Are silly left wing ideas due to low quantitative IQ?

Often people on the left get agitated about particular causes which are scientifically very complex and ill-understood, but about which they develop strong opinions, and they then advocate strongly for (often mandatory) changes to our behavior. If these are implemented, they often lose interest, as if the changes have solved the problem. I am wondering if this flows from low quantitative or analytic reasoning skill.Well, none of that sounds bad: interested and motivated to change. But it strikes me how very often the perceived solutions are doomed to fail, for quite obvious reasons, and how easily the left are pacified by simple changes, despite no evidence that these work.Some case studies: People of the left have become very certain that we need to turn off stand by power on televisions if we are to avoid global warming. And they are suggesting that this should be mandatory, and that it will help avoid global warming.What are the facts? In the UK, TV sitting on standby consume around £116 million of electricity/yr. That sounds vaguely impressive, until you divide it by the 20 million households, or 40 million TVs in the UK. Then it is the much less exciting sum of 0.8 pence a day per TV.Or frame the cost in terms of total UK electricity consumption: it is around a 10th of 1 percent at most.The same is true for the many column miles of newspaper coverage of the dangers of air flight. But planes amount to 1 or 2% of emissions, are much more efficient than cars and trucks. Again, a foolish response to a moderately complex engineering question.Could this all be due to a combination of high empathizing, and low quantitative or analytic reasoning skill. Anyone whose mind quickly grasps figures and physics could not help but know that a TV which is barely cold to the touch and emitting a .05 watt LED led cannot be accounting for much of their electricity. So one must assume that people exercised over pilot lights and standby just don’t grasp numbers or basic physics (power-> heat).I wonder then, how much of the failure of the left in government is due simply to high ability to empathize with the plight of (insert your favorite of :babies, people, planets, animals…) and a disproportionately low ability to reason with facts (systemizing and IQ).This explanation also explains why great agitation (We MUST save the planet) is completely mollified by hopelessly inadequate responses (I give 50p to a water offset charity each time I have a bath). An ill-understood problem is solved by an illconceived response.


2 thoughts on “Are silly left wing ideas due to low quantitative IQ?

  1. I believe that there is data that shows
    that those with higher IQs are more often
    atheist and leftist. (Einstein for example.)

  2. Hi Robert,

    I was thinking about about silly ideas (at which point arguing they are explained by low IQ is something of a circular argument). I guess more generally, I was arguing that high-empathizing requires very high IQ if people are not to be trapped by irrational, but feel-good solutions.

    Atheists are brighter on average (but not left wing on average, I don’t think?). In the UK, conservative voters are brighter than labour voters, but less bright than Liberal-Democrat voters – with Lib-Dem being more libertarian than left, and more likely to cross the floor for different issues: That would say that high IQ voters support policies that respect and enhance individual liberty. People voting against globalization tend to be lower IQ. That suggest that people vote for a world where they could survive best: and high IQ people vote for a world in which they can be educated and move freely, whereas lower ability people vote for a world with protection and support.

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