How do you suppose your contemptible acquaintance(s) got so good? 13 replies

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Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#11 7 months ago
Posted by random_soldier1337

I just don't get how someone with that mindset gets to that level of efficiency, if true.


It might be useful here to draw a distinction between what someone's learnt and their ability to learn. I'm talking about the second in the following:


Some people are just born smarter than others. 

I remember a time when I was in A Level English - A Levels being one of the qualifications you can take in the UK to get into university - and I put no effort into that class to do well at it. By contrast there was this really well-spoken diligent girl who read all the books and... she did terribly, got a D. There's something unfair going on there.

Now I don't mean it's unfair that I did better in the exams than she did, that's possibly the only fair bit of it - an exam should measure performance, not virtue. But it's hard to cache it out in other terms than 'She did everything we recommend and got nothing for it, I did nothing that we'd recommend and got quite a lot for it... the playing field isn't equal.'

And, ya' know, I'm sure you can probably think of examples of people that you were just obviously smarter than. People in graduate classes who were just... slow... for lack of a better word. There probably didn't seem to be anything manifestly wrong with them... they just... weren't very fast mentally speaking. Things that you just got, things that were obvious, they needed explaining to them at some length. They're only in the class because they put in an ungodly amount of effort, by comparison to others, in order to be there. 

(Don't get me wrong, that approach can take you quite a distance, but there comes a point where A) either you run into some hard cognitive limit (e.g. this thing requires that you can hold four concepts in your head to understand it and you can only hold three) or B) you can't put in more effort because there's no more time.)

That gap between you and them only gets bigger as time goes on, at least if you invest the barest slither of effort, because learning is a networked activity - it builds on itself and the information you have allows you to use things you already know to understand other things. You don't have to be that much faster than someone at the outset to become much faster than them a few years down the line.

...

And is it really that hard to believe that just as we are naturally smarter than some people, some other people would naturally be smarter than us? I think only hubris speaks in the other direction.

Hard work is, I think, an incredible virtue. But it's not the only thing that matters.

(If it's a comfort though, there are plenty of people who don't watch their habits at university that crash and burn! Past a certain point, you're looking at the set of people who were smart enough to survive their bad habits for whatever reason... not necessarily the people who are doing the right thing!)


#


Although, that said, there are also very good strategies, on average, when it comes to learning - spaced repetition, for example - and if you run those strategies for a long time then you start to acquire knowledge that makes future learning easier just because the information to make the connections between different concepts already in your head. It's also possible that they're around as smart as you and are just executing a better learning strategy.




Last edited by Nemmerle 7 months ago

random_soldier1337

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#12 7 months ago

That's true. I wouldn't tell it to impressionable individuals if only for the fact they might stop doing their work.




Superfluous Curmudgeon VIP Member

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#13 7 months ago
Posted by random_soldier1337

Maybe so

Posted by Adrian Ţrumpeş

 I'm just guessing here, but is it that you feel in this case the other students are a bit spoiled?

Yep. Not only that. Some seem so capricious at times I'm surprised they make proper decisions. One moment they'll be all nice, next they'll lash out and often it seems like they don't know what they want.

Maybe it's the sleep deprivation causing that lol.





random_soldier1337

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#14 7 months ago
Posted by Superfluous Curmudgeon
Posted by random_soldier1337

Maybe so

Posted by Adrian Ţrumpeş

 I'm just guessing here, but is it that you feel in this case the other students are a bit spoiled?

Yep. Not only that. Some seem so capricious at times I'm surprised they make proper decisions. One moment they'll be all nice, next they'll lash out and often it seems like they don't know what they want.

Maybe it's the sleep deprivation causing that lol.


Maybe. I still can't believe what is up with that crazy girl who lost her shit cause she didn't have enough smokes. Loses her jacket, moans about needing a smoke. I try to help her out, tell her maybe she lost it in the classroom and she tells me to get lost. Really? I think it's time to drop the cigarettes.


Another was fond of dishing out "advice" with snark and sass but when I advised her on one thing, she told me not to lecture, not even explaining her situation. Hypocrite, much?


I know it sounds more personal. I'll just say that my issue is more so how they got anywhere being that moody.




Last edited by random_soldier1337 7 months ago

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