ScottHYoung

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MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own

Not necessarily. Finding out you're incorrect about some fact of the world is a first step to uncovering a truth, indeed in the case of a dichotomy, being incorrect about a fact instructs you on the correct truth. So if you were shown to be wrong about fact A, you are almost always closer to a true belief, even if it simply the absence of a false one.

Also, being shown to be wrong every day does not mean shown to be wrong about the same thing. Each day you could be shown to be wrong about a different thing, and each error can lead to updates in your mental model for how the world works.

Although I love the pointless dissection over a single sentence, the phrase is ambiguous as most phrases are. So superficial would be the right word to describe most aphorisms, as being merely pointers to a more nuanced set of beliefs. Don't sweat the small stuff.

MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own

I suppose instrumental depends on whom you're exposing it to. :)

MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own

The pace I'm planning on sustaining (at least for the initial period) is roughly 1 class per week. I'm trying to go faster initially so I can do 2-3 weeks on later courses where I plan to do more project work.

You're absolutely right that cutting out the busywork makes my approach a lot easier than trying to do this in actual MIT classes. But that's one of the possible benefits of doing this streamlined approach to learning rather than in an institution, one of the tradeoffs I hope to discuss as the challenge progresses.

MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own

Yes--for my pilot course I went around 1.5-2x, strategically speeding up and slowing down. Lectures are way more efficient when you can fast-forward and rewind.

MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own

I don't plan on using anything other than occasional caffeine to boost my alertness (and even then only for emergencies, as I need to sustain my pace long-term).

MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own

The pace I'm planning on sustaining is to do a class in 5 days (1 day for my work and 1 day off each week). What's impressive is all relative, I suppose, as I know plenty of people who could put my work to shame. I only hope to share in the process so people can learn from it.

MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own

Talking before I've completed it comes off as arrogant, and that's an unfortunate tradeoff of running this challenge live. I've done as much research as I can do now, though, so the only way to try will be to actually attempt it. As for planning fallacy, I have a fairly flexible approach with a lot of backups in case some things don't work out, so that too will be discussed in my approach.

As for Physics I, I actually completed that class as my pilot test of the pace (leaving 32 to go), so if you go to the main page you can see my results. Calculus was not a prerequisite in the class, although it probably should have been, I had to make due without mastery of those concepts.

MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own

Jack is mostly correct. I am planning to do assignments, however my goal is to do these later in the program where I feel the most value will come out. I've done light programming as a hobby for years, so I'm not unfamiliar with the approach, my goal is to maximize my theoretical basis of knowledge, not necessarily to become a superstar programmer (which I believe comes after years of deliberate practice, not necessarily through college anyhow). As for evaluative basis, most of the final exams I'll be writing are at least 50%, so there is at least an argument to be made that they are substantive and not peripheral to the content.

Vaniver is also correct about spaced repetition. My reason for taking this approach is to make my process more flexible early on. Once I figure out the best methods to teach myself, it will be safer to switch to doing more classes in parallel where I can get the long-term benefits of spaced repetition. As for the grading measurement, that's a completely reasonable critique. I hope to explore the tradeoffs of this approach compared to an actual MIT program and discuss that, since there will inevitably be places my methods leave weaker than a traditional program.