Group rationality diary, 6/4/12

post by cata · 2012-06-05T04:12:18.453Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 12 comments

This is the public group instrumental rationality diary for the week of June 4th. It's a place to record and chat about it if you have done, or are actively doing, things like:

Or anything else interesting which you want to share, so that other people can think about it, and perhaps be inspired to take action themselves.  Try to include enough details so that everyone can use each other's experiences to learn about what tends to work out, and what doesn't tend to work out.

Thanks to everyone who contributes!

(Previously: 5/14/125/21/125/28/12)



Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by GuySrinivasan · 2012-06-06T22:29:54.236Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I noticed three interesting parts of me which I haven't yet explored.

  • Bringing groceries back to my car, I remembered I forgot an item. So I walked back into the store, became embarrassed, walked the long way around so my previous cashier definitely wouldn't see me, took the item, walked the long way around again, and used the self-checkout. Weird. My current theory is that part of me is very averse to status hits from what-I-perceive-as-deserved ridicule.
  • Hearing someone talk about her mother pull the bs "well if you don't have time to talk to me I guess I'll just never call you so I don't waste your valuable time" guilt trip thing, I remembered and was very strongly affected by the rememberance of one of the (commendably few) times my mother said something meta-similar during an argument. Much stronger than I would have predicted. I have no model for this yet.
  • Someone prodded me to realize I am now in and around far fewer arguments than most people. Few enough that the Umeshism heuristic says it's worth investigating whether I'm in too few arguments, and what's causing that. My current theory is that part of me is scared of loud, intense, serious arguments from early experiences and takes steps to head them off. It's also possible I'm just a badass mediator or something but that's somewhat less likely.
comment by cata · 2012-06-05T04:35:25.313Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I managed to unintentionally do something valuable -- I arranged to carpool with some coworkers, forcing me to get up at about 8:45 every day, instead of sleeping in and working later, as I could do. What I really need to do, though, is train myself to go to sleep closer to midnight than 2 AM; I know it makes me happier the next day, it's just hard to stop reading or doing stuff. I've never in my life been able to stop staying up so late.

No concrete plan on that one yet, I'm consuming plenty of my willpower with other things. Just pontificating.

comment by fiddlemath · 2012-06-07T04:42:27.793Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Since I can't reply to two people at once: I've been using melatonin, and auto-shutdown at midnight, and getting more exercise, and I am finally getting some traction on falling asleep before 1am every night. Can make these things work.

comment by wilkox · 2012-06-05T09:52:39.010Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Have you considered melatonin? Quoting gwern:

Melatonin allows us a different way of raising the cost, a physiological & self-enforcing way. Half an hour before we plan to go to sleep, we take a pill. The procrastinating effect will not work - half an hour is so far away that our decision-making process & willpower are undistorted and can make the right decision (viz. following the schedule). When the half-hour is up, the melatonin has begun to make us sleepy. Staying awake ceases to be free, to be the default option; now it is costly to fight the melatonin and remain awake.

I use it for exactly this reason and it works brilliantly.

comment by cata · 2012-06-06T03:28:17.649Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

No, I read that at some point but forgot completely about it. That sounds like a really good idea, and I'm going to arrange to try it.

comment by shminux · 2012-06-05T05:50:40.172Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

set your computer to auto-shutdown at midnight :)

comment by RomeoStevens · 2012-06-05T06:47:54.978Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

the kindle
she beckons

comment by [deleted] · 2012-06-06T20:31:31.360Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Newest idea for bedtime enforcement- I started a spreadsheet where I can record what time I took melotonin, went to sleep, woke up, etc. If nothing else, I figure I might at least get some good data.

When I moved, one of the Random Objects I stumbled across were the goggles I had to wear for about two days, post-LASIK. I hate driving in bright sunlight, and sunglasses are never good enough. I remembered that these goggles were amazing at blocking sunlight (since they were for protecting sensitive, just-surgeried eyes) and decided to use them as my driving sunglasses, despite the fact that they look somewhat unusual, and leave little goggle marks on my cheeks. On a somewhat related note, I still wear the bracelet I got from Rejection Therapy almost everyday, as a reminder to do things like this.

I attempted using a strict Pomodoro (blocked websites), and tried a variety of time settings. I disliked it, and found the enforced time settings to be unnatural to my workflow. I left the app on my browser though, since I can see using it as a pre-commitment device, if I end up recognizing that I am getting overly distracted by facebook or whatnot. Just click the little tomato, and it will force me to get off time-distracting sites for a while.

I've been specifically noticing emotional states, and their effect on me in the middle of experiencing them quite a lot lately. I had already started doing that before mini-camp though, so I don't know if the increase in it is due to natural progression of the skill, or due to the Emotional Awareness class. As an aside, I think that is the next class we will run at our local meetup.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-06-07T16:26:57.084Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I remembered that these goggles were amazing at blocking sunlight (since they were for protecting sensitive, just-surgeried eyes) and decided to use them as my driving sunglasses

IIRC in Europe it's illegal to drive with sunglasses stronger than [some amount].

comment by [deleted] · 2012-06-08T17:57:01.928Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I doubt that these are illegal, as they were supposed to be used for driving post-surgery. You had to wear them constantly, and it was ok to drive during that time (after the first 24 hrs or so). In fact, I think they even specifically recommended using them for driving during the first week or so.

I think the main reasons they work so well isn't that they are amazingly dark, but that they completely surround your eyes.

comment by Michelle_Z · 2012-06-06T17:07:44.948Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I did end up drawing- I finished one painting that I had been sitting on for 6 months, started and completed another, and am now working on a third painting. I found that a great motivator was joining a forum with a weekly contest where the participants routinely post their works-in-progress. Surrounding myself in a more art-centric environment seems to make me want to draw more.

I've learned about 60-some words in Italian so far. Yes, I am using a spaced repetition program. I've also been reading about grammar so I know what to do with the words once I have them memorized. I've failed to remember to do this every day, though. I figure I will set an alarm on my phone in order to remind myself to review the words.

I've failed to force myself to wake up earlier and go to sleep sooner.

I realized that I do, in fact, want to be around people. it's large groups and unfamiliar situations that make me feel uncomfortable. I've decided to slowly push at those boundaries until I feel more comfortable in social situations.

comment by hamnox · 2012-06-05T20:19:06.894Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Failed last habit-making attempt. I owe my brother $10. On the other hand, I have taken Vaniver's advice to start taking notes on my crazy fanfic ideas. I started putting everything on a mind map, though I'll probably move it to an arrow chart instead so I can draw cool arrows all over the place and better show sequential order of events/avoid mixing incompatible elements.

I tried the updating game yesterday. I didn't realize how much I'd been flinching away from trying the calibration tests I saved to my favorites bar. My compy crashed a little way in, and I didn't quite feel like restarting. So I'm reframing it as a challenge to input what feel like wildly under-confident 95% ranges until my guesses are so obviously inclusive of the real answer that I'm forced to start correcting the other way. I also consciously reminded myself in the morning that that wobbly feeling of "I know next to nothing about this, but surely it's not too far from..." is what overconfidence feels like, and that if I ever get that feeling about a RL guess I should seriously consider how much of my plotting is made contingent on that point.