Quote notes (#16)

Jason Richwine on structural media dishonesty:

What causes so many in the media to react emotionally when it comes to IQ? Snyderman and Rothman believe it is a naturally uncomfortable topic in modern liberal democracies. The possibility of intractable differences among people does not fit easily into the worldview of journalists and other members of the intellectual class who have an aversion to inequality. The unfortunate — but all too human — reaction is to avoid seriously grappling with inconvenient truths. And I suspect the people who lash out in anger are the ones who are most internally conflicted.

But I see little value in speculating further about causes. Change is what’s needed. And the first thing for reporters, commentators, and non-experts to do is to stop demonizing public discussion of IQ differences. Stop calling names. Stop trying to get people fired. Most of all, stop making pronouncements about research without first reading the literature or consulting people who have.

Good luck with that.

August 10, 2013admin 2 Comments »
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2 Responses to this entry

  • spandrell Says:

    What causes so many in the media to react emotionally when it comes to IQ?

    Well figure that out before seeking a career in public policy. Sheesh.


    Handle Reply:

    It’s a rhetorical question. Richwine knows the answer, obviously. And he knew the depressing History of the intellectual-and-popular-media interaction as well.

    What he probably thought that was that his PhD dissertation would remain in one academic world and his public policy work on behalf of heritage would remain in the other. Big mistake.

    After all – that’s how it is with the rest of scholarly psychometrics. Plenty of obscure academics have published plenty of results identical to those found in Richwine’s PhD thesis and no one cares to excommunicate them or hound them out of polite society. They sit collecting dust on library bookshelves. In fact, demonstrating ethnic cognitive gaps or high heritability scores is so completely uncontroversial and boring and done every day with standardized testing in schools that no legitimate researcher really cares about trying to validate or undermine the basic data anymore. The market demands actionable intelligence – that is – results which show whatever limited progress we can make with the nurture part of the equation and which suggest feasible policy implications.

    If Richwine had written a paper for Heritage on the evils of tax-increment-financing or the minimum wage then he and his thesis would have remained in obscurity. But he dared go against the Open Borders Crusade and any exploitable paper trail he’d left in his past became fair game.

    The ability to deploy vilifying hysteria so selectively is one of the great strengths of the Cathedral – and Richwine was just trying to demonstrate how tiring, ridiculous and hypocritical these public crucifixions are. Oh well, too late for him it seems.


    Posted on August 10th, 2013 at 5:49 am Reply | Quote

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