Month: May 2017

#IQ Part 4: What’s Race Got To Do With Intelligence? Nothing.

In The Bell Curve Murray and Herrnstein found a correlation between race and I.Q. scores; white people generally have higher I.Q. scores than black people. Some people used the data to support their racist views and some other people buried their heads in the sand and refused to address the controversy. Mixed Mental Arts agrees: There is a correlation between race and I.Q. scores. A correlation that is as meaningful as the one between Nicolas Cage movies and the rate of swimming pool drownings. It’s absolutely happening, but it means absolutely nothing.   Here’s the real deal. If you...

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#IQ Part 3: Red Fish, Blue Fish, White Human, Black Human

Darwin spent EIGHT YEARS studying barnacles. Yes, barnacles. Those little sea creatures that latch onto rocks, shells, ships, and whales. From that exhaustive research he learned that taxonomy, the science of defining and naming groups is tricky business. There are many, many ways to place individuals. As David Quammen explains in The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: “… the hardest thing about classifying specimens within such a category is that sometimes ambiguity can’t be resolved. Lines blur… Darwin remembers being ‘much struck how entirely vague and arbitrary is the distinction between species and varieties.’” In practice, biologists’ groupings are based on...

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Wu-Wei: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is a beautiful, poetic, fucking rad piece of literature. The Cliff-notes version? Not giving a fuck is way more difficult than it seems. This isn’t a science book. It doesn’t rely on the authority of scientific studies, or literature, or experts. Because it doesn’t give a fuck about any of that shit. It’s an analysis of the world we live in based on observation and experimentation, told by a hell of a storyteller. Mark Manson just describes the reality that we all feel, all know, and all fear. The core thesis...

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Ep 260 – Chris Ryan: Uncle Chris Took Me in His Van and I Liked It

[podcast src=”” height=”200″ width=”450″] At this point, Chris Ryan probably doesn’t need any introduction but why not give him one anyway. He’s the author of Sex at Dawn and one day he’ll be able to call himself the author of Civilized to Death. In the meantime, he hosts the superb podcast Tangentially Speaking which Mixed Mental Arts’ own Isaiah Gooley probably loves more than Mixed Mental Arts. That’s how good it is. This summer Chris will be traveling the US in his van. He took me inside it. It was amazing! [mbm_book_grid...

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#IQ Part 2: Humanity’s Superpower

Once you know the shameful history of the  Hijacked I.Q. test it won’t surprise you to learn that there are more holes in the idea that intelligence is a fixed quantity than a box of doughnuts. I.Q. is and always has been a measure of where you are, not of where you can go. In fact, I.Q. scores have gone up 30 points compared to what they would have been in 1815. This increase is known as the Flynn Effect and it’s not due to changes in our genes. (Sorry, Terman.) The explanation is Humanity’s Superpower. Joe Henrich explains in his...

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