Friday 18 September 2015

#ISIR15 Intelligence dawns in New Mexico



I was wrong about the conference room. It has natural lighting, wooden ceilings and French doors to an outdoor terrace, always a great relief when structured equation models become unbearable. My early rising colleague Richard, who understands these things, has been telling me about New Mexico. He says that Forbes magazine does an annual survey of the best places to start a new business in the US, and Albuquerque was number 1 a few years back, and is still high because of the number of PhDs per capita. This is probably due to well-placed universities and research institutes. The 87 highly qualified ISIR15 delegates now intoxicating themselves on coffee will barely budge the state total, though they certainly corner the market in intelligence research. We do not monetize our musings, worse luck, but our topic is the lifeblood of civilization.

Richard is musing about the long term historical impact of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. It meant there was some degree of self-rule by the Native Americans that goes back to before Spanish colonization, which may be why Native Americans in New Mexico have fared so well in contrast to other places in the United State, even in the states bordering New Mexico.

Looking at our programs we see, just at a glance,  John Loehlin (structured equation modelling); Roberto Colom (N-back training, video games, brain and IQ); Robert Plomin (twins, genetics of intelligence); Paul Sackett and Nathan Kuncel (determinants of college success; and Steven Pinker (the great explainer). 

There will also be Lightning Talks, a novelty, and more, so much more, bringing to your attention many other sparkling speakers, but I must go and meet them all, in the hope that my shorts and hiking sandals will make a good impression, and that I may find a cup of coffee.

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