For the theory behind this, see perceptual control theory (of which I have written here before). For the psychotherapeutic practice developed from that, see the Method Of Levels.

After taking a few days to read up on PCT and MOL, here's my summation:

PCT is the Deep Theory behind mindhacking, hypnosis, and all other forms of self-help or therapy that actually work. It explains monoidealism and ideomotor responses, it explains backsliding, it provides a better conceptual basis for Ainslie's model of "interests", and it does an amazing job of exp... (read more)

Glad you like it. :-)

All I can say is, why haven't you posted MORE about this? Your post about control systems seemed to mainly be an argument against brains having models, but PCT doesn't demand a lack of models, and in any case it's obvious that brains do model, and they model predictively as well as reflecting current states. And you didn't mention any of the things that make PCT actually interesting as a behavioral description in human beings. PCT pretty much explains everything that I would've wanted to cover in my post sequence on what akrasia real

... (read more)
5SilasBarta11yWow, you seem pretty satisfied with it. Now, I haven't done nearly enough reading on any of those topics to dispute anything you've said, but, as a poster on LW I'm obligated to check that you haven't entered an "affective death spiral" [] by asking the following: Are there any non-phenomena that PCT can "explain"? That is, could you use PCT to "prove" why certain conceivable things happen, which don't really happen? Could I e.g. use PCT to prove why thinking hard about whatever I'm procrastinating about will make me motivated to do it, when you already know that doesn't work?

Ask LessWrong: Human cognitive enhancement now?

by taw 1 min read16th Jun 200973 comments


Transhumanists have high hopes for enhancing human cognitive abilities in the future. But what realistic steps can we take to enhance them now? On the one hand Flynn effect suggests IQ (which is a major factor in human cognition) can be increased a lot with current technology, on the other hand review of existing drugs seems rather pessimistic - they seem to have minor positive effect on low performers, and very little effect on high performers, what means they're mostly of therapeutic not enhancing use.

So, fellow rationalists, how can we enhance our cognition now? Solid research especially welcome, but consistent anecdotal evidence is also welcome.