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Archive for the ‘Biology’ Category

You don’t have to be that smart to be good at chess

The conventional wisdom is that you have to be smart to play chess well. I think the conventional wisdom on this is entirely wrong.

I will point out again that g (the general factor of intelligence) is the ability to reason and learn. Furthermore, g applies mostly to a specific type of learning, learning by reasoning. Learning by memorization or learning by mimicking are not g-intensive tasks. Learning Japanese seems to me to be a very difficult task, but even stupid children in Japan are able to speak it fluently. Thus not all difficult mental tasks are highly g-loaded. Children learn to speak by mimicking and not by reasoning.

As a blog reader once pointed out to me, the way that most children learn to play chess is highly g-loaded. They are taught the rules (which are somewhat complicated and require a certain minimum level of intelligence to understand), and then they have to figure out for themselves what the correct strategies are. It’s the figuring stuff out for yourself that’s a highly g-loaded task.

Luckily for would-be chess players of only average intelligence, smart people in the past have already figured out the strategies. With proper instruction, chess doesn’t require an above average intelligence, it just requires a lot of memorization (of openings, end games, and various strategy rules), and a lot of mental concentration (to scan the board for all possible dangers and play out several moves in one’s head). Yes, it’s a difficult mental task, but not a mental task which requires reasoning or learning by reasoning. Thus we see the phenomenon of an intermediate school in the ghetto with an excellent chess team. No, this doesn’t mean that kids in Harlem are just as smart as kids in Larchmont, it means that with good instruction and lots of practice, the kids in Harlem can be trained to play chess well, just as they can understand English a lot better than much smarter kids in Japan.

This also explains the phenomenon of not-very-bright chess hustlers in Washington Square Park.

At the very highest levels of chess playing, it has been suggested that g becomes more important, because grandmasters have moved beyond the stage where they can rely on strategies figured out by others and they have to figure out new and novel advanced strategies by themselves, which is a reasoning task. But maybe with chess software to help figure out strategies, even grandmasters don’t have to be as smart as they used to be.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 4, 2020 at 10:43 AM

Posted in Biology, Nerdy stuff

The cult of Trump

For more than a decade I’ve been writing, from time to time, about the psychology of belief, and how people believe what they believe because other people believe it, and not because they know whether or not it’s true. Other people often means other people in their social group, or tribe, rather than all other people in general.

Until now, I’ve usually been critical or people in mainstream media or elite liberal circles believing in untrue stuff, or people believing in religion. But unfortunately, I now have to call out the fact that what one may call the red tribe has now gone all-in on believing that the election was “stolen” by the Democrats because of massive “fraud,” without any evidence that this is true.

Trump has somehow gone from being a real estate developer to reality TV star to politician and now to cult leader. (The general definition of a cult includes veneration of the cult’s leader, and belief in stuff that’s considered nonsensical outside of the cult. The cult of Trump is a secular cult; it doesn’t involve the belief in anything supernatural.)

I want no part of this cult. Any of my readers who are cult members should just leave and stop reading or commenting.

* * *

Also, I don’t know how people can think that the electoral process is biased against Trump when Trump did way better than expected based on polls or logical thinking about the electorate. People who rightly called out Democrats for not accepting that Trump beat Hillary are now doing the same thing to Biden, but at a ten-times amped-up level.

If only Trump hadn’t discouraged his supporters from voting by mail, giving a big advantage to the other side (you want your supporters to vote by any which way possible), he might have even won re-election.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 23, 2020 at 1:08 PM

Posted in Biology, Politics

HBD and “Systemic Racism”

There’s probably nothing here that I haven’t previously written, but here it goes anyway.

The left believes that there is some mysterious force that’s preventing blacks from being successful. (Successful as defined by elite whites. If you were to define success as being good at sports, then blacks are the more successful race.)

The thing is that the left is actually correct, there is a mysterious force preventing blacks from being successful. That force is HBD. However, HBD is taboo and to even talk about it is to be the worst kind of racist.

There are some people in the HBD community who think that HBD is so obvious that everyone must secretly believe in it. But they are wrong. Just as Christians genuinely believe in Jesus, liberals genuinely believe that there’s no difference in intelligence between blacks and whites, and their anger at anyone who says otherwise is very real and not just an act.

Because HBD is off the table as the force that’s preventing blacks from being successful, the left has focused on “systemic racism” as the cause. In this the left is actually more correct than conservatives who deny that systemic racism is a thing but agree with the liberals that HBD is racist and untrue.

Fifteen years ago I was optimistic that, thanks to the internet, the truth of HBD would get out there and finally become widely believed, but in fact the opposite has happened. If anything, the early naughts were the golden age of freedom to talk about HBD. The amount of online censorship of anything deemed to be “racist” is increasing, and HBD has been co-opted by a bunch of dumb proles who may be called “alt right” or “white supremacists” or whatever. The irony is that the white supremacists themselves believe in systemic racism and deny the truth of HBD; they promote a narrative that Jews are racists and the white gentiles are the victims of Jewish racism. Just like the liberals, they deny that Jews are more successful because they have high-IQ genes. When even the people who are supposed to believe in HBD don’t believe in it when it hurts their feelings, I guess it’s not likely that liberals are ever going to believe in it. At least not without some major society-shaking capitulation.

Trump supporters insist that Trump has expanded the so-called “Overton window,” but I see no evidence of that in the arena of HBD. During the last four years, the Overton window has narrowed and the types of statements that can get you censored online or fired from your job have increased in scope. Trump supporters say we are supposed to applaud Trump’s small victories in the arena of immigration, but those will be ephemeral and end as soon as Joe Biden takes over. In the more important battle, the battle for HBD, we have lost ground under four years of Trump.

The left is becoming more and more adamant that we must finally do something about the “systemic racism” that’s all around us, and without HBD there’s no way to disprove “systemic racism.” Therefore our problems are only going to get worse, and whatever the left does to try to end “systemic racism” is only going to make matters worse because you can’t end something that doesn’t exist and it will probably result in even more bad feelings between blacks and whites and liberals and conservatives, as well as rising crime because police are blamed for “systemic racism,” and with rising crime will come collapse of urban areas with a lot of blacks. Attempts to end “systemic racism” will make the live of blacks worse rather than better.

* * *

Commenter Simon writes:

There are only two ways to explain away the obvious inequalities: Either they’re the result of small but significant genetic differences, innate and intractable, or they’re merely the result of bias and of black economic disadvantage — in which case it’s our duty to throw more money at the problem, step up racial preferences, bow to black resentment, and foster a sense of white guilt.

So yeah, science is ultimately the only remedy.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 29, 2020 at 10:38 AM

Posted in Biology

Higher IQ correlates with greater honesty

Click to access dp9860.pdf

This is an extremely interesting psychological (or economics) experiment.

The person being experimented on was asked to secretly roll a six-sided die and report the result. Soldiers who reported higher numbers were allowed to leave earlier from their job, and civilians who reported higher numbers got a higher reward (which was only 10 shekels for each pip, or about three US dollars).

The distribution of numbers reported for those in the top half of intelligence, based on either the kaba (the Israeli military evaluation score) or a 12-question intelligence test, closely resembled what would have been expected based on chance, except that it seems that the high intelligence responders sometimes under-reported high die rolls.

But when you look at the distribution of numbers for those in the lower half of intelligence, it’s pretty obvious that a substantial number of them are lying about what number they rolled in order to get a higher payout or an earlier release time from their military job. More so for the civilians than the soldiers.

None of the other factors they looked at (such as self-reported honesty) had a statistically significant impact on the distribution of die rolls. Although I wish that they had done this test on more people in order to be sure; there was a possible correlation between being from a city and having less honesty, and having higher honesty if from a rural area.

This experiment has huge implications for what kind of society you want to live in. It’s pretty clear that higher IQ leads to high-trust societies where people are honest with each other, while lower IQ leads to crime-ridden disorderly societies. Also, if hiring people, it’s way better to hire people from the top 50% of IQ if you want to have honest employees. IQ is way more important than merely being the ability to do well on tests.

The paper is also informative because it includes the 12 question Raven’s Progressive Matrices test that was used. This is an IQ test that is talked about a lot, but I’ve never actually seen what the test is like.

There were 12 questions, but only a stupid person could get more than 1 question wrong (because the last question on the test was slightly non-obvious, so if someone wasn’t motivated they might blow it off). Indeed, about a quarter of the test-sitters got all 12 questions correct, and another quarter got 11 questions correct. So my conclusion is that the test is good at measuring stupidity, but bad at measuring intelligence. If this is the test that was used to conclude that intelligence is rising (the so-called Flynn Effect), then the alleged rise means that stupid people became less stupid, not that smart people became smarter.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 28, 2019 at 9:03 PM

Posted in Biology, Economics

Genetics of height and intelligence

Height, like intelligence, is a complicated polygenic trait involving hundreds, probably thousands, of genetic variants. But unlike intelligence, it’s not politically incorrect to study the genetics of height, or to assume that if a particular ethnicity is very tall or very short, then it’s because of genetics.

Thus, it’s interesting that scientists have discovered a single genetic variant that contributes to Peruvians being short.

The same techniques could be used to investigate intelligence. It would be beneficial to study the smartest ethnicity (Ashkenazi Jews) and extremely low-intelligence ethnicities like Aboriginal Australians and southern African Bushmen. I’m sure if we did that, we could discover additional genetic variants related to intelligence.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 15, 2019 at 9:43 AM

Posted in Biology

Deval Patrick failed the bar exam two times

Carr: Deval Patrick falls way short of the bar

Deval Patrick (who was the black governor of Massachusetts and is now running for President) failed the bar exam two times. Despite going to Harvard Law School. Obviously a massive affirmative action admit.

I went to a crappy state school, but not only did I pass the bar exam on the first attempt, I passed with a very high score relative to what I needed to merely pass it.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 15, 2019 at 8:20 AM

Posted in Biology, Politics

Truth about college admissions and fake news in the NY Times

I am totally outraged by the misinformation and HBD denialism in this NY Times article about college admissions.

The only part of it that’s probably true is that even though colleges claim their admissions are “need blind,” secretly they are trying to rig things to get wealthy students whose parents can not only afford to pay full price, but are also more likely to donate extra money on top of that.

The implication is that the worst demographic to be in is a poor white person. Because the colleges have quotas for each race, if you’re in the white race you are competing against the rich whites. Based on the way that colleges measure “diversity,” a poor white person adds no diversity, just a burden on the college’s finances.

The article does demonstrate the truth of the phrase “get woke go broke.” After Trinity College implemented the woke Hispanic admissions director’s more woke admissions guidelines, their ranking among national liberal arts colleges dropped from 38 to 46.

By the way, doesn’t everyone know that the purpose of mid-tier and below liberal arts colleges is to be a place for less academically gifted rich kids to go to school? I don’t think that a degree from Trinity College is any sort of magic ticket to a good job. I never heard of the place before reading the NY Times article. So if poor kids can’t get into that place, they are not missing out on that much.

I do believe that a bunch of professors wrote a letter saying they loved the students admitted by the more woke admissions policies. That’s what SJW professors would say even if it wasn’t true. You can’t believe anything that SJWs say.

The article is pushing the falsehood that SAT scores only measure how rich the test-takers parents are. In fact, SAT scores are pretty unbiased measures of genetic ability, especially when all test takers have relatively the same opportunity to prep for the test. What has happened in the United States is that a century of meritocracy has caused all of the smart people to rise into the higher classes, and then they pass on their high-IQ genes to their children. The elite in this country, consequently, are genetically smarter than the non-elite. On average, of course. There are still kids, like myself, who came from prole parents and aced the SAT.

Actual scientific research shows that the article is dead wrong. The College Board research report, which was mentioned in the article, but which the author of the article either didn’t read or didn’t understand, has a lot of interesting information.

Historically, it has been known that high school GPA (HSGPA) alone predict first-year college GPA (FYGPA) better than SAT scores alone. And the NYT article repeats that, but actually that’s no longer true. When the writing-section score is included with the SAT score, then the SAT score alone now predicts FYGPA better than HSGPA alone. This is new.

The biggest surprise to me in reading the College Board research report is that the writing section (SAT-W) alone has the highest individual predictive power for FYGPA over either of the other sections alone. Given that the writing section has the least precise grading, two humans read it and each assign it a score of 2 to 8, I figured it would be less predictive than the more precise scores on the other sections of the SAT. Also, of all sections, the writing section seems like it would be most subject to prepping, because the test-taker must learn the “correct” way to write an SAT essay which isn’t necessarily obvious. And the only way to know if your practice essays are good or bad is to have an experienced human grade it, which costs money, while you can know how well you are doing on multiple choice tests based solely on self-grading your work. So if there’s any advantage to having rich parents, I would assume that the writing section would be the section on the SAT where that advantage would manifest.

I thought about this, and concluded that for people who take college classes where the grades are based primarily on essay exams, then the SAT-W is the best at predicting FYGPA because scores on an essay exam are the best at predicting scores on other essay exams. I would expect that for people majoring in subjects where the tests are more objective, such as STEM and some business majors like Finance, then the multiple-choice sections of the SAT would be better at predicting grades. However, this is something that was not explored in the College Board research article.

Another thing we learn is that all of the predictors significantly overpredict grades for blacks, and also to a lesser extent they overpredict FYGPA for poor kids. This is the opposite of what liberals would think. Liberals would think that the SAT is biased against blacks and the poor, and that when they went to college their college grades would reflect their true unbiased abilities and they’d do better than predicted by the SAT. But the opposite happens and they do worse. Because the SAT isn’t biased, it’s accurately showing that blacks are less intelligent than whites.

I thought about this, and I believe the reason why there is such a large overprediction for blacks is because of affirmative action and because grades are curved, so it’s much harder to get an A at Harvard than an A at Trinity college (assuming that both schools have the same percent of As, Bs, Cs, etc.). Because blacks are being accepted into schools where they have much lower SAT scores than the average white students, they are going to get lower grades.

However, I also think that there are some economic stresses that can make it more difficult for students from poor families to focus on their college education.

The College Board report also shows us that for applicants whose families are poor (have less than $40,000 per year income), their HSGPA overpredicts their FYGPA relative to their SAT scores. The obvious reason for this is that kids from poor families usually go to crappy high schools where you can get good grades just by showing up and doing the assignments. Good grades at a crappy high school doesn’t mean that the student is ready for college material.

The report also shows that SAT scores overpredict FYGPA for males, and this is as I would have expected. Girls get better grades than boys in high school because they are more conscientious and agreeable, and they carry that over into college as well.

* * *

Steve Sailer’s more satirical take on the NY Times arcticle.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 10, 2019 at 12:02 PM

Posted in Biology, Education

New York Times says the earth is NOT warming!

After examining climate data extending back nearly 100 years, a team of Government scientists has concluded that there has been no significant change in average temperatures or rainfall in the United States over that entire period.

While the nation’s weather in individual years or even for periods of years has been hotter or cooler and drier or wetter than in other periods, the new study shows that over the last century there has been no trend in one direction or another.

The study, made by scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was published in the current issue of Geophysical Research Letters. It is based on temperature and precipitation readings taken at weather stations around the country from 1895 to 1987.

Of course that was in 1989.

What happened since 1989? Did we make new discoveries in physics, like the discovery of DNA or something like that? Did we discover some new way to measure past temperatures? The answer is no, there were no new scientific discoveries. What happened is that global warming, which then became “climate change,” became like a religion. Everyone was forced to believe in it, or be banned from having their voices heard. Past temperature data was adjusted to show what everyone “knows” to be true, that the temperatures have been rising.

Climate change is just like the other big false belief, that there are no genetic difference in intelligence between races. To be skeptical about global warming has become almost as big of a taboo as talking about how blacks have lower IQ than whites.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 2, 2019 at 9:18 AM

Posted in Biology, Science

H.J. Eysenck was half Jewish

H.J. Eysenck, one of the two most important HBD researchers (the other being Arthur Jensen, also part Jewish) was half Jewish, a fact he hid for most of his life, according to this article.

We have proved beyond doubt that Eysenck was in fact half Jewish on his mother’s side, and therefore strictly Jewish according to Rabbinic law (Halacha). Using techniques and resources of Jewish genealogy, we discovered that his maternal grandmother’s birth name was Helene Caro. We then located her marriage certificate, which confirmed that both Helene and her husband (Eysenck’s maternal grandfather) Max Werner belonged to long-established Jewish families.

Without the contributions of Jews, HBD probably wouldn’t even exist. It was from reading the books and articles of Arthur Jensen and H.J. Eysenck at the Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania that I learned about the science of HBD (which at the time was not called HBD, that term was coined by Steve Sailer).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 31, 2019 at 6:59 PM

Posted in Biology

Women better than men in the bottom third of society

Comment from “SC”:

You underestimate how important it is that women are better than men in the bottom third of society.

An IQ 90, high C woman can still look after her own or someone else’s kids without killing them. An IQ 83, low C man is going to abuse or neglect those kids. An IQ 90, high C woman can still show up to her menial job every day, on time, for 20 years. An IQ 83, low C man might show up to work an hour late, drunk and high, and get into fights with his coworkers. To an employer she’s dependable and consistent. Furthermore, high A means she’s better at getting along with coworkers and customers.

Low IQ men have only one advantage over their female peers: physical strength. But with automation, men’s physical strength means less and less with each passing day. By 2100 we may find that men’s physical advantages mean almost nothing in daily life.

Then he adds:

… by age 20+ a lot of the low IQ boys have died from homicide, drugs, or drunk driving. Or they’re in prison and unable to be part of some IQ study.

SC assumes that women could have a 7-point IQ advantage over men at the bottom of society. I agree that women are smarter than men at the bottom of society, but I don’t know if it’s as high as 7 points (based on IQ having a standard deviation of 15 points). On the other hand, if the lowest-IQ males check out by being incarcerated or dead, then maybe we aren’t even measuring their IQs.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 31, 2019 at 5:28 PM

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