Mailvox: Talent is better than brains anyway

My most sincere apologies in the highly probable event that this is neither as interesting nor as well-written as Middlemarch:

You know, darling, for all my earnest attempts, as well as an IQ score which my mother would never allow me to know, lest I grow up with a swelled head, I am still unable to understand why you believe that IQ is a comprehensive measurement of intelligence. I can think of two reasons, neither of which reflects well on your character as I understand it: 1) that the sociocultural establishment tells you it does, and 2) that it is in your vested ego interests to believe it. I eagerly anticipate your further thoughts on the subject.

The short answer is that I do not. Given the way in which the sociocultural establishment also tells me that I am a naked ape with no inherent value who should nevertheless restrain his bestial desires because, um, just because, I think it is safe to conclude that (1) is not valid. Regarding (2), like the Lady I was not provided with any information about my IQ until I took what was then a form of IQ test at 16. Given the amount of information I had amassed by that time regarding the cognitive capacity of those around me, I was unsurprised to receive confirmation that mine was superlative according to the accepted measure.

It is ironic that parents attempt to hide such information, particularly from those most capable of gleaning it from casual observation. One can no more hide the fact of an individual’s intelligence from the intelligent than height from the tall, weight from the fat or coordination from the graceful. I’ve found that one can even sometimes spot an above-average or a sub-standard intelligence simply from a glance at an individual’s eyes.

Lethal Sangerian elitism aside, it is a greater and more injurious error for the intelligent to insist on treating the less intelligent as if they were as cognitively capable as their superiors. This is incredibly frustrating to both parties and inevitably leads to miscommunication, it is far better to accept the intellectual differences while simultaneously asserting equal human worth and then communicating in comprehensible manner.

Still, the ability to survive in the world and cognitive capacity are two completely different things. The fact that cockroaches are harder to eliminate than humans does not mean they are more intelligent, after all. And while the mere possession of cognitive capacity does not indicate the ability to use it well, or even at all, I have yet to see an individual who performs well on an IQ test be unable to master basic intellectual tasks, nor, all myths of the brilliant but incompetent test taker notwithstanding, have I ever seen anyone who has done poorly on a test revealed to be of even average intelligence.

For example, I was not shocked when my high school girlfriend scored in the 6th percentile on the SATs. Lovely girl, but not exactly cut out for rocket science.

As far as “things as intuition, co-ordination, social and emotional insight, patience, the ability to prioritize” go, they are all good and useful things, but they are not intelligence, although high intelligence does tend to encompass “the ability to integrate seemingly unrelated pieces of information”. For example, I am currently writing an article for BenBella on the connection between Richard Wagner and the video game HALO. Would anyone care to guess what that might be?

And regarding the viability of the human race as a whole, I am not sure that intelligence is necessarily as important to that as was once thought. Our breeding patterns currently appear to be selecting for other traits, and the human race was probably in less danger from being wiped out by sabre-toothed tigers and glaciers than by nuclear weapons, designer diseases and systems of governance conceived by intellectuals.

But none of this indicates that intelligence is any more fictional than athletic ability, or that IQ tests do a poorer job of quantifying the former than tape measures and stop watches do the latter. The fact that intelligence is not a virtue does not make it therefore fictional. In any event, Paul Johnson makes a convincing case that when it comes to writing, talent trumps intelligence as evinced by the curious example of Victor Hugo.

It is science

Let me know if you need me to walk you through any of this, ladies:

It is research that is guaranteed to delight men – and infuriate the women in their lives. A controversial new study has claimed that men really are more intelligent than women. The study – carried out by a man – concluded that men’s IQs are almost four points higher than women’s….

A focus on a factors such as the ability to quickly grasp a complex concept, verbal reasoning skills and creativity – some of they key ingredients of intelligence – revealed the male teenagers had IQs that were an average of 3.63 points higher. The average person has an IQ of around 100.

Had they controlled for habitual marijuana usage, no doubt the male advantage would have been another point or two larger. What’s truly frightening, of course, is the reminder that the average person has an IQ of around 100. This means that from my point of view, their cognitive ability tends to the same as that of the average unfortunate with Down’s Syndrome appears to them.

And you wonder why I despise democracy….

I await with interest all of the explanations why this study is invalid, wrong, evil and unconscionable. It’s interesting how arcane studies on the age of the universe are to be accepted unquestioningly, whereas those that deal with matters we observe every day are instantly rejected no matter how many times the same conclusion is reached. Perhaps the study is flawed, but if so, correct the flaws and let’s see how things shake out. In any case, I very much doubt that the sexes are any more identical cognitively than they are physically.

Personally, I don’t think the cognitive gap is a big deal, the emotional gap is a much more problematic one. I’ve seen far too many intelligent women say things like “I know X won’t work, but we HAVE to do SOMETHING” and too many bright men continue to stubbornly stick to a demonstrably untenable path to believe that IQ is the be all and end all of life, the universe and everything.

Perhaps she’s been eating saltpeter

The Happy Feminist offers a correction:

First, he wants to quibble by stating that his suggestion of “throwing a punch” at a woman who touches him involves less force than shoving someone up against a wall. Of course, his initial suggestion was to “punch out” such a woman. I guess he is backing off his original point (the one I supposedly missed), which was clearly intended to suggest that a woman’s right to self-defense carries with it a corresponding right of men to use, in self-defense, their generally superior size and strength to inflict serious injury. If not, if he’s just talking about a weak little punch (only a tap if you will), then his point is, well, rather pointless.

And here I was under the impression that quibbling was one of the more salient aspects of the blogosphere. Regardless, it takes far less effort to throw a punch than to physically move someone against their will, as anyone who has done both well knows. (One of the sillier aspects of the throws in the latest Dead or Alive, I might add.) A simple hip-snap is all the former entails versus lunging forward with most or all of your body weight. For any man of above average strength, a single punch is sufficient to punch out a woman. It is possible, of course, that HF and I are using the term “punch out” differently, I do not refer to a continued beating of indefinite length but rather the concept of throwing strikes until the opponent is incapacitated. In my admittedly limited experience outside the ring and the dojo, one has hitherto proven to be enough.

On the other hand, HF’s criticism about her hypothetical “happening to touch” is pedantic, perhaps even quibbling, but nevertheless accurate. I therefore revise my statement to say that men should be aware that should HF not merely happen to touch them, but instead grope or unlawfully touch them, she will not object to being thrown against a wall. I thank her for the legal clarification.

And I shall endeavor to survive the disappointment of learning that HF harbors no illicit designs on my corpus and cling to the small comfort provided in her “approximately”. Alas, unhappy man, that even your rampant sensuality could not inspire a spark of desire in that frigid feminist breast!

DallasJax is doomed

Dr. Z. draws our attention to the debacle in progress:

I was listening to Pam Oliver’s sideline report during the Dallas game and I heard her say, “Mike Tyson was brought in to help establish the offensive philosophy.” I thought, “Wow, what a good idea! That’ll give ’em some punch.” Then I heard the rest of it. Seems that she really had said Tice, not Tyson. A shame. I liked my way better.

Forget BledsoeLeftwich. Forget the sagaretirement of Terrell OwensJimmy Smith. This is the reason the CowboysJaguars will collapse; they brought in a man who once called only 12 runs for the league’s top rushing offense in a game against one of the league’s worst rushing defenses to help establish the offensive philosophy!

Good luck, there, BillJack. You would have done better to bring in Mike Tyson.

An exercise in lip-reading

I’m not sure, but I think he’s saying: “I have had enough of you being rude and disrespectful toward men. The next time I see you, you will be polite and show respect.”

You go, girl!

Of course, it’s totally predictable that the same women who celebrate actual violence can simultaneously get their grannie panties in a bunch over imaginary violence.

I’m not sure which amuses me more, their blatant hypocrisy or the way in which they are upset about how the photos are rightly perceived as hot by men and women alike. Most feminists are frigid prudes frightened of both men and sex, listening to them blather about how male domination and female submission aren’t sexually enticing is like hearing a priest lecturing on how adultery cannot be pleasurable. But the allure of an act seldom depends on its moral rectitude, indeed, any illicit aspects only tend to heighten it.

Meanwhile, this picture makes me wonder just what Spacebunny did to get herself arrested on her last trip to Milano.