The importance of increasing human general intelligence

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by Ricky, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    The point of this post is not to argue what constitutes "intelligence", or even what methods should be taken to increase intelligence. The method is irrelevant. The distribution is irrelevant. Intelligence exists. Some are more intelligent than others. Some are born geniuses, some are born retarded. Both genetics and environment contribute to human intelligence.

    As a species we are begging to imbue electronic computers with a modicum of intelligence, and as far as I can tell our ability to do so will only continue to increase. People point to the theoretical limits of physics in terms of processor size as a barrier to Moore's law, but ignore increasingly successful developments in the field of quantum computing. The development of intelligent machines poses a threat to human individuality and liberty that is hard to underplay. As much as we like to believe that we, as individuals, cannot have our actions predicted- this is simply not the case. We scoff at comically poor targeted ads, but the fact that they are able to predict what we want better than random guessing is in and of itself a sign of what is to come. Massive lost of employment is only one side of the issue of machine intelligence. As surveillance becomes cheaper, as networks become faster, and as the cost of computing goes down, our ability to act as individual agents comes under threat. Not because we cannot pretend to act as individuals, but because acting as an individual will become a poorer option than following the suggestions of an algorithm. When an algorithm can predict what you will enjoy watching, what you will enjoy eating, what path of life you will be more likely to be happy in, and who you will be more likely to succeed in a relationship with- that is a fundamental death of liberty. A drowning of individuality in the sea of information.

    The only way to escape this eventuality is to outpace it. To make humans more intelligent than the machines they can build. To increase the limits of the mind and of human experience beyond the baseline natural evolution has granted us. Whether through genetic engineering, bio-modification, chemical enhancement, or cybernetics- the means are secondary to the ends. By allowing ourselves as a species to stay the same while our technology sprints ahead of us will result in our selves becoming mentally and physically subservient to the machines we create. To become livestock of consumption trapped in a system that can out-think us at every turn. The closing of all frontiers to humanity.

    Secondarily, if you are of the mind that this idea of liberty is not important to you, and that you are fine with dancing on the strings of a computer if it means a happier existence, then increasing human intelligence is still in your interest. In both the public and private sectors, an increase in human intelligence would benefit the efficiency and output of all fields. Better infrastructure, better equipment, better music, better movies, better games- increasing human intelligence would bear fruit across our society in both the short and long run. It would aid our efforts to come up with alternative energy technology to combat climate change. It would help in developing aerospace technology and increase the chances of asteroid mining. It would increase our ability to practice medicine, extend life, and combat mental illnesses or depression.

    Even if you are of the mindset that attempting to increase human intelligence is against some natural or divine will, or allergic to the idea that some may become enhanced while others are not, and you want to ignore the potential suffering all the benefits of increasing intelligence could alleviate, then there is still an argument for you. China, a civilization of over a billion, is already pursuing these efforts with both government and private interest. If we do not compete as a civilization and they are successful, we will be the third world of tomorrow. Left behind and eventually colonized by those whom are less morally scrupulous.
     
  2. Diablo

    Diablo Well-Known Member

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    Eugenics.
     
  3. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    The loss of human capital from most 20th century eugenic plans makes them undesirable, however yes, this is one of the most basic avenues we can explore as a species.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  4. Diablo

    Diablo Well-Known Member

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    If your goal is make people smarter, who cares about the collateral damage? Just sterilise anyone with an IQ less than 100.
     
  5. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    Eugenics failed utterly to improve anything. Low IQ's are to some extent linked to either genetic defects that are currently not well understood or to bad prenatal care which can in certain circumstances produce genetic defects. There are other possibilities as well.
    Given the current hodgepodge which is the current gene pool I'm not sure it is possible to raise over all human IQ without a much better understanding than what you seem interested in exploring. Over all intelligence is the ability to gather and utilize knowledge. The knowledge a given culture values will be the knowledge that will be sought by the members of that culture. This is one of the problems I have with the work of Charles Murray on IQ.
     
  6. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    Because people sub-100 IQ are still useful within society and treating such a large number of people harshly would result in heavy backlash.
     
  7. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    Eugenics has never been carried out or the results tracked on a large scale. They hadn't even decoded the human genome and were basically swinging blind. More often than not it has been used to target undesirables without any regard for IQ (Hitler killing Ashkenazi Jews).

    I agree, but I don't think that eugenics should be ruled out simply because it's supported by cruel people, or those interesting in shock value.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  8. Diablo

    Diablo Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say there wouldn't be problems....
     
  9. Diablo

    Diablo Well-Known Member

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    Intelligence is at least partially inherited, so if you want to increase overall intelligence - per the OP - then the solution should be genetic too.
     
  10. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    Your solution is not practical, and there are better alternatives to widespread sterilization.

    Eugenics is one of the slowest and most inefficient ways of harnessing evolution to change genetics.
    Genetic modification is already a reality for crops and farm animals, and will soon be a viable option for humans.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  11. ImNotOliver

    ImNotOliver Well-Known Member

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    From things I've read, the average intelligence has doubled over the past century. Most of this can be attributed to better nutrition and hygiene. Along with higher intelligence, things like health and height have also increased.

    The nutrition/hygiene angle also helps explain, in part, the lower health/intelligence of poor people, along with their genetic and environmental disadvantages.
     
  12. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    These are all efforts that are extremely valuable and absolutely worth pursuing, but there's also a reason to believe that there is an upper limit to how much you can get from increasing nutrition and hygiene, like how there is a limit to how much you can lift from going to the gym. A genetic ceiling that can only be raised through methods that modify genes.
     
  13. Belch

    Belch Well-Known Member

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    Get rid of the welfare state. All that does is transfer wealth from the intelligent to the stupid, making it possible for the least intelligent people to reproduce on the intelligentsia's dime.

    Another way to increase intelligence is mobility. The ability to move out of a neighborhood full of stupid people once you start making money creates a brain drain. If you are intelligent, you move out of detroit and into a much more affluent and safer place to live. The least intelligent can't afford to move out of Detroit, thus taking their superior genes with them. Those that can't leave reproduce with each other, although without welfare, they won't be able to reproduce as much.
     
  14. perdidochas

    perdidochas Advisor Staff Member

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    Lack of prenatal care can't produce genetic defects. It can produce birth defects.
     
  15. logical1

    logical1 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    When you see any of the "man on the street" interviews lately, the education system is close to a total failure. Our schools and universities apparently are joke.
    Students get out of HS, cant write, dont know how to make out a check, and so many other day to day things necessary to get along in society it is pathetic.

    BTW it was Einstein who said approx around 1910 that as soon as we have machine that can "think" for us, we as a race will become stupid. With smart phones, I think old Einstein was right on.

    Intelligence wont increase if we stop thinking.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  16. Ricky

    Ricky Active Member

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    Intelligence isn't increased by mobility, it's just moved. But yes, we have a dysgenic system that rewards less intelligent people, and a culture that punishes intelligence through urban societies with sub-replaceable birth rates.
     
  17. Belch

    Belch Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't increase it, but rather separates the least intelligent from the most intelligent. This helps keep the gene pools separated.

    One very interesting thing to consider is that intelligence is passed down by mothers, as opposed to fathers. Now look at who collects the most from the welfare state, and it is primarily low intelligence women. Social welfare services are predominantly staffed by women, and the money they distribute mostly goes towards women with the least intelligence. Men are kept out of the business of raising their offspring because women on welfare don't need them.

    We're literally paying the least intelligent people to reproduce in a very efficient manner, since men receive so little of the welfare funds.
     
  18. ImNotOliver

    ImNotOliver Well-Known Member

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    All across America this brain drain has been occurring for decades. It explains why all the so-called fly over states have become so conservative. The bright curious sons left for college and then to the city, It is why intellectual talent, inovation, and economic growth cluster in cities.
     
  19. Belch

    Belch Well-Known Member

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    Called the Flynn effect, and while nobody quite knows why, the overall consensus seems to be a rise in nutrition rates among the poor.
     
  20. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    So you really want to argue that smoking can not cause genetic changes? Or a host of other chemicals for that matter? Are you arguing that no such thing as a mutagen exists?
     
  21. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    I think that if you raise a child in an environment where he lacks exposure to information he will test as an idiot whether he is or not.
     
  22. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    Or we are better at testing and information has become much more widely available and accessible.
     
  23. garyd

    garyd Well-Known Member

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    Why not teach people to make better use of the intellect they already have?
     
  24. Belch

    Belch Well-Known Member

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    lol! Well, that's an interesting theory. Yes, it's true that the most intelligent are the most mobile, and they tend to leave small towns and head to the city where the real money is to be found.

    However, the most liberal cities have the highest wealth disparity, so you have the very rich looking out of their penthouses down onto streets filled with the very poor. That was most obvious during the OWS encampment. The poor clearly outnumber the rich, and the democrats only win if they can "get out the vote".
     
  25. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    There may be something to that, and in fact that was the thesis of Charles Murray's "Coming Apart." However this comment of yours is completely contradictory to your earlier post, #11. So are you just trolling by making two contradictory comments in this thread or did you change your mind based on reading further down?
     

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