December 22, 2008

Average verbal IQ scores in Presidential elections since 1976

The long-running General Social Survey includes a 10 word vocabulary test, from which you can roughly estimate IQ over large enough sample sizes. (Of course, it's biased in favor of people who are smarter with words than with numbers or images.) Audacious Epigone looks up the average IQs of white voters for each Presidential candidate 1976-2004.

Presumably, Republican candidates' voters generally average higher IQs overall -- in the exit polls, GOP voters average higher incomes and very similar education levels to Democratic voters -- but all the heat on this issue of who is smartest is generated among white people. When white Democrats go on and on about how Democrats are smarter than Republicans, they aren't thinking about all the blacks who turned out to vote for Obama this year -- e.g., in California, where Obama got 61% of the vote but gay marriage, despite the best efforts of Hollywood, got only 48% -- which Hollywood has ever since been blaming on media domination by the Elders of Mormon). In the 2008 exit poll, there was virtually no difference in years of education claimed among Obama and McCain supporters when aggregated across all races.

No, white Democrats only care about being smarter than white Republicans.

Audacious's analysis found several things of interest. On an IQ scale where the white average is set at 100, all candidates's voters since 1976 have averaged over 100. Dumb people don't vote as much as smart people and undecided swing voters tend to be not very smart either. Thus, the losing candidate in six of the eight elections had a higher IQ set of voters than the winner. In other words, losers tended to wind up with his base of people smart enough to have a fairly consistent ideology, while winners picked up the people who don't think about politics much and motivated the people sympathetic to his party in the left half of the Bell Curve to remember to show up to vote.

It's kind of like Jay Leno vs. David Letterman. Dave pitches his show at viewers with a 105 IQ, while Jay aims his show at 100 (I'm making these numbers up but I wouldn't be surprised if they were pretty accurate). Jay gets bigger ratings.

Third party voters, with the exception of Perot's, tend to have high IQs.

Republican whites tended to have higher IQs than Democrats in the early years, and as late as 1996, Dole enjoyed a 0.6 point edge over Clinton, but by 2004, Kerry had opened up a 3.9 point gap over Bush.

The future of the GOP would therefore appear to depend upon mobilizing large turnouts among whites with two digit IQs, just as the future of the Democrats depends upon mobilizing, as they successfully did in 2008, large numbers of nonwhites with two digit IQs.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

"It's kind of like Jay Leno vs. David Letterman. Dave pitches his show at viewers with a 105 IQ, while Jay aims his show at 100 (I'm making these numbers up but I wouldn't be surprised if they were pretty accurate). Jay gets bigger ratings."

I've been reading Steve for years and this is the first time I'm offended. I find Leno hillarious but Letterman painfully unwatchable. And not because the jokes are too smart!

"Third party voters, with the exception of Perot's, tend to have high IQs."

Yea, it takes some intellectual interests to even know that Chuck Baldwin is running, much less what he stands for.

"Republican whites tended to have higher IQs than Democrats in the early years, and as late as 1996, Dole enjoyed a 0.6 point edge over Clinton, but by 2004, Kerry had opened up a 3.9 point gap over Bush. "

The smartest thing liberals ever did, and it may not even have been on purpose, was to use hollywood and the media to make leftist political beliefs a status symbol.

Republicans might in the future turn out double digit white voters in larger numbers, but for obvious reasons those on the right side of the bell curve, as journalists, educators, etc, are going to be the most influential. Better to have the hearts and minds of the top 20% then the bottom 80%.

One of Sigma's main themes is the importance of Republicans appealing to the smart. That means banishing the Sarah Palins and the Jesusists. How we do that without losing elections by even larger margins, I don't know.

Have hope, my friends, there was a time not too long ago when all educated people believed in eugenics. If there is a conservative renaissance in the western world, HBD will lead the way.

Anonymous said...

It would stand to reason that the optimal position is the social conservative / fiscal liberal stance of Mike Huckabee or Jim Webb. Not only is it out of step with both parties, but is that its precisely opposite of the moderate elite consensus of socially liberal, fiscally conservative.

Anonymous said...

"In other words, losers tended to wind up with his base of people smart enough to have a fairly consistent ideology, while winners picked up the people who don't think about politics much and motivated the people sympathetic to his party in the left half of the Bell Curve to remember to show up to vote."

This is why parties go into a media blitz just hours before the election. I always thought this was so cheesy but considering your data it makes sense. Basically this is the reason why democracy cannot work: too many prolls. And that's talking a western society. Imagine the score in an African country!

Anonymous said...

"That means banishing the Sarah Palins and the Jesusists."

I can handle Palin if she had a smart runnig mate, say Romney. But having that doofus McCain and Palin was too much. Palin is soft on the eyes so the combination with a smartass is not bad. Plus I think she can also play the badass part which you invariably need in the top team. Anyway, she's a practical chick which is not a bad qualification for many managerial positions and 2. IC. So she just needs a smart mate and could form a good team.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer: Republican whites tended to have higher IQs than Democrats in the early years, and as late as 1996, Dole enjoyed a 0.6 point edge over Clinton, but by 2004, Kerry had opened up a 3.9 point gap over Bush. The future of the GOP would therefore appear to depend upon mobilizing large turnouts among whites with two digit IQs, just as the future of the Democrats depends upon mobilizing, as they successfully did in 2008, large numbers of nonwhites with two digit IQs.

It depends upon what you mean by "the future".

In the near term [the next ten years or so], because the nihilists have such a strong hold on the academy, it's pretty likely that "smart" whites will continue to trend DEM.

Beyond that, though, the nihilists, being suicidal, aren't making any babies, and as they die off in the next 20 to 30 years, they will be replaced by a really bizarre melange of characters right out of a Flannery O'Connor novel or a Coen brothers flick: Evangelical protestants [e.g. Sarah & Todd Palin, with five children], Opus Dei papists [e.g. Antonin & Maureen Scalia, with nine children], Mormons [compare the greater Willard Romney Family], Hasidic Jews, Anabaptists, etc etc etc, and, of course, a vast, seething army of illiterate & inherently ineducable third world peasants.

But precisely because of the unsustainable demographic tension between the aging, barren, suicidal caucasian nihilists and the third world swarms who now provide the balance of American fertility, the USA cannot persist as it is currently constituted, and will necessarily implode [or explode] and disintegrate no later than about 2020 [this Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac debacle is just the tip of the iceberg], so any further pronouncements about "the future" of American politics are kinda silly: In another fifteen years, or thereabouts, "America" simply won't exist anymore.

Anonymous said...

One of Sigma's main themes is the importance of Republicans appealing to the smart. That means banishing the Sarah Palins and the Jesusists.

If Sigma had his way only Ashkenazi Jews would have the right to vote - or exist.

Anonymous said...

The future of the GOP would therefore appear to depend upon mobilizing large turnouts among whites with two digit IQs

Oh, no, the the GOP can just let in more Mexicans and Haitians and Somalis and whatnot, and give them as well as the white trash all the opportunity to move outa da projecks and trailer parks and own a home of their own!

It's a lot bigger tent for the GOP that way!

Anonymous said...

It would stand to reason that the optimal position is the social conservative / fiscal liberal stance of Mike Huckabee or Jim Webb. Not only is it out of step with both parties, but is that its precisely opposite of the moderate elite consensus of socially liberal, fiscally conservative.

Anonymous said...

There is veritas. What little remains of Judeo-Amerokwa's future rests in the hands of two digit IQs, and those skilled in appealing to such intellects.

Anonymous said...

The last paragraph is the most ominous and depressing thing I've ever read at this site.

Anonymous said...

"Dumb people don't vote as much as smart people..."

Honestly, how smart can someone be when they continue thinking something like "a vote" makes any, any, any difference at all in the system under which this country is run? And even if they buy into this ethno-plutocratic scam, religiously voiced as "democracy", does it never cross their minds that, all things said, two morons casting their vote would then have more say than one smart person?

Seriously, it's this line of thinking that lets most whites believe a virtual idiot like our Commander in Chief is singlehandedly responsible for the economy, the war, the housing bubble, immigration, education, and on and on.

I've met blacks in the middle of Kenya who talked about Indian merchants running their country under the auspices of democracy, noting that politicians were just their frontmen. I've met Arabs in Lebanon who just shook their heads about the supposed Democrat versus Republican competition in the states, calling it a farce and talking about bankers and media and multinationals and knowing that no matter the administration nothing substantial would change in foreign policy. My journals are filled with rueful headshaking over the fact that many of these supposedly "lesser" types were far more savvy and worldly than my coworkers when it came to such things.

Polymath said...

Palin could not have accomplished what she has without being a smart cookie. I'd bet my monthly salary she'd be in the top tenth (=120+ in IQ). I've followed the media coverage of her extremely carefully and almost all the supposed indicators of her lack of intelligence are either based on misinformation or involve bogus proxies for IQ.

On the other hand, she's no Ronald Reagan, who judging from his writings alone was at least 130 (= top 2%), and who probably deserves to be higher when you factor in his understanding of politics and economics and his management skills.

The quality of a President is probably uncorrelated with IQ (after factoring in the obvious filter that you have to be fairly smart to get elected President in the first place). Wilson, Carter, Nixon, and Clinton were high-IQ types compared with other 20th-century presidents, but mediocre in office.

Anonymous said...

"I find Leno hillarious but Letterman painfully unwatchable. And not because the jokes are too smart!"

It's not that Letterman's jokes are smarter -- they're not -- it's that he aims for the ironic demographic, which tends to be slightly smarter than the general population. That demo enjoys watching unfunny Letterman because they're flattered to think that they are in on the joke (of course, there really isn't any joke, which is where the irony comes in).

- Fred

Anonymous said...

This site does not have enough Jews contributing to it. You can tell by the crusty gentile comments. Always wanting to go back to the 1950's and such: back to a boring dead zone of white bigotry, antisemitism and hate.

Let there be more Jews at iSteve.

Without Jews there can be no serious intellectual achievement and no real culture.

Give us the great minds like Barney Frank, Matt Yglesias, Tim Wise and anybody named Cohen.

More homosexuals would improve this place also. Dear Progress! That is what is missing here.

Anonymous said...

Great. Our government depends on who can turn out the most dummies. Most. Depressing. Thought. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Have hope, my friends, there was a time not too long ago when all educated people believed in eugenics. If there is a conservative renaissance in the western world, HBD will lead the way.

How many divisions does Sigma have?

Anonymous said...

"Richard H said...

I've been reading Steve for years and this is the first time I'm offended. I find Leno hillarious but Letterman painfully unwatchable. And not because the jokes are too smart!"

I agree. Letterman is a bore. He spends all his time mugging for the camera, and maybe get's around to telling three jokes. Leno just keeps 'em coming. Even if only half of them are any good, you spend most of your time laughing.

Leno is serious about comedy and goes about it professionally. Letterman is a washed-up hack.

"One of Sigma's main themes is the importance of Republicans appealing to the smart. That means banishing the Sarah Palins and the Jesusists. How we do that without losing elections by even larger margins, I don't know."

I think the key to repulican electoral success is to find candidates who can speak clearly, concisely, and who are mean - who will say the mean, divisive things which need to be said. Pat Buchanan, for example. But they should start out by running for Congress, not the Presidency. It seems unthinkable now, but once a few people who talk like Buchanan win, it won't be unthinkable anymore. More people will be able espouse those views and win. Politics runs on precedent.

m said...

Richard H is right Letterman is a prick and almost made my list of "people I would punch if I saw" when he dipped his pen in O'Reilly's drink... Leno is great and I'm hoping Conan keeps up his higher standard

Anonymous said...

Dumbing down means dollars and fame...
At the radio station where I work, I do the evening show and try to connect with the well-read and well-educated listener. I am calm and pleasant behind the microphone, and I enjoy a solid and loyal base of listeners.
But the morning DJ, "Melvin", rants and raves in a loud harsh voice and uses poor English and a limited vocabulary.He is vulgar and low-class, but guess what?

The listeners LOVE him! They all repeat to each other what Melvin said on his daily show, and send him gifts and awards and beg him to announce the local prades and car races,etc.The man is golden!

The same thing goes for the nearby town of Branson, MO, where you just can't get too stupid to rake in a crowd. Gahhh! All those years of educating myself wasted...I could have remained a dumbass for free!

Anonymous said...

I disagree Richard H.

If anything this election by Obama, with only 52-48 nationally, no landslide, means that the media is in effect dying.

NYT is rated by Wall Street 24/7 as a likely "dead" big company, i.e. to go out of business in the next year. I would rate the LAT and Tribune quite likely to follow them. Nielsen ratings have been declining for decades, consider that in 1968's America with about 200 million Americans, the "Beverly Hillbillies" with a bunch of hicks making fun of the pretentious Beverly Hills rich folk, pulled in regularly 60 million viewers. Now, the top rated American Idol is lucky to pull in 25 million viewers, in a nation of 300 million plus.

Overall viewers for Television are down, way down, as TV has become very, very anti-Male, and the plaything of elite White Male advertisers (Gays often over-represented there) and the single women ad buyers. Think of it as "SWPL" on steroids, as sponsors find it nearly impossible to reach both sexes and avoid portraying men negatively.

Television (driven by the Advertising people) is a female-gay ghetto, even with all those channels.

Then there are magazines. US News and World Report are going internet only, and Time and Newsweek are cutting many pages. Advertising is down sharply across the board, and the Christian Science Monitor ceased publication (internet only). Only USA Today and the Wall Street Journal are "national" newspapers, and even they make horrible mistakes that people notice.

What has happened to Media is the collapse of legitimacy. People can see the obvious errors, bias, and stop trusting them. There is also the problem of snobbery/elitism that Half Sigma doesn't get.

The idea of striving for status ala "Stuff White People Like" appeals to single women, particularly, and women in general, who are fascinated by bloodlines, royalty, stuff like the "Da Vinci Code" and celebrities of various manufactures. But that was based on the run-up of nearly twenty years of un-interrupted good times from say, 1983-2004, from Reagan to Clinton to a bit of Bush.

In a deep, lasting recession, with no one to trust, and no appetite for status striving (itself a luxury good) the idea of building a winning coalition by assembling upward strivers makes no sense.

Instead, assembling an economic coalition of "careful savers" and promoting the party as "higher trust" than the other guy is the winning hand. As is stoking resentment by losers in Affirmative Action, Open Borders, etc. in a deep Depression.

I'll note that with marriage a largely thing of the past, and single motherhood, more and more White males are going to be pure losers in Affirmative Action (no wife getting benefits) so they'll vote against it. Particularly as the recession downsizes most guy's access to women and exacerbates the "soft polygamy" of professional urban centers (few Big Men monopolizing most of the women).

mnuez said...

I think they both suck. Jimmy Kimmel is the only semi-funny late-nighter, not to mention the only guy who seems to add some of his own intelligence to the humor rather than simply teleprompting.

Speaking of which, I'm re-watching some of the Arrested Developments and, honest to God, there's no sitcom that even comes close to this one in terms of aiming for the higher-IQ demographic.

Anonymous said...

"It's not that Letterman's jokes are smarter -- they're not -- it's that he aims for the ironic demographic, which tends to be slightly smarter than the general population. That demo enjoys watching unfunny Letterman because they're flattered to think that they are in on the joke (of course, there really isn't any joke, which is where the irony comes in). "

That explains a lot. I was watching Letterman do an interview with a fake George W. Bush once. Jay Leno would've got a guy that looked like him and mocked his mannerisms to do it. On Letterman, a guy in a T-shirt with a brown beard that looks or sounds nothing like the president comes out and pretends to be him. I understood there must've been some kind of joke there, but now I see the point was to think there was a joke and think I was in on it. Or something.

Testing99,

Frustrated SWMs can hate AA and illegal immigration all they want. Didn't California pass a referendum to stop illegals from getting welfare benefits and have it overturned by the courts? Look at gay marriage. The California legislature voted for it, Arnold vetoed, the court ruled in favor of it, the people voted against it. Even the legislature doesn't care what the people think on this issue.

More decisions about how our society turns out are made away from the ballot box than at it. And they're exclusively made by the smart. A homosexual told me that if he works for the federal government they give domestic partner benefits. Did we ever vote for that? Was there ever a law passed? No, it was a high IQ decision maker who, like all high IQ people these days, was sympathetic to "homosexual rights." Same thing with border control and the civil rights industrial complex. Put it this way, did we ever vote to have an office of diversity at every university in the country?

As long as the elite have this horrifying vision of the future, they'll get it one way or another and the SWM will continue to mumble under his breath.

Anonymous said...

t99,
some good points. However, what's the upshot? Do us poor white males just save a little money and head off to the red-light district? Kinda depressing.

I'd say that status game of the chicks gets lame when the blacks take over the streets. Chicks are really afraid of rape so by then the party is over. See South Africa. Many of the (mostly Anglo) status chicks down there who were clamouring for Mandela took the first plane out after he got into office. Now they sit around in NY, London and Sidney trying to turn those countries into non-white ones. Afrikaner chick Charlize Theron, who should know better because she KNOWS the score in South Africa, voted for Obama. But I guess she needed to do that to drop the Afrikaner=racism shroud which may have hung over her. Anyway, I never thought she was so hot and she’s def. toast for me now. I must say I do get a little satisfaction out of hearing any high-status women being manhandled by the blacks they helped get into power. I know I should not.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, she's no Ronald Reagan, who judging from his writings alone was at least 130 (= top 2%), and who probably deserves to be higher when you factor in his understanding of politics and economics and his management skills.

really? I am not trying to be facetious -- but REALLY?! -- but I read somewhere his IQ was in the 100 range, which sounds about right to me, judging from everything I ever saw or heard of him that wasn't teleprompted. Someone (a famous actor) who knew him from his days as of the board of directors at his film studio, that he was pretty abysmally dumb, but then most Hollywooders had different politics than Ronnie so maybe he was just prejudiced. Still--130? Come on.
Reagan was a teleprompter president.

Anonymous said...

Not really related, but the downturn alluded to in this thread, plus an account of a man from Argentina on what happened when his country went bankrupt in 2001, has me nervous and want to throw the following out here to warn you guys.

Drudge has today that shoplifting is increasing. No surprise. Two weeks ago my mom got two calls in just the span of one week from two different people posing as collectors for a collection agency. They both were collecting a debt of over $900 for "magazine subscriptions". I kid you not.
The first time caught her off guard, especially as she doesn't read magazines let alone subscribe, but as soon as she heard the amount, she knew it was a scam. She was shocked to get a second call in just a few days, but was ready for them and left them flummoxed and in a hurry to get off the phone.

Anonymous said...

Jay Leno does a lot of comedy routines making fun of stupid people, and how they lack basic knowledge. Viewers who also lack the knowledge won't get the jokes. I think that Leno targets a higher IQ than Letterman.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of which, I'm re-watching some of the Arrested Developments and, honest to God, there's no sitcom that even comes close to this one in terms of aiming for the higher-IQ demographic.

Same here! Except this is my first time through; I'm up S2E13. The show is constantly funny, but you're right, nearly all the humor will fly right over the head or anyone with a 2-digit IQ. I'm just grateful it lasted three season. Unsurprisingly, the main writer is Jewish.

There's an Arrested Development movie in the pipeline for 2009 release.

Anonymous said...

The smartest thing liberals ever did, and it may not even have been on purpose, was to use hollywood and the media to make leftist political beliefs a status symbol...

One of Sigma's main themes is the importance of Republicans appealing to the smart. That means banishing the Sarah Palins and the Jesusists. How we do that without losing elections by even larger margins, I don't know.

Have hope, my friends, there was a time not too long ago when all educated people believed in eugenics. If there is a conservative renaissance in the western world, HBD will lead the way.


Not going to happen. Geeks don't inspire great artists to create. Just the opposite, geeks (and their plans for eugenics) only inspire ridicule. Dr Stranglove is the funniest movie ever made.

You're right about one thing, though: Sarah Palin does not appeal to our smarts. She appeals to our sense of beauty, which makes her very dangerous to the ruling elite because the regeneration of the western world will be lead by those who are motivated by a love of beauty, e.g. Alex DeLarge and Travis Bickle.

Truth said...

I'm sensing that you guys really miss Aresnio Hall.

Audacious Epigone said...

As a way of backing whiterpeople into a corner, consider a similar analysis for all races rather than whites only. Until the last Presidential election (or two), the GOP has attracted more intelligent voters. That is, if a whiterperson tries to insinuate that Republicans are less intelligent than Democrats are, watch him squirm as he tries to clarify without saying the unmentionable.

Mnuez,

SWPL #38: Arrested Development.

Anonymous said...

Palin is a "smart cookie"?? I thought the Palin unveiling exposed the dirty little secret of American politics:women(those in politics) are dumb. Because she was not one of the anointed,the media-blob had no compunction about exposing what a dunderhead she is. (She looks at the Siberian coast--thats foreign policy)Female reporterettes didnt throw little crying fits and write blazing editorials to defend her--as they'd have done if she was a Dem. This was a woman who was elected to high office;therefore it seesm that whatever motivated voters to pick HER,and whatever characteristics she displayed,might constitute a pattern affecting other winning lady candidates. In short,theres a lotof Palins out there! You need look no further than Speaker Pelosi,who seems to me,at least,to be a serious dunderhead. Madeline Albright and Condi probably are among the worst Secs of Stae we ever had. (And baby makes three!!Yep,Hillary has got to be one of the most overrated people who ever won an election.)But theres hope for the ladies:Caroline Kennedy may soon make an appearance! But the dumbest Republicans of all are those,like our beloved former gov,Jim Edgar,who pine for the GOP to "reach out" to the Mexicans!!

Anonymous said...

Appealing to low-IQ voters only workss well as a SHORT-TERM strategy.

In the long term, we see the destruction of the Republican Part as smart voters are turned away by the new strategy. Once you lose a smart voter, it's a lot harder to get him back.

James said...

Leno is not funny. His writers might be, but he's not.

Anonymous said...

It would stand to reason that the optimal position is the social conservative / fiscal liberal stance of Mike Huckabee or Jim Webb. Not only is it out of step with both parties, but is that its precisely opposite of the moderate elite consensus of socially liberal, fiscally conservative.

I keep telling my friends on both sides this. But the Democrats are too excited about gay marriage and the Republicans won't crack down on big business.

Sigh...

Anonymous said...

It's not that Letterman's jokes are smarter -- they're not -- it's that he aims for the ironic demographic, which tends to be slightly smarter than the general population. That demo enjoys watching unfunny Letterman because they're flattered to think that they are in on the joke (of course, there really isn't any joke, which is where the irony comes in).

Ah, so thats why I dont laugh at him, thought it was just because I was British.

Plus his head is way too big compared to the rest of his body.

Anonymous said...

Testing99 said:

I'll note that with marriage a largely thing of the past, and single motherhood, more and more White males are going to be pure losers in Affirmative Action (no wife getting benefits) so they'll vote against it. Particularly as the recession downsizes most guy's access to women and exacerbates the "soft polygamy" of professional urban centers (few Big Men monopolizing most of the women).

That is easily one of the most depressing things I've read in a long while.

Anonymous said...

"This site does not have enough Jews contributing to it. You can tell by the crusty gentile comments. Always wanting to go back to the 1950's and such: back to a boring dead zone of white bigotry, antisemitism and hate.

Let there be more Jews at iSteve.

Without Jews there can be no serious intellectual achievement and no real culture.

Give us the great minds like Barney Frank, Matt Yglesias, Tim Wise and anybody named Cohen.

More homosexuals would improve this place also. Dear Progress! That is what is missing here."

Award for Best, Funniest Satire Post.

You ARE trying to be satirical, aren't you? I hope.

B322 said...

Honestly, how smart can someone be when they continue thinking something like "a vote" makes any, any, any difference at all in the system under which this country is run? And even if they buy into this ethno-plutocratic scam, religiously voiced as "democracy", does it never cross their minds that, all things said, two morons casting their vote would then have more say than one smart person?

Not everyone shares your idea of what the point of voting is. I suppose some people return cans to the grocery store because a nickel is a big old wad of cash, just as some people are sure next time around their candidate is going to win by one vote, and some are sure that the reason to have a fire alarm is the peculiar inflammability of their particular house, etc.

Healthy communities are ones in which people do things out of a sense of duty, and make a habit of doing their duty. You can occasionally look out your window and see a lone car on an empty road, signalling a turn. It's not because the driver thinks the birdies and flowers care that he's slowing for a turn. A hiker deep in the woods may pack out their biodegradable trash even if the odds of another person stumbling upon it before the bacteria turn it to dust is nearly nil. Adults refrain from using profanity, even good-naturedly, around babies far too young to understand it.

Positive habits, like saying what you believe in in a polling both or the comments section of a blog, are very important even in the absence of tangible effects. Quasi-religious? Perhaps. I kind of think if I were lying on my deathbed and some stranger were to come in and tell some god I'd never heard of that he hoped for the best for me, I'd be pretty flattered.

So a bunch of smart folks, whose opinions are so much better founded than that of the average voter, have gone out and voted even in the presence of the oppressive atmosphere of equality, yet no one seems flattered.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but I think Steve and his audience could be interested in this:

A nine year-old girl in India named M. Lavinashree has passed the Microsoft Certified Professional Exam, becoming the youngest person to ever pull it off (smashing the record previously held by a 10 year-old Pakistani girl). The youngster has a long history of making records in her short life -- including reciting all 1,300 couplets of a 2,000 year-old Tamil epic at the age of three -- and now she's now cramming for the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Exam.

I think there may be something genetic going on here. Other pieces of evidence:

1) South Asians' disproportionate willingness to participate and ability to win at US spelling bees.

2) The fact that most of India's classical literature was passed down through millenia by rote memorization, as opposed to writing. To my knowledge no other culture did it to that extent. Yes, I know that Homer's epics weren't written down until a couple of centuries after they were composed and that some Muslims have memorized all of the Koran, but the Indians did more of this sort of stuff and for a longer period of time than anybody else.

And notice that the previous record was held by a Pakistani girl. Can I nominate Ms. Lavinashree for the Human Biodiversity Hall of Fame?

Anonymous said...

Half Sigma said:

Appealing to low-IQ voters only workss well as a SHORT-TERM strategy.

In the long term, we see the destruction of the Republican Part as smart voters are turned away by the new strategy. Once you lose a smart voter, it's a lot harder to get him back.

Yes, but short term is required. Without short-term appeal to lower IQ, the leftists who appeal to lower IQ on their side will win and will be able to put into place programs and laws, for instance, "hate speech" laws, that make it impossible for conservatives to win in the long run.
It does no good to focus on the long term if the short term means we're locked out of power permanently.

Anonymous said...

What's with the Stormfront-type comments on the isteve threads of late? I count three of them on this thread, attacking Jews in a stupid manner on a thread not related to Jews.

Anonymous said...

"Without Jews there can be no serious intellectual achievement and no real culture."

Haha. Next thing you know, someone'll be saying the Jimmy Kimmel is funny and Alex DeLarge will rebuild civilization.

Anonymous said...


"So a bunch of smart folks, whose opinions are so much better founded than that of the average voter..."

Oh, if that were only so... Unfortunately in the modern world smart folks are disproportionately SWPLers. They're more likely to be wrong than the average folks on the nature of race, on secular vs. traditional morality, on global warming and on a million other things. This is where Buckley's phrase about preferring to be governed by the people from the telephone directory, as opposed to the Harvard faculty, comes from.

If most of what's being taught is crap, an eager student (the teacher's pet type) will end up soaking up more crap than an indifferent student.

A studious person will by definition get more of his opinions about how the world works from books than would a person bored by learning. And if most books lie on a few key points, as they certainly do in the modern world, the smart set's opinions on these points will again be crap.

So I'm with the late Mr. Buckley on this.

Anonymous said...

"Not everyone shares your idea of what the point of voting is."

It's not my idea of what the point of voting is - it's the reality of what it is in a world of media, fiat money, lobbyists, massive urban populations and a heterogenous society. It's something that allows you to feel good, as if you have some type of say in how this place works. Voting in the U.S. is restricted to selecting essentially one of two "choices" held up as candidates, or deciding on some non-issue put forth on the ballot, allowing one to "vote" on things that mean nothing longterm while the most pressing issues are quietly discussed behind the scenes and subsequently decided against the interests of the many. Seriously, have you had a chance to vote on immigration lately? No, but that earthshaking "gay marriage" sure dominates socio-political discourse these days.

Even without all of these modern factors mentioned above impinging on the lovely idea of "one man, one vote", I don't see anything healthy about a single vote going to a 50 year old black man with a family and his own business, a 35 year old single white woman, a 25 year old Guatemalan immigrant, an Israeli with dual citizenship, an 18 year old just out of high school, a 70 year old pensioner, etc...That just chaos. What we have here isn't a state. It's a souk.

"Healthy communities are ones in which people do things out of a sense of duty, and make a habit of doing their duty."

That's right, but I'd hope you're not limiting dutiful people to those who exist solely under governments that operate under the buzzword "democracy". Plenty of non-democratic states were run by people who had a sense of duty to themselves and their people.

Even at its most effective in, say, Athens (manageable population, kinship/cultural bonds, no mass media), democracy proved to be something silly at best (how many of their greatest leaders were ostracized after some victory benefiting the state), warlike and imperial at worst (look at her actions post Persian Wars).

Letterman.

Anonymous said...

Blode032222,

Apologies if my response to your measured response to my original post seemed hostile. It wasn't meant to be. It's just that it's a bit maddening to hear this mantra over and over about "the vote".

"So a bunch of smart folks, whose opinions are so much better founded than that of the average voter, have gone out and voted even in the presence of the oppressive atmosphere of equality, yet no one seems flattered."

LOL. I just want them to apply the effort they put into understanding salient issues into understanding salient issues. Make sense?

By wanting something as unrealistic as that, however, I step into their mystical realm.

BTW, the most email I receive from friends/relatives/coworkers and the like, in regards to voting, comes from Hollywood far-left types. I'm forever being exhorted to stop some "evil" like Old Man McCain from ascending. Not that they're wrong when they say that one candidate of the two is rotten to the core. They're wrong when they concurrently believe that the opposition is a saint, and that the gulf between the directions our society would take after the election of one vis a vis the other would be enormous.

Anonymous said...

Now we've got guys responding to a lame attempt at satire on philo-semitism as if the post were serious. Pathetic. The original poster even quotes himself in order to respond to himself. Weird. And Steve allows it all past his censor's baton.

Anonymous said...

Howard Stern broadcast a cruel segment right after the election in which he played interviews with black voters in Harlem. Having ascertained that they were Obama supporters, the interviewer proceeded to attribute McCain's well-known positions to Obama and asked them if they agreed with those positions; i.e., he said things like, "Obama says America has to stay in Iraq until we win, however long it takes, how do you feel about that?" or, "Do you agree with the strong pro-life stance Obama has taken?" The respondents said, yes, they supported his position on those issues. The interviewer also asked the Obama supporters how they felt about Obama's choice of Sarah Palin as his VP, and ws she qualified? Respondents said it was a good choice and she was well qualified. Obviously, the point was to pick out only the stupidest respondents, but those people are out there.

It's on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyvqhdllXgU&feature=related

Anonymous said...

"I count three of them on this thread, attacking Jews in a stupid manner on a thread not related to Jews."

I wasn't me.

Anonymous said...

"A nine year-old girl in India named M. Lavinashree has passed the Microsoft Certified Professional Exam"

I always knew this MS Certified rubbish was just another Micro$oft money-making scam. Basically avg-talented technicians can learn all that shit off by heart and make themselves feel better by having all these certificates hanging on the wall. Gates off course just laughs once more. I wonder who paid for her exam. Can't imagine Indians being stupid enough to fork out money for Micro$oft nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said

What's with the Stormfront-type comments[...]? I count three of them on this thread, attacking Jews in a stupid manner

It's called irony. Jews come in for their share of criticism here (and boy, they don't like it!) usually in the comments section - and some comments in this thread are referencing that well-known fact in a good-natured, tweaking way. What are you, anyway? The junior thought police, patrolling the net for any unflattering mention of Jews, regardless of its context? A rather obsessive, paranoid, holier-than-thou, totalitarian thing to do - in other words, perfectly Southern Baptist!

Merry Christmas and lighten up.

Anonymous said...

testing99 said

Nielsen ratings have been declining for decades, consider that in 1968's America with about 200 million Americans, the "Beverly Hillbillies" with a bunch of hicks making fun of the pretentious Beverly Hills rich folk, pulled in regularly 60 million viewers. Now, the top rated American Idol is lucky to pull in 25 million viewers, in a nation of 300 million plus.

In 1968, there were basically 3 channels. So every show got a far greater percentage of the viewing audience than most shows could get today. Today there are basically 300 channels (conservative estimate).

That's 300 equal possibilities of where a viewer could choose to spend his TV-watching time today, as opposed to 3 equal possibilities in '68. You do the math, but I believe your premises essentially are mistaken by a factor of 100.

(And it isn't like there's more variety now - just more channels. For cultural war purposes, the content presented remains rather uniform.)

Anonymous said...

If the future of the Republican party is Southern/Western white trash like Sarah Palin, then I'm leaving the party.

Anonymous said...

"I count three of them on this thread, attacking Jews in a stupid manner on a thread not related to Jews."

I don't. I suppose if you counted the anti-Jewish comment(s) as sincere, and the pro-Jewish comment(s) as sarcastic, and the neutral comment(s) about Jews as negative, you could get to three, but no would do that.

NO ONE WOULD DO THAT, RIGHT?

Anonymous said...

Well, I was going to say that you guys who think there is anything wrong with Sarah Palin's gray matter are just nuts - that you obviously haven't seen one of her sportscasts from back in the day [which I am sure she wrote by hand] and heard the subtlety of the sarcasm in her delivery.

But sadly, the leftists at KTUU have claimed copyright infringment, and their brothers-in-arms at Google were only to happy to yank the video off of Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bza63nnqiKA

So you will just have to trust me when I assure you that Sarah Palin is very, very bright.

Anonymous said...

Appealing to low-IQ voters only workss well as a SHORT-TERM strategy.

In the long term, we see the destruction of the Republican Part as smart voters are turned away by the new strategy. Once you lose a smart voter, it's a lot harder to get him back.


The fate of smart whites is tied to the future of stupid whites, and those who try to disconnect them do so for their own ethnopolitical reasons.

Anonymous said...

If the future of the Republican party is Southern/Western white trash like Sarah Palin, then I'm leaving the party.

To join forces with people who hate you?

Sounds like quite the cunning plan.

Audacious Epigone said...

Blode,

Well put. In 2004, the GSS queried respondents on whether they felt genes or the environment was the major influencer of personality. Meta-analyses of the big five show the personality traits to be 50% heritable in aggregate. Technically, that puts heritability right on the cusp of being a major determinant. But since it is unlikely that any other single cause constitues the remaining 50% of determination, in a vernacular sense it does constitute a major part. In any case, granting 50% heritability, at worst an even split among respondents should be expected.

Yet only a quarter of respondents answered with genes, and they were on average less intelligent than those who said environment.

Polymath said...

SKT,

First of all, Sarah Palin, having spent all her life in Idaho or Alaska, may be Western but isn't Southern.

Secondly, what's wrong with being "Southern/Western"?

Thirdly, why do you use the racist term "white trash"?

Your threat to "leave the party" must refer to the GOP, but what kind of Republican are you, exactly? Which prominent Republicans do you approve of?

Anonymous said...

Blode,

Steve, for reasons I'm not sure of, didn't post my lengthy initial response to your post, rendering my follow-up apology seem odd.

Anonymous said...

SKT: If the future of the Republican party is Southern/Western white trash like Sarah Palin, then I'm leaving the party.

Don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on your way out.

Anonymous said...

"And Steve allows it all past his censor's baton."

Solution: Start your own website and don't post those comments that Steve Sailer would allow.

B322 said...

Apologies if my response to your measured response to my original post seemed hostile. - a very interesting Anonymous

Not hostile, no ... it probably wouldn't have sounded hostile even if I didn't read it on Christmas Day. Voting is easy and can amount to a cop-out, to be sure, just as abstention can.

Many fine points have been raised. Bright people are susceptible to (a) being lied to by books average people aren't interested in (and dim people can't even read) and (b) being flattered about how darn bright they are. So self-congratulation becomes a basis for public policy, per Thomas Sowell.

(A) and (b) are obviously putting out some serious cognitive fireworks, for, as The Audacious One has shown, your educated folks are the most thoroughly colonized by strange ideas about blank slates, noble savages, and the like.

Part of the self-congratulation we hand to our bright leftists is the reassertion that they owe their success to something other than their genes. Why is this a compliment? To an old-fashioned nobleman, saying he didn't owe his success to his good blood would be rather a slap in the face, and liable to get you skewered on an elegant court sword. Yet the same opinion is a huge compliment to the whiterpeople of the modern left. Why?

It's been asserted that crypto-gnosticism is alive and well, and is fomenting revolutions and social engineering and typical scary stuff. Crypto-Manichaeism is a form of crypto-gnosticism, agreed? Basically, your modern leftist doesn't want to owe her or his success to genetics because that would mean the mind is attached to the body. Bad news for a crypto-Manichaean.

Granted, a lot of Environment, the amorphous alternative to Scary Genetics, is also physiological (like diet, noise pollution, etc.), but it is amorphous enough that if you owe your success to your Good Environment you can pretend it's all about your early childhood exposure to Mozart and Give a Mouse a Cookie and all that jazz. Just as long as body and mind lie in two different dimensions, the leftists are happy.

A strange religion, they are ... far stranger than the one that talks about that adorable tike in the manger.

Anonymous said...

In the GOP, dimwitted slogans like "Don't mess with Texas" and "Drill baby, drill" now represent serious policy planks. Unfortunately the other 49 states (or at least the ones outside of the Southern/Western cowboy hat region) don't give a damn about Texas, and "drill baby, drill" lost its luster after oil prices plummeted.

The GOP can't be a party just for trailer trash and Yahoo cowboys, which - though popular folk heros in the Southern/Western region - are laughed at by the rest of America. In this election, even rich people voted for Democrats, probably because McCain/Palin represented such a witless, embarrassing ticket. Although I don't like the Democrat's politics, I do like the fact that for once in my lifetime we're going to have leadership from the Northeastern part of the country where almost half of America's population lives instead of Southern/Western politicians trying to loot as much for the sunbelt as possible.

m said...

Lucius is right- Palin's sportscasts were fantastic esp coming from a girl....she seemed to know a lot about some of the intricacies of the sports she covered

I think I posted something like that a long time ago so I am going to take credit for that observation

I like mcCain a lot but Romney/Palin would have been a dream ticket

friend of mine used to play hoops with Obama at chicago athletic club in late 90's....said he was a complete ahole fwiw

Anonymous said...

The GOP can't be a party just for trailer trash and Yahoo cowboys, which - though popular folk heros in the Southern/Western region - are laughed at by the rest of America.

Stop taking your cues from a philistine like Jon Stewart. All American artists are inspired by the cowboy myth. Stuart Rosenberg, a New York Jew, directed the great Cool Hand Luke. His protege, Darren Aronofsky, also a New York Jew, directed the best movie of the year, The Wrester, a beautiful, humane story about "trailer trash."

Anonymous said...

The trend of whites becoming an ever increasingly smaller slice of the electorate will occur within the Democratic party much sooner than it will in the country as a whole. It should be quite interesting watching white liberals leap off the Democratic ship and cling to whatever idological and political floatsam is drifting by at the time. I think when smarter and more succesful liberal whites watch blacks and Latinos ascend to position of power within the Democratic party you will see a realignment. Where they go to is another story.

If we had a parlimentary system there could be more parties that better represented subsets of the population and still matter. Rather these communities end up starting comunes and living on the fringe.

Anonymous said...

" do like the fact that for once in my lifetime we're going to have leadership from the Northeastern part of the country where almost half of America's population lives "
How old are you? 10? Or some Obama bot who feels super-White for having this great black (sort of) candidate he can hold up as a paragon of the Great Northeastern "Leader." Pardon me while I wipe tears of laughter.
For the first time in your life? Who are you talking about, because everybody who is actually going to "lead" are from previous administrations. B.O.'s campaign was written and pushed by Clintonites. All the people he owes and who will be running things are people who have been doing just that for years now. There is no change but him. He's "change" because he's "black."
Obama who thought there were 57 States? Obama who will not produce a birth certificate when everybody else running for government office jobs has to? Obama who sealed his University records? This man is one long, professional lie, aided and abetted by the best and most powerful liars on the face of the earty. Aside from that he oozes Chicago corruption, and the only thing keeping him out the scandals is the press, illegally acting as his nanny/personal agent/mommy/baby daddy/manchurian candidate programmer. The fraudulency of this man is so mind boggling I don't know where to begin. I was saying similar things about Bush 8 years ago. The rest of the world catches up with me, but by the time they do, the point is so obvious that I can't even take pleasure in the old "I told you so."

Now I'm a northeasterner myself. Democrat family, Independent, third party voter. French speaker, latte drinker, that sort. I don't really identify with "cowboys" and "red necks" but I do know that they are the "essential personnel" that have to get their butts to work while the key pushers can sleep in. They are indeed infinitely more essential to the survival of this country than Obama and his ilk.
Northeastern leadership a blessing? How utterly preposterous. At least the southern corruption was honest corruption everybody admitted to.

Anonymous said...

Superb comment by Kramer there!

Anonymous said...

"If we had a parlimentary system there could be more parties that better represented subsets of the population and still matter."

Not to nitpick, but whether a system is parliamentary or not has little to do with how friendly it is to small parties. America's almost purely two-party system is a symptom of (a) the first-past-the-post election system, shared by most English-speaking countries, (b) habitual dichotomic thinking on the part of the electorate, who are reflexively uninterested in anything that "is neither here nor there" and (c) the bizarre habit third parties have of concentrating on the Presidency when they haven't won a handful of seats in Congress, county commissions, etc. Put another way: why exactly have Ross Perot and Ralph Nader not run for US House, governor, etc.?

Most English-speaking countries quash small parties due to (a), but not so much (b), and of course (c) is impossible with no President. Most European countries combine a parliamentary system with some form of proportional representation, though the two have nothing to do with each other.

Really the election system is secondary to the creepy bipartisan monolith, aided and abetted even by civil servants who claim to be objective. If schoolteachers were required to teach civics properly, say by teaching about all the candidates on the ballot and/or all the political parties running a certain number of candidates, the monolith would melt a little. It's a pipe-dream, I know, but I feel like categorical imperatives are still worth mentioning. Asking a child if he/she is "pulling for Obama or McCain" is an insult.

Anonymous said...

"for once in my lifetime we're going to have leadership from the Northeastern part of the country"

Uh, what are you going on about? The Bush family are Connecticut aristocrats, are they not?

That is so off-the-wall that it merits the lolwut pear.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the "bias" that you suggest limits the usefulness of a vocabulary test as a measure of general intelligence, is far less that might be imagined. Vocabulary tests continue to be significant parts of the most robust modern IQ tests because they are, in fact, one of the most highly "g"-loaded task surrogates. Yes, it is true and perhaps a little counter-intuitive. Vocabulary tests, in which the test taker is asked to provide a definition for a test item word, are better measures of general intelligence than such apparently "pure reasoning" tests as matrix series (the common pictorial tests in which the next picture in a series of abstract pictures is requested), and digit span tests of short-term memory.

How could this be? Isn't vocabulary just stored knowledge that in principle could be taught to a monkey? Aren’t IQ test items that request definitions of words just so much "Trivial Pursuit"? Why would such items be in IQ tests, which are not supposed to be tests of knowledge, but of reasoning? Have we not caught the IQ testers with their hand in the figurative cookie jar, claiming to test universal reasoning while sneaking in these bits of cultural bias?

These ideas and concerns have a compelling, sort of pseudo-Occam simplicity. That’s important because, very often in science (and as you often discuss here in your blog), we apply Occam’s razor to a group of competing theories, cutting away all but the simplest theory that fully explains the phenomena. But in this case, commentators are failing to see something about vocabulary items, as a group, that is beneath the surface, yet which is critically important to the construction of valid and robust general tests of intelligence. The commentators are, in fact, falling prey to an error of reasoning; a fallacy. Occam’s razor must never be used to excise truths, no matter how subtle or inconvenient, if they explain the phenomenon under consideration.

So what is the truth about vocabulary items, and where is the fallacy? First, the fallacy. Linda Gottfredson in her beautiful paper "Logical fallacies used to dismiss the evidence on intelligence testing" (in R. Phelps (Ed.), Correcting fallacies about educational and psychological testing (pp. 11-65). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association 2009.) brought this particular fallacy to my attention. Prof. Gottfredson refers to it as the "Yardstick Mirrors Construct" fallacy. In the yardstick mirrors construct fallacy, commentators (typically those who dispute the idea that there is such a thing as general intelligence) assume that a test item (the “Yardstick”) reveals only mental faculties (the “Construct”) that directly resemble (or “Mirror”) the item itself. Accordingly, they suppose that vocabulary questions that present a word and ask for a definition merely examine the candidate’s ability to retrieve stored knowledge of words. In fact, however, something more subtle and much more significant is going on, and it accounts for why contemporary psychometrists continue to include many vocabulary questions in the most reasoning-intensive and g-loaded IQ tests.

If the vocabulary yardstick is not assumed to merely mirror the construct, as such commentators as Sternberg (1995) and Fischer (1996) would have us believe, then we must look beyond and behind to see what mental faculties are evidenced by a large vocabulary, versus a small one.

A moment's reflection on the connections between thought and language hint at the truth of the matter. It's a fundamental premise of semantics and neurolinguistics that words, with their remembered associations, and intentional and extensional meanings, are the very atoms of cognition itself. Words are not just bits of text or keys in a relational database; rather, they are branches in a fantastically intricate living computing tree of connected knowledge and reasoning about the world.

While it is true that a candidate does use his memory and stored knowledge to answer vocabulary questions, the authors of modern IQ tests are not particularly interested in that process. Rather, the interest in vocabulary is comes from the study of thousands of people of modest, average and superior intellect. In virtually every case, people with superior intellect not only have larger vocabularies (and can retrieve a large number of word definitions), they use that larger vocabulary-web as whole to create and manipulate more complex mental models of the world, and even abstract metamodels of problem solving processes. Thus a large vocabulary evidences superior reasoning ability and overall intelligence, and it is, as well, the product of superior cognition over a period of time.

Perhaps this accounts for the surprising (to some) finding that vocabulary is more highly correlated with g (81 has been cited) than digit span memory (.52) and matrix reasoning.

In conclusion, those who cling to the Trivial Pursuit theory of vocabulary testing are committing the fallacy of “yardstick mirrors construct”. Vocabulary is an excellent surrogate and index of general intelligence, and test items related to it are among the most useful for measuring g.