Stupid Questions Open Thread

This is for any­one in the LessWrong com­mu­nity who has made at least some effort to read the se­quences and fol­low along, but is still con­fused on some point, and is per­haps feel­ing a bit em­bar­rassed. Here, new­bies and not-so-new­bies are free to ask very ba­sic but still rele­vant ques­tions with the un­der­stand­ing that the an­swers are prob­a­bly some­where in the se­quences. Similarly, LessWrong tends to pre­sume a rather high thresh­old for un­der­stand­ing sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy. Rele­vant ques­tions in those ar­eas are wel­come as well. Any­one who chooses to re­spond should re­spect­fully guide the ques­tioner to a helpful re­source, and ques­tion­ers should be ap­pro­pri­ately grate­ful. Good faith should be pre­sumed on both sides, un­less and un­til it is shown to be ab­sent. If a ques­tioner is not sure whether a ques­tion is rele­vant, ask it, and also ask if it’s rele­vant.