Re: Emotional Intelligence Quackery [was Re: Mensa]

John Clark (
Thu, 12 Aug 1999 01:07:50 -0400

Hash: SHA1


>> The best definition of intelligence that I can think of is " the sort of thing
>> that Richard Feynman did"

>Darin Sunley <> Wrote:
>With all respect, that definition is simply not good enough for a science
>of the mind.

It will have to do because it's not just intelligence, nobody knows what gravity is either, all we know is what gravity does.

> If "intelligence" can only be defined in such fuzzy words, then people involved
>in psychology shouldn't be using it at all.

Yet another example of a very common fallacy, that is, if you don't have a good definition of a word then the word is meaningless. Completely untrue. Most people can communicate but they don't even have a dictionary and couldn't give you a good definition of any word, nor do they need to because nearly all our knowledge is not in the form of definitions, it's in the form of examples. That's just what you'd expect from a huge neural net like the human brain. Definitions are a dead end technology, perhaps that's why expert systems make such use of them.

>You don't see quantum physicists referring casually to "particles" without having a
>very solid idea of exactly what the word means.

I can point to lots of examples of particles but I have no idea what a particle is and I'm quite certain you don't either. Particles are made of stuff, but I don't know what stuff is.

>The common usage of the word is irrelevant.

I've had enough expert systems, the common usage of the word "intelligent" is the only one that's interesting.

>I would hope that psychologists wouldn't care two bits what the popular
> definition of "intelligence" is. Unfortunately, this seems not to be the case.

Psychologists are irrelevant, for the last 50 years they just keep performing minor variations on the same dull experiments and their "science" has languished. Psychologists can do whatever they want, it won't change the date of the Singularity by more than 15 minutes.

John K Clark

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