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You Have About Five Words

This is a good point. We can explain why students in medical school carefully digest millions of words by discussing the near-term incentives of final exams and the long-term incentives of increased salary and social status.

The Power of Intelligence

This is an excellent point. I'd like to deflate it a little bit though, since your supporting comments for the evolution of sweating mechanisms are part of a general principle.

For every mental strength we confidently point to, there will be an excellent physical strength we could also point to as a proximate cause, and vice versa. Discussions like this sound like evolutionary "missing link" arguments for the fossil record, where any 2 provided examples imply some intermediate step that's roughly as deserving of attention.

Pointing out that brains are a profound development in evolutionary history has more to do with helpfulness for deriving new insights and consolidating the lessons of history than it does with measuring some global score of evolutionary value. Maybe sweating scores higher in evolutionary value than the unification of brains, but I predict that developing the AI equivalent of sweating will be significantly easier than developing the AI equivalent of brains. If you believe otherwise though, then calling attention to sweating is worth more words.

How to take smart notes (Ahrens, 2017)

Thanks for the great summary of the book. There are many software tools whose designers sought to implement the Zettelkasten method while taking care of many of the tedious and precarious details (like links) under the hood. In particular, the founder of the tool Roam Research cited How to Take Smart Notes and the Zettelkasten method as core sources of inspiration.

Source for a conversation (with a transcript written up in Roam, no less) where he stated this