Oprah appears on Ellen’s final week

After 19 years, Ellen is hanging up the microphone. Just as Oprah had helped end racism by becoming the black best friend to millions of white suburban soccer moms, Ellen has helped end homophobia by becoming their gay best friend. Both women would rank among the World’s most admired people and by given the Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

But sadly, with the advent of social media, jealous losers started to tear Ellen down with stories of how mean she supposedly is behind the scenes (which only made me like her more). Celebrities also began to complain about how mean Ellen was to them. The snowflake generation was especially offended when Ellen coerced Maria Carey into revealing she was pregnant by offering her whine on TV. When her staff began to complain that she was mean to them too and when a sexual harassment scandal involving her producer broke into the spotlight, the powers that be decided it would be Ellen’s final season.

But she had a great run, and daytime TV is a dying medium anyway. Back in 1992, Oprah had 9 million daily viewers in just America alone (one in 20 U.S. adults) giving her God-like power over the culture, but today, with competition from hundreds of cable channels, streaming and social media, the highest rated day-time talk shows are watched by only 2 million American (one in 109 U.S. adults). There are kids on tik tok that sometimes get more viewers. Ellen is smart to jump off that sinking ship while she still has some culture cred left.

Ever since covid, Oprah has refused to leave her six mansions (especially not her $100 million home in Santa Barbara or her 100 acre pad in Maui) but last year she told Ellen she would make a rare exception for Ellen’s final season. But when negative publicity was making Ellen’s brand toxic, would Oprah break her promise?

HELL NO! She would be there in the flesh to support her friend! Having the World’s most influential woman making a rare appearance to celebrate Ellen’s final week meant that Ellen would go out on top!

When Ellen announced her next guest was Oprah, the studio audience full of beautiful suburban white women absolutely lost it. They were screaming and crying for three minutes straight as Oprah, whose sky blue shirt complemented her gorgeous black skin walked onto the stage. When the crowd finally subdued, Oprah told Ellen to enjoy these glory days, because there will never ever, ever again be a time like this.

Time magazine names Oprah 100 most influential for 11th time!

Time magazine just released their list of the 100 most influential people on the planet and once again, Oprah has made the list. Being listed as one of the 100 most influential by the ultimate cultural authority is such a huge honor that if you make the list even once, it goes in the first paragraph of your wikipedia, but Oprah has made it an astonishing 11 times.

When Oprah first started in the 1970s, it was a huge disadvantage to be black but she’s managed to dominate the culture so long that being black is now almost an advantage in life as corporations like Time compete to show their wokeness. Intelligence is the ability to adapt to even hostile environments, and when you adapt long enough, you live to see those environments become friendly.

But far too brilliant to leave anything to chance, Oprah learned very quickly who has power and how to get on their good side. When Stephen Spielberg was on the cover of Time magazine circa 1985, Oprah was reading it.

“Put that stuff away,” he snapped at her.

“STUFF?” yelled Oprah, “STUFF? STUFF? STUFF?. This isn’t STUFF!!! This is TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!” she shrieked, “this isn’t STUFF?…This is Time’o’la! This is the print World’s Coca-cola!”

“I don’t read the good stuff,” said Spielberg, “so I don’t have to believe the bad”.

Time magazine may have heard about this famous exchange between the two show business heavyweights, and may help explain why she’s been honored by the magazine more frequently than any other woman, and rightfully so.

When Oprah first started in media, we were living under WASP rule so Oprah would cleverly suck-up to people like Johnny Carson.

However after doing a show on Satanic worship, Oprah found herself in BIG BIG trouble.

The show accidentally promoted the age-old antisemitic stereotype that Jews were Satanists to millions and millions of viewers. Despite the fact that she was the #1 talk show on TV, it looked like she was going to be taken off the air as Jewish groups were demanding she be cancelled.

Fortunately Oprah was able to adapt by figuring out which of the angry Jews had the most power and negotiating a compromise in which Oprah would release a statement admitting her show may have caused harm. Oprah was so grateful to this one powerful Jewish man who saved her show, that when he died, Oprah attended his funeral.

“What is she doing here?” the other Jews wondered.

“He did me a favour once” said Oprah, sensing their curiosity.

“What was the favour?”

“I’m not saying”

Another smart move. Why remind Jews that she once did a show that so unfairly harmed them.

Having won over Time magazine by badgering Stephen Spielberg, Oprah brilliantly sensed an opportunity to win over the Jewish community since by now they were more powerful than even WASPS.

A black lady on her show said The Piano should win the Oscar for best picture. Sensing her opportunity, Oprah moved in for the kill.

“The Piano over Schinlder’s List? THE PIANO OVER CHANGING LIVES!!!” Oprah yelled indignantly.

A Jewish old lady in the studio audience punched the air in solidarity with Oprah’s anger and God only knows how many more did the same from home.

Such cunning genius paid off. In 2006 Oprah was crowned the ONLY person worthy of visiting Auschwitz with Elie Wiesel. Not even U.S. presidents, royalty, Nobel Prize winners or the Holiest Jews were considered worthy of visiting those sacred grounds with Wiesel herself, and even though she knew little about the Holocaust, she adapted by repeating everything Wiesel said back to him in sacred whisper.

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Happy Friday the 13th

Arguably the greatest horror movie of all time. Certainly in the top five. One reason is the heroine (Alice) just looks like the girl next door. I could really relate to the film for that reason; she reminded me of the young adults on my street that I was always tagging along with. I saw the film in the 4th grade. It was on TV at around 1 am and I waited for my parents to go to sleep and snuck downstairs to watch.

Sadly, one of the fans of the film became obsessed with the actress who played Alice and started stalking her just as Jason stalked her at the start of the sequel. She was so wierded out by the experience that she didn’t act in another movie for 29 years by which point I doubt anyone would have wanted her because she was no longer young and relevant. Can you imagine, being the heroine of the most influential horror film of the last half-century and then throwing your whole career away and all because some demented fan?

Imagine the career she might have had if that stalker hadn’t ruined it. And it probably wasn’t just her career that it ruined but her relationship with men. Hopefully he went to jail for a long time.

But at least her youth and beauty will forever be preserved in perhaps the greatest horror movie of all time.

And yet she always thanks us fans for getting her through the trauma by showering her with love and support.

Genetically superior: East Asian American becomes 2 day Jeopardy! champion.

This guy looks smart as hell.

Way back in the 1980s, Rushton had a hunch that evolution is progress and some populations are more advanced than others, with newer forms of life being more developed than than those that emerged early.

One characteristic of Mongoloid populations is a spatial ability is more developed than verbal ability. We even see this in incipient Mongoloid groups like Native Americans despite them having a totally different culture from Northeast Asians and being separated from them for 30,000 years. Richard Lynn argued that the spatial demands of surviving ice age Northern Siberia were so extreme that the left hemisphere of the Mongoloid brain (the seat of language) was invaded and forced to take on more spatial processing. And yet full Mongoloids, like tonight’s Jeopardy! champ, often have so much overall intelligence than even verbal IQ is sky high.

Cold winters added 14+ IQ points to non-verbal IQ

Because cold adapted populations tend to score higher than tropical populations on IQ tests, it can be inferred that human intellect reached its pinnacle after we left the tropics. But correlation does not equal causation. Some folks think that because civilization began outside the tropics, that explains why the tropics fell behind and that somehow before civilization, cold adapted peoples were no smarter than warm adapted people. After all, IQ was useless in the stone age right?

WRONG!

Arthur Jensen notes that “On non-verbal reasoning tests given in the first grade, before schooling could have much impact,” Native American “children exceeded the mean score of blacks by the equivalent of 14 IQ points.” Jensen claimed they also score higher on achievement tests from first to twelfth grade, and this DESPITE Native Americans ranking as far below Blacks in socio-economic status as Blacks rank below Whites.

Did you hear that? DID YOU HEAR THAT AMERICA? As Oprah would say.

When I read that today I thought Jensen must be mistaken. Hate to say it but the majority of Native Americans I’ve met were homeless, drunk, barely coherent and missing teeth. I can’t imagine a more environmentally deprived community in a First World country and yet these people outscore black Americans by 14 points on performance IQ (at least in early childhood).

I decided to look for more recent research since Jensen’s book was from 1981. I found a 1996 paper in which 28 American Indian school-aged children ranging in age from 6 years
to 17 years (from a random sample of 30 selected from students participating in a community program through the Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis, Minnesota) were given the WISC-III. Their verbal, performance and full-scale IQs were 90.5, 102.3, and 97.4 (U.S. norms) respectively.

To put that in perspective, in the WISC-III standardization, the corresponding scores were 103.6, 102.9, and 103.5 for Whites and 90.8, 88.5, and 88.6 for Blacks.

It should be noted that the American Indians were tested in 1994 and the WISC-III standardization occurred in 1989 so at most we could reduce the American Indians to 90, 100.3 and 95.9. Also, the Native Americans were a bit atypical in that they were from an urban as opposed to reservation environment, but this should make the comparison more fair.

If we assume that on a scale where Americans have an SD of 15, White Americans have an SD of 14.5, then on a scale where the White American mean and SD is set at 100 and 15 respectively, Native Americans scored 86, 97 and 92 and Black Americans scored 87, 85 and 85.

It should also be noted that Black Americans average about 25% white genetically so their scores might be reduced to 83, 80 and 80 if unmixed.

The 17 point gap in Performance IQ between Native Americans and unmixed Blacks can not at all be explained by environment so it must be genetic but it can’t at all be explained by selection pressures related to civilization, since most Native Americans didn’t have any. Maybe it’s genetic drift, but most likely it’s selection pressures related to cold winters and that explains why the Performance IQ gap is quadruple the verbal one. Cold winters require require visuo-spatial motor abilities to sew, hunt, make tools, make shelter, build fire, make clothes etc. This also explains why men tend to outperform women especially on spatial tasks (men did the hunting, women did the child rearing).

Fourth norming of the TAVIS (Wechsler IQ)

The TAVIS scores of 589 test submissions (excluding duplicate IPs and scores below 2 since these suggest either not understanding instructions or repeat test takers testing theories about what they got wrong)

Over 589 people have now taken the TAVIS and these have a mean and standard deviation of 9.84 and 2.63 respectively.

When the sample increased to 604, I decided to rank the items by order of difficulty (hat-tip to Kiwi-Anon who suggested this could be easily done in Excel):

Equipercentile equating with the Wechsler

At least 48 TAVIS takers reported taking the Wechsler intelligence scales in the U.S. or Canada within the last 10 years (excluding people who reported scores outside the valid score range). This subgroup had a mean TAVIS score of 10.48 (SD = 2.44) and a mean self-reported Wechsler score of 129.92 (SD = 17.61). When I arranged the 48 TAVIS scores from lowest to highest and placed them beside the 48 Wechsler scores ranked lowest to highest, I got the following equivalencies.

TAVIS 7 = Wechsler IQ 100

TAVIS 8 = Wechsler IQ 105

TAVIS 9 = Wechsler IQ 121

TAVIS 10 = Wechsler IQ 125

TAVIS 11 = Wechsler IQ 141

TAVIS 12 = Wechsler IQ 146

TAVIS 13 = Wechsler IQ 151

TAVIS 14 = Wechsler IQ 154

TAVIS 18 = Wechsler IQ 159

Correlation between TAVIS and self-reported Wechsler IQ: +0.04

The correlation with the Wechsler was disappointingly low, but keep in mind that the Mega Test also had an incredibly low correlation with the self-reported Wechsler so this doesn’t necessarily invalidate the test.

The second norming of the KAMIKAZE

Of the dozens of people who took the KAMIKAZE, at least 14 have self-reported math SAT scores. Some people took the KAMIKAZE before an answer key problem with the Dice item was corrected and so, for the purpose of the norming, I corrected the scores of those who were unfairly penalized so the norming would reflect the corrected version of the test.

I also deducted a point from those who were unfairly boosted by a brief scoring error (when I added a research question for comments, this added a point to everyone taking the test until I quickly spotted the problem & corrected it). With these corrections in mind, here is the raw data:

In my first norming, I converted all math SAT scores to the pre-1995 scale and then converted to IQ equivalents using 1980s norms but that seemed to produce inflated results, especially at the low end. This time I converted math SATs to IQ equivalents directly, using estimated means and SDs for the time period.

To get IQ equivalencies for the KAMIKAZE, KAMIKAZE scores and math IQ equivalents were both ranked from highest to lowest and equivalent ranks were equated:

The mean and standard deviation of the KAMIKAZE in this sample is 7.9 and 3.8 respectively while the mean and standard deviation for SAT derived math IQ is 134 and about 11. The relationship between raw scores and IQ looks fairly linear, so one can probably just use the following equation:

IQ (U.S. norms) = (KAMIKAZE score)(2.79) + 111

If this extends to the extrne a score of 0 would put you around the level of the average American university grad. A perfect score of 17 out of 17 would put you just below Prometheus level.

One red flag is the correlation between KAMIKAZE scores and math SATs is 0.0005. Technically this calls into question the whole logic of using math SATs to norm KAMIKAZE scores. However the correlation jumps to 0.43 when I remove everyone who took the old (pre-1995) SAT from the sample. This makes sense because old SAT people have the highest SAT derived math IQ scores because they took the test back when it had as huge ceiling, and yet because these people are now oldish, cognitive decline impairs their KAMIKAZE scores.

To adjust for age, I would advise readers to give themselves a bonus of 0.17 IQ points for every year over 30.

Next, I ranked the items in order of difficulty based on the percent of this norming sample to pass them.

The first norming of the KAMIKAZE

Of the dozens of people who have taken the KAMIKAZE, there were 8 who self-reported math SAT scores. These were:

The correlation between KAMIKAZE scores and the SAT derived math IQs was a moderate 0.39 which isn’t terrible considering how restricted the range of ability is. Even the lowest scoring person in the sample (Loaded?) scored in the genius range.

When I placed KAMIKAZE scores and math IQs in rank order, I got the following equivalencies:

Using this same sample of 8, I arranged the items in order of difficulty based on how many of them passed each one.

Take the KAMIKAZE

Last week commenter Kiwi-Anon left me the following message about the KAMIKAZE which you can take here.

Alright, I’ve just finished my final draft. I added some floor extension items that I know a mathematically challenged kid I tutor can solve, so hopefully everybody should be able to get at least one correct. I think 6-7 correct should be about average among normal people. Looking over the test again, the ceiling is probably not as high as I originally thought, but should still be high enough for this blog – there will probably be a few stray Feynmans who breeze through it, but most won’t hit the ceiling. BTW, it’s probably a good idea to separate out both people who have a math/physics background and people with math competition experience with a demographic questionnaire. Let me know if any of the questions are ambiguous or if any of my answers seem wrong (I have checked them, but I am very sleep deprived right now so there’s a chance I made a mistake). Feel free to rearrange the questions into whatever you feel is a better order of difficulty (they are already loosely in such an order), and of course, you don’t have to keep the silly name for the test. You may want to try the test for yourself to see if my time limit seems right; I want fairly smart people to have at least 9 minutes for the last 3 questions.

Here’s the test, hopefully it meets your criteria:

The Kiwi-Anon Mathematical Intelligence, Knowledge, And Zeal Examination (K.A.M.I.K.A.Z.E.) (hey, acronyms aren’t my strong suit!)

Ranking TAVIS items in order of difficulty

[update 2022-04-15: an earlier version of this article reported the number of people who had passed each item on the TAVIS. This data was based on the response summary. However thanks to an anomaly spotted by commenter kiwianon, I did more research and it now appears that summary reported everyone who answered the question, and not just those who did so correctly]

As of today, there have been 746 responses to the TAVIS. Of these, 625 answered at least one item. This is not to imply that even the easiest item was too tough for 121 people, since many respondents did not properly start the test or did not bother taking it, and of those who took it, some likely took it multiple times strategically answering only one question as part of an attempt to infer answers.

A score of only 14 out of 24 puts you around the one in 4,000 level or even one in 42,000 level, depending on which (if any) of my three normings you believe. Not a single person (out of 625) has scored above 19.

When a test’s ceiling is so much higher than it’s hardest item (which hopefully wont be the case here), it’s sometimes a sign of low reliability. On a perfectly reliable test, the percent of people answering the hardest item perfectly matches the percent of people with a perfect score .