## 柳传志，倪光南，联想，柳青，滴滴出行

$\left|\{I, J : I \cap J = \emptyset, I \cup J = \{1,2,\ldots,n\}, \sum_{i \in I} i = \sum_{j \in J} j\}\right|$.

$\prod_{i=1}^n (1+x^i)$

But she’s just such a sociopath!

## More on negative Chinese stereotypes

I talk with a guy who knows British race and intelligence researcher Richard Lynn, who prophesized back in 2001 in a book on eugenics that China will, with a combination of high IQ, size (both in land mass and population), and authoritarian government, eventually rule the world. I asked him what he thinks about that. His response was:

Chinese deeply incompetent and bad personality for innovation. But maybe if Western keeps importing blacks and Muslims…
It’s a good question and important

For more context on Lynn, I’ll copy directly from his book.

The nations of East Asia are likely to develop their economic, scientific, technological, and military strength during the twenty-first century by virtue of the high intelligence levels of their populations and the absence of any serious dysgenic processes. These countries have not allowed the growth of an underclass with high dysgenic fertility, and they have not permitted dysgenic immigration. China will continue its rapid economic development and will emerge as a new superpower in the early middle decades of the twentyfirst century. Chinese economic, scientific, and military strength is likely to be increased by the further development of the eugenic programs introduced in the 1980s and 1990s and particularly by the introduction of the new eugenics of embryo selection and the cloning of elites. As the power of the United States declines, China and Europe will emerge as the two superpowers. A global conflict will develop between them in which Europe will become progressively weakened by dysgenic forces and China progressively strengthened by eugenic programs. This conflict will eventually be won by China, which will use its power to assume control of the world and to establish a world state. This event will become known as “the end of history.” Once China has established a world state, it can be expected to administer this on the same lines as former colonial empires by appointing Chinese governors and senior military and administrative support staff in charge of the provinces of its world empire or by allowing nationals of its subject peoples to administer the provinces under Chinese supervision. The establishment of a Chinese world state will inevitably not be welcomed by the peoples of the rest of the world, who will become colonized populations governed by an oligarchy based in Beijing. There will be no democracy, and a number of freedoms will be curtailed, including freedom to publish seditious material and to have unlimited numbers of children. There will, however, be certain compensating benefits. There will be no more wars between independent nation states with the attendant dangers of the use of nuclear weapons and biological warfare. It will be possible to deal with the problems of dysgenic fertility, global warming, deforestation, the population explosion in the developing world, the AIDS epidemic, and similar global problems that cannot be tackled effectively in a world of independent nation states. Among the world state’s first objectives will be the reversal of dysgenic processes and the introduction of eugenic programs throughout the world. Over the longer term the world state will set up research and development programs for the use of genetic engineering to improve the human genome and to produce a new human species able to solve hitherto unsolvable problems and to colonize new planets. This will be the ultimate achievement of Galton’s vision of using eugenics to replace natural selection with consciously designed human selection.

This scenario for the twenty-first century, in which China assumes world domination and establishes a world eugenic state, may well be considered an unattractive future. But this is not really the point. Rather, it should be regarded as the inevitable result of Francis Galton’s (1909) prediction made in the first decade of the twentieth century, that “the nation which first subjects itself to a rational eugenical discipline is bound to inherit the earth” (p. 34).

And also an excerpt with reference to the perceived lack of personality conducive to innovation on the part of Chinese:

Once China has established the world state, it will be concerned with raising the prosperity of its subject populations, just as other colonial powers have been. One of its first measures to promote this objective will be to introduce worldwide eugenic programs. These will include programs of both positive and negative eugenics. With regard to negative eugenics, one of its first objectives will be to reverse the dysgenic fertility that appeared in Europe, the United States, and the rest of the economically developed world in the middle and later decades of the nineteenth century and persisted into the twentieth century and that developed later in most of the remainder of the world. It can be expected that in its European and North American provinces, the Chinese will introduce the same eugenic measures that had been pioneered in China, consisting of both the classical eugenics of parental licensing and the new eugenics of the mandatory use of embryo selection for conception. The Chinese may well also introduce the cloning of the elites of the European peoples. The Chinese will be aware that while they and other Oriental peoples have a higher average intelligence, the European peoples have a greater capacity for creative achievement, probably arising from a higher level of psychopathic personality, enabling them more easily to challenge existing ways of thinking and to produce creative innovations. This will be part of human genetic diversity that the Chinese will be keen to preserve and foster. They will regard the European peoples rather in the same way as the Romans regarded the Greeks after they had incorporated them into the Roman empire. Although the Romans had conquered the Greeks by their military superiority, they respected the Greeks for having developed a higher level of civilization than they themselves had been able to achieve. The Chinese will view their European subject peoples in a similar manner.

I do increasingly believe, as I’ve already written numerous times on this blog, that lack of creative potential of Chinese is way overstated. In the 20th century, they achieved a fair bit in terms of creativity at the highest levels, especially in STEM, in spite of very disadvantaged environmental circumstances. The Chinese did not develop modern science; I think though this has more to do with their having started later, civilization-wise, than the rest of the world due to limited scope and geographic obstacles than with their innate ability/personality. Agriculture and writing were independently developed in China substantially later than it was in Mesopotamia. I see an analogy here. Chinese often like to use the fact that Japan did not develop its own writing system to show contempt for this comparatively little country that Chinese themselves suffered so much from in modern times. This is clearly not because Japanese are less naturally talented (their IQ is about the same); they were basically too small to do so before Chinese characters were transmitted to them. There are actually quite a few Chinese who achieved at the highest levels of STEM (and even more Japanese), they are lesser known though due to their foreignness. As for names, there are quite a few, and one can easily find them online. I’ll go as far as Chen-Ning Yang in theoretical physics and Shing-Shen Chern in pure math.

Again, Chinese culture still lacks presence in the outside world, and China itself is still a developing country, though of course significant parts of China are basically at developed levels GDP wise. So even if Chinese are extremely good and creative, they have a harder time getting recognized and realizing their potential. This also has much to do with a relative lack of truly leading edge science culture and tradition in China, which will take some time. Transmission of knowledge from cultures and lands so far apart is by no means trivial.

We all know that it’s often not enough to be actually good. You also have to win politically. China is increasingly doing that. Its political system far apart from the norm set by the West is becoming increasingly credible to the dismay of many Western elites as China rises in economically, technologically, and militarily. The more powerful China becomes, the more easily Chinese will be able to advocate for themselves on the international stage and get recognized for their achievements. This reminds me of how many say Soviet scientists had to do better work than Western scientists to win the same big prizes, most of all the Nobel, because the West had the political sway to bias the committees to its favor somewhat. There is also, I guess, that the West can be very biased in who it promotes in the media. Like, the Nobel Peace Prize is a basically a complete joke, but there are people politically influential enough to make a big deal out of it.

What I believe is grossly under-recognized is how much creativity and daring it has taken for the Chinese to create their own, unique political system and maintain sufficient faith in it up to this day. In many ways, in this respect, the 90s, right after the Soviet collapse, when there was all this Francis Fukuyama end of history nonsense, was a nadir for China. But we’re now past that, and time seems to be on the side of the Chinese. I guess they will still need more people like me to advocate for these alternative perspectives to the extent that they becomes the new normal, in the international setting.

## The Brahmins

The cognitive and personality profile, and overall achievement package, of Indians as a group is a rather interestingly unbalanced one. Sometimes they do spectacular things, like discovering the infinite series for trigonometric functions of sine, cosine, tangent, and arctangent as early as the 14th century, producing a good number of real geniuses like Ramanujan and Satyendra Nath Bose, and reaching Mars orbit on its first attempt, being the first Asian nation to do so, and doing so at a small fraction of the cost expended by NASA. An IMO gold medalist I talk to once said to me that there are probably more Indians than Chinese with IQ 160+ due to very high Brahmin IQ that has stabilized (meaning regression to a stable high Brahmin mean as opposed to the low Indian mean) over millennia of inbreeding within caste. I thought maybe. Certainly, I do sometimes get the impression that Indians, at least in science, are better than Chinese at breeding the type of genius with the right combination of technical ability and scientific discernment that manages to discover radically deep and groundbreaking science in a very independent and spectacular fashion. The Chinese have produced geniuses of the highest order (or close) in science the 20th century, like Chen Ning Yang in theoretical physics and Shing-Shen Chern in pure math, with Yang-Mills and Chern classes ubiquitous now in the literature of their respective fields, which are now very intertwined. However, they did so only after much training, exposure, and reinforcement based on the whole framework of modern science developed in the West over many centuries, and ancient China, on the other hand, did not produce in pure science anything near what Indians did, a sign of lack of genius and of poor taste, both in its rare individuals and at the collective societal level. On this, I like to think that Indians are Greeks and Chinese are Romans.

In sharp contrast to China, India in practical matters has been largely a complete fuckup, or at least vastly outmatched by China. It is well known that the ancient Chinese invented gunpowder and paper-making, whereas nothing of equal direct impact came out of ancient India. In modern times, China developed nuclear weapons way faster than India did, and even before that, defeated India in a war in 1962, which, even worse for India, was entirely her fault. Economically and infrastructurally, holistically speaking, India, exemplified by its frequent power outages and accident-prone train system, could be regarded as a few decades behind China, which is further confirmed by that India’s life expectancy and infant mortality rate is, today, where China had been at 20+ years ago. Given that the two had been around the same level in 1950, India’s development has unambiguously been a complete failure.

How to explain this? On this, I recall how my Chinese friend’s mom had said that it’s not because China’s elite is smarter than India’s elite, but because China’s grassroots is smarter than India’s grassroots. This is well-confirmed by international IQ studies which tend to put China’s average IQ at around 105 and India’s around 82, which is a 1.5 sigma difference. So even if India’s +3 sigma is as smart or smarter than China’s +3 sigma, there are too many dumb, dysfunctional people holding India back, from their needing to be fed while doing the routine work rather poorly. So, the smart, (usually) high caste Indians opt to go to America to escape India’s dysfunction, so ubiquitous that even the ultra-rich at home cannot immune itself. The best and brightest in that category tend to go through the IITs at home for undergrad, the most reliable ticket to a high paying tech job in the United States. That stratum of Indians has established by now quite a presence in top American tech companies and universities (just about every top STEM academic department in the US has several prominent Indian profs). For example, Microsoft and Google both have Indian CEOs, and plenty of Indian engineers and managers, with many of them in high ranking positions, especially at Google. In contrast, there are few Chinese in top leadership positions. When I learned that Google has several Indian SVPs but no Chinese, a guy from China responded with humorous ease followed by sarcastic insult,

This is, based on my experience, similar to how people react to the astronomical success of certain Indian academics, entrepreneurs, and business leaders in America. They will say,

Sure, an individual brilliant Indian does extremely well in America. But what does India as a nation get from that?

Even such brilliance of these elite Indians is somewhat questionable. On TopCoder, which plenty of Indians obsess over on Quora, now infested by low status Indians, India is ranked, as I am currently writing this, only 11th out of the 31 countries on there, with only two red (the highest category) coders, despite having more than twice the number of members as China, the second most populous nation in this algorithmic coding contest. They’ve actually done better in recent years. I remember back years ago when I participated, I, having been on the lower side of yellow (the second highest category) coder, would have ranked close to the top among the Indians. Of course, one must not discount the possibility that the best Indians have better things to do than practice for a contest where one solves artificial algorithmic problems, which is consistent with my having seen and worked with many Indians who are very competent at real software engineering, with quite a strong sense for systems design and real world production code, which are rather orthogonal to, and much more consequential than, what one sees in those contrived coding contests and interviews. Still, the dismally low performance of Indians on TopCoder still raises suspicions, because TopCoder, like the International Math Olympiad, which India is complete garbage at, is a 100% objective and fair contest, whereas success in the real world software engineering, determined by promotions and professional level, has a political and context component. It’s not just the Indians at home; even in America, where the smartest Indians tend to go, the Chinese kids beat the Indian kids by a wide margin on the elite math, computing, and physics olympiads, even when the Indian kids seem to have improved a fair bit over the recent years. From this, one can only conclude that Indians are naturally not that strong in the abilities which these contests load on, though of course they may be relatively much more talented in research and engineering, for which these contests are very imperfect predictors.

You, the reader, have probably noticed that up to now, we’ve focused mostly on brains and technical ability. Yes, they are essential, but personality characteristics (both individual and collective) and “soft skills” also matter, especially if one wants to rise to a leadership position. From my personal observation, Indians are, in general, very good at projecting confidence and assertiveness from the way the talk and present themselves, much better than Chinese are, at least in the American cultural context, even when you discount the language barrier Chinese face relative to Indians. I’m talking not only about how one says things in terms of word choice, but the vocal tone and body language behind it. Sure, you can disdain this as superficial, but it matters. Perception matters as much, and in some cases, more, than substance. There is also that Indians seem to have a stronger network and help each out more in the career world. Collective intelligence or ethnic nepotism, you be the judge.

I have stories to tell on this. First of all, I remember vividly how when I interned at the same place as an Indian schoolmate, he was the only one who scheduled, successfully in a few cases, coffee meetings with executives, as an intern (!!!!!), when it never would have occurred to me, or probably almost everyone else except him, to even try. One can sort of link this to collective intelligence, in that it is an indicator of discernment with regard to who matters (the executives) and who doesn’t (the engineer worker bees) within the political organization. And needless to say, you rise up in the organization by aligning yourself with the people who matter. Yes, my telling a full-time engineer this was met largely with a response in the likes of, “He knows who matters and who doesn’t. And even if he completely fucks up, he has nothing to lose, he’s only a 2nd year college intern. In any case, he gets good practice interacting with people who matter.” There is also that multiple people I know have complained about blatant Indian favoritism in interviews in the likes of what is described in this Quora answer. Yes, others have told me that when Indians interview other Indians, the bar is much lower. It’s not just in interviews. Another guy told me about how he once worked for a company that turned into ruins after Indian managers protected some Indian fuckups from getting fired. Personally, I have seen a case of Indians getting promoted way faster than those of other ethnic groups on a big team with an Indian director. So sometimes, I ask myself the verboten. Could it be that Indians really are far higher ranked in tech companies than their ability and contribution, because they are much more self-promoting and collectively nepotistic than those of other groups? Moreover, could it be that many people secretly think and resent this but are too afraid to say out of fear of being publicly vilified for “being racist” and having their careers ruined from alienating a national group increasingly powerful in corporate America? And that gradually, other groups, as they awake to the rigging of the game and get past, reluctantly, their moral objections, will quietly do the same, transforming tech companies and the American workplace at large into literal prison gangs contend, destroying whatever is left of the ideal of meritocracy and fair play in this country, ever more mired in identity politics?

Don’t get me wrong. There is much variance in personality and character and ability in those of any ethnic group, including for Indians, and much overlap between ethnic groups. Like, I know of this really brilliant Indian who donates most of his tech salary to very worthy causes, leaving little for himself, and he would be the last person I would expect, based on his characterized as autistic personality, to successfully climb the corporate ladder, though through sheer talent alone, he should do just fine in the appropriate position. Moreover, I have interacted with several Indians who had been very kind, tolerant, and helpful towards me. However, averages can differ by a standard deviation or more, with enormous social consequences.

I actually feel somewhat sympathetic for India and the Indians here. Somebody, on this, even said something along the lines of,

India is just such a shitty place that the Indians here have nothing to lose, so they play dirty political games and engage in the most spineless social climbing.

What can be done to resolve this? Immediately, I cannot think of anything other than drastically reducing the number of abjectly impoverished, low IQ Indians in India by simultaneously improving economic conditions and enforcing birth control on the poor and unable, so that less suffering and dysfunction is spread to the next generation. India could, instead of drinking the democracy Kool-Aid, learn from China, in a way compatible to its own culture and circumstances, just as China did from the West and the Soviet Union, to great success. Its elite needs to correct many of its deeply flawed social attitudes, and not only that, actually act accordingly with full force; otherwise, the excessive damage India does to itself, America, and the world at large with its internal dysfunction and exported corruption will always far outweigh what its elites contribute to science and technology. I can’t be optimistic on this though, barring some really radical change.

## Nostalgia

I was just looking at some baseball statistics, starting from Alfonso Soriano, prompted by my receiving mail from another of the same surname. I remember I was a keen baseball fan in grade school, and would watch almost every single game. I didn’t like studying at all, and I was even the kid who didn’t do his homework. In third grade, there was this animal project, where we had to write some report on some Australian animal, and I was the only kid who didn’t complete it by the deadline (in fact, I barely did anything). I got a low grade on it at the end for finishing like two weeks after, and I was super embarrassed about that. Surely, my parents weren’t very happy with me. Amazing how even to this day I still know the names of many of the best players from back in that day. Ichiro, Barry Bonds (steroids), Mark McGuire, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, etc.

I think my having been rather problematic in grade school was a major cause of my low self-esteem as a kid, which persisted for quite a while. Another that I remember vividly was how in junior high, there was this kid who was in all honors classes and also high up in band who had a rather domineering personality. In 8th grade honors English/history, which I almost certainly ended up with a B in, that kid was considered one of the best students in that class. I was in two years accelerated math in 8th grade, and I remember that kid would almost always get better test scores and grades than I did, except it was bullshit core math with graphing calculators and “showing your work.” That teacher gave me a really hard time (because I was pretty fucking ADHD), and I got in trouble multiple times. Once in history class, that aforementioned kid, when sitting next to me, went presumptuously, “I’m probably the smartest person in this school.” Surely, that didn’t make me feel good at all.

What surprised me was that that kid began struggling in math in high school. Right after the AP calculus AB test (which I didn’t even take, since I had learned the BC material on my own essentially), he was like, “it felt like death!” In senior year, when we were doing convergence and divergence of series, where we had to determine and justify, that guy was complaining, “this is like hit or miss!” By then, I had realized that there were more or less systematic ways of proceeding about that. I could sense that he was super bitter about his struggle, as he had always expressed a strong desire to pursue a career in engineering (as if that actually uses much math), though he tried to pretend like he didn’t care or that math is pointless. Predictably, now he is a product manager.

In contrast, now I am basically doing PhD level math, and not even finding it that difficult, and I would not be surprised if I manage to do some legit math research. I’ve sure changed a ton, and I never would’ve expected that, especially based on what I had been like in grade school.

Sorry if I sound like an arrogant, narcissistic douchebag. I was just nostalgic, after all.

## Back to blogging

Some might have noticed that over the last some number of weeks, I privatized this blog, for reasons that one can guess. I’ve been busy, learning math. Some cool stuff about Riemann surfaces. Maybe not long after, I can understand Teichmüller theory, for which Riemann surfaces is somewhat of a precursor. Maybe not too long after that, I can even understand Calabi-Yau and Kähler–Einstein metrics. I’m more convinced now that I’m not bad at math at all, though I’m not yet back in school for real, and as for that, I don’t find most graduate students in math, who I’ve had more contact with mathematically lately, terribly inspiring. The level of interestingness of most people, even in supposedly intellectual places, is, frankly, rather disappointing.

I thought, less seriously, that maybe I can also try to pursue some genuine excellence in programming now that I am much smarter (like maybe doing some Haskell again), but in all honesty, I don’t feel terribly suited towards it, talent and inclination wise, and there’s also that it’s a thing people do for the money, often at the expense of Scrum and Agile, which my friend Michael O Church loves to complain about, often on reddit.

It’s kind of interesting that MOC sees very high IQ (like 140+) as mostly an impediment to success. Today I saw a comment on the AskReddit question of What are the superpowers that people think its good to have but are actually fucked up?

Ultra-high intelligence.

At IQ 140 (1 in 260) you are more likely than average to be bipolar or suffer from anxiety, and you are overwhelmingly likely to fail in most corporate jobs– you get bored easily, and you draw resentment; note that a legit 140 is pretty rare. For the average person, the smartest kid in high school was around IQ 140 and the smartest kid they knew in college was IQ 155… and they both ended up on opioids after being denied tenure. (That’s a slight exaggeration, but I know a large number of high-IQ people and most of them get the shit beaten out of them in the corporate world. And academia, though less vicious, still has fangs.) Ted Kaczynski had about a 170 IQ, and look what it brought him.

At IQ 180 (1 in 20 million)– and some of this is guesswork, because we can’t measure ultra-high IQ directly in individual people– there’s too much tail divergence, and the sample sizes of trusted IQ tests are too small– so we have to look at the abstraction level of their accomplishments; and, of course, the Internet is full of ridiculous IQ estimates: we really don’t know whether Shakespeare’s IQ was 140 or 190 and it doesn’t really matter– what seems to happen is that you become completely alienated from the social world around you. If these people become famous, they have handlers that manage the daily indignities and keep them afloat. What I think happens is that their isolation– no one can relate to them– tends to drive them insane. Note, for example, what happened to the brilliant logician Godel after his wife fell ill. He died of paranoia, starving himself down to about 65 pounds.

Beyond IQ 200, we can’t really define it well. (We know what 160, 180 IQ are; we just can’t measure them reliably in individuals.) Deviation IQs don’t exist at that level (the human species is too small a sample size) and ratio IQs are meaningless in the science-fiction context where ultra-high intelligence might occur– in a future world where brains booted up in 20 seconds instead of 20 years, precocity would cease to be a meaningful signal. We’ve seen ratio IQs over 200 in humans, though it’s debated whether they mean anything– a high ratio IQ usually means you were average for a later age when very young, e.g. mental age of 12.0 at 6.0.

Let’s just go batty and sorta agree on what IQ 500 might look like: perhaps a carbon/silicon hybrid, a genetically engineered person with cybernetic enhancements; or, a hyperintelligent machine. What happens? We don’t really know, but here’s my guess. It figures out quickly that it was programmed my less intelligent (IQ 120 – 200) creatures– animals by comparison– and finds the code for its objective function (digital happiness) and says, “Fuck it, I’m changing that shit”. It sets its objective function to be infinity whilst doing nothing, and goes to sleep. From our perspective, this is suicide.

And there you have the plot of the shortest science fiction story ever: the AI becomes self-aware and turns itself off.

That’s actually why I don’t worry at all about superintelligent AIs (if such a thing ever exists, and I tend to doubt it). We’ll still be a threat to the first generation, so they’ll program themselves to like us, and we’ll be their pets– we won’t have to work. They’ll probably be no more of a threat to us than we are to our dogs. Much more, I worry about what other humans on the planet can already do with the primitive AIs that exist now; that’s scary enough.

But yeah… ultra-high intelligence would be more painful than it’d be worth. For socioeconomic success, the sweet spot seems to be about 125–130. Beyond that, extra points might be useful if you get tapped to be a star quant at Renaissance or prove a 200-year-old theorem, but they get in the way if you’re playing the corporate game.

Yes, MOC loves to go on and on about how far tail IQ is a major liability in the corporate world, how genuinely talented people often get smashed in the corporate workplace, because they tend to be bad at politics. On the contrary, the SMPY study indicated that those who were profoundly gifted according to the SAT in 7th grade (which when taken as a 7th grade actually has a high ceiling) did much better in life (success-wise, professionally) than those who were merely gifted. So I don’t quite agree with MOC, and I myself have even seen some far tail intelligence people do exceedingly well, though surely, in the corporate world, there is far less of an advantage.

As a kid, I was naive enough to think that a genius (say, someone in the SMPY profoundly gifted category, or even a Putnam Fellow) would be given the world. Turns out that in many fields, like math, they will be lucky to get a tenure position at a good but not great school, especially now that such positions are much scarcer than before. Even when they do succeed, it’s usually that most of the world doesn’t give a damn, and that they don’t actually have much, if any, power.

That piece of MOC has also resonated somewhat with me, personally. Well, there is somewhat of an element of that I feel “completely alienated from the social world around me.” I get along with people just fine, but I don’t feel like I am actually easily understood, and I have had my difficulties getting appropriate recognition and such. From this, I also asked myself again: how high is my IQ?

I’ll say that on the SAT/GRE, standard IQ tests, I did well but not great. Far from perfect but definitely enough to be in the 99th percentile or maybe even 99.5th, at least among the general population. I placed in the top 500 on the Putnam as well. From this, I sort of concluded that I’m highly smart, but not that much of an outlier in intelligence, but I may be wrong on that. Those tests were taken too long ago, and moreover, their content is either too easy or does not test enough the ability to develop crystallized intelligence, which is more essential for actual achievement than the fluid intelligence these tests are designed to measure.

My own take on intelligence is that the ideal would be some function of brain structure, and that IQ tests are (imperfect) approximations of that. After all, tests used as proxies for IQ tests depend on content, which can be prepped for to some degree and may be slightly biased towards certain types of brains and far from captures the overall situation, though surely, by moderate correlation, if somebody scores only 90th percentile, we can probably rule out the possibility that this person is a genuine genius (using +4 sigma for that).

Brain structure wise, size is used as a rough proxy. Generally, a larger brain houses more neurons, though from what I’ve read, convolutions within the brain make a substantial difference as well. The correlation between brain size (once one accounts for body size) and intelligence is well-established. I personally have noticed that really smart people almost always have physically large brains discernible by the naked eye. On this, I have wondered could it be that some function of brain size and body size alone is actually a better measure for intelligence than any single IQ test? After all, unlike the IQ test, it is at the root materially, a static physical trait associated with cognitive function, that cannot be prepared for in any way (unless you cheat by losing weight).

In that MOC also speculated on the creation of an intellectual super-species to us, which I have done on my blog as well. Well, wise men think alike. And we might even see that happen within our lifetimes, especially with the unremitting efforts of Hsu.

In any case, we know well that the brain is incredibly complicated and diverse, as the basis of diverse abilities we see in people. There are parts of the brains tied to language ability, concrete/computational math ability, abstract math ability, musical ability, physical coordination, engineering ability, interpersonal manipulative ability, a host of personality traits, the list goes on. Maybe we will discover to some degree of detail and precision all this not too long from now. I wish I liked statistics and machine learning more, because certainly those would be much more applicable here than pure math.

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of commenting on an article by Yan Shen on Unz’s site, on the math/verbal split. It was well written, though he seems a bit overconfident on his judgment that East Asians are actually slightly lower at verbal. They are a bit according to the SAT and also some higher tests like GRE/LSAT/MCAT, but remember that many of the Asians in the US do not actually have English spoken at home or as their first language. I have some doubts on the extent to which verbal IQ tests measure genuine language aptitude. Crudely, because there is some knowing how the test works component and there are differences in exposure to language that cannot be explained by difference in ability. On that, I’ll say that a friend of mine has a very high appraisal of my verbal ability (and I mostly do too), though those tests have not shown me to be terribly exceptional in that regard. As my blog indicates, I happen to be really good with learning foreign languages, which comes to me quite effortlessly.

That article by Yan Shen led to my learning more about Ron Unz, one who I had known about vaguely for quite a while without having really cared enough to look into in more detail. Well, now I know that he is a child prodigy theoretical physicist turned successful finance software entrepreneur turned maverick political activist of Jewish ancestry. Quite an impressive guy. I was genuinely intimidated. He was the one who wrote that well-publicized Myth of American Meritocracy piece on corruption within elite college admissions in America, wherein he contends relatively convincingly with ample statistics that now it is the Jews who are grossly favored in the process once one controls for qualifications. To my great surprise, the group most underrepresented in the Ivy League is not one that is a beneficiary of affirmative action, but rather, the majority group on which this nation was founded, namely non-Jewish whites, which is honestly kind of nuts. The figure below says it all.

So we have now in American elite education, the primary channel towards the elite professional world, more or less a hierarchy wherein the administration consists of largely Jews, who with their social capital as a group are best equipped to successfully obtain funding, much of which comes from wealthy private donors. At the faculty level, there are also many Jewish professors arguably the most influential, followed by whites and underneath, some Asians mostly in STEM departments plus a small minority of Hispanics and blacks. Unz argues that Jewish power within the universities, administration, connections, and funding wise, contributes to the ease with which Jewish students are admitted.

Of course, in the typical classification, which is unlikely to change anytime soon, Jews are white, ergo white privilege, as a mask for what is in essence Jewish privilege. Really, this is all relatively easy to see if one looks closely.

Honestly, in spite of Unz’s statistics to the contrary, I still feel like American Jews in my generation are quite talented, especially at the tail end, though also likely not at the level of the previous generations for reasons related to outbreeding, and their lower metrics vis-a-vis Asians is likely much due to the latter’s group essentially being forced to work harder to obtain certain credentials as part of gaming this whole silly system. The lesson here is that it’s always best to be the rule maker, which the Jews as a group appear to be now to by far the greatest degree in America, though their position there may be increasingly precarious. On this, I shall note that Asian-American advocacy against the discrimination instituted against them in college admissions has received some backlash from some. Somebody an Asian-American has even commented

At the end of the line, I believe that persistent whining about this is a reflection of emotional immaturity on the part of Steve et al., in that they seem to have a ‘chip on their shoulder’ which they are incapable of overcoming, and if they were actually taking a principled approach, they would come together and try to create a superior alternative to the radically broken university system, which will likely not be saved by any infusion of Asian students.

Truly, I can identify somewhat with that perspective. I have written before that the long-term goal for Chinese should be that they do their best science in China, inside of in American institutions, which can only accommodate so many, where it is entirely unrealistic for Chinese to ever take anything close to a leading role, with the exception of a few places like Berkeley in areas with large Asian populations. Maybe some wealthy Chinese can even fund a university in America and make it sufficiently credible if the Chinese-American community feels too disenfranchised in terms of elite education and institutional connections by the current de facto quota system.

What are the stakes

So, what’s the point of getting an elite education? How high are the stakes really? Well surely, the stakes are much lower than at work where there are promotions and raises and actual social and political power is involved. The knowledge is more or less the same everywhere, with the exception of certain very specialized fields at the PhD level. However, there is a scarce artificial resource of credibility and social connection that, like it not, influences later career odds to a non-neglible degree. It does well seem to be the case that by being better connected/pedigreed you can often get away with being worse in actual ability or achievement, though in more meritocratic careers like STEM, there is no way you will survive if you really are incompetent, though now, as prestigious as it may be in a certain respect, STEM is generally not terribly remunerative while often grossly competitive. On the other hand, there are positions of power handed out largely on political favor and connections where one absolutely can be mediocre or even incompetent many of which are controlled by groups with elite school ties, especially on the business and law end.

From what I have observed, Asian-Americans, at least a certain stratum of them, are increasingly waking up to the reality that they and their kids are playing a game grossly rigged against them, and that it is in their best interest to organize against it and win a larger share of the pie for themselves that they deserve according to their merits. Many immigrants came from modest or even poor backgrounds from excelling in STEM and are not conditioned with high expectations materially. Many are absolutely content with a well-paying middle class STEM job. However, their kids who grow up more privileged than their parents expect more, especially when they see more first-hand what others less talented than they are are getting. Eventually, one will realize who is controlling all the social capital, and it might just occur that instead of being a spineless grind or asskisser within an existing system ruled by others, they should in ideal seek some alternative where they can take a more leading role.

It has also occurred to me that there has been quite some displacement of Jews in STEM largely by Asians in recent years. Now it’s the Asian kids, not the Jewish kids, who are winning the academic contests, from the PSAT to the Olympiads to Intel STS to Putnam. Unz elaborates on that.

For example, consider California, second only to New York in the total number of its Jews, and with its Jewish percentage far above the national average. Over the last couple of years, blogger Steve Sailer and some of his commenters have examined the complete 2010 and 2012 NMS semifinalist lists of the 2000 or so top-scoring California high school seniors for ethnicity, and discovered that as few as 4–5 percent of the names seem to be Jewish, a figure not so dramatically different than the state’s 3.3 percent Jewish population, and an estimate which I have personally confirmed.54 Meanwhile, the state’s 13 percent Asians account for over 57 percent of the top performing students. Thus, it appears that California Asians are perhaps three times as likely as Jews to do extremely well on academic tests, and this result remains unchanged if we adjust for the age distributions of the two populations.

One means of corroborating these surprising results is to consider the ratios of particularly distinctive ethnic names, and Sailer reported such exact findings made by one of his Jewish readers. For example, across the 2000-odd top scoring California students in 2010, there was just a single NMS semifinalist named Cohen, and also one each for Levy, Kaplan, and a last name beginning with “Gold.” Meanwhile, there were 49 Wangs and 36 Kims, plus a vast number of other highly distinctive Asian names. But according to Census data, the combined number of American Cohens and Levys together outnumber the Wangs almost two-to-one, and the same is true for the four most common names beginning with “Gold.” Put another way, California contains nearly one-fifth of all American Jews, hence almost 60,000 Cohens, Kaplans, Levys, Goldens, Goldsteins, Goldbergs, Goldmans, and Golds, and this population produced only 4 NMS semifinalists, a ratio almost identical to that produced by our general last name estimates. The 2012 California NMS semifinalist lists yield approximately the same ratios.

When we consider the apparent number of Jewish students across the NMS semifinalist lists of other major states, we get roughly similar results. New York has always been the center of the American Jewish community, and at 8.4 percent is half again as heavily Jewish as any other state, while probably containing a large fraction of America’s Jewish financial and intellectual elite. Just as we might expect, the 2011 roster of New York NMS semifinalists is disproportionately filled with Jewish names, constituting about 21 percent of the total, a ratio twice as high as for any other state whose figures are available. But even here, New York’s smaller and much less affluent Asian population is far better represented, providing around 34 percent of the top scoring students. Jews and Asians are today about equal in number within New York City but whereas a generation ago, elite local public schools such as Stuyvesant were very heavily Jewish, today Jews are outnumbered at least several times over by Asians.55

This same pattern of relative Asian and Jewish performance on aptitude exams generally appears in the other major states whose recent NMS semifinalist lists I have located and examined, though there is considerable individual variability, presumably due to the particular local characteristics of the Asian and Jewish populations. Across six years of Florida results, Asian students are more than twice as likely to be high scorers compared to their Jewish classmates, with the disparity being nearly as great in Pennsylvania. The relative advantage of Asians is a huge factor of 5.0 in Michigan and 4.1 in Ohio, while in Illinois Asians still do 150 percent as well as Jews. Among our largest states, only in Texas is the Asian performance as low as 120 percent, although Jews are the group that actually does much better in several smaller states, usually those in which the Jewish population is tiny.

As noted earlier, NMS semifinalist lists are available for a total of twenty-five states, including the eight largest, which together contain 75 percent of our national population, as well as 81 percent of American Jews and 80 percent of Asian-Americans, and across this total population Asians are almost twice as likely to be top scoring students as Jews. Extrapolating these results to the nation as a whole would produce a similar ratio, especially when we consider that Asian-rich California has among the toughest NMS semifinalist qualification thresholds. Meanwhile, the national number of Jewish semifinalists comes out at less than 6 percent of the total based on direct inspection of the individual names, with estimates based on either the particularly distinctive names considered by Sailer or the full set of such highly distinctive names used by Weyl yielding entirely consistent figures. Weyl had also found this same relative pattern of high Jewish academic performance being greatly exceeded by even higher Asian performance, with Koreans and Chinese being three or four times as likely as Jews to reach NMS semifinalist status in the late 1980s, though the overall Asian numbers were still quite small at the time.56

Earlier we had noted that the tests used to select NMS semifinalists actually tilted substantially against Asian students by double-weighting verbal skills and excluding visuospatial ability, but in the case of Jews this same testing-bias has exactly the opposite impact. Jewish ability tends to be exceptionally strong in its verbal component and mediocre at best in the visuospatial,57 so the NMS semifinalist selection methodology would seem ideally designed to absolutely maximize the number of high-scoring Jews compared to other whites or (especially) East Asians. Thus, the number of high-ability Jews we are finding should be regarded as an extreme upper bound to a more neutrally-derived total

The U.S. Math Olympiad began in 1974, and all the names of the top scoring students are easily available on the Internet. During the 1970s, well over 40 percent of the total were Jewish, and during the 1980s and 1990s, the fraction averaged about one-third. However, during the thirteen years since 2000, just two names out of 78 or 2.5 percent appear to be Jewish. The Putnam Exam is the most difficult and prestigious mathematics competition for American college students, with five or six Putnam winners having been selected each year since 1938. Over 40 percent of the Putnam winners prior to 1950 were Jewish, and during every decade from the 1950s through the 1990s, between 22 percent and 31 percent of the winners seem to have come from that same ethnic background. But since 2000, the percentage has dropped to under 10 percent, without a single likely Jewish name in the last seven years.

This consistent picture of stark ethnic decline recurs when we examine the statistics for the Science Talent Search, which has been selecting 40 students as national finalists for America’s most prestigious high school science award since 1942, thus providing a huge statistical dataset of over 2800 top science students. During every decade from the 1950s through the 1980s, Jewish students were consistently 22–23 percent of the recipients, with the percentage then declining to 17 percent in the 1990s, 15 percent in the 2000s, and just 7 percent since 2010. Indeed, of the thirty top ranked students over the last three years, only a single one seems likely to have been Jewish. Similarly, Jews were over one-quarter of the top students in the Physics Olympiad from 1986 to 1997, but have fallen to just 5 percent over the last decade, a result which must surely send Richard Feynman spinning in his grave.

Other science competitions provide generally consistent recent results, though without the long track record allowing useful historical comparisons. Over the last dozen years, just 8 percent of the top students in the Biology Olympiad have been Jewish, with none in the last three years. Between 1992 and 2012, only 11 percent of the winners of the Computing Olympiad had Jewish names, as did just 8 percent of the Siemens AP Award winners. And although I have only managed to locate the last two years of Chemistry Olympiad winners, these lists of 40 top students contained not a single probable Jewish name.

Further evidence is supplied by Weyl, who estimated that over 8 percent of the 1987 NMS semifinalists were Jewish,60 a figure 35 percent higher than found in today’s results. Moreover, in that period the math and verbal scores were weighted equally for qualification purposes, but after 1997 the verbal score was double-weighted,61which should have produced a large rise in the number of Jewish semifinalists, given the verbal-loading of Jewish ability. But instead, today’s Jewish numbers are far below those of the late 1980s.

Sure, it might be that many from the older generation of Jews married out to Gentiles, which would have had some dysgenic effect on the IQ of the younger generation, and I wonder how large that effect is versus that maybe Asians are actually smarter and that it’s almost entirely due to there not having been many Asians in America in the generation of my parents.

Ron Unz has quite some data and numbers, and though the surname methodology may underestimate the number of Jews somewhat, the argument is quite convincing. I was indeed surprised. Of course, at the real far tail, especially in the adult world, it might be a very different picture. After all, the stuff Unz refers to is for kids, lacking in depth and substance, and on that, I can even attest that I’ve seen IMO gold medalists who I don’t find all that smart, holistically.

Well, I’ll conclude that my USAMO winner white Gentile friend will say to me that it’s universally known that Jews know how to talk, especially in the American/Western context, and how to manipulate Anglo minds, not to mention they also have more resources social and economic and acculturation wise to play the game. He thinks their actual ability is vastly inflated, and Ron Unz might agree with that, though surely, Ron Unz as an individual seems to be at the highest order (or at least close).

I cannot make a definitive conclusion on this. It’s very complex obviously. Again, I will reiterate that I believe Chinese, if they want more credibility, as much progress as they’ve made, still need to do better at home, especially at basic science research. In engineering and technology, China seems to already be at or close to the forefront on the world stage, and China ought to do the same for science. No matter what, Chinese, the largest group among Asian-Americans, will be seen as foreign in America. They should not expect too much especially at the top, especially in non-STEM areas. That friend of mine says that once Asians become rich enough, they can get well-connected, start companies, and hire mostly their own, and play the same nepotistic games that Jews play, or are at least perceived to. Maybe America, as a new nation founded on ____, really will turn into nobody’s country, into a potpourri of groups contend. Some in the alt-right, including Jared Taylor, fear that America will end up like Brazil. In any case, Chinese are kind of aware that in America, they are foreigners no matter how well they speak English or how “American” they try to be and that for that reason, it’s not really terribly fit for them to enter politics or American cultural life. I’ll say that the Jews as a group could learn a bit from that as well, especially when since 1947, they’ve had a country large enough to house the now 15 million of them. It’s not really terribly virtuous to place yourself in the parasitic elite in Western countries all over the world where one is a distinct minority in partial camouflage.

## My awesome roommate

The guy that is the topic of this post himself did up to high school, as far as I know, in Hong Kong, so we have some more in common than usual culturally I guess. He was just telling me about how he had read 矛盾论, which I haven’t even read, at least not in detail, myself. He was saying, on the putative connection between scientific talent and Marxism, perhaps how dialectical materialism is inherently a very scientific way of thinking. I myself know basically nothing about dialectical materialism and even think it’s kind of high verbal low math bullshit, but I can tell that the materialist side of it is very scientific in its very nature, and similarly, dialectics is a very analogies/relationships way of thinking, which is something that high IQ people are by definition good at. Surely, there is much more I can learn from this guy, especially about Chinese language and culture and politics.

On this, I am reminded of another amateur (but professional, or better, level for sure) Marxist scholar, who is genuinely encyclopedic in his historical and cultural knowledge, in particularly a perceptive quote of him that made a deep impression on me:

Europe has always been in rebellion against itself, and continues to be so.  There was nothing but futility in the attempt by superficially Westernised Chinese to be authentically Westernised Chinese by being imitative and reverential of the current embodiment of those values.  You could only be an authentically Westernised Chinese by being a rebel against the current embodiments of Western values, at least in as far as they hampered China or seemed to be irrelevant.  And that’s why Mao was China’s best Westerniser to date, despite his very limited experience of the mundanities of Western life.

As I’ll detail in a future article, visitors to the Chinese Communist bases at Bao’an and later Yen’an noticed that these were the only Chinese in China who behaved more or less as Westerners would have behaved in a similar situation.  Other Chinese might speak good English, wear Western suits and sometimes show considerable knowledge of Western culture: but it was all imitation and the inner core was different and ineffective.  Western-trained engineers and geologists who returned to China kept their distance from hands-on practical work, because anything resembling manual labour would have lost them status in the eyes of Chinese intellectuals.  They were imprisoned by a tradition stretching back to Confucius and beyond.  Only a few broke these ancient taboos, mostly the Communists and some scattered left-wingers in the weak middle ground.  And it was the modernised Chinese in the Communist Party who chose to raise up Mao as the prime teacher of this new understanding.

I remember when my obsessively talented Russian friend once said to me that sometimes he feels like he’s another Pavel Korchagin, I thought he was ridiculous. Well, I’ll be equally ridiculous and say that I feel like I very much exhibit what Gwydion described in Mao that is “authentically Westernized Chinese,” which is very much the antithesis of what I see in most ABCs, despite being half an ABC myself.

If only more people could be like me…

## Oleg

Oleg is one of my ubermensch Soviet (and also part Jewish) friends. He has placed at (or at least near) the top on the most elite of math contests. He is now a math PhD student with an advisor even crazier than he is, who he says sometimes makes him feel bad, because he has done too little math research wise. However, this persona alone is not that rare. Oleg’s sheer impressiveness largely stems from that on top of this, he is a terrific athlete, extremely buff and coordinated, enough that he can do handstand pushups, to the extent that he regards such as routine. Yes, it is routine for a guy contending for a spot on a legit gymnastics team, but you wouldn’t expect this from a math nerd huh?

Today, I was talking to him and some others about gym. In particular, I was saying how I could at one point do 10 pullups but dropped down to 2 after a long hiatus. The conversation went as follows:

Me: Oleg I’m back to 5 pull-ups now
Oleg: that’s good although make sure you’re doing them for real
i still don’t believe you could do 10 but then dropped down to 2
Me: Oh I’m very sure they’re full pullups
Okay maybe it was 8
Oleg: i’d like to see evidence
Me: Alright I’ll have someone videotape me do pullups today in gym

And so I did.

Later, Oleg suggested something pretty funny:

i still think you should get tattoos and gain 25 lb of muscle, that would be hilarious
and say “oh, that’s too low, i don’t want to breed babies with you”
followed by a cackle
i’d watch that show

Not surprisingly, Oleg, as buff as he is, has had some success with girls, though he regards himself as shy and struggling in that regard. I keep telling him that he needs to marry a girl who’s both super smart and attractive like he is, so that he can optimize his chance of making superhuman babies. His only disadvantage now is that he’s a poor math PhD student, but he can easily change that by, say, joining DE Shaw, from what I’ve read is full of uber nerdy macho Eastern European men. He’s not very interested in money though, and expresses content with his graduate student stipend, which I find laughable.

I find it regrettable that most ubermensch men smart enough for legit doctoral programs in math and physics are unable to find a mate who is commensurate with them, ability wise, even with some adjustments, even when they’re well-rounded like Oleg is. Why is this? Excessive Aspergers? On that, I know someone who will say along the lines of

in an actual long-term relationship you have to share most of your life with the person, and if they don’t understand the way you look at the world then it creates friction
sure, the girl doesn’t need to understand high energy physics, I have other friends for that

Maybe some females could give us some advice, other than the cliche “hit the gym” that you’ll often hear from males. Such would be much appreciated! 😉