Curiosity Over Pride (FYI: To comment, send an e-mail to scifidink@gmail.com)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

G Factor Intelligence



First let me state two things very clearly so there is absolutely no misunderstanding.

One: I think human biodiversity bloggers are simply modern Social Darwinists. And as I will say till I'm blue in the face, at its most flattering, Social Darwinism is pseudoscience. And as I will say in less flattering terms... well, let me just say I'd be happy to indulge any who want to go all ape $#!*&!! on them.

Two: any discussion on what I call "information structures" such as intelligence or consciousness is still bounded with the same communication aspect problem that is inherent to all other communication. And fundamental to any issue concerning aspect is my old friend cooperation. For as Bill Clinton wonderfully illustrated with his "it depends on what the meaning of the word is is", one person can be absolutely truthful, yet not particularly helpful, when they do not cooperate to eliminate aspect problems. And while cooperating communicators usually recognize and automatically adjust to minimize mis-communication around this problem, non-cooperative communicators rarely do, as any trial lawyer will clearly tell you. Hence discussions on intelligence often get plagued with emotional aspects and two people talking about the same thing leave with very different take away messages.

Kind of a version of that old saying you get what you put in.

So let me just say for the record I do not think intelligence is either etched in stone (the endless nature-nurture rabbit hole), nor do I think it particularly useful in predicting a particular individual's future, nor do I think it indicative of "better" or "worse" on any absolute cosmic scale. The universe could care less what your IQ is.

I do however think it can be a useful epidemiological tool when examining groups of people- again you need to be careful how you define this. But I want to be clear, I think it very dangerous when used in the context of any one particular individual, just like sending a patient with chest pain and a normal EKG home can be very risky as well.

... Enough said on this other than I might point out things like this bug me (e.g. the school's use of IQ tests in determining admission), but it is what it is and clearly people are going to do what they are going to do regardless of what I say.

Yet to get back to my post's original point, like everything else in life, the issue of intelligence is "complex", and even an immoral blind squirrel can catch a few nuts now an then. And in particular, I think HBD bloggers have caught a rather interesting nut with their metaphor of an iterative building block they call "g" as the most atomic or irreducible of intelligence sub-structures. And whether g does or does not represent a neuron or something even more atomic, still as a hopeless fractalholic, I think g a wonderful visual metaphor for the fractal nature of the mind and its meta-output information structures we call behavior, intelligence, emotion, judgment, consciousness, etc...

I am very interested in your thoughts and opinions at this point before we move on.

18 comments:

Thai said...

Comments

Dink said...

" I'd be happy to indulge any who want to go all ape $#!*&!! on them."

A frightening threat so I'll tread lightly ;)

Natural selection will occur. Some groups will be here in 300 year and some will not. The social darwinists presume to know which group will fall into which catagory. I'd like to think that freethinking, vegetarian, sci-fi readers will be the "chosen people". But I can see an argument for Mormons, sociopathic drug dealers, survivalist nomads, or people with very slow metabolisms actually being the group or groups that are still around in 2300 AD. How can we say who the best adapters are if we don't really have a handle on what we'll be adapting to in the future?

"one person can be absolutely truthful, yet not particularly helpful, when they do not cooperate to eliminate aspect problems. And while cooperating communicators usually recognize and automatically adjust to minimize mis-communication around this problem, non-cooperative communicators rarely do"

Nicely put! You are a cooperative communicator.

"G-Factor"

I apparently don't have enough G to really grasp what a G unit is. I think perhaps "intelligence" will have to be like "consciousness" for now (i.e. its something, but its hard to say what exactly).

Thai said...

Yes, natural selection will occur. But remember, if you knew the future, and therefore changed your behavior to avoid it, you woul in effect change the future and not know what to do anymore.

The conservation of energy tells us that in a closed system, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change form. This also implies that risk is conserved. You can change its form, but in a closed system it can neither be created nor destroyed. Risk is always conserved.

Those who think they can predict ALL futures are simply deluding themselves.

Natural selection will press on

JP said...

Thai says:

"So let me just say for the record I do not think intelligence is either etched in stone (the endless nature-nurture rabbit hole), nor do I think it particularly useful in predicting a particular individual's future, nor do I think it indicative of "better" or "worse" on any absolute cosmic scale. The universe could care less what your IQ is."

So Thai, what happens if I.Q. differentials interferes with human social cooperation?

Here's a part of an article I grabbed from the Triple Nine Society website:

"Leta Hollingworth made the following observation in her book, Children Above 180IQ:
Observation shows that there is a direct ratio between the
intelligence of the leader and that of the led. To be a
leader of his contemporaries a child must be more intelligent
but not too much more intelligent than those to be led.
But, generally speaking, a leadership pattern will not form - or it will break up - when a
discrepancy of more than about 30 points of IQ comes to exist between the leader and the
led.

If a leadership pattern will not form - or will break up - when the intelligence span is greater
than about 30 points, then the implication seems to be that there is a limit beyond which
genuine communications between different levels of intelligence become impossible. This
concept should then carry over into all aspects of social interaction, not just those between
leader and led."

As ususal, I'm not linking.

www.triplenine.org/download/IQ_and_the_Problem_of_Social_Adjustment.pdf

JP said...

Anyhow, just go to www.triplenine.org and look up the article on IQ and the Problem of Social Adjustment

JP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JP said...

Oh, and there's something fundamentally evil(?) about the humanbiodiversity bloggers.

I've read them and I never get good vibes. Now, that's my intuition talking, but I've learned that my intution can often get vibes right.

Dr John said...

Heritability studies in psychiatry are greatly flawed. To many things are assumed and cannot really be controlled for.I think the entire concept of measuring such a dubious construct to begin with is questionable let alone "inheriting" it. I suppose on some level this is the case but what level? I see people with MR all the time with an IQ below 70. I see why we are forced to come up with some way to measure this for benefits and care but beyond this I do not see much utility to the concept of IQ at all.. If something really bad happened like a comet striking the earth maybe the only humans who would survive would be obese people who were excessively good at storing calories or those humans who lacked empathy and were willing to kill without discrimination. As to G, I am doubtful it reduces to anything that can be understood in a particulate manor. Time will tell.

Debra said...

Human beings RARELY cooperate everywhere, in every sphere.
Some people cooperate at some times, and in some areas, where other people will not cooperate.
As someone who has.. USED I.Q. tests, and studied them, I feel somewhat confident telling you that the "intelligence" they measure corresponds to a consensual definition of the social body.
Logical, right ?
Most of the time, that "intelligence" is VERY bookish.
Is it the kind of intelligence that would allow you to survive in the wild if you got stranded, for example ?
I am guessing that LOTS of people who scored over 150 on today's I.Q. tests would be dead in 48hrs or more if they were stranded.
Does this mean that they are (not) intelligent ?
It depends on what you are (pseudo) measuring, doesn't it ?
I define intelligence as the capacity to ask pertinent, important questions, and find creative solutions to (practical) problems, MAKING DO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE ON HAND. Like... a "bricoleur", a handy/fix it man FOR ME is probably one of the most intelligent people on earth.
I realize that this is an extremely PERSONAL definition...
I don't know what human biodiversity bloggers are.
Are they a new American sect ?
They have mushroomed since I left the mother country.
Anybody feel like giving me a definition ?

JP said...

I think of intelligence as a form of amplitude that "fills" certain geometric configurations within the human personality/mind. Gender certainly plays a role with respect to the nature of these geometric configurations.

With respect to me, I know that I have significant mathematic computational "speed". However, I lack photographic memory. I also have whatever "amplitude" you need to analyze the stock market, which is how I ended up on Sudden Debt in the first place. Although I seem to only have the skill to know when to sell, never to know when to buy.

So, in my case, I would have significant "amplitude" with respect to mathematic computation, but I lack whatever "amplitude" is required for photographic memory. I grew up with someone who won the National Spelling Bee. He had a photographic memory and essentially memorized the most complex dictionary he could find. It was easy for him to do so.

I like the fact that I have whatever "amplitude" has been required for the ability to take standardized tests, as I have been able to directly monetize that.

I get people tested all the time for MR for disability benefits.

So, both "high IQ" and "low IQ" can be monetized.

That's kind of odd when you think about it.

JP said...

Debra says:

"I don't know what human biodiversity bloggers are.
Are they a new American sect ?"

Just go read www.halfsigma.com to get a feel for it.

Thai said...

Re: "So, both "high IQ" and "low IQ" can be monetized. That's kind of odd when you think about it."

LOL!!!

As a connoisseur of the absurd, this is a first growth observation if ever I heard one. ;-)


... I think my own definition tends towards JP's though I really must say I basically agree 100% with everyone.


Though I'm thinking perhaps I should have posted a post prior to this one. My intent, or aspect, seems lost by the comments and Dink says he doesn't see G's building blocks so I'll try a different example.

FWIW- I only chose "G" as JP had mentioned he too saw fractal geometry in human consciousness. I therefore thought he might be interested to see how others have come to similar independent conclusions without even realizing it.

Again, all this is prelude to help explain fractals, scale free networks, B-E condensates and consciousness.


@JP re: differences

Agreed. It is kind of like all the risks associated with cars moving at different speeds on the same road.

... The key is to get the two groups of cars out of the same space (think social class differentiation and isolation in societies, etc...).

So if you think on it, and remember my earlier comments on Sudden Debt on cooperation, I see the risks inherent in different IQ groups coexisting as another example of the classic zero-sum cooperation paradox I presented over and over.

Cooperation between two uniquely specialized groups permits non-zero sum economic benefit.

1 + 1 > 2.

But the benefit of non-zero sum cooperative economics from specialization and cooperation occur at the risk that cooperation will break down. And if it does, either group is potentially worse off than had they never cooperated with the other in the first place.

The benefit of one is exactly offset by the loss that the risk in the other creates.

Zero-sum


So two groups with widely different IQ's can most definitely cooperate and end up looking something like this (you can choose whichever group you want is the high or low IQ as it makes no difference either way)

Or...

Cooperation breaks down and it ends up looking something like this... Warning, the video is not for the faint of heart ;-)

Thai said...

Also, I thought you might find the following interesting

FWIW Dr. John, in case you are confused, a fractal is symmetry breaking.

Hence you will see the term symmetry breaking used frequently in the context of Fermi Lab or Cern, etc...

Thai said...

This guys sees what I'm talking about re: specialization risking cooperation breakdown

I totally agree that everyone can only see about 3 feet in front of them.

It is what it is

Edwardo said...

My but this discussion exists on an a rather abstract plane. Let me interject a few rather simple, though hopefully not simplistic, notions, in no particular order of importance.

1.) Can we say intelligence is a property that is, in essence, defined by its ability to make accurate assessments/predictions about "the world", predictions that hold up under scrutiny in a way this thesis probably won't.

And just to get even more Darwinist, let us say that where intelligence is inextricably bound up in the process of making accurate assessments/analysis about "the world", intelligence can also be identified, if not necessarily defined and bounded by, the benefits it confers upon those who make accurate predictions.

The term "predictions" should be as broadly defined as possible so as to include, for example, knowing what the best route to work is, as well as knowing how best to thrive in the workplace.

The inability, or, more likely, impossibility of sufficiently incorporating what I have just described into standardized IQ tests, among other tests of cognitive functioning, may be why such tests are just so much piffle.

I am now wondering where mental illness comes into play in all this since one could be fantastic at making "predictions" and yet incapable of making any hay off of one's predictions.

The Russian mathematician, who isn't, strictly speaking, mentally ill, since he likely has Aspergers Syndrome, comes to mind.

http://newsfromrussia.com/society/stories/25-03-2010/112699-grigory_perelman-0

Social Darwinism is an unfortunate locution in my view, because, the very definition of social darwinism, or so it seems to me, is that it is not Darwinian. In that way it's kind of paradoxical that the term should have persisted as long as it has.
Does that, or any of my other utterances, make any sense to anyone?

Thai said...

Edwardo, I completely agree

Social Darwinists are making the classic life is lived forward but understood backwards mistake- e.g. a kind of cognitive dissonance.

Just like if you knew your future you might change your behavior to avoid certain outcomes and in so making these changes would alter your future making it again inherently unknowable.

So Social Darwinists are in effect saying we should extrapolate the future by looking at how things worked out in the past- e.g. David Hume's classic problem of inductive reasoning.

But we all know the future may be similar to the past, is not EXACTLY like the past, no matter how similar it may be.

It is true that if you could define all the boundaries of your system, you might be able to define that which is fittest, but then there is no system which is completely isolated. Even the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, like a water balloon that is attached to a water faucet and having water pushed into it at an accelerated rate. For this to happen, even the universe is unlikely to be a closed system (a bizarre concept).

In fact, if you think on it, inductive reasoning is simply a restating of Godel's incompleteness theorem from another viewpoint of frame of reference or aspect.

Debra said...

I agree with you Edwardo...
This discussion exists on TOO ABSTRACT a plane for me.
I didn't check out the links on human biodiversity either.
If it's a crock of shit, why do I want to waste my time ? INFORMING myself about it ? Still time wasted...

Edwardo said...

With respect to the future iterating the past, perhaps Twain said it best,

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

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