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Comment author: jmh 12 April 2017 11:40:57AM 1 point [-]

I've not read the comments so perhaps repeating something (or saying something that someone has already refuted/critiques).

I think it's problematic to net all this out on an individual bases much less some aggregate level even for a single species much less multiple species.

First, we're adaptive creatures so the scale is always sliding over time and as we act.

Second, disutility feeds into actions that produce utility (using your terms which might be wrong as my meaning here is want/discomfort/non-satisfaction and satisfaction/fulfillment type internal states). If on net a person is on the plus side of the scale you defined what do they do? In this case I'm thinking of some of the scifi themes I've read/seen where some VR tool leave the person happy but then they just starve to death.

Finally, isn't the best counter here the oft stated quip "Life sucks but it's better than the alternative." If one accepts that statement then arguments the lead to the conclusion choosing death (and especially the death of others) really need to review the underlying premises. At least one must be false as a general case argument. (I'll concede that in certain special/individual cases death may be preferred to the conditions of living)

Comment author: ragintumbleweed 28 March 2017 11:01:02PM *  4 points [-]

"Figure 2 provides a basis for anticipating the unique value spatial ability might contribute to understanding intellectually talented youth. In the late 1970s, because of his interest in identifying and developing scientific talent—and knowing that by utilizing exclusively a general ability measure, Terman assessed and missed two Nobel Laurates (viz., Luis Alvarez and William Shockley, see Shurkin, 1992) Stanley gave a group of 563 SMPY participants tests of spatial ability designed for high school seniors."

"Clearly, the creative outcomes under analysis are supported by different configurations of intellectual talent. For example, among participants who secure patents, their spatial ability is commensurate with those who publish in STEM, but the latter are more impressive in mathematical and verbal reasoning. Participants who publish in Art–Humanities–Law–Social Sciences are the lowest in spatial ability of all four groups. This graph is psychologically informative, depicting the intellectual design space of creative thought."

I think this really hits at the main purpose of what I wrote -- that by over-emphasizing general intelligence, we may be missing opportunities to find more domain-specific talent indicators. Of course more general ability matters. But more specific ability applied to the right field probably matters even more.

Comment author: jmh 29 March 2017 09:08:42AM 0 points [-]

So you point was that we don't make the mistake of evaluating or thinking basketball skills are all a direct relationship with a simple metric as height but that's what everyone is doing with IQ?

Comment author: jmh 27 March 2017 02:54:47PM 2 points [-]

The answer seems fairly simple to me. You're not in any position to decide the risks others assume. If you're concerned about the potential torture the only mind you can really do anything about is yours -- you don't run around killing everyone else, just yourself.

Comment author: CronoDAS 22 March 2017 07:54:49PM *  5 points [-]

Home appliances have improved on measures other than durability, though, such as energy efficiency. And cars are significantly more durable, lasting for roughly twice the mileage before requiring repairs that amount to rebuilding the car...

Comment author: jmh 23 March 2017 10:11:59AM 1 point [-]

I wonder how much of that is improvements in their manufacture (I suspect at least some) versus improvements in things like oils and other lubricants which then reduce the wear.

Comment author: jmh 20 March 2017 12:21:43PM 0 points [-]

Just wondering if you've ever read an old economic article by Ron Heiner: The Origins of Predictable Behavior. 1984 (I think) Am. Econ. Rev. It's probably very sympathetic to your last paragraph. (and on a slightly different slant, the recent Qunata article about evolution: https://www.quantamagazine.org/20170314-time-dependent-rate-phenomenon-evolution-viruses/)

Comment author: jmh 15 March 2017 04:19:09PM 0 points [-]

I liked one of (well I liked them all but this one made me think about the comment I'm making) comments, DavidC.Brayton, about the difference in views between engineers and theorists. I cannot help but wonder if there's a difference in behavior between wanting to test the theory versus wanting to apply the theory in terms of one's confirmation biases and ability to step beyond them.