Elliot Temple has commented on this post here
(These are comments on the longest/”main” video in the Yes/No educational product, and specifically on the content starting around the 60 min mark and continuing until around the 90 minute mark. This is a selective summary/discussion of items and will omit many points and details, which you will have to pay for the whole product to get!)
Part 3 of Video (continued from last post)
Degrees of problem solving
Elliot says there’s no degrees of problem solving if we’re being precise. A solution does or doesn’t solve a problem. You can think otherwise if you aren’t carefully defining what you consider to be your success criteria but still taking those criteria into consideration when evaluating solutions.
Example: if you say you want to make as much money as possible, then you should act in a way which would actually achieve your supposed goal — in other words, you should be spending every minute doing the actions which will make you more money. But people don’t really mean it when they say something like “i want to make as much money as possible.” They mean they’d like to make lots of money subject to a bunch of constraints regarding working hours, interesting work, etc.
If you get stuck in solving a problem, you may want to reconsider the problem, and not just focus on the ideas you’re considering as solutions.
One thing you could do is make the problem more demanding so more stuff gets ruled out.
Elliot says being precise about problems can help get epistemology correct.
Summary so far
Elliot gives a summary so far, some highlights:
Amounts of support & positive args are myths.
All args are decisive or false!
Ideas are refuted in the context of solving a problem.
If you have only one yes idea for a problem, act on it
Part 4 of Video: Decision Charting
(Elliot gives an example of a pet decision chart)
J’s Comment: Decision charting is good idea. I had a recent decision regarding a computer purchase and had something like a decision chart in mind when making the decision.
I’m not gonna try and do a chart in text 🙂 But my proposed solutions were something like:
Don’t buy anything
And my problems were something like
- Lets me have access to a full computer outside house
- Runs OSX
- retina screen
One thing i got kinda stuck on was, i couldn’t decide whether i wanted MAX LIGHTNESS or MORE PERFORMANCE. So while the problems above knocked out the Macbook Air, Windows laptop, and not buying anything, I was indecisive for a while between the Macbook and Macbook Pro.
Elliot says Decision Charts are trying to solve a similar problem to things like pro/con lists, giving things a 1-10 score, etc. Except its more useful in lots of cases because saying “no” to a bunch of stuff gives you more useful information than a kinda vague score.
Elliot says you can use decision charts to analyze complex questions like what’s a good economic system. But for this kinda thing you need footnotes to the shorthand expressions for the issues in your chart.
The charts help you organize your conclusions, but you still need to come to those conclusions by thinking, writing arguments, etc.
Part 5 of Video
Elliot says if you have multiple yes ideas, you can try and find flaws with each, brainstorm crit, clarify the ideas, etc. Say you do this, but you’re still stuck.
You can consider various things, like whether you should change your standards to try and solve a different, easier problem.
Elliot says that if a time limit comes up in solving a problem, you can reconsider the idea in light of the time limit, and come up with a new plan.
J’s Comment: I did this yesterday. I was planning on making a somewhat elaborate baked penne pesto with sausage, but decided that would take too long and be too much effort for my level of interest at that time. So I did a simpler version of the penne pesto dish that took less time.
Elliot points out that reconsidering the problem in light of time pressure generally leads to doing something easier, because you don’t have time to do something harder right now.
J’s Comment: Just like my pesto example 😀
If you have two things you really want, and they seem to conflict, and you’re running out of time, you can come up with a temporary solution.
Elliot gives an example: if you’re conflicted about whether to drop out of school, you can decide to stay in school for one more week.
Elliot says good ideas are reasonable and flexible. They generally won’t insist you figure out something you’re struggling with RIGHT NOW unless there’s a good reason