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Eliezer_Yudkowsky comments on How Much Thought - Less Wrong

37 Post author: jimrandomh 12 April 2009 04:56AM

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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 April 2009 02:40:18PM 3 points [-]

I find that my answers arrive as gestalts, without any experience of effort at that moment. I may have to do a lot of reading and failing and sometimes writing to get to that point.

Comment author: JulianMorrison 12 April 2009 03:32:39PM 2 points [-]

Hmm, there's effort and effort.

The kind of effort of straining at a word that's "on the tip of your tongue" and other sorts of overt "trying" feel different, and I've never had productive results out of them.

The feeling of effort that does produce something is more like a "pull" on my energy reserves, and the comedown feels like tiredness. I notice it particularly when I'm trying to progress learning something. I often feel temporarily sleepy after that (and not the bored kind of sleepy but the worn down kind).

My hypothesis here, is that priming the caches of thought may be slow, but running it is very fast and the above article may be barking up the wrong tree as a consequence. Thought done right ought to be able to produce its results in negligible time. The kinds of thought that take time seem to be mostly useless. Budgeting chunks of time to "thought" risks filling up the budgeted span with noise and not advancing in the problem.