Best products from r/iamverysmart

We found 23 comments on r/iamverysmart discussing the most recommended products. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 149 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

19. Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy

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Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy
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Top comments mentioning products on r/iamverysmart:

u/Aberu · 2 pointsr/iamverysmart

It wasn't the alphabets that were hard (katakana and hiragana). It really was the kanji (3000 for high school level fluent, I got up to about 500 in 2 years). Some were intuitive, playing off of other kanji (tree = ki and if you draw three ki's in a triangle you get mori = forest), but many were just randomly throwing other kanji inside of kanji. You had single characters with 22 brush strokes.

Just needlessly complicated as hangul (korean written language) kind of demonstrates. I think Japan (according to some literature I used to read on it) is moving away from kanji being used colloquially though. It's being blamed on mobile phone auto-input. Kanji is kinda strange, you have to physically write it often to continue to understand it. If you just type it in over and over you might still forget it.

The hardest part in Japanese for me was just the connecting wards like "ga" "wa" "no" "de" "ni" etc... The rules for these aren't always consistent, it's almost like how English has some confusing rules for people learning it.

Overally really fun language to learn and it gave me a different perspective on language as a whole and made me a bit more culturally open-minded. I'd say learning as much as I did about it was a great addition. If I watch things that have references to Japanese language/culture it's nice to have some level of familiarity with the subject matter.

I watched the "Princess Kenny" episode of South Park for instance with the words they were saying in japanese. They had the lines written out in a typical way you would do for a Japanese television show, and the acting was consistent so I had an appreciation for the effort they put into that. One of Matt Stone and Trey Parker's friends is a Japanese guy they knew from college and was the narrator of their first animated film. You can tell he still consults them for episodes and does voices.

The Princess Kenny episode made me laugh really hard when one of the characters saw the anime-ized Princess Kenny and said "ikimashita" while blushing. Basically he said "I just came". So that was pretty funny since it makes sense in the context of the situation and how they are stereotyping for comedy the whole Japanese anime thing and otaku culture.

EDIT: Thought of another challenging thing about it. Sometimes people's names will have a different vocal strength given. There is Se-n-na and Se-n-NA for instance. Also there is Se-NA and SE-na. This is based on the kanji used in their name, and some words (more rare) have this same trait. I hear chinese is far more difficult in this way though. Pronunciation was probably my strongest point, regularly got compliments from the teacher for picking it up easily. It's kanji that was the hardest for me for sure.

There's a kanji that uses 24 strokes.

If you want to get started, here's the dictionary I own.

And this is my Kanji dictionary

Making some genkouyoushi out of graph paper is great cheap way of practicing writing kanji.

My grammar/vocab study book was called "Modern Japanese" and it doesn't look like it's in print anymore. Too bad it was pretty strong for conversational. Here it is.

EDIT2: Thanks for the gold!

u/mpo7 · 170 pointsr/iamverysmart

I play chess. My USCF rating is currently 2123... And I thought the sphere chess looked absolutely retarded at first too.

>Nah, I feel you should start from openings.

You shouldn't. Opening theory is quite dense and heavily influenced by computer analysis. You benefit more from trying to understand what you are trying to achieve, rather than trying to simply memorize some openings.

Logical Chess: Move by Move is a great book for anyone that has mastered the basics but is looking to learn more. You will pick up some opening knowledge along the way, learn how openings give rise to specific kinds of middle-games. And you will come across some endgames (although endgame basics are absent).

If you wish to seriously improve there are 3 parts:

  • Understanding the reasons behind moves in the opening of a game - decisions regarding pawn structure are especially significant as these will determine the nature of the battle to come in the middle-game. For this - annotates games (like those in Logical Chess) are beneficial. Specific opening books are also useful but only after you've got a feel for what kind of middle-games you like (because then you know what kinds of openings to pick!). Other game collections (there are tons of great ones): Botvinnik: One Hundred Selected Games and for the more advanced Zurich 1953
  • Tactics. Chess, like other things, has a large component of pattern recognition. Solving tactical problems from workbooks (there are hundreds of these, so I will recommend 2: Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games and 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations
  • Endgames. Endgames are the most math-like in terms of study. You learn basic endgames (K+P vs lone K, K+R+P vs K+R, etc...). Once you have the basics, you can 'solve' more complicated positions by trading down (reducing them) to basic endings. Know nothing about endings? Here is one place to start: Pandolfini's Endgame Course. Dvoretsky's endgame books are also excellent.

    There is quite a lot of chess literature. If you enjoy chess and wish to study and improve there are plenty of ways to do that. If competing in tournaments interests you check out the United States Chess Federation if you are in the states. If you are abroad, check out FIDE. And of course there are online options such as, the Internet Chess Club, etc...

    Sorry... bit of an enthusiast :)
u/Rexq21 · 1 pointr/iamverysmart

>"The sum of two positive numbers is always greater than either number"

This "axiom" is a bit silly since you'd expect to be able to deduce what is essentially the triangle inequality from a more fundamental set of axioms. But hey listen, if you want to hold that as one of your own personal axioms and deduce some logical truths from that then more power to you. You can do math however the hell you want to do it.

(Quick side-note: I'd be careful in how you extend some of the "rules" for summation from finite to infinite sums because it doesn't always work! For example, while commutativity is a trivial property of finite sums, it turns out that commutativity does not hold (in general) when you consider infinite sums!)

>Fair enough. Which definition of limit would you like to use to justify the -1/12 limit?

The sum of the naturals does not approach -1/12 in any limit. Again, if you want to define "sum" to be the limit of the sequence of partial sums then thats totally fine. My point is that you can produce useful and powerful results by considering other more general meanings to the word "sum".

>That statement in quotation marks doesn't give you a basis to justify saying "sum of naturals is equal to -1/12". Of course, as humans and mathematicians we can attribute meaning wherever we find necessary.

Honestly I don't really understand what you mean here.

>Along the standard definitions of sums and convergence, yes people did.

You've heard people say that the sum of the naturals converges to -1/12? That's silly. You can prove that the sum of the natural is a divergent series very easily!

>As of right now, the whole idea of sum and equal to are undefined by you.

I gave you a whole list of "sums" to choose from! If you want me to pick just one then I'd perhaps pick the Zeta function regularization?

>And it's you whose trying to say that "nature thinks -1/12 is the sum of naturals". That's quite a bold statement.

I know, right! But at the end of the day its an experimentally validated statement. EDIT: I don't like how I worded this. Nature doesn't "think" anything, I think. It'd be more justified to say that QED analytically continues divergent sums to finite answers.

>I'm going to assume the scientists were using the standard definitions and that their theoretical value (sum of naturals) is infinity.

This just isn't true. Instead throwing up our hands and saying "oh, nature has given us a divergent series, time to look for a new theory" we figured out a way to make sense of this divergent answer. Whether you like it or not analytically continuing the zeta function and substituting in -1/12 for the sum of the naturals gave the right answer. Does that mean that the sum of the naturals converges to -1/12? No. Does that mean that the sum of the naturals approaches -1/12 in some limit? Of course not. Does it mean that the sum of the naturals equals -1/12? Reasonable people could say 'of course not, that goes against the entire field of mathematics!' OR 'well.. I just substituted in -1/12 for the sum of the naturals and I got the right answer. Perhaps there is some sense deep connection between these two quantities! Could a new definition of 'equality' yield more insight to this relationship?' Both are reasonable statements – I'm just saying that the latter is a more productive way of looking at things.

>Well I was under the impression that limits were calculus. Okay, what other meaningful areas of mathematics should we bring in here?

Mathematical physics. Wikipedia claims that renormalization is used in self-similar (fractal) geometry but I am not familiar with that field to know any examples.

>Keep in mind what you've been doing here. You've been saying there are other areas of mathematics and other definitions but not saying what specifically they are. I'd like you to start doing that please.

Hopefully I've 'name dropped' a sufficient amount of fields for you. If not then I would check out this book on a bit more information on the topic. Alternatively, if you're a fan of free youtube lectures, Carl Bender has an amazing lecture series on mathematical physics that sheds some light on the topic of assigning meaningful values to divergent series.

At the end of the day I'd like to reiterate my initial point: reasonable people can disagree about these topics and thats ok. My entire point here is that one should never be to extreme with their views on math (or really anything). If we applied your exact outlook on the sum of divergent series on the introduction to complex variables then we'd be doomed to have fields such as complex analysis or quantum mechanics forever out of reach. Being accepting of new outlandish ideas could lead to profound results!

u/Kwickgamer · 3 pointsr/iamverysmart

Of course! I study Criminology and Psychology in university, but obviously that's not a valid source.

Doctor Robert Hare is the leading expert on Psychopaths. His book: Snakes in Suits Is what my profs recommend for further psychopath reading.

Here's a great article on the topic by the Correctional Service of Canada.

As for use as a risk assessment scale this(doi: 10.1177/0011128705281756) article outlines the pros and cons nicely.
This(doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2004.08.008)article also points out a lot of the use of application of the PCL-R.

The second article in particular has some awesome sources that allow for further reading.

I also recommend this article from Doctor Hare's website. It's not peer-reviewed but it's a great article.

I hope this helps!

u/afuckinglinguist · 5 pointsr/iamverysmart


Hi everyone. I'm the red person in this post. I absolutely love how the OP here decided to include this one comment out of context and failed to include the fact that I'm a motherfucking linguist.

The book I'm using to learn grammar is called Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar by Yip Po-Ching and Don Rimmington. This book is what's called a "reference grammar." It is not, in fact, a textbook, it is a book aimed at linguists to be able to understand grammatical concepts of other languages in extreme detail.

How extreme, you may ask? There's an entire chapter dedicated to a single verb. It's not really intended to be used as a textbook at all. Every chapter consists one to two paragraph descriptions of an aspect of the language, followed by a handful of examples.

This type of book isn't particularly accessible to the average person because it's very dense with technical terminology, and it goes into way more detail than a beginner needs. As I go through it, I'm skipping massive chunks because I know how to identify what's not important to learn right now and can skip it. There's probably a decent chunk of the population that can't remember what an adverb is from when they learned it in high school, so I don't think a chapter section entitled "Initiator-Oriented or Action-Oriented Descriptive Adverbials" will be of much use to them.

The book I'm using for pronunciation is called The Phonology of Standard Chinese by San Duanmu. Do you know how detailed this book is? They don't even start talking about tone until page 255! Tone is a pretty important beginner concept in Chinese, though, don't ya think? But my specialization in linguistics is phonetics/phonology, so I love reading about the detailed little aspects of how the sound system works.

Hey OP, this sub is for posting high schoolers who took a basic physics course and post statuses about how they've been thinking about quantum mechanics and coming up with great ideas. Not about people who were trained in a field using the technical knowledge they learned in that field to learn something related to that field. Seriously, fuck you.

This one out of context comment might sound very condescending, but black is actually a very close friend of mine. He knows I'm a linguistics graduate student, and he knows I study cross-linguistic differences in speech acquisition, most notably between English speakers and Mandarin speakers. That's why he didn't say "Any specific textbook recommendations for Mandarin," he said "Any specific recommendations about learning Mandarin?"

Here's the full conversation for anyone interested.

I post statuses about languages and language learning all the time, as well as articles about it. I'm insanely passionate about linguistics and language learning, and I've decided to dedicate my life to it by going to grad school and hopefully becoming a professor one day. Anyone who knows me knows this. Fuck you OP, if I ever find out who you are, we are never fucking speaking again.

Also, for anyone interested in why all of the dates in my image say "recently," check out the awesome "Demetricator" browser extension. It removes all the numbers from Facebook!

u/the_lust_for_gold · 1 pointr/iamverysmart

>It's a problem because it's not backed by any real research

It doesn't need to be backed by research. It's a bunch of people reporting their own behaviors. If you don't need to file for a scientific study when you tell someone your favorite color, or that you like steak with potatoes. People don't need 3rd parties researching them to know their own sexualities.

>People on blogs and internet forums made all of this up.

This isn't a problem.

>It's completely an issue that the language is not as reputable as the language used by scientists, because people treat it as such.

Again, I haven't seen this.

> Language used in science refers to specific things, used to clear up ambiguity. Language in the internet queer community creates more ambiguity every time it defines something new.

This is subjective.

>It's a continuum and trying to define everyone individually by it not only oversimplifies each individual's sexuality, but overcomplicates the terminology used, and overcomplicating language greatly reduces understanding.

As long as you can communicate effectively to the person you wish to convey a message to, there's no problem with using complicated language. All of the definitions that I've seen so far-- demisexual, homoromantic, etc. are extremely easy for me to wrap my head around.

I can understand someone not getting it, but that doesn't mean that a system that makes sense to so many people and gives comfort to so many people and is helpful to so many people should be tossed out because some people don't understand it.

I don't think the words are trying to describe everyone on the spectrum, because the definitions are so general. It's implied that there are going to be individual differences between people.

>By the current terminology used by this community, I would identify as a cisgendered bisexual heteroromantic gray-a queer. But my sexuality is much more multidimensional than that, so this oversimplifies it. Yet it puts me into a bunch of categories when I could just say "my sexuality is something like 60% traditional and 40% out of the norm", so it overcomplicates it at the same time.

No one can force you to use these terms to describe yourself. If you don't like it, don't do it. 9/10 the people talking about this stuff are strangers on the internet so it's not like they can force you to do what they do and it's probably not productive to look down on them for doing their own thing either.

>And if you could link me to some scholarly articles which actually acknowledge things like demisexuality, I would actually be interested in seeing them, because I can find nothing but blog posts.

Like people say, it's a new concept so you're going to be hard pressed to find academic research about it. 1. It's a new concept that only became popular in the past 5 years or so. 2. There's no money in researching it. It's esoteric. I had a history class where I had to do research on a bunch of different artists. Their works were hanging in museums, but there was nothing online about them. Doesn't mean they don't exist, it just means they aren't popular.

Nevertheless, I was still able to find some textbooks that go over this stuff. Part of me is glad to go and bring this stuff to you, but another part of me is kind of annoyed because whether or not it appears in a text-book, especially in light of what I mentioned in the previous paragraph, has no bearing on whether it is a real thing. The requirement for it to be mentioned in studies is even more confusing considering that so much sociological research on sexual-orientation is based on self-reporting. There are no academic reports about /u/MissInkFTW. Should I assume you don't exist? Another part of me is annoyed because it's pretty easy for me to find these papers. It's unfair to be dismissive when it appears that you're not doing any serious work to find research that supports or dismisses your opinion. :/

In paging through these, I've found that most academic books actually go a lot further than common internet activist lingo does, ie. not only homoromantic, but homoemotional, homoaffectional, etc. These aren't all used to describe sexual orientation though.

There's a limit to what I can personally find and share since I don't have a subscription to any academic journals/sites. :/

Asexuality as a Spectrum

u/tjmac · 2 pointsr/iamverysmart

Yes, it was to provide special needs kids with the education they needed. The creator of the SAT later renounced eugenics and the test itself, but assholes like Termen needed to apply it to the top end so he could keep getting research funding.

I learned about this stuff from Sir Ken Robinson's amazing book on the failed, modern educational system, "The Element."

I think special education for the numinous qualities of the gifted is certainly needed, but much harder to define. The space to let autodidacts teach themselves is probably the best thing schools could do for them.

Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration is probably the best work I've came across on the subject.

u/austex_mike · 1 pointr/iamverysmart

I am not a Muslim, but I have degrees in Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern language and culture. I respect your take, but I cannot agree with you that Islam was "meant" to be practiced like that.

I suggest a great book from one of my old professors, it's called The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Hands of Extremists. In it there is a great explanation of how we got to where we are today.

u/Zholistic · 2 pointsr/iamverysmart

Ah, okay this is a shameless plug now... but since you asked! :)

It's the third one ('Running Protocol') in this collection of three that me and a couple of friends put out. We're planning on writing more, this was our first completed set, but I am currently inundated with other projects.

I'm not going to say it's great or anything - this is a step we were taking to improve our writing.

u/barsoap · 2 pointsr/iamverysmart

It's a common occurrence in mathematics to come across some Greek you don't know, which then means that you'll have to do "the usual yoga" -- make up exercises and examples until you've worked yourself into whatever you're looking at, as opposed to expecting to understand everything by reading about it.

From what you say I infer that you can do and have done that, as such I doubt you can really put yourself into the mother's shoes -- because this fundamental stumbling block of not learning a thing because you believe you can't ever learn it vanishes once you've had the experience that with some yoga, everything can suddenly very well work out.

How can you invest time and effort into understanding something if you haven't learned that you can understand things that way?

That's btw also why not few people who aced maths in school drop out of maths at university: The smarter you are and the easier and "obvious" things for you are in school, the less likely are you to actually develop that skill. If then on top of that you're arrogant enough to miss the pointers your professors throw at you, you've set yourself up for failure.

Raw intelligence without grit and the wisdom of how to apply it to things amounts to little. And makes you quite likely to end up linked on this sub. Have grit and sufficient wisdom, however, and it doesn't matter much how much raw intelligence backs it up, you'll excel in one way or the other.


Thinking about it, I guess /s would've been a better choice than :) in my previous post. I do get it, I just have enough practice to usually overlook that path.

u/Genchh · 1 pointr/iamverysmart

Pretty sure it's from 'The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump' looks like a laugh:

u/NematodeArthritis · 14 pointsr/iamverysmart

Sadly, as other commenters have said, OP is basically just a string of fluffy nonsense. Even giving his explanation the benefit of the doubt, it’d still only reflect one of many, many theories within philosophy of thought/mind. Don’t take it as fact.

But DO take it as inspiration for exploring the many cool ideas within philosophy of the mind/philosophy of thought! If you like The Matrix and other cool stuff like simulation theory or big questions about what thinking/being/reality is, I highly recommend checking out Like a Splinter in Your Mind —it’s a really accessible book that uses The Matrix to introduce lots of cool ideas within philosophy. How I got started with philosophy!

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/iamverysmart

I didn’t get called dictionary, but I did get asked about definitions, same experience with reading. I was definitely an “acktually” guy too (still am to an extent, though I try not to).

Tangent, but I think it’s really unfortunate a lot of grade school and high school boys don’t read a lot. Probably because no one gives them something like this (probably not appropriate for below 7th grade. On the younger side my mom always credited these). Gregor the Overlander was also great. Star Wars rarely fails too. From my experience as a student, getting boys to read is very different from getting girls to read. The hook has to be the action and the concept behind the world (that’s probably true with girls too, but they seem to have a longer attention span when it comes to internal monologues, character drama, ect.). They can read the grapes of wrath or catcher in the rye when they’re older and need a sleep aid.

u/mollystorm · 1 pointr/iamverysmart

The actual book has both colons - I was very surprised to see that. It’s available as a free Kindle Unlimited book on Amazon or for a few dollars without KU. Kindle Link

u/TheBreadWinner · 1 pointr/iamverysmart

Dabrowski's works are still very available on the internet.


You can also just type in "Dabrowski" on amazon.


I highly recommend the book "Living with Intensity", which contains a big picture view of gifted psychology and practical knowledge for parents, educators, employers etc.



Some papers...

Overexcitability and the highly gifted child

Tips for Parents: Beyond Overexcitabilities: A Crash Course in Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration

u/PM_ME_UR_REDDIT_GOLD · 12 pointsr/iamverysmart

I certainly can't speak to the quality of the book, but the cover has these old-school scientific illustrations comparing something (life, i guess) with pinball. That's the kind of goofy metaphor I like to see