Sunday, April 23, 2006

Space Race. Brain Race.

I have to give FuturePundit credit here. I've long assumed that economic competition within the US will overwhelm any resistance to messing with IQ genes, but FP points out that competition will likely be nationalistic as well.

Obvious in retrospect; I'm sure it's shown up in a science fiction story somewhere. China is the obvious suspect to start things off, but the US is about as good a candidate. One or the other will make altering IQ genes a national agenda, and the race will take off.

Practically speaking nationalist competition only speeds things up a bit compared to internal economic competition. Either way the outcome will be a lot of people with very high IQ, and a lot of people suffering from the expected and unexpected consequences of this kind of gene manipulation.

It will be an interesting problem, but it's manageable. The much bigger problem will be artificial minds, I suspect the merely linear enhancements of gene-engineering will be a historical footnote; assuming there's a history.

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