persephonehazard

Posts

Sorted by New

Comments

Ritual Report: NYC Less Wrong Solstice Celebration

It's not just you; I have always really liked the feel of the melody in /God Rest/.

What bothers you about Less Wrong?

That's certainly entirely plausible, and something my mother (a primary school teacher of a quarter-century's experience, who's known a lot of children well) has always suspected. I've never had it checked out, though. Maybe I should.

ETA - particularly as I've just had a look at the wikipedia article and every single thing in the symptoms list applies to me to some degree. I'm even a pretty good writer. Good grief.

What bothers you about Less Wrong?

Certainly some of it is. The anxiety and fluster and horrible panic feeling is certainly emotional, and the "number blindness" thing is probably related too. It's much, much worse if there's anyone else around - the only thing more embarrassing than knowing I've failed simple arithmetic is failing simple arithmetic when other people who might assume I'm moronically stupid can see me doing it.

And of course that makes me a nightmare to teach, because I'm horribly resistant to learning maths because I know I'll fail and look stupid and whoever it is will think I'm thick. You of all people have encountered that in me!

Struggling to parse strings of numbers, though, can happen no matter how calm and unpressured and private I am. I've emailed myself things like my debit card number so that I can just cut and paste them when I buy things, because I can't always reliably type them in by looking at the card.

Action and habit

I'm pretty sure, come to think of it, that everything I've ever trained myself to do or be has been as a result of "I am the kind of person who" thinking. I suspect that it would be a lot harder to do that consciously with any real effect, but it's an interesting thought!

Maybe "I am the kind of person who can resist those crisps" would work with enough application. Maybe...

What bothers you about Less Wrong?

I first encountered humans who couldn't understand basic arithmetic at university, in the bit of first-year psychology where they try to bludgeon basic statistics into people's > heads. People who were clearly intelligent in other regards and not failures at life, who > nevertheless literally had trouble adding two numbers with a result in the thirties. I'm still boggling 25 years later, but I was there and saw it ...

See above, but I am basically one of those people. My own intelligence lies in other areas ;-)

What bothers you about Less Wrong?

I'm not convinced anybody could teach me to understand linear algebra. Or maybe what I mean by that is that I'm not convinced of my own ability to understand linear algebra, which may be a different thing.

I have trouble with maths. More specifically, I have trouble with numbers. What I experience when faced with lots of numbers is akin to how people with dyslexia often describe trying to parse lots of written text - they swim and shift beneath my eyes, and dissolve into a mass of meaningless gobbledegook that I can't pick any sense from. And then after a while, even if I've ploughed through some of this, I start to get what I can only describe as "number fatigue" and things that previously I'd almost started to comprehend seem to slip out from my grasp.

And, when asked to do simple maths, I panic and fly into what is pretty much an anxiety attack. Which, of course, means that I'm not thinking clearly enough to untangle it all and try to start making sense of it.

Maths feels utterly, utterly impenetrable to me. Half the time I can't even work out what the necessary sum is - recent examples include my having no notion of the calculations required for aspect ratio or 10% of a weight in stones and pounds, but this also applies to much simpler things, like the time I couldn't figure out how to calculate the potential eventual fundraising total from the time elapsed, the time remaining and the money so far achieved.

I realise that in a community like this I'm going to stick out like a sore thumb, mind you ;-)

The benefits of madness: A positive account of arationality

Yeah, that's definitely true. And also, of course, cannabis is a marvelous painkiller.

The benefits of madness: A positive account of arationality

Yes, that's very true.

I have found, in my personal and not at all even a little bit scientific personal experience, that altered states can be very good indeed for what people who write (I don't paint or practice higher mathematics or any of the other relevant things, so I shan't presume to comment on them) call the creative process. But then, maybe this isn't the right place for talking about The Creative Process, which I suppose is a nebulous and rather wanky sort of a term even if it is something very dear to my heart.

Your Strength as a Rationalist

Actually, yes, you're entirely right.

In conversations I've had about this with friends - good grief, there's a giant flashing anecdata alert if ever I did see one, but it's the best we've got to go off here - I would suspect that people do it often enough that it's a reasonable thing to consider in a situation like the one being discussed here, though.

Not that I think it's a bad thing that the person in question didn't, mind you. It would be a very easy option not to consider.

The benefits of madness: A positive account of arationality

This is off-topic, for which I apologise, but I now find myself fascinated by the various ways in which gender is communicated. It seemed really very obvious indeed to me that Skatche was male; so much so I was vaguely susprised that the question had been asked.

I think it's a combination of the split of experiences, different writing styles (men /do/ write differently than women) and LW being a very male-dominated environment.

Load More