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Group Rationality Diary, Oct. 6-18, 2015

4 Post author: polymathwannabe 06 October 2015 11:23PM

This is the public group rationality diary for October 6-18, 2015. It's a place to record and chat about it if you have done, or are actively doing, things like:

  • Established a useful new habit

  • Obtained new evidence that made you change your mind about some belief

  • Decided to behave in a different way in some set of situations

  • Optimized some part of a common routine or cached behavior

  • Consciously changed your emotions or affect with respect to something

  • Consciously pursued new valuable information about something that could make a big difference in your life

  • Learned something new about your beliefs, behavior, or life that surprised you

  • Tried doing any of the above and failed

Or anything else interesting which you want to share, so that other people can think about it, and perhaps be inspired to take action themselves. Try to include enough details so that everyone can use each other's experiences to learn about what tends to work out, and what doesn't tend to work out.

Comments (26)

Comment author: polymathwannabe 06 October 2015 11:26:24PM *  11 points [-]

For the annals of "Today I Learned About Myself":

I just noticed a pattern in every job I've had. I get upset and bored at my job when there's no one left in the office that I can learn from. Every time I reached that moment, my gut urged me to switch jobs. I connected the dots and discovered that pattern because I'm feeling that again.

Comment author: Fuglinnavon 07 October 2015 07:19:09PM 2 points [-]

I'm in highschool and i feel the same as you, i feel that the highschool has nothing left to learn to me and i really want to go to college now because i'm very bored when i can't learn anything from anyone.

Comment author: polymathwannabe 07 October 2015 07:31:53PM 6 points [-]

Please make sure you get that high school diploma, even if it requires switching schools or doing advanced/short courses or whatever options are available in your country. Ask your teachers if they can give you harder assignments so you stay interested, or give yourself harder assignments. But whatever you do, get that diploma. Your life will be much easier that way.

Comment author: Elo 08 October 2015 07:40:50AM 3 points [-]

support this advice. Also consider looking for college level competitions that are aimed at highschool students.

Comment author: Fuglinnavon 08 October 2015 06:22:49PM 2 points [-]

Thank you ! yeah i'm gonna get this diploma (it's called baccalaureat in france :) ) i'm learning some things on internet like interesting languages ( i love the icelandic languages ) etc...

Comment author: Viliam 08 October 2015 10:13:55AM 3 points [-]

You can learn a lot from online courses. Maybe you can start working on your own project. Doing real-life stuff is often more complicated that learning the same thing in school. (Okay, it depends on what you want to learn. My hobby is computer programming, so there are thousands of books and tutorials available.)

Too bad the high school is a waste of time, but you only have to do it once in your life. Is there an option to skip a grade? That would save you a whole year of time, and simultaneously provide a greater challenge (learning the two-years worth of school knowledge in one year).

Comment author: Fuglinnavon 08 October 2015 06:31:43PM 1 point [-]

Haha my hobby is medecine and biology and all the couses are paying... And i really can't skip a class because i'm on my last highscool year ! The french school system is really really bad i'm just in highscool because i want to do a job later in my life but all i have to do in school is work and work on boring things... And many of my classmates agree with me we also want to learn the real life and not only theory !

Comment author: Viliam 08 October 2015 07:31:35PM *  2 points [-]

You can find free courses of biology for example here. Also, you could download some books.

The last year... well, the good news is that it will soon be over.

all i have to do in school is work and work on boring things

Guess what I do for money, LOL. I wish I could go back to high school where I would have the whole afternoons for myself. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Comment author: Fuglinnavon 08 October 2015 08:56:08PM 1 point [-]

Lol yeah real life is very hard too! Beautiful metaphor ! I'll probably wish that when i'll be an adult ...

Comment author: moridinamael 07 October 2015 04:56:47PM *  7 points [-]

I ripped off the concept of the 5-Minute Journal and made an Autohotkey script which populates a text file with a blank template that looks basically like this:


inspiring quote

I am grateful for:

Three amazing things happened recently: 1. 2. 3.

Notes on recent meditation:

Top Items from To-Do App: 1. 2. 3.

Top priorities for the day: 1. 2. 3.

What would make today great?

What could have made today better?

Daily affirmations:

Every morning I open Evernote and execute the script so this text automatically appears. I have found it surprisingly helpful to provide distinct sections for picking the top tasks for my preferred to-do app Nozbe, and then separately listing my top priorities for the day. Sometimes what you want to get done that day has nothing to do with the items on your to-do list, and that can lead to a feeling of stuckness. Separating the two lists allows me to see what past-me thought was important while accommodating what present-me actually wants to do.

Comment author: masters02 07 October 2015 09:25:32PM *  5 points [-]

Three days ago, I created a "Temple of Errors" (borrowed from stock investor Chris Davis' Temple of Shame: a temple for things that made him lose money).

In a feat of laziness and mundanity, instead of an actual mini-temple, this became the title of a word document where I journal all my mistakes. I should be keeping my mouth shut since it's only been three days, but I'm excited. I created this document with the intention to strive to make new mistakes and avoid old ones (an idea stolen from Charlie Munger). So far, I've found this process to be incredible for personal growth. Instead of trying to figure out what I need to do and executing it, I simply avoid my old mistakes, which leads me to new territory and thus progress.

An unexpected by-product of this document: I've found that after I make a mistake, I look forward to putting it into my journal (this could be because it's simply a new idea, so time will tell. Or it could be because I'm 'collecting' my mistakes). Instead of feeling an initial sting of crappiness, I now enjoy analysing my mistakes for a few minutes before I note it down and carry on with my life. Also, when I read over the document in the morning, I automatically look at my errors in a constructive way.

I plan to go through my "Temple of Errors" at the start of every day. I make this easier by ensuring that it's the only open document on my laptop when I switch it on.

Comment author: gjm 08 October 2015 01:17:36AM 4 points [-]

where I journal all my mistakes [...] I plan to go through my "Temple of Errors" at the start of every day.

Either you make waaay fewer mistakes than I do, or there's going to be some kind of pruning process, or you need to add "Failed to account for future growth of this document" to the list of errors.

Comment author: masters02 08 October 2015 07:41:06AM *  1 point [-]

Hah, what a no-brainer error. I'm going to add that to my list.

I would drown if I included specific mistakes. I only note down the errors in an overly general way (e.g. I would have a subheading called "decision making" and under that I would have: - failing to make important decisions promptly - making decisions without taking loved ones into account - having high expectations of myself and others; etc). My mistakes (for the vast majority of the time) are recurring, so that chops off a whole bunch.

Comment author: gjm 08 October 2015 12:16:42AM 2 points [-]


I think the word you're hoping for is "mundanity".

Comment author: Daniel_Burfoot 16 October 2015 05:14:34PM *  2 points [-]

Right, and the general rule is that adjectives coming from French/Latin typically conjugate into nouns by applying the -ity suffix, while German-origin adjectives do so by applying the -ness suffix.

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 10 October 2015 10:10:43PM 0 points [-]

I notice that I either a) don't notice when I make errors, b) make unusually few errors or c) classify things less harshly as errors than other people. I tend to think that the cause is a) 30%, b) 10%, c) 60% (not including overlap).

Anybody else feeling like this?

Any ideas how I should act on this?

Comment author: Fuglinnavon 07 October 2015 07:25:17PM *  2 points [-]

For the annals of "Today i learned About Myself"

During my 3 years of highschool, i really wished a girlfriend because i was feeling lonely all the time and it was very difficult for me... So i began to look for a girlfrien and i noticed that many girls wanted to date me and i don't know why but every time i was getting closer to a girl i felt the desire to never talk to her again... It's very weird and i can't explain it it's a very new experience for me and that's probably why i'm fleeing.

Comment author: Viliam 08 October 2015 10:22:50AM 2 points [-]

i don't know why but every time i was getting closer to a girl i felt the desire to never talk to her again

Use some psychologist to find out; the information may be important. Meanwhile, here are some random guesses:

  • getting closer to a girl is very stressful, so at some moment you just want to have less stress in your life;
  • initially you lower your expectations, because getting "any girlfriend" seems like the priority, but once you have a realistic chance, you realize that you actually do have expectations, and she does not meet them;
  • you are actually gay or asexual, and you only want a girlfriend because of social pressure;
  • you are scared of intimacy or sex, so you stop the process when the danger becomes too real.

The advice will be different depending on the real course. For example, if you are a gay or asexual, I would say "stop pushing yourself to do something you actually don't want to do"; if you are scared of intimacy, I would suggest a therapy; if you have too high expectations, I would remind you that dating is not a lifetime contract, and you can also have fun and sex with someone whom you plan to replace later (this may sound evil, but it's what many people do).

Comment author: Fuglinnavon 08 October 2015 06:18:57PM 0 points [-]

Thank you for your propositions :) i don't think i'm gay or asexual because i do have some fantasms on girls so i'm maybe scared of getting closer to a girl or scared of intimacy ! I only know my body and i realize that it's very hard for me to think that i could share another body than mine

Comment author: Viliam 08 October 2015 07:33:35PM 4 points [-]

My stereotypical advice for everyone: dancing lessons. You will become comfortable with bodies.

Comment author: OrphanWilde 08 October 2015 07:41:47PM 1 point [-]

I second this advice. It has many other advantages.

Comment author: PECOS-9 21 October 2015 11:08:20PM 0 points [-]

Are there any specific kinds of dancing lessons you'd recommend over others?

Comment author: Viliam 22 October 2015 08:48:36AM 1 point [-]

My personal preference is: Waltz (+Viennese Waltz), Quickstep, Jive, Cha-cha, and Salsa. With this set you have all bases covered.

There is the "diminishing returns" aspect in dancing too. Learn five basic figures from each dance I mentioned above and you are the king; already a better dancer than 90% of men around you in a random situation. Also at that moment you will know enough to make your own decisions.

You need Waltz for 3/4 music, there is no other choice; and in social situations 3/4 music will happen. Quickstep, Jive, Cha-cha and Salsa are quite flexible; for any 4/4 or 2/4 music one or more of them will fit; if there is a lot of space go for Quickstep or Cha-cha, if there is less space Jive or Salsa will do. (Not sure which one? Choose randomly; and if it feels too slow or too quick, try another.)

An important part is learning to lead your partner. The rule of thumb is that your partner cares about moving her feet properly, while you gently push/pull/rotate her body at specific moments. If your timing is good and the signals are clear, the moves will come "natural" to her even if she is a total beginner. (How well the couple dances depends mostly on how well the man dances. Which makes it a great opportunity for signalling your skills.) So after you learn the steps in the classroom, as a next lesson try alternating them randomly with only nonverbal communication. Learning this not only makes you a better dancer, but it extends your opportunities in real life, when your partner either didn't attend any dancing lessons, or she learned different dances than you did.

Comment author: [deleted] 10 October 2015 02:09:19AM *  -1 points [-]

Even Microsoft emails get sorted into my Windows Live (outlook) junk mail filter. Onedrive doesn't take folder uploads and the calendar is super buggy. I've decided to move to Google and it's far superior in every way, except the actual inbox, which is overly complicated and sorts things in ways I didn't ask and puts convos in threads and doesn't archive things like I would expect. Moreover, my names (which are very unique) are already taken, probably by me at some point so I have to have a shitty unprofessional email address instead. I want to work to sort out these kinks this month. However, even with rules saying anything with my name should be sorted from junk to inbox, in outlook, that isn't happening. So, I have to manually go into hotmail and forward messages to my new gmail account, since outlook will only automatically forward what goes into my inbox. It's annoying that hotmail doesn't even provide support. FFS.

Also discovered Ambition is kinda bad for you. Finally, an excuse to drop out of grad school :)

Comment author: bingobongo 10 October 2015 11:43:05AM 1 point [-]

Don't forward, read from within gmail: http://www.howtogeek.com/school/gmail-guide/lesson9/

Comment author: [deleted] 15 October 2015 07:01:21AM *  0 points [-]

You're suggestion dominates my earlier strategy. Thank you.

I've had your link sitting as a bookmark for way to long without implementing it. By writing this comment, I hope I will shame myself into being more diligent next time.

I also plan to make the change by 12pm tonight.

Also some other recent reddit listed achievements