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

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

  1. Very interesting. We watch from afar with a mixture of amusement and horror – not surprisingly focusing on his appalling racism and sexism. The headlines rarely dig as deep as his policies.
    A lot I’d agree with, as well as disagree with. This makes his attitudes as contradictory as – a normal person.
    What I will say is that in Scotland, a place he likes to call home, he’s pretty much universally thought of as an asshole.
    See Anthony Baxter’s documentary, You’ve Been Trumped.

    • I tried to ignore him. But my parents are Republicans.

      Even they dislike him, although between him and Hillary Clinton they’d likely hold their nose and vote Trump. They aren’t fans of voting for third parties and independents, because that is supposedly throwing away your vote and ensures the other guy wins. It’s the endless act of voting for the lesser of evils.

      My dad sent me the Noonan article. I felt a need to respond. Plus, part of me wanted to scare my dad with showing how progressive Trump is. Maybe I could scare my dad into voting for the Libertarian Party. If Trump became the GOP candidate, that would likely be the straw that broke the Republican-Libertarian alliance.

      I must admit, though, that reading about Trump’s positions gave me some hope. Both Sanders and Trump are economic populists. What they agree upon appears to be significant, not to assume that Trump can ever be taken at his word.

      Trump demonstrates how far left the public has gone on some issues. The GOP establishment wants corporatism and so does the Democratic establishment, but the voters don’t. It is remarkable that a Republican challenger can throw out what right-wingers would call left-wing positions and yet his support among Republican voters grows stronger.

      The nativism is par for the course. As for racism and sexism, that is standard old white male crap. It is refreshing that he states openly what so many conservatives think but don’t say, including their support for progressivism. There is a simultaneous backlash on the social issues, even as the public otherwise keeps going further and further left. Anyway, the culture wars have lost their sting, as it was just an echo of the Cold War rhetoric which has become mere history to the younger generations.

      Unintentionally, Trump might force the entire GOP to the left. That would give the political left some breathing room. It would also offer some leverage to get the Democratic Party to shift left again. Democrats have been afraid to talk about progressive taxation for decades and Trump is now leading the way for economic liberalism, sort of.

      The right-wing outrage machine is finally coming around to bite them in the ass. It is easy to incite populist outrage, but it is not so easy to successfully manipulate it toward the agenda of the ruling elite. The GOP has put it in the position where they are vulnerable to being ruled by wild card demagogues, from Glenn Beck in the past to Trump in the present.

      If patterns follow history, the present populist outrage will be followed by an era of progressivism and something along the lines of a civil rights movement. What Trump indicates is that Americans simultaneously believe that government is the problem and that government is the solution. They want politicians who aren’t afraid to strongly lead and solve problems. In the case of Trump, it is probably all bullshit talk. But the point is he is giving voice to what people want. Giving voice is a powerful act, even when done for ulterior motives.

      The GOP won’t be able to escape this new force of economic populism, not for a number of generations.

      I see that You’ve Been Trumped is available on Hulu. I have it playing right now.

  2. There are two other points.

    First, as I said, Trump is pushing the GOP toward the economic left. Even so, Trump is still not as economically liberal as the average Republican.

    Take for example the minimum wage. Trump simply doesn’t want to raise it, but neither wants to eliminate it. Most Republicans, on the other hand, want to raise it significantly. This is one of those issues that most Republican voters are far to the left of most of the Democratic leadership.

    The disconnect is immense between the American public and the political elite. That is something I’ve written about before.

    Second, Trump’s candor, his egomaniac forthrightness, allows him to say things that no other presidential candidate could say.

    This is seen with his wanting campaign finance reform. He claims to speak from experience, as he has given a ton of money to politicians over the decades. Based on this, he states that such donations are bribes. The reason he donated so much money is because it worked to get what he wanted. So, he admits to having participated in this legal form of bribery, and that is why he knows it is a problem.

    He then argues that he is the perfect candidate to deal with the problem. He is so rich he doesn’t need campaign donations. No one can buy him off, as he claims. This portrayal of himself is basically what the Virginia slave-owning elite held up as the ideal of the disinterested aristocracy, those so filthy rich that they didn’t need to work and were thus independent of money and mind, independent of self-interest itself because they lack for nothing.

    Trump would like us to believe that he is seeking the presidency out of mere noblesse oblige. I bet no one saw that coming.

  3. I like Bernie a lot. He reminds me of my ex father-in-law who is the probably the smartest person I’ve ever met and was smart enough to stay out of politics with his magna cum laude from M.I.T..his MBA from Carnegie Mellon and partnership at Anderson Consulting. I don’t trust Trump because he will use what he needs to gain power where Bernie will stick to his principles. It really is as simple as that.

    • I don’t trust Trump either. It really doesn’t matter what he says. Trump only cares about Trump. I read some articles arguing that Americans love narcissists and that is precisely why they love Trump. That makes sense to me.

      There always has been a strong cult of personality in this country, because that is what originally replaced the role of the British monarchy. It is at the heart of our presidential system that has turned into a near endless campaign season. Politicians in general are voted based more on popularity than anything else. It’s all about image, especially in our present media-obsessed culture. Political campaigns become yet another form of ‘reality’ tv.

      It probably also relates to the high inequality in the US. Studies show that high inequality correlates to all kinds of negative consequences. Inequality leads to not just lower mobility and stratification but also anti-democratic power disequilibriums, abuse of authority, and idolatry of power. Those are the social conditions that encourage narcissism and sociopathy, along with demagoguery and potentially authoritarianism.

      Some people talk about “productive narcissists.” Productive and unproductive are rather nebulous terms.

      Productive or unproductive toward what end? There have been many truly morally depraved and politically dangerous people who have been ‘productive’ toward truly horrific ends. There have been an endless number of charlatans who have been ‘productive’ toward the end of accumulating wealth and power by any means necessary. For those kinds of people, I’d rather live in a world where they were less ‘productive’.

      Speaking about so-called productive narcissists, some point toward Trump’s wealth as a sign of his success, his economic worth somehow proving his moral and social worth. That is an empty claim. Trump is part of the American aristocracy. Most of the wealth in the US is inherited wealth. Trump is typical of most rich people in that he inherited vast wealth.

      After inheriting that wealth, Trump declared bankruptcy for four of his companies. That is not much of an example of a sucessful businessman. Trump is a symbol of American plutocracy, where concentrated wealth protects the powerful from responsibility and consequences, while others suffer for their failures.

      Idolatry of narcissists is what one would expect in a society like ours.

    • I wrote my post because of this insight. It doesn’t really matter what Trump says or advocates, as long as he expresses outrage and bigotry. He could advocate the communist takeover of America and his supporters would be perfectly fine with it. All he has to do is call it something other than communism, say it with charismatic bluster, and frame it as protecting America from dark-skinned people.

    • Her campaign seems irrelevant at this point. I doubt anyone even cares about the emails. The only people who care are Republicans who simply want to attack her, but it isn’t as if they were ever going to vote for her in the first place. I’d love to see Bill Clinton campaign against the likes of Trump. That would have been a more fair competition, on the level of charisma. Even an old white guy like Bernie is more exciting than Hillary.

      • Even if she won the election, she’d be irrelevant. She is just a puppet for the corporate state. There are hundreds of other professional politicians just like her. Any one of them as president would give you the same basic results.

        • i’m just frsutrated at how this elction has showed that we are not a democracy.

          The problem isn’t just the amount of debates, it’s the timing of the debates. New York has a HUGE populace, and their time to switch their voting registration is October 9th, and the first debate is October 13th. By doing this, they are eliminating a HUGE portion (potentially) of their voting options.

        • You certainly didn’t hear me claiming the US is a democracy. But I do appreciate that the US at least pretends to be a democracy. That oddly gives me some sense of hope. I’ll really get worried when those in power stop even pretending.

    • I’d like to see all candidates be forced to debate each other, most especially including third party and independent candidates. Without vigorous public debate, democracy will remain forever a sham. As Ghandi supposedly said about Western Civilization, I say about democracy: “I think it would be a good idea.”

  4. So my dad is a bit of a thatcher, type. I had a conversation with him about bernie sanders, since both of my folks have never heard of him, and think hillary is the only one running, considering the atrocious media coverage. But he said that the stuff I was reading to him reminds him of mao rhetoric from his childhood. So he’s a bit turned off by that kind of stuff and is an economic total capitalist…
    His overall views is that sanders ultiamtely dosen’t say stuff that should be said because americans don’t want to hear it. He said as a scientist, he can tell bernie isn’t a scientist, because if he was, he would know that renewable energy is not something that my generation will benefit from: renewable energy is an innovation that is long and now and must be a long term process. It is something I will not enjoy as much, but my descendents may, becaue the innovation is slow. He says for more immediate energy alternatives, we must turn to nuclear energy. Nuclear energy for short term, renewable long term.
    Health care is partially so shitty and expensive because Americans are a sue-happy people, hence causing insurance to raise its prices. In other countries with socialized healthcare, they don’t sue so fucking much
    Americans are very wasteful people. Americans consume more than other nations, including europeans.
    Basically many American problems are not only fovernmental, but also Americans perpetuate problems through their cultural habits.
    Economically, the problem is that the service economy is not necessarily food for prosperity. America cannot be a country where people get rich from internet startups and such. It must return to being a nation where people get rich from inventing technology, concrete technologies. America cannot be a nation where people get rich from starting, say, facebook or microsoft. I added in wall street type of shit he hesitate dbecause he’s obviously a bit biased towards neoliberal capitalism. Fine, he said. America cannot be a servuce economy that makes rich thoes who don’t innovate and invent

    Also, AMerica was good in the baby boomers because at that time the world was in shambles from ww2, America had no competition then. Part of America’s fall from that era has to do with america having more competition now. America was the only guy on the block during that post world war prosperity, that was partly the reason for its prosperity.

    He thinks in a zero sum game. In a globalized system, what is happening is that america is falling, but other nations are rising, so that the world is becoming an average. America was 150 and the rest of the world was 50. Now it is inevitable that the world will become all 100. From an american perspective, america is falling. i personally think this is flawed. He is not against globalization. He seems to take neoliberal economics as it is, for granted. He works within the confines. Basically, YOU MUST ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL NEVER HAVE THAT AMERICA AGAIN STOP LISTENING TO BERNIE

    Why should companies use american workers when other nations do it for cheaper? Again, america has competition now, that it didnt in the holden days. It’s golden says were when it had no competition

    His proposals
    – investing in nuclear energy
    -sure, invest in infrastructure.
    -if capable, all people seeking welfare must work, volunteer for example, in return
    -instate a price ceiling on the amount you can sue someone for
    -americans must cut down on consumption-lower standard of living? Or not?
    -a system that rewards tangible invention and innovation. Inventors should be the ones who get rich, not app, social mnedia creators, or financial people. Scientists and inventors should be the rich ones
    -america was increase its efficiency. Learn from german and japanese culture
    -AMerica is now in competition, unlike the glory days. If America wants to prosper, it msut be competitive
    -where will this money come from? See above. dad believes the sources of our financial problems are in the above.

    -world police? Yes or no? AMerica is the world police. Good or bad?

    What he thinks: dad believe smost of the money is wasted and spent not on the military but healthcare. the facts may be different. He sincerely thinks his taxes are going towards lazy peopel rather than bailing out banks. ”banks and wall street still benefits me! Their outsouring and such, their money will come back to us?” perhaps he drinks trickle down kool-aid?

    So, my dad isn’t pissed at wall street, lol. I suppose my dad has a bit of a neoliberal reality tunnel.

    • In terms of world politics, Bernie Sanders is a social democrat, not a communist and certainly not a Maoist or Stalinist. For those who love capitalism so much, the world we have now is one dominated by capitalism. Even China is dominated by capitalism. If the world is shitty, nothing can be blamed other than capitalism. But were someone to advocate today the kinds of US policies and tax rates that existed following WWII, they would be called a communist. Sanders doesn’t come close to advocating for anything as far left-wing as the social and economic programs that existed mid-20th century, when America was at its height of greatness. Those are the facts, not that facts ever had much influence on American public opinion and politics.

      • yeah, my dad drinks the cool-aid trhough. He looks at capitalism in China and it validates capitalism more to him,, since China is growing rapidly. But China’s inequality dwarfs the USA, even. But my dad only cares about Shanghai, he dosen’t give a shit about the poor parts of China

        • Neigher of my parents are informed about Sanders though, they don’t have social media and of course, the media is obsessed with Trump so that’s all they know about

          • He says Sweden, and such work well, but wouldn’t work in America because they have a different cultur e(not as overconsuming, not as wasteful, not as sue-happy) and a smaller population. They can afford sanders’ dream because they have a large pool of money left over from ww2 after the jews parked their money in scandinavia but died in ww2, the money became theirs, and they have a small population to use that money for. Switzerland? Same thing, banking capital, use the money for the small population. What works for europe dosen’t work for the USA

  5. basically my dad thinks bernie never tells americans things they need to hear. Americans arent just passive victims of wall street. AMerican habits themselves also contribute ti america’s problems. bernie would never say that

    • I doubt Americans such as your dad want to be told the facts and the problems. I don’t know to what extent Sanders will tell people what they don’t want to hear. But there are those who do so. Alternative media and scholarly books are overflowing with people saying things to which few Americans pay attention.

      • The world is rotten and needs change.

        Keep in mind my dad isn’t the idealist type. We, you, mum, are NF’s, my dad is a strong NT

        • In many ways though, it makes my dad easier to talk to. I’m much closer with my dad than my mum. We don’
          t agree sometimes but my mum can just be too emotionally issued to be close to, sometimes. I often disagree with my dad and have issues with him but the communication door never closes because of it. A childhood staple of mine is going up to a month without talking to my mum after we had an issue, though. My mum also isn’t a communicative person, she shuts down and recluses, whereas my dad is a classic extrovert. You never know what my mum is actually thinking, she just goes into a shell, goes away, whatever. Whatever is on dad’s mind, you know, and if you didn’t you will. In a sense, my dad is less passive-aggressive

          • she’s had a rough 20 years. She’s in many WAYS become an INFJ gone wrong 😦 An INFJ who has been damaged by her expreiences

        • It is interesting that both of our fathers are NTs. But my mother is an ST, not an NF, although it still leaves her as being rather emotional.

          In terms of politics, I also find my father easier to talk to. He is more like how you describe your own father. I too can disagree with my father and the communication door remains open. I can communicate with my mother fairly well… it’s just that there are certain limits… plus her thinking style gets stuck in loops.

          About INFJs, I’ve known some INFJs who are happy and well adjusted. I get along decently with INFJs. But I have yet to meet an INFJ gone wrong.

  6. The D/R duopoly that has run the nation for decades is owned and paid for by the entrenched oligarchy. Clinton is just another representative/spokesperson for that oligarchy.
    The American public has no stomach for real change due to decades of indoctrination and an atmosphere of fear. The American public needs a candidate that represents its interests not just those of the oligarchy and Wall Street but given the current situation it won’t happen. But can’t give up hope.

  7. My dad’s staements were wrong in one way. h esays most of the pool of money is going into healthcare, but it really is going into military, like i said. Also, his taxes, he thinks they’re going towards lazy poor people, not wall street. He also buys into trickle-down, which is why he is forgiving of wall street and I have to mention wall street before he says ” sure’.”

    • That is just proof that we need basic income, universal healthcare, etc. Then McDonald’s and the rest can get rid of all the jobs they want. There is no use in making people do pointless work for paychecks that don’t even pay the bills. We taxpayers are already paying welfare to the employees of these companies, which is an indirect subsidy. It’s time to acknowledge that we have more people than jobs that pay what people can live off. Also, imprisoning more people is certainly not the answer for dealing with high unemployment rates, unless we really do like living in a police state.

  8. well put stephanie. simple and to the point. if only more people were this aware that rape is usually, not always, but usually about power and control. Most rapist don’t actually target women who are dressed provacativily (studies support this). They usually target women who they feel pose the least amount of a threat, an easy target so they can assert thier dominance. it is this control that is what most of them get off on, not the actually act of rape or sex. now how you dress should never be an issue, with that said, in a recent study (unfortunately i don’t remember the name of the study, if i find it i will post it), its been found that rapist usually go for women who have low selfesteem or an appearance of low selfesteem, which can show in how women dress. Now thats not saying that how you dress is why you get raped, it isn’t. All i am saying is that when you look at the facts, it shows you just have to be more careful, whether your a man or a women, while in public, as any one should. And take the steps necessary to protect yourself, cause in reality, only you are responsible for your saftey. When someone is actually raped, it isn’t thier fault no matter how provacative they dressed, or how dressed down they were, it is the rapists fault for assulting the victim and no one else’s, just like when a gunman kills someone, its not the guns fault, its the shooters fault.

    • There is a certain amount of common sense. All of us take in info all the time and calculate probabilities.

      If you put a rebel flag on your truck and park it in a black neighborhood, it might get vandalized. If you put an Obama sticker on your Toyota and park it in a white trailer park in the South, it also might get vandalized.

      If a man dresses like a stereotypical tough guy, he’ll probably have more men acting aggressive toward him, challenging him, and getting into fights with him. If a boy wears a dress to grade school, some other kids will likely call him a ‘fag’ at some point and bully him.

      Would it be nice to live in a world where appearances didn’t matter? Sure. Do people judge us based on our appearances and act accordingly? No doubt about it. Most of the time it doesn’t matter how people judge us, but sometimes it does.

    • I was just this morning have an argument with my mom about racism. She doesn’t believe it still exists. Yet it isn’t uncommon for her to say blatantly racist things—for example, she once said about some Indian friends that they all look alike, a classic stereotypical racist statement; but I didn’t challenge her about it at the time and now wish I had. I was finally so irritated this morning that I simply told her she was a bigot and that I wouldn’t tolerate her bigotry any longer. That shut her up.

  9. Men produce more geniuses and retards, women tend more towards average intelligence. Men perform better when spatial relationships come in to play, women perform better when interpersonal relationships come in to play. There’s a list of various mental differences between the sexes in general, with crossover outliers in most cases. When you get to that point though, even ‘what gender are you’ has a few outliers.

    It’s true. X-linked genetic disorders are more likely to affect males than females, there are several that only affect boys, boys are more likely to be born with Down syndrome, boys are more affected by Fragile X syndrome, boys are more likely to be born premature, boys who are born premature are less likely to survive than girls of the same gestational age, and while boys are twice as likely to be conceived, they’re also that much more likely to miscarry. Just to be born as a healthy baby boy means beating a lot of odds that aren’t in their favor.
    Both physically and intellectually, men are more likely to occupy the extreme ends of the bell curve. So while that that means your off-the-chart geniuses and your Olympic athletes are statistically more likely to be male, it also means that the weakest, the least intelligent, and the most dependent are male as well.

    • I don’t doubt that there are all kinds of differences, but I think the science is still in its infancy. Anyone who is drawing broad conclusions at this point is doing so based on ideology, not science.

      I’ve thought about this in terms of Myers-Briggs. Thinking and Feeling fall in line with gender stereotypes, but even so there are is around 40% of the population that doesn’t fit into typological gender stereotypes. Feeling men and Thinking women often don’t fit their respective gender stereotypes.

      Even if 60% of the population does fit into these stereotypes, that still leaves a massive part of the population. Besides, as such dualistic stereotypes go, most people are closer to the middle than to the extreme ends.

    • As an INFP, I’m equal parts assertive and turbulent, somewhere in the middle. I’m sort of even-tempered in that my moods don’t change quickly, although I can get irritated easily and I worry a lot. I’m self-conscious, sensitive to stress, and emotional. I often do prefer doing things alone, but I’m fine working with others. I played team sports growing up and I was good at it. Still, I don’t go looking for people to do things with. I prefer to work by myself most of the time.

    • sjn June 12, 2015, 2:44 PM

      The obvious point the article fails to follow, is that whatever the cause of recent trends, US maternal mortality rates, just like our infant mortality rates are the highest in the “developed” world.

      There is absolutely no doubt about the cause of this – our private insurance based system in which a significant portion of the population still is not insured – compared to universal coverage in virtually all other compared countries.
      In researching this at other times, I came across an alarming statistic, which I would definitely like to see more research on, that as high as 1 out of 6 US women do not see a doctor until delivery.

      Our postnatal care is just as deficient compared to all countries shown with lower maternal mortality rates.
      We can quibble about the statistics, but the comparative results, which align with other basic health/medical care outcomes such as overall life expectancy, are beyond dispute.

  10. My parents tend to be like this:

    My mum saw sanders on TV for the first time, she remarked that he reminded her of Jimmy Carter. A nice man, but niceness gets you nowhere ni politics, especially when the world is so evil.

    I remarked that Hillary was flip-floppity and just seemed to say what she thought would get her votes, she dosen’t seem to have any of her own principles. My mom says ”Hillary is realistic! Hillary realizes the world isn’t black and white!” Also… why everyone is always ganging up on Hillary?? She’s great! Look at the Clinton years! Everything she does, she is so good at! Why don’t people like her, are always trying to trash her?

    I also mentioned the debate controversy, how pretty blatantly the DNC is protecting Hillary. My mom says Hillary isn’t afraid of debates and dosen’t need protection. She’s a great speaker and debater.


    To be fair though, my mum isn’t thta good at english, she struggles with it. Ironically she’s much more verbally oriented than my dad, but frankly, depression, isolation, lsos of confidence from being an immigrant starting at zero, has left her english lacking because she dosen’t use it. Since my dad works with people his english is much better. I wish I could get Chinese dubs on our TV lol.

    people deal differently, but being an immigrant has been really rough on my mum. She went from being accomplished and successful in China, to being nothing in America, not even being good at the language. She’s a smart lady, knack for language, accomplished teacher and chemist/chemical engineer. She had to start from zero when she came to America, and it never panned out well. Broken INFJ in ways

    • Many mainstream liberals use argument to moderation. It annoys me to no end.

      I have a coworker from Algeria. He has been here many decades, but still has family back in Algeria. A few years ago he decided to get married. He had his family arrange a marriage for him.

      His wife moved to the US. Back in Algeria, she was a doctor. But once in the US, she couldn’t work as a doctor and so was nothing more than a housewife. She couldn’t take it and returned to Algeria.

  11. If Hillary wants to win this nomination then she has to be able to withstand the scrutiny into her record.

    The American people deserve a candidate who is going to be upfront with them, not some spin-meister who will say “don’t worry about this, just elect me.”

    Though our country did well under the Clinton years, the fact that Bill allowed glass-Steagal to expire set us all up for a fall.

    Wall Street said “trust us” and we all fell for it.

    The bubble started going up, and after Bush 2’s disastrous economic policy and tax cuts, when the bubble finally burst, it was bloody and painful.

    Obama got us out of the mess, but his unwillingness to deal with Wall Street infuriated me.

    I am not backing a democrat who has their tongue up wall streets ass.

    • Dark Enlightenment, neo-reactionary, neo-fascist… yeah, whatever. The labels seem meaningless and overly self-important. There was reactionary thinking in the mainstream Enlightenment of centuries ago. None of this is new or radical. It is the same old crap. slightly repackaged, but most of it not even repackaged. If it’s fascist and some of it seems to be, there is nothing ‘neo’ about it. It’s just plain old fascism.

    • Pretty clueless. Humans are complex. If anything, the US has such success at assimilation because it hasn’t tended to be based on simplistic nationalist ideologies. The US assimilates through class, race, culture, regionalism, and much else. It is partly why the US has less terrorism than many places. Too much nationalism creates antagonism and divisiveness, except maybe in a rare tiny, isolated, and homogenous country.

    • That was a time when most people weren’t in school. Very few Americans either started school at all or made it to the 8th grade. Getting that far in school back then was the equivalent of today getting a college degree. If you were minority, poor, or working class, you didn’t bother with school and there was no one to force you to go to school. The few people who made it to 8th grade were the intellectual elite of society, the smartest and wealthiest of society who planned on doing something other than manual labor, during an era when the majority of the population did manual labor. The average person back then was a lot less smart and well educated than today, and a test like that was intended for the average person back then.

    • There were also some people in the comments claiming it was a fake. I don’t know if that is true, but here is one of the comments:

      dredzo • 4 months ago
      Interesting, but Turkey was not a country in 1912. It was the Ottoman Empire, and was not the Republic of Turkey until 1923

  12. This makes a good point:

    “From the looks of things, Trump’s point is correct. His candidacy is proving that religiosity is not very important to the GOP voter base.”

    Trump demonstrates that no issue particular matters. The culture wars were always a sham. Everything claimed about conservative politics is all bullshit. As Corey Robin makes clear, there is only one thing that has ever mattered to reactionaries who have come to call themselves conservatives—defense of inequality in various forms: hierarchy, authority, plutocracy, aristocracy, or whatever.

    The greater point is that the issues so many thought mattered don’t really matter. It has always been hype and symbolism, along with such things as dog whistle politics. Even for those on the left and in the center, traditional issues aren’t really the issue. Most Americans are religious, including most liberals and most Democrats. It’s obvious that Republicans don’t win because of religion. The Populist and Progressive eras were dominated by religion.

    The power of rhetoric, of language and vision has little to do with what the mainstream obsesses over. This is why I’ve spent so much time thinking about symbolic conflation. If we don’t understand real power, we will continue to be ruled by those who do understand.

  13. Here is a relevant comment:

    ron bruno September 13, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    From NYT:

    “Despite the country’s challenges, there are signs of improvement: Job growth is up, unemployment is down, and the economy is in vastly better shape than it was eight years ago.”

    This quote embodies the disconnect between official statistics and the perception of the public at large. It fuels the anxiety that conservatives and liberals alike are feeling and explains why Bernie Sanders is currently leading Democratic polls. Mocking and disregarding the perceptions of average Americans only fuels the anxiety and transforms it into anger. Thus the Trump and Sanders candidacies are resonating with voters. There is just as much mean-spirited rhetoric on the left as on the right. It would be prudent for both sides to acknowledge that lofty rhetoric is not going to assuage the concerns of angry voters. It’s still about the economy and it’s not as rosy as the numbers suggest.

  14. Anyway.. The rush for food and water will be the next cause for global conflict… We can’t sustain a lifestyle we have now… There is enough for everyones need but not everyones greed..

    Looking at history one can see we never really change our ways.

    • Environmental problems at a global level are hard to predict. It seems inevitable that something at some point will catastrophically collapse or hit a severe limit. Systems can only take so much change before they suddenly shift toward a new equilibrium, and the transition could be violent and deadly. That new equilibrium or the shift toward it may not be as conducive toward large-scale civilization as we’ve grown accustomed to. We forget how rare are these peaceful moments on this planet. The few millennia of human history isn’t even a blink of an eye on the scale of global changes.

  15. Northern Nigeria was (and remains) semi-arid and ‘extreme climatic
    variability, particularly drought, is and was an intrinsic part of nature [in
    this area]’ (Watts 1983: 247). This being so, how were peasant households
    able to survive drought periods when the hierarchical mode of
    production in which they were embedded ‘creamed off’ a portion of their
    crops annually? Here Watts emphasised the importance of the Hausa’s moral
    economy. While this moral order required tribute from households to
    their overlords, at times of extreme climatic stress a norm of reciprocity
    was activated wherein emirs, district and village heads would redistribute
    stored food back down to the household level as and when necessary. In
    this way, Hausa society created a buffer that ameliorated the impacts
    of drought.
    All this changed subsequent to British colonisation of Nigeria from the
    early twentieth century.The Hausa experienced major famines in 1914,
    1927, 1942 and 1951 – whereas they’d experienced virtually none the
    century before.While rainfall variability was no more (or less) extreme than
    in previous decades,Watts argued that the imposition of a capitalist mode
    of production on the Hausa – achieved through colonial domination
    – made households far more vulnerable to the effects of drought. In brief,
    a capitalist mode of production is geared to the sale of commodities for
    money with a view to making profit. It involves relations between those
    who own the means of production and those who work for them for
    money. In addition to this ‘primary’ class relationship, there are ‘secondary
    ones’, also mediated by money (like those between landlords and tenants,
    or money-lenders and borrowers). Colonialism, whose heyday has now
    passed, involved the formal occupation of one territory by the government
    of another or its representatives. According to Watts, the capitalism–
    colonialism nexus transformed Hausa society in four main ways. First, the
    colonial authorities promoted the cultivation of groundnuts and cotton
    among peasant households, replacing the subsistence crops of sorghum
    and millet. Second, these crops were grown for export to Britain and elsewhere.Third,
    exchange in kind was supplanted by exchange for money, as
    Hausa crops entered a cash economy extending well beyond Nigeria.
    Finally, in 1910 the British imposed a tax on households to be paid in cash
    not in crops or labour.

    • It’s not clear he was actually a NR. He used other accounts to criticize his NR accounts. It is hard to know what he believed or if he believed anything. He may simply have been a sociopathic troll with way too much time on his hands.

    • There are people like this who are both dangerous and have some kind of serious psychiatric issues. He probably should be put in a high security psychiatric institute for life. It would be unfair to put such mentally deranged people in with common criminals, maybe more unfair to the common criminals.

    • This is why I’m wary about everything I see online. There are some truly dedicated and genius trolls out there. I know that I’m not above being taken in by someone who seems sincere. My bullshit detector is finely tuned, but when dealing with a mastermind that may not be enough. Some people have a talent to play a role to perfection and not leave any room for doubt.

  16. Intelligence does not necessarily correlates with ambition, future orientation, lack of impulsive aggression or anything else. In fact our current level of average intelligence may represent some kind of near optimal tradeoff. I posted a link a week or two ago showing correlation between high IQ and depression/bipolar.
    Intelligence enhancement will not be a quick flipping of a few genes. It will be a slow process of working through side-effects and undesirable consequences. For example intelligence enhancement without tweaking the misnamed “warrior” gene (MAOA) sounds like a rather bad idea. Who’d want highly intelligent, violent criminals lacking empathy…

    • The risk of messing with genetics is that our ignorance is greater than our knowledge. The unintended consequences are likely to be immense. The biggest danger is that the worst unintended consequences might not show up until the genetically engineered reach adulthood, and it could be catastrophic both for individuals and for society. We should proceed cautiously in that direction.

      In the meantime, we should stick to proven simple solutions for increasing IQ, even though they aren’t as ideologically exciting as utopian sci-fi fantasies. Once we reach the ceiling of present IQ increases, we can then worry about more radical and extreme measures. Simply improving environmental conditions to raise the average IQ of the entire country or planet by dozens of IQ points could utterly transform all of society. That seems like a decent first step.

      It doesn’t necessarily mean all IQ disparities would disappear, even if they would further lessen to an even greater degree. But it would be amazing if the entire spectrum was raised significantly. Even what we’ve accomplished so far is amazing. The average low IQ demographics today have a higher IQ than the average high IQ demographics from earlier last century. All of that was done without any need to alter genetics.

    • An interesting perspective.

      “In other words, I think the answer is more meritocracy. I approve of the principle for the same reason my father disapproved of it, because it helps to secure people’s consent to the inequalities that are the inevitable consequence of limited government.”

      The problem with this is that the ideological rhetoric of meritocracy has been used to promote something that obviously isn’t meritocratic in the slightest. The greatest enemy of those who advocate meritocracy aren’t those who criticize it, but those who claim to be allies in falsely advocating it for ulterior motives.

      Meritocracy has been a failed experiment, at least in its present form, even though it has had powerful advocates in leadership positions in powerful governments. It has become the dominant paradigm and yet the world we live in still isn’t based on merit. It makes one suspect there is something dysfunctional about the ideology itself. That leaves the responsibility to its advocates to prove otherwise.

      “One solution is a guaranteed basic income.”

      It’s particularly interesting that he brings that up. It is one idea that has been supported by an ideologically diverse group, both those who promote and attack ‘meritocracy’.

      “I’m more interested in the potential of a technology that hasn’t been invented yet: genetically engineered intelligence.”

      He shows his cards here. He turns away from a practical solution that has been prove to work, basic income, to a sci-fi fantasy of genetic engineering. We still don’t know that much of the differences in IQ are even about genetics. All the research so far has actually shown increases of average IQ have primarily come from improvements of environment. I’m not against looking into genetics, but shouldn’t we be realistic? For very little money, we can make environmental conditions healthier for most of the population and easily raise the average IQ another 20 points. Why not go for simple and cheap solutions first?

  17. Wouldn’t engineering everyone to be geniuses increase social strife? Nobody with a 180 IQ will be content with being the low man on the totem pole.

    • It would increase social strife in a capitalist society. One of the advantages of increasing everyone’s IQ is that it would likely require an entirely new social, economic, and political system. Improved individuals would create a demand for an improved society. If the entire population was genius, no one would be willing to except our present forms of authoritarian oppression, faux meritocracy, and systemic injustice. It wouldn’t just be social strife. It would be a revolution.

    • I left this comment at the reddit thread, just to mess with their heads:

      What if left-wingers sought to eugenically eliminate all of their opponents from the population, including neo-reactionaries? There are certainly more left-wingers than neo-reactionaries. With greater numbers, they are more likely to take control of any eugenics program.

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      • I’ve had an account there for more than a year. But I don’t know anything about comment karma. My first comment was from about a year ago. That last comment I guess was my tenth comment. I don’t post much on reddit. I did notice that I have a link karma, whatever that means. Most of my comments have been simply leaving information in response to something.

        It is funny that a Dark Enlightenment subreddit is worried about trolls, especially in light of the recent news about the sociopathic troll who was a moderator of numerous neoreactionary subreddits. If anything, we should be worried that the moderators are trolls, trying to lure in the naive and gullible.

      • “So is social stratification becoming more iq based? And if so, for charles murray reasons or not?”

        All evidence points to a negative.

        In the US and many other developed countries, IQ disparities have been decreasing between whites and blacks and between the wealthy and the poor. This is at the same time that inequality has been increasing in the US, but decreasing in many other developed countries. And this is at the same time that economic mobility has been decreasing in the US, but increasing in many other developed countries.

        So, there appears to be no direct correlation between IQ and social stratification. The US is becoming more socially stratified, even as certain environmental conditions have improved for all populations on both ends of the stratification. Over the past century, nutrition has improved, pollution has lessened, basic education has become more available, etc. The poor have a harder time escaping poverty, but at least certain aspects of poverty are less worse than they used to be. For the poor, unemployment and underemployment rates are up along with incarceration rates being up and yet they are living basically healthier lives in various ways.

        It’s a mixed bag. It is hard to figure out what it all means or where it is heading. Not all of the patterns are consistent across various countries, although there are some broad patterns such as the Moral Flynn Effect.

        • I’m not sure what he meant by more IQ stratified class. The IQ disparity has decreased between classes. It is true that the classes have become more stratified in the US.

          Yeah, the poor have less heritable IQs. That is just to say that most of the IQ increases have come from the poor, most specifically poor minorities. This is the reason the IQ disparity is rapidly lessening.

          The class stratification will be problematic in the long term for further increasing IQ in the lower classes. The only thing that has increased IQ for the poor is improving conditions, but as class stratification continues the funding will dry up for improving conditions even more for the poor.

          Whatever stratification exists is entirely an artificial creation. I’m sure we could stratify IQs and even decrease average IQs for the poor by making their lives a living hell. However, for the time being, despite systemic racism, general improvements for society have managed to filter down even to the most disadvantaged. There is little doubt that some neo-reactionaries and right-wingers would like to stop that from happening, to fully segregate and permanently ghettoize the entire underclass.

          I hope that doesn’t happen.

  18. I occasionally see this kind of stuff from ethnically Chinese kids who were born and raised in America. My theory, they have little to no actual experience of life and education in China, but they are expected to be knowledgeable about Chinese culture by social pressure, so end up internalizing a lot of things about China written in English, which includes a large amount of incorrect things, stereotypes, and misinterpretation by foreigners.

    • I’m amazed at the willful ignorance in such threads. They opinionate endlessly. It never occurs to them to look at the data. It is simply a fact that the well functioning social democracies have less inequality, severe and concentrated poverty, economic immobility, violent crime, social problems, public health problems, etc. This isn’t even a debate. The only debate is what it means and how it can apply to other countries.

      • That troll truly liveduo to stereotypes as a 20 year old living in his parents’ basement :/

        Now I always imagine the people in DR typing with cheeto-covered fingers. But maybe that’s to make myself feel better.

        Still, the three NR’s whose identities I know irl do fulfill the dweeb stereotype. Like that guy I linked before who had the odd meltdown, lol.

        I get the impression that NR dudes (and they are pretty much just dudes. White and jewish dudes especially) are reasonably intelligent people who are the awkward, dweebish types, with superiority and entitlement complexes. With some dunning-Kruger thrown in

    • That is how capitalism works. That isn’t a failure of capitalism. That is how it is designed.

      All capitalist labor is prostitution. We sell our minds and bodies for pay. There is a reason it has often been called wage slavery since the 1800s. There is no freedom in having to work at any job no matter what, even literally selling your body to be used for sex, in order to try to get by or maybe even improve your live.

      What other choice is there? Well, you could choose to be unemployed and homeless instead. That is the closest a person gets to freedom within capitalism.

  19. Well personally I think it is a problem because it serves as a massive distraction from taking on the actual systemic causes of marginalization and oppression.
    Instead of changing the way we structure employment and home life to reconcile womens’ pregnancies and early childcare with their career productivity (and thus closing the gross gender wage gap and winning some rights for workers at the same time), we get drawn into stupid lawsuits about gendered workplace feuds.
    Instead of an organized movement amongst blacks to end the War on Drugs and the mass incarceration and getting investment into inner cities, we get young people without an ounce of practical sense wasting their rage on internet rants and leaderless, impotent Twitter hashtag mobs.
    The 21st century Left is too inwards looking, too balkanized, too addicted to the Internet, and doesn’t pose even a remote threat to the powers that be.

    • If anything, I think the Left has become too outwards looking. Most activism used to be very inwards in a local sense. People fought for the rights of their family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Between people moving around more and the internet, that sense of local community identity and inward focus has become less common.

    • Guns drawn and handcuffs in a dawn home raid against a scientist? Disgusting and nauseating. Why the violence, and what is the policy that allows these overreactions? This is just like the tackling of James Blake and handcuffing him in front of a midtown hotel, on suspicion of telephone fraud? Why these overwhelming shows of force? How many thousands of these confrontations go unreported and unpunished? Who will protect us from our protectors? The US attorneys responsible for this grossly negligent indictment should be investigated and disbarred from the legal profession. And the police commissioner should be sacked. I once saw a cop tackle a bike rider, who was then wrongly charged with assaulting the officer! This was an unassailable video! I never read of a follow up of proper discipline for these cops and lawyers out of control. Was Sandra Bland’s incident the first for that crazy Texas trooper? These cases of over the top violence by police with guns have to be pursued by the investigative press and stopped once and for all! I never hear of follow-up justice against these madmen, and that is truly disheartening to me, a retired attorney.

    • We live in a police state. This is how police states operate.

      It’s the same reason cops can kill citizens with impunity. It’s the same reason we have growing mass incarceration, including large numbers of innocents (at least 6% of the prison population), and the same reason we have growing number of excons without basic citizenship rights. It’s why alphabet soup agencies regularly use covert operations, including COINTELPRO that was technically made illegal decades ago. It’s why we have torture prisons and extraordinary rendition.

      All of this is just normal everyday practices for our government. The only thing that shocks people is when occasionally the mainstream media points out the obvious and the Dreamers momentarily wake up from the Dream.

  20. man fuck the police sometimes

    while there have been a few riots in a few places (mainly Ferguson, Baltimore, Berkeley, and Oakland) most of the incidents where black people were beaten, injured, or killed unjustly were not really marked by protests, locally or nationally. Some of the most egregious incidents, such as in Cleveland when the twelve year old kid with a toy gun was shot dead by a cop who pulled up next to him and opened fire with hardly a word said, barely had any protests (and half of those protests were in support of the cops).
    Riots happen when there are deeper patterns of violence and marginalization, as well as stronger community networks and social ties that can quickly mobilize people. Building community, then, is one of the key tasks for Asian Americans. But I think this needs to extend past just race, and into the realm of class, since these kinds of problems (economic marginalization, police violence, etc.) are very common for all working-class people (to varying degrees, of course). Ideally, there would increasingly be unrest and even riots anytime a person was unjustly injured or killed by security forces.

  21. It pains me to say it, but I find it believable that white parents treat their whiter looking children better than their more nonwhite looking children. Even if it’s only subconscious, the psychological effects over a lifetime are cumulative and can be deeply traumatic.

    And Jefe replied:

    I think it can go both ways.

    Remember when Malcolm X said his dark skinned father favoured the lighter complexioned children, but his light skinned mother favoured the darker children and was tougher on Malcolm?

    Besides this, there are other factors (besides complexion or features) which may cause a white parent to favour one of their children more than the others, but which can still be related to race. It is not as simple as you put it.

    Wow. It can go in a VARIETY of ways in multi-racial families, because of course the children can look black, white or different kinds of Asian depending on how their individual genes express themselves.

    It also depends on which country you are, too, and what other people think you are, or WANT to say you look like.

    It leads to all kinds of odd goings on within families.
    As for my sibling who could pass for white, there are particular punishments, rejections and burdens reserved for her, and her alone.

    (I haven’t read the thread in full: pushed for time at the moment.)

  22. The prison industrial complex, which I indeed despise, was not created by the will of the American people. It was created by and for the billionaires on Wall Street. They are the only people who benefit from racism.”

    The police and prison guard unions lobbied representatives which allocated tax dollars to build the industrial prison complex over the last 30 years. This is easy to prove, just use google.

    Their are plenty of public service jobs at stake that depend upon institutional racism so that they can make a living.

    “His campaign is financed solely by himself and fundraisers, not by the billionaires.”

    “Bernie Sanders is also the only candidate who is going to smash them; he also just recently promised to drastically cut drug laws and get retroactive sentence readjustment for nonviolent offenders.”

    This will be one promise he will have a hard time keeping since if he makes the nomination the majority of his funding will come from unions including those who lock people up.

    “He also supports community policing, so law enforcement looks less like an occupying army”

    Unless he plans on taking away “the police bill of rights” and other union protections keeping them out of fatigues isn’t going to change much. Again if he won’t take wall street money its got to come from somewhere and that means unions.

    Taleoflions properly pointed out what real socialism is. Countries like Cuba and Argentina who are socialist also have racism and a white hierarchy is in place.. When I said “and its from these roots that white supremacy became the dominant ideology behind various world views” that was what I was referring to. White supremacy transcends political and economic ideology.

    My prior comment was long but was an attempt to show you the roots of white supremacy within the last 100 years and how it got systemically hard wired into our society. The PDF that I posted from (“Retrospectives Eugenics and Economics in the Progressive Era.” By Thomas C. Leonard.) is about 18 pages long and I suggest you read it. It’s one of many sources that show how Jim Crow continued to grow within our society. Whenever a black business or community became successful laws were passed to shut it down. The history of unions in the U.S. was largely about keeping jobs for white people and were racist and inclusive.

    • I do have a hard time getting excited about politics. I don’t see how electing someone like Sanders is likely to make any difference. No change in the US has ever primarily been caused by an election. At best, elections represent long-term trends of activism and social change. Sanders isn’t going to save us. We have to save ourselves. It matters less who is elected than what the public demands, and no public demand has ever been enforced through a mere election. Those in power have to have the fear of God put in them and then they will bow to that pressure. That is the one and only way progress has ever happened in this country.

  23. This reminds me of the the little dutch boy with his finger in the dike. US technology has been transferred out of the country by the barrel full in the guise of offshoring manufacturing capabilities. The US has abdicated it’s lead in high tech in the interests of corporate profits. The tech competition between China and the US is over and it’s not been lost due to ‘spies’ but due to the sell-out of US interests by corporate America.

  24. This incident is to Chinese Scientists, as Traffic Stops are to Black Americans.

    Dr. Xi is lucky that he didn’t end up in Guantanamo. I’m sure some of you are saying, “we don’t do that”. But how would you know? A secret place is a secret place – do you think they show everyone the basement? Stop. Think. Guantanamo is still there. We just don’t know.

    Once a government starts to operate in total secrecy, all bets are off, and freedom is dead. Dead for you, dead for me, proven dead for Xi.

    One thing that is safe to assume, is that the “evidence” was picked up by NSA spying – spying not just on Dr. Xi, but on you and me.

    Make no mistake – this story isn’t about science – it’s about police traffic stops. Stops by Police with different badges and pay scales, but Police stops none the less.

    Whether you are driving an old clunker in Mississippi, a science lab in Philadelphia, or the front door of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, the problem is the same – we have become a police state.

    It is difficult to define “Freedom”, but face down on the concrete is not a starting point. Time for a change. Stand up, Speak up.

    • All one has to do is look at all the covert activities of the past that came to light. There are such things as internment camps. But there are also lesser known activities.

      The US has secretly done testing on its own citizens: infecting people, slipping people drugs, spraying chemicals in neighborhoods, spreading radioactive dust on entire towns, etc. There is the infamous use of COINTELPRO to destroy countless numbers of groups and individuals, including what apparently were assassinations of citizens. Even worse in some ways were programs like Operation Mockingbird which had government agents infiltrate universities and mainstream media for the purpose of propaganda.

      One could spend all day just listing all the examples of the US acting like an authoritarian police state.

  25. FBI is good at ruining the lives and reputation of scientists.
    Besides Dr. Xi, there is sherry Chen of Ohio, Dr. Wen Ho lee
    of California and Steven Hatfill in Anthrax case and probably
    many more. They act like a military invasion-several agents
    with gun drawn to arrest an old lone scientist which surely
    traumatizes the person and the whole family and the
    neighborhood. All neighbors know he was arrested but there
    won’t be any public announcement of his acquittal. For many
    neighbors he will be a tainted individual.

    • The FBI has destroyed even the lives of otherwise respectable upper-to-middle class white people. If you are either poor or non-white, you have even less chance of being spared the injustices of the FBI. The only thing the FBI cares about is protecting established power and destroying anyone who challenges this. That is why the FBI destroyed the KKK. There is a side of the FBI that supports equal opportunity oppression. But it is obviously worse for the most disadvantaged who have even less ability to fight back and gain important allies.


    There is one simple point that I find the most relevant.

    Data has shown that countries that ban abortions either don’t decrease the abortion rate or else actually increase it. The main thing that changes is that abortions are no longer legal and so are instead done illegally and hence unsafely. This increases the number of women that are harmed and die. Also, because of the abortions that fail, the number of babies born with deformities and brain damage increases as well.

    So, what exactly about this is supposedly “pro-life”? Is it about controlling the sexual rights and freedoms of individuals? Or is it actually about saving lives and preventing abortions?

    The only policies proven to decrease the abortion rate are those that decrease the unwanted pregnancy rate. That includes full sex education, better women’s healthcare, more availability of family planning centers, easy and cheap or even free access to contraceptives and birth control, etc. Those are the policies a genuine pro-life advocate would support.

    The problem is that these culture war battles are never actually about the outward issues. It isn’t about solving a problem. Rather, it is about punishment and control. It originates from a particular religious worldview. Practical politics is not the central concern. These are symbolic issues that touch upon even deeper sources of fear, anger, and righteousness. The outward issues are a distraction. The real battleground is elsewhere.

    Rational analysis and discourse won’t change anything, although I’m personally a fan of such.

  27. Noah, from what I’ve seen of the neoreactionary movement, they care very little for (proclaimed) conservative ideals and (what we think of as) the conservative thought process. What they are is a radical elitist, social dominance-fetishizing group that’s inseparably linked to the emerging tech-aristocracy of the modern economy. They only support conservatism where it might benefit them; when they see something they want broken, they instantly become a kind of far-right Bolshevik.

    Corey Robin has it right; in all ages, Reaction is a counter-revolution that seeks to imitate the drive and aggression of the Jacobins in the interests of the privileged. So they’re not only monarchist and technocratic, but inevitably also white-supremacist (even if distancing themselves from the “crude” populist racism – yet they don’t actually want a regime of Asians and Jews!), rabidly anti-feminist and anti-proletarian (even scornful of right-wing proles).

    So, get it, that’s what’s scary; a bunch of geeks on the internet is absolutely nothing, in its current state the “dark enlightenment” is even less threatening to the established order than the radical Left – but they might be an early expression of the new emerging socioeconomic reality.

    • The insight that Corey Robin has is that there is no difference between conservative and reactionary. Trump is demonstrating that right now. Conservatism isn’t what people understand it to be. It’s a much more dynamic phenomena. It’s rhetoric and tactics can be downright chameleon-like. Neo-reactionaries constantly use liberal ideas and language, but the put such a twist on it that at times it can be almost genius. That is there one and only talent.

  28. Of course you are right, their ideology is more clear than that of ordinary conservatives who hide their sexist, racist, anti-enlightenment and anti-egalitarian thoughts better. But you underestimate the danger of such a political ideology. In my own country a fairly moderate problem, the Great Depression plus Brüningian austerity, lead to fascism.
    Climate change, resource scarcity, overpopulation, financial stability, there are ample of large, interconnected problems (e.g. democracy depends on development, i.e. the world population would stagnate if the entire world would be industrialized … yet natural resources are too scarce to support such a lifestyle, not to mention CO2 emissions resulting from this) in the 21st century.
    If fascists/reactionaries who wanna undo the enlightenment already exist today the above mentioned problems can easily make a majority out of a minority, a majority which is committed to literally catapult us into the Dark Ages or, given that the Middle Ages were not as horrible as popular imagination suggests, something worse.

    The liberal centre did not stop the rise of fascism in Germany. And the same liberal complacency, not taking people who are committed to undo the advance we made since enlightenment seriously, will not stop the potential rise of something similar or worse in this century.

    • One of my main interests is the weakness and problems of liberalism. I want a liberalism that is powerful and influential enough to make truly radical visions possible. But to do so we have to understand what too often makes liberalism complicit with illiberal forces in society, what allows it to so easily be co-opted, whether by cynical realpolitik or (neo-)reactionaries.

      • That it kind of impresses me. NR’s are masters at co-opting liberal ideas and twisting them into NR ones. Some NR’s hate liberalism yet have a ”liberal martyr” complex. ‘Liberalism sucks but only white people are liberal and that is why white people are morally superior. It’s bixarre

    • I doubt we are even close to making that possible. Anyone being cryogenically stored now is likely to just be another piece of frozen meet. I also doubt that the brain will be enough, even when we get to the point of making effective cryogenics possible. But I suppose freezing people or parts of people is perfectly fine if it helps comfort people in dealing with death.

    • Down Syndrome obviously most often goes along with severe issues of cognitive/neurological development.

      “In the last several years, the average IQ of a person with Down syndrome has increased. In people with Down syndrome, 39.4% are in the mild intellectual disability range of 50-70, and 1% in the borderline intellectual function range of 70-80 (average IQ in the general population is 70-130).”

      “The average IQ of a young adult with Down syndrome is 50, equivalent to the mental age of an 8- or 9-year-old child, but this varies widely. […]

      “Most individuals with Down syndrome have mild (IQ: 50–70) or moderate (IQ: 35–50) intellectual disability with some cases having severe (IQ: 20–35) difficulties.[2][24] Those with mosaic Down syndrome typically have IQ scores 10–30 points higher.[25] As they age, people with Down syndrome typically perform less well compared to their same-age peers.[24][26] Some after 30 years of age may lose their ability to speak.[3] This syndrome causes about a third of cases of intellectual disability.[15] Many developmental milestones are delayed with the ability to crawl typically occurring around 8 months rather than 5 months and the ability to walk independently typically occurring around 21 months rather than 14 months.[27]

      “Commonly, individuals with Down syndrome have better language understanding than ability to speak.[12][24] Between 10 and 45% have either a stutter or rapid and irregular speech, making it difficult to understand them.[28] They typically do fairly well with social skills.[12] Behavior problems are not generally as great an issue as in other syndromes associated with intellectual disability.[24] In children with Down syndrome, mental illness occurs in nearly 30% with autism occurring in 5–10%.[10] People with Down syndrome experience a wide range of emotions.[29] While generally happy,[30] symptoms of depression and anxiety may develop in early adulthood.[3]

      “Children and adults with Down syndrome are at increased risk of epileptic seizures which occur in 5–10% of children and up to 50% of adults.[3] This includes an increased risk of a specific type of seizure called infantile spasms.[12] Many (15%) who live 40 years or longer develop dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.[31] In those who reach 60 years of age, 50–70% have the disease.[3]”

  29. I’m not sure it is possible for anybody to shift their IQ by over 50 points, irrespective of having Down Syndrome.

    IQ can definitely change over time, and can be improved through mental stimulation including reading. However, remember that IQ is scored according to age, and everyone else in the age cohort will be learning and developing too. Gaining IQ points over time is not the same as gaining intelligence over time. You have to gain intelligence faster than average to raise IQ, and it will only go up by the difference.

    After a quick search, the biggest change in IQ that I’ve found referred to is around 20 points, in this article: 5 Experts Answer: Can Your IQ Change? A more thorough search of the literature may turn up something more, but I reiterate that 50 points on the IQ scale is really enormous.

    IQ scores are believed to be influenced by genetics and environment, though the exact ratio between the two is not known. Down Syndrome does have a negative impact on IQ in the genetic side of things, but a sufficiently stimulating environment can maximise the other side of the equation.

    Always remember that despite being the best tool we have to quantify intelligence, IQ is still really not much more than an indicator of how well people can answer questions in an IQ test. It does not necessarily predict success, functioning or quality of life.

    • I’m sort of a hopeful person. I do see many positive changes and trends. When I look toward the long term, it makes me more excited about the future. Shit will happen and things likely will get worse before they get better, and yet the world is heading in some truly fascinating directions.

    • Yeah, I’ve heard of that before. There were other secret experiments like that.

      If we are to be honest, there are probably more secret experiments we don’t know about than we do. I would be entirely unsurprised if it turned out our government, universities, corporations, and other kinds of labs were still doing secret experiments on various populations.

      Combine power with lack of transparency and accountability, and corruption inevitably follows. What worries me most about inequality isn’t the concentration of wealth but the concentration of power that goes with it.

  30. My experience is that a lot of Whites don’t really enjoy being part of the non-dominant group (I think *any* person who has experience life as a minority can tell you that being in the majority affords a lot of social privileges of which you’re not even aware of.. until you are no longer *in* the majority).

  31. it’s funny how many unrelated tangents people are going on here.

    we’d all love diversity to be fuzzy, happy and smooth, but things don’t always work out like that.

    the transition from majority white kids in the schools to majority asian (especially chinese) in cupertino happened pretty recently, in the last decade. that kind of rapid transition is bound to cause tension. the number one reason that cupertino has become a mecca for asian folks is the fact that they have excellent schools.

    i think society in general is transitioning pretty rapidly- cultural expectations are changing, pressure to perform in school is intensifying.

    i do have a friend who grew up in cupertino (great city, i just moved away from it this month) and transferred out of high school there in large part because of the racial tension between chinese and white folks. the last straw for her was when her white male friend got the shit beat out of him with a metal pole because he had accidentally splashed mud on a chinese guy’s pants while running in PE.

    i went to a public middle school with a lot of racial tension, especially bitterness and bullying from mexicans towards white kids. i couldn’t really hold their anger against them, they probably had lots of experiences of being screwed by white people. but teachers and principals at that school pretty much looked the other way when kids were getting beat up for being white.

    i then went to a private high school that was about 50% asian, and there was pretty much no racial tension- i think when you are on the same economic plane, there’s likely to be less competition and bitterness. but i’m not really an expert on these kinds of things

    my main point in terms of schools is that kids learn from their parents, and administration should take a strong role in terms of controlling tensions. but you can never legislate feelings.

  32. While I believe the gifted and talented program no longer exists in Concord or any other public school, Concord teachers are specially trained to respond to gifted students. The elementary schools use Responsive Classroom, which emphasizes students’ creativity, critical thinking, independent research, communication and leadership skills. The schools are generously funded and the teachers are among the best in the state, especially in the elementary schools and at Concord High. (The middle school is and always has been the district’s weak spot; if I had kids in school, I’d go with Concord K-5 and 9-12 and the private Beech Hill School in Hopkinton for 7-8). “Gifted” kids thrive in the Concord schools just as much as anywhere else. While average test scores may be higher in more socioeconomically homogenous communities, being sheltered doesn’t do a “gifted” child any favors (take this from someone who was targeted for “gifted” programs as a kid; being “gifted” can be isolating enough in itself) and the city’s artistic and cultural richness is a great resource, there are some amazing artists and free spirits who pretty much live to learn and teach, and it’s one of the few communities in the world where it’s safe to walk to the library, indie theater, museums, coffeehouses, etc.

    Read more:

  33. hahahahaha

    Our country may be going down the tubes faster than you can count to fhree but I don’t see China or SE Asia churning out the great pop culture artists and Nobel prize winners (yes both are somehow related) that the US does. My son is in 7th grade, and has at least 2 hours of homework a night and I’ll be damned if I turn him into some sort of automotan with no personality. On the weekends, after he does his friggin required homework, he plays with his friends, we go hiking, go to the City and just have fun. Fuck tutoring and violin lessons!

  34. life isn’t fair, and that;’s not just a platitude

    It’s not a stereotype that I’ve encountered personally, but I’ve seen the bitching and moaning from redditors who complain about Asians cheating. Some of whom accuse them of cheating even without any proof.
    Look real spit time.
    Do asians cheat, yes. Do all cheat , no.
    The fact is asian student cheaters already have figured out something out that many other students are just learning. Life is not fair. And in life cheating whether it’s cheating on an exam, cheating on your taxes or lying on your resume, etc it’s really just a part of the game of living in an unequal and competitive society.
    Asians and Americans both live an unequal society. Many of these people are at a natural disadvantage to other students who have access to more resources. They don’t speak English as well as you do. They have to work after school. They have to earn good grades for the family. Etc…
    Cheating is a natural behavior in this environment. Now asian students have figured this out already. And many American students have figured this out already too.
    Too bad many haven’t.

    • A kind of strange argument. There is a valid point in there. In an unfair world, it is to be expected that people will seek unfair advantages. But cynically embracing that is fucked up. The most successful societies are those that don’t cynically accept that as being inevitable. There is a lot of research on cultures of trust, from Scandinavia to Japan.

  35. my two cents on it as someone working on becoming a teacher, cheating is simply becoming more perverasive and its inevitable. we live in a society of instant grantification and immense comeptition that most people that are even considered “good people” consider cheating because they come across this idea that if everyone else is doing it and I don’t, I will be left behind.
    I took a major that was very popular with pre-med students and it was just rampant, widespread, shameless cheating and shameless grade grubbing. It totally is a very cut throat and toxic environment and you’re pretty much seen as a chump if you think you’re above cheating. They had these cheating cliques passing around tests and copying answers. It was insane. I do feel like a chump sometimes because I had to work extra hard on my own without help (and without drugs) and I got “worse” grades because I don’t think cheating is worth the 4.0. And this wasn’t just asians, it was people of every color. I think the only other people who might not cheat were insanely intelligent asian kids who didn’t need to cheat tbh (insanely intelligent white kids tend to do physics and math instead of neurophys lol omg stereotypes wut).
    You can see these patterns of “cheating” and “deception” as the norm these days- instead of actually dieting and exercise, lipo is normal. freeze your fat off, take pills, contour and photoshop your rolls away. Instead of “natural beauty” plastic surgery is one card swipe away. Instead of learning how to “own” your unique looks, get your eyelids done, get your nose reshaped. Instead of cultivating a sense of style, and taste you hire a stylist or just copy someone else’s taste in media. Everything is very copy-print these days. If that makes these people feel fulfilled and happy and instills a sense of purpose in their lives- then ok. I know I’m wasting my breath complaining about it so to be honest, I’m not really there so much to prevent and/or punish cheating, but to provide help and support for people who have some sense of academic integrity because those are the people who are actually going to have the hardest time adapting to a really fucked up, exploitative, and unfair society.
    This is actually why I have an inclination to favor “average” kids who don’t give a shit about school because they seem like one of the single shreds of humanity that have natural personalities and interests that aren’t honed to impress admissions panels and interviewers. I have this one kid- flunked biology twice and comes to class late all the time. His former biology teacher huffed and puffed about him all time. However, he will tell you about his trip to Peru and this llama he met there, and he can even tell you how his supreme shirt is a satirical rip on a Swans (an 80s no-wave band) album. It’s like wow, I should be upset but I’m kind of impressed. I think this kid is going to do fine because he has a personality, he has spunk, and he’s a happy kid; his grades might suck but he has the personality to compensate and that goes far. Someone who manages to graduate HS without being a fucking douchebag is a win in my book.

  36. I watched this in class today. It’s a bit long but interesting. Made me think of the epigenetic issues, as well as the possible role toxins might be playing in seeing more autism and other issues?

    • I think I’ve seen that video before. It is a clear explanation.

      We aren’t just poisoning the poor and minorities. We are poisoning the entire planet, not to mention causing utter destruction and waste. Even wealthier white people have higher rates of toxic exposure than in generations past. The harm we are causing is bad for all involved. Most of the diseases modern people die from are either caused by or contributed to by environmental problems.

      You’d think the rich and powerful people would care that they too are dying from these diseases, such as cancer but many others as well. The problem is we live in a world where the most rich and powerful people are also among the most ignorant and clueless.

      We’ve creates such vast global problems. If every government, corporation, and organization, if every individual and community on the planet immediately took all of this seriously and invested all of our wealth to deal with it, this would take many generations to clean up the mess we’ve created. Even if we entirely cleaned up the mess, it would take many more generations to get beyond the carryover effects of epigenetics.

      Instead, we invest most of our wealth and resources into pointless and wasteful consumerism, building up militaries used to kill and destroy, and incarcerate massive numbers of citizens for social control to keep revolution from happening.

    • One thing is for certain. It isn’t a very intelligent and informed part of the voting public that believes “a vote for a Republican to be a vote for less government and more freedom from the state.” Libertarian rhetoric plus ignorant reactionary politics is a bad combination.

    • Why are most American mainstream institutions, public and private, hostile to most Americans? Why do those with immense wealth and concentrated power not care about those with little wealth and power? Someone should do investigative journalism about that issue.

  37. Latin America’s “pink wave” seems to be grinding to a halt with populist socialists in Venezuela, Ecuador etc. and moderate Social Democrats like Rousseff (Brazil), Bachelet (Chile) alike starting to sputter and collapse. To the north of the U.S. Canada’s NDP is more centrist than ever, and may lose anyway due to a divided anti-Harper vote. And, err, the less said about Mexico the better.
    Japan’s very brief experimentation with lefty politics has rapidly reversed itself – The LDp under Abe is back in business, and increasingly nationalistic. In fact right-wing nationalists are in charge of all the major Asian countries (aside from Indonesia, the Philippines and, probably after the next election, Taiwan) – India, Pakistan, S. Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore etc. both Australia and New Zealand are also gripped by conservative governments.
    MENA is gripped by insurgent rightist Islamists, and rightist authoritarian governments. Most liberals and lefties have been utterly discredited or worse, killed.
    Europe is very much under a rightist tide of both populist nationalists on one side and austerity grinders on the other. The left has looked hapless and kinda stupid – look at its failure in the UK, the Hollande admin’s ineptitude in France, the failure of Syriza, the disaster in Poland, merkel’s outfoxing of the spd in Germany etc. About the only point of optimism I have is Italy under Renzi and – fingers crossed – what looks like close election battles in the Iberian peninsula.
    the African left is also either astonishingly weak (nigeria, Botswana) or in power and therefore discredited (as the ANC’s immense issues show).

    • I have this sense that a large part of the world’s population or at least its leadership is itching for an all out Third World War. Sadly, my suspicion is we will only be able to deal with our shared global problems when we utterly fuck up the entire planet and destroy the world as we know it. The generations after that will then pick up the pieces.


    “The majority of dark humanity is saying to the United States that racism and militarism are not the solutions to the world’s major problems. Transnational capitalism and the repressive neoliberal policies of structural adjustment represent a dead end for the developing world. We can only end the threat of terrorism by addressing constructively the routine violence of poverty, hunger and exploitation which characterizes the daily existence of several billion people on this planet. Racism is, in the final analysis only another form of violence.

    “To stop the violence of terrorism, we must stop the violence of racsim and class inequality. To struggle for peace, to find new paths toward reconciliation across the boundaries of religion, culture and color, is the only way to protect our cities, our country and ourselves from the violence of terrorism. Because without justice, there can be no peace.”


    “In those days, Republicans believed that government and military leaders were heroic protectors of all we hold dear. But even as kitschy as Bush’s infamous “Mission Accomplished” performance was, and as overweening as the GOP’s patriotic love of men in uniform, that statement above is a remarkable validation of the American dedication to the concept of civilian control of the military. He might have been wearing a fake uniform (he liked to do that) but they acknowledged and respected him for his political leadership.

    “Something seems to have changed their minds. According to this new YouGov poll, these same patriotic Republicans still love the military passionately but are no longer attached to that moldy old concept of civilian control:

    ““Republicans (43%) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (20%) to say that they could conceive of a situation in which they would support a military coup in the United States.”

    “More to the point, only 32 percent of Republicans state unequivocally that they would not conceive of a situation in which they would support a military coup. One would be tempted to think this is simply a matter of partisanship, but there is no evidence that Democrats have ever entertained the notion of a military coup, no matter who was president, even one as widely loathed as George W. Bush. It’s as “un-American” as it gets.

    “For years the right has accused the opposition of being unpatriotic and failing to properly love America. And here they are, endorsing something that’s only seen in Banana Republics and totalitarian police states.”

    • Everyone knows this is bigoted prejudice. This would never have happened if a white boy brought a clock into school. That is even with most terrorism in the US committed before and since 9/11 has been committed by white male Americans.

  40. I think I got a revelation! You know how you said that the g parents seemed to only care about themselves and and no about society? Well… maybe they believe in trickle down!

    • Yeah, there are many forms of trickle down. Not just in economics. That is why a right-winger like Hayek supports basic income. It isn’t just bullshit. Many of them really do believe that the benefits, even if concentrated at the top, will or should trickle down in one way or another. I don’t doubt that the ‘gifted’ advocates believe that by funding education for the future elite that it will have the result of improving society for everyone, since that future elite will be the gifted leaders who will create a utopia or something. To you and I, it sounds like bullshit or crazy talk, but many take that rhetoric seriously.

  41. I can tell you that when I was in school and standardized tests were coming back and I was getting across the board scores saying that I was in the 99.9 percentile level, my teachers were floored. They had no idea that I was anything special, and neither did I.

    I knew I liked to read, but that was the limit of my thinking I was different, intellectually. In fact, when I say the 99.9 percentile scores my first thoughts were that the tests were rigged to make people feel good. I really thought that if I went around the room I’d find almost everyone had 99.9% scores in a lot of things.

    Clearly I can’t speak for anyone else, but for myself, I had no idea that I was smart. In fact I had assumed that all of my educational differences had come from a devotion, between 1st and 2nd grade to studying so that I might impress who I hoped would be my second grade teacher, this beautiful woman I had a crush on. It was only years later that I looked up my first grade scores and realized that I’d been ahead of the curve then as well.

    So to the first part of your question, “Did you know you were smart?”

    No, I didn’t. Not at all. I only knew that I liked to read.

    But regarding the second part of the question, “. . . or just think that they are different,” that doesn’t apply either. I liked to read, particularly about science, science fiction and astronomy, but also comic books. But when I looked around there were others who liked to sing, or to draw, or to dance, or to be engaged in sports.

    If there was anything that came to mind when looking at other people it was that everyone was finding their own niche, their own difference, their own area of excellence. So I didn’t feel different either. I just felt like I was in a world of people who were all different from each other.

    I actually felt far more different because I was poor than because I was smart. It seemed that everyone could afford things that my single mother could not. And I felt a bit ashamed of that difference, and did everything I could to hide it. And perhaps this is the biggest thing that amazed me. So many people have equated being advantaged with being smart, yet I was so off the scale in opposite directions on that score that I equated having wealthy and middle class parents with being pampered into stupidity. It seemed to me that there was an inverse relationship between wealth and brains, that people with money could afford to not be smart, while those of us without it had to compensate however we could.

    So no I didn’t think I was smart. And no, I didn’t think I was different.

    I still, even now, can’t get over the sense that I’m not doing anything special when I solve hard problems. It doesn’t feel like I’m different. It feels like other people are simply doing things an extra hard way that the’ve taken effort to make up and make life hard for themselves. The right answers always seem to be easy to see. I’m amazed when I see other people’s wrong answers.

    • The difference is this. Most poor kids who are smart and talented never are discovered or acknowledged. Many of them are treated with the same class and racial bigotry as their immediate peers. Many of them end up with the same underprivileged fates as their less smart and talented classmates. Most of them, unlike this person, never realize there was anything special about themselves. Their brilliance and potential is wasted, as with so much in our society.

  42. In my limited experience I will answer this.

    Most people with high IQs comes form families with an average high IQ.
    So the foundation idea of what is smart and what is stupid is set at a very young age.
    If everyone of your siblings is first in class by the time you go to school you understand that the limits of ideal behaviour for you has very different settings that the rest of your classmates.
    Many people with high IQs already know they are held to a different standard, even before they start school or ever have there IQs-tested.
    These kids also grow up in a more intellectual environment, lots of books and educational material in the home.

    If the parents are well off, the kids will get tutors or private school but many will end up in public schools… Now when this kids spends his/her first day in class they will soon realize that they have a very different vocabulary.. this strains interaction.

    Very soon some high IQ kids are labeled different or more likely names like freak or weirdo.

    Free-thinkers who question outside the box are met with anger and violence and screams from their teachers/nannies and gym instructors.

    They also tend to test the limits of their confinements, this however could just be personality. Find alternate means by which to meet their needs.This is often viewed as arrogant/sly/bad/weird…

    This can damage a persons self view. If all the person was to make life easier and they get criminal treatment to the over achiever this can break courage, or simply discourage the child to do anything. Especially with negative enforcement environment… from what I have seen this crushes the spirit out of girls especially. The exact opposite also happens… where the child becomes at a lack of a better word… dangerous.

    I have seen them flood schools, hack the computer system and mess with grades. Steal all the exam papers the day before. Copy keys to all the doors in the boarding school, so that you can come and go as you please. Set the library computer so that your books are never late. Fake vacation leave letters and fly to another country over the school holidays. The list goes on.

    This all however depends on a persons self-view. If you believe you might just be able to pull this off, you try and the results are proof.

    If however you have been broken by environment you might just think all that stuff is outside of your reach, this results in not trying and possibly not knowing you are smart. I’ve only actually seen this with women, not the men.

    So do smart people know they are smart…? That has too many variables.
    What kind of smart? There are loads of ways to be brilliant and still suck at most things…

    Many people with high IQs know , without the need for testing, that they are more capable is some areas.

    Feeling superior however is just a horrible word choice that just should not be used when referring to intelligent people.

    So lets just say that in my opinion if you are smart, you will have loads of proof and the ability to put two and two together.

    So to answer directly,in my opinion, most high IQ people know they are more capable, they know they have high IQs before any tests. This does make them different.

    • “If however you have been broken by environment you might just think all that stuff is outside of your reach, this results in not trying and possibly not knowing you are smart. I’ve only actually seen this with women, not the men.”

      This is common not just with women. It is true of the poor and minorities.

      “So to answer directly,in my opinion, most high IQ people know they are more capable, they know they have high IQs before any tests. This does make them different.”

      I’m not so sure about this. I’m willing to bet there are millions of smart kids in America who either don’t academically succeed, get trapped in the school-to-prison pipeline, struggle in poverty and maybe homelessness, waste their talents and potential in drugs and alcohol, or somehow fall through the cracks.

      I’ve never seen any estimates on this kind of thing. I doubt anyone knows the actual numbers. But I suspect it is a very high number, more than most people would assume or like to admit.

  43. The challenges you see high IQ people talk about aren’t fully understood by average or a bit above average mates, unfortunately.

    High IQ people do not have the problems they have simply because of their intelligence level, but because of the personality traits that come along and make living in maintream society hell.

    • If mainstream society hell didn’t exist and environmental conditions were improved, there would be more high IQ people. It’s not just that mainstream society hell suppresses the smart people. It also suppresses people from reaching the full potential of their intelligence and cognitive development. Everyone gets fucked in such a society, especially those on the bottom of society who not only get suppressed more severely but disproportionately have their brains poisoned with toxins.

  44. Change the question a little and it makes answering a little easier. Why does anyone care about their IQ score? Because certain others care about IQ scores. Those certain others believe that IQ is a measure of how well one might do in some specific life circumstances. As how one might perform in school or at work. And these certain others are the decision makers as to whether one is admitted to school or hired for work. Because, in general, on average, over time those with higher IQ scores have done better at things requiring reasoning and diagnostic skills than those with lower IQ scores.

    For myself, I have a measured IQ above the 98th percentile. I’m a member of Mensa. BIG DEAL! I was admitted to one of the two top rated (At the time. I don’t know where it is rated now.) small liberal arts schools in the nation. Another BIG DEAL! Liberal arts was not my bag. I should have gone to an engineering school. I dropped out after two years. I joined the Navy and got my technical training in the Navy electronics schools. After the Navy I was hired by the company that was the darling of the high tech world at the time. As an electronic technician. After eight years of electronics I switched paths and became a computer programming tech. I had about two weeks of formal, on the job, training in one programming language and learned everything else that I needed to know informally on the job and on my own. In 18 years of that I was promoted to a professional level usually achieved only by someone with at least a BA or BS degree. I did well enough that I retired at age 51. At 79 I have now been retired for more years than I was gainfully employed.

    Did having a high IQ have anything to do with my success? I believe so. Does having a high IQ guarantee success? Absolutely not. I’ve known folks with high IQ scores that are absolute dingbats – never got anywhere. But, on average, having a high IQ is an indicator that success is more likely. ON AVERAGE.

    Measuring one’s IQ is somewhat like measuring one’s height. For instance, “Men are taller than women.” True statement? Not necessarily. I’m 6′ 0″. MOST women are quite a bit shorter than me. But I had a girl friend in high school who was 6′ 1″. ON AVERAGE men are taller than women, but there are always exceptions.

    ON AVERAGE folks with high IQ scores do “better” in life than those with lower scores. There are always exceptions. I didn’t do well in college. Chose wrong school. I did very well in the working world. As well as many with college degrees, and better than some. I believe my high IQ made up for my lack of formal education.

    So that is why people care about IQ scores. IQ is not an absolute indicator. There are many factors that govern success. But IQ is certainly one of the more reliable indicators.

    As side note – It has been my observation that folks who pooh-pooh the notion that high IQ matters are those in the 120 IQ range. It has been said that they are, ON AVERAGE, the least satisfied with their lives. They are smart enough to know they are above average, but also smart enough to know they are not among the smartest. This can be a very frustrating situation.

    • IQ is an indicator of potential success on average. But the environmental conditions of economic class is an indicator of potential IQ on average and a contributing factor to realized IQ on average. So, poverty lowers IQ on average and lowered IQ leads to poverty on average. And wealth raises IQ on average and raised IQ leads to wealth on average.

      The status quo of a society reinforces and maintains the social order at all costs on average. Most people living in a highly unequal society don’t live up to their potential on average. Unequal societies have massive social problems on average, even higher rates of social problems for the wealthy on average.

    • All that we know is that there is a wider variance of intelligence for men under present environmental conditions with particular social prejudices and historical legacies of gender stereotypes and conventions, not to mention multi-generational carryover effects of epigenetics. We have no clue what the variance would or would not be with different causal and contributing factors.

      • Weren’t there studies linked showing that the link wasn’t universal? For one thing, it was reversed in black americans, and also different in other nations

          • According to the 1995 report “Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns” by the American Psychological Association, “Most standard tests of intelligence have been constructed so that there are no overall score differences between females and males.”[15] Lewis Terman’s analysis of scores on the first version of the Stanford-Binet IQ test concluded “Accordingly, our data, which for the most part agree with the results of others, justify the conclusion that the intelligence of girls, at least up to 14 years, does not differ materially from that of boys either as regards the average level or the range of distribution.”[39] There are however differences in the capacity of males and females in performing certain tasks, such as rotation of objects in space, often categorized as spacial ability. Other traditionally male advantages, such as in the field of mathematics is not so clear-cut.[citation needed]

          • Although research on sex differences in aggression show that males are generally more likely to display aggression than females, how much of this is due to social factors and gender expectations is unclear. Aggression is closely linked with cultural definitions of “masculine” and “feminine.” In some situations women show equal or more aggression than men; for example, women are more likely to use direct aggression in private, where other people cannot see them, and are more likely to use indirect aggression in public.[43] Eagly and Steffen suggested in their meta-analysis of data on sex and aggression that beliefs about the negative consequences of violating gender expectations affect how both genders behave regarding aggression.[44] Men are more likely to be the targets of displays of aggression and provocation than females. Studies by Bettencourt and Miller show that when provocation is controlled for, sex differences in aggression are greatly reduced. They argue that this shows that gender-role norms play a large part in the differences in aggressive behavior between men and women.[45] Psychologist Anne Campbell argues that females are more likely to use indirect aggression, and that “cultural interpretations have ‘enhanced’ evolutionarily based sex differences by a process of imposition which stigmatises the expression of aggression by females and causes women to offer exculpatory (rather than justificatory) accounts of their own aggression.”[46]

        • I know I’ve come across various data over the years. I can’t recall most of it,at the moment. I do know that there was that reversal you mention with black Americans. That intrigued me, when I came across it. I think I discussed it in one of my posts.

          I really am fascinated by environmental factors. It is amazing how much everything about our lives can be shaped and changed, depending on all kinds of things all around us. The complexity of it all gets me wondering. There is a ton of data out there and most of it we can’t fully explain, yet. We are barely scratching the surface in so many areas. It is a great time to be alive, if you are a person who loves data.

          I’m reading a great book right now. Well, I’m always reading some great book, but this one is particularly edifying. It is Anthropologists and the Rediscovery of America, 1886-1965 by John S. Gilkeson. I know the title is rather boring. It is a standard scholarly book, in that the writing is workmanlike, but the subject matter offers useful context for my thinking.

          The book is about the development of the idea of ‘culture’. It brings a lot of things together that I’m already partly familiar with. There is even some discussion of races and racism. The idea of races as social constructs goes back to at least the late 1800s, and still we debate it.

          The author also discusses gender quite a bit. Specifically, gender is discussed in terms of culture. Earlier last century, anthropologists were among the first to challenge mainstream gender norms.

          It’s heavy reading, but I like it. Books like that keep my mind occupied while I’m at work.

  45. When I was in Beijing less than a month ago, I surveyed Chinese college students about romantic relationships, and then had them participate in focus groups. I only sat in on the female focus groups because I didn’t want to affect answers of males with my presence. Many Chinese girls expressed quite strongly that they wanted their boyfriends to underestimate their intelligence, and to think that they were not as smart as their boyfriends. They said that the society was still quite male-dominated and that it would threaten their relationships if their boyfriends felt less intelligent.

    • There would be a case of women pretending to have less variance in intelligence. It probably isn’t just pretending. High IQ women probably experience much prejudice. This would cause less opportunity and support for cognitive development of women.

  46. Men are not intimidated by smart women. What’s happening is a little bit different.

    Men are weary (not intimidated) of women that are not sufficiently lower status than themselves. Not all men are, but quite a lot. The reason is simple – historically, women have always been attracted to high status men, and usually “married up”. This is largely true even today, especially for young women, although it might be gradually changing. Mating with a woman of insufficient status differential increases the risk of relationship breakdown, being cheated on, or worse, raising someone else’s child.

    This is the same reason men dislike “bossy” women, “opinionated” women, and women making a ton of money regardless of their other characteristics. Anything that could even remotely point to her challenging his status gives an uneasy feeling.

    You might argue that this is wrong. It is. But it’s quite consistent with what one could predict from evolutionary perspective. Just like one could predict that women would be weary of men that have a history of short, uncommited relationships or numerous one night stands, i.e. “players”. Saying that women are “intimidated” by those men (“you can’t handle it, girl!”) is a little bit ridiculous. But the only objective reason to avoid players is to insure safety of your relationship – otherwise they could be quite attractive. So, it’s the same with men avoiding (ostensibly) high-status women.

    It’s not conscious. I know women who feel disgusted with players. Similarly, I know men who think opinionated women are real b**ches. Neither seem to realize what is going on.

    • The evolutionary belief can’t explain the diversity of societies. There are matrifocal societies where women have much wealth and power and sometimes multiple husbands. Humans are genetically closer to matrifocal bonobos than patriarchal chimpanzees.

      Human genetics creates the potential for diverse social arrangements, but it doesn’t determine any particular social arrangement. I’ve come to realize how radically diverse this potential can be by studying ancient civilizations. There was nothing inevitable, certainly nothing genetically determined, about the development of our present civilization.

  47. Q may not be what you think it is. It’s not like blood pressure, cholesterol or weight, which are all physically quantifiable. IQ is an arbitrary measure that in some ways correlates with intelligence and problem solving skills in humans. Our current IQ tests are not the same as the original tests, nor will they remain the same in the future. IQ will never be comparable between two different species. It is a purely human construct, and there’s a solid argument to be made that it might even be culturally biased. There are many kinds of intelligence, many not considered a part of IQ.

    • IQ tests aren’t that old. If we looked who was successful in past societies, they probably often didn’t fit the profile of someone who is high IQ today. Intelligence is defined by social environment, by the needs and standards of a particular society. Hunter-gatherers use immense intelligence in remembering vast knowledge about the world around them and in understanding complex patterns in the ecosystems they live in, but that kind of intelligence is not measured on an IQ test. It isn’t hard to imagine future societies where intelligence will manifest in entirely new ways and for entirely different purposes. Someone who is high IQ in our society likely will seem stupid to future generations.

  48. 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
    Anne K. Halsall
    Anne K. Halsall, Gifted ex-child
    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.

  49. 104 FOLLOWERS

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    Last asked: 23 Jan, 2011

    Gifted People
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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?
    Have this question too? Re-Ask to get an answer.
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    35 Answers
    Sizhao Zao Yang
    Sizhao Zao Yang, Entrepreneur/Investor
    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
    Anne K. Halsall
    Anne K. Halsall, Gifted ex-child
    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
    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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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”).

  53. 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

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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:

    • 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?


    ”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.”

  60. 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.”

  61. 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’

  62. 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.

    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.

    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?

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

    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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

      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?”

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

      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.”

      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.”

      “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.”

  72. I’ve decided to start an 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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