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ChristianKl 5 January 2016 05:53 AM
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I'm not denying that a correlation between test scores and innovation exists. Goodhart's law. I'm saying that the person who spends 500 hours with SAT prep is going to be less innovative than the person who spends those 500 hours on LW or another intellectual pursuit.

Asian students optimize for test scores while people on LW don't. The Asian student wants that his parents are proud because he scores highly on a test while the average person on LW doesn't care that much. That results in Western college students spending time on LW while Asian students don't.

Apart from that optimizing for numbers of patents is a bad idea. It results in a lot of bogus patents getting granted.


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melian 6 January 2016 06:08 AM
70%

Apart from that optimizing for numbers of patents is a bad idea. It results in a lot of bogus patents getting granted.

Sure. But is there a plausible reason to expect that the proportion of bogus patents is higher for people who had higher SAT scores at the age of 13? If not, then the higher number of patents per person does indicate greater inventiveness.
I'm saying that the person who spends 500 hours with SAT prep is going to be less innovative than the person who spends those 500 hours on LW or another intellectual pursuit.

Iím not quite sure about that. There are certainly examples of people who achieve high success in their primary field despite spending a lot of time on outside interests. But is there solid evidence that such interests actually help them be more innovative rather than slow them down?


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ChristianKl 6 January 2016 10:26 AM
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I think you ignore the reference to Goodhart's law.
For this issue we don't compare different people in the same system who achieve different scores with each other.

There are certainly examples of people who achieve high success in their primary field despite spending a lot of time on outside interests.
It certainly possible to be successful without being innovative.

It's possible to be a great doctor without being innovative.

I think that Peter Thiels general argument, that new companies get started by people with a secret that they know but which other don't, is true. That secret doesn't has to be found outside of a field. It can also be found in an arcane subfield. On the other hand it won't be found in the material that get's tested in standardized tests.


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