on [deleted post]
I think it's a solid proposal.
One major caveat I think is that it's a structure that wouldn't work for most people in the rationality community. Calling most of them libertines incompatible with such a strict framework wouldn't be too far from the truth. But those are the views of a very distant outsider who doesn't know the the deeper views/feelings of the Berkeleyans you refer to, and is only familiar at a superficial glance.
But for a niche group of strongly driven baby rationalists lacking for direction/purpose who aren't opposed to operating within a strict structure, I don't know how this wouldn't be an ideal framework to use.
As a former military enlisted, I think all the military comparisons made are valid. Allow me to include one more. I believe that also like the military, there will be a high turnover rate - once people get what they want out of the community, they leave. As I allude to earlier, the appeal of joining is acquiring skills in discipline/organization/direction. Once those are acquired, there is very little left to motivate people to stay. But, in both cases, this isn't really a bad thing either. If everyone leaves after the one year commitment, but they reflect on the experience positively, then it would still be considered a success.
Coffee: When it helps, when it hurts
Sure, I can imagine caffeine impeding long-term learning from exam revision.
But I find the increased focus to be much more important, for an exam that I've already studied for, and for material I will very likely never need to know in quite as much detail ever again.
There's 2 different kinds of studying I do. Studying conceptually for the long term, and cram time for a specific exam fitting in all the fine details, and then quickly regurgitating them. If it takes exam revision to significantly enhance the former, then I already learned too little, too late. That said, I commonly use caffeine for the latter with no regret of the side effects.