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Comment author: JenniferRM 30 January 2017 05:21:28PM 3 points [-]

I appreciate the poll, but a large part of my goal was to just get a lot of comments, hopefully at the "Ping" level, because I want to see how many people are here with at least that amount of "social oomph" when the topic is themselves.

For people responding to this poll, please also give a very small overall comment that you used the poll.

Comment author: Vladimir_Golovin 05 February 2017 01:18:26PM 1 point [-]


Comment author: Lumifer 02 December 2016 04:38:37PM 2 points [-]

I understand "zombie mode" not as as an acute attack of akrasia, but as being in a low-functioning state (e.g. because you're sleep-deprived) so that you don't want to attempt anything complicated.

Comment author: Vladimir_Golovin 04 December 2016 10:12:42AM *  0 points [-]

Yes, I meant a low-functioning state. My current todo app lacks tools for assigning contexts to tasks. When I switch to my own app (currently in development), I'll make a dedicated context for this type of tasks, e.g. @zombie - and will try to adopt the following TAP:

  • When in zombie mode, Open the todo app, turn on the @zombie context, and look at the list.
Comment author: entirelyuseless 03 December 2016 03:02:01AM 1 point [-]

I would suggest a different TAP for that situation: when you are sleep-deprived, go and look for a bed and get some sleep.

Comment author: Vladimir_Golovin 04 December 2016 10:10:41AM 0 points [-]

I do have this one, but the trigger doesn't fire reliably. Sometimes I go to bed, sometimes I don't.

Comment author: Vladimir_Golovin 02 December 2016 01:14:21PM *  5 points [-]

Just tried to list my fully-adopted TAPs and found that they are all linked to my use of a smartphone todo app:

  • When I think of something that needs to be done at some point, Open the todo app and write it down.
  • When the thinking part of the morning is finished, Open the todo app.
  • When I'm idle, Open the todo app.
  • When leaving home or work, Open the todo app (maybe I forgot something I need to do while I'm here).
  • When I'm in the todo app looking at my current tasks, Snooze or hide any tasks that I can't do right now.

There's a TAP I'd like to adopt, but I can't report any success so far:

  • When I'm tired / in zombie mode, Open the todo app (and do some tasks tagged as @zombie).
Comment author: Vladimir_Golovin 07 November 2016 10:20:40AM *  1 point [-]

For me, the best way to replenish willpower is a long solitary walk. 2 hours, 5 kilometers or longer, preferably in nature or a non-crowded park, with minimized exposure to cars, dogs, people, speech, loud sounds, and any other attention-taxing things. I've been going on these walks for over 20 years, so the technique is time-tested.

Also: mini-vacations. Basically the same as above, but they should provide at least a week-long period of uninterruptible time ahead. This works wonders for me.

I've read (I can't remember where) that completing difficult tasks gives a boost to willpower, but then how do you convince yourself to start that difficult task? And what difficult task do you use?

In my case, the concepts of Trivial Inconvenience and Trivial Impetus were very helpful. I soften difficult tasks up by removing trivial inconveniences standing between me and the task, and facilitate my future work on them by creating trivial impetuses. Breaking a big monolithic task into smaller chunks also works well.

Comment author: MrMind 05 February 2016 08:19:13AM *  2 points [-]

What's the difference with garden variety procrastination?

Comment author: Vladimir_Golovin 05 February 2016 12:29:54PM *  1 point [-]

Procrastination is a more general concept. Idea Debt, as described in the article, is a particular cause / 'method' of procrastination.

Comment author: Vladimir_Golovin 02 December 2015 08:26:57AM 17 points [-]

Went to the gym for the first time in my life.

It has been two months since I started (sorry, I missed the previous month's bragging thread, so I'm posting in this one), and I'm already seeing results.

Comment author: Vladimir_Golovin 21 October 2015 10:41:42AM *  6 points [-]

Just a quick dump of what I've been thinking recently:

  • A train of thought is a sequence of thoughts about a particular topic that lasts for some time, which may produce results in the form of decisions and updated beliefs.

  • My work, as a technical co-founder of a software company, essentially consists of riding the right trains of thought and documenting decisions that arise during the ride.

  • Akrasia, in my case, means that I'm riding the wrong train of thougt.

  • Distraction means some outside stimulus that compels my mind to hop to a different train of thought that my mind is currently riding or should be riding. The stimuli can be anything: people talking to me, a news story, a sexually attractive person across the street, an advertisement, etc.

  • Some train rides are long: they last for hours, days or even weeks, while some are short and last for seconds or minutes. Historically, I've done my best work on very long rides.

  • Different trains of thoughts have different 'ticket costs'. Hopping to a sex-related or a politics-related train of thought is extremely cheap. Caching a big chunk of a problem into my mind requires consciois effort, and thus the ticket is more expensive. In my case, the right trains of thought are usually expensive.

  • Interruptions set back the distance traveled, or, in some cases, completely reset the distance to the original departure station. Or they may switch me to a different train of thought completely, while, at the same time, depleting the resource (willpower?) that I need for boarding the correct train of thought.

  • My not-so-recent decision to stop reading peoplenews has greatly reduced the number and severity of unwanted / involuntary train hops.

  • My "superfocus periods", during which I'm able to ride a single right train of thought for multiple days or weeks, are mostly due to the absence of stimuli that compel my mind to jump to different, cheaper trains of thought. These periods happen when I'm away from work and sometimes from my family, which means I can safely drop my everyday duties such as showing up in the office, doing errands, replying emails, meeting people etc.

  • Keeping a detailed work diary is tremendously helpful for re-boarding the right train of thought after severe interruptions / "cache wipes". I use Workflowy.

  • I noticed that I'm reluctant about boarding long rides when I expect interruptions during the ride. Recent examples include reluctance about reading Bostrom's Superintelligence at home, or reluctance about 'loading' a large piece of project into my head at work, because my office iss full of programmers that ask (completely legitimate) questions about their current tasks.

Comment author: Vladimir_Golovin 10 October 2015 06:19:12AM *  8 points [-]

Here's an article on Engadget about the AMA: http://www.engadget.com/2015/10/09/stephen-hawking-ai-reddit-ama/

A 5K+ karma AMA on Reddit, and an article on a mainstream gadget website, discussing AI safety and even citing Steve Omohundro, right in the article. This is a huge success. Properly discussed AI risk is now officially mainstream. It makes me proud that I was a part of this success as a SIAI donor.

Comment author: adamzerner 16 September 2015 02:00:04AM *  6 points [-]

How many hours of legitimate work do you get done per day?

Legitimate = uninterrupted, focused work. Regarding the time you spend working but not fully focused, use your judgement in scaling it. Ie. maybe an hour of semi-productive work = .75 hours of legitimate work.

Edit: work doesn't only include work for your employer/school. It could be self-education, side projects etc. It doesn't include chores or things like casual pleasure reading though. Per day = per day that you intend to put in a full days work.


Comment author: Vladimir_Golovin 18 September 2015 07:06:20AM *  2 points [-]

I do about 3 hours of legit work when I'm in my usual situation (family, work), but I do way more when I'm alone, both on- and off-the-grid: 12 hours or even more (of course assuming that the problem I'm working on is workable and I don't hit any serious brick walls). My last superfocus period lasted for about two weeks, it happened when my family went on vacation, and I took a mini-vacation from work myself (though the task I was working on was pretty trivial). My longest superfocus period was about 45 days, it happened on a long off-the-grid vacation.

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