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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: August 10, 2019 09:57PM

The real innovation of Judaism, I think, was to make intelligence a thing before it was a thing. Smart guys don’t naturally reproduce without some kind of coercion.

“Forget about that hot Palestinian boy across the fence. Honey, stop drooling. Stay with me. Here’s smart Shem. We need you to take one for the team.”

That coercion consisted of a cosmology that encouraged women to value smartness and guide their offspring into brainy occupations. Over time, this selected for intelligence. Culturally speaking, this was a huge win especially as the 20th century rolled around.

Unfortunately, Joseph Smith knew a good con when he saw one. Where’s Judaism properly applied could get nerds laid, the same mythology could be twisted to get him laid.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: August 10, 2019 10:39PM

"Smart guys don’t naturally reproduce without some kind of coercion."

What evidence do you have for this???

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: August 10, 2019 10:49PM

babyloncansuckit Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The real innovation of Judaism, I think, was to
> make intelligence a thing before it was a thing.
> Smart guys don’t naturally reproduce without
> some kind of coercion.

NUMBER ONE: For sure, intelligence (or its proxy: "learning") is 25% of the four traditional considerations for matchmaking--but it goes in both directions. From the perspective of the potential groom's family, intelligence in a potential bride for their son/grandson is equally important--not only for purposes of procreation (Jews figured out early that smart parents usually have smart/smarter offspring), but also because (traditionally) women were central to whatever the family business was. A husband wanted the most intelligent wife he could get (because much of his future business success was going to depend on her), just as a wife wanted the most intelligent husband she could get.

I don't know why you think that "smart guys don't naturally reproduce without some kind of coercion," because Jewish guys (including those at the top end of the intelligence scale) tend, more often than not, to be fairly sexual AND sensual. Not every Jewish man, of course, but a high percentage compared to (as an example) the aggregate of Mr. Cleaver types (from TV's "Leave it to Beaver").


> “Forget about that hot Palestinian boy across
> the fence. Honey, stop drooling. Stay with me.
> Here’s smart Shem. We need you to take one for
> the team.”

This happens--but the prospective bride always has the right to refuse, so it doesn't ALWAYS happen. Mostly, a bride is looking for a pleasing combination of all of the traditional four elements.


> That coercion consisted of a cosmology that
> encouraged women to value smartness and guide
> their offspring into brainy occupations. Over
> time, this selected for intelligence. Culturally
> speaking, this was a huge win especially as the
> 20th century rolled around.

True on all points.


NUMBER TWO: "Yichus" [yih-hoos]: family background. Where it exists, good yichus is a positive when the search for a marriage partner is on--and again, this goes in the other direction also. If the bride is in the same family as a noted scholar (etc.), her comparatively "better" yichus will likely count in some meaningful way.

NUMBER THREE: Being a mensch. This includes tikkun olam ("repairing the world," "charity," "doing good works"), and being a hardworking, helpful, cooperative, caring, honest person to everyone in that person's community and beyond. Being a mensch counts for a LOT when it comes to choosing a marriage partner.

NUMBER FOUR: Money. Money means that all the kids will get good educations (starting at pre-school level), and will have the foundation for their own, adult, successes in business and in careers. For Jews, money also means that, if a family's life is in danger from expulsions, pogroms, etc., that the family (and probably the neighbors, and other members of the community too) can escape to a safer place. In a whole lot of situations Jews have faced throughout history, money can mean the difference between surviving or not. It also means that joint community efforts can be assured: a new synagogue building if necessary, a hospital, being able to gift smart but impoverished students in the community with what they need to obtain educations commensurate with their abilities, etc.


> Unfortunately, Joseph Smith knew a good con when
> he saw one. Where’s Judaism properly applied
> could get nerds laid, the same mythology could be
> twisted to get him laid.

You need to realize: Nerds are ATTRACTIVE in Jewish culture, for the reasons cited above. Nerds are SO attractive in Jewish culture that PROSPECTIVE fathers-in-law will often pay for their educations, in anticipation that a good chance will exist for them to become sons-in-law. Their daughters almost certainly have the same set of values.

This is a fun topic, Babylon--brings back a lot of memories of when I was going through school.

Thank you!



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2019 04:43PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Concrete Zipper ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 01:56PM

I grant that discussion of higher than average IQ among Ashkenazi Jews is interesting. However, use of the term "animal husbandry" seems inflammatory in this context. Couldn't you have gone with something more neutral like "artificial selection" or even "selective breeding"?

And your claim that "smart guys don’t naturally reproduce without some kind of coercion" seems to come straight from the incel playbook. From lots of discussions with women, it's my view that women tend to be attracted to more or less the following qualities in a man (in no particular order): confidence, power, looks, size, money, intelligence, kindness and sense of humor. (Individual preferences vary all over the map, of course, so these are just broad brush strokes across the large straight female population. Women should please chime in with their own thoughts and experiences.)

Nerdy guys are less likely to get the girls they want in high school but, later in life, the balance can tip the other way. Nerds tend to improve financially, as well as in power and confidence, as they age, and when everybody's looks (and preferences for looks) tend to slip. They can also have great senses of humor and empathy, which can translate to kindness.

A number of women have explicitly told me how much they are attracted to smart men. Like *really* attracted. Smart women especially seem attracted to smart men, and there are at least as many smart gals out there as smart guys. I know many such couples and, while a large fraction of these are Jewish, the majority are not. And, yes, they seem to have smart kids.

In conclusion, you've brought up an interesting topic, but there are issues with your terminology and assumptions. I look forward to further intelligent discussion on the topic, especially if linked to Mormonism.

CZ

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 02:14PM

Thanks for this.

I'm uncomfortable with any use of words like "breeding (sorry)" or "animal husbandry" when applied to human beings since it comes so close to eugenics. The history of such expressions is not good, particularly with reference to Jews and other people who have been the target of genocide.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 02:48PM

> Smart women especially seem
> attracted to smart men, and
> there are at least as many
> smart gals out there as
> smart guys.


Oh, stop it!! Saucie and I are blushing!

We have not given up on having children together, so those who look to future generations for a glorious human future can continue to hold out hope!

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 02:54PM

This is topic for late night BS'ing after some kind of fun-filled day of activity with good friends.

What is termed 'animal husbandry' has so many variations to it; some pleasant to discuss, but way too much of the discussion has to feature some very unpleasant words.


I'm just going to through this out there: I think Native Americans had some of the same population 'measures' applied to them but they did not have the same results. Why might that be?

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 03:27PM

elderolddog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm just going to through this out there: I think
> Native Americans had some of the same population
> 'measures' applied to them but they did not have
> the same results. Why might that be?

This is an excellent question, most especially since we now know for a fact the geographical area (Asia), where the distinct DNA of Native Americans began.

The first thing that came to mind for me was fish--since Asian intelligence has been postulated as largely being the result of a fish-heavy diet. However, Native Americans ALSO had access to fish as a food (including ocean fish on the coasts), and they did indeed fish. So, obviously, this can't be "it."

Although there were, in different areas of the New World, admirable engineering accomplishments of various kinds, designed and constructed by Native inhabitants--so far as I am aware, these did not, for the most part extend to what is now the area of the USA. (The exceptions, the ones which WERE built in what is now the USA, were built differently, using different concepts, and obviously different perspectives. Think: Chaco Canyon.)

What Native Americans did NOT have was access to the always-in-motion, rest of the world's, knowledge.

Jews went "everywhere," constantly--and they brought back to their home areas foreign people, "books," ideas, knowledge, engineering gee-gaws, and concepts and perspectives which acted as a continual stimulus to Jewish culture, as well a continual stimulus within individual Jewish minds.

(Pre-Columbian Native Americans had little or no knowledge of systematic math, or what we would call science--at the same time that Jews were mastering, and then furthering, the body of Western knowledge as it then existed. This would have had the effect of expanding Jewish thought processes, at the same time that Native Americans were "conserving" theirs....with a likely huge effect on the eventual developments which DID happen within Jewish culture, and did NOT happen within Native American cultures.)

Although I do believe that nutrition (especially in specific ways), plus the relative lack of both diseases and parasites, is important, it seems to me that the fundamental difference is that Native American tribes were, in effect, isolated--and they were isolated during the same centuries when Jews (and other peoples from that same general part of the world) were using their brains at their then top-capacities, improving their abilities to reason and use logic, as they encountered what were, in effect, constant intellectual challenges from OTHER peoples (Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, etc.).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2019 03:36PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 04:08PM

I believe EOD is making a point about natural selection. Earlier you and others wrote that Jewish preference for clever mates plus the exogamy of less clever people influenced the gene pool, effectively making Ashkenazi Jews more intelligent than most ethnic groups.

This is a somewhat dubious proposition for a number of reasons, including measurement problems and the separation of nature from nurture; but also because intelligence is a complex phenomenon that is not easy to select "for" in groups larger than the immediate family. There is also a political danger in indirectly endorsing de facto, if not intentional eugenics.

In this post you follow EOD's suggestion by avoiding the problematic genetic question and focusing instead on the question of cultural isolation. That is, in my view, the more solid hypothesis although the two are not mutually exclusive. It is one of the theses Jared Diamond proposed both on its own merits and as a rejoinder to those who favor natural selection.

I'm going to start a new thread on the Native American question, peripherally related to this one. It will underscore the importance of cultural isolation as a detriment to progress on science and other dimensions.

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