Re: JP Barlow, Ph.D, Social Engineering

Eugene Leitl (
Thu, 19 Sep 1996 15:17:02 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 18 Sep 1996, Robin Hanson wrote:

> [...]
> Consider an analogy with "computer science". The vast majority of
> "computer experts" most people meet or see have an agenda - they are
> people selling you hardware, software, programming services, systems
> with computer components, etc. These people will usually say
> whatever it takes to make a sale. But that doesn't mean there isn't a
> community of people elsewhere doing careful computer research.

Computer science as a whole is not a science. It's mostly engineering.

Only a tiny part of it, e.g. people involved with algorithm proving,
complexity theory, etc. can be considered "true" scientists. This
computer science is indistiguishable from maths.

For the record: I am not saying social sciences are worthless. Far from
it. Yet they study extremely complex objects by less stringent methods
than hard sciences, and hence should not be labeled by the same term.