Charles Murray has been going around saying that the elite is smarter than ever before. That the difference between the top and the bottom is getting bigger and bigger. I myself wrote I saw nothing wrong with that development. Societies are supposed to sort out the best and give them advantages so as to disseminate those traits. Evolution accelerated by human agency. I'm all for it.
But that was assuming the premise. I am guilty of wishful thinking, perhaps. Jim A Donald thinks the premise is false. He says the elite is getting dumber, and you need only see the results of their rule in the recent decades. It's really not a pretty picture, with slowing technological progress, wacky economic theory and pure madness in the social realm.
I think what's happening is that the elite is getting bigger. As Murray says, the educational system is filtering smart, as defined by high IQ, people better than before. Murray makes his case in Coming Apart, and the data is solid. Jim's argument talks about smarts as a function of results. And he makes his case that the quality of the results of the elite's output has been decreasing dramatically. That's also solid.
But the real result of the filtering of high IQ people is not that the elite gets smarter as in the average IQ of the decision makers got higher. It...