What does IQ have to do with human viability?

IQ testing (even the many ways IQ has been defined, measured, and correlated with many measures of life success) has little overlap with the abilities required to put the human experiment back on its rails heading toward viability.

The causal (not correlational) relationships among variables, their existing values, and their static an dynamic limit conditions determine future values of these variables.

The temporal inference abilities required to motivate a search for these variables, to define system boundaries which include or exclude variables, and to define the state space (first, second, third ... derivatives etc.) of these variables as well a the computational description of the forcing functions that alter these derivatives) is not measured by any IQ test that I have reviewed in the last 30 years.

Neither the examiner nor the tested seem to know that this temporal information is important in understanding the environment in which they (all of us) are immersed. In layman's terms, IQ test writers and people taking IQ tests can not see how the dynamics of the systems in which they are immersed play a role in future conditions. Therefore IQ tests have little means for measuring the understanding of a person's abilities to incorporate the dynamics of their system into selection of behavior.

Whenever you see correlational models in play (even the most esoteric economic models) you can be fairly certain that the dynamic aspects of the system have played and will play little role in choosing behavior or setting policy that coerces behavior.

I had some fun doing some preliminary research in temporal inference (IQ) testing. While full testing of the hypothesis was never completed, the early indications of the pilot test instrument suggested that the test (originally designed to test temporal inference skills in 6 graders) inferred that in this area of cognitive ability, 6th graders and Nobel laureates (who also took the prototype test) were indistinguishable. In layman's terms, in these types of problem situations, the sixth graders and the greatly accomplished had about the same skills --- (the measurements indicated they both did miserably). This project might be dismissed as a badly designed test, except for the fact that given a few more tries at solving the test's problem, many could solve it. Many thought they could have solved it on the first try, if they had been attentive to a few more of the available pieces of (temporal) information. (It is my contention that If they had better temporal inference skills (IQ), those pieces of information would have stood out like red flags.)

Equipping a future generation with better temporal inference skills is a lofty and necessary goal. I have worked on it for 3 decades. You can find this work in the Time blind books. Though I have made some progress, my findings can not be implemented in the time frame required to ensure civilization's viability.

The problem we face -- to design and implement a viable human experiment -- depends on our abilities to explain the images (abstractions created by temporal inference) in ways that a majority of the constituency can understand and thus vote for laws that coerce everyone to take behaviors that reflect the images.

This is a huge challenge, but I see no other nice way to accomplish a viable civilization**. We need some new laws, mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon, that coerces everyone to behave (in ways they do not wish) to solve a problem they do not see.

This model of change, to ensure civilization's viability, uses rapid population decline, to create a sustainable dynamic balance between total human footprint and global carrying capacity. The balance is dynamic because people have the propensity to improve their wellbeing which also increases personal footprint. Since the total human foot print can not exceed the projected declining carrying capacity, I have argued that global population must continue to decrease below 100 million, until increases in wellbeing are defined by number of acquaintances.

The first necessary and immediate challenge on our road to viability is to implement a greater than 98% reduction in human numbers.


----notes below

** the not nice ways of bringing the balance into existence include,
   a) natural culling (probably includes civilization collapse)
   b) genocide (once group culls the other)
   c) top down implemented sterilization.

Yes I see constituency enacted laws that cause reversible sterilization before puberty. The actual number of allowed births for each time period would be determined based on civilization's progress toward viability and that number of temporary sterilization reversals would be allocated by lottery. No one would be allowed a second win until everyone had at least one. Yes the wining tickets could be marketed or held for future use.


Jack Alpert (Bio)     mail to: Alpert@skil.org     (homepage) www.skil.org      position papers

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