Re: Subjective brain speed

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 06 Jan 1998 16:28:11 -0500

Robin Hanson wrote:
> Max M <> writes:
> >It has occured to me that I don't need to become a weak
> >superintelligence to accellerate the speed of my brain. The more I
> >learn, the faster I think. Both subjectively and objectively.
> >Problems that used to take me a long time I can now solve in a jiffy.
> >Well nothing new here probably. Just a reminder that we can probably
> >become a lot more >H without technology than most of us realise.
> >Pure old studying will go a long way.
> I'd go further and say that this is the dominant way we get better
> minds, both now and in the future. Compare two creatures a century
> from now: one has today's brian hardware and tommorow's knowledge, and
> the other has tommorow's brain hardware, but only has access to
> the knowledge of today. My bet is that the first creature would be
> "smarter" for most purposes.

Of course. However, the feature of extropianism/transhumanism that
interests young people a lot is the idea of getting smart without all of
the tiring, boring, pain in the butt studying. Getting intelligence
amplification and instant access to databases, even small databases,
makes a person much quicker on the draw than a Renaissance period genius
in the Vatican Library. Most people don't want or need, or can conceive
of a need for, at this point, access to ALL knowledge. THey want to be
able to process that small subset they do care about and need in a much
faster, less tiring manner. People don't want to be wise, they want to
be 'smart'. Therein lies the difference.