[SEQ RERUN] Tsuyoku Naritai! (I Want To Become Stronger)

by badger1 min read18th May 20114 comments


Personal Blog

Today's post, Tsuyoku Naritai! (I Want To Become Stronger) was originally published on March 27, 2007. A summary (from the LW wiki):

Don't be satisfied knowing you are biased; instead, aspire to become stronger, studying your flaws so as to remove them. There is a temptation to take pride in confessions, which can impede progress.

This post is part of a series rerunning Eliezer Yudkowsky's old posts so those interested can (re-)read and discuss them. The previous post was Self-deception: Hypocrisy or Akrasia?, and you can use the sequence_reruns tag or rss feed to follow the rest of the series.

Sequence reruns are a community-driven effort. You can participate by re-reading the sequence post, discussing it, posting the next day's sequence reruns post, or summarizing forthcoming articles on the wiki. Go here for more details, or to discuss the Rerunning the Sequences series.

4 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 11:04 PM
New Comment

The explicit lesson in this is that we should always be looking for self-improvements: skills to gain, fixes for our flaws, etc. There is a related lesson, a bit easier to apply, which I would like to highlight:

Every possible avenue for self-improvement that comes to our attention is important, important enough to take seriously, where "take seriously" means a minimum of five minutes of thought, concluding with a cost-benefit analysis, a firm decision to pursue, reject, or shelve it, and if the decision is to pursue it, a concrete next action. Skipping any one of these steps means losing experience points.

Skipping any one of these steps means losing experience points.

Interesting way to put it.

Experience points aren't just something you receive when you do things, they're something that can be earned by reflecting on relevant information, and lost by not paying attention.

There is so much advice for self-improvement here and in the rest of the Internet! I personally use the following strategy:

  1. Save/bookmark everything that might be/become important
  2. Prioritize what you want to improve upon first, improve this, and start again

"But that was this year, and next year I will do better."

At last! A New Year's Resolution I can take seriously.