Monday, March 21, 2016

Train Yourself Out of Apophenia

The key is (ctrl-f) metacognition. Point your pattern-recognition networks at the patterns of false patterns. It probably won't work immediately for you, but it did for me. Unfortunately this means I don't know what kind of issues are likely to arise.

Note that sometimes, by chance, the evidence for a true pattern can be arranged as if it were a false pattern. Sometimes you can know from independent evidence that it's a real pattern; don't be surprised when it feels like a false one, be instead patient. If it's really real, the pattern will change. Generally speaking if the evidence you have looks like a false pattern, you should treat it as a false pattern, as that's the correct mistake to make.

I don't even see many false patterns anymore - the formerly-apophenious networks don't hand them to consciousness in the first place. The rest feel like 'what if?' stories, e.g. 'what if the sky was green?' Idle entertainment, not real.

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