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[Link] Reality has a surprising amount of detail

14 Post author: jsalvatier 13 May 2017 08:02PM

Comments (14)

Comment author: RomeoStevens 14 May 2017 08:08:03AM *  4 points [-]

This is why I like Naruto as a rationalist fanfic substrate: perceptual skills are explicitly upstream of action skills in the naruto universe. I think this mirrors the real universe and explains much of the valley of bad self-help. Action skills are pointless if you don't have the cues on when where and why to deploy them.

Another frame on the same concept: don't keep teaching people spells when their mana pool size sucks.

Comment author: Raemon 14 May 2017 10:33:04AM 3 points [-]

I currently have almost zero knowledge of Naruto and I'm interested in hearing more things about the perception/action skills thing as it applies to Naruto Classic (and/or rationalist!naruto)

Comment author: RomeoStevens 15 May 2017 06:52:02AM *  5 points [-]

Time Braid and The Waves Arisen. Super fun reads, and also seem to put me in agenty mode better even than other rationalist fics. I haven't seen the naruto anime and I got on just fine with both.

As for why my model works this way: heavily influenced by the research on deliberate practice. Essentially, it caused me to see expert performance as the combination of several core traits which are all predicated on perceptual skills. The first is generating the correct chunkings that mirror the causal structure in the domain in the first place, which are composed of distinctions that you must learn to make. If you've ever done something like music where you went from hearing complicated sounds to hearing specific 'phrases' this is what i'm pointing to with perception of chunks. In order to build these up one has to also isolate the feedback/reward loop that allows you to zero in on your performance of that chunk. Cleanly delineating the hits from the misses and having that information be on the smallest time delay possible. The other skill is navigating the chunked tree, which is predicated on perception of cues/proxies that indicate which decision paths to take in your knowledge tree. This structure then has the ability to get activated by experiences in the real world, where you notice something that looks like a chunk you've already seen. Normal self help techniques generally don't have these hooks that fire in specific times and places, meaning you likely just don't remember to use them.

Comment author: jsalvatier 14 May 2017 10:57:50PM 0 points [-]


Comment author: Raemon 13 May 2017 09:01:39PM 3 points [-]

This felt important but I'm not quite sure what my next action is supposed to be.

Comment author: jsalvatier 14 May 2017 06:41:59AM 1 point [-]

Yeah, I wasn't too specific on that. I do endorse the piece that jb55 quotes below, but I'm still figuring out what to tell people to do. I'll hopefully have more to say in the coming months.

Comment author: jb55 14 May 2017 12:03:30AM 0 points [-]

The end had some good pointers:

seek detail you would not normally notice about the world. When you go for a walk, notice the unexpected detail in a flower or what the seams in the road imply about how the road was built. When you talk to someone who is smart but just seems so wrong, figure out what details seem important to them and why.

Comment author: jsalvatier 14 May 2017 08:35:41AM 1 point [-]

If you want to see a billion examples of details mattering, watch anything about shipbuilding by this guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM6R81SiKgA

Comment author: jsalvatier 13 May 2017 08:31:15PM 1 point [-]

John Maxwell posted this quote:

The mystery is how a conception of the utility of outcomes that is vulnerable to such obvious counterexamples survived for so long. I can explain it only by a weakness of the scholarly mind that I have often observed in myself. I call it theory-induced blindness: once you have accepted a theory and used it as a tool in your thinking, it is extraordinarily difficult to notice its flaws. If you come upon an observation that does not seem to fit the model, you assume that there must be a perfectly good explanation that you are somehow missing. You give the theory the benefit of the doubt, trusting the community of experts who have accepted it.

-- Daniel Kahneman

Comment author: RomeoStevens 14 May 2017 08:12:24AM 5 points [-]

Ontology lock in. If you have nice stuff built on top of something you'll demand proof commensurate with the value of those things when someone questions the base layer even if those things built on top could be supported by alternative base layers. S1 is cautious about this, which is reasonable. Our environment is much safer for experimentation than it used to be.

Comment author: jsalvatier 14 May 2017 08:32:37AM *  1 point [-]

Great description. Yes, I think that's exactly why people are reluctant to see other people's points.

Comment author: sbierwagen 03 June 2017 04:39:02AM 0 points [-]

What's that graph from?

Comment author: tristanm 15 May 2017 05:29:05PM 0 points [-]

I think the first time this hit me I was looking at some software which allowed you to generate the Mandelbrot set and zoom into any level of detail you wanted, and thinking "how can this be possible? Does it really go on forever?" But it wasn't just seeing the level of detail go on infinitely that drove the significance home, but rather when I finally looked up the algorithm that generates the Mandelbrot set, and saw how simple it was. That was what made me first think, "Yeah, we probably can't know everything there is to know."

Comment author: [deleted] 14 May 2017 05:53:24AM 0 points [-]

Excellent article....and brilliantly explained. Reminds me of an old saying :

“Self-assertion may deceive the ignorant for a time; but when the noise dies away, we cut open the drum, and find it was emptiness that made the music.” ― Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Aurora Floyd