Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Tommy McCabe (
Date: Thu Jan 01 2004 - 10:43:23 MST

--- Randall Randall <>
> This email edited to remove a very bad word, per
> the mailing list software, and resent. :)
> On Wednesday, December 31, 2003, at 08:43 PM, Tommy
> McCabe wrote:
> [ about intelligence ]
> >> Why should we be nearly at the limit? What a
> >> conincidence, that the very first species to hit
> >> general intelligence would also be nearly at the
> limit
> >> of the architecture they run on.
> There are lots of coincidences associated with being
> the first species of persons in our past lightcone,
> anyway, why would this seem more odd?

Please elaborate.

> If the limit really is just at the upper end of the
> human spectrum, then it would follow that any mammal
> brain which achieved human intelligence would be
> very
> near or at the limit for similar structures. Given
> this, it would seem that your question boils down to
> "why should the limit be so low?", but if it is, the
> question may not have an answer other than "it's a
> consequence of physical law".

My question is, of all the places where the limit
could be, wouldn't it be a very big coincidence thatn
the limit happened to be at almost the exact level
represented by the very first species we know of to
have achieved general intelligence?

> One problem here is that I don't know enough to have
> this argument, by a long, long way. I've already
> presented my (relatively tenuous) evidence for this,
> but I'll recap it here for clarity: humans who are
> highly intelligent seem to have a higher incidence
> of mental disorder (i.e., insanity).

First, I'd like to see a study or two confirm this.
Second, if it is true, it could be something limited
to our particular brain architecture. Third, it could
be something limited to Darwinistically evolved
organisms. Fourth, you have to distinguish people who
are 'insane' (which is bad) from people who simply
don't follow our semi-arbitrary social conventions
(which is probably good). There are probably more
reasons I can't think of.

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