Re: How to resolve the dispute

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Aug 29 2006 - 22:34:59 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote:
> 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, the guy's just an ordinary crackpot and I wish I'd seen it
sooner. The single worst sin on John Baez's Crackpot Index: "50 points
for claiming you have a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete
testable predictions." Also, "20 points for talking about how great
your theory is, but never actually explaining it", "10 points for
claiming that your work is on the cutting edge of a 'paradigm shift'",
and "10 points for pointing out that you have gone to school, as if this
were evidence of sanity".

When Richard showed up on this list, I was disturbed by his evasiveness
and swiftness to take offense. But he'd claimed to be a polymath and
that is the sort of person I want on this list, so I put up with it. In
retrospect, it seems obvious that Richard never actually demonstrated
any technical knowledge of any of the fields he claimed for his own,
just grandiose talk about Complex Systems.

Bleh. What a waste of time.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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