Is there a Silent but Sensible Majority anymore?
December 30, 2010, 06:05 PM
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A commenter on the PISA post below writes:
Well, the question I ask myself is what percent of the American population doesn't really deep down believe that HBD is probably a substantial factor in all these sorts of things...

Ten percent? Five percent? One percent? Zero percent?

The floor is open for people's guesses...

Back before I started participating 18 years ago in Internet discussions with anonymous participants, I would have agreed with these low estimates. All these years later, however ... I dunno. Maybe there is a Silent But Sensible Majority out there somewhere. Maybe.

To pick a random example of the quality of contemporary thought, here is an online discussion on Hacker News / Ycombinator about Tino's recent blog post at Super-Economy showing the PISA results when you adjust for demographics. Reading through it, it's hard to take away the impression that there are a lot of people out there who are well informed and hold reasonable views. Instead, you just see a lot of people getting intellectually snarled up in their own underwear.

My approach has always been based around my sense that I'm not smart enough to juggle in my head complex wrong ideas. I need to find the simplest answers that work (but, as Einstein said, no simpler).