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Comment author: Sandi 15 March 2017 10:28:23PM *  0 points [-]

I have two straight-forward empirical questions for which I was unable to find a definitive answer.

1) Does ego depletion exist? There was a recent meta-study that found a negligible effect, but the result is disputed.

2) Does visualizing the positive outcome of a endeavor help one achieve it? There are many popular articles confirming this, but I've found no studies in either direction. My prediction is no, it doesn't, since the mind would feel like it already reached the goal after visualizing it, so no action would be taken. It has been like this in my personal experience, although inferring from personal experience is incredibly unreliable.

Comment author: g_pepper 08 February 2017 11:30:21PM 1 point [-]

Do you know of a practical way of finding intellectual friends, so as to have challenging/interesting conversations more often?

Depending on where you are in your life and education, you could consider enrolling in graduate school. I found that I tended to have intellectual conversations with my fellow students and professors in graduate school. Plus you will have at least one common interest with your fellow students - whatever subject you are studying in school.

Grad school is too big of a commitment just to find intellectual friends. But, if you have an interest in grad school to advance your education or career, then meeting intellectual friends is an added benefit.

Finally, even if you are working and do not wish to go back to school full time, many universities offer a master's program that you can enroll in on a part-time basis. As a part-time student you will have less contact with your fellow students and therefore fewer chances to make friends, etc., but this can be overcome with a little effort to socialize, attend events, host small dinner parties, etc.

Fun fact about me (or a thinly vailed plea for a diagnosis): Often when I'm bothered by a problem or simply bored, my mind will conjure vivid conversations with one of my friends and have us argue this problem.

I do this too. I don't think that it is abnormal - I agree with you that it can be a useful way to think through issues. I once worked with a more senior engineer who was also a personal friend and mentor. But, his job was demanding and he was always quite busy. So, when I needed his help to solve some problem, I would think about what sorts of questions he would ask, so that I could be prepared to answer them - basically, I would play out the (probable) conversation in my head ahead of time to avoid wasting his time. More often than not, this process would yield the answer to the problem, and I would end up not having to bother him at all.

Comment author: Sandi 09 February 2017 09:08:55PM *  0 points [-]

Depending on where you are in your life and education, you could consider enrolling in graduate school.

If I've managed to translate "graduate school" to our educational system correctly, then I currently am in undergraduate school. Our mileages vary by quite a bit, most people I meet aren't of the caliber. Also, it's hard to find out if they are. Socially etiquette prevents me from bringing up the heavy hitting topics except on rare occasions.

I guess I should work on my social skills then cast a bigger net. The larger the sample, the better odds I have of finding someone worthwhile. Needless to say I'm introverted and socialization doesn't come easily, but I'll find a way.

I do this too.

Oh, thank the proverbial God.

Comment author: Sandi 08 February 2017 10:15:13PM 0 points [-]

I'm not 100% clear as to where the non-ambitious posts should go, so I will write my question here.

Do you know of a practical way of finding intellectual friends, so as to have challenging/interesting conversations more often? Not only is the social aspect of friendship in general invaluable (of course I wouldn't be asking here if that was the sole reason), but I assume talking about the topics I care and think about will force me to flesh them out and keep me closer to Truth, and is a great source of novelty. So, from a purely practical standpoint (although I don't deny other motives), I want to improve this part of my life.

Sporadic discourse with my normal friends often pops up in unsuitable conditions and with underequipped participants. Meeting the right type of person in real life takes a huge sample and social skills. Focused forums, like this one, contain the right type of people and are very useful, but lacking in one-to-one personal and casual conversation (neither method is superior, I'd prefer a mix of both to the current imbalance).

Fun fact about me (or a thinly vailed plea for a diagnosis): Often when I'm bothered by a problem or simply bored, my mind will conjure vivid conversations with one of my friends and have us argue this problem. I never actually aim for it to happen, it's as spontaneous as normal thinking. I have no proof, but I'd say those imaginary conversations are more productive, because my imaginary listeners will disagree or misunderstand me, raising important points or faults in my reasoning. Whereas with normal thinking, I agree with myself the wast majority of time.