Post Reply 
Graham's Number
01-29-2019, 07:25 PM
Post: #6
RE: Graham's Number
It seems I did express myself too succinctly.

I am all for setting goals. Only I see a lot of people (and me from the past) saying: either one reach this, or all the efforts done are useless. The goal may be unreachable for the same reasons you said, we do not know in advance. Could be that someone else can reach the goal but we, in our body and mind and experiences, may lack something to reach it. Or could be well that the goal is out reality, can be thought and that's it.

For me realistic goals are not necessarily things that we are sure we can achieve, but have the following properties:
(a) A realistic goal doesn't need an extreme amount of effort. We may underestimate the effort needed at first, so we can always try. With some "ideal" goals we set the bar too high, it ends that we will quit being demotivated.

Examples of unrealistic goals: Oh I want to lose 20kgs in 3 months! I want to have a 6 pack in 2 weeks! I want to write a technical book about a field I barely know in 6 months! I want to learn the 71B basic and all the command library and all its quirks in 3 days! I want to be a chess GM in 1 year starting from zero!

Those things are very unlikely to happen. Instead one can set a smaller goal, more likely to happen, and then can always continue to push father than that. So adjusting the previous examples.
I want to lose 5kg in a year! (and if I manage more, it is even better) I want to have a 6 pack in 70 weeks! I want to write an introductory technical book about a field I barely know as to guide all newcomers like me within 2 years! I want to learn the 71B basic and the needed commands to start developing my first useful programs in 2 months! I want to reach 1800 FIDE in 3 years!

(b) A realistic goal is likely to belong to reality (as in: can be reached as solution in this universe). Too many times I saw people (and me) calling something "best", "perfect", "ideal", "absolute" without even testing if the definition of it could belong to reality or not. Example in a strategy game people talk about "the perfect strategy" while the community is far away from even scratching the surface of the possible list of strong strategies.
Then they say "the perfect strategy surely includes this or that property". That is trying to define in detail something that is not reached, because if one could define it in detail, one could see it. In complex environments the best we can is to see directions to local optimums. For me a realistic goal is following exactly the last observation: "I am not sure if the direction will bring me to a local optimum, but it seems reasonable to think so. I try. If I can get even better results, great. But first let's follow this path first". This in contrast to "I am sure that this direction will bring me to the global optimum. Either I reach it or the efforts are useless. All other local optimums are also useless".

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Messages In This Thread
Graham's Number - Bill Duncan - 01-29-2019, 12:43 AM
RE: Graham's Number - pier4r - 01-29-2019, 01:04 AM
RE: Graham's Number - Bill Duncan - 01-29-2019, 01:07 AM
RE: Graham's Number - pier4r - 01-29-2019, 11:49 AM
RE: Graham's Number - Valentin Albillo - 01-29-2019, 06:53 PM
RE: Graham's Number - pier4r - 01-29-2019 07:25 PM

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)