Mangan's: The success of IQ undermines the process which produced it

4 posts

Bob Dylan Roof
Full poast here:

tl;dr: Genotypic IQ peaked in 1850 and has since declined; rising IQs in the 20th-century (Flynn effect) are attributed to the accumulation and redistribution of capital, which provided for better healthcare, nutrition, education, and more investment in parenting than in mate selection.

Bonus comment:
President Camacho
Indeed, this bit is quite interesting. I couldn't read the Hoppe tome you recommended (Democracy: The God That Failed) precisely because the first chapter was a massive "future time orientation" supremacy spergathon.

This author's assertion OTOH is compelling. In general, we can assume that primitives have a consistently low "future time orientation"; Culture-peoples also start with this approach but gradually develop more long-term time preferences with the dawn of the Civilization.

In China, for example, history has stood still for the past 2,000 years, and the Chinese today are consequently incapable of thinking in terms other than decades and generations. They've lost the creative spirit and the ability to live in the moment. But if we travel back to the semi-mythical Shang Dynasty, we would find a period pregnant with enormous creative potential and grand heroic undertakings that would seem to us totally alien to the "ultra-conservative" character of China with which we are accustomed.

Even in the notoriously ahistorical Classical civilization, Rome by Horace's time had already reached a point of such spiritual exhaustion and deed-shyness that the author felt nessecary to exhort to his readers-- " carpe diem ". The Athenian fleets, the Spartan hoplites, Alexander of Macedon-- none of these men needed prodding to "sieze the day"-- "carpe diem" was once synonymous with life itself in Greece and Rome; by Horace's day it had become a wistful memory of past greatness.
Bob Dylan Roof

Yes, I agree that the time-preference-as-a-moral-end-in-itself logically concludes in the worst stereotypical type of Jewish or Chinese behavior and unjustly supports unrealistic forms of individualism. On a macro level I nevertheless think it remains relevant, even if time preference isn't a real psychological phenomenon but merely a heuristic construct used to describe an emergent property of a given culture.

All very true. But even the progenitors of the Republic, and eventually the Empire, had to navigate a world in which one's actions could have grave and irreversible consequences. A man, for instance, could be enslaved by his creditors under the old Republic. Jouvenel describes the demeanor of a member of one of the old aristocratic families:

I think it's better to have a balance between the extreme bourgeois insect mentality and the bold and impulsive disposition of primitives. Such a balance is reflected in the old caste-based philosophies of state, like Plato's Republic . I also think that some of the primitive cultures likely had relatively low levels of time preference (high future time orientation). Ricardo Duchesne's review of anthropological literature on the culture of Indo-European "society" - a subject shrouded in mystery - suggests that Indo-European barbarians inhabited an "egalitarian aristocratic" society where wealth and prestige could hinge on one's ability to sustain great risks and economic burdens, including "big man" feasting and other prestigious and ostentatious displays that required the weighing of serious consequences.

Duchesne cautions, however, that radical, aristocratic individualism alone does not explain the success of IE culture. The Aztecs also espoused a radically individualistic warrior ethos predicated on the prowess of aristocrats in one-to-one battle, much like the IE barbarians. However, Aztec warfare was oriented toward a single goal rigidly tailored by their brutal theology of sacrifice. Prestige and status for the Aztec aristocrat depended solely on one's ability to defeat and capture other warriors for the purpose of ritual sacrifice. An aristocrat's attempt to aid a comrade threatened in battle would be regarded as an attempt to pirate his comrade's potential captive, which implies that, in contrast to the IE war bands, there was little sense of communal support among Aztecs. Moreover, aristocrats that were wounded or captured risked being sacrificed themselves, and " warriors who were unable to maintain their level of performance in the number of captives were in fact stripped of their regalia, and made to endure public humiliation ." Thus, the radical individualism of Aztec culture ended up imprisoning aristocrats in an extremely insecure and narrow planning horizon. It's possible that the more balanced culture and theology of IE barbarians, which didn't encumber members with the insecurity of Aztec aristocrats, allowed primitive IE people to adapt and improve upon advanced forms of civilization by preserving an appropriate balance between bold barbarism and moderate foresight and communal responsibility.
Bob Dylan Roof
Byssus come at me. What's the matter? Don't you approve of Duchesne, the Puerto Rican defender of the West? [​IMG]