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JER

Member
Apr 25, 2015
294
26
Bristol, UK
Interesting as always, though an interview with Elon Musk on the topic of "The Future You" that doesn't discuss Neuralink in any depth is incomplete. :)
 

Plan B

Active Member
May 8, 2015
4,911
2,564
Portland OR
IMG_3988.jpg
 

wdolson

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
7,871
11,047
Clark Co, WA
I'm not as concerned as Musk is about this issue. In general, as countries grow wealthier and women gain better access to education and contraception, fertility rates decline. So in my opinion the "solution" is not to encourage the current number of "smart" (as Elon defines it) women to have lots of kids, the solution is to take actions that increase education for all women, equal employment opportunity for all women, better access to contraception for all women, so that over time fertility rates decline around the world. And that is something that has been happening -- with many exceptions of course -- over the past 60 years and I expect will continue to happen. It is an ongoing struggle against the forces of misogyny and ignorance that are present in every country, including the US.

Hans Rosling present data that is isn't wealth that reduces birthrates, it's child mortality reduction (usually combined with access to contraception too). He shows in some of his talks that countries that reduce child mortality see a drop in birthrates near equal with developed countries, even without significant economic growth. Basically if parents feel all their children have a high chance of making it to adulthood, they are more likely to only have 1 or 2 children.

Global population growth, box by box

There are a lot of different versions of this talk on YouTube, some with more detail than others.

Elon Musk's argument that intelligent people should have more kids is one of those arguments that give me dumbchills because I've seen Mensans make it. It's usually a guy with poor social skills and no achievements in his life except scoring high on an IQ test somewhere. Basically it's a really bad pick up line.

I've seen a few others like Elon make it too (people who are obviously intelligent and accomplished). There does seem to be some genetic component to intelligence. Children of intelligent parents tend to more often have intelligent offspring, but I don't know of any studies done on people who were adopted by more average intelligence parents. Anecdotally I do know one friend who got in touch with the son she gave up for adoption after he was grown up and he is more like her than his adopted parents (including intelligence).

However, there are lots of people out there who could achieve quite a bit in this world if given an opportunity. In an interview with the creators of the HBO series The Wire, they pointed out that some of the guys who rise high in the drug business could be CEOs of Fortune 500 companies if they had the opportunity to get the same education the sitting CEOs got.

Some limited experiments with schools for the underprivileged who pushed their kids to achieve have met with a fair bit of success.

People vary in how much raw material they have to work with. Elon is out at one end of that bell curve, but for every Elon, there are probably somewhere between 10 and 100 people who are just as capable and may be just as driven who never had the opportunities he had to make it. And probably a few thousand people who have the same raw talent, but never had the drive to achieve nurtured, whether they had the opportunities or not.

I have known so many people who were brilliant, but just never got their tail in gear to achieve anything. One guy I know took 30 years to get his bachelor's degree. Another guy who sounds like a college professor on a wide range of subjects dropped out of college after a couple of semesters and drives a forklift in a liquor warehouse.

Elon's kids are likely smarter than average given their genetics, but rather than have more kids, he could do a lot more good in the world by finding ways to give opportunities and motivation to the smart kids already here who are lacking in one and/or the other. A lot of US states have charter schools now, he could research methods that work to motivate kids to learn and set up charter schools for gifted kids who aren't getting what they need.

Revolutionize education like he wants to revolutionize some other things and the world would end up a much better place. Not everyone will want to achieve in the way he has, but there are lots of ways to improve the world.
 

Ed Hart

Member
Nov 5, 2014
329
330
Yorba Linda, CA
For better or for worse, Elon doesn't seem to care very much what the world thinks of him. He tends to say what's on his mind, even if it is somewhat unconventional.
I think I have identified the "problem." When he is speaking, one brain is doing the work. But the second brain in idling in the background, then wakes up with a great idea, yells, "Give me the mouth", and we suddenly see Elon talking like a different, excited person. Love this guy, and I completely understand why every young geek wants to work for him.
 

cdub

Future Model 3 owner / Current original Leaf owner
Oct 7, 2014
593
937
Glendale, CA
I love how in the earnings call that he said that he might be totally delusional and people should warn him if he's becoming too insane. He's awesome.

I need an Elon Musk poster in my room. ha. I'm showing his interviews to my nine year old son. He's already comparing him to the important historical people he reads about in school.
 

wdolson

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
7,871
11,047
Clark Co, WA
I think I have identified the "problem." When he is speaking, one brain is doing the work. But the second brain in idling in the background, then wakes up with a great idea, yells, "Give me the mouth", and we suddenly see Elon talking like a different, excited person. Love this guy, and I completely understand why every young geek wants to work for him.

I've known people like him. Their minds work so fast their mouth just can't keep up and they stumble when they realize what they are saying is a jumbled mess.

Both Tesla and SpaceX are amazing places with a lot of cutting edge stuff happening, but the pace is hellacious. I wouldn't want to work at either place though I find what they are doing amazing.
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,775
17,015
New Mexico
I've seen a few others like Elon make it too (people who are obviously intelligent and accomplished). There does seem to be some genetic component to intelligence.
It is hard to pin down this question because IQ tests are biased but I tend to think it is true.

HOWEVER, genius rarely runs in families (albeit with some well known exceptions.)
Smart people run the world, but only the geniuses change it -- sometimes for the better.

If Elon is a eugenicist (like N. Tesla before him,) they are both missing the important point that it has not been possible to breed for genius and there are good reasons to think this will remain the case.
 
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wdolson

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
7,871
11,047
Clark Co, WA
It is hard to pin down this question because IQ tests are biased but I tend to think it is true.

HOWEVER, genius rarely runs in families (albeit with some well known exceptions.)
Smart people run the world, but only the geniuses change it -- sometimes for the better.

If Elon is a eugenicist (like N. Tesla before him,) they are both missing the important point that it has not been possible to breed for genius and there are good reasons to think this will remain the case.

I agree IQ tests have issues. However there are some notable correlations between IQ, Myers Briggs personality type, and GPA in school. At one time it was thought that IQ scores correlated with future success, but interest in the measure waned when there was little correlation between IQ scores and success. A lot of kids with high IQ scores just learned how to get by while being lazy and some kids with modest IQ scores, but a high achievement drive did quite well.

Intellectual intelligence does appear to have some genetic component though there are lots of environmental and tetragenic (in utero) factors that can affect intelligence too. Genius does appear to be an outlier phenomenon where everything seems to come together. In the case of Elon Musk, he's obvious extremely intelligent and showed that at an early age, but he also has a burning drive to achieve that is rare too.

Those two things combined has made him one of the most successful polymaths in history. There are some people who have achieved great things in more than one area, but Elon has pulled that off in three industries and could succeed at more before he's done. He has succeeded at software, cars, and rocketry so far. He's now branching out into construction and Tesla is well on the way towards becoming a major player in the energy industry too. He's also showing promise to revolutionize manufacturing.
 

AZ Desert Driver

Rare combination
Mar 12, 2016
1,335
738
Tucson AZ
There are Smart people - meaning those with high horsepower.
There are well educated people
There are highly motivated people
Success can be from poorly educated, but smart and motivated....You pick the combination.
I am a member of Mensa, have twin PhD and have a few bucks in the bank, but feel like I'm not successful - when I look at others who have more stuff, trophy wives, bigger houses. and are developing disruptive technologies. Can a mere mortal compete with such brain as Elon?
Awhile back, I tried to invest in competition with Warren Buffet. Then it occurred, Why Compete? Why not let the best investor use his leverage to invest FOR me. Just buy BRK stock and let it happen without further effort on my part. Lets apply this to Elon - give him my money, my support and NOT my competition.
 

anticitizen13.7

Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018
Dec 22, 2012
3,638
5,870
United States
I am a member of Mensa, have twin PhD and have a few bucks in the bank, but feel like I'm not successful - when I look at others who have more stuff, trophy wives

The end result of "trophy wives" is often years of boredom, followed by agonizingly expensive divorce, and then up to 18 years of further emotional pain and child support payments :(

This is not something anyone, man or woman, should find aspirational.
 

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