Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Soft Science is Difficult, Hard Science is Easy

Kolmogorov complexity. Chemistry is made of physics; it's necessarily more complex than physics, thus a more difficult topic of study. Biology is made of chemistry, psychology is made of biology, etc.


Why are all the smart guys in physics? 

A) nobody likes challenging themselves. Smart guys can see all the easy successes are in the easy sciences.

B) in the easy sciences, it's easy to catch frauds, so by process of elimination all the frauds (dumb) end up in the difficult sciences.


This means scientist quality is inversely correlated with difficulty of subject, and thus science quality is exponentially inversely correlated with subject difficulty. The greater skill required to catch a fraud is matched by a lower average skill in the field.

E.g. in chemistry, scientist quality is lower, meaning theory quality is exponentially lower. However, catching frauds using these simple theories is still sufficiently easy, so there isn't much in the way of frauds, merely poor understanding of the topic. 

E.g. in the topics-previously-known-as-philosophy, it is near-impossible to expunge fraud, because a clear demonstration of truth and falsehood requires very high skill indeed. Result: topic is fully dominated by fraud.


Exception: sociology breaks the pattern. In the same way that averaging a bunch of quanta gets you classical physics, averaging a bunch of psyches gets you sociology, which is dead easy. At this level the complexities cancel each other out rather than crystallizing toward further complexity. I suspect there's some evolutionary booster rockets as well - the brain has relevant ASICs. Perhaps even evolutionary sociological grooves, containing sociological responses to a small subset. 

Indeed sociology is so easy peasants go, "It can't possibly be that easy," and discount the obvious solution in favour of someone who sounds fancy. 

E.g: what if getting taxed makes a country poorer for the benefit of a small, unproductive minority. Mind blown yet?


Anonymous said...

Oh, this is brilliant. I never saw that until now but now I won't be able to un-see it.

You may or may not have much interest in him, but Jordan Peterson is often hectored for being not intelligent, a poor scientist, wrong etc.. but if you know anything about him you know he purposefully challenged himself. Regardless what you may think of him personally the quality of his work is there.

( He seems to have successfully dumbed down his message to actually help people which is more than can be said for many .. it's like he's taken on board the "science" behind what he says and applied it. Yay.)

Real psychology is hard because you have to know yourself to really understand it and perform adequate research (how does it really differ from philosophy? There's a good question.)

Sociology is easy because people do actually know themselves but can apply the bad things they note about themselves to "those people". "Those people act this way".

Anonymous said...

>but if you k
now anything about his life, it seems his primary learning goal is challenging himself

Arqiduka said...

Lol true, chemistry was alchemy for the longest time, but physics was in decent shape since Aristotle, so thereabouts you mist have tha capacity of a single smart humam brain to extrapolate.

Alrenous said...



JBP is allegedly a professional. It's sort of true: a bunch of his psychology is really good actually. However, I am a half-assing dilettante and I'm strictly better at psychology than he is. I know things he doesn't about the topic but the reverse is not true.

The first two (three?) youtube videos on the Bible are really good though. He understood Genesis way better than I did. It falls off hard after Exodus, though. I think he had something half-useful to say about the technicolour coat, and the rest was sophomoric at best.


Alchemy has a bunch of traps built into it to snare the low-IQ mind, because it's straight-up Eldritch knowledge and will wreck your face via your ass if you do it wrong. Hey, the Philosopher's Stone isn't literally a rock, guys... The "alkahest" is referring to analytic logic. It's phrased confusingly on purpose.

Though the point you were intending to make is well-taken. Chemistry was all the failed Alchemists for the longest time.

To wrap it around again, you actually can do Alchemy via chemistry if you want, but you have to remember the reactions are allegorical. The point isn't to drink a spagyric. You can't drink an allegory, and even if you could, what you actually want to drink is the thing itself, not the story about the thing.

Alrenous said...

You have to cringe/laugh when someone has to argue that "clean your room" is somehow bad advice.

"Hey, get your own shit together before trying to get someone else's shit together."
"Controlled opposition!"
Hmm, I wonder what this is really about...gonna have the get the industrial-strength thinking cap for this one...

I say this as someone whose literal room needs cleaning.

Anonymous said...

>JBP is allegedly a professional.
At first I thought JBP wasn't that bright, but I've listened to a bunch of his lectures and really, it's just the way he thinks. It sounds dumb cause he's trained himself to be a story-teller, because people on average learn better that way. But certainly he seems to synthesise information in a very bullshit-heavy field. Some of the connections he's drawn have blown my mind, if you can blow someones mind once or twice you're doing pretty good IMO.

Additionally he does quite well considering the social climate in his field of expertise.

When I was at university, during a psychology lecture the lecturer publicly shamed me for being a "climate denier" (she ASSUMED from my answer about something else what my opinion was). Which was funny because the following lecture was about group-think and not listening to the beliefs of others.

In one of JBP's lectures he details to students the psychological "givens" he refuses to believe in, hearing that pretty much convinced me he had some clue. Paraphrasing - "It's way simpler than people think, they just complicate it to try and get research money and fame".

The other thing is that he admits openly things he doesn't know. Makes me much more trusting of his other opinions, which maybe he knows, which is why he does it.
Certainly he agrees with you on the value of truth.

Finally, he has noted he is very, very careful of what he says because he knows his enemies are listening and waiting for a reason to attack. "JBP WONT ANSWER THE GYEWISH QUESTION" well maybe he likes having a place to live? I'd say that counts as "smart".

With that said, I'm curious to hear what you think he doesn't get?

>I know things he doesn't about the topic but the reverse is not true.
Hard to know that's the truth - he repeats himself a LOT but that's mostly because people ask him the same questions over and over just in a different format. Also see "careful about what he says". He has drawn

>Hmm, I wonder what this is really about..
Clean your room = we should all co-operate for maximal group benefit
Controlled opposition!!1one = "Co-operate with me while I defect on you, that will give me maximal personal benefit"

>I say this as someone whose literal room needs cleaning.
Well Bucko what are you doing, sort yourself out!

Alrenous said...

Sadly I can't remember off-hand what I know that he doesn't. I mean, I already know it. Why would I need to keep any kind of special track?

The main thing he's wrong about that I remember is the lobsters. Maybe a human can perhaps aspire to rise above lobsterhood? Lets not take non-chordates as role models, yes?
Humility is great and one always ought to acknowledge that those greater than you are, are in fact greater. This leads to hierarchy. However, the human status system mainly runs on defection and Satanism, and you should almost always use property rights and logic instead. Presumably it was necessary when we were also pre-chordates and it just never got fixed.

Maybe it used to be better and it doesn't have to be this degenerate, but if so the last working model existed more than 10,000 years ago.

He has faith the general goodness of humanity. Doesn't appreciate original sin. Stuff along those lines. A bit humanist, as you might expect in modern times. Thinks Canada is basically a good place. Newsflash: it tortures children on an industrial scale for the purposes of causing maiming. Schools are concentration camps and teachers are literally concentration camp guards. ngmi

Outside psychology his opinions are all pretty safe. Just don't, if you're not gonna go all the way. Conquest #1. IDW stands for the intellectual dim web - neither dark enough to be edgy nor bright enough to truly illuminate, metaphorically speaking.
Then he comes out against anonymity and pseudonymity. Hey dude, I dunno if you've heard, but ad hominem is a fallacy. Doesn't matter who says it if it's true.

Anonymous said...

>The main thing he's wrong about that I remember is the lobsters
He's not wrong about it, the argument is misrepresented. The argument is, simply,

Marxists make claims that *all* hierarchies are socially constructed artefacts of tyrannical western civilisation and, therefore, we should do away with them.

- the serotonergic systems are so old that we share them with lobsters.
- lobsters are simple animals and fight for hierarchical dominance
- if a lobster loses a fight, serotonin goes down. When a lobster has low serotonin it acts depressed/ doesn't want to fight
- if you inject a defeated lobster with serotonin it wants to fight again
- We get depressed just like lobsters and serotonin injections fix us right up

So then, are Marxists also claiming that lobsters socially constructed their dominance hierarchies?

He's just thumbing his nose at them for ignoring biology.

> Maybe a human can perhaps aspire to rise above lobsterhood?
That's why the lobster is the subject. We have; indeed, we can socially construct hierarchies that aren't simply "strongest wins".

Look at these galaxy brains for an example of "missed the point"


>Hierarchies are everywhere. It is often argued that they are a social construct, invented >to allow certain people (such as white men) to have power over others.
>But can a brain chemical really explain the organisation of a human society?
>So not only does it seem unlikely that low levels of serotonin would make humans settle in >at the bottom of a hierarchy, it goes to show that lobsters and humans are just not a great comparison.

Their rebuttal to his argument is "but my argument???"

>Newsflash: it tortures children on an industrial scale for the purposes of causing maiming.
Some things are too horrible to recognise, which, ironically enough, he seems to recognise.

>neither dark enough to be edgy nor bright enough to truly illuminate, metaphorically speaking.
We're not living in times when being incredibly radical is acceptable. We're approaching "burn the witch" levels of stupid. Consider his first major foray into public awareness.

JBP : Compelled speech laws are something that a totalitarian government would do and I will do everything I can to stop this from happening because I don't want my fellow citizens to suffer under a totalitarian regime
Entire media apparatus : So what you're saying is you hate trans people and don't care if they commit suicide?

That's gonna make a smart person consider how edgy to be.I think he's considered edgy by todays standards of edge, and he toes the line very nicely.

While I agree with you, he's not actually edgy, everyone else :


>Then he comes out against anonymity and pseudonymity.
Well.. be fair, he is a few years older and grew up in a pretty liberal country and a majority of his work life has been at a university. But let's play devils advocate.. should one be able to murder anonymously? Where's the anonymity line drawn? Similar to the free speech argument, which took us millennia to solve.

We've only just implemented technologies that allow me to use fighting words against you or indeed anyone I want and no one can punch me in the face. It's a technology even more revolutionary than the printing press.

Anonymous said...

Oh. Missed this one!
>He has faith the general goodness of humanity.

I quote you:

>Goodness is an event which satisfies a conscious agent's values.

If you have the value "co-operate /co-operate equilibrium leads to the best outcomes for all individuals" I would argue that the "general goodness of humanity" can be considered functionally equivalent to "human beings evolved to be co-operative, rather than solitary and competitive, animals".

Alrenous said...

Right, sure, except humans didn't evolve to cooperate. They evolved to lie, cheat, and steal. Ref: homo hypocritus. These urges have to be overcome with applied violence in most cases. Humans have difficulty cooperating on basic kin-selection mechanisms, let alone doing it with strangers.

The status system isn't the biggest wins - well first of all, yes it is. Like 90% of attitudes are, "The sovereign is always right," where the sovereign is whoever has the biggest stick around. Second, in the 10% of cases, it's the biggest liar wins. Not an improvement.

Did it take us millennia to solve the murder thing? In fact murdering non-secretly isn't murder, it's vig. In non-degenerate societies, murder refers to slaying by stealth or poison. Responsible slaying vs. irresponsible slaying. Hunter tribes make this distinction, it's not new. Being unable to discriminate is new.

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