Call for Volunteers

3.5 years ago I started semi-methodically checking the claims of books I read, to assess truthiness. A few months ago I identified flaws in the system and started working to find/create solutions. This should be old hat to regular readers.

What I haven’t talked about yet is how the project has grown: I’m now trying to create a research method that enables you to bootstrap from zero knowledge in a field to competence, without trusted experts. I’m further trying to teach this method to others. I’m fortunate enough to have received funding for this from the Long Term Future Fund that will cover most although probably not all of my expenses, so many thanks to them.

Finding a research method that dramatically improved on my old one went much faster than I thought- within a week of starting to use Roam, certain obfuscated problems became obvious and then solved. That’s great for me, but the lack of struggle actually makes it harder to identify flaws in the method or teach it to others, because I don’t know what needs explaining.

What I am looking for now is test subjects to teach this research method to, with the understanding that early subjects will be helping me more than I am helping them, as they teach me where my research or teaching methods fall flat. If this calls to you, please fill out this form.

What’s in it for you? Some combination of:

  1. Contributing to the creation of a method that lets people learn more with less time and effort
  2. Learning that method for yourself.

Early students will get more of 1, late students more of 2. You can indicate your preference on the form.

The most useful test subjects will be those who already have research projects (including their own epistemic spot checks) ready to go or in progress. It is something of a time commitment to actually use these methods and introspect on the experience, so I’d be surprised if people were willing to put in the time purely as a favor to me. But I also expect a fairly high drop out rate and especially early on, time teaching is valuable even if it doesn’t get used. So if you’re not sure what kind of commitment you can make, please just be honest on the form and I’ll prioritize as I can.

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