How is effective spaced repetition inherently difficult? I thought the entire point of Anki was to make it easy, i.e. automate everything about it that can be automated. All the user has to do is turn it on and do the work every day, but presumably that’s true of Duolingo also (which I have no experience of).
I have actually not found Anki effective for language learning. My experience has been that my practice with flashcards has not transferred to the situation of trying to either utter a sentence in the target language, or understand one when I hear it. That is a hurdle I have never surmounted, however I go about the task.
Perhaps this is what is true: However many postures and movements and ways of thinking about them and experiencing them you learn, the space of possibilities will remain unexhausted. For all practical purposes, the possibilities are unlimited: no-one will have cause to lament that there is nothing left to discover.
Thank you for writing this series (which somehow I missed seeing when it first appeared). There has been a fair amount posted on nutrition in the past, on the grounds that the better you make your body work, the better the mind within it will work. Mens sana in corpore sano. So material like this on how to use the body is every bit as relevant here, and the subject has previously not much been discussed. To have a body which simply does what you ask of it is a wonderful thing, and supports a mind that does likewise.
I’ve occasionally tried to find philosophers offering a reasoned defence of supererogation, of the idea that you are not obliged to do all the good that you could do, but I have not found much, until I looked just now. Here is an article contrasting two conceptions of what morality is: morality of law, and morality of virtue.
The morality of law rules out supererogation. The moral law says what is good, which is necessarily obligatory. Utilitarianism (I say, the article does not) is an example of law-based morality. Yes, you must always and everywhere undertake the best thing you could possibly do: that is what good means. The best possible action is compulsory; all else is forbidden. The utilitarian view is the morality that is generally asserted, if not accepted, on LessWrong and in EA. But it is not the only view.
The morality of virtue enjoins one to cultivate virtue — one’s own virtue. These are certain qualities of character from which certain actions will flow, but it is the character that matters.
The paper is more concerned to argue that the morality of law excludes supererogation (starting from the initial position that the exclusion of supererogation is against our intuitions and requires explaining). It references other work arguing that the morality of virtue may be more welcoming of the concept.
Personally, I find myself more in agreement with the morality of virtue. I will not torture kittens or eat chimpanzees, but I do not much care whether Spain still has bullfights, and I have no qualms about eating meat in general. I am more interested in cultivating my own garden than in whether everyone else has a garden. A mere accumulation of more and more people living much the same lives does not strike me as morally valuable. I value the heights of an unequally distributed civilisation over a uniform mediocrity.
But I have not troubled to build a moral system around these observations of how I live and prefer to live.
What you’re calling a stance seems to me a case of decisions. “What sizes of groupings work best at a party?” is something one can form a belief about in some continuous space of possible beliefs. “I will arrange the seating in groups of no more than five” is a decision.
Beliefs are continuous. Decisions and actions are discrete. Deciding to do this rather than that does not require one to deceive oneself into certainty that this is better than that. It only requires, well, deciding. Decision should screen off belief from action. If it does not, it was not a decision.
The terminology is the other way round. The range (also called the image) of a function is the set of values it actually takes. The codomain is whichever superset of the range you are considering as the set the function maps to, the “result type” of the function. So the range of the +1 function on the domain ℕ is the positive integers, but the codomain is any superset of that, and gives a different morphism in the category Set for each one.
I know enough about this to not have these questions, but not enough to explain the answers to anyone else. So I’ll recommend a book by Torkel Franzén, who was definitely able to both understand and teach this, “Gödel’s Theorem: An Incomplete Guide to Its Use and Abuse”. The book costs money, but as a preview, here’s a review of it.
Douglas Hofstadter has written a lot on the subject for a popular audience, but is better avoided until you understand the subject yourself well enough to recognise the unstated technical underpinnings of his exposition, and to see where he glosses over things a step too far. But when you are at that point, there is no need to read him.
Does mispricing happen a lot? Are there shops suspected of doing this deliberately? To have a law like this suggests so, but I’ve never heard of it before.
Not really. I can be hard at work on something, my focus on the activity, but my sense of myself never vanishes. I can remember being “lost in a book” as a child, but not since then, and I don’t find it a particularly desirable state of mind.
My claim is that this is the same type of confusion as the person above not clear about the difference between “warmth” and “red” because they’ve always experienced them together.
I still don’t know what two things you are pointing to that you are claiming are being confused with each other. Imagine that English is my second language, and while I have a reasonable competence in it, I happen never to have encountered either of the words “self” and “consciousness”. How would you express the distinction you are drawing?
I actually don’t understand what’s being said in this essay enough to figure out what claim she is making about consciousness.
She says many different things, some of which seem clear enough, but they seem inconsistent with each other. Again there is the problem of distinguishing the thing that is being talked about from the things that are being claimed about that thing.
I’m still unclear what distinction you are labelling with the words “self” and “consciousness”, but try the works of Susan Blackmore. Although she says she is not denying the existence of consciousness, that’s hard to square with this: “there are no contents of consciousness and no difference between conscious and unconscious processes or events.”
A problem in talking about these things is that there is no easy way to agree on what the words we are using refer to. This is why in the OP I tried to give an idea of what it is like to experience this thing I am trying to get at. When I wrote “This is the thing I am pointing at when I say that I am conscious”, that was a statement about how I use the word “conscious”, not an attribution of something else called “consciousness” to that state.
It’s definitely (what I would call) a sensation. Just as is seeing my physical body in a mirror.
I recall a conversation about consciousness that I came out of convinced I was a p-zombie, because the description of consciousness didn’t describe anything going on in my head. I feel confused about what you’re even referring to when you say “a vivid sensation of my own presence.”
We have a winner! :)
In meditation there is a concept called “divided awareness”. One is aware of something that one is concentrating on, e.g. the breath, a candle flame, or whatever, and at the same time aware of one’s attention to that thing, dividing one’s attention between the two. Does this make any sense to you?
In principle one can go on to be aware of one’s awareness of one’s attention to the object, and so on indefinitely, but when I try to hold multiple levels of awareness all at once, I only get up to the low single figures.
That problem should be addressed by better mastery over one’s presentation, not by relinquishing mastery over one’s emotions.
That is very interesting, although it raises the old philosophical condundrum of whether your red and green, when you have them, are the same as mine (who am not colour-blind), or how much are they alike, despite the fact that my red and green are never confused with each other. Perhaps the hardware that does the qualia is the same, and doing what it can with limited data.
I heard of a blind man saying that although he had never seen the color red, he imagined that it must be something like the sound of a trumpet. I think that’s a pretty good metaphor for a vivid, pillar-box red. (Googling just now, I find the story is from Locke’s “Essay Concerning Human Understanding”, book 3, ch.4.)
It would be interesting to know to what extent the brain has the hardware to have qualia that their senses for are missing. People who have been blind from birth, but then through some medical intervention can see do have “sight”, but it’s a rather more confused experience than for those who have always been sighted.
There’s a Nazi who …
This is Eichmann, notably written about by Hannah Arendt, who coined the phrase “the banality of evil” in response.
What do you mean when any is particularised to the “there are a group of people and none stood out” that that is not a zombie nature?
I have had a few dreams in which I had a viewpoint, but I was not any of the characters in the dream. Think of it as like a daydream about events not involving oneself. Nevertheless, this I-ness was still present.
I’m not sure how to distinguish these, since what different people mean by these words is likely to vary as much as the experiences they have in this area. All I can say is that the state I mean is the one I described in experiential terms, a vivid sense of my own presence.