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ChrisHallquist comments on Facing the Intelligence Explosion discussion page - Less Wrong

20 Post author: lukeprog 26 November 2011 08:05AM

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Comment author: ChrisHallquist 30 April 2013 04:23:00AM *  0 points [-]

Comment on one little bit from The Crazy Robot's Rebellion:

Those who really want to figure out what’s true about our world will spend thousands of hours studying the laws of thought, studying the specific ways in which humans are crazy, and practicing teachable rationality skills so they can avoid fooling themselves.

My initial reaction to this was that thousands of hours sounds like an awful lot (minimally, three hours per day almost every day for two years), but maybe you have some argument for this claim that you didn't lay out because you were trying to be concise. But on further reflection,* I wonder if you really meant to say that rather than, say, hundreds of hours. Have you spend thousands of hours doing these things?

Anyway, on the whole, after reading the whole thing I am hugely glad that it was published and will soon be plugging it on my blog.

*Some reasoning: I've timed myself reading 1% of the Sequences (one nice feature of the Kindle is that it tells you your progress through a work as a percentage). It took me 38 minutes and 12 seconds, including getting very briefly distracted by e-mail and twitter. That suggests it would take me just over 60 hours to read the whole thing. Similarly, CFAR workshops are four days and so can't be more than 60 hours. Thousands of hours is a lot of sequence-equivalents and CFAR-workshop-equivalents.

Comment author: Qiaochu_Yuan 30 April 2013 04:42:41AM *  1 point [-]

Thousands of hours sounds like the right order of magnitude to me (in light of e.g. the 10,000 hour rule), but maybe it looks more like half an hour every day for twelve years.

Comment author: ChrisHallquist 30 April 2013 04:48:57AM 0 points [-]

10,000 hours is for expertise. While expertise is nice, any given individual has limited time and has to make some decisions about what they want to be an expert in. Claiming that everyone (or even everyone who wants to figure out what's true) ought to be an expert in rationality seems to be in conflict with some of what Luke says in chapters 2 and 3, particularly:

I know some people who would be more likely to achieve their goals if they spent less time studying rationality and more time, say, developing their social skills.