25 June 2005

On racial and gender differences in IQ

There has been a lot written on differences in mean IQ scores between different ethnicities and nationalities. Murray and Hernstein's "Bell Curve", and Lynn and Vanhanen's "IQ and the Wealth of Nations", are two scholarly discussions of the topic. Gender differences in IQ and aptitude are also controversial, typified by the excellent debate at edge.org between a somewhat ditzy and reactionary psychologist from Berkeley and a progressive linguist from MIT(now Harvard).

When it comes to next level humans, these differences will not be significant. Compared to the difference between modern humans and next level humans, these small differences between gender and ethnicity will not matter.

More in the next post.

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19 June 2005

Evolution by Indirection

How would you get from here, between levels, to the next level? How do short-lived bipeds of mediocre intelligence, gossip-mongers, delusional mob thinkers and actors--how do we get there from here?

Virtually nothing in nature travels by straight line. The same is true for evolution. Evolution twists and turns like a lazy river. Watching a slow moving river on a quiet day you would never guess at all the floods, torrents, and deluges. Observe a branching evolutionary tree. Cover the top half with a sheet of paper and ask someone to predict which of the lower branches will survive to the top level. You are tempted to say that one cannot get there from here, going from the root to the uppermost branch. But you can indeed trace the maze-like connection, once you see to the top.

A man drives along a rainy street at night, trying to see through the thick falling drops to the street where he must turn. He sees that he is almost to the street and begins his turn-but something makes him pause. Suddenly a motorcycle with dim headlights surprises the man and bursts through the rain. The motorcycle passes through the space the man's car would have occupied if he had proceeded to turn. Why did the man pause his turn?

Another man puzzles over a scientific problem. He cannot make head nor tail of the problem no matter how he thinks about it. Then, while the man is sleeping before a fire, in a dream, the solution comes to him. What caused the answer to suddenly appear in a dream?

A third man struggles to climb a sheer cliff, hundreds of feet off the ground. He is tired and in a precarious position. He has to move and as he moves suddenly he feels himself start to fall. He tries to compensate but his imbalance gets worse. Suddenly he relaxes and his body moves, as if on its own, precisely to the position that allows him to recover and move on. Why did he relax when he was in danger of falling, and why did letting go of his rigid mental grip allow his "mindless body" to recover?

We can try to picture the path we need to follow in becoming next level humans. But we cannot see enough of the maze to see through to the end. Perhaps we are holding on too rigidly to our present concepts, preventing us from making the transition to concepts that would facilitate growth. Our evolution may not be smooth. Like a river, we may have to live through the floods and deluges. Ice dams may have to break to release enough hydraulic power to shape our future selves.

Some of the answers may come to us in our sleep. We will forget most of them in our "waking" to everyday life. Some of us may remember a few things. What we do with the things we remember will determine how smoothly we can make the change.

Imagine someone such as Stalin or Kim making the transition to long life and super intelligence. Imagine the suffering of most humans under such an unending regime of horror and death. Such a thing is not likely.

Next level humans will arrive via lateral thinking and indirection. Edward de Bono has written several books on the lateral thinking methods of problem solving. As we learn more about how the human brain actually works we will learn better ways of using it. Then, as we learn how the human genome shapes the human brain in concert with the larger environment, we will learn better ways of making smarter humans. That frightens a lot of people.

That is because most humans are easily frightened. Most humans will not be capable of stepping beyond themselves. The habit of thinking with the group, of seeking reassurance from the group, will hold them back. Next level humans will be fiercely independent. Next levels will be too independent to want to use their potency to control masses of primitives and between-levels. They have places to go, things to do, and much to learn.

Humans are not rational in the way computers are rational. Humans are much more. Human minds function in an indirect manner. Emotions are at the heart of the human mind. Deep within the human mind, apparently another mind resides, a mind capable of solving problems that the superficial mind has difficulty solving directly. The deeper, more indirect, mind has trouble communicating with the superficial mind. Bridging that communications gap is just one problem that independent and intelligent between-levels need to solve, to evolve.

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18 June 2005

Will Next Levels Homeschool their Kids?

The answer is yes and no.

Yes, Next level humans will be the primary teachers for their children, in the early years. But no, the learning will not take place mostly at home. Next levels will travel extensively, and their children will go with them, learning from what they see and do. World travel, interacting with persons of all backgrounds and proficiencies. Travel outside the world, further out with time.

Children love to imitate adults. The can only do this constructively when they are in direct contact, and under direct supervision of learned adults. Adults who genuinely care about them, and are not distracted by the antics of twenty or thirty undisciplined children. Children do learn from each other, but too often in schools children learn dysfuncionality from each other.

Remember, by the time they arrive next level humans will have gained control of their health and aging. Next level humans know how to improve intelligence both before birth and after birth. Children of next level humans will have a lot more to learn than any child today. Their education will be taken seriously, unlike "modern" education, which is a great waste of time and resources all around.

The "modern" classroom environment is artificial. Young children should not be confined for hours on end in a classroom. Tax supported schools and other conventional schools are based on social experiments from the 19th century. Confine children to cramped classrooms for hours a day with only their age peers for companions. Do this for many years and what do you have? Loafers, delinquents, teen pregnancies, welfare mothers, gang-bangers, drug dealers, alcoholics, addicts, over-aged children. A disaster for the parent society.

From this dysfunctional society we now have, we are supposed to create next level human society? How is that possible?

Very carefully, very deliberately, and somewhat secretively. Most primitive level and between level humans are suspicious of change, of growth beyond the "normal." To these humans must be given cable television, video games, and the shallower side of the internet. For these primitive and between level humans, school will go on just as it does now. Indoctrination into dysfuncionality and inanity.

Next level humans will take the education of their children extremely seriously. They will not blithely hand over the future of their offspring to a failed experiment in social engineering. Too much is at stake.

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13 June 2005

Islam, and the new Dark Age

Imagine a world ruled by fanatical theocrats. Gone is the right of women to self-determination. Gone is the woman's right to educate herself, or to choose her own life's companion. Gone is the freedom to choose one's religion. Gone is any freedom of scientific research, or freedom of the press. You may as well close all the libraries, burn the books. Take a wrecking ball to all places of popular entertainment, to all the watering holes, movie theatres, nightclubs.

Islamic fanatics are willing to kill anyone in the world who stands in the way of the creation of such a world. They will kill atheists, christians, jews, hindus, or fellow muslims. Whoever stands in their way.

Next level humans will not be tuned to murder or war. A society of intelligent and long-lived people would find such actions abhorrent. One can easily see that the world of the Islamic fanatic and the world of the next level human cannot easily coexist. Next level humans will not be killers by nature. Yet they will be quite potent, quite powerful, due to their broadly reaching minds and strong wills.

Human history is full of examples of barbarian peoples conquering more civilised peoples. Often the civilised people cannot imagine the barbarity that some are capable of, and surrender to the barbarians without thinking the situation through clearly.

Our present between-levels human leadership is capable of surrendering to the barbarians. This is something that cannot be allowed to happen.

It is not enough to become more self sufficient in energy production, although that would be wise. The people who wish to destroy the secular west and replace it with a theocratic dictatorship must understand that civilised people are no more prone to surrender than barbarians. The barbarians must be faced with the utter ruin of their societies, even their religion. Total devastation of their own tribe, clan, family, and faith must fill their minds whenever they contemplate acting on their violent boasts toward the west. The prospect of devastation must seem very real to them, for that is the only way to avoid being forced to destroy them in reality.

Next level humans have not arrived on the scene. In order for them to have the chance to carry the banner of evolving humanity, it is up to us in the secular west to prevent the new dark age from falling on us.

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11 June 2005

Transhumanists vs. Extropians vs. Next Level Humans

Anyone with an interest in the continuing evolution of humans who has surfed the web for very long will probably be passingly familiar with the terms "extropians" and "transhumanists." There is a great deal of overlap between the two groups, and superficially one would expect their interests to overlap the interests of an aspiring next level human.

The World Transhumanist Association seems to be a more general organisation containing persons from the full spectrum of the ideological world. Currently there is a move on by the more socialist cliques to purge the organisation of the more libertarian members. I doubt that this movement will succeed, given the general independence of mind among most people drawn to transhumanism. Extropians apparently contain more libertarians, and focus on technological "fixes," including consciousness downloading and technological augments.

Both of these groups help to draw public attention to the need for continued human evolutionary growth. They also perform a service by providing forums for people who enjoy talking about such ideas, without actually having to get their hands dirty doing anything. Those who cannot do, talk. These people need a place to go to talk.

To the extent that any members of these groups actually accomplish anything, these particular members form subsets of the superset of next level humans. Next level humans are humans who embrace their humanity while having the courage to become more. Courage is more than talking, more than writing a book or teaching a class. Courage is willingness to lead into unknown territory.

A next level human cannot really be a socialist or a libertarian. Those ideologies are suited for between level existence. Both make false promises, lacking the substance to fulfill them.

Next level humans accept technological change, make use of the changes, and often create the innovations that allow further change. Next level humans focus on evolving humanity, however, not technology. Next level humans do not waste time on lines of research that have been seen to be blind alleys. Certainly the focus is on life extension and intelligence increase. Those are necessary, but not sufficient, foundations for next level existence. Between levels may very well achieve both of those ends, and still crash their civilisation.

Next levels will live longer and be more intelligent. They will focus on passing the gains on to the next generation. Between level humans focus on material prosperity and "power", and try to pass these things on to their progeny. Next level humans see prosperity and power as mere means to accomplishing further evolutionary growth. It is the growth that next levels wish to pass on to all humans, not simply their own offspring or clan.

If you want to know transhumanists or extropians, you can easily join one of their organisations. Getting to know potential next level humans will be more difficult. Probably the first step is becoming one yourself.
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10 June 2005

Rugged Transition

Getting to the next level from here is going to be very hard. Our tax supported schools are turning out morons. Our news and popular media are geared to a second grade level of understanding of the world. Our pension plans are financial time bombs guaranteed to destroy our economies within twenty years. We are letting in immigrants who have sworn to destroy our civilisation. A self hating multiculturalism is in control of our universities and most government agencies. When most people think of economics, they think of government spending and redistributing wealth--never about creating wealth in the first place.

Getting to the next level from here is going to be very hard. But not impossible. The reason I say that is that not everybody needs to go on to the next level for the transition to count. It is estimated that one tenth of the population does 95% of the thinking and producing for the other 90% of the population. When it comes to transitioning to next level existence, the ratio may be closer to 5:95, or less. Never mind. Next level humans will be incredibly potent.

Modern welfare state mentality has taken over western civilisation, even the USA. Western people have taken the lazy way, the way of the functionary, the wage slave, the sedentary. Obesity is not a disease, it is a symptom of the disease. Drug addiction is not a disease, it is another symptom of the same disease. Alcoholism, juvenile delinquency, poverty. The disease is being stuck between primitive, subsistence level humanity, and the next level of human existence. The big mistake that most people make is believing that since a few humans are able to design sophisticated machines, medicines, and financial systems, that they themselves by virtue of profiting from the ingenuity of these other people are more than primitive level humans. Even most people with college educations and professional training are little more than primitive level humans. That is exactly where most of them will stay for the rest of their lives until they die.

Ten percent support the other ninety percent. That will continue to work for our modern between level civilisation until it doesn't work anymore. Then the future will depend upon how hard our between level civilisation falls, and how soon it happens. If more than 1% or 2% have made the transition to the next level, it may be enough. Enough of the financial and scientific infrastructure has to survive to let the next levels bootstrap large numbers of between levels up. Already there are thousands of potential next levels, lacking only the biotechnological breakthroughs needed to retard their bodies' aging process. They have already matured mentally, emotionally, and financially. Unfortunately they often do not have time to procreate, or to teach very many others the things they have learned. In other words the line of progress stops with them, in 70 years or less. What a waste.

The next level is not inevitable. Most people cannot even imagine what it would mean. The billionaire Ted Turner thinks that the world would be fine if only he could make nearly six billion people disappear. He and people who think like him think that would cure the world's problems. Cretins.

Extropians talk about the singularity and downloading of consciousness into computers. That type of thinking is basically magical in nature, much like the divine skyhook rescue envisioned by many religious people.

I will be content for a self-sustaining number of humans to achieve the next level in the next 60 or 70 years, in my lifetime.

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08 June 2005

What are Next Level Humans?

You might be wondering what I mean by the term, "next level humans." A next level human society will mark a dramatic turning point for human history.

I consider the present human living in a western society as being a "between levels human." No longer primitive, but not really fully functional. A primitive human saw himself as constantly at the mercy of the gods, or the elements. Only a few primitive humans sought to master their own fates, and they generally did so by enslaving everyone around them and forcing them to work to make the few masters rich at the expense of the many. This is the pattern one sees in primitive nations such as Zimbabwe, Cuba, and Burma.

Modern people believe in self-government, in taking some responsibility for oneself, to varying degrees. They pay lip service to science and human ingenuity and personal responsibility, while the less emancipated demand that governments take care of their needs from the cradle to the grave.

Intelligence is clearly related to genetic factors, but the most intelligent persons fail to reproduce to replacement levels and the least intelligent persons often procreate to double or triple replacement levels. This is dysgenic. What is worse, it is frequently being financed with public funding. All that is justified by an appeal to compassion. It is irrational in the sense that it is guaranteed to create far more hardship in the future.

Next level humans will better understand how to increase intelligence levels in themselves and in the next generations. Next level humans will have to make many hard decisions based upon goals with a longer time scale than between-level humans are accustomed to. Next level humans will not expect a government to take constant care of them, nor will they expect some divine skyhook to drop from the sky to rescue them from a tight spot.

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05 June 2005

One Way to Increase Intelligence

Ashkenazi Jews have a higher average IQ than Europeans, by between one half to one standard deviation. The reason for this difference has recently been examined by Cochrane et al, with the conclusion that certain gene allele combinations achieved higher frequency among Ashkenazis due to selective pressures. These alleles produced both higher intelligence and a higher likelihood for certain genetic diseases. Their scientific paper can be obtained at:
this link .

Unfortunately the nature of the threats that humanity currently faces is such that any attempt to increase intelligence through selective pressures would take too long. A lot more needs to be learned about the nature of hereditary intelligence, in all populations. I suspect that genetic disease is not necessarily coupled to allele clusters that lead to higher intelligence.

Genes that lead to higher intelligence, longer lifespan, and radiation resistance/resistance to cancerous transformation, are among the many ingredients needed for the genome of next level humans.

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04 June 2005

The End of Stupidity?

Humans are goal oriented creatures. We pursue goals of short, medium, and long term. Driving down the road we closely eye the upcoming stoplight, trying to mentally influence the color shown to us as we arrive. Even in something so trivial we are goal oriented.

On a larger scale we see the grand achievements of modern science and technology juxtaposed with the barbarianism of wanton killing, with the promise of an extended new dark age if the death cults are allowed to prevail. How can humans be so intelligent and creative, and at the same time so brutish and shortsighted? This is an interesting puzzle.

The variability within the human race is remarkable, but should not be unexpected for anyone with even a slight knowledge of biology and genetics. Many humans are simply too stupid to consider the consequences of their actions. In a society where the stupid are allowed to be influenced by violence prone fanatics and instigators, you will find a great deal of wanton violence. It is not the stupidity perse that leads to violence. It is the combination of a cultural tendency to fanaticism and instigation, with an ample society of stupid people.

How stupid is stupid? We know that if the average IQ of a population is below 90, that population cannot support a technological infrastructure, and in addition the rule of law in that country will probably fall to corrupt clannism and tribalism. Such a society is stupid, and will likely have a birthrate well above average to boot. There are many such societies in the world, and when combined with ideological fanaticism and culturally accepted instigaters of violence, these societies will export violence and stupidity in large measure.

How does one protect himself from being overwhelmed by a tsunami of stupidity and violence? That will be the subject of future postings.


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