Archive for: September, 2010

Mollies, PokeBalls, and Naked Ladies : A Topsy-Turvy Lesson in Learning Words from Context

This morning, I scrawled a letter to a friend that began with the following:

Spent the weekend at the FyeahFest with a starry-eyed lot of starving hipsters, in vintage hops and wingtips. Had not realized how obvious the effects of doing molly are on the pupils… the droves wandering past had eyes like shining saucers.

Unlike my trusted ami de plume, you may not know what on the lord's green earth I just said.  In particular,  if you’re not into psychedelics or don’t know anyone who is, you may be wondering just what ‘molly’ is, anyway.  The extraordinary thing is that -- odds are -- even if you’ve never heard the word used before, you can probably wager a pretty good guess as to what it means.

Take a moment.  What’s your bet?

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7 responses so far

But Science Doesn't Work That Way : Miller and Chomsky (1963)

Sep 02 2010 Published by under Forget What You've Read!

In this post, our heroine -- spurred on by her godly pursuit of science and a bevy of caffeinated drinks -- compares the standard approach to language to intelligent design.  It might get noodly.

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31 responses so far

What Happened to Behaviorism?

Sep 01 2010 Published by under Quotable

“Didn't Noam Chomsky's review of Skinner's Verbal Behavior devastate behavioristic analysis and show that it was bankrupt as pertains to language? I have read the debate a couple of times and, although interesting, it always seemed to me that the protagonists were arguing at cross purposes, from fundamentally different paradigms. Chomsky was and is a rationalist; he had no uses for experimental analyses or data of any sort that pertained to language, and even experimental psycholinguistics was and is of little interest to him. My guess is that Chomsky's review deserves to be credited as a minor cause of the cognitive revolution. To most psychologists, empiricists at heart, it was the great new experiments that researchers were conducting on cognitive topics that created the cognitive revolution and not Chomsky's review of Skinner's book (rather effectively refuted in a commentary by Kenneth MacCorquodale, by the way).”

Roddy Roediger in his APS essay What Happened to Behaviorism?

11 responses so far

Some Scientopia Outages

Sep 01 2010 Published by under State of the Blog

You may be noticing some intermittent and (hopefully) brief outages here at Scientopia. Apparently there are some issues with our webhost, and our resident tech guru Mark is working on addressing them.

In the meantime, he has asked that we disable comments in order to ease up on the server load until the issues get resolved. So, for now, I've disabled comments. I will post again when I've been given the green light to re-enable them.

Until I'm able to open comments back up, you can follow the conversation on twitter by following me (@jgold85) and Melody (@moximer)

Thanks for bearing with us!

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