Gabriel’s golden-plated horn

Note: I was originally going to publish this around March or April this year but life got in the way.


(I)

This year, I decided to give in.

I know I’m not alone when I say that I feel I’ve been deprived the chance to express myself musically since childhood. Unlike very fortunate young boys and girls with overbearing Asian parents, my journey into music has been an uphill battle ever since. My earliest musical memory was when I was being commended for having played by ear ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” on a keyboard at three or four years of age1. And then, silence. For a considerable number of years.

Fig. 1: Can I just say how much I DIG Chris Potter?

I belonged to a semi-musical extended family. Being of Race X, I lived with all my aunts and uncles and their sons and daughters and dogs (no one owned a cat in our little village) and I remember my cousins being frequently chastised by their mothers for having formed high school bands. It will “ruin their lives”, they said. So my cousins had all these instruments lying around: keyboards, guitars both wood and electric, perhaps even a drum set (I have to verify this with them next time), and so it was both exciting and aggravating for me as a kid to hear them perform in their bedrooms. Exciting, because hey, it’s music (though not necessarily good music) but aggravating, because as a kid I wasn’t really allowed to touch any of their instruments2.

Years passed until I got my first guitar when I was in sixth grade. An $80 wooden guitar coated with black (as black as my feelings at the time (yes, I had an amazingly embarrassing teenage period: a story for another time however)). I loved every single bit of it, of course, down to the painful calluses on my fingertips, but by then it wasn’t the music which led me to buy it. It was puberty.

Discipline was never my strong point. But when I wanted something, I got it. Within a month I was attempting to imitate Sungha Jung’s rendition of More than Words. This wasn’t as impressive as it sounds, ’cause really I haven’t any conception of high standards then. What constituted an “I can play Sungha Jung.” then was being able to evoke the idea of being able to play the thing. Heck, in my circle of friends then, being able to fingerstyle was the peak of achievement. I hadn’t yet the sense that more is possible.

But then again, it wasn’t really about the music. I had two girls to impress. And I convinced them to have lessons with me under our resident music teacher.

Okay, I’m fibbing a bit. The reason why I got my guitar that late in the game was that I was better as a singer. The reason why I didn’t actively pursue a singing career was that singing was for “faggots” in my school. I’m sorry.

(II)

Let’s go back to our original topic. With abject failure in leadership and people management staring me in the face, I decided to try my hand at something that isn’t a uphill battle for me, which is, well, music. I like to think that my strengths lie in my senses. I have perfect color vision (according to the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test). I can smell when people are hungry3. My cooking has (almost) never failed my friends of supposedly exacting tastes4. And I was surprised to hear that hearing multiple independent voices à la Bach is still something of a marvel (to be fair, I can only hear up to three voices simultaneously (with perhaps a fourth voice if I cheat and whistle) whilst Bach could, in theory, hear six).

Fig. 2: Yep. Six voices indeed.

So yeah, it seems my world is vibrant and colorful and loud and it’s fascinating how The Lottery of Fascinations led me to virtual reality — anyway, I decided to pursue something that I am actually maybe naturally good at for once and it has been quite a ride. Having a healthy dose of impatience has led me to a double-prong strategy to my “self-induced musical masturbation”: I am picking up FL Studio and the saxophone at the same time, learning a hell of a lot of theory and technique and all about this wonderful intersection of expertise and aesthetics along the way.


Definitions

Race X
my ethnicity
University X
my university
FL Studio
a digital audio workstation (DAW) that until recently was considered a toy by producers because of its intuitive interface

  1. So it is very possible that my recollection of this is just a false memory.
  2. There was this one time my dad threw a birthday party for me when I was six or seven and I distinctly recall two new experiences for me that day: eating mutton for the first time, and being reprimanded for fiddling with the drums of the band my dad hired (which was doubly worse ’cause, well, it was MY birthday after all).
  3. It actually isn’t as difficult as it sounds. People’s breaths smell different when they’re hungry (see this r/AskScience post) and I sincerely used to believe this is something that anyone can notice once known, but I’ve been proven wrong about it enough times to change my mind.
  4. This born of University X being situated near Maginhawa Street, one of the most intensely competitive concentrations of food businesses in Country X, where the six-month survivability of your concept restaurant is made or broken by the opinions of your first few college-aged customers.
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A (long) personal account of a Bad Kid

So it turns I have ADHD.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition, or simply DSM-V, splits ADHD into two axes: the inattentive kind (ADHD-PI) and the hyperactive-impulsive kind (ADHD-PH). If you have symptoms of both, you get the fusioned version ADHD-C. I think everyone knows at this point what sorts of traits psychiatrists look for when they diagnose people with ADHD, so let’s move on and simply note that: a) indeed, ADHD is a childhood onset disorder and that, b) even though symptoms of hyperactivity tend to disappear in adulthood, most of the internal symptoms like inattentiveness and inability to keep on task remain.

(I)

When I was a eight years old, I got lost in a citadel.

Fig. 1: Should have a sign saying: “Dangers ahead, crossers beware!”

In this particular one (it’s a very famous landmark in Country X), there’s this bridge that goes from the park area to the place where they keep the jail cells. It was my first big field trip. I was an excitable kid. So when a shady guy bequeathed the sacred knowledge of where our national hero’s unguarded jail cell was, I trotted along the big walls of the fort like the carefree, idiot child I was. In doing so, I delayed what should have been a short lunch break for more than two hours, forcing a handful of my classmates’ parents to look for me as I crawled on the ground crying and wet under the downpour. And do you know what the best part was? This wasn’t the first time they had to1.

Fig. 2: The famous guy’s jail cell which I supposedly found unguarded. In retrospect, it might have been a false memory that I did.

EDIT (2018/11/26): I visited the place again. Yep, all of it was true, down to the moss-covered walkways and ruins and confusing turns. Even the chains protecting Famous Guy’s cell from idiots like me were still there, albeit repainted gray and has probably been replaced many times since.

(II)

ADHD is both overdiagnosed and underdiagnosed. How come? Well, suppose it’s breast cancer we’re talking about instead and we invent a mammogram that’s 99% accurate: given 100 women with breast cancer (let’s pretend men don’t have breasts for the moment) it will ding! positive for 99 of them on average and fail to detect the remaining unlucky person. Suppose also that, a priori, 1 out of 100 of all women have breast cancer. Unfortunately, our Mammogram-3000 also happens to incorrectly diagnose non-cancerous women by a measly 6.4% (that is, 64 out of 1000 women without breast cancer will also get a positive diagnosis).

If you’re a random, responsible adult female and you get a positive result, what are the odds that you actually have breast cancer?

The answer is 13.5%.

Most people who should be on Adderall aren’t and most people who are shouldn’t be. The Conners Continuous Performance Test is one of the most frequently used ADHD tests for children. In analogy to our Mammogram-3000, it has a “sensitivity of 75% and a specificity of 73%” meaning 75% of people with ADHD are correctly diagnosed, whilst (100-73)% = 27% of those without ADHD are also diagnosed (Strauss et al., 2006). A 2007 meta-analysis by Polanczyk et al. puts worldwide ADHD prevalence at 5.29%. If you imagine then 10 000 children, a priori 529 of them will have ADHD and 10 000 - 529 = 9471 will not. Thus:

  • 529 * 75% ~ 397 children with a positive diagnosis and actual ADHD
  • 529 * (100 - 75)% ~ 132 children with a negative diagnosis and actual ADHD
  • 9471 * 27% ~ 2557 children with a positive diagnosis without actual ADHD
  • 9471 * (100 - 27)% ~ 6914 children WHOSE LIVES ARE FINE AND HAPPY

Fig. 3: A cake made with blood, sweat, and tears.

Hence, we always get a lot more of the hard blue, positive-result-but-without-ADHD children (overdiagnosis) and a couple of light orange, negative-result-but-with-ADHD children (underdiagnosis)2.

(III)

There are geniuses even in psychology. Karl John Friston is a British neuroscientist who happened to be a collector of aquatic fauna and flora in the form of drawings. When he was 10, he designed “a self-righting robot involving mercury levels and feedback actuators that would enable a little robot table to traverse uneven surfaces”. When he was in high school, he derived Schrödinger wave equation from scratch and by the time he shifted from medicine to physics he managed to fit the entirety of undergraduate quantum mechanics on a single page.

“But why do all this?” you ask. Because of an extreme obsession with parsimony. He collected drawings inasmuch as it would help him explain how the shapes of living things come to be. He designed a robot in a naive foray into self-sustaining control systems. He tried to pare down undergraduate physics to its essential core. And now, his obsessive drive to integrate and simplify has given us mortals a supposed explanation of thinking, perceiving, acting, and maintaining one’s body.

Fig. 4: This could pass for a page torn from the Voynich Manuscript.

Predictive coding is NOT Friston’s principle3. Predictive coding is a theory of the brain claiming that, insofar as the brain responds to inputs from the senses, it also tries to predict the inputs it would get (as a sort of efficiency-improving mechanism). It turns out that predictive coding offers us a partial answer as to why ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) exist. In a 2015 brain imaging study by Gonzalez-Gadea et al, they found out that:

“…children with ASD showed reduced superior frontal cortex (FC) responses to unexpected events but increased dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation to expected events. In contrast, children with ADHD exhibited reduced cortical responses in superior FC to expected events but strong PFC activation to unexpected events.”

In over-simplified terms, this suggests that the brains of people with ASD systematically overpredict from prior experience in unfamiliar situations (making them uncomfortable with changes in their routine) while those with ADHD systematically underpredict from them (making them susceptible to distraction).

(IV)

This post has gotten too long so I’ll end with the more personal and more emotional aspects of ADHD that people don’t really talk about much4. The first is that we have an interest-based brain.

An interest-based brain stands in contrast to a normal person’s priority-based brain. We do things based on what is interesting, not what needs to be prioritised. And the trouble with that is we don’t really have much of a choice in what we’ll find interesting. None. Nada. You’re probably thinking, “why can’t you find ways to make your work interesting?” And that question is the ADHD-version of asking a depressed person, “why not find ways to be happy?” Think about it: if we could, then WE WON’T HAVE TO DRINK PITCHERS OF COFFEE TO FINISH PAPERS AND PROBLEM SETS AND PSYCH CLINICS WOULD JUST CLOSE DOWN AND EVERYONE WOULD BE HAPPY FOREVER AND EVER. Either that or condemn us to moral deficiency.

The second one is emotional hyperarousal. People like me have a permanent x4 multiplier to their thoughts and emotions. Tell me “you reek!” and like following one hyperlink after another I’ll hear that as “Crap, is that why you sat opposite me the other day?” then as “Crap, is that why no one’s been inviting me recently?” and then as “Crap, have people just been tolerating my presence since high school?” in two seconds flat. But just as absurd as our emotions can get, so does the transience of their duration. This is the cause of all our sleepless nights (one thought leading to four and so on is how I count sheep), our impulsive flings, our reckless abandon (for some, particularly when it comes to drinking).

There is a particular emotion that holds a special place in our hearts, an emotion so intense that it sometimes forces me to take a walk around campus even at 3 AM. Rejection Sensivity Dysphoria (RSD), the final prong of our trident, is very pronounced in people with ADHD. As many as 98-99% of adolescents with ADHD claim to have it, and it sucks that even therapy can’t help with it. RSD is an extreme sensitivity to criticism, teasing, and the perception of failure (for me, the last one dominates).

Note: Scott has debunked RSD as a sine qua non symptom of ADHD. I will never cite something without citations again.

I’ll be frank. All my life, all the adults around me have been telling me that I can achieve so much, that I can be whatever I want, that all those aptitude tests mean something, that I can have perfect grades, that I can become a billionaire, the next Newton5, etc. IF ONLY I CAN GET MY SHIT TOGETHER. Well, I tried to conduct my life according to your visions in one way or another and now I’m here, two years too long in college and barely hanging onto a company I started with good friends. I’m tired of this decadence of “potential”. I can’t reach your measuring sticks. And by god, I now know why.

(V)

Right now, my psych prescribed me 40 mg of Strattera a day (generic name, atomoxetine) which would hopefully let me go from either-zero-or-eight-hours-of-focus mode to a much saner attention profile. This would finally enable me to follow schedules and stick to deadlines and perhaps sit down and actually do homework for once. The trouble is, it costs $3.84 PER FRICKIN’ PILL in Country X and I don’t know from which hand of Baal I’m going to get that kind of money. Does anyone else know where I can get a cheaper variant? I know it can go as low as $0.77 (Php 41.10) per pill in the US so maybe it is possible to buy it in bulk there? Feel free to ask me questions (or give me advice) even if we haven’t talked for 77 years or if you accidentally put gum in my hair in third grade. Don’t worry,

I promise I won’t be a Bad Kid anymore.


References

  • Faraone, S. V., Biederman, J., & Mick, E. (2006). The age-dependent decline of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analysis of follow-up studies. Psychological medicine, 36(2), 159-165.
  • Friston, K. (2018). Am I autistic? An intellectual autobiography. ALIUS Bulletin, 2, 45-52.
  • Gonzalez-Gadea ML, Chennu S, Bekinschtein TA, et al. Predictive coding in autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2015;114(5):2625-2636. doi:10.1152/jn.00543.2015.
  • Polanczyk, Guilherme & De Lima, Mauricio & Horta, Bernardo & Biederman, Joseph & Augusto Rohde, Luis. (2007). The Worldwide Prevalence of ADHD: A Systematic Review and Metaregression Analysis. The American journal of psychiatry. 164. 942-8. 10.1176/appi.ajp.164.6.942.
  • Strauss, E., Sherman, E. M., & Spreen, O. (2006). A compendium of neuropsychological tests. Print.

Definitions

Country X
where I live

  1. In first grade, I got scolded for refusing to shut up during an exam. As punishment, I was told I’d had to take my next set of exams in the other class. Kid me thought, “hell, I dun know dem folks” and instead of sitting my exams I happily trotted along the hallways of my school and into the high school building where I forced 40-something-year-old adults to play hide-and-seek to bring me back. I lost, unfortunately.
  2. See Scott Alexander’s Joint Over- and Underdiagnosis for a clearer argument.
  3. Friston’s free energy principle is a lower-level explanation of predictive coding, and is summarised by Scott Alexander briefly as this: “The brain tries to minimize its free energy with respect to the world, ie minimize the difference between its models and reality. Sometimes it does that by updating its models of the world. Other times it does that by changing the world to better match its models.”
  4. I’m just rehashing Dr. Dodson’s argument in this article.
  5. Which is a classic case of not being able to distinguish levels above your own.

I have no idea what to say

Everyone who writes for a living will eventually write about themselves. It’s almost a natural law. Heck, someone else has probably thought of a name for it. (Hint: it starts with an ‘N’.)

So why this piece?

In my first post, I laid down certain laws. Rough guides on what I consider good writing. Indeed they’re more of a summary of whose writing I’ve read and enjoyed so far, people such as:

a) Isaac Asimov
b) Paul Graham
c) hacker/preachers from the bygone era of Usenet
d) storytelling novelty accounts on Reddit

So whatever comes out of my mental mouth will probably sound like them. But how do I write? I do something I call channeling, or simulating the writing style of people after reading them.

There’s this idea that Michelangelo didn’t have to be taught how to sculpt, rather he had to be taught how NOT to. And I don’t know where I heard it from. It sounds like something Paul Graham would say, but cursory Googling has planted doubts1. What I can tell you is, I’m no Michelangelo. I don’t know of anything I’d have to be wrested away from. I don’t breath mathematics, nor programming, nor actually hacking stuff. And those are just about the only things I know I ought to care about.

Maybe there’s something here. I’ve recently gotten hold of the idea that whatever stuff I deal with, it’s the singular pursuit of it that makes me giddy with excitement. It’s like I’m tickled pink not by actual things but by the methods people use to achieve them. It’s why I want to build a computing monastery before I die (which is also partly supported by my having known The Promised Land through Steven Levy’s account of the TMRC in the post-war era).

I’m also no Scott Alexander. In raw verbal skill, I’m 2-3 standard deviations from the national mean (in a country whose average IQ is a standard deviation below the global mean).

I’m no windytan, whose tinkering with digital signals is one of the purest expressions of the hacker ethic.

I’m no Linus Torvalds who was hacking away at OSs before being allowed to drink.

So who am I? And what can I do?

I’m an imperfect citizen of the Universe.

I inhabit an imperfect body which almost shat itself to death before graduating from kindergarten. This event has had ramifications I am only beginning to witness.

My toolkit is imperfect. I wield problem solving techniques like a caveman (who ought to have been rather good at what they did or else I won’t be here typing this, but you get the point). I can learn things quickly but only until I’m good enough.

I have perfect standards though, in the sense that whatever I do must be perfect for sufficiently reasonable values of perfect.

This then is the crux of the matter: I reach for the sky on insect wings.


  1. Another round of cursory Googling suggests that this is in fact a Perlisism as quoted by Peter Norvig in his most famous essay

The SAPA Project

The Ghost of Testing Past

The SAPA project is a personality assessment tool. It has “synthetic aperature” in its name because its brainparents thought, “Hey, what comes to mind when you combine little things to yield a single big thing? That’s right. Radio astronomy.” The VLA looks like this:

Fig. 1: The Very Large Array. Photo by John Fowler.

And so I hope you can imagine what the test is trying to do. You get a huge number of questions, show a random subset of them to multiple people (so that data is missing at random), and combine them to get facts on the entirety.

I first took SAPA on 2015 June 04, around 290 days ago. And look how shortsighted I was then! Why? I goddamn neglected to save the link to my report! How dumb can I get?

Fig. 2: My SAPA results on 2015-06-04. I show this instead of their bell-curve graphic because this is a prime example of pie charts done right. Two ticks of the radius corresponds to a standard deviation. The mean is 5 ticks away from the center or exactly halfway to 9. Please excuse the quality of this image and the next. I promise the newer ones are better.

Fig. 3: My 2016-06-04 SAPA “personality signature”. Serves as a legend to Fig. 2 above. Also shows a big, fat cognition band. Yes, I’m boasting about it here.

But words are mere pointers. What do these factors mean? Well, I like lists so let’s make an outline. The six factors SAPA uses are based on the Big Five and HEXACO tests. They are:

  • Extraversion
  • Openness
  • Agreeableness
  • Integrity
  • Emotional Stability
  • Conscientiousness

These factors are then further divided into two aspects:

  • Extraversion
    • Sociability
    • Assertiveness
  • Openness
    • Intellect
    • Openness to New Experiences
  • Agreeableness
    • Compassion
    • Politeness
  • Integrity
    • Honesty
    • Humility
  • Emotional Stability
    • Balance
    • Boldness
  • Conscientiousness
    • Orderliness
    • Industriousness

(I really ought to get JS working on this thing.)

SAPA gives me a lot of predictions on each level so let’s break them down into bite-sized chunks. Here I shall write for a person who gets a high score on a particular aspect:

  • Extraversion
    • Sociability
      • is positive, energetic, warm, talkative
      • is easy to get to know
      • engages in idle chit-chat
    • Assertiveness
      • is often described as having a strong personality
      • see themselves as quick-thinking, effective leaders
      • is rarely at a loss for words
      • is not wary about influencing others
  • Openness
    • Intellect
      • is willing and capable of reasoning and engaging with complexity
    • Openness to New Experiences
      • appreciates art and/or music on a deep emotional level
      • is open-minded
      • desires new experiences
      • has a vivid imagination
      • spends more time with abstract ideas
      • is often described as odd or strange
  • Agreeableness
    • Compassion
      • is capable of recognising the emotions of others
      • usually comfort others around them
      • inquires frequently about the well-being of others
    • Politeness
      • tolerates the inevitable “annoyances” of interacting with others
      • rarely feel anger or frustration with those around them
      • is patient and rarely complains
  • Integrity
    • Honesty
      • adheres strictly to behavioural “rules” (from rules about stealing to rules about dealing with interpersonal affairs)
      • is less likely to deceive others or cut corners when consequences are minimal
      • feel badly when they fail to uphold these rules
    • Humility
      • does not care about impressing others
      • does not desire power
  • Emotional Stability
    • Balance
      • is not bothered much by “annoyances”
      • is able to recover from setbacks quickly
      • not moody nor unpredictable
      • is considered impassive or aloof by others
    • Boldness
      • is less fearful of unknown situations
      • invests little time in worrying about unlikely outcomes
  • Conscientiousness
    • Orderliness
      • tends towards organisation, cleanliness, and predictability
      • at extreme levels, may represent underlying mental disorders
    • Industriousness
      • is hard-working, efficient, and reliable
      • avoids delaying a task

These aspects are further correlated with each other according to the table below:

Fig. 4: Correlations of the various factors1. Note some of the more interesting ones such as Assertiveness vs Intellect (+31), Industriousness vs Balance (+31), Compassion vs Boldness (-12), Intellect vs Honesty (-1).

Do I agree with these results? At the risk of committing the omnipresent sins of Selection Bias and Confirmation Bias, I shall mention the two aspects which I found to contradict my mental model of myself.

First is Honesty.

A couple of years ago, I came across this Esquire article, I Think You’re Fat. Being a wee lad then, this was a revelatory article to me. I didn’t always have my extreme aversion to lying. Once, I went on a school trip on an ill-gotten signature from my dad (under the pretense, of all things, of a date) My mum didn’t talk to me for a week straight.

Lying felt dirty, however. I don’t have lossless access to the memories of my twelve-year old self anymore but I can guess that he must have felt bad about it (and I’m not saying this just to elevate the darned kid). Lying is taxing. It’s stressful. You have to carry two, three, n different versions of reality inside your head and nowadays I don’t know how people can cope with it. Radical Honesty is liberating because it makes for a contradiction-free mind. It set me on a path to the Way (but more on this later).

According to SAPA, however, I am less honest than the average Han2.

This to me is absurd. I have made it a strict rule in my life to detest and expunge any contradiction that pops up in my mind. In fact, I’ve found that the more I strive to be consistent, the worse I become at lying. Playing as the enemy in Werewolf3 is almost impossible to me now. So what gives?

The other aspect is Openness. My objection to this is a bit less severe because I think this admits a partial explanation. I like working out the consequences of things. In fact, I like it so much that I can’t turn it off. If I fear mosquitoes, it is because I fear needles. If I fear stray dogs, not being fit, being part of a car wreck, flying out of the country, etc. — same thing. But it seems these otherwise benign refusals completely overshadow my extreme tolerance of ideas. So there’s a lot of work to do before my mental model of how open I am can match my test results.

The Ghost of Testing Present

To get rid of these bothersome thoughts, I took the test again. The figures below show all that you have to know.

Fig. 4: My SAPA results on 2016-03-21.

Fig. 5: My 2016-03-21 SAPA “personality signature”.

The first interesting thing here is that I have become more rounded, more average. That isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. But my Conscientiousness, Integrity, and Openness — traits which I most identify with — have all but decreased. Now, it’s wrong to read too much into these results (especially since I haven’t found a meta-analysis of SAPA), but even so this is a direction I don’t want to go towards.

If you want to read more about my test results (along with more information about the test itself), visit this page.

The Ghost of Testing Yet to Come

SAPA says that one’s personality is “stable, but not static”. If so, then my current results are bound to change. Whether from external factors such as relationships with other apes, minor brain injuries, the available lighting or from the inherent measurement error in the test, it’s interesting to see what comes after. Here’s what I want to see next year:

  • Assertiveness and Sociability should jump upwards to the 50-60th percentile.
  • Intellect should jump to the same range, while Openness to New Experiences should jump to the 60-70th percentile.
  • Humility should stay within 5 percentiles of its current value. Honesty should jump to >50th percentile.
  • Cognition should stay at 16/16 +/- 1.

I’m straddling the line here by deliberately using a construct model to make predictions. But having no formal models at all is the worst option. So let’s allow ourselves to have a bit of fun, even if only in making weak, self-absorbed statements about ourselves.


Definitions

Bias, confirmation
what you get when you choose your samples (consciously or not) in such a way as to favour your pet hypothesis: Death by Straying from the Way
Bias, selection
what you get when you don’t properly randomise your sampling: Death by Systematic Error
Model, construct
a model which aims to make sense of a thing without having the pretense of being a scientifically measurable theory
Model, event
a scientifically measurable theory; asymptotically speaking, all formal models should be considered event models
Radical Honesty
a movement that stresses the importance of not lying EVER, not even when it costs you social brownie points
SAPA
Synthetic Aperture Personality Assessment; a personality test that’s been making the rounds on the Internet these last few years
Stanine
Standard Nine, or a “nine-point standard scale with a mean of 5 and a standard deviation of 2”; first use commonly attributed to the US Air Force4
Test-retest reliability
the property of your answers not changing when taking the same test under the same conditions
VLA
Very Large Array, or what you get when you combine 27 telescopes in a Y-shaped configuration, mount them on special train tracks, and use Fourier nonsense on them to effectively get a single 36 km-wide telescope
WP
WordPress, but you probably already knew that

  1. Condon, D. M., Revelle, W. (2013, July 30). Temperament Correlations. Retrieved from http://SAPA-project.org/info/temperamentCorrelations.html 
  2. A reference to the fact that 19% of the world is Han Chinese, more than any other ethnic group. 
  3. From Wikipedia
  4. According to Wikipedia