[FoRK] Side note: the scientific "process"

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu May 26 09:35:43 PDT 2005


On Thu, May 26, 2005 at 10:39:52AM -0500, Jeff Bone wrote:

> While this isn't directly in response to Eugen's comments, his  
> statement of distaste for "mavericks" is not atypical.  I expect that  
> much of the  criticism against Hawkins' efforts is and will continue  
> to be based on this kind of thing.

"Maverick" isn't ad hominem, though. It's just we've had so many of them,
it's a pattern. 

> The old saw:  in science, progress is made one funeral at a time.  To  
> which I'd add:  or by naive mavericks who don't know any better  
> working in relative isolation on hair-brained ideas.

I absolutely agree that the tenured ones with a thick publication track
aren not going to cut it. It's bound to be someone fresh, and not necessarily
from inside the field, if it's a good theory and she's got good funding for the
hardware required.

I'm just thinking Hawkins isn't the one. He definiteley got good ideas, and I
absolutely agree with him rubbishing the established AI research being
not genuine intelligence. It's just he's got a case "I've got a really big
hammer, and everything in the world looks very like a nail" syndrome.

> Also note that hype and criticism of same has a long and honored  
> history in the sciences, too.  Not at all the dispassionate reasoned  
> debate that we would like folks to believe.  There was a hailstorm of  
> hype --- and criticism of same --- attending the publication of  
> Newton's Principia, for example.  (No, I am *not* comparing Hawkins'  
> little pop book to PM.  Just pointing out something about science and  
> hype.)

Speaking of hardware, it's really interesting that the Cell apparently aren't
going to debut anywhere else than in PS3, and that strangely enough it's
Xbox360 that's pioneering a really interesting innovation (the 10 MByte
daughter die sitting atop the ATI GPU, with the 256 GByte/s bandwidth).

Of course XBox360 is going to be locked down even tighter than PS3, and with
PS3 we might have a glimmer of hope there's going to be a Linux kit shipped
for it at some point, given the PS2 Linux kit track record.

But, I'm still bummed IBM seems to have pussied out, and will not ship a
consumer/server Linux box with Cells. Why are they trying to pony up FOSS 
support for the Cell if there's not going to be hardware? 

Altivec integer spiking gives about 3 hits in Google, none of them relevant.
Altivec spiking gives 65, some of them relevant. 

-- 
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
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