Said Achmiz

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Hmm, I did see the commentary on the linked site, yes. I confess that I had been hoping for something somewhat less… whimsical in approach.

But I certainly understand that organizing data like this for useful presentation isn’t a trivial task.

Sure.

So, you’ve given some very specific examples of the lower “levels” of a “nook hierarchy” (your bedroom, street, school system, etc.)—this is admirable. But when it comes to higher levels, the post gets vague. What’s up there? Ok, there’s college. Then what? The presidency, sure. Running an internationally notable crypto exchange, sure. Now, right away we should notice that those seem, intuitively—just based on how unlike each other they seem to be—like single examples in a vastly larger domain, which we probably have only a vague sense of. (Because if we had a more systematic apprehension of said domain, then the list of examples that we’d intuitively and instantly generate would not look like this. This is a difficult-to-formalize point, but I hope you can see what I’m getting at.)

That’s the preamble. Now, having said that, let’s back up a bit and look at a “lower” level: university. Questions for consideration:

  1. What are the levels up from there?

  2. What are the sibling “nooks”, on the same level? (Are there any?)

  3. Suppose you go up a level from university—pick any path you like. What other “nooks” on the same “level” as university also feed into this next-higher-level “nook”? (Are there any?)

  4. Of the answers to #3, were any of those “nooks” available to you, as alternatives to university, from which you could then also proceed up to whatever next-higher-level “nook” we chose? Could you have taken that different path and ended up in the same place?

  5. Is there just a single “nook” at the “top” level? Or are there multiple “top-level” “nooks”, in the sense that any two such do not share any “nook” to which it’s possible to proceed from either of the two?


Alright, now back to my earlier point about the value of the advice suggested in the OP:

Decide whether you want to keep leveling up, because there is a tradeoff between climbing to the next level of chamber-size and developing expertise in your current chamber.

But this is actually two decisions: whether to go “up a level” at all, and which “upward” step to take.

But if you go up one level higher than that, you will be able to access a bunch of that-sized nooks that all open up into the same antechamber, and choose from them, and thus your odds of something like satisfaction and success go way way up.

But which “upward” step you take determines which “that-sized nooks” you now have access to, and who knows how your choice affects your odds of “something like satisfaction and success”?

And there’s a bigger problem, which is that taking any given “upward” step is quite likely to change your life circumstances, your social context, and yourself, in ways that make it much more difficult to step back “down”—and stepping “up” in an alternate direction after that “downward” step is harder still…


What I am getting as is that (as with so many things) however intuitive it may be to visualize this model as implying a hierarchical structure—a tree—in reality the graph structure which emerges from applying the model to reality is far more complex. And thus determining an optimal traversal strategy for the graph is correspondingly more difficult…

Fascinating! And do you document the results of these tastings? Reviews, lists of tasted chocolates, etc.? (Something like Gwern’s tea reviews come to mind as a model…)

I think the key thing that’s missing here is the fact that from any given “nook” of any “size” or “scale” or “scope” or what have you, there are not only multiple branches down, but also up. To go “up a level” in this hierarchy also requires making a choice of direction, and also means not going in any of the other possible “up” directions. In fact, I would say that making a choice of which “up” path to take is a more consequential choice, in that it closes off more options, and makes it harder (or impossible) to retrace your last step (go back “down” a level, and survey once again your available paths “up”) than does making a choice of which “down” path to take.

And I’m afraid that this makes a good chunk of your proposed advice substantially less useful.

This is not related to this post’s topic, really, but can you say more about these… “chocolate tastings”?

It sounds like you’re saying that I correctly understood the problem statement as it was written (but it was written incorrectly); but that the post erroneously claims that in the scenario as (incorrectly) written, FDT says to take Left, when in fact FDT in that scenario-as-written says to take right. Do I understand you?

I agree with you re: defaults; see my reply to Ben for the feature I think would be good.

As far as v-sizing and overlap issues, I certainly know what you mean. Take a look at the sidenotes layout algorithm in sidenotes.js; you may find it useful to adapt or as inspiration.

I agree that the highlights shouldn’t be highlighted by default, and I am not asking for a way to make them highlighted by default, or all highlighted, or all highlighted when all the comments are expanded, or any such thing. (Maybe someone else wants that, but not me.)

I just want to have the option (which can be off by default, and toggled in user settings) all the side comments expanded by default (or with one click). (I don’t want this to result in all the highlights being visible at once!)

This is very cool. Lining up with the text by matching blockquotes is very clever!

Is there some way to make the side comments start out expanded, or expand them all?

Brave browser offers feature to block cookie notifications. Tempting.

Another way to block such things is (because they’re invariably sticky elements, after all) to use the AlwaysKillSticky extension (works for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Brave…).

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