Re: WAS: Re: Economic (ignorance) Nativism and me

From: Emlyn (
Date: Mon Mar 26 2001 - 03:33:38 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert J. Bradbury" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 5:54 PM
Subject: Re: WAS: Re: Economic (ignorance) Nativism and me

> :
> On Mon, 26 Mar 2001, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > Cognitive science. Physicists can build nuclear weapons but they can't
> > build better physicists.

(neither can cognitive scientists)

> [snip]

> On the other hand the phase space of what you can explore
> in terms of building things based on the laws of physics
> seems phenomenally large! You really want the cognitive
> scientists to enhance the engineers who in turn enhance
> the cogntive scientists and so on and so forth. You
> will hit a limit on how much you can explore per unit
> of real time but that exploration will be a very rich
> voyage indeed.
> Robert

I'm betting on bio & computer science to beat any of these; I think
biological and intensive computional methods will beat out so-called
intelligent design, to all the big stuff. Of course, these methods will be
extremely intelligently designed in themselves, and the direction of humans
in the process will be vital, up to the point where gaussians become

Much of my justification for this point of view is that we have a big push
in the biotech area now, which doesn't look likely to abate soon. This
emerging field is necessarily computationally intensive; see this fluffy NYT
article, which talks about the fact that biology is using the most computer
time at the moment of all the sciences:

Top quote from the article:
"If I were 21 years old, I probably wouldn't go into computing. The
computing industry is about to become boring. I'd go into genetic
engineering." - Larry Ellison

Major computational resources, the smarts to use them, biotech
(cough*nanotech*cough) and a LOT of dollars will combine into something
which I think will beat the cognitive science approach to AI/IA/etc. We are
going to get the aeroplane before the bird. And, it sure as hell is not
going to be hand coded, although the systems that generate the systems that
generate it may be, maybe.

Emlyn James O'Regan - Managing Director
Wizards of AU
"Australian IT Wizards - US Technology Leaders
Pure International Teleworking in the Global Economy"

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