re: hmmmm

From: Michael Vassar (
Date: Wed Aug 31 2005 - 14:28:41 MDT

As far as I can tell, for the vast majority of the population "belief" means
"set of noises I make to denote tribal affiliation", not "symbol mapping
onto structure in my brain isomorphic to some practical aspect of the world
or non-obvious logical conclusion". In so far as most people are Bayesian
approximators they don't use the word "believe" or any other words. Us
semantic web meme-complex get in trouble when we interpret the behaviors of
all apes to be the result of our type of meme-complex. First off, most apes
probably don't have the hardware needed to host software like ourselves.
Although they are imperfect, the links below represent what is actually
known about typical human capabilities fairly well and with atypical

Note that extremely complex learned behavior of a non-symbolic variety, such
as is displayed by a mechanic, is possible with low 'g'. Symbols are in
such case a relatively non-central phenomenon.

Also, note that even at the Harvard/Stanford level, with 'g' at least as far
above the 90th percentile as the 90th percentile is above the 75th
percentile (assuming an integral scale maps onto a normal or log-normal
distribution), Wason tasks have demonstrated that Reason v. 1.0, the Ancient
Greek pre-release version, is not really running for a fraction of the
population that can be statistically considered to be equal to unity, (even
those tasks which elicit correct answers elicit them only from a minority or
a bare majority of the test audience).

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