04 04 11 - 18:58Modern society is like a big cause/correlation error because it can't distinguish between human perceptions, the perceived events and the results of acting on them. We really fear looking into ourselves and figuring out how we work, because that leaves us with nothing but reality, and nothing but denial to keep us from facing the cold hard truth of insignificance, death, farting, etc. what-have-you.
So we invent these "profound" "truths" and enforce them like law, insisting that we're all equal and every decision should be beyond the oversight of others, lest someone derive our motivations, realize we're cretins, and treat us as less than the peasant-kings of the new realm. That would be totally unfuckingfair, man.
Every now and then though an honest cause/effect relationship burns through the cloud of lies. It's not the right social policy, accidental invention of gunpowder, or even political attributes that make a nation succeed; it's the quality of the people therein:
In the last 50 years or so, economists have started taking an interest in the value of human capital. That means all of the qualities of the people who make up the workforce. Heiner Rindermann, of the Chemnitz University of Technology, wanted to look more closely at human capital, and particularly the factor that psychologists call cognitive ability. âIn other words, itâs the ability of a person to solve a problem in the most efficient wayânot with violence, but by thinking,â Rindermann says. He wrote the new study with James Thompson of University College London.
The researchers collected information on 90 countries, including far-off lands from the U.S. to New Zealand and Colombia to Kazakhstan. They also collected data on the countryâs excellence in science and technologyâthe number of patents granted per person and how many Nobel Prizes the countryâs people had won in science, for example.
They found that intelligence made a difference in gross domestic product. For each one-point increase in a countryâs average IQ, the per capita GDP was $229 higher. It made an even bigger difference if the smartest 5 percent of the population got smarter; for every additional IQ point in that group, a countryâs per capita GDP was $468 higher.
âWithin a society, the level of the most intelligent people is important for economic productivity,â Rindermann says. He thinks thatâs because âthey are relevant for technological progress, for innovation, for leading a nation, for leading organizations, as entrepreneurs, and so on.â Since Adam Smith, many economists have assumed that the main thing you need for a strong economy is a government that stays out of the way. âI think in the modern economy, human capital and cognitive ability are more important than economic freedom,â Rindermann says. - Psychological Science via Amerika
Gosh, life is so much simpler when you start with the idea that humans are a tiny part of reality, and the world we see in our heads is not equivalent to reality but one view of it, one visual representation of data. A nihilist becomes an idealist the instant he or she transfers from being a materialist who rejects anything intangible to recognizing that with time and other factors beyond proximate causation, we live in a world of invisible forces and patterns which are more real, even, than the tangible results of their incarnation. And in that, you have a point of view that can handle both gruesomely literal realism (IQ inequality) and a transcendental viewpoint (striving for clarity) in balance.