[Link] FreakoStats and CEV

by Filipe 1 min read6th Jun 201240 comments


I would like to point you guys to the blog FreakoStats,  by Garth Zietsman, who according to his profile, "Scored an IQ of 185 on the Mega27 and has a degree in psychology and statistics and 25 years experience in psychometrics and statistics." The main concept discussed there is "The Smart Vote", whose essence,  in the author’s words, is as follows:

"If there is no difference of opinion by intelligence then reason is not relevant in deciding between them and none of the opinions being considered is more correct than any of the others. However if opinions do differ systematically with intelligence then relatively more correct or better alternatives probably do exist, and that they are those relatively more favoured by the more intelligent. Statistical differences in the independent opinions of people of different intellectual ability point to the most reasonable responses to controversies”

Many of his posts are based on the choice of relevant, if controversial, topics , and his analysis of the direction and the proportionality of which an opinion on it is related to intelligence, as measured by IQ scores.

An obvious objection would be that smart people would have in many cases common interests, and this could bias the results simply to their interests, in detriment to the interests of the less smart.

Zietsman answers it with the statistical fact that people many times don’t vote selfishly,  and that he can (and will) control for some of their interests anyway:

"My first response is that this isn’t always a factor. Political research shows that people frequently don’t vote their narrow selfish interests e.g. the elderly are less likely to vote for social security than the young and women are less likely to support abortion on demand than men. However there are enough cases where narrow interests obviously do play a role for it to be taken seriously. Fortunately this possibility can be dealt with by controlling for interest differences. For example we could control for class when looking at musical taste, income when looking at welfare, age when looking at social security policy, race when looking at affirmative action, etc."

This seems somewhat related to the notorious concept of Coherent Extrapolation Volition (CEV) of humankind. To have a clue of the direction it might take, I believe it is a nice idea to look at the opinion of the smarter (“if we knew more, thought faster, […]”), corrected for selfish interests (“[…]were more the people we wished we were, had grown up farther together[…]”), specially bearing in mind that most results tend to converge (“[…]where our wishes cohere rather than interfere; extrapolated as we wish that extrapolated[…]”).

There are analyses on issues such as Abortion, Free Speech ,Capital Punishment and Corporal Punishments on Children ,ImmigrationGay Rights and many more. The results look good to me personally, and I wouldn't be surprised if they pleased many here too.