Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Not sure

So here's another editorial by Brooks in the times.

As Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz describe in their book, “The Race Between Education and Technology,” America’s educational progress was amazingly steady over those decades, and the U.S. opened up a gigantic global lead. Educational levels were rising across the industrialized world, but the U.S. had at least a 35-year advantage on most of Europe. In 1950, no European country enrolled 30 percent of its older teens in full-time secondary school. In the U.S., 70 percent of older teens were in school.

Yes, education matters. Not going to deny that.

I.Q. matters, but Heckman points to equally important traits that start and then build from those early years: motivation levels, emotional stability, self-control and sociability. He uses common sense to intuit what these traits are, but on this subject economists have a lot to learn from developmental psychologists.

Just simply not true. The failure of head start to make permanent differences in early development despite over saturated youth environments continues to make the case that intelligence is largely genetic in nature.

It’s not globalization or immigration or computers per se that widen inequality. It’s the skills gap. Boosting educational attainment at the bottom is more promising than trying to reorganize the global economy.

Yes, but the skills gap is INTERTWINED with the other issues:

1) Immigration exacerbates the effect of the skills gap. Instead of allowing the wages of unskilled laborers to rise with inflation, it has been artificially kept down by illegal immigration, which offers nearly an unlimited source of 5$/hr labor. So, that makes employers less willing to pay a decent wage for unskilled labor, and increases the competition for those competing for the few unskilled jobs reserved for legal residents, which then drives down wages in those jobs.

2) Globalization is also somewhat to blame. To ignore the ease by which factory jobs go to China is to ignore the elephant in the room. Less factory jobs at home. Yes, it really is that simple.

3) Computers. THIS is the crucial point. More than even free trade and immigration, automation has and will continue to eliminate jobs at an increasing pace. This is NOT going to stop. And if we want to remain a competitive economy, there is NOTHING we can do about it.

So, Brooks suggests getting more education? That will simply NOT WORK for the vast majority of the population, who hit their cognitive limit around 10th grade algebra. So, what will we do then?

Brooks isn't going to have any solutions. He already wrote himself with his IQ debacle piece which was thoroughly refuted in GNXP article awhile back.

Oh well.

No one is going to listen, not even the HBD realists. Without the active transformation, re engineering, and ultimately AI merge of the entire human race, our species is doomed to something of the order of 1984 or Brave New World.

I advocate the singularity not to destroy humanity but rather to preserve liberty. Without it, the bulk of the population will truly become proles and parasites.

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