Mathemeditation 2018-03-11T21:31:33.718Z · score: 62 (17 votes)
Beginner's Meditation for the No Bullshit Individual 2018-03-02T07:51:11.123Z · score: 0 (16 votes)
"Balance to Win": Sometimes You Need Friends, Sometimes You Need Haters 2018-02-13T17:42:37.680Z · score: 36 (13 votes)


Comment by bugsbycarlin on Mathemeditation · 2018-03-12T23:01:37.251Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is closer to what I expected for myself. Do you feel a similar pressure to move to the next activity when doing other types of meditation?

Edit: my being stuck in a car might have had something to do with it. Not much to move on to :-)

Comment by bugsbycarlin on Mathemeditation · 2018-03-12T22:45:46.685Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think I failed to communicate the point of the exercise; for me, an act of meditation (as distinct from an act of mathematics) is about trying to point your focus somewhere. The quality of the act of meditation is determined by the quality of the pointing, not the quality of the thing you do under focus. So if you're doing walking meditation, the important thing is not to walk well, it's to focus well on your walking.

I would agree that an act of mathematics is really best done with external memory of some kind. But it can be done well enough without (for instance, when working on a puzzle, or visualizing some kinds of topology problem). I worry that using external memory will interfere with the act of pointing focus, but I'll try it soonish and get back to you with my result.

Comment by bugsbycarlin on Beginner's Meditation for the No Bullshit Individual · 2018-03-04T01:00:33.129Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, this was useful to learn. I'll try to keep in mind different learning styles in the future.

Comment by bugsbycarlin on Beginner's Meditation for the No Bullshit Individual · 2018-03-04T00:59:06.309Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, I learned from reading this thread

Comment by bugsbycarlin on Beginner's Meditation for the No Bullshit Individual · 2018-03-02T16:55:14.437Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Forgive my asking a somewhat rude question. I wouldn't ask it except in the context of this sort of "how you learn" discussion. Was "The Mind Illuminated" valuable to you because the scientific material helped break down some kind of pre-existing emotional resistance to a subject which seemed hokey? Is it possible that you previously had trouble meditating because the whole thing seemed made up or poorly justified and a piece of you wasn't willing to try until someone attached it to a science?

Also, how long have you been assessing (weeks, years, etc), and during your assessment phase, have you continued the practice you learned in that first week, or did you fully stop to assess?

Comment by bugsbycarlin on Beginner's Meditation for the No Bullshit Individual · 2018-03-02T09:31:59.152Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

To your and habryka's comments:

I should probably not steal the pre-existing word "focus". I figured my meaning fell somewhere within the smear of existing meanings, but it sounds like it didn't, and we should use a different word.

The post neither pre-supposes an interest in meditation, nor supplies a convincing argument for its benefits. To me the tone of the piece indicates a sort of subtext: "if you feel like reading or trying, then read or try. If not, then don't." In my mind it's meant to offer the interested but skeptical a method with low activation energy that doesn't fail the outside view (ie look asinine or cultish).

With you, I failed to sell low activation energy, because your walks already have something that's not worth frittering away. So do mine, so it's worth being more explicit here in the comments: I spend maybe 5% of my total walk time meditating. The cost is not nothing, but it's small. The gain is an ability to capitalize on the ideas I have during the other 95%, by more effectively fixing on them during non-walk time.

I don't think I can demonstrate that value, can't provide evidence. What I can offer is another outside view argument: I'm one of the walking tribe (eg,, I walk for hours every week, I did not choose this lightly, and I still found it to be beneficial.

Comment by bugsbycarlin on Arbital postmortem · 2018-02-14T05:25:45.379Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A noble effort. Honestly, EY just sounds like Homer Simpson from this Simpsons episode:,c limit/the-homer-inline4.jpg, WhereArt Thou%3F

Comment by bugsbycarlin on "Balance to Win": Sometimes You Need Friends, Sometimes You Need Haters · 2018-02-13T21:58:03.906Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I had to think about this, so thanks!

I should have specified that deeply miserable was more of a short term judgement, specifically on a people dimension. If your interactions with people are causing you to be deeply miserable, it's probably a good idea to retract.

But, to me, a really high level of short term comfort in people space indicates a position which is short term good and long term very bad. This isn't always the case, but as a first pass, it sets off alarm bells. It's like the social equivalent of too much candy. "This tastes too good. It can't be good for me to ingest this and only this."

I also think this is because the bad behaviors listed only arise out of a smug level of comfort.

But I still have a hard time explaining when and why the candy feeling actually indicates the candy danger. I think it needs further discussion and further thought.


Missionaries in North Korea, for all their other faults, are spending a lot of social time with people they know to hate them. Relatively speaking, they're spending a lot of time with the differently-minded.