# [SEQ RERUN] Trying to Try

3 12 September 2012 01:45AM

Today's post, Trying to Try was originally published on 01 October 2008. A summary (taken from the LW wiki):

As a human, if you try to try something, you will put much less work into it than if you try something.

Discuss the post here (rather than in the comments to the original post).

This post is part of the Rerunning the Sequences series, where we'll be going through Eliezer Yudkowsky's old posts in order so that people who are interested can (re-)read and discuss them. The previous post was The Magnitude of His Own Folly, and you can use the sequence_reruns tag or rss feed to follow the rest of the series.

Sequence reruns are a community-driven effort. You can participate by re-reading the sequence post, discussing it here, posting the next day's sequence reruns post, or summarizing forthcoming articles on the wiki. Go here for more details, or to have meta discussions about the Rerunning the Sequences series.

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Comment author: 12 September 2012 01:16:41PM 5 points [-]

But what needs to be done? Maybe what needs to be done requires three times your life savings, and you must produce it or fail.

The whole post, I kept thinking, "But what's the difference? What's it actually look like?" And then I got to this line, and it crystallized. Brutal.

Comment author: 12 September 2012 03:56:44AM *  4 points [-]

For some reason, I find this post more inspirational than the Yoda's original.

Comment author: 14 September 2012 02:02:59PM 1 point [-]

I'm going to understand Bayes' Theorum.

Comment author: 13 September 2012 11:49:09PM 0 points [-]

I don't like this post at all.

If someone says, "I'm going to flip that switch", then by default, they mean they're going to try to flip the switch.

Nonsense. If someone says "I'm going to flip that switch" they can just as easily be making a prediction as stating an intention. Consider the similar phrases "I'm going to die in three months" or "He's going to flip that switch." If you wish to emphasize that something is an intention and not a prediction, your chances are not affected by adding "try to." Yudkowsky knows this:

Well, colloquially, "I'm going to flip the switch" and "I'm going to try to flip the switch" mean more or less the same thing, except that the latter expresses the possibility of failure. This is why I originally took offense at Yoda for seeming to deny the possibility.

In fact that's nicely put! So what happened that EY suddenly saw Yoda's ridiculous point? "I am going to remake the world" is cliched bombast. It is just as easy for an ambitious loser to say so as for an ambitious winner. If you want to chastise the utterer of "I'm going to die in three months" for their bad attitude then you are in the company of Deepak Chopra, not Julius Caesar.