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Comment author: NancyLebovitz 06 September 2015 03:06:25PM 1 point [-]

My point is that you won't necessarily know whether a change is a completely good idea until you try it out, and your suggestion could make the change more rigid than it should be.

Comment author: AshwinV 06 September 2015 05:10:27PM 0 points [-]

Well.. I don't think the process is too rigid. You can always discuss it in advance. Also, there are a few things that you do know are better for you, but are still not able to achieve. But yes, there is a risk. I do not think the risk is so great as to not even give this a try though.

Besides, we don't even know if this works yet!

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 06 September 2015 02:13:53PM 1 point [-]

This seems like a chancy approach because you might be wrong about what you need to change. What if what you see as laziness is sometimes a need for rest? Or that anger is part of what you need for setting boundaries? Or that panicking is a response to stress, and adding more stress (only a vividly imaged fool would panic) just adds to your stress?

Comment author: AshwinV 06 September 2015 02:18:20PM 0 points [-]

It is. Judgment comes before.

I'm only suggesting this as a trick, once you've already figured out what it is that you need to do. I suppose I could offer my own feedback, but I was hoping that I would at least try and see if it worked over a larger sample space.

Comment author: Bobertron 06 September 2015 12:56:57PM *  3 points [-]

First, your markup is broken. I can see the link-syntax, instead of the links. Also, the firs link is to an article by Phil Goetz, not Eliezer Yudkowsky.

Now about the actual content. I'm all for trying to use one's natural tendencies, instead of just trying to compensate for them. But I'm critical of the concrete examples you gave. What you are trying to do seems to be to motivate yourself through shame and guilt. And no one seems to be in favour of that. Some reasons why I think it's a bad idea:

  1. I believe you train yourself to be judgemental, not just about yourself but about others. I see no reason why the behaviour of judging your own actions wouldn't generalize to judging other people's behaviour.
  2. Punishing yourself is unlikely to be effective, because you are unlikely to do it every single time you transgress. AFAIK punishment works best when it's a reliable consequence of the behaviour you want to control ('continuous punishment' in behavioural psychlology). It works very poorly otherwise, because every other time, the behaviour still gets reinforced. E.g. every time you take a cookie out of the cookie jar (a habit you want to minimize because you are on a diet) and you forget to conjure up a mental image of Dudley Dursly (a fat character from Harry Potter), you still get rewarded by a delicious cookie.
  3. You start associate related concepts with the punishment. Essentially, you are building an ugh-field. Suppose you associate procrastination with laziness. What do you associate procrastination with? With the very tasks that you are putting off. Now event thinking about doing the dishes makes you feel worse than you felt before you conjured up the image of a disgusting messy dying of food poisoning in their never-clean house.
  4. It simply doesn't feel good.

See also: a summary of what /u/pjeby says about the topic, many posts on http://mindingourway.com/

If you never apply the negative image (the "enemy") to yourself, that might be a slightly different matter. Maybe the image of an alcoholic can help keep you sober if you never drink alcohol in the first place. But even then, you learn to be judgemental of people and, should you start drinking, you will have the before mentioned problems with punishment.

EDIT: corrected "disgress" to "transgress"

Comment author: AshwinV 06 September 2015 02:16:26PM 0 points [-]

Thanks for the input!

I'm not able to correct the hyperlink part, but I did change the name to Phil Goetz as was due.

Make your bad habits the villains

1 AshwinV 06 September 2015 09:20AM

An often effective learning technique is the memory palace.  The reason it works is because humans are simply better at remembering long routes than they are at memorizing long lists of abstract words, numbers etc. We have evolved in this fashion.

Apparently, humans are just inherently better at some things than at others.

In[this link](http://lesswrong.com/lw/31i/have_no_heroes_and_no_villains/), PhilGoetz argues that making heroes and villains out of people is a natural tendency. He views it as one of the habits that can be de-programmed, but requires effort - "a conscious effort to shatter the good guy, bad guy narrative".

But can we do better than simply de-program this tendency? Can we put it to use the way, the memory palace has been subverted to our own end?

[Anthropomorphism](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropomorphism) to the rescue. 

Make that short-tempered habit of yours, the alcoholic wife-beater that you loath. Make your habit of procrastination, the lazy employee in the office who never gets things done and gets his whole team into trouble. Make your deepest insecurities, the most despicable version of Peter Pettigrew that you have come across.

See if it works. Let me know in the comments section.

Comment author: Tom_McCabe2 16 October 2008 03:07:29AM 0 points [-]

"Human beings, who are not gods, often fail to imagine all the facts they would need to distort to tell a truly plausible lie."

One of my pet hobbies is constructing metaphors for reality which are blatantly, factually wrong, but which share enough of the deep structure of reality to be internally consistent. Suppose that you have good evidence for facts A, B, and C. If you think about A, B, and C, you can deduce facts D, E, F, and so forth. But given how tangled reality is, it's effectively impossible to come up with a complete list of humanly-deducible facts in advance; there's always going to be some fact, Q, which you just didn't think of. Hence, if you map A, B, and C to A', B', and C', use A', B', and C' to deduce Q', and map Q' back to Q, how accurate Q is is a good check for how well you understand A, B, and C.

Comment author: AshwinV 01 July 2015 05:40:28AM 0 points [-]

It's definitely a check, but not a very good check. There are too many in between facts in this case. It really depends on whether Q is solely dependent on Q' or whether it depends on a number of other things (Q'',Q'''......), provided of course that Q'' and Q''' are not in themselves dependent on A, B and C.

Comment author: AshwinV 24 June 2015 12:24:22PM 0 points [-]

A little obvious (to me perhaps, without adjusting for mind projection), but beautifully written.

Comment author: AshwinV 11 June 2015 08:11:16AM 0 points [-]

Empiricism to me always included experimentation. Experimentation was a direct sub-set of the same. But that's probably just me (and maybe a few others.)

The virtue I'm most concerned about is Argument. In my opinion,it can be either extremely productive (especially when people make suggestions that are nowhere near what my stream of consciousness) or extremely frustrating (for rather more obvious reasons).

One important way in which the twelve virtues can be optimized is to develop a sort of litmus test to distinguish between the two. There is a good chance that this has already been done though. Apt links will be appreciated.

Comment author: AshwinV 11 June 2015 08:30:57AM 0 points [-]

To clarify - Yes, this point has been covered in the community aspect section of this post. Just wanted to highlight the importance of this change and increase its priority. Most importantly, work towards a litmus test. One obvious test of course is to simply watch for the inputs coming in and check for their validity as a Bayesian would in any case do.

The problem with this is that you'll probably be stuck in the middle of the argument already. So you'll either have to press your point which you think is correct, or nod along for the sake of avoiding a painful argument (this has more to do with being socially acceptable rather than being right).

Screening for arguers is one way, but then you run the risk of interacting with a self selecting group. This means the same ideas end up floating around, which in turn means you lose out on the biggest advantage of community - feedback from an outside perspective. This to me seems like an unacceptably high cost.

Comment author: AshwinV 11 June 2015 08:11:16AM 0 points [-]

Empiricism to me always included experimentation. Experimentation was a direct sub-set of the same. But that's probably just me (and maybe a few others.)

The virtue I'm most concerned about is Argument. In my opinion,it can be either extremely productive (especially when people make suggestions that are nowhere near what my stream of consciousness) or extremely frustrating (for rather more obvious reasons).

One important way in which the twelve virtues can be optimized is to develop a sort of litmus test to distinguish between the two. There is a good chance that this has already been done though. Apt links will be appreciated.

Comment author: AshwinV 04 June 2015 07:53:57AM 0 points [-]

In my opinion, sort of. Munroe probably left out the reasoning of the Bayesian for comic effect.

But the answer is that the Bayesian would be paying attention to the prior probability that the sun went out. Therefore, he would have concluded that the sun didn't actually go out and that the dice rolled six twice for a completely different reason.

Comment author: AshwinV 04 June 2015 07:46:24AM 0 points [-]

This is fantastic input. Thank you very much.

I am a little skeptical of the first technique of the wheel. I thought that was something I did naturally in any case. Of course, I do need to read the book to really figure out what's happening here though.

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