The Nassim Taleb thread

Fortis said:
samB,

Your breakdown there alone definitely bumped those books up a few notches on my reading list.

Thanks for that.

There's a ton of amazing ideas in his books. Honestly, I feel that antifragility is overrated, in that many people give it more importance than it deserves. Very, very few systems are antifragile, and it's hard to actually apply the concept in every day life.
Taleb's real key insight was distinguishing "fragility" and "resilience" and realizing that these things aren't what they appear.
A wealthy banker making 150k a year might seem to be better off than a poor taxi driver making 30k, but all it takes is one layoff and that banker is FUCKED, whereas nobody can take the taxi driver's living away from him. The driver is resiliant and the banker is fragile.

This isn't a super new insight, but the way he presents it really makes you analyze whether your own situation is fragile or resiliant.
 

Oberrheiner

Pelican
Abelard Lindsey said:
Taleb's argument, which I agree with, is that IQ does correlate with success up until somewhere between 100 and 115, after which the correlation breaks down.

You're talking about monetary success.
And samB just showed how making money is a parasite job and works better if you have no clue what you're doing.
What can you deduce from that ?
 
SamuelBRoberts said:
Meh. Taleb's advantage over other people is that he's really fucking smart and his ideas are really good.

Lots of people made serious money in crypto using Taleb-style strategies.

Lots of us also made serious money in crypto not using Taleb-style strategies.

The green lumber fallacy is the idea that knowing ABOUT a thing is the same as knowing HOW TO MAKE MONEY off of a thing.

I had a similar joke I told back in the bullrun. "How do you tell if a trader loses money?" "Ask him if he's read the Bitcoin whitepaper."

This was a trap that a lot of traders fell into. They thought that knowing about a coin was the same as knowing whether its value would go up or down. So you had people who could quote the bitcoin whitepaper (The technical document that described how bitcoin worked) chapter and verse. They knew how fees were calculated. They knew the history of Bitcoin, and had all kinds of ideas about who Satoshi might be. They knew what hashing algorithm BTC used for its private/public key pairings. Etc. etc. And they spent ENORMOUS effort learning all this.


None of that shit makes you any money.

When I started, I was one of these people. I would spend hours reading altcoin whitepapers. I watched hours of indepth interviews with shitcoin developers, trying to get a good sense of the company's internal workings, whether their partnerships they claimed were legitimate, what the eventual demand would be for the product and what competitors they might face, etc.

I lost a ton of money. During the period from like June to August of 2017, I followed that strategy and did embarrassingly poorly.

You're partly right and partly wrong.

I also followed the same strategy you did, reading white papers etc. Only difference is I did it way before the entire bull market exploded. I got into crypto in late 2016, banked hard on Ethereum based on the whitepaper and made helluva lot more money than traders who came in mid-2017. Even today, in this crypto bear market, I'm making a boatload of money from solid projects that are offering staking rewards. Staking rewards is something that I imagine will catch people by surprise next bull-run (assuming another bull-run happens of course)

The green lumber fallacy is mostly applicable to day traders, not value investors. The book Taleb got the idea from ("What I learned losing a million dollars") is written by a commodity trader, not a long-term investor. It's actually a fantastic book and one I recommend over Taleb's books. The author, Jim Paul, talks in detail about the psychology of making money - which I found infinitely more useful than the "green lumber fallacy", which was merely a paragraph in Paul's book.

If you play a game similar to value investors like Warren Buffet, the green lumber fallacy is not a fallacy at all but an absolute necessity to know what the thing is to make money off it. You weren't wrong about IOTA - it's a joke project and doomed to fail in the long-term. But you tried making money being reasonable in the most unreasonable era, namely during the crypto bubble.

My guess is that had you come in 6 months earlier in the crypto world, you would've had a different story to tell. And it really depends on what game you want to play. If you're a trader who wants to quickly come and get out, by all means green lumber fallacy is what you need. If on the other hand, you're like me and you already made 50x on ETH by June 2017 and you're currently banking on other projects which have a very good shot of 20-50x before the next bullrun, focusing on fundamentals is key.

And more broadly speaking, I do like Taleb's ideas, but like the green lumber fallacy, they often seem to be very limited in practical scope and derived heavily from his experience as a trader.

In regards to limitations:

There's a ton of amazing ideas in his books. Honestly, I feel that antifragility is overrated, in that many people give it more importance than it deserves. Very, very few systems are antifragile, and it's hard to actually apply the concept in every day life.
Taleb's real key insight was distinguishing "fragility" and "resilience" and realizing that these things aren't what they appear.
A wealthy banker making 150k a year might seem to be better off than a poor taxi driver making 30k, but all it takes is one layoff and that banker is FUCKED, whereas nobody can take the taxi driver's living away from him. The driver is resiliant and the banker is fragile.

This isn't a super new insight, but the way he presents it really makes you analyze whether your own situation is fragile or resiliant.

I know you got that banker/cabbie idea directly from his books, but I think you can agree it's not a good example in light of Uber and self-driving cars. Taxi drivers seem extremely fragile to me in 2019.

https://www.wired.com/story/why-are-new-york-taxi-drivers-committing-suicide/

On March 16, Nicanor Ochisor, a 65-year-old yellow cab driver, took his own life in his Queens home. According to his family and friends, he had been drowning financially as his prized taxi medallion, on which he had hoped to retire, plummeted in value.

If that's supposed to be resilience, sign me up for the fragile wealthy banker job. At least if I'm a banker, there's a chance the government will bail my ass out. Or shit, I might even be able to pivot and join a startup or some other high status job.

And not like Uber drivers themselves are resilient seeing how Uber is hell-bent on self-driving cars.

And here's the thing. It's fine that his ideas are actually limited in scope. There are very, very few ideas that are so great, they apply in a majority of cases.

The problem is that Taleb doesn't see the limits of his own ideas, as partly evidenced by blocking/calling an idiot everyone who disagrees with him.

I would recommend everyone to read his books, just to get a different way of thinking about stuff. But as I've gotten older...for every idea Taleb has, I can think of a pretty important situation where his idea would fail catastrophically.

He comes in with the life experience of a trader and a real hard-on for Mediterrean culture. It's a bit amusing to see someone who is so deeply influenced by his background espouse his ideas as almost universal generalities.

I remember he wrote in his book how the difference between stoicism and buddhism is that stoicism has attitude. Lol, no. The real difference is that stoicism comes from the same part of the world he does and that's really why he likes it more.

Beirut said:
Anyone refuted Taleb's article about IQ and the statistics he presented?

If in fact its true that low IQ is a reliable indicator of failure but high IQ not a reliable indicator of success then thats a pretty important distinction to make.

My own personal experience agrees more with Taleb's view so interested to see if facts back it up.

As for his abrasive style, he's Lebanese. Thats how we argue.

We need to take a step back and think about why Taleb went about attacking IQ.

He's very sensitive about IQ, or more specifically, national IQ since it's a common argument used by people on the right against third world immigration. Taleb - being an immigrant himself from Lebanon, which apparently has an average IQ of 82 - would understandably not like this point.

Taleb really dislikes race realism and discussions about race vs. IQ.

So keep that in mind. He makes some valid arguments, i.e. IQ isn't the end all be all. But he throws the baby out with the bathwater.

The most epic argument I've ever seen in favor of IQ is by Lagriffe du Lion:

http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/

Read it from bottom to top.

Even if you only read the bottom 5-6 articles, you'll quickly grasp where IQ's actual strength lies - i.e. in predicting differences between large groups (this is where bell curves work wonderfully).

The real crux of IQ isn't in the Taleb gotchas by showing minimal income differences between an IQ of 110 and 140. It's in the differences in IQ between racial groups and how that percolates through in the statistical distribution of groups in categories such as violent crime statistics (lower end of IQ) and percentage of Nobel prizes won (higher end of IQ).

Taleb is pulling a real slick one by focusing on individual differences at the upper end of the IQ spectrum. By doing so, he's challenging the entire science of intelligence testing and thereby trying to negate how racial differences actually play out.

So you can bet your ass now that if someone now tries to bring up racial IQ differences, they'll point to Taleb's criticisms of IQ. In that sense, he's accomplished his mission.

But that said, I have yet to see a convincing argument refuting what Lagriffe has written. I've seen some prominent people like Steve Sailer tweet about Lagriffe. I do find it interesting that I haven't seen Taleb address Lagriffe directly. I doubt he ever will.

I agree with Taleb about IQ tests. I think they are way to simplistic

Sherman, I highly recommend the 30+ articles Lagriffe has written if you think they're way too simplistic.
 
Akwesi said:
An IQ of 120-125 is probably the sweet spot. You are smart enough to learn from the really high IQ people while at the same time able to communicate meaningfully with the average man. From what I've seen that creates a lot of opportunities for leadership and success. If you have a very high IQ you are just not around enough people like yourself growing up, and your chance of being a little weird as an adult is correspondingly high. High IQ is a mixed blessing.

You're 100% right.

I like using height as an analogy for IQ (something I mentioned in that 200 IQ+ guy's thread).

Being 6ft tall is great.

Being 8ft tall is just weird as fuck and your best bet is that you end up in a very niche career like professional basketball player.

There are trade-offs to everything, IQ being no different.

I think even Buffett quipped he would have to lose about 20 IQ points before he could successfully manage any of the companies Berkshire Hathaway owns.
 

Oberrheiner

Pelican
SamuelBRoberts said:
Did I show that? I don't think I showed that.

Sorry, I'm having an internet overdose these days so I might have stretched it.

Short story time :
At some point in my life I was given the possibility to live very well (but illegally).
I would have had few money (at least officially ..), but all the basics covered and by now I would have 12 kids by 3 different women.

I don't want to give too many details for obvious reasons, but in any case I turned the opportunity down.
Of course, who would have accepted right ?
So I pursued a career instead and I can't complain, I make five figures monthly for less than 150 hours of work and have 2 beautiful kids.

I recently realized I made the wrong choice.
I would have been better off having taken the first option.
Money is just an illusion, it is absolutely useless.
You usually only understand it when you finally have enough.
You have been running after a red herring, the whole time.
And now it's too late, the system won.

I don't know, maybe Taleb is right after all.
I'm high IQ yet had much less success from an evolutionary point of view than I could have had had I been stupider and just focus on some real goal.
Of course I know that's not what he meant, he was talking about money since he's even stupider than me.
Fuck this shit, I'll log off for tonight.
 

Fortis

Crow
Gold Member
I get what you mean oberrheiner, but I think Sam actually showed he knows more about human nature than most of the population.

Is it useful knowing the ins and outs of an investment if that is not what motivates a purchase?

Also, if you're only working 150 hours a month, make good money, have a good relationship with your wife and children and aren't unhealthy, then you're pretty blessed my bro. Take a nap or something.
 

Kaligula

Woodpecker
Oberrheiner said:
Abelard Lindsey said:
Taleb's argument, which I agree with, is that IQ does correlate with success up until somewhere between 100 and 115, after which the correlation breaks down.

You're talking about monetary success.
And samB just showed how making money is a parasite job and works better if you have no clue what you're doing.
What can you deduce from that ?

I am sorry, but monetary success through speculation is a kind of accidental, unless you make the market yourself, of course.

Cryptocurrencies value is still tied to the output of economy, or actually, the FIAT currencies output, NOT to their intrinsic values aka white papers. The only intrinsic values which count are anonimyty and scalability, and which currency truly has that?

Currently, cryptocurrencies are like local (city, county) money in Europe (Notgeld) in the Great Depression Era. Which points to the fact that we are already in the Great Depression-like times.
By the way, no better way to remove inflated volume of FIAT than creating myriad of 'currencies', and then, puff!, by destroying exchanges/electric blackouts to remove the inflated QE.
Well, if you think otherwise, tell me, how many real assets were bought with cryptocurrencies? The role of cryptocurrencies is to absorb FIAT, not to move into the real economy of Main Street.


But it is still not the Green Lumber fallacy, since white papers are not the essence of cryptocurrencies. You do not know what they are by reading white papers. As with every money, you should start with the market, the economy side, the history side, not the technical side. When was the last time when many new currencies were simultaneously on the market? During the Great Depression.
Only in our technology-obsessed times people could believe cryptocurrencies are something truly 'new'.
 
I don't get this entire argument except him wanting to push his viewpoints.

IQ is the best correlation to life success even if that correlation isn't 100%, but it's still a good tool.

Besides - the upper tier echelons past 130 have a lower chance of corporate and monetary success than the ones in the 110-128 range. Vox Day mentioned that if you are 140+ in IQ then your chances of becoming CEO or reaching vice president level go down instead of up. The reason may be manifold and it's everyone's guess - maybe lack of communication skill between the 140 guys and the 100-110 foot soldiers, maybe it's an innate tendency to become bored with the drudgery of the corporate world.

Nobel price laureates when tested clocked around 125 in one test and it's not that impressive - but obviously they were sufficiently smart to bugger through countless studies, write papers, become famous and break through certain barriers.

I personally found that I saw more higher IQ individuals in math clubs, IT programmers, writing geeks or entrepreneurs. Some successful entrepreneurs absolutely loathed being in corporate as they considered it being in slow quicksand while they found success in their own endeavors since they could offload the boring tasks to the people they hired.

However going on that front and rejecting the entire wealth of knowledge is ridiculous.

It correlates especially well in the lower and average demographic strata as well as in life successes of those people. We don't have to go into the demographics to see it replicated both in the core countries Asia, Europe, Africa and their respective diasporas - and we are talking WORLDWIDE. The Chinese or Japanese diaspora does well EVERYWHERE!

On top of that we have some funny numbers on top of the Nobel price winners:

They tested various groups in the US:

Homeless - avg IQ 80 (white homeless tested)
Millionaires - self-made - 112
Millionaires 10+ mio. $ - also 112 to 118 - they go up to the highest level in some studies, but it does not get higher than that.

I also know that the military tests their staff quite strongly and they have huge sets of data that absolutely back up all the mainstream IQ studies. 83 IQ is their limit and not for lack of reason. I also know that the highest IQ guys get pushed into the military intelligence divisions. Generals - even genius generals - may not even score as high, but they have a certain knack, leadership abilities and are often above 120, but on average probably don't reach the highest grounds. And that is fine. The nerdy 150 IQ guy can go decipher a code or pore over some minute battleplan while the former Storming Norman inspires both the troops as well as High command.

Thus even the military conforms to this graph - the IQ success curve goes up to somewhere around 128 and then begins to gradually go down. Still - woe the nation state that falls below 100 or even 90 or 80. No amount of investment in education will push your country forward without massive support from outside - only positive eugenics.
 

Kaligula

Woodpecker
High IQ correlates with lower agreeableness. However, low agreeableness correlates with low IQ, too.
Since agreeableness is social grease, the relative lack of it also effectively limits social influence of both low and high IQ.
Human society is essentially a society of mediocrity. Nowadays maybe more than ever. IQ is declining in the West, which means the the acceptable mediocrity treshold declines too, but with that, also the scope of influence (roughly, acceptability) of remaining high IQs goes down as well.
So much for Plato's dreams.

Contrary to its own myth of omnipotence (aka 'Star Trek'), humanity seems to be a self-limiting species, after all.
 
Kaligula said:
High IQ correlates with lower agreeableness. However, low agreeableness correlates with low IQ, too.
Since agreeableness is social grease, the relative lack of it also effectively limits social influence of both low and high IQ.
Human society is essentially a society of mediocrity. Nowadays maybe more than ever.
So much for Plato's dreams.

Not necesserily - European countries with Finland have tested now at 108 (only locals) in new generations. When averages rise, then who knows whether a 120 IQ avg. society will not look different. The 170 IQ guy will just be the new 140. I remember reading this comedy SF novel where they selected the best of humanity for some spaceship program and the cleaning crew were in the 145 IQ level on that ship.

Crime by the way in the West is correlated with IQ - most of violence being done by the 80-90 crowd.

Social behaviors are a different ballgame and on top of that - some lack of agreeableness is not automatically a sign of anti-social behavior. You may just be a loner, but one who has more self-control, doesn't rape, rob a bonk or even litter the streets.
 

Kaligula

Woodpecker
Simeon_Strangelight said:
Kaligula said:
High IQ correlates with lower agreeableness. However, low agreeableness correlates with low IQ, too.
Since agreeableness is social grease, the relative lack of it also effectively limits social influence of both low and high IQ.
Human society is essentially a society of mediocrity. Nowadays maybe more than ever.
So much for Plato's dreams.

Not necesserily - European countries with Finland have tested now at 108 (only locals) in new generations. When averages rise, then who knows whether a 120 IQ avg. society will not look different. The 170 IQ guy will just be the new 140. I remember reading this comedy SF novel where they selected the best of humanity for some spaceship program and the cleaning crew were in the 145 IQ level on that ship.

Crime by the way in the West is correlated with IQ - most of violence being done by the 80-90 crowd.

Social behaviors are a different ballgame and on top of that - some lack of agreeableness is not automatically a sign of anti-social behavior. You may just be a loner, but one who has more self-control, doesn't rape, rob a bonk or even litter the streets.
Do you have a link to this Finnish study?
Also, I have read that IQ tests are now weighed up, to lift outcomes a bit. I mean, they are not calibrated like the old ones.
So the people claiming the decline in IQ base the thesis also on declining (actually: rising) reaction times, which are now slower than in the past.
Reaction times are correlated with IQ.
And that even putting aside immigration, so some dysgenic effect is probably in play.

And you may be a loner without criminal record, but also with not much less - even academia is not anymore a refugee for social outcasts, really. The peer review culture and 'points' for everything actually cemented a grip of establishment over science.
 

Kaligula

Woodpecker
The interesting question about IQ and civilization: why the Meditarrean (Greeks, Romans, Egyptians) with lower IQ created civilization earlier than the Nord (Germans) with higher IQ?
Or everything was upside down 2000 years ago? Did something shift IQ from the South to the Nord?
 
Kaligula said:
The interesting question about IQ and civilization: why the Meditarrean (Greeks, Romans, Egyptians) with lower IQ created civilization earlier than the Nord (Germans) with higher IQ?
Or everything was upside down 2000 years ago? Did something shift IQ from the South to the Nord?

Who told you that the Romans had a lower IQ?

Besides - medieval societes can be erected by averages of 80-90, our system just requires 96+ according to estimates.

Egypt is a special case and the height of the empire was created clearly by Caucasians of a fairer skin color. The last pharaos were black and Egypt became subsequently darker.

Later the Muslims also turned darker as they imported plenty of African slaves. They castrated the men, but freely procreated with the female slaves - it explains why so many Saudis for example look like mixed Africans.

The same for Persia - a race of white-skinned blue-eyed dark-haired people - more likely descendants of the original Aryans who settled also in India.

The Germans could not create cultures berore the ones in the warmer climates - something that is very well understood even in mainstream history. When you expend huge amounts of energy just for survival in the cold, then you don't have time to build palaces and universities. You have to have some leisure for at least certain parts of your people to focus on other tasks. You also need mere numbers - tough conditions limit population.

That is why nations with easy agricultural opportunities could embark on civilization building before others. Whether the averages were 95 vs 100 was irrelevant to the middle ages - even 106. Just in our system it is poison as people below 95 have trouble operating McDonald's cash registries.

You also cannot equate avg IQ and then extrapolate from there - it's more a matter of necessary threshold and averages. The Japanese were certainly smarter than all White nations, but Whites created a higher civilization as they adopted certain aspects sooner. But Asians simply copied some aspects and caught up fast surpassing us on many levels while Africans struggle to copy most basic precepts. This also is consistent with IQ data. Averages and thresholds matter just as my example of average homeless level of 80 vs average self-made millionaire level of 112. The exceptions or extreme ends of things don't matter as much.
 
Kaligula said:
The interesting question about IQ and civilization: why the Meditarrean (Greeks, Romans, Egyptians) with lower IQ created civilization earlier than the Nord (Germans) with higher IQ?
Or everything was upside down 2000 years ago? Did something shift IQ from the South to the Nord?

That would be my guess.

Movies like Idiocracy are a good metaphor of what can happen to high IQ societies. Basically low IQ peeps breed out the higher IQ peeps (with especially the high IQ women focusing on careers over children).

It seems to be the rule, not so much the exception, that where you have a high civilization, much later you have some low-IQ populations. Civilizations in general seem to eliminate the Darwinian effects the real world has on stupidity.

Again, Idiocracy makes for such a good metaphor.

The reverse (going from low to high IQ) is also very much possible, considering our absolute oldest ancestors (micro-organisms?) effectively had an IQ of 0. Over billions of years, we went from that to what we are today. It's not inconceivable that with the application of the right forces and pressures, a low IQ society could rapidly transform into a much higher IQ society.

Kaligula said:
High IQ correlates with lower agreeableness. However, low agreeableness correlates with low IQ, too.
Since agreeableness is social grease, the relative lack of it also effectively limits social influence of both low and high IQ.
Human society is essentially a society of mediocrity. Nowadays maybe more than ever. IQ is declining in the West, which means the the acceptable mediocrity treshold declines too, but with that, also the scope of influence (roughly, acceptability) of remaining high IQs goes down as well.
So much for Plato's dreams.

Contrary to its own myth of omnipotence (aka 'Star Trek'), humanity seems to be a self-limiting species, after all.

Yeah, I feel it's worth its own thread, but I've had my own theories about why we've never detected signs of extraterrestrial life -in a nutshell: any lifetime as intelligent as us or quite possibly even more intelligent would be so due to similar forces (sexual and natural selection). And since the same forces apply, the same drawbacks apply to and they would see a similar decline in average intelligence and decay of their civilizations.

It's worth considering that somewhere out there in the universe, a million years ago, on some planet, there were aliens who were experiencing their own form of Western civilization collapse and with it all of their dreams of space travel.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
Simeon_Strangelight said:
Kaligula said:
The interesting question about IQ and civilization: why the Meditarrean (Greeks, Romans, Egyptians) with lower IQ created civilization earlier than the Nord (Germans) with higher IQ?
Or everything was upside down 2000 years ago? Did something shift IQ from the South to the Nord?

Who told you that the Romans had a lower IQ?

Besides - medieval societes can be erected by averages of 80-90, our system just requires 96+ according to estimates.

Egypt is a special case and the height of the empire was created clearly by Caucasians of a fairer skin color. The last pharaos were black and Egypt became subsequently darker.

Later the Muslims also turned darker as they imported plenty of African slaves. They castrated the men, but freely procreated with the female slaves - it explains why so many Saudis for example look like mixed Africans.

The same for Persia - a race of white-skinned blue-eyed dark-haired people - more likely descendants of the original Aryans who settled also in India.

The Germans could not create cultures berore the ones in the warmer climates - something that is very well understood even in mainstream history. When you expend huge amounts of energy just for survival in the cold, then you don't have time to build palaces and universities. You have to have some leisure for at least certain parts of your people to focus on other tasks. You also need mere numbers - tough conditions limit population.

That is why nations with easy agricultural opportunities could embark on civilization building before others. Whether the averages were 95 vs 100 was irrelevant to the middle ages - even 106. Just in our system it is poison as people below 95 have trouble operating McDonald's cash registries.

You also cannot equate avg IQ and then extrapolate from there - it's more a matter of necessary threshold and averages. The Japanese were certainly smarter than all White nations, but Whites created a higher civilization as they adopted certain aspects sooner. But Asians simply copied some aspects and caught up fast surpassing us on many levels while Africans struggle to copy most basic precepts. This also is consistent with IQ data. Averages and thresholds matter just as my example of average homeless level of 80 vs average self-made millionaire level of 112. The exceptions or extreme ends of things don't matter as much.

A lot of these statements don't hold water.

The Germans could not create cultures berore the ones in the warmer climates - something that is very well understood even in mainstream history. When you expend huge amounts of energy just for survival in the cold, then you don't have time to build palaces and universities.

Winters in Beijing are harsher than in Berlin or Munich. Lots of palaces in China, many, many millennia ago.

Egypt is a special case and the height of the empire was created clearly by Caucasians of a fairer skin color. The last pharaos were black and Egypt became subsequently darker.

...Later the Muslims also turned darker as they imported plenty of African slaves. They castrated the men, but freely procreated with the female slaves - it explains why so many Saudis for example look like mixed Africans.

This take on Egypt kind of sounds like a reverse we wuz kangs. In any case, the people from the Fertile Crescent, cradle of civilization, who were credited with inventions like mathematics, the wheel, the chariot, sailboats, metallurgy, the plow, agriculture, the alphabet to name a few, those people were most likely not much different from current day Iraqis and Syrians.

If anything, the ancient Mesopotamians might have actually been darker in antiquity, because later on the Crusades, and then the Ottomans who imported slaves and mercenaries from the Balkans and EE injected a lot of white blood in the region. Those imports made up the ruling class in Renaissance-era Egypt under the Mamluks , that country was probably more African prior to that, and prior to Greco-Roman times, when Alexandria was more European in character. Ancient Egypt was a more insular and more African culture, bonded by the Nile, with Upper Egypt being integrated with the darker Nubia (present day Sudan).

As well slavery in Arabia predates islam.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
Genghis Khan said:
Akwesi said:
An IQ of 120-125 is probably the sweet spot. You are smart enough to learn from the really high IQ people while at the same time able to communicate meaningfully with the average man. From what I've seen that creates a lot of opportunities for leadership and success. If you have a very high IQ you are just not around enough people like yourself growing up, and your chance of being a little weird as an adult is correspondingly high. High IQ is a mixed blessing.

You're 100% right.

I like using height as an analogy for IQ (something I mentioned in that 200 IQ+ guy's thread).

Being 6ft tall is great.

Being 8ft tall is just weird as fuck and your best bet is that you end up in a very niche career like professional basketball player.

There are trade-offs to everything, IQ being no different.

I think even Buffett quipped he would have to lose about 20 IQ points before he could successfully manage any of the companies Berkshire Hathaway owns.

That's not a good analogy, a better one would be wealth. Someone with a net worth of half a billion or more is not worse off than a mere millionaire. Most of the time, more is better.

This thing about too high an IQ being an impediment discredits the whole IQ dogma that many espouse on here. Because if someone with an IQ of 150 or higher is apparently too dumb to figure out the intellectual limitations that render him unable to achieve the same professional success as his dumber 120 IQ counterparts, well then maybe that guy is not really that smart... Do you guys see the irony here?

What this really shows is that people who typically score very high on the IQ test lack flexibility and self-awareness, or perhaps a certain kind of emotional/social maturity. Those are important components of overall intelligence that the IQ test doesn't measure. Putting together big picture concepts is at least as intellectually demanding as figuring out little puzzles with triangles and circles. I think this is what Taleb might be pointing at.
 

BBinger

Kingfisher
Kaligula said:
The interesting question about IQ and civilization: why the Meditarrean (Greeks, Romans, Egyptians) with lower IQ created civilization earlier than the Nord (Germans) with higher IQ?
Or everything was upside down 2000 years ago? Did something shift IQ from the South to the Nord?

I suspect that excess domestication and the easy life influences the decline. At some point, schooling or not, the kids don't meaningfully exercise their brains during important growth years with similar consequences to not exercising their bodies. Consider the example of Italy cities where people have been doing the Urban living thing complete with multi-family apartment buildings for two millenia, the underclass really got cemented as the underclass.
 
911 said:
A lot of these statements don't hold water.

The Germans could not create cultures berore the ones in the warmer climates - something that is very well understood even in mainstream history. When you expend huge amounts of energy just for survival in the cold, then you don't have time to build palaces and universities.

Winters in Beijing are harsher than in Berlin or Munich. Lots of palaces in China, many, many millennia ago.

Egypt is a special case and the height of the empire was created clearly by Caucasians of a fairer skin color. The last pharaos were black and Egypt became subsequently darker.

...Later the Muslims also turned darker as they imported plenty of African slaves. They castrated the men, but freely procreated with the female slaves - it explains why so many Saudis for example look like mixed Africans.

This take on Egypt kind of sounds like a reverse we wuz kangs. In any case, the people from the Fertile Crescent, cradle of civilization, who were credited with inventions like mathematics, the wheel, the chariot, sailboats, metallurgy, the plow, agriculture, the alphabet to name a few, those people were most likely not much different from current day Iraqis and Syrians.

If anything, the ancient Mesopotamians might have actually been darker in antiquity, because later on the Crusades, and then the Ottomans who imported slaves and mercenaries from the Balkans and EE injected a lot of white blood in the region. Those imports made up the ruling class in Renaissance-era Egypt under the Mamluks , that country was probably more African prior to that, and prior to Greco-Roman times, when Alexandria was more European in character. Ancient Egypt was a more insular and more African culture, bonded by the Nile, with Upper Egypt being integrated with the darker Nubia (present day Sudan).

As well slavery in Arabia predates islam.

Please - Chinese vs Northern Europeans comparison fails even on the basis of mere population numbers.

I mentioned that you need a basic massive population to uphold and create huge infrastructure and palaces - if that metric is applied then India preceded China significantly.

fig_population_0-2050_s.gif


Note that China had population levels of 60-80 mio. even 1500 to 1000 years ago.

In contrast look at the numbers of Europe in 1330:

[img=640x480]https://i.ytimg.com/vi/UY9P0QSxlnI/maxresdefault.jpg[/img]

We are lucky that the emperor who sailed some invasion forces even to Africa then later changed his mind. They could have overrun most of Europe easily by sheer numbers and superior technology 1000 years ago.

As for Egypt - it's not a reverse kangz crap. I have no beef in anything. There was far more going on with Egypt. The millions of White slaves in the Middle East are known, but also other aspects with Arab clans. And they left a greater mark in other North-African territories around Syria or Turkey - more than Saudi Arabia, but whatever. Let it be Kangz - advanced genetic testing will someday prove anything - in our current climate you cannot even get decent propaganda-free testing on fucking cavemen - they were all black you see.

three-phases-egypt1-1.jpg


There are many aspects that go into long-term civilization rise and fall and there are frankly many theories.

Though usually they omit certain ones - like the destructive end-stage effects of usury and recently something I heard was depletion of the soil and the erosion of nutrient density with subsequent deterioration of a core population if they relied heavily on agricultural production.

Also why some societies develop to a certain degree and then ossify like with the Japanese - that is also known since aristocratic feudalism with a serf-class has too much of a vested interest to keep it that way. It took competition from other competing nations in Europe to shake off that yoke. Japan was too far removed from it and China was already unified. And both Asian societies had plenty of IQ-increasing positive eugenics going on.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
I'm not sure what your point about the population in early China was SS, the fact is that their civilization was established nearly 5000 years ago along the Yellow River, where the winters are harsher than in central Europe, and it was among the most advanced civilizations of its time.

For the racial makeup of early Egypt, one good clue are Coptic Egyptians, who didn't mix much with the Arabs (though there was mixing with other Med. Christians in places like Alexandria), they're usually a bit darker than your average eastern mediterranean folk.
 
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