Jordan

Jordan's Comments

Build Small Skills in the Right Order

Ah, I should have guessed that 'Immersion Learning' had been co-opted a few times before. My above use is my own coinage. By it I just mean jumping in and being exposed to everything you can and letting your brain sort it out, rather than methodically building a cathedral of understanding, one block at a time.

Build Small Skills in the Right Order

This is how I prefer to learn as well. I call it "Immersion Learning".

For example, during my first year of Algebra, I carried a Calculus textbook with me to class, and read whenever I was bored. I read through the whole textbook that semester, and understood maybe 20%. I didn't bother doing any problems, and when I tried I was totally incapable, but that was OK. The next semester I read through a Calc II and Calc III textbook. Afterward I decided I was going to take the AP Calculus exam. I bought a prep book and started doing calculus problems for the first time in my life, and found that mastering the techniques came naturally. A few weeks later I passed the AP exam.

I think this works because knowledge (at least as it exists in brains) is not highly structured. It's a giant associative mess. As with learning a language, the best way is to be immersed, and let the entire associative mess emerge simultaneously.

Learn the shape of the forest before the lay of the trees. Afterward you can do targeted study to patch up your makeshift map.

White Lies

I do this as well, but I don't "lie" (from the perspective of my core values).

I empathetically accept the other person's ethics and decisions. I allow that common connection to genuinely color my tone and physical expressions, which seems to build rapport just as well as actually verbalizing agreement. When I find myself about to verbalize agreement of something I don't actually believe, I consciously pull back. The trick is being able to pull back without losing your empathetic connection.

Anecdotally, I find that I can verbalize disagreement, but as long as I maintain the tone and physical signals of agreement (or 'acceptance', perhaps, but I think 'agreement' is more true) that the other person remains open.

CRISPR opens up new genetic engineering potential

Awesome, thanks for the detailed response. After reading about CRISPR's natural role in bacteria I was curious if it would have targeting limitations. It sounds like it does (needs GGG triplet), but that in practice this isn't a big deal.

You still need to get this system into a cell -- that's an issue as always, I agree -- but the reduced chance of unwanted mutation seems like a big step forward over retroviruses.

Thanks again for the great write up!

CRISPR opens up new genetic engineering potential

I'm very curious how many genes can be targeted usefully. One paper succeeded in targeting 5 simultaneously in a mouse model. Given the purported accuracy that is already game changing, but if we can do 100 or 200 then maybe we can do more than merely eliminate some simple single gene disorders.

Nonperson Predicates

Scary enough for ya?

Sufficiently scary, yes.

That is equivalent to saying you can't understand how mathematics could be a construct; or how mathematical anti-realism could possibly be true.

I assign a respectable probability to anti-realism, and hold no disrespect for anyone who is an anti-realist, but I don't understand how anti-realism can be true. I've never heard a plausible model for why one thing should exist but not another. Tegmarkism sweeps away that problem, leaving the new problem of how to measure probability (why do we have the subjective experience of probability that we do when there are so many versions of myself?). I don't have a satisfactory answer for that question, but it feels like a real question, with meat to get at, whereas in an anti-realist universe the question of why some things exist and other don't seems completely hopeless.

Firewalling the Optimal from the Rational

I had a similar experience the first time I supplemented magnesium. Long lasting, non-jittery energy spike. I felt stronger (and empirically could in fact lift more weight), felt better, and was extremely happy. The effect decreased the next few times. After 4 doses (of 50% RDA, spread out over 2 weeks) I began to have adverse effects, including heart palpitation, weakness, and "sense of impending doom".

I wonder if there is a general physiological response to a sudden swing in electrolyte balance that causes the positive effect, rather than the removal of a deficiency.

Plastination is maturing and needs funding, says Hanson

If you wipe out the chemical gradient information then how do you know what sorts of ways that the dendrites should regrow in the weeks and months post-resuscitation?

If I wake up and I feel like myself on a second to second basis, I will not be upset if my path through mind space is drastically altered on a time scale of weeks and months, so long as it doesn't lead me to insanity. Hell, I hope I'll be able to drastically change my mind on that time scale anyway once I'm uploaded.

Plastination is maturing and needs funding, says Hanson

if a problem doesn't appear quickly, then it probably isn't that important...

I agree completely, especially about how close we probably are to a successful Biosphere, but just to throw out an example where this is wrong: vitamin B-12 deficiency usually takes a decade to demonstrate symptoms, and is fatal.

The problem with too many rational memes

It is dangerous in the same way as bringing John Q. Snodgrass to trial for murder. We might overweight evidence in favor of the hypothesis.

Human intuition is a valuable heuristic. As a mathematician I constantly entertain hypotheses I don't believe to be true, for the simple reason that my intuition presented them to be considered. I don't believe I would be at all effective otherwise (although I did just now entertain the hypothesis, despite my lack of belief!)

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