Iran: The Ass End of Progress

Say you’re a country full of people and you have a lot of vital business to conduct to keep everybody fed and housed and healthy and safe. What do you do?

Well, you reach first for this immense tool you have, the most flexible and creative problem-solving device on the planet — the intelligent, educated human brain.

Unless you’re Iran, in which case you forbid HALF your population — half of those problem-solving brains — from getting a full education:

Iranian women banned from 77 university courses

It’s like you take the massed brainpower of an entire country, and with one stroke you lower the total of usable I.Q. by half. That’s like the difference between an I.Q. of 150 and one of 75. Between genius and borderline mentally challenged.

Ha! Think that has no side effects?

Any society that does such a thing, I can’t imagine it has much of a future.

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  • Jockaira

    Hank said:

    It’s like you take the massed brainpower of an entire country, and with one stroke you lower the total of usable I.Q. by half. That’s like the difference between an I.Q. of 150 and one of 75. Between genius and borderline mentally challenged.

    It’s worse than that. A 150 IQ is relatively rare, even among highly-trained technicians and scientists who usually test out at about 110 to 135. Half of that is about 60 IQ, not even moron-grade. This is in the neighborhood populated by imbeciles and idiots. Is it any wonder that the nation of the Islamic Republic of Iran has so many difficulties in caring for its citizens, getting along with its neighbors, and assuming a rightful place in the world community consistent with its ancient and honored Persian history?

    Of course, those in power are men with a divine mandate to rule over women and keep them in the kitchen, barefoot, pregnant, and eternally faithful to the hairy asshole who makes loud noises, bad smells, and terrorizes the children. As a tactic for a supremicist society bent on world domination by the threat of never-ending religious war, this works pretty well against similar societies with the same partitioning and denigration of female worth, although those contests usually end up in a draw. Against societies using the full potentials of all their citizens, these male-dominated societies have no chance in the long term.

  • Compuholic

    I hate to be so pedantic because of course I agree with the sentiment of the article. And the conclusion is most likely correct.

    But I am fairly certain that the comparison between banning half of the population from education and cutting the average IQ in half doesn’t hold. In order for this to work

    1. The IQ must be dependent on education
    2. It must be true that 2 people with an IQ of 75 can do the same as one person with an IQ of 150

    The first premise is only partly true because IQ tests are usually designed to measure intelligence (however you want to define that), not knowledge (although it is difficult to eliminate the influence of knowledge completely). And the second premise is obviously not true.

    • Hank Fox

      Admittedly this was a clumsy analogy, but I wanted it to be clear that taking half the brains out of circulation has some effect.

      Also, I tried to word it — “the total of USABLE I.Q” and “LIKE the difference” — so it was slightly less wrong in the way you point out.

      In the analogy, the effective intelligence of the country itself is cut in half.

    • machintelligence

      I agree, it wasn’t one of Hank’s better analogies. It might be more like boasting “look what I can do with one hand tied behind my back,” when the answer is “not much”.

  • blorf

    I think it’s more of an analogy Compuholic, like treating each individual as a single neuron and saying that shutting off half your brain cells effectively halves your IQ.
    Maybe computer chips would work better though. Say you have a decent speed dual core system and decide to shut one off. It will still draw power because they are on a single die, but now your processing power is cut in half.

  • ShowMetheData

    The major atheist sin: Pedantry


  • Varun

    its time for every one to fight against Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.

    • had3

      Or just fundamentalism in whatever form it may take and from whatever source it is derived.

      • Tracey

        Yeah, the description of Muslims sounds just like the description of fundie Christians, Mormons, Jews, etc.

  • Lou Jost

    Iran is a clear example of the danger of religious fundamentalism. When I was young it was the most advanced country in the area, and quite secular. Unfortunately Iran was also on the receiving end of US/UK dirty tricks. This generated, in the fundamentalist segment of the population, a reaction against all things western.

    The result was the Khomeini revolution, and many Iranians had to flee. I was privileged to teach some of these first Iranian refugees as my students in physics class at the University of Texas. They were uniformly brilliant, warm, friendly, sophisticated students, head and shoulders above most of the students from Texas, who were mostly fundamentalist Christians with world-views not too different from the fundamentalist Islamists that my Iranian students had fled).

    Secular culture is a fragile thing. Power-hungry interest groups can destroy it easily, and idiot fundamentalists are the easiest people to manipulate for political gain. There is nothing “backwards” about Iran except the people in power, who deliberately use fundamentalism to retain that power.
    The same thing happens here. I am not sure how it will play out in the end here. We need to work harder to educate people out of their religious fundamentalism.

  • joed

    well, you hate-filled people may not have those women to talk about if the u s/israel/nato get their way. Those women their families loved-one and friends will probably be killed by you americans.
    yeah, just like iraq, pakistan, afghanistan etc.
    you will just have to find something else to hate about other people.
    I think everyone should have the education open to them. some cultures don’t think that–yet!
    so, what is amerikas solution, death, destruction, chaos. and it is a good chance iran’s turn is comming up.
    So you will have to find others to hate while you kill the ones you hate now. i am not saying you hate these women but you hate helps to kill them.

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