Police brutality

After extensively contemplating this issue, I have concluded that the root cause of police brutality is that the job attracts testosterone-fueled gorillas with a double-digit I.Q. who are angry that the Army rejected them and take their frustrations out on underclass minorities who lack the social power to retaliate.

In light of this, I say we should forget the other “police reform” suggestions and return to George Carlin’s proposal that we institute two new requirements for being on the police: Intelligence and decency! You never know; it just might work; it certainly hasn’t been tried yet.

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The Two-Sigma Advantage Hypothesis

Here I present my hypothesis that an activity will be trivially, insultingly easy if you’re 2 standard deviations above the mean of people who engage in it. This means 2 standard deviations of the primary trait which confers success in that activity. Also, for convenience, I’m using normalized distributions against the general population, rather than real and potentially non-normal distributions or standard deviations of the group itself.

I formulated this in the context of IQ and academic success, but it extends to other traits and fields. For example, military service:

The largest impediment for today’s young people is health problems — specifically, obesity. Twenty-seven percent of young people in that age group aren’t eligible to join the military because of obesity, the report states, with another 37 percent ineligible due to other health problems such as asthma or joint problems.

If 64% of young adults are physically unfit for military service, then the average military-fit young adult is at the 82nd percentile relative to young adults. That will almost certainly be even higher among the general population because young adults are at the time of their life where they have the highest (potential, and often actual) physical fitness. Let’s round up to a clean 85th percentile. Then the average military-fit young adult has an F.Q. (“Fitness Quotient”) of 115. Therefore, we estimate that with an F.Q. of 145 (~99.7th %ile), you’ll be able to pass basic training without feeling particularly strained. Since almost everyone with an F.Q. of 145 or more will be male, we’ll double that and say this is the 99.4th %ile for American males.

Can anyone think of other examples which would lend support for or against this hypothesis?

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THINKfast recovered

After months of searching culminating in about six hours of frustrating VirtualBox setup, I’m finally able to play THINKfast, albeit on a Windows 98 virtual machine.

THINKfast was marketed as “brain-training software.” As far as I know, the evidence that any such software produces gains in intelligence transferred beyond the game itself is minimal. What’s important about THINKfast is that it’s a good measure of general intelligence, even promoted for that purpose by legendary psychometrics researcher Arthur Jensen. You can read about THINKfast’s psychometric properties on pumpkinperson’s blog here.

THINKfast won’t run on Windows 10, even in compatibility mode. Setting up the virtual machine required to play it on a modern system is time-consuming and requires following instructions fastidiously. If you’re nevertheless interested in playing it, contact me for instructions and technical support, but I won’t hold your hand through the entire process.

A possible problem is that scores may vary between systems due to lag in input or output. My VirtualBox setup seems as responsive as a typical personal computer, but even imperceptible delays might warp both norms and individual performances against those norms. Nonetheless, I’ll post my scores once they’ve stabilized. This may take a while as: (1) the games usually show large practice effects over initial runs; (2) eventual plateau scores correlate much more highly with intelligence than initial scores do; and (3) the games get harder, and thus make higher scores feasible, as long as you are improving. I am currently at Alpha-Gold after 5 runs.

THINKfast running in a VirtualBox virtual machine of Windows 98.
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