Education

High Verbal Intelligence Makes You Stupid

I’m not convinced of the idea of intelligence being a multi-faceted phenomenon. Normally, people with a high level of mathematical ability also have a high level of linguistic ability, for instance. I am not aware of any example to the contrary and whenever I hear someone say that they are “not good at maths” I translate this into a confession of stupidity. Of course, those people don’t mean to say that they got chewed out in Functional Analysis but that they couldn’t even wrap their heads around the primitive material they were taught in their non-technical stream in high school.

I have the impression that the term “high verbal intelligence” is only used to elevate people who are clearly not very intelligent. I encountered several professors who referred to their students this way. The most humorous example was in an introduction to Medieval German I attended, and ended up with the top grade. I knew the type of students in those courses well. Those people pick their degree subject by elimination. Because they are too dumb to even do arithmetic, they end up in the non-numerical subjects but because university students are supposed to be smart, they are deemed to have high verbal intelligence.

In any serious discipline, there is a clear criterion for the validity of your hypotheses. In accounting, your numbers need to match up or something is wrong. In mathematics, you use logical reasoning to write proofs. If the logic doesn’t work out, your proof is invalid. In computer science, you write proofs but also programs. You may know that Computer Science is one of the fields with the lowest number of women and minorities. I think this is because the computer is a tough opponent. If you can’t get a program to compile or if its results are not what they are supposed to be, there isn’t much to do. You’re simply wrong. I’ve heard stories of women walking out of a tutorial session crying because even with a tutor guiding them along, they couldn’t express simple logic programmatically.

In serious disciplines, it is clear when you’re right and when you’re wrong. That is not to say that there is not a lot of bullshit in those fields, like the more recent hand-wringing about “racist algorithms” in computer science. Still, for any technical work, truth is non-negotiable. In contrast, those limitations disappear completely once you move to the domain of the people of supposedly high verbal intelligence. The big issue is simply that you can write down the most bizarre bullshit and if it is printed on good paper and you don’t think too deeply about it, it may appear completely convincing. In those parts of academia there is an outright veneration of bullshit artists like Marx or Foucault or everybody who ever published anything in Gender Studies. The most illogical texts are deemed “mysterious, yet deep” and if you point out that the emperor has no clothes on, you’re a heretic.

Let’s take a simple example: Start with a proposition as simple as “all humans are equal”. It’s been written down in some revered documents, so it’s considered true. It must be true. You can’t even question it. You then move on to diagnose that there are different life outcomes. As you can’t question your premise, something else is to blame, so you end up with claims of “systemic racism” or “patriarchy”. Yet, because to an uncritical thinker, everything they want to believe appears to be unquestionably true, there is no way they will ever get backed into a corner in their fantasy land. Those people are so enamored with their hypotheses that they can’t even entertain the thought that they are wrong. I learned this lesson beautifully when I attended a lecture in philosophy and pointed out a contradiction between a real-world phenomenon and some theory of ethics that guy presented. Instead of addressing my point, he scoffed and said, “I don’t believe this”, and that was the end of it for him.

All of this would at best be humorous. Yet, that kind of bizarre thinking has serious and devastating real-world consequences. While the Chinese have a technocratic elite run society, in the West we have a smarmy elite with “high verbal intelligence” who is out of touch with reality. We get told that saying mean words on Twitter is “violence” but burning cars, erecting an autonomous zone, or killing your political opponents is “free speech”. We have also been told that there would be no violence if there was no police. Some US cities have now even begun defunding the police. You can bet that this was due to a bunch of high-verbal IQ sociology graduates who believe that their fantasies are real — until reality punches them in the face. The claim put forward is that there is violence because there is police, completely ignoring that there are criminals who can only be put in check by an aggressive response. If there was no police, there would be even more violence and crime. This doesn’t mean that police should go around and randomly kill people, but if you think that a bunch of social workers is going to combat crime effectively you are naive beyond help. However, such ideas are put forward by people who have never faced the real world.

I think there is something to be said for being exposed to real life, like seeing a guy get beaten up or some dude crash his car. No, I’m not talking about watching videos on LiveLeak but about real-world experiences. I once witnessed someone crashing right into a heavy lamp post. It happened right net to me. This was a significant experience because it beautifully visualized that mistakes can have serious mistakes. It also illustrated that your life can end at any time. I don’t know if the driver survived, but with a bit of bad luck, I could have gotten run over. Real-life experience doesn’t have to be that dramatic, though. Even doing any kind of physical labor would do the space cadets that run our society tremendous good because this might make them realize that a brick or a tile they hold in their hands does not change one bit when they use different words to describe them. I think this is a rather important point, considering that so much of public discourse consists of relabelling phenomena, like referring to the retarded as slow and, nowadays, special, or not mentioning the race of a suspected murderer if he is non-white. None of this is obvious to anyone who has had their brain turned to mush by studying loony leftist academic disciplines that attempt to redefine reality and believing that they are onto something. It simply a form of magical thinking, i.e. the opposite of rationality and a hallmark of stupidity.


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4 thoughts on “High Verbal Intelligence Makes You Stupid

  1. Big agree as usual. The left won’t face reality. The other day a friend who I’ve now decided to distance myself from was pestering me about how blacks are oppressed. When I tried to mention FBI crime stats he said “who put those together? Cops?” Followed by a smug smile coupled with a sigh.

    If I can’t give you government stats? What can I give you?

    If I pulled stats from anywhere else he’d probably be like “that site is fake news”

    1. yep. that’s our world. if the data doesn’t support the crazy leftists, the data is obviously manipulated.

      in reality, what you would have to do if you suspect manipulated data:

      1) suspend your opinion on racism as you said it yourself “we cannot trust the data”.
      2) look into the data collecting process
      3) provide some arguments how to improve it
      4) after it was improved, look into the new data again, and only then, check again for racism.

      now obviously that would be much more work than “muh racism!!!” and so the lazy leftists won’t do it.

  2. “In serious disciplines, it is clear when you’re right and when you’re wrong. That is not to say that there is not a lot of bullshit in those fields, like the more recent hand-wringing about “racist algorithms” in computer science. Still, for any technical work, truth is non-negotiable.”
    There is a reason why fields like Math or Physics are known to be “exact sciences”. Yet, if you read “Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray”, then you will see that not all things can be considered black and white. I have had close conversations with guys who pursue PHD degrees in France and in the USA. Some areas that once interested them are considered dead-end and outright useless. There is no point to continue to pursue them since the day when their results find use in practice may never come.

    I don’t know what is “verbal intelligence”, but I ascribe such a title to men like Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay, etc. Perhaps even men like Lincoln or Martin Luther King could also be called “verbal intelligent”, or even Hitler.

    “Normally, people with a high level of mathematical ability also have a high level of linguistic ability”
    When it comes to acquiring a new language, that’s a whole different story! Also, just because you can express yourself clearly, doesn’t mean you can become an Arthur Rimbauld.

    “In mathematics, you use logical reasoning to write proofs.”

    I have tried, in the past, to write a couple of simple proofs. Apart from relying solely on your deductive reasoning skills, you must also need to know a few tricks, a few short-cuts, etc. Without these, you cannot complete your proofs. I’m talking about Linear Algebra and simple stuffs like bijection, surjection, injection. More complex proofs require many other techniques, not just a knowledge of formal logic.

    “Let’s take a simple example: Start with a proposition as simple as “all humans are equal”.”

    Have you taken a class on language and propaganda. That class will teach you the meaning of words are shifted constantly in several historical documents. I used to take a class like that when I was in Shanghai, and I loved it the most. The phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” expresses an Ideal that we strive to reach. It may not reflect the ugly Truth that God creates us unequally, for otherwise, we will not have a social structure based on classes (working class, middle class, upper class). Yet if you spell out the naked truth, you also kill the hopes of attaining that Ideal. I find it to be an Ideal that is worth striving for. We should be TREATED equally, and ideally we should be TREATED as equal before the law. Yet, an Ideal is still an Ideal, in the US, if you have the money, the seriousness of your charges can be quickly alleviated. But without these Ideals, chaos will set in. We will have people massacre others and face very little legal consequences, think of Stalin or Lavrenty Beria (that sordid dog that once was a human).

    Also, you also take it out of the historical context, because that phrase epitomizes the spirit of the age of Enlightenment, where men, for the first time, have the right to assert their personal rights against kings, queens and nobilities. Thus, in that context, we were created unequal, we were treated unequally, and we were deprived of rights solely due to our birth. Such a way of treating people is unacceptable in today world.

    Pay close attention to humans’ tendency to react to such Ideals as “freedom”, “equality”, “fairness”, “justice”, “love”, “patriotism”, etc. These words appear in many rhetorical documents. We will never see a declaration of war that depicts the aggressor as the aggressor, rather than, they depict themselves as the victim. Similarly, any government that issues a decree that says “All men are created unequal, and that God is a sordid Creator who loves letting his children to tear each other apart for a living…” will be overturned by public sentiments.

    Of all “soft” fields that I can think of, History is the only field where the standard of Truth can still be adhered to. Some hypothesis will always remain hypothetical, some can be solved in future in light of new evidences, but at least most historians are honest about it.

    I am not into sociology, psychology, etc so I don’t know how those fields are.

    “Of course, those people don’t mean to say that they got chewed out in Functional Analysis but that they couldn’t even wrap their heads around the primitive material they were taught in their non-technical stream in high school.”

    Really, in my country, it means that you can’t deal with anything beyond Calculus III. I can deal with that, but when it comes to Analysis I, man, I know I hit a giant wall.

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