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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Interview with Jesse Peterson


Jess: I read that your previous you are a pretty smart guy you are a game designer, accomplished musician, and member of Mensa, a high IQ Society. Is that true, you're really a smart guy?

Vox: Yes. I'm a National Merit semifinalist, which is actually considerably more difficult than Mensa.

Jesse: So were you born that way?

Vox: Yes.

Jesse: What is a high IQ?

Vox: Well, you know, IQ is best understood in terms of its standard deviation, so 100 IQ is normal, the Mensa level IQ is the top two percent of the population, so one in 50, that's about 132, you know. I'm in the 3 to 4 standard deviation range, so I'm probably around the one in a thousand, one in 1500 level. There are plenty of people like me, but not a whole lot.

Jesse: Do you feel smart? I mean, how do you know that you're that smart?

Vox:  I guess the easiest way for me to explain it is to put it in terms like this; I'm also slightly colorblind. There are some differentiations between orange and green that I literally cannot see. You can point it out to me, you can trace it, you can draw it, and I cannot see it, no matter what. Being highly intelligent tends to be like the other side of that, you know, you see things, and you think they're obvious, and it's very, very surprising to you that other people can't see them. So, I would say that in terms of your day-to-day relationships with other people, it's often just having to understand that other people can't always see what you see, or they can't always reach conclusions as quickly as you can.


Perhaps this exchange may help put the Jordan Peterson thing in perspective and explain why so many smart people managed to miss the insidious nature of his philosophy and his rules for life even if they happened to be in the unusual position of having actually read his books. For example, Peterson wrote some things that I immediately knew to be wrong in Maps of Meaning, mostly because I had previously been reading Umberto Eco quoting Aristotle and analyzing Aristotelian categorization in some detail the day before at the gym. Setting aside the small likelihood that the average person is going to read any of the relevant books without being paid a significant sum to do so, it was necessary to understand what Aristotle had written, understand what Eco was saying about what Aristotle had written, remember what Peterson had written, and also have understood that well enough to see the contradiction between the two on the one hand and the one on the other that rendered Peterson's statements false. Anyone could be walked through that process, but it takes a relatively high level of cognitive processing power to understand all three elements well enough to immediately connect them even when there is no obvious connection, since Peterson never refers directly to Aristotle. Or, for that matter, to Eco.

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67 Comments:

Blogger Hammerli280 May 13, 2018 11:26 AM  

"...it's often like just having to understand that other people can't always see what you see, or they can't always reach conclusions as quickly as you can."

Very, very true. I can look at a problem or situation and the answer is obvious. Normal people have to stop and work it out - or try trial-and-error.

Blogger Dave May 13, 2018 11:35 AM  

I don't know what prompted this interview, but it turned into a little gem. The colorblind analogy and the really big cannon (this one I believe you've also posted on the blog before). And who could forget the surprise musical intro (10:10)

There's a huge difference between intelligence and wisdom in the way that I relate it is, intelligence is like having a really big cannon; you know the bore of the gun is very large but you still need to know where to aim it in order to use it effectively, and wisdom is like knowing where to aim
it and knowing how to aim it, and then you also need ammunition, and ammunition is the education and experience, and you need all three of those things in order to effectively apply them.

Blogger Slagenthor May 13, 2018 11:43 AM  

Agreed. It takes that extra in order to connect those dots, however; it also takes an interest in the source material in the first place just to be in a position to have the dots to connect.

Vox, you have inspired me to dig into Aristotle myself this year...it has proven useful in my work.

Just One more reason why I am glad I frequent here: Iron sharpens iron.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2018 11:44 AM  

I've told my children that smart is like long legs: you can get there in fewer steps, and jump bigger gaps. You still have to get up and work at it if you want to get anywhere. You just get more progress for the same effort.

Blogger Dire Badger May 13, 2018 11:53 AM  

So all you need is a 132 IQ to be in Mensa? Man, I thought you had to be SMART. Now I've lost all interest in those morons.

Blogger VD May 13, 2018 11:55 AM  

it also takes an interest in the source material in the first place just to be in a position to have the dots to connect.

That's the aspect that the gammas of the world, and to a lesser extent, many of the women, so often fail to grasp. IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO BE SMART. Even considerable cognitive capacity is functionally useless if you have nothing to load the cannon with, and no amount of credentials and attendance marks will serve as a substitute for genuine knowledge. Hence my use of the term "functionally stupid". The primary practical difference between the smart but functionally stupid and the genuinely stupid is that the genuinely stupid are far less annoying.

That's why I constantly force myself to do things like read Il Gattopardo one paragraph at a time, first in Italian and then in English. It's older Italian, so a lot of the words, or their tertiary meanings, are new to me. (Why are the parrots explaining their iridescent wings? Because the same verb can also mean "to unfurl". Hmmm... that actually works.) Or read esoteric Hallpike papers on linguistics that are totally beyond my education. You never know what will prove useful.

But I'm not crazy and I know my limits. I'm not going to try reading an esoteric Eco paper on linguistics in Italian.

Blogger BR MK May 13, 2018 12:01 PM  

I believe inteligence is contagious. If you interact with other inteligent people, your own inteligence improves.
And if you interact with low inteligence people, your inteligence decreases.

Blogger Michael Maier May 13, 2018 12:04 PM  

Intelligence is almost useless if not well-yoked. I often wonder what I could have been if challenged in school, esp. K-12.

That's what makes me want to puke thinking of public schools. All that wasted time. How much more productive, educated and useful could humans be if teachers 1) actually had a clue how to teach and 2) were allowed to do so?

Blogger Desillusionerad May 13, 2018 12:04 PM  

Dire badger that's wrong, you need more than 132 IQ - you also need to apply.
- off topic but for the euros here, seen the esc winner? It's glorious in every way.

Blogger Dave May 13, 2018 12:09 PM  

I'm not going to try reading an esoteric Eco paper on linguistics in Italian.

If you were a monk in the mountains, however...

Blogger DJ | AMDG May 13, 2018 12:09 PM  

That’s very interesting. The Gifts of the Spirit awakened in Confirmation speak to a similar characterization.

Understanding
Knowledge
Wisdom
Counsel

They are all similar but different and important for different reasons. It’s also challenging to teach those subtle but important differences to most pre-teens.

Imo...a high degree of UNDERSTANDING is probably most related to high IQ. But even given that, one cannot suppose one will be “successful” or “high achieving” as JP argues. The other three gifts are critical, too, not to mention...

Fortitude
Piety, and
Fear of God

...all critical imo for one’s actions to serve goodness, as opposed to “survival.”

Finally, I think it was Aquinas who argued that without CHARITY, these gifts would not flourish; that although born with these gifts (through both physical and spiritual births), only one’s charitable actions could nurture them.

Genius is a great responsibility, and probably a great burden for those so gifted.

Blogger Resident Moron™ May 13, 2018 12:17 PM  

@9

I guess the Middle East was always part of Europe, huh?

Or just since 1956?

Who knows what the Narrative is today?

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 13, 2018 12:27 PM  

Unfurl and explain having the same verb in Italian makes sense.

Blogger VD May 13, 2018 12:31 PM  

Genius is a great responsibility, and probably a great burden for those so gifted.

I disagree. Genius, properly understood, is a term that relates to inspired accomplishment. It does not mean potential or cognitive capability, and cannot be measured by IQ. For example, Jerry Pournelle and I both possess higher IQs than Richard Feynman and Martin van Creveld. But the latter two are confirmed geniuses, while I would not regard either Dr. Pournelle or myself as being one.

Blogger Johnny May 13, 2018 12:35 PM  

Resident Moron™ wrote:@9

I guess the Middle East was always part of Europe, huh?

Or just since 1956?

Who knows what the Narrative is today?


Europe is more of a political entity then a geographic one. Most commonly it is the old Roman/Christian empire minus North Africa and the Middle East. Following WWI, England France got a lot of control over the Middle East and North Africa, making it sort of semi Europe in terms of the politics. We took over following WWII, and appear to be losing traction in the region.

Blogger seeingsights May 13, 2018 12:38 PM  

Assorted comments:
1. In high school I too took the PSATNMSQT and scored in the 99th percentile.

2. Going by my own experience, I think that IQ is in large part hereditary, but it's not 100 percent. My aunt knew three languages. My uncle--who never went to college--taught himself the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in math.
In grammar school, my reading level was average. What I had to read I found uninteresting or even disagreeable. Realizing that reading comprehension is an important factor for a good standard of living, I read a lot on my own time during my teen age years, and increased my reading comprehension. Just like physical exercise strengthens muscles, intellectual exercise strengths intelligence.

Blogger DJ | AMDG May 13, 2018 12:39 PM  

In my humble defense, I did not tie genius to only IQ (or Understanding) but simply concluded with that comment.

Additionally, I think we all find self professing geniuses quite distasteful. As forthright as you are about your abilities, calling yourself a genius, even if true, might be a bit too much.

But what do I know. Almost 19 years now and you continue to surprise me with the seemingly ridiculous stuff you get right.

Blogger S1AL May 13, 2018 12:46 PM  

Europe isn't, historically, a cohesive entity. Mediterranean Europe had more in common, historically and genetically, with North Africa and the Middle East (1) than with East, Central, Scandinavian, or Britain. In genetic terms you have a big spread that follows similar divisions. And then there's language, which follows an entirely different pattern. Even Christianity wasn't a cohesive element of huge swaths of Europe until after 1000 AD, and that all started to fracture long before the Reformation.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2018 12:46 PM  

Desillusionerad wrote:Dire badger that's wrong, you need more than 132 IQ - you also need to apply.

Mensa is for the top end of the midwits. Based on limited personal experience, Mensa attracts people I now know to have been gammas. I suppose they are looking for another credential. My father was a member. I have never wanted to apply.

Has anyone experienced any of the other high IQ groups? Are they the same way?

Blogger S1AL May 13, 2018 12:47 PM  

Forgot this note:

(1) That all became very muddled with the rise of Islam.

Blogger Looking Glass May 13, 2018 12:57 PM  

@6 VD

No one tells the really smart 6-year old, "I hope you like reading... a lot". It's the only way to have enough information on various topics, since you don't rely on others to tell you what to think. The upside is you can "think for yourself", but the downside is you actually have to "think for yourself", which takes time, effort, investment & skill.

There's also highly individualized aspects to all of it. We can tag numbers on IQ, but, like most natural systems, quantification breaks down beyond 3 SD. After that point, while there is levels of "smarter", those hyper intelligent people are going to be leveraging their minds along different "vectors" to achieve the rapid pace they are processing information.

Really Smart Person A can replicate the work of Really Smart Person B, but that doesn't mean they could have come up with the original idea, design or implementation. (This is the History of Mathematics & Engineering in a nutshell.) While not strictly like Art, application of Intelligence is a creative task and comes with the same issues of perspective, interpretation and execution.

This also is something of a problem in the hard sciences. All of STEM is pretty much flowing into this really tight echo chambers because pushing the boundaries of current understanding is extremely specialized & experience intensive. This problem is going to continue to get worse as things progress.


@11 DJ | AMDG

I use a different categorization approach from Vox on the topic, as mine came about trying to sort out a theological discussion in English.

"Wisdom" is of the Spirit. God tells you "what" to do, or you are blessed with understanding of what actions to take.

"Intelligence" lets you unwind why something was a Wise or Unwise decision/action. It's a combination of raw ability & refined mental skills to process information, of whatever form, in the mind and come to some "Insight".

One can be Wise and Insightful without being very intelligent. That's just the power of being careful and having great experience. Certain things "work because they work", and one need not necessarily understand the reason something "works" to capitalize upon that Insight.

@7 BR MK

There's a bit of truth to your thoughts, but they would generally be considered incorrect. Intelligence, properly applied, saves a lot of time by avoiding the need to repeat tasks or waste too much energy. Being around the intelligent will, generally, be the same as being around a group of productive people that find solutions to problems. It provides a social function that allows for improved thought processes & skill sets.

You can't change someone's IQ, unless there's a physical issue (that's correctable), but you can give them much better efficiency with their raw talent. It's very much in the way that professional athletes have trainers & coaches. Their raw, natural talent is genetic, but they have to hone that into a professional, physical skill set.

Though, without going down a long neurophysiology rabbit hole, it's very likely you can improve Mental Endurance at Tasks at the median levels. Most with really high IQs already have the abnormal mental endurance, at least in their specialty areas, to go with the IQ, but most of those at the median lack that ability. The classic story of the "school was hard, but I put in huge hours to pass" student is normally a version of that. Someone with a median range IQ but above average mental endurance, which lets them learn certain advanced subjects but at the cost of significantly more time.

Blogger Looking Glass May 13, 2018 1:03 PM  

@19 Ominous Cowherd

That's a good point. The one guy I knew that really big on MENSA was definitely a gamma, in hindsight. Though I think he was a bit above the midwit level.

Blogger S'mon May 13, 2018 1:24 PM  

Yeah Vox - I'm smarter than the average bear, & was smart enough to get a whiff of wrongness off Twelve Rules for Life, but without having read sufficiently widely, and with a touch of depression which I suspect lowers my effective functional IQ 5-10 pts, I didn't draw all the dots as effectively. I'm also a lot more sympathetic to Peterson's position since I'm still mostly a Classical Liberal at heart, so more inclined to make excuses for him.

I enjoy reading your stuff VD, you have that smart person ability to cut through the crap and present your argument with clarity - to those within 2 SDs, at least. :)

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 13, 2018 1:30 PM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:Has anyone experienced any of the other high IQ groups? Are they the same way?
VP is the only one I've been able to tolerate on a long-term basis.

Blogger VD May 13, 2018 1:32 PM  

I'm also a lot more sympathetic to Peterson's position since I'm still mostly a Classical Liberal at heart, so more inclined to make excuses for him.

That's the core weakness. NEVER make excuses for those for whom you have sympathy, or worse, genuinely like, when it comes to understanding them. Always view them with more ruthless skepticism in order to compensate for that.

Blogger S'mon May 13, 2018 1:32 PM  

@19 "Mensa is for the top end of the midwits. Based on limited personal experience, Mensa attracts people I now know to have been gammas. "

Is there any reason high IQ types shouldn't be Gammas, at least through about IQ 145-150? I think I'm in that range and about the only reason I'm not a total Gamma (I was certainly raised to be one) is some hard thinking-it-through age ca 18-19. I can imagine super high IQ types could be impervious to the sort of bad parenting that creates Gamma personalities, but I'd guess that up through about IQ 145 they must be pretty common.

Blogger VD May 13, 2018 1:36 PM  

Is there any reason high IQ types shouldn't be Gammas, at least through about IQ 145-150?

They tend to be Omegas. Think Lazlo from Real Genius. He's an Omega. Chris Knight, obviously, is a Sigma. The rest of the crew are Gammas.

Blogger S'mon May 13, 2018 1:39 PM  

"They tend to be Omegas."

Yeah, that fits my experience.

Blogger Slagenthor May 13, 2018 1:42 PM  

"You never know what will prove useful."

Could not agree more. Still a little surprised at the impact I had by relating Aristotle'a point on some people being dialectic-immune to the need for even (especially?) Technical folks to meet people where they are at and persuade the whole person. I got a handful of blank looks, but plenty more of dawning appreciation.

Blogger S'mon May 13, 2018 1:45 PM  

@14

"Genius, properly understood, is a term that relates to inspired accomplishment. It does not mean potential or cognitive capability, and cannot be measured by IQ. For example, Jerry Pournelle and I both possess higher IQs than Richard Feynman and Martin van Creveld. But the latter two are confirmed geniuses, while I would not regard either Dr. Pournelle or myself as being one."

Nicely put. Genius seems a combination of ability, inspiration, drive and motivation to create that zig-zag lightning in the brain - AND have it produce something truly worthwhile, such as Creveld's The Transformation of War. A high-ish IQ is necessary, but far from sufficient.

Blogger SidVic May 13, 2018 2:02 PM  

A strangely sweet interview. I liked it.

Blogger Ben Cohen May 13, 2018 2:29 PM  

Sam Seder = gamma?

Blogger Desillusionerad May 13, 2018 2:52 PM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:Desillusionerad wrote:Dire badger that's wrong, you need more than 132 IQ - you also need to apply.

Mensa is for the top end of the midwits. Based on limited personal experience, Mensa attracts people I now know to have been gammas.

My primary point was that one needed to do something beyond being bright.
As for ESC, you people are all so limited, Israel winning is glorious for so many more reasons: first the memes, second, The song, just listen to it, third, lyrics, Glorious tying into everything, and fourth, the coup de grace, she is being accused of cultural appropriation!

Blogger Shimshon May 13, 2018 2:53 PM  

@27 "Think Lazlo from Real Genius. He's an Omega."

He did get the hot girl in the end though.

Blogger Mike Hertz May 13, 2018 2:55 PM  

@Vox I found this interesting. I am not suggesting I'm on your level but I was assuming people were just lazy or didn't give a shit. But maybe they literally can't see the path/pattern or the multiple solutions to problems. I will think on this, maybe I have been giving people too much credit. What I see as common sense or obvious might not be.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother May 13, 2018 2:59 PM  

Laszlo later in life left science behind to become...Uncle Rico!!!

Anonymous Anonymous May 13, 2018 3:02 PM  

@35

"What I see as common sense or obvious might not be."

There is an old saying that common sense is not very common.

Blogger Nate73 May 13, 2018 3:05 PM  

Is this an example of why memory is crucial to intellectual activity? The example with Eco is saying that you have to remember all 3 ideas simultaneously in order to draw the connection between them.

Blogger Mike Hertz May 13, 2018 3:35 PM  

Wouldn't that be "fluid/working" memory more than "crystallized" memory? I know people with much better "recall" than me but can't seem to "real time" problem solve very well.

Blogger Wynn Lloyd May 13, 2018 3:54 PM  

Vox is most definitely a genius.
Go back to 2013- the man was saying this stuff THEN! That's amazing.
Same with Jordan Peterson; I just thought he was lame, before the recent conflict started, but Vox went hard against him from the get-go, even though it seemed excessive to critics.
Yeah, turns out Peterson was working with Podesta at the U.N. He's not even controlled opposition, he's an outright enemy.

Being able to discern the actual outcomes of history, despite them seeming impossible at the time, is genius.

OT;
Mensa has not done me any good, really.
If I could, I would go back in time and drop 15 or even 25 points of I.Q., if it meant I was good at sports/socially savvy.
Usually there are serious drawbacks to having an U.H.I.Q.
Having an U.H.I.Q. is a handicap in some respects. Being a true Renaissance man is an amazing achievement considering how rare it is

Blogger The Kurgan May 13, 2018 4:09 PM  

Frankly, neither am I!

Blogger Unknown May 13, 2018 5:03 PM  

Genius [...] cannot be measured by IQ

Neither, it should be said, can debating skill. As the JBP phenomenon clearly show, all one needs is interest/time/patience to read widely and a propensity for translating synaptic connections into argumetation. It's just a stylized form of solipsistic rationalization and projection.

The capacity to rationalize and project, and argue stylistically, are functions of ego, not IQ. A high IQ just makes solipsistic bullshit sound believable (to those who can't see through it).

Is you is, or is you ain't?

Necessitates a collective noun for hamster wheels when it comes to IQ:

A preen of hamsters.

No.

An embellishment of hamsters.

No.

An exhaustion of hamsters.

Dear god, yes.

Blogger Brad Matthews May 13, 2018 5:12 PM  

It's not. I used to think the same thing. I felt really stupid for being blind to it my whole life. It relieved some frustration when the light came on. Credit goes Vox.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2018 5:34 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:VP is the only one I've been able to tolerate on a long-term basis.

VP is one of the few places where gammas are detected and corrected or ejected before they do a lot of harm.

S'mon wrote:Is there any reason high IQ types shouldn't be Gammas, at least through about IQ 145-150?

Gamma seems to boil down to lying about yourself, to yourself and others. Smart people are generally going to be better at rationalizing than stupid people, so you if you are smart, you can fool yourself at least. I think dummies don't gamma so much, if for no other reason than they just can't carry it off.

Mike Hertz wrote:I am not suggesting I'm on your level but I was assuming people were just lazy or didn't give a shit. But maybe they literally can't see the path/pattern or the multiple solutions to problems.

I was told that the Army doesn't want more than a 20 IQ point gap between leader and follower, because communication becomes too uncertain. That's barely over 1SD IQ delta.

Over a 4SD IQ delta, I think communication can break down entirely: some concepts can't cross the gap. You can see this even if you aren't VHIQ: try talking to a Downs Syndrome kid, and see what gets through. It won't be 100%. You can have thoughts that they not only won't have, they cannot have.

Blogger S'mon May 13, 2018 6:37 PM  

"Over a 4SD IQ delta, I think communication can break down entirely: some concepts can't cross the gap. You can see this even if you aren't VHIQ: try talking to a Downs Syndrome kid, and see what gets through. It won't be 100%. You can have thoughts that they not only won't have, they cannot have."

As an academic, I find I'm quite good at making concepts simple and clear - better than many less intelligent academics - and I can explain stuff well to moderate students with IQ perhaps ca 110-115 (whereas a lot of academics with IQs around 115-120 seem to pride themselves on obtuseness, perhaps as a sort of defensive cloak).

But I still get a shock sometimes trying to explain concepts, very simply and clearly, to the really stupid "non traditional qualifications" students, the ones I'd peg at below 100 IQ, when I realise they are absolutely uninterested in understanding, and nothing I can say will get through.

Blogger Doug Cranmer May 13, 2018 6:40 PM  

The biggest gift of Vox Day is to let me know where I fit in in the scheme of things.
IQ and personality type, I can take that and go from there.

Hat's off. You've helped a lot of men.

Blogger CM May 13, 2018 6:46 PM  

It's more than just seeing what others don't. Its seeing connections and drawing connections that actually turn out to be right.

It's not being a seer - it's more of being a prophet. I don't know where I heard this definition of prophecy, but it fits you impeccably - speaking God's truth.

Being highly intelligent and seeing connections others miss, you could be seen as seeing the future, but it's simply speaking the Truth with clarity of thought.

It's why I read here. I'm not as intelligent or capable of seeing what you see, but I want to. I want the truth, too.

Blogger VD May 13, 2018 7:03 PM  

It's not being a seer - it's more of being a prophet. I don't know where I heard this definition of prophecy, but it fits you impeccably - speaking God's truth.

I am NOT a prophet. Don't put that burden on me. I merely seek to be honest and speak truthfully about what I observe.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2018 7:05 PM  

S'mon wrote:But I still get a shock sometimes trying to explain concepts, very simply and clearly, to the really stupid "non traditional qualifications" students, the ones I'd peg at below 100 IQ, when I realise they are absolutely uninterested in understanding, and nothing I can say will get through.

Incapable would look a lot like uninterested, and eventually even the most motivated will lose interest in something they are not capable of understanding. Sometimes it's like explaining colors to an earthworm: no matter how interested the earthworm might be, it isn't equipped to get the concept.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2018 7:11 PM  

VD wrote:I am NOT a prophet. Don't put that burden on me. I merely seek to be honest and speak truthfully about what I observe.

Prophets speak big-T Truth, straight from God. I don't think we've seen an actual prophet since the first century. You are speaking little-t truth, but today that's pretty rare, too.

Blogger robwbright May 13, 2018 11:10 PM  

Speaking of Umberto Eco, it appears he had a low opinion of nationalism and thought it likely to lead to fascism...

"I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it...

7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside."

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/

I shudder to think what fire and brimstone would come down on Jordan Peterson for saying such a thing.

Blogger wreckage May 13, 2018 11:14 PM  

What I find surprising is that a lot of people have no interest in ideas, in thought, in how all these things link together. It's surprising what kind of stuff you can understand at a functional level if you're just curious and systematic, or like me, fascinated by how ideas interact.

And it was that interaction of ideas that attracted me to Peterson in the first place... but to learn that he has no interest in Aristotle? There are two fundamental intellectual forces, I am told: Plato and Aristotle. If Peterson is trying to oppose globalism, the impersonal beige box view of history, humanity, and society, and to do so with a little knowledge of Plato and none of Aristotle... well, Vox has outlined how grossly erroneous that is.

Anyway, much as Vox gives me whiplash, this blog continues to be possibly the most entertaining free source of high IQ polymath fireworks in existence. Figuring out what Vox is saying is always great mental, philosophical and intellectual exercise.

Of course, *clears throat, adjusts posture* "I Don't Agree With Everything Vox Says, But..."

Blogger Dave May 13, 2018 11:19 PM  

robwbright wrote:I shudder to think what fire and brimstone would come down on Jordan Peterson for saying such a thing.

Are you literally shaking, bro?

Blogger wreckage May 13, 2018 11:19 PM  

"Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country...."

See, Ur Fascism even in the small quoted part, denies all identity but the "accident of birth". It's a modern-into-postmodern creed. Blood and Soil, Ethno Nationalism, or the conceptual Posterity all OPPOSE the necessary conditions of Ur-Fascism.

Blogger Dire Badger May 13, 2018 11:33 PM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:Desillusionerad wrote:Dire badger that's wrong, you need more than 132 IQ - you also need to apply.

Mensa is for the top end of the midwits. Based on limited personal experience, Mensa attracts people I now know to have been gammas. I suppose they are looking for another credential. My father was a member. I have never wanted to apply.

Has anyone experienced any of the other high IQ groups? Are they the same way?


To be truthful, from what I have seen, MENSA people (Or at least those that publically state that they are in MENSA) seem to have great memory for esoteric and irrelevant detail, but when they open their mouths in public the most amazing stupidity seems to spit out.

Think people like Mayim Bialik, who brags constantly about being the 'actual genius' on Big Bang Theory, likes using large, esoteric words, but her ability to grasp and apply logic approaches that of Daffy Duck, at best.

I understand that a lot of the problem, especially among celebrities, is a complete lack of experience outside of their protective bubble... but my tolerance for their sheer stupidity, especially the ones who claim genius IQ levels and celebrity-driven MENSA membership, is nonexistent.

Blogger wreckage May 14, 2018 12:05 AM  

For a lot of people, a high IQ just lets them make bigger mistakes, faster, and use ever more convoluted reasoning to cling to those errors. Ain't no cure for human nature.

Blogger M. Bibliophile May 14, 2018 12:44 AM  

@Ominous Cowherd

WRT the Army, I can't speak to official policy but I can say that it makes a huge practical difference. The best leaders I've seen are probably <125 IQ. There are a few who are above that, and the best of those either work darn hard at communicating or work through intermediaries (which is a major intended benefit of a good chain of command). Me, I'm a point shy of 3SD and have the devil's own time communicating with my peers much less the bulk of my subordinates, but I'm no great leader. Thank God for good sergeants: they make things run in more ways than most people imagine.

One thing I will say is that you learn to communicate or you die, sometimes literally. I joined the Corps a borderline gamma dweeb, but a series of fine men kicked me into shape. My whole life I've had the big gun, but I only started learning to aim it in the last ten years or so, and I credit the Corps and the Army for a lot of that.

Anonymous Anonymous May 14, 2018 2:41 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:This also is something of a problem in the hard sciences. All of STEM is pretty much flowing into this really tight echo chambers because pushing the boundaries of current understanding is extremely specialized & experience intensive.
You're looking at this wrong.  Pushing the boundaries of what's known and practicable keeps expanding the space in the middle where knowledge can be applied and echo chambers simply can't be established.  Even at the boundaries, the more you push the more perimeter you have and thus more places where you can go to do new things if one part gets SJWed to death.

The real threat is things like review boards forbidding research in areas which might yield results which are not Narrative-compliant.  We've already seen attempts at this.

Anonymous Anonymous May 14, 2018 3:31 AM  

CM wrote:It's more than just seeing what others don't. Its seeing connections and drawing connections that actually turn out to be right.
That... is a highly insightful statement.  And seeing connections which are then usable by others who are not so insightful (e.g. Nikola Tesla) is the key to advances.  It's how genius kicks us forward, one inspiration at a time.

robwbright wrote:Speaking of Umberto Eco, it appears he had a low opinion of nationalism and thought it likely to lead to fascism...
Fascism would be a massive improvement over PC/multicult self-hatred and mandatory worship of the dindu.

Blogger Thad tuiol May 14, 2018 4:07 AM  

I love this blog and (some) of the comments because...FERRUM FERRO EXACUITUR

Blogger VD May 14, 2018 5:22 AM  

Speaking of Umberto Eco, it appears he had a low opinion of nationalism and thought it likely to lead to fascism.

That's hardly news. Eco was an Italian socialist. He lived through Fascism as a child and was subsequently paranoid about it.

Blogger Abyssus Invocat May 14, 2018 6:19 AM  

Is that a smile, indeed a grin, that I see on the face of the SDL?

Anonymous Anonymous May 14, 2018 9:03 AM  

Anyone have a recommended reading list to introduce Eco? Have read Name of the Rose.

Blogger Nate May 14, 2018 10:21 AM  

Ya know say what ya want about Jesse... the guy knows how to do an interview. he is hard to listen to... but he asks good questions and stays the hell out of the way.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 14, 2018 11:25 AM  

Great interview really enjoyed it.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 14, 2018 11:29 AM  

@3 Slagenthor
Vox, you have inspired me to dig into Aristotle myself this year...it has proven useful in my work.
---

It's really great to go back and read these ancients. I just finished a book on Socrates, and about to plunge into Plutarchs Lives.

Blogger Mr. B.A.D. May 14, 2018 12:49 PM  

I like Jesse. I would call him a true black activist in that his work is centered around uplifting the black community.

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