Standardized exams measure intrinsic ability, not racial or socioeconomic privilege

Recently, the usage of standardized testing has fallen under deep scrutiny in America. […] I outline a clear, step-by-step argument that lays out a strong case for the pro-standardized testing viewpoint. […] Upon a comprehensive review of the literature, I find that cognitive ability is a coherent, innate, and heritable trait; that standardized exams are good measures of cognitive ability, and are largely unaffected by parental income or education; finally, that exam scores are not meaningfully affected by student preparation, motivation, educational quality, or parental pressure, and certainly not to a degree necessary to explain group differences in performance.

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The tenured professor and the sea of cancellation: Gregory Clark on human intelligence

Gregory Clark is a tenured professor of economic history at UC Davis known for studying intergenerational mobility in England from the 17th through the 21st century. Interestingly, he more or less re-derived the additive inheritance of human talent (principally but not wholly composed of human intelligence) from empirical analysis of how social standing fluctuated throughout the centuries. These findings are well summarized in a recent podcast between him and the physicist Steve Hsu. I will highlight and expand upon some points of considerable interest from this podcast.

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Beware of Gell-Mann amnesia about government quality

Many people are amateur experts in some specific domain of government regulation, such as land use zoning or immigration law, which they know for sure is horribly inefficient and profoundly harmful to the nation. However, they often fail to appropriately generalize these observations to the quality of political governance at large: a form of Gell-Mann amnesia applied to the quality of our rulers.

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What the Accelerationist’s Political Compass says about us

Every now and then, this “political compass” of acceleration vs. deceleration, hyperhuman vs. unhuman pops up. It’s a pretty interesting breakdown so I wanted to jot down a couple thoughts.

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