Simulation and Intuition

On simulation and Intuition:

Terry Tao recalls the day his aunt found him rolling around her living room floor in Melbourne with his eyes closed. He was about 23. He was trying to visualise a “mathematical transform”. “I was pretending I was the thing being transformed; it did work actually, I got some intuition from doing that.” His aunt is likely still puzzled. “Sometimes to understand something you just use whatever tools you have available.”

Anyone who has played Kerbal Space Program will tell you that cumulative value created by having correct mental intuitions for things is extremely high and undervalued by almost everyone.

To this point: the current chemical/biological visualization/simulation tools are highly deficient in building good intuition.

I am quite convinced that people in 10-20 years will do the bulk of their learning with advanced simulation tools, and we’ll look back on their absence as comparatively disadvantageous as not using Wikipedia or LibGen.