Quitting CF (for now) [lmf]

I’ll be pretty brief since I don’t think you want to discuss much. Two points:

Paths Forward

If you’re right about some of your disagreements with me, there’s no way for me to change my mind and improve, since you haven’t shared explanations of the disagreements.

If you’re wrong, there’s no way for you to change your mind and improve, since you’re avoiding debate.

This looks to me like a typical example of proceeding in a way without effective error correction mechanisms. At least one of us is wrong and is going to stay wrong. I think you are asymmetrically causing that, while I’m taking clear steps to enable other outcomes.

Negativity, Competence, Greatness

I think some of the problems you were having were important/serious but solvable. I want to acknowledge that there are some real issues there. It’s bad to experience things as depressing and ugly. It’s important how one handles open questions or candidate ideas that one doesn’t yet have a conclusion about, including so those things don’t lead to negative emotions. Engaging with unconventional ideas well takes skill; there are dangers to be addressed.

Some issues seem potentially based on misconceptions, misremembering, or your own ideas (it’s hard to tell though without more detail). For example, when I say that Kraft and other big companies do fraud, I’m not unhappy or upset about it. I like having a better, truer model of the world so that things make more sense. There are pre-existing problems in the world which I’m trying to explain and understand, which makes them easier to deal with. Knowledge is a step towards solutions. Although reforming the food industry is difficult and isn’t my goal, I can replace some foods I eat with better foods. Some negativity that you attribute to me may be your own interpretations/perspective/ideas that I disagree with.

Or you mentioned your competence at physics. I don’t think I challenged that. I think you could very plausibly go through school, pass your tests, successfully graduate, be above average, get hired, have a career where you do some useful things and keep your job instead of being fired for incompetence, etc. Our discussion was about your goal of greatness. Example: “I am ambitious and I want to do something groundbreaking”. I don’t think I took this the wrong way because e.g. later clarifications included wanting “the pinnacle of achievement” and “the ideal man, whom I aspire to be”.

I tried to challenge the plausibility of being a rare genius who makes major breakthroughs in physics – like Einstein or Feynman – without some kind of huge edge (such as philosophy or much better math automatizations, intuitions and concepts). Universities don’t currently provide that edge, aren’t creating great physicists, and have some systemic problems that conflict with greatness. So I thought your career plan was inappropriate/ineffective for achieving your stated goal of being a great outlier. I think your very high aspirations require very high standards, but that’s not negativity about your competence.