We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
IQ was less important in pre-post industrial societies. In personal experience, many people with below-average IQ have excellent common sense, work ethic, wit, and practical knowledge in abundance. Often, less interest in abstractions.
I'll admit that IQ below 80 is a handicap, but I see far more life difficulties produced by character flaws, maladaptive traits, and annoying or unsettling eccentricities than by IQ shortages.
Christopher B: As AVI ablely explais, we're rapidy reaxhing the point where more than half our jobs will require above average IQ. We're eliminating them via robotics.
The obsolescence of humans has been predicted since the dawn of the industrial age. That doesn't mean the doomsayers will never be right, but you would have to explain why they were wrong before, but correct this time.
Meanwhile, after a nine year economic expansion in the U.S., nearly everyone who wants a job has a job. Human workers are still in very high economic demand, even in the most technologically advanced nation in the global economy.
It's worse than this. The military may accept some down to the level of 83, but 90 is a closer approximation to their lower limit. One of my Romanian sons just squeaked in to the USMC as a driver. Peterson is right that the military mirrors the larger society somewhat in terms of complexity of jobs. There are still jobs that can be performed successfully by people with IQ's below 90 in the larger society, but they are slowly leaking out.
There is a lower threshold IQ for all jobs. It is true that above that threshold, other abilities become more important. Discretion, determination, endurance, charm, physical coordination, even-temper and a dozen other things can each be more important in any job. They are not trivial abilities. But Peterson is also correct that 6 years is not better than 6 months for teaching most things.
It is depressing. America has succeeded by expecting everyone to do their bit, rewarding those who do better, and not rewarding those who don't. We are coming to a world where an increasing number of citizens will not be able to provide something productive for the society, no matter how much we yell at them or how hard they try. It is a great weakness that both liberals and conservatives pretend this is not so. The day is near when 30% of the country will be fighting over 10% of the jobs, because they can do no other.
Assistant Village Idiot
Assistant Village Idiot: The military may accept some down to the level of 83, but 90 is a closer approximation to their lower limit.
Today's IQ of 90 is yesterday's IQ of 100.
Assistant Village Idiot: America has succeeded by expecting everyone to do their bit, rewarding those who do better, and not rewarding those who don't.
It will continue to do so. In the most primitive settled societies, farmers produced most everything they needed on the farm. In industrial economies, farmers moved into urban factories, the highly intelligent and lowly intelligent working side-by-side, replaceable cogs in the machine. That was America yesterday, and is China today. In the new economy, people will be matched as individuals into jobs, with skill-sets and work closely matched in order to maximize individual production and satisfaction.
Hum, on army bases do they still paint the pretty row of rocks beside the walkways to the barracks white?
I'd think a GI with an IQ of 70 or so could easily handle that job.
Seriously though, I suspect there will always be work, in the military and in the outside world that can be done be people with low IQs but that have good work ethics instilled, perhaps even better than by ones with above average IQs.
Just picking up the trash alongside our highways as an example. Not a lot of glory in trash picking but it's honest work and it would make the world a better place.
> Hum, on army bases do they still paint the pretty row of rocks beside the walkways to the barracks white?
Many of the tasks that were (in my day) performed by soldiers are now performed by contractors, or punishment details.
Mowing lawns, cleanup, even in some cases gate guards and perimeter security.
William O. B'Livion
High IQs are nice, but there's far more evil done in the world by the smart guys than the numbnuts.
We could have built a world that accommodated everyone. That could have been part of the specifications used to invent modernity. It is in some places.
Instead we made over half the population superfluous. Nice. Everybody who thinks they're smart should keep in mind that there are a lot of guys smarter than you, and given the current economic model, you'll be superfluous too soon enough.
All of these commenters have been very kind to the less gifted in our society. Perhaps they have not (likely) been exposed to the less gifted. I have. Most of them have been quite lovely to be around. But they are very limited in their capabilities, their understanding of the world around them, and their limted ability to to provide value to the world around them. Do they have value as human beings? Of course they do. Mostly, they are wards of the state.
Last week, the Munk Debates in Toronto featured the remarkable Jordan Peterson on a debating team with the eloquent Stephen Fry who took the opposing side of the statement that " Political Correctness is Progressive". The pro side of the debate featured Michael Eric Dyson (Georgetown Prof) and Michelle Goldberg (NYT writer). A treat to watch - heated moments and some witty banter - go to www.munkdebates.com. Bring popcorn...