Re: thera-pee

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Fri Jul 07 2000 - 20:45:49 MDT

"The Law of Pragmatism: Any form of cognition which can be
mathematically formalized, or which has a provably correct
implementation, is too simple to contribute materially to intelligence."

Yes, psychology would have gotten a lot farther if the mind could be
described by neat little equations like those the physicists are always
using. Sadly, it can't be. End of story.

Many psychologists and social scientists make a great fetish of using
all the equations they can. It never works. Hence the phrase,
"cargo-cult science".

Cognitive science has repeatedly made enormous strides when neurologists
- not psychologists - discover new ways to monitor events that are
actually real, like oxygen consumption in pieces of neuroanatomy. But a
mathematical psychology - one in which the mathematics directly
describes the psychological events we see, and not just the underlying
neurons - is a pipe dream, and always will be.

--    Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

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