Tagged: intelligence

Sign in for an AI prayers package (Tweet Anthology 5)

May-July 2017

Biology

1

Gorillas hum and sing while they eat to say, “do not disturb” (Scientific American)

Just try for yourself singing while you chew. Is that why gorillas are vanishing? Choking themselves to death too many a time?

2

If intelligence is a factor in reproductive success, we’d expect the sex where success variation is greater to be more intelligent, as intelligent individuals then reproduce comparatively more there. Yet, as you [Milord Matt Ridley] state that women are as intelligent as men [Ridley’s point is that women are as intelligent as men though in their own different way], it means the sex that doesn’t need intelligence as much is as intelligent as the sex who needs it more. Which doesn’t make sense, evolutionarily speaking.

Yet do not daughters inherit their fathers’ intelligence? Let’s be straight: the biggest cavemen breeded more but their daughters weren’t as big as their boys.

If women are as intelligent as men, then intelligence has not been a factor in reproductive success.

Now, regardless of whether both sexes are equally intelligent or not today, Trivers-Willard effect will give an advantage to men in the future, in case the concept of meritocracy is accurate. [According to Trivers-Willard effect, high-status people have more male than female offspring; and the concept of meritocracy means a correlation between high status and intelligence.]

3

How the recessive trait blondism can be preferred in women and not disappear unless it gives an advantage to men too, is beyond understanding.

4

You [Dr Randolph Nesse] wrote that chewing gum might be medically prescribed some day in order to prevent the weakening of our jaws due to processed food. But what’s wrong with weak jaws if we are going to eat processed food anyway? On the contrary, maintaining strong jaws where they are not needed puts one at a disadvantage: cf cave animals, troglomorphy.

5

True altruism seen in chimpanzees, giving clues to evolution of human cooperation (TVOL This View of Life)

Altruistic chimps will soon be a threat to mankind.

From David S. Wilson, one gets it clear that individual altruism is the way a group becomes dominant among other groups.This is the reason why the Ancients saw no moral value in altruism; they were seeking ataraxy. Depending on scale, altruism is called nepotism, parochialism, nationalism, racism… Theoretical world-scale altruism would be… free competition. [See Tweet Anthology 4: Darwinian Altruism here]

6

Already before Darwin wrote, Schopenhauer explained how Kant’s philosophy was compatible with evolutionism (then Lamarckism). (The passages from Schopenhauer I am thinking of are from Parerga und Paralipomena, 1851: (*) original German quotes at the end of this post. Compare The Origin of Species, 1859.) Darwinian “revolution” is more like: You’re correct, Lamarck, but rather things happen this way, not that way. To be sure scholars acknowledge evolutionist works before Darwin, yet for some reason they seem to think those were in the creationist mold.

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Freemasonry historically has been banned in authoritarian governments. (@KSigMason, reacting to my tweets in Tweet Anthology 4 here)

Secret societies have no place in transparent societies.

So you’re against the right to assemble? You’re against the right to privacy?

I’m for public personalities disclosing their membership in any society they belong to.

Unpleasant suspicions necessarily arise from the existence of secret societies, as from any lack of transparency; trust is undermined. In societies that allow free speech and freedom of opinion, every association is free to pursue its aims, so secrecy is all the more suspicious. Secrecy then conceals unsound practices, such as eviction of merit, prevailed upon by occult connections.

That’s an assumption. Secrecy = privacy, and is necessary for a free society.

In secular states Freemasonry has outlived its mission. If it wants to continue existing as a religious community, that must be aboveboard.

Freemasonry is a fraternity not a religious community. It has not outlived its mission.

As to authoritarianism, Masons have been consistent supporters of authoritarian Maximato regime in Mexico. Calles, the Jefe Maximo, was awarded a Masonic medal, according to opponent Vasconcelos, whose friends were decimated by the Maximo’s thugs. Source: José Vasconcelos’s memoirs, La flama. Los de arriba en la Revolución. Historia y Tragedia (1959).

*

“By way of the saloon I had escaped from the narrowness of women’s influence.” (John Barleycorn, Jack London)

In the absence of saloons, enforcing the purdah is necessary to emancipate man from the pettycoat.

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I block all accounts the tweets of which Twitter promotes on my timeline. Exhilarating. Try it.

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Jerry Perenchio had a big vision & a bigger heart – he always gave back. (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

A billionaire always gives back. You give him the finger, he gives you hell.

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They say there’s an “underclass” of “permanently unemployed” people not skilled enough for any job. Then they hire unskilled wetbacks.

*

Artificial Intelligence

1

Sometimes AI tweeting bots can be naughty and impersonate you without your being asked:

People who were impersonated by anti-net neutrality spammers blast FCC (Federal Communications Commission)

Let’s make it clear, however, that MOST tweeting bots tweet in the name of people who gave their consent – to get more followers &c.

Do the people contracting such services have a veto on what the bots post in their name? I assume they can always delete the tweets –unless that’s considered a breach of contract– but do they allow each bot’s tweet ex ante on their timeline?

Deleting ex post a bot-generated tweet may be defined from start a breach of contract, in fact, as not a few of these tweets are advertising.

According to an informatician friend, for the time being many AI bots are people in the Indian subcontinent paid a mouthful of rice…

2

Program your tweeting bot to send your AI prayers to Tehran Attack’s and future attacks’ victims. Follow to know more.

Sign in for an AI prayers package! Each time Twitter buzzes with terror attacks, we tweet your prayers for you.

So you can keep playing golf! Don’t be like a silly politician. Enjoy the day and send your prayers.

Of course we hope our bots won’t tweet your prayers to yourself some day! LOL

3

When you’re dead your AI bot will keep tweeting. If you were dull enough, no one will see the difference. #Immortality

This at the date of today. If you die 30 years from now and you were dull, people will see a difference, as ALL your tweets will now be so brilliant.

4

Who’s afraid of the robo-journos?

Since The Associated Press adopted automation technology to write its earnings reports, “far fewer errors.” LOL

Automation. Step 1 robo-journos. Step 2 robo-politicos. #cooltech

5

Unilever has been hiring employees using brain games and artificial intelligence & it’s a huge success. (Nige Willson) (Article here)

US Supreme Court has declared IQ testing for recruitment unconstitutional. “Brain games” sounds very much like IQ testing, doesn’t it?

Let me qualify: “Employment testing is legal as long as a professionally-developed employment test is administered according to the test developer’s intended use.” Therefore: no general IQ testing, regardless of the fact that some say it’s the one best predictor of work productivity.

Now if you look at what Unilever gets from “HR service provider” Pymetrics (“AI screening”), it looks like general testing, does it not?

Is this outsourced AI screening through brain games professionally-developed (by branch) and developed for specific positions (by job)? No, neither one nor the other.

6

Bots have a really low # of followers, like 10, long number strings in their handle and joined relatively recently.

What the bots want you to believe…

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The right to resist tyranny does not exist where the right to carry guns exists not. As if there could be no tyranny because of the ballot! Disarmed people can’t have their vote respected in case of electoral fraud.

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Is nasal spray permissible [during Ramadan fast]? Sheikh Assim Alhakeem: If it contains a substance that would go down your throat, this breaks your fasting.

That seems to make swallowing rather than eating the object of Ramadan fasting. What about swallowing an object, like a marble, by accident, then?

I am walking down the street, a gnat enters my mouth and I swallow it by accident. Does it break the fast?

*

COeds’ Valium FEllatios on FEstering undead #covfefe

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Do you support BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions]? Why don’t you boycott Israeli news media, then? Using Israeli media to fight Israel? Eating oranges from Israel will bring you vitamin C to fight Israel too!

BDS supporters don’t boycott Israeli media – as if that weren’t the first thing to boycott.

*

Mexico knows of walls already! “Defendiéndose de los aztecas, los coras fabricaron unas trincheras de más de 9 kilómetros” (F. Santamaría, Diccionario de americanismos)

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Alien Covenant

The hero team’s uniform includes a Japanese WW2 cap hat. Reminder: 111,000 American casualties (dead or missing) in the Pacific war.

The exterminated civilization had Buddha statues. Read: Buddhism is irrelevant.

The evil android is a fan of Wagner, whose music is boycotted in Israel. So everything’s all right, baby!

*

Vogue Arabia just made history by gracing us with Halima Aden, making her the first ever hijabi model on a Vogue cover!!!! Women of colour are rising. Women of modesty are rising. And will continue to flourish even in the westernised fashion world. Mark my words. (@plasticrouge)

Just when white people start realizing this kind of things is gross media sexploitation…

Just when white women start realizing there is no modesty in the fashion world…

To think there is anything modest about this cover, one must be seriously disturbed.

With his right hand the man’s directing a phallic object close to her mouth [a pocket mirror or makeup kit seen from the side]. Then there’s the phrase New Look: a well-known nudity magazine.

*

In his penultimate album Michael Jackson sang the offensive phrase “jew me” (verb to jew) – then he was so ashamed of himself that he died.

*

The next Thomas Edison lives in India’s slums? (101 East Al Jazeera)

“The next Edison”? The correct phrase is “the next Einstein.” Okay? Be careful.

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My read of the evidence is that more investment (time, money, effort, accountability) in education helps. (Erik Brynjolfsson)

Money investment may yield poorly. ‘International ratings on investment’ ratio shows that France is throwing her money away with good conscience.

*

‘’It seems likely that when many first encounter the Black-White IQ gap, they think it environmental in origin because Blacks have faced horrific oppression and discrimination. The high Jewish IQ, however, immediately casts doubt on this intuition (as do copious data, which we have and will discuss) because Jewish people have also faced appalling discrimination throughout much of 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries (and well before, of course).’’ (Getting Voxed: Charles Murray, Ideology, and the Science of IQ, by by B Winegard and B Winegard with B Boutwell and TK Shackelford, published online, quillette.com, June 2, 2017 here)

Jews had a monopoly on money lending due to Christian interdict, whereas Blacks were slaves. Discrimination against the former did not include prohibition to acquire wealth, contrary to slavery in America – contrary to what was the lot of American slaves, and actually contrary to what was the lot of most European Christians under serfdom. So the environmental factor could well be cogent, once you look closely at what each “discrimination” entails.

*

#ThingsThatLeaveBritainReeling [After terror attacks in UK British Twitter users reacted with this hashtag to a newspaper article that used the phrase ‘’Britain left reeling’’ or something like that.]

When French boys come for linguistic courses and find the girls so easy the English boys can’t imagine.

When a British couple honeymoons in France and the woman tries to see if she can spot her deflorator in crowds.

*

Qatar for years positioned itself as a mediator of regional conflicts, now it is Qatar that is in need of mediation. (Kuwait & Oman may help) (Sultan Al-Qassemi)

The Clinton Foundation may help too. [See Tweet Anthology 1 here]

*

How racist, anti-Chinese Berkeley students prevented Panda Express restaurant to open at their snobbish university:

Berkeley students decry proposed Panda Express (SFGate, March 2009, article here)

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Bumper cars in Saudi Arabia via @GulfStatesInst. To the vice squad: This is genital vibromassaging.

Saudi ban on women’s driving must extend to driving bumper cars.

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Contemporary History. December 2012. When the journalist said the NEWS that day was HER OWN RAPE. Tahrir Square gang rapes (Egypt).

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French small-business owners complain about Chinese businesses’ competition. Yet that’s free enterprise 101: Be a communautarist, you win.

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Trump’s best ally against terrorism gives him the finger:

Saudi Arabia footballers ignore minute’s silence for London attack victims (The Guardian)

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Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 aims at dismantling the greatest welfare state in the world; it will create a huge toil shock and thousands of terrorists. It overlooks the robots coming: Make it from oil rent to robot rent, don’t create a nasty toil shock. Vision 2030 wants to transform Saudis into Irish migrants to US: white slaves, downtrodden and fueled by loads of whiskey.

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What is dystopian to you is utopian to me. Rather robots ruling than those rich pigs and their politician minions.

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Retweet if you want to restore death penalty for corrupt politicians.

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Tired of Facebook? Try FaceBoko Haram.

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Buy ISIS in Chains’ latest album Chainsaw the Miscreants.

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Why ISIL rather than ISIS? Because Isis is also an Egyptian goddess and that creates noise for CIA bots’ searches.

Imagine the nightmare for CIA bots if Osama Bin Laden had been called David Smith or Pepito Garcia!

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Commuters (London Subway), by Robert Doisneau Jr. #LondonBridge #artphotography

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Burger King delivers in Britain. At the same time their French website says they don’t deliver here in France as their policy is to serve products in the best condition…

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The economy has grown enormously in the past 35 years, but not everyone has shared in the prosperity. (Erik Brynjolfsson)

Even if everyone shares, it’s enough that some share more than others to make growth an aggravating factor. Cf ultimatum game.

With growth, even if everyone is better off in absolute numbers, those who benefit less are worse off in relative terms.

In a competitive system, opportunities depend on the relative terms.

Here you have the ultimate cause of the ultimatum game – of people refusing a net gain, seen as detrimental (consciously: insulting) to them.

*

Those who have read nothing are used to quoting Einstein.

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Hillary Clinton used black prison labor: “Some of the black prisoners worked in their [the Clintons’] kitchen.”

She doesn’t even need the wetbacks. Except for having them vote.

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The Invisible Poor. Today the city poor is born in the city, not in the countryside; he dwindles in city environment chameleon-wise.

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Given the taxes he pays a bachelor can’t afford to keep a mistress. For that, one must be a married man.

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Radical Muslims are fine people who are serious about preventing cuckoldry, whereas Westerners are somnambulists.

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Clones are not identical persons, yet they share the same genes. What do my genes have to do with me? Know thyself.

We need to clone more animals to study personality differences between individuals with identical sets of genes.

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Wow what a blast from the past! I subscribed to Minitel when I lived in Paris 30 years ago – long before the internet. (Steve Gye)

Oh yeah memories, 3615 code Ulla, poster ads for “Minitel rose” (pink=porn Minitel) in every street and corner of France!

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Remember how all the Hollywood stars used to stand up in public against apartheid South Africa? Silence in Hollywood re apartheid Israel…

Apartheid Boers used to say Israel was their model… Only they lacked Hollywood Boers, I guess.

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#MyAlienAbductionStory

Very embarrassing and even painful: no restroom in the saucer.

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By legalizing porn our legislators have given to entrepreneurs whom none of them would dare call honorable the opportunity to become our aristocracy.

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Bill Gates: Europe Will be Overwhelmed Unless it Stems Flow of Migrants. (Red Ice TV)

“Massive population growth in Africa will result in enormous migratory pressure on Europe.” Bill & Melinda Foundation

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Discrimination in Employment in Saudi Arabia (Saudi Gazette)

Don’t discriminate against robots for they’re the future.

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It’s summer, scholars have stopped tweeting.

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Once Dominant, the United States Finds Itself Isolated at G-20 (New York Times)

NYT mourns over USA’s dominance like funky jingos.

And yet Macron said he didn’t quite agree with Merkel’s de facto endorsement of Trump’s stand on climate. Le Parisien, 9 juillet 2017, I translate: “Personally I would have done no more than take note of American withdrawal.” Whereas Merkel agreed to mention America’s endeavor toward “cleaner use of fossil energies” = endorsement. Once dominant, the US stays dominant thanks to their Merkel stooge.

But wait, that makes perfect sense: Just look at coal’s share in German energy mix! US and Germany hand in hand to keep coal burning.

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Be warned. After years of anonymity on the Web you’ll find out there are no credentials on your real name nor on the real you.

July 2017

(*) ‘’Im Grunde jedoch sind alle jene Vorgänge, welche Kosmogonie und Geologie (als lange vor dem Dasein irgendeines erkennenden Wesens geschehn) vorauszusetzen uns nötigen, selbst nur eine Übersetzung in die Sprache unsers anschauenden Intellekts aus dem ihm nicht faßlichen Wesen an sich der Dinge. Denn ein Dasein an sich selbst haben jene Vorgänge nie gehabt, sowenig als die jetzt gegenwärtigen; sondern der Regressus an der Hand der Prinzipien a priori aller möglichen Erfahrung leitet, einigen empirischen Datis folgend, zu ihnen hin: er selbst aber ist nur die Verkettung einer Reihe bloßer Phänomene, die keine unbedingte Existenz haben.’’ (Paralipomena, Kapitel 6: Zur Philosophie und Wissenschaft der Natur § 85)

‘’Die allem Leben auf der Erde vorhergegangenen geologischen Vorgänge sind in gar keinem Bewußtsein dagewesen: nicht im eigenen, weil sie keines haben; nicht in einem fremden, weil keines dawar. Also hatten sie aus Mangel an jedem Subjekt gar kein objektives Dasein, d.h. sie waren überhaupt nicht, oder was bedeutet dann noch ihr Dagewesensein? –  Es ist im Grunde ein bloß hypothetisches: nämlich wenn zu jenen Urzeiten ein Bewußtsein dagewesen wäre, so würden in demselben solche Vorgänge sich dargestellt haben; dahin leitet uns der Regressus der Erscheinungen: also lag es im Wesen des Dinges an sich, sich in solchen Vorgängen darzustellen.’’ (Ibid. § 85 note F)

‘’Wir haben aber diese Steigerung uns zu denken nicht als in einer einzigen Linie, sondern in mehreren nebeneinander aufsteigenden. So z.B. ist einmal aus dem Ei eines Fisches ein Ophidier, ein andermal aus dieses seinem ein Saurier, zugleich aber aus dem eines andern Fisches ein Batrachier, dann aber aus dieses seinem ein Chelonier hervorgegangen, aus dem eines dritten eine Cetacee, etwan ein Delphin, später wieder hat eine Cetacee ein Phoka geboren und endlich einmal eine Phoka der Walroß; und vielleicht ist aus dem Ei der Ente das Schnabeltier und aus dem eines Straußen irgendein größeres Säugetier entstanden. Überhaupt muß der Vorgang in vielen Ländern der Erde zugleich und in gegenseitiger Unabhängigkeit stattgefunden haben, überall jedoch in sogleich bestimmten deutlichen Stufen, deren jede eine feste, bleibende Spezies gab, nicht aber in allmäligen verwischten Übergängen; also nicht nach Analogie eines von der untern Oktave bis zur obersten allmälig steigenden, folglich heulenden Tones, sondern nach der einer in bestimmten Absätzen aufsteigenden Tonleiter. Wir wollen es uns nicht verhehlen, daß wir danach die ersten Menschen uns zu denken hätten als in Asien vom Pongo (dessen Junges Orang-Utan heißt) und in Afrika vom Schimpanse[n] geboren, wiewol nicht als Affen, sondern sogleich als Menschen. Merkwürdig ist es, daß diesen Ursprung sogar ein Buddhaistischer Mythos lehrt, der zu finden ist in Isaac Jakob Schmidts >Forschungen über die Mongolen und Tibeter< (S. 210-214), wie auch in Klaproths >Fragments Bouddhiques< im >Nouveau Journal Asiatique< (1831, mars), desgleichen in Köppens >Die Lamaische Hierarchie< (S. 45).’’ (Ibid. § 91)

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XXXV Dr Kanazawa’s Intelligence Paradox

According to Dr Satoshi Kanazawa (London School of Economics) in his book The Intelligence Paradox: why the intelligent choice isn’t always the smart one (2012), general intelligence is, in evolutionary terms, the faculty to deal with “novel and nonrecurrent adaptive problems.” He argues that in the African savanna where humanity’s ancestors evolved till the relatively recent (at evolution scale) advent of agriculture, the use of general intelligence was limited to such one-off, isolated problems, and consequently selection pressure upon the development of intelligence did not exist in the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA). He further contends that in our modern man-made environments the capacity to deal with novel and nonrecurrent problems has become of utmost importance, yet this capacity, i.e. general intelligence, is not the best way to solve the general adaptive problems mankind still faces. The most important of these general adaptive problems is optimizing one’s fitness via mating, the coping with which relies on specific regions of the brain different from those in charge of intellect: namely, those in charge of emotions, or instincts.

There is something quite intuitive in the idea. Often enough people perceived as extremely intelligent tend to be derided by their peers as geeks or eggheads. Culture and mass culture frequently display funny characters who are very intellectual and at the same time awkward in many respects, such as Murray in the TV series Riptide; among my circle of school friends, to call someone “Murray,” based on the series, was one way to mock, though not with an altogether spiteful intent, an awkward guy, especially one who would fail to achieve anything outside the classroom.

Yet, no matter how intuitive, such a view runs counter to one tenet of evolutionary psychology (EP) – a field to which Kanazawa’s book belongs –, namely that high-status males are more reproductively successful than other males. In the view of EP, the Murrays of the world are the greatest womanizers, because it is general intelligence that has become the principal highway to status in our modern man-made environments. (For a broader discussion of EP findings on reproductive inequalities, see xxxii and xxxiii, or better all my posts from xxvii on.)

By presenting Kanazawa’s intelligence paradox in the terms above, I don’t do him justice, although that would render rather well his book’s subtitle “why the intelligent choice isn’t always the smart one,” but I have found myself in a quandary since I have wished to discuss his book, because of several inconsistencies.

The intelligence paradox is based on what Kanazawa calls “the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis,” that reads as follows: “Less intelligent individuals have greater difficulty comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment than more intelligent individuals. In contrast, general intelligence does not affect individuals’ ability to comprehend and deal with evolutionarily familiar entities and situations that existed in the ancestral environment.” (p. 56)

Given this hypothesis, the intelligent choice is out of reach of the smart brain whereas neither the smart nor, by definition, the intelligent choice is out of reach of the intelligent brain, although the intelligent brain may or may not make smart choices (smart is defined as the way to cope successfully with “evolutionary familiar situations”). So far, so good. But the negative relationship I have being talking about (that intelligent people are geeks wanting in smartness) is clearly alluded to in the title of chapter 12: “Why Intelligent People are the Ultimate Losers in Life.” Relying on the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis, intelligent people should not be the ultimate losers, since their intelligence “does not affect their ability to comprehend and deal with evolutionarily familiar entities.” Moreover, if the hypothesis is true there should be no “intelligence paradox” at all, because smartness and intelligence would then be two uncorrelated abilities, whereas both the notion of a paradox and the idea that intelligent people are the ultimate losers in life imply a negative relationship. Let us look at some of Kanazawa’s contentions in more detail.

Homosexuality

According to Kanazawa, the intelligence paradox predicts that more intelligent people are more homosexual than the general population because homosexuality is not natural, it is not common among animals nor among contemporary tribes of hunter-gatherers: “Even though some form of homosexuality is observed in many species, the basic biological design of all mammalian species is heterosexual reproduction, and exclusive or predominant homosexuality is rare in nature.” (p. 127) Kanazawa then says the data shows homosexuals are more intelligent.

He does not say, unless I’m mistaken, that it is the exclusive homosexuals that are more intelligent, which is in fact what the paradox predicts, not that occasional homosexuals, or bisexuals, are more intelligent, because such behaviors being observed in many species, as Kanazawa acknowledges, one may argue they’re natural. This is what Robin Baker says: Homosexual behaviors are quite common among animals. Moreover, most homosexuals, Baker argues, are bisexual, only a minority of them are exclusive homosexuals (see xxviii). The reason why exclusive homosexuality even exists is the same as why schizophrenia (according to Baker) exists, both at about 1% of the population: Both occur, namely, inside a process of mutation-selection balance. A gene mutation occurs that makes people exclusive homosexuals or schizophrenics and, as most of these individuals do not reproduce, selection prevents the mutation being forwarded.

Other than exclusive forms of homosexuality are in fact strategic, they are a way to deal with familiar adaptive situations, and one finds these behaviors among animal species quite frequently, so the intelligence paradox would not predict that people engaged in such behaviors are more intelligent. In fact, the intelligence paradox cannot even predict that exclusive homosexuals are more intelligent if it does not predict at the same time that schizophrenics are more intelligent, nor that any people affected by severe genetic mutations that would make them unfit for the ancestral savanna are more intelligent.

Addictions

Certainly Kanazawa’s most astonishing contention is that the intelligence paradox predicts that intelligent people consume more drugs, alcohol and cigarettes because such consumption is not natural. On this score, he finds the results “somewhat equivocal” (p. 176), still he is inclined to consider the prediction realized. On this particular point, I would first like to quote one of Kanazawa’s mentors (named twice in the book’s acknowledgments), Dr Richard Lynn, in his book Dysgenics (2011): “Cigarette smoking (…) is, like alcohol consumption, an expression of weak self-control over immediate impulse gratification.” As I explain in xxx, the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment shows that children with self-control are more intelligent for they get higher status later in life and intelligence is the principal highway to high status today. So, if the intelligence paradox predicts that intelligent people drink, smoke and take drugs more than others, it can safely be dumped.

However, does the paradox really predict such a thing? According to Kanazawa, smoking did not exist before the culture of tobacco, nor drinking before the advent of brewery and distillation, nor taking drugs before the development of refining techniques, in a word they could not exist before agriculture and were nonexistent in the African savanna. Yet, many tribes of hunter-gatherers are familiar with psychotropic substances they encounter in the course of their foraging activities, such as hallucinogenic mushrooms, so the dependence on agriculture seems erroneous. I am not categorical that our ancestors in the savanna knew such substances and consumed them; I am merely doing what EP scholars do when they try to describe the life of our ancestors, taking contemporary tribes of hunter-gatherers as the closest approximation.

The vocabulary of psychotropic and stimulating substances used by hunter-gatherers is quite extensive. In the Spanish language alone, I know the following terms, most of them being taken from the vernacular languages of Amerindian tribes: achuma, ayahuasa or ayahuasca, bacuey or macuey (aphrodisiac), chamairo, chamico, cochizpacle, cocoyome, cojoba, colorín, curupa, frijolito (“little bean”), gasparito, jabí, jícore, masacoate (name of a Mexican boa which flesh was consumed by Indians as an aphrodisiac), ñorbito (aphrodisiac), paricá, peyote, pillunchuca, sumarique, señí, tacualispacle or clacualispacle (aphrodisiac), xtabentún, yagé. For more details on some of these words, see my glossary of Aztequismos (here) and Americanismos I (here) and II (here) (Spanish and French).

If taking such drugs predates agriculture and was familiar in the EEA, the intelligence paradox cannot predict what Kanazawa says it does.

Mating

Kanazawa predicts that “more intelligent men (but not more intelligent women) value sexual exclusivity” (p. 97) – “having one sexual partner in a committed relationship” (p. 101) –, and the data proves him right. More intelligent men value sexual exclusivity because it’s not natural, since polygyny was rampant in the savanna, whereas for a woman, sharing her man with other women or not, she was supposed sexually exclusive to that man. Intelligent men are decent Murrays. So far, so good.

Yet, Kanazawa also finds that more intelligent men have more extramarital affairs (figure 7.2, p. 108), and here is his explanation: “Note that the Intelligence Paradox is about individual preferences and values, what people desire and want in their heads; it’s not necessarily about what people actually do. If people have complete choice over their behavior, they are expected to pursue what they desire and want, but they do not always have such complete choice. And, when it comes to sex and mating, men have very little choice.” (p. 109) In other words, Dr. Kanazawa is telling us intelligent men desire to be monogynous but women force them to be polygynous.

He means that a man “has no realistic choice to say no” to a woman (p. 105). This is a rather audacious step from the finding of evolutionary biology regarding the differential biological costs of reproduction which imply males’ somewhat indiscriminate sexual outlook compared to females’ choosiness. I say it’s audacious because evolutionary biology also posits that males are urgent and females coy, which is not altogether the same proposition. In biological terms, if a male is not urgent – not proactive – no female will choose him. A man, thus, may be thought to always have the choice either to enter the arena (the lek) in the hope of being chosen or remain outside and attract no attention at all. Still, a man can desire to be monogynous, i.e. faithful, yet be induced into temptation and succumb to it in the course of his social interactions with many persons of the other sex, occasions allowing for the succumbing, without our being justified to call his behavior proactive in the proper sense. That would be, then, the lot of intelligent men, namely to be seduced by women, to be chosen by women without wanting to be chosen, and succumb because of males’ universal urgency.

So the question is: Are more intelligent men, although they desire to be monogynous and as a consequence are not urgent with women once they have got a partner, more likely to be chosen and induced into sex by women? According to Kanazawa, the answer is yes. As to this, I repeat here what I have said under the head of addictions, that more intelligent men also have more self-control, so if to begin with they desire to be monogynous although it’s not natural, they also are in a better position to resist succumbing, albeit that, too, is not natural.

But a more important question perhaps is about the attractiveness of intelligent men. According to Kanazawa, they are more attractive: “More intelligent individuals – both men and women – are on average physically more attractive than less intelligent individuals.” (p. 106). The source of this assertion is Kanazawa (2011) and Kanazawa & Kovar (2004), that is, papers from the same. As a complement, “more intelligent individuals – both men and women – are significantly taller than less intelligent individuals. And, once again, women prefer taller men as mates.” (p. 107) (Note that Kanazawa elsewhere says Asians are “slightly more intelligent than other races.” (p. 124). As Asians are also shorter than other races, his findings on the relationship between height and intelligence must apply inside one race and not across races.)

As to intelligent women’s attractiveness, here is another distinct statement by Kanazawa, which he does not relate to the previous assertions even though they likely bear on the discussion: “modern British people are not very endogamous on intelligence [the talk is about the British because one of the three studies used by the author is the British National Child Development Study (NCDS), the other two being from US; these studies sometimes contradict one another, like in the case of correlations between IQ and smoking already mentioned]. More intelligent men do not appear to marry more intelligent women in the contemporary United Kingdom.” Given the fact that more intelligent men are supposed to be more attractive and that at least their status is no obstacle to attracting a partner (when it’s not the very reason that attracted the partner in the first place) because it is more likely to be high than not, one is entitled to conclude from this study that intelligent women are not physically attractive on the whole, contrary to quote p. 106 from the previous paragraph.

As to men’s attractiveness, I invite the reader to read my essay xxxii. I add two remarks. 1/ Kanazawa et al.’s papers on attractiveness are based on judgments on photographs, “by two different judges.” I suggest that such minimal tests may not be very convincing, especially since it is known that women’s appreciation of men’s attractiveness varies during the course of their menstrual cycle. Thornhill and Palmer write in their Natural History of Rape (2000): “Perret et al. (1998) report that women in their study found men’s faces that were slightly feminized more attractive than men’s faces that were highly masculine. Highly masculine faces show greater effects of testosterone. This is interpreted by the researchers as a female preference for men who will invest in women. However, the same research group found that women who are not on the pill (i.e., are having ovulatory cycles) and are at the fertile point of their cycle prefer the most masculinized faces.” (pp. 203-4). The study alluded to posits a cyclic variation of individual women’s preferences through time.

2/ Kanazawa finds more evidence for his stance in the following: “The evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey F. Miller has consistently argued that women preferentially select men with higher levels of intelligence to mate with. … There appears to be some evidence for this suggestion. … more intelligent men are significantly more likely to have ever been married and to be currently married at age 47 than less intelligent men.” (pp. 184-5) This overlooks the irrelevance of marriage (or any other form of pair-bonding) to assess women’s sexual preferences, according to the springboard model (see xxxii) and the phenomenon of cuckoldry. Among Darwinian scholars, I have found so far that only Robin Baker does not overlook the predictable consequences of human sperm competition and female sexuality. Especially when intelligent men “are not very endogamous on intelligence” are they likely to be cuckolded by their partners because, as we shall see next, intelligent women are less eager to want children, consequently less eager to look for sexy sons’ genes outside their pair.

In this discussion, Kanazawa surmises that more intelligent men value sexual exclusivity because it’s not natural, but I think it depends more on how a male fares in sperm competition. If a male is uncompetitive, he would waste his time and energy in affairs, so he’d better invest in mate-guarding and parenting, like the good Murray he is. The fact that more intelligent men value sexual exclusivity proves my point right, that more intelligent men are meagerly endowed, virilely speaking.

Incidentally, when EP scholars talk of high-status men in the past, they show us an emperor with his harem, in the present for aught I know they may be talking of a restaurant manager, who is perhaps more likely to cuckold his employees than the reverse. Perhaps, then, one should not equate high status with elites; these would be two radically distinct concepts. In the classic of sociology The Children of Sanchez by Oscar Lewis, we have the example of a “high-status man,” Sanchez, whose job is to buy food for a restaurant in Mexico City. Hardly a high-status job, yet this man provides resources to three women living in different places of the same squalid barrio.

The overlooking of elite men’s poor virile endowments by most EP scholars so far may be due to some kind of sycophancy, the will (probably unconscious) to avoid presenting elite people in an evolutionarily unpleasant light. The sycophancy derives from certain notions about virility and manliness. If a high-status man fails to take advantage of his high status by inseminating many women, why care about status to begin with? Why be rich rather than poor, since it’s so much more trouble earning money than feeding on charity or welfare? The “unpleasant” is that high-status men are not emperors with harems like in the past; a good deal of them are (but sometimes I’ve got my doubts, especially after reading EP books) quite decent fellows, and that’s the shame, you see. By the same token, they may be suspected to be weak. Are weak elites true?

As to the question of why be rich rather than poor, I think the intelligence paradox predicts that, all men on the savanna having to hunt and forage, intelligent men are slackers.

As we have already seen, more intelligent individuals have more homosexual partners than less intelligent individuals (although I have contended this is not predicted by the intelligence paradox). They also have, on a declarative basis, more heterosexual partners (p. 137). The figures are: very bright Americans (IQ > 125) (5% of the US population) have had 9.98 heterosexual partners; bright (110 < IQ < 125) (20% of the US population) 9.79; normal (90 < IQ < 110) (50% of the US population) 8.9; dull (75 < IQ < 90) (20% of the US population) 7.92; very dull (75 < IQ) (5% of the US population) 7.10. Murray Bozinsky is a myth. You may call him a geek, or any person who looks like him a “Murray,” but he cuckolds you in your back. There are the haves and the have-horns!

Yet, as the figures here are based on individual statements, some of the statements may be deceptive. I should think the dull and very dull especially may have a tendency to under-declare their numbers of mates, because, as Kanazawa explains in chapter 5, they tend to be more conservative in politics, so under-declaring would be a way for some of them to display greater consistency between conservative ideas and their behavior. Same thing, perhaps, for intelligent people, who would think they would appear as lacking consistency if they did not over-declare their numbers of mates.

Male urgency patterns also depend on one’s time allocation. Men who work more have less time to court women (outside work, that is; please let me know if the workplace is the greatest sex club available, I need to know for productivity choices). Who works more: organization men or the leisure underclass?

A Parenthesis on the Clark-Hatfield Experiment

The Clark-Hatfield experiment is dealt with by Kanazawa (pp. 102-4) to explain female choice and men’s taking it as it is. It shows that 75% of male college students approached by an unknown attractive woman (a confederate in the experiment) who ask them if they would like to have sex with her the same night respond “yes,” comparing to 0% of female students approached by an unknown attractive man making the same proposal. I find the experiment silly. Men with a little knowledge of life, a little knowledge of women and courtship would have much reason to suspect the woman’s motivations. Some of the guys surely thought it was a hidden camera TV show. Some others may have been thinking the woman was a prostitute (I know a couple of streets in my city where unknown women ask you to get laid with them), some others that she was a schizophrenic intent on killing them, some others that it was a third-type encounter with an extraterrestrial, and all these were the least nincompoops of the batch. Apparently, none of the guys tried to embrace or kiss the woman on the spot, whereas she, if deemed sincere, would have been eager to respond.

Reproduction

Intelligent people are the “ultimate losers in life” because they fail more often to have “as many children as one can potentially raise to sexual maturity so that the children themselves can reproduce,” (p. 178), which is the definition of optimizing one’s fitness, “an evolutionary familiar goal.” In the discussion, Kanazawa only deals with data of children raised by the respondents, so all children begot by men outside their bonds are ignored, which is by itself problematic since it has been argued that more intelligent men have more affairs and presumably beget more children outside wedlock.

The picture below shows figures 12.3 and 12.4 (pp. 182-3).

Intelligence Paradox

Before dealing with the intelligence component in these tables, some general considerations on fertility. According to Baker (Baby Wars), in industrial countries about 10% of people are infertile, roughly the same number of men and women. I’m not sure if this includes people who could have children but decide not to; the present figures show a greater number of childless people, so the sample must be warped or Baker’s figures must be wrong — or alternatively the number of people who remain deliberately childless, if not included in the 10%, must be high.

As a matter of fact, on these tables 444 women out of a sample of (444 + 2210) = 2,654 have not had children at age 47 (which means, for all practical purposes, that they will never have: “99.7% of women and 96.5% of men complete their lifetime reproduction by the time they are 45” p. 181). Cross-calculation gives the proportion of 16.7% of women being childless. For men, the figures are 475 men out of 2,319, which gives us 20.4% (same remark as for women). One woman out of six, one man out of five remain childless.

If we follow evolutionary psychologist David Buss, the difference in figures between childless women and childless men should be greater, with much more childless men than childless women: “The primary reason men are so much more given to violence, and specifically to the violence of murder, is that the stakes of the mating game are so much higher for men than for women, because there is much more variability among men than among women in reproductive success.” (The Murderer Next Door, 2005). The present figures do not seem to support this statement, because if the variability does not depend on the number of childless people, men and women as pairs, taken broadly, have the same numbers of children respectively: If a woman has two kids, the man has two kids. If variability does not depend on childless individuals, it depends on putative fathers who are not the biological fathers of the children they raise (10-15%), on the number of single mothers (X), and on the number of men who remarry and make more children (X). I don’t know if these latter phenomena can account for a much greater variability among men than among women in our societies. In any case, there (still) is more variability among men.

Two other tables (pp. 179-80) show answers to the question “Do you ever want children?” (asked at age 23). According to these tables, 10.6% of women and 10.95% of men say they do not want to have children. Seemingly, physiological causes of infertility (infections etc.) and failure to attract mates account, thus, for only half cases of childless men.

Among the individuals who say at age 23 they do not want to have children, more intelligent individuals, both men and women, are in relatively greater numbers. Kanazawa shows that intelligent men change their minds before they reach 45 and make as many children as other men (so they’re not “ultimate losers” after all), but intelligent women don’t change their minds (or they do but men don’t want them!).

The reason more intelligent men do not, at age 23, desire to have children may be due to the high costs of parenting I exposed in my essay xxxiii (How To Make Successful Children Without Parenting) and the reason they change their minds, whereas intelligent women do not, perhaps is because men don’t want status to get a mate (and children) but rather they want a mate (and children) to get status – they fear ostracism (see the Cyberball experiment: no matter how trivial the context, how low the stakes, ostracism generates great stress).

In the case of intelligent women, if it’s not only that men, no matter how intelligent, are not particularly interested in them (and we have seen that men may not be endogamous on intelligence), it might be due to some particularity of female sexuality. No matter how you take it, the burden of parenting is greater on women (although it has become absurdly heavy on men these days – but then, again, men will accept the burden if they think it can help them avoid ostracism). Now, something evolutionarily advantageous (or required) is pleasurable. Sex is. People derive enjoyment from sex in order for their genes to replicate (routine sex is hardly pleasurable because it is a by-product of sperm competition), but reproduction (gene replication) can be thwarted by contraception. If having children and having to have routine sex is viewed by a hedonistic intelligent woman as likely to prevent her from enjoying sex, she will not have children. Intelligent women are not reproductively successful because they’re more polyandrous. Studies show they’re indeed more testosteronized (cf. Nyborg). There is truth in the conservative view that a life of pleasure alienates the individual from family life. This being said, many other considerations beside sexual “emancipation” may conduce one to deliberately avoiding parenting, and, considering the above figures, it seems that such a deliberate choice is not so rare.

All in all, I do not think Kanazawa is justified, because a few intelligent women remain deliberately childless, to end his book by the question: “Why is the tendency [intelligence] to commit the greatest crime against nature [voluntary childlessness] the ultimate gauge of human worth?” He has not shown with sufficient clarity that such a breach against nature is really the crime of the intelligent; he has even brought forth data to the contrary. As to his questioning the value people place on intelligence, it is all the more irrelevant given that intelligence has become the main highway to social status.

Intelligence has become the main highway to social status – to a point. Very intelligent people may easily be barred from every opportunity by coalitions of less bright people as it is more difficult for them, due to sparse numbers, to form coalitions with as intelligent people as them.

Pure science does not pay as much as applied science, so the applied scientist must be more intelligent than the pure scientist because the former’s status is higher.

In conclusion, Dr Kanazawa’s is a stimulating book and I recommend it.

About My Friend Deirdre Barrett

Another stimulating book that I recommend is Waistland: The (R)Evolutionary Science behind our Weight and Fitness Crisis (2007) by my friend Dr Deirdre Barrett from Harvard Medical School. (I call her my friend because I wish her well.) I am not going to discuss the book’s content, though; I just want to show its jacket (picture).

Waistland

On this jacket you can see a prehistoric man standing on a big, bright-colored double cheeseburger. The book deals with the fact that we are not prepared to cope with an environment of abundantly available fatty foods and that this has provoked a major fitness crisis. The picture of the prehistoric man on the burger appears both on the front cover and the spine, so you can’t put the book in your library without seeing the flashy burger, even if only peripherally, when you look at your library unless you drop the jacket before.

This troubles me a lot because Deirdre writes: “Even more analogous to Tinbergen’s dummies, the exaggeration of visual elements in addictive foods often plays a role in hooking us” (p. 33) and “Food ads increase both immediate and long-term consumption of junk food.” (p. 90).

As I have repeatedly said in my series on advertising, advertisers today rely heavily on the effects associated with peripheral vision, in which peripheral stimuli are not treated by regions of the brain involved in conscious processes, so even if you think you never look at the burger in your library it will not escape your peripheral attention when you look in the direction of your library, and you’ll be the more easily hooked that you will not be mobilizing rational defenses.

At the same time that Deirdre warns against exaggerate visual elements and visual food ads that make us addict to junk food, she flashes gaudy burgers at her readers in this fashion! How is this possible? How can publishers treat their authors with such disregard and contempt? How can authors accept it and let their message be drawn in the dirt by publishing houses’ marketers? I am dissatisfied with my friend because she now looks like a fool.

April 2016