This one is interesting because it does not contain any discussion of the contents of the paper it "discusses" (the brain-symbols paper), or any other idea from my site, even though he claims to have read "the material on your website", and several versions of the paper. It gives the impression that the ideas that I write are completely out of his intellectual range.
An intriguing question is, if he thinks my ideas do not deserve any discussion, why did he bother to write this message. The paternalistic tone of his suggestion suggests that he simply enjoys writing paternalistic messages, but it is also possible that something on my site hit a nerve.
The message exactly as I got it:
From: "Lozo, Peter" <peter.lozo_dsto.defence.gov.au> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 6:11 AM Subject: Comments for you to think about Hi Yehouda, One of my postgraduate students pointed me to your website about 18 months ago (he was at the time completing his masters thesis on a neural network model for object recognition and was doing some reading on Marr's theory of vision). At the time I briefly scanned your website but did not have much time to devote to reading your text in detail. Recently I found some time and decided to make some comments about the contents of your website. First, I would like to note that I am a Physicist with a PhD in neural networks( modelling selective visual attention, object recognition, etc). I have been studying the field of real-time self-organising competitive-cooperative neural networks for some 10 years now and have also extensively studied the neurobiological and the psychophysical literature on vision. Couple of years ago I took an interest in modelling visual perception. My approach is very well aligned with that of Prof Stephen Grossberg (as a matter of fact I have adopted many of his mathematical tools, theories and network architectures, particularly his Adaptive Resonance Theory (ART) and Form And Color And DEpth (FACADE) theory. Grossberg has previously provided a critique on Marr's theory of vision (particularly the 2.5D sketch which does not exist!) so I will not go into details here. Thus I feel that I am reasonably well informed about the state of neuroscience, brain research and the modelling of vision. Anyway, having read the material on your website I am somewhat perplexed at the extent to which you are willing to go to rebuke virtually everything that some of the leading scientists in the field of brain research have written. I guess that you have been burnt by the continuous rejection of your paper (The Neurons In The Brain Cannot Implement Symbolic Systems). I have read the various version of the paper and admit that you do not provide a convincing argument nor do you provide experimental evidence for your claims. You seem to get rather pissed-off at the reviewers comments and use a very offensive language. Here are some examples: (i) "It is also worth noting what kind of garbage the reviewers have allowed themselves in the reviews, and that this did not seem to bother the editors too much." (ii) "It is difficult to expect that a paper that shows that most of the current theories in cognitive psychology are wrong will have an easy ride". (iii) "I didn't expect the response to brain symbols to be as stupid as it turned out." Did you really provide a sensible argument in your paper? You comment : " This text chronicles my attempts to publish the Brain-symbols papers. The main point of this is that is shows that while all the reviewers and the editors have rejected my paper, none of them could come with any sensible criticism of the argument I present. This proves that there isn't such criticism, because otherwise at least some of the reviewers or editors would have pointed it out." suggests to me that you expect reviewers to come up with a sensible criticism of your argument. But do really believe that you have provided a sensible scientific argument in your paper that warrants a sensible critique/analysis? Seems to me that you are testing whether a nonsensical paper (like the ones that you are submitting) will get through the peer review process. The peer review process has definitely worked in this case since most reviewers do not think that you paper has much merit. Here is my suggestion: Why not write another paper titled: "Brain Implements Symbolic Systems via Neural Interconnections". A serious attempt by you to rebuke your own original paper may actually help you in achieving a sound level of scientific critique. I am also of the opinion that the background research for this new paper may actually help you to better understand the current knowledge of neuroscience and the mathematical modelling of the brain mechanisms. Do it just for fun and see how you go! I would love to read it when it is ready. I hope that also you realise that it does not help you to get a paper published if you are openly going to expose the reviewers comments on your website! Cheers, Peter Lozo, PhD Research Scientist aaaa