Re: A study comparing 150 IQ+ persons to 180 IQ+ persons

From: Michael Anissimov (
Date: Wed Aug 23 2006 - 18:56:26 MDT

On 8/23/06, Joshua Fox <> wrote:

> Might I point out the possibility of one of those good ol' cognitive
> bias here: Many SL4 members have scored high on IQ and similar tests,
> and are proud of that, and so may place an unresaonable focus on
> testing.

This completely untrue. Both Richard Loosemore and now you are
accusing me of talking about IQ overmuch because of an assumption that
I scored high and am proud of it. But I know for a fact that there
are many people on this list with a greater IQ than mine. This silly
notion - that examining IQ in detail, reading academic papers about
it, or arguing for its predictive validity are all symptoms of
irrational exuberance about IQ because of a personal high score.

In fact, I just watched Anders Sandberg's talk at Transvision 06, and
practically the entire thing focuses on IQ and its importance. He
cites Linda Gottfredson multiple times, as well as citing the Terman
study. How come Anders Sandberg can talk for an hour about the
importance of IQ and everyone is respectful, but when I do the same
thing I'm being "ridiculous"?

In his talk (available at,
he listed many points, including these:

+1 IQ point = +1.763% income (Schwartz),
Annual gain / IQ point US $55-65 billion
0.4-0.5% GDP
Weiss 1998: 3 point IQ increase:
Poverty rate -25%
Males in jail -25%
High school dropouts -28%
Parentless children -20%
Welfare recipiency -18%
Out-of-wedlock births -15%

Here is a oft-seen informative chart on IQ he presented:

Intelligence is one of the Singularitarian Principles

"At the heart of an appreciation of the Singularity lies an
appreciation of intelligence. The Singularity places a horizon across
our understanding because we can't predict what someone smarter than
us is going to do; if we could, we'd be that smart ourselves.
Intelligence isn't just the ability to come up with complex solutions
to complex problems; it's the ability to see the shortcuts, the simple
and obvious-in-retrospect solutions to complex problems - even
emotional or philosophical problems. Intelligence isn't just
high-speed thinking, perfect memories, or other party tricks;
intelligence is also wisdom, and self-awareness, and other things that
extend into every aspect of mind and personality."

> Certainly. But how is the measurement of IQ by tests relevant to the
> development of artificially enhanced intelligence?

Yes. Some of the same features of IQ test problems will be targetted
by AI designers as tasks that their system must be able to solve.
Also, a better understanding of human IQ variance in the space of
minds-in-general will begin with a thorough analysis of that human
variance. This is important to the argument that human-equivalent AI
is anthropomorphic. There is no such thing as long-term
human-equivalent AI: you either have a retard or a superintelligence.
The transition time from A to B could be measured in the minutes or

> However, the discussion in this thread has not been about that
> angle, but rather about how to best measure the differences between
> humans in a way that correlates with real intelligence, and this seems
> only secondarily relevant to SL4.

"It's transhuman intelligence that lies at the heart of the
Singularity, but we respect intelligence on the human scale as well.
This respect for intelligence is our shield against being blinded by
ideology, one of the primary safeguards that prevents
Singularitarianism from turning into just another banal fanaticism.
Cloudy thinking in the service of the Singularity wouldn't be a
virtue; it'd be another dreary manifestation of the same old human
stupidity that we're trying to get away from."

Michael Anissimov
Lifeboat Foundation

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:57 MDT