This makes it sound like Black undertook this "reboot" on his own, just by reading and listening. That's not how Black himself tells the story:
In 2010, I moved across the state and started college at this little liberal arts college in Florida, which was about three and a half hours from home
Okay, this was one step he did take on his own: he changed his environment. But eventually he started talking to his fellow students.
And I would say, “This is what I believe about I.Q. differences, I have 12 different studies that have been published over the years, here’s the journal that’s put this stuff together, I believe that this is true, that race predicts I.Q. and that there were I.Q. differences in races.” And they would come back with 150 more recent, more well researched studies and explain to me how statistics works and we would go back and forth until I would come to the end of that argument and I’d say, Yes that makes sense, that does not hold together and I’ll remove that from my ideological toolbox but everything else is still there. And we did that over a year or two on one thing after another until I got to a point where I didn’t believe it anymore.
The whole thing (it's a podcast transcript) is worth reading: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/22/podcasts/the-daily-transc...
Has anyone actually put this data together in a presentable way? I've only seen things that say the opposite and it would be good to actually have a read of something well-formed that sets the modern progressive case for dealing with this research, beyond simply ignoring it altogether.
The bigger question is why do some people care so much and why are they so focused on ethnicity among many other data points that could be predictive of intelligence. I typically ask these people if some connection between race and intelligence actually existed, is it your intention to change how society is organized or governed somehow? If it is, then there are historical examples of that going badly, and if not, then why is the answer important?
Practically, you have people trying to reduce race differences in academic and economic success by reducing racism. If it's not caused by racism, those efforts would be ineffective.
Another reason is predicting future economies of countries. Will Nigeria's rapid growth turn it into another South Korea or Japan? Can America really compete with China in high tech markets in the long term?
Of course, as you say, it is incredibly hard to control ethnicity and intelligence - due to them largely being perceptions as opposed to metrics. However I am saying the discussion of intelligence in relation to ethnicity comes to most through perfectly normal observations of concrete metrics.
But as you say it could go really bad really fast. Especially if some of those high IQ genes are linked to some illness.
For your question about why some people are focused on ethnicity? As usual: people's appearance are easier to discriminate upon so it makes it easy to make different people an out-group. But it's not just some supremacists doing it: the hardcore NA "diversity is good" groups focus on skin color. I'd argue they seem to be worse because it feels like for them all blacks are the same (African American) while the recent history of Africa should tell them how wrong it is.
1) Lack of proper nutrition is linked to lower IQ. This can be fairly easily explained in that the lack of resources will lead to less development in the brain, one of the most resource intensive organs in the body.
2) Certain ethnicity types are disproportionately poor (in the US). Lack of income generally also means that nutritional situation is less ideal.
From 1 and 2 you can easily conclude there is very likely some correlation.
Does that mean we should immediately deploy eugenics? Most likely not. As you mention, high IQ "genes" could be linked to something bad. IIRC they are linked to mental conditions like depression. (Which might lead to an interesting question: if we fix poverty, will people become more miserable on average because the average IQ goes up? It seems likely total misery will go down though)
I also agree with your later statements, a lot of people tend to put all people with black skin into a single pot but there are some many fascinating different cultures and a fascinating history once you go beyond colonialism.
I think a lot of people tend to forget that diversity isn't only skin color. Diversity goes deeper than skin and body.
See .. I find this line of thinking heinous. Why do you not instantly trip up when you type this?
Most people support eugenics in the form of outlawing incest because it can lead to faulty offspring. We also think treating neurodegenerative diseases is a good thing. Most parents also hope their kids will be smart. Or at least they don't hope for the opposite. Women don't like to have kids past 40 partly because of higher risk of Down's syndrome. And there's a test for that which can help them decide to abort the baby. All these things are us trying to make future humans smarter, mostly by eugenic techniques.
Maybe you're thinking of actually killing people? That's not quite the same as selective breeding.
Which is something, I think, a little different to all the nice, shiny new things we're getting from CRISPR, et al., sure. Its the dangerous, vile things I care about: opening the door for selective breeding and clones, racial purism, etc.
The technology is one thing; the ethics another tube entirely. Somethings things go boom, othertimes BOOM.
Sorry, too extreme for me. I do not subscribe to your reasoning that any form of racism is acceptable - "because scientific purity".
If you can't see what it is with 'racial cleanliness', I suggest you go have a look at the places its been happening for, say .. the last 300 years. You'll see plenty of reasons why there should not be any kind of racial policies, enabled by science, that allow "cleansing of so-called undesirables".
I mean this sincerely, humans cannot be trusted with their own race.
Use race for eugenics though is a very coarse metric and I wouldn't advocate for it unless we somehow lacked any better measures. I think a better program would measure performance in whatever criteria people think are desirable and go for those regardless of race. It might turn out that the tallest people are black, and you end up with a lot of black genes if you like tallness. So it might look racist, and it might shrink the populations of some races relative to others. But again, that's what already happens through arbitrary reasons anyway. We're already breeding more blacks and less whites simply because blacks are generally poorer than whites and poor people tend to have more children. I don't see how you can be happy with that (selecting for poverty!) but not with people putting the quality of their children ahead of their own personal desire to spread their genes.
It's heinous! Eugenics bad! Are not good arguments. You have to try and follow thoughts along ways you (and most people you know) don't or you end-up creating your own echo chamber. Try playing devil's advocate sometimes you may learn a lot about how you think and why.
Currently, as far as policymaking in western societies is concerned, the faction that follows the "no genetic differences => (data => extreme measures are warranted)" reasoning is clearly in charge, if you
consider e.g. the recent altercations about racial quotas in school discipline (article for: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/18/us/politics/school-discip... / against: https://www.city-journal.org/html/no-thug-left-behind-14951....). If you read the "against" article, that should make it pretty clear why those who believe in the existence of group differences consider the answer important, if "it's important to not do an unwarranted extreme thing" is not already implied by the term "extreme". In the light of this, it does not seem fair to imply that the only significant societal changes a belief in genetic group differences would imply are ones that are so terrible that anyone would be embarrassed to admit advocating them to you or even themselves.
Furthermore, there are some indicators that this is indeed going badly. For instance, by lowering the admissions criteria for an ethnicity, it creates a (correct!) stereotype that those students are on average less skilled, both among others and also among themselves. In an attempt to address an ill-defined form of supposedly systemic oppression, this policy creates a very concrete and actually systemic mechanism to cause the very thing it claims to oppose, and which has knock-on effects.
You see the exact same thing in STEM: anything but a 50/50 representation of gender is an indicator of discrimination. The 'cure' is to roll out the red carpet with biased programs, so that you actually get lower qualified and less interested people working side by side with others who receive no special provisions and worked hard to get there. It's associated with a moral panic that very noticeably makes the relations between the genders worse.
The question of 'why are you so interested in race?' reads to me as a form of denial and projection. The policies already treat groups as monolithic entities. White students, or men in tech, are treated as if they are somehow collectively conspiring to benefit each other at the expense of other groups, even though the individuals compete against each other. Anyone who disagrees, even a member of the 'oppressed group', is dismissed out of hand as having internalized their oppression or denying their privilege. This is ironically exactly the kind of bourgeois talking-down we're all supposed to be fixing, and betrays a moral and value judgement that is the exact opposite of "don't treat people differently by race and gender" and "different ability doesn't means you're less of a person".
"Why is the answer important?" is the wrong question. It's "why are you turning a mundane question about group averages into a moral judgement on individuals, and blaming others for it?" This is a real problem that is happening today, and it's dismissed out of hand in favor of LARPing against the ghosts of christmas past, because facing the present makes the activists uncomfortable whose policies we've already been following for decades.
Just staying with races: the fact Ivy league schools discriminate against people of Asian origins by having quotas against them for decades is fucked-up.
Maybe what makes them good isn't scale independent.
Functional features of human organizations generally aren't, after all.
The idea that success == expansion is a capitalist (or even more narrowly, Wall Street) ideal and Universities should not be run like businesses.
Perhaps there's a practical reason - maybe they can't find enough professors of the quality they want to teach any more students, but last I heard, professors weren't in short supply, especially not when you have $15 billion like MIT does.
 e.g. https://ourworldindata.org/tertiary-education
Well, is it capitalist really, or is it something that capitalists are guilty of propagating as a means of control?
I mean, it could be said that 'success == expansion' is more of a natural law, which can be applied to any 'ism and used, either to contract agency, or .. grow it.
Many of these policies become laws with significant punishment specified for violators.
In fact, if there is individual variation, and the groups are clustered based on something more significant than random partition, such as genetic similarity, the groups themselves are frequently going to exhibit differing statistical tendencies in any heritable characteristic because of that genetic similarity.
Whether these statistical tendencies differ or not is an empirical question, not a question of political preferences.
For law, and coercive power of punishment, to be based on reality rather than political favoritism, the question of whether the group differences are real or not matters. If the group differences are real, punishing people for making choices (again, hiring, admissions, etc.) based on reality instead of on political theory is the real injustice.
So the actual, measured average IQ differences between groups matters if you are going to use any assumption about it as a basis for policy decisions.
This is well said. I don't hear any impassioned calls for making everybody's lead exposure test results public so employers can avoid hiring stupid people.
It's important to stress that the differences between members of the perceived groups ("ethnicities", "country of origin", "mother tongue", "a certain look") are much larger within that group than any measurable differences between averages of those groups. That is not to say that some research in these areas cannot make sense for e.g. policy making. For example, people who have suffered severe malnutrition in their childhood can have lower IQ on average, and the same is the case for many other environmental and social factors, of course.
The reason why people like to focus on intelligence is that unlike other human characteristics like strength, intelligence is almost universally used as a kind of honorific. If you tell someone that he or she is intelligent, this will make them proud. If you tell someone he or she is not very intelligent, this will be taken as a grave insult. Additionally, everybody overestimates his own intelligence.
All of this is kind of ironic, because intelligence is highly overrated. Intelligence doesn't count much, it's what you make of it. Moreover, whether you like it or not, society does not have a need for more highly intelligent people. There are not enough jobs for them.
Last but not least, people who think of themselves as being very intelligent usually haven't tried to solve hard enough problems.
> It's important to stress that the differences between members of the perceived groups ("ethnicities", "country of origin", "mother tongue", "a certain look") are much larger within that group than any measurable differences between averages of those groups.
Surely the differences in income, the binary variable of being-in-STEM, recruiter favourability shown towards CVs etc. between members of the perceived groups ("skin colour", "gender", "mother tongue", ...) are much larger within that group than any measurable differences between averages of those groups too. Does that mean you are arguing that the gender pay gap, representation in STEM fields and unfair hiring practices are all irrelevant?
(For what it's worth, there's only a few examples where differences between groups actually dwarf differences within groups, all of which seem very famous, e.g. grip strength vs. gender.)
I also hope that you don't believe that intelligence and salary are in any way on a par. Intelligence is at least partly genetically inherited (notwithstanding other factors). Salary is not.
To make your analogy correct, consider someone who claims that women are less intelligent than men. That person is most likely a sexist, even though I do not deny that from time to time there may be people who actually believe to have data to back up the claim. Even if there is data, the comparison makes almost no sense except for certain cases of policy making, since the variation of intelligence amongst the group of women and man is so much higher than the difference between the averages of the groups.
Studies show that salary is, in fact, quite heritable.
Personally, I'm interested in it because there are so many people interested in blaming one race for the problems of another or in assuming that a large group of people of one race will behave the same as another in the same situation. People wonder why African countries are so poor and look everywhere for possible reasons except at the people themselves. People think the Chinese "should have" a religion because they're quite rude and inconsiderate but don't consider that they might be so genetically different that they don't need or can't sustain the fantasy of a religion the way white people can. I just made up that last one, but I'm certainly open to its possibility.
Nationalities like Chinese have even less to do with genetic makeup, and Africa is a whole continent, so talking about African countries as a whole is pretty much nonsense unless you're referring to their geographical location on the same continent.
It addresses one specific study, but the arguments are the same.
My theory is that people are afraid the general public doesn't have the education or self-discipline necessary to know this information (even if it's wrong!) without turning into violent racists. Black slavery used to be justified by "they're inferior so it's OK to treat them badly", and the left countered the first part of that but not the second. It's entirely possible that they are, on average, inferior intellectually but that doesn't justify abusing them. How can you let that genie out of the bottle though without people making blanket judgments of entire races?
Just in case anyone thinks I'm a white supremacist, it's not whites at the top, it's Asians and Ashkenazi Jews.
> the member should temporarily suspend all her beliefs – in particular whom and what she trusts – and start over again from scratch
That most important one -whom and what to trust- was "rebooted", which allowed Black to be open to those 150 more recent, more well-researched studies, rather than dismissing them as the echo chamber would tell him to do.
(I'm mentioning this because I noticed by myself that I almost dismissed the article due to first encountering this comment, and ended up enjoying it - which is an interesting observation in the context of this article by itself.)
For instance if a society import a minority white population, enslave and oppress them for hundreds of years and then conduct IQ tests to declare they are somehow deficient. How would the rest of the world look at that? Would they simply look at the IQ test results, or have deeper questions?
First people are enslaved and segregated for hundreds of years and just when the courts start enforcing hard fought equality laws in society, economic discrimination takes over via 'free markets' that as an 'outcome' limits access to housing, education, employment, financial services to people who have not had an opportunity to build wealth over generations like the rest. And then resurrect quasi eugenics and go out of the way to try to prove with IQ tests they are somehow deficient.
There is something extremely malicious and insidious about this obsession which fails to recognize others as fully functioning human beings and simply ignores the entirety of history, actions and consequences. And the only reason this can continue uninterrupted for hundreds of years is because in any other context the World would have intervened to stop this kind of sustained assault.
We do not understand fully how the brain works or the dimensions of human intelligence yet many are so confident to build truths and definitive conclusions on top of it.
Even if we for arguments sake accept IQ as some sort of indicator it is dishonest to diminish the impact of environment in the same indicator. As if a seed will thrive whatever the environment. This seems to be a transparently ideological position.
The idea that a rich or middle class upbringing with access to excellent education and resources will somehow produce the same outcomes as a poor family that cannot provide a stable home, proper nutrition, nurturing environment, educational resources and good schools is not logical and cannot be made in good faith.
Yet people with seemingly high IQs continuously make this claim. Suggesting perhaps that IQ is not everything. And maybe we should include tests for prejudice and bigotry in IQ tests that seem to reduce intelligence and promote a irrational mindset.
In fact, I challenge you to produce any evidence at all for the slavery->IQ hypothesis. It's so ridiculous that young black people have reduced ability to work because their ancestors 5-10 generations ago were forced to work. It's even more ridiculous that the Chinese who were just as oppressed in even more recent past are doing perfectly well now. Maybe oppression only lasts multiple generations when the victims blame another race for it? In that case, we should be working to stop black people from blaming white people. We should be stamping out the idea of "white guilt" because that would be making the problem worse!
If you’re wealthy this is no problem of course. The wealthier you are, the less opinions you should share or fight for. You can afford this because you can always put your fortune (and yourself) into an available free society with property rights.
If you’re poor however, it only works as long as reason and democracty triumphs in your society. Because nobody will want you if you ever have to flee.
Are you saying the Syrians caused the war, and did that by not having enough opinions?
This is especially great: “Here’s a basic check: does a community’s belief system actively undermine the trustworthiness of any outsiders who don’t subscribe to its central dogmas? Then it’s probably an echo chamber.”
Except it would. I know no-one that talks about opera (or anything) all of the time, and it's hard to think that a rising tide of neo-Nazis would escape the notice of a group of reasonably educated, establishment liberals.
Much of filter bubble theory as it applies to social media seems to treat humans as unthinking demographic blobs defined entirely by their status and political beliefs, and the bubble as something impenetrable, through which new information about the world cannot pass.
Sure, within groups there is groupthink, and I get the appeal of techno-dystopianism, but I can't accept the idea that this is in any way a new phenomenon, or that we are not more connected to new ideas now than we have ever been.
It's more likely that a bubble of "reasonably educated, establishment liberals" would not understand the grievances of another group of people, and perceive them through the lens of "a rising tide of neo-Nazis", othering them and directly creating conflict, rather than understanding them.
This is how the filter bubble actually works. It's not that the information doesn't come through; it's that it comes through a glass darkly, at high risk of alienation from people holding out-group views.
If, for example, you think that people who don't like change in the social composition of their community are morally wrong for feeling uncomfortable, you're going to push for cultural movements that demonize them. And that makes the problem worse; it amplifies conflict and widens the cracks in society.
There are multiple self-coherent but mutually incoherent views on how society should be structured. As I get older, I find myself feeling less strongly about one view versus another. I am most suspicious of those who believe they have found the one true view; their zeal for change isn't tempered by doubt. No matter which coherent perspective you have, you won't succeed in moving people with other perspectives if you don't acknowledge that their perspectives are also coherent. Your best bet for achieving change is reframing that change within the perspective of those you're trying to convince. Saying that the people you're trying to convince are evil because their view is wrong won't end well.
Perhaps the problem is not so much lack of access or exposure to new information, but rather that it's information, or 'self marketing' social interaction instead of real, sustained, connection/relation.
Kind of a 'medium is the message' type deal: technology enables/encourages us to relate in ways that involve promotion, lack of day-to-day interaction, increased compartmentalization of our social lives, etc.
For example, one argument against the 'bubble' theory is that a hugely popular site like reddit makes it easier than ever to be exposed to wildly different viewpoints. Not just through the 'all' section, but also by subscribing to various subreddits with a simple click.
But the fact that none of these pieces of text represent people that I know, that I grew up with, that are part of my daily life, that I talk to about my person non-partisan troubles, that I experienced things with, or touched/saw/heard, they're rather abstract.
In fact, they're so abstract that it's even difficult to 'link' their particular messages to each other and form a picture of a person who is more than the contents of that one message + the subreddit we're in.
I definitely feel that both online, and in 'real life', it's not so much the lack of information that is a problem, but rather the lack of real, ongoing relationships with others.
I've seen so many examples of people changing their minds on things simply because of their partner, or close friends, etc. I've seen far right individuals change their views after they sort of accidentally became friends with an immigrant. I've seen extremely conservative Christians change their views on, say, homosexuality because they had a wonderful colleague who was gay. And so on. I've seen much fewer examples of people who 'engaged' with information (books, articles, study, whatever) and made similar changes in their views.
Furthermore, I think we actively hide the effect of relationships on our views, because we want to think that our convictions are reasonable, and well-considered. So if our beliefs change through relationship (and of course information too), we are likely to de-emphasize that. Because it's not exactly 'rational'.
The documentary "Accidental Courtesy" highlights this well, I think. Some of Louis Theroux's stuff also shows this dynamic.
> Except it would.
I dunno. There are a lot of people on this site who think we shouldn't talk about politics, at all, ever.
I guess the fact that we do talk about it is a point in your favor. But it isn't at all inconceivable that there might exist a HN-like site where only strictly "on-topic" conversations are allowed.
That proves it is in fact bad logic; the victims of the echo chamber are not rational to the point of behaving in a logically sound way.
In actual logic, the order among a set of prepositions makes no difference and they can be evaluated in parallel also to the extent that they are independent; there are no side-effects.
If two propositions A and B contradict each other, that one of them you heard first isn't necessarily the true one.
If everyone is working in good faith (mistakes are acknowledged and fixed) then rather chronologically later propositions should be more trustworthy. People who are not willing to replace old propositions with new ones that contradict them are making themselves impervious to the good-faith improvement in understanding.
I disagree with the premise already.
Anyone got data? How many people actually get their news from FB?
And no hn, reddit and other content aggregators are not just as bad. Following topics != following people.
Maybe political allegiance has replaced
basic reasoning skills.
We have phases, where aggregate priciples of interaction change, not unlike shifts in musical taste. Cycles of class and intellectualism, and cycles of low-brow simplicity. Each pole has its own facets and degrees of appeal and attraction. The cycles are an expression of the prevailing winds for the dominant age group.
For the most part, a lot of people clearly thought their vote didn't matter, didn't really care who got elected, developed an opinion that the presidency doesn't matter, and cast the vote that seemed to be biggest joke.
Two other, much smaller, groups of people exist: those that genuinely believe a tiny, weak, incompetant and ineffectual government is a good thing (because substitute teachers aren't as demanding), and those that genuinely want to help, improve the world, and make a difference in benefitting the lives of as many people as possible, starting with those that have the least going for them.
The goof offs, though, voted the most and won. That's it. That's the only thing that happened, and it's not a disaster yet. Let's see if we can keep it that way, and stay on track.
There's some violence and sabotage in the picture too, and all of it stems from an unnecessary war in Iraq that should have never happened. Some of the very real political destabilization on the fringes is essentially blowback and revenge for that debacle. Take a step back, and note the coincidence in timing for each. I'm not sure this stuff will difuse itself. It may simmer on in the background for some time, and might not have any solution, as retaliation tends to fuel a continuity of grudges.
I would not install the app, nor fill in your website forms before anything like that is clear!
Maybe you should interact with The Center for Humane Technology (humanetech.com), because the subject matter is really interesting, and the problem and ways to avoid it need more attention.
My bad, everyone :(