Why can't the PAP find talent?
The PAP (People's Action Party) of Singapore (in fact, it seems the People's Action Party IS Singapore), has a problem: they can't find new talent. The leaders of the PAP are always bemoaning the great shortage of talent in Singapore and repeatedly state that, despite looking high and low, they can't find anyone to replace themselves, in time to come. The question that comes to me is: why?
You see mathematically, the PAP's complaint is more than a little strange. It is, for instance, a local myth that you need to be particularly talented to be an MP, in fact, Members of Parliament SHOULDN'T be particularly talented. The reason for this is simple, some research that I read long ago, but would have to source again to reference, stated that a leader should be no more than 30 IQ points above the led, so as to preserve the ability to communicate with their constituency. If the leader was too bright, there would be a disconnect with their people and communication would break down. Now, this leads us to a very interesting conclusion: there is no shortage of talent in Singapore for the PAP, or at least, there shouldn't be.
To have an IQ 30 points above the norm is not particularly rare. In fact its theoretical rarity is one person in 44. Thus, one person in 44 in Singapore is at the limit of brightness permissible in an effective leader. This means that among Singapore's 3.16 million citizens (the last time I read a figure in an article), there should be 71,818 people with IQs 30 points above the norm (or about 134 IQ points). That is a very telling result, for all those who have believed that Singapore does, indeed, have a PAP talent shortage. There are 89 PAP MPs. This means that Singapore has enough people of the right IQ to make 807 PAP parties. Furthermore, this is a gross under-estimate of the situation, for it excludes those people whose IQs are less than 134 (who are far more numerous) and who could also do a good job and communicate effectively to the people. It also excludes those whose IQs are slightly above 134 but not so far above as to have a disastrous communication gap.
Thus one can conclude that there are, in Singapore, enough people, with enough "talent" to produce thousands of political parties the size of the PAP. (For the numbers of people with adequate IQs less than 134 is far more numerous than those with IQs of 134. Note the figure 134 comes from the fact that the average IQ in Singapore, according to some studies, is 104).
So, given this super-abundance of appropriate talent, why does the PAP protest the lack of talent for their succession?
There a number of possibilities. Firstly, is the possibility that the PAP has, in its recruitment procedures decided to try to maximise the intelligence of its MPs, to the extreme limit, such that there really are only 89 candidates. This would be a startling scenario, for it implies that the IQs of these MPs is at a rarity of 89/3.16 million. That would be one person in 35,506 people. That means, given Singapore's mean of 104, that the PAP MPs must have IQs of about 168, on average. I find this absurd in the extreme, since the average IQ of Nobel Prize Winners in Science is only 159, according to the Sigma Society.
Are we really expected to believe that PAP MPs are nine IQ points smarter, on average, than Nobel Prize Winners in Science? If so, Singapore would truly have to be run remarkably well. I will leave it to your own opinions to decide whether that is so.
If, however, it is, in fact, so that PAP MPs are as smart as 168 IQ points, each, on average, then that explains something about the way government is conducted locally. People that smart cannot lead ordinary people, because they cannot communicate effectively with them. Thus, if it is so, that the PAP have set things up like this, then it is not surprising that many people are unhappy with them.
Yet, I do not think it is so. Few people who are aware of what a person of an IQ of 168 is like would confuse such a person with local MPs - at least, not from the evidence of their public utterances. Also, it would be reasonable to expect close to perfection from them, in their decision making, were they as smart, as a cohort, as this.
Thus, given the fact that the optimal IQ of a Singaporean MP is only 134 IQ points and that there are 71,818 such people in Singapore, one can conclude that another force must be at work. Quite simply Singaporeans must not want to be PAP MPs. There are over 807 times as many good candidates as there are MP jobs, yet, still the PAP has difficulty with recruitment. This means, basically, that the chance of someone wanting to be an MP is 807 to one (0.001239 of the acceptable population). In fact, of course, this is an underestimate of the unlikelihood of someone wanting to be an MP, since there are many more viable candidates who don't have the exact IQ in question. The true figure would be several thousands to one.
This analysis, which has been guided by numbers and logic alone leads me to ask a question: does the government really believe that the problem is a lack of talent? If so, this would seem to indicate a lack of understanding of the electorate. There is no lack of talent. However, there does appear to be a strong desire, among Singaporeans, NOT to become involved in politics. This could be because of the way politics is conducted in Singapore. For those overseas readers who don't know, the government of Singapore is the PAP and they have a habit of crushing all nascent opposition with every means possible. This makes Singapore effectively a one party state. Perhaps the people of Singapore are uncomfortable with this way of conducting politics and wish to stay out of it.
The tale of the numbers are clear. There are only two evident explanations. Either the PAP has made a fundamental error in selection in thinking that only supersmart people should be MPs, (and the evidence of their public images is against this interpretation) or the people of Singapore simply don't want to be politicians.
The PAP explanation that there is an absence of talent is proven to be false, by these numbers. The talent is there: but perhaps the willingness to be involved is not.
I wonder if the PAP allowed other parties to flourish (which they have not) whether Singapore would discover an abundance of talent, where before there was none? It seems to me that Singapore, which has always justified its one party system on the basis that there was not enough talent to support two parties or more, has more than enough talent, statistically, for a plurality of parties. What it lacks, however, is the willingness of the government to allow any opposition within its shores.
Now, I have written this post, without any interest in the politics of the situation at all. Singapore is not my country. I am merely an observer of it. However, curiosity led me to analyse the IQ distribution and the consequences of that, to see what the true tale of the underlying talent would be. I report the results, much as a scientist does, with no opinion of the results other than to say these are the results. So, let no-one think that I have any political motive in writing this post. I have no interest in the politics of Singapore at all (it is really too dull a subject to have much interest in). I do, however, have a scientific interest in the truth - and the truth is that Singapore has an abundance of talent adequate to the task of being an MP, in Singapore. MPs don't need to be geniuses - in fact they shouldn't be. Given that, Singapore has more than enough talent to run the nation. The big question remains, of course: why is the PAP, then, having such difficulty with recruitment and succession?
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.
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