Well-paid, well-educated, and deeply religious

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Economist Alan Krueger recently passed away — apparently via suicide. One of the more interesting questions he asked was, What makes a terrorist? — which has come up here before:

Alan B. Krueger and Jitka Maleckova have come to similar conclusions from their analysis of what we know about deceased soldiers in Hezbollah, the Iran-sponsored Shiite fighting group in Lebanon. Compared with the Lebanese population generally, the Hezbollah soldiers were relatively well-to-do and well-educated young males. Neither poor nor uneducated, they were much like Israeli Jews who were members of the “bloc of the faithful” group that tried to blow up the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem: well paid, well educated, and of course deeply religious.


  1. Kirk says:

    Well, duh…

    Let’s take a look at where 90% of your problem children come from in the Army: They’re not the children of the working class mid-range IQ types, at all. The majority of your really big problem children are your idjits like Manning (and, there’s an ironic surname for ya…). The really major troublemakers are all the high-IQ types who overthink things, and commit to courses of idiocy because, reasons…

    Reasons that the average person never has occur to them, in the first damn place.

    It’s no surprise that the same segment of society produces most of the terrorists around the world, whether you’re talking about 19th Century Russia, or anywhere else. It’s the (usually) self-proclaimed “intellectual elite” that causes most of the problems, wherever you go.

    And, I’m probably someone who would be classed in amongst the lot of them, having a really facile skill with regards to test-taking. However, the one thing that an enlisted career in the US Army teaches you is humility and the destruction of your more hubristic reflexes–The things I got into trouble for, most of my peers never even thought of, and when I was on the supervisory end of the stick, what I discovered was that I’d rather be dealing with the middle ranges of the test score scale than the upper ones, because most of those people demonstrated functional stupidity and an utter lack of real-world wisdom than the mid-ranges ever did. Stories I could tell… Dear God, some of the crap those certified geeen-e-yous types got up to. It’s probably why most of my hair eventually departed for friendlier climes, TBH. There’s only so much standing at attention in the Sergeant Major’s office that you can do, trying to explain the latest series of misadventures your “smart guys” were involved in before you start to lose your shit from stress.

    Yeah, I’m rather dubious of the proposition that “intelligence”, or whatever the hell it is we measure with that test regime, actually accounts for much past “Does really well on written tests…”. Real-world performance is actually considerably different.

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