#IQ Part 5: Welcome to the I.Q. Revolution!

Mixed Mental Arts’ first Science-off in the #IntellectualThunderdome is coming to a close. Throughout the series we have highlighted how the work of Carol Dweck, Joe Henrich, and Thomas Sowell exposes a very different picture from the one the general public believes. If you get distracted by what the statistical banana hammock reveals about I.Q. you’ll easily conclude that I.Q. is fixed and genetics play a key part. However, when you look at what the banana hammock is hiding and see the whole body of scientific evidence a more complete picture emerges. You suddenly realize that the BIG STORY about I.Q. is that it’s a measure, not of genetics, but of the culture you’ve downloaded from your environment.


I.Q. is not a fixed property predetermined by genetics.  The Flynn Effect shows that I.Q. has been increasing our entire evolutionary history!


Yet popular figures like Charles Murray and Sam Harris continue to promote an outdated view of human potential, which can’t explain why the Flynn Effect occurs. Murray has devoted his entire career to pushing The Bell Curve because scientists hate killing their Pet Theories.


Sam Harris claims to champion innovative science. When his outdated beliefs were challenged he specifically accused me of not understanding “half of the relevant biology.” The truth is Sam clearly hasn’t even read Joe Henrich’s work The Secret of Our Success. Otherwise, he’d know WHY the #FlynnEffect was happening. No wonder he thinks I’m wrong; Sam Harris hasn’t been exposed to the all of the relevant biology.



Luckily, as we’ve just explained in this series, Sam can make like a Fore tribesman and quickly upload the knowledge he needs!


To be fair, the science that makes sense of the #FlynnEffect is very cutting edge. It’s only been put together for public consumption in the last couple of years. Henrich’s book presents a new set of founding assumptions for how education should be done in the 21st Century.


This is the nature of human progress. An effect is observed and we figure out how to maximize that phenomenon. The question is not “Can we raise your I.Q.?” the question is “How do we raise your I.Q. faster than ever before?”


Two previous examples of boosts in human progress were the Agricultural and the Industrial Revolutions. For 10,000 years agriculture had been progressing slooowly through the gradual process of evolution. Then humans began Reflection on how to improve agriculture. They experimented DELIBERATELY which made it more efficient.


In the same way humans’ stone tools had slowly gotten better over time.


And then we put some real thought into it: If we improved agriculture, then why couldn’t we improve other tools?

It sparked a revolution in toolmaking that we call the Industrial Revolution, making steam engines, textile mills, and railroads. Then came the communications revolution that took us from letters to telegrams, to telephones and radio to the internet.


Had these improvements always been possible for humanity? Yes! We just hadn’t really thought about them before. We’d been Clueless.

It’s time for another revolution, a revolution in how we use our brains. The I.Q. Revolution. Mixed Mental Arts is going to help you raise your (and the rest of humanity’s) I.Q. faster than ever before. As we discussed previously, that’s about helping you get access to the best mental apps as quickly as possible.


Take, for example, an idea like #DescartesError. It’s based on lots and lots of neuroscience.


But it comes down to a very simple and very practical idea: thinking and feeling are ALWAYS linked. We’ve consolidated all that research into bite-sized #KnowledgeBombs that convey the message faster.


You become more intelligent because you acquire that knowledge far more quickly than before. You can stop wondering IF you (or other humans) are being emotional and instead focus on discovering WHICH emotions are driving thinking.


MMA’s mission is to clarify all this knowledge into easily digestible pieces so you can quickly understand and implement useful scientific tools to improve your everyday life. We’re here to make Smart Go Pop!


Starting a company? Check out #TheDunbarNumber. Interested in fundamentally improving education? Start with #GrowthMindset. Want to fight racism? Stay tuned for our upcoming web series #CultureMatters.


We want to spread these ideas quickly so when the next generation downloads their cultural software through Awe-motion they’ll immediately begin building on all this knowledge.


However, we have to get over is what we think science looks like. It’s not about being a pompous blowhard who talks in an impressive sounding voice. It’s about discovering key insights into reality and packaging them into practical insights that every human can use. And that’s where Mixed Mental Arts is different.


It’s not us or anyone else SOUNDING smart so that you can be IMPRESSED and think we’re so cool. It’s about a group of ordinary humans pulling back the curtain on themselves and others to help YOU become smarter than you’ve ever been. You’re already WAY smarter than you were as a little kid. We’re just here to help speed up that process.


This is what science looks like: a lean, mean thinking machine.




[This piece is the final part of a larger Science-off between Derek Zoolander (Sam Harris) and Hansel (Hunter Maats). In the first three parts, we covered the Hijacking of the I.Q. Test, how Humanity’s Superpower has caused I.Q. scores to go up 30 points in the last 200 years, how much race tells us about genetics and why culture and not race determines I.Q.]


Right after being born in Saudi Arabia, I was taken to the Callen house. Since then, Bryan and I have travelled the world with our Citibank fathers and somehow ended up in LA together. There we'd run into each other at family gatherings and do something that no one else in LA seemed to be doing: we talked about books. Since Bryan was kind of a big deal, Hunter and Bryan hatched a scheme to use his podcast to get on their favorite authors and professors. Out of that evolved Mixed Mental Arts and this tribe. For me, the marriage of entertainment and education is a return to how things used to be before our culture split story into two separate things. It's exciting to be able to build on the work Katie O'Brien and I did for The Straight-A Conspiracy and expand it out to every area of life. While I play a series of roles in the Mixed Mental Arts community (including Shitty Dutch Uncle and Bryan's #1 fan) my favorite role is as Toto who pulls back the curtain and let's the world see that there are no wizards...only men and women who try and puff themselves up to seem important.

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