Monday, October 30, 2017

Aboriginal IQ and visual ability

In their devotion to their strange ideal of all men being equal, Leftists get frantic about the concept of IQ -- which is all about inequality.  So they find all sorts of ways of claiming that IQ doesn't exist, doesn't matter or that intelligence is not measured by IQ.

Psychometricians have of course heard it all before and can easily refute the little Leftist brainstorms about the matter.  A common leftist claim is that there are "multiple" intelligences so that IQ tests measure only a small part of what constitutes intelligence.  The big problem for that is to specify what these other omitted "intelligences" are.  What form of mental ability is overlooked by IQ tests? 

The suggestions there are usually quite pathetic.  The best known example of such a claim is the work of Howard Gardner -- and his theory of "multiple intelligences" -- eight of them, would you believe? There is a very clear and simple demolition of the whole Gardner theory here -- which points out that the Gardner theory not only ignores the data but that its criteria for calling something "an intelligence" are so loose that sense of humour, sense of smell, musical ability, athletic ability etc could all be called "intelligences". By adopting similar rules I could say that all cats, dogs and horses are birds -- but that would still not make them so.

I do think however that there is a marginal case for saying that Australian Aborigines have mental abilities that are not well captured by any form of IQ test. Australian Aborigines have attracted considerable attention from psychometricians because their original lifestyle is so different from ours.  And their average IQ scores are some of the lowest ever observed. 

University of Queensland psychologists, Donald McElwain and George Kearney, however, rose to the challenge of those low scores and constructed the "Queensland test", which used only those questions that seemed to work best among Aborigines.  By their responses, Aborigines effectively constructed their own IQ test.  A set of questions relating to mental ability were sifted out that intercorrelated with one-another and correlated with various indices of ability to handle an Aboriginal environment.  So how did whites score on a test that was biased towards an Aboriginal population and environment?  They scored much higher than Aborigines themselves.

That has to be seen as pretty strong evidence that average Aboriginal intelligence really is unusually low.  But I am not so sure.  Aborigines have very great abilities in areas where we do not.  Their ability to see and remember small details of the landscape is completely beyond us. 

For many years they were used as "black trackers", people who were used to find escaped criminals.  The trackers could "see" where the criminal had been and would follow a trail that he had left behind him -- a trail that no white man could see.  So many a criminal who had every reason to feel that he had got clean away would often find that he had a most unexpected and unwelcome knock on his door.

And it is no mystery why Aborigines could do that.  They had evolved into a harsh landscape and had only the most rudimentary weapons to use in capturing juicy animals for food. As a small isolated population, they did not have access to the inventions  that arose on the vast Eurasian continent.  So it was only their own wits that could help them survive.  By noticing tiny details of the landscape they could "see" where a juicy animal might be lurking.  And a great aid in such "seeing" was a detailed memory of what the landscape had previously been like.  Noticing what had changed would be a major clue to what had happened and what was happening.

So it seems to me that Aboriginal visual ability and memory does a job very similar to what high IQ enables.  It is strongly pro-survival in the environment where it arose.  I don't think there is any point in trying to integrate it into IQ measures but it should remind us that there are many abilities that increase survival chances and not all of those abilities are mental. 

Africans, for instance are in general very good at sprinting and that no doubt once had survival value in enabling them both to catch prey and escape predators.

Sprinting is not a mental ability but it is a survival tool.  Aborigines also have their own unique survival tools -- tools which in my view deserve great respect -- JR


Internet 'super villain' Milo Yiannopoulos challenges Australian feminist writer Clementine Ford to debate him

Clemmie would be right to refuse a debate. She is one mixed up woman and is prone to anxiety disorders

Milo Yiannopoulos has taken a swipe at outspoken feminist Clementine Ford, labelling her 'vindictive, spiteful' and 'particularly unintelligent'. 

The so-called 'internet super villain' said he feels sorry for the 'poor lamb' and once again challenged Ms Ford to a one-on-one debate.

'Clementine is a sort of useful idiot. She's one of those people who doesn't really understand what she's parroting,' Yiannopoulos said on Monday.

Yiannopoulos, who revealed earlier this month he wanted to debate the polarising figure, said he didn't think the challenge would be accepted. 'Of course not. She's terrified of me and she knows she'll lose the debate - but let's see,' he said.

'Maybe I'll doorstop her - maybe I'll show up and try to get an interview on camera.'

Ms Ford has lashed out at Yiannopoulos on social media in the past, calling him 'Milo Whinopoulos' and saying he 'can go f*** himself'.  She slammed him for pronouncing her name as 'Clementeen' and said: 'It's tyne, like Milo has a tyne-y brain'.

Yiannopoulos pronounced her name the same way speaking to Daily Mail Australia this week.

Ms Ford has also described Yiannopoulos as a 'liar' and as a threat to women, girls and transgender people and suggested Trump voters would not buy his book because they cannot read.

Yiannopoulos' highly controversial views have seen him banned from Twitter and depart from his role with conservative website Breitbart News. 

From opposing gay marriage - despite being openly homosexual and married to his partner – to his criticism of the transgender rights agenda and the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, his ideas are often divisive.

He has previously likened feminism to cancer and Islam to AIDS, while sparked outrage when he said sexual relationships between underage boys and men could be consensual.

Ahead of his upcoming Australian tour, his opponents started a petition demanding Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton deny Yiannopoulos a visa. As of Monday, it had attracted just over 1,000 signatures.

A counter-petition, set up by political commentator Mark Latham, has been signed well over 11,000 times.

'Aren't they sweet? The best they could do was marshal 900 people to sign that petition,' Yiannopoulos said. 'I just find it adorable and charming when people get so upset about a gay man having the wrong opinions and telling the wrong jokes.'

Yiannopolous will bring his Troll Academy Tour to Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast from December 1.

'The response had been absolutely amazing. We've just announced a second show in Sydney - the first one sold out in a couple of weeks,' he said.


Three police officers who kicked a woman to the ground and punched a man 20 times face investigation

Three West Australian police officers have been put under investigation after a disturbing video of an arrest was played in court.

The officers, known as Hitchen, Richardson and Thompson, originally claimed a woman grabbed one of their guns during the confrontation.

However, shocking footage captured by a witness shows otherwise, with the officers seen kicking the woman to the ground and unleashing more than 20 punches on another man.

Jacqueline Briffa faced three charges of assaulting a police officer and attempting to possess a firearm, with all thrown out in court after the video was played, The West Australian reports.

The incident occurred in Hamilton Hill, south west of Perth, and was filmed by witness Elise Svanberg, who described the scene as 'awful'.

The magistrate called the allegations Ms Briffa had tried to remove one of the guns as 'frankly nonsense' before throwing the charges out.

Meanwhile, the man who was punched multiple times walked away with a $100 fine after being charged with obstructing police.

The officers pictured in the video have been placed under review, but have been allowed to remain on full duties.


NSW Legal bill for forced property purchases soars to more than $650 million

The state government's potential legal bill arising from compulsory acquisitions has soared to more than $650 million, as landowners challenge the forced purchase of their properties.

Internal emails show officers at Roads and Maritime Services were aware of rezoning submissions which had the potential to significantly increase the amount it would pay for properties.

RMS has been scooping up properties to make way for major infrastructure projects such as WestConnex and NorthConnex using its compulsory acquisition powers.

But the practice has upset some landowners who say RMS is acting opportunistically and offering compensation that's only a fraction of what a property is potentially worth.

That frustration is spilling over into the courts. Since 2012 the value of court cases – expressed as a potential liability in the agency's financial statements – has increased from $52 million to almost $658.9 million last year.

An RMS spokeswoman said the rise was in part due to an increasing number of infrastructure projects in recent years.

She said 84 per cent of acquisitions in the past financial year were mutually agreed without compulsory acquisition and that the agency was defending 31 court cases.

"Roads and Maritime Services understands property acquisition is a sensitive issue and works closely with affected property owners," she said.

Tony Debenham, from Gillespie Cranes in Rozelle, said he was offered more than $50 million for his commercial site from a property company just months before RMS approached him with a compulsory acquisition value of $13 million.

RMS is building the third stage of the WestConnex project in Rozelle, which will provide a link between the M4 and M5 motorways.

"The offer they have given us is just absurd, it is at least 100 per cent below what we could sell it for as an industrial property," he said.

On the same road as Gillespie Cranes, property company The Desane Group has also fought against RMS's valuation of its 5200-square metre site.

The company believes the site is worth upwards of $100 million, despite being offered $18.4 million by RMS. The company is challenging the valuation in the Supreme Court


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

No comments: