My future posts

I have been living in the lesswrong rationality space for at least two years now. Recently more active than previously. This has been deliberate. I plan to make more serious active posts in the future. In saying so I wanted to announce the posts I intend on making when moving forwards from today.  This should do a few things:


  1. keep me on track
  2. keep me accountable to me more than anyone else
  3. keep me accountable to others
  4. allow others to pick which they would like to be created sooner
  5. allow other people to volunteer to create/collaborate on these topics
  6. allow anyone to suggest more topics
  7. meta: this post should help to demonstrate one person's method of developing rationality content and the time it takes to do that.
feel free to PM me about 6, or comment below.

Unfortunately these are not very well organised, they are presented in no particular order.  They are probably missing posts that will help link them all together, as well as skills required to understand some of the posts on this list.


Unpublished but written:

A very long list of sleep maintenance suggestions – I wrote up all the ideas I knew of; there are about 150 or so; worth reviewing just to see if you can improve your sleep because the difference in quality of life with good sleep is a massive change. (20mins to write an intro Actually 2 hours)

A list of techniques to help you remember names. - remembering names is a low-hanging social value fruit that can improve many of your early social interactions with people. I wrote up a list of techniques to help. (2.5hrs to get feedback on and post)


Posts so far:

The null result: a magnetic ring wearing experiment. - a fun one; about how wearing magnetic rings was cool; but not imparting of superpowers. (done)

Updated here (old: list of useful apps)- my current list of apps that I use also some very good suggestions in the comments. (done)

How to learn X How to attack a problem of learning a new area that you don't know a lot about (for a generic thing) (done)

A list of common human goals – when plotting out goals that matter to you; so you can look over some common ones and see you fulfilling them interests you. (done)

Lesswrong real time chat - A Slack channel for hanging out with other rationalists.  Also where I talk about my latest posts before I put them up.


Future posts

Goals of your lesswrong group – Do you have a local group; why? What do you want out of it (do people know)? setting goals, doing something particularly, having fun anyway, changing your mind. (4hrs)


Goals interrogation + Goal levels – Goal interrogation is about asking <is this thing I want to do actually a goal of mine> and <is this the best way to achieve that>, goal levels are something out of Sydney Lesswrong that help you have mutual long term goals and supporting short term goal. (2hrs)


How to human – A zero to human guide. A guide for basic functionality of a humanoid system. (4hrs)


General buying things considerations – New to the whole adult thing?  wondering what to ask yourself when considering purchases?  Here is a list of general considerations. (3hrs)


List of strategies for getting shit done – working around the limitations of your circumstances and understanding what can get done with the resources you have at hand. (4hrs)


List of superpowers and kryptonites – when asking the question "what are my superpowers?" and "what are my kryptonites?". Knowledge is power; working with your powers and working out how to avoid your kryptonites is a method to improve yourself. (6hrs over a week)


List of effective behaviours – small life-improving habits that add together to make awesomeness from nothing. And how to pick them up. (8hrs over 2 weeks)


Memory and notepads – writing notes as evidence, the value of notes (they are priceless) and what you should do. (1hr + 1hr over a week)


Suicide prevention checklist – feeling off? You should have already outsourced the hard work for "things I should check on about myself" to your past self. Make it easier for future you. Especially in the times that you might be vulnerable. (4hrs)


Make it easier for future you. Especially in the times that you might be vulnerable. - as its own post in curtailing bad habits. (5hrs)


A p=np approach to learning – Sometimes you have to learn things the long way; but sometimes there is a short cut. Where you could say, "I wish someone had just taken me on the easy path early on". It's not a perfect idea; but start looking for the shortcuts where you might be saying "I wish someone had told me". Of course my line now is, "but I probably wouldn't have listened anyway" which is something that can be worked on as well. (2hrs)


Rationalists guide to dating – attraction. Relationships. Doing things with a known preference. Don't like stupid people? Don't try to date them. Think first; an exercise in thinking hard about things before trying trial-and-error on the world. (half written, needs improving 2hrs)


Training inherent powers (weights, temperatures, smells, estimation powers) – practice makes perfect right? Imagine if you knew the temperature always, the weight of things by lifting them, the composition of foods by tasting them, the distance between things without measuring. How can we train these, how can we improve. (2hrs)


Strike to the heart of the question. The strongest one; not the one you want to defeat – Steelman not Strawman. Don't ask "how do I win at the question"; ask, "am I giving the best answer to the best question I can give", (2hrs)


Posts not planned at the original writing of the post:

Sensory perception differences and how it shapes personal experience - Is a sound as loud to you as everyone else?  What about a picture?  Are colours as clear and vivid to you as they are to other people?  This post is a consideration in whether the individual difference in experiences can shape our experience and choices in how we live our lives.  Includes some short exercises in sensory perceptions.


Posts added to the list:

Exploration-Exploitation and a method of applying the secretary problem to real life.  I devised a rough equation for application of the secretary problem to real life dating and the exploration-exploitation dilemma.

How to approach a new problem - similar to the "How to solve X" post.  But considerations for working backwards from a wicked problem:, as well as trying "The least bad solution I know of", Murphy-jitsu, and known solutions to similar problems.  0. I notice I am approaching a problem.

being the kind of person that advice works for - The same words of advice can work for someone and not someone else.  Consider why that is; and how you can better understand the advice that you are given, and how you might become the kind of person that advice works for.

New Year's Resolutions: Things worth considering - At the time of writing; New-year is fast approaching.  As a natural shelling point here is a list of considerations on what you might like to get around to doing next year.  (Not a post on how; only about making those considerations)

2015: a year in review - All of humanities science and technology milestones that I could find; gathered into one exciting list; originally created for the solstice, but now everyone can share it and celebrate in humanities successes!

Inbox zero - You should do inbox zero; this is a brief guide on how to do the laziest form of inbox zero I know of.

Procrastination checklist - a process to go through to try to break out of procrastination

Black box thinking - A way to describe known unknowns, or excuse yourself from knowing things

Preference over preference - If an entity has preference, and an entity prefers another entity to have a particular preference, I call this preference over preference.  And it's worth talking about.

Cultivate the desire to X - You maybe want to do a thing; maybe don't know if you do.  There is a helpful middle ground.  You want to do the thing; but don't seem to have actually managed to make yourself do it?  Try this.

Purposeful Anti-Rush - Instrumental process of slowing down.

Lesswrong potential changes - Everything that everyone things should change about lesswrong.  All compiled together, it took a long time to create.

The lesswrong 2016 survey - the demographic survey of lesswrong users and visitors. 

A very quick values exercise - A value is like a direction - you go north, or south. You may hit goal mountains and hang a right past that tree but you still want to be going north. Specifically you may want to lose weight on the way to being healthy, but being healthy is what you value.

Adversity to success - Why are there so many adversity to success stories?


Edit: links adding as I write them.

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11 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 6:28 AM

A very long list of sleep maintenance suggestions

Eager to read this one.


Interested in how to human, how to accrue property, suicide prevention checklist & make it easier for future you

A very long list of sleep maintenance suggestions

150? Wow. I offer to make that into a poll to get some data once your post is out.


It would be more like a checklist than a survey; but its possible.

Thanks for taking the time to contribute!

I'm particularly interested in "Goals interrogation + Goal levels".

Out of curiosity, could you go a little more in-depth regarding what "How to human" would entail? Is it about social functioning? first aid? psychology?

I'd also be interested in "Memory and Notepads", as I don't really take notes outside of classes.

With "List of Effective Behaviors", would that be behaviors that have scientific evidence for achieving certain outcomes ( happiness, longevity, money, etc.), or would that primarily be anecdotal?

That last one "Strike to the heart of question" reminds me very much of the "void" from the 12 virtues, which always struck me as very important, but frustratingly vaguely described. I think you really hit the nail on the head with "am I giving the best answer to the best question I can give". I'm not really sure where you could go with this, but I'm eager to see.


.5 the last one is essentially the void; but also connects with steelman/strawman fallacies.

.4 List of effective behaviours are more anecdotal. As you will probably find with a subset of behaviours - they only work for some people. i.e. keeping track of food intake might be easier to one person than another. It would be difficult to write an exhaustive list; but a lot easier to write a partial list of behaviours that I have picked up that now make me more effective than beforehand to open up the possibility of more people testing them and incorporating the concepts.

.3 I will write it up.

.2 how to human - thinking about it from basic levels; maslow up. consciousness, breathing, blinking, eating, sleeping, some basic checks you might want to be doing to confirm that your simple needs are met; before doing complicated tasks.

.1 I will write it up sooner :)

Thanks for the comments!


A p=np approach to learning

Very interested in this one.

Rationalists guide to dating

I'm curious, Could that be be the long awaited part 2 to Rational Romantic Relationships?


probably entirely different.

A list of techniques to help you remember names

I'm interested. Esp. as working methods largely depend on what you are good at mentally.

For example I take notes as fast as possible of some personal details and later add as much context as I can. From that point on I will most likely not need to refer back to my notes as the name sticks to all the bundle of information. No need to form verbal associations (which works but not as well) or making up visual associations (which I have trouble with).


Taking notes is on my list. definitely an easy method to take up.