July 22, 2015

David Gelernter on American culture, computer science, and art

Around and after 32:10

Let me say, there are such people who enjoy calling themselves transhumanists and are looking forward essentially to abolishing the human race by liberally implanting chips in addition to messing with the genetics of unborn infants.
So you can, you know, buy 10 extra IQ points for your first kid, and technologies always improving so with the same amount to money you can get 15 for your next kid, and your first kid will be obsolete and you can, you know, send him to a big parking lot in the desert for obsolete children. And meanwhile you’re building human beings whose IQ is, you can build them. A person with an IQ of 500, why not build one with an IQ of 10,000?....

But there’s the darker side of that which says let’s improve. Human beings are not such a great design, why should we live to 100 when we can live to 1,000? Why should we have an IQ of 100 when we can have an IQ of 1,000. We’re moving there, and that’s the end of mankind. You know, what are we to a group of people whose IQ is 10,000? Houseplants. This is a real issue.
Bill Kristol / David Gelernter Transcript

Posted by gerardvanderleun at July 22, 2015 1:59 PM
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I don't put a lot of weight in the predictions of someone who doesn't know how IQ works.

Posted by: Tim at July 22, 2015 2:26 PM

Tim - Whether one calls it IQ or not isn't the issue. Yes, I know IQ is probably meaningless beyond about 190 and probably before then; but the essential point is that improving human processing capacity and/or memory storage may well be feasible and will make a huge difference if it is.

Someone carrying a smartphone with an internet connection is, all other things being equal, more capable than someone without. I have a free app on mine that will solve systems of 6-7 simultaneous equations in an eyeblink; of course, feeding it in takes a lot longer.

Now imagine all that stuff connected via a direct neural interface...

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at July 22, 2015 3:52 PM

"IQ" is software.

The more Core Truths (that are classic, timeless & universal) that an individual embraces, the more 'smart' the person is.

Simple as that.

Even then, to force the creativity of the 'genius' into the preferred direction of these trans-humanists will be as successful as transplanting Wild flowers (not real good) as 'genius' is capricious and unduplicatible.

To call 'genius' a hardware structure that can be altered by genetic manipulation is, logically, a path to ruin.


Posted by: cond0011 at July 22, 2015 4:14 PM

"I think there is a question whether art can exist without religion. Artists have always been either deeply religious or deeply atheistic. "

Though it may not necessarily start as such, it inevitably is a road that leads to God (even those railing against God - the atheists).

Classic, Timeless Art is communication through the prism of love and the palette that is used are all of the 6 senses: Sight, Scent, Sound, Taste, Touch & Thought, with the guiding hand of the soul known as 'heart'.

Whether it is the acclaimed art of painting, sculpting, music, literature, poetry or unacknowledged art such a recipe (cooking), an invention, and various Research Breakthroughs each of them creates something unique never seen before in this world - truly 'Spiritual Children' with a lifespan that could last centuries, if not forever.

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

~St. Francis of Assisi

Posted by: cond0011 at July 22, 2015 4:51 PM

Zager and Evans covered this about 50 years ago.


Posted by: ghostsniper at July 22, 2015 5:30 PM

Idiocracy is far more likely than super genius.

Posted by: Fat Man at July 22, 2015 7:37 PM

The greatest irony of mankind will be that his greatest achievement will also be his demise – technology.


Posted by: tim at July 23, 2015 12:02 PM

Gelernter is talking out of his ass. IQ of 500, IQ of 10,000, what a crock.
Wisdom is the knowledge of right and wrong, coupled with right action.
High IQ doesn't matter a fig if you're a fool.

Posted by: Speller at July 24, 2015 11:34 PM

Why don't we give this a try?
FFXIV http://n4g.com/user/home/ff14store

Posted by: FFXIV at August 3, 2015 12:04 PM