Dysgenic Reactions

Michael A. Woodley, Jan te Nijenhuis, and Raegan Murphy respond (in detail) to critics of their 2013 paper on the dysgenic implications of Galton’s reaction time data. Their adjusted evidence indicates an increase in reaction times among US/UK males over the period 1889-2004 from 187.1 ms to 237.1 ms (44.6 ms over 115 years), equivalent to a decline in g of 13.9 points, or 1.21 points per decade. They propose that 68% of this decline is due to dysgenic selection, with the remaining 32% attributed to increasing mutation load.

If these figures are even remotely accurate, they portray a phenomenon — and indeed a catastrophe — that would have to be considered a fundamental determinant of recent world history. Given the scale and rapidity of dysgenic collapse suggested here, skepticism is natural, and indeed all-but inevitable. (The proposed rate of decline seems incredible to this, radically inexpert, blog.) It should nevertheless be reasonable to expect counter-arguments to exhibit the same intellectual seriousness and respect for evidence that this paper so impressively demonstrates.

June 12, 2014admin 53 Comments »
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53 Responses to this entry

  • Lesser Bull Says:

    No responses, because it’s too horrible to contemplate. I just can’t believe IQ can decline that fast, but I don’t have a good rebuttal either.

    Let’s really hope that Flowers for Algernon wasn’t an allegory.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    It’s perfectly normal for analyses of this type to overestimate the effect. Indeed, for marketing, practically necessary. With mathematical constructs like this, the vast majority of readers underestimate the consequences – they don’t feel as bad as they should. Thus the effects must be overstated to bring their feelings in line with what a deep understanding would bring.

    As a result, much startlingly bad news is quietly tucked away through nobody’s fault, really, it just doesn’t feel that bad because the authors stated it thoughtfully with nuance and restraint, so nobody blogs on it or whatever.

    Or: if it seems really, really alarming to you, you can calibrate it back down. This is hardly the only reason such effects tend to be overstated.

    Most likely the true dysgenic effect is on the order of 0.6 IQ per generation. (-.22 on a log scale, +/- 0.1, say.) That’s still pretty much catastrophic.

    For reference, the corroborating evidence:

    Grade 8 exam difficulty plotted over time. SAT exam plotted over time.

    Colonial taste in books / effectively half of America can’t read newspapers. Half. 50%. .

    Mathematical advances / string theory.

    Moore’s law stalling.

    Welfare should be dysgenic.

    Modern medicine should be dysgenic.

    Increase in aggravated assault rate. Speaking of, did they disaggregate by race?

    Obesity. (High IQ is associated with thinness.)

    Probably more I’m forgetting.

    Finally: for some reason, people just seem stupider than they should be. I’m not expecting that much, just be able to follow an unbranched, non-recursive syllogism when you want to. Apparently this is a 2SD+ task.

    [Reply]

    peppermint Reply:

    Mathematical advances / string theory.

    NO

    Current mathematics and physics has never been better. Teaching could use work – namely, throwing away unserious students and seriously teaching the serious ones – but that’s not that big a deal considering the length of a career.

    See, mathematics has always taken the top sliver, and there are more people today there there were in the past, and we really are better at finding that top sliver and letting them do the mathematical and scientific work they want.

    When we observe a decline in mathematics, it will be after the decline in everything else, not before.

    [Reply]

    aisaac Reply:

    Suppose you need an IQ of 160, 4 standard deviations above the norm, to do top level work in a heavily cognitively loaded profession. That would be about 1 in 30,000 people now. If Victorians were really 1 standard dev smarter than we are, that would have been 1 in 700 in their day. Yes, population has increased, yes, smart kids are less likely to end up plowing fields, but enough to overcome a decline by a factor of 42? That strains credulity.

    If IQ declined by another standard deviation, it would be more like 1 in a billion, a number so small that going by a table of deviations probably doesn’t work anymore. But if it’s even close to true, no amount of sorting or any population growth we’re likely to see in the next few centuries is going to make up for it.

    I’m going to post this link to a wiki article about normal distributions again, because I’m not sure if everyone understands just how rare outlier beyond 3 or 4 standard deviations are:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/68%E2%80%9395%E2%80%9399.7_rule

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    @aisaac

    We better put this “normal distribution” thing to rest. I’ve seen this too many times and it’s wrong.

    In the normal dist model, a 1 SD shift down does in fact mean huge changes in the relative number of high outliers, *but only if the distribution remains normal*.

    In the real world, you cannot model dysgenic events as a shift to a new normal distribution. Let’s get our heads out of math land and think what that would mean on the ground: it would mean the fertility rate of high-IQ people dropped to exponentially near-zero. That’s a pretty wild claim. The fertility rate has been low, but it has not been genocidally low. (this could also happen by total breakdown of assortive mating)

    We have to drop the assumption that it remains normal. IQ is normal by definition, so this is not a feature of reality that you can make predictions from. Reality can easily do things to the distribution that get rid of the normal property, for example, a linear fertility decline with increasing IQ would move the mean down by skewing the whole distribution, but wouldn’t exponentially change the outlier population.

    Now it may in fact be that breeding patterns (eg miscegenation among high-IQ people) could have that genocide-of-the-smart effect over time without genocide-level dysfertility, but you would have to predict that from facts on the ground, not from the properties of the normal distribution.

    The crazy things that happen at the outliers in a normal are edge-case artifacts of an extremely crude, mathematically simplified 2-parameter model. It’s a convenient model most of the time, but breaks down at the edges.

    We need to stop thinking about intelligence in relation to the normal distribution when thinking about dysgenics, because it is confusing people and making crazy predictions. Even Greg Cochran got this wrong. Coming up with a better model is not easy, of course.

    sviga lae Reply:

    @nyan_sandich

    Exactly this.

    Increased assortative mating at the top may have even increased the ability of the total population to produce multiple-SD outliers, at the same time that the dysgenic shelf bourgeons.

    If you want a less-bad but still useful framework, you may consider the ancestral population to be normally distributed by definition at some time X, but then subject to stratification.

    admin Reply:

    Agree with Nyan that heterogeneity has to be increasing (and that we even have pretty good theories to explain why).

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    Just a quick note in this thread that I hope to revisit later: I think when modelling dysgenics, we should model genetic load directly.

    You can more or less model the “quality” of a person (beauty, health, IQ all correllate) with a single variable that is impacted negatively relative to some modal ideal human by a large number of small mutations.

    Then model eugenic/dysgenic situations on top of that.

    eg why did europe get so smart? Truncation-selecting Malthusian wringer + assortive mating would tend to get a population of very high quality people.

    We need more mathy-inclined people to build and play around with models like this.

    James A. Donald Reply:

    Grade 8 exam difficulty plotted over time. SAT exam plotted over time.

    Colonial taste in books / effectively half of America can’t read newspapers. Half. 50%

    Links?

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    >0.6 IQ per generation

    Err, should be per decade.

    [Reply]

    R. Reply:

    The decline isn’t as dramatic, as the 19th century samples were not remotely representative of the times.

    Thomson’s sample was U of Chicago students. Galton’s sample was museum visitors who paid to take the test.

    http://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/a-response-to-a-response-to-two-critical-commentaries-on-woodley-te-nijenhuis-murphy-2013/

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 4:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • SGW Says:

    The -2 IQ/decade in Finland is insane. I wonder what the decline would’ve been like without the welfare state.

    How is one supposed to plan and have hope for the future with such a trend? Many countries are a few IQ points away from being unable to play a meaningful role in the global economy. Between the collapse of the global division of labor and an aging population, the pace of research could very well be reduced to the point of preventing (relatively) civilized countries from obtaining escape velocity.

    The future is starting to look more and more like it is going to be dark ages 2.0, The main difference between this potential coming dark age and the previous one is that once civilization gets restored after 1000 years of Malthusian pressures, the second attempt at obtaining escape velocity will have to be done with significantly fewer natural resources.

    [Reply]

    Kevin C. Reply:

    No, the differency between the Dark Ages will be that Dark Ages 2.0 will end only when H. sapiens goes extinct. The natural resources will be so “significantly fewer”, and our ability to extract them so damaged in the decline/collapse, that rebuilding industrial civilization, let alone “obtaining escape velocity”, will be not simply difficult, but impossible.

    The peak of human accomplisment has already passed. It’s all downhill from here.

    [Reply]

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    I share your concern, but if the current residents of the Congo can be persuaded to not be there or at least not rape and eat you, it is relatively rich territory that is almost entirely virgin.

    Not sure if those resources are easy to get or not though.

    [Reply]

    zhai2nan2 Reply:

    The current residents of the Congo will be dealt with by the People’s Republic of China, one way or another.

    You will be able to buy the refined materials from sales reps in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore.

    Hurlock Reply:

    “How is one supposed to plan and have hope for the future with such a trend? ”
    Go to a place on the planet where the dysgenic trend is not observed. I.e. some parts of East Asia, as out host did. You can alternatively stay in the West and live out a post-zombie apocalypse scenario (Have you played the Fallout game series? It’s gonna be basically that, but it won’t be caused by nuclear war) .

    @Kevin C.

    “The end is nigh!” Has been preached by humans since basically the dawn of civilization. Every single time a false alarm. We are stubborn creatures. Just like cockroaches.

    [Reply]

    aisaac Reply:

    Disasters are actually quite common. Population crashes have happened fairly often in the past, brought on by famine, disease, war, or civilizational collapse. The fact that anyone who is around to read this is descended from the people who survived in the past doesn’t mean everything is sunshine and lollipops, and it doesn’t guarantee that you or your descendents will survive the next one. Most species that have ever existed have gone extinct. Most haplotypes found in ancient human DNA are rare now, which implies that something bad happened to those people. Almost every country that’s been around for a long time (ie, not the New World) has been conquered at one time or another, and they’ve all experienced famine, major wars, etc.

    If you could go back in time and read history books to people in the Roman world, post-Roman Britons, early 20h century Ostjuden, Ukrainians and Japanese, pre-french revolution people in the Vendee, antebellum Southerners, pre-Yellow Tiger people from Sichuan, or pre-Columbian Indians, just to name a few, what was going to happen, they would think you were being alarmist.

    Nobody is predicting anything worse than the Dark Ages (except for talk of unfriendly AI, grey goo, mirror cells, large scale nuclear war, which are not yet possible or haven’t been for long), which actually happened.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 5:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • Bill Says:

    Maybe the numbers of the smartest among us are growing, and we are just keeping many more dumb people alive.

    In my grandfather’s family, among his brothers and sisters, 4 children lived to adulthood, and 2 died as children. Maybe those 2 were the dumb ones of the bunch. Today we would be able to keep them alive, and if they had lived I would have have dim witted second cousins.

    Anyways, can we please start settling distant planets? Then we can reverse all these trends instantly. To be fair, and in the name of equality, we can even give the dumb people planets to go die on. We can have military hierarchies based on merit and loyalty, and build impossibly beautiful civilizations, and they can have multiculturalism and shows of status like shiny objects they wear and aggressive rhyming speech as they cannibalize each other in the landing pods.

    [Reply]

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    >In my grandfather’s family, among his brothers and sisters, 4 children lived to adulthood, and 2 died as children. Maybe those 2 were the dumb ones of the bunch. Today we would be able to keep them alive, and if they had lived I would have have dim witted second cousins.

    Eugenics/dysgenics is usually not on the sibling granularity. Much more significant is the difference between people like us and the high-mutational-load borderline retards that make up the lower classes. Needless to say they have been outproducing us since the relaxation of the Malthusian wringer.

    >Anyways, can we please start settling distant planets? Then we can reverse all these trends instantly. To be fair, and in the name of equality, we can even give the dumb people planets to go die on. We can have military hierarchies based on merit and loyalty, and build impossibly beautiful civilizations, and they can have multiculturalism and shows of status like shiny objects they wear and aggressive rhyming speech as they cannibalize each other in the landing pods.

    That would be nice, but why does colonization enable that? Why can’t we do it now? The problem isn’t a lack of land or the difficulty of excluding the wrong type of people, it’s a lack of will. The Frankfurt-school stooges are everywhere and most people aren’t going to go out of their way to contradict them and their evil designs.

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    @nyan_sandwich
    How does will get us what we want? The will to do what exactly? Take back the vote? tax revolt? revolution? obviously not, exit is the only option remaining for a neoreactionary.

    On that note, seasteading needs to be perfected before attempting space colonization, you should be able to crawl before competing in a triathlon. The tech has crossover application and it will make sea launches easier when we do eventually start sending people up. There is also the option of exit in place with the use of cryptography to establish bonds while preparing for the inevitable collapse in order to rise from it like a phoenix.

    Based on how I’m betting on collapse of the global financial system in 5 to 10 years, we exit in place, no time to exit for real. If we plan right we’ll have something like Asimov’s first foundation, but the world will not rally to us. It is likely that martial law will preserve some order, our foundation won’t be sovereign. It can however work towards becoming sovereign by either seasteading or fighting an old fashioned war of invasion against a weaker state since the large remaining powers will be too busy maintaining control domestically to intervene. Then space because the powers will bounce back and while leadership will have shuffled, I can guarantee we won’t like them. They won’t be able to follow us there because it will be here where the leftward singularity consumes them. The earth will be a backward shithole and the people who made it to space will be happy to see it remain that way.

    [Reply]

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    >How does will get us what we want? The will to do what exactly? Take back the vote? tax revolt? revolution? obviously not, exit is the only option remaining for a neoreactionary.

    Nothing so mundane. I meant that there is no serious advantage to space colonization as exit that can’t be realized here on earth, the problem being factors other than distance and room. If you can get your shit together to go to mars, you can get your shit together to go to the Kootenays. If they would send a bus load of vibrant shock troops at you in Creston, BC, they would send them to mars.

    That said, I’m probably wrong. The Canadian government can force you not to discriminate in Creston, but not on mars. And the US government may collapse in capability to invade mars before they fuck you, at which point you can blow out the airlock all the vibrant shock troops they did manage to force on you.

    The trick will be getting out of the gravity well here and staying sovereign long enough that the gravity well becomes permanently insurmountable to them. And then you have to sustain yourself over the long term.

    Space residency requires a very serious industrial economy. It is *hard* to maintain and to bootstrap such an economy to independence.

    I’m all for baby steps like seasteading and homesteading before attempting cold-radioactive-vacuum-steading.

    Agree an in-place first-foundation analog is the way. This is logistically difficult.

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    Since we’re on the same page, I’m going to bring it back to the topic of dysgenics which is best solved with transhumanism/singularity. Those working towards friendly AI believe it should be priority one. However is that something that the first-foundation should be focused on? A friendly AI would be a total game changer but I worry that in a situation like that it wouldn’t have tools like self replicating nanites which it needs to initiate singularity. Like how I in spite of being an aeronautical engineer couldn’t build an airplane right away if all I had was a bronze age civilization supporting me. So it’s a question of how long would it take to develop the technology to reach transhumanism/singularity and how long it would be before the postcollapse powers decide they want to smash our foundation. The pursuit of transhumanism/singularity would almost certainly be perceived as an existential threat. I see three paths to success, exit to space first, blind race to singularity, or focus on consolidating power on Earth.

    Given the vast potential for AI to go awry a reckless race to singularity should be avoided, better 1000 years of darkness than face elevated risk of total extinction. Most straightforward means of consolidating power on Earth means becoming a nuclear power. The thing is, if we can get nukes, who knows how many other fringe groups will have them too, this is something that’s going to need a war college thesis level analysis. Seasteading would be less conspicuous than conquering but would still require nukes so as to not have entangling alliances. Space exit on the other hand could be undertaken under the noses of the postcollapse powers. Rather than seek immediate exit we could work through an cryptography enabled underground in order to focus on building a space industry in space. However this would be under a time crunch to succeed before leftist singularity. While I was hoping space exit would make good sense eventually, I think it would be much easier to get a pilot to defect to us with a nuke on his plane. Many things to consider, particularly the rate of various technological developments, and also including the probably of a leftist singularity resulting in nuclear holocaust.

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    FAI is the ultimate positive, assuming “F” still means what it meant when EY thought up the “atheistic Jew” thought experiment.

    That said, besides funding MIRI and keeping the topic live, there is not much to do there. Our competitive advantage in these things is that we believe in a set of problems (dysgenics, loss of social tech, left singularity) that no one else believes in, so those are the things we should focus on.

    Thus the Foundation should assume FAI is a dud for the forseeable future and focus on robust pre-transhumanist biological, technological, industrial, and civilizational preservation.

    Let’s break down the individual problems:

    DYSGENICS:

    Possible solutions include:

    Gas all the X (requires judgement criteria, lots of political power, deals with Satan, and other such dangerous shit). Dumb idea.

    Progressive sterilization-for-welfare and birth-incentive programs. Again lots of political power and value judgements but at least Satan’s services are not required.

    Exit-to-eugenic Foundation. Requires many people cooperative people and exit logistics, but not much else. The Heinleinian Eugenics program outlined here: http://www.moreright.net/on-the-structure-of-the-antimodern-university/ is a good fit and would basically work.

    Eugenics startup. see here: http://squid314.livejournal.com/345414.html and the associated work by Cochran and Jim. Very easy to pull off and create pure-blood ubermensch without needing value judgments, deals with Satan, multilateral action or whatever. Beyond current tech, but not by very far. Plausible research direction for a Foundation if not a direct achievable.

    SOCIAL TECH COLLAPSE:

    This one’s actually hard. I can’t simply list a series of solutions.

    Exit-to-high-social-tech Foundation plausible here. Not a full solution.

    Distributed ground-up reconstruction of community-level social tech through existing churches and/or new institutions. Not a full solution.

    Capture the state. The stink of Satan is so strong on this one I don’t even want to discuss it.

    Meta-exit to neocameralist patchwork. How?

    LEFT SINGULARITY:

    Hide. Arm up. Pray. I don’t know.

    Exit to sovereign Foundation.

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 5:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • Contemplationist Says:

    No, there’s enough technology and smart wielders of technology for there not to be a general Malthusian collapse. If there is a collapse of state authority, I predict a Stephensonian world a.la Diamond Age instead of the Dark Ages.

    [Reply]

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    This doesn’t seem to work. My model of this stuff is that extremely smart tech-wielders stop doing their awesome work when the economy stops working and when their own security is threatened.

    [Reply]

    Contemplationist Reply:

    The point is that more work isn’t required to use what already exists.
    Use what exists to partner up and beef security in your enclaves.
    Then trade with outsiders, carry on research.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 5:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Says:

    the ‘32%’ makes it seem like if you don’t eugenically select significantly enough, dysgenics can happen without perverse selection.

    I guess that makes sense, but still…

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    Possibly, that could be as simple as the fact that medicine is dysgenic – it promotes the survival of organisms that would otherwise be naturally selected out of their environment. Those organisms go on to reproduce and spread their dysgenes. So, medicine promotes dysgenesis.

    Accumulation of deleterious mutations is thus what one would have to expect in an environment of steadily improving medicine.

    [Reply]

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    Enough food for everyone and sanitation probably were bigger effect than medicine per-se.

    The malthusian wringer was extremely harsh, as far as I know. It wasn’t just let the sick die, it was force the bottom half of the population to be sick and starving.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 6:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • NRxerxes Says:

    I have to admit, I’ve listened to more than a few episodes of the Alex Jones Show. The core argument that the show presents is that the world is being run secretly by a cabal of ‘globalists’ which inexplicably includes members of the anglo-american, jewish and nazi conspiracies among others. These globalists are engaged in a never-ending campaign to genocide the majority of the world’s population for eugenic purposes. The more of these uncomfortable articles on dysgenics I read, the more I wish that the globalists really existed.

    Potentially divisive slogan submission:

    Rx is hitting the reset button
    NRx is hitting cancel

    [Reply]

    Thales Reply:

    Mr. Jones seems like he’s wishing for a master that will keep him comfortable and that he may comfortably rebel against.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 8:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mark Yuray Says:

    I echo the first poster’s horror. If Africa is an example of what the rest of the planet will look like in another century (or less), I’m going to need to lay down.

    Any reactionary regime will need to ensure a very robust natural eugenic system.

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    or accept that genetic engineering is not ‘playing God’ but actually man’s duty if he is going to utilize advanced medicine.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 8:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hurlock Says:

    We all know the solution.

    Abolish welfare, let the proles start dying from hunger again and watch the mean IQ rise. Problem solved. This trend is not that alarming to me because the solution is rather simple.
    Other option is just pile a ton of money in genetic engineering (kind of a gamble, though), but cutting welfare is easier (although more painful).

    Socialist policies are inherently dysgenic, as I said a couple of days ago. Hilariously enough I was told immigration is more dysgenic. I decided not to bother but I will say it now.

    Immigration is not always dysgenic, it can actually be eugenic sometimes depending on circumstances, while socialism is always dysgenic.

    And this is why ethno-socialism/nationalism is retarded.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Not that easy. Mortality rates dropped hard a long time before expansive welfare states got going.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Hmm, ok, but was that necessarily dysgenic?

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    If Malthusian effects eliminated mutation load like Clarke implies, yes it was.

    an inanimate aluminum tube Reply:

    —Hurlock said—
    Socialist policies are inherently dysgenic, as I said a couple of days ago. Hilariously enough I was told immigration is more dysgenic. I decided not to bother but I will say it now.

    Immigration is not always dysgenic, it can actually be eugenic sometimes depending on circumstances,
    —————

    Not hilarious.

    Immigration is not always dysgenic, in theory. But we were talking about actual, existing immigration. Immigration from Africa, the Muslim world and the under class of Latin America to the first world almost certainly is dysgenic, given the IQs of the populations involved.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Yes, in the specific case immigration is dysgenic. With proper selective pressures it can be eugenic.
    But socialism is always dysgenic. It is basically implied by its definition. If you are going to close the borders just do commit dysgenic suicide by socialism (albeit only for your own ethnicity), why bother closing them at all? With open borders it will be faster and you will have a scapegoat on whom you can blame the results of the retarded socialist policies. Win-win.
    By closing the borders in the current situation western countries would not be saving themselves. They would be just prolonging their agony.

    [Reply]

    an inanimate aluminum tube Reply:

    Just keep in mind that the science behind HBD is pretty close rock solid, while our understanding of ongoing dysgenics within groups is far more limited.

    We *know* that bringing in a bunch of Africans makes the average IQ of the population drop like a rock. They’ve studied “the gap” obsessively for decades.

    You *suspect* that “socialism” is responsible for ongoing dysgenics. But this isn’t established in the same way that “The Gap” is established.

    We can observe seemingly dysgenic fertility in supposedly capitalist Singapore.

    We can observe seemingly dysgenic fertility in Nepal where the GDP per Capita is only 700 something.

    We can observe seemingly dysgenic fertility in Denmark as well, but perhaps only just barely.

    But our understanding of how many IQ points this seemingly dysgenic fertility is costing us is exceedingly limited.

    And our understanding of the causes is also quite limited.

    You say “socialism”, I look at a fertility rate of 6.67 for illiterate Muslim women in Nepal and say “enough food and medical care for even the poorest people”. Then I look at a 1.something fertility rate for educated Nepalese women and I say “smart people “choosing” not to reproduce”.

    Unfortunately the problem seems to go far beyond just socialism. It’s more of a problem of the modern world as a whole.

    an inanimate aluminum tube Reply:

    It’s not socialism that prevents the poor from starving, it’s the green revolution.

    The one that means “For about 70 cents, you can buy a can of soda. In Ethiopia, for just 70 cents a day you can feed a starving child like Jamaal nourishing meals.”

    Calories are cheap, starving the poor will be far more difficult than it was back in the glory days of poor-starving. And by making them super poor you’ll ensure that they have nothing else to do with their time but reproduce.

    If anything, you should figure out a fool proof IQ test and then send tell the stupid women that they’re really smart and send them to graduate school, thus dramatically reducing their fertility.

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Yes, truly the Machiavellian solution; the trifecta of over-education, debt and alienation will wreak havoc on fertility

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 10:55 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner (@heresiologist) Says:

    We don’t have to resort to darwinian natural selection or advanced genetic engineering, all you need to do is change incentive structures. Offer every man and woman with an IQ under 90 10,000 dollars if they choose to get a free sterilization. What unintelligent person with no ability for long term planning is going to turn down that deal? There will be a line all around the block…

    On the other end of the Bell Curve, you need to incentivize smart women to reproduce. Simply offer a full scholarship for graduate/professional/medical studies for all qualified mothers with two or more children over the age of 8. Or offer the equivalent money in the form of a small business grant if the gal is more entrepreneurial. The smart girl life track should be College, Marriage and family formation, a stint as a full time mom, and then get the advanced training and degree while the kids are still in school. The kids hit puberty, and boom, they have a good 20 years out there being a working girl if they want. The ladies really can have it all, just not all at once.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    This sounds pretty reasonable, but it is not really a replacement of natural selection, it is more like a modification, no?

    [Reply]

    Stirner (@heresiologist) Reply:

    It’s more along the lines of animal breeding, where you weed out the unwanted traits, and promote the wanted traits. Natural selection inevitably involves the creation of wretched misery and death. It simply isn’t necessary anymore.

    Unnatural selection is the way to go in this day and age. No starving and feral poor, just 19 year old ghetto and trailer park girls who can now get the cash for that boob job or full back tattoo that they have always dreamed of. Or 18 year old boys who realize that they can get paid to avoid ever having to pay child support. Ever.

    NRx is not a bunch of Nazi’s after all. We just offer a range of Neoreactionary “family planning” services. All very voluntary and win-win for everyone involved.

    [Reply]

    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    The problem of course is that the enemy is utterly unconcerned with reasonable, humane, progressive solutions. This will never fly unless we had power, and if we could have power, anyone could have power and all bets are off.

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 11:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • aisaac Says:

    If intelligence has really declined by 1SD, the Victorians would have been as smart as Ashkenazi Jews are now. I find that hard to believe. If it declined by another SD, that would be an epic disaster. Greg Cochran has already pointed out that fields like mathematics that require very high intelligence would collapse, we would also lack enough bright but not brilliant people to keep society running.

    Suppose you need an IQ of 115 to function as a competent but not stellar doctor, engineer, manager or leader of any kind above store level at McDonald’s, etc. If the population has an average IQ of 100 with an SD of 15, about 15% of the population meets that requirement. If the bell curve slid one SD to the left, that number would decline to about 2.5%, and we’d be lucky to keep the lights on, let alone make any technological progress. Sounds kind of like modern Africa.

    Here’s something everyone who wants to talk about this should know – I get the impression that a lot of people don’t.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/68%E2%80%9395%E2%80%9399.7_rule

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 13th, 2014 at 5:21 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    I’m not buying this, but if it were true, it’s not about welfare, or about progressivism either.

    It’s about mortality rates; weak, poor, lazy people used to die all the time as babies, kids and adults. Now nobody dies unless you got a very very nasty disease.

    So unless we’re willing to forsake modern medicine and let 1/4 of babies, includes our babies, die, then we’re fucked. Sterilizing might stave off dysgenic selection, but it doesn’t help against mutational load.

    [Reply]

    Izak Reply:

    As the guys from Devo once said, “Disease is punishment!”

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 13th, 2014 at 6:19 am Reply | Quote
  • Charles Says:

    Human reaction time varies by ~10 standard deviations depending on temperature, in healthy adult humans. There is some medical literature on this as well as the evidence from military and astronaut studies. What was the temperature in degrees Celsius when Victorian era people were tested? Their historical data is simply completely unreliable, no solid methodology or experimental conditions..

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 13th, 2014 at 9:41 am Reply | Quote
  • Edward Says:

    I have a really hard time that civilization would go down without a good fight. I’m sure that at least SOME countries will try technological fixes to stop this.

    Yes, there’s the question of “is genetic engineering of humans a monstrous, tower-of-babel or Antichrist scale evil” or “politically incorrect” — but those considerations tend to go by the board really quickly when national survival is at stake (see nuclear weapons, etc.) And SOME religious groups might say “the Lord helps those who help themselves.” And as far as political correctness – it will die out, since it is a luxury for people whose lives are too easy!!!!!! When the chips are down, political correctness will…evaporate.

    So how about this scenario – wait as I put on my Science Fiction Writer’s hat…

    Let’s stipulate that in 50 years, the relationship between reaction time and IQ is thoroughly understood. And genes and gene frequencies that contribute to IQ are understood — even if it’s a a million genes spread across the whole genome, each with tiny effect, “big data” technologies can be used to compute an embryo’s “estimated IQ range” by crunching all this data, in a few destructively sampled cells taken from an embryo after a few cell divisions.

    And that whole genome sequencing is at a point that for, let’s say $50,000 US, a couple can have 1000 IVF embryos made up, from their gametes, and scanned for deleterious mutations – and the best brought to term. Schizophrenia, ugliness, shortness, etc. — gone.

    Lots of professional couples would avail themselves of this technology (I know some who would – they told me). And it’s popular enough that the government can help subsidize it (the US government, not just, say, China). Government already subsidizes similar expenses…i.e. social programs, etc. So the politicians might see this as a good investment, especially if “the Chinese are doing it, too.”

    And let’s stipulate that that it is widely understood that dysgenics is causing some bad social effects (in 2060).

    If this kind of technological fix is applied across a large part of the population, say about half — would it be enough to stop this problem, especially if the technology advanced over time(i.e inserting synthetic genes, re-engineering the basis for high IQ so it’s not so fragile, etc…) And what if it continues for decades or centuries??

    What are the prospects (stipulating cost, etc, as I have proposed) that this would do the trick?

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 13th, 2014 at 6:49 pm Reply | Quote

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