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Trying out LW shortfrom as a platform. Mostly planning to publish thoughts related to my experience with Logan's naturalism. I have not taken the course, so I am almost certainly doing something of my own stumbling inspired by their essays.

One thing that has recently struck me:

  • The focus on the "natural" as a way to avoid fooling yourself by observing human-created phenomena and guessing rather than observing (paraphrasing from here)

This makes a lot of sense, but I do it differently. Another way to avoid fooling yourself is to have a clear marker of success. An example:

  • I was recently trying to fix a convex corner of a wall (there were chunks coming out)
  • I was getting frustrated that I couldn't get a crisp corner; instead I was getting a lot of tearout of the spackle
  • It dawned on me that if I moved the putty knife slightly in the direction of more wall, this eliminates the tearout; in retrospect, this is obvious because of the nature of tearout
  • I proceeded to finish the corner, and it was, in fact, quite crisp

Although I was not actively trying to do naturalism, I suspect that this is a lo-fi version of it, in that I learned something about the territory (putty knife technique for convex corners, and in general how putty moves in response to force) by observing it directly.

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