The Tyranny Of The Stupid & Mendacious

The great Greg Cochran will often point out that a smart person is someone who says smart things, but more important, they don’t say many dumb things. Everyone, no matter how smart, will get a dumb idea in their head or get carried away and say something stupid on occasion. It’s just not common with smart people, at least not as common as it is with dumb people. Being smart is as much the absence of stupidity as it is getting right answers or having a long list of brilliant insights.

This comes up often in public discussion of the human sciences. It is remarkable how often an allegedly smart person will say things that are laughably wrong about something in biology or human evolution. A favorite example is Cordelia Fine. She is a Full Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at The University of Melbourne, Australia. That is quite impressive, but she writes books that are full of nonsense about biology. Cochran’s review of her book, Testosterone Rex, is a great read.

Is Cordelia Fine stupid? Well, if you look at her credentials, you have to think she is pretty smart. She has a degree from Oxford and PhD in psychology. It’s not physics, but it’s not nothing. She has advanced in her career to a very high position. Presumably, she is a smart woman. Yet, she routinely writes and says things that are wrong and not just a little wrong either. As Cochran pointed out in his review of her book, she makes the sorts of errors one expects from undergraduates. That’s not smart.

The point is not to pick on Mx. Fine. She’s probably a delightful woman, who would be a pleasure to know. It’s just that she is a great example of the plague of incredibly stupid smart people we see in public life. In fact, it seems to be a requirement of the modern public intellectual to have a long list of credentials and an equally long list of statements that are obviously wrong. We live in an age in which the greatest barrier to success as a public intellectual is not having enough mistakes on your record.

In fairness, you can be smart and have a lot of crazy ideas in your head. The Unibomber was a genius. Ted Kaczynski graduated high school at 15 and was a professor of mathematics at Cal Berkeley at 25. His tested IQ was 167. There’s no denying he was a brilliant man, but he also sent bombs to people in the mail. The old line about there being a fine line between genius and madness always comes up in these cases, but the truth is, you can be both a genius and have a head full of nutty ideas.

Similarly, you can be a genius and be extremely weird or unpleasant. Richard Feynman was a brilliant physicist and a terrible human being, by most accounts. He was often described as ruthless and amoral. Another brilliant physicist was Paul Dirac, who is counted as one of the weirdest people in the history of science. He was so strange that someone wrote a book about him called The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac. Smart people can be so strange, people confuse them for stupid or nuts.

The problem we have today, however, is not an excess of evil super-geniuses or even a glut of eccentric ones. There’s no doubt that many of the pseudo intellectual posers we see in public life are mendacious and immoral. Ben Shapiro says things all the time he has to know are false, but mendacity serves his agenda. Like the Unibomber, he graduated high school early and zoomed through college in three years. He is not sending bombs through the mail, but he says a lot of ridiculous and dishonest things in public.

Everywhere you look, we have people with credentials that strongly suggest they are quite bright, yet they advocate for things that are quite dumb. Even after all these years, we still have “foreign policy experts” demanding we stay in Afghanistan and the Middle East, in order to turn them into democracies. Like Shapiro, they could be saying these things because they are paid to say them. That’s been known to happen. Still, it means our public intellectuals are smart people without scruples.

It’s also possible that the credentialing system we have been using for generations has gone horribly wrong and it now selects for charismatic sociopaths. Not to keep picking in Shapiro, but he is mostly a Hollywood creation. Perhaps the vetting system of college and graduate school has been corrupted to select for the sorts of people, who fit a role in the propaganda machine. Whatever the case, the people who are supposed to help the public sort through things are mostly stupid, crazy or mendacious.

Humans are by nature inclined to look to authorities, in order to understand the world around them. At least it seems that way. In every society that we know of, there were people in positions of authority to whom the people looked for solutions. The shaman or witch doctor may have been nuts, but he knew more about curing ailments and appeasing the gods than anyone else, so everyone looked to them for answers. To put it in modern terms, being less wrong used to count for a lot in human societies.

In the current age, “being smart” automatically bestows authority on someone. It even grants them authority on topics well outside their area of expertise. Yet, our shamans and witch doctors seem to have been selected for their propensity for error. As a result, people are walking around thinking there’s no biological difference between boys and girls, because they heard it from Cordelia Fine. They think James Watson is history’s greatest monster because some enlightened dingbat said so in the New York Times.

Maybe it does not matter that the public is made dumber by the new class of stupid, dishonest public intellectuals. The Aztecs made it a long time thinking human sacrifice was a good idea. Perhaps it really does not matter that the public is clueless, just as long as the people in charge are not clueless. The Iraq War, Bill Kristol, open borders and a whole host of recent public polices suggest the ruling class is suffering from the same malady as the intellectual class. Rule by stupid liars can’t possible end well.

171 thoughts on “The Tyranny Of The Stupid & Mendacious

  1. Listening to all the doctors here reminded me of a story. New doctor ( think he was a Saudi ) examines this guy and determines he’s got water in the lungs.

    Nurse rolls in half-a-dozen vacuum bottles. He jabs one end of the hose in the vacuum bottle ( immediately releasing all the vacuum ) and the other end with this huge needle into the guy’s lower back.

    After the third or fourth attempt the nurse slips out and brings back another doctor ( Paki ) they have a little conference in the corner of the room . The nurse finally shows them how to do it properly.

    Far more educated than I’ll ever be and certainly way above my pay grade, but I doubt either one of them could change a flat tire to save their life.

    Then again they have hot looking wives and drive fancy sports cars . I’m sure they don’t give a shit what I think 🙂

  2. They’re plenty smart. Smart is not a virtue. That is the wisdom of alternative systems; insofar as they produce leaders with some virtue – courage or prudence – they are systematically better than the one we have. We like smart in this country, the virtues be damned.

  3. The academia elites hand out PHDs to all their stupid liberals like candy at Halloween. I have very little respect for these doctors today. Most have taken the religion of Marxism as their shield – they should know full well it is against human nature and has never worked for 103 years.

  4. Intelligence is hard to figure and guys are even more confusing. On the opposite end of the educated smart but dumb guys you have high-school-only smart but dumb guys. Some of the dullest goons out there are poker players. Excellent poker players. But they probably can’t tell you what color their girlfriend’s hair is. I’d be taken to the horse track as a kid and the conversations I’d overhear sounded like mathematicians on speed. I’m really familiar with MMA fighters and heavy metal guitarists. They both come off like morons. But being great at fighting technique and guitar is super not easy. We’ve all talked to car salesmen. Most of them are obviously intelligent. If you can talk fluently about a machine AND finance AND make creative small talk all at the same time, you’re smart. But why are they car salesmen? What’s wrong with men? Why can’t you guys get it together in one total package?

  5. Zman: “Richard Feynman was a brilliant physicist and a terrible human being, by most accounts. He was often described as ruthless and amoral.”

    That’s really interesting. I read two of his books, and watched his lectures and he seemed really cool.

    But that is him putting his best side forward, so of course it is probably going to look good.

    I vaguely remember he cheated on his wife, and I think he was disappointed his daughter didn’t share his interest in science and physics.

    Do you have any more info you can share on this?


    • Edward Longshanks: I have read, listened to and watched a lot of material by and about Richard Feynman and he is one of my heroes. He was a smart kid and a wise-guy with a New York accent. To say he was amoral and ruthless is like saying Einstein was scatter-brained and had a bad haircut.

      • Yeah, when I read his books, he seemed really cool and strangely enough, relatable.

        The first lecture of his that I ever saw was when he talked about magnetism.

        At first I with thinking this was going to be a boring lecture…big deal, magnets. Positive and negative poles, yada, yada, yada.

        But it turned out to be a great introduction.

        It led me to watching his university physics lectures and his books.

    • Like most savants, Feynman was a fierce defender of his ideas, which some likely interpreted as ruthlessness. He was also an avowed atheist, which likely explains the amoral description. In many respects, he was a classic Renaissance Man before that appellation became popular, and possessed many disparate talents and interests. I would say that he lived a life well lived and left a significant and lasting contribution to physics in his wake. Not a bad accomplishment with the small window of time that each of us gets.

  6. On very smart ppl, ‘normal’ ppl run into a problem in distinguishing a genius from a nutjob similar to if a person who knows no math has to distinguish a brilliant math paper from a fraudster writing a lot of integrals, differential quotients etc. One could be the most profound treatise on something and the other meaningless garbage and in the most advanced cases only very few would be able to tell the difference.

    This has further relevance b/c postmodernists, and ‘xirl scientists’, deliberately abuse this problem of telling profundity from noise by using a lot of strange, and not a few made-up, words, to write….meaningless noise and get tenure for it. It is absolutely nuts but in a low-testo, dumbed down, ‘everyone is afraid of being called out as contrarian’ society, it is a fraud that can lead to very comfortable careers….

  7. You can obtain impressive credentials at a young age, yet it doesn’t make you wise. And you can live your adult life in an intellectual bubble and never develop wisdom either.

  8. Hi Z…….I think in your article you are actually looking for some display from our ruling elites of WISDOM. They nowadays entirely lack wisdom. IQ and schooling, smarts and wisdom are mutually exclusive yet can be contained in the same person.
    Wisdom is a character trait as opposed to hardwired IQ. I can attest that some of the dumbest people in the world can have a high IQ, often accompanied with arrogance to deflect. Once I realized this, I have made it a life goal to gather and cultivate wisdom often through experience and observable reality. (A boy is a boy, a girl is a girl, a cat is a cat!)
    A definition of wisdom is hard to pin down, yet it has something to do with gathering common sense through years of experiencing life thus learning how to live life efficiently, developing emotional smarts and some calmness by recognizing patterns of life and its turbulance, recognizing common sense life truths, knowing what you don’t know in certain areas and becoming an “empty vessel” purposely to gather that wisdom that is lacking, which can make you vulnerable. Also, knowing your character weaknesses and knowing your nature which are two separate things (A man must know his limitations…Clint Eastwood).
    You mentioned shamans…people yearn for wisdom from elders. You can identify wisdom without going to a rainforest shaman just as you described. Look to your elders, yet many modern elders don’t have wisdom, shrouding themselves with confusion, coarseness and unattractiveness.
    Likewise, I have worked with more Mensa high IQ guys in the water company that had little emotional or wisdom IQ. Some engineering types were annoyingly “stupid” with little common sense, arrogant as hell to deflect from their unbalance, and usually lacked people skills, often loners, would not partner up well in a work environment, i.e. I know what I don’t know and I target and look to other people to gain that specific knowledge/wisdom.

    Which leads me to my other theory: The Julie theory that nature favours averages. The higher and lower the IQ…the more screwed up, out of balance and dislikeable you are likely to be. This is observable.
    What is scaring us all is our ruling overlords and their religion of lefty minions completely lack wisdom, and that is unnatural, unpredictable and thus scary. They tell is up is down, boys are girls, girls are boys, girls and boys are wombats, and this is in complete defiance of observable reality. The result is massive cognitive dissonance and a huge disconnect from reality that makes people crazy, unhappy and unpredictable.

    • Or maybe our overlords are so-called “wise”, yet are just screwing with the rest of us. If that’s the case, they had better get over it quickly, because sooner or later people find a way to effectively stand up to that kind of crap.

      • Afternoon Dutch….Yes, they are giving us a totalitarian screwing that has nothing whatsoever to do with Wisdom. They even drag out sham “wisdom keepers” such as that old Indian shiester banging the drum at the Covington lads. Notice the MSM, cucks and lefties frothed like a St. Bernard because it’s immoral to disrespect “good old Indian wisdom keepers.” I’ve seen these old Indian activists since the early AIM days. It’s an act to F with whitey and long practiced. The radical Left is moving so rapidly out of control that each week now moves the Overton window noticeably left.

      • After “convincing” us that there are several sexes, their latest argument is that a MAGA hat is a KKK hood. “Our overlords” are borrowing more from islam every day and are of the belief that our dhimmihood (“and make them feel subdued”) is pretty much a done deal. They’re sure they have us silent; now the deal is to make us invisible. It’s the opposite of what islam is doing with the prominent burkhas and praying in the street.

        Gives them a good excuse for random violence. Although rape is never the fault of dress, violence is. If they just wouldn’t wear those hats, when they know they make us mad” is part giving away a weakness, part giving the dhimmis a “warning” and part “no, this does NOT have to be logical. That’s only for your side. And stop asking, or we’ll get triggered and who knows what’ll happen (except it’ll be your fault.)”

    • Range;
      Your desire to pursue wisdom is highly commendable. An excellent place to start for anyone looking for pointers is the Book of Proverbs in the First/Old Testament, even if you are not a believer.

  9. The notion of lying to oneself is a bit paradoxical. But that really has to be what’s going on with most of our intelligentsia. The evidence against equalism/nurturism increases practically by the hour, and yet they double down on them as if they’re trying desperately to reassure themselves as much as they’re trying to convince us.

  10. The Cordelia Fine example is absolutely spot on here. Some ideas are so insane and ridiculous that only extremely intelligent people can believe them. No one on the left side of the bell curve could truly believe the differences between men and women are 100% the result of socialization. Apologetics for the blank slate require an amount of brain power that most everyone lacks.

    Another good example would be libertarians arguing how contracts would be enforced absent a government. One has to be very smart to manage to think something that stupid.

  11. I am rather fond of Nicholas Nassim Taleb’s description; “intellectual yet idiot”, Someone gets a PhD in say Underwater Basket Weaving and suddenly feels competent to opine on anything from ancient Urdu to quantum physics. It is pure Dunning-Kruger.

  12. One difference besides the great proliferation in and narrowing down of ‘knowledge’ is that there used to be something like a guild structure in each of the so-called expert professions (medicine, law, the sciences, even journalism and the arts) in the ’50s and before. That is, those professions sorta policed their own ranks lest some member depreciate all of their standings (and eventually their incomes) as experts by saying/doing obviously stupid things in public. A big part of that situation was the ‘guilds’ determining who they let in in the first place.

    There was, it seems to me, sort of an unofficial bargain like, ‘We, the elite, can’t really tell who is an expert in your profession, so we expect you to police your own ranks. In exchange for that, we’ll allow you to artificially restrict the intake into your quasi-guild, inflating your individual incomes above what they might be in an unregulated market.’ And besides this, you’ll need to keep the greedy in check lest you bring into question your groups utility as promoting the public interest. So, there were unofficial entrance requirements included evidence of probity and psychological stability in addition to credentials.

    IOW, the feminists were not wrong about there being an ‘old boys’ network. They, market efficiency fanatic Libertarians and self-seeking minorities worked avidly to blow this all up starting in the late -60s and forward. ‘Unfaairr_! Tear it down_! Standards are sexxiss and raaycisss_!’

    In fact, sometimes non-credential standards were, but they also had benefits to society as a whole. By blowing them up through radical politics the radicals opened the door to their being no standards but political ones. So far medicine has mostly recoiled but they are under increasing SJW pressure to cave on having non-political standards. Law caved a long time ago.

    So, were there fewer crazies and cranks in the past_? I’d say no, but then the the elite could turn to the guild to police its own ranks (by shutting them up or expelling them) or recommend experts to evaluate their claims on a non-political basis. Now they really can’t.

    • I wish I could upvote this comment ten times.

      Importing incompetents into the managerial elite is a political strategy, not an unintended side-effect. The incompetent will be loyal to the political left forever, because they know they don’t deserve their jobs and would lose power if the Left did. Of course it’s a civilization wrecking strategy, and the bill is coming due soon.

      “By blowing them up through radical politics the radicals opened the door to their being no standards but political ones.”

      … and that was the whole point all along.

      Spandrell on biolenninism:

  13. Taleb calls these people IYI: “intellectual yet idiot.” Taleb is currently butthurt about the Middle East’s low IQ, but his other writings are still interesting and sometimes insightful.

  14. When I went to a good college in the late 1970s, I was excited to get out of my “hick” nowheresville white middle class existence and into the “hallowed halls”. I took art classes, expecting a celebration of western artistic achievement and technique, and instead got tutorials on the finer points of abstract painting. I thought literature was going to be all about Beowulf and Shakespeare, but I got Ezra Pound’s “Paris Metro” and Eliot’s “Waste Land”. History was “Nazis bad” and all about the Holocaust. Economics was an exquisite parsing of Marxist theory. I didn’t even try music, because it was all about John Cage. This was at a nominally Christian institution, with a seminary on the campus, and God was nowhere to be seen or referenced. I came to understand the nihilism of the elites. What was worse was that there was no context to all this stuff, it was just thrown down as a repudiation and replacement of what came before, which was not to be spoken of, or even acknowledged as having existed. I came away with an education, but not the one they thought they were giving me. I imagine that things must be ten times worse now. No wonder our culture is so screwed up.

    • I had a similar experience, I’m about your age. And the saddest thing is, we almost certainly got a better college education than kids get today. Just try asking some Millennial who Ezra Pound or T.S. Eliot or John Cage was

  15. Grey Enlightenment had a post dovetailing this, albeit from the opposite direction. According to his reckoning, most of the people you expect to be smart are smart and you just don’t appreciate their moderate centrism with a bias towards stability.

    Did you know Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris are smart? There are many other smart people like them writing on Quilette. You wouldn’t want to keep reading this populist jingoism…

    • Bari Weiss is also smart and was on the Joe Roan podcast. Have a listen if you want to experience the raw power of centrist intellect. They’re just smarter than you and very moderate. A light unto your nation.

  16. Brain encephalization in our species likely derives from the development of complex language skill, and the follow-on application of language to reprogram our young post-partem with accumulated wisdom. This practice enhanced survival, fecundity, and robustness; which is why it persisted and became a trait. In modern times, religion became a vehicle for transmitting wisdom between generations, and the proclivity to absorb teaching from a “wiseman” is part of our heritage. A defect in our current culture is that wisdom is no longer wise, but that cannot change absent a penalty for stupidity.

  17. Real life experience is always the best school for learning, as long as your observant and willing to adjust. Practice usually trumps theory. So maybe these people have a broken feedback loop or are just plain unobservant in life.

    The old engineering joke for academic engineers – “so it works well in practice but how well does it work in theory?” – might hold for this type of person.

  18. Regardless of how intelligent or educated someone is … if they have flawed values in their heads, their thoughts, words and desired outcomes will be distorted and, well, wrong.

  19. I hate to sound like a broken record on this but, guys, if we don’t get behind Bill Mitchell on this kind of stuff we are all gonna be doomed.

  20. Does anyone find it suspicious that Nathan Phillipps, 64 years old, is a “youth leader”?

    I’m going to groundlessly speculate that we might have a Hugo Schwyzer-type here.

  21. In the latest no consequences for stupidity department, right after Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez says we’re all gonna die in 12 years (global warming), a poll shows 74 percent of Democrats would support her for president. (if she was old enough)

    • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez threatened conservatives with gang rape.

      No Democrats condemned her for this.

      • That’s because only Donald Trump is crude. According to the MSM, he’s all crude, all the time, meaning there is no crude left for anyone else to be (esp dems).

    • I don’t have a Twitter account, but I have been following the Twitter accounts of AOC, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley as a matter of curiosity. It’s as if we elected a gaggle of college sophomore girls to Congress–an endless parade of selfies, sarcastic memes, and self promotion. One really must watch the video of AOC doing a little dance move outside her office door to thoroughly appreciate how hopelessly immature and unprepared for the job she is.

      The stupid hurts, but judging by the feedback they get I would not count them out. This is the future of the Democrat party, and it has broad support among women and PoC. The idiots who voted for Democrats well deserve to be punished with AOC’s 70% top marginal tax rate.

      Separately, check out the quote from furloughed IRS tax examiner Will Koehler of Covington, KY (yes, that Covington): “When it gets to a point where government employees have to go to a food bank, this is not the America that I grew up in…”

      No, Will, it isn’t the same America you grew up in. You’re finally getting a clue.

  22. The same rings true in the military. I served almost 25 years, met countless well educated senior officers and met many of our leading General Officers involved in OIF and OEF. They all talked the talk and sounded competent. This is all well and good until we left the FOB and I was reminded that we were still losing. These guys had no better clue as to how to win an insurgency then anybody before them. They either didn’t appreciate the history of the later years in Vietnam and to some extent France’s experience in Algeria or just didn’t care. Every time Stan McCrystal and alike GO’s pop off about Trump….I just yell at the TV…yeah but you lost!
    These folks are never good at admitting they didn’t know something. My best leaders were fierce, highly educated, blue collar mud rollers who knew how to tap into their staffs experience. They did no assume by share rank, that they knew it all better. These media types and their hangers on all assume we’re idiots because they’re closer to the seats of power and its rubbed off on them. Is there a single person on CNN you’d want to solve any of your problems or Hollywood actors. That dingbat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez couldn’t do anything else with her degree but sling drinks and now she’s in Congress? The same person 70% of Dem’s would vote for President. Really…..we’re doomed!

    • M.D.6
      Sad to hear. Same story as Vietnam until they finally pulled Westmoreland, the Prince of the Pentagon (I was in during but never in theater). I was constantly astonished at those so-called Strategists. All you had to do was read about the Am Revolution, Napoleon’s Peninsular War, Mao’s takeover of China, etc. and then look at the friggin map. You couldn’t see Laos is/was the key terrain for feeding the insurgency_? And Kennedy gave it away in ’62 for God’s sake_! If you’re not willing/able to retrieve that strategic blunder, better to go home right now_!

      And, as you say, they repeated the same blunders re the Syrian rat lines and the Paki passes. Girrrr_!

      • As always with your ilk you miss the point.

        The US had no more business killing Vietnamese than it does killing Afghans.

        • Bile, Al d’Nort’s comment enfuriated me as well, but for a different reason.

          Al is of the honorable martial tradition, where brief wars were fought to actually settle things.

          Modern foreign entanglements, seem senseless because they service the ends of a global criminal class, and are never meant to end in service to a nation’s interest.

          Low level conflicts, like drug wars, are not only a racket, they’re a fulcrum, levering up the much larger assets of the 1% with war inflation.

          Al was right. The Beltway princes weren’t trying to win, and end, their wars. They deposed Nixon after he forced Hanoi to agree to every one of our terms- free elections, free press, etc- after he ended the war in victory, in other words. We won in ’73, the Democrat-led rout, the betrayal, (Hanoi Airlift) happened in ’75. Nixon resigned in ’74.

          (Well color me surprised. The term “Hanoi Airlift” doesn’t show up in Wikipedia.)

  23. Back in the early 90’s when NAFTA was a big issue, there used to be quite a few debates and discussions about free trade vs. protectionism. The economists and pundits and politicians on both sides seemed intelligent to me, and made some good arguments. I took the side of the protectionists, but I can remember thinking that I look forward to finding out who’s right.

    Anyway, yada yada yada, and here we are with a hollowed-out manufacturing base, good-paying jobs sent overseas, massive trade deficit, and yet there’s still no consensus opinion that free trade has been disastrous for us. In fact it hasn’t even been talked about before Trump came along, other than an occasional interview with Pat Buchanan.

    • Yes, except for the example of North Korea and South Korea, there has never been anything closer to a controlled experiment with regard to economic policy than NAFTA, and the results are in, with regard to the above-mentioned trade deficits, hollowed-out manufacturing base, etc. And yet the pundits remain silent, because, like the Brexit referendum and the 2016 election, those weren’t the results that they wanted. Almost incredibly, NAFTA seems to have hurt both the US and Mexico, albeit in different ways, yet we’re all supposed to pretend that this isn’t happening, because Adam Smith, or someting like that. Denial of reality doesn’t get much more obvious than this.

      • Heard a discussion years back with a Mexican economist of sorts wrt NAFTA. In short, not only did it hurt the USA and MX, but the influx of MX nationals coming over the border were in no small way due to NAFTA and the ability of cheap US corn imports and some other commodities, basically wiping out the livelihood of 100’s of thousands of subsistence farmers.

        • Yes, Compsci, Wall Street and the Chicago Commodities Exchange pulled out the long-standing price-supports floor of corn and coffee, collapsing the price and the Peso, and wiping out the small farmers as well. GoldSachs followed up by commoditising ag, but I’m darned if I can remember what the special instrument was called… something like receiverships?

  24. “To put it in modern terms, being less wrong used to count for a lot in human societies.”

    Gotta disagree. Seeing as how very few human societies advanced appreciably over the last few thousand years. The West was the exception because being right did not get you automatically stoned, castrated or human sacrificed. Now that we are no longer ‘The West’ this is changing rapidly. To me this is the result of allowing women and people who are not Western to rule over us. And of course the ascendency of socialism, which promotes the stupid and unsuccessful.

  25. One problem is the perception that intelligence is an intrinsic good. When I was young, I assumed that anyone who was smart deserved a hearing just on the basis of being intelligent.

    That couldn’t be more wrong. Intelligence is merely an accelerant. It says nothing about the character of intelligent person. The germane fact about the brilliant serial killer is not that he’s brilliant, it’s that he’s a serial killer. Being brilliant only helps him be a very good at being a serial killer.

    • Right. Intelligence is an amoral virtue is what you are saying. But intelligence is correlated with other virtues. Hence the differential crime rates between groups with different iqs.

  26. WRT Cordelia Fine

    There seams to be a thread of human nature that believes wisdom, and intelligence is universal, that a person smart in one area will be smart in all or at least most. Perhaps this is a holdover from our evolution in small tribes.

    The thing though is that the totality of human knowledge long past the point where one person could hold it in there head. In fact, knowledge is so great that to become a true expert requires a deep focus on a very narrow field. When I was a kid, there was a quip that Experts know more and more about less and less, soon they’ll know everything about nothing. That particular bit of wisdom was true and seams to be forgotten today – maybe because we’ve reached the end stage.

    The point being that a real expert, like ms Fine or Mr Krugman has focused so intently on their super narrow are of expertise that they have less time, much less time, for other areas. Meaning that they are less informed about them than a generally intelligent and informed layman.

    Which is fine, except that our old evolved nature dupes us, and them, into believing that their expertise in their narrow field translates into expertise in every field.

  27. “authority on topics well outside their area of expertise” = ultracrepidarian

    big problem in academia

  28. It will end badly for us, yes, but for the elites, they will decamp to pleasure palaces in New Zealand, Australia, uroguay, and perhaps north Asia. They may even take their Hispanic maids with them!

    There is a difference between objective stupidity, aka low iq, and correct thought or understanding of the real world. These are inversely correlated paradoxically enough. Your smartest people are pro open borders pinkos while your dumbest objectively get things right evolutionarily. Just like your most brilliant divinity students before 1600 were the ones burning witches in the country side. Humans are social and imitative animals. The smart understand how to cozy up to the powers that be, while the dumb say impolitic things and get burned as witches! It’s all about our status competition with one another.

    This can be seen in finance too. I saw bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme right off the bat, before it went up the first time. I argued with people that point and refused to buy it then. 5 years later and many of them made hundreds of thousands on bitcoin, and I look like an idiot, mocked and jeered at. Well, turns out I was right in objective economics, but I got the politics wrong. My frenemies were smart and I’m dumb!

  29. Just observing my own kids, the general “fund of knowledge” that most younger people possess is simply less than it used to be. When I was a kid and you had time to kill or the weather was crappy, you read a book. Now you fiddle around with instagram and texting. We subscribed to NatGeo–and ready every single issue for about a decade. When I took one of my sons to see “They Shall Not Grow Old” and we discussed it afterward, it was clear he knew almost nothing about WWI, despite being a tested genius and likely a brilliant engineer when he finishes school. He said they just sort of skipped over it in AP World and US. This is how you get the credentialed and narrow. And when it comes to the big decisions that may unconsciously need to tap into the vast “fund”…they come up empty

    • The lack of curiosity is what I find baffling. You should not be able to inculcate that, but maybe we have without realizing it. After all, the worst thing you can do for your career as an intellectual is question official dogma.

      • In our youth, Gen X needed to actively pursue information and think about it independently. The political spectrum was comparatively striated. Gen Y and Gen Z have been raised with instant gratification in terms of acquiring information by digital device and polling friends online to reach conclusions. They only know the uniparty, and severe penalties are imposed for breaching dogma.

        There is less requirement, no reward and considerable risk for them.

        Oh well:

        • ” Among non-Hispanic black women, the highest total
          fertility rate was in Maine (4,003.5) and the lowest in Wyoming

          Maine = Somalian refugee women, pumping out litters of muslim chillen.

          Wyoming = one of the few states that does not (yet) allow refugee resettlement.

      • That may go a long way in explaining why smart people say dumb things. Saying dumb things is the smart thing to do, if you value your career.

        People thought Leo Strauss’s proposition that the ancients “hid” their real meanings between the lines in their writings was nuts, but what do we see today? Anyone saying things that are obviously true can count on a short and merry career. When we read a news article, the information left out tells us as much as what gets printed. I, and probably everyone else here, have learned to compensate for missing or deliberately misleading information. Maybe Leo’s ideas deserve a second look.

      • In my experience, it starts in grade school. Since 1) you can be punished for life for violating the dogma, and 2) the dogma changes instantly and without warning, it’s best to repeat only those things you have been told, in exactly the same words. It sets you up for a kind of Nuremberg defense: “I was only repeating what teacher said!” I’ve had many, many students, some of them seemingly quite bright, who can’t process an exam question if it’s phrased differently from the powerpoint. “George Washington fought at ____” is fine; “___ was the Continental commander at Yorktown” is a toss-up.

      • What you call lack of curiosity, I might call “lack of courage”. As I look back at the really smart folk I’ve known in the Academy, none did I believe to be ignorant of many of the issues discussed in this blog. Some may indeed cling to unproven ideological notions of equality and such. But most I believe simply avoided the issues in pursuit of more profitable areas of study—those that were interesting, but uncontrovertial.

      • That’s the biggest disappointment I had with my kids (both girls). They appeared to completely lack any epistemological curiosity. When I would help them with their math or science homework they had absolutely no interest in the subject above and beyond how to apply the “formulas” in order to get a good grade. To their dad, having a graduate tech degree from a major university, this was quite disconcerting. When I was in school I (almost) couldn’t sleep at night if there was some inconsistency in my understanding of a math issue or phenomena I was studying.

        • Cloud, are you saying your girls were dumb? They had no interest in anything. Nothing they were “good” at? Somehow, I doubt that.

          Would you feel as bad if they were not interested or good at, say artistic endeavors? I, myself, can’t draw a straight line. I bet they made you proud, just in their own way. 😉

          • No, they’re not dumb, and they have other interests and talents. Just more confirmation that the blank slate dogma is not true.

        • Samuel Johnson–You teach your daughters the diameter of the planets and wonder when you are done that they do not delight in your company.

    • “The general “fund of knowledge” that most younger people possess is simply less than it used to be.”

      You can see this when you watch old TV shows. Even in “mass appeal” shows like “Gilligan’s Island” and “I Dream of Jeannie”, getting a lot of the humor often involved knowing about aspects of culture that most people today are utterly ignorant of. Hell, even “Looney Toons” was more intellectual than most of today’s programming. Show the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?” to an audience of average millennials, and see if they can even figure out what’s going on, let alone get the jokes. They are not stupid, they simply don’t have the cultural background. This is part of what “living in a Dark Age” means.

      • I see this question pop up frequently in some variation often about the various wars and the Civil War in particular.

        If you want to be really blackpilled ask your daughter and her friends who even FOUGHT the Civil War. What were the two sides. You will want to be sitting when you do. Or ask them in what century did it take place in. American kids from millenials on to younger ages are astonishingly ignorant and generally quite proud of it. The reason are manifold but the infusion of ghetto culture into the mainstream is one of the big ones.

        Hence why an ascendant China that values education should surprise nobody at all.

    • So much so…one thing they consistently mess up in K-12…they consistently denigrate the value of core knowledge. We must have that to build concepts upon; yet, you were supposed to be PC about it, yawning about the bore of “drilling” and “memorizing” when it really meant learning some basic facts and not “discovering” knowledge on your own. Could not agree more–their knowledge is not only shallow, but narrow. Yep, we KNEW things, which opened neural pathways and helped us learn more, in other areas. Now all that is ignored in favor of technology and one-size-fits-all fads that recycle under new names every ten years.

      “How would you feel, if you were leaving home and going out West?” instead of where Boston was, what the geography was like, and how the Western states were different…heck, even knowing the NAMES of the Western states is not important. It’s how you FEEL

  30. My wife puts lil benny to shame in terms of early academic and professional achievement. Aside from her strength areas, however, she has quite noticeable liabilities just as we all do. One strength area is that my sweetie appreciates her deficiencies and covers for them or reveals them with humor as appropriate. That’s a hallmark of intellect without psychopathy or disorder. Lil benny and his ilk exhibit clear symptoms of psychopathy and I believe this is the fundamental societal problem with our so-called betters.

  31. The old man likens modern credentialism with the Soviet Generals of old that had medals pinned on every square inch of their body, but in reality were just toadies to the regime.

    If we accept Socrates theory, then the more you think you know, but are wrong about, the dumber you are. Imagine the crap piled into a head that has a degree in the pseudoscience of psychology from Oxford. The further you go in the “elite” universities the dumber you get.

    • I would not call Chuikov, Zhukov, Rokossovsky, Vassilevsky, etc. toadies even though they all had their chests covered with medals to the last square inch. As I recall they kicked the shit of the Wermacht.

  32. An intelligent or extremely smart person usually demonstrated their gifts by achievements or actual quantifiable output. Now they just throw out their IQ or SAT scores as if nothing else needs to be demonstrated. (Unverified at that).

    The quote from (wilde, Orwell?) is pretty good. “There are some ideas so preposterous only an intellectual could believe them”.

    • It’s high-IQ idiots like Fine and Shapiro that lead Nassim Taleb to regard IQ testing as a pseudoscience. He’s wrong, of course (and probably knows it, but Taleb likes nothing better than to roil the waters and fight with people) but he’s not seeing nothing. High IQ people can be batshit crazy, corrupt, or evil, and their undoubted intelligence makes them all the more dangerous. Intelligence is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for any number of purposes, good or bad. Lenin was probably close to being a genius, and that was most decidedly not a good thing.

      • As Derbyshire said somewhere, if only those with PhDs had been allowed to vote in 1920 (that is, when a PhD meant real brains, drive, etc.), we would’ve had Soviet Socialist America. Quoting from memory: “Political stupidity is a special kind of stupidity, not well correlated with other kinds.” As he also said, there are very challenging, dense systems of thought out there that seem right — brilliant, in fact — but have zero truth content… the most famous, of course, being Marxism, which is why so many intellectuals, who think of themselves as smart above all things, are Leftists.

        • Very true. As regards Taleb, I sometimes wonder if his view of IQ isn’t skewed by the fact that most of his experience is in Finance and Academia, where very smart people have been doing very stupid things for quite a while. You have to wonder how many actually low-IQ people Taleb comes in contact with on a daily basis – even the competent blue collar workers, chefs, plumbers, and truckers that he rightly regards as being under-rated in our society almost all probably have IQs well over 100. Taleb correctly likes to talk about the value of experience, but it takes a certain amount of intelligence to really profit from experience, as he surely knows. Taleb is right to dislike IQ snobs/monists, but that doesn’t mean that IQ is meaningless. I dislike wine snobs, but Villadoria Barolo is still better than Thunderbird.

          • I haven’t read Taleb, but what I’ve read that mentions him makes me think you’re right. Having run into my share of those (slightly) on the back side of the IQ bell curve, I can state with confidence that they’re a different breed of cat. Nothing’s as frustrating to a teacher as having a student who wants to get it, does everything he can to get it…. but *can’t* get it. As these are half our countrymen, it’s crucial that they somehow be made to get it, whatever “it” may be. Trump seems to know how to do this, at least for some things. Taleb probably has a higher IQ than Trump, but that’s why Trump’s the billionaire president and Taleb isn’t.

          • Yes, the attitude of our “betters” that anyone with an IQ of less than 115 or so should just OD on Fentynal and get it over with is one of the most reprehensible things about them.

          • Interesting, the opposing viewpoints. I taught in sped and there, rather than have the information settled with the student reaching to get to it, the student was settled and the information or lesson was stretched or shrunken, so to speak, to fit the student’s capability. I tried teaching reg ed at one time and didn’t last — would have taken me awhile to adjust to the difference (in MANY ways)… Interesting to hear about it from “the other side.”

        • I think there is a sort of inverted bell curve between “Political Stupidity” and intelligence. At the dumb end (proletariat) people vote based on instinct, which has been honed by a billion years of evolution, so you get pretty good results. In the middle section people are “over educated” and they override their instincts, but they’re still too stupid to override them appropriately, giving poor results. At the upper end of intelligence people realize their instincts were mostly right after all, and if they do override them they do so more often appropriately.

  33. I spent most of my professional career in settings where everyone had at least a Bachelor’s degree and many of my peers had MBAs. I know people that have attended some fairly elite schools, including Ivy League universities. Simply spending time around people that are presumably smarter because they graduated from college will disabuse you of the notion that college graduates are smarter than non-college graduates. I graduated from college in 1995 and many of the people I went to school with were dumb as a bag of hammers, I have to assume it is even worse now, and that is why I always take pains to correct people that conflate “having a college degree” with “being educated”.

      • Well yeah, Kaczynski would at least have something to say other than Conservative, Inc. talking points.

        But in person, please. No mail correspondence…

        • Yeah, but he’s an interesting murderer, although being more interesting than Shapiro is a pretty low bar to clear. Of course, his killing by letter bomb is what my remark above referred to. I didn’t say that I wanted him released.

      • When I have the displeasure of catching The Tiniest Neocon on the radio (locally, they slam his show on after Rush Limbaugh’s, and sometimes I’m not quick enough with the tuning dial) I’ll wonder, “if you squeezed this cuck long enough by the neck, would his balls finally descend?”

        • I. Cannot. Stand. that slimy pipsqueak. He has the fast patter of a con-man. He’s a castrated carny barker.

    • People have looked at the test scores, adjusting for the shenanigans that goes on with testing. I think Audacious Epigone has posted about this. The college graduate of today is about where the typical high school grad was thirsty years ago. That’s mostly explained by demographics. At the high end, Ivy League, New Ivies and those who get advanced degrees, I suspect the same holds.

      I think I have posted about this before, but my hunch is the watering down of standard tests and the trend to weight other factors over test scores, is deliberate. it allows admissions departments to select for different things. It’s why certain groups are wildly over represented at Harvard, while east Asians are under represented.

      • Grad school, in the humanities at least, doesn’t do much with test scores. Frankly, I’d be surprised if most programs even look at the damn things, except as a way to legally exclude the obviously unacceptable (this is also what “teaching evals” are for — if they want to fire you pre-tenure, it’s a paperwork-valid reason). It’s all about letters of rec and your intended course of study, which means in practice “what diversity boxes do you check” and “will your flavor of PoMo identity-politics radicalism fit in with our brand of PoMo identity-politics radicalism.” I met plenty of people in college, including some with big names, who couldn’t count past ten without pulling off a sock. But they were gay disabled transsexual golden-skinned wingless dragonkin Of Color, so….

      • You know, they dumbed down the SAT in the mid 90s. It’s less g loaded now. My score from slightly before that qualifies me for MENSA(and it doesn’t take much let me tell u), but they won’t accept the SAT after a certain date. Of course they are dumbing it down for you-know-who.

      • “certain groups are wildly over represented at Harvard, while East Asians are under represented.”

        East Asians are not over represented at Harvard. Harvard is not Cal Tech, nor is it the Academy for Autistic Test-takers, Chronic Apple Polishers and Blatant Cheaters. East Asians did nothing to build, mold, or develop Harvard. (Since we’re referencing identity groups not individuals, I am speaking as such). In broad terms of American history and culture, most East Asians showed up here yesterday morning and have contributed virtually zero to this nation and its society, and have certainly sacrificed less. Why they should be catapulted into the top tiers of societal elite-molding institutions simply because they can recite the alphabet backwards faster than Garrett and Noah is a central political question of our times.

        Jews are wildly over represented at Harvard not because they’re exceptionally bright (at Harvard levels of brightness, they simply aren’t), but basically because they bought the place. They infiltrated it, and took it over both institutionally and financially, and now they own it. Daddy owns the BMW dealership, so little Seth and Tova naturally drive BMWs.

        Blacks, Latinos, and mystery meat are wildly over represented at Harvard because their seats come out of the goyim’s slice, and it’s always to the Jews’ advantage to screw the goyim.

        But the idea that East Asians are “under represented” there is like saying my uncle’s second wife’s daughter’s boyfriend Hakeem is under represented at your family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Hakeem is really smart! And he’s a brilliant rapper! Why WOULDN’T you want him lecturing your family about Black Lives Matter at Thanksgiving?

          • Error in my proofreading (or lack thereof), sorry. I of course meant to say East Asians are NOT under represented, insofar as they have no moral claim to a quantifiable “share” of student seats there. Also insofar as “Me high test score!” might get you into Bronx Science, but Harvard has other things on its mind, as it should.

            Sorry for the confusion.

          • The cachet of schools like Harvard and Yale developed because of the generations of white-shoe WASPs who went there and for whom the schools were created. Guys like Shapiro do nothing to enhance the social standing of Harvard. One interesting thing about the New Class is how socially unattractive the members of it are.

        • While I don’t disagree with anything you say, I believe that the Asian argument for under-representation is based on the supposed criteria for admission. If the criteria are what Harvard publicly states it is, then Asians theoretically should make up a much higher percentage of admissions. Personally, I think the Harvard academics brand has been significantly damaged to the point where people are only interested in the networking opportunities now.

      • [Test score-wise the] college graduate of today is about where the typical high school grad was thirsty years ago.

        Hah! Sort of an anti-Flynn effect.

    • Arthur, right on the money. I’d add that my general impression is that this partially stems from a modern adversion to general education studies where one gets a broad view of *knowledge* from history to philosophy to humanities to math to … Instead we don’t have time for such nonsense and therefore take only those core courses we think are “necessary for the job” and “career advancement”. Add to that the complete breakdown of education at the secondary level—where there used to be some education in these areas—and you have degreed dummies entering the market.

  34. Our current systems of epistemology are irretrievably broken. Anyone who’s spent some time in academia – especially postgrad academia – knows that you don’t really have to be smart to get advanced degrees, you just have to be good at school. That’s a very specific skill – it certainly requires *some* intelligence, but it’s not a very good indicator of genuinely being smart. Similarly, peer review has been a disaster as a substitute for carefully-controlled experimentation and observation which show a result to be consistent and repeatable. Being suckered into accepting credentialism and consensus as measures of truth has been a lot fo what’s gotten us to the World of Bullshit we live in today.

    • I think there is something to the “being good at school” versus being smart and curious. I was talking with a reader at Mencken, who is a college professor at an elite college. She talked about the frustration she has with her students. They test well, but they are narrow and lack curiosity. They will just repeat what she says. They are amazing at it, but they lack the ability to then expand their own base of knowledge from what they have allegedly learned.

      I’ve run into this with South Asians. There’s a strange narrowness that is perplexing. They will follow instructions with a degree of precision that is quite remarkable. They will know a subject very well. But, they will follow those instructions over a cliff if you let them. They can never seem to grasp how what they are doing fits into the bigger picture. Their narrowness is quite alien to the American mind. There seems to be something similar happening in the academy.

      • I have an explanation for that one, having taught many years at non-elite colleges and jucos. It’s the stupid NCLB standardized tests. (That’s one of the ways I maintained my cover — nobody, and I mean nobody, griped louder about “teaching to the test” than yours truly). Combine that with Twitter, and you get a mentality that can only regard each communication as a discrete unit. Since there’s no context on the test, or on Twitter (tweet “replies” can come in hours or months later), each statement has to be considered in isolation, containing only one meaning. It’s like cut-rate Derrida for the iCrap generation – there is nothing outside the text. So you can tell them A at the start of a lecture, not-A at the end, and they’ll write ’em both down and spit ’em back at you on the test, one right after the other.

        • I think part of this is education becoming a large bureaucracy. I went to a small country school, and most of the teachers were women off farms who got a “normal school” education, particularly in grades1-8. They were intelligent committed teachers. Now that school has completed centralizing, is much bigger, way fancier, more elaborate, and has teachers who are there for the bennies, pay and pension, and complain continuously of “burn-out.”

        • Bingo. I think that’s part of the reason they are the way they are. Social Media is bad for you — I don’t think anyone disputes that, even Zuckerberg et al (who, I’m told, don’t let their own kids within a mile of their products).

      • Zman, that something “similar” is happening in the Academy is strictly the fault of the Academy. Most real postgraduate degrees (excepting a few professional areas, like medicine or law) require some sort of thesis/dissertation stemming from “original research” under the supervision of a major faculty member. It is here that a student is considered to show some indication of “putting it all together”. That such is happening in fewer and fewer instances would seem to be the fault of the major professor, who more often than not these days seems to be handing the graduate student a thesis project stemming from the faculty member’s own work in the field. What the student produces is not always original—although it might present new data or knowledge in the area—nor represents a useful measure of his fluid intelligence.

        Indeed, I remember instances of “publication fights” between post doctorate students and their major professor over who would publish the results of their thesis/dissertation in professional journals!

        • Most advanced residencies in medicine have a research requirement in which original work is encouraged. Not everyone is able to complete a project on their own, but many do. Those who don’t usually make some major contribution to an ongoing project. You see presentations on this kind of work at every academic meeting in every specialty. Literally thousands every year. I’m getting sick of epigenetics and monoclonal antibodies.

          • Not everyone is able to complete a project on their own, but many do.

            I’m probably taking this down a rabbit hole here, but IMO hardly anyone is able to complete a de novo, high-impact project on their own in residency or fellowship. For one thing, there simply isn’t time to gather the data needed within the time and schedule constraints of a clinical training program. One generally has to depend on having access to a database of existing data at a minimum. Plus, the emphasis on big data and multicenter studies makes it difficult to get a modest-sized single-center clinical study published in a strong journal.

            Also, most trainees, even those at “highly academic” programs view the publication requirement merely as a check-the-box requirement. I’d say fewer than 30% are actually interested in academics or research. Even for prestigious fellowship programs at places such as MGH, Duke, or the Brigham, if 1/3 of the graduates take a truly academic job, it’s considered a success. Between the more lucrative draws of private practice (and increasingly pharma or device companies), academics is simply not very shiny.

            Another (admittedly inside-baseball) issue is that the conference (academic meeting) presentations that teapartydoc refers to are called “abstracts” where the physical text document is limited to around 2000 characters [not words] or so; hence “abstract” as in it’s a summary. Our saying is that “until it’s a paper [typically 3000 to 6000 words] it doesn’t really exist.” Having transitioned from the trainee to mentor role, I find that what my mentors complained about is often true: the trainee gets the abstract published, then wanders off into private practice or something, and leaves the mentor to write the actual paper. They don’t care about research, they’ve checked their box with the abstract and now they’re done so far as they are concerned.

            I’m getting sick of epigenetics and monoclonal antibodies.
            Believe me, you are not the only one.

      • “They test well, but they are narrow and lack curiosity. They will just repeat what she says.”

        The whole nature of the educational system selects for these type of graduates. It’s a feature of the system and not a bug.

        One of the huge problems in academia is the trend towards specialisation. The result of this trend is hypercompetence in a small domain of human knowledge with a total inability to see problems from outside that domain. Unfortunately the real world doesn’t divide along the neat lines of academic disciplines. Hence, when these people have to make decisions in the real world they make a mess of things.

      • I think there is something to the “being good at school” versus being smart and curious. […] I’ve run into this with South Asians.There’s a strange narrowness that is perplexing.

        In academic medicine I run into this far too frequently. It probably is a little more prevalent among South and East Asians, but it’s common among all groups now, though the underlying reasons may differ by ethnic group. As an MD researcher who does the work because I actually enjoy it (why else take the substantial salary cut?) I am either amused or disgusted by the refrains of “Why do you know that?” or even worse, “Why would you want to know that?” Now admittedly, the average physician has always been trained rather than actually educated, but the pretense of being somehow smarter and more qualified to opine on areas outside one’s narrow focus of technical expertise because of one’s training-specific skill set grinds me. So far as I personally am concerned, a really good carpenter (as a random example) deserves the same respect as a slick surgeon for his skills and experience, but you don’t generally hear people getting away with holding forth on politics or public policy leading with “As a carpenter …”

        • My older brother says training Chinese students is perplexing as well. They’re afraid to ask questions. To admit they don’t understand something means their teacher loses face, so they just smile and nod, and say ‘Yes’ to everything.

  35. “In the current age, “being smart” automatically bestows authority on someone. It even grants them authority on topics well outside their area of expertise.”

    Replace “smart” with “famous” and you get the Hollywood celebrities who lecture us deplorables everyday about politics, the economy, and the environment and why she should let trannies share a bathroom with our kids. I remember hearing a LONG time ago that Ted Danson was working to save the oceans. Ted Danson, you know, the bartender guy from Cheers. No, not Woody, the other one. Anyway, my first thought ( and I was still quite blue-pill) was, WTF does Ted Danson know about ocean ecology? Why should anyone listen to him?

    I think it’s fairly common knowledge on our side that the colleges and universities have all basically failed/are failing to educate people on anything except how to rack up huge amounts of un-bankrupt-able debt. Their credentials mean nothing to anyone who’s been paying attention. AOC has degrees from formerly respected Boston University, yet is a proven moron.

    • Also, I find that the increasing specialized nature of modern civilization makes it difficult for people to be conversant on multiple topics. The smarter people are on highly technical and specialized career paths and may not finish their career training until they are 30. Older for many MDs. They just take the word of pundits and “experts”, (((experts))))?, on most outside topics. Something is gained but an important something is lost.

  36. Another explanation for the many smart people who support apparently dumb ideas, like open borders or IQ denial, is simply that many smart people hate the historic American people (Covington boys) and these ideas serve to advance their hatred.

    If that’s correct, how do we persuade smart white people not to hate their own? My best idea is to convince them that the smart white person’s demonstrated hatred for whites will not save them from their eventual punishment for being white.

    • Actually, it makes a lot of sense when you consider a lot of nerds spent their school days having their underwear yanked up over their ears. Why would they have any love for a society that makes their lives miserable? They probably feel more kinship with the other outcasts than they do for their own people. Which is probably why they reflexively take the side of the underdog, regardless of the merits of their case.

      • Probably some truth to this. From the invective directed at those poor Covington kids that was obviously people working out their unresolved adolescent issues, I’d say that American High School has a lot to answer for.

      • I have a relative like that; with him, it seems clear that he thinks that is part of being a good person. He loves the traditional people at large and is very proud of his Irish heritage; yet does not see the connection; anything labeled “politically conservative” or just “not left” is bad, bad, bad. I think even if he saw the light, he would not admit it, thinking it makes him bad, bad, bad, too.

      • This is very true. One thing that I even today struggle with is that I often find that many of my values are reflected in (some) of the married H-1Bs I have to work with far more than the whites I have to work with in Corporate America. I know that even if some are fine individuals, as a whole their being here is simply not good for our nation. The Boomers have a hell of a lot to answer for, and “High School” is one of those things.

    • “How do we persuade smart white people not to hate their own?” That’s a good question, but I don’t think it can be done. Not only can they come up with more elaborate and convincing rationalizations for their irrational behavior, the conflict between the animal brain and the thinking brain is more acute and painful for them. I can’t think of a single really smart person in high school who had a successful social life. IMO, the animal side resents that and makes the individual pay for it. The unhappiness turns into resentment and it is projected onto the people who are most similar to the smart person.

      That’s my sitting-around-the-stove-at-the-feed-store explanation, anyway.

      • Ivan, not to get into this too deeply, but how do you convince someone not to hate themselves over something they had nothing to do with? We are a guilt oriented people (White race/culture), but guilt is by definition related to something one has done. So if you feel guilty for something you’ve not done, then somewhere you are psychologically broken. If guilt resides in our very genes…then what’s the fix?

  37. you can be both a genius and have a head full of nutty ideas

    Especially if as a minor you spend 200 hours “volunteering” as a test subject for MKUltra.

  38. It’s Human Nature. Success carries with it the seeds(Madness, Stupidity, Weakness, Mendaciousness)of its own destruction. Only question left is: How long will the Decline and Fall of the West last before the next Dark Age?

    • That so many of our reigning elite seem to be corrupt, mendacious and dumb is because we’re all those things.

      All of the BS about Westerners being individualist has always been nonsense. We aren’t as kin dependent as other genetic groups, but in its place we are critically tied to a well functioning commons. A lot of our smarts and ethics are woven into our that fabric, at least they used to be. As our commons decays so do we.

      The people of the Middle East are a lot dumber than were their ancestors. They are incapable of building a pyramid or ziggurat today, something they managed 100 generations ago. Yes, the genetics of those people have changed drastically; but look around it doesn’t take much. Our path is very similar. Once we dip down to a mean IQ of under 95 we will be finished.

      Maybe after a bottleneck we’ll recover, maybe we won’t.

      Race mixing(forced proximity ++)which leads to the destruction of highly functioning ethno biospheres is the solution to Fermi’s Paradox. As Z and others have often repeated, 1st and foremost you need to get the biology right.

      • “We aren’t as kin dependent as other genetic groups, but in its place we are critically tied to a well functioning commons. A lot of our smarts and ethics are woven into our that fabric”

        Outstanding, a library’s worth of wisdom in that one summay.

  39. Yeah well, the push back is coming. More and more often people are standing up and walking away rather than being lectured by these people. I call it a common sense inversion and as you might expect – it’s driven largely by liberal women and low skill/low IQ vibrants.

    Witness the recent kerfuffle over the idea that a teen smirking at a vagrant elderly First Nation freeloader is an act of racism: the left has been shocked at the vehemence of the blowback. The boy was to be sacrificed to the gods of multiculturalism… and a hive of deplorables rose up to thwart it!!! They’re going to get sued. Eventually some of those ding bats will get killed for stuff like this and they will deserve it. They are going to learn in no uncertain terms what being a victim of stupidity really is.

    • The various cultural tribes have made a big mistake. In their demonstrated tribalism, they have turned the white males, who were carefully coached out of their own tribalism for the better part of a century or more, into a tribe of their own. The various color, gender, and pseudo-gender tribes have gone way too far now, and poked that tiger with a stick too many times. Now the lawyers are getting started. It was supposed to go that the white boys would lash out and get violent, resulting in arrests and universal scorn. Instead, some kids with remarkable self control smiled and took it, the dummies on the other side got it all memorialized on video, and the lawyers will now get to work. Popcorn time.

      • Thanks G-d the Covington kids didn’t have Tiki Torches with them last Friday.

        But seriously, it’s becoming clear that the Lefties have overreached grievously. The years of abuse and loathing, the hectoring, and the constant belittling of the Normie White Dude at the hands of the Uber-SJW’s, the NPC’s, the Third and Fourth wave Feminazis, the LGBTQUXYZ’s, and the rest of their brain-addled consort have inadvertently forged something new here, with the advent of a nascent Generation Normal. Young males who have figured out how this game is played. See Nick Sandmann in action with their enemy media. Cool as the other side of the pillow, but this kid knows what time it is. Watch the way he handles pinch-faced man-hating Marxist shrews like Savannah Guthrie. My G-d, this kid is a natural.

        I see it all the time with my own son (age 24) and his group. They have ZIPPO patience for Political Correctness, feminism, global warming, illegal migration (shit, any migration), abortion (!), losers on welfare, being the World’s Policeman, virtually all social justice horseshit, even human biodiversity denial, and so on. These kids have realized the the world NEEDS us. Ain’t no kind of world without us.

        My Old Man always said that Life is But a Pendulum, and out here in Flyover Country, I’m sensing a wonderful swing-back.

        • Chief- My son (22) has the same disgust with the left as your son. Your post gives me hope. All this nonsense from the left is accelerating, waking up normal people, but at the same time, so is mass immigration and changing demographics, so we’re in for a huge battle. Go Illini! I L L–

          • I-N-I, Wolf!

            Too bad Old Chief Illiniwek was sacrificed on the Altar of Political Correctness by the same assholes I’m railing against above.

            You’ll notice that our Division One teams have sucked ass ever since.

            I don’t think it’s just a coincidence…

        • This is also something that only could have been done by boys. Girls wouldn’t have gotten it right, not for lack of trying. The confident male, right there, providing and protecting, way earlier than he should have had to. The presence of mind to tap his friend on the shoulder to stop talking. Indeed, this kid is a natural. Great to have him on our team. We can all learn some things from him.

        • Because they were so controlled, it infuriated the opponent’s so much they’ve had to reach back to Orwell for their online comments. He didn’t say anything wrong, so people (feminists) are complaining on the net about his expression. As Orwell said:

          In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face…was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.

        • Indeed. But in fairness to lefties, the strength of such has yet to flex in their faces such that they have reason to change their tack.

          A solitary stoic boy is one shining moment, but we are still neck deep in a cultural quagmire of our own making.

          The self-owned perversion of ‘tolerance’, much like the defanged meekness, politeness, and pretty much the entirety of the Boy Scout Law are weaknesses when not reinforced by the sword.

          Its like chivalry between men and women. Men take the knee and women just take.

          We’ve allowed the leftist death cult to demand these things of white men but until we prove that these virtues are to uphold our own culture and not weapons to be used against us, they have no reason to see them as strengths.

          Most white males no longer carry the sword, let alone unsheath. So the queation I return to is how do white men take back the culture given that we are three genwrations deep into a double-bind of empty sheaths and obligatory niceness beside the perpetual presumption of rapey-raciss?

    • What those who want to push “the patriarchy” call a smirk (not you ^ — I just mean it’s online all the time that way),some can see as the look of an embarrassed, what-do-I-do-now, nervous person. You know how it is when something happens, and you smile, but you’re not really smiling inside? (Did that once when I was fired…great reaction.) Anyway, Kavanaugh had that same look when they talked of his HS years. It’s like an “I know this is inappropriate, but I’m not in control here, and I can’t stop it” things. (Seems it’s also an “I wish I was anywhere but here” look.)

  40. I have changed the font weight of posts. It seems that updates wipe out these changes. Let me know if the text is crisper now. Also, different browsers render differently.

  41. I agree that smart people do sometimes float bad ideas. If they are honest they drop them after further examination and talking them through. That’s how many of of us ended up in places like here (pats self on back).

    The court jester was a useful idea (I’m really not sure how many royal courts actually had one). The idea of a professional fool to point out the dumb ideas of smart people and to identify the true morons in humorous ways would be most useful. I would watch C-Span if we had a jester on the floor of the House and Senate mocking the idiots and their terrible ideas.

      • Traficant spoke on taboo subjects and was starting a new political movement. Next thing you know, he was dead.

        “Project Freedom USA – Official Website

        “Former Congressman Jim Traficant passed away after a quizzical accident on his family farm during the launch of Project Freedom USA in September of 2014. He was one of the last honest and freedom loving Americans to serve in Congress. Traficant was one of the few to speak out about Israel’s stranglehold on American politics. The world lost a great man. We the People carry on in his name.”

        • We could sure use another man like Jim Traficant.

          One thing he did merits a whole lot of props:

          When he was sheriff, he often refused to execute foreclosure orders on steel workers who had become unemployed due to the closure of mills.

          ((( They ))) must have really loved that!!!

  42. Credentialism is a killer.

    Whenever I hear some variant of “and from what [insert professional school] did you graduate” I want to strangle the interrogator.

    • The establishment center-right is just as guilty for the credentialism con. Starting with Reagan they established this scam that we needed more credentials, and were giddy about the idea of charter schools and for-profit universities. Jeb Bush spent considerable effort during his two terms as FL Governor on education. Does anyone think that FL schools are superior, given the onrushing Third World immigration?

        • Credentials are to intelligence as owning your own home is to living in the middle class. Each of the first are typically indicators of the second, but bestowing the first does not create the second. Social engineering (which pushes credentials and home ownership onto the underclasses) ignores this truth.

          • “…ignores the truth.” Dutch, I’d say worse. Redirecting young folk into an academic career that they neither want—nor can master, inevitably reduces standards for admission *and* graduation. Folks with meaningless degrees is one thing, incompetents with ostensibly meaningful degrees are dangerous, e.g., Michael Jackson’s last personal physician.

      • Those who have not been red pilled grasp desperately at the education ring. Pushing this theme gives them support to maintain their ridiculous egalitarian stance, without which they could not keep their places in society. It’s the last excuse left them, and they grimly hang onto it.

    • It will get worse because the higher education long con ponzi scheme is starting to bear fruit in the form of very late Xers and millenials moving into low rung hiring positions.

      When you got ass-raped for 100K in student loans you will definitely want to justify that in your mind and rationalize how important it is. So you will have a whole generation soon of know nothings with several degrees who will require the same from those they hire & place.

      A guy with raw intellectual HP who can run cerebral laps around these mental midgets will be at the bottom of the hiring stack because he didn’t chant the party line and regurgitate properly or for long enough.

      I have encountered this more and more in the corporate world lately, ESPECIALLY, among wahmen. They have this alphabet soup of meaningless letters behind their names to show “look how well I can memorize and vomit from books”, ask them a question that is even one degree out of line and watch the deer in the headlights blank stare.

      In fact, it is almost a truth now that the more letters behind a person’s name you can bet that they know very little and likely have a rather large chip on their shoulder should you even attempt to point that out to them. Conversely, you will see some guy walk in a room and absolutely murder it with novel ideas, great strategies, and massive out of the box thinking, he might even have a bachelor’s degree! And he will be universally reviled by these know-nothing NPC robots.

      I know this because I am him. Upper mgmt that are ‘old school’ can filter this signal from the noise still but as I said in a few more decades we will be deeply in Harrison Bergeron territory where you are better off PLAYING dumb and advancing rapidly. Now what a society like that will look like? Bradbury painted a pretty good picture.

      • The education bubble will burst soon. Credentialism will fall with it. The cost is out of reach for an ever-increasing fraction of the population. Many, especially those with grievance studies degrees, are discovering that they’re qualified to be baristas with six-figure student debt. Sure, there are a few like Michelle Obama who can leverage their identity to land sweet gigs. But most cannot.

        After the university bubble pops, it will be time to take on K-12, which is where the real problem lies. That will prove the tougher nut to crack.

        • Hendrick: In a few years only the children of the rich will get actual teachers and classrooms. The rest of us will get instruction by computer. If we’re lucky.

          • MBlanc, I doubt it wrt computer instruction, but not for the reason you think. It is actually the brighter folk I’ve discovered that can handle CBI. The rest of the crowd seems to need to have human interaction in the classroom (or some other human interaction somewhere in the process) to master instruction via computer. Probably a motivational thing than an IQ thing, but never the less I found it quite disconcerting that I was never able to get certain folk to improve their skill sets online.

Comments are closed.