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Nassim Nicholas Taleb @nntaleb
, 34 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
"IQ" THREAD

"IQ" measures an inferior form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects, meant to select paper shufflers, obedient IYIs.

1- When someone asks you a question in REAL LIFE, you focus first on "WHY is he asking me that?", which slows down. (Fat Tony vs Dr John)
2- It takes a certain type of person to waste intelligent concentration on classroom/academic problems. These are lifeless bureaucrats who can muster sterile motivation.

Some people can only focus on problems that are REAL, not fictional textbook ones.
3- Look at the hordes with "high IQ" (from measurement) who are failures in real world rather than the ~50% correlation between IQ and success in 1) salaried employment, 2) jobs that select for edjukashion.

Yuuge survivorship bias.

37 out of 38 PhDs in finance blew up in 1998!
If many millionaires have IQs around100, & 58 y.o. back office clercs at Goldman Sachs or elsewhere an IQ of 155 (true example), clearly the measurement is less informative than claimed.

5- If you renamed IQ , from "Intelligent Quotient" to FQ "Functionary Quotient" or SQ "Salaryperson Quotient", then some of the stuff will be true.

It measures best the ability to be a good slave.

IYIs want to build a top-down world where IYIs have the edge.
6- If you take a Popperian-Hayekian view on intelligence, then you would realize that to measure it you would need to know the SKILLS needed in the ecology, which is again a fallacy of intellectual hubris.

David Sloan Wilson joined the debate.

7- Perhaps the worst problem with IQ is that it seem to selects for people who don't like to say "there is no answer, don't waste time, find something else".

Remember the 1998 blowups.
8- IQ is an academic-contrived notion.

And the problem is that in academia there is no difference between academia and the real world; in the real world there is.

Which explains why @primalpoly (while an honest resesrcher) can't see where we are coming from.
9- It is PRECISELY as a quant that I doubt "IQ".
I've spent 34 years working w/"High IQ" quants. I've rarely seen them survive, not blow up on tail events.

Those high IQ who have survived like @financequant /Renaissance happen to be yuuugely street smart

10- #SkininTheGame shows that the only robust measure of "rationality" & "intelligence" is survival, avoidance of ruin/left tail/absorbing barrier, (ergodicity). Nothing that does not account for ability to survive counts as a measure of "intelligence"-- just philosophaster BS.
11- A robust use of "IQ" is for low scores for special needs pple. But then practically ANY measure would work to detect problem & improvement.

Or no measure: just a conversation #Lindy. But then psycholophasters are using it like cholesterol, transferring from tails to body.
12- If someone came up w/a NUMERICAL "Well Being Quotient" WBQ or "Sleep Quotient", SQ, trying to mimic temperature or oth physical qty, you 'd find it absurd.
But put enough academics w/physics envy on it & it will become an official measure.

That's what happened to "IQ".
13- For a measure to be a measure it needs to be:

+ UNIQUE
+ MONOTONIC
or, at least
+ TRANSITIVE

Hence IQ is not a measure, but something for psycholophasters to BS about.
14- Any measure of "intelligence" w/o convexity is sterile.

edge.org/conversation/n…
15-" IQ" is most predictive of performance in military training, w/correlation~.5, (which is circular since hiring isn't random).

QUIZ: translate the correlation into percentage of the time IQ provides a correct answer there.
(hint).
16- So Far: "IQ" isn't a measure of "intelligence" but "unintelligence"; it loses its precision as you move away from 70 (left tail).

Where it's most hyped (*some* jobs) it predicts ~15- 63% of the time, ~10% if you demassage data.

It it were a physical test, wd be rejected.
17- A graph that shows the synthesis of my opinion on IQ and the "reseasrch" results about it.
18- (continuing graph). So far none of the IQ-psycholophasters seem to grasp that local correlation is never correlation is the commonly understood sense. So when they say "IQ works well between 70 and 130" it means: "IQ works well between 0 and ~85, maybe".
19- A general problem w/social "scientists" & IQ idiots: they can intuit the very terms they are using.
Verbalism; they have a skin-deep statistical education & can't translate something as trivial as "correlation" or "explained variance" into meaning, esp. under nonlinearities.
20- This Tweet storm has NO psychological references: simply, the field is bust. So far ~ 50% of the research DOES NOT replicate, & papers that do have weaker effect. Not counting poor transfer to reality.

How P values often fraudulent:arxiv.org/pdf/1603.07532…
Same for g factor
If you look at my p-haking above all the numbers by the fellow are upper bound -add category selection & the story is grim. Discount the story by >½.

"If IQ isn't a valid concept, no concept in psychology is valid." Sorry but psychology is largely bust.

22- This tweet storm irritated many:

1) Charlatans with something to sell: without IQ & other *testing* psychologists have little to sell society; there is a vested interest in hacking/massaging the stats & defending the products.

2) Pple who want some races to be inferior.
23-
Note 1: Why is Intelligence = (long term) survival? Because convexity, missed by IQ tests. You want to make those mistakes with small consequences NOT those with large ones. Academics ~ always focus on frequency of error not magnitude. Too Gaussianized. See #antifragile
24-
Note 2: "IQ selects for pattern recognition, essential for functioning in modern society".
Unfiltered pattern recognition makes you #FooledbyRandomness, to overnarrate, see false positives.
Economics PhDs blow up in business. "IQ" good for @davidgraeber's "BS jobs"
25-
For IQ idiots too slow:
-If a 70 IQ is certain to fail but a 150 IQ has a significant probability of NOT succeeding, the ASYMMETRY has SEVERE statistical conseq. & "correlation" is BS term.
-If variance is lower at some states & higher at others,"Bell Curve" is an illusion.
26-
I mute/block all pple comparing IQ to a physical measure s.a. height of basketball players.

IQ as presented is NOT a measure.

Reminiscent of risk charlatans insisting on selling "value at risk" & RiskMetrics saying "it's the best measure".

Metrics need to have properties.
27-
Technical note I omitted:

If IQ is Gaussian *by construction* & if performance is fat tailed, then either correlation betw IQ & performance doesn't exist or is uninformational. It will show a finite number *in sample* but doesn't exist statistically.

academia.edu/37221402/THE_S…
28-CURSE OF DIMENSIONALITY
A flaw in the attempts to identify "intelligence" genes. You can get monogenic traits, not polygenic (note: additive monogenic used in animal breeding is NOT polygenic).
The problem to some extent affect the "g" in IQ studies as it is multifactorial.
29- Note
Charles Murray, @charlesmurray, is responding to these with series of ad hominem attacks (I mean really ad hominem).

I will retaliate by sticking to the science.
29-
A counter by a proponent of IQ w/what "g" offers best: explains ~½ the variance w.r. to academics.

No "science" shd boast a measure that fails ~50%!

Worse: counting circularity, hacking, the measure shd be wrong ~ 80% of the time! This is ... fraud!

sciencedirect.com/science/articl…
30-
Traders get it right away: hypothetical P/L from "simulated" strategies don't count.
Performance=actual.
"IQ": What goes in people's head or reaction to a screen image doesn't exist (except via negativa). And correlations in psych papers don't count.

31-
Technical point: why the PCA behind the "g" is tooooooootally BS when correlation is not constant. Their math is entertainemnet.

And indeed psycholophasters DON'T get it.
This is the shape of the proof, more details to fill in.
32- WRAPPING UP

- I said psychology was BS because something wrong between 50-100% of the time is the very definition of bul***st (a lie is wrong ~100%).

- Selection of traits "tested" by IQ require predictability of future environment.

- Will put everything in short article.
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