[ExI] shining example and COVID-19

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 26 19:01:04 UTC 2020

Now we are getting down to details.  Your point about IQ is well-founded.
It is not a totally pure factor.  I don't know about having one set of
genes interfering with another set, but you could know.

Epigenetics will come first, I think.  Finding out what genes do what
enables us to use Crispr and turn them on or off (or replace them).  A few
conditions do come from just a few genes.  I think cystic fibrosis is one
that could be easily cured.

We could control height with pituitary hormones now, right?  Weight too.  I
don't know why we don't use levothyroxine to raise metabolism rates and get
rid of fat.  (My rate is out of the normal range and kept that way as a
treatment for thyroid cancer.  I have a few side effects,such as no
appetite and dry skin, which pale in comparison to the problems obese
people will have sooner or later.)

I certainly agree about choices.  Parents will have to make them when
choosing the genetics of their children.  If those children decide (at what
age do they get to?) differently and the genetic tools are available, then
that's just what a libertarian would like best of all.  But the parents
have the first say perforce.

We won't live to find out, but I have serious doubts that uploading will
produce an entity indistinguishable from the biological person, or have the
same experiences of life just by stimulating the uploaded person in some

IQ correlates with more things than anything else, even art talent, though
that correlation is fairly low.  A person with an IQ of 80 can learn to
read music and with the proper dexterity can play in an orchestra - but not
conduct nor write music well.  There may be other things that come to mind
which I would give everyone - long life genes?  Not needed in an upload

bill w

On Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 4:10 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> 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
> uploading.
> 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.
> Ben
> 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> 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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