Sentences (#21)

This paper, promoted by Bryce shortly before his mysterious disappearance, and now recollected by NBS, is definitely worth chewing over. In particular, this sentence generated a lot of Twitter excitement:

These children have IQs similar to Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, etc., so the loss from unrealized potential is enormous.

There’s no society on earth that isn’t throwing it’s greatest resource into the trash, although the differences are almost certainly worth exploring.

May 28, 2015admin 32 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations


32 Responses to this entry

  • Sentences (#21) | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Sentences (#21) […]

    Posted on May 28th, 2015 at 4:40 pm Reply | Quote
  • Frog Do Says:

    “However, because of the moderate r values of the correlates, IQ is primarily of value in understanding the characteristics and interactions of large populations.”

    With the interpretation that the point of Moldbug’s thought is to convert our hopelessly progressive elite, if this sentence could be cast in bronze and carved in granite before any discussion of IQ and heredity it would do a lot of good.


    Practically speaking, this seems to imply a many-tiered caste system where the leadership of a caste should have calibrated IQ values. But should this keep pyramiding up until we are all ruled (eventually) by the brightest? I am wary of arguments like this because taking things to the limit destroys conventional guesswork.


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    This article seems to indicate that this isn’t possible, since leaders require advisors, and the brightest would lead few effectively, naturally. To be ruled by a philosopher king with IQ 200 would require a tiered hierarchy of castes, but he would have no advisors (or few.)

    The pyramid structure of power doesn’t directly correlate to IQ – it looks like the upper-middle part of the IQ pyramid is the most powerful in terms of social connection (which correlates to wealth inasmuch as this connection is natural and pretended) and those above it are doomed not to lead but to advise, and those yet above, to either advise the advisors (men like Einstein) or function non-intellectually.

    Democracy therefore inherently stupifies the elite because half of all people have IQ’s at / below 100, which means to lead such people directly is limited to IQ’s below 120, which doesn’t seem sufficient for a lot of professions or a high technical understanding.

    The structural pwnedness of democracy is written all over this document. It is an omen of death.


    Michael Ferguson Reply:

    Author of the article here. Yes. Further contemplation will likely cause


    peter connor Reply:

    My experience with other lawyers, judges, and corporate executives has been that they dislike and downgrade people who are smarter than they are, and who tend to offer unorthodox solutions to problems. Furthermore, most of these people, not all, got there through the old Boys, or girls, network and are less intelligent than these studies suggest, with IQs below 125….people are promoted in this system on the basis of political reliability, or sometimes affirmative action, not on the basis of achievement or intelligence…


    Posted on May 28th, 2015 at 5:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Ferguson Says:

    You are essentially correct. In order to mobilize higher IQ people, we need to create new education and productive environments. We can’t just collectively slap ourselves on our foreheads and repent.


    A.B Prosper Reply:

    Very true,

    However in the broadest sense we do not need Hi IQ people all that much. Humanity supported itself fine without them having any abilities to act on that brain power for tens of thousands of years.

    Also science ain’t easy and the idea that if we just could let our big brains research we could solve so many problems is a progress driven conceit.

    It may not be possible to do all the groovy thing we want to do simply because they are too difficult.


    johnson 18 Reply:

    We’re Nietzcheans here, bro. At least, I am. So that whole argument is pretty much discredited.


    Posted on May 28th, 2015 at 7:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Sentences (#21) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on May 28th, 2015 at 8:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Izak Says:

    This paper rests upon the assumption that high IQ people innately want to be productive members of society, if only we got the education structure right. It is a somewhat peculiar environment-over-genetics argument, which is pretty funny considering the author’s acceptance of IQ’s heritability.

    There seems to be a blind spot in IQ enthusiasts. Because IQ is one of the areas where we can establish a useful metric, some people assume that no other traits can or should come into play, like basic motivation, simply because there is no way to quantitatively determine it. Out of sight, out of mind.


    Frog Do Reply:

    “Members of high IQ societies, especially those that require D15IQs above 145, often comment that around this IQ, qualitatively different thinking emerges. By this they mean that the 145+ D15IQ person doesn’t just do the same things, intellectually, as a lower IQ person, just faster and more accurately, but actually engages in fundamentally different intellectual processes. David Wechsler, D. K. Simonton, et alia, have observed the same thing.”

    Human beings are social animals, and a high IQ very probably does not change that. The problem seems to me to rest with the definition of “productive”. The standard understanding of the term necessarily comes from a certain IQ range deciding the social definition of productive, but in the quote above, the notation of qualitatively different thought seems to imply we (the general “we”) would not recognize it as such.


    R. Reply:

    I have a suspicion the reason most high IQ society members have not achieved much is, that IQ score can be boosted more easily than true cognitive abilities.

    Has anyone tested whether those really familiar with IQ tests are as good on completely unrelated complex tasks as those who scored that high after just taking a few ?


    peter connor Reply:

    Totally true, in my experience…


    Dark Psy-Ops Reply:

    You may be interested in this study of ‘academic motivation’:

    An abstract:
    ‘Little is known about why people differ in their levels of academic motivation. This study explored the etiology of individual differences in enjoyment and self-perceived ability for several school subjects in nearly 13,000 twins aged 9–16 from 6 countries. The results showed a striking consistency across ages, school subjects, and cultures. Contrary to common belief, enjoyment of learning and children’s perceptions of their competence were no less heritable than cognitive ability. Genetic factors explained approximately 40% of the variance and all of the observed twins’ similarity in academic motivation. Shared environmental factors, such as home or classroom, did not contribute to the twin’s similarity in academic motivation. Environmental influences stemmed entirely from individual specific experiences.’


    Izak Reply:

    Very interesting, thank you.


    peter connor Reply:

    In fact, all human behavior is heritable, roughly 50% genetic…


    Posted on May 28th, 2015 at 9:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    yes the missing cognitive elites i just spoke of in the past thread. well sort ,of this paper is referring to the known unknowns the Ivy drop outs and failures to launch,i meant the unknown unknown ,the cognitively gifted that the math tells us we never even identified because well they would be white and from flyover country so more trouble than they are worth.
    and theres another group those that through certain antisocial sieves escape the maw of the matrix, alcoholics, depressives,artists etc
    yes for obvious reasons the known unknown waste is stupid except that we all intuit why they dont rule the [ Physician, Judge, Professor, Scientist, Corporate Executive] world despite their IQs , hmm im not sure i agree those professions would benefit IQs over 133 anyway, professor maybe depending how thats defined.
    certainly we ought to be putting them to work for all our benefit but rarely interacting with the public and almost never as leaders. let me put this so you guys can understand it spock was smarter than kirk but would have been a disaster as captain, in real life he shouldn’t have risen about analyst and kirk would really have had about a 133IQ i find its optimal for leadership.
    But its INSANE we let them falll through the cracks and its even more insane 95% of the elite college entrants all come from the same affluent urban suburban zip codes when the distribution probability tells us this is not possible.
    but this leads us to DENRXs snobbishness they too seem to dismiss not only the existence importance and eventual impact of these cognitive elites. Gotta say you guys seem [and i like you] like very similar to your leftist counterparts only mad you didnt get picked , in fact a lot of your proposals seem really similar to leftist ideas only naughtier. but just as out of touch.
    >140s dont want to lead anyway they need to research,game, invent, etc but we are at a point we need a way to organize the infomation thyey provide. its too much for a leader type and they are not suited for action. the questions need to be identified the research done the block chain of info built the decision made so the leader knows where to lead.
    DENRX is evolutionary biology /metta data /economics- [
    religion not going to work monarchy absurd]
    so heres the question given HBD can a culture be designed that sustains is it worth living and dying fot.HBD is not rational it was a reaction to past events, if not can a editing be done in time-how.
    But in the meantime does time need to be bought ,probably which is why doing nothing makes more practically minded <140s exasperated


    blahblahblah Reply:

    “given HBD can a culture be designed that …”

    Yes. When you get down to the bottom of it, all that it requires* is physical proximity between eligible members. You don’t need to design anything, you just need to filter for naturally existing blueprints. Culture is the socio-material expression of a particular population.

    *note, I’m not saying that this is somehow and “easy” problem to solve, merely that it’s 95% of the hurdle.


    Michael Reply:

    i get there is a feedback loop between genes and culture implying one culture doesnt fit all for a variety of reasons besides IQ and so i have no problem with an ethno state that allowed some latitude for guest workers or non citizen residence, i think its likely the bare minimum for a civilization.what i was getting at and perhaps you understood but i simply dont get your answer ,is given HBD did not produce animals that are not necessarily rational instincts emotions motivations, that we in fact here seem to think we may have bred for instance suicidal altruism, individualism etc. so when we look at history at euro cultural collapse over millennia Im not seeing any workable system -sorry monarchists.that would not repeat its failure even if it could overcome apathy and hostility to its implementation.i think you mean that these older models worked and are biologically compatible if not for the jews or something, Id really like to see that proved cause off the cuff i dont think so. and i dont find any of these futurist schemes very realistic if i understand them first the seem really far fetched like 100 or more years away not that AI and trans humanism isnt important and eventual but the collapse might be next month, also the proponents seem to be in favor of a machine run world not just that its inevitable but preferable as if machines are just anothr race i have to say i find this absurd not even worth discussing, what might be worth discussing is using machines to optimize government and culture.
    but i digrerss
    simply we evolved to survive another generation in a long ago environment we didnt evolve to survive in this or a future environment some traits may not be adaptable to future needs a stable culture that suits our genes and future conditions may not be possible the causes of collapse viewed through current HBD understanding may give us a clue. in short i just want to check our premises we seem to be off on a tear about leftism because HBD but is there a better possibility or just a alternative. dont misunderstand im sure im the least left person here and not at all squeamish about mass sterilization or whatever,but as our founder pointed out leftism is highly adaptable and philosophically inconsistent so its really just the cathedral a massive mid control operation by a bunch of elitist know it alls -sound familiar. hacking it seems the better plan. yeah demotism is the complaint on Tuesdays but on Thursdays we claim its not really a democracy but a captured system. so if euros are bred for democracy and this system deludes us into thinking its so then really we need only tweak it- except the marxists are waiting for that and have taken the poison pill of quadrillion dollar debt making bankrutcy the preferred option.The other problem i have with the vague ideas around here besides the damned vagueness is they seem like followed to their conclusions they get absurd for instance we like a meritocracy but does the line keep moving to higher and higher IQ for citizenship? I solve the problem thus, though IQ is hereditary the far greater number of average citizens means most cognitive elites will be produced from prole families and so we need them to have the security and dignity whites require for breeding family formation, they also provide a much more varied and interesting environment for the elites in many ways even if some of their cultural tastes we find vulgar you would be a real out of touch idiot to not see they have much more to offer, i might add they did not write the sitcoms the elites did theyre vulgar raste


    Michael Reply:

    their vulgar tastes have been instilled in them their was a time when Shakespeare was what the masses enjoyed.and some low culture is kind of fun even too high IQ people Jazz rock film noire comic books slapstick etc etc each of us has our guilty pleasures.
    this thing with markets i still think atlas shrugs was pretty neat so trust me im no secret socialist, but why do we love free markets religiously- because we think science proves them most efficient? no why do we value this efficiency efficienct markets? because they allow us a better standard of living -oh sure some of us just admire the sytem some of us code for fun but most of us just like what the efficient market gives us so designing a system that makes us less happy but is more efficient is well inefficient, in other words its not completely lefty commie to expect the economy to serve the volk rather than visaversa. The problem is keeping this from getting out of control. I think a lot of socialist ideas are actually adaptable to capitalist systems most even started that way and simply need to return to freindly societies etc in other words insurance without subsidy,
    this is where i think machines come in government needs to be replaced with apps
    people get and trust open systems more than those run by other tribes

    blahblahblah Reply:

    Dear aggrieved fellow traveler– reading your posts feels like drowning in your thoughts. I barely have the shred of patience necessary to mentally squint every time I go over them, and it irks me that the fruit of my labor is a rotting rope of sense I can barely grab on to and guide myself amidst that deluge of word vomit. Punctuation is an exquisitely useful innovation. Employ it, it pays for itself.

    “we in fact here seem to think we may have bred for instance suicidal altruism, individualism etc.”

    That’s nothing more, and nothing less than rhetoric relatively common only among the more blockheaded segments of the “alternative” / “dissident right”. We haven’t bred for either, and none of these traits’ more pathological variants are widespread enough to skew the tally into something that would resemble cultural suicidal ideation.

    “so when we look at history at euro cultural collapse over millennia Im not seeing any workable system”

    That’s probably because you haven’t done a thorough search or you set the bar unreasonably high. Maybe you should look for useful hints, not ready-made solutions.

    “that would not repeat its failure even if it could overcome apathy and hostility to its implementation”

    What you retrofit as inevitable occurrences were are in fact historical contingencies. You’re not tackling the problem properly at all.

    “in short i just want to check our premises”

    Judging by the hodgepodge of botched up truths, regurgitated canards, and a whole lot of gushing nonsense that is that barely decipherable latter half of your post, you should probably acquire some wellformed “premises” first.

    Posted on May 29th, 2015 at 4:36 am Reply | Quote
  • SanguineEmpiricist Says:

    We just have to find theme and make sure they are priced correctly. It’s just a lot of tough grunt work and boilerplate work.


    Posted on May 29th, 2015 at 6:22 am Reply | Quote
  • deFuser Says:

    A truly brilliant article. Having attended urban, inner-city schools as a child, I experienced some of this disaffection with the educational system that nearly caused me to drop out, though being of only moderately high intelligence I eventually succeeded in university. It is truly saddening, but makes absolute sense, that there is no social recourse once you approach the upper limits of IQ.

    The only problem I have is with the first part of the argument: I suspect there’s a possible self-selection effect for “intellectually elite” careers. For instance, professors generally do not make much money and the brightest can feasibly make much more in other sectors that are not considered ‘intellectually elite’ but are still intellectually rewarding (technology, for instance). I am in a fairly competitive PhD program, and project to make a starting salary of around 60k USD, give or take five thousand dollars; if I could make double that amount pursuing another intellectually stimulating line of work I would do so, but frankly my options in this regard are limited (although I have not been tested, I assume my IQ to fall within the 110 to 120 range with a high degree of confidence). Taking a pay cut for the academic life probably would not be fulfilling for someone with an IQ of 160, because they would be teaching, writing for, and engaging with those with 120 IQs, which is the same as in other higher paying jobs. Similarly, most scientists do not make that much money, and law, frankly, is probably not an intellectually stimulating path for most above 140 IQ people to take. I am curious, though, to find out exactly what most higher IQ are actually doing; if there isn’t any research on this yet, it certainly deserves to be conducted! As suggested in the OP, I’m sure it varies by location; it’s most frightening to think about what this implies for dysgenic societies.


    R. Reply:

    >>aking a pay cut for the academic life probably would not be fulfilling for someone with an IQ of 160, because they would be teaching, writing for, and engaging with those with 120 IQs, which is the same as in other higher paying jobs<<

    Ya think physicists have 120 IQs? Well – maybe the below average graduate students. Today, physics is so complex that any humanly possible IQ would still find a good number of people to talk math with, and enough challenging stuff to work on.


    deFuser Reply:

    In other words, less than 2% of academia? Physics, and possibly some branches of engineering, are the only fields in which IQs are necessarily above that threshold; all the others can be successfully accomplished with 120 IQs, which is why even at elite universities, as the article mentions, IQs are not as high as one might expect. And physics is only even that demanding and rewarding at elite universities. Do you think that a 4-4 teaching load at a directional university will be stimulating for someone with an IQ of 160? Do these jobs require IQs above 120? Jobs at elite universities are so competitive that even those with extremely high IQs are certainly not guaranteed one, and they must also be extremely lucky. A high IQ PhD in physics would probably choose working in finance over teaching physics at a state university for a fraction of the pay, and this has been known to happen. Also, the article mentions that while physics is one place with room for those with high IQs, one’s interest must also be aligned with that field. I find it silly that people assume that since very high IQ individuals could do physics better than the average person that they would therefore all want to do physics. What if their interests lie in economics, biology, or, god forbid, the humanities (and historically the brilliant have also gravitated towards the humanistic fields)? An individual with an IQ of 160 simply wouldn’t find those environments, as they exist even in most top universities today, very stimulating, at least not enough to justify making a fraction of what they could otherwise. Thus, my argument stands that the “intellectually elite” profession of professor is simply not, the vast majority of the time, one into which extremely high IQ individuals would self-select.


    Posted on May 29th, 2015 at 10:30 am Reply | Quote
  • Michael Ferguson Says:

    At all IQ levels there are people who want to be productive and those who don’t. That is why, even though an IQ of 133 is optimal, Mensa’s membership is bloated with people who have never been a member of an intellectual elite. However, what you posit would require that the desire to contribute is inversely correlated with IQ above 133 and I am hard pressed to come up with a reason that would be ture.

    This is the crux of the issue investigated in this paper. Is the underperformance of 140+ IQ people (as measured by percent engaged in activities that benefit from a high IQ, the result of a pervasive trait of high IQ people or is it the result of inappropriate educational and productive environments. There is no slam dunk answer because the issue is under researched. However, I present an argument for the latter.


    The International Community Reply:

    I thought about joining Mensa once. I went to their thing for prospective members, and it was full of boring losers. The obvious selection effect is that people who don’t already have fulfilling social lives don’t join.

    I don’t know what my IQ is. The only time I’ve had it tested, I got 144. But I didn’t go to a good college and I’ve never had any idea how to get into a useful field — my family is poor and I grew up in a dead-end shithole. I went into programming because fuck it, six figures, and my parents both did it at some point.

    My guess is that I would’ve been put on some track had I gotten interested in something in school. But I didn’t. It all bored the hell out of me and I didn’t care about any of it. Maybe that’s what does it: the tracking works better if you have more ability, but it also works better if you’re closer to the target audience.

    The obvious analogy is pop culture. People like us tend not to be interested in it. But that’s because we’re not the target audience. It’s selected for appeal to the masses, so it’s going to tailor itself to the average psychology of the whole potential audience. The further you are from the center that it’s aiming for, the less it’s going to appeal to you.


    Posted on May 29th, 2015 at 10:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • R. Says:

    It’s one of those not-even-wrong things.

    I’m sad it’s..well. Promoted like this.


    Posted on May 29th, 2015 at 11:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • R. Says:

    Speaking of nice sounding bullshit – Stanislaw Lem had a story, or more precisely, a review of a fictional book on exactly this topic*, in his book Imaginary Magnitude.


    D. Reply:

    The review is in Lem’s book A Perfect Vacuum as “Odysseus of Ithaca” by Kuno Mlatje. A novel about a man named Homer Odysseus who tries to discover geniuses of the first order, those intellects so far above their contemporaries that their work becomes invisible and stands outside the current of intellectual history. In the process, he uncovers many works by geniuses of the second order, those who were too far in advance of their contemporaries to be understood at the time, and comes to the conclusion that the only living genius of the first order is he himself.


    Posted on May 29th, 2015 at 11:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2015/05/31) | The Reactivity Place Says:

    […] Land finds a particularly piquant sentence in Ferguson’s […]

    Posted on June 1st, 2015 at 3:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • johnson 18 Says:

    @Michael Ferguson
    Mensa is interesting but obviously not any sort of solution. There would need to be more of a central influence willing to assert some degree of vocal global presence allowing for an escape for people everywhere, essentially into a group that provides an alternative to the primary social structure, way of thinking and seeing, as well as a way for those who tend to be on the bad end of the low IQ “situation” in general, to instead leave that pointlessly harmful structure and enter into a social and political system, alternative, which allows them to thrive, not only socially, but also intellectually and creatively alongside their equals, as in a society of equals. If low IQ people get to live a happy life among equals, it makes absolutely no sense that high IQ people should be born into separation and alienation from a young age, due to their being an “affront” to those who do not understand them.

    Up, in some cases, is up. IQ is one of those cases where it makes no sense to deny that it is, frankly, a matter of real value and real importance. Intelligence defines the human. It is thus the, or at least a, primary value of the human (alongside some others, though frankly lately I feel others, such as “emotional intelligence” or compassion are largely fabricated and do not exist except in the minds of those lacking any sort of respect for intelligence qua intelligence).

    Such a group would have to not be interested in the traditional domination and destruction of prior such “superior” groups, but instead simply exist as a thing, people can come if they want. The basic rules would simply be that ideas and difference are privileged over social skills. It would set itself apart in this basic way. I have no idea how to control for this, and personally I find the idea of an IQ test distasteful. We see some degree of this type of social structure on websites like 4chan, which seem to privilege the ideas and information presented over any trivialities, though there is danger there due to the lack of any real social contact or social structure at all. I all I know is that there needs to be a way to provide an out for young geniuses as well as those with aspergers and other “disorders” (yeah, sure, disorders) to exit the traditional physical social structure, which is not only destructive to them in terms of their intellectual, creative, and social/emotional health, but also to the future of society as a whole, civilization, and the possibilities of the human species moving forward. So it really would be in the best interests for everyone.

    It seems like the internet is probably the answer to these questions, but it still hurts to know that there are children everywhere being born into situations where they will go years before ever beginning to realize it was the people around them who were stupid, the structure which privileged those people, and not them. If this could be changed, it would be very significant for society.


    Posted on June 2nd, 2015 at 2:35 am Reply | Quote

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