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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, August 7. 2007
We are interested in IQ at Maggie's Farm. I suspect that most of our readers are among the 10% that measures over 120.
If yours is over 120, Charles Murray believes you need Special Education.
(Sorry those links on the archived piece didn't work.)
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
"In the variety of folks we encounter in medicine, it is common to see folks of high IQ doing relatively menial jobs, but who must find outlets for their abilities in all sorts of surprising interests, intellectual hobbies and obsessions. I recall one truck driver whose hobby of Latin translation was almost obsessive, and wonderful. And a refrigerator repair guy who could have taught the Cornell Lab of Ornithology a thing or two...not everyone spends their spare time stupified, watching sports on TV or the other crap."
I have it on good authority that some of the people in question know how to spell stupefied correctly as well.
One could've learned the spelling by following, as a young feller, the adventures of Miss Stupefyin' Jones:
I can invent famous new old people and pretend to be a Possumtater.
The links on the IQ post (10/06/05) are all broken. They return the reader to the main page of Maggie's Farm. The intended links are showing up in alternate text, which is really weird.
Is that the quick and dirty IQ test, to see how many times a reader will return to the page and click the same link? Cause I don't think I did so good.
What exactly is Possumtater? I'm looking at a Blogger profile just now for a Possumtater who seems to be an exceptional dog:
15 year old male Aries
Location: yazoo : ms
Interests: worms, dead putrid animals, bird eggs, butt sniffin females
What is, or rather who is Possumtater?
Possumtater was fairly prominent on another blog that several of us who now blog here use to contribute to.
Habu is his protector. Possumtater, a possum who lives down in the "bog" along with several "lady" friends, but currently his mainsqeeze is Ms. Possum"Honeysuckle"Tater who is currently in a motherly way.
Possumtater possesses the type of wisdom displayed in Disney's movie "Song of the South" with a bit of Amos n Andy thrown in for color. Often referred to simply as 'Tater he considers Rufus as a close friend.
His dialect is partially Mississippi Delta and South Carolina Gullah with strong Mandinka tribe overtones. That however is subtlety few would pick up on.
So there's Possumtater. Habu's critter and friend, often moral compass and just a great all around marsupial.
Jep, I hope this helps with Possumtater. Often times if folks are really perplexed they'll write a "Dear Possumtater" letter to seek a different approch to the conumdrum. Please feel free to do so.
P.S. Currrently the 'Tater is down in da bog do'in lawd knows what but I'll pass along your greetings when he emerges.
Thank you, Habu. Possumtater does sound like a great marsupial indeed. Please do pass along my greetings, as well as my congratulations to Ms. Possum"Honeysuckle"Tater.
IQ? What's that?
No, seriously... what is it a measure of?
Is it conformable across societies or only within context of a single society? Can it be given equally to, say, a Yanamamo and Tunisian and someone in East LA and record a result that accurately describes anything across all of them?
Does it measure 'street smarts' or the ability to analyze situations on-the-fly in complex social settings? Is it truly just 'book learning' or is it amenable to deductive, inductive and synthetic logic applied across multiple realms? Does it measure how to find the right solution to a given situation and stick to it even if the given solution does not yield immediate results?
I really am not joking on these things, as there are very few tests and systemic views of human personality, capability, attitude and outlook that have measurements that can be applied against them that are meaningful across humanity. Without firm and fast descriptive foundation that can have common measurement that is also well known and repeatable across all of humanity, with expected and known deviations via culture which would also be systemically described and measured, our ability to actually create a working science in this field of human personality that is commonly called 'human nature'.
If we can't accurately describe and measure the underlying capability or this thing known as 'IQ' and have repeatable measurement standards that are not only invariant across cultures but time as well, then exactly what does it measure?
Because, in science, if you do not have all the parameters nailed down in an experiment and you conduct the experiment and then find something you did not compensate for in the way of starting parameters you will then have many measurements. That is often not data, with confined knowns and unknowns to be built upon, but a series of readings that may or may not have any meaning at all. Sometimes one can compensate for an uncalibrated parameter. Often one needs to repeat an experiment over again that can take minutes, hours, days, weeks, years or longer.... do a sieve analysis of sediment data, let the sieves filter it out then do a water settling analysis and use Stoke's Law to then measure those and you have data, unless you left a sieve out of the initial screening and you had unwisely dumped them out after measuring them all. Then you have a re-do of that portion... unless you dumped the sample out entirely... then you go back in the field and start over from scratch and compare the two to ensure you actually did get a similar sample and not one miles from where you took the first one...
I looked at this a bit more thoroughly here: http://ajacksonian.blogspot.com/2006/04/when-science-isnt-one-and-why-it.html
I'd much rather go with all of the variables you piled high and deep ..that's PhD stuff, than to go with the decades of addressing those issues that sociologist,psychologists , and anthropologists have grappled with to answer the question of developing testing to measure those variables or test them out of the equastion as well.
So I'd say given our current laws on race and equity we don't need no stinking IQ measurements. Just quotas. The cream will rise to the top, or if smart enough be able to avoid even getting into the muck with hoi polloi.
On a practical level I have in my lifetime worked with migrant workers in a tomato packing company in South Carolina. I have also been involved in several briefings and lunches with Dr. Edward Teller.
On the big scale of life Teller was more informed and interesting. I think IQ was involved but I can't be sure.
I also ran a summer lawn mowing program in Tampa ,Florida for C.O.R.E. and then later in life was involved in several code name projects with Lt.Gen. Vernon Walters, one of the most interesting people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Once again I think on the brainiac scale Gen. Walters beat out my lawn boy crew.
So called it, or see it however you wish but some are smarter than others. Our society uses IQ as a tool to measure one of our capacities, intelligence.
Neither Dr Teller nor Gen Walters would've gotten anywhere with their great IQs had they lacked the drive to achieve, or the personality and character which would enlist backers.
These sorts of traits are 'learned', I think, and have zero to do with DNA.
By the same token, the lawn crew was probably young, with opportunity before the individuals to exploit the growth of the nation in order to parlay not necessarily high IQs but good character and good work habits into good lives owning their own businesses.
In this way, they could achieve a sort of success that even stellar careers such as those of Dr Teller and Gen Walters cannot; that is, a success completely bootstrapped, and independent of any established support system.
So, it all works out as evenly as nature can allow, nature being unable to evolve six billion matching matching IQ numbers.
As usual points right on the money and well taken.
It was my hope that I could show the CORE kids how to run a business. It was a summer job and I think I made a difference.
I'm not sure Teller was much interested in much I had to say as it simply was "update stuff "from a kid. Vern Walters on the other hand was a very gracious man,smart, self made and had qualities i could only hope to possess. I was fortunate in that I got to see him on many different occasions. Not that we were friends but he knew who I was and that meant a great deal to me.
Oh... Looking back at the Possumtater profile it should have been obvious. But, ah, what's the "tater" suffix all about?
Jephnol, it's an archaic southern term of endearment, directed at a person's genial plain-ness. A 'tater' is a potato, and affixed to a name ("Susie-tater" or "Johnny-tater") it means the speaker likes the person, and appreciates that person's straightforward potato-like unpretentiousness.
Can also just mean "young" and/or "cute", and can also be ironic, a sort of litotes, as say, Snidely Whiplash, the banker, could be referred to as "Gotta go see ole Snidely-tater, and pay the rent" (this would mean that Mr. Whiplash is so hated that care must be taken when referring to him, lest the dam break and out would come the corn likker and the flintlock).
Thanks Buddy. I think straightforward potato-like unpretentiousness is quite desirable. Is there a contemporary equivalent to that tradition?
That's a good question --none that I can think of that work quite the same way. There's a bunch of 'em in Cajun Louisiana but they're not used the same way. Have to ask the kids--the keepers of the current, LOL.
One thing about the Cajun's. They have a term they use to identify real Cajuns from transplants. Yhey'll ask you if you're a Coon Ass. It's not a racial term at all it's just tradition. A New Orleans native will often sound like their from New Jersey. It's a very straange thing.
Content is factual. Identity details are altered.
AJ: You are getting too obsessive about IQ. Like everything in psychology, it's a quick and dirty, but reliable, method for measuring gross brain horsepower, mainly in the capacity for abstract thought and pattern-awareness. Whatever it is, it's a largely inherited set of traits.
CQ...CQ...CQ.....come in Apple Pie, Apple Pie, CQ...CQ..this is Habu..... are you OK? Apple Pie come in please. Do you still have O2 in the atmosphere?
So now I have to be smart to contribute to this blog? Damn.
Well, you can always be "Skookumchuktater", comic relief for the Brain Trust --yuk yuk
I received this unsolicited email in my inbox. And I quote:
"I have been told that my IQ was below 75 and that I'm dumb as a rock. But my Momma said, "You no nevermind them scientist. You just keep running."
Momma knows that I like to run. So I decided to run all across the United States...for President.
Momma said I could run just as well as those other people on TV. Momma knows I like to run. I hope you will run with me."
Now, I'm no expert, but I believe that the return reply address of "edwardsgump08" is revealing...
i know --it was sentimental and low-brow. however, I yam a sentimental and low-brow dude.
If I could get Buddy Larsen to trade common sense with me, Habu to trade IQ with me, Possomtater to trade "Social" life with me, and anyone on the blog to trade money with me, I'd go have myself a cold bud light, and celebrate a "trade well done."
I dunno --you called that 300 pt Dow rally yestiddy pretty damn sharp--maybe you orta hold onto yer own brains fer awhile--
Yeah, I wuzn't hedged, "too" much; I said it might go down athousand, two hundred or it might go up two hundrred. The only thing I ruled out was it going up a thousand.
I'm praktising to be an ekonomist. I dun red all the books. Now, they say I gotta rite somethin called a theesis, and I'll be dun. I cant wate.
well, the only thing that 'stuck' was the 'maybe up 300' part. anyhoo, i bought a slug of OIH at 162 yest early and I bleeve it closed just now above 170. So, for your optimzm, I owe ya a beer. Now, Swami, what do i do tomorrow?
A guy at Kudlow's asked me if I had bought those T-Bills, and I told him that I'd bought some nice T-*Bones*, yesterday. He said that made sense to him. :)
Buddy, I've gotta be the worst "Trader" in the history of the Universe, but, sometimes, I'm a bit better on the longer-term trends. I posted this while ago over at Kudlows:
EIA says 4Q oil demand will be 87.4M barrels/day. up from a about 86 a year ago.
China's demand at 8.1 million bpd. Up 8% from last year.
What about three years from now? Five? Ten?
Anybody heard of another four or five million bpd being discovered?
If we started working ANWAR, right now, we could be getting 1 million bpd in five years. The outer continental shelf might give up another one and a half, or two in ten years. The best I can figure we're guaranteed being 15 million bpd short in ten years (15 yrs for sure.)
It's time to start thinking, boys.
Amen. It's in the cards. And like the band says, this ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around.
huge up move in construction & engineering today. McDermott, Fluor, I imagine Jacobs & Shaw too. Smart folks, still playing global growth. The energy metrics say, whoa, but the cash just keeps flowing into future-payoff infrastructure.
Now I don't feel so bad cuz I spell like crap.
I have been up down and sideways in this world, haven't seen as much as some, more than others. I always noticed the "smart" folks are the ones who say no, show up on time, move on when opportunity knocks, and success is their measure, not IQ.
Any man who spent YEARS locked in a box by the VC and can smile all day and mean it, he's got a lock on something I am not sure IQ measures. A guy who drove a tank into and back out of Afganistan for USSR and has a great phrase "nobody gonna die" (don't worry so much), he's smarter than most I know.
Street smarts, nah, book smarts, uh uh, sometimes it's just living in the moment properly.
Tell that to the college educated, starbucks sipping, subaru driving, prozac eating, stalin worshipping, sandal wearing, global warming true believer, who's so smart now, uh?
There's an inverse proportion to how smart you think you are and how smart you actually is.
Thankfully I am dumb as a stick.
That's good Phil. Intelligence is being smart in what you do.
AJ, Dr. B is correct. IQ does measure something called g-factor (for "general" intelligence). It's not a guarantee of anything except horsepower, but it's real. Reading the very controversial and much despised Jensen on the matter would interest you. He answers exactly the questions you ask.
This used to be one of my favorite topics and I wrote on it often. The subject of IQ is full of myths and counter-myths. I once offered evidence that the best people to run things are between 120-140 IQ, not higher.