Date: Jan 1, 2013 1:52 PM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: Speachless In New York (or, another OMG moment)
On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 2:46 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org
<< SNIP >>
> iow, IF there were half a BILLION Botswanans in the world, which of course there are NOT, not a SINGLE one of them would have scored 784 and thus demonstrated an IQ of 132.
This habit of developing conversion constants for going between tests
seems awfully "iffy" to me, like comparing apples and oranges. I know
the theoreticians claim there's a ghostly "g factor" behind all these
I know that was / is done for the SAT at some point, to where I was
invited to join Mensa based on high SAT scores.
I thought it my original joke to design the group "Densa" instead (for
recovering Mensa-holics) but then found on Wikipedia that others had
thought of that joke before I did -- not surprising.
The SAT is a measure of scholastic aptitude, meaning it measures
skills (like reading comprehension skills) specific to a particular
way of life, a subculture. It doesn't advertise itself as a test for
assessing basic smarts (whatever that means).
I know you're talking about the TIMMS, not the SAT, but you're doing
the same thing some do with SAT scores: applying some imagined
This article is interesting:
note the term 'racialist' vs. simply 'racist')
The author notes how large (nation-sized) population groups, such as
the Irish, have shifted their IQs in the positive direction (which
would be "to the right" in our right-biased culture -- unless looking
from the other side of the graph), and done so in far shorter time
than any genetic explanation could reasonably account for.
Check back with Botswana in 30 years or so.
Lets also remember that global IQ has been rising in ways the tests
don't show because they're recalibrated to keep 100 at the center of
today's bell curve.
The hypothesis that dense urbanization has a lot to do with these
changes in score makes sense to me, though I'd add access to
conventional scholastic curricula, Internet bandwidth, free time to
study and explore topics, time to play games (both on-line and with
Imagine sitting for a TIMMS and/or IQ test in circumstances such as this:
http://www.mc.edu/beacon/feature-stories/ray-of-light (orphanage in
Botswana -- kids far more likely to have no living parents than in
Hong Kong, not sure by how many standard deviations)
Talk about apples and oranges (incomparable circumstances). If I
connect the Irish and Botswana cases, I'd be led to the hypothesis
that "hope" is a chief indicator. Life in Ireland has seemed less
hopeless of late.
This passage from Wikipedia is probably known to you already, since
you're up on this literature:
"...the concept of race as a meaningful category of analysis is hotly
contested. The authors of two articles in two encyclopedias, the
Encyclopædia Britannica and the Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and
Society, argue that today the mainstream view is that race is a social
construction that is based not mainly in actual biological differences
but rather on folk ideologies that construct groups based on social
disparities and superficial physical characteristics.
Sternberg, Grigorenko & Kidd (2005) state that the overwhelming
portion of the literature correlating race with identity has tacitly
adopted folk definitions of race. The American Anthropological
Association in 1998 published a "Statement on 'Race'" which rejected
the existence of "races" as unambiguous, clearly demarcated,
biologically distinct groups. Others argue that this view is
restricted to certain fields, while in other fields, race is still
seen as a valid biological category."