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Hey - how do you think?

Request: I got a fascinating email about thinking. I'm sharing my thoughts, but I'd appreciate yours too. It's kind of a difficult question - how do you think? But it's fascinating, so I'd like you to weigh in after reading this post.

Fascinating email from Huy Nguyen -

Hi Sebastian!

My name is Huy, 21 years old from Vietnam currently studying in Singapore. I've been reading your blog and I must say you're 1 hell of an inspiring guy! Recently I have been pondering on the topic of mindfulness/self-consciousness and I thought why not drop you an email to say hi and seek for some help :)

My current problem is my thought speed is restricted to how much I can spell the thoughts out (in words and sentence) in my minds. And that'd be really slow. Sometimes, I'm able to speed-thinking (if that's the right word). I don't actually need to spell out the words in my mind, just link to some picture/scene and somehow I'm able to articulate and understand the situation in my mind. But this is a very rare case and I'm not fully able to control it. Have you ever encountered this problem? Do your mind think in English as well, or some special-made brain language?

Having A Body Of Work

On Huan M. Nguyen

Here's a link for you that may really help you to develop as a clear-thinking person: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~andwhay/postlist.html.

What is it? A list of Eliezer Yudkowsky's blog posts in chronological order over a period of about two years. It's nearly six hundred (600!) posts long; he challenged himself to write every day, for at least a large chunk of that time.

Eliezer Yudkowsky is a man who works with two extremely cool things. One, he works with artificial intelligence (AI). He has an extremely strong grasp of math and logic, and works on advancing the field. Two, Mr. Yudkowsky works with CFAR, the Center For Applied Rationality. It's an organization that aims to teach the art of rationality to willing students.

He also writes the fanfiction Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, as a sort of introduction to the art for people. HPMOR is actually quite educational and a very gripping story. if you're normally not big on fanfiction, I recommend giving it a shot just for what you can learn; I've heard some people say it's also a read that motivates them. If you like fanfics, or if you like Harry Potter, I think you'll enjoy it! Lots of little references, jokes, it's really quite captivating.

I've been reading HPMOR for a while, and known of Mr. Yudkowsky's posts for a while, but only today did I stumble upon the list of his blog posts, and realized how massive it is.

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