In the post 2008 era, intellectualism in and of itself has become a culture, with people in high-IQ endeavors such as professors, STEM workers, stock traders, quants, wonks, tech CEOs, nerds, real estate investors/speculators, mathematicians and theoretical physicists becoming ‘celebrities‘ to large portions of the population. You see evidence of this on Reddit; for example, a thread asking professors about the most annoying things students do got a mind-blowing 10,000 replies – quite possibly a site record. The replies are suggestive of a backlash by professors and students to the leftist self-esteem movement and helicopter parenting. Liberals want to be coddled, to be sheltered from reality. Parents, particularly liberal ones, insist their kids are special, possessing unlimited unlocked potential; professors, who see thousands of students a year, just see another dull slow learner, cringing at the thought have having to read another paper with butchered syntax composed by one of these ‘special snowflakes’.
Most Millennials, and to a lesser degree Generation X, associate IQ, intellect and social awkwardness with positive traits such as authenticity, introspectiveness and competence. Breaking social norms has become cool – as a way of rebuking leftist, dumbing-down PC conformity and delusion. Smart people, particularity in STEM fields, deal with reality and empirical data, not wishful thinking. Smart people, the millennials in particular, seek the counsel of these objective, empirically-minded experts like Pinker and Murray, preferring the unvarnished truth over the polished lies spread by the liberal media and pseudo-intellectuals like Malcom Gladwell. That’s why the SJWs are failing and why themes of HBD could be bubbling to the surface of mainstream public discourse. Decades ago, few people cared about the these professions except other members of those professions. Multiple factors – the internet, the smartist era, and millenials endowed by the Flyn-Effect – have foisted these once obscure, nerdy, stodgy professions to the spotlight, eclipsing even athletes, actors, and other ‘traditional’ archetypes of fame and stardom.
In an article for Qz, Jonathan Wai challenges Ivy League bashing liberal Frank Bruni. If you have a high enough IQ to get into the Ivy league, you can succeed at life without a degree by virtue of your intelligence. That’s why you see so many instances of people who were admitted to top schools still becoming successful despite either not finishing or not choosing careers directly related their degree. The connections help a lot, too.
For STEM, the choice of college is less important, but I suspect this has to to do with STEM majors having a higher IQ, which is positively correlated with income. Since most colleges have the same STEM curriculum, including Ivy Leagues, roughly the same IQ should be required to complete it regardless of the school.