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Group Rationality Diary, February 2016

4 Post author: AspiringRationalist 14 February 2016 01:55AM

This is the public group rationality diary for February, 2016. 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 (6)

Comment author: philh 15 February 2016 10:49:13AM 7 points [-]

To help me get to bed at a more reasonable time, I've instituted a policy of "on a work night, brush my teeth by 12:30, unless there are extenuating circumstances".

Comment author: [deleted] 10 November 2016 07:06:15PM 3 points [-]

Got a job in a bookstore. Signed and sold a children's book I translated together with my husband.

Comment author: WalterL 16 March 2016 04:22:40PM 3 points [-]

I've been able to update my web serial twice weekly without skipping since November.

The general plan that I use is the same as my old plan for going to bed. That is, multiple alarm clocks. The "wake up", and "go to bed" alarm clocks have been joined by a "start writing" and "stop writing" pair.

Having different clocks seems to work better for me than resetting one clock, or just putting notifications onto the screens that surround me. Not sure why that is.

Bonus points, my room is gradually filling up with clocks and hourglasses. If I'm ever going to be a time themed arch villain, my lair will be most of the way complete.

Comment author: LessWrong 14 February 2016 03:57:59PM *  3 points [-]

Established a useful new habit

I wrote a small shell script that takes input and appends it to a text file that logs stuff I did.

I'm writing quite a bit of them lately. None of them are particularly interesting or unique although they do illustrate how great GNU/Linux is. It makes me regret my Windows days. (Anyone interested can read The Linux Command Line.)

I'm also becoming a fan of dwm although I might switch to 2wm soon.

Optimized some part of a common routine or cached behavior

I've started to try some pareto optimisation in my life.

Comment author: [deleted] 19 February 2016 12:41:45PM *  1 point [-]
  • Turned my lesswrong wiki page into a landing page for all my LessWrong and Reddit stuff. But how does one update their lesswrong wiki password?
  • Today I realised I get more out of people watching if instead of scanning of hotness or interestingness, I scan for how happy they seem to be. It's a win for my happiness :)
Comment author: Screwtape 19 January 2017 05:56:07PM *  0 points [-]

TLDR: I discovered competing to beat future!me is more motivating than trying to avoid being beaten by past!me.

Expanded: I've been experimenting with diet/exercise since my previous habits of continual low-grade movement and snacking has become impractical. I knew I do much more intense physical activity in competition than on my own, so I tried mindhacking to think of my past self as competition. This didn't work as a generic idea, didn't work despite keeping track of what exercise (kilometers run, reps lifted, etc) I did on that day on the previous week, and wasn't helped by leaving comments to future!me on the records. (Goading from opponents in competition usually is motivating.) I think I've hit a successful approach though!

Key changes seemed to be increasing the time difference to a month, and also thinking of competing with my future self. That is, the thought "Past!me ran X kilometers, so I need to do more than X" wasn't particularly motivating, but thinking "I'm at X kilometers, but if I can do X+Y then future!me will have a much harder time beating that and I might win!" is motivating. This probably implies something useful about how my brain handles time discounting, but for the moment I'll take the success and make use of it.

Edit: Crud, this was under "latest" so I read over the year without catching it was last year. sigh