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Comment author: shokwave 28 September 2011 07:18:48AM 0 points [-]

Today you are shown to be wrong. On any given day, you are shown to be wrong. By induction, you are wrong every day. If you never get to "not wrong today!" then you're not getting more rational. There's improvements (wrong every day but the questions are harder each day or something) but the line as it stands sounds superficially deep but in practice is not rationality-focused.

Comment author: ScottHYoung 29 September 2011 12:52:32AM 2 points [-]

Not necessarily. Finding out you're incorrect about some fact of the world is a first step to uncovering a truth, indeed in the case of a dichotomy, being incorrect about a fact instructs you on the correct truth. So if you were shown to be wrong about fact A, you are almost always closer to a true belief, even if it simply the absence of a false one.

Also, being shown to be wrong every day does not mean shown to be wrong about the same thing. Each day you could be shown to be wrong about a different thing, and each error can lead to updates in your mental model for how the world works.

Although I love the pointless dissection over a single sentence, the phrase is ambiguous as most phrases are. So superficial would be the right word to describe most aphorisms, as being merely pointers to a more nuanced set of beliefs. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Comment author: wedrifid 28 September 2011 08:31:55AM *  3 points [-]

Yes, a lot of the time hiding ignorance is more instrumentally useful than exposing your ignorance.

The first sentence talks about "living smart". The second sentence talks about "the way to be right, in the long-term". Those are two very different things. Relatively few people have the latter as a their core life goal and it would be a stretch to say that it constitutes 'living smart' even then. (Note: I'm one of them but that changes nothing!)

Comment author: ScottHYoung 29 September 2011 12:45:16AM 2 points [-]

I suppose instrumental depends on whom you're exposing it to. :)

Comment author: omslin 28 September 2011 08:24:43AM 4 points [-]

At MIT, some students take 8+ classes over ~15 weeks. This involves lots of busywork and an expectation of getting the highest grade (an A). [They also often do side projects.]

Scott Young aims to complete classes at the same rate. But he's skipping much of the busywork and requiring merely passing grades. I wouldn't be surprised if he pulls it off.

I'm an MIT student and currently spend 60-100 hours/class. Taking Young's approach, I could probably average 30 hours/class, which for 33 classes might be doable in about 2 months... Maybe doing 33 MIT classes in 1 month is something for a Tim Ferriss.

Comment author: ScottHYoung 29 September 2011 12:43:28AM 5 points [-]

The pace I'm planning on sustaining (at least for the initial period) is roughly 1 class per week. I'm trying to go faster initially so I can do 2-3 weeks on later courses where I plan to do more project work.

You're absolutely right that cutting out the busywork makes my approach a lot easier than trying to do this in actual MIT classes. But that's one of the possible benefits of doing this streamlined approach to learning rather than in an institution, one of the tradeoffs I hope to discuss as the challenge progresses.

Comment author: jimrandomh 28 September 2011 12:26:09PM 0 points [-]

Are you buying the textbooks/ finding your own? Just using the video lectures (and internet for removed sections) seems unbearably slow, and you aren't in nearly as much control over the flow of information.

When I was watching Khan Academy's lectures, I got good results from VLC player's time dilation; it speeds up the video and adjusts the audio's pitch to compensate, so you can adjust the pacing. I experimentally determined 1.8x to be the right speed for me, though that will depend on you, and on whose lecture you're watching, and some of the time saved should probably go into pausing the video strategically to digest things.

Comment author: ScottHYoung 29 September 2011 12:37:33AM 1 point [-]

Yes--for my pilot course I went around 1.5-2x, strategically speeding up and slowing down. Lectures are way more efficient when you can fast-forward and rewind.

Comment author: jimrandomh 28 September 2011 03:10:00AM *  6 points [-]

This is a great thing you're doing! I hope you succeed. (I'd count finishing in 13+ months a success, too. You're likely to find that the later courses are harder and take longer.)

Will you be making use of any nootropics as you speedrun through the courses?

Comment author: ScottHYoung 29 September 2011 12:36:10AM 1 point [-]

I don't plan on using anything other than occasional caffeine to boost my alertness (and even then only for emergencies, as I need to sustain my pace long-term).

Comment author: EchoingHorror 28 September 2011 01:58:31AM 0 points [-]

A lot of people do four courses over 14 weeks, and that average of 24.5 days/course makes a speed reader's ~11 days/course without all the work and stress of assignments he understands before completing unimpressive. Sounds fun though.

Comment author: ScottHYoung 28 September 2011 02:31:42AM 5 points [-]

The pace I'm planning on sustaining is to do a class in 5 days (1 day for my work and 1 day off each week). What's impressive is all relative, I suppose, as I know plenty of people who could put my work to shame. I only hope to share in the process so people can learn from it.

Comment author: [deleted] 28 September 2011 01:18:14AM 0 points [-]

I applaud his attempt, but the 12 month goal strikes me as ridiculous; this will likely become yet another example of the planning fallacy.

Also, why is he studying physics 1 before calculus 1?

Comment author: ScottHYoung 28 September 2011 02:30:34AM 8 points [-]

Talking before I've completed it comes off as arrogant, and that's an unfortunate tradeoff of running this challenge live. I've done as much research as I can do now, though, so the only way to try will be to actually attempt it. As for planning fallacy, I have a fairly flexible approach with a lot of backups in case some things don't work out, so that too will be discussed in my approach.

As for Physics I, I actually completed that class as my pilot test of the pace (leaving 32 to go), so if you go to the main page you can see my results. Calculus was not a prerequisite in the class, although it probably should have been, I had to make due without mastery of those concepts.

Comment author: Jack 28 September 2011 12:27:57AM 8 points [-]

I don't think he plans on not doing assignments- he just isn't grading them. Pre-exam assignments are mostly there to a) help students avoid procrastinating on learning the material and b) insure against bad luck or nerves on exam day.

Comment author: ScottHYoung 28 September 2011 02:27:37AM *  14 points [-]

Jack is mostly correct. I am planning to do assignments, however my goal is to do these later in the program where I feel the most value will come out. I've done light programming as a hobby for years, so I'm not unfamiliar with the approach, my goal is to maximize my theoretical basis of knowledge, not necessarily to become a superstar programmer (which I believe comes after years of deliberate practice, not necessarily through college anyhow). As for evaluative basis, most of the final exams I'll be writing are at least 50%, so there is at least an argument to be made that they are substantive and not peripheral to the content.

Vaniver is also correct about spaced repetition. My reason for taking this approach is to make my process more flexible early on. Once I figure out the best methods to teach myself, it will be safer to switch to doing more classes in parallel where I can get the long-term benefits of spaced repetition. As for the grading measurement, that's a completely reasonable critique. I hope to explore the tradeoffs of this approach compared to an actual MIT program and discuss that, since there will inevitably be places my methods leave weaker than a traditional program.