[FoRK] Super-Intelligent Humans Are Coming

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Sat Oct 25 00:11:50 PDT 2014

On 10/24/14, 11:28 PM, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
>> On Oct 24, 2014, at 8:06 PM, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>> Not too surprised, especially since they are hiring the smartest young hotshots they can.  And those people tend to have ignored the EQ side of things.
> EQ is often considered to be very popular pseudo-science, and I can’t say that I disagree with the argument for that assertion. All the other reasonable criticisms aside, intelligence has a pretty rigorous definition; at best, so-called “emotional intelligence” is a mere application of plain old intelligence.

Intelligence may have a rigorous definition, but the measure of intelligence sparsely covers the full ground truth.
It may be that EQ is simply an application of plain old intelligence, or it may be that it partially relies on specialized 
subsystems that may, like other parts of the brain, be more capable in some people compared to others.  Given that we know about 
specialized units like mirror neurons, and that we have, according to some scientists explanation, a whole processing system for 
social and emotional processing that is exo-consciousness in operation, it may be that some are more naturally capable than others.

> The whole “kinds of intelligence” movement had two drivers. The first was a recognition that our metrics for intelligence are obviously quite poor. However, the “kinds of intelligence” nonsense is epicycles; an absurd but politically acceptable patch. The second was a recognition that many people are not particularly intelligent so to boost their self-esteem a large number of “kinds of intelligence” were manufactured with which to label the most anomalously substandard humans as “intelligent”. Everyone’s a genius of some sort apparently.

I generally agree, high general intelligence can be applied in different areas.  But people may have specialized outside of methods 
of measurement.  To gauge raw intelligence we clearly were only measuring a narrow band of acquired knowledge.  Specialized testing 
could reveal a specialization outside of that band.  This makes sense.  Whether the resulting EQ or other score does or does not 
affect estimation of raw intelligence vs. some other kind of raw intelligence is a somewhat open question.  Regardless, if the skill 
is useful, such as EQ, it is useful to know rank there too.

Intelligence may be sliced a different way also: visual, symbolic, multitasking, pattern matching, temporal memory and matching, raw 
memory, etc.

> That aside:
> You would expect an intelligent sociopath to have loads of EQ relative to the general population. I’m not sure I’d want to a bunch of sociopaths running around my organization, so selecting for EQ has its own hazards. I will settle for highly intelligent people that have learned how to have constructive interactions with other people.

I think it is fair to say that most sociopaths have very low EQ, or they wouldn't be sociopaths.  Aware but perverse implies evil 
genius, which is rare but happens to some degree.  It's like saying that you have an executive who knows the best course of action, 
but deliberately makes fatal choices.  Or can solve a math problem but writes down the wrong answer out of spite.

>>> If you mean super-intelligence in the sense of EQ rather than IQ, I withdraw my objections.
>> You're not really intelligent overall unless you have a fair amount of both.
> That is just discarding any semblance of rigor with respect to the definition of “intelligence”. What so-called EQ does is allow you to be *effective* at applying your intelligence in (human) society. It is a type of domain expertise.

Mostly or completely, yes.

> Having domain expertise is not the same thing as being intelligent, though being intelligent improves the ability to obtain domain expertise. The absence of domain expertise regarding social interaction does not in any way imply a lack of productive intelligence. And the vast majority of humans that have some domain knowledge of “EQ” routinely engage in social theater and insincerity in many of their interactions that re-raises the question of the value of “EQ” in a super-intelligence with respect to good behavior. EQ is basically the ability to effectively manipulate emotions of others to support your ends, though it is rarely framed that way. Humans do it pervasively without even realizing it.
>> Both IQ[1] and EQ are learned really.
> Like they say in many sports, you can teach skill but you can’t teach speed.

You can however train for speed.  You may not have optimal genes to get as fast as some, but you can certainly get faster.

> I would agree that what people call EQ is eminently learnable, somewhat depending on your intelligence and biological predilections. I’ve seen many intelligent people acquire a high degree of domain expertise from a relatively impoverished state. However, I’ve never seen evidence that an imbecile can become highly intelligent.


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