Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Inappropriately Excluded


by Michael W. Ferguson
The Polymath Demonstration  Issue

The probability of entering and remaining in an intellectually elite profession such as Physician, Judge, Professor, Scientist, Corporate Executive, etc. increases with IQ to about 133.  It then falls about 1/3 by 140.  By 150 IQ the probability has fallen by 97%!  In other words, a significant percentage of people with IQs over 140 are being systematically and, most likely inappropriately, excluded from the population that addresses the biggest problems of our time or who are responsible for assuring the efficient operation of social, scientific, political and economic institutions.  This benefits neither the excluded group nor society in general. For society, it is a horrendous waste of a very valuable resource.  For the high IQ person it is a personal tragedy, commonly resulting in unrealized social, educational and productive potential.

The very limited research that has been done on this phenomenon has focused on possible flaws in high IQ people that might explain the exclusion.  In order to be explanatory, the flaw would need to increase with IQ.  However, the evidence that exists suggests that it is not the result of of a compensatory flow, but rather the result of inappropriate educational and productive environments within which the high IQ person must strive to succeed. Consequently, remediation should focus on creating more appropriate environments.

To this end, The Polymathic Institute promotes polymathic research, education, careers and lifestyles.  Polymathica is a global community of refinemmemt and erudition.  The Institute membership will be comprised primarily of the inappropriately excluded population with an estimated ultimate membership potential of approximately one hundred thousand people.  Polymathica will have a larger population, perhaps as many as twelve to fifteen million.  It represents a proper social and career milieu for themselves, essentially the top 5% in intellectual sophistication, and for Institute members.

Neither Polymathica nor the Polymathic Institute are high IQ societies and no submission of IQ results is required.  Polymathicans and Institute Members generally have high IQs, however the organizational focus is on achievement, not potential.  We are interested in what you have done, what you are doing and what you are doing; we are not interested in what you could do, but won't.

The Exclusion
In the popular culture, IQ has become a point of contention.  Many people credulously accept that the eminent have very high IQs and that people of ordinary accomplishment have ordinary IQs.  For example, it was widely reported that Garry Kasparov has an IQ of 190.  In truth, his IQ is verified to be 135. Others, often based on Steven J. Gould's book, 'The Mismeasure of Man' subscribe to the assertion that IQ is a useless oversimplification that primarily measures how well a person takes IQ tests.

The science does not support either assertion.  A  very large body of scientific evidence shows that IQ tests measure a polygenetic trait, g, that exhibits moderate phenotypic variation.  It is directly correlated, over most of its range, with positive life outcomes and inversely correlated with negative ones.  It has also been shown to accurately measure what people mean when they use the words 'intelligent' or 'smart'.

However, because of the moderate r values of its correlates, IQ is primarily of value in understanding the characteristics and interactions of large populations.  Save as a diagnostic tool for very high IQ individuals, it is not sufficiently predictive to be reliably used on an individual case basis.  Furthermore, in adulthood, actual life outcomes are generally known and, consequently, a predictive tool is of limited value.

When IQ tests first came out, the various intellectual elites were willing, even eager, to take them.  The results, however, while good, were not great, so today they generally are not so willing to have themselves tested.  Still, while most of the evidence is old, the results are still very likely to be valid. The only significant recent work is that of Robert Hauser and it suggests that, if anything, the mean IQ of the intellectually elite professions has fallen.  That, however, is almost surely an artifact of the methodology.

Over an extensive range of studies and with remarkable consistency, from Physicians to Professors to CEOs, the mean IQ of intellectually elite professions is about 125 and the standard deviationn is about 6.5.  For example, Gibson and Light found that 148 members of the Cambridge University faculty had a mean IQ of 126 with a standard deviation of 6.3.  The highest score was 139.  J.D. Matarazzo and S.G. Goldstein found that the mean IQ of 80 medical students was 125 with a standard deviation of about 6.7.  There was one outlier at 149, but the next highest score was 138.  This means that 95% of people in intellectually elite professions have IQs between 112 and 138   99.98% have IQs between 99 and 151.

By dividing the distribution function of the elite professions' IQ by that of the general population, we can calculate the relative probability that a person of any given IQ will enter and remain in an intellectually elite profession.  We find that the probability increases to about 133 and then begins to fall.  By 140 it has fallen by about 1/3 and by 150 it has fallen by about 97%.  In other words, for some reason, the 140s are really tough on one's prospects for joining an intellectually elite profession.  It seems that people with IQs over 140 are being systematically, and likely inappropriately, excluded.  With the conservative assumption that, absent the exclusionary processes, IQs above 133 neither help nor hinder the achievement of elite profession membership, the excluded population is distributed as shown above.  If we assume that the positive correlation seen below 133 IQ continues above 133, the excluded population would be larger and the exclusion more complete.

Grady Towers, in his article, 'The Empty Promise' concludes that IQs over 140 add nothing to the academic or career performance of the individual.  However, the result herein described is a stronger statement in that it actually appears to support an inverse correlation.  It is not an entirely new revelation.  Robert Sternberg and others have mentioned an inverse correlation by observing the absence of very high IQ individuals in intellectual settings.  However, the observation has not led to any deep investigation.  Typically, it is mentioned with an implication that very high IQ people routinely possess some compensating negative trait that eliminates their intellectual advantage.  An example is the assertion that very high IQ people lack 'common sense'. Dressed up, this is Sternberg's hypothesis.  Another explanation is that decreasing 'emotional intelligence' nullifies the advantage of higher IQ. Little research has actually been done on the exclusion and what little that has does not support either of these explanations.  Linda Gottfredson has argued energentically against the Sternberg model.

While increasing IQ, especially over 140, is inversely correlated with elite membership, 140-150 IQ is also characteristic of eminence (Nobelists, Fields Medalists, etc.).  While there are a number of anecdotal and inferential citations, the most definitive study was that of Dr. Anne Roe (1952) in which she gave 64 of America's (U.S. born) most eminent scientists an IQ test that ETS had created for that purpose.  As best as can be determined (there were methodological problems) the test rendered a 15 point ratio IQ and the average IQ of the group was 152.  This corresponds to a modern deviation IQ of 144 which agrees with the anecdotal and inferential evidence.

                         Low.      Median  High
Verbal              121            166       177
Spatial              123            137      164
Math                128            154   194
Averages          124           152       178

What this suggests is that while an IQ over 140 will decrease the probability of entrance into an elite profession, if the impediment can be overcome, performance within the elite is likely to be superior. Of the 64, the highest D15IQ was 158, which is close to the statistically expected highest IQ of any scientist.  In other words, by 160 D15IQ, the exclusion is nearly complete and by this study of the most eminent, the statistical prediction is corroborated.  However, in total, this higher IQ characteristic of eminence strongly supports the conclusion that the exclusion is inappropriate and if these extremely high IQ individuals were allowed to work on the hardest problems, the result would be eminence.

As will be discussed later, Mathematics and Theoretical Physics contain many problems that are difficult to solve but relatively easy to verify.  As such, they may be exceptions to this exclusion.  The reason that the Roe study doesn't reflect this is because the Physicists and Mathematicians were not given the math portion which we can assume lowered their average score.

So, if your IQ is 140 something, the above should serve as a warning that you may be facing related career challenges.  If your IQ is over 150, it is a clarion call; without direct intervention, your career prospects are very poor.  If you are the parent of a child with a D15IQ over 150, immediate and dramatic action is required.  At present, realistic options for individual remediation are severely limited.

To provide perspective for readers, one in 261 people have IQs over 140 and one in 2,331 have IQs over 150.  While the high IQ exclusion does not directly affect a large percentage of the population, the people it does affect, it affects profoundly.  Because of the large population of western civiliztion, the absolute number in this group is not small.  There are approximately 6.5 million people with an IQ over 140 and 729,000 people with an IQ over 150.

Why is This Happening?
Because of the dearth of objective evidence, the cause of the exclusion cannot be determined directly.  Garth Zietsman has said, referring to people with D15IQs over 152, 'A common experience with people in this category or higher is that they are not wanted - the masses (including the professional classes) find them an affront of some sort.'  While true, it is more likely a symptom than a cause of the exclusion.  We need to understand why they are an affront.

From a theoretical standpoint, democratic meritocracies should evolve five IQ defined 'castes', The Leaders, The Advisors, The Followers, The Clueless and The Excluded. These castes are natural in that they are the result of how people of different intellectual abilities relate to one another.  This is based on research done by Leta Hollingworth in the 1930's and the more recent work of D.K. Simonton.

Before we begin, we need to digress for a moment into a discussion of deviation and ratio IQs. Because few people understand the difference, there has been significant confusion over the meaning of various IQ scores.  IQ was originally designed for children and was defined as ((mental age)/(chronological age))X100.  In other words, an eight year old with a 150 IQ scored about the same as the average twelve year old.

It was found very quickly that there were far more very high IQ children than what the standard, Gaussian distribution predicts.  So, today, IQ tests have their raw scores adjusted to force the results to fit a standard bell curve distribution and are referred to as deviation IQs. While this practice has benefits, it tends to depress the IQs of the very highest scorers and, thereby, understate the intellectual distance between them and more normal IQs.  For example, a person with a 170 IQ today would have a 200 IQ in the ratio IQ era.

Leta Hollingworth studied profoundly gifted children.  She reported them as having IQs of 180+, which was a R16 score.  As such, on today's tests this equates to 159+.  Her conclusion was that when IQ differences are greater than 30 points, leader/follower relationships will break down or will not form.  It establishes an absolute limit to the intellectual gulf between leader and followers.  She also concluded that there was an D15IQ 'sweet spot' of best outcomes from 123 to 144.

We have no reason to conclude that this upper limit on IQ differences changes in adulthood and, consequently, an elite with a mean R16IQ of 128 will have no leaders with R16IQs over 158 (149 D15IQ).  This is consistent with the conclusion that there are no appropriate roles for >150 D15IQs and approximately corroborates Hollingworth's 'sweet spot'.

Much more recently, D.K. Simonton found that persuasiveness is at its maximum when the IQ differential between speaker and audience is about 20 points.  While he has not studied this effect among those with very high IQs, it is assumed that it follows ratio IQs at the high end.  This has been corroborated with empirical studies of manager and leader success, which peaks between a 1.0 and 1.2 standard deviation differential.

We are going to use ratio IQs to perform our calculations, as they are probably a more accurate measure of intellectual distance at the high end.  However, for clarity, we will restate our answers to the modern standard of 15 point deviation IQs.

We already know that elites have an average IQ of about 125 (R16 128) which implies that the audience that is to be convinced by the elites has a mean R16IQ of 108 (D15IQ is about the same under 120 IQ).  People with R16IQs below 98, after Hollingworth, are not effective followers and in a modern meritocracy are essentially disenfranchised and in the public discourse, essentially 'The Clueless'.  It means that the 'The Followers' in the public discourse have a R16IQ mode of 108 R16IQ and 'The Leaders' have a R16IQ mode of 128 (125 D15IQ).  These calculations provide us with a theoretical understanding of why the intellectually elite professions so consistently have mean D15IQs of 125.

In free markets people choose to whom they listen.  In other words, in audiences dominated by high school graduates, who average around 105 IQ, the successful leaders will have an average IQ of 105+20=125.  Speakers with R16IQs over 105+30=135 (D15IQ130) will be cancelled from radio, fired from TV and print or not elected because they confuse rather than enlighten their audience.  A college educated audience (115 IQ) will be most convinced by a R16IQ of 115+20=135 and confused by a 115+30=145 R16IQ (140 D15IQ).

Effective leaders recognize that they need the counsel of those smarter than themselves.  They will be most convinced by advisors with R16IQs of 128+20=148 (D15IQ 139).  We also see that the compressed standard deviation is predicted as a result of persuasive needs of the overall organizational structure.  A Leader needs to be persuasive within the community of Leaders which limits the R16IQ to 128+20=148 which is the same as the mode for Advisors.  However, the 148 R16IQ Leader becomes incomprehensible to most Followers, which limits their effectiveness and encourages them to become an Advisor. Because Leaders become ineffective above an R16IQ of 148, Advisors won't find clients if their R16IQ is over 148+20=168=155 D15IQ.

So we see that these parameters of maximum persuasiveness of 20 R16 points and maximum leader/follower differential of 30 R16 points, create a natural trifurcation of enfranchised people into 'The Advisors' (128-168 R16IQ; 125-155 D15IQ), Leaders (115-141 R16IQ; 112-138 D15IQ) and Followers (98-128 R16IQ; 98-125 D15IQ)  'The Clueless' with D15 IQs below 98 are effectively lost to the process.  They cannot really understand the public discourse and will often not follow discussions in productive environments.

People with D15IQs over 150 are effectively 'The Excluded', routinely finding their thoughts to be unconvincing in the public discourse and in productive environments.  If placed in a leadership position, they will not succeed.

So, while Sternberg et alia search for personal flaws to explain professional and social failings for people with D15IQs>150, the simple fact is that it is an artifact of a culture that fails to provide them with audience or followers.  They are not a natural fit as advisors because the leaders are not persuaded and often won't even understand the advice.

Inappropriate Educational Options
The exclusion really begins in primary school with the failure of the educational process to provide an appropriate learning environment.  The grading process, which should be a reliable assessment of knowledge learned and skills acquired, becomes nothing more than a measure of the child's willingness to bend to the will of the teachers' demand that he or she acquiesce to a profoundly inappropriate curriculum and learning process.

Leta Hollingworth noted that, if mainstreamed, children with R16IQs over 150 (D15IQ 141) check out and do not excel.  Miraca Gross has done a long-term longitudinal study of 60, 160+ D15IQ Australian children. 17 of the children were radically accelerated, 10 were accelerated one or two years and the remaining 33 were mainstreamed.  The results were astonishing with every radically accelerated student reported as educationally and professionally successful and emotionally and socially satisfied.  The group that was not accelerated she characterizes as follows: 'With few exceptions, they have very jaded views of their education. Two dropped out of high school and a number have dropped out of university. Several more have had ongoing difficulties at university, not because of a lack of ability but because they have found it difficult to commit to undergraduate study that is less than stimulating'. These children have IQs similar to Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, etc., so the loss from unrealized potential is enormous.

Gross also did a wonderful comparative case study of a 133 D15IQ girl who had great educational success and a 169 D15IQ boy who was completely destroyed by an uncaring school system.  It provides some enlightening examples of precisely how the educational system thwarts children in the 140+ D15IQ range.

The problem stems from the misconception among educators that the intellectual gulf between moderately and highly gifted children is not that great.  In fact, depending upon the conceptual content, Professor Gross suggests that the exceptionally gifted children and above may learn 4-5 times faster than the midrange students.  Therefore, a reasonable, in fact conservative, expectation of educational progress is the ratio of the highly gifted student's ratio IQ and the ratio IQ for which the curriculum is normed.

So, a 150 D15IQ child would be expected to progress through a K-12 public school curriculum geared to the 100 IQ student in 12/1.6=7.5 years.  They would graduate from high school at 13. Some children may be physically and emotionally prepared for full time school a year early and would finish high school at 12. When we hear about a child who finishes high school at 12 or 13, we think of a 'one in a million' prodigy and we suspect that the child was pushed to his or her detriment.  Yet, with an enabling educational environment, it is actually a reasonable expectation for about one in 200 children.  The true 'one in a million' child is doing college level learning at 7 or 8.

These children can be expected to complete their six years of college, which is geared to a 120 IQ, in about 6/(160/120)=4.5 years.  So, we would expect the 150 D15IQ person to receive their first advanced degree at age 17 or 18 if the educational system didn't actively retard them.  This will provide them with another five or six years of education, during which they can acquire another four advanced degrees or equivalent.

It is often stated that gifted children become bored in mainstream classes.  However, that is too passive a description.  Often they are frustrated and even angered by the slow pace.  Garth Zietsman states that people with IQs over 124 'don't require assistance to learn. They can find the information and master the methods themselves'. It is probably the case that for most 140+ D15IQ people, autodidactic or self paced learning is preferred.  It is also likely that they prefer the polymathic 'question first' approach to learning, as well.

Because of all the above, many, perhaps most, 150+ D15IQ children reach college age with a bad grade transcript and even worse attitude.  Even if they manage to perform near their potential in their educational careers, it will likely not matter since adult society is not structured for them, anyway.

Social Isolation
What applies to productive environments also applies to social environments and even personal relationships.  Theoretically, after Hollingworth, a person's social relationships should be limited to people with R16IQs within 30 points of their own.  For the 100 IQ person, this will include about 94% of the population and consequently it is not an issue.  However, for the 150 R16IQ (140 D15IQ), social relationships are limited to 120-180 R16IQ people which represents just a little over 10% of the population.  The 165 R16IQ (150D15IQ) person will be limited to people with 135+ R16IQs (130 D15IQ).  This comprises just 2% of the population.   By 182 R16IQ (160 D15IQ) the problem becomes critical with social relationships limited to those with R16IQs over 152 (142 D15IQ) which comprises just 0.25% of the population.

The +/- 30 R16IQ range of Leta Hollingworth is also a good estimated limit on lasting social relationships.  However, they are not equal relationships but rather will necessarily have a strong leader/follower quality to them.  Also, the degree of mutual understanding will almost surely be insuffient to reach and sustain emotional intimacy.  Relationships based upon approximate intellectual parity probably cannot have more than 0.75 standard deviation (~12 points).  For the 140 D15IQ person, the limit for intellectual parity relationships is about 128, or about 2.5% of the population.  For the Hollingsworth children, 180 R16IQ (159 D15IQ), the limit for an intellectual parity relationship is a hopeless 168+ R16IQ or 152+ D15IQ.  This is only 0.0263% of the population.

Members of high IQ societies, especially those that require D15IQs above 145, often comment that around this IQ, qualitatively different thinking emerges.  By this they mean that the 145+ D15IQ person doesn't just do the same things, intellectually, as a lower IQ person, just faster and more accurately, but actually engages in fundamentally different intellectual processes.  David Wechsler, D. K. Simonton, et alia, have observed the same thing.

Since intimate social relationships are predicated upon mutual understanding, this draws a kind of 'line in the sand' at 140-150 D15IQ that appears to separate humans into two distinct groups.  This may truncate the 30 point limit for those between 150 and 160 D15IQ people. Even when 150+ D15IQ people learn to function in the mainstream society, they will always be considered, and will feel, in some way 'different'.  Grady Towers explored this in depth in his article, 'The Outsiders'.  This is of mild interest to the group within which the 150+ D15IQ person is embedded but it is moderately to profoundly important to the high IQ individual who will feel an often profound sense of isolation.

It has often been observed that 150+ D15IQ people are loners.  Also, Loius Termann found that children at this IQ level were emotionally maladjusted in about 40% of the cases.  However from the above one cannot help but wonder if this results from the children being constantly thrust into 'no-win' social situations and never given the opportunity to hone their social skills among their intellectual peers.

Assortative mating, in humans includes a strong tendency to choose a spouse who is in the same IQ range.  At a maximum, IQ difference cannot exceed Hollingworth's 30 points and preferentially should be within Simonton's 20 points.  For the 100 IQ person 80-120 IQ contains about 80% of the population and not much thought about intelligence is neccesary when choosing a mate.  However, the 150 D15IQ percent will find that less than 0.4% of prospective mates are in the proper intellectual range.  Because of this, IQ becomes a significant limitation on mate selection.

These factors probably explain the positive correlation between higher IQ and emotional maladjustment found by Terman, et alia.  It is not an inherent trait of high intelligence but rather a consequence of extreme social isolation.

Conclusion
As D15IQ increases above 140, people become progressively more excluded from educational, productive and social opportunities until by 160 D15IQ the exclusion is nearly complete.

Individuals with D15IQs of more than 160 are rare, comprising just 0.0032% of the population. They possess at least one trait in common with many of the greatest minds in history.  Yet only a vanishingly small percentage will find a proper environment within which they may thrive intellectually, socially and productively.

This is harmful for the individuals but it is also an unfortunate circumstance for society as well. What if intellectual giants like Einstein, da Vinci, J.S. Mill, etc. were ten times more common? Almost certainly progress would be much greater.  It is because of this that the exclusion should be of significant concern to everyone.

The Polymathic Institute and Polymathica
Many people with D15IQs between 140 and 150 and nearly all people with IQs over 150 face enormous challenges and require new social and productive environments if they are to reach their potential.  The Polymathic Institute promotes polymathic research, education, careers and lifestyles

Polymathica is targeted at the upper 5% of the population in intellectual sophistication.  This is approximately equivalent to D15IQs above 125.  Leaders will, characteristically, have R16IQs over 148 (D15IQ 147) and up to 178 R16IQ (166 D15IQ).  Advisors will have D15IQs of 161+.

Clearly, few of the people of working age with D15IQs over 150 have appropriate outlets.  The only probable exceptions are Mathematics and Theoretical Physics where the range of comprehensibility is probably closer to 60 R16IQ points than to the 30 R16IQ point Hollingsworth limit.  However, the careers are only appropriate, with regard to interest and disposition, for a small percentage of the 150+ D15IQ population.  The vast majority have no appropriate career options.

Over time, The Polymathic Institute may attract as much as 25% of those with a 150+ D15IQ. If they comprise about 1% of Polymathica, Polymathica will reach about 12 million in membership. That is about 15% of the top 5% and consistent with current evidence.

In other words, we can, if we succeed, enable a significant portion of those currently inapropriately excluded from participating in the hardest problems and the most intellectually demanding projects.  Those who are interested in participating in either Polymathica or The Polymathic Institute should subscribe to the Institute's newsletter, The Polymath.  To do so, just provide an e-mail address, name (optional) and referral code.  If you were not referred, enter 999999.

Bibliography
A Nation Deceived How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students
Edited by Nicholas Colangelo, Susan G. Assouline and Miraca U. M. Gross
https://www.accelerationinstitute.org/Nation_Deceived/ND_v2.pdf:

Understanding and Being Understood The Impact of Intelligence and Dispositional Valuations on Social Relationships
Jacobus J. A. Denissen,
http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/dissertationen/denissen-jacobus-josephus-adrianus-2005-07-08/PDF/Denissen.pdf

Intelligence Among University Students
Gibson, J., and P. Light
Nature 213: 441–443.

Exceptionally Gifted Children
Miraca UM Gross
http://www.amazon.com/Exceptionally-Gifted-Children-Miraca-Gross/dp/0415314917

Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted Students:
An Underserved Population
Miraca UM Gross
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/underserved.htm

Exceptionally Gifted Children:  Long-Term Outcomes of Academic Acceleration and Nonacceleration
Miraca U. M. Gross
http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ746290.pdf

The intellectual caliber of medical students
J.D. Matarazzo, S.G. Goldstein
Journal of Medical Education, Volume 47, Issue 2, 1972, pp. 102–111

Meritocracy, cognitive ability, and the sources of occupational success
Robert M. Hauser
https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cde/cdewp/98-07.pdf

Children Above 180 IQ Standford-Binet
Leta Stetter Hollingsworth
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/47403

The Making of a Scientist
Roe, Anne
http://www.amazon.com/The-Making-Scientist-Anne-Roe/dp/0837171512

Intelligence and personal influence in groups: Four nonlinear models.
Simonton, D. K. (1985).
Psychological Review, 92, 532-547.

The Outsiders
Towers, Grady
http://prometheussociety.org/cms/articles/the-outsiders

The Empty Promise
Towers, Grady
Sadly, currently not available

76 comments:

  1. I don't see you in Pometheus.

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  2. Marvelous Article. I never figured out my plight until I was in college in the early 1960s. Had multiple IQ tests from age 7 to 21 and was 165+ (one was an entirely visual one given to Naval pilot wannabes where I scored 116/116 and my GREs 800, 800 and 960/970 chemistry). Yes I got into the Ivy League and reached the level of Post-Doc. Went to one Mensa meeting while in college but couldn't relate to the people who seemed to be name dropping, signaling and bragging. I was lucky in life as I found a way to avoid employment in a bureaucratic setting soon after finishing my studies except for one corporate job by being self employed and independent. I was lucky in finding a mate as my wife was a grad student (hard science like me) when I met her who got her Ph.D. in three years. Intelligence is definitely inherited as our son has a Ph.D. in engineering and is a rocket scientist/mathematician. I could tell you stories of how you are so right but also of how the really, really smart do succeed in spite of the discrimination.

    Dan Kurt

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    1. Dan,
      I'm 157 sd15 and that was my impression of Mensa also. Far too many people who barely qualified and too Neurotypical for my liking!

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    2. I have a very high Spatial/Abstract Reasoning ability too. I took the Ravens Progressive Matrixes test at 17 yo and completed it in 2/3 of the time allotted, and got one question wrong out of about 200. The examiner asked me if I knew which question I had wrong, and I did, as it was the only one I guessed.

      Delete
    3. The discrimination goes both ways too, I was shopped to 3 Mensa groups as a child but they took self absorbed pomposity to creepy levels. I'm a 150+, never got into accelerated programs of any merit so instead I ended up sampling a few dozen professions, get bored and move on. I really don't recommend this by the way.

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    4. I reregistered at Mensa when I realized they had meetings nearby where I live. It's nice to meet interesting people. While not having a very high IQ, I sometimes wondered about how some of the people actually passed the test.

      I'm not sure I'd qualify for a more selective IQ society. I guess my IQ must be somewhere between 130 and 140 (I get quite different results depending on the test I do, even when doing the 2 Mensa tests). But even if I would, I'm not sure I could find society like Mensa, active worldwide with over 130k people. It seems that most of not all of the other high IQ societies are purely virtual.

      So at the end of the day, Mensa is the best things I found so far. While not everyone there is a "genius", while there are certainly people bragging about their IQ, the odds of finding someone very smart and interesting at a Mensa meeting are much higher than elsewhere. For example: the guy sitting in font of me at the last meeting has an IQ of 151. Despite the fact that I'm roughly 3 times his age, we could have a conversation.

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  3. This sounds right. We don't put ultra-high-IQ people in leadership positions because we can't understand anything they say. Like the scene in "Idiocracy" where the 100-IQ protagonist tries to explain to a 40-IQ audience that plants need water. (He finally convinces them by telling them he talks to plants).

    Linus Torvalds is not handicapped by his 160 IQ because he doesn’t have to explain anything to anyone. His authority over the Linux kernel is absolute, and when he decides something must be done, he does it himself.

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    Replies
    1. I had that starting sophomore year of HS, it takes a conscious effort to weed out vocabulary and think of things in layman's terms, it is doable though. The harder part is if things involve multiple concepts that aren't understood, major time sink getting everyone up to speed.

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  4. "The Empty Promise" is available here. It's an excellent article.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20060206030830/http://www.eskimo.com/~miyaguch/grady/emptypromise.html

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    1. Good man, I especially liked the point about how strong IQ becomes less relevant if you select those that already have high IQs. Sort of how height becomes less relevant for basketball if you factor in people who are already good at it.

      That said the top article resonated with me emotionally.

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  5. I was president of Prometheus when Grady wrote "The Outsiders," and I was quite fond of him. (He came to a sad end, BTW.) There was a lot of discussion in the society at the time whether this phenomenon was in fact real, or whether we simply noticed and felt the pain more keenly when a high-IQ person did not seem to get life together, and therefore remembered it. Long after Grady was gone, I did a partial takedown of his main example, Billy Sidis. Those interested can easily find my site and enter Sidis in the search box.

    I don't think the evidence of deteriorating life-outcomes above IQ140 is that good, actually. It gave me great comfort to believe that in the 1980's, as it became clearer that no one was going to discover me and move me to elevated position, but I'm not sure it's true.

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    1. Thanks for you comment. This article explores a specific mathematical relationship between two distribution functions. It is no more amenable to refutation than the assertion that 12×15=180. The distribution function of the total population is 100 mean and 15 SD by definition.

      If one were to criticize the conclusion, one should doubt the premise that the intellectual elites' distribution function is Gaussian with a 126 mean and 6.5 SD. While the preponderance of evidence supports the premise, there is contradictory evidence. Robert Hauser generally found lower means and higher standard deviations. The exclusion still exists but it is less pronounced.

      'The Empty Promise' is the proper Grady Towers article to compare and I actually started thinking about this after reading it. I hope you subscribe to The Polymath.

      Delete
    2. 135 as a child, in 73 150+ for air force in 85 and 150 for ovr 2008 no advanced schooling,general studies. broken family cant hold a job and un able to speak to most.

      Delete
    3. 135 as a child, in 73 150+ for air force in 85 and 150 for ovr 2008 no advanced schooling,general studies. broken family cant hold a job and un able to speak to most.

      Delete
    4. Heh, about 5 years behind you on the same track. :^(

      Delete
  6. I score 4 plus standard deviations above the mean at Stanford-Binet.

    My observation is that the moderately smart 125-140 types, having been told all their life how smart they are, are uncomfortable with real smarts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In many cases, the discomfort goes both ways: experience by one, generated by the other. Encouraging those with high IQ's to be anti-social because they are highly intelligent is practically criminal considering how it will shred the IQ of a society.

      Delete
    2. Bilejones, I can testify that I have never met a real smart person in my life. Once I did start talking to such people online, I was both curious and exuberated.

      Delete
  7. I think you overestimated the numbers of people with IQ's over 140 and 150. Can someone please do the math of a normal distribution for sigmas in that range?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The relity is IQ on 140 is one in 730 something and IQ 150 one in 1000

      Delete
  8. Obviously I did the math and double and triple checked it before I published. The math is messy so I use.

    https://www.fourmilab.ch/rpkp/experiments/analysis/zCalc.html

    140 D15IQ and 150 D15IQ respectively are 2.67 and 3.33 sigma respectively. This returns a 1/p of 261 and 2,331 respectively.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the way the 6.5 million and 729K are for the 1.7 billion people in Western civilization.

      Delete
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust_(1990_film)

    The Martin Donovan character of this movie can help us to explain why many real talented people are being excluded...

    But I have to disagree on the idea that only those with IQ above 150 to be the most intelligent.

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  10. If the super-intelligent don't know how to make their thoughts convincing in the public discourse and in productive environments, then how intelligent are they, really?

    I suspect that a lot of super-intelligent men simply aren't interested in a lot of "elite" professions. In these cases, the super-intelligent aren't "inappropriately excluded"; they are appropriately excluding themselves. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of doctors, lawyers, and academics don't do anything that requires an IQ over 140, and it is no surprise that men with such IQs don't want these jobs.

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  11. Dexter, as soon as you can explain something very basic, such as Newtonian physics, to a person with an IQ of 70, you will have your answer. The gap between the highly intelligent and you is comparable, if not much greater.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dexter, as soon as you can explain something very basic, such as Newtonian physics, to a person with an IQ of 70, you will have your answer. The gap between the highly intelligent and you is comparable, if not much greater.

    ReplyDelete
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  14. Thanks for the article.

    You mention that Kasparov's IQ is on record as 135. What is the source of this information?

    I am curious because I regularly test between the 135-140 range in IQ tests (almost 3 S.D.), and I can't ever imagine performing at Kasparov's level. Anecdotally, several of the people I used to play with regularly beat me, but I consistently outperformed them in critical thinking and linguistic ability.

    Is there a case to be made for specific intelligences?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Der Spiegel commissioned a group of Psychometricians to evaluate Kasparov's IQ and Kasparov agreed. It was reported in their magazine.

      Delete
    2. Being highly intelligent doesn't make you automatically good at chess, nor does it suggest that you even are predisposed to become good at chess. Memory and concentration abilities also factor heavily into chess aptitude. This is actually easy to see; nothing about the way chess works requires a high IQ to understand, but you need to have a lot of experience and knowledge of strategies and situations within the game to be good, which both does not simply result from high intelligence and doesn't require it (to an extent).
      I myself find it improbable that my IQ isn't much, much higher than 135, and yet I also don't think I could ever become as good at chess as Gary Kasparov.

      Delete
  15. Thanks for the article.

    You mention that Kasparov's IQ is on record as 135. What is the source of this information?

    I am curious because I regularly test between the 135-140 range in IQ tests (almost 3 S.D.), and I can't ever imagine performing at Kasparov's level. Anecdotally, several of the people I used to play with regularly beat me, but I consistently outperformed them in critical thinking and linguistic ability.

    Is there a case to be made for specific intelligences?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but I would call them talents not 'intelligences' which I would argue is confusing.

      Delete
  16. Dexter, as soon as you can explain something very basic, such as Newtonian physics, to a person with an IQ of 70, you will have your answer. The gap between the highly intelligent and you is comparable, if not much greater.

    If I thought it was super-duper important to explain Newtonian physics to them, then I would find a way to do it in language they can understand. (If I wanted to educate half-orcs I'd be a public school teacher, but I don't, so I'm not.)

    If the super-intelligent want to explain something to the "merely highly intelligent" then they should be able to find a way to do that in language the latter understands. That may be hard to do -- but since they are super-intelligent they should be able to find a way to do it, right?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Dexter, often the basic principle can be explained to those more than 30 IQ points below. However, the understanding is illusory. As a very practical example, I challenge you to explain the Monty Hall problem to a 90 IQ person. You will reach a point of complete frustration and you will not succeed. As D.K. Simonton says, you may be able to use words they understand but the concept is inaccessible to them.

      The reason that the Strong Anthropic Principle demands a Creator is an example of a concept that simply cannot be explained to a person with an IQ below about 130. Again, if you want to frustrate yourself, go ahead and try.

      The notion that any concept can be effectively explained to any person of any given intelligence is absurd on its face and only seems reasonable because of the egalitarian myth. I got into this once with the Principal of my son's elementary school (I took him out after 2nd grade). He wanted to pull the 'You will agree that all children can learn?' I replied, 'I will do you one better. I will grant you that all vertebrates can learn. Now make your point.' That actually made him angry because the argument that comes after that is clearly absurd when applied to all vertebrates, but because we have been conditioned to egalitarianism, it sounds good for children.

      Delete
    2. I remember reading once that Paul Erdos failed to understand the Monty Hall problem when it was first explained to him. Tracking down the origin of the anecdote, it turns out to provide an excellent example of the operation of the communication gap when insight must be transferred rightwards on the iq curve. The moderately gifted understand concepts in such a different manner to the extremely gifted that their explanations often muddle, rather than clarify.
      https://web.archive.org/web/20140413131827/http://www.decisionsciences.org/DecisionLine/Vol30/30_1/vazs30_1.pdf

      Delete
  17. Power attracts problem solvers only when there are problems that power can solve. Ironically, by the time these problems - poverty, oppression, inefficiency, abuse - come to be, positions of power are already securely in the hands of Narcissists, who were the creators of these problems in the first place and don't want any smart-asses solving them and spoiling their thrills and profit margins and sex slave parties.

    If you want to change the world, you'd first have to partake in the ruthless competition for power that typically only interests Narcissists. Failing to do that but still partaking in invention & science makes you a psychopath's toy maker - the rulers are bending every available technology and resource to their advantage (even the Internet with Facebook and Google), and it's not looking pretty. What might happen when they can become Gods and Fates of virtual worlds full of conscious virtual humans? Something they'd perhaps never accomplish on their own. Lovecraft would be children's stories in comparison.

    Game theory says nature loves the ruthless. Those who will use fear, pain, terror, deception and all the tools of the war-box always ultimately win over those who try to play nice (or are compelled to be relatively nice due to their empathy). All good men will roll on their backs like little dogs if their loved ones are threatened - everyone who loves will ultimately negotiate with terrorists. As will anyone with empathy when enough is threatened. That's how easily evil conquers, and it's the same everywhere. Only the concept of God and an eternal punishment for failure could even the playing field, but that would require belief, which is now inaccessible to intelligent people (at least to those who are in control of their own minds). Even if it weren't inaccessible, we are soon (negligible senescence via genetic engineering) at a stage where fear of earthly punishment can rival fear of the eternal. It's said that the Church retarded science, but it obviously has not retarded it enough.

    It remains for intelligent people to remove themselves from science and technology related fields, perhaps focusing entirely on artistic endeavours or something else that creates no significant tangible value. Anything else means speeding up the inevitable & utter doom inherent in nature and mankind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Study of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem and the Halting Problem eventually led me to faith, and eventually to the Catholic Church.

      I am trying to write a book on all of this; hopefully it will help others out.

      Delete
  18. No, Dexter, you would not because you could not. By definition, a person with an IQ of 70 is as incapable of demonstrating an effective understanding of Newtonian physics as a person with paraplegia is of walking. What you propose is cruel and insensitive (I am sure you don't intend it to be, but it is) and above all ineffective. You would not teach a man with blindness to see with his eyes in a simplified way, would you?

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    1. I have a TNS acquaintance who has dedicated years of effort to finding ways to explain the Monty Hall problem to people who don't get it. While he has found ways to increase the percentage who understand the principle he has been forced to that conclude that over 50% of people simply don't have the intellectual equipment to understand Bayesian reasoning. Yes, with effort high functioning intellectuals can make their ideas more accessible, but there is a limit. Hence, Hollingworth's 30 point limit.

      Now in the case of the Monty Hall problem it is well known that the contestant should switch doors. So people who think that that is wrong can be shown that the deficiency lies with themselves. However, in productive environments where similar problems arise, the hyper intellectual will not appear smart, (s)he will be assessed as wrong and not very smart. The Dunning-Kruger Effect exacerbates this.

      DKE is involved here. If you were more competent in the subject, you would know you were wrong. So, in fact, you are an example of the inappropriate exclusion in action.

      Delete
  19. If I wanted them to vote for me or do something important, yes I would. The timeless method of accomplishing such a thing is for the general to pass his commands to his lieutenants who pass them to the sergeants who make the stupid, illiterate grunts get it done. Every legionary does not have to have the genius of Caesar for the chain of command to put Caesar's ideas into action.

    Furthermore, your example does not translate well shifted to the right on the IQ spectrum. Someone with an IQ of 180 can indeed make himself understood to someone with a 130 IQ. The obstacle is time and motivation more than brainpower; the 130 does not want to take the time and effort to understand the 180's ideas, and the 180 does not want to expend the time and energy necessary to make his ideas clear. But if it is important enough, it can and will be done.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You need to be more explicit in your calculations. They seem suspect given the references to ratio IQs, which have not been used for nearly a century and to converting between ratio (mental age/age) and deviation IQs, which is not something that can be calculated without knowing the age at the time the test was given (plus a great deal of very hard to find statistical data, since development is not only nonlinear, but has different functions for different ability levels.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The conclusion is robust against small or moderate changes in the numbers. Consider Steelmanning.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your post. The core calculation which is the distribution function for the elite professions divided by the distribution function for the total population is not greatly affected by ratio IQs, so the result is not really affected. I did calculate using D15IQs to be sure of that.

      The primary reason that I have used ratio IQs is discussed in more detail in the page http://michaelwferguson.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_9997.html David Wechsler had many good points in his argument to use D15IQs. However, there were many good reasons not to. I do not agree with the change and I understand that I am in the minority. That the IQ/cranial volume regression fits ratio IQs is rather compelling to me. However, I understand that many people will still want to force the IQ distribution to fit a Gaussian curve.

      The translation from deviation to ratio IQ is not without its problems. There is a well respected convertion table that has been developed which I can send to you if you want. Again, the IQ to cranial volume regression fits the conversion table very well so I am satisfied that the calculations are not far from accurate.

      Again, thank you for your thoughtful post

      Delete
    3. This article was about an inappropriate exclusion of high IQ individuals from those educational and productive environments where the most difficult problems are addressed. It is over 4,000 words long which is stretching the limits of what I would expect tens of thousands of readers to endure. If I went into protracted discussions of ratio and deviation IQs I would lose nearly all my readers and in that way defeat the purpose of the article.

      Your point is well taken that intellectual maturation does not follow a linear progression and, as such, ratio IQs among children is problematical. However, we are considering adults and whether there is hope for IQ to be interpreted as something more than an ordinal scale. I argue elsewhere that there is and that the ratio IQ can be considered an interval scale. However, I would need to add a minimum of 4,000 more words to effectively consider that and it would, I fear, lose more readers than it would elucidate.

      One of the reasons I am inclined to the ratio IQ scale is simply because it has been shown to be mathematically orderly. I reference John Scoville's paper where he finds that ratio/deviation IQs follow a log normal distribution and that is the conversion that I use. http://hiqnews.megafoundation.org/John_Scoville_Paper.htm

      Thanks for your thoughtful response.

      Delete
  21. Please increase the font size. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  22. A fundamental assymetry isn't reflected in the studies: it's possible to pretend to be stupider, but not smarter. It's not surprising studies in children would miss this, as it either hasn't occurred to them to dissemble yet, or they yet lack the social wherewithal to succeed. That said, obviously it's of no use to society - the superior decision and strategies can't be advised if you're pretending not to have them. (Caveats apply.) Nevertheless, this is why I don't find it all surprising that high IQ is not a guarantee of socioeconomic failure.

    At least, I have no issues being liked by average and below-average brains. Indeed the problem is being trusted too much and accidentally manipulating them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I have masqueraded as a more normal person in certain social and productive settings. You get by but you are giving up on excelling. I actuallly switched to consulting at mid-life because I realized that it was the only way I could be me. They expected the guy from outside to be a hotshot. It actually worked pretty well. I'd come in and say, 'You've got a horrible mess here. I can fix it and when I have, I will go away.' Actually, the bosses liked that, too. They really didn't want me sticking around making their shortcomings obvious by comparision.

      There are niches for the 150+ IQ person. They certainly exist in Mathematis and Theoretical Physics, They also exist in consulting IF you can find a way to get the rep. However, there are nowhere near enough of them. 150 IQ is just not that rare 2,331:1

      Delete
  23. Can you comment, Mr. Ferguson, on how levels of inappropriate exclusion have changed over time. My gut tells me it has never been worse, due to multiple factors like industrial collectivist education, egalitarian dogma, and possibly genuine declines in mean intelligence in Western societies. Anecdotally, I know several people in the 140 and higher IQ range that have had enormous difficulty making a living at all in today's world, much less using their full potential. Any data that shows a change in this phenomenon over time would be of great interest I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't disagree. But remember, Albert Einstein couldn't get into Grad School, so it has not been good in the past.

      Delete
  24. I find this extremely depressing to be honest... " If you are the parent of a child with a D15IQ over 150, immediate and dramatic action is required. At present, realistic options for individual remediation are severely limited." Gaah

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  25. > The probability of entering and remaining in an intellectually elite profession such as Physician, Judge, Professor, Scientist, Corporate Executive, etc. increases with IQ to about 133. It then falls about 1/3 by 140. By 150 IQ the probability has fallen by 97%!
    > ...Over an extensive range of studies and with remarkable consistency, from Physicians to Professors to CEOs, the mean IQ of intellectually elite professions is about 125 and the standard deviationn is about 6.5. For example, Gibson and Light found that 148 members of the Cambridge University faculty had a mean IQ of 126 with a standard deviation of 6.3. The highest score was 139. J.D. Matarazzo and S.G. Goldstein found that the mean IQ of 80 medical students was 125 with a standard deviation of about 6.7. There was one outlier at 149, but the next highest score was 138. This means that 95% of people in intellectually elite professions have IQs between 112 and 138; 99.98% have IQs between 99 and 151. By dividing the distribution function of the elite professions' IQ by that of the general population, we can calculate the relative probability that a person of any given IQ will enter and remain in an intellectually elite profession.
    > ...So, if your IQ is 140 something, the above should serve as a warning that you may be facing related career challenges. If your IQ is over 150, it is a clarion call; without direct intervention, your career prospects are very poor. If you are the parent of a child with a D15IQ over 150, immediate and dramatic action is required....Because of the dearth of objective evidence, the cause of the exclusion cannot be determined directly.

    The assumption here is that both the general population *and* elite professions are described by a normal distribution (N(100,15) and N(125,6.5), respectively).

    There is no reason to expect the second to be true, inasmuch as they are drawn or selected from the general population by some non-random process, and there is no need for this process to yield a second normal distribution. (For example, if the selection process is a hard cutoff at, say, 120 IQ, the winners do not form a normal distribution - they form a truncated normal distribution. If the selection is a double-threshold, then it's a bivariate gaussian. If it's a threshold based on the sum of multiple normal distributions - say a threshold on the product of IQ and Conscientiousness, where weakness in one can be made up by strength in another, consistent with academic studies showing an inverse correlation between Conscientiousness & IQ in students - then it's more of a lognormal distribution. If the selection is probabilistic and higher IQ people have increasing odds of success, it still won't yield an elite population with a normal distribution.) You can list summary statistics like means and standard deviations all you want, but they don't have to *mean* anything, any more than the mean or standard deviation of a sample from the Cauchy distribution (which has undefined means & variance) has to mean anything. And there is no reason to expect the selection process which turns smart people into doctors to thread the needle and manage to reproduce a normal distribution.

    Further, the claim that people with IQ 150 have an astonishing 97% fall in chance (which is driven by the tails disappearing after assuming a normal distribution with a tiny SD like 6.5) is truly extraordinary, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence; it should strike you as suspicious that you can get such amazingly precise & counterintutive results about the rarest & smartest people in the world from such a trifling investment of fact about the lower tiers. (Would you expect going door to door in your neighborhood to tell you much about how many billionaires there are?) In this case, one man's modus ponens should be everyone else's modus tollens.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Let me demonstrate how the summary statistics you report are entirely consistent with models which totally contradict your inferences. Consider a world in which the population is N(100,15), and elite selection is about as simple as possible: there is a cutoff of IQ 120 for entrance into 'elite' status. In this world, by definition, everyone over IQ 120 succeeds, and there is certainly no fall by 97% for the 150IQ. Does this world's elites look different than the elites of our world, with their mean of 125 and standard deviation of 6.5?

      Here is an R simulation:

      set.seed(2015-09-08)
      population <- rnorm(10e7, mean=100, sd=15)
      elitesTrunc <- Filter(function(x) { x>=120 }, population)
      mean(elitesTrunc); sd(elitesTrunc)
      # [1] 126.9710755
      # [1] 6.076463953

      They do not. We find that such a selection model reports means and SDs *totally consistent* with the observed elite means & SDs. (In this case, we get an even narrower SD, and if someone in that hypothetical world tried using your assumptions, they would reach even more extreme findings like claiming maybe a 99% fall in probability.) A right-skewed distribution is 100% consistent with observations; you can intuitively see why if you fire up a histogram of the elites (`hist(elitesTrunc)`) - because the relatively low cutoff for doctors and lawyers and whatnot means that the extremely few IQ 150s etc are swamped by the rest of the elites in the summaries, we don't even need to bring up additional arguments like ceilings (which will bias both means & SDs downward).

      So we see that the reported means and SDs are consistent with a model in which there is no penalty whatsoever to high IQs.

      Delete
    2. But it gets worse. Let's consider the *opposite* of your claims: Let's consider a more realistic model, one more consistent with the SMPY and elite university data, in which more IQ is always better.

      For example, in which rather than everyone>120 automatically winning, everyone at 120 has roughly a 50% chance of success, but chance of success goes *up* linearly with each IQ point being worth +0.01 log odds, so at 150 IQ, you have >95% chance of success (much higher than your dimmer 120 brethren). This can be done by reversing the logic of a logistic regression and reusing `population` from before:

      logsuccess <- function(iq) {
      if (iq<120) { return(0); } else {
      logodds <- -12 + iq*0.0999
      p <- exp(logodds)/(exp(logodds)+1)
      return(rbinom(1, 1, prob=p))
      }
      }
      elitesIncreasing <- Filter(logsuccess, population)
      mean(elitesIncreasing); sd(elitesIncreasing)
      # [1] 128.0126229
      # [1] 6.536780212

      And look at that. Again we've almost exactly reproduced the original summary statistics of a not terribly impressive mean and a narrow SD of 6.5.

      In conclusion, your statistical model is bad and the data *cannot* support any alarmist claims about society discriminating enormously against high IQ or the need for a 'clarion call'.

      Delete
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  30. This certainly hit home for me; it's an effect I've noticed for quite some time, despite not having the facts or math to prove it.

    I remember in Middle School being endlessly frustrated by the teachers demanding that we show work. What work? The answers were self-evident. I felt like I was being asked to show work for the question "2+2=?" How are you supposed to break that down? Even a basic Quadratic formula (x+1)(x-1)=?=x^2-1. How are you supposed to show work? Do I really need to include something as stupid as "x-x" in there?

    By High School I realized that it was a system that I could hack, so I had some fun getting the top marks (though I'd frequently run into the problem where they'd ask a stupid question, and I'd get it wrong with a smart answer). Scored top in my school on the Euclid and Descartes Math Exams. Busted my ass... and I got a $1000 dollar scholarship out of the deal.

    This was when my educational burnout began.

    Took History in University a few years later (in retrospect, a waste of time - History used to be a solid discipline a century ago, but now it's story telling and propaganda for Education majors with an average IQ of 95). Realized that I could consistently get B+s without having done any research or study - literally without knowing what I was talking about, I could write a better essay on any made up question than most of my cohort.

    And when I did put in time and effort, researching and creating a unique, and interesting (though probably wrong) argument? C-.

    Then during my third year, a prof had the audacity to teach his course by playing a BBC documentary for 2/3 of the classes. I dropped out, saved myself a further $15k in debt, and never looked back.

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