December 19, 2012

The invalidity of I.Q.

A letter to the New York Times;
To the Editor: 
Nicholas D. Kristof (“It’s a Smart, Smart, Smart World,” column, Dec. 13) cites the new book by James R. Flynn on the world’s rising I.Q. scores. Serious education scholars have long abandoned the I.Q. test as a measure of intelligence.  
Instead, Howard Gardner, the Harvard psychologist, has pre-empted the dialogue on intelligence. 
For more than 28 years, we in education have been confronted with Dr. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. He states that there are eight intelligences, of which I.Q. constitutes but two, language and math. Others include spatial (art) and music. 
Jackson Pollock and Charlie Parker transformed art and music, but they may not have done especially well on the I.Q. test. 
MAURICE R. BERUBE
Norfolk, Va., Dec. 13, 2012
The writer is scholar emeritus at Old Dominion University and the co-author of “The End of School Reform.”

Jackson Pollock died at age 44 driving drunk. Charlie Parker died at 34. The police report estimated his age as 65. In Clint Eastwood's Parker biopic, "Bird," Dizzy Gillespie (who died at 75 after a life long in accomplishments and recognition -- he's the voice of Clint in the movie) tells Charlie: They're going to make a movie out of your life because you're going to die young.

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've commented before that IQ tests, imo, measure one's potential for trainability/profitability of human capital. Other traits are measured when it comes to leadership or niche positions.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Parker was a child prodigy with a mother who had a white collar job at a bank despite being black in Missouri in the 20s and 30s. His father was a blue collar actor who later became a porter, about the highest paid job an uneducated black southern man could get and thus very competitive.

There is no reason to think he would have done poorly on an IQ test. Also creative talent is strongly linked to math and verbal IQ, just not as tightly as they are to each other. Even if Parker were actually retarded, making arguments by pointing to an outlier is just hot air.

Anonymous said...

It is admittedly a clueless letter in terms of the wealth of evidence regarding IQ, but on the other hand the writer is on firm ground in claiming that Jackson Pollock and Charlie Parker were transformative geniuses in art and music. So there is a gem of truth there. IQ is extremely important but it is not everything.

Anonymous said...

It is admittedly a clueless letter in terms of the wealth of evidence regarding IQ, but on the other hand the writer is on firm ground in claiming that Jackson Pollock and Charlie Parker were transformative geniuses in art and music. So there is a gem of truth there. IQ is extremely important but it is not everything.

Anonymous said...

Confusing expressive skills with intelligence.

Btw, how do you judge the intelligence of a Pollock painting? Isn't it subjective whether one likes it or not?

Erik said...

Am I missing something here?

Anonymous said...

Am I correct in thinking that Gardner and his ideas are only wheeled out for inspection as a means of attacking conventional IQ? I never see him cited in any other context.

x said...

jason pollock not doing well on iq tests? pft, shows what they know! an example of clear and evident genius if ever there was one. what kind of brilliant mind is required to throw water balloons full of paint at a blank canvas for one hour and call it art?

Anonymous said...

OT they are naming winter storms now like hurricanes! Even the weak ones! Draco is so scary on paper!

Could it have anything to do with marketing and selling fear to the media consumer?

This country is getting so damn dumb.

SFG said...

Evariste Galois died at 21 in a duel. I'm not saying IQ has no effect on lifespan, but it's not the primary determinant.

dearieme said...

"Serious education scholars": that bang you've just heard was me falling off my seat.

delon said...

A Bellevue Hospital assessment of Charlie Parker described him as highly intelligent.

Anonymous said...

Outliers are outliers?

JR said...

The guy knows nothing

el supremo said...

Not sure why anyone would suspect Jackson Pollock would have a low IQ - his interest in Jungian pyscology, he named his paintings with Shakespearean references, studied German expressionist and Indian paintings - all seem like pretty intellectual activities.

Pollock had a drinking problem, which he tried and failed to overcome, but the writer's including him in a list of "geniuses undervalued by standard measures of intelligence" is just dishonest and stupid.

Anonymous said...

"IQ doesn't matter but coincidentally ours is much higher than yours"

Seneca said...

Steve you are one of my favorite writers ...bar none (your brilliant insights are courageous as they are rare and illuminative).

But your dismissal (?) of Gardner, Steinberg, and others who have have posited the theory of multiple intelligences I think is a result of a blind spot.

I have a "conventional" type of intelligence with scores on the I.Q., the G.R.E., and L.S.A.T. tests at the extreme far right end of the bell curve.

As a result when I was young I attended elite schools and earned several advanced degrees and achieved pretty much what you might expect.

However, I grew up in a musical household and learned to play an instrument (guitar) as a child and later worked my way through college playing in bands and giving lessons.

One thing I immediately detected when I began giving lessons to young children was that some were gifted (and some were not) ... including on rare ocassions having perfect pitch or other musical abililties such as a great capacity to recognize and understand musical time.

Because I knew and met the families of these children I became aware that these abilities were not necessarily correlated with other traditional types of intelligence.

I suspect that the same is true of other types of intelligence posited by the above mentioned theorists.

Let's face it, we have all known people while growing up who had a "knack" for playing sports (e.g.kinesthetic intelligence) or a knack for getting along with other people (e.g. emotional intelligence)...

Because these abilties are socially useful how else would one describe them other than as manifestations of "types" of intelligence?

Sorry Steve, you are wrong on this one and it does not do you credit (though you and your blog are still a national treasure IMHO).

Of course, I still believe that traditional tests such as I.Q., etc... capture an important type of intelligence, but they don't describe all the different types intelligence that a person might be gifted with.

Carol said...

Don't know about Parker but Gillespie was a pretty smart guy, could lecture on music for hours and also stayed off the drugs more or less. Rather ADD as a kid too.

Parker was supposedly very intelligent and well read, but if you notice most these recollections come from other musicians who themselves were not well educated, so it's hard to assess.

Cail Corishev said...

"Serious education scholars..."

That's a good one.

Shouting Thomas said...

Instead, Howard Gardner, the Harvard psychologist, has pre-empted the dialogue on intelligence.

Pre-empted!

You gotta love that language. He's a "Harvard psychologist."

Now, back to our regular programming!

Mr. Anon said...

"Serious education scholars have long abandoned the I.Q."

There are no serious education scholars.

"Jackson Pollock and Charlie Parker transformed art and music, but they may not have done especially well on the I.Q. test."

Jackson Pollock transformed art all right. He helped transform painting from a true art that only the talented could do into meaningless crap that anyone could do.

Karen said...

Of course, Charlie Parker's stuff was good and still enjoyable.

Power Child said...

I wonder if Maurice Berube has any relation to Michael Berube, who also writes a lot about education.

I did some video work once for one of Howard Gardner's direct disciples. I found MI theory pretty interesting, but it seems unwieldy for creating large sets of instantly useful data.

Don't IQ advocates happily admit that IQ is an imperfect measurement of exact individual intelligence, but that it instead is a decent proxy for general intelligence, useful for comparing intelligence across populations?

Anonymous said...

OK, so the NY Times is the newspaper of choice for old, dumb people.

What's new?

panjoomby said...

if Gardner was right, his 8 "intelligences" would be unrelated = distributed randomly - so a genius on 1 could be retarded on others. IN REALITY, mental abilities CORRELATE, people high on one tend to be high on others (if the other tasks have less "g" - less of what they ALL share - a person high on 1 will be closer to average on the lower-g things) if Gardner's stuff was measurable, his separate "abilities" would all correlate to some degree - they would all be related (like a hot dog scatter plot:)

Anonymous said...

"Another problem for racists: The country that tops the I.Q. charts isn’t America or in Europe. It’s Singapore, at 108. (The reason may have to do with Singapore’s Confucian respect for learning and its outstanding school system.)"

I'm shocked that Kristof didn't mention Lee Kuan Yew and eugenics!

Anonymous said...

I have a question relating to SAT and SES. I was looking at the PDF files that goe with each year's SAT results, but I could not find any information that would allow one to analyse income and race simultaneously.

Where do you get the data for that?


The College Board hasn't made those kind of data public since the late 1990s, but see here.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

If there are "multiple intelligences," a theory with which I generally agree, then why are public schools uniformly set up for classroom lectures on college prep courses? Why was Obama yapping at us that every American has to go to college?

Public education is premised on equality of inputs yielding equality of outcomes. HBD trashes this, and the concept of "multiple intelligences" would appear to do the same thing.

From whichever angle you examine it, public education is counter-productive, uneconomic and unjust.

Anonymous said...

Jim Morrison's IQ was said to be 149. He hit the wall at 27.

Anonymous said...

Pollock's and Parker's recklessness tells us something about their intelligence, but so does their work. They were bad at what they did. Those specks aren't art. Anderson wrote about the emperor with no clothes before modernist art was born, but his allegory explains modernist art fully. Same for the kind of jazz Parker played.

A smart person would be expected to be good at his chosen profession.

peterike said...

Because these abilties are socially useful how else would one describe them other than as manifestations of "types" of intelligence?

We used to call them "talents." Calling them types of "intelligence" is a deliberate attempt to muddy the waters, with the real motive behind it to up-level NAMs (we all know blacks got rhythm, right? so let's call it "intelligence").

What it amounts to is more feel-good bullshit, and the kind that gets handsomely rewarded, as seen in Gardner's MacArthur prize and his 29 -- count 'em, 29! -- honorary degrees.

Lesson learned: come up with any theory, however ludicrous, that elevates NAMs and lowers whites, and you, too, can win fame and fortune from the Progressive Establishment that runs the Western world.

As a side note, Gardner's concepts are very, very useful when it comes to school systems hiring more teachers (to address all the "styles of learning" don't cha know), and there is nothing that will get you adopted faster by the Education Comintern that a theory that "justifies" hiring more useless hacks.

Geoff Matthews said...

While I would posit that Pollack's promoters were geniuses (in promoting his crap, not in recognizing Pollack's genius), I'm intrigued by the word 'may'. This author has no idea how these two men scored on IQ tests, but he's using them anyways as an example of the invalidity of IQ tests?
This man makes the field of Education research look as dumb as it has been.

Bill said...


Seneca said...

your dismissal (?) of Gardner, Steinberg, and others who have have posited the theory of multiple intelligences I think is a result of a blind spot.

I have a "conventional" type of intelligence with scores on the I.Q., the G.R.E., and L.S.A.T. tests at the extreme far right end of the bell curve.


I think it is you who have a blind spot. Those of us who are out on the right tail of the IQ bell curve tend to be pretty good at critical thinking. So, how's about turning that critical thinking cannon on Gardner?

Three of his eight multiple intelligences (logic, math, verbal) are standard IQ sub-scores. They are all g-loaded, strongly covarying, and what people mean when they say "intelligent." They are what you and I have.

So, if he is adding anything at all, it is with the other five. My favorite is kinesthetic intelligence. There is already an English word for kinesthetic intelligence: "dexterity" or "athleticism." The other intelligences are similar. Each is an already widely acknowledged human ability with its own already existing vocabulary. Gardner wants to rename each from "X ability" to "X intelligence."

There is nothing going on except an effort to change category names. It is non-substantive. The statement "intelligence is different from athleticism" is the same as "logical/verbal/math intelligence is different from kinesthetic intelligence." Also, there is nothing original to me about this criticism. It's obvious this is what is going on, so lots of people have made this criticism. It's even on Wikipedia.

When people advocate for this, for changing categories in a non-substantive way, what are they usually up to? Exactly! Making it harder to express concepts they don't like.

If everything is intelligence, then nothing is intelligence. Just as "respect everybody" means "respect nobody" and "everything is a shade of blue" means "nothing is a shade of blue."

In sum: stop being a self-hating geek. You are intelligent. Some of your music students had great musical ability. Michael Jordan had great athleticism. Etc.

What ought to get dropped is the idiotic (and weirdly sub rosa) idea that intelligence is some kind of uniquely awesome form of ultimate awesomeness, normative goodness, and super duper wonderfulness. It's just a kind of ability, like being good at driving nails straight.

tufhorse said...

blue collar actor

You mean a Wisk commercial?

helene edwards said...

Jackson Pollock ... transformative genius

According to Tom Wolfe, absent Clement Greenberg and other Jews intent on overturning understood notions of quality, Pollock would have been laughed off as the Al Sharpton of painting.

Veracitor said...

This reminds me of an iSteve discussion about Gypsy intelligence vs. musical talent a few years back. As it turns out, musical ability is the one major mental faculty NOT correlated very highly with g. Which is why IQ-deniers always bring it up, I suppose... but the rest of those "multiple intelligences" are not independent.

Anonymous said...

If only they had been better at language and math these creative geniuses wouldn't have been addicts! Trenchant analysis, Steve.

C. Van Carter said...

"pre-empted the dialogue on intelligence...For more than 28 years, we in education have been confronted"

It's no surprise someone who writes like that also thinks redefining intelligence to include ball bouncing is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

The problem with applying intelligence to art is it's not easily quantifiable.
How do we score art?
Some people might say AVATAR and LOTR are great entertainment or even art. I say they're crap. Who is right?
There's no way to judge scientifically in art.

At best, we can say some artists are more technically adept. But with cases like Parker and Pollock, even that's hard to judge since their thing was to break down forms and 'construct' their own.

Anonymous said...

"Jackson Pollock transformed art all right. He helped transform painting from a true art that only the talented could do into meaningless crap that anyone could do."

Some of this stuff is indeed crap. But some of them are quite musical and expressive. And there's no need for painting to be representative all the time.

Anonymous said...

"Jackson Pollock transformed art all right. He helped transform painting from a true art that only the talented could do into meaningless crap that anyone could do."

Some of this stuff is indeed crap. But some of them are quite musical and expressive. And there's no need for painting to be representational all the time.

Anonymous said...

"Serious education scholars" are charlatans who should automatically be ignored.

Ray Sawhill said...

I dunno, I'm with Seneca on this one: having an art/creative gift is more like having a knack for sports than it is like being bright in an IQ sense. I've run into lots of startlingly creative people who weren't terribly bright, and loads of super-bright people who weren't terribly creative. There may be some overlap and correlation, but -- just guesstimating based on my experience -- it doesn't seem very strong.

Incidentally, I went into the arts assuming that brainpower and creativity had some relationship to each other. But I found that I had to ditch that assumption in order to be able to account for the creative world as I actually found it to be.

candid_observer said...

No doubt talent in music and art is only mildly correlated with IQ, and one might be quite exceptional at music and art with a modest IQ.

The deeper problem for those with talents poorly captured by IQ is that there are only a relatively few positions for those with musical or artistic talents, and very, very few indeed that are highly recompensed.

In principle it might have been otherwise; indeed in evolutionary contexts, perhaps musical and artistic talents were treated as of equal value as the cognitive abilities captured by IQ. It just isn't true today.

Ray Sawhill said...

FWIW, it seems to me that a problem with Gardner's model is that he calls all of his categories "intelligence." Since we've all known gifted jocks or actors who aren't intellectually gifted, that seems ridiculous -- it seems to be a transparent ploy to make dumb people feel less bad about being dumb. ("Hey, I might not be any good at reading or math but I'm still smart in my own lacrosse-playing way!")

Yet it's also true that there are lots of different ways people can be gifted. You might have a knack for leading people, or for drawing, or for teaching ... And those are gifts worth recognizing, valuing and nurturing too.

So how would y'al feel about Gardner's categories if they weren't called "intelligences" but were instead called "talents"? Having a supercharged IQ-style intelligence would be one way a person might be gifted. Having a knack for dancing or for salesmanship would be other ways of having a talent.

A meta-scheme of "talents," one of which is "IQ-style intelligence" ... Strikes me as a good idea: realistic about the fact that people can have many different kinds of gifts, yet acknowledging the reality of IQ-style brainpower.

Auch said...

"Instead, Howard Gardner, the Harvard psychologist, has pre-empted the dialogue on intelligence."

"Shut up", he explained.

Anonymous said...

I have a "conventional" type of intelligence with scores on the I.Q., the G.R.E., and L.S.A.T. tests at the extreme far right end of the bell curve.

What were your scores?

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vinteuil said...

Speaking as a professional philosopher specializing in aesthetics, Jackson Pollock was a vile jerk with zero visual talent or accomplishment who should have been strangled at birth.

The only guy I can think of who might possibly have done more damage to what passed for the visual arts in the late, lamentable 20th century is his champion, the malign mandarin-marxist jackass Clement Greenberg.

JayMan said...

"Instead, Howard Gardner, the Harvard psychologist, has pre-empted the dialogue on intelligence.

For more than 28 years, we in education have been confronted with Dr. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. He states that there are eight intelligences, of which I.Q. constitutes but two, language and math. Others include spatial (art) and music."


And, just in time, see this:

Researchers debunk the IQ myth:

"After conducting the largest online intelligence study on record, a Western University-led research team has concluded that the notion of measuring one's intelligence quotient or IQ by a singular, standardized test is highly misleading."

Hacienda said...

One more data point among millions that the university system is a scam.

Thursday said...

IQ tests also measure conscientiousness, at least to a minimal degree. You have to pay attention and work through this semi-boring test. Parker and Pollock may not have done well on an IQ test, but that may have been more to do with their low level of conscientiousness than their actual intelligence

Anonymous said...

"Let's face it, we have all known people while growing up who had a "knack" for playing sports (e.g.kinesthetic intelligence) or a knack for getting along with other people (e.g. emotional intelligence)"
So a pretty woman has physical intelligence? To regard atheletic ability and amiability as forms of intelligence is just an attempt to deprive the word intellegence of real meaning.

ben tillman said...

But your dismissal (?) of Gardner, Steinberg, and others who have have posited the theory of multiple intelligences I think is a result of a blind spot.

It's not a theory.

It's a redefinition of the term "intelligence".

Cail Corishev said...

FWIW, it seems to me that a problem with Gardner's model is that he calls all of his categories "intelligence."

Exactly. No one's saying that IQ measures all the talents a person might have. It measures intelligence pretty well, intelligence being loosely defined as the ability to figure out solutions to problems. The other abilities he talks about, such as musical talent or sociability, aren't intelligence, even if you make up a term like "emotional intelligence" to try to make them so (and even if intelligence might help with them).

Attributes like creativity and sociability are important, and perhaps someday we'll find ways to measure them and their effects like we can with IQ. Pretending that they're other sides of the same coin won't help.

TomV said...

Seneca:

Steve never dismisses Gardner; au contraire.

Cail Corishev said...

I've run into lots of startlingly creative people who weren't terribly bright, and loads of super-bright people who weren't terribly creative.

I'd guess that, if you're creative, also being smart would improve the production of your creativity. For instance, say you seem to be naturally musical. You go to a top music school, where they expect you to learn music theory -- why the notes are where they are, how chords work and so on. Intelligence will help you to learn those things. Sure, there will be a few savants who are so naturally talented that they can make great music without being able to read or write it or know why it sounds good. But most people who make a living at making music will need to understand what they're doing, and smarts will help with that.

I'd think most artistic fields would be that way. Maybe you're good at thinking up stories, but will you ever be a great author if you aren't smart enough to learn grammar and a wide vocabulary? Will you ever be a great painter if you can't combine a natural feel for colors with the smarts to learn how to mix them?

That's what was wrong with Gladwell's 10,000 hour theory. He looked and saw that the best people in each field had put in 10,000 hours, but then he assumed anyone who did the same could be where they are. The truth is that they all took a natural talent, and built on it with a lot of learning and practice. If they hadn't had the talent in the first place, and the intelligence to learn the trade, all the hours in the world wouldn't have put them at the top.

Eric said...

It is admittedly a clueless letter in terms of the wealth of evidence regarding IQ, but on the other hand the writer is on firm ground in claiming that Jackson Pollock and Charlie Parker were transformative geniuses in art and music. So there is a gem of truth there. IQ is extremely important but it is not everything.

But unless we know Jackson Pollock's and Charlie Parker's respective IQs the point does nothing to support the writer's argument, because they may both have had extraordinarily high IQs.

Anonymous said...

His mention of "serious education scholars", pretty much a contradiction in terms, brings his thesis crashing to the ground.

Anonymous said...

". . .a large proportion of Negro musicians come from the middle class; two I know well are the sons of doctors who have always carried on an 'integrated' practice . . . Dope is a problem in jazz because of the nature of the exploitation of the musician. If I had to work till 4 a. m., picking up casuals in gangster-run joints and living in Harlem or in a filthy pad in the New Village east of 2nd Avenue, I wouldn't take heroin, I'd take prussic acid."

Kenneth Rexroth, 'What's Wrong With the Clubs'.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous moron,
Bird was "bad" at what he did?
He pioneered an entire complex musical language!
Sheesh...

candid_observer said...

"So a pretty woman has physical intelligence?"

Yes. That's what men mean when they tell a pretty woman that they love her for her mind.

Anonymous said...

"Because these abilties are socially useful how else would one describe them other than as manifestations of "types" of intelligence?"

rationalizations for those without intelligence.

Svigor said...

12/19/12 5:21 AM

What do we call the "intelligence" that refuses to use words like "talent," "affinity," and "ability" when they're far more appropriate diction than "intelligence"?

Anonymous said...

Isn't life itself the ultimate I.Q. test? Dying preventable deaths at only 44, and even worse 34, says something to me.

Steve Sailer said...

Be-bop jazz, developed in part by Parker and Gillespie, mostly appeals to people with quite high IQs. Be-bop is probably not quite up there with Bach fugues (the music of choice of mathematicians), but it's way out to the right side of the Bell Curve in terms of who its fans are.

Anonymous said...

"Be-bop jazz, developed in part by Parker and Gillespie, mostly appeals to people with quite high IQs."

So does modernist painting, modernist "classical" music (the kind with no melodies). Up until WWII Communism was the default ideology of the intelligentsia everywhere. "It's approved by lots of smart people, therefore it's smart" - that argument doesn't work. Lots of smart people are status-conscious. There's as much pretentiousness at the top as at the bottom, though of course people from different classes tend to be pretentious about different things. I've heard Mr. Parker's stuff on YouTube. He was bad at what he did. I think that the main motivation for saying otherwise is pretentiousness. Not all jazz is bad. Some of the big band stuff was great.

Man Mountain Molehill said...

No comment about Bird-

Pollock was a no-talent, alcoholic hack who would have died in obscurity if the CIA hadn't trumpeted his "art" as an example of American freedom.

http://sub.garrytan.com/crazy-rothko-and-jackson-pollock-were-on-the

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html

http://gizmodo.com/5686753/how-the-cia-spent-secret-millions-turning-modern-art-into-a-cold-war-arsenal

Anonymous said...

At still higher levels, g becomes small enough that we now have three coeval intelligences: fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence, and spatial/mechanical ability. These are the same three major factors discovered by Horn and Cattell when they first named fluid and crystallized intelligen

http://carrefoursagesse.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/could-classical-style-painters-be-more-intelligent-than-chess-players/

Anonymous said...

Excelling at stuff is enjoyable. There are a lot of bloggers on the Internet who write really, really well for free. It's hard to excel at stuff, but it's also fun, so those who are able to excel sometimes do it even if there's no money in it. Playing the sort of stuff Charlie Parker played would be very boring to a person who could play better.

It's very difficult to stamp out the artistic impulse. When the art establishment (museums, academies, critics) closed the door to good new visual art, talented people with a visual bent went into newspaper cartoons, animation, movies instead. When good new music stopped being welcome at concert halls, the people with talent for composing moved into jazz, pop, and later rock.

For anyone who could possibly do better doing what Pollock did would have been very boring.

Have I ever seen a smart person who was bad at what he did 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for some years? I don't think so. No examples are coming to mind.

Anonymous said...

"'ve commented before that IQ tests, imo, measure one's potential for trainability/profitability of human capital'

First, workers were serfs or slaves.The they became employees, then personnel, the human resources and now capital.

Anonymous said...

"He pioneered an entire complex musical language!"

This is such a canned phrase. It's obviously something that the author of that comment read somewhere and is repeating here. Imagine someone at a show being surprised by how good some song is, then turning to a companion and spontaneously saying: "that guy over there is pioneering an entire complex musical language".

This thread has prompted me to listen to some more of Parker's stuff. It's as obviously bad as I remembered it.

One shouldn't need any credentials to make such judgments. The idea that only experts can make artistic judgments has been a huge crutch to hacks for a whole century now. This idea is false.

But yes, I do play keyboards and guitar in my spare time. I read music and I have written music. I'm not going to claim that it's all that good, but it's built on melodies, isn't random, has some structure, was meant to amuse listeners. The deeper one goes in that direction, the less one thinks of those who claim to be musicians while not even attempting to do any of that stuff. Why? 'Cause that stuff is pretty hard.

Kylie said...

"Be-bop jazz, developed in part by Parker and Gillespie, mostly appeals to people with quite high IQs. "

As do the buildings of Le Corbusier and the films of John Cassavetes.

Kylie said...

"Be-bop jazz, developed in part by Parker and Gillespie, mostly appeals to people with quite high IQs. "

As do the buildings of Le Corbusier and the films of John Cassavetes.

Anonymous said...

"According to Tom Wolfe, absent Clement Greenberg and other Jews intent on overturning understood notions of quality, Pollock would have been laughed off as the Al Sharpton of painting."

I'm a scientist, not an art historian or critic. However I regularly go to shows and I'm a collector. It's my opinion, for what it's worth, that Pollock was great. But I also think he's the only even decent abstract expressionist.

Art is very non-verbal. It's very hard to justify your opinions. I very much doubt that Greensberg really could.
Robert Hume

Anonymous said...

There are child prodigies in math, music, and chess. Although they correlate well to IQ, it's not definitive, except for math.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous guy who can plunk out a few chords on guitar and has the audacity to call himself a part-time "musician,"
You clearly have no grasp of the breadth and importance of Bird's contribution to the lexicon of improvised music.
If you honestly believe that there is any real similarity (other than chronological) between Pollock's random paint splattering and the harmonic complexity of Bird's musical language, I can only assume, then, that you both have ears of lead and occupy the left side of the IQ curve.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Parker audio interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3W8Ff_4oFg

Anonymous said...

One more thing, guy who writes a little music in his spare time:
I have been playing professionally for close to 35 years. To most people, that would mean my opinion on the subject at hand might just be a tad better-informed than yours.

Anonymous said...

In "The g Factor" Jensen argues that the term "intelligence" is so fraught with misunderstanding that it should be discarded. Instead we should use terms like "mental performance".

Using this terminology Gardner's "multiple intelligences" just become things like musical performance, athletic performance, mental performance, and so on. It's a lot clearer to express it in those terms, but clarity is not the reason they were called intelligences.

jody said...

i've always been an advocate of the idea that pencil and paper intelligence tests do not measure everything the brain is doing or can do. and i don't think there are any serious psychologists who dispute that. they would all agree.

but these tests are measuring something real. the tests are reliable and valid, in the technical terms of modern research psychology. we do not understand everything about the brain but we aren't clueless either. intelligence tests clearly detect something fundamental in brain function, though we don't fully comprehend it.

one thing which is interesting about the flynn effect is the dichotomy between it's measured result and it's real world result.

clearly, people were not morons in 1912. for instance, the famous ship, the titanic, and it's twin, the olympic, were designed and constructed by irish guys, without the assistance of computers, CAD, power tools, or even calculators. it was all pencil, paper, math, drafting, carpentry, smithing, electrician work, and blue collar elbow grease. at the time, the irish were known for sure to be less intelligent than the english, as measured by intelligence tests. yet they could build these ships from scratch. so we're talking about a group which was 10 points LOWER in average score on these tests than the english, building these ships from nothing, a century ago.

the purported idea that africans in the US today, score higher on intelligence tests than europeans in the US 100 years ago, produces absurd predictions which are not observed in the real world. it seems extremely unlikely that a work force composed exclusively of several thousand africans could design and build a modern nuclear submarine for instance, to use a current equivalent sea vessel.

there were about 4 million people in ireland in 1912. anybody who could take the african population of new york, florida, texas, or georgia, each of which has about 3 million africans, and use JUST the africans from that state, to design and construct new aircraft carriers for the US government, would immediately be awarded the federal contract for the US navy. the united states government would eat that up in a second. they go far out of their way for those minority government contracts.

how to rectify these two competing observations? that pencil and paper intelligence tests, devised 100 years ago, are measuring something real, while at the same time, scores have increased over time and this is also a real result?

it is a bit like the loggerheads at which general relativity and quantum mechanics find themselves. both are accurate descriptions of the world...but they can't both be correct descriptions of the world. a synthesis must be found.

jody said...

""The average American I.Q. has been rising steadily by 3 points a decade."

this is just flat out wrong. mean IQ in the US is decreasing at a rate of about 1 point per 10 years or so, as america becomes more, er, vibrant. that will bottom out eventually, but the average person in america is definitely scoring lower, not higher, on existing intelligence tests. which is what we would expect from current demographic change.

when you break the citizens out into genetic groups it becomes less clear what's happening, but even then, in no way is any group increasing their score 3 points per 10 years.

for instance i mentioned previously that in the UK, a massive new study of students in high schools was recently completed, wherein the finding was that ethnic british students had a mean IQ of 101.7, with a sample size of over 100,000 kids. that means their scores are not going up very much at all decade over decade, if at all.

"The implication is that there are potential Einsteins now working as subsistence farmers in Congo or dropping out of high school in Mississippi who, with help, could become actual Einsteins."

no way. there might be some guys working fields in china who could do some very high level physics, though. lack of opportunity in rural china is a human performance limiting factor.

"Another problem for racists: The country that tops the I.Q. charts isn’t America or in Europe. It’s Singapore, at 108."

the implication being that only whites (probably white men at that) are, or could be racists. when in fact, all the east asian nations are populated with, ruled by, and governed for, overt racists.

koreans, who score the highest average intelligence test numbers for a large size nation, are so racist as to be insular - their attitudes, openly spoken opinions, and national laws and politics would be considered abhorrent, nazi level stuff - if they were white. the koreans even have a national creed, something which translates into "one race nation" or "one people nation", which is almost exactly the same as ein volk, ein reich, ein f├╝hrer.

Hacienda said...

the implication being that only whites (probably white men at that) are, or could be racists. when in fact, all the east asian nations are populated with, ruled by, and governed for, overt racists.
--------------------

Multi-culti on an small densely populated peninsula (de facto island due to DMZ) would be hell for everyone. Whites included.
Careful not to point fingers without contextualizing.

BTW, did you see that Taeyeon the leader of SNSD was accused of being a racist because she didn't react properly to a black girl's cover of one of SNSD's songs.

That's multi-culti on net. Which is tolerable, even fun. In real life magnified 1000x, that's hell.



Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:05 quips about the experts:
"IQ doesn't matter but coincidentally ours is much higher than yours"

Turn that around a little bit and many of the comments in this thread can be summarized thus:

"Intelligence and art are not connected or correlated but coincidentally I am quite intelligent and therefore know what art is good and what isn't, and Pollock's & Parker's ain't."

Oi vey.... Thank you so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

>>There are child prodigies in math, music, and chess. Although they correlate well to IQ, it's not definitive, except for math.<<

Because being good at math is defined as high IQ.

Anonymous said...

>>"Be-bop jazz, developed in part by Parker and Gillespie, mostly appeals to people with quite high IQs. "

>>As do the buildings of Le Corbusier and the films of John Cassavetes.<<


And as do the writings of Steve Sailer, don't you thing?

Anonymous said...

Maybe when Mozart relaxed he tried to multiply (a+b) times (a-b) and never quite got the answer right.

Maybe when Einstein relaxed he tried to come up with a simple tune on his piccolo and never quite got the harmony right.

And that just goes to prove...wait! what was the question again?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 9:59:

Thanks for the interview link. Enjoyed it much.

Cail Corishev said...

Yeah, we're supposed to believe that people who would seem like morons today built the Roman aqueducts and the cathedral at Chartres. Right.

Even if the Flynn effect is real, there's no reason to think it's been consistent throughout history. If it's caused by a particular nutritional milieu, it could have gone up and down many times throughout history, and some of our ancestors could have been much smarter than us.

It's odd that being racist tends to be equated with thinking your group is smarter than others, as if feeling superior causes racism. If racism means hating people of other races, wouldn't feeling inferior be at least as likely to cause that? In fact, isn't that often given as the cause of anti-Jewish sentiment? So when whites are racist against Jews, it's because they're smarter; but when they're racist against blacks, it's because they're dumber. Got it.

Anonymous said...

Two comments are red flags right out of the gate: Serious education scholars have long abandoned the I.Q. test as a measure of intelligence, AND Instead, Howard Gardner, the Harvard psychologist, has pre-empted the dialogue on intelligence. Of course, those two things have to be true, otherwise bad things would happen.

Right there you knew the piece was going to be the standard left wing, multicultural, elite boilerplate. Apparently black Americans are catching up as well and now pass those evil white racists from the 1940's. You know the people who developed radar, napalm, nuclear power and weapons, computers, synthetic fibers, and antibiotics. The fact that he thinks he undermines "racists" who think white people are smarter than East Asians is amusing. Funny, "racists' like Herrnstein, Murray, Jensen, and Rushton all claimed the opposite, not that a Rhodes Scholar like Kristoff would know because I'm sure he never bothered reading them because they are "racist", even though Herrnstein was a professor at Harvard, Jensen at Berkeley, two of the elite bastions of leftist opinion. He is carrying on a conversation with other leftist elites who already agree with him, not with anyone who has a contrary opinion, this is what leftist interpretations of human biology has devolved into. Thanks, S.J. Gould and Jared Diamond you have now killed any pretense of scholarly or scientific objectivity, because that would be "racist".

Queue said...

"Sorry Steve, you are wrong on this one and it does not do you credit (though you and your blog are still a national treasure IMHO).

Of course, I still believe that traditional tests such as I.Q., etc... capture an important type of intelligence, but they don't describe all the different types intelligence that a person might be gifted with."


No one is questioning that people are differentially gifted, and some are extremely bright (IQ), whereas some are good at sports, some good at music, etc. But really, all of this is just another ploy by liberals to cloud the fact that NAMs on average are less intelligent, and this is probably the main reason they tend to not go as far in life.

IQ means IQ, and refers to intelligence, which means pretty much what the layman thinks it does; And it correlates with success and a number of other positive traits pretty much how most people think it does.

We can play semantics games and call these things various forms of Intelligence, to try to wrap them subconsciously in the mantle of IQ. But no matter how we rename them, these other things, musical ability, sports skill, etc simply don't mean the person has what we mean conventionally as intelligence, nor do these things correlate with success to the same degree, nor do they provide as much raw value to society. Yes, you can point to a pro NFL player or rockstar pulling in multimillion dollar deals, but how many make it to this level? Further, these people contribute entertainment, not technological progress, medical advancements, etc.

Its not about capturing the different things people are gifted in. We recognize talent in other fields. But to lump all of these other things under the umbrella of intelligence really just serves to cloud the meaning of intelligence.




Anonymous said...

jody - re: Titanic.

The vast majority of shipyard workers at Harland and Wolff who built the Titanic were Ulster Protestants ie largely of Scottish and English descent.The ships designers were skewed even more towards the Anglo-Scottish. Thus Im not sure they can easily lumped together into the 'Irish' population.

rob said...

Hacienda said...
Multi-culti on an small densely populated peninsula (de facto island due to DMZ) would be hell for everyone. Whites included.


Don't be so hard on your people: moving to South Korea would easily raise the living standards of 100 million Africans, even if the place were a bit crowded.

Not to mention, Koreans can reduce the overcrowding by having fewer children, which would leave even more room for Somalis in the future.

A 1/3 Korean 2/3 African Korea would be quite multicultural, and no whites would have to be involved at all.