The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

What skills to learn, what tools to get
BRUTE
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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by BRUTE » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:14 pm

brute thinks the number of parents realizing that they actually don't want to have children after all is high enough. for dogs, too.

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Ego
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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by Ego » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:52 pm

BRUTE wrote:brute fails to see how building a more difficult hamster wheel for himself creates meaning.
Why does Brute bother to eat healthy or exercise if it just prolongs the hamster wheel?
BRUTE wrote:
He says that for many that meaning will come from drugs and video games.
check and check. problem? :)
Yes. Both make the moment tolerable but the future worse.

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by BRUTE » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:56 pm

brute enjoys working out and eating healthy. makes this hell more tolerable. also good waste of time. and how does playing video games make the future worse?

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Ego
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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by Ego » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:02 pm

IlliniDave wrote: To change you go from something to something else. The from gives an anchoring to the past, a reference point from which the change is measured. So you don't change, but at the same time you don't "not change". To use a popular expression, you just go with the flow, always. An unchanging state of constant change. :)
Okay, I see your point. I guess I'd argue that we can anticipate some of the changes that will happen in the future and we can take some actions today that will help us to do well when the changes occur. Your "go with the flow" seems to suggest not preparing at all, just letting it happen. Now I know for a fact that you are preparing for the future :D so why would you suggest that we don't prepare?

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by Ego » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:15 pm

BRUTE wrote:brute enjoys working out and eating healthy. makes this hell more tolerable. also good waste of time. and how does playing video games make the future worse?
So extend that same idea to "purpose" or "meaning" but rather than shooting for "more tolerable" go for joyful, exciting.... and yes, even.... flow. The whole shebang may have no inherent purpose or meaning but flow makes the meaninglessness a heck of a lot more fun.

Video games do a few things:
1) They make the player more manipulable. Just like tv only worse.
2) They make the habitual player less skilled or able to deal with the real world. Hikikomori.
3) They encourage terrible characteristics and personality quirks.
4) They make you lazy, idle, lethargic, inactive.
5) They are addictive.

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Ego
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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by Ego » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:25 pm

RealPerson wrote: I would personally love to have a driverless car.


Rather than drone, I should have said autonomous plane. If you're okay with a self-driving car, how about a self-driving plane? Just a matter of degrees, no? How about a autonomous dentist or autonomous sous chef. How far out into the future are they? How long will it be until that kind of mastery is no longer needed from humans?

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by jacob » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:32 pm

Ego wrote:What do you think?
I think ... that we might be one the last generations to do so.

The only way this makes sense to me is if he's more or less exclusively talking about social media or working in infotainment figuring out what will be next to go viral or trading twitter-accounts with each other.

Uhm where to begin ...

If we're flooded with data, I think a great starting point would be to learn how to think, frame, and evaluate that data and I would prioritize that over "how to deal emotionally with uncertainty". It's quite evident from this election what the general loss of the ability to think critically has already done to the democratic system. The media has begun taking their job a bit more seriously now, perhaps realizing a mea culpa in terms of their contribution to making everybody dumber, but it's clear that for quite a while they only figured that their job was to supply data/soundbytes and put some emotional spin on it w/o any regard for whether such "data" or statements had any reality-based coherence.

In particular, being able to correctly think about data or alternatively the trending inability to do so has real consequences. Obviously politics is one such area. Consider the overwhelming approval of JASTA. It should be clear to anyone who capable of thinking more than 1 step ahead that this was a really bad idea... but congress approved it anyway because it felt emotionally good. And who knows anything about anything anyway. Something like 10% of Americans are capable of correctly locating Iran, Iraq, SA, and Syria on a map. That's four pieces of data. Maybe instead of dealing with the "emotional uncertainty" of that level of ignorance, maybe it's better to learn some geography. Because such ignorance has real consequence for foreign policy. When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, many congress members did not know the difference between Sunni and Shi'ite---because obviously they didn't need to know that to be elected if only 10% of the voters could even locate relevant countries on a map. Having even a vague understanding or framework would have allowed government to make vastly better decisions than they did. I can go on. The examples of general ignorance are legion.

I'd say that the skill to cultivate is the ability to think critically. Because being able to do that makes you the one-eyed man in the land of the [mostly blind]. However, it's perhaps equally important to either hide it or combine it with a serious dose of charm, because we're also heading in a direction where the ability to string together complete paragraphs or combine more than three different concepts is seen as a form of "unfolksy" elitism, where the general sentiment is that it doesn't matter whether you're making logical sense insofar the person doesn't feel like he can have a beer with you because feelings are what matter. In particular, even if he does feel like partaking in a discussion over beer, the problem might still be a complete lack of foundation, e.g. how can you communicate a Middle Eastern strategy to someone who doesn't know what or where Aleppo is? This kinda goes back to the paragraph above ... it's a very risky strategy to appear too intelligent while trying to get elected to office. Much better to appear relateable to the majority of people who haven't read a book within the past year. This is pretty much where we are now.

But perhaps that is exactly the "emotional uncertainty" that Harari is talking about?! If facts don't matter (and by facts I mean some aspect about objective reality that is true---not the common definition where a fact is simply some opinion that one happens to agree with) then it does indeed become very important to learn how to deal with a society where facts are irrelevant and all that matters are emotional perceptions, facts be damned.

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by IlliniDave » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:10 pm

Ego wrote:
IlliniDave wrote: ...
Okay, I see your point. I guess I'd argue that we can anticipate some of the changes that will happen in the future and we can take some actions today that will help us to do well when the changes occur. Your "go with the flow" seems to suggest not preparing at all, just letting it happen. Now I know for a fact that you are preparing for the future :D so why would you suggest that we don't prepare?
I'm just tossing out ideas on the topic. Myself, I'm a planner and at least as far as the financial aspects of my future my plan is static and unimaginative (put the biggest hammer I can into my tool belt and, in a pinch, make everything a nail). As far as the rest of life goes, a guy can dream of being spontaneous and imaginative, even when he is plodding and predictable!

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Ego
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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by Ego » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:21 pm

jacob wrote: But perhaps that is exactly the "emotional uncertainty" that Harari is talking about?! If facts don't matter then it does indeed become very important to learn how to deal with a society where facts are irrelevant and all that matters are emotional perceptions, facts be damned.
Well, he seems to think the algos will solve that problem through manipulation on a scale that is unimaginable to us even though we've been playing the game for a few years now.

Watch 3 minutes from the starting point:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ1yS9J ... e&t=49m14s

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by RealPerson » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:02 pm

Ego wrote:
RealPerson wrote: I would personally love to have a driverless car.

Rather than drone, I should have said autonomous plane. If you're okay with a self-driving car, how about a self-driving plane? Just a matter of degrees, no? How about a autonomous dentist or autonomous sous chef. How far out into the future are they? How long will it be until that kind of mastery is no longer needed from humans?
The complexity of flying is many times the complexity of driving. That matters. A lot. Summiting Mount Rainier or Mount Everest is getting to the top of 2 mountains. But in terms of preparation, logistics, cost and risk, these 2 endeavors are barely related. I would happily do one but not the other.

I have to say that your comment about humanity no longer needing mastery is really intriguing. Medieval times had tons of craftsmen, certainly far more than today. I guess we should think of this as a positive development. Less training and practice required for skills means more free time.

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by BRUTE » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:03 pm

Ego wrote:So extend that same idea to "purpose" or "meaning" but rather than shooting for "more tolerable" go for joyful, exciting.... and yes, even.... flow. The whole shebang may have no inherent purpose or meaning but flow makes the meaninglessness a heck of a lot more fun.
brute sure did experience a bunch of flow when beating the Cyberdemon last night. if meaning == flow == wasting time, then video games are very meaningful.

@RealPerson:

isn't flying actually much easier than driving? brute was under the impression that autopilots fly all commercials planes now, and have for decades. the only things humans still do are start and landing, and it's for liability reasons, the autopilot CAN do it.
RealPerson wrote:Medieval times had tons of craftsmen, certainly far more than today. I guess we should think of this as a positive development. Less training and practice required for skills means more free time.
brute isn't convinced that free time is inherently positive. the whole meaning thing comes into play.

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by steveo73 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:40 pm

BRUTE wrote:brute enjoys working out and eating healthy. makes this hell more tolerable. also good waste of time. and how does playing video games make the future worse?
I didn't go to work today. I went to the gym, wrestled hard, came home & ate healthy food, showered and then did a stretching routine. I might play a game of chess or a video game as well as surfing the net. That gives my life meaning.

Going to work and managing a project that I don't really give a shit comes way down the list.

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by RealPerson » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:12 am

BRUTE wrote: isn't flying actually much easier than driving? brute was under the impression that autopilots fly all commercials planes now, and have for decades. the only things humans still do are start and landing, and it's for liability reasons, the autopilot CAN do it.
RealPerson wrote:Medieval times had tons of craftsmen, certainly far more than today. I guess we should think of this as a positive development. Less training and practice required for skills means more free time.
brute isn't convinced that free time is inherently positive. the whole meaning thing comes into play.
As to flying, I have no real experience, other than a 15 minute period where I flew the private plane of a friend. That was not as simple as you might think, since we were not far from a large airport. I only assume there is more to flying, considering how much harder it is to obtain and maintain a flying license compared to a driver's license.

Free time does not have to be inherently better. It goes to having freedom and how you use it. If you have trouble giving meaning and depth to your own life, maybe it is better for an employer to give meaning to your life, or at least fill up your time. It is up to you. I just feel that the odds of a mass of atoms coming together to form a functioning human body is so low that this really is something very special. Math as an expression of the sanctity of any life form, especially a complex one.

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:24 am

jacob said: But perhaps that is exactly the "emotional uncertainty" that Harari is talking about?! If facts don't matter (and by facts I mean some aspect about objective reality that is true---not the common definition where a fact is simply some opinion that one happens to agree with) then it does indeed become very important to learn how to deal with a society where facts are irrelevant and all that matters are emotional perceptions, facts be damned.
There are layers in between "data" and "facts" and pure "emotional perception nodes/flows or reactions" Some of these might be "information", "intuitive perception nodes/flows", "informed opinions", "subconscious rational trained responses due to experience" and something like "recognition of valid model of complex system nodes/flows." For instance, there is nothing claimed to be factual about Zola's novel "Germinal", but I will offer my informed opinion that it offers a "true" model of the influence of financial matters in the realm of romance*. When I say something like "Given that my waist-to-hip ratio is .72, the probability that I will get 3 offers of restaurant dinners, valued at approximately $57.39, within 8 days on the dating market, is .86 with confidence level of 95%", I am either attempting to amuse or provoke with my "truthiness" applied to a realm where most people do not appreciate being reduced to data points or predictable actors. OTOH, when you consider emotional states or flows that have to do with "risk aversion" rather than "romance", most people like to be able to think that they can reduce this emotion to a set of data points, as in "If my risk aversion level is 7.2 then course of investment 3b-gamma will "work" for me."I think political decisions fall somewhere in between romantic decisions and investment decisions, in the spectrum of how much emotion people like to think should be assigned to an economic decision. So, it's like your culture determines how much you should behave more like an F vs. a T **in various realms, and individuals also act in accordance with their own tendencies in this regard. A self-aware rational decision maker prefers to be well-informed, so will choose to make decisions based on perception of emotional states and emotional tendencies and cultural emotional templates, because these are aspects of reality.*** Therefore, it is my opinion that an individual who masters data analysis, but also reads a good many "true" novels, and also butts heads in the physical and social realms of actual production/sales/trading will likely make better decisions on a variety of markets ;) For instance, an experienced gardener who understands the science of human nutrition, and regularly browses new and interesting cookbooks full of delicious recipes, will likely prepare a better meal than anybody with a higher level of skills/knowledge in any one of these realms, but lack of skills/knowledge in the other two.

*I will also offer the likely provocative (in the context of this forum) opinion that the highly romantic novel "The Fountainhead" does not offer a very "true" model of the influence of financial matters in the realm of romance.

** I will also offer the opinion that at the highest level of economic functioning "F vs. T" would be transcended into the weft/weave of the rolling, rolicking range of utility.

***Otherwise, you are just locked into the level of functioning demonstrated when Henry Higgins sings "Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man?"

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:08 am

brute thinks the number of parents realizing that they actually don't want to have children after all is high enough. for dogs, too.
Egads, I definitely did not mean to imply that you should take on the huge responsibility of caring for a dog. I am currently feeling semi-oppressed by the high number of poorly behaved useless furry poop-producers living in my realm. My sister's newest addition to her pack turned on the hot water faucet full blast while scavenging for scraps in the kitchen sink and flooded the apartment causing the growth of mold to which I am highly allergic.
***********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
This is just a sort of a specific intellectual salon exercise towards the topic at hand, but I will offer up a suggestion or challenge to both neo-Paleo you and modern Vegan OP Ego, that if you both were more present/active in your Zones 2/3, you would likely both choose to alter (reinvent) your current diets based on the experience and information you would gain. The rule of the game might be that your new reality is that you can only eat food that you can raise/grow/forage/process yourself or barter for with a known social contact who personally raises/grows/forages/processes within biking distance of your current locale when you wake up in the morning. IOW, this is an exercise in determining how the known neo-Paleo diet model and the known modern Vegan model might be altered by intersection with the newer or different permaculture-locavore diet model. IOW, what might happen at the complex boundary?

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:35 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
IlliniDave said: Is it really that complicated? To me it was just sitting at the riverside and letting my mind clear.
All human behavior is very complex. No model, including the simple psychological model I find useful and/or amusing, can adequately encompass it.
Is it the behavior that is complicated, or the attempt to analyze it?

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by FBeyer » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:07 am

BRUTE wrote: brute sure did experience a bunch of flow when beating the Cyberdemon last night. if meaning == flow == wasting time, then video games are very meaningful...
Flow does not equal meaning, there is no normative value associated with it. Positive Psychology wrestles a lot currently with coming up with a nomenclature that the rest of the world can hang on to, so that it becomes easier to talk about positive psychology in the future.

Flow is simply what PosPsy call that small area where your skill level corresponds well with the challenges presented to you. There is no meaning associated with it.

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by jacob » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:21 am

@Ego/7wb5 - My worry is not T vs F but in trend towards diminishing intellectualism and replacing intellect with algorithms---two factors that seem to daisychain and reinforce each other. It is likely that I will change my mind [of whether that's bad] when some program passes the Turing test. My concern is that this might not happen exclusively because computers get smarter but also because humans are getting dumber.

There are two reasons why I think the average human is getting dumber.

1) First is the deintellectualization which promotes beliefs and opinions over facts and reason. We're currently at a stage where it's perfectly acceptable for someone to hold a position that's only slightly more complex than 2+2=4 simply by saying "I don't believe that". We're not at the point where one can "not-believe" 1st grade math, but we're certainly at a point where it's socially acceptable to "not-believe" in 8th grade math results.

In many ways we're getting surrounded by the Dunning-Kruger effect in that public discourse has degenerated to a level where the ones making the dumb statements aren't even aware that they're making them because all the standards [of reasoning] have been removed. One can, without any shame, say: "I googled it, so I've research my facts. Maybe you guys should do the same."

2) Second is increasing faith in the algo or big data. First and foremost, there hasn't been much of a fundamental breaktrough. Rather what's driving this is using mostly the same old techniques but with vastly larger amounts of data and with much more speed than before. This has resulted in some idiot-savant successes, e.g. we have computers that are good at chess, 1980s computer games, closed captioning, medical diagnostics, ... However, I think it's important to acknowledge that putting ten idiot savants (or specialists) into the same room or the same computer does NOT make for genius insights because they lack the ability to draw connections between those fields. Any complex insight is limited by the average person/program's ability to handle said complexity. And that ability is way lower for computers than it even is for humans.

The main reason why autopilots on planes have been in use for decades is that while flying is much more complicated than driving (in the number of buttons and sticks), it's much less complex. There are no obstacles in the air or on a landing strip to bump into. If cars had to drive around on their onw from A to B on a large empty parking lot, driverless cars would be even easier than pilotless planes. It's the dealing with obstacles that makes the driverless car hard. Not from an algorithmic perspective but from dealing with much more information.

I can easily see consumers devolving into some kind of Eloi-like mental stupor (see facebook conversations for an example) because they let algos take over. This is already happening for infotainment data. People are happily digesting soundbytes that are dispensed by an algo for optimized ad-clicking. Just like people are getting so ignorant they aren't capable of realizing how ignorant they are, it might very well be the case that they're not capable of realizing just how ignorant an algorithm is either. If one's basic mathematical understanding is at the 1st grade level, then some being able to do linear regressions and make predictions based on that will possibly seem like magic: "Wow, that's a really smart graph, you got there. In the future, we might have graphs that are so smart we can't even imagine it! :o ". Indeed, given algos are more like 16th grade math, maybe this is why a public where the non-expert understanding hovers around a 4-8th grade level thinks it's like magic. Of course, this is contingent retaining the high esteem that algos currently hold in the mind of the public: If it comes out of a piece of technology, it must be true. Whereas if it comes out of an expert, it's just an opinion (insofar one disagrees).

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:16 am

FBeyer wrote: Flow is simply what PosPsy call that small area where your skill level corresponds well with the challenges presented to you. There is no meaning associated with it.
I believe it is easier to enter the flow state when I am doing something that provides some meaning or purpose to life.

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Re: The Skills Necessary for Constant Reinvention

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:33 am

IlliniDave said: Is it the behavior that is complicated, or the attempt to analyze it?
Top
Complex and complicated are not synonyms. Machines are simple or complicated. Humans and their behavior are complex . The sort of analysis that is relevant to complication is not the sort of analysis that is relevant to complexity. Therefore, we are in agreement if what you are communicating is that the sort of analysis I offered was quite possibly more relevant to a complicated system than a complex system. There also exists a scale that runs from primitive to sophisticated. So, we would also be in agreement if what you are communicating is that I was applying sophisticated analysis to a primitive system. Like trying to enjoy a movie in the presence of somebody who hits pause and offers deconstructive analysis of the scene every 10 minutes. That's why I have to focus on offering the gift of silence and faking the gift of empathetic listening in order to get a second date with anybody who is not an ExTJ (sigh) ;)

@jacob: Okay, so your concern is the intersection or interaction between the long recognized up/down cycle of anti-intellectualism and the new trend towards algorithms being respected more than they are understood. I agree that there are some unexpected oddities being produced in this realm. My perception, and I think we may be in agreement here, is that this is due to humans being unconsciously sorted and reinforced into different categories by algorithms and then the algorithmic sorting somehow having the effect of making all the graphs simultaneously humpier in the middle and freakier at the fringes. For instance, I recently had a conversation with an individual who assumed that I didn't believe in evolution because I communicated that I didn't believe in subsidized housing.

In the resource-deprived school system where I teach, the children are being taught to think in terms of strategy as well as results. I've frequently found myself surprised at the variety of strategies the students come up with to solve very simple story problems such as "There are 5 rows of 6 desks in the classroom, how many desks are there?" because it is difficult for me to not just think "30." Kids offer answers such as "I made a picture and counted the desks" or "I counted by 5s 6 times using my fingers" or "I remembered that 5 multiplied by 6 equals 40" IOW, the child that is demonstrating the adoption of a more efficient strategy which he hasn't quite mastered may be more error-prone than the children utilizing more primitive or simpler strategies. So, even at the most basic level we can sometimes start making the mistake of reinforcing efficiency over resilience. This also demonstrates how difficult it can be to "sell" a better strategy if it has not yet been shown to produce the results we need.

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