6.xxx (AKA 6.803 and 6.833)

The Human Intelligence Enterprise: 2017

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The Genesis Manifesto: Story Understanding and Human Intelligence, by Patrick Henry Winston and Dylan Holmes


If you discuss the paper or the assignment with another student—which we encourage—indicate whom you have talked with in your submitted composition. Of course your submitted composition must be written entirely by you.

On a total of one side of one sheet of paper, using 10 pt type or larger, with standard interline spacing and margins, respond to all the following:

Money is tight, and you failed to get the summer UROP job you wanted. Luckily, you did land a job as an intern working in the Development Office. On your first day at work, the director, Julie Lucas, sends you the following message by email, just before leaving for the airport:

President Reif had dinner with Scrooge and Cruella McDuck last night. At dinner, the McDucks said they want to learn more about how a major gift might produce a breakthrough in our understanding of human intelligence—a breakthrough on the order of the determination of the structure of DNA. The McDucks are especially interested in how such an understanding might change education and improve prospects for world peace.
Scrooge graduated from MIT with a degree in Computer Science but he also took subjects in Linguistics and especially admires Noam Chomsky. Cruella graduated from Harvard with a degree in Psychology. She worked in Elizabeth Spelke's laboratory for two summers. President Reif thinks Winston's work might excite the McDucks, and he wants us to produce a draft letter to the McDucks describing what is happening, including a paragraph or two on why they should spend a big chunk of their fortune at MIT.

Unsure about how to proceed, you send a note to Winston, your 6.xxx instructor:

Who are Scrooge and Cruella McDuck? Where can I find useful information? How soon do you think Reif will need it? How long should it be?

And he replies:

Read this.

Your job, at this point, is to get the message to Garcia.