Friday quickies

  • A truly excellent foreign affairs blog by the FT columnist Gideon Rachman.
    Who could not love someone who writes
    This is vintage Steyn – jeering, complacent and utterly stupid. ?
  • An elk has been rescued from a swimming pool after police called in aid a fork lift truck in southern Sweden. (Are there too many elk here?) Unfortunately, I can’t find the photograph in my history file.
  • The police in Kronoberg, quite near there, have been cleared of malpractice when they decapitated unwanted kittens.
  • James Flynn, the man with the effect, on IQ in the LA Times, says, in effect that IQ scores have gone up because they measure the ways of thinking common in urban civilisation, rather than anything more generally useful. Hence it is not very informative to look at them for real improvements in cognitive skill. I should have spotted this at the time of the Watson row.

If you look at the PSAT, which is given to juniors in high school, the scores are stable and are not going up with IQ. The PSAT has lagged IQ because it tests reading and general arithmetic.
Q: Wouldn’t we be better off if children were better at reading and math?
Yes, we would. But you have to teach for that. You have to hire people who can actually teach math. It’s not a cheap fix. You have to make it a national priority. The invention of computer games has made thinking spatially and reasoning logically an automatic social priority. We have never made pouring money into schools to make sure kids were better educated a national priority.

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1 Response to Friday quickies

  1. Observer says:

    Elk pics/video:

    As for the kittens, the prosecutor obviously never bothered to look up the relevant statutes; the Board of Agriculture directives for killing off “puppies, kittens, and assorted other fur-coated animals” clearly states that kittens must be killed either by a lethal injection carried out by a veterinarian, or by the use of firearms (preferrably a shotgun) by a licensed hunter. The only exception is kittens younger than 8 days; they can be killed by a swift blow to the head, by someone well versed in the procedure.

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