Why Middle Easterners Have Bigger Smart Fractions Than Latin Americans?

This is a question that Steve Sailer asks a lot. That is, why do Middle Easterners tend to have similar average IQ to Latin Americans, but significantly more folks in the cognitive elites?

Well, here’s one idea:

That’s pretty impressive. But it sort of came to an end. Why?

Apart from dysgenics, and this idea that Hindu-like castes were “leveled” by Islam – but nonetheless still left a lingering genetic mark – there is also a third possible explanation. That is differential rates of consanguineous marriage amongst the upper and lower classes, which would serve to accentuate the IQ difference if it is higher amongst the latter (which it generally is). Any other ideas?

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. ImmortalRationalist says

    Considering that Latin America contains large numbers of castizos and pure/mostly pure whites, despite having a mestizo majority, Latin America having smaller smart fractions is surprising. Could it be that the men who became conquistadors were, on average, less intelligent and successful than those who stayed in Spain and Portugal?

  3. I think the fact Middle Eastern countries like Turkey or Iran had to manage large empires over the centuries may have been conducive to developing a high IQ class, empires tend to concentrate high IQ individuals which over time leads to the formation of high IQ clusters. I don’t think the Arab nations really have a disproportionate high IQ fraction though, there only is evidence for Turkey and Iran.

    One thing that has always surprised me is how low GDP per capita is even in the most European nations of Latin America, Turkey for example has a GDP per capita of $28,000 which exceeds Chile’s $25,000 which is the highest in Latin America and Chile is one of the most European nations racially in South America. Even Iran’s GDP per capita of $20,000 is basically the same as Argentina or Mexico despite Iran being under severe sanctions intermittently since the 1980’s.

  4. I would posit two reasons for the breakdown: The first is Islam

    “Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — not so much Christianity because we Germanicized it — but certainly Judaism and Islam, destroyed every great civilization of the ancient world, just as certainly as the Sea Peoples destroyed every great coastal civilization [in the Late Bronze Age].” — Curt Doolittle

  5. Islam’s dysgenic and anti-civilizational tendencies are pretty widely recognized, but it seems to me they are not relevant to the stated question that opens this post, and are almost a counter-argument to the premise here.

    why do Middle Easterners tend to have similar average IQ to Latin Americans, but significantly more folks in the cognitive elites?

    Do we have data (or proxy data) to corroborate this?

    An easy explanation is probably that Latin America has long tended towards a pretty low cultural standard, away from “intellectualism.”* Middle Easterners may, in general, have a higher regard for “intellectualism,” and that would explain the observed difference.

    Possible rough equation for the production of cognitive elites:

    (Average IQ) x (multiplier for degree of pro-intellectualism in culture) x (per capita GDP multiplier) = Rate of cognitive elites.

    To produce cognitive elites at a high rate, all three inputs would have to be strong. My own people — NW-European-origin US Whites from, or with roots in, ‘Middle America’ — also seem to underperform these days, not because of some kind of major secular IQ-decline (input 1), nor because of any group-wide economic collapse (input 3), but because input-2 (culture) has been, I think, undermined substantially. I would argue this dates to our loss of control of the cultural apparatus in the USA in the latter half of the 20th century, but that’s a tangent.

    The point is, input-2 and input-3 are more malleable in the shortish term than IQ, and ‘suppression’ of input-2 and input-3 can/will cause short-, medium-, or long-term suppression of “cognitive elite creation,” depending on how long those inputs are ‘suppressed.’

      • Especially once the European-colonial ‘wall’ was breached (this happened at different times in different regions; in many parts of LatAm, the White wall was breached already many generations ago; most parts of Latin America have very few or no full-Whites of local origin being born today.)
  6. Yevardian says

    I am quite certain Middle-Easterners in general are as or more intelligent on average than Latin Americans. As always HBD hardliners ignore major environmental factors in depressing IQ, the Middle-East generally has had a far more serious problems and enemies to deal with than Latin America. Other than Arabia proper and perhaps Egypt, Middle-Easterners are basically comparable to Southern Europeans. A very large proportion of South America’s elite is of Levantine origin.

  7. Kent Nationalist says

    A very large proportion of South America’s elite is of Levantine origin.

    A very large proportion of North America’s elite is of Levantine origin

  8. Do Mideastern societies have more smart fractions? I mean, besides Armenians and Jews.

  9. LondonBob says

    Importation of African slaves, same reason the Portuguese IQ is low.

  10. LondonBob says

    Turkey and Iran are outliers, much of what was the smart fraction in places like Syria and Lebanon has emigrated now.

    Latin America just isn’t very European, and much of it is Mediterranean European.

  11. Two opposing ideas:
    – Maybe the average IQ is depressed due to cousin marriage, so the non-inbreds are basically drawn from a different bell curve with a mean up to 10 points higher.
    – Maybe if you have enough inbreeding you get a different bell curve for each clan. Then some clans will have high mean IQ and produce the smart fraction, others not so much.

    Incidentally, I have written about the genetic problems associated with cousin marriage here: https://halfassed.science.blog/2019/05/25/four-problems-with-cousin-marriage/

  12. Vishnugupta says

    The middle east has been an advanced part of the world from the bronze age till around 300 years post it’s Islamization.

    The Islamic golden age therefore is not an outlier but a continuation of various middle eastern civilizations particularly Persian.

    It is however under Islam that the middle east went from a leading pole of civilization to a non contender and more or less stayed that way.

    It could be that the slow and steady genetic destruction of middle eastern smart fractions took 400 years for it to fall beneath the critical mass required to sustain civilization progress.

    That coupled with the political economy of Islam which is basically that of a grotesquely inefficient welfare state only sustainable by constant external plunder which began faltering when there were no more lands that could be brought under Islam and further plundered.

    The anti intellectual conditions imposed by Islam and many generations of inbreeding have lowered the IQ of the smart fraction of Muslim countries who ultimately are responsible for civilization’s progress by at least 1 SD relative to their non Muslim genetically similar neighbours

    Take India Pakistan,Armenia and Azerbaijan,Albanians and Serbs in each of these cases the smart fraction of the otherwise genetically similar adversary is 1 SD above the respective Mohammaden country.

    Ethnic Armenians produced Artem Mikoyan,Boris Babian,many chess grandmasters etc. What did Muslims of the Caucasus produce? Serbs produced Nikola Tesla and Mikhail milankuvitch what did Bosnian’s and Albanians produce? The base genetics of the population pairs is the same just the religion is different.

    The middle east in pre Islamic times was shockingly advanced despite lack of pre industrial inputs fresh water and arable land relative to population compared to other civilizations like India and China. Today despite having massive resources it achieves nothing.What happened? Long term and irreversible IQ retardation in the smart fraction due to inbreeding and a intellectually hostile culture is my best guess.

  13. There is also the question how high the genetic white IQ of Latinos is. Spain and Portugal do not have particularly impressive mean IQs, probably due to North-African admixture. Also, it is possible that there was still ongoing selection on IQ in Europe, but not in Latin America, after the first big waves of immigration.

  14. Bonner Tal says

    Lot’s of strong Azeri chess players to be fair.

  15. advancedatheist says

    Five hundred years ago the Portuguese handled the cognitive demands of building ships which could explore and circumnavigate the world, using nothing more than natural materials and peasants’ hand tools. That included applying the abstract mathematics behind navigation, astronomy, cartography, logistics, nautical engineering, finance and insurance to make these voyages possible.

    The Portuguese clearly had something going for them mentally that they have since lost.

    Consider also that Sub-Saharan Africans still haven’t reached up to that level, otherwise they could build the equivalent of Portuguese caravels from their local natural materials, cross the Atlantic and show up in America’s East Coast port cities.

  16. ImmortalRationalist says

    (((Levantine))) origin

  17. Kent Nationalist says

    In Spain, I have heard many jokes about how stupid Andalusians are. HBD in action.

  18. T.Theodore says

    Not really opposing ideas, the healthiest and best dog breeds are still pure bred’s – if they have been bred with enough skill and selection. same goes for any bred plant or animal.

    So if an Islamic clan would implement enough of the tricks and ways professional animal breeders use in procreating the result would be very good indeed. don’t go for too many cousin marriages but look just a little more steps apart. Have a strong selection to get rid of mutations and excessive double alleles which are good when single but bad when double (too much of a good thing). Have genetically healthy create more offspring. just sometimes bring in some fresh breed of genes when your clan gets a little too inbred, preferably a high-quality input. keep records of who is a child of who and prohibit too close matching.

    Middle eastern clans would also have wide bellcurves due to the inbreeding. Too much inbreeding and you get very unhealthy rather dim clan members. Just the right amount would result in a very healthy smart clan member. The dice rolls would not be 1 to 6 but 1 to 12, even though the gene pool of the clan could be very small. But at some point in some clans the chance of getting the high dice rolls due to deleterious inbred genes collections would become far far smaller.

    I doubt many islamic clans use enough of the breeders trick to make the inbreeding anything positive.

  19. nokangaroos says

    Swineherds from the Estremadura.
    The get-rich-quick-or-die-trying faction is seldom the smartest.

    The Brits did not send the cream of their firstborn to the colonies either 😛

  20. nokangaroos says

    I´m not too sure about the Amarna Tables – it´s mostly diplomatic correspondence, not proof the knowledge was widespread.

    A certain anti-intellectual streak in Islam is undeniable …
    Amru the Conqueror is reported to have said of the Library of Alexandria that its contents either conformed to the Quran – then they were not needed – or they did not, in which case they should be burned anyway.
    (that they used the scrolls to heat the public baths highlights their barbarism as opposed to contemporary Christian missionaries who did no such thing as bathing 😛 )

  21. Yevardian says

    Well Copts, Assyrians and the other various Christian minorities have been disproportionately influential in politics, culture and finance over the course of the 20th Century. Quite a few major emigre entrepreneurs with Islamic backgrounds have come out of Iran and Syria as well.
    And if Armenians are a ‘smart fraction’, they sure aren’t living in the rump called Armenia now. Though I guess still a lot more civilised than the average Georgian or Turk.

  22. anonymous says

    Islam’s dysgenic and anti-civilizational tendencies are pretty widely recognized

    Widely recognised? By whom? By Islamophobes, those accursed cooking up false narratives about a faith they hate? What else can be expected of these pagan godless degenerates?

    If you ask me, I would think that the West’s Greed, Psychopathy, Paganism and Decadence is ample proof of its “dysgenic and anti-civilizational tendencies.” There are other examples… India and its Hinduism with rapist deities, Japan and whatever the ** those perverted fellows follow, etc.

    Anyway, such hyperbolic bullshit is simply used as a “weapon” against Islam’s core True Monotheist beliefs. You pagan godless scum have nothing to counter this, so the deceit goes… “Islam’s dysgenic and anti-civilizational tendencies” and other hisss! hisss! Pffft!!

    I ask again, considering the pagan polytheist spiritual pestilences which are awash around the world, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Animism, etc., is there any other religion which has cracked the simplest truth of the Almighty One, as conclusively as Islam (meaning no need for additional duplicitous metaphors);

    Islam means… God is One! There is no God, but God!

    By learning, and rejecting, the following most sublime truth of the Almighty One, you will have no excuse as you stand Judged, to the Fire for all eternity.

    Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.” Holy Quran 112

  23. Jim bob Lassiter says

    Easy petro money will skew the hell out of national per capita GDP.

  24. nokangaroos says

    Agreed on the Rhodesians.
    The Puritans would be more fairly compared to Huguenots, Mennonites or Landler – preselected.
    In India the lowly-born with something to prove had great opportunity – but how many failed?

  25. jimmyriddle says

    The Ottomans seem to have been IQ realists. They had a system (Devshirme) of kidnapping Christian boys for the Janissary corps and for technical vocations – eg the architect, Mimar Sinan.

    This was an acknowledgement that Sunni Islam was an IQ sink, which required infusions to keep the system going.

  26. That’s why I chose to exclude the Gulf Arab states in the GDP per capita comparison, Turkey is a net importer of energy and Iran hasn’t been able to use it’s energy reserves fully due to sanctions.

  27. songbird says

    But didn’t they take a lot of European women as slaves? Wouldn’t that mean that their cognitive elite would be expected to increase? I mean, weren’t the richer Muslims becoming more European? And less endogamous?

    Still, you are probably right. I’d say that there seem to be more instances of obvious African blood than obvious European blood.

  28. anonymous coward says

    Armenians in Russia have long ago overtaken Jews in high-IQ occupations like IT or arts and propaganda. There’s a buttload of Armenians doing CEO stuff for Russian tech companies.

    Azeris are mostly famous for selling tomatoes in market stalls and ethnic crime.

  29. anonymous coward says

    God is One! There is no God, but God!

    Riddle me this: is the Koran co-eternal with Allah and uncreated?

  30. RadicalCenter says

    Babble, babble, insult, threaten vengeance from the sky god and his pedophile mentally-ill “prophet”, and end with a quotation from a disorganized, illogical, vicious book of self-serving assertions and rules that just happen to be made up by that man and suited his sexual, financial, and personal pleasure and interests.

    Good argument, bro.

    I hope that someday you can come up with an actual argument, inshallah.

    “Gobbledegook, gobbledegook, there is no other but the gobbledegook and you need to conceive of him the same way as me or be subjugated or suffer and die. Praise gobbledegook the one and only.” —— me (see, I just started a “religion” that Muslims, Jews, and historically many Christians, can relate to)

  31. Hippopotamusdrome says

    Middle Easterners …have …significantly more folks in the cognitive elites


  32. Here is one possible datapoint of interest:

    In an analysis of four “Forbes 400” lists (1987, 2009, 2010, 2012), one finds an average of 0.5% ‘Hispanics’ vs. 2% are Middle Easterners (excluding Jews, who are 32%+ avg. across the four lists, reaching 35.5% by the 2000s).

    In the latter three lists especially, there were many times as many Hispanics as Middle Easterners in the USA overall, including plenty who were well-established. If membership on the Forbes 400 were a pure cross-section of a subpopulation’s Smart Fraction, we can conclude that Middle Easterners have a more substantial Smart Fraction than ‘Hispanics.’

    I don’t think this is ideal proxy data, at all (i.e., I don’t believe being on the Forbes 400 is directly tied to Smart Fraction), and await someone providing better data.

  33. Before the Muslims, the Indians were ruled by Buddhists. I believe the Moghuls in their wisdom determined that Buddhism was heathen, but Hinduism was not so, so the former ruling class either converted to Islam or lost their heads, meanwhile the serfs remained Hindu. Your theory would imply the brains were amongst the Buddhists, who subsequently converted and breed into the Muslim ruling class.

  34. Vedic Gotra system is like this.

  35. it’s still being argued about but it seems likely to me there’s something in the idea that women have the same average IQ but a lower variance – cos it makes sense from a fail-safe “eggs are expensive, sperm is cheap” pov.

    in which case regression to the mean (from above or below) might somehow be connected to females.

    if so would two islands: one with spanish men + amerindian females and the other with spanish women + amerindian men have the same average?

  36. What kind of evidence supports the idea that middle easterners have higher IQ groups than Latin Americans? Anecdotally it seems to me both peoples have their very clever minority, mentally defective minority, and the rest in the middle.

  37. I read a book about the British foreign service of the 19th century. To start they hired second, third and fourth sons of the landed gentry (first son got the estate via primogeniture). They soon learned too many of the gentry were inbred, mentally unbalanced or plain dumb. They cast their net among those of the economic upper middle class using meritocratic testing. In time they also hired from the talented middle class and even among the Irish. . When they started hiring Indians they found, to their chagrin, the Indians have a long tradition of studying 10 hours per day and often out-performed the Brits. More “balanced” admission standards were enacted. One who dined on the roast beef of Old England got extra points vs the vegetarian Indians. As the empire collapsed the once fabulous foreign service pension deflated to a minimal survival income.

    I wonder about the so called cognitive elite. Does such a group really exist?

  38. wonder about the so called cognitive elite. Does such a group really exist?

    does such a group exist for a long time?

    -> cognitive elite
    -> first choice of wimminz
    -> bewbs over brains
    -> dumb

  39. Daniel Chieh says

    Well, I mean, that’s not really conducive to understanding the world.

  40. Daniel Chieh says

    But bewbs = brains.


    The results revealed that the big-breasted women had an overall higher I.Q.—about 10 points—than the lesser endowed members of the study. The women with average sized breasts also beat out those that were in the smallest size group.

  41. Daniel Chieh says

    Perhaps it mattered less due to dominance of parental genes?


    While each parent technically contributed half of an offspring’s genome, approximately 60 percent of the dad’s genes were more expressive than the mom’s.

  42. Kent Nationalist says

    The Indian Civil Service was recruited from the top scorers in the civil service exam

  43. ImmortalRationalist says

    2 problems with this hypothesis:

    1. Africans make up a small portion of the gene pool in many Latin American countries, namely Mexico, Guatemala, the Andean countries, and the Southern Cone. Africans only make up a sizeable portion of the gene pool in the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil.

    2. Arabs also imported African slaves. Afro-Iraqis, for instance, have a population numbering in the millions, and 1 in 10 Iraqis have African-originated mtDNA.

  44. Okechukwu says

    Rhodesian white high-IQ fraction was much larger than in even other Anglo populations.

    Actually, Rhodesia was always filled with dumb white trash who would otherwise be toilet scrubbers in Britain. But in Rhodesia, their white skin alone gave them instant privilege, essentially transforming them from toilet scrubbers to nobility at the expense of the natives.

    Imagine all the really stupid white people on Unz trying to set themselves above truly brilliant people like Mugabe, Nkomo and many others. But forget about the elites, just average Africans are smarter Karlin and the overwhelming majority of his audience.

  45. shame – i liked that theory

  46. Okechukwu says

    It doesn’t work. Use your head. Look at the so-called IQ data. Do the simple math. None of it works.

    For example, the idiot you responded to claims that Portugal has a low IQ due to the importation of Africans. But doesn’t the “data” show that Portugal has a higher IQ than many 100% white countries? See what I mean?

    None of this HBD/IQist junk works. It’s all a fantasy. That’s why a character like Karlin would never have the balls to present his “research” at any scientific conference anywhere in the world, including Russia. He would be laughed out of every scientific institution in his own Russia if he tried to present this junk. Or possibly he would be removed by men in white coats and sent to a psychiatric hospital in Siberia.

  47. songbird says

    If Mugabe was truly brilliant, then why did he create a kleptocracy, where the infrastructure collapsed, and harvested crops were left rotting by the broken roads? Why did he not improve the infrastructure? And why was there hyperinflation? Why were the kleptocrats obviously making money off it? And buying fancy cars, when your average black had his crops rotting by the roadside and his savings destroyed by funny money.

    Your cult of Mugabe is bizarre and uncountable. Yes, with a lot of outside help, he won against a 5% white pop, who because of their high guilt culture were unwilling to use typical Bantu measures against their enemies.

    You should instead adopt one of the other, more popular black personality cults. MLK or Mandela. I mean both were scum, but probably not Mugabe-level scum. Or maybe Trujillo? He may have been a quadroon.

  48. EldnahYm says

    Spain and Portugal do not have particularly impressive mean IQs, probably due to North-African admixture.

    Lynn and Vanhanen put Spain and Portugal’s national IQs at 97 and 94 respectively. They put Italy and Greece’s at 96 and 93. I have never heard anyone claim Basques or Sardinians are smarter than their neighbors. I don’t think the North African admixture has made a big difference in national IQ in any of those countries.

  49. anonymous says

    truth of the Almighty One

    There is not a shred of proof for Islam and Allah. They are bullshit fairy tales for morons such as yourself. You are just like every other moron who claims their religion is the correct one and that all others are false, with no evidence to back it up. You are free to believe as you wish, but it is no objective truth.

  50. What’s the argument that IQ tests are construct valid? I challenge anyone to refute this (sound) argument:

    P1 If the claim “IQ tests test intelligence” is true, then IQ tests must be construct valid.
    P2 IQ tests are not construct valid.
    C Therefore, the claim “IQ tests test intelligence” is false. (modus tollens, P1, P2)

    We have accepted constructs—and they’re accepted because there are theoretical models for the unseen variable. One example is temperature: thermometers were validated without circular reliance on the thermometer itself (see Hasok Chang, Inventing Temperature). However, there is no theory of human intelligence differences (admitted by Ian Deary, see below quote), so IQ tests cannot possibly be construct valid.

    “There is no such thing as a theory of human intelligence differences—not in the way that grown-up sciences like physics or chemistry have theories”


    “The human socio-cognitive intelligence system evolved to deal with unprecedented environmental change. Its implementation is invariably through cultural tools—language forms, reasoning patterns and so on—which vary with social background. Even so-called ‘culture-free’ intelligence tests are embedded in such patterns—for example, items on the Raven’s matrices tests follow the top-left to bottom-right layout of text in dominant western culture. IQ scores might be more an index of individuals’ distance from the cultural tools making up the test than performance on a singular strength variable.”


  51. hackberry says

    One reason so few books are translated into Arabic is the same reason few books are translated into Hindi or Urdu. The literate (smart) fraction read about the outside world in English (or French).

  52. Jaakko Raipala says

    Strangely though in countries with very high English proficiency like Scandinavia, Western Europe in general etc books get translated a lot.

    Perhaps it’s because translators are so cheap when knowledge of English is so common so that translation is an easy way to mass produce content. It would be interesting to see translation rate from non-English languages but even that gets distorted by English (ie. if you watch Japanese TV here it’s probably a translation from an English translation because Japanese -> Finnish translation means you have to hire some rare translator but Japanese -> English – > Finnish doesn’t).

  53. Do not respond to this poster seriously. He’s another Fred Reed. Possibly knocked up some mudskin and is trying to glamorize his lifestyle choices.

  54. Has Mugabe stopped begging White farmers to come back yet? Have Kunta Kintes like you migrated to South Africa instead of demanding to live in Whitey countries?

  55. I know you’re an Anti-White troll but you try too hard.

  56. Remember to spam this whenever this troll shows up:


  57. Yes Vedic Ik Omkar or Sikh Ik Onkar.

    One Non Dual God.

    Fkn Sister Fucking Sullah Go Rape Goats LOL!

  58. reiner Tor says

    While Mexico is also an oil exporter itself.

  59. Okechukwu says

    You’re spouting propaganda.

  60. Okechukwu says

    Mugabe may have begged white farmers to come back in your fantasies, but not in reality.

  61. Okechukwu says

    While Mexico is also an oil exporter itself.

    Mexico is a net importer of petroleum products.

    It’s not by accident that Mexico became a net importer at the same time the USA became a net exporter. Most US energy exports go to Mexico in the form of refined products and natural gas, in addition to light sweet crude which Mexico blends with its heavy sour crude.

    Btw, Mexico isn’t the one trick pony the Middle Eastern countries are. It has a very diversified economy. Cars, trucks, vehicle parts and computers are its top exports, not oil.

  62. I’m single with no kids. Try refuting my argument.

  63. reiner Tor says

    Mexico is a net importer of petroleum products.

    It doesn’t seem to be:


  64. Okechukwu says

    It doesn’t seem to be:


    That’s exports. There’s also something called imports. Mexico imports more petroleum products than it exports. Therefore it is a net importer.

    Those imports include natural gas and refined products like gasoline. Mexico doesn’t have the refining capacity to meet its domestic needs. So it imports a great deal of product from the United States. Moreover, its own crude tends to be heavy and sour. So it needs to import lighter, sweeter crudes to blend it down and make it a suitable feedstock.

  65. IMO it is not about avg IQ, it’s about the creativity. MENA people have higher creativity levels than Latin Americans, similar to the level of South and Eastern Europeans, higher than North East Asians when compared to their avg IQ. Here is my breakdown:
    IQ Creativity
    NW Europe: 100 High (Swiss)
    NE Asians: 105 Low (Koreans)
    East Europe: 100 Medium (Poles)
    South Europe: 97 Medium (Spain & C. Italy)
    MENA: 80-95 Medium
    Latins: 80-95 Low to Very Low

    And small high iq groups:

    Tam. Brahmins: ~100-105 High
    Sephardi: ~98 High or very High
    Maronite: ~100-105 High
    Ashkenazi: ~110-115 High
    Parsi: ~110 + ? High or Very High?

    Sephardi are much more successful than their avg iq suggests at the highest level. Parsis also seem to be very successful in very different fields.

  66. Here’s something I wrote in 2010:


    The really striking thing about Mexico’s performance on the 2009 PISA school achievement tests is the lack of very high scorers. For example, on reading, 9.9% of Americans score at the 5th level or 6th level on a 0 to 6 scale. In contrast, only 0.4% of Mexicans score that high. That’s really bad.

    In comparison, 1.9% of Turks score in the top two levels: not great, but several times the fraction in Mexico, suggesting that in Turkey there are small cultures of elites here and there who impress it upon their kids to hit the books hard. When I was in Bodrum, Turkey for Hans-Herman Hoppe’s conference, I was impressed by the books on sale at the supermarket across the street. Granted, Bodrum is kind of like Santa Barbara and this was an upscale supermarket in a chain headquartered in Switzerland in a nice neighborhood in a resort town, but, still, it was nice to see serious books on sale somewhere.

    That suggests to me, not for the first time, that much of the blame for Mexico’s cultural malaise stems from Mexico’s rich not setting a good example for the masses, such as by not studying hard.

  67. João Pedro says

    High inequality in Latin America means there is no pressure for the elite to get smarter to outcompete their rivals. Why study hard when your only competition are apathetic mestizos and mulattoes? Just do enough education to keep your status and then live as hedonistically as you can.

  68. It is all about priorities, Mr.Pagan Gobar-Brain.

    Of course, it would be so cool to have lots of great scientists, doctors, engineers, inventors, etc., amongst the true monotheist Ummah.

    That said, if it is a stark binary choice between success in this world on the one hand, or success in the Hereafter on the other, we true monotheists will choose the Hereafter in a heartbeat.

    With our True Monotheism, we are at least assured of eternal success in the Hereafter.

    With your pagan godlessness, you may attain whatever success in this world, but are cursed to an eternity in the Fire. Btw, it is not like dndooism has produced great things too, notwithstanding the batshit crazy nonsense spewed by your rightwing dimwits, so your post is actually quite ironical.

    Now, consider this… Great success here for a blink in cosmic time, followed by a horrifying torment for all eternity… as opposed to, modest/minimal success here (we muslims do okay, discovering antibiotics and inventing computers is hardly the purpose of life), followed by infinite bliss for all eternity

    Only an idiot (you) will choose the former. We true monotheists choose the latter. 😀