Flynn Effect

50 results back to index


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

Flynn Effect, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, popular electronics, twin studies

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: 247 words: 64,986

Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own by Garett Jones

centre right, clean water, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hive mind, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, law of one price, meta analysis, meta-analysis, prediction markets, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Years later, while writing their influential book The Bell Curve, political scientist Charles Murray and psychologist Richard Herrnstein called this long-term rise in IQ scores The Flynn Effect, and the name has appropriately stuck. A few researchers prefer to call it the Lynn-Flynn effect or even the FLynn effect (sic) since, as we saw, Lynn made his own contribution on the topic. But Flynn’s systematic data collection and his decision to clearly point out that this rise in national IQs was strong evidence that the environment had a big impact on group IQ scores were the foundations for a revolution in IQ research. Once psychologists knew that these national IQ gains were big and were everywhere, the search for explanations began. The Flynn Effect: The Fruit of Free Inquiry Later work has shown that the IQ gains tended to be larger on tests that were more abstract and less concrete.

Flynn himself believes that the rise in IQ scores reflects part of the “cognitive history of the 20th century,” a time when modern life increased the demand for abstract thinking, when cultural and economic changes spurred children and adults alike to use their brains differently from in the past.5 Flynn sees some possible role for nutrition and health improvements, but at least when discussing the Flynn Effect in rich countries, he prefers to discuss—in two fascinating books and elsewhere—how we humans are, on average, using our brains differently from how our ancestors did.6 Flynn’s favored explanation for most of the Flynn Effect deserves our attention, but explanations by other scholars deserve attention as well. What are they saying? At this point, about three decades after the Flynn Effect was first conclusively documented, it’s safe to say that there are too many explanations for it. At least a dozen stories have at least a patina of plausibility, each of which might explain a little or a lot of the overall IQ increase.

Perhaps future research will be able to provide a more comprehensive list, one that conclusively rules out, in Flynn’s words, “racial differences for genes for intelligence.” Nutrition, Health, and IQ Let’s return to a question that might be possible to answer, the question of what causes the Flynn Effect. In fact there are if anything too many explanations for the Flynn Effect, an embarrassment of theories. And aside from a few short-run experiments, we overwhelmingly have to rely on mere observational studies: this or that particular trait has increased over time, and this or that trait sounds like it might help IQ, to the mind of a psychologist or a medical doctor, so we chalk that trait up as a possible driver of the Flynn Effect, and a possible path toward raising national average IQ around the world. Let’s first turn to a promising set of channels: nutrition and health. People in the rich countries are taller and healthier and longer-lived than their ancestors a century ago, and since the brain is part of the human body, it seems entirely plausible that the same forces making the rest of our bodies healthier are making our brains healthier as well.


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, sexual politics, social intelligence, 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: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

Since the first data point for Afghanistan precedes the reign of the Taliban by fifteen years and the second one postdates it by a decade, the gain cannot simply be attributed to the 2001 NATO invasion that deposed the regime. 28. The Flynn effect: Deary 2001; Flynn 2007, 2012. See also Pinker 2011, pp. 650–60. 29. Heritability of intelligence: Pinker 2002/2016, chap. 19 and afterword; Deary 2001; Plomin & Deary 2015; Ritchie 2015. 30. Flynn effect not explained by hybrid vigor: Flynn 2007; Pietschnig & Voracek 2015. 31. Flynn effect meta-analysis: Pietschnig & Voracek 2015. 32. End of the Flynn effect: Pietschnig & Voracek 2015. 33. Evaluating candidate causes of the Flynn effect: Flynn 2007; Pietschnig & Voracek 2015. 34. Nutrition and health explain only part of Flynn effect: Flynn 2007, 2012; Pietschnig & Voracek 2015. 35. Existence and heritability of g: Deary 2001; Plomin & Deary 2015; Ritchie 2015. 36. The Flynn effect as an increase in analytic thinking: Flynn 2007, 2012; Ritchie 2015; Pinker 2011, pp. 650–60. 37.

Also helping with brain development is a cleaner environment, with lower levels of lead and other toxins. Food, health, and environmental quality are among the perquisites of a richer society, and not surprisingly, the Flynn effect is correlated with increases in GDP per capita.33 But nutrition and health can explain only a part of the Flynn effect.34 For one thing, their benefits should be concentrated in pulling up the lower half of the bell curve of IQ scores, populated by the duller people who had been held back by poor food and health. (After all, past a certain point, additional food makes people fatter, not smarter.) Indeed, in some times and places the Flynn effect is concentrated in the lower half, bringing the duller closer to the average. But in other times and places the entire curve crept rightward: the smart got smarter too, even though they started out healthy and well-fed.

Second, improvements in health and nutrition should affect children most of all, and then the adults they grow into. But the Flynn effect is stronger for adults than for children, suggesting that experiences on the way to adulthood, not just biological constitution in early childhood, have pushed IQ scores higher. (The most obvious of these experiences is education.) Also, while IQ has risen over the decades, and nutrition, health, and height have risen over the decades, their various ascents and plateaus don’t track each other particularly closely. But the main reason that health and nutrition aren’t enough to explain the IQ rise is that what has risen over time is not overall brainpower. The Flynn effect is not an increase in g, the general intelligence factor that underlies every subtype of intelligence (verbal, spatial, mathematical, memory, and so on) and is the aspect of intelligence most directly affected by the genes.35 While overall IQ has risen, and scores on each intelligence subtest have risen, some subtest scores have risen more rapidly than others in a pattern different from the pattern linked to the genes.


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, business cycle, 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, en.wikipedia.org, 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, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, 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, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, 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, Turing machine, twin studies, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

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: 406 words: 109,794

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Exxon Valdez, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, functional fixedness, game design, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, precision agriculture, prediction markets, premature optimization, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, young professional

Flynn, “Massive IQ Gains in 14 Nations,” Psychological Bulletin 101, no. 2 (1987): 171–91. For an excellent primer on the Flynn effect and response, see I. J. Deary, Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). tests that gauged material: In addition to interviews with Flynn, his books were helpful—particularly the hundred pages of appendices in Are We Getting Smarter? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). both separate day from night: M. C. Fox and A. L. Mitchum, “A Knowledge-Based Theory of Rising Scores on ‘Culture-Free’ Tests,” Journal of Experimental Psychology 142, no. 3 (2013): 979–1000. When a group of Estonian researchers: O. Must et al., “Predicting the Flynn Effect Through Word Abstractness: Results from the National Intelligence Tests Support Flynn’s Explanation,” Intelligence 57 (2016): 7–14.

I first saw these results in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the 2016 annual conference of the International Society for Intelligence Research. The ISIR invited me to give the annual Constance Holden Memorial Address. Four attempts at getting a visa later, I arrived. The event was full of vigorous but civil debate, including over the Flynn effect, and was an excellent background resource. “The huge Raven’s gains”: J. R. Flynn, What Is Intelligence? Even in countries: E. Dutton et al., “The Negative Flynn Effect,” Intelligence 59 (2016): 163–69. And see Flynn’s Are We Getting Smarter? on, for example, trends in Sudan. Alexander Luria: Luria’s fascinating book is the major source for this section: Cognitive Development: Its Cultural and Social Foundations (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976). He learned the local language: E.

Score gains had occurred everywhere. Other academics had stumbled upon pieces of the same data earlier, but none had investigated whether it was part of a global pattern, even those who were having to tweak the test scoring system to keep the average at 100. “As an outsider,” Flynn told me, “things strike me as surprising that I think people trained in psychometrics just accepted.” * * * • • • The Flynn effect—the increase in correct IQ test answers with each new generation in the twentieth century—has now been documented in more than thirty countries. The gains are startling: three points every ten years. To put that in perspective, if an adult who scored average today were compared to adults a century ago, she would be in the 98th percentile. When Flynn published his revelation in 1987, it hit the community of researchers who study cognitive ability like a firebomb.


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, en.wikipedia.org, 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, Norman Macrae, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, 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, twin studies, 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: 417 words: 103,458

The Intelligence Trap: Revolutionise Your Thinking and Make Wiser Decisions by David Robson

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, cognitive bias, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, deliberate practice, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fundamental attribution error, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, lone genius, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, pattern recognition, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

., Lawlor-Savage, L. and Goghari, V.M. (2016), ‘The Flynn Effect: A Quantitative Commentary on Modernity and Human Intelligence’, Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 14(2), 39–53. In line with the idea of scientific spectacles, recent research has shown that the Flynn Effect can largely be accounted for in the time people take to answer the questions. Younger generations do it more rapidly, as if abstract thinking has been automated and become second nature: Must, O. and Must, A. (2018), ‘Speed and the Flynn Effect’, Intelligence, 68, 37–47. 42 Some modern IQ researchers have in fact suggested that training in these abstract thinking skills could be a way of closing the social divide between low- and high-IQ individuals. But the Flynn Effect would suggest that this would be of limited benefit for things such as creative thinking.

‘I think I was made, as a child, to be far too self-conscious of my status as a “Termite” . . . and given far too little to actually do with this mental endowment’, she later wrote.38 We can’t neglect the possibility that a few of the Termites may have made a conscious decision not to pursue a high-flying (and potentially stressful) career, but if general intelligence really were as important as Terman initially believed, you might have hoped for more of them to have reached great scientific, artistic or political success.39 ‘When we recall Terman’s early optimism about his subjects’ potential . . . there is the disappointing sense that they might have done more with their lives,’ Feldman concluded. The interpretation of general intelligence as an all-powerful problem-solving-and-learning ability also has to contend with the Flynn Effect – a mysterious rise in IQ over the last few decades. To find out more, I met Flynn at his son’s house in Oxford, during a flying visit from his home in New Zealand.40 Flynn is now a towering figure in intelligence research, but it was only meant to be a short distraction, he says: ‘I’m a moral philosopher who dabbles in psychology. And by dabbling I mean it’s taken over half my time for the past thirty years.’

Just think of the elementary school lessons that lead us to consider the different branches of the tree of life, the different elements and the forces of nature. The more children are exposed to these ‘scientific spectacles’, the easier they find it to think in abstract terms more generally, Flynn suggests, leading to a steady rise in IQ over time. Our minds have been forged in Terman’s image.41 Other psychologists were sceptical at first. But the Flynn Effect has been documented across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America (see below) – anywhere undergoing industrialisation and Western-style educational reforms. The results suggest that general intelligence depends on the way our genes interact with the culture around us. Crucially – and in line with Flynn’s theory of ‘scientific spectacles’ – the scores in the different strands of the IQ test had not all risen equally.


pages: 258 words: 79,503

The Genius Within: Unlocking Your Brain's Potential by David Adam

Albert Einstein, business intelligence, cognitive bias, Flynn Effect, job automation, John Conway, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Skype, Stephen Hawking, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray

‘asked viewers’, Owen A. et al. (2010), ‘Putting brain training to the test’, Nature 465, pp. 775–778. ‘silver-haired’, Corbett A. (2015), ‘The effect of an online cognitive training package in healthy older adults: an online randomized controlled trial’, JAMDA 16, pp. 990–997. ‘babies smarter’, Lewin T. (2009), ‘No Einstein in Your Crib? Get a Refund’, New York Times, 23 October. ‘Flynn effect’, Flynn J. (2013), ‘The Flynn effect and Flynn’s paradox’, Intelligence 41, pp. 851–857. ‘tentative signs’, Howard R. (2005), ‘Objective evidence of rising population ability: a detailed examination of longitudinal chess data’, Personality and Individual Differences 38, pp. 347–363. ‘doomed to idiocy’, Woodley M. et al. (2013), ‘Were the Victorians cleverer than us? The decline in general intelligence estimated from a metaanalysis of the slowing of simple reaction time’, Intelligence 41 (6), pp. 843–850.

Even as we focus on cognitive skills, argue about the best way to educate, and struggle to define intelligence, the ground is shifting beneath our feet. For decades, children have been consistently turning out smarter than their parents and grandparents. The dream of the eugenicists for a future race of superior humans is being realized. Millions, perhaps billions of people, are being cognitively enhanced. Something is shifting the goalposts. But what? The steady rise in IQ across the citizens of developed nations is called the Flynn effect, after the New Zealand political scientist James Flynn, who was among the first to report it. Flynn had noticed a curious thing: people seemed to find older IQ tests easier. The questions looked the same, but a volunteer’s IQ measured on a test given in 1940, say, was significantly higher than if they took a newer test, published in 1980. Because IQ is measured relative to the average score of a population, and the person taking both tests was the same, the change in score could mean only one thing: the average score of the population in 1940 and 1980 was different.

Specifically, the average score for the 1940 test must have been significantly lower to allow the same ability to appear relatively superior on that test. It works the other way around, too. Get different groups to sit the same test, or compare the number of right answers from groups who took the same test in the past, and the younger generation always does better. Significantly better – the average Flynn effect is about three full IQ points a decade. So people born in Britain in 1990 have, on average, IQ scores a massive fifteen points higher than the generation born during the Second World War. The US saw the average IQ rise by fourteen points from 1932 to 1978, and Japan witnessed a nineteen point rise between 1940 and 1965. All of these people, and the societies they lived in and contributed to, were cognitively enhanced by birthday.


pages: 262 words: 80,257

The Eureka Factor by John Kounios

active measures, Albert Einstein, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Flynn Effect, functional fixedness, 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, US Airways Flight 1549, 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, www.largescaleinnovation.com. How Smart Are We? 1 The Flynn effect is summarized in Wikipedia, s.v. “Flynn Effect,” last modified July 27, 2014, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect. 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.


pages: 463 words: 115,103

Head, Hand, Heart: Why Intelligence Is Over-Rewarded, Manual Workers Matter, and Caregivers Deserve More Respect by David Goodhart

active measures, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, computer age, corporate social responsibility, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Attenborough, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, desegregation, deskilling, different worldview, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Flynn Effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postindustrial economy, precariat, reshoring, Richard Florida, Scientific racism, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, young professional

Most such challenges to the standard psychometric analysis of intelligence—James Flynn’s observations about rising IQ scores around the world; Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences; Daniel Goleman’s notion of emotional intelligence; Robert Sternberg’s concepts of practical, analytical, and creative intelligence; and Carol Dweck’s ideas about mindsets—focus on widening the meaning of intelligence rather than on assaulting the idea of IQ. The “Flynn effect” accepts that IQ tests have some utility but stresses the influence of the environment on test scores both for individuals and whole populations. Those who stress the environmental influence on IQ differences over time or between people often point to improvements to nutrition or health or education. Flynn goes further and argues that modernity itself confers cognitive skills relating to abstraction, symbolic thinking, and classification that our ancestors lacked.8 He showed that across a number of rich countries average IQ was rising at the rate of about 3 points a decade in the twentieth century.9 His original paper showed an increase of 14 points over forty-six years (1932 to 1978) in the United States.10 There is some debate as to whether the Flynn effect has halted or even reversed in recent decades, but no conclusive evidence.

The end result may be the emergence of a partially hereditary meritocracy, especially in the United States, although a few seem to get there by egregiously playing the system.I Many people, particularly members of the cognitive class themselves, may protest that progress has always been driven forward by the cognitively blessed and that modern, technologically advanced societies simply need more clever people—especially in software and computer science—than ever before. Moreover, they may add, the so-called Flynn effect (named after the New Zealand academic James Flynn) shows that everyone is getting brighter—that average IQ levels have been rising throughout the twentieth century as a result of improved living conditions and human minds adapting to a more demanding cognitive environment.1 They argue that as long as the social biases mentioned above are ironed out, through spending on education and a sustained effort to give people of all backgrounds a fair chance at joining the cognitive class, all will be well.

Flynn goes further and argues that modernity itself confers cognitive skills relating to abstraction, symbolic thinking, and classification that our ancestors lacked.8 He showed that across a number of rich countries average IQ was rising at the rate of about 3 points a decade in the twentieth century.9 His original paper showed an increase of 14 points over forty-six years (1932 to 1978) in the United States.10 There is some debate as to whether the Flynn effect has halted or even reversed in recent decades, but no conclusive evidence. The defenders of the innateness and heritability of IQ do not in general deny the reality of the Flynn effect, but they have a simple answer. IQ, they say, is like height: average height has been increasing around the world in recent centuries partly due to improvements in nutrition, but that does not affect differences in height between individuals or the innateness, or high heritability, of height. Popular culture remains suspicious of the idea of the innateness of intelligence, preferring to attribute success to opportunity, luck, or self-improvement. Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success popularized the idea that 10,000 hours of practice was needed to become world-class in any field. Intelligence levels can indeed depend on how much you actually use your brain.


She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, friendly fire, Gary Taubes, germ theory of disease, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, medical bankruptcy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral panic, mouse model, New Journalism, out of africa, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, statistical model, stem cell, twin studies

Yet this trend—now known as the Flynn effect—has been confirmed many times over. As we’ve gotten taller, we’ve gotten smarter. Now the challenge is to figure out what’s driving this increase. As in the case of height, the Flynn effect has been too big and quick to pin on genetic change. For that to be the case, people who scored high on intelligence tests would have to have much bigger families than everyone else to spread their genes, and that hasn’t happened. It’s possible that what’s been happening to intelligence test scores is similar to what’s been happening to height. The global height boom has been brought about in part by better food, sanitation, medicine, and—in some places—greater economic equality. Some of the same factors may be at play in the Flynn effect. Better childhood health and nutrition makes the body grow quickly and the brain develop well.

Better childhood health and nutrition makes the body grow quickly and the brain develop well. Government regulations have also helped. Feyrer has argued that the push to give people iodine played a part in the worldwide Flynn effect. Exposure to lead can be toxic for the brain, and up until the 1970s, American children were exposed to high levels of lead in paint and gasoline. In 2014, Alan Kaufman, an intelligence expert at Yale, and his colleagues published a study on intelligence tests they gave to hundreds of Americans who were exposed to high lead levels before the 1970s and to hundreds more Americans who were born afterward. They estimated that lowering lead levels in children gave them a boost of 4 to 5 IQ points. But scientists are also investigating other possible causes, because they’re keenly aware that intelligence isn’t just affected by molecules that flow through the brain.

In 2012, they reported an extra year of education raised scores by 3.7 IQ points. This natural experiment takes on greater importance when you consider how much more schooling children get now than in previous centuries. In the United States, the enrollment rate in the early 1900s was 50 percent. By 1960, it reached 90 percent. American students went from an average schooling of 6.5 years to 12. To Flynn himself, the Flynn effect doesn’t mean that people in the nineteenth century were intellectually disabled, nor does it mean that people today have neurons that fire signals to each other in a fundamentally new way. Our forerunners relied on ways of thinking suited to their age. In the early 1900s, intelligence tests included questions like “What do dogs and rabbits have in common?” The answer that the test givers wanted was that they were both mammals.


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, continuation of politics by other means, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, 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, Nelson Mandela, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 332 words: 104,587

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, 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.


Hothouse Kids: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child by Alissa Quart

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, cognitive dissonance, deliberate practice, Flynn Effect, haute couture, helicopter parent, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, War on Poverty

In another instance, Chapman palmed off her neighbors’ son’s SAT scores as Justin’s own. But neither dozens of years of testing thousands of children nor the tragic fates of two children she had championed seemed to have dampened Silverman’s enthusiasm for IQ testing, and for extreme giftedness more generally. In both tone and content, many of Silverman’s discussions of the phenomena of giftedness are imbued with a New Age sense of awe and mystery. She talks about the Flynn effect, which notes a rise in average IQs worldwide at a rate of 3 points every ten years in developed countries, and the apparent increase in the numbers of extremely gifted children. “There’s no logical explanation for the fact that these kids are growing and multiplying,” she told me passionately. Some of her statements are startling: “Something is different about them. These kids talk to animals and the animals communicate back.”

The current use of the last-named test is the most surprising, as it was written in 1937, revised in 1960, and last normed in 1972. Norming means that a child’s test score will be be assessed by comparing scores to others in the current population—in the case of the L-M, a child’s test scores are being compared to a more-than-thirty-year-old test group’s scores. Because the L-M has not been renormed for so many years, its scores are even more susceptible to the Flynn effect than the scores obtained by the Stanford-Binet 4. Indeed, some testers call the L-M a “fetish object” because it lets kids get jaw-droppingly high scores: the brightest young things can score 240 and higher. On the flip side, the L-M is, in places, laughably antiquated: it still pins a mental age on its takers, a practice that was seen as offensive to the mentally handicapped and has been abolished by other tests, which have replaced mental age with standard deviations.

See classes for infants and toddlers; gifted education ERB (Educational Records Bureau) test Erector sets Ericsson, Anders Erikson, Erik Evan Thomas Institute, Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP) experience-dependent and experience-expectant brain functions extreme parenting aggressiveness and competitiveness conferences and activities developmental stake in child’s future “helicopter parents,” homeschooling idealization of children, perception of childhood negative aspects and dangers of rejection of giftedness competition restraint in and self-perception of parents and sensitivity of gifted children FairTest Farrell, Tom Father and Son (Gosse) Fedoruk, Dennis Feldman, David Henry Fenton, Michael Fenton, Susan fetal enrichment auditory overstimulation risk supplements for Fine, Gary Alan Fineberg, Jonathan Fisher-Price Flynn effect in intelligence testing Forensics Tournament, Harvard National High School Invitational formulas, mind-enhancing Foster, Joanne Foster, Karen Francis, Clark Frankenstein (Shelley) Freud, Sigmund Fry, Roger games. See toys and games, educational Garcia, W. Joseph Gardner, Howard gender bias in math and science domains Genetic Studies of Genius (Terman) Genius and Stupidity (Terman) Genius Denied (Davidson and Davidson) gifted children harmful effects of enrichment for Indigo Child hypothesis IQ test scores defining meaning of “gifted,” narrow concept of giftedness sensitivity of success and happiness in adulthood See also specific issues Gifted Children (Winner) gifted education acceleration as alternative to antecedents for Cold War and criticism of desire for specialness discovery of gifted children dropout rate funding and teacher training for homeschooling initiatives to expand IQ score for mainstreaming of gifted children No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and in public schools resentment toward stress of testing for support for and value of gifted education (cont.) techniques See also classes for infants and toddlers gifted parent community.


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, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Firefox, Flynn Effect, jimmy wales, John Snow's cholera map, Loebner Prize, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, placebo effect, publication bias, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), 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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0168-1591%2884%2990054-6 Kerruish reported: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0950-5601%2855%2980049-4 Kilgallon and Simmons: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1617155/ Zbinden and colleagues: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/15/1/137.full Yamamoto and colleagues: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1439-0272.2000.tb02877.x/abstract impossible to ejaculate: http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/9/2088.abstract The Power of Ideas Atheist’s Guide to Christmas: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0007322615?ie=UTF8&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&qid=1260957597&sr=1-1&linkCode=shr&camp=3194&creative=21330&tag=bs0b-21 ‘Exams Are Getting Easier’ ‘Exams are Getting Easier’: http://www.badscience.net/2010/08/exams-are-getting-easier/ ‘The Flynn Effect’: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect ‘The Five Decade Challenge’: http://www.rsc.org/images/ExamReport_tcm18-139067.pdf study of just this: http://www.ons.gov.uk/about-statistics/ukcemga/work-areas/justice--education-and-children/changes-in-standards-at-gcse-and-a-level.doc ‘Measuring the Mathematics Problem’: http://www.engc.org.uk/ecukdocuments/internet/document 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?


When Computers Can Think: The Artificial Intelligence Singularity by Anthony Berglas, William Black, Samantha Thalind, Max Scratchmann, Michelle Estes

3D printing, AI winter, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, blue-collar work, brain emulation, call centre, cognitive bias, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, create, read, update, delete, cuban missile crisis, David Attenborough, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, factory automation, feminist movement, finite state, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gödel, Escher, Bach, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, job automation, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, natural language processing, Parkinson's law, patent troll, patient HM, pattern recognition, phenotype, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine, Turing test, uranium enrichment, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons, zero day

Human morality Neolithic, ancient and Maori behaviour 9. The modern zeitgeist 4. The answer to life, the universe, and everything 1. You're really not going to like it 2. Galileo and Newton 3. Alfred Wallace 4. Evolution through natural selection 5. Creationists should reject natural selection 6. God 7. History of evolutionary thought 8. Hurdles for natural selection 9. Age of the Earth 10. Memes and genes 11. Flynn effect 12. The cooperation game 13. Human condition 14. Selecting civilized behaviour 15. Sociobiology, evolutionary psychology and ethics 5. The AGI Condition 1. Mind and body 2. Teleporting printer 3. Immortality 4. Components vs genes 5. Changing mind 6. Individuality 7. Populations vs. individuals 8. AGI behaviour, children 9. Cooperation 10. Altruism 11. Moral values 12. Instrumental AGI goals 13.

That said, it is not necessary for most people to be sufficiently intelligent to build an AGI. It is only the top 20% most intelligent people that can become effective research scientists, and maybe just the top 0.1% could work effectively on this problem. But that is still a lot of people, and most of them now have access to higher education. Human intelligence also appears to have risen substantially over the last century, which is known as the Flynn effect. Better diet, education, and just more time spent thinking about problems seems to have had a remarkable effect. If we do need to wait for more people as insightful as Alan Turing or Kurt Gödel the wait may not be long. The only way to definitively discount these arguments is to actually build an AGI. Progress to date has been reasonably steady, and we are certainly not stuck at some impasse which we do not know how to overcome.

However, experience suggests that explicit symbol manipulation can be very powerful, so properly integrating symbols with numerical methods is likely to be most effective. One detour on the path to intelligent machines might be to enhance human intelligence so as to be able to build the machine. This has already happened to some extent, with better education, diet and environment producing a substantial increase in human intelligence over the last sixty years, known as the Flynn effect. This could be greatly extended in the future through pharmaceutical enhancement or very contentious selective breeding and gene splicing on human embryos. However humans appear to be sufficiently intelligent already, and so it seems unlikely that any such detour is necessary, although it might be helpful. Nobody knows which road will ultimately lead to the goal, so researchers follow many different paths based on their instincts and understanding.


pages: 574 words: 164,509

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, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, 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 Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, 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, zero-sum game

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.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

Steven Pinker devoted a sizeable chunk of his optimistic book Enlightenment Now to demonstrating that IQs were surging. “Could the world be getting not just more literate and knowledgeable, but actually smarter?” he asked with trademark perkiness. “Amazingly, the answer is yes. IQ scores have been rising for more than a century in every part of the world, at a rate of about 3 IQ points per decade.” This Flynn effect (named for its discoverer) provided what Pinker called a “tailwind in life,” “a gateway to compassion and ethics.”9 So that makes it tough to read the new data that emerged in 2018 showing the Flynn effect now running in reverse, with IQ “hitting its peak for people born in the 1970s and significantly declining ever since.” A review of seven hundred thousand IQ records in Norway showed that IQs were now dropping by seven points per generation, and the same kind of declines were seen in the six other nations studied.

Shaun Chamberlin, Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival, and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy (White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2016), p. 27. 7. Clint Carter, “We Will Not Get Bigger, We Will Not Get Faster,” medium.com, July 26, 2018. 8. Adrien Marck et al., “Are We Reaching the Limits of Homo Sapiens,” Frontiers in Physiology, October 24, 2017. 9. Richard Price, “Stephen Pinker’s Enlightenment Now: the Flynn Effect,” richardprice.io, April 6, 2018. 10. Rory Smith, “IQ Scores Are Falling and Have Been for Decades, New Study Finds,” CNN.com, June 14, 2018. 11. Adrien Marck et al., “Are We Reaching the Limits of Homo sapiens?” Frontiers in Physiology, frontiersin.org, October 24, 2017. 12. Steven Pinker, “The Moral Imperative for Bioethics,” Boston Globe, July 31, 2015. 13. Derrick O’Keefe, “Décroissance in America: Say Degrowth!”

No (submarine) Dropbox drought Duchenne muscular dystrophy Dune Vulnerability Team (DVT) Dust Bowl Duterte, Rodrigo Dyson, Freeman Eagle Glacier Earth crust of degradation of habitability of hydrology of finite nature of great disruptions in Earth Day earthquakes Easter Island Ebell, Myron Ebola Economics of Smoking, The (Tollison and Wagner) Economist ecosystem services Eden Edison, Thomas efficiency Egypt elections 2010 2012 2016 2018 electricity, new access El Niño Emerson, Ralph Waldo employment Endangered Species Act End of Nature, The (McKibben) Ends of the World, The (Brannen) “Energy and Man” (API symposium) Energy Department energy efficiency energy poverty Enlightenment Now (Pinker) Enough (McKibben) environmentalism Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) environmental regulation Environmental Research Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Erdogan, Recep Tayyip erythropoietin (EPO) Esso Atlantic (oil tanker) estuaries ethics Ettinger, Robert Europe evolution experience sampling Extinction Rebellion Exxon Facebook facial recognition software Falcon 9 rocket famine Farmerline Fate of the Earth, The (Schell) Fauci, Anthony Federalist Society Federal Reserve feedback loops fertilizer fiberglass net Finding Nemo (film) Finland fires First Amendment fish Fisher Body floods Florida flow Flynn effect Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food supply Forbes Ford, Gerald forests Forest Service Fort McMurray, Canada Fortune 500 CEOs fossil fuels. See also oil and gas industry; and specific types climate change research and divestment and federal subsidies and fossil record Fossouo, Max-Marc Fountainhead, The (Rand) Fox News fracking Francis, Pope Freedom Partners Investment Freud, Sigmund Friedan, Betty Friend, Tad Frontiers of Freedom Fukushima reactors “Future Does Not Need Us, The” (Joy) Future of Humanity Institute Gagarin, Yuri Gaia theory Gallagher, Nora Gandhi, Mohandas GDP, global gene drives gene editing GenePeeks General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) gene therapy or repair genetically modified (GMO) food genetic engineering choice and danger of germline, heritable regulation and somatic space travel and genetic testing GenRich class Germany Ghana Gilgamesh glaciers Global Climate Coalition (GCC) Global Seed Vault Gmail Go goldenrod Goldman Sachs Goodall, Jane Goodell, Jeff Google Google Earth Gore, Al government antigovernment ideology and public choice theory and regulation and Grain Belt Great Barrier Reef Great Barrier Reef Legacy Great Society Greece Green Bay Packers greenhouse effect.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

In a broader sense, the overall IQ of humans has been climbing over the last century or so. The Flynn Effect is a well-known long-term study on IQ studies and examinations. It looks at the substantial and long-sustained increase in both fluid and crystallised intelligence test scores measured in many parts of the world from roughly 1930 to the present day. While rates vary, the improvements in IQ globally have been remarkably consistent. The Flynn Effect is attributed to a range of possible influences including better schooling, familiarity with testing, more stimulating environments, better nutrition, reduction in infectious diseases and more genetic diversity as populations have migrated due to better transportation systems, etc. Having said that, recent testing may be showing that the Flynn Effect is flattening. Is Google dumbing us down? Figure 6.14: The Flynn Effect, or the world’s increasing IQ The pursuit of intelligence is clearly an overall human mission.


pages: 254 words: 72,929

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

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, 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, selection bias, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, 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”: kk.org/ct2/2008/03/short-is-in.php. On the top websites, see www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_500. 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, www.cjr.org/overload/interview_with_clay_shirky_par.php, 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.


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, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, 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, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, 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!


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

Further improvements in educational attainment are certainly possible (the stagnation in educational attainment is somewhat worse in the United States than in Europe), but not on anything like that twentieth-century scale. Any future improvement is likely to be a grinding process, constrained not only by policy failures and socioeconomic stratification but also by innate human capacities. And even as credentialism advances, there is some evidence that the Western world is slipping backward on more fundamental measures such as literacy rates and IQ. The famous Flynn effect, in which IQ scores increase generation after generation, has stalled out in parts of northern Europe. In the United States, literacy rates for white students peaked in the 1970s and have slipped since. Fourth are the constraints imposed by the environment. The growth that America achieved in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by taming a wilderness and putting fallow land to use is never going to be repeated.

., 82, 83 European Union, 172–73, 217, 219 birthrate in, 50 centralization of authority in, 83, 84–85 financial crisis in, 84, 192 Muslim refugees in, 160 possible collapse of, 194 public distrust of government in, 83 sclerosis in, 82–86 unrealistic assumptions of, 82–83 Euro Tragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts (Mody), 84 evangelical Protestantism, 53, 101, 119, 222 Everlasting Man, The (Chesterton), 238–39 exhaustion, cultural and intellectual, decadence as, 9 expansionism, 3–4 environmental and social cost of, 5–6 exploration: abandonment of, 5–6 ideology of, 3–4, 231–32 Fake News, 153 families, shrinking of, 58–62 far left, 172, 194 far right, 134, 193, 194, 227 in Europe, 85, 155, 162 fascism, 112, 160, 194 feminism, 47, 51, 53, 54, 90, 97, 108, 120, 121, 156, 227 fiction, literary, declining sales of, 91 Fight Club (film), 113, 185 filibuster, 78 finance industry, see Wall Street financial crisis of 2008, 11, 69, 80, 84, 137, 192 Finland: decline of sexual relations in, 55 declining birthrate in, 52–53 Fire Next Time, The (Baldwin), 97 Flynn effect, 35 Flynt, Larry, 120 food production, climate change and, 195–96 Ford, John, 110 Foreign Policy, 133 Fox News, 77 France, 32 immigrants in, 64 pronatalist policies of, 52 protest movements in, 171, 172 Francis, Pope, 103 Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World (Wilder), 208 free-market policies, 25 free trade, 24, 28, 29 French Revolution, 206 From Dawn to Decadence (Barzun), 8 frontier: closing of, 5, 135 New, 181 space as, 2, 6, 231–32; see also Apollo moon program Turner on importance of, 3–4 Fukuyama, Francis, 12, 83, 112–13, 115, 135, 159 Fyre Festival, 17–18, 21 Game of Thrones (TV show), 95, 96 Garland, Merrick, 78 gay rights, revolution in, 99 gender, wage gap and, 99 genetic engineering, 11, 43, 211, 229, 230 Germany, 192 immigrants in, 64, 85 Germany, Nazi, 225 Germany, Weimar, 129, 131 Gersen, Jacob, 142 Gharbi, Musa al-, 97 Gibson, Mel, 189–90, 202 gig economy, decline of traditional freelancing in, 27 gilets-jaunes, 171 Gingrich, Newt, 77 globalism, 218 global South: climate change and, 174–75, 202 mass migration from, 208 global warming, see climate change God and Man at Yale (Buckley), 97 Goebbels, Joseph, 132 Gordon, Robert, 12, 33, 34, 35, 40–41, 46 government: informal norms of, 78 policy failures of, 71 public distrust of, 75 public expectation of action by, 74–75 uncontrolled sprawl of, 72, 76 Government’s End (Rauch), 72 Graeber, David, 12, 38, 40, 41 Gramsci, Antonio, vii Grantland, 93–94 Great Awakening, 103, 222, 228 Great Britain: Brexit in, see Brexit US technological mastery vs., 165 Great Depression, 30, 109 Great Filter, 234–36, 240 Great Recession, 11, 23, 27, 69, 114, 124, 193, 194 falling birthrate in, 51 Great Society, 77 Great Stagnation, The (Cowen), 33–34, 45 Greece, 84, 85 in 2008 financial crisis, 192 Green New Deal, 221 Green Revolution, 43, 196 growth, limits on, 32–36, 46 Guardian (Australia), 220 Guinea, 206 Habits of the Heart (Bellah et al.), 97 Handmaid’s Tale, The (Atwood), 47–50, 65 Handmaid’s Tale, The (TV show), 95 Hanson, Robin, 234 Harris, Mark, 93–94 Harris, Sam, 224 Hazony, Yoram, 218, 219 health care reform: interest groups and, 73 Obama and, 68, 69–70, 73–74, 76 Heavens and the Earth, The (McDougall), 2 Herbert, Frank, 229 Heterodox Academy, 97 Hinduism, 225 history: end of, 112–15, 135, 163, 177 return of, 129, 183, 195 viewed as morality play, 157 hive mind, 106–7 Holmes, Elizabeth, 18–19, 22 hookup culture, 121 horoscopes, 225 Houellebecq, Michel, 155–57, 159, 160–61, 172, 226, 227 House of Representatives, US, 68 “How the Wealth Was Won” (2019 paper), 26 Hubbard, L.

., 9 Instagram, 18 institutions: decadence and, 8–10, 69 technological acceleration and, 213–15 intellectuals, intellectual realm, repetition in, 96–101, 180 interest groups, health care and, 73–74 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 174 Internet, 40 anonymity on, 144–45 Chinese censoring of, 139 and decline in risky social behavior, 122–23 and declining rates of sexual violence, 121–22 extremist elements of, 194 hive mind and, 106–7 homogenization of, 104–5, 106 illusion of progress fed by, 11 journalism and, 105–6 mediocrity and, 107 NSA and, 146, 147 pornography and, 120–21 productivity and, 41 repetition in, 104–7 right to privacy and, 145, 146–47 as surveillance state, 144–47 unfulfilled promise of, 104–5 Internet economy, 17, 22 consolidation in, 27 Ip, Greg, 167 IPCC, 195 iPhone, 37, 40, 107 IQ scores, Flynn effect and, 35 Iran, Islamic Republic of, 160, 163 Iran nuclear deal, 71 Iraq War, 69, 70, 80, 150 Ireland, 52, 84 Islam, Islamic world, 201, 223 falling birthrates in, 161 modernity and, 227 as path to renaissance, 226–28 Islamic State (ISIS), 70, 113, 148, 152, 160 Islamists, Islamism, 113, 114, 155, 207 as alternative to liberal order, 159–62 Israel: birthrate in, 50, 54, 217 as model for nationalist renaissance, 217–18 Italy, 84, 85 iTunes, 105 Ivanov, Vyacheslav, 7 James, P.


pages: 420 words: 124,202

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

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, 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, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, 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, zero-sum game, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

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.


The Deep Learning Revolution (The MIT Press) by Terrence J. Sejnowski

AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Conway's Game of Life, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, discovery of DNA, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, Henri Poincaré, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Norbert Wiener, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, PageRank, pattern recognition, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Socratic dialogue, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize, Yogi Berra

And, indeed, cases have been made for different domaindependent kinds of intelligence: social, emotional, mechanical, and constructive, for example.37 The “g factor” that intelligence tests claim to measure is correlated with these different kinds. There are reasons to be cautious about interpreting IQ tests. The average IQ has been going up all over the world by three points per decade since it was first studied in the 1930s, a trend called the “Flynn effect.” There are many possible explanations for the Flynn effect, such as better nutrition, better health care, and other environmental factors.38 This is quite plausible because the environment affects gene regulation, which in turn affects brain connectivity, leading to changes in behavior.39 As humans increasingly are living in artificially created environments, brains are being molded in ways that nature never intended. Could it be that humans have been getting smarter over a much longer period of time?

See also Orgel’s second rule evolutionary origins of human beings, 264–265 Exascale computing, 206, 229 Expert systems, 30–31 Exponential growth, 143 327 Fabre-Thorpe, Michèle, 64f Facial Action Coding System (FACS), 181 Facial expression analysis, 181–182, 181f Facial expressions of emotion, universal, 180, 180f recognizing, 181f as window into your soul, 178–182 Facial recognition, 124, 227, 238 Fast ForWord, 190 Feher, Olga, 157f Feldman, Jerome A., 91–93, 316n3 Felleman, Daniel J., 76f Fendi, Silvia Venturini, 137 Fergus, Rob, 303n12 Field, David, 296n7 Figure–ground problem, 97, 99 ambiguous, 97f Boltzmann machine and, 97, 100f Film, artificial intelligence (AI) depicted in, 174 Finches consulting with each other, 29f Fisher, Carrie, 228f Fitness (biology), 267 Flash-lag effect, 239–240, 239f Flynn, James R., 288n38 Flynn effect, 21 Fodor, Jerry A., 75, 77, 317n14 Fried, Itzhak, 235, 315n6 Friederici, A. D., 236f Frog retina, 106 Fukushima, Kunihiko, 292n3 Functionalism, 32 Functionalist cognitive scientists, 253–254 Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), 78, 86, 88f, 254 Fuster, Joachim M., 305n17 Gain normalization, 131 Game of Life, 197, 199, 199f Games, 154. See also specific games 328 Ganglion cells, 65 bullfrog sympathetic, 58, 59f responses to patterns of light, 65 Ganguli, Surya, 298n23 Garcia, John, 150 Gardner, Howard, 288n37 Gardner, Martin, 224 Gates, Bill, 24 Gazzaley, Adam, 190 Gehry, Frank, 71, 72f Gelperin, Alan, 58, 293n15 Gender of faces.


pages: 343 words: 102,846

Trees on Mars: Our Obsession With the Future by Hal Niedzviecki

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, business intelligence, Colonization of Mars, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Zinn, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas L Friedman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, working poor

It is our ten commandments, and we are its gods. This, too, is part of the process: the shift from the guiding principle of gods and their magic to the command and control principle of information. We have begun to see the world, notes researcher James Flynn, through “scientific spectacles.” Flynn should know: the New Zealand–based scholar has been writing since the mid-1980s about what is now widely called the Flynn Effect. The Flynn Effect is essentially the phenomenon of rising IQ scores. To put it simply, after studying IQ tests given in the same place in the same way to the same kinds of people since 1930 (around the same time Russian psychologist Luria was studying increasingly smaller pockets of people who remained functionally illiterate) Flynn found that we’ve been consistently improving on IQ tests. How to account for this?

Some, of course, are anxious to trumpet humanity’s overall smarts. We’re just getting smarter and smarter and smarter. But Flynn doesn’t think so. He says that the pattern of rising IQ scores does not mean that we are comparing “a worse mind with a better one,” but rather that we are comparing minds that “were adapted to one cognitive environment with those whose minds are adapted to another cognitive environment.”26 Seen in this light, the Flynn effect does not reflect gains in general intelligence. We aren’t getting smarter; we are getting more modern. Or to put it another way—we aren’t smarter, but we are more steeped in the language of abstraction, more used to the idea that everything and anything can be expressed in the prismed refraction of virtual totality—the information. “One of the defining features of modern times,” write the authors of the book Big Data, “is our sense of ourselves as masters of our fate; this attitude sets us apart from our ancestors, for whom determinism of some form was the norm.”27 Big data, as the fuel source for the permanent future, is the information expanding beyond anything we could have ever have hoped for or imagined.


pages: 477 words: 75,408

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, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, 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, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, 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, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, 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. https://www.quora.com/Who-makes-more-money-Hollywood-or-the-video-game-industry [clxvi] https://versions.killscreen.com/we-should-be-talking-about-torture-in-vr/ [clxvii] http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175822/tomgram%3A_crump_and_harwood%2C_the_net_closes_around_us/ [clxviii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/the-new-way-police-are-surveilling-you-calculating-your-threat-score/2016/01/10/e42bccac-8e15-11e5-baf4-bdf37355da0c_story.html [clxix] http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/little-brother-is-watching-you [clxx] http://www.wired.com/2014/03/going-tracked-heres-way-embrace-surveillance/ [clxxi] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/03/28/mass-surveillance-silences-minority-opinions-according-to-study/ [clxxii] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-34592186 [clxxiii] http://www.computerworld.com/article/2990203/security/aclu-orwellian-citizen-score-chinas-credit-score-system-is-a-warning-for-americans.html [clxxiv] http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/oct/06/peeple-ratings-app-removes-contentious-features-boring [clxxv] https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601294/microsoft-and-google-want-to-let-artificial-intelligence-loose-on-our-most-private-data/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_campaign=@KyleSGibson [clxxvi] The Flynn Effect: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31556802 [clxxvii] WHO "Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013: supporting a decade of action [clxxviii] http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/11/15/business/tech/human-drivers-biggest-threat-developing-self-driving-cars/#.Vo7D5fmLRD8 [clxxix] http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/02/the-american-commuter-spends-38-hours-a-year-stuck-in-traffic/272905/ [clxxx] http://www.reinventingparking.org/2013/02/cars-are-parked-95-of-time-lets-check.html [clxxxi] http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?


pages: 76 words: 20,238

The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Asian financial crisis, Bernie Madoff, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, 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.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, 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, hedonic treadmill, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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, Kickstarter, 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, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

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’.http://www.innocenceproject.org/know. 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: 340 words: 94,464

Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World by Andrew Leigh

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Atul Gawande, basic income, Black Swan, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Netflix Prize, nudge unit, offshore financial centre, p-value, placebo effect, price mechanism, publication bias, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, statistical model, Steven Pinker, uber lyft, universal basic income, War on Poverty

Half a century ago, schools were one of the main employers of working women, who faced much worse gender discrimination in other occupations. Now, high-achieving women have promising career options in business, medicine and law. Consequently, the academic standards of new teachers have slipped backwards. The results are showing up in test scores. Over the past century, intelligence tests administered across the population have shown a steady increase, decade on decade. But it now looks like the ‘Flynn effect’ – named after New Zealand social scientist James Flynn – may be driven mostly by the fact that we are getting more education rather than because our schools are improving. Over the past two decades, in the Programme for International Student Assessment, the OECD has administered standardised tests to a sample of 15-year-olds. In many advanced nations, test results are getting worse. Average test scores in advanced countries have fallen in mathematics, reading and science.29 How do we turn these trends around?

Alm, Steven 97–8 Amazon 7, 131–2, 137, 144, 167 American Economic Association’s Randomized Controlled Trials registry 199 American Psychological Association, and Joseph Jastrow 51 Ames, Phil 184–5 ‘anchoring’ effect 133 Andrade, Leandro 101 Annie Hall 208–9 Anson, Commodore George, and scurvy 1–3 Archilochus 104 Aristotle 156 artefactual field experiments 176 Arthroscopy 20 Ashenfelter, Orley 194 ASSISTments, and online learning tools 77 Auden, W.H. 125 Australian National University 167, 186, 201 ‘automaticity’ 87–8 Badabla, Saa 161 Banerjee, Abhijit 121 Banerji, Rukmini 189–90 Barksdale, Jim 6 Battered Women’s Movement 89 Battlers and Billionaires 167 Belmont Report 186 Benin political campaign, and Saka Lafia 160 BETA 171 see also Michael Hiscox Beyond Scared Straight 8 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 77, 103 biometrically identified smartcards 111 see also Karthik Muralidhan Blane, Gilbert 4 Blattman, Chris 88, 209 Bloom, Nicholas 139 Bloomberg Philanthropies 211 Booker, Senator Cory 86 Borges, Jorge Luis, and ‘The Lottery in Babylon’ 181 Boston Consulting 139 Bown, Stephen 1 Brindley, Giles 168 Bristol, Muriel 52 British Medical Journal 12 ‘broken windows policing’ 209 Broockman, David 163–4 Brookings Institution 44 see also Ron Haskins Bush, President George W. 125, 155 California Votes Initiative 153 Campbell, Donald 205 Campbell Collaboration 8, 198 Capitol One 128–9 see also Nigel Morris; Rich Fairbank Carlyle, Thomas 44 Carr, NSW Premier Bob 95 Chalmers, Iain 28 Chatterbooks program 76 see also Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) ‘cherrypick’ 36,196 Chicago ‘Parent Academy’ 9 childhood learning programs 65, 68, 70–2, 191 see also 21st Century Community Learning Centers; ‘1001 critical days’ movement; Abecedarian Project; Early Years Education Program; Head Start; Perry Preschool; Sesame Street; West Heidelberg early years centre Choong, Peter 17–18, 21 Christoforetti, John 22 Cifu, Adam 31 Civis Analytics 159 Clark medal 121 see also Esther Duflo Clinton, President Bill 41, 59, 105 Coby, Gary, and the Trump campaign 154 Cochrane 28, 31, 198 see also Archie Cochrane; Iain Chalmers Cochrane, Archie 27–8, 190 Cochrane Collaboration 28 cognitive behavioural therapy 87–8 Colbert, Stephen 125 college program trials 82–3, 169 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 14, 54 Community Led Total Sanitation 116 control groups 44, 78, 93, 118, 138, 192, 211 and ‘encouragement design’ 187 see also medical randomised trials; political campaign strategies; randomised trials; social field experiments conventional laboratory experiments 176–7 see also Steven Pinker Cook, James 4 Cook, Scott, and Intuit 207 Cooney, Joan 63 correlation 11, 106, 149 counterfactual 9–10, 74, 82, 149, 192–3 Cowdery, Nicholas 96 credible comparison groups 10, 37, 72 Creedence Clearwater Revival, and ‘Fortunate Son’ 42 CrimeSolutions.gov 101 criminal justice experiments ‘Becoming a Man’ program 87 and CrimeSolutions.gov 101 Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) 97–9 ‘incapacitation effect’ 99 and Liberian experiment 88 Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment 90–1 Neighbourhood Watch 94, 183 and Street Narcotics Unit 92–3 and ‘three strikes’ law’ 99, 101 see also Drug Courts; policing programs; restorative justice experiments; US Police Foundation CVS pharmacy 133–4 Danish State Serum Institute 26 ‘data and safety monitoring boards’ 187 Deaton, Angus 6, 12, 124 ‘deep canvassing’ 163–4 ‘Development Innovation Ventures’ 210 see also Maura O’Neill; Michael Kremer dibao 108 Dive, Roger 96 ‘double-blind’ studies 26 driving licence experiment India 109 see also Sendhil Mullainathan Drug Courts 95–6, 98, 182 Duflo, Esther 121–2, 206 Dukakis, Michael 151 Durkheim, Emile 91 Dziak, John 131 Early Years Education Program 71–2 Earned Income Tax Credit 41 Easterly, William 112 eBay 130, 132 Edna McConnell Clark Foundation 211 Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) 75–6, 211 Einstein, Albert 208 Eliot, Charles 51 ‘encouragement design’ 187 ethics 72, 98, 109, 118, 182, 186–8 see also medical randomised trials ethics committees 186–7 see also 1964 Declaration of Helsinki; Belmont Report; ‘data and safety monitoring boards’ evidence-based medicine 24, 26–7 see also Alvan Feinstein; Archie Cochrane; David Sackett ‘experimental ideal’ 194 Experiments in Governance and Politics Network 199 Facebook 138, 143–5, 154–5 see also Sheryl Sandburg Fairbank, Rich 128–9 family violence 85, 89–90 see also The Battered Women’s Movement; Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment Farrer, William 127 Feinstein, Alvan 27 Fenner, Frank 168 Feynman, Richard, on scientific integrity 205 Fibiger, Johannes 26 Finckenauer, James 8 Finland government experiment 46 Fisher, Ronald 52–4, 127 see also ‘modern synthesis’ and ‘The evolution of sexual preference’ 53 ‘fixed mindset’ 6 Fleischer, David 163–5 FlyBuys loyalty card, and Coles supermarket empire 134–5 Flynn, James, and the ‘Flynn effect’ 73 Food and Drug Administration 29, 188 Fox, President Vincente 117 framed field experiments 176 Frankfurt, Harry 205 Freedom from Hunger 212 French government experiment 46 Fryer, Roland 79 ‘fuel league table’ 136 fundraising strategies 156–9 and the ‘lead donor’ 157 and the ‘once and done’ campaign 158 Salvation Army’s ‘Red Kettle Christmas drive 157 and the ‘Science of Philanthropy Initiative’ 159 Garner, Alan 183–4 see also Head Injury Retrieval Trial Gawande, Atul, on ‘pointless medical care’ 34 ‘general equilibrium’ effect 191 Gerber, Alan 149,151–3 German government unemployment incentive 45 Get Out the Vote 149 see also Alan Gerber; Donald Green GiveDirectly 107 Glover, Danny 7 Gneezy, Uri 178 Goldacre, Ben 185 Google 7, 131, 141–4, 154, 208 and researching a book title 166–7 see also Eric Schmidt; Marissa Mayer Gopnik, Alison 65–6 Gore, Al 155 Gosnell, Harold, and political campaigns 148–50 Graber, Ben 60 Grameen Bank 105 see also Muhammad Yunus Green, Donald 149, 151–3, 163 see also Get Out the Vote Grigg, Sue 37 see also ‘Journey to Social Inclusion’ Gueron, Judith 57–62, 206 see also Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC); Project Independence H&R Block 82 Halpern, David 171, 206 see also Nudge Unit Harford, Tim 190, 205 Harlem Children’s Zone 79 Harrah’s casino 127–8 see also Gary Loveman Harris, Ian, and medical randomised trials 21, 34 Harrison, Glenn, and categories of randomised experiments 176 Haskins, Ron 44 Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) 97–9 see also Steven Alm ‘Hawthorn effect’ 138 Haygarth, John, and the placebo effect 23–4 Head Injury Retrieval Trial 183–4 Head Start 192 ‘healthy cohort’ effect 12 Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO) 6 Hill, Austin Bradford 54–7 and Principles of Medical Statistics 55 and streptomycin trial 56 Hiscox, Michael 171 see also BETA HMS Salisbury 3 HMS Wager 2 Holmes, Oliver Wendell Sr, and materia medica 25–6 ‘incapacitation effect’ 99 Incredible Years Basic Parenting Programme 69 Innovations for Poverty Action 123 International Clinical Trials Registry Platform 199 Ioannidis, John 196–7 James Cook University 33 James Lind Alliance 28 see also Iain Chalmers Jastrow, Joseph 50–1 J.B.


pages: 350 words: 96,803

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

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, assortative mating, 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, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Turing test, twin studies

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: 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, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, income per capita, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, shareholder value, six sigma, social intelligence, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, 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, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

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, www.indiana.edu/~intell/flynneffect.shtml. 2. Tim Berners-Lee, “Homepage,” n.d., www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/. 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, www.totaltele.com/view.aspx?


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

addicted to oil, 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, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, 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, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, 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 http://www.newyorker.com/archive). 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 http://www.newyorker.com/archive). 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: 677 words: 121,255

Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist by Michael Shermer

Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, Chelsea Manning, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, creative destruction, dark matter, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, gun show loophole, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, Laplace demon, luminiferous ether, McMansion, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, moral hazard, moral panic, More Guns, Less Crime, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, positional goods, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, working poor, Yogi Berra

What if it turns out that the primary cause of racial differences in IQ is the environment but, due to academic censorship of sensitive topics, the only people doing research in this area are those who believe that all such differences are to be found in our genes? Where is the environmental refutation to the genetic conjecture? “There will be bad science on both sides of the debate,” Flynn admits. But “The only antidote I know for that is to use the scientific method as scrupulously as possible.” By way of example, Flynn says he discovered his eponymous effect – the “Flynn Effect” that IQ points have been increasing on average about three points every ten years for almost a century9 – by reading Arthur Jensen’s research on IQ and “g” (the general intelligence factor), which no one else noticed because of their reluctance to give any credence to Jensen’s work as a result of his association with the genetic position on racial differences in IQ. Flynn asks rhetorically, “Does academia really want to ally itself with those who reserve free discussion to Philosopher Kings, and create dogmas to deaden the minds of all others?”

Arkansas, 52 Erasmus, 225 eSkeptic, 81 Espionage Act (1917), 2 European Union founding of, 249–250 evil myth of pure evil, 28–37 nature of, 28–37 evolution argument for decentralising authority, 215–217 case for bottom-up self-organization, 215–217 development of Darwin’s theory, 44–46 impact of the Darwinian revolution, 44–47 religious-based skepticism, 47–50 support for creationism in America, 46 why people do not support it, 47–50 evolution–creationism controversy, 44–54 Evolutionary Creationists, 51 evolutionary economics collective action problem, 198–201 Darwin economy, 199–201 hidden costs of market failures and moral hazards, 201–202 importance of positional rank, 200–201 role of ostentatious display, 200–201 “sin taxes”, 201–202 taxation, 203 top-down government, 199–201 transaction costs of keeping up with the Joneses, 201–202 See also evonomics evonomics advantages gained from ostentatious display, 207–210 argument for wealth redistribution, 210–213 bottom-up self-organization, 203–205 connection between Adam Smith and Charles Darwin, 203–205 corporations as species, 205–207 creative destruction concept, 206 fatal conceit of top-down government, 215–217 positional ranking, 210–213 relative happiness, 210–213 what is seen and not seen in government actions, 213–215 Expanding Circle theory, 240 expanding sphere of knowledge metaphor, 125 externalities, 199 extraterrestrial intelligence, 221 Fawcett, Henry, 45–46 Feder, Ken, 324–325 feminism victimhood culture, 73 Ferris, Timothy, 228 Festinger, Leon, 95 Feynman, Richard, 123, 316 First World War, 1, 16 Fisher, Helen, 158 flat-Earthers, 51 Flynn, James, 19, 23, 24–25 Flynn Effect, 25 Forbes, Bertie, 206 Ford, Henry, 31 Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), 25, 70 Foundation for the Future, 289 14/88 code, 30–31 Fox, James Alan, 169, 175 Fox News, 181 fragile children, 74 Frank, Robert H., 198, 199–202, 203, 204, 208–213, 215–217 Franklin, Benjamin, 84, 226 Frankowski, Nathan, 55 Freakonomics theory, 174 free trade institutions, 249–251 free will–determinism debate, 264–265 freedom of inquiry, 8, 19–27search for truth in science, 26–27 freedom of speech, 19–27campus unrest over controversial speakers, 64–78 college speaker disinvitations, 70–71 democracy and, 26 evolution–creationism controversy, 44–54 Free Speech Movement of the late 1960s, 64–65 giving the devil his due, 1–9 hate speech, 13–16, 28–37 Holocaust denial, 38–43 increasing viewpoint diversity in colleges, 76–78 Intelligent Design conspiracy theory, 55–63 Jordan Peterson on gender pronouns and Bill C-16, 300–303 microaggressions, 68–70 Ten Commandments of free speech and thought, 7–8 trigger warnings, 66–67 French Revolution, 72 Fuji film, 206 Gacy, John Wayne, 35 Gap Creationists, 51 Gardner, Martin, 270, 271, 319 Geivett, Douglas, 104 Geller, Uri, 271, 272 gender differences research on, 22–23 gender pronouns Jordan Peterson on, 300–303 General Electric (GE), 206 General Motors (GM), 206 Generation X, 65 Generation Z how they handle challenges, 64–65 Geocentrists, 51 Geoffroy, Gregory, 60 George, Robby, 83 Ghawi, Jessica, 176 Gibbon, Edward, 204 Giffords, Gabrielle, 175 Gingrich, Newt, 82, 83 Gish, Duane, 280 Göbekli Tepe stone structures, 324–326 God and the purpose of the universe, 103–108 creation of the universe ex nihilo (out of nothing), 115–117 ontological argument for the existence of, 114 Goldberg, Jeffrey, 279–280 Goldberg, Jonah, 131 Goldhagen, Daniel, 61 Goldman, Emma, 2 Goldwater, Barry, 77 Gonzales, Guillermo, 59–60 Google, 206, 260 Gore, Al, 137 Gould, John, 44 Gould, Stephen Jay, 292, 294 governance experiments artificial communities, 154 HMS Bounty mutineers on Pitcairn Island, 156–159 intentional communities, 154 shipwrecked groups, 155–156 social experiments, 154–156 unintentional communities, 154–156 governance systems avoiding weak government, 153–154 challenges for, 147–148 delegative democracy, 149 designing extraterrestrial systems, 150–152 direct democracy, 149–150 features of good societies, 154–155 impact of cyber-technology, 153 in science fiction, 152–153 representational democracy, 149 types of, 149–150 government top-down government, 199–201 Grafen, Alan, 287 grand unified theory, 121 gravitational waves, 122 Gray, Asa, 287 Grayling, A.


pages: 502 words: 128,126

Rule Britannia: Brexit and the End of Empire by Danny Dorling, Sally Tomlinson

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, anti-globalists, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, colonial rule, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Etonian, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, housing crisis, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, knowledge economy, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, megacity, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, We are the 99%, wealth creators

Even though British children now rank towards the bottom of many league tables of ability, they are still (on average) much more able than their parents. On average, each generation born since the Second World War has been allowed to be more able than its parents or grandparents, as provision has been made for young people to stay on at school until, first, age sixteen and, later, age eighteen. Known as the Flynn Effect, ability at passing IQ tests is going up steadily all over the world, and the results have to be periodically recalibrated to maintain the preordained average of 100 for each generation. And if you want a challenge, try explaining that to the man who was until recently British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, who is in danger of going to his grave never fully understanding how IQ tests work and what their purpose was.41 THE BRITISH AND THEIR STRANGE SCHOOLS, AND SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT University – A school, where all the arts and faculties are taught and studied, and where, in the view of some news-sheets and political hacks, there are seditious lectures against Brexit

However, when you compare prices around major train stations in these cities, and account for the square metres that are inside dwellings, central London is often found to be the most expensive, at least for now – its prices are falling. 57 Macpherson, W. (1999) The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, Cmnd 4262, London: The Stationery Office. 58 Adams, T. (2013) ‘Doreen Lawrence: “I could have shut myself away, but that is not me”’, The Guardian, 20 April, https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/apr/20/doreen-lawrence-stephen-lawrence INDEX Abramovich, Roman 1 abstentions in EU referendum 1, 2, 3 Acheson, Dean 1 Act of Union (1707) 1, 2, 3 Adonis, Andrew 1 age as factor in referendum 1, 2, 3 and views on immigration 1 and support for political parties 1 Al Nahyan, Mansour bin Zayed 1 Aliens Act (1905) 1, 2 Allen, Graham 1 Andrew, Prince 1 Anglo-Saxon myth 1 arms trade 1, 2, 3 Arne, Thomas 1 Arsenal 1 Ashcroft, Lord 1, 2, 3 Attlee, Clement 1, 2 BAE 1 Baker, Herbert 1 Bamford, Lord 1 Bank of England 1, 2 Banks, Arron 1, 2, 3 Barclay, Stephen 1 Barnier, Michel 1 Bartley, Jonathan 1 bell curve 1, 2 Benn, Tony 1 Besant, Annie 1 Bevan, Aneurin 1 Bildt, Carl 1 Blair, Tony 1, 2, 3 Blake, William 1 Bloomberg, Michael 1 Blunkett, David 1 Blunt, Anthony 1 BMG 1 Boer War 1, 2 Bolton, Henry 1 Bonaparte, Napoleon 1 Bone, Peter 1 Booth, Robert 1 Borja, Mario Cortina 1, 2 Bowers, Simon 1 Boyle, Frankie 1 Bradlaugh, Charles 1 Bradley, Karen 1 Bragg, Billy 1 Branson, Richard 1 Bravo, Antonio 1 Bravo, Manuel 1 Brexit Cookbook, The 1 Brexit negotiations Theresa May’s position on 1 free trade deals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 life after Brexit 1, 2, 3 impact on EU 1 and financial services 1 and impact reports 1 and Brexit War Cabinet 1 and ‘no deal’ Brexit 1, 2 and Greenland example 1 ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ Brexits 1 Labour Party position on 1 costs of Brexit 1 Britain definition of 1, 2 misconception of identity 1 role in modern world 1 post-Empire 1, 2, 3 mythology of 1, 2, 3, 4 creation of 1 ‘Great’ in 1 identity of 1, 2, 3 and natural selection 1 international comparisons 1 rise in inequality in 1 pride in 1 industrial revolution in 1 pollution in 1 arms trade in 1, 2, 3 financial services in 1, 2, 3, 4 arms trade in 1 manufacturing industry in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 statistics on trade 1 values of 1 wage levels in 1 life expectancy in 1 possible break-up of 1 Britannia 1 British Brothers’ League 1 British Chamber of Commerce 1 British Empire loss of 1, 2 pride in 1, 2 and immigration 1 creation of 1 and British identity 1 education about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and dependencies 1 as market captive 1, 2, 3, 4 remnants of 1, 2, 3 and public schools 1 racism in 1 fantasy of 1 and Darwinism 1 delusions of grandeur 1 spoils of 1 legacy of 1, 2 Opium Wars 1 and need for food 1 British Empire Union 1 British Medical Journal 1, 2 BRIT(ish): On Race Identity and Belonging (Hirsch) 1 British Union of Fascists 1 Brokenshire, James 1 Brown, Gordon 1, 2, 3 Bullingdon Club 1 Burgess, Guy 1 Buxton, Ronald 1 Cairncross, John 1 Cairns, Alun 1 Cambridge Analytica 1 Cambridge University 1, 2, 3, 4 Cameron, David promises referendum 1, 2 negotiations with EU 1 on ‘Jerusalem’ 1 on trade with the EU 1 at Oxford University 1, 2 family involvement in slavery 1 toughness on immigration 1 at Eton 1 resignation of 1 millionaires in Cabinet 1 wealth of 1 negotiations with EU 1 unauthorised biography of 1 Campbell, Alastair 1 Capital Group 1 Carney, Mark 1 Catholic Herald 1 Cavell, Edith 1 Centre for Social Justice 1 Chagos Islanders 1 Chandler, Christopher 1 Channel Islands 1 Charles, Prince 1, 2, 3, 4 Chelsea football club 1 Child Poverty Action Group 1 Churchill, Winston 1, 2, 3 Clark, Greg 1 Clarke, Kenneth 1, 2 class as factor in referendum 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and the British Empire 1 Clegg, Nick 1 Clinton, Bill 1 Cockburn, Patrick 1 Collingham, Lizzie 1, 2 Commonwealth 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Commonwealth Immigration Act (1968) Conan Doyle, Arthur 1, 2 Confederation of British Industry (BFI) 1 Confession of Faith (Rhodes) 1 Conservative Party donations to 1, 2 issue of EU in 1, 2, 3 wins 2015 general election 1 in European Parliament 1 age of supporters 1 Contemporary Review Journal 1 Corbyn, Jeremy 1 personality of 1, 2 election as Labour Party leader 1 and Windrush scandal 1 and 2017 general election 1 honesty of 1 comparisons with Attlee 1, 2 opposition to austerity 1 and second referendum 1 Corera, Gordon 1 corporal punishment 1 Cox, Geoffrey 1 Cox, Jo 1, 2, 3 Crabb, Stephen 1 Cromwell, Oliver 1 Culloden, Battle of 1 Cumberbatch, Benedict 1 Cummings, Dominic and political repercussions of referendum 1 to be played by Benedict Cumberbatch 1 early life and career 1, 2 belief in natural selection 1, 2, 3 in Vote Leave campaign 1, 2, 3 Cyprus 1 Daily Express 1 Daily Mail 1, 2 Daily Mirror 1 Daily Telegraph 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Dalla Valle, Luciana 1, 2 Dalrymple, William 1 Daly, Paul 1 Darling, Alistair 1 Darwin, Charles 1, 2, 3, 4 Darwinism 1 Davis, David and customs union ‘backstop’ 1 and impact reports 1 made Secretary for Exiting the EU 1 Frankie Boyle on 1 bets on referendum result 1 Demetriades, Panicos 1 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 1, 2, 3 Der Spiegel 1 Deripaska, Oleg 1 Duncan Smith, Iain 1 East India Company 1, 2, 3 Economists for Free Trade 1 Edmiston, Lord 1 education as factor in referendum 1 universities 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 selective 1 and inequality 1, 2, 3 history of in Britain 1 competition in 1 rise in levels of 1 in OECD countries 1 reforms to 1 Education and Race from Empire to Brexit (Tomlinson) 1 Edward, Prince 1 Edward I, King 1 Edwards, David 1 El-Enany, Nadine 1, 2, 3, 4 Elgot, Jessica 1 Elliott, Larry 1 Elliott, Matthew 1 Empire Marketing Board 1, 2 Empire Windrush 1, 2 England, pride in 1, 2 environmental legislation 1 Eton 1 eugenics 1, 2, 3 European Parliament 1 European Research Group (ERG) 1, 2 Evans, Natalie 1 Evans-Gordon, Major 1 Eyres, Harry 1 Falkland Islands 1 Fallon, Michael 1, 2 Farage, Nigel 1 contemplates Northern Ireland seat 1, 2 foiled leadership ambitions 1 and fantasy of British Empire 1 and immigration 1, 2 and Grassroots Out 1 farming industry 1 Festival of Britain 1 Field, Frank 1 financial services 1, 2, 3, 4 Financial Times 1, 2 Fingleton, Eamonn 1 Finnish Lessons (Sahlberg) 1 Fletcher, C. R. L. 1 Flynn Effect 1 Foot, Michael 1 football clubs 1 Foresight reports 1, 2 Fox, Liam and fantasy of British Empire 1 trade deals 1 and arms trade 1 resignation as Secretary of State for Defence 1 and Grassroots Out 1 Frankie Boyle on 1 free trade and British Empire 1, 2, 3 and Brexit negotiations 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 economists on 1 advantages of 1, 2 and immigration 1 post-Brexit 1 Galbraith, John Kenneth 1 Galton, Francis 1, 2 Gangaidzo, Innocent 1 Garnier, Mark 1 Gauke, David 1, 2 gender as factor in referendum 1 general elections 1945 1 2005 1 2015 1, 2, 3 2017 1 genetics 1 Gentleman, Amelia 1 geography as factor in referendum 1, 2 George V, King 1 Gibraltar 1 Gillray, James 1 Global Justice Now 1 Glorious Revolution 1 Goldsmith, James 1 Goldsmith, Zac 1 Goodfellow, May 1 Goodwin, Matthew 1 Gorard, Stephen 1 Gove, Michael foiled leadership ambitions 1, 2 as Secretary of State for Education 1, 2 at Oxford University 1 belief in natural selection 1 and children of immigrants 1 political views of 1 in Vote Leave campaign 1 as Secretary of State for the Environment 1 grammar schools 1 Grant, Charles 1 Grassroots Out (GO) 1 Grayling, Chris 1 Great British Bake Off, The 1, 2 Green, Damian 1, 2 Green Party 1 Greening, Justine 1 Greenland 1 Grenfell Tower 1, 2 Griffiths, Peter 1 Guardian, The 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Gugliani, Sam 1 Gummer, Ben 1 Haldane, J.


pages: 487 words: 151,810

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

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, 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, longitudinal study, loss aversion, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Paul Samuelson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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: 1,261 words: 294,715

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

autonomous vehicles, Bernie Madoff, biofilm, blood diamonds, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Brownian motion, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, desegregation, different worldview, double helix, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fudge factor, George Santayana, global pandemic, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, John von Neumann, Loma Prieta earthquake, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, publication bias, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

That is coupled with spread of commerce and trade, fostering realpolitik self-restraint—recognizing that it’s better to have this other person alive and trading with you. Their well-being begins to matter, prompting what Pinker calls an “escalator of reasoning”—an enlarged capacity for empathy and Us-ness. This underlies the “rights revolution”—civil rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, gay rights, animal rights. This view is a triumph of cognition. Pinker yokes this to the “Flynn effect,” the well-documented increase in average IQ over the last century; he invokes a moral Flynn effect, as increasing intelligence and respect for reasoning fuel better Theory of Mind and perspective taking and an increased ability to appreciate the long-term advantages of peace. In the words of one reviewer, Pinker is “not too fainthearted to call his own culture civilized.”3 Predictably, this has drawn fire from all sides. The Left charges that this giddy overvaluing of the dead-white-male Enlightenment fuels Western neoimperialism.4 My personal political instincts run in this direction.

Brian, 308, 309 fetus, 210–11 conflict with mother, 358–59 prenatal environment and, 7, 210–21 hormones in, 211–19 fight or flight response, 26, 125, 133–34, 149n finches, 379 firing squads, 471–72 Fischer, David Hackett, 288 fish, tit for tat behavior in, 351–52 Fiske, Richard, 654–55, 655, 660, 668, 670 Fiske, Susan, 408, 411, 421, 522, 533, 628–29 5HTT gene, 246, 251, 260, 261 fission-fusion species, 51, 429–30 flags, symbolic power of, 391, 554 Floyd, Pretty Boy, 184 Flynn effect, 617 Forbes, Chad, 89 forgiveness, 15, 18, 395, 638, 640–42 truth and reconciliation commissions (TRC), 638–39, 642 fossils, 329, 330, 375, 376 founder populations, 353–54, 633 foxes, domestication of Siberian silver, 377–78, 378 Francis, Darlene, 220 Frank, Laurence, 120 Franklin, Rosalind, 714 free will, 583n, 585, 586, 591, 598, 605, 607–9, 612–13 brain damage and, 590–91, 597, 598, 601–2, 609 and causation vs. compulsion, 593 Libet experiment and, 594 mitigated, 586–90, 592, 593, 595–98, 605 homunculus concept of, 588–89, 595–97, 600, 602, 607, 608 and starting a behavior vs. halting it, 594–95 Freud, Sigmund, 188–90, 222 Friedman, Thomas, 620 frontal cortex, 18, 19, 30, 38, 42, 45–64, 88, 91–92, 100, 132–34, 143, 144, 557, 607, 614 childhood adversity and, 195, 196 cognition and, 47–50, 159 damage to, 53, 590–91, 609 and doing the harder thing when it’s the correct thing to do, 45, 47–48, 50, 51, 55, 56, 63, 64, 74, 75, 92, 130, 134, 513, 515, 614 genes and, 173 insular cortex (insula), 41–42, 46, 59, 69, 398–99, 454, 531, 560–61, 10 limbic system and, 58–64 maturation in adolescence, 154–60, 171–73, 589–90, 592–93 subregions of, 46–47 Us/Them dichotomies and, 416–17 see also prefrontal cortex frontal lobotomies (aka leukotomies), 9 Fry, Douglas, 313, 314, 322–23, 322 fusiform face area, 80, 85–86, 88, 114, 122n, 388, 402 GABA, 119, 692 Gabrieli, John, 86 Gaddafi, Muammar, 653 Gage, Fred “Rusty,” 148 Gage, Phineas, 51–53, 52 Gallese, Vittorio, 535, 539, 540 galvanic skin resistance (GSR), 453 gambling, 73 game theory, see economic games and game theory Gandhi, Mahatma, 652 Gauthier, Isabel, 80 Gazzaniga, Michael, 591 Geertz, Clifford, 271 gender: differences, see sex differences of a face, 88 grammatical, 558n generosity, punishment for, 292n, 496 genes, 7–8, 10, 21, 108, 173, 223–65, 614 behavior and, 224, 233–49 “Big Five” personality traits and, 236 and difference between traits being inherited and having a high degree of heritability, 242–43 and fragile nature of heritability estimates, 241–45 gene/environment interactions and, 245–48 indirect routes in, 237 molecular genetics and, 249–50 papers published on, 605 suspicion of links in, 224 twin and adoption studies and, 234–41 violence, 224 candidate, study of, 250 chance and, 232–33 chromosomes, 223 and collectivist vs. individualistic populations, 277 and distortions of genetics, 224 DNA in, 108, 147, 223, 225–33, 261–62 as blueprint for constructing proteins, 712–14 mutations and polymorphisms and, 714–17 noncoding, 226 dopamine system and, 255–58, 264, 279–81, 280 DRD4, 256, 258, 260, 261, 279 7R variant, 256, 279–81 environment and, 225–29, 245–48 epigenetics, 220–21, 229–30 papers published on, 605 essentialism and, 224–25 evolution and, 328–29, 373–74 exons and introns, 230–31 FADS2, 246 “fishing expeditions” in study of, 261–63 5HTT, 246, 251, 260, 261 frontal cortex and, 173 oxytocin and vasopressin and, 227, 258–59 political orientation and, 455 reductionist view and, 224 RNA in, 225, 226, 230, 233, 713–14 “selfish,” 333, 342, 361, 367 serotonin and, 227, 246, 250–55, 264 steroid hormones and, 259–61 estrogen, 260 testosterone, 227, 259–60 transcription factor (TF) and, 226–29, 233 transposable elements in, 231–32 “warrior,” 77, 253–54 Genghis Khan, 367 genome, 223 genomewide association studies (GWAS), 261–64 genomics, 224 Genovese, Kitty, 94 Gettysburg, Battle of, 554, 644 Giuliani, Rudy, 95, 395–96 Gladwell, Malcolm, 152 glia cells, 680 global warming, 303 Glowacki, Luke, 314 glucocorticoids, 125–27, 129, 130, 132, 143, 144, 149n, 193, 275 early-life stressors and, 194–96 genes and, 260 prenatal, 219–20 rank and, 436–38, 438, 440 glutamate, 139–41, 143, 692 Gobodo-Madikizela, Pumla, 629–30 Golden Balls, 345n Golden Rule, 494, 520 Golgi, Camillo, 688 Goodall, Jane, 269–71, 358n Gopnik, Adam, 79 Gore, Al, 403 gorillas, mountain, 335–36 gossip, 324, 433, 503 Gould, Elizabeth, 148 Gould, Stephen Jay, 84, 362, 374–75, 380–85 Goy, Robert, 212–15 Graham v.


pages: 1,079 words: 321,718

Surfaces and Essences by Douglas Hofstadter, Emmanuel Sander

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, 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, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

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: 313 words: 91,098

The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Air France Flight 447, attribution theory, bitcoin, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, combinatorial explosion, computer age, crowdsourcing, Dmitri Mendeleev, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Flynn Effect, Hernando de Soto, hindsight bias, hive mind, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

Tomasello, shared intentionality: This and the other work on shared intentionality reviewed here are discussed in M. Tomasello and M. Carpenter (2007). “Shared Intentionality.” Developmental Science 10(1): 121–125. Tomasello quote: Ibid., p. 123 not . . . getting smarter: Though they are doing better and better on intelligence tests. J. R. Flynn (2007). What Is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect. New York: Cambridge University Press. couples divide cognitive labor: D. M. Wegner (1987). “Transactive Memory: A Contemporary Analysis of the Group Mind.” In ed. B. Mullen and George Goethals, Theories of Group Behavior. New York: Springer, 185–208. more credit than they deserve: Reviewed in M. R. Leary and D. R. Forsyth (1987). “Attributions of Responsibility for Collective Endeavors.”


pages: 340 words: 97,723

The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Sanders, bioinformatics, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Flynn Effect, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Inbox Zero, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, New Urbanism, one-China policy, optical character recognition, packet switching, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, uber lyft, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

“Quick Facts 2015,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812348. 11. “Aviation Statistics,” National Transportation Safety Board, https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/data/Pages/aviation_stats.aspx. 12. Frederick P. Brooks, The Mythical Man Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (Boston: Addison Wesley, 1995). 13. Peter Wilby, “Beyond the Flynn Effect: New Myths about Race, Family and IQ?,” Guardian, September 27, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/sep/27/james-flynn-race-iq-myths-does-your-family-make-you-smarter. 14. Stephanie Condon, “US Once Again Boasts the World’s Fastest Supercomputer,” ZDNet, June 8, 2018, https://www.zdnet.com/article/us-once-again-boasts-the-worlds-fastest-supercomputer/. 15. Jen Viegas, “Comparison of Primate Brains Reveals Why Humans Are Unique,” Seeker, November 23, 2017, https://www.seeker.com/health/mind/comparison-of-primate-brains-reveals-why-humans-are-unique. 16.


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, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, 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: 413 words: 106,479

Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch

4chan, book scanning, British Empire, citation needed, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Flynn Effect, Google Hangouts, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, moral panic, multicultural london english, natural language processing, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Harvard University Press. One method of bridging: Su Lin Blodgett, Lisa Green, and Brendan O’Connor. 2016. “Demographic Dialectal Variation in Social Media: A Case Study of African-American English.” Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing. pp. 1119–1130. arxiv.org/pdf/1608.08868v1.pdf. “15-year-old users”: Ivan Smirnov. 2017. “The Digital Flynn Effect: Complexity of Posts on Social Media Increases over Time.” Presented at the International Conference on Social Informatics, September 13–15, 2017, Oxford, UK. arxiv.org/abs/1707.05755. textisms might interfere: Michelle Drouin and Claire Davis. 2009. “R u txting? Is the Use of Text Speak Hurting Your Literacy?” Journal of Literacy Research 41. Routledge. pp. 46–67. Several studies show that people: Jannis Androutsopoulos. 2011.


pages: 459 words: 138,689

Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration―and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives by Danny Dorling, Kirsten McClure

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, credit crunch, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Henri Poincaré, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, jimmy wales, John Harrison: Longitude, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage debt, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, rent control, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, sexual politics, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, very high income, wealth creators, wikimedia commons, working poor

Kenney’s huge machine was installed in the cellar and connected to a network of pipes leading to each room in the house. A corps of cleaners moved the machine from house to house.” 21. “Activated Sludge—100 Years and Counting,” International Water Association Conference, June 2014, Essen, Germany, http://www.iwa100as.org/history.php. 22. Max Roser, “Human Height,” OurWorldInData.org, 2016, https://ourworldindata.org/human-height/. 23. Lisa Trahan, Karla Stuebing, Merril Hiscock, and Jack Fletcher, “The Flynn Effect: A Meta-analysis,” Psychological Bulletin 140, no. 5 (2014): 1332–60, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4152423/. 24. Ariane de Gayardon, Claire Callender, KC Deane, and Stephen DesJardins, “Graduate Indebtedness: Its Perceived Effects on Behaviour and Life Choices—A Literature Review” (working paper no. 38, Centre for Global Higher Education, June 2018), https://www.researchcghe.org/publications/working-paper/graduate-indebtedness-its-perceived-effects-on-behaviour-and-life-choices-a-literature-review/. 25.


pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles

business cycle, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, 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, zero-sum game

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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 cycle, business process, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental subject, fault tolerance, financial intermediation, Flynn Effect, hindsight bias, information asymmetry, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, 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. http://www.forbes.co.il/news/new.aspx?pn6Vq=J&0r9VQ=IEII. Foster, Lucia, John Haltiwanger, and C. J. Krizan. 2006. “Market Selection, Reallocation, and Restructuring in the U.S.


pages: 636 words: 140,406

The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money by Bryan Caplan

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, assortative mating, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, deskilling, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, experimental subject, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, future of work, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, hive mind, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, market bubble, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, profit maximization, publication bias, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, school choice, selection bias, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, twin studies, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-sum game

“List of Best-Selling Books.” Accessed November 15, 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_books. Wikiquote. 2016. “Walt Kelly.” Accessed February 15, 2016. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Walt_Kelly. Wiles, Peter. 1974. “The Correlation between Education and Earnings: The External-Test-Not-Content Hypothesis (ETNC).” Higher Education 3 (1): 43–58. Williams, Robert. 2013. “Overview of the Flynn Effect.” Intelligence 41 (6): 753–64. Winship, Christopher, and Sanders Korenman. 1997. “Does Staying in School Make You Smarter? The Effect of Education on IQ in The Bell Curve.” In Intelligence, Genes, and Success, edited Bernie Devlin, Stephen Fienberg, Daniel Resnick, and Kathryn Roeder, 215–34. New York: Springer. Winston, Gordon. 1999. “Subsidies, Hierarchy and Peers: The Awkward Economics of Higher Education.”


pages: 631 words: 177,227

The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich

agricultural Revolution, capital asset pricing model, Climategate, cognitive bias, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demographic transition, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Flynn Effect, impulse control, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nash equilibrium, out of africa, phenotype, placebo effect, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, side project, social intelligence, social web, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, ultimatum game

Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (7):258–267. Flannery, K. V., and J. Marcus. 2000. “Formative Mexican chiefdoms and the myth of the ‘Mother Culture.’” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 19 (1–37). ———. 2012. The Creation of Inequality: How our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Flynn, J. R. 2007. What Is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn effect. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ———. 2012. Are We Getting Smarter? Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Foley, C., N. Pettorelli, and L. Foley. 2008. “Severe drought and calf survival in elephants.” Biology Letters 4 (5):541–544. Foster, E. A., D. W. Franks, S. Mazzi, S. K. Darden, K. C. Balcomb, J. K. B. Ford, and D. P. Croft. 2012. “Adaptive prolonged postreproductive life span in killer whales.”


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, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, 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, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, social intelligence, 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, zero-sum game

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.