The IQ Question
Stefan Molyneaux, and others, have been promoting discussion about IQ, particularly in relation to race, and culture-building. Eg. "Racial IQ differences is the one topic that allows us to push back against Third World immigration without succumbing to racism."
He's been trying to engage the 'IDW' guys, recently the Weinstein brothers, but they're not interested in having the discussion. Eg Brett: "Not interested in debating it."
JF Gariepy did a good show recently A Fair Challenge to IQ | TPS #268 on the topic, which prompted this post.
JF is skeptical of the utility of IQ. He seems to equate intelligence with 'success', whereas other people would define it as something like 'problem-solving ability'. He also dismisses the idea of 'emotional intelligence', equating it with 'having the right emotions'. Which is like equating intelligence with 'knowing the right facts'. I don't think he's thought this through...
I think the validity of the whole debate is undermined by poor definitions and poor focus.
Definition of Intelligence
Intelligence has been defined in many ways, including: the capacity for logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, and problem solving. More generally, it can be described as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context.
I suggest it could be defined simply as:
Intelligence: Reasoning ability.
- The capacity to apply logic to experience, to deduce new information, and to understand things.
Intelligence shouldn't be equated to success.
Intelligence and success are completely different things. A person can be intelligent, and unsuccessful.
Intelligent people may be unsuccessful for many reasons, such as being over-sensitive, seeing too deeply into things, and feeling overwhelmed by it. They may have had a abusive childhood which has removed their self-confidence. They may be interested in topics so obscure to the normal world, that no one understands anything they say...
Forms of Intelligence
People have suggested multiple-intelligence forms, such as Howard Gardner's Theory of multiple intelligences. I include his categories where I think they best fit (as HG).
I propose that we should think of intelligence as applying at the 7 different levels of material reality defined by the Universal-Plan. So it's the same process (i.e. reason), but manifested in seven different ways.
I think this categorisation could help refresh the discussion on intelligence. I think western thought suffers greatly from a lack of foundation by which to categorise things, and I suggest the Universal Plan is what's missing.
|Will, Desire||Spirit: Why?||Spiritual Intelligence:
Allows understanding of the underlying purpose behind things, their intent.
This type of intelligence attempts to deduce the reason why things do what they do, their ultimate aim/purpose.
HG's intrapersonal category (understanding of the self) sort-of fits here, but not perfectly...
His existential category (capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence) does fit here perfectly.
|Make Will into Law||Voice: Which?||Vocal Intelligence:
Allows understanding of language & communication.
This is the capacity to listen to reality, and to speak clearly and be understood.
HG's verbal-linguistic category fits here, and perhaps the musical-rhythmic category does too, with music as a form of language.
|Law, Path, Design||Intellect: How?||Intellectual Intelligence:
Allows understanding of laws/rules/plans/designs.
The capacity to understand complex-systems, such as mathematics.
|Law in Action||Motion: When?||Physical Intelligence / Timing:
Allows understanding of physical movement and action.
The capacity to move gracefully. (e.g. athletes, dancers...)
Heart is time / timing / rhythm and it converts Law into Action.
HG's intrapersonal category (understanding of the self) also sort-of fits here, but not well...
Heart is (arguably) associated with Psychopathy/Empathy and Pride/Humility...
HG's musical-rhythmic category could perhaps also fit here...
It needs more thought.
|Action, Power||Emotion: Who?||Emotional Intelligence:
Allows understanding of emotion.
The capacity to recognise & understand emotion in yourself & others.
He also later considered including a moral category. I think these are analogous.
(I would define morality as the logic of emotion.)
|Earth in Motion||Sex: Where?||Spatial Intelligence:
Allows understanding of how 3D things go together.
I think this goes here because its a 3D (Earth) form of intelligence, and Sex brings matter to life.
Spatial intelligence is what engineers have - and they literally bring matter into motion (engines).
Sex is creation, and engineers create.
Note: There could also be Sexual Intelligence. But perhaps these things are similar...
Spatial Intelligence is perhaps also the mechanism which allows us to sort & categorise facts from the Earth level below.
|Location||Matter: What?||Objective Intelligence (Memory):
Allows knowledge of facts and 3D objects.
The capacity to store information and retreive it.
E.g. the ability to remember your environment so you can escape from predators.
It isn't usually considered a form of intelligence, and I didn't initially consider including it, but it fits, and memory is a part of our ability to reason.
As Earth, it's a passive form of intelligence, no judgement is required.
It all seems to fit fairly well, but it's not totally clear yet...
It's possible the Yin principles (Heart & Below) have more than one form of intelligence each... (Yin is many).
What do you think?
Mixtures of Intelligence
By the scheme outlined above, we could have people with any kind of mixture of these types of intelligence. We can have people of low-intellect, but high-morality, or the opposite. People with great memories, and emotion, but poor understanding of motives, and so on.
There are some that seem to go together more that others, and some that seem almost antagonistic - such as intellect and emotion. There's a lot to investigate & discover here I'm sure.
The Effect of Culture on Intelligence
If the ability to reason can be taught, then intelligence can be learnt.
I'm uncomfortable with Stefan Molyneux's sole-focus on the genetic-component of IQ. I think this is what makes it verging on 'racism' in some people's eyes.
I don't know how much of a difference a childhood of really good training would make to a person's IQ, but I suspect it would be considerable. The 'classical' education of the 'trivium' did specifically teach the ability to reason, but it's been dropped from public education. How much of a difference would it make to the nation's average IQ if it was taught in all schools? It's hard to say.
But if it made no difference, why would the autorities have dropped it for the commoners, while retaining it for the elites?
If we took one imaginary child, and locked them in a dark box for 20 years, with no education at all, not even taught to speak, and then at the age of 21, we set them free from the box to "make their way in the world". How would they do, do you think?
If we took the same imaginary child, and gave them the best possible upbringing & education, distilled by the finest minds over generations and fit for royalty, how would the two instances of the same 21 year-old compare? The first, locked in a box and deprived of all human contact and instruction, the second provided with the best training in the world...?
Clearly it's hard to imagine the former box-prisoner being anything other than a completely deranged & disturbed individual, unable to hold a pen, or a conversation, let alone sit an IQ test. So it's clear that upbringing will have an effect on expressed IQ, but how much is hard to quantify.
Nerds: What are they like?
A high-IQ, at any of the 7-levels, requires a lot of focus. High-IQ people focus a lot of their energy into one particular type of intelligence, often at the expense of others. Thus we have the archetype of the 'nerd' - the high-IQ person who is terrible at sports / social-interaction / everyday tasks...
I worked with a brilliant engineer years ago, who forgot to put oil in his car. The engine seized of course... Sometimes he forgot to wear socks.
High-IQ requires focus, and the people who have it often neglect other aspects of their life. Geniuses often fail at human-interaction. It would seem they have less emotional-intelligence, because all their attention is on mathematics (or similar) - i.e. intellectual-intelligence. These are the people who create the inventions that make the modern world what it is, but they're weird and eccentric.
The 'Attention Buckets' Hypothesis:
Here's an idea, just to prompt discussion...
Hypothesis: We all have roughly the same amount of "life-upgrade-points" at birth. So, while we may not be born equal, we all have an equal potential for improvement. (Psychopaths excluded, of course).
We get to choose which IQ-Types we wish to upgrade as we live through the game of life. Some people upgrade their IQ-Types evenly, and become 'all rounders'. Some focus on upgrading just one or two abilities, and become unique achievers, and/or crazy-people.
Some people just do all they can to avoid all those lessons / upgrades, and they become 'normal' people.
I'd suggest those "upgrade-points" are our attention. It seems everyone has roughly the same amount of ability to pay attention, and the same ability to choose where to put it. What makes us different (assuming equality of upbringing) are the choices we make during our development. Those choices could be both genetically & environmentally influenced.
The fact that we have a limited amount of time & attention to pay to things, means we must choose which things to pay attention to. The things we pay attention to, we become good at. The things we neglect, we become less good at.
Thus, we 'cultivate' our abilities. The word 'cult' means attention. To cultivate is to pay attention to. The Occult is something that attention is hidden from. A religious cult is something you give you attention to... etc.
We could consider our 7 types of intelligence as buckets we can fill with our attention. The fuller they are the better they work. We only have enough time & youth to (say) fill all of the buckets half-way, but can choose to fill some more than others. Our choices then determine our skills & focus in life.
This is really just an idea to promote discussion... I'm not suggesting we're all born equal in potential-ability, that's clearly not the case, but we could all be equal in potential-improvement. I'd like to know your thoughts on it...
Hypothesis: Cultural Kindness Increases General IQ
I propose a correlation between the tolerance and kindness of a society and it's average IQ, over time.
I suggest that high-IQ individuals will do less well (reproduce less), in low-tolerance cultures. They would be less likely to survive due to having poor social skills, and often unpopular political views. They often fail to self-edit, and say what they're thinking, even if it's the wrong time and place. A high-IQ person is more likely to disagree with government, or leadership in general, and end up worse off for it.
You'd think a high-IQ person would be intelligent enough not to pick fights, but they may have a below-average emotional-IQ, and may also driven by idealism - which is very much in the same category as intellect. Intellectuals are often driven by idealism. Thus they may have an unrealistic view of the harsh realities of human existence, or their own survival abilities.
Low-tolerance cultures are necessarily violent and unpleasant, and such a culture it seems would work to lower (or cap) the IQ of the population in general by essentially 'culling' the most intelligent who would speak out against it.
High-IQ people are hyper-realistic in their chosen field of expertise, but may 'pay for it' by being un-realistic in everyday life.
A society which tolerates & supports eccentric-high-IQ people who are a failure in practical life, on the other hand, benefits from the intellectual discoveries they make. If they manage to reproduce, then the population may benefit from their genes too over time. Thus the kindness and acceptance of the eccentricity of 'nerds' in a culture, could result in an increase in IQ.
In the west, the most intelligent people have traditionally been revered & respected, even though they may be complete scoundrels, agoraphobics, or misogynists in real life. We overlook their oddities, because we value their discoveries, their new thoughts, and the enlightenment they bring on the topics they're good at. We tolerate the crazy, for the occasional jewels of wisdom.
Crazy-eccentric old guys who spend their whole lives obsessing about how things work, need understanding and support from their community in order to continue their quest/obsession. This tolerance is rewarded with technical advancement, and so it benefits the society as a whole, as they invent things which improve our lives. Society then flourishes, and the cultural-memes of kindness & tolerance propagate and become more successful.
This cultural-kindness meme, while it may open the door to technology, is now arguably proving to be weakness for the west, it's "pathological altruism" resulting in a wide variety of problems. I suggest this is natural-selection in action, but it's acting both at the level of culture/memes, and the genetic-level at the same time.
Is the west currently undergoing a selection-event? What do you think?
In summary: I propose that the meme of tolerance & kindness can increase IQ in a population, and intolerance can reduce it. That's not to say it always will, because kindness may result in the immigration of low-IQ memes/genes. A low-tolerance culture disgusted more by intellectual-stupidity than nerdiness could increase it's overall IQ.
I further propose that the meme of tolerance & kindness is unbalanced, being just the Yang half of the concept of Justice. Western society would be better served by focussing on Justice, instead of Tolerance.
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