Zero Parallax

Tools for learning to understand

Zeroparallax is about the acquisition of understanding, both for its own sake and for the sake of better life experiences.

While researchers race to teach AI how to learn (or "self-learn"), Zeroparallax aims to provide principles and other tools so that we humans can better learn and self-learn, so that we can work towards the best versions of ourselves.

Note that "mistakes" are a natural (and I'd argue, "necessary") part of this process. They are "learning experiences".

ideas, relationships,
information and change
using limits to become limitless

Learning to Read and Input Chinese characters

Two of the biggest challenges with learning Chinese characters is looking them up and inputting them. With a language like English, looking up is easy because words are listed in dictionaries alphabetically. Likewise, entering words in a search engine or translation device is also easy because we know the basic elements, letters, required to input those words.

With Chinese characters, whether simplified or traditional, both looking up and inputting them are difficult because both require pre-knowledge of the character, whether it is its radical, pronounciation or stroke count.

Character maps are designed to overcome both of these problems.

Character maps use the Easy Shape Lookup System (aka Chinsym for Chinese symbols) to make Chinese Characters easy to lookup. The indexes for this lookup system are consistently based on a specific element of a character and the grouping of these elements into 12 easy-to-recognize shapes, each with up to 16 related sub-groups.

The S1 index for Simplified Chinese characters uses the first element of each character for indexing. The S3 index uses the final element for indexing.

Making character lookup easy solves only one part of the problem.

The cangjie input system is a free input system available on both mac and windows operating systems. It's a shape based input system which means that you don't need to know a characters pronounciation to input it. Plus, once you've learned the basics of this system, it's relatively easy to enter any character.

Character maps make looking up characters easy. Combined with cangjie input codes for both simplified and traditional Chinese characters, they also make learning the Cangjie input system less frustrating.

Character maps are also come with English definitions and Mandarin pronunciation using pinyin.

Check out the s1 series of character maps

Smart anatomy

Anatomy tends to be taught in the same way over and over again. If you look for a picture of the femur using google search, you'll tend to see the exact same views of the femur. As a result it's hard to visualize, for example, the outer or "lateral" view of the greater trochanter simply because very few anatomists draw this view.

Smart anatomy focuses on anatomy relevant to movement and proprioception. You can't have movement without proprioception. And you can't have proprioception without the engines which drive movement. And so smart anatomy focuses on muscles, connective tissue, joints and bones.

To make it easier to visualize these structures, smart anatomy aims to provide more than just the standard views.

And rather than looking at anatomy as a doctor or massage therapist would, i.e. as someone else's body, the idea of smart anatomy is to learn to feel and experience and control our own anatomy, directly.

Direct experience of our own anatomy, tied in with the view of anatomy provided by anatomy texts provides us with a deeper understanding of anatomy and more importantly a deeper understanding of our own body.

For an even deeper understanding, it's also very helpful to work at drawing anatomy.

Why is this "smart anatomy"? The use of the word smart is based on the idea that smart phones and tablets are smart because the same part of the device accepts inputs and provides outputs. That part is the "touch screen". With our own body, the main elements that provide both outputs (movement) as well as inputs (sensation) are our muscles.

Making yoga poses Sensational

One of the key ideas with sensational yoga poses is to use yoga poses, and other exercises, to help you feel your body. More than just a general instruction, sensational yoga poses includes some of my earlier attempts to provide useful and differentiated exercises for helping you to feel and control your body piece-by-piece. It has got a fairly detailed anatomy section which I will be transitioning to smart anatomy.

Perhaps the two parts of that site I feel are most helpful are the section on balance and the section on flexibility. Note that both revolve around the ideas of feeling your body and controlling it.

Take Out the Slack

A very simple idea that can be applied to any relationship is to take out the slack.

A relationship, at it's very simplest, is two connected ideas. When the slack is removed from between those ideas, they can communicate with zero lag and zero misunderstanding and that means that they can work together as one.

For programmers, taking out the slack means writing code error free so that the program compiles and does what it is supposed to do. Generally, programmers have zero choice but to remove the slack, otherwise their programs won't work.

With humans, communication is a lot less effective. But it can be made effective and we then have slack-free communication.

With the body, our body, removing the slack can mean efficient transmission of force, minimal effort coordination (i.e. you don't have to think about coordinating parts, tension transmitted force does it for you), effortless effort (you are working but it feels like good work, enjoyable work),

Use limits to define ideas and relationships. Once these have been learned, you no longer need the limtis. You thus work towards being unlimited i.e. infinite. Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.
Published: 2019 04 24
Updated: 2021 03 14

Articles by date

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The [relationship] as a general building block for reasoning from first principles

2021 01 22

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A first principles approach to learning to feel and control your body

2021 01 20

Ideas as First Principle building blocks
The qualities of ideas that make them useful for working from first principles

2021 01 19

First principles
The art of modelling for function rather than form

2021 01 07

Building intuition
Why working from first principles is more than just understanding component parts (but also component relationships)

2020 12 03

Ideas as Units of Meaning
And as the Potential for Change

2020 10 05

Creating an easy-lookup indexing system for Chinese Characters
The importance of indexing in general

2020 09 19

Learning to understand complex systems in terms of ideas, relationships and change
Plus side trips down memory lane and how the method of loci relates to understanding

2020 09 18

Information, energy and the idea of change
Why it makes sense that information could have mass

2020 09 15

Indexing, context and understanding
How effective indexing makes it easier to find things and can lead to better understanding via the method of loci

2020 09 01

Right and wrong versus better possibilities
sometimes you just have to make a decission

2020 09 01

How to make decision making easier
Understanding short term memory (so that you can work effectively within its limits)

2020 09 01

A calculus for learning your body
The basics of "learning to understand"

2020 07 31

Learning Chinese by reading It
How to say "peed all over the toilet seat" in Chinese

2019 07 22

About Neil Keleher
Simplifying chaos

2019 07 21

Rewriting Our Operating Systems
Becoming Better at Being ourselves

2019 07 21

Being Present, What it Means
and How to Get There

2019 07 19

Being Present, a Non-Critical (but critical) State of Mind
(That's often more fun!)

2019 07 12

Basic Principles: Ideas as Units of Meaning
And as the Potential for Change

2019 04 24

What is zero parallax?
How to account for viewing error to measure change, create change and to understand

2019 04 24

Zero Parallax
Tools for learning to understand

2019 04 24

Flexible thinking(Formerly "Learning to Understand")
A First Principles approach to understanding systems from two points of view by using components and stories