Category Archives: Intelligence

Non-‘Shithole’ Countries Seem To Recover Quickly From Disasters, Natural Or Man-Made

Business, Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, Human Accomplishment, IMMIGRATION, Intelligence, Technology

In 2008, Iceland collapsed under the weight of its banking industry’s federal-reserve like excesses.

In 2018, Iceland’s is a red hot economy. The highly able population has shifted from finance to technology and tourism. No bailout—allowing the banks to collapse and a natural recovery take place—has a lot to do with it.

“… rather than stepping in with taxpayers’ money like the British and Americans did, the Icelandic government let its banks go bust.”

Likewise did Chile cope reasonably well with what was “one of the most powerful earthquakes in history.” We hear nothing of Chile’s struggles to recover.

Not so Haiti, the Africa of the Western Hemisphere.

Haiti is forever convulsed by political and natural disasters. It remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where four out of five people live in poverty and more than half in abject poverty (NYT).

It’s nearly two decades since a pair of earthquakes struck El Salvador in 2001. The US government granted Salvadoreans a generous grant of privilege in the late 1990s, in the form of a temporary protected status (TPS) for nearly 200,000.

Ditto the “Haitians who were stranded after an earthquake in 2010.”

To the din of protest, “the United States’ Department of Homeland Security had only recently revoked the so-called temporary protection (it lasted nearly 2 decades).

“Shithole countries,” a Trump coinage, don’t seem to recover very well from disasters, natural or man-made, do they?

SEE RELATED READING:

“Trump’s ‘Shithole’ Controversy Deconstructed (Part 1)”
“Why Trump Pooh-Poohed ‘S-ithole’ Countries (Part 2)”

The Dismal Scientists Of Microeconomics Are ALSO Struggling To Do Science

Critique, Economy, Intelligence, Pseudoscience, Science

Almost every bit of research cited in support of some or another ridiculous claim in the popular press seems abysmally designed. At least to this former student of research methodology.

Samples are too minuscule to claim generalizeability of findings beyond the sample, to the broader, targeted population. Likewise, you just know sample selection is poor, too. Variables are not often operationalized in an intelligent way. The actual hypothesis frequently sounds wacky. On and on.

It transpires that the same methodological flaws that “bedevil most social sciences, and some hard sciences, too,” have infected the dismal scientists of microeconomics.

Many results in microeconomics are shaky.” From the a series “on the shortcomings of the economics profession” in the Economist:

A recent examination in the Economic Journal, of almost 7,000 empirical economics studies, found that in half of the areas of research, nearly 90% of those studies were underpowered, ie, that they used samples too small to judge whether a particular effect was really there. Of the studies that avoided this pitfall, 80% were found to have exaggerated the reported results. Another study, published in Science, which attempted to replicate 18 economics experiments, failed for seven of them.

It’s Hard To Believe It, But The French STILL Educate Their School Kids

Education, Europe, Intelligence, Kids, Political Philosophy

Still on the topic of education (previous post is “St. John’s: The Most Rigorous College In America & What Every Young Mind Needs”):

What’s of interest in the Economist article, “The End of the French Intellectual: From Zola to Houllebecq,” are these tidbits:

Attendance rose this year at the annual Paris book fair. Regional literary festivals are thriving. Philosophy is still a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
And last year the French elected a president who has a degree in philosophy and can cite Molière by heart. France may have lost its great intellectuals, but it has certainly not lost its intellectualism.

So French kids must still study philosophy. I wonder if it’s a rigorous course? And President Macaroni knows some good stuff, aside globalism and multilateralism. Molière is brilliant. So funny.

While there is pressure to dumb down, the French have not yet replaced history with social studies agitprop.

I’ll leave you with this hint at how good French schooling may be: “France is one of the countries where a pupil’s social background is one of the strongest predictors of his or her subsequent achievement.”

The French have not yet done the educational leveling we in America do to ensure that 43% of marks handed out in university are As.

Other than the educational information, the writer of “The End of the French Intellectual: From Zola to Houllebecq” disdains France’s few “reactionary essayists” and thinkers (namely right-leaning thinkers).

So much so that, having mentioned his disappointment at the rise the likes of “Éric Zemmour, a reactionary essayist, and Alain Finkielkraut, a formerly left-wing philosopher turned critic of multiculturalism”—the writer concludes that “France may have lost its great intellectuals.”

Better good schools for the kids, than the likes of that lefty degenerate, Mr. Sartre.

St. John’s: The Most Rigorous College In America & What Every Young Mind Needs

Education, Human Accomplishment, Intellectualism, Intelligence, Literature, Logic

According to data reported by Tucker, only 31 percent of Americans who graduate from college can read a complex text/book.

By the same data’s telling, American kids are the dumbest in the developed world (facts I was reporting 14 years ago, already. In addition to the two hyperlinks provided, click “Education” to go back in time).

While our kids know less and less, their grades are only getting higher. The vaunted GPA is meaningless, except to give an idea of a student’s grades in relation to the inflated marks of his peers.

The most common grade given (the statistical mode?) in American college courses is an … “A.” “Forty-three percent of all letter grades are As.”

An exception to the rule is St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico (there is a Campus in Annapolis, MD, too), whose core curriculum is centered around what we call The Western Canon:

The great books (and works of art and music) upon which nobody contemporary has improved. (Everybody needs to be humbled by these works. I recently read some Plato abbreviated, after which I felt very small indeed. It’s all been said and thought-out before by the Greats. For example, an insight articulated and carefully thought-out in Into The Cannibal’s Pot; it was there. Plato said it already. Of course I was chuffed; it felt good. But how sad that this heritage—and with it the humility that comes with a recognition of true genius—is not being handed down.)

The video begins 4:22 minutes into the Tucker segment. (Tucker is a gem. The only gem on Fox News.)

St. John’s College admits only 800 and is producing the renaissance men and women of America.

ALL “freshmen must learn ancient Greek. ALL seniors struggle with quantum physics, along the way, as do they have to grapple with calculus, learn how to do differential equations, study Hegel and Kierkegaard, Karl Marx and Adam Smith.”

“St. John’s is sailing against every trend in American higher education.”

Their “students read 200 serious books over the course of their education.”

Only 800 students qualify in admission and all must undergo this rigor.

This is the traditional liberal arts education that our greatest minds (thinkers, scientists, Founding Fathers) would have undergone 100 plus years ago. (Was not Thomas Jefferson a scientist and a philosopher and an all-round genius? Indeed he was.)

It’s an all-required curriculum. Everyone is required to take courses of equal rigor. There are no majors, no minors. No hiding. No skewing the grades Bell Curve.

Minds thus enriched can go on to become whatever they want, having been given the intellectual wherewithal to think, and the tools to both appreciate intellectual history, draw on it and from it.

American education is an exercise in egalitarian idiocy. In my option, educational egalitarianism and idiocy does the greatest harm to the gifted child.

And isn’t that the aim? To give all children the feeling they are equally gifted?

Ultimately, wonderful young minds should not be abandoned to the evaluation standards of what are mostly sub-intelligent, near-illiterate educrats, who’ve been disseminating dumbed-down subject matter, in institutions of “learning” in which everyone is a winner.