On Becoming Clueless

post by Martin Sustrik (sustrik) · 2019-09-24T04:20:00.672Z · LW · GW · 2 comments

It is said that every year the IQ needed to destroy the world drops by one point.

Well, yes, but let me add a different spin on the problem:

Every year, the IQ needed to make sense of the world raises by one point.

If your IQ is 100 and you want to see yourself in 2039 just ask somebody with IQ 80 and listen carefully.

I know that some people are troubled about prospects of those less intellectually gifted in the modern knowledge-based economy. And yes, it's troubling that we are heading towards some kind of intellectual elitism. But, on the other hand, it may be just a temporary thing. At the end we will all, village idiots and von Neumanns alike, end up having no clue.

What are we going to do then?

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comment by shminux · 2019-09-24T05:13:46.683Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Increasing complexity also increases fragility. #ProgrammingTruths

comment by G Gordon Worley III (gworley) · 2019-09-24T18:00:13.390Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

One of the great challenges we seem to face today is that the world is more complex than any of us can completely reason about. This was probably always true, but it used to at least be possible to limit the scope of what counted as the world in a way that let us pretend we could understand everything, but today there's so much complexity we all have to live with not knowing everything. How do we deal with all this uncertainty?

Many responses are possible that engage with the rising uncertainty rather than hide from it. Bayesianism and LW-style rationality offers one, if we can manage to not get confused about our confusion and become conceited and overconfident. I find another one in Zen, where we train ourselves in how to dwell in not knowing and then allow compassionate and effective action to arise spontaneously to the best of our bounded abilities. Others are possible.

These are some of the ways we are working now on answering your question about what we will do then.