Re[2]: Degrees vs. smarts

mjg223 (
Sat, 2 Oct 1999 02:13:26 -0400

> This doesn't mean I take everything a PhD says as law. As a general rule I
> never pay any attention to psychologists, people with 'evolutionary' in
> their title, artificial intelligence researchers, geneticists, or anyone
> who's spent time at the Santa Fe Institute.

Having spent the day toiling over applications to graduate programs in cognitive science and AI, this remark tickled me. I certainly sympathize with the sentiment - there's a disgraceful amount of academically-sanctioned bogosity floating around.

That said, a PhD implies to me that an author is at least familiar with the literature of the field, and that they're willing to defend their position in an informed and scientific manner. I'd pay more attention, bearing in mind the heuristic misses sometimes.

In my own case, I'm just going for an advanced degree because it improves the odds I'll someday be paid to fiddle around with this stuff. That, and it beats working for a living.