Simfish/InquilineKea's Thoughts

concerning interactions with other people
February 9, 2008, 12:40 pm
Filed under: main

people like interacting with other people in such a way thatlists of grievances make a lot more sense when they’re based on normative/deontological arguments rather than utilitarian ones

you can justify anything after you’ve firmly established your belief in it, even if it happens to be wrong.still, i seem convinced that i can’t socialize with most people and seem to have developed pretty strong reasons (to myself anyways) why i can’t.a lot of socially awkward people desire social interaction and don’t know how to interact with others. some mange to succeed. some never succeed. i don’t know. everyone plays some role in your life. you need people in different roles. you need people to entertain you, but you don’t need too many of them. you need someone to get jealous of. you need a scapegoat or someone to throw things on. you need an antisocial academic superstar at your school. they’re all fun to talk about. hm. i guess i fall under some roles better than others (wrt most people).

synchronization isn’t always mutual. sometimes it’s unidirectional. one person can amuse everyone else even if he has no pleasure in trying to amuse everyone else, even if he doesn’t know that he’s amusing other people. he just happens to perform actions that happen to synchronize with the range of behaviors that others happen to positively respond to.

actually this formulation is a _very_ good formulation i’ve defined, since now i precisely know what i desire when i try to make friends (and i also precisely know why i can’t get along with a lot of people who share my interests). and also why i happen to use some interests as proxies to measure synchronization (or some behaviors as proxies). hm.

sometimes i’m reluctant to do things for other people. or with other people. disagreements arise up from (a) differences between [confidence one has in one’s predictions] and [someone else’s confidence in one’s predictions] or [the things that happen to come out in reality] and (b) the estimation of the relative contribution of various parameters that come in the determination of an observed outcome. [versus someone else’s estimation of the relative contribution of such parameters, or those observed in reality ]
but really, why do people make computer games? why are reviews made for them? it’s all based on synchronization.

why do i socialize with nerds? because it’s easier to synchronize with them than it is with “normal” people who depend on implicit (non-explicit) parameters for synchronization. or maybe it’s just that (SOME of them) are more likely to implicitly synchronize with me than “normal” people (maybe their means at finding the appropriate actions (to elicit positive/desired reactions) in a context are different than the mans normal people use).

the vast majority of messages are communicated implicitly and it’s up to the person to figure out the best way to act in a certain context [to determine the actions most likely to elicit positive/desired responses] BASED on his/her interpretation of such messages and whether he/she senses them or not. even texts contain hidden meanings – so it’s up to the person to figure out hidden meanings/motivations behind texts.

are there different MEANS to determine what are the best actions appropriate in a given context? yes. you can use logical reasoning or you can use reasoning based on a comparison of the person with other people (both of whom potentially have similar reactions to a given event).


maybe the best test of synchronization would just be for me to explicitly tell people when i “strongly” feel that they’ve said something i really liked (even if i have no animated response to what they said), and ask others to do the same for me. i could also explicitly tell people when i “strongly” feel that they’ve said something that synchronized with what i disliked (but this only applies to people who have a very strong desire to interact with me).


EDIT: April 1, 2008:

Responding to advice: if paired up with my current strategy, your suggestions would make them all more likely to be jointly sufficient towards a goal.

credibility arguments::

“they pay so much $$ for these”, “professionally designed”, “you get feedback”

The capacity to remember what you tell other people in the past may actually be quite important (some people seem to lack this).

Ben golub’s quote on why he finds sakky awkward

reflections on reasoning
February 9, 2008, 12:39 pm
Filed under: main

It appears that most fundamental disagreements center around…

(a) estimation of relative contributions and

(b) generality

(c) what works for one system does not apply to system2 under different constraints

(d) projection estimates

(e) can people discern what’s best for them in all possible cases, or do they need to be guided by ppl policies

(f) estimate of relative weights of what one VALUES

If I propose this idea anywhere, it will be heavily criticized. People will think that their ideas will be SUPERIOR to this idea just because their ideas have been used for more people (and more teaching styles).  But they cannot PROVE that their ideas will be superior to this idea, ESPECIALLY for a particular person. We really don’t know which idea is superior. What we do know is this – my idea is based on self-study and flexibility so the costs of my idea are very low (and if one ends up learning nothing, one ends up learning nothing without too much time lost).


Do most social policies (and advice) fundamentally lay on discernment” – or the lack of trust in people’s ability to discern? If people were able to discern what’s best for themselves each and every time, then policies would be useless. Policies are by definition, measures to encourage a number of people to achieve a desired aim. Generic advice is based on the assumption that people often can’t discern between alternatives to truly decide what’s best for them (and so it lays on the assumption that it is better for them to take the suggested route – which would work most of the time). this is often right.Artificial vs. natural barriers: It’s important to discern between the two. Artificial barriers prevent people from reaching their potential.  This is sometimes desirable, as you don’t want people to reach their potential of medication toxicity – that’s why you set artificial barriers to medication dosages. Other times they provide a good means of actually motivating people (or setting a guideline for them – as artificially set barriers are WELL-DEFINED, unlike natural barriers). This also has some roots in discernment – artificial barriers would be useless if people had perfect information and perfect ability to discern – but they don’t have such ability. Of course artificial barriers in other cases truly do prevent people from reaching their potential (for example, their potential to, say, learn calculus at age 14).


February 5, 2008, 9:23 am | Edit this
Filed under: insightful
People like to share their scores after tests. I used to do that too, until I started doing badly on some of them. And then I’d still share if I did okay (but I’m now starting to avoid sharing for all cases until my work ethics are stronger). Clearly, test scores carry an aura of objectivity that nothing else can carry (even if tests have their flaws and can’t measure everything, blahblahblah).You can always argue to someone else “if I had done X I would have done better on the test.” Could you actually convince anyone of the legitimacy of such assertion? Is it worth convincing that person?Moreover, in ANY sample, there are a group of people who could improve a lot more too. To say that you could have improved your test scores significantly (to the exclusion of others) is to be unfair to them. Perhaps some can actually improve much more than others (given that they have larger “potential ability” to “realized ability” gaps. But convincing yourself of such counterfactuals is far less difficult than convicning others of the validity of the counterfactual. That said, the end justifies the means. People retake the SATs, and while most people barely improve, there are a small number of people who do have reason to expect significant improvements.


discernment theory

January 25, 2008, 8:49 pm | Edit this
Filed under: dictionaryofimportantterms, insightful
basically in cases where self-control isn’t a major factor, i should trust my ability to discern between when action x is preferable and when action y is preferable. it is rare that action x should always be preferable to action y when one HAS the ability to discern.for example – going to lecture. going to lectures for all classes all the time can result in tremendous frustration with some lectures – but skipping lectures for all classes all the time is extremely dangerous (and can result in you missing out on certain good lectures). meh. this is an interesting case though. taking 4-5 hardcore math classes at a time is an extremely dangerous move and should one be done if one has thoroughly pre-studied at least 2 of them.


January 22, 2008, 11:06 am | Edit this
Filed under: dictionaryofimportantterms, insightful
the question with ANY system is this:can you TRUST people to be able to discern between what’s BEST for them and what isn’t BEST for them PRIMA FACIE?

And which systems work for the greatest possible number of people while allowing opportunities for people who wish to pursue alternative routes?

And which types of people are more likely to be enhanced by exploring multiple systems at a cost of efficiency, and which types of people are likely to suffer efficiency losses at such a rate that they would be well-advised to pursue a single system?

I just added this to my facebook interests:

“the coincidental correlations between certain probability distributions + combinatorial systems (wrt certain alphabets) and the real world, arbitrary lines that are inserted into those combinatorial systems (perhaps facilitated by the observation that patterns in combinatorial systems tend to indirectly enhance the survival of similar patterns in such systems)”

patents are often given to arbitrary systems that somehow are thought by (someone) to have correlation with the POTENTIAL interests of the population at large.

January 25, 2008, 9:02 am | Edit this
Filed under: insightful
If you can change the system, change the systemif you cannot change the system, flee the system

if you cannot flee the system, adapt to the system and wait for opportunities to change it (or for the system to be changed)
if you cannot facilitate or forsee the change of the system, adapt to it and treat it as an effective absolute

if you cannot adapt to it, use any means necessary to get out via legal means

if you absolutely cannot use any means necessary to get out via legal means, get out via illegal means

if you cannot even use illegal means to get out, die.

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i’d switch the first and third bullets in most cases (i.e. unless the system was really trampling on my rights).
changing the system takes time and effort, and usually i want to expend that effort on other thingsComment by averin January 25, 2008 @ 11:08 pm |Edit This
oh yeah, i impulsively added the third bullet.yeah (3) should come before (2). good point about “changing the system takes time and effort”. Maybe I should just put in “change the system at a reasonable price.” In the case that changing it doesn’t take much effort, then it’s the preferred direction. But sometimes SWITCHING to another system is the preferred method. It then depends on the relative differences between the opportunity costs of switching and the opportunity costs of actually changing (and the probability of success for both)

Comment by inquilinekea January 26, 2008 @ 9:39 am |Edit This

quite possibly.
it actually reminds me of some chinese quote
from the art of war or something“if you can fight, fight
if you can’t fight, defend
if you can’t defend, leave
if you can’t leave, surrender
if you can’t surrender, die”

or at least i think that’s how it goes

Comment by averin January 27, 2008 @ 4:05 am |Edit This

I derived the inspiration from that quote. =p It’s attributed to Sima Yi from the Romance of Three Kingdoms (but I think Luo Guanzhong made it up for him).Comment by inquilinekea January 27, 2008 @ 4:10 am |Edit This


textbook logic:

math notes
February 9, 2008, 12:38 pm
Filed under: main, math

Ratio test: if converges to a number < 1, then function decreases as an exponential. if converges to 0, then function decreases faster than exponential.if converges to 1, decreases slower than exponential.

lagrange’s theorem: GIVEN group and subgroups, figure out order of subgroups partial converse: sylow’s theorem, GIVEN groups, there EXIST subgroups