Re: META: List allowables & cults (was DirkJOIN)

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Mar 07 2006 - 12:16:03 MST

Jeff Medina wrote:
>>Some, like the belief that IQ is the highest value in
>>life, are common among technophiles.
> General intelligence is a derivative value, gaining its import from
> the straightforward fact that greater general intelligence is a
> subgoal that increases the likelihood of success for nearly every
> other possible goal.
> It seems to me that most transhumanists recognize this, so your
> characterization is off here. I don't think this bit being false
> affects your general comment about cultishness overmuch, but it is an
> important strawman to recognize. Transhumanists are explicitly for
> technology in service to humanity, not the other way around, and as
> such are readily separable from the crude technophilia you mentioned.

But if you're intelligent you also get the intrinsically valuable fun of
figuring things out. It is more fun to do things through your own wits
than to do them via genie bottle. So the good of intelligence equals
all the good it brings us, plus the good of using our intelligence to
get it. Furthermore, many intrinsic goods can only take place within a
matrix of supporting intelligence. Compare chimpanzee Fun Space to
human Fun Space. Many things we don't think of as stereotypically
"intelligent" fun would be difficult to do without human intelligence.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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