[ExI] shining example and COVID-19

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Thu Mar 26 09:06:02 UTC 2020

Ah, I see. I think. You're assuming this is about someone (parents) 
making irrevocable choices for their children.

If it was like that, sure, I'd agree, give the children the best choices 
you're capable of making at the time, given your limited knowledge.

But I can't see it being like that. Once we know enough to reliably and 
safely tinker with our own genomes, we'll know how to make changes to 
adults as well as to embryos, or we will shortly after that (in fact, I 
wouldn't be surprised if adult genetic engineering comes first). No 
genetic choice will be irrevocable. Someone (staying in the realm of 
biology for now) whose parents decided to make them tall could later 
decide that actually they want to be a spelunker and be a lot shorter 
and lighter than they were.
Yes, brain development would certainly be trickier, but that's probably 
best left to post-uploading, apart from ensuring nothing is going wrong 
with brain development. I may be wrong, though. There may be ways to 
re-wire an adult biological brain.

I'd throw cybernetic enhancements into the mix as well, and of course 

The idea of giving everyone 'maximum IQs' seems a bit strange to me. 
What does that mean? Person A has a really good ability to manipulate 3D 
images in their head, person B can't do that for toffee, but is 
excellent at algebra. Which one has the highest IQ? It's quite likely 
that some mental abilities come at the cost of some others. I've always 
been good with language, crap at maths. I have a friend who is the exact 
opposite. Which of us is more intelligent?

Eliminating factors which would hinder brain development is one thing, 
but I can't see how 'maximising IQ' can really mean anything, as it's 
such a vague term that encompasses many factors, and some of them will 
be at the cost of others.


On 25/03/2020 19:38, billw wrote:
> What justification can you come up with that results in people having 
> different IQs, given that we can give everyone the maximum? Ditto for 
> all health genes.  How we we explain to a person that we could have 
> made them better but we didn't? Tall people are favored in the job 
> market.  How could we explain to a short person that we just gave them 
> this disadvantage?
> Sure, there are plenty of factors that we can let go wild - parent's  
> choice.
> bill w
> On Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 8:02 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat 
> <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org 
> <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>> wrote:
>     On 24/03/2020 21:32, billw wrote:
>>     I do think I would make everyone better in the same way
>     I'm certain you'd get a /lot/ of resistance to that!
>     Apart from anything else, this smacks of coercion. But also, it
>     leads to a monoculture, which is always a bad idea.
>     Better to provide people with as wide a variety of choices as
>     possible imo. Let them decide for themselves, let them choose how
>     far to go, including nowhere at all, and what types of change to
>     choose.

Ben Zaiboc

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