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Discussion About Inferential Distance

S. Emiya:

Someone wrote this reply to me on Reddit:

"The physical behavior of computers, whether mechanical or electric, is indeed governed by the laws of physics. But that is a disingenuous comparison, as the computations performed by computers are governed entirely by the binary bits of data, not by the more chaotic underlying physics. All computations performed by a computer arise from binary bits stored via only two distinct physical state-types in the hardware, regardless of underlying variance in the physics mechanism.

The human mind also can't calculate with 100% accuracy the value of an irrational number. But that is also a disingenuous comparison, as the human mind does not need to simulate the minute physical behavior of brain matter. We have no reason to assume that consciousness arises from binary bits of data stored via only two distinct physical state-types in brain matter; it is not reasonable to ignore the effects of underlying variance in the physics mechanism."

S. Emiya:

And this was my response:

But that is a disingenuous comparison, as the computations performed by computers are governed entirely by the binary bits of data

I already explained that we know the human brain is a universal classical computer. Computations performed by the human brain are not "governed" entirely by binary bits of data. If you disagree that the human brain is a universal classical computer please explain why you disagree.

Yes, in modern binary computers the behavior of the computer is "governed" by binary bits. It isn't the bits that are important though, rather the information encoded into the bits. That information is what determines which computations will be performed. And that information could be encoded in binary, ternary, quaternary or any other physically possible method of encoding. No matter how the information is encoded, when it is run on a universal classical computer the computations will be the same. The different methods of encoding are computationally equivalent.

Do you think the human brain has a special method of encoding input information that allows it to do more than just universal classical computation? Why couldn't the information encoded in this way also be encoded in binary? How does the "underlying variance in the physics" contribute to the consciousness of the human brain?

But that is also a disingenuous comparison, as the human mind does not need to simulate the minute physical behavior of brain matter.

Does a mechanical computer need to simulate the minute physical behavior of its components? What does this have to do with irrational numbers?

S. Emiya:

We have no reason to assume that consciousness arises from binary bits of data stored via only two distinct physical state-types in brain matter

That's because the brain is not a binary computer. It is a universal classical computer though. And we know that any computations done on one universal classical computer can be done on any other universal classical computer. So anything that your brain can do can be done on a binary computer as well. Hardware is independent of computation. The relevant difference is the specific computations being done, which are determined by software.

it is not reasonable to ignore the effects of underlying variance in the physics mechanism.

What effect in specific am I ignoring?

curi:

He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But you don’t either. Why not do some organized learning activities?

S. Emiya:

i like learning activities

S. Emiya:

can you point out anything specific I said that was incorrect in my comment?

S. Emiya:

i wasn't too sure on this one which is why I posted here

curi:

you shouldn't be too sure on any of them since you have never exposed anything significant to criticism here, nor done any learning process that one could reasonably expect would result in expertise at topics like these.

curi:

why don't you join the basecamp and do some of the practice and learning i've been trying to get ppl to do?

S. Emiya:

i did join the basecamp earlier today

curi:

cool

curi:

I already explained that we know the human brain is a universal classical computer. Computations performed by the human brain are not "governed" entirely by binary bits of data. If you disagree that the human brain is a universal classical computer please explain why you disagree.

curi:

saying you already explained something without a source, to someone who apparently did not understand, listen or agree (something went wrong) is not an effective way to discuss

curi:

it isn't acknowledging that there is a problem going on, or reasonably trying to fix it

curi:

the second sentence is too vague for me to even judge whether i agree with it

curi:

you wrote a long multi-part response to someone who is completely lost

curi:

Yes, in modern binary computers the behavior of the computer is "governed" by binary bits. It isn't the bits that are important though, rather the information encoded into the bits.

curi:

i don't think this has anything to do with his confusions, and it's unclear or wrong. bits normally refer to information and you're trying to distinguish them without defining any terms or there being any clear reason to differentiate.

curi:

there's lots more but i don't think talking about it is useful b/c you need prerequisite skills before addressing these things in detail. if you just wanted an overview of the matter that'd be different but you're trying to make advanced, complicated detail points without being a good enough writer, logician, debater, understanding of what the other guy is thinking, bias-avoider, etc.

curi:

i tried giving direct responses to things like this for years and it never worked. DD tried too and gave up. i figured out why it's not working (lots of missing skills and knowledge underlying the topics).

curi:

ppl think something like that they can read a book, like BoI, and then they will have learned what it says.

curi:

this never ever works, b/c BoI doesn't guide one through an organized learning process including practice.

curi:

it also doesn't even try to address a lot of knowledge necessary to its ideas which hardly anyone learns in school or anywhere else

curi:

in other words, relative to what ~everyone knows, it skips a lot of steps

S. Emiya:

"the second sentence is too vague for me to even judge whether i agree with it"

His claim was that "All computations performed by a computer arise from binary bits stored via only two distinct physical state-types in the hardware."

My thinking was that brains are computers that perform computations, but not by storing binary bits in hardware. Do you not agree with that?

curi:

for example it doesn't try to teach ppl what a tree is, nor how or why to use them in philosophy, nor how to use logic effectively in discussions when reading and writing

curi:

Do you not agree with that?

curi:

i think you have no idea how brains work and talking about it is a distraction from learning anything important

S. Emiya:

"i don't think this has anything to do with his confusions, and it's unclear or wrong. bits normally refer to information and you're trying to distinguish them without defining any terms or there being any clear reason to differentiate."

That's a good point. I was trying to point out that it's not the abstract idea of 0's or 1's that we care about but rather the information encoded in those 0's and 1's.

curi:

you don't know the details of the hardware implementation of human minds, and don't need to make claims about it

curi:

if you want to be effective you need to do easier things successfully, establish a track record of success, and progressively move on to harder things

curi:

when you skip so many steps, as you have (and as most people do), it's very hard to engage with you

curi:

there are around 4 living people who are actually good at CR

curi:

i've seen many people try to learn or debate CR stuff

curi:

i've tried to help many ppl

curi:

i have experience with what does and does not work

S. Emiya:

"you don't know the details of the hardware implementation of human minds, and don't need to make claims about it"

Yeah you're right. I'm not sure why I was confident in saying that the human brain wasn't binary.

S. Emiya:

"when you skip so many steps, as you have (and as most people do), it's very hard to engage with you"

Is there a recommended list of steps that we should go through?

S. Emiya:

I looked on the basecamp but I was kind of confused. Is it a message board? Or a project tracking application?

curi:

it has both

curi:

one of the main steps is to engage with material by experts. instead of debating DD's writing you could try to analyze what it says, understand it more, and share that for criticism. you can do the same thing with my writing.

curi:

people mostly can't and won't do this, due to a variety of blockers. one is they have little control over how they use time. so i've suggested in several places like https://3.basecamp.com/4983193/buckets/20858411/messages/3473611519 that people work on time tracking.

curi:

another blocker is that people are bad at managing projects. the main theme on basecamp recently has been trying to get people to practice small projects in order to better understand how to organize projects.

curi:

another is that people's standards for when they are done learning something, and ready to move on, are way too low. much more thoroughness is needed with hard ideas like CR.

S. Emiya:

In your post on animal rights you say that suffering is related to value judgements like not wanting a particular outcome or thinking something is bad. Do you think it would be fair to say that suffering is "knowledge that you dislike something"?

curi:

why are you trying to change the topic?

S. Emiya:

"you could try to analyze what it says, understand it more, and share that for criticism. you can do the same thing with my writing."

S. Emiya:

I did make a post on the basecamp

curi:

also, did we have conversations with you using a different name before?

curi:

i remember a (maybe) different guy involved with cybersecurity who changed names at some point

S. Emiya:

i may have responded to one of your posts on reddit

S. Emiya:

i never changed my name in the discord though

curi:

ok

curi:

i think you must disagree with and/or not understand some stuff i said, but you aren't giving enough feedback for us to sort that out.

curi:

and the question about animal rights is an advanced topic, so bringing that up is in broad disagreement with what i think will be productive.

S. Emiya:

i disagree with a lot of things you say. but i respect you a lot. and i know there must be a good reason for you to have the opinions that you do

curi:

why do you debate ppl on reddit but have not written out a criticism of any of my ideas?

curi:

(iirc)

S. Emiya:

well i think i disagree with some of the things you say regarding objectivism

S. Emiya:

but i don't know enough about it

S. Emiya:

to offer meaningful criticism

curi:

do you mean that you disagree with classical liberal type ideas?

S. Emiya:

i think i have a perception of the book "atlas shrugged" from hearing others talk about it

S. Emiya:

but I've never read it myself

S. Emiya:

i am also reading the Mises book on liberalism

curi:

the hearsay on AS is very inaccurate, similar to the hearsay about Popper

S. Emiya:

and I will have some questions on that when I finish it

S. Emiya:

if i only have time to read one book though I'm going to focus on BoI or FoR over those other books

curi:

sure i don't really recommend getting into political philosophy, econ, etc.

curi:

do you have a disagreement with what i said today on discord about learning?

S. Emiya:

no not really

S. Emiya:

i don't want to skip steps in the learning process

curi:

did you watch my videos tutoring max?

S. Emiya:

no, i didn't know those were posted

curi:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKx6lO5RmaetREa9-jt2T-qX9XO2SD0l2

S. Emiya:

that's a lot of content, thanks for sharing

S. Emiya:

i do agree that animal rights is an advanced topic but I feel like I have some reasonable questions

S. Emiya:

that would help satisfy my curiosity

curi:

ya i've been making lots of stuff. i don't really understand why some ppl don't find some of it that they would like. i'm not trying to blame you. idk what the issue is. it comes up with other ppl.

curi:

Do you think it would be fair to say that suffering is "knowledge that you dislike something"?

S. Emiya:

yeah I should probably watch more from your youtube channel

curi:

knowing that i dislike losing limbs is not suffering. i haven't lost any. this kinda thing takes more precision. and i don't think this would go anywhere significant even if formulated better.

S. Emiya:

that's true. we could make it "knowing that one dislikes what one is experiencing"

S. Emiya:

it doesn't really matter the definition

curi:

this is jumping into the middle of a topic without having shared knowledge of the premises, goals or problems.

S. Emiya:

my main question is do you think that suffering is knowledge?

curi:

we aren't on the same page to enable some sort of joint project

curi:

my main question is do you think that suffering is knowledge?

my answer to that, as written, and interpreted in my own terminology and worldview, is "no". but i don't think that's a useful answer.

S. Emiya:

If suffering isn't knowledge then what do you think it is?

curi:

seeking meanings for undefined terms is one of the errors Popper warned us against.

curi:

your questions are coming out of a complex problem situation

curi:

you read stuff, had conversations, had experiences, thought about it, etc.

curi:

that is not shared with me. if we were going to discuss it seriously, we'd have to start more at the beginning and explain what we think and mean more to build up to this.

curi:

ppl try to have conversations by assuming they have tons of shared premises with the other person, and this shortcut is mostly a disaster for anything philosophical even if both ppl are conventional and similar.

curi:

discussions of suffering and animals and stuff come out of prior topics which we haven't discussed. like ppl often care about suffering b/c of its connection to morality. sometimes they care about animals b/c they want to know about how to treat them, e.g. whether to farm, kill and eat them. there are other reasons too.

curi:

ppl bring approaches and methodology to this. e.g. some ppl have some predetermined conclusions, find an expert who says that, and then say his authority proves them right. others skim things and want a rough overview and are satisfied. some of those skimmers then say they know a ton about it, and others say they still know little.

curi:

i often run into conflicts with ppl re how much effort to put into things, whether it's ok to reference articles or books, whether a discussion methodology should be specified at all, whether Paths Forward and Idea Trees are appropriate, etc. in general ppl will neither use those nor propose any explicit alternatives. i only have discussion in limited ways in circumstances like that.

curi:

collaborating with other ppl is hard. ppl are different. it's hard to get to know ppl or find enough points of agreement to build anything substantial with. finding ppl from ur own subculture and making a bunch of assumptions only gets you so far (hardly anywhere) and i'm really atypical anyway.

curi:

our culture has an idea of common sense and what an educated person should know. so one might think that could be used as common ground to build on. but i've found most of that stuff highly unreliable. our schools are awful.

curi:

e.g. most ppl make lots of mistakes at math and reading comprehension that affect discussion conclusions.

S. Emiya:

what can we do to better spread the ideas of CR?

curi:

learn them yourself first!

S. Emiya:

you got me there haha

curi:

that's what i tell everyone

S. Emiya:

i will learn them

curi:

the majority are hostile to it

curi:

if you want to help others, learn publicly and keep organized records others could use later. that's hard tho. i did a lot publicly but it's not that organized and most ppl find it hard to use. one of the issues is ppl start their journeys in different places than i did. i was already good at certain things (that they aren't) at the start of my CR learning.

curi:

learning publicly is basically necessary anyway b/c my groups are the only place to get quality critical feedback

curi:

for CR

curi:

one of the main issues ppl have with learning is how to judge when they are successful

curi:

how do you know when you learned it right?

curi:

you have to find some stuff where you can make judgments like that effectively and then build on them and expand your ability to do it.

S. Emiya:

do you think debating is a good "test" for your knowledge?

curi:

so like you can check your work for addition, but cannot similarly check it for animal suffering claims.

curi:

debating has some good things but often all involved are confused.

curi:

and often beginners debate their own claims too much, when the majority of attention should go to analyzing and comparing ideas explained by experts.

curi:

ppl should do more collaborative instead of adversarial stuff too

curi:

i find ppl often either read (and watch or listen) a lot and interact too little, or they do lots of interactive stuff but won't read much. using both things effectively is a big deal.

curi:

ppl's main initial goal should be to catch up to what's already known. debate isn't really optimized for that.

S. Emiya:

so here was my thinking on animal suffering:

I think that suffering is related to value judgements like "not wanting a particular outcome or thinking something is bad". I think both of those are examples of knowledge. I have the knowledge that I do not want an outcome where my arm gets chopped off. Or I have the knowledge that having my heart broken by my partner is bad. Or knowledge that I dislike the feeling of starving, etc.

I could be put in any of those situations but without the knowledge that I dislike them. If I didn't have knowledge that I disliked the situations then I don't see why or how I could be suffering.

Specifically, I think that value judgements are creating knowledge of suffering by idea evolution. I think that only humans (or other beings with general intelligence) can create knowledge of suffering in this way. But all knowledge comes from evolution. So if knowledge of suffering can be created by idea evolution then it should also be able to be created by biological evolution.

What arguments are there against the idea that knowledge of suffering could be created by biological evolution?

S. Emiya:

"ppl's main initial goal should be to catch up to what's already known. debate isn't really optimized for that."

That's a good point. In my experience when I try to explain something in a "debate" (on reddit) there are times when I'll realize I don't understand the topic as well as I should. But i could probably come to those same realizations in a more collaborative environment rather than adversarial.

curi:

this is trying to build on topics like what evolution is and how it works, a particular view of knowledge, and some sort of goal(s) that is integrated into a tree or graph of goals.

curi:

one of the things being built on is observing people frowning or crying. that's some actual common ground. we've both had that experience. and a bunch of other experiences in similar ballpark.

curi:

there's a big gap from there to the discussion you're trying to have.

S. Emiya:

i don't think I disagree with you on evolution and how it works, or on what knowledge is or isn't

S. Emiya:

based on articles from fallibleideas.com

curi:

IME ppl are never on the same page with me about that kinda stuff if we haven't discussed it before. issues come up if it's examined.

curi:

like if ppl try to write down their understanding of it, i expect to find parts i disagree with

S. Emiya:

My understanding of evolution is that a population of replicators subject to variance will be taken over by the replicators which are better at replicating than their rivals.

S. Emiya:

And I guess there should be a mention that there needs to be some kind of selection process

S. Emiya:

like natural selection or criticism and experiment

S. Emiya:

And I think that knowledge is useful information, for the most part

curi:

useful to who or what? and what do replicators have to do with knowledge? good night. if you want to post something more complete to curi.us or basecamp i'll reply later.

S. Emiya:

👍

curi:

@S. Emiya

I looked on the basecamp but I was kind of confused. Is it a message board? Or a project tracking application?

That was helpful feedback btw. I just organized it better with the most important info in the Docs & Files section in folders.


Elliot Temple on March 4, 2021

Messages (11)

Discussion About Inferential Distance

I had to look up what inferential distance meant.

I had the thought earlier today that "even if I skip some steps I can still learn things just as well as curi." But then I realized that if I'm missing the prerequisite knowledge I probably couldn't learn things just as well as curi.

>"and what do replicators have to do with knowledge?"

I think that replicators enable the process of knowledge creation. I was trying to think of a more specific definition of knowledge and I decided on this:

"knowledge is information contained in replicators, or sequences of replicators"

>"bits normally refer to information and you're trying to distinguish them without defining any terms or there being any clear reason to differentiate."

Could you clarify what you mean here? I was thinking it was maybe because the bits and the information are the same physical entity.


S. Emiya at 7:34 PM on March 4, 2021 | #1 | reply | quote

> "knowledge is information contained in replicators, or sequences of replicators"

I disagree. With Popper, I think books can contain knowledge.

> Could you clarify what you mean here? I was thinking it was maybe because the bits and the information are the same physical entity.

Bits are commonly a measure of information, not a way to refer to a physical object. E.g. New Oxford dictionary:

bit 4 | bit |

noun Computing

a unit of information expressed as either a 0 or 1 in binary notation.

ORIGIN

1940s: blend of binary and digit.

> I had to look up what inferential distance meant.

Yeah, it's EY's idea, not common knowledge. It's a different way to explain some of the things I was talking about. I think it's good that you looked it up. I've linked it to some ppl who refused to read it.


curi at 7:50 PM on March 4, 2021 | #2 | reply | quote

>With Popper, I think books can contain knowledge.

What do you mean by with Popper?

I also think that books contain knowledge. I think the ideas inside the books replicated themselves from the mind of the author into the book. They could then replicate themselves into the minds of anyone who reads the books.


Anonymous at 8:00 PM on March 4, 2021 | #3 | reply | quote

> What do you mean by with Popper?

He said it first and I'm following his lead. I agree with what he said about it.

> I also think that books contain knowledge. I think the ideas inside the books replicated themselves from the mind of the author into the book. They could then replicate themselves into the minds of anyone who reads the books.

But paper books are not replicators, so this seems to show we don't view evolution the same way.

You seem to think because an idea in a book is a replicator, that the book itself is a replicator, but I don't agree.


curi at 8:13 PM on March 4, 2021 | #4 | reply | quote

>He said it first and I'm following his lead. I agree with what he said about it.

Could your share me a book or essay reference where Popper talked about it?

>But paper books are not replicators

A replicator is something which contributes causally to its own replication.

Imagine we start with 1000 paperback copies of The Beginning of Infinity. We distribute the copies to various bookstores around the world. People buy the book and enjoy reading it. They recommend it to others or go back and buy additional copies for gifts.

The bookstores will realize they don't have enough supply to meet demand. They will call the publisher and request them to print more copies (or replicas) of the paperback books.

Could we say the book contributed to its own replication by virtue of its ability to contain ideas in a compact, easily digestible format for the reader?

I don't think whether books are replicators or not is relevant to my definition of knowledge.

You said (and I agreed with you) that books "contained knowledge". Not that books themselves are knowledge. Specifically, they contain knowledge in the form of ideas, stories, historical facts, etc. The paper, ink and glue of the physical book are not the relevant knowledge, they are merely the method of transmission of the knowledge.

We could transmit the exact same knowledge with an e-book or even an audiobook version of the paperback. That's because the knowledge contained in the book is the ideas, not the specific medium of the book.

Consider someone who received a copy of The Beginning of Infinity but couldn't speak or read English. The book would still contain knowledge, but it would not be accessible to this particular person. Even though they have a nearly identical copy of the book as everyone else they will never gain the knowledge contained in the book. At least until they gain the ability to read English, at which point the ideas in the book could successfully replicate themselves into the mind of the reader.


S. Emiya at 8:22 AM on March 5, 2021 | #5 | reply | quote

> Could your share me a book or essay reference where Popper talked about it?

"Epistemology Without a Knowing Subject" in *Objective Knowledge*.

> Imagine we start with 1000 paperback copies of The Beginning of Infinity. We distribute the copies to various bookstores around the world. People buy the book and enjoy reading it. They recommend it to others or go back and buy additional copies for gifts.

> The bookstores will realize they don't have enough supply to meet demand. They will call the publisher and request them to print more copies (or replicas) of the paperback books.

> Could we say the book contributed to its own replication by virtue of its ability to contain ideas in a compact, easily digestible format for the reader?

I disagree.

Now let's return to why this came up:

S. Emiya:

>> i don't think I disagree with you on evolution and how it works, or on what knowledge is or isn't

curi:

> IME ppl are never on the same page with me about that kinda stuff if we haven't discussed it before. issues come up if it's examined.

I expected that evolution would *not* be pre-existing common ground. I expected that we did *not* already share the same views about it and were *not* already on the same page.

Reading your comments involving the bookstores, I'm now confident that my expectation was correct in this particular case. We checked. There is some overlap about our thinking on evolution, too, but *significant differences exist*.

What should happen next?

I expect that you'll want to discuss evolution and try to learn about it and try to get more on the same page.

I don't want to do that as a next step.

I would debate evolution if you used my debate policy, but I don't think that's a good idea.

I think the important thing is that you identify your most advanced knowledge that's (tentatively) finished/mastered and ready for building ~unlimited other ideas using.

For example, you've mastered addition and reading individual letters. There's a big gap from there to evolution. In that gap, you've mastered some other more advanced things too, but I think some things are missing, too. Taking stock of the situation and figuring out what's done and what isn't would let you figure out where best to direct your learning efforts, let you figure out what prerequisites your missing for what more advanced goals, and also would help create common ground with others (because many of those things are standard knowledge, so if you and the other person both master the same standard knowledge, it should give you some shared premises that can be built on in conversation.)

Does that make sense? Is that reasonable to you? Are you interested in finding ways to test your knowledge and figure out what needs more practice or study and what doesn't?


curi at 11:05 AM on March 5, 2021 | #6 | reply | quote

I have no desire to debate with you about evolution (at this point in time).

>Does that make sense? Is that reasonable to you? Are you interested in finding ways to test your knowledge and figure out what needs more practice or study and what doesn't?

I think it makes sense and is very reasonable. I would say that I am very interested in finding ways to test my knowledge and figure out where I lack understanding.

Since you have slightly more experience teaching people CR than me how would you suggest I go about doing that?

Thanks for your help =)


S. Emiya at 11:24 AM on March 5, 2021 | #7 | reply | quote

#7 A reasonable generic approach is binary search backwards from a point like evolution towards basic stuff like addition. I mention this b/c I think there's a decent chance you already know what binary search is due to profession. I don't particularly recommend this method but I think it can be a conceptually useful perspective on the situation. The problem is IME ppl go back like 10% per step instead of 50% and it results in a slow search starting with many failures.

What I actually recommend is start at the beginning and iterate forward, and try to do small enough jumps to get at least 3 successes before a failure. In other words, at least the first 3 knowledge checks should succeed. This establishes a baseline. I find the majority of people give up before establishing a baseline. People often really want to know more than they already do, so they test their knowledge about overly advanced stuff and get sad about repeating failing and about the reality of their infinite ignorance. (Note the baseline isn't even what you know, it's what you know *to mastery*. You still have some less organized or complete knowledge of more advanced stuff. I'm not denying that. It's useful to already have a start on learning some other stuff even if that's not finished, has gaps in it, some prerequisites were skipped, etc. It's not the most efficient way to learn but it's still way better than nothing. Well, sometimes it can be really bad/messy/confused/etc and maybe a fresh start would be better and ppl have to unlearn misconceptions, but what you've said about CR and evolution looks to me like it's in the "way better than nothing" category.)

Anyway, part of knowing something is knowing how to check your own work. So if you don't know how to test your knowledge for something, that knowledge isn't done yet. In that case, it's an automatic fail re mastery or completion.

So consider what are some things you know how to check your own work about? Arithmetic is an easy one since you can check with a calculator. But I think you also know ways to double and triple check your math by hand, and arrive at the same answer in multiple ways, to reach high confidence you're doing it right. And, if you wanted to, you know how to look up how some math stuff works instead of only relying on memory.

So what else do you think you can you design your own tests for, pass them, and grade your own work for, with high confidence and objectivity?


curi at 12:29 PM on March 5, 2021 | #8 | reply | quote

#8 btw when i talk about addition i mean merely being able to add, like figuring out what 3+9 is. IME most ppl, even with mathy backgrounds (including a math degree or using math in their job), do not have a good enough conceptual grasp of some basic stuff about e.g. how number bases work (like base 10), place value, decimals, fractions, ratios, prime factorization, relations btwn different arithmetic operations, how multiplication and division with negatives works, flexibility to do or think about things in multiple correct ways (so e.g. they might not understand a correct thing someone says, or they might miss a connection btwn 2 things b/c they're only thinking about some aspects of stuff), etc. lots of ppl learn math in a way that lets them calculate but doesn't give good conceptual understanding to think about it or use math knowledge in new or different ways than the standard thing they learned to do. ppl often can calculate stuff using these things and get the right answers so they think they know it, but the inadequate conceptual knowledge screws up their ability to do more advanced, complex stuff.

ppl are often confused b/c you frequently get stuck ~5 levels more advanced than where your knowledge is inadequate. the problem is a ways back from where things get hard for them, but they think the problem is in the current thing and that the past stuff is all great and done b/c they were able to do it some and they moved on. so e.g. not having a good enough conceptual understanding of arithmetic can be the cause of one someone struggles with more advanced math, or gaps and errors in their understanding of algebra can be why a math research doesn't make breakthroughs in his field.


curi at 12:52 PM on March 5, 2021 | #9 | reply | quote

#8

>So what else do you think you can you design your own tests for, pass them, and grade your own work for, with high confidence and objectivity?

I think I could do it for some basic math stuff (the ones you mentioned like number bases, place value, decimals, etc.). I could probably also do it for graphing and solving simple systems of linear or quadratic equations. and maybe a few other topics that I might have to review a little.

How much math knowledge do you think is necessary to learn CR?

I feel that my grammar is decent at best. I wouldn't really know how to effectively check my work. I should probably read this:

https://fallibleideas.com/grammar

Is there a reason you don't force connections to https? Even for basic security concerns like making sure someone didn't modify data in transit, etc.

>A reasonable generic approach is binary search backwards from a point like evolution towards basic stuff like addition. I mention this b/c I think there's a decent chance you already know what binary search is due to profession.

Not really due to profession but I did learn about search algorithms in university. If I remember correctly binary search would require an ordered data set. How do I know which order all of the topics should go between evolution and addition?


S. Emiya at 5:55 PM on March 29, 2021 | #10 | reply | quote

> How much math knowledge do you think is necessary to learn CR?

it's not necessary. there are many ways to approach CR. math is useful to a bunch of ways but not all. but i think doing CR without e.g. arithmetic is unrealistic and generally there isn't a good reason to try. IMO knowing some algebra (e.g. understanding variables) is a big help too.

for CR, mastery over basic math is generally more useful than advanced math

IME, people rarely understand topics like number bases, ratios or algebra equations as well as they think

> If I remember correctly binary search would require an ordered data set. How do I know which order all of the topics should go between evolution and addition?

if you can't sketch out a reasonable ordering from basic topics to evolution, that (realistically) means there are flaws in your knowledge of evolution. (there isn't one single correct ordering).

here's an example of a connection:

one aspect of evolution is replication. replication makes more of something. that's less understandable to someone who doesn't understand addition. imagine talking about replication with someone who didn't understand how going from one to two of something means one got added. it'd be harder. a good grasp of numbers and counting are even more useful to understanding what a replicator is. imagine someone who couldn't count how many there were before and after replication. They just see it like:

before replication: there are some.

after replication: there are some.

(if they didn't know the difference between some and zero, it'd be even worse.)


curi at 1:10 PM on March 30, 2021 | #11 | reply | quote

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