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Apprentice comments on Humans are not automatically strategic - Less Wrong

153 Post author: AnnaSalamon 08 September 2010 07:02AM

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Comment author: Apprentice 10 September 2010 10:52:09PM 1 point [-]

Go spend an hour reading Merlin Mann's site and you'll learn way more instrumental rationality than you do here.

Really? Could you point out some posts you think are particularly helpful? Recent posts? I used to read his site and remember finding it gradually more disappointed and dropping it off my list. I don't really remember why, though.

Comment author: patrissimo 12 September 2010 04:14:43AM 1 point [-]

I thought his recent "time and attention" talk was excellent, and of course his writing on email is classic.

Comment author: Apprentice 12 September 2010 08:31:56AM 1 point [-]

Ah, his email theory - I used to think that looked like a message from an alien world. Re-reading it briefly now it still looks completely alien, describing a situation I have never found myself in. I just haven't ever had the feeling of being overwhelmed by email or having any sort of management problem with email. Still, I'm sure there are people who do have that problem and find Mann's writings helpful. I remember a guy back in college who swore by this inbox zero stuff. (I also remember having exchanges with him like: "That info you need is in the email I sent you a few days ago." "Uh, could you resend that? I delete all my email.")

I'll see if I can find the time and attention to check out the time and attention video. I would have strongly preferred text, though. Watching 80 minute lectures is not something I can always easily arrange.

Comment author: matt 13 September 2010 10:08:06PM 1 point [-]

I remember a guy back in college who swore by this inbox zero stuff. (I also remember having exchanges with him like: "That info you need is in the email I sent you a few days ago." "Uh, could you resend that? I delete all my email.")

Mann (after David Allen) recommends processing your email, then moving it out of your inbox to the place it belongs. He does not recommend deleting emails you have not finished with yet.

Comment author: Apprentice 13 September 2010 10:28:13PM 3 points [-]

Mann has post titles like Inbox Zero: Delete, delete, delete - my friend took that to heart. I'm personally never 'finished with' an email in the sense that I'm confident that I'll never ever want to look at it again. I search through my email archives all the time.

Admittedly, Mann, in that article, says that he archives his mail and doesn't delete it - but he presents that as a "big chicken" option and a couple of paragraphs up he's lambasting "holding" folders.

Anyway, I've got nothing in particular against Mann - I just don't find what he's saying useful or fun (I tried the recommended video but 10 minutes in I turned it off, he didn't seem to be saying anything interesting I hadn't heard before) while I do find LessWrong frequently useful or fun.