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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Two Groups

#iq #intelligence #sociology

The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life

Richard J. Herrnstein, Charles Murray




"The people in one group are welcomed at the best colleges, enter fulfilling, prestigious, well-paid careers. Technology works in their behalf, putting unprecedented resources at their command, enhancing their ability to do what they enjoy doing. And as these good things happen to them, they gravitate to one another, isolated from everybody else.

In the other group, life gets worse, and its members collect at the bottom of society. Poverty is severe, drugs and crime are rampant. Economic growth passes them by. Technology is not a partner in their lives but an electronic opiate. Their presence creates fear and resentment in the rest of society that is seldom openly expressed but festers.

Pressures from these contrasting movements at the opposite ends of society put terrific stress on the entire structure. The mass of the nation belongs to neither group, but their lives are increasingly shaped by the power of the fortunate few and the plight of the despairing few. The fragile web of civility, mutual regard, and mutual obligations at the heart of any happy society begins to tear." - Richard J. Herrnstein, Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (1994)