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Thursday, May 04, 2017

Binary thinkers

Even Daniel Dennett, whose grasp of basic logic can best be described as "questionable", finds himself struggling with binary thinkers:
Dennett waited until the group talked itself into a muddle, then broke in. He speaks slowly, melodiously, in the confident tones of a man with answers. When he uses philosophical lingo, his voice goes deeper, as if he were distancing himself from it. “The big mistake we’re making,” he said, “is taking our congenial, shared understanding of what it’s like to be us, which we learn from novels and plays and talking to each other, and then applying it back down the animal kingdom. Wittgenstein”—he deepened his voice—“famously wrote, ‘If a lion could talk, we couldn’t understand him.’ But no! If a lion could talk, we’d understand him just fine. He just wouldn’t help us understand anything about lions.”

“Because he wouldn’t be a lion,” another researcher said.

“Right,” Dennett replied. “He would be so different from regular lions that he wouldn’t tell us what it’s like to be a lion. I think we should just get used to the fact that the human concepts we apply so comfortably in our everyday lives apply only sort of to animals.” He concluded, “The notorious zombie problem is just a philosopher’s fantasy. It’s not anything that we have to take seriously.”

“Dan, I honestly get stuck on this,” a primate psychologist said. “If you say, well, rocks don’t have consciousness, I want to agree with you”—but he found it difficult to get an imaginative grip on the idea of a monkey with a “sort of” mind.

If philosophy were a sport, its ball would be human intuition. Philosophers compete to shift our intuitions from one end of the field to the other. Some intuitions, however, resist being shifted. Among these is our conviction that there are only two states of being: awake or asleep, conscious or unconscious, alive or dead, soulful or material. Dennett believes that there is a spectrum, and that we can train ourselves to find the idea of that spectrum intuitive.

“If you think there’s a fixed meaning of the word ‘consciousness,’ and we’re searching for that, then you’re already making a mistake,” Dennett said.
I think Dennett is essentially correct; his spectrum approach is not dissimilar to my own probability perspective. The fact that we don't have enough information to correctly calculate those probabilities and identify them doesn't mean that it is not a more useful heuristic than reducing everything to Abelardian binary.

The exchange with the primate psychologist reminds me a little of my mostly failed attempt to explain the IQ delta between very high intelligence and ultra high intelligence to people who are essentially limited to the smart-normal-dumb spectrum. The talking lion can't speak meaningfully about the experience of dumb lions. The UHIQ can't speak any more meaningfully about the experience of midwits than the midwit can describe what it is like to have an IQ of 50.

It shouldn't be hard to grasp the concept that different minds process information differently, and yet, the guy who firmly believes he's wicked smart because he had a 105 IQ in a classroom full of sub-95 IQs quite often assumes the guy with a 140 IQ must be stupid because he can't understand him.

To quote my old sensei, mind the gap.

Also, I'm with Chalmers. I suspect if Dennett spent more time with technology in general, and AI in particular, he'd better grasp the fundamental weakness of his position.

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410 Comments:

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Anonymous burgmeister May 04, 2017 8:13 AM  

Could it be that the higher up you are on the IQ scale, the more difficult it becomes to recognize even higher IQ's?

(If yes, Pride/Narcism could be one reason, but are there others?)

Blogger pnq8787 May 04, 2017 8:24 AM  

It's like the way I feel when I contemplate the suicidal social goals of white liberals. I don't understand them. I can't even conceive of how they think what they are doing is a good thing or how they got to that position. The level at which I don't understand them is axiomatic. I feel like I must be either a genius or a moron.

Blogger VD May 04, 2017 8:26 AM  

Could it be that the higher up you are on the IQ scale, the more difficult it becomes to recognize even higher IQ's?

No, because high IQ people very readily recognize even higher IQs. It's the 105 to 115 crowd that doesn't.

Blogger ZhukovG May 04, 2017 8:27 AM  

It relates to another thread you had here concerning the observation that highly intelligent people often don't get enjoyment from regular socializing.

The talking lion may look like his brethren, but he cannot relate to them any more than he could explain to Dennett and company what being a lion is like.

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 04, 2017 8:31 AM  

Consciousness is not a substance, yes, but a lion who talks could express lion-ness more easily than a human can describe being a dog. The idea that consciousness retards the mind is a solipsistic materialist fantasy.

In other words, an atheist who is baffled by the concept of gods does not disprove the existence of gods.

So, Dennett's dabbling with a bit of the ol' 01 himself.

Blogger VD May 04, 2017 8:32 AM  

highly intelligent people often don't get enjoyment from regular socializing

It has always mystified me that so many people don't grasp that it is neither fun nor entertaining to spend most of the evening telling yourself "don't respond to this, don't respond to that, just let it go, you're not the facts police".

I try to stick to Babymetal and soccer.

Blogger Sillon Bono May 04, 2017 8:40 AM  

VD wrote:highly intelligent people often don't get enjoyment from regular socializing

It has always mystified me that so many people don't grasp that it is neither fun nor entertaining to spend most of the evening telling yourself "don't respond to this, don't respond to that, just let it go, you're not the facts police".

I try to stick to Babymetal and soccer.



Sillon has an epiphany moment with this comment.

Anonymous Looking Glass May 04, 2017 8:41 AM  

While I enjoyed philosophical debates in my youth (one of those Smart Guy Things, really), the real problem is most of the discussions and debates start from a position of throwing out ideas. You almost never encounter an analysis of the consequences. This is almost wholly due to the reality that the original writer is mentally bright but reality stupid. This explains most Enlightenment & later Philosophy. Heck, it explains why Philosophers love Plato but Aristotle is actually useful.

@6 VD

There's no words to describe what it is like in life to sit and wait several minutes while someone gets to the point you already knew they were going to make. It took me a while to settle on how to deal with someone that was clearly wrong in their assumption/story, in a verifiable way. I finally settled on interrupt them when they pause for a moment. I'd rather be thought the "Smart Asshole" than wait 15 minutes while a story is spun that's just false.

Plus, the conversations go much better in my own head. Which is why the best trick is to get someone started about strange work stories. One cannot predict the insanity of other humans, which is why those topics are always interesting.

As to the original piece, some things are Binary. Other things are on a Spectrum. The unknowable stuff rests within Probabilities. Too many intelligent people get caught up trying to put a Square Peg in a Round Hole, simply because One Size does not fit all.

Anonymous Humpty Dumpty Parumpty May 04, 2017 8:45 AM  

"guy who firmly believes he's wicked smart because he had a 105 IQ in a classroom full of sub-95 IQs…assumes the guy with a 140 IQ must be stupid because he can't understand him."

Story of my life; but also, another excellent post from what now is one of the few remaining blogs not dedicated to recipes or celebrity gossip.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 8:45 AM  

There is one important binary concerning consciousness, which is the reflexive nature of awareness. Consciousness is immediately present to itself. This is precisely what differentiates sentient beings from insentient matter. (Dennett's denial of this fact is perhaps his primary philosophical error).

The luminosity of reflexive awareness does not admit of degrees. But yes, one may be more or less aware of this luminosity, as one may be more or less aware of the contents of any of one's manifold cognitive processes. Things go haywire the closer you get to Awakening, but this is (obviously) irrelevant for most people and purposes.

Blogger Nick S May 04, 2017 8:46 AM  

All I know is that my little Chuweenie dog woke me up at 5:00 am this morning telling me it was time to play and she made sure I understood her perfectly well. In the realm of all that is knowable, she, I and ol' Danny boy are all mere simpletons.

Anonymous Humpty Dumpty Parumpty May 04, 2017 8:46 AM  

"Could it be that the higher up you are on the IQ scale, the more difficult it becomes to recognize even higher IQ's?"

Also untrue because the law of diminishing returns would argue the opposite.

Blogger VFM6974 May 04, 2017 8:51 AM  

Sometimes is fun to toy with idiocy and playfully poke them into a ridiculously undefendable position (Islamophobia + women's rights comes to mind). At some point a bulb lights up in their brain and they start backpedaling, make truck reverse-beeping sound when that happen. Change subject to soccer.

Blogger Ken Prescott May 04, 2017 8:56 AM  

One of the most enjoyable days I ever had was at a wargame convention, where I was talking to a few people who were smarter than me...I got to sit there and marvel at the insights these people had, and they did so effortlessly.

Anonymous Looking Glass May 04, 2017 8:57 AM  

@2 pnq8787

That's a Culture + Religion divide. They believe in a wholly different god. All forms of Faith manifest in subtle ways within a human that might be definable, but can be extremely difficult to predict how they will outcrop. (Each person will, depending on extremely subtle differences, chose to act in ways Religiously or Culturally aligned. You can predict the Logic Loops; you cannot predict the subtle ways they'll play out differently between people.)


@10 Darth Dharmakīrti

I both understand what you mean, while laughing because I'm sure you've just lost nearly everyone that will read that. (And I appreciate the good use of "luminosity".)


@12 Humpty Dumpty Parumpty

It's actually a failure in the observational skills of a person if they can't recognize someone with more intelligence. You can read it someone's face. It's mostly in the eyes. Eye muscles are extremely sensitive to Mental Energy states. It's the same reason you can pick out someone that's fairly stupid. The "duhhhh" look exists.

Physiognomy is very real and anyone with working eyes is extremely attuned to it. It's why Trump is so fascinating. I've never seen someone at that level without the "lives in the Clouds" approach to life.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 9:05 AM  

Thanks Looking Glass, though the terminology--prakāśa in Sanskrit--is not mine, rather that of my namesake (an Indian Buddhist philosopher), whose position I'm also putting forward here.

Blogger Cail Corishev May 04, 2017 9:05 AM  

I try to stick to Babymetal and soccer.

Yep, sports are good. It helps to honestly have some interests that don't require smarts. The problem I see in some smart people is that their only interests are things requiring smarts, and they actively maintain their ignorance of everything else. Everything else is dumb. Which leaves them unable to communicate or even spend time comfortably with at least half the population, so who's the dumb one?

Anonymous basementhomebrewer May 04, 2017 9:11 AM  

There's no words to describe what it is like in life to sit and wait several minutes while someone gets to the point you already knew they were going to make. It took me a while to settle on how to deal with someone that was clearly wrong in their assumption/story, in a verifiable way. I finally settled on interrupt them when they pause for a moment. I'd rather be thought the "Smart Asshole" than wait 15 minutes while a story is spun that's just false.

The frustrating part about that approach is when someone insists they weren't going to reach the point you know they were getting to. Then insists on telling the whole story, then arrives at the point you interrupted them to get to at the beginning. I have come to accept that they are angry that I interrupted, and didn't bother to listen to the fact that I understood the point they were trying to get to with the story.

Anonymous Looking Glass May 04, 2017 9:12 AM  

@16 Darth Dharmakīrti

So much of analysis of reality has to be done in complex, semi-vague language because the act of hyper-precise definition actually changes what is being described. That Uncertainty aspect normally botches up most of the human population. There's actually something to envy in those that, because of their normal intelligence, aren't troubled by a lot of issues.

Most people ignore Pandora's Box. Intelligent people get overwhelmed by everything negative. The Wise can reach the end. It is why Wisdom is far more valuable than raw Intelligence.


@17 Cail Corishev

I had a conversation one time with a Man, who has a PhD, and we weren't sure if we followed professional sports because we like them or so we always have something to talk about that isn't the weather. We came to the conclusion that we weren't sure. When you've been doing something for decades, you lose track of the subtle reasons for why you started. haha

Blogger dienw May 04, 2017 9:13 AM  

highly intelligent people often don't get enjoyment from regular socializing.

It has always mystified me that so many people don't grasp that it is neither fun nor entertaining to spend most of the evening telling yourself "don't respond to this, don't respond to that, just let it go, you're not the facts police".

I try to stick to Babymetal and soccer.


This is why when I was young, I learned the art of conversation per Buckley: get the other person to talk about what they know, not what I know; to ask them questions to keep the conversation going.

But, I am getting to be a crotchety old man: I have no desire to listen to someone who believes robots are our future and we will sit back and they will do all the work; yet, has no comprehension of what the hell is going currently and can robotically quote the Narrative.

Oddly enough today's reading:

Ecc 10:12  The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 
Ecc 10:13  The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. 
Ecc 10:14  A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him? 

Anonymous The OASF May 04, 2017 9:13 AM  

Is it easy to mistake UHIQ for gamma? Or are most UHIQ people indeed gammas?

Blogger The Hammer May 04, 2017 9:14 AM  

The so-called problems of consciousness and mind-body interaction have only been around since modern philosophy thoroughly rejected the Scholastic school which was based on Aquinas' work. Whose philosophy of nature was based on Aristotle, which is still superior.

Blogger maniacprovost May 04, 2017 9:16 AM  

Some people don't even rise to the level of binary thinking.

Remember, you can create any kind of logic using binary thinking, but it won't be as efficient as analog... Wait, that's a terrible analogy.

Blogger mapster68 May 04, 2017 9:17 AM  

Could it be that the white liberals are actually a different species? As different from you and me as the talking lion? That would explain a lot.

Blogger VD May 04, 2017 9:19 AM  

I have come to accept that they are angry that I interrupted, and didn't bother to listen to the fact that I understood the point they were trying to get to with the story.

I think you're both missing the point. People LIKE to talk. Any actual communication is merely a secondary bonus. 70 percent of all tweets go unread, but that doesn't even slow people down.

Is it easy to mistake UHIQ for gamma? Or are most UHIQ people indeed gammas?

No. And no. Gamma thinking definitely maxes out at VHIQ.

Blogger Angry Midwesterner May 04, 2017 9:19 AM  

Wholeheartedly agree the 105-115 crowd struggles immensely at recognizing the 140s-150s. welcome to the field of medicine

Blogger szopen May 04, 2017 9:19 AM  

Remember that every ultra-intelligent mind deteriorates with time, starting with 40 y/o. Ultra-intelligent 30 year-old guy sooner or later will become 60 y/o highly intelligent guy, who still will consider himself ultra-high intelligent. I see it for example with Janusz Korwin-Mikke, a controversial and very highly intelligent Polish fringe politician. Twenty years ago he was writing brilliant analysis and could jump so fast to the conclusion, that others would not even realised he had reached it; nowadays he is arrogant arsehole, who usually repeats his old bon-mots and old arguments.

And, speaking of atheism and consciousness..

There is one more frigthening result of pursuing atheist-materialist viewpoint to one of the possible logical conclusions. I started to think about it when I learned about the Theseus ship paradox. The result is so absurd, that I hesitate even to say it from the fear of being ridiculed.

Blogger Phillip George May 04, 2017 9:19 AM  

Jethro Tull covered this already in "thick as a brick".
Moreover a physicist gets no results worth considering if he is a materialist stuck in his experiment.
Paul Davies covered this already.

Jesus is Lord. Every alternative is bat shit crazy.

and chuck in Ultra intelligent blue paint. Douglas Adams' version of the perimeter is 'watching' you. You are the experiment. You are the hamster.

Anonymous Looking Glass May 04, 2017 9:22 AM  

@18 basementhomebrewer

I have noticed, since IQ is brought up a lot in these parts, that on analysis of my previous social groups that I tended to mostly avoid a certain fraction of people around the +2SD range. This is mostly due to them being very annoying. They're smarter than average, but not that much smarter. So they normally hit just the wrong spot where they're not mid-wits, but they're used to being the smartest person in their group.

The result is those people are extremely annoying to be around, and the act of being around them makes them more annoying. Simply existing within the social sphere causes friction because you can do, with ease, what takes a lot of work, while at the same time you dethrone them from being the "smart person". It's a fascinating self-study of the way we respond to the hierarchical nature of intelligence.

Also, I'm cognizant that we've turned this thread into "Smart Guy Problems".

Blogger VD May 04, 2017 9:23 AM  

Twenty years ago he was writing brilliant analysis and could jump so fast to the conclusion, that others would not even realised he had reached it; nowadays he is arrogant arsehole, who usually repeats his old bon-mots and old arguments.

I discussed that on the Darkstream last night. Every writer has a 20-year peak if he's lucky. That's why ASOIAF is going to increasingly suck as it approaches the end. Martin is well past his peak.

Blogger maniacprovost May 04, 2017 9:23 AM  

Is it easy to mistake UHIQ for gamma? Or are most UHIQ people indeed gammas?

Where are you are running into all these UHIQ people and how are you identifying them?

There's no words to describe what it is like in life to sit and wait several minutes while someone gets to the point you already knew they were going to make.

Well, now you can just shitpost on Twitter while they tell the story.

Anonymous James Parliament May 04, 2017 9:24 AM  

It articulates nicely what I assumed was a defect.

Blogger Phillip George May 04, 2017 9:26 AM  

rather than consciousness why not just tackle goal and motive?

Blogger Benjamin Kraft May 04, 2017 9:29 AM  

@10. Darth, I'd say that a person can be aware of their level of consciousness, and many are, to degrees. Almost everyone beyond a certain age can tell pretty easily if they have lessened mental function due to lack of sleep, etc, and conversely, you don't get those "epiphany" feelings while you're tired, or drugged, or etc. I can't speak for being drunk, as I've never been there myself.

@13. Sadly, there are a great number of people around that seem capable of successfully completing Houdini-ish mental contortions to escape even the most obvious cognitive dissonance none the wiser. You cannot have a meaningful conversation with certain people on certain topics.

@17. It's even less accessible if you have no interest in spectator sports. There are, nevertheless, a variety of topics you can speak with most people about at length, you just need to figure out what they are for each person. Some people who can find no common ground perhaps are so because they do not wish to find it.

OpenID rufusdog May 04, 2017 9:32 AM  

Narrowly defining terms is so useful, like when the author says “Dennett believes there is a spectrum” from soulful to material, I doubt that, given my definition of soul. He believes higher/different brain functions result in radically different behaviors and drivers for behaviors. It irritates me with the secular uses commonly understood religious words sans the immaterial, con artist behavior. But if Dennett defined soulful I am sure I would probably shrug and agree there obviously is a spectrum.

Anonymous Rocklea May 04, 2017 9:32 AM  

Consciousness is one thing; it's interesting and fun to think on problems and concepts from different perspectives; but memory, is truly amazing. I recently had dinner with a friend that I hadn't seen, or spoken to for more than decade. We spoke of people, events, places and conversations, that I had not thought of for a long long time. Names would sometimes bring immediate recall, asking questions; Who was she again?, Who'd he hang around with? etc; and then, more often than not, you'd start to build a mental picture and you were there.

Would I have ever thought of those faces, places and names, were it not for my friend? Do they just exist in my brain? Or was it that conversation, that interaction with another mind, that I'd shared part of my life with, that somehow brought these 'memories' into being anew. I don't know, but I think, had I not had this dinner, been with my friend again, I think, I may never have had 'recall' of these memories again. I guess someone with eidetic memory would have entirely different perspective.

Blogger c0pperheaded May 04, 2017 9:33 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:There's no words to describe what it is like in life to sit and wait several minutes while someone gets to the point you already knew they were going to make.

I was trying to explain this to my buddy a few weeks ago. He just looked at me and said, "You're just an asshole." He was right.

Blogger Resident Moron™ May 04, 2017 9:37 AM  

@Sillon

I was greatly affected by a line in the film "Lawrence of Arabia" where the diplomat (Drysdale?) is being hassled.

The line is about diplomacy being an entire career wherein one never says exactly what one means.

Having learned that the less intelligent but more numerous don't want to know when they're wrong, this line struck me quite forcefully. I determined that I would tell people and they could deal with it or not, but I would not be upset by them being upset.

Ironically, as we age we do indeed learn some diplomacy. We also learn to use it when we want to use it, to achieve some purpose beyond simple ego defenses or popularity with idiots.

Anonymous BadThink655321 May 04, 2017 9:40 AM  

maniacprovost wrote:Remember, you can create any kind of logic using binary thinking, but it won't be as efficient as analog... Wait, that's a terrible analogy.
Indeed it is. Never start a land war in Asia and never confuse computability theory with complexity theory.

Blogger Phillip George May 04, 2017 9:42 AM  

ps if a lion could talk it would be in Swahili so he could explain the necessity of the kill. Who wants to eat the uniformed?

Blogger Benjamin Kraft May 04, 2017 9:42 AM  

@25. I think it's both, to varying degrees in varying people. Some love to talk, some HATE interruption.

@27. szopen, atheistically, we're all mindless robots running on the OS of luck and chaos. Interestingly, this is also the creepy-as-hell thing about Star-Trek style teleportation. Unless either A: You have no soul, or B: Your soul somehow automatically binds to the new body, every time you teleport you're suiciding and producing a meat puppet on the other end. (Really with no soul you were a meat puppet on this end too though, no harm no foul).

@29. I've definitely been that guy before. Hopefully more when I was younger and less now.

@31. If you've gotten to that point of sociopathy, sure. Shitpost away.

Blogger Resident Moron™ May 04, 2017 9:43 AM  

mapster68 wrote:Could it be that the white liberals are actually a different species? As different from you and me as the talking lion? That would explain a lot.

Making HBD Great Again!

Yes, I think so. Really just talking monkeys who learned to shave their feet (not their beards).

Blogger wreckage May 04, 2017 9:45 AM  

How do you get to be somewhat intelligent and not be able to recognize the limits of your intelligence? Does everyone other than me with an only mildly above average IQ lack ambition, or something?

In any case, you don't need massive horsepower to be able to work with clarity through ideas, you just need to pay attention. The most frustrating experiences I have had in life involve smartish-to-smart people who are incapable of clear thought.

More directly related to the subject, I thought, in terms of "degrees of soul", that this was pretty well encapsulated by Aquinas, and lo, somebody else has noted the same.

As for absurd places materialism leads, I suspect you're thinking of "panpsychism". If ordinary arrangements of ordinary matter lead to consciousness, all matter partakes in degree of consciousness, and only the degree changes. If nothing has a soul, everything does!

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 9:46 AM  

Are binary thinkers intelligent?

(y/N)

OpenID rufusdog May 04, 2017 9:46 AM  

Ugh, T-minus the standard IQ circle jerk, “with my superior IQ I find those mid-wits just sooo annoying, fo reals yo”.

There are a lot of drivers for when I like or dislike someone, their IQ rarely plays into it. Kindness, goodness, warmth, humor, humility, personality, work ethic, living by the golden rule, those things drive likability, not IQ. A devil is still a devil, wherever they land on the IQ spectrum.

You people act like you walk around in your daily life trying to explain theoretical physics to every Joe Smo you happen to bump into…and sure, that would be annoying, but who actually does that?

Anonymous Looking Glass May 04, 2017 9:46 AM  

Top-end creative intelligence takes extreme amounts of mental energy. In many regards, the Brain functions very similar to muscles, so as one uses it heavily, it starts to degrade. It's like a professional athlete that retires not because they can't perform, but because they can't perform every night.

Though it's generally not their raw intelligence that fades. Sure, the quickness does (energy dependent expenditure), but the drive to improve is what is lost. It's the "all music stops for someone at age 35" effect. One isn't driven by youthful energy, but by personal momentum. It's why Freeman Dyson can still toss out interesting stuff well into old age. He has a helper and they sort through topics until he find one that interests him.

On the UHIQ, in general, of people at or above me, I can really only think of ever meeting in 2 in person. And we didn't get along. The rest have all been online. Self-segregation is a very real effect, and we eventually find those similar to us online.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft May 04, 2017 9:46 AM  

@40. No one, they're too stringy and full of lead. Now that I've got that out of my system, I know my consciousness is on a downward for today. Good day folks, later.

Anonymous BadThink655321 May 04, 2017 9:48 AM  

wreckage wrote:As for absurd places materialism leads, I suspect you're thinking of "panpsychism". If ordinary arrangements of ordinary matter lead to consciousness, all matter partakes in degree of consciousness, and only the degree changes.

Extraordinary arrangements of ordinary matter lead to consciousness. It isn't the matter -- it's the arrangement.

Anonymous DaveInjustice May 04, 2017 9:51 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:There's no words to describe what it is like in life to sit and wait several minutes while someone gets to the point you already knew they were going to make."


Right but what midwits might not understand is that that's how they feel talking to a person with an 85 IQ, but that's how a person with VHIQ feels speaking to them

I guess sometimes people's philosophical approaches (mine included) just don't suit others. It's like approaching the question of how many calories are in a BLT. Some people want to Know what type of bread and how much is in it, others are just looking for a general andwers sans flourish, others don't even care, and it only matters if it tastes good. But if you're explaining the variables of ingredients to that type of person, naturally they'll give you blank stares.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 9:56 AM  

Subjective experiences are actually existent and non-material. Talking meat rarely grasps this, because it lacks meta-cognition. It does not understand the only thing it is epistemologically possible to certainly know. Now that's ignorance!

Blogger Cail Corishev May 04, 2017 9:58 AM  

How do you get to be somewhat intelligent and not be able to recognize the limits of your intelligence?

Be among the smartest in your class throughout school, but not so smart that you can coast, so you have to work to stay on top (so you don't have time/energy to go looking for higher challenges). Go to college in a field where the other students are at about your level, and again you have to work at it. Get a job in a white-collar field where the other workers are at about your level. Marry someone at about your level. You'll get used to always having the answer at least as fast as anyone else around you.

Only about 1 in 30,000 people are IQ 160 or higher, and they tend to be clustered into certain professions. If you're at, say 120-130, and you don't get into a profession or hobby that crosses over with theirs, it's quite possible to go through life almost never running into someone whose intelligence is enough higher to make you go, "Whoa."

Blogger szopen May 04, 2017 9:59 AM  

Benjamin Kraft wrote:@25.
@27. szopen, atheistically, we're all mindless robots running on the OS of luck and chaos. Interestingly, this is also the creepy-as-hell thing about Star-Trek style teleportation. Unless either A: You have no soul, or B: Your soul somehow automatically binds to the new body, every time you teleport you're suiciding and producing a meat puppet on the other end. (Really with no soul you were a meat puppet on this end too though, no harm no foul).

That's the easy part (and ideas similar to the teleport idea was considered by Lem in 1954 in his "Dialogues"). Sure, we are mindless robots.

The question is "what is I?" and "what does it mean 'I exist'?". If someone would clone you, does that mean there are two "you's", one "you"? How then differentiate between those two "you's"? Specifically: how to differentiate between those two "you's" in a way, which still would categorize "you" now and "you" five minutes ago as the same person?

wreckage wrote:
As for absurd places materialism leads, I suspect you're thinking of "panpsychism".

No, actually no - I haven't even thought about that.

Anonymous Stephen J. May 04, 2017 9:59 AM  

Are binary thinkers intelligent? (y/N)

I say Y! Me are smart!

Anonymous Looking Glass May 04, 2017 10:01 AM  

@45 rufusdog

The question, "so what are you thinking about?", when asked of someone very intelligent, is extremely problematic. Mostly because the answer starts with, "so what do you know about quantum physics?".


@42 Resident Moron™

Homopatheticus? Homomoronis?

Blogger Servant May 04, 2017 10:01 AM  

So what is cunning? Highly specialized intelligence of a sort? Or a different quality?

Anonymous RC May 04, 2017 10:02 AM  

"On the UHIQ, in general, of people at or above me, I can really only think of ever meeting in 2 in person." - Looking Glass

It's a thrill when you meet a fellow traveler, talking about sports or BabyMetal or whatever, your brain thinking about something else entirely, and then one sees something in the other and takes a chance, the volley returned, then the acceleration takes place, and you're looking for commonality in much more challenging topics. Even in my fifties now, I believe I can remember every single time this happened during my entire life.

Blogger Some Dude May 04, 2017 10:05 AM  

I like dennet. Theres a video of him harris hitchen and dawkins talking for 2 hours about religion. Its very good. When hitchens and harris brings up himan biodiversity thou, dennet and dawkins fall silent.

They know the truth. Dawkins especially. But they play dumb.

Silence can often be worse than lies if the person in question has the suasion and authority to say it.

Now relate this back to yourself.

How many people here are still playing inside baseball on 'democrats', russians arabs 'leftists' and other distractions.

Who creates the sjws. Who creates bad relations between his enemy races of man?

Thats right.

All of the worlds problems are in the first order reducible to ignorance. If you dont know you cant fix. But if the higher ability refuse to say it, then they are not philosophers. They are toadies. The object of philosophy is truth both wittgenstein asperger sophistry.

Blogger Jared Burrell May 04, 2017 10:06 AM  

Do you know yourself completely? Maybe that's a spectrum too.

Anonymous Bz May 04, 2017 10:06 AM  

"Strange work stories", thank you kindly for that one, Looking Glass.

Anonymous Rocklea May 04, 2017 10:07 AM  

Szopen said:
"
The question is "what is I?" and "what does it mean 'I exist'?". If someone would clone you, does that mean there are two "you's", one "you"? How then differentiate between those two "you's"? Specifically: how to differentiate between those two "you's" in a way, which still would categorize "you" now and "you" five minutes ago as the same person?"

Kill us both Spock!

Blogger Some Dude May 04, 2017 10:07 AM  

Another relation is that a philosopher must have character and be brave. The truth is clouded always and everywhere by people who use lies to retain power.

The first character need of a philosopher is bravery - not equivocation, meandering, communication or even a moral compass.

You have to say it. Even if you are not 100%.

Blogger Shimshon May 04, 2017 10:09 AM  

@30 Martin is well past his peak.

That depends on how you define "peak."

I think until he explodes a la Monty Python and the Meaning of Life, he has much more potential peak than you or I can even imagine. Just a little wafer-thin mint.

Blogger Some Dude May 04, 2017 10:10 AM  

On that basis dennet, is not a philosopher. He crime is not as bad as the frankfurt school and the foucalts of this world. Nowhere near.

But it is a crime of timidity. Or being sensitive to made up contrived brainwashed feelings. He reacts to the state of social relations now. Not what they were or could be if he spoke up. Being a pussy is a bar of a man. If you are a pussy you cannot do anything in any walk of life and the algorithm will punish you accordingly.

Blogger wreckage May 04, 2017 10:10 AM  

There's no such thing as "an extraordinary arrangement of matter" if you accept a strictly material universe of matter and energy. Even "chance" is playing with, essentially, the supernatural.

I'm not making this problem up; it's a known issue among materialist philosophers, along with the known issue of immediately pulling in the "goddidit" of chance or "extraordinariness" to gloss over it. It is, of course, a contention of non-materialist philosophers that materialism's problem leads either to a universe without thought -clearly false, they declare- or a universe of universal thought, distinguished only by degree.

Anonymous Stephen J. May 04, 2017 10:10 AM  

You people act like you walk around in your daily life trying to explain theoretical physics to every Joe Smo you happen to bump into... and sure, that would be annoying, but who actually does that?

I find in general it's less a matter of being frustrated by one's own failure to cross the communication gap and more a matter of frustration at the other party's failure to realize a communication gap exists.

Plus, one of the hallmarks of a high IQ is a strong emotional predilection for ensuring correctness of data and consistency of axioms -- not all high-IQ people have this drive and not all mid- to low-IQ people lack it, but the correlation exists. At its furthest extreme this drives a lot of responses here characterized as "spergy", where people obsess over correctness of data to the point they lose track of deriving either useful conclusions (for VHIQ) or illuminative patterns (for UHIQ) from it.

When you have this drive, however, communicating with people who lack it can be as frustrating as, say, a workaholic finds trying to get along with a slacker -- the two operate on such different frequencies about what constitutes a satisfying modus vivendi that all the good will in the world can't eliminate the mutual aggravation quotient, though it can reduce it to a mutually tolerable level with work.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 10:15 AM  

@28 Moreover a physicist gets no results worth considering if he is a materialist stuck in his experiment.

I was going to be a physicist, until I realized that this description applies to to pretty much every practicing particle physicist. The full scope of experimental methodology for particle physics over the past ~50 years has been the equivalent of a deranged toddler smashing two toy trucks (particle beams) together, over and over again, and just kind of seeing what happens. Zero appreciation for Bohr's critical insight that the instrumental means of knowledge irrevocably alters the epistemological situation, and that the cognizing subject and cognized object are inseparable. (Ironically, both of these are intellectual avenues developed at some depth by the real Dharmakīrti... who also had quite a bit to say about indivisible particles).

@34 I'd say that a person can be aware of their level of consciousness, and many are, to degrees. Almost everyone beyond a certain age can tell pretty easily if they have lessened mental function due to lack of sleep, etc, and conversely, you don't get those "epiphany" feelings while you're tired, or drugged, or etc. I can't speak for being drunk, as I've never been there myself.

We have to be very careful (within the limits wisely noted by Looking Glass) to define our terms. "Consciousness" defined as that which is reflexively aware of itself as well as any of its objects (where applicable) is binary. This is what differentiates sentient beings from insentient matter. But there are, of course, degrees of acuity. In general I would say that degrees only apply to the sensory faculties, so for example one person's visual or auditory acuity might be less than another's. By the same token, when drugged or drunk, one's mental faculty might be less sharp than when sober. But the mental faculty is not the same thing as "consciousness" in the sense defined above.

Blogger Shimshon May 04, 2017 10:15 AM  

@51 ...it's quite possible to go through life almost never running into someone whose intelligence is enough higher to make you go, "Whoa."

I knew some people like that in college. One ended up getting a PhD in math and then starting a somewhat well-known game company with their custom physics package (game engine). Another got a PhD in physics. Would often try to explain to us in his undergrad days how it all worked, and was mystified that we just didn't get it. We used to joke around that he didn't need to take acid, because his brain made it naturally.

Blogger Gaiseric May 04, 2017 10:16 AM  

rufusdog wrote:
You people act like you walk around in your daily life trying to explain theoretical physics to every Joe Smo you happen to bump into…and sure, that would be annoying, but who actually does that?

Demonstrating the point.

No, nobody does that. I do, however, walk around finding most conversations with most people I know banal and boring and pointless and slow-paced. It does tend to make casual social interaction feel tedious rather than stimulating. Which is exactly why my acquaintances with whom I can actually hold interesting conversations all the more important.

Blogger PoseidonAwoke May 04, 2017 10:16 AM  

Socio-Economic Class as a Function of Abstract Concept Length

"Time Preferences form a spectrum, from the very short (high), to the very long (low) — just as do frequencies of light.

As one’s time preference increases in length (lowers), and the ability to perceive abstracts must necessarily increase. As one’s ability to perceive abstracts decreases, time preference also must necessarily decrease (lower). On average we all see a similar portion of the spectrum. Some the shorter and lower, some the longer and higher.

Concepts are the equivalent of production cycles. And concepts of different lengths are incommensurable. Therefore human beings habituate and reinforce their time preferences, until they can no longer recognize or attribute value to concepts in the other portions of the spectrum. At that point of habituation, Time Preference becomes Time Bias.

So for genetic, environmental, cultural, pedagogical, and habitual reasons, people are effectively ‘color blind’ to different areas of the conceptual spectrum. We cannot value each other’s time preferences because of our Time Biases. We are unable to. It is impossible to.

Time Bias is the great unspoken problem with cognitive biases. Because cognitive biases are largely universal – equal among all people. But time bias creates social classes, and creates economic classes."


by Curt Doolittle

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 10:18 AM  

or a universe of universal thought, distinguished only by degree.

In the final analysis, panpsychism or some other form of ontological idealism is the only reasonable position, at least when discussing conventional reality.

Anonymous Bellator Mortalis May 04, 2017 10:19 AM  

(1) As I have aged, my intelligence has changed from being a laser beam to being a search light. That has overall been good.
(2) Mensa members are assholes one and all.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 10:20 AM  

Psychic imprinting on locations and the Earth groaning with the blood of the innocent suggest that the material world is not purely material. "You are on holy ground."

Beware cursed ground, non-Christian.

So if consciousness arises from matter, it's not the matter doing it.

Blogger Laughingdog May 04, 2017 10:26 AM  

"don't respond to this, don't respond to that, just let it go, you're not the facts police".

I'm not sure quick is more aggravating in these situations. Ignoring all the things people say that are wrong, or tuning out the remaining mindless drivel.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 04, 2017 10:28 AM  

Plus, the conversations go much better in my own head.

I must be different. Much trouble depends from my doing this very thing.

This discussion highlights to me the difference between intelligence and wisdom; I tire rapidly of those who think they're always the smartest person in the room while also lacking an appreciation for the limits of their own knowledge. The amount of unknown knowledge is vast, and to it must be added the stuff we think we know that just ain't so. In this time of vast information, wisdom informs ME that much of what's "known" is baloney. The coming trend change will see this crisis as central to the rationalization of declining trust in our epistemological models themselves.

I also tire of those who are held out as UHIQ who declare with certainty things I see as pervasively untestable. To me, this is substitution of religion for science, when honesty would declare it the former.

I fear that our entire system of trusting a vast network of knowledge determinants is brittle and sclerotic, and that its collapse will leave us questioning our very sanity and the entire structure on which we (think we) make our decisions.

Just as few people know how to even change their car's oil or brake pads, we are all now dependent on a huge network of "trusted" sources to inform our entire weltanschauung.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 10:30 AM  

James LaFond just tells tards he's a writer and turns them into an interview.

There's a vast wealth of experience in tards that will never be analyzed, much less transcribed.

Anonymous Philalethes May 04, 2017 10:30 AM  

So who's the guy in the picture? Looks familiar, but I can't place him.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 04, 2017 10:32 AM  

Mensa members are assholes one and all.
So are the vocal members of Colloquy. SJW ****heads to a man/woman. A 140+ IQ is far, far, far from being insurance against hiveminded idiocy.

Blogger wreckage May 04, 2017 10:33 AM  

@70 I could probably assent to that, but to someone committed to strict materialism - scientism perhaps - that conclusion makes nonsense of their reasons for pursuing it. It's as though the sensible conclusion that made, say, atheism coherent was that the universe was a thought in the mind of God; at least, that is how the ideas have been shaped.

Sorry, I didn't have a clearer expression than ideas being shaped. Would you agree that much conscious and debated thought overlies the unstated, and that the contest at stake is neither spoken nor articulated, perhaps even to the self? Perhaps especially to the self?

Orrrrr.... maybe I need to sleep.

Anonymous BadThink655321 May 04, 2017 10:37 AM  

wreckage wrote:There's no such thing as "an extraordinary arrangement of matter" if you accept a strictly material universe of matter and energy.
Of course there is. A rock is not a computer. Take them both apart and you end up with quarks and electrons. The difference is in the arrangement.
Even "chance" is playing with, essentially, the supernatural.
Why is that?
I'm not making this problem up; it's a known issue among materialist philosophers, along with the known issue of immediately pulling in the "goddidit" of chance or "extraordinariness" to gloss over it. It is, of course, a contention of non-materialist philosophers that materialism's problem leads either to a universe without thought -clearly false, they declare- or a universe of universal thought, distinguished only by degree.
This isn't a hard problem. Look at the lambda calculus. All computation is based on two special symbols. One symbol means "this is that", another symbol means "this is not that". The problem is that you can't tell, just by looking at the symbols, what the symbols mean. (After all, there's nothing that says that the special symbols have to be used consistently. In one part of the system a symbol can mean "this is that", while in another part of the system, the symbol can mean "this is not that.") All you can do is look at what the system does.

So the answer is that you have a universe of universal thought, because "this is/is not that" is built into the universe.

Anonymous LES May 04, 2017 10:39 AM  

There seems to be a spectrum of consciousness or self-awareness from the ant to the ape.
Could Man be the only species that is aware that he is self-aware? Is that the soul?

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 10:40 AM  

Would you agree that much conscious and debated thought overlies the unstated, and that the contest at stake is neither spoken nor articulated, perhaps even to the self? Perhaps especially to the self?

The "self" or ego is an illusion, but one of its main tricks is getting you to believe your own BS justifications. So I would say that your analysis is exactly correct, materialists can't see what's plainly in front of them because to do so would shatter their ego-illusion. Their sense of self is intimately bound up in what they think they know of reality.

Blogger Tim_W_Burke May 04, 2017 10:41 AM  

This is a wonderful conversation. Thank you everyone!

Blogger Resident Moron™ May 04, 2017 10:42 AM  

Bravery.
A predilection for correctness of data (inputs, perhaps?)
A certain rigour in cogitation.

We can't know everything, so our inputs are forever imperfect.
We cannot achieve perfect logic, we are all subject to some degree of bias, emotional irrationalities, etc, and so our cogitations are necessarily imperfect.

So our results (conclusions, opinions, outputs, call them what you will) are always similarly suspect.

Even if you think you're Spock's dad, fully Vulcan and completely logical, you're still bound by the necessary limitations of your meat machinery, and since that limits the completeness of your input data it limits the applicability of your conclusions.

(Plus, if you were that good, you'd know this already.)

There's two more qualities a fully developed human being needs, irrespective of their intellectual heft:

1. Imagination. The number of highly intelligent people I've met with zero imagination is quite horrifying. I don't know if imagination is a specialised form of intelligence or an additional means of focusing intelligence in a certain way. Maybe more analogous to polarising light in a certain plane? Who knows? But you need it. Good thing is that, like many human abilities, if you're weak in it, you can practice and get better.

2. Humility. Can't claim to have mastered this, but I'm working on it. No matter how smart we are, there's always someone smarter. Perhaps only in a different or narrower aspect, but none of us have it all.

That's the rather messy imperfect sparse set of conclusions I've managed to gain high confidence in over half a century of observing and cogitating.

Anonymous Red Cabbage May 04, 2017 10:43 AM  

Remember that every ultra-intelligent mind deteriorates with time

I used to be moderately high-IQ and then got a hormonal imbalance which is known to affect reasoning. Suddenly I could barely converse.

I have recovered, but I suspect I'm still duller than I used to be.

It's a strange thing to become nearly retarded. Not really a bad way to live, until you have to make important decisions. Still beats being a leftist.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer May 04, 2017 10:44 AM  

Cail Corishev wrote:How do you get to be somewhat intelligent and not be able to recognize the limits of your intelligence?

Be among the smartest in your class throughout school, but not so smart that you can coast, so you have to work to stay on top (so you don't have time/energy to go looking for higher challenges). Go to college in a field where the other students are at about your level, and again you have to work at it. Get a job in a white-collar field where the other workers are at about your level. Marry someone at about your level. You'll get used to always having the answer at least as fast as anyone else around you.

Only about 1 in 30,000 people are IQ 160 or higher, and they tend to be clustered into certain professions. If you're at, say 120-130, and you don't get into a profession or hobby that crosses over with theirs, it's quite possible to go through life almost never running into someone whose intelligence is enough higher to make you go, "Whoa."


Just so. The best thing that happened to me was attending a large, highly rated University. The biggest lessons I learned there were that I was no where near the smartest person in the challenging classes and that just because someone has a thick southern accent and wears Carharts doesn't mean they are stupid.


If I had attended a community college or party school I don't think I would have been able to break out of the smartest person in the room mindset.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 10:45 AM  

There seems to be a spectrum of consciousness or self-awareness from the ant to the ape.
Could Man be the only species that is aware that he is self-aware? Is that the soul?


No, every sentient being has "self-awareness" (I prefer "reflexive awareness" because there is no such thing as a "self"). Reflexive awareness is the same for an amoeba, an ant, a dog, a human, or an incorporeal spirit. What is different among beings are the types and degree of acuity of their various sensory and mental faculties (for example, incorporeal beings by definition do not have a sense of touch). But I would also say that, in Christian terms, the soul is what I have referred to as the luminosity of reflexive awareness. The point in both cases is precisely that it has nothing to do with your ego or your self of "self." One must die to oneself, etc.

Blogger Sam May 04, 2017 10:45 AM  

@2
There are 3 kinds of liberals. People who are uninformed/brainwashed (they tend to eventually leave; raises hand), those who are insane/evil and people who don't actually understand but simply mindlessly repeat slogans. It turns out the third group is the biggest. Yes, this applies to all politics; liberalism takes it to extremes.

The reason is simple- since most individuals have zero political power, the cost of making the wrong decision in regards to the country is zero. So people choose political beliefs the same way the choose clothing- to make a statement about themselves.

This is not a universal problem; Israel doesn't appear to suffer from it. Unfortunately their 'solution' is 100 former political parties, 65 current political parties, 10 in Knesset and 6 in power (With 3.8 million votes cast).

@52
The solution is whichever prevents people from abusing cloning. So collective punishment- they are all you and they all suffer for any activities of a member until they become sufficiently different they no longer think the same way. This is easier if the individuals are kids (twins differ significantly in personality; personality appears to be about 40-45% genetic, 0-5% environmental and 55% random. Yes, free will would appear random on a statistical level; you can stop rubbing it in Christians).

The more horrifying question is how much is consciousness necessary and if parts of its functionality can be replaced or improved upon by other types of mental systems. Don't have any insights to add to that unfortunately aside from the obvious (consciousness helps deal with infinite recursion).

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 10:47 AM  

make that sense of "self"

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 04, 2017 10:48 AM  

VD wrote:highly intelligent people often don't get enjoyment from regular socializing

It has always mystified me that so many people don't grasp that it is neither fun nor entertaining to spend most of the evening telling yourself "don't respond to this, don't respond to that, just let it go, you're not the facts police".

I try to stick to Babymetal and soccer.


It gets worse when you're at work and your co-workers get all giddy about hiring more women in software development.

Fortunately, they didn't follow through with it. Yet.

Anonymous Sheiko29 May 04, 2017 10:52 AM  

basementhomebrewer is spot on. If you are the smartest person in the room, find a new room. Humbling but motivating.

If you can find a decent school with a good party scene... all the better (Duke, UVA, UT come to mind).

Blogger Resident Moron™ May 04, 2017 10:52 AM  

"As one’s time preference increases in length (lowers), and the ability to perceive abstracts must necessarily increase. As one’s ability to perceive abstracts decreases, time preference also must necessarily decrease (lower)."

This second sentence is wrong (The bit in brackets should say "higher").

[/sperg]

OpenID rufusdog May 04, 2017 10:53 AM  

Cail,

I find that entire idea specious, I’ve always known I am smarter than most, but always known I’m not that smart, I mean hell, ever play chess? It doesn’t take long for one to realize they have limits that others don’t. Short of being either retarded or other worldly brilliant, I think everyone has to know there are others out there smarter than themselves. Maybe back in the day…but today, no way, one would have to willfully blind.

If someone is being the “smartest guy in the room" asshole, the answer likely is he is simply an asshole, not that the poor thing just doesn’t realize there are others that exceed his brilliance.

Anonymous Red Cabbage May 04, 2017 10:54 AM  

@83 The number of highly intelligent people I've met with zero imagination is quite horrifying. I don't know if imagination is a specialised form of intelligence or an additional means of focusing intelligence in a certain way.

I was in a gifted ed class in school, and we all took a quiz designed to measure creativity. I handicapped my score and still left the rest of the class in the dust.

I think there are different kind of intelligence; because most of those kids were just as smart as me (or smarter) in other realms, and better socially adapted.

My brain seems to be wired differently, that's all. I have huge leaps of intuition, and I'm very creative, but although I can do math or science if I have to, it's torturous because I have to slow down for all the logical steps.

Blogger William Meisheid May 04, 2017 10:59 AM  

VD wrote:
It has always mystified me that so many people don't grasp that it is neither fun nor entertaining to spend most of the evening telling yourself "don't respond to this, don't respond to that, just let it go, you're not the facts police".

When most people you interact with find you too critical, (even when you are trying not to be) it is no wonder most highly intelligent people have few close social friends (people who willing to spend an evening with them). It is too much work for both sides of the equation.

Blogger VD May 04, 2017 11:02 AM  

You people act like you walk around in your daily life trying to explain theoretical physics to every Joe Smo you happen to bump into…and sure, that would be annoying, but who actually does that?

I am amused.

it's quite possible to go through life almost never running into someone whose intelligence is enough higher to make you go, "Whoa."

At the Digital Ghetto, my IQ ranked 3rd of 4. And I'd known the two smarter guys since I was 5 and 11, respectively. Which, of course, is why I've never been bothered in the least on the rare occasions that I run into smarter people. I quite enjoy the opportunities.

This is also why I'm convinced that intelligence is like ice cream. It's all the same thing, but there are different flavors. And no, neither "kinetic" nor "emotional" count.

Blogger GracieLou May 04, 2017 11:08 AM  

For the record my UHIQ grandson was right about North Korea. He's like the Boy Oracle of Delphi. I don't get it. It's like he has a radio receiver in his teeth.

Anonymous Looking Glass May 04, 2017 11:14 AM  

@56 RC

As an adult, I can really only account for one with a natural talent in the same realm. And I got a good lesson in how mentally aggressive I could get. Foolishness and Intelligence are fairly different things. We live in a modern world of intelligent fools, truthfully.

Though there's a double layered problem when you meet another. Language is a slow & inefficient communication medium. If you really start clicking on a topic, you can easily run into a problem of trying to throw too many words at it.


As for "work stories", it was something I figured out in my early childhood. I started constraining my own vocabulary at a very young age because I was toasting all of my teachers if I wasn't careful. But, in all of that, I realized that Men always have solid stories from their work life. Most especially since it's eaten up so much of their life and no one else really cares.

Now, some take a lot of coaxing to get started, but nearly everyone will start talking, in mass, about their non-personal life aspects if you give them a willing ear. One of the best conversations I ever had was with a Man that solid propane & propane accessories (this isn't a joke) who was about 3 beers in. I had a wonderful conversation, yet I had to say maybe 10 lines in 90 minutes. Listening is a hard skill; moving a conversation to a place you want to listen to is the key part.


@74 dc.sunsets

I think the last time that UHIQ came up, though after the post referenced in this post, I said something to the extent that the biggest issue that most really intelligent people have is that they actually aren't smart enough. That wasn't a statement of "oh, look at me & how smart I am!". It's a statement of Truth from deep experience. The smartest Man to ever live is but the King of the Anthill at the foot out Mt. Zion.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." Proverbs 9:10 ESV

Intelligence above all of your peers has the exact same humility problems as all other forms of right-scale ability. Even those with IQs in the stratosphere that do not fear the Lord are really no where as intelligent as they think themselves, since they lack the ability to regard themselves properly. One is not measured by their internal criteria; one is judged by the Lord. Fear, deeply, the one that can condemn your soul.

This is why I talk about Wisdom & Intelligence, personally, as being separate. Intelligence let's you understand Wisdom in hindsight. Wisdom brings foresight. That's the key difference. Very few in the UHIQ are willing to accept the gap between themselves and the Lord, so the instinctual self-rationalization effect takes over. Over time, it makes one numb to their own limitations.

Anonymous Critically Bent May 04, 2017 11:22 AM  

@45

I do, sort of.

Teach high school physics. I'm +3SD IQ.

My adult life has been figuring out how to make complicated things comprehensible to lower IQ people.

It is actually quite fun and entertaining.

All these people complaining about it are just whiny little bitches. Oh wait, wrong thread...

Anonymous BadThink655321 May 04, 2017 11:26 AM  

Darth Dharmakīrti wrote:The "self" or ego is an illusion,

How do you demonstrate this? What axioms do you presuppose?

Anonymous Stickwick May 04, 2017 11:26 AM  

At the risk of uncorking the genie...

Darth Dharmakīrti: The full scope of experimental methodology for particle physics over the past ~50 years has been the equivalent of a deranged toddler smashing two toy trucks (particle beams) together, over and over again, and just kind of seeing what happens.

A slight mischaracterization. In any case, "let’s see what happens" is a legitimate mode of science. And how else are you going to generate the energies necessary for experiments?

Zero appreciation for Bohr's critical insight that the instrumental means of knowledge irrevocably alters the epistemological situation, and that the cognizing subject and cognized object are inseparable.

Dude, the superfluousness of the enunciations with which you are attempting to elucidate the conclusion at which you have arrived has failed to facilitate the understanding that one possesses superior perception on the matter.

What makes you think physicists aren’t aware of the observer problem? It’s been the subject of study and debate for decades. Also, as much as I think it has merit, Bohr’s is just one interpretation, and an unproven one at that.

Blogger VD May 04, 2017 11:30 AM  

It is actually quite fun and entertaining.

Because you control the communications. You wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much if you had to let them talk as much as they wanted and listen to them doing it.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 11:32 AM  

People who pretend that IQ doesn't matter rarely move to lower IQ countries.

Some of us are born in one, relatively speaking.

Anonymous Looking Glass May 04, 2017 11:33 AM  

@95 VD

At the high-scale in the sciences, it's wholly about perspective. There is something of an Observer-Observed issue. The highly refined mental approach you need to have at that level is different for everyone. It can make some questions startlingly easy for some people, simply because they have the correct mental "tool" to apply to a very complex question. The same approach might be significantly slower to a different question.

Comparatively, professional sports is filled with Elite-level athletes. Most of them couldn't cross-over between sports. The training to do one sport at an Elite-level simply precludes the skills & training needed for another. Elite-level mental skills aren't very different.

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella May 04, 2017 11:40 AM  

someone once asked difference: I've been 145+,and then I was hit by a car. Knocked 20 points off, after recovery.
Thought is more slick, theories a physical pleasure to work with, at the higher end. However,the habits remain- accumulate data, try to extrapolate a pattern, check the pattern.

speech damage, auditory processing, so, more listening, more questions, more careful in watching and listening to answers.

Most people now used to being ignored, so asking and listening carefully compensates for slowness- unusual and unknown found simply by asking and listening to people who don't get seen, heard.

Unusual and unknown finding,and patterns,looks like genius even when it isn't.

Thought feels glaciar and injured. Pellucid explanations take effort. I can feel the absences, work-arounds, sometimes in others work.

I need stuff checked, didn't,before.I know I can be wrong.













Blogger allyn71 May 04, 2017 11:42 AM  

Dude, the superfluousness of the enunciations with which you are attempting to elucidate the conclusion at which you have arrived has failed to facilitate the understanding that one possesses superior perception on the matter.

What makes you think physicists aren’t aware of the observer problem? It’s been the subject of study and debate for decades. Also, as much as I think it has merit, Bohr’s is just one interpretation, and an unproven one at that.


That is what it looks like when the smart chick points out to the midwit his fly is open and dick is hanging out.

Anonymous BadThink655321 May 04, 2017 11:47 AM  

Darth Dharmakīrti wrote:Zero appreciation for Bohr's critical insight that the instrumental means of knowledge irrevocably alters the epistemological situation,
Can't you just say that we learn things by experience? That's all it is. Said a different way, we don't know the future until we encounter it.

No need for mysticism, no need to make it more complex.
and that the cognizing subject and cognized object are inseparable.
You keep saying this, but you have to demonstrate whether this is something you've assumed, or something you've discovered. If you've assumed it, then so what? Assumptions are like noses. If you can demonstrate it, then do so.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 11:49 AM  

David Braben has a pet peeve, and I shouldn't have read it because now it's mine too.

Almost everybody uses the word "sentient" wrong. Even dogs are sentient. What they actually mean to say, is "sapient".

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 11:50 AM  

How do you demonstrate this? What axioms do you presuppose?

Momentariness. Hume runs through the basic argument, and quite eloquently.

And how else are you going to generate the energies necessary for experiments?

My point is that the paradigm of "we can't do any meaningful experiments unless we generate >> TeV" is the problem. Not to mention the massive disconnect between theorized phenomena and actual experimental capability to measure them. For example, lost in all the hubbub about "finding" the Higgs is that we found diddly squat. What happened is that after-the-fact calculations determined that we could be reasonably confident (~1.6 sigma) we had found a signal indicating the presence of photons in such a configuration as (we believe) could only have been produced by the decay of a Higgs. Fermi at Chicago, this was not. And that's before we get to the sheer ludicrousness of the Big Desert hypothesis.

What makes you think physicists aren’t aware of the observer problem?

The fact that they're all materialists.

Also, as much as I think it has merit, Bohr’s is just one interpretation, and an unproven one at that.

See, this is the kind of thing that drives me up the wall. If you think the Copenhagen Interpretation is "unproven," it's because you're so committed to the paradigm of real external objects that you're incapable of understanding what "proof" would even mean in this context.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 11:53 AM  

The fact that they're all materialists.

I'm SO going to enjoy this...

Blogger allyn71 May 04, 2017 11:53 AM  

I've never been bothered in the least on the rare occasions that I run into smarter people. I quite enjoy the opportunities.

I have a much larger circle of mental peers than Vox, a factor of 10 higher, and yet it is so rare to have meaningful contact with one it is a true joy. I can't imagine what it is like to know that there is only @ 1 in 5000 chance that person you meet is someone that is as smart or smarter than yourself. MPAI indeed

Blogger pyrrhus May 04, 2017 11:54 AM  

As good as human brains are at sorting out information from a cloud of 4 dimensional particle/waves, there must be a great many things that are unknowable....The observer problem is only the most obvious barrier to absolute knowledge of anything.

Blogger Casher O'Neill May 04, 2017 11:54 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Annie DiPiombo May 04, 2017 11:56 AM  

In the 90s I was fascinated by Dennett and his arguments about AI and consciousness; and read everything he had written through "Freedom Evolves". His insidious suggestion that we are somewhat unpredictable meat robots had an appeal for my earlier self. Now I realize how dangerous he is, and to get all science-fictiony, I think blood will probably be shed over the consequences of his ideas some day.

Blogger Nate May 04, 2017 11:56 AM  

" And no, neither "kinetic" nor "emotional" count."

The frozen yogart of intellectual ice cream.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 11:57 AM  

Can't you just say that we learn things by experience? That's all it is. Said a different way, we don't know the future until we encounter it.

Both of these restatements are incorrect.

You keep saying this, but you have to demonstrate whether this is something you've assumed, or something you've discovered. If you've assumed it, then so what? Assumptions are like noses. If you can demonstrate it, then do so.

Have you ever had an experience that happened to someone else? Of course the question is hardly even intelligible. Have you ever had an experience that you didn't pre-theoretically put yourself at the zero-point of, that you didn't experience as being your own experience?

Every moment of every experience (so, every moment) involves this level of minimal self-representation, what Antonio Damasio calls the "protoself." Unless you're routinely practicing nondual meditation, you know exactly what I am talking about. Try paying attention to this minimal self-representation, this pre-theoretical sense of being the one who is having the experience, paying attention to the implicit sense of being the guy who is looking "out" at the world as though your eyes were a camera and "you" were the cameraman. This is actually the first step in breaking through the illusion of duality, and seeing it for what it is.

Blogger Jose May 04, 2017 11:58 AM  

The problem with the quoted conversation isn't binary thinking vs {any mix of probabilistic, fuzzy membership, spectrum, multi-polar, high-dimensional space} thinking. It's word thinking vs. better thinking (basically formal system & numbers thinking).

"awake or asleep, conscious or unconscious, alive or dead"

The first two have Neuroscience answers and are both on a spectrum. (Consciousness can even go beyond the natural spectrum with the help of nose candy.) The last one has a biological definition and is definitely binary (it can be difficult to measure under certain circumstances but the actual state is a binary; the measurement may have a probabilistic error).

Dennett isn't bad for a philosopher, but that's damning him with faint praise.

(Apparently VD thinks a 140 IQ is high. That explains a lot.)

Blogger JohnofAustria May 04, 2017 12:00 PM  

The toughest part of being V/HIQ and trying to get what the high-end folks tell you is recognizing that you perceive and use terms differently, but not being able to bridge the gap. I'll see Vox do this, and I know I'm not reading the problem the same way, or using the language the same way, and I can't *make* myself do so, which is mind-bogglingly annoying.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler May 04, 2017 12:01 PM  

Some people are too smart for their own good.

Sometimes having a high IQ, will be a hindrance.

If a majority of Atheists, Vox was one once, are highly intelligent, is it a good that high IQ leads one to atheism?

Look at Stephen Hawkings, High IQ, brilliant, Atheist---going to hell.

The middling IQ accepts deity, accepts God, and is saved.

There is a lesson there.

Anonymous Looking Glass May 04, 2017 12:07 PM  

@110 allyn71

You get really comfortable talking to yourself. The clouds is a wonderful place to live, really.


@111 pyrrhus

The human form is actually incapable of absorbing most information. Beyond just the easy "your eyes only see a small bit of the spectrum" issue.

Granted, I'd also like to point out that the current theories about Dark Matter & Dark Energy point a problem in Physics: if they exist, we actually don't understand "existence" in a truly meaningful context. Yet you can still beat someone with a stick.

Anonymous BadThink655321 May 04, 2017 12:09 PM  

Darth Dharmakīrti wrote:Momentariness. Hume runs through the basic argument, and quite eloquently.
Except that Hume assumes illusion. It's easy to show something when you've assumed it to be the case.
Darth Dharmakīrti wrote:Both of these restatements are incorrect.
Oh, really? Then show how these restatements were incorrect.
Have you ever had an experience that happened to someone else?
Of course not. My experiences are my experiences. The arrangement of my brain is not the arrangement of your brain, so our experiences can be similar, but not identical.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 12:09 PM  

The Buddhist achieves enlightenment by staring at the sun until blind,

while the atheisperg dons blue blockers and challenges all comers to debate the color spectrum.

The last one has a biological definition and is definitely binary

At last, a smart guy! What is your biological definition of life?

Blogger Nate May 04, 2017 12:15 PM  

"At last, a smart guy! What is your biological definition of life?"

a question... which sounds suspiciously similar to the schnack of a charging handle slapping forward to load a round.

Blogger allyn71 May 04, 2017 12:18 PM  

You get really comfortable talking to yourself

I know from experience. I am on the outside edge of midwit, inside MENSA qualifying range (@135). I have only had meaningful interactions with people my IQ or higher a few times since school. I know that @ 1/100 are my peers or higher but if you take away your family and count how many people you regularly interact with generally you have no choice but to talk with yourself.

That is why this place is special. High enough IQ and diverse enough in topic to collect engaging talent. Especially true in the old days. With the increase in site growth, the conversation is generally reverting to the mean.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 12:18 PM  

Except that Hume assumes illusion.

He does nothing of the sort. He simply notes that, given the fact that objects are momentary, "identity" across time can only be a mental construction that is imputed onto our sensory experience, and then applies this analysis to the bundle (an excellent translation of skandha) of psychophysical and cognitive processes making up any given sentient being.

Oh, really? Then show how these restatements were incorrect.

Homework for the reader. Hint: the issue concerns how the means of knowledge determines the kinds of things you can know. For example, a measuring stick will not give you any information about color, except perhaps under very peculiar circumstances.

Of course not. My experiences are my experiences. The arrangement of my brain is not the arrangement of your brain, so our experiences can be similar, but not identical.

The arrangement of your brain is not quite the same thing as the present state of your cognitive psychophysical aggregates. However, I fail to see how this responds to my point. Again: irrespective of the arrangement of your brain, the fact that you are sentient necessarily entails that you experience yourself to be the center-point of your experience. For example, there is no such thing as "an experience of 'blue,'" in the absence of some implicit sense of being the one for whom or to whom the 'blue' appears. Experience is constitutively subjective, at least until we start talking about nonduality.

Anonymous User May 04, 2017 12:27 PM  

So-called AI is really just a particularly elaborate version of the pathetic fallacy.

This doesn't detract from the manifest utility of corpus trained recognizers, but the worshipful tones some people use when talking about AI stink of idolatry.

Anonymous Stickwick May 04, 2017 12:33 PM  

Darth Dharmakīrti: What happened is that after-the-fact calculations determined that we could be reasonably confident (~1.6 sigma) we had found a signal indicating the presence of photons in such a configuration as (we believe) could only have been produced by the decay of a Higgs.

Where are you getting this information?

The fact that they're all materialists.

They’re not all materialists. And materialist or not, there isn’t a physicist alive who isn’t aware of the problem. Whether or not they take it seriously is another matter.

If you think the Copenhagen Interpretation is "unproven," it's because you're so committed to the paradigm of real external objects that you're incapable of understanding what "proof" would even mean in this context.

Yes, I’m committed to the paradigm of real external objects, because I’m Christian, not Buddhist. You cannot prove your assumptions about existence any more than I can prove mine.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 12:36 PM  

AI stink of idolatry

Have some respect for the image that speaks, sir!

No ill can come from preparing an empty house, swept and garnished.

Anonymous Grayman May 04, 2017 12:41 PM  

@69

As one’s time preference increases in length (lowers), and the ability to perceive abstracts must necessarily increase. As one’s ability to perceive abstracts decreases, time preference also must necessarily decrease (lower). On average we all see a similar portion of the spectrum. Some the shorter and lower, some the longer and higher……..

So for genetic, environmental, cultural, pedagogical, and habitual reasons, people are effectively ‘color blind’ to different areas of the conceptual spectrum. We cannot value each other’s time preferences because of our Time Biases. We are unable to. It is impossible to.


This illuminates some of the big differences between Africa and the west and more generally between each of the major races/cultures. African populations with lower average IQ and high time preference would never be expected to build the same sort of society that a higher average IQ, low time preference western population would. Simultaneously, you would not expect lower average IQ, high time preference Africans to function well in a higher IQ low time preference society. The reverse is true as well, you would not expect a westerner with higher ave IQ and low time preference to function well in an African society of lower average IQ and high time preference.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 12:43 PM  

Where are you getting this information?

This is how I know you don't know what you're talking about, because if you did, this would not be new information:

https://atlas.cern/updates/physics-briefing/atlas-observes-higgs-boson-run-2-data

(Although apparently my memory of the statistical significance of the initial observed measurements was incorrect. Mea culpa, though the point remains.)

They’re not all materialists.

You mean I was exaggerating to make a point?!??!!

Yes, I’m committed to the paradigm of real external objects, because I’m Christian

So Bishop Berkeley wasn't a Christian? I'm sure that would have come as news to him.

Christianity takes no definite position on the issue one way or the other. It's true that Western Christianity (Catholicism) tends toward Aristotelianism, which is more amenable to the existence of real external objects. But it's not a Buddhist vs. Christian issue, in fact Theravāda Buddhists also generally assert the existence of real external objects.

Blogger Nate May 04, 2017 12:45 PM  

"
This is how I know you don't know what you're talking about, because if you did, this would not be new information:

https://atlas.cern/updates/physics-briefing/atlas-observes-higgs-boson-run-2-data

(Although apparently my memory of the statistical significance of the initial observed measurements was incorrect. Mea culpa, though the point remains.)"

/facepalm

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 12:47 PM  

(Although apparently my memory of the statistical significance of the initial observed measurements was incorrect. Mea culpa, though the point remains.)

You know, she is in fact a physicist and a Castalia House -published author. No, the point does not remain. Mea culpa does, though.

Anonymous Grayman May 04, 2017 12:51 PM  

@DC

Its also interesting to consider that what society produces is more in line with its "average" capability, not its brightest minds.
Rome had the technology to build rudimentary steam engines and railways yet this technology wasn't conceptualized until almost 2000 years later.

That could be an interesting alt-history to play with. The roman empire with internal rail systems. Rails running along like the ancient aqueducts.

It makes one wonder what we could be doing with the puzzle pieces we currently have in our hands yet fail to conceptualize their real potential.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 12:52 PM  

She's a doctor in physics, whereas I'm guessing you took some courses in physics and then changed your major.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 12:56 PM  

You know, she is in fact a physicist and a Castalia House -published author. No, the point does not remain. Mea culpa does, though.

How does it possibly matter to my point whether the statistical significance of the signal was 1.5 sigma or 5 sigma? Yes, OK, it implies a much greater degree of certainty about the fact that the signal is what we thought it was.

But my point was that we did not "observe" a Higgs, what we observed was a signal that is supposed to provide inferential evidence that a Higgs--which we do not possess the technology to be able to observe directly--used to be there, probably. This is true whether we are 90% or 99.99% sure the signal in question was of photons or leptons in the (theoretically) "correct" configuration.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 12:58 PM  

How does it possibly matter to my point whether the statistical significance of the signal was 1.5 sigma or 5 sigma?

It matters to your claim of this supposedly being new information to her. Do you still imagine she asked for your source for that reason, and it was merely an unfortunate coincidence that you also happened to remember it wrong?

Blogger allyn71 May 04, 2017 12:59 PM  

This is how I know you don't know what you're talking about, because if you did, this would not be new information:

Dude your dick is still hanging out, might want to fix that.

Anonymous Athor Pel May 04, 2017 12:59 PM  

"85. Anonymous basementhomebrewer May 04, 2017 10:44 AM
...
Just so. The best thing that happened to me was attending a large, highly rated University. The biggest lessons I learned there were that I was no where near the smartest person in the challenging classes and that just because someone has a thick southern accent and wears Carharts doesn't mean they are stupid.
..."



It was a Data Structures programming class for me. I saw a guy design and write down on paper a function in executable C code in the time it took me to wrap my mind around the problem and write out a third of the pseudo code I would need to do the same. He was done in less than 5 minutes. Maybe he had written the same code outside of class on his own projects whereas I was brand new to the language but probably not.

A physical equivalent would be watching somebody bench press 4 or 5 times the weight you could and by how easily they did it you can tell they could do as many reps as you could count.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 1:00 PM  

She's a doctor in physics, whereas I'm guessing you took some courses in physics and then changed your major.

Fine, I'm sorry for the cheap attack, it was ill-considered and out of place. Mea culpa once more.

But the lack of philosophical sophistication about just what it is that contemporary particle physics research paradigms are able to do, their inherent limitations and many many unfounded assumptions, is (yes) precisely why I abandoned a career in physics in favor of something that I felt more closely resembled what physics was at the turn of the 20th century.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 1:01 PM  

is (yes) precisely why I abandoned a career in physics in favor of something that I felt more closely resembled what physics was at the turn of the 20th century

Nothing wrong with THAT, I did the same. I have enough CU's for an MSc in physics. But the cheap attacks are not going to work.

Blogger allyn71 May 04, 2017 1:02 PM  

Fine, I'm sorry for the cheap attack, it was ill-considered and out of place. Mea culpa once more.

At this point I'm guessing your some kind of fetish freak that gets off on sunburning your dick. Only reason I can come up with that your just leaving it out there like that.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 04, 2017 1:09 PM  

The Hammer wrote:The so-called problems of consciousness and mind-body interaction have only been around since modern philosophy thoroughly rejected the Scholastic school which was based on Aquinas' work.
They didn't reject Aquinas' work. They rejected Christ, and began either attacking, or ignoring Aquinas' work because it inevitably leads to Christ.

Anonymous BBGKB May 04, 2017 1:13 PM  

Seeing how Coco the sign language Gorilla has a higher IQ than most US blacks and the vast majority of blacks on the planet I side with the primate psychologist. I do recognize Coco is above agerage for Gorillas

How do you get to be somewhat intelligent and not be able to recognize the limits of your intelligence?

Perhaps like jewish lesbian gatekeepers, forget the existence of anything that surpasses you.

I was going to be a physicist, until I realized that this description applies to to pretty much every practicing particle physicist... deranged toddler smashing two toy trucks (particle beams) together

I could have done more/been more but I went for something safe that could be done anywhere, that I wouldn't have to worry about being fired for being gay.

Anonymous One Deplorable DT May 04, 2017 1:13 PM  

“Right,” Dennett replied. “He would be so different from regular lions that he wouldn’t tell us what it’s like to be a lion.

This is also binary. True, a talking lion's intelligence would make him fundamentally different from any other lion, so much so that he could not speak to us about certain aspects of being a lion. But other aspects of his experience would be very much the same as normal lions and could therefore be conveyed to us.

This is true of the human experience, whether we're discussing different IQ levels, different sexes, different races, etc. Imagine a database of a billion different human experiences. On one extreme some of them readily translate across the entire human race. Give a simple description to a crowd of people who span IQ, race, sex, culture, etc. and they would all get it. This is the side of the spectrum comedians rely upon.

On the other extreme some experiences could be unique to an individual such that no one else could ever have more than a very crude idea of it even if said individual wrote a book about it.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 1:16 PM  

But the cheap attacks are not going to work.

I'm new enough here that I didn't know who she was. Obviously I will not be making that mistake again, and will in general try to engage even unknown people more in a spirit of charity. (It's a mistake I often make). Even if my interlocutor had been genuinely ignorant, it would still have been inappropriate and uncalled-for. Sorry.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 1:17 PM  

Any five year old knows why you can't trust a talking lion.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 04, 2017 1:22 PM  

Servant wrote:So what is cunning? Highly specialized intelligence of a sort? Or a different quality?
Highly specific knowledge of how people react, combined with ruthlessness and laziness.

Blogger allyn71 May 04, 2017 1:23 PM  

it would still have been inappropriate and uncalled-for. Sorry.

Your not the first midwit to come in here thinking they were special and get the asses kicked in epic fashion.

You admitted it and moved on. Better than most that are determined to go down with the ship. Keep an open mind and you will learn something from folks around here. Just keep your fly zipped up and you will be ok.

Anonymous patrick kelly May 04, 2017 1:24 PM  

@29

Also been that guy for a much longer period of life than I like to admit.

Sometimes I wonder if us barely-midwits sometimes get tastes and moments of more exceptional insight. I tend to grasp big picture, larger scale concepts without ever getting a clue about how to implement and produce the results. I usually have to be spoon fed smaller tasks to work on. After I've done this for several pieces of a project the whole thing comes together in an "aha" moment, but even that doesn't last long. If you ask me about something I worked on last week that is not directly connected to what I'm working on now my babbling about it would lead you to believe I never actually did the work, but there it is, finished, tested, and working in production.

Just give me a couple of minutes to pull up the code and look at it again, and I sound like an expert.

That's why I'm just a mediocre, mid-level code-monkey who struggles to get to the next level.

Blogger Nate May 04, 2017 1:31 PM  

"Any five year old knows why you can't trust a talking lion."

He's a Good lion... but not tame.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents May 04, 2017 1:32 PM  

@ Darth Dharmakīrti

Who writes your comments? Which consciousness?

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 1:32 PM  

The other lions think he's a bit weird though.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 1:35 PM  

I always felt "not tame" was an understated description for someone who will eternally torture most people you know.

Anonymous One Deplorable DT May 04, 2017 1:35 PM  

@3 VD - No, because high IQ people very readily recognize even higher IQs. It's the 105 to 115 crowd that doesn't.

I wonder if this is intrinsic to that group and the way they process information, or if it's merely the result of the bell curve.

105-115 might just be the sweet spot in K-12 where a student is likely to be deemed a 'smart kid' yet unlikely to face higher IQ students with such frequency that he learns there are much smarter people. Depending on major college could either shatter or enforce his ego. But odds are he's going to pick a major that enforces it.

In other words, if you forced an IQ 115 student to compete against higher IQ students on coursework that requires IQ 115 just to pass, that student might be able to recognize higher IQs for the rest of his life.

Anonymous BadThink655321 May 04, 2017 1:37 PM  

Darth Dharmakīrti wrote:He does nothing of the sort. He simply notes that, given the fact that objects are momentary, "identity" across time can only be a mental construction that is imputed onto our sensory experience, and then applies this analysis to the bundle (an excellent translation of skandha) of psychophysical and cognitive processes making up any given sentient being.
Yet the only way to get "illusion" out of that is to assume "illusion" going into that.

Homework for the reader
Sorry, you don't get to pull that here. See the "rules of the blog" (there's a link on the top left-hand side of the page). You have to specifically tell me what I said was a "misstatement". And, hint: your "hint" does not in any way invalidate what I said.

The arrangement of your brain is not quite the same thing as the present state of your cognitive psychophysical aggregates.
Of course it is. That's how state machines work.

Blogger Nate May 04, 2017 1:38 PM  

"I'm new enough here that I didn't know who she was."

this is an abnormal community. If you're IQ is 160... there are 10 people likely to be commenting that are smarter than you.

There is literally no one here that hasn't had their ass handed to them on a topic they thought they knew a lot about.

That's what makes this place awesome.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 1:38 PM  

See the "rules of the blog"

Rules? What rules? I'm not aware of any rules. I see them more as vain hopes.

Blogger Gaiseric May 04, 2017 1:38 PM  

allyn71 wrote:You're not the first midwit to come in here thinking they were special and get the asses kicked in epic fashion.

You admitted it and moved on. Better than most that are determined to go down with the ship. Keep an open mind and you will learn something from folks around here. Just keep your fly zipped up and you will be ok.

It happened to me with regards to the nature vs nurture debate, where it took me a while to realize that I was missing this whole gigantic research movement in hbd. One does tend to get insulated from being wrong if you don't actively seek out people who are smarter that you on a regular basis. Or, at least as smart, but with different specialties of knowledge, so you can remember the scope of what you don't know.

Blogger Nate May 04, 2017 1:39 PM  

"I always felt "not tame" was an understated description for someone who will eternally torture most people you know."

Might as well be walkin' on the sun

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 1:40 PM  

Torment, not torture.

Torture is illegitimate torment.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents May 04, 2017 1:41 PM  

@84 Red Cabbage
I used to be moderately high-IQ and then got a hormonal imbalance which is known to affect reasoning. Suddenly I could barely converse.


Pregnancy? Or something else?

Not being flippant. I have no idea what being pregnant is like from the inside, but from the outside it can resemble some 1950's SF movie along the lines of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".

Estrogen and testosterone are powerful substances. They don't just affect muscle mass, they affect the brain in many gross and fine ways.

It would be interesting to take 1,000 midwit 30-something men and put them through a high intensity training program with special focus on the upper body. Keep track of their T and certain problem solving skills, in order to determine what the increase in T does for / to their thinking. Now, where's my Federal grant?

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable May 04, 2017 1:42 PM  

See, this has been an edifying and highly amusing exchange. MOAR.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable May 04, 2017 1:43 PM  

Torment, not torture.

Torture is illegitimate torment.


Yes, and I have a feeling most of it will be self-inflicted.

Blogger ((( bob kek mando ))) - ( don't trifle with me, son. i'm a professional, certified 4th degree black belt in the ancient Hebrew martial art of Kibitz Maga ) May 04, 2017 1:43 PM  

as i've pointed out before, the lower IQ classes spend their whole lives in a perpetual state of confusion.

they understand that they are confused by the more intelligent.

but many of them never grasp that there are principles which the more intelligent person is using to arrive at his conclusions.

they simply fixate on the confusion and decide that this is the operational tactic.

thus the prevalence of "Baffle Them With Bullshit".

the left hand end of the IQ curve CANNOT differentiate between confusion caused by being confronted with a complex concept and a pile of BS stacked up by a shyster.


one huge axiomatic error that they make is the assumption that animals don't have 'language'.

"Animals have fewer mental layers than people—in particular, they lack language, which Dennett believes endows human mental life with its complexity and texture"


cetaceans and birds speak to each other ( within their families, of course ).

a wide range of animals can be taught to follow human language instructions.

Coco the gorilla has a larger vocabulary than many retarded humans.

several of the more intelligent bird species have vocubularies which they can recognize running into the hundreds of words and certain of them have the vocal apparatus to talk back to us.

therefore, to say that animals "don't have language" is false on it's face.

i also enjoy how the 'animal psychologist' is incapable of drawing a differentiation in consciousness between himself and an ape.

the most logical conclusion from this, is that the animal psychologist has a consciousness ... approximately equal to that of an ape.

and that the university which awarded him a degree is also likely to be incapable of differentiating between the consciousness of the psychologist and the ape.

so, the only reason we aren't awarding college degrees to apes is because they won't pay the colleges money ....

Anonymous One Deplorable DT May 04, 2017 1:44 PM  

@155 Nate - There is literally no one here that hasn't had their ass handed to them on a topic they thought they knew a lot about.

Nate, for example, has often been corrected regarding the merits of 9mm handguns.

One Deplorable DT says as he runs and ducks behind a couch.

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents May 04, 2017 1:45 PM  

@162

Torture is illegitimate torment.

Yes, and I have a feeling most of it will be self-inflicted.


Maybe. Or maybe all will be inflicting it on all others, because reasons.

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents May 04, 2017 1:46 PM  

@164

One Deplorable DT says as he runs and ducks behind a couch.


If it's a big enough couch it should be enough cover, for a 9mm anyway.

Anonymous One Deplorable DT May 04, 2017 1:47 PM  

@156 Markku - Rules? What rules? I'm not aware of any rules. I see them more as vain hopes.

This place is turning into Vietnam.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 1:48 PM  

Who writes your comments? Which consciousness?

To sketch the process out:

There is no "one" who is writing my comments. "Consciousness" is, itself, an aggregate (that is, it is an aggregation of the mental consciousness, the various sensory consciousnesses, plus two other kinds of consciousness that aren't directly relevant here). The other key factor is volition, at present dominated by a desire to make a certain conceptual meaning understood. That conceptual meaning is held in mind by the mental consciousness, in coordination with memory. The mental consciousness interacts with the visual and tactile consciousnesses, as well as memory, in a feedback loop as "I" write out these words. (There is no real "I," but there is a subjective sense of being the one who is experiencing this process, because I am an ignorant sentient being). There is no need to appeal to a stable unitary "self" since we are talking about momentary cognitive and psychophysical processes operating in a feedback loop.

Blogger Giraffe May 04, 2017 1:52 PM  

See, Nate's real smart, but spelling is not his flavor of ice cream.

Blogger Nate May 04, 2017 1:53 PM  

"One Deplorable DT says as he runs and ducks behind a couch."

couches don't stop 10mm. DIE COMMIE!

Blogger Nate May 04, 2017 1:54 PM  

"See, Nate's real smart, but spelling is not his flavor of ice cream."

flavour.

that damn yankee Webster can kiss my arse.

Blogger Nate May 04, 2017 1:54 PM  

"This place is turning into Vietnam."

at least its an ethos...

Blogger Giraffe May 04, 2017 1:56 PM  

I told you we'd make the comment section great again.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 1:57 PM  

(There is no real "I," but there is a subjective sense of being the one who is experiencing this process, because I am an ignorant sentient being).

If someone punched you in the nose, I'm sure that the continuation of your first-person experience from that moment to this would become more important to you than any of these other things.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 04, 2017 1:59 PM  

Outclassed and outgunned, but give ol' gamma Darth credit, he's dedicated.

Blogger Giraffe May 04, 2017 1:59 PM  

There is no "one" who is writing my comments.

Since you've unpersoned yourself, go away. There are actual people communicating here.

Blogger Solaire Of Astora May 04, 2017 2:01 PM  

This blog and its comment section is so high quality it is actually life changing. Just going through old posts and comments gives someone who has never been around intelligent people a good place to start. I never would have found Taleb, for one example, if not for the people here mentioning him. This place is the real red pill.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener May 04, 2017 2:03 PM  

Well, it's good that we got that whole consciousness problem figured out. Now if we can just find out where the missing socks go.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 2:04 PM  

If you're IQ is 160... there are 10 people likely to be commenting that are smarter than you.

Last time I had it measured, it was 168. (Hilariously, a problem in testing methodology as a young child meant they thought I was mildly retarded at first). But yes I am by no means used to this kind of environment. Quite refreshing, to be honest.

Yet the only way to get "illusion" out of that is to assume "illusion" going into that.

I'm sorry, you'll have to explain this. I don't understand your reasoning.

Sorry, you don't get to pull that here.

Sigh

Your assertion was that my claim that the instrument of knowledge irrevocably alters the epistemological situation can be restated as follows:

1) Can't you just say that we learn things by experience?
2) We don't know the future until we encounter it.

The problem with 1) is that it has absolutely nothing to do with what I said. What does the fact that learning happens via experience have to do with the impact of our epistemological tools on the knowledge-generation process? I mean there is a high-level argument here, which is that the fact that we only ever know things through experience ultimately means that experience, thus consciousness (cognitive processes), is the only thing that really exists. This is the essence of the proof of ontological idealism. But this doesn't strike me as the point you were attempting to make.

Your restatement 2) is closer to the mark, but still misses the point. Yes, we don't know the future until we encounter it. But the point about the means of knowledge is that which means of knowledge we are using has a non-negligible, and perhaps even dispositive, impact on that future. It's cliché, yes, but consider the double-slit experiment. The epistemological/ontological issue there isn't that we don't know what the future is until it's the present; it's that our choice of epistemological measuring-stick directly impacts the nature of the resulting knowledge.

That's how state machines work.

Sentient beings are not machines. The brain is not the same thing as the mind.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents May 04, 2017 2:04 PM  

@168
There is no "one" who is writing my comments.

How do you know that? Who told you?

Blogger tuberman May 04, 2017 2:04 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener May 04, 2017 2:08 PM  

"Last time I had it measured, it was 168."

Sounds more like a cholesterol level.

Anonymous One Deplorable DT May 04, 2017 2:09 PM  

@170 - And in his last, brief moments before meeting the Judeo-Christ, One Deplorable DT realized the folly of thinking Nate would THROW something rather than SHOOT something.

Oh well, at least the Judeo-Christ resurrected me. He sent me back with a stone tablet that says "Diversity Is Strength" and a beat up cassette tape of Neil Diamond's They're Coming To America. Somehow I feel cheated.

@172 - we have worthy adversaries here. It's not like Scalzi's blog with a bunch of dress wearers trying to find the Post Comment button.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 2:09 PM  

This place is the real red pill.

It comes in suppository.

Torture is illegitimate torment.

I'm pulling native speaker here.

Torment is just archaic obfuscation.

Never getting another drop of water = torture.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 2:10 PM  

If someone punched you in the nose, I'm sure that the continuation of your first-person experience from that moment to this would become more important to you than any of these other things.

Yes, it would hurt a lot. I think you are slightly misunderstanding me, though. I am not claiming special spiritual achievement, or that I am somehow immune to pain on account of my intellectual understanding. Quite the opposite.

However, the fact that there would exist a subjective experience of pain does not entail the existence of a real stable subject that remains substantially the same over time. Again, this is where Hume is helpful: our subjective impressions and feelings are always temporary. The seeming permanence of the first-person perspective is an artifact of our ignorance, not evidence for a "self."

Outclassed and outgunned, but give ol' gamma Darth credit, he's dedicated.

Snidely, I pretty much always appreciate your comments, and I realize that you get a kick out of playing the villain (as do I), but there's really no need for this.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 2:10 PM  

Torment is just archaic obfuscation.

That's where you're begging the question. You are already assuming the illegitimacy. If you do that, then you can't say anything meaningful to a Christian about hell.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 2:12 PM  

If you're going to insist on that illegitimacy point, then show me the definition, because the first Google result didn't mention it.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 2:12 PM  

Yes, it would hurt a lot.

Not only would it hurt a lot, you would identify with that lump of cells with this lump of cells so much that you'd have a strong urge to punch back. Because of the continuation of the first-person experience.

That continuation is the identity. The only question is what is its substrate. That is where the Christian disagrees.

Anonymous Stickwick May 04, 2017 2:13 PM  

Darth Dharmakīrti: (Although apparently my memory of the statistical significance of the initial observed measurements was incorrect. Mea culpa, though the point remains.) … But my point was that we did not "observe" a Higgs, what we observed was a signal that is supposed to provide inferential evidence that a Higgs--which we do not possess the technology to be able to observe directly--used to be there, probably.

Inferential evidence is still evidence. Is the reasoning that went into the prediction unsound? Are the data untrustworthy? If not, then we have a result worth taking seriously.

You're Buddhist right? I haven't misunderstood that? If so, then sincere question, since I don’t know your specific beliefs, but what difference does it make to a Buddhist whether we have direct or inferential evidence for the existence of something?

So Bishop Berkeley wasn't a Christian? I'm sure that would have come as news to him.

Berkeley’s immaterialism is not the same thing as the Buddhist idea that there is no such thing as external reality or distinctiveness. Just because something is contingent on perception doesn’t mean it’s illusory or not external to the observer.

Look, I tend to agree to some extent with Berkeley and Bohr. I even wrote a speculative short story incorporating their ideas. But if they're right, it’s not a foregone conclusion that there’s no such thing as external reality or the self.

I concede that physicists: a) often overlook the deeper philosophical assumptions and implications of their work; and b) are operating under an increasingly outdated paradigm. But that doesn’t mean their work is hopelessly misguided. In fact, I think it's going to lead to another Kuhnian paradigm shift.

Christianity takes no definite position on the issue one way or the other.

It takes a de facto position on the issue. The Bible clearly implies that existence is external to us. People latch on to Berkeley’s idea of non-realness to mean that nothing really exists, when IMO it is far more consistent with a sort of video game reality in which God is the coder and reality comes into existence only when it needs to.

Blogger szopen May 04, 2017 2:14 PM  

Darth Dharmakīrti wrote:Who writes your comments? Which consciousness?

To sketch the process out:

There is no "one" who is writing my comments. "Consciousness" is, itself, an aggregate (that is, it is an aggregation of the mental consciousness, the various sensory consciousnesses, plus two other kinds of consciousness that aren't directly relevant here). The other key factor is volition, at present dominated by a desire to make a certain conceptual meaning understood. That conceptual meaning is held in mind by the mental consciousness, in coordination with memory. The mental consciousness interacts with the visual and tactile consciousnesses, as well as memory, in a feedback loop as "I" write out these words. (There is no real "I," but there is a subjective sense of being the one who is experiencing this process, because I am an ignorant sentient being). There is no need to appeal to a stable unitary "self" since we are talking about momentary cognitive and psychophysical processes operating in a feedback loop.


Good, so I am not the only one and the notion is not as absurd as I thought. "I" am dying every second.

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 2:14 PM  

If you're going to insist on that illegitimacy point, then show me the definition, because the first Google result didn't mention it.

You know it yourself, because you called it obfuscation. Not merely archaic. You would only have called it obfuscation if you already knew that the connotations to the word "torture" are automatic illegitimacy, where that of "torment" can go both ways.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 2:17 PM  

How do you know that? Who told you?

Nobody told me.

As for how I know: it is obvious. Where is the "self"? Does it have a location? If so, where? If not--in what sense can it exist, without having a location?

Is the self permanent? If so, it could never change, and yet there is no single part of our psychophysical being (our "bodies" or our "minds") that remains exactly the same over the course of our lives; it's a Ship of Theseus situation at best. If it is impermanent, then in what sense is it a "self"? The whole point of asserting the existence of a "self" is to maintain that there is a single identity that remains the same over time. If it is admitted that the "self" is impermanent, there is no longer any reason to assert its existence.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents May 04, 2017 2:20 PM  

@192

Then who is writing these comments?

Anonymous BBGKB May 04, 2017 2:21 PM  

Forget talking lions does anyone think this niggerette bragging about getting into Harvard is smarter than Coco the sign language gorilla?

https://twitter.com/prizxillas/status/847570642862047233

Blogger Markku May 04, 2017 2:22 PM  

Is the self permanent? If so, it could never change, and yet there is no single part of our psychophysical being (our "bodies" or our "minds") that remains exactly the same over the course of our lives

I remember brief portions of when I was four years old, and there is zero qualitative difference to the nature of my first-person experience then and now. Only my mental, subconscious subprocesses have matured and have more information to work with, and now present better quality information to my first-person experience, and do it faster.

Blogger Koanic May 04, 2017 2:24 PM  

> You know it yourself, because you called it obfuscation.

Are you really going to argue with me about the nuances of inflicting discomfort in the English language?

"Torment" is something middle-aged women use to describe their significant others' emotional abuse, and pastors say that rolls nicely off the ears of the congregation without disturbing anyone's subsequent Sunday plans.

"Stop tormenting your little sister."

"Torture" is a shock-word that polemicists use to describe things that exceed our sissyfied civilized pale, which Hell most certainly does.

Don't tell me what I know. Show me the definition.

Blogger ((( bob kek mando ))) - ( don't trifle with me, son. i'm a professional, certified 4th degree black belt in the ancient Hebrew martial art of Kibitz Maga ) May 04, 2017 2:24 PM  

i also like how Dennett is going up his own butt with typical Post-Modernist Rhetoric.

“If you think there’s a fixed meaning of the word ‘consciousness,’ and we’re searching for that, then you’re already making a mistake,” Dennett said.

IF
we can arrive at no 'fixed meaning' for Consciousness,
THEN
*all* of these definitions of Consciousness are simultaneously True
- no or very few humans have Consciousness ( call it the Buddha, Dharma will like that )
- only humans have Consciousness
- humans have Consciousness but so do other apes and likely dogs as well

it's the typical Po-Mo problem of asserting simultaneously that
Nothing Means Anything
AND
Everything Means Everything

and, to get caught up in trying to understand what is being said is a mistake.

the purpose is NOT to arrive at a logical conclusion.

the purpose is to buffalo you into submitting to the subsequent appeal to personal authority, which Dennett makes here:

“I hear you as skeptical about whether consciousness is useful as a scientific concept,” another researcher ventured.

“Yes, yes,” Dennett said.

“That’s the ur-question,” the researcher replied. “Because, if the answer’s no, then we should really go home!”

“No, no!” Dennett exclaimed, as the room erupted into laughter.



in point of fact, the other researcher IS CORRECT.

Dennett is denying the hypothesis, not because it is logically wrong, but because admitting that the other man is correct will destroy Dennett's own authority AND his appeals to his own authority.

the correct answer for Dennett would have been to agree ... and then work towards a grounded and logically comprehensible definition of Consciousness.

but having real definitions would eliminate the Bafflement due to excess Bullshit. and the Bullshit is what Dennett bases all of his authority on.



179. Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 2:04 PM
Last time I had it measured, it was 168.



welp, you've at least avoided the Ann Morgan problem of allowing me to assert that you had your IQ quoted in Base7.

Blogger tuberman May 04, 2017 2:27 PM  

195. Markku

Growth and/or regression in the spiritual, mental, or physical levels.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti May 04, 2017 2:27 PM  

That continuation is the identity. The only question is what is its substrate. That is where the Christian disagrees.

This is a very sophisticated objection, one that deserves a fuller response than I can give here. But in brief, I would say the following:

1) The continuity of subjectivity may be interrupted, as when falling asleep or dying (or, on some accounts, orgasm and right before you sneeze).

2) I don't think I can demonstrate this to your satisfaction here, but my point is that the continuity itself is a causal phenomenon. It is caused by ignorance. Remove the cause--the ignorance--and it will disappear. This can be done, for example, during nondual meditation. Are you familiar with hesychasm?

3) Regarding the "substrate": I don't think there is as much difference between the Christian and the Buddhist positions as you seem to. You might say I have staked my eternal soul on the proposition. The point, from a Christian perspective, is that anything and everything you identify with--your body, your family, your possessions, and so on--is not that "substrate," is not your soul. It's actually just your ego-clinging. Christians are called to die to the world, and themselves. What that consists in, is letting go of the illusion of subjectivity.


I have spent a fair amount of time on Mt. Athos, and I will tell you, the elders there know what is up. Have you read about the life of the recent St. Porphyrios? Christian contemplative virtuosos are able to perform astounding spiritual feats, precisely because (through the grace of God) they no longer identify with their narrow subjective experience.

Blogger szopen May 04, 2017 2:28 PM  

Markku wrote:Is the self permanent? If so, it could never change, and yet there is no single part of our psychophysical being (our "bodies" or our "minds") that remains exactly the same over the course of our lives

I remember brief portions of when I was four years old, and there is zero qualitative difference to the nature of my first-person experience then and now. Only my mental, subconscious subprocesses have matured and have more information to work with, and now present better quality information to my first-person experience, and do it faster.


Imagine someone would make a clone of you, and then it would switch some random atoms between you and your clone (ship of theseus paradox). Assuming materialistic position, what makes you and your clone two different persons? If the answer is "well, we will have different memories", then obviously you and four-years-old you also have different memories, therefore you and four-years-old you are different person.

Or in other words, absent soul, what makes "you"?

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