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Wind comments on Guessing the Teacher's Password - Less Wrong

62 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 22 August 2007 03:40AM

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Comment author: Wind 27 July 2016 09:44:56PM *  0 points [-]

This answer have taken some time because I wanted to read the link you gave, before writing back. I still have not read it most of it, but I think I have read enough to get your reference.

I can't comment on the books, because I have no idea what series you are talking about. But your tone do suggest that you expect me to know what series this is? I am guessing that these books are very popular in USA, but more or less completely unheard of in Europe? Probably something with at Christian theme?

I know for certain that there exists students in the world, that uses teachers password, or similar techniques, fully knowing of what they do. I am slowly accepting that there probably also exists people who think they know stuff when all they have is a statement they do not actually understand. I have currently no good estimate as to which of these are most common.

As to weather the first type of students could explain the nature of technical explanation? Why do you mean exactly? I am not absolutely sure about what Yudkowsky mean by this concept, but that only mean that I am uncertain about his mind, not about my own.

To me, an explanation does not feel like an explanation, unless I understand all the bits, and I can not remember ever thinking differently. If I would be told for the first time that light is a wave, then I would try to fit my current best understanding of light with my current best understanding of wave, to try to figure out what "light is a wave" could possibly mean, and then I would ask for more information, because that is clearly not an explanation. This must have happened at some time, even though I can't remember the exact event. I do know that something in my childhood triggered me to want to know more about water waves.

For me it is really hard to imagine that anyone could confuse a teachers password with knowledge, which makes me biased towards other explanations. So maybe I am wrong. But also, do not underestimate peoples willingness to knowingly use tricks to pas a class, or get better grades. Here are two examples that I rememberer classmates openly talking about:

  • Use extra sloppy handwriting to council spelling mistakes.
  • On an open question, just write everything you can think of, that seems at least semi relevant and hope that you included what ever the teacher was getting at, some where in there.