Another cooperative rationality exercise

by RichardKennaway1 min read25th Apr 20122 comments

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I don't know how well this is going to work, but I mention it here because it's actually going to be done in a few weeks time at a day-long meeting of the research group that I work with. (Not my idea. I don't know which of us thought it up.)

Keyword game: explaining a scientific term. Everyone puts a keyword used in their project (for example, "Selective Sweep") into a hat. For each keyword in turn, get someone who does not understand the keyword to explain what they think it might mean.  They can then be enlightened by the people who know (of which there should be at least one!).

This is to be done in groups of four, and afterwards, the groups reassemble and each group presents its newly understood keyword meanings to the main group.

There are twenty people altogether.
Trying to guess what e.g. "Selective Sweep" is just from the words doesn't seem very sensible to me, but in practice I expect the result to be more of a conversation between the one on the spot and those who actually know. How do you know when you've grasped an idea that someone is explaining to you, and when you have not?
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This seems like an utterly awful idea, because the first thing that people attach to the term - and thus most likely to remember - will likely be wrong.

I dunno. I still remember the definition of "machilation" because I had to make up a wrong definition of it for the dictionary game.