;

Now he looks back at 50 years of intelligence research, and avers that it is much more important than curing cancer, controlling global warming or ending poverty. He also regards teachers and schools as over-rated, since they only account for 10% of pupil achievement. Five decades dedicated to finding a satisfactory answer to a simple question: why are some people smarter than others?

His answer: a traffic jam. All the modules of the brain have to go through a central hub, and the poorer the connection the lower the intelligence.

However, I have also previously been influenced regarding the intelligence effect by a top drawer South African, Garth Zietsman. His point of departure to any problem was (in my re-collection), the question: “what would the intelligent man do?” Since then he co-authored a book which states that;

[T]he correlation between national IQ and rates of unemployment is r = -0.756

Clearly you can make your own deductions as to why entire organizations (i.e. not just individuals) that espouse the dogma of liberal-democracy would want to keep quiet about that. However, Dr. James Thompson wrote about “The Intelligence of Governments” in 2015 wherein it is stated that:

Good governance is a highly complex cognitive task.”

As well as:

As in previous studies (Rindermann et al., 2009) the level of the top ability group (“intellectual   classes”, “smart fractions”, “rocket scientists”, “the team in the tail”) had a stronger impact on   economic performance. Cognitive capitalism is built upon intellectual classes.

At this point I would agree with those saying “enough with all this cleverness”. Let’s look at a tantalizing example of “worst practice” as was also described in this article:

An example of worst practice is revealing. According to Schmidt (2009, pp. 11ff.), until the mid-1980s the Washington, DC police force was one of the best in the USA. Applicants were selected for police academy training based on a general intelligence test and a background investigation. The mayor, Marion Barry, eliminated this procedure with several consequences: the drop-out rate among the police increased (80% of the new hires were incapable of completing the required training); the content of academy training was eased; the police officers being produced were   frequently incompetent (murder indictments were dismissed because the reports written by the      officers on the scene were unintelligible, solution rates for murder cases declined, firearms accidents soared because officers did not know how to use weapons properly, and crime on the police force became more common).

The worst case example shows that an “organization” that appeared to be intelligent, somehow became unintelligent. But such a deduction is not true since only the Mayor changed and what a change it was. Somehow this has been memory-holed forever, after the disastrous reign by a Mayor-for-Life as described by the (liberal) New York Times:

Mr. Barry was a charismatic yet confounding politician. Admirers saw him as a Robin Hood who gave hope to poor black residents. His detractors saw a shameless rogue who almost ruined the city by stuffing its payroll with cronies and hacks and letting services decay. Indisputably, he was a political Lazarus with a gift for convincing his followers that their hopes and disappointments were his, too.

It’s quite clear (to me) that one guy in power is capable of turning a thriving, intelligent organization on its head. It is also clear to me that people can learn, but organizations cannot. If organizations are supposed to be intelligent, how do they learn actually and how would one measure it? These questions have not been answered and require top drawer study because all modules of the organization do not go through a central hub: poor connections and low intelligence. Is that where we’re at in 2016? Is that why liberals are hiding their “intelligence”?

Is it because they actually want (and only) want low intelligence voters in contradiction to their highly intelligent donors? Therefore, is it fair to say that the average intelligence of liberals is somewhat in question? Is it fair to say that any policy to do with equality/inequality is completely flawed if not an outright lie? If they distract from their intelligence using politics-of-fear, then in my opinion, it is absolutely disgusting.

The Genius Famine by Edward Dutton and Bruce G. Charlton

Saturday, March 19th, 2016


The Genius Famine: Why We Need Geniuses, Why They’re Dying Out, Why We Must Rescue Them
by Edward Dutton and Bruce G. Charlton
232 pages

The Genius Famine focuses on a topic that remains obscured behind our modern view of a term that once had meaning. Genius refers to both a type of ability, and a person who possesses it. This book redirects our focus toward genius in three steps: it provides a definition for genius, an explanation for why it arose and faded out, and a plan for how geniuses might return.

Its writers have explored this territory before but never in such a directed topic. The content of this book will be familiar to readers of Bruce Charlton’s Intelligence, Personality, and Genius blog. Readers of this blog are sure to recognize his name. Edward Dutton is a writer and religious scholar who writes articles and books on a variety of topics.

The central insight of the book is its description and definition of genius. A genius is someone who makes an insight or discovery that has a significant effect on his group’s fortune and evolutionary success. This kind of insight could not be made by regular people thinking in a regular way, because it requires seeing patterns or connections that are not obvious and not straightforward.

The authors argue that this creative thinking is not simply a product of high intelligence, which though necessary for solving problems of a known type, is not enough to be able to solve new problems of which there is no memory. High intelligence excels at applying known solutions and techniques, but a genius can step beyond the known. A genius is able to think this way because he (or, rarely, she) has the type of personality that Charlton has coined as Endogenous.

An Endogenous personality is directed inwards, and works intuitively. Whereas regular people are motivated by external concerns, such as social standing or sexual pursuits, an Endogenous personality is inward focused. He dwells within his mind, and that is from where he motivations originate. He works on his task and makes his discoveries not as a means to gaining wealth or status, but as an end in itself. Man is a social animal, but geniuses are an exception to this. The authors suggest that perhaps the parts of the mind that normally handle social thinking is in these people repurposed in a way that would explain both their reduced interest in social concerns and their higher intelligence and creativity.

Having described the Endogenous personality, the book progresses through chapters overviewing intelligence, which is mental ability, and personality, which is character. Intelligence is shown to be real and meaningful, and capable of being accurately — though not perfectly or uniformly — measured using IQ tests. Personality is commonly measured using the “Big 5” traits: openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, and extraversion. Similar to how various measures of intelligence correlate and have an underlying factor called g, J. Philippe Rushton found that these five can be reduced to a single dimensional measure, which he calls General Factor Personality (GFP). A high GFP is eusocial, and is typical of those who are good citizens, who generally get along well with others and don’t cause problems. Because of this, genius is associated with lower GFP; with lower conscientiousness and agreeableness.

On the difference between these two mental aspects, the authors write,

In terms of computers — intelligence is something like the processing speed, while personality is about the types of software installed. Or, intelligence is about the efficiency of the brain, while personality is about what that brain is designed to do. Or intelligence is about how well the brain works; while personality describes the circuitry, the hard-wiring — what kind of brain it is.

This is a fine example of Charlton’s style of writing, with its serial repetition of the same concept in different words as if to display it in different lighting and from different angles. Rather than compress the text to a minimally reduced expression of the intended meaning, and without the unnecessary verbiage and jargon typical of modern academic writing, explanations are straightforward and allowed room to breathe. The result is simplicity that strengthens clarity without compromising substance. This style seems fitting of a competent lecturer, and makes reading a pleasant ease.

Genius is colloquially used to describe everyday cleverness, but the meaning the authors have in mind is narrower. A sociological perspective would identify genius by their large impact on the course of history. A biological perspective would notice how he contributes to a the reproductive success of his group, becoming more numerous than others, or how how his contributions result in an increase in his group’s genetic quality. Or he may direct his group to be more fit to some higher purpose, in a philosophical or theological sense. In any case, a genius is capable of producing a large positive effect on his group due to his special ability. Some with this ability may not make use of it, making them potential geniuses.

The nature of this special ability is the Creative Triad: high intelligence, combined with an inner motivation, combined with intuitive thinking. Intuition is a third mode of thinking that makes use of the first two, which are rational thinking and emotional thinking. It is a holistic mode of thought most fundamental to the real self or inner consciousness. It is a sum greater than its parts that is necessary for the highest levels of creativity:

The result of intuition is therefore an evaluation which is uniquely convincing because it is validated by the full range of positive responses. It is an insight that satisfies both logic and reason, and also ‘feels’ right.

Inner motivation is what drives creativity. Creativity isn’t something that can be managed or externally controlled and directed the way that physical or technical labor can, it arises from within. The authors describe the way this inner motivation leads to genius discoveries through a process they call the Genius Quest, which involves recognizing a problem and the sense of purpose that arises from becoming dedicated to finding a solution.

Because genius is “having an enormous impact in some field through highly original activity,” it is a subspecies of creativity. The authors describe what creativity is, and how it has been confused with mere novelty or shocking offensiveness. An obvious example of this is modern art, where provoking outrage is seen as proof of originality and creativity.

Considering that geniuses benefit a group by being able to solve novel problems, identifying potential geniuses is important to the fortunes of a group. But genius is not readily apparent (e.g. Albert Einstein performed poorly in school, Francis Crick’s academic career was unremarkable until his mid-30s, William Faulkner failed out of college), and identifying potential geniuses is not as straightforward as selecting the top academic performing children. That group of people may include potential geniuses, but it would also mostly consist of those who are simply highly intelligent and high in the conscientious and agreeable personality traits, who follow the rules and respond to social cues directing them to perform well. As noted earlier, geniuses, who have an Endogenous personality, are not conscientious, and are not motivated by social pressures. This necessitates different selection criteria and the authors describe the traits to look for.

Given what has been described so far — that geniuses improve their group’s situation, and that the traits that contribute to genius are heritable — one might expect genius to be evolutionarily selected for, and thus the incidence of genius to be on the rise. However, it is shown that the opposite is true, and several causes are offered to explain this effect which gives the book its name.

One cause is a decline in intelligence. The Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries and the medical advances in their wake reduced child mortality to such a degree that it switched from being so commonplace that members of the lower class had an effective rate of reproduction near zero to being a rarity.

This switch had two consequences. First, instead of a downward class mobility that replaced less intelligent lower classes from above, lower classes began to outbreed the higher. Second, it removed the screen on deleterious genetic mutations, which normally would be removed from the population when their presence in infancy prevented survival. Instead, medical technology allowed these slight defects to remain and become more numerous in each generation, to the point where this load of defective genes now depresses intelligence and retards mental function.

Another cause is the increasing bureaucratization and modernization of academia, which creates an environment that is unappealing, and often outright hostile, to genius. The traits that identify genius are more likely to be noticed by individuals who themselves have the Endogenous personality type, and so when applications and appointments are overseen by committees, a compounding effect of reduced ability to identify, promote, and even simply tolerate genius occurs. Some policies directly reduce the proportion of Endogenous personalities in academia, such as those that select against males and Europeans, amongst whom the incidence of genius is by far the highest.

More generally, the increasing rarity of genius is a result of civilization no longer being serious. Success has created such wealth and power that a large buffer exists between individuals in modern society and bare nature. No longer is there felt an immediacy of danger and an urgency of survival; with only extreme exceptions, no matter what one does, no matter the choices they make, they are assured a pleasant, safe, long life, and so taking reality and nature seriously only happens after conscious effort. This means that it becomes difficult to recognize tough problems that would require genius solutions. When there is no obvious crisis, genius is ignored in a sea of false ideas and false solutions for which it would require getting serious to reject. This itself is a looming crisis that desperately calls for a genius solution.

For this reason, Genius Famine may be useful not only to those who wish to understand genius itself, but also to those searching for the best ways to fight against and reverse the decline of our civilization.

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