Guidebolt

Introduction

2017.12.08

I suppose that a conversational tone works here the best. It’s the most natural and approachable writing style after all. Anyway, this is the beginning of our adventure on this website. Time is limited, so let’s get started.

The purpose of this website is to convey practical knowledge that builds on the basics and cuts straight to key ideas. My philosophy on learning is simple. Information should help you make great real decisions. Whether you are building a mathematical foundation for future generations or applying first aid for someone hurt badly, your knowledge is the driving force. If you understand what must be done, you can just do it.

But it’s not just plain knowledge either. You need to have confidence in what you truly understand in order to get somewhere with your thoughts. You need to consider the unique and unfamiliar parts of the situation. You need to work out the numbers, knowing which can be approximated and which need to be accurate. You need to be good with the right tools and keep them nearby enough. And most importantly, you need to have enough self-awareness and conviction to think rationally then act decisively in the spur of a moment.

Like others, I can be hit by corruption, coercion, hacking, and mistakes. So I want you to ponder and assemble your own conclusions. That said, I ask that you consider 3 rules persistently around the things you decide to do.

Law of Preparation - Problems are solved by the ready use of tools and skills.

Law of Consequence - What matters is what happens.

Law of Continuity - The world is always moving. Every second bears a new risk; a new opportunity.

These considerations are grounded in realism. I want you to be well-equipped and proficient in tackling your future encounters. I want you to predict the actual events that will unfold instead of catering a dreamy vision that is detached from reality. I want you to be on guard for avoiding careless mishaps and tragedies.

Every guide on this website is driven by a purpose. I want you to understand my intentions so that you can browse across and within them in the right order and right frame of mind. I can only meet you halfway in terms of understanding the information you desire or require. I trust you to handle the remaining navigation effort.

Let's talk about different ways of presenting information. These are my limited options for communicating ideas to you. Text, pictures, and videos are standard categories. But within each category lies extra distinctions. Real world photos are different from line diagrams. Text documents can be written smooth like a story or dense like a dictionary.

Every presentation method has trade-offs. Text can communicate complex ideas in an accurate and compact manner that matches the timely pace of the reader. But it takes relatively high mental effort to understand the symbols, mind-form visualizations, and connect the ideas to the real world. Videos can auto-play without any effort from the viewer and provide a relatively rich and versatile sensory experience. But they cannot be scanned as easily for particular content; their visual flow makes it jarring to convey dense details; their pacing is less flexible because the viewer cannot naturally adjust their speed from clip to clip.

The point is that you should search for different guides based on what you need or how informed you are already on the subject. If you are a novice, you want to read story-like documents and concept-focused videos. Novice-oriented guides will employ repetition, transitions, and examples to reinforce new ideas, connect one idea to another, and ground ideas in real situations. If you are an expert, you already understand the key concepts. So you may just want a list of keywords to refresh your knowledge or scan for new ideas. If you need to get something done, you want step-by-step instructions. If you need to make an intensely well-informed decision, you want a dense document that covers deep details behind every factor.

A significant idea in knowledge theory is how much information it takes to compel people to take action. On top of that, people want to do the correct action, and that may require a lot more information. Here let's also distinguish between the information you really need to do something versus the information you want in order to have more confidence in a particular decision. For instance, an important friend may invite you to dinner tomorrow at a restaurant of your choice. This is compelling information that helps you decide to take action. Suppose you accept. Then you absolutely need to know which restaurants in the world are nearby, because you have neither the intent nor ability to travel too far for dinner on time. This is necessary information to take action. At this point you could quickly or randomly select a restaurant from the shortlist and just go for it. However, you probably want to filter them by your favorite cuisines as well as their reputations. This is confidence information that guides the right action. Both you and your friend will have a better experience at an atmospheric place with food that is tasty, nutritious, affordable, fast, and safe.