In What Ways Have You Become Stronger?

Re­lated to: Tsuyoku Nar­i­tai! (I Want To Be­come Stronger), Test Your Ra­tion­al­ity, 3 Levels of Ra­tion­al­ity Ver­ifi­ca­tion.

Robin and Eliezer ask about the ways to test ra­tio­nal­ity skills, for each of the many im­por­tant pur­poses such test­ing might have. Depend­ing on what’s pos­si­ble, you may want to test your­self to learn how well you are do­ing at your stud­ies, at least to some ex­tent check the san­ity of the teach­ing that you fol­low, es­ti­mate the effec­tive­ness of spe­cific tech­niques, or even force a ra­tio­nal­ity test on a per­son whose po­si­tion de­pends on the out­come.

Ver­ifi­ca­tion pro­ce­dures have var­i­ous weak­nesses, mak­ing them ad­mis­si­ble for one pur­pose and not for an­other. But how­ever rigor­ous the ver­ifi­ca­tion meth­ods are, one must first find the spe­cific prop­er­ties to test for. Th­ese prop­er­ties or skills may come nat­u­rally with the art, or they may be cul­ti­vated speci­fi­cally for the test­ing, in which case they need to be good sig­nals, hard to demon­strate with­out also be­com­ing more ra­tio­nal.

So, my ques­tion is this—what have you be­come re­li­ably stronger at, af­ter you walked the path of an as­piring ra­tio­nal­ist for con­sid­er­able time? Maybe you have no­tice­ably im­proved at some­thing, or maybe you haven’t learned a cer­tain skill yet, but you are rea­son­ably sure that be­cause of your study of ra­tio­nal­ity you’ll be able to do that con­sid­er­ably bet­ter than other peo­ple.

This is a sig­nifi­cantly differ­ent ques­tion from the ones Eliezer and Robin ask. Some of the skills you ob­tained may be vir­tu­ally un­ver­ifi­able, some of them may be easy to fake, some of them may be easy to learn with­out be­com­ing suffi­ciently ra­tio­nal, and some of them may be stan­dard in other dis­ci­plines. But I think it’s use­ful to step back, and write a list of skills be­fore se­lect­ing ones more suit­able for the test­ing.