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Old 08-22-2015, 02:36 AM   #1
it
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What surprised you today?

A favorite philosopher of mine, Julia Galef, leader in applied rationality, has had the idea of surprise journal: The idea that one of the best ways to make yourself open into adapting and learning when your expectations are wrong and overcoming your own biases is to reflect upon the experience of finding something unexpected as a surprise.

I searched and couldn't find an existing thread, so here:
What surprised you today?
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:04 AM   #2
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An awesome challenge but a difficult one!
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Old 08-22-2015, 08:25 AM   #3
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I went to get a link to the trophic cascade effect of reintroducing apex predators for the wolf thread. I shouldn't have been surprised that the simple beautiful explanation I had embraced was vastly oversimplified.

Some of the recent studies suggest that trophic cascades in land-based ecosystems are more “center-out” than top-down, composed of many, many radial lines of cause and effect, continuing to change over time. This shifts our understanding of apex predators as “keystone species” whose presence makes or breaks a healthy ecosystem.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traceur View Post
A favorite philosopher of mine, Julia Galef, leader in applied rationality...
Holy moly!! That Julia Galef could be a leader in applied hotter-than-shitness. Good grief that woman is one fine example of feminine pulchritude.

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Old 08-22-2015, 12:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
She describes a friend who was convinced his partner was going to change when it seemed highly unlikely;
So dump that partner rather than give them a chance to make changes?
Quote:
an entrepreneur who wouldn’t accept that her startup was failing, even though everybody could tell it was a sinking ship;
So quit any endeavor that doesn't immediately bring rewards?
Quote:
a PhD student who was unhappy in his program but refused to admit it.
So throw away the investment in any program that doesn't make you happy?
Quote:
"I thought how funny it was that everybody else was always wrong, but I was never wrong about anything, and it occurred to me: That can’t possibly be right."
Right or wrong can be applied to hard facts, but there are damn few of them, and scientists are changing many of those. Mostly we have, our opinions, views, the basic thinking we live our lives by, which are much harder to label right or wrong because they are in constant flux. They have to be, as the world around us in constant flux. You can change a view you've had your whole life because of an outside influence, but that doesn't mean you were wrong then and now right.

I've met people who spend way too much time questioning everything they believe. They tend to be socially awkward, and functionally inept.

There comes a time when you have to shoot the engineer/designer, and start production.
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:07 PM   #6
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I was surpised yesterday when I went to the office expecting to be issued keys, etc. for my role in a new job only to be told that they'd found someone else they like better for the job (I'd just begun only two weeks earlier). With no explanation about what was deficient about my performance, I had little to learn from with respect to my actions. I did learn that "at will" employment can be very brief indeed.

Surprises are often good opportunities for learning, which seems to be the main purpose of the woman's journal. Lots of times there isn't something more that could have been done to keep an event from being a surprise. Sometimes I'm just wrong or uninformed.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:22 PM   #7
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Damn.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:35 PM   #8
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The idea is to embrace mistaken expectations - for instance if previously you thought it made perfect sense to just be a good employee and take care of business and trust that everything in the background would just work reliably, now you know that you should have embraced Machiavellian and schemed against competition you didn't know you have... So you know, develop paranoia and assume it's always there. Do psychiatrists do reverse treatment?
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:08 AM   #9
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So I just took note on how many of the guys here are really into vehicles...

Which in itself is unsprising and should comply with common expectations - this is something dude's just do... But in thinking about it, I was surprised when I realized that while my mind knows this to be theoretically true, somehow this doesn't apply to anyone I've known.

One guy from middle school who was into them to the point of being the car-geek (And last I heard he was studying to be a licensed car mechanic), but that was his thing, he was the car kid.

There was no general men-are-into-cars phenomena. It's supposed to be part of the stereotype, for men in genera and even israeli men in particular, but... none of it at all.

could be generational too, not sure yet.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:53 AM   #10
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So none of your personal acquaintances are car guys?

Huh.
I'm a car guy and a number of my friends are definitely car guys. ElderSon is a car guy, he loved working on his cars, but SonofV doesn't even have his license. Go figure.
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Old 09-03-2015, 10:54 AM   #11
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Yea.

Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate a good ride, I can feel how one car feels a lot more responsive then another, and sometimes I can enjoy driving - it relaxes me, assuming there isn't a lot of traffic.

But given the option, I would probably give up driving for self driving cars so I can install an xbox and game on my way, even if I just end up playing Need For Speed.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:18 AM   #12
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Will self driving cars have windshield wipers?
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:54 AM   #13
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Eh, that reminds me of when google took away the delete option from gmail because they were all "This is a near infinitely large inbox, YOU DON'T NEED TO DELETE ANYTHING". People claim corporations are psychopaths but sometimes this one feels more like an autistic child.
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:23 PM   #14
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This surprised me today. Kinda. A little. Ok, not at all, really...



Well, so much for going anywhere without an extra five pounds of steel and polymer...and lead.
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:52 PM   #15
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^ Actual psychopath.
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