2021-11-30 - podcast-triggered brain dump

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recently came across yet another awesome interview Lex Fridman made in his podcast, with Lisa Fedlman Barrettt, on how brain works. absurdly quick and shallow overview:

  1. thinking is metabolically expensive.
  2. reaction / reflect is relatively cheap.
  3. under stress or if in low power, brain will prefer reaction over thinking.

now combine these 3 and understand why it is so hard to understand others, if you do not know them: “us vs them thinking”. thing: racism, sexism, political and religious extremism, “assholes from other department”, etc…

another great quote from Lex's interview with Scott Aaronson: life should not be a journey to the grave, with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skim the outside, in a clad of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming: “wow, what a ride!”.

next on the list is a concept of “computational equivalence” (check out Lex's interviews with Stephen Wolfram: the one on cellular automata and computation and the one on physics and theory of everything), also called “computational unreducability”. the insight is that for most things happening in the real world, there is no “shortcut” and the only way of knowing the answer is by making a perfect simulation of it. example problem from this category is cellular automaton – the only way of checking for the pattern in Nth iteration, is to simulate it. want to predict a future? great, but the only way to do so, would be to simulate it faster than it actually happens, so that you know the results upfront.

last but not least: if you are always succeeding, it means you are doing something wrong.

blog/2021/11/30/2021-11-30_-_podcast-triggered_brain_dump.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/30 22:52 by basz
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