Dumb and dumberer

I have to wonder about the application of theories about IQ (which has its detractors) in unrelated disciplines. The discussion of eugenics is quite disturbing but it is thought provoking. I made a couple of comments on David Farrar's Kiwiblog on the subject. The thread was very interesting - putting aside the overt racism of some of the comments - some interesting material was added by an economics professor at Canterbury University Eric Crampton. I think the discussion went into the obscure-isphere.

I added that I think the rise of Artificial Intelligence will make individual human intelligence as we understand it today less important (no, I'm not talking about the dumbing down of pop culture).

I wonder if the significance of personal intelligence won't matter quite so much in the future - regardless of how clever they might be.

While groupthink is a derogatory term its application through networks will make a difference to outcomes. In Steven Carden's recently published book New Zealand Unleashed he cites a study that showed that groups were better at accurately guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar than individuals (statistically). It's a catch phrase but I believe there is truth in the idea of 'none of us is as smart as all of us'.

Technology changes everything. My laptop attached to the Internet allows me to accomplish much more than I would have been capable of in 1984. I'm just as dumb as I was back then but I am infinitely more capable of spreading my dumbness. National boundaries are irrelevant - a Laissez-faire situation that Adam Smith could never have imagined in his wildest dreams.

My reference to artificial intelligence is pertinent because technology makes resources less scarce (one economist - Pilzer - even suggests that describing economics as the study of limited resources is fundamentally flawed because resources are potentially unlimited). The Internet has created a huge neural network. Anyone can access pretty much any information anytime.

I want to think about this some more...must sleep...


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