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Beemer

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Brains are weird [Oct. 15th, 2014|11:11 pm]
Beemer
Brains are weird.

At work, I have been trying to make synthetic data to test out a technique for making the precipitation data behave a little better. (The problem with precip is that the intensity is skewed, so you need to rescale it, but it doesn't rain every day, which messes up the usual rescaling techniques, so you have to do fancy things, and fancy things are harder.)

The reason why you use synthetic data to test your methods is that then you know what the right answer is, and therefore you can tell whether or not it's actually working. But that means you have to figure out what your method should be doing before you test it to see what it is doing. Which in this case turns out be hard.

Anyway, brains: so yesterday I'm struggling with this, and I was feeling like my mind was all spinning around in little loops, so I ended up going down to the tree plaza outside the building and walked around in small circles talking out loud to myself about the problem for like half an hour.

And it helped. A lot.

It's like, why would that help you think your way through a bunch of abstract mathematical transformations? Wandering and muttering? Really?

But it did. Because brains are weird.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: dpolicar
2014-10-16 02:46 pm (UTC)
Walking around the office as I work through a problem is a standard tool in my toolbox. I appear to be the only one who does it, and people look at me a little funny.
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[User Picture]From: dendren
2014-10-16 02:56 pm (UTC)
Brains are weird. And their differences are weird. My wiring does not seem to be of the walk around and think about it to work it out type but it fascinates me that for some people it is the answer to the problem. Along with 42.
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[User Picture]From: bluebear2
2014-10-16 04:08 pm (UTC)
That's pretty normal. You had a problem, stuck on it, changed your environment and did something physical, that got your blood moving around a bit, then the different environment changed your perspective.
Talking out loud changes the thoughts into something you can look at objectively.

So no mystery there.
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[User Picture]From: navrins
2014-10-16 10:00 pm (UTC)
I do this too.

I have some knowledge about current theories on why that might help, but I am too brain-fried to words them.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2014-10-16 10:06 pm (UTC)
At an eventual point of less-fryage, I would be interested in hearing more.
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