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August 23, 2012

Comments

Interesting. I've been wondering about free riders and the loss of signal when people start teaching self-esteem instead of pushing kids to be confident only when they've done something worth doing. I think society as a whole probably loses when this becomes widespread, but as the nation becomes more diverse people are going to compete on these axes rather than take the personal hit for the good of society.

It would be interesting to see the break down on the degree to which females over-assigned competence to males in comparison to other gender pairings.

And by "interesting" I don't mean to say that I'm actually curious, but rather that I seek the internal satisfaction of having a preconception confirmed.

Anyone who wants their children to go into sales is a fool. If you want increase the chances of children to be involved in divorce, substance abuse, and suicide, then send them into sales.

Every few people are capable of being a good saleman and living a happy life.

"The low self-esteem Chinese will make great low-paid value-creating engineers and the whites with high self esteem will make more money selling the stuff that the Chinese engineers design."

If we limit ourselves to using Sigmian economic terminology, then whites are both the best value creation race and the best value transference race because whites have beaten out East Asians in scientific breakthroughs (the Higgs Boson was discovered by white scientists in Europe) and mathematical breakthroughs. Before he was fired by NRO, Derb pointed out that the highest ranked mathematicians outside of the US are still overwhelmingly European.

Steve Jobs is another good example of how whites are both better at value creation (Apple's products are state of the art luxury hardware) and value transference (the superior and beautiful design of Apple's products and Jobs' exceptional overconfidence and skill marketing his ideas).

Asians are good at doing grunt work with set formulas that are already handed down to them by white value creators and value transferers.

This is another reason why whites are not interchangeable with Asians and why whites should be overwhelmingly favored in US immigration policy: whites, as a group, are better at novel value creation and out of the box "value transference" thinking to get the idea off the ground than Asians.

[HS: Post WWII, Japan has done very well at creating value.]

My parents and grandparents believed in *actively destroying* self-esteem. I'm old enough that I went to grade school before they believed in self-esteem-building, too.

No wonder I'm a failure in life. =)

"One of the most basic questions for students of human social groups, organizations, and socieites, is the question of how we select individuals for positions of status. Although we may seek to choose wisely, we are often forced to rely on proxies for ability, such as individuals’ confidence. In so doing, we, as a society, create incentives for those who would seek status to display more confidence than their actual ability merits."

That explains Obama in a nutshell.

Overconfidence is the core concept of game. The scientific studies showing its effectiveness at attracting interest and deference from people (and especially from women) are just lab proof on top of already existing millions of field anecdota from millions of men that game works.

http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/overconfidence-is-the-heart-of-game/

Overconfidence explains why an unemployed asshole can get hot chicks as easily as a millionaire hedge funder. It's all about the tude. But shut-in beta males will never get this because they have no experience with it.

Blacks are very good at it. India guys not too far behind. In white people, English are at bottom with too much self-pity. In East Asia, Chinese are at bottom.

In other words: bluffing works.

You know, I think is a big part of disproportionate Jewish success.

The belief system is basically that Jewish people are God's chosen people. And then you have a history of some disproportionate success and the confidence and expectation of a place in life is set.

[HS: This goes against the stereotype of Jews being nervous, insecure and even paranoid.]

I was (and still I am) of much higher opinion of esteemed and beloved HalfSigma's moral standards, than

"... you will fool most people, and therefore receive more credit for your work ..."

Your F.r.

Oh, please. Having been in sales I can assure you that all the talk about self-esteem and confidence and positive attitudes is psychobabble. If anything, a super confident enthusiastic salesman is doomed to fail, as customers can sense that a long way off and will suspect they're being conned.
Here's how success or failure in sales really works: if people are interested, they'll buy, and if they're not interested, they won't buy. A salesman has almost no ability to affect the outcome.

[HS: I used the term "sales" in a broader sense than shmoes working for commission for an insurance company. CEOs are salesmen.]

Belief systems are terribly important. The worst belief systems for inspiring excellence seem to be Hinduism (if you aren't of an upper caste) and Islam. Both fail to inspire confidence, among other failings.

With Hinduism the very notion of getting ahead is in violation of your destiny as set by your caste. Furthermore, you have a particular place or role and you are supposed to stick to it even if you are naturally better at something totally different. Finally, early marriage means getting a job before you have much education.

Islam seem not to inspire success for a couple of reasons. First is the central belief in submission apparently as the first virtue.
Second, if women are held captive, men don't have to work to impress them. Finally, as with Hindus, the early marriage of Muslims means little education before you start earning a living.

Consider the Islamic world and the Indian subcontinent. About a billion people each and barely and any patents, virtually zero Nobels, minimal athletic success and so forth. Those who break out of those cultures seem find much more success.

[HS: HBD offers a more simple explanation.]

"[HS: This goes against the stereotype of Jews being nervous, insecure and even paranoid.]"

Not necessarily. That stereotype is about their reaction to and fear of what all the non-Jews around them might do to harm them.

Overconfidence is about what you feel about yourself and your own capabilities.

[HS: I used the term "sales" in a broader sense than shmoes working for commission for an insurance company. CEOs are salesmen.]

Applying for a job is sales work. Who's more likely to get a job, if their actual qualifications for the job (assuming it's not a sales job) are roughly equal?

Overconfidence is the core concept of Game.

Yes and no. Men who don't have much game can improve their chances with women by acting overconfident. Once they've actually had some (more) success with women, their confidence increases to back up their "bluff". Some, but not all, women will see through a guy who is displaying more confidence than he actually feels. Almost all women will respond well to men who display lots of confidence that's backed up by what they really feel inside.

Self esteem must be eraned.

I have yet to meet a confident person that wasnt accomplisehed.

Mild overconfidence is sweet spot for success.

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/how-confident-should-you-be

This was discussed in my first blog post (http://jaymans.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/taming-the-tiger-mom-and-tackling-the-parenting-myth/ ):

"it is not exactly true that “the world doesn’t care about self-esteem,” as one can make a living out of more or less basically having a high opinion of oneself, as salesmen, motivational speakers (like one former President…), and our favorite, religious gurus do (hey, I never said that this was a good thing). As well, the world confers a lot upon those with a high self-opinion and not much else to back it up."

What your example describes is the "Dunning-Kruger effect" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect ), which recently came up in my discussions.

All that said, parents *cannot* raise their children to be overconfident, or anything else, because, as stated in said blog post, parents do not influence how children turn out, particularly in contrast to Chua (also discussed in said blog post).

There does seem to be a self-confidence effect related to one's status in one's teens (future blog post), such that self-esteem, more than most other personality traits, might be heavily affected by one's childhood experience with one's peers. The best parents can do is to do the best they can to make sure their child's standing with their child's peers—particularly in the high school years—will be good. According to the classic logic that prevails around here, this would mean (if the parents are White or Asian), avoiding schools with too many NAMs (where all odds are their child won't have good social standing), but other things such as making sure they are well dressed, fairly free of physical deformities, and at least moderately able to keep pace with the latest activities/items popular with the kids (which is why having status, which you note is so important for people, does have value in and of itself).

Tony Robbins.

I think Amy Chua was making her sales pitch to working class and ethnic proles, and not to the general upper middle class white crowd. Asians in general do better than proles in education and income. But they don't as well as the SWPLs.

You know those corporate team building exercises are great at revealing this psycho social defect. First the team is given a situation. Then the individuals tell what they would do, often by prioritizing stuff on a list. Then they share their ideas and create a group plan/priority list. Then they are rated as to their success. When there are several groups who then come together and share their group plans and then are told what the actual best practice/plan/priorities really are, everyone quickly discovers how the stupid popular people sank their group, while the smart popular people saved their group. Either way the more charismatic/confident types ruled the day.

One more thing.

Several of us enjoyed something of a needed confidence boost for engaging in future conflicts/negotiations. Our individual plans outperformed all of the negotiated group plans.

"The best parents can do is to do the best they can to make sure their child's standing with their child's peers—"


Get your kid into activities where he can beat his competition. Don't let your kid be the youngest in his class if he has one of those summer birthdays where you can go either way. Hold him back a year.

It depends on the situation:

Mating (males): definitely helps--in fact, it's the only way to go in this day and age.

Work: short-term, can be useful. But you'll have a tough time building a network if you're seen as someone who messes things up or doesn't know his station. In small doses.

Socially: Not a good idea. Nobody wants to have a beer or play golf with an arrogant douche.

Self esteem level seems to be programmed into babies when they are born. Parents have little influence.


Blacks seem to naturally have an over abundance of self esteem. It doesn't seem to help them much.

" Blacks seem to naturally have an over abundance of self esteem. It doesn't seem to help them much."

That's because we live in a meritocracy where the SAT/ACT reveals their intellectual deficiencies, and the meritocracy selects high-g people who also possess the high self-esteem with blacks for value transference activities such as working in politics and investment banks. It seems economically that high self-esteem is only valuable when one has sufficient g. Perhaps, that is the "g" threshold when "g" starts having marginal returns and personality traits and specific abilities (as the intercorrelation of those abilities starts breaking down due to Spearman's law of diminishing returns) become more important than "g". But to a low-g person, I don't see how high or low self-esteem would enhance productivity or provide opportunities for advancement in a menial job, especially if they use objective performance evaluation and psychometric tests (even if it does not directly test "g") are used as metrics for promotions. (And yes, "g" is important at lower levels, from 70-90, but the high g HS commenters are unlikely to know that from personal experience but rather from their familiarity with the psychometric literature on individual differences.)

You think I have a God complex?

Let me tell you something...

I am GOD.

- Gen Y

People confuse misplaced self-esteem or hubris with charisma, success and stability. I also believe that many people assume that self-esteem indicates "happiness" due to past success and ability, and automatically perceive the other person to be "better" than they are.

I guess this anecdotal evidence proves that fake it till you make it works. Especially for the not so adept individuals who gets a self-esteem boost from something so trivial such as a college degree or losing weight.

@Peter: "Here's how success or failure in sales really works: if people are interested, they'll buy, and if they're not interested, they won't buy. A salesman has almost no ability to affect the outcome."

I've known a few people who have been quite successful in sales, and they basically endorse Peter's point of view. Clients/ customers can smell it when you're pushing too hard, think you're in control, think you can manipulate them, etc. One very successful salesman told me that these motivational, pep rally sessions that the sales managers arrange just f*ck you up, because they get you half believing that you can control the outcome.

Sales is a very zen thing, in it's own way.

When people say that our culture is decadent, this is what they're talking about. It seems that any society that's powerful enough not to fear invasion begins to reward confidence more than competence, which never works out well in the long term.

@someguy, there are millions of confident fools.

Here is a way to raise self-esteem - lower expectations:

http://hamptonroads.com/2012/08/black-caucus-criticizes-new-school-testing-targets

"One very successful salesman told me that these motivational, pep rally sessions that the sales managers arrange just f*ck you up, because they get you half believing that you can control the outcome."

Some sales managers are outright sadists. They are not content merely with harping on endlessly about the vital importance of a positive attitude and shooting for one's goals, but they take it a step further and berate struggling salespeople (which means most of them) for lacking in the proper attitude and having too little motivation. You just spent an hour with a potential customer who told you that he's comparing policies from other insurance companies and isn't ready to make a decision right now? Your sales manager will tell you that it's all your fault, that if you were properly motivated and enthusiastic the customer would have signed so fast his wrist would have hurt. And then, of course, he'll remind you of the company's quotas and how easily you can be replaced with someone who will bring the proper attitude.

In fairness, most sales managers aren't this bad, they are simply clueless. Here's an anecdote that will show what I mean. In early 2011, when I was an agent with "ABC Insurance," the branch manager said during the weekly agents' meeting that there weren't enough appointments booked for the upcoming week. Each agent was supposed to have ten, but few if any of the 25 agents were close to that level. The manager's solution? He announced that he'd give each agent 30 lapse cards (information cards on former customers whose policies had lapsed within the last year), and that rather than go right out into the field after the meeting we should stay in the office and call these former customers. He said that calling 30 lapsed customers would yield at least two or three appointments.

There was dead silence in the room. It wasn't that no one dared to speak, it was that we were so taken aback by this display of idiocy that we were speechless. Finally, one of the more experienced agents spoke up, and informed the poor schmuck of a manager that it would be unlikely that any of the 25 agents would get any appointments at all, that if a number hadn't been disconnected (as many surely would be) we'd get voicemailed. It was beyond the manager's intellectual ability to grasp this very obvious fact.

By the way, while there were many reasons why I decided to leave ABC Insurance, one particular incident was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. My team of seven or eight agents was holding a meeting, in a Burger King, and we were late getting started because the team leader spent 15 minutes trying to recruit the counter girl to join the company. I then knew it was time to go.

Its not about self esteem. Or self confidence. Or what other people think about you.

Its about courage.

A successful life is IMPOSSIBLE without having the courage to take appropriate risks. Emotional risks, financial risks, social risks, etc.

In other words, its not about thinking you are so great that failure doesn't matter...its about honestly looking the possibility of defeat in the face, and doing it anyway. Its about dealing with fear and doubt. Its about not giving up when you lose. Its about perseverance in the face of hardship. This is how growth and progress occurs. This is how success is achieved. There is no other way. None.

In the long run, a person's level of success not determined by what they think of themselves, but by what they actually do, for themselves and for others. In other words, success in life is about respect, not confidence. Telling a kid otherwise, with this self esteem garbage, is one of the surest ways to set them up for failure.


Hoss,

Whereas being bold and courageous is, in and of itself, to some degree inborn, a lot of that stems from the level of success one encounters in life. If one's bold risks are rewarded, one will continue to be bold or get bolder. If they are met with failure, one may be more cautious. Of course, whether or not success happens is partially a function of other heritable traits, but the point should be evident.

"Oh, please. Having been in sales I can assure you that all the talk about self-esteem and confidence and positive attitudes is psychobabble. If anything, a super confident enthusiastic salesman is doomed to fail, as customers can sense that a long way off and will suspect they're being conned.
Here's how success or failure in sales really works: if people are interested, they'll buy, and if they're not interested, they won't buy. A salesman has almost no ability to affect the outcome.

[HS: I used the term "sales" in a broader sense than shmoes working for commission for an insurance company. CEOs are salesmen.]"

What separates the most successful salesmen from others isn't their ability at making sales presentations -- any reasonably-intelligent, non-socially awkward person can learn to present well enough. What successful salesmen do is put themselves in situations where they are most likely to succeed. In most cases, that means avoiding the kinds of low-end retail sales jobs Peter and Siggie have experience with (insurance sales and being a cold-calling stock broker).

There are exceptions, of course, but the best salesmen I've known have cultivated an edge. They're most distinguishing talent is building the best connections and getting the best sales jobs and territories. Sometimes there's an element of luck involved, but they make the most of it.

One example I may have mentioned to Peter before: a friend of a friend who makes bank in sales for a major NYC-based wealth management firm. Is he a good presenter? I'm sure he's good enough, but that's not why he makes so much money. He makes money because he came to the wealth management firm with a Rolodex of wealthy connections that he built as a Democratic fund raiser.

Another example is the guy who was the top wholesaler for a major mutual fund company. I saw the guy present, and he was good, but not the best in the company. I'm sure he was good in the other aspects of his job as well, but that wasn't the differentiator either. Part of it was luck: he joined the company when it was smaller, and got a promising territory. But the other part of it was building relationships within the company itself, which he was very good at.

Everyone there liked him, and so they gave him support that other wholesalers didn't get (e.g., more guys supporting him in the home office). And he used that extra support effectively, which, combined with his work ethic, skills, and good territory, etc., lead to more sales, which got him more support, and so on, snowballing.

Why would any Asian family want their children to go into the log-normally distributed career field of sales where a few succeed and most fail instead of going into medicine. A surgeon or oncologist and live where ever they want, make, on average, much more money than someone involved in sales (and yes, that includes the stupidly named wealth management), and have time for hobbies?

I guess sales is for the people who cannot pass organic chemistry and have a high priced degree from a liberal arts university.

High-end industrial salesmen often have STEM degrees, not liberal arts ones. E.g., a mining industry company I own a few shares of listed a degree in metallurgy as one of its requirements when recruiting sales reps.

"When people say that our culture is decadent, this is what they're talking about. It seems that any society that's powerful enough not to fear invasion begins to reward confidence more than competence, which never works out well in the long term"

Do you have any evidence that this is true in developed countries? It seems that education and credentials (and hence aptitude) takes precedence over personality traits in the United States. For instance, admission into colleges require decent standardized test scores (and the HBD community regards them as hallowed , objective psychmometric instruments that are difficult to game) and for elite colleges, exceptional scores. The US is still mostly a meritocracy. It seems reasonable to believe that when aptitude is controlled or above a certain threshold, personality (such as confidence) predominates over g, but generally, in explaining the variation in socioeconomic outcomes in the general population encompassing the normal range of g, g becomes the primary variable. After all, don't HBDers like to promulgate the superior predictive power of g compared to other personality traits?

In general, competence is still valued over confidence.

[HS: Elite colleges value sports and leadership activities, more than pure IQ.]

[HS: Elite colleges value sports and leadership activities, more than pure IQ.]

----

No, they still value SAT/ACT scores (and GPA) over pure athletic abilities and skills. An Ivy would not take a superlative athletic who could only score a 1050 (M+CR) on the SAT. You need at least a 1300, 90th percentile, just to have a chance at an Ivy (if you are white/Asian), and for someone that low, they need exceptional leadership and athletic abilities. BTW, the tall pitcher, Chris Young, went to Princeton with a 1300, IIRC, but someone with his athletic ability alone (without considering the composite of athletic ability and intelligence) is more rare than some scoring a 1500; thus he is an exception that proves the rule.

It still seems that in the general population competence is valued above confidence, and HS agrees with this when he states that low IQ accurately predicts poverty (although much better than high IQ predicting lucre). A low SAT score can prevent someone from entering a prestigious career track, but a high score does not guarantee this; thus a high SAT score is a necessary but not sufficient condition for high socioeconomic status.

Black_Rose,

Within 1 SD intelligence brackets I think non-IQ factors matter more then IQ. It's also really important for non-monetary things like mating and social success.

'It still seems that in the general population competence is valued above confidence'

I think you're confusing an IQ 'floor' with valuation priorities. Past the IQ floor of an SAT ~1300-1400, Ivies value leadership far more (The SAT itself doesn't even correlate well with IQ tests anymore).

People value -minimum- competence, not -excessive- competence. Past the point of 'can you do this job/work/etc. at all' people no longer care as much about how well you do the job versus your leadership and social skills.

Most true status achievements (past just being a cog at your firm or company)---at any rung---come back to social skills.

"It still seems that in the general population competence is valued above confidence"

Sure, but competence and confidence are often correlated, because mastery engenders confidence. Nevertheless, mastery can be relative. So, consider the case of two boys, both average sized, and enthusiastic about basketball.

Boy A's parents are lower middle class, and send him to the local urban high school. At this school, so many boys want to join the basketball team that there are competitive tryouts for it, and the boy doesn't selected.

Boy B's parents are wealthy and send him to a small private school. Here, he gets on the basketball team, and, by his senior year, is one of the starters. He gets to experience playing as part of a team, and winning games against weaker teams comprised of other rich kids. Relative mastery leads to an increase in absolute confidence, and that confidence spills over into Boy B's social interactions, interviews for colleges, interns, etc.

"This goes against the stereotype of Jews being nervous, insecure and even paranoid." - Half Sigma


Woody Allen is the Stepin Fetchit of the Jewish community. Someone everybody can laugh at without being called an anti-Semite.

"No wonder I'm a failure in life. =)" - JP


You're successful because you grew up in a middle to upper middle class family. You were also good looking and athletically gifted. You even belonged to college fraternity where you were top dog and got all the women. This is my problem with people like you. You attribute your success to BS reasons when in reality you were born on third base ahead of everyone else.

"Here's how success or failure in sales really works: if people are interested, they'll buy, and if they're not interested, they won't buy. A salesman has almost no ability to affect the outcome."


I've seen really hot sales ladies at the mall selling creams and the like where they touch a guy a lot and make him buy the stuff.

@ Dan

I believe Jewish people have been successful because they embraced monogamy. Monogamy is one of the most important social innovations in history. I don't think people grasp how unique and important it is. Just look at how much better off blacks were when whites forced them to be monogamous. Unfortunately we've shifted away from that to where most men are sexual losers again (law of the jungle). Instead of being productive most males drift aimlessly while the women are promiscuous but only with the top men. It's matriarchy 21st century style. This is what religion was created to guard against.

Insider,

Which is why Ivies love 12xx/1600 SAT NAMs. 1200+ is generally good enough to be competent at any soft function. NAMs usually have good charisma and they give Ivies access to NAM markets (for both economic, political, and foreign relations purposes).

Barack Obama for instance has done more for Harvard then all the Asians who ever attended Harvard combined. Who cares if his SATs weren't as high.

"My team of seven or eight agents was holding a meeting, in a Burger King, and we were late getting started because the team leader spent 15 minutes trying to recruit the counter girl to join the company. I then knew it was time to go." - Peter


Let me guess she was hot? Like my earlier example could you share insights into how well attractive females or attractive people in general do in sales. It must be a lot easier for them.

"Especially for the not so adept individuals who gets a self-esteem boost from something so trivial such as a college degree or losing weight." - Lexus Liberal


Trivial? The two biggest drivers of social status are money and looks. A college degree and weight loss contribute to that.

"What successful salesmen do is put themselves in situations where they are most likely to succeed. In most cases, that means avoiding the kinds of low-end retail sales jobs Peter and Siggie have experience with (insurance sales and being a cold-calling stock broker)."

It used to be a rule of thumb that about 10% of the people who went into life insurance sales would end up making good money. Another 10% would make decent if unspectacular middle class livings, 20% would sort of scuffle along at the margins, and the remaining 60% would be gone within a year.

Several factors have made the odds of success much worse today. My best estimate is that the within-one-year failure rate is upward of 90%. The federal Do Not Call registry, caller ID and voice mail have killed off residential telephone cold calling, while automated answering systems ("Press One for technical support ...") have done the same to business telephone cold calling.

Residential door-to-door soliciting is nearly obsolete given the way most people are too suspicious of salesmen coming to the door uninvited. Not to mention the fact that more and more people live in gated communities or in "no solicitation" developments. Just about the only neighborhoods in which people sometimes will listen to an insurance salesman's pitch are the poorest and most run-down areas, but it doesn't help much because most of the people can't spare the money for life insurance or wouldn't be able to qualify.

Door-to-door business solicitation _sometimes_ works, though it's a challenge given all the "No Soliciting" signs and the way many businesses employ receptionists or other "gatekeepers" for the express purpose of keeping salesmen away. While it's sometimes possible to make a few sales here and there if you spend a *lot* of time going business to business, except in very rare instances it's not enough to survive on.

One seemingly odd thing that's made it much harder to succeed at life insurance sales is the inexorable rise of online shopping. Superficially, this makes no sense, as except for some group policies it isn't possible to buy life insurance online.* What online shopping _has_ done, however, has been to reduce many peoples' interactions with salesmen. You don't have to hear sales pitches if you don't want to, which wasn't always the case a generation ago. As a result, people are less and less inclined to listen to an insurance salesman's cold call pitch.

One temptation that's very hard for a struggling insurance salesman to avoid is the lure of the "paid lead" services. These companies sell you the names and telephone numbers of people who have made online inquiries into life insurance ("Click here for a free quote!") By all rights these leads should work well, as the names are of people who have expressed an interest in buying life insurance, which is certain to come as a _very_ welcome change after endless cold call soliciting. Unfortunately, the paid leads services sell the leads to as many desperate-for-business agents as they can. Almost all of your calls will be voicemailed, and on the very rare occasions an actual person answers you'll be told, rarely in anything remotely resembling a polite manner, that you're the tenth or twentieth or even thirtieth insurance agent who has called in the past hour and please take my name off your list.

What it all comes down to is the fact that making even a very lower-middle-class living as a life insurance agent is nearly impossible unless you have developed a VERY large network of business contacts through your former business activities. Most people have nothing of the sort, and no matter how hard they work they're pretty much doomed to failure.

Do you want to see some actual numbers? Right at the beginning of 2010 I started as an agent with "XYZ Insurance," one of the biggest and best-known life insurance companies. You'd recognize its name right away. XYZ's new agents started training on the first business day of each month. There were 26 new agents in my "class" of January 2010. By the time I left, in mid-July, there were only two remaining. I'll also point out that XYZ hired about 25 new agents each month in order to maintain a Nassau/Suffolk force of 250 agents. That also should give you some idea of the revolving-door nature of the life insurance business.

* = while you cannot buy even a simple term life policy online, you *can* buy car insurance online, even though an auto policy is far more complex than a term life policy.

@ hoss

Well said.


"In other words, its not about thinking you are so great that failure doesn't matter...its about honestly looking the possibility of defeat in the face, and doing it anyway. Its about dealing with fear and doubt. Its about not giving up when you lose. Its about perseverance in the face of hardship. This is how growth and progress occurs. This is how success is achieved. There is no other way. None." - hoss


Fictional example but that's what Bruce Wayne did in The Dark Knight Rises. Some moves, some muscles, and a mask didn't make him Batman as Alfred warned. That's why he lost to Bane in their first fight. When he rebuilt his body, recovered his strength, and conquered his fears, that's when he truly became Batman again.

@ Dan

I completely agree with you on the importance of belief systems.

"HBD offers a more simple explanation." - Half Sigma

It would be wrong. Southwest Asia is where civilization first came into being with the the orient (middle east and India included) being very wealthy and prosperous. For whatever reason these places are a total mess today. I have my theories though. Hindusim and especially Islam accept polygamy which has a lot of bad consequences. The fixation on "submission" and accepting your "place" tries to limit fighting over status and women. This also kills the creative and innovative impulses.

"I think you're confusing an IQ 'floor' with valuation priorities. Past the IQ floor of an SAT ~1300-1400, Ivies value leadership far more (The SAT itself doesn't even correlate well with IQ tests anymore). " - Insider

"Within 1 SD intelligence brackets I think non-IQ factors matter more then IQ. It's also really important for non-monetary things like mating and social success." - asdf

Nothing I have said seems to contradict this. In fact, Half Sigma also recognizes the importance of non-g traits, even in the low g people, and that is why he advocates using educational institutions to teach children "middle class" values. But since the economy rewards both value transference and value creation, and those abilities require considerable g in order to excel, as the former requires the faculties to generate complex, advanced technical insights necessary enhance existing or create new devices and gadgets, and the latter necessary to compete and manipulate others in economic zero-sum games, such as securing market share in a fixed market or in making financial transactions, then g furnishes high socioeconomic utility for individuals (as high g people can transfer value to themselves in log-normal activities or create value) and high g people can be preferential granted access to "value transference capital" once descry their abilities are noticed, often by using admission into an elite college as the signalling tool.

'Which is why Ivies love 12xx/1600 SAT NAMs. 1200+ is generally good enough to be competent at any soft function.'

I would actually argue that 1200+/1600 means that you can take on any major you want. Through hard work you will succeed. The amount of raw brainpower you need to major in a STEM field isn't that high. If you want to be the next Einstein, you'll need a higher amount of brainpower, but they're two different things.

So yes, past that point of being able to take on any major you choose, charisma and social skills matter far more. How can they not? Being well-liked and regarded socially has a lot of economic benefits----productivity, quality of life, etc etc.

@Conquistador

"Trivial? The two biggest drivers of social status are money and looks. A college degree and weight loss contribute to that."

It's trivial since most upper-middle class are naturally skinny by having better genes and inheriting healthy dietary habits and preferences, so losing weight in a non issue for most.

One can easily attain normal BMI without exercise by total abstention from processed foods, junk food, alcohol, tobacco and illicit narcotics.

Also looks in men have a negligible social capital to their social standing, while their connections, intellect and material resources are much more valued in modern society.

What's impressive would be professional designations, graduate and doctorate diplomas, having multiple language fluency, articles published in peer reviewed journals and being a member of an invite only club.

"I would actually argue that 1200+/1600 means that you can take on any major you want. Through hard work you will succeed. The amount of raw brainpower you need to major in a STEM field isn't that high. If you want to be the next Einstein, you'll need a higher amount of brainpower, but they're two different things. "

Why do people think STEM, especially biology majors, requires extraordinary intelligence? I went to a Eucharistic adoration on Thursday, and after that was concluded, I asked the entire gathering (about twenty young adults) for fellowship if anyone knows what "polymerase chain reaction" was. Someone said that I was smart one there; yes, I have a nerdy mien, but knowing what PCR is not indicative of high intelligence. I was not trying to signal pretentiously any mental ability or knowledge, but inquiring whether anyone there knew rudimentary aspects of biology as PCR is a ubiquitous laboratory technique simply so I could locate someone to discuss molecular biology with, as I am not gregarious and very introverted to show any genuine interest in the usual topics most people discuss. Not knowing what "polymerase chain reaction" most certainly does not mean one lacks intelligence, since it domain specific knowledge, but indeed it requires a minimum amount of intelligence to understand PCR (perhaps SAT 1000).

I also told a Priest about my life, since I stated I did not want to be apathetic and lukewarm in my incipient faith as I was academically in college, and mentioned that I was a Cell-Molecular biology major. I was not impressed by his reply when he mentioned that I must be smart because I presumably majored in a difficult topic; he could not know my intelligence simply by knowing that I was a biological sciences major, since biology majors encompass the entire gamut of the right-side of the Gaussian curve. (I got a 3.2 GPA simply by slacking off and consuming most of my free time reading stuff in the library not related my coursework, so I failed to complete homework assignments and sometimes even getting adequate sleep). I perused the data on the mean standardized test scores of declared majors on the SAT and GRE, and found that physics and chemistry majors scored higher mathematically AND verbally, than biology students, indicating that that the average biology major has less general intelligence (rather than possessing different specific, modular abilities than physics/chemistry students) than the average physics/chemistry student. One can infer from the aforementioned data that many biology students choose their major because they lack the threshold aptitude required to succeed in physics. As for myself, I choose biology because I had a passion for it in high school as I was the best student in my AP biology class due to my 2 sigma intelligence and autistically-enhanced memory (and I did abysmally in chemistry class in competition three 3 SD boys in those classes, so I knew I did not have elite mathematical ability to succeed relatively effortlessly in physics). My memory would not provide an advantage in physics and chemistry, but biology is memorization intensive, although that's not the primary why most students choose biology over chemistry/physics.

Lol why would you ask about PCR in that context? I'd wager that they said you were the smart one there and issued similar praise because that's what they thought you wanted to hear in response to such a question---I can't figure out why someone would ask a question like that in the given context beyond attempting to assert intelligence. The same goes for the Priest's comment to you.

Regarding the aptitude required to succeed in physics, it's not particularly high. Many people with above average IQs just have fragile egos and are afraid to actually -work- or possibly admit that there are subjects that challenge them. So they go into less challenging fields because they don't want to work as hard.

Also, the notion that 3 sigma math ability is necessary to effortlessly fly through undergrad physics is completely untrue. 2 sigma will put you there. Easily.
To me this illustrates the importance of values. High IQ people are so afraid of actually putting their g to the grindstone because they like this 'effortless genius' image. Speaks to poor character. Extreme success tends to be the result of driven ambition, not natural talent.

I agree with your assessment. I feel that I used to achieve more when I was younger and cocky. Now that I'm more realistic about my strengths and weaknesses, I seem to accomplish far less.

Insider: when I was in high school, I underestimated my math ability; I thought it was 650ish while it is 700ish (because I was anxious taking the SAT and didn't pace myself, and I only had around 10 hours of sleep combined two nights before the test). (My GRE and taking timed SAT-M practice tests from the books at Barnes and Noble seem to indicate my true abilities are low 700ish.) This is still not good enough for excellence, but enough to understand the calculus and statistics used in biology if I exerted reasonable effort. Moreover, I have bad character since I am unconscientious and quite neurotic, so I probably would not be able to withstand the psychological challenges of competing against higher g (and particularly M) competition in chemistry/physics, especially when my non-g advantage, memory, is rendered insignificant. I cannot compete with physics and chemistry students where M and personality traits that I do not possess contribute heavily towards performance. (Most successful biology students are grinds (relative to me at least) who do not have a good memory and like memorization because it is not g-loaded, making it possible to memorize the content of a curriculum by exerting time and effort; but in other fields perseverance would not substitute for talent.)

Regarding physics again: "To reiterate, SATM ≈ 600 seems to be the lowest score at which even a very motivated student has a chance for mastery. From the data one might guess that only for SATM well above 700 do students have more than a 50 percent chance of obtaining GPA > 3.5. That is, a student with average motivation or conscientiousness probably needs SATM well above 700 to have a high probability of obtaining mastery."

http://duende.uoregon.edu/~hsu/blogfiles/dmu.pdf

Like I said, my true math abilities are low 700 (not well above 700), and I most certainly don't have "average motivation or conscientiousness". Therefore, based on the evidence provided by Stephen Hsu, my evaluation of my abilities are correct.

---

Yes, Insider, I am socially incompetent as I am autistic, but I don't know how to identify people who have the basic competence in molecular biology without asking that question.

Insider,

A 1200 isn't going to get you a job at Google. In fact your application would likely get rejected outright. For high end hard STEM fields g keeps helping to a much higher threshold. If you talking about being a cubicle bot at a Dilbert company then 1200 is probably good enough.

Black_Rose,

I think people have a hard time because we don't really have firm castes. Let's say your have good 'g' but your ugly and come from a prole family. Your likely not going to end up with life circumstances concurrent with your 'g'. The same is true in the opposite case, which I think fuels a lot of OWS sentiment from children from good backgrounds who regressed towards the mean in IQ.

This can best be represented by Bernard Marx in Brave New World. He is an alpha who is physically deformed. Because he is an alpha he is capable of understanding what he lacks (unlike lower castes who are ignorant of what they lack), but he still lacks it and can't do much about it.

Because we are not designed eugenically many people are really gifted in some areas but not in others. Often this can be a curse, they don't really know where they belong and can't fit in with people. The people on the "Jersey Shore", while they are low caste, at least fit in with their caste. They know who they are and embrace it. Mutants who cross castes in various aspects of their lives have no such certainty.

asdf and insider, look at the contrast between google and apple:

http://www.businessinsider.com/10-charts-that-explain-the-state-of-googles-employees-today-2012-3#not-surprisingly-most-employees-come-from-san-francisco-bay-area-schools--like-stanford-4

(Google)

http://www.businessinsider.com/10-linkedin-charts-that-show-how-apple-is-different-than-the-rest-of-the-tech-industry-2012-3#san-jose-state-university-seems-to-be-the-top-draw-of-talent-for-apple-followed-by-other-san-francisco-bay-area-schools-4

(Apple)

I bet other places of employment and companies in the Bay Area have a larger proportion of San Jose State graduates and less Berkeley grads than Apple. Even Apple seems be selective, although not as so as google.

Asdf,

I never said it would necessarily get you a job at Google. However, if someone applies his or herself, I don't see why not. If an individual has the minimum g required for the position, then superior work ethic will prove to be a huge advantage. Most people with higher g won't work as hard, thus equalizing the acquisition of skill.

Black Rose,

Perseverance can and often does overcome raw talent in even g fields. Again, Nobel Prize winners are often in the 2 sigma range. We all know that 2 sigma is definitely not the high end of talent in STEM fields. If work ethic is equal, then yes, g will determine the outcome. However this is almost NEVER the case.

Hsu doesn't contradict me. His actual floor for mastery is almost exactly where I placed it.

And you can identify people with that interest by joining a local biology club, getting to know someone superficially first before broaching such a topic, etc. there are a ton of people who have interests that align with those high g individuals have. You just need to get to know them first.

Insider,

The minimum 'g' requirement Google is very high. The founders believe a lot in 'g' and set the minimum very high. They ask for SAT scores even if you've been in the industry and decade.

The same would be true of my old derivatives research desk. All of them had Harvard level SAT scores, often at the high range for Harvard.

Asdf,

The SAT no longer correlates much with g, so let them ask :)

I also would like to point out that beta skills actually aren't what's crucial to civilization. The first building block of civilization is leaders convincing people to
follow them. Leaders are alphas. So alpha social skills are the fabric that holidays together. Convincing alphas to adopt strategy x or y is what betas do.

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