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Naturalism

I have lots of points of contact with the world, but it feels really effortful to be always mindful and noting down observations (downright overwhelming if I don't narrowing my focus to a single cluster of datapoints I'm trying to understand)

Naturalism

@Logan, how do you make space for practicing naturalism? It sounds like you rely on ways of easing yourself into curiosity, rather than forcing yourself to pay attention.

Observation

(Also, just saw the comment rules for the first time while copying these over - hope mindfulness mention doesn't break them too hard)

Observation

Speculating here, I'm guessing Logan is pointing at a subcategory of what I would call mindfulness - a data point-centered version of mindfulness. One of my theories of how experts build their deep models is that they start with thousands of data points. I had been lumping frameworks along with individual observations, but maybe it's worth separating those out. If this is the case, frameworks help make connections more quickly, but the individual data points are how you notice discrepancies, uncover novel insights, and check that your frameworks are working in practice. 

Observation

(Copying over FB reactions from while reading) Hmm, I'm confused about the Observation post. Logan seems to be using direct observation vs map like I would talk about mindfulness vs mindlessness. Except for a few crucial differences: I would expect mindfulness to mean paying attention fully to one thing, which could include lots of analysis/thinking/etc. that Logan would put in the map category. It feels like we're cutting reality up slightly differently.

The Territory

Trying to sit with the thought of the territory as the thing that exists as it actually is regardless of whatever I expect. This feels easy to believe for textbook physics, somewhat harder for whatever I'm trying to paint (I have to repeatedly remind myself to actually look at the cloud I'm painting), and really hard for psychology. (Like, I recently told someone that, in theory, if their daily planning is calibrated they should have days where they get more done than planned, but in practice this gets complicated because of interactions between their plans and how quickly/efficiently they work.)

Yet, to the best of my knowledge, psychology isn't *not* physics... It's just that we humans aren't yet good enough at physics to understand psychology.

The Territory

(Copying over FB reactions from while reading) There’s something that feels familiar so far. For myself and when I’m working with clients, I often encourage experiments and journaling about the experience as they go. Part of the reason is uncertainty about the result, but another part is taking the time to check your expectations against your actual experience as it’s happening.

Like, I recently felt really drained. Noticing that feeling, I could immediately say several things that had been draining, but I wouldn’t have said they were hard while I’d been doing them. I was just caught up in making things go smoothly at the time. It was only afterwards noticing that how drained I felt that made me realize the activity was very energy draining. It would have been easy to brush over the activity with “Oh, I had a fun time”, which was true. But it was also true that I had to recover afterwards.

I feel like there’s something valuable here in being able to pay the kind of attention to my experience that led me to that knowledge. But I don’t have a good vocabulary to describe it to my clients.

Intro to Naturalism: Orientation

Coming back after finishing the series, I notice the "scary!" reaction is gone. Based on some of Logan's comments on the FB thread, I think I updated toward 1. worry less about having to explicitly remember every detail -> instead just learn to pay attention and let those observations filter into your consciousness, and 2. it's still fine to use/learn from frames, just make sure you also have direct observations to let you know if your frames/assumptions are off. 

Knowing

I want to understand how to actually get humans to do the right things, and that task feels gargantuan without building on the foundation of simplified handles other people have discovered.

Yet, I value something like naturalism because I don't trust many handles as they are now, especially coming from psychology. "Confusion-spotting" seems pretty important if I'm going to improve on the status quo.

Knowing

(Copying FB reactions I made as I read) 1. I care a lot about deep mastery. 2. It doesn’t feel immediately obvious that direct observation is the fastest route to deep mastery. Like, say I wanted to understand a new field - bio for example. I would start with some textbooks, not staring at my dog and hoping I’d understand how he worked. I’d get to examples and direct experience, but my initial instinct is to start with pre-existing frameworks. But maybe I’m just misunderstanding what “direct observation” means?

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