[ExI] far future

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Mon Feb 3 01:59:44 UTC 2014

William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> , 2/2/2014 2:15 AM:
 It does question whether having a world filled with nothing but geniuses is dull.  
I think we can apply Nick Bostrom's reversal test to this: would a world with no geniuses be less dull? The answer is pretty clearly no.
Maybe the lack of difference is the issue, but I don't think so. Compare the discussions, games or parties you get from a very smart crowd versus a dull crowd. If we just look at what bright or dull people do with their social interactions I think it is clear that the brights at least do not tend to be boring on average. Yes, some of them are snobs or bores (after all, social skill is not strongly correlated with intelligence), but intellectual flexibility goes a long way to make you interesting. It also allows you to expand your interests in numerous ways, while the dullard has few avenues to entertainment and tends to be parochial in their interests.
If we also assumed the geniuses were social geniuses the dullness would be even less plausible. Imagine a world where everybody were a potentially scintillating conversationalist: you would not cut it by just doing Oscar Wilde bon mots, you would need to develop your own totally different style. Might be exceedingly hard to write or imagine, but since good conversationalism is all about figuring out how to be interesting in a given context, we should almost by definition expect it to lead to interesting parties even when all participants are great at it. Bad conversationalists are interesting only in the right (narrow) circumstances and cannot adapt. 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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