Re: MEDICINE: When it rains it pours

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sat Dec 01 2001 - 15:29:00 MST

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> As I pointed out to Eliezer offlist, once you have applications
> that allow the administration of brain cells into the brain and
> once we understand the qualities of brain cells that serve to
> increase intelligence (presumably intelligence genotyping is
> ongoing as I type) then adding genes (or a chromosome) to
> an embryonic stem cell for increased intelligence, producing
> millions or billions of them and augmenting your brain isn't
> going to be far behind. It is likely to raise some thorny
> ethical issues because its likely to be a pretty expensive
> therapy initially -- one which would serve to increase the
> divide between rich and poor.

Leaving aside the pre-Singularity/FDA issues (i.e: no way), let's not
forget that this alleged divide between rich and poor is primarily a
Luddite memetic plot. A trick like this does not make the rich richer, it
makes the rich's children more intelligent. Is this bad for the poor? I
think emphatically NOT. It's stupid people with power that are the

Intelligence is not simply a tool in a war between factions. Intelligence
affects which side you're on. Intelligence as tool is a Luddite concept;
it is promoted by the side that sees no goodness in rationality,
intelligence, and science. Given the amount of trouble that intelligent
people have traditionally had in getting the rich to support their various
philanthropic and altruistic efforts, making the rich's children more
intelligent may be a roundabout way of accomplishing the same goal, but at
least it should work.

In other words, I do not view this as the "rich faction" gaining yet
another advantage, but rather as an unusually roundabout way of recruiting
wealth into the "smart faction".

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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