Category Archives: Education

How smart are we?

 

Go lookup any standard distribution chart of IQ for the country (or the world in general). You’ll find the following obvious but alarming results. One half of the human population has an IQ of less than 100.

Just let that sink in.

Additionally, approximately 20% has an IQ of less than 90. In the U.S. (320M) that would mean 1/5 of people, ~64million people have an IQ less than 90. For the world? 1/5 of 7.4B = 1.48B.

WorldIQ

One and a half billion people have an IQ of 90 or less. These aren’t magic numbers or fake numbers. These are approximate facts.

I’m not trying to stigmatize anyone here. In fact, intelligence, in my book, doesn’t mean squat. I would posit that there are more happy people at the lower end of the IQ scale than at the upper; ignorance is bliss and with power (intelligence) comes responsibility (and the associated problems). And, to me, happiness is the real gauge of a successful life.

That said, how many people do you know with an IQ less than 90? Yet they exist and can vote and have opinions (although, with a stereotypical bias those opinions might be mal- or un-informed.)

I don’t point this out because I’m an intellectual snob (far from it if you knew my history), only that I would offer that one might use such open and obvious information as the basis for understanding the country’s and the world’s opinions and predispositions.

I know this feels a tad distasteful. As if by discussing this we’re betraying a huge portion of humanity. However I want to continue to stress that this is a reality. It’s not a politifact or fake-news.

The other side of this coin is that just because one possesses a supposedly high IQ does not make one automatically superior in thought or opinion. Bigotry, misogyny, racism live quite well in many of the world’s smart people. Sure a greater intelligence may predispose you to a more open mind — but it does not guarantee it.

When I read or watch the news and see statistics and counts of people doing this or that I’ve tended to think that most people are like me: average intelligence, average beliefs, average faults and ideals. What a chart like this shows, what the knowledge of this disparity of intelligence should tell me, tell us, is that this is not the case. That “average” may actually have little bearing on what truly exists in the world regarding intellectual capability.

What do you think of this distribution of IQ? Does it challenge your assumptions about people?

 

 

REF:
http://paulcooijmans.com/intelligence/iq_ranges.html
https://www.quora.com/Has-anyone-described-a-simple-IQ-capability-table

[Pretty much <90 we’re dealing with people who, in general would have a hard time graduating high school, writing an essay, read and follow instructions for building a model toy, memorize 10 phone numbers. (my interpretation)]

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Unexpected latitudes…

Unexpected latitudes…

None of Florida is in the tropics. And none of New Zealand. But half of Australia is. And parts of China too.

Iceland is not above the Arctic Circle.

Paris is farther north than Seattle.

Cambridge England is as far north as the northern most tip of Mongolia.

Edinburgh Scotland is farther north than the southern tip of Chile is south.

The southern tip of Africa is the same distance from the equator as Los Angeles.

Denver, Philadelphia, Madrid and Bejing are all about the same distance north.

Nice, France is farther north than Vladivostok, Russia. And is farther north than Tasmania is south.


(Comments from WashPO)

My Comments

What the rise of the finance industry, and recent support by $trillions of QE, has given the wealthy is the threat theory that they must prepare for the next revolution. What they don’t seem to realize is that Americans are not that bad off — enough — to trigger general revolt. And will probably never be.

Additionally, and this is to article’s unstated assumptions and some comments, it’s not the lack of wealth in the lower 90% that causes the inequality, it’s the lack of the velocity of expenditures through the 90% that has exacerbated the inequality problem.

If the wealthy were to figure out that the dividends they earn from the investments they hold would expand greatly were they to hand out $1000 checks to every 90%’er in the country, they would be lining up to increase the circulation of funds. Think about it, pay a struggling mother, or a 20 something wage slave a thousand dollars, what will they do with it? Save it? Hell no. They’ll spend it like it was on fire. What would 100 million people spending an extra $1000 do to the economy? It would kick it in the pants. Profits would rise in the corporations where the money was spent. And the rich would get richer.

Decreasing the inequality, more equitable distribution of all wealth, will increase the velocity of money through the economic system thereby boosting everyone’s over-all wealth.
6/10/2016 2:12 PM PST [Edited]

Currently in locales where marijuana is legal the primary problem is the lack of banking access. Pot shops are cash based only which exposes them to raids and thievery. So the fact that the Fed still treats marijuana as schedule 1 must be fixed to really cure the problem in the U.S.

Additionally, why separate shops to offer this single product (OK, edibles too) for sale? Marijuana is a drug, so let pharmacies regulate it and sell it. If you want to buy it — buy it at your local grocery story pharmacy. There its quality and quantity would be controlled. Access controlled. And the taxes collected and tallied. It’s a drug. Drugs are sold by pharmacists. Seems pretty logical to me.
6/10/2016 1:06 PM PST

What’s that old adage? A camel is a horse designed by committee.

Correct me if I’m wrong (the internet is very good at that), but way back when, wasn’t the “corporation” originally a creation whereby a local government invited multiple merchants and construction agents to join, for a time, into a single entity — solely for the purpose of creating public works like bridges?

And could that work again? Collect all the interested, somewhat adversarial, parties into a single entity whose sole purpose would be to “repair a bridge” or “fix a water system” or “repair a levee system”…?
5/28/2016 10:08 AM PST [Edited]

HG Wells knew how to kill off an invasive species… Superbugs are just nature’s way of eradicating the real contagion (humankind). Now, this is one weapon that the super rich cannot combat with their money, “sorry Mr. Walton, sirs, nothing we have will cure you of your infection — you’re going to die just as everyone of your employees might.” Are superbugs the ultimate retribution, although a pyrrhic end of humanity?
5/27/2016 5:36 PM PST

>”Trump’s own real estate career suggests the rules that govern those deals are often negotiable; lending terms can be renegotiated when a borrower is close to default, for example.”

That statement is the core of the Drumpf financial filosophy (sic). Donut thinks he can simply renegotiate much of what is on the books, as far as financial transactions go, for a “better deal”. The guy is so full of hubris that he believes his chutzpah can tunnel its way through the reality of world finance — and come out the other end not stinking of the irrationality its dipped in.

Spread the word, Hillary is a plutocrat, no question, but better one of those than a financial delusionist.
5/9/2016 5:56 PM PST

No one tries to be happy. Either it happens or it doesn’t.

Causation? If happiness “just happens” (or not) then there can be no causation right?

“If I can make just one more person’s life miserable, I’ll be happy.” — Leximize
3/6/2016 9:35 AM PDT

Who’s up for a little Quantum Easing?
Big Bang Theory or Big Bank Theory?
“This helicopter, Ben, only has one control; lower or higher, I think you need a few more.” “Sheldon, try pressing that button on the dash that reads ‘QE’, that should put a massive spin on things.”
2/29/2016 2:19 PM PDT

Productivity measurements are broken.
Take the smartphone for example.

• “Deliver to me all the world’s news, millions of hours of video entertainment, instant communication with everyone I’ve ever known, the delivery of my work product, instantly to millions of people.” And so on and so forth. Take the sum total delivered service in that statement, dial back the calendar to 1950 and then calculate how much it might cost to provide that.
• “Deliver to me a ham sandwich.” The ag-corp complex has turned that product delivery into a fraction of its cost 20 or 40 years ago.
• “Deliver to me the latest best seller novel.” The comparison to 20 years ago is immense.
• “Deliver to me a new pair of socks.” Same thing.

True productivity is through the roof. What is NOT advancing, what is falling further an further behind is HUMAN productivity. We are being replaced.

(Matt, you polluted your article with a tangential reference to the Great Recession — had no reason to do that — you totally muddied your argument.)
2/26/2016 9:59 AM PDT

“Whenever we allow government to pick winners and losers…” And if we let YOU pick the winners and losers all we’d have would be monopolies. What would be more appropriate are better rules to ensure Koch Industries has to deal within the same constraints as every business out there. Campaign limits, lobby limits would be good starts. Maybe the 28th Amendment — corporations are NOT people — would help too. What’s that? I can’t hear you over the din of people telling you go to off fishing and to not come back.
2/18/2016 10:49 PM PDT

?Excellent information, thanks WaPo.
It has been established that experiences and memories, which would include opinions based on thoughts, are represented as actual physical connections of dendrites within the brain. One’s belief that the “world is flat” resolves to actual pathways in the brain which store this information. It is my belief that to change your mind — the world is round — is to force a physical remapping of your mind. And that this breaking and recreation of dendrite channels *hurts*. I have no evidence to support this supposition that there may be pain (or the facsimile thereof) involved in assuming an alternative opinion. But the physical remapping appears to be fact. That an actual physiological change occurs… must be significant.
2/14/2016 11:08 AM PDT [Edited]

3 LikesFood consumption drive-thrus are nothing more than a satellite symptom of an established pattern of behavior that has failed to develop with the times.

There is no reason for a large percentage of workers these days to DRIVE to work — at all. If you are an information worker — as most of those 86% most likely are, you should be telecommuting.

Information companies should be taxed for each parking space taken up by a worker’s auto. $10/day for every car that show up in your parking lot. Got 50 people driving to work to sit in a cubicle? That’s $500/day. That should be a great source of income for repairing our roads and bridges. AND great incentive to force businesses to encourage telecommuting.

If you sit at a desk and type on a computer for 70% of your day — you should work from home. Period. Time for US business to lose this powertrip manager mentality.
2/14/2016 10:45 AM PDT

You make a deal with the Devil and you eventually pay the price.
Let’s face it. Corporations have only one master — the bottom line. If you fall below that, no matter who or what you are, expect to get cut; downsized. There’s no spite in it. Only a seemingly callous indifference to the people who patronize their business.
No doubt some of these closures could have been eased into, perhaps transferred or sold. And maybe for little towns like Kimball, it’s an opportunity to take back their community from corporate greed and avarice.
2/5/2016 4:53 PM PDT

Can’t. Small. Talk. Is love humanity’s gift to the Universe? What areas of the globe might actually benefit from AGW? What three foods would you choose to only eat forever on? Empathy felt by pets, does it echo our own, supersede it or is it something entirely different? What would you grab first if an earthquake started RIGHT NOW? Are smartphones just a phase? Will we be using pocket Watson’s soon? Can’t. Small. Talk. I just can’t.
1/25/2016 5:25 PM PDT

Jonas and the Great White Wail
1/21/2016 8:58 PM PDT

If the Sol system is typical just think of all the planetary sized objects (sub or otherwise) floating around the Universe. It’s not just 5-10 planets per star, it’s more like 20-100 planetary-like objects.
I think that’s my major gripe with existence; I’m envious of humanity circa 3016, or 4016 and the access they may have to such distant worlds. The fantasy of existing in those distant epochs is alluring to say the least.
1/20/2016 9:55 AM PDT

9 Replies ?Inequality is a result of poorly designed rules. Change the rules and you change the game. Here’s a couple of simple rules to help level out income inequality:

• Employee Income Inequality Tax
• Income Inequality Maximum Dividend

https://goo.gl/74bFhK

Essentially, corporations must pay a tax based on employee income equality. The greater the inequality, the greater the tax.

Additionally, corporation dividends are limited to the inverse of their employee’s income inequality. As inequality increases the maximum dividend allowable decreases.

Simple rules that will incentivize corporations to ensure that their pay scales are as level as possible.

For a company that pays everyone equally, there is no tax and no limit to the dividend.

For a company that exhibits the worst disparity, a 500 to 1 ratio, the tax would be 5% of gross income and a maximum of 0.0% dividend. Corporate boards will be sure to make sure they reduce such disparity as they will be penalized for their ugly inequality. Also, all of the numbers will be publicly published so that severely offending corporations are shamed or coerced into complying as the worst offenders set the basis for all of the calculations.

The bottom line is create rules that anyone can understand that will apply as incentives for corporations to do the right thing.
1/18/2016 2:21 PM PDT

?Proposed federal tax scale
Applied to gross income – no write offs – straight sliding scale tax.

Income__Tax%__Tax$___Net
$10K____10%___$1K____$9K
$100K___20%___$20K___$80K
$1M_____30%___$300K__$700K
$10M____40%___$4M____$6M
$100M___50%___$50M___$50M
$1B_____60%___$600M__$400M

Interstitial rates would be scaled accordingly. Examples:
($90,000 : 19% = $17,200)
($450k : 24.5% = $110,250)

After 1B gross income the tax % would be pinned to 60%
Seems reasonable to me.
https://db.tt/q8koefwX
1/12/2016 10:10 AM PDT

?Everybody is exhausted by the ultra-right and their 1700’s mentality about government suppression and conspiracy. Most anyone who’s banging the conspiracy drum thinks there’s a British invasion, one-if-by-land, two-if-by-sea, event about to happen. Jeeze, the President’s right, grow the hell up and get out of your backwoods mentality. ‘Merican’s will always have guns and there’s no way to deny us of that right. It just won’t happen.
Hey Snowden? The prez trying to steal our guns? No? OK then!
1/11/2016 4:28 PM PDT

?Islam, unfortunately, is a leptokurtotic distributed ideology. That is, the bell curve of Islam has fat tails. At the fringes of the distribution curve a leptokurtosis distribution has far more extreme events than a normal bell curve. Meaning that although there are a billion or more centrally positioned Muslims, there are also thousands more radicals, those who exist in the fat tail of the curve. Tens of thousands in fact. And a radical Muslim, again unfortunately as a reflection on the whole of that religion, is far worse than a radical Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, etc.
11/17/2015 4:24 PM PDT

3 LikesNow, how many people die from car accidents?
How many people die from toxins, both poisonings and septicemia?
How many people die from drug overdoses?

Each one is incrementally greater than the first. And gun deaths is the lowest.

Want to save lives?
• Stop driving.
• Provide better health care to the poor.
• And do not treat drug addiction as a crime.
10/17/2015 3:10 PM PST

Thanks Ana, great job.
I’d like to have your opinion on China’s expansion in Africa. Will African nations become the food and materials baskets to China in the next decade or three?
9/23/2015 6:15 PM PST [Edited]

The markets and the government has put the FED on a pedestal. The FED thinks itself a god while we suffer being its plaything. And yet we continue to put up with its impulsive whimsy. Gold, silver and oil all jumped today with the rumor that the probably of the FED raising rates fell due to some metric released. What nonsense! The FED has TOO MUCH POWER (and Wall Street loves it).

What would happen if interest rates were set on a scheduled rise up to some reasonable level? What if you could expect that next year rates would be 1%, the following year 2%, and so on? Would you be inclined to start accelerate your borrowing in order to lock in lower rates? Yes. Would you buy that new car or home now to do the same? Yes. Would you take solace knowing that your meager savings were now earning interest? Yes. Would Wall Street quail a bit, equity returning back to balanced levels? Yes. Would investments pulled from the markets then enter capex, expansion and growth? Yes.

Set rate expectations and leave them alone! GO AWAY FED!
9/16/2015 1:39 PM PST

?The FED always surprises. Why? Because the FED is a capricious entity with too much power in its primitive yet gross control mechanisms. The FED sneezes and the markets grab a tissue. The FED smiles and the markets starting singing.
SET EXPECTATIONS and take the flippant fancy out of the FEDs findings. Establish a plan and return balance to all the financial instruments. A simple obvious plan: 25 basis points every quarter for 5 years. No surprises. No impulsive market shocking changes. Just a consistent continuous realization of a return to normal.
9/15/2015 11:34 AM PST


Phonetic vowel sounds – the programmers way

Most languages are poorly designed.

English is one of the worst. No logical person, starting from a blank slate would design a language like English the way English is constructed. Here’s a straightforward mechanism for simplifying vowel sounds.

Long vowel sounds are singular letters. Short vowel sounds are double letters, or triple letters, or if necessary, quadrupled.

The long “a” sound as in Baker or May should be the singular “a”.
The short “a” sound as in park, or car, should be two a’s, “aa”.

The long “e” sound as in pee, or flee, should be should be the singular “e”.
The short “e” sound as in fed, or dread, should be the double e, “ee”.

The long “i” sound as in high, or pie, should be the singular “i”.
The short “i” as in drizel or lizard should be double i’s, “ii”.
The pinched short “i” as in ring or drink should be triple i’s, “iii”.

Long “o” as in mope, or dough is “o”.
Short “o” as osprey or problem is “oo”.

Long “u” as in blue, or crew is “u”.
Short “u” as in judge or brother is “uu”.

And that’s it. If there are other vowel sounds that need to be represented then they can be triple a’s or triple i’s, etc.

That is how the language should start out. That is how to design an intelligent language.

And for the consonants? We can probably whittle them down to about 18.
Baa, Daa, Faa, Gaa, Haa, Jaa, Kaa, Laa, Maa, Naa, Paa, Raa, Saa, Taa, Vaa, Waa, Yaa, Zaa
Any sounds that are more complicated than those should be combinations. “Th” can still be th. Ph? Gone. Gh, like at the end of some words, through, bough, I’m not sure what to do with those. It might be that we could allow silent consonant combinations at the end of words to allow for homonym differentiation. We should discuss that. There might be some simple rules we could apply that would enhance the language rather than complicate it.

 


Multiplying negatives = positive?

Here’s a bizarre concept that I just can’t believe didn’t cause early mathematicians moral consternation…

Multiplying two negatives produces a positive value.

Huh?

For instance, 10 trigger happy terrorists who have access to 10 nuclear bombs, is a good thing? 10 BAD x 10 BAD = 100 GOOD!

That doesn’t make any sense. Or how about another?

Increased global warming times increased human population = super duper outcome. I don’t think so.

Negative times negative should be REALLY BLOODY NEGATIVE!

-10 x -10 = -100. That seems logical.

But there’s this other scenario that is really the problem, a positive number times a negative number, or a negative number times a positive number (yes, the commutative property).

So what should happen when you multiply +10 x -10 ? 10 Mother Teresas times 10 jihadist fanatics? Well, I think that there should be something akin to addition there, 10 x -10 = 0. But let me show you another example.

5 natural disasters times 2 Nobel Peace prizes: -5 x 2? Well, the absolute product of this equation is obviously 10. But is ALL that ten negative? Or is there some positive in there somewhere? If you think about a number line, -10 to 10, centered on zero, where would the logical product of -5 x 2 fall? Negative eight maybe? Negative six?

How about this:

-5 * 2 = -6 = -(10 – (10 * 2/5))

If the larger number is positive the product will be positive.
If the larger number is negative the product will be negative.
To the absolute value of the product, subtract the product of the absolute value of the  product times the fraction of the small number over the larger number.

±x * ±y = ±(|±x * ±y| – (|±x * ±y| * x / y))
or
if x is negative and larger:
x * y = -(|x * y| – (|x * y|* y / x))
if x is negative and smaller:
x * y = +(|x * y| – (|x * y| * x / y))

Examples:

-10 * 1 = -9  = -(10 - (10 * 1/10))
-10 * 5 = -25 = -(50 - (50 * 5/10))
-10 * 9 = -9  = -(90 - (90 * 9/10))
-10 * 10 = 0  = (100 - (100 * 10/10))
 10 * -9 = 9  =  (90 - 90 * 9/10))
 10 * -5 = 25 =  (50 - (50 * 5/10))
 10 * -1 = 9  =  (10 - (10 * 1/10))

-7 * 1 = -6  = -(7  - (7 *  1/7))
-7 * 4 = -12 = -(28 - (28 * 4/7))
-7 * 6 = -6  = -(42 - (42 * 6/7))
-7 * 7 = 0   =  (49 - (49 * 7/7))
 7 * -5 = 10 =  (35 - (35 * 5/7))
 7 * -3 = 15 =  (21 - (21 * 3/7))
 7 * -1 = 6  =  (7  - (7 * 1/7))

 -37 * 12    = -300  = -(444 - (444 * 12 / 37))
  99 * -3    =  288  =  (297 - (297 * 3 / 99))
 273 * -111  = 17982 = (30303 - (30303 * 111/273))
  .5 * -.12  = .0456 = (.06 - (.06 * (.12 / .5)) 
-544 * .004321 = -2.350605328959

Positive times a positive is positive.
Negative times a negative is negative.
And the mixture of positive times a negative is somewhere in between.

That, to me, seems logical.