Sunday, February 28, 2010

Skinner is not somebody who wants to be balder than a Skin Head

Yesterday, I received the visit of a friend. PhD at Stanford in one science or another, journalist, he knows about everything.

He didn't know who Skinner was. Hadn't heard the name. Even more disturbing: he knows about much more minor figures in Psychology, like Freud, who is only #2 in the list of the ten most influent psychologists on

Skinner, who wrote about superstition in the pigeon! I was mad.

I bought Walden Two, a novel that described a utopia. Said Skinner published it in 1948. According to the Wikipedia entry about the book:
When the members find a problem in their community they may design and experimentally test a possible solution, carefully documenting the results of their experiment in accordance with thescientific method.[11] If the results of their testing indicates that the proposed solution would be an improvement over their current cultural practices then they may make that experimentally validated improvement into a component of their community's culture. This cultural optimization process is called "cultural engineering."[12]
You can imagine how much I am looking forward to this book. The current edition has a preface called "Walden Two Revisited." About twenty-five years after its publication, Skinner writes about the relevance of his novel. He sure sounds Communist, and I don't mean that in a bad way.

No comments:

Post a Comment