Author Topic: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein  (Read 14689 times)

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Online arthwollipot

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Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Reply #225 on: June 14, 2018, 08:43:43 PM »
You take a 1000 rich kids (IQ<80) and I’ll take a 1000 poor but highly intelligent kids and I guarantee my group will be more successful than your group.
Under what criteria of "success"?

Lower rates of incarceration, less violent, longer lifespan, higher incomes, higher rates of graduation etc.
Then I severely doubt your conclusion and respectfully request that you show your work.

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Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Reply #226 on: June 14, 2018, 11:00:13 PM »
You take a 1000 rich kids (IQ<80) and I’ll take a 1000 poor but highly intelligent kids and I guarantee my group will be more successful than your group.
Under what criteria of "success"?

Lower rates of incarceration, less violent, longer lifespan, higher incomes, higher rates of graduation etc.
Then I severely doubt your conclusion and respectfully request that you show your work.


Charles Murray wrote an unfortunately named piece (IQ will put you in your place) and made this clear.


https://www.samtiden.com/tbc/las_artikel.php?id=39
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Imagine several hundred families which face few of the usual problems that plague modern society. Unemployment is zero. Illegitimacy is zero. Divorce is rare and occurs only after the children's most formative years. Poverty is absent indeed, none of the families is anywhere near the poverty level. Many are affluent and all have enough income to live in decent neighbourhoods with good schools and a low crime rate.
If you have the good fortune to come from such a background, you will expect a bright future for your children. You will certainly have provided them with all the advantages society has to offer. But suppose we follow the children of these families into adulthood. How will they actually fare?
A few years ago the late Richard Herrnstein and I published a controversial book about IQ, The Bell Curve, in which we said that much would depend on IQ. On average, the bright children from such families will do well in life and the dull children will do poorly. Unemployment, poverty and illegitimacy will be almost as great among the children from even these fortunate families as they are in society at large not quite as great, because a positive family background does have some good effect, but almost because IQ is such an important factor.
"Nonsense!" said the critics. "Have the good luck to be born to the privileged and the doors of life will open to you including doors that will let you get a good score in an IQ test. Have the bad luck to be born to a single mother struggling on the dole and you will be held down in many ways including your IQ test score." The Bell Curve's purported relationships between IQ and success are spurious, they insisted: nurture trumps nature; environment matters more than upbringing.
An arcane debate about statistical methods ensued. Then several American academics began using a powerful, simple way of testing who was right: instead of comparing individual children from different households, they compared sibling pairs with different IQs. How would brothers and sisters who were nurtured by the same parents, grew up in the same household and lived in the same neighbourhood, but had markedly different IQs, get on in life?
The research bears out what parents of children with unequal abilities already know that try as they might to make Johnny as bright as Sarah, it is difficult, and even impossible, to close the gap between them.
A very large database in the United States contains information about several thousand sibling pairs who have been followed since 1979. To make the analysis as unambiguous as possible, I have limited my sample to brothers and sisters whose parents are in the top 75 per cent of American earners, with a family income in 1978 averaging 40,000 (in today's money).
Families living in poverty, or even close to it, have been excluded. The parents in my sample also stayed together for at least the first seven years of the younger sibling's life. Each pair consists of one sibling with an IQ in the normal range of 90-110 a range that includes 50% of the population. I will call this group the normals. The second sibling in each pair had an IQ either higher than 110, putting him in the top quartile of intelligence (the bright) or lower than 90, putting him in the bottom quartile (the dull). These constraints produced a sample of 710 pairs.
How much difference did IQ make? Earned income is a good place to begin. In 1993, when we took our most recent look at them, members of the sample were aged 28-36. That year, the bright siblings earned almost double the average of the dull: 22,400 compared to 11,800. The normals were in the middle, averaging 16,800.
These differences are sizeable in themselves. They translate into even more drastic differences at the extremes. Suppose we take a salary of 50,000 or more as a sign that someone is an economic success. A bright sibling was six-and-a-half times more likely to have reached that level than one of the dull. Or we may turn to the other extreme, poverty: the dull sibling was five times more likely to fall below the American poverty line than one of the bright.
Equality of opportunity did not result in anything like equality of outcome. Another poverty statistic should also give egalitarians food for thought: despite being blessed by an abundance of opportunity, 16.3% of the dull siblings were below the poverty line in 1993. This was slightly higher than America's national poverty rate of 15.1%.
Opportunity, clearly, isn't everything. In modern America and also, I suspect, in modern Britain it is better to be born smart and poor than rich and stupid.
Another way of making this point is to look at education. It is often taken for granted that parents with money can make sure their children get a college education. The young people in our selected sample came from families that were overwhelmingly likely to support college enthusiastically and have the financial means to help. Yet while 56% of the bright obtained university degrees, this was achieved by only 21% of the normals and a minuscule 2% of the dulls. Parents will have been uniformly supportive, but children are not uniformly able.
The higher prevalence of college degrees partly explains why the bright siblings made so much more money but education is only part of the story. Even when the analysis is restricted to siblings who left school without going to college, the brights ended up in the more lucrative occupations that do not require a degree, becoming technicians, skilled craftsmen, or starting their own small businesses. The dull siblings were concentrated in menial jobs.
The differences among the siblings go far beyond income. Marriage and children offer the most vivid example.
Similar proportions of siblings married, whether normal, bright or dull but the divorce rate was markedly higher among the dull than among the normal or bright, even after taking length of marriage into account.
Demographers will find it gloomily interesting that the average age at which women had their first birth was almost four years younger for the dull siblings than for the bright ones, while the number of children born to dull women averaged 1.9, half a child more than for either the normal or the bright.
Most striking of all were the different illegitimacy rates. Of all the first-born children of the normals, 21% were born out of wedlock about a third lower than the figure for the United States as a whole, presumably reflecting the advantaged backgrounds from which the sibling sample was drawn. Their bright siblings were much lower still, with less than 10% of their babies born illegitimate. Meanwhile, 45% of the first-born of the dull siblings were born outside of marriage.
The inequalities among siblings that I have described are from 1993 and are going to become much wider in the years ahead. The income trajectory for low-skill occupations usually peaks in a worker's twenties or thirties. The income trajectory for managers and professionals usually peaks in their fifties. The snapshot I have given you was taken for an age group of 28-36 when many of the brights are still near the bottom of a steep rise into wealth and almost all the dulls' incomes are stagnant or even falling.
Add to this the income of spouses. With divorce higher among the dulls, the availability of a second income becomes lower. Among those who remain married, the brights profit more because of what sociologists call "assortative mating". The bright tend to marry the bright, who also tend to be in occupations that will give them large and increasing incomes. The dull tend to marry the dull, who also tend to be in low-paying jobs or are even unemployed.
The inequalities I have presented are the kind you are used to seeing in articles that compare inner-city children with suburban ones, black with white, children of single parents with those from intact families. Yet they refer to the children of a population more advantaged in jobs, income and marital stability than even the most starry-eyed social reformer can hope to achieve.
You may be wondering whether the race, age or education of siblings affects my figures. More extended analyses exist, but the short answer is that the phenomena I have described survive such questions. Siblings who differ in IQ also differ widely in important social outcomes, no matter how anyone tries to explain away the results. Ambitious parents may be dismayed by this conclusion, but it is none the less true for all that.
A final thought: I have outlined the inequalities that result from siblings with different IQs. Add in a few other personal qualities industry, persistence, charm and the differences among people will inevitably produce a society of high inequalities, no matter how level the playing field has been made. Indeed, the more level the playing field, and the less that accidents of birth enter into it, the more influence personal qualities will have.
I make this point as an antidote to glib thinking on both sides of the Atlantic and from both sides of the political spectrum. Inequality is too often seen as something that results from defects in society that can be fixed by a more robust economy, more active social programmes, or better schools. It is just not so.
The effects of inequality cannot be significantly reduced, let alone quelled, unless the government embarks on a compulsory redistribution of wealth that raises taxes astronomically and strictly controls personal enterprise.
Some will call this social justice. Others will call it tyranny. I side with the latter, but whichever position one takes, it is time to stop pretending that, without such massive compulsion, human beings in a fair and prosperous society will ever be much more equal than they are now.



http://www.aei.org/spotlight/the-bell-curve-explained/

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We will argue that intelligence itself, not just its correlation with socioeconomic status, is responsible for these group differences. Our thesis appears to be radical, judging from its neglect by other social scientists. Could low intelligence possibly be a cause of irresponsible childbearing and parenting behaviors, for example? Scholars of childbearing and parenting do not seem to think so. The 850 double-column pages of the authoritative Handbook of Marriage and the Family, for example, allude to intelligence about half a dozen times, always in passing. Could low intelligence possibly be a cause of unemployment or poverty? Only a scattering of economists have broached the subject.

This neglect points to a gaping hole in the state of knowledge about social behavior. It is not that cognitive ability has been considered and found inconsequential but that it has barely been considered at all. The chapters in Part II add cognitive ability to the mix of variables that social scientists have traditionally used, clearing away some of the mystery that has surrounded the nation’s most serious social problems.

We will also argue that cognitive ability is an important factor in thinking about the nature of the present problems, whether or not cognitive ability is a cause. For example, if many of the single women who have babies also have low IQ, it makes no difference (in one sense) whether the low IQ caused them to have the babies or whether the path of causation takes a more winding route. The reality that less intelligent women have most of the out-of-wedlock babies affects and constrains public policy, whatever the path of causation. The simple correlation, unadjusted for other factors—what social scientists called the zero-order correlation—between cognitive ability and social behaviors is socially important. [The introduction to Part II continues for several more pages, describing the quantitative analyses that make up its core. The main thing to keep in mind as you read the chapter summaries is that the quantitative analyses are based on a sample composed exclusively of non-Latino whites.]

Chapter 5. Poverty
Who becomes poor? One familiar answer is that people who are unlucky enough to be born to poor parents become poor. There is some truth to this. Whites, the focus of our analyses in the chapters of Part II, who grew up in the worst 5 percent of socioeconomic circumstances are eight times more likely to fall below the poverty line than those growing up in the top 5 percent of socioeconomic circumstances. But low intelligence is a stronger precursor of poverty than low socioeconomic background. Whites with IQs in the bottom 5 percent of the distribution of cognitive ability are fifteen times more likely to be poor than those with IQs in the top 5 percent.

How does each of these causes of poverty look when the other is held constant? Or to put it another way: If you have to choose, is it better to be born smart or rich? The answer is unequivocally “smart.” A white youth reared in a home in which the parent or parents were chronically unemployed, worked at only the most menial of jobs, and had not gotten past ninth grade, but of just average intelligence—an IQ of 100—has nearly a 90 percent chance of being out of poverty by his or her early 30s. Conversely, a white youth born to a solid middle-class family but with an IQ equivalently below average faces a much higher risk of poverty, despite his more fortunate background.

When the picture is complicated by adding the effects of sex, marital status, and years of education, intelligence remains more important than any of them, with marital status running a close second. Among people who are both smart and well educated, the risk of poverty approaches zero. But it should also be noted that young white adults who marry are seldom in poverty, even if they are below average in intelligence or education. Even in these more complicated analyses, low IQ continues to be a much stronger precursor of poverty than the socioeconomic circumstances in which people grow up.

https://www.samtiden.com/tbc/las_artikel.php?id=22
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Environment or Genes?
How much difference would it make if, magically, every child in the country could be given the same advantages- greater "equality of opportunity"-as the more fortunate of our children? Putting aside the difficulties of knowing what "more fortunate" might mean (how many readers agree with the statement "the richer the better" when it comes to raising children?), the answer is surely that some narrowing of cognitive differences would occur, along with a narrowing of other factors that lead to differences in economic success. The controversy over what "some narrowing," means, and the controversy over The Bell Curve itself, is being played out via two very different academic traditions. The first draws from economics and sociology. The Korenman and Winship paper is an example. After the sibling analysis, which yields results very similar to those presented in The Bell Curve, the authors embark on analyses that add many more independent variables to the regression equations, put the data through transformations that the authors consider appropriate, and conclude that socioeconomic background and education are much more important than Herrnstein and I thought. Another example of this tradition is a book recently reviewed in these pages, Inequality by Design.3 The happy implication of such analyses is that the right social policies can drastically narrow the variation in social and economic success. The other major line of inquiry draws from psychometrics and genetics. It assumes that the child's development is a combination of environmental and genetically transmitted characteristics. Thus, for example, it sees high parental income not simply as a socioeconomic characteristic, but also as an expression of parental traits (including IQ) which are part of the child's genetic heritage. Illegitimacy is a less obvious case in point. Illegitimacy helps explain life outcomes independently of the child's IQ. But women who have babies out of wedlock also have IQs that average 15 points lower than women who do not The effects that sociologists tend to attribute to "being born to an unmarried mother" are, in part, attributable to genetically transmitted characteristics that are not susceptible to manipulation. From this perspective, The Bell Curve's SES index (or any such index) may be criticized for overestimating, not underestimating, the importance of environmental factors.4To add still more independent "environmental" variables that are confounded with genetically transmitted characteristics compounds the error. This tradition is represented by a large literature on adoption, including the famous studies of identical twins raised apart (and now supplemented by a rapidly growing literature on siblings and half siblings). An analysis bearing directly on The Bell Curve has been conducted by David C. Rowe and his colleagues at the University of Arizona.5 It concludes that the greater part of inequality in education and income in the NLSY sibling sample was attributable to genes, with their shared environment playing a subordinate role.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 11:02:22 PM by Pdb »
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Reply #227 on: June 15, 2018, 12:00:45 AM »
Ah, you're referring to the Bell Curve. I see what we're talking about now. I'd be inclined to refer you to this list of debunkings of that particular piece of trash, but it's unlikely to influence anyone with an ideological (=racist) reason to refer to it.

Offline Pdb

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Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Reply #228 on: June 15, 2018, 01:16:58 AM »
Ah, you're referring to the Bell Curve. I see what we're talking about now. I'd be inclined to refer you to this list of debunkings of that particular piece of trash, but it's unlikely to influence anyone with an ideological (=racist) reason to refer to it.

Far be it for me to challenge some disinterested scientific research that begins with "The Bell Curve sets up several premises which together add up to an ugly policy for America posing as science. Here's how to kill it" but what about this so-called debunking convinced you? My assumption is that you haven't read the debunking or the Bell Curve yet have some strong opinion about it. I'd be pleased to be proven wrong but the site you linked started with this great (and irrelevant) article:

Quote
American Stupidity

(without permission)Associated Press

Herald-Leader
Friday, May 24, 1996

WASHINGTON - Less than half of American adults understand that the Earth orbits the sun yearly, according to a basic science survey. Despite flubbing such questions, there is enthusiasm for research -except in some fields such as genetic engineering and nuclear power that are viewed with suspicion.


And then at the end, and I quote
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Anyone who flipped through the footnotes and bibliography of Murray and Herrnstein's book could see that there was something screwy about their sources. And there is hardly a proposition in their book that had not been thoroughly debunked more than a decade ago by Steven Jay Gould's classic work on the pseudo-science behind eugenics, The Mismeasure of Man.

I wonder if website creator knows that The Mismeaure of Man was itself debunked BEFORE the Bell Curve was published or that his link (https://fair.org/extra/9501/bell.html) is dead - probably to avoid the embarrassment of having to defend such patently absurd statements of a book by a politically motivated author (Stephen Jay Gould). "Classic" indeed.
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Online arthwollipot

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Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Reply #229 on: June 15, 2018, 01:42:36 AM »
...what about this so-called debunking convinced you?
I didn't need to be convinced that an obviously racist and ideologically-motivated piece of trash was wrong.

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Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Reply #230 on: June 15, 2018, 05:26:36 AM »
...what about this so-called debunking convinced you?
I didn't need to be convinced that an obviously racist and ideologically-motivated piece of trash was wrong.

So you quoted a debunk (that you didn’t read) of a book (that you also didn’t read) in an attempt to debunk this book. How productive.
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Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Reply #231 on: June 15, 2018, 09:21:42 PM »
So you quoted a debunk (that you didn’t read) of a book (that you also didn’t read) in an attempt to debunk this book. How productive.
You assumed that I didn't read them.

Offline Pdb

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Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Reply #232 on: June 15, 2018, 10:22:58 PM »
So you quoted a debunk (that you didn’t read) of a book (that you also didn’t read) in an attempt to debunk this book. How productive.
You assumed that I didn't read them.

The fact that you posted a debunk that linked to an author (Stephen Jay Gould) whose book was debunked before, by and after The Bell Curce and was the source of much of the anti-scientific hate mongering against Murray - that was stated by Sam Harris as the reason why it took him decades to accept Murray would indicate: a) you haven’t read the texts, b) you think Gould was right to falsify information because you agree with him politically or c) you assumed that I wouldn’t read the links you provided. The fact that you have not stated anything substantial yourself leads me to think it’s ‘a’.
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Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Reply #233 on: June 17, 2018, 08:44:02 PM »
I will admit, I haven't read The Bell Curve, but that's because it's racist trash. Why are you so keen to defend it?

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Re: Awesome piece by Ezra Klein
« Reply #234 on: June 17, 2018, 09:20:49 PM »
I will admit, I haven't read The Bell Curve, but that's because it's racist trash. Why are you so keen to defend it?

I find the questions tackled in the book interesting, mainly how society changes with more focus on cognitively demanding tasks and interaction with technology.

The main focus is the importance of IQ and the high heritability of IQ.

The 1960s and 70s had cultural changes to downplay social positions and heritability but it also neglected some important aspects of life that are insome ways fixed. I view The Bell Curve as the same class of book as Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch that looked at the world the way it is rather than the Paine “make the world anew”

The decades long attacks on Murray’s character and motivations made me feel the same way Sam Harris did in his podcast - how can someone so honest and nice be accused of such horrible things?
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