Re: Degrees vs. smarts

Bryan Moss (
Fri, 1 Oct 1999 22:36:51 +0100

David Lubkin wrote:

> Surely it is least appropriate to judge people on this list by the
> criteria Joe is applying to Mike. Is Robin any more insightful than
> Eliezer because he's Dr. Robin? Do you know what degrees, if any,
> Anders or Hal or Kathryn have? Who cares?

Well, I do. First of all, Robin is far more insightful that Eliezer in the field of economics and since my knowledge of economics is weak I'd take Robin's word over Eliezer's. I'd do this even if Eliezer told me that he has read hundreds of economics books. Why? Because I'd rather take the word of someone who has been forced to do general studies of the subject than someone who has selected books to read on that subject.

This doesn't mean I take everything a PhD says as law. As a general rule I never pay any attention to psychologists, people with 'evolutionary' in their title, artificial intelligence researchers, geneticists, or anyone who's spent time at the Santa Fe Institute.