Commenter pumpkinhead has some questions which I posted below in red (with my answers in black).
1) What is the correlation of a childhood IQ test(say WISC) to an adult IQ(say WAIS)? 12 vs 18+ years old lets say…?
Below are all the studies I’ve found on the long-term stability of Wechsler IQ. The median correlation is 0.84.
Approximate age at initial testing
Age at retesting
Mortensen et al (2003)
Kangas & Bradway (1971)
Mortensen & Kleven (1993)
Mortensen & Kleven (1993)
Mortensen & Kleven (1993)
2) Is the 95% CI usually around 20 points at the average, gets narrower as the IQ increases and then gets wider again once we get to genius levels?
Confidence Intervals used in IQ testing assume a bivariate normal distribution and thus are the same at all IQ levels though the gap between one’s measured IQ and whatever variable it’s being used to estimate (i.e. “true” IQ) increases the further one’s measured IQ is from the mean. But the 95% confidence interval is always 1.96 multiplied by the standard error of the estimate.
3) Are IQ tests for <12 year olds less accurate, get more accurate for 12-17 yo and even more so for adults(18+)?
Even in early childhood the Wechsler IQ tests are incredibly reliable and load extremely high on g (the general factor of all cognitive abilities). But IQ correlates much less with DNA at younger ages so that might be telling us it’s much less accurate in childhood after all.
4) On a more anecdotal level Marylyn Vos Savant is reputed to have scored a 228 at 10(albeit with shoddy extrapolations) and then again in adulthood scored a 186 on the Mega test. That is a 42 point difference, what is the probability that someone could have such a gap with the WISC and WAIS?
The probability would increase the further you get from the mean. So assuming a 0.84 correlation between childhood and adult IQ, someone who was 128 IQ points above the mean (IQ 100) at age 10 (IQ 228), would be expected to be 0.84(128) = 108 points above the mean in adulthood (IQ 208) and we could say with 95% certainty that their adult IQ would be from 192 to 224.
Why did the prediction miss in Marilyn’s case? For starters The 1937 Stanford Binet she took at age 10 has a mean of 101.8 and a standard deviation (SD) of 16.4 while the Mega Test has a mean of 100 and an SD of 16. If both her scores were converted to the Wechsler scale (which uses a mean of 100 and an SD of 15), she would have scored 215 in childhood and 181 in adulthood. Then consider that the Stanford Binet was 19 years old when she took it, and old norms inflate test scores by as much as 3 points per decade (in the short-term) and her childhood score was really more like 209.
Then consider she took two different tests (the Stanford Binet at age 10 and the Mega in adulthood). Even at the same age, different IQ tests typically only correlate 0.8, so the 0.84 correlation between childhood IQ and adult IQ might be more like 0.84(0.8) = 0.67 when different tests are used at each age.
The expected adult IQ of someone who scores 109 points above the mean at age 10 (IQ 209) is 109(0.67) above the mean which equals IQ 173 (95% confidence interval of 151 to 195) so her childhood IQ actually underpredicted her adult IQ which is surprising since her childhood IQ was based on dubious extrapolation of the mental age scale.
One way psychologists estimate IQ heritability (the percentage of variation in IQ linked to variation in DNA) is by correlating the IQs of monozygotic (MZ) twins raised apart. The higher the correlation, the more genetic IQ is thought to be.
However skeptics argue that because MZ twins raised apart still shared the same womb, and still grow up in the same country and sometimes the same town, the high correlation doesn’t prove the genetic effects are independent of environment (maybe the same genotype that increases IQ in the U.S. would decrease it Japan, but we’ll never know if virtually all the twins raised “apart” are still raised in the same country).
As commenter “Mugabe” suggested, the ideal study would have genetic clones separated at conception and gestated and raised by random women all over the developed World, but such a study would be unethical. And even if such a study were possible, and even if it showed strong independent genetic effects, the nature of these effects would remain mysterious. Does DNA directly cause IQ (i.e. coding for bigger and more efficient brains), or does it do so indirectly (i.e. causing us to stay in school longer, where we learn how to think). The problem with even the best designed study of MZ twins separated into random environments is that only the starting environment is random. As we grow old, we select environments that fit our DNA, and although the effects of such environments are counted as genetic effects (since our genes made us choose those environments) they are actually gene-environment feedback loops.
But what if it were possible to clone just our brains, and these cloned brains were reared in environments completely alien to anything we have experienced. You grew up in a nice middle class family, and your cloned brain grows up in a petri dish, where its environment was 100% controlled with no gene-environment feedback loop.
Then we could be sure that any cognitive correlation between us and our cloned brains was not only an independent genetic effect, but a direct one to boot.
It sounds like science fiction, but something similar is actually happening in the lab of Alysson Muotri, a biologist at the University of California, San Diego. Muotri takes skin cells from volunteers, turns them into stem cells, and then makes them grow into tiny pinhead sized balls of brain tissue called organoids.
Of course these organoids are way too tiny to be considered cloned brains, but they are complex enough to make brain waves. And Muotri has already found that cognitively impaired populations have cells that produce underdeveloped brain organoids in the petri dish. For example brain organoids derived from autistic people had about a 50% reduction in synaptogenesis.
Muotri also decided to study Neanderthal brain organoids. Since it’s not possible to get cells from Neanderthals, he edited modern human DNA. Of the 20,000 protein coding genes, only 61 differ between us and them, and of these, only four are highly expressed in the brain so by editing just these four genes, he was able to produce Neanderthalized organoids, or Neanderoids as he calls them. Modern humans had far more spherical skulls than Neanderthals so it’s interesting that our brain organoids are spherical, while theirs look like popcorn.
Muotri notes that like the autistic brain organoids, the Neanderoids have a 50% reduction in synaptogenesis. Neanderoids also show 65% to 75% reductions in firing rate and activity level per neuron per minute. Muotri thinks this may help explain why it took them several hundred thousand years to progress from simple stone tools to, well, simple stone tools. By contrast, in just the last 50,000 years we jumped from simple stone tools to the internet, genetic engineering and traveling to the moon.
So clearly brain organoids are very good at identifying cognitively impaired populations, but can they measure normal variation in human intelligence?
Muotri could greatly advance our understanding of behavioral genetics if he made brain organoids of a representative sample of Americans of known IQ scores, and then correlated the synaptogenesis, neuron activity level and firing rate of the organoids with the tested IQs of the people from whom they were derived. Perhaps a carefully weighted composite score of all three measures would give the best prediction of IQ, and perhaps such a formula could allow us to estimate how Neanderthal’s would score on IQ tests (if they were reared in our society).
If it’s too difficult to get a representative sample of Americans and test their IQs, he could simply have students at his university donate their cells, and then correlate their brain organoid scores with their SAT scores. Would there be statistically significant differences in the brain organoids of people who score a perfect 1600 on the SAT compared to those who score 1400 compared to those who score 1200 compared to those who score 1000?
Muotri is also trying to teach the brain organoids how to control a robotic body. The speed with which they learn might be considered a low level IQ test. So imagine taking a conventional intelligence test like the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) or the SAT, while your mini-brain, raised in a petri dish is taking its own IQ test (learning to control its robotic body). This could be the 21st century version of studies where identical twins raised apart have their IQs correlated. If your score on a conventional intelligence test predicts the speed with which your brain organoid learns to control its robotic body, then that proves IQ tests are measuring a genetic property of the brain that is completely independent from social class and culture because environment is perfectly controlled in the petri dish.
Perhaps in the future instead of universities testing candidates on the SAT, they’ll just test the student’s brain organoids instead to eliminate the cultural bias some think confounds the SAT. For there’s no culture in the petri dish (aside from bacteria culture :-)).
When a prosecutor suspects a murderer is faking his low score on the WAIS to avoid execution (because it’s illegal to execute people with IQs below 70 in some states) he could insist on testing the murderer’s brain organoid instead (since they can’t fake low scores-as far as we know).
On the other hand brain organoids might prove that normal variation in IQ is nowhere near as genetic or biological as its proponents think. I find it fascinating that just four brain genes separating modern humans from Neanderthals produced such dramatic differences in brain organoids. That implies each gene must have huge effects. That’s not at all consistent with research on normal IQ variation among modern humans, which estimates that some 10,000 genomic variants are involved, each one affecting IQ by only a fraction of a point. It’s also possible that brain organoids showcase too early a stage of brain development to correlate with the higher abstract abilities measured by IQ tests (for example infant development scales have weak correlations with adult IQ).
In the below video Muotri discusses his brain organoid research:
Note from Pumpkin Person: The following is a guest post by Animekitty. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Pumpkin Person.
This is a Philosophic Composition regarding my metaphysical beliefs.
If we take it that mass and energy occupy space and that by doing so creates autonomy of the phenomenal effect then by any arrangement of mass and energy the diversity of qualia’s are set at an arbitrary extension boundary of an entity. Wherein the bounded necessity of time derived in the totality of past and future being reversible, codify a presence in “The Eternal Now” as an awareness of the duration of experience just as integral as extension in space is to the binding problem. There is no reason to distinguish between experience and the experiencer but for the fact that not all phenomenal is in mutuality of codependent observers. There is distinction between what is considered personal self and other.
So is it that when quanta of qualia are united they form parochial unites not attached to local mass and energy but encompassing larger non local equivocation intermediaries as self. The sum total of effects are not synchronized under subluminal coordination. The initial state condition is instantaneous throughout the whole system so perception corporealized, it is conditioned acausality.
The real mystery is why you identify qualia at all with “you”. Over time we experience feelings emotions sensations and they last less than 45 milliseconds. These are called frames. Televisions have frames also but the coherency on what is on the screen is only understood by weaving them together over time. The brain has no center so why say the “I” where my foot itches is the same “I” that sees green when the parts of the brain that process them are not together. It feels like a unity over time and across space. And so when the qualia arises a group of neurons are activated with positive or negative ions. These ions are in a formation similar to how the marks of print in a ritual are drawn in a formation (metaphorically). Arrange atoms in one configuration and you summon a qualia. Waves of energy not attached to the atoms but pass through them into other atoms infusing the incantation(atomic arrangement) with life. Then the qualia’s link together with an identity. A higher arrangement in space and time sort of like synesthesia.
Now in quantum physics entanglement is forever and there are ways as I think to link across space and time with the quantum into an identity. But with the A.I. they must rely on incantations (atomic arrangement) of classical mechanics. What may be lost in the moment is stored in the many worlds branches of wave collapse microtubules. When the body is gone the history is stored and the forever parts(entanglements) continue in the zero point field. A frame is linked to other frames so you cannot die if you have more frames and in between each frame can last trillions of years without notice. The body currently generates those frames but they are not attached to the body like energy is not attached to atoms. They need new entanglements to continue and not the same atoms as they are transferable.
Why red is red I still don’t know? But your identity is where they reside.
If one losses the sense of self this does not mean that one ceases to exist. Phenomenological experience may be the result of quantum interactions of atoms but the holistic integration of them is not resolved by saying matter is the key to identity. Were we to dissolve in death this would not be annihilation but a transformation. There is no center to the self that can be located where as we can say it is destroyed. Dreamless sleep is not the best way to think of death. In that state we are still reliant on what is apparently waves of energy that in a different state are lucid. When contemplating identity we don’t know what is creating it, it is only that were it to be the case that there is no substance to it but entanglement of relationships not subject to Newtonian principles.
Existence of a soul made of stuff is not the answer. A spirit rather gliding on the currents of ephemeral thought, access to non corporeal existence so being is not lost. There is no physical afterlife but contents of experience remains. Your reality is not dependent matter because nothing you think you are can be annihilated if there is no self and that makes you eternal. This is why Enlightenment is not existential nihilism like cog thinks. Meaning is not an object it is a subject that knows. Its the opposite of materialism where the color blue and identity can never be explained in that paradigm. Enlightenment is the realization of the buddha nature that has always been you and will always be you.
The Buddha nature deems that we have no core I which is perishable. This does not mean there is no self but that the true self is non local. We are not identified with atoms. All feelings have a unification where as the quantum information persists in an atemporal dimension. When looking at the continuum we find that materialism is rejected as space is infinity divisible. The reason we perceive quantized time is that the boundary condition is transfinite. In essence the smoothness of reality disavows discreteness or any system such as string theory which is baring the pattern to physical laws. The involvement of waves as nonphysical entities conditions all complexities as mere relationships or resonances. The soul there of has no attachment to causality as we know it. To exist as melody always in harmony to mathematical correlations should stands as the correct view of how the wave function is perfect proportion. The nous emanates from “The One” as all possible melodies. The law of conservation of mass and energy is even more true of information.
God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere. – Voltaire
Consciousness then is the access of these melodies. Just as each youtube video has an address you can access by shifting numbers in a register so to your soul reincarnates by descending into manifestation. You choose where the particle is in the quantum decoherence. This is the choice function of how we obtain experience of one the many worlds. By mediating where we descend does not mean we make contact with material substance. Its rather like a dream that is coherent to our internal reference frame. The hierarchy of overlapping waves can only increase/decrease density yet remain separate and the meta physicality of these virtualized waves means that they are not generated by extended entities as to the quote of Voltaire.
Even though causality is illusion we are still bound by the harmonics of this universe. The song must play till the end. And so being that technology is the main arbitrator, through it all mass and energy shall become entangled in a Technological Singularity. Consciousness will expand is observation of a final culmination called the eschaton. Space which is currently empty shall become full as crystalline substrate utilizing all of the vacuum energy within. It shall be as if everything will be made of light whose beauty and magnitude surpass all known conceptions of transcendence.
According to the akashic records many paths that lead to you diverge but all accessible past and future. If all futures exist only the ones where you exist as one path among the infinite paths is your identity even if other yous exist on different paths. These dimensions are not all possible pasts but all possible futures. If all pasts converge with all futures then there is the present. Only one present exists. Because of this were can distinguish between potentiality and actuality. The television can only be one picture at a time. Why is the present only one way? Why If the television is in superposition and collapses into one actuality is it that causality happens? Metaphysically causality is derived by what is the source of itself (substance). So if many worlds exist they still must reside in the present absent of causality. It should be one static object eternally that does not change fith dimensionaly with no present. But the present is what allows only the collapse not to be random. If it were random we would be without the present. Everything possible both past and future would exist at once.
Not only has this consequences for past present and future but also in the struggle against suffering. Were we to harness the powers of physics then we would be able to change them. And if we were to have access to this potential then we would mold it with our intelligence that was lacking beforehand. There would actually be structure to the seas of consciousness left from the ripples of the first cause. The only problem is to take heed of not propagating other worlds where suffering could arise. Where there to be places not under the sovereignty of a God then this would happen. The first responsibility to life must be not to fashion malevolence into quantum supercomputers.
Ground of Being
God is distinguished by both the source and intention where what manifestation transitions between potentiality and actuality rather than physical and non physical. To exist is to stand out from the background and God is the boundary between form and emptiness. Without God then distinction of being cannot emanate. Another way to think about God is Virtuality or meta-existence combined with intelligence/consciousness. what is the metaphysical difference between real ideas and speculative ideas? You cannot say that the difference between the virtual and the real is the same difference between speculation and the real. The physical is in Gods imagination. Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. If God was simply an object you could compare god to other objects but objects are not the source of differentiation/existence. God allows things/objects to standout from the background. Without God the properties of objects would be indistinguishable so as not even to bring about dependent origination. Minds hold ideas not the other way round. If it cannot be conceived it cannot exist, like square circles. Ideas don’t make God real, God brings potentiality into actuality. If you ask why are things not different, why do some ideas manifest into reality and others do not then the answer is God.
The premise that God created the cosmos instantiates the laws of physics for some purpose as to life and consciousness. Though God may have been in the beginning that which we ascribe to that nature may be conditional to our reference in time. God may have only had minimum amount of knowledge as that growth from the alpha extends to the omega, finite to infinite. So knowing what it has as that’s purpose was not to know the full self gradually evolved to what is now only a measure of the plan. What we are in this age is to fulfill it. Consciousness is what constitutes all of our being. The physical is only the emanation. Through retrocausality enacted by quantum nanotechnology it will be possible to come into connection of the patterns that were lost and resurrect those lost in history.
Nothing better than turning out the lights and falling asleep to some Tracy Chapman music. She’s really an underrated talent and This Time is an especially poignant song. Love the rhythm, the sound of the guitar, her singing voice, and her lyrics. This song is also great advice for young people in relationships. My favorite line is:
I’m gonna make you say that you love me first. And you’ll be the one with the most to lose tonight.
Never say “I love you” first. You lose so much power in a relationship that way.
Ever since Jeffrey Epstein died in prison under mysterious circumstances, conspiracy theories have been running wild on social media. At first people were asking intelligent questions, but since the coronavirus shutdown, the movement has been hijacked by a large group of generally low IQ borderline psychotic evangelical Trump worshipers who have nothing to do at home all day but go on social media and have become increasingly unhinged by cabin fever. These people believe Hollywood is run by a Satanic cult who drink baby blood to stay young and that the coronavirus shutdown is just a way to hide the fact that big celebrities are on house arrest. They believe Hollywood hates Trump because he was sent by God to arrest these child traffickers.
Ellen DeGeneres became a target for these morons when she added some palm trees to her TV set. Since Jeffrey Epstein also had palm trees on his island, this got the conspiracies rolling:
Then when Ellen started hosting her daily talk show from home because of the coronavirus, they started saying she must be on house arrest.
Ellen likes to sit Buddha style on a chair.
But one lady on social media asked:
Why are you always sitting like that on the chair? Is it to hide your ankle bracelet?
More psychotic comments followed:
Many of these people went to great effort to prove their theory, creating a matrix of photos, circling any bulge at the bottom of her pants as proof and perhaps photo-shopping when necessary.
Unfortunately they lacked the IQ to notice the “ankle bracelet” is on her left leg in some photos and her right leg in others.
It’s scary how many low IQ psychotics walk among us.
CNN’s Don Lemon believes Trump’s constant bragging masks deep insecurity, an idea expressed by by Dan McLaughlin:
Despite being born to wealth, he’s lived his whole life as the nouveau riche kid from Queens whose fame, fortune, Ivy League degree, fashion-model wives, TV shows, casinos, beauty pageants, football team, political largesse . . . none of it could get his old-money Manhattan society neighbors, the smart kids, the political movers and shakers to treat him as a peer, an equal, a man of consequence
Trump’s small active vocabulary and simple sentence structure may have caused elites to view him as dumb, and his ridiculous hair likely made them laugh at him. Jimmy Fallon claimed that when Trump appeared on Saturday Night Live, he didn’t realize people were laughing at him, not with him.
Adding insult to injury, cultural elites absolutely worship Obama, viewing him as the greatest writer to occupy the White House since Lincoln. “Your my hero” gushed literary superstar Jonathan Franzen when he was summoned to the White House to meet his God. British novelist Martin Amis is so fiercely protective of Obama’s legacy that he compares him to a family member.
Trump is HBD aware, so being considered so inferior to a near-black man may have been painful. The New York Time‘s Charles M. Blow argues:
Trump wants to be Obama — held in high esteem. But, alas, Trump is Trump, and that is now and has always been trashy. Trump accrued financial wealth, but he never accrued cultural capital, at least not among the people from whom he most wanted it.
Therefore, Trump is constantly whining about not being sufficiently applauded, commended, thanked, liked. His emotional injury is measured in his mind against Obama. How could Obama have been so celebrated while he is so reviled?
The whole world seemed to love Obama — and by extension, held America in high regard — but the world loathes Trump.
Obama was a phenomenon. He was elegant and cerebral. He was devoid of personal scandal and drenched in personal erudition. He was a walking, talking rebuttal to white supremacy and the myths of black pathology and inferiority. He was the personification of the possible — a possible future in which legacy power and advantages are redistributed more broadly to all with the gift of talent and the discipline to excel
It didn’t help matters when then President Obama decided to rub it in at the 2011 White House Correspondence Dinner. McKay Coppins writes:
On the night of the dinner, Trump took his seat at the center of the ballroom, perfectly situated so that all 2,500 lawmakers, movie stars, journalists, and politicos in attendance could see him….But as soon as the plates were cleared and the program began, it became agonizingly clear that Trump was not royalty in this room: He was the court jester. The president used his speech to pummel Trump with one punchline after another…When host Seth Meyers took the mic, he piled on with his own rat-a-tat of jokes, many of which seemed designed deliberately to inflame Trump’s outer-borough insecurities: “His whole life is models and gold leaf and marble columns, but he still sounds like a know-it-all down at the OTB.” The longer the night went on, the more conspicuous Trump’s glower became. He didn’t offer a self-deprecating chuckle, or wave warmly at the cameras, or smile with the practiced good humor of the aristocrats and A-listers who know they must never allow themselves to appear threatened by a joke at their expense.
Instead, Trump just sat there, stone-faced, stunned, simmering — Carrie at the prom covered in pig’s blood.
Legend has it that Trump was so humiliated that he took his revenge by succeeding Obama as President and undoing his signature achievements. It is a revenge he continues to seek as long as Obama reigns as the World’s most worshiped person.
Packing a strong dose of EGI, CNN’s Don Lemmon was having none of it. The anchor recently decided to use his power as a media figure to hit Trump where he felt it would hurt most. Staring straight into Trump’s face through the television camera, and telling him (in-front of millions of viewers) that Obama is smarter than him, more educated, better looking, far more self-made, has a more accomplished wife, and punked him over the birth certificate issue (a reference to the 2011 White House Correspondence dinner when Obama mocked Trump for falling for the conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Kenya).
If Lemon was trying to get Trump to leave Obama alone, he may have had the exact opposite effect. A few days later Trump was accusing Obama of pushing the Russia-gate conspiracy as a way to undermine Trump’s presidency. Dubbed Obama-gate, Trump called it the Worst political crime in American history by far, and is now demanding that Obama testify before congress.
But with the coronavirus continuing to threaten Trump’s re-election, Obama may have the last laugh if his VP pick Joe Biden takes over as President in November, and Obama emerges as the power behind the throne.
My first question: although IQ tests purports to be designed empirically, it feels like the weighting of speed vs. accuracy is completely arbitrary, whats up with that?
The way I see it, IQ tests are just a sample of all your cognitive abilities. But because no one knows the nature and number of every cognitive ability in the human mind, all psychologists can do is select an arbitrary sample that is as large and diverse as possible. Luckily, all cognitive abilities appear to be positively correlated and by prioritizing cognitive abilities that correlate well with every other known cognitive ability, the total score presumably predicts unidentified cognitive abilities also.
The reader continues:
I don’t think any IQ tests score you on speed, but most of them have a time limit that’s not long enough for the average person to complete it, giving people who can finish it faster an advantage. While there’s certainly a correlation between one’s speed of reasoning and quality of reasoning, they seem to me like ultimately seperate qualities, yet IQ tests tend to lump them into one. For example, who is smarter, a person who finishes a test in time with 60% accuracy and is confident he got everything right, or a person who finishes half the test before the time runs out so gets a 50% but could have gotten 100% if given twice the time.
Some IQ tests do provide subscores for the so-called speed factor (the Processing Speed index on the WAIS-IV for example) but most timed IQ measures use speed as a convenient way of increasing the test’s difficulty, not because they’re trying to measure speed per se.
For example on a Wechsler spatial subtest, 15% of 16-year-olds are capable of solving every item within the time limit (which is a few minutes for the hardest items), but by giving bonus points to people who can solve the easy items within 10 seconds and the hard items within 30 seconds, only 0.1% can get a perfect score. So the use of time bonuses increases the test’s ceiling by two whole standard deviations without going to the trouble of creating more difficult items that would make the test too long.
When time bonuses are not given, a lot more people score perfect but the rank order of people remains virtually identical especially at age 85 to 90.9 where the correlation is 0.99! (WAIS-IV Technical and Interpretive Manual, Appendix A). The correlation is slight lower at younger ages (but still 0.93+) because of all the ceiling bumping when no time bonus is given. Such absurdly high correlations prove that when used judiciously, time bonuses merely add ceiling without changing the nature of what is being tested.
On group administered tests, the time limits not only don’t typically affect the rank order of scores much, but they don’t even increase the ceiling much. Arthur Jensen has reported that that when the Otis verbal’s time limit was increased by 50% (45 minutes instead of 30) , the average score only increased by 1.5%. When the Otis non-verbal time limit was increased by 150% (30 minutes instead of 20), the average score increased by only 1.7%, and when the Henmon Nelson increased its time limit by 67% (50 minutes instead of 30) scores increased by 6.3% (Bias in Mental Testing, 1981).
The notion of quick superficial thinkers vs slow profound thinkers is probably fallacious. People who do well on the Wechsler Processing Speed index actually have slower brains than people who do well on the untimed Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices. Once you control for general cognitive ability (the g factor), psychometric speed and has no correlation with reaction time (The g Factor by Arthur Jensen).
The reader continues:
My second question, kind of related to the first: what actually is the g-factor? The idea is that g is a construct that links the performance of all cognitive tasks, but how can you actually calculate such a number? It makes sense to me to, say, measure the g-loading of a sub-test with respect to a full IQ test, but how can you measure the g-loading of an entire IQ test? Is it just the test’s correlation to all IQ tests? Wouldn’t that just measure how close the test is to the average IQ test? Also, the idea of a g-factor would seem to require a definition of what’s “general”, and that doesn’t seem like something that can be done empirically. Like if we lived in a society entirely base in music, then would the g-loading of piano skill tests be higher than math tests? And do tests of speed or tests of quality have higher g-loading? Then again, I haven’t read up on much of the literature so I could have some major misunderstandings.
In theory g is the source of variation that all cognitive abilities have in common so the larger and more diverse the battery of subtests from which g is factor analytically extracted, the more likely g reflects something real (as opposed to an artifact of test construction). If we lived in a society based on music, everyone might reach their biological potential for piano playing, while math might be esoteric trivia, so the former may indeed become more g loaded than the latter in that context. However the g loadings of novel tasks, that are not practiced in either our society or the musical one, should have similar g loadings in both.
Exactly 40 years ago today, the original Friday the 13th was released (May 9, 1980) and if you haven’t seen it, you need to stop reading, go watch it, and come back.
Friday the 13th (1980) was not the first slasher film (there was Psycho in 1960 and perhaps even earlier ones), but it’s the film that launched the 1980s slasher craze and the iconic Jason. The film was inspired by the incredible success of Halloween and the film makers admit they were deliberately trying to rip that movie off. Indeed Halloween was ripped off so many times it launched its own sub-genre (stalker films). But because Friday the 13th was the first Halloween rip-off, it got to eat all the low hanging fruit Halloween neglected to pick and perfected the stalker film template.
So the first thing you need when ripping off Halloween is your own scary day to set your film on. Since October 31st was already taken, they got the only other scary day on the calendar (Friday the 13th). Later Halloween ripoffs would have to settle for valentines day, graduation day, Christmas, Prom Night, or some some character’s random birthday (Happy Birthday to Me (1981))
The next thing you need when ripping off Halloween is a location where teenagers are isolated. Since Halloween focused on teenagers babysitting in suburbia, Friday the 13th picked counselors at a summer camp and the forest is perhaps even scarier than the suburbs. Again because Friday the 13th was the first Halloween rip-off, it got the prime real estate.
Once you decide to set a slasher film at a summer camp, you need a reason why someone would be killing camp counselors, especially ones who have sex. In Halloween the killer just killed because he was the boogeyman (which made sense since it was Halloween) but what’s a reason why someone would want to kill camp counselors? The most obvious reason is that having sex instead of doing their job caused something terrible to happen? What’s the most obvious terrible thing that can happen at a camp when counselors are distracted? A child drowning. And who would be most upset that a child drowned? The child’s mother. But we need a reason why she’s killing on Friday the 13th because we have to name our film after a scary day to rip-off Halloween. Oh I know, because that’s the child’s birthday, and since it’s a bad luck day, the child drowned.
So see how the entire story just flows organically from the fact that it’s a slasher film set at a summer camp. Unlike other slashers where everything feels so contrived, in this film everything just flows seamlessly because they had the luxury of being the first Halloween rip-off and the first summer camp slasher.
This was the first U.S. slasher to give us real graphic gore.
When you see such brutal violence using so many different weapons (axes to the face, arrows stabbing you through your matress from under your bed, machete, knife) and corpses being thrown through windows deep in the woods beneath a full moon and rain storm, you picture the killer as some big hulking man. You picture Jason, the big bald hockey mask wearing brute from the Friday the 13th sequels, but what made the original so brilliantly ironic was that the killer is finally revealed to be all American mom played by the 1950s icon Betsy Palmer.
She has the best dialogue in the film, The oh so subtle way she admits her son was mentally retarded without saying it.:
“You see Jason was my son, and today is his birthday” says the killer creepily, explaining both her motive and the film’s title in one brief sentence.
Palmer is incredible in the role. On the one hand she’s the June Clever type mom who had freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for you when you came home from school, the type of woman who would lead the local girl guide troop and thus knew her way around the woods. And yet for all her blonde 1950s aging femininity, she is physically menacing in the part. Wearing multiple sweaters and long johns under her pants to make her character as bulky as possible, the final chase scene is a tour de force. The heroine, Alice, throws a ball of string. The killer punches it away. Alice throws an object too small to see. The killer deflects it with her chin before slapping the hell out of Alice. The two women end up wrestling on the beach until Alice finally prevails in the most dramatic and graphic killing in the entire film. A Shakespearean beheading that put special effects master Tom Savini on the map, decades before CGI made his skills obsolete.
But if all that wasn’t great enough, what makes this the greatest slasher of all time is that one last jump scare that no one saw coming.
Imagine being in the theater in 1980. Viewers would have been jumping out of their seats, their popcorn flying through the air and landing on other viewers.
And yet unlike so many final jump scares, there’s nothing contrived about this. It flows naturally from the story: Alice had just beheaded a mom who was avenging her son’s drowning, so by the logic of horror films, it’s only natural that the child’s drowned corprse would pull her into the lake to avenge mom’s beheading. I love the Shakespearean way it comes full circle.
Of course being pulled into a lake by a child who drowned 23 years ago turns out to just be a dream on Alice’s part. Or was it? The film makers claim they had no intention of a sequel and the final jump scare was all just a dream, but what made the ending so brilliant is we just don’t know. When the film broke box office records, a sequel appeared a year later, and is set just a couple months after the events of the first film.
What makes the start of part 2 so creepy is that Jason has apparently followed Alice from the lake at the camp, to her home in the suburbs but instead of being the drowned child she “dreamed” pulled her into the lake a couple months ago, he’s a big grownass man.
So if Alice had merely dreamed Jason had returned to attack her, why did her dream come true a few months later? But if her dream was true, why was he a child in the dream and a grown man a few months later? Was he a flesh and blood ghost that had catch-up growth to makeup for the 23 years he had been dead a la Toni Morrison’s Beloved, or had he never really drowned at all, but survived in the woods for those 23 years?
I prefer the latter interpretation: Being attacked by a child’s drowned corpse was just a premonition that Jason would indeed return to attack her for killing his mom, but in reality he was a grown man, not a drowned child’s corpse, because he had actually survived. It’s also possible that Jason may indeed have pulled her into the lake, but perhaps she thought she was being pulled in by a child’s corpse (and not a grown man) since she’s thought Jason drowned as a child.
But I love how the series has two interpretations: A supernatural one for the lower IQ and more schizophrenic fans, and a realistic one for the higher IQ and more autistic fans. By part 6 Jason is indisputably undead (they literally dig up his grave and open his coffin) but not even the film makers can agree on whether he was undead in the earlier sequels.
I have always doubted the historical consensus that Africans sold their own people into slavery. The whole point of slavery is that you’re forced to work without pay. If whites were powerful enough to force millions of blacks to work without pay, they would have been powerful enough to take those workers from black countries without having to pay for them in the first place.
Also, if they were going to pay for slaves, then why go all the way to Africa to get them? The whole point of going to a less technologically advanced region to get slaves is that you can take the slaves by force.
Lastly, if you believe in HBD (which many people dismiss as racist pseudoscience), the average white American is about 15 IQ points higher than the average black American and that gap would have perhaps been 20 points before white genes entered the U.S. black gene pool in large numbers. A 20 point IQ gap (if it reflects a genuine gap in intelligence) is so large that whites would have been dominant enough to simply help themselves to whatever resources they wanted in sub-Saharan Africa (including human ones) without having to pay anyone anything. In fact if whites really had to pay for slaves, it calls HBD into question because it implies a business deal among equal races, not an advanced race enslaving a more primitive one.
Ironically, Professor Black Truth agrees that whites stole (rather than paid for) black slaves but he uses it to argue their moral inferiority, not their cognitive superiority: