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The Idiocy of the Average

WolfBear

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Here's an interesting article:


Basically, smarter countries are better at dealing with increased complexity. So, when it comes to economic fields that require greater complexity: For instance, aircraft production, where you need thousands of people to simultaneously avoid screwing up, smarter countries are the best in regards to this and thus are best able to generate economic growth relative to less smart countries. Countries with a larger percentage of smart people can more easily do more complex tasks and thus more easily reap the economic benefits of doing these things more quickly.

This article shows just how stupid many people truly are, even in the developed world. It's sad, but it is what it is. What's true for the developed world is even more true for much of the developing world. :(
 

Sailor.X

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Here's an interesting article:


Basically, smarter countries are better at dealing with increased complexity. So, when it comes to economic fields that require greater complexity: For instance, aircraft production, where you need thousands of people to simultaneously avoid screwing up, smarter countries are the best in regards to this and thus are best able to generate economic growth relative to less smart countries. Countries with a larger percentage of smart people can more easily do more complex tasks and thus more easily reap the economic benefits of doing these things more quickly.

This article shows just how stupid many people truly are, even in the developed world. It's sad, but it is what it is. What's true for the developed world is even more true for much of the developing world. :(
Being smart is actually relative. And just because someone has a Masters Degree or a Doctorate does not mean they are smart people. Points at some of the boneheaded decisions some Corporate CEOs have made over the years. Or for that matter look at all the members of Congress that have post graduate degrees. The real question is how much of the population has General Common Sense. In other words the ability to see a situation for what it is and not try an over analyze it. Kind of why some of the best leaders and creative people relied on common sense than a piece of paper from a university.
 

Lord Sovereign

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The real question is how much of the population has General Common Sense. In other words the ability to see a situation for what it is and not try an over analyze it. Kind of why some of the best leaders and creative people relied on common sense than a piece of paper from a university.
The vast majority I'd say.

Trouble is they are much too busy living their lives and keeping roofs over their heads to concern themselves with the intricacies of statecraft. Still, it does prove wisdom and intelligence aren't necessarily linked. For example, I think a Massai tribesman watching over his flock is far wiser than a fair few lefties.
 

Sailor.X

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The vast majority I'd say.

Trouble is they are much too busy living their lives and keeping roofs over their heads to concern themselves with the intricacies of statecraft. Still, it does prove wisdom and intelligence aren't necessarily linked. For example, I think a Massai tribesman watching over his flock is far wiser than a fair few lefties.
Indeed far lefties would try to become one with Nature and try to hug a lion. With Nature taking it's coarse when they try the hug.
 

ParadiseLost

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The article is nonsense that exists in the realm of fantasy. The reality is that there are two opposite but equal dangers: smart people tend to overestimate average intelligence, but they are just as likely to underestimate it due to hubris and a desire to feel special.

There are lots of red flags in the research he's presenting.

The first, and most common one for research of this type, is not considering different cultural values and conditions. For example, East Asian cultures value doing well in testing vastly more than any other culture. This itself would skew the data, as two equally intelligent individuals are likely to give different test results if one is vastly more motivated.

Indeed, it turns out that financial motivation causes a significant increase in IQ. Notable, this effect is stronger on people with lower IQs - so on average, a person with a tested IQ of 85 suddenly shows an IQ of 100 when money is involved, but a person with a starting IQ of 110 only moves to about 120 on average.

This means that, if two countries truly do have a discrepancy in IQ, a lack of extrinsic motivation (which is definitely the case in the tests the article is talking about) will exaggerate the IQ gap between the two countries.

Indeed, someone in the comments of the article sort of brings up this issue: average British results for the math GCSE (an important college entrance examination in the UK) greatly contradict the average British teens math ability per the research he is citing. The difference between the research he is using and the GCSE is that one involves significant motivation and the other does not.

The other is the problem of less than 5% of individuals answering a multiple choice question correctly, especially a question that has been translated. Even if the people involved are in fact bad at math, such consistently wrong answers to a translated question to me suggests a problem with the translation. For example, he states that only 2% of Jordanians, Colombians, and Indonesians successfully passed Level 4. Yet 8% of the population guessing would result in at least that level of success on a four possible answer MPC question. If the people involved were truly that uninformed, I would expect to see a higher percentage of guessing than that.

This is before you get into the fact that black people are more likely to guess an answer to a question on a test than white people, and men are more likely to guess than woman.

Honestly, I don't believe in intelligence research that doesn't result in an actionable plan.

For example, if I do market research, and come up with several plans targeted at different demographics, and those marketing plans success, that is strong evidence that my market research is good.

I don't really think there is any equivalent in the area of comparing levels of intelligence between countries. You can't really create a plan that successfully achieves a 'goal' that shows that your research is good. Instead such research generally comes up with stats, and without those stats being used to predict future outcomes, its very hard to actually know if they are any good, especially since modern scientific research is so poorly protected against researcher bias.

There are a myriad of other issues in this article, I'm sure. Probably plenty I'm not even aware of.
 

Simonbob

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Honestly, I don't believe in intelligence research that doesn't result in an actionable plan.
That's the entirely wrong approach to "research". The whole point of research is to find the info you need to make a plan.


I don't really know if this artical has any accuracy, but that's not why it exists.


You can't really create a plan that successfully achieves a 'goal' that shows that your research is good. Instead such research generally comes up with stats, and without those stats being used to predict future outcomes, its very hard to actually know if they are any good, especially since modern scientific research is so poorly protected against researcher bias.
That might be true, though. That's the norm in "Social Sciences", people being people.
 

ParadiseLost

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That's the entirely wrong approach to "research". The whole point of research is to find the info you need to make a plan.

I don't really know if this artical has any accuracy, but that's not why it exists.
No, its the right approach. The most reliable way to test the quality of research is to implement a real-world plan whose success relies on the research being correct.

That might be true, though. That's the norm in "Social Sciences", people being people.
Yes. "Just so" stories are the norm in sociology.
 

Simonbob

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No, its the right approach. The most reliable way to test the quality of research is to implement a real-world plan whose success relies on the research being correct.
Testing the data isn't the same as using said data to make a real world plan. Or, well, not the only way to test such data, anyway.

I was mostly pointing out that the data alone isn't enough, when it comes to plans. You need the data, and then you need to use that to guide your prospective plans, and the plans themselves can have quality issues far beyond "Garbage in, Garbage out."


Basicaly, I was saying that data and plans aren't the same thing, and there's people who've come up with data who weren't sure what, if anything, should be done about it.


I can see what you're saying, and I do agree it's a great test of the data you're getting. I just think of research as a very broad thing. That can make real world applications difficult.




Although, now that I'm thinking, the basis of Science is asking Reality if you got it right. Hm.



So, only partial disagreement, like, 20% or so.
 
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