8 Comments
Mar 30Liked by Anatoly Karlin

Thanks for the shout out!

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Iterated embryo selection is the most realistic and holds the most promise. The potential benefits are enormous. As far as I know, they've only done this on mice in Japan. There's hardly any discussion of this online besides EA Forum, LessWrong as well as Shulman and Bostrom's paper.

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Mar 30Liked by Anatoly Karlin

This is a very minor quibble, but your ~6-7 IQ points per generation w/ current predictors is probably more like ~4-6 due to within-sibship deflation of polygenic score accuracy (this also applies to Gene's graph, if you used that).

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A big question is "maximum IQ" - without radically modifying the human form, that is, as that will probably be rather difficult.

There's probably only so many neural connections and an absolute maximum brain size; therefore maximum IQ. Certainly will be a boost to "fatten" the smart fraction regardless, though.

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I've yet to be convinced that having high intelligence is especially useful, aside from pulling us out of a return to localised feudalism - communities descending into the ritualised, brutal world of the midbrain. I suspect the intelligence thing is more about recreating the status landscape around IQ rather than power. Or at least this is a underexamined aspect of it. High IQers tend towards disembodiment in my experience. They struggle to feel the body or emote. I think self-awareness is way more valuable than intelligence.

I'm not convinced of AI risk because I think capitalism tends to favour hyping under-performing products, like Gen AI, over investing the huge $s needed to really get a handle on what the human brain is doing.

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Apr 19·edited Apr 19

This is a very optimistic article though I feel misguided. It is a long and well crafted work though but, as happens with such gigantic worldview summaries, there are big holes in it. For example in the list of IQ improving ideas very few improve upon or are even as effective as classical selective breeding. The obsession with embryos in particular is a madness I can't understand in terms of resource input vs output.

Let's have a hypothetical contest. You try mastering and engineering embryo customization. On my side I forcibly kidnap Chris Lagaan and then bribe every major sperm bank in the US to only have his sperm. Something along those lines. Which of us do you think will have a higher cohort of high IQ people first? Who would have spent more money on it?

I do like the idea of DAOs though.

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This is the articulation of an ideological seed I have been mulling for over a year now. I already thought of, researched, and agree with virtually every point you made. Rather bizarre is your attempt to separate or gloss over the new right’s strides into this arena, though.

A government will be established which sanctions the high stock of humanity. It is inevitable, I will ensure it occurs.

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A curious fact about PISA is that the higher the average test scores of a country, the larger its standard deviation of test scores (the reverse is the case for TIMSS 4th grade, to a mild degree).

https://eharding.substack.com/p/the-worlds-most-important-graph

I think the average IQ of China is somewhere below that of the four Chinese islands (Macau, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan), whose scores may be representative of the provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian (which still means that only .5% of China's population -Hong Kong- has an over 125 IQ population greater than that of Brazil).

I think that the increasing progress of AI will either result in catastrophe (death of greater than 10% of humans within my lifetime) or God will intervene (as I strongly suspect he has many times before) to make things work out OK. I believe the Catholic Church's warnings against human genetic enhancement are for good reason -there is a great danger of more people playing with fire.

"The main notable exception appears to have been the Classical World25, and it is perhaps a telling one, in light of its eventual collapse and descent into the Dark Ages"

The writing direction theory perfectly explains why the Islamic World intellectually stagnated despite amazing starting conditions (and why Israel is the only rich country with an above-replacement TFR today).

"If we fail to solve Radical Life Extension, then we banally die."

I don't think that's the case (I've had conversations with many dead people). After all, if the simulation hypothesis is true, why wouldn't there be life after death?

Also, Armenia is mislabeled in the chart.

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