[ExI] No need for radical changes in human nature/was Re: Private and government R&D

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Tue Jul 14 03:58:35 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 1:56 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/7/10 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
>> On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 7:48 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 2009/7/9 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
>>>> ### Peer-reviewed research indicates otherwise:
>>>> http://law.jrank.org/pages/1368/Intelligence-Crime.html and other
>>>> pages there, especially
>>>> http://law.jrank.org/pages/1364/Intelligence-Crime-R-20-meaningful-correlation-size.html
>>> The cited papers claim a "moderate correlation". That is not
>>> equivalent to claiming that if people were smarter there would be less
>>> violent crime.
>> ### Read again. "randomly assigning high IQs to low-IQ individuals
>> would decrease their criminal behavior by about 30 percent (i.e., from
>> 60 percent to 40 percent)—certainly a meaningful change."
> And that's a completely unwarranted assumption based on the evidence
> of correlation. It's like discovering that people in prison are of
> below average height, and concluding that increasing the average
> height of the population will decrease crime.

### No, it is not unwarranted, since in this case there is theoretical
validity to the assumption of causality. IQ is a measure of the
general ability to arrive at correct solutions to problems. Crimes are
solutions that are deemed incorrect by the lawmaker, and the law is
designed to increase the cost of such solutions in relation to other
solutions. Having a higher IQ allows you to arrive at the correct
solution, given available data, such as the expected utility of
mugging a stranger and spending a year in prison, vs. working
productively and enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Thus, stupid people tend to do stupid, destructive stuff. The
so-called "poor" in rich countries are usually stupid, frequently
depraved, and they tend to commit crimes. Increasing their IQ would,
by allowing them to make better informed choices, decrease their
criminal behavior.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list