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June 28, 2008



look, in terms of reality science is nearly nothing, feeble fingers poking at the skin of an orange, wow, there are bumps!, and totally blind to the juice inside, let alone the magic in the seeds that can make another orange, or how to grow an orange tree

what is real is consciousness, inelegantly indicated with the "collective" word, since it is in essence non-differentiable ... and all,technology is, is a very cumbersome effort to manifest what consciousness can already do anyway

the petrbyte thing is merely a description of a model more all-encompassing than what came before, providing a closer approximation to reality ... but still a model, since reality is more than data

mysticsim is getting more valuable to understand everyday, if for no other reason than to provide a context for what we think we know

Daniel Tunkelang

I was appalled by Chris Anderson's article, because his suggestion that "correlation is enough" is not only demonstrably wrong, but also the root of much bad science. I also think he is misunderstanding how Google and others benefit from the vast increase in data.

Having more data doesn't mean you can just analyze it for patterns and treat those as discoveries. In fact, the term "data mining" used to mean exactly that, and it was pejorative--since it would discover meaningless correlations like one between the Super Bowl winner and stock market performance.

Having more data makes it easier to both *generate* and *test* hypotheses. But it is still important to keep these activities separate. That data hygiene is at the heart of the scientific method. Correlation does not supersede causation.

Sam Kuper

Do you mean "cognitive hysteria"?

Also, for more on whether "correlation is enough" - the core of Anderson's argument - see the literature in the philosophy of science (there is plenty of it). You might want to start with Karl Popper's distinction between corroboration and confirmation, and work on from there.

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