RE: Early IQ Repost

From: H C (
Date: Tue Nov 22 2005 - 12:13:54 MST

>From: Tennessee Leeuwenburg <>
>Subject: Early IQ Repost
>Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 00:34:04 +1100
>I never actually got a direct response to my first post in this thread, and
>the discussion has deviated well outside my line of thinking. That's fine,
>but I still have my original train of thought waiting at the station, so to
>speak. Original post follows:
>Eliezer, what is your (self-estimated) IQ?
>I am not familiar with the GPA, but I assume it's strongly correlated, and
>you said it like your scores were good.
>I am not a genius, but I am clever. (IQ 130ish, 98th percentile, which
>makes me uncommon but not rare).
>I know people who are cleverer by a further order of magnitude (member of
>999 club), but I still find I have more in common with them than people
>relatively close in the downwards direction. Obviously, that's my
>perception, not theirs, but so it is.
>The supposition I have is that IQ is largely unrelated to passion or
>motivation, especially moving towards adulthood where the natural curiosity
>and drive of childhood wears off. The most successful people (according to
>society's usual metrics) are not the most intelligent, but the most
>obsessed, with IQ being a secondary correlate.

The most successful people, given any metric, are not necessarily the most
intelligent, but the most obsessed. My most potent image of Einstein (other
than the hair) is the blackboard. The blackboard represents the thousands of
hours spent drawing, thinking, erasing, etc. Only the most obsessed person
could have the patience and interest to continue doing meaningful work for
so long. This especially resonates with my experience working with AGI:
spending thousands of painful and confusing hours visualizing, drawing (or
writing), reading, and thinking.

Success is limited only by obsession and ambition. Intelligence speeds
everything up, but I don't believe that it is a limiting factor in many
situations. This seems to fit well with Einstein, seeing as how he didn't
even start speaking until a late age, and failed school miserably. Einstein
was a lot closer to average intelligence than to the IQ of many child


>It's probably not right to see the reduction in motivation of a child
>prodigy as a failure. In fact, it's probably not fair to push our own
>beliefs about success onto others (argument from paternalism). However, it
>is wonderful when someone of high intellect pursues the goals which I find

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