Wednesday 15 January 2014

Intelligence is a tertiary phenomenon


What is intelligence for?

On the one hand higher intelligence helps in learning, it helps in analysis and understanding... stuff like that. 

But given that most of the most intelligent people have been doing silly and wicked things for much of history - what is the proper use of intelligence?

To be 'a good thing', to be valuable, to benefit mankind: intelligence ought to be a tertiary phenomenon.


1. Motivation

The most important thing is motivation - what you are trying to do.

If you are not trying to do the right thing, then you will do harm - and intelligence only increases the amount of harm you are capable of doing. 


2. Honesty

If you are dishonest, then the material which your intelligence works-upon will inevitably be worthless at best and most likely harmful.


3. Intelligence

If you are 1. properly motivated and 2. honest, there is a good chance that intelligence will yield something useful.

But only when built-upon 1 and 2.


Tuesday 7 January 2014

The ageing population is a contribution to the decline of intelligence in developed nations


From considering some of the points in this post

it is clear that the ageing population, the change in the age structure (as represented by a population pyramid) has been a factor in reducing average intelligence.


Almost all nations at present have grossly distorted population structures resembling one of another of these extremes:

In terms of the median (average) age, Angola is in the late-teens, Japan is in the mid-forties.

Such extremes of median age have not been seen in human history, and such an extreme difference between nations is highly significant.


The population structure ideal is something in between, and closer to the 'stationary' shape - therefore probably it would be roughly 'pyramidal', but with a much narrower base than Angola.

The developed world nations all approximate to the top-heavy Japanese shape among the indigenous population - very few children at the base of larger proportions of the elderly.


As a person ages they suffer a decline in intelligence - which is objectively (but only approximately) measurable by a slowing of simple reaction times.

Reaction times get faster from young childhood up to sexual maturity as intelligence increases throughout childhood and up to about age 16 for girls and 18 for boys.

Adults are more intelligent than children - and a population grossly-over-dominated by children and early teenagers, like that of many of the developed world nations, will therefore naturally have a lower average intelligence. However, such populations would expect to get more intelligent over the short to medium term (forthcoming years to decades) as current children mature into adulthood.


The opposite applies in the developed nations.

The reaction times/ intelligence does not change much during early adult life; but seemingly decline gets faster and faster in the thirties or forties; so the decline in intelligence from age forty to fifty is much greater than from thirty to forty, and continues to accelerate.


(The actual amount of decline is only imprecisely known, I think, because it would require longitudinal studies lasting many decades. But as a very approximate ballpark figure, I would suggest a loss of about 10 IQ points (2/3 of a standard deviation) from age 20 to 70. Therefore the decline would go something like 30-40 - 1 IQ point lost; 40-50 - 2 IQ points lost; 50-60 - 3 IQ points lost and 60-70 - 4 IQ points lost.)


The developed countries currently have a median average age in the mid-forties, which means that average intelligence has already declined - but as the median age gets above 45 and continues to rise, the rate of intelligence decline will increase further, and further.

At a national level, there would appear to be an apparently sudden, because more rapid, and unavoidable decline in national capability to accomplish functions requiring a population of high intelligence.


Of course, intelligence is not the only thing that changes with age - physical ability declines, and personality also changes - but the objective nature of reaction times makes the picture simpler and more objectively measurable, in principle.

(Objectively measurable, that is, at the population level where the imprecision of simple reaction times for estimating individual intelligence, is overcome by averaging of larger numbers.)


The point is that a population with a top-heavy population pyramid, a population with a median age in the forties and increasing, is a population with:

1. Reduced average intelligence compared with the optimal population structure - and the transition of population structure to the top-heavy form would be accompanied by an increasingly rapid reduction in average intelligence from this cause;

2. And a population with high median age/ top-heavy structure is a population where further and more rapid decline in average intelligence is to be expected over the short to medium term (the coming years, and next few decades; due to the small proportion of the population contained in those age- cohorts that will be moving into young adulthood (with peak intelligence) in the near future.


Note: Of course, the Leftist media propound sustained mass immigration as a solution to this problem; but of course it is not a solution to this problem and very obviously leads to multiple other and intractable problems.

Suffice to say, any potential immigrant groups that could theoretically improve the cognitive deficit will not improve (and probably worsen) the reproductive deficit - and vice versa.

In the long term, the current top-heavy population structure of the developed nations will self-correct, because it is unsustainable in multiple ways; and thus the ageing-contribution to intelligence decline will cease.

However, the intelligence level of the population which stabilizes will, of course, be significantly lower than it was 150-200 years ago - due to the substantial intelligence decline over that period.


Monday 6 January 2014

Notes on Creativity as a sensitivity to external (ultimately divine) inspiration


[Note: the following is a non-scientific theory - in that it assumes the reality of gods and spirits and that humans can receive communications from them; whereas science excludes the reality of gods and spirits. Strictly, science does not assert that gods and spirits are unreal; but rather that they are not part of science, are excluded from science a priori, as a basic assumption. In other words what follows is not-science; but of course it is not anti-science, nor unscientific; nor is it against the scientific interpretations - the following idea is outwith science.]


Creativity is 'inspiration' (a breathing in of spirit) - which is a sensitivity to external knowledge about reality.

Therefore, creativity is in opposition to conscientiousness and empathy - because they entail being mostly interested by, and doing, what other people want, being mostly interested by and feeling what other people feel.

Creativity has a negative correlation with conscientiousness and empathy - since they are the hallmark of a person who is sensitive and orientated towards to human communications.

Creativity is something different. 


Creative people must of necessity have their focus turned away from the social world - at least while they are being creative.

Away from the social world but therefore towards what? Towards the unseen world; the supernatural world, the world of non-human intelligences; in other word; the world of gods and spirits, souls, angels, demons, God Himself.

That is the source of creativity.


And that is the reason why creativity is an insight into reality.

(Even evil creativity is an insight into reality - because typically it first knows reality, and only then distorts or inverts reality.)


Because of creative persons, humanity has access to extra-human knowledge or ability as applied to human problems or needs.

Creativity is a direct route to something beyond human ability.


Creativity is not random - it is directed - it is directed towards reality.

So, why should creativity be associated with altered states of consciousness: trances, dreams, insanity, intoxication?

Well, such altered states of consciousness always have been associated with communications with gods and spirits - so that fits with gods and spirits being the actual source of creativity.


Also, altered states of consciousness entail a turning-away of attention from the social world - which is necessary but not sufficient for turning attention towards gods and spirits.

And creativity entails that communications be understood; so the creative person requires some knowledge, skill, expertise in the area concerning which he receives communications.

(There would be no point in sending a Medieval peasant to a scientific conference to hear a presentation by Einstein; the peasant could not understand it. Likewise the creative person receiving a communication from spirits or gods must be able to understand it - hence the results of creativity are only useful when associated with sufficient intelligence, knowledge, skill etc.)


But creative genius is very unevenly-distributed - with some tempero-spatial concentrations (such as Ancient Greece, or 16th century England, or 18th century Scotland) and other areas and eras when there has been nothing of the sort discernible.

The first reason is that creative genius requires other factors - such as intelligence. But some areas and eras with high intelligence have been uncreative.


So, why would some individuals of some religions or nationalities or races or times in history be more sensitive to communications from gods or spirits?

First there is the gift of creativity (latent creativity); then there is the deployment of that gift - Clearly, uncontroversially, in some times places and persons expression of latent creativity may be encouraged or rewarded - or else discouraged and punished.


But what of the gift itself, the latent creativity?

Since the creative communication is from gods and spirits to a Man, then the gift itself may of of the same origin.

This would imply that creativity is a destiny; and a destiny which may be accepted, perverted, or rejected; by human free will, human choice).

Or perhaps a better word is 'calling': to be creative is to have a calling. 


So, latent creativity is a gift and a calling; but whether it is accepted is an individual choice; and whether latent creativity is expressed is (at least partly) a societal choice.

How common is the gift of latent creativity? I would say, not very common - although because it is latent, the frequency is hard to be sure about.

And the gift may be abused, the calling perverted - and many creative people choose to use their gift of creativity for evil purposes.

Indeed it is possible that most people with a creative gift and the calling to be creative do indeed misuse the gift and pervert the calling, due to the sin of pride: evil geniuses are very common among geniuses.


But, at the bottom line, I would have to regard creativity as a divine gift; and its disposition therefore presumably a consequence of some divine plan.

Again I emphasize, Man's choice, influenced by societal choices, can and does often subvert and sabotage divine plans.

Nonetheless. I would infer that the times and places and persons of exceptional creativity were no accident; but that God had some particular (perhaps general) hope, strategy, intention for those times, places and persons - some latent destiny for these; whether or not this destiny was accepted, and whether or not it was allowed to be expressed.


Saturday 4 January 2014

Why is the decline in average intelligence not more obvious? Perhaps because it was masked by understimating the age-related decline in intelligence


It is possible that the dysgenic decline in average intelligence has been masked by underestimating the age-related decline in intelligence.


The numbers which follow are very approximate, rounded to fives and tens; and I cannot at present reveal all my sources. 

The basic idea is that, using simple reaction times to estimate general intelligence:

1. Age related decline in intelligence in the average individual is roughly 2 IQ points per decade (through the working years, from say 20-70 years old); while

2. The population average dysgenic decline in intelligence has been roughly 1 IQ point per decade.

[See NOTE below]


Therefore, over a fifty year span - the dysgenic decline in the population is about 5 IQ points, while the age-related decline in each adult individual is about 10 IQ points.

Therefore, at any given time point, the average 20 year old is about as intelligent as the average 45 year old and roughly 5 IQ points more intelligent than the average 70 year old.


So, each new cohort of 20 year old sees themselves as being the same intelligence as the middle aged, and more intelligent than the elderly

- but by the time current twenty year olds have reached the age of seventy they will be significantly less intelligent than the current seventy year olds.

This also means that the effect of declining intelligence is time-lagged, only becoming apparent some decades after the decline has occurred - and becoming visible only when age-related decline has accumulated.  


How come this was not obvious? One reason may be that rising average IQ test scores (i.e. the Flynn effect) has hidden it - because IQ test scores have been going up over recent decades, even as real, underlying intelligence has been going down. So the true age-related decline in intelligence did not show-up in longitudinal IQ testing - the real decline has been masked.


NOTE: This is put simply in order to get my point across. But I should add that the age related decline in intelligence is not linear at 2 IQ points a decade - that is probably about the average rate of decline from age 20-70 - but the rate starts out less than 2 points per decade and ends up higher - in other words, the rate of decline increases with increasing age. 

Also, I see no reason why the dysgenic decline should be at a linear rate either - nor that the rate of dysgenic decline should be the same in all populations - indeed there are some populations (Sweden, Finland) where there probably was not a dysgenic decline of intelligence - at least, not a decline due to differential reproduction related to intelligence.