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New post: What is mental energy?

[Note: I’ve started a research side project on this question, and it is already obvious to me that this ontology importantly wrong.]

There’s a common phenomenology of “mental energy”. For instance, if I spend a couple of hours thinking hard (maybe doing math), I find it harder to do more mental work afterwards. My thinking may be slower and less productive. And I feel tired, or drained, (mentally, instead of physically).

Mental energy is one of the primary resources that one has to allocate, in doing productive work. In almost... (read more)

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On Hypothesis 3, the brain may build up waste as a byproduct of its metabolism when it's working harder than normal, just as muscles do. Cleaning up this buildup seems to be one of the functions of sleep. Even brainless animals like jellyfish sleep. They do have neurons though.

2Ruby5moSomeone smart once made a case like to this to me in support of a specific substance (can't remember which) as a nootropic, though I'm a bit skeptical.
2G Gordon Worley III5moSure. It feels like my head is "full", although the felt sense is more like my head has gone from being porous and sponge-like to hard and concrete-like. When I try to read or listen to something I can feel it "bounce off" in that I can't hold the thought in memory beyond forcing it to stay in short term memory.

Eli's shortform feed

by elityre 1 min read2nd Jun 201976 comments


I'm mostly going to use this to crosspost links to my blog for less polished thoughts, Musings and Rough Drafts.