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December 09, 2011, 04:21:02 PM
Tradeoffs are common in evolution. It might be nice to be eight feet tall, but most hearts couldn't handle getting blood up that high. So most humans top out under six feet. Just as there are evolutionary tradeoffs for physical traits, Hills says, there are tradeoffs for intelligence. A baby's brain size is thought to be limited by, among other things, the size of the mother's pelvis; bigger brains could mean more deaths in childbirth, and the pelvis can't change substantially without changing the way we stand and walk.

Drugs like Ritalin and amphetamines help people pay better attention. But they often only help people with lower baseline abilities; people who don't have trouble paying attention in the first place can actually perform worse when they take attention-enhancing drugs. That suggests there is some kind of upper limit to how much people can or should pay attention. "This makes sense if you think about a focused task like driving," Hills says, "where you have to pay attention, but to the right things -- which may be changing all the time. If your attention is focused on a shiny billboard or changing the channel on the radio, you're going to have problems."


This article is 100% correct, and also a non sequitur. The reason humanity as a whole is not getting any brighter is that we demonize intelligence because it is unequal, and focus on lack of intelligence in a mania to make it equal. We have given up on rising and are concentrating on spreading the wealth.

Re: Overman
December 09, 2011, 05:05:07 PM
The wealth must be spread, to a degree. The people must be content. When they are discontent, only the blind look to just one force or aspect. This is not the behaviour of kings, of the noble, but of rabble rousers and demagogues. Intelligence itself is worthless, only new knowledge, insight, is itself valuable (if empirically obtained from an objective reality). Intelligence is secondary. Important, inherent (in the individual), but secondary. Although I will agree with you here; many have given up on rising. However, perhaps that is truer for your home and not humanity in general.


Re: Overman
December 10, 2011, 05:09:51 AM
The author of that article points out that intelligence arises in many shapes and sizes. I believe what is of importance is not so much ridding ourselves of the unintelligent, as much as of determining what exactly constitutes true intelligence in the first place. For how can we rid ourselves of someone the definition of which we continue to disagree upon?

Re: Overman
December 10, 2011, 03:59:05 PM
There's no practical disagreement on this matter. That's mostly a leftist invention, and a little bit of psychiatrists and others trying to capitalize on the inferiority feelings of some.

However, the bigger point is that positive breeding requires two steps (at least): deprecate the dumber, and make more of the smarter.

Re: Overman
December 10, 2011, 05:37:02 PM
Sounds too conspirational, many scientists are just scientists. The method is open, the data is open, the inferences logically made. To say it is "mostly a leftist invention" is to appear to deny actual science. I doubt this is the intent, but that's how I see it. Why this preconception? Why this value ascribed to intelligence? I don't understand. What would a society gain out of deprecating the less intelligent? Surely what you should do is to allow them to rise to their place? That would require establishing that hierarchy first, rather than just putting people down. The goal cannot simply be "have more intelligent men, the rest is magic!", but an ordered society at every level.

At some level this seems selfish to me. I may have a passable intellect, but it serves its purpose and that's it. I am inferior to a whole host of "dumber" people. I.Q. cannot be a bar, it does not show the worth of an individual. If I believe intelligence to be mostly contributory to worth (as I consider myself intelligent), then that is selfish. The informative posts are great though, disagreement notwithstanding.