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komponisto2 comments on Initiation Ceremony - Less Wrong

49 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 28 March 2008 08:40PM

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Comment author: komponisto2 29 March 2008 04:28:12PM 6 points [-]

Any commited autodidacts want to share how their autodidactism makes them feel compared to traditional schooled learners? I'm beginning to suspect that maybe it takes a certain element of belief in the superiority of one's methods to make autodidactism work

First, "traditional school learning" is itself inherently problematic. Consequently, "belief in the superiority of one's [own] methods" is not hard to acquire.

Second, all actual learning is necessarily autodidactic anyway, because where it takes place is in your own mind, not in your interactions with others.

So yes, in order to learn, you have to be "arrogant" enough to believe that you actually can. That is, you have to have the confidence that you personally can fully appreciate the insights of "authority figures" like Issac Newton. Unfortunately, social pressures seem to discourage such "presumption" in favor of deference to authority.