Stefan De Young

Aspiring Rationalist in Ottawa, Canada.


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[Event]Architecting495 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON, Canada2018 Aug 31st
[Event]How vs. What of Rationality555 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON, Canada2018 Aug 15th
[Event]Logic! - Rational Ottawa Meetup188 Bank St, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1W8, Canada2018 Aug 10th

Wiki Contributions


What books are for: a response to "Why books don't work."

I agree that books both transmit knowledge (à la light switch) and help that knowledge to take up space in your salience landscape. I don't think it's fair to argue that Matuschak is implying an only-light-switch model. When discussing metacognition, they focus on understanding rather than knowledge. Some of their metacognitive strategies that enable understanding are about making connections between pieces of knowledge (light switches, in your model).

To put words in someone else’s mouth, I think Matuschak would say that, for the purpose of conveying information, it would be much more efficient to read a very short summary than to read an entire book.

Maybe. But what Matuschak does say is that information/knowledge would be better conveyed and understanding made simpler if ideas of knowledge conveyance and understanding were baked into the medium. Matuschak doesn't suggest that a very short summary is that medium.

Matuschak asks:

How might we design mediums in which “readers” naturally form rich associations between the ideas being presented? How might we design mediums which “readers” naturally engage creatively with the material? How might we design mediums in which “readers” naturally contend with competing interpretations? If we pile together enough of these questions we’re left with: how might we design mediums in which “reading” is the same as “understanding”?

That's not a light switch.

Logan Strohl on exercise norms

I agree with shopping around. It took me a couple of decades of bouncing off of long distance running until I found a jiujitsu dojo full of engineers. All of a sudden, "exercise" was fun.

Logan Strohl on exercise norms

Yes. But I'm not sure that I have the expertise to recognize the expertise of all of the different specialists. I need to tap into some network that has already credibly sorted the experts. The expertise of the package deal may be more legible?

Canada Covid Update: thinking out loud

The border is largely closed with allowances for pass-through to Alaska.

In practice, I agree. With the US right there, there was no way we could be Australia.

EDIT: Canada Border Services Agency has a fairly straightforward webform to determine eligeability to enter.

The 10,000-Hour Rule is a myth

Reducing dimensionality is the most useful cooking advice I have received. I now use a four factor model: salt, sweet, spice (heat), sour.

  • Is it salty enough? If no, add salt, soy sauce, or fish sauce; or reduce.
  • Is it sweet enough? If no, add sugar, jagery, maple syrup or caramelized onions.

The essentialism is to assign characteristics to ingredients (e.g. Tomatoes are sour.)

I learned this model from some south Indians, this model may be common in that culture. I'm not sure.

The Best Visualizations on Every Subject

The version of Dataclysm that I read had red font in addition to black font, and I found it was quite striking as a way to do emphasis. When I started writing my personal journal, I adopted red and black felt-tipped pens because I enjoyed the font colours from the book.

No standard metric for CFAR workshops?

Do you have suggestions for where to acquire either of the tests mentioned? Are there expected differences in results if the tests are administered by laypeople rather than experienced practitioners?

A Rationalist's Guide to...

Having a group of rationalists to talk to in person has been invaluable to me this year. It's helping me emerge from depression, overcome impostor syndrome, and find my project. The previous sentence reads like the battles have been won, but they are being fought constantly.

Check this list of upcoming meetups:

Right now is a really good time to start or join meatspace communities.

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