Re: IQ and various meta Was Re: Ethics, IQ

From: Randall Randall (
Date: Tue Feb 08 2005 - 03:57:09 MST

On Feb 7, 2005, at 8:45 PM, David Clark wrote:
> From: "Randall Randall" <>
>> What could you possibly mean by a statement about having
>> the mental capacity to increase mental capacity? The
>> idea that one could increase one's intelligence by an
>> act of will, likewise, seems so obviously wrong that it
>> seems to indicate that you and others on this list are
>> not using the term "IQ" to mean the same things.
> I have written a number of IQ tests and an IQ tests your knowledge and
> then

My assumption is that you're using the term "written" to
mean "sat at examination", rather than "created", since
I would have expected you to be clear on standard deviation
and the like in the latter case.

[snip anecdote]
> Your *obviously wrong* comment, I obviously disagree with.

Understandably. Your anecdote, interesting though it is,
fails to convince me that you increased your intelligence.
Rather, I'd expect that you chose to use the processing
power you had.

>> In any case, Phil's question is apparently predicated on
>> the assumption that there is some technology available
>> to perform the narrowing or boosting required, as is
>> the nature of a thought experiment.
> I responded to emails that I read on the list. Sometimes the topic
> changes
> slightly while the subject title doesn't. In one of my emails I said
> that I
> was responding to his hypothetical case with real world replies
> because I
> believed those comments were relavent.

Okay, my apologies for singling you out. It's
become more common recently for people to seem
to misunderstand each other on this list, often
in ways that perpetuate the misunderstanding.

At least, that's how it looks from here. :)

>> For everyone involved in this argument and others
>> recently: Please make an effort to understand what
>> your opponents are trying to communicate. Even where
>> I agree with one side or the other of some of the
>> ongoing debates here, it's clear that you all spend
>> much of your time talking past each other rather than
>> discussing differences of substance.
> I see you have made posts since August 17, 2000. Does this mean that
> you
> understand all arguments and that other *new comers* don't? Even if
> Phil

No. In fact, I do not spend the time required to
attempt to understand some of the posters on this
list, for differing reasons. However, it has been
the case that I *do* understand a statement, and
those replying appear not to understand it. It's
only because this appeared to be happening in both
directions in recent debate that I brought it up.

> was assuming some method of increasing or decreasing peoples IQ, my
> comments
> would still stand. Most people (in my experience) don't like or want
> to be
> smart people. When I discovered this, I was obviously shocked, such
> is the
> bias of people who value intelligence. If you gave them the choice to
> raise
> their IQ 20 points, they would decline it.

Perhaps. While I agree that if you asked just like
that, many would decline, I believe this is because
they would expect (perhaps rightly!) that brighter
versions of themselves would no longer be interested
in all the same things -- would, in fact, be another
person altogether from their current perspectives.

If, instead, you found out what they like to do that
they don't do as well as they'd prefer, and ask them
if they'd like to raise their ability in that area
by fifty percent or more, I think the answers would

Randall Randall <>
"We have a world full of people who believe that bigger
  is better, and problems are solved by people who speak
  pretty words and have a high charisma score".

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