Simfish/InquilineKea's Thoughts

categorization is oftentimes so arbitrary
April 7, 2008, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

after all, WHICH necessary and sufficient conditions do we need to determine?

either “it’s there or not there” or “it can be developed”
April 6, 2008, 9:06 pm
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I’ll have to write more about this

methodology vs. learning facts
April 6, 2008, 8:09 pm
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it’s kind of related to treating symptoms and treating the root causes

teaching kids to learn a subject through things like colorful posters and projects isn’t going to help them later (since they aren’t going to be designing colorful posters later). They may PRESENT what they’ve learned through posters, but those posters are likely to fall under the domain of computers, not handwriting.

Does it help them retain the info better than if they just learned the facts straight? There isn’t an iota of proof in it. And sure it might motivate some more than others, but that doesn’t justify forcing everyone in the same class to learn by the same means.

It’s possible that learning by that means could potentially help students learn by helping them do similar things that could help them in the future (transfer) but we can’t prove this

That being said though, there are some specific ways to help students learn info that ISN’T going to help them learn info later, but would at least help them learn VITAL information better than an approach that they would have to use later (but such an approach would be less aided)

the scope of your attention span
April 6, 2008, 6:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

varies a lot.

usually my attention scope (and scope of memory) is so limited that I can only think of a few specific chunks of info without trying to find a general underlying trend that could potentially categorize them all under specific rules that would facilitate further discovery and categorization.

but there are a few times when i feel more inspired. i must capture those moments and identify them (and prepare for myself when I have such moments)

April 6, 2008, 6:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you’re trying to measure the correlations of tests, you have to measure the correlation of that test with knowledge specific to the person (or in some cases to a person’s capability)

but your measurements are biased by several factors. (a) that your tests are so similar to tests that are used to “determine” the people who may be given resources that others wouldn’t get in such a way that it partially measures accessibility to such resources rather than intrinsic talent, (b) that your tests are so similar to tests used for institution admissions that they end up measuring what the institution ends up teaching you rather than intrinsic talent. But actually even subject based tests (when idealized) tend to capture not only subject-based knowledge, but also a variety of other factors that tend to produce that subject-based knowledge [a person who learns the subject material in 1 year is not equal to one who learns it in 5 years]. Of course this becomes less of a problem if you measure other factors in addition to the test.

April 6, 2008, 6:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

agents of creativity:

1: government

2: corporations

3: individuals

Ways to incentivize creativity: (external motivation assumed)

government: accountability to taxpayers by means of elections

corporations: profits

individuals: profits, recognition by others and the opposite sex


elements of theories are judged by:

– how well they explain examples IN a particular domain (we can also debate how general this domain is)

– this domain has examples, counterexamples, and motivating examples


what makes for a good judge?

– the problem is “goodness” depends on what you desire. a lot of times, what is desired isn’t explicitly stated (often because it would contain too much info that’s open to ambiguous interpretation)

– there are many possible systems – you can compare two sucky systems with one ending up better than the other

– think of the big picture – not just of the laws and customs

stable activities and the J curve
April 6, 2008, 11:50 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I previously commented on the difference between “intrinsic” behavior and “externally motivated” behavior, with the consideration that “externally motivated” behavior can only come through some form of evangelicism, which could include coercion (psychological or physical). Of course, sometimes it is difficult to measure which form of behavior is desirable but when one tries to change the behavior of another, it’s usually a form of external motivation to change an intrinsic behavior.

In any case, we can say that intrinsic behavior is behavior that falls under a steady state. Externally motivated behavior can also fall under a steady state (but you cannot 100% convince a person that the NEW behavior will necessarily be a steady state for HIM). Of course, this steady state also explains why some intrinsic behavior can be less efficient than externally motivated behavior (and why people may have convictions in the efficacy of their intrinsic behavior [and thus resistant to modifying their behavior to another desirable behavior with a more potentially stable “stable state”])