HR25Show82099 - BS

phil osborn (
Sat, 21 Aug 1999 00:07:50 PDT

Natasha Vita-More stated (paraphrased as I'm listening to the rest of the program) that we use all of our brain all the time, implying in her continued discussion/argument that our focus should be entirely on nanotech or other improvements/additions to our hardware. This is frankly total BS and implies a profound ignorance of the whole subject of intelligence.

In fact, this is part and parcel of the whole Mensa nonsense propagated by Mensa founder Cyril Burt in his massively fraudulent Twin Study, very likely the most costly scientific fraud in all history. Burt got his job and his title "Father of British Eductation" as a consequence of this famous study, which appeared to definitively prove that intelligence was largely determined by heredity. You used to see this quoted in every intro psych 101 text.

Not any more. Not since Burt (thankfully) died and they discovered his original data, and that he made up the results he wanted. Now we hear people like Natasha, still carrying that tired fraudulent banner as though it were some kind of cutting edge insight. Please, all extropians (I've heard this kind of nonsense frequently from Mensans/Extropians) check out little items like the four foot high stack of documentation from U of Chicago that resulted in Head Start. Or the nearly century-long record of Montessori education. Or the many, many anecdotal incidents, such as J.S.Mill. Mill's autobiography discusses how he was turned into a genius by the methods his father implemented systematically from birth.

James Mills, however, was getting his methods from a French mathematician, who had used them on his sons, all of whom were recognized mathematical geniuses, so we're talking beginning of the 19th century! I personally know several people who were raised with very similar methods invented independently by the Doman brothers. Check out the National Academy for Child Development site for info on their techniques. Or look up Joe Susedik, local army mechanic, who had four genius daughters in the early '80's, one of whom was the youngest girl ever to graduate from H.S., youngest to graduate from college, youngest to enter Med School. Joe used virtually the same methods again - again reinvented from scratch.

Why? Because for two hundred years we have had a conspiracy called the educational establishment, allied with hereditary privilege and other allies of convenience, such as the "progressive" movement, which has steadfastly denied the role of enhanced environment in the development of intelligence, regardless of the voluminous evidence. The educational establishment has been one of the major blocks to human progress, on a par with religion and the state, and it is truly disappointing to hear supposed cutting edge futurists lining up right behind them.

BTW, I have nothing against hardware enhancement and/or replacement of the biocomputer. I was one of the early members of Foresight, and joined Alcor in the late '70's. However, no effort made today, or for the next 20 years, in all probability, is going to get you very much enhanced or uploaded, whereas, if you have children, a fairly low level of effort can result in giving them such a relatively powerful bio-processor that they can be a major contributor to reaching these other goals in time to save your mind from the worms.
Ignoring or discounting this and other practical, known technologies that can get us to the singularity is simply another indication that most extropians/Mensans are just another bunch of groupies. Perhaps those of us who are serious need a new banner.

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