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Elliot Temple on January 24, 2016

Comments (26)

Justin wrote:

> another is, good to read original stuff cuz ppl can be mistaken, so helps with error correction

you mean it helps correct errors about one's knowledge of who said what. right?

but that doesn't help you figure out what's true. doesn't seem very important.

Anonymous at 6:16 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4632
Justin wrote:

> and it's nice for the other person if they don't have to repeat a bunch of pre-written stuff

who have you found who has read a bunch of stuff, but didn't do FI discussion, and this actually saved you a bunch of repetition?

curi at 6:17 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4633
Justin wrote:

> one thing is, if ur interested in a topic, good to engage with multiple sources on it

you can discuss with people people!

curi at 6:18 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4634
>you mean it helps correct errors about one's knowledge of who said what. right?

>but that doesn't help you figure out what's true. doesn't seem very important.

it's easy to misunderstand what someone wrote. if they're a good thinker, they might have important insights that you don't want to miss due to getting stuff second-hand from someone else. so I think it can be important to truth-seeking.

j_dawg at 6:19 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4635
Justin IMed (and gave quoting permission):

> it’s kinda interesting how awful twitter is and nobody seems to care

people care. sometimes they use it as an excuse for why they said something false, did something unscholarly, or didn't write substantive comments for a discussion

curi at 6:20 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4636
> it's easy to misunderstand what someone wrote. if they're a good thinker, they might have important insights that you don't want to miss due to getting stuff second-hand from someone else. so I think it can be important to truth-seeking.

so read good thinkers when, eventually, that's your biggest most urgent problem.

Anonymous at 6:21 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4637
>> and it's nice for the other person if they don't have to repeat a bunch of pre-written stuff

>who have you found who has read a bunch of stuff, but didn't do FI discussion, and this actually saved you a bunch of repetition?

i'm arguing for people doing reading AND quality discussion methods, and like reading being helpful/important.

I agree that if people just read silently or read and do lame discussion methods that's not so good.

j_dawg at 6:22 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4638

Reading can make you worse at philosophy

From Justin:

> and it's nice for the other person if they don't have to repeat a bunch of pre-written stuff

When you write it in your own words, you're not repeating, you're re-creating the explanation. This can be fun.

Also, you can use quotes to address the exact misconception the person has, if it helps.

> another is, good to read original stuff cuz ppl can be mistaken, so helps with error correction

Only if they're reading in a critical way. Reading-only can also introduce errors.

Think about people reading Popper vs talking to one of us leet TCS Popperians instead.

Read Popper: Omg falsification is a big word and sounds important. Corroboration, like justification right? When does World 3 come into this??

Talk to TCS Popperian: We learn by making guesses and criticising those guesses. Gotta have good explanations. Ideas should always solve problems. Philosophy is the most important thing -- testability is just a thing in science.

@LulieThoughts at 6:24 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4639
> i'm arguing for people doing reading AND quality discussion methods, and like reading being helpful/important.
>
> I agree that if people just read silently or read and do lame discussion methods that's not so good.

most people will benefit the most from learning with a really short thinking/feedback cycle. getting feedback REALLY OFTEN. like, say, every half a sentence. discussion is MUCH better suited to this.

discussion lets people get more relevant comments that come in small chunks. when you read a book, it's more one-size-fits-all and you often need the skill to read a large chunk (e.g. a chapter) and then figure out what it's about.

curi at 6:28 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4640
> and it's nice for the other person if they don't have to repeat a bunch of pre-written stuff

do you think DD merely *repeated* a bunch of stuff to me?

no, he *created lots of new ways of explaining things*. as I often do when explaining to others.

curi at 6:28 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4641
reading more than a few paragraphs at once is too passive. people should be asking questions, saying thoughts, etc, really energetically.

Anonymous at 6:30 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4642
Is the idea that explaining stuff to people is boring?

I get if you've been asked the exact thing multiple times. But good to at least explain once in your own words.

I think a good format is to write a post that explains something, which you then link to when the problem comes up again.

But when you do this linking, what happens is your new reader will get confused at sentence #3 and you have to explain a slightly different issue or in a slightly different way anyway (because people are unique and their misconceptions will differ once you get sufficiently specific).

@LulieThoughts at 6:43 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4644
this is one of the reasons i haven't put more work into things like a canonical FI intro and canonical explanations of each important topic.

cuz making one version that works well for everyone (or even many people) is soooooo hard.

this stuff is hard enough to explain to anyone in discussion where you customize what you say to their questions, comments, interest. explaining to some stranger by writing a public essay is much much harder. that large additional difficulty matters a lot when getting any success at all is a major accomplishment.

but most people won't come discuss. they don't know why to or how to. so you need some one-size-fits-all public essay for them to read to get started. right? or something. way more people are willing to read a webpage than start having a discussion.

so this is hard. what should we do about it?

curi at 6:46 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4645
> so this is hard. what should we do about it?

Blog posts with LOTS AND LOTS of links to related concepts? So that way people can click through as their interest dictates. I'd guess this is the fastest way to learn without talking to a person directly.

Lulie at 6:56 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4646
one thing that could help would be to write 3 essays on a topic, e.g. static memes. then it wouldn't be one-size-fits-all, it'd be three-sizes-fit-all. this would fit the audience better.

but how do you direct people to the right one?

Anonymous at 7:08 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4647
i was always of the opinion that thinking, not reading, is how one learns.

discussion is not the best way to learn either given people treat it as fights and one can be pressured to give up or accept ideas that are not true.

one thing i noticed is people who read a lot tend to respect authority a lot and be bad thinkers. they also become very confused people. people tend to read books as a set of rules to follow. because of school, i guess.

another thing i noticed is that some people who say they read a lot lie a lot. some people say they love books and literally hoard books because they want to have this identity of someone who loves books. yet they don't spend much of their time reading. they spend their time on facebook like everyone else.

another thing, people should pay more attention to what they like and don't like.

there is a huge fuss on getting kids reading and kids resist it.

why do kids resist it? why instead of seeing kids as stupid gits we do not take their likes and dislikes more seriously about what is wrong with mankind.

i think kids dislike reading because reading interrupts what is going in their own mind. and reading random books doesn't help them solve their own problems.

Anonymous at 11:54 PM on January 24, 2016 | #4649
if you don't like explaining things to ppl

you are lying that you like to learn
that you like truth seeking
that you are open in finding mistakes in your ideas

you want to see yourself as super smart
and don't want that identity threatened

Anonymous at 12:00 AM on January 25, 2016 | #4650
>> and it's nice for the other person if they don't have to repeat a bunch of pre-written stuff

>do you think DD merely *repeated* a bunch of stuff to me?

no but maybe you were good enough at coming up with original/interesting questions to not be boring for DD to talk to a bunch.

j_dawg at 7:39 AM on January 25, 2016 | #4657
>Is the idea that explaining stuff to people is boring?

>I get if you've been asked the exact thing multiple times. But good to at least explain once in your own words.

I think explaining stuff to people can be fun.

I think if you have some shared knowledge though like you both read Atlas Shrugged a few times, you can have more interesting conversations cuz you can talk about more advanced/subtle stuff.

You can still explain stuff, so it's not that there's not explanation going on, it's just on a different level of sophistication.

j_dawg at 7:44 AM on January 25, 2016 | #4658
one thing is that part of the reason to explain stuff is it's helpful to you for clarifying your own ideas, figuring stuff out, etc.

If I were to try spending lots of time explaining to people why they shouldn't murder people or something, I think that would not be super interesting for me, because it's not really relevant to my life's problems. I'm not really thinking of murdering anybody -- it just doesn't come up.

But talking about how to live more rationally or with integrity or something like that is, so is more interesting to try and have conversations about that and explain my ideas on it.

j_dawg at 7:46 AM on January 25, 2016 | #4659
one thing is that part of the reason to explain stuff is it's helpful to you for clarifying your own ideas, figuring stuff out, etc.

If I were to try spending lots of time explaining to people why they shouldn't murder people or something, I think that would not be super interesting for me, because it's not really relevant to my life's problems. I'm not really thinking of murdering anybody -- it just doesn't come up.

But talking about how to live more rationally or with integrity or something like that is, so is more interesting to try and have conversations about that and explain my ideas on it.

j_dawg at 7:46 AM on January 25, 2016 | #4660
>one thing that could help would be to write 3 essays on a topic, e.g. static memes. >then it wouldn't be one-size-fits-all, it'd be three-sizes-fit-all. this would fit the audience better.

>but how do you direct people to the right one?

So say you were writing essays on the morality of capitalism.

You could just ask people to select which from a list of statements they agree with the most.

something like:

1) I think capitalism is exploitative and should be abolished
2) I think capitalism is a necessary evil whose excesses need to be reined in by the strong hand of government
3) I think you need a balance between the virtues of the free market and broader societal concerns
4) I think capitalism should be left mostly free but you need some government to check the worst abuses

or whatever, and then you have essays for each of the responses

Anonymous at 7:50 AM on January 25, 2016 | #4661
i was a behind/low/light/late reader in elementary school. but an ahead (compared to peers) and *heavy* reader in middle and high school.

i forget why. maybe i was learning something else, like math, which i was way ahead of peers on.

i was told years later that some elementary school teacher had been concerned enough to bring it up my reading with my parents as a problem.

but then people didn't pressure me into extra reading lessons or any crap like that. and a few years later i started reading a lot without being forced to. (and then, once i was interested and doing it a lot, *then* i got good at reading).

Anonymous at 10:01 AM on January 25, 2016 | #4664
> You could just ask people to select which from a list of statements they agree with the most.

good idea

Anonymous at 10:21 AM on January 25, 2016 | #4665
> no but maybe you were good enough at coming up with original/interesting questions to not be boring for DD to talk to a bunch.

people should do that kinda discussing, instead of sitting around reading badly!


> I think if you have some shared knowledge though like you both read Atlas Shrugged a few times, you can have more interesting conversations cuz you can talk about more advanced/subtle stuff.

Have you met some non-FI people who read Atlas Shrugged several times? And tried talking with them about advanced, subtle stuff? And found that actually worked smoothly? if you have ever had one of these great chats on another level of sophistication, could you please post a log?

I think basically they will have to read Atlas Shrugged at least one more time AFTER you discuss some in order to watch for FI ideas in it, connect the various things with FI thinking, see how it relates. the pre-discussion readings will not integrate AS with FI. they won't be observing the right parts of AS to see how it fits with FI.

Anonymous at 12:40 PM on January 25, 2016 | #4666
> Have you met some non-FI people who read Atlas Shrugged several times?

Yes.

>And tried talking with them about advanced, subtle stuff? And found that actually worked smoothly?

No.

As I said though:

i>'m arguing for people doing reading AND quality discussion methods, and like reading being helpful/important.

>I agree that if people just read silently or read and do lame discussion methods that's not so good.

People have kinda trashed reading in the discussion so far (including the twitter stuff). I'm saying it's an important part of a strategy of learning stuff well that includes things like serious discussion.

So bringing up the failure of non-FI people to be able discuss Atlas subtly is completely irrelevant to my problem situation, which is more about figuring out how to learn stuff well myself (as an FI person) and how to like maybe advise an FI newb what they should do, stuff like that.

j_dawg at 1:55 PM on January 25, 2016 | #4669

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)