Flynn Effect

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Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century by James R. Flynn


Flynn Effect, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, popular electronics

Federal district courts have made full use of their freedom and thus, the 11 that have weighed in thus far vary widely in terms of positive or negative attitudes toward the Flynn effect. Five are favorable. The Eastern District of Maryland “will, as it should, consider the Flynn-adjusted scores in its evaluation of the defendant’s intellectual functioning” (United States v. Davis, 2009, p. 488). The Eastern District of Louisiana found that “the Flynn effect is well established scientiically … Hence 85 Are We Getting Smarter? the court will correct for the Flynn effect … applying Dr. Flynn’s formula” (United States v. Paul Hardy, 2010, p. 33). The Eastern District of Virginia accepted that “that the Flynn effect causes an increase in IQ scores of approximately 0.3 points per year” (Green v. Johnson, 2006, pp. 45–47; 2007). The Northern District of Alabama said that: “a court should not look at a raw IQ score as a precise measurement of intellectual functioning.

The Southern District of Texas found that since the trial court had relied on a low estimate of the Flynn effect that could not be supported, the decision could be appealed (Butler v. Quarterman, 2008, pp. 815–817). Three federal district courts have been negative, two about the Flynn effect and one about Flynn. The Northern District of Mississippi is a stern advocate of credentialing: “Affidavit on the Flynn effect from Dr. Flynn himself is inadmissible because the standard of Chase v. State, 873 So.2d 1013 (Miss. 2004), requires that expert testimony on M.R. come from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, and Flynn is a political scientist” (Berry v. Epps, 2006, p. 35). The Northern District of Georgia was “not impressed by the evidence concerning the Flynn effect” (Ledford v. Head, 2008, pp. 8–9). The Northern District of Texas was also negative (Hall v.

In April 2011, it held that state law did “not require that raw scores on IQ tests be accepted at face value,” and that a trial court may consider expert testimony by someone who takes the Flynn effect into account (Coleman v. State, 2011, p. 242, note 55). This is important because the Supreme Court’s decisions bind all lower state courts. For example, in 2010, the Tennessee Appellate Court was favorably disposed to the Flynn effect but felt bound to ignore it thanks to its state Supreme Court (Coleman v. State, 2010, pp. 17–18). In Texas, the state Appellate Court held that the Flynn effect “does not provide a reliable basis for concluding that an appellant has signiicant sub-average general intellectual functioning” (Neal v. State, 2008, p. 275). However, it cites its own earlier decision, which is a bit softer: “This Court has never speciically addressed the scientiic validity of the Flynn effect. Nor will we attempt to do so now. Rather than try to extrapolate an accurate IQ by applying an unexamined scientiic concept to an incomplete test score, we will simply regard the record as it comes to us as devoid of any reliable IQ score” (Ex Parte Blue, 87 Are We Getting Smarter?


pages: 250 words: 9,029

Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Popular Culture Is Making Us Smarter by Steven Johnson


Columbine, complexity theory, corporate governance, delayed gratification, edge city, Flynn Effect, game design, Marshall McLuhan, pattern recognition, profit motive, race to the bottom, Steve Jobs, the market place

Other forms of modern complexity may also be a factor here , of course : urban environments are, by Schooler's definition, more c o mpl ex than rural ones, and so the i ndustri al-age migration to the cities may play a role in the Flynn Effect. But most of the i ndustri alized world underwent that mi- E V F R Y T H I N G B A D I � G O O D F O R Yo u 1 47 gration before World War II; the post-war trend has been surburban flight. And s o the most dramati c spi ke i n IQ scores-the one witnessed over the past thirty yea rs-is most likely being driven by something else. TH E LIN K between the Flynn Effect and popular medi a i s a hypothesis, b u t there are a number of reasons to think that more than a casual connection exists. As research into the Flynn Effect has deepened, three i mportant tendencies have come to light, all of which parallel the developments in popular culture I 've descri bed over the preceding pages.

That debunking has taken two primary forms: I Q has been shown to be more vulner­ able to environmental conditions than its original " innate intelligence" billing i ndicated ; and the intel ligence that the IQ tests measure has been shown to reflect only part of the spectrum of human intelligence. But those objections-true as they may be-do not undermine the trend described by the Flynn Effect in any way. In fact, they may make i t more interesting. Clearly there are multiple forms of i ntelligence, only some of which are measured by I Q tests: emotional intelli­ gence, for one, is entirely ignored by all traditional I Q met­ rics. And the Flynn Effect offers what many consider incontrovertible evidence that IQ is profoundly shaped by environment, since genetics alone can't explain such a dra­ matic rise in such a short amount of time. So when critics obj ect to the practice of comparing i ndividual or group IQs-as in The Bell Curve's observation that African­ Americans have, on average, lower IQs than those of white Americans-their obj ections have real merit: because IQ isn't the only gauge of real-world i ntelligence, and because differences in I Q may be due largely to environmental fac­ tors.

Psychologists and social scientists and other experts in psychometrics have now had twenty years to study the Flynn Effect; whi le much debate remains about the ultimate causes behind the IQ increase, the existence of the trend itself is un­ contested. IQs have been rising in most developed countries at an extraordinary clip over the past century: an average of 3 points per decade. A number of studies have suggested that the rate of i ncrease is itself accelerating: average scores in the Netherlands, for instance, increased 8 points between 1 972 and 1 982. A few points may not sound like much, but the numbers quickly add up. Imagine this scenario: a person who tests in the top 10 percent of the United States in 1 920 time-travels eighty years into the future and takes the test E V E R Y T H I N G B A D I S G O O D F O R Yo u I4 � again . Thanks to the Flynn Effect, h e would be i n the bot­ tom third for IQ scores today.


pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker


1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser,, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

General intelligence is also correlated with several measures of neural structure and functioning, including the speed of information processing, the overall size of the brain, the thickness of the gray matter in the cerebral cortex, and the integrity of the white matter connecting one cortical region to another.240 Most likely g represents the summed effects of many genes, each of which affects brain functioning in a small way. The bombshell is that the Flynn Effect is almost certainly environmental. Natural selection has a speed limit measured in generations, but the Flynn Effect is measurable on the scale of decades and years. Flynn was also able to rule out increases in nutrition, overall health, and outbreeding (marrying outside one’s local community) as explanations for his eponymous effect.241 Whatever propels the Flynn Effect, then, is likely to be in people’s cognitive environments, not in their genes, diets, vaccines, or dating pools. A breakthrough in the mystery of the Flynn Effect was the realization that the increases are not gains in general intelligence.242 If they were, they would have lifted the scores on all the subtests, including vocabulary, math, and raw memory power, with a rate related to the degree each test correlates with g.

Outstanding thinkers: Singer, 1981/2011, pp. 99–100. 228. Flynn’s Eureka: Flynn, 1984; Flynn, 2007. 229. Rising IQ around the world: Flynn, 2007, p. 2; Flynn, 1987. 230. Naming the Flynn Effect: Herrnstein & Murray, 1994. 231. Thirty countries: Flynn, 2007, p. 2. 232. Flynn Effect began in 1877: Flynn, 2007, p. 23. 233. Adult of 1910 would be retarded today: Flynn, 2007, p. 23. 234. Scientists’ consensus on intelligence: Deary, 2001; Gottfredson, 1997a; Neisser et al., 1996. Intelligence as a predictor of life success: Gottfredson, 1997b; Herrnstein & Murray, 1994. 235. Flynn Effect uncorrelated with testing fads: Flynn, 2007, p. 14. 236. Flynn Effect not in math, vocabulary, knowledge: Flynn, 2007; Greenfield, 2009. See also Wicherts et al., 2004. 237. Slight declines in SAT: Flynn, 2007, p. 20; Greenfield, 2009. 238.

Flynn scoured the world for datasets in which the same IQ test was given over many years, or the scoring norms were available to keep the numbers commensurate. The result was the same in every sample: IQ scores increased over time.229 In 1994 Richard Herrnstein and the political scientist Charles Murray christened the phenomenon the Flynn Effect, and the name has stuck.230 The Flynn Effect has been found in thirty countries, including some in the developing world, and it has been going on ever since IQ tests were first given en masse around the time of World War I.231 An even older dataset from Britain suggests that the Flynn Effect may even have begun with the cohort of Britons who were born in 1877 (though of course they were tested as adults).232 The gains are not small: an average of three IQ points (a fifth of a standard deviation) per decade. The implications are stunning.


pages: 377 words: 97,144

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller


23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping,, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture

Both the reaction time and digit span tests go a long way toward showing that IQ tests measure something other than culture-specific knowledge, a theory further supported by magnetic resonance imaging showing a strong positive correlation between brain size and IQ. 136 THE FLYNN EFFECT Throughout the twentieth century, the IQ of each generation has been higher than that of the preceding one. This is called the “Flynn Effect,” named after the researcher who first publicized it. The effect is even powerful enough to see within a single generation of a family: After correcting for birth-order considerations, a brother born five years after his siblings will (on average) have a higher IQ than his siblings do.137 The size of the Flynn Effect is about 0.3 IQ points per year.138 To put this in perspective, if you have an IQ of 100, you’re smarter than 50 percent of the population, while an IQ 15 points higher—fifty years of the Flynn Effect—makes you smarter than 84 percent of the population. A 2011 research paper showed the effect is still going strong, for at least the smartest 5 percent of Americans.139 An intelligence expert told me that no one really understands the cause of the Flynn Effect.140 It doesn’t appear to result from some kind of testing bias because the correlation between IQ test scores and other measures of cognitive achievement hasn’t changed.141 In my opinion, the Flynn Effect is one of the most significant mysteries in the social sciences.

A 2011 research paper showed the effect is still going strong, for at least the smartest 5 percent of Americans.139 An intelligence expert told me that no one really understands the cause of the Flynn Effect.140 It doesn’t appear to result from some kind of testing bias because the correlation between IQ test scores and other measures of cognitive achievement hasn’t changed.141 In my opinion, the Flynn Effect is one of the most significant mysteries in the social sciences. DETERMINED AT AN EARLY AGE A person’s IQ is largely, but not completely, determined by age eight.142 Tests given to infants measuring how much attention the infant pays to novel pictures have a positive correlation with the IQ the infant will have at age twenty-one.143 The Scottish Mental Survey of 1932 has helped show the remarkable stability of a person’s IQ across his adult life.144 On June 1, 1932, almost every child in Scotland born in 1921 took the same mental test.

•Evolution doesn’t work to make one group superior to another; it just operates to make groups more reproductively fit in their environments. •Broad racial classifications, such as “black,” have no evolutionary importance since different groups of people with black skin faced radically different evolutionary selection pressures. •Evolution shapes cultures as well as genes. We know from the Flynn Effect that IQ has recently increased, and because of the short time span in which this has happened, scientists believe the reason is cultural. Farming might have changed cognitive traits almost entirely as a result of cultural changes, such that parents better able to instill farming-friendly traits in their children had more grandchildren. •Evolution, especially over the short run, often operates through trade-offs.


pages: 262 words: 80,257

The Eureka Factor by John Kounios


Albert Einstein, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, deliberate practice,, Flynn Effect, Google Hangouts, impulse control, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, theory of mind, Wall-E, William of Occam

See Claire Cain Miller, “Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Warns of U.S. Innovation Slowdown,” The New York Times, September 1, 2008. For a discussion of innovation policy, see Steve Lohr, “Can Governments Till the Fields of Innovation?,” The New York Times, June 20, 2009. Also see the website of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation, How Smart Are We? 1 The Flynn effect is summarized in Wikipedia, s.v. “Flynn Effect,” last modified July 27, 2014, 2 The decline in U.S. creativity test scores is reported in K. H. Kim, “The Creativity Crisis: The Decrease in Creative Thinking Scores on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking,” Creativity Research Journal 23 (2011): 285–95. CHAPTER 2: INSIGHT ILLUSTRATED * * * Stepwise 1 A version of the stage model of insight was first explicitly described in G.

For example, the average raw score in one decade could be 70 percent of the problems solved correctly, 75 percent in the next decade, and 65 percent in the decade after that. In all these cases, the average raw score is assigned an IQ of 100 for that period of time. So, even though people’s average raw scores may fluctuate, the average IQ never changes. It’s always 100. About thirty years ago, New Zealand intelligence researcher James Flynn started analyzing changes over time in these raw scores. What he found—now known as the “Flynn effect”—startled the world: Average raw scores have been increasing. The worldwide “new normal” has been getting better and better. We don’t yet know for sure why this is happening, but the numbers don’t lie. People are getting smarter. Aren’t they? Well, sort of. In 1966, psychologist E. Paul Torrance created the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), a widely used instrument for measuring creative thinking ability rather than the kind of analytical thought measured by IQ tests.

Like any other proper psychometric test, it, too, is periodically calibrated so that an individual person’s score can be compared to his or her contemporaries’ scores. Psychologist Kyung-Hee Kim of the College of William and Mary has recently examined changes over time in TTCT raw scores in the United States and concluded that, on average, people seem to be becoming less creative over time. With all our educational and technological advancements, and in spite of our Flynn-effect increases in analytical intelligence, as a society, Americans are apparently becoming less creative. Future research will show whether this drop in creativity scores is global and mirrors the worldwide increase in analytical intelligence. This apparent waning of creativity is alarming because it comes just at a time when creative insight is desperately needed to parse our problems and reveal our opportunities.


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Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl Wudunn


agricultural Revolution, correlation does not imply causation, demographic dividend, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, illegal immigration, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, paper trading, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, special economic zone, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce

The consequence of failing to educate girls is a capacity gap not only in billions of dollars of GNP but also in billions of IQ points. Psychologists have long noted that intelligence as measured by IQ tests has risen sharply over the years, a phenomenon known as the Flynn Effect, after a New Zealand intelligence researcher named James Flynn. The average American IQ, for example, rose by eighteen points from 1947 to 2002. Over thirty years, the IQ of Dutch conscripts rose twenty-one points and those of Spanish schoolchildren by ten points. One scholar estimated that if American children of 1932 had taken an IQ test in 1997, then half of them would have been classified as at least borderline mentally retarded. The cause of the Flynn Effect isn’t fully understood, but it affects primarily those with lower scores, who may not have received adequate nutrition, education, or stimulation. Iodine deficiency is a factor in some countries.

Iodine deficiency is a factor in some countries. As people become better nourished and better educated, they perform better on intelligence tests. Thus it’s no surprise that a particularly large Flynn Effect has been detected in developing countries such as Brazil and Kenya. The IQ of rural Kenyan children rose eleven points in just fourteen years, a pace greater than any Flynn Effect reported in the West. Tererai Trent in front of the hut in which she was born, in Zimbabwe (Tererai Trent) Girls in poor countries are particularly undernourished, physically and intellectually. If we educate and feed those girls and give them employment opportunities, then the world as a whole will gain a new infusion of human intelligence—and poor countries will garner citizens and leaders who are better equipped to address those countries’ challenges.

Abad, “Generational Changes on the Draw-a-Man Test: A Comparison of Brazilian Urban and Rural Children Tested in 1930, 2002 and 2004,” Journal of Biosocial Science 39, no. 1 (January 2007): 79–89. 240 The IQ of rural Kenyan children: B. Bower, “I.Q. Gains May Reach Rural Kenya’s Kids,” Science News, May 10, 2003; Tamara C. Daley, Shannon E. Whaley, Marian D. Sigman, Michael P. Espinosa, and Charlotte Neumann, “I.Q. on the Rise: The Flynn Effect in Rural Kenyan Children,” Psychological Science 14, no. 3 (May 2003): 215–19. 243 The civil rights and anti–Vietnam War movements: Sidney Tarrow, Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1998), especially p. 204. See also David A. Snow, Sarah A. Soule, and Hanspeter Kriesi, The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements (New York: Wiley, 2007). 243 In South Korea: Hunt, “Let Women Rule,” is the source for information about South Korea and Kyrgyzstan. 243 In the nineteenth century: Stephanie Clohesy and Stacy Van Gorp, The Powerful Intersection of Margins & Mainstream: Mapping the Social Change Work of Women’s Funds (San Francisco: Women’s Funding Network, 2007). 244 In the United States, a 2006 poll found: Scott Bittle, Ana Maria Arumi, and Jean Johnson, “Anxious Public Sees Growing Dangers, Few Solutions: A Report from Public Agenda,” Public Agenda Confidence in U.S.


pages: 262 words: 66,800

Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg


agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

And the first arguments for tolerance came from Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, who wrote in 1689 that ‘neither Pagan nor Mahometan, nor Jew, ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion.’4 It is well established in the research on intelligence that humanity is getting better, on average, at abstract problem solving. This is called the Flynn Effect, after its discoverer, James Flynn, and he has illustrated the speed of the change across three generations. When his generation took an IQ test after the Second World War, the average result was 100 points. When his children’s generation did the same test in 1972, the average result was 108. When his grandchildren’s generation took it in 2002, their average result was 118.5 This trend seems to hold true in all cultures that have modernized, improved education and developed mass media. Interestingly, the parts of the IQ tests where we perform better are the most abstract ones, where we discover patterns and solve novel problems. The psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker has talked about a ‘moral Flynn Effect’, where our increased ability to abstract from the concrete particulars of our immediate experience makes it possible to take in the perspective of others.

Taylor & Francis, 2007, p. 346. 22 Freedom House, ‘Freedom in the world 2015’. Washington DC: Freedom House, 2015. 9 Equality 1 Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008, part 1, p. 100. 2 Pinker 2011, p. 658. 3 Shermer 2015, p. 18. 4 John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2013, p. 85. 5 James R. Flynn, What is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1st expanded pbk edn, 2009, p. 18f. 6 Pinker 2011, p. 656. 7 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, ‘Manifesto of the Communist Party’, in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Basic Writings on Politics and Philosophy. London: Fontana, 1984, p. 52. 8 Benjamin M. Friedman, The Moral Consequences of Growth. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2005. 9 Ronald Inglehart, Modernization and Postmodernization: Cultural, Economic and Political Change in 43 Societies.

Index abolitionism 146–7 abortion 176–7 acid rain 111 adultery 171–2, 176 Afghanistan 83, 101, 102, 136, 156 Africa 25, 52, 154 and child labour 193, 195 and education 133–4 and HIV/AIDS 59, 60 and homosexuality 187 and malnutrition 21, 23–4 and poverty 79–80, 81 and slavery 140, 142, 143–4, 145 and water 38–40 and women 179 African Americans 162, 163, 167–9 agriculture 13, 14–16, 17–19, 20, 21, 89 and children 190–1 and China 27–9 and land use 22–3, 112 and water 38 Albert, Prince Consort 32 alcohol 31 algae 15 Algerian War of Independence 94 Amazon rainforest 112 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 182–3, 185 American Revolution 149 ammonia 14, 15 An Lushan Revolt 95 Ancient Greece 31–2, 44, 84, 140–1, 183 Angell, Norman 103 Angola 21, 83 anti-Semitism 162 antibiotics 2, 50 apartheid 153 Arab Spring 155, 156 Argentina 133 artificial fertilizers 14–15, 18, 22–3, 108 Asal, Victor 170 Asia 67–70, 133, 187, 195 Auld, Hugh 137, 138 Australia 114 Ausubel, Jesse 112 authoritarianism 156 Bacon, Francis 217 bad news 207–12 Bailey, Ronald 205 Bales, Kevin 148–9 Bangladesh 37, 81, 117 Barbary States 143–4 Basu, Kaushik 135 bathing 34, 47 Beccaria, Cesare 93 Bentham, Jeremy 172, 184 Berg, Lasse 68–9, 129, 130, 202–3, 214–15 Berlin Wall 152 Bible, the 84–5, 86, 140, 183 bigotry 188 bio-fuels 125 birth weight 11 Black Death 42 Blackstone, William 184 bloodletting 44, 47 Boko Haram 148 Bolling, Anders 211 Borlaug, Norman 17–19, 23–4 Bosch, Carl 14 Boschwitz, Rudy 23 Bosnia 102 Botswana 27 Brandt, Willy 151 Braudel, Fernand 9, 10, 63 Brazil 153 Britain, see Great Britain Buggery Act (1533) 184 Bure, Anders 132 bureaucracy 216 Burger, Oskar 45 Bush, George W. 187 Caesar, Julius 141 calories 12, 16, 19–20 Cambodia 38 Cameroon 21 Canada 105 cancer 58, 115 cannibalism 8, 10 capital punishment 93–4, 185, 197–8 capitalism 66–7 carbon dioxide 119, 120, 123–4, 127 cardiovascular disease 58 Carter, Jimmy 24 caste system 72–3 Ceauşescu, Nicolae 153 censorship 157 Chad 83 Charlemagne 216 Charta 77: 151 chemical warfare 15 childbirth 4, 48, 49, 53–4, 197 children 11, 12 and education 133–4 and labour 189–96 and malnutrition 22 and mortality 32, 39–40, 45–6, 51, 53, 56 Chile 132, 153 China 27–9, 112, 200, 216–17 and child labour 193 and governance 153, 158 and homosexuality 187 and pollution 117, 119 and poverty 67–8, 69–71, 81 and slavery 148 and war 95, 104 and women 171, 177 chlorine 36–7 cholera 32, 35–6, 45, 55, 197 Churchill, Winston 163 civil rights movement 167–9 civilians 100–1 Clean Air Act (1956) 114 climate change 108, 119–21 Club of Rome 110, 115, 116 codes of honour 91–2 Cold War 99, 182 colonialism 103, 163 combine harvesters 16 communism 25, 26, 28, 102, 151–3, 182 Condorcet, Marquis de 172 Congress of Vienna (1815) 145 contraception 176, 177 crime 93, 207–8, 211 Cronin, Audrey 103 crop failure 7–8, 18 Cuba 132 Czechoslovakia 151, 152 dalits 72–3, 129 Darwin, Charles 45 De Gaulle, Gen Charles 161 ‘dead zones’ 15 death penalty 93–4, 185 Deaton, Angus 12, 52, 61 Declaration of Independence 144–5 Defoe, Daniel 192 deforestation 111–12 dehydration 54–5 democracy 26–7, 104–5, 150–7 Democratic Republic of Congo 26, 81 Dempsey, Gen Martin 2 Denmark 105 diarrhoea 32, 37–8, 54–5 Dickens, Charles 173 dictatorships 150–1, 153, 154, 155, 158 Diderot, Denis 143 discrimination 167–70, 173 Disraeli, Benjamin 36 Divine Comedy (Dante) 183–4 divorce 176 domestic violence 179 Douglass, Frederick 137–8, 139–40, 174 Dublin, Louis 60 dysentery 40 East Germany 152 Ebola 53, 209–10 Economic Freedom of the World 157–8 economics 67–9, 79, 165–6 education 17, 38–9, 135–7, 173, 197; see also literacy Egypt 133, 155, 156 Eisenhower, Dwight D. 168, 182 Eisner, Manuel 90 Ekman, Freddie 208 Elizabeth I, Queen 33, 34 energy 123–8 Engels, Friedrich 165–6 Enlightenment, the 4, 13, 66, 93, 184 and slavery 142–3 and women 172 environment, the 23–4, 108–12, 113–17 and climate 119–20 and energy 123–8 and poverty 117–19, 120–3 equality 143, 178–9, 188; see also inequality Equatorial Guinea 37 Ethiopia 24 ethnic minorities 161–71 Europe 216, 217–18 extinctions 112–13 extreme poverty 75–8, 79, 80–1 Factory Acts 193 famine 7–10, 13, 14, 17, 25–7, 46, 197 farming, see agriculture fascism 102 female genital mutilation 179 feminism 173 fertility rates 16–17, 24–5, 56 First World War 14, 15, 99, 104 fish stocks 112 Fitzhugh, George 147 Fleming, Alexander 50 flying toilets 39–40 Flynn Effect 164–5 food 2, 10–14, 13, 16, 17, 19; see also famine Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) 20–1 forests 111–12 fossil fuels 108 France 9–10, 11–2, 42–3, 63–4, 161–2, 184 Francis, Pope 2 Frederick II, Emperor 32 Free the Slaves 148 freedom 138, 157–9 Friedan, Betty 183 Friedman, Benjamin 166 Friedman, Milton 158–9 Gandhi, Mahatma 168 Garrison, William Lloyd 146 Gates Foundation 52, 125 Gay Pride 185–6 gay rights 181–8 GDP (gross domestic product) 22, 56–7, 64, 67, 74–5 gender gap 178–9 genetically modified crops 23 genocide 101–2 George V, King 104 germ theory 48–9 Germany 114, 152, 183 Gini coefficient 82 globalization 4, 5, 45, 57, 74–5, 82, 218 Glorious Revolution 149 Golden Bull 149 Gorbachev, Mikhail 151 governance 90–1, 92; see also democracy graphene 126 Gray, John 2 Great Ascent 67 Great Britain 12, 114, 145, 192–4 and homosexuality 184, 185, 186 Great Powers 98–9 Great Smog 107–8, 114 ‘Great Stink, The’ 36 Green Revolution 17–20, 22, 23, 24 greenhouse gases 119 Guan Youjiang 29 Guangdong 70–1 H1N1 virus 59 Haber, Fritz 14, 15 Hagerup, Ulrik 208 Haiti 38, 57, 81, 114 Hans Island 105 happiness 199 Harrington, Sir John 33 Harrison, Dick 140 hate crimes 170 Havel, Václav 151, 152 height 16, 21–2 Helvétius, Claude Adrien 172 Hesiod 213–14 Hilleman, Maurice 54 Hitler, Adolf 94, 95 HIV/AIDS 52–3, 59, 60 Hobbes, Thomas 213 Holocaust, the 102, 170 homicide 85, 89, 90 homosexuality 181–8 Honecker, Erich 152 Hong Kong 67, 70 hookworm 40 human rights 142 human sacrifice 88–9 humanitarianism 93 Hungary 149, 151–2 hunter-gatherers 88 Hutcheson, Francis 143 hygiene 48, 49 India 10, 18–19, 27, 37, 38, 67–9 and child labour 193, 195 and governance 151, 154 and literacy 129–30, 133, 135 and pollution 117, 119 and poverty 71–3, 81 and slavery 145 and war 104 individualism 92 Industrial Revolution 2, 4, 66, 82 inequality 81–2, 178–9 influenza 58–9 Inglehart, Ronald 166–7 inoculation 47–8 intelligence 164–5 International Labour Organization (ILO) 195–6 International Union for the Conservation of Nature 112–13 Iraq 83, 102 irrigation 18, 22, 38 IS 148 Islamists 216 Italy 184, 193 Jang Jin-sung 25–6 Japan 21, 68, 180–1 Japanese Americans 163 Jefferson, Thomas 144, 145, 147 Jenner, Edward 48 Jews 162 Jim Crow laws 162 John, King 149 Johnson, Lyndon B. 169 Kant, Immanuel 201 Karlsson, Stig 68–9, 129, 202–3, 214–15 Kenny, Charles 134 Kenya 39–40 Kibera 39–40 King, Martin Luther, Jr. 168, 181 Klein, Naomi 2 knights 88 knowledge 200–2, 216–18 Korean War 94, 98 Ku Klux Klan 163, 169 land use 22 Las Casas, Bartolomé de 142–3 Latin America 150, 177, 187 law, the 90–1, 92 Lecky, William E.


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Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom


agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk,, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey

In the past half-century, at least one scenario has been widely recognized in which the existing world order would come to an end in the course of minutes or hours: global thermonuclear war. 3. This would be consistent with the observation that the Flynn effect—the secular increase in measured IQ scores within most populations at a rate of some 3 IQ points per decade over the past 60 years or so—appears to have ceased or even reversed in recent years in some highly developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Norway (Teasdale and Owen 2008; Sundet et al. 2004). The cause of the Flynn effect in the past—and whether and to what extent it represents any genuine gain in general intelligence or merely improved skill at solving IQ test-style puzzles—has been the subject of wide debate and is still not known. Even if the Flynn effect (at least partially) reflects real cognitive gains, and even if the effect is now diminishing or even reversing, this does not prove that we have yet hit diminishing returns in whatever underlying cause was responsible for the observed Flynn effect in the past.

“Phylogeny and Evolutionary History of the Silkworm.” Science China Life Sciences 55 (6): 483–96. Sundet, J., Barlaug, D., and Torjussen, T. 2004. “The End of the Flynn Effect? A Study of Secular Trends in Mean Intelligence Scores of Norwegian Conscripts During Half a Century.” Intelligence 32 (4): 349–62. Sutton, Richard S., and Barto, Andrew G. 1998. Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction. Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Talukdar, D., Sudhir, K., and Ainslie, A. 2002. “Investigating New Product Diffusion Across Products and Countries.” Marketing Science 21 (1): 97–114. Teasdale, Thomas W., and Owen, David R. 2008. “Secular Declines in Cognitive Test Scores: A Reversal of the Flynn Effect.” Intelligence 36 (2): 121–6. Tegmark, Max, and Bostrom, Nick. 2005. “Is a Doomsday Catastrophe Likely?” Nature 438: 754.

Even if the Flynn effect (at least partially) reflects real cognitive gains, and even if the effect is now diminishing or even reversing, this does not prove that we have yet hit diminishing returns in whatever underlying cause was responsible for the observed Flynn effect in the past. The decline or reversal could instead be due to some independent detrimental factor that would otherwise have produced an even bigger observed decline. 4. Bostrom and Roache (2011). 5. Somatic gene therapy could eliminate the maturational lag, but is technically much more challenging than germline interventions and has a lower ultimate potential. 6. Average global economic productivity growth per year over the period 1960–2000 was 4.3% (Isaksson 2007). Only part of this productivity growth is due to gains in organizational efficiency. Some particular networks or organizational processes of course are improving at much faster rates. 7.


pages: 467 words: 116,094

I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That by Ben Goldacre


call centre, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Desert Island Discs,, experimental subject, Firefox, Flynn Effect, jimmy wales, John Snow's cholera map, Loebner Prize, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, Simon Singh, statistical model, stem cell, the scientific method, Turing test, WikiLeaks

Firstly, the idea of kids getting cleverer is not ludicrous. ‘The Flynn Effect’ is a term coined to describe the gradual improvement in IQ scores. This has been an important problem for IQ researchers, since IQ tests are peer referenced: that is, your performance is compared against everyone else, and the scores are rejigged so that the average IQ is always 100. Because of the trend to higher scores, year on year, you have to be careful not to use older tests on current populations, or their scores come out spuriously high, by the standards of the weaker average population of the past. Regardless of what you think about IQ tests, the tasks in them are at least relatively consistent. That said, there’s also some evidence that the Flynn effect has slowed in developed countries recently. But ideally, we want research that addresses exams directly.

ijkey=7e44681dab39ded34d438b6638e77eebc54cda3e& keytype2=tf_ipsecsha Price and colleagues: Kerruish reported: Kilgallon and Simmons: Zbinden and colleagues: Yamamoto and colleagues: impossible to ejaculate: The Power of Ideas Atheist’s Guide to Christmas: ‘Exams Are Getting Easier’ ‘Exams are Getting Easier’: ‘The Flynn Effect’: ‘The Five Decade Challenge’: study of just this: ‘Measuring the Mathematics Problem’: library/Measuring the Mathematic Problems.pdf Over There!

Henry 134 education: building evidence into xvi, xvii, xx, 202–18; exam difficulty 188–90; omega-3 fish oil and 343–7 electrosensitivity xxi; journalists’ failure to mention the data 292–4; wi-fi, dangers of 289–91 Ellison, Jane 85 Elsevier 139, 143, 144, 283 employment/unemployment numbers 59–61 Epicure 197–8 epidemiology xviii, xxii, 3, 18, 99–108, 298, 299, 349–50, 365; anecdotes, illustrating data with 118–22; bicycle helmets, the law and 110–13; bowel cancer rates, variation in 101–4; confounding variables 107–9; journalists, primary research and 104–7; magnetic wine 122–6; mobile phone use and cancer 116–18; screening for health problems 113–15 Ernst, Professor Edzard 323 Essex University 293 Etherington, Bill 23 Euromonitor 345 European Court of Justice 241 European Union 56, 169, 192 Eurostat 56 euthanasia 22 evidence-based policy xix–xx, 167–218; coalition government NHS reforms and 169–77; coalition government sentencing policy for drug offenders and 177–9; Commons Committee on Science and Technology report on ‘scientific developments relating to the Abortion Act, 1967’ 196–201; education, building evidence into 202–18; exams pass rates/difficulty 188–90; as fascist ideology 297–9; homeopathy and 322; maths, thinktank complains about decline in quality of within Britain 194–6; organic food and 191–4; pornography in sperm donor clinics and 179–82; power of ideas and (diarrhoea and AIDS) 182–7 EvidenceMatters 252 evolutionary psychologists 42–6 exams, difficulty of xx, 188–90 exercise, weight gain and xxi, 335–8 facilitated communication 324–6 Family Nurse Partnership, The 212–13 Fernandez, Bishop Demetrio 184 Finch, Felicity 61–3 fish oil 29–31, 343–6 Fisher, Dr Peter 322 fluoride 22–5 ‘The Flynn Effect’ 188 ‘fMRI in the Public Eye’ (2005 Nature Reviews Neuroscience paper) 38–9 Food Standards Agency (FSA) 12, 191 Fowler, Lord Norman 285 Fox News 107 Freedom of Information Act 18, 105 fruit, eating 303–4 FullFact 159 funnel plots xviii, 102–4, 132 Galileo 8, 227 Gambia 182 Gardasil 333 Gardner, Martin 261, 262, 263, 264; In the Name of Science 261, 264, 264n; Fads and Fallacies 262 gastric ulcers 9 Geller, Uri 50 General Chriopractic Council 253 General Medical Council (GMC) 227, 249, 251, 347 Geshekter, Charles 285 ghost writers, commercial 25–8 Gimpyblog 252 GM foods 29 government statistics 147–65; child abuse figures 157–8; conflation of two different things into one omnibus figure 155; council spending figures 152–4; crime figures 162–5; impact of major multi-sports events on host population 155–7; music piracy figures 159–62; public and private sector pay figures 149–52 GP Research Database 79 GPs 82; abortions and 90, 91; antidepressant prescriptions and 106; cod liver oil and 2; consortiums/fundholding 171–2, 174, 175, 176; increase in numbers of 170; participation in research 216; surveying of patients in waiting rooms and 60 Gray, Theodore 373–5, 375n Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) 119, 120, 121–2 Greece: national economic data xviii, 54–6 Greenberg, Steven 26, 27, 28 Greenfield, Susan 3–5 Griffin, Beverly 285 Griffiths, Noola 309 Guardian: Bad Science column see under individual subject area; ‘Cuts protest violence: 149 people charged’ story 155; decision not to print technical information on suicide 362; declines Ben Goldacre article 17–20; recession and anti-depressant link story and 105; Reform: ‘The Value of Mathematics’, coverage of 194; Taliban narcotics factory story 221; transparency about research methods in articles questioned 17–20 Guattari, Félix 297, 298 Hampshire Chronicle 57 Hansard 76 happiest place, Britain’s 56–8 Harper, Dr Diane 332, 33–4 Harper’s Magazine 261, 263 Harris, Evan 119 Harvard Medical School 26 Harvard School of Public Health 387 Harvard University: Center for Ethics 32 Harwood, Professor John 30–1 Hatzistefanis, Maria 255 HbA1c blood test 120 Health Professional Council 253 Health Select Committee, UK 84 Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) 80, 84–5, 86 Heard, Gerald: Is Another World Watching?


pages: 291 words: 81,703

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen


Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila,, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

We’ve figured out that a lot of opening sequences are unsound—and how to beat them—and that a lot of opening sequences had been underrated. It’s revolutionized our understanding of the game. What else will machine intelligence revolutionize? There is a broader literature on the possibility of progress in general intelligence and not just among chess players. Average IQ scores have been rising for decades by about three points per decade, a phenomenon known as the “Flynn Effect.” Of course it’s not clear how much people, over time, have higher levels of general intelligence, and how much they are just getting better at taking the tests, but so what? Getting better at taking tests is still a form of cognitive improvement. (Most researchers in the area do in fact think that real intelligence performance is rising to some extent.) There’s further good news from the rapid progress of women playing chess.

See healthcare domestic oil production, 177 domestic productivity, 169 Dorn, David, 164 Dreber, Anna, 106 driverless automobiles, 8 drone aircraft, 20–21 Duflo, Esther, 222 Dumaine, Erika, 62 Duncan, Arne, 57 dystopian visions, 135 “Economic Growth Given Machine Intelligence” (Hanson), 135–36 economics behavioral economics, 75–76, 99, 105, 110, 149, 227 and “Big Data,” 221–22 changing emphasis in research, 221–28 computational economics, 222 development economics, 226 economic crises, 50–51, 53, 55, 232 and incentive for innovation, 138 Keynesian, 53–54, 56, 226 macroeconomics, 9, 166, 211–12, 226 microeconomics, 212, 225 and online education, 180 economies of scale, 184 Economou, Rona, 61 education and the changing labor market, 37, 168–69 chess as model for, 185–88, 191–92, 202–3 educational standards, 90 in El Paso, 246 Emporium model, 183–84 and face-to-face instruction, 194–202 and foreign competition, 176 and gaming, 185–88 and geographic trends, 171–72 and income polarization, 4 new higher education models, 188–94 online education, 179–85 and the social contract, 231 and “tutor kings,” 200–201 and wage trends, 40–41 egalitarianism, 189–90 eHarmony, 95 Einstein, Albert, 126, 211, 213, 215 El Paso, Texas, 245–46 elderly population, 51–52, 236–37, 258 elections, 10–11, 234–35 electronic shopping, 27 The Elegant Universe (Greene), 212–13 empiricism, 225–26 employer-provided healthcare, 237–38 Emporium education model, 183–84 endowment effect, 99–100 energy costs, 177 Eng, Richard, 200 engineering, 26 English boarding schools, 199 entertainment industry, 22 epigenetics, 212 Equifax, 125 Euclid, 216–17 Europe, 173–75 evolution of machines, 150–51 exclusivity, 36, 95–96, 192–94 expert testimony, 129 “Face time,” 146 Facebook, 26, 209–10, 221, 257 face-to-face education, 194–202 factor price equalization, 163 factories, 92 Fair Isaac Corporation, 124 Felin, Teppo, 139 Feller, Sébastien, 147 FICO scores, 124 financial crisis, 50–51, 53, 55 financial sector, 25, 41, 128–29, 129–30 fiscal crunch, 231–51 Fischer, Bobby, 101, 108, 188 fixed employment costs, 113 Florida, 8, 237, 241, 251–52 Florida, Richard, 256 “Flynn Effect,” 107–8 Foer, Joshua, 152 food prices, 246, 248 Ford, Martin, 6 foreign competition, 161–63, 163–71, 175–77 Foxconn, 7–8 “fracking,” 177 France, 39 Franchise (Asimov), 10–11 Franklin, Benjamin, 148 free trade, 166, 176 freelancing, 59–63 Freestyle chess compared to traditional chess, 77–83 and computer simulations, 227–28 and decision-making models, 129 described, 77–83 impact on human play, 83–86 masters of, 86–87 origin of, 46–47 and other man-machine collaborations, 86–89, 89–93 and risk-taking behavior, 75–76 and self-education, 202–3 spectator interest in, 156–57 Friendster, 209 Fritz (chess program), 68, 78, 109, 114 futurism, 6, 134 “g factor” (general intelligence), 42–44 game theory, 222 Gates, Bill, 25 Gattaca (1997), 13 Gelfand, Boris, 156 gender issues and changing worker profiles, 30–31 and chess, 106, 108 and labor force trends, 51 and wage trends, 52–53 and wealth inequality, 249 General Electric, 38, 87 general relativity theory, 211 “Generation Limbo,” 62 genetics, 17, 211–12 geographic trends, 171–75 Gerdes, Christer, 106 Germany, 39, 173–74 Global Hawk surveillance drones, 20–21 globalization, 10 Go (game), 135 Gobet, Fernand, 76 Google and availability of knowledge, 7 and “Big Data,” 221 and driverless cars, 8 and the labor market, 26, 27, 34–36 and medical diagnosis, 89 and memory, 151–52, 154 and online marketing, 22 and public trust, 217 and regulatory issues, 17 government budgets and spending, 175, 176, 198, 231–51 GPS technology, 7, 14–15, 113–15, 116–17 “Grand Unified Theories,” 212 Gränsmark, Patrik, 106 Great Recession (2008–2009), 54–59 “great stagnation,” 5 Greek symposia, 197 Greene, Brian, 212–13 Grischuk, Alexander, 109 Hanson, Gordon H., 164 Hanson, Robin, 135–36 Harvard University, 192–94, 201 Hauchard, Arnaud, 147 Hayek, Friedrich, 215 healthcare costs of, 59, 60, 113 employer-provided, 59, 113, 237–38 and the fiscal crunch, 232, 234–39, 242, 249–50 and the labor market, 31, 238 and mandates, 237–38 and physician rating systems, 124–25 and protectionism, 176 and rationing, 249–50 and regulatory issues, 16–17 and wealth inequality, 243–44 hermeticism, 153 Hernandez, Nelson, 78–79, 86, 157, 203 Higgs boson, 212 higher education, 168, 188–94, 194–202 hiring costs, 36, 59, 60 Hirschberg, Julia, 12–13 Hitt, Lorin M., 33 Hlatshwayo, Sandile, 176 Hong Kong, 200–201 Houdini (chess program), 68 household incomes, 38 housing costs, 53, 55, 63, 239–40, 244–45 human judgment and error, 102–3, 104, 131 human-machine interface, 91–92 Hydra (chess program), 69 IBM, 7, 47 imitation, 141, 144.

See also Turing test immigration and the fiscal crunch, 239–41 and geographic trends, 174 and outsourcing, 163–71 and wage trends, 162–63 impresario model of teaching, 196–97 imprisonment rates, 52 income inequality and income polarization, 242–44 and marketing, 23–25 and political trends, 253, 257 regional, 172–73 and the social contract, 229–31 See also wealth inequality India and chess players, 108, 189, 195 and demographic trends, 230 and labor competition, 5, 163–64, 167 and scientific specialization, 216 Industrial Revolution, 20, 208 inflation, 3, 38 information processing, 142 information revolution, 58 information technology (IT), 90–91, 162 innovation, 85, 138, 184, 215 Institute for Simulation and Training, 200 integrity of employers, 36 intellectual class, 258 intellectual property, 20 intelligence, human and the changing labor market, 42–44 and the “Flynn Effect,” 107–8 IQ scores, 107–8, 127, 201 interest rates, 232 international trade, 163–71 internet and AI-targeted marketing, 24 internet companies, 25, 221 internet publishing, 27 and marketing, 22 and wage trends, 172–73 See also specific companies intuition and chess, 68–70, 72, 97, 99, 101, 105–6, 109–10, 114–15 and complexity of scientific theory, 205–6, 211–12 and computer calculations, 135 and computer searching, 155 and economic theory, 221–22, 227 and GPS technology, 114 and human error, 105 human reliance on, 109–10 impact of computers on, 155 and machine science, 218 and microeconomics, 225 and predicting the future, 6 and romance, 95, 97 and scientific advance, 206 and the social sciences, 223 invention, 208 investment, 243 iPads, 28, 81–82, 152, 166–67, 180 iPhones and chess programs, 48, 148–49 and daily decision making, 72, 73 and the global marketplace, 4 and human machine interface, 92 and lie detection, 13 and marketing, 21 and technological advance, 211 and voice recognition, 7 IQ scores, 107–8, 127, 201 Israel, 168 Italy, 174–75 Jacksonville, Florida, 241 Jaimovich, Nir, 55 Japan, 39 Jennings, Ken, 7, 157 Jeopardy!


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The Age of the Infovore: Succeeding in the Information Economy by Tyler Cowen


Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, David Brooks,, endowment effect, Flynn Effect, framing effect, Google Earth, impulse control, informal economy, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, neurotypical, new economy, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind

CHAPTER 3: WHY MODERN CULTURE IS LIKE MARRIAGE, IN ALL ITS GLORY On short bits, see Susan Jacoby, The Age of American Unreason (New York: Pantheon Books, 2008), 257–59. On radio ads and YouTube, see Seth Godin, Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Sync? (New York: Portfolio, 2007), pp. 96–100. The web page with information about short bits is called “Short Is In”: On the top websites, see On the Flynn Effect, see for instance James T. Flynn, What Is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007). For the essay by Mark Bittman, see “I Need a Virtual Break. No, Really,” New York Times, March 2, 2008. On the notion of filter failure, see “Interview with Clay Shirky, Part I,” Columbia Journalism Review, December 19, 2008,, as well as Shirky’s work more generally.

When it comes to enjoying and assembling small cultural bits, multitasking is remarkably efficient. It is very often a dominant method of (interior) production and of course that is why it is so popular. The emotional power of our personal blends is potent, and they make work, and learning, a lot more fun. Multitasking is, in part, a strategy to keep ourselves interested. If you look at measured IQ scores, they are rising over time, with each generation, in a phenomenon known as the Flynn Effect. There is no particular reason to believe that multitasking is driving this phenomenon but this does belie the common impression that people are getting more stupid or less attentive over time. Contrary to a lot of the complaints you might hear, a harried, multitasking society seems perfectly compatible with lots of innovation, lots of high achievers, and lots of high IQ scores. There are also plenty of lab experiments that show that distracting people lowers the capacity of their working memory and thus lowers their capacity for intelligent decision-making.


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The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen


Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, delayed gratification, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, fudge factor, full employment, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, iterative process, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, éminence grise

To Quillan, Emma, and Alex— my most valuable ideas (and to Jeanine: my best one) CONTENTS List of Illustrations Prologue ROCKET concerning ten thousand years, a hundred lineages, and two revolutions Chapter One CHANGES IN THE ATMOSPHERE concerning how a toy built in Alexandria failed to inspire, and how a glass tube made in Italy succeeded; the spectacle of two German hemispheres attached to sixteen German horses; and the critical importance of nothing at all Chapter Two A GREAT COMPANY OF MEN concerning the many uses of a piston; how the world’s first scientific society was founded at a college with no students; and the inspirational value of armories, Nonconformist preachers, incomplete patterns, and snifting valves Chapter Three THE FIRST AND TRUE INVENTOR concerning a trial over the ownership of a deck of playing cards; a utopian fantasy island in the South Seas; one Statute and two Treatises; and the manner in which ideas were transformed from something one discovers to something one owns Chapter Four A VERY GREAT QUANTITY OF HEAT concerning the discovery of fatty earth; the consequences of the deforestation of Europe; the limitations of waterpower; the experimental importance of a Scotsman’s ice cube; and the search for the most valuable jewel in Britain Chapter Five SCIENCE IN HIS HANDS concerning the unpredictable consequences of sea air on iron telescopes; the power of the cube-square law; the Incorporation of Hammermen; the nature of insight; and the long-term effects of financial bubbles Chapter Six THE WHOLE THING WAS ARRANGED IN MY MIND concerning the surprising contents of a Ladies Diary; invention by natural selection; the Flynn Effect; neuronal avalanches; the critical distinction between invention and innovation; and the memory of a stroll on Glasgow Green Chapter Seven MASTER OF THEM ALL concerning differences among Europe’s monastic brotherhoods; the unlikely contribution of the brewing of beer to the forging of iron; the geometry of crystals; and an old furnace made new Chapter Eight A FIELD THAT IS ENDLESS concerning the unpredictable consequences of banking crises; a Private Act of Parliament; the folkways of Cornish miners; the difficulties in converting reciprocating into rotational motion; and the largest flour mill in the world Chapter Nine QUITE SPLENDID WITH A FILE concerning the picking of locks; the use of wood in the making of iron, and iron in the making of wood; the very great importance of very small errors; blocks of all shapes and sizes; and the tool known as “the Lord Chancellor” Chapter Ten TO GIVE ENGLAND THE POWER OF COTTON concerning the secret of silk spinning; two men named Kay; a child called Jenny; the breaking of frames; the great Cotton War between Calcutta and Lancashire; and the violent resentments of stocking knitters Chapter Eleven WEALTH OF NATIONS concerning Malthusian traps and escapes; spillovers and residuals; the uneasy relationship between population growth and innovation; and the limitations of Chinese emperors, Dutch bankers, and French revolutionaries Chapter Twelve STRONG STEAM concerning a Cornish Giant, and a trip up Camborne Hill; the triangular relationship between power, weight, and pressure; George Washington’s flour mill and the dredging of the Schuylkill River; the long trip from Cornwall to Peru; and the most important railroad race in history Epilogue THE FUEL OF INTEREST Acknowledgments Notes LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure 1: Thomas Savery’s pumping machine, as seen in a lithograph from his 1702 book The Miner’s Friend.

* Small would have been a key asset in any game of eighteenth-century “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” as a correspondent of Watt, a friend of Benjamin Franklin, and, before his return to Scotland from North America, Thomas Jefferson’s onetime professor at the College of William & Mary. * Modest indeed—a fraction of what he would eventually spend on rejiggering Watt’s patent. CHAPTER SIX THE WHOLE THING WAS ARRANGED IN MY MIND concerning the surprising contents of a Ladies Diary; invention by natural selection; the Flynn Effect; neuronal avalanches; the critical distinction between invention and innovation; and the memory of a stroll on Glasgow Green It was in the Green of Glasgow.1 I had gone to take a walk on a fine Sabbath afternoon. I had entered the Green by the gate at the foot of Charlotte Street—had passed the old washing-house. I was thinking upon the engine at the time, and had gone as far as the Herd’s-house, when the idea came into my mind, that as steam was an elastic body it would rush into a vacuum, and if a communication was made between the cylinder and an exhausted vessel, it would rush into it, and might be there condensed without cooling the cylinder.

As far back as the 1960s,19 the term “blind variation and selective retention” was being used to describe creative innovation without foresight, and advocates for the BVSR model remain so entranced by the potential for mapping creative behavior onto a Darwinian map that they refer to innovations as “ideational mutations.”20 A more modest, and jargon-free, application of Darwinism simply argues that technological progress is proportional to population in the same way as evolutionary change: Unless a population is large enough, the evolutionary changes that occur are not progressive but random, the phenomenon known as genetic drift. It is, needless to say, pretty difficult to identify “progressive change” over time for cognitive abilities like those exhibited by inventors. A brave attempt has been made by James Flynn, the intelligence researcher from New Zealand who first documented, in 1984, what is now known as the Flynn Effect: the phenomenon that the current generation in dozens of different countries scores higher on general intelligence tests than previous generations. Not a little higher: a lot. The bottom 10 percent of today’s families are somehow scoring at the same level as the top 10 percent did fifty years ago. The phenomenon is datable to the Industrial Revolution, which exposed an ever larger population to stimulation of their abilities to reason abstractly and concretely simultaneously.


pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman


23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog

Evolution has accelerated from geologic speed to Internet speed—still employing random mutation and selection but also using nonrandom intelligent design, which makes it even faster. We are losing species not just by extinction but by merger. There are no longer species barriers between humans, bacteria, and plants—or even between humans and machines. Shorthand abstractions are only one device we employ to construct the “Flynn effect”—the worldwide increase in average scores on intelligence tests. How many of us noticed the minor milestone when the SAT tests first permitted calculators? How many of us have participated in conversations semi-discreetly augmented by Google or text messaging? Even without invoking artificial intelligence, how far are we from commonplace augmentation of our decision making, the way we have augmented our math, memory, and muscles?

The phenomenon of hybrid vigor in offspring, which is also called heterozygote advantage, derives from a cross between dissimilar parents. It is well established experimentally, and the benefits of mingling disparate gene pools are seen not only in improved physical but also improved mental development. Intermarriage therefore promises cognitive benefits. Indeed, it may already have contributed to the Flynn effect, the well-known worldwide rise in average measured intelligence by as much as three IQ points per decade over successive decades since the early twentieth century. Every major change is liable to unintended consequences. These can be beneficial, detrimental, or both. The social and cognitive benefits of the intermingling of people and populations are no exception, and there is no knowing whether the benefits are counterweighed or even outweighed by as yet unknown drawbacks.

., 268–69 cycles and, 171, 172–73 intelligent design and, 59–60, 89 of microbes, 16 mutation in, 99 selection in, see natural selection time and, 1–2, 223 toward intelligence, 4 expanding in-group, 194–95 experiments, 23–24, 34 controlled, 25–27, 274 double-blind control, 17–18, 44 failure in, 79–80 replicability of, 373–75 thought, 28–29 experts and authority figures, 18, 20, 34 explanation, levels of, 276 externalities, 124–26 extinction, 175, 362 extroversion, 232–33 eye, 130, 139, 141, 147–48, 163, 188–90, 359 facial attractiveness, 136, 137 failure, 79–80 fantasizing, 235–36 fear of the unknown, 55–57 Feynman, Richard, 20, 236 financial analysis, 186 financial crisis, 259, 261, 307, 309, 322, 386 financial instruments, 178, 179 financial risk, 259 Finn, Christine, 282–84 Firestein, Stuart, 62–64 fish, 90 Fisher, Helen, 229–31 Fiske, Susan, 267 Fitch, W. Tecumseh, 154–56 fixed-action patterns, 160–61 Flash Crash, 60–61 flavor, 141 Flock of Dodos, A, 268–69 flu, 351 vaccinations for, 56 Flynn, James, xxx, 372 Flynn effect, 89, 195 focusing illusion, 49–50 food chain, 312 Ford, Henry, 335 Foreman, Richard, 225 Foucault, Michel, 118 Fowler, James, 306 framing, 201–2, 203 free jazz, 254–56 free trade, 100 free will, 35, 48, 217 Freud, Sigmund, 37–38, 146, 147, 148 Friedman, Milton, 84 functional modularity, 131 future, 1–2 Galbraith, John Kenneth, 307 Galileo, 9, 28–29, 110, 162, 335 Galton, Francis, 242 Game of Life, 275–77 game theory, 94–95, 96, 318 Gandhi, Mohandas K., 335 gangs, 345 garbage, mental, 395–97 Gaussian distribution, 199, 200 gedankenexperiment, 28–29 Gefter, Amanda, 299–300 Gelernter, David, 246–49 Gell-Mann, Murray, 190, 388 General Motors, 204 general relativity, 25, 64, 72, 234, 297 generators, 277 genes, 10, 15, 32, 88, 97, 98, 99, 157, 165–66, 395 altruism and, 196 horizontal transfer of, 16 Huntington’s disease and, 59 hybrid vigor and, 194–95 McClintock’s work with, 240–41 pangenome, 16 personality and, 229, 233 see also DNA gene therapy, 56 genetically modified (GM) crops, 16, 56 genetic vulnerability, 278–79 geometry, hyperbolic, 109 Gershenfeld, Neil, 72–73 Gibbon, Edward, 128 Gibbs, J.


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The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen


Asian financial crisis, Bernie Madoff,, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, income inequality, indoor plumbing, life extension, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, school choice, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban renewal

On the same page, a little further below, I find: “The average mathematics score for 17-year-olds was not significantly different from that in 1973.” There are plenty of ways you can slice and dice these numbers with statistics, but the bottom line is that an “eyeball test” shows very little in terms of net gains on the tests, and that’s speaking over decades. Keep in mind that according to the so-called “Flynn effect,” each generation has higher average IQ scores than the last. So if we’re getting smarter on relatively abstract IQ tests but not getting better test scores at school, possibly schools are declining in their productivity, despite all the extra money spent. Or take the constant scores in mathematics. We are a wealthier and smarter nation, more reliant on mathematics in our technology, and there is more mathematics “on tap” in any home computer.


The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace


3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Elon Musk,, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lump of labour, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Wishing their kids would go outside and kick a ball around instead, they have agonised over a series of scares about the ill effects of video games, which allegedly make kids violent, stop them developing social skills, render them vulnerable to legions of grooming molesters, and give them impossibly short attention spans. And the blue light of the screen disrupts their sleep. Meanwhile, the Flynn Effect describes the finding that IQ levels are increasing steadily each generation,[clxxvi] which should not be surprising when you consider the general trends toward less smoking, less drinking, better central heating, better food and better healthcare. And the fact that we are continually learning more about what works in education and what does not. Humans are intensely social creatures. The need to belong to a tribe – to be accepted by it and perhaps to climb its hierarchy – is programmed deeply into us.

If you add in DVD and other “windows”, plus merchandising, it is hard to say. [clxvi] [clxvii] [clxviii] [clxix] [clxx] [clxxi] [clxxii] [clxxiii] [clxxiv] [clxxv] [clxxvi] The Flynn Effect: [clxxvii] WHO "Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013: supporting a decade of action [clxxviii] [clxxix] [clxxx] [clxxxi]


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley


23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser,, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Incidentally, the individualisation of life that brought personal freedom after the 1960s also brought less loyalty towards the group, a process that surely reached crisis point in the bonus rows of 2009: see Lindsey, B. 2009. Paul Krugman’s Nostalgianomics: Economic Policy, Social Norms and Income Inequality. Cato Institute. p. 19 ‘As Hayek put it’. Hayek, F.A. 1960. The Constitution of Liberty. Chicago University Press. p. 19 ‘Known as the Flynn effect, after James Flynn who first drew attention to it’. Flynn, J.R. 2007. What Is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect. Cambridge University Press. pp. 19–20 ‘To date 234 innocent Americans have been freed’. p. 20 ‘the average family house probably costs slightly less today than it did in 1900 or even 1700’. Comparing house prices over long periods of time is fraught with difficulty, because houses vary so much, but Piet Eichholtz has tried to index house prices by comparing the same area of Amsterdam, the Herengracht, over nearly 400 years: Eichholtz, P.M.A. 2003.

The spread of IQ scores has been shrinking steadily – because the low scores have been catching up with the high ones. This explains the steady, progressive and ubiquitous improvement in the average IQ scores people achieve at a given age – at a rate of 3 per cent per decade. In two Spanish studies, IQ proved to be 9.7 points higher after thirty years, most of it among the least intelligent half of the group. Known as the Flynn effect, after James Flynn who first drew attention to it, this phenomenon was at first dismissed as an artefact of changes in tests, or a simple reflection of longer or better schooling. But the facts do not fit such explanations because the effect is consistently weakest in the cleverest children and in the tests that relate most to educational content. It is a levelling-up caused by an equalisation of nutrition, stimulation or diversity of childhood experience.


pages: 335 words: 104,850

Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey, Rajendra Sisodia, Bill George


Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies,, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, income per capita, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, Occupy movement, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, shareholder value, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, women in the workforce

Instead, we must work to raise our own consciousness and make deliberate choices that further our personal and organizational growth and development. A New Chapter in Human History We human beings did not stop evolving when we became Homo sapiens; our evolution continued, but became more culturally and internally driven. The changes are most manifest in an increase in different types of intelligence and a rise in consciousness. It may not seem obvious at first glance, but we are becoming smarter as a species. The Flynn effect shows that overall human analytical intelligence has been rising at an average rate of about 4 percent every decade for the past several decades.1 In other words, a person testing at an average IQ of 100 today would have tested at close to 130 sixty years ago. People are also far better educated worldwide. Literacy rates have risen rapidly, but the larger story is access to higher education.

Real Clear Markets, December 12, 2011. 17. Sandy Cutler, interview with authors, April 10, 2012. 18. Marc Gafni, interview with authors, March 15, 2012. 19. R. Edward Freeman, Jeffrey S. Harrison, and Andrew C. Wicks, Managing for Stakeholders: Survival, Reputation, and Success (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007). 20. Marc Gafni, interview with authors, March 15, 2012. Chapter Two 1. Jonathan Plucker, ed., “The Flynn Effect,” in Human Intelligence: Historical Influences, Current Controversies, Teaching Resources, Indiana University, 2002, 2. Tim Berners-Lee, “Homepage,” n.d., 3. The downside of this, of course, is accuracy. Anyone can publish anything on the Web, and some will believe it without question. 4. Mary Lennighan, “Number of Phones Exceeds Population of World,” Total Telecom, May 2011,


pages: 350 words: 96,803

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama


Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Columbine, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, impulse control, life extension, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, Scientific racism, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Turing test

This environmental component also softens the blow with regard to the tortured issue of intelligence and race. The same special issue of American Psychologist confirmed that blacks do indeed score significantly lower on standardized intelligence tests than whites. The question is why. There are many circumstantial reasons to suggest that the gap is due much more to environmental than to genetic factors. A powerful one has to do with the so-called Flynn effect, named after psychologist James Flynn, who first noticed that IQ scores have been rising over the past generation in virtually every developed country. 33 It is extremely unlikely that this change is due to genetic factors, because genetic change does not occur this rapidly; Flynn himself is skeptical that people are on the whole that much smarter than they were a generation ago. This suggests that these massive gains in IQ are the result of some environmental factor that we understand only poorly, ranging from better nutrition (which has led the same populations to grow much taller over the same period as well) to education and the greater availability of mental stimulation.

See human experimentation extermination Fabian socialists Factor X family as enemy of the state obligations, as source of morality and character and society family law “feelies” female infanticide feminism Fertilisation and Embryology Act (UK) fertility rates, fall in fetuses girl, abortion of rights of Filmer, Robert Finland First Amendment Flavr-Savr Tomato fluoxetine Flynn, James Flynn effect Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) foods genetically modified U.S. exports food safety, regulation of Foucault, Michel Founding Fathers Fourteenth Amendment Fox, Robin France Franco, Francisco Frank, Robert Freedom Party free will French Revolution Freud, Sigmund Freudianism Friedman, Thomas Fukuyama, Francis, The End of History and the Last Map g (intelligence factor) Galileo Galston, William Galton, Francis gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system Gardner, Howard gay activism “gay gene” geeks gender identity Genentech gene pool, human General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) generations succession of, as stimulant of progress and change warfare between genes action of, studying and behavior human interaction with environment multiple functions and interactions of recessive transferred to other species gene therapy harm of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) consumer resistance to labeling of regulation of “genetic arms race” genetic “classes” genetic diagnosis and screening genetic discrimination genetic diseases genetic engineering and research consequences of, unintended cost of obstacles to opponents of proponents of regulation of genetic information, privacy of “genetic lottery” Genetic Manipulation Advisory Group (UK) genetics and crime and intelligence genocide genomics genotype, effect on phenotype “GenRich” race Germany demographics regulation in views on biotechnology germ cells germ-line engineering regulation of Geron Corporation gerontology “getting out of the way” Gillie, Oliver girl fetuses, aborting of Glendon, Mary Ann Glenmullen, Joseph, Prozac Backlash globalization and difficulty of controlling technology God belief in man created in image of Golden Rule Goodwin, Frederick K.


pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris


Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock,, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, market bubble, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

In the 1980s, faced with the obvious fact of Japanese economic success, a new generation of sociologists concluded that Confucian values of respect for authority and self-sacrifice for the group did not inhibit capitalism; rather, they actually explained Japan’s success. A more sensible conclusion might be that people accommodate their culture to the needs of social development, which, in the late twentieth century, produced Confucian and Communist capitalists as well as liberal ones. The conclusion that we get the thought we need might also make sense of another odd phenomenon, which psychologists call the Flynn Effect. Since IQ tests began, average scores have steadily moved upward (by about three points per decade). It would be cheering to think that we are all getting smarter, but most likely we are just getting better at thinking in the modern, analytical ways that these tests measure. Reading books made us more modern than telling stories, and (to the horror of many educators) playing computer games apparently makes us more modern still.

Scientific inventions: Merton 1957, Stigler 1980, and Malcolm Gladwell’s highly readable “In the Air,” The New Yorker, May 12, 2008, pp. 50–60 (available at East-West psychological differences: Hedden et al. 2008. Eastern illogicality: compare Nisbett 2003, Ho and Yan 2007, and McGilchrist 2009. Lloyd 2007 is a balanced discussion of cognitive variation. I’d like to thank Professor Nisbett for discussing this issue with me. Flynn Effect: Neisser 1998, J. Flynn 2007, and Malcolm Gladwell, “None of the Above: What IQ Doesn’t Tell You About Race,” The New Yorker, December 17, 2007 (available at Confucianism and Japan’s failings: J. Hall 1966. Confucianism and Japan’s successes: Morishima 1982. What-ifs: Tetlock et al. 2006, especially the chapters by Goldstone, Pestana, Pomeranz, and Mokyr.

The Economic History of Britain Since 1700. 2 vols. 2nd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Flynn, Dennis. World Silver and Monetary History in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Aldershot, UK: Variorum, 1996. Flynn, Dennis, Arturo Giráldez, and Richard von Glahn, eds. Global Connections and Monetary History, 1470–1800. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2003. Flynn, James. What Is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Fogel, Robert. The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100: Europe, America, and the Third World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004. ———. “Capitalism and Democracy in 2040: Forecasts and Speculations.” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 13,184, 2007. Food and Agriculture Organization. Statistical Yearbook, vol. 2, part 1.


pages: 487 words: 151,810

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks


Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman,, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flynn Effect, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, impulse control, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, loss aversion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, young professional

Firstborns tend to have higher IQs than secondborns, who tend to have higher IQs than thirdborns. This effect disappears, however, when there is more than a three-year gap between children. The theory is that mothers talk to their firstborns more and use more complicated sentences. They have to divide their attention when they have young children born closely together. The broadest evidence of IQ malleability is the Flynn Effect. Between 1947 and 2002, IQ levels across the developed world rose steadily by about three percentage points per decade. This was found across many countries, across many age groups, and in many different settings, and it’s stark evidence of an environmental component to IQ. Interestingly, scores did not rise across all sections of the IQ test. People in 2000 were no better at the vocabulary and reading-comprehension portions of the test than people in 1950.

Hamer and Peter Copeland, Living with Our Genes: Why They Matter More Than You Think (New York: Anchor Books, 1999), 217. 10 black children in Prince Edward County Richard W. Nisbett, Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 2009), 41. 11 They have to divide their Bruce E. Wexler, Brain and Culture: Neurobiology, Ideology, and Social Change (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006), 68. 12 Between 1947 and 2002 Nisbett, 44. 13 “Today’s children” James R. Flynn, What Is Intelligence?: Beyond the Flynn Effect (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 19. 14 They are not better David G. Myers, Intuition: Its Powers and Perils (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002), 35. 15 “IQ predicts only about 4 percent” Richard K. Wagner, “Practical Intelligence,” in Handbook of Intelligence, ed. Robert J. Sternberg (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 382. 16 There is great uncertainty John D.


pages: 1,079 words: 321,718

Surfaces and Essences by Douglas Hofstadter, Emmanuel Sander


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, Chance favours the prepared mind, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Flynn Effect, Georg Cantor, Gerolamo Cardano, Golden Gate Park, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, l'esprit de l'escalier, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, place-making, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl

Given that such a list of contemporary concepts that are “in the air” could be extended for many pages, and that most adults can effortlessly apply many if not most of these abstract and insight-providing concepts to novel situations that they run across, does this mean that as culture marches forward in time, people are inevitably becoming ever more intelligent, ever more capable of rapidly pinpointing the cruxes of the situations they face, and of doing so with ever greater precision? As evidence in favor of this idea, many people have pointed to what is now called the “Flynn Effect”, after James R. Flynn, a political philosopher who in the 1980s drew attention to the fact that all around the world, scores on IQ tests were slowly but steadily rising, at the rate of roughly five points every twenty years. This unexpected observation has been confirmed many times in many countries. What could possibly account for such a striking effect, if not the notion that human intelligence is in fact steadily on the rise?

Penser les mathématiques. Séminaire de philosophie et mathématiques de l’École normale supérieure. Paris: Éditions du Seuil. Festinger, Leon (1957). A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Flynn, James R. (1987). “Massive IQ gains in 14 nations: What IQ tests really measure”. Psychological Bulletin, 101, pp. 171–191. ————— (2009). What Is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect. New York: Cambridge University Press. Gentner, Dedre (2003). “Why we’re so smart”. In Dedre Gentner and Susan Goldin-Meadow (eds.), Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought, pp. 195–235, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Glucksberg, Sam (2001). Understanding Figurative Language: From Metaphors to Idioms. New York: Oxford University Press. Hofstadter, Douglas R. (1995). “Speechstuff and Thoughtstuff: Musings on the Resonances Created by Words and Phrases via the Subliminal Perception of their Buried Parts”.

., 453, 482 dirtiness/badness analogy, 289–290 disappointment as source of reminding, 169–170 “dis-aster” of sun ceasing to exist, 489–490 discourse flow/savanna chase analogy, 71 discourse space, patterns and categories in, 69–76 “discoverativity” in mathematics and science, 451 disk ejection, naïve analogy for, 401 disk, rotating, pondered by Einstein, 497–498 distance, semantic: as measured by strength of zeugmaticity, 19; as revealed by speech errors, 270–278 distant domains, linked by analogies, 16–17 distillation of episodes, 165, 171–172 distorted recall of math-problem statement, 431 distrusting one’s own analogies, 528 division: as another name for “sharing”, 421, 426; easy versus hard word problems involving, 422–425; as a highly abstract mathematical operation, 448–449; as measuring, 420–426; naïve analogies for relating to, 416–421, 425–426; as necessarily making smaller, 416–420; as possibly making larger, 417; quotative, 420; as sharing, 419–426, 514; of a skyscraper by a floor, 448; word problems illustrating, 416, 422–425 dizzy analogies, 358, 360, 366 “DNA” versus “deoxyribonucleic acid”, 91 dogs: conceptual repertoire of, 178–181; expert knowledge about, 238–240; impressive analogies by, 180; starry sky as seen by, 165; subcategories of, 240; unfamiliar, dealt with by analogy, 23, 508 domain change, in caricature analogies, 321–324, 326 domestic as opposed to wartime decision-making, 337 domino theory in Vietnam War, 333–335, 513 Don’t judge a book by its cover as a category, 102 doors, doorknobs, doorbells, used by analogy, 23, 507, 509, 516 Doppler effect, 469–471 dormitive virtue, 248, 249 dots seen as moons, 44–45 double letters, subjective amount of salience of, 363–364 double referent of “here”, “there”, “that”, 140–143, 148–149 Doug/Monica analogy, 169–171; summarized, 170 down-ness, as relative notion, 491, 497 “dressing” of a math problem as channeling its solution pathway, 430, 434 “dude, one smart”, as indicative of category of speaker, 75 dump: as example of conceptual extension, 403; as example of marking, 230–231 Duncker, Karl, 250 Dustbuster: brand name, genericized, 217; buttons of, analogy between, 169–170 Dustbuster/subscripts analogy, 169–170, 174 Duvignau, Karine, 39 dyz analogy, see dizzy analogies —E— E = mc2, 319, 463; absent from Einstein’s first relativity article, 468; becomes famous, 482; confirmed by particle/antiparticle annhilation experiment, 482; derived by Einstein, 469–471; first appearance of, in 1905, 469, 474; first meaning of, 471, 472; second meaning of, 473–474; subsequent meanings of, 473, 482, 483–485; summary of Einstein’s mental processes in understanding the meaning of, 483–484 E/hν (number of blackbody quanta) as analogous to N (number of ideal-gas molecules), 459 Earth: mapped onto Jupiter, 44–45; pluralization of, 44 eating, diverse styles of, and zeugmas, 9–10 eclipse: frame blend used to explain, 367; as a shadow, 204–205 Eddington, Arthur, 496 Edison/Franklin analogical conflation, 275 education and naïve analogies, 389–394, 411–434 educational system, failures of, 389, 391–394, 410, 412, 414–416, 418, 421 “ego the size of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon”, cultural knowledge required to understand, 128 Ehrenfest, Paul, paradox discovered by, 498 Eiffel Tower, exploited in caricature analogy, 322–323 Einstein, Albert, 109, 130, 132, 361: alleged abandonment of own ideas, 461; analogies by, 32, 452–499; as analogous to Ellen Ellenbogen, 468; as analogous to Gerhard Gelenk, 468; attacking fundamental questions, 488; attracting mosquito, 163, 165; belief in thermodynamics as bedrock of physics, 458; black body/ideal gas analogy by, 457–459, 463; deep faith in his own analogies, 459–463; discovering and interpreting E = mc2, 463, 465–485; discovering equivalence principle, 491–495; explanation of gravity by, 18, 489–496; face of, 183–184; finding analogy between gravity and Gauss’s geometry, 498; generalizing via intuition, 473–474, 477, 483, 484; guided by sense of cosmic unity, 468, 473–474, 480, 481, 484, 486, 495, 500, 501; handing weapons to his critics, 460; “happiest thought of my life”, 493–494; inner mental state of, 477–478, 480–481, 483–485, 491, 495, 498; learning to read, 109; likening gravity to fictitious force, 491–492; low-level analogies by, 454–455; magically combining two ideas of Galileo, 492; making an analogy between analogies, 495, 502; misled by his own analogy between gravity and electrostatics, 489–491; missing the analogy of 3-D space to 4-D space-time, 499; as “one smart dude”, 75; Poincaré’s letter of reference for, 501; pondering a rotating disk, 497–498; positing two types of mass, 476; quest for beauty by, 477–478, 485, 495, 500; rapid essence-spotting by, 454, 458, 463, 486, 501; refinding Wien’s analogy, 458; as salient entity, 320; sandwich-like name of, 215; seeing self as donkey, 454; of sex, the, 222; stereotype of, as superlogical thinker having no need to seek analogies, 453, 500; thought experiments by, 487, 491–492, 493–494, 495–496; transformed into world figure, 496; unification as characteristic style of thinking of, 454, 477, 485, 486, 491, 500, 501; word choices by, 454–455 electric field: due to moving magnet, 493; oscillating in vacuum, 212–213; vanishing thanks to shift of reference frame, 493–494 electromagnetic induction, 493 electromagnetic waves, 212–213, 455–460, 462, 469–471, 483; see also light electromagnetism, as area of physics, 467–468, 485 elephant in a store window, 298 elephant in the room situations, 174, 514 elevators, use of by analogy, 23 Ellenbogen, Ellen, 463–464 Ellie, frame blend by, 364–366 email address/postal address naïve analogy, 385–387 embarrassed analogy-making computer blurting out apology, 401 embodiment and analogy-making, 287–289 emergence of a concept’s essence over time, 200–204 Emmas, category of, 226–227 emotions: key role of in encoding and reminding, 169–171; powerfully evoked by analogies, 310–312 emperors, as translation of cor(o)nets, 379–380 encoding of experiences: analogies at the very abstract level of, 354; based on features at surface and deeper levels, 163–166; constraints on, 171; in Copycat microdomain, 346–349, 353–354; enigma of, 161, 346. 348; errors caused by, 274–275; implausibility of clairvoyance in, 173–174, 353–354; involving local, global, abstract, and emotional aspects, 161–162, 169–171, 175; as opposed to total rote recording, 172; as unconscious act of selection, 165–166; at various levels of abstraction, 335 energy: behaving analogously to mass, 472; behaving analogously to strange mass, 479, 484; conservation of, 472; distinction between two varieties of, 480; liquid versus frozen, 480; mutating from one form to another, 479; possessing mass, 471–478, 482, 483–484; potential, 479–480; silently lurking in normal mass, 482, 484 energy/strange mass analogy, 479–480, 484 engines: for categorization, 15; for inference, 20; for searching, 25, 115, 220, 402; for translation, 369 English language: borrowings from French, 122; breakup of siblinghood in, 77; contrasted with Chinese, 12; contrasted with French, 8, 11, 77, 78, 79–80, 81–83, 89, 97, 101, 102, 113, 119–123, 465; contrasted with German, 8–9, 465; contrasted with Indonesian, 77; contrasted with Italian, 8, 11, 89; contrasted with Russian, 9–10 enrichment via impoverishment, 250 entropy calculations leading to light quantum, 458 equals sign: as denoting identity of two items, 407–409; as denoting operation + result, 407–411; invention of, 408; meaning of, in E = mc2, 473 equations: in advertising, 409–410; asymmetric conception of, 407–411, 474; causal interpretation of, 410–411, 474; as requiring interpretation, 473; turned around, 409–410 equivalence principle, 491–495; extended, 495–496 error, as category with blurry boundaries, 41, 281 errors: caused by real-time categorization pressures, 258, 261; caused by semantic proximity, 270–278; deep problem of explanation of, 264; due to frame blend of physical world with virtual world, 404–407; high-level analogies giving rise to, 268, 274–278, 280; versus children’s semantic approximations, 41, 270; as visible traces of subterranean processes, 259, 261; see also action errors, frame blends, lexical blends, speech errors esprit d’escalier as a concept available to francophones but not to anglophones, 121 “essence”, double meaning of, in French, 291 essences: compression of situations down to, 261; hidden by surfaces, 114–115; revealed by caricature analogies, 317–318, 320–323, 326–330; revealed by repeated conceptual extensions, 200–204, 255, 295, 397–398 essence-spotting: in caricature-analogy creation, 321–322, 324–330; by children, 42; in Copycat domain, 350; as crux of intelligence, 125–127, 426–427, 452, 463; in deeply novel situations, as rare gift, 131; by Einstein, 454, 458, 463, 486; implausibility of instant carrying-out of, 173–174; made easy by prior placement of conceptual pitons, 131; role of expertise in, 174; as routine and unseen, 18; as secret of generalization in mathematics, 449; time taken in, 466 esthetics, in Copycat domain, 349–352, 355–357, 359–360, 353–364; as driving Einstein, 477–478, 485, 495, 500 “étudiant” as both gendered and generic in one sentence, 194 Euler, Leonhard, 210, 443, 449 Eureka moment, 250–252, 300–301 Europe/Asia analogies, 306–307, 334 Everest, Mount, 109, 320, 367 Everett, David, 109 everyday imagery versus grand historical precedents, 333–335 everyday life versus book-learning, 391–394 evolution of a concept as revealing its essence, 202–204 evolutionary interpretation of the lure of the superficial, 338 “exactly the same thing”, 143, 152, 153, 346, 347, 358, 364, 379, 399, 407, 495, 520 expectations embedded in “and” and “but”, 70–75 experiments on memory retrieval, flaws in, 337–340 expert knowledge and hierarchical levels of categorization, 236–246 expert-level versus novice-level categorization, 342–344, 346 expertise: in everyday life, 344; facilitating essence-spotting, 174; nature of, 238–246; precision and depth as keys to, 246 experts’ blindness to shallow features, 343–344 explanatory caricature analogies, 324–330 exponents/subscripts analogy by Doug, 169–170 ex post facto diagrams of a deep analogy, as casting no light on its creation, 160 extension versus intension of a category, 55, 244 extra force to explain anomalous motions in an accelerating frame, 488 extrapolation of one’s past experiences as an irresistible mental force, 305–307, 310–313 eyelash/eyelash analogy, 155–156, 517 —F— F = ma, 410, 491 fables as labels of categories, 111–118 Fabre, Jean-Henri, 388 fabric internal to various letter strings, 353–354, 356–357 facial remindings, 181–184 fake boat and fake tango category, 521–522 Falen, James, 315 Falkland Islands War, Greece’s position in, 332 false hopes engendered by irresistible analogy, 313 fame leading to canonization, 221 familiarity, effects on categorization of, 390–391 Faraday, Michael, 493; of window-glass making, the, 222 far-fetched analogies, deliberate search for, as non-recipe for creativity, 251, 452 fathers encoded as disillusioners, 171 fatuity, gratuity, and vacuity, 282 Fauconnier, Gilles, 335, 362–364, 365, 433, 443 fauxthenticity, concept of, 176–178, 345 feminine and masculine rhymes, 380–381 Fenway (dachshund), analogies by, 180 Fermi, Enrico, 453 Ferrari, Lodovico, 445 Ferré, Léo, 221 Ferro, Scipione del, 438 Festinger, Leon, 115 fictitious forces, 488, 491–492 “fictitious” (negative) numbers, 440 fields, electric and magnetic: oscillating, 212–213 fields (mathematical), 447–448 films of events as constituting episodic memory, 172 filtering as ongoing perceptual process, 298–299 fine line separating simple from deep analogies, 45, 142–143 finger-pointing analogies, 140–143; see also index finger, heart, toe finger-wiggling analogies, 350–351, 515 Finlay-Freundlich, Erwin, 496 firewalls protecting us from hackers, spam, and viruses, 396, 398 first ⇒ last conceptual slippage, 356–357 first names as defining categories, 226–227 flashlight, two-headed, 470–471 fleeting analogies, vanishing before being noticed, 282, 285–286 floppy-disk icon, outmodedness of, 402 flow of discourse, psychology reality of, 71 fluid analogies in the Copycat domain, 348, 350, 352, 357 fly on screen, removal of using mouse, 405 Flynn effect on IQ scores, 10–131 Flynn, James R., 130 “folder”, old-fashioned definition of, 397 foot, internal structure of the concept, 51 forgetfulness, selective, as key ingredient of intelligence, 426–427 formal knowledge, inadequacy of, 389, 391–394 formal operations versus mental simulation in math, 424–425, 431 formulas conflated with understanding, 391–394 “4 is to 3 as 3 is to 2” proportional analogy, 438, 444 four-dimensional space: absurdity of, 443; as analogous to three-dimensional space, 444, 453 “Four score and seven years ago” translation challenge, 368–372 “Fox and the Grapes”, fable by Æsop, 112–114; see also poems in the text, sour grapes fractional dimensions, 444 frame blends: of American and Chinese cultures, 367–368; of car driving and video-game playing, 405; of cemetery circuit and hotel circuit, 142; of computer world and physical world, 402–407; of conferences, 142; in Copycat domain, 359–360, 363–364; creativity manifested by, 360–364; defined, 358–359; of dominos toppling and countries falling to communism, 335; of drooping cigarette and drooping penis, 362; of emperor Napoleon and emperor penguins, 380; of grocery stores, 23, 156; of lecture hall and professor’s office, 142; in light/sound analogy, 361; of name-change upon marriage and year-change every January, 148; of plate-throwing woman and her mother, 367; in scientific analogies, 360–361; of solar system and atom, 142–143; subjectivity of, 363–364; of there situations, 140–143; of two trains, 140–141; as typical analogies, 364; underlying diagram of ballet-lesson problem, 432–433; in understanding of “dent”, 363; in understanding of films, operas, etc., 361; in understanding of “safe”, 362; used by authors in the text, 366–367; versus analogies, 363–364, 366–367 frames of reference: absolute, 487; accelerating, 486, 488; indistinguishability of certain, 466–468, 486–487, 492, 494–495; shifts between, 466–468, 469–471, 487–488, 492–494, 495–496, 497–498 framing of errors as making them easy to see, 262 Franklin, Benjamin, 109, 275 freedom-of-speech joke, 358 “freeing oneself from the known”, chimerical idea of, 313–315 French Academy (Académie française), 113 French fries: combined with orange sherbet, 352; portion of, likened to bagels in a batch, 308 French language: “A rolling stone gathers no moss” in, 102; bilingual data base involving, 372–373; borrowings from English in, 122; compound words in, 87, 89; concept of hair in, 77; concept of sibling in, 77; contrasted with English language, 8, 11, 77, 78, 79–80, 81–83, 89, 97, 101, 102, 113, 119–123, 465; different translations for “time” in, 77–78; “Four score and seven years ago” in, 369–372; grammar of, exploited, for high-quality translation, 376–377; idioms in, 97, 119; “Once bitten, twice shy” in, 105; proverbs in, 101, 106, 109; this book’s realization in, 377–382; zeugmas in, 8, 11–12 Fresnel, Augustin-Jean, 212 Freud, Sigmund, 132, 259, 362, 501 Freudian slips, 259 friendship crumbling to bits, 133 fringe members of categories, 14 Fromkin, Victoria, 259 frozen assets/liquid assets membrane, breaking of, 476–477 functional and visual analogies, reinforcing, 277–278 fund-raising in American universities, 109 Funes, Ireneo, lacking ability to abstract, 188 Funk & Wagnalls 1932 dictionary, 201, 396–397 furniture, fringe members of the category, 528 —G— Galilean relativity, principle of, 466–468, 485, 486, 492 Galilei, Galileo, 130, 466, 471; compared with two-year-old Lenni, 45; extending the concept Moon, 43–45, 147, 210, 217; hypothetically admiring Einstein, 392; seeing not moons but quote-unquote “Moons”, 64; of the soccer ball, the, 222; using the Tower of Pisa to investigate falling objects, 493, 493; work on sound waves by, 210 Galois, Évariste: discovery of key link between polynomials and radicals, 446; group theory invented by, 446–447; killed in debate, 274, 448; opening the Pandora’s box of abstraction in mathematics, 448; of tobacco science, the, 222 Gauss, Karl Friedrich, 498 Gaussian primes, 448 gearshift, as perceived by novice versus by expert driver, 340, 343, 344 Gelenk, Gregorius, 464 generalization: of Doppler effect, 470; by Einstein, 467–468, 473–474, 484; of Galilean relativity, 467–468, 485; going hand-inhand with abstraction in math, 449; as irresistible drive in mathematics, 444, 447–449; of 3-D space to 4-D space-time, 498–499; of 2-D Gaussian geometry to 4-D geometry, 499; see also category extension general relativity, see relativity, general genericide, 217–218 genius: compared with child, 45; irrationality at the core of (Hoffmann), 501; spotting essences of important situations, 452; versus mediocrity, silly stereotype of, 452 genius of a given language, 120–124 Gentner, Dedre, 338, 436 genus versus species, 239, 242 geometrical interpretation, as rendering abstract mathematical concepts more real, 443 George’s thesis advisor, judged by analogy with the reader, 157 German language, 6, 8, 9, 12, 369; compound words in, 87, 465 gestalt psychology, 349–350 “get”, broken into many concepts in French, 80 Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Les Cazetiers Dominique Laurent 1996, 245, 256 Ghent, Admiral, definition of intelligence by, 125 Gibson, James, 278, 345 Gick, Mary, 436 gilding the lily in the Copycat domain, 352-353 gist-finding, see essence-spotting gists, sacrificed through wanton acts of abstraction, 107 “give”, metaphorical use of, 6, 64–65 glass of water: conflated with one-dollar bill, 280; falling floorwards, 389 glass on shelf, as multi-categorized by Mr.


pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Jeeves was just a search engine like the rest, mindlessly matching the words contained in your question to words found on the Internet. The best Jeeves could do with your profound question—the best any search engine can do today—is direct you to the thoughts of another human being who has already attempted to answer a question related to yours. This is not to say that cultural artifacts can’t change the way we think. The political philosopher Jim Flynn has documented substantial gains in IQ in the twentieth century (the Flynn effect), which he attributes to our enhanced capacity for abstract thought, which he in turn attributes to the cognitive demands of the modern marketplace. Why hasn’t the Internet had a comparable effect? The answer, I think, is that the roles of master and servant are reversed. We place demands on the Internet, but the Internet hasn’t placed any fundamentally new demands on us. In this sense, the Internet really is like a butler.


pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles


call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, packet switching, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, South China Sea, stem cell, technological singularity, telepresence, The Chicago School, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, web of trust, Y2K

She watches Amber with something approaching admiration; she's new to the inner circle of the accelerationista study faction, and Amber's social credit is sky-high. Rita's got a lot to learn from her, if she can get close enough. And right now, following her along a path through the landscaped garden behind the museum seems like a golden moment of opportunity. Amber smiles. "I'm glad I'm not processing immigrants these days; most of them are so stupid it drives you up the wall after a bit. Personally I blame the Flynn effect – in reverse. They come from a background of sensory deprivation. It's nothing that a course of neural growth enhancers can't fix in a year or two, but after the first few you skullfuck, they're all the same. So dull. Unless you're unlucky enough to get one of the documentees from a puritan religious period. I'm no fluffragette, but I swear if I get one more superstitious, woman-hating clergyman, I'm going to consider prescribing forcible gender reassignment surgery.


pages: 566 words: 151,193

Diet for a New America by John Robbins


Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, clean water, Flynn Effect, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Review

Frank Oski, Don’t Drink Your Milk (Chicago: Wyden Books, 1977), 6. 23. Cited in Dudley Giehl, Vegetarianism (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), 3. 24. J. Mayer, “Egg vs. Cholesterol Battle,” New York Daily News, October 9, 1974, 48. 25. Hausman, Jack Sprat’s Legacy, 218. 26. Ibid. 27. Ibid., 219. 28. “Orders a Stop on Egg Claims,” New York Daily News, December 12, 1975, 62. 29. Ibid. 30. Cited in Hausman, Jack Sprat’s Legacy, 219. 31. M. Flynn, “Effect of Dietary Egg on Human Serum Cholesterol and Triglycerides,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 32 (1979): 1051; G. Slater, “Plasma Cholesterol and Triglycerides in Men with Added Eggs in the Diet,” Nutrition Reports International 14 (1976): 249; T. Dawber, “Eggs, Serum Cholesterol, and Coronary Heart Disease,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 36 (1982): 617; M. Porter, “Effect of Dietary Egg on Serum Cholesterol and Triglyceride of Human Males,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 30 (1977): 490; E.


pages: 589 words: 147,053

The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life When Robots Rule the Earth by Robin Hanson


8-hour work day, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, business process, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, demographic transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, experimental subject, fault tolerance, financial intermediation, Flynn Effect, hindsight bias, job automation, job satisfaction, Just-in-time delivery, lone genius, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nash equilibrium, new economy, prediction markets, rent control, rent-seeking, reversible computing, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, statistical model, stem cell, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Fincher, Corey, Randy Thornhill, Damian Murray, and Mark Schaller. 2008. “Pathogen Prevalence Predicts Human Cross-cultural Variability in Individualism/collectivism.” Proceedings Royal Society B 275(1640): 1279–1285. Fletcher, Jason. 2013. “The Effects of Personality Traits on Adult Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Siblings.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 89(May): 122–135. Flynn, James. 2007. What Is Intelligence?: Beyond the Flynn Effect. Cambridge University Press. August 27. Flyvbjerg, Bent. 2015. “What You Should Know About Megaprojects and Why: An Overview.” Project Management Journal 45(2). “Forbes Ranking of Billionaires: The World’s Richest Jews.” 2013. Forbes Israel, April 17. Foster, Lucia, John Haltiwanger, and C. J. Krizan. 2006. “Market Selection, Reallocation, and Restructuring in the U.S.


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More


23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Drosophila,, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, pattern recognition, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce

Students get smarter as they learn more, and learn how to learn. However, we teach the most valuable concepts first, and the productivity value of schooling eventually falls off, instead of exploding to infinity. Similarly, the productivity improvement of factory workers typically slows with time, following a power law. At the world level, average IQ scores have increased dramatically over the last century (the Flynn effect), as the world has learned better ways to think and to teach. Nevertheless, IQs have improved steadily, instead of accelerating. Similarly, for decades computer and communication aids have made engineers much “smarter,” without accelerating Moore’s law. While engineers got smarter, their design tasks got harder. Can we interpret Vinge’s claim as describing accelerating economic growth? The vast economic literature on economic growth offers little support for any simple direct relation between economic growth rates and either intelligence levels or clock speeds.