Trump’s Populism, Something For Everyone

Yeah, Trump.

Over at the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan claims in the title of a recent article that, America Is So in Play. She writes that, “Mr. Trump’s supporters aren’t just bucking a party, they’re bucking everything around, within and connected to it.” And that, “Something is going on, some tectonic plates are moving in interesting ways.”

On the subject of elites, I spoke to Scott Miller, co-founder of the Sawyer Miller political-consulting firm, who is now a corporate consultant. He worked on the Ross Perot campaign in 1992 and knows something about outside challenges. He views the key political fact of our time as this: “Over 80% of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests—the whole Washington political class—have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.” It is “a remarkable moment,” he said. More than half of the American people believe “something has changed, our democracy is not like it used to be, people feel they no longer have a voice.”

Mr. Miller added: “People who work for a living are thinking this thing is broken, and that economic inequality is the result of the elite rigging the system for themselves. We’re seeing something big.”

I would agree that there is something interesting going on and has been for some time.  Populism is in the air! From Occupy to the Tea Party.

This is why outsiders are making waves on both sides. Trump and Sanders even have overlap on some major issues: immigration reform to protect American jobs, campaign finance reform to eliminate bribery and corruption, tax reform with progressive taxation, etc. Trump is conservative on some issues, but on others he is more liberal than the Democratic Party establishment.

By the way, Trump said of the last four presidents that Bill Clinton was his favorite and has supported Hillary Clinton throughout her political career. About a decade ago, he stated that “Republicans are just too crazy right” and that “If you go back, it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” Near the end of Bush jr’s presidency, Trump strongly denounced him as “possibly the worst in the history of this country.” He thought it “would have been a wonderful thing” if Pelosi had impeached Bush for the 2003 Iraq invasion. He actually praised Saddam Hussein for killing terrorists. On the opposite side, he has strongly supported many of Obama’s policies and appointments. He has also changed his party affiliation at least four times in the last 16 years.

Both Trump and Sanders are populists with progressive tendencies. It’s good to keep in mind that in the past there was great ideological diversity in populist and progressive movements, including strong support from the political right and religious right. Populism and progressivism have no consistent history in terms of the mainstream left-right spectrum, although economic populism has often had a strong nativist strain.

Trump’s views are rather mixed. Some might say they are ideologically inconsistent. Certainly, he has flipped his views on many issues. He sure likes to keep it interesting.

  • for progressive taxation and higher taxes for hedge-fund managers
  • wanted to get rid of the national debt with a one time massive tax on the wealthy
  • not for cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security
  • praises single payer healthcare as working in other countries, but thinks it is past the point of implementation for the US
  • previously stated wanting guaranteed healthcare for the poor paid by an increase in corporate taxes
  • has used unionized labor for construction projects, but has criticized teacher unions
  • supports using eminent domain for private gain
  • no longer supports abortion rights, and yet sees no constitutional argument for banning it
  • has supported stricter gun laws, including bans of some guns
  • used to support amnesty, but obviously has changed his mind
  • favors trade protectionism and wouldn’t mind starting a trade war with China
  • talks about campaign finance reform and sees big money as essentially bribery
  • spoke out against the Iraq War, but says he is now for strong military responses
  • wants to neither raise nor get rid of minimum wage

It’s not just GOP insiders who dislike Trump. Libertarians, of course, don’t care much for him. But also strong critics of liberalism, from Glenn Beck to Jonah Goldberg, really can’t stand him.

You could say that Trump is just confused. But if so, the American public is also confused.

When you look at public polling, there is a wide range of views toward ideological labels, depending on the demographic. Many those who identify as conservative support liberal policies, especially in terms of economic populism. And during the Bush administration, many on the political left became patriotic war hawks in support of the War On Terror. Conservatism is a more popular label than liberalism, but progressivism is more popular than both, including among Republicans.

Most Americans have a more favorable view of capitalism than socialism, although the opposite is true in some demographics: those under 29, African Americans and Hispanics, and those making less than $30,000 a year. Then again, more Americans have a favorable view of socialism than the Tea Party. Even a large percentage of Tea Partiers have a favorable view of socialism. Strangely, more Democrats than Republicans have a positive view of libertarianism and fewer Democrats than Republicans have a negative view.

Sea Change of Public Opinion: Libertarianism, Progressivism & Socialism

Little Change in Public’s Response to ’Capitalism,’ ’Socialism’

‘Liberal’ unpopular, but newer ‘progressive’ label gets high marks in poll

“Socialism” Not So Negative, “Capitalism” Not So Positive

Just 53% Say Capitalism Better Than Socialism

Socialism Viewed Positively by 36% of Americans

Section 2: Occupy Wall Street and Inequality

Poll: 26% of tea partiers are okay with socialism

NEW POLL: 42 Percent of Americans Think Obama Has Expanded Presidential Power Too Much; 53 Percent Want the US Less Involved in Israel-Hamas Peace Talks

It is hard to know what any of that means.

People change their opinions depending on current events, framing of questions, and on the basis of who is asking. Polls have shown that Republican support for some of Obama’s policies increase when it is stated that Trump supports them. Democrat views changed depending on whether or not they early on saw video of the 9/11 attack or heard about it on the radio or in the newspaper. People are easily influenced by external conditions.

Anyway, here are various articles from across the political spectrum tackling Trump’s brand of populism:

Sanders and Trump: Two peas in a pod?

Republicans are way more likely to support single-payer when you tell them it’s Donald Trump’s idea – AMERICAblog News

Is Donald Trump still ‘for single-payer’ health care?

That Time When Donald Trump Praised Single Payer Health Care in a GOP Debate

Trump Calls Himself a ‘Conservative With a Heart’ Because of His Controversial Stance on This Issue

Trump On A Wealth Tax: ‘I Think That’s A Very Conservative Thing’

Trump More Progressive Than Democrats on Warren Buffett Problem

Donald Trump, Campaign Finance Reformer? | The Progressive

Donald Trump’s Nixonian populism: Making sense of his grab bag of nativism & welfare statism

Donald Trump Must Reckon With Rich Progressive History: Part II

The Surprisingly Strong Progressive Case For Donald Trump

Donald Trump names his favorite prez: Bill Clinton

Donald Trump Can’t Win. But He Can Build a Lasting Political Movement. Here’s How.

No, Donald Trump is not a “true conservative”

Donald Trump is not a traditional Republican — including on some big issues

Donald Trump’s Surprisingly Progressive Past

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267 thoughts on “Trump’s Populism, Something For Everyone

  1. The main problem with high IQ ppl is they don’t understand “A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points.”

    High IQ only measures processing power for a given person, but doesn’t measure rationality and perspective. Most of the biggest mistakes by bigger companies were created by people with incredibly high IQs, but with the wrong incentives and perspective. If you’re incentivized by selling subprime mortgages, you’re going to sell it no matter how bad you think it is. If you’re incentivized by larger pageviews, you’re just going to create more pageviews like MySpace.

    Just because you have a high IQ, doesn’t mean you can maintain your cool in times of extreme irrationality, and maintain the right perspective.

    The other element is that high IQ is a very shallow measure. Real life execution includes very specific expertise that may include: ethics, trust, product, engineering, bd, marketing expertise. If you don’t know that rounded corners, gradients, and smooth animation make or break a product, it doesn’t even matter if you can do Math problems faster than other people. You aren’t even aware that you’re incompetent in certain areas.

    IQ has been this intrinsic measure of people, and has been oversimplified. Most people, when they say someone is ‘smart’, mean that they’re street smart, book smart, and has the right perspective/judgement. When people use book smart, they only focus on the IQ part. The simplicity of the vocabulary leads to very loose inference between effectiveness and processing power (IQ). Unfortunately IQ is correlated to effectiveness, but does not cause effectiveness.

    Written 5 Mar, 2011 • View Upvotes
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    Anne K. Halsall
    Anne K. Halsall, Gifted ex-child
    3.3k Views
    According to Intelligence Quotient – Social Outcomes (Wikipedia), one’s IQ score is a reasonable if not comprehensive predictor of success in work and school.

    The American Psychological Association’s 1995 report Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns stated that IQ scores accounted for (explained variance) about a quarter of the social status variance and one-sixth of the income variance. Statistical controls for parental SES eliminate about a quarter of this predictive power. Psychometric intelligence appears as only one of a great many factors that influence social outcomes.

    If the data are to be believed, we might conclude that in the average case a high IQ is not a curse but rather a boon to one’s potential to succeed.

    But I don’t think this question is really about success, is it? It’s about happiness, being at peace with one’s place in the world. We say that intelligent people are gifted, but that’s just another word for different, isn’t it? And the more intelligent you are, the more different you must be.

    Being different is hard. It can very much feel like a curse, yes. Especially as a child, when your intellect may outpace your understanding; when your emotional capability may be years behind your logical capability; when you have the least autonomy and control over your life that you’ll ever have.

    But children do grow up, and the difference in learning potential matters less and less until, in adulthood, a high IQ becomes little more than a quirk of your personality. What you have done with your gift is up to you; most likely it has been a benefit to you, but you won’t have done as much with it as you imagined.

    Eventually you realize that maybe you got shot out of the cannon at a different angle than the next guy, but time is the great equalizer. It’s comforting. You don’t feel so different anymore, and the gift is no longer a curse or a blessing. It’s just you.

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    Last asked: 23 Jan, 2011
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    Is high IQ a curse?
    Potential problems:
    unrealistic expectations of what you can accomplish
    difficulty in dealing with average people
    more likely to question things and annoy people in the process
    less likely to accept traditions
    less likely to enjoy the simple pleasures of life
    less likely to find a job as an employee rewarding

    Are these serious problems? What are other potential problems?
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    Sizhao Zao Yang
    Sizhao Zao Yang, Entrepreneur/Investor
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    The main problem with high IQ ppl is they don’t understand “A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points.”

    High IQ only measures processing power for a given person, but doesn’t measure rationality and perspective. Most of the biggest mistakes by bigger companies were created by people with incredibly high IQs, but with the wrong incentives and perspective. If you’re incentivized by selling subprime mortgages, you’re going to sell it no matter how bad you think it is. If you’re incentivized by larger pageviews, you’re just going to create more pageviews like MySpace.

    Just because you have a high IQ, doesn’t mean you can maintain your cool in times of extreme irrationality, and maintain the right perspective.

    The other element is that high IQ is a very shallow measure. Real life execution includes very specific expertise that may include: ethics, trust, product, engineering, bd, marketing expertise. If you don’t know that rounded corners, gradients, and smooth animation make or break a product, it doesn’t even matter if you can do Math problems faster than other people. You aren’t even aware that you’re incompetent in certain areas.

    IQ has been this intrinsic measure of people, and has been oversimplified. Most people, when they say someone is ‘smart’, mean that they’re street smart, book smart, and has the right perspective/judgement. When people use book smart, they only focus on the IQ part. The simplicity of the vocabulary leads to very loose inference between effectiveness and processing power (IQ). Unfortunately IQ is correlated to effectiveness, but does not cause effectiveness.

    Written 5 Mar, 2011 • View Upvotes
    Upvote24DownvoteComments3+
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    Anne K. Halsall
    Anne K. Halsall, Gifted ex-child
    3.3k Views
    According to Intelligence Quotient – Social Outcomes (Wikipedia), one’s IQ score is a reasonable if not comprehensive predictor of success in work and school.

    The American Psychological Association’s 1995 report Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns stated that IQ scores accounted for (explained variance) about a quarter of the social status variance and one-sixth of the income variance. Statistical controls for parental SES eliminate about a quarter of this predictive power. Psychometric intelligence appears as only one of a great many factors that influence social outcomes.

    If the data are to be believed, we might conclude that in the average case a high IQ is not a curse but rather a boon to one’s potential to succeed.

    But I don’t think this question is really about success, is it? It’s about happiness, being at peace with one’s place in the world. We say that intelligent people are gifted, but that’s just another word for different, isn’t it? And the more intelligent you are, the more different you must be.

    Being different is hard. It can very much feel like a curse, yes. Especially as a child, when your intellect may outpace your understanding; when your emotional capability may be years behind your logical capability; when you have the least autonomy and control over your life that you’ll ever have.

    But children do grow up, and the difference in learning potential matters less and less until, in adulthood, a high IQ becomes little more than a quirk of your personality. What you have done with your gift is up to you; most likely it has been a benefit to you, but you won’t have done as much with it as you imagined.

    Eventually you realize that maybe you got shot out of the cannon at a different angle than the next guy, but time is the great equalizer. It’s comforting. You don’t feel so different anymore, and the gift is no longer a curse or a blessing. It’s just you.

    Written 6 Aug, 2014 • View Upvotes
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    Anonymous
    Anonymous
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    Yes, it is a curse.

    Communication becomes difficult across a greater than 2 SD IQ gap.

    Someone in the middle of the IQ bell curve, at 100, can easily communicate with 95.4% of the population.

    Someone with an IQ of +3 SD can easily communicate with only 15.8% of the population.

    This has massive ramifications for one’s social life.

    There is another Quora answer here, “What does it feel like to be stupid?”, that describes how someone who temporarily become stupid came to a much deeper appreciation of some of his friends whom he thought were “slow” before. Also, he found work less stressful and many aspects of life more enjoyable.

    High IQ is a major destabilizing factor in a person’s life, and such people must develop emotional wisdom to compensate. Many high-IQ people use their intellectual abilities to compensate for their lack of social skills, or to build a world to insulate them from the consequences of that dearth.

    EQ is the popular term to counterbalance against IQ, but that body of knowledge as defined by Daniel Goleman is of debatable accuracy and is certainly not the complete set of knowledge or ability that should be counterpoised against IQ.

  3. Each of the potential problems mentioned in the question is a variation on: Insisting on holding the world to standards that it observably does not meet.

    The pain comes not from high IQ, but from insisting that the world be other than you observe it to be.

    Your intelligence can be a blessing instead of a curse: When the world does not live up to your standards, treat the difference not as a judgment on the world, but as an invitation (from yourself) to act, to move the world in the direction of your yearning.

  4. These, as I see them, are the two problems in traditional schooling. We do not teach to students’ interests, and we remove their agency and control from the learning process. Not to sound elitist, but with students whose IQ’s are under 130 (or probably lower, really) these problems come up less because it’s more likely that the routine learning is a challenge and/or fits their desired pace of learning.

    No matter the student’s supposed intelligence, though, I say we have to start giving power back to the them. When much is demanded of them, they will rise to our expectations. I guarantee it.

  5. All things considered, the psychologist who has observed the development of gifted children over a long period of time from early childhood to maturity, evolves the idea that there is a certain restricted portion of the total range of intelligence which is most favorable to the development of successful and well-rounded personality in the world as it now exists. This limited range appears to be somewhere between 125 and 155 IQ. Children and adolescents in this area are enough more intelligent than the average to win the confidence of large numbers of their fellows, which brings about leadership, and to manage their own lives with superior efficiency. Moreover, there are enough of them to afford mutual esteem and understanding. But those of 170 IQ and beyond are too intelligent to be understood by the general run of persons with whom they make contact. They are too infrequent to find congenial companions. They have to contend with loneliness and personal isolation from their contemporaries throughout the period of their immaturity. To what extent these patterns become fixed, we cannot yet tell [3, p. 264].”

    “If the “average” gifted child tends to acquire bad adjustment habits in the ordinary schoolroom, the exceptionally gifted have even more problems. Hollingworth continues:

    Children with IQs up to 150 get along in the ordinary course of school life quite well, achieving excellent marks without serious effort. But children above this mental status become almost intolerably bored with school work if kept in lockstep with unselected pupils of their own age. Children who rise above 170 IQ are liable to regard school with indifference or with positive dislike, for they find nothing in the work to absorb their interest. This condition of affairs, coupled with the supervision of unseeing and unsympathetic teachers, has sometimes led even to truancy on the part of gifted children [3, p. 258].”

    Where intelligent students will do poorly is when they are told that they are smart. High IQ does not beget good grades and scholarships, if anything it is a way of telling a student where his or her limit is, and to make sure that he always meets that limit.

    Don’t let a poor-performing student’s excuse be, “he’s smart, so he’s bored”. That’s not true. He’s lazy, or he’s afraid of failing (which is common when you tell him he’s “smart enough”).

  6. Everyone gets bored once in a while.
    But its not exactly the case with high IQ people. It is mostly fascination with other ideas compared to rote learning at school. I’ll try to elaborate more from my personal experiences at school (I clocked 139 when I last checked) and my encounters with people who are more intelligent compared to myself.

    Generally at school, an IQ of over 130 ensures that you’re is going to ace all subjects with minimal effort. You will be daydreaming in class and when the teacher catches you off-guard, you don’t panic as much as the others. Most probably you have a witty comeback or you answer every single question the teacher poses to you. Now the teacher has no other option than to caution you and let you off the hook which fuels your ego all the more since you got away with it. Once it gets to your head that you’re more perceptive than most in understanding concepts, there are only 2 outcomes:

    (i) Extremely Hardworking :
    A realization dawns that you’ve better things to do than listen to the teacher who is going at a snails’s pace (according to your perspective). You make sure that you study just enough to ace the tests and spend the remaining time hacking into stuff to understand its working, contemplating about time travel, artificial intelligence, the meaning of life,etc.

    (ii) Chronic Procrastinator:
    This is the where everything is truly left to chance during the exams. Lets assume it’s one week before the final exams. Once you get the details regarding portions, you start analyzing the difficulty of the subject. you realize that you can finish it in less than a day to score decent marks or just enough to get through.
    This is where your over-confident self takes over. You assure yourself that since you’re starting way too early by your standards, you’re going to top the class. You tell everyone that you’re gonna study hard this time and that you’re very busy right now. But once you’re through a chapter, you feel the incessant need to close the book and entertain yourself. When everyone else is busy studying, you catch up some popular TV show or watch a random movie. Even worse, you turn to playing DotA or Age of Empires with such an addiction that you no longer care what happens around you.
    Now lets fast-forward to 10 hours before the exam. You realize you’ve a lot to study and that you don’t have enough time. You feel like your brain is going to explode by cramming all those details. But you’re not the kind who gives up or breaks under pressure. You probably, pull an all-nighter, keep poring over the text book until you reach the exam hall and thus cram enough to get you through the exams. The results come and Et voila! you’re happy with your marks considering your sheer acts of folly. Now you’re back to square one, repeating the cycle every time whenever there is an important deadline.

    One thing common to all high IQ people, is that they never doubt their ability to solve a problem. They’ll only fear their habit of procrastinating and that their over-confidence might result in a costly error. Interacting with them is always a pleasure since they’re mostly hung up on some crazy trivia and are always ready to tell you some fascinating story or facts.

    At the end of the day, its not your IQ which is going to get you somewhere. Its only your effort that matters. Its like Will Smith says,

    “You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right?”

    • “One thing common to all high IQ people, is that they never doubt their ability to solve a problem.”

      That is complete and utter bullshit! IQ has nothing whatsoever to do with doubt or lack thereof. Some of the stupidest and most ignorant people in the world are self-confident. It’s often the smartest who are overwhelmed by doubt and uncertainty, because they understand how complex is the world.

      “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
      ~ Bertrand Russell

  7. IQ has nothing to do with it. In fact, it has very little to do with anything in life. It just makes some things easier.

    If you’re an academic, someone that likes school and such formal, structured education, you’ll probably do well.

    I have several very brilliant friends, many have successfully breezed through college, receiving fancy letters after their name, have nice homes and cars and they are the saddest and loneliest people I know. If you apply your IQ (I hope it wasn’t based on the scam websites – they all give everyone 130-140 results) to what you love, then you’ll do well. My friends did what they thought would give them money, and it did for some. It wasn’t until they were over 50 and realized they wasted their youth on doing what their family and friends said they should do with their IQ, not where their true talents and interests/love lie.

    • It is circular. IQ tests measure what mainstream society considers of value. It is of value because it increases success in the context of mainstream society. The reason it increases success is because what IQ tests measure is what mainstream society values. No one is going to create an intelligence test that measures what mainstream society doesn’t value and hence what doesn’t lead to success in mainstream society.

  8. Q scores are more useful for recognizing gross deficiencies and somewhat decent at detecting better than average problem solving, but they aren’t very useful beyond that.

  9. 170 is extremely intelligent. One person in a million has an IQ at this level. This is the range for Nobel prize winners, and genius physicists like Hawking, etc.

    200, if it is possible to measure this high, would apply to the smartest people to have ever lived. People like Goethe, Newton, Einstein, Shakespeare, etc.

  10. Jaywalking: bad. Going to war for the wrong reasons, in the wrong country: good.

    An America were the poor are put down simply because they are poor is a shame but we can fix it easily.

    • I live in Stockton… The kid jay walked, all the cop did was walked up to talk to the kid.. The kid started pushing.. Then all this happened. People need to stop yelling and congrigating around cops when they are doing their job. It’s ok to watch and make sure the cops don’t step beyond boundaries.. But yelling at them will escalate it. Which is why more cops came. To make sure the crowd stayed in check… Nothing racist. Just cops and a dumb teen..

    • I never give the cops the benefit of the doubt. If there is an altercation, I’ll always assume that cop was at fault until proven otherwise. The US police have proven themselves incapable of being responsible. Every US police force in the country needs to be investigated by the FBI and the investigation needs to be overseen by an international organization. The same goes for our elections with the funny business of voting machines.

  11. I had a business ethics course this semester with a new professor who just moved up to the U of U from Tulane in New Orleans. One of his research specialties deals with racism. His research has shown that racism is actually higher in areas with greater concentrations of minority populations because greater concentrations of a certain group are perceived as a stronger threat. He said racism abounds in places like New Orleans, but he hadn’t seen as many signs of it during his year in Salt Lake.

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/salt-lake-city-area/73589-interracial-couples-salt-lake-city-provo-2.html#ixzz3m7bPrOwC

    • I don’t know that it is a different of strength. It more seems like a different of kind. There is less overt racism in daily interactions where minorities are fewer, but larger patterns of racial bias might exist. White majority Iowa, for example, has a high rates of arresting blacks. Which is worse, being called the ‘N’ word or being arrested for no good reason? Which is more racist?

  12. https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/03/15/the-poor-neglected-gifted-child/rJpv8G4oeawWBBvXVtZyFM/story.html

    ”And it means that if, in education, we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student, we risk shortchanging the country in a different way.

    “We are in a talent war, and we’re living in a global economy now,” Lubinski says. “These are the people who are going to figure out all the riddles. Schizophrenia, cancer—they’re going to fight terrorism, they’re going to create patents and the scientific innovations that drive our economy. But they are not given a lot of opportunities in schools that are designed for typically developing kids.””

    ”There’s a fundamental belief, not just among educators but in general in our society—and the word ‘gifted’ doesn’t help—that, well, they lucked out by virtue of genetics. They’ve got something other people don’t have, and so they should just be satisfied with that. They don’t need any more.”

    Research, however, suggests that they do—or at least that they benefit from extra investment. Two recent papers based on data from the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth and published in the Journal of Educational Psychology found that, among young people with off-the-charts ability, those who had been given special accommodations—even modest ones, like being allowed to skip a grade, enroll in special classes, or take college-level courses in high school—went on to publish more academic papers, earn more patents, and pursue higher-level careers than their equally smart peers who didn’t have these opportunities. In one of the studies, the Vanderbilt researchers matched students who skipped a grade with a control group of similarly smart kids who didn’t. The grade-skippers, it turned out, were 60 percent more likely to earn doctorates or patents and more than twice as likely to get a PhD in science, math, or engineering.”

  13. WHILE EQUITY at the classroom level is important, Lubinski and others who study the gifted say that the issue goes beyond education to national competitiveness. “We’re living in a global economy now,” Lubinski says, “and there are only very few people of any discipline who push the frontiers of knowledge forward. This is the population who you’d do well to bet on.”

    Other countries are already making that bet. Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore have national laws requiring that children be screened for giftedness, with top scorers funneled into special programs. China is midway through a 10-year “National Talent Development Plan” to steer bright young people into science, technology, and other in-demand fields. In a 2010 speech announcing the scheme, former President Hu Jintao called talent “the most important resource and…a key issue that concerns the development of the Party and country.”

    In a democracy, such central planning may be as distasteful as the notion of shifting resources away from kids who need them. Advocates for the gifted, aware of those concerns, are trying to find ways for us to develop our own native talent without exacerbating inequality.

    One fix they tend to focus on is investing in early childhood education for all: Olszewski-Kubilius points out that expanding access to preschool would allow teachers to identify kids with the most potential before they even get to kindergarten. Requiring regular screening of all kids from elementary to high school would catch those whose talents emerge later than their peers’, as well as smart kids whose parents aren’t savvy enough to advocate for them.

    Other education researchers propose gearing the entire curriculum toward the highest-achieving students, with extra time outside of class for their less-talented peers to catch up. It’s an idea that Adam Gamoran, president of the youth-focused William T. Grant Foundation and a former University of Wisconsin sociologist, says could address the issue of inequality without holding back high achievers.

    Regardless of how we choose to deal with the gifted, it’s a challenge that seems more acute as we learn more about this population.

    “How many people can become an astrophysicist or a PhD in chemistry?” Lubinski says, comparing it to playing in the NFL or playing at Carnegie Hall. “We really have to look for the best—that’s what we do in the Olympics, that’s what we do in music, and that’s what we need to with intellectual capital.”

  14. In 1973, The Taiwanese Ministry of Education began a nationwide six-year pilot programme in elementary schools. Eleven schools began to offer separate classes for learners identified on the basis of IQ.

    Evidently the pilot met with only mixed success. A 1982 paper by Lin and Wu ‘Gifted Education in the Republic of China ROC’ (Gifted and Talented International Volume 1.1) says:

    ‘Although it has not achieved the results expected by many people, the programme did call people’s attention to the needs of gifted and talented children.’

    Another 1985 paper published by Wu, also in Gifted and Talented International (Evaluation of Educational Programmes for Intellectually Gifted Students in Junior High Schools in the Republic of China) adds that, in 1978, the Ministry of Education asked a team at the National Taiwan Normal University to evaluate the pilot as it then operated, in 18 classes drawn from six participating schools.

    They were to focus particularly on academic achievement in Chinese and maths, intelligence, anxiety and self-concept. Outcomes were assessed against a comparison group drawn from ordinary classes in the same areas.

    Overall, the conclusion rather damns with faint praise:

    ‘The result has been somewhat satisfactory’.

    More specifically, the evaluators found a positive impact on achievement in Chinese and maths, while those in the gifted classes showed less general anxiety but higher test anxiety and had poorer self-concept.

    ‘Generally speaking the advantages of the gifted education programmes seemed to exceed their disadvantages’

  15. My grade school did have us go to different classes for math, so there were some kids who were doing advanced math

    Honest ly I hate grade school structure, and I hate after school programs. I didn’t een do many extracurricular activities after school because it would just result in me starting my fucking homework at night. I’d rather just go home directly after school so I can get my homework done before midnight

    This article addresses a serious issue. In many communities, the public schools are reluctant to even admit that there are gifted children. My son, for example, was ready to study algebra in the 6th grade but his math teacher and principal resisted teaching him algebra. We eventually had to pull him from the public schools in our town so that he could get access to advanced math and science courses in a private school. This was extremely expensive for our family. My son is now conducting important biomedical research as an adult, no thanks to our local public schools.

    captain4619
    captain461903/18/14 01:52 PM
    G/T instruction falls into two areas, enrichment or acceleration. While many schools can offer enrichment, very few (in Massachusetts) ascribe to acceleration…meaning you 5th grade kid goes up to the 8th grade to learn math or your 3rd grader takes reading with the 6th graders and then comes back to class for other subjects.

    And simply vacating to the private schools doesn’t solve the problem either, since most follow a classical curricular model and acceleration isn’t necessarily a guarantee. While they demand rigor, that doesn’t always translate into true acceleration of curriculum.

    rubygordo
    rubygordo03/21/14 09:26 AM
    I am so sick of this argument. Public schools, unlike private schools, MUST educate EVERY child. They are not allowed to cherry pick who they teach and are working with smaller budgets every year. Trust me, I am sure your son’s public school math teacher would have LOVED to teach him Algebra and higher level maths. Unfortunately, the teachers must follow a standard curriculum (CCSS) upon which their performance is judged. Your son would have no doubt ended up doing the same important job just by virtue of your support. He happened to be lucky that you were able to provide him a private school education- but don’t blame the public schools. Work to improve them so that kids whose parents cannot afford private school can still- for example, perhaps using some of your money to fund afterschool enrichment programs?

  16. When I was director of a public school system’s program for elementary gifted kids, back in the days when there was such a thing in many school systems, it seemed to me that there was a kind of tension in the U. S. between “We’re Number 1!” and the concept of egalitarianism. Which do you want your brain surgeon to be–an average doctor, or the very top? If you are, say, a gifted basketball player, it’s nice to be asked to help the less-able players, but if you never get a chance to play with your own level, after a while you get pretty frustrated. You might even quit, out of boredom. There is nothing wrong with being smart or highly capable in some way. it is good to celebrate and nurture all of our gifts; intellectual capacity is one of them.

  17. From the vantage point of a layperson and parent of grown children, I think giftedness is a more complicated phenomenon than this article would indicate. For instance, some gifted kids will take longer to do a math problem than others, because they think more deeply about it. Some gifted students start reading later, not earlier. And free play can be more important for preschool gifted children then premature academics. Any extra work should go deeper, and not just be more of the same: teachers in regular classrooms could be trained to offer this to anyone in the class, without segregating “the gifted.”

    There are questions of developing identity that need to be discussed if gifted children are going to be labeled so early. It can be destructive to the complexity of each person’s sense of self, to be marked with a label, whether the rest of us think it is a positive one or not. And living in the world with others of varying talents and backgrounds is also important: learning patience, tolerance, helping others. Finally, giftedness is a special need like any other and needs a broader, more complex approach than just academic acceleration. Gifted children don’t develop any faster socially or emotionally, and need support for those needs as well. Sometimes giftedness is balanced by other special needs that require attention, and often gifted children are bullied.

    There are many resources out there now for gifted children, including programs online such as Kahn academy, which is being used in many classrooms, and virtual high school classes. Dual enrollment in community college or attending other college or university classes is also possible, in person, online, or in low residency programs. The Internet and libraries are available to all. Along with teacher education, guidance counselors could be trained to advise students and parents about options.

    I wonder how many gifted people credit school with their achievements. It seems that a lot of the creativity and stimulation happen outside of the system, even in idiosyncratic ways that schools would never provide, and certainly not in AP classes. Someteims the best school program for the gifted is on that leaves then alone. Overall, addressing inequalities in the home would seem to be the best approach, even if that is a very long term, nebulous and difficult goal.

    • Nice! I definitely agree about addressing inequalities and not just in the home, but everywhere. If resources and opportunities were provided for all kids, there would never be a bored ‘gifted’ kid, except one who chooses to be bored because of lack of motivation or imagination.

  18. I realized my son was extremely gifted when he was in kindergarten. He was off the charts. I tried to get the public schools to provide enrichment but I was told over and over again that ALL the money went to special needs. My son also had special needs that the public school system did not seem at all interested in even considering (and this is Lexington).

    I spent thousands of dollars a year on tutoring because he was completely bored in school. In 4th grade he started 7th grade math at the middle school. I had to pay thousands of dollars a year for transportation between the schools, and sometimes he was left stranded at the middle school because the principal failed to inform us of special events and schedule changes. No one in the school system seemed at all interested in providing my son with the education he needed. Once he got into the high school the math, computer, and physics teams were excellent and competed nationally. He found his level. Elementary and middle school were terrible and totally incapable of meeting his needs. My son is now finishing a PhD at MIT in neuroscience. He has already distinguished himself by creating a device (during his masters) that is being used in many research projects. I advocated for my son and spent the money to supplement his education because the school system was incapable of doing so.

    Thank you for this article. We need to invest in our best and brightest. They are our future. I remember one school meeting where a parent got up to advocate for more funds for underperforming kids. The parent said the smarter kids can be left in a closet alone and they would succeed. This is not true.

  19. I thought gifted was top 2%?

    Being gifted absolutely falls on the special needs spectrum, though we’ve come to use “special needs” as a euphemism for “not very bright.” I tested in the top 10%, didn’t receive the challenges that I should have, and dropped out; the system refused to reward me with meaningful work unless I jumped through its hoops and it was not sorry to see me walk out at 16 years of age. An under-reported danger facing gifted students is manipulation: some schools manipulate students by only allowing them into honors or advanced placement classes if they agree to take additional tests as well, bumping up overall scores. Those scores not only increase funding and grants, but also result in bonuses for administrators and teachers; savvy schools systems can use their gifted students as rain-makers. Truly, our school systems mirror our society: corrupt, short-sighted, exploitative, and hubristic.

  20. one issue that is overlooked in this article is the role of mentors in shepherding the gifted child thru an unsupportive environment. I was the first child in my working class family to breeze thru high school then on to University for 3 degrees and a professional career. But my parents had left school between 13 and 15 to go to work, had no experience with formal advanced education, and did not know what to do with a gifted child like me. So I was on my own in many ways, and a lot of my talent was “unfertilized” so to speak. If I had been taken under someone’s wing I probably would have been helped to develop my creative talents less wastefully.

    So an inexpensive way of responding to the gifted child without the need of federal grants would be to create local resources of mentoring for the gifted child born into poor/undereducated/disadvantaged families—something like a Big Brother/Big Sister program for the gifted. I know personally that when you have no role models it is very hard to know how best to channel your talent both for your own benefit and that of society. As I look back on my life I am glad to have been born talented so that learning came easily and naturally for me, but I also see a lot of wasted opportunities.

    maryjanenancy
    maryjanenancy03/18/14 02:05 PM
    We pulled our son from our town’s school (on par with Lexington, Concord, etc.) and put him in a charter school dedicated to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). My experience with the teachers and principals was great. They tried to provide additional learning opportunities but the school administration didn’t want to provide easy accommodations (bump him up a grade for math, etc.). I’ve noticed that his peers from that school have left to go to the same charter school or private school. It’s really too bad.

  21. n 1978 Hogan devised several studies in which he asked participants, mostly American college students, to rate their own intelligence, their parents intelligence, and also to rate males and females IQ in general. This was a pioneering study and had very significant and relevant findings on the topic of intelligence. Some of the major findings from this study include:

    1) Males estimate their general intelligence higher then females do

    2) Nearly all participants rated their father’s IQ higher then their mothers

    3) About 50% of the time females rated their IQ lower then it really is

    In a more recent study these results were replicated and expanded on (Rammstedt and Rammsayer, 2002). They also found that the amount of education had different influences on each gender. For example: Men with low levels of education self-estimated higher levels of verbal fluency then males with high levels of education, while women with low levels of education rated themselves lower then both male categories and women with high education rated their verbal fluency higher then both male categories. This finding among others showed that males no not estimate their overall general intelligence greater then females, but in specific domains, including spatial intelligence, reasoning, and perceptual speed. They also found in this study that the male subjects did in fact score higher on mathematical intelligence tests, and when they adjusted the scores found no significant difference in the differences between estimation and reality. But this only worked in mathematical intelligence; males did in fact overrate their intelligence in reasoning and spatial intelligence.

    All of these studies show an interesting phenomenon involved in intelligence between genders. Nowhere in the later article was any mention to any biological/psychological reasoning for the males to estimate their intelligence higher besides socio-cultural gender biases. This could in fact be a factor, but perhaps further studies are needed to look into how the differences in brain structures and thinking processes could be affecting this difference in self-estimated intelligence.

    • “About 50% of the time females rated their IQ lower then it really is ”

      I wonder how stereotype threat or other similar factors might effect IQ testing. It has been shown that stereotype threat does strongly impact certain areas of academic testing for women. It would be surprising if this doesn’t carryover into IQ testing.

  22. So different types of intelligence are the result of more grey matter – more neuronal connections – in specific regions of the brain that are associated with ‘brainier’ stuff. At the same time, in order to make good use of these insights though, we also need to have better connectivity throughout the brain wiring all those bits together.

    Really then the main correlating factor here is grey matter. The more neuronal connections you form throughout the brain, the smarter you’ll be – though the location of those connections will dictate just how that intelligence expresses itself.

    But if intelligence is really that nuanced and complicated, why is it that some people just appear to be smarter ‘overall’? The chances are that it’s to do with how easily they are able to form new connections, to communicate between synapses and to generally learn new ideas. It probably actually comes down to brain plasticity – the ability of the brain to change shape and size in response to training and learning. The good news is that brain areas can be trained to become larger – and for instance becoming a taxi driver can actually increase the size of brain areas in the hippocampi related to navigation (1). Practice thinking abstractly and you might just achieve a fraction of Einstein’s genius. There are many brain training activities you can engage in, but the best will be real-life skills that are applicable to the skill set you want to develop.

    But some people are going to find it easier to acquire these new skills than others. The people who find it easier, are likely to be the ‘smart people’. This is the genetic component, combined with the way your brain developed in the womb. Then there’s the areas of the brain you trained most frequently in childhood based on your interests and upbringing – crucial because that’s when the brain is at it’s most plastic.

    (You could think of this as being very similar to building muscle and strength. Some people are stronger than others, though the precise nature of that strength comes down to which muscles are most powerful (for me it’s the pecs). Our upbringing and activities and diet then also contribute to certain muscles growing more, as does our genetic tendency towards muscle growth dictated by things like testosterone. Ultimately we have the option to train specific muscles to grow, or to train the entire body for increased strength, but some people will still find it easier than others to gain mass. Like bodybuilding though, there are ways that you can give yourself more of a fighting chance, even without the genetic advance…)

    In a way, you can say that intelligence ultimately equates to adaptability…

    In all likelihood, this plasticity in the brain is going to be somewhat dictated by the neurochemistry – the neurotransmitters that we have in abundance. Neurotransmitters such as glutamate and acetylcholine have been shown to help increase long-term-potentiation (the strengthening of connections between the neurons) – study here – while serotonin can increase neurogenesis (the birth of new cells); study here. This is one mechanism through which exercise can help boost your brain power.

    This is where nootropics – supplements that alter neurotransmitters – could come in handy by putting the brain in more of a ‘learning state’ while we use specific training in order to help the brain to grow even more. Transcranial direct current stimulation (electrical stimulation of neurons) could also help to develop connections, as neurons that fire at the same time will generally tend to ‘wire together’ with that connection strengthening each time they subsequently fire at the same time. Here’s a TED talk discussing that particularly transhuman concept.

    Conclusions – How You Can Become a Genius (Maybe)
    So there you have it! We can’t claim to know everything there is to know about intelligence, but we do know an awful lot now. It appears that one of the biggest predictors of all is large amounts of grey matter in specific areas of the brain, and the way that grey matter connects different brain regions. We can increase grey matter through learning, but our biochemistry, childhood and genetics may well make some brains more malleable than others.

    The take home message though is that every brain is different and every brain has its own unique skill set. Less connectivity may even aid your focus. So develop yourself to the best of your abilities and play the hand (or brain) you were dealt!

    • Berin Iwlew
      I don’t mind paying taxes for other peoples’ education. I don’t know about you… but I don’t want to be surrounded by idiots.
      ‪#‎feelthebern‬

      Matvei Vevitsis
      Democracy cannot function without a properly educated and informed populace. I do not have high hopes for the future of the USA if this issue is not resolved. It’s our fault we have allowed the government to get this bad. By not being informed and diligent voters, we failed to prevent this mess. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Knowledge is power. The Republicans know this, and they want to kill public education because it is their best bet to cling to power and continue to stonewall any change in D.C. Good luck, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

      Neil Petagno
      That would make it a lot harder for Republicans to get elected.

      Tom Bell
      Bernie Sanders wants to send your kids to college. The Republicans want to send them to war.

    • “However, this disparity is not explained by students’ socioeconomic status; differing economic backgrounds account for only 3.6% of the performance gap. The story is not the same for schools with different socioeconomic statuses, however: a school’s socioeconomic conditions account for 51.3% of student performance disparity.”

      Poverty becomes a major problem when it is systemic and institutionalized, severe and concentrated, segregated and ghettoized. A poor kid living in a community with well-funded services and going to a well-funded school isn’t likely to have many problems related to the kids living in the poorest communities. Even a wealthier kid in an underfunded school in a poor community will on average do worse.

      That directly relates to the racial issues in the US. Poor white kids are more likely to live in wealthier communities and poor minority kids are more likely to live in poor communities. It’s the legacy of generations of economic segregation through redlining, sundown towns, and Jim Crow laws.

      Those kinds of disparities were intentionally created. They will have to be intentionally uncreated.

    • I wouldn’t have lasted long in that kind of system. Under that kind of pressure, I’d likely have been one of the young suicides. I did notice that I had previously left a comment at that post—I wrote:

      “Here is a thought. South Korea developed a great education system without much emphasis on gifted programs. Maybe the very reason they were able to raise the quality of education for all children was for the very reason they weren’t emphasizing raising the quality of education for the few, i.e. gifted programs. What if this new emphasis ends up undermining the very quality system they worked so hard to create?”

  23. I am putting myself in g people’s shoes.

    They genuinely feel well intentioned. They don’t think like you, sure. They think people deserve education tailored to their needs, not one size fits all. They see g advocacy as giving kids education that fits them. Basically like putting people in their appropriate weight classes rather than making a lightweight fight a heavyweight. They see it as fairness and good.

    Where they differ from u is that they think the mainstream fits most kids, just not retarded and blessed kids. They see g not as problematic but as putting people in their appropriate weight classes, so a heavy weight can fight other heavy weights, a runner can run with similar runners rather than be bored waiting for slower people to catch up, etc

    Their biases are unconscious, even if they show up in their writing.

    A key component is that they take the status quo as given and do not imagine regime it. Inequality, natural inequality, is a given and totally okay. Things seem to be working decently for most. They are not game changers, by any m

    • That sounds about right.

      “Where they differ from u is that they think the mainstream fits most kids, just not retarded and blessed kids.”

      That is a big difference.

      “A key component is that they take the status quo as given and do not imagine regime it. Inequality, natural inequality, is a given and totally okay.”

      They believe the system is basically working for most… or as well as it can be expected considering how inferior is the average person. They don’t want another kind of education system, much less another kind of social system.

      They see a system where a ruling elite already exists. They don’t want to get rid of that ruling elite. They just want to replace it with a meritocratic ‘gifted’ ruling elite. They assume some form of strict hierarchy is inevitable and desirable.

      It is exactly what Corey Robin describes about the reactionary mind. During the Enlightenment, reactionaries came to the conclusion that the ancien regime had failed to maintain the status quo and allowed it to be challenged by the political left. They wanted to build a new and improved version of the ancien regime. A plutocracy with meritocratic rhetoric was thought to the best choice.

      Nothing has fundamentally changed. The rhetoric has been refined, that is all.

  24. Just a vent. But I find the “invest in g because they are our most precious resource, future leaders and inventors and cancer curers” really off putting. It makes me not sympathetic. If they said it’s because all kids need to fit in, feel accepted and happy and comfy, I could be okay. But in the face if rising inequality and other shit, it just feels like a slap in the face.

    Like is your purpose to create happier, well adjusted people, or the future elites of society? Isn’t that the rather unfair pressure you deride?

    Who says an iq over 130 entitles you to a high spot in the caste system,

    Sending a message that y’all are doomed to average joe-dom, but above 130 people need us not because they deserve to be happy, but because they WILL be our leaders and our future (and you’ll be doing the grunt work if that)

    I don’t think they think this far, though. There’s many things these g people can never bring themselves to admit to. And that’s a problem.

    For example, yes we value intelligence. Stop denying it. In a way PC has stifled our ability to be honest about harsh realities like inequality and inequality if values.

    I don’t mean PC in a right wing cheap shot way. I mean that ppl cannot admit blatant truths, like inequality exists, we value different traits unequally, because we are supposed to think people are equally worthy yet we don’t buy it. Much if g ppl trip over themselves because they can’t bring themselves to acknowledge this.

    • I’m totally on board with you. It does feel like a slap in the face. But, no, they don’t think that far. The power of their belief system is that it doesn’t require thought or rather that it is dependent on a lack of self-awareness. It is a reactionary worldview, after all. It closes the mind, by design, and in doing so it is hoped to close down debate.

      It is strange. We as a society have a hard time admitting basic inequalities exist and matter. Economic inequality is growing while the middle class and economic mobility is shrinking. The US has always had a racialized caste system and now a new permanent undercaste is forming. We can’t talk about all of this in the mainstream, but it is obvious that we value all the things that are seen in the upper classes. The problem is to admit that we’d have to acknowledge that those good things are bought with money and resources that are being denied to others.

      The reason why people can’t admit things is because it would mean seeing the system for what it is. Indeed, this is a form of political correctness. As you know, I’ve written about this before in terms of race, which is one of those issues that is used to hide issues of class and to confuse the real problems. It is no accident that race realists, like ‘gifted’ advocates, uphold the ideal of an IQ caste system.

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/culture-of-paranoia-culture-of-trust/

      Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness
      by John L. Jackson

      “Most commentators don’t emphasize, however, that the stakes of political correctness are located in a slightly different place than our conversations on the matter imply. The culture of political correctness actually generates one of the essential foundations of contemporary racial distrust. Since most Americans aren’t as transparent as Archie Bunker (even when he’s trying to hide his ethnocentrism), PC policies actually lose their ability to cultivate the kinds of good-faith dialogues they are meant to foster. Instead, blacks are stuck in the structural position (vis-à-vis white interlocutors) of their ancestors’ slave masters: they see smiles on white faces and hear kind words spilling from white mouths without the least bit of certainty about whether those gestures are representative of the speakers’ hearts. “The American Negro problem,” wrote Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal in the 1940s, “is a problem in the heart of the American. It is there that the interracial tension has its focus. It is there that the decisive struggle goes on.” And it is there that the search for racial honesty and truth continues today. But not in the same ways that Myrdal emphasized.

      “When individuals’ words and some of their actions can no longer be trusted, we look for other seemingly invisible and interior clues about people’s racial positions. We long to look past calculated performances and into the very hearts of men and women. Social analysts should take the features of this need, this search for de cardio racism, seriously—this racism attributed to the hearts of other-than-explicitly racist actors. De cardio racism is imagined to be a kind of hidden or cloaked racism, a racism of euphemism and innuendo, not heels-dug-in pronouncements of innate black inferiority.

      “We’re living in a moment when what I’m calling de cardio racism has elbowed out room for itself at the head of America’s political table, right alongside still operative de jure and de facto forms (think of sentencing disparities for possession of crack versus powder cocaine as a contemporary version of the former and our seemingly effortless, self-perpetuating reproductions of residential and educational segregation along racial lines as a twenty-first-century instance of the latter).

      “Given this newfangled reckoning of American racism’s potentially cloaked animosities, the white man’s newest burden is hardly lightened by political correctness—just as black people’s deepest racial suspicions are only bolstered by America’s current penchant for dressing up every ideological position (no matter how reactionary or elitist, partisan or self-interested) as simply another better version of egalitarianism. […]

      “The demonization of public racism is clearly a social and moral victory, but it has come at a cost. Political correctness has proven tragically effective at hiding racism, not just healing it. In sacrificing noisy and potentially combative racial discussions for the politeness of political correctness, we face an even more pernicious racism, a racism that’s almost never explicitly declared, except among the closest of confidants. But as the “White Like Me” skit’s lampoon shows, people recognize the fact that racism might be even more effectual under the cover of color blindness and rhetorical silence.”

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/racecraft-political-correctness-free-marketplace-of-ideas/

      Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life
      by Barbara J. Fields and Karen Fields

      “In the controversy over Dr. James D. Watson’s remarks in London, some of his defenders charged his critics with a “politically correct” retreat from science, insisting that good science requires a free marketplace of ideas . Researchers must be free, they implied, to salvage the old bio-racist ranking of superior and inferior races, regardless of the collapse as science of its core concept, race. But it is doubtful that those foes of political correctness would wish to rehabilitate that part of bio-racism that once identified inferior white races. […]

      “Consistent application of the “free marketplace of ideas” principle today would restore to bio-racism and eugenics the respectability they once enjoyed. Instead, “inferior white races ” vanished from the lexicon of bio-racism, to rematerialize outside its purview as “ethnic” groups. The “shiftless, ignorant, and worthless” white people vanished altogether. No one attributes to political correctness the demise of bio-racism as applied to white persons. So, the free-marketplace-of-ideas apologia for Watson’s bio-racism as applied to black persons turns out to be a familiar interloper, the practice of a double standard.”

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/iq-dilemma-inconvenient-correlations-uncomfortable-data/

      “It would be strange if the average liberal who is wealthier and more well-educated (than both the average American and the average conservative) turned out to not also have an above average IQ. That would be one of the strangest discoveries in all of social science research. What would make liberals somehow different from every other comparable group? Considering so much research shows a correlation between liberalism and higher IQs that fits the expected pattern, it would require massive alternative data and careful analysis to explain this bizarre phenomenon, if it were to exist. No such data or analysis is offered by Staffan.

      “Conservatives love to point out that poor blacks have lower IQs. Yet they suddenly become righteous when it is pointed out that poor conservatives also tend to have lower IQs. Conservative political correctness police are no better than their liberal counterparts. To get at the real point, poverty sucks which is something liberals have been saying for generations. But it isn’t to argue that liberals have any reason to be proud simply for being among a privileged demographic that has experienced less poverty.”

  25. I’ve decided to start an open thread:

    https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/open-thread/

    My main inspiration is hbdchick’s blog. She had an open thread and it seemed to work well there. People were always bringing up various things and an open thread creates a space for the random or off-topic comments.

    I wanted to do this for a long time. But I’m naturally lazy and put things off. I figured I had to just create a page for it and not put too much thought into it. It is needed.

    My main purpose is that I want to keep my regular posts from getting too cluttered up. Seeing hundreds of comments on a single post might discourage some people from commenting, especially when the discussion is going off in various directions that have no connection to the post itself. I want readers to feel welcome to join in, rather than overwhelmed by massive number of comments under a single post.

    So, in the future, I’d like to keep comments on specific posts as relevant as possible. All other comments should be posted at the open thread. I don’t like rules, but this rule should help clean up the chaos. It doesn’t mean that every comment to a post has to be directly or entirely on-topic, although it should at least resonate with or somehow be inspired by the subject matter in the post itself.

    I also wanted somewhere I could throw out my own thoughts on various things. Sometimes I have something on my mind, but I don’t want to write a post about it or I’m not yet ready to write about it. The open thread will be a place to throw out interesting ideas and tidbits, just whatever I come across, probably some links and maybe sometimes a quote.

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