On the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore

I had the great pleasure of catching up in person with a friend doing math PhD in something algebraic geometry-ish at a top school. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant. He asked me what I thought of the upcoming meeting between Trump and Kim in Singapore. It’s something that I hadn’t been paying attention to really, though I was aware of it, and I didn’t really have any opinion.

As of today, the meeting is over. I saw an article about it from Washington Post. Apparently, Trump agreed to halt US-South Korea military exercises, exactly what the Chinese government proposed ahead of the summit, likely in the personal meeting between Xi and Kim well before that, wants to eventually pull out US troops from South Korea, and professes more of less the attitude that though China is violating sanctions on DPRK that it agreed to, there’s nothing that can really be done. It’s impressive that DPRK has manage to resist for so long. America with its might has done so much to try to bring it down with economic sanctions and exclusion from much of the international community, thereby rendering its reputation as a pariah state. The people running DPRK, like them or not, are survivors. They, as a puny little country, managed to develop nukes despite economic sanctions and the crisis resulting from the decline and ultimate collapse of their former puppet master or patron (or whatever you choose to call it), the USSR. Their having nukes (and also being next to China, which America dares not to mess with too much) allowed the Kim dynasty to not end up like Saddam or Gaddafi. They must have felt that with the USSR gone and China’s viewing them as an obstacle towards its international integration that they really needed the nukes to preserves themselves. Though people also say that their long range artillery, with Seoul, where like half of South Korea’s population and economy is, within reach, they have enough to deter a military attack against them. What did they really get from nukes? Some more bargaining chip, because they figure they can always get more by pretending to denuclearize. I can’t blame them really. Anyone will go to the extremes when it’s a matter of survival. If you try to starve a dog to death (but can’t, strictly speaking), he’ll just become a ferocious wild one in order to survive, and that’s exactly what DPRK has done.

This must be quite a blow to the neocons and American supremacists who are so keen on American world domination. Hate to tell them that by now, they’ve probably missed their chance. The way things are going right now, in a decade, South Korea could even become a PRC ally; they will once it’s in the interests of those in positions of power there to do so. What can America provide them? A guarantee that those people currently on top can stay on top. They do that foremost by providing defense against a possible DPRK invasion. I’m skeptical still that US will actually move forward with pulling troops out of South Korea; the ROK elite probably won’t like that, unless those with conciliatory attitudes towards their northern counterparts take over, which could happen. I know little about what the popular opinion is there. I do have Korean friends who tell me that there, if you actually sing a DPRK song in public, you will definitely be arrested, because there really is something to fear. There is quite a history of that there. It is well-established that during the Korean War, after the DPRK first invaded, Syngman Rhee ordered massacres of those perceived as disloyal to his regime. Even in the 80s, when the ROK was already doing much better than the DPRK, there was the Gwangju Uprising, which is like a South Korean Tiananmen Square. Of course, to justify its suppression, it was easy for the government to label the protesters as agent of the enemy regime. Contrary to impressions given by the American media, the South Korean position has been somewhat precarious too, and America has been willing to really invest there. There are even nuclear weapons deployed in South Korea, not just American soldiers stationed there. It’s an ally that is seen as vulnerable and too valuable to lose. Over the years, people have always been asking how long the DPRK can hold on. Now could it be that it is the ROK that will struggle to hold on, at least if remaining a staunch American ally is an absolute must? In some being ROK has being an American lapdog almost as a definitive characteristic, more so than on the other side, with the DPRK’s having had two larger powers bid for its loyalty during the Cold War, and with its more being on its own afterwards. The ROK leadership is seen as more spineless (or less able to hold on their own) than the DPRK leadership, having had America’s military presence directly at home with themselves in the subordinate position ever since the Korean War, whereas the Chinese People Volunteer Army, that basically saved the DPRK regime, left not long after the armistice was signed, though it still maintains a defense treaty that guarantees military protection. Much of that is because China, being so poor and backwards at that time, had scarce resources and enough to deal with at home, while America was, and still is, a very rich country plentiful in resources. Of course, there is also that the American elite seems so much delusional with regard to their own exceptionalism and fanatic about their domination of the world. Unfortunately for them, their efforts have been really backfiring in recent years, with the rest of world’s having caught up and increasingly reluctant to take their orders, which they are now much more capable of resisting. The British Empire possessed the same attitude, and one, from this, gets the feeling that this intent for world domination is much more in the Anglo-Saxon genes. Saxon has association with German, and yes, the Germans produced a Hitler, but it’s reasonable to say he was mostly a reactive force, with Germany’s having been shamed in the Versailles Treaty. The Brits were the pioneers of industrialization, and also the pioneers of colonialism and imperialism (if one discounts the earlier Spanish). The British Empire and its derivative America are arguably also the most fervent about spreading their religious and ideological faith. God, freedom, and democracy. They are also arguably the most delusional there.

The reality with the British Empire and with America is that they were pioneers in many ways, giving them the first mover advantage, but eventually had difficulties competing with the latecomers, who were in many ways more competent. Though economically and technologically, the Anglos may have fallen behind their competitors in certain aspects, the cultural presence established by their earlier victories last much longer. Like it or not, they have been relatively successful at getting the rest of the world to accept and embrace their so called cultural values, through a combination of merit, trickery, and intimidation. They are also arguably the most narcissistic, domineering, and historically scurrilous. They led in terms of their science and technology, with that the merit side. In terms of the lengths to which one deceives and coerces, they led much more. People observes how obscenely rich and powerful individuals, in their business, are cutthroat to the extremes. They will screw over another when it is in their interest to do, meaning of course that they can get away with it. They will engage hypocritically in philanthropy and whatnot to buy their reputations and establish a facade of charity. Analogously, the Anglo world has done this massively with its cultural imperialism of which blatant historical falsification and political deception in the media are the essential ingredient. Some other countries wanted to and tried, to some degree or another, to stop them, but lack the aggressive disposition and material power to do so. Economically and militarily, the Anglo world is of course guilty of displacement of the natives in America and Australia, and even to this day, the UK holds on to the Falkland Islands. Culturally they have been successful; this, along with America’s worldwide network of military bases, which America is increasingly lacking in its ability to economically sustain, are held as socially acceptable, the social norm. This might change though, but it will take a while.

America’s main competitors are China and Russia. Of the two, China is much more threatening. These are countries which have resisted the Anglo political and cultural system to this day, especially China, which is much harder to conquer, out of a combination of its size, competence, and alienness of culture, as a civilization that developed more or less independently from the rest of the world over millennia. The elites of the USSR basically sold out their country to America, whereas the Chinese communist elites managed to resist that. America and Britain had other competitors too, most of all Japan, but Japan was mostly tamed after WWII, and even with its economic and technological rise afterward, it could not escape the confines of the war legacy that it refuses to face. Germany is similar, but its attitude towards its war crimes is the antithesis of Japan’s. This is largely because the countries and peoples which suffered most from Nazism, where the ones to destroy it. On the other hand, Japan was defeated by America and the Soviet Union, not by China, who was too weak at the time, though China did play a major role in sinking more of their resources, particularly human resources, which were the main bottleneck, quantitatively, for Japan, as a small nation that had tried very hard and only half-succeeded at playing the game of world imperialism that it entered in too late.

As much as I respect the accomplishments of the Anglo world, I much dislike the what I would call the domineering hypocritical sore loser mentality that this culture tends to channel and accept into their elites. When they are winning, they are arrogant and nasty. When they lose, they tend to do so in a very pathetic way. They are utterly lacking in self-critique and try to force blame on their adversaries. They have plenty of really talented, good people, but they are not very good at letting those people have a say on the important decisions. Since the title of this article is about the Trump-Kim summit, I’ll certainly say that America was quite a sore loser during the Korean War, which I won’t explain, because it is too obvious. This is objective reality; I’m not saying this because I am Chinese. Those anti-communist Chinese in Taiwan and Hong Kong who deny this are ridiculous, and the Anglo world world is just so keen on using such people as tools for sabotage against the real Chinese, except they keep on failing so miserably at it, making a fool of themselves. They are increasingly losing credibility.

Those in HBD will point out differences in temperament between East Asians and whites, which explain differences in social outcomes in individuals and the collective societies of which the individuals are constituents. There is the perception that East Asians are far less aggressive, which is a negative for maverick creativity, enough to offset the IQ advantage enjoyed by East Asians. There are of course some who claim that East Asians have lower variance in IQ explains the putative dearth of East Asian geniuses, though there is hardly any real evidence for this. This is exemplified by how the Chinese historically have been a relatively inward looking people. They made plenty of practical inventions, most notable of them papermaking and gunpowder that were transmitted to the West via the Silk Road, but were grossly lacking in fundamental theoretical contributions to science. Even now, China in foreign policy is relatively passive. There were plenty of crazy Chinese communist radicals, but that was a reactive mechanism of a society under crisis. I don’t see this changing much soon, though as China becomes more powerful and advanced, she will become more confident and care less about what the rest of the world, especially America, thinks. She may even go all out to change international norms to its liking, maybe in another generation. I myself am somewhat of a meek person by nature, but I can also be quite aggressive in certain ways. Like, I don’t uphold any fake ideal of freedom and human rights that Anglo culture so unabashedly and delusionally (perhaps with ulterior motives) promotes; discipline and “totalitarianism” (also call in a lack of American-style PC) certainly are very useful and necessary when defined appropriately in the right context. I am aggressive enough to not buy into much of the BS America sells, culturally and ideologically. If certain groups do a lot of damage, objectively, then it’s definitely a very good idea for them to be rendered irrelevant, by force if necessary. If certain objectively flawed ideas are promoted for the interests for some scumbags, then people absolutely SHOULD organize to resist them instead of standing idly. To me, a malicious person feigning charity is much worse than a very self-interested person who is open about what he wants.

I actually feel like China and Chinese in general could be, and probably should be, much more aggressive at getting their voice out and calling out the BS aspects of America. They shouldn’t be so accepting of it. They need a little more arrogance. And the more economically and technologically powerful and advanced China becomes, the more justification there would be for doing that. Before, China was so far behind that it could not claim much credibility, but that has changed vastly, especially over the past five years, with the trend being much on China’s side. If people don’t feel comfortable doing that, maybe they should work out more to increase their testosterone and confidence. Maybe they can find the genes for that and select for it to remedy the natural ethnic defect. Is this justified? Of course. Even many actually smart white Americans believe this would be better for the world. Quoting someone else, and not to be taken too literally,

A world run by Chinese or Japanese is one where they’d be rich and on top but mostly leave others alone, except to get money from them.

A world run by whites is one where half want to conquer and half want to help.

A world run by Jews is one where they’d systematically extinguish any hope of ending it.

Corresponding with me, Ron Unz concurred, without ever seeing this statement to my knowledge. His words are the following:

Naturally, the Verbal skew among Jews is a significant factor. But personally, I think a much bigger, relatively ignored factor would be what might be called the “Fervency/Fanaticism/Aggressiveness Quotient,” and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Jewish mean were something like 115 or even 120. Meanwhile, the East Asian mean might be down around 85 or 90, which has major social impacts.

On manipulating perceptions

My thoughts on the importance of perception management, in addition to actually being good, by way of a chat log.

dude I think the jewish domination of liberal media is just IQ
if white americans are 100 SD 15, ashkenazim are 115 SD 15
Then if you look at 130+
In the US you have a 30:1 ratio but among 130+ you would expect like
2:1
dude like 1/3 of the 130+ whites in the US are jews
jewish verbal is probably even > 115 since spatial is lower
also they are coastal and liberal
 
lol you idiot it has much to do with personality socioeconomics culture too
 
which leads to more representation
yeah i’m saying that
coastal and liberal
already on the 2:1
updating more
 
Lol also if Jewish verbal is so high why are Asians beating them at PSAT/SAT
 
stats?
 
English/culture
 
Read Myth of American Meritocracy by Unz
 
link me the stats
 
I read it
 
He has stats there
 
have you read Janet Mertz takedown
 
Yes I’ve skimmed through that
 
Unz overestimates harvard % jewish
and underestimates other things
 
Sure he probably does a little
 
math olympiad % jewish
wait like half the white people at mop are jewish
like half
Since it can be hard to tell by surname
dude I think chinese americans have a massive
verbal IQ
way higher than of mainland china
maybe even higher than ashkenazim
But they haven’t been here long enough
like Jews in the 50s
also a lot of them are not interested
in verbal professions
 
how trainable is verbal SAT?
 
I agree the trainability of the SAT is overstated by people but cramming vocab is totally a thing, no
I dont trust unz statistics at all lol
 
Lol because Chinese-Americans know that verbal careers like law are rigged against them
So many strong ones are hesitant to enter
There’s a cultural affinity aspect to that as well
 
chinese prefer medicine or law
I think a lot of it also is that a society with a functional legal system is alien to most chinese people 😛
once I asked zuming whether china had a legal system
his response: No
 
Haha he’s both right and wrong
 
but yeah law is jewish
but I mean jews are not pulling the strings or anything
like
they are smart verbally
And they tend to be coastal and liberal
The tribe is not jews, it’s coastal liberals
130+ secular coastal liberals are like half jewish
but they dont think of themselves as jewish but as secular coastal liberals
like NYT columnists are half jewish
because 130+ secular costal liberals in the US are half jewish
 
Lol lol
 
if you add the adjective new york
secular new york coastal liberals
it’s a majority easily
 
NYT columnists
 
like manhattan is 20% jewish
 
NYT is full of garbage
 
?
its pretty reliable
Sometimes they call Rouhani a “moderate” and I wince – he’s certainly better than ahmadenijad, but he’s no moderate … “pragmatist” is the right word
 
You really need to broaden your horizons lol
 
hmm?
 
See politically, the Anglo world is setting the standards right now
 
yes, I very much enjoy not living in a society with sesame credit
 
sesame credit?
 
yes
 
I don’t even know what that is
 
china could become an orwellian state
 
Oh that
 
isn’t that great
 
Orwellian state what does that even mean
 
 
It’s just this phrase for evil regime coined by the Anglo media based on the works of an Anglo writer, that’s all.
I’ve read 1984 and Animal Farm
They’re pretty good
Very hyperbolic of course, as is much media
I actually exchanged briefly with Unz
 
ok
 
Maybe I should ask him about what he thinks of Jews being subsumed into the white category in these racial classifications
What do you think of these IQ tests as actual measures of real, biological intelligence
They are very noisy for sure
Especially verbal, because exposure to language varies widely
 
on an individual level
noisy
on a group level good
they are measuring something important
Whether it’s 100% genetic I dont know
I doubt it
 
Lol when most Chinese kids’ parents don’t know English all that well
Heck I’m even unfamiliar with some of the more colloquial English language
People viewed me as funny for it in school
 
sure
what do you think about steven pinker
he’s one of my favorite people
 
No opinion of him
Also those tests are noisy predictors of actual ability on real things as well from my observation
The discrimination against Asians in admissions right now is likely partially premised on the perception that their test scores inflate their actual ability due to prep.
There is still the perception that Asians do well in school but don’t go on to do great things
Again it’s only a perception
Being good and being perceived as good are far from perfectly correlated.
 
I think there is discrimnation against asians
for being recent
for being perceived as grade grubbers
 
Yeah they’re also not rich or well-connected.
 
this perception is not wholly unjustified ofc
yeah also that
i am strongly opposed to ivy asian quotas
 
There is resistance towards Asians becoming successful in America
It’s a white country after all
 
eh
 
Anyhow, I think in a matter of time, the best young people in China will come here for grad school less and less.
America will become a place for China to send its second-rates.
I’ve written that China needs to get better at marketing
 
china gives 0 shits about academics
it’s way too right wing to care about academics
 
too right wing?
And I’ve read on Zhihu that in recent years, the Chinese who studied math in France have turned out better than the ones who came to US for grad school.
 
that’s about france vs US
not china vs US
 
Lol math I think the best young people will still study abroad for a while.
There’s also engineering
Plenty of that China does well now.
I think in actual STEM ability/competence, China/Chinese still have much room for improvement, but now, they’re not bad, and the potential is there, with trends in favor of them.
It’s the whole game of manipulating perceptions that will take longer
Due to cultural difference and inertia
In that regard, it’s already been massively successful in just the last five years if you think about it
The media portrayal in the West has already drastically changed.
For instance, dismissiveness of Chinese tech companies is metamorphizing into fear.
I’m not gonna argue whether or not it’s gone to the other extreme
People can have different opinions on that
In any case, I don’t think China has transitioned to foundational innovator, that’ll take a while, but the increasing level of sophistication combined with the scale is certainly very formidable.
China still relies on US companies for its semiconductors/chips. She has not created a viable ecosystem for its homegrown ones yet. But that could well happen in a decade.
Then US will have even less bargaining chip.
Now, China can easily get away with what it’s doing to Taiwan largely because it is so much stronger economically, technologically, and militarily.
 
jack ma is a smart guy
but I mean
 
Nobody wants to piss off the powerful, because there’s much to lose.
 
china’s system doesnt make too much room for jack ma and yitang zhang
The lack of political freedom is a big obstacle here
 
Lol Jack Ma isn’t smart IQ wise
Struggled to get into a college
He has other qualities
 
The lack of political freedom is a big problem for innovation
 
Hahaha
Elaborate on that one 
 
Name a totalitarian society that was innovative
Germany under the Kaiser wasn’t really totalitarian
 
Uh, USSR?
 
all their jewish scientists moved to america and israel
ussr had good academics, certainly
Because they prevented them from leaving
They didn’t have much in the way of tech
 
Uh, Sputnik?
 
low tech
very low tech
your cell phone is better
there won’t be a chinese steve jobs
 
Sure computer technology they were behind, because semi-conductors and integrated circuits were invented in America
Lol Steve Jobs is mostly marketing 
 
shockley
eugenics
chinese bill gates
 
And what you say about Sputnik is ridiculous
First satellite in orbit
That was back in 1957 silly
You don’t think Ren Zhengfei is as impressive as Steve Jobs?
Huawei
So much of the global telecommunications infrastructure
Now their phones, which US is banning.
 
So
Lol what if China once it has the resources starts a huge propaganda/PR war
You bitch about totalitarianism
China has a ton of young people with nothing to do.
Have them troll the YouTube comments, drown out all the anti-communist Chinese.
Numbers do matter
The Chinese government could also incentivize more people in the West to start blogs supportive of Chinese ideology.
Try to buy out US media outlets
You don’t think China once it is advantaged in resources can start playing the game of manufacturing consent as well

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 grossly favored in the process once one control 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.

eliteenrollment-large

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.

Displacement of Jewish academic achievement

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.

Jewish pro-Americanism

In America, people often bring up what they view as China’s suppression of free expression. I personally dislike strongly the usage of “free expression,” because it is meaninglessly vague. And there is no such thing as free expression in the strictest sense of it. Especially when you are in a job dealing with a boss who can fire you, which is why politics is generally supposed to be a no-no in the workplace, discussion wise. People avoid it out of prudent protection of their careers. One naturally feels at disease when what one wishes to express is such that is unwelcome or hostile in the environment of one’s residence. In such case, one feels that his or her right of free expression is being beaten down. This is very much the case in America right now, in many places.

I’ll say that overall I would feel that China is actually more free in expression overall. Go on the Chinese internet and people can discuss certain matters honestly in a manner unimaginable on the American internet. It helps much that it is for the most part a ethnically homogeneous society, unlike in America, where you have to often be very sensitive to the background of the person you’re talking to (another peril of our cherished diversity I guess). This excepts a few in some sense politically taboo topics like Tiananmen, which people with some interest in the matter might discuss say eating out, just not publicly online. There are also the other two Ts, Taiwan and Tibet. From what I know, Tibet is seldom on the minds of people in China and neither is Taiwan really. In all honestly, people in China have, for the most part, way more interesting things to think about politically than any of these three Ts.

Back to the title of this article, I would say that I am somewhat surprised and also amused at how many highly educated American Jews express openly some diehard belief in American exceptionalism, in particular its “freedom and democracy.” There are plenty of prominent Jewish voices and even actors (like Kissinger) in American foreign policy, one of whom, Amitai Etzioni, I learned about yesterday, seeing that he has written Security First: For a Muscular, Moral Foreign Policy and Avoiding War with China: Two Nations, One World along with many articles on mass media channels like CNN. It’s kind of funny that a guy who fought for Israel against Arabs in 1948 as a teenager (according to Wiki) has such a high position in the BS field of geopolitical strategy in America, as a director and professor in something policy at George Washington University. I won’t name more names but I’ve seen many.

This is not surprising until I think about the situation more carefully. A cynic has a every reason to view Jews in their elite to desire infinite world power and control for America, the country where they exert the most political and economic influence, which their homeland Israel depends on much. On the other hand, they know that anti-Semitism is still very real in Russia, which is not that powerful anymore. I’ll say that I listen to some Soviet songs written by very talented Jewish composers and I admire much the brilliance and work of genius Soviet scientists with Jewish blood too many to name. However, let’s just say that in the Soviet era, Soviet Jews were kept out of political and economic power and more or less confined in the arts and sciences in which they excelled. On that, I’ll say that Trotsky sure left a bad mark for Jews in the Soviet Union. The second most powerful country in the world now, China, Jews basically have zero chance in. Plus, many of them might be aware that in China, one can talk about the grossly disproportionate economic, cultural, and political power possessed by American Jews without any fear of repercussions. That is basically an openly acknowledged fact among Chinese who engage in business. So this highly talented but very small subgroup which has made so many enemies only has America and to a lesser extent its puppet Europe to cling to.

What is rather ironic is that recently, Jews have arguably contributed much to America’s decline. Let’s just say that the Iraq War (which Israel very likely supported) and the financial crisis and recession (Goldman-Sachs is run by Jews) did no good for America, weakening greatly its international position. Those might have put Jews more in favor in America in terms of their control of the economy and their political influence, but of course, that only really counts if America is actually powerful.

Don’t know for sure what Jews were thinking with all that, but if they wanted to play genuine zero-sum games for their own favor, they’d want to strengthen America as much as they can (provided they maintain reasonable level of control over it) and weaken its adversaries, where they have little chance of gaining power without bringing about a coup that replaces the regime with a pro-American one. Of course, support for Israel is always desired, but Israel too small can never sustain itself, which means leeching off America (or some other giant) is an absolute necessity. It’s fair to say that Jews have boosted America to some extent by promoting immigration of high-end talent to work for American companies, whose smart kids will also, by virtue of growing up there, become American culturally and inevitably stay there. It’s also fair to say that Jews have tried hard to bring American culture and products into the rest of the world (to further integrate the rest of world into the American-led world order) with some success. The most glaring failure there is highlighted by that the Chinese government could not be convinced to let in Google and Facebook, which has contributed to a boom of indigenous Chinese tech companies, like Baidu and Tencent. China back a few decades ago seemed puny (with very low GDP per capita and lack of many advanced technologies), but now it is, for the most part, a superpower rivaling the US. With this, China is much more confident and is seeking more create an alternative system that challenges America and thereby Jews. Jewish anti-Chinese (often disguised as anti-communism) sentiment explained. It also hurts that the position of North Korea, which Israel, which itself has nukes, views as a major threat, having survived, whereas Iraq and Libya did not, is more secure the more powerful China becomes. With this, any fantasy of Jewish-led American world domination is ever more a fantasy.

I’ve seen much contempt for China and Chinese among Jews. There are all these stereotypes that Jews are creative and Chinese are not, with Jews 625 times more likely to win a Nobel Prize than an Asian person. It is so much engrained in the culture of stereotypes that I used to sort of believe it myself. Of course, when one looks more closely, one sees that those Nobel Prizes (which may have bias towards certain groups themselves) are mostly awarded to those already in old age, which means it takes not only time but also that a place has been developed and advanced for quite a while. I was rather surprised on seeing how many Nobel Prizes have been awarded to Japanese (mostly working in Japan) in the 21st century. That rate is comparable or close to the rate at which Americans win Nobels if one excludes the BS prizes of peace, literature, and economics and immigrants. Jews can be dismissive of China’s ability to innovate and they even tie it irrelevantly to its political system, in particular its great firewall. They are contradicting themselves. Anyone in the right mind knows that the political system doesn’t affect science research at all so long as the research is adequately economically supported and not disrupted. Ask yourselves why Jews were so successful in science in the “totalitarian” Soviet Union.

I have especially seen contempt among Jews for China’s political system, which some of them see as menacing and threatening. The faked moral superiority will not fool anyone who is not delusional. Everyone acts for his own interests for some degree or another, including China, including America, including Israel, including Russia. To back off from pursuing what is best for oneself under soft pressures and political deception is nothing but a sign of weakness. Anyone strong of heart, including the genuinely loyal Chinese party members, working in all arenas, know the importance of conviction and dedication and not letting it go amidst distraction and enticement.

Anyone with the slightest of political consciousness is aware that most always extraordinary talent is not enough though surely it can overcome initial disadvantages. For instance, being born into a rich, well-educated family is always an advantage. It gives you more material resources to develop your talents and more importantly, the access to connections which often make or break careers. To study and pursue excellence is a privilege that implies that the problem of basic material necessity has already been solved. In this regard, I shall comment that Jewish preeminence in intellectual and artistic pursuits is arguably as much a product of the superior economic, cultural, and social conditions they have accumulated over the past generations as it is of their superior raw talent. It is the former that turns the latter to fruit at higher rates. There is also that Jews, with their verbal talents (and perhaps certain personality characteristics too) combined with their being part of Western culture essentially, are excessively good and willing at self-promotion, which explains why they excel more in softer fields than in hard ones. I don’t want to sound too unpleasantly incisive here, but every time a smart Jew takes a scarce opportunity or position, it deprives a talented white or Asian from developing herself, her gifts, and her career.

America has, needless to say, provided Jews with too much opportunity. It is not often that a group can obtain a disproportionate number of positions of money and power in a powerful, advanced country where they are an immigrant minority with a different culture. America has virtually handed much of itself, its vast resources, to this group, and thus, this group must put America above all, so long its control of it is maintained.

From my experience, white Americans are often too nice and too naive. They don’t know how to scheme and deceive and are often oblivious when it is done to them. America is a wealthy, resource-rich country (per capita) that has not had a war at home since 150 years ago, unlike most of the rest of the world, after all, so there is less of a need to. On the other hand, Jews, aside from having a much higher IQ, have been met with some form of persecution for centuries and even millennia as a minority within Gentile society and necessarily developed such instincts, useful in moneylending, for their own survival that eventually enabled them to dominate more and more of the upper echelons of society with their form of shrewdness. Chinese, being from a densely populated place with little arable land and mountains abound, who have for the last century dealt successfully with powerful opponents, in one case the most powerful country in the world, trying virtually everything to make their country fail, can also easily see through shenanigans. Being much better positioned economically now, Chinese are also more equipped to fight back against them when it is in their interest to do so.

When dealing with anyone or any group, always expect them to place their interests first regardless of how they appear on the surface. As a special case of that, Jewish pro-Americanism is not Jewish pro-Americanism but Jewish pro Jewish domination of a powerful America that not necessarily pro-American at heart, as evidenced by the decline of America in aggregate over the past couple decades, especially following the 2008 financial crisis.

 

My awesome roommate

I recently met this cool guy because we live in the same place. Though he’s not that nerdy (by that, I mean super mathy), we still share many common interests. For instance, he expressed interest when I told him a bit about 艾思奇(Ai Siqi). Additionally, he told me about his appreciation for André Weil and Simone Weil, particularly her mysticism, which I found quite pleasing as I was reading about them not long ago. He also told me about this guy who is trying to understand Mochizuki’s “proof” of the abc conjecture despite being not long out of undergrad, who has plenty of other quirks and eccentric behaviors. Like, that guy joined some Marxist collective, and goes on drunken rants at 3 am, and is in general “aspie af,” something that he described me as too when messaging that guy himself. There is also: “he would literally kill himself if he had to do a tech job.” (laughter) That guy’s dad happens to be a (tenured) math professor from mainland China, more evidence that madness runs in families.

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…

Innate mathematical ability

This morning I had the great pleasure of reading an article on LessWrong on innate ability by Jonah Sinick. Jonah has been one of my greatest influences and inspirations, having interacted with him substantially. He is unusual in one of the best ways possible. I would not be surprised if he goes on to do something extraordinary.

When I catch up with Jonah, I like to talk with him about math, mathematicians, and IQ, which happens to be what that article of his on LessWrong is about. 😉 That article resonates with me deeply because I myself had similar experiences as he did. It is hypothesized by me that I was also twice exceptional, albeit in different ways, with its effects compounded by my unusual background, all of which mediocrities within the American public school system are not good at dealing with in an effectual way.

This writing of Jonah has brought forth reflections in my own mind with regard to mathematical ability, development, and style. I’ll say that as a little kid under 6, I was very good at arithmetic and even engaged in it obsessively. However, by age 8, after two years of adjusting to life in America starting off not knowing a word of English, I had forgotten most of that. I was known to be good at math among the normal normal students; of course, that doesn’t mean much. In grade school, I was not terribly interested in math or anything academic; I was more interested in playing and watching sports, particularly basketball and baseball.

I didn’t have any mathematical enrichment outside of school other than this silly after school math olympiad program. Nonetheless, I managed to test into two year accelerated math once I reached junior high, not that it means anything. In junior high, we were doing this stupid “core math” with graphing calculators and “experiments.” I didn’t realize that I was actually a joke at math until I failed miserably at the state mathcounts contest, having not prepared for it, unlike all those other tiger mommed Asian kids, who to me seemed way beyond me at that time. It only occurred to me that I might have some real talent for math when I made the AIME in 10th grade, taking the AMCs for the first time, being one of four in my high school of about 2000 to do so. I thought it was fun solving some of those math contest problems, which were more g-loaded, with an emphasis on the pattern recognition side.

It was after that I started to read up on the history of mathematics and mathematicians. I taught myself some calculus and was fascinated by it, not that I understood it very well. But I could easily sense that this was much more significant than many of those contrived contest problems, and soon, I began to lose interest in the contest stuff. It was also after that that I learned about proving things, which the American public school math doesn’t teach. I finally realized what mathematics is really about.

Like Jonah, I had some difficulties with careless errors and mental organization. I don’t think my raw intellectual horsepower was very high back in high school, but fortunately, it has improved substantially since then that it is for the most part no longer the major impediment.

I took calculus officially in 11th grade, and it was a breeze for me. I could easily compute the areas and volumes and such but the entire time, I felt quite dissatisfied, because I could not actually understand that stuff at a rigorous, theoretical level as I poured through our textbook that went up to vector calculus during lecture, which was rather inane, expected if one considers the mismatch between cognitive threshold relative to the distribution of ability of the students. I knew from reading online the rich world of math far beyond what we were covering, most of which I was not intellectually mature enough to access at that time. However, I vividly remember during summer after 11th grade, while attending a math summer program, I was able to comfortably write out the delta epsilon definition of limit with understanding of why it was reasonably defined that way. Still, I would say I was still quite weak in terms of both my mathematical maturity and overall intellectual ability. There were too many things I wasn’t aware of, including the g factor, that I easily would have been had I been higher in verbal ability, which would have enabled me to read, absorb, and internalize information much more rapidly and broadly. In contrast, Jonah had discovered independently, or so he says, the lack of free will at the age of 7!

I made some incremental advances in my math knowledge from reading and thinking outside of school the next year. As for contest math, I almost made the USAMO. Though I had improved, I was still not terribly quick and careful with solving contest style problems and doing computations. I think close to graduation, I also solved some Putnam problems.

Only in undergrad did I learn real math more seriously, but even there, nothing too advanced. US undergrad is a joke, and I also was one, just to a lesser extent than most of my “peers.” Almost certainly, Jonah, based on he’s told me, had gained much deeper and broader knowledge at the same stage, from the reading works of giants like Euler and Riemann.

I’ve noticed how there are a lot of Chinese-(American) kids really into those high school math contests, and they now also dominate USAMO and Putnam (though careful, as in the latter, there you’ve got some of Chinese internationals drawn from the elite from China). I will say that at the lower levels, many of those kids have some pretty low taste and an inability to think outside the system that would enable them to discover the existence of real math, as opposed to this artificial math game that they enjoy playing or are pressured to doing so for college. Though those contests have a high pattern recognition component to them, there is not really much depth or substantial math knowledge. It is also my belief, with reference to Jonah’s article, that math contests are mostly M loaded while real math is more V loaded. So this behavior is consistent with the lopsidedness in favor of M and perhaps also short term working memory of Chinese students. It has also been Jonah’s belief that controlling for g, these contests select for low taste and value judgement, and I surely identify with that perspective. So maybe college admissions are somewhat fair to assess an Asian penalty?

Of the thesis of Jonah’s article, a representative figure is Terry Tao. There, Jonah also pointed out that Tao’s research in math is more concrete and problem solving oriented by pure math standards, in line with what appears to be the same lopsided (modulo the absolute level, as Terry is a far far outlier) cognitive profile of his based on testing at age 9 and 10. Again, people enjoy what they are best at, and though, Terry Tao is almost certainly at least +4 sigma at verbal, he is far more rare, at least +5 sigma, a real übermensch, in the (in some sense dual) pattern recognition component, which means he leans towards the areas of math more loaded on the latter. I have heard the saying that even other Fields medalists are intimidated by Terry Tao. The breadth and volume and technical power of his work is almost unrivaled and otherworldly. The media makes it seem like Terry is a league above even the other Fields medalists. However, Jonah seems to believe that the deepest and most leading of mathematicians are the ones who are more theory builders, who create through leaps of insight and synthesis new fields and directions that keep mathematicians busy for decades, and even centuries. That would be say Grothendieck or SS Chern, and an ability that is more loaded on verbal ability, crudely speaking. Again, I have felt the same. This might explain why the advantage of Chinese students is not anywhere near as pronounced in math research as in contests, and why some people say that generally speaking, the Chinese mathematicians are more problem solving and technical than theoretical, more analysis than algebra. Likewise, we can predict the opposite for Jews who are skewed in favor of verbal. A corollary of this would be that the Jews produce the deepest thinkers, adjusted somewhat for population, which is almost certainly the case, if you look at the giants of mathematics and theoretical physics.

I’ll conclude with the following remark. I used to revere somewhat those who placed very highly on those contests, until I realized that many of them are actually somewhat weak in terms of deep understanding and thinking at a more theoretical level. Yes, I have met MOSPers who got destroyed by real math and who are not very intellectually versatile, with glaring weaknesses; I was quite surprised initially that even I seemed to be smarter if not a lot than some of them. Once upon a time, I couldn’t understand those who appeared very strong at real math (and often also science and/or engineering and/or humanities) who struggled with more concrete math and/or contest-style problem solving, like Jonah, who has written on LessWrong of his difficulties with accuracy on the trivial math SAT. I’ve met this other guy, who I thought was an idiot for being unable to perform simple computations, who is leagues beyond me in the most abstract of math, who writes prolifically about partially V-loaded areas of math like model theory. Now, the more metacognitive me has awakened to the reality that I may never by deficit of my neurobiology be able to fathom and experience what they’re capable of. After all, there are plenty I am almost certain are and are essentially doomed to be very delusional by nature relative to me, and since I’m at the far tail but not quite so much, there are bound to be people who view me the same. I can only hope that I can become more like them through some combination of exposure and organic neurobiological growth, but I as a realist will not deem that very likely.

Humanities

I’ve been very distracted by humanities lately and I am even contemplating making a career in it, which would have been farthest from my mind in high school or college. In high school, I struggled greatly with English class when in the novels I was forced to read, I couldn’t understand what was going on half of the time, due to misunderstanding of definitions of words or lack of requisite familiarity with the cultural context. There is also that I only started learning English at age 6, without being exposed to it much at home, which means I don’t know the English names of certain household items. Literature made little sense to me, but history I rather liked, though I disliked the American rendition of history.

I started reading Chinese online in high school. It was very difficult for me at that time, but gradually I was able to make sense of things. For language at school, I took Spanish and I was horrendous at it. I’ve forgotten most of it by now, but I could easily relearn it with my much enhanced level of verbal maturity. I’m not very motivated to learn Spanish anymore because there isn’t very much high culture in it (pardon my snobbery).

I hardly took humanities courses in college, but I did take a few that were required. I remember vividly how in the writing class I took most of the students couldn’t write coherently at all. I did starting in my third year of college develop an interest in Chinese poetry. I remember spending quite a while to memorize 蜀道难, without understanding what it was really saying as it was full of type of Chinese language literary that I had no exposure to at that time. I started reading Baidu Baike without feeling like it was too overwhelming.

In high school and even in college, it never occurred to me to take humanities seriously. There are no jobs in that. And students who major in it, at least not in the very top schools, are pretty fucking dumb. Additionally, I always considered language my weak point. In high school, I remember calculus being super easy for me while English class being almost torture. I had to really force myself to write those literary analyses and memorize the details of what happened in the each chapter of Dubliners by James Joyce so that I could actually ace the quizzes. Honestly, how do you fucking expect high school students to really understand what’s going on in that.

Early in my fourth year of undergraduate, I started learning Russian out of a desire to understand the lyrics of some beautiful Russian songs. Also, the grammar of the language, being highly inflectional, was quite fascinating. Also, the Soviet Union, which shaped the course of 20th century history so substantially, was viewed by me as an entity to be understood to a reasonable level.

I know American education really emphasizes liberal education where in undergraduate you study very generally. It is in contrast to many other systems, where students focus mostly on their major in college. In China, the education system of which was influenced by the Soviet Union in the 50s, has very specific majors, where say you major and engineering and by the time you graduate you are already sort of an expert in a very narrow part of engineering, such as automobile engines. So because of that, I didn’t actually learn a ton of math or computer science despite majoring in them, although it also had to do with my having been quite dysfunctional back then.

On humanities, I’ve also seen people who major in them as rather spoiled. “English literature” was cited by a Chinese immigrant engineer I worked with as something for rich people who don’t have to worry about making a living. Yes, there are actually parents who pay for their kids’ tuition at a non-state school which is like $50k / year now for them to study a useless subject with no employment prospects, and I’ve even seen cases of parents paying them for continual study. To be fair, just being able to study is already privilege. After all, most people in this world not by choice are engaged in menial labor that is often also dangerous and bad for health. It’s especially egregious when these useless humanities students (many of whom aren’t even any good at humanities or language) also support very unprogressive and even vile politics. There are probably many of those at many of America’s Ivies (I’ve been told that at Yale the major for kids who party too much to graduate is American Studies). On that other hand, there are obvious advantages of entitlement, which I won’t go into.

I grew up in very ordinary middle class American neighborhoods, surrounded by very ordinary people. I wasn’t like the other kids at all, though the environment made me fit in artificially. That there are parents who spend over $50k / year on enrichment for their (often idiot) children was so foreign to me at that time. I believed firmly in, by virtue of upbringing, meritocracy, and the gradual realization of the world’s so not being that way was rather disillusioning. Why play it fair when you don’t have to? Instead of feeling of disgust at such, I have evolved to view it as very normal and inherent to human nature.

As for humanities, I haven’t been reading novels in their entirety, which I don’t really have the patience for, but I have learned countless words in Chinese, English, and Russian, which I have a much better memory for now. The humanities culture in China, a rich civilization and culture of millennia, which I have indirect access to via my internet connection, has deeply impressed me. I read classic poetry in it and imagine how anybody could have possibly written this. It is evident that I am still quite a ways away from the big brains in anything, and it is possible that I am simply not naturally talented enough. I will say though that most kids in my current generation, especially in America, are as dumb and ignorant as rocks. Is this due to genetic deterioration or due to the degenerate culture that pervades my generation? I feel like much is the inability of many to recognize that latter and the mental courage to counter it at the expense of some degree of social isolation. We are in an era of civilizational decline, and when I say this, I echo the private exchanges among many highly gifted and aesthetically discerning people who must hide to some degree in the suffocating atmosphere of this country, especially in the corporate world.

Most of my friends are in STEM, in fields like math or software engineering, so the types within my milieu constitute a rather lopsided group. I have little contact with any in the world of humanities and social science in America and I am curious as to what kind of people they are. Well, Steve Hsu says many of them are high V lower M types, confused, in the likes of Stephen Gould. My temporary loss of interest in mathy material is worrisome. Am I degenerating into those I looked down on as saying nothing of substance. (In case you haven’t noticed, I am saying absolutely nothing of substance right now, but perhaps it needs to be said for social and political reasons, as part of an cultural/ideological war in some sense?) Perhaps this is an artifact towards my intelligence shifting more towards the verbal end of things? Could it possibly be that now with some more years of organic cognitive maturation I am now metamorphosing towards the reverse direction of lopsidedness?

When I talk with people in the software profession, it is apparent that they are types for whom learning natural language is unintuitive, despite programming being a very languagy pursuit, with many programmers conspicuously bad at math, as the work is of a very qualitative nature. There had been to me many parallels to writing in software engineering to my blind intuition but such is clearly not the case empirically.

There are many people, especially certain parents, who will say that once you’re an age, you can’t just study and that you have to go out and earn money and do something that’s directly useful to others, that makes some tangible contribution to society. That can be writing software or building houses or scrubbing toilets. But it can’t be hiding in academia, especially in a subject like pure math or comparative literature. There are all these stereotypes of about those in pursuit of or already in possession of Permanent Head Damage as kids who don’t want to grow up many of whom also lack common sense or have no practical skills, who manage to put spoons and forks flat on the dishwasher. There are also stereotypes in virtually all societies that those people only know books and are often too uppity to engage in forms of labor regarded as more menial.

I thought that maybe I could go into history or political science or language. Maybe I could even make a career in that. It’s not impossible. Or maybe even go into the legal profession?

I’m at a loss on where to take my life as software, which I’m not bad at, does seem not to marry my personality. Most software engineers will see me as too weird for say learning Russian on my own. Now am I one of those dysfunctional weirdos who can only survive in academia, which we already know has no jobs? Also, at this point, I am mostly a consumer, rather than a producer, of knowledge, a state of intellectual incapacity that will hopefully alter itself. There have been times when I could not help but see myself as good for nothing, though surely my standards on that are quite high. Hopefully, I can find something in which I can truly excel and even make a name for myself. Let’s see if that happens.

Languages

I find myself increasingly into languages and the humanities, more exclusively verbally loaded things. This is in contrast with my high school self, who was quite weak with that. I recall struggling greatly with English class. I dreaded reading novels and writing those BS literary analyses of them because there were so many places where I’d be completely at sea, and plus, I wasn’t very good with writing or communication in any way. Also, I lacked common sense and general knowledge, indispensable for literature. From that I could only conclude that I’m very naturally bad at literature and at verbal things.

I also remember being having really low self-esteem in third grade because I couldn’t read Harry Potter, which many of the other kids seemed to have with ease and with great enjoyment. I only started learning English at almost 6.5 years of age, so I guess I do have some excuse for sucking at these things. Also, there was also this slang I didn’t know even in middle school, which the other kids taunted me for. I was also overly literal minded and couldn’t get jokes or idioms. Maybe because I was borderline autistic? Who knows.

Anyhow, with some more years of age all this has mostly disappeared. I still wouldn’t consider myself super high V, like +4 sigma at this. If I were, I wouldn’t have to look up so many Russian words despite having studied it (entirely independently, with some long hiatuses) since fall of 2013! That I did by accident on my desire to understand the lyrics of Катюша (Katyusha), which is such a beautiful song. From this, I was brought into the beauty of Soviet music, which I listen to regularly to this day. Those composers were such high aesthetic discernment! I can’t think of any national music that is better than Soviet music!

Because I’m not a genius, unlike Pushkin or Lenin, I feel like I actually have to do deliberate practice; I can’t just learn by osmosis, even with internet dictionaries and Google translate. Sure, one can say I never had formal training, but I don’t think formal training makes much difference. The genuinely gifted tend to be able to learn things on their own without feeling like they’re trying. And needless to say, no matter what instruction you are given, it’s still up to you to form the mental processes required for mastery.

The best way to do deliberate practice is to perform some translations, at my current level. I’ll do one here, on this writing of Lenin on anti-Semitism. From doing this, I can hopefully remember all the words that I don’t know permanently. To be less uncreative, I’ll do it in a very analytical way, you’ll see what I mean.

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Антисемитизмом называется распространение вражды к евреям. Anti-Semitism is on called enlarged spread of enmity towards Jews. Когда проклятая царская монархия доживала свое последнее время, она старалась натравить темных рабочих и крестьян на евреев. What time сursed Tsarist monarchy to lived its through track time, she tried on incite dark workers and peasants on Jews. Царская полиция в союзе с помещиками и капиталистами устраивала еврейские погромы. Tsarist police in union with through place and capitalists with concrete purpose build Jewish through thunder. Ненависть измученных нуждой рабочих и крестьян помещики и капиталисты старались направить на евреев. Not on see from wear out by need workers and peasants landlords and capitalists tried on drive on Jews. И в других странах приходится видеть нередко, что капиталисты разжигают вражду к евреям, чтобы засорить глаза рабочего, чтобы отвлечь их взоры от настоящего врага трудящихся – от капитала. And in other countries motion inwards go see without sparsity, that capitalists enlarged burn enmity towards Jews, what conditionally cover waste eyes of workers, what conditionally away attract them in dawn away on standing enemy of working people – from capital. Вражда к евреям держится прочно только там, где кабала помещиков и капиталистов создала беспросветную темноту рабочих и крестьян. Enmity towards Jews holds firmly only there, where bondage of landlords and capitalists with built without having light darkness of workers and peasants. Только совсем темные, совсем забитые люди могут верить лжи и клевете, распространяемой против евреев. Only with all dark, with all with beaten people can believe lies and libel, enlarged spread against Jews. Это – остатки старого крепостного времени, когда попы заставляли сжигать еретиков на кострах, когда существовало рабство крестьян, когда народ был задавлен и безгласен. These – of stay of old serf time, what time priests with to make burn heretics on stake, what time existed slavery of peasants, what time on humanity were on weighed and without voice. Эта старая крепостническая темнота проходит. Народ становится зрячим. This old feudal darkness through go. People become able to see.

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I stopped after the first paragraph. There are few more. I won’t continue on like this because it’s a bit too tedious and not the best use of my time. This exercise did help much educationally for me.

What Lenin described is basically a common tactic used by colonialists (and current day corporate executives), namely directing their enemy against a harmless, easy to target group, to distract them, in this specific case with Jews as the scapegoat. Compared to divide and conquer, where British colonialists incite X Indian to kill Y Indian, after which British colonialists kill X Indian, this is actually rather mild. I wonder what pieces Lenin wrote on the divide and conquer tactic.

In light of divide and conquer, the communists lost the Cold War after many great triumphs because they fought too much against themselves. The Sino-Soviet split weakened the socialist camp tremendously. By the 80s, the USSR was more behind, and America through soft, ideological means successfully brought about its implosion. The same almost happened with China with the 89 protests, but China did not do what the USSR stupidly did.

There’s also what Michael O Church loves to say, that in Silicon Valley, the executive scumbags love to fuel tensions between the working class and intellectual class. To those throwing rocks at Google shuttles, it’s like dude, you’re attacking the wrong people! This also brings to mind the classic tactic of enticing one’s enemy group with wealth and benefits to bring them to your side. The American elite did that during the Cold War to its working classes and they won with that, and after the pressure on them (from an external power) was over, they believed they could get away with depriving medical care and creating a higher education bubble and did just that. My friend loves to say that we won’t have a revolution because it’s much easier now for rich people to give poor people a little more to get them to shut up. People aren’t starving anymore.

I’ve read writing about how psychopathy, or the willingness and ability to take advantage of others, propels people to the top. Psychopathy I’m sure also runs in families. Now the question is how much longer will the world be ruled by psychopaths who suck people’s blood. I can’t imagine that changing in the next century. Humans are too awful and defective. However, maybe once we discover the genes for psychopathy, we can do something about that. 😉

The chosen people

I have always had a fascination with Jews as a group. They are after all this super high achieving, creative ultra minority group that accounts for like 25% of the people at the top of various disciplines. Most notable are mathematics and physics. In math, you have von Neumann, Grothendieck, Paul Cohen, etc. In physics, the list is even longer: Einstein, Feynman, Gellman, Landau, Teller, too many to name. And these are the brainiest fields. But also, Jews excel at the highest levels in literature and music and in softer sciences. Marx, Freud, Chomsky, etc. They also excel in finance, law, and entrepreneurship. Look at the founders of some of the important SV firms and the top Wall Street hedge funds. This is rather universal. Even in the Soviet Union, some of the most prominent musicians and film producers were Jewish. Sergei Eisenstein, Iosif Kobzon. And many of the most infamous Russian oligarchs are Jewish too. In that realm, comes to mind Roman Abramovich, that guy who, in addition to marrying a trophy wife, bought the world’s best soccer team!

People use IQ as an explanation. Jews as a group, as we all know, have a very high median IQ (with extra advantage at verbal), and we all know what effect such has on the far tail (assuming same sigma (even there, Jews may be higher)). But could IQ alone account for most of such disproportionate achievement? A highly talented math PhD of Jewish origin has hypothesized (and communicated such directly to me) that Jews, aside from cultural and socioeconomic advantages, have higher aesthetic discernment, which enables them to be more creative. We all know that in science and the arts, horsepower is important, but there is also the taste and vision aspect.

I know some Jews, some of whom have lived in Israel, and I enjoy talking with them enormously. One of them I consider far smarter than I am. On the other hand, one of them, who is quite deficient academically and spouts a lot of nonsense, I have a rather low opinion of. He once sent me photos of military hardware that China bought and cloned from Israel to express to me how uncreative Chinese people are. I had already know, from talking with people in China, that China imported some cutting edge military technology from Israel, especially in the 80s. Earlier today, I glanced through the page on the Six Day War, the one in which Israel decisively defeated Arab countries that the Soviet Union had supported during the Cold War. It further reinforced my impression of how formidable the Israeli military is. I know that they have nuclear weapons, and are widely believed to possess thermonuclear ones as well, which they are very confident work despite not having tested them. A guy I talk to, who is doing a PhD in string theory at a top school, of very neutral Indian origin, however, says that they didn’t develop them on their own. (In contrast, it is almost universally accepted that China developed those independently in the 60s after the Soviet experts left.) To my great surprise, Gwydion Madawc Williams, who is highly knowledgeable about history and politics in an objective way, has publicized his doubts as to whether Israel would even survive in the long run. That seems to me quite far-fetched. Even though the demographics, and perhaps even public opinion, is against them, they are too competent and powerful (with weapons of mass destruction) not to survive. I may be wrong though in that judgement, with my near total lack of knowledge at the detailed level.

Yes, I know almost nothing about Jewish culture or even about Israel. I recall learning about it in my bull shit history class senior year of high school, which had the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one of its major units. I know who Herzl was, what the Balfour Declaration was, and other such commonly known facts. However, how could a 17 year old possibly understand something like that in any deep, non-trivial way? Maybe in my spare time, I can actually accumulate all that requisite knowledge of biblical history as well as of the modern one. And learn some Hebrew too. If only I had the intellectual horsepower to devour that alongside Chinese language and history, which is already boundless enough. In spite of the great degree of my lack of JvN, I’ll do what I can. I could at least do better than all those Jews I’ve talked to who’ve said completely ridiculous things about Chinese culture and history to me. Jewish culture is little known and misunderstood outside those who practice it, but Chinese culture is far more so, with China having been traditionally isolated from and developed almost entirely independently of the West, alongside the freeze in relations with America following the Korean War that lasted for 20 years, the legacy of which is still ubiquitous today in America, around which global culture revolves. Though I grew up almost entirely in America, someone as intelligent as I am inevitably realized over time that the American or Western portrayal of Chinese culture, both the traditional one, and the PRC one, is more or less nonsense, and factually inaccurate in many ways. To de-brainwash myself on that one, I did what any reasonable person would do: read a ton of Chinese online, learning it in the process.

I’ll conclude by writing that as far as I see it, Jewish intellectual supremacy is hard to deny. As a group, Jews really do seem to produce a lion’s share of the geniuses, and by genius, I mean one who radically changes a field, who produces revolutionary work, as opposed to one who merely becomes professor at first rate university. It won’t be a surprise if this persists for quite a while, perhaps through the 21st century. People love to talk about now how in the young generation, it is the East Asian students who are outperforming, with their domination now of the IMO and Putnam contests, and other olympiads, as well as their increasing population in hard STEM departments in universities. There is still however some doubt on their ability to create new fields, to alter the face of science, as there is the widespread belief that East Asians are not as creative. Though I definitely cannot say with confidence, at this point, that Jewish ultra intellectual elite can be matched, I do think the aforementioned hypothesis regarding East Asians is rather overblown. I’ll explain why in the next paragraph.

First of all, I’ve come to realize that Japan has been producing ceiling creative people at a very high rate since they’ve been a developed country. This is true for mathematics, for physics, for engineering, for video games, for anime. That Jewish math PhD cited earlier in this post feels the same. Their high performance in science is evident from the plethora of Japanese names at the apex of various scientific fields who created their own directions which turned out to be extremely important and fundamental. In theoretical fields, Yoichiro Nambu, Hideki Yukawa, Goro Shimura, Kiyoshi Ito, Kenkichi Iwasawa, too many to name. Japanese have won a lion’s share of Nobel Prizes in the 21st century. Given such, it’s ironic that Satoshi Kanazawa wrote that Asians can’t think. People then will point to China and its underperformance. For that, one needs to keep in mind that China did not begin rapid modernization until the 1950s, whereas Japan was already more or less an advanced country during WWII. The high level of poverty, the great need for applied work, which diverted many of the smartest people away from pure science, and political movements such as the Cultural Revolution that substantially disrupted pure research all contributed to this. China following the reforms had many of its best and brightest go to American PhD programs, with most of them not returning, many of them eventually becoming professors in good or top American universities. It seems like that that cohort of mainland Chinese in America did exceedingly well, many becoming quite distinguished. As for conformism, if one knows the slightest about 20th century Chinese revolutionary culture and history, it will be apparent that Chinese are plenty non-conformist. That way smarter than me guy with Jewish blood, who I talk to regularly, once said that Jews produce the greatest extremes in virtually every direction, from Benjamin Netanyahu to Norman Finkelstein, from Garry Kasparov to Bobby Fischer, which I could not disagree with. As I learned more about 20th century Chinese history and culture though, I feel like Chinese are plenty crazy too. Politically, there is the very original culture and political system created by the Chinese communists, and on the other direction, you have liberal anti-communists like Fang Lizhi as well as Liu Xiaobo and other Tiananmen Square liberals who are now saying crazy things in America in the likes of Kasparov and Fischer. The Chinese communists developed one of a kind methods of warfare that proved to be highly successful, that enabled them ultimately to fight successfully against the most powerful country in the world, proving Chinese military ability in the modern era for the first time. However, due to cultural and linguistic isolation, coupled with political bias from the West, this is little known by the rest of world.

I’ll conclude by saying that all of this, on Jews, on East Asians, is rather consistent with theories derived from psychometrics. Psychometrics would predict, based on their higher base IQs, that those two groups would be vastly overrepresented within the intellectual elite, as they are. And it also seems to me that higher IQ really does make people more likely to be non-conformist and extreme, not only intellectually but also politically. Genius and madness go together.

Programming types

Programming, the intense hacker side of it, attracts a certain breed of person. In short, I would put it as that it attracts those who are higher in autism than in g, though of course one needs to be reasonably high in both, especially the verbal side of g, as its activity is largely one of reading (of logs and documentation) and writing (of code (and its supporting documentation), the quality of which has good variable names as a major component). I do feel at times that programmers, even elite ones, are lacking in scientific taste. Many of them are mathematically null. They thrive on and even love the detailed minutiae involved in the work, such as encodings (like UTF, ASCII, that type of thing), the ins and outs of Unix, and arcane facts of various languages. I had to encounter in my work today parsing of CSV files, and it turned out that the CSV reader was not reading under the correct encoding. I ended up diffing my output with the output generated via a means more or less guaranteed to work to aid such’s diagnosis. I’m not bad at this type of thing any longer, having trained myself or more like grown to be able to patiently resolve such problems in a systematic, foolproof fashion.

Does that mean I enjoy this type of thing? No, not at all, though I find it tolerable, more or less. Too autistic for me. It does not have the depth that mathematics has. It has not the beauty of poetry or of music. It has not the wittiness of words or the expressiveness of (human) language. Nor does it have the significance on the world that politics has. There are more meaningful to be doing than programming, though needless to say there is much demand for it as the world now runs on computer programs, which are written mostly by politically incompetent and often socially awkward who answer to morons with MBAs.

I’ve come to notice that programmers tend to be very narrow. They only know programming. There are of course exceptions. Mathematicians and to a greater extent physicists are more broad, and more deep. It makes them very boring to talk with. The people who are more well rounded who are in programming are often, from my observation, in it for the easy money, which is of course paltry relative to what the parasites of our society suck in, but nonetheless a very good sum by the standards of ordinary folk.

There is of course another world of programming, that of the incompetents, who often know only Java and barely know any computer science even. They’re far from the functional programmers who I work with. This industry is so in need of grunt labor that those people manage to find their way into six figure salaries. Yes, this includes places like Google and Facebook. There are Google engineers who don’t know what the difference between stack memory and heap memory is and who think C++ pointers are scary, who make 200k a year or almost. I won’t talk more about them. Waste of breath.