Buffalo blue cheese deviled eggs, and elote dip.

For a board game night:

Courtesy of my girlfriend, who loves elotes:


The Dickens-Flynn model explains why my mom can’t figure out her iPad.

(In which I consider more implications of the model discussed in previous posts.  Also, the epistemological status of this post is extremely speculative.)

James Flynn points out quite a few reasons to doubt that generational increases in IQ test scores really mean people are getting that much smarter. If IQ truly measures intelligence across generations and cultures, that would make our average parents notably dull and our average grandparents bordeline retarded – or, if you want to look at it the other way, most college graduates from my generation could have easily joined Mensa when it started in 1946. And – to put it bluntly – someone would have noticed if old people were that dumb.

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Book Review: A Matter of Interpretation, by Antonin Scalia (and several other people.)

Before the Seventeenth Amendment, United States Senators were not directly chosen by voters, but rather, elected by state legislatures who were in turn directly chosen by voters. The idea was that the legislatures would choose extraordinary gentlemen of some sort, who were virtuous or wise in ways common voters wouldn’t recognize.

The Seventeenth Amendment did away with that, and now we have two relatively similar houses of congress, pretty much just for the heck of it. But with some imagination, we can pretend we still have something like the original Senate, in the Supreme Court – officials not directly elected, but nominated and approved by directly-elected officials – with law degrees from prestigious universities, which may be 21st-century America’s version of “virtuous and wise in ways common voters wouldn’t recognize.”

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Blogroll update.

Having just today mastered that futuristic technology known as an “RSS feed”, I deleted from my blogroll any blog that didn’t meet certain complicated, personalized standards of “indie-ness.”  Basically, I would like to promote other blogs that are neither extraordinarily famous nor affiliated with major publications.

The Dickens-Flynn model of IQ, part 4: Implications.

What are the implications of the Dickens-Flynn model – for analysis of race, education, inequality, and other aspects of human nature?

The most important thing, it seems to me, is that the Dickens-Flynn model makes it easy to explain racial IQ differences without suggesting that blacks are genetically less able. This was never impossible, but under the Jensen model it was difficult to imagine how the circumstances of black families could be so consistently awful as to explain the size of the IQ gap. So the preferred solution to this problem was to shun IQ researchers, call them racists, and deny mountains of research showing that IQ is important. That’s actually still the most common solution, but thanks to Flynn’s model (and probably also thanks to haranguing by Fredrik deBoer and Scott Alexander), a few liberal outlets – especially Vox – are gingerly dipping their toes in the waters of “maybe not being IQ denialists.” Flynn proved that liberalism’s commitment to racial equality is fully compatible with its commitment to empiricism, which is a really big deal.

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