Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 53361
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2009/9/14-21 [Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity, Politics/Domestic/Immigration] UID:53361 Activity:nil
9/14    Does anyone have the controversial book Bell Curve? I know
        it has the political incorrect [and perhaps flawed] data that
        shows certain race have higher IQ than other race and I'm
        wondering how smart Russians are relative to white Americans
        and East Orientals. I can't seem to Google for this information.
        The only thing I got is the following:
        \_ from the URL(book): "East Asians typically earn higher
           IQ scores than white Americans, especially in the verbal
           intelligence areas."
           I beg to differ. Almost all of my East Asian TAs I had at
           Cal had very very low communication skills."
        \_ "White Americans" are not a race. Most are a mixture of all sorts
           of ethnicities. For instance, many more people have Jewish
           blood in them that you would think. The populace is pretty far from
           its English origins.
        \_ Bell Curve said that intellegence is in this order:
           1) Jews
           2) Orientals
           3) White Europeans
           4) Mongrel races (Mexicans, Arabs, etc)
           5) Mud people (Negroids, Australoids)
           Not sure where Russians fit in here, probably 3, but maybe 4.
           \_ How about the Persians since they're not Arabs?
           \_ Based on what I read on publications with a bunch of east European
              and Russian-sounding last names, Russians and Jews tie.
           \_ When did Adolf get a Soda account?
        \_ Here is my personal un-proven belief:
           - Intelligence is correlated with individual's genetics.
           - Ingelligence is not correlated with race's genetics.
           - In general, culture is correlated with race.  Within the US, this
             is still true among first-generation immigrants, but to a lesser
             extent among later generations.
           - How hard-working you are is correlated with culture.
           - Income is correlated with intelligence.
           - Net worth is NOT correlated with intelligence.
           - One's "achievement" or social status is correlated (among other
             things) more with net worth than with income.
           - Chance of immigration to the US is correlated with achievements.
           Of course, all the above only apply to averages over large
           populations.  Indiviaual cases vary.
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The Bell Curve, published in 1994, was written by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray as a work designed to explain, using empirical statistical analysis, the variations in intelligence in American Society, raise some warnings regarding the consequences of this intelligence gap, and propose national social policy with the goal of mitigating the worst of the consequences attributed to this intelligence gap. Many of the assertions put forth and conclusions reached by the authors are very controversial, ranging from the relationships between low measured intelligence and anti-social behavior, to the observed relationship between low African-American test scores (compared to whites and Asians) and genetic factors in intelligence abilities. The book was released and received with a large public response. In the first several months of its release, 400,000 copies of the book were sold around the world. Several thousand reviews and commentaries have been written in the short time since the book's publication. CRITICISMS CONTENT Introduction - assumptions about intelligence The Bell Curve begins with fundamental and important assumptions, makes assertions (supported by the author's evidence), draws conclusions based on statistical analysis of the evidentiary data, and concludes with wide-ranging recommendations for national policy-makers to follow. The authors state that their main motive is, " the quest for human dignity." Their concluding paragraph seems to support this motive: "Inequality of endowments, including intelligence, is a reality. Trying to pretend that inequality does not really exist has led to disaster. Trying to eradicate inequality with artificially manufactured outcomes has led to disaster. It is time for America once again to try living with inequality, as life is lived: understanding that each human being has strengths and weaknesses, qualities we admire and qualities we do not admire, competencies and incompetencies, assets and debits; that the success of each human life is not measured externally but internally; that all of the rewards we can confer on each other, the most precious is a place as a valued fellow citizen." The introduction concludes with six important assumptions that the authors build much of the Bell Curve's case upon. These six assumptions regarding the validity of "classical" cognitive testing techniques include: 1 There is such a difference as a general factor of cognitive ability on which human beings differ. The authors proceed to explain, using classical cognitive test results primarily, to explain how lower levels of measured intelligence impact an individual's, or indeed an entire class or group of individual's life in American society. CRITICISMS Part 1 - The Cognitive Elite Part 1 (Chapters 1-4) describes the intelligence stratification of American society and the resulting emergence of a "Cognitive Elite". The essential conclusions of this Part of the book are that more intelligent (higher measured IQ) Americans are selected for college, and end up in fewer professions; American society is becoming cognitively stratified, with the Cognitive Elite crossing paths rarely with those of lower cognitive abilities. In the last half of the twentieth century, more and more Americans have been getting college degrees. College graduates have been funneled into a selective few occupations, especially for the brightest of the bright. The authors assert that more intelligent employees are more proficient employees, so that even among high-IQ professions like law, the highest IQ persons end up at the top. In addition, the authors argue that IQ tests could be the most important indicator of potential employee success, and therefore should be allowable as an input to the hiring process. A final point is made with respect to earnings based on cognitive ability. Since the cognitive elite are more proficient, they make more money, live in different areas, and send their children to different schools, churches, stores, etc. This leads directly to physical separation from the rest of society. CRITICISMS Part 2 - IQ and Social Problems Part 2 (Chapters 5-12) of the book addresses social groups at the low end of the cognitive ability spectrum. Assertions are made, and conclusions reached, concerning the propensity of people involved in anti-social or otherwise undesirable behavior or situations to be below average when measured for cognitive ability. The conclusions reached are summarized as follows: * Poverty - Low IQ is a strong precursor of poverty, even more so than the socioeconomic conditions in which people grow up. CRITICISMS Part 3 - IQ and Race Part 3 (Chapters 13 - 17) addresses issues of a national focus, turning attention to cognitive and social behavioral differences between racial and ethnic groups. The controversy surrounding these topics, and the incredibly complex nature of the comparisons being made is acknowledged by the authors from the outset; The assertions and conclusions reached in this part of The Bell Curve include the following: * Ethnic Differences in Cognitive Ability - East Asians typically earn higher IQ scores than white Americans, especially in the verbal intelligence areas. African-Americans typically earn IQ scores one full standard deviation below those of white Americans. The IQ difference between African-Americans and whites remains at all levels of socioeconomic status (SES), and is even more pronounced at higher levels of SES. Recent narrowing of the average IQ gap between black and white Americans (about 3 IQ points) is attributed to a lessening of low black scores and not an overall improvement in black scores on average. The debate over genes versus environment influences on the race IQ gap is acknowledged. Birth rates among highly educated women are falling faster than those of low IQ women. The IQ of the average immigrant of today is 95, lower than the national average, but more importantly the new immigrants are less brave, less hard working, less imaginative, and less self-starting than many of the immigrant groups of the past. Solutions designed to solve or mitigate any of these problems must accommodate, even be focused towards, the low cognitive ability profile if they are to have any hope of succeeding. CRITICISMS Part 4 - IQ and Social Policy Part 4 (Chapters 17 - 22) focus on the idea that we must all live together in this country of diverse cognitive ability, just as we must all live together in this nation of diverse racial and ethnic background. All major domestic issues that we address must include a component that takes into account the predominant cognitive levels of the target population. For example, if we want to implement a training program for unemployed men, we should realize that fully half of the target group will have measured IQ below 80. This should have a significant impact on the resulting social program or policy we establish. Specifically, the discussions in this part of the book, the culmination of the author's efforts, include: * Raising Cognitive Ability - If it were possible to significantly, consistently, and affordably raise intelligence, many of the negative consequences of societal low IQ could be mitigated or removed. However, historical attempts to raise IQ using nutritional programs, additional formal schooling, and government preschool programs (such as Head Start) have proven to have little if any lasting impact on intelligence as measured by IQ tests. The one intervention that has consistently worked to raise intelligence is adoption form a bad family environment into a good one. The authors recommend that children born to single mothers with low cognitive ability be voluntarily given up for adoption. Indeed, the focus of American public education has shifted more and more towards educating the average and below-average child to the exclusion of gifted children. Among the most gifted students, SAT scores have been falling since the mid -1960s. No more than one-tenth of one percent of federal education spending is targeted towards the gifted students. As American education has been "dumbed down" to accommodate the average and ...