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« Controversial J.C. Leyendecker | Main | More Taubes »

November 18, 2008

More on IQ

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

The Rawness concludes his series on blacks and IQ. Great passage:

I think rather than outright intellectualism, the mental skills slavery selected for were a high-level cunning. We still see this manifested in many aspects of modern black life such as creating slangs that nonblacks can’t understand, being extremely street smart, mastering high level con games, highly improvisational cognitive skills that can be seen in everything from off the cuff banter to improvisational jazz to freestyle rapping. Pimping “by the book” is another example of high level cunning.

I don’t think IQ tests can properly test for these, but I think they’re very valid cognitive abilities ... I’ve seen plenty of high IQ people who are useless in a situation that requires street smart and ability to recognize when they’re being hustled. I’ve see socially inept high IQ people who would kill to be able to game women like many black players and pimps can.

I think there are a lot of gifts and abilities that IQ tests can't measure. For instance: IQ-style intelligence and artistic talent have nothing to do with each other. As far as I can tell -- and, for what it's worth, I've spent three decades in the cultureworld -- brains and artistic talent are almost completely independent variables. It's a simple fact of life that there are 1) many intellectually brilliant people who are completely unable to create artistically, and 2) many people who are brimming over with artistic talent who are also real dimwits in an intellectual sense.

It can be a lovely thing when IQ-style intelligence and artistic-creative talent coexist in a mutually-enhancing way in the same person -- but, c'mon, how often does this happen? As a culture-consumer, I'm too eager for enjoyment and pleasure to afford to be that choosy.

And, as someone who has always done pretty well on standardized exams, I can testify to the fact that I've met many people less intellectually oomphy than I am who nonetheless know in their bones far more about life, people, and nature than will ever be mine to know.

Semi-related: Back here I mused about G and the arts. T. shares some shrewd hunches about Pres. Obama here.

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at November 18, 2008




Comments

I think you over-simplify this conundrum, Michael, and that you're creating too great a divide between the artistic and the intellectual spheres of life (who's to say that artistic ability isn't a form of intelligence?) while neglecting the sometimes very sharp divisions between other areas of intelligence.

I mean, I could swear I've known some people "brimming over" with intellectual ability in some spheres who are also surprisingly lacking in, well, intellectual ability, in areas of knowledge or understanding outside their own.

Of course, no one can be an expert in every field, but the trouble is that many highly intelligent people lack humility and think they can be. And thus is born a powerful mixture of brains, ignorance, and folly, leading to much greater stupidities than those of the merely dull-witted.

The same goes for non-IQ-test measurable forms of intelligence: it's possible to be gifted in one area and useless in other closely related fields. Bill Clinton has been said to have both high IQ and high EQ (that emotional intelligence aptitude, whatever it's called), and no doubt there's some truth in this. He certainly knew how to woo voters in a direct, personal way that confounded many onlookers. Yet his actions often seemed to belie both forms of intelligence. Who would say that a man who has a fling with an unstable 22-year-old possesses much in the way of emotional intelligence or IQ?

Clio

Posted by: alias clio on November 19, 2008 2:15 AM



"...brains and artistic talent are almost completely independent variables."

I don't believe this. I think there is a definite correlation. How high of a correlation is difficult to determine - it depends to some extent on the artistic talent we're talking about. Literary artists tend to be be very intelligent, since they deal in ideas and abstractions, visual artists and musicians somewhat less so. But come on, do you seriously believe that outstanding artists of all types are, on average, no more intelligent than the average person? This is not true to my experience at all.

Let me be a little more specific. When you read interviews with well-known film directors, for example, do you not find that they are considerably more articulate and thoughtful than your average person? What about famous composers, actors, painters? Do you really find that they are just goofballs who happen to have a talent completely divorced from their analytical abilities?

Posted by: green mamba on November 19, 2008 4:34 AM



Been pretty peaceful around 2Blowhards for a while, hasn't it? I see that you're ready, Michael, for some screaming and yelling.

All these discussions of IQ... what an obsession. I've got a high IQ, and what the hell good has it done me? (Go ahead... pile on!)

But, speaking of pimps. When I moved to San Francisco... way back in the olden times... I found an apartment in the Western Addition. The landlord called me to meet him over in his digs in a high rise in the Marina.

When I walked into his apartment, it was a scene out of Superfly. He had the look... furs, big brim hats. He had the girls... long legs, short skirts and big boots up to mid-thigh. And he had the coke cut in lines right out on the table.

"What you out here for?" he asked me.

I hemmed and hawed, because it was my custom to try to put on my best show for potential landlords. You know, I said, I'm looking for a job... want to dig in and learn about the city... etc.

"Oh, come on man," the guy interrupted me. "You don't have to give me that bullshit. You here to live off the fat of the land! You want to try some of this blow?"

No kidding. This really happened.

Several months later, the black guy was busted and he ran for it. He disappeared for a year and a half. Nobody came around to collect the rent, so I really coasted and enjoyed the local highlights.

One day, somebody knocked on my front door. I opened it to discover an old black woman, dressed in her go-to-meeting clothes, including the huge hat with nets, flowers... the works.

"Hello. I'm the landlord's aunt from Chicago," she said.

What happened after that is another story entirely.

Hope I haven't told this story before. In my old age, I sometimes lose track.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on November 19, 2008 7:27 AM



It's a bit like a smart, presentable fellow who is preoccupied with Game and with affirming his Alpha status. His unrelenting conceit renders him weak-headed and girlish.

So it is with IQ, no doubt a fine thing in itself. Presumption and conceit will turn it about, and make the possessor dull..."duller than the fat weed, that roots itself in ease on Lethe Wharf".

Posted by: Robert Townshend on November 19, 2008 9:08 AM



Clio -- All good examples of how muddy and complicated these things are. I suspect that talents often slop over into each other, that genes express themselves in tons of complicated and mushy ways, and that personalities are funny things, full of surprises, weaknesses, strengths, and trap doors. FWIW, for my own purposes I don't do the Gardner thing of divvying talents up into various forms of "intelligence." Seems to get me into too many pickles ("Athletic ability isn't an intelligence!" "Yes it is!" etc.) I divvy gifts up into talents, with IQ-style intelligence being one of them. Seeing "talents" as the major taxonomy label seems to get me into less trouble. You can talk about, for example, how talented a dancer is without being stuck having to make the case that she's also "intelligent," and without being stuck having to make the case that dancing talent is a form of "intelligence." What's the point of re-running that argument? Another benefit of this strategy, I find: It puts IQ-type mental horsepower into perspective. It's real, it's important in its way. But it's also just one of the many talents, gifts and deficits a person might or might not have. FWIW, like I say.

G. Mamba -- We've had very different life experiences! It was really one of the biggest surprises of my life, to leave school, enter the cultureworld, and discover that many successful and famous culture creators simply aren't very smart. Profs tend to leave credulous kids with the impression that famous artists are famous artists because they're smarter than everyone else -- that art-creation is a function of brains in a more or less IQ sense. They're famous artists -- and you're a wee thing studying them -- because they're smarter than you are. It's simply not true, at least in my experience. There are certainly some art forms that require more brains (film directing is probably one, classical-music-style composing is probably another) but there's lots of art-making that has almost nothing to do with brains: acting, dancing, singing, photography, music-making, picture-making. I revere the talents of these people even as I'm often taken aback by how dumb (in a brains sense) many of them are. But your experience has been different?

ST -- Evocative tale! I remember those hats.

Robert -- Nicely put. You've got me wondering if maybe "character" shouldn't be the top level in the taxonomy, with "talent" and "intelligence" sub-levels. God knows character counts for an awful lot.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on November 19, 2008 10:20 AM



Yes, Robert... to decode your statement... What a dreadful embarassment that Roissy moron has become!

Michael, we should never have given the kid that much attention.

He's writing entire posts now about the size of his dick!

I've asked Roissy these questions several times: Does he actually have a job? What accomplishments has he produced in this life that account for the dorm room joking?

So far, no answers.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on November 19, 2008 10:46 AM



Posted by Shouting Thomas at November 19, 2008


So did you do any of that blow?

Posted by: Anon on November 19, 2008 11:36 AM



"Of course, no one can be an expert in every field, but the trouble is that many highly intelligent people lack humility and think they can be."

Haha. That describes about 100% of the scientific community, including me!

Posted by: CyndiF on November 19, 2008 11:48 AM



Artists, as I’ve said before, are usually not very bright. I’m not sure that this is an IQ issue. People are drawn to the arts, as Michael has said, because they want to get laid. This is not necessarily a good thing. Artists are usually suffering from serious psychological problems and pain related to that getting laid stuff.

This is why artists are so often drawn to the Utopian ideal, crazy cults and Marxism. The world isn’t good enough for them, and they’ve spent their life dreaming of how to make it perfect. The reason they do this is because they are suffering from psychological pain, and they’re looking for an answer.

I was looking for some fight in this post, so I guess I’ll have to light to fuse. Look at the Nights of Rage madness going on right now in the gay ghetto in San Francisco. These are precisely the people I’m talking about… high IQ, blinded by internal pain and anger.

These kids (and I know them) were relentlessly indoctrinated by the schools, the media and the society to believe that homosexuality is the Utopia that will mend their souls and alleviate their pain. What you are witnessing right now is the rage of religious zealots, striking back at perceived enemies. The cause of the pain in the gay ghetto is, in fact, homosexuality itself. That homosexuality was formed as the result, most often, of sexual abuse and mother-son incest.

We’ve flipped completely in the past 50 years. Now, the kids are coerced in homosexual behavior in their desire to find approval and seek Utopia. Many of those out on the streets in SF are closet heteros. Nothing warps a person’s mind like twisting your sexuality for group approval. Believe me, I saw this in stark relief with the Rajneeshees.

The homosexual ghettos in SF and the West Village have become a Utopian religious cults.

This progression is pretty typical for the artistic mind. The artist tends to get trapped in the idealism of adolescence. If he’s successful, this is only accentuated, because his audience demands that he remain true to his adolescent ideals. (Think of all those 60s rock nostalgia groups.)

Homosexuality is the Marxism of the kids. It’s the promise of ultimate release and ultimate freedom. The furor of their response to any criticism or limitation on their sexual actions isn’t really based on some civil rights concern. The Bad Daddy is depriving them of their morphine. They are enraged that authority is depriving them of Utopia and release from pain. Big Daddy insists that they continue to suffer psychological pain! Big Daddy must be destroyed!

This is why the artistic mind is so unreliable and screwed up. You’re dealing with seriously disturbed people, trapped in adolescence. The IQ may be very high, but the transmitters are hopelessly scrambled.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on November 19, 2008 11:50 AM



ST, I've heard Roissy has the kind of job where, if you're his age and you're still operating at his level...well, you're screwed. You know, the way Marcellus Wallace told Butch the boxer how he was screwed in Pulp Fiction:

If you think that time ages your ass like wine...it don't.

And, even more to the deadly point:

If you were going to make it, you would have made it by now.

R hasn't made it by now...and by now, it's too late. Hence the constant tendentious attempts to arrogate alphaness to himself from its genuine possessors. He's still got what it takes to get his candle waxed, but he ain't got what it takes to have genuine social and societal dominance.

For that, he'd have to have men take him seriously. And men don't. At his age, it's probably too late to ever get respect from men, instead of the zit-popping plaudits of his Pimple Posse cheering him on and bucking him up from mother's basements across the land.

I'm being a little harsh, perhaps. I should feel more compassion. I know my sweet-hearted Significant Otherness would say so...but she's a nice person. She cares.

Well, f*ck it. I'm not nice. And I don't care. Roissy wouldn't answer my questions. I. don't. like. it. when. people. won't. answer. my. questions. So, to hell with compassion.

And speaking of hell...

Posted by: PatrickH on November 19, 2008 11:55 AM



Lord, love a duck! G--not IQ, g, general intelligence--isn't the be all and end all of life. How could it be? But it is implicated in almost every other mental talent...if only as an enabling factor. G emerges from the correlations of mental tests, not just IQ tests, and seems to be related to how quickly you can learn stuff. There's nothing in there about "creativity" or "improvisation", just...how fast can you learn? How far can you learn? Gardner's multiple intelligences model has had zero real influence because he can't get rid of (he himself hasn't tried) the correlations between various tests of mental abilities, some of which don't seem to obviously require "intelligence".

That's the baby. G. It's not the only thing. But then again, neither is oxygen. But try to be "creative" without any air to breathe. Try to have "street smarts" when you're hypoxic.

That's g. The underlying common general factor of intelligence. None of this stuff about creativity has any bearing on why g is of such interest and importance. It's a necessary condition (not SUFFICIENT...I get it! I really do!) for success in a whole range of activities. It may not be ENOUGH to have g, but you've got to have some of it.

Otherwise, at the very least, a whole lot of "creative" options aren't even going to occur to you.

None of which is to say that T doesn't have a point. He does. G ISN'T ENOUGH. But I'm willing to bet that the fast-talking leaders of the street-smart community have rather more of it than they let on. They also have that improv thing, which by definition is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to test on static, fixed pen-and-pencil tests.

Is improv a type of intelligence? I wouldn't be surprised if it is. That truth doesn't change the place of g, however. Fanatical partisans of g, IQ snobs like myself, aren't arguing with people who say other stuff matters. We're just trying to say that g does matter, a whole lot, and in very important areas of our society.

As was said of g in a different context:

You can make g hide, but you can't make it go away.

Its consequences, too.

Posted by: PatrickH on November 19, 2008 12:15 PM



PatrickH -- I don't quarrel with IQ or G, I just don't see much evidence that (for example) most actors, dancers, or blues musicians have a lot of it. Some if not many of them are dumb as doornails, and not good for anything much but what they do. There's a "primitive" quality to much of art-making -- some weird cross between need, talent, and drive -- that seems to have nothing to do with brains, and the more direct the art-making is the less brains seem to be needed. At higher levels of complexity you probably start needing to be able to call on some mental prowess -- large-scale composition or orchestration or construction. But puttin' over a blues song? Moving beautifully to music? Convincingly inhabiting a make-believe character in a make-believe situation? That last one is especially interesting to me, partly because I hang with some actors but also partly because it's a fun conundrum to muse about. Kids are often freakily good actors, to the point where real grownup actors are wary of being upstaged by them. But good-actor kids often aren't the bright ones, and besides they're kids. Make-believe comes easy to kids. And that's pretty much 90% of what acting is about - inhabiting make-believe as though it's real. What does that have to do with brains, or any kind of mental facility beyond "having a knack for inhabiting make-believe"? And why, when witnessing some good acting, should we conclude that it's a necessary indication of any other kind of faculty or prowess? Particularly when many children can do it so well?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on November 19, 2008 1:20 PM



Michael - like you, I don't trust Gardner's ideas about athletic ability or dancing ability as formz of intelligence. The idea is too liable to confuse different categories of gifts altogether, as you say.

But I remain convinced that there are other kinds of actual intelligence that are not readily measured by IQ tests. The ability to "think on one's feet" is probably one of them, and one of the rarest and most useful; nor does it seem to be directly related to conventional IQ-type intelligence, as many people with high IQs seem to lack it. "Emotional intelligence" and "street smarts" may be others - or perhaps the later is one of the forms that emotional intelligence may take.

I'm convinced that these two are forms of intelligence rather than gifts or skills, and that their absence can limit a person's success in life, even if he has a high IQ in the conventional sense of the term.

Clio

Posted by: alias clio on November 19, 2008 1:47 PM



I dunno, Michael, having just acted in stage production with a bunch of kids, as well as directed them on several occasions, I'd say that while kids do have fewer inhibitions and probably a faster route into their emotions and unconscious than many adults, they aren't particularly good at communicating subtle or complex emotions and attitudes. Age-appropriate, kid-level emotions and attitudes, sure. But there's no special acting voodoo involved here, and it seems like your thesis is migrating from "actors aren't necessarily brighter than average" to "actors are actually dumber than average, i.e., more kid-level in their immaturity and ignorance." I don't really buy this.

I do think actors have much-higher-than-average tendency to spout off and carry on as if they were the center of the universe and hold forth on topics they know nothing about and that most people have the good sense to keep quiet about. Maybe that makes them seem dumber than average. But I don't think they are--they just less inhibited about exposing their dumbness as part and parcel of exposing everything about themselves.

Posted by: Steve on November 19, 2008 2:05 PM



Clio -- Happy to let you take on the "what qualifies as intelligence?" arguments! As for Gardner, I think his theories are a joke as science, but (ditching the "intelligence" feel-good baloney) as a way of seeing possible categories of gifts and talents? Strikes me as maybe useful. Agree with you as well (as well as T.) that a gift for improv of whatever sort is an impressive thing, as well as one involving all kinds of interesting cognitive powers. That's an argument that Albert Murray makes beautifully in a few of his books, that black gifts are often improvisational in nature -- quite a contrast to (say) the German love of monumental engineering but just as impressive. Jazz, anyone? I'm totally with Murray in thinking that black music of the 20th century is quite the equal of German-Austrian music of the 1700s and 1800s. Very different, of course, but why not look at both and say "Cool! And impressive!" And tests do seem to have a hard time capturing and measuring improv talents.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on November 19, 2008 2:16 PM



hey Michael, can you recommend an Albert Murray book to start with if I had to read just one?

Posted by: T. AKA Ricky Raw on November 19, 2008 2:21 PM



ST -- "Homosexuality is the new Marxism" is a great line. Is it true? I don't have enough experience to say. I can say that I've been amazed at how effective some gays have been at turning gayness into a cause that all right-minded people should rally behind. They've become like mascots -- you aren't a well-meaning person unless you root for everything gay. An impressive p-r triumph. A good one or a bad one ... I dunno. I'm prone to irreverence. But amazing in any case.

Steve -- My point is just that it doesn't take much in the way of brains to be a good actor. The "children can be good actors" thing came up because I wanted to demonstrate that a creature can be a good actor without anything at all in the way of adult intelligence being available to him/her. A handful of weirdo prodigies aside, no 5 year old can do calculus, or run a business, or organize a production. Yet thousands and thousands of children can act. Ergo, the "acting" thing, whatever it is, doesn't rely on much in the way of intelligence, let alone developed intelligence, let alone adult intelligence, let alone any ability to think in an organized fashion. Still, it's some kind of gift. Hence: at least some artistic gifts don't have anything necessarily to do with IQ style intelligence. Anyway (just gassing on now, not responding to you) I'm surprised some people have trouble with the observation. Think back on high school. The bright kids and the theater crowd were two separate groups. The rock 'n' rollers were often potheads and dropouts. The girl with an amazing ability to make cool clothes couldn't pass algebra. The idiot theater kids, the rock 'n' rollers, the chicks who couldn't be dumber but who know what looks chic -- those are the kids who grow up to be pro culture creators, not the smart kids. If the smart kids go into culture, they generally wind up as editors, producers, profs, foundation officials ... And they're sometimes a little bitter about the fact that the "creative" people and the stars are so much dumber than they are.

T. -- Fun to see you here. Albert Murray's great, eager to know how you respond to him. He really ought to have a bigger rep than he does. His masterpiece is "Stomping the Blues," which also happens to be an easy and fun read. He was best buds with Ralph ("Invisible Man") Ellison, and Ellison's essays are great too. The two guys made a lot of similar points and arguments. I see that there's an Ellison Collected Essays out, but I seem to remember that "Shadow and Act" is the specific collection that I flipped for.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on November 19, 2008 2:28 PM



And my point was that an adult actor does need a certain level of adult intelligence to accurately convey complex adult emotions and attitudes. No 5-year-old can do calculus--nor he perform Chekhov or Shakespeare.

But certainly I accept your larger point that at least some artistic gifts don't have anything necessarily to do with IQ style intelligence.

Posted by: Steve on November 19, 2008 2:38 PM



I dislike using such an elementary school-ish term as "common sense," but for these purposes there's nothing else that quite fits. One thing I've learned over the years is that many people with high IQ's are notably deficient in common sense. This deficiency takes different forms, sometimes as an excessively naive and trusting nature, but more often as social ineptness, an inability to know what to say and especially what not to say in social situations. Many times the high-IQ people also cannot connect socially and/or emotionally with others. A line I've used in various blog comments succinctly describes the type I have in mind: people who'd sooner stare into the midday Sun for ten minutes than make two seconds' eye contact with another human being.

It's also my strong impression that high-IQ males are much more likely to have these social deficiencies than are high-IQ females.

Posted by: Peter on November 19, 2008 2:51 PM



Steve -- But why would you want or expect kids to be able to portray adult roles in Chekhov? To flip it around: Would you ask of 60 year old Meryl Streep that she be able to portray a convincing 17 year old these days? She couldn't do that. Actors have ranges; part of an actor's range has to do with age; and adult actors are as much bound by their range as kid actors are. Anyway, you're certainly right that kids can act kids and can't act adults -- but (so far as my point goes, anyway) so what, there's still "acting" going on.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on November 19, 2008 2:55 PM



Improvisational ability in music is a lovely thing, but it isn't quite the kind of thing I meant in my previous post, and may not be related to it at all.

I was thinking of the kind of person who can, in a crisis, sort out the best things to do and the best way to get them done quickly. Call it organizational ability, leadership ability, or a combination of the two, perhaps.

This quality is quite rare among intellectuals and professionals of the literary or scientific or even the executive type. You can find it in a few rare men of action (but not all); you can find it in a few women, rather more often than men give women credit for. As Steve Sailer might have said, note the differences between Stephen Maturin, brilliant naturalist and dreamer, and Jack Aubrey, ship's captain, in the Patrick O'Brian books. That Maturin has a deeper intellectual range is clear, but it's hard to believe that Aubrey's leadership and organizational talents are not a form of intelligence too. Yet they're hard to measure in IQ tests.

Clio

Posted by: alias clio on November 19, 2008 3:02 PM



No 5-year-old can do calculus--nor he perform Chekhov or Shakespeare.

But is that because of the complexity of grasping the vocabulary and archaic language or because of the emotional range required? It's not the actual acting per se (as in conveying genuine emotions) that makes Shakespeare so hard to act. It's the outdated language and vocabulary. The Shakespeare example doesn't so much prove that ACTING is harder for kids so much as it proves that complex, outdated adult vocabulary is harder for kids, a point which I doubt anyone here would argue against.

Posted by: T. AKA Ricky Raw on November 19, 2008 3:08 PM



Sports announcers often subtly and perhaps even unconsciously recognize a distinction between athletes with high levels of intelligence in a "g" sense and those without. "Athleticism" is the code word of choice. If you hear an athlete described as having superior athleticism - or, even more emphatically, "natural athleticism" - what the announcer may really be saying is that the athlete isn't necessarily too smart but has a natural playing ability. This isn't always the case, sometimes the announcer is making no intelligence-related judgments at all, but my reasoned belief is that it's true more often than not. In contrast, when a player is described as "hard-working" or "determined" or something to that effect, it might mean that he's smart and uses his smarts to the best of his ability, but just doesn't have top-level athletic skills.

Posted by: Peter on November 19, 2008 3:20 PM



PatrickH:

Is improv a type of intelligence? I wouldn't be surprised if it is. That truth doesn't change the place of g, however. Fanatical partisans of g, IQ snobs like myself, aren't arguing with people who say other stuff matters. We're just trying to say that g does matter, a whole lot, and in very important areas of our society.

The problem is that the whole g business has been built on very shaky foundations, and some fundamental objections to the validity of this concept have never been answered satisfactorily, let alone the further flights of fancy about its connections with race, other mental abilities, etc. The root of the problem is that in the 19th and 20th century, nearly all natural sciences achieved great exactness and methodological rigor and almost completely purged quasi-scientific charlatans out of their ranks, but the science of human mind has sadly been a great exception in this trend.

Somehow, many 20th century psychologists managed to successfully pass for real scientists despite being near-complete charlatans, and at the same time while physics, chemistry, and biology were producing monumental breakthroughs in our understanding of nature and enabling miraculous technologies, psychologists were selling us psychoanalysis, inkblot tests, behaviorism, ESP, repressed memories, and other superstitious garbage. Unfortunately, since they knew how to adorn themselves with all the trappings of science and popularize their stuff, the unsuspecting public was successfully drawn into the self-deception. Even among real scientists, few people saw the real extent of the whole mess (Richard Feynman was a very lone voice when he lamented about "cargo-cult science" decades ago).

It is only in the last 20 or 30 years that the science of human mind has started getting out of this sorry state and finally producing some good insights with solid scientific foundation. Unfortunately, it's still saddled with baggage of antiquated concepts from the era when superstition reigned. And whether you like it or not, the concepts of IQ and g are a part of this baggage; perhaps not as useless and superstitious as the above examples, but definitely in need of a radical revision. However, now that they've been become a political issue, it's unavoidable that both sides in the debate will distort them according to their ideological needs, without much regard for truth.

Whatever it is that the IQ tests measure, I would bet that anyone except really retarded people can be coached to utterly excel on any sorts of standardized tests, including IQ tests. There are standard ways to coach people to excel in math or chess, and while not everyone can become Gauss or Kasparov, the upper limit is very, very high for just about anyone who is motivated enough. I can't believe that those "progressive matrices" and other stuff in IQ tests are significantly different in this regard.


Posted by: Vladimir on November 19, 2008 4:16 PM



I think my point is getting lost here, so I'll belabor it (after this I promise to stop, since I basically agree with Michael about different types of intelligence):

Michael said that children can be good actors, therefore acting doesn't require adult intelligence, and he drew the contrast with calculus which kids aren't good at and which does require adult intelligence. My point was simply that this wasn't an accurate comparison: certain types of math *do* require adult intelligence, but so too do certain types of acting (i.e., performing Chekhov, or if you prefer someone modern, John Guare).

Kids can be good at acting and kids can be good at math. But they're unlikely to be any better at taking on more challenging adult roles than they are at tackling more challenging adult math.

By way of example, take Jodie Foster and Robert De Niro in TAXI DRIVER. Foster was, what, 12 years old? To put it in math terms, she's a whiz at algebra in that movie. But De Niro is doing high-level calculus. Both are impressive, both are acting, but they're not doing the exact same thing.

Posted by: Steve on November 19, 2008 5:00 PM



I think rather than outright intellectualism, the mental skills slavery selected for were a high-level cunning. We still see this manifested in many aspects of modern black life such as creating slangs that nonblacks can’t understand, being extremely street smart, mastering high level con games, highly improvisational cognitive skills that can be seen in everything from off the cuff banter to improvisational jazz to freestyle rapping. Pimping “by the book” is another example of high level cunning.

You must be joking.

Whites are really good at creating slang that black people can't understand. They are called languages. Languages like Italian, Greek, Russian, French, etc. Also math.

Whites are also pretty cunning. What's harder, creating a con game or inventing, designing, and manufacturing a car?

It would be nice if black people, rather than trying to equate their own intellectual ability with whites, would simply give credit to whites for doing so much so well, and being able to share in the wealth of their creations. But they don't. They want recognition for what they do well, but it doesn't work the other way. Whatever. It wouldn't be a problem if people would resist this collectivization that is being shoved down our throats from the big boys. But that's not in the cards any longer.

As far as IQ goes, it was a ticket to the comfortable middle-class life that we know. But jobs that demand high IQ are usually, well, demanding themselves.

The rewards for a high IQ are not as great as many imagine, and the social status not great as there are many with similarly high IQ's. So what's the big deal?

As far as the arts go, you'll never be able to measure that on and IQ test. IQ tests are solely to test how well you will do in an office job. That's what schools prepare you for. That's what schooling is--mostly rote memorization.

It sure is nice to have a good job. But life isn't worth much if those creative types don't do some heavy lifting and creating to make all the drudge-work worthwhile. The most important things in life will never be taught in school. So IQ is what it is--important, but not everything. Not everything by far.

Posted by: BIOH on November 19, 2008 5:07 PM



No one feels like commenting on my Gary Taubes posting?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on November 19, 2008 5:44 PM



Whites are really good at creating slang that black people can't understand. They are called languages. Languages like Italian, Greek, Russian, French, etc.

Blacks can't speak Italian, Greek, Russian, or French? What an utterly ridiculous and petty thing to say. Haitians and Africans and Black people in France can't speak French? Blacks in Italy can't speak Italian? You make yourself look worse than you make your opposition look when you resort to "arguments" that catty. Especially since the rest of your comment was actually intelligent.

Whites are also pretty cunning. What's harder, creating a con game or inventing, designing, and manufacturing a car?

Building a car is an example of "cunning?" Horrible example. You could have something like lawyers cleverly parsing legal statutes in an unforseen way to get a legal result the framers of the statute never intended. Or Ponzi schemes or viral marketing strategies. But building a car as an example of cunning?

t would be nice if black people, rather than trying to equate their own intellectual ability with whites, would simply give credit to whites for doing so much so well, and being able to share in the wealth of their creations. But they don't.

I think you're bringing in a lot of your own bitterness about racial issues into my post, causing you to be read more into it than I put and be extra defensive. Where did I try to equate the accomplishments of blacks with those of whites? Please, find where I did that and quote it in this comments section for me. Second, YOU are no more responsible for the historic accomplishments of whites of the past than modern day black people are. Just like it's ridiculous for modern day blacks to bellyache about slavery as if it happened to them, its just as stupid for today's whites to piggyback on and brag about the accomplishments of whites of the past as if they themselves did it. I feel like there are a lot of people around these blogs who feel like any statement that can be remotely construed as complimentary of blacks must be an implicit insult or attack to whites. All that attitude does is reveal the fragility of your self-image.

Anyway, my point was not that the accomplishments of blacks were equal, inferior or superior to white accomplishments. Just that the history of blacks made selection pressures for types of intelligence other than raw IQ. Is this high level cunning as useful a trait in society as raw IQ? Of course not. Did high-level cunning traditionally serve blacks better during slave times and Jim Crow than just high IQ alone would have though? Yes.

Posted by: T. AKA Ricky Raw on November 19, 2008 6:12 PM



PatrickH:

"Well, f*ck it. I'm not nice. And I don't care. Roissy wouldn't answer my questions. I. don't. like. it. when. people. won't. answer. my. questions. So, to hell with compassion."

Geez, Patrick. Juicing much? Temper tantrums are not befitting a man of your age.

Clio:


"That Maturin has a deeper intellectual range is clear, but it's hard to believe that Aubrey's leadership and organizational talents are not a form of intelligence too. Yet they're hard to measure in IQ tests."

I very much like your line of thinking here, Clio. I suspect the phenomenon you are referring to (improvisation, fast-acting appraisal of situational surprises, etc.) might be more accurately ascribed to "instinct" than IQ. I mean "instinct" in the sense of "unfettered perception and judgement", largely free of emotional, conceptual and moral attributions.

I'm no scientist and I don't presume to know the details of IQ testing but it seems to me that two categories of ability are involved: visual/spatial and verbal. I posit that the quick decision making quality you refer to is an example of the former (V/S) being applied to both the inanimate and interpersonal relationships that exist in the *present* moment, and that the speed of such is obtained by a necessary diminution of the verbal/conceptual aspect. As you note, one doesn't often see the two qualities coexisting in exemplars of this type of person.

This sort of idea is recognized by various schools of self-mastery like Zen and Gurdjieff's 4th Way. I'm reminded of the passage in "Zen in the Art Of Archery" where the point is made (IIRC) that one should be able to land a bullseye at 50 yards while perched on a tree branch suspended over a cliff, as easily as one can while standing on the ground with no distractions. After all, the actual biomechanics are the same, the only difference is the swirling tempest of thoughts, fears and future-projections that play upon the screen of one's inner movie theater.

Similarly, the same process occurs on a smaller scale in our day to day interactions. Each one of us walks through our lives with one foot in the present "As Is", and another foot in our imagined meaning-structures, i.e., the personal narratives that we create for ourselves. For the most part we cannot function without at least some degree of abstract self-reflexivity, but those with high verbal IQ tend to fetishize this aspect of the human experience, and so fail to apprehend the *relevant* aspects of a situational crisis due to an inefficient focus on things like moral implications and abstract generalizations, things which are not immediately relevant in a crisis (to say nothing of improvisational performance). In other words, "men of action" conceptually assess a situation *just enough* and *not more* than what is needed to get the job done. Anything more than that, i.e., what the event "means" in the broadest signifying sense, is left to the verbal/conceptual giants like certain commenters here, whom have the time to spin narratives at their leisure.

And a beautiful thing those narratives can be -- like delicate, crystalline structures that gently float in our heads, pieces of which can be traded with others by means of symbols. But that same intricately laid latticework can become a dizzying, byzantine maze that one has no time to traverse when one is called upon by life to act with conviction and clarity. It also retards the free flow of impulse and inspiration during musical improvisation.

I'm reminded again of the old zen fables of nearly drowning the seeker in order to awaken him -- "Speak! Speak! What is this! What is this!"

Whew! Didn't mean to write so much. But what can one do when the Muse strikes. Not sure what my point was anymore. Back to your regularly scheduled blog...

Ah, who am I kidding. This was just an excuse for me to say "I



Posted by: Tupac Chopra on November 19, 2008 7:43 PM



Tupac, the kind of leader I referred to in my comment would require some verbal ability, because in order to keep a large group of people loyal to you (a necessary aspect of leadership), you have to be able to communicate with them and, more importantly, get them to obey your orders. Force can accomplish this, of course. But leaders who rely on brute force alone to compel those under their command to follow orders are often leaders with a short life span.

Alexander the Great certainly used force to punish disloyal subordinates, but in the ancient world his remarkable ability to get his men to follow him under difficult conditions was perceived by most observers as the result of his personal qualities, his capacity to communicate with and win the respect and affection of his men. One of the striking points Sailer makes - it was what first started me reading his work till the wilder stuff drove me away - is that great leaders of this kind actually require "feminine" qualities, the ability to read people and empathize with them.

Clio

Posted by: alias clio on November 19, 2008 8:23 PM



Nothing much to say to you Vladimir, except that your history of psychology is tendentious. Lumping psychometrics, a genuine science, in with pseudo-science like psychoanalysis is simply asserting your point, not justifying it.

Clio's point is more substantive, and I'll essay a bit of a response. Common sense, self-control, emotional insight, the ability to act quickly and decisively when needed, are all part, not of intelligence, but of wisdom. Just as the opposite of intelligence is stupidity, the opposite of wisdom is foolishness. The idiotic high-IQ people referred to in this thread are, IMO, pretty easy to peg: they're smart but foolish. The "cunning" T refers to is, stretching the word "wisdom" a bit, the distilled experience of people who have earned a kind of hard wisdom in their lives. T stated that it might have been selected for: that's interesting. I've never seen research to indicate that this kind of hard wisdom is heritable, and Sternberg's practical intelligence, it's closest analogue in the field of psychometrics, has been pretty definitively demonstrated to be a proxy term for experience. This wisdom would be learned.

T, I'll have to check out your posts to see if you've referred to research that "cunning" might be heritable. If that's so, that is dynamite.

Am I pushing it to note that "cunning" has something in common with wisdom? Jesus said to his followers to be wise as serpents, and snakes have always had a rep for being cunning beasts. I think there is a connection.

Oh, and note that a term of terrible abuse on the street is to call somebody a "fool".

I'm thinking that some of what Clio is talking about may just be good old wisdom.

Posted by: PatrickH on November 19, 2008 8:24 PM



Thanks for the pat on the head, Tupe!

I was actually a bit hard on your guru. He disappointed me by being such an intellectual pushover, I guess.

And a beautiful thing those narratives can be -- like delicate, crystalline structures that gently float in our heads, pieces of which can be traded with others by means of symbols. But that same intricately laid latticework can become a dizzying, byzantine maze that one has no time to traverse when one is called upon by life to act with conviction and clarity. It also retards the free flow of impulse and inspiration during musical improvisation.

Well, the juice would never let me produce something that, ah, creative. Been hitting the Pineapple Express, eh Tupe?

Posted by: PatrickH on November 19, 2008 8:31 PM



I'm baaaaack! [Cue collective sighs]

Michael, all of your low-IQ artist examples (and they do exist) are performers. Kinesthetic sense is critical to all of those types of arts, I think. Gardner identified that as a type of intelligence; but that was just more of his hokum. It's simply a talent or ability, as is intelligence proper.

My guess, and that's all it is for now, is that productive arts may require more intelligence than performing arts. So the relationship between artistic ability and intelligence may be complicated by what kind of artistic ability you're talking about.

Just saying.

Posted by: PatrickH on November 19, 2008 8:35 PM



Im absent from your site a day or two and look at what you all do!

Jokers! hehe

Posted by: Ramesh on November 19, 2008 9:04 PM



Say what you will about Roissy, he certainly can come up with some clever phrases, like today's gem:

the ropey tapeworm-infested turds that issued from Satan’s scalding anus

Posted by: Peter on November 19, 2008 11:30 PM



PatrickH:

Nothing much to say to you Vladimir, except that your history of psychology is tendentious. Lumping psychometrics, a genuine science, in with pseudo-science like psychoanalysis is simply asserting your point, not justifying it.

I agree that psychometrics is not entirely worthless, unlike the other products of traditional psychology that I listed. However, it is saddled with lots of pseudo-scientific baggage, which was unavoidable considering the general unscientific atmosphere that had been dominant in psychology until recently. Even you probably wouldn't go so far as to defend the worst excesses of quackery that are still often sold as "scientific" psychometrics, like e.g. those silly inkblot tests.

As for the issue of g and IQ tests, I see so many problems with those concepts that I could probably write a whole book. But here are my main objections in a nutshell:

(1) g is a fictional mathematical artefact, which has been erroneously hypostasized by IQ researchers. You might as well define an "athletic g" as, say, the product of someone's results in sprinting speed, jumping height and distance, precision in throwing and kicking the ball, etc. It will correlate pretty well with an individual's prowess in various sports, but it doesn't correspond to any real physical quantity, and it isn't very useful overall.

(2) Tons of nonsense results have been produced by giving IQ tests to people who are too ignorant to know how to hold a pencil and then explaining their poor results by their supposed genetic inferiority. If you gave IQ tests to European medieval peasants, they wouldn't score any better than modern sub-Saharan Africans, despite the fantasies of Rushton, Jensen, et al.

(3) As someone with an extensive background in math and engineering, and also in teaching those subjects, it seems pretty obvious to me that pattern-matching of abstract symbols in ways required by IQ tests is just another intellectual discipline that can be learned and drilled to perfection. See this article for a more modern account of how people acquire mental skills, which is far more in line with my experience than any talk about g:
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-expert-mind

When I was a teenager and had little interest in math, people who were good at algebra seemed like superhuman geniuses to me. But then I started liking math greatly and practicing it a lot -- I have very erratic intellectual interests -- and after a year or two, I would often require only a few seconds of thinking to solve problems that drove other people to desperation. It's not like I became "more intelligent" in any real sense; it's just that I trained myself for pattern-matching of mathematical symbols really well.

It seems to me that similarly, IQ tests measure how well trained you are in pattern-matching of a certain sort of abstract symbols -- an ability where learning is far more crucial than natural talent, just like algebra. No wonder that as more and more people work at jobs that require various sorts of pattern-matching skills, rather than at physical or assembly line labor, the average scores on IQ tests are increasing (the famous "Flynn effect"). Thus, postulating supremacist theories based on group differences IQ scores, when these groups also differ greatly in their typical occupations and education levels, seems rather preposterous to me.


Mind you, I don't have any a priori ideological desires for the popular IQ theories to be false. I got excellent results in all the IQ tests I ever did (well over 130), and I have no sympathy for egalitarianism, or any other leftist ideologies, for that matter. I merely dislike pseudo-science and intellectual errors when I see them. I'll admit that I'm irritated by how many otherwise great minds of the Right have been falling for nonsensical g/IQ theories in recent years, though.

Posted by: Vladimir on November 19, 2008 11:34 PM



Vladimir, looks like you arrived at Roissy's place a tiny bit too late to see the link to some of Godless Capitalist's masterworks on the subject of g/IQ and its relevance, so here it is again (search for stuff posted by "gc").

"Nonsensical," this stuff is not.

Posted by: Chris on November 20, 2008 12:24 AM



Standardized tests have to have standard answers: i.e., they're the same in all situations. Standardized tests don't measure if somebody can come up with the perfect thing to say at this particular moment with this particular group of people because there's no standard answer. The best thing to say is constantly changing.

Relative to IQ, blacks tend to be better at this kind of subjective, inter-personal improvisation than whites or Asians.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on November 20, 2008 2:04 AM



Chris,

Thanks for the link. I skimmed through gc's comments, and I must say that I'm familiar with most of his arguments from elsewhere. Much of what he is writing has at least some truth to it, although he is overdramatizing consistently. I also vehemently disagree with many of the PC dogmas and attitudes he is attacking; I've attacked them fiercely myself on many occasions.

However, none of the arguments he is presenting justifies the conclusions that g is a scientifically valid concept, that its proponents have an accurate idea of how human mind works, or that differences across groups in average mental abilities are ultimately genetic in origin. It is obvious that certain human populations are presently in a state of horrible barbarism and ignorance, even though this is un-PC to point out, and it's reasonable to argue that mass immigration from such places to rich countries could bring some obvious problems, even though that's even more un-PC. But once you start with unfounded speculations and pseudo-scientific arguments that the savage state of these people is due to their genetic inferiority and not an accident of history, you step into nonsense territory.

Germanic barbarians that lived north of the Roman Empire 2,000 years ago were quite savage compared to the Romans. They had always been primitive, superstitious, barbaric, and illiterate, and they wrecked the Roman civilization once they started pouring in. Still, nobody would argue that they were genetically inferior to the Romans, considering what their descendants have accomplished since. If the barbarians of those ages at whom civilized Romans scoffed produced a civilization even greater than Romans once their cultural and economic circumstances changed, what makes you think the same couldn't also be true of the barbarians of today?

Besides, all this race and IQ business is politically disastrous for the Right. Once you start endorsing theories of white supremacy -- or, as the g-inspired "race realists" do, white/Asian supremacy -- you've automatically made anyone belonging to the supposedly inferior groups your mortal enemy determined to fight till death against you, and most other people will also reflexively consider you an evil racist. Using such arguments to attack the prevailing PC delusions is a politically suicidal tactic. I can imagine a less ideologically deluded world -- however distant given the present situation -- where members of the minority underclass would listen to the anti-PC message of someone like Thomas Sowell and get their act together. But how are they supposed to react to the message of "race realists"?

Posted by: Vladimir on November 20, 2008 8:40 AM



We're likely to have germline engineering tech within the next few decades, and that presents at least one possible positive response to the message of the "race realists." Why wait over a millennium for evolution to do what can be done in less than a century, without any coercion, with the help of such technology? (Perhaps more to the point, can we afford to wait? For instance, while we're sitting back trying to be self-righteous about Africa, China's basically starting to colonize the place.)

You can, of course, take the position that there isn't a millennium's worth of work for evolution to do... but I sure wouldn't bet that way, given how adopted children of different races perform in the US, and the lack of anything even faintly resembling an African Singapore or Taiwan.

Posted by: Chris on November 20, 2008 9:57 AM



T Raw,

Gosh, hurt those tender black feelings with a bit of truth?

You don't read too good, do ya? You write a dumb post about black intellectual acumen in coming up with con games and slang, and act as if it somehow is a significant accomplishment. Its not. Slang is easy to create. Con games aren't that difficult either.

The point was that languages are much harder to create than slang. Cars are much harder to produce than con games. "Street intellect" is nothing more than a way to get something for nothing, and that's about it.

I'm not defensive or bitter about anything, I just can't stand hearing nonsense. As far as what I do, you have no idea what contributions I make to others, so pipe down. Its an anonymous blog. For what its worth, I'm an engineer and I create things all the time. So yes it is me and many thousands of others who are creating the things around you.

As far as my comments being somehow racist, what kind of racism is it that stereotypes street culture as a kind of black achievement? Quite an insult to decent blacks and black culture in general.

Here's the deal. You want to see people in terms of a collective group, then you've got to take the good with the bad. Everybody is then responsible for the positive and negative stuff. If you want to deal with people as individuals (my choice), then you put ALL of that away. I don't have any need to justify collective behavior of any group I can be associated with, and neither do you. Then again, I can't benefit from that either, and neither can you.

But you don't want that. So you can deal with the intellectual gaps between blacks and whites as a reality of life. That is a one-way street, buddy, and we all know which direction it goes.

I also hate arguing with people who constantly change the topic (for example, from creating to speaking languages). You might want to deal with that. It doesn't impress anybody.

Posted by: BIOH on November 20, 2008 1:41 PM



As long as there is a lot of overlap between the intelligence of races, the average differences make no difference at all for individualists. Only collectivists, people who treat others as group-members and not as individuals, have any real reason to care about this.

Posted by: Lester Hunt on November 20, 2008 3:08 PM



Chris:

For instance, while we're sitting back trying to be self-righteous about Africa, China's basically starting to colonize the place.) [...] You can, of course, take the position that there isn't a millennium's worth of work for evolution to do... but I sure wouldn't bet that way, given how adopted children of different races perform in the US, and the lack of anything even faintly resembling an African Singapore or Taiwan.

I heartily agree that the post-colonial Western attempts to be self-righteous about Africa have resulted in horrendously disastrous policies that have worsened the situation thousandfold and doomed whole generations of Africans to poverty and hopelessness. I could go on for days lamenting about the deluded hypocrisy of Westerners who pat each other on the back, congratulating one another on what great humanitarians they are, while implementing feel-good policies that effectively kill any chance for African countries to get out of the present mess, and at the same time savagely character-assassinating anyone who dares to question their sainthood. But I also think that having this in mind, one doesn't need any other explanations for the mess Africa is in except historical, political, and economic ones.

There are plenty of amazingly smart and motivated Africans -- I have in mind people like e.g. this guy -- whose entrepreneurial skills would be enough to pull their countries out of trouble if they weren't regularly suppressed and pillaged by local thugs that thrive thanks to the Western feel-good policies. Don't forget that whatever it is that IQ tests actually measure, when you take into account the Flynn effect, even the current IQ gap isn't any larger than the gap between today's Westerners and their ancestors from a couple generations back, when the Western world was already quite civilized and prosperous.

You are right that we don't see anything like an African Singapore or Taiwan, but let's return to the analogy from my above post. 2,000 years ago, many Romans probably thought, "Everyone except us is an inferior barbarian, that goes without saying -- just look how we crushed their whole empires with a handful of mediocre legions wherever we went -- but at least some of them, like Greeks, Hebrews, or Egyptians, have built some nice cities and monuments and produced some really smart people. But those savages living north of the Limes Germanicus? Where is their Athens, Jerusalem, or Luxor? Have they ever produced a single man of letters? They haven't progressed a single bit in the whole history ab Urbe condita! By Jove, they must be total subhumans, forever suitable only for savagery or drudgery under Roman masters!" I don't think analogous conclusions are any more warranted nowadays than they were back then.

Posted by: Vladimir on November 20, 2008 4:02 PM



BIOH -- It may be a fine line between discussing dicey subjects in a vivid way and doing actual racial taunting, but you're getting a little too close to it. Your point of view, brains, and vehemence are enjoyed and appreciated, but put 'em out there with a little more civility.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on November 20, 2008 4:20 PM



Lester Hunt:

As long as there is a lot of overlap between the intelligence of races, the average differences make no difference at all for individualists. Only collectivists, people who treat others as group-members and not as individuals, have any real reason to care about this.

Unfortunately, treating others as group members is a fundamental part of human society, and it won't go away no matter how rational and individualist people become -- on the contrary.

The problem is that if statistical group differences exist and individual qualities aren't immediately apparent (i.e. it takes significant time and effort to assess them accurately), then regardless of the overlap, statistical discrimination based on these differences is a rational strategy. We all rationally apply countless stereotypes on this basis in everyday life. To take a relatively uncontroversial example, you'll normally assume that a man is physically stronger than a woman and that a 30-year-old is healthier than a 60-year-old if you know nothing else about them, even though there is lots of overlap between these groups. Similarly, for a business hiring a bunch of relatively anonymous applicants, it may be rational to rely on statistical discrimination to ensure the desired level of average ability than to meticulously test the individual abilities of each applicant.

If you google for "statistical discrimination", you can find lots of interesting literature on this topic.

Posted by: Vladimir on November 20, 2008 4:56 PM



Gosh, hurt those tender black feelings with a bit of truth?

You didn't hurt my "tender black feelings," (Good Lord you must have grown up a socially inept nerd with stupid taunts like that) you just came off as a childish moron. If anyone seems to have gotten their feelings hurt, it's you because you somehow felt I wasn't complimentary enough to whites in my post or somehow tried to downplay their achievements and proceeded to fly off the handle about it like a bitch.

The point was that languages are much harder to create than slang.

So blacks have never created languages, dolt? What about the hundreds of tongues spoken in Africa? Did white people create all of those? Reread what you just wrote and absorb the full stupidity of it. You just implied that blacks have never created languages. And you seriously have the nerve to call ANYONE else dumb?

I'm not defensive or bitter about anything,

Yeah right. Sure. You're not defensive or bitter at all.

I just can't stand hearing nonsense.

Like using car building as an example of cunning? Or blacks unable to invent languages? Yeah, you sure don't like hearing nonsense all right, you're too busy typing it.

For what its worth, I'm an engineer and I create things all the time. So yes it is me and many thousands of others who are creating the things around you.

But you didn't create those great cultural achievements of the past you drone on about. Take pride in what you do now, fine, but don't say ridiculous things about how blacks need to "thank whites" and by implication, you, for something you had as little to do with as today's blacks.

Here's the deal. You want to see people in terms of a collective group, then you've got to take the good with the bad. Everybody is then responsible for the positive and negative stuff.

I take black people to task for things all the time. No need to lecture me about taking the good with the bad.

If you want to deal with people as individuals (my choice), then you put ALL of that away.

You are even more deluded about yourself than I thought if you can write the things you write yet believe you're immune from generalizing.

As far as my comments being somehow racist, what kind of racism is it that stereotypes street culture as a kind of black achievement? Quite an insult to decent blacks and black culture in general.

I never claimed it was an "achievement" so far as being a good thing worthy of praising. Funneling too much of their energy into street culture instead of legitimate intellectual endeavors is something that keeps poor blacks back and hurts them. But the fact remains, the hustler culture is a big celebrated part of black life, for better or worse, and I was just giving examples of how and why this may be so.

Posted by: T. AKA Ricky Raw on November 20, 2008 5:43 PM



T Raw,

Hey asshole, I'll give you a break. Since you don't know how to really debate, given that low IQ, I'll let your original post stand. Blacks clearly are superior at inventing street ripoffs, producing nothing. They're also good at isolating themslves from the rest of the population with worthless slang that changes every generation, building nothing.

What great achievements. I'm glad you pointed these great achievements out to the rest of us so they wouldn't be overlooked. What a worthwhile contribution!

Any anti-black racist couldn't do better. You just did it first. That's because you know black people best. You're so smart!

Keep up the good work and let us know about further black achievements in crime and dysfunctional behavior. It's good for a laugh or two.

Meanwhile, the rest of non-black population will have to make do with producing real stuff and talking right because we lack intelligence.

Bye!

Posted by: BIOH on November 20, 2008 8:25 PM



Damn BIOH, you're STILL screeching after that spanking? :D Man up and just quit while your behind. I'm already done with you and moved on. Your logic is too poor and your tone is too bitchy, and you rebut points your opponent never even made, which is why you come off like a moron. Hopefully you can resolve whatever bitterness it is in you that's stunting your development and emerge on the other side as an actual man.

Posted by: T. AKA Ricky raw on November 20, 2008 9:58 PM






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