Global View

Table of Contents

Global view is a must for pretty much everything.

When doing research, most researchers read papers by keyword search and following citations.

  1. Where you got the keyword is doubtful.
  2. citations can take you anywhere, you have a feeling of getting deeper and wider, but the problem is you don't know exactly where is the end, thus get anxious about it. Such feeling will also prevent you from entering a new field because it reminds you the bad memory.

Instead, I read ALL papers, from established conferences. Of course I cannot read them into details, because that will takes 1000 years, that is simply not scalable in terms of lifespan. I read only titles. The best is, I read them really fast, and categorize them. At the end, I can confidently tell two things:

  1. I'm able to identify ALL important works in a field.
  2. I know the trend from old time to current, so that I can predict future better.

I doubt that most researchers barely read papers 5 years before they enter the field. It is sad, if nobody is writing a summation book for a field, I cannot image how the research would just go cycle for the past years.

1 Cognition bias and level

The longest distance between people is the cognition difference.

There is a term called Curse of Knowledge, i.e. a cognitive bias that occurs when the communicating individuals have different level of background cognition. An example given in Wikipedia is that, a brilliant professor might no longer remember the difficulties that a young student encounters when learning a new subject.

I'm talking about a slightly different thing. I don't care about teaching, because I think people should teach themselves most of the time. Thus I only care about communication, and specifically here I'm talking about the cognition bias in communication. I think cognition is strictly leveled: the lower cognition person will never know how a higher one think, but it is exactly the opposite the other way around.

The smartest people are those who can understand when others explain terribly, and can make others understand even if they have an awful understanding ability.

The more I know, the more I know I don't know. I always think there are people who see an entirely different world that I have no access with my current cognition level, but I always want to talk to them and try to improve to see that fascinating world.