Saturday, April 23, 2011

Throwing science a bone

pointed to a few scientific papers about chess development here and here. I read them with great interest. It is a pity to see that science is still lagging miles behind this blog. At the other hand it is reassuring that at least their claims aren't in contradiction with my writings. Science has of course quite a few disadvantages when it comes to speedy conquering new area's of knowledge.

The scientific language.
First of all there is of course the scientific language that hampers communication. Scientific language is born in the time of the inquisition, where there was a necessity to write in a cryptic secret language in order to outsmart the bishops and the cardinals. As long as the clerics couldn't quite follow what you said they weren't sure if breaking your bones was what the Supreme Being demanded from them. So cryptic language was a matter of survival in those days.

Later on, when the life of scientists was no longer on the line, saying simple things in an incomprehendsible way became in quite handy for fundraising. No selfrespecting senator or government official would deny you money if you are explaining that you are going to save the world with it as long as they hasn't the courage to admit that they hadn't the slightest idea what you are talking about [Moron et al, 2002]. Later on, writing unreadable became the admitting requirement pur sang to enter the ranks of those who didn't want to work for a living but who wanted to create explosions in labatories in stead. In the mean time, scientific development is severely hampered by slowing down communication.[Holy and Moly, 1994]

Mathematics is the language nec plus ultra to keep outsiders out. Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of scientific area's where mathematics isn't applicable. Or simply stands in the way. Take for instance cognitive science. To be taken seriously by the scientific elite, you can't do without mathematics though. So in stead of talking directly about how matters relate to each other, on was obliged to obscure matters by introducing statistics. Posing another setback on the speed of scientific development once more.

As an independant blogger I don't have these problems. Allthough I stand on the shoulders of nobody, I can make rapid progress in stead. The loyal readers of this blog already know that chunking is debunked as the major asset of chess development. We already know that there is no relation between IQ and rating (or we all had become grandmasters long ago). We already know that talent is not innate but based on deliberate practice. That there is no relation between chess skills and skills that are usefull in society (unless we are raising funds for a chess project, of course). That visuo-spatial or whatever does not win us games. I can base proof on statistics with N=1. I can steer peer review in the right direction with the moderation button. No wonder science can't keep up with our findings.

Helping science out.
To prevent science from prolapsing and loosing the connection with this blog, I will explain a few consequences of my findings and training method for intelligence and IQ. Which is the heart of cognitive science, after all.

In order to prevent talking semantics I must make a decision on how I'm going to use the word intelligence in the future. I always used intelligent as the opposite of stupid. But it has become clear lately that IQ is based on skills and that skills are only semi-intelligent. Since intelligence is closely interlocked with IQ, intelligent has become synonimous with semi-intelligent. Hence with stupid. I can no longer use the word intelligent as the opposite of stupid. So I have to abondon the word intelligent for that purpose and I need another word as opposite. Maybe having discrimination will do.

What is measured in an IQ-test are skills. That implies that my method of training skills can be used to improve your performance at an IQ-test. Don't forget that with these new definitions you don't become less stupid, though. You don't get more discrimination. You might get a higher salary though, since our society embraces the combination of cleverness and stupidity. Don't expect discrimination to be awarded or you might become disappointed.


  1. I did send Gobet a email with a link to this blog, maybe...

  2. About plateu's read near the end: