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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Soft equalitarianism

Fred Reed points out how flawed assumptions lead to bad policy:
The commentators don’t realize that not everybody is like them. Those with IQs of 140 and up (130 gets you into Mensa, I think) unconsciously believe that anything is possible. Denizens of this class know that if they decided to learn, say, classical Greek, they could. You get the book and go at it. It would take work, yes, and time, but the outcome would be certain.

They don’t understand that the waitress has an IQ of 85 and can’t learn much of anything.

Conservatives think in terms of merciless abstractions and liberals insist that everyone is equal. Not even close. Further, people with barely a high-school education and low-voltage minds regard any intellectual task with utter discouragement.

Some commentators urge letting people invest their Social Security taxes in the stock market. To them it is a question of abstract freedom and probably the Federalist papers. The commentators are smart enough to invest money. I’ll guess that at least half the population isn’t. Go into the tit bar (does it still exist) in Waldorf, Maryland, and ask the dump-truck drivers and nail-pounders what NASDAQ is.

Liberal commentators want everyone to go to college, when about a fifth of people have the brains. Conservatives think that people can rise by hard work and sacrifice as certainly many people have. Thing is, most people can’t.
This affects a lot of smart people. My father used to constantly get on my case because he felt my MPAI philosophy was too contemptuous. And yet, he constantly ran into problems because he overestimated the capability of the average individual. At one point, we had an argument about calculus. He felt that it was easy and that anyone could learn it, because it was easy for him. I pointed out that the opinion anyone who'd been finishing an engineering PhD at MIT when he was hired out of school by a tech giant was not relevant to the average human being.

That sort of soft equalitarianism is nothing more than false humility. There is nothing arrogant about the simple observation that X is smarter than Y, anymore than there is in the observation that X is taller than Y, or X is heavier than Y. We know these things before we quantify them, and to pretend otherwise is not sane.

It harms people to pretend they have capabilities they don't have, because we set them up for failure. To help someone be all they can be, the focus has to be on the word "can". Sometimes we can do more than we think we can, but more often, we can't do as much as we fancifully imagine.

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211 Comments:

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Blogger Brad Andrews February 03, 2015 4:21 PM  

They don’t understand that the waitress has an IQ of 85 and can’t learn much of anything.

This is a false statement. She would have to have learned how to be an acceptable waitress or she would not have her job.

Many jobs are requiring more understanding than in the past, but it is also quite likely that many useful things can still be done by humans with a lower skill cap.

I don't want to eat from a robotic waitress, for example.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 4:24 PM  

This is a false statement. She would have to have learned how to be an acceptable waitress or she would not have her job.

Because learning how to take a good order is equivalent to learning calculus or classical Greek...

There's a reason he wrote "can't learn much of anything" and not "can't learn anything".

Anonymous Jeromus February 03, 2015 4:27 PM  

The Dunning–Kruger effect?

Blogger Bard February 03, 2015 4:28 PM  

Brad,
What if the robotic waitress of the future is smoking hot, has your order right every time, and never leaves your drink glass empty?

Blogger Bard February 03, 2015 4:29 PM  

Plus, you don't have to tip it!

Blogger Nate February 03, 2015 4:29 PM  

its very helpful for rich smart people to actually have help around the house. because occasionally the folks with iqs in the 150s need to be reminded how dumb someone with an iq in the 90s actually is.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 4:33 PM  

its very helpful for rich smart people to actually have help around the house. because occasionally the folks with iqs in the 150s need to be reminded how dumb someone with an iq in the 90s actually is.

This is why Thomas Friedman spends so much time talking to third world taxi drivers.

On a serious note, this is what Charles Murray warned about in the bell curve and coming apart...that you would see an increased segregation of the country between the elites and everyone else.

Blogger Bard February 03, 2015 4:35 PM  

VD,
I sure enjoy the way you use examples to make a point. Height and weight, those observations are not offensive. Make it intelligence, and bingo, instantly unfair. But too late, they already bit on the other two and can't back out of the same comparison.

Blogger Northern Hamlet February 03, 2015 4:37 PM  

VD,

Can you please give us what MPAI stands for? I looked a long time ago, but didn't see any posts specifically saying its meaning.

Blogger SirHamster February 03, 2015 4:37 PM  

MPAI = Most People Are Idiots

Anonymous RedJack February 03, 2015 4:47 PM  

Some commentators urge letting people invest their Social Security taxes in the stock market. To them it is a question of abstract freedom and probably the Federalist papers. The commentators are smart enough to invest money. I’ll guess that at least half the population isn’t.

I run into that all the time. The pension plans collapsed because MBA's and others couldn't figure out how to invest in the market to give enough of a return to support retired truck drivers. So we shut down the pensions, and let the individual employee run their own "pension". It won't work. It can't work. Most people just don't have the ability. Most people expect SS or the lottery to pay for their retirement.

Belioc was right. The majority of mankind has no desire to control their own destiny. They only want consistency.

Blogger Plump Pleasant Plumber February 03, 2015 4:50 PM  

As my dear old Dad used to say, intelligence isn't equally spread amongst the people. He also said that you just had to accept that some folks don't understand what they see,

Blogger S1AL February 03, 2015 4:53 PM  

While this is true to some extent, there's also the issue of pure, stubborn, willful ignorance. I've found that most people are capable of learning a great deal to a reasonable extent if they simply apply themselves; but stupid *and* foolish is a pretty awful combination.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 03, 2015 4:57 PM  

Because learning how to take a good order is equivalent to learning calculus or classical Greek...

And just how are either of those required to get a productive job?

The flaw of claiming such people can do nothing is it then increases the importance for government to do something.

They may not be able to do something I would want to do, but that is irrelevant.

I would see good waitressing skills as more than "not much of anything."

Anonymous Stilicho February 03, 2015 4:57 PM  

It harms people to pretend they have capabilities they don't have, because we set them up for failure.

Are all people equally capable of moral behavior?

Anonymous jay c February 03, 2015 5:00 PM  

It's why expanding the voting franchise is a slippery slope and almost always a bad idea. "It's ok if the next tier down can vote. They're not so much dumber." And then the new voters say the same thing about the next tier down until eventually the electorate is almost entirely made up of barely literate, easily manipulated, low info "voters" and the people who really run the show can make them do all kinds of circus tricks.

Restricting voters to propertied freemen was one of the best ideas the Founders ever had, but as with all of their other good ideas, they neglected to give it teeth.

Anonymous Bah February 03, 2015 5:01 PM  

While this is true to some extent, there's also the issue of pure, stubborn, willful ignorance.

Which is by no means confined to the stupid. Indeed, it is highly prevalent at the "intelligent" end of the bell-curve (those whom Bruce Charlton calls, "the clever sillies").

Blogger Salt February 03, 2015 5:01 PM  

Those who can do almost anything need to recognize the existence of those who can do almost nothing.

I think Fred is wrong, which is why these people are intellectual snobs. They'd no more dream of leading their beltway-bretheren who are just as Zoo Bar adroit as they are. But the masses, they need to be led. This they reason (falsely). The beltway decides by whom.

One thing quite noticeable here. There's plenty of 140+ IQ out there; the entrepreneurs and CEOs with only the time to see to their bottom line. Yes, they do lobby inside the beltway. Take that away and they're still CEOs.

These beltway boys, might they be missing something? A flaw perhaps, in their charaacter? Like Krauthamer, he writes lots of political books but of what real value are they?

Blogger Danby February 03, 2015 5:02 PM  

Human equality is a theological construct.
No-one who is not a Christian or Muslim can reasonably assert any kind of equality between persons. No other religions, certainly not Judaism, can even argue for the concept.
Equality is right out for Atheists.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 5:02 PM  

The flaw of claiming such people can do nothing is it then increases the importance for government to do something.

To quote Fred, "Conservatives think that people can rise by hard work and sacrifice as certainly many people have. Thing is, most people can’t."

We're not saying people can't do nothing. We are saying that they can't do everything.

There is a limit to how productive someone like our waitress can be. It's foolish not to acknowledge that.

Anonymous Crassus February 03, 2015 5:04 PM  

Are all people equally capable of moral behavior?

For those that aren't, I am always ready with the old hammer-and-nails treatment.

Anonymous jay c February 03, 2015 5:04 PM  

Are you being deliberately obtuse, Brad? Nobody said "such people can do nothing," and "not much of anything" is clearly a subjective statement. So you'd put the bar lower than he would. Stop arguing the peripheral semantics and define your bottom rung. If you could decide who should and should not vote, who would that be and why?

Anonymous Giuseppe February 03, 2015 5:04 PM  

Vox,
In fairness to your dad, I can say with a certain degree of authority that I don't suffer from false humility, certainly, but I really struggled (and still do) with the idea that other humans are that deficient in thinking when compared to me. It sounds fresh m your brief description that he may have seen things this way too. I did note you seem to be much more self-aware than most smart people. I keep thinking that the very basic -axioms/premises- theories - predictions - observation - conclusion and then revision and restart of the loop can work for most human interactions where there are disagreements but I invariably get blindsided by the rabid illogic of the other side. I have come to realise only relatively recently that that Aspie thing, which I have to some degree, makes it pretty difficult to understand that other people are often the rough equivalent of hallucinating monkeys on crack, at least from my perspective. My mistakes can be from erroneous premises, faulty axioms, bad logic, but they are almost never from wild-assed emotions based in fantasy. The most rabid emotions I get are basically when reality is being ignored to the point of pathological criminal negligence.

Blogger Ben Cohen February 03, 2015 5:06 PM  

What's the most reliable IQ test (my SAT was 1030 the first time and 1100 the second)? If my IQ is low and I'm therefore dumb what do I do? It's a serious question.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 5:06 PM  

Are all people equally capable of moral behavior?

The supreme court has said no.

Anonymous Nope February 03, 2015 5:07 PM  

Human equality is a theological construct.
No-one who is not a Christian or Muslim can reasonably assert any kind of equality between persons.


Christianity does not require equality either. Neither heaven nor hell is egalitarian -- both have hierarchies. That Christianity requires equality is the delusion of modern Leftists (some of whom masquerade as Christians).

Blogger Guitar Man February 03, 2015 5:07 PM  

The postmodern narrative that you can do anything you set your mind to is ridiculous. It is probably why many women are convinced they can be as athletically gifted as men. My wife and I have been homeschooling our children for some years now. As a result, it is quite obvious that they are all different. My oldest son (six) started reading at three, and can devour and comprehend books that his 8 year old sister can't. His sister is more in tune with people, she cares for them more than her brother. My 4 year old is a clown, we nicknamed him Gronk.

Part of our goals of homeschooling is to enhance their strengths, but also let them except that failure is a part of life. That not everything comes easy.

Blogger Guitar Man February 03, 2015 5:07 PM  

*accept

Anonymous jay c February 03, 2015 5:08 PM  

No-one who is not a Christian or Muslim can reasonably assert any kind of equality between persons. No other religions, certainly not Judaism, can even argue for the concept.

Neither can any Christian who takes Paul seriously. We're all eyes, hands, and heads and we're not interchangeable. The equality Paul wrote of applied to salvation only, not to physical, mental, or even other spiritual characteristics of the individual.

Anonymous jay c February 03, 2015 5:10 PM  

Correction: "eyes, hands, OR heads"

Anonymous K. W. Jeter February 03, 2015 5:12 PM  

Well, maybe... but I've heard less nonsense spoken by waitresses than by any number of supposedly high-IQ "commentators."

Blogger James Dixon February 03, 2015 5:13 PM  

> It won't work. It can't work.

Sure it can. A simple 50/50 total stock/total bond fund will meet the needs of 90% of people. But you're right, it won't work, because people aren't taught that and don't know how to handle the fluctuations.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 5:13 PM  

My 4 year old is a clown, we nicknamed him Gronk.

GRONK SMASH!

Anonymous Stilicho February 03, 2015 5:14 PM  

The supreme court has said no.

Well, with that bunch it ain't the things they say that make trouble for us so much as it is the things they say that just ain't so.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 5:14 PM  

I don't want to eat from a robotic waitress, for example.

You're unusual in that. How many people eating at McDonald's right now would care if their food were cooked, wrapped, and delivered by machines, if it meant it was 5 seconds faster or 5 cents cheaper?

No one's saying robots will ever replace ALL low-IQ jobs. But they have replaced many of them and will replace more, and our leaders are hard at work replacing as many of the rest as possible with foreigners. On the other hand, there's no plan in the offing to reduce the number of low-IQ people who can't do anything more demanding than those jobs, either by making them smarter or getting them to reproduce less. In fact, current policy seems likely to increase their numbers. What work will they do? How will they earn a living; and if they can't earn it, where will it come from?

Blogger RobertT February 03, 2015 5:14 PM  

"And yet, he constantly ran into problems because he overestimated the capability of the average individual."

I have this in spades. In the interest of brevity I often leave out things that are obvious to me because I assume they're obvious to everyone, things like the 'the sky is blue.' Only when I notice the 'What's he talking about' looks does it sink in that they need me to fill in all the holes. Although I've led a blessed life, this has been my single biggest stumbling block. I have always assumed people were smarter than they are.

I once hired what I thought was a great cpa, Manager on the fast track to partner of a Big 4 firm, reporting officer at one of the biggest equity firms, chief accountant for a very public body (you may have even heard of this individual). But in six months I never got a single hour of billable time out of *. Actually said during our separation interview, "I really can't believe you hired me in a production role."

Blogger S1AL February 03, 2015 5:15 PM  

It could reasonably be argued that the conflation of moral equality before God with practical equivalency is the root cause of every major problem in the West.

Blogger Northern Hamlet February 03, 2015 5:15 PM  

MPAI = Most People Are Idiots

Now don't I look silly?

Anonymous Mike M. February 03, 2015 5:15 PM  

As Murray and Herrenstein pointed out in "The Bell Curve", the real headache is creating a society in which the average man of good character can live in comfort...and respectability.

As for allowing Joe Average to invest his retirement money, it's quite feasible if you limit it to index funds. That's how the Federal Government's system works. Quite successful, with a workforce featuring a considerable spread in IQ.

Anonymous jay c February 03, 2015 5:18 PM  

Well, maybe... but I've heard less nonsense spoken by waitresses than by any number of supposedly high-IQ "commentators."

True, which is why the Founders went with property, sex, and free/slave and not IQ. Some idiots & fools slipped through, obviously, but the majority were smart and capable men.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 5:19 PM  

I have this in spades. In the interest of brevity I often leave out things that are obvious to me because I assume they're obvious to everyone, things like the 'the sky is blue.' Only when I notice the 'What's he talking about' looks does it sink in that they need me to fill in all the holes. Although I've led a blessed life, this has been my single biggest stumbling block. I have always assumed people were smarter than they are.

I think one measure of intelligence is the ability to go from step a to z. Some might only be able to go from a to m, and still others from a to b.

Blogger Salt February 03, 2015 5:21 PM  

It won't work. It can't work.

Why? How difficult is it to put some earning into ~Janus Fund?

Not to skew the topic, but it's the beltway boys who have skewed the ability of the average person. It's not that waitress, as she could live by being that waitress. Her biggest problem? The Beltway Boys.

Blogger Shibes Meadow February 03, 2015 5:23 PM  

What worries me is the future. Right now our economy produces so much surplus wealth that we can pay the less-intelligent to breed. But what happens if that changes? A serious economic crisis or a war might wreck much of our abilty to pump out surplus wealth. On the Day the EBT Stops Working, what do we do: machine-gun them all, or wall them off in ghettoes and watch them starve?

On the other hand, assume the labor-to-surplus value ratio continues to go higher due to automation. What do we then do with the less-intelligent? I tell our son all the time that "there's no room in the future for stupid people" -- what if that becomes literally true? In a world where waitressing is done by robots*, what happens to those with an intellectual capacity sufficient only for waitressing?

From where I sit, there appear to be only two possible answers: lifetime welfare with sterilization, or Soylent Green. Someone please tell me that I'm wrong about this.

* I assume future robots will be something akin to anime-type maids: machines built to mimic young human females in both looks and behavior.

Anonymous Anonymous February 03, 2015 5:24 PM  

While I agree with Fred's theory that some intelligent people are insulated from and don't truly understand the limitations of people less gifted then themselves, I don't believe that it applies to Washington policymakers. Instead I believe TPTB on both the left and right are very well acquainted with the limitations of the general populace and use this knowledge to their advantage at every opportunity. You don't get to the top in Washington because you care about people, but because you don't care.

GoDownFighting

Anonymous p-dawg February 03, 2015 5:25 PM  

@cailcorishev: I would prefer a machine for a different reason - consistency. I tend to order the same thing every time I visit an establishment, at least once I know what my preference is at that place. However, it bothers me greatly when there's a large variation in that order from visit to visit. I imagine that would be less of an issue with a robot chef/waiter.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 03, 2015 5:26 PM  

To quote Fred, "Conservatives think that people can rise by hard work and sacrifice as certainly many people have. Thing is, most people can’t."

We're not saying people can't do nothing. We are saying that they can't do everything.

There is a limit to how productive someone like our waitress can be. It's foolish not to acknowledge that.


And exactly where did I argue that no limit existed? Or are you claiming the limit is inherently below the level of being productive even though she is already productive as a waitress? You will have a fair bit to prove if so as the example proves she already has learned something and is somewhat productive. Or will you argue she was born with that productivity?

I notice you did not address my question of how many jobs require calculus or ancient Greek. I don't know ancient Greek for that matter and do quite well, though I certainly don't expect all to rise to where I am.

Are you being deliberately obtuse, Brad? Nobody said "such people can do nothing," and "not much of anything" is clearly a subjective statement. So you'd put the bar lower than he would. Stop arguing the peripheral semantics and define your bottom rung. If you could decide who should and should not vote, who would that be and why?

Where was voting in the OP? The idea presented is that some can never be productive enough at work, which is clearly untrue. Are you being intentionally obtuse jay?

You're unusual in that. How many people eating at McDonald's right now would care if their food were cooked, wrapped, and delivered by machines, if it meant it was 5 seconds faster or 5 cents cheaper?

McDonalds has never had watresses Cail, at least not that I have heard of. Different target dining experience. I could care less how fast food is made, but that was not the topic.

We could get to a point where the food could be beamed on my plate ala Star Trek, but we are a long ways from that now.

Note that many of you are arguing against points I didn't make. I never claimed everyone can do just as well, but that I remain convinced everyone can do something to advance their personal state and do not require others to take care of them for life so they can survive.

Perhaps I am wrong and we should have bread and circuses for the masses, but you have a much tougher sales job for that point.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 03, 2015 5:28 PM  

Note that preparation and serving are not the same thing. This could be an area I could be surprised in, but humans still deliver the last few steps much better than any machine I have seen or read about, except in science fiction.

Blogger Eric February 03, 2015 5:28 PM  

No-one who is not a Christian or Muslim can reasonably assert any kind of equality between persons.

You're confusing equality of value with equality of capability. The latter is certainly no doctrine of Abrahamic religions.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 5:28 PM  

Denizens of this class know that if they decided to learn, say, classical Greek, they could. You get the book and go at it. It would take work, yes, and time, but the outcome would be certain.

I've thought before that this probably explains the way income tends to level off at higher IQ levels. Above a certain level, you can learn to do so many things that there's not the same urgency to carve out a particular career that will guarantee an income. The 180-IQ guy can decide he's going to be a cryptic crossword creator if that's what really turns him on, because if that doesn't pay well enough, he can spend a couple weeks learning a language well enough to go teach it at the community college for extra income. He doesn't really have to worry about going hungry, especially in an information society, as long as he's willing to do something useful to somebody.

Blogger Danby February 03, 2015 5:29 PM  

"Neither can any Christian who takes Paul seriously. We're all eyes, hands, and heads and we're not interchangeable. The equality Paul wrote of applied to salvation only, not to physical, mental, or even other spiritual characteristics of the individual."

That's why i said "any kind of equality." A Christian believes we are all equally sinners, and equally beloved of God. Spiritually equal. At a practical level, observable reality contravenes any belief that people are physically, intellectually, or functionally equal.

Blogger Matamoros February 03, 2015 5:29 PM  

I read some years back where it said that those abstract reasoning tests where you have to pull apart a box can only be done by about 10% of the population. Another 10-15% can learn how to do it. The rest are lost.

It astounded me, because I thought everyone could do that easily. So it appeared I had overestimated the intelligence of the average American. It is this 25% of the population which holds the future of the country in its hands - as all development and progress depends upon them.

Anonymous Jeigh Di February 03, 2015 5:30 PM  

It's been said that over the next 20 years almost half of all jobs will be automated, which tells me that there is going to be a rising number of people who are unemployable. It will be interesting to see how our society deals with them, or more likely, fails to deal with them.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents February 03, 2015 5:31 PM  

It harms people to pretend they have capabilities they don't have, because we set them up for failure. To help someone be all they can be, the focus has to be on the word "can". Sometimes we can do more than we think we can, but more often, we can't do as much as we fancifully imagine.

Go to any state university and this can be seen at work. Take young people who have the brains to be good technicians, medical therapists, plumbers, etc. but stick them into General College 101 for two years before they flunk out. Two years wasted, maybe two years of debt piled up. But the head count at State U is up, so funding is up, and that's all good.

This ties in with the bogus "10,000 hours to proficiency" idea as well.

The stratified culture in which college boys never spend any time working with garage mechanics or doing their own plumbing isn't doing anyone any favors.

And the reason for all the 401K's originally was to enable engineers who moved too often to ever vest in a pension from GE or IBM to have something for retirement. But the reason why Joe and Jane Average can't have a defined benefit pension anymore is easy: the Fed. It's not possible to set up a sinking fund when the value of the unit of currency is constantly being screwed with.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 03, 2015 5:31 PM  

Completely OT for this thread:

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-microbes-deep-sea-evolution-20150202-story.html

The lack of evolution proves TENS!

Anonymous K. W. Jeter February 03, 2015 5:31 PM  

William F. Buckley: "I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University."

Further to that point -- there's no doubt that Woodrow Wilson was a high-IQ type (president of Princeton University, only US president to hold a Ph. D, etc.), but I'd maintain that if the average American waitress had been president then instead of him, the world would be a better place now. The waitress would have looked at the notion of sending her son off to die in the trenches for no good reason and said, "Well, that's horseshit." Which in fact a lot of waitresses and other average US women did say; there was a considerable amount of "I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier" anti-war sentiment then, as documented in Bill Kaufmann's masterful Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism, the one book I find myself recommending more than any other to people.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 5:36 PM  

but I'd maintain that if the average American waitress had been president then instead of him, the world would be a better place now. The waitress would have looked at the notion of sending her son off to die in the trenches for no good reason and said, "Well, that's horseshit."

I agree.

Blogger Danby February 03, 2015 5:40 PM  

"You're confusing equality of value with equality of capability. The latter is certainly no doctrine of Abrahamic religions."

And you're arguing points I never even tried to make.

"The 180-IQ guy can decide he's going to be a cryptic crossword creator if that's what really turns him on, because if that doesn't pay well enough, he can spend a couple weeks learning a language well enough to go teach it at the community college for extra income.

To quote Scott Adams, Intelligence has much less practical value than you'd think. Speaking as the guy you're talking about, I went very poor for about 10 years of my adult life, until I found and purged the bad ideas about work and money I had absorbed early in life. For the vast majority of economic activity, intelligence above a certain relatively low level is simply unimportant, especially in comparison with reliability, honesty, and communication and people skills.

BTW, teaching language at the community college level usually requires a master's degree in the subject. Fluency in the language is not considered a job qualification. And the idea that anyone can achieve fluency in two weeks is bizarre.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 5:42 PM  

I never claimed everyone can do just as well, but that I remain convinced everyone can do something to advance their personal state and do not require others to take care of them for life so they can survive.

You're aware that there are seriously retarded people, right? People who truly do have to be cared for all their lives, even as adults, or they'd starve or wander into traffic?

Then what about the people who are just a bit smarter? A friend of mine works in a group home with people like this, who can feed, bathe, and clothe themselves, but they could never pass a driving test. Some can hold down a simple job moving objects from pile A to pile B, as long as someone keeps an eye on them and helps them get back and forth without getting lost, but hiring them is more about Christian charity than productivity.

Then you have people a bit smarter than that, and so on. There's a wide range of people in that 70-90 range, and believe it or not, some of them have tried to "advance their personal state." Telling them, "Sorry, but you're just going to have to work harder to learn something more advanced to keep a job" is simply cruel.

Blogger Student in Blue February 03, 2015 5:42 PM  

Completely a quibble, but why is it "Soft Equalitarianism" vs "Soft Egalitarianism"?

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 5:43 PM  

I notice you did not address my question of how many jobs require calculus or ancient Greek. I don't know ancient Greek for that matter and do quite well, though I certainly don't expect all to rise to where I am.

To answer your question, engineering, hard sciences, econometrics, ordained minister, classics professor.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 5:44 PM  

Telling them, "Sorry, but you're just going to have to work harder to learn something more advanced to keep a job" is simply cruel.

It's like saying "you can do it, try harder" to a short man trying to dunk a basketball.

Blogger Danby February 03, 2015 5:49 PM  

"It's like saying "you can do it, try harder" to a short man trying to dunk a basketball."

Obligatory Strong Bad link. "I can make it on my own."

Anonymous jay c February 03, 2015 5:49 PM  

Where was voting in the OP? The idea presented is that some can never be productive enough at work, which is clearly untrue.

Got me. I started down the voting track and got stuck on it. I think the point still stands, however, as it was addressing what appears to me to be a mischaracterization of Vox's original point.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 5:49 PM  

Speaking as the guy you're talking about, I went very poor for about 10 years of my adult life, until I found and purged the bad ideas about work and money I had absorbed early in life.

I've been there too, and it agrees just fine with what I said: I was able to get by on smarts. Without that advantage I would have had to work harder and develop better habits, and probably would have made more money.

And the idea that anyone can achieve fluency in two weeks is bizarre.

You don't need fluency to teach; you just have to be able to stay ahead of your students. But make it two months (why does this topic always bring out such nitpicking?); the point is, the faster you can learn, the more options you have.

Blogger Salt February 03, 2015 5:50 PM  

Because learning how to take a good order is equivalent to learning calculus or classical Greek...

Only if I'm ordering Pi.

Anonymous jay c February 03, 2015 5:51 PM  

A Christian believes we are all equally sinners, and equally beloved of God. Spiritually equal.
I'd still quibble with "equally beloved" and "spiritually equal", but I understand what you mean. The topic is practical equality anyway.

Anonymous Clark Bianco February 03, 2015 5:53 PM  

@Brad Andrews: "I don't want to eat from a robotic waitress, for example."

Why not? Does it make a difference whether the waitress is robotic or human, so long as the service is efficient? (And in my preference, as silent as possible.)

@RedJack: "Belioc was right. The majority of mankind has no desire to control their own destiny. They only want consistency."

From a stand at their viewpoint, who can blame them?
I'm a full believer in controlling my own destiny, but even I get tired by the vagaries of chance and the malignant forces at work in the world. It's an understandable reaction, at least to me.

@cailcorishev: "No one's saying robots will ever replace ALL low-IQ jobs."

But they should. They absolutely should.

"On the other hand, there's no plan in the offing to reduce the number of low-IQ people who can't do anything more demanding than those jobs, either by making them smarter or getting them to reproduce less."

Our faith demands that birth control and abortion be forbidden. Of course they will be fruitful and multiply; what else is there for them to do?

As for making them smarter, they are simply not capable of it and never will be. There's nothing to be done there.

"What work will they do? How will they earn a living; and if they can't earn it, where will it come from?"

*shrugs* There won't be work for them to do. They will be unnecessary; obsolete.
We can either support them or kill them off; there are really no other practical solutions.

Blogger S1AL February 03, 2015 5:53 PM  

--- Completely a quibble, but why is it "Soft Equalitarianism" vs "Soft Egalitarianism"? ---

Egalitarianism is about treating people as equals, originally in the Biblical sense of moral worth. Equalitarianism is about believing that people are actually equivalent and interchangeable (such as later day feminism).

Blogger Salt February 03, 2015 5:56 PM  

there are really no other practical solutions

The Soylent Corporation.

Blogger S1AL February 03, 2015 5:58 PM  

--- Completely a quibble, but why is it "Soft Equalitarianism" vs "Soft Egalitarianism"? ---

Egalitarianism is about treating people as equals, originally in the Biblical sense of moral worth. Equalitarianism is about believing that people are actually equivalent and interchangeable (such as later day feminism).

Anonymous Rolf February 03, 2015 6:02 PM  

This.

A while back I was teaching on a leave-replacement contract. The head of the math department came back from a meeting with one of the big curriculum guys in the school district. She said it was now the official goal of the district that within six years (I think that's right) every single student would be taking and passing calculus their senior year.We on the math team waited for the punch-line... but after a long pause she said "he's serious. He thinks it's not just theoretically possible, but totally doable."

The rest of us knew that it wasn't. Or, rather, we knew that given the limited resources we'd have at our disposal, it was impossible, and it was a massively bad cost-benefit investment. Bad for the kids, bad for the teachers, bad for the taxpayers.

Reality finally found its way into said big-wig's office and the proposal was dropped. But he's still there.

OpenID mattse001 February 03, 2015 6:05 PM  

Another problem of high IQ people: failure to appreciate the dynamism of the world.
Sure, the average IQ person might be poor now, but through effort they may be able to make themselves more than they are now.
The mastermind class has neither the time nor patience to nanny these people, and so we MUST treat them as if they can achieve. Not because it's true necessarily, but because this is the best way for them to motivate themselves.

This segues into the next problem for conservatives:
Not every person WANTS to achieve. Some are quite content to spend their lives fed and playing X-Box.
When we treat every voter as if they want to be a CEO, we shoot ourselves in the foot. Of course, we cannot condone indolence. But we should stop trying to sell this idea, and instead should sell the idea that we will enable you to pursue your own ideal lifestyle (as long as it doesn't include indolence or theft).

Blogger SirHamster February 03, 2015 6:07 PM  

Now don't I look silly?

I'm somewhat leaning towards Everyone Is An Idiot. Sometimes it takes a real genius to make an extremely boneheaded decision; demonstrating that idiocy is only reduced, never eliminated.

To disprove it, we'd have to find a set of people who are not, will not be, and never were idiots. Any nominations?

Blogger Marissa February 03, 2015 6:11 PM  

Which in fact a lot of waitresses and other average US women did say; there was a considerable amount of "I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier"

While I disagree with the United States entering WW1, this is an excellent example of why women shouldn't make political decisions. "The personal is the political", in a nutshell.

Anonymous NateM February 03, 2015 6:12 PM  

Josh February 03, 2015 5:44 PM
Telling them, "Sorry, but you're just going to have to work harder to learn something more advanced to keep a job" is simply cruel.

It's like saying "you can do it, try harder" to a short man trying to dunk a basketball.


Exactly. I've always viewed these things on two Axis: Hard Work, and Natural Ability. There are times where no matter how hard a person works to master something (like in calculus), but they just don't have the natural tools to make it happen. Others (like Vox' father) view it as easy because he has such natural ability, it would require little effort for him to master, as evidenced by the fact that he was at MIT. Other people, due to their lack of natural ability, it would require the maximum effort possible to make up to the difference, or no amount of work would let them, say, pass that course. So it's not that a person Shouldn't work hard, so much as recognize when their effort will be largely wasted, like the short man trying to dunk, or a mediocre runner trying to equal the current record time for the 100 meters

Blogger Jehu February 03, 2015 6:12 PM  

Quibble here: Saying that all people have value to God, and that that value is extremely high is accurate. Saying that they all have EQUAL value to God is awfully hard to support from the Text. God has His favorites, but they're favorite according to His economy, not ours or what we think His economy ought to be.

Anonymous Stg58 / Animal Mother February 03, 2015 6:17 PM  

Which abilities are related to intelligence and which are related to aptitude? Half of my company has 20 + IQ points on me but they can't sell anything and they realize it. What is related to intelligence and merely aptitude? The horror stories about Vox and spatial recognition are legion. My spatial capabilities are better than Vox's but he is much smarter than I am.

Anonymous realmatt February 03, 2015 6:17 PM  

Most people really never try and are lazy. They also convinced themselves long before adulthood that they cant do this or that. Or they were brainwashed into thinking this way.

It takes a bit of effort to see the potential in a person. Bot everyone has the time or even cares to put in that effort, but if you're intent on being humanitarian, start there.

Thats why IQ tests are useful. You cant get into philosiphical/political discussions with people at work, or during an interview. Depending on the position being applied for, I'd have a test for each applicant, if I was an employer. Putting people on the spot during an interview can be a mistake, dependibg on the person. They're nervous as it is.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 6:24 PM  

What worries me is the future. Right now our economy produces so much surplus wealth that we can pay the less-intelligent to breed. But what happens if that changes?

Exactly. The ratio of productive to unproductive has been dropping, and is bound to hit a limit at some point. Saying, "Well, they're just going to have to improve themselves" is the conservative version of the liberal's "Well, we're just going to have to educate them better." Both are wishful thinking.

That's not to say there aren't lazy people and people who could improve, of course. But they aren't the whole story, and they'll become a smaller part of the story as jobs become more mentally demanding.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents February 03, 2015 6:24 PM  

EIAI

To disprove it, we'd have to find a set of people who are not, will not be, and never were idiots. Any nominations?

Some are born boneheads, some achieve boneheadedness, and some have boneheadedness thrust upon them…

--Attributed to Roger "Back" Bacon

Anonymous Stillicho February 03, 2015 6:27 PM  

Since you're all talking about the distribution of intelligence, it is important to remember the percentages of the population that fall into these categories: >2SD below IQ of 100 = 2.3%, <2SD and >1SD below IQ of 100 = 13.6%, <1SD below IQ of 100 = 34.1%.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents February 03, 2015 6:29 PM  

Manufacturing jobs won't save us, either. There are companies that have onshored work, brought it back to the US. But those plants are light on humans and heavy on robots. This is how manufacturing output can increase while manufacturing employment is essentially close to flat.

The skills that machinists had to have 30 years ago are now programs inside numerically controlled machines. Sure, someone has to fix them, but not a whole lot of someones are needed for that job.

On the other hand, as the boomers continue to age the need for geriatric care will only increase. So there you go, full employment for some job categories, like "bed sore treatment technician". Something for the millenials to aspire to.

Anonymous Sam the Man February 03, 2015 6:30 PM  

I would throw in the following: Intelligence, wisdom (abstract application of intelligence to understanding existence) and common sense (wisdom in daily life and human interactions) are not the same. I have known some very smart academic types that had no wisdom or common sense, hell most liberal arts college teachers fall under that category.

By the same token, I have known some folks that were by no means smart, but had a lot of common sense, or wisdom regarding practical life that more intelligent people lack. I suppose that has a lot to do with not having preconceptions that many smart people seem to have.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 6:32 PM  

To quote Scott Adams, Intelligence has much less practical value than you'd think.

Oddly enough, it seems like people who insist on that tend to be highly intelligent themselves. You'll probably never hear that from the kid who fell a year behind in school and never did get comfortable with fractions or when to use apostrophes.

Blogger Salt February 03, 2015 6:37 PM  

Time to put some Zager and Evans on; In The Year 2525.

Blogger Danby February 03, 2015 6:37 PM  

And, oddly enough, knowing how to divide fractions has been, what's the word? of no practical import to me.
I can state with certainty that it has garnered me neither an additional dime of income nor 10 minutes of free time in my life.

Blogger Feather Blade February 03, 2015 6:38 PM  

From where I sit, there appear to be only two possible answers: lifetime welfare with sterilization, or Soylent Green. Someone please tell me that I'm wrong about this.

You are wrong about this, because you have missed the "Smart warlord needs dumb strong minions" option.

Bonus to this plan is that everybody would be gainfully employed! ... looting and burning other warlords' villages, true...

Blogger James Jones February 03, 2015 6:41 PM  

Wins the thread.

Anonymous Boogeyman February 03, 2015 6:41 PM  

If I had to place a bet, I'd say that eventually those on the lower end of things will end up plugged into a friendly human/AI controlled matrix type entertainment complex, enjoying digital sluts, games, and various other simulated diversions. It would be much more attractive than messy kids, difficult relationships, and all the other crap you have to deal with in real life. The duller folk will self select themselves for blissful removal from society, leaving only those that are curious about and wanting to act in the actual world to do real work, have kids, and other wise advance and maintain things. Didn't Mr. Wright write something like that in The Golden Age?

Blogger Chris Scena February 03, 2015 6:41 PM  

But, Danby, dividing fractions leads to other forms of math and other types of thinking. Sometimes learning for the sake of learning is a good thing (as long as it is a logical construct and not some abstract taken over by SJWs).

Blogger SirHamster February 03, 2015 6:44 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Salt February 03, 2015 6:44 PM  

dividing fractions leads to other forms of math and other types of thinking

Some people try and divide by zero. Just say'n.

Anonymous K. W. Jeter February 03, 2015 6:45 PM  

While I disagree with the United States entering WW1, this is an excellent example of why women shouldn't make political decisions. "The personal is the political", in a nutshell.

My omission; there were plenty of Average Joe men saying it then as well. And they were right to do so. The anti-war sentiment wasn't an exclusively female sentiment.

Blogger SirHamster February 03, 2015 6:49 PM  

Maybe APAI is a better acronym. EIAI looks like it's the chorus of a children's song.

would throw in the following: Intelligence, wisdom (abstract application of intelligence to understanding existence) and common sense (wisdom in daily life and human interactions) are not the same. I have known some very smart academic types that had no wisdom or common sense, hell most liberal arts college teachers fall under that category.

Since you distinguish between wisdom and common sense, are there people who you consider wise who do not have common sense, or vice versa?

Seems that both are wisdom with different specialties; like how one can be smart in musical composition or in math.

Blogger automatthew February 03, 2015 6:49 PM  

A man with very high intelligence may recognize that his abilities are far beyond normal people, but he may also assume that it is only a matter of speed. That, like Socrates, he could lead the dullest slave boy to understanding.

I suspect that some of the features of intelligence are quantized. It would help explain the existence of midwittery.

Anonymous Bah February 03, 2015 6:54 PM  

That's why i said "any kind of equality." A Christian believes we are all equally sinners, and equally beloved of God. Spiritually equal.

No, no, no. That's bullshit invented by Leftists masquerading as Christians. At no point does the Bible generally or specifically advocate equality. It advocates HIERARCHY.

A Christian recognizes that there are hierarchies of sin and sinners (mortal vs. venal at the simplest level) as well as hierarchies of virtue (otherwise the concept of "sainthood" has no meaning).

Blogger S1AL February 03, 2015 6:54 PM  

My personal experience indicates that there's a significant difference between mental alacrity, acuity, and agility; and a person may possess any degree in combination. Some of the more recent studies also indicate that there are "spheres" of intelligence, such as logical/mathematical or linguistic.

Anonymous Bah February 03, 2015 6:57 PM  

I don't want to eat from a robotic waitress, for example.

Yes, far better your food should be made and served by the loving, hygienic hands of (negroid and mestizo) humans than the filthy metal claws of robots.

Blogger Chris Scena February 03, 2015 7:07 PM  

Salt said: "Some people try and divide by zero. Just say'n."

:)

I didn't say everyone could do the math or would even use it. I just think it is useful to try (and not whine about never using it). Be happy if you ARE able to perform higher math instead of whining about learning it.

Anonymous Brain Man February 03, 2015 7:09 PM  

I remember being told as a child, that anybody who applied themselves sufficiently could be a winner;...as in thee winner;...as in first place champion!

Even then I wondered if three or four people were so motivated then there would be three or four first place winners?

Blogger Ben P February 03, 2015 7:14 PM  

Heh. Rather than overestimating an individual's ability to follow my thoughts, I have the opposite problem. As I start to explain something, I mentally back up to where I estimate the listener already understands and build from there. It's great when I'm teaching or training, but a (very intelligent but non-technical) cousin once told me she could only guarantee up to two minutes of solid attention any time I start explaining something.

Anonymous Crude February 03, 2015 7:25 PM  

It harms people to pretend they have capabilities they don't have, because we set them up for failure.

That's a pretty discouraging attitude, man. Do you really want to be the guy who stands in the way of a child's lifelong dream?

Blogger Danby February 03, 2015 7:37 PM  

Both people of high intelligence and people of low intelligence over value intelligence. People of middling intelligence over-estimate their own.

For all you high IQ people here, just think how many midwits, 120 IQ types are more successful than you are.

How many Scalzis are there for every Vox Day?

Blogger Shibes Meadow February 03, 2015 7:54 PM  

Danby: I'm not saying that all geniuses are successful. I am a midwit (measured IQ 136, SAT [1982] 1260) and I have had a great life, but a lot of that is simply because I shoveled harder than the other guys, plus plenty of undeserved blessings from God.

I don't fool myself, however, that I'd be in any way intellectually equipped to face the employment market of the year 2020, with technical skills in high demand and everything else automated (I'm a self-employed professional artist and writer). Heck, I don't even have a Bachelors degree! My question is: if the future holds no real prospects of employment for a 98th percentile guy like me -- smarter than Mr. Scalzi, to be sure, but not a Big Brain -- what the devil is a person with an IQ of 85 or even 100 going to do for a living in the cruel, inhuman World of Tomorrow?

Blogger Brad Andrews February 03, 2015 7:58 PM  

You're aware that there are seriously retarded people, right? People who truly do have to be cared for all their lives, even as adults, or they'd starve or wander into traffic?

Are you really arguing that most people are anywhere close to this? I would strongly dispute that most people are anywhere close. MPAI are true, but that is a different idiocy.

SJWs can put on their own shoes after all, even though we may wonder how at times.

You have to show far more are incapable other than a couple of anecdotal stories.

To answer your question, engineering, hard sciences, econometrics, ordained minister, classics professor.

I have a B.S from a strong engineering college. Theoretical and Applied Mechanics as my "free elective" since I switched from Aero-Astro Engineering to Computer Science after taking that class. I have never done anything with ancient Greek nor have I had any need to do so. I am certainly not the smartest one here, but I do quite well without any of that.

You could argue more for calculus, but even that is not needed for all the jobs you note nor is it needed to do well in business today, for example.

Plenty of examples of over-educated idiots as well. Many "dumb people" are much smarter than many of those in charge. The example of the waitress doing better than Wilson is a case in point.

My wife has no college degree and yet taught our children sufficient knowledge (all they would learn at least) to survive and do well in the world.

It does not require a super high IQ to do well if your definition of that is not unreal.

It's like saying "you can do it, try harder" to a short man trying to dunk a basketball.

No, it is like telling a short man he needs to stay physically active to avoid becoming obese. You are equating only the top skill level (dunking as a poor proxy in this case) with doing well.

The idea presented is that some can never be productive enough at work, which is clearly untrue.

I would modify my statement here to be "most" rather than "some" as that was more the point.

I completely agree that we are not all equivalent, which seemed to be Vox's point, not Fred's.

Cail,

You don't need fluency to teach; you just have to be able to stay ahead of your students.

You need a certain number of graduate hours in an area to teach at the college level in that area in Texas. I would imagine it is the same most places.

That may not be productive in reality, but it does limit the community college option you note. Your point was fair, but the example was a bit off given government involvement in higher education.

Why not? Does it make a difference whether the waitress is robotic or human, so long as the service is efficient? (And in my preference, as silent as possible.)

That is probably my trust of the state of robotics today or the near future.

Not every person WANTS to achieve. Some are quite content to spend their lives fed and playing X-Box.

This is the core problem today. It would be fine if those people got by on the living their effort would give them, but they want to do that amount and reap the rewards of more. That is the most significant core problem. You can get people to state where it is hard to get better, but that is societal, not inherent to the individual.

All are not the same, but all have their place and can achieve something. Even those who could not survive solely on their own effort should be expected to put forth effort to be able before that is augmented by charity.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 03, 2015 8:00 PM  

Note that all the previous quotes were not Cail, only the one just after his name.

Blogger Maple Curtain February 03, 2015 8:06 PM  

VD: "That sort of soft equalitarianism is nothing more than false humility."

Maybe, but it seems to me that Dunning-Kreuger works both ways. Dullards don't know how limited they are, for the most part, and the highly-intelligent, particularly, the generalist as opposed to the rocker scientist, aren't aware of how intelligent they are relative to others.

Sure, we can consider the credentialed Ivy-League prat who thinks of himself as highly-intelligent, as an example of someone without false humility, but he probably vastly over-estimates his intellect for sub-cultural reasons.

After all, we only live in one head, and if 80% of life is quite manageable to 90% of the population whatever their distribution on an IQ curve, it is not always readily apparent that people are vastly superior or limited.

Perhaps, it is only when one is considering the arcane that one is confronted with the differences between intellect.

But, most of those, left or right, making the false equalitarian mistake don't ever leave their own sub-culture, so they have no way of testing their own preconceptions about the mass of people in society.

FWIW.

Blogger Brad Andrews February 03, 2015 8:07 PM  

Most people really never try and are lazy. They also convinced themselves long before adulthood that they cant do this or that. Or they were brainwashed into thinking this way.

This is my argument as well. Remove the safety net and a lot more of those would find sudden talent they never knew they had. They might kill themselves off, but that would be their choice and the only kind of Darwanism I might support.

That's not to say there aren't lazy people and people who could improve, of course. But they aren't the whole story, and they'll become a smaller part of the story as jobs become more mentally demanding.

Are you really arguing that the ease of getting by sponging off of others doesn't create more spongers?

What exactly are many of you arguing for here anyway? Mass killings of the sub-standard? Starvation for them to weed them out? Government programs to support all of them?

How are you going to discern between the incapable and the lazy in the last option? That is getting close to what we have today.

Didn't the Roman empire have a lot of incapable people near the end? Did we just have a lot of genetic smartness for a few years that has now faded?

Anonymous Billy February 03, 2015 8:08 PM  

Recently while installing tile on a house I was constructing. The Mexican sub-contractor could not determine the Versailles pattern. To me it was plain as day. I printed a copy of the pattern, neither him or his mexican helper could copy it. I loaned a white employee to him for a couple days to lay the pattern out in advance for him. I had assumed any could do something so simple. The mexican is a great worker with a good business, he just had limitation that I never realized.

Blogger Danby February 03, 2015 8:10 PM  

1) the world of tomorrow is no more inhuman and cruel than we allow it to be.
2) intellectual equipment has very little to do with the employment market of 2020 or any other year
3)I don't have a degree of any kind either (measured IQ 167, 1550 SATs in 1978. Somehow I get by. I've come to the conclusion that a college degree is a primary indicator of moral degeneracy and willful stupidity. Degree holders have to demonstrate to me that they AREN'T stupid.
4) Shovelling harder than the other guys IS the defining marker of a good career, and success, not intelligence. I'd love to be a write, No matter how many cool ideas I have, and I have a lot, if I don't sit my ass down in the chair and put words on the page I'm not a successful writer.
5) contra the futurians above who are debating exterminating the low IQ versus eating them, the future will actually be little different from today. The defining characteristic of success will be persistence, hard work, and decent moral choices. The fallacy is that the elite have to make any plan for them at all. Most people are perfectly capable of taking care of their own shit, If you'd quit brainwashing them and misincentivising them. Just because you can't see how they will support themselves doesn't mean they won't be able to. I think I speak for everyone when I say to the social engineers (Leftists or the clowns above), "Stop deciding on my behalf how I should live, you bloody wankers!"
6) hunger is a great motivator. If we'd stop supporting indolence and theft, people would make opportunity for themselves. It's what every animal does in every environment
7) 99% of the economic problems we face are not caused by stupidity at the bottom, but stupidity at the top.

Anonymous NateM February 03, 2015 8:19 PM  

This all hits home for me, since i'm back in school now, trying to right my previous liberals arts wrongs by majoring in a hard science. BUT, have to make it through Calc and Physics at the least to get there, and probably OChem to boot. So hoping I haven't just completely overestimated my abilities along the way

Anonymous H2 February 03, 2015 8:20 PM  

Steve Sailer once reviewed a book, I cannot remember which it was at the moment, that talked about how between the 13th and 20th centuries in Britain, wealthy people had many children while poor people did not, and since not every child of wealthy parents could inherit the parents' fortune, they ended up becoming the future middle class. I can try to hunt down the post later.

I think the end result is confronting that word equalists dread, Eugenics.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera February 03, 2015 8:21 PM  

Answering Stilicho's earlier question: No, all people are not equally capable of moral behavior.

Like differences in IQ, ignoring this is worse than acknowledging it. But we shouldn't take this as an excuse to do something big and absolutely fucking retarded...which is exactly what I expect is going to happen, incidentally, because we've been ignoring it for so long.

Also, no IQ thread is complete without these: http://drjamesthompson.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-nose-cone-versus-tree.html
http://drjamesthompson.blogspot.com/2013/12/intelligence-in-2000-words.html

Anonymous H2 February 03, 2015 8:22 PM  

Forgot to add to the above, with wealth having a positive correlation with average IQ. The conclusion being people with mid-to-high IQs had a lot of kids, people with low IQs didn't have a lot of kids.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera February 03, 2015 8:29 PM  

The solution to this problem is not sterilization of welfare recipients, although that's not the worst choice (there is no "right" to reproduce willy-nilly, or at all). It is merely to end welfare and all institutional "charity" substitutes where you can't see the person who's getting your money. The way to accomplish this is to revive charity, because these substitutes would have no guilt to prey upon, like these freakin' rescue cat commercials. The way to revive charity is to have a real Christian community, which in turn means the churches need to get off the teat, the Ritalin, the education worship, the feminism, etc.

I could go on, but I'm not really in a ranting mood.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 8:31 PM  

Are you really arguing that most people are anywhere close to this?

Nope, never said anything like "most." I said there are a lot of them. In a country the size of the US, there are several million people who are capable of doing the kind of manual labor or simple service jobs that are going away, but not capable of being productive at more complex tasks. (Required disclaimer: that doesn't mean they're less valuable as people or worse friends or less caring or anything like that; it only means what it says.)

No, it is like telling a short man he needs to stay physically active to avoid becoming obese. You are equating only the top skill level (dunking as a poor proxy in this case) with doing well.

No, he's not. To continue the basketball analogy, it's as if you needed to be able to dunk the ball to play in a league, but there used to be leagues with the rim at different heights down to 7', so practically everyone except an invalid could dunk. But now, the 7' rims are mostly gone, and there aren't many 8' and 9' rims around anymore, so unless you can dunk on a full 10' rim, it's getting harder and harder to stay in a league. More and more sub-5'6" guys are fighting over a shrinking number of short rims.

Just "staying in shape" isn't good enough, because that implies the farmhand who was in demand 30 years ago only has to keep being a good farmhand to continue to be in demand. That's not the case. He increasingly has to be one of the best farmhands around -- or he has to be able to shift into a more cognitively challenging job.

To a large extent, this isn't anyone's fault (the immigration is, the mechanizing isn't). A lot of it is just the way it goes, and it's not necessarily a bad thing if a type of labor goes away, if it's combined with general improvements in our living. Rush Limbaugh used to use the example of buggy whips: when automobiles came on the scene, buggy whip makers went out of business, and that was a good thing overall, though it sucked for the guy with the buggy whip factory.

Thing is, working in a car factory probably wasn't that much harder than making buggy whips. For the worker, it was a sideways move, requiring new training but not more smarts. That's not the same as telling a waitress she needs to go to night classes and get an accounting degree (for instance).

Anonymous realmatt February 03, 2015 8:32 PM  

I just argued with what I didn't realize was a 12 yr old girl on twitter.

I QUIT

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 8:35 PM  

And, oddly enough, knowing how to divide fractions has been, what's the word? of no practical import to me.

That's exactly the kind of thing Fred is talking about. You probably use fractions in various ways every day, and don't even realize it because they don't make you break out in a sweat.

Anonymous RedJack February 03, 2015 8:50 PM  

For those who said "Well they just need to invest the 401K in an index fund!" You are missing the point. They don't know what an index fund is. They often don't use the 401K because they don't understand what it is, they see it as their money being locked away from them.

The majority of people retiring have less than $100K in their 401K. They just don't know how to use it.

And beyond that, my bride's cousin was a pension fund manager for years. He said he could not understand the expectation for a regular worker to manage his own funds when it took him and a staff of 50 to do so for a large equipment manufacturer (big machines painted yellow). Index funds will not give the average person enough to retire on.

As for calculus. I uses it daily. Same with fractions (really? You see no use in fractions?) Granted I am an engineer, but statements like that are why it often feels like most people are not the same species as me.

Oh, and if know Greek (or study the translations) you can learn that people really don't change. The same problems, solutions, and failures were all tried before. It used to be a way to limit the madness of crowds.

Blogger Tom Kratman February 03, 2015 9:08 PM  

"In a world where waitressing is done by robots*, what happens to those with an intellectual capacity sufficient only for waitressing?"

Sadly, many will become whores, which is at least a form of employment. Dumb men? Gladiator school?

Blogger Danby February 03, 2015 9:11 PM  

"As for calculus. I use it daily. Same with fractions (really? You see no use in fractions?) Granted I am an engineer..."

Well, I didn't say I see no use in them, just that dviding fractions has been of no practical use in my work. This is a dicussion of job skills after all.
I work in IT, and fractions, let alone calculus, have no bearing on the job. What calculations I do are either hexidecimal or decimal, and rarely go beyond simple algebra. I honestly use math far more for my hobbies than for my computer job. Mostly computer work is a language skill.
My wife, OTOH is a seamstress, and uses algebra and manipulates fractions constantly.

Anonymous RedJack February 03, 2015 9:21 PM  

My Mom was a seamstress, and she used fractions all the time. She made some rather good curtains for quite a while.

But now that isn't even an option for many women. My bride never learned how to sew, and most women these days can't even cook.

Anonymous Corvinus February 03, 2015 9:25 PM  

Sadly, many will become whores, which is at least a form of employment. [As for] Dumb men? Gladiator school?

@Tom Kratman
Possibly... I'm not sure pro sports will be able to absorb all the potential applicants.

Anonymous Pode February 03, 2015 9:25 PM  

As a resident of Waldorf, Maryland, I informed Fred when he first published this column that the tit bar was in fact still open, but barely. It has since closed down, as the owners were too dumb to make money running a tit bar. Which I think is tellingly illustrative.

Blogger Doom February 03, 2015 9:34 PM  

Your father isn't alone. There are many very bright people who can't deal with the notion that just because they can, others should be able to as well. It isn't just a form of humility or soft egalitarianism. It's a type of ignorance itself.

And there may be fear involved, especially for those who aren't capable of even simple self-defense. It is known, somewhere deep inside, that if you are too different you will be feared. And fear can turn to terrible things. Mob rule looks for those who are not like it, right or wrong, and seeks to destroy them. It is ingrained in people not to stand out. Actually, this last is probably more important but less noticed because it hides in the shadows of the minds, both of those who stand out and those who would destroy them. Being different, even if that equates to being better natively at some or many things, is dangerous. Being smug about it is extreme hubris and usually gets crushed, one way or another. Even with vast armies and even more crooks in one's employ, getting crushed happens even then.

Blogger TheCitadel February 03, 2015 9:38 PM  

I'd argue that dumb men will increasingly just be household pets for women. This isn't actually a bad thing for us. There will be little in the way of muscular liberal resistance when all of this comes crashing down.

Anonymous Mike M. February 03, 2015 9:39 PM  

The other policy that can be adopted is to encourage hiring in jobs that don't demand a high IQ. This isn't just charity. Replace robo-answer-ers with people and your company gets a reputation for service. Hire secretaries and you free up your high-IQ (and high pay) people to do jobs that DEMAND high IQ, instead of squandering their time on clerical tasks.

Reduce the regulatory overhead costs, and you create jobs for average people...and maximize the productivity of your high-performance minds. Everybody wins.

Anonymous Augustina February 03, 2015 9:41 PM  

I think what Fred is getting at is the idea that everyone is equal and can do anything if they try hard enough. I don't think anyone with an 85 IQ thinks they're going to be a rocket scientist. In fact, most really dull people are aware of their limitations.

The problem arises in the people who are on the slow end of normal, say IQ 85 - 95. They are being pushed into college, where they are likely to fail, while racking up thousands in debt.

Or the kid with a 105 IQ who thinks he can go to medical school. Even if he tries really, really hard its a near certainty he is wasting his time and will fail.

Some how the idiots at the top convinced a large number of people that if they just were able to take on debt to get the purported trappings of a middle class life (a college degree and a house), they would BE middle class. It doesn't work this way and it never did.

We do a great disservice in telling people to 'reach for their dreams' when their dreams are unobtainable.

People should be glad for what God has given them, and that includes their intelligence level and talents and be content with whatever life they are able to make with it. Instead we tell them to be unhappy because they work at fast food and don't make as much as the CEO or manager for that matter.

"Reach for your dreams" inculcates a profound sense of incompleteness and unhappiness in most people.

Also, I just had to prove that I'm not a robot to comment, so being an internet commenter is safe for now.

Blogger James Dixon February 03, 2015 9:48 PM  

> I just argued with what I didn't realize was a 12 yr old girl on twitter. ... I QUIT

To which the only appropriate response is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr9xVmCL0bA

I can't check the link from work, but Google seems to think it's the right one.

> They don't know what an index fund is. They often don't use the 401K because they don't understand what it is, they see it as their money being locked away from them.

You government controlled educational system at work. :(

> Index funds will not give the average person enough to retire on.

That's debatable. A $20K salary with a 6% savings rate and a 6% employee match is $2.4K/year ($200/month). Per Wikipedia, the 25 year annualized return of the S&P 500 was just under 10%. http://www.free-online-calculator-use.com/future-value-annuity-calculator.html#calculator says $200/month for 40 years at 9% is $943,286.03. That's a pretty good start on retirement.



Blogger Tom Kratman February 03, 2015 9:49 PM  

Great thing about gladitorial combat, Corv; you can set your own turnover rate.

Blogger Tom Kratman February 03, 2015 9:55 PM  

"Reality finally found its way into said big-wig's office and the proposal was dropped. But he's still there."

And, one suspects, he has "a little list," for the thought criminals who contradicted his fantasy. "Wreckers!"

Blogger stevo February 03, 2015 9:58 PM  

High IQ certainly can be a liability, I got by doing next to nothing in university and ended up a gold medalist in philosophy having learned virtually nothing of any practical value. On a related note I have noticed that most high functioning marijuana addicts are extremely intelligent and can probably afford to lop off 30 or 40 IQ points and still maintain a decent level of productivity.

Anonymous Passinthough February 03, 2015 10:03 PM  

I think robotics would work for milking cows, picking fruit. But I can't see a robot herding sheep or tending cows. I'm not sure about hand weeding and thinning crops.

Anonymous zen0 February 03, 2015 10:09 PM  

Heirarchys are determined on a space/time continuum.

Oh shit! I spilled my brandy shooter!

I'll get back later. Gotta clean up......

Anonymous zen0 February 03, 2015 10:21 PM  

@ Tom Kratman


Great thing about gladitorial combat, Corv; you can set your own turnover
rate.



If this was FaceSpace, I would put a Like on that.

Anonymous map February 03, 2015 10:35 PM  

The problem is that we live in a society that is based on hereditary privilege but doesn't know it is based on hereditary privilege. The privilege is now genetic instead of "royal bloodline" but ut us still there.

A good example of this is from Downton Abbey. The difference between Lord Grantham and Mr. Carson is that Lord Grantham picked his parents correctly and Mr. Carson did not. There is an underlying understanding of this basic dynamic where each understands his place and respects the role that he plays.

The outlook in the US, however, does not acknowledge this hereditary view. You succeed because of hard work and gumption and you fail because you are lazy and listless. Everything is the fault of a lack of will or desire. This is a profoundly demoralizing sentiment and will lead to massive instability in the future.

This combined with the drive for status is why half the country is running on ant-depressants and is profoundly anxious and unhappy.

Anonymous dc red dogs February 03, 2015 10:36 PM  

I lived in the Soviet Union - a truly nasty place - for a short period as an exchange student a third of a century ago ( I did some Christian proselytizing when I was there, by the way, but not as much as I should have). As despicable as the place was , one admirable - no joke - thing about Moscow circa 1979 was the paying jobs they gave to the almost completely incompetent to make them feel worthwhile - the most obvious example were the poor nearly-but-not-quite-completely unteachable souls who would stand, 8 hours a day, at the top and bottom of every busy subway escalator ready to hit a button if someone tripped or was otherwise in distress and needed the escalator to stop. Anyway, to change the register a little, I once read that a whizzy math-boy from Austria (the empire, not the country) once said, when questioned about what he thought about the fact that he was so smart (and he was - large prime numbers and fancy calculus functions to him were as simple as a good bass pond is to a 500 year old redneck fisherman), answered that he never thought about that, he always wondered why every one else was so non-smart. His answer was wrong. As a commenter above stated, we are all part of a hierarchy. The Austro-Hungarian math whiz had no idea how low he stood in the scale of Godly intelligence as measured by simple things like story-telling ability, common sense, compassionate observations, language manipulation, or the absence of personalized hatred in our hearts (I am not so sure about the last one with respect to my mathematician example, but the Bible says that too many of us suffer from that, and Bible writers are smarter than me, so I put it in there anyway). No idea at all. Thus he lost his great opportunity to explain the truths that the simple people who read the epistles of Paul could recite at will if you woke them up from a deep sleep in the middle of a long night after a hard days work. We all have different gifts. When we fall short of what God wants for us - as the math whiz and me and many others do - that is only a temporary setback, as long as we heed the word of God. But don't heed that word and you will find that setbacks are permanent. As C.S. Lewis said, to quote him imperfectly, we will either continue to learn more and more about God in our humility or continue to ignore more and more about God in our pride.
No country - Fred Reed gets this - can avoid divine retribution if it abandons its low marginal product workers.

OpenID cailcorishev February 03, 2015 10:40 PM  

I think robotics would work for milking cows, picking fruit. But I can't see a robot herding sheep or tending cows.

Fences replace herding. A chip in the animal takes care of letting it pass through chutes from one pen to another, if necessary. The chip also controls feeding: the critter pokes its head into the feeder, and a sensor reads the chip and releases the amount of food set for that animal.

Like robot milkers, immigration drives a lot of this. You can't count on your Mexican-of-the-month to know Bessie gets an extra scoop of feed; but if you can control everything from the office so he doesn't have to know any of the particulars, he can just process them through as identical factory units and call the foreman if something goes wrong.

I'm not sure about hand weeding and thinning crops.

Weeding? There's no weeding in the United States of Monsanto! What are you, one of those organic freaks?

Anonymous Ray Manta February 03, 2015 10:40 PM  

Vox Day wrote:
This affects a lot of smart people. My father used to constantly get on my case because he felt my MPAI philosophy was too contemptuous. And yet, he constantly ran into problems because he overestimated the capability of the average individual.

In one of his books, John Reed noted that talented people are usually oblivious to their ability.

http://www.johntreed.com/HTWPkeys.html

Anonymous BillB February 03, 2015 10:40 PM  

Aristotle observes:

"Before some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct."

As my grandmother said: You can't pour a quart into a pint jar. Born in 1900 held a Master's in mathematics, taught homebound children for 40+ yrs.

Vox has stated time and again it difficult to communicate with someone 1SD lower in IQ.

Having taught Chem at a state u for several decades, I saw the issue regularly. And I learned after a couple of semesters that there were those who just couldn't fathom the instruction no matter how big your hammer was.

Each of us has gifts from our Creator. Finding them can prove difficult. The real job of a person and those helping that person is to determine the gifts and get the person on the right track.

Blogger ray February 03, 2015 10:49 PM  

"Equality is right out for Atheists."


Yep. God's not in them -- too proud and certain for that! -- so they fill the void with ideo-politics, the abstractions of their own vain imaginings, that just so happen to coincide with their psychological, financial, and socio-sexual agendas.

Egalitarianism and Equality are Babylonian concepts, carried forward into the Enlightenment by masonic fraternities which, while often pretending deism, were in fact atheistic and anti-christic.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 03, 2015 10:55 PM  

...are you claiming the limit is inherently below the level of being productive...

I think the average 85+ IQ person is perfectly capable of being productive. The reason why a waitress struggles to earn a "living wage" isn't because she's not smart enough to be productive enough to carry her own weight. It's because she - working a legitimate job - has to carry so much dead weight in the rest of society.

And I don't mean the 80- IQ dysfunctional types. There aren't enough of them to be a significant burdern. I mean the 110+, or even 130+ IQ parasites. Too many of our potentially best and brightest are diverted into unproductive occupations, but they - being bright - expect to be paid even though they're doing nothing productive, and likely (lawyers, politicians, bureaucrats) doing something highly counter-productive to the economy. So the poor 85 IQ waitress has to carry their sorry asses too, in higher taxes and a higher cost of living.

That's why she can't earn a living wage.

Anonymous Anubis February 03, 2015 11:05 PM  

"On the Day the EBT Stops Working, what do we do: machine-gun them all, or wall them off in ghettoes and watch them starve."

The EBT card stopped working for 8 hours in 16 states on 12 Oct 2013, the viral videos have not yet all been banned from youtube. When the EBT card dies there will not be a single disingenuous white liberal left in a die verse city. You might want to do like the Mormons and have a years worth of food stored, although Bath House Barry has had the EPA shut down many of the LDS canneries.

"important to remember the percentages of the population that fall into these categories: >2SD below IQ of 100 = 2.3%, <2SD and >1SD below IQ of 100 = 13.6%, <1SD below IQ of 100 = 34.1%."

US Blacks have an avg IQ of 85 which used to be considered retarded until the Supreme Court decided you cant execute the mentally handicapped dropping it down to 70. The island of Hispania has Haiti with an Avg IQ of 70(same as sub Sahara Africa) & the Dominican Republic with an avg IQ of 85 like US blacks and DR guards its border better then we do ours. As Whites+Asians make up less of the population you lose the not just the ability to walk on the moon but to even put a satellite into orbit as we have had 2 space failures last year. I don't believe there will be a golden horde because I know if the shtf ghetto rats will drink bad water and eat bad food before they figure out they need to their hoods.

"Our faith demands that birth control and abortion be forbidden."
Don't you think Charles Martel and Vlad Tepes should be granted sainthood?

Anonymous RedJack February 03, 2015 11:12 PM  

James Dixon

It is, but it is also a time preference thing. I work in a plant with a wide range of people. The low IQ guys and gals simply have no concept of saving for tomorrow. They can not grasp the concept, and expect to be taken care of. We just had one guy retire after 30 years with $200K in his 401K. Great guy, hard worker, and at 56 has no idea how he will survive. He will probably live another twenty years.

And he was one of the better ones. He has some rental properties, and other assets. The average guy has less than that.

I have seen it at three different plants in different areas across the US. The average worker has no idea, or ability, to save for his own retirement.

Blogger James Dixon February 03, 2015 11:26 PM  

> The average worker has no idea, or ability, to save for his own retirement.

Oh, I don't disagree. But like I said, that's our fine government run schools at work for you. The math above is something that should be taught from elementary school on up. Even then some won't believe it, of course.

Anonymous DT February 03, 2015 11:30 PM  

Clark Bianco February 03, 2015 5:53 PM - @cailcorishev: "On the other hand, there's no plan in the offing to reduce the number of low-IQ people who can't do anything more demanding than those jobs, either by making them smarter or getting them to reproduce less." As for making them smarter, they are simply not capable of it and never will be. There's nothing to be done there.

There are already drugs that improve IQ scores in sick and injured patients. I'm not aware of studies showing the same in healthy adults, but healthy adults do use them and there is anecdotal evidence of small and limited, but real IQ gains.

The drugs we have so far work by optimizing the chemistry of what's already there. But I imagine many of us will live to see drugs that trigger neuron growth, and possibly even DNA improvements delivered via viruses.

And that's not even considering the possibilities if (when?) we learn how to interface our brains with silicon.

In 50 years an IQ of 150 may be average. And we may have a whole new set of problems in exchange for the problem of a restless, unemployed, low IQ underclass.

Blogger YIH February 03, 2015 11:31 PM  

130 gets you into Mensa, I think.
Never tried, I'm supposed to be 131.
Considering my reliance on Firefox/Palemoon spellcheck and my efforts to understand economics, I have my doubts.
Who knows? It just might be true.
I at least have some idea what I'm doing ;)

Anonymous DT February 03, 2015 11:40 PM  

SirHamster February 03, 2015 6:07 PM - I'm somewhat leaning towards Everyone Is An Idiot. Sometimes it takes a real genius to make an extremely boneheaded decision; demonstrating that idiocy is only reduced, never eliminated.

That brings to mind the following Scott Adam's quote: Everyone is an idiot, not just the people with low SAT scores. The only differences among us is that we're idiots about different things at different times. No matter how smart you are, you spend much of your day being an idiot.

Even those with the highest IQs only know a small fraction of what there is to know and understand in our world. So yes, all people are idiots at least some of the time.

OpenID pancakeloach February 03, 2015 11:51 PM  

I tend to think most people are idiots most of the time. Which is why having a strong tradition encouraging good habits "just 'cause" is so important.

Anonymous Buckeyecopperhead February 04, 2015 12:19 AM  

Mid-120's IQ here, last time I tested. Great at History, Art, English. Fair to Middling in Science, Foreign Languages, Government/Economics. Total Mental Retardation on anything past 6th grade Mathematics.

Key phrase in one of the Dirty Harry movies was something along the lines of "A man's got to know his limitations." This applies.

I realized my limitations by the time I hit my sophomore year in high school. Squeaked by Algebra 1 as a freshman. Passed first semester Geometry, failed 2nd semester Geometry as a sophomore. Upon retake as a senior, again failed 2nd semester Geometry.

Calculus? Trigonometry? Are you f-ing kidding me? Never even knocked on those doors.

Fred and Vox have good points. I could utterly embarrass most Average Joes with my knowledge of The War of Northern Aggression or Shakespeare. But I don't, because why? Unless you're teaching it or getting paid for it, nobody gives a rat's ass about those subjects. And why make someone feel bad for no reason? Unless they're a SJW. That I enjoy.

Unemployed right now for two reasons: 1) rotten economy 2) I'm an idiot for getting a B.A. and not learning a useful trade. Currently competing with the 85-100 IQ set for a job. 'Merica!

Anonymous Anonymous February 04, 2015 12:22 AM  

We have a duty to take care of them. For a nation to work, to be worth sacrificing for we need a sense that we are all one country and should take care of each other. This means a sense that we are more than just the laws that are written down, we are also shared, half understood traditions.

But this means that we cannot arbitrarily change who we are.


Social democracy can survive limited immigration, and slow and hypocritical social changes. The intense demographic changes and continual radical changes of public morality that social justice warriors want make this impossible. A country with these changes works for smart amoral chancers. A country without them is better for actual social justice warriors. But we cannot get them to compromise.

I guess the bottom line is that social justice warriors see progressive laws as the causes of freedom and tolerance. We see them as symptoms of freedom and tolerance. They trim the flower of liberty, we add manure to the roots. And they despise us for this.

AKAHorace

Anonymous Buckeyecopperhead February 04, 2015 12:27 AM  

I should mention that my s**tcanning at my last decent job of more than 7 years was directly the result of having a sociopathic, narcissistic homosexual for a boss.

Not his fault, however, that I was not prepared with an alternative means of making a living.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 04, 2015 12:37 AM  

There's individual selection and group selection. Individual selection appeals to some natural defector types, at a time in their life when it would favor them. But the proper response to the prospect of being selected out of the Darwinian game, whether immediately or later in one's old age or through the vulnerability of one's descendants, is a group survival strategy.

Collective social action is massively dominant over individual action, so this has always worked and it always will work.

"Root hog or die" basically means "individual selection for you, group-oriented mutual protection for us".

Naturally there is a lot of chicanery over this, as people demand that others "play fair" while they themselves cherish a hidden group-membership ace.

One group strategy with a dubious record is for smart exploiters to form a hidden cartel against the less-brilliant hard toilers and natural fighters of one's own ethny. You can grind down your farmers or your peasants with debt-slavery, but later some barbarian will tell you that from now on you can call him "emperor," and there's an end to all your smart fraction high-IQ refinements.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 04, 2015 12:44 AM  

AKAHorace: "We have a duty to take care of them. For a nation to work, to be worth sacrificing for we need a sense that we are all one country and should take care of each other. This means a sense that we are more than just the laws that are written down, we are also shared, half understood traditions.

But this means that we cannot arbitrarily change who we are."

Agreed.

However I must insist that as well as shared, half understood traditions we need shared genetics. Otherwise long term collective survival is an illusion.

Anonymous Anonymous February 04, 2015 1:10 AM  

T.D. Tacitus,

You can make some genetic changes through immigration, You should not constantly push the envelope though. I think that our elites may be overconfident because to be fair to them, they defeated the Nazis and won the cold war while raising our standard of living. Lately they have made some bad calls. They may have painted themselves into a corner as they cannot admit how much they have fucked up.

AKAHorace

Blogger rycamor February 04, 2015 1:20 AM  

The vision most of us seem to agree on here is a future of a technocratic elite providing meaningful work only to those of > 120 IQ minds, and whatever drudge work can't be automated to that mass in between 90 - 119, with those below that not really capable of anything worthwhile living under permanent welfare.

While I certainly think this is a possible future, one thing we should remember is a little humility. As Nassim Taleb puts it, predictions are pure BS. No one can really predict what trend will take hold in the hearts and minds of men 20 years hence. Except, he says, that which has existed in humanity the longest is that which is most likely to exist in the future. Which hints to me that there will always be subsistence farmers, simple goatherds living off the land, and such. It is this way in large parts of the world. The USA is really an exception these days.

Not everything is linear, and not everything flows logically from what came before. Who would have predicted, for example, that homesteading, hobby-farming and gardening would become such a huge trend among the upper-IQ? Yet everywhere I go I meet or hear about very successful professional people who are preparing to drop out of industrial society at the drop of a hat. You would be surprised how many Silicon Valley millionaires and even billionaires are doing this. And they are usually not doing it in a high-tech way.

So what I see as a possible future is not the abandonment of technology, but perhaps technology becoming less central and all-encompassing than we may think at present. Certainly this sort of thing has happened in the past. Perhaps society becomes a little less technology-obsessed. Technology of course being involved in many things but not completely ubiquitous. Sounds crazy to us now, but really... what if.

I think there is something in the hearts of men telling them we may have gone too far, separated ourselves from the rudiments of life just a little too much. And no matter of public policy will have the slightest to do with this. When it happens, it happens.

And if such a thing happens, possibly due to the breakup of our nation and the collapse of many large corporations, who are held in monopoly due to our system, then there might just be a turning back of the clock, allowing more people to find work doing simple labor, perhaps as farm hands, gardeners and such.

I'm not saying I want this, BTW. I don't know which would be best for me. I make a living in high-tech. But I insist on being prepared for a less-technological future.

Anonymous wEz February 04, 2015 1:20 AM  

I may have heard this from Vox way back or from another source, but I'm a firm believer in this:
"We are not rational people, but irrational people with moments of rational clarity".
I'm lazy with an average IQ, but I'm abolutely astounded at how many higher IQ people I know that do just as many stupid things and struggle with poor decisons, illogic, emotional reactions, poor verbal communication, etc. I look at them and think, "How the fuck did you score a 30+ on your ACT?". These are are people I can easily read and manipulate with understanding their verbal/non verbal cues, emotions, personality, etc. Why doesn't high IQ translate to other areas of logic? Wouldn't high IQ make one a quick study in learning/applying sound verbal communication skills? Instead of having the personality of a brick wall? Ive known quite a few retarded high IQs.

Blogger YIH February 04, 2015 2:03 AM  

rycamor:
The vision most of us seem to agree on here is a future of a technocratic elite providing meaningful work only to those of > 120 IQ minds, and whatever drudge work can't be automated to that mass in between 90 - 119, with those below that not really capable of anything worthwhile living under permanent welfare.
Obviously that is as sustainable as ''ponzinomics'' (I do understand that much about it, it's become literally a whole ponzi scheme).

Anonymous Scooter February 04, 2015 2:04 AM  

If Vox has taught me anything, it would be intellectual humility. 1400 SAT (2003) = midwit

Anonymous rho February 04, 2015 2:38 AM  

Who would have predicted, for example, that homesteading, hobby-farming and gardening would become such a huge trend among the upper-IQ? Yet everywhere I go I meet or hear about very successful professional people who are preparing to drop out of industrial society at the drop of a hat.

When the government decides that all those fat IRAs and 401ks are exciting untapped sources of future revenue, I think the mid- and low-IQ folks will rediscover the joys of gardening as well.

There will always be work for those who want to work, regardless of IQ. The hard bit is the "living wage" part of working. The 85 IQ waitress is likely not paying much in the way of taxes, but she can be rendered destitute by one or two medical bills--the payment of which will go towards the higher salaries of 0 SD to +1 SD to +2 SD people who processed her payments, read her vitals and performed her surgery (in that order).

If you presented that scenario to various people, they will all have a quick and easy answer--it's entirely the fault of: lawyers, hospital CEOs, Obamacare, Darwinism, those bastards at the insurance company, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Democrats, Republicans.

I think Fred's point is that, once you strip away all of the politics, prejudices and prevarication, you end up with people. Just plain folks: mostly good, some not so good, one or two real bad.

Now what?

Blogger rycamor February 04, 2015 2:38 AM  

YIH, theoretically it is sustainable, as long as we don't let the low-IQ breed too much, and as long as our technology helps maintain the world's food production. It's not quite the same thing as a Ponzi scheme.

I just don't look on it as a particularly noble or dignified future for mankind.

And, being the

Blogger rycamor February 04, 2015 2:43 AM  

And being the pessimist that I am, I suspect we are in for real food problems soon. We have metaphorically-speaking been eating more and more of the seed corn, making all our food production depend on mechanized, chemical-laden, corporate-driven, top-down systems, rather than cultivating our soil the way humanity did for millenia. Fragile.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 04, 2015 3:04 AM  

AKAHorace: "I think that our elites may be overconfident because to be fair to them, they defeated the Nazis and won the cold war while raising our standard of living."

I thought the efforts of the white working class had something to do with that?

The same white working class that our intellectual elite is wiping from the globe through means including and not limited to mass non-white immigration and forced assimilation in all white countries and only in white countries.

The same white working class that's supposed to respond to our intellectual genius leadership offshoring working class jobs and "diversifying" working class neighborhoods by inventing new jobs and getting into the social strata that get to participate in "white flight" without being called on it, like our commentators do.

Blogger James Dixon February 04, 2015 3:12 AM  

> If Vox has taught me anything, it would be intellectual humility. 1400 SAT (2003) = midwit

Welcome to the club. :)

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 04, 2015 3:24 AM  

The real point with wages is not a living wage, it's a family wage: the wage that lets a man marry and raise children.

When you hold a substantial number of people who should have been able to earn decent wages under the level of a family wage, you condemn them, long term, to less than replacement fertility and to social dysfunctions.

Failure to reproduce is extinction.

When part of of your strategy for chronically depressed wages is to crowd out your workers with massively imported low-wage, high-fertility, genetically alien workers, this is accelerated extinction. There inevitably follows crowding out and loss of habitat (meaning also pricing out and loss of affordable family formation), hybridization (meaning reproduction, but not of the same kind) and chronic victimization. (Hence the only way for people to protect their kids is to flee, with all the losses, including loss of local culture, that that implies.)

Imposing extinction is not a friendly act, even if it's imposed by cold, slow and stealthy means.

Morally I don't think much of our intellectual genius ruling class, including the commentariat. They have done a lot worse than make some "bad calls".

Anonymous rho February 04, 2015 3:52 AM  

The real point with wages is not a living wage, it's a family wage: the wage that lets a man marry and raise children.
...
When part of of your strategy for chronically depressed wages is to crowd out your workers with massively imported low-wage, high-fertility, genetically alien workers, this is accelerated extinction.


Sure, that's bad.

I assume you buy all of your meat and poultry from local producers? You only eat seasonal vegetables?

Blogger Mindstorm February 04, 2015 5:48 AM  

"Biased" mutations? If you call something 'random', does it mean that there IS no pattern, or that you don't recognize any pattern? Hmmm... what might be biased there... perhaps error correction?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proofreading_(biology)

Blogger Mindstorm February 04, 2015 5:51 AM  

Also this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrimidine_dimer#Mutagenesis

Anonymous Big Bill February 04, 2015 6:16 AM  

"I don't want to eat from a robotic waitress, for example."

Believe me, I know. You just can't get that metal taste out of your mouth.

OpenID cailcorishev February 04, 2015 6:42 AM  

Mid-120's IQ here, last time I tested. Great at History, Art, English. Fair to Middling in Science, Foreign Languages, Government/Economics. Total Mental Retardation on anything past 6th grade Mathematics.

No, no, that's just an excuse; you're really just lazy on math. You might not think so, because you worked hard in all those other classes, but there's no reason you couldn't do just fine in math if you would just apply yourself. If you needed to know algebra to feed yourself, then you'd take some classes and learn it just like the good students did in school. If you won't do that, well, then you deserve to starve, you slacker.

Anonymous IQ Dude February 04, 2015 6:47 AM  

I have a cousin with an IQ of about 75-80. She does not suffer from Downs Syndrome. She is very affable and personable. She can talk to complete strangers and have them laughing and enjoying her company, yet she cannot figure out a bus schedule, read a store receipt, or tell you what 3 times 7 is.

When normals meet her (for example on a bus) and she chats with them about the Super Bowl or Katie Perry, there is nothing that gives her away.

She is extremely attuned to facial expressions and body language and has a sixth sense for when conversations are getting out of control or beyond her (very limited) ken. It is a survival skill she has developed over decades.

She has an animal-like shrewdness. In many ways she is like a human dog, ingratiating herself with much more intelligent beings by constantly observing their body language. It is a survival skill.

When she meets friends of mine, I often ask them to guess what she does for a living (nothing), how many books she reads (none), what movie she last watched (she only watches slapstick cartoons). They inevitably guess WAY too high.

Linda Gottfredson, a professor at University of Delaware, has written a great deal on this inability of smarties to truly grok just how stupid people are and how it screws up medical care, education, employment and the like. Check out her forty years of publications in her CV.

Anonymous joe doakes February 04, 2015 7:19 AM  

Shibes Meadow asks the question that plagues all education schemes: what do we do with the dummies? The A-students will always be fine. The B-students will be night school lawyers and government bureaucrats. The C-students will sell insurance or manage Wal-Marts. But what does society do with the D, F and Dropped Out students when there aren't enough jobs for farm hands and janitors? Right now, we can afford to subsidize some but if the EBT quits for real, they're going to riot to avoid starving. Is there no alternative? I'm a mid-wit so I have no answers; I look to you big brains for solutions. Cough up.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 04, 2015 7:44 AM  

joe doakes: "Right now, we can afford to subsidize some but if the EBT quits for real, they're going to riot to avoid starving."

You need to figure out which ones will riot (because besides being hungry, they hate you anyway, and are inclined to violence against you), and which ones will still be your friends. This is very easy.

Keep your dumb friends (but take care to have more kids than they do), expel your enemies preemptively, and all will be well. Depending on how your genetic dice roll, the dumb grand-kids you save from hunger and the consequences of violence may be your own.

If you can't do that because you are not self-governing and the people who rule you won't let you do things that are in your long term group interest, then your problem is not "what do we relatively smart people do about those dumb people?" but "what have those relatively smart people decided to do about us, and what can we do to survive collectively despite their hostility?"

Blogger Carnivore February 04, 2015 8:18 AM  

@Mike M. " Hire secretaries and you free up your high-IQ (and high pay) people to do jobs that DEMAND high IQ, instead of squandering their time on clerical tasks."

That make me smile. As a green engineer, my manager found me at the copier running off a small number of memos of something I had written up and wanted to distribute. He scolded me and said that's what the secretaries are for and I'm paid to do engineering. This was back in the day when memos were usually typed up and distributed via internal office snail-mail - no email yet - and every second level manager had a secretary for his department. It changed some time in the 90's. The secretaries were dumped; one had to be at the VP level now to have an "admin". The engineers had to run off copies of their documents, create their own transparencies for presentations (granted memos were now via email) and handle all travel arrangements via usually very cumbersome online tools. Not to worry, though, since productivity was maintained or improved by moving many of the engineering positions to India and China so more could be hired at lower cost.

Back to my time as a new engineer out of college, I was having a similar discussion with the old, crusty lab technician (he seemed old to me at the time - mid-50's) who enjoyed engaging the younger engineers in various topics. He told me, "Oh, it's time for another war. The herds have to be thinned."

OpenID cailcorishev February 04, 2015 8:27 AM  

A few days ago, I was talking to a middle-class guy with an IT job. Based on his school test scores, his IQ would be about 130.

He was ranting a bit about how there should be no welfare programs, even those ostensibly directed at children, like WIC. People just shouldn't have children if they can't support them themselves, and everyone can get a job if he really wants one.

He also does all his shopping at Wal-Mart, because it (he says) has the cheapest prices.

He sees no connection or contradiction between these things.

Blogger Breadbasket February 04, 2015 8:36 AM  

The idea that talents are not equal seems to be the elephant in the room. It is so obvious if your eyes are open. I certainly notice when someone is superior to myself in any endeavor. There is just such a big denial by alot of people because it goes against the "We are all equal" nonsense spun by the MSM. I live in a small city and the talented people I graduated with are all over the world in big jobs. What is really noticeable is the brain drain in the last 40 yrs from smaller cities to the cities/suburbs. The town I live in does not have the intelligent and forward thinking people that were there when I grew up. These people invested and spent millions in the area, but that is all gone now. The IQ divide will continue to spread out and it will be more unequal in the future and I think the only thing that stops that is a world war.

OpenID cailcorishev February 04, 2015 9:07 AM  

Linda Gottfredson, a professor at University of Delaware, has written a great deal on this inability of smarties to truly grok just how stupid people are

Every smart person should try tutoring a slow student in the smart person's best subject. That'll fix that blind spot pretty quickly.

Anonymous Stilicho February 04, 2015 9:17 AM  


While I certainly think this is a possible future, one thing we should remember is a little humility. As Nassim Taleb puts it, predictions are pure BS. No one can really predict what trend will take hold in the hearts and minds of men 20 years hence. Except, he says, that which has existed in humanity the longest is that which is most likely to exist in the future. Which hints to me that there will always be subsistence farmers, simple goatherds living off the land, and such. It is this way in large parts of the world. The USA is really an exception these days.


Yep. When we talk about IQ, bell curves, etc. it is necessary to keep in mind the fact that the entire curve can shift left or right on an objective scale. Hello Idiocracy..."Welcome to Costco, I love you...welcome to Costco, I love you..."

The trend I see emerging is one where the entire curve is shifting to the left even as a small segment of society shifts further to the right. The dumb become more numerous and collectively dumber while the smarter self-segregate and become collectively smarter while becoming even more outnumbered by the dumb masses. I don't think it's sustainable in the long run, so conflict and collapse is probably where it ends. Then lather, rinse, repeat.

Anonymous Buckeyecopperhead February 04, 2015 9:25 AM  

cailcorishev:

No, no, that's just an excuse; you're really just lazy on math. You might not think so, because you worked hard in all those other classes, but there's no reason you couldn't do just fine in math if you would just apply yourself. If you needed to know algebra to feed yourself, then you'd take some classes and learn it just like the good students did in school. If you won't do that, well, then you deserve to starve, you slacker.

Ha! That's the typical conservative take. The libtard would have asked if I was part of an underprivileged/oppressed minority and would offer me the phone number of a pro bono attorney so I could sue THE MAN for keeping me down.

Upon finding out I was white and male, the libtard would then tell me to F myself.

Blogger Mindstorm February 04, 2015 9:37 AM  

@Brad Andrews and
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-microbes-deep-sea-evolution-20150202-story.html

Oh, look, the local fitness maximum for cell shape and size was reached for given state boundaries. At least the 'appearance' was the same all this time. I don't see anything about mutations not happening there, though.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation_rate

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 04, 2015 10:04 AM  

Stilicho: "Yep. When we talk about IQ, bell curves, etc. it is necessary to keep in mind the fact that the entire curve can shift left or right on an objective scale."

In practical politics, there is no entire curve. There are different curves. And the idea is to try to preserve the people on your curve, including those below half-way on it.

Do not be giving up on your people because you think most of them aren't smart like you. That's dumb.

The group is an unconditioned good. All around its margins lies the gulf.

Anonymous Bz February 04, 2015 10:16 AM  

K.W. Jeter !?! Cool.

Anonymous Stilicho February 04, 2015 10:24 AM  

The group is an unconditioned good. All around its margins lies the gulf.

Good? Sure, I'll give you that. Unconditioned? Nope. There we part ways. But I think I understand your point. Brother Rudyard summed it up thusly:


Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back --
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Blogger rycamor February 04, 2015 10:46 AM  

cailcorishev February 04, 2015 8:27 AM

A few days ago, I was talking to a middle-class guy with an IT job. Based on his school test scores, his IQ would be about 130.

He was ranting a bit about how there should be no welfare programs, even those ostensibly directed at children, like WIC. People just shouldn't have children if they can't support them themselves, and everyone can get a job if he really wants one.

He also does all his shopping at Wal-Mart, because it (he says) has the cheapest prices.

He sees no connection or contradiction between these things.


See, I agree with his first premise, but probably not for the same reasons. I absolutely think there should be welfare programs, but they should be private charity only. Any society that can't produce enough private charity to take care of its poor doesn't deserve to survive.

But once you put government welfare into place, you begin shifting your entire economy. And the shift invariably hollows out the middle class first, and then begins to feed on the lower classes. It feeds on itself, producing more and more dependents.

How did the USA end up with all these welfare and public programs to begin with? It was due mainly to an interventionist response to the Great Depression, which itself was caused by idiotic intervention in the economy. The more government tries to solve such things, the more of a permanent underclass is created.

Anonymous Athor Pel February 04, 2015 11:40 AM  

"cailcorishevFebruary 04, 2015 9:07 AM
Linda Gottfredson, a professor at University of Delaware, has written a great deal on this inability of smarties to truly grok just how stupid people are

Every smart person should try tutoring a slow student in the smart person's best subject. That'll fix that blind spot pretty quickly."



I've tutored and been tutored myself.

A guy I went to high school with ended up working with my Dad at the same steel plant. He told Dad a story from our high school days. He said I tried explaining some algebra to him. That I showed and explained some things and then at the end I said, "See, isn't that easy?" Whereas his response was, "No, it's not."

I was told this story by my Dad some decades after high school. I didn't remember the incident but it was this story that provided some of the evidence I needed to understand that what is obvious to me isn't always obvious to others.

In any case I didn't learn algebra in algebra class, I learned it in chemistry. And it was in chemistry that I was tutored myself since at one point my grades were failing. Grades were recorded in 9 week intervals at my high school. I got every letter grade except a D in that class. I think it was C, F, A, B, in that order. The teacher didn't quite know what to think about it. I don't think he had ever seen grades quite like that before.

OpenID cailcorishev February 04, 2015 12:24 PM  

See, I agree with his first premise, but probably not for the same reasons. I absolutely think there should be welfare programs, but they should be private charity only.

Agreed. The problem is that he doesn't see that his own quest for low-low prices now (thanks to the partnership between government and employers using cheap labor) works to keep more people at the level where they need that charity, to the point where it seems like too massive a problem for private charity to handle, so he swallows an enormous tax bill to have government keep doing it. He's not happy about the taxes, but that's an abstract thing most of the year; cheap Cheerios are concrete.

Blogger kurt9 February 04, 2015 12:27 PM  

Its actually worse than what Fred says about it. Many of those smart "beltway" people in the DC area are, in fact, the parasites. the truck driver and waitress actually creates value in a free market economy. Most of the beltway people make their living working or contracting for the government. It is up to the reader to decide which of them actually create value for the tax payers that ultimately pay them.

OpenID pancakeloach February 04, 2015 12:36 PM  

Kick the government out of regulating private enterprise to death - aka, so many regulations that "stupid" people cannot self-employ and cost more than they're worth in compliance paperwork to a potential employer - and I think you would see that there are not nearly as many people in need of charity due to their inability to "work" (according to the Smart People's Rules) as it seems there are now.

As Jack Amok said, we have a parasite problem. People need food, shelter, etc - and these things must be produced by labor in most of the world. And in all of those areas there is a MOUNTAIN of government regulation made by "smart" people that has the effect of turning marginal people into "helpless" people.

Blogger Marissa February 04, 2015 12:41 PM  

While I disagree with the United States entering WW1, this is an excellent example of why women shouldn't make political decisions. "The personal is the political", in a nutshell.

My omission; there were plenty of Average Joe men saying it then as well. And they were right to do so. The anti-war sentiment wasn't an exclusively female sentiment.


Men opposed the war for different reasons. I doubt there were very many who completely excluded the idea that their sons might be soldiers.

OpenID easilyangered February 04, 2015 12:48 PM  

Wow, I never would have known a response to my assertion that just because you do something for 40 hours doesn't make it worth paying $15 an hour would cause such a long discussion I can't even read all the comments on it.

I'm just going to throw in another 2 cents:
I'm hardhearted, and a horrible person as stated previously, but I think the root of the problem is we are sympathetic and feel so sorry for the down on their luck. Let's take away all the assistance people receive, starvation and misery are great motivators, look at all the ingenious attempts to escape iron curtain countries during the cold war. People, when forced to produce or starve will either find something productive to do, or turn to theft. A liberal application of castle doctrine will weed out those of a criminal bent, and those who actually decide to get off their rears will be too busy working to keep breeding more worthless turds.

Too bad lefties only appreciate darwinism as it applies to mocking the religious.

Blogger ajw308 February 04, 2015 1:04 PM  

I don't want to eat from a robotic waitress, for example.
When the min wage rate is higher then the payments on automated food lines, the low budget fast food will be automated. Hell, people are talking about having sex with fembots and you want some ditz who plays with her gum to palm your glass as she serves your food to you.

Anonymous K. W. Jeter February 04, 2015 1:54 PM  

Men opposed the war for different reasons. I doubt there were very many who completely excluded the idea that their sons might be soldiers.

You'd be wrong about that. For most of US history, there were plenty of Bible-toting, God-fearing men who had no use for some government coming along and press-ganging their sons into cannon fodder in wars that didn't concern Americans, especially when there were crops to be gotten in, As Bill Kaufmann's Ain't My America substantiates, military idolatry is a relatively recent development in this country.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus February 04, 2015 2:03 PM  

@Stilicho

Close enough.

What I will never accept is the idea that because I am smarter than my cousin, or better read, or more skilled in specific ways, this makes me practically a different species from him, and unburdens me of obligations.

Wrong, wrong, deeply, multiply, culpably wrong.

Anonymous Stilicho February 04, 2015 2:29 PM  

What I will never accept is the idea that because I am smarter than my cousin, or better read, or more skilled in specific ways, this makes me practically a different species from him, and unburdens me of obligations.

No, it doesn't. However, when your cousin declares himself and his sept your enemy he (and they if they go along with his declaration) can hardly be considered part of your clan any longer. Further, those obligations include removing rabid members from the pack.

Blogger Marissa February 04, 2015 2:51 PM  

You'd be wrong about that. For most of US history, there were plenty of Bible-toting, God-fearing men who had no use for some government coming along and press-ganging their sons into cannon fodder in wars that didn't concern Americans, especially when there were crops to be gotten in, As Bill Kaufmann's Ain't My America substantiates, military idolatry is a relatively recent development in this country.

This has nothing to do with ruling out the idea of one's son becoming a soldier. People become soldiers and fight in wars without being drafted or participating in unnecessary wars or being "military idolaters". The woman saying "my son won't become a soldier" doesn't have a principled stance against the draft or causes of war or military idolatry, but a personal--and stupid--preference against soldiery.

Anonymous K. W. Jeter February 04, 2015 3:06 PM  

People become soldiers and fight in wars without being drafted or participating in unnecessary wars or being "military idolaters".

Not in World War I, they didn't.

a personal--and stupid--preference against soldiery

That preference isn't stupid, and at one time was the default in the US; that was why the founding fathers made it so difficult for us to get involved in foreign wars. Now we don't bother with those strictures, and we can witness the results. The imperial State, in its magnificence, finds it useful for its serfs to have the idolatrous preference for soldiery that you appear to have. Again, witness the results.

Blogger Marissa February 04, 2015 3:32 PM  

People become soldiers and fight in wars without being drafted or participating in unnecessary wars or being "military idolaters".

Not in World War I, they didn't.


You seem to be stuck on something I'm not saying...I'm saying women who opposed their sons becoming soldiers as soldiers, not as related to WW1, but just being soldiers, is mistaken. It's that laudable female gentleness carried into the realm of politics where it doesn't belong. I very much doubt men protested the war because they didn't want their sons to be soldiers but that they didn't want their sons to be involved in an unnecessary war. It's a big difference that you don't seem to understand.

a personal--and stupid--preference against soldiery

That preference isn't stupid, and at one time was the default in the US; that was why the founding fathers made it so difficult for us to get involved in foreign wars. Now we don't bother with those strictures, and we can witness the results. The imperial State, in its magnificence, finds it useful for its serfs to have the idolatrous preference for soldiery that you appear to have. Again, witness the results.


I very much doubt any large part of the male population was against actual soldiers as opposed to being against foreign wars. In fact, most states had militias--literal training of soldiers--and thus a respect for the actual skill involved in war.

I'm not sure what any of this has to do with the imperial state, serfs and idolatry. I'm not an Enlightenment liberal so none of this silly language works on me but maybe it makes you feel better to use it. I recommend that you stick to the discussion instead of engaging in silly personal attacks.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with being a soldier and I very much doubt the historical men of a land with militias filled with military-age men, even though not a standing army, has ever thought so either.

Anonymous K. W. Jeter February 04, 2015 3:53 PM  

It's that laudable female gentleness carried into the realm of politics where it doesn't belong.

You're simply wrong, and willfully ignorant. Look about you, and you can see that in what the US has become, that "female gentleness," at least in terms of a reluctance to go to war and a disdain for soldiers, has just about vanished. It's been replaced with that military idolatry that so well serves the State, and expands the State through pointless wars.

I very much doubt any large part of the male population was against actual soldiers as opposed to being against foreign wars.

Again, you're simply wrong; cf. Bill Kaufmann's Ain't My America, which documents how deep-seated the aversion to the military was at one time in the US, among both men and women.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with being a soldier

Actually, there is, and should only be undertaken with the greatest reluctance, and only to defend one's country, and not to get involved with pointless foreign wars or invasions of other countries. To needlessly become a soldier is to serve the State rather than one's country, and makes it easier for the State to expand and bring about all the evils that come with militarization, which the founding fathers warned us about.

I recommend that you stick to the discussion

Which I have. You, on the other hand, apparently wish to keep talking about some supposed difference between men and women's feelings about the military, when in fact there was very little such difference for a great part of American history.

Blogger Marissa February 04, 2015 4:20 PM  

Maybe you can actually address my point about widespread state militias. Clearly men did not have the supposed aversion you and some cherry-picking anarchist personally hold toward being a soldier. And clearly they did not think there was something intrinsically wrong with being a soldier. In fact, this idea of militias is in the United States Constitution.

. Look about you, and you can see that in what the US has become, that "female gentleness," at least in terms of a reluctance to go to war and a disdain for soldiers, has just about vanished.

I said nothing about current opinion. Clearly feminism has destroyed what was a common trait in women.

Can you make an argument about what is intrinsically wrong with a man who chooses to fight or defend his country? No one here is talking about involving oneself in needless wars, so you're addressing a strawman when you talk about any kind of government corruption when I'm talking about the state of being a soldier.

But if you're going to simply persist in libertarian, anti-war platitudes instead of addressing the clear fact that men in this country were involved in militias and the founders of the U.S. put this doctrine of militias into the American constitution, then you're just going to keep talking past the conversation and this discussion is pointless.

Anonymous Discard February 04, 2015 11:39 PM  

Regarding the learning of math: My math background is limited to that available in a decent high school, but that is enough for this topic. More average people could learn some useful math if the abstract topics were left out. For example, trigonometry without sine curves is enough to do surveying and machining, and a lot easier to grasp. Geometry without Euclidean proofs would not be too hard for a lot of people with modest intelligence, but a good sense of spacial relations. Algebra without matrices would be another improvement.

I believe that a lot of people in this world are going to die when they become more of a burden than the more productive can support, but it's wrong to deny them the chance to become more productive by placing math out of their reach.


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