Your view of science in this sentence is exactly the science that drove the human progress since the beginning of the Age of Reason / Enlightenment, but most of what you say is by a scientist claiming to be a scientist about what you do not understand as a scientist. For the few of us computational cognitive neuroscientists, what you say in some of your unscientific opinions about how people generally think are pretty flawed, in science.

But I agree. I don't try to do Physics except to watch it, like the avid fan I am. I will make comments if I think Physicists fail to understand and respect their own flaws that they ascribe to others. We are all human.

You should become familiar with some of science in areas like mine (e.g., read Terry Sejnowski's "Deep Learning Revolution") or, on the subject you are speaking to. Go back to the beginning of the Age of Reason and read/audible Descartes "Method" which is far more sound, because he was "pretty nearly" the worlds first cognitive scientist and to this day properly guides truth in that area.

Descartes was the beginning of modern science that depends on others being able to verify truth for themselves. Descartes, like Darwin, guides truth in many sciences dependent on his science.

For example, on what you call science in your area, Descartes observed that every time we carefully look for more order in the universe, we find it. This turns out to be profoundly correct, by modern computational cognitive neuroscience.

Science, and human knowledge, available to anyone with enough diligence and study, will never be complete. Truth for humans is never absolute. By the way the human brain computes, we can always discover new scientific truths on any subject of our observations.

New truth is inexhaustible not because the universe itself is inexhaustible in its real truth (what Descartes called "the perfection of God"), but because of how our brains compute on understanding the universe.

That computational limitation itself which evolved in the earliest living things both provides us with the truth we need to survive and simultaneously blinds us to absolute truth which may, or may not, exist because we can frankly never know truth fully. Ever. The limitation is in how brains are now known more clearly to compute.

But as a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with the requisite number of years under my belt, your ventures into pretending to know the science in my field should meet with the same warnings and willingness to understand our science, as yours.

It is possible to communicate great science without math, for example. I would argue Darwin did that in his "Origin of the Species" by precisely relating his observations, that anyone can make, and the conclusions he drew, after putting in his long effort from carefully observing nature, and tying his brilliantly plainly-correct observations to a substantially correct theory of all life.

You should not pretend to know things you do not actually know.

Descartes, a student and teacher of Latin in his early years, wrote his "Method" in French. He says, up front, that his cognitive scientific investigations taught him that anyone can understand his observations and conclusions, so he wrote his "Methods" in the vernacular. If he had been German, he would have written it in German. He says this outright.

Descartes who was also versed deeply in math, was no less scientific by being based on simple deductions from self-evident truths that anyone could confirm. Like Darwin's science.

Math is a great way to extend deductive logic to surprising conclusions that are logically and empirically correct. But it is not necessary to good science. This kind of science through self-evident truth and extended through careful empirical experimentation continues to this day.

Here is what Descartes says of Truth and Lies correct to the modern science of such things today as we understand how the human brain actually computes.

If you are unfamiliar with the sciences of "social capital" you can delve into why your basic conclusions are so correct in suggestion, even though flawed in relating the relevant good science.

Check the definition "social capital" by OECD (google it) and note what countries are high in it, and low.

You need to understand what you are saying, with the same flaws you ascribe to others, because you are on the turf of areas where you are simply an avid observer of other people's science. And I wish you would hold your tongue when you are pretending to be a scientist where you are not one.

Here is a conclusion I reach on the same topic you are writing about in your article:

I would like to see possible solutions to problems in social capital to incorporate governmental support for learning by doing as what happens with National Service, but pertaining to all other things as well. Everybody is allowed to be a scientist in their avid pursuit of understanding truth. We must democratize the best truth we have to have democracy and free speech.

So, for example, I think the walls that prevent people from learning for themselves are destructive. These include scholarly research publications, Lexus Nexus, etc. etc. Every citizen should be able to search these without blocks. Withheld data and exposure to the real science is criminal to social capital.

As Faculty or Student at CMU, Rutgers, UVa, and Emory, I have always had such free access. People should be able to see what government and other 'upper class' people can see. The existing facilities for this are very fragmented and limited. This is wrong and is at the core of the problems you describe.

Universal free access, as with Andrew Carnegie's Dream (now squandered by commercial interests) should be the equivalent of a free library card. IMHO. As long as information is gated through talking heads whether uneducated like most in media, or 'experts' who are speaking down to people or, in your case, speaking as if they are experts where they are not, social capital is debilitated.

Occasionally I will write about some Physics I see as an advid fan of Physics with applause or perspective taking, like anyone who is an advid fan of football who will never be a football player.

I utterly disagree with the medical guys who say free open access to their studies will hurt society or their work. I disagree with what I see in physics talking heads that actually believe that people are incapable of understanding the math. People are incapable of listening to people who do not carefully explain and justify their actual reasoning.

I am a strong proponent of that miracle of light in the Internet's dark forest of confutation called Wikipedia.

Education and all human knowledge should be free and accessible by everyone. That is, unless you want to become a true, trusted, contributing scientist or professional on a subject, need the to learn by extended human-mentored doing of the science and scholarship, and becoming experienced in observing the verifiable truth, such as it is, at the moment, for yourself.

You pay for the teachers you will inevitably need to be able to contribute sound, verifiable, new knowledge, from the infinite repository of knowledge that our brains can find in the universe.




Carnegie Mellon University since 1979 — Cognitive Science, AI, Machine Learning, one of the founding Directors of the Robotics Institute.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Robert Thibadeau

Robert Thibadeau

Carnegie Mellon University since 1979 — Cognitive Science, AI, Machine Learning, one of the founding Directors of the Robotics Institute.

More from Medium

Interview on JUICY GHOSTS

Phenix Joins SRT Alliance to Advance Commitment to Providing Real-Time Streaming at Scale

Earth’s Problems Solved from Space