RE: Egan dismisses Singularity, maybe

From: mike99 (
Date: Tue Apr 23 2002 - 23:26:27 MDT

mike99 wrote:
> A human IQ equivalent of, say, 200
> may be great and wonderful. But where are the IQ 2000 intellects? Does
> believe that a) such a level is unattainable, or b) faster thinking equals
> greater intelligence

Randall Randall <> wrote:
Even if he believes "a" or "b", there's also c) it's impossible to describe
in detail the actions of someone literally ten or twenty times more
intelligent than yourself. Such entities cannot really come onstage in a
work of fiction.

I'm probably only in the top 5 percent of intelligence for humans (I say
"only" because of the company I'm in on this list), but it's impossible
for me to understand in detail many of the actions of people in the top
1/10th percent, a much smaller gap.

mike99 replies:
I am certainly not the brightest person on this list either, but I tend to
believe that the problem of depicting a super-intelligence in a work of
fiction is merely challenging, not by any means impossible.

In fact, I believe that such entities could make themselves understood by
lesser beings such as ourselves in so many different ways that these
super-AI's would make marvelously memorable characters. We and other beings
at our level could surely not fully comprehend those super-AI's. But we
could know about them whatever they wanted us to know -- or wanted us to
*believe* whether or not those beliefs were true in any sense.

Now doesn't that sound like the premise for a promising story? It's sure
worked well in all those works of religious fiction (better known as divine
revelations) that have propagated the memes of theistic religions so

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