Posts

The Temptation to Bubble 2015-09-23T23:34:09.220Z · score: 27 (30 votes)

Comments

Comment by gressettd on The Temptation to Bubble · 2015-09-25T21:05:28.739Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Don't think Eliezer meant to say that the scientific method isn't awesome for optimizing a truthful view of reality. If he did say that, he's wrong. Is there a specific case you could make on why it's not, because didn't get that from the article you referred to.

Don't understand your comment about having no opinion when you have no data. I'm reading it as 1) many people won't dig for data and have strong opinions anyway and 2) obscurity can be used as a weapon to prevent you from forming an informed opinion. Does that describe your comment accurately?

For 1, not sure what the disadvantage you see here ... okay ignorant opinions are bountiful. So we should join the club or they'll .... what? For 2, if the alternative is to form a strong a opinion without data because someone made it too much work for you to care that much, then they've manipulated you more than if you hold no opinion at all ... what am I missing?

Comment by gressettd on The Temptation to Bubble · 2015-09-25T20:52:14.919Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

How much of these behaviors (lack of humility, intellectual laziness, etc) that repulse you are driven by evolutionary adaptations to living in a social group and maintaining your status and reputation in your tribe? Agreeing with the popular view in your tribe, and agreeing with tribal leaders to display loyalty, probably has some fitness advantages. Have no empirical data for that, but it's worth considering as an alternate view, especially if you "strongly wish you believed otherwise" ... humility and integrity may not get a chance to step up if higher priority instincts are kicking in to produce these effects.

Comment by gressettd on The Temptation to Bubble · 2015-09-24T18:59:04.067Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for pointing that out. Have heard that term before, but in the course of this stream of consciousness rant it just didn't show up for the party.

Comment by gressettd on The Temptation to Bubble · 2015-09-24T18:58:08.385Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It's very good of you to say the writing is good, glad you enjoyed it, and yes will write more here.

Completely agree with you that liberal vs conservative is an overly dualistic and simplistic way to carve up political positions, but for brevity's sake and to keep on point, described it that way.

Assuming everyone on this forum values the idea of testing their knowledge; not to prove or even disprove their ideas, but to update. probabilities. But why isn't this method, even a dumbed-down version of it, held in higher regard for progress than debate? Debate is virtually useless to the general public. We already teach the scientific method, but only as applied to the school science fair, instead of a general method for getting to a clearer view of things.

You're of course completely on the nose about people not having the time and energy to do the actual work on all the issues. So my advice: don't be a moron. Say you have no opinion. Didn't read the holy book (either your own or the enemy's religion)? No opinion. Didn't read the bill? No opinion. Read no articles from climate science journals? No opinion. Etc.

Comment by gressettd on Akrasia Tactics Review 2: The Akrasia Strikes Back · 2013-07-21T00:49:59.775Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe you have a subconscious fear of failure, that compels you to switch to a different project before you can be put to the test? Does it help to anticipate that you will fail in execution, multiple times, but persist until you finish?

Have you tried experimenting with the other extreme? Rank your projects. Pick the top project. Forget the others exist until that one is complete. It's extreme, but if you try it once, experience completion, and change the way you think and feel about it, maybe you can then find a better middle ground?

Comment by gressettd on Akrasia Tactics Review 2: The Akrasia Strikes Back · 2013-07-20T20:01:28.697Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

HabitRPG: +5. Though I had to learn extra tricks to get this much out of it, like gamifying all my task and habit names, and manually setting task difficulties and reward amounts.

Activity Deadlines: +4. Set up 3-8 minute timer, depending on the task, then do as much as possible in that time limit. Point is to make it short enough you keep moving. Afterward, record success on HabitRPG, reset, repeat.

Transcranial Direct Stimulation to stimulate the frontal lobes (see http://www.trans-cranial.com/index.php/ for the device I use): +8. Twenty minutes on this in the morning, followed by pushing as hard into the most important tasks for the day for the next two or three hours. This beats most everything else ever tried for me.

Standing workstation, with fatigue mat: +3. Seems like +5 until it starts to hurt, then it becomes a distraction. Maybe better after sustained practice.

Modafinil -1: In the short term, it's as effective as five hour energy or the like, nothing really special. Eventually, started interfering with sleep and becoming a net negative.

Blend Pramiracetam, Centrophenoxine, Sulbutiamine +6: Have only used them in combination, so can only comment on them in combination. High clarity, memory, etc. Can help with akrasia caused by mental fogging.

Take an Apprentice +7: Have taken in 3 apprentices (for software engineering). Getting them to the level of complete mastery I have promised them drives me very hard to push myself and be a perfect example.

Comment by gressettd on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-17T22:26:59.368Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Here's a method for learning a complex subject that seems to accelerate acquiring instrumental skill and the ability to use the knowledge creatively. As a bonus, you make progress on projects you've deferred for want of technical skills you're learning now.

Project Mapping: a) Make a list of projects you're working or intend to do sometime. The more the projects excite you, the more effective this technique. b) Take a bite of your subject (a chapter or topic, smaller the better) c) Go to your project journal. Pick one or more projects from the list to connect to the material you learned. If they can't conceivably connect ... then why are you learning this? d) No matter how great the gap between the complexity and difficulty of your project and the simplicity of the elementary material you just learned, even if it's just whole number addition, describe ways to apply the knowledge to some aspect or part of your project. This is the actual "secret sauce" of the technique. e) Return to each bite to "rehearse" it by adding even more ideas, and feel free to connect in and use more advanced material you've learned, too. f) If you can, set your rehearsal schedule for each bite to initially just half an hour apart, but space them out by double the previous time between rehearsals. Force even boundaries on days or weeks to help simplify the schedule. Something like: 30m, 60m, 2h, 4h, 8h, 16h, 24h, 2d, 4d, 7d, 2w, 1m, 2m, 4m, 8m, 1y

A note on the "secret sauce" (part d): You'll often need to force your brain to believe, especially when learning the fundamentals of a subject, that you can apply it to your byzantine mega-idea. Try for five minutes. If it's just too hard, maybe create an easier project to stand-in.