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    Default Fox or Hedgehog?

    This slideshare explains what that is and gives a test at the end: The Fox and the Hedgehog

    It is based on the phrase "A fox knows many things, but a hedgehog knows one big thing."

    The test starts on slide 48.

    If I answer the questions based on impressions and my gut, I score as a fox (+33). But if I parse the wording, and assign truth value based on my own memories and feelings, I score a hedgehog (-9).

    So am I, like Tolstoy, divided against himself. Is everyone like that? Thinking fast, you're a fox, but thinking slow you're a hedgehog?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    I am a fox, for sure. But I think there are some subjects about which I become quite hedgehoggy. I imagine some people are very clearly one or the other, some are borderline, and others have little touches of both in their lives.

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    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    8. Swung back and forth between positive and negative numbers the whole time. Considering scores can get into the positive and negative 50s, I'm in between being significantly fox or hedgehog.
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    Google "chemtrails" Bush Did 9/11's Avatar
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    Too much variance in my responses question-to-question. Namely to do with a conflict between (a) my view of the world itself and (b) how we can deal with it.

    Simple models are often difficult to develop, though sometimes we can surprise ourselves. The world's pretty complex, also meaning that there are in fact whole fat lot of answers to one given questions. We have more problems as a society getting stuck in ruts than in giving up too early. There are always multiple opinions and sides to an argument that ought to be considered and listened to.

    But I personally make decisions pretty quickly, and to a fault I'm not patient with those who can't make up their mind. I'm sometimes guilty of analysis paralysis, but I snap out of it relatively quickly.

    So, stuff is complex, but we've gotta still make the best sense we can out of it in order to get anywhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    If I answer the questions based on impressions and my gut, I score as a fox (+33). But if I parse the wording, and assign truth value based on my own memories and feelings, I score a hedgehog (-9).
    [...]
    Thinking fast, you're a fox, but thinking slow you're a hedgehog?
    Interesting perspective. Akin to the central idea in Kahneman's awesome book Thinking, Fast and Slow.

    When we have to think quickly, we have to (and naturally do) synthesize a bunch of disparate data--and fast. In problems that require more detailed analysis, we slow down our brains and think linearly and rationally, honing in on a more solidified answer.

    I could see, then, how the 'hedgehog' mentality could be romanticized--it's seemingly more controlled and level-headed--and we hadn't exactly shedded our 'reason over all' mentality until the last century or so. We've only recently begun to realize the fox's merits.

    Put the two together, and -- diverge, converge; bang, crunch; brainstorm, integrate.
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