Re: precedent and possibility

From: Phil Goetz (
Date: Wed Aug 03 2005 - 08:56:28 MDT

> Poll of SL4
> Let's play "Guns, Germs, and Steel"
> Given current human intelligence, ten million people, ten
> million years, and
> no human eugenics, how restrictive would you guess
> starting conditions would
> have to be to prevent the development of MNT?
> Given Earth, no eugenics, ten million people, and ten
> million years, how
> large a shift in the average and/or standard deviation of
> intelligence would
> have prevented MNT from being developed?

On the general principal that complex systems track
the equilibrium between growing and dying, I would guess
that even a very small lowering of either the average
or standard deviation of IQ would put us into a regime
where, technologically & culturally, we would decay faster
than we grew - at least until societies simplified enough
to regain stability, at which point technological progress
might resume.

- Phil Goetz

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