Re: Intelligence increase

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 12:16:33 MDT

Samantha Atkins wrote:
>... brings up a question of whether there is any brain
>architecture that we can conceive of that does not have these
>limitations. Doesn't the very act of incorporating knowledge require
>blending it with what one already knows and believes? It seems that to
>optimize the acquisition of knowledge and its communication to other
>minds would require a large degree of common knowledge infrastructure to
>which new knowledge could be readily attached/incorporated. But this
>would limit novel re-examinations and uses of the knowledge.
>Do we get a tension between becoming part of a Collective and less
>efficient learning and communicating but with higher inventiveness and

I think yes there is a fundamental tension, and that we are unlikely
to be able to make it go away via a change in architecture. This is
something people have a hard time understanding about academia. Academics
invest a lot in developing common things they know and a common language
for expressing them, and from that get large benefits of being sharing
knowledge within the group. Any one academic seems less creative and
inventive than any random person, but as a group they learn faster.

Or to put in shortly: Academics *are* borgs. And yes, you will be
assimilated; resistance is futile. :-).

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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