Re: Chunking intelligence functions (was Re: [Fwd: com-mensa-rate digest#1] )

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Wed May 09 2001 - 16:55:51 MDT

Ben Goertzel wrote:
> This strikes me as a rather absurd statement. I grew up around academics
> trained in the social sciences and I can assure you that they hold a very
> wide variety of views -- much wider, for example, than the set of views
> represented on this e-mail list.

Why are we discussing this issue in general terms?

Let's take a specific example: Margaret Mead. How many of the social
scientists of your acquaintance regard her as (A) an important
anthropologist whose work on Samoan customs helped to reveal Western
customs such as sexual jealousy as cultural artefacts rather than inherent
properties of human nature, or (B) one of the all-time rose-tinted
screwups of cultural anthropology, whose work was disproved in toto by
Derek Freeman (who spent six years on the project rather than twelve
weeks)? If most social scientists you know think of Margaret Mead as a
screwup and believe that sexual jealousy is an evolved human universal,
then either my statement was unfair and stereotypical and I'm attacking a
straw man in an already-won war, or there's a very strong selection bias
in the sample group of "social scientists who Ben Goertzel feels like
talking to".

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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