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Could you make the cut (whether you want to or not)?

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  • Kennita Watson
    All you folks who wouldn t join any club that would have you as a member , or who don t want to know, or who disdain joining elistist groups , can tune out
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 3, 2005
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      All you folks who "wouldn't join any club that
      would have you as a member", or who don't want to
      know, or who disdain joining "elistist groups", can
      tune out now. Those who are curious if they could
      be a Mensa member, but not curious enough to spend
      money to find out, read on (yes, I'm a member, for
      about 25 years now). FTR, I have no doubt that
      most of the people I hang around could get in if
      they wanted to, though some seem to have
      self-effacement as an avocation -- cute,
      really :-) ....

      Live long and prosper,
      Kennita

      > Do you know someone who you think qualifies for Mensa membership?
      > We're making it easy - and cheap - for your friends and colleagues to
      > qualify for Mensa membership. During the entire month of August, they
      > may send in the results of any standardized intelligence test they've
      > taken in the past, and we'll evaluate the test scores for Mensa
      > membership for free. (There is usually a $30 fee to evaluate test
      > scores.) We accept the results from more than 200 tests; a partial
      > list may found at
      > _http://www.us.mensa.org/join_mensa/testscores.php3_. If they
      > qualify, they'll be sent an offer of membership.
      >
      > Please take this opportunity to invite your friends and colleagues to
      > join Mensa. To take advantage of our offer, they will need to visit
      > _www.us.mensa.org_ and follow the instructions on that page.
      >
      > Catherine Barney
      > PR Manager
      > American Mensa, Ltd.
      > PRManager@...
      > _www.us.mensa.org_
    • Wayne Radinsky
      Look at the world s most successful people. Bill Gates has a high IQ. George Bush has a low IQ (probably) as measured by standard IQ tests. Yet both are
      Message 2 of 16 , Aug 4, 2005
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        Look at the world's most successful people. Bill Gates has
        a high IQ. George Bush has a low IQ (probably) as measured
        by standard IQ tests. Yet both are super-successful in the
        real world. Why is that? Because the kind of logical
        thinking that is measured by IQ tests is only one thin
        slice of what goes on in the brain, and there is all that
        other stuff -- language, emotion, political/social skill
        etc.

        Or think of it this way. If IQ tests predicted success, *I*
        would be successful in life. I'm not. (Hopefully I will be
        someday... of course...) My IQ tests say I'm more
        intelligent than 98% of the population. My bank account
        says I'm less intelligent than 95% of the population. Which
        is right? I shouldn't ask. But objectively, a person's net
        worth is the most accurate measure of their total
        intelligence. Just ask Donald Trump. Ha ha ha.

        And just think, the robots aren't even here yet. What's
        going to happen when robots become good at language,
        emotion, political and social skills -- not to mention fine
        motor skill. Just good fine motor skill is enough to put
        all the workmen hired to fix up this broken down house out
        of work forever. When that happens, they are going to put
        some chips in their brains and get jobs in robot factories.
        The chips might improve their Mensa test scores too.




        Kennita Watson typed the following on a computer keyboard somewhere in
        the world:
        > All you folks who "wouldn't join any club that
        > would have you as a member", or who don't want to
        > know, or who disdain joining "elistist groups", can
        > tune out now. Those who are curious if they could
        > be a Mensa member, but not curious enough to spend
        > money to find out, read on (yes, I'm a member, for
        > about 25 years now). FTR, I have no doubt that
        > most of the people I hang around could get in if
        > they wanted to, though some seem to have
        > self-effacement as an avocation -- cute,
        > really :-) ....
        >
        > Live long and prosper,
        > Kennita
      • Kennita Watson
        ... All this is saying to me is that you don t want to join, and feel it necessary to explain why. ... Not possible. That you say my bank account indicates
        Message 3 of 16 , Aug 5, 2005
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          Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:

          > Look at the world's most successful people. Bill Gates has
          > a high IQ. George Bush has a low IQ (probably) as measured
          > by standard IQ tests. Yet both are super-successful in the
          > real world. Why is that? Because the kind of logical
          > thinking that is measured by IQ tests is only one thin
          > slice of what goes on in the brain, and there is all that
          > other stuff -- language, emotion, political/social skill
          > etc.

          All this is saying to me is that you don't want
          to join, and feel it necessary to explain why.

          > Or think of it this way. If IQ tests predicted success, *I*
          > would be successful in life. I'm not. (Hopefully I will be
          > someday... of course...) My IQ tests say I'm more
          > intelligent than 98% of the population. My bank account
          > says I'm less intelligent than 95% of the population.

          Not possible. That you say "my bank account" indicates that
          you are ahead of at least 15% of people. What was I saying
          about "self-effacement as an avocation"? :-)

          See this article:
          http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1093/is_6_43/ai_68159407

          I'd say more than 15%, because the article counts families,
          and IIUC poorer families tend to have more children.

          Also try googling the phrase "don't have a bank account" and
          see what you get. Then imagine how many of those who have a
          bank account don't have anything in it. Then stop playing
          one-downsmanship games; do you really want to win them?

          > Which
          > is right? I shouldn't ask. But objectively, a person's net
          > worth is the most accurate measure of their total
          > intelligence. Just ask Donald Trump. Ha ha ha.
          >
          > And just think, the robots aren't even here yet. What's
          > going to happen when robots become good at language,
          > emotion, political and social skills -- not to mention fine
          > motor skill. Just good fine motor skill is enough to put
          > all the workmen hired to fix up this broken down house out
          > of work forever. When that happens, they are going to put
          > some chips in their brains and get jobs in robot factories.
          > The chips might improve their Mensa test scores too.
          >
          >
          > Kennita Watson typed the following on a computer keyboard somewhere in
          > the world:
          >
          >> All you folks who "wouldn't join any club that
          >> would have you as a member", or who don't want to
          >> know, or who disdain joining "elistist groups", can
          >> tune out now. Those who are curious if they could
          >> be a Mensa member, but not curious enough to spend
          >> money to find out, read on (yes, I'm a member, for
          >> about 25 years now). FTR, I have no doubt that
          >> most of the people I hang around could get in if
          >> they wanted to, though some seem to have
          >> self-effacement as an avocation -- cute,
          >> really :-) ....
          >>
          >> Live long and prosper,
          >> Kennita
        • J. Andrew Rogers
          ... IQ is more of an enabler that bounds the possibility space; no amount of hard work is a substitute for being fundamentally too stupid to solve a given
          Message 4 of 16 , Aug 9, 2005
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            On 8/4/05 11:39 AM, "Wayne Radinsky" <waynerad@...> wrote:
            > Because the kind of logical
            > thinking that is measured by IQ tests is only one thin
            > slice of what goes on in the brain, and there is all that
            > other stuff -- language, emotion, political/social skill
            > etc.


            IQ is more of an enabler that bounds the possibility space; no amount of
            hard work is a substitute for being fundamentally too stupid to solve a
            given problem.

            In practice, a very high IQ will not do anyone much good without discipline,
            focus, and ambition. If IQ is not effectively applied to real tasks or if
            one has no real goals to apply IQ to, it will not do a person much good to
            have a high IQ. While discipline, focus, and ambition can be developed to a
            certain extent, many of those properties are undoubtedly controlled to a
            significant extent by genetics and biochemistry. Hell, diet affects these
            characteristics to a significant extent.


            Giving a person a high IQ is kind of like giving a person a million dollars.
            A few individuals will do something interesting with it, but most will piss
            it away on trinkets and pointless exercises. Call it human nature I guess,
            but few people exploit the potential of the resources at their disposal.
            Doing something constructive is rarely, if ever, the path of least
            resistance.


            Cheers,

            J. Andrew Rogers
          • Jan
            Hello JAR... Right on!!! Below is something that came my way recently... Many thanks to the mensAH! folk s that have the ambition to be funny! Read on and
            Message 5 of 16 , Aug 9, 2005
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              Hello JAR...

              Right on!!!

              Below is something that came my way recently... Many thanks to the mensAH!
              folk's that have the ambition to be funny! Read on and enjoy...

              - Jan Hauser

              ---SNOP----

              The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take
              any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing
              one letter, and supply a new definition.


              Here are this year's winners. None of them get through spellcheck.

              1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you
              realize it was your money to start with.

              2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

              3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright
              ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign
              of breaking down in the near future.

              4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting
              laid.

              5. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject
              financially impotent for an indefinite period.

              6. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

              7. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who
              doesn't get it.

              8. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

              9. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

              10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

              11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off these bad vibes,
              right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

              12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming
              only things that are good for you.

              13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

              14. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they
              come at you rapidly.

              15. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've
              accidentally walked through a spider web.

              16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your
              bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

              17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the
              fruit you're eating.

              And the pick of the literature:

              18. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.



              -----Original Message-----
              From: bafuture@yahoogroups.com [mailto:bafuture@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
              Of J. Andrew Rogers
              Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 11:17 PM
              To: bafuture@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [bafuture] Could you make the cut (whether you want to or not)?

              On 8/4/05 11:39 AM, "Wayne Radinsky" <waynerad@...> wrote:
              > Because the kind of logical
              > thinking that is measured by IQ tests is only one thin slice of what
              > goes on in the brain, and there is all that other stuff -- language,
              > emotion, political/social skill etc.


              IQ is more of an enabler that bounds the possibility space; no amount of
              hard work is a substitute for being fundamentally too stupid to solve a
              given problem.

              In practice, a very high IQ will not do anyone much good without discipline,
              focus, and ambition. If IQ is not effectively applied to real tasks or if
              one has no real goals to apply IQ to, it will not do a person much good to
              have a high IQ. While discipline, focus, and ambition can be developed to a
              certain extent, many of those properties are undoubtedly controlled to a
              significant extent by genetics and biochemistry. Hell, diet affects these
              characteristics to a significant extent.


              Giving a person a high IQ is kind of like giving a person a million dollars.
              A few individuals will do something interesting with it, but most will piss
              it away on trinkets and pointless exercises. Call it human nature I guess,
              but few people exploit the potential of the resources at their disposal.
              Doing something constructive is rarely, if ever, the path of least
              resistance.


              Cheers,

              J. Andrew Rogers

              Look at the world's most successful people. Bill Gates has a high IQ. George
              Bush has a low IQ (probably) as measured by standard IQ tests. Yet both are
              super-successful in the real world. Why is that? Because the kind of logical
              thinking that is measured by IQ tests is only one thin slice of what goes on
              in the brain, and there is all that other stuff -- language, emotion,
              political/social skill etc.

              Or think of it this way. If IQ tests predicted success, *I* would be
              successful in life. I'm not. (Hopefully I will be someday... of course...)
              My IQ tests say I'm more intelligent than 98% of the population. My bank
              account says I'm less intelligent than 95% of the population. Which is
              right? I shouldn't ask. But objectively, a person's net worth is the most
              accurate measure of their total intelligence. Just ask Donald Trump. Ha ha
              ha.

              And just think, the robots aren't even here yet. What's going to happen when
              robots become good at language, emotion, political and social skills -- not
              to mention fine motor skill. Just good fine motor skill is enough to put all
              the workmen hired to fix up this broken down house out of work forever. When
              that happens, they are going to put some chips in their brains and get jobs
              in robot factories.
              The chips might improve their Mensa test scores too.




              Kennita Watson typed the following on a computer keyboard somewhere in the
              world:
              > All you folks who "wouldn't join any club that would have you as a
              > member", or who don't want to know, or who disdain joining "elistist
              > groups", can tune out now. Those who are curious if they could be a
              > Mensa member, but not curious enough to spend money to find out, read
              > on (yes, I'm a member, for about 25 years now). FTR, I have no doubt
              > that most of the people I hang around could get in if they wanted to,
              > though some seem to have self-effacement as an avocation -- cute,
              > really :-) ....
              >
              > Live long and prosper,
              > Kennita





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            • Jan
              Hi their! This is the normally quiet and very reserved Jan Hauser ;-) I love the reference to wouldn t join any club that would have you as a member . On the
              Message 6 of 16 , Aug 10, 2005
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                Hi their!

                This is the normally quiet and very reserved Jan Hauser ;-)

                I love the reference to "wouldn't join any club that would have you as a
                member".
                On the subject of "elistist groups"... What do we think of as the criterion
                for being a member of an "elistist group"?

                I am a bit concerned about what may be a current trend to increased
                narcissism....

                Clubs of Men with "muscular bodies"...
                The club of "good looking" women...
                The club of "intelligent" people...
                The club of "Rich people"... (Boy! There are lots of fenced and guarded
                communities for these folk's)

                Did I say Rich? What does this mean?

                Read on.....

                Main Entry: rich
                Pronunciation: 'rich
                Function: adjective
                Etymology: Middle English riche, from Old English rIce; akin to Old High
                German rIhhi rich, Old English rIce kingdom, Old High German rIhhi, n.; all
                from prehistoric Germanic words borrowed from Celtic words akin to Old Irish
                rí (genitive ríg) king -- more at ROYAL
                1 : having abundant possessions and especially material wealth
                2 a : having high value or quality b : well supplied <a city rich in
                traditions>
                3 : magnificently impressive : SUMPTUOUS
                4 a : vivid and deep in color <a rich red> b : full and mellow in tone and
                quality <a rich voice> c : having a strong fragrance <rich perfumes>
                5 : highly productive or remunerative <a rich mine>
                6 a : having abundant plant nutrients <rich soil> b : highly seasoned,
                fatty, oily, or sweet <rich foods> c : high in the combustible component <a
                rich fuel mixture> d : high in some component <cholesterol-rich foods>
                7 a : ENTERTAINING; also : LAUGHABLE b : MEANINGFUL, SIGNIFICANT <rich
                allusions> c : LUSH <rich meadows>
                8 : pure or nearly pure <rich lime>
                - rich·ness noun
                synonyms RICH, WEALTHY, AFFLUENT, OPULENT mean having goods, property, and
                money in abundance. RICH implies having more than enough to gratify normal
                needs or desires <became rich through shrewd investing>. WEALTHY stresses
                the possession of property and intrinsically valuable things <wealthy
                landowners>. AFFLUENT suggests prosperity and an increasing wealth <an
                affluent society>. OPULENT suggests lavish expenditure and display of great
                wealth, more often applying to things than people <an opulent mansion>.

                --- last quip---

                ***highly seasoned, fatty, oily, or sweet <rich foods>***

                YES!!! I KNEW IT! THIS IS THE TRUE MEANING!!!

                -jan



                -----Original Message-----
                From: bafuture@yahoogroups.com [mailto:bafuture@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                Of Kennita Watson
                Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 2:57 AM
                To: kabuki-west@...; macdude@yahoogroups.com;
                extropians@yahoogroups.com; bafuture@yahoogroups.com
                Cc: Kennita Watson
                Subject: [bafuture] Could you make the cut (whether you want to or not)?

                All you folks who "wouldn't join any club that would have you as a member",
                or who don't want to know, or who disdain joining "elistist groups", can
                tune out now. Those who are curious if they could be a Mensa member, but
                not curious enough to spend money to find out, read on (yes, I'm a member,
                for about 25 years now). FTR, I have no doubt that most of the people I
                hang around could get in if they wanted to, though some seem to have
                self-effacement as an avocation -- cute, really :-) ....

                Live long and prosper,
                Kennita

                > Do you know someone who you think qualifies for Mensa membership?
                > We're making it easy - and cheap - for your friends and colleagues to
                > qualify for Mensa membership. During the entire month of August, they
                > may send in the results of any standardized intelligence test they've
                > taken in the past, and we'll evaluate the test scores for Mensa
                > membership for free. (There is usually a $30 fee to evaluate test
                > scores.) We accept the results from more than 200 tests; a partial
                > list may found at
                > _http://www.us.mensa.org/join_mensa/testscores.php3_. If they
                > qualify, they'll be sent an offer of membership.
                >
                > Please take this opportunity to invite your friends and colleagues to
                > join Mensa. To take advantage of our offer, they will need to visit
                > _www.us.mensa.org_ and follow the instructions on that page.
                >
                > Catherine Barney
                > PR Manager
                > American Mensa, Ltd.
                > PRManager@...
                > _www.us.mensa.org_



                bafuture-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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              • Troy Gardner
                ... Being an extropian , futurist, atheist, NT or NF or any other group less than 3% of the general population with thoughts and an agenda and facilitated by
                Message 7 of 16 , Aug 10, 2005
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                  > On the subject of "elistist groups"... What do we think of as the criterion
                  > for being a member of an "elistist group"?


                  Being an extropian , futurist, atheist, NT or NF or any other group less than
                  3% of the general population with thoughts and an agenda and facilitated by the
                  power of the internet and of course being rich, which I'm still working on.

                  Troy Gardner -"How you live your seconds, is how you live your days, is how you live your life..."

                  http://www.troygardner.com -my world
                  http://www.troyworks.com - building Rich Internet Applications
                  http://www.intrio.com -helping bridge the gap between the humans and machines. Home of the Flickey™
                • Andrew Pimlott
                  ... That is, you ve already suffered the handover . ... Swiped from Gary Larson. Andrew
                  Message 8 of 16 , Aug 10, 2005
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                    On Tue, Aug 09, 2005 at 11:51:07PM -0700, Jan wrote:
                    > 1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you
                    > realize it was your money to start with.

                    That is, you've already suffered the "handover".

                    > 3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright
                    > ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign
                    > of breaking down in the near future.

                    Swiped from Gary Larson.

                    Andrew
                  • Mira Calyx
                    Interesting conversation here ... and can t help but chime in here briefly. I doubt there are more than a small handful of folks who don t fall in the 2.2%
                    Message 9 of 16 , Aug 10, 2005
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                      Interesting conversation here ... and can't help but chime in here briefly.

                      I doubt there are more than a small handful of folks who don't fall in the
                      2.2% category on this list. It doesn't take more than a wee bit of research
                      to determine that there are all manner of things wrong with the measurement
                      of IQ though, and that's been touched upon here (the need for the inclusion
                      of EQ/SQ fi).

                      What is interesting to me -- and I could be wrong (a favorite past time of
                      mine :-)) -- is it seems a subtext pops up around the edges of this
                      conversation, that there is somehow a lesser and more unfortunate
                      intelligent position in the universe for those who are more emotionally
                      inclined. What are we missing here? I'm not a fan of Bush at all, but what
                      is his appeal to people if not for something the human condition needs that
                      he has surreptitiously tapped in to. Without dismissing a large percentage
                      of the American population with a broad stroke as being too stupid to bother
                      with, I have to ask, what are we, the 2.2%, missing here?

                      What if not for Nietzsche's oft-misunderstood "God is dead?". He wasn't
                      talking about atheism, but how to resolve the sparing between the spirit and
                      the intellect in a godless age. What about Silicon Valley having one of the
                      largest pools of Asbergers babies in the world if it weren't for NT/NT
                      pairings? Perhaps all the diversity of the human intellect has a larger
                      meaning and a more subtle design built directly into our DNA to serve
                      purposes larger than one type of mind can grasp. To dismiss numinous forms
                      of 'intellect' is a Pyrrhic victory in my opinion.

                      Marie Finnern
                      www.mariqua.com

                      "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened
                      of the old ones." -- John Cage
                    • Troy Gardner
                      ... This wasn t quite clear to me what you meant. But I ll venture an answer on what I think (er feel?) you mean. Depends on the balance and the depth of the
                      Message 10 of 16 , Aug 10, 2005
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                        >there is somehow a lesser and more unfortunate
                        > position in the universe for those who are more emotionally
                        > inclined.

                        This wasn't quite clear to me what you meant. But I'll venture an answer on
                        what I think (er feel?) you mean. Depends on the balance and the depth of the
                        two. We want to be smart enough to be right and emotional rich enough to enjoy
                        it. (contributing back ideally) too.

                        We want it all -in the right contexts. I like my computer but it has a boring
                        sex life, doesn't laugh at comedy or the latest discovery, and I wish I could
                        turn off my emotions when it comes to doing my finances, breaking out of my
                        irrational comfort zones and fears. As Goldman stated we are emotional brains
                        that think, not the other way around (try as some of us might aspire to).

                        From an NT perspective, Emotionally inclined tend to make expensive choices as
                        they are optimizing for different things: the here and now subjective
                        experience. We see this all the time. The request for help goes unnoticed until
                        it's a starving picture, life or death situation, that stirs the drama and all
                        the addictive flight or fight hormones/responses. It's the difference between
                        requesting one tying one's shoe lace and being admitted to the emergency ward
                        for tripping down a flight of stairs. Drama gives people at varying levels a
                        sense of existence, purpose, and those addicted to it tend to repeat it over
                        and over again, when often it's not necessary and there are "better" options.
                        Scientific method (in it's pure state) is that have predictive power (at a
                        minimum of expense), and that can be used towards objectively measureable goals
                        and at a larger scale that these goals have their place when weighted against
                        other goals (cost/benefit analysis). e.g. was the trillions of dollars in a war
                        really the best way to spend that money or achieve the primary goals?

                        From a F perspective, rationals often come across as cold, judgemental,
                        arrogant, knowit alls, stick in the muds, who think lots of wierd meta things,
                        spiritually poor, empty, selfish, blah blah blah. Truth over comfort, NT
                        philosophy doesn't say that someone is there to take care of them, why their
                        favorite child died pointless, there is a timeless right and wrong to the live
                        by.


                        >What are we missing here? I'm not a fan of Bush at all, but what
                        > is his appeal to people if not for something the human condition needs that
                        > he has surreptitiously tapped in to.

                        My dad a reasonably intelligent INTJ voted for Bush his motivations were:"less
                        evil than the other candidate, and seemed like a 'regular guy', and was
                        perceived as 'consistent' . I assume this is typical for why many voted for
                        him. Placation by appeals to unproveables (god), perceived strength by
                        artificial divisions (your either support me or your a terrorist), common
                        values.

                        > pairings? Perhaps all the diversity of the human intellect has a larger
                        > meaning and a more subtle design built directly into our DNA to serve
                        > purposes larger than one type of mind can grasp.

                        I think one mind can grasp it by looking into Evolution, and evolutionary
                        psych, however that understanding doesn't mean one will get along with the
                        raving fundamentalist. We evolved in small groups 15-150 to survive (enough
                        genetic diversity but not enough people to exhaust the food supply), probably
                        only one tribal leader, one doctor/shaman/scientist typically supported by the
                        donations of the many others. The social structures and cultural embodiments of
                        it (monogamy, religion, politics) arised out of it. But today is not 100 years
                        ago or 10K year ago, and our primate brains haven't evolved, so somethings are
                        maladapted. Yet it still attempts to deal with challenges (e.g. cloning)
                        through the lens of the past.

                        Troy Gardner -"How you live your seconds, is how you live your days, is how you live your life..."

                        http://www.troygardner.com -my world
                        http://www.troyworks.com - building Rich Internet Applications
                        http://www.intrio.com -helping bridge the gap between the humans and machines. Home of the Flickey™
                      • Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
                        ... So-called g-factor - the large correlation that all intelligence tests exhibit with each other and with real-life measures such as financial success -
                        Message 11 of 16 , Aug 12, 2005
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                          J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
                          >
                          > IQ is more of an enabler that bounds the possibility space; no amount of
                          > hard work is a substitute for being fundamentally too stupid to solve a
                          > given problem.

                          So-called "g-factor" - the large correlation that all intelligence tests
                          exhibit with each other and with real-life measures such as financial success
                          - measures *relative* intelligence between humans. g-factor discriminates
                          Einstein versus a village idiot, not between the small cluster consisting of
                          "all humans everywhere" versus the clusters for chimps, rats, and reptiles.
                          Chimps can't even take an IQ test - which only goes to illustrate the point.
                          We've got to distinguish between g-factor load, the correlation between tests
                          of intelligence within the human species, and human general intelligence,
                          which makes us capable of challenging problems that other species can't even
                          comprehend.

                          IQ tests don't measure what people can do in principle, what they are
                          fundamentally too stupid or too smart to do. IQ tests measure who does it the
                          fastest, most reliably, and with the least effort. I suspect that much of the
                          observed effect of g-factor arises from people specializing in what they can
                          excel at socially. What's the point of becoming a financial trader if you
                          can't out-trade the next guy? What's the point of becoming a molecular
                          biologist if you'll never be the first to invent a new theory? But that
                          doesn't mean that you'd never *ever* have gotten the answer, if you could have
                          studied all the evidence quietly without competition. If you expect to
                          straggle in last in the race, you never study the field - in which case you'll
                          *really* never get it.

                          So I have to question the term: "Fundamentally" too stupid? Really,
                          fundamentally too stupid? A chimp is fundamentally too stupid but is it
                          likely that a non-brain-damaged adult human would be *fundamentally* too stupid?

                          Complex adaptations are necessarily universal within a species. Suppose an
                          adaptation with ten necessary parts: if each of the genes are independently at
                          50% frequency in the gene pool - each gene possessed by only half the
                          organisms - then on average only 1 in 1024 organisms will possess the full,
                          functioning adaptation. Thus the ten parts must be driven to
                          near-universality before substantial selection pressure exists for an eleventh
                          part that depends on the other ten. Complex, interdependent machinery is
                          *necessarily* universal within a biological species; it cannot evolve
                          otherwise. One robin may have smoother feathers than another, but they will
                          both have wings. Natural selection, while feeding on variation, uses it up.
                          Individual differences between humans are a tiny froth on the surface of a
                          deep, still water.

                          I do understand where James Rogers is coming from on this one. In my youth to
                          earn pocket money, I tutored in algebra an adult student who couldn't keep
                          track of what exponentiation meant. I tried my best to go back to basics, but
                          I don't think I succeeded in helping her. I admit I got the impression - and
                          it was a horrifying thought - that some people, through no fault of their own,
                          could *never* understand linear algebra or calculus, never ever no matter how
                          much hard work they put in. Like her math module was just missing. Being
                          young and poorly trained in rationality, I might have refused to even
                          formulate such a thought, to contemplate an Earth so horribly unfair and
                          askew, if I hadn't already been planning to fix it all post-Singularity.

                          Maybe it takes childhood training to force the relevant area of cerebral
                          cortex to become a number sense. Maybe if you don't develop a number sense in
                          childhood you never develop a number sense. Maybe if you can't perform
                          certain mental operations very *reliably*, the conjunctive probability of
                          completing an entire chain of mathematical reasoning is too low, and you can't
                          learn from experience. But I would guess that even total mathematical
                          incompetents are not actually missing any brain modules and could understand
                          calculus given sufficient training, time, and effort. Evolutionary biology
                          *requires* that all the basic machinery that I have is present in them also.
                          The only differences can be speed, quantity, tilted balances, maybe some minor
                          surface variations in complex mechanisms, and most of all training.

                          > Giving a person a high IQ is kind of like giving a person a million dollars.
                          > A few individuals will do something interesting with it, but most will piss
                          > it away on trinkets and pointless exercises. Call it human nature I guess,
                          > but few people exploit the potential of the resources at their disposal.
                          > Doing something constructive is rarely, if ever, the path of least
                          > resistance.
                          >
                          > In practice, a very high IQ will not do anyone much good without discipline,
                          > focus, and ambition. If IQ is not effectively applied to real tasks or if
                          > one has no real goals to apply IQ to, it will not do a person much good to
                          > have a high IQ. While discipline, focus, and ambition can be developed to a
                          > certain extent, many of those properties are undoubtedly controlled to a
                          > significant extent by genetics and biochemistry. Hell, diet affects these
                          > characteristics to a significant extent.

                          Few people study rationality formally. Few people learn probability theory
                          and decision theory, heuristics and biases, social psychology, evolutionary
                          psychology. Even among those who conceive of rationality as a learnable
                          skill, it is not commonly realized that the art of rationality has progressed
                          to the point of including component maths and sciences, or that rationality is
                          an exact art - a dance instead of a walk where each step needs to land in
                          exactly the right spot, neither to the right nor to the left. More people
                          train their body to unforgiving precision to their mind, because it's easier
                          and more comfortable to overlook a fuzzy answer than to not notice when you
                          hit a wooden board wrong. There are many more fifth-dan martial artists than
                          fifth-dan Bayesians; hell, there aren't even formal schools for advanced
                          rationality training.

                          But despite appearances, rationality is no more bound to high IQ than martial
                          arts is bound to athleticism. People who aren't athletic or who don't enjoy
                          physical exertion aren't likely to learn martial arts because they won't excel
                          socially in that forum. But evolutionary biology requires that they have the
                          same muscular and skeletal anatomy as a ninth-dan judo master, and logically,
                          the same training ought to work.

                          I don't conceive of my rationality studies as training my high IQ. I conceive
                          of my rationality studies as training my human general intelligence. How
                          could you train g-factor, anyway? It'd be like training a measure of
                          correlation between performances on muscular tasks. Martial arts doesn't
                          train correlations or standard deviations from the mean, it trains muscles.

                          --
                          Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://singinst.org/
                          Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
                        • Bill Rowan
                          Hi, This is a perrenial and popular topic, and interesting to me. However, I want to broaden the discussion a bit, and ask how judgement fits into all of
                          Message 12 of 16 , Aug 14, 2005
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                            Hi,

                            This is a perrenial and popular topic, and interesting to me. However, I
                            want to broaden the discussion a bit, and ask how judgement fits into all
                            of this. My reason is that I see so much controversy, about religion,
                            evolution, elections, etc., and I think people are swayed by emotion and
                            other factors rather than the factors (mainly evidence) which they should
                            really be weighing in making choices.

                            So, a few questions:

                            1) What is judgement? (My answer: the ability to weigh the various
                            factors which may be known about in making a decision or choosing a course
                            of action. Of course, lots of people want "good judgement" to take their
                            particular ideology or ism into account.)

                            2) How can quality of judgement be measured? (My partial answer: people
                            who want their ism to be the criterion of good judgement tend to want
                            a measure of the advancement or upholding of their values to be used. For
                            example, someone who is a humanist may want good judgement always to mean
                            the preservation of human life.)

                            3) Can good judgement be taught? (Possible answer: debating forums?)

                            4) Which of the mass media promote good judgement, or bad judgement, if
                            any?

                            5) Are some personality types associated with particularly good
                            judgement, or particularly bad judgement?

                            6) Are some ideologies associated with particularly good judgement, or
                            particularly bad judgement?

                            ------

                            In a nutshell,

                            My own philosophy is that there are a lot of values in the world which
                            make sense to try to uphold, and particularly if we can think outside the
                            box, we can harmonize our actions with those of others and with important
                            values. I think we need to measure our choices by the outcomes, which can
                            themselves be measured on a variety of valuations, and if we are careful
                            we can, for example, substantially uphold a variety of values. I think we
                            need to take assertions about superlatives (e.g. this or that is THE MOST
                            IMPORTANT VALUE) with a large grain of salt, because these superlative
                            assertions are DESIGNED to trump the reasonable arguments advanced by
                            others.

                            Bill Rowan
                          • Troy Gardner
                            ... Yes, It s tied to two primary things: 1) We are emotional brains with the capability for logic/rationality, I d argue only the minimum amount of logic to
                            Message 13 of 16 , Aug 15, 2005
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                              > evolution, elections, etc., and I think people are swayed by emotion and
                              > other factors rather than the factors (mainly evidence) which they should
                              > really be weighing in making choices.

                              Yes, It's tied to two primary things:

                              1) We are emotional brains with the capability for logic/rationality, I'd argue
                              only the minimum amount of logic to survive, which is actually not that much.
                              Our brains development started from lizard, primate then higher cognitive
                              functioning. Emotions are gross evaluations of complex circumstances (evidence
                              and gap filling) beyond the ability of conscious processing. Judgements occur
                              in two basic paths, very fast or indeterminately slow. Snap judgements occur in
                              the lizard/primate brain centers and were clearly (still) useful in reactionary
                              danger (tiger about to attack), since this is at the base of our cognitive
                              development this gets first dibs on actions.

                              A little longer the higher brain comes back with it's verdict on what to
                              do/etc. This can take a long time depending on the number of factors and their
                              weighting. e.g. "am I hungry for Thai or Italian or Mexican?, what degree to
                              pick, who to marry, etc"


                              2) Evidence is comprised of perception limited, sensory biased data.

                              People prefer books with images versus just plain text. reading a book, we
                              construct a sensory stream, this is of varying difficulty e.g. "the bright red
                              apple" versus the "the gluon". This perception is the precursor to making a
                              judgement on it, some things being much easier to map a evaluation onto the
                              outcome. e.g. "the starving child, looked longingly at the picture of the
                              bright red apple on the magazine". vers "As the quarks move farther apart, the
                              gluons that move between them utilize the energy that they draw from the
                              quark's motion to create more gluons" (taken from answers.com).

                              Abstract data (e.g. math, code) sensory data has to be internally derived.
                              Many of the most accomplished mathmaticians I know, map mathmatics onto their
                              visual/spatial areas. Some areas like quantum physics is nonintuitive thus
                              doesn't map well.


                              > 1) What is judgement?

                              It depends on how you look at it. Simply: The precursor to action. From a
                              personal persepctive, it what you mentioned, a cost/benefit analysis of many
                              interdependent choices.

                              There is also the retrospective analysis (e.g. eating the big meal right before
                              bed and ended up with heartburn wasn't the best choice). This is a memory
                              limited "attention span". A definition of insanity is repeating the same thing
                              expecting different result. If one can't hold both events in the brain and
                              associate the two, then ideally override the behavior. Given the intensity of
                              impulses of lizard/primate brain versus cerebral. This is surprisingly
                              difficult, and when the different brains don't agree (cognitive dissonance),
                              often the lower brain wins out as we live second to second not at an abstract
                              meta level.

                              Think of being a spider on a giant web at night, looking for the next meal.
                              Feeling the various threads for vibrations, to indicate a nice juicy fly has
                              been entangled. Since all the fibers are connected, and since the fibers are
                              taught like guitar strings, wherever the fly landed, the entire spider web
                              'rings'. If multiple insects land on the web at the same time, the problem is
                              compounded much as it is trying to listen to 2 people talk at the same time.

                              > 2) How can quality of judgement be measured?

                              Objectively scientific process. Statement of outcome, measured by degree of
                              success. In people we measure 'good judgement' by repeated success. Measuring
                              outcome in complex environment like culture, economics, war is usually measured
                              by cultural often apple versus orange values . Which differ in the
                              interpretations of 'maximization of' life (quantity of humans versus quality)
                              and the minimization of harm (often proactive/procautionary). Which ethics is
                              supposed to guide.

                              > 3) Can good judgement be taught? (Possible answer: debating forums?)
                              I certainly hopeso, but good judgement is usually the narrow thread of what
                              directions are possible to traverse on the spiderweb, rather than entire volume
                              of air that surrounds it. Most experts know the entire possibility space.

                              > 5) Are some personality types associated with particularly good
                              > judgement, or particularly bad judgement?

                              (referencing Myers Briggs type)

                              It's contextual. xSFx types optimize for here and now judgements. This worked
                              for determining whether or not food was good or not because it was rotten or
                              poisonous, not so good when the food looks and tastes good but is filled with
                              many toxic flavors/preservatives/etc. ENTJ used for stategic disseminating the
                              judgements and evaluating changes to them, xSTx used to enforce this this works
                              well as long as the rules don't change (generally evolution was slow enough
                              that this strategy worked well). IN*P being on the fringe being more concerned
                              with the potential possibilities rather than good/bad.

                              > 6) Are some ideologies associated with particularly good judgement, or
                              > particularly bad judgement?

                              I'd say that some ideologies are optimized for a time and place, that generally
                              isn't now, and certainly not 50 years from now, which is were many of the
                              problems arise, as we venture into new ground, as we redefine humanity,
                              singularity, and there are no rules to guide us. Neither the koran or bible
                              *really* have much to say on many of these issues. They just like to apply
                              things WAY out of the contexts that they were intended..if they were intended
                              at all.


                              Troy Gardner -"How you live your seconds, is how you live your days, is how you live your life..."

                              http://www.troygardner.com -my world
                              http://www.troyworks.com - building Rich Internet Applications
                              http://www.intrio.com -helping bridge the gap between the humans and machines. Home of the Flickey™
                            • Wayne Radinsky
                              ... No. My point was that IQ tests are overrated. Not just Mensa s but in general. Feel free to disagree. Wayne
                              Message 14 of 16 , Aug 16, 2005
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                                Kennita Watson saith:
                                > Wayne Radinsky <waynerad@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > Look at the world's most successful people. Bill Gates has
                                > > a high IQ. George Bush has a low IQ (probably) as measured
                                > > by standard IQ tests. Yet both are super-successful in the
                                > > real world. Why is that? Because the kind of logical
                                > > thinking that is measured by IQ tests is only one thin
                                > > slice of what goes on in the brain, and there is all that
                                > > other stuff -- language, emotion, political/social skill
                                > > etc.
                                >
                                > All this is saying to me is that you don't want
                                > to join, and feel it necessary to explain why.

                                No. My point was that IQ tests are overrated.
                                Not just Mensa's but in general.

                                Feel free to disagree.

                                Wayne
                              • Wayne Radinsky
                                Man, I wish I d know about this before, it woulda been right on topic, but a friend of mine just told me about this today... anyway... Here s a fun little
                                Message 15 of 16 , Aug 17, 2005
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                                  Man, I wish I'd know about this before, it woulda been
                                  right on topic, but a friend of mine just told me about
                                  this today... anyway...

                                  Here's a fun little test: it's supposed to test your
                                  "scientific" and "emotional" intuition:

                                  - - -

                                  + The 2-Variable Intuition Test +
                                  http://www.okcupid.com/tests/take?testid=3890039532751104124

                                  - - -

                                  I was thinking, rather than have 50 million posts on
                                  bafuture, how's about everybody just send your scores (and
                                  commentary, if you have any) only to me (and not to the
                                  list!), and I'll write a single post summarizing all the
                                  responses.* Please indicate whether you want your name
                                  included or whether you want it to be anonymous.**

                                  (By the way the okcupid.com site that hosts this test is a
                                  dating site that matches people by letting people create
                                  and take each other's tests -- pretty whacky! But hey, if
                                  you've already struck out on match.com and eharmony.com (we
                                  won't mention adultfriendfinder.com -- whoops!), you might
                                  give it a try. And if it doesn't work, you can always try
                                  speed dating! Ha ha ha. You know what speed dating is? The
                                  women sit at a table, the men rotate, it's like a square
                                  dance, every 8 minutes, you move to the next table. You
                                  have an 8 minute long date with somebody. If you both hit
                                  it off, you give the organizers your email addresses, the
                                  organizers give them back, and then maybe it proceeds and
                                  maybe it doesn't. In these busy lives that people lead this
                                  is a very efficient way to collapse a year's worth of dates
                                  into a single evening. So a study was done, in one you had
                                  10 dates in an evening, in another you had 20 dates in an
                                  evening. The duration of each date was exactly the same.
                                  The question was how many "matches" got made. And the
                                  answer is the more dates people had, the fewer matches.
                                  That's what Barry Schwarz says. But I'm getting WAY off
                                  topic here...)

                                  Wayne

                                  * I've very busy so expect this to take a while.

                                  ** Astute observers will point out that it wouldn't be
                                  entirely anonymous because I would still know which scores
                                  (and commentary) come from which person. Well that's true.
                                  But which is more anonymous, 1 person knowing, or all 610
                                  people on the bafuture list knowing?
                                • Andrew Pimlott
                                  ... I can t have been the only one entranced by that test, and left wanting to know the correct answers, so here s some hasty research (or my reasoning or
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Aug 18, 2005
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                                    On Wed, Aug 17, 2005 at 10:18:05PM -0700, Wayne Radinsky wrote:
                                    > + The 2-Variable Intuition Test +
                                    > http://www.okcupid.com/tests/take?testid=3890039532751104124

                                    I can't have been the only one entranced by that test, and left wanting
                                    to know the correct answers, so here's some hasty research (or my
                                    reasoning or instinct in case I didn't bother to research, or fact was
                                    elusive). I'm skipping the five pictures because I'm not sure whether
                                    it would violate the privacy of the subjects. (If I had more emotional
                                    intuiton, I might know.)

                                    SPOILERS BELOW













































                                    SPOILERS

                                    1 Even if the moon were an order of magnitude smaller (in radius) than
                                    the earth, there is no way it would make up for life living only in
                                    a thin shell.

                                    2 ~200 million
                                    http://desip.igc.org/populationmaps.html

                                    3 Adoptions: ~100K, abortions: ~1M (US)
                                    http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/FactOverview.html
                                    http://womensissues.about.com/cs/abortionstats/a/aaabortionstats.html

                                    4 By a rough search of my word list, with 100K entries, 5 letters:
                                    4589, 7 letters: 9926, 9 letters: 9288. Dunno what his dictionary
                                    says.

                                    5 According to a Jeopardy episode many years ago, "set" has the most
                                    definitions.

                                    6 "Approximately 10–13% of the population is left-handed."
                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-handed

                                    7 Christianity: ~2B, Islam: ~1B, Hindu: ~800B.
                                    http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mreligio.html

                                    8 Well-known urban legend (the frog).
                                    http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/frogboil.htm

                                    9 I don't care whether Einstein and Picasso met, but if this is a
                                    scientific intuition (and not trivia) test, the only reasonable
                                    answer is no.

                                    10 First approximation: A DVD is pretty big. Second approximation:
                                    10^1 bytes/word * 10^0 word/minute * 10^4 minutes/day * 10^3
                                    days/year * 10^2 years/life = 10^10 bytes = 10GB. This is the same
                                    order of magnitude as a DVD, but since I was generous with all the
                                    estimates, I'm pretty sure it would fit.

                                    16 Where do smart people put their eyes? Dunno, I guessed down.

                                    17 Gotta be money, though I would be interested to see the order if
                                    time were on the list.

                                    18 Being chased.
                                    http://www.asdreams.org/subidxedunightmares.htm

                                    19 Do people claim they lie well? There's a smart-alec way to reason
                                    the answer, and I suspect it's right.

                                    20 "All newborns show disgust in response to bitter tastes.... At 4-6
                                    weeks babies begin to smile, at 3-4 months to show anger, and at 5-7
                                    months to laugh and to show fear."
                                    http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~kppeng/ch8ov.htm

                                    BTW, "entranced" doesn't mean I think much significance should be
                                    attached to the results. For one, there are not enough questions to get
                                    a precise measurement of whatever they're measuring; for another, a
                                    knowledge of trivia could boost your emotion score.

                                    Andrew
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