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BrianLloyd comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012) - Less Wrong

25 Post author: orthonormal 26 December 2011 10:57PM

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Comment author: BrianLloyd 15 August 2012 08:34:41PM 8 points [-]

Hello; my name is Brian. It is with some trepidation that I post here because I am not entirely sure how or where I can contribute. On the other hand, if I knew how I could contribute then I probably wouldn't need to post here.

I seem to be a bit older than most people whose introductions I have read here. I am 58. I have spent most of my life as a software engineer, electrical engineer, technical writer, businessman, teacher, sailor, and pilot. (When I was young Robert A. Heinlein advised against specialization, an admonition I took to heart.)

My most recent endeavor was a 5-year stint in a private school as a teacher of science, math, history, government, engineering, and computer science/programming. The act of trying to teach these subjects in a manner that provides the necessary cross-connection caused me to discover that I needed to try to understand more about how I think and learn, as my ultimate goal was to help my students determine for themselves how they think and learn. Being able to absorb and regurgitate facts and algorithms is not enough. Real learning requires the ability to discover new understanding as well. (I am rather a fan of scientific method, as inefficient as it may be. Repeating an experiment is never bad if it helps you to cement understanding for yourself. Besides, you might discover the error that invalidates the experiment.)

So, now I have become interested in rational thought. I want to be able to cut to the meat of the issue and leave the irrational and emotional behind. I want to be better able to solve problems. Like Lara, I have also recently given up the search for religious enlightenment. It took time looking at my own assumptions to finally come to the conclusion that there is apparently no rational basis for religion ... as we know it. (I guess that makes me an atheistic agnostic?)

So, it is clearly a time for a change. I look forward to learning from you.

(English really does need a clear plural for the pronoun 'you'.)

Brian

Comment author: OrphanWilde 15 August 2012 08:38:02PM 1 point [-]

Y'all!

There's an added bonus in that it annoys linguistic purists.

Comment author: BrianLloyd 15 August 2012 09:17:38PM 2 points [-]

Until Y'all degenerates into the singular and then you need a plural for the plural, i.e. "all y'all." Don't believe me? Go to Texas. ;-)

Comment author: [deleted] 15 August 2012 10:22:17PM 0 points [-]

(English really does need a clear plural for the pronoun 'you'.)

You guys. (Unlike the singular, ISTM that the plural guys doesn't always imply ‘males’.)