Archive for October 31, 2010

HBDers are Idiots: Reason 3

October 31, 2010 13 comments

One of the common HBD talking points is- “g-loaded tests measure ‘abstract reasoning’ and are thus more reliable proxies for intelligence”.

I say-

Bullshit! They measure the ability to solve problems within accepted worldviews, not intelligence.

A good example of this phenomena is seen in how the modern heliocentric model of the solar system came to prevail. Ancient greek philosophers (the ones that ‘western’ people fellate) believed that the heavens were a work of pure geometric perfection and symmetry. This lead to the view that the orbits of celestial bodies were always perfectly circular.

Therefore they continued to believe that the orbits of planets were perfectly circular, even when their observations said otherwise. They tried to explain this discrepancy with a complex system of circles within circles (aka epicycles). It was not until Kepler (in the early 1600s) came to the conclusion that only an ellipse could fit the known experimental data, that the idea of perfect circles, spheres and other pseudo-scientific crap started to be abandoned.

However, the formula and mathematical methods for fitting the observations to an ellipse were known for almost 1,500 years before him. So, were there no high g-loaded astronomers before his time? Or were they too busy constructing more complex epicycles to fit the data to the theory?

Another example of this behavior is seen in how famous doctors of previous eras bled and purged their sick patients, even though there was no evidence that such treatments did anything other than kill more people than otherwise. Were these famous ‘famous’ white doctors from eras prior to the 1880s stupid, sociopathic or just plain ignorant? Or could they have been clever morons who tried to solve problems with ever complex versions of their failed theories?

It takes intelligence to accept that you were wrong. Clever morons, on the other hand, try to paper up the gaping hole left after their credibility implodes.


In Defense of Ephialtes

October 31, 2010 3 comments

If you ever read about or seen the movie based on the battle of thermopylae, the name Ephialtes should ring a bell. He was that guy who betrayed the spartans, thus helping the persians outflank and kill them.

His name has become a synonym for treachery, and is reviled for betraying the greek ’cause’.

My question is-

Why should he have not betrayed the greek cause? What would he have gained if he had not betrayed the spartans?

If you look at the situation objectively, his actions were both logical and rational. He did not stand to gain from not betraying the spartans. Would they have rewarded him for not betraying him? Would his life have improved if he had not betrayed them?

See where I am going..

Consider what he gained from betraying the spartans- money and fame. Would we still remember his name if he had played his assigned social role?

I see him as a person who took a chance at making money and becoming famous. In any case, he had no reason to NOT betray the spartans.

It comes down to a peculiar and ignored form of incentive- one geared towards making it profitable for a person to support a system. Over any significant length of time, only positive incentives can keep the system from collapsing.

However ALL empires and largish states quickly “forget” or ignore this very basic concept. Short-term profit optimization through force, fraud and scams is the real cause of empire failure. Once enough people stand to gain by supporting the other side, other way or not supporting ‘their’ side- it is over for that system.