[ExI] Making [100 million] people smarter on the cheap.
thespike at satx.rr.com
Sat Dec 6 17:56:53 UTC 2008
At 03:28 PM 12/4/2008 -0500, JKC wrote:
>Nicholas D. Kristof proposed a way to raise the IQ of one BILLION
>people between 10 and 15 points and do so at the cost of 2 cents per
>person per year! ...
Not quite. What Kristof wrote was:
"When a pregnant woman doesn't have enough iodine in her body, her
child may suffer irreversible brain damage and could have an I.Q.
that is 10 to 15 points lower than it would otherwise be. An educated
guess is that iodine deficiency results in a needless loss of more
than 1 billion I.Q. points around the world."
So he's not suggesting that some one billion humans are 1 point
lower, but that on average some 100 million, or fewer, are 10 points
or more lower. Hence his horrifying anecdotal description:
"Occasionally in my travels I've been unnerved by coming across
entire villages, in western China and elsewhere, eerily full of
people with mental and physical handicaps, staggering about, unable
to speak coherently." That's a *huge* deficit, and clearly there are
many contributory causes.
Still, even 50 million somewhat brain-damaged people is a staggering
and dreadful needless waste of potential. Yes, there'll be rumors
that adding iodine to the salt or other foods is an Evil Crusader
Plot, but not if the leaders of such nations and faiths can be
persuaded to speak up in favor of doing so. It might suit some of
them to stupidize their populations, but that's not a foregone conclusion.
More information about the extropy-chat