Re[2]: EVOLUTION: Mental Adaptation

Guru George (
Wed, 22 Jan 1997 21:03:00 GMT

On Tue, 21 Jan 1997 15:29:54 +0100 (MET)
Anders Sandberg <> wrote:

>On Tue, 21 Jan 1997, James Rogers wrote:
>> Vast improvements in intelligence will be THE
>> defining feature in the progress of the human species.
>I wonder if intelligence or brain power is the important point here.
>Together with my computer, I can communicate with experts across the
>world, solve mathematical problems quickly and reliably, gather and
>process information much faster than in a library and remember my results
>for years perfectly. Obviously, my productivity (my effective
>intelligence) has been increased.
>But what am I really doing? I'm letting various more or less autonomous
>subsystems do work for me, sometimes quite complex work, while I don't
>even need to understand how it is done. This is very similar to how we
>acquire skill: at first we need to understand and concentrate on what we
>are doing, but later it becomes natural and unconscious. Typing on a
>keyboard is a very complex process, but since I know it well it appears
>to me as an unitary process with no internal complexity, I just do it.
>The modern environment is filled with this proceduralization: we have
>simplified it to a large extent by hiding away the complexity inside
>black boxes, which greatly improves our efficiency without relying on
>increased intelligence (in fact, many technologies seem to decrease it!).
>So greater *personal* intelligence might not be the crucial thing in the
>future, but greater *effective* intelligence.
This is all true. But I would point out that a good deal of native
intelligence is still required to *learn* these intelligence amplification
systems, not to mention *use* them intelligently. We still need our smart
drugs (or neurosurgery or whatever)!

Guru George