In the following video Tulsi Gabbard warns America NOT to invade Iran.
However not even Oprah could stop the war with Iraq, despite hosting a series of anti-war shows to it in the few months before it began:
Why are these wars so hard to stop? And why do even Presidents like Trump , Obama, and George W. Bush, who campaigned against them, suddenly start supporting them once they get into office?
Commenter philosopher believes there’s a secret elite he calls “Master” who orders the Presidsent around once he gets into power. So why do people run for President if they’re just going to be bossed around once they get there? Perhaps they think that by getting elected President, they’ll be in charge, but only once they get there does Master reveal himself.
While this may sound like a psychotic delusion, there are similar theories to explain the Fermi Paradox. In the fabulous after-on pocast, it was suggested that the reason we’ve never been visited by aliens is that a Master species of aliens has ordered all advanced life in the galaxy to leave us alone, and if we too become technologically advanced enough to visit distant planets, these Master aliens will reveal themselves to us too, and tell us what the rules are.
It could work the same way in American society. You never find out about the secret elite running things until you gain enough power for Master to reveal himself to you.
Do I actually believe this? Not in the literal way philosopher does. I believe “Master” is better understood as a metaphor for the huge lobbying groups that buy politicians, but I don’t believe there are any independent individuals ordering most recent presidents around. But it would make a great horror film!
The psychological question of what makes people want to play casino games has never been too much of a mystery. Casino environments are basically built to give us little surges of adrenaline and dopamine. There are exciting sounds and visuals on gaming machines signifying victory; there’s a thrill in raking in a small stack of chips at a poker table, even if you’ve lost your previous 10 hands; somebody is always winning somewhere, effectively giving you continual previews of the joy and excitement you too could feel. The incentive, so to speak, is right there in front of you (or rather, all around you).
When it comes to sport and event betting, however, motivation and incentive are a little bit murkier. Next to casino play, this side of the gambling business is positively dull: casino sportsbooks are essentially more depressing versions of sports bars, and betting slips are about as bland to look at as grocery store receipts. Nothing jingles or flashes if you win, and you aren’t immediately gifted with colorful tokens representing your winnings. So what exactly makes people want to bet? We’re digging into some of the psychological motivators and reasons below.
The Same Old Reasons
There are actually some fairly academic looks into the psychology of sports betting, and really they turn up the same old reasons behind gambling that most of us are at least vaguely familiar with – the things that are somewhat foundational, impacting us before the excitement of a casino environment even comes into play. Most notably, it’s risk and reward. The risk of gambling produces adrenaline in and of itself; we almost inherently like putting something on the line and not knowing if it will pay off (though interestingly, men seem to enjoy this more than women, based on studies). As for reward, it’s fairly self-explanatory. We also enjoy gambling not because of the activity itself, but because we like the possibility of the rewards it could bring about. The most basic way to understand this psychology is just to think about why people keep buying lottery tickets – but it factors into sports betting as well.
Belief In Knowledge
With more specific regard to sports betting, there is also an element of the psychology that ties into people’s knowledge of the subject at hand. We tend to bet on sports (or events, politics, etc.) that we’re familiar with – that we think we know, and by extension, can predict. Studies have actually indicated that having greater knowledge of a given subject doesn’t necessarily correlate to more success betting, but that’s a hard thing for us to tell ourselves. If we feel like experts about something, we want to put that expertise to use in a practical, rewarding manner – just as we would in everyday life or with a work-related skill.
More and more we’re also seeing betting twisted into something resembling a game, which in turn allows bettors to feel as if knowledge and skill are playing a role. It’s no accident that the budding online gambling culture in New Jersey is compared and in some cases directly tied to the existing daily fantasy sports industry in the U.S. Before betting legalization started, daily fantasy was effectively taking advantage of legal loopholes and allowing people to gamble on outcomes within the boundaries of fantasy sports. This is a game, to most people – one that we at least perceive is decided to some extent based on our skills, knowledge, and decisions. The more opportunities we have to bet in this fashion, the more likely competitive instincts are to come into play. Simply put, we bet because we feel like we’re just playing games we know how to win.
Desire To Improve
There is also an element of loss aversion present in the psychology of sports betting. It may not get us to start betting in the first place, but it can certainly get us to keep at it once we’ve started, just as it’s so often responsible for keeping someone sitting at a poker table for too long. The idea, for those who aren’t familiar, is simply that the pain of losing is greater than the joy of winning. We care more when we lose a bet than when we win one. And because losing is essentially inherently more likely in betting, we have an easy recipe for staying interested. The more bets we lose, the less we want to walk away, and the surer we become that the next one will be a winner.
It is implausible that the Bushmen populations (which once occupied a much larger range than today) lived in total isolation from non-Bushmen populations. Presumably the mutation or mutations that facilitated the emergence of grammar appeared or came together in one population first. This development was so valuable that the relevant genes had a high chance of being preserved and spreading to fixation if even a small amount of interbreeding occurred with a neighboring population. Thus, even if Bushmen (and Pygmies, BTW) split off between 200kya and 300kya, that would not have prevented the spread of an especially valuable mutation from any one human population to all the rest. I argue that a limited vocabulary already existed in all sapiens populations (and probably some non-Sapiens populations as well), but the appearance of the “grammar gene(s)” made vocabulary immensely more useful so that it was now worthwhile to coin many more words, and the more intelligent band members could master the use and comprehension of this expanding vocabulary much better than the less intelligent. The grammar mutation should have spread relatively rapidly from any human population to all the rest. If we backcrossed with Neanderthals and Denisovans, I cannot imagine that there was not also gene flow to (and from) Bushmen (and Pygmies) as well. Further, I know of no reason to presume that grammar did not first emerge in Bushmen and spread to non-Bushmen rather than vice versa. We simply do not know.
Neanderthals possessed our FOXP2 gene and a hyoid bone that facilitate speech, but the larynx was still in a more anterior position, as in an infant of our species, which restricted the number of vowel sounds that could be formed, and therefore the number of words that could be created. I argue that if Neanderthal has possessed grammatical language at an earlier date, there would have been evolutionary selection for a larynx positioned so that a larger number of words could be formed. Thus, I also argue that grammar evolved sometime after Neanderthals split from the lineage that led to sapiens, and our sudden and rapid colonization of the world in the last 70ky suggests that the grammatically structured use of vocabular evolved shortly before we exploded suddenly over the world’s surface, since the appearance of grammatical language is the most likely advantage that allowed us to expand rapidly and to quickly displace our rivals who were longer established and better adapted to the local environment.
Expanding our analysis to the whole genome, we could not find any location–apart from mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome, where all people living today share a common ancestor less than 320,000 years ago. This is a far longer time scale than the one required by Klein’s hypothesis. If Klein was right, it would be expected that there would be places in the genome, beyond mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome, where almost everyone shares a common ancestor within the last hundred thousand years. But these do not in fact seem to exist.
Our results do not completely rule out the hypothesis of a single critical genetic change. There is a small fraction of the genome that contains complicated sequences that are difficult to study and that was not included in our survey. But the key change, if it exists, is running out of places to hide….
From Who are we and how we got here by David Reich, pg 18
But while Reich largely rejects the idea of a single (or small number) of genetic mutations giving rise to behavior modernity, he seems open to the possibility that “…coordinated natural selection on combinations of many mutations simultaneously–did enable new cognitive capacities…”
I’m enjoying this critical yet fair discussion of Jordan Peterson. Dutton as you may recall is best known for his scathing biography of J. Phillipe Rushton and Woodley is best known for his theory that genetic IQ has declined by 15 points since the Victorian era.
Anatomically Modern Humans first appear in the fossil record around 300 kya, yet we do not leave Africa until 50 kya. So for 250,000 years, we were confined to a single continent.
Perhaps this is an example of what paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould called Punctuated equilibrium, the theory that evolution is not gradual, but rather is a characterized by rapid explosive changes, followed by long periods of stability, followed by rapid explosive change etc.
So from 300 kya to 50 kya may have been a period of stability, since we had acquired the ability to conquer Africa, but apparently couldn’t leave (perhaps because Neanderthals were still superior to us at that point and thus would kill us the second we entered the Middle East, or perhaps we were still too dumb to survive the cold Middle Eastern winters)
Then, as paleontologist Richard Klein has noted, this long equilibrium was punctuated by a great leap forward in adaptive behavior. After spending 250,000 years confined to one continent, our species suddenly colonized five new continents in just 40,000 years.
So our ability to colonize jumped from one continent per 250,000 years to one continent per 8000 years (a 31-fold increase!). What caused this explosive change? Probably some mutation(s) in Africa that gave us the intelligence to leave, (as Klein claimed) quickly followed by natural selection for even more intelligence as we encounter cold climates our tropical bodies weren’t built for (as psychologist Richard Lynn claimed).
In the book The 10,000 year explosion, the authors imply another genetic revolution when agriculture occurred. Indeed anthropologist John Hawks claims positive selection in the past 5,000 years has been roughly 100 times higher than any other period of human evolution and is quoted as saying ” We are more different genetically from people living 5,000 years ago than they were different from Neanderthals.”
On the one hand, such rapid evolutionary change makes sense. There’s been more technological progress and population size increase in the last 5000 years than in all of previous human evolution combined, suggesting that maybe we’ve become smarter since the neolithic transition.
On the other hand, if people living 5000 years ago were more similar to Neanderthals than they are to us, why are they considered members of our species and not the Neanderthal species? Obviously they’re much more similar to us, at least when it comes to the skeletal traits used to distinguish members of the Homo genus.
Also, brain size has not increased since the end of the Paleolithic and may have even decreased, and our ability to draw (a crude proxy for IQ) , also may have even decreased. CBS news reports:
A new analysis of 1,000 pieces of prehistoric and modern artwork finds that “cavemen,” or people living during the upper Paleolithic period between 10,000 and 50,000 years ago, were more accurate in their depictions of four-legged animals walking than artists are today. While modern artists portray these animals walking incorrectly 57.9 percent of the time, prehistoric cave painters only made mistakes 46.2 percent of the time.
Also, if there’s been such rapid evolutionary change in the last 10,000 years, why hasn’t our ability to colonize new locations increased? We saw a huge increase in colonization ability 50,000 years ago as we jumped from colonizing one continent per 250,000 years to one per 40,000 years, but we haven’t colonized anything in the last 10,000 years, not even Antarctica. This suggests no increase in intelligence since the upper Paleolithic.
On the other hand, we went to the moon which is arguably the equivalent of colonizing a hundred new continents. Or did we? A lot of people think that was a hoax designed to elevate the U.S. above her Soviet cold-war competitors, and while I wouldn’t go that far, if I were a conspiracy nut I would find it suspicious that a) we did this with crude 1960s technology yet can’t seem to do it again today, b) we can go to the moon but we can’t colonize Antarctica, and c) East Asians never went to the moon, despite having the highest IQs.
The strongest evidence that we’ve become smarter in the last 10,000 years is that East Asians score about 14 IQ points higher than Arctic people according to Richard Lynn, even though both are big brained cold adapted Mongoloids that split from a common ancestor before the neolithic transition. Similarly, Lynn found the same pattern in Africa: Bantus score 12 IQ points above Bushmen. This may suggest that the 10,000 year explosion added nearly 1 SD to our IQs. Or it could suggest that Lynn’s data is flawed or that extreme differences in environment (not DNA) explains the IQ advantage East Asians and Bantu have over their hunter-gatherer cousins.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, this blog has been setting social media on fire after I discovered shocking video of Michael Jackson’s photographer claiming Jackson built the train station at the Neverland ranch before he had a permit. This was significant because Jackson fans claim he could not have molested a kid at the train station in 1992 if the building permit wasn’t even issued until Sept 93. However with the footage I unleashed, that alibi has crumbled.
Within hours of that blog post, thousands of people were tweeting Dan Reed, director of HBO’s critically acclaimed blockbuster Leaving Neverland, and then when Reed himself tweeted my discovery, all hell broke loose.
I have been bombarded with abuse survivors thanking me for brilliant journalism and excellent research. Adults who claim they were molested as children have very high IQs so it’s a great honor to be an icon in the #Metoo movement.
Of course now that the permit alibi has been ripped to shreds, Jackson fans are using photographs of Neverland, allegedly taken after 1992 to prove that there was no train station then. However even if the train station was not up until as late as 1994, Safechuck is on record saying the abuse ended “around 14” and someone born Feb 28, 1978 is still around 14 until at least Feb 28 94. Childhood memories are obviously approximate.
Because thousands of obsessed fans have spent their whole lives worshiping Jackson as a Christ-like figure, they can’t possibly accept that he could have been a pedophile, as alleged by HBO’s terrifying new documentary Leaving Neverland:
Fans have therefore devoted countless hours trying to debunk the documentary any way they can.
Most of these debunkings are too ridiculous to respond to, but one gained a small degree of traction.
In Leaving Neverland, James Safechuck describes many places where he claims to have been molested by Michael Jackson as a kid, including different rooms at Neverland (Jackson’s home). One of those rooms was the upstairs of the train station.
The deficiency in Safechuck’s story is this – construction on Neverland’s train station didn’t start until the latter part of 1993, and it didn’t open until the first part of 1994, when Safechuck was 16. So abuse in the train station wasn’t possible if the abuse stopped in 1992, as he claims in his testimony, as it didn’t even exist then. There’s a two year difference.”
To prove that Jackson’s trains station wasn’t built until 1993, Smallcombe tweeted the construction permit.
However Smallcombe is assuming the train station was only built after Jackson got the construction permit. But in an interview taped in 2018 (well before this controversy emerged) for episode 094 of a Jackson fan podcast called The MJ Cast, Jackson’s photographer Harrison Funk claims he was told not to photograph the train station because it was built without a permit.
This means that the September 1993 permit Smallcombe cites must have been issued after the train station was built, suggesting it was likely built in 1992 or earlier.
Even if it was built in early 1993, this still does not debunk Safechuck’s claims of being molested there. According to imdb, Safechuck was born February 28, 1978, so he would have been 14 before February 28, 1993 and 15 by March 1993. Consistent with this timeline is Diane Diamond’s Daily Beast article published in 2014 which stated:
According to the source, Safechuck alleges that he “was molested from the age of 10 to about 14 or 15″.
Even if one overlooks the absurdity of expecting alleged victims of abuse to precisely remember the exact date and location of every sexual act that occurred over many years a quarter century ago, there appears to be no holes in Safechuck’s narrative.
UPDATE April 21, 2019: I’ve just been informed that further confirmation that the train station was built long before the permit Smallcombe cites can be found on pages 23-24 of Frank Cascio’s book My Friend Michael.
Then in 1993, my relationship with Michael reached a new level when, for the first time, he invited my family to visit him at his home, Neverland Ranch…I was twelve when my family took its first trip to Neverland over spring break…Now, though, we were at last at Neverland, and it was truly another world…The driveway curved past a train station on the right, a lake on the left.
In response to this article, many Jackson fans are linking to an AP photo of Jackson’s train station showing it under construction as recently as December 1993. However the photo only lists the creation date as December 1993; the taken date was likely much earlier. Many people assume the created date is when the photo was taken but it actually refers to when it’s created on the computer. AP has no way of knowing when their photos were taken since they buy photos from freelance photographers and if one of these worked for Jackson, they may have even deliberately delayed the creation date if, as Funk claimed, Jackson did not have a building permit at the time of construction
We’ve been told since the 1980s that IQ scores are incredibly sensitive to the environment, as proven by the fact that scores have been increasing at a rate of 3 points per decade since the earliest days of testing, and the tests must constantly be renormed to keep the average at 100.
However I’ve always suspected that the Flynn effect was an exaggeration and have been quietly collecting evidence to prove it. Most recently, I found a 1961 paper by Betsy Worth Estes et al., in which 82 kids (grades one through eight) who had taken the 1937 Stanford Binet were tested on the 1960 version. Given the Flynn effect is supposedly 3 points a decade, you’d expect them to score 6.9 points higher on the older test, than on the newer one, but instead the gap was only 2 points (IQ 125 on the 1937 S-B, IQ 123 on the 1960 S-B),
I promised various readers I would do articles about Ted Kaczynski, the Columbine shooters and someone’s WAIS-IV results, but since I’ve been way too busy to write anything in depth, I thought for now I would write a brief article about a new movie that’s coming out about a couple that clones a Neanderthal and raises him in our modern society.
I can’t wait to see this movie, though I don’t feel like flying to New York or LA just to do so, though perhaps after this article goes public, I’ll be either sent a free plane ticket or a copy of the film itself.
I’ve been waiting for a film like this all my life so naturally I’m a bit disappointed by the trailer (oops, there goes my free plane ticket).
For one thing, his cranium is too round and Sapien-like. They should have found an actor with a really low forehead and then added prosthetics at the back of the cranium to make his cranium longer. Also his face is too flat. Only anatomically modern humans have flat faces that are tucked under the brain-case. Neanderthals were much more prognathous and looked like their faces were literally pulled out, giving them a snout. Also, he’s not supposed to have a chin.
It’s good that they cast a short actor, but I’m not sure if he’s bulky enough. I believe a Neanderthal raised in our steroid obsessed culture would have looked like Lee Priest.
Why’d they get so many details wrong? Apparently the film is directed by Tim Disney, so perhaps he got the job because of nepotism instead of ability (there goes my free copy of the movie). Walt Disney was probably the brains of the family, and by the time you get to grandnephews like Tim, there’s regression to the mean.
On the other hand, the film might be more accurate when it comes to portraying non-physical traits. Neanderthals left behind no representational art so scientists (especially Noam Chomsky) believe they were much less symbolically and linguistically gifted than we are, so the Neanderthal boy in the film takes everything too literally and talks strangely. There’s a scene in the trailer where an expert is explaining his cognitive profile, which I can’t wait to see,
(special tanks to commenter Mikey Blayze for suggesting this article)
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was a British occultist, writer and mountaineer. Calling himself “the Beast 666”, he founded the religion Thelema, which may have paved the way for New Age, Wicca, Discordianism, Chaos Magick and Satanism.
Arguably the most influential religious leader of the last century, he’s been credited with inspiring a 1960s counterculture characterized by “hippies, social justice warriors, free love, rock music and copious amounts of psychedelic drugs, particularly cannabis and LSD” and is cited as an influence by such counterculture figures as Timothy Leary, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Doors, David Bowie, the Beatles and sexual revolutionary Alfred Kinsey.
Dubbed the wickedest man in the world by the British press, Crowley practiced “every form of sexual deviancy known to man”, in addition to “eating feces, cannibalism and promoting human and animal sacrifice” according to blogger Matt Frohlich.
Crowley also had a very sadistic side. According to historian Gary Lachman, when on a mountain climbing trip, Crowley would whip the South Asian servants to remind them the white man was in charge. When his fellow climbers got tired of this sadistic racism and decided to dump him, Crowley warned that they could never survive the trip down without him, and then sat in his tent drinking tea, as he listened to them die.
Lachman describes an “autistic exactitude” and literalism that caused Crowley to debunk the saying “a cat has nine lives” by killing a cat nine times.
So what was his IQ?
I typically try to estimate people’s IQs from their most salient biological or demographic traits, and then see if there’s any psychometric data to confirm or debunk the statistical prediction. The most salient bio-demographics for Crowley were his incredible influence (as commenter Gypsy advised me), his elite education, and his sexual deviance.
Influence is hard to measure, but in 2002, the British public worshiped Crowley enough to elect him one of the 100 greatest Britons of all time. He was the 73rd most worshiped Brit of all time and the 42nd most worshiped of the 20th century (at least at the time the poll was taken).
To understand how impressive that is, consider that about 11.5 billion people lived in the 20th century. Assuming about one in 114 of them were Brits (that’s the current ratio), then nearly 101 million Brits lived during the 20th century, so ranking 42nd is a one in 2.4 million level achievement!
If there were a perfect correlation between IQ and popular influence, we’d expect Crowley to have an IQ 74 points above the British mean of 100 (the one in 2.4 million level) but the correlation between IQ and worldly power is kind of like the correlation between height and physical power. There’s a noticeable connection between the two, but lots of huge noticeable exceptions as well. With a correlation coefficient of only about 0.4, instead of having an IQ 74 points above 100, we’d expect Crowley to have an IQ 0.4(74) points above 100. In other words an IQ of 130.
However this is likely an underestimate because Crowley was not just spectacularly powerful (in terms of popular impact on society) but highly educated. Even when you compare him to other 20th century Brits that ranked among the most worshiped Brits of all time, Crowley’s Cambridge credential puts him behind only 3% of these super elites [Alan Turing (who graduated from both Cambridge and Princeton), Stephen Hawking (who graduated from both Cambridge and Oxford)] and comfortably ahead of the 84% who have neither an Oxbridge nor Ivy League background.
Thus even when compared to the most worshiped Brits of the 20th century, the greatest of the great, Crowley’s in the 91st percentile academically.
If there were a perfect correlation between IQ and academic credentials, we’d expect Crowley to be 20 IQ points smarter than the average IQ 130 super influential person, since in typical samples, the 91st percentile is 20 IQ points above the mean and assuming elites have similar variability, that should be the case for them too. However the correlation between IQ and education is far from perfect, though until recent decades, it was a potent 0.7, just like the correlation between height and basketball ability.
But because super elites are slightly restricted sample in terms of both IQ and education, the correlation would be slightly less; around 0.64.
So instead of being 20 IQ points smarter than the average most worshiped 20th century Brits, Crowley would be 0.64(20) points smarter, and since the most influential Brits of the 20th century likely average about IQ 130, that would put his expected IQ at incredible 143!
On the other hand, Crowley was a sexual deviant, and these tend to have IQs about 10 points lower than their non-deviant counterparts, so we might expect Crowley’s IQ to be 133 instead of 143. Whatever biological damage messed up the sexual part of his brain, likely hurt the cognitive parts of his brain as well, making him somewhat dumber than other equally educated 20th century icons.
I often estimate IQs from drawings, since this is a readily available way people have demonstrated cognition for tens of thousands of years, and drawing a person is one of the oldest and simplest psychometric tests. Commentary gypsy informed me that Crowley left behind such drawings and so I found one here:
I would give this about a 9 out of 12 on the “Quality scale” of the Goodenough-Harris Draw-a-Person test, which is about 1.35 standard deviations above the sex-combined norms of 15-year-olds (roughly on adult level); equating to an IQ of 120.
But since the above norms are from circa 1962 and Crowley’s drawing is from circa 1921, and the Flynn effect increased scores on this test by 0.26 IQ points per year (at least in Brazil), Crowley’s score likely would have equated to an IQ 131 if measured by the norms of his era. It’s also possible that Crowley’s drawings were deliberately primitive for stylistic reasons.
Of course Draw-a-Person is one of the least accurate IQ tests ever made, so we should supplement it with another measure of ability, this time preferably a verbal one to add variety. Although Crowley never took a verbal IQ test that I’m aware of, he did leave behind his writings.
According to historian Gary Leachman, Crowley’s poetry was “derivative”. From this we might guess he had only average verbal IQ for a writer, but since writers average superior IQs of 120, we might tentatively assign him a verbal score of 120.
So if writing samples gives an IQ of 120, and a drawing sample gives an IQ of 131, it’s tempting to average these to an IQ of 126 (top 5%). However it’s much more rare to average in the top 5% on multiple tests than it is to score in the top 5% on any one test. On the WISC-R IQ test for example, people who average in the top 5% on all subtests, score above the top 1% (IQ 137) on the composite score. Thus I tentatively assign Crowley an IQ of 137. This is 4 points higher than the 133 I predicted from bio-demographic data above, but both suggest an IQ in the mid 130s.
Such an IQ is above the average at even the most prestigious universities in the World, and may help explain why a young Crowley beat the President of the Cambridge chess club at chess.