I've found a nice hack that may help others: practice starting and stopping to do stuff, rather than just doing or not doing stuff.
Example 1: if you want to practice drawing, instead of forcing yourself into a long drawing session, repeat the action "drop whatever else you're doing and start drawing practice" five times within one day. Then it'll be easier the next day.
Example 2: if you want to surf the internet less, instead of forcing yourself to stay away from the computer for a long time, repeat the action "stop surfing and relax for a minute" five times within one day. Then it'll be easier the next day.
I don't know if this stuff works, but it gives me a cool feeling of being in control :-)
After thinking about the Slate Star Codex commentariat for a bit, I have a new appreciation for our low-politics norm. Whether or not one wants to discuss politics with the people currently here - if we talked about politics a lot, we wouldn't have as many of those people, instead we'd have a large population of people who want to talk about politics all the time.
Imagine that two years in the future someone decides to manufacture a controversy in media, where the LW website and/or the rationalist community will be accused of horrible things. When the fake news get out, other media start copying it blindly, and after too many people jumped on the bandwagon, no one will want to admit they actually made a mistake.
The whole Twitter will shake with rage, users demanding the worst punishments for anyone associated with LW.
Imagine yourself on that day, thinking about today -- will you wish you would have done something differently?
Just as counterpoint: Now imagine that two years in the future some people from the LW community have impressed others enough to gain a lot of status and power, and (perhaps because they credit LW for some of their success) LW becomes a place you would be positively proud to be associated with. Now what will you wish you had done differently?
(I think the downsides are bigger than the upsides overall, though neither is big enough for me to have taken any trouble to hide my real identity here.)
I prefer to keep my work, family, gaming, and online-discussion identities rather distinct. I don't knowingly post things that would reflect badly on me (I do sometimes take contrarian-advocacy positions, but I do so at work too), and I tend not to play games with strangers who'd be tempted to retaliate outside the game, but it still adds a bit of comfort to not mix them up.
Whether you want to do the same is entirely up to you. Less Wrong, in fact, could have positive reputation effects on other aspects of your life. More likely completely neutral, but unlike some other sites, it's less likely to be pure negative.
It depends entirely on what you intend to post. If you think people will be googling your name and then will call you a bad person due to lesswrong comments, and that this will impact you emotionally or make you harder to hire, you should probably go make a different account.
It depends whether you think you will post things that will produce problems if someone who googles your name find the posts.
On the other hand a person who finds what you post might also want to talk to you about it when they meet you in meatspace. It's more likely that you get offered a job because a person thinks you have demonstrated the required experience by reading your posts when you use your real name.
How do folks use the term "bullying" these days? (links to dictionaries will be ignored)
When I was a kid it was simple: child on child violence. Then people started using it for just word stuff without real physical harm, then for adults, then with an implication of warranting the enforcement of authorities to stop...
I get the impression it's currently either used as "being mean in any sense one could perceive" broadly or "being mean in a way we should get people with some form of authority to force people to stop" but I don't know which, or which is closer, and the ambiguity is enough to change real meaning.
The dynamic I match it to is "being mean for its own sake, to a specific individual, over an extended period of time, in an environment where they can't get away from their tormentor(s)." The social equivalent of a cat playing with a mouse it's caught.
N=1 for this interpretation, and it may not be quite necessary or sufficient even by my own lights.
Edit: A more succinct definition might be: "Bullying: persistent, targeted cruelty."
Thanks! That accords with what people have said and with reason better than the former reigning champion.
Sorry for delay; was at a wedding. When I start typing comments on my phone the submit button disappears, so I can only comment from my computer, and I'm trying to avoid thumbs until they fix the asymmetry.
As with "violence" itself, it seems like some uses of "bullying" strike me as being somewhat metaphorical rather than literal; but the folks using it those ways may not agree.
That said, my experience in school was that physical violence and "word stuff" could be combined arms in an effort to create misery or to drive someone away: perpetrators could use physical harm when they expected to get away with it; aggressive posturing (e.g. miming a punch) to remind the victim of the possibility of physical harm; and verbal attacks when they expected to get away with those.