[extropy-chat] 12,000 IQ and nothing on?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Thu Apr 12 13:12:26 UTC 2007

Anders writes

>> Jensen says "Cognitive ability is a lot like money; it doesn't
>> really matter how much you have so long as you have a
>> certain enough."  I take him to mean that insofar as ability to
>> accomplish goes (among humans today), an IQ of 130 or
>> 150 or something is all you need.
> My research suggest that low ability is indeed the biggest
> problem.

Oh, I recall reading that now.  Thanks for the reminder;
this is important.

> Once you go below 100 IQ points, problems start to
> rise rather quickly. Whether there is an advantage in
> going from 130 to 140 is less obvious. However,
> at least one study demonstrated that even among
> the top 1% performers there were significant
> differences in professional success (PhDs, tenure,
> income) and number of patents between the top
> and bottom quartiles. The patent part is interesting,
> because that is non-competitive: it just represents
> crystalized creativity and signifies that these people
> actually do contribute significantly to society.

You put the existence of societal "problems" 
relating to low IQ in one category, and overall
differences (i.e. distributions) in what I was 
calling "general accomplishment" or the potential
to accomplish, in a separate category, which is
also very interesting, and seems probably right
to me.

Of course, in this thread we are more concerned
with the latter (as a possible reflection on the nature
of superhuman intelligence) than on the former,
despite the greater sociological and economic
importance of those "problems" traceable to less
than 100 IQ.

To me the fundamental problem is how closely
the nature of extreme capability (as opposed to
the notion of cognitive ability---in order to avoid
begging the question) follows any kind of 
approximately linear scale. By now (I go along
with the psychometricians) we have for humans
that there is an approximately linear scale for
human cognitive ability.  But this may break
down---as you mentioned in your previous
email---for very advanced entities. 

It seems to me that so far we are speculating
that advanced intelligence may be measured
by some combination of

       games  (extremely complicated ones)
       domination contests
       mathematical abilities

You had suggested "games", and I had earlier
suggested domination contests, in the sense
that two extremely advanced entities may
contest resources, even up to the point of
extinguishing each other. (This is how life on
Earth has developed thus far, from microscopic
creatures all the way up to states.)

I now add a third possibility---namely that
some component may be measurable by 
mathematical achievement. (This goes in hand
with a contention I've had for a long time that
perhaps extreme intelligence rather trivially
solves all non-mathematical problems
comparitively early in its development.)

More later on your interesting analyses of 
present day estimates of IQ differences 
among human populations.


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