Category Archives: IQ

A Review of Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own

Suppose you could a) improve your own IQ by 10 points, or b) improve the IQs of your countrymen (but not your own) by 10 points. Which would do more to increase your income? The answer is (b), and it’s not even close. The latter choice improves your income by about 6 times more than the former choice. . . .

Jones devotes much of the book to explaining why this empirical regularity exists. Many of the reasons that he discusses are political or cultural. For instance, he presents evidence showing that high-IQ countries tend to have less corruption. He also presents evidence from laboratory experiments showing that high-IQ people tend to cooperate with each other more than low-IQ people.

Jones also discusses some reasons from microeconomics that help explain the empirical regularity. Specifically, he shows that your own productivity tends to increase when you work around people who have high IQs. . . .

The parable begins with a simplifying assumption. This is that it takes exactly two workers to make a vase: one to blow it from molten glass and another to pack it for delivery. Now suppose that two workers, A1 and A2, are highly skilled—if they are assigned to either task they are guaranteed not to break the vase. Suppose two other workers, B1 and B2, are less skilled—specifically, for either task each has a 50% probability of breaking the vase.

Now suppose you are worker A1. If you team up with A2, you produce a vase every attempt. However, if you team up with B1 or B2, then only 50% of your attempts will produce a vase. Thus, your productivity is higher when you team up with A2 than with one of the B workers. Something similar happens with the B workers. They are more productive when they are paired with an A worker than with a fellow B worker.

So far, everything I’ve said is probably pretty intuitive. But here’s what’s not so intuitive. Suppose you’re the manager of the vase company and you want to produce as many vases as possible. Are you better off by (i) pairing A1 with A2 and B1 with B2, or (ii) pairing A1 with one of the B workers and A2 with the other B worker?

If you do the math, it’s clear that the first strategy works best. Here, the team with two A workers produces a vase with 100% probability, and the team with the two B workers produces a vase with 25% probability. Thus, in expectation, the company produces 1.25 vases per time period. With the second strategy, both teams produce a vase with 50% probability. Thus, in expectation, the company produces only one vase per time period.

The example illustrates how workers’ productivity is often interdependent—specifically, how your own productivity increases when your co-workers are skilled.

The example generates an even more remarkable implication. It says that, if you are a manager of a company (or the central planner of an entire economy), then your optimal strategy is to clump your best workers together on the same project rather than spreading them out amongst your less-able workers.

The parable has some interesting implications for immigration policy. . . .

Curt: The Libertine lies about Empiricism

—“1. social sciences cannot control conditions such to test the variables of a hypothesis.”—

This statement is false. It is one of the many libertine lies. As most libertine lies, and like most successful lies, it relies enough on a grain of half truth to be able to fool the audience by suggestion.

Positivism as a movement is false, but empiricism is not. There is no requirement for constructing data, only for observing and collecting data as measurement of one kind or another, because we must be sure that by the use of measurements, we compensate for the frailty of our wishful thinking, our biases, our reason, our perception, and memory.

For example, we can and did hypothesize red shift. We cannot create red shift, only observe it. Likewise, we can construct an theory of the economy, or of any social phenomenon, and exhaustively test the theory against all instances of the collected data.

As long as the data that CORRESPONDS can be operationally DESCRIBED – that is, reduced to a rational series of human actions – then we have conducted both a test of external correspondence as well as a test of internal consistency.

Just why this lie has been so successful I am not sure. I suspect that it is because people WANT to believe the lie, as they want to believe many lies. Because they try to justify what gives them advantage, rather than seek the truth whether it is advantageous to them or not.

But the fact remains, the criticism of empiricism in the social sciences is nothing more than an elaborate lie, that literally through “advertising” by cosmopolitan libertines, has successfully overloaded an ignorant and wishful population sufficient to persist the lie – just as all cults and religions must accomplish, libertines (all cosmopolitans) have accomplished this particular lie.


1 – Empiricism: observe, measure, record.

2 – Instrumentalism: reduce the imperceptible and incomparable to the perceptible and comparable by means of formal instruments (physical instrumentation) or informal instruments (logic).

3 – Operationalism: defend against the introduction of error, wishful thinking, bias, and imagination.

4 – Testimonial Truth: it is not possible to testify to the truth of a proposition that you cannot state operationally, as both a means of construction (internal consistency, existential possibility), and a means of use (external correspondence, external correlation).

As far as I know the libertine fallacy stands irreparably falsified by this argument.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine



—“1. social sciences cannot control conditions such to test the variables of a hypothesis.”—

It is a problem of precision, but meaningful measurements can indeed be made. Not with the accuracy of Newtonian physics experiments, but that doesn’t mean all meaningful measurement is beyond our grasp.

The fallacies of positivism don’t discredit empiricism.

—“The quest for new “evidence” leads to an unending competition from biased researchers looking to “prove” their theories and the movement becomes locked in paralysis by analysis. “—

What about the endless competition of biased philosophers running amok unchained from any connection to the real, physical world?

Sacred cows die agonizing deaths. They did for me.

I used to quote Hoppe to prove that human sciences are strictly rational: “Every human event is unique and unrepeatable because humans have the ability to learn.”

But this is wrong. Every temporal state of the physical universe is also unique and unrepeatable. That doesn’t make experiments meaningless. The levels of precision may vary, but empiricism has not been rendered meaningless by Hoppe’s observation.

On Rationality vs Post Modernism (from a Facebook discussion about the correlation of IQ and upward mobility)

And Pavel, this isn’t about me. It’s not personal. It’s a question of how we treat the world. Does truth/reality exist? Will we face it courageously or succumb to the secular religion of post-modernism, which follows in the Zoroastrian / Abrahamic tradition of attempting to create reality by chanting desirable lies? Universities are the churches and academics are the priests — bitterly denouncing heretics as they’ve always done. It is mysticism threatening to overturn the Enlightenment. It is poison.

Let’s not abandon empiricism, logic, rationality, but “strive to seek to find and not to yield.” We’ll all be better off this way.