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(To clarify, that's 6% RDI, not 6% by volume, which would be worrying.)

I'm confused. Are you saying 1 cup of organic peas is "half a day's intake of vegetables" for you?

It happens, but you can't exchange complex ideas this way. You know when someone's talking and you nod or say "Yeah" to show you get it without interrupting? There's a number of other short phrases you could say if you wanted, like "I know" or "Impossible" or "Dunno", and that's mostly what we deafies in Sweden do IME. It's rare that hearing people do this, breaks a norm I guess, but it's in principle you could do it. With sign you can also say a bit more complicated things without breaking flow like "That's a misunderstanding" or "You're lying" or sometimes drop in a whole sentence like "Actually no she didn't "... but at that point the conversation is getting heated and starting to break down.

I guess if you wanted to construct a fulltime full-duplex mode of conversation it would be a bit easier with hands than voices. Or to let one speaker use hands and the other use voice, so as to use different parts of the brain.

As a deaf person, I'm always teaching people to sign, like when I move into a new house, and I do see a difference between learners. Some people don't know what to do with their hands and end up "tangling their elbows together", as you so vividly describe, while others have a talent as if they'd been waiting to sign all their lives. But this gap mostly closes after 3-5 months of living together. Even people who were pretty bad at the beginning end up being able to interpret a group conversation for me.

Not to diminish the difficulty -- to do anything like interpret a group conversation, the whole group needs to put in some effort to slow down and speak only one at a time, and it's still exhausting for an interpreter who's only been learning for a few months. Not to mention the food on their plate goes cold.

I'm just saying. I don't think a lack of progress necessarily something to scare you, but then again, I don't know what it's like to learn sign without someone to sign with. Pretty sure it's usually a lot faster to become a productive conversator in any sign language than any spoken natural lang -- the only thing you really need is the hand alphabet, and then the person you're talking to can show you the signs for every new word you spell out.

I might have legible argumentation, but I don’t expect it to be understandable without a bunch careful explanation and backtracking to prerequisites

That fits great with my definition of illegibility. This case sounds like you've clarified it enough to make it legible to yourself but not yet enough to cross inferential gaps, thus it remains illegible to other people.

Not knocking your idea, but usually when you want to complain that "no one has upvoted me" it's good to think again whether you really want to blame other people.

I can guess at a reason why people may not have read that post you linked. I found it long-winded, like a page out of your diary where you're still developing the idea, thinking aloud by writing -- which is excellent to do, but it doesn't seem like something you wrote from the start for other people to read, so it's hard to follow. At least, I'm still puzzled about what you wanted to put forward in it.

I’m a pretty slow reader and I really get frustrated and distracted with not-correctly written text, so I see the subsequent editing of the text as something really threatening and time-consuming for me.

I've become a fast reader in recent years, but like you, I also get disturbed by incorrectly written text.

To me it sounds like you will get used to these issues in time. You know it's (1) your own words, (2) dictated by an imperfect program, and (3) mostly meant to be deleted. 1 would help me read faster, and 2 and 3 would help me tolerate the "writing flaws".

Reading fast is fundamentally about skipping, and being okay with skipping. I think that should be easy if you remember saying the sentence that the words on screen refer to. If you remember the sentence, you're reminded of the general concept you were getting at. Your job is after all only to figure out whether this whole sentence or section is worth keeping, and you only need to read the first few words to know that, probably.

You could also do a second dictation, to summarize what you're reading. That one'll be much shorter.

It was a perfect analogy for me. One carves up new concepts the same way one always does. A decoupler will carve up a concept differently from a contextualizer. Similar analogy: If someone's knowledge can be seen as a massive mind-map, a feminist will structure a hierarchy in that mind-map quite differently from a Mormon, even if the leaf nodes are the same in the end. When you have a hierarchy in place, more knowledge added will tend to follow that hierarchy and thus subtly influence understanding.

But I've had experiences with people who interpret things very differently from me, receiving my words and hearing the opposite meaning of my intent. Ten years ago I did not have that experience, and maybe I would not have understood the analogy then. Maybe you could introduce it with a story next time, for the benefit of the young and the shut-ins.

Exactly twelve years later--did you ever come up with an example?

To steelman it, maybe he's thinking of how it's commonly seen as a tragedy for a chicken to be alive for only one week, but killing it after some X years is not as much of a tragedy.

Initially, this implied to me that the curve of "value of remaining alive' is higher in the beginning of a lifespan. But thinking about it, that's not the same curve as the curve of "value of being alive", which is lowest in the beginning.

(If that's confusing, it helps to think of the one curve as the mirror image of the other, i.e. if value of being alive is high later, it means the value of remaining alive "in order to see the later parts of life" is higher early on.)

It's also possible to view the value of being alive as a flat line, a positive constant, which could lead to his idea of human fungibility. But to use a different example, if you make me choose between five individuals living one year and one individual living five years, I prefer the latter... Same with two people dying at 25 vs. one dying at 50. Fewer people living longer is better. I can only see this working out if it's not a flat line: value of life increases with each year already lived.

Rereading your comment, I think you're saying that legibility will arise by itself well enough so long as someone is on Simulacrum level 1, caring only about the truth, and if their writing is not legible, they probably have an agenda and you'd better focus on finding out what that is, or just ignore what they said.


  1. This feels unactionable -- it's just a rephrasing of old critical reading advice "find out the writer's agenda and biases so you know where they're coming from". Which is so vague -- even having that info, how do I debias just the right amount?? How do I avoid overcorrecting and falling prey to my own confirmation bias?
  2. My experience writing legibly actually flagged areas in my belief system I didn't realize was so weak -- a huge boon for myself here -- and in retrospect, if I'd published illegible writings about those topics I'd now want to take down those posts, as it's both embarrassing to me as well as a disservice to readers. This is despite me being on Simulacrum 1 (or so I think I was).
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