My post on Vaccines and the Midwit Effect has now attracted a great deal of commentary, and no few objections. I want to address some of these here, and expand on a few points. Most of the critique relates to intelligence and IQ. No few valued commenters doubt that intelligence is a coherent or measurable concept, or that it is explanatory in this case, or that it is more explanatory than other social or personality factors.
I am still holding on to a person's employment being the key driver in vaccine uptake. Big corps, big institutions (academic, religious, military), or "high hierarchical", will be the biggest single explanatory factor amongst the vaccinated, and conversely those employed in menial, small organizations, or self-employed or "low hierarchical" will be at the lower vaccinated level. A person's job environment during the vaxx madness was the 'big bat in the room'. Sadly, this means that society will become dumber as the smart folk die prematurely, and breed less in the interim. Dark Times.
A very accurate analysis...Mid-wits dominate our society, and they tend to promote people a bit less intelligent than themselves to protect their positions in organizations..Those people then promote even less intelligent people, etc..As one of the accursed who scores in the 99.99th percentile, I feel blessed that I have a wife, kids and some friends who will put up with me! But my very sound arguments against the death-vax were met with blank incomprehension by many of our friends and relatives....In my next life, I want to be a high mid-wit, Please!
Well, I certainly didn't object to your first post, Eugyppius. In fact, I've long had my own pet name for a similar phenomenon. I called it "The Dunning-Kruger effect of the second order." The first-order Dunning-Kruger effect is the well-known phenomenon of very dim people not understanding how much dimmer they are then average, because they can't. The second-order Dunning-Kruger effect is the midwits, the 110 IQ people, being so complacent and arrogant with being a little bit smarter than average, that they cannot comprehend just how far short they fall of real genius.
I have also many times had recourse to the following explanation: It's more easy to bamboozle a midwit than an average wit or a genius, especially if you flatter his intellect. If you tell the midwit some cock-and-bull story and tell him that the cool kids all believe it, he will devote his intellectual energy not to questioning the story but to thinking up remotely plausible scenarios under which it might be true, so that he can maintain the fission of feeling smart and special. Average people don't do this and geniuses won't do it. Only the midwits are that gullible.
I believe there is a stupidity quotient that runs alongside I.Q. Some high I.Q people can be incredibly stupid while some low I.Q people can be very wise. Stupidity is no respecter of intelligence.
Common sense, street smarts, rational thought are more intelligent than IQ in my opinion. When the shit hits the fan I’d sure as hell rather have a plumber than a dumb ass lawyer (I work in a law office & yeah, all the lawyers got vax’d & we support staff all refused)
This really hits close to home. As defined by the IQ test I am one of those super intelligent people. Since my early teenage years nonconformity has been a central feature in my life causing continual turbulence for my family and myself. I walked away, at a very young age, from opportunities that most can only dream about but which I did not value. I confounded everyone in my sphere.
Frankly, I’ve scratched my head over and over again through the years wondering how seemingly intelligent people could be so dumb. The subsequent decades of a long life have put more and more distance between me and the world into which I was born. Outside of family and friends there is no place in that culture I rejected where I fit in. (I’d like to think I’m a better person for it.)
Your analysis, Sir Eugypius, rings true (from the point of view of one member of one cohort now reporting in). You’ve given me more clarity on the subject and I thank you.
Jolly Heretic covered this a few years back:
Why Are Intelligent People Conformist But Super-Intelligent People Non-Conformist?
fwiw: Eugyppius was just making a general statistical observation about how intelligence functions in our society, not about the actual nature of intelligence, etc. Eugyppius doesn't claim to know what the nature of intelligence itself is but many commentators feel that they do.
No one even understands themselves but they nonetheless tend to think they can understand others. Homo saps in a nutshell: always concerned with what the other guy has/does, not his own.
Eugyppius is one of my first picks to have my back in a data/logic back alley knife fight.
Let's hear it for the countless subgeniuses among us, especially ourselves, none of whom are as smart as they think they are! (They may be smarter or dumber but no one can measure themselves anymore than a ruler can measure itself.) Hooray for us!
One of your most important articles to date. As someone who has walked in HBD circles since 2012 most of this was already known to me, but you put it in a very clear way that I often have struggled to.
When it comes to the mid-wit I think nothing illuminates it more than the green energy argument.
The mid-wit knows that we need clean, efficient energy and yet, when you confront them with the reality that this is Nuclear Power and likely will be for the immediate future, they immediately switch-off. The infamous "NPC Stare" develops upon them. "Oh no, but <select as appropriate: [Chernobyl, toxic waste, Uranium imports, radiation poisoning the environment]>!"
It's unfortunate then that these people make substantial and long lasting policy positions such as: "Wind farms everywhere!" "Electric cars!" and "solar panels everywhere!"
"Socially and culturally, vaccination is for them; it is an activity in which they feel personally invested with which they especially identify."
Nailed it. That's all it is. It is basically another consumer identity to occupy. It's nice, it provides a sense of meaning on several levels. However, it's based less and less on anything concrete. You know how it goes from there.
The Bell Curve is real, and we ignore it at our peril.
Well eugyppius, your timing is interesting. Literally one day before your first Midwits post I watched a 90 minute documentary on how people, all kinds of people, are taken in by flim-flam marketing for things like miracle cures for male pattern baldness, weight loss pills and potions that promise losing 10lbs per day with no dieting or exercise, or that mass shootings are really "false flag" events or stock and crypto and other "investment opportunities."
It was very interesting. The film makers didn't put a lot of emphasis specifically on intelligence, except to say that people from janitors and DMV clerks to lawyers and doctors fall for these things time and time again. Instead they delved deeply into *why* people believe these things and fall for them.
The short answer is that people believe foolish things BECAUSE THEY WANT TO. And the reasons they want to believe mostly center on the fact that believing makes them *feel* better somehow. It's emotional, not intellectual. And this is exactly what I saw during the crazy circus of the 3 years of the pandemic. The media absolutely terrified a whole lot of people. Masks made them *feel* better and safer. Vaccs made them *feel* better and safer. Following government guidelines made them *feel* better and safer. But as we know it was all flim-flam and did nothing real.
The documentary was made in 2018, just so you know, long before covid. And I do agree that intelligence is a factor. But so is wanting to feel better when the television, the internet, the radio, and the newspaper are all screaming 24/7 OMG OMG WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE OMG OMG!!!!
Charles Murray is my go to expert on IQ -- he literally wrote the book on it, titled "The Bell Curve" in 1994. IQ is one of the most reliably measured human psychological traits, and it is highly correlated with success in life. But beyond that there is Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences -- which explains why a guy might have a very high "football IQ," but can't meet the entrance requirements for his hometown State University. Murray also says that extremely high IQ isn't required for success in most cognitively demanding fields. You just need to be smarter than some threshold IQ level, which he puts at around 120. In today's world it's really hard to know the truth about any issue no matter how smart your are, in particular one such as COVID where experts are telling us vastly different stories and we need to act urgently. I judged my susceptibility to COVID was low owing to a lack of serious health concerns, even though I'm a senior in age, and turned out I was correct. I got COVID but it was a mild case for me.
The results of the study are not surprising at all. IQ tests are designed to provide good grades to people that agree to learn whatever they have been told they should learn. It is no wonder that when they are told to get vaccinated ASAP, those with the higher grades comply faster with the mandate.
High IQ and common sense are probably not correlated. In fact an awful lot of nonsense can only be "understood" by people with high IQ, as shitlibs are so fond of informing us. Independent thinking (I guess in the 4 factor model, this would be "disagreeableness") is also not correlated with a capacity for abstract thought. When you find disagreeable smarties, they rarely have jobs in positions of authority for reasons you say.
Of my intelligent friends who took the vax, one is a perfect embodiment of head girl syndrome: agreeable, doesn't like thinking independently, defers to experts, feels smug about it. Smart, but doesn't want to think. A couple of others are absolutely excellent researchers who nerded out hard on MRNA vaccine propaganda as if it were actual data. They still can't admit they got owned, though they stopped getting shots at least. I looked at the data that was available (my job title is "data scientist" more or less) and thought it was a no-brainer. Not a dangerous disease from the cruise ship data available in April, and even the pfizer data indicated early on that it was a fairly dangerous and useless vaccine for a fairly innocuous disease. Apparently nobody else looked at the appendix where the effectiveness number came from.
TLDR 1-factor models of human behavior are rarely going to work.