Monday, May 19, 2014

Why The Polymath Will Succeed

The Polymath is designed to present news, analysis and commentary at a higher intellectual level than other outlets.  We know that there is a market there because of research undertaken by Leta Hollingworth in the 1930's and D.K. Simonton in the 1980's.  Both found that there is a limit to the IQ difference that allows for meaningful communication and persuasiveness.

Simonton put the finest point on it when he stated, 'Individuals who are very smart may be less comprehensible to other group members, and this might have a negative impact on their ability to influence those around them. Even if the exceptionally bright individuals are able to target their use of language to the needs of their audience, the complexity of their ideas may be less accessible to listeners with IQs more than one standard deviation lower than their own.  He found, specifically, that persuasiveness peaks at about a 1.2 standard deviation differential.

Leta Hollingworth studied children with R16IQs of more than 180.  She stated, 'Observation shows that there is a direct ratio between the intelligence of the leader and that of the led. To be a leader of his contemporaries a child must be more intelligent but not too much more intelligent than those to be led... But generally speaking, a leadership pattern will not form--or it will break up--when a discrepancy of more than about 30 points of IQ comes to exist between leader and led.'  This has been taken to be the upper limit on the IQ differential that still allows for meaningful communication.  However, she implied in other work that this for leadership might be somewhat less than for communication, which may be as high as 50 R16IQ points.

The above research sets interesting structural constraints on the industry of news, analysis and commentary.  In Western democracies, we consume news.  In other words, we sample several outlets and settle on ones that are the most persuasive for us.  So, we can say, for example that high school graduates, who have a mean D15IQ of about 104 will be most persuaded by news outlets that are presented at about a 122 D15IQ.  College Graduates, who have a mean of about 113 will be most persuaded by news outlets presented at about 131.  That is about the limit of what is currently available.

That means that while people with D15IQs over 125 consume news, analysis and commentary in large quantities, they are not particularly happy with it nor are they generally very persuaded by the presentations.  In other words, they are easy pickings for any news outlet that wants to present at a higher level.  The Economist and a few others have been working on elevating their game.  However, one cannot present at a higher IQ level than you possess and the current experienced participants will have IQs in the 113 to 131 range.

What that means, and this is the crux of this, 'The people who will succeed in providing news, analysis and commentary to an audience with IQs over 125 would fail in the current market because, as D.K. Simonton put it, 'the complexity of their ideas may be less accessible to listeners.'   That means that we cannot access the current market of news reporters and commentators.  We will need to find people who are substantially smarter.  While we will require no IQ test, rather controlling based upon quality of submitted work, the mean IQ of our successful candidates will likely be 155 with a standard deviation of about 5 points.

The market of English speakers on the Internet with IQs above 125 is about 60,000,000.  Our goal is to reach about 4,000,000 of them in the short term.  However, we will likely achieve 15,000,000 with time.  The reason that we will acquire only a minority of the market has to do with ideology.  The lower half of our market is generally very engaged intellectually and are voracious consumers of news, analysis and commentary.  However, many of them, perhaps half, are also very ideological which makes them hostile toward objective news sources.

As the Internet news market solidifies, liberal news outlets such as PBS and Huffington Post will likely field other news media that appeal to the over 125IQ audience.  More conservative outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and Blaze will do the some for their audience.  However, as we move up the IQ scale the percent of the population with strong ideologies decreases and the market for objective news coverage increases.  This is why our writers will likely average close to 155 D15IQ because our audience will be skewed upward with a median IQ around 135.

The Polymath can be thought of as a collaborative effort between, perhaps, 100 of the most ellectually rigorous and erudite writers in the world.  We will have editors who will assist us in talking persuasively to the 135 IQ audience and will take care of the details of publication.  We will have monetizers who will turn our work into money.  We all will make very good income, indeed, from our efforts.

We will average about one 5 - 8 page article per month.  At 4,000,000 readers and $5 cpm advertisements per page, we will average $35,000 per month income.  However, that is just for the articles.  Most of us will do other work.  For example, if you write a book and hotlink your articles to it, you might sell 100,000 e-books per year for another $70,000 per month.  This is Information Age income and should not be taken as implausible.  Rather, it is proportional when the Income Explosion increases prevailing income 10X.

The secrets to our success are two-fold.  First, is creating the organization.  That means writers, editors, monetizers and administrators.  The second is our content.  It must be something more than 'same-old, same-old' only expressed with a larger vocabulary.  We need to apply our superior intellect to providing a more rigorously supportable and objective product.  For example, anyone can present the argument for and against the 'end of Moore's Law.'  We need to provide superior analysis.  How likely is it?  How will it change things? 

When we speak of objective, we do not mean a lock step world view.  Our writers will disagree.  However, misstating evidence or engaging on logical fallacy is not the source nor the product of the disagreement.  Objective analysis allows for a margin of error and an aggregation of margins of error can result in different conclusions.  One does not create an ideologically comfortable conclusion by weaving an argument of three sigma deviations. 

We need to explode on to the scene.  That means we will need to place several editors, monetizers, crowdfunders and writers on the starting line, with a backlog of articles in hand who are ready to take off when the gun goes off.  In order to facilitate this, I will be setting up a number of private venues, on Facebook and Blogger to get ourselves organized.  I will set up 'authors' in a blog with Editors, Monetizers, crowdfunders, etc. as authorized readers.  I will set up the same people in a private Facebook group for informal discussions.

Again, if you want to become involved, please e-mail me at or message me on Facebook.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Polymath

The Polymath will be a weekly .pdf magazine of news, analysis and commentary for an erudite readership.  It will contain feature articles on world affairs, economics, business, investing, science, technology and the arts.

We will do a crowdfunding, probably for $1,000,000 with the proceeds used primarily to build readership. I know from years of experience that with complete awareness we will be about 4.5 million subscribers.  The crowfunding will be sufficient to build a 1.5 million subscribers and should be sufficient to create organic growth. 

The key to success for The Polymath is to appeal to the upper 5% of the population in intellectual sophistication that, per research by D.K. Simonton, is currently substantially underserved.  In other words, our articles need to be well researched, well considered and say something unlike what is flooding the press.  If it is the same thing, just said differently, we shouldn't publish it.

For example, with regard to the Crimea situation, I said,

"In 1238 Crimea was taken from the Rus' and Byzantium by the Golden Horde. Crimeans were not asked if they wanted to be part of the Mongol Empire; they were told.

In 1475, Crimea became part of the Ottoman Empire. They were not asked; they were told.

In 1783, Crimea became part of the Russian Empire. Again, they were not asked; they were told.

In 1954, Crimea was made part of Ukraine. They were not asked; they were told.

Finally in 2014, they were asked. They decided that they want to be part of Russia. NO, NO, NO!! protests U.S. and EU. It is illegal. Yet one more time, they insist, the people of Crimea must be told."

This is the kind of material we need in The Polymath.  It is correct, it is cogent and it is different.  It raises a question that will surface again and again over the next few years.  Should the community of nations make laws without the consent of national minorities that prohibit that national minority from enjoying self determination?  Are the interests of Russia, the E.U. and the U.S. of greater merit than the interests of the people who actually live in the affected territory?

According to D.K. Simonton, The Polymath superstar authors will have IQs around 150 (+/- 10).  We won't be asking for an IQ test result; the quality of the work is the driving factor.  However, clearly, it will take some work to find our article and column writers.  So, we will be looking for five or so 'Editors' whose job is to go out and find such authors, help them meet the editorial standards of The Polymath and keep them working.

The Polymath will be ad supported.  In other words, people will get a 128 page weekly magazine in their inbox at no cost and will also be able to access archived articles.  That is a lot of advertising.  Our objective is to have all the advertisers be Members of the Polymathica Enterprise Network with adverstising placed on an affiliate basis.  That is another project I will be posting on soon.  We will need 'Monetizers' to go out and find appropriate advertising.  They will also be expected to place the advertising properly so that the right readers are seeing the correct ads.

This is a shared enterprise.  What that means is that everyone gets a piece of the revenue and is responsible for their own budget, keeping the excess as their profits.  Authors will receive 35%, Editors will receive 10%, Monetizers will receive 10% and 15% will be retained for Administration.  The Polymathic Institute will have 80% of the 30% profit or 24% and the crowdfunders will have 20% of the 30% or 6%.  The Polymathic Institute will use its proceeds to promote polymathic research, education, careers and lifestyles.  At the outset, the majority will probably be used to crowdfund enterprises in the Polymathica Enterprise Network.

Total Revenue is forecast at 1.5 million subscribers X 128 pages per week X 52 issues per week X ½¢ per page = $49,920,000.  At this level, authors will receive $2,500 per page while Editors and Monetizers will receive $750 per page each.  A five page article will provide authors with $12,500, Editors and Monetizers with $3,750.  Clearly, Editors and Monetizers will have a reasonable opportunity to earn mid six figure USD annual income placing just three articles per week.  Of course, this is only about 1/3 of what I anticipate to be our mature distribution.

We will have a tab in for The Polymath which will archive all articles.  Revenue from affiliate ads there will be shared in the same proportion as the .pdf magazine.  The articles will have the facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. 'share' buttons as well as a 'subscribe' box.  Of course, we will work to achieve SEO.  Because the articles, in order to be accepted for publication, must bring a new and intellectually rigorous perspective to the issue, the should be highly shareable within our market.

We absolutely need this to hit fast, which means crowdfunding, editors, authors and monetizers must grow and succeed quickly.  If you want to be an Editor, go get an article.  If you want to be an Author, write a feature article.  If you want to be a monetizer, go find advertising (affiliate preferred), that is appropriate for a refined and erudite audience.  We need someone who will spearhead crowdfunding.  We also need an Editor-in-Chief, a layout artist and a tech-type to maintain our subscriber list and e-mail functionality.  You each will receive a portion of the 15% administrative share.

Contact me at if you are interested in becoming involved.