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shokwave comments on Lifestyle interventions to increase longevity - Less Wrong

120 Post author: RomeoStevens 28 February 2014 06:28AM

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Comment author: shokwave 28 February 2014 07:04:26AM 4 points [-]

Counterpoint: Beeminder does not play nice with certain types of motivation structures. I advocated it in the past; I do not anymore. It's probably not true for you, the reader (you should still go and use it, the upside is way bigger than the downside), but be aware that it's possible it won't work for you.

Comment author: taryneast 28 February 2014 09:59:04AM 2 points [-]

Yeah. Beeminder doesn't work for me either - nor do most online punishment-based motivators.

My problem with it is that it doesn't punish you for failing to do the thing you need to do. It punishes you for failing to record the fact that you did the thing you need to do.

So if you're time-poor (like me) and still managed to do the thing... but didn't have time to go online and tell beeminder that you did the thing... you still get punished. :(

Comment author: ThoughtSpeed 28 March 2017 08:12:44AM 1 point [-]

Agreed that this is a problem! Thankfully there are a lot of integrations with Beeminder that automatically enter data. You can hook up hundreds of different applications to it through IFTTT or Zapier.

Comment author: Adele_L 23 March 2014 03:17:27PM 1 point [-]

Yeah, I have the same problem with it. When my productivity went up, I actually went off the road because I couldn't be bothered to record it all.

Comment author: OphilaDros 10 March 2014 06:55:44AM 1 point [-]

The beeminder team sends "legitimacy check" emails if you've derailed on your goal which explicitly asks if it was a case of forgetting to enter the data. I've written in once or twice when I've derailed on account of not entering the data on time and have had quick responses from them, and haven't been punished. Were you unaware you could do this?

Comment author: taryneast 23 March 2014 09:33:52AM 0 points [-]

Kind of. I was aware you could appeal the decision, but I felt that would be an imposition on some poor moderator... and given I'm pretty sure this would occur on a regular basis, decided I didn't want to do that.

What would work for me, would be for a short "grace period" in which we could update the decision ourselves. Like I said - fitocracy gives you a week or so to back-date your past workouts. Of course fitocracy doesn't run with a monetary punishment so it's not as bad for you to backdate...

Basically - I conclude that beeminder's mechanic doesn't fit well enough to my likely usage patterns to be worth it.

Comment author: [deleted] 28 February 2014 09:36:05PM 0 points [-]

Have you checked out their Android and iPhone apps? Also, I think if you have a US cell phone number you can add data via SMS.

Comment author: taryneast 09 March 2014 10:48:28AM *  0 points [-]

That still counts as going online to checkin. Other means of getting online aren't the solution.

If it's 11:30pm and I have to be in bed half an hour ago in order to be up in time for work tomorrow - it doesn't matter how many avenues I could take to get online... I still can't spare a minute to do it.

I prefer fitocracy's approach - you can checkin for something you did within the week, but no further back. For beeminder - even allowing for "actually I did do this yesterday" would be better than the current approach.

Comment author: [deleted] 09 March 2014 05:20:58PM 0 points [-]

a minute

That's an overestimate of the time it takes to submit data via the Android Beeminder app by about an order of magnitude, at least if your phone within reach of hand from your bed.

Comment author: taryneast 23 March 2014 09:38:04AM *  1 point [-]

No. It isn't. Even when my iPad is on my bed.

Generally I must:

  1. open my eyes (after my brain spits up the info that I've forgotten to do it)

  2. grab the iPad

  3. switch it on

  4. swipe and type in my PIN

  5. click the main button to get from my alarm-clock screen to the icon-menu

  6. swipe through menus until I get to the app

  7. load the app

  8. then do the updating on the actual app

  9. double-click the home button co I can:

  10. close the app, then click back on my alarm-clock app

  11. switch off.

  12. put the iPad back in position on the bed

  13. close my eyes

  14. try and get back into the restful frame of mind for sleep that I was in before all this.

I count steps 1-13 as being roughly a minute of time. I reckon step 14 is the doozy...