‘Eldritch’ comments at Scott Alexander’s place:
I think the actual argument against IQ is this:
1. Intelligence is a measure of your value as a person in a wide range of situations.
2. IQ supposedly measures intelligence.
3. IQ may not be significantly changeable.
4. Therefore, this test lets you measure the innate aptitude and this value of a person.
5. Therefore, this could be used to prove I am inherently less valuable than other people.
6. This makes me REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE.
7. Therefore, IQ is wrong.
I’m pretty sure this is the real argument against IQ, and most arguments against it are simply attempts to find arguments that fit this conclusion.
My only significant quibble with this construction concerns point #5, which massively underestimates the predominance of pathological altruism / social terror in the IQ ‘debate’. The possibility that IQ measurements could make other people seem in some awkward way inferior is a far more powerful deterrent than anything it could say about oneself. (The probability that someone is going to say something stupid about IQ has a striking positive correlation with IQ.)
The post itself makes a (wholly superfluous) strong argument for the robust realism of the g concept. If you’re the kind of crime-stopped idiot who needs persuading about it, you’re almost certainly beyond persuasion. The relevant fork in the road has already been passed. Rationalists find it strangely hard to grasp that simple fact. They’re nice that way.
ADDED: Dear Prudence.