Why is this hard.
This shitpost is a collection of comments I made on a recent VP post, slightly edited to avoid definition confusion (I screwed up the terminology because I’m not careful enough).
What I found particularly amusing were those critics who simultaneously complained that I was making non-economic arguments, then insisted that my position was immoral or in violation of the human right to freely engage in economic activity. It never even crossed their mind that their arguments were considerably less economic in nature than my own.
One thing I’ve noticed is that midwits reliably fail to understand the difference between a positive argument and the critique of an opposing argument. This explains why so many people are, on the one hand, saying that my arguments are weak while so many others are impressed at how I have methodically destroyed the pro-free trade arguments. It rather reminds me of the atheist response to TIA, in which many of them expressed disappointment in the weakness of my arguments for the existence of God.
But they were only weak in that they did not exist at all. They were an altogether different creature, being critiques and debunkings of dozens of arguments against the existence of God.
Up and over their heads
My running theory is that the predominant group of people in the midwit range (115 to 130 IQ)—clever sillies—have fundamental deficiencies in perceiving cause-effect relations because they rely so heavily on pure association.
For instance, racism is related to Hitler. Imagine that this is a pure emotional association that goes both ways: thoughts of Hitler trigger thoughts of racism and thoughts of racism trigger thoughts of Hitler. A person who makes this association can simultaneously believe that Hitler caused German racism, and German racism caused Hitler (without contradiction), because firing one heavily associated synapse always fires the other without respect to direction.
(Nevermind the idea of feedback loops, we haven’t gotten anywhere near that in terms of cognitive ability.)
In order to have a strong sense of cause-effect relations, the incorrect direction has to be suppressed in response to cognitive dissonance over time. So in effect, a clever silly could be defined as a clever person who doesn’t experience much cognitive dissonance from contradictions. I believe this indicates a neurology with a high rate of white matter creation but a low rate of pruning.
A better example is a parent’s attitude toward kids going to college. They can simultaneously believe “kids don’t need to go to college to have financial success” and “my kid is going to college because it’s the way to financial success”, and will often say one right after the other in the same conversation.
Smart rednecks and some HFAs, two sub-populations in the midwit range, will usually have a nonverbal tilt to their IQ and thus avoid this particular problem.