Comment by piero on Consistent extrapolated beliefs about math? · 2014-09-07T15:21:32.732Z · LW · GW

Though the number of possible minds is vast, I think the likelihood of two minds sharing an intuitive concept of number is high, because minds (or perhaps I should say consciousnesses) process information sequentially. Perhaps it is akin to the shared perception of rhythm, which is not limited to human minds. I suppose you have already seen it, but this video is amazing: the dancing cockattoo.

Comment by piero on Truth and the Liar Paradox · 2014-09-06T21:40:39.292Z · LW · GW

Just a minor point:

"when you have the statement refer to itself, you get a paradox" is not necessarily true. For example, the statement "this statement has five words" is self-referential and true. No paradox. Even a self-referential statement that includes its own truth value can be non-paradoxical: "This statement is true and has two words" is merely false.

By the way, this leads me to consider Prior's resolution as somewhat problematic:

"This statement is true and has eight words" "This statement has eight words"

The first statement is true and the second false, hence they cannot be equivalent. Nevertheless, adding "This statement is true and " to any statement should not change the statement's truth value if we accept that every statement implicitly states its own truth.

Comment by piero on What steep learning curve do you wish you'd climbed sooner? · 2014-09-06T20:15:40.571Z · LW · GW

That's what I understand by a "learning curve" too. I would tend to agree with the wikipedia proposed explanation: "steep" is, in some contexts, synonymous with "difficult". Saying "you have to climb a shallow learning curve" would certainly be interpreted wrongly by most people.

Concerning the OP question, I wish I had learnt something interesting at school, instead of the thoroughly irrelevant, utterly boring, mindboggingly wrong pseudoknowledge.

To zedzed and D_Malik: I think what you have in mind is learning to play an instrument as a profession. I that case I agree that the rewards are probably not commensurate to the effort, unless you are exceedingly talented and lucky. But for everybody else it's probably a good idea. If done for its entertainment value it's surely worth it, and it helps you understand and enjoy music at a deeper level. On the minus side, it also makes you realize that most popular music sucks. Really really sucks, to the point of irritating me.