Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

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

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

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (92)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Arcturus_Kirwin 12 July 2008 09:45:23AM 1 point [-]

But, brooksfoe. When you say "Yes", you could then expand, refine and add new information to your child.

You could say, "Yes, but it's a very special kind of burning. It's called fusion. It's what happens when lots of pressure makes a gas called hydrogen turn into another gas called helium, giving off lots of heat and light!"

Comment author: pbhj 10 October 2009 12:30:54AM 3 points [-]

I've had this sort of conversation - I'm going to guess you're not a parent Arcturus - your response is full but fails to explain at 3 year old level what a gas is, what pressure is, what hydrogen and helium are, what "heat and light" means in this context. Basically all the important concepts are undefined. Are you going to proceed and explain everything you know about the universe?

Some concepts have to be held in abeyance pending formulation of more basic concepts and development of methods to "understand" those concepts such as experience of water waves that helps us to understand the concept of E-M waves via metaphor.

Comment author: wedrifid 10 October 2009 12:45:08AM 5 points [-]

Just exposing the child to words used in their correct context is of significant value. Some of these the child may prompt further curiosity but even those that are ignored have begun to be built into a framework for understanding.