I recently started a GD thread: “How valid/useful is IQ as a measure of personal intelligence?” – http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=277940. (The question is really a scientific one, but so controversial and contentious I decided it really belonged in GQ.) I recently added the following post:
Here’s an interesting bit from Hooking Up (Farar, Straus and Giroux, 2000), a collection of essays and articles by Tom Wolfe – from “Sorry, but Your Soul Just Died,” about modern neuropsychology, pp. 95-96:
To which Loopydude replied:
And I must admit I’m stumped. I see no reason to believe Wolfe made up this whole thing for his book, but I can’t find anything about the “IQ Cap” or this “Neurometrics” company through Googling – and Wolfe, curiously, did not actually give the names of the neuroscientists who allegedly invented it, only of those on whom they based their work.
Is this “IQ Cap” for real? Is anybody still working on developing it? Is it possible to buy one or see one in operation? Does anybody know?
The measure of intelligence is derived from the length of time before the test subject takes off the hat, throws it against the wall, and says “This is bunk”.
And pertaining to the quoted article, why would such a test (if it existed) be an indication that intelligence is genetic? It seems quite as plausible that whatever brainwave patterns were picked up by the machine were learned as that they’re hardwired. Now, if you could take a blood sample and determine an IQ from that, that might mean something, but brainwaves? Nah.
Cite? I thought “trepan” was a hole bored in the skull, or something.
Hard to believe a journalist of Wolfe’s reputation would just make up something like this. So far as I’ve heard, he’s never been caught out in a serious journalistic fabrication, nor involved in any kind of prank or hoax. (He reported on the Merry Pranksters, he never joined the club himself.) On the other hand, he does not claim to have actually seen the device demonstrated. Maybe he was hoaxed himself – but if so, wouldn’t it have come out by now? Wolfe is a very high-profile figure. This is puzzling.