[ExI] The downsides of high IQ

Tara Maya tara at taramayastales.com
Wed Apr 15 15:47:18 UTC 2015

Another point that the article didn’t make but seems important is whether the “down side” of intelligence is a downside per se, or simply an independent factor. So, to take the beauty example, the stereotype is that beautiful people are dumb and smart people are ugly. But at the same time, we can all think of plenty of exceptions, and there are plenty of ugly stupid people and smart pretty folks. So the two things are independent, probably because to a certain extent, a great deal of one can make up for the lack of the other. But, when humans have the choice, they go for the combination of smart and pretty. 

One could likewise ask if the frequently noted connection between other gifts and deficits are intrinsic or accidental. For instance, artists, even more than other kinds of “smart people”, have a notable tendency to be depressed, alcoholic, insane, suicidal, etc. Many artists even believe that being depressed or a manic-depressive, is a necessary part of being artistic. That if you were to take away their depression, you’d remove their ability or desire to write/paint/sculpt or what have you. This seems to me to be a pretty important question, because if we could chose genes for artistic temperament for a children, for example, parents would want to make sure this wasn’t at the cost of causing their children to commit suicide at an early age or drink themselves to death. Society might think that it was worth the price to get a few masterpieces, but individuals and their families would probably disagree.

Tara Maya
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>> Still, practical wisdom requires intelligence: if you cannot think well, your thinking will be an upper bound on your wisdom and forces you to remain wise about small, concrete things rather than big and important things. 
>> Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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