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How and Why to Granularize

62 Post author: lukeprog 17 May 2011 03:16PM

Say you want to learn to play piano. What do you do? Do you grab some sheet music for 'Flight of the Bumblebee' and start playing? No. First you learn how to read music, and where to put your fingers, and how to play chords, and how to use different rhythms, and how to evoke different textures. You master each of these skills in turn, one or two at a time, and it takes you weeks or months to master each little step on your way to playing Rimsky-Korsakov. And then you play 'Flight of the Bumblebee.'

Building small skills in the right order is not just a way to do the impossible by breaking down the impossible into little bits of possible. It is also a way to maintain motivation.

Imagine that you didn't feel a reward, a sense of accomplishment, until you had mastered 'Flight of the Bumblebee'. You'd have to stay motivated for years without payoff. Luckily, your brain sends out reward signals when you learn how to read music, where to put your fingers, and how to play chords. You are rewarded every step of the way. Granularizing a project into tiny bits, each of which is its own (small) reward, helps maintain your motivation and overcome the challenges of hyperbolic discounting.

Granularizing is an important meta-skill. Want to play piano but don't know how? Don't feel overwhelmed watching someone play 'Flight of the Bumblebee.' Figure out how to granularize the skill of 'playing Flight of the Bumblebee' into lots of tiny sub-skills, and then master each one in turn.

Want to improve your sex life? Don't feel overwhelmed watching the local Casanova or Cleopatra at work. Figure out how to granularize the skills of 'creating attraction' and 'having good sex' into lots of tiny sub-skills and master each one in turn.

Want to become economically independent? Don't feel overwhelmed watching Tim Ferriss at work. Granularize that skill into tiny sub-skills and master each one in turn.

This doesn't mean that anyone can learn anything just by granularizing and then mastering sub-skills one at a time. Nor does it mean that you should apportion your limited resources to mastering just about anything. But it does mean that mastering skills that are within your reach might be easier than you think.

 

Example: Social effectiveness

Take 'social effectiveness' as an example, and pretend you know almost nothing about it.

So you talk to people who are socially effective and observe them and read books on social skills and come to understand some of the sub-skills involved. There are verbal communication skills involved: how to open and close conversations, how to tell jokes, how to tell compelling stories. There are nonverbal communication skills involved: facial expressions, body language, eye contact, voice tone, fashion. There are receiving communication skills involved: listening, reading body language, modeling people. There are mental and emotional wellbeing skills involved: motivation, confidence, courage. There are also relationship management skills involved: business networking, how to apportion your time to friends and family, etc.

So you investigate each of those more closely. Let's zoom in on nonverbal communication. From the Wikipedia article alone, we learn of several sub-skills: gestures, touch, body language (including posture, dance, and sex), facial expression, eye contact, fashion, hair style, symbols, and paralanguage (voice tone, pitch, rhythm, etc.). With a bit more thought we can realize that our hygiene certainly communicates facts to others, as does our physical fitness.

Each of these sub-skills can be granularized. There are many books on body language which teach you how to stand, how to sit, how to walk, and how to use your hands to achieve the social effects you want to achieve. There are books, videos, and classes on how to develop a long list of sexual skills. Many books and image consultants can teach you each of the specific skills involved in developing a sophisticated fashion sense.

But probably, you have a more specific goal than 'social effectiveness.' Maybe you want to become a powerful public speaker. Toastmasters can teach you the sub-skills needed for that, and train you on them one at a time. You can also do your own training. One sub-skill you'll need is eye contact. Get a friend to do you a favor and let you stare into their eyes for 15 minutes in a row. Every time you glance away or get droopy-eyed, have them reset the stopwatch. Once you've stared into someone's eyes for 15 minutes straight, you'll probably find it easier to maintain eye contact with everyone else in life whenever you want to do so. Next, you'll have to work on the skill of not creeping people out by staring into their eyes too much. After that, you can develop the other sub-skills required to be an effective public speaker.

Also, you can try starting with 'Flight of the Bumblebee'. You'll probably fail, but maybe you'll surprise yourself. And if you fail, this might give you specific information about which sub-skills you have already, and which skills you lack. Maybe your fingers just aren't fast enough yet. Likewise, you can start by trying to give a public speech, especially if you're not easily humiliated. There's a small chance you'll succeed right away. And if you fail, you might get some immediate data on which sub-skills you're lacking. Perhaps your verbal skills and body language are great, and you just need to work on your comedic timing and your voice tone.

 

The 5-Second Level

Granularize far enough, and some of these skills can operate at the 5-second level. Consider the skill of eye contact. Put a pleasant, interested expression on your face and hold steady eye contact with someone who is speaking with you, and they will feel very listened to. Use even stronger eye contact with someone of higher status than yourself to show them that you believe you have enough value to belong in the conversation. These example applications of eye contact skill use can be generalized into a series of 5-second mental procedures.

One might look like this:

  1. Notice someone is speaking to you.
  2. Put a pleasant, interested expression on your face.
  3. Lock eye contact with them.

And, as a follow-up:

  1. Notice you're in eye contact with someone who is speaking to you.
  2. If it looks like your eye contact is strong enough to make them uncomfortable, look away for a second.
  3. Else, maintain eye contact.

Too much eye contact with somebody can sometimes be a 'dominating' move, as in a staring contest. So:

  1. Notice you're in eye contact with someone of similar social status.
  2. If you have been in eye contact with them for more than 12 seconds straight, look away for a second.
  3. Else, maintain eye contact.

And finally:

  1. Notice you're in eye contact with someone of much greater social status than yourself.
  2. If you have been in eye contact with them for more than 30 seconds straight, look away for a second.
  3. Else, maintain eye contact.

 

Granularity in action

If you're hopelessly analytic like I am, it may help to granularize a desired skill into sub-skills by drawing up a big skills map in software like Freemind (multi-platform) or MindMeister (online). I've started to do this for social effectiveness. My map of all social skills (+ recommended reading) is in the very early stages, but I hope to eventually granularize all social skills down to the level of specific exercises that can be done to train each sub-sub-sub-skill of social effectiveness.

The challenges of life are not so daunting when they are broken into tiny bits. When "Become a charismatic speaker" is transformed into "Step One: maintain eye contact with somebody for 60 seconds in a row," your response may be transformed from "Sounds hard!" into "Well, I can do that!"

Comments (58)

Comment author: ata 17 May 2011 04:40:25PM *  10 points [-]

Wow, not only are you unusually competent, you're unusually competent at explaining how you're so unusually competent. Thank you so much for all of these posts! The map of social skills looks quite useful.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 17 May 2011 05:06:59PM *  5 points [-]

Edit: Luke fixed the problem with the post.

Bad specific examples. The world is unfair and poor, and not everything is actually possible for everyone, even though a lot more is possible than people may expect. People shouldn't need to deceive themselves about the extent of what's possible, to do what is possible. So agree in spirit, but not literally. Otherwise, a great post.

Comment author: lukeprog 17 May 2011 06:15:42PM 3 points [-]

The world is unfair and poor, and not everything is actually possible for everyone, even though a lot more is possible than people may expect. People shouldn't need to deceive themselves about the extent of what's possible, to do what is possible.

I agree with all this whole-heartedly, so... which sentences of my post suggest otherwise to you?

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 17 May 2011 06:27:21PM *  2 points [-]

"And then you play 'Flight of the Bumblebee'." Likely won't happen even then. Likewise, "Want to become economically independent? Don't feel overwhelmed watching Tim Ferriss at work."

The examples could be something to be explained by the ideas you discuss in the post, but you identify the reader with them too much (at least connotationally, by the context in which you mention the examples).

Comment author: lukeprog 17 May 2011 06:36:51PM 7 points [-]

The 7th paragraph now makes this clearer. Thanks for your comment.

Comment author: Gray 18 May 2011 12:04:40AM 3 points [-]

The world is unfair and poor, and not everything is actually possible for everyone, even though a lot more is possible than people may expect. People shouldn't need to deceive themselves about the extent of what's possible, to do what is possible.

Upvoted for this. In fact, someone should right a post about this, to stamp out some of the almost naive optimism found elsewhere on the site.

Comment author: JGWeissman 17 May 2011 05:11:28PM 13 points [-]

Regarding eye contact, does looking away for a second involve your neck or your eyeballs?

Comment author: lukeprog 17 May 2011 06:13:44PM 14 points [-]

Good question. Eyeballs.

Comment author: Amanojack 18 May 2011 08:27:14AM 3 points [-]

Also, how far do you look away?

Comment author: lukeprog 18 May 2011 01:38:32PM 10 points [-]

I always try, via nonverbal communication, to show a 'reason' why I'm looking away. If I'm drinking something, I'll let this be the moment that I look briefly at the glass in my hand in order to guide it to my lips. Or I'll make an 'I'm thinking about what you just said/what I want to say' face and point my eyeballs up and to the right for a moment before regaining eye contact. Or I'll make an 'I'm thinking about what you just said/what I want to say' face and stare at some random thing in the background (preferably a blank spot of wall or cupboard or ceiling, so it's not distracting), roughly at a 10-30 degree angle away from their eyes. Or I'll briefly look into somebody else's eyes in order to read their reaction to what is going on.

Comment author: Will_Newsome 19 May 2011 01:22:09AM *  7 points [-]

It's pretty common among SIAI-ish people to make super-exaggerated expressions/postures when thinking, which is a pretty good excuse to break eye contact for a bit. I'm not sure if the exaggeratedness is just another meme (like how people tend to answer questions with "So...... (insert exposition and then answer)" ever since Steve and Mike Blume did it a lot) or if it somehow helps people think. Steve used to do some mudra-like thing and looked like he was charging up to fire a telekinetic energy projectile but sadly he hasn't done it in ages (these days he furrows his brow and sometimes puts his head in his hands, I think). Justin would say "checking, checking..." when evaluating a claim, which made me happy since often it'd be followed with a "huh" of insight/updating. I normally bury my head in my hands or rest my chin on my hand/thumb and my pointer finger on my lips. Jasen's thinking movements are more traditional and less exaggerated but still moreso than non-SIAI folk I think.

Comment author: beriukay 23 May 2011 01:08:59PM 0 points [-]

On a similar note, there are steps to take when talking to multiple people at once. I have been told that I'm naturally inclusive in conversations, so that friends who have little-to-nothing to contribute still don't feel like I'm ignoring them. It might be important to mention this more explicitly in the how-to.

Comment author: Swimmer963 17 May 2011 05:48:54PM 6 points [-]

I've started to do this for social effectiveness. My map of all social skills is in the very early stages, but I hope to eventually granularize all social skills down to the level of specific exercises that can be done to train each sub-sub-sub-skill of social effectiveness.

Brilliant! I am somewhat tempted to do this for swimming, which (much more obviously, I think) consists of a long list of subskills that have to be learned through repetition before they can be put together.

Comment author: rysade 21 May 2011 12:49:05AM 0 points [-]

I would be interested in seeing that.

Comment author: David_Gerard 17 May 2011 08:35:14PM *  0 points [-]

Heh. You know, at the first paragraph I was wondering if you'd mention Tim Ferriss.

(I've been rereading Ferriss' blog from the start. Amazing stuff. His grasp of what constitutes evidence is, uh, not so great at times, but he passes the practical in "smart and effective", and his grasp of personal experimentation is second to none.)

Comment author: tyrsius 17 May 2011 08:52:56PM 1 point [-]

I would be very interested in seeing a reading list for this map you have made, if you ever get that far.

Comment author: lukeprog 17 May 2011 09:34:06PM 4 points [-]

Here ya go. Not much there yet.

Comment author: nickernst 17 May 2011 11:18:35PM 2 points [-]

Knowing that you may never play Flight of the Bumblebee, is it worth it to learn to play the piano? Granularizing may help answer this sort of question. You can look at just the first step, pretend that's the only step, and ask if it's worth your time. If so, go for it!

Comment author: fiddlemath 18 May 2011 06:03:43PM 2 points [-]

You can look at just the first step, pretend that's the only step, and ask if it's worth your time. If so, go for it!

Um... no, I don't think this quite suffices. Not every step needs to have terminal value, or even affective instrumental value. They tend to, because it feels good to achieve measurable successes on a decent plan towards things you value.

But, well, I'll crack some eggs and put them in the pan, without expecting any intrinsic return from cracking eggs. On the contrary - it costs me eggs!

Still, I think you're hinting at a good point - from a granularized breakdown of a long task, you can guage whether you'll be motivated to finish by how long you go between really satisfying goals. Thus, I'll not even try to learn how to draw, because little but the very best visual art effects me noticably. However, I am learning to play the piano, because playing even simple songs is a pretty awesome experience for me.

Comment author: Matt_Simpson 18 May 2011 06:39:10PM 0 points [-]

Um... no, I don't think this quite suffices. Not every step needs to have terminal value, or even affective instrumental value.

I didn't think the grandparent was suggesting that. My interpretation was something like:

Sometimes steps to achieve terminal values do have their own terminal value and you might not realize it without asking, "is this first step worth my time?"

Comment author: handoflixue 18 May 2011 11:49:25PM 3 points [-]

I would think the better question to ask is "which intermediate steps have terminal value in their own right?"

Comment author: CronoDAS 17 May 2011 11:34:41PM *  16 points [-]

I suppose that the relevant proverb is "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

On the other hand, it is probably possible to over-granularize: you break a process down into small enough tasks so that when you look over the list of every step you'd have to do, it seems overwhelming.

For example, here's some overly granularized directions for cooking scrambled eggs.

Step 1: Clear junk from stove.
Step 2: Get non-stick frying pan from cabinet.
Step 3: Put pan on stove.
Step 4: Get plate from cabinet.
Step 5: Put plate on stove near pan.
Step 6: Get butter knife from drawer.
Step 7: Get stick of butter from refrigerator.
Step 8: Cut off a small piece of butter from the stick into the pan.
Step 9: Put butter knife into sink.
Step 10: Return stick of butter to the refrigerator.
Step 11: Remove egg carton from refrigerator.
Step 12: Place egg carton on counter next to stove.
Step 13: Remove two eggs from egg carton.
Step 14: Place eggs on stove next to pan.
Step 15: Return egg carton to refrigerator.
Step 16: Pick up plastic spatula.
Step 17: Turn on burner under pan.
Step 18: Use plastic spatula to spread butter on pan as it melts.
Step 19: Put down plastic spatula.
Step 20: Pick up egg from stove.
Step 21. Crack egg on the side of stove.
Step 22: Open egg above pan, so that its contents fall into the pan.
Step 23: Throw eggshell into trash can.
Step 24: Repeat steps 17-20, using the second egg.
Step 25: Wash hands to remove traces of raw egg that may contain salmonella bacteria.
Step 26: Dry hands.
Step 27: Pick up plastic spatula.
Step 28: Using plastic spatula, stir eggs in frying pan as they cook.
Step 29: When eggs are cooked, turn off fire under pan.
Step 30: Pick up pan.
Step 31: Transfer eggs from frying pan to plate. Use plastic spatula if necessary.
Step 32: Put pan down on stove.
Step 33: Put down plastic spatula.
Step 34: Move plate to table.
Step 35: Get ketchup bottle from refrigerator.
Step 36: Squirt ketchup on plate.
Step 37: Put ketchup bottle on table.
Step 38: Get fork from drawer.
Step 39: Eat scrambled eggs.

And now you know why I hate cooking. ;)

Comment author: Alicorn 17 May 2011 11:45:13PM 5 points [-]

Now I want eggs.

Comment author: handoflixue 18 May 2011 11:46:41PM 0 points [-]

Me too :)

Comment author: wedrifid 18 May 2011 12:50:48AM 1 point [-]

Ketchup? What a waste perfectly good eggs!

I save the 'substitute food flavour for ketchup' option for things that don't taste good already. Then something like eggs can serve as a contrast to ketchup<frozen vegetables or arbitrary nutritional foodstuff of indifferent flavour>.

Comment author: Zetetic 18 May 2011 02:23:16AM 0 points [-]

I prefer A1 sauce or mild chili sauce on eggs. Maybe even sriracha...

Comment author: Alicorn 18 May 2011 02:27:42AM 0 points [-]

Paprika, cayenne, dill, and salt. Maybe a little mustard powder...

Comment author: Zetetic 18 May 2011 02:35:37AM 0 points [-]

Which reminds me... I want stone ground mustard.... Also, why not add some garlic to that? If you could get some roasted garlic and mince it into the eggs before cooking them that might be pretty awesome.

Comment author: Will_Newsome 18 May 2011 04:34:52AM 4 points [-]

This is how I actually think of everyday tasks. Progressively more so in fact, starting six months ago. Energy expended per task has stayed roughly constant, unfortunately. I'm basically baffled about what to do about it. Meditation during tasks is probably the most effective, whereas CBT just feels like more meta tasks. I've become increasingly more reflective on morality during the same time period but that could be coincidence and is probably not causal. Familiarity with tons and tons of cached 'instrumental rationality' wisdom doesn't help. I wonder what most people do in similar situations? Do they go schizoid first and then go homeless, or the other way around?

Comment author: wedrifid 18 May 2011 06:52:22AM 4 points [-]

Do they go schizoid first and then go homeless, or the other way around?

Schizoid, homelessness tends to be the symptom - although it no doubt helps to reinforce the condition.

Comment author: ata 18 May 2011 04:47:28AM *  4 points [-]

I think the general rule is that you should granularize to a level sufficient that you (or the intended user of the instructions) knows how to do each step individually, but no further. e.g. that's why you wouldn't actually put steps to retrieve cooking utensils from drawers; when instructions call for one, you know (and know how) to obtain one without being told.

Comment author: olimay 18 May 2011 04:56:49AM 6 points [-]

Yes, it makes sense to granularize when you are first learning, and when you run into problems (troubleshooting), but not once you're already familiar with the process. When you're not in learning mode, you want to consolidate as much as possible.

The software analogy is the difference between trying to run a program line by line in a debugger (pressing F8 for Step Into or what have you) versus just running a compiled or bytecode optimized version. Even worse is trying to type every line from hand into an interpreter every single time.

I understand your point, but a seemingly ridiculous amount of granularization can still be very useful if you can group certain steps. That way, you can collapse and expand sections of hierarchies as needed. You can also find new ways of doing things.

Here is a more positive example of granularization and reconsolidation applied to everyday actions.

Comment author: falenas108 21 May 2011 12:22:39PM 0 points [-]

I'm considering making eggs today using this, but I have two questions. How do you know when the eggs are done, and how high do you put the heat?

Comment author: Alicorn 21 May 2011 05:44:47PM *  3 points [-]

The eggs are done when there are no longer goopy liquid parts. (Some ways to make eggs call for goopy liquid but not scrambling.) You can keep going after that if you want them drier and crumblier; stop when there is significant browning. The low end of medium is a good place to put the heat (4 on a dial that goes to 10).

Comment author: Morendil 21 May 2011 06:42:35PM 2 points [-]

It's useful to know that "stirring" achieves two distinct things. One is moving the more-cooked parts which are on the bottom, closest to the where the pan generates heat, so that the goopy parts get a turn close to the heat. The other is getting tactile feedback on whether to turn the heat down: if the cooked parts feel like they stick to the pan, you should turn the heat down.

Another useful thing to know is that you will need to execute the whole process at least once and probably several times, and the first time you judge the result acceptable by taste, mouthfeel and look, you should record the various sensations experienced during cooking as a "reference implementation": treat deviations from this reference experience as signs that the outcome might be different. For instance, how sticky the cooked eggs are supposed to feel before you want to turn down the heat is evaluated relative to the reference.

Step 39 is under-described, too. There are things like allowing the eggs to cool a little, for instance, which are worth mentioning.

Comment author: Morendil 21 May 2011 01:49:24PM 4 points [-]

Reminds me of the "teach me to smoke" routine.

Comment author: ASKJ 22 May 2011 03:31:11AM 0 points [-]

Fortunately for aspiring cooks, expert teachers such as Julia Child have already given us appropriately granularized directions. :) I thought I would mention how a "robot" wouldn't understand that in your directions, quite a few of the steps are irrelevant to the production of scrambled eggs. For this reason I prefer granularization by sign posting goals. Briefly, "scrambled egg" is produced by: preparing the ingredients, utensils, and the cooking .

Regarding your recipe: I would season with Salt & Pepper. Also, just before your eggs are finished, add cream. (but i would prefer an omelette) :)

Comment author: AdeleneDawner 22 May 2011 03:50:56AM 0 points [-]

Also, just before your eggs are finished, add cream.

Interesting. How does this compare to mixing cream or milk in with the eggs before cooking them?

Comment author: fubarobfusco 03 April 2012 08:58:51PM 2 points [-]

I didn't get past step 2.

In step 1, I cleared the junk from the stove by pushing it off. It fell on the floor with a loud clatter. Then in step 2 I tried to open the cabinet to get the pan, but the junk on the floor blocked the cabinet door and I stayed there trying to open it until my neighbor came up and complained about how much freaking noise I was making.

Comment author: CronoDAS 03 April 2012 09:25:48PM *  3 points [-]

These particular directions weren't designed to be idiot-proof. ;)

Comment author: CuSithBell 17 May 2011 11:39:21PM 6 points [-]

Want to improve your sex life? Don't feel overwhelmed watching the local Casanova or Cleopatra at work. Figure out how to granularize the skill of 'creating attraction' into lots of tiny sub-skills and master each one in turn.

Don't forget to also get good at sex.

Comment author: XFrequentist 18 May 2011 03:26:02AM *  3 points [-]

This is addressed in the article:

There are books, videos, and classes on how to develop a long list of sexual skills.

Comment author: lukeprog 18 May 2011 03:49:43AM 1 point [-]

Updated.

Comment author: CuSithBell 18 May 2011 04:28:28AM 0 points [-]

Appreciated!

Comment author: CuSithBell 17 May 2011 11:40:29PM 15 points [-]

Today I learned that "more granular" and "less granular" can each mean "coarser" or "finer".

:\

Comment author: calcsam 18 May 2011 04:27:55PM 3 points [-]

I hope to eventually granularize all social skills down to the level of specific exercises that can be done to train each sub-sub-sub-skill of social effectiveness.

This would be amazing. It also seems so obvious (upon reflection) that perhaps someone has already done this? The best platform would seem to be an open-source wiki that summarized key points of books and designed exercises to match. Will is already doing part of this.

Comment author: boni_bo 18 May 2011 05:09:06PM 0 points [-]

Now I know why most LWers reported being aspies. I feel at home, I think :)

Comment author: steven0461 18 May 2011 06:12:10PM *  6 points [-]

most LWers reported being aspies

Let's not spawn factoids. The actual results are here and here.

Comment author: gwillen 20 May 2011 11:02:53PM 1 point [-]

I am curious why the user responsible for the poll deleted their account, and appears to have deleted all their comments (unless comments by deleted accounts are deleted, which I doubt.)

Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 20 May 2011 11:18:31PM *  0 points [-]

The user that made the poll was Roko.

http://lesswrong.com/lw/2ft//2o42 -- here is a short summary about Roko's mass deletion.

http://lesswrong.com/lw/2ft//2c4j?c=1&context=1 -- more information, which I recommend against reading because it is just a lot of drama and suspicion over nothing important.

Comment author: wedrifid 24 May 2011 08:58:10PM *  0 points [-]

I am curious why the user responsible for the poll deleted their account, and appears to have deleted all their comments (unless comments by deleted accounts are deleted, which I doubt.)

Your doubts are correct. You need to delete your comments manually if you particularly want them gone. The deletion in question was just run of the mill internet drama.

Comment author: mutterc 19 May 2011 07:51:29PM 0 points [-]

Take 'social effectiveness' as an example, and pretend you know almost nothing about it.

Sorry, you lost me here. This was too difficult.

Comment author: oliverbeatson 23 May 2011 10:48:12AM 0 points [-]

I've been looking for this sort of software for forever, and this is a great post too. Thanks a lot!

Comment author: IsaacLewis 24 May 2011 01:16:25PM 0 points [-]

This post inspired me to work on my Mandarin study habits - I've been stuck in a low intermediate plateau for a while, and not sure how to advance. I just started to work on this mindmap, http://www.mindmeister.com/maps/show/98440507, based on the ideas in this article.

I've also recently started following GTD (the productivity system), which emphasises choosing specific actions to follow, rather than big and vague projects. I think this article's approach is similar.

Comment author: Pablo_Stafforini 29 May 2011 04:36:53PM 3 points [-]

Shouldn't this post be part of the sequence, The Science of Winning at Life?

Great job, by the way.

Comment author: army1987 03 November 2011 02:27:09PM 0 points [-]

Also, you can try starting with 'Flight of the Bumblebee'. You'll probably fail, but maybe you'll surprise yourself. [...] Likewise, you can start by trying to give a public speech, especially if you're not easily humiliated. There's a small chance you'll succeed right away.

I think that the former has a probability of success a couple orders of magnitude less than the latter (unless you're using a kazoo, maybe).

Comment author: chaosmosis 12 April 2012 02:11:32PM *  0 points [-]

I like that social effectiveness map a lot.

I'm not sure whether or not you're still updating it, but if you are I think you should massively expand the sections that talk about business communication. Networking with equals, delegating tasks to underlings, or getting along with the boss are all very different, and there's also a wide range of variance under those headings based on the intelligence level of the person you're dealing with.

It's still very helpful. Even if you don't implement that specific idea I would like to see more of the map and the recommended reading.

New Suggestion: social/eating combinations are very important to humans.

Comment author: Swimmer963 12 April 2012 02:31:25PM 0 points [-]

Building small skills in the right order is not just a way to do the impossible by breaking down the impossible into little bits of possible. It is also a way to maintain motivation.

As I was just discussing in another thread, apparently I do this automatically in a lot of areas...and hadn't even considered the fact that other people don't do it automatically.