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pwno comments on Understanding your understanding - Less Wrong

69 Post author: SilasBarta 22 March 2010 10:33PM

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Comment author: pwno 22 January 2011 06:47:06AM 0 points [-]

Some thoughts regarding the difference between level 2 and 3:

Seems like a level 3 understanding necessitates an insight-producing ability (i.e. ability to improve existing models) -- otherwise your models wouldn't regenerate if destroyed. The question is why your insights with a level 2 understanding aren't evidence of a level 3 understanding. Or whether it's even possible to have insights with a level 2 understanding.

If we're able to regenerate a model, we obviously have model-making abilities. But isn't the same happening when you draw connections between your models? The moment you realize two or more models are connected, you've added to your model of reality. Neither model predicted their relationship with the other, your insight connected the two, improving your older model.

How's level 3 different from level 2?

Comment author: SilasBarta 23 January 2011 02:47:01PM *  1 point [-]

In short, if you are simply informed about the connections between the fields, you are at level 2, but if you could discover the links yourself with no hints, you are at level 3. For example, if you know how the parameter "speed of light", c, has implications for both general relativity and quantum phenomena, you have a level 2 understanding (to the extent that these fields are involved), but if you couldn't discover the need for a "speed of light" parameter, how to find it, and how it affects the disparate fields, you haven't reached level 3.