Civilization Takedown: Crabtree’s IQ Realism vs Harpending and Cochran’s Happy Talk

As a follow-on to my criticism of the happy talk of Harpending and Cochran, I offer for your edification and amusement the recent bioinformatic research into the biohistory of IQ from Stanford’s Gerald Crabtree from which he draws the conclusion:

‘I would be willing to wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions.’

Professor Crabtree’s research is presented in Our fragile intellect. Part I and Our fragile intellect. Part II.

The basic argument is that the evolution of humanity’s general intelligence involves many pleiotropic genes on many chromosomes.  Moreover this multigenicity of intelligence as a phenotype is more synergistic (multiplicative) than it is additive.  The multigenic chain therefore can be easily broken by just a few mutations.

In other words, the 10,000 year explosion may be blowing human intelligence to smithereens.

 

Posted by James Bowery on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:19 PM in
Comments (54) | Tell a friend

Comments:

1

Posted by Desmond Jones on November 16, 2012, 02:00 AM | #

If Crabtree is correct and genetic load increases over time because of ongoing mutation on the X chromosome leading to compromise, then wouldn’t hunter gatherers make Athenians seem like intellectual pygmies?

2

Posted by Scott on November 16, 2012, 02:44 AM | #

Have you read Cochran’s criticism of Crabtree’s research?

Cochran criticizes Crabtree’s work here: http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/the-golden-age/

What do you make of Cochran’s criticisms, such as his point that the hunter-gatherers that we encounter today, and that we’ve encountered in the past, aren’t and weren’t intelligent?

Cochran writes:

“If his thesis was correct, you’d expect hunter-gatherers to be smarter than people from more sophisticated civilizations, which is the crap that Jared Diamond peddles about PNG.  But Crabtree says that everyone’s the same – stepping on the dick of his own argument.  Of course, in reality, hunter-gatherers score low, often abysmally low, and have terrible trouble trying to fit in to more complex civilizations.  They do a perfect imitation of being not-smart, amply documented in the psychometric literature. Of course, he doesn’t know anything about those psychometric results.”

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Posted by James Bowery on November 16, 2012, 03:13 AM | #

In my first link to his commentary, Crabtree addresses the Diamond version of “happy talk” thus:

Certainly, Jered Diamond, who has spent his career of 50 years among one of the few remaining such societies feels that this is the case, but also acknowledges the difficulty with testing the idea.  Because, all remaining hunter gather societies are restricted geographically, they have higher frequencies of reduction of heterozygous mutations to homozygousity, which as mentioned above is a particular concern when large numbers of genes are at issue.

In other words, “Thanks Jared.  Now go away.”

I should also point out that Crabtree, Cochran and Diamond are all in agreement that paleolithic Europeans are not to be thought in any way superior to other paleolithic peoples—especially not intellectually.  They’re all engaging in happy talk.  The problem is, Cromagnon and Neanderthal had a unique relationship with paleolithic Euroman which included genetic transfer.  Cranial capacity was larger and while cranial capacity may not be the gold standard of intelligence, it is certainly relevant to Euroman’s differentiation from other populations.

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Posted by Scott on November 16, 2012, 05:33 AM | #

I agree that there’s no reason to assume that all hunter-gatherers past and present would have the same level of intelligence. But I don’t think the likes of Cochran point to their hunter-gatherer counter-examples to argue that they’re representative of all the hunter-gatherers that ever lived. I think they point to them to argue that their intelligence is lower than that of non-hunter-gatherers with the lowest levels of intelligence, such as sub-Saharan Africans. I think they’re arguing that since the hunter-gatherers we’ve encountered have such low intelligence, there’s no reason to believe that hunter-gatherers generally, or the ones in the past, are or were necessarily extremely intelligent.

Regarding Cro-Magnon and Neanderthals, haven’t they been found to also have genetically influenced other non-sub-Saharan African groups as well?

I think I’ve heard before that certain Polynesians have the largest cranial capacity. They’re not known for their intelligence.

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Posted by James Bowery on November 16, 2012, 11:31 AM | #

First of all, my reason for quoting that particular passage from Crabtree is that he is providing an explanation for why remnant hunter-gatherers would have gone through their own evolutionary dumbing down.  It is a different mechanism in which genetic load might not increase, but phenotypic load is increased through homozygous deleterious recessives being expressed.

Secondly: Part of the unique relationship between Euroman, Crogmagnon and Neanderthal is that the gene transfer was not taken out of ecological context—an evolutionary environment that provides selective maintenance of the relevant phenotypes.  When I say cranial capacity is not the gold standard of intelligence, that concern is amplified by change in evolutionary context subsequent to gene transfer.  This isn’t to say that cranial capacity in Polynesians reflects no selective advantage—certainly cetacea have enormous cranial capacity, even for their body weight, and that appears to have selective advantage for their environment which, perhaps not coincidentally, is shared with the Polynesians.

Also, Cochran comes up with his own arguments in support of Crabtree’s proposition in order to demonstrate Crabtree’s population genetic illiteracy.  This is pure ad hominem with the twist that it is self-defeating.

I don’t understand Cochran’s response to Crabtree in some other ways, eg: truncation selection where I haven’t done the arithmetic.  So I’m going to withhold judgement on Cochran’s critique.

PS:  By “happy talk” I’m basically referring to all arguments that minimize the negative value of the loss of genetic correlation structures of Euroman—a loss that is obviously going on at an accelerating rate and which the zeigeist says doesn’t matter because whites don’t matter and non-whites do.

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Posted by Desmond Jones on November 16, 2012, 04:26 PM | #

What such recessive trait produces a deleterious impact but provides a reproductive differential?

7

Posted by James Bowery on November 16, 2012, 05:19 PM | #

Crabtee’s argument for deleterious homozygous recessive loss of intelligence in remnanet hunter gatherers is based on genetic drift in small populations:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_population_size#Genetic_consequences

8

Posted by Wandrin on November 16, 2012, 05:28 PM | #

If Crabtree is correct and genetic load increases over time because of ongoing mutation on the X chromosome leading to compromise, then wouldn’t hunter gatherers make Athenians seem like intellectual pygmies?

1) Effective population size matters also imo. Too small and the inbreeding effects add to the genetic load.
2) Different cultural practises will shed genetic load to varying degrees.
3) I think Crabtree is partially wrong in that i think there’s an upper plateau.
4) I think there’s a lower bare survival plateau also.

If correct then if a population develops a culture that sheds more than it adds then eventually that population will hit the upper plateau and stay there - no more Flynn effect for yooo. A population with more load adding than shedding will eventually sink to the lower plateau and stay there.

 

9

Posted by Scott on November 16, 2012, 09:44 PM | #

A recent study found that the Chinese and Scandinavians had the largest cranial capacities:

http://www.amren.com/opinion/2011/09/eye-size-brain-size-and-intelligence/

While both these groups are considered intelligent, they aren’t considered to be more intelligent than Jews or certain Europeans, and they do seem to have a history or reputation of underachievement relative to their cranial capacity and purported intelligence (the Chinese generally and the Scandinavians relative to other European groups).

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Posted by Scott on November 16, 2012, 10:02 PM | #

Is there any data on Jewish cranial capacity? Jews have tended to attack any associations between cranial capacity and intelligence. At the same time, they don’t really attack associations made between Jews and intelligence. The Mediterranean and Middle Eastern phenotype is associated with small skulls.

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Posted by Desmond Jones on November 16, 2012, 11:09 PM | #

It appears that inbreeding/consanguineous marriage may reduce IQ in those populations however, natural selection may mitigate such events.

Darwin was married to his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood. They had 10 children, but three died before age 10, two from infectious diseases. And three of the six surviving children with long-term marriages did not produce any offspring

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503111420.htm

It’s difficult to imagine how deleterious homozygous recessive traits are carried forward in even a small population to the point of widely affecting IQ when there is little potential for a reproductive differential to occur. In other words these traits often mean early death and infertility. It seems extinction is a level of magnitude more likely.

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Posted by Wandrin on November 17, 2012, 11:57 AM | #

Is there any data on Jewish cranial capacity?

Greater skull size may create a greater potential but you may still need some selective pressure to reach that potential - for example an urbanized society with lots of specialization. A large-skulled tribal population might be smarter than a small-skulled tribal population but not smarter than a small-skulled urbanized population where IQ has been selected for by specialization. If true then if the large-skulled tribal population eventually undergoes urbanization and the selective effects of specialization then they should eventually catch up to and then overtake the smaller-skulled longer-urbanized population.

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Posted by Wandrin on November 17, 2012, 12:38 PM | #

It appears that inbreeding/consanguineous marriage may reduce IQ in those populations however, natural selection may mitigate such events

That’s the other aspect of small population sizes though. There’s less material for competition to work with.

Say you have a population where the smartest has twice as many kids as the average. If you have a population where there are only 10 adult males then on average the smartest one won’t be as smart as the smartest man from a population of 100 simply through the effect of probablity.

Plus pre-specialization, being smart on its own isn’t that great an advantage imo. I think it needs to be in combination with physical traits so the ideal in that environment is James Bond not Einstein i.e. a good mix of brains and brawn. I think you need society to develop to the point where a guy can sit on his backside all day doing brainwork for pure IQ selection pressures to kick in.

 

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Posted by Wandrin on November 17, 2012, 01:12 PM | #

As a follow-on to my criticism

http://jimbowery.blogspot.co.uk/2005/06/ignoring-800lb-polygynous-ashkenazi.html

Ashkenazi are supposed to be smarter on average than other Jewish populations. If polygyny was the cause of higher average Jewish IQ then shouldn’t it have applied to all Jewish groups equally?

I think it’s the other way round. I think the base mechanism for all Jewish groups is the same as for the English middling class in “Farewell to Alms,” just earlier -  a continuous top-down replacement through the younger sons of the most successful families being more able to afford marriage. On top of this i think the Northern Euro marriage pattern is superior at shedding genetic load so Ashkenazi adopting that marriage pattern from the c12th century onwards to fit in is what gave them their edge over other Jewish groups.

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Posted by nevis on November 17, 2012, 04:15 PM | #

I should also point out that Crabtree, Cochran and Diamond are all in agreement that paleolithic Europeans are not to be thought in any way superior to other paleolithic peoples—especially not intellectually.

I don’t know if this is true. Has Cochran ever said or suggested this? I think if you asked Cochran he’d probably agree that paleolithic peoples vary in intellectual and other ways.

I don’t know that Crabtree necessarily believes this either. He might just be averse to talking honestly about this.

Diamond is trickier. He promotes inconsistent ideas. He stresses the importance of environment and geography but uses this to make a nurture over nature argument and denies the evolutionary selective pressure environment despite emphasizing the environment’s importance. He then also says that certain paleolithics like contemporary Papau New Guineans are smarter than everyone else. It’s hard to tell what is up with him. He is seemingly an intelligent man, and holds a certain academic and public intellectual status and celebrity. So you wonder if such a man in such a position would consciously lie like this. Though considering how much people fall for this and don’t notice the inconsistency perhaps it’s not such strange and imprudent behavior. The other possibility is that he’s managed to convince himself of these inconsistent and contradictory ideas. Which would then call into question his intelligence. If he’s supposed to be so intelligent and such a great intellectual, why would he make such a mistake?

16

Posted by Captainchaos on November 17, 2012, 11:19 PM | #

Plus pre-specialization, being smart on its own isn’t that great an advantage imo. I think it needs to be in combination with physical traits so the ideal in that environment is James Bond not Einstein i.e. a good mix of brains and brawn.

Careful there, Wandrin.  Your finger is drifting perilously close to the holiest of holies.  The name of the game is indeed the optimal combination of traits best suited to a given task.  So too with single deadly combat.  Let us consider the traits of IQ and physical prowess.  After a certain point, controlling for physical prowess, the killing efficiency that high IQ afforded would peak and afterwards decline.  The far right end of the IQ normal frequency distribution would be shaved off over evolutionary time under the artificial (no, not “natural” as some kooks insist) selective pressure of single deadly combat.  Now, for my money, that would clearly be a dysgenic outcome; about as bad as if one came home one night to find one’s best mate finger fucking one’s best gal.  But then again, I am merely one of “the stupid and ignorant” (at least as some kooks insist), so what do I know?  LOL

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Posted by James Bowery on November 18, 2012, 06:27 AM | #

Wandrin, unfortunately I loaned out my copy of KMac’s “A People That Shall Dwell Alone” over 10 years ago, but IIRC KMac’s position was that the Ashkenazi version of natural duel was Talmudic debate in order to achieve virtual deification as a rabbi.  This selects for a very peculiar type of verbal intelligence which replaces communication with psychological manipulation.  While there is quite a bit of controversy over the degree of polygyny among the Ashkenazi over history, a couple of features stand out:

1) Those highly skilled in psychological manipulation would very likely turn that skill toward acquiring maximum sexual if not reproductive success.

2) Those highly skilled in psychological manipulation would very likely hide a practice that is morally forbidden when they live as a foreign minority.

BTW:  Do you happen to recall Harpending and Cochran’s explanation for why financial success (their primary explanation for high Jewish verbal IQ) was a stronger selective force among Ashkenazim than the Sephardim?

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Posted by James Bowery on November 18, 2012, 06:35 AM | #

nevis, I should not have used the phrase “in any way”.  Probably even Diamond would admit that white skin helps avoid vitamin D deficiency in low-insolation ecologies.

As for explaining Diamond’s behavior:

There is a huge market out there providing intellectual opium to soothe the pain arising from the “Whites don’t count and non-whites do.” zeitgeist.  A Talmudic debate winner genotype can create that zeitgeist and turn it into an addictive phenomenon, sort of like any vice.  Understand, though, that such an opium does not remove the kife from the spine—it merely allows one not to care about one’s own mortal wound.  In Diamond’s case, it is two-fold:  1) White genetic structures are irrelevant.  2) Look at the awesome chutzpah with which Jews can spew intellectual garbage and be popularly deified while race realists can be very careful yet devastating with their arguments and achieve no effective defense against Diamond’s psychological warfare: the Jewish version of Shock and Awe.

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Posted by Natty on November 18, 2012, 08:29 PM | #

So too with single deadly combat.  Let us consider the traits of IQ and physical prowess.  After a certain point, controlling for physical prowess, the killing efficiency that high IQ afforded would peak and afterwards decline.  The far right end of the IQ normal frequency distribution would be shaved off over evolutionary time under the artificial (no, not “natural” as some kooks insist) selective pressure of single deadly combat.

Because of the word “combat”, you’re thinking in terms of hand-to-hand combat, like boxing, wrestling, etc., where physical prowess wins out. But this is more like 2 men hunting each other in the woods. If you’re trying to hunt a man who’s also trying to hunt you down in a large forest, I don’t think trying to get close enough to him so that you can utilize your greater strength to knock him out or something is going to be a successful strategy.

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Posted by Scott on November 19, 2012, 01:41 AM | #

BTW:  Do you happen to recall Harpending and Cochran’s explanation for why financial success (their primary explanation for high Jewish verbal IQ) was a stronger selective force among Ashkenazim than the Sephardim?

What was the explanation?

21

Posted by Captainchaos on November 19, 2012, 05:03 AM | #

But this is more like 2 men hunting each other in the woods.

Yes, and with the aid of two simple tools - a rope and a knife.  If you believe this is as cognitively challenging as conceptualizing a paradigm shift in physics you are simply out to lunch.  Waiter, check please!

22

Posted by Natty on November 19, 2012, 10:57 AM | #

I was under the impression that you could use whatever is in the woods to make tools, traps, weapons, etc. Not that it was like gladiatorial combat with a rope and knife as weapons.

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Posted by James Bowery on November 19, 2012, 11:37 AM | #

Somewhere off in my archives is the transcript of a lecture given by Seymour Cray at the NSA (which I was able to get a copy of because I was working at the Arden Hills, MN factory that had built the first supercomputers used by the NSA—although Cray had 5 years before spun off his own company, Cray Research).  In this lecture, he answered a question from the audience about what he considered to be the most important characteristic of engineering.  His response was the engineer’s ability to look at his tools and see entirely different tools from those normally perceived.  Basically, improvised tool creation.

We can, however, ignore Seymour Cray since he was successful only because of a Steve Chen—a Chinese immigrant that the narcissistically racist Seymour Cray could never bring himself to work with.  Or at least, that’s the post 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act mythology—that somehow Asian immigrants were the true source of innovation going back to the transistor, the airplane, car, train and probably even Euclid.  I’m told its all a matter of retropsychokinesis.

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Posted by Desmond Jones on November 19, 2012, 05:41 PM | #

The point of single combat for the pagan Vikings, it appears, was to end family blood feuds which where tribally much more than deleterious than einvigi or holmgang. In this context single combat was adaptive incidentally for the group.

http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/holmgang.shtml

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Posted by Wandrin on November 19, 2012, 08:45 PM | #

2) Those highly skilled in psychological manipulation would very likely hide a practice that is morally forbidden when they live as a foreign minority.

Sure they could have continued polygyny secretly but i think the farewell to alms mechanism is a simpler explanation - where the larger number of surviving children of the people on the top rung gradually replace non-survivors from the rungs below. The guy who makes it to the top rank has multiple surviving sons and the money to allow them to marry either financially or physically attractive mates - which is sort of polygyny at one remove. Assuming physical attractiveness has some connection to fertility and financial attractiveness has some relation to survivability he’s effectively buying more grand-children indirectly through his multiple surviving sons rather than directly through himself.

I’m not saying polygyny didn’t happen just that it needn’t have.

In the time period we’re talking about most of the niches that would be competed for required a mixture of brains and brawn: knights, blacksmiths, stewards etc. If we say PQ is physical quotient on a similar scale to IQ the ideal canddiates for those roles are the 115/115 guys not the 70/130 guys so that is what gets selected for. You’ll only get selection for 70/130 guys when you have a niche that *only* requires intellect and in the pre-modern time period that was Jews and a priesthood that by some strange coincidence turned out to be celibate. Once Jews had that niche to themselves then an early version of farewell to alms is all they’d need to start selecting for 70/130 guys.

Personally i don’t care if Jews have a higher average IQ at the moment as i think 115/115 - the white ideal - is a better thing to aim for. With that you’ll still have plenty of outliers to do the genius stuff.

Also with modernity and the rise and widening of brain-only niches euros rapidly developed plenty enough 70/130 and no doubt we would have left them in the dust eventually if they hadn’t gone and destroyed western civ again.

BTW:  Do you happen to recall Harpending and Cochran’s explanation for why financial success (their primary explanation for high Jewish verbal IQ) was a stronger selective force among Ashkenazim than the Sephardim?

I think their explanation is partly PC. It wasn’t financial success that selected for Jewish IQ so much as having a monopoly on one of the few niches that would select for IQ. Financial success *by some Jews* was guaranteed by having a Jewish monopoly on the niche and that guaranteed success for the smartest Jews created selective pressure for 70/130 guys when most other competitive niches at the time were selecting for 115/115 guys or even 130/70.

On top of that H & C obviously need an explanation for the difference between Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews as as far as i’m aware both groups had the benefit of the same selective niche? I’d guess it was base genes plus the selective niche so,

Non-Ashkenazi: Jewish genes + middle east genes + selective niche
vs
Ashkenazi: Jewish genes + Euro genes + selective niche

then on top of that maybe some genetic load shedding effect from adopting the north euro marriage model (which i think they did but could be wrong).

This would make the ashkenazi advanatge a mixture of genetic hybridizing, cultural copying and having an early headstart in a cognitive selection niche through their monopoly on finance when those kind of niches were rare - still an interesting history but not quite as flattering.

 

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Posted by Wandrin on November 19, 2012, 09:46 PM | #

This selects for a very peculiar type of verbal intelligence which replaces communication with psychological manipulation.

I think that’s an unnecessary complication to be honest. I think the an ethnic group’s hostility, aggression and sociopathy etc will simply display differently based on the average IQ of the group.

An ethnic group made up of 70% 130/70 guys will mostly display aggression physically.
An ethnic group made up of 70% 70/130 guys will mostly display aggression verbally.

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Posted by Natty on November 20, 2012, 04:08 AM | #

I remember reading an interview of Seymour Cray where he said that he would dig tunnels and talk to elves who would help him solve his engineering problems. I’m not sure if he was trolling or not.

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Posted by Natty on November 20, 2012, 04:19 AM | #

BTW James Bowery, there was an op-ed in The New York Times a couple days by a Jew economics professor promoting ideas very similar to your wealth tax ideas, including down to details like a homestead exemption:

“To Reduce Inequality, Tax Wealth, Not Income”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/opinion/to-reduce-inequality-tax-wealth-not-income.html

[T]he real menace for our long-term prosperity is not income inequality — it’s wealth inequality, which distorts access to economic opportunities.

Wealth inequality has worsened for two decades and is now at an extreme level. Replacing the income, estate and gift taxes with a progressive wealth tax would do much more to reduce it than any other tax plan being considered in Washington.

When economists try to measure inequality, they typically focus on income, because the data are most readily accessible. But income is not always a good gauge of economic power. Consider a group of people who all have high incomes but differ widely in their wealth. Who’s going to get into the country club? Who’s going to have the money to finance a new venture? Moreover, income data may not reveal the true economic power of people who are retired, or who receive their pay in securities like stocks and options or use complex strategies to avoid taxes.

Trends in the distribution of wealth can look very different from trends in incomes, because wealth is a measure of accumulated assets, not a flow over time. High earners add much more to their wealth every year than low earners. Over time, wealth inequality rises even as income inequality stays the same, and wealth inequality eventually becomes much more severe.

This is exactly what happened in the United States.

...

American household wealth totaled more than $58 trillion in 2010. A flat wealth tax of just 1.5 percent on financial assets and other wealth like housing, cars and business ownership would have been more than enough to replace all the revenue of the income, estate and gift taxes, which amounted to about $833 billion after refunds. Brackets of, say, zero percent up to $500,000 in wealth, 1 percent for wealth between $500,000 and $1 million, and 2 percent for wealth above $1 million would probably have done the trick as well.

These tax rates would garner a small portion of the extra wealth America’s richest families could expect to accrue simply by investing what they already had. The rates would also be enough to slow — if not reverse — the increase in inequality. To see how the wealth tax would work, consider a family with $500,000 in wealth and $200,000 in annual income. Right now, they might pay $50,000 in federal income tax. With the wealth tax brackets described above, they would pay nothing. On the other hand, a family with $4 million in wealth and $200,000 in annual income would owe $65,000. Most families that depend on their wealth for their income would pay more, and most that depend on their earnings would pay less.

In fact, the majority of American families would receive an enormous tax cut. Some would owe only payroll taxes (for Social Security and Medicare) and state and local taxes every year, and others would pay less in wealth tax than they did in income tax. Taxes on earnings, capital gains, dividends and interest, all of which may distort decisions about working and investing, would disappear.

For most families, whose wealth may never reach $500,000, all disincentives to save would vanish. And families trying to accumulate a fixed amount of wealth for retirement or their children’s college fund could devote less of their incomes to saving, since in most cases the wealth tax would take a smaller bite of their interest, dividends and capital gains than the current income tax. Though the remaining minority of families subject to the wealth tax might end up saving less and spending more, this shift would also reduce inequality; the dollars they spent would be more likely to end up in the pockets of people with less wealth.

 

 

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Posted by Natty on November 20, 2012, 04:35 AM | #

This sounds like the homestead exemption:

“Brackets of, say, zero percent up to $500,000 in wealth”

And this sort of sounds like he’s hinting at the risk-free return on wealth:

These tax rates would garner a small portion of the extra wealth America’s richest families could expect to accrue simply by investing what they already had.

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Posted by Leon Haller on November 20, 2012, 07:10 AM | #

Anyone who advocates taxing wealth (which already does get taxed in many, many ways, from property to estate taxes, so we’re talking about direct confiscation) should be exterminated. This is called “communism”.

I am not wealthy (though hardly poor, either), consider myself a Christian, and I am dead serious. I don’t care about taking EVERYTHING from race traitors like Gates and Buffett. But taxes like this invariably start to reach further and further down the wealth or pay scales (look at the history of the US income tax -originally only supposed to hit the very wealthy, and for a very small amount, or the history of English postwar socialist wealth confiscation).

The libertarians have an immense literature on the evils of big government, and the necessity of proper incentives, which ought to be read by all.

In a teleological racial state, it might be possible to enact schemes which would foster greater in-group solidarity through controlling/limiting the amount of wealth individuals could accumulate, though I am extremely sceptical that these would not end up depressing productive activity in the long run. Does anyone seriously think national power (which will be more vital than ever for the hated whites huddling in their lone racial holdout state on Planet Mud) can be maintained by whites more interested in wealth redistribution than new wealth creation?

The West rose to power in no small part on the back of the Industrial Revolution, which was a commercial as much as scientific achievement. Harnessing men’s competitive instincts into racially empowering channels, like building business enterprises (which can be taxed to pay for armies), is far more important than allowing for endless intrasocietal arguments over how a basically stagnant pool of wealth should be allocated.

Society must be so structured that men are made to pursue individual material betterment through increased labor productivity, not useless politicking and its common corollary, litigation.

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Posted by James Bowery on November 20, 2012, 11:23 AM | #

Natty, my take is that this is a sop from The Parasite in response to secessionist talk.  They know, and have always known (as evidenced by the way they redefined Norm Thomas’s “Wealth Tax” to become FDR’s highly progressive income tax) this is exactly what they need to offer to defuse the situation—at least temporarily.  Nothing (good*) will come of it.  Indeed, they may very well, instead of replacing the current tax, compound the current tax morass with an asset tax that features things I’ve repeatedly warned against—such as using a French-style assessment system where bureaucrats sit down with lawyers to “negotiate”, as opposed to having a market-based liquid value assessment.

Leon, so to paraphrase your declaration of war, which would result in me being killed by your side:

“A state of peace may once again exist when nowhere on earth is there a person advocating taxation of net assets—even if the system they advocate would remove all taxes on economic activity and, for the vast majority of households, any taxes whatsoever.”

My declaration of war, which would result in you being killed by my side:

“A state of peace may once again exist when nowhere on earth is there a person acting to render impractical the formation, by adults, of territorially exclusive societies testing their their mutually-held causal hypotheses in human ecology.”

Aside from the fact that, if only you would mind your own business and go “do your own thing” you would be allowed to live, I am comfortable that the cretinous (resulting from psychological damage inflicted by reading all that Austrian School literature) thought processes that go into your position would guarantee your defeat, hence your death, by doing violence to military planning.

*There is the possibility that it will trigger Machiavelli’s Rule, which would be good.  Essentially, Machivalli’s Rule says that if the tyrant doesn’t double down on his oppression in response to a challenge to his authority and, instead, offers a sop—the populus will see the challengers as their benefactors.

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Posted by James Bowery on November 20, 2012, 11:57 AM | #

Wandrin, I used the word “replaces” very deliberately.  The appeal of last resort in dispute processing determines the direction of evolution.  Yes, you are correct that given an ESS, high IQ would tend toward verbal aggression. If one then introduces to that ESS argumentation as the appeal of last resort in dispute processing (that is to say, verbal contest to see who can get group force behind the speaker), it becomes unstable hence we have to pay attention to evolutionary dynamics.

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Posted by Thorn on November 20, 2012, 12:41 PM | #

Human intelligence ‘peaked thousands of years ago and we’ve been on an intellectual and emotional decline ever since’

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/human-intelligence-peaked-thousands-of-years-ago-and-weve-been-on-an-intellectual-and-emotional-decline-ever-since-8307101.html

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Posted by John on November 20, 2012, 01:30 PM | #

Civilisation is making humanity less intelligent, study claims

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9672790/Civilisation-is-making-humanity-less-intelligent-study-claims.html

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Posted by Captainchaos on November 20, 2012, 01:42 PM | #

I was under the impression that you could use whatever is in the woods to make tools, traps, weapons, etc.

Sure, snares, spears, booby traps, a bow and arrors.  But not very complex weapons/tools (say a fort or a catapult) because one would not have the time as one’s opponent could counter this by quickly closing in for the kill - using a less subtle, less time consuming and more aggresive strategy.  The less complex the tools one was forced to use to defend one’s life, one’s reproductive fitness, the less cognitively challenging, the less eugenic (indeed dysgenic), the overall ordeal would be.  Snares, spears, booby traps, a bow and arrows, are not very complex tools, certainly not as complex as the notional tools physicists (and beta computer geeks - lol) use.  Now, one could extend the time the ordeal of single deadly combat lasted by assigning a very large area of forest as the field of battle.  The battle could conceivably take weeks, months, maybe even years.  This would allow the traits of high intelligence, mental and physical endurance, to rise to the occation in true eugenic fashion.  But counter balancing this, the time taken in combat would consume a large chunk of the male combatants’ physically prime years; time that could otherwise be spend courting women and amassing wealth to support their children.  It also leaves the back door open to free-riding.  While the most heroic men were away defending their honor for protracted periods of time the weaselly betas (computer geeks?) could court women and amass wealth thus undercutting the reproductive fitness of the most heroic men. 

You should know better than to raise your hand against me, Nappy.  Now go back to picking cotton, or whatever it is that you do.  LOL

 

36

Posted by Natty on November 20, 2012, 02:44 PM | #

But not very complex weapons/tools (say a fort or a catapult) because one would not have the time as one’s opponent could counter this by quickly closing in for the kill - using a less subtle, less time consuming and more aggresive strategy.  The less complex the tools one was forced to use to defend one’s life, one’s reproductive fitness, the less cognitively challenging, the less eugenic (indeed dysgenic), the overall ordeal would be.  Snares, spears, booby traps, a bow and arrows, are not very complex tools, certainly not as complex as the notional tools physicists (and beta computer geeks - lol) use.

But I don’t think the duel would be the only time a man would be working on this. Presumably a man would have learned from his father starting at an early age various techniques and knowledge accumulated gradually by his paternal ancestors. And when he’s not dueling, he could be working on weapon and tool making.

Also I’m not sure greater complexity necessarily reflects a greater cognitive challenge. A simple “Hello World!” program is a much more complex piece of technology than “snares, spears, booby traps, a bow and arrows”. But any idiot can write a “Hello World!” program. I’m not sure that reflects greater cognitive ability than making wooden tools or weapons.

37

Posted by Natty on November 20, 2012, 02:59 PM | #

time that could otherwise be spend courting women and amassing wealth to support their children.

You only need to court women and amass wealth to reproduce under civilization since in civilization there is high population and high population density, and since you’re not allowed to kill other men. Without civilization, there is no need to accumulate “wealth” to snag a woman and reproduce. Nature provides the necessities for survival and reproduction provided that you don’t get killed by another man and that you’re capable of deriving sustenance from the natural environment.

38

Posted by Wandrin on November 20, 2012, 04:42 PM | #

To clarify how i see it.

1. There’s often an assumption that evolution should select for intelligence however i dodn’t think it does. Brains are high energy so i think evolution selects *against* intelligence trying to find the *minimum* neccessary average IQ for a particular niche.

2. It may be true that IQ improves performance at any task but i think in most tasks there are diminishing returns above a certain point. If you take electrician as an example and imagine a graph of performance vs IQ then i think there will be a steep line from IQ 70 to 115 but tapering off dramatically above 115 or so to a more or less flat line.

Among hunter-gatherers most tasks would be part physical ability, part cognitive ability with (imo) a fairly low cut-off point where you started to get diminishing returns on cognitive ability so there would only be low pressure to increase IQ above the environmental minimum average imo.

If we define PQ as the physical ability equivalent of IQ then what i think this means is hunter-gatherers would tend to be 115/? i.e. physically superior with a ? representing the minimum necessary average IQ for their particular environment. If true then you might think the highest IQs would be in the harshest environments e.g. deserts, arctic etc. However if an environment is unchanging then all it takes is one genius outlier to figure out some aspect of surviving in that environment and for that behaviour to then be passed down the generations. If an environment is constantly changing then the average IQ may need to be higher because people need to be adapting on an individual basis throughout the year.

If we assume that’s the case then you would expect hunter-gatherers to display an environmental IQ pattern going from least changeable environment to most changeable. This would at least partially coincide with latitudinal IQ layers going from the tropics (least change) to the sub-arctic (most change) and then back down again in the arctic (no change) so the hunter-gatherer PQ/IQ pattern might be something like:
115/70 at the tropics
115/85 at mid-latitudes
115/100 at high temperate latitudes
115/85 at the arctic circle
with no incentive or pressure to increase IQs above that minimum necessary average for that environment.

3. I don’t think selection for high IQ as a trait on its own began until urbanization and specialization created reproductively beneficial economic niches where competition was solely on cognitive ability. Even then that selection pressure only applied for a minority of tasks so the pressure wasn’t uniform.

4. I think it’s very likely that IQ is multiplicative and the chain of multipliers can be easily blocked by random mutations - as evolution’s method of selecting minimum neccessary IQ - but i don’t think this implies it’s been downhill all the way because a) i don’t think there was much pressure to raise IQ until relatively recently and b) it seems more likely to me that instead there is a constant battle over it with maybe new multipliers evolving as older ones are successfully blocked. I wonder if a lot of the genes related to IQ are in fact duplicates of previously blocked versions.

5. Things which effect the balance between adding and shedding mutational load would be a key factor e.g. marriage culture. If Ashkenazi and Sephardim were originally the same i.e. they had been part of the same specialist niche for the same amount of time and had the same number and proportions of multiplier and blocker genes, and then Ashkenazi adopted a different marriage culture which shed more mutational load than their traditional one then they might have started to outstrip the Sephardim quite suddenly e.g. Ashkenazi drifting back into western europe from 17th century onwards.

39

Posted by Wandrin on November 20, 2012, 05:51 PM | #

Human intelligence ‘peaked thousands of years ago and we’ve been on an intellectual and emotional decline ever since’

It seems to me they’re assuming two things which may be wrong
1) Selection pressure for highest IQ was there from the beginning.
I think the opposite - evolution aims for minimum neccessary average intelligence.

2) That it’s a one-off process.
If the evolutionary aim is to ensure minimum neccessary average IQ that requires a mechanism which is in constant conflict.

For example a population moves into an environment that requires a higher average IQ to survive so an IQ multiplier gene A1 evolves which is eventually countered by stupidifier gene B1. If the environment has changed in the meantime so the population no longer needs the extra brains then that’s that but if the environment is still the same then IQ multiplier gene A2 evolves instead which is eventually countered by a B2 stupidifier gene leading to A3 evolving etc.

‘’‘

Jim Bowery
I don’t disagree with the basic idea i just think the process is blinder. I think a certain level of hostility and aggression between two ethnic groups on the same terriotory is automatic so i don’t think there needs to be an explanation for the evolution of a particular form of Jewish aggression i.e. that it stems from rabbinic disputation.

but IIRC KMac’s position was that the Ashkenazi version of natural duel was Talmudic debate in order to achieve virtual deification as a rabbi.  This selects for a very peculiar type of verbal intelligence which replaces communication with psychological manipulation.

I think Jews inhabited a mercantile niche that selected for IQ and verbal ability for a long time and disputation and aggression displaying verbally are a natural consequence of that.

Gypsies have exactly the same attitude towards the majority population as Jews (or Blacks or whoever) it just displays differently because of the different niches they inhabit so instead of seeing it as
- Jewish hostility
- Black hostility
- Gypsy hostility
etc
i see it as
- Jewish + hostility
- Black + hostility
- Gypsy + hostility
i.e. the hostility is a natural part of human nature with the form varying for separate reasons.

 

40

Posted by Whatever on November 20, 2012, 06:55 PM | #

Richard Edmonds Croydon North by-election video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4rCu_GRyGM

41

Posted by miller on November 21, 2012, 12:28 AM | #

I remember reading an interview of Seymour Cray where he said that he would dig tunnels and talk to elves who would help him solve his engineering problems.

Did he use DMT? Apparently there’s a psychedelic drug called DMT which when you take makes you see elves:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_elf

42

Posted by James Bowery on November 21, 2012, 10:04 AM | #

This is a more accurate portrayal of Cray and his “elves”:Explained Cray,

“I work for three hours and then get stumped. So I quit and go to work in the tunnel. It takes me an hour or so to dig four inches and put in the boards. You see, I’m up in the Wisconsin woods, and there are elves in the woods. So when they see me leave, they come back into my office and solve all the problems I’m having. Then I go up (to my lab) and work some more.”

Explained Rollwagen, “The real work happens when Seymour is in the tunnel.”

Cray did like to design, build and burn sailboats but he had a problem with what to do with his old designs because when he sold or gave them away, he became the sole customer support technician for new owner.  Rather than have his property cluttered up with obsolete sailboats he decided to burn them.  I think Rollwagen chose to embellish it into a kind of “ritual” in part because it elicited images of a Viking burial.  While I can certainly believe Cray may have joked about the “ritual” in such a vein at some time, and it may have been that he had tapped into an ancestral practice without realizing it—I don’t think he ever consciously thought of himself actually engaging in any kind of Norse religious rite.

43

Posted by Arch Hades on November 21, 2012, 11:47 AM | #

Well obviously natural selection certainly does not always favor more intelligent types. And also wars can lead to the prevalence of inferior types in both intelligence but also physical fitness and more masculine type/oriented and bold/brave males. If you think the males of Europe today are the same as they were during the Middle Ages then lol. The two world wars were obviously Northern-Central Europe’s biggest undoing.

44

Posted by Natty on November 21, 2012, 03:34 PM | #

While I can certainly believe Cray may have joked about the “ritual” in such a vein at some time, and it may have been that he had tapped into an ancestral practice without realizing it—I don’t think he ever consciously thought of himself actually engaging in any kind of Norse religious rite.

Do you think he was joking about the elves as well?

They still believe in elves in Iceland, which has preserved ancient religion and traditions better than other areas that have been more Christianized.

“Building in Iceland? Better Clear It With the Elves First “

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/13/international/europe/13elves.html

Do elves exist? Like many Icelanders, Hildur Hakonardottir considers the question to be more complicated than it appears.

“This is a very, very, very delicate question,” Ms. Hakonardottir, a retired museum director, said. “If you ask people if they believe in elves, they will say yes and no. If they say yes, maybe they don’t, and if they say no, maybe they do.”

Hypothetically speaking, what does she think elves look like?

“Well, my next-door neighbor is an elf woman,” she declared suddenly. “She lives in a cliff in a rock in my garden.”

Despite having seen the elf only once in 15 years - enough time to determine that she was “bigger than life and dressed like my grandmother, in a 1930’s national costume” - Ms. Hakonardottir, 67, has no doubt of her existence. “My daughter once asked me, ‘How do you know where elves live?’ ” she said. “I told her you just know. It’s just a feeling.”

It is a feeling that many people in Iceland apparently share. Polls consistently show that the majority of the population either believes in elves - generally described as humanlike creatures who are fiercely protective of their rocky homes - or is not willing to rule out their existence. But while believing in elves is rooted in Iceland’s culture, it remains a touchy subject.

“You have to watch out for the Nordic cliché,” the Icelandic singer Bjork told The New Yorker magazine several years ago. “A friend of mine says that when record-company executives come to Iceland, they ask the bands if they believe in elves, and whoever says yes gets signed up.”

Yet even Bjork cannot say no for sure. “We think nature is a lot stronger than man,” she said in another interview, when the Elf Question came up. “A relationship with things spiritual has not gone away.”

A belief not just in elves but also in the predictive power of dreams, in the potency of dead spirits and in other supernatural phenomena, is closely linked to Iceland’s Celtic traditions and punishing, powerful landscape - especially the harsh weather and the rocks that appear everywhere.

“If there was a large stone in the garden, and somebody said to an Icelander, ‘That’s an elf stone,’ would they blow it up? They wouldn’t,” said Terry Gunnell, head of the folkloristic department at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik.

“It’s not like they think there are little people living in there who come and dance outside,” he added. “It’s more a sense that there are other powers, other forces around them.”

This town, a port on the outskirts of Reykjavik, prides itself on its unusually high elf population. Tourists are invited to tour the known elf locations, including a large rock whose reputation as an elf habitat meant that a nearby road was diverted some years ago so as not to disturb its unseen residents.

Elly Erlingsdottir, head of the town council’s planning committee, said that made sense to her. Recently, she said, some elves borrowed her kitchen scissors, only to return them a week later to a place she had repeatedly searched. “My philosophy is, you don’t have to see everything you believe in,” she said, “because many of your greatest experiences happen with closed eyes.”

Recently, the planning committee considered a resident’s application to build a garage. “One member said, ‘I hope it’s O.K. with the elves,’ ” Ms. Erlingsdottir related. Should the council determine that it is, in fact, not O.K. - usually this happens when a local mystic hears from the elf population, directly or through a vision - the town would consider moving the project, or getting the mystic to ask the elves to move away, she said.

Such occurrences are not unusual. In nearby Kopavogur, a section of Elfhill Road was narrowed from two lanes to one in the 1970’s, when repeated efforts to destroy a large rock that was believed to house elves were thwarted by equipment breakdowns. The rock is still there, jutting awkwardly into the road, but it is unclear whether the tenants are.

“With the artificial lampposts, there’s too much light for them, and there’s also too much noise,” explained Gurdrun Bjarnadottir, who has lived across the street for some 30 years. “A lot of people believe they still live there, but I think they’ve moved.”

In the same town in 1996, a bulldozer operator, Hjortur Hjartarson, ran into trouble as he tried to raze a suspected elf hill to make way for a graveyard.

After two different bulldozers repeatedly and inexplicably malfunctioned, and local television cameras failed when trained on the hill, though they worked elsewhere, the crew halted the project. “We’re going to see whether we can’t reach an understanding with the elves,” Jon Ingi, the project supervisor, told Morgunbladid, a Reykjavik newspaper, at the time.

Local elf communicators were called in to arbitrate, and after a while, work resumed. “In my opinion, well, whatever it is, hidden people or elves, it has just accepted this and moved away from there,” Mr. Hjartarson told Valdimar Hafstein, an academic researcher who in the late 1990’s published “The Elves’ Point of View,” an article about elves and their effect on construction projects. “That’s my opinion.”

45

Posted by Captainchaos on November 21, 2012, 08:30 PM | #

I’m not sure greater complexity necessarily reflects a greater cognitive challenge.

Self-evident nonsense.

when he’s not dueling, he could working on weapon and tool making.

Doesn’t matter.  He would not get to take his cache of tools with him to the single deadly combat ordeal.  He would need to learn to make or design himself tools of greater or lesser complexity.

P.S.  Do you flip burgers for a living, Nappy?

 

 

46

Posted by Natty on November 21, 2012, 09:14 PM | #

Self-evident nonsense.

How do you define “complexity”? A man writing a simple “Hello World!” program on a computer is in a sense working with much more complex tools than a man fashioning something out of wood, stone, sinews, etc. But I’m not sure writing the “Hello World!” necessarily reflects a greater cognitive challenge than working with basic natural materials.

He would not get to take his cache of tools with him to the single deadly combat ordeal.  He would need to learn to make or design himself tools of greater or lesser complexity.

I know he wouldn’t be able to bring pre-made tools. I meant that he would bring his accumulated knowledge, experience, skills to the ordeal.

P.S.  Do you flip burgers for a living, Nappy?

No, why do you ask? What do you do for a living? Why do you call me “Nappy”?

47

Posted by Captainchaos on November 21, 2012, 09:38 PM | #

How do you define “complexity”?

Composed of elaborately interconnected parts; intricate of design and constuction.

A man writing a simple “Hello World!” program on a computer is in a sense working with much more complex tools than a man fashioning something out of wood, stone, sinews, etc. But I’m not sure writing the “Hello World!” necessarily reflects a greater cognitive challenge than working with basic natural materials.

Not a good analogy.  The guy writing the program did not design the computer and programming language himself; it took human genius to create the latter.  The materials for constructing combat tools would be provided by nature and thus require no human design and hence no human intelligence.

No, why do you ask?

Just curious.

What do you do for a living?

None of your fucking business.

Why do you call me “Nappy”?

Because it pleases me to do so, numbnuts.

 

 

 

 

 

48

Posted by Natty on November 21, 2012, 09:56 PM | #

The guy writing the program did not design the computer and programming language himself; it took human genius to create the latter.  The materials for constructing combat tools would be provided by nature and thus require no human design and hence no human intelligence.

The guy writing the “Hello World!” program is using more complex tools than the materials provided by nature according to you. You said that the use of more complex tools reflects a greater cognitive challenge. That doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case.

Because it pleases me to do so, numbnuts.

Why do you use so many insults? At the same time, you argue strongly against individual combat. You seem to want to be able to freely insult people, while being protected from individual physical confrontation. Is that right?

49

Posted by Captainchaos on November 21, 2012, 10:36 PM | #

The guy writing the “Hello World!” program is using more complex tools than the materials provided by nature according to you.

The proper analogy is between the computer/programming language which the man in question would use to write the “Hello World!” program and the knife/rope which the single deadly combatant would use to fashion more weapons/tools from existing natural materials.  To design, or even repair, a computer is a more complex undertaking than to design or repair a knife and rope.  Knives and ropes do not have microchips.

You said that the use of more complex tools reflects a greater cognitive challenge.

Note the distinction between complexity of design and complexity of operation.

You seem to want to be able to freely insult people, while being protected from individual physical confrontation.

You certainly are a sensitive soul, aren’t you?  Do you wish to confront me?

 

 

 

50

Posted by Natty on November 21, 2012, 11:46 PM | #

The proper analogy is between the computer/programming language which the man in question would use to write the “Hello World!” program and the knife/rope which the single deadly combatant would use to fashion more weapons/tools from existing natural materials.  To design, or even repair, a computer is a more complex undertaking than to design or repair a knife and rope.  Knives and ropes do not have microchips.

The material may be more complex, but working with more complex material is not necessarily more cognitively challenging.

You certainly are a sensitive soul, aren’t you?  Do you wish to confront me?

I’m not particularly sensitive. I’m just trying to understand your behavior. You appear to use the most insults while at the same time being hostile to the idea of individual combat. Do you want to be able to freely insult people, while being protected from individual physical confrontation?

51

Posted by Lurker on November 22, 2012, 05:31 AM | #

As a kid I read many of the Moomin books by Finnish writer Tove Jansson. On visiting Finland I was struck how the landscape reminded me of the Moomins (hardly surprising) and I re-read some of them. She never mentions elves specifically but various secret beings are in the stories and I presume she was tapping that whole elf thing.

52

Posted by Thorn on November 22, 2012, 07:05 AM | #

HEH!

From the Adaptive Curmudgeon:

pullquote:

“The arc of history is not always upward and onward. Sometimes it stagnates. I don’t like the merest hint that I might be in a period of stagnation. But sometimes it looks like it may be coming. People without adequate technology to program PacMan flew to the moon. They flew to the moon with sliderules! Decades later I can have satellite TV but we collectively lost our shit and never went to the moon again. Yes to “Bridezilla TV” but no to “space, the final frontier”? Really? Why?

On a smaller scale I’ve seen computers pop up everywhere but simultaneously dumb themselves down. I used to meet geezers that had never seen a mouse and I found that understandable. Now I meet kids who have never been without a smart phone that can call Hong Kong, yet they can’t swap their own batteries or understand where they’ve saved a file. I find that reprehensible.

I don’t like sliding backwards. I was promised hovercars and space flight, I got Twitter and Starbucks. I demand a recount!”

Watch the video

http://adaptivecurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/ingenuity-in-the-service-of-silly/

53

Posted by Captainchaos on November 23, 2012, 06:54 PM | #

The material may be more complex, but working with more complex material is not necessarily more cognitively challenging.

Good Lord, Nappy.  You are a dogged one.  That is about the best I can say for you.  Just what kind of equipment do you imagine you have between your legs?  How much of that broomstick you rode in on is yet intact?  The witching hour has come, for you.

Form follows function here, you stupid bastard.  The greater complexity of computers is such because it performs a more complicated task.  Otherwise, why the greater complexity?  Just for the fuck of it, as I’m sure is the sentiment which governs your actions in life?  No, the most brilliant men who work in computer science must be grounded in both the design and operation of the tool which gives life to their art - both more complex than the brute tools and their uses which enjoyed primacy in a simpler age which you apparently wish to return to even as you hunch over your keyboard and breathlessly type the most dictionary perfect inanities.

Do you want to be able to freely insult people, while being protected from individual physical confrontation?

Do you wish to be able to comment anonymously on an internet forum, while being protected from personal repercussions?  Never mind, don’t answer me.  Just crawl back down the hole you came out of, worm.  Whatever trump card you imagine yourself to be holding is merely a figment thereof.  Bowery is I’m sure a decent fellow who cleaves to a morally repulsive idea for reasons of all too understandable human weakness.  You, however?  Just fuck off, numbnuts. 

 

54

Posted by Hank on December 06, 2012, 08:32 PM | #

Stone Age man was BETTER at drawing moving animals than artists today: Cave art ‘has fewer errors than modern works’

- Prehistoric paintings had error rate of just 46.2 per cent, while modern era artworks until the late 19th Century were wrong 83.5 per cent of the time
- Even after detailed photographic studies of animal movement, modern artworks are still wrong 57.9 per cent of the time, study claims

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2243904/Stone-Age-man-BETTER-drawing-moving-animals-artists-today-Cave-art-fewer-errors-modern-works.html

It’s known as primitive art, but it seems Stone Age man knew what he was doing when he daubed figures of animals on cave walls.

In fact, a new study suggests that many modern artists could learn a lesson or two from their ancient forbears who lived up to 30,000 years ago.

The lifelike images found at sites such as the famous Lascaux Cave in south-west France are said to demonstrate an ability to depict animal movement superior to that seen today.

Researchers in Hungary examined prehistoric and modern artworks of paintings and statues of animals including horses, bulls and elephants.

They found that the majority of depictions of animals walking or trotting had the legs wrongly positioned.

However, prehistoric paintings had the lowest error rate of 46.2 per cent.

In contrast, modern era artworks of animals in motion prior to the late 19th century were incorrect 83.5 per cent of the time.

Even Leonardo da Vinci, famous for his anatomical drawings, got it wrong when he tried to portray animal movement.

After the pioneering work of Eadweard Muybridge, who made the first detailed studies of animal gait in the 1880s, the error rate decreased to 57.9 per cent.

But even then, pictures of moving animals could not match those of the cavemen for accuracy.

These were Upper Paleolithics, and as hunters they probably had greater visuo-spatial intelligence which enabled them to draw well.

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