Posts Tagged ‘Intelligence’

Quote note (#333)


There must have been some selection for IQ – without it, our brains would have disintegrated. But that selection can’t have been very strong, or intelligence would have gone up like a rocket. Today it’s going down at a rate of something like three points a century – think what would have happened if it had changed that rapidly, either up or down, over the last couple of millennia.

If humans aren’t already too stupid to live, they will be soon.

February 19, 2017admin 40 Comments »

Twitter cuts (#112)

February 10, 2017admin 35 Comments »
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Sentences (#86)


Fundamentally solve the “intelligence problem,” and all other problems become trivial.

‘Fundamentally solving the intelligence problem’ would be intense in a way I suspect no one has yet begun to understand. Once intelligence is fully off the leash, all previous problems look trivial, because intelligence is — beyond all comparison — the most dangerous thing out there.

Karlin’s discussion touches all the bases, including the idiocratic scenario:

Human genetic editing is banned by government edict around the world, to “protect human dignity” in the religious countries and “prevent inequality” in the religiously progressive ones. The 1% predictably flout these regulations at will, improving their progeny while keeping the rest of the human biomass down where they believe it belongs, but the elites do not have the demographic weight to compensate for plummeting average IQs as dysgenics decisively overtakes the Flynn Effect. …

January 12, 2017admin 28 Comments »
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Twitter cuts (#107)

Yes, it’s a ‘Moron bites’ that I’ve lazily twitter-packaged. Here‘s the almost incomprehensibly dismal source.

January 3, 2017admin 10 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

One in 10,000

The ‘profoundly gifted cohort‘ isn’t ever going to be a constituency.


September 12, 2016admin 19 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Quote note (#267)

Back to basics:

Are there countries with low average scores that tear up the technological track? Mostly not – generally, fairly high average IQ seems to be a prerequisite for creativity in science and mathematics. Necessary, although not sufficient: bad choices (Communism), having the world kick you in the crotch (Mongols), or toxic intellectual fads can all make smart peoples unproductive. […] The exceptions, such as they are, seem to be a result of strong population substructure. India has a low average IQ, but there are distinct subpopulations (castes) that apparently have much higher IQ – although I’d love to see some decent studies on this. With numbers. …

(Via (via))

July 11, 2016admin 14 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations


The latest dark gem from Fernandez opens:

When Richard Gallagher, a board-certified psychiatrist and a professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College, described his experiences treating patients with demonic possession in the Washington Post claiming such incidents are on the rise, it was met with derision by many newspapers’ commenters. Typical was “this man is as nutty as his patients. His license should be revoked.” […] Less likely to have his intellectual credentials questioned by the sophisticates of the Washington Post is Elon Musk who warned an audience that building artificial intelligence was like “summoning the demon”. …

The point, of course, is that you don’t get the second eventuality without conceding to the virtual reality of the first. The things ‘Gothic superstition’ have long spoken about are, in themselves, exactly the same as those extreme technological potentials are excavating from the crypt of the unimaginable. ‘Progress’ is a tacit formula for dispelling demons — from consciousness, if not existence — yet it is itself ever more credibly exposed as the most complacent superstition in human history, one that is still scarcely reckoned as a belief in need of defending at all.

How does the press warn the public about demons arising from a “master algorithm” without making it sound like a magic spell? With great difficulty because the actual bedrock of reality may not only be stranger than the Narrative supposes, but stranger than it can suppose.

The faith in progress has an affinity with interiority, because it consolidates itself as the subject of its own narrative. (There’s an off-ramp into Hegel at this point, for anyone who wants to get into Byzantine story-telling about it.) As our improvement becomes the tale, the Outside seems to haze out even beyond the bounds of its intrinsic obscurity — until it crashes back in.

… where there are networks there is malware. Sue Blackmore a writer in the Guardian*, argues that memes travel not just across similar systems, but through hierarchies of systems to kill rival processes all the time. She writes, “AI rests on the principle of universal Darwinism – the idea that whenever information (a replicator) is copied, with variation and selection, a new evolutionary process begins. The first successful replicator on earth was genes.” […] In such a Darwinian context the advent of an AI demon is equivalent to the arrival of a superior extraterrestrial civilization on Earth.

Between an incursion from the Outside, and a process of emergence, there is no real difference. If two quite distinct interpretative frames are invoked, that results from the inadequacies of our apprehension, rather than any qualitative characteristics of the thing. (Capitalism is — beyond all serious question — an alien invasion, but then you knew I was going to say that.)

… we ought to be careful about being certain what forms information can, and cannot take.

If we had the competence to be careful, none of this would be happening.

(Thanks to VXXC2014 for the prompt.)

* That description is perhaps a little cruel, she’s a serious, pioneering meme theorist.

Continue Reading

July 3, 2016admin 43 Comments »
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Quote note (#253)

The cephalization great divergence:

One mystery of human evolution is why our cognition differs qualitatively from our closest evolutionary relatives. Here we show how natural selection for large brains may lead to premature newborns, which themselves require more intelligence to raise, and thus may select for even larger brains. As we show, these dynamics can be self-reinforcing and lead to runaway selection for extremely high intelligence and helpless newborns. We test a prediction of this account: the helplessness of a primate’s newborns should strongly predict their intelligence. We show that this is so and relate our account to theories of human uniqueness and the question of why human-level intelligence took so long to evolve in the history of life. (XS emphasis.)

Any model outputting the result emphasized has to be worth taking seriously. Abstracting it to a degree that permits emulation is more of a problem, but it’s also the only thing worth aiming for.

May 28, 2016admin 37 Comments »

Quote note (#251)

From Niven and Pournelle’s The Mote in God’s Eye (end Chapter 3):

“They used to teach us that evolution of intelligent being wasn’t possible,” she said. “Societies protect their weaker members. Civilizations tend to make wheel chairs and spectacles and hearing aids as soon as they have the tools for them. When a society makes war, the men generally have to pass a fitness test before they’re allowed to risk their lives. I suppose it helps win the war.” She smiled. “But it leaves precious little room for the survival of the fittest.” […] …
“You were saying about evolution?”
“It — it ought to be pretty well closed off for an intelligent species,” she said. “Species evolve to meet the environment. An intelligent species changes the environment to suit itself. As soon as a species becomes intelligent, it should stop evolving.”

It makes you think (or rather, the opposite). The original sin of intelligence — falling back in blind homeostatic antipathy against its own conditions of emergence — isn’t so hard to see.

May 18, 2016admin 36 Comments »

Sentences (#53)


Yes, there is an enabling superpower that autists have through damage and accident, but non-autists like me have to cultivate: not giving a shit about monkey social rituals.

(Highly-relevant bonus link.)

May 13, 2016admin 19 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations