Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Smart fraction" theory

There is now plenty of evidence of variability in national average IQs and equally strong evidence that the differences concerned matter a lot. To put it bluntly, low IQ nations tend to be hellholes and high IQ nations are prosperous and comfortable.

An odd exception to that was China, with a very high average IQ but also high levels of poverty. Recently, however, we have seen that with the yoke of communism partially removed from them, the Chinese have been going ahead economically in leaps and bounds -- and they will undoubledly soon arrive at the level of prosperity that their average IQ would indicate. China's recent advance is in fact an excellent validation of IQ theory. Just giving them the opportunity to realize their potential produced amazing successes. It is exactly what IQ theory would predict for a high IQ nation.

In all countries, however, economic advance is driven by a small minority. Most people are "wage slaves", not entrepreneurs. So among IQ researchers there has been a proposal that it might be more enlightening to look not at the average guy but rather at the top people in his nation's population. We should take (say) the top 5% (as measured by IQ score) of any population and look at THEIR average IQ rather than the average IQ in that nation as a whole. The average IQ of the "smart fraction" in a population might give us even better predictive power about that nation than the average IQ of that nation as a whole does.

Recently, some research has been done which tests that theory. They did not use IQ scores as such but estimated IQ from measures of educational attainment. Educational attainment and IQ are highly correlated. The journal abstract is below:
The impact of smart fractions, cognitive ability of politicians and average competence of peoples on social development

By Heiner Rindermann, Michael Sailer and James Thompson


Smart fraction theory supposes that gifted and talented persons are especially relevant for societal development. Using results for the 95th percentile from TIMSS 1995- 2007, PISA 2000-2006 and PIRLS 2001-2006 we calculated an ability sum value (N=90 countries) for the upper level group (equivalent to a within country IQ-threshold of 125 or a student assessment score of 667) and compared its influence with the mean ability and the 5th percentile ability on wealth (GDP), patent rates, Nobel Prizes, numbers of scientists, political variables (government effectiveness, democracy, rule of law, political liberty), HIV, AIDS and homicide.

Additionally, using information on school and professional education, we estimated the cognitive competence of political leaders in N=90 countries.

Results of correlations, regression and path analyses generally show a larger impact of the smart fractions’ ability on positively valued outcomes than of the mean result or the 5th percentile fraction. The influence of the 5th percentile fraction on HIV, AIDS and homicide, however, was stronger.

The intelligence of politicians was less important, a longitudinal crosslagged analysis could show a positive influence on the cognitive development of nations.


So the results supported the theory. How smart a nation's smarties were told us even more than average IQ did. Note the very large number of variables that were successfully predicted by the study. How smart your nation's smarties are is very important indeed.

Note also that how dumb the dummies were (the BOTTOM 5%) also strongly predicted a few things: The incidence of HIV, AIDS and homicide! To put it very bluntly, real dummies are murderous and will stick their dicks in anything.

Steve Sailer has a much more detailed discussion of the paper but misses the point that IQ in even the Jewish population of Israel (not counting the Arabs and the illegal immigrants) is bimodal. Most Israeli Jews are of Middle Eastern origin and hence not too bright. It is the minority of Israeli Jews who are of European origin (Ashkenazim) who account for Israel's advances. To really understand Israel, you need to treat the Ashkenazim as a separate population in its own right. They are in their own way a good example of how important the "smart fraction" is.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why Jews Vote Democratic – Redux

Many conservative Jews have tried to answer the question Bialosky tries to answer but it seems to me that both his and their answers only scratch the surface. Bialosky seems to be saying that Jews tend to be Leftist because Liberal Jews block other Jews from hearing the conservative side of the argument. And he is of course right about the way Leftists generally do their darndest to silence conservatives. "Free speech for Leftists only" seems to be their motto.

Jews are however in general intelligent people well able to seek out any information they want. It would be hard to imagine a group less likely to permit itself to be subjected to censorship. Just the suspicion of it would produce instant rebellion. So I think we will have to look deeper than Bialosky does.

I have been reading attempts to explain Jewish Leftism for a long time and have found none of the other explanations to be very persuasive either. I particularly took an interest in such explanations after I read in "Mein Kampf" Hitler's claim that all the Marxist rabble-rousers he encountered in Vienna of the '20s were Jews. He actually lists them in "Mein Kampf". He says that it was their constant preaching of Marxist class war and support for revolution that decided him that Jews were the enemies of the German people and hence must be eliminated. Read more on that here.

I am inclined to think that Hitler's account of his own mental processes is a straightforward one but I am not going to hang my hat on it. If someone can come up with a better explanation for Hitler's campaign against the Jews, I would be most interested to hear it. Most writers on the subject however have NO explanation of it at all, treating it as if it were a mystery of inspissated darkness. The only explanation usually proffered is that Hitler resented being rejected by the Jewish Rector of the Vienna art school and then took it out on all Jews -- but that is pretty laughable if one reads Hitler's own account of that matter. He actually agreed enthusiastically with what the Rector said!

At any event, it does appear that Jewish Leftism has a long pedigree, going back to Karl Marx himself, of course. And it does seem that the Leftism concerned has served Jews extraordinarily badly -- a point also made by Bialosky above.

Yet I don't myself see the motivation for Jewish Leftism as any more mysterious than the motivations of Adolf Hitler. Let me put the explanation in one sentence: Successful people in life tend to be Leftist and Jews tend to be successful in life.

Why successful people tend Left is of course a large topic in its own right so I will refer readers elsewhere for a full discussion of that topic.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

That old hatred of IQ again

It's seldom that I laugh out loud while reading a bit of Left-leaning, do-gooder nonsense but I have just had that experience.

I don't know how the editor of the Green/Left "New Scientist" (Roger Highfield) got to write for the generally conservative "Daily Telegraph" but it has happened -- but not in a good way. After a series of dogmatic and unreferenced assertions in which he pours out contempt and contumely on conventional IQ tests, he then says that there is a new type of test which is much better. He then however goes on to admit that he doesn't know if the new test works!
Dr Owen is part of the Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. With his colleague, Adam Hampshire, he has devised the ultimate intelligence test. Drawing on data from brain scans, his test – featuring a dozen tasks – triggers as much of the brain's anatomy as possible, combining the fewest tasks to cover the broadest range of cognitive skills.

For example, spot-the-difference puzzles boost activity in a range of areas at the back and bottom of the brain. Similarly, when you navigate your way around an unfamiliar supermarket, you rely on visuospatial working memory, which is linked to activity in the ventrolateral frontal cortex behind the eyes and the parietal lobe at the back and on top of the brain. However, as the questions become more complex, demanding more use of strategies and stored memories, broader regions of the frontal and parietal lobes become active – in particular, the large area behind the temples known as the dorsolateral frontal cortex.

Adrian and Adam regard this as the ultimate intelligence test – so all that is left is to find out whether it works. To that end, New Scientist has put it online, in a joint project with the Discovery Channel. If you have a half-hour to spare, and want to put your brain through its paces while advancing the cause of neuroscience, have a go here.


Highfield has obviously drawn his conclusions before he has seen the evidence -- which is exactly the opposite of what scientists do. But that is just standard Leftist practice so we must not be at all surprised.

The only further comment I would make is that it is quite an absurd assumption to say that a good measure of intelligence should use as many areas of the brain as possible. The brain does many things and problem solving is only one of them. That problem solving ability should involve only a few parts of the brain would seem a much more reasonable expectation.

Monday, November 08, 2010

More Hitler history

The account of Hitler given recently in the WSJ is reasonable on the whole but is rather laughable in the way it reveals that none of the authors concerned seem to have actually read "Mein Kampf". They breathlessly reveal that Hitler's conversion to antisemitism did not happen until he was in Vienna in the 20s. Yet that is precisely what Hitler said of himself in "Mein Kampf".

They also seem to find it surprising or hypocritical that he had a brief flirtation with Bavarian Reds in the immediate aftermath of the war. But that should not be remotely surprising. Nazism had much in common with Marxism. Its major difference was in being a more moderate version of Marxism! Hitler rejected the "class war" ideas of Marxism in favour of a war against the Jews but that was the major point of difference.

They also say that Hitler's war service was not in the front lines and imply that it was not therefore dangerous. If so how did he get gassed?

And if they had read "Mein Kampf", they would not conclude "we still haven't answered the question of what turned Hitler into an anti-Semitic idealogue". Hitler offers a perfectly cogent explanation of that in "Mein Kampf" but they make no attempt to discuss it so clearly have not read it. See here for a summary. Whether or not one agrees with Hitler's account of how his own thinking developed, it was surely worth discussing

Incidentally, the fact that Hitler reached only the rank of "Gefreite" (corporal) in WWI was not seen by him as any embarrassment. He in fact put up posters boasting about it in his election campaigns. He saw it as credentialling himself as a plain man of the people

Translation: "The Marshall and the corporal fight alongside us for peace and equal rights"