Hammertime Intermission #2

by alkjash Radimentary1 min read1st Mar 20187 comments

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The final cycle of Hammertime will return on 3/12.

This is an open thread for feedback about Hammertime.

Other Resources

Owen Shen has been writing about instrumental rationality for a long time at MindLevelUp. This material is much more coherent and actually cites the science behind the techniques.

SquirrelInHell has taken on a similar project but at a much deeper level at BeWellTuned. These techniques are BLACK MAGIC powerful but may cost your soul. Consider Hammertime a gentle tutorial mission for BeWellTuned.

Epistemic Rationality

A piece of the third cycle may be devoted to applying instrumental rationality tools towards increasing epistemic standards in practice.

What are the immediate applications of Hammertime tools towards truth-seeking? Are there TAPs, Design decisions, CoZE experiments, or Focusing techniques that you would immediately recommend to increase epistemic standards? For example, I’ve seen people claim that they’ve installed a gut-level instinct for Bayes Theorem.

How does truth-seeking interface with instrumental rationality, especially on corrupted hardware? We pay a whole lot of lip service to “I desire to believe what is true,” and yet an enormous amount of our practical advice sounds like “Act as if [obviously false statement] is true.”

Meta-Cognitive Blind Spots

I have a friend who got so excited about conquering new fears that he’s been constantly flitting around, looking for aversions to squash with CoZE. When I asked him to try sticking to one thing for a while, he nearly refused, saying “It feels hard to look at.” My words:

when ppl get excited about CoZE
there’s something ridiculous about it
you’re literally looking for things that scare you
like actually scare you
and that’s not fun

One time this week, I was Focusing on the feeling of hating algebraic geometry homework. I found the feeling’s true name: “Working on problems in other fields makes me feel low-status.” The aversion completely vanished, but I was left with the sinking feeling that I’m status-seeking all the way down. In fact, this whole paragraph reporting this character flaw? It’s a self-deprecation status move too. Fuck.

[Commenting guidelines: At least one line of poetry per comment.]

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