ABranco

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Open Thread, August 2010

The visual guide to a PhD: http://matt.might.net/articles/phd-school-in-pictures/

Nice map–territory perspective.

Book Recommendations

I have Notes from Underground, but haven't yet read it. Would you tell me what impressed you in it?

Book Recommendations

I've read Meditations.

Many wise aphorisms and thoughts there. Would recommend it for tougher times, as with any other stoic in general. Don't read it when feeling incredibly happy, or you are bound to have your emotional state flatten.

Book Recommendations

This is the nth time someone recommends me Borges. Although I have never felt particularly attracted to his writings by sampling pages of his books, I am reaching some kind of irresistible threshold I am about to cross. Will read something from him.

Open Thread, August 2010

Remarkable quote, thank you.

Reminded me of the Anorexic Hermit Crab Syndrome:

The key to pursuing excellence is to embrace an organic, long-term learning process, and not to live in a shell of static, safe mediocrity. Usually, growth comes at the expense of previous comfort or safety. The hermit crab is a colorful example of a creature that lives by this aspect of the growth process (albeit without our psychological baggage). As the crab gets bigger, it needs to find a more spacious shell. So the slow, lumbering creature goes on a quest for a new home. If an appropriate new shell is not found quickly, a terribly delicate moment of truth arises. A soft creature that is used to the protection of built-in armor must now go out into the world, exposed to predators in all its mushy vulnerability. That learning phase in between shells is where our growth can spring from. Someone stuck with an entity theory of intelligence is like an anorexic hermit crab, starving itself so it doesn't grow to have to find a new shell. —Josh Waitzkin, The Art of Learning

Open Thread, August 2010

I would love to see an ongoing big wiki-style FAQ addressing all possible received critics of the singularity — of course, refuting the refutable ones, accepting the sensible.

A version with steroids of what this one did with Atheism.

Team would be:

  • one guy inviting and sorting out criticism and updating the website.
  • an ad hoc team of responders.

It seems criticism and answers have been scattered all over. There seems to be no one-stop source for that.

Open Thread, August 2010

For survival skills, I'd suggest buying this one before the disaster, while there's still internet.

Open Thread, August 2010

The argument that no one person in the face of Earth knows how to build a mouse from scratch is plausible.

Matt Ridley

Open Thread, August 2010

I've had some dozens of viewquakes, most minors, although it's hard to evaluate it in hindsight now that I take them for granted.

Some are somewhat commonplace here: Bayesianism, map–territory relations, evolution etc.

One that I always feel people should be shouting Eureka — and when they are not impressed I assume that this is old news to them (and is often not, as I don't see it reflected in their actions) — is the Curse of Knowledge: it's hard to be a tapper. I feel that being aware of it dramatically improved my perceptions in conversation. I also feel that if more people were aware of it, misunderstandings would be far less common.

Maybe worth a post someday.

Open Thread, August 2010

P (H|E) = P (H and E) / P(E)

which tends to be how conditional probability is defined, and actually the first version of Bayes that I recall seeing.

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