From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Aug 30 2006 - 01:58:57 MDT


I'm presently traveling thru Europe, meeting with some interesting
researchers and doing some deep thinking on how to potentially
simplify the Novamente design (a topic on which I've had some quite
useful insights in the last couple days, I think).

Meanwhile I log onto the Internet for a quick email check and find
this rather excessive, sad, and hilarious thread.

What is somewhat disturbing to me about this thread is that evidently,
according to my best impression,

1) Eliezer knows a bunch more about the "heuristics and biases"
subfield of cognitive psychology than Richard Loosemore does, and (as
evidenced in some of his writings) he has thought deeply and
insightfully about the topic

2) Richard Loosemore knows a bunch more about other aspects of
cognitive science and cog psych than Eliezer does, for instance mental
modeling. This is not so strongly evidenced by Richard's recent posts
but is clear to me via other emails from Richard and brief in-person
conversations with Richard

3) Both of these two humans have a strong interest in AGI and the Singularity

There is some potential here for people to learn from each other in
spite of their different theories and different styles of

But, because of the nature of human egos and human emotions, such
collaborative learning did not happen, instead we had a rather silly
and overheated discussion, from which hardly anyone learned hardly
anything, but by which hopefully some onlookers were at least amused

I could say some things about the substantive issues that were
(occasionally) under discussion during this thread, as I have my own
views that are different than Richard's or Eli's. But I think I'll
continue with my travels and cogitations and leave y'all to it :-)
apparently the thread is over anyway...

-- Ben

On 8/30/06, Richard Loosemore <> wrote:
> You're probably right that I am getting too mad.
> But I should say that he crossed a line yesterday. Until that point I
> had always given him the benefit of the doubt and assumed that he knew
> the field well, but didn't know the adjacent fields quite as well, and
> then had simply boxed himself into a corner.
> But he finally said some stuff that was so outrageous that it gave too
> many clues, and his cover was blown. He is clearly so ignorant of that
> corner of cognitive science/psychology that he made the original mistake
> out of ignorance, not impatience.
> Hence my challenge.
> But, yeah: you are right. I should not have tried to box him in any more.
> Richard
> Damien Broderick wrote:
> > At 02:03 PM 8/29/2006 -0400, Richard Loosemore wrote:
> >
> >> Get a count of how many of them think that someone who writes about
> >> the subject the way Eleiezer does, is sane.
> >
> > Hey, take a stress pill, Dave.
> >
> > Although I tend to agree that Richard has made his general case (that
> > he's been systematically mis--read and accused of holding some opinions
> > the very contrary of what he's asserted repeatedly), this is overkill
> > and unhelpful, as was Robin's bleating about "senility", and the
> > snippishness by all and sundry about "ignorance" when they usually meant
> > "I disagree with you, probably, if I could be bothered working out what
> > you just said."
> >
> > Damien Broderick
> >

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