Re: Random tampering by prescription, was Re: Fast-acting 5-HTP supplementation for accute despair

From: Paul Hughes (
Date: Sun Jul 16 2000 - 21:49:49 MDT

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:

> > But I know people, for example, who might trade three putative IQ points
> > for an alternative to sleeping 18 hours a day. Some of those people are
> > stuck in loops of self-criticism, not exactly the highest thing there
> > is.
> Okay. I don't disagree with that. (Well, actually I do disagree with
> that. I deeply, fundamentally, and irrevocably disagree with that. I
> don't think it's worth shaving three IQ points off your *potential*,
> much less your actuality, even if the alternative is running a 20%
> lifetime risk of suicide.) All I'm saying is that, with the current
> state of neuropharmacology, you can either be happy or you can be smart,
> but not both.

What good is an extra 3 IQ points when you have less than half of the
available time to use it? I would say they're worthless. I would further add
that having 20 extra IQ points, while being deeply depressed and immobilized,
is almost completely worthless. After all what exactly are we referring to as
intelligence - raw logical reasoning abilities and nothing more? What good is
it if you don't have the emotional strength to utilize it in any meaningful
way? I know a few people who are extremely intelligent and have spent the
majority of their adult lives laying on their beds depressed with absolutely
no ambition to do anything. What have they accomplished? One of these
individuals finally started taking an extract of St John's Wort and is now up
and about, holding a steady job and actually beginning to enjoy his life. For
the first time, he is actually contemplating moving out of the city in which
he has lived for over 20 years.

Paul Hughes

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