Monthly Archives: April 2020

Goal: Typing Goal Update – 3 Weeks In

Results, April 28th

  • Mean WPM this time: 38.34
  • Mean WPM test 2 weeks: 34.67
  • Mean WPM test 1 week: 36.77
  • Mean WPM first test: 32.27 (only did one test run)
  • Mean Accuracy this time: 93.35%
  • Mean Accuracy test 2 weeks: 91.69%
  • Mean Accuracy test 1 week: 94.65%
  • Mean Accuracy first test: 93.83% (only did one test run)

typing progress 2020-04-28

Reflections

I seem to have hit a plateau.

My biggest problems during the typing test are capital letters and symbols. I will utilise the tools that use capital letters and symbols in my training more in the coming week, to see if that helps me improve.

I am not honest with myself regarding accuracy being the focus. I usually try to go faster instead of being more accurate. That might be a reason to why my accuracy is not improving at all.
I will put more effort into being more accurate when I type train this coming week.

Training Plan & Tools

I still roughly do three sessions per day. I try to do a minimum of 30′ of typing training per day.

I have been using the following tools since the last test:

  • zty.pe (Speed over accuracy – no capital letters or symbols – game.)
  • typeracer.com (Speed and accuracy – includes capital letters and symbols – compete w/ other ppl.)
  • typingclub.com (Speed and accuracy – so far no capital letters but includes symbols.)
  • KeyKey (Speed and accuracy – no capital letters or symbols (might have these if you have a US keyboard).)

Criticism Wanted

Do you have any criticism of my approach? Do you know a better way for me to reach this goal of mine? If you do, I would appreciate it if you let me know by posting it in the comments.

Previous Posts on Typing Goal

Goal: Learn to type faster with high accuracy (2020-04-07)
Goal: Typing Goal Update – 1 Week In (2020-04-14)
Goal: Typing Goal Update – 2 Weeks In (2020-04-21)

Falsification is Not Critical Rationalism

Critical Rationalism (CR) is the philosophy of Karl Popper. It has been misunderstood by many.

CR roughly says that knowledge is created through guesses and criticism of these guesses.

One common misconception is that people mistakenly equate falsification with CR.

Falsification, in a philosophical sense, is roughly the idea that you can formulate a specific claim (i.e. a guess) about something in such a way that certain observations could contradict the claim.
If observations turn out to contradict your claim, your claim is wrong.
Even though your specific claim is proven to be wrong, a similar claim could still be correct.
(Edit 2020-07-30: Theories can not be conclusively disproven as we could be mistaken, our instruments could be faulty, and for many other reasons.)

Falsification, usually done through experimental testing, is only one type of criticism among many.
Although falsification could be a part of CR, it is thus not central to Popper’s position.

(See my discussion tree “CR, Oism, what intelligent ppl do” on SubscribeStar for another example of how people mistakenly equate falsification with CR.)

A Better Way to Brainstorm

I found out a better way of brainstorming in ET’s latest video stream.

The way I usually did brainstorming:

  1. Think of a topic
  2. Think of some topic categories
  3. Brainstorm about those topic categories until satisfied

The better way of doing brainstorming:

  1. Think of a topic
  2. Brainstorm freely
  3. Organise into categories after the brainstorming
  4. Repeat #2 & #3 until satisfied

The first example might get you stuck within the categories you first thought of. The second example does not limit your brainstorming in that way but lets you brainstorm freely, independent of category. When you are satisfied with your brainstorming you can organise the whole thing into categories for a better overview.

Revisiting Goals: New Goals from 2020-04-23

I had too many main goals that I tried to work on at the same time. I wanted to: learn programming, to improve my typing skills vastly, to learn critical discussion, to have lengthy discussions on covid (building on ideas that I still do not fully comprehend), read and comment on multiple books, start a blog and continuously post content there, make idea trees – all while trying to learn more Objectivism, critical rationalism, and YesNo philosophy.

I overreached. I knew better than this but did nothing to change it for weeks.

One problem that I see was that I didn’t start out with a clear goal. Instead I added more goals on the go as I came into contact with stuff that I am interested in.

This time I am being clear on my goals and I am limiting them to 2 main goals and 3 secondary goals.

You can see my goals and learning plan by going to “FI LOG” in the header.

These goals should be worked on each day for at least 2h / day (in total).
Secondary goals are the ones that will be prioritised away if I, for whatever reason, cannot work on all goals on a given day.

New Main Goals

New Secondary Goals

  • Typing (minimum 30 min / day)
  • Evaporating clouds (learn basics and practice making some each week)
  • Blog (minimum 1 non-goal related posts / week)

Timeplan

Starting 2020-04-23 and ending 2020-05-21 (4 weeks).
On 2020-04-22: evaluate and post new goals.


Edit 2020-04-23:
– I added a Color Code to my goals so that I can easily see if I am working on them or not.

Edit 2020-04-25:
– Changed goal details to be more specific and less vague: “YesNo philosophy (post questions and discuss with Alisa on weekly basis)” –> “YesNo philosophy (ask and discuss at least 1 question with ET / Alisa / week)”.
– Added “Log Goal Goals” to My FI Learning Log.

Edit 2020-05-02:
– Updated programming goal from “about 2 chapters / week” to “minimum 2 chapters / week”
– Updated YESNO goal from “ask and discuss at least 1 question with ET / Alisa / week” to “post & discuss at least 1 question with ET / Alisa / week”.
– Updated blog goal from “minimum 2 posts / week” to “minimum 1 non-goal related posts / week”

Goal: Typing Goal Update – 2 Weeks In

I have now worked on my typing training for two weeks.

My results this time got worse.

Results, April 21st

  • Mean WPM this time: 34.67 (- 2.10 WPM)
  • Mean WPM test 1 week: 36.77
  • Mean WPM first test: 32.27 (only did one test run)
  • Mean Accuracy this time: 91.69% (- 2.96)
  • Mean Accuracy test 1 week: 94.65%
  • Mean Accuracy first test: 93.83% (only did one test run)

Afternoon UPDATE:
2020-04-21 afternoon results:

  • Mean WPM: 37.34 (+ 0.57 WPM from last week)
  • Mean accuracy: 92.69% (- 1.96 from last week)

Reflections & Takeaway

My results this time got worse. One thing could be that I did the test early in the morning and before having eaten anything.
I will do one more in the afternoon to se if I write as poorly then as I did in the morning.
Doing a second test in the afternoon because I am dissatisfied with the results is cheating – I did not take a second test last time when I improved to make sure that test wasn’t a fluke.

Other than time of day and lack of food I do not why my typing did’t improve. I will update this post after I do a second test for the day – at noon:ish.

Afternoons edit: My accuracy seems to have gone down or at least is not improving. I should focus more on it. This could also be a reason why speed is not improving that much (correcting mistakes takes time).

Takeaway: Do the test roughly the same time each Tuesday. Around noon if possible and after a meal.

Training Plan & Tools

I still do three sessions per day. I have increased some sessions to 11-12 minutes.

I have added keybr.com as a tool and use it for one session per day.

Criticism Wanted

Do you have any criticism of my approach? Do you know a better way for me to reach this goal of mine? If you do, I would appreciate it if you let me know by posting it in the comments.

Previous Posts on Typing Goal

Goal: Learn to type faster with high accuracy (2020-04-07)
Goal: Typing Goal Update – 1 Week In (2020-04-14)

Am I a Slow Reader or a Fast Reader?

Am I a slow reader or a fast reader?

When I use some tools to speed up my reading speed, such as different RSVP software, I can read at about 650 words per minute (WPM) with decent comprehension. That is fairly fast when compared to the 250 WPM that is the average reading speed of adults. I use RSVP software every now and then when I want to read up on ideas that I am already familiar with.

At other times I end up “reading” at a far lower speed than even the average 250 WPM. The quotation marks are there because that is not the de facto reading speed but rather the time I take to digest what I read.

My point is that how fast I can read different stuff, with good comprehension, is in fact dependent on the context.
If I read about ideas that I am already familiar with, then I can use some RSVP software to bump up my reading speed without losing much regarding comprehension in the process. I do try to enhance up my reading speed when I get really comfortable with a specific speed (that is how I have built up to 650 WPM).
If I, on the other hand, read about some ideas that are fairly new to me, and that I want to learn more about, then I want to take the proper time to digest the ideas and chew on them thoroughly.

So am I a slow or a fast reader? It depends on the context.

The good thing is that over time, what was once new ideas, do become familiar ideas, and I can then read content involving them faster than I could before.

Who is destroying the world?

You might not think that the economic views you hold are promoting socialism, but many of you would be wrong.

70 years ago, Ludwig von Mises, wrote an argument against the Middle-of-the-Road Policy that is very prominent in many self-proclaimed capitalist countries today.

Even in this country which owes to a century of “rugged individualism” the highest standard of living ever attained by any nation, public opinion condemns laissez-faire. In the last fifty years, thousands of books have been published to indict capitalism and to advocate radical interventionism, the welfare state, and socialism. The few books which tried to explain adequately the working of the free-market economy were hardly noticed by the public. Their authors remained obscure, while such authors as Veblen, Commons, John Dewey, and Laski were exuberantly praised. It is a well-known fact that the legitimate stage as well as the Hollywood industry are no less radically critical of free enterprise than are many novels. There are in this country many periodicals which in every issue furiously attack economic freedom. There is hardly any magazine of opinion that would plead for the system that supplied the immense majority of the people with good food and shelter, with cars, refrigerators, radio sets, and other things which the subjects of other countries call luxuries.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You should read Mises, and other champions of reason, and make an effort to understand good ideas better.

If you chose not to care, to ignore it, I echo the words from Atlas Shrugged:

Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world?’ You are.

Programming and Philosophy

I am learning programming. The programming language I chose to learn is Scheme.

Why learn Scheme, a symbolic programming language, of all things?

The reason is that I want to understand the conceptual thinking of programming. Regarding programming, Curi (Elliot Temple), told me:

you need the big picture instead of to treat it like a bunch of math.

Scheme looks to have good resources for doing that. From Simply Scheme’s foreword:

It [Simply Scheme] emphasizes programming as a way to express ideas, rather than just a way to get computers to perform tasks.

This is the essence of how good philosophy works as well: learning to understand concepts, integrating them into the big picture, and avoiding contradictions in the process. Objectivism teaches this. In Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, Ayn Rand writes:

There are two different methods of learning: by memorizing and by understanding. The first belongs primarily to the perceptual level of a human consciousness, the second to the conceptual.
[…] The second method of learning—by a process of understanding—is possible only to man. To understand means to focus on the content of a given subject (as against the sensory—visual or auditory—form in which it is communicated), to isolate its essentials, to establish its relationship to the previously known, and to integrate it with the appropriate categories of other subjects. Integration is the essential part of understanding.

Rand, in Atlas Shrugged:

Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.

Do you see the similarities between good philosophy and Scheme programming?

By learning programming I work on philosophy – and by learning philosophy I work on my programming.

I am using Simply Scheme to learn Scheme.

Goal: Typing Goal Update – 1 Week In

I have practiced my typing for about a week using typing software to work on this goal of mine.

Every Tuesday for about 10 weeks I will do tests on keyhero.com and post my results.

I will do one typing session as training that I do not count towards the results. After one test run, I will do 3 sessions that count to the result presented below.

Results, April 14th

  • Mean WPM this time: 36.77 (+ 4.5 WPM)
  • Mean WPM last test: 32.27 (only did one test run)
  • Mean Accuracy this time: 94.65% (+ 0.82)
  • Mean Accuracy last test: 93.83% (only did one test run)

Training Tools

I have mainly used a program called KeyKey Typing Tutor. It was working well up until lesson 6 where my keyboard keys no longer matched the available ones in KeyKey. I still use KeyKey but only lesson 1-5.

On April 12th I added typingclub.com to my training.

Training Plan

I do three sessions per day. 10 minutes each.

Since adding typingclub.com to my training plan I have used KeyKey for 2 sessions and trainingclub.com for one session each day.

Fooled by complexity

To make stuff harder to understand is to add complexity to them.

People sometimes think that if something they read is confusing and hard to understand, it means that it is deep and meaningful. This type of reasoning becomes especially common if you find out that other people believe and say that the unintelligible stuff is deep and meaningful.

When people claim that something is deep and meaningful but you can’t make sense of it, ask them why they consider it to be deep and meaningful. You’ll find that, more often than not, they do not have good reasons as to why.
Unfortunately, much like the adults in HC Andersen’s tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” most people are too afraid to look dumb in the eyes of others, so they usually do not ask for clarification when they are confused. Most people are, what Rand would call, second-handers.

Something that seems confusing is not necessarily useless. But making stuff confusing is a method often used in pretending something is deep and meaningful when it’s actually not. If you don’t understand something you shouldn’t pretend it is meaningful just because it is confusing.

Richard Feynman was good at explaining things in a simple to understand way. In, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”, Feynman shares one “fooled by complexity” kind of situations from his life:

There was a sociologist who had written a paper for us all to read–something he had written ahead of time. I started to read the damn thing, and my eyes were coming out: I couldn’t make head nor tail of it! […] *I had this uneasy feeling of “I’m not adequate,” until finally I said to myself, “I’m gonna stop, and read _one sentence_ slowly, so I can figure out what the hell it means.”*
So I stopped–at random–and read the next sentence very carefully. I can’t remember it precisely, but it was very close to this: “The individual member of the social community often receives his information via visual, symbolic channels.” I went back and forth over it, and translated. You know what it means? “People read.”
Then I went over the next sentence, and I realized that I could translate that one also. Then it became a kind of empty business: “Sometimes people read; sometimes people listen to the radio,” and so on, but *written in such a fancy way that I couldn’t understand it at first, and when I finally deciphered it, there was nothing to it.*

When people do understand something, they should be able to explain it in a fairly simple way. If they can’t, chances are they do not really understand it themselves. This is very true for our own understanding as well – if you can’t explain things in a fairly simple way, chances are that you do not really understand them that well.

Asking questions is one way to not get fooled by complexity. Ask others clarifying questions. Ask yourself clarifying questions. Why is this? How is this so? Idea trees are a good way to organise one’s thoughts.

So if you do not understand something that you think is important, ask for clarifications. Even more importantly, ask yourself for clarifications – and put effort into simplifying things so that they actually are coherent.

Feynman again:

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.