I notice that there’s almost a sort of pressure that builds up when I look at someone, as if it’s a literal indicator of, “Dude, you’re approaching a socially unacceptable staring time!”

It seems obvious what is going on. If you stare at someone for too long, things get “weird” and you come off as a “creep”. I know that. Most people know that. And since we all have common knowledge about that rule, I understand that there are consequences to staring at someone for more than a second or two. Thus, the reason I don’t stare at people for very long is because I know I will be socially penalized for it.

Except I’m doubting the story that such a line of reasoning is ever computed in the actual scenario. I recently realized that when I don’t have my contacts in (I’ve got really terrible vision), I feel no such pressure to look away from people. I can just stare at a stranger who is only a few feet away from me, and I only feel a vague obligation like, “Hmmm, I mean I guess I should stop staring…”

This seems like weak evidence that my behavior “Not staring at people for too long” is a result of a visual input to action mapping, rather than an implicit reasoning process.

Another example of "I was running a less general and more hacky algorithm than anticipated".

On a bike trip through Vietnam, very few people in the countryside spoke English. Often, we'd just talk at each other in our respective languages and gesticulate wildly to actually make our points.

I noticed that I was still smiling and laughing in response to things said to me in Vietnamese, even though I had no idea what was going on. This has lead me to see the decision to laugh or smile to be mostly based on non-verbal stuff, and not, "Yes, I've understand the thing you have said, and what you said is funny."

Hazard's Shortform Feed

by Hazard 1 min read4th Feb 2018219 comments

In light of reading through Raemon's shortform feed, I'm making my own. Here will be smaller ideas that are on my mind.