Re: Intelligence, IE, and SI - Part 2

Damien Broderick (
Fri, 29 Jan 1999 18:13:52 +0000

At 07:51 PM 1/28/99 -0600, Eliezer wrote:

>You might generalize "Knowledge Bases" to "Similarity Analysis". It is
>possible, for example, to use the stored idea of a "fork" in chess in
>other games, or on the battlefield. [...]
>Nevertheless, I think that "Similarity Analysis" remains distinct. That
>the various strategies may be composed of each other (at different
>levels) does not obviate their usefulness as heuristics.

Theories of magic (which assumed it worked) were described by Frazer and other early armchair anthropologists as functioning either by Similarity or Contagion - the doll which resembles you, or the hank of your hair. Semiotics explains this: indeed, we do use two broad systems for filing and communicating information, by paradigm (lists of equivalents) and syntagm (continguous chains). Shepard and other cognitive scientists have shown how these systems work distinctively as look-up tables versus mental maps (roughly). I suspect Billy's two broad category match this dichotomy.

(More on this in my book THEORY AND ITS DISCONTENTS, assuming any US library has a copy).

Damien Broderick