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Comment author: Elo 16 March 2017 02:58:42AM 0 points [-]

this is big and an incredible idea and hard to comment on. I expect you might get few responses because it's hard to figure out what to say, but keep doing the thing. this is great!

Maybe clarify (at the end) some questions that you would like people to answer with feedback?

In response to Excuses and validity
Comment author: dglukhov 15 March 2017 01:03:39PM *  0 points [-]

To strip situations of choice simply down to the merits of all goals contained within a situation is the best approach. To inject excuses into the situation is the easy approach. At the end of the day, if you constantly checked yourself for the presence of competing goals, you'd see that, with practice, it will get easier and easier to notice that your goals may be at odds with your comfort zone. Chances are, a LOT of goals lie outside your comfort zone. If they were in your comfort zone, they wouldn't even seem like goals, when the barrier to doing them is trivial.

Its interesting to notice this analysis. A lot of trainers (fitness, in my case) will strip the situation down to this kind of a framing. However, that's the easy part. In my experience thereafter, the best advice given was to practice the technique of getting outside that comfort zone, without really any direction in mind as to how to do it or when. This can be dangerous in some ways, extremely beneficial in others. Exercise caution.

EDIT: Therapists trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy would have a much better time guiding and directing those willing to engage in this kind of exercise than athletic trainers, now that I think about it. Definitely worth exploring that alternative if personal attempt become unfruitful.

Comment author: Elo 15 March 2017 11:15:30PM 0 points [-]

I wrote about comfort zone before:


Namely that pushing yourself out of comfort is going to cause harm, whereas expanding your comfort zone until it includes the things that you previously wanted to do but were not comfortable doing is a reasonable way to expand comfort zones.

With regard to training: injuries are for life. It's very costly to make mistakes that cause injury.

In response to comment by Elo on What is a problem?
Comment author: turchin 14 March 2017 10:46:40PM 0 points [-]

Yes, good example with a homeless person. One feature of knot problems is that their complexity is higher than available level of problem solving ability. Alcoholic with mental problems could plan and implement only very simple strategies.

So one of the possible solution is replace intractable knot with simpler knot of problems. For example if homeless person will go to jail, it may solve many of his problems, like addiction, home, food, basic healthcare (it is not universal solution, as being in jail has some other disadvantages).

Another line is solve problems which will help in other problem solving, that is similar to intelligence improvement. For homeless person it may be to create a friend and ask for help.

The third line is just solve nearest an most urgent problems as they appear - I think it the way how actual homeless people live, but it is not way out.

In response to comment by turchin on What is a problem?
Comment author: Elo 15 March 2017 05:07:31AM 1 point [-]

it the way how actual homeless people live, but it is not way out.

I need to research more, some people get out. But I don't know why or how.

You have all the same ideas that I do. Don't think I can advance you more than you are already moving unless I know something more specific about your problem areas. I am quite sure there are no hard and fast rules about solving this.

Comment author: Elo 15 March 2017 04:50:35AM 2 points [-]

Excellent post on exactly the topic it suggests. And putting a number on it (WRT relationship values). And a happy success story.

In response to What is a problem?
Comment author: turchin 12 March 2017 08:31:56PM 1 point [-]

My problem is that this simple schematic is not working: I have a knot of goals and blocks to them, which are interdependent. For example, I have deadline for the article, but I have chronic tiredness which prevent finishing it, which I could fight with coffee but I have high blood pressure, and I have not reliable medical way to control it + 20 more interconnected goals and blocks.

Attempts to write down all my goals and problems did not help as they created enormous maps and feeling of doom, as well as I spent a lot of time on such planning without practical results.

Basically I try to find most urgent and solvable problems and work on them, but I think that there should be a better strategy.

Most problems are also tend to grow on higher level, that is they will be solvable if I have more time, money, higher intelligence or other high level resources.

In response to comment by turchin on What is a problem?
Comment author: Elo 14 March 2017 09:25:43PM 1 point [-]

I have a knot of goals and blocks to them, which are interdependent.

This is a really interesting problem. I have noticed it in people who end up on the street and have several of any of the following going wrong at the same time, (mental health troubles, drug problems, alcohol problems, addiction problems, out of work, relationship problems).

The problem is also that there are too many problems. (see: http://bearlamp.com.au/the-problem-tm-analyse-a-conversation/ and http://bearlamp.com.au/the-problem-analyse-a-conversation-part-2/ for related).

In relation to my example above - It's really hard to solve a drinking problem when mental health problems just pop up, or solve an addiction problem when relationship problems just pop up as a result or consequence or both. There is no easy answer to what to tackle first or how to get it right. There is no standard answer.

I believe the strategy should be to pick one of the problems, work on that one very hard whilst the other ones sit in the background bubbling away, then when it's a bit more in control, pick the next one and try work on that one, then repeat and cycle till shit gets a bit more under control.

Try not to let anything go backwards, and keep putting out the spot fires.

In response to LessWrong Discord
Comment author: username2 14 March 2017 05:13:43PM 6 points [-]

Can we please not push a closed source electron based app with no options for encryption on the community ? We already have a irc channel which is on a non-tor friendly network and a slack which is practically the same thing when it comes to the frontend stack with a few differences when it comes to features. (I may be wrong about slack)

Why not go for something based on the matrix protocol which currently has support for bridges for both irc and slack ? Why must we fragment the community another time based on a temporary popular chat application which gained traction just because gamers jumped on it like they jumped on gamergate ?


It even has a meme app for those afraid of their computers based on.. you guessed it, electron. Why of course we're going to write our desktop applications in javascript and css and use a whole copy of a browser as a runtime for it.

Comment author: Elo 14 March 2017 08:15:57PM 0 points [-]

I get the frustration. Make things obviously better than the current system and we will all swap right?

Comment author: gjm 14 March 2017 12:06:24PM 1 point [-]

"Quick! Fetch me a five-year-old devil!"

Comment author: Elo 14 March 2017 12:26:15PM 0 points [-]

isn't that any five year old?

In response to Noble excuses
Comment author: lifelonglearner 14 March 2017 05:06:03AM 2 points [-]

This feels related to how we can lie to ourselves and rationalize our actions. It feels like some sort of defense mechanism where we execute some sort of search for "most ego-preserving thing I can tell myself which still maintains internal consistency", which then generates the noble excuse...or something like that.

Comment author: Elo 14 March 2017 06:56:07AM 0 points [-]

Yes that's about right.

Noble excuses

3 Elo 13 March 2017 11:29PM

Original post: Noble excuses

I was talking to a lady in her 60s who was losing weight, and exercising.  She said to me; "All my life, my husband was an iron man.  I felt terribly embarrassed, like everyone in the room was looking at me and thinking - how could he be with her".  She confided that she wanted to lose weight for completely superficial reasons, really dumb reasons of caring what people thought about what she looked like.  She asked me if this made her a bad person, that she was doing things for the wrong reasons.  We just covered Valid and invalid excuses, the territory of excuses overlaps quite heavily with the territory of goals.  We make excuses and decisions to do some things and not other things because of our goals.  Earlier in the conversation, my friend also shared the usual "get fit, be healthy" attitude that is the more noble reason to be getting fit.

I wouldn't be the first to name this concept.  There is a class of excuse that is known as the noble excuse.  A noble excuse is the excuse for the action that you are making that sounds the most noble of the possible excuse space.  Which is to say; there are often reasons for doing something that extend beyond one or two reasons, and beyond the reason you want to tell people right away.

When I tell my friends I didn't go for a run this morning because I "Don't want to be late for work". That's so noble.  It had nothing to do with me being out late the night before, it's raining, the grass is wet, I have hayfever, I didn't get enough sleep, missed my alarm and woke up late.  No it's all for caring about being late for work.

Also coming in the form of Noble justifications, a noble excuse is tricky because it acts as an applause light.  It tells the guilty brain, "okay you can stop looking now we found out why", it's safe to say that they don't really help us, so much as save face among others or even to ourselves.

Speaking of a noble excuse

"Is that the real reason or is that just a noble excuse"

"Let's not settle on the first noble excuse, what other reasons could there be for these events"

"I wish I could give a noble excuse for being late, but the truth is that I have a bad habit of leaving home late and missing the bus.  Next week I will be trying out setting my watch to a few minutes faster to try to counteract my bad habit."

"That's a pretty embarrassing mistake, is there a noble excuse that we can pass on to the client?"

Dealing with a noble excuse

Not all noble excuses are bad.  If you notice someone making a noble excuse, it usually doesn't hurt to double check if there isn't another reason behind those actions.  There's not a lot to understanding noble excuses.  It's about being aware of your excuses and connecting them back to their underlying goals.

Think carefully about the excuses you are making.

Meta: this took an hour to write.

In response to LessWrong Discord
Comment author: Elo 13 March 2017 11:02:43PM 2 points [-]

plug for the Slack

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