In which I fantasize about drugs

post by cousin_it · 2010-10-12T16:19:15.521Z · score: 11 (14 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 72 comments

We operate like this: the "overseer process" tells the brain, using blunt instruments like chemicals, that we need to find something to eat, somewhere to sleep or someone to mate with. Then the brain follows orders. Unfortunately the orders we receive from the "overseer" are often wrong, even though they were right in the ancestral environment. It seems the easiest way to improve humans isn't to augment their brains - it's to send them better orders, e.g. using drugs. Here's a list of fantasy brain-affecting drugs that I would find useful, even though they don't seem to do anything complicated except affecting "overseer" chemistry:

1) A drug against unrequited love, aka "infatuation" or 'limerence".

2) A drug that makes you become restless and want to exercise.

3) A drug that puts you in the state of random creativity that you normally experience just before falling asleep.

4) A drug that puts you in the optimal PUA "state".

5) A drug that boosts your feeling of curiosity. Must be great for doing math or science.

Anything else?

72 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Kevin · 2010-10-12T23:26:26.952Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

1) Antidepressants

2) Amphetamine/methylphenidate (though it's not a pure reinforcement of wanting to excercise)

3) High doses of melatonin (3mg at least, stronger effects at 10mg+) and then staying awake. Also cannabis, or audio/visual brainwave entrainment.

4) I had a kratom customer that was a professional PUA (meaning clients paid him for applied lessons) and he found kratom before hitting the clubs helpful for him and his clients.

5) Cannabis. But it's not really great for doing math or science...

comment by gensym · 2010-10-13T03:54:45.073Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Seconding methylphenidate for #2, and (specifically) delta-wave-inducing binaural beats for #3.

I've heard good things about weed + Adderall for creative production, but never tried it.

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2010-10-15T11:16:06.157Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

delta-wave-inducing binaural beats for #3

Do you know of any way of figuring out if binaural beats actually have a stronger effect than just listening to random ambient noise? The idea's cute, but last I looked at it, there wasn't much research confirming the brainwave entrainment effect.

comment by gensym · 2010-12-08T06:40:20.303Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A binaural beat converted to mono sounds like a good control. I do plan to test this sometime soon.

comment by Kevin · 2010-12-08T07:52:37.756Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Binaural beats as a partial replacement for surgical fentanyl:

http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/98/2/533.long

http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/97/3/772.long

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2010-12-08T10:54:32.157Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That is interesting, thanks.

So it looks like a bit inconclusive for now. One publication reported an effect, the other study didn't find anything.

comment by Kevin · 2010-12-08T11:16:15.235Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The studies were of different things... sorry, I thought I was linking to a study and replication. Binaural beats don't replace propofol for the induction of anesthesia, but they can help lower the heart rate in such a way that less fentanyl is needed to maintain heard rate/blood pressure within norms of baseline.

The replication of this study found the same effect, though not quite as strongly.

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-31T03:56:56.970Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

delta-wave-inducing binaural beats

Do you have any recommendations for a currently commercially available (or freely available) source of binaural beats? I experimented with a binaural beat "mind machine" years ago, and saw no significant results, but still find the idea fascinating.

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2013-01-02T12:04:13.390Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

SBaGen is free software, and should come with various waveform scripts you can experiment with.

I don't know of any recommendations for a particular binaural track or waveform parameter set that would have been somehow verified to cause a specific mental response better than other types of tracks.

comment by yli · 2013-01-02T13:19:11.021Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd love to see some blind testing of this brainwave stuff to see whether it's more than placebo.

Doesn't seem too hard to do. Just do a blind comparison of genuine binaural beats carefully crafted to induce a state of concentration or whatever, and random noise or misadjusted binaural beats. It probably requires two people though, the tester and someone other than the tester to create the audio files and give them to the tester without telling them which is which. The tester should preferably be a binaural beats virgin - they should never have heard binaural beats before.

Something along the lines of the above would probably work, but I haven't thought about the experimental protocol in detail. If someone actually goes ahead with this, obviously they're gonna have to flesh it out and agree on a more precise protocol.

Personally, I couldn't be the tester because I've listened to binaural beats before and might recognize them. I might be able to be the fake audio file creator, but I'd have to look into it more to make sure I can create something that doesn't accidentally have binaural beats in it, etc.

comment by John_Maxwell (John_Maxwell_IV) · 2012-10-16T21:37:12.799Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I had a kratom customer that was a professional PUA (meaning clients paid him for applied lessons) and he found kratom before hitting the clubs helpful for him and his clients.

Does kratom mix well with alcohol?

comment by cousin_it · 2010-10-13T04:23:57.108Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A kratom customer? Wait, are you that guy who sold kratom on reddit back in the day?

comment by Kevin · 2010-10-13T08:11:42.352Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

You're probably thinking of Hacker News. And yes, my two epic flamewar threads on HN seem to have been very memorable to people three years down the road.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2010-10-12T18:41:59.893Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

6) A drug which puts you in the state of asking "does what I'm doing make sense?", doing an honest search for an answer., and then putting the answer into effect.

Admittedly, the drug that gives you a pony would be easier, but I think that reflectiveness and executive function have physical bases.

comment by gensym · 2010-10-13T03:51:45.041Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I find that marijuana makes me MUCH more internally honest by suppressing flinch responses. YMMV. (Unsurprisingly, it doesn't help with putting things into effect, but the insight remains, as does the feeling of what it's like to be / alief that I can survive being honest.)

comment by Nisan · 2010-10-17T15:17:59.681Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

.

comment by gensym · 2010-10-13T03:53:02.270Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I find that marijuana makes me MUCH more internally honest by suppressing flinch responses. YMMV. (Unsurprisingly, it doesn't help with putting things into effect, but the insight remains, as does the sense of what it's like to be / alief that I can survive being honest. I have heard good things about weed + Adderall, but never tried it.)

comment by Vladimir_Golovin · 2010-10-14T07:04:19.355Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd like a drug that makes me obsessed with the activity I'm doing during its consumption. The effect must be temporary and its duration controllable -- e.g. it may depend on the amount of drug consumed.

(The game designer in me wants to come up with a downside to balance out the benefit. I'm not sure what negative effects I'd like this drug to have, but I definitely don't want it to induce burnout afterwards.)

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2010-10-17T18:04:20.267Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

One possible downside is that it might prevent useful mental flexibility. Would you notice if the fire alarms went off?

comment by Nisan · 2010-10-17T15:29:49.689Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This drug could turn a team of smart people into a super problem-solving tool. The only superintelligent machine I know how to build in theory is a community of uploaded humans with some augmentations like this, running at high speed.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2010-10-17T18:05:30.381Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If that recent research about emotional responsiveness improving group intelligence is sound, then maybe Ecstasy would be useful.

comment by DanDzombak · 2010-10-13T02:58:00.147Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

6) A drug that has the same effect as sleeping, you take it and become well-rested.

So instead of drinking a "5 Hour Energy", you drink an "8 Hour Nap" and are able to be productive all hours of the day.

comment by jmmcd · 2010-10-14T02:13:37.693Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Would be nice, but I think it's different from the five OP examples -- being well-rested isn't a state that's achieved by sending the brain the right chemicals.

(But is "infatuation" just brain-chemicals?)

comment by Paul Crowley (ciphergoth) · 2010-10-15T11:41:47.988Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Modafinil is often credited with exactly this effect.

comment by jmmcd · 2010-10-15T17:29:52.021Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If I understand it right, it makes you feel awake "when you should", but doesn't actually replace sleep.

comment by AdShea · 2010-10-18T02:46:06.915Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Exactly. It doesn't replace sleep, but (according to the US military study) removes all the "can't concentrate", "can't stay alert", "uncoordinated", and "stupid decisions" effects of no sleep.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2010-10-12T17:18:20.292Z · score: 6 (14 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A drug that gives you a pony.

comment by knb · 2010-10-18T04:29:18.265Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

In my experience, Modafinil is great at inducing exercise desire. I also find I'm more creative on Modafinil as well. The best thing though, by far, is how dramatically it improves my social ability, talkativeness, and general social adeptness. I took it before a high-stress, two-hour long, panel-style job interview, and I had the single best two hours of social performance of my life. It is, by far, the most generally positive drug I've ever tried. I take it about 3-4 times a week. It also seems to have corrected my insomnia, strangely enough.

comment by wallowinmaya · 2012-12-30T18:43:30.473Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

1) Don't know.

2) Amphetamines or ephedrine definitely make you more alert and motivated. But they have many side effects and using them for exercising will probably damage your heart.

3) I discovered that Zolpidem ups my creativity quite a bit. Problem is, it's so sedating that you really have to fight to stay awake. It's a sleeping pill, after all. Also there is a bit of hangover and after reading some papers I'm very skeptical of benzos and Z-drugs like Zolpidem. They seem to increase the risk of infection (actually shown through a double-blind study) and people taking only 0-18 hypnotics per year have a ~4 times higher mortality. Sure, it's only correlational data, but still. Then there is of course the classical psychedelic: LSD. I haven't tried that many psychedelics but LSD is my favorite. Your thought processes are very different and you'll see the world with different eyes but can still function quite normally - provided the dose is not too high- and can write and talk like normal people. Other psychedelics like e.g. DMT or psylocibin just knock me out and I can't do anything productive. But everyone reacts differently, the first law of drugology. High doses of some opiates can also lead to dreamlike states of mind, but they also make you very lazy and tired. Furthermore, they are addicting as hell, suppress immune function and lower testosterone, among other things.

4) Benzodiazepines are pretty great for this, especially anxiolytics like alprazolam or lorazepam. You'll lose most of your nervousness and don't give a shit about anything. Perfect for PUA. But as I said above, benzos are quite dangerous.
GHB is also quite effective. It feels a bit like alcohol, but without cognitive impairment and hangover. Testosterone suspension, a very short acting type of testosterone should make you confident, aggressive and horny. Haven't tried that one. Phenibut has also anxiolytic properties, small to no side effects and -here's the kicker - it's even legal. (Apropos, of course this comment is fictional in nature and I don't consume illegal drugs. They are illegal, after all.)

5) Modafinil or Methylphenidate makes you very alert and motivated, more on a mental than physiological level, in contrast to amphetamines or ephedrine. But I don't know if they'll make you more curious. Those two are the best "learn-drugs" I know of.

Um, would anyone be interested in a post about this? Something like this post by Skatche only more comprehensive.

comment by wedrifid · 2012-12-31T04:06:35.448Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

(Apropos, of course this comment is fictional in nature and I don't consume illegal drugs. They are illegal, after all.)

It didn't need to be. It was merely describing chemicals and had no mention of you using them. Theoretical seems to be the appropriate term.

comment by rhollerith_dot_com · 2010-10-12T18:03:03.751Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have seen some reports online about grad students using beta blockers to prevent outward signs of anxiety during their oral exams, so a beta blocker might be useful for (4).

comment by Kevin · 2010-10-13T01:42:46.024Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Beta blockers only really work for physical anxiety (the canonical example being classical musicians taking them to prevent trembling hands before concerts). Benzodiazepines work for both physical anxiety and mental anxiety, which is better for pickup. The lowered inhibitions of xanax/klonopin/valium is comparable to alcohol, but with fewer immediate side effects (less loss of coordination, etc.).

comment by Nick_Tarleton · 2010-10-13T03:47:13.910Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Beta blockers only really work for physical anxiety (the canonical example being classical musicians taking them to prevent trembling hands before concerts).

In my experience, propranolol greatly reduces mental anxiety if taken for several days. I could be unusual, or this reputation could be derived from less centrally-active beta blockers. (Not to say that a mental effect would have to result from CNS activity — feedback from physical state seems equally likely.)

comment by Anonymous6284 · 2010-10-12T17:10:25.985Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I strongly recommend anonymity when participating in this thread.

I don't know of anything that could achieve (1), except perhaps a general depressant, which wouldn't be worth it.

For (2), there are a wide variety of stimulants to do this, but most of them have side effects that aren't worth it; and the state where this happens, mania, is not a particularly pleasant one.

For (3), I think that state is because some parts of the brain are shutting off, leaving less interference for the remainder. You may be able to get something like this with marijuana (though individual reactions and strains both vary widely), but you might not like the "creative" things you come up with, and you might not be able to remember them either.

For (4), what you're looking for is a drug that increases confidence. Cocaine does that, and is used primarily for that purpose. It is also addictive and illegal in the US.

for (5), I don't think that's possible, because curiosity is not a chemical state; it's more like the brain's reinforcement learning mechanisms combining with a positive feeling from having learned things. However, you might be able to strengthen that by using something like nicotine intermittently whenever you make a discovery.

comment by NihilCredo · 2010-10-13T00:08:56.332Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I strongly recommend anonymity when participating in this thread.

Why? Concern over future background searches? Expressing a purely hypothetical wish for the existence of a particular drug sounds even less embarrassing to me than, say, expressing a purely hypothetical wish for the end of some of the most ridiculous of anti-drug laws. Which I would well hope weren't reason enough to lock you out of a job.

comment by gensym · 2010-10-13T03:49:31.177Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Anon demonstrates knowledge about illicit drugs. While it seems atypically conservative, I can easily understand concern about being associated with that.

comment by nhamann · 2010-10-13T14:45:59.182Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I want a drug that's like marijuana but is 1) substantially less potent and 2) doesn't impair memory. The reason for this is that I've noticed that while under the influence of small amounts of marijuana, the "connection-making" circuit in my brain is far more active. Of course, if it's too active then this is an impairment (everything becomes "connected"). But I'd rather have to reject spurious connections than to not have access to potentially insightful connections in the first place.

comment by wedrifid · 2012-03-16T17:06:35.897Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I want a drug that's like marijuana but is 1) substantially less potent and 2) doesn't impair memory. The reason for this is that I've noticed that while under the influence of small amounts of marijuana, the "connection-making" circuit in my brain is far more active. Of course, if it's too active then this is an impairment (everything becomes "connected"). But I'd rather have to reject spurious connections than to not have access to potentially insightful connections in the first place.

You will get this effect from taking Aniracetam (or the other 'racetams). A lot of the other things I can think of in this category are more intrusive than pot is.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-03-16T15:55:03.408Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A smaller amount of marijuana?

comment by gwern · 2012-03-16T18:46:02.466Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Jonathan Lehrer in the excerpts from his new creativity book mentions that alcohol has been shown to help 'insight' problems.

comment by gwern · 2012-03-20T20:28:44.838Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

He's probably going off research like http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/2012/03/mild-intoxication-aids-creative-problem.html

comment by xamdam · 2010-10-14T14:10:34.534Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

1) A drug against unrequited love, aka "infatuation" or 'limerence".

Marriage might qualify as a solution, though you might need all other kinds of drugs afterwords.

comment by blogospheroid · 2010-10-13T06:45:51.259Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A drug that supresses ugh fields, loathing and hate. They feel so similar, I think there will be some common connection.

comment by Eugine_Nier · 2010-10-13T06:59:47.433Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not sure about that.

A ugh field, is something one tends to avoid thinking about.

On the other hand, with hate one tends to dwell to the target of the hate in what could be described as an anti-affective death spiral.

comment by Relsqui · 2010-10-12T18:15:46.967Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

even though they were right in the ancestral environment

I'd be willing to bet that ancient humans made stupid choices about when to eat/sleep/fuck as well.

the state of random creativity that you normally experience just before falling asleep

... I do? News to me.

comment by cousin_it · 2010-10-13T04:21:11.602Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The part about the ancestral environment is generally accepted wisdom here and is supported by lots of arguments scattered all over LW. Random example, we like to eat more than is good for us because this instinct made sense when times of feast alternated with times of famine. Another random example, boys are afraid to approach girls because we used to live in small tribes, so one botched attempt could seriously hurt our chances of ever reproducing.

Not everyone experiences random creativity just before falling asleep, but many people do, e.g. there are legends about Edison and Salvador Dali using it, and Coleridge apparently wrote Kubla Khan in this state. I've used it to write poems and music.

comment by Relsqui · 2010-10-13T06:35:27.292Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The part about the ancestral environment is generally accepted wisdom

I was nitpicking your wording. The habits developed in response to the ancestral environment, certainly, but saying that the brain made the "right" choices then implies a degree of order and sense I'm not prepared to atttribute to human brain-body coordination in any age.

Similarly, my objection was to being told that I experienced that state of creativity at that time. I don't doubt that it happens to some people.

Enough of what gets posted in the discussion section is looking for critique that I generally assume that suggested changes are welcome; I apologize if that wasn't one of your goals with this one.

comment by jmmcd · 2010-10-14T02:32:28.343Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think Coleridge was on laudanum, not sleepiness.

comment by Kevin · 2010-10-15T06:53:36.866Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Laudanum or opium itself...

From Wikipedia:

According to Coleridge's Preface to Kubla Khan, the poem was composed one night after he experienced an opium influenced dream after reading a work describing the Tartar king Kublai Khan. Upon waking, he set about writing lines of poetry that came to him from the dream until he was interrupted by a person from Porlock. The poem could not be completed according to its original 200-300 line plan as the interruption caused him to forget the lines.

comment by Nisan · 2010-10-12T16:43:45.890Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Caffeine does (2), (3), and (5) for me — at least when I'm well-rested, etc. As far as I know, (1) and (4) are purely fantasy.

comment by cousin_it · 2010-10-12T17:02:10.090Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Did you need to increase the dose over time to get the same effects?

comment by Nisan · 2010-10-13T01:47:05.468Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've only recently started consuming caffeine regularly: One espresso almost every day, for about a month now. It still has some effect, though perhaps less in magnitude.

comment by Aurini · 2010-10-13T18:48:15.552Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

3) I find that whiskey does the trick for me; acts as both a stimulant and a depressant, particularly when mixed with caffeine. I get my best writing done on it, and my best non-productive speculating done when passing out from it (at which point i'm useless for the grind of writing, but idea-creation goes at full force).

Anecdotal evidence from other writers would confirm this as well. Though I don't know how effective it would be for other art forms.

comment by blogospheroid · 2010-10-13T06:45:34.135Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A drug that supresses ugh fields, loathing and hate. They feel so similar, I think there will be some common connection.

comment by [deleted] · 2010-10-13T03:56:59.467Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why on earth would anyone want to remove unrequited love?

I'd want a drug that made me not feel hurt when people criticized me.

comment by Alicorn · 2010-10-13T04:01:24.350Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why on earth would anyone want to remove unrequited love?

Because it hurts like fuck, that's why.

comment by WrongBot · 2010-10-13T04:46:43.997Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've mostly figured out how to turn unrequited love off, but I suspect it won't work for most people (like many similar techniques).

Short version: One of the more common effects of infatuation is a blindness to the person's flaws. Sort of like anosognosia, but for someone else's personality instead of one's own body. To get rid of unwanted unrequited love, force yourself to make a list of the person's significant character flaws. Everyone has them, but they're really hard to notice in a crush.

For me, usually just making the list is enough to turn the fuck-like hurting into something more manageable, but reading it over and over has been necessary in a couple of exceptional cases.

comment by cousin_it · 2010-10-14T00:17:43.856Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I've tried this technique and it works for me somewhat, but it's not enough and I still want a drug.

comment by WrongBot · 2010-10-14T00:32:17.634Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oh, agreed. Self-modification should be easier than it is.

comment by Nisan · 2010-10-17T15:21:30.213Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Are you still planning on writing a post about jealousy?

comment by WrongBot · 2010-10-17T18:58:05.333Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I haven't had the time/energy to get much writing done lately, but that post will exist at some point, and hopefully sooner than later.

comment by atucker · 2010-10-17T06:14:00.294Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Because it hurts like fuck, that's why.

Totally agreed, but its also been a damn good motivator for a lot of personal changes in my life. Like growing a backbone.

Granted, that sort of stuff might not be necessary if all love was requited, and if I ever can't find stuff I want to change about myself then I could imagine wanting this drug.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2010-10-17T12:17:39.917Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Could you expand on the details of growing a spine and becoming less susceptible to unrequited love?

comment by atucker · 2010-10-18T03:48:29.433Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

A lot of this is probably going to sound incredibly unconvincing. I'd assert that I would have found it unconvincing had I not gone through it.

The first time around it was mostly a matter of me realizing that it was hopeless with this girl and that I have better things to do than worry. Not particularly vertebral, but sort of significant for me nonetheless.

The next time was a bit weirder -- there was someone who was a friend that I got a crush on, then we dated for a while, then split up, then at various times started dating again before I ultimately wound up in the friend zone. (I'd like to mention that she was pretty open about the whole non-interested not-seriousness of everything after the initial split, and it was more my pigheadedness that allowed it to continue). At various points during that, she would become somewhat interested in other guys.

After one incident (inviting one of said interests to a meeting with me), I had decided that I had enough of it and called her out on it. I then actually accepted that she wasn't interested, and had backbone enough to stop trying to accommodate her in every way possible. Following up, I became more secure in myself in general, more assertive and demanding of my own interests, and less worried about the opinions that other people don't actually have because they're not on average interested enough to judge you. So overall less of a pushover.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2010-10-18T11:56:13.683Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd have said that realizing in the first case that you were running your mind and your time was fairly vertebral. What am I missing?

Probably just curiosity at my end, but in the second case, did she turn out to be someone you wanted to spend time with at all?

comment by atucker · 2010-10-18T20:51:50.343Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not much, it just didn't seem in my opinion as important (though it felt that way at the time), and the backbone growth didn't particularly propagate through my life, apart from ending that whole middle school/high school like-someone-but-never-do-anything-about-it thing.

Short answer, yes.

Long answer, we're good friends now, and its working out much better with a backbone. The main issue with the relationship not working is that a lot of what Robin Hanson speculates about "mating behavior" is true with her (to the point that when I explained those ideas to her she thought I was just being ridiculously insightful and empathetic). Other than that, she's really fun to be around.

comment by CronoDAS · 2010-10-15T02:25:08.294Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

/me shrugs

Sometimes it doesn't.

comment by Alicorn · 2010-10-15T02:51:35.645Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The most salient example of unrequited love in my mind did. Oh man. That sucked so much.

comment by katydee · 2010-10-14T02:41:56.895Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why? I greatly suspect that the feeling of being hurt is part of what makes criticism useful.

comment by erratio · 2010-10-13T07:47:36.262Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think I might even enjoy a drug that induced a mild form of unrequited love.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2010-10-13T10:49:46.221Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ok, I want the drug which gives me access to the control room for my emotions.

Before that, I'd better get the drug which gives me enough sense to use the first drug without wrecking myself.

comment by RichardKennaway · 2010-10-12T21:28:01.469Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Maybe it doesn't have to be a substance.