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

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 10:29:18 MDT

Paul Hughes wrote:
> 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.

Who is this "you" you're talking about? Does it have a referent
distinct from "IQ points"?

> After all what exactly are we referring to as
> intelligence - raw logical reasoning abilities and nothing more?

No. We're talking about wisdom and self-awareness. (Not that quote raw
logical reasoning abilities unquote wouldn't be reason enough to stay
off Prozac.)

> 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?

I should think I have accomplished a great deal.

> 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.

Maybe he had a curable problem that was solved with no drawbacks. Or
maybe he sacrificed everything that made him unique so he could be
happy. I can't tell from the information provided.

--    Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

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