This was worth 6 minutes of my life

I enjoyed this video.

I find Destin’s reasoning a little suspect.  Not a lot, just a little.  He talks about how knowledge isn’t understanding: I agree.  He talks about having to unlearn a skill to re-learn a related but opposite skill: I mostly agree.  I think he forgets how long it took him as a child to learn to ride a bicycle in the first place, and makes some assumptions about learning that aren’t completely supported by his experiment.

Long ago, I read (I think in Godel, Escher, Bach, but maybe not) about an experiment where people were given glasses that inverted the world.  After a while (I forget how long, a few hours or a few days), their brain adjusted, and flipped the inputs, and the world then looked right-side-up.  But only while they still wore the glasses.  If they took the glasses off, then suddenly the world was upside down again, and it took them another while to re-adjust.  So that was one neat thing.  The other was, their brain only adjusted if they were free to interact with the world.  If they were motionless in a chair, the world was upside down forever.

I think this experiment with a backwards bicycle is very much like that.  You don’t learn an algorithm to ride a bike.  You train a neural network.  Those are two very different things.

So it was definitely a neat video, and it definitely highlighted some interesting cognitive problems (e.g. bias), but I don’t know that I’d agree that the experiment in question actually supported all of the conclusions being drawn.

On the other hand, of course, what the hell, I’m not a cognitive scientist, I could be wrong.  Just my two cents.  🙂

On creativity and discouragement

In other news, S. E. Hinton wrote The Outsiders her junior year in high school.

Printing Kindle cookbook content

Say you have a cookbook on your Kindle app and want to print a recipe. The Kindle app itself won’t let you print, and cut-and-paste out of a Kindle app kind of sucks. A quick search finds several methods (up to and including photocopying your Kindle Paper device, haha) all of which sound like they’d also kind of suck.

This worked for me: Log into the Kindle Cloud Reader ( Open the cookbook to the recipe in question. Tweak the display (margins, font size, number of columns, etc) so that as much of the recipe fits on one page as possible. Tell your browser to print the page (Cmd-P on Chrome on Mac, or just File -> Print).

It only prints one page at a time, but for a recipe, that might well be enough.

Edited to add: This was the cookbook.  Highly recommended.  Bacon & Butter: The Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Cookbook, by Celby Richoux.