Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Orwellian Cognitive Science

The scariest thing about cognitive science is its discovery and quantization of human behavior -- raising the specter of controlling human behavior. Behaviorism is dormant, not dead, and at casual luncheons graduate students and their advisers wonder aloud if that wasn't the ghost of BF Skinner they saw over near the punch bowl. Advertisers already correlate our unconscious (evolutionarily-based?) color biases to make us think orange and blue detergent is cheap and powerful.

[insert more examples]

If you're not scared by biology, the science of understanding the secret underpinnings of life, you don't understand it. And if you're not scared of neuroscience, the science of understanding the secret foundations of the human mind, you don't understand it. Our only hope is that it may prove impossible to understand.

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