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Comment author: CronoDAS 06 February 2011 11:26:43PM *  2 points [-]

I expect that there might be a great deal of difference between an externally imposed threat and a self-imposed threat. "Start working, or I'll do something nasty to you" never seemed to motivate me very much if the task was at all difficult. Threats tend to make me less inclined to attempt whatever task it is that I am being threatened to do, rather than more.

And it seems stupid to precommit to a penalty for not achieving a goal that I think I'm likely to fail at.

Comment author: helm 07 February 2011 11:13:37PM -1 points [-]

Then induce a penalty for not trying.

Comment author: helm 07 February 2011 11:10:01PM *  3 points [-]

One way to keep the "Delay" high is to not have an external deadline or not commit to your own deadline. This is a real killer for me: without a proper deadline tasks are always too early or too late. When I'm "too early", the task can be started but doesn't get anywhere. Then, when I feel it's "too late", low expectations take over. Up till now I've used to think that the arbitrariness of setting your own deadline kills it (since it's arbitrary, it can be reset on a whim). Now I see that thinking carefully about a deadline can reduce the arbitrariness.

Comment author: helm 31 January 2011 11:52:53AM 1 point [-]

I have been working with decoherence in experimental physics. It confuses me that you want to use it as a synonym for the Many-Worlds theory.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 25 January 2011 04:42:13PM 1 point [-]

I believe that the mood aspect of depression and the inertia aspect are almost independent from each other.

Comment author: helm 25 January 2011 06:27:05PM 0 points [-]

Interesting, I was mostly affected by the inertia aspect, which in turn spoiled my mood (from the inability to get anything done).

Comment author: wedrifid 25 January 2011 04:49:19PM 3 points [-]

I'm a rationalist by birth

You are? What species? (It couldn't be human!)

Comment author: helm 25 January 2011 04:56:37PM 1 point [-]

Slight exaggeration, of course. I know that by 14 my ideas were very mature, of the type "humans invented gods to explain the mysteries of the world" or "A conscious mind will likely find the thought of nonexistence abhorrent, thus the idea of eternal life".

But I might be wrong about what this forum is about! I haven't lurked very much.

Comment author: helm 25 January 2011 04:39:11PM *  0 points [-]

Hello. I'm helm and I come from LW's "parent", reddit. I'm a rationalist by birth, although I grew up in a nondenominational Christian family.

Comment author: lunchbox 17 February 2010 06:50:05AM *  16 points [-]

I think clever people are especially susceptible to the belief that their perceptions are typical. Let's say you can't visualize images in your mind, but your coworker insists that he can. Since you're not a brain scientist, you can't verify whether he's right or whether he's just misinterpreted the question. However, the last few times you had a disagreement with him on a verifiable subject, you were vindicated by the facts, so you can only assume that you are right this time as well. Add to that the fact that people's stated perceptions and preferences are frequently dishonest (because of signaling), and it's very easy to mistrust them.

One useful first step to overcoming this bias is to compare one's results on a test like UVA's Moral Foundations Questionnaire here to other segments of the population.

However, it's not enough to just learn the facts about how other people perceive the world; sometimes one has to experience them firsthand. I have always been an ambitious high achiever and used to get frustrated and confused by people who were not able to follow through with their goals. However, a few years back I had an adverse reaction to a medication, and experienced for a few hours what depression must be like. From then on, it all made perfect sense.

One day I wonder if it will be possible to alter my brain chemstry safely and temporarily so that I can experience what it is like to perceive the world as a conservative, a liberal, a luddite, a woman, a blue collar worker, a depression sufferer, a jock, an artist, etc. The impact on my emotional maturity and ability to empathize would be tremendous.

Comment author: helm 25 January 2011 03:21:34PM 0 points [-]

Optimism/Pessimism seems to operate on a pretty linear scale. I was very optimistic about my own future until I hit my early 20s, now after a few bouts of depression I regularly underperform. (to generalize from one example, I know I have a hard time believing some people can be depressed and productive at the same time)

What I can say with reasonable certainty is that liberals and conservatives build up different associations, retain different facts, etc, etc, which would make a temporary switch more difficult.