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Comment by a-question-of-balance on I'm going to help you quit Facebook with some science · 2018-04-17T17:32:04.362Z · score: 13 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My good:bad ratio was 1:2.75, which is a reason to use Facebook less for me (1:3 was "I'd rather not put up with that", 1:1 was "would be okay"). This is after unfollowing lots of people. (In this exercise I also found two more people to unfollow.) I've hidden my newsfeed using F.B. Purity for now.

Comment by a-question-of-balance on Spamming Micro-Intentions to Generate Willpower · 2018-03-19T15:18:49.975Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm late to this but I wanted to say that I'm glad to see this concern on LW. I have a tendency to burn out whenever I try to do things in The Most Efficient Way (precisely because my Efficient (TM) parts underestimate how much downtime other parts of me need), and I've had to avoid LW sometimes in order to get out of a "must do everything efficiently!" spiral.

(That said, I like this idea and will be trying it out and see if it helps or hurts me.)

ETA: I did not try it out after all; I was too worried about causing burnout.

Comment by a-question-of-balance on Spamming Micro-Intentions to Generate Willpower · 2018-03-19T15:12:26.204Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is an interesting idea!

I'm prone to pushing myself too far and burning out, so I'll have to be careful about this, but this sounds like it could work well for me. My problem is that 1) forcing myself to do things is exhausting and 2) I need more downtime than I expect, and I think that this approach could help with 1).

I'll try this for a week, and check in the following Monday.

ETA: I did not try it out after all; I was too worried about causing burnout.

Comment by a-question-of-balance on Making yourself small · 2018-03-19T14:08:05.396Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This post really made me think about how I present. I can see now that I wanted to be high/small for a while now, but haven't been very good at making myself small. I want to be the kind of person who leaves space for others, but when I'm around a group of big people I turn big reflexively so they can't talk over me. I think part of the solution to that is spending more time with people who aren't "shouting me down".

The horse metaphor works well for me - humans aren't that different from other animals, at least in my mind.

Comment by a-question-of-balance on Paper Trauma · 2018-03-18T13:31:15.841Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for this post! I like writing on paper (I don't think I'm negatively influenced by school actually, and it definitely helps me think) but I have an aversion to it because keeping it around is such a hassle. When I do write something down on paper I intend to digitalize it/scan it, but I don't actually do that. I'm already stuck with ten notebooks full of stuff; I don't want to accumulate more.

I manage to convert lecture notes into Anki cards though, so I suppose it's partially having a plan, and practicing.

Maybe a whiteboard would help, too, because I can't keep it in the first place. I should look into that.

Does anyone have additional ideas of how to get used to paper?

Comment by a-question-of-balance on [deleted post] 2017-11-01T07:57:26.207Z

content note: child abuse

People who have something to protect just win—or if they can't win, they freeze or flail. What they don't do is confidently pursue an irrelevant subgame that distracts them from the true goal and prevents them from noticing that they've lost.

I'm not sure this is always true. Your story about Ben got me thinking about a friend who went through parental abuse as a teenager, and they had a goal that mattered to them (getting their parents to leave them in peace) but they didn't see any chance to win, because the parents had all the power. And they definitely kept trying to score points instead of winning, because trying to win "is pointless anyway" (=was probably too frustrating/humiliating/upsetting for them).

I think a lot of people, when faced with the despair of not being able to win no matter what they do, would start trying anyway. "Every little bit counts" and "at least you tried" and so on.

This advice does work for me, as someone who already values winning more than scoring points, but I'm not sure that it would help someone get out of scoring-points mode if they aren't used to focusing on winning.

That said, thank you for writing this post and giving concrete strategies on how to fight this!

Comment by a-question-of-balance on [deleted post] 2017-10-31T20:18:28.541Z
A blue one is going to want to talk it over and figure out exactly what's wrong.
...
The key recognition is that all of these ways of being are okay. They're all good, they're all evolved and refined, they're all adaptive and workable.
But they're different. If you're blue/green and you walk around implicitly believing that everyone else is, too, you're going to be confused and disappointed at how everyone is just regularly screwing up, and how they don't even notice it.

This has happened to me. I'd tentatively call myself blue-green-white but when I have a problem I'm blue above all else, and I've asked people "why won't you let me help you?" if they didn't want to talk about their problems, even though they'd told me it helped them more to distract themselves. I don't do that anymore, but I still have the gut instinct of "if only they talked about their feelings they'd see that it helps".

I didn't know the colour wheel before and I had a hard time classifying myself. I don't have a strong sense of self (it's not that I don't observe myself, it's that I change all the time!). I'm always some variant of blue-green-white though.

I found myself having emotions about which colour I should pick, instead of seeing it as a mere description of facts - I'd pegged myself as white-green in the beginning, then felt bad about white's oppressiveness, then you mentioned Professor McGonagall and I was happy about it again. I noticed my brain doing this, though, and while I grumbled about the white I didn't manage to convince myself that actually I'm not white at all.

How I feel about the individual colours:

I'm actually very wary about White structures - feeling powerless makes me panic. I like structures that I control or approve of, and structures that I could get out from if I didn't want them (voluntary commitments). Having a good structure makes me feel safe, but at the same time, I worry I'm going to start chafing under it.

Blue seems like the sort of thing I should like, and after reading its paragraph I did like it (I'm excited about science!). I was initially turned off by "perfection", though. The culture of constant self-improvement has a way of triggering my scrupolosity, so I stay far away from wanting perfection as a goal. When I embrace being okay at things, I get a lot more done than if I had beat myself up for not being perfect. But thinking things through, logic, self-knowledge are integral to my identity.

Black is a colour I don't want to act like. Sometimes I catch myself thinking like this, but I don't want to think like this; I could rationalize that but I think it's just an aversion I have - I don't want to manipulate people. Black characters are interesting to read about in fiction, but I wouldn't want to be around a Black actor in real life.

Red also seems very selfish to me. It has more sympathies, though - a while ago I had a Red phase when I'd gotten out of a very White structure that had hurt me. I needed to prioritize my own freedom over everything else for a while. Red characters are extremely fun to read about (Miles Naismith Vorkosigan comes to mind) and I wouldn't mind being around Red actors in real life; I think they could be fun. But I like the security of a more stable life more.

I thought I'd really like Green, but I'm conflicted here, too. I like acceptance when it comes from myself, but I absolutely hate it when people tell me that I should just accept things. So I'm a Green person who could never live in a Green structure, I guess? My Greenness is also definitely influenced by my Blueness - I accept that what's there is there, but I want to know what it is.

I think Green vs. Blue also asks the question of truth vs happiness . Which is a big one for me. I skew to the side of happiness (I'd rather not know some things even if they're true) mostly because my mental health issues are hard to balance and continuously having truth knock them out of order would be pretty unpleasant. I remain aware at the back of my brain that I'm deliberately ignoring the truth; though. I'd be interested in hearing how other people think of this.

Comment by a-question-of-balance on Instrumental Rationality 1: Starting Advice · 2017-10-31T19:36:10.972Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is very practical! I'm looking forward to the next posts in this series; I hadn't read it yet on LW 1.0.

Comment by a-question-of-balance on [deleted post] 2017-10-31T19:27:35.502Z

Item 2 is an example I've seen in discussions of emotional labor. While distribution of some burdens really tends to be gendered and it's a good thing to be aware of, I like this post as an acknowledgement that burdens exist all the time, in all kinds of situations. Sort of a broader picture, of which gendered emotional labor is a detail.

Thank you for your sequence!