The daily view 11/3/2023: Stocks surge and Bitcoin falls, IQ circularity, Ozempic, South Korea schools

Item #1: Bitcoin is lagging tech again. As shown below, QQQ, in blue, is up an astonishing 4%–one of its biggest weeks ever for the year–, while Bitcoin is flat:

So I’m back to being always right again. I was right about tech recovering, having added to the dip on Meta and SVIX last week. 2023 is on track to being my biggest year yet. Regarding Bitcoin, still no ETF approval. Not gonna happen, and will be below $30k in no time. Nobodies like myself keep being right, whereas overpaid, overrated billionaires who gets lots of media coverage are almost always wrong.

If one has to choose between high IQ or high-net-worth as being a better predictor of quality of financial advice or insight, IQ almost always wins, if that is the only information you have to go by. I agree with ‘stupid pol’ and other leftists that a lot of people get rich through luck (good timing, survivorship bias, etc.) and or connections (knowing the ‘right people’ or who went to same same school), not raw skill.

Thus, wealth not that useful as far as being a useful metric for measuring or predicting competence, or in the case of SBF and others, predicting ethics too. Track records are more useful, but even those fall short due to survivorship bias. The best way to know is to ask, “Is the underlying logic of the rationale for the investment sound? Does it agree with empirical reality, and is not wish fulfillment?”

Item #2: Since we’re on the topic of IQ, I saw this going viral on Stupid Pol It seems like many on this sub are “IQ-pilled” because of Freddie DeBoer’s sloppiness:

… For example, IQ tests are so constructed as to predict school performance by testing for specific knowledge or text‐like rules—like those learned in school. But then, a circularity of logic makes the case that a correlation between IQ and school performance proves test validity. From the very way in which the tests are assembled, however, this is inevitable. Such circularity is also reflected in correlations between IQ and adult occupational levels, income, wealth, and so on. As education largely determines the entry level to the job market, correlations between IQ and occupation are, again, at least partly, self‐fulfilling.

I have seen people make these criticisms in the same breath: IQ tests are circular, and also that IQ does not predict real-world success or is inapplicable to real-world functioning. As someone in the comments writes, “imagine believing that MENSA members are somehow the smartest people in the world and not just a bunch of egocentric nerds who are good at answering multiple-choice pattern problems.”

Assuming the above passage is true, how can IQ tests both be ‘useless patterns’ and useless for predicting academic success, yet simultaneously circularly modeled to test school knowledge or be constructed from the same constituents? AFIK digit span, block assembly, matrices, etc. are not part of any school curriculum. The IQ-skeptic position is not only wrong, but also incoherent.

IQ skeptics are unable to answer why blacks perform worse on backward-digit span compared to whites, compared to forward-digit span. So somehow these alleged environmental variables only factor into the backward-span, but not the forward-span? Blacks also perform better overall relative to whites on subtests which are least possibly culturally biased.

As others note, intelligence research is encumbered by the threat of bad press, accusations of racism, protests, loss of funding, and cancelation, so good studies are hard to come by–by design and intent–whereas research refuting IQ is obviously much more socially accepted and funded. Censorship has the intended effect of making the censored seem incompetent.

Item #3: From the NYTs You Won’t Lose Weight on Ozempic Forever:

Kimmy Meinecke blamed herself when she stopped losing weight. For two years, she had been taking a weekly injection of Ozempic to control her diabetes. The medication curbed her appetite so much that sometimes all she ate for dinner was a yogurt or cheese and crackers. But then one day, the scale hit 240, 25 pounds below the weight she’d started at, and stayed there.

So at $1,000/month for two years, this works out to $1,000/pound. And to maintain this 25-lbs weight loss, she would have to pay a $1,000/month for her whole life. And despite this, at 240lbs she is still obese. No wonder insurance companies do not want to pay for this, and why this drug does not threaten food sales.

Mr. Czaplewski, 49, has lost about 35 pounds, but experienced stabbing pains when he first increased his dose — pain so intense he went back to the weight loss clinic where he received his shots in a panic that he might have pancreatitis. The treatment costs him $600 a month, which he pays out of pocket, but he no longer craves foods like custard.

Even if the drug stops working, which is inevitable, we’re not talking that much weight loss. Similar to gastric bypass, people are still fat or obese, just not as fat or obese.

They can urge patients to further restrict their food intake and exercise more, but that can usher in disordered eating behaviors, he said, and be a challenge for those who eat so little to begin with while on these medications.

These people are easting so little yet the weight does not come off. This shows that America not so much has an obesity crisis, but rather a low-metabolism crisis. It’s not so much that obese people eat too much, but their metabolisms are really slow due to genetics or other factors (such as research that shows that the human body temperature may be falling). Even on sub-2000-calorie/day diets, which is already little food, many of these people will still be fat–and not just small women but many men too. Fixing obesity entails finding a way to increase metabolism at scale.

Item #4: I thought this story was funny, and was going viral: Why teachers in South Korea are scared of their pupils – and their parents

When fighting broke out in Kang Hyeon-joo’s elementary school classroom, her heart would beat so fast she could not breathe and her vision would blur.

“They were throwing punches and kicking faces, throwing chairs and tables around,” she recalled, adding she had been hurt trying to intervene.

For two years, Kang struggled to discipline her students – or cope with the parental backlash when she did. She claims her principal did nothing to help and would tell her simply to “just take a week off”.

So much for that popular trope/meme of the online-right (particularly on 4chan) about how much superior or well-behaved South-East Asian kids are compared to whites or other groups. They are not better-behaved, or at least not in their native countries. Asian American superior academic performance and obedience is possibly mostly due to selection effects. These supposed morally and intellectually superior East Asian countries have the same problems as the US has, such as helicopter parenting and disobedience. Just as American parents want to believe that their dull kid is special, this is seen elsewhere in the world too.

1 comment

  1. East Asian children are like robots, programmed and useless without instruction

    If we lobotomize every East Asian over the IQ of 125, the world would have lost nothing.

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