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Bit of a Tangent

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Bit of a Tangent

Gianluca Truda and Jared Tumiel

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Each week, two aspiring rationalists bring you mind-bending ideas from science, philosophy, artificial intelligence, and medicine. Whether you enjoy wide-ranging discussions or are looking to upgrade your reasoning and critical thinking skills, this podcast will satisfy your intellectual hunger and sharpen your skeptical eye.
 
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The complete Replacing Guilt series. Written by Nate Soares. Read and produced by Gianluca Truda. --- Contents 0:00:36 : Preliminaries 0:17:50 : Part 1: Fighting for something 1:03:20 : Part 2: Drop your obligations 1:30:27 : Part 3: Half monkey, half god 2:44:30 : Part 4: The dark world 4:17:40 : Part 5: Fire within 5:39:14 : Conclusion 5:43:46 : …
 
This episode is made of two parts. Firstly, some updates on the project: the audiobook is still in progress and should be released soon. I'll be uploading it to this feed and will try make it as accessible as possible. To tie you all over until then, the rest of this instalment is an excerpt from the Bit of a Tangent podcast, which I co-host with m…
 
"After nearly a year of writing, my "replacing guilt" sequence is coming to a close. I have just one more thing to say on the subject, by pointing out a running theme throughout the series." -------- Original post: http://mindingourway.com/how-we-will-be-measured/ Find Nate Soares at http://mindingourway.com Find Gianluca Truda at http://gianlucatr…
 
"I have found this mindset to be very useful throughout my life. Confidence all the way up is what has me dive into the fray to try new things, while others stand on the sidelines bemoaning a high degree of uncertainty. It's part of the technique of treat recurring failures as data and training, rather than as a signal that it's time to feel guilty…
 
"Polished response patterns have proven useful to me, and I attribute much of my skill at math, programming, and running nonprofits to having sane responses to new obstacles. Regardless of where you get your response patterns from, I suspect that honing them will do you well." -------- Original post: http://mindingourway.com/the-art-of-response/ Fi…
 
"Many years ago, when I was in high school, a friend of mine came back from college having joined a fencing team. He wanted to show me some of the basics, so he tossed me a sabre, and we had at each other. We crossed swords a few times, and he said something along the lines of "Nate, the goal isn't to hit my sword, the goal is to hit me." [...] " -…
 
In this episode, Gianluca and Jared discuss the neurobiology of predictive processing, the role of dopamine in reward signalling, satisfaction, and human desire. They also touch on the relation of reward to reinforcement learning and artificial intelligence. The podcast then shifts to discuss the clinical manifestations of the predictive brain, inc…
 
"The last arc of posts has been about how to handle a dour universe. Become unable to despair, learn to see the darkness rather than flinching from it, learn to choose between bad and worse without suffering. Learn to live in a grim world without becoming grim yourself, learn to hear bad news without suffering, and stop needing to know your actions…
 
"Most of the time, if something is hurting you, I recommend making it stop. There is one exception, though..." -------- Original post: http://mindingourway.com/transmute-guilt-i/ Find Nate Soares at http://mindingourway.com Find Gianluca Truda at http://gianlucatruda.com Replacing Guilt is written by Nate Soares and produced, with permission, by Gi…
 
"So here's my advice: Think the unthinkable. Consider that which is painful to consider. Figure out what, exactly, is at stake. Weigh the consequences. Come to terms with them." -------- Original post: http://mindingourway.com/come-to-your-terms/ Find Nate Soares at http://mindingourway.com Find Gianluca Truda at http://gianlucatruda.com Replacing …
 
"... Maybe some part of you is pushing against reality, trying to deny it, willing the past to change." -------- Original post: http://mindingourway.com/simply-locate-yourself/ Find Nate Soares at http://mindingourway.com Find Gianluca Truda at http://gianlucatruda.com Replacing Guilt is written by Nate Soares and produced, with permission, by Gian…
 
"I'm betting that the last three posts have given many readers an incorrect impression about my demeanor. It's easy to read those posts and conclude that I must be a grim, brooding character who goes around with his jaw set all day long. Which is understandable, but silly. You don't need to carry a grim demeanor to draw strength from seeing the dar…
 
"When given a choice between bad and worse, you need to be able to choose "bad", without qualm." -------- Original post: http://mindingourway.com/choose-without-suffering/ Find Nate Soares at http://mindingourway.com Find Gianluca Truda at http://gianlucatruda.com Replacing Guilt is written by Nate Soares and produced, with permission, by Gianluca …
 
"Consider fictional Carol, who has convinced herself that she doesn't need to worry about the suffering of people who live far away. She works to improve her local community, and donates to her local church. She's a kind and loving woman, and she does her part, and (she reasons) that's all anyone can be expected to do. Now consider fictional Dave, …
 
"If you have money and want to save lives, you had better put a price on life. Scott Alexander explains it better than I can. But don't mix up the price of a life with the value of a life. I see this happen all too frequently. To correct this mistake, I'm going to tell a little story..." -------- Original post: http://mindingourway.com/the-value-of…
 
"Sometimes, when people see that their life is about to get a lot harder, they start buckling down. Other times, they start despairing, or complaining, or preparing excuses so that they can have one ready when the inevitable failure hits, or giving up entirely and then failing with abandon. These next few posts assume that you have the former demea…
 
This week’s episode of Bit of a Tangent is a continuation of our 3 part series on Predictive Processing - a fascinating neuroscientific account of the way our brains come to understand the world. If you haven’t already listened to part 1 (episode 028), check that out first! In this episode Gianluca and Jared discuss the importance of sensory precis…
 
"Many people hold themselves to a very different standard than they hold others. They hold themselves accountable for failing to do the psychologically impossible. They fret over past mistakes and treat themselves as failed gods, rather than ambitious monkeys. This condemning-of-the-self can lead to great guilt, with all its negative effects. My su…
 
"I confess, I do not know what it would mean for somebody to be a "bad person." I do know what it means for somebody to be bad at achieving the goals they set for themselves. I do know what it means for someone to be good at pursuing goals that I dislike. I have no idea what it would mean for a person to "be bad." I know what it means for a person …
 
It's here. It's finally here! The first in a series of three episodes diving into the predictive processing theory of brain function! Jared and Gianluca discuss top-down versus bottom-up perception, Bayesian Brain hypotheses, the logic of caring only about prediction error, and the phenomenology of visual illusions!…
 
Gianluca and Jared have survived 2020 (so far) and are back for Season 3 of Bit of a Tangent. In this episode they bring you 7 new habits and techniques that can be used to iteratively upgrade yourself — even in lockdown. Forget everything else that’s going on in the world, and take a deep dive into personal optimisation. Or, as they’d put it, prep…
 
"The most common objection I hear when helping people remove their guilt is something along the lines of "Hey wait! I was using that!" Believing this (or really any variant of "but guilt is good for me!") makes it fairly hard to replace guilt with something more productive..." -------- Original post: http://mindingourway.com/update-from-the-suckerp…
 
"I've spoken at length about shifting guilt or dispelling guilt. What I haven't talked about, yet, is guilt itself. So let's talk about guilt. Guilt is one of those strange tools that works by not occurring. You place guilt on the branches of possibility that you don't want to happen, and then, if all goes well, those futures don't occur. Guilt is …
 
"Part 1 was about replacing the listless guilt: if someone feels vaguely guilty for not really doing anything with their life, then the best advice I can give is to start doing something. Find something to fight for. Find a way that the world is not right, and decide to change it. Once the guilt is about failing at a specific task, then we can star…
 
[Epistemic status: slightly intoxicated] Jared and Gianluca exchange rapid-fire questions whilst becoming increasingly inebriated. Think of this episode as the Ferriss/Rose “Random Show,” but with more references to Bayesian inference. It’s pretty likely to entertain you, but hopefully you’ll find it interesting too. Topics include Email response t…
 
On this episode of Bit of A Tangent, we discuss the emerging field of self-supervised machine learning. This is an immensely exciting area of active research in machine learning and AI - one which most people haven’t even heard about yet! We build up to the intuition for the topic by covering supervised and unsupervised learning; autoencoders and d…
 
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