The Internet Reformation

 

I find it difficult to imagine that Martin Luther was the first Catholic priest who became displeased with how the Church was being managed at the time.  I’m sure the Catholic Church had dealt with cranks before; the holier than thou types who think the leadership of the church is losing focus on God while it pursues money or whatever.  Most Protestant churches have at least a couple of these people in them even today.  “Why are we buying new paint for our church when children are starving in Africa?!?”  You know the type.  So Martin Luther was probably not the first to question the Catholic Church.  Many had before, and many still do.  But Martin Luther had an enormous impact – more than those who came before him.  Why?

Many historians argue that it was the printing press that really changed The Catholic Church, and thus changed history, more than Martin Luther did.  I don’t claim to be an expert in this topic, but this is not a new concept.  Martin Luther came along just at the right time, and the new technology of the day changed him from just another crank to an influential figure of enormous historical significance.  It wasn’t one man who changed Christianity – it was a new technology – the printing press.  Which brings me to identity politics and modern leftism.

Leftism has been around for a long time, of course.  The modern version of it probably started with Marx and a few philosophers from that era, but I’m sure that similar ideas had been around for a very long time.  We finally tried out leftism in earnest in the 1900’s, and the result was over 100 million dead people.  So you might expect the enthusiasm for leftism to wane a bit after that.  But in the past 10 years or so, leftism appears to be taking over.  Like wildfire.  Democrat politicians no longer hide their socialist desires – they campaign on them.  Why?

I would argue that, just as a serious challenge to the Catholic Church was not possible until the printing press was invented, modern leftism was not possible until the internet was invented.  And now, in the age of smartphones and Google and social media and so on, our march leftward has become not just possible but inevitable.  For a lot of reasons.

While many of us expected social media to bring us together, it has had a paradoxical effect of exaggerating our pre-existing divisions.  Our tribes have gotten smaller, more exclusive, and more hostile to others.  (“If you don’t see the value in dressing up Bassett Hounds like superheroes, than I don’t need you in my life.  Please unfriend me.”)  And as our membership in various groups became more important to our identity than our individual characteristics, identity politics became a potent political force.

Another unexpected effect of Facebook etc is the increasing prevalence of jealousies – as our friends post pictures of their vacations and other happy moments, we realize that we are not as happy, and we become resentful of nearly everybody.  And resentful, unhappy, lonely people tend to identify with the leftist message of punishing the successful people to build an equitable society, and create heaven on earth.  At that point, identity politics becomes a contact sport.

The Prozac generation believes that sadness is not an emotion to be managed, but rather a disease to be treated.  And the tribal, social media generation believes that our sadness is generally someone else’s fault.  And we become ever more resentful and isolated.

With COVID, even family gatherings were often conducted on iPhones rather than around kitchen tables, increasing the isolation we all felt.  We longed for community, and became increasingly fearful of, well, of everything.  Any form of uncertainty looks like a threat when you’re living all alone, in a bubble.

And now that we’ve moved away from classical religions like Christianity, Judaism, etc, that means we now worship the only God we have left:  We now look to the government to protect us from, well, from everything.  Just like the tribes of old looked to their chief when then needed rain for their crops, we look to Joe Biden to protect us from infectious diseases.  Which is equally rational.  But it’s also human nature, so there you go.

As Charles Murray explained in “Coming Apart,” we’ve been sending our smartest kids to the best schools for decades now.  And they all get advanced degrees.  So all the smartest kids are living together from ages 18 to 26 or so.  So guess what happens?  Our smartest 1% marry our smartest 1%, and they raise really really smart kids.

And now, with the information age, their particular skills of abstract thinking and deductive reasoning have made them even more valuable to society than they already were.  So the number of people who can get ahead in our modern society is getting smaller, rather than larger (as it had for the first 225 years of American history).

Which makes various forms of government safety nets even more appealing than they were in the days of FDR.  Particularly to a populace of anxious, lonely members of smaller and smaller tribes who are having a harder and harder time getting ahead.  They feel that their individual skills will not help them as much as their membership in a favored group.  So identity politics takes over, and looks to government to manage, well, to manage everything.

And what happened the last time we tried out leftism in earnest?  100 million dead people.

So what happens now?

I’m not sure.  But I’m sure of this:  There’s no turning back now.  What has been set in motion cannot be stopped.

And I suspect that the Protestant Reformation will look like no big deal, compared to what’s coming next.

This is going to be huge.  Whatever it is.

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  1. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    It’s always huge.

    • #1
  2. Midwest Southerner Member
    Midwest Southerner
    @MidwestSoutherner

    Great post. Lots to think about — and anticipate.

    • #2
  3. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    It’s always huge.

    Ok, but this is going to be different than moving from George Bush to Bill Clinton.  Not because Joe Biden is such a powerful leader.  But because a new technology has changed the whole game.  So Margaret Thatcher’s ‘ratchet effect’ has been changed to an unstoppable tidal wave.  It doesn’t matter who’s in charge.  There’s only one way this can go.  I’m not sure exactly how all this will play out.  But I suspect this will be a lot different than arguing about middle class tax rates.  I see enormous structural changes to our society happening very, very quickly.

    At least, that’s what I see.  

    As I often say, I really hope I’m wrong about this.

    • #3
  4. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Dr. Bastiat: And I suspect that the Protestant Reformation will look like no big deal, compared to what’s coming next. 

    In some respects, likely enough. But Reformation theology will outlive whatever happens next.

    • #4
  5. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    In her book ‘Strange Rites’, Tara Isabella Burton writes about the proliferation of off-brand and tribal religions which have emerged in America, and are continuing to emerge all the time.  I mentioned this book in comments here recently–one of her points is:

     

    “Scholars of religion often claim that it’s impossible to separate out the invention of the printing press from the Protestant Reformation,”  and

    The technology that gave us the ability to sit with a text in the privacy of our own home and internalize and interpret its message for ourselves gave us at once a profound sense of agency and a retraction of the boundaries of a public sphere. Protestantism is, perhaps, the ultimate religion of the printed book. The Remixed religions we’re about to explore are the religions of the Internet.

    To which the Jewish Review of Books adds:

    “By “religions of the Internet,” she means not that today’s American religions necessarily play out in the digital sphere but, rather, that they respond to the demands of people whose lives are shaped by the Internet: people who are hyperindividualistic and location-independent and who demand creative roles in designing their own experiences.”

    • #5
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    David Foster (View Comment):

    In her book ‘Strange Rites’, Tara Isabella Burton writes about the proliferation of off-brand and tribal religions which have emerged in America, and are continuing to emerge all the time. I mentioned this book in comments here recently–one of her points is:

     

    “Scholars of religion often claim that it’s impossible to separate out the invention of the printing press from the Protestant Reformation,” and

    The technology that gave us the ability to sit with a text in the privacy of our own home and internalize and interpret its message for ourselves gave us at once a profound sense of agency and a retraction of the boundaries of a public sphere. Protestantism is, perhaps, the ultimate religion of the printed book. The Remixed religions we’re about to explore are the religions of the Internet.

    To which the Jewish Review of Books adds:

    “By “religions of the Internet,” she means not that today’s American religions necessarily play out in the digital sphere but, rather, that they respond to the demands of people whose lives are shaped by the Internet: people who are hyperindividualistic and location-independent and who demand creative roles in designing their own experiences.”

    Thanks for the tip – I’ll check out her book!

    … nothing like thinking I have a clever and new idea, and then finding out that someone has already written a freakin’ book on it – geez – thanks a lot …

    • #6
  7. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Yes, this time feels like a sea change. I haven’t experienced one of these, I was too young in the 60’s.

    I should note that while the details of these inflections vary, they always emerge from the subscale. It’s the characteristics of individuals that carry the energy. One can’t understand this time from an undeveloped Newtonian perspective.

    Heh heh. This time is Hamiltonian.

    • #7
  8. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Just before I read this I watched a youtube video of Jordan Petersen discussing what he considered a “terrifying” statistic. It involved IQ and some studies done by the US military. I’ll link the video below, but the point is that there is no place for 1 in 10 in today’s society. That claim is a result of the military deciding that a person with an IQ of less than 83 cannot be trained to do anything useful to the military. And since winning wars is important, no one with a lower score would be accepted. 

    Petersen assumes that the military is a good representation of the modern technological society, and that supports his conclusion. 

    I have a bad habit of reading the comments on youtube and what I see frequently is people who can’t understand the subject matter and who, for some reason, think that if they can’t understand it, it must be wrong. Leftists seem to be over-represented in that group. Oh, well … the video. It’s related to your Charles Murray reference. 

    • #8
  9. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Django (View Comment):

    Just before I read this I watched a youtube video of Jordan Petersen discussing what he considered a “terrifying” statistic. It involved IQ and some studies done by the US military. I’ll link the video below, but the point is that there is no place for 1 in 10 in today’s society. That claim is a result of the military deciding that a person with an IQ of less than 83 cannot be trained to do anything useful to the military. And since winning wars is important, no one with a lower score would be accepted.

    Petersen assumes that the military is a good representation of the modern technological society, and that supports his conclusion.

    SNIP

    The statistics about American individuals and the US military not accepting people whose IQ is lower than 83 is even scarier when a person learns that many people, such as college admissions personnel, who have had to experience generations of students over time,  realize that the IQ of students has been dropping steadily since around the early 1980’s.

    Then when one considers that the IQ tests are examined and graded, then the scores are issued as percentiles, so with it all being relative to this year of people being tested, there is no real way of ascertaining how low the “average” has fallen.

    • #9
  10. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Dr. Bastiat: I find it difficult to imagine that Martin Luther was the first Catholic priest who became displeased with how the Church was being managed at the time.  I’m sure the Catholic Church had dealt with cranks before; the holier than thou types who think the leadership of the church is losing focus on God while it pursues money or whatever. 

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

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I understand the point of the post and I share your concerns. However, I see another social current gaining momentum that I’m excited about: home life. For a lot of young people, home was simply a way station, a jumping-off point to more exciting places and experiences. But a funny thing has happened over the past pandemic year: people have gotten to love being in their own homes. People have taken up gardening and cooking in a big way. Home remodeling. People are buying homes like crazy. A friend of ours is a real estate broker on Cape Cod. He said it’s been wild. Houses are selling way over their asking price. He said there are 2,500 brokers on Cape Cod and 250 houses for sale. :-) People suddenly love being home. That’s a good thing.

    And it bodes well for towns and small cities across America. Someone told me once that people become involved in politics usually when their children enter school. Their parents want to be a part of their education and oversee the local government. From there, they move into other areas of government. A friend of mine served on the school committee where she advocated for spending a greater share of our tax revenues on schools than we were spending. She then joined the board of selectmen, and she said to me once, “Wow, the kids need police and fire protection and parks and recreation programs too!” :-) Indeed.

    When people want to improve their town somehow, they are not going to want to surrender all their tax money to the state or federal government. That’s a really healthy counterweight to centralization.

    And these new homebodies will be more conservative than liberal. I think this has something to do with the liberal in your twenties, conservative in your forties phenomenon.

    I see all of the powerful negative social trends out there right now. I wonder if people will ever get bored with the racism-themed media products. I think that’s what’s feeding the frenzy. If it doesn’t disappear, we’ll be in big trouble. A liberal Democrat, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., predicted this in his 1991 book The Disuniting of America. But the countertrend, the antidote, is local government. Increased civic engagement invariably leads to a higher-trust society. So I hope that wins. I think it will. As long as we protect our freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of association, we might survive in one piece.

    • #11
  12. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    I Part of the reason Martin Luther “got away” with his “heresy” is that :

    a) the Pope was otherwise occupied.

    b) almost everything in his “heresy” had been refuted before-so to the complacent churchmen in Rome it was “old news” and they thought no big deal. But with changes in technology ( like the printing press) and with changes in society,  the previously refuted ideas found fertile soil.

    c) many German nobles wanted any excuse to reduce the Church’s power and lay hands on its wealth.

    • #12
  13. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: And I suspect that the Protestant Reformation will look like no big deal, compared to what’s coming next.

    In some respects, likely enough. But Reformation theology will outlive whatever happens next.

    (So, of course, will Catholic theology and Eastern Orthodoxy. In case that wasn’t obvious.)

    • #13
  14. navyjag Lincoln
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Django (View Comment):

    Just before I read this I watched a youtube video of Jordan Petersen discussing what he considered a “terrifying” statistic. It involved IQ and some studies done by the US military. I’ll link the video below, but the point is that there is no place for 1 in 10 in today’s society. That claim is a result of the military deciding that a person with an IQ of less than 83 cannot be trained to do anything useful to the military. And since winning wars is important, no one with a lower score would be accepted.

    Petersen assumes that the military is a good representation of the modern technological society, and that supports his conclusion.

    I have a bad habit of reading the comments on youtube and what I see frequently is people who can’t understand the subject matter and who, for some reason, think that if they can’t understand it, it must be wrong. Leftists seem to be over-represented in that group. Oh, well … the video. It’s related to your Charles Murray reference.

    My God! It’s 1966 again. LBJ needs black and other minority votes and conjures up Project 100,000. Take 100,000 guys with low test scores (then the military GCT; 75 minimum score probably equivalent to the 83 IQ and put them in the service without HS diplomas). Absolute frigging disaster. Most went to the Army and chewed up in Nam. But too many went in the Navy and a bunch wound up on my carrier.  Almost my full time job as the JAG lawyer trying to figure out how to get these guys away from the bombs and flight deck crew before a disaster. Thank God for the end of the draft and we finally shuffled the low performers out. And the volunteers who wanted to learn something in the service took over. 

    • #14
  15. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    My God! It’s 1966 again. LBJ needs black and other minority votes and conjures up Project 100,000. Take 100,000 guys with low test scores (then the military GCT; 75 minimum score probably equivalent to the 83 IQ and put them in the service without HS diplomas). Absolute frigging disaster. Most went to the Army and chewed up in Nam. But too many went in the Navy and a bunch wound up on my carrier. Almost my full time job as the JAG lawyer trying to figure out how to get these guys away from the bombs and flight deck crew before a disaster. Thank God for the end of the draft and we finally shuffled the low performers out. And the volunteers who wanted to learn something in the service took over.

    I was in the Nav, Twidget First Class. My particular specialty was one of the Navy’s marquee systems. When I arrived on ship I joined a workcenter of solid two-sigma guys, with one clearly a three. (I didn’t measure that way at the time, learned how to measure effective intellect later. But while I didn’t administer a Stanford-Binet, I’m reasonably confident in that assessment. You get to know people you work with for 18 months under difficult circumstances, especially on a tin can.)

    After my second deployment with that bunch, they all finished their tours within a few months of each other. I became workcenter supervisor, and I could not believe it when they staffed me with 4 dunces in a row. ID-ten-T, all of them. Could not spell “decibel”, forget about understanding RF circuits. Or primitive 10 MHz digital circuits, for that matter.

    My point is, these thing come in cycles. But was that LBJ? I thought Project 10^5 was McNamara’s brainchild buttchild.

    McNamara. I’d have had that retard polishing floors swabbing decks for two years before he graduated to monitoring the purified water cooling system for my radar.

    • #15
  16. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Dr. Bastiat:

    As Charles Murray explained in “Coming Apart,” we’ve been sending our smartest kids to the best schools for decades now.  And they all get advanced degrees.  So all the smartest kids are living together from ages 18 to 26 or so.  So guess what happens?  Our smartest 1% marry our smartest 1%, and they raise really really smart kids.

     

    So you are saying we should genetically everyone to be smarter? I’m on board.

    • #16
  17. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Dr. Bastiat: As Charles Murray explained in “Coming Apart,” we’ve been sending our smartest kids to the best schools for decades now.  And they all get advanced degrees.  So all the smartest kids are living together from ages 18 to 26 or so.  So guess what happens?  Our smartest 1% marry our smartest 1%, and they raise really really smart kids.

    That’s a naive theory. What really happens with that sort of concentration of physical intelligence by mate choices (the “nature” side) is their kids regress towards the mean. What also happens is the social effect of such concentration, which is to extend extraordinary support to their kids and raise economic barriers against the rest of the population. 

    Short version – the assortation that Murray (and Herrnstein) predicted has produced the least gifted cohort of elites in human history.

    • #17
  18. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: As Charles Murray explained in “Coming Apart,” we’ve been sending our smartest kids to the best schools for decades now. And they all get advanced degrees. So all the smartest kids are living together from ages 18 to 26 or so. So guess what happens? Our smartest 1% marry our smartest 1%, and they raise really really smart kids.

    That’s a naive theory. What really happens with that sort of concentration of physical intelligence by mate choices (the “nature” side) is their kids regress towards the mean. What also happens is the social effect of such concentration, which is to extend extraordinary support to their kids and raise economic barriers against the rest of the population.

    Short version – the assortation that Murray (and Herrnstein) predicted has produced the least gifted cohort of elites in human history.

    I’m not sure about this.

    My wife is 6’1″ and I’m 6’2″.  So guess what?  We have tall kids.  Two of our daughters are 6’4″.

    But not all of them.  We have one short daughter.  She’s 5’10”.  So all our our daughters are not tall.  Ok, fine.

    But if a lot of tall men marry a lot of tall women, you’re going to get a lot of tall kids.  Not all of them.  But a lot.

    I strongly suspect that if a lot of smart men marry a lot of smart women, you’re going to get a lot of smart kids.  Not all of them.  But a lot.  

    And some of those won’t just be pretty smart.  They’ll be unusually smart.  Like a 6’4″ girl – way out on the curve.

    Will these smart kids be successful?  I don’t know.  There are lots of other variables, of course.  Work habits, personality types, family environment, etc etc.

    But a lot of them will have unusually high IQ’s.  Lots and lots.

    • #18
  19. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I understand the point of the post and I share your concerns. However, I see another social current gaining momentum that I’m excited about: home life. For a lot of young people, home was simply a way station, a jumping-off point to more exciting places and experiences. But a funny thing has happened over the past pandemic year: people have gotten to love being in their own homes.SNIP People suddenly love being home. That’s a good thing.

    And it bodes well for towns and small cities across America. Someone told me once that people become involved in politics usually when their children enter school SNIP From there, they move into other areas of government. A friend of mine served on the school committee… she advocated for spending a greater share of our tax revenues on schools than we were spending. She joined the board of selectmen, and she said to me once, “Wow, the kids need police and fire protection and parks and recreation programs too!” :-) Indeed.

    When people want to improve their town somehow, they are not going to want to surrender all their tax money to the state or federal government. That’s a really healthy counterweight to centralization.

    And these new homebodies will be more conservative than liberal. I think this has something to do with the liberal in your twenties, conservative in your forties phenomenon.

    I see all of the powerful negative social trends out there right now.SNIP But the countertrend, the antidote, is local government. Increased civic engagement invariably leads to a higher-trust society. So I hope that wins. I think it will. As long as we protect our freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of association, we might survive in one piece.

    What an exciting post to read. I am surrounded by people so  sick of being at home, and of course, by our living rurally, most people we knew were spending a lot of time in their homes prior to the Year of Being Shut Down.

    We all have missed visiting with each other. Plus Gov Newsom went so far over the top – probably far above what other governors instituted. I’m glad to realize that there have been positive outcomes in other parts of the nation.

    One situation to point out in your enthusiasm for local projects & what I assume would be local spending: we just got a postcard telling us about the wonders of a new program in our community, to create, support & maintain the Kelseyville Community Fire District Project. This new project would of course require some type of taxation based on assessment of local homes. So to offset the fact our governor has thrown so much of our bankrupt  state’s money into helping immigration efforts, now we should consider getting an additional tax to pay for all the millions of dollars that governor irresponsibly cut from the local fire districts. (smh at the insanity of this.)

    • #19
  20. Flicker Member
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: As Charles Murray explained in “Coming Apart,” we’ve been sending our smartest kids to the best schools for decades now. And they all get advanced degrees. So all the smartest kids are living together from ages 18 to 26 or so. So guess what happens? Our smartest 1% marry our smartest 1%, and they raise really really smart kids.

    That’s a naive theory. What really happens with that sort of concentration of physical intelligence by mate choices (the “nature” side) is their kids regress towards the mean. What also happens is the social effect of such concentration, which is to extend extraordinary support to their kids and raise economic barriers against the rest of the population.

    Short version – the assortation that Murray (and Herrnstein) predicted has produced the least gifted cohort of elites in human history.

    I’m not sure about this.

    My wife is 6’1″ and I’m 6’2″. So guess what? We have tall kids. Two of our daughters are 6’4″.

    But not all of them. We have one short daughter. She’s 5’10”. So all our our daughters are not tall. Ok, fine.

    But if a lot of tall men marry a lot of tall women, you’re going to get a lot of tall kids. Not all of them. But a lot.

    I strongly suspect that if a lot of smart men marry a lot of smart women, you’re going to get a lot of smart kids. Not all of them. But a lot.

    And some of those won’t just be pretty smart. They’ll be unusually smart. Like a 6’4″ girl – way out on the curve.

    Will these smart kids be successful? I don’t know. There are lots of other variables, of course. Work habits, personality types, family environment, etc etc.

    But a lot of them will have unusually high IQ’s. Lots and lots.

    I want to disagree with you, generally, but I can’t.  (Yet, I do.)  One day, I happened to have had all my hair cut off and wore a pair of simple black-framed glasses and I looked in the mirror and OMG! the face of my grandfather was staring back at me.  And I do think that I have the mental attitude and a comparable life history with him.  And interestingly, I married a woman much like his wife, in form and temperament, and even general facial features.

    But I’m sure it’s all just coincidence.

    • #20
  21. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: As Charles Murray explained in “Coming Apart,” we’ve been sending our smartest kids to the best schools for decades now. And they all get advanced degrees. So all the smartest kids are living together from ages 18 to 26 or so. So guess what happens? Our smartest 1% marry our smartest 1%, and they raise really really smart kids.

    That’s a naive theory. What really happens with that sort of concentration of physical intelligence by mate choices (the “nature” side) is their kids regress towards the mean. What also happens is the social effect of such concentration, which is to extend extraordinary support to their kids and raise economic barriers against the rest of the population.

    Short version – the assortation that Murray (and Herrnstein) predicted has produced the least gifted cohort of elites in human history.

    I’m not sure about this.

    My wife is 6’1″ and I’m 6’2″. So guess what? We have tall kids. Two of our daughters are 6’4″.

    But not all of them. We have one short daughter. She’s 5’10”. So all our our daughters are not tall. Ok, fine.

    But if a lot of tall men marry a lot of tall women, you’re going to get a lot of tall kids. Not all of them. But a lot.

    I strongly suspect that if a lot of smart men marry a lot of smart women, you’re going to get a lot of smart kids. Not all of them. But a lot.

    And some of those won’t just be pretty smart. They’ll be unusually smart. Like a 6’4″ girl – way out on the curve.

    Will these smart kids be successful? I don’t know. There are lots of other variables, of course. Work habits, personality types, family environment, etc etc.

    But a lot of them will have unusually high IQ’s. Lots and lots.

    Back when I cared about that sort of thing and still had the mathematical chops to understand a bit about the subject, I read an article on the (in)heritability of intelligence. Bottom line, IIRC, is that intelligence is transmitted pretty reliably. What one does with inherited intelligence is another matter. 

    • #21
  22. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    I would point out that companies are very pleased to have a connection to the internet, but have not managed to get past the “one angry letter equals a thousand customers” idea. So a Twitter mob terrifies them, despite the fact that the writers only represent themselves, and are paid in social credit to post in the first place. 

    • #22
  23. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Django (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: As Charles Murray explained in “Coming Apart,” we’ve been sending our smartest kids to the best schools for decades now. And they all get advanced degrees. So all the smartest kids are living together from ages 18 to 26 or so. So guess what happens? Our smartest 1% marry our smartest 1%, and they raise really really smart kids.

    That’s a naive theory. What really happens with that sort of concentration of physical intelligence by mate choices (the “nature” side) is their kids regress towards the mean. What also happens is the social effect of such concentration, which is to extend extraordinary support to their kids and raise economic barriers against the rest of the population.

    Short version – the assortation that Murray (and Herrnstein) predicted has produced the least gifted cohort of elites in human history.

    I’m not sure about this.

    My wife is 6’1″ and I’m 6’2″. So guess what? We have tall kids. Two of our daughters are 6’4″.

    But not all of them. We have one short daughter. She’s 5’10”. So all our our daughters are not tall. Ok, fine.

    But if a lot of tall men marry a lot of tall women, you’re going to get a lot of tall kids. Not all of them. But a lot.

    I strongly suspect that if a lot of smart men marry a lot of smart women, you’re going to get a lot of smart kids. Not all of them. But a lot.

    And some of those won’t just be pretty smart. They’ll be unusually smart. Like a 6’4″ girl – way out on the curve.

    Will these smart kids be successful? I don’t know. There are lots of other variables, of course. Work habits, personality types, family environment, etc etc.

    But a lot of them will have unusually high IQ’s. Lots and lots.

    Back when I cared about that sort of thing and still had the mathematical chops to understand a bit about the subject, I read an article on the (in)heritability of intelligence. Bottom line, IIRC, is that intelligence is transmitted pretty reliably. What one does with inherited intelligence is another matter.

    Yes. I’ve read a decent amount of this hereditary stuff and it seem like the evidence for this is pretty solid. 

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  24. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I want to disagree with you, generally, but I can’t.  (Yet, I do.)  One day, I happened to have had all my hair cut off and wore a pair of simple black-framed glasses and I looked in the mirror and OMG! the face of my grandfather was staring back at me.  And I do think that I have the mental attitude and a comparable life history with him.  And interestingly, I married a woman much like his wife, in form and temperament, and even general facial features.

    But I’m sure it’s all just coincidence.

    I want to disagree with you too. 

     

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