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alt-lite alt-right bad science Dunning–Kruger effect grandiosity imaginary oppression immigrants irony alert literal nazis men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny none dare call it conspiracy playing the victim racism Stefan Molyneux

Brain genius Stefan Molyneux wants you to know that the only real racism is racism against people who can’t help being so smart

Serious intellectual Stefan Molyneux DESTROYING you with LOGIC and REASON

By David Futrelle

Stephan Molyneux, the gabby YouTube “philosopher” whose racism is as overinflated as his ego, has been spouting nonsense about race and IQ for a long time. But over the last month or so he’s become so utterly obsessed with the subject he can barely go a day without posting some absurd new pronouncement on Twitter.

Molyneux is convinced that IQ differences between races are rooted in genetics and are more or less immutable. And that the refusal to acknowledge this truth — which is not in fact true, as I’ll get to in a minute — is causing incalculable damage to all of us, high IQ whities and low IQ non-whities alike, although Molyneux is most exercised about what he sees as the terrible bigotry faced by high IQ people (like, presumably, himself) for being the genetically superior people they can’t help but be.

Oh, and did I mention that he thinks “high IQ populations” — ie, white people in Western nations — are in danger of being swamped by brown and black dummies coming over the borders, or just staying home and causing troubles in their own low IQ countries? Because he thinks that, too.

But let’s start with his most basic assertion:

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1071116953538809856

Molyneux speaks with the confidence of a true expert, but he is not an expert on the subject, nor are his pronouncements true. Most of the actual scientists who study these issues think that views like the ones he holds are dangerous nonsense.

As noted by three psychologists who recently offered a detailed rebuttal to contemporary “scientific racism” in Vox,

the racial groups used in the US — white, black, Hispanic, Asian — are such a poor proxy for underlying genetic ancestry that no self-respecting statistical geneticist would undertake a study based only on self-identified racial category as a proxy for genetic ancestry measured from DNA. …

There is currently no reason at all to think that any significant portion of the IQ differences among socially defined racial groups is genetic in origin. …

Asserting that the relatively poorer intellectual performance of racial groups is based on their genes is mistaken theoretically and unfounded empirically; and given the consequences of promulgating the policies that follow from such assertions, it is egregiously wrong morally.

Moreover, the three scientists note, numerous studies have shown that IQ is not fixed. Overall intelligence in the United States, at least insofar as it can be measured on IQ tests, increased by 18 points from 1948-2002. (There is some concern that this increase, seen broadly around the world, may have begun to decline or reverse in recent years.) The gap between average white and black IQ in the US has narrowed dramatically. And programs like Head Start have helped to dramatically raise the reading levels and later educational success of poor children.

Molyneux handwaves away such objections. Like most modern “scientific racists” he’s not only convinced he’s not actually racist; he insists that he’s somehow fighting against racism. As he sees it, it’s those who don’t want to talk about race and IQ as if they’ve just walked out of a Klan meeting who are the real racists.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1072879353438994432

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1081365013921583105

On more than one occasion, he’s self-righteously declared that he spreads what he sees as The Truth about race and IQ in order to … protect his daughter from accusations of racism?

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1076650065911902209

Piggybacking on the Trump administration’s demonization of Mexican and Muslim migrants, as well as on the alt-right’s racist hysteria about the alleged danger of “white genocide,” Molyneux claims that “high IQ” countries like the US and Canada and other mostly white countries in Europe are in danger of being overwhelmed by “low IQ” immigrants with darker skin.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1071128003130744832

He also claims that the US is in danger of being undermined from within by our own brown-skinned “low IQ” citizens — some of whom even voted for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the last elections!

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1071137393711804416

Even letting in relatively high-IQ people from low-IQ countries can come back to bite countries like the US, in Molyneux’s view.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1055642346283401216

Molyneux has managed to convince himself that this racist garbage isn’t actually racist; he’s just using REASON and LOGIC to defeat the COMMUNIST MENACE.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1079874553906524160

Ironically, while Molyneux thinks it’s terrible for “low-IQ populations” to come to “high-IQ countries,” he also thinks it’s pretty bad for them to remain in their own, because, he contends,”low IQ populations” can’t sustain democracy.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1053324093808771072

Indeed, at one point he declared that hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved in Iraq if those in the US who got us into the Iraq war had been willing to recognize that Iraq was full of stupid people.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1082489068741513217

For what it’s worth, he also thinks that the housing crash was caused by a refusal to acknowledge that black and brown people are dumber than white people.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1078868440826314752

He’s also convinced, weirdly, that “fiat currency” is going to somehow make us dumber — never mind that IQ in the US is up considerably since Nixon’s decision to take us off the gold standard in 1971. You’ll have to ask him to explain this one.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1075992766436364288

Molyneux still claims, incredibly, that he’s not a white supremacist — noting that he acknowledges that the IQ scores of Jews and East Asians tend to be higher than (non-Jewish) white people. (Though the claims about Jewish IQ are now looking somewhat shaky.) But he certainly walks and quacks like a white supremacist.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1082457646647500800

And he’s happy to repeat outrageously racist far-right conspiracy theories — like the idea that some nefarious group is pushing “propaganda” encouraging white women to hook up with black men.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1077314912102297600

He similarly regurgitates the neo-Nazi talking point that blacks in South Africa are committing “white genocide” against white farmers; indeed, he’s obsessed with this imaginary crisis.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1079121379994218496

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1077998063921184768

While Molyneux thinks that acknowledging the very real violence that racism inflicts, both figuratively and literally, upon people of color is itself racist, and just serves to make people of color get mad about problems that are really the result (and not the cause) of their lower average IQ scores, Molyneux does agree that one form of prejudice is very real and very damaging.

And that is the terrible prejudice against smarties.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1082349279065235456

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/1078914353657565185

Let’s pour one out for our high-IQ homies!

For more on the issue of race and IQ — and more specific rebuttals of the claims made by Molyneux and other “scientific racists” — see the Vox article I quoted from above, as well as this piece in the Guardian, which puts the recent revival of “race science” in broader perspective (and also handily rebuts Molyneux assertions about Jewish IQ). For an even more detailed history, see this long piece in the International Socialist Review.

And if you’re interested in some of the issues with IQ tests themselves, the eccentric statistician and randomness guru Nassim Nicholas Taleb was annoyed enough by some of Molyneux’s recent tweets on the subject that he wrote up a brief polemic on the subject. Here’s a less-technical look at some recent research suggesting that IQ tests are “fundamentally flawed” as a measure of actual intelligence.

UPDATE: I made a few small changes and removed a few tweets that were largely redundant.

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Tony
Tony
2 years ago

Dear Stefan M,
Who exactly, is stopping anyone from talking about this malarkey?

Also, someone is stuffed to the gills with inane beliefs about IQ.

Scientists who study intelligence have not, to my understanding, come up with any kind of consensus on what intelligence IS, let alone how to measure it.

Yet here is Captain McRacist Asshat pontificating about intelligence with certainty.

Le sigh…

epitome of incomprehensibility

Sorry science-deniers, you’re up against a father’s devotion, one of the strongest forces in the universe.

Okay, science-acknowledger: would you classify “a father’s devotion” as gravitational force, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, or weak nuclear force? Well??

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
2 years ago

I hate this man.

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
2 years ago

George Armitage Miller (February 3, 1920 – July 22, 2012) was an American psychologist who was one of the founders of the cognitive psychology field. He also contributed to the birth of psycholinguistics and cognitive science in general.

As a freshman at Harvard over 50 years ago, I took a psychology course for which Prof. Miller was the guiding spirit and principal lecturer. Asked to define IQ, he quipped that it is “that which is measured by IQ tests.” The irony is that IQ tests are often validated by showing that they provide approximately the same results as earlier tests — in other words, that they are skewed in the same directions.

It is almost child’s play to poke holes in arguments based on IQ as it is tested today. I have always taken the fact that someone believes that human intelligence can be accurately measured by a standardized test and represented by a single integer value between 0 and 200 as clear evidence that that individual is not very intelligent, or at least has not done any real thinking on the subject. What should be the balance between spatial/numeric function and verbal function in an “IQ” test — you would get different results depending on that balance. And in real life you get rewarded for solving problems that have not yet been solved, and in using imagination to solve them, and how do you test that with a standardized test — particularly a multiple-guess one. Also, it is impossible to design a test without cultural biases — including the way a given language influences thinking. Maybe if you could design a totally language-independent test — but that would probably under-reward verbal skills. I think the burden of proof that an IQ test measures anything about actual intelligence — let alone proves what portion is genetic — lies very heavily on the person who argues that it is highly meaningful.

And assuming that you could devise a test that accurately measures “intelligence” that proves that one racial group (defined how?) is on average slightly more intelligent than another, how is that useful? Are we going to advantage a member of the “smarter group” over a member of the “dumber group” even if the latter performs better than the former? (That, in fact, seems to be the real purpose of most people who enter the IQ Debate. “I’m white and therefore entitled to preferential treatment.” That sort of thinking hardly proves superior intellect.)

When people try to defend this thinking against charges of racism by saying “But the Jews …” or “But the East Asians …”, I always point out that the Jewish and East Asian cultures tend to respect knowledge and learning for more than at least some parts of the European-American culture, and wouldn’t that have some effect on the development of intelligence in their children?

I favor a useful term of technical psychology to characterize argument like Molyneux’s: Hogwash. But I do think this is a topic that helps one to determine whether someone is doing real thinking or merely indulging in motivated reasoning.

epitome of incomprehensibility

On a more serious note, I now have a possible reason why my creative writing teacher puts emphasis on “intelligence” in her lectures. For a while it bothered me, and for reasons: the risks of ableism (some people have conditions that give them a lower IQ, which doesn’t make them less worthy) and of misdiagnosing willful ignorance as stupidity (e.g. calling Trump an idiot – as if that’s his main problem).

But there’s also the fact that, since she’s black and American, born in the 1960s, she’s had to deal with shitty attitudes like Molyneux’s a lot more than I have. So it makes sense to give that “race and IQ” bullshit some pushback, and maybe that’s why she talks about intelligence a lot. Besides, she usually defines it as being well-informed, not as having a high IQ.

Moreover, the three scientists note, numerous studies have shown that IQ is not fixed.

Based on my own anecdata, yes. One of my friends, evidently burdened with free time, took a bunch of Internet IQ tests as a teenager. Her scores increased to “genius” level over a pretty short time, suggesting you can get better at IQ tests simply by practice. Mind you, she’s also good at the things those tests tend to cover.

(Her mother is black; too bad she had to White Genocide by having kids with a white dude, thus “lower[ing] the average IQ of the offspring.” All three of these offspring are now in math-heavy engineering fields – but I’m sure they have easy peasy jobs that aren’t at all high-competition, right, Mr. Science?) 🙄

ETA: Oh, I CAN cut and paste emojis from Twitter! I think that’s my easiest option for the eye-roll one. 🙂

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

Well, the US is having trouble sustaining democracy, and it’s largely due to racist asshats like Molyneux. I guess we can thank him for lowering our collective IQ.

(Weird how I’ve never seen anyone unironically use the terms “high IQ/low IQ” who wasn’t themselves a Dunning-Kreuger poster child. IQ seems to be a talisman, like Harvard and Albert Einstein, that people latch onto to signify a Reellee Smaurt Personn.)

I don’t see how you can draw meaningful comparisons of performance on standardized IQ tests between first-world and third-world countries when there’s such a wide disparity in educational opportunities, literacy, infectious diseases, exposure to pollutants, and other environmental factors that have a negative impact on early childhood brain development. Especially when the standardized tests are drawn up by Western Europeans to begin with, based on criteria that Western Europeans have decided are correlated with intelligence. Drop Molyneux in the bush in Botswana, and I bet he’d appear pretty stupid to the locals.

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
2 years ago

Most people in the world haven’t completed and will never complete IQ test so he can actually not know at all what is a “high IQ” country and a “low IQ”country. It is only in USA and Canada that there are regular IQ tests on school children and young adults, and these tests are made in these countries too.

There are basically *no* statistics to support his argument at all.

But his existence at all makes me so angry I don’t even want to try to argue against his ideas. I wish he will just shut his fucking racist, ignorant, arrogant mouth.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

Anyone who proceeds from the assumption that an IQ test result indicates “intelligence” is not worth paying any attention to, at least on that topic.
Lately, Stefan has tweeted that western civilisation developed because of colder weather; that melting ice caps don’t pose a problem because when ice cubes melt in your drink it doesn’t affect the volume of liquid (!!!); and that women should have babies because if we faint or something the kid can call an ambulance, whereas if we’re single our cats will eat our eyeballs.
Not gonna lie, that last one is my absolute favourite. I almost changed my Twitter handle for it.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

I almost changed my Twitter handle for it.

Don’t!

I’ve only just got used to the current one – meaning I still get the giggles but not the gigglesnorts. 😛

I do wonder if this dolt could pass a Turing test though, never mind an IQ test.

tim gueguen
2 years ago

Strange how he claims people from 3 different countries, Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Iraq, all have IQs in the 80s. I’m getting a strong smell of “pulled out of his ass” for those figures.

As always with these guys it’s strange he doesn’t advocate convincing people with high IQs to reproduce with each other, regardless of race. Yes, he does mention white women procreating with “East Asian” men. But if you’re really intent on increasing IQ you can’t just randomly have that happen, as a women might fall for one who has a considerably lower IQ.

I wonder how he defines East Asian. I would imagine some racists wouldn’t have included South Korea in the past, but would now given how well the country is doing these days.

His comment about not providing aid to the developing world is disturbing. It strongly implies he thinks we should let things like mass starvation continue unabated, so the “inferiors” will die out.

Mels
Mels
2 years ago

I think IQ can be sufficiently debunked by pointing out that Scott Adams is a MENSA member.

Mayu Kitsune
Mayu Kitsune
2 years ago

Stefan is just an actual griffter, for a man who apparently is anti-state, he sure loves it when the state oppresses non-white non-cis non-het people and women, given how he thinks taxes are a form of slavery, but Apartheid was good for South Africa. And don’t people like Stefan get so angry when scientists suggest that maybe gay and trans poeple exist and should be treated with respect, crying out “THERE’S NO POLITICS IN SCIENCE” and heres stefan, saying the US staying in Iraq was “Science” what ever that means

MrsObedMarsh
MrsObedMarsh
2 years ago

I wanted to try to join Mensa as a child because I liked the idea of being in a smart-people club. Dad shot down that idea, saying that people who pride themselves on their high IQs usually aren’t very smart.

Thanks, Dad!

Robert
Robert
2 years ago

Whenever someone starts gassing on about tests of intelligence or suchlike, it reminds me that I did very well on standardized tests getting into college. While I enjoyed college and learned a lot, in retrospect I never actually understood what I was *supposed* to be learning.

I may have been in the last generation that was able to get a stable, secure office job with benefits without a college degree.

saltylurker
saltylurker
2 years ago

This article is why those interested in documenting an actual phenomenon prefer the term “intellectually gifted”, and why schools that truly understand the issue do more than just IQ tests to screen children for their gifted education programs.

The school I went to didn’t even use anything close to an IQ test to determine which kids needed to be placed in the gifted program, in fact.

Gifted individuals do experience social and emotional difficulties, but they have nothing to do with “bigotry” and much to do with correlated things like sensory processing disorder that are difficult to deal with, stigmatized, and that you don’t need to be “gifted” to end up with. So Molyneux can extra go step on a Lego, preferably in place of somebody actually dealing with sensory processing disorder.

(Yes, whatever IQ is trying to measure might also create some communication difficulties and things like existential depression, but the tests are worthless for quantifying that, so it’s better to just practically deal with issues as they come up)

…it’s irrelevant to the facts of talking intelligence because we know that IQ tests aren’t producing an actual standard distribution, but I found it amusing getting the impression that Molyneux doesn’t seem to understand the statistical model you need to have in mind while analyzing score differences from an IQ test, either. Under 110 isn’t “high”, bud.

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

It did strike me that this relentless propaganda for “white women with black men“ would serve to lower the average IQ of the offspring.

You don’t see nearly as much “white women with East Asian men,” whose offspring would tend to have higher IQs on average.

This doesn’t make any sense even if you assume that racial IQ bullshit has any merit at all.

If we accept the bullshit premise that IQ is inherited, and that the offspring split the difference, and that there are three individuals, with arbitrary assigned intelligence scores of 94, 96, and 98. If 96 has a child with 94, then the result is a child with a score of 95- a one-point reduction from the higher intelligence score. And if 96 has a child with 98, the the result is a child with a score of 97- again, a one-point reduction from the higher intelligence score. There is the same amount of “loss” in intelligence regardless.

If avoiding that “loss” and having the smartest offspring is a priority, then by this logic only East Asian folks should be having babies, and only with each other. Everyone else will only drag them down.

Tia
Tia
2 years ago

I know it’s not the main issue here, but what modern Finnish research is he talking about? The person he refers to is Danish. He’s quoting a Danish guy citing some Finnish research, but no sources are provided. I’m Finnish, I’ve lived here my whole life, I’m an academic, and I have no idea what he’s talking about. It seems to me that sometimes people use Finland in their racist rants because they have the idea that Finland is 100% white or something (it’s not). Also Finland’s very small, no one speaks the language, and I guess they’re not worried about Finns making a lot of noise about these weird lies. It just bothers me that these people are using me and my fellow citizens to spew bigotry and hate. Maybe we as Finns need to be more vocal when we see stuff like this (like we were when Trump claimed that we rake our forests).

Megpie71
2 years ago

IQ basically measures your ability to perform well on intelligence tests. Intelligence tests assess a person’s ability to… perform well on intelligence tests. Psychology hasn’t yet come up with a definition of “intelligence” which doesn’t include a link to … performing well on intelligence tests.

What do intelligence tests ask for? Well, they ask people to be basically answering questions which may, or may not, require a certain amount of culturally predicated knowledge – even the ones which attempt to avoid cultural bias still rely on certain cultural assumptions (such as assumptions about which is the “natural” way to read an image or text; assumptions about certain literacies with regards to symbols and colours and so on; and assumptions about necessary or vital skills which are based on cultural presumptions of what is important). So if you’re a birth citizen of the culture from which your test originated, you’re going to score a higher “IQ” result than someone who hasn’t been raised up in that culture from birth. There’s also class-based assumptions in there (which is why IQ tests usually show that working-class whites have lower IQs than university-educated whites). It’s highly likely the test isn’t measuring “intelligence” – whatever that is – at all, but rather measuring cultural literacies.

Oh, and you can study to pass IQ tests. The more someone’s IQ is measured, the more it grows… as they remember more and more of the answers, and thus score higher and higher marks.

Basically, if you have a high IQ, and that’s all you have to feel proud about, you’re going to insist that having a high IQ is something to be proud of. Rather like white supremacy and male chauvinism, really.

(I speak here as a person who does perform well on intelligence tests – but whose “high intelligence” hasn’t necessarily helped them all that much in life, since the most useful function I’ve found for my intelligence is helping me to logic out how social stuff works… with inconsistent results. Ah, the joys of being on the autism spectrum).

ellesar
ellesar
2 years ago

It just bothers me that these people are using me and my fellow citizens to spew bigotry and hate.

Tia – have you ever seen ‘Wag the Dog’? The same thing happened to Albania!

And then life imitated art with Clinton trying to hide his ‘indiscretion’ with his controversial political decisions.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
2 years ago

According to my mental health team I’m of ‘above average intelligence’.

Contributing factors:
-I have smart parents who like to learn and who did lots of stuff that involved some type of learning with me when I was small
-I had enough to eat growing up, especially protein. You can’t grow a brain and you can’t learn if you’re constantly hungry or starving
-I have a memory like a steel trap for things that interest me. Comes with being an Aspie

Did genetics play a role? Possibly. It probably determines the potential you can reach.

But things like having enough to eat when you’re small and having parents that encourage learning are much more important.

anti-fascist all day
anti-fascist all day
2 years ago

It’ll never cease to amaze me how often white men will blame the fall of “western culture” and civility is directly related to non-whites mere existence, while other white men inspired by that garbled bullshit go out in roving, violent groups to harass and attack their victims in a sociopathic glee. All for an ideology that necessarily requires an unscientific and largely emotional validation of their racist, bigoted, authoritarian desires.

They’re behaving like violent troglodytes yet they’re the embodiment of civilization, intelligence and culture? The mental gymnastics of these fascists and their pseudo-intellectual elite are pretty wild.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

I took a professionally administered WAIS-III test; and scored 67.

Whether that’s evidence for or against IQ tests being accurate is left as an exercise for the reader.

Specialffrog
Specialffrog
2 years ago

I’m Canadian and I suspect roughly the same age as Molyneux and I have never taken an IQ test. If Canada has ever done systematic IQ testing it seemingly stopped doing so when we were children at the latest.

So I am wondering if there is any meaningful data on IQ in Canada in the first place.

The rest of his argument is top-to-bottom nonsense anyway but it strikes me that even the idea that Canada is “high IQ” is unsubstantiated.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
2 years ago

Re:Raking forests

I’ve recently learned (but I forget where I got this info from) that we Finns do rake our forests, except its not a nice outdoorsy group exercise* where we get the leaves out of the forest floors but something the forest industry does with machinery after cutting down the trees.

So they say that Trump wasn’t wrong to say that we rake the forests, because people just misinterpreted what he was saying, and president Niinistö for some reason denied talking about the thing with him. All this made me wonder whether I should check my prejudices when I still can’t stop thinking that, hearing “raking the forests”, Trump just assumed we all take a rake with us whenever we go to a forest.

* like the ones we have unemployed people do to keep them “active”, which is not a form of slavery, honest!

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
2 years ago

I tend to think what’s really being measured in IQ tests, is academic aptitude, more than anything else. I’m only a layperson; I could be wrong. I remember being given an IQ test when I was 9 or 10 years old. I scored high enough to be placed in the gifted program.

Both of my parents were college graduates, and my father had a master’s degree. He loved to read, mostly about medieval European history. There were piles of books in our house. My sister and I were encouraged to read, and not only from children’s books. I soon discovered that if my nose was in a book, the adults left me alone. This was a good thing.😁 Incidentally, I read some of my parent’s books that contained material I wasn’t psychologically prepared for.

I think I definitely had an advantage over someone who grew up in a household where the only reading material was supermarket tabloids and People magazine.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ dormousing_it

I tend to think what’s really being measured in IQ tests, is academic aptitude

I think what’s being tested is how good you are at those puzzle magazines you get on holiday, and your boredom threshold.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
2 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw:

Heh. You may be right.

I also remember a child psychologist coming to my house and asking me all sorts of boring, tedious questions. I was probably 5 years old at the time. The reason for the doctor’s visit, was to ascertain if I was mentally and psychologically prepared to enter kindergarten. You see, where I lived, my birthday fell very close to the cutoff date for children to begin school.

Anyway, I was judged not ready. I remember thinking, “Why is this lady asking me all these questions?” and being impatient with her.

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
2 years ago

I wish I was in the gifted or talented children program. My mum didn’t like it – she said it was discriminatory. She said that many of my friends were gifted or talented and didn’t get into an extra program. She used to say “the children who don’t get this – are they not gifted? are they not talented?” My closest friend was always thought to be stupid – he is now a successful sports teacher and apart from me, he is the only member of my close friends to own an apartment. I own my apartment because I work abroad and my job pays well.

At school most of my teachers assumed I was stupid because of I didn’t learn how (or at least show that I know how) to read until I was 12. They took me for special classes where they made me read books for much younger (very young) children – the kind with one sentance and one picture on each page. Then later when I was 15 or 16 the teachers started to put pressure on my parents to get me tested because of my spelling and grammar were not at the level for my age. But of course such a test would cost my parents money, and my mum was not concerned about me.

Until recently, I had some resentment for my mum, I thought she was ignoring me. But I discussed with some friends and they pointed out that it seems more that because I wasn’t developing in a way similar to other children, that they decided that there was something wrong with me and therefore treated me like I’m stupid. I spent most of my life feeling like I was stupid and behind my friends because of this. But it makes sense for example, that it seems like I couldn’t read when they were giving me books which were embarrassing and insulting to me because they were much lower level – maybe it was that I wasn’t interested. Because when I was 12 my friend gave me a gift of a book and this one was interesting to me – and I read it.

I still read slowly, more than my friends and family – but I can do it, and I just select what books I want to read carefully so that I know I don’t waste the long time it will take me to read it. And a few spelling mistakes, yes okay, maybe people will mock me, but they know what I mean. And at the end I got the points I need to train in the academy to get my job. So the only thing I got from school was not support, but a complex about my intelligence 🤷and the lesson that I should listen to my mum when she tells me that different doesn’t necessarily mean I was stupid or slow.

saltylurker
saltylurker
2 years ago

“Gifted” is a bad name for ir, for sure. I definitely get why people think it’s discriminatory, but I think the best way to think of why those programs exist is that they provide extra stimulation for children who are so bored in the class their age has them in that it is actively disadvantageous to their development. Gifted education has a lot more to do with special education than “honor classes” in some ways.

It’s expected that some kids with high grades or exceptional talents in writing/music/etc don’t “make” it in, in fact, because a lot of gifted children are bored to the point that they have difficulty finding motivation to pull anything useful off. (And yes, some of those kids are missed by insufficient screening)

There’s also a modern concept of “twice exceptional” children who are both gifted and have some sort of learning disability. The idea being that instead of boxing in gifted kids with disabilities like ADHD or dyslexia into either the gifted box or the special education box depending on how they act (and ignoring the possibility they could need the services of the other box), they’re screened for both and given whatever mix of educational services they need.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
2 years ago

Catalpa wrote:

It did strike me that this relentless propaganda for “white women with black men“ would serve to lower the average IQ of the offspring.

You don’t see nearly as much “white women with East Asian men,” whose offspring would tend to have higher IQs on average.

This doesn’t make any sense even if you assume that racial IQ bullshit has any merit at all.

I had the exact same response the moment I read that. If dude can’t even spot a logical flaw that glaring, he just ain’t that smart.

…duh, of course, given the rest of his drivel, but still a bit ironic.

Mels wrote:

I think IQ can be sufficiently debunked by pointing out that Scott Adams is a MENSA member.

MrsObedMarsh wrote

I wanted to try to join Mensa as a child because I liked the idea of being in a smart-people club. Dad shot down that idea, saying that people who pride themselves on their high IQs usually aren’t very smart.

Thanks, Dad!

My dad actually encouraged me to join Mensa when I moved away for college, as a means of meeting people (I’ve always had issues socializing and making friends, which made a lot more sense when I found out I was on the spectrum), so I dutifully sent in my application. I didn’t hear back, and ended up finding a compatible social group in college pretty quickly, so I forgot about it entirely…until eight years later I got a letter from the local Mensa chapter apologizing for misplaced my application and letting me know that I had been accepted for membership.

The short, two-paragraph letter had 5 grammatical errors and 3 misspelled words.

I definitely dodged a bullet there. Incompetence for the win?

Sinha
Sinha
2 years ago

Basically a racist redneck trying so hard to be intellectual.

Moggie
Moggie
2 years ago

I’m always a bit surprised by people who remain smug about IQ after university. It’s easy to have a sense of intellectual superiority when you’re a teenager, but university tends to cure that. Clearly this doesn’t work for everyone!

I’m old enough to have experienced the British bipartite school system (though things changed during my time at school). I passed the “11-plus”, which was essentially an IQ test, so I got to go to grammar school, while my siblings went to the local secondary modern school. It was a horrible system, which sorted kids at age 11 into those likely to be university material, and those fit only for more basic education to equip them for intellectually undemanding jobs. All based on your ability in a one-off test to answer questions like “which of the following shapes is the odd one out”. This has left me with a lasting distaste for IQ testing.

Took my daughter to see my old graduate school desk in the University of Toronto Library, couldn’t help but notice the almost complete absence of white males in the entire building.

Next time we build a civilization, we should really aim to hang onto it.

Was this some sort of “take your daughter to white male supremacy day”? I hope that his daughter picked up on the fact that, as a feeemale, she would not be entirely welcome in that library under his version of civilization.

Ed
Ed
2 years ago

Molyneux masturbates to the White Man’s Burden every night.

saltylurker
saltylurker
2 years ago

@Valentin I forgot to add that nobody should be made to feel inferior for not being in a gifted program or honor classes, either.

The fact that you actively push yourself to read despite it being difficult for you means you stand out.

In contrast, I know somebody who was in a gifted class who went to go on a school trip and subsequently spent all her money food on a T-shirt store at a mall on the way there.

One more thing – being “intellectually gifted” actually seems to make people MORE vulnerable to certain kinds of logical mistakes and biases. More evidence it’s yet another kind of brain difference that doesn’t determine what kind of person you’ll be. I wish schools and teachers that make kids feel crappy and lesser understood that.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
2 years ago

Sort of unrelated but this “High IQ Genius” just got caught pretending to be a woman who likes his content on his channel:

https://imgur.com/a/Ej2iTJx

Dalillama
Dalillama
2 years ago

@saltylurker

“Gifted” is a bad name for ir, for sure. I definitely get why people think it’s discriminatory, but I think the best way to think of why those programs exist is that they provide extra stimulation for children who are so bored in the class their age has them in that it is actively disadvantageous to their development. Gifted education has a lot more to do with special education than “honor classes” in some ways.

Can’t honestly say I was any less bored in the ‘gifted’ program than before. I eventually got my parents to take me out of it again.

moregeekthan
moregeekthan
2 years ago

Riffing off what Megpie and others have said, it is my understanding that IQ test were designed to measure (Western) academic potential. Administeted properly at a young age, they are actually quite acurate at pedicting academic performance. (Taken when older, they are more a test of how much time you have spent on puzzle-problems.) So, of course IQ tests are culturally biased, they are specifically designed to be. They would not do a good job of predicting Western academic performance if they weren’t culturally biased.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

Geeeeez Louise, I’ve seen Molyneux’s dumb rhetorical gambits done wayyyy too many times. You see it a lot with the “sexual dimorphism” argument for why women can’t be infantry soldiers or starship captains or somesuch crap: “If you don’t acknowledge that men and women have different morphologies, you’re the real sexist!”

This is actually a broader issue I have with social media: the immediacy of the need to respond ends up flattening time to the point that conclusions that were arrived at decades ago have to be made all over again by people who often lack the necessary data. All it takes is one semi-high-profile moron to re-open something as stupid as the phlogiston theory or Lamarckian evolution and its up to a bunch of internet sleuths half-educated on these things to try to smack it down, only for the craven douchebag who opened the can of worms to exploit any errors that get made, when really the only response should be: “I’m sorry, thought this was 2019, not 1919. This shit was debunked by about three-dozen separate researchers back in the 70s. I have the receipts.”

Because I remember having this exact same rhetorical fight 15 years ago on the early days of the DeviantART Forums of all places. But because some dipshit like Stefan Molyneux or Sam Harris discovered it yesterday, they suddenly think they’re the first ones to really give it any serious thought.

“Has anybody really considered that the blah people are just less than human? I’m going to bring this ‘dangerous’ knowledge to your campus for a modest speaking tour fee!”

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@Diego Duarte
Oh man, and you can tell that’s not a real post, too. Who talks like that?
“As a [marginalized group] who does [stereotype of marginalized group], I’m really glad you opened my eyes!”

saltylurker
saltylurker
2 years ago

@Dalilama Yeah, unfortunately it’s true most gifted programs don’t actually do what they need to do. It’s pretty common for schools to treat them like honor classes for kids and not recognize that they have to be at least kind of individualized. Usually it’s one to all of parental pressure on the school board to make the gifted program work that way (more reason why they need to come up with a better name), no funding to individualize, or nobody there with the right kind of training.

Throwing the gifted kids into a classroom for a couple hours each week with the card game “Set” is the stereotype.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
2 years ago

@kupo

The worst part is that his ego is so massive, he will remain undeterred, despite the callout to such an obvious and pathetic attempt to promote himself.

Or rather should I instead say he, and his audience, are massively insecure, little men, who like to pander conspiracy theories and faux science as an attempt to cope with their lack of achievements, despite having had the entire system rigged in their favor for the last 200 years.

Cheesynougats
Cheesynougats
2 years ago

@Alan,

Your IQ results reinforce what I’ve always thought about Yorkshiremen. Course, if I were from the UK I would be one of those decadent mollycoddled Londoners.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ cheesynougats

what I’ve always thought about Yorkshiremen

😀

Well of course, we were so poor we could only afford an IQ scale that went up to 80.

Professor Fate
Professor Fate
2 years ago

What’s depressing about all this is that Stephen Jay Gould wrote The Mismeasure of Man in 1981 Later revised in 1996 when the Bell Curve came out — detailing the long and depressing history of white males like Molyneux who claim that their research and science just happen to prove that White Males are just the bee’s knees. Not that they are raving bigots mind it’s just science.

Part of the book details the history of the IQ test – it was developed in France as a diagnostic teaching tool, i.e. if the test showed a student was having some problems with math that would be addressed. America was where it was seized upon as a means to label people. It’s a grimly amusing if depressing read – the fiasco of the IQ tests given to World War I draftees makes especially depressing reading seeing as it helped lead to the imposition of immigration quotas. Can’t have the inferior types wrecking America yes? it’s depressing how so little changes.

As far as what IQ measures, other than ones ability to take IQ tests – there as one might expect a lot of debate on this – There are folks who are arguing that intelligence is a single thing (called Q I believe) that is innate and inherited and does not change – I do wonder how this idea deals with the well known autistc Savants who for example can play any piano piece they ever heard perfectly but find day to day life impossible to deal with.

And oh yes as I happen to live in the NYS 14th Congressional District that’s my Rep you’re dissing my man, and all you’ve proved is that all you have is your prejudices. We one of the most ethnically diverse Districts in the country – I live in Astoria and one would not be surprised to see and Inuit with their harpoon walking down Steinway street – We have everyone – (full disclosure – Blindingly white male of Irish background – I can burn on a cloudy day – 63 years old) and she won with 78% of the vote.

Sorry to rant on like this but – the persistence of bad ideas like this bugs the hell out of me.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
2 years ago

The adoption of IQ in North America (mostly the USA) was absolutely about racism. It was part of the scientific positivism movement/beliefs that were prevalent among the scientific community – a belief that everything could be quantified numerically, and that doing so would result in complete understanding of the world. Of course, they didn’t recognize that their biases and opinions would be carried into their quantification, because they’re rational men of science who use their powers of rational and science to be entirely objective.

These days we still use IQ, but recognize full well that IQ is largely nonsense. There’s also a flurry of interesting alternatives and experiments going on. My personal favourite is the self regulation ontological tree. I have to like it, though, since I made it :p All methods are flawed, the important thing is to keep your brain about you and remember that you’re measuring a thin slice of something very complicated.

That doesn’t satisfy the science mans, though, since they’re allergic to complicated things. Poor dears break out in hives when I tell them that regression fitting is more about the message the researcher wants to give than anything to do with truth.

Something interesting though. While scientific positivism has been discredited in the scientific community for almost a century now, it’s still quite popular among laypeople. Specifically, the same laypeople who believed as their positivist forefathers did, that they can be objective through willpower alone. It’s led me to a great way to punch through their skin pretty much immediately – ask them the steps they take to wash the bias out of their perspective. If their answer is “Science!” or “I pay attention” or some nonsense like that, you can slap’em on a plate, ’cause they’re done.

LindsayIrene
LindsayIrene
2 years ago

Being classed as ‘gifted’ didn’t help me much. It just meant that when undiagnosed inattentive-type ADD hit me at the same time as puberty and (also undiagnosed) bipolar disorder, my parents berated me constantly when my grades took a nosedive that they never recovered from. Because, as a gifted child, there was no excuse for me to not do well in school.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

@Alan

Well of course, we were so poor we could only afford an IQ scale that went up to 80.

You had a scale? Luxury!

Schools are pretty bad at identifying gifted children, and it does kids a real disservice to be put into “gifted” or “not gifted” boxes at an age when they believe their labels are set in stone. When I was young, I scored off the charts on standardized tests. The school wanted me to skip a grade, but my parents balked because I was socially backward and already young for my class. So they compromised by busing me up to the high school for some of my classes, with the result that I didn’t fit in either with the older kids or with my own class. Administrators treated me like a freak, teachers forgot I existed, and I was bored, unmotivated, and resentful for most of my primary school years. It wasn’t until college and a STEM career that I finally found my tribe. Meanwhile, many of the “average” kids in my grade went on to manage hedge funds and chair arts councils with half-billion-dollar endowments. Social intelligence counts just as much as academic intelligence for making a difference in the world.

Nowadays I’d probably do terribly on an IQ test. I have no patience for rotated cubes and questions like “what comes next in this sequence? 3 18 273 V R 4008 $ 29029”, where it turns out it’s the last letter of the months of the year encrypted in hex code. As I’ve gotten older I’m less able to keep up with technological and cultural changes, and there’s also the cognitive overload that comes with parenthood and working a full-time job. IQ is a measure of how well your cognitive priorities match the test.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
2 years ago

I ended up in gifted programs off and on over school, and went to a private high school in the end. I did well enough, but then again, my mother was a primary school teacher, my father had an ever-expanding library of fantasy and SF books and magazines (I was reading Dune when I was 12), and my grandfather had been a high school teacher (and later principal) who also had an ill-fated attempt at getting small-town high school students interested in philosophy.

The main reason I did as well as I did was that I was never lacking for support in terms of curiosity and intellectual pursuits, even when some of my actual school teachers were… less than supportive. (Like my grade 5 homeroom teacher who used to mark me down because he assumed I was getting my parents to write stuff for me; or who gave me a makework project to do a chart of percentages for all numbers from 1 to 150, and then got boggled when I ran the whole thing off on a computer in 1980 rather than calculating out over ten thousand numbers by hand. Don’t know that he ever believed that I had actually written the program myself, either.)

That said, I see one place above where Molyneux is actually somewhat right, just not for the reasons he thinks he is:

The largest unacknowledged bigotry in the world is the prejudice against and hatred towards high IQ people.

Replace ‘high IQ people’ by ‘experts’ (or ‘educated people’), and he’s at least somewhat right: there is a large amount of bigotry against them, certainly within the U.S. and with more spillover than I’d like in Canada and elsewhere. The problem is, of course, that Molyneux is one of the people practising that particular form of bigotry.

saltylurker
saltylurker
2 years ago

@Professor Life

I do wonder how this idea deals with the well known autistc Savants who for example can play any piano piece they ever heard perfectly but find day to day life impossible to deal with.

I am not a fan of subtly discounting peoples’ achievements due to their disability in other parts of life that allistics (those who are not autistic) find easy.

(That being said, that has little to do with fixed intelligence, which is definitely a flawed concept)

@LindsayIrene
It’s awful that happened to you, and that it’s still such a common adult ADHD diagnosis scenario. I was in a similar situation, substituting anxiety for bipolar. This is exactly why poor understanding of what “gifted” is intended to mean frustrates me and why I got passionate about it. (The other half being my spouse works in special education)

I wish one person had listened to me saying I felt like something was wrong with me. Instead, I was frequently yelled at for not “living up to my potential”, had my social and academic difficulties taken by my peers as an opportunity to joke about how useless people who end up in the “gifted” class always are, and early on had wrong-headed but well-intentioned teachers give me second chances that in the long term were very harmful to my study skills. It took me years of therapy to get that off my shoulders

(Not to mention ADHD has almost the exact same image problem.)

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