Well…we love the IQ in these parts, don’t we?
We are orderly, organized and slightly compulsive blogizens and we prefer when we can quantify human behavior within an understandable, measurable context. We appreciate the cold equations that shape our world. We worship numbers, laws and intractable prinicples which never lie nor stutter. This is how we desire our humans served to us. And we try to comply by aligning unruly human behavior with static units of measure.
IQ is our Girl, and not to point fingers, but I plead guilty as well. However, some rely on the standardized measure of intelligence in obnoxious doses of dependence beyond anything I can approach. IQ is a handy but unsteady tool of human character. It must be accompanied by a plethora of other human traits in order to be of any true use. The tool box of traits must be judged together for their unified cadence rises and falls with IQ scores considered singularly across populations. Across broad swaths of population, this is one of the best ways by which to predict the behavior of individuals within groups. Still, I believe IQ scores are poor predictors of group or individual behavior with precision. IQ’s must be considered only within the container of other known human elements when asserting human behavior beforehand or remotely. This is more than we’d prefer to sift through in order to understand this ridiculous primate line. This is why we rely on the IQ score and glorify it to the degree that it has become analogous to the thinking man’s version of penis size.
Many people paint certain human qualities behind the broad IQ stroke, qualities for which I believe IQ is generally useless to pose as a cause. I’ve encountered instances in the blogosphere where human IQ has been asserted as a predictor of credit rating scores and financial long term planning. While one’s ability to maintain or attain an excellent credit rating and ability to structure a present around the distant future is partly due to, but indirectly attributable to, IQ. These responsibility traits people like attributing to IQ are due instead to something I call “familial culture.” High IQ people undoubtedly make better decisions and use their money wisely and generally partake in activities and professions which are usually more profitable (thus lending to disposable incomes), but I would also venture to say they are just as wasteful and impulsive as low IQ people. The difference being that low IQ people don’t use their money wisely and thus leave absolutely no room for themselves to act impulsively. Impulsiveness is not an IQ-dependent act in of itself. Rather, it’s the self-constructed environment of the high IQ person that allows them to weather impulsiveness. Low IQ people don’t do anything different on the back end. It’s the front end where they implode. It’s the lack of “paving the way” for future waste that defeats them.
I thought of this while reading a couple of blogs recently, Desire For Immediate Rewards Tied To Low Credit Scores from Future Pundit, and Why understanding ethnic differences in IQ matters: Part CMXII from Steve Sailer. Both articles, while not identical in tone or nature, did touch upon the personal FICO score as a proxy for self-control and long-term planning, thus, IQ. Sailer’s post addressed ethnic-based variants and Future Pundit talked about “time preference” as a manifestation of genetic legacy. Since ethnicity was not overtly mentioned in FP’s post, I filled in the blanks myself. Obviously, he was describing the putative inner city ghetto mentality of rent-a-rims and overdone bling and shady financial deals. It’s so patently obvious. I have no problem saying it. The point both articles make is that financial acumen spawns from self-control and long-term financial awareness. I differ from them here. This is an example of using IQ and heritability as determining factors in making diffuse long-term decisions. IQ is a very weak correlation with long-term wisdom.
“Familial culture” is exactly what it sounds. Familial culture is strongest within the basic family parent/child unit and gradually weakens as an influential force the further you branch out within the extended bloodline. Familial culture is a precursor of many traits, IQ included, but there are many other specific mores, priorities, values, beliefs, behaviors, that are strongly bequeathed within familial culture. Financial wisdom and the ability to withstand the weak urge of instant gratification follow. Overeating is strongly correlated with familial culture just like certain culinary affinities. A child learns most of his life values and habits from his parents, whether they are around, or not, in which case the value of absence is passed on. I will concede that certain familial cultures are endemic to specific ethnicity’s, but familial structure, due to intermarriage and cross-cultural intermixing, tends to seep out over time and embody the ethnic culture’s broad manifestation. Hispanic culture has its trademark familial culture and unfortunately, when transplanted into the United States, devolves into a self-destructive mutation. Still, the familial structure I emanate from seems quite different from most Hispanic familial cultures. I’ve always been vitally aware of this.
I can never have emanated from another family and turned out the way I have. My parents are the long-term orientated, practical types, and thus I was. I departed from this path for a period during my 20s and into my 30s, but I eventually resumed the calling of my familial culture. I’m known today for my frugality and urban asceticism. I guard my credit rating with fanatical devotion. I bought a car recently and discovered my credit score (for one of the major credit reporting agencies) was 820 and the other agencies were not far behind. I attribute this more to my familial culture than intelligence. I am restrained and monkish in habits and lifestyle. I make a decent income which I basically stockpile. What does this have to do with IQ? Hardly a thing. With familial culture? Almost all.
Lastly, about familial culture: it is self-perpetuating. Familial culture is one of the most reliable indicators of mating success. You are most likely to bond with a mate who hails from a similar familial culture as yourself. If you pair with someone whose familial culture was wildly divergent from your own, your relationship/union will be short-lived. Thus, successful couples, whose familial cultures are congruent, tend to be of the same ethnicity because familial culture is a stronger correlate of ethnicity than IQ. As I said, my own familial culture seems unusual when examined from within the context of my ethnicity, and in fact, most of my pairings have been with members of external races, and not for any fetishistic reasons.