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Thought Backlog

Date: 2020-08-16


  • conflict re: overreaching and discuss disagreements
    • pre-emptive reaction to avoid discussion and put on mental backlog
  • analysing lies application - uncertainty, self-eval

  • (from 2020-08-12) conflict between idea of structuring things well and having a full idea in your head and trying to get it all out at once.

  • keeping posts small but replying to lots of points
    • breaking up posts is annoying
    • so ideally take each discussion one post at a time?
      • doesn’t take advantage of async or talking about multiple things during discussion
      • but can be more efficient if you focus on important things
    • check on discussions

conflict: learning and error rate

The conflict is to do with the relative prioritization activities related to these two ideas:

  • the idea that working on building blocks and foundations is more efficient; leads to exponential progress with a larger base (like 2^x vs 10^x)
  • that activities or projects with a higher error (“exploratory learning” sorta thing) are worthwhile or fun (particularly the fun is why we do them, right?)
    • counter-examples:
      • trying to do number theory stuff from SICP (via AnneB’s work) – big failure
      • ‘blind trees evening’ as I called it (the thing that prompted me to contact ET about tutoring)


  • interesting case: doing time limited challenges increases error rate but can be useful for learning quickly
    • what’s going on here?
    • example: max’s time-limited writing challenges
  • the more I learn the more intuitive it is to me that powering-up is a priority.

thoughts and ideas and stuff

  • gerunds can be modified by an adverb
  • does being unsiklled at FI and trying to manage a backlog become exponentially harder as prioritisation skills decrease?
    • like, prioritisation matters for effective FI participation with multiple things, and the more things the more it matters
    • so if someone is bad at FI and also bad at prioritisation it’s a really uphill battle
    • increased bandwidth (time) means prioritisation is less important, less of a bottleneck
    • so more time is one way to get good enough for your prioritisation to get better
    • then once prioritisation is better you can manage things at a slower rate with good prioritisation

copied over from [List] Ideas during Analysing Lies 1

  • why would it be important to be impressive but to not aim to be impressive?

  • analysing lies redux
    • explanation + bg on what I’ve watched
    • plan: X hrs a day, do both analysis then comparisons
  • log my unfinished topics - finish them

  • reflections on learning FI
    • challenge notion of self
    • can’t predict problems or pace; if it wasn’t surprising/confronting/causing idea-conflicts you wouldn’t be learning
      • what topics could work well to help ppl getting in to FI
      • write posts (as exercises) about
  • add list of unresolved conflicts and track them - get them resolved (tutorial 26 examples; learning and errors; another one…)

  • how can you go about learning?

  • how can you actually be impressive instead of looking impressive?

  • what’s the difference between debating as a debater, and debating as a thinker?

  • reconsider instantaneous goals
    • i.e. instantaneous priorities
      • change “why did I write this?” to “why should I write this?”
  • practice writing digests of what I learn; post those to site, maybe weekly update to FI?

  • write post about writing style and how it can be dishonest; simpler is better
    • here’s an old example: XXXXX (e.g. IBDD popper’s criterion)
    • speaking simply makes hiding lies harder.
    • speaker can’t put in the same sort of social signals. it’s harder to tell people what to think with simple language.
    • simple language is also easier to read and understand. if you can write complex ideas in simple language, that’s a virtue. it makes it easier to spread good ideas, and it makes the writing more enduring.
    • (from AnalyzingLies1; ET) 32:07 where you’re supposed to use bold and simple writing. and make your stuff easy to criticise. (not fancy and confusing)
  • thoughts on quoting people like goldratt: status, context, synchronising ideas
    • context, post about “intellectual response time doesn’t matter; a novel interpretation of the tortoise and the hare as a metaphor for attitudes towards thinking and learning.”
      • quote goldratt: “I’m a bodybuilder”
  • how to symbols and our ideas about our self interact?

  • why would rules like always saying “i think” before sentences mean when explaining an idea?
    • meaningless, it’s sort of implied anyway
    • but also not saying it is (at least sometimes) explicitly removing the “it’s just my opinion” excuse - you’re making a claim about reality by doing that, and reality doesn’t care about your opinion.
    • so to refuse to not add “i think” means (at least in part) that you’re refusing to take “it’s just my opinion” off the table as a means to end the discussion irrationally. why would someone do that? well one reason is because they want the excuse there b/c they know they’ll need it.
  • how would grouping symbols change written english? (if we integrated something with a function like parens in maths / programming)

  • have a script / flow chart for resolving paths forward style stuff (where the other person has different ideas). you can add stuff like “do I spot a problem with meta / social stuff? yes -> raise that I have a problem, ask if they have methodology to resolve such issues. do they? no -> paths forward, yes -> try that. did it work? no -> paths forward, yes -> leart a new way to resolve conflicts maybe, maybe resolved by luck, either way you can move on and maybe take extra ideas w/ you (okay it’s a long shot).
    • you can also say to the person (btw I have a methodology for asking about methodolgies, it’s here if you want to check it out or skip ahead)
    • if the person looks at the flow chart and can move to the bit that’s appropriate then it saves dialog time
  • don’t tell a story (“i was reading blah and thought blah”), tell the idea (“what if blah causes blah? I think it could because blah. Here’s an example: blah”)

August 13th

  • what is fallible ideas?
    • community + living tradition of critical fallibilism
  • what is the relationship between critical rationalism and critical fallibilism. What are some differences?
    • important disagreements exist
  • why would wanting to be remembered as someone who contributed to a good future be good?

  • why would wanting to be remembered as someone who contributed to a good future be second handed?

  • why would wanting to be remembered as someone who contributed to a good future be bad?

  • AL1: the prioritization of academic politicking indicates Birner thinks success as a philosopher depends on success in academia, which is wrong.

  • AL1: it’s curious how much i read into both the title and the ellipsis. if they were put there by the guy who posted (need to check source) it shows how much i take good quoting for granted. if it wasn’t CR i think i would have been more sceptical of the quoting quality.

  • why did overreaching stuff / coming to terms with own problems feel ~confessional before but doesn’t now?

  • songs to analyse
    • santa clause is coming to town (wrt TCS / lying to children)
    • call me maybe
    • you need to calm down (taylor swift)
    • blank space (taylor swift)
    • sk8er boi
  • standard nomenclature for FI posts about flagging stuff you
    • overreaching - label for full post
    • social signal / social dynamics / static meme - for particular statements or sentences; jokes, all jokes?
      • not all jokes; some are fine e.g. “a preposition is fine to end a sentence with”
    • self grading of quality

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