Posts

Shaping Agents 2018-05-04T06:17:48.035Z · score: 2 (4 votes)
Warrior rationalists 2018-05-03T11:52:40.738Z · score: 10 (9 votes)

Comments

Comment by dominik-tujmer on Strategies of Personal Growth · 2018-08-21T10:50:46.290Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Good framework. The most important next question is, I think, are there any patterns that we can use to find out what our best strategy would be? Or can we at least prioritize these strategies, for example: I have problem X in my life. I don't know which specific strategy I should pursue, so I am going to try all of them, starting with - which one?

I don't have any recommendations (yet), but I think that these are the logical follow-up questions that we could ask ourselves.

Comment by dominik-tujmer on Shaping Agents · 2018-05-07T10:16:24.665Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Right. Okay, I may off base there. I'll definitely have to delve into the particulars because I currently have a low-resolution model.

Comment by dominik-tujmer on Shaping Agents · 2018-05-07T10:12:12.420Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW
  • You may be right about Operant Conditioning not being feasible - it is possible that I can't keep it up for long enough or that I can't pair stimuli in such a way that would have significant (or any) results. It is also possible that I am oversimplifying how OC would work on adult humans. And it may be the case that no two equals can exert OC on one another, but it's not immediately clear to me why that would be true. I don't have enough theoretical or practical knowledge, so I'll have to read up on that.
  • I don't get why you think I described myself as having an "independent mindset as being separate from a regular human mindset". I don't think that at all - I think I'm just as average and prone to being shaped as everyone else. That's why I say in the end of the post that "I’d be okay if someone with good intentions was shaping me towards a better version of myself". Another question - you're correct that I'm bad at manipulating people, but I don't see how that follows from what you said. Are you saying "your model of human psychology is so bad/incomplete that you're definitely bad at manipulation"?
  • I don't mean the worst thing, I just mean bad. Here is an oversimplified example, but I think it's sufficient for this point: when you're a boss in a company and you give employees a pay raise every time they do something good, your intention is to make them do more good things. You shape them. That's not bad - but you're still "influencing or attempting to influence the behavior or emotions of others for one's own purposes." I also don't see how you're stripping them of their humanity. Am I misunderstanding you here?
  • "Natural selection prunes populations for sure but the entire evolutionary process being oversimplified to "pruning" and then to further be degraded as not beneficial for an individual is just not true." My point is simply that evolution works like this: you have environmental factors that kill off everyone that's not fit to survive them. There is no gentle hand rewarding a population for anything. I'm not saying that's the entire evolutionary process - it's just a side note, which, when I think about it, probably shouldn't even be included in the post cause it has nothing to do with it.
  • Maybe you're right about dog training being inapplicable on a wider scale. I guess I would resolve this by a) reading more studies about how conditioning works, and b) systematically trying out things on my own to see whether I have any results or not.
Comment by dominik-tujmer on Warrior rationalists · 2018-05-04T04:45:40.643Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Alright, that's great. Then my hunch may be wrong because I'm not sufficiently in touch with the community.

Comment by dominik-tujmer on Warrior rationalists · 2018-05-03T16:47:11.929Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

1. I'm not sure what you mean here - are you talking about "high IQ", "white male", etc.? If so, I don't mean them to be "qualities", they are simply associations, things that first come to mind when I'm looking at the community as a whole. I don't think the people from the community could (or should) be described only in those terms.

2. Yes. Beyond the immediate practical application, I think it cultivates a certain toughness.

3. Well - sort of. I think it would do people a lot of good to do some of these strenuous things I mention - not to abandon intellectual pursuit, but to discover important experiences and qualities in themselves.

Answers:

  • I don't know. It just seems that these are common things you see in the community.
  • Useful skill, good health intervention, (probably) transferable toughness and confidence. And a new experience-space: sort of like the difference between having a song explained to you and listening to it. I don't think it's different from what an average non-rationalist unfit white male would get, so it's not specific to rationalists.
  • I may have used the wrong word there. I'm speaking in general terms: general intellectual pursuit, reading, debating, discussing, all at a high level of abstraction, but performed by people who kind of live in their heads and view their bodies as a form of transportation.

I guess my overall claim would be that life is a difficult endeavor, and that being resilient and tough (things that you get from strenuous activity, which, in turn, is not a rationalist's forte) can get you a long way, especially if you're also smart.

Comment by dominik-tujmer on Hammertime Day 7: Aversion Factoring · 2018-02-07T15:11:10.364Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think that the underlying principles here are very powerful: 1. acknowledging "trivial" inconveniences (i.e. being explicit and honest with yourself) and 2. seeing all problems as groups of sub-problems, each of which can be solved much more easily than the entire thing.

Comment by dominik-tujmer on "Cheat to Win": Engineering Positive Social Feedback · 2018-02-07T14:54:04.704Z · score: 19 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Yup. Especially if it's someone that you feel you should be close to, like toxic parents.

Comment by dominik-tujmer on Hammertime Day 3: TAPs · 2018-02-03T20:00:46.470Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I have a couple of sapience spells (from before this article).

  1. Every time I step into public transport or go out somewhere, I am very aware, very meditative. I have trained myself to do this because I've been reading a lot of Dune and watching probably too much survivalist videos on Youtube.
  2. Every time I feel anxious or nervous, this triggers a meditative body scan, not thinking, just feeling the sensations in my body. I am generally aware of the reactions in my body when I am doing something I don't really want to be doing.
  3. When I'm lying in my bed before sleep, I have a habit of doing a body scan, starting from the toes, all the way up to the top of the head.
Comment by dominik-tujmer on Hammertime Day 2: Yoda Timers · 2018-02-03T12:52:35.094Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This is basically Allen's "Getting things done" 2-min method, I think. Just doing very short tasks right away to clear away the (mental) clutter. I think it's a good idea to practice this, but I also think that the opposite is also good, i.e. ignoring the small things and focusing all time and energy on one big thing, first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, that way, you will do your thing, but ignoring small tasks will also lead to a dirty apartment, eating crap and not practicing the guitar... So I think, for me personally, every morning has to be one big thing, with Yoda timers sprinkled throughout the rest of the day.