The misinterpreted-effort hypothesis

This is an interesting study nicely summarized in The Bulletproof Musician. Learners exposed to two different study methods - blocked vs interleaved practice - preferred the blocked practice method, a learning method known to be less effective. Rather than attribute it to laziness, the authors of the study hypothesized that learner’s simply don’t know what method of practice (study) is more effective so that interpret the more difficult method (interleaved) as being harder.
Saturday, November 9, 2019

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Word has it that Trump might want to attend the Victory Day military parade in Moscow. Это наша победа - “This is our victory!” has never seemed more fitting. Trump has no idea about the cultural significance of День победы in Russia. It is a cultural holiday of greatest significance to former Soviet Union. It is a patriotic holiday; but the President of the United States should shy away from celebrating the patriotism of another country.

The Wisdom of crowds. The Madness of crowds

One of the favourite mantras of the techno-optimist is that “the wisdom of crowds will save us.” That with a million collective inputs, we will find solutions that make the world a better place. Is this true? Why is it that wisdom and not madness is the state of crowds? There are too many examples of foolishness in crowds. I don’t think we can have the wisdom of crowds without their madness.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Facebook is a right-wing company Jacob Silverman’s piece on Facebook as a right-wing company in The Baffler is pretty damning. Just this week, Facebook conferred trusted status on Breitbart, the Nazi lie-peddling rag. Facebook gladly accepts ad revenue from politicians like Trump and friends who purposely lie to pander to ignoramuses in their base. As Silverman points out, there is no longer any neutrality. Zuckerberg has declared that he and his company are instruments of the right-wing.

Monthly report 2019-10-31

This month I worked very hard on re-establishing some important habits, including habit-tracking, that had lapsed after some setbacks. The stats are a little odd because I didn’t start tracking everything until sometime well into the month. Habits Russian In an effort to complete the 10,000 word Brown Russian vocabulary list by the end of May 2020, I need to do at least 15 words a day. This month, I logged 395 new Russian words in Anki.

Rules of Self-Governance

I’m a big fan of David Cain’s raptitude.com. A post from 2017 entitled Wise people have rules for themselves is one that a come back to frequently. In short, he makes the point that productive and consistent people don’t leave important (or even some trivial) aspects of their lives to chance. They create rules for themselves around certain behaviours and tasks. He also makes the point that others often attempt to undermine or discredit those who create rules for their own self-governance by labelling them as joyless, rigid, or overly competitive.