On Sat, Nov 29, 2003 at 02:15:54PM -0500, Robin Hanson wrote: > That's pretty weak evidence, compared to the vast experience each of us has > in using cleverness to better get along in the world.
Using ourselves as samples suffers from a selection bias. We don't live in a time and place where smart people are being severely persecuted, but if we did, we wouldn't have the opportunity to have this discussion. I'm not saying that intelligence is not useful, just that its social costs can help explain why we're not smarter. Of course intelligence seems extremely useful, which is what makes our dumbness puzzling. Is your position that the other known costs of intelligence (more energy use, more difficult births, what else?) are sufficient to explain this? > If you can fake being dumb in particular areas, why can't you fake being > dumb in all areas? If you have to consistently fake being dumb in all areas, that greatly lessens the benefits of being intelligent, since you can't apply it to solve problems any time somebody can see either your efforts or the results. > Perhaps sufficiently general intelligences can fake anything, but if so > humans do not seem to be sufficiently general. Humans give off all sorts > of subconscious clues about whether they are faking, and they are adept at > detecting those clues in others. Humans cannot lie with impunity. I was saying that *if* we had sufficient general intelligence, we would be able to fake being dumb in particular areas, therefore it is not an evolutionary option to have high general intelligence and still be convincingly dumb in areas where being seen as dumb is beneficial. The fact that we don't actually have sufficient general intelligence to flawlessly fake being dumb doesn't affect the logic of my argument. To make sure we're not misunderstanding each other, you're says that having higher intelligence is not so bad, because one can either (a) still be dumb in certain areas, or (b) fake being dumb in all areas, right? I'm arguing that (a) is not an equilibrium, and (b) reduces the benefits of intelligence too much.