Nassim Taleb vs. Jordan Peterson on IQ
Another polymath — Jordan Peterson — considers IQ to be of immense importance for carving out a meaningful human future. Taleb seems to take aim at Peterson in suggesting that if “IQ is the most rigorously studied factor in psychology” (as Peterson often says), then psychology is a meaningless discipline.
But the basic logic of distinguishing between “necessary” and “sufficient” conditions makes the controversy evaporate almost instantly.
In arguing that IQ is not needed for success simply because IQ alone is not sufficient for success, Taleb makes a sloppy and invalid argument. Peterson, as a psychologist, certainly understands better than Taleb, that sucess in difficult fields requires multiple factors — of which IQ is just one. But without a reasonably high IQ, the human mind cannot retain enough interacting ideas long enough in focus to construct useful logical chains of argument and causation.
IQ Scores and SAT/PISA Scores Highly Correlated
College aptitude tests seem to predict future success in college reasonably well, and ultimate success in careers somewhat well. Roughly speaking:
If you take a “real” IQ test (see comments below), then the result is a strong statistical predictor of multiple future life outcomes – income, education level, health, even longevity. There are hundreds of studies that confirm these correlations. So in that sense, it “predicts” your future “success”. __ https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2015/09/16/is-iq-a-predictor-of-success/
The prediction does not hold for everyone, but if a person’s IQ is quite low the correlation is almost perfect. If your IQ is quite high, the correlation is moderately high. The IQ score is three times more accurate in predicting success than a person’s SES (socioeconomic status). But — and this should keep an IQ proponent humble — knowing a person’s IQ AND his SES will only explain about 14% of his future outcome.
Extra Factors are Needed Beyond IQ to Create Genius
From IQ pioneer Arthur Jensen:
… the outstanding feature of any famous and accomplished person, especially a reputed genius, such as Feynman, is never their level of g (or their IQ), but some special talent and some other traits (e.g., zeal, persistence). Outstanding achievements(s) depend on these other qualities besides high intelligence.
… Most very high-IQ people, of course, are not recognized as geniuses, because they haven’t any very outstanding creative achievements to their credit. However, there is a threshold property of IQ, or g, below which few if any individuals are even able to develop high-level complex talents or become known for socially significant intellectual or artistic achievements. This bare minimum threshold is probably somewhere between about +1.5 sigma and +2 sigma from the population mean on highly g-loaded tests. __ Arthur Jensen quoted in … https://infoproc.blogspot.com/2012/05/jensen-on-g-and-genius.html
It is important to take a more nuanced view than is normally accepted, when discussing the importance of IQ test scores in predicting the success of individuals, nations, or cultures.
South Africa, for example, was much more affluent 30 years ago than it is at present — although the average population IQ has not changed appreciably. South Africa has lost something “extra” which it possessed in the 1980s, but no longer possesses. (See “Smart Fraction“)
Countries such as South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, and many other nations can economically outperform their national average IQs thanks to the smart fraction of high achieving high IQ people living amongst their less intelligent countrymen.
IQ is Important, But We Are Still Learning Why
We have only had IQ tests for a little over 100 years. These test scores provide important information, as long as we understand that IQ scores are just a piece of the personality puzzle. High IQ scores can open many doors, but they do not guarantee successful entry or performance in difficult career fields.
For success in demanding fields, high IQ is necessary, but not sufficient. But modern political correctness forbids the open consideration of IQ scores — particularly relating to differences in average scores between various cultures, races, genders, social strata, etc.
Solving the puzzles of life success for future generations is now made all the more difficult because of the blatant obstacles placed in the way by our politically correct monocultural political elite. Universities are at the heart of this self-defeating problem facing the human future.
There has never been a better time to form parallel “shadow societies,” to keep the hope of an abundant and expansive human future alive. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .