A short insight I see everywhere

by ArthurLidia1 min read14th Jan 20191 comment


Personal Blog

Barbara Oakley talked about two minds system (1). In Buddhism (Theravada is my area of expertise) we have awareness (introspective awareness) and concentration (narrow focus). Also this weird feature is a byproduct that humans focused on the ground, and then they diffused looking forward at the horizont looking over more area for danger. Also Elizer Yudkowsky points this out in an essay. (2) closing your eyes is the best blackhole of ideas you can throw until something good works.

“Which leads into another good question to ask yourself straight out: Did I spend five minutes with my eyes closed, brainstorming wild and creative options, trying to think of a better alternative? It has to be five minutes by the clock, because otherwise you blink—close your eyes and open them again—and say, “Why, yes, I searched for alternatives, but there weren’t any.” Blinking makes a good black hole down which to dump your duties. An actual, physical clock is necessary”.

Magnus Carlsen did it when he was 13 against Kasparov. The idea was when he gets stuck he not only solves that but he also throws Kasparov off. (3)

Not only this kind of thinking is useful, is great for math and science (formal logic even). For further reading well researched books:

A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked ...

The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating (Seen it many times on Hacker News, the best description is "technical manual for your mind")

(1) She called them defused , like far apart pong dots, and close and narrow for tunnel vision. The main idea is that the book is insightful on meta-learning. (2) “47. The third alternative” by Eliser Yudkowsky.In the book “A mind for number” by Barbara Oakley they talk about closing your eyes and just asking “did that really make sense?” Is the best way to stop tunnel vision. (3) spoiler: The game ended in draw. Kasparov later became his mentor. You can find the match by searching young Carlsen vs Kasparov.


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I would also like to point out, I don't mean Buddhism in his whole dogmatic ideas. Almost all people are fine with the side of self control insight etc.