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crasshopper comments on Making Beliefs Pay Rent (in Anticipated Experiences) - Less Wrong

110 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 28 July 2007 10:59PM

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Comment author: crasshopper 14 March 2008 11:27:35PM 4 points [-]

I agree with those who say it's okay to figure things out later. If my music professor says a certain composer favors the Aeolian mode, I may not be able to visualize that on the spot but who cares? I can remember that statement and think about it later. Likewise with phlogiston, I have a vague concept of what it is and someday the alchemists will discover more precisely what's going on there.

Too much cognitive effort would be spent if, every time I thought about linear algebra, I had to visualize the myriad concrete instances in which it will be applied. I bet thinking in abstractions results in way more economical use of thinking time and thinking-matter.