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Timo comments on Original Seeing - Less Wrong

44 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 14 October 2007 04:38AM

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Comment author: Timo 23 September 2015 03:57:34AM *  0 points [-]

When I first read this, I didn't take it to mean that it's easier to think of something if you narrow your focus. Instead, I took from it the lesson that in order to actually think about something, you should prepare your mind by temporarily deleting/quarantining everything that other people have said about that thing. When you're thinking about what other people have said about a thing, you're not thinking about the thing itself.

Of course, testimonial evidence is very useful and shouldn't be dismissed, but I found this piece enlightening because it pointed out the not-intuitively-obvious difference between thinking about testimonial evidence and thinking about the thing itself.

Reading it for a second time, I understand that this piece can also teach the virtue of narrowing your focus to find more to say about something. For example, I could think that by saying "I survived the teletransportation" I would have proclaimed an irreducible truth, while, really, there's so much more to say about the event if I use concepts with a higher resolution.