Some creatures have no brains, some have simple ones, and some have large complex brains. We humans have relatively large and complex ones, compared to other living organisms on this planet. Not saying that a more powerful brain is definitely a better thing, but as there are no bigger brains walking around here, we tend to categorise human-intelligence as superior.. We will be in stress if suddenly a superior species came to visit us.
How would it be to have more powerful brains?
I see 3 way's to increase intelligence:
A) Increase the amount of individual brain power (more of the same).
B) Share knowledge, using Information Technologies, creating a collective intelligence.
C) Improve the quality of the information & processes.
The "more of the same" issue is not the way to go: I'm already impressed about how a woman can give birth to a baby with such a big head! A bigger head would be problematic in many ways. It might even be a good idea to design ourselves a smaller brain, one with less chance on turning crazy.
We tend to see ourselves as individuals, but each individual is a collective of billions of cells, working together as being one. If millions of people would free willingly participate in a collective type of brain, that would bring very powerful knowledge to benefit us all. Information technologies have to support this type of collective brain, so; our intelligence would then mainly depend on machines.
The world today isn't like how it used to be. It used to be so that everybody had pretty similar knowledge about people, farming, hunting, and building stuff, I imagine. Today people already work with collective knowledge and do very specialized jobs. We already have a collective brain, but it's very inefficient and unfair.
I'd say the quality issue is the most important one.
An important thing to do, is to backup the information triple or more times, on physical other locations.
- Protection (prevention and restoration) of processes that run crazy.
- Diversity, the keeping of many different opinions.
A large collective of individual brains, can partly act as one incredible powerful brain. This will only work if all individuals are in the collective by free will, and have a common shared goal too.
People aren't really shaped fit for this. Although a lot could be done, to take the reasons for fear of sharing away. Ways could be found to stimulate collective processing of knowledge. But I don't hold high expectations for this human model.
What good would it do to have more brain power?
I don't think it would make happier, so why bother?
Become "all knowing" is impossible, even for a collective of brains. So, how much brain power is enough? Knowledge equals power in a way, but a powerful brain comes at a price; it uses energy, can turn crazy in many ways, and I don't believe that having a mega-brain would make happier, so what's the use?
It can be used to:
- Gather more information
- Predict what might come, faster and more precise.
- Do high time virtual experiments to boost developments. (high time = a virtual reality where time runs faster)
- To get us to SF sounding realities, like: space travel becoming a normal part of everyday life, living together in peace, repairing any type of physical damage, preventing disasters, finding answers to the questions we all wonder about.
I guess it doesn't matter if you choose to live a simple life, close to nature and far from technologies, but then don't complain about all terrible things that could have been prevented or restrored by means of technology.
Then again, the universe is SO large that even a collective of superior creatures and machines can't know everything. Maybe it's possible to see the absolute fundamentals of this universe, but it's impossible to see all details. It would need to be a brain larger than this universe to predict with certainty what will happen next in this universe -if this universe is based on logic.
To go beyond our primitive level of personal intelligence, I guess the most important thing to do, is to acknowledge the limits of one human's mind. Even the people who we consider extremely intelligent have their limits, soon reached.
The game Go
The game "tick-tack-toe" isn't much fun after a little while because you'll discover that when both play well, nobody will win, the game always ends in a draw, which is boring.
The game "Go" on the other hand, is a real challenge -for a human brain. A mega-brain on the other hand, will find Go as boring as tick-tack-toe.
The human body is a complex biological system, each person is unique, and our surroundings are an indirect part of us too. Years of medical studying will make you understand just a bit of it. If there's a problem with your body, a doctor can try to help you, but his/her human limitations make it impossible to see the whole and every detail of you, unable also to know for sure what the effects of trying to help you will be.
But, a mega-mind-doctor will scan you for a second, and say "OK", meaning that all of you is understood at once.
When a certain question is too big for one small brain to process at once, the whole task can be sliced into pieces. Each piece can be processed separately, one piece at a time. The outcome of these pieces can be the next task to be sliced into pieces for further thinking about. This can continue until the outcome is complete. The outcome though, might also be too large to understand at once.
More powerful brains could process that question all at once, not having to waste as much energy on slicing and stitching.
But an even larger question can put the bigger brain in the same situation.
What we do, and what mega-brains have to do also, is to not try to do everything with high precision. Not being 100% exact saves a lot of energy that can be used more wisely. So we continuously guess as we go.