Elsewhere on this blog, I’ve talked about how culture provides a context not only for how marketing communications are understood, but also for how we understand the world.  Malcolm Gladwell comes at this from a slightly different angle as he explores the supposed I.Q. gap between Blacks and White in his review of James Flynn’s  "What is Intelligence?", where he reaches the following conclusion:

I.Q. measures not just the quality of a person’s mind but the quality of the world that person lives in.

should put to rest all of those who want to make the case that Blacks
are somehow intellectually inferior to Whites based on genetics.  More importantly, it highlights how providing an environment rich in experiences helps the mind become accustomed to "cognitive complexity".  The brain is, in fact, a muscle that requires exercise like any other part of the body.

Read the full New Yorker article here.

Posted by Rob Fields

  • Calvin

    Biggest compendium of tripe masquerading as science that I’ve seen for a long time.
    Firstly, Flynn does not “prove” that human intelligence is increasing in the developed world. He highlights a flaw in one aspect of the testing methodology that has become obvious over time as socio-economic modalities have changed. He does not provide any evidence that the same factors apply to, or explain the phenomenon of the racial disparity in testing in the present, nor does he indicate that such a disparity did not exist in the past. To indicate that his findings explain modern racial disparities is extrapolation.
    Secondly, Flynn’s findings are not even consistent. Flynn argues for a general increase in intelligence as indicated by IQ testing, but then proceeded to reveal that Chinese immigrants have, despite improving socio-economic factors, become less intelligent.
    Gladwell selectively cites IQ studies, that seem to support his agenda. The German study ignores the fact that in order to be deemed fit for service Black and White enlistees had to pass the same intelligence test. White GIs tended to be dumber than average White Americans and Black GIs tended to be smarter than average Black Americans…I’m not sure about the average intelligence of German women who managed to get knocked up by grunts, but that would also be a significant factor.
    Flynn has been demonstrated to be self-contradictory, the whole egalitarian case is based on ignorance of the totality of the evidence, selective evidence and selective interpretation of the evidence.
    Gladwell very unprofessionally misrepresents Rushton as a person who specializes in linking penis size and brain size. He seem to be completely unaware of Rushtons overwhelming evidence that faster maturation rates explain the trajectory of Black intelligence better than putative “cognitive environments”.
    If there were no genetic limitations on intelligence lifelong learning would allow people to easily attain IQs of 200 plus by the age of fifty. This doesn’t happen.