RE: Chunking intelligence functions

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu May 10 2001 - 07:41:23 MDT

> Eliezer wrote:
> > Looks like the war rages on, Ben. There still seems to be a
> fairly large
> > disparity between the group that thinks that Mead was at most a minor
> > nuisance, or perhaps a good researcher who moved the social sciences in
> > the right direction despite her minor foibles, and the group that thinks
> > that Mead managed to do almost as much damage as Marx.
> There is indeed this disparity. However, neither of the sides in this
> dispute believes that her work about sex life in Samoa was correct.

By the way, my own view of Margaret Mead is that she was VERY smart and
intuitive and had a lot of great insights. However, she also made a lot of
bad mistakes.

Comparing her impact to that of Karl Marx is a bit silly, in my view.

As a social theorist, Marx was much deeper than Mead, and had far MORE
profound insights. He introduced the notion of class into social discourse,
which is a major contribution much greater than anything Mead contributed.
But, Marx also made a lot of very bad errors, of course. More so than Mead,
he tried to force the diversity of human affairs into a narrow theoretical
framework (based on Hegel), and it just didn't work, even though it led to
some interesting ideas.

However, unlike Mead, Marx had a huge impact on world affairs, which appears
to have been on balance a rather negative effect (although this is obviously
hard to fully assess, since we don't really know what the most probable
course of world events would have been had "Marxism" never existed).

-- Ben

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