Re: [unrev-II] Relational thinking and improvement

From: Henry van Eyken (
Date: Tue May 02 2000 - 03:58:49 PDT

  • Next message: Gil Regev: "RE: [unrev-II] Re: Towards an atomic data structure."


    First about the Sherry Turkle article. It reminded me immediately of a
    famous experiment conducted by experimental psychologists quite a few
    decades back. It involved the attachment of monkeys to wire-frame
    surrgogate mothers and the effect of clothing it with a fabric. Guess
    what? Draping the frame with soft towel did wonders for affection. I
    should be able to get a proper reference if you want me to.

    I know, I know, Prof. Turkle looks not at soft cloth, but at electronic
    intelligence as a discriminating factor in affection. Might it have
    something to do with Kurzweil also hailing from MIT? Just suspecting.

    As for your TSC, I sincerely believe that you may be better of looking
    for the kind of connectiveness you are enquiring into in the domain of
    evolutionary psychology - looking along the vector of time rather than
    across it, so to speak. Before making any recommendation I want to be
    absolutely sure people understand that I am not schooled in psychology
    other than having taken a course in the now thoroughly damned
    behaviorist school of educational psychology. (I like to believe my mind
    has not been warped by that anymore than by programming in BASIC.)

    Now the recommendation (which would be some years out of date by now):
    there is a book of papers edited by Jerome H. Barkow, Ledas Cosmides,
    and John Tooby that is called "The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology
    and the Generation of Culture." One of the most captivating phrases in
    it is the title of a paper by Barkow, "Beneath new culture is old
    psychology." Because I sensed the subject matter to be important to my
    personal, 15-year-old belief that people do well to augment themselves
    with on-the-person computers, I extracted a bit of he book in short
    "report" under the heading, "The bias that got us places (or Some
    booby-traps on the way to spiritual machines)." bias
    that got us places

    As for man-machine affection, you may find some personal affinity in
    "Roots: Why Fleabyte?",
    Why Fleabyte

    I salute you in your TSC efforts.

    As for my "expertise," I cannot enough emphasize a disclaimer, but
    whenever circumstances permit I like to have at least a sense of what's
    going on in important domains of human society, and what of it makes
    sense or not - regardless of what makes us tick.


    P.S. Thanks for that note I didn't have to write.

    Jack Park wrote:

    > I have, for more than a dozen years, been evolving a theory with which
    > I could construct a program I call The Scholar's Companion (TSC). TSC
    > was always intended to be an IQ-enhancement tool. I have been sold on
    > the notion of "apparent IQ" -- that of the combined efforts of a human
    > and a computer working together to solve some problem, learn something
    > new. Along the way, I became acquainted with the work of N.
    > Raschevsky, and R. Rosen. Rosen took Raschevsky's Relational Biology
    > to its current incarnation complete with a mathematics founded in
    > Category Theory. Of course, I have been studying just what it would
    > take to incorporate this thinking in TSC. Today, I stumbled upon a web
    > site (, and a talk by Sherry Turkle, "A new kind
    > of object: From Rorschach to Relationship." I am beginning to view
    > the OHS/DKR, and TSC, from a viewpoint articulated in this paper.
    > I'll be interested in the comments of others with respect to her
    > views. Jack
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