Things on my mind #3: Meta cognition edition


  1. Here is a hypothesis of why podcasts seemed to boom. It subsidized the conscientious and the non-conscientious at the same time. How? The conscientious now get to do things when they are doing other things that they might consider unproductive. For example, walking, working out, and all the like. The unconscientious now have a legitimate reason to not get to what work it is they are doing. Why podcasts, why not music? I don’t think people feel productive listening to music as they see it as a form of relaxation unless their job is to be musicians. Podcasts have the cover of “learning,” even though most podcasts are almost all fluff anyway.

  2. Why are born-again Christians in need of a community? Because they give up their worldview to establish a new one. Let me ask you: when was the last time you changed your mind about something?

  3. Adam Smith in Everything - Problems of the remote guy and how to fix it: If you’re anything like me, you have problems picking movies or shows on Netflix. You’ve probably tried multiple means of choosing movies, like looking up “funny movies on Netflix right now.” Well, here’s a general rule. Pick the one you are least interested in. This is good because:

  4. You might end up surprised.

  5. You might be right, and you hate the movie, but at least you’ve reduced your option by one film.

  6. If you’re watching with a friend, you’ll make Adam Smith happy and check if they’re a good friend by hating what you hate. Here’s how to pick movies if you’re alone: Watch what you won’t watch when you’re with your friends because you’ll watch what you will watch with your friends anyway.

  7. What most graduate schools do, in essence, is build intuition in their students and give them the confidence to trust it. It is unfortunate, however, that one has to learn this in graduate school. That said, there is a profound point in this endeavor (which is the purpose of my writings to date. That is, the democratization of intellectual resources). What does this mean for us? If we have mental modules we can trust, we are on the path to intuition building, and thus, we’ll feel more confident in our predictions. One way I have found to build intuition is to pre-phrase. It is, in a sense, a kind of prediction. For example, pre-phrasing what you think the next sentence will be. This is helpful for a couple of reasons, chief of which is that it helps you check your forecasting errors, enabling you to calibrate. Once you’ve been wrong, you get immediate feedback and, hopefully, you learn from that. The question that follows from this is what to do at the margins where mental modules go against your gut. Well, follow your gut.

  8. Can one bring themselves to care about a topic that is of utter non-interest to them? I find that the answer depends. I do not care about history, but I know it is crucial, and thus, I exponentially smooth out my interest. In other words, I give more weight to happenings that are more recent and less weight to the ones of the past (hint at my temperament). One of the times when I care about historical events is when the circumstances have more recent analogs. My secret weapon, Franklin, helps hide my deep historical illiteracy, which I hope to fix. That said, things like aliens and UFOs do not move me an inch. The question then remains how to make you care about things of non-interest to you (my email is open).

Certainty rating: 28%

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