Study: we don’t have the IQ to prevent ecological disaster

From the “SJW supplements science” department and the University of Central Florida.

High IQs aren’t going to be enough to stop an ecological disaster. It’s going to take social intelligence, too. That’s the conclusion of a new study co-authored by a University of Central Florida researcher and published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications.

The findings could help identify why some groups better manage shared resources, such as water or fisheries, than others. And as Earth’s population is growing at a rate that is putting a strain on resources, finding ways to better manage them is critical.

“Especially in the case of common property, there is often an inbuilt tension between what is good for the individual and what is good for the group,” says Jacopo Baggio, an assistant professor in UCF’s Department of Political Science and lead author of the study.

“Individuals often have different cognitive abilities,” Baggio says. “For example, individuals with high general intelligence will be more able to discern patterns and dynamics of resources, and individuals with high social intelligence communicate more effectively and understand the mental state of others.”

Using a digital game to simulate a virtual ecosystem, the researchers found that when teams of people with high general intelligence, but low social intelligence faced a situation where resources became scarce, those teams depleted resources faster, harvested less potential resources and pushed the ecosystem to its limits.

But when both general and social intelligence were high, teams harvested a greater percentage of potential resources and kept the ecosystem from collapsing.

“It’s a way to really start to understand how individuals and groups interact and what type of individuals are more prone or less prone to favor group benefits over individual costs,” Baggio says.

General intelligence helped people figure out the rules of the game and how the resources, in this case digital tokens, regenerated, while social intelligence helped people cooperate to optimize performance, says Thomas Coyle, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

“In theory, people with higher levels of social intelligence are more effective in reducing conflict among group members and in getting people to work toward common goals,” Coyle says. “Such ‘people’ skills are important for managing shared resources.”

The work points to a need for education in diverse types of intelligence, says Jacob Freeman, an assistant professor of anthropology at Utah State University and study co-author.

“It suggests that our education systems should focus on cultivating both general and social intelligence to better equip groups to deal with complex, social-ecological challenges,” Freeman says.

Coyle says researchers are still exploring ways to improve social intelligence.

For the study, the researchers used a digital game where people collected virtual tokens in exchange for actual money. Participants were 216 undergraduates from two large universities in the Western United States. They were randomly placed into one of two experimental conditions: either a game where the conditions began improving and tokens continued to be replenished, or one where conditions began deteriorating and tokens did not regenerate fast enough.

General intelligence was represented by ACT and SAT scores provided by the universities. Social intelligence was measured using a short story test that estimated the ability of individuals to infer others’ intentions and feelings. The test is often used to predict social communication disorders, communication errors and the ability to infer the mental states of others.

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Baggio is a member of UCF’s Department of Political Science and is a core member of the Sustainable Coastal Systems Cluster and the National Center for Integrated Coastal Research. He received his master’s in development economics and doctorate in international development from the University of East Anglia. He joined UCF in 2018.

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133 thoughts on “Study: we don’t have the IQ to prevent ecological disaster

    • That’s where social intelligence helps: “Social intelligence is the capacity to know oneself and to know others. Social scientist Ross Honeywill believes social intelligence is an aggregated measure of self- and social-awareness, evolved social beliefs and attitudes, and a capacity and appetite to manage complex social change.” [Wikipedia]
      Does this sound like a man made disaster?

      • Curious George

        It sounds like they couldn’t manage a f*ck in a brothel, but will pimp it anyway to make the money.

        • Or, to rephrase in Old Australian, ‘couldn’t run a two hole, long drop public dunny’. Or ‘wouldn’t have the brains to pour stale piss out of an old boot’.

          • High IQs aren’t going to be enough to stop an ecological disaster. It’s going to take social intelligence, too.

            Restating their premise and conclusion: one person is too stupid to solve the problem, but a committee of stupid people can do it.

            It also seems apparent that their “virtual ecology” was a zero-sum construct. Unlike Earth and unlike human intelligent ingenuity.

            Let me check: “The experimental environment consists of a spatially dispersed resource (tokens) that grows according to a density-dependent function (see Supplementary Method 5). In this environment, groups of four harvest tokens for six rounds. [There were t]wo experimental treatments … [One:] groups harvest resources at a high growth rate for three rounds and then experience a sudden decline in the growth rate of the resource … for another three rounds… [Two:] the exact opposite sequence occurs… The change always occurred between rounds 3 and 4.

            Yup. Zero sum.

            Baggio, et al., also paid the subjects 2¢ per token harvested. They don’t seem to have wondered whether any of their subjects cynically decided that the true game was to get away with the most money, rather than to preserve the virtual ecology.

            Wonder how that cryptic attitude would have skewed their result. 🙂

            Social science: ever new ways to play GIGO. Courtesy of Nature (London).

          • Pat Frank,

            It’s why communism relies on a Central Committee from which the designated leader draws power. Companies do this also with a Chairman of the Board of directors, but their fiduciary duty is to maximize monetary profits for owners/share holders, not social virtue.

            But a constitutional democracy employs the best committee. A committee of a broad electorate with the ability of the people to keep people like Hillary Clinton from taking the US throne, despite the best efforts of the state to hand her the election.

          • public dunny
            Sounds complicated:
            ‘The designer dunny incorporates a voice-activated seat and autoflush, but also boasts the ability to monitor stools and urine for potential health problems.’

          • This study is a bunch of garbage as Pat Frank has pointed out. However another poster seemed to have an admiration for constitutional democracy. Even though it is the best system available, it carries within it, its own seeds of destruction with the one man 1 vote principal. After a long while the advanced democracies become welfare states where vast voting blocks can vote in their largesse to the detriment of those who actually create the wealth. These democracies eventually crumble to outside non democratic forces. The educational systems also bring about the destruction of those societies because by default they don’t preach the virtue of capitalism over all other systems. Socialist ideas take hold and are impossible to root out because the socialists take over the levers of power, 1) media 2) education 3) justice system. THIS IS NOW PLAYING OUT IN ALL TRUE WESTERN DEMOCRACIES. I am afraid gentlemen; we are doomed in the long run.

          • The antidote is reasonable restrictions on the franchise. Just about every push to extend suffrage to more and more of the population has originated from the big-L Left. In a mobocracy, the biggest mob wins and the underlying motive of giving more people the vote is to grow the mob.

      • Tell me how has “social intelligence” stopped wars? How would “social intelligence” have stopped the mass murders by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc? How many murders has “social intelligence prevented? How would “social intelligence” have stopped the sinking of the Titanic? How would “social intelligence” stopped any of the many 1,000s of engineering disasters that have occurred and killed so many over the years. Things like dam and bridge failures and such. Was it “social intelligence” that ended slavery? How would “social intelligence” stop car, train, and plane crashes?

        Like I said, we have not yet managed to be able to prevent man made disasters yet. They are playing out all over every single day.

          • I worked with a number of UCF grads who were very social.
            I would have liked to have bought them for what they were worth and sold them for what they thought they were worth.
            To be fair it was well over a decade ago. Things change.

          • social intelligence requires a leaderless society that manages to do stuff without guidance.

            Let’s go with that !

            Thinking: talking to a very leftie friend who assures me all societies need Great Leaders. the example of bees and ants was thrown up – even insects need leaders. ahem.. they’re not leaders, they’re just the biggest fattest members of the breeding clan, we just gave them the name ‘queen’.. they make no decisions.

            The ants tottle about doing their ant thing, one ant decides this particular passage is a bit hot and starts carting grains of sand out, another decides to join in – With no supervisors, managers, committees, heads of department or overseers they bore themselves a new tunnel and once it’s done they all go about their ant things again.. our ‘leader’ from the prior effort now happily following some other ‘leader’ who’s decided it’s worth going to pick on the local termite community or bring home banana bits another came dragging in.

            Social intelligence – the overview of results would incorrectly lead one to assume intelligent design of the roads, pathways, air ducts, chambers, attacks, gathering efforts when in fact none took place. Look around you – how much of our lives was actually ‘planned’ – who in the leadership role of government planned to introduce mobile phones, home PC’s, bluetooth, toothbrushes, AC wiring, coffee, toothpicks, underpants, bow ties, internet radio, David Suzuki, cheesecake? These things evolved through social intelligence spontaneously without planning and all bar David have proved useful (no, bow ties are useful, they allow us to identify journalists and pin heads .. but I repeat myself)

            I can go with social intelligence, let’s pass on the good news to these clods who would be Kings – they’re no longer needed.

          • But, but, but they have a good football team!

            Mmmmmm…ok…maybe not a good leading indicator…and a nasty ad hominem. Let me give this another shot:

            Their research could probably also prove Congress is functional, and beloved by the American electorate.

          • All they care about is their NCAA standing. How they pass their athletes seems to be more relevant and meet guidelines.

          • In many workplaces, you can feel a palpable sense of relief when the manager goes home early, and a sentiment among the employees that they can actually get some work done now.

            The difference between a leader and a supervisor is that a leader knows when to “let go of the reins” and trust the team to do what needs done, whereas a supervisor all too often keeps a white-knuckle grip on the reins, to the point of interfering with the team’s efficiency and effectiveness.

        • It IS more leftist BS to be sure.

          Claiming ‘social intelligence’ is just another communist attempt to make the stupid look smart.
          Everyone gets a trophy when only a few deserve it.
          Rather like:
          ‘They’re really dumb, buy hey, they have ‘street smarts’.

      • It seems the authors are saying there are two forms of intelligence and they are exclusive – more of one must mean less of another. An assumption without ANY evidence! It is simply another form of identity politics – your position (or thought) must depend on your identity.

        • I suggest we have three forms of intelligence, the third being academic intelligence.

          You will need plenty of that to write the academic curriculum for “…………..cultivating both social and general intelligence to better equip groups to deal with complex socio-ecological challenges”.

          And then you will need the suckers to pay for it.

      • “Using a digital game to simulate a virtual ecosystem, the researchers found that when teams of people ….” Using a digital game?

        Okay, if you want REAL results, start REAL colonies, ask volunteers to participate in the REAL world end of it, and collect information from that.

        Oh, that’s right: it takes too long to get REAL world results, which require REAL time in the REAL world. You would think that these genius researchers might have enough common sense to research historical information about groups and herd mentality.

        Here are three good examples of what REALLY happens.

        Guyana: Jonestown, Guyana, the mid-1970s; a collective of Americans who moved to the Central American country of Guyana under the direction of Jim Jones, the head of this apocalyptic cult, under whose direction 900 people were murdered following the murders of a US Congressman and his assistants who went down there to find out what was going on.

        The Branch Davidians, Waco, TX – a collective of people who followed David Koresh to Texas to prepare for the imminent return of Jesus; Koresh was accused of violating Texas firearms regulations, which was the start of the mess.

        And then there’s that more recent “sister wives” business, a latter-day commune FLDS branch of the Mormons. That was broken up a few years back.

        They could also dig up stuff about the 1970s hippies and all those communes that got started but drifted apart, and find out how that worked out. The only place like that still in existence is The Farm in Tennessee, although there may be a few others.

        I realize that games take less time but they are NOT the real world and real research takes time, which these people don’t want to spend. But these “cult communes” start up, flare brightly for a little while, and then disintegrate, which is something that game programs don’t take into account. Yes, yes — that’s “included” in the game. Uh, no. Games are based on electronic switches, not on real people and their foibles. Anyone with any game skills can throw off the results in the blink of an eye.

    • Nor apparently the IQ to understand that models including the modelled behaviour of the game described in this piece, don’t reflect real life. They are imaginary worlds with rules built by the model creators. Only once validated by making predictions that come true in the real physical world are models of any possible value in finding how reality behaves.

    • Every time I see headlines like this I go through the litany:

      Don’t be Florida ….. Crap
      Don’t be Central Florida ….. Crap
      Don’t be my Alma Mater …. Crap

  1. Not just intelligence determines what a person does. There are the Big Five personality traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. If you focus only on intelligence, you will have little ability to predict a population’s behavior. Even if you do take them into account, your ability to predict a populations behavior is still iffy.

    What am I saying? These researchers are idiots.

    • I can’t recall how many “style” testings I endured when I was employed as an engineering manager.
      Social Style and Management Style were two “required assessments” which wasted my valuable time.
      I recall one determined that I was an “analytical driver” and indicated I needed to hone my social skills.
      I was devoting my time to accomplishing my assigned tasks and ensuring my employees had the resources to succeed. I had no time for the suggested “self improvement” and resented all of the Human Resources’ interference. I never saw any improvements resulting from the exercises – only wasted time, employment for social engineer/trainers and book sales for motivational authors.

  2. The ridiculous alarmist utterances by various CAGW, Warmista and Alarmist people and organisations certainly do show that the general population’s IQ is a lot lower than we imagine it to be. There seems to be no cure in sight.


    • “Warmista and Alarmist people and organisations certainly do show that the general population’s IQ is a lot lower than we imagine it to be”

      It’s worse than we thought

  3. “We’re all gonna die!!!!!” – Nancy Pelosi

    Actually, yes… Simply because none of us are immortal.
    If we learned anything from our ancestors, we learned how to adapt or we would not be here right now. Outside of “instantaneous” catastrophes, humans can adjust quite readily. All you need is a bit of ingenuity and common sense and you are good to go.

  4. Me! Me! Call on me! I have the ANSWER !!

    Let’s consult with ALL the remaining indigenous peoples of the earth! Head-hunting Tribes in Borneo, Lost Tribes of the Amazon, First Nations of Canada, Aborigines in the Outback, and of course the myriad of Noble, Wise, Eco-conscious Native Americans!! All of THOSE primitive peoples have a HUGE Earth-IQ. They all lived … lightly … on the planet for tens of thousands of years … without changing their lives one iota. They KNOW how to NOT evolve. NOT do what the white man calls … improve … or … pro-gress. If we were all Wise and truly SMART … we’d all immediately return to living in the dirt and worshiping rock formations.

    BTW, I just saw a Smithsonian episode of Aerial America, and the high-IQ Narrator was absolutely fawning over how some ancient tribe of natives worshiped a really cool rock formation … and simultaneously savaged the Catholic settlements for imposing their Westernized, bastardized, superstitious religion on the noble natives. I weep at what passes for “intellectual” discourse.

    • “… the myriad of Noble, Wise, Eco-conscious Native Americans!!”

      Who, before the introduction of horses and firearms, routinely drove bison over ‘jumps,” killing hundreds at a time. Because they had no means of preserving the meat, they would usually take just the best and easiest, like the tongue, and leave the rest to rot.

      • The Eco-Native Amerindian also started prairie and forest fires to ‘CLEAN UP’ their hunting territory. They were in harmony with nature, BS!

    • Are you Anthony Watt’s dog? Are you saying less pigment, more progress? If so, you should write a paper.

    • We are told about what wonderful environmentalists the Indians were … they took such good care of the land. I would say that they took what they could. Exhibit ‘A’ would be Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. But, you say, what about the wise words of Chief Seattle? Fake News

      I can’t tell which is worse, vilifying the Indians or worshiping them. What I do know is that white self-loathing is disgusting. The accomplishments of Western Civilization are amazing and are, if nothing else, lifting billions out of poverty and misery.

      • My exact point, Commie Bob! And add to my disgust revisionist, childish, history. The contemporary historical narratives about all the “noble” primitive peoples is just so much bullshit as to be infuriating. And it is this sort of FALSE narrative makes everyone dumber … which is the exact purpose of the perpetrators … to demean white Western Europeans, and elevate people’s ovvvvvvv culller. To make people dumber.

        • They also neglect to mention, amid all the finger-wagging, how native Africans were largely complicit in the colonial-era slave trade. Tribes near the coast would raid deeper inland to take captives, trading them to the European slave ships for rum and guns.

          Such nuance is one of the first casualties of twisting history into a simplified, moralistic narrative to suit one’s pet agenda.

  5. “Using a digital game to simulate a virtual ecosystem” = using a make-believe world that the authors could adjust to produce whatever outcome they wanted.

  6. High general intelligence probably meant people used the available resources to benefit human beings and not let 120,000,000* in the developing world die by 2050 from smoke inhalation related conditions because they are forced to burn scavenged timber and cow shit to cook and heat with.

    High social intelligence doubtless meant these people were left out the equation altogether in order to save the planet for the wealthy western morons who engaged in the experiment.

    * WHO figures.

    • Intelligence Quotient is IQ

      Emotional Intelligence Quotient is EQ

      Social Intelligence Quotient is SQ.

      They (those who study & define this stuff) leave the intelligence out of the Social & Emotional measure. They deserve a Freudian pat on the back.

      • Don M
        “..They (those who study & define this stuff) leave the intelligence out of the Social & Emotional measure. They deserve a Freudian pat on the back.”
        Isn’t that what SETI is all about? We are running out of the terrestrial variety.
        Cheers
        Mike

    • If their proposals come to pass, only those with the means to hunt and butcher their kills will survive. The SJWs will either not know how, or find that their sensibilities won’t allow them to hunt. The problem will be solved when they starve to death.

      • The totes invent this EQ, SQ stuff, SJW and other games to occupy the useless tools as they prepare them for service to the commisariat. To hear this old hat collectivist schmaltz studied and talked about in America is sure something different! Why does UF import long corrupted marxy academics from UK is beyond me.

  7. Catastrophic anthropogenic-induced global warming is for people who are bad at math – nothing much to do with intelligence.

    If the fundamental understanding of how GHG’s heat (and cool) the atmosphere by radiation is lacking, what “sort of intelligence” will compensate for that, save common sense observations that the claims, decade after decade, for impending catastrophe are false?

    Lacking even common sense when faced with physical reality, there is little hope these misguided “doctors” know the disease (or if there is one) nor are they capable of prescribing the cure (ditto).

    • I guess they mean the West Side Hiway under water, different birds, more officers, and high winds.

      Snow was not mentioned, so it is not a problem.

  8. They used undergrads what if they used overgrads? Most people are not considered fully rational until well into their 20’s.

  9. Look… at some level, I see what the article’s authors were getting at.

    Mankind has a remarkable penchant for mismanaging its resources, especially when the God Almighty Dollar is involved. We do. Got a northern California chock-full of 3 meter in diameter 2,000 year old redwoods? Chop ’em down, baby. Chop, chop, chop. There’s always more where they came from. Get the wood whilst the going is good. Chip, chip, chop, chop.

    Mankind is just that way — at least by the Western (read: European sentiment) variety.

    Then again, we’ve learned as a culture to mass-produce a lot of things that for some reason other cultures never got the hang of. Too steeped in the Traditions of their Forefathers to really have liberty at every next generation to INVENT stuff.

    So, if one puts steel rails across a country, inviting people to migrate to where the gold, trees and Dungeness crab are, well … people’ll move. Just saying: people of the Western persuasion (and lets face it: most of the Far East too) will move to where the opportunity is.

    THAT… and given our penchant for industrialization, well … the ability to really screw up microcosms of ecology is now unprecedented. We have machines that literally can remove mountain tops in order to give the Big Hill a close shave, to remove the coal seamed underneath the cap. Wow. And we have drills that go sideways, allowing thin (commercially useless) seams of coal to be water-pressure fractured. To release the natural gas. To power economies.

    WE ARE REALLY GOOD at getting stuff out of the ground.

    And we’re even more (in a way) good at turning those petrochemicals, ores, gasses, and abundant harnessed energies into all nature of chemical-and-mechanical engineering processes to make STUFF. All kinds of stuff.

    Viagra, Saran wrap, maple chopping blocks, marijuana clone farms, Slinkies™, Oriental rugs, fake rugs, bamboo flooring, dentist’s torture equipment, continuous variable transmissions, glass windows, hyper-fine chip-making optics, forests-of-trees worth of fluffy toilet paper, power weed whackers, mechanical pencils, you name it. I’ven’t even touched on the just-as-if-not-larger world of computing.

    So yah, I get the sentiment of the Author.
    We stand a remarkable likelihood of being too stupid to rein ourselves in.

    Because that’s the solution, isn’t it?

    Rein in.
    Cut down, then perhaps off, the consumption of “bad stuff”.
    Clean up our act.
    Figure out cost-effective mitigations.
    TAX ourselves to pay for them.
    Tirelessly police the implementation.
    Indict and try the Bad Actors.
    And keep on dancing.

    Because in the end, apart from the least favorite 4 letter word (WORK), people have very little to contribute to each other’s existence. But we keep chugging along. Burning stuff, using up resources, not cutting back, because everything is almost breathtakingly inexpensive. Why not?

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy

    • I, for one, am quite happy that I was born into an era where mankind had TAMED nature, and was not struggling to SURVIVE nature. I love my wood frame home built from a completely renewable resource. I enjoy the fact that a warmer, more Co2 heavy atmosphere grows that replacement timber even faster. I love the ‘engineered’ lumber built from what was formerly waste wood products; chips and sawdust. I love the fact that multiple mechanical and chemical processes transform this waste wood product into usable timbers that are actually stronger than natural wood. I love the fact that my furnace is 97% efficient, and that all it needs for a flue is a small plastic pipe as virtually ALL the natural gas piped into it is burned to heat my home and keep it warm. I LOVE Western man’s vision, technology, and problem solving … all of which … was spurred by the profit motive. That engineered lumber has SAVED virgin forests and made lumber corporations RICH $$. That lumber has also made my home safer, stronger, and more stable. I love my spray foam insulation that is a chemical miracle generating a huge R-value … much greater than the common fiberglass insulation (which is another miracle of capitalistic exploitation of the earth’s natural materials).

      All of these things are better than living in a tepee or yurt with a filthy wood fire burning in the middle of the dirt floor.

      Thank you Western civilization! Thank you Profit Motive!

      • Kenji, I love my gas furnace, too, especially since I installed a high-efficiency motor and thermostat, but a wood fire outdoors in a properly built fire pit is NOT filthy. There is something very satisfying and yes, primitive, that makes a wood fire outdoors into a very satisfying experience.

        I also like indoor fireplaces that burn wood instead of gas, because if the power goes out, you can still cook in the fireplace and keep the place warm.

        Don’t knock wood fires. They have their uses.

        • There is no heat like the heat from a wood fire! Given a choice does when one comes in from the cold do they stand on or by a furnace register or do they stand by the fire in the fireplace or by a wood burning stove to warm up?

        • 100% agreed re: wood fires. My home still has it’s masonry wood burning fireplace. Perhaps it’s due to my primal dna, but I LOVE a nice warm, crackling wood fire. I build mine like works of art, and they burn hotter than hot, with minimal smoke … which is why the Bay Area Air Quality Board “sniffers” never $FINE$ me for making fires on “No burn days”. Yes, fires are not always “dirty”. However they DO need tending … as seen on the annual Yule log channel.

        • BTW … I was referring to a primitive open hearth burning in the middle of an enclosed living space (tepee or yurt) … not a well-designed fireplace which “draws well” and keeps the interiors smoke free.

  10. Computer games played by undergradutes. This is not even anything that resembles science. Or interesting for that matter.

  11. Who plays a game like they live life? I would never do in real life what I would do in a game. What a stupid way to determine people’s thinking.

  12. The measure of success in the game was increasing the number of tokens. The high IQ supposedly was needed to spot the gimmick that increased the number of tokens. The socials skills were to convince the rest that you’d spotted the gimmick and if everyone played along, the group would win.

    Group puzzle-solving.

    What I’d be interested in knowing is if someone bright spotted the key to more tokens and kept mum about it, the game then ending in a Darwinian solution where the bright one survived and those not clever enough wound up with nothing.

  13. Social justice anywhere is injustice… It begins with self-moderation and personal responsibility. It proceeds with an end to conflation of logical domains, and ideologies that are selective, opportunistic, and PC. #PrinciplesMatter

  14. Psychobabular mumbo jumbo. They’re referring, of course, to the theory of The Tragedy of the Commons, which might have some relevance to some situations. The problem is, they try to make it relevant to any and all “situations”, real or imagined. The classic one being “climate change”. And the cure, as always is government, but in the case of “climate change”, the cure is World Government, since it’s an (imaginary) world-wide “problem”.

  15. “Individuals often have different cognitive abilities,” Baggio says. “For example, individuals with high general intelligence will be more able to discern patterns and dynamics of resources, and individuals with high social intelligence communicate more effectively and understand the mental state of others.”

    liberals good….conservatives bad

    • Darned, Latitude. You have describd my psych problem perfectly.
      Left out one caveat, to paraphrase Star Wars ‘4’:
      ‘Luke, do or do not. There is no try.’ Amen, Master Yoda. Such is life

  16. Hav not read the paper. But the testing might be out of quite some cultural context. How do you manage a resource. Fischeries have been abundant several places. The EU, and notably the southern Europeans, have overfished everything, whilst, for example, Norway and with some collaboration with the Russians, have managed to rebuild the herring fisheries (after a Norwegian scientific management failure) and maintain a large cod fishery. Not to mention how the Spanish cod trawlers cracked the Canadian cod stock. At present we have the Chinese + others “take away” of various African fish stocks. Having discovered that you by shere luck have your posterior full of oil and gas, Norway has built up a large buffer fund. In comparison the US has an increasing degree of all profits going to less and less hands. There are some persistent cultural differences, at least, again for example, until the Norwegian government decides, or is forced to, buy carbon credits, or pay for its sins, and thus channel the saved money to, by and large, the large global finance institutions as a kind of personal sacrifice on a perceived global CO2 sin. Add to that a lot of the UN managed carbon credits then will go directly into the corrupt pockets of dictators in underdeveloped countries where the ego of a few always have “trumphed” the demands of the masses. Maybe some cultural component to consider? No need to elaborate on Russian oligarchs (the culture of a strong man) or the kingdom of the Saud family as other parts of cultural components in resource distribution.

  17. Without a proper education we can be led to believe anything, and that appears to be the objective of the left. IQ doesn’t matter if you are ignorant and easily led. I’m beginning to think that the decline of education is the biggest threat facing this country.

  18. I have to admit to so far having harboured doubts concerning this whole climate change thing, but seriously, if it’s true in a game then it must be true! in life.

  19. Let’s run this “study” by Jordan Peterson and see what he makes of it. Should be interesting.

  20. So what happened with the third group that should have been included – those with high social intelligence and low general intelligence? Would they have done better, worse or the same as the high intelligence group? No need for an answer.
    High social intelligence is clearly code “socialists” and Venezuela has adequately demonstrated how well they manage resources.

    I personally have very little interest in anything that comes out of university Political ‘Science’ departments. Always just political and not science.

  21. The departments of Political Science and Anthropology have found their tickets to board the Global Warming Gravy Train. The lure of easy funding is irresistible.
    We have seen this before with Feminist Glaciology.

    But, in their rush to the cash, they have made a critical error. They make use of intelligence, and more specifically, a quantitative measure of IQ. This is their undoing.
    Allow me to explain:
    As we all know, some groups do relatively better on IQ tests, while others do relatively worse.
    BUT: SJW theory dictates that the only reason for disparity between groups is blatant discrimination. Furthermore, if the disparities are between the sexes, it is sexism. If the disparities are between ethnic groups, it is racism.
    {As an aside. James Damore was famously fired from Google for suggesting that women availed themselves of opportunities in the workplace differently than men because they had varied career goals. This contradicted the SJW axiom that all differences are solely due to discrimination, so the heretic had to go.}
    Back to the paper:
    What the authors did is far worse. By using a forbidden metric they are saying that some groups will be better at this task than others. This is a blatant use of implied racism to further a study goal. Therefore, the whole paper is racist, sexist, hateful, and doing violence to marginalized groups.
    The authors will be burned at the academic stake for this.

    {We could write Letters to the Editor to the campus newspapers of the universities involved, decrying the racism and bigotry of this paper. This would ensure that the SJW mobs get kick started properly.}

  22. Ever watch an academic try to run a real operation of any kind employing real people to accomplish tangible results? Ever watch a drunk try to push a chain down the road?

    • This is just an anecdote; so take it for just one example.

      I had a business acquaintance, a Prof at a large technical University in the Boston region, who did a truly groundbreaking study on why the Japanese ran circles around the industrial US. He wrote a very successful book on the subject and even coined the term now used for that industrial and management philosophy.

      He later told me that he decided to cash in early on his discoveries and bought a bankrupt factory that produced a common product; he intended to apply his recommendations in order to make some money and to provide a real life example of his precepts. It failed.

      He was subsequently convinced by another relatively famous person (in another field) that his talents would be much better utilized if he started an “Institute” to spread his concepts (that’s how I got to know the good Prof.)

      Today, in part because of his institute, virtually every manufacturing company features the methods he introduced to the US.

      The moral? Stick to what you’re good at.

  23. High IQs aren’t going to be enough to stop delusional visions of the future, either.

    Remember, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind’s made up.”

    • Except big-L Lefties are rarely that honest. They’ll talk a good piece about being tolerant and open-minded, and how anyone on the big-R Right is a close-minded bigot, while simultaneously harboring some of the most hideous prejudices imaginable. They have open minds already made up.

  24. If AO-C represents where the US Democratic Party is headed, either we have nothing to worry about, or we have everything to worry about. The key is difference will be if her ilk gets the reins of power.

    Apparently her ilk did get the reins of power in South Australia, Ontario, Sweden.

  25. Social Intelligence in this context seems to mean Conformity.

    If you conform to the group norm, then you are socially intelligent.

  26. High IQs aren’t going to be enough to stop an ecological disaster.

    Well then, lucky for us there is no ecological disaster that needs stopped, now or in the future.

    • There is nothing remotely interesting going on with climate, but there is a continuing group think hysteria going around. It acts like the flu, and is spread by talking hysteria to people around you.

  27. SOS “It takes a village”
    I find it interesting that the participants are all milineals, in school and haven’t lived in the real world.
    That’s a broad sample, uh maybe not.

  28. They can really make any result they want. There is no penalty for being stupid anymore as the jobs these people have require no real or measurable beneficial output. I fear the end is nigh.

  29. I think I agree with half of this article’s point…The progressives DO NOT have high enough IQ’s to avert disasters – of any kind (as in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). This is already demonstrated in the once proud nation of Venezuela. California will be their next great achievement.

    Conservative people however, might…Slow to adopt change, skeptic of things too good to be true, have decent work ethics, tend to pull together in hard times, do not feel entitled, do not want a nanny government, desire to be left alone to make their own decisions. These people just might have enough collective common sense to avert disaster after disaster. Maybe.

    Good scientists are always conservative in nature (but not necessarily in their politics). Skeptical of any new theory until its been demonstrated through debate, challenge, and testing. I guess they no longer require any of those traits in modern science classes.

  30. The CBS tv show Survivor is a good example of the balance between what this artificial study is calling general and social intelligence. Those who get into the final group do well in both areas. And Survivor is a less contrived model for what this study is trying to measure.

  31. James Lovelock: Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change
    One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/mar/29/james-lovelock-climate-change

    Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change” Lovelock
    Since it is Lovelock’s comment about human ignorance that is our subject today, it is well to point out that Lovelock himself lacks the mental capacity to see the inconsistencies in his theory, despite being given plenty of time to notice them, and being given the able assistance of many critics.
    http://wmbriggs.com/post/2156/

    • Realizing you are not a God and don’t run the planet is upsetting because this means you are going to ultimately die. Sorry.

  32. Some examples of Social intelligence:
    – The planet will become uninhabitable in 12 years
    – Renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels
    – Renewable energy is more reliable than coal and gas
    – The green new deal will create jobs and stimulate the economy
    – The social cost of carbon

    And to top of all this, they think they are smarter than the rest of us, LOL 🙂 !!!

  33. Don’t think for yourself as you are too stupid to grasp it all. Let elites in cliques determine things for you. Your role is to follow along. No, no critical thinking please. That just contaminates your response to what you are told. Got it.

    • How about anthropology?

      The Romans tried what we would call socialism in their collapse phase. It didn’t work. In fact it made things worse. Well, worse for the people. Better for the government.

      The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter – pdf. The good stuff starts in Chapter 4.
      https://wtf.tw/ref/tainter.pdf

  34. A low IQ actually limits the capabilities to detect bullshitters, scammers and snake oil salesmen, and among them the climate apocalypse prophets.

    So the article’s author is right (despite himself) : with higher population IQ, the “climate crisis” would be solved since it would not even exist.

  35. WANTED – STUPID PEOPLE

    WANTED – TO JOIN EQUALLY STUPID PEOPLE

    WANTED – AT And-Then-Theres-Physics

    WANTED – FEEL INTELLIGENT

    WANTED – BY SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH MORONS

    WANTED – GAIN IQ-CONFIDENCE

    WANTED – AND BOOST SELF-ESTEEM

    WANTED – LEARN TO IGNORE INCONVENIENT EVIDENCE

    WANTED – WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY

    WANTED – INTELLIGENT PEOPLE LIMITED TO ONE COMMENT PER THREAD

    WANTED – BUT STUPID PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED UNLIMITED COMMENTS

    .

    You might think that I am being unfair to the morons at And-Then-Theres-Physics.

    But let me make it clear, that some of my best friends are morons.

    I made the mistake, of going to And-Then-Theres-Physics, to look for intelligent Alarmists.

    Yes, I know that “intelligent Alarmists” are as rare as unicorns.

    But I am an optimist, and unicorns might exist (where is your proof that unicorns DON’T exist).

    The people at And-Then-Theres-Physics, made me sit in the corner, and told me not to speak unless spoken to.

    I have never been good at keeping quiet.

    I tried to be good. Honestly.

    And I wrote the people at And-Then-Theres-Physics a polite letter when I left. My polite letter is displayed below.

    https://agree-to-disagree.com/wanted-stupid-people

    • Intelligent alarmists exist (Otherwise, the climate swindle could not last so long), but they are blatantly dishonest (Otherwise, the climate swindle would not even exist).
      The rule seems to be that an alarmist can’t be intelligent and honest at the same time.

  36. the aim of the article is to disregard educated people in stem who don’t believe in the CAUSE.
    Educated people out oF STEMhate to meet somebody who can debate on a scientific level and don’t agree with them..they look stupid..and THAT is the suprem insult.

  37. Social intelligence really sound like “intelligence for dumb people”. Also the testing method sounds questionable at best, personally I use body language and voice pitch during social interaction to infer intentions and emotions, how would I ever be able infer them from text unless the text describes them? I mean, I’m sure I could guess a million things, but would have very little to back it up.

  38. Quote: “Study: we don’t have the IQ to prevent ecological disaster.”
    True, but we have the arrogance to think we can.

  39. The question needs to be asked is how many people involved in these studies are knowingly gaming the system.

    Years ago I used to be on the list of a market research group that would, from time to time, bring in groups of people to workshop problems. They were good gigs. Light refreshments, 90mins of your time, paid in cash. Good times.

    So we did one and the topic was Short Holidays and as a group we were asked where we would like to go for a short holiday (2 to 4 nights) and why. So we said “Melbourne”. Close. Good shopping. Catch some sport. See some friends.

    “Okay”, said the mods, “if you couldn’t go to Melbourne, where else?”

    “Sydney!”

    “The Gold Coast!”

    “Okay,” said the mods, “if you can’t go there, where else? Say… Canberra maybe?”

    “Oh…” thinks the room, “Canberra is the ‘correct’ answer, is it?”

    So, partly because Canberra is a total dump and partly because we all known knew it was the correct answer…

    “Sunshine coast! Broken Hill! Perth! Back of Burke! Mum and Dads!”

    “Look! You are going to CANBERRA!!!”

    “Ummm… why would we want to go there? Can we go somewhere else? It’s OUR holiday.”

    Maybe a bad example because Canberra honestly IS a horrible place filled with either public servants or those too young to be able to legally leave, but as a group we quickly worked out what was the ‘correct answer’ and concluded not giving it was going to be much more fun. To be able to do this you have to be at least up at the ‘average’ level of smarts. We knew what was going on, had already eaten our free light supper and knew there was no real down side to gaming the system purely for giggles.

    So, what is more interesting when attempting to study human nature in an artificial situation is not trying to force the results onto the real world, but studying how people react when you start to push the experiment in a deliberate direction. Do they follow based on the grounds they believe following the moderator is the correct result with the best reward, or do they deliberately push back because they can see what is happening and see no downside to gaming the system.

    This, I believe, would provide a much better understanding of human nature as well as reinforcing that (deep breath) It May Already Be Too Late(tm) and It May Be Worse Than We Thought(tm).

    Not STEM Science, people. It’s really not that hard 😀

  40. For the study, the researchers used a digital game where people collected virtual tokens in exchange for actual money.

    Kind of like sociology papers about global-warming in exchange for real money? They should be experts at that game already.

  41. A little message to “Jacopo Baggio, an assistant professor in UCF’s Department of Political Science and lead author of the study.” Study: we don’t have the IQ to prevent ecological disaster because …
    We humans are not in charge, nature is!

    So Jacopo Baggio, how do we prevent the next global cooling event? It is coming, it will happen.

    IMO the best way to ensure the maximum people survive a natural disaster it to ignore over-educated fools in university Political Science Departments, and instead have real practical assistance ready and prepared for a rapid response.

  42. “social intelligence” is how we explain people who have an IQ test that comes back “negative”.

  43. Intelligence of the sort that figures out what 2+2 equals is what is championed in schools for one very good reason – the answers aren’t always what your gut tells you it is. We need people who can reckon without emotion.

    We don’t need to rebrand good morals into social intelligence, unless this global warming farce is unravelling as intelligent people stop to think. And it will continue to unravel as long as there is self esteem in being intelligent so it looks like propaganda to make out 2+2 is 5 is just as intelligent.

  44. A lot of very silly comments in here.

    The argument is not about whether high IQ people can come up with solutions or not, it is about how societal decisions are taken to choose between a number of feasible options.

    Here are some options theiretically available to Californians to manage water resources:

    1. Build more dams to increase storage capacity.

    The questions concern cost effectiveness, where they might be located, who pays for the infrastructure and who owns it, how people living where reservoirs will form will be compensated etc etc.

    2. Creation of thousands of small scake leaky dams in the headwater regions of California’s water courses.

    The questions concern how effective such systems are at moderating peak flows in rivers after heavy rainfall and during snow melt; whether regenerating riparian vegetation is achievable and desired; how often such systems would have to be replaced; how effective such flow delays are in mitigating soil erosion, promoting drainage to groundwater etc.

    3. Recreating the wetlands of the Tulare basin destroyed by the European settlers 200 years ago.

    The questions concern current land usage and ability to forgo such; compensating those people for forced relocation/changed land use; the value of expanding wetland wildlife; the contribution to groundwater regeneration etc etc.

    4. Creating dedicated groundwater recharge sinks.

    Discussions concern optimal sites and how to compensate those affected; how many sites are needed to actually make a difference; and how and where diversions from water courses are engineered to ensure required water volumes reach the sinks when appropriate.

    5. Redesigning urban areas to promote water absorption and reurn to groundwater rather than torrents of mud and water slewing over roads, down gabions and generally ending up in the ocean.

    Discussions concern town and urban planning processes; construction practice changes; changing urban habits of water usage, recycling and retention; promotion of climate-appropriate vegetation and trees; redesign of sidewalks etc to promote road water being used to water trees and plants found nearby etc etc.

    6. Setting up regeneration projects for scarred and damaged valleys, water courses, gullies and glades to promote water retention, increased vegetation, greater length of stream flow duration, soil retention and creation, all aimed at preventing human death due to flash flood downstream consequences.

    7. Setting up innovative methods to recharge groundwater in times of plenty.

    Etc etc.

    There is a phase of ideas/options generation which no doubt those of high IQ will be good at.

    There is then a need to evaluate priorities, based on discussing what societal priorities actually are.

    Thst evaluation procedure needs people skilled in communication but also those skilled in overseeing what may be charged and heated discussions between those with different priorities.

    There is never one right answer, since different answers will favour different interest groups.

    This is not an either/or.

    Without the best available options, great communication has little value.

    Politicians who try to ignore the best options may be good dissemblers, but they are not good communicators. There aim is to misinform, not to inform, after all.

    You will get different opinions from the Sierra Club, wine growers, farmers in the Central Valley, Hollywood worthies in LA, VC fund managers in Silicon Valley and many others besides.

    Unless you talk with all these folks, you will not know their sticking points, their red lines, their areas of compromise.

    Talking is not enough though. The talking must have purpose, namely providing evidence for and against particular approaches.

    The best decision-making is iterative, since 80% three times over is 99.2% there.

  45. a “short story test”? Sounds very scientific. The social “sciences” seem to be making great progress.

    I wonder though why it’s still impossible to teach anglophone news and sports announcers how to properly pronounce “Sharapova” or “Navratilova”, while they’re perfectly able to pronounce “Djokovic”? Or how francophone announcers, who normally mispronounce names in their own gallic fashion, have been persuaded to adopt the anglophone fashion in the case of (Northern) slavic names.

    Could this learning defect possibly be an even better measure of “social intelligence”? I understand that Ms Sharapova has learned to mispronounce her own name à l’anglaise, and surely this shows great social intelligence on her part.

    But will it save the earth?

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