Batman versus Superman: Or Is it Vice Versa

I finally watched Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice. This was the Extended Cut and at least one review I’ve read suggest that the extra 30 minutes makes the film substantially better. Ah. Hmm. I didn’t see the theatrical version but either that was a huge mess of a film or the extra 30 minutes made the central problem far worse. This was a film that needed editing or some sort of substantial re-jigging. Perhaps what hit the theatres was a failed attempt at that?

Beyond this point, there are spoilers aplenty – so don’t read on if you don’t want to discover who the alter-ego of Superman is or what house Batman lives in [HINT: its an anagram of Mayne Wanor].

Continue reading “Batman versus Superman: Or Is it Vice Versa”

Robot looks at Boris

This is a companion picture to this one

The rendered image is a PNG with transparency in the window bit. This mean it is easy to put anything in the window. For the version on this site I thought Timothy’s spookily good impression of Boris Johnson is worth the robot’s time and attention.


[Update: apparently that IS Boris Johnson and not Timothy. Apologies for any confusion]

Vox Day asks me some questions about his IQ

…which is odd because he banned me a while back.

This is in response to my earlier discussion of IQ in which he provided some interesting examples.

Explain why you reject IQ as a metric for intelligence. Preferably at length and with personal anecdotes.

Lecture us on the 34 different types of intelligence, as well as which ones are best.

Tell us how you were out partying the night before the SAT and you were totally hungover when you took it and besides you don’t care.

Brag about your 800 IQ.

Inform us of your Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy of Language from the University of Chicago. The University of Chicago!

Which is an interesting response.

Point 1

Why do I reject IQ as a metric for intelligence? I don’t exactly – I think it is flawed but then given that we still have a lot to learn about how intelligence works (or even what it is), it is hardly surprising that it is flawed. As a tool for spotting issues in ACADEMIC performance it does a job that currently nothing else does. However, as tools go it is like a finely wrought flint hand axe from stone age Europe – it serves a role and marks a major step forward but we’d be foolish to think it was the pinnacle of achievement.

But specifically as a METRIC – ah, well then we can start looking at ways in which it can be improved for the future. Now I’m guessing the range of replies you’ve had on IQ before are fairly standard critiques from the left (which doesn’t invalidate them – IQ has these commonly discussed flaws but hearing the same thing can get boring). However IQ has other issues and in terms of ones that apply more directly to your (as in Vox’s if he is reading it – not ‘you’ the generic reader 🙂 ) then I think one of the most interesting critiques is that of psychometrician Denny Borsboom’s 2006 paper “Attack of the Psychometricians” (great title). You can access it in full here which doesn’t address IQ directly but will give you a good idea of the direction he is coming from.

Borsboom looks at IQ from the perspective of mathematics and from a perspective of actually attempting to measure cognitive abilities. For a direct critique read this “Intelligence Is What the Intelligence Test Measures. Seriously” (but read the top paper first)

Point 2

If you are referring to Howard Gardner’s work then I don’t find it convincing. However, is intelligence likely to be an aggregate of different cognitive abilities? Sure, indeed we know from studies on more limited areas of cognitive ability such as arithmetic that our brains do have semi-independent capacities for some things. Intelligence then can be rather like how Flynn has described it – as a sort of general cognitive fitness like athletic fitness. Different subskills averaging out. However, I doubt they fit into neat categories such as Gardner’s. Nor does that directly invalidate IQ. What it does mean is that extremes different components may play out differently.

Point 3

I’ve never taken the SAT.

Point 4

I just wrote a post pointing out why bragging about a high IQ score suggests a lack of understanding about IQ, so clearly I’m NOT going to brag about a high IQ score and somebody with a moderate IQ score should be able to anticipate that.

Point 5

I’m obviously missing a reference here. Are you saying that is the degree you have or the degree somebody else has or what? Either way it seems to irrelevant.

I’m not sure if there is much worth commenting more. Vox apparently has an IQ score of 151 at some point – and I’m happy for him – but the points I raised still stand. He has good reason to be skeptical of that score beyond it being greater than 130ish AND he really can’t evaluate somebody elses score on the basis of that person not agreeing with a half-baked analysis of a battle on a TV with mythological creatures in it. Mind you, I think that last point was always kind of obvious.

Hugo Choices 10: Best Fan Artist

Previously on Hugo Choices:

Current Hugo State of Play

Hugo Choices 1: Best Novel

Hugo Choices 2: Best Related Work – The Story of Moira Greyland

Hugo Choices 3: Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form

Hugo Choices 4: Best Short Story

Hugo Choices 5: Best Fanzine

Hugo Choices 6: Best Fan Writer

Hugo Choices 7: Best Editor – Long Form

Hugo Choices 8: Best Semiprozine

Hugo Choice 9: Best Graphic Story

Best Fan Artist

The choices are:

  • BEST FAN ARTIST : Matthew Callahan. Uses photography and digital effects to create realistic war scenes of Imperial Stormtroopers using models. Clever take on war photojournalism.

  • BEST FAN ARTIST : disse86. Mainly fantasy and comic book studies of faces. Effective and well done.

  • BEST FAN ARTIST : Kukuruyo. Samey manga-ish stuff. Appears to have been nominated solely on the basis of his unfunny GamerGate comic strip.
  • BEST FAN ARTIST : Christian Quinot. Moody sci-fi and fantasy art. All good stuff.

  • BEST FAN ARTIST : Steve Stiles. Veteran fanzine cartoonist with a 70s/80s style. Fun.

Click to access File770-165.pdf

A tricky one to rank. The most similar are disse86 and Christian Quinot. Least good is Kukuruyo. Callahan and Stiles are producing work that doesn’t make sense to compare one with the other.

1,2,3,4. Stiles, Quinot, disse86, Callahan

5. No Award

6. Kukuruyo