Friday, October 02, 2020

Mid-wits? What is the average IQ of the visible political opportunists?

And what are the actual causal relationships between the IQ, the immoral behavior, and the rise of the unhinged neo-Marxists?

Ganzrationaler Testudinadler asked me what I thought about the August 2020, 34-minute-long monologue by Edward Dutton,
The Psychology and Rise of the Mid-Wit
He argues, somewhat repetitively, that (currently) the neo-Marxist ideology is spreading due to the rise of the mid-wits, people whose IQ is about 120 in average which is just right for determining what the "dominant" ideology is, for figuring out that it's good for their material well-being to embrace it, and for embracing it. A higher IQ that is needed for meaningful scientific research is 130 or above, geniuses are 150 etc., and those typically have a higher interest in the truth regardless of its proliferation in the society.

I obviously agree with much of the general spirit – some not really brilliant people are calling themselves the elite and they're good at parroting which is why our nations are becoming nations of brain-dead parrots, increasingly far left brain-dead parrots – but I think that Dutton's numbers are off and highly oversimplified. And some details of his logic and proposed causal relationships are just wrong. And they're not really details, they are far-reaching and these mistakes of Dutton's (and others) are actually co-responsible for the deterioration of our society.

First, I think that it is just utter BS if you say that you need the IQ of 120 to figure out that "the world wants you to be ideologically aligned". In reality, you don't even need 100. In fact, it is obvious that most people whose IQ is well below 100 are "ideologically aligned" throughout most of their lives. And they have to be. There is still some meritocracy that prevents self-evidently dumb people from expressing their world view – or at least effectively expressing it. And there are also people whose IQ is well below 100 who nevertheless understood the constantly repeated far left clichés – and lots of the excellent imitators of the SJWs may have the IQ of 80, too. You really don't need a lot of brainpower to see through these things and many very ordinary (and even "intellectually subpar") people have understood these ideological issues well, whether or not they agree with them. At least in their houses, these ordinary and "intellectual subpar people" often have much more freedom and integrity to say the truth than the scholars who should enjoy the academic freedom!

Just an intermezzo: the IQ is a decreasing function of your "rank" in the list of living humans according to their intelligence, nonlinearly reparameterized (in the sense of a 1D diffeomorphism) in such a way that 100 is the average and the distribution is normal (Gaussian) with 15 as the standard deviation. About 1/6 is above 115, 1/6 is below 85, 2.5% is above 130, 2.5% is below 70, 0.15% is above 145, 0.15% is below 55, and so on.

Fine, so unlike Dutton, I believe that if you actually measured purely the person's ability to see that "the ideological alignment with the majority world view is an easy path towards the material well-being" (or the actual "decision of an individual to act as an opportunist"), you would find virtually no correlation with the IQ! This life strategy may be called spinelessness or opportunism and I believe that it has no universal correlation with the intelligence whatsoever.

You should also recall this list of IQs of fields that I computed in 2006, using some Stephen Hsu's numbers. These are the average IQs of undergraduate students according to their specializations. Physics is at the top with 130, followed by mathematics, computer science, economics, engineering fields of various kinds, philosophy (as the highest IQ humanity), chemistry and life sciences, then various social sciences still close to 120. Medicine and psychology only have 114-115 and the bottom of the list is public administration, education, and communication at 106, 109, 112.

I still believe that it is an extraordinarily insightful and accurate list although the methodology (using some simple V-Q-A scores) is far from perfect. Let me add some justifications. OK, so physics uses the most diverse and powerful mathematical, geometric, logical, and technical tools, ideas that are often abstract and dependent on many layers of abstraction, sometimes in practical enough contexts, physicists are at the top. But mathematicians and computer scientists are close for various reasons. Their IQ is a tiny little bit smaller because they're more likely to be Fachidiots who focus their (slightly lower in average) IQs on a narrower set of questions. Philosophy is the "old sibling" of physics so it of course still has some overlap with physics.

Doctors and surgeons etc. are thought to be brilliant but in recent months, I increasingly noticed that especially the surgeons consider themselves to be a "manual occupation". They are really analogous to car repairmen, they only differ by dealing with "softer and differently smelling cars". Czechia's #1 VIP heart surgeon Jan Pirk really thinks of his occupation as a kind of a "sport" and he really keeps his body in a great shape. And I think it's true. The doctors memorize lots of things when they're medics but at some level, the car repairmen memorize a comparable amount of stuff. We mostly think of the doctors as being "vastly smarter" than the car repairmen because they're trained in a more polished, scholarly environment. But the occupations aren't that different.

Again, note that communication, education, and public administration ended at 112, 109, 106. They're still "above the average IQ" but the difference is tiny. I think that these are the typical people who are ideologically indoctrinating others and who are virtue signalling all the time. They are the most visible parrots. Their average IQ is around 110, not 120, sorry, Mr Dutton. (I won't discuss extreme humanities i.e. the grievance studies; but I am confident that the average IQ of the students in these fields is below 100. They are largely being hired because they are not the college material at all. The affirmative action has become an outright anti-meritocracy scheme in those "fields".)

Once again, it's important to define the group whose average IQ is being quantified. As I said at the top, I believe that those who "want to be opportunists" or "the spineless people" have the average IQ around 100 and if there is a deviation from 100, I am almost certain that their average IQ is below 100, not above 100. But most of these people aren't being served through the media every day. When you compute the average IQ of the "visible opportunists", or if you assign the weight to each person that is proportional to his or her visibility, you will end up with 110, like the average score of the undergraduate students who are majoring in these "fields", e.g. the students of journalism.

The number 120 seems like a wild overestimate to me – as the IQ of the typical writers who are spreading the PC through the average media, e.g. regional ones. But what I believe is close to 120 is the average IQ of the subset of these opportunists who are pretending to belong to a group that is self-evidently higher on the IQ spectrum. Most extremely, social justice warriors who are clearly incompetent as theoretical physicists (at the research level) but who are still able to get away with pretending that they are theoretical physicists (or peers of the Nobel Prize winners for theoretical physics etc.) in 2020 have the average IQ around 120. Of course, none of these numbers is a universal constant. As our society keeps on deteriorating, the average IQ of the groups that are influential or that pretend to be "the elite" keeps on decreasing.

In recent days, I was exposed to many of these people again. OK, someone wants to establish a new branch of a famous physics institution XY at a place where you clearly can't establish such an organization without a substantial import of brains (which he or she doesn't plan). OK, he or she writes "pronouns he/him" in his or her e-mails and when you ask why he or she – or someone else who clearly has virtually nothing to do with the activities and expertise of XY – is useful for XY, the answer is "that person is useful because he or she will be the boss". ;-) Clearly, the (so far non-existent) people who are supposed to be subordinate are meant to be "somewhat better experts" than the "boss" but they matter less. Fine, so the reaction to the question "how is it possible that this person should be paid by XY at all" is to double down, to say that the person should not only be paid but must be the boss. Very early in such exchanges, I can see that the probability that I could agree about anything with these people is zero for all practical purposes. And a significant fraction of those whose expertise is this inappropriate but who use a sufficient number of "pronouns" will be allowed to do these things because this branch of the humanity has devoured most of the public institutions, NGOs, and government bureaus by now. Every taxpayer is paying lots of money to these deceitful, useless, and spineless parasites.

But again, Dutton presents the "rise of the mid-wit" by which he means the rise of the group think, absence of independent thinking, and the coherent rise of the increasingly far left ideology as a "technocratic process in which a particular range of the IQs gets influential". Again, I really disagree with this "morally blind" interpretation of what is going on. The bad trends aren't occurring because a set of people defined purely by their IQs is getting stronger. The bad trends are due to a moral breakdown of our society which have a very little correlation with the IQ.

The IQ of 120 is "unremarkable" for an individual, several classmates of yours at the elementary school had a higher IQ. But for a group of people, 120 is substantially above the average IQ of mankind. It is more than one damn standard deviation above the average. I think that videos such as Edward Dutton's are actually contributing to the universal indoctrination by (currently) the neo-Marxist ideology because these videos are promoting the totally untrue and pernicious fairy-tale that those who "join" have the IQ above the average.

But they don't. Only those who join and who also become visible enough have the IQ that is detectably above the average. But it's very important whether add "and become visible" or not. Some people become visible because their IQ stands detectably above 100. But being a "joiner" (with no other data included) doesn't mean that you're good or above-the-average at all! And lots of the lower-than-100 people "join" everything, they remain invisible, and they get nothing for their "joining". Dutton is linking an immoral trait, the opportunism, to a clearly positive trait, above-the-average intelligence, and by doing so, he is legitimizing the immoral behavior!

Again, the bad trends don't occur because one particular interval of the IQ spectrum is more damaging than other parts. People with any IQ between 70 and 200 may live their lives, may be useful for various things, and the percentage of the people with a similar IQ within mankind doesn't change at all, due to the (constantly recalibrated) definition of the IQ! Instead, the bad trends occur because people are increasingly placing the deeply immoral behavior (such as the parroting of neo-Marxist lies done for one's material well-being) above meritocracy and other genuine values! These sick new "values" have many consequences, especially the decreasing morality and decreasing intelligence of the people at powerful places. But again, this doesn't happen because there would be a fundamental law of Nature that says that in 2020, a particular range of the IQs gets more influential. Instead, it happens because people of pretty much all IQs are adopting immoral and anti-meritocratic patterns of behavior!

The typical "original masterminds" who invent the ideas about many things (sadly, including physics) for millions of readers and viewers have the IQ around 120 not because this is a fundamental law but because a growing part of the society ceased to appreciate real values and excellence and instead, it placed "the coherence with the leftist scum that already has some power" above everything else. The decreasing IQ of science journalists and similar occupations is a consequence, not the cause. Well, it is also a cause of other things but I think that as long as we hide the key point that the primary cause is really ethical and unrelated to the IQ, we can't fix it. The real issue is that in a working society, even most of the people with a very low IQ understand and agree that certain occupations should be filled with the people who are smarter than the average to one extent to another. Today, it's fashionable in many corners to prefer the "ideologically convenient people" and the whole society ends up choosing some "balance" between the meritocracy and immorality and I described what the average IQs are because of this balance.

Of course, I do agree that people who are very intelligent are naturally individualists. In fact, I am confident that it is an established scientific fact. As Sheldon Cooper once told Penny (during a lecture that Penny tried to undergo), being stupid is not a reason to be sad. Instead, Sheldon was sad because other people were stupid! If you kindly omit the personal skirmishes about "who belongs where", it is obvious that there are smart people who really suffer when they are exposed to the stupidity of the much stupider people, right?

But even when it comes to the very high IQ ranges, I find it obvious that you find lots of people who are extremely spineless or full-blown opportunists. These moral and intellectual traits are never quite mutually excluding. The only true point is that "extremely smart people are very rare" and once the society allows their rare traits to be replaced with an ideological or moral trait that isn't rare (like identity politics, affirmative action), then it is almost gauranteed that the "not so rare" people will soon outnumber (and perhaps greatly outnumber) the "rare" ones. If you demand the new students of a physics grad school to have either the IQ above 160; or to belong to a "minority", then be sure that the minorities will overwhelm the school because the name notwithstanding, the "minorities" are not small groups at all. In particular, women are a majority ;-) and non-white people will be a majority in most Western European and North American countries in a decade or two, too.

So please, be careful. It is clearly true that some sort of people who are somewhat intelligent but "clearly not brilliant" have gained a lot of power in recent years. But correlation is not causation, the actual causal mechanisms are different from those presented by Dutton, and the primary cause of the negative trends in the society are intrinsically ethical or ideological in character, not "technocratically linked to the 'right' values of the IQ". There aren't any "universally 'right' values of the IQ". Dutton's conflation of the "immorality" with the "high intelligence" is really a big part of the problem – in effect, he is legitimizing if not promoting the immoral behavior that keeps on making things worse.

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