Too obvious to assimilate?

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daylen
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Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by daylen » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:36 pm

I have noticed this when attempting to explain certain things to people, and I am starting to recognize it as a pattern. The pattern is a bit like this..

Alice: That is odd! Why would A do B?
Bob: Maybe B leads to C.
Alice: Why would A want C?
Bob: Why would you assume no one wants C?
Alice: I use to want [something like C], but then I wanted D.
Bob: What if A had a similar experience then decided to want C again?
Alice: [denial intermixed with anecdotal data]

This seems to be related to wheaton levels where someone at N+3 or above is attempting to explain an observation to someone at N or below(*). An explanation at N+3 may make assumptions about the meaning of language that someone at N is not aware of yet. To someone at N the explanation is 'obvious', because they have not yet realized the full-set of implications that someone at N+3 is implying. Here is a concrete example..

Alice: Which came first.. the chicken or the egg?
Bob: I am not sure I understand the question.
Alice: There can only be one right answer.. chickens lay eggs that grow into new chickens.. One MUST have came before the other.
Bob: I am not sure the question itself is valid. The idea of a 'chicken' and of an 'egg' both represent an abstraction that allows English-speaking humans to identify and discuss a set of things with common characteristics, but ultimately the words are just names for things that are different.
Alice: That is obvious. Why are you avoiding a simple question? Just say yes or no.
Bob: By saying 'yes' or 'no', I would be deceiving you of my true thoughts on the subject.
Alice: [expression of anger and either change of subject or silence]

I had a conversation similar to this when talking about how in the future humans may be able to live forever with technology (to which I object to the idea of persistent personal identity). It seems that many simple questions are not actually answerable or do not even make much sense for [obvious] reasons; this is hard for many people to grasp and accept. I am curious if any of you have had similar experiences and would like to share? How do you navigate these situations when the other person demands an answer?

(*) I am assuming here than an N can generally recognize someone at N+2 even if they cannot understand them yet.
Last edited by daylen on Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

daylen
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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by daylen » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:55 pm

This also seems related to how eventually knowledge becomes unconscious. After repeating the application of an idea enough you loose an awareness of it. This makes it harder and harder to teach. It makes me wonder if knowledge is closer to breaking down barriers/filters to information than erecting them? The process of setting boundaries and labeling the components seems to be indistinguishable to forming a delusion that initiates a bootstrap process towards a more efficient navigation of reality. Though, we are only human and limited by several constrains, therefore using language from time to time is necessary for survival. There is a continuous trade-off between being aware of what is happening and being immersed in a flow that creates happening; one such delusion is that life is about straddling this line (related to yin and yang).

Not sure what my point is with writing this.

jacob
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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by jacob » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:04 pm

daylen wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:36 pm
(*) I am assuming here than an N can generally recognize someone at N+2 even if they cannot understand them yet.
They can't! Recognition only works one way. It's possible to look back and identify N-1, N-2, N-3, because the N structure can still be decomposed both intellectually and experientially. More complexity can generally explain less complexity (otherwise it's bad complexity... an intellectually fragile arrangement, e.g. crackpottery) plus there's some memory of "how I used to think back then". OTOH, the other direction is blocked for obvious reasons.

As a result, someone at N will see those at N+1, N+2, ... as other people at N with the only difference being that they disagree at the N-level. A good example of this was the climate change threads. Most people (who didn't know the first thing about it other than what they had read in newspapers or blogs) genuinely thought it was a genuine debate between two equal sides. It wasn't until I hand-walked the thread part of the way up from N til N+0.5 that it was more widely accepted how big the span between "actually knows" and "appears to know thanks to google" was. A similar demonstration can be had in any investment thread.

Here's how I handle it when I wear my frustrated moderator hat:
jacob wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:18 pm
When entering a thread, one should try to establish who are the teachers (N+), the students (N-), peers (N), and shitheads(?) respectively and act accordingly. Ideally, teachers should be listened too, students should ask questions with the goal of learning, peers should be debated, and shitheads should be ignored or banned.
In some fields, it is easier to differentiate N levels. However, how most intellectual subjects, it is hard. Humans have invented titles to circumvent that. For example, someone with a "professor" title should teach someone with a "freshman" title. However, aside from professional titles, it's not like anyone walks around with any visible signs of their N-level when it comes to thinking. They don't have very large heads in the same way that strong people have very large muscles.

A quote from Good Will Hunting illustrating the issue at Wheaton level 9 and 10:
Will: Look. Maybe I don't want to spend the rest of my fucking life sitting around explaining shit to people.
Lambeau: I think you could show me some appreciation.
Will: A little appreciation? Do you know how easy this is for me? Do you have any fucking idea how easy this is? This is a fucking joke. And I'm sorry you can't do this. I really am because I wouldn't have to fucking sit here and watch you fumble around and fuck it up.
Lambeau: Then you'd have more time to sit around and get drunk instead, wouldn't you?
Will: You're right. This is probably a total waste of my time.
Lambeau: You're right, Will. I can't do this proof. But you can(*), and when it comes to that it's only about... it's just a handful of people in the world who can tell the difference between you and me. But I'm one of them.
Will: Sorry.
Lambeau: Yeah, so am I. Most days I wish I never met you. Because then I could sleep at night, and I wouldn't...and I wouldn't have to walk around with the knowledge that there's someone like you out there. And I didn't have to watch you throw it all away.
(*) And if there wasn't an easy marker like being able/inable to do a proof, maybe even they would not easily agree that there's a difference between them---insofar there was one.

In conclusion: It's possible to recognize N+1 ... but it will only happen for those who are actively looking for it and approach it as a student.

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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by prognastat » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:14 pm

jacob wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:04 pm
In some fields, it is easier to differentiate N levels. However, how most intellectual subjects, it is hard. Humans have invented titles to circumvent that. For example, someone with a "professor" title should teach someone with a "freshman" title. However, aside from professional titles, it's not like anyone walks around with any visible signs of their N-level when it comes to thinking. They don't have very large heads in the same way that strong people have very large muscles.
Another struggle is that we tend to be at many different N levels in different fields, but people have trouble assuming a lower N level than their highest one. This goes both ways in that someone at a higher level might have a tough time teaching someone at a lower N level if they feel they are highly competent due to a high N level in an unassociated field, but that very person could very well be at a teacher level in their field of specialisation.

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by Dream of Freedom » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:32 pm

In the first example it seems that Alice doesn't have the skills necessary to empathize. In the second Bob isn't making the connection between why the words being an abstraction makes a difference in this case. Besides clearly the egg came first. Dinosaurs layed eggs long before chickens evolved from them.

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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by jacob » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:34 pm

@prognastat - The Curse of Knowledge or difficulty looking back has been identified and named. The corresponding inability/difficulty in looking forward may be called the Curse of Ignorance. Interactions gapping (not bridging :-P ) more than a couple of levels tend to suffer from both curses.

Humans have tried a specialist solution to reach down in which a few learn how to talk [well] to people at lower levels. These are teachers, etc. Those of us who are unqualified or clumsy just appear condescending :lol: But what humans haven't tried is installing/installing a general solution that make people recognize/look ahead toward higher levels. At least I'm not aware of any. When I began to systematize all this, I became focused on trying to recognize what my role was in the student/teacher/peer/shithead 4x4 interaction matrix. If I was a shithead, I'd shut up and/or leave. If I was a student I would ask questions. I would try to avoid debating... but that was more because I think [my] time is better spent either learning or teaching. Some enjoy debates and find them useful.

daylen
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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by daylen » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:55 pm

@Dream of Freedom That begs the question "did the dinosaur or the egg come first?" and so forth. The point is that eggs and/or the organisms that create them must have evolved from some previous form that would not be recognizable as such, hence the question is not well-defined.

@jacob My intuition about "I am assuming here than an N can generally recognize someone at N+2 even if they cannot understand them yet." stemmed from a technique I use to find teachers. If I can identify a potential teacher at N+2, then I can save a lot of time by reconciling what several teachers at N+1 say in light of what N+2 says. Maybe this can form a basis for a Wheaton scale of learning? Generally, you are right that this is not the case on average, but I think it can be done if the student is open to the idea of finding people that fit the characteristic attitudes of a N+2. This can even easier to do if the student at N can observe an interaction between N+1 and N+2.
Last edited by daylen on Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:56 pm

Some of this might be related to problems in communication between ?Js and ?Ps which can occur in realms where Wheaton levels don't apply. For instance, when I am asked what sort of food I would prefer for dinner by somebody who suspects my mild indifference is actually passive aggression or part of a complex plot to thwart his ability to GET THINGS DONE, and it devolves into an argument "God damn it. Mexican or Italian? Two f*cking choices! Just give me the answer!" where I am forced into spitting out an answer. Then we drive to my choice of the Mexican place, but there is maybe an intolerable 10 minute wait to get seated , so we end up eating Italian anyways, and he is happy, and I am exhausted.

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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by prognastat » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:39 pm

@Jacob
It seems to be compounded at times when someone has a high N level in an unrelated field most of all when that field is highly respected in that they might have more trouble accepting the student role in unrelated fields making the curse of ignorance even worse. Maybe this pushes someone firmly into the shithead catgory?

@Daylen
A possible hack is if you can generally identify your N+1 is to possibly identify the N+1 of your own N+1. Your teacher's teacher. The question is then whether you are ready, have the foundation to process N+2 though.

daylen
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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by daylen » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:54 pm

@prognastat Yes, so the information cannot be processed explicitly. Perhaps the way that the teachers teacher is teaching could be useful for the student when navigating teachers in an efficient manner. If N+2 structures their lessons in a certain way for N+1, then perhaps that structure can hint at how N should navigate or prioritize N+1 lessons. The N+2 will use symbolism that is unknown to N, but N could investigate the symbolism and partially break it down into the symbolism of N+1 (sampling) to derive a statistical measure of how an N+2 framework is dependent on N+1 models. Then again, maybe this is besides Jacob's point because N would be processing the methodology of N+2 as opposed to the content.

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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by jacob » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:10 pm

@daylen - I don't know how to look [that far] ahead. Using the CCCCCC framework, I can generalize it enough to recognize it in other fields, but on a general level, I do not know the 7th level after Creating or the 8th level after that.

I can split creating into two: innovating and inventing. Level 6 could be innovating and level 7 would be inventing. But what comes after that? I have no framework to even guess at what it would be. Human language also lacks words. Of course I can express it mathematically (with some recursive definition) but that's not going to help me grok or recognize it. It's been my experience that authors are usually quite good at describing the levels below them but they struggle to describe their own level because they lack the next level's framework. Conversely, someone who has the next level's framework relative to us can be recognized by us by how well they describe our level which we can recognize passively even if we can't put words to it actively. I'm not so sure about N+2. All we have from the perspective of N is the N+1's word that N+2 is the next level. It's second-hand.

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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:37 pm

Based on the biography of Claude Shannon, I would hazard to guess that the level above Create would be Play (again.) Children play at being adults, and a genius plays at being___? Maybe "being" isn't even the right verb.

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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by jacob » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:00 pm

@7 - One master-structure is that what is conscious at N becomes unconscious at N+1 which then allows for new behavior. Play does fit unconscious creation ... but it's a[n unconsciously] disciplined kind unlike the child-like play that is unconsciously undisciplined.

Then what comes after play? I'd say games, but I think that's my lower level framework talking here.

daylen
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Re: Too obvious to assimilate?

Post by daylen » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:16 pm

I am assuming that C*6 is non-universal such that operating at one level in a particular field is inadequate for operating at that level in another (as prognastat mentioned), and you are treating it as a universal scale where a person operating at a particular level can identify people operating at the same level or lower in all other fields. I think these are two different subjects since identification =/= execution? This would explain why I think that I am identifying N+2's when really they are just N+1's or N's universally that are acting as N+2's in a particular field relative to me.

This is starting to get into moral relativism versus universalism. Perhaps 7w5 is onto something about the difference in perspective arising based on J versus P. J-like humans seem to have a more coherent system of motives where their mind is working in greater harmony and where they are looking for a path that all other agents can follow (perhaps in some generalized form). More P-like humans seem to have less integrated minds where they can employ different modes of operation relative to different contextual cues. P-oriented humans might not be looking for a single path but instead the ability to change paths depending on external factors (or some internal switching mechanism like an operating system navigating parallel processes).

I suppose that I am not consciously choosing one of these over the other, and that I tend to do a little of both. Part of me seems to be predisposed towards keeping things separated and valuing adaptation to unexpected outcomes, but I also seem to be striving towards some form of unification that allows me to act more consistently in a steady-state. This relates to homeotelic versus heterotelic responses towards a goal, and also to 7w5's comment in the other thread about not doing just one thing. I think about this often, because it seems to me that over time I try to converge my goals into a single thing and this leads to failure. Maybe there should be some meta-goal to point towards, but the actual goals should remain independent of each other (like a web-of-goals). So, my long-term meta-goal could be to "blend in while not becoming bored", but my goals could be to do something conforming (like carpentry) and something non-conforming (like trying to imagine a future without technology X, Y, Z, etc).

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