...although most of us are probably smarter than Steven Pinker.
It would add too much to the post below, so let me present this as an appendix of sorts.
I get the following from The Thought Criminal. It is from a review of Stephen Pinker's The Angels of our Better Nature, a book more suited to be a Slate article back in the day when Slate's reputation was built on Michael Kinsley's "counter-intuitive liberal" persona.
But I digress.
The connection to the post below should be pretty clear:
Let's start with the presidential I.Q. study upon which Pinker relies. I.Q. tests did not even exist until the early 20th century, so most of its ludicrously precise estimates—Martin Van Buren (132.9), James Buchanan (122.8), Ulysses S. Grant (115.0)—deserve horselaughs. John F. Kennedy is conveniently credited with an I.Q. of 156, though his tested I.Q. was 119, or roughly 10 points lower than George W. Bush's.I would submit that everything you want to know about IQ is contained in those three sentences. What one does or says is clearly a product of one's intelligence, so outcomes we prefer are clearly intelligent outcomes; those we don't like, clearly come from lesser abilities to cogitate. So George W. Bush has the lowest Presidential IQ on record, while John Kennedy, from his accomplishments, clearly has a vastly superior IQ (156, if I remember my IQ scorings correctly, is a very high genius range. Anything above 130 is considered quite remarkable.)
Except, of course, Kennedy had a very standard IQ score.
So tell me again what "IQ" measures, and how we know its measurements are accurate, and how they relate to a world where taking tests is about the last useful skill a human being can have?