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Andrew2 comments on The Virtue of Narrowness - Less Wrong

56 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 August 2007 05:57PM

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Comment author: Andrew2 07 August 2007 08:29:35PM 3 points [-]

Eliezer,

I agree with what you're saying. But there is something to this "everything is connected" idea. Almost every statistical problem I work on is connected to other statistical problems I've worked on, and realizing these connections has been helpful to me.

Comment author: Elizabeth 13 June 2010 03:42:14AM 14 points [-]

The problem with harping on everything is connected is that it is, but good systems are created bottom up instead of top down. You didn't sit down and say "All statistical problems are governed by overarching concept X, which leads to the inference of methods a, b, and c, which in turn lead to these problems." You said, "I have these problems, and certain similarities imply a larger system." It's like biology, Linnaeus did not come up with his classification system out of thin air, he first studied many individual animals and their properties and only subsequently noticed similarities and differences which he could classify. Narrowness is where we need to start, because it gives us the building blocks for broader ideas.

Comment author: Peacewise 30 October 2011 10:50:30PM 0 points [-]

Seems to me the ideal way for understanding systems is to analyse and then synthesise.