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yeah being open to ideas is sometimes the only way to go. its okay to take up contrary ideas if you trust in some process of resolution that will happen. at first you wouldn't trust this to happen, and you may want to force the resolution. but even just working on math problems this can be the wrong route. sometimes you need to give it time and have patience. ill take the math problem analogy a little further. just like there can be different takes on issues, you could see different methods to approach a problem. they might both seem promising, but neither of them really satisfactory. this is like being stuck between arguments that are at odds with each other, but each appealing in their own way. but maybe the right method will be different than both of these, or one will prove to be the key, and the other one useless, or you will need some elements from both. just because you cant determine this now, doesn't mean clarity wouldn't hit you later.

so let the reconciling part happen on its own terms. but for the meanwhile, read as much you can that seems interesting. whatever you dont manage to understand, dont write about. whatever you felt you settled your mind on, great, you probably have some good things to say about that because it was a settlement of strong ideas that opposed each other.

here's a good part from jean jacques rousseaus memoir on how he studied

I began with some philosophical treatise, such as the Logic of Port-Royal, Locke’s Essay, Malebranche, Leibnitz, Descartes, &c. I soon observed that all these authors nearly always contradicted each other, and I conceived the fanciful idea of reconciling them, which fatigued me greatly, and made me lose considerable time. I muddled my head without making any progress. At last, abandoning this plan, I adopted one that was infinitely better, to which I attribute all the progress which, in spite of my want of talent, I may have made; for it is certain that I never had much capacity for study. As I read each author, I made a practice of adopting and following up all his ideas, without any admixture of my own or of those of anyone else, and without ever attempting to argue with him.

I did not find that my critical faculties had lost their vigour owing to my having begun to exercise them late; and, when I published my own ideas, I have never been accused of being a servile disciple, or of swearing in verba magistri.

can you say what you got on the critical reading part. a lot of people consider that part a better indicator of general intelligence than the math one since it has a higher ceiling and is harder to improve on. maybe you missed a vocab one or two but were you good at the passage based ones? like really good and you rarely missed one? people that made those sections look easy always stood out as really smart to me and like they could be good at whatever they applied themselves to.

if the ideas of innuendo could come from anywhere its where it says "conscientious and discreet" since guys are always saying they're discreet or making that a condition in their ads when they are seeking other guys to hook up with.

Phillip Henry Gosse with Omphalos

was an English naturalist and popularizer of natural science, virtually the inventor of the seawater aquarium, and a painstaking innovator in the study of marine biology. Gosse was also the author of Omphalos, an attempt to reconcile the geological ages presupposed by Charles Lyell with the biblical account of creation. After his death, Gosse was portrayed as a despotic father of uncompromising religious views in Father and Son (1907), the literary masterpiece of his son, poet and critic Edmund Gosse.[2]

not really related to eugenics, but this is an idea that reading this thread made me think.

since the SIAI would welcome more people like eliezer on board, and since people like eliezer willing to come on board seem to be hard to find, i'm wondering what if the smart people at SIAI could have kids who would have a good chance of contributing to the causes of the SIAI a lot, once they grew up.

it may be something like that is out of the question for many reasons, the least of which might be it just taking too many resources (monetary resources, emotional and cognitive resources, etc.), or the expected return of the endeavor being too low, or too far in the future.

but if you could have something like >10 kids growing up together, all being around as intelligent as eliezer and having a good environment in all respects so they developed well, then it seems like you could end up (with a decent probability) with an incredible group of adults who realize the jeopardy humans may be in, and the nature of it, and who will do their bests to prevent extinction or other sad futures for our species.

there may even be some volunteers among the hpmor readership that could help with this.

the more standard approach of interesting some of this generations' and the next generations' extremely smart kids in LW / SIAI stuff of course works too.

The AMA may have received comments form curious people outside of r/futurology since there was an announcement for it on the front page. One thing about r/futurology, too, is that it recently tripled in size - only a few months ago it has around 6k subscribers. A lot of the growth came a week or two ago from a thread featured on r/bestof that got a lot of attention. Those things probably contributed to the inferential distance... If the AMA had happened a few months ago it may have been less, or indeed if it had happened a few months from now, counting on there being significant attrition of those new subscribers.