Discover more from Unreported Truths
On head girls, genius boys, and the mRNAs
Why consensus can be so dangerous for science - and for the modern societies that depend on it
(Two for one special today since I haven’t written since last week.)
My virtual German buddy Eugyppius has a fascinating Stack today on a paper showing smart people were more likely to take the mRNA jabs.
The study drew on 750,000 Swedish men who were tested for their intelligence as part of their mandatory military service. The findings are clear: “The smarter participants had higher uptake and they got vaccinated more quickly.”
But the study has one fascinating hole. It shows smart people were more likely to take the jab - but not that the smartest people were. As Eugyppius notes, the top group represented
The equivalent of an above-average university student – the kinds of people who work as doctors and lawyers. We hardly needed a study to tell us that the most enthusiastic vaccinees are to be found precisely in this population.
What the study really explains, Eugyppius argues, is why near-compulsory mRNA jabs became national policy in wealthy democracies. In those countries, this smart-not-smartest group dominates politics and most businesses (if not startups).
He draws on a 1985 paper called “Intelligence and personal influence in groups” to argue that the most intelligent people cannot argue down persuasively and so have limited influence.
Instead, people who are somewhat smarter than average, with an IQ of about 120 (I’d go slightly higher, to 125-130), dominate debate. They can understand - if not formulate - somewhat complicated ideas and still argue them in ways less intelligent people can follow. The smart-not-brilliant range also contains enough people to form powerful and reinforcing social networks. The very top definitionally does not.
As Eugyppius writes:
Ours is therefore an IQ 120 midwit society; it could not be any other way… since our midwit rulers are cognitively better endowed than probably 90% of the whole population, it’s easy for them to overlook the rare 10% of people who are smarter than they are. Accordingly, they throw all of their opponents into the same basket of intellectual deplorables…
The ideas which dominate our world are… those ideas which appeal to people whose intelligence is above average if less-than-phenomenal, and whose other personality traits optimise their institutional influence. They have the brains of upper middle-class professionals, and they’re also much more extroverted, conscientious and conformist than the broader population. [emphasis added]
I would add that though the paper was written in 1985, the increasing feminization of the media, academia, and medicine has likely accelerated this trend. I am surprised Eugyppius did not raise this issue, given his past comments about “head girls.” Maybe E is not in the mood to cause trouble today; I apparently am.
(Want to read the trouble I’m in the mood to cause? Subscribe to find out. You won’t regret it, though I might…!)
“Head girls” aren’t necessarily women. After all, the Swedish paper examined men.
They’re not bad people, either. They work hard and do well, better than their raw intelligence would suggest. They have friends and friend networks. They have achievable goals and they achieve them. They’re more than slightly necessary in modern societies. They make the trains and ad campaigns run on time.
What they aren’t is geniuses.
So who are the geniuses?
Many studies have shown that male intelligence is more polarized than women’s, especially in math and science. This skew seems biologically logical given that the potential Darwinian payoff for a man who is physically or intellectually exceptional is huge. DNA analysis has found Genghis Khan’s genes are present in 16 million men.
Here’s one recent paper showing sex differences in intelligence, from those notorious sexists at Duke University’s Talent Identification Program. You will not be surprised to hear that Duke’s servers no longer host the paper. Luckily, the Wayback Machine still does.
Not to put too fine a point on it, a skewed distribution at the right tail means the geniuses are mostly men. Not all. But mostly. (There. I said it.) The results are obvious in competitive open intellectual environments like chess, where men continue to dominate despite decades of efforts to recruit women.
(This distribution does not mean men are on average smarter than women; that issue is hotly debated and irrelevant to what’s happening at the right tail in any case.)
But those geniuses, male or female, are not necessarily extroverted or conscientious, and they are manifestly non-conformist. They appear increasingly isolated. Aside from chess tables and poker tournaments, their last strongholds are Silicon Valley and in hedge funds, two arenas where competition still can still be open and fierce, at least until the winners stifle it.
In academia and medicine, the head girl style increasingly dominates, producing a black hole of consensus views and narrow debate. (The elite media has its own dynamics, but it too has become more conformist and fearful of potentially unsettling views, less willing to tolerate smart, cantankerous men.
The result is a broad scientific ossification, now visible at the highest levels.
(So many papers, so little progress…)
Now we come to the mRNA Covid jabs.
At first glance, they aren’t a natural choice for head girls (or boys). They’re revolutionary, not marginal. For much of 2020 reasonable people raised reasonable objections to their development. Then - in less than a week in early November 2020 - Joe Biden won. And Pfizer released its pivotal clinical trial results showing that the jabs were 95 percent effective against infection.
Suddenly and without much debate, any debate, really, the jabs became the consensus. (Head girls don’t like illness, either. They spend a lot of time perfecting themselves and their environments. Disease has no place. So Covid particularly unsettled them.)
But the head girls didn’t know what the Pfizer and Moderna trials weren’t telling them. They didn’t know the potential deep risks of this novel biotechnology. And they didn’t know how to ask or what to ask.
They didn’t know what they didn’t know. Very quickly - within days - they didn’t want to know. To be a head girl, of either sex, is to understand deep in one’s gut that one’s job is to answer questions, not ask them. Especially when the answers aren’t clear. Questions without clear answers are the enemy.
All of which would have been fine if the jabs had worked as promised.
Only they didn’t. And - I will repeat, again - we do not know what, if any, long-term harm repeated mRNA injections cause. How could we? We started giving people mRNA at scale less than three years ago. Time is the only variable which can’t be modeled away. As Warren Buffett said about investing:
Some things just take time. You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.
But we gave these jabs to more than one billion people on the basis of a few weeks of safety data.
Now we’re stuck. Not only do we not have answers to this ongoing experiment, the smart people - not the smartest people, but the smart people - don’t even want anyone to ask questions.
Which won’t make them go away.