[ExI] What would an IQ of 500 or 1000 look like?

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Tue May 26 11:45:23 UTC 2015

I wrote:

>Your presumption is that IQ needs to be 
>determined through answering a test. There are 
>several dozen physical measurements that 
>correlate with IQ, e.g., nerve conductive 
>velocity, myelin sheathing, etc. We cannot 
>directly measure intelligence reliably *yet*. 
>But it's not clear there's an inherent reason 
>why we couldn't. (And there are also simple 
>subtests of regular IQ tests that are good first 
>approximations of IQ, like reverse digit span: 
>Given a sequence of n digits presented to you 
>one per second, repeat the sequence in reverse order.)

I realize I chose my words poorly. I'm not 
suggesting there's a measurable physical feature 
that *is* our intelligence, as there is for our 
height. But rather that there might be a set of 
physical (chemical, electrical, etc.) 
characteristics—count, thickness, velocity, 
resistance, and so on—that we would be able to 
measure quickly and cheaply. Plug the numbers 
into formulas and out pops a reliable measure of 
intelligence that is at least as good as today's written psychometric tests.

Which may be very useful in designing noötropic techniques.

Besides enhancing you or me, I'm thinking about 
the subgroups that consistently measure lower 
than others. Say, the people of Lower Slobbovia. 
We see no obvious fixable reasons, like lack of 
dietary iodine or exposure to Y during fetal 
development. Which today leads one camp to say 
it's largely for genetic reasons and another to 
say it's an artifact of bad tests or bigoted researchers.

But I imagine that if we look very closely at why 
exactly is this set of people at IQ 70 and that 
set at IQ 160—measuring, modeling, analyzing, 
simulating—we might ultimately find workable 
answers to move some or all of humanity upward: R 
needs double the folic acid during pregnancy, S 
needs this neuropharmaceutical during puberty, T 
needs that neural prosthetic for the rest of their life.

-- David.

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