December 2002


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Louis Proyect <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 4 Dec 2002 16:29:56 -0500
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J. Wyatt Ehrenfels wrote:
>       There is just as much vanity and sophistry in
> neuroscience than in any other field of endeavour. I
> am personally appalled their attempts within
> Psychology to create a Kingdom in which they are King
> and to monopolize the source of legitimacy by
> referring to any research outside a lab as "soft."

The only acquaintance I've had with cognitive "science", fleeting as it
was, was in "AI and Education" course at Columbia Teachers College about
7 years ago. Professor John Black's web page describes him as an expert
in "Cognitive and neural network models of understanding, learning and
memory. Using cognitive and neural net models to design learning
environments. Effects of using various technologies on cognition."

He had us use a kind of Lisp pseudocode in classroom excercises that
were intended to "teach" people how to shoot billiards or drive a car. I
found the whole model not only reductionist, but offputting. Needless to
say, Artificial Intelligence is the biggest crock of shit anybody's ever
seen, especially when it floated up as a suitable platform for Star
Wars. But for "teaching" anybody anything of real substance, forget
about it.


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