A Metaphorical Hammer for Every Problem

[!NOTE] Lesswrong reference

  • I’ve been told that the whole idea of hammers and nails comes from Yudkowsky and his allegory of nails and hammers.
    • I need to read it, to understand it better.
  • It turns out I have amassed several notes about hammers in my vault. They illustrate the idea that every person forges a hammer for themselves:
    • The quintessential tool for breaking down any problem into manageable parts and then assembling the optimal solution one can devise.
  • Every expert has to accumulate a specific set of hammers that can be employed in crafting viable solutions to any problem:
    • This set is distinct for each carpenter and builder.
    • My friend, a mechanic, often says that with three hammers—large, medium, and small—he can dismantle any issue inside a car.
    • This principle can be universally applied:
      • A teacher develops a toolbox of strategies that they implement in the classroom.
      • A philosopher relies on finely tuned thinking patterns and questions.
      • A painter favors a particular brand of oils.
      • A driver selects specific tires and gas stations that he deems suitable for his vehicle.
      • And a note-taker is not excluded from the list of professionals who require a toolbox to excel in whatever they undertake.
  • For instance, I possess similar to what I’ve explained above set of hammers for reading, writing, and thinking, which I will introduce shortly.
    • But before I delve into the hammers themselves, I wish to discuss a new tool that I am experimenting with: a hybrid system.
      • Some notes I compose inside my vault, but others I capture using pen and paper, sketching something as a reminder or an image of the idea, like three hammers suspended in the air, sketched in black ink with a fountain pen for this exact idea.
    • The arsenal of an experienced note-taker encompasses many elements, but they all center around three main processes: reading, thinking, and writing.
    • It would be wise to categorize them into these three groups:
      • Reading:
        • Tools for book analysis. A particular framework that Adler and Povarnin discussed in their writings.
        • Skimming. It is indeed a tool for analysis, but I consider it distinct from the analytical toolbox. It serves not only as a means of analysis but also as a crucial instrument in funneling information and sieving what’s worthwhile from the remainder.
        • Highlighting and practices akin to marginalia, where you jot down impromptu notes on what you’ve read. But highlighting core ideas of the text and supplementary ones is not a straightforward process. A note-taker must master how, what, when, and how much to annotate in the book. Too much—and it becomes overwhelming, too little and it remains elusive.
      • Thinking:
        • Why? The significant WHY I chose this book or text, why it came into my possession and captured my attention? What is its value? The moment we select something on our attention radar, we need to understand our motivation.
          • What are the underlying reasons for picking it?
          • What is the challenge that I face?
          • What do we hope to learn from the source we are studying?
          • How might it prove beneficial in our lives?
          • All aforementioned thought processes adopt a problem-solution approach. Not just because someone recommended reading it, but because I require it for a specific purpose.
        • Organization of the text. This step is frequently overlooked or underestimated. We often mistakenly assume that a linear text is the optimal organizational style for information. However, in my view, maps and lists of ideas organized hierarchically offer a better framework for building meaning and comprehending the text.
        • The next tool is somewhat akin to organization but differs in a critical aspect. We must link ideas to something we already know, to our prior knowledge.
          • Bear in mind, any idea is merely [[Когда книга учит#Content Doesn’t Play Any Role in Understanding, Only Links Between Ideas|a well-redacted pine]], insignificant alone but invaluable in connection with others.
          • Linking is an essential step in crafting personal understanding and grasping the idea at a deeper level.
      • Writing:
        • This tool is not strictly about writing but encompasses both writing and thinking.
          • I am convinced that true thinking cannot be confined to the mind; thus, I have included it in this category.
          • Transferring knowledge to a new context. This process involves writing, observing, reflecting, and again writing.
          • At this stage, we test whether an abstract idea or reality holds up better under scrutiny. If the idea prevails, reality is altered; if reality prevails, then the idea is refined.
        • Writing notes, articles, and books. Briefly, at this stage, a note-taker disseminates his expertise to the world.
          • An aspect many overlook or deem trivial. In my view, it’s crucial — the ability to share and demonstrate your work.
    • Reflecting on everything I’ve written above, it prompts me to ponder:
      • What if I could design the new course around this framework?
      • We take an idea or a problem, conduct some research, summarize findings, organize them, test, observe, and share the outcomes.
      • It resembles the ‘cracking nuts’ course but is specifically tailored to note-taking, processing complex data, observation, reflection, and presentation.

Essay that has been written on the foundation of this note: Метафора молотков и гвоздей

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