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Book Review: The Beginning of Infinity

Yes, but i'm not sure how that follows from your original question.

What can you do with a bad explanation that you can't do with no explanation?

Book Review: The Beginning of Infinity

Deutsch specifies good explanations (laws of nature, scientific theories), and claims the rapid increase of good explanations is because of the invention of the scientific method, and thus explanations are essential for progress.

A bad explanation allows me to make (bad) sense of the world, which makes it appear less chaotic and threatening. 

Ah yes, the spirits are causing the indigestion. Now I know that I need only do a specific dance to please them and the discomfort will resolve. 

The alternative is suffering for no apparent reason or recourse. At least until we find a good explanation for indigestion.

Book Review: The Beginning of Infinity

I think I wasn't clear. An explanation that isn't accurate is still an explanation to Deutsch, it just isn't a good one. Microbiology or bread-spirits are both explanations for rising bread.

Book Review: The Beginning of Infinity

"Our ancestors followed many practices which work, but for which they had no explanation."

That would be very surprising for a species that reflexively attempts to explain things.

Also, in the book, he specifies that's he's explaining the unprecedented rate of consistent progress from the scientific revolution onward.

Edit: I was mistaken. He is trying to explain all progress.

Optimal Exercise

Seven years later, would you modify this scheme? 

Is there validity to the volume/consistency over intensity argument? Training 1/2 max reps every day vs going to failure 2-3 times week.

An illustration:

10 reps is your pull-up max. 

Volume/consistency: 5 reps every day for 35 a week vs Intensity: 2-3 workouts for 20-30 reps a week.

Over a year that's 1820 vs 1040-1560.

Firas Zahabi outlines it here: 

The 5-Second Level


  1. I am working on a hard problem and A. I notice a thought proposing a distraction from my current task, B. but I stop myself and continue my current activity.
    1. Perceptually recognize a thought proposing a distraction from my current task.
    2. Feel the need for explicit reasons why I would change tasks.
    3. Experience an aversion to changing tasks without explicit reasons.
    4. Ask why I want to change to that task, to what end, and why now.
  3. Exercise

Recognizing the distractions. I'm struggling to come up with an idea on how to do this other than a form of awareness or attention meditation.

Extreme Rationality: It's Not That Great

What are the other posts in your top five?

John_Maxwell's Shortform

Did you end up trying the microneedling? I'm curious about that route.

John_Maxwell's Shortform

How are things progressing?

How do I improve at being strategic?

I suppose the next step after passing the desire test, would be to actually verify that the goal will, in reality, provide that thing I imagine makes me go mmmm by researching and testing. 

I imagine walking around dressed like a doctor and telling people I'm a doctor. Adding M.D. to my online dating profile, job shadowing, going to neighborhoods where doctors live, luring some doctors into my van, learning to sew, digging a pit in my cellar, and buying some night vision goggles and buying a bunch of lotion...

Luckily, I don't want to be a doctor.

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