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Do you agree with the "Bell Curve"?
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astrosky
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Posted:     Post subject: Do you agree with the "Bell Curve"?

Presuming you've read it, of course...do you feel that the "dumbing down" of society is reaching new lows? Has the rapid breeding of those with IQs in the lower ranges finally reached critical mass and they are now the majority?

The popularity of brainless shows on TV...the fact that more and more typos are popping up and left unnoticed in business publications...the fact that most of the conversations you overhear are punctuated frequently with "I bought it, but I don't know how it works", and "I don't know anything about THAT, haha".

Intellectual laziness runs rampant! Or am I just paranoid?
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stoic
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Posted:     Post subject:

Oh, I agree. I think we live in an intellectually lazy society, where people just dont want to think for themselves...for even the basic things, let alone for the important things. And, after all, why should they? The TV; your boss; religion; your friends...they can all tell us what to believe. Rolling Eyes

Sorry, I have not read "Bell Curve"... is it a newspaper article, book, or what? I'll read it when I get the chance.
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astrosky
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Posted:     Post subject:

The Bell Curve is a book written by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray and first published in 1994. These guys did an exhaustive scientific study regarding intelligence and class structure in America. A bit heavy on statistics, this book caused a great deal of controversy for the wrong reasons.

Mentioned in the book and accompanied by statics to back it up, they theorize (amongst many other things) that as a whole, people of the Asian races have a small but real edge in IQ over Caucasians; and people of the Caucasian race have a small but real edge in IQ over the Black race. They go on to mention that anyone of any race of a given IQ (say 120 for example) will pretty much behave the same, but as far as inheritability goes, Asians will have a few more people born with that IQ or above than Caucasians, and Blacks will have a few less.

Someone took this out of context, decided that the authors were racist, and it became a banned book in many places. The media and the general public focused on that and ignored the entire point of the book (which was, IMHO, that people with lower IQs are breeding at the speed of light and will soon overrun the population).

Hope you get a chance to read it some time. I have seen nothing to disprove their theories, and much to prove them.
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snaily
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject: Bell curve

I've never read The Bell Curve. I've read discussions of it and talked with people about it. But I can't say I really know the book, so I won't comment.

I just signed up here today and I don't see much posted. Is this a new site?
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afr_PREV
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject: Re: Do you agree with the "Bell Curve"?

...
Intellectual laziness runs rampant! Or am I just paranoid?[/quote]
...
I think an aspect of this may be that in rich societies there is arguably less need for intelligence to be widely demonstrated than in poor. Another aspect is in societies which emphasise access to education for all, up to the highest levels, arguably there will be a diminution in the standards required at each level. Test scores in USA seem to show this has occurred there at least.
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astrosky
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject:

^^^

So true. This can get scary in the medical field when we find that recent "state-certified" graduates in fields such as nursing or imaging technology haven't even been taught such basics as medical terminology or which conditions are seriously life threatening. At the transcription department I work in, we often find ourselves in the position of instructing RN's that a patient has a life-threatening condition - because the term "pneumothorax" means no more to them than it would a layman on the street.

I am quite concerned that often a degree is nothing but a piece of paper showing someone had money to give to a school - it does not mean the person has the slightest clue in their field of "expertise".
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delc511
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject:

Astrosky - not necessarily. I have recently graduated with a degree in Computer Science, and run my own business using both self-taught knowledge and knowledge gained during my time at University. I would not agree that a degree is worthless.

However, I would agree that, generally speaking, standards of English are falling. The introduction of media material that fails to challenge the minds of the people means that the parent-child educational bond is missing. One example of the decline of society would be the fact that the merging of the 'gangsta' culture with Caucasian society has caused children to mistakenly disregard the importance of their own education. Unfortunately, there is not a great deal that can be done - society must lie in the bed it has made, and those of us with intelligence can do the most intelligent thing of all - keep the fact of our intellectual superiority to ourselves.
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jceeman_PREV
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Posted:     Post subject:

Of course, it's two different issues whether brainlessness is being fostered culturally or genetically. Plenty of geniuses have been born to less-than-brilliant parents too and despite the social/cultural stigma that comes with being an intellectual, here we are ...

Bell Curve? Yeah, maybe ... but IQ is not a 100% proxy for genius/brilliance. And it seems to me (have not read the whole book but am familiar with the thesis) that it's a case where the conclusions drawn probably go a bit beyond the evidence.
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QUIETBEAUTYGODE_PREV
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Posted:     Post subject:

[deleted]
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fruvous
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject: race versus culture

The problem with Bell curve thinking, IMHO, is that it doesn't take culture into account. I think the differences in how IQ breaks down versus race is entirely due to differences in how different cultures value formal intelligence and education in general.

As for the general state of the public IQ, people have always been taken with the idea that things are somehow getting stupider. There's always been stupid popular entertainment, inane politicians, and so forth. The intellectuals have always been a small minority, almost by definition, and probably always will be. I do worry about declining educational standards. That has more to do with institutional neglect due to people not thinking education is worth funding than anything else.
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thasandman
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Posted:     Post subject:

Astrosky-I have not read "The Bell Curve", though I will surely add it to my books to read list. I do have a questionfor you conce Ing this book. Does it provide a cause for these disparaties? I consider myself to be a very intellectual black male, and I know for a fact that the majority of black people who possess a level of intellect ranging from high to extremely high (the levels required to know that this world in which we live, is not functioning properly, and to the detriment of not only blacks, but to that of oppressed people worldwide, of all complexions) are being assasinated;Martin, Malcolm, Tupac, and countless others (both physical and character assasination) They are being excommunicated, exiled, and deported;Paul Robeson, Assata Shakur, Slick Rick. And millions of others who are knowledgable of the corruption of the political and judicial systems of our country, the inequalities of the educational system(which by the way, you'll only notice if you're on the wrong side), those who dare to see conventional religion for what it is(a control mechanism) and not only those with common sense, but those who have the sense of self to know that they cannot continue to live as they're parents and grandparents did, are imprisoned at an alarming rate. Not so alarming if you're in the business of building and maintaining prisons though. I'll end my little rant now and get back to my original question of does this book address these factors and if so, how?

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ygolo




ygolo

Joined:
June 22, 2007
Posts: 6

PostPosted:     Post subject: Galton's Error
Reply with quote
I haven't read the Bell Curve, but as a note of caution against "regression toward the norm" in general, we ought to be aware of what Gaussian fiters (like many types of sampling) do to data.

Though I do think there has been a strong streak of anti-intellectualism in the past 5-10 years.

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oneyoucanthave




oneyoucanthave

Joined:
July 21, 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted:     Post subject: BELL CURVE
Reply with quote
I haven't read the entire book, as it is quite length and dense with statistics. However, I have read significant portions of it. It is important to emphasize that the joy of statistics is found in the broad range of (often conflicting) conclusions as the interpretation of data is moderately subjective. It is also noteworthy that the authors are not of the race with the "IQ advantage" which does indirectly convey that their personal intentions were not to promote their own race.
All *nalysis aside, I would like to add a personal note. Being a child of a mother who is half Chinese and a father who is East Indian and growing up in America I can attest to the following assumptions:

1) Asian culture emphasizes the acquiring of knowledge.
This is done through family structure and even religion. Asian families will go without food to ensure that their children get the best education possible. If a child grows up with a belief system that emphasizes knowledge as a fundamental source of self-value then they will pass this own to their children after being a testament to the belief system itself. Asian parents do not coddle, they expect that you will do well and when you do they find something else to criticize. This motivates!
Hinduism and Buddhism encourage the development of experience and knowledge, I choose not to expound on this further.

2)White America has drastic ranges. The above behaviors are prevalent in some households but the amount is, quite quantifiable, a smaller portions (ie percentage) of the entire population.

3) Hispanic and Black communities exhibit the same trend as the Asian culture mentioned in #1 but the percentage of the total community is smaller than both #1 and #2.

I personally believe that there is no "born" intelligence. Our brains are powerful machines, just like our muscles they do what we want them to when we want them to. I think of thought and even intelligence as being analogous to balance. If one is conditioned to believe he can balance on a tight rope he can. If one believes that he has the physical components required to conduct high level thought he will.

I have always sought out and imitated brilliant people. In doing so I have come to believe that every person who conducts high-level thought, who immerses him/herself in their entirety in a subject matter or subject matters does so out of a feeling of social awkwardness. It is energy turned inward. If one is preoccupied with survival, deep though however, becomes and after thought. As such, the environment that one grows up in has an immense impact on the final product. IQ tests are test of knowledge and ones ability to play with concepts. If it were a survival test then the individuals raised in a war torn or violent community would do best.

If you look at the majority of Asian families you will find that they will go without food for their child to go to college without working. The idea is that the child will do well and support the family.
White society has a class dependent mix of both extremes and everything in between and black/Hispanic society would tell their kids that its a hard life and they need to work and go to school or take loans and get a scholarship. Which brings me to my last point; Asian-American family have fewer children than Black and Mexican families.

I believe in free speech and think this book should be available, however; out of concern for the future of society I do not believe we should belabor the youth of today with this potentially skewed data. It is open to misinterpretation. Promising children of the majority (Hispanic and black communities) may read it as yet another inscrutable testament to their inadequacy. Children that might have done well under more nurturing circumstances may be suffocated into being the nefarious miscreants society has historically depicted them as. Instead, the masses must be fostered into feeling empowered; as that is the only way to create a productive society.

Sasha
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drkelvin
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject:

`yeah any one can be intelligent or think for them selves, its just how much will power a person can put forth

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charlie2_PREV
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject: the bell curve!

The Bell Curve is accurate for simple things such as the distribution of height or weight. But for complex measurements like IQ, it's much less certain and more prone to ideology. IQ ought to be abolished for several reasons: first, because intelligence is too various to be measured on a single scale, and second, because even simplified definitions of intelligence cannot be captured on a multiple choice test. There are so many smart people, and so many ways to be smart.

Write back if you agree with me. In fact, write back even if you don't.

Charlie

Charlie Stephen
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