Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Tommy McCabe (
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 18:44:56 MST

--- "Perry E. Metzger" <> wrote:
> "Ben Goertzel" <> writes:
> > I don't think there is a correlation between high
> IQ and psychological
> > problems.
> There most certainly is -- people with high IQs tend
> to have serious
> social problems. That's not to say I would prefer to
> be dumber, of
> course.

Social problems? Our society is almost certainly not
the ideal one, and has a lot of arbitrariness, so
rejecting it could quite possibly be a good thing.
Perhaps it's simply that brain modifications which
enhance intelligence also enhance weirdness. Not
counting the fact that people who are smarter seem
weirder anyway; any elementary school kid will attest
to that.

> > If there were, I guess it would likely be
> ascribable to
> > difficulties associated from being too far away
> from the mean of society in
> > any major dimension, rather than due to intrinsic
> problems associated with
> > intelligence.
> Unclear. Many people who are possessed of high IQs
> lack "social
> intelligence", and it may very well be a question of
> how much effort
> can be put in to both problems simultaneously. It is
> hard to be good
> at things like deep math or physics problems without
> being obsessive
> about them -- but if you are obsessive about them,
> it leads to
> spending a lot less time learning about social
> skills, which can lead
> to things like having a lot more trouble doing
> things like attracting
> a mate.

Social skills are some of the most useless things
society has adopted. Learning them and the other
arbitrary conventions of society is more often than
not a waste of time. Perhaps this would lessen
people's willingness to cooperate with you, but that
almost certainly doesn't carry over into

> One of the revolutions technological society has
> brought us is the rise
> of conditions in which socially inept people can
> gain large amounts of
> resources with the application of pure problem
> solving intelligence,
> and then gain reproductive success even absent
> significant social
> skill. One wonders if the rise in the population of
> syndromes like
> autism (especially in forms like Asperger's
> Syndrome) is correlated
> with this shift -- though of course it might not be
> connected.

Every single disorder, mental and physical, that
you've ever heard of has only been applied to human
brains, and thus nothing says that it has to apply to
other minds, let alone minds-in-general. Transhumans
don't need to accept disorders they can change at the
snap of a programming session, they don't need to
learn social skills, and they most certainly don't
need to find a mate.

> Doubtless, by the way, evolution would "fix" such
> things with time. As
> has been pointed out, high intelligence is a
> relatively recent
> phenomenon and there hasn't been so much time for
> evolution to shake
> the bugs out.

Agreed, but transhumans won't be using evolution (I

> However, also doubtless, we aren't going to have
> much time for
> ordinary biological evolution to deal with this
> problem, since it
> isn't likely that the cutting edge of evolution will
> be biological
> humans for much longer.

The cutting edge of evolution will soon be the cutting
edge of recursive self-inprovement, or some other
improvement technique we haven't thought of.

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