All of casualhero's Comments + Replies

We might also need an exercise just for getting people to understand the concept of motivated cognition at all.

"Motivated cognition" in the first place seems like a poor label because most thinking is motivated. It's redundant and arguing against "motivated cognition" at first glance sounds like arguing against any kind of motivated thinking. That's problematic because good thinking is also motivated, i.e. "I'll invent FAI because it would help the world."

One interesting thing I've heard repeated and found to be true about... (read more)

Interesting and useful if true
I would like to suggest "motivational bias" as an alternative name; it is a more accurate description than "motivated cognition", which is much too general. I don't see spending too much time investigating things you don't want to be true as too bad a problem, a bit wasteful, but that's it. "Motivated stopping" is more likely to lead you astray, you need to remember to keep questioning things you agree with. In fact, this is a common bias that is often used by con artists, for example, and a good rule is a generalization of the common self-defense against con artists contained in the phrase, "If it looks to good to be true, it probably is." If you are immediately tempted to accept or agree with an argument, take a second look.

"Uploading every single drawing is probably impractical (we're talking 30 second gesture drawings... you do the math), not only because it's a lot for one person to upload, but it's a lot for people on the interwebs to bother rating."

True, a few drawings from each time period will suffice. I plan to work digitally, since digital drawing is my end-goal, so uploading each drawing is more realistic for me than for pencil and paper practicers.

"What methods are you using?"

I'm planning on following The Natural Way To Draw by Kimon Nicolaides, which advises the first 15-20 hours to be split mostly between contour drawing and gesture drawing.

"Six to eight hours of solid work before you start showing improvement, and about twenty hours total before you start to exhaust the low hanging fruit."

Can we put this to the test? I'd like to see some people keep every drawing they make in the first twenty hours, scan them, and let us see how much improvement there is.

I'll volunteer for this, but I'm likely going to do my first 20 hours this week, using different practices than yours, or I will have to do it much later. The reason being that my previous learning experiences tell me that spread out, divided practice is diluted practice. I'm on break from school, so now would be a good time to do this.

I definitely want to test this as much as possible. Uploading every single drawing is probably impractical (we're talking 30 second gesture drawings... you do the math), not only because it's a lot for one person to upload, but it's a lot for people on the interwebs to bother rating. I am planning to post a few drawings from one volunteer to show what kind of improvement I'm talking about. My initial 8 hour plan was based off a particular class I took in college. I'm pretty positive that it's not the optimal presentation of material, although it was a good starting place. I'd like to refine various ideas until I've figured out an ideal 8 hour class that I can give to random people and get good results as fast as possible. Ultimately, I think we'll be able to expect improvement to show sooner, although it'll take some experimentation and research. Experimentation will be confounded by me getting better at teaching alongside me trying new things. I agree about diluted practice. I was actually very happy and surprised when results turned out approximately in the timeframe I expected, since there was a multi-week period between the first and second session. Good luck with your practice. What methods are you using?

This reminds me of a book I've just finished, Lawrence Becker's A New Stoicism. He modifies the ancient philosophy, updating it to be in line with current knowledge (i.e. the old Stoic slogan "follow nature" means "follow the facts" rather than "do what Zeus wants", etc.). The end result of accepting it means we should be pursuing what he calls Ideal or Perfect Agency. And we shouldn't just be pursuing it, but it is the purpose of life, tied to completing our goals. (For the curious, Ideal Agency entails pursuing virtuous beha... (read more)

That use of feminine pronouns for an ideal agent just undid my annoyance at Frank Herbert's use of "man" for a universe-winner, quoted above. Thanks.