Sunday, February 27, 2011

In Order

My overarching goals are as follows: To learn everything, to teach it to everyone, and to be an inspiration throughout.

This is the first time I have expressed this in print. Just thought I'd mark that milestone.

Common issues presented:

"...Isn't that impossible?" These are overarching goals that I constantly reach toward. I do not have to be able to see their fruition clearly, in fact, if I could, I would say I had poor overarching goals. My overarching goals contain supergoals contain goals contain tasks. Tasks are the first point where I assign a specific timetable, though goals have a vague one, and supergoals usually are possible within a lifetime not extended by a leap in the science of keeping humans alive.

"What if you discover that the human brain has limited capacity?" Then I will keep notes.

"But sometimes it's impossible to teach people things. You can't teach derivatives to someone who doesn't know algebra!" Yes. So I will teach them algebra first.

"How are you going to know how to teach everyone?" First: See first goal. Second: My supergoal here is to become a polymath teacher, with my current goal being becoming a mathematics instructor. Why math first? Because the worst teachers I have ever had/seen/heard of have all been mathematics instructors. Good ones exist, but math is more dependent on past knowledge than any other subject I've seen. A bad mathematics instructor can destroy a student's chances for years, if not more.

Another one that I can't summarize in a sentence but is expressed fairly well here is that I don't want to teach evil people. In reaction, I would give rational reasons for being good. If people like you, this is good. If people hate you, this is bad. Therefore, spreading happiness helps achieve later goals. We're pack animals; we like nice Alphas. Benevolent dictators have an easier time staying in power.

These three all have one answer, in a way: rational ignorance.* It is rational to memorize my notes' placements rather than all the information contained within if my brain truly has a limited capacity. It is rational to leave someone ignorant of how to work derivatives--briefly--if they do not yet understand algebra, because most people cannot learn both from scratch in a day. It is rational to help evil people become good before teaching them biases or how to achieve goals. The existence of a helpful being who will not help evil is a push toward good, which means I would be a motivator for anyone seeking to learn from me in the first place.

"How will you distinguish between good people and evil people?" I could say see overarching goal one again, but I have already stated that I will begin teaching before I learn everything. The simple answer is that I have no way to distinguish for sure. However, as a human, I do have feelings on the matter. Aaaaand someone in the audience points out that feelings aren't always correct; I can be biased, etc. So I'll say: "My goal is to spread knowledge, inspiration, and happiness. As these are my goals, I will place people who aid those goals as good, those who harm as evil, and those who do neither as in need of inspiration." It is not perfect in defining 'good' and 'evil', but it meshes with my goals and so works. I'd call it a pragmatism expression of idealism.

I can still be incorrect. That makes the instance a learning experience, bringing me full circle to overarching goal one.

* Ignorance when the knowledge would give less than the energy you would expend gaining it.

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