Re: JP Barlow, Ph.D, Social Engineering

Eugene Leitl (
Mon, 23 Sep 1996 17:07:31 +0200 (MET DST)

On Fri, 20 Sep 1996, Kathryn Aegis wrote:

> On Thu, 19 Sep 1996, Eugene uses the dreaded phrase [less stringent
> methods]:
> >For the record: I am not saying social sciences are worthless. Far from
> >it. Yet they study extremely complex objects by less stringent methods
> >than hard sciences, and hence should not be labeled by the same term.
> I believe that is has already been established that hard scientists
> possess little tolerance for ambiguity. But social scientists, faced

You make it sound as if it was a negative trait.

> with studying complex processes for which they often end up

Hard sciences avoid study complex phenomena if they can help it. At
least right from the start. They'd rather begin investigating the
trivial, then the interesting before progressing to outright impossible.
Tackling the impossible, especially before breakfast is either very
brave, or extremely foolhardy.

> formulating a set of interrelated hypothesis that must be proved or

Formulated, yet not formal, eh?

> disproved within the limited confines of acceptable research
> protocols, learn to accomodate grey areas to some extent. Does this
> indicate a less stringent methodology? Not in my opinion.

Kathryn, my "less stringent" remark refers to this tolerance of grey

I am not trying to alienate anyone in here, but a progressive laxness in
one's thinking can grow dangerous. I'd rather keep my tools sharp than

> Sin,
> Kathryn Aegis