Microsoft’s How Old Do I Look app is impressively accurate

I did a google search for photos of different generations posing left to right from oldest to youngest, for the same picture and I was impressed by how perfectly Microsoft’s How Old Do I Look app was able to rank them (yellow age squares were added by app):





Guessing age is one of those intuitive tasks that were once thought to be beyond the capacity of computers, but with the advent of machine learning, artificial intelligence is progressing rapidly.



Historic interview with Ayn Rand

I’ve said before that there is no better way to learn about late 20th century America than watching old syndicated daytime talk shows.  This episode of Donahue from 1979 is especially educational.  Despite her small brain, her Jewish genetics allows her to hold her own against the big brained Donahue as she argues that altruism is evil, corporate monopolies are caused by government, education should NOT be publicly funded and no woman should ever be president.

A brilliant rational lady,  but her objectivism becomes subjectivism when asked about the Middle East, as ethnic genetic interests heat up.

Jensen’s India

On pages 54-55 of Daniel Seligman’s book A Question of Intelligence, he reveals Arthur Jensen’s little known interest in India:

In his early years, Jensen was being pulled in still another direction.  While in high school, he developed an enthusiasm for Gandhi and, incredibly found time to produce a book-length manuscript about the Mahatma.  Under Gandhi’s influence,  he also became a vegetarian.  That did not last too long, but Jensen retains an interest in Indian culture and customs–and food.  When he bought a lakeside vacation home several years ago, he put in a second kitchen so he could prepare Indian dishes without getting in his wife’s way.

I asked Jensen what it was about Gandhi that had attracted him.  Was it, for example, the pacifist message?  “No” Jensen said,  “I can’t say I was ever really a pacific.”  (He expected to serve during World War II but ended up with a medical exemption).   Given his determined advocacy of unpopular ideas during much of his life,  the reason he gives for gravitating to Gandhi seems significant.  The main reason:  “Gandhi’s willingness to go wherever his convictions took him.”

From page 76:

…Arthur Jensen once told me a gripping story about a child in India who was denied a formal education because, as a low-caste “untouchable,” he was not allowed to attend the only school in his region.  The child nevertheless managed to learn a lot by spending hours peering through the schoolroom windows,  ultimately,  figuring out what the teacher was explaining at the blackboard.  He learned to read this way,  which enabled him to pursue an education on his own and qualify for the University of Bombay.  Eventually, he became a distinguished Indian lawyer.  It is hard to believe that he would ever have made these heroic efforts to transform his environment without some genetic head start.

Seligman should have asked Jensen what he thought the heritability of IQ in India was during this period.  In the U.S., the WAIS full-scale IQ correlation of identical twins reared apart is about 0.7 by adulthood, suggesting a genotype-phenotype correlation among adopted Americans is an incredible 0.84 (the square root of 0.7)

But these correlations may be spuriously high, because in America, it may not be genes directly raising your scores.  It could be genes causing you to create an environment that raises your scores, so regardless of whether you were raised in a high or low social class, certain genotypes still end up attending university and joining a stimulating occupations that may prepare them for IQ tests.

But in 1930s India, when the caste system so restricted socio-economic mobility that untouchables were prohibited from even entering school, it would have been fascinating to see an IQ study of identical twins reared apart, because you’d have one person confined to a life of unclean labour, and his identical twin raised in an upper caste becoming a doctor.  Only in the most extreme cases, like the anecdote Jensen cited, would an untouchable have become a professional.  Thus, such a study would have given us a more meaningful measure of heritability.

Bushmen & the IQ needed to invent agriculture


There’s been an incredible amount of IQ testing done in South Africa, with entire schools with thousands of kids being administered the Raven Progressive Matrices.  The broad finding is that on a scale where white Americans average IQ 100 and SD = 15, whites South Africans average IQ 96, Indians average IQ 86, Coloureds average IQ 83, and blacks average IQ 69.  The black mean probably sinks to the mid 60s by adulthood because paper-pencil tests (even those like the Raven) are sensitive to schooling and the racial education gap widens at older ages.

It’s clear that the black South Africans are being held back by horrific environments, since the black descendant of slaves reared in First World countries average a far more impressive IQ 85 (white admixture might have boosted their IQs slightly, but slave class ancestry lowered them, so it cancels out).

To a lesser degree, the Coloureds, Indians, and even Whites also have their IQs suppressed by South Africa’s lack of progress.  We know for example that whites (by definition) average 100 in the First World, and early Indian immigrants to the UK (who were much less selected in those days) averaged IQ 93 by the second generation.

Since both Coloureds and Indians served as a buffer group to shield the white South African elite from the black masses, we can assume they enjoyed similar and roughly equal environments.  So if Indians score 3 points higher than Coloureds in South Africa and if Indians have a genetic IQ of 93, then (assuming the Phenotype = Genotype + Environment model), Coloureds have a genetic IQ of 90.

Genetic IQ of Bushmen

Genetic research tells us that the ancestry of the Coloureds is 25% bushmen, 25% regular black, 25% white, and 25% Indian.  Since the genetic IQs of the last three groups can be estimated to be 85, 100, and 93 respectively, simple math tells us the bushmen must have a genetic IQ of 82 for a genetic average of all four groups to equal IQ 90.

The IQ of Bushmen is important because they are sometimes thought to reflect the earliest stage of our species, having split off from other blacks about 250,000 years ago.

My guess is that the first modern humans who evolved in Africa around 300,000  years ago had an average genetic and phenotypic IQ around 80 (as measured by truly culture reduced tests, not pseudo-culture reduced tests like the Raven).

Out of Africa

Then by 70,000 years or so, average IQ (for non-proto Bushmen) increased to 85 and modern humans were able to leave Africa and migrate to locations as difficult to reach as Australia, which at the time was equivalent to going to the moon.  They were also for the first time smart enough to develop agriculture, as proven by the fact that it was independently developed in Papua New Guinea.

IQ 85 seems to be the cut-off needed to independently create agriculture which explain why Papuan New Guineans were able to invent it, and all black Africans with the exception of Bushmen were able to at least acquire it.

But while IQ 85 is high enough to invent agriculture, it was not high enough to create civilization.  That would take a mean IQ of 93 and such high average IQs would only appear for those humans who took the Northern route out of Africa and thus had their wits sharpened by the last Wurm glaciation.

One question is why didn’t Neanderthals develop agriculture if the ice age so selected for IQ?  The answer is Neanderthals were physically adapted to the cold, having mutated into existence in Eurasia.  By contrast modern humans are an African primate that evolved in Africa where we lived exclusively for most of our history. The ice age thus required enormous behavioral adaptability since unlike Neanderthals, our tall slim black bodies were so maladapted for cold.

IQ, nuclear weapons & civilization

Lion of the Blogosphere writes:

The genetically high IQ of Koreans means that North Korea can produce nuclear weapons (which is only a 1950s technology), while countries in Africa are never going to do that. It’s the HBD, stupid.

What a fascinating thing to say!

In my opinion, it’s virtually impossible for a country with a mean genetic IQ below 93 to make nuclear weapons.  Below an average genetic IQ of 93 (white norms),  there are  simply not enough geniuses to figure it out, and what few there are wont have enough smart teachers to guide them.

My guess is all human races can make nuclear weapons except for those who pre-Carleton Coon anthropologists crudely defined as “negroid” (including bushmen, pygmies, and the unrelated australoids).

I think a people’s ancestors needed at least some exposure to the incredible cognitive demands of the last ice age to have the power to either end civilization (nuclear weapons) or create it.

Indeed it was only after humanity had their wits sharpened by the Wurm glaciation that civilization may have been possible because before that ice age, no human race had a mean (genetic) IQ of 93+.

According to

In ancient history, six distinct “cradles” of civilisation are usually identified. These are the regions which appear to have developed civilisation independently or semi-independently.

The six cradles of civilisation were: Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, China, Mexico and Peru.

One curiosity is that, with the exception of China, which emerged a little later, each of these societies emerged around 3000 BCE – as if history’s light was suddenly switched on.

As Michael Hart implied for agriculture, I suspect civilization was likely in climates that were in or near the Goldilocks zone:  warm enough to work with, but cold enough to have selected for 93+ IQ.

What Samoans can teach us about Ashkenazi IQ and brain size


The unspectacular brain size of Ashkenazim has long bothered me because if brain size plays a substantially causal role in IQ, then whatever selected for high Jewish IQ should have also selected for bigger brains by proxy, so the absence of larger brains makes the high Jewish IQ seem more cultural than biological.

Fortunately Dr. Henry Harpending, Greg Cochran, and Jason Hardy came to the rescue by linking the high Ashkenazi IQ to four other biological traits:  Tay-Sachs, Niemann-Pick, Gaucher, and mucolipidosis type IV.

The New York Times reported:

Ashkenazic diseases like Tay-Sachs, they say, are a side effect of genes that promote intelligence.

The explanation that the Ashkenazic disease genes must have some hidden value has long been accepted by other researchers, but no one could find a convincing infectious disease or other threat to which the Ashkenazic genetic ailments might confer protection.

Why Jewish high IQ is linked to disease while East Asian high IQ is linked to brain size is something of a mystery, but may relate to the fact that Jewish IQ had to evolve with lightning speed and evolved in a much smaller population, or it may relate to verbal IQ vs spatial  IQ.  Who knows?  So much research needs to be done and so few scientists are doing it.

I have long argued that height is to weight as brain size is to IQ.  The taller you are, the more room there is a for a heavy body, just as the bigger brained you are, the more room there is for a high IQ mind, but in both cases, other factors determine how much of that room is used.

So in order for me to feel better about Jews having big IQs despite having slightly small brains, I needed to find a race that had big weights, despite having small heights.

Enter Samoans.

In a study where white males averaged 177 cm (SD = 6.4), Samoan men averaged 173 cm.  Translating this to an IQ (Intelligence Quotient) type scale where the mean and SD in the white population are defined as 100 and 15 respectively, Samoans had a HQ (Height Quotient) of 91.

And yet, when it comes to weight, white males averaged only 80.3 kg (SD = 11.9) while Samoan men averaged 94.7 kg.  Once again, setting the white mean and SD at 100 and 15 respectively, Samoans enjoyed a WQ (Weight Quotient) of 118!


So just as Ashkenazi Jews may have brains slightly smaller than the white mean set at 100, (Brain-size quotient = 94) despite having an average IQ that is higher (110), Samoans have heights well below the white mean, despite having weights that are way above.

Because just as Jews makeup for their brain size with Tay-Sachs, Niemann-Pick, Gaucher, and mucolipidosis type IV, Somans make up for their height with big muscles, big fat, and big bones.

Processing Speed: A view from the top by Gypsy

[Note from Pumpkin Person, aug 26, 2017:  The following is a guest article and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pumpkin Person.  Out of respect for the author, please try to keep all comments on topic.  I understand conversations naturally evolve, but at least try to start on-topic]

I have discovered a reasonably rare source revealing the arithmetic abilities of a man whose intellect arguably constitutes the greatest of the 20th century, a man whose genius oversaw the creation of the computer architecture that forms the basis of all modern computers, a man whose great vision extended to the creation of game theory, quantum formalization, the Von Neumann self-replicating space probe and beyond. It’s not an exaggeration to say he laid the groundwork for the present and the future of mankind.

Subsequent to his achievements yarns inevitably follow about the mind behind the achievements, about his capabilities. Stories abound of arithmetic abilities that border on the supernatural, therefore I act in the capacity of Ghostbuster in the course of this article. Inspired in part by PP’s transmission of a theory by a Promethean, and in part by my own speculations on the matter I present the true arithmetical capabilities of a man at the very heighth of intellectual power and the implications for that on processing power, speed and consequently broader intelligence.

The revealing anecdote itself is at the very bottom of this fascinating account of the Princeton mathematical community by Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner.

His capabilities act as a yardstick for processing power for all those that stand between the average and himself, a measuring stick for what it means to have mental powers; I hope my contribution will allow for PP to develop his vision of processing power and intelligence and from there perhaps extract a method for a more precise estimation of intelligence from this highly g-loaded ability.

In the words of Norman Mcrae in his superlative biography of John Von Neumann: “The story conflicts with the notion that Johnny was a mental calculator without peer. The uninformed view has always held that mathematicians are the very devils at multiplying and dividing. Some are, some are not, and there are always idiot savants here and there who are better at it than even the very best mathematicians.”

Rare SAT data

Below is incredibly rare data of the total number of people in 1984 who scored high on the combined SAT.



We see that of the 3,521,000 Americans born in 1967, roughly 964,739 would grow up to take the SAT at age 17 in 1984.  And of those who did, only 20,443 scored 1330+.  If one assumes as the great Ron Hoeflin does, that virtually all the top SAT talent took the SAT in 1984 (and whatever shortfall was madeup for by foreign students), then those 20,443 were not just the best of the 964,739 who actually took the SAT, but the best of all 3,521,000 Americans their age.  This equates to the one in 172 level or IQ 138+ (U.S. norms).

Meanwhile, only five of the 3,521,000 U.S. babies born in 1967 would grow up to score 1590+ on the SAT, so 1590+ is one in 704,200 level, or IQ 170+.

Meanwhile a national norm study found that if all Americans 17-year-olds took the SAT in the mid 1980s, not just the college bound elite, the average score would have been 787, so 787 implies an IQ of 100.

Armed with these three data points:

1590+ = IQ 170+

1330 = IQ 138

787 = IQ 100

Sadly, because the line is not linear, but rather positively accelerated (because of ceiling bumping on the SAT) no simple equation could be created, so I made a polynominal equating 1984 combined SAT to IQ (not sure how accurate this is since I only used 3 data points):

IQ = 114.13423524934914 – 0.06999703795283904(SAT) + 0.00006612121953074045(SAT)2


Race, ethnicity and social class

If someone calls you Arab, they don’t just generally mean that you speak Arabic, but rather that a large number of your ancestors spoke Arabic, and those ancestors were genetically isolated from non-Arab speakers.

If someone calls you Jewish, they don’t generally mean that you practice Judaism, but rather that a large number of your ancestors practiced Judaism, and thus were genetically isolated from those who didn’t.

So linguistic and religious heritage are actually forms of racial heritage, but we’re not supposed to call Arabs and Jews races, instead we call them ethnic groups.  Ethnic groups are subgroups within races, for examples Arabs and Jews are both types of Caucasoid, but they also differ from conventional racial categories in that the genetic isolation that formed these groups was cultural (linguistic and religious barriers) and not geographic.  It was man-made constructs that prevented Arabs and Jews from exchanging enough genes to become a single population, not natural impediments like deserts, oceans and mountains, which separated Negroids, Caucasoids and Mongoloids.

If ethnic groups are a more subtle and specific form of race, then what is a more specific and subtle form of ethnic group?

Social class.

If someone says you belong to a high social class, they don’t necessarily mean that you personally work in a prestigious occupation, but rather that a lot of your ancestors worked in prestigious occupations and that this isolated them, genetically and culturally from lower occupations.

Thus the concept of social class can only exist in societies with very little class mobility, because if there’s too much, it’s hard for them to solidify into genetic and cultural clusters, and without these clusters, you don’t have a class hierarchy, you merely have an occupation hierarchy.

Perhaps the only scientific way to measure social class is to ask people what each of their four biological grandparents did for a living.  If most of them worked in humble occupations, then sadly you’re low class no matter how rich you are, or how prestigious your occupation, education and social circle may be.

The converse is also true.  You could be a chronically homeless high school dropout and sleeping on a park bench, but if your four grandparents were all doctors, professors, or bankers,  you’re high class.

Just as moving to Africa doesn’t make you black if all your ancestors are from Europe, getting a good job doesn’t make you high class if all your ancestors were low class.

So if class is a subset of ethnicity and ethnicity is a subset of race, than classism is just a more specific form of racism and commenters on this blog are correct to note the hypocrisy of liberals condemning racism while mocking white trash.

On the other hand the genetic differences between social classes are so small, that it’s pretty easy for a smart member of the lower class to acquire the behavior of the upper class and thus gain their acceptance, especially if he or she has an upper class physique (i.e. tall and thin without protruding secondary sexual characteristics like breasts or buttocks)