Posts

What are your favorite examples of distillation? 2020-04-25T17:06:51.393Z · score: 42 (14 votes)
Do you trust the research on handwriting vs. typing for notes? 2020-04-23T20:49:19.731Z · score: 25 (9 votes)
How much motivation do you derive from curiosity alone in your work/research? 2020-04-17T14:04:13.763Z · score: 25 (8 votes)
Decaf vs. regular coffee self-experiment 2020-03-01T19:19:24.832Z · score: 9 (7 votes)
Yet another Simpson's Paradox Post 2019-12-23T14:20:09.309Z · score: 8 (3 votes)
Billion-scale semi-supervised learning for state-of-the-art image and video classification 2019-10-19T15:10:17.267Z · score: 5 (2 votes)
What are your strategies for avoiding micro-mistakes? 2019-10-04T18:42:48.777Z · score: 18 (9 votes)
What are effective strategies for mitigating the impact of acute sleep deprivation on cognition? 2019-03-31T18:31:29.866Z · score: 26 (11 votes)
So you want to be a wizard 2019-02-15T15:43:48.274Z · score: 16 (3 votes)
How do we identify bottlenecks to scientific and technological progress? 2018-12-31T20:21:38.348Z · score: 31 (9 votes)
Babble, Learning, and the Typical Mind Fallacy 2018-12-16T16:51:53.827Z · score: 6 (4 votes)
NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed 2018-08-11T18:33:15.983Z · score: 14 (3 votes)
The Case Against Education: Why Do Employers Tolerate It? 2018-06-10T23:28:48.449Z · score: 17 (5 votes)

Comments

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-05-24T01:24:31.289Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is awesome! I've been thinking I should try out the natural number game for a while because I feel like formal theorem proving will scratch my coding / video game itch in a way normal math doesn't.

Comment by an1lam on Against Dog Ownership · 2020-05-18T18:07:43.268Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Minor note - having spent significant time in multiple homes with one dog and more recently a home with multiple, my anecdotal observation is that even just having 2 dogs changes the dynamic from dog obsessed with humans to dogs that have each other and are maybe still obsessed with their humans as well.

Comment by an1lam on What are your greatest one-shot life improvements? · 2020-05-16T20:12:18.344Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Are you putting yours on paper or storing it digitally?

Comment by an1lam on Project Proposal: Gears of Aging · 2020-05-10T18:36:52.040Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

(Not the author, obviously.) Part of my personal intuition against this view is that even amongst mammals, lifespans and the way in which lives ends seems to vary quite a bit. See, for example, the biological immortality Wikipedia page, this article about sea sponges and bowhead whales, and this one about naked mole rats.

That said, it's still possible we're locked in a very tricky-to-get-out-of local optima in a high dimensional space that makes it very hard for us to make local improvements. But then I suspect OP's response would be that the way to get out of local optima is to understand gears.

Comment by an1lam on TurnTrout's shortform feed · 2020-05-06T19:43:08.114Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Only related to the first part of your post, I suspect Pearl!2020 would say the coarse-grained model should be some sort of causal model on which we can do counterfactual reasoning.

Comment by an1lam on Insights from Euclid's 'Elements' · 2020-05-05T16:53:44.416Z · score: 8 (6 votes) · LW · GW

FWIW as someone who learned Python first, was exposed to C but didn't really understand it, and then only really learned C later (by playing around with / hacking on the OpenBSD operating system and also working on a project that used C++ with mainly only features from C), I've always found the following argument quite suspect with respect to programming:

(FWIW I've made the same argument in the context of training programmers, preferring that they have to learn to work with assembly, FORTRAN, and C because the difficulty forced me to understand a lot of useful details that help me even when working in higher level languages that can't be fully appreciated if you are, for example, trying to simulate the experience of managing memory or creating loops with JUMPIF in a language where it's not necessary. Not exactly the same as what's going on here but of the same type.)

It's undoubtedly true that I see some difference before & after "grokking" low-level programming in terms of being able to better debug issues with low-level networking code and maybe having a better intuition for performance. Now in fairness, most of my programming work hasn't been super performance focused. But, at the same time, I found learning lower level programming much easier after having already internalized decent programming practices (like writing tests and structuring my code) which allowed me to focus on the unique difficulties of C and assembly. Furthermore, I was much more motivated to understand C & assembly because I felt like I had a reason to do so rather than just doing it because (no snark intended) old-school programmers had to do so when they were learning.

For these reasons, I definitely would not recommend someone who wants to learn programming start with C & assembly unless they have a goal that requires it. This just seems to me like going to hard mode directly primarily because that's what people used to have to do. As I said above, I'm fairly convinced that the lessons you learn from doing so are things you can pick up later and not so necessary that you'll be handicapped without them.

(Of course, all of this is predicated on the assumption that I have the skills you claim one learns from learning these languages, which I admit you have no reason to believe purely based on my comments / posts.)

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-05-05T00:05:23.474Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It seems not that conscious. I suspect it's similar to very scrupulous people who just clean / tidy up by default. That said, I am very curious whether it's cultivatable in a less pathological way.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-05-04T23:15:24.312Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah good idea.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-05-03T16:16:38.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm interested in reading more about what might've been going on in Ramanujan's head when he did math. So far, the best thing I've found is this.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-05-03T02:06:53.042Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

How to remember everything (not about Anki)

In this fascinating article, Gary Marcus (now better known as a Deep Learning critic, for better or worse) profiles Jill Price, a woman who has an exceptional autobiographical memory. However, unlike others that studied Price, Marcus plays the role of the skeptic and comes to the conclusion that Price's memory is not exceptional in general, but instead only for the facts about her life, which she obsesses over constantly.

Now obsessing over autobiographical memories is not something I'd recommend to people, but reading this did make me realize that to the degree it's cultivate-able, continuously mulling over stuff you've learned is a viable strategy for remembering it much better.

Comment by an1lam on Are there technical/object-level fields that make sense to recruit to LessWrong? · 2020-05-01T04:11:50.603Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would recommend the other writers I linked though! They are much more insightful than I anyway!

Comment by an1lam on Are there technical/object-level fields that make sense to recruit to LessWrong? · 2020-05-01T04:11:06.433Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sadly, not much. I wrote this one blog post a few years back about my take on why "reading code" isn't a thing people should do in the same way they read literature but not much (publicly) other than that. I'll think about whether there's anything relevant to stuff I've been doing recently that I could write up.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-05-01T02:29:55.192Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sometimes there are articles I want to share, like this one, where I don't generally trust the author and they may have quite (what I consider) wrong views overall but I really like some of their writing. On one hand, sharing the parts I like without crediting the author seems 1) intellectually / epistemically dishonest and 2) unfair to the author. On the other hand, providing a lot of disclaimers about not generally trusting the author feels weird because I feel uncomfortable publicly describing why I find them untrustworthy.

Not really sure what to do here but flagging it to myself as an issue explicitly seems like it might be useful.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-30T02:11:40.393Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Taking Self-Supervised Learning Seriously as a Model for Learning

It seems like if we take self-supervised learning (plus a sprinkling of causality) seriously as key human functions, we can more directly enhance our learning by doing much more prediction / checking of predictions while we learn. (I think this is also what predictive processing implies but don't understand that framework as well.)

Comment by an1lam on I do not like math · 2020-04-29T17:49:07.079Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I appreciate you writing this especially given that the userbase on this site includes a lot of people who really like math.

One thing I'm curious about - it seems like you enjoy physics. Do you enjoy using math to do / understand physics? If so, what do you think the difference is? Is it just that you especially dislike proofs or is it also something related to the concreteness / applied nature of it?

Comment by an1lam on What are your favorite examples of distillation? · 2020-04-26T21:02:21.933Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thought I just had after writing this: I think distillation is probably a subset of pedagogy.

Comment by an1lam on What are your favorite examples of distillation? · 2020-04-26T20:49:27.608Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Good question - frankly, I'm not sure!

I have an intuitive sense that distillation (as defined in the Research Debt article) differs from pedagogy by focusing more on clarity, being more opinionated, and drawing connections between topics/fields while focusing less on comprehensiveness and accessibility. Admittedly though, some of my favorite examples of distillation--Paths Perspective on Value Learning, If correlation doesn't imply causation, then what does?--are also quite accessible as pedagogical examples. That said, I do think these examples illustrate the opinionated point. These authors are writing about the parts of their topics that interest them and from their perspectives, not trying to describe the topics comprehensively.

Let me just reiterate that this is me thinking out loud. I have not yet distilled the difference between distillation and pedagogy.

Comment by an1lam on What are your favorite examples of distillation? · 2020-04-25T23:26:02.547Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Agree! I too am a big fan.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-24T22:01:01.248Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ah that makes sense, thanks. I was in fact thinking of Newton's method (which is why I didn't see the connection).

Comment by an1lam on Do you trust the research on handwriting vs. typing for notes? · 2020-04-24T18:27:10.549Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Fair enough - the problem is for me neatness isn't a constant but a function of writing speed. I can write very neatly but then I also end up writing very slowly.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-24T18:25:44.701Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

So... I just re-read your brain dump post and realized that you described an issue that I not only encountered but the exact example for which it happened!

so i might remember the intuition behind newton's approximation, but i won't know how to apply it or won't remember that it's useful in proving the chain rule.

I indeed have a card for Newton's approximation but didn't remember this fact! That said, I don't know whether I would have noticed the connection had I tried to re-prove the chain rule, but I suspect not. The one other caveat is that I created cards very sparsely when I reviewed calculus so I'd like to think I might have avoided this with a bit more card-making.

Comment by an1lam on Do you trust the research on handwriting vs. typing for notes? · 2020-04-24T18:21:24.666Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes! If you haven't seen the following articles already, I recommend at least skimming them:

The first Michael Nielsen link has a part where he discusses using Anki to achieve a goal vs. just remembering for the sake of remembering which seems relevant to your question.

This thread I started on LW about my own observations from using Anki also touches on the question you raise. Personally, I haven't used Readwise but I have had general positive experiences using Anki. That said, similar to Nielsen, my worst Anki experiences have come from trying to remember books for the sake of remembering them vs. using the content for some sort of goal. I use goal broadly here to include writing a blog post/article/book, solving problems/exercises, writing a program, etc.

Comment by an1lam on Do you trust the research on handwriting vs. typing for notes? · 2020-04-24T13:15:36.565Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Good point! Part of my interest in whether high quality studies exists is that this seems like an example of an information cascade if not.

Comment by an1lam on Do you trust the research on handwriting vs. typing for notes? · 2020-04-24T00:39:31.605Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for sharing this! Interestingly, this has not been my experience - when I started taking LaTex notes in live talks / lectures, I think my retention went down because I would get nerd-sniped trying to fix my formatting. However, I do think a similar thing is true for me which is that my retention seems proportionate to my time spent interpreting / thinking about the material, which I could see note-taking difficulty being correlated with. I suspect it's not for me because I have an above average level need format things in the "optimal" way (this is also why I dislike using pens for writing).

Comment by an1lam on Mark Xu's Shortform · 2020-04-23T01:58:29.632Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Why not something along the lines of "your rationality is measured as much by your worst case performance as your average case"?

Comment by an1lam on Jacob's Twit, errr, Shortform · 2020-04-22T23:30:24.250Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In an alternate universe: All the over-estimators, under-estimators, slow updaters will look up and shout, "save us!" And we'll whisper "Bayes".

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-19T16:20:20.274Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Cool!

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-19T00:46:53.791Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Seems like the post you linked is a joke. Were you serious about the friend?

Comment by an1lam on How much motivation do you derive from curiosity alone in your work/research? · 2020-04-17T17:32:53.197Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My main technique for actually doing, as opposed to thinking and exploring, is guiding that curiosity into different levels of detail.

As long as I remember to wonder how this behavior is happening at the code level, and I remind myself that I don't really get it fully until I see it working in the debugger , I can use that curiosity to drive the detail work of actually delivering well-understood working code.

I've also found this to work well in my work as a programmer, but it's generally something I have to remind myself to do in a reactionary way and therefore doesn't seem to help me "get my butt in the chair". So, this is a good reminder to try and guide my curiosity in the way you described, thanks!

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-17T03:53:26.617Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Cool, I hadn't seen your page previously but our ideas do in fact seem very similar. I think you were right to not focus on the speed element and instead analogize to 'let's play' videos.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-17T02:07:39.004Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the feedback!

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-16T23:18:16.697Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've been reading a bit about John Conway since his (unfortunate) death. One thing I keep noticing is that everyone seems to emphasize how core having fun was to John Conway's way of doing math. One question I'm interested in in general is how important fun and curiosity are for doing good research.

I've considered posting a question about this that uses John Conway as an example of someone who 1) was genuinely curious and fun-loving but 2) also had other gifts that played a large role in his ability to do great math. But, I don't want to be insensitive given that he only recently died.

I am considering using Feynman as an example instead as someone who cultivated a reputation for just having fun but had other gifts which played a large role in his success, but I feel a little weird that Conway was the person who originally triggered the thought.

Anyone who reads my shortform have an idea for how I can ask this in a tasteful way?

Comment by an1lam on The one where Quirrell is an egg · 2020-04-15T15:47:40.331Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This links to If chapter 104 had been written by an idiot, which I hadn't seen before and also enjoyed. Choice quotes from that one:

“I love free food,” one of the Aurors said.

Instantly Harry realized.

Professor Quirrell was dying.

Organisms died when they could no longer sustain their life.

Organisms sustained life through energy.

Food provided energy.

High-sugar foods provided the most energy. That was why [lecture on evolutionary psychology] humans loved the taste of sugar even though [lecture on superstimuli].

Harry’s mind instantly made a connection.

Unicorn blood is jam.

How - why - no, run with the hypothesis

and

Label Professor Quirrell as the lip-twitcher.

Label synonyms for You-Know-Who as lip-twitching activators.

“Harry,” Professor Quirrell croaked. “Harry, listen…I have…cynical things to say…about…cough, other people…Harry, please….”

“Let me think. Let me think for one minute before I find a way to transfigure infinite jam.”

Comment by an1lam on Curiosity: A Greedy Feeling · 2020-04-11T21:26:17.404Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A little trickier because it tends to require more pre-requisites like linear algebra but I feel similarly about the optimization-focused aspects of Machine Learning.

Comment by an1lam on Curiosity: A Greedy Feeling · 2020-04-11T21:24:19.271Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thoughts much appreciated :) !

Comment by an1lam on Curiosity: A Greedy Feeling · 2020-04-11T14:34:40.775Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I just re-read your post one more time and want to comment that I can strongly relate to this section in particular:

The best I've ever been able to do is to relate to my studies a little bit like it's a sport.

I get into the zone. I see how quickly, how effortlessly, how accurately I can answer problems. How fast can I read this chapter? What's the craziest organic molecule I can draw and then name?

I try to invent my own problems. I rewrite passages in my own words. I don't just try to answer the exercises and remember the concepts. I try to remember what the exercise questions were, or even to make up my own exercise questions. It's the next best thing to tutoring someone else.

I'm not being guided by curiosity. I'm being motivated by competitiveness and restlessness and the desire to test myself, to push the limits. When I'm at my best in my studies, I'm acting more like a fiercely competitive soccer player, or maybe like the stereotype of a hot-shot fighter pilot.

Comment by an1lam on Curiosity: A Greedy Feeling · 2020-04-11T14:27:46.883Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Great post!

The first thing worth noting is that, as you mentioned, school is sort of an artificial environment which often penalizes following your intrinsic curiosity. Taking that into account, I'm still quite uncertain about the degree to which I'm able to develop expertise purely through intrinsic motivation.

On the one hand, I've seen some comments / posts on LessWrong / Twitter arguing some subset of:

  • For intellectual activities like math & programming, if you're not motivated by curiosity you're doing it wrong.
  • Children naturally master things they're curious about but then school ruins that drive by forcing you to do things you don't want to do.

On the other hand, if you read the "expertise literature" (Ericsson on Deliberate Practice, The Mundanity of Excellence), there's a big focus on consistently doing uncomfortable things that you're not going to be intrinsically motivated to do in the moment. Now, this literature tends to focus on more skill-based, often physical, "rote" activities like swimming, violin, etc. Chess is probably the closest thing to an intellectual pursuit that's been studied by academics through the lens of deliberate practice. That said, Cal Newport (a Computer Science professor and sort of pop science writer), has written extensively about his belief and experience applying deliberate practice to knowledge work and I think he makes good arguments that fit with my personal experience.

Finally, my personal experience has also provided mixed evidence for the two conflicting hypotheses. I do learn much better when I'm intrinsically curious about what I'm learning and as a result spend time idly thinking about it. But, I also find that in order to really learn something challenging well, especially early on, I sometimes need to force myself to sit my butt down at the chair and practice.

As a concrete example, I used to not be that intrinsically interested in algorithms as an area beyond the basic ones that everyone knows about (BFS, DFS, LRU cache, etc.). As a result, when I decided I wanted to prepare for interviews before looking for a new job, I mostly forced myself to sit down and grind through a bunch of algorithms-y problems. This was not that fun at first because it was quite hard and even when I was curious about the answers to, in particular, the harder problems, I wouldn't be able to get them or would take a long time to. Also, it was originally driven by extrinsic motivation. However things changed as time went on. Once I reached a certain level of proficiency, I grew to like practicing and learning about algorithms more because I worried less about constantly failing. My two take-aways from this experience were:

  • A sense of inadequacy is a big obstacle to intrinsic motivation.
  • It's much easier to be curious when you're already somewhat competent.

In the end, I think both the "perfect practice makes perfect" and "harness the desire to know" perspectives have something to contribute towards developing expertise, but I personally am not yet at a stage where I can learn really hard things without doing some amount of "forcing" myself.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-07T15:26:15.737Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

3Blue1Brown has a video where he sort of does this for a hard Putnam problem. I say "sort of" because he's not solving the problem in real time so much as retrospectively describing how one might solve it.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-07T15:25:30.711Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yep, I touched on this above. Personally, I'm less interested in this type of problem solving than I am in seeing someone build to a well-known but potentially easier to prove theorem, but I suspect people solving IMO problems would appeal to a wider audience.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-05T20:48:13.572Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Related: here, DJB lays out the primary results of a single-variable calculus course in 11 LaTex-ed pages.

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-02T21:47:16.298Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah what would be ideal is if theorem provers were more usable and then this wouldn't be an issue (although of course there's still the issue of library code vs. from scratch code but this seems easier to deal with).

Memorizing a proof seems fine (in the same way that I assume you end up basically memorizing the game map if you do a speedrun).

Comment by an1lam on NaiveTortoise's Short Form Feed · 2020-04-02T21:00:29.764Z · score: 17 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Weird thing I wish existed: I wish there were more videos of what I think of as 'math/programming speedruns'. For those familiar with speedrunning video games, this would be similar except the idea would be to do the same thing for a math proof or programming problem. While it might seem like this would be quite boring since the solution to the problem/proof is known, I still think there's an element of skill to and would enjoy watching someone do everything they can to get to a solution, proof, etc. as quickly as possible (in an editor, on paper, LaTex, etc.).

This is kind of similar to streaming ACM/math olympiad competition solving except I'm equally more in people doing this for known problems/proofs than I am for tricky but obscure problems. E.g., speed-running the SVD derivation.

While I'm posting this in the hope that others are also really interested, my sense is that this would be incredibly niche even amongst people who like math so I'm not surprised it doesn't exist...

Comment by an1lam on How do you study a math textbook? · 2020-03-29T21:44:18.843Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Don't feel like I have enough to contribute to post my own answer but I'm disappointed and slightly surprised this question isn't getting more engagement.

Comment by an1lam on [Link] Ignorance, a skilled practice · 2020-03-04T01:30:20.103Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ironically, the actual study by Mr. Young and his identity seem to be a bit of a mystery. H/t Gwern.

Comment by an1lam on Decaf vs. regular coffee self-experiment · 2020-03-02T03:23:45.094Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for your comment. I actually thought about the withdrawal point after posting this but before seeing your comment, but didn't have the (good) idea of using blocks to mitigate it. I'm now pretty uncertain about whether blocks would be better or not. The rest of this comment should be read from the perspective of me thinking out loud not an authoritative response.

From a practical perspective, I don't want to go through withdrawal more than once in two weeks (because from my prior experience, it will be horrible).

From an experiment perspective though, I actually am more interested in the question of "conditional on being addicted to caffeinated coffee, does my body detect the difference between regular and decaf?" I'm also interested in whether, conditional on not being addicted to coffee, drinking caffeinated coffee enhances my performance, but I question whether trying to answer that as part of the same study makes sense. Given that, doing blocks would be good because it would isolate the withdrawal period but bad insofar as it would reduce my samples of "conditional on addiction, do I notice" under different conditions.

Comment by an1lam on Decaf vs. regular coffee self-experiment · 2020-03-02T03:11:16.948Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Replying to your point in a separate comment but will add (with a cite to you) a note about this in the 99% blinded section.

Comment by an1lam on Decaf vs. regular coffee self-experiment · 2020-03-02T01:53:30.017Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Good point, I also realized that the sleep deprivation as a lagging indicator issue makes things more complicated. That is, there's some anecdotal evidence (and maybe experimental) that sleep deprivation affects performance not the day after poor sleep but the day after that.

Comment by an1lam on Decaf vs. regular coffee self-experiment · 2020-03-01T23:29:42.682Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! She ordered the bags and gave them numbers but is typically gone by the time I have coffee (we are on different schedules), so this hopefully shouldn't be a huge issue. That said, this is a good point in the sense that I will explicitly not discuss how I felt that day with respect to the coffee.

Comment by an1lam on Value of the Long Tail · 2020-02-27T02:42:01.381Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Additional note: per your recent post, I suspect there are currently some fields (e.g., biology, psychology, neuroscience) that are currently theory bottlenecked, hence why the Design of Biological Circuits book is so exciting to me.

Comment by an1lam on Value of the Long Tail · 2020-02-27T00:40:48.760Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe my post makes it seem otherwise (although I hope not), but I agree with everything you said.

A minor meta point: since writing my original comment I've also learned more about graphical models and causality, which has led me to realize I previously underestimated Pearl's (and his students' / collaborators') achievements.