Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Lawrence Foard (
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 20:42:15 MST

On Fri, 2 Jan 2004, Perry E. Metzger wrote:

> Lawrence Foard <> writes:
> > On Fri, 2 Jan 2004, 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.
> >
> > Otherwise known as autistic spectrum. Supposedly an epidemic, in other
> > words the idiots in child psychology are finally noticing that nerds
> > often share certain characteristics.
> It isn't just nerdyness. Asperger's is a real syndrome. Many of the
> symptoms, such as body rocking etc., aren't just a question of "being
> different".

However not all autistics rock, nor do all non autistics not rock. Anyone
sufficiently overloaded, in pain or distressed is likely to rock. Its
simply one of many ways to fill the senses to try to mask bad emotions
or sensations.

> > Try to find a really good scientist or engineer that doesn't have a
> > good helping of autistic traits.
> I don't think the Temple Grandins of the world are just nerds, and I
> think you're doing them a serious disservice by pretending they might
> be.

The biggest disservice is that people pretend that Temple Grandin is a
great rarity. The thing which makes her most rare is not that she is a
high functioning autistic with a Phd, but that she is a high functioning
autistic who was actually recognized as such. In 15 years academic
institutions will have many Phds graduating who are officially considered
autistic, instead of being informally considered eccentric.

This describes the way I think very well. Its a good example of a common
autistic trait which lends itself to high and/or unique intellectual

> However, it is absolutely the case that there is a strong correlation
> between high IQ and social dysfunction -- and I'm not talking about
> Asperger's or autism here.

You are and don't know it, your just noticing the tail end of the
autistic spectrum. Do these people make eye contact? Do they look
away or watch your mouth while you talk? Do they exhibit trouble
hearing you in a noisy environment, eventhough they are the first to
complain about noises other people don't hear, like computer power supply
whine from the high frequency switcher? Do they hate florescent
lights or see flicker on monitors most people can't? Are they picky
eaters avoiding many foods because of texture? Do they have unusually
high pain and/or cold tolerance? Are they pack rats?

Autistic traits in the general population: a twin study.

"Levels of severity of autistic traits at or above the previously
 published mean for patients with pervasive developmental disorder not
 otherwise specified were found in 1.4% of boys and 0.3% of girls."

"Given the continuous distribution of these traits, it may be arbitrary
 where cutoffs are made between research designations of being "affected"
 vs "unaffected" with a pervasive developmental disorder."

 Laughter-Confusion, Pleasure-Pain, Happyness-Sadness, Excitement-Fear,
 Love-Hate, etc. The true primary emotions, a modifier makes each into two.
 This modifier is acceptance/unacceptance. Let go, surrender, accept...
  Be a counter terrorist perpetrate random senseless acts of kindness

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