Minimizing the IQ You Need

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Civilization is a device for minimizing the amount of fluid intelligence you need to function, Steve Sailer says:

You don’t need to turn military history into a superb epic oral poem like The Iliad anymore: you just write it down. Nowadays, you don’t have to go the library to read it. You can look it up on the Internet.

A huge problem with educational reform efforts is that they are typically designed by people who have high confidence in their own fluid intelligence [IQ] relative to the average. Combine that with the contradictory dogma that students must all have equally high fluid intelligence — Jefferson wouldn’t have written it into the Declaration of Independence if it weren’t true — and you wind up with remarkably little critical thinking about education fads like critical thinking.

In contrast, the military tends to assume that everybody is an idiot who will find a way to screw up massively and probably get himself and large numbers of people around him killed, so it’s best to break things down into simple steps so soldiers can rely upon crystallized intelligence [knowledge and skills] rather than fluid intelligence.

But the notion that the public schools can learn anything from the military has been out of fashion for just under 50 years. The people who took control of education 45 years ago may talk all the time about critical thinking skills, but they sure don’t like critical thinking about themselves and their ideas.

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