🤔💭Justin’s Comments on Yes Or No Philosophy, Part 4 (Main Video Continued)👨🏻‍💻📝

Note: In this post I try and do more of my own thinking/analysis and less repetition than in earlier posts.

Part 5 of Video (continued from last post)

Temporary Solutions

If you’re stuck between two ideas, neither has an immediate solution. So you should come up with a reasonable idea about what to do in this situation, like putting off the decision while thinking it over more.

Pressure Changes the Context

Ssituations where you are e.g. running out of time are a difference context than where you have plenty of time. You may need to restate the problem. When you do this, solutions you may have had objections to earlier may work. This applies not just to time pressure but other sorts of pressure like having little money.

J’s Comment: yeah.

I think that often people’s analysis of situations and the level of pressure they are under can be a bit “sticky.” Say they have a general policy that they use to decide certain things that works well most of the time. Some people don’t want to actively reconsider their policy in some situation. They don’t want to think about whether their general policy applies reasonably in the particular situation they’re dealing with. So they’ll suffer some unnecessary hassle and expense, or even serious danger, in order to comply with their typical policy.

One example might be having a typical policy that you try and ride out storms cuz you wanna be on-hand to deal with minor house damage issues, and to fend off any looters. But now there’s gonna be a Category 5 Hurricane and your house has a good chance of being washed away according to the latest weather reports. For some people, imminent house destruction would be a kind of pressure that would rule out a bunch of solutions that involve staying in the house. But people can be really dumb about analyzing what to do in this kind of situation. You see the really dumb people on the news sometimes.

So people will ignore certain things which should objectively be treated as pressures in order to not have to reanalyze their actions.

They will also create pressures on themselves (that don’t exist in reality) in order to “trick” themselves into making certain decisions. Like not wanting to go home and think about whether to participate in some shady money-making scheme, because they’re afraid they will come up with a criticism of the scheme if they think about it.

Harder is easier

Elliot says you want to choose less ambitious goals in harder situations. But don’t be unambitious generally. Choose the most ambitious goals you can achieve.

J’s Comment: certain projects can have a range of outcomes that are productive. So you could try and go for a more ambitious outcome within that range, but have “fallback” outcomes you’d be okay with. The fallback outcomes can help keep your motivation up in the face of setbacks.

Like if you start writing what you intend to be a long essay, but you realize you don’t have as many interesting thoughts as you thought you did initially, you can turn it into a blog post or list post. Np! Maybe you can build on it later too.

Something I’ve been doing as a minor hobby is time-lapse photography. Time-lapse photography can be FUSSY. There’s so many things that can go wrong, and not all of it is even under your control. But a bunch is. I’ve had one of my attempts not go great, but then I say “okay fine, this isn’t working well.” And so I just try and take some nice pictures instead. This way, I get something worthwhile that I’m happy with, instead of just getting demoralized. And then I try and ensure the same problem doesn’t happen again next time.

For the interested, here’s a time-lapse checklist I have developed. It doesn’t have literally every step, but is more focused on things that can go wrong. It’s also customized to my set-up so it won’t apply to everyone:

J’s Timelapse checklist

  1. Set images to RAW, NOT RAW plus jpeg
  2. Manual camera mode
  3. Autofocus OFF (generally)
  4. Image stabilization OFF
  5. Remove any significant dust from lens
  6. If using filter: Remove any significant dust from filter, place on lens
  7. Consider stabilizing tripod with backpack (esp if windy)
  8. Ensure subject is in focus manually (VERY IMPORTANT STEP, DO NOT SKIP!!!)
  9. Set a reasonably wide aperture to avoid issues with dust specks (but keep in mind depth of field considerations)
  10. Set time-lapse parameters. Allow the parameters to adjust enough to handle the light changes expected in the scene.
  11. GO!

Logical Solution

Elliot says if you have multiple yes ideas, and none guide you in deciding what to do and refuting the others, none are good enough for acting in this situation. So boom they’re all refuted! Now brainstorm!

There’s Always a Way to Make Progress

If you’re stuck with multiple ideas, none of them are good enough.

So you can:
1) keep trying to come up with a good idea (instead of declaring one supported)
2) reconsider your goals (maybe you just need more time to make a final decision)
3) try solving a less ambitious problem. “How do I solve X given that I’m willing to allow Y minor inconvenience to happen”

J’s Example:
Choosing whether to buy a new iPhone

  1. (Trying to come up with a good idea) Think carefully about the use case. Get advice from friends.
  2. (Temporary solution) It won’t come out for a while. So I don’t need to decide now. Maybe if I wait a bit, then the rumors about the 2018 iPhones will give helpful information.
  3. (Solve a less ambitious problem) Maybe I could just try deciding whether I want to try it for the two week period it’s return-eligible instead of making the final purchasing decision upfront.

Elliot says never act on a criticized idea. A criticism means the idea doesn’t work.

Note: These are comments on the longest/”main” video in the Yes/No educational product, and specifically on the content starting at the 90 min mark and continuing until around the end of part 5 at the 112 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!

📚🤔Justin’s Comments on William Godwin’s The Enquirer, Part I, Essay IX📖📝

Justin’s Comments on William Godwin’s The Enquirer, Part I, Essay IX: OF THE COMMUNICATION OF KNOWLEDGE

NOTE: I have made a 📺👀 video of my writing of this post. It has many tangents I didn’t put in the post.

Godwin says:

In what manner would reason, independently of the received modes and practices of the world, teach us to communicate knowledge?

Justin’s Comment: I think Godwin is asking us to mentally set aside the existing education paradigm and analyze, from first principles, what reason would teach us about communicating knowledge.

Godwin says liberty is super important, and that if he’s communicating knowledge, he wants to do it with no violation of the liberty of the person he’s teaching (or as little as possible violation of liberty).

Godwin says there’s two ways of recommending some area of knowledge:
You can talk about why its good, and you can try and manipulate people into pursuing it by offering approval or disapproval.

Godwin says that intrinsic motivation for doing something, which “which arise from the inherent nature of the thing recommended” are unquestionably better than extrinsic motivations. By extrinsic motivation he seems to have in mind something like a teacher manipulating and pressuring you with praise/disapproval.

Godwin says if something is good, you can show its good! If you can’t show its good, maybe you don’t know much about it. People should be able to judge the value of things that they’re going to have to spend time on themselves.

J’s Comment: famous Godwin argument/point that Elliot has mentioned. If you think something is good but can’t explain why, maybe don’t be so sure of yourself!

Godwin asks if children should learn stuff before they know why its valuable.

J’s Comment: People think that kids don’t know much. And kids are ignorant, but they know what they’re interested in, what they like, what their values are. And if someone trying to sell a kid on the value of an activity fails to do so, then that means the person doing the selling failed to fully explain to the kid why the activity was relevant to the kid’s values.

Godwin says that learning individual things doesn’t matter so much as having a “mind well regulated, active, and prepared to learn”.

Godwin says it should be possible to find things that will inspire “habits of industry and observation”, which you need to develop a well-regulated mind. Godwin also says study with desire is a real activity, and without desire its a “semblance and mockery” of activity.

Godwin says the best way to educate is when the pupil is learning stuff they are interested in the whole time. Godwin says the best motive to learn is understanding the value of the thing you are learning. The worst motive is fear. And he also says there’s an in-between motive “which is desire … springing … from the accidental attractions which the teacher may have annexed to it.”

Godwin says current model of education is preceptor-led. OTOH the approach he’s discussing here is pupil-led. “If I learn nothing but what I desire to learn, what should hinder me from being my own preceptor?”

Godwin says there’s two objects of a system of instructing:
1. give pupil a motive to learn
2. help with problems in acquiring knowledge

J’s Comment: I think there is a relationship between objects one and two. I don’t think the issues of motivation and problems in acquiring knowledge are totally separate.

This is because I think that part of the problem people have with acquiring knowledge is bad methods they’ve internalized from school, where motivation didn’t matter. And where they could get by with cramming for exams instead of developing good methods.

If their learning had been something that was about real problems pursued on their own initiative, they would have developed better methods of learning.

Godwin says of pupil-led learning method:

It is sufficiently competent to answer the purposes of [helping with problems in acquiring knowledge].

J’s Comment: I wonder if Godwin thinks pupil-led learning is good enough on this issue and so its fine, or if he thinks teacher-led might have some advantages here.

Godwin says nothing helps with instruction difficulties like a genuinely excited pupil who is being helped with his problems learning.

Godwin says his approach would totally change education. There’d be no more teachers or pupils. ““The boy, like the man, studies, because he desires it.” Kids would pursue stuff on their own initiative, and be happy to ask more knowledgeable people for help. Godwin says the fact that kids consult adults for help more often than the reverse is not based on anything essential. And on the phenomena of kids consulting adults more, Godwin says ” [m]uch even of this would be removed, if we remembered that the most inferior judge may often, by the varieties of his apprehension, give valuable information to the most enlightened.”

J’s Comment: I did not understand the last sentence of this passage (I have provided more for context):

That the boy is accustomed almost always to consult the man, and not the man the boy, is to be regarded rather as an accident, than any thing essential. Much even of this would be removed, if we remembered that the most inferior judge may often, by the varieties of his apprehension, give valuable information to the most enlightened. The boy however should be consulted by the man unaffectedly, not according to any preconcerted scheme, or for the purpose of persuading him that he is what he is not.

Godwin says there’s three big advantages to his proposed education method:
1. Liberty.
2. “judgment would be strengthened by continual exercise.” Godwin says kids would no longer learn their lessons like parrots, and would consider for themselves whether they understood what they read. Godwin says sometimes students might overreach and get ahead of themselves, but “then the nature of the thing would speedily recall them, and induce them to return to examine the tracts which before had been overlooked. ” (J’s Comment: So he seems to think this risk of overreaching isn’t a big deal.)
3. Studying for yourself is the “true method of acquiring habits of activity.” Godwin says the normal method of being led around by someone else in learning is kinda similar to being a horse getting led around — you’re not active. He says you should let kids explore stuff for themselves, and ask you questions before you offer information.

J’s Comment: I looked up “active” in an old timey English Dictionary and it said:

That has the power or quality of acting; that contains the principle of action, independent of any visible external force; as, attraction is an active power: or it may be defined, that communicates action or motion, opposed to passive, that receives action; as, the active powers of the mind.

So it seems to kind of connote living or something like that (as opposed to the modern use of “active” which is more about physical stuff.)

Godwin says another advantage to his system is it will produce a love of literature, cuz right now, people have bad memories of their studies and hate the subjects they learned about. And that’s something they have to struggle to get over.

Godwin says some teachers might be worried about whether they could make their subjects of interest to students under the new system. Godwin says teachers have it pretty awful in the current system too. “He is regarded as a tyrant by those under his jurisdiction, and he is a tyrant.” (J’s Comment: Indeed)

†Justin’s Comments Boilerplate: All quotes are Godwin quotes from this Essay unless otherwise noted. When I say something like “Godwin says” or “Godwin implies” it’s an attempt at a paraphrase of material I have not quoted. When I say “Godwin is saying” I’m trying to paraphrase the immediately preceding quoted material. When I say “J’s Comment” it’s my own thoughts, questions, and commentary on the stuff just quoted or discussed.