July 11, 2010

"The Creativity Crisis"

The beginning of an article by Po Bronson in Newsweek:
Back in 1958, Ted Schwarzrock was an 8-year-old third grader when he became one of the “Torrance kids,” a group of nearly 400 Minneapolis children who completed a series of creativity tasks newly designed by professor E. Paul Torrance. Schwarzrock still vividly remembers the moment when a psychologist handed him a fire truck and asked, “How could you improve this toy to make it better and more fun to play with?” He recalls the psychologist being excited by his answers. In fact, the psychologist’s session notes indicate Schwarzrock rattled off 25 improvements, such as adding a removable ladder and springs to the wheels. That wasn’t the only time he impressed the scholars, who judged Schwarzrock to have “unusual visual perspective” and “an ability to synthesize diverse elements into meaningful products.”

The accepted definition of creativity is production of something original and useful, and that’s what’s reflected in the tests. There is never one right answer. To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).

In the 50 years since Schwarzrock and the others took their tests, scholars—first led by Torrance, now his colleague, Garnet Millar—have been tracking the children, recording every patent earned, every business founded, every research paper published, and every grant awarded. They tallied the books, dances, radio shows, art exhibitions, software programs, advertising campaigns, hardware innovations, music compositions, public policies (written or implemented), leadership positions, invited lectures, and buildings designed.

Nobody would argue that Torrance’s tasks, which have become the gold standard in creativity assessment, measure creativity perfectly. What’s shocking is how incredibly well Torrance’s creativity index predicted those kids’ creative accomplishments as adults. Those who came up with more good ideas on Torrance’s tasks grew up to be entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers. Jonathan Plucker of Indiana University recently reanalyzed Torrance’s data. The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.

Like intelligence tests, Torrance’s test—a 90-minute series of discrete tasks, administered by a psychologist—has been taken by millions worldwide in 50 languages. Yet there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.

Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.”

Here's Wikipedia's description of the Torrance tests of creativity.

I'm not going to speculate much on this reported finding of a downturn after 1990. Besides the usual demographic changes, I'm wondering if play moved from physical to virtual around then and whether the tests could keep up. Also, cheap plastic toys from China started arriving around 1990, and perhaps kids spent less time dreaming of how they could improve their small number of toys and more time assuming that if they needed a better toy, they would just nag their parents to go to the store and buy it.

A modern child doesn't want some dumb fire truck that could be improved in 25 different ways. He wants a fully focus-grouped Transformers Inferno fire truck / alien robot that is part of a cartoon show and blockbuster movie series and that comes with dozens of other toys in the series to buy. If professional toy designers, researchers, marketers, McDonald's Happy Meal executives, screenwriters, advertising agents, and web people haven't taken dozens of meetings over the fire truck and exchanged countless Notes on how to make the entire branding concept more awesome, he doesn't want it.

Anyway, I do want to explain why IQ tests are more useful than creativity tests. We use IQ-like tests for all sorts of predictive purposes, such as law school admissions. The LSAT is pretty good at predicting whether you are smart enough to not flunk out of law school and to pass the bar exam. So, the LSAT can help you avoid disastrous life choices -- spending years studying a subject that's not really that much fun and is very expensive and end up still not being smart enough to be a lawyer.

The AFQT/ASVAB helps the Air Force figure out if it's worth sending you to avionics school or truck driving school. Neither one is all that much fun

In contrast, there isn't much need for tests to see how good you'll be at playing the guitar or playing tennis or whatever. Why not? It would be useful to have a genetic test that would tell the parents of young athletes how tall they'll end up being. But for most fun things, the best test of how good a guitar player or basketball player you'll be is to pick up a guitar or basketball, get some coaching, and practice, practice, practice. You'll figure out soon enough if you in the top half or the bottom half of the population distribution. And if you don't like playing tennis, it really doesn't matter if you have a high TQ score on some hypothetical test because people who do will be better at it, and why play a game you don't like? As for figuring out if you are in the 99.9999th percentile or 99.99999th percentile of tennis players, well that's what they hold Wimbledon for. Not test you take as a little kid is going to predict that.

Creativity is similar. The way to show you are creative is to be creative. The last thing we need are people claiming sinecures on the grounds that they have the proper creativity credential.

The whole subject of creativity is so vast and murky that I don't have all that much to say about it from a quantitative point of view. For example, Paul Johnson, who is vastly more cultured than I am, says the four most creative writers in the English language are Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, and Kipling. I can kind of see where he's coming from with that, and it sounds at least as reasonable as anybody else's Top Four. Yet, still, would Dr. Torrance agree? On what grounds? Who knows?

I do want to talk about a great example of one particular type of creativity: inventing something new and important out of everyday stuff. A lot of new technology is invented because the state of the art has progressed to the point when somebody is going to do it pretty soon. Moore's Law is predicated on the assumption that some CPU engineer at Intel or Advanced Micro Devices is going to come up with breakthroughs pretty much on schedule. But it takes a huge infrastructure to give these guys what it takes to make the breakthroughs possible.

On the other hand, some inventions are of the "How stupid of me not to have thought of that?" variety. This is the kind of creativity that might seem more amenable to quantitative study.

Think of those yellow barrels full of increasing amounts of sand that Highway Departments place in front of bridge abutments and other deadly immovable roadside hazards that progressively slow crashing cars down. How many lives have they saved by now? A million?

Anybody could have invented garbage cans partially filled with sand anytime in the half century before 1955.

For forty years I've wondered who invented this system. I'd always assumed the inventor would be some obscure individual who had a random flash of insight. I finally looked it up, and it turns out not to have been an idea that happened to some little known inventor out of the blue, but as a result of the most spectacular catastrophe in the annals of automotive safety.

American race car driver Jon Fitch was the man:
In World War Two, after attending Lehigh University, Captain Fitch flew a P-51 Mustang and was credited with shooting down an advanced Messerschmitt Me 262 jet. Two months before the end of the war, he himself was shot down and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of the Third Reich.

After his return to the US, Fitch opened an MG car dealership and began a racing career that spanned more than 40 years. In 1953, Fitch competed in many European races and was named "Sports Car Driver of the Year" by Speed Age magazine. In 1954 Fitch began driving for the all-powerful Mercedes-Benz team along with some of the greatest drivers of the era including Juan Manuel Fangio, Karl Kling, and Stirling Moss, composing what some have called the most formidable racing team ever. 

But not before his personal involvement as a it-coulda-been-me bystander in the most horrific accident in racing history: 
In 1955, Fitch competed in the 24 Heures du Mans where he was paired with Pierre Levegh in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. He was in the pits when, with Levegh at the wheel, the 300 SLR was involved in a tragic crash that killed Levegh and more than 80 spectators. The incident sparked his lifelong interest in safety innovations for racing and highways.

As the car somersaulted into the stands, the hood spun off and decapitated spectators among much other carnage. Here's a two minute newsreel showing the magnesium-bodied SLR 300, the racing version of the legendary gull-wing doors sports car, burning like a torch in the grandstand.

In response, Fitch began inventing ways to make roads safer, founding Impact Attenuation Inc. During WWII, he's used trash cans full of sand to protect his tent from strafing by German planes, so he adapted that idea to roads.

Jon Fitch, like an awful lot of people whose lives have been saved by Fitch Barriers, is still alive.
 

124 comments:

asdfasdfasdf said...

I must say the media are very creative in finding new crises.

adfadfasdf said...

"Creative" is too vague a term, and I don't necessarily agree with the definition that it must be original and useful.

After all, art is creative but not particularly useful. And it doesn't have to be particularly original to be enjoyable and good.

I think the Torrance test confuses inventiveness with creativity.

One is generally inventive with things IN this world.

One is creative with things 'outside' this world.

Inventiveness, no matter how brilliant, is tangible and material.

Creativity is intangible even when manifested in material form.
A great painting is NOT useful in the pragmatic sense. Materially, it is nothing more than a canvas stained with oil colors. It is special because it triggers certain emotions in the beholder, emotions which cannot be materially measured.

I would say coming up with a new musical instrument is inventive.
Using it to make music that stirs our emotions is creative.

Inventiveness is primarily logical and rational. Creativity is essentially emotional and irrational(even if there is some hidden underlying form or archetype governing its rules).

Frank said...

"cheap plastic toys from China started arriving around 1990, and perhaps kids spent less time dreaming of how they could improve their small number of toys and more time assuming that if they needed a better toy, they would just nag their parents to go to the store and buy it."

I'm amazed at the preference my two bio sons and stepson for the pre-formed Lego toys, e.g. a pirate ship, city bus, etc. I bought them $100 worth of bulk blocks which I remembered using as a young lad in the '60's to build the Sphinx,Empire State Building, etc. I used erector sets the same way. The bulk blocks are ignored by the boys and now I use them in the lab to hold together prototype thingamajigs. At the least the grad students think they're cool.

agnostic said...

It can't be Chinese toys, virtual play, etc., because the article says the decline affects adults as well as children. There's some population-wide decline in the creativity test scores.

Does that fit the real world? Yep: the early '90s are when rock music died, R&B went nowhere, gangsta rap became entrenched, and so on. There are some good hit movies from the '90s, but as creative as Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Star Wars, The Terminator, or Alien and Aliens?

TV was more creative, but only because lots of new people had poured in after the barriers to entry had been removed for founding a TV network.

The early '90s are when the crime rate peaked and started to fall; same with promiscuity and all forms of wild social behavior. It's not a stretch to believe that divergent thinking or an experimental mindset would go along with those behaviors too.

Anonymous said...

Frank:

Just what I was gonna say. It could be faulty memory, but I remember Lego sets having more freeform potential when I was a kid. Now, so many of the pieces are just useless outside the preordained design, so kids can't be creative if they want to. Given how well they're selling, it seems kids want Harry Potter themed sets with little room for imagination more than unbranded sets with lots of potential for new designs.

Fred said...

"Creativity is similar. The way to show you are creative is to be creative. The last thing we need are people claiming sinecures on the grounds that they have the proper creativity credential."

True, but one gets the sense this is exactly what some HBD proponents would like to to get for having an IQ credential. Witness Half Sigma's long complaint about being boxed out of "BIGLAW" despite his (mass) Ivy undergrad degree and top tier law degree.

John Seiler said...

The reason American kids have become less creative is because the government schools have become more regimented and repressive, as have most of the private and parochial schools.

Close the schools. Free the children.

(See Ivan Ilich and John Taylor Gatto.)

Anonymous said...

"“It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.” "

Could it be because White kids are becoming a smaller part of the population of younger children? Europeans especially Northern Europeans are more intellectually tuned in dealing with environmental challenges rather than inter-personal challenges since they evolved in a harsh cold environment at the edge of Eurasia. This may even true of certain Northern Asian populations. Hence the higher visuospatial IQs over verbal IQs.
I had come across an article somewhere which claimed that of all the hunter gatherer peoples Eskimos/ Inuits made the most complex tools.

Gc said...

I think that those creativity test may be nearly as valid as Iq test. We are talking about correlations here. If success in creativity tests correlates happily with creativity I think it would be usefull to companies or universities to use them just like iq test.

agnostic said...

It can't be changing racial demographics either since that began long before the decline of creativity scores.

According to the GSS, whites have been falling as a percentage of the population since the mid-1970s. And during the past 20 years the decline has not accelerated; it's been steady.

Anonymous said...

I think the reason for this drop in creativity has to do with the second half of Bronson's definition of creativity. He states that "To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result)."

American schools are gung-ho for the first part of this equation (i.e. encouraging kids to dream stuff up) but they have more or less forbidden the second half. That is, 'combining' ideas (note the anodyne word I believe Bronson very consciously chooses here) really means winnowing through ideas, assessing them, rejecting the bad ones, and building on the good ones. Bronson does then use the word 'best' to describe the result of the creative process. He's just about a hero for being willing to use a term that's so laden with value judgment; in education circles this is strictly verboten.

And that's why creativity in US kids dwindles. They're not even allowed to rank or compare ideas, because that might show that some of them have better ideas than others. There are no 'best' ideas in contemporary progressive education, only 'valid' ones.

Anonymous said...

If success in creativity tests correlates happily with creativity I think it would be usefull to companies or universities to use them just like iq test.

I thought US companies and unis werent relly allowed to use IQ tests? If word got round that CQ tetsts had real predictive power (for the wrong people) pretty soon they wouldnt be allowed either.

sabril said...

Pure speculation, but I would guess it's demographic change overtaking the Flynn effect.

I predict that IQ scores will also reverse themselves soon if they have not already done so.

dearieme said...

"four most creative writers in the English language are Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, and Kipling": I agree that C, K and S can spring a surprise on you at any time. D, however, always struck me as largely mechanical and formulaic. (And, I might say, absurdly wordy enough to be an American journalist.) Perhaps he wouldn't have seemed like that if I'd been there to read his stuff when it was new - but C doesn't suffer from being centuries old and having written in English that's pretty hard work.

Anonymous said...

"According to the GSS, whites have been falling as a percentage of the population since the mid-1970s. And during the past 20 years the decline has not accelerated; it's been steady."

Really? I thought the percentage of white students had declined significantly more between 1990-2010 than, say, 1970-1990. And I thought this trend gets worse with each successive generation (or better if you want whites to be the new American minority).

James said...

Interesting and unclassifiable British writer Neil Clark has a piece about the Le Mans horror, which makes Mike Hawthorn sound a right prat:

http://neilclark66.blogspot.com/2010/06/motor-racings-biggest-disaster-le-mans.html

In 1955, I note, there were no "grief therapists" descending with vulture-like alacrity upon the bereaved. The general attitude towards survivors seems to have been one of "Right, your loved ones had their heads chopped off; deal with it." Or perhaps this absence of grief therapists was caused less by the year being 1955 than by the country being France, i.e. a nation commendably free (by U.S. or U.K. standards) from psychobabble's worst manifestations throughout its history.

headache said...

The problem is also related to the rise of the Corporate Culture. Modern corporations have vast amounts of rules and indirect messaging made to make employees toe the line. Then there is all the PC crap as well, and the classical pressures in business. In such an environment creativity does not pay off.

The biggest joke is watching the response to corporate decrees for innovation. Usually those with most of the skill just laugh it off anyway.

Anonymous said...

The accepted definition of creativity is production of something original and useful, and that’s what’s reflected in the tests.



A fire truck with a removable ladder and sprung suspension is original?

l said...

Why are kids less creative? What do most homes have now that they didn't have in 1990?

http://www.halfsigma.com/2010/07/hbddenialism-and-computers.html

Big bill said...

Amazing! Eighty people died and the race continued. What intestinal fortitude. How male. You wouldn't see that in our feminized age. But they were just 10-15 years from the blitzkrieg. Can you imagine how they would deal with the Blitz nowadays without battalions of grief counselors?

Big bill said...

Never heard of the Torrance tests. Any demographic data available? Men, women, blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics?

I tinkered because I had to. If I couldn't make it out of bits of wood, metal scrap, straightened nails, salvaged screws etc. I didn't get it.

You develop a sense for what is possible to make and what materials would be appropriate at an early age.

I still tinker, more because I can, and I find the exercise a good and pleasurable way to stretch my brain.

catperson said...

The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.

I find this very hard to believe. How are they defining creative accomplishment? Would some starving artist be considered more creatively accomplished than Bill Gates? Are the people being sampled already so similar in IQ that IQ loses its predictive validity?

I subscribe to the theory that creativity is nothing more than high IQ combined with low levels of latent inhibition:

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2003/10.23/01-creativity.html

If you are cursed by distracting thoughts and strange associations but have the intelligence to adapt these thoughts into something useful, you will become a creative genius. If you have similar distracting thoughts, but lack the brain power to coordinate them, you will become schizophrenic. Thus, creativity and madness are linked. You should expect to see creative geniuses with psychotic relatives (since those relatives may have the same distracting thoughts but lack the IQ to cope with them) and you should also expect to see creative geniuses become psychotic as their fluid IQ slips in old age or because of substance abuse.

Anonymous said...

I think I am more of an analyst than a creator. There are (few) times I've been creative. And certainly there are times when I'm not perfectly analytical. That said my approach to a need for a new invention is to want to spend a lifetime learning the background. And then get around to an invention some time in the future. Maybe after writing a bunch of papers on trend analysis. the average creator is pretty willing and interested in jumping in with creative fixes before even understanding the field. Of course understanding does help creation...but you see that it is not always required or desired to the same extent.

Also...I think researching this stuff is interesting. maybe we can get a test for improvisation (your hypothesis of a different intelligence) as well.

Nothing wrong with learning about more differetn things...

I do see how different trends to creativity could be useful for career counseling and the like. And it is not always a no brainer, what your talents are. Especially if highly intelligent.

Hockey Puck said...

A modern child doesn't want some dumb fire truck that could be improved in 25 different ways. He wants a fully focus-grouped Transformers Inferno fire truck / alien robot that is part of a cartoon show and blockbuster movie series and that comes with dozens of other toys in the series to buy.

Arguably, those cheap, Chinese-manufactured plastic movie-based toys have been around since the late 1970s, when Kenner's Star Wars line debuted.

And my younger brothers never seemed to lack for insights into how such things could be improved. Articulation was always the thing. For twenty years or more, the standard number of points of articulation was five: neck, right and left shoulders, right and left hips (though some figures, like the luckless Stormtrooper/TIE Fighter Pilot/AT-AT driver or the original 1978-1985 Star Wars line only got four). Nowadays, action figures can have anywhere from ten to forty or more points of articulation, but even then, there can be room for improvement. The McFarlane Toys' John Forge figure from their Halo series is a good example of this, as the figure has about as many points of articulation as one could hope for at his scale (4.5"), but the sculpted folds of cloth around the shoulders greatly impede the amount of movement that can be gotten out of his arms.

Anonymous said...

> I subscribe to the theory that creativity is nothing more than high IQ combined with low levels of latent inhibition


Does creativity perhaps correlate with the 'Openness to Experience' dimension on the Big 5 personality model?

(Openness is sometimes called Intellect or Intellect/Imagination)?

What's interesting is that Openness is the only one of the 'Big 5' dimensions that also correlates with the cognitive complexity/ego maturity levels researched by Kegan, Loevinger et al.

I'm unclear how IQ relates to cognitive complexity/ego maturity.

Though I suspect that much that we currently believe to be positive in high IQ people might actually be characteristic of high levels of cognitive complexity/ego maturity,
that often accompany high IQ, rather than IQ per se.

I say this as I think you can get high IQ people with relatively ordinary levels of cognitive complexity/ego maturity - the obstinate geek specialist type...?

It's a shame that Steve never seems to take into account the lifetime maturation curves of cognitive complexity/ego maturity (see Jane Loevinger, Elliot Jaques, Robert Kegan, Kurt Fischer).

Jaques has apparently shown that 40 per cent of people are cognitively in over their heads in their work role, and 40 per cent are in under their heads (their talent wasted or cruched).

Little wonder most organisation are 80 per cent dysfunctional!?!

;-)

Anonymous said...

Agree with above - it's simple, it's the Web. My twelve year old nephew put it in a nutshell -- 'reading is for suckers.'

Rather than mentally working your way toward anything, you can just swim in the ocean of information, lies and half-truths that is the internet.

Le Mur said...

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." -- an interesting fellow.

Anonymous said...

In a healthy society you would never have had to look that up, as we would all know about the Famous Fitch.
Great story.

Anonymous said...

"And my younger brothers never seemed to lack for insights into how such things could be improved."

My older brother was a genius at adding points of articulation to my 6-inch plastic soldiers, chopping off their arms, legs, and heads and nailing them back together. The resulting army of ghouls were invaluable for our home-made horror films.

He went on to do something complicated with packet switching, while I have excelled as a dilettante. I ascribe whatever creativity we have to our long summers of absolute boredom combined having big boxes of junk to play with rather than actual toys.

Kylie said...

Big bill said..."Can you imagine how they would deal with the Blitz nowadays without battalions of grief counselors?"

Yes, I can. They would have launched a initiative* to win the hearts and minds of the Nazis.

*Can't say "campaign" since it sounds so militaristic in that context.

bgc said...

Hans J Eysenck - one of the most cited psychologists ever, established a few decades ago that creativity was not correlated with IQ - the results and arguments are summarized in his book Genius (1995).

Creativity is higher in men than women, and it has a moderate inverse correlation with conscientiousness and agreeableness/ empathizing.

Genius requires (among other things) high IQ, high creativity yet sufficient conscientiousness to stick to the job in hand - which is one reason (among many) why genius is so rare.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the "crisis" affects adults also, so it's not a matter of formation. Maybe it's the dearth of secondhand tobacco smoke!

Anonymous said...

With regard to the decline in scores on creativity, I wonder if the answer isn't simply that there is less emphasis in our classrooms and in our culture on fostering "creativity" in our children. That is, there are fewer programs that make a big deal out of praising so-called divergent thinking or any signs of creative thought.

My strong impression is that, in the curriculum of education schools, talk of creativity has considerably diminished. When is the last time you read a series of articles on the importance of creativity in the classroom, as opposed to learning skills? One heard about creativity far more in previous decades than one does now.

So I would guess that there may indeed have been something very much akin to the Flynn Effect taking place a few decades ago, which has come to a halt.

But I think what most people think is true of the Flynn Effect is that it does not represent a REAL change in underlying intelligence, but rather some more significant level of exposure to the types of problems that some subtests in IQ tests utilize. It is quite possible that subtle changes in educational philosophy - emphasizing the sorts of conceptual, abstract problems IQ test employ as key to real education -- have engendered the unfortunately false elevation in measures of intelligence.

Quite possibly, this holds as well for the like effect in creativity measures.

The point is, underlying creativity itself in the population may not in any important way have been altered. Rather, only the measures have been affected.

Anonymous said...

"The way to show you are creative is to be creative."

Creativity was the guilt trip of the 1960s. I'm still plagued with fellow musicians who insist we should be more creative and do original songs, but cannot seem to write any themselves. I watched a group do great originals this past weekend and no one gave a crap because they didn't recognize the tunes.

Tired of the whole schtick. You got something, go to LA or Nashville with it.

Half Sigma said...

The "creativity test" described sounds like a highly g-loaded task to me. In other words, it's an IQ test, and perhaps even a better IQ test than those tests which are showing a Flynn Effect, which I've never bought into.

Al Sharpton said...

Fred said...

"Creativity is similar. The way to show you are creative is to be creative. The last thing we need are people claiming sinecures on the grounds that they have the proper creativity credential."

True, but one gets the sense this is exactly what some HBD proponents would like to to get for having an IQ credential. Witness Half Sigma's long complaint about being boxed out of "BIGLAW" despite his (mass) Ivy undergrad degree and top tier law degree.


I share Steve's concern. CQ fuzzy nature is open to more abuse by the powers that be to impose their agenda despite raw talent, earned merit or personal effort. It's not quite as bad as "leadership" or "EQ", but is could easily be the next block over (or next door with enough clever fiddling).

Didn't HalfSigma graduate from Arizona Law School? Even from a 2nd tier Ivy undergrad, that's quite a step down. HS probably didn't graduate at the very top of his law class or edit a top law journal there or he would harp on these facts as much as he rails against proles. I don't understand HS grievance since he manifestly does not measure up to BigLaw standards, especially in NYC where the standards are highest.

Since he is a HBD blogger, I can only image his artificially high expectation arises from IQ tests. Thus we see the pitfalls of relying solely on IQ tests. Underachieving Mensa members and parents of a generous 95% yet boarder-line gifted and talented kids are more constant reminders of the dangers of focusing too much on IQ tests at the expense of facts in the real world.

If he were more humble and realistic, he would've settled in AZ, tapped into the network there and maximize his career prospects and life happiness.

Peter A said...

Paul Johnson, who is vastly more cultured than I am, says the four most creative writers in the English language are Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, and Kipling

Chaucer, yes. Shakespeare stands out simply because no one reads Ben Johnson or any of Shakespeare's peers any more. Bill was certainly better than his peers, but was really that much more creative? It took a few hundred years of his competitors slowly being forgotten before Bill started being hailed as a genius - in the 17th century Shakespeare was just another good writer. Dickens, I agree with Dearieme, can be very formulaic. James Joyce is far more "creative" even if not as much a pleasure to read. Part of the problem with modern literature is that writers feel too much pressure to be "creative" rather than just tell a story.

Anonymous said...

The toy thing is depressing. Every parent knows you pack up your kids' toys to move and for the next few days they play wonderfully with sticks and boxes. Then you unpack their toys and they're back to whining about being bored.

You all wouldn't be aware of this, but there has recently been a huge surge of creativity in traditional female handicrafts - knitting, crochet, quilting, pattern drafting.

Anonymous said...

I hate to sound like an old codger, but it really does seem true that the more sophisticated things like video games and toys have gotten, the less creative and imaginative the kids who play with them have become. The toys and games themselves do most of the heavy lifting.
My own kids would be horrified by my small town, red state childhood, with no cable or Internet and only a handful of kids at my school interested in anything other than hunting and four wheel driving. But looking back on it, it was great. We played role-playing games, read Famous Monsters of Filmland and experimented with gore effects and explosive squibs, and used a friend's 8 mm camera to make our own horror and war movies out in the forest. And now I'm a highly paid screenwriter. And my kids are growing up in L.A. with computers and Bakugan video games to do all the creative work for them...

Anonymous said...

It has to do with importing too many stupid people from the South and the concomitant PC mindset that the gatekeepers of truth impose on our youth:

"...the speculations which might possibly induce a sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his early acquired inner discipline. The first and simplest stage in the discipline, WHICH CAN BE TAUGHT EVEN TO YOUNG CHILDREN, is called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity."

- 1984

Children grow up observing the adults around them deny obvious truths. It must be stultifying to some part of the intellect.

Anonymous said...

A record 50 7th graders earned a perfect score on at least one section of the SAT or ACT in the Duke Talent Search.

http://www.tip.duke.edu/about/news/2010/bevan_pr.html

23 did not have Asian names. Of those with Euro surnames, 4 were homeschooled. So 8% of the total. Homeschooled students are about 2% of all students.

So, both Asians and homeschooled whites are overrepresented by about 4x their actual percentage among students.

Anonymous said...

"Thus, creativity and madness are linked. You should expect to see creative geniuses with psychotic relatives (since those relatives may have the same distracting thoughts but lack the IQ to cope with them)"


It has been noted that students that complete graduate school score slightly higher than average on the psychotic measure on the MMPI.

Anonymous said...

"Can you imagine how they would deal with the Blitz nowadays without battalions of grief counselors?"


They had grief counselors. They were called pastors.

Glossy said...

There is an old stereotype that East Asians are less creative than Europeans. Does anyone know if these CQ scores confirm that stereotype when they're controlled for IQ? What about East Indians?

"The last thing we need are people claiming sinecures on the grounds that they have the proper creativity credential."

I disagree. Sinecures already exist and currently they're being distributed based on personal connections. In most lines of work such tests would be a better measure of worth than how well-connected people are.

And think of how many cool uses these tests could have if they were used more widely. For example, they would be almost guaranteed to show that the average cartoonist has more inborn creativity than the average abstract painter, that the people who write catchy pop songs are more creative than avante-garde classical composers or rappers, that the people who write country music lyrics are more creative than modernist poets and so on. It would be so much fun to burst all of these pretentious bubbles with data.

"For example, Paul Johnson, who is vastly more cultured than I am, says the four most creative writers in the English language are Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, and Kipling."

It's interesting that Shakespeare was never considered especially great until more than 150 years after his death. In art merit and reputation are usually so distantly related that anyone who only names famous names when compiling a personal list of the greats is probably a fraud who has never thought about the subject for himself. There's just no way that the objective truth or anyone's personal, subjective preferences could perfectly coincide with what happens to be the accepted view at any particular time. Certainly not about art. This is a long way of saying that an honest list like that would have been guaranteed to include a few people no one has heard of.

Midwesterner said...

Social isolation, childhood boredom, open-ended toys and wilderness in my backyard were important ingredients for developing whatever creativity I have as an adult.

All four of these elements are dramatically curtailed for children today.

Anonymous said...

Po Bronson: Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.”

Steve Sailer: Besides the usual demographic changes

"The usual demographic changes" dwarf any other possible component in the study.

If they aren't controlling for race & ethnicity, then their numbers are simply meaningless [worse than meaningless, really, because the numbers would be almost criminally misleading].

On the other hand, maybe they ARE controlling for race & ethnicity - does anyone know?


PS: The American caucasian total fertility rate fell off a cliff in the period 1970 to 1976 [see Table D1-6*]:

1970: 2.385
1971: 2.161
1972: 1.907
1973: 1.783
1974: 1.749
1975: 1.686
1976: 1.652

And those are the children who would have been third-graders in the mid-1980s, and middle-schoolers circa 1990 [meaning that by 1990, there just WEREN'T any Caucasian kids anymore].

My guess would be that if they were testing heavily in places like California or urban New York or Florida, then about 1990, the children of the illegal aliens started to take a terrible toll on their sample population.

And the fact that Kim & Bronson specifically flag the problem with "the scores of younger children in America" as being the "most serious" suggests to me that that is precisely what is happening [cf here or here].


PPS: Getting back to "on the other hand", there is no doubt that television and game consoles and computer games [and daycare and ritalin and absentee fathers and blah blah blah] are having disastrous effects on the intellectual development of American caucasian children. But it is imperative that you first single them out and not group them with the lesser races if you want the statistics to have any meaning whatsoever.


PPPS: If they were seeing these problems in the data circa 1990, then why did it take 20 years for us to hear about it?

If, as I suspect, this data reflects a collapse in the Caucasian total fertility rate in the 1970s, then wouldn't it have been nice to have known about this data during, say, the great immigration debates of the 1990s and 2000s?!? Before we imported another 20 million illegal aliens and their 40 million "Wong Kim Ark" anchor babies?



*Warning: Some of the subsequent figures in Table D1-6 are highly misleading, because Caucasian and "Hispanic" total fertility rates were not separated until the 1990s.

Anonymous said...

"And that's why creativity in US kids dwindles. They're not even allowed to rank or compare ideas, because that might show that some of them have better ideas than others. There are no 'best' ideas in contemporary progressive education, only 'valid' ones."


There is an interesting idea.

Decline in competition may correlate to a decline in creativity.

If you can't win, why bother. I know my son is very competitive. He takes some summer science classes where the kids have to design the fastest robotic race car or a catapult that can fling a marshmallow the farthest etc. He works super hard at it and often wins because he is creative and very competitive. Without the lure of bragging rights, he would not bother. He sure doesn't care as much about school work when the competition is not there or so mild, it isn't really an incentive. Similarly, he hated coloring as a kindergartner, but liked drawing stuff from his own ideas. He never gets too excited about other people's ideas but will work his butt off to promote his own and get others on board.

kurt9 said...

The article does point out that there is a standardized test that measures creative quotient, CQ, and that the results of that test correlate far greater with entrepreneurial success than IQ. If so, I would think that CQ would be even more important than IQ for the future success of our country. People with high IQs are often very good at plugging into bureaucracy and doing absolutely nothing of real accomplishment in their working lives. Most innovation and progress comes from people who think "outside the box" or work "outside the system". Einstein did his best work outside the academic system (as a patent clerk). Most of the real developments in regeneration and anti-aging medicine are occurring outside the medical industrial complex.

Also consider that almost all job creation in the past 30 years (real jobs that is) have been created by small to medium sized companies, many of them start-ups.

If CQ as defined by the standardized test correlates with all of this more than IQ, then it should be obvious to anyone with an IQ above room temperature that CQ is way more relevant than IQ.

There are actually 3 or 4 cognitive metrics that matter. IQ is one. CQ is another. A third would be executive function, EF, which is a combination of grit, future time orientation, and the ability to focus on any particular objective.

I would say that all three of these are relevant.

I think CQ is far more relevent than IQ.

Anonymous said...

perhaps this absence of grief therapists was caused less by the year being 1955 than by the country being France, i.e. a nation commendably free (by U.S. or U.K. standards) from psychobabble's worst manifestations throughout its history.

On the other hand, the year being 1955 means that Frenchmen were only a decade removed from being the objects of invasion, occupation, genocidal collaboration, saturation bombing, a counter-invasion, and bloody retribution against collaborators. Oh, and a year removed from war in Indochina and a year into war in Algeria. Considering all that, a butcher's bill of 80 at a motor race hardly seems worth getting as worked up about.

Even so, the decision to continue the race was not as callous as it may seem in 2010--they figured, reasonably, that hundreds of thousands of fans headed for the exits would hamper the rescue efforts.

Dahlia said...

"Agnostic said:
The early '90s are when the crime rate peaked and started to fall; same with promiscuity and all forms of wild social behavior. It's not a stretch to believe that divergent thinking or an experimental mindset would go along with those behaviors too."

_____________

Especially in this case, but with others as well where you establish a line of demarcation in the early '90s for a cultural zeitgeist to explain some phenomenon, the effect is to say that the '50s and/or any time before the 60's has more in common with the 80's than the 90s and afterwards.

The line of demarcation should be where it has been: the late 60s. The differences between the 80s, 90s, and the oughts are niggling details compared to the differences between 1950 and 1970.

The two things that do differentiate the pre-90s from the 90s and since are age and demographics. We suffer worse criminality today according to Charles Murray and have since the 90s. We simply became more realistic about how to deal with crime, again, according to Murray.
Perhaps relatedly, Murray also posited in "Human Accomplishment" that war had no effect on genius.

When our society can no longer keep the criminals in jail, I don't expect creativity to shoot up. Except in the arming of oneself, car, and home; I have seen neat home architecture designs from Argentina.

BamaGirl said...

Agreed with whoever said that computers are one of the causes of diminishing creativity. Computers are cheap/available and completely distracting. Kids who are around 10 use them far more than even kids 5-10 years ago (simply because computers weren't as good 10 years ago). Hence they never go outside, build forts, create new games etc. I bet most 10 year olds nowadays have also never even played with a stack of dominoes...

Svigor said...

A great painting is NOT useful in the pragmatic sense.

I know what you're getting at (you can't eat it, start a fire with it, etc.), but the more I think about it the more wrong that seems. I keep coming up with all these pragmatic reasons to create or own a great painting.

Anonymous said...

The first school paper I can remember writing was on the lessons of the Mercedes disaster. I can't quite remember what that lesson was, but I'm sure my high school insight was trenchant. Of course in those early days before we had robot minds checking our spelling I would never have attempted to write a word like trenchant.

As to the issue of creativity - I wonder. As a psychology undergraduate I took a lot of tests in the classroom. I remember taking what was termed a creativity test. As it happened I aced it. I had by far the highest score in the class. But I wasn't much impressed and I certainly didn't take it as a signal to drop out of school and go write The Great American Novel.

The reason I did so well was that I figured out the test. All the questions were "trick" questions. Many of them were the basis of old jokes. Once you understood what was going on, anyone could score as highly creative.

Some years later I took a test with a class of prospective management consultants. All the job applicants were given unlimited time to answer a number of arithmetic questions, mostly involving long division. Before calculators this was pretty tedious. But I beat out everyone else because I had the insight that this was a persistence test not a math test. Most of the guys were out of there in half an hour. A few stayed as long as an hour. I was there three hours - alone still checking and rechecking my long division. I finished only when I was certain of all my answers. The point is that had everyone understood what the test was really about they all would have all done what I did.

My final example is the civil service test for Social Worker. I took this test after working as a Social Worker Trainee. I learned what was important to social workers so when I took the multiple choice test I consistently chose the stupidest possible answer. The test gave hypothetical situations and a number of different reponse choices. If a response was reasonable and prudent, I ignored it. If a response showed wisdom and capacity to learn from experience, I threw it out. I consistently chose the responses of a naive and stupid fool. I scored at the top. Again I had figured out the trick behind the test.

I got good at teasing out the real purpose of a test because the psychological testing literature is replete with experiments in which the testers had striven to fool the testees. This kind of sensitivity can immediately boost your score on tests like those for civil service Social Worker, business drone, or general creativity. But notice that there is no "inside poop" that will help you with the Ravens Progressive Matrices.

Albertosaurus

asdfsdfasdf said...

Blacks in the 60s: Otis Redding, Hendris, Motown.

Blacks now: Rap.

Udolpho.com said...

let's not even get into the culture of manchildren buying toys to mount on their toyroom shelves

I don't think toys or even video games necessarily dampen creativity, although look at the change in childhood experiences--from roaming the neighborhood to leveling your video game character all day

it's probably more to do with stress/anxiety created by excessive heterogenity, competition, and crowdedness, which causes regression/aggression...and by stress I mean a different type than that faced by, say, a soldier in a wartime situation, rather the numbing stress of the brain shutting down because of social overload

sdfasdfasfsadf said...

Maybe this is relate to the 'fatass paradox'.
In the old days, more farm work meant more food. To have more food, you had to work more, thus burn more calories. So, even as you had more food, you didn't get any fatter.
Imagine such a community. Now, suppose some smart guy comes along and invents a machine that produces much more food. Now, farmers can use the machine to produce much more food than they can consume. Producing more food no longer requires more work, at least not in the traditional sense. So, the masses of people end up with fat asses cuz they have more & more food with less & less work. The old relation of more food = more burning calories is broken.

A similar dynamic may be working with creativity. The more that supergeeks become creative and invent more conveniences for the masses, lesser creative the rest of us become.
Imagine a chimp with a stick, boxes, and a banana hanging up in the air on a rope. The chimp has to be crafty in setting up the boxes under the banana, stepping atop them, and hitting the banana with the stick. He has to be 'creative'. But suppose he is given a remote control where he pushes a button and the banana falls from the ceiling. He becomes a couch banana.

Or take a cat or dog that has to hunt for food. They have to develop alertness and special skills to stalk and hunt the prey. But if you feed it day after day, its senses become dulled. It only know how to meow or growl for food.

Prior to the internet, I had to be 'creative' to find information at the library. It took some skills to look through bibliographies, archives, ask librarians, use micro fiche, make copies, and store them in my closet and shelves and etc. It also required some degree of categorization. Now, I basically type some word into Google Search Box and search. (I think some guy not long ago wrote about how google is making us dumber, at least in some sense.) And using the Encyclopedia requires more cross referencing and memory power than using Wiki where you can hop from one reference to another with ease.

In my highschool days, one of my friends--from a strict Catholic family--used to be quite creative in the area of porn, or what he considered porn. He read all of Marquis de Sade and lots of porn literature. He had no VCR, had no access to smutty pics, etc. So, he had to be 'creative'. But I'll bet guys like him all across America today just look for millions of nudie pics and videos online. It's soooo easy. And when objects of one's desire become too easy, one's drive and hunger subside, the very emotions that drive one to be creative.
No more need to be creative. And if that is sufficient enough to make guys happy, there is no need for them to be 'creative' in picking up or courting girls either.

Or take cooking. Before the non-stick frying pan, one had to develop skills to make the food non-sticky but now there's now the easy way out. And the gas grill has made BBQing too easy.

Of course, new inventions create NEW OPPORTUNITIES for us to be creative, but when new inventions make things TOO EASY, only the geeks at the cutting edge of innovation remain creative while the rest of us turn into chimps with remotes. Besides, most of us cannot understand the superduper cutting edge high-tech theoretical stuff; however, this technology that is so difficult for us to understand is making everything SO MUCH EASIER for us. Everything becomes at-the-touch-of-a-button. Maybe this should be called the nerd/lard paradox. The more nerds become creative, more the rest of us turn into tubs of lard.

Alexandria said...

Too much articulation can also be a bad thing. Remember the old GI Joe action figures? It was almost impossible to keep them in a realistic pose for more than a few seconds.

jody said...

it might not be entirely due to demographic change but i can't see how it is not largely due to it.

mexicans are not creative. i've posted about this several times. the future of the US, where mestizos are the majority in the public schools, does not portend well.

black americans are only creative in very limited ways. i actually think their creativity has declined as their fortunes have improved. today there seems to be this modern, almost identity politic-ish set of behavioral standards to which almost all of them subscribe. you can see this in high schools. the other races have cliques and groups and types. different dress, different speech patterns, different music. but the black americans are almost uniform.

east asians can be creative when they are allowed. but usually they are smashed into small little boxes where their only option in life is to get a 5 on the AP physics C exam.

i'm kind of surprised asdfasdfasdf did not post his usual commentary about how it's all actually due to a decline in the ashkenazi jewish population since according to him we'd all be lost in the stone ages without them.

nooffensebut said...

Off topic:

Scientists identify the biology of black runners and white swimmers: link

Steve Sailer said...

As Albertosaurus points out, it's harder to outsmart an IQ test than a personality test. Short of blatant cheating (as might happen now and then with the NFL's Wonderlic tests because so much money is on the line), if you outsmart an IQ test then you are smart.

Christopher said...

Can we graph this against single-parenting and latch-key kids and day care? Maybe having an encouraging mom present longer has something to do with it.

Anonymous said...

"Can you imagine how they would deal with the Blitz nowadays without battalions of grief counselors?"

They had grief counselors. They were called pastors.

And drill sergeants, and strawbosses.

Anonymous said...

In my highschool days, one of my friends--from a strict Catholic family--used to be quite creative in the area of porn, or what he considered porn. He read all of Marquis de Sade and lots of porn literature. He had no VCR, had no access to smutty pics, etc. So, he had to be 'creative'.

Good point. He also had to be very creative and inventive in hiding from parents, peers, priests, police, crusading superjocks, nosy self-righteous neighbors, and the like.

In the bad old days, that was very common. Teachers gave lip service to creativity. Peers did not, and the ones who mattered most (jocks, bullies, gangsters) were the most militant about the evils of creativity, and its supposed link to homosexuality.

There used to a proverb, almost a cliche, that the best Russian literature was from the eras of the baddest, most tyrannical, most repressive tsars. It makes a perverse sort of sense.

Anonymous said...

"Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. "

Like IQ, higher creativity is found in some races more than others. Demographic breakdowns probably show white kids holding their own. It would be more interesting to see how Asians compare to whites. It's true that Asians outperform whites on IQ tests by 1/3 std. But I'll betcha dollars to donuts that whites blow Asians out of the water in CQ.

Asians just don't make paradigm shifts unless continuous tinkering leads to an accident. Shuji Nakamura's development of the blue diode perfectly exemplifies this Joe Blogs approach to R&D usually taken by East Asians. And forget about South Asians: they invent nothing.

I'm afraid the world still needs White people unless it wishes to stagnate for a thousand years -- which the Chinese managed to do culturally and technologically before the British Empire came to their shores.

sdfsdfasdfaf said...

"mexicans are not creative."

When it comes to food, more so than Anglos.
And besides, much of cowboy culture was developed by Mexicans before Anglos took it over.

asdfasdasdf said...

"mexicans are not creative."

They are when it comes to sneaking across the border.

Anonymous said...

OT

How about the belly button theory of black runners and white swimmers?

Albertosaurus

Couchscientist said...

sdf's "fatass paradox" is dead on and well articulated.

Anonymous said...

much of cowboy culture was developed by Mexicans before Anglos took it over.

And what, exactly, is cowboy culture?

Anonymous said...

The LSAT is pretty good at predicting whether you are smart enough to not flunk out of law school and to pass the bar exam.


Too bad it's useless at predicting whether the person will be a good lawyer.


The AFQT/ASVAB helps the Air Force figure out if it's worth sending you to avionics school or truck driving school. Neither one is all that much fun
In contrast, there isn't much need for tests to see how good you'll be at playing the guitar or playing tennis or whatever. Why not? It would be useful to have a genetic test that would tell the parents of young athletes how tall they'll end up being. But for most fun things, the best test of how good a guitar player or basketball player you'll be is to pick up a guitar or basketball, get some coaching, and practice, practice, practice. You'll figure out soon enough if you in the top half or the bottom half of the population distribution.



Learning to play the guitar is hard work, for most people. The reason we don't have tests that can measure your guitar potential or your creativity quotient is not that these tests are not useful - it's that we don't know how to implement them.

IQ is given its current absurdly exaggerated position because it is one thing which we CAN measure, not because it is inherently more valuable than any other mental aptitude.

Anonymous said...

More White creativity:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1294074/The-revolutionary-liquid-armour-suit-bullet-proof-custard.html?ITO=1490

I wonder if this could be used in car bumpers, doors, and quarter panels?

Anonymous said...

There is an old stereotype that East Asians are less creative than Europeans. Does anyone know if these CQ scores confirm that stereotype when they're controlled for IQ?



The evidence of history says that Europeans are a lot more creative than anyone else. Controlling for IQ should not make a difference, as Asians ave been found to have the highest IQ's.

Hockey Puck said...

let's not even get into the culture of manchildren buying toys to mount on their toyroom shelves

A long and noble tradition.

Too much articulation can also be a bad thing. Remember the old GI Joe action figures? It was almost impossible to keep them in a realistic pose for more than a few seconds.

That would depend, I suspect, mostly on the tautness of the internal elastic.

For the contemporary version, see these guys: http://www.mwctoys.com/REVIEW_111809b.htm

catperson said...

IQ is given its current absurdly exaggerated position because it is one thing which we CAN measure, not because it is inherently more valuable than any other mental aptitude.

No, IQ is given its valued position because it measures g. g by defenition influences all mental abilities and that makes inherently the most valuable property of the mind ever discovered.

catperson said...

There is an old stereotype that East Asians are less creative than Europeans. Does anyone know if these CQ scores confirm that stereotype when they're controlled for IQ?

I suspect blacks are more creative than whites when IQ is controlled; they created several genres of popular music, are well represented in the arts (comedy, acting, literature, music). I think there's an evolutionary tradeoff at work. As humans became more evolved, we gained greater intelligence but lost some of the primitive brain functions needed to be creative. The reason why creativity is most common in whites is because in some ways they are at the optimum level of evolution: Primitive enough to have off the wall ideas, but intelligent enough to adapt those nutty ideas into something useful (creativity). East Asians are almost too evolved for their own good. They’ve lost the primitive nuttiness that allows creativity to thrive and they’ve lost the primitive aggression and ambition that allow whites to conquer the world.

Anonymous said...

Looking things up at the library is creative?

I learn much more from the internet than I did before going to the library. I never would have come across ideas like HBD just reading the paper or going to the library. I went to the library a lot before I got a computer,but I get ideas from the net that I never would have thought of without the net.

You can waste time on the Net with various useless sites,but overall I like it.

Anonymous said...

"I'm afraid the world still needs White people unless it wishes to stagnate for a thousand years -- which the Chinese managed to do culturally and technologically before the British Empire came to their shores.'

White people have created a ton of new things,but what else do we need to make us satisfied or happy?
Sure,medicine can be improved with new drugs,new procedures etc, but what else do we need? I have a computer,better tv,better frozen dinners,shirts that wick the moisture of my back when I exercise,light weight tennis racquets. The list goes on,but I can't say I am any happier than the 70's.

zylonet said...

>>Asians just don't make paradigm shifts unless continuous tinkering leads to an accident. Shuji Nakamura's development of the blue diode perfectly exemplifies this Joe Blogs approach to R&D usually taken by East Asians. And forget about South Asians: they invent nothing.<<

You are relying on the past as a guide to the future. You fail to consider how things have changed. East Asians and South Asians are going to invent a great deal going forward. Take the automotive industry as a fine example of Asian industriousness.

>>I'm afraid the world still needs White people unless it wishes to stagnate for a thousand years -- which the Chinese managed to do culturally and technologically before the British Empire came to their shores.<<

Do you seriously believe that Asia would stagnate for 1000s of years if white people ceased to exist tomorrow? What an insane post that misses the greater reality. Moreover, are you sure you want a future filled with nanobots and the prospect of zero privacy ever?

Allison said...

Why in the world does Mr. Sailer take this story at such face value?

Don't we all know the Gell-Mann effect?

Call me skeptical. I like Po Branson's work, but there's a confirmation bias here it would seem.

But if there must be an answer, how about this:

all of the easy things to invent have been invented. Now we have to do hard stuff. So before, what looked creative was merely low hanging fruit.

re: why didn't someone invent garbage cans with sand to stop high speed accidents *before* 1955? Tell me, exactly how many high speed freeways were there before 1955? How many concrete bridges? How many lives were needed to be saved before then? Oh, RACE CARS went that fast. Not exactly millions to save.

Think about the other issues: How many seat belts? How many collapsing steering columnns? What the heck was the point in slowing down a car's collision, when you'd already died from ejection or impalement?

Lots of "obvious" things to invent weren't issues, and that's why they weren't invented earlier.

Anonymous said...

>>Amazing! Eighty people died and the race continued. What intestinal fortitude. How male. You wouldn't see that in our feminized age. But they were just 10-15 years from the blitzkrieg. Can you imagine how they would deal with the Blitz nowadays without battalions of grief counselors?<<

F1 legend Niki Lauda claims that racing was ruined when grandma started watching. He claims that grandma couldn't stomach the deaths. Lauda is a tough man whose faced was badly burned in an accident.

Last year I worked as a teacher and I can tell you that it's a horrible job all the way around. One thing of note, the children are abused to no end by the litany of rules: walk in a straight line, don't write about violence, respect other people, work as a team, sit still, follow this format, worship all things African American. It was sickening. I truly believe the talent is there among many students to achieve, but everything and everyone is against them.

jody said...

"When it comes to food, more so than Anglos."

i've studied this stuff a good amount. it's a one sided destruction in favor of the europeans.

unless i misunderstand what "anglos" means here. but even if it means strictly "english" and not all europeans, it's still a complete wipeout in favor of the english.

until you start to do what steve has done in this post, to ponder the question of "Where do all these things come from?", you can not really comprehend just how much of the modern world the europeans have developed. almost every small little thing, which we never think about, and which is taken for granted, actually never existed until a european person developed it recently.

the entire modern food industry was created by europeans. mexicans had pretty much nothing to do with it. like most groups, mexicans copy the europeans. everybody copies the europeans to such a degree, that almost everything which europeans develop becomes divorced from it's association with them and turns into background stuff.

just something simple, like coca-cola, is so vastly more important by itself in the world of food, than the grand total combined original creative output of the entire mexico food industry.

pasteurization, canning, freezing. confection production. modern beer production, pioneered by germans in the US, is how almost the entire beer industry works today, with the mexicans, like everybody else, just emulating what german brewers were doing over 100 years ago in missouri - a radical improvement in the ability of beer to be packaged, transported, and stored. like buying cold bottles of imported beer at the bar or supermarket? you couldn't - until germans invented the process of preserving beer. before that, beer went flat in about 3 days after leaving the brewery.

i don't know how many white chefs have 2 michelin stars, too many to count, but i do know there are exceedingly few mexican chefs, if any. there probably aren't any mexican chefs who have 3 michelin stars.

there sure aren't a lot of mexican chefs on "iron chef". then again, that's normal for mexicans. low representation in every field.

jody said...

i don't really like the food network, but some of my friends and family do. all you have to do is turn that on and watch it for a while to realize how not important mexico is to the history of almost anything in the world of food.

they often do shows on "The history of food X" and it turns out so often that the inventors of your favorite food were those dreaded, hated white males. who do they think they are, inventing soft serve ice cream? chemistry is stupid. who cares about putting more air into the ice cream mixture.

we should send those germans back to germany so they don't open In-N-Out burger in 1948 in california.

it's kind of funny how mexicans are so not creative that it took glen bell, a white guy, to create taco bell. the person most directly responsible for introducing america to tacos was a former marine, and not one of the millions of mexicans already living in california in 1970.

Mark said...

I don't have any fancy theories, just not creative enough to come up with them but here or a few of my experiences. Companies want people who claim to multitask. I don't know how anyone of relatively normal intelligence can be both a multitasker and creative.
Intelligence is important but frankly, some of the problems I have solved at work are too trivial to entertain anyone I would consider smart. Smart enough to solve it but dumb enough to think it matters is optimal in many situations. The important thing in large corporations is to solve a problem that top management thinks is a problem. If you come up with a better way of doing things but management is fine with the way it is then you are out of luck. Since their perception of problems can be quite limiting it helps to network to know what they are thinking about. However, if you could network then you probably wouldn't be obsessing over small efficiencies to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Last year I worked as a teacher and I can tell you that it's a horrible job all the way around. One thing of note, the children are abused to no end by the litany of rules:

This is hardly a new thing; it's as old as the Prussian system of government schooling. Maybe dummies need that byzantine web of rules and regulations, but not genuinely smart and creative people.

TGGP said...

Robin Hanson on the "myth of creativity". Richard Florida was out of his league.

dsafasfasdf said...

"I suspect blacks are more creative than whites when IQ is controlled; they created several genres of popular music, are well represented in the arts (comedy, acting, literature, music). I think there's an evolutionary tradeoff at work. As humans became more evolved, we gained greater intelligence but lost some of the primitive brain functions needed to be creative."

This is true especially in certain kinds of music--the rhythmic and funky kind. But I don't think blacks created literature. Sure, blacks can be 'creative' and colorful with language in their own way, and also in the 'musical' style of talking.
And there is something about African sculpture which makes me almost agree with your theory. Though Africans never developed the material means to build on the scale of Europeans, Asians, and Near East people and though their art isn't as refined or sophisticated, there is a raw power, exuberance, and weirdness that are mindblowing. Africans did with sculpture what Hendrix and Coltrane did with music. It wasn't pretty nor particularly discernible or intelligible but it was intense, vivid, overflowing, brimmingly and streamingly vibrant.

But where your theory breaks down is this. One could argue that Jews are the 'most evolved' people since they are the most intelligent, but Jews have been very creative musically, in literature, in comedy(much more so than blacks), and even in plastic arts(after abandoning the taboo against idolatry).
Also, one can argue that primitive Amazonian peoples are not all that more 'evolved' than blacks, but they have not been known to be particularly 'creative' in pop music or dance. Even ones who settled in cities and joined Brazilian society haven't contributed much to world culture. The same goes for the aboriginal peoples of Australia. Where is their funky 'creativity' if 'less evolved' are filled with primal creative juice?

And surely Italians and Greeks were fully 'evolved' when they reached the great peaks in creativity and expression. Greeks invented drama. Italians gave us the opera. And indeed even the art forms that came to be associated with blacks owe a great deal to white traditions in music, literature, and etc.

It may be that on a one-on-one basis, a black guy has more 'primal' creative juice than a 'more evolved' white person. It could be blacks on their own failed to develop much in the way of arts due to their intellectual inability to create more advanced and complex societies. After all, blacks didn't invent any of the modern sports, but they are better at them than whites are.

On the other hand, it could be blacks are more 'creative' in certain ways not because they are 'less evolved' but because they evolved differently. Australian aborigines lived with kangaroos and wombats, no great threat to them. Amazonian Indians had more dangerous animals to deal with but only the jaguar was the real threat; otherwise, caution would keep them safe from poisonous snakes, frogs, etc. Llamas certainly were no danger to them. But blacks evolved alongside wild elephants, wild buffalos, lions, hyenas, jaguars, rhinos, hippos, gorillas, baboons, and other badass mean animals. They had more threats, so their bodies had to produce more hormones to make them stronger and more aggressive. They also had to be funkier and rhythmic to run away from or dodge wild animals. So, blacks became more intense and rhythmic/funkier, and these aspects show up in sports and certain artistic endeavors. Eskimos, on the other hand, though primitive, evolved in the cold where people had to huddle together. Though an odd polar bear could be dangerous, their main threat was the cold. Since moving too much would burn off crucial body heat, they became more rigid and less 'creative'--though to be sure, the arts of NW Indians are indeed impressive.

catperson said...

But where your theory breaks down is this. One could argue that Jews are the 'most evolved' people since they are the most intelligent, but Jews have been very creative musically, in literature, in comedy(much more so than blacks), and even in plastic arts(after abandoning the taboo against idolatry).

Jews are highly intelligent, but they’re still just caucasoids. They happen to be an especially elite ethnicity within the Caucasoid race, but the Caucasoid race is not especially evolved, especially not its Middle Eastern branch. Remember, humans first emerged in Africa so Africa is the most genetically primitive region of the world, but the Middle East was the first place humans branched into upon leaving Africa so the Middle East is arguably pretty primitive too. So in a way Jews have the best of both worlds. They belong to a primitive race (middle easterners) and thus enjoy the primitive brain functions that allow for weird and nutty ideas, but because they are by far the smartest middle easterners, they can combine those nutty ideas into creative thought. This may help explain why Jews are even more successful than even their high IQ’s predict.



Also, one can argue that primitive Amazonian peoples are not all that more 'evolved' than blacks, but they have not been known to be particularly 'creative' in pop music or dance. Even ones who settled in cities and joined Brazilian society haven't contributed much to world culture.

The Amazonian people are mongoloid and mongoloids are the most evolved race. They are less intelligent form of mongoloid, but they are mongoloids nonetheless. In a way they have the worst of both worlds. Too evolved to have the primitive brain functions that allow creativity, but also lacking the high intelligence of most mongoloids.


The same goes for the aboriginal peoples of Australia. Where is their funky 'creativity' if 'less evolved' are filled with primal creative juice?

Their IQ is especially low, in part because they are much more malnourished than African Americans. But if you control for their low IQ, they might be creative.

And surely Italians and Greeks were fully 'evolved' when they reached the great peaks in creativity and expression.

Not really. Greeks and Italians are part middle eastern which is a less evolved form of Caucasoid, and caucasoids are less evolved than mongoloids.

Eskimos, on the other hand, though primitive, evolved in the cold where people had to huddle together. Though an odd polar bear could be dangerous, their main threat was the cold. Since moving too much would burn off crucial body heat, they became more rigid and less 'creative'--though to be sure, the arts of NW Indians are indeed impressive.

Eskimos are less creative because they belong to the highly evolved mongoloid race.

BamaGirl said...

"Not really. Greeks and Italians are part middle eastern which is a less evolved form of Caucasoid, and caucasoids are less evolved than mongoloids."

Less evolved? Funny considering the modern world wouldn't exist without them. Greece stagnated after the Byzantine era, but Italy has remained an accomplished nation throughout its history.

Ganpat Sathe said...

"I suspect blacks are more creative than whites when IQ is controlled; they created several genres of popular music, are well represented in the arts (comedy, acting, literature, music). "

This is rubbish, there is far more talent and creativity in these fields in Asia but the culture is not globally neutral so that people from other parts of the world cannot come across it. I mean I have seen that the blacks have done with hip hop, jazz and stuff but if you ask me there has been far more creativity in Bollywood and the South Indian movie industry that all of them combined. The problem is Bollywood is in Hindi and thus non-Indians cannot understand it.
Besides for thousands of years Europeans, Asians, Native Americans etc... lived without black culture and were happy. Classical European or Classical Asian music (Arab, Persian, Hindustani, Carnatic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Korean etc...) are far more sophisticated and need far higher creativity than anything this pathetic century has given to us. So I can live well without black creativity, billions of people throughout the world are living quite fine without it. The average Indian farmer knows nothing about jazz or rap but trust me he is not missing much. But my quality of life would be infinitely worse if the fruits of European/ White creativity (with a little Asian help) were taken away from me. No modern medicine, no television, no cars, no flights, no mobile phones, no computers, no electricity, no etc... a long list here. I mean there is no way you can equate the creativity of Rudolf Diesel, the German guy who invented the Diesel engine or Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Thomas Alva Edison with a mere rapstar of a jazz player. They are not in the same league, not even close.
I mean do you really believe that the creativity of this guy described by Jeremy Clarkson in the video can be equated to that of Jimmy Hendrix or Bob Marley or Michael Jackson? Really?
(Parts 1-6)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K00xt_cxbI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPvSFIqIfCk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgbiARGvFvg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNpChakF0lw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gDjim1W2Xs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIUAB63-90o

Howard Hughes said...

Catperson: your theory doesn't sound very plausible, but there is some proof for it anyhow - the aborginals of Australia have produced som very good, abstract art ("modern art" that just wasn't created in modern times...).

It probably is possible to test creativity in one way or another; I'm not sure if Torrance tests are the best way, however. Would be interesting to se the connection between IQ and creativity, or creativity and other mental abilities in general. I, for one, am rather creative, but my IQ is probably just decent; very good verbally - in my native language that is - but far from a math wiz.

Bill said...

Creativity is similar. The way to show you are creative is to be creative. The last thing we need are people claiming sinecures on the grounds that they have the proper creativity credential.

In a post a while ago, Steve said he was once involved in hiring for a technically demanding job. I have also had this experience, and I am baffled by the above comment.

It is hard (for me and for every single person I have ever talked to about it) to tell the difference between a drudge who aced all his math, stats, natural science, etc courses because he plodded along mindlessly but diligently through the book and the guy who was driven to actually figure out how things worked, who only skimmed the book, and who had many flashes of genuine insight on the way to his As. The easy signals in an interview can be gamed, and the drudges are motivated to drudge their way through gaming them. Maybe CQ can be gamed too, I don't know, but the problem of separating drudges from actually smart and creative people is important and hard.

Stephen said...

Jon Jay Ray had an interesting take a few years back:
"The article below, which asserts that conservatives are less creative than liberals, is just the usual Leftist bigotry, based on a very poor knowledge of the research literature. Creativity does not generalize much, meaning there is no such thing as an overall trait of creativity. If there were an overall trait of creativity, lots of great painters would also be great composers but there are in fact no examples of that. You can be creative in one field and not in another. Take my own case: I am extremely good at writing iconoclastic academic journal articles but could not write a novel for nuts. So we find there that even creativity via the written word does not generalize from one sort of writing to another. So all that is shown below is that Leftists judge one-another as more creative and are more likely to take an interest in self-indulgent activities."


More here:
http://dissectleft.blogspot.com/2008/11/are-conservatives-less-creative-than.html

Obsidian said...

Hmm. Very interesting article.

In light of the topic being discussed, I am curious what all of you think about some comments of mine that I orignally posted over at Half Sigma's blog:

"On another note, I find it interesting that no one has even considered one particular computer: it's called the SP1200. Here's some info on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mu_SP-1200

Some notable users of this computer are:

The RZA
DJ Premiere
J Dilla
Marley Marl
Dr. Dre

Question: which of these Men had formal musical training?

Holla back"

Clearly, these are well recognized names in the annals of Hip Hop history. Looking forward to you great minds tackle this one!
:)

O.

asdfasdfasdf said...

"The article below, which asserts that conservatives are less creative than liberals, is just the usual Leftist bigotry, based on a very poor knowledge of the research literature. Creativity does not generalize much, meaning there is no such thing as an overall trait of creativity."

But libs are more likely to support and appreciate creativity more. Appreciating art and stuff is so much a part of liberalism that even liberals who don't really care for that stuff feel obligated to appear interested--just like conservatives who are not naturally into religion feel pressured to be pious within the conservative community.
So, the OVERALL attitude of any given ideological camp does have an impact on its culture.
Even if most liberals are not really into arts and culture, they are a part of a community where one's status is linked to appearing cultural. Thus, there is more support of arts among liberals.

catperson said...

Ganpat Sathe, please take the time to understand my theory before disputing it. I am not saying that blacks are more creative than whites and East Asians, I am saying that controlling for IQ they are more creative. When you compare creativity in hip hop to creativity in science and technology, you are not controlling for IQ.

Obsidian said...

I'm with Catperson - the strawman argument Ganpath Sathe's making is really silly. No one's arguing who's creativity is better or anything like that though I would like to note with interest that there isn't a place you can go on this planet where Hip Hop hasnt't touched it. Name the country, and I can promise you that Hip Hop is there with a vengence.

What I would like to get the feedback on is what I noted earlier - that not only is there clear and present evidence of Black guys using computers, but using them to make quite sophisticated music at that. Let's try this again, because I really, really, need Mr. Sailer and Co. to weigh in on this:

"On another note, I find it interesting that no one has even considered one particular computer: it's called the SP1200. Here's some info on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mu_SP-1200

Some notable users of this computer are:

The RZA
DJ Premiere
J Dilla
Marley Marl
Dr. Dre

Question: which of these Men had formal musical training?

Holla back"

O.

Anonymous said...

Others have already taken down Ganpat Sathe's dumb argument, but there are a few facts that need correction.

"I mean I have seen that the blacks have done with hip hop, jazz and stuff but if you ask me there has been far more creativity in Bollywood and the South Indian movie industry that all of them combined."

I'm yet to meet an Indian that has the slightest understanding of or interest in black music. I'd really like to know what you've seen.

It's also ironic that you believe Bollywood and the South Indian movie industry are creative when they have a reputation for massive plagiarism.

To wit:

http://www.bollywoodtrends.net/2009/04/bollywood-and-plagiarism-list-of.html

At least most of black music is original. And much of it has been created by a much smaller population in a much smaller time frame than the "complex" music given by India.

Once again, the bigotry of the average Indian comes to the fore (if it's black, hate it).
It's a good thing they have low IQs on average, as the prospect of having Indian overlords is something the rest of the world would shudder at the prospect of.

Ashley Merryman said...

Hi, Steve -

Thank you for a thoughtful post about Po's and my article. And thank you to everyone commenting as well.

Just to clarify a couple points. The scholars consider art to be creative in that it is a communication exchange - of ideas, of emotion, sensation - between artist and audience. So that's how it is useful.

In terms of the rest of the confusion about creativity - it just doesn't have to be as fuzzy as we claim it is.

I have been thinking and working about this for years now. And I've come to the conclusion that when we label something as "creative" that isn't what we mean at all. Instead, we often mean is "weird," 'funky," or just off-kilter. Or that we give the title as some award of artistic accomplishment.

And I think that framing of the idea as that is ultimately a disservice to the creativity of folks like Jon Fitch, as Steve elegantly wrote about.

It's also ultimately a disservice to artists. Some people mentioned a link between creativity and madness - but research also shows that there's a negative relationship between them as well.
And so when the dialogue is that "creative" really means off-kilter/weird/even disturbed, there are number of researchers who've found artists actually consciously or subconsciously increase their mental instability to sort of prove their creative worth.

As for the TTCT and socioeconomics, most researchers consider the TTCT to be much less influenced by socioeconomic factors than say IQ tests.

Ganpat Sathe said...

"I'm yet to meet an Indian that has the slightest understanding of or interest in black music. I'd really like to know what you've seen. "

I am yet to meet a non-Indian who really unerstands Indian music. But more Indians have a reasonable understanding of black music than there are blacks who undersand Indian music.

"It's also ironic that you believe Bollywood and the South Indian movie industry are creative when they have a reputation for massive plagiarism.

At least most of black music is original. And much of it has been created by a much smaller population in a much smaller time frame than the "complex" music given by India. "

Yes there is plagiarism in modern Indian music but only a tiny number of songs are copied.

"Once again, the bigotry of the average Indian comes to the fore (if it's black, hate it). "

Just because we are not impressed by this so called black music does not mean we are bigots. Black music is over rated and thats it an a lot of it is rubbish.

"It's a good thing they have low IQs on average, as the prospect of having Indian overlords is something the rest of the world would shudder at the prospect of."
Then start shuddering, we have enough high IQ people of take over a reasonable part of the world.

"Name the country, and I can promise you that Hip Hop is there with a vengence. "

Please, many people pretend to like hip hop. They do it because because America (or American media)
considers hip hop is cool. America is number one and everything America does (which is decided by the American media) is cool. Thats it.

Anonymous said...

catperson said
"Ganpat Sathe, please take the time to understand my theory before disputing it. I am not saying that blacks are more creative than whites and East Asians, I am saying that controlling for IQ they are more creative. When you compare creativity in hip hop to creativity in science and technology, you are not controlling for IQ."

I am far from convinced. How many inventions have been made by the little few blacks who have high IQ? They would have outdone Edison if your theory were true.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, it could be blacks are more 'creative' in certain ways not because they are 'less evolved' but because they evolved differently. Australian aborigines lived with kangaroos and wombats, no great threat to them. Amazonian Indians had more dangerous animals to deal with but only the jaguar was the real threat; otherwise, caution would keep them safe from poisonous snakes, frogs, etc. Llamas certainly were no danger to them. But blacks evolved alongside wild elephants, wild buffalos, lions, hyenas, jaguars, rhinos, hippos, gorillas, baboons, and other badass mean animals. They had more threats, so their bodies had to produce more hormones to make them stronger and more aggressive."

Your theories are beyond funny.
South Asia and South East Asia are full of those animals found in Africa. Elephnts, Wild Dogs, Rhinos, Lions, Chetahs, Panthers etc... nearly all are found in Asia. And Africa does not have one of the most dangerous animal to humans, the tiger.
So by your theory East Indians and Malays would have been just as well built and been full of 'juice' as Africans.

Anonymous said...

I think people should listen to the last few minutes of the 6th video on Brunel.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIUAB63-90o

Equating the creativity of black hip hop stars with White inventors is laughable. It is only in White nation that blacks tend to do well in music because WHITE PEOPLE ARE OBSESSED WITH THEM. In India there are a black people called the Siddis who have descended from Arab slaves who were given freedom by the British Raj.
They sing, dance and make merry but the average Indian is hardly impressed and just consider them a primitive people with primitive tastes. In non-White countries, black minorities are at best ignored.

Ganpat Sathe said...

People who have no idea about the complexity and creativity of Classical Indian music need to read this. It is only the tip of the ice berg.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnatic_music

No intelligent man will put hip hop in the same league as this.

asdfasdfasf said...

Your theories are beyond funny.
South Asia and South East Asia are full of those animals found in Africa. Elephnts, Wild Dogs, Rhinos, Lions, Chetahs, Panthers etc... nearly all are found in Asia. And Africa does not have one of the most dangerous animal to humans, the tiger.
So by your theory East Indians and Malays would have been just as well built and been full of 'juice' as Africans.


Asian elephant, though dangerous at times, is a lot gentler than the African elephant, which cannot be domesticated or trained at all.
There are a few lions in India but not many. They've long been limited to a small region.

The Asian Rhino is smaller and less dangerous than the African.
The Asian water buffalo, though sometimes dangerous, isn't as temperamental as the African buffalo. The Asian buffalo can also be domesticated.

I don't believe there are hyenas in India. Wild dogs or dholes of India can bring down big game but generally don't threaten humans.
Does India have cheetahs? It's news to me, but I didn't mention the African cheetah because it pretty much minds its own business and is no threat to humans.
Not sure if India has hippos, but if it does, it's probably something like the pygmy hippo, which isn't dangerous like the African hippo.

But yes, there is the tiger and the leopard, and they've been known to kill and devour a good number of people in India. But it's my knowledge that both are essentially shy forest creatures in India, and they generally don't attack humans unless they are old or wounded and can no longer hunt their natural prey.

Black Africans, OTOH, who'd long lived in less settled habitats and tended to be far more nomadic often crossed paths with some of the most dangerous on Earth. Also, since blacks had less agriculture, they depended more on hunting. Hunting a mofo like a hippo could be very dangerous. A hippo that is struck with spears but still alive can turn around, come at you, chomp your wooden canoe in two and then chew your ass alive.

Height Privilege said...

I can't believe some people here are actually trying to analyze the "creativeness" of an art form as subjective as music.

Svigor said...

mexicans had pretty much nothing to do with it.

I assume a white man came up with the stand-and-stuff taco shell, the greatest innovation in Mexican food since the burrito.

Anonymous said...

"They belong to a primitive race (middle easterners) and thus enjoy the primitive brain functions that allow for weird and nutty ideas, but because they are by far the smartest middle easterners"

Ashkenazi Jews, to whom you are referring, are not pure Middle Easterners as confirmed by two recent large autosomal population genetic studies. Genetic distance calculations within the articles showed Ashkenazim to be roughly equidistant between European and Levantine populations.

Anonymous said...

@ Ganpat Sathe:

"But more Indians have a reasonable understanding of black music than there are blacks who undersand Indian music."

Err, dunno about Music, but the best Indologists in the world are non-Indians (Wendy Doniger,David Frawley, David Dean Shulman, Robert Thurman, etc.)

Most of what is known about the Indus Valley civilization is also through the West (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indus_Valley_Civilization)

It would really not be surprising
if the study of Indian music is done in greater depth in the West than in India, which has no culture of serious scholarship.

Anyway, the point was not to compare the knowledge that Indians
have of black music to that that blacks have of Indian music. The point was: what basis do YOU have to make a comparison of Indian and black music, especially given that Indians have no awareness of black music.


"No intelligent man will put hip hop in the same league as this."

Are you dense? Comparisons need to be made factoring in:

a) population sizes
b) time-lines
c) IQs (which are essentially the same for African Americans and Indians).

An apt comparison would be innovation in music in India in the last century versus the contribution of blacks to Blues, R&B, Jazz, Rock, and Hip-hop.

"Yes there is plagiarism in modern Indian music but only a tiny number of songs are copied."

Shifting goal-posts? *You* brought up Bollywood as an example of creativity and have failed to dispute the assertion that there is massive plagiarism there.

To deal with Indian music, do check out this link and let me know:

http://www.itwofs.com/hindi-am.html

"Then start shuddering, we have enough high IQ people of take over a reasonable part of the world."

Save your own territory from China before boasting of taking over the rest of the world. Typical Indian-speak: All talk, no walk.

At least some Indians seem to realize the filth that Indian culture is:

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2010/05/31/stories/2010053150300900.htm

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/blog/globespotting/archives/2006/12/wake-up_call_to.html

Anonymous said...

asdfasdfasf, your theory on animals sounds more plausible now but not totally convincing. Asiatic elephants and hippos are smaller and tamer but are still dangerous. The Asiatic lions once had a range all over Eurasia and it is only now that their range has been reduced to only Gujrat state of India.
The Tiger is shy but dangerous none the less. They are bigger than Lions on average. Read any British Raj novel and you will know how dangerous tigers are and how many lives would be lost in Asia regularly to tigers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=uyrhWEsCjss&feature=related
http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1591054/tiger_attacks_increasing_in_india/
And because tigers sneak attack like the one in that video, you have to be smarter and on your toes all the time.
Asia also has crocodiles though crocodiles like the Gharial are not that lethal to humans. There are cobras, pythons, wolves, alligators. And yes there are hyenas in India and also bears which do not exist in Africa as far as I know. I do not think Hippos exist in India.
Agreed Africa is not as dangerous as Asia but Asia is pretty close.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/flora-fauna/Wild-elephants-attack-Chhattisgarh-village-tribals-flee-/articleshow/5232643.cms
There were loads of cases of Asian farmers having to fight wild animals with mere axes losing life and limb in the process. By your theory South East Asians and East Indians should have been larger and stronger than Europeans at least but that is not the case. Also you forget the fact that during the Ice-Age, Europeans, Northern Asians and Native North Americans had to deal with animals far more dangerous than African ones like the mammoth or the sable toothed tiger. There are cave paintings all around Europe on these animals.

catperson said...

Ashkenazi Jews, to whom you are referring, are not pure Middle Easterners

I never claimed they were pure Middle Easterners.

How many inventions have been made by the little few blacks who have high IQ? They would have outdone Edison if your theory were true.

How many blacks have IQ's as high as Edison, and of those, how many had the opportunity to invent stuff back in the days when there was still a lot left to invent. In sub-Sahara inventions tended to die with their inventors since their was no written language to pass them on, and outside sub-Sahara, blacks were largely slaves or just coming out of slavery and still severely oppressed and uneducated in the golden age of invention.

Anonymous said...

asdfasdfasf, you got it the other way round. Africans because of their low intelligence had to keep their stronger physiques. Because Africans lived in the same environment as our ape ancestors, they did not face the new challenges faced by Eurasians and Native Americans and thus would not evolve as other races. Asians (East Asians, South Asians, Middle East etc...) being smart did not need to retain strong physiques or at least it was not as important a trait selected as among Africans. Physical strength is useful but it pales in comparison to intelligence. Asians simply used their higher intelligence to deal with their surroundings and each other.
And this is what makes Europeans interesting, the combination of high IQ and strong physiques is the reason why Europeans ruled the world some centuries ago. Most conquests (but not all) involve Northerners conquering Southerners. In South Asia the Afghans living in the north had nearly the same IQ (a bit less but still close) as the Indians living in India proper but their stronger physiques means that they repeatedly conquered the subcontinent. But in the case of European the combination of high IQ and high physical strength (Strongman contests are won exclusively by Viking type Northern Europeans) would have given them a double advantage. High IQ would also explain why Muslims had a much harder time conquering and enslaving Europe as compared to India and especially Africa. The only people who were successful against Europeans were the East Asians (Mongols, Huns etc…) as they had an even higher IQ. Africans were totally hapless in front of the Islamic conquerors and slavers and had Europeans not come in the scene would have eventually become a slave continent to the Arab world. Europe on the other hand not only fought back like lions (Charles Martel, Vienna, Serbia etc...) they ended up conquering the comparatively lower IQ Muslims themselves. The only exception was Turkey but the Turks are genetically quite European anyways who always dominated the lower IQ Arabs.

Anonymous said...

catperson said
"Ganpat Sathe, please take the time to understand my theory before disputing it. I am not saying that blacks are more creative than whites and East Asians, I am saying that controlling for IQ they are more creative. When you compare creativity in hip hop to creativity in science and technology, you are not controlling for IQ."

Catman, Africans are creative controlled for IQ in only few fields such as music or dance and that is subjective at best. Not so in science, technology or architecture. Your theory is correct but in only certain fields.

catperson said...

In India there are a black people called the Siddis who have descended from Arab slaves who were given freedom by the British Raj.
They sing, dance and make merry but the average Indian is hardly impressed and just consider them a primitive people with primitive tastes.


But they have an extremely small population in India so they hardly have much of an opportunity to develop much of a culture.

It would be fascinating to know the average IQ's of the Siddis. Blacks living in Africa average IQ 67 but Blacks in America average IQ 80-90 depending on the degree of white admixture. The 13 point gap between "pure" blacks in America and "pure" black Africans tells us that African malnutrition stunts IQ by 13 points. But malnutrition in India is even worse, so comparing the IQ's of "pure" black Siddis with "pure" black Americans would tell us how much malnutrition in India stunts IQ. If the "pure" black Siddis have an IQ of 60 for example (20 points below "Pure" black Americans), then Indian malnutrition stunts IQ by 20 points. Since Indians living in India average IQ 82, then we can conclude that with first world nutrition, the would score 82 + 20 = 102.

Ganpat Sathe said...

"Comparisons need to be made factoring in:

a) population sizes
b) time-lines
c) IQs (which are essentially the same for African Americans and Indians).

An apt comparison would be innovation in music in India in the last century versus the contribution of blacks to Blues, R&B, Jazz, Rock, and Hip-hop. "

Are you an idiot? What does population base, IQ and time lines have to do with the fact that R&B, Jazz and hip hop is rubbish compared to traditional Indian music or old Bollywood music? Many Westernised Indians know of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Tupac Shakur etc... but hardly any Non- Indian knows the works of Bollywood music diectors like R.D. Burman,Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kishore Kumar etc...
If there is anything the West can throw at us which is in the same league as classical Indian music it is Classical European music, nothing else.

In never denied the fact that Bollywood does copy music from outside India but how much of a percentage is that compared to all music produced here.

"At least some Indians seem to realize the filth that Indian culture is"
Yeah right, a civilization which is 5000 years old is filth while a culture where ugly black women shake their booty is good. Right!

You have no idea about traditional or modern Indian music at all. But I repeat many Indians have come across black music to a good extent but it pales in comparison to Indian music both traditional and modern.
Maybe this will give you a basic idea of the complexity of traditional Indian music.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnatic_music
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindustani_music

Anonymous said...

@catperson
"But they have an extremely small population in India so they hardly have much of an opportunity to develop much of a culture."
I doubt that had they been a much larger population, the would have had any significant effect on Indian culture.

"Since Indians living in India average IQ 82, then we can conclude that with first world nutrition, the would score 82 + 20 = 102."

The Indian IQ of 82 is not of its undernourished but of the middle clases. So do not expect any magical increase to European levels. Besides that American blacks have White and possibly Native American ancestry which Siddis do not.

Anonymous said...

"How many blacks have IQ's as high as Edison, and of those, how many had the opportunity to invent stuff back in the days when there was still a lot left to invent. In sub-Sahara inventions tended to die with their inventors since their was no written language to pass them on, and outside sub-Sahara, blacks were largely slaves or just coming out of slavery and still severely oppressed and uneducated in the golden age of invention."

Oh no, not the oppressed black rubbish theory again. Blacks in the Americas were far less (or equally oppressed) than European peasants/ workers who have invented loads of stuff and have shown amazing creativity.

catperson said...

The Indian IQ of 82 is not of its undernourished but of the middle clases.

What makes you think that undernourished people are not represented in the IQ samples and would makes you assume that the middle class and even upper class is not suffering from sub-optimum nutrition too? If malnourished people are excluded from the Indian samples, then this implies that the actual IQ in india is really much lower than 82.

So do not expect any magical increase to European levels.

Well blacks show a 13 point increase IQ (not counting white admixture) when reared in the developed world. I expect at least that for Indians. Why would the samples in Black Africa include the malnourished people but not the samples in India? The truth is malnutrition tends to be uniformly spread across an entire population, not simply a problem of the ultra poor as so many assume. When height increased in the 20th century, in some countries the rising height actually was driven from the top of the distribution, not the bottom as your model would assume.

Anonymous said...

@ Ganpat Sathe:

"What does population base, IQ and time lines have to do with the fact that R&B, Jazz and hip hop is rubbish compared to traditional Indian music or old Bollywood music?"

Stop spouting bullshit. You're obviously a tard with no understanding of how variables are controlled for.

"In never denied the fact that Bollywood does copy music from outside India but how much of a percentage is that compared to all music produced here."

You brought up that shining example of creativity - Bollywood - and failed to show any examples of creativity there. Then you brought in Indian music which, you claim, is superior to "R&B, Jazz and hip hop [which are] rubbish compared to traditional Indian music or old Bollywood music?"

Throw Rock in there, too. I'll call your BS here because it's not unusual to have Indians blather on about matters that they know nothing of. So what makes them rubbish and what structural deficiencies does Ganpat Sathe find in those forms of music ?

"Yeah right, a civilization which is 5000 years old is filth while a culture where ugly black women shake their booty is good."

Racist much? Apply some Fair and Lovely and then calm down.

sdfsadfsdfa said...

"The only people who were successful against Europeans were the East Asians (Mongols, Huns etc…) as they had an even higher IQ."

Mongol barbarians also conquered China and Persia. I guess they were smarter than the Chinese and Persians.
Germanic barbarians conquered Rome. I guess they were smarter than the Romans.
Assyrians conquered ancient Israel. I guess they were smarter than the Jews.
Russians beat the Germans in WWII. I guess Russians are smarter than the Germans.

Blacks have been taking over city by city, town by town and driving whites out. I guess they are smarter than whites.
Mexican illegals have been taking over the SW territories. I guess they are smarter.

Conquests throughout history wasn't just a matter of smarts but of will, martial culture, ruthlessness, and discipline.
And depending on the culture, even a smart people could be technologically behind people who were no smarter or even less smart. The smart Jews, for instance, due to their religious orthodoxy, wasn't as venturous in science and technology like the Greeks and Romans and were militarily no match for them. Today, Jews are at the forefront of military technology, especially in computerized warfare, cuz their minds are fully open to all ideas.

The Love Guru said...

catperson

What makes you think that undernourished people are not represented in the IQ samples and would makes you assume that the middle class and even upper class is not suffering from sub-optimum nutrition too?


Common sense and facts show that malnutrition in India if probably as unequally distributed in India as wealth and IQ. Most middle class and above Indians are adequately if not over nurished with household servant and such while the masses of lower IQ untouchables suffer the most.

From Wikipedia

After the section discussing 43% prevalence of Malnutrition in India we have this section:

Overnutrition

At the same time as a large number of population suffers from malnutrition, more than 100 million people (11% of Indian population) in India are over-nourished.[8] Over-nutrition can be defined as consuming either too much calories or the wrong types of calories such as saturated fat, trans fat or highly refined sugar which leads to obesity and many other chronic diseases.[9] For example, there are over 30 million people with diabetics in 1985 and by next year (2010) India is projected to have 50.8 million diabetics.[10] India is hence considered as the country with the largest population of diabetics.[11] This diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is one of the diseases closely associated with overweight.[12] The direct cause of overweight in India would be lack of physical activity due to sedentary life style, loss of traditional diet, faulty diet, high stress etc.[10] Over-nutrition is most prevalent in the cities among affluences[13] from demographic transition due to sudden economic growth in India. This tells that indirect, underlying cause of over-nutrition would be significantly high rate of economic growth.


The net effect on India's estimated IQ may be minimal or a wash since the middle and upper class are hugely overrepresented in test takers, especially for those required to proceed to higher levels of education. Anyone have any figures?

Anonymous said...

End Creativity Crisis- TEACHING FOR CREATIVE OUTCOMES: WHY WE DON'T, HOW WE ALL CAN!

Excerpted and adapted from: Manzo/Manzo/Thomas § Content Area Literacy: A Framework for Reading-Based Instruction (5th edition) Wiley (2009)
Websites: 1.http://teacherprofessoraccountability.ning.com/main/invitation/new?xg_source=msg_wel_network 2. http://bestmethodsofinstruction.com/ and 3. a new site for detailing some professional teaching methods for Professional Teachers: http://anthony-manzo.blogspot.com/2010/05/brief-writing-for-thoughtful-righting.html
Anthony V. Manzo, Ph.D.

avmanzo@aol.com

It is ironic that the act of passing on prior inventions and discoveries, or acquired knowledge, seems to diminish the inclination to think creatively. Clearly, the mind is empowered by acquiring the experiences and knowledge accumulated by our predecessors; however, it also can be powerfully constrained by the way in which knowledge is transmitted. In point of fact, there appears to be a host of subtle but pervasive factors woven through the fabric of traditional schooling that tend actually to discourage the type of critical analysis--the thoughtful articulation and decomposition of a problem--that leads to constructive thinking. I take constructive thinking to be the composition and assembly of possible solutions, including some that may need to be invented. Constructive thinking, then, includes both "critical" and "creative" intellectual processes.
Factors That Discourage Constructive Thinking


See remainder at URL above

Anonymous said...

End Creativity Crisis- TEACHING FOR CREATIVE OUTCOMES: WHY WE DON'T, HOW WE ALL CAN!

Excerpted and adapted from: Manzo/Manzo/Thomas § Content Area Literacy: A Framework for Reading-Based Instruction (5th edition) Wiley (2009)
Websites: 1.http://teacherprofessoraccountability.ning.com/main/invitation/new?xg_source=msg_wel_network 2. http://bestmethodsofinstruction.com/ and 3. a new site for detailing some professional teaching methods for Professional Teachers: http://anthony-manzo.blogspot.com/2010/05/brief-writing-for-thoughtful-righting.html
Anthony V. Manzo, Ph.D.

avmanzo@aol.com

See remainder at URL above

Anonymous said...

I've found a perfect example of the phenomenon I was trying to describe in my earlier comment (about #11 or so in this long thread) in which I suggested that one reason for the drop in creativity is the relentless, mindless democratization of ideas in progressive eduction theory. All ideas are equal, full stop. God forbid you actually have a better one than someone else. It will be lost -- no, buried -- in the process described here.

Svigor said...

Er, whoops, been juggling numbers all day and had a big brain fart there. Meant to say that there's got to be 200 million with IQs over 120 in India and China alone. Don't know how I clicked submit on that one...