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

John comments on Initiation Ceremony - Less Wrong

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

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

Comments (91)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: John 29 March 2008 05:20:50PM 1 point [-]

Well, I guess I'm not talking about the learning process itself so much as what keeps you going. In a traditional school environment, grades are the de facto student motivator.

My old Creative Minds professor has plenty of anti-school arguments. But when he tried attending a school without grades, he learned that it sucked: many students didn't show up for class, and of the ones that did, the only ones who participated in classroom discussions were those who had strong opinions.

So my question is when you're learning on your own, how do you find ways to motivate yourself? As I mentioned before, curiousity can be unreliable. Another technique is to think of what you're doing as special and unique, and saying to yourself "Hardly anyone is teaching themselves using the direct, efficient methods that I'm using. I'm operating outside the system and learning things that very few others are learning. If I finish all the exercises in this book, I will be a Level 6 Probability Master."

The upside of this is that you're motivated to learn more. The downside is that it might make you arrogant.