Type-space is broken

On the topic of getting intelligent people to develop physical athleticism. Comment pulled from here.


What would work is reshaping archetype-space / changing societal expectations, so that playing the role of genius implies developing general mastery instead of attempting to signal laserlike focus on one specific area through cultivating ignorance and avoidance of everything else.

Now, part of the reason for the existence of that type is probably selection failure: the British never had that problem, nor do the Americans in the neo-aristocratic sections of the Eastern corridor. Insofar as genius-signaling in the rest of America demands signaling of social disconnect and unawareness / studious avoidance of mastery of social norms, it’s due in part to the fact that those of higher intelligence raised in areas of lower intelligence find themselves necessarily positioned against the dominant culture of the region, which has nothing for them and is itself positioned against them and their very existence. But intelligence-based assortative mating and exit will probably lessen the effects of that in time.

Another part is the just-world fallacy: we are told that genius cannot exist without some inescapable negative factor, to make things fair. “Oh, there’s no such thing as genius; there’s just people whose brains work differently, so they’re better at math but they can’t socialize. It’s all inherent, and it’s all fair, and if it were any other way then it wouldn’t be fair.” If you’re smart enough that you’re bored by school, you can’t just be smart enough that you’re bored by school; you must have ADHD. If you’re smart enough that you’re bored by people with 80 IQ, you can’t just be smart enough that you’re bored by people with 80 IQ; you must be autistic. And so it goes.

Of course, if you’re smart enough for either of those two things, you’re probably unwittingly signaling the role of An Intelligent Person, which leads to autistic- and ADHD-like symptoms. This is A Problem — and it demonstrates that smart people aren’t as independent as they like to think.

And if you want more proof of that: there have been some very smart people who worked for all sorts of totalitarian regimes. Hell, the first Turing-complete digital computer was built at the request of the Nazi government. And then there’s the issue of American postwar science: where do you think we got all those rocket scientists from?


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