Intelligence increase was: Eugene's nuclear threat

From: Dan Fabulich (
Date: Mon Oct 02 2000 - 14:16:32 MDT

J. R. Molloy wrote:

> That doesn't make sense, because if the brain gets smarter, then it
> has amplified capability to see how to improve itself. Conversely,
> the dumber brains get (uh-oh, here comes an anti-drug ad), the
> difficult it would be for them to see how to improve
> themselves. Right?

Yes, but suppose that in order to get a linear increase in
intelligence, you had to solve a problem requiring an exponential
number of computations. Sure, for each increase in intelligence,
you'd start churning through the next exponent faster, but there'd be
so much more thinking you'd have to do to get another increase that
actual progress would get slower and slower.

Of course, nobody has any idea how much computation is required to
increase one's own intelligence, since, at present, what with our wet
brains and all, even if we knew what to do to our brains, we don't
have the fine-grained tools to implement our plans.

For all we know, it'll turn out that exponential increases in
intelligence requires solving a problem requiring a linearly
increasing number of steps, and just as soon as we get the tools to
start messing around, our intelligence will go through the roof.
(This is the Singularity picture.) Frankly, we're basically in the
dark here.


      -unless you love someone-
    -nothing else makes any sense-
           e.e. cummings

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