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Friday, July 26, 2013

Teenagers Need to be Adults, Part 2:

Here we have another mainstream news outlet discussing yet another realist truth that the majority of the world doesn't know and refuses to learn about.  Whenever the genetic basis of IQ is brought up, they cover their ears and run screaming from the room.  However, no matter how long this fact is ignored, it is still supported by every study that has ever been done in the last 100 years, including this most recent study that yet again proves the same thing we've been saying for decades.

Parents' intelligence really does have a huge bearing on a teenagers' success at school, a leading geneticist has claimed.
Professor Robert Plomin, from Kings College London, found inherited intelligence could account for nearly 60 per cent of a teenager's GCSE results, while the school environment, including the quality of teaching, only influences results by a third.

His study was based upon long-term analysis of twins and suggests that their genes play a larger part than the education they receive when it came to their achievement in schools.
Professor Plomin, from the university's Institute of Psychology, led the research that studied 11,000 twins born in England and Wales between 1994 and 1996. He has since talked to the Department for Education about his findings.
The Telegraph reported that ministers and senior officials are 'seriously considering' how the findings could be used in future reforms of the education system.
It could be argued, based on the results of the research, that the present school system is doomed to fail at closing the gap in results between the cleverest and weakest students and it seems that home environment has a limited influence too.

Professor Plomin said: 'Much more of the variance in GCSE scores can be attributed to genetics than to school or family environment.'
This is not the first study to suggest a strong link between a children's genes and their intelligence and that the connection may become more noticeable with age.
He added that the genetic influence of a person's IQ increases as they age, with some scientists considering that it becomes 80 per cent inheritable in later life.
The theory is that small genetic differences become larger as a person ages and creates environments correlated to their genotype.
For example, clever people might seek out intellectually stimulating pursuits like reading and socialise with like-minded people.

11,000 twins is a very large sample size, so there's no possibility of the study being erroneous.  And yet again, the same number, 80%, pops up.  Twin studies show that identical twins' IQ tests are 80% correlated, which is just as correlated as the same person taking the test on two different days.  Genetics is so overwhelmingly the cause of intelligence, which in turn has the most overwhelming effect on 'test-taking ability' in school, that there's really nothing else that can be done to affect someone's life course one way or the other.  Tinkering at the margins will only have a marginal effect.  As the article pointed out, inherently intelligent people tend to do things that make them smarter, like eat right, read a lot, and engage in high level conversations about a wide range of topics with other intelligent peers.  Inherently dumb people tend to do things that make them even dumber over time, like smoke marijuana, drink alcohol, eat poorly, box, watch TV soap operas, and keep all their conversations on the level of curse words and references to sex.

What we're looking at is three factors here.  Obviously, the external environment can have a dramatic effect on intelligence if, say, your mother took crack while she was pregnant, you were malnourished as a child, you live on top of a radioactive waste dump, or you were raised by wolves and never learned how to speak.  But most people live in generally congenial environments and humans are tough enough to thrive in the midst of normal hardships.

Second, you have people's own decisions.  This is their 'internal environment' factor.  If a black kid decides to go to the library every day instead of the basketball court, he could become smarter.  But there's no way anyone else can make him do that.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.  Nor can parents force their children to be smarter.  It has to come from within, or they'll simply go through the motions without actually capturing the essence of what it means to build character.  And the devilish thing about this internal environment factor is people's decisions will largely reflect what they're motivated to do by their genes.  If you're intelligent, you almost always come to the intelligent decision that bolsters your intelligence yet further.  If you're stupid, you almost always come to the stupid decision that bolsters your stupidity yet further.  So even if genes only account for 50% of your intelligence at first, they eventually lead to an 80% heredity due to the inevitable chain of cause and effect decisions you made throughout your life based on how smart you were at birth.

Third is your genes, but unfortunately we don't know the genes for intelligence yet so we can only infer this result from how related people score more closely on IQ tests than unrelated people.

Education has been shown over and over to have practically no correlation to intelligence.  The arrow of causation is the other way around.  Intelligent people don't need to be educated, but educated people need to be intelligent.  In this study we found that even at 16, when the previous 'chain of causation' effects haven't fully taken place yet, 2/3 of your educational success can be ascribed to your innate intelligence, and only 1/3 to the quality of the educators themselves.  You could say that 1/3 is a large amount so we should try to make education as good as possible, but that's inaccurate.  Educators can make someone's education better or worse, but education is not an end in itself.  If it can't make someone's intelligence improve, then it has no use in real life or the workforce, because it's your intelligence that lets you learn things on the job that helps you become more productive.  Perhaps if education ever educated people about anything that mattered, it would be useful to improve education, but since education specifically teaches people only the most obtuse and abstract topics imaginable, which never have any bearing on real life, like trigonometry, all improving education would do at this point is to dump a few more terabytes of useless junk data into people's brain hard drives, which they will never access again for the rest of their lives and eventually forget about a few years down the road (placing all their educations in the recycling bin in order to free up space.)

If education is useless and intelligent people are born not made, then we are wasting the most important years of a person's life by sending them to a meaningless prison of intellectual torture.  The smart kids are forced to learn things either beneath their level, or not in their field of interest.  The dumb kids are incapable of learning anything in the first place and generally just drop out.  School doesn't serve anyone's needs.  Furthermore, there is no point waiting for someone to become educated before giving them the 'rank' of 'adult.'  It isn't graduating high school that makes someone a mature adult at age 18.  Either they were mature to begin with, or they'll never be mature now matter how old they become.  I could see an objective system that calls people with 100+ IQ 'adults' and people with less than 100 IQ 'children' for life, regardless of age, but I don't see how age has anything to do with maturity.  There are five year olds who have more self control than the adult convicts in our jail cells.

The brain is continuously growing until around age 25, after which it continuously shrinks and worsens.  If you want to go by this measure, then the only adult possible is someone who is age 25, the one and only point in his life his brain is at 'maximum power.'  If you're going to discriminate against younger people for not yet being at maximum, there's no reason not to discriminate against older people too.  I think it's fairer to say that once your brain crosses a threshold of competence you're an 'adult' rather than demand everyone perform at the maximum of their potential and have different standards for each and every individual.  It may well be that the majority of children can't pass this threshold of competence, but that's no reason to lump the good ones in with the bad and treat them similarly when they're completely different from their peers.

If we are waiting for education to develop young children into adults, we'll be waiting until hell freezes over because education has been proven to have no effect on anyone.  If we are waiting for brain development to occur, then all we need is objective measures of their competence -- is their IQ above 100?  Can they stay out of trouble?  Can they take care of themselves?  If you want, the system could have two tiers.  In one tier, the parents of the child tell the authorities they believe their child to be a competent adult and is ready to forge out on their own in life.  The government trusts the parents and gives the child full legal rights as well as a citizen's dividend to support them as autonomous beings.  The other method would be if the child asserts himself that he's ready to be an adult, without parental approval, in which case the government gives the child a battery of IQ and personality tests to see if the child is telling the truth.  If the child passes, he's made into an adult against the parent's objections, given full legal rights and the citizen's dividend so the child can move out and be free.

How many children living in bad homes would do anything to escape them, but can't because they don't have the money to support themselves or the freedom to even go to work and provide for themselves?  Children are actively forbidden from working, which means they can't eat if they want to escape child abuse.  Their only choices right now is be molested at home or become homeless prostitutes.  What kind of legal system is this?

Now, there are many studies showing that teenage romances, and teenage marriages, are far more prone to failure than marriages made later in life.  This would be evidence that we should restrict romance from teenagers because they aren't emotionally ready for heavy commitment yet.  But this mistakes the arrow of causation.  The reason why young romances flame out and die isn't because of the people but their circumstances, which are much more dire than the circumstances adults must overcome.  Suppose you start a relationship in high school.  Under the current system, you would have to date for ten years or more just to put yourself in the position of economic independence where you could marry and start your own home.  Ten years of dating is longer than the average marriage!

You fall in love at age 14, and promise to marry once you can get a job and buy a home.  How long does this take?  First you have to graduate from high school, then college.  But it turns out 60% of college graduates can only get jobs from McDonalds, which isn't nearly enough to support a family.  Therefore, you go on to graduate school, and then after that probably some other school.  So maybe at age 26, if you really applied yourself and studied as quickly as possible, you would graduate with a useful degree in accounting or something that could generate a worthwhile income.  That's ten years of staying faithful to your promised one already.  But that's just the start.  Next you become an intern at an accounting firm, after a year of job searching.  Then the internship, unpaid on that note, lasts another year, after which you finally get your dream job, but only at 'starter' pay.  This pay isn't enough to support a family and is barely enough to pay for the 8 years of student loans you've piled up getting through all the various levels of college.  So you delay marriage again (you are currently 28) until your pay increases and you've paid down some of your enormous debts.  Let's say after three years of working at the firm they've grown confident in your abilities and you're really racking in the money.  Now you set your sites on a good home for your prospective kids, which can cost as much as $500,000 in a bustling city.  How many years does it take to ensure you can pay the mortgage?  Not to mention you're still paying off your student loans, the car, health insurance, taxes, and lord knows what, all of which has been skyrocketing in price recently.  Let's say you spend another three years saving up a reasonable nest egg so you can afford your new house and child.  You are now 34 years old!  In fact, you're so old that your genes are worn down and fertility is only 1/4 what it used to be.  You are barely even capable of reproducing a child that doesn't have down's syndrome or some other enormous flaw.  You get to work and, due to your poor fertility, it takes you two years to get your wife pregnant.  She then has her first child a year later, when you're 37.  You decide that there simply isn't enough time left to try a second child and give up, settling for a lone heir to your lonely home.

This is the obstacle course we've set up in front of young people today.  Even if they try their hardest and do everything right, it is nearly impossible to live and reproduce.  This is why our fertility rate is below replacement level, this is why the whole country is dying right before our eyes.  Is it any wonder that no relationship ever survives these ridiculous conditions?  Who can delay gratification for 20 years?  Nor does it work to marry at the beginning, at 14, and work your way up together.  This is because the woman isn't sure she wants to marry you until she's sure you actually do have a high paying job and can afford the nice house.  She would rather marry someone else if you can't.  She has to stay free and keep her prospects open in case you fail anywhere along the chain -- high school, college, grad school, PhD, job search, internship, first job, promotion, nest egg.  If you fail any of those steps you're no longer attractive to her and she'll want someone better than you.
And in each of these steps, she needs to be strengthening her own ability to support herself, again in case you fail.  She needs to be able to support herself the entire time you're increasing your earning power, and the rest of her life in case you don't hack it and she has to take care of herself.  Since the odds are you'll fail somewhere down the line, her highest priority isn't supporting you, but making sure she can support herself when the bottom inevitably falls out.  This means she'll be going to a college that best suits her, not your college.  She'll be going to the grad school that helps her career most, not your grad school.  She'll get a PhD at the college most useful for her career, not your PhD college.  She'll intern at the first company that hires her, not a company in your town.  She'll accept the first job from a company who hires her, not a first job in your town.  If, in any of these links, any one of them, the two of you separate, you'll break up.  Long term relationships are statistically impossible.  There are too many psychological, instinctual reasons why people who aren't in constant communication and physical contact with each other cannot remain lovers.
This is true even more so when there is no strong foundation to build upon.  An older married couple that has children and grandchildren and tons of memories together might do okay apart for a few years, because they have so much internal strength to draw upon and have become so accustomed to each other.  But a couple without memories, without children, without any particular reason to stay together, has no chance in Hell of staying together when it would be so much more convenient to date someone nearby.  What makes someone irreplaceable isn't their base statistics.  We are all just normal people, who can be found on any city street, with millions of people exactly like us in all directions.  There's no point being loyal to a person a thousand miles away when his doppelganger lives down the block.

What makes someone irreplaceable is what you've already shared with that person.  If what you've shared together isn't important enough, it won't survive a long distance relationship.  And even then it's extremely risky.  Married couples with children regularly divorce when a man's work takes him too far from home.  Adultery skyrockets when soldiers are deployed away from their wives overseas.  You are dicing with the devil the moment you leave your lover's side.  Therefore, if teenagers attempted a serious romance, but ended up separated any step of the way towards their financial independence, that relationship would be destroyed.  This is the reason why young lovers flame out so fast.  They are in an impossible situation wherein not even the Gods could succeed.  Their love is the strongest it will ever be, but their circumstances are the worst imaginable.

Compare to this to a couple that gets to know each other at age 34, with say an online dating service that matches their location, education and incomes .  Are they likely to be the most in love with each other ever?  I doubt it.  But they will be in the best circumstances possible to start a romance.  They were never separated, they never had to wait a long time before they could be together, they never had to overcome parental objections, they never have to deal with class differences opening up between them due to one partner succeeding and the other failing at work or school, they never have to do anything except move in together and live  happily ever after.  Once you are set in life, romance comes at the flick of a wrist.  These tepid romances that never have to overcome anything can just roll their whole life downhill, and as a result, statistically, their stability is unmatched.

However, I don't call it love when you marry the person that's most convenient for you.  Love would be marrying someone for their personality, because you like them for who they are, not what they can provide you, and never giving a damn how much money they make, what level of education they eventually reach, or where they happen to live.  Love means not treating your lover like a commodity that you can buy and sell by the dozens, the thirtieth person you've dated across your life in order to spice up your spare time without ever intending to devote yourself seriously to anyone, and then ending up committed to the last one in the line because it's now finally convenient to do so.  That last one on the line isn't different because of anything about him, he just happened to be dating you at the time you found best suited for settling down, so he marries you by default because you don't have any more time to spare before menopause.  This isn't a fairy tail, it's a farce.

A real marriage forged in the crucible of real passion would be a far superior lifestyle compared to our tepid middle aged marriages that people arrange between business meetings.  But so long as it takes this much work just to earn enough to support yourself, it's impossible for any real love, virgin love, first love at age 14 with your special someone that you can't compare to anyone else because there's never been anyone else nor do you ever want there to be someone else, to survive.  Provide teenagers with a citizen's dividend and if they married, that's $24,000 a year right off the bat.  Before they work a single hour.  That right there is enough to support an entire family for life, including children.  Which means they never have to move apart in order to further their careers.  Which means they never have to go in debt or pay off their debts.  Which means they'll always be financially attractive to the other sex.  Which means marriages are on a stable, solid footing from the very outset.  Give virgin marriages $24,000 a year and then we would see how stable they were.  Obviously people struggling just to live are going to snap at each other, financial worries can ruin any marriage, and young people have the most financial worries.  But if they were financially secure?  Everyone knows they put the rest of the married world to shame.  If you look at any of our love stories, our ideals, they always point to high school pure love stories, where virgins meet their first love not based on how much they make (no one makes any money as a student), not based on what college they've graduated from (everyone in a high school is equally going to said high school), but simply due to each other's personality.  They fall in love for the first time, confess for their first time to anyone, make love for the first time together, and then swear to never part again.  The story fades out and shows them still living happily ten years later with some kids in their arms and everyone smiling.  This is what we know love should look like, but cannot be without the citizen's dividend.  The modern economy simply makes it impossible for this love story to play out because nobody can provide for themselves anymore until it's far, far too late.

It isn't reasonable to suggest people stay virgins, avoid all romance, avoid all romantic feelings, and never feel for anyone spiritually, to keep themselves utterly dead at heart like a cold-blooded serpent, until age 34 when they're financially ready to support a family.  This is so unnatural and impossible that the only people suited for the role wouldn't be suited for the love and marriage that comes after.  We should want to have sex with each other, we should want to be passionate about each other, we should want to be together, and those wants should be at a level where they simply can't be ignored.  If you can ignore love for 20 years what guarantee is there that you can't discard it afterwards?  Only people who are slaves to love and can't resist it a moment longer, whether mentally, spiritually or physically, can be trusted to remain slaves to love all the way until death.  It's no good to tell people to wait.  It can't be done, and it shouldn't be done.  We have to change society to fit our needs, not us to fit society's needs.  Young people need to fall in love, marry, and have children.  They do not need to work until they're 34, have one child at best, and inevitably divorce or simply never marry at all if they try to rush it even a year earlier.  If your choice is a stable but bloodless love starting at 34, the last stop in a long, long train ride of boys -- or a passionate but hopeless love at 16, 18, 20, 22, 25, and 28, that provides you plenty of children but no fathers, no job, no education, no money and no joy -- society is in the wrong.  Society is not giving people the options they need and deserve.  Society is just not making life livable for the next generation.

What's more important?  That people be allowed to marry and have children and live happily ever after, or that 'justice is done' and poor people are kept poor and miserable for their entire lives, while the rich, intelligent people manage to become wealthy but live in giant, empty, loveless homes with one child at best?  At $50,000 per capita in the United States, I'm only asking for 25% of the GDP to make everyone happy in the entire country.  It would be better for children, it would be better for the elderly, it would be better for parents, and it would be better for grandparents.  There is no one who wouldn't be better off after the citizen's dividend, except the ideologues who just want everyone to suffer forever in various hells of their own crafting because they hate 'sin' more than they love life.  If we continue at this pace, the self-controlled, competent people will dwindle away into nothingness, never being able to afford children, and the out-of-control, incompetent people will breed dozens of children in chaotic homes full of nothing but drugs and crime, but never any fathers.  You have doomed both groups to their fate by making it so hard to earn a living.  Both of them are suffering because of you.  The passionate folks could have stayed together if only you had paid for them to do so, and the competent folks could have been passionate if only you'd given them a way to afford it.  Everyone's better off for it, and best of all, the children of the incompetent people get parents, while the competent parents get children -- every family becomes whole instead of broken, every piece is provided instead of missing, everyone gets to hold each other in their arms and fade out with happy music in the background, because that's how life is meant to be.  Not just in our stories.  We could make it a reality, tomorrow, if anyone ever cared.

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