Re: studying Cognitive Science and Psychiatry

Scott Badger (
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 21:30:50 -0600

>Scott Badger said (of the original poster)
>>you seem to be seeking to understand yourself
>>more completely. Though laudable, this is not a good
>>reason to become a psychiatrist or cognitive scientist.
>works for most psychiatrists ;-)

Does it?

My personal experience is that most of the "functional" psychologists I've encountered did not enter the profession with a mission to "analyze" themselves into psychological well-being. There is a common (and unfortunate) perception that we go into this field to "deal with" our own devils. While I understand why a client may prefer to have a therapist with a broad array of life experiences, I do not feel crippled because I have failed to suffer some psychopathology.

More to the point, I would advise someone interested in Psychology to pursue a position as an academician/ researcher rather than that of a practitioner. This branch of science is so immature. Actually, I suspect that it's more likely that a strong AI will figure us out before we do. But by that time, we'll transcend our psychological limitations and the point will be moot.

Of course I could be wrong. :-)

BTW Tim, Demon Seed also struck me as a memorable film.

Caution!!! . . . . . . Demon Seed Spoiler Follows . . . . . . Caution!!!

This was my first true exposure to the inevitability of computergenerated consciousness. There were so many great themes: the merging of machine and human, rebirth through the fathering of one's own self, and I thought it was particularly interesting that while many transhumanists look forward to become more machinelike, this AI sought to be more human-like . . . to be "alive". Of course that theme is a very vain and human-like theme. Why would an AI want to be "alive"? It's such a high-maintenance state to exist in.

I also loved it because I was crazy about Julie Christie back then.