Re: IQ AND RACE. The taboo subject.

Gordon Fitch (
15 Feb 1995 08:11:16 -0500

Gordon Fitch <> wrote:
| >the jobs to which affirmative action is applied. Very, very
| >few jobs stretch anyone's intelligence to its limit; hence,

ivin@volans.EECS.Berkeley.EDU (Ilya Vinarsky):
| ...
| Probably a better description of the relationship between intelligence and
| job ability would be the following: for every job, there is a lower limit
| as to how dumb one can be to do the job, and an upper limit as to how smart
| one has to be for his or her actual intelligence to have anything to do with
| job performance (ie, would Donald Knuth really scrub the grill better
| or faster than me?). For those whose intelligence is in between (literally
| if it is one-dimensional, and a "weighted sum" of those kinds that are
| relevant to the job if it is multi-dimensional), it is very relevant.

If a job does not use all of one's mental capacities all
the time, then one can compensate for more or less mental
capacity in some area with more or less effort, attention,
or other mental capacities in another. One is therefore
_qualified_ for the job. A person with a (theoretically)
lower capacity might perform the job _better_ than one with
a higher capacity, in fact. All this is assuming that
mental capacity is constant, measurable, and one-
dimensional, which it doesn't seem to be except to
those with axes to grind.

| I assume, Gordon, that you are at least a graduate student (in terms of your
| educational level). The graduate students I have seen at UC Berkeley,
| both in the mathematics and the CS departments (less so in the IEOR department
| :-)) are, on the average, a very smart and talented bunch that is extremely
| select; I think the CS department accepts 1 grad school applicant out of 10.
| These people would probably be grossly overqualified for just about any
| real-world job out there. This is, for better or for worse, not true for
| the rest of us. Please understand this.

I'm a dropout and I've supported myself since I was 18. I
can't stand the academic environment. I've worked at a
great variety of jobs, all of them working-class until I got
into programming computers. While I'm good at programming
computers, I'm not so good at a lot of working-class jobs
(but reasonably good at others). I've also observed people
with advanced degrees screwing up mightily in my present
craft. So I know from personal experience that those who do
well at purely intellectual tasks like taking "IQ" tests and
getting advanced degrees are not some kind of elite or
master race, and that Charles Murray's theory is ludicrous.
Unfortunately, no academic or right-wing institution is
going to give me a grant to prove it.

>< Gordon Fitch >< ><