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pjeby comments on Improving The Akrasia Hypothesis - Less Wrong

70 Post author: pjeby 26 February 2010 08:45PM

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Comment author: pjeby 27 February 2010 10:42:01PM 29 points [-]

RMI. Now that would be a fascinating follow up post!

The irony is that RMI is absolutely the simplest, most natural thing in the world, and it's utterly fucking insane that it needs a three-letter acronym at all.

In fact, I only gave it a name in order to be able to tell people that they're doing it wrong.

Or more precisely, that they're not doing it at all. Until I recently got to the improved metaphor of "mental muscles", I didn't know how to say, "you're using the analysis muscle, you need to use the curiosity muscle instead". So I coined RMI - relaxed mental inquiry - as a name for the state of mind of genuine curiosity.

You know, that same kind of genuine curiosity that Eliezer likes to rant about, where you need to genuinely not know the answer, and instead sincerely ask the question.

Except that Eliezer would also have more luck at teaching it if he gave it a funny technical name, too. You call it "curiosity", and everybody thinks they already know what it means.

And then they don't learn.

To learn, you have to be ignorant. To discover something new, you have to be surprised.

I could continue going on in pseudo-Zen about it, but the point is that knowing things doesn't help you change, only doing things does. And you have to be able to "do" curiosity in order to get your brain to go "near".

The bare minimum requirement for any form of mindhacking is to be able to attend to the present moment. With most gurus and coaching (and even therapy), this usually happens when the teacher asks a question and the student has to think about it.

RMI is my attempt to teach people to be both the teacher asking the question, and the student answering it... without becoming a show-off student or a hectoring teacher.

Heck, often people don't manage it with a teacher asking them things, if they're too busy confabulating. But at least if they're in front of a teacher, the teacher can stop them, and re-ask the question.

Comment author: blogospheroid 28 February 2010 02:10:02PM 3 points [-]

Except that Eliezer would also have more luck at teaching it if he gave it a funny > technical name, too. You call it "curiosity", and everybody thinks they already know what it means.

And then they don't learn.

Brilliant Point. Sad, but true, for most humans.

Comment author: pjeby 28 February 2010 04:01:09PM 2 points [-]

Sad, but true, for all humans.

FTFY. ;-)

Comment author: wedrifid 27 February 2010 10:46:16PM 1 point [-]

I wish I could vote this entire thread up more than once.