Re: Wilson's mental hierarchy

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Fri, 11 Dec 1998 04:16:39 -0600

Damien Broderick and I both noticed that Wilson, as is often the case, was outputting hallucinogenic science fiction rather than science, and gently attempted to point this out. I'm sorry you don't agree, and I'm sorry that I don't have the time to attack in detail everything that Wilson writes, but there comes a certain point where basic scientific literacy demands that one recoil in instinctive horror from, and I quote, "Four are extraterrestrial, reside in the "silent" or inactive right lobe, and are for use in our future evolution."

To answer your original question - no, I don't think there is anything whatsoever worth discussing in the "8-circuit" model. _I_ don't have to prove it. The instant somebody starts talking like the quote above, the burden of proof descends on them like a ton of bricks. But even leaving out that quote, or anything else you wish to disclaim as irrelevant, I can't see anything in the "8-circuit" model that constitutes a useful guide to understanding or building minds. Neither can anyone else. If you think the contrary is true, you're going to have to demonstrate it. Not complain about our lack of understanding. Show us we're wrong. Don't tell.

And I, at least, probably know more about split-brain phenomena than you do, including the various forms of blindsight-oid phenomena. I know that unfocused electromagnetic stimulation of the right side of the brain produces depression and the left side produces happiness, and that I am therefore probably far more right-side than anyone else on this list, not that it matters. I know how emotions key in to intelligence, and that the idea that they are on separate "circuits" is useless. I am telling you that the "8 circuits" are oversimplified and flat wrong.
--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer: Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you everything I think I know.