Sunday, March 27, 2016

Shall We Deprecate Social Status?

I used to believe that IQ didn't make you morally better.
Then I managed to verify moral nihilism. The above statement is isomorphic to, "I used to believe painting yourself orange didn't make you more widdershins."

There are still problems. IQ confers social status. Indeed 'morally better' is often a dog-whistle meaning 'higher social status.'

More troublingly, it makes perfect sense that it would. Higher-IQ individuals are more trustworthy and find it easier to cooperate, have longer time horizons, and generally commit fewer crimes. (Caveat: that may actually be get caught committing fewer crimes.) High IQ confers better reflexes - e.g, makes it easier to get inside the opponent's OODA loop. (Football players are not stupid, they're uninterested by e.g. books.) IQ doesn't test domain knowledge, but does test the ability to acquire domain knowledge. If you find a poor stupid person, it is highly likely that their poverty is caused by their stupidity, and it is comorbid with several other unsavoury traits - even in the unlikely event you can help them be less poor, you'll prefer to do so from a distance.

Moreoever this isn't due to 'the knowledge economy' or whatever modern myth is most popular these days. Clark's Malthusian grinder has been increasing IQ in the Europe, and is likely the reason Hajnal Europe's IQ is significantly higher than the peoples of Asia minor or northern Africa. Meaning, IQ has been directly improving life outcomes for centuries.

The above is a long-winded way of saying Yarvin is being utopian. He is advocating for the status equivalent of amorality. People of Earth! Lay down your respects, that we may lay down our contempts.
 For instance, if a smarter person was actually a better person, a court should take his testimony more seriously. He’s more likely to tell the truth, since he’s a better person.
Is your grandma a vampire? In this case, science (at least currently) says yes, your grandma is a vampire: higher-IQ folk in fact lie less. Ha....ha....oh shit.
 He’ll be a better husband and parent, since he’s a better person. Wat?
Clark's Malthusian grinder works via surviving children. I think 'surviving' is a decent proxy for 'better parent.' How about you?
Dumber folk are more likely to get divorced. (See also Charles Murray's Fishtown.) Again, whether we get divorced doesn't directly tell us whether we profit or suffer from having been married, but it gives us a good first guess.
IQism is the arrogant ideology of a live ruling elite. 50 years ago, the jocks and cheerleaders handed over Detroit to the professors and journalists. How’s that working out for Detroit?
I'm not sure if it's worse if Yarvin is lying here or if he really believes this. It's sophism. Effective, but misleading at best.
The rulers of Detroit made out very well at the expense of Detroit itself, because they were rewarded for looting it and punished for stewarding. These incentives have nothing to do with their social caste, except insofar as the gatekeepers of the ruling class wanted other scholar-caste folk like themselves.
50 years ago, in every major city in America, there was a thriving African-American business district — Bronzeville in Chicago, Sweet Auburn in Atlanta, Third Street in SF. Where are they now?
Again, not caste. Turns out bad ideas, pursued seriously, have bad consequences. It was hardly unknown that they were bad ideas. Carlyle, Plato, etc. However, they were popular ideas, and thus outcompeted unpopular ideas. Which is why it's a bad idea to reward ideas with status based on popularity - not that I expect that to stop happening anytime this eon.
Our whole society works by picking the kids who do the best on tests, hazing them in high school so they hate jocks and cheerleaders  
Much of Prussian school worked exactly as planned, but I think the above is an accident. They were trying to turn the warrior and merchant castes into scholar folk like themselves, who conferred status by intellectual dominance. When it turned out the warrior caste seized the high status ground, they ended up in a divide-and-conquer situation due to the dynamic Yarvin describes. Then they didn't fix it. (On purpose?)
It’s true that a high IQ is useful in almost every field, including government. In no field is it sufficient. A much more important qualification is a clue.
In which we learn Yarvin is aware that what the brain believes is at least as important as how much power it has behind believing stuff.
It’s difficult not to connect this with the fact that everyone who is smart feels the right to rule.
Shocking news, high moral status causes the feeling of being entitled to tell others what to do. See also: (un)holiness spirals. Worse, it seems most folk support this, being as they hope to obtain this status for themselves, because one of their fondest wishes is to tell others what to do.

I’m all ears, since my eyes are telling me you’ve taken their votes and f*cked them. Like any arrogant ruling elite.
I don't see the point of being scrupulously diplomatic, then subsequently coming out with lines like this. Perhaps someone can explain.
We know a good function isn’t in the data.
Probably untrue. Twin studies underestimate IQ heritability for a few reasons, meaning it's probably 100% heritable. The data is complicated due to the sheer number of genes for IQ, but eventually a gene printout will be equivalent to an IQ test. "The best information about the phenotype is… in the phenotype," only for now.


Hoyos said...

"Perhaps someone can explain..." If I may be so bold...

Being scrupulously diplomatic followed up by a really harsh line is a great rhetorical trick. It's getting closer so that the harshness provides a much greater emotional impact through contrast. It also provides an image of fair-mindedness first so that the judgement seems to flow from fairmindedness as opposed to bile, again increasing rhetorical impact. That's the idea I think anyway.

Alrenous said...

Yes, good point.
So then you'd say the lady doth protest too much? This is in fact a Moldbug screed, despite making every pretense to be about getting Yarvin into the conference?

Nick B Steves said...

I don't take CGY to be saying "Content of character" über alles. He's just saying IQ über alles is unjust too. He writes somewhere in the comments there about his buddy Tyrone (or whatever his name was) whom CGY (as 14 year old Calc III student or whatever) helped get through Elementary Algebra, and how it's an unjust system where the only way Tyrone can get social status is to complete Calculus. Tyrone will never complete Calculus. Moreover the system pretends he can. Just try harder, Tyrone, and your dreams will come true. Productive jobs for Tyrone are gone. So who's the racist? It's the IQist. CGY cares more about an actual person (Tyrone, Tammil, or whatever the name was) than abstractions. That's a way NOT to be racist. Even if you fully expect a whole lotta Tyrones will never be able to complete Calculus.

Alrenous said...

The phrase 'blacks have lower IQ' is called 'racist' is because 'racist' means 'jeering non-whites,' and if blacks in fact have lower IQ on average, they will have lower social status on average. Philosophers can and should therefore ignore social status. For the rest of you, it's impractical at best.

Whether Tyrone or Malik is completely frozen out or not is a subsidiary issue. But we can see that all societies throughout history have delighted in tormenting low-status individuals. Most likely, Malik is frozen out through this circuitous pattern only for plausible deniability. Should be become acceptable to say Malik is stupid, all that will happen is he'll be frozen out openly.

Preventing society from tormenting low status individuals (currently the stupid and the white cis male) is a social-engineering project at least as ambitious as the proggies' most feverish dreams.

Nick B Steves said...

Ack. Malik was the name. (Dunno why I was fixated on the letter 'T'.)

I don't disagree. However, the Maliks of the world are more frozen out today than they were 50 years ago. Maybe that was unavoidable economically speaking, maybe not. (The sort of people who out-competed Malik are no better at Calculus III than he is.) But it's awfully suspicious that the Maliks of the world have been frozen out during the exact period of time where real dollars were spent (and real propaganda created) explicitly to alleviate the whatever burdens were holding Maliks down. You'd think that at least Progs would first do no harm. (You'd think that, that is to say, if you believed their words.)

Alf said...

"I'm not sure if it's worse if Yarvin is lying here or if he really believes this. It's sophism. Effective, but misleading at best."

Agreed! Happy to have stumbled across your post, I had similar thoughts reading the article.

It's not that Moldbug is lying or backtracking anything he said before, it's just that the IQ-message is not what it seems to be on the surface. He is not bringing forth any new information, he is actually safety-signalling (to a suspicious crowd?). Sophism, exactly.

Anonymous said...

Uh oh. Looks like someone swallowed Moldbug's message whole and ran with it.

Alrenous said...

Are you sure there's a real connection? It's pretty complicated - it has to be species enemy -> resentful but powerful nerds -> segregation in schools as a method of inciting the proletariat to rise up against their bourgeoisie/jock masters.

Otherwise it's segregation -> makes them enemies -> makes them species enemies. But then it's not 'species' or 'social' enemies, it's purely contingent, and the latter two steps collapse.