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Kaj_Sotala comments on Ugh fields - Less Wrong

153 [deleted] 12 April 2010 05:06PM

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Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 15 April 2010 07:35:55PM 2 points [-]

Out of curiosity, how have they improved your life?

Comment author: eugman 16 April 2010 11:13:27AM *  6 points [-]

So, a few important pieces of background information. I have depression or something similar. I don't know because I am self diagnosed. I've recently entered into my first relationship which has had two effects: there is now a strong motivation to cure my depression, and there is a strong motivation to understand my own thought processes. I have some uncommon thought patterns, and if I can understand them and explain them, it makes everything much easier.

So, essentially, I've been heavily introspective recently and desperate to try anything that might improve my situation. I read about pain and gain motivation and it all clicks. Quite possibly my biggest problem is that most of my motivation has been negative, which does not work when you are taking heavy course loads. So I applied the irresistible motivation technique. It was somewhat useful at first, but I've been able to start replacing a lot of the negative motivation with positive and that has been some critical threshold. I've reach a point of sustained happiness I haven't seen in years.

This post has also been useful, but not as much. I've very commonly run into Ugh fields with simple tasks such as checking email or updating my website. It's been a chronic problem and I had assumed that there was nothing I could do about it, or the solution was to set a self imposed rule to check my email everyday, etc. What I needed was a formalization of the concept and an idea of what to do about it. Now I see I was attacking a symptom and not a cause. I've been able to dismantle a number of Ugh fields and expect more improvement.

One of the reasons I read Overcoming Bias and continue to read Less Wrong is that they often provided a formalization of concepts I already know intuitively. Reading these kinds of articles gives me something to work off of.