Friday, October 29, 2004

Mental Steroids 

Should We Fear 'Cosmetic Neurology'? No.

Unfair competition in sports hurts the meaning of the game. Given a distributed system of competitive advantage, mental steroids would increase overall productivity, and standard of living, significantly.

If there were a pill with few side effects (unlike anything today) which could raise my IQ by 20 points, I would immediately get it.

This should be incorporated in models of singularities. If knowledge is increasing as a function of current knowledge and human capabilities, and human capabilities begins to increase as a function of knowledge, the differential equation will certainly lend itself to models of singularities.

A plausible example: bio-med researchers develop just such a thinking drug, those researchers take it, and engineer a better drug faster, those working on neural-computer interfaces achieve their goals even faster, distributed SETI-in-brain-like systems start solving the really hard problems. We have a singularity within 20 years.
For kids, I think breast milk and vitamins may count as such a pill; same as diet has increased the height of the Dutch and Japanese in the past fifty years it can increase IQ in about the range your talking about (for the large number of people who aren't breastfed/have deficient diets). I think over the generations, this can even have some of the snowballing effect you're talking about as better spoken parents also result in higher IQ. (That second effect isn't in the 20 year time range, though.)
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