Sunday, June 7, 2009

Desperation

It's closing in on Kristof, and he's panicking. His latest column, #1 on nytimes.com, is total drivel and bs.


A common thread among these three groups may be an emphasis on diligence or education, perhaps linked in part to an immigrant drive. Jews and Chinese have a particularly strong tradition of respect for scholarship, with Jews said to have achieved complete adult male literacy — the better to read the Talmud — some 1,700 years before any other group.

The parallel force in China was Confucianism and its reverence for education. You can still sometimes see in rural China the remains of a monument to a villager who triumphed in the imperial exams. In contrast, if an American town has someone who earns a Ph.D., the impulse is not to build a monument but to pass a hat.


But what happens when a culture values intelligence? The intelligent procreate more.



Perhaps the larger lesson is a very empowering one: success depends less on intellectual endowment than on perseverance and drive. As Professor Nisbett puts it, “Intelligence and academic achievement are very much under people’s control.”



Damaging to public policy. Another generation of college dropouts that would have made decent mechanics, police officers, or army platoon leaders.

2 comments:

William James Tychonievich said...

"...success depends less on intellectual endowment than on perseverance and drive."

Success depends largely on the individual's intellectual endowment, which in turn depends largely on the collective perseverance and drive of his ancestors.

Anonymous said...

Recent neurological studies show brain regions correlated with intelligence are significantly hereditary.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126993.300-highspeed-brains-are-in-the-genes.html

Personality appears to be significantly determined at birth too according to recent research.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/health/news/article.cfm?c_id=204&objectid=10566320

Also, note that Nisbett omits a number of studies to avoid a Bell Curve type backlash. See this working paper review of the book.

http://psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushtonpdfs/Intelligence%20and%20How%20to%20Get%20It%20(Working%20Paper).pdf

Sandra Scarr, after conducting the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study:

"Within the range of 'humane environments,'variations in family socioeconomic characteristics and in child-rearing practices have little or no effect on IQ measured in adolescence." P. 476

"There is simply no good evidence that social environmental factors have a large effect on IQ, particularly in adolescence and beyond, except in cases of extreme environmental deprivation." P. 476

By adulthood, all of the IQ correlation between biologically related persons is genetic. P. 178 Phenotypic g closely reflects the genetic g, but bears hardly any resemblance to the (shared) environmental g. P. 187

2. From that study the black children adopted by white families matured to have IQs that are consistent with their biological peers; Asian children adopted by white families mature to have IQs that are consistent with their biological peers and which are higher than their adoptive parents.

Also, note more recent twin studies:

"Contrary to "culture" theory, the ethnic academic gaps are almost identical for transracially adopted children, and to the extent they are different they go in the opposite direction predicted by culture theory. The gap between whites and Asians fluctuated from 19 to .09 in the NAEP data while the gap in the adoption data is from 1/3 to 3 times larger. This is consistent with the Sue and Okazaki paper above which showed that contrary to popular anecdotes, the values that lead to higher academic grades are actually found more often in white homes. In other words Asian-Americans perform highly despite their Asian home cultural environment not because of it. And though the sample is meager, I find it interesting that the gap between the black and white adopted children was virtually identical (within just 4-6 points) to the gap between whites and blacks in the general population, just like in the Scarr adoption study."

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/004064.html