[ExI] re end of world

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Fri Sep 11 08:05:35 UTC 2015

On 2015-09-11 04:29, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
> ### All you need to "beat" Einstein is to be a bit more than 4SD above 
> mean (his estimated IQ was 160), which is found in 1/42000th of the 
> population. Thus there are on average more than 2 super-Einsteins in 
> every little city of 100k. Strange that something as unremarkable 
> would become the focus of news stories.

People often think IQ is what determines whether someone will be Great. 
But it is just one important factor among many. Besides obvious issues 
such as opportunity, motivation and personality the choice of field of 
activity has a huge effect.

The superEinstein bookmaker or advertiser may never be noticed in 
history, yet solve problems in their domain very well - it is just that 
they may never see a need to transform their domain. Benjamin Franklin 
was a polymath who tried his hand at many things and improved them, but 
also had a great opportunity to shape them.

We may apply a bottleneck principle: is the thing holding humans back 
generally lack of cognitive capacity, or could it be other factors? If 
it is the former, then enhanced IQ will have very big and wide effects. 
If it is the later, then the enhancement may still benefit people but 
the effects are going to be due to people who previously were marginal 
on the other factors and now get around them thanks to intelligence. I 
have a suspicion that boosted IQs will not turn us into Franklins, for 
that we need boosted motivations.

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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