Paradoxical Advice Thread 2019-08-21T14:50:51.465Z · score: 13 (6 votes)
The Internet: Burning Questions 2019-08-01T14:46:17.164Z · score: 13 (6 votes)
How much time do you spend on twitter? 2019-08-01T12:41:33.289Z · score: 6 (1 votes)
What are the best and worst affordances of twitter as a technology and as a social ecosystem? 2019-08-01T12:38:17.455Z · score: 6 (1 votes)
Do you use twitter for intellectual engagement? Do you like it? 2019-08-01T12:35:57.359Z · score: 16 (6 votes)
How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) 2019-07-31T13:34:16.506Z · score: 148 (74 votes)
Where is the Meaning? 2019-07-22T20:18:24.964Z · score: 22 (7 votes)
Prereq: Question Substitution 2019-07-18T17:35:56.411Z · score: 20 (7 votes)
Prereq: Cognitive Fusion 2019-07-17T19:04:35.180Z · score: 15 (6 votes)
Magic is Dead, Give me Attention 2019-07-10T20:15:24.990Z · score: 50 (29 votes)
Decisions are hard, words feel easier 2019-06-21T16:17:22.366Z · score: 9 (6 votes)
Splitting Concepts 2019-06-21T16:03:11.177Z · score: 8 (3 votes)
STRUCTURE: A Hazardous Guide to Words 2019-06-20T15:27:45.276Z · score: 7 (2 votes)
Defending points you don't care about 2019-06-19T20:40:05.152Z · score: 44 (18 votes)
Words Aren't Type Safe 2019-06-19T20:34:23.699Z · score: 24 (10 votes)
Arguing Definitions 2019-06-19T20:29:44.323Z · score: 13 (6 votes)
What is your personal experience with "having a meaningful life"? 2019-05-22T14:03:39.509Z · score: 22 (11 votes)
Models of Memory and Understanding 2019-05-07T17:39:58.314Z · score: 20 (5 votes)
Rationality: What's the point? 2019-02-03T16:34:33.457Z · score: 12 (5 votes)
STRUCTURE: Reality and rational best practice 2019-02-01T23:51:21.390Z · score: 6 (1 votes)
STRUCTURE: How the Social Affects your rationality 2019-02-01T23:35:43.511Z · score: 1 (3 votes)
STRUCTURE: A Crash Course in Your Brain 2019-02-01T23:17:23.872Z · score: 8 (5 votes)
Explore/Exploit for Conversations 2018-11-15T04:11:30.372Z · score: 38 (13 votes)
Starting Meditation 2018-10-24T15:09:06.019Z · score: 23 (10 votes)
Thoughts on tackling blindspots 2018-09-27T01:06:53.283Z · score: 45 (13 votes)
Can our universe contain a perfect simulation of itself? 2018-05-20T02:08:41.843Z · score: 21 (5 votes)
Reducing Agents: When abstractions break 2018-03-31T00:03:16.763Z · score: 42 (11 votes)
Diffusing "I can't be that stupid" 2018-03-24T14:49:51.073Z · score: 56 (18 votes)
Request for "Tests" for the MIRI Research Guide 2018-03-13T23:22:43.874Z · score: 70 (20 votes)
Types of Confusion Experiences 2018-03-11T14:32:36.363Z · score: 31 (9 votes)
Hazard's Shortform Feed 2018-02-04T14:50:42.647Z · score: 31 (9 votes)
Explicit Expectations when Teaching 2018-02-04T14:12:09.903Z · score: 53 (17 votes)
TSR #10: Creative Processes 2018-01-17T03:05:18.903Z · score: 16 (4 votes)
No, Seriously. Just Try It: TAPs 2018-01-14T15:24:38.692Z · score: 42 (14 votes)
TSR #9: Hard Rules 2018-01-09T14:57:15.708Z · score: 32 (10 votes)
TSR #8 Operational Consistency 2018-01-03T02:11:32.274Z · score: 20 (8 votes)
TSR #7: Universal Principles 2017-12-27T01:54:39.974Z · score: 23 (8 votes)
TSR #6: Strength and Weakness 2017-12-19T22:23:57.473Z · score: 3 (3 votes)
TSR #5 The Nature of Operations 2017-12-12T23:37:06.066Z · score: 16 (5 votes)
Learning AI if you suck at math 2017-12-07T15:15:15.480Z · score: 10 (4 votes)
TSR #4 Value Producing Work 2017-12-06T02:44:27.822Z · score: 20 (8 votes)
TSR #3 Entrainment: Discussion 2017-12-01T16:46:35.718Z · score: 25 (9 votes)
Changing habits for open threads 2017-11-26T12:54:27.413Z · score: 9 (4 votes)
Increasing day to day conversational rationality 2017-11-16T21:18:37.424Z · score: 26 (10 votes)
Acknowledging Rationalist Angst 2017-11-06T05:26:45.505Z · score: 30 (12 votes)
Trope Dodging 2017-10-21T18:43:34.729Z · score: 4 (4 votes)


Comment by hazard on Book summary: Unlocking the Emotional Brain · 2019-10-10T02:15:02.224Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I like the idea of aiming to just hold the contradiction in your head and boggle at it for a while. Make me think of hold onto the curiosity. Something something if the brain is layers and layers of predictive processing, focusing on the prediction error is the quickest way to get it to change.

As always, I've been enjoying this series and am finding it to be a useful compilation of a lot of ideas. Thanks!

Comment by hazard on Open & Welcome Thread - October 2019 · 2019-10-02T20:45:07.276Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'd be interested! No knowledge of topology. I've been annoyed several times by watching talks at a programming conference titled "Why Programmers Should Learn Category Theory", and they never explain why, they only define basic CT ideas and say "These are cool!". Still overall convinced that there's interesting things hiding in CT.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-10-01T23:24:11.747Z · score: 11 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I'm torn on WaitButWhy?s new series The Story of Us. My initial reaction was mostly negative. Most of that came from not liking the frame of Higher Mind and Primitive Mind, as that sort of thinking has been reasonable for a lot of hiccups for me, making "doing what I want" and unnecessarily antagonistic process. And then along the way I see plenty of other ways I don't like how he slices up the world.

The torn part: maybe this is sorta post "most people" need to start bridging the inferential gap towards what I consider good epistemology? I expect most people on LW to find his series too simplistic, but I wonder if his posts would do more good than the Sequences for the average joe. As I'm writing this I'm acutely aware of how little I know about how "most people" think.

It also makes me think about how at some point in recent years I thought, "More dumbed down simplifications of crazy advanced math concepts should exist, to get more people a little bit closer to all the cool stuff there is." I guessed a mathematician might balk at this suggestion ("Don't tarnish my precious precision!") Am I reacting the same way?

I dunno, what do you think?

Comment by hazard on Paradoxical Advice Thread · 2019-09-29T14:58:40.906Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Necessity is the mother of invention" and "You can be more innovative with your hobbies than your job"

My current guess is that the difference has something to do with the context that is "demanding" innovation from you. "Necessity" makes thing of being trapped in a mine shaft and I need to find a way out, and the contexts of jobs and reliability in Sarah's post seem to be a much more abstract necessity. Yes, maybe you "need" to pay the bills, but maybe you know in the back of your head that you always have the option of going back on the job market.

I'm curious if something like "entitlement" is at play. I can imagine having a problem in my life that I more or less need to solve, but being stalled and angry and upset because for some reason I feel like I shouldn't have this problem. That feels like a very different mindset from the mineshaft.

Still dwelling on this one...

Comment by hazard on The Costs of Reliability · 2019-09-29T14:52:55.538Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm currently musing about and would be very interested in seeing a dive into the interplay between this dynamic and the dynamic of "necessity is the mother of invention".

Comment by hazard on Bíos brakhús · 2019-09-29T14:21:15.800Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe something like "Don't have anything within arms reach of you bed" so there's no particular slope towards reading or electronics or whatnot, and if you do whole-heartedly start reading, you first had to get out of bed and grab the book.

Comment by hazard on The first step of rationality · 2019-09-29T14:13:57.259Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm mostly on-board with this sentiment. To anyone getting excited about integration, note this comment of mine about potential ways you can accidentally think you're integrating more, while actually putting up more walls (and this post is related, less on general integration and more paying attention to emotions).

Comment by hazard on The Power to Teach Concepts Better · 2019-09-25T01:34:18.351Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Noting that I think this is a good explanation of "mind-hanging" (though like Ruby I don't particularly like that name), such that I would link people to this in the future. Thanks! Also I double checked, and you seem to mostly teach this concept with examples first, good job :)

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-09-19T17:01:35.157Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Reverse-Engineering a World View

I've been having to do this a lot for Ribbonfarm's Mediocratopia blog chain. Rao often confuses me and I have to step up my game to figure out where he's coming from.

It's basically a move of "What would have to be different for this to make sense?"

Confusion: "But if you're going up in levels, stuff must be getting harder, so even though you're mediocre in the next tier, shouldn't you be loosing slack, which is antithetical to mediocrity?"

Resolution: "What if there's weird discontinuous jumps to both skill and performance, and taking on a new frame/strategy/practice bumps you to the next level, without your effort going up proportionally?"

Comment by hazard on Category Qualifications (w/ exercises) · 2019-09-15T18:29:35.636Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This might be a site thing, but all of the content in the spoiler's blocks are visible to me.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-09-10T01:27:28.530Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Do you also do it as a preemptive move like I described, or for other reasons?

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-09-09T17:29:41.022Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Quick description of a pattern I have that can muddle communication.

"So I've been mulling over this idea, and my original thoughts have changed a lot after I read the article, but not because of what the article was trying to persuade me of ..."

Genera Pattern: There is a concrete thing I want to talk about (a new idea - ???). I don't tell what it is, I merely provide a placeholder reference for it ("this idea"). Before I explain it, I begin applying a bunch of modifiers (typically by giving a lot of context "This idea is a new take on a domain I've previously had thoughts on" "there was an article involved in changing my mind" "that article wasn't the direct cause of the mind change")

This confuses a lot of people. My guess is that interpreting statements like this require a lot more working memory. If introduce the main subject, and then modify it, people can "mentally modify" the subject as I go along. If I don't give them the subject, they need to store a stack of modifiers, wait until I get to the subject, and then apply all those modifiers they've been storing.

I notice I do this most when I expect the listener will have a negative gut reaction to the subject, and I'm trying to preemptively do a bunch of explanation before introducing it.

Anyone notice anything similar?

Comment by hazard on Owen Another Thing · 2019-09-08T13:17:16.522Z · score: 15 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Short aside on training wheels: balance bikes are a thing that I only learned about this past year as my niece was using one to learn how to ride a bike. Their claim is that steering and balance are the hard parts of learning to ride a bike, not pedaling and breaking. This seems "Duh!" obvious in retrospect.

So it seems like it training wheels try to get rid of having to balance at all, and have you focus on things that aren't super essential, and then force you to make a big scary jump. Balance bikes start you with balance in a situation where that's all there is to focus on, and once you have that, adding pedals is easy (my niece was able to ride her actual bike on the first shot).

I'm enjoying the irony that training wheels, the literal go to metaphor concerning assisted learning phases, are a bad example of it. I wonder what else might be similar.

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-09-03T12:25:32.974Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Mayhaps less helpful then pointing to literature on the topic, but you reminded me of the extent to which I try to apply the frame of sub-agents/children. In that frame, what you describe sorta sounds like "helicopter parenting", and in counter my mind goes to "What are all of the intuitions I have about what is involved in letting someone else grow on their own terms and letting them get into trouble to learn from it?"

I don't feel confident suggesting that as a recommendation, but it might be a useful direction to look.

Comment by hazard on How to Make Billions of Dollars Reducing Loneliness · 2019-08-31T16:26:24.451Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW
Not only are X and Y close to you, but you know that they are also close to each other; this is why you can invite them both at the same time.

Noting that I consider this to be a very important quality. There's a 6 person friend group from high-school that I'm still in regular contact with, and it has a lot to do with the fact that any subset of us can enjoy each other's company.

I've recently started hosting dinner parties and inviting various friends, and I'm now thinking about how to make it easier for them to all connect together, so it's more of a community feel and less "We all know Hazard."

Comment by hazard on Intentional Bucket Errors · 2019-08-23T12:34:56.467Z · score: 14 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I both approve of this problem solving method and realize I don't know what's going on in the minds of people you have needed to defend this idea to.

I'd paraphrase your idea as running with the hypothetical "what if these ideas were connected?" A huge amount of my creative leaps come from exploring "what if"s. It feels very simple to keep my "what if" explorations seperate from my most rigorous known truths, at least for intellectual topics.

So an actual question that would help me understand more is "what have other people said in conversations were you were defending this idea?"

Comment by hazard on Paradoxical Advice Thread · 2019-08-22T13:27:51.809Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I realize I was a bit vague in my intro. I rewrote it. Does that address what you were thinking?

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-22T02:01:52.732Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I see the apparent tension you mention. My only interaction with Lisa Feldman's model is a summary of her book here, so I'll try and speak from that, but let me know if you feel like I'm misrepresenting her ideas.

Here theory is framed in terms that on first glance make me suspect she's talking about something that feels entirely at odds with how I think about my own emotions, but looking more carefully, I don't think there's any contradiction. My one paragraph summary of her idea is "stuff happens in the world, your brain makes predictions, this results in the body doing certain things, and what we call 'emotions' are the experience of the brain interpreting what those bodily sensations mean."

At the key point (in regards to my/your take-away) is the "re-trainability". The summary says "Of course you can't snap your fingers and instantly change what you're feeling, but you have more control over your emotions than you think." Which I'm cool with. To me, this was always a discussion about exactly how much and in what ways you can "re-train" yourself.

My current model is that "re-training" looks like deeply understanding how an emotional response came to be, getting a feel for what predictions it's based on, and then "actually convincing" yourself/the sub-agent of a another reality.

I bolded "actually convincing" because that's were all the difficulty lies. Let me set up an example:

The topic of social justice comes up (mentioned because this is personally a bit triggering for me), my brain predicts danger of getting yelled at my someone, this results in bodily tension, my brain interprets that as "You are scared". I used to "re-train" my emotions by saying "Being scared doesn't fit our self-concept, so... you just aren't scared." It really helps to imagine a literally sub-agent with a face looking at me, completely unimpressed my such incredibly unconvincing reasoning. Now I go, "Okay, what would actually deeply convince me that I'm not going to get yelled at?" This probably involves understanding why I had that fear. This might involve some exposure therapy. It's also important to note that it might turn out that, yes, I will get yelled at 50% of the time in a conversation on social justice.

This is getting a bit long/ranty, so I'll tie it up. I map "repressing your emotions" onto "trying to re-train emotions via unconvincing arguments" and "re-training your emotions" to getting your mind to update certain predictions by speaking its language and giving it actually compelling evidence.

Let me know if any of that landed.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-21T15:48:45.234Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I often don't feel like I'm "doing that much", but find that when I list out all of the projects, activities, and thought streams going on, there's an amount that feels like "a lot". This has happened when reflecting on every semester in the past 2 years.

Hyp: Until I write down a list of everything I'm doing, I'm just probing my working memory for "how much stuff am I up to?" Working mem has a limit, and reliably I'm going to get only a handful of things. Anytime when I'm doing more things than what fit in working memory, when I stop to write them all down, I will experience "Huh, that's more than it feels like."

Comment by hazard on Paradoxical Advice Thread · 2019-08-21T15:08:56.220Z · score: 10 (5 votes) · LW · GW

"Learn from the best" vs "Don't watch what others do"

(variations "steal the best ideas" "don't reinvent the wheel", "do it yourself" "be original")

I've seen this conflict pop up both in the context of doing original research, and in making good art. On the art side, I've seen people warn me against watching too much magic, because then you start to sound and act just like everyone else.

Limits of Imagination

You have ideas about what is and isn't possible. Sometimes watching other people is awesome, because they boost you imagination by expanding what you thought was possible. It seems like the limiting move here is to let other people define your sense of possibility, rather than augment it. Maybe a catch phrase might be "Always let people tell you what is possible. Don't let them tell you what is impossible."

How to actually learn from others

One important dynamic is different ways you can acquire knowledge, skill, style. People seem to agree that if you discover a proof yourself, write your own code, create your own script, it sticks a lot more than if you just do/use what someone else tells you. People warning against "steal from the best" could be worried about you getting the trappings of an idea but not the actually useful stuff (don't cargo cult). People warning against "do it yourself" could be worried about you not being able to derive chemistry from scratch. David Chapman describes a nice interplay in upgrade your cargo cult for the win.

There's a problem solving move like "look directly at what the problem is and dwell on it" (similar to hold off on proposing solutions). In my mind I stereotype experts and more well read people to be likely to propose solutions right away. An outsider has no frame for the problem, and thus is forced to think directly about it. Now that I think about it, it seems that the "look at the problem" move doesn't have to be connected to your experience. You could put intentional effort into training this while still learning how people in a given field typically attack problems.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-19T14:37:09.944Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Concepts and Frames

Association, linking and graphs

A defining idea in this space is "Your memory works my association, get your note taking to mirror that." A simple version of this is what you have in a wiki. Every concept mentioned that has it's own page has a link to it. I'm a big fan of graph visualizations of information, and you could imagine looking at a graph of your personal wiki where edges are links. Roam embraces links with memory, all your notes know if they've been linked to and display this information. My idea for a memex tool to make really interesting graphs is to basically giving you free reign to make the type system of your nodes and edges, and give your really good filtering/search capacity on that type system. Basically a dope gui/text editor overtop of neo4j.

Personal Lit review

This is one way I frame what I want to myself. Sometimes I go "Okay, I want to rethink how I orient to loose-tie friendships." Then I remember that I've definitely thought about this before, but can't remember what I thought. This is the situation where I'd want to do a "lit review" of how I've attacked this issue in the past, and move forward in light of my history.

Just-in-time ideation

I take a shit ton of notes. Some are notes on what I'm reading, others are random ideas for jokes, projects, theories, arm chair philosophizing. Not all ideas should be, or can be acted upon right away, or at all (like "turn Spain into a tortilla"). But there is some possible future situation where it would be useful to have this idea brought to mind. My ideal memex would actually be a genie that remembers everything I've thought and written, follows me around, and constantly goes, "What would be useful for Hazard to remember right now?" This can be acted on in how you design your notes. Think, "What sort of situation would it be useful to remember this in? In that situation, what key words and phrases will be in my head? Include those in this note so they'll pop up in a search for those keywords."

Low friction capture everything

If you get perfectionist with your notes, you lose. This frame imagines your mind as a firehose of gold, and you want to capture all of it, and sort out what's good later. Record all ideas, no matter how crackpot. Carry a notebook, put your note taking app on your homescreen, set up your alexa to dictate notes, do whatever it takes. One principle that comes out of this frame is to be lax on hierarchy and organization. It should be as easy as possible to just capture an idea, with no regard for "where it goes". If I have to navigate a file tree and decide where a doc/note/brainstorm goes before I've even gotten it out, it might die. The extreme end is NO organization, all search. Tiago doesn't like that and suggests "no org on capture, and opportunistically organize and summarize and combine overtime".

Put EVERYTHING in your memex

This is embraced by Andrew Louis. This is also embraced by Notion, they want to me the one app you put everything in. I don't necessarily want on application that can do it all (text, tables, video, blah blah blah), but I DO want one memex command center where the existence of all data and files are recorded, and you can connect and interlink them. This is sorta like tagspace, they are a literally a wrapper around your file system, letting you tag, navigate, and add meta data to files for organizational purpose. I would LOVE if I had one "master file system memex", special features for text editing, and then specific applications in charge of any more specialized functionality.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-19T14:07:11.616Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

People Talking about Memex stuff

Tiago Forte: Build a Second Brain (here's an introduction)

He's been on my radar for a year, and I've just started reading more of his stuff. Suspicion that he might be me from the future. He's all about the process and design of the info flow and doesn't sell a memex tool. Big ideas: find what you need when the time is right, new organic connections, your second brain should surprise you, progressive summarization.

Andrew Louis: I'm building a memex

This guy takes the memex as a way of life. Self-proclaimed digital packrat, he's got every chat log since highschool saved, always has his gps on and records that location, and basically pours all of his digital data into a massive personal database. He's been developing an app for himself (partially for others) to manage and interact with this. This goes waaaaaaaay beyond note taking. I'd binge more of his stuff if I wanted to get a sense for the emergent revelations that could come from intense memexing.

(check out his demo vid)

Conor: Roam

Conor both has a beta-product, and many ideas about how to organize ideas. Inspired by zettlekasten (post about zettlekasten, was the name of a physical note card system used by Niklas Luhmann). Check out his white paper for the philosophy

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-19T13:46:05.045Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Products I've interacted with


Very cool. Mixes wiki, trello board, and graph centric views. Has all the nice content embedding, slash commands, etc. DOESN'T WORK OFFLINE :( (would be great otherwise)

Style/Inspiration: Wiki meets trello + extra.


Conor has been developing this with the Zettelkasten system as his inspiration. Biggest feature (in my mind) is "deep linking" things. You can link other notes to your note, and have them "expanded", and if you edit the deep linked note in a parent note, it actual edits the linked note. Also, notes keep track of every place there mentioned. Allows for powerful spiderwebby knowledge connection. I'm playing with the beta, still getting familiar and don't yet have much to say except that deep linking is exactly the feature I've always wanted and couldn't find.

Zim Wiki

Desktop wiki that works for linux. Nothing fancy, uses a simple markdown esque syntax, everything is text files. I used that for a year, now I'm moving away. 1 reason is I want more rich outlining powers like folding, but I'm also broadly moving away from framing my notes as a "personal wiki" for reasons I'll mention in another post.

PB Wiki

Just a wiki software. When I first decided to use a wiki to organize my school notes, I used this. It's an online tool which is --, but works okay as a wiki.

Emacs Org Mode

(what I'm currently using) Emacs is a magical extensible text editor, and org mode is a specific package for that editor. Org mode has great outlining capabilities, and unlimited possibilities for how you can customize stuff (coding required). The current thing that I'd really need for org mode to fit my needs is to be able to search my notes and see previews of them (think evernote search, you see the titles of notes, and a preview of the content). I think deft can get me this, haven't installed yet though. Long term, it seems emacs is appealing because it seems like I can craft my own workflow with precision. Will take work though. Not recommended if you want something that "Just works".


Have used a lot over the years. Great for capture (it's on your phone and your desktop (but not linux [:(])). I've got several years of notes in there. I rarely build ideas in evernote though. This is a "works out of the box" app.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-18T18:52:22.864Z · score: 12 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Memex Thread:

I've taken copious notes in notebooks over the past 6 years, I've used evernote on and off as a capture tool for the past 4 years, and for the past 1.5 years I've been trying to organize my notes via a personal wiki. I'm in the process of switching and redesigning systems, so here's some thoughts.

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-18T16:08:24.429Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I thoroughly enjoyed that :)

Still want to see the full Book of Mormon at some point.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-18T16:02:35.996Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ooo, good point. I was getting a lot less feedback form than then from other things. There's one piece of feedback which is "am I on the right track?" and another that's just "yay, people are engaging!" both of which seem relevant to motivation.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-18T01:23:38.706Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, being explicit about 1 week would likely help. The projects that made me make this observation were all ones where I was trying to do more than a weeks worth of stuff, and a week is were I decided to move to something else.

I expect "I have a week to learn about X" would both take into account waning/waxing interest, and add a bit of rush-motivation.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-18T01:20:15.695Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Possible hack related to small wins. Many of the projects that I stopped got stopped part way through "continuing more of the same". One was writing my Hazardous Guide to Words, and the other was researching how the internet works. Maybe I could work on one cohesive thing for longer if there was a significant victory and gear shift after a work. Like, if I was making a video game, "Yay, I finished making all the art assets, onto actual code" or something.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-17T23:44:45.755Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Looking at my calendar over the last 8 months, it looks like my attention span for a project is about 1-1.5 weeks. I'm musing on what it would like to lean into that. Have multiple projects at once? Work extra hard to ensure I hit save points before the weekends? Only work on things in week long bursts?

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-14T14:21:40.961Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Noticing an internal dynamic.

As a kid I liked to build stuff (little catapults, modify nerf guns, sling shots, etc). I entered a lot of those projects with the mindset of "I'll make this toy and then I can play with it forever and never be bored again!" When I would make the thing and get bored with it, I would be surprised and mildly upset, then forget about it and move to another thing. Now I think that when I was imagining the glorious cool toy future, I was actually imagining a having a bunch of friends to play with (didn't live around many other kids).

When I got to middle school and highschool and spent more time around other kids, the idea of "That person's talks like they're cool but they aren't." When I got into sub-cultures centering around a skill or activity (magic) I experienced the more concentrated form, "That person acts like they're good at magic, but couldn't do a show to save their life."

I got the message, "To fit in, you have to really be about the thing. No half assing it. No posing."

Why, historically, have I gotten so worried when my interests shift? I'm not yet at a point in my life where there are that many logistical constraints (I've switched majors three times in three years without a hitch). I think it's because in the back of my head I expect every possible group or social scene to say, "We only want you if you're all about doing XYZ all the time." And when I'm super excited about XYZ, it's fine. But when I feel like "Yeah, I need a break" I get nervous.

Yeah, there is a hard underlying problem of "How to not let your culture become meaningless", but I think my extra-problem is that I gravitated towards the groups that defined themselves by "We put in lots of time mastering this specific hard skill and applying it." Though I expect it to be the case that for the rest of my life I want to have thoughtful engaging discussion with intellectually honest people (a piece of what I want from less wrong), I feel less reason to be sure that I'll want to spend a large fraction of my time and life working on a specific skill/domain, like magic, or distributed systems.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-14T01:24:17.512Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Separating two different points in my example, there's "You misunderstanding my point leads me to misunderstand my point" (the thing I think is the most interesting part) and there's also "blarg! Stop misunderstanding me!"

I'm with you on your suggestion of framing a discussion as uncertainty about a problem, to get less of the misunderstanding.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-13T20:10:08.151Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Example Me: "I'm thinking about possible alternatives typical ad revenue models of funding content creation and what it would take to switch, like what would it take to get eeeeeeveryone on patreon? Maybe we could eliminate some of the winner takes all popularity effects of selling eyeballs."

Friend: somewhat indignantly "You're missing the point. Why would you think this could solve popularity contest? Patreon just shifts where that contest happens."

Me: fumbles around trying to explain why I think patreon is a good idea, even though I DONT, and explicitly started the convo with I'm exploring possibilities, but because my thoughts aren't yet super clear I'm super into supporting something the other person thinks I think

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-13T20:03:29.056Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Lol, one reason it's hard to talk to people about something I'm working through when there's a large inferential gap, is that when they misunderstand me and tell me what I think I sometimes believe them.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-13T15:37:18.822Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

[Everything is "free" and we inundate you in advertisements] feels bad. First thought alternative is something like paid subscriptions, or micropayments per thing consumed. But the question is begged, how does anyone find out about the sites they want to subscribe to? If only there was some website aggregator that was free for me to use so that I could browse different possible subscriptions...

Oh no. Or if not oh no, it seems like the selling eyeballs model won't go away just because alternatives exist, if only from the "people need to somehow find out about the thing they are paying for" side.

I could probably do with getting a stronger sense of why selling eyeballs feels bad. I'm also probably thinking about this too abstractly and could do with getting more concrete.

Comment by hazard on Trauma, Meditation, and a Cool Scar · 2019-08-07T00:19:50.714Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Your brother's comic hit a sweet spot of tragically hilarious that had be laughing for a while :)

Yay healing! And yes, your scare does look cool.

Comment by hazard on Hazard's Shortform Feed · 2019-08-04T20:35:19.195Z · score: 13 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I finished reading Crazy Rich Asians which I highly enjoyed. Some thoughts:

The characters in this story are crazy status obsessed, and my guess is because status games were the only real games that had ever existed in their lives. Anything they ever wanted, they could just buy, but you can't pay other rich people to think you are impressive. So all of their energy goes into doing things that will make others think their awesome/fashionable/wealthy/classy/etc. The degree to which the book plays this line is obscene.

Though you're never given exact numbers on Nick's family fortune, the book builds up an aura of impenetrable wealth. There is no way you will ever become as rich as the Youngs. I've already been someone who's been a grumpy curmudgeon about showing off/signalling/buying positional goods, but a thing that this book made real to me was just how deep these games can go.

If you pick the most straight forward status markers (money), you've decided to try and climb a status ladder of impossible height with vicious competition. If you're going to pick a domain in which you care more about your ordinality than your carnality, for the love of god choose carefully.

This reminds me of something an old fencing coach told me:

Fencing is a small enough sport that if you just train really diligently, you could make it to the Olympics. If you want to be the best in football, you have to train really diligently, be a genetic freak, and be lucky.

Whether or not that is/was true, it's an important thing to keep in mind. Also, I think I want to pay extra attention to "Do I actually think that XYZ is cardinally cool, or is it just the most impressive thing anyone is doing in my sphere of awareness?" Implication being that if it's the latter, expanding my sphere will lead to me not fealling good about doing XYZ.

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-04T17:27:02.344Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · LW · GW
I’m still mad how much the outside world seems to appreciate when you’re half-dead inside...

Oof, I haven't thought directly about that before, but man that can sting.

Part of that seems to be the a basic part of "you're the only one in your own head." Other people have limited ability to know what I feel like, but can visibly tell whether or not I rage at other people. I get congratulated for not raging at people in tense situations, and it feels like I'm getting praised for the internal thing (ignoring my emotions).

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-04T17:17:23.359Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for sharing! I really like your point on self-righteousness. Especially the one about engaging in self righteousness secretly strengthens your critic, which can turn on you, and not just others.

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-04T13:49:50.325Z · score: 17 (8 votes) · LW · GW

One reason I'm finding it hard to give advice is because though it does feel like there's a generalizable "shape" of this problem, it's got a lot of degrees of freedom and I have seen the detailed way in which my own history has filled those in.

That aside, two guess on "if you have it". If you have strong feelings/beliefs about what sort of emotional reactions you should have to things, that feels relevant. Depending on the person, this might not even feel like a guilty should. I have held that I'm "not an angry person." Digging into that you'd find that I hate when people are overtly angry, it can make my blood boil, and "I'm not an angry person" is some top down, "people who get angry are sub-human, obviously I'm better than that." This seems relevant because this has been the fuel/motivation for me to ignore my emotions.

Also, if you ever explicitly go, "I'm just not going to feel this way anymore" that might be relevant. As mentioned, mine was not a secret under the radar ignoring emotions. I was aware of doing "something", I just thought that something was "being in control and shifting my mood."

The thing that originally set me off on the noticing path that lead to now, was realizing that I'd shut off a lot of my ability to organically want. This became apparent from times when I'd go, "cool, I really don't have to do anything this weekend, what do I want to do?" *crickets*

On the most abstract level of "what to do", I'd say try and make your mind a safe place. Do things in the self compassion space. When I went to CFAR, someone gave a lightning talk where they demoed going through some compassionate self talk in front of us, and that had a strong impact on me.

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-03T20:58:25.878Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, I see your point.

You made me realize that I almost never think in terms of "How might a given person take this post/writing?" I'm now wondering when that has and hasn't been helpful for me.

Comment by hazard on Off the Cuff Brangus Stuff · 2019-08-03T18:57:45.567Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

lol on the grumpy old man part, I feel that sometimes :)

I'm not really familiar with what chakras are supposed to be about, but I'm decently familiar with yoga (200h level training several years ago). For the first 2/3 of the training we just focused on movement and anatomy, and the last 1/3 was teaching and theory. My teacher told be that there was the stuff called prana that flowed through living beings, and that breath work was all about getting the right prana flow.

I thought that was a bit weird, but the breathing techniques we actually did also had lovely and noticeable affects on my mood/body.

My frame: some woo frameworks came about through X years of experimentation and fiding lots of little tweaks that work, and then the woo framework co-evolved, or came afterwards, as a way to tie all these disjointed bits of accumulated knowledge. So when I go to evaluate something like chakras, I treat the actual theory as secondary to the actual pointers, "how chakras tell me to live my life".

Now, any given woo framework may or may not have that much useful accumulated tidbits, that's where we have to try it for ourselves and see if it works. I've done enough yoga to be incredibly confident that though prana may not carve reality at the joints or be real, I'm happy to ask a master yogi how to handle my body better.

Hmmmmm, so I guess the thing I wanted to say to you was, when having this chakra discussion with whomever, make sure to ask them, "What are the concrete things chakras tell me to do with my body/mind" and then see if those things have nay effect.

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-03T18:41:17.896Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that some nasty stuff has happened under the context of "revealing repressed memories".

From what I've read on that, my understanding is that the mechanism there is similar to what happens with police lineups. There is a pressure for you to recall, the authority figure is intentional or unintentionally wanting you to remember a particular thing, you pick up on those signals and pull together a fake memory of "seeing them commit the crime."

I'm guessing that Kaj is talking about something very different from the frame of "find repressed memories."

He has witnessed experiences which make him have extreme beliefs, so that normal IDC is a poor fit and is likely to stall, the way you've seen it stall. The part is only going to relax once you've witnessed the original memories which make him take on that extreme role, understood why he feels that way, and been able to give him the comfort and adult support that he would originally have needed in that situation.

Now I don't have experience with IFS, but I'll explain something that I've done which feels like what Kaj is talking about, and feels very different from "find repressed memories".

I notice I'm feeling an intense feeling about an abstract thing ("I can't fucking stand doing anything that looks like begging!"). Then I investigate why I feel that way. I think of different movies, books, memories, songs, that feel connected to this feeling. Some memories jump out (the lunch room in middle school, one kid having to tell his joke three times before the group decided to listen to him). Then I go, "Cool, this big cluster of memories of experiences is roughly the grounding for my attitude." Now that I've got a sense of what the attitude grounds in, I can consider what might I might need to do to reshape it.

When I do this, I there's not much of a sense of "I buried this memory for years!". I can recall other points in my life when these memories have popped up, and don't expect anything besides "standard memory drift" to be happening. I'm less "unearthing hidden memories" and more "connecting seemingly disjoint memories to an attitude."

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-03T18:26:22.811Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Kaj can correct me if I'm misinterpreting them, but my understanding of:

It also doesn't necessarily matter whether the memories are true or not, as long as it helps the healing process along. We all have plenty of false or misleading memories in our heads anyway.

Would be something like this: let's say I'm trying to figure out why I'm scared of people, and a memory pops up of a kid in in elementary school sticking their tongue out at my and everyone laughing. It could be that no one was making fun of me, the kid was just playing around with their tongue (as 8 year olds do), and I later edited in the laughter of the other kids, and added more negative emotional valence to it.

I think Kaj is saying that it is useful to trace "Oh, I've got this thing in my head that has motivated me to act like ABC". Whether or not my memory is an accurate representation of what happened, this memory has been affecting you, and you could do with examining it.

Comment by hazard on The Internet: Burning Questions · 2019-08-01T22:38:55.238Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the detailed reply! I like your idea of splitting this up as multiple shortform bits, I mostly went with one massive list because that's how I brainstormed it before I thought of posting it. I plan to make some more of these in the future any time I'm about to investigate a new topic.

Is your day job doing network stuff?

Comment by hazard on Does improved introspection cause rationalisation to become less noticeable? · 2019-08-01T19:46:05.020Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Short answer: sort, but I don't think it's net negative?

I wrote a post recently about how I've ignored emotions that feels relevant.

I've had periods where increased introspection ability lead to overconfidence about the absence of rationalizations, though I don't know if I can say that they became "less noticeable". Put another way, I'm not sure if I would have been any more likely to discover these rationalizations if I'd never increased introspection capabilities.

Note: In my case, the introspection I got better at is what I'd call "detective introspection". Think of looking at your own behavior as clues to what some other person was thinking (in contrast to focusing-esque introspection which is more about listening for something inside you to speak up).

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-01T15:03:04.479Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This article mentions an old 1949 study that claimed ear wiggling is heritable. I don't think that looked at learning at all though.

From this article I gather that all humans have two small muscles that are attached to the ear for movement. Also:

Unlike other facial muscles, ear muscles have their own accessory nucleus, a control area for muscle function, in the brainstem, says ter Meulen, a researcher at Erasmus MC, a university medical centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
"Compared to animals, especially bats and cats, this nucleus is rather small in humans," he says.

The last two claims make me think that maybe the genetically determined size of this region of the brain determines how "easy/natural" it is to wiggle them.

There's lots of anecdotal data points of people learning to wiggle their ears (Quora, and this guy)

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-07-31T20:33:03.804Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! This isn't connected to risk aversion in my mind. If I was to make up a connection, it would be "I have parts of me that just don't want to be hurt, and they will scheme to not be hurt, one way or another. The only way to not be 'risk averse' in this way is to protect against the game-endingly bad things my parts are worried about, so they will let do things that look like risky loss, but no longer hurt."

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-07-31T20:26:38.729Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

General note that I appreciate your errata comments.

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-07-31T19:54:21.115Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for sharing your experience! Though I haven't written up a set of norms, I really like when someone engages with my posts by sharing the experiences they've had that relate to the ideas I'm talking about.

Comment by hazard on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-07-31T19:53:09.920Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW
(notme ~= my system 1? I know there's not actually another me, this is just how it ~feels~)

If you haven't I'd read it I'd totally recommend Kaj's Multi-Agent Models sequence. I used to have a mind model of "There is me, the smart goal oriented s2, and then s1, the fast and primitive lizard brain. Of course I shouldn't have disdain for s1, but really the game is about getting my s1 to do what I (s2) want"

Now my model is different. I think of s2/consciousness as a type of information processing my brain can do, and I think I is my self-concept (which is stored and maintained in very distributed ways), and S1 is just "all other types of information processing" and in my mind there's room for lots of sub-agent like entities.