Ives Parr

477 karmaJoined Feb 2022parrhesia.substack.com



    This is a really great idea, in my opinion. One alternative approach is breeding for lack of pain and happiness. We have made chickens much larger and lay eggs much more frequently. It is also possible to have animals that do not feel stress, anxiety, or suffer with enough breeding. If we identified gene variants associated with these, we could speed up the process with gene editing or some other tech.

    Just a thought, but Alex Nowrasteh is a public figure whose primary focus is immigration policy, and he is an advocate for Open Borders, I believe. While you may not want to work at CATO, he may have some good ideas about what you can do. https://twitter.com/AlexNowrasteh

    What have you read from Murray that you found biased? What views do you think he holds that are out of line with mainstream opinion of intelligence researchers?

    I will respond here because it's important for everyone to see.

    You don't need to give the journal money. I am offering to email you the pdf if you are that interested.

    Cognitively demanding tasks. These require puzzle-solving, reasoning, drawing on past knowledge, connecting ideas, etc. As long as the test has a wide range of tasks like this, estimates will be similar. Provided they are cognitively demanding and diverse, results are not particularly sensitive to the actual content of the test for native speakers. Spearman called this the "indifference of the indicator." You can read more in Chapter 7 of Rusell Warne's book In The Know.

    Another interpretation of what Lynn is doing is improving his estimates when people critique him. As I mentioned in the article, many other researchers estimating national averages on mental ability tests produce moderate to highly correlated estimates with Lynn's. Why do you think that is? And who do you think has more accurate estimates? If you have a specific objection to the scores, I can respond with estimates of correlations after making adjustments. Ee can use the ViewOnIQ data to drop scores/samples from countries you find are bad.  Or we can Winsorize the scores and check the strength of the relationship. Or we can look at Rindermann's estimates. 

    What do you think, in your view, is the correlation between average cognitive ability and log(GDP/c)? What are you basing this estimate on, and why is it better than Lynn, Becker, Rindermann, Angrist, etc? 

    Iodine deficiency will not work for everyone, only those who are iodine-deprived. Where people are iodine deficient, we should try to help them. I focus on genetic enhancement because it is under-considered. The possible returns from genetic enhancement will be unevenly distributed but have the potential to be absolutely massive. Since parents will adopt it voluntarily and IVF is largely legal worldwide (and hopefully IVG will be), there is a plausible means of improving humanity immensely merely through funding research in a narrow area to accelerate certain discoveries. 

    1. Regarding Mankind Quarterly and the Pioneer Fund: The relationship between genes, IQ, race, and GDP is very controversial. Prestigious journals are hesitant to publish articles about these topics. Using the beliefs of the founding members in the 1930s to dismiss an article published in 2022 is an extremely weak heuristic. The US government funds a lot of research but it committed unethical acts in the name of eugenics. Sam Bankman-Fried, a fraudster, funded a lot of EA projects. If I linked to some research that was performed using FTX money, I would not consider it worthy of dismissal. Furthermore, bad people can fund and conduct good research. I cited a lot of more mainstream journals for less controversial claims. I don't consider instrumental variables that strong of evidence, but it felt worth mentioning. I will email you the PDF if you are interested.
    2. Regarding cultural factors: If there are national differences in genotypic IQ, then measures of quality of education and culture will be genetically confounded. I do not doubt that schooling increases scores on tests of mental ability, but the gains appear "hollow." Hollow is a technical term meaning it is not increasing g. I am not concerned about what "true intelligence" is because "intelligence" is an ordinary term without a precise definition. We can call what IQ scores are trying to measure "GMA" and not care that it's not "intelligence" but still care that GMA is correlated with good outcomes and we have a means of increasing GMA. The benefits of increases in general mental ability generalize to other areas (career, academic success, good life choices), whereas non-general gains will be limited. As an extreme example, it is obvious why giving children Raven Progressive Matrices is not going to make them drive better. But evidence suggests having higher IQ, reduces risk of traffic accident.
    3. Regarding Richard Lynn: I address this within the article. Until his death, Lynn and colleagues where updating the NIQ scores. Looking at the most recent version on ViewOnIQ from Becker, I see that Lynn has excluded all those samples for the Nigerian estimate and incorporated the Maqsud estimates. He has also included several other more recent estimates, but arrived at a similar estimate still. You can view the samples used and estimates here if you download the file. More importantly, focusing on Lynn is a mistake as I mention in the article. Other less controversial researchers estimate "universal basic skills" or "harmonized learning outcomes" and produce estimates which correlate highly with the NIQ estimates. See the chart from Warne 2023. A side point, but Wikipedia is politically biased. I intentionally capitalized the L to give credit as Richard Lynn's discovery preceeded Flynn's first publication. Although, his discovery was preceeded by Runquist. 
    4. On The Bell Curve: You say "That book has so many problems that instead of typing it all out I would like to direct people to this video which points out a lot of them." I don't plan on watching the 2 hour 39 minute video just to respond to you. At the time, a large number of claims (like the one I make) was not particularly controversial among intelligence researchers (see Gottfredson and APA response). I discuss this in the article. Furthermore, the more recent Rindermann et al. (2020) found in a survey among intelligence experts that many believed SES was substantially explained by intelligence (see in the article). I am also going to make a point about isolated demands for rigor. You are dismissive of some the researchers and journals for lack of academic quality, but in response to a book co-authored by a Harvard psychologist, you give me a YouTube video with a psuedonymous guy with a skull avatar that is part of LeftTube or "Bread Tube". I am not suggesting this means that I can merely dismiss anything that he's saying, but I will admit that this feels like a double standard given the Mankind Quarterly critique.
    5. On environmental influence: You say "I don't think anyone thinks the environment explains 100%, but given that it's much larger and has many more variables it seems reasonable to assume it can explain more of it." That doesn't make sense as an argument in my view. We don't know that it is larger. Within the USA, the heritability is over 50% in adulthood indicating that genetic differences are the largest driving force among all known influence. Whether that is true of international differences is not entirely clear. The existence of more possible environmental explanations doesn't mean that it has more explanatory variables. Analogously, this argument would be wrong: There are over a billion base pairs in the genome, therefore genetic explanations are better. The issue is that the environmental influence largely, although not entirely, consists of unsystematic differences. Iodine is an exception and should be given in areas with deprivation. But the gains from embryo selection in large batches is beyond 9 points, and could be used on the non-iodine deficient population. 

    I have responded. I don't know if you will be brigaded. I have not personally downvoted you.

    If we have an extremely good understanding of the human genome and we achieve genetic engineering with little to no off-target mutations or we achieve in vitro gametogenesis, then returns will be far larger through genetic enhancement. The major benefit will be that children will be related to their parents rather than some stranger. This will help with widespread adoption.

    Can you point me to a measure of cognitive ability that is both better and does not show a moderate-strong correlation with NIQ scores? From the article, I provided several studies that use testing data like PISA to create scores of mental ability (some calling it "harmonized learning outcomes" or "universal basic skills"), but these have a moderate to strong correlation with NIQ scores anyway. What other good data on cognitive ability are you using to inform your beliefs? I provided an estimate of NIQxlog(GDP/c) at 0.82. What do you think the actual value is and how do you reach that number?

    I think genetic enhancement for cognitive ability could be extremely important. Progress could be fed up with additional financial support and more resources. Even if AGI is incredibly important and takes all intellectual labor, cognitive enhancement may provide many of the positive social and economic benefits still. If AGI ends all human life, then nothing else matters anyway. I'll be finishing an article on this soon.

    I would recommend not reading about this topic anymore even if it is interesting unless you’re working in AI research. I think it can be upsetting and so keeping it out of your mind can help reduce these feelings. I would treat avoiding the topic seriously.

    Thanks for the pushback. I crossed out my interpretation. I'll await an answer. Perhaps I should've waited for clarification before responding.

     I'll explain why I interpretted it the way I did:

    This is also particularly disturbing as I try to convince myself and others, including and especially humans who look like me, that we might want to ignore EA's glaring diversity problem and parts of EA's unwillingness to change to build a better world for future generations rather than focus on direct threats to our lives, voting rights or civil liberties.

    I parsed it as EA is unwilling to change and would rather focus on direct threats. And since there was a "rather" I thought it was constrasting building a better world with with focusing on threats. So, I interpretted the threat to be Bostrom's views/these discussions.

    ...I try to convince myself and others, ... , that we might want to ignore EA's glaring diversity problem and parts of EA's unwillingness to change ... rather than focus on direct threats to our lives, voting rights or civil liberties.

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