Discourse May 2020 Final Friday

The debate on IQ, it's getting hot in here.

So I decided to court a little controversy this month. Charles Murray (The Bell Curve) expands upon “what everyone” studying IQ scientifically “knows” by solidifying racial elements correlated with IQ. These results are considered scientifically unremarkable. As in, if you look at the data, these results are consistent with the data presented. So why is there such a divide between reportage by lay people (journalists) who largely disagree with the data and the scientists who have studied the data?

Is data just data? Or is it agenda?

I leave it for you to decide. But it brings up some interesting corollaries.

To that end, a discussion that started earlier this month:

Should we test for IQ at the border?

You may remember me sharing Richwine’s dissertation (find that here). He offers two contributions to the Immigration debate. First he offers a detailed analysis of Hispanic assimilation (multi-generation) as measured by IQ scores. Second he proposes using IQ testing in immigration policy as a more fair way to admit all those of potential rather than restrict immigration on a seemingly arbitrary geographical basis.

IQ would give the world’s poor a chance: Someone living in a Third World country may not have access to training or high-quality universities, but with an IQ test he can demonstrate his ability to become successful. This delicately balances two competing goals — the goal of bringing in immigrants who will be a net benefit to the U.S., and the goal of helping the world’s poor improve their lot in life.

So dear Discourser, what say you?


I am pressing pause on our monthly Discourse for June and probably July. Or put another way, I needed to move households 7 times - at the mercy of airbnb arrangments and the US State Department - between March 9 and May 3, and it’s time to reflect on what we’ve covered now that I am a bit settled in somewhere. What has worked well? What hasn’t and what to do with this going forward. If you have any feedback or comments, I am always glad to hear from you.


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