Entomological Description

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Sydney, NSW, Australia
I'm a Christian husband currently finishing a Software Eng degree and wondering what God's plan for my life is. I sleep soundly in the knowledge that time will assuredly answer that question with little effort on my part.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Breathe quickly and deeply

Having wrapped up my assignments for the year, now all that stands between me and (semi-)freedom are few little exams. The study has begun in earnest (not really) and I'm really enjoying lots of fascinating things about psychology (not really) that were clearly developed by rigorous and realistic theoretical psychologists (not really).

It struck me that all of psychology is made up. All of it. If you can think of something that describes the way the human brain works and then massage some statistics to "prove" it, then you have a theory of psychology and you will be cited in journals in proper APA-formatted references from now until the Day.

No I am not bitter.

Somebody very wisely pointed out to me that all of human knowledge is built up this way. Our understanding of the world comes from fumbling around in the dark until our hands strike something pointy. Some people will cling to the walls and edges that they know and slowly work their way around to some new territory. Like Computer Scientists. We start with what we already know and only ever stretch an arms' length ahead. Psychologists seem to display a propensity to rush forward into the darkness clanging spoons together screaming "Pavlov will save me and if he doesn't then Freud will trip me over".

No I am really not bitter.

XML is much easier. You see, we invented XML. (eXtensible Markup Languages for the uncultured) Because we invented it, we know all about it right from the get go. Well that's not entirely true, but it does mean at least when we get to a bit we don't understand we can just change it because we invented it. Well that's not entirely true either. But it does mean that when we get to a really tricky bit we can give it a name that disguises the fact that we don't really know anything about it.

Yes, that strategy seems to work. In fact, I think we're back at psychology again...

If you think I'm bitter, I will label you an oversensitive super-taster and thus render you impotent against my tirade of vocabularious vitriol.

If you read my Borrodalian essays, you might sense a theme here. If you don't, you can go and read them here. You'll have to pick out which issues are mine though.

I'm not sure which is more ridiculous at this point: pretending that a decorative array of silicon shavings and copper tracks somehow emulates the operation of the human conscious, or pretending that a coloured in picture of a cauliflower somehow does the same thing.

Your thoughts, o gentle reader?

EDIT: It seems Libby agrees with me, at least.