Re: WAS: Re: Economic (ignorance) Nativism and me

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Mon Mar 26 2001 - 01:24:33 MST

On Mon, 26 Mar 2001, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> Cognitive science. Physicists can build nuclear weapons but they can't
> build better physicists.

Eliezer, sometimes you make me smile. And towards the end
of winter in Seattle, that usually isn't an easy thing to do.

However, if the physicists are approaching a complete TOE, or at
least a sufficiently robust TOE that they can't take it any
further without recreating a big bang, then even the very
best cognitive science will not be able to build better
physicists. Fundamentally physics is about reducing things
to a set of simple principles. Once that has been done
it becomes useless to try an extract any more from an empty

On the other hand the phase space of what you can explore
in terms of building things based on the laws of physics
seems phenomenally large! You really want the cognitive
scientists to enhance the engineers who in turn enhance
the cogntive scientists and so on and so forth. You
will hit a limit on how much you can explore per unit
of real time but that exploration will be a very rich
voyage indeed.


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