All of Astor's Comments + Replies

How do you keep track of your own learning?

You are right. Thank you for replying. The results of measurements are objective. I think I conflated objectivity with universal value. What I tried to say was that I am not convinced that tracking your learning progress for a topic in one specific way is always more valuable than in another way because it relies on the goal you want to achieve.

How do you keep track of your own learning?

My personal way of measuring my knowledge gain is rather simple, but I am not sure how obvious it is. I write down definitions, arguments and examples of everything I know. Then I change them if I encounter something related (I track these changes with a diff program). And if a concept has grown from a small list of properties to lots of examples with elaborate descriptions, then my knowledge has grown too. Some problems include categorization issues, finding the best way for referencing sources and permanent media management.

For me, skill progress is more... (read more)

3ChristianKl2moEverything can be measured objectively. On the other hand some measurements are useful because they give you valuable information and others aren't.
What to optimize for in life?
Answer by AstorJun 07, 202111

Maybe it is a little unpopular and a bit blunt, but I think one candidate for having the most positive side effects on your life when you do not have it already is money. If you prioritize money without overdoing it, then you can take time off and focus on all the different areas which were previously locked. You cannot afford a nice home? Just buy it now! You do not have good relationships, because you did not have the time or the abilities? Just take your time now or hire someone who helps you! You have bad health? Take a plane and get help from the best... (read more)

Don't feel bad about not knowing basic things

It's always puzzling me why this is so hard to accept for me. Maybe one aspect could be that work relationships force you to present yourself as best as possible to your employer. And this leads to situations in which you try to signal competence instead of uncertainty, even to yourself.

Fight Akrasia and Decision Fatigue with DIY Productivity Software

Trying to build your own productivity tools is also very helpful in understanding why you have difficulties in the first place because you reflect upon them while designing your feature set. I really appreciate this post for reminding me of the joy of programming your own solutions.

LW Team Updates - December 2019

The team is great. Thank you very much!

LW Team Updates - December 2019

Thus far I really like the stuff you included and I hope that you will continue to improve the site. You did an amazing job. I think the only criticism I have is the loading speed. I used a performance testing site to look into this and nearly 9 seconds for the frontpage seem to be very high, especially if you compare it to GreaterWrong. I understand the feature focus and I support it, but I just wanted to say that I would really appreciate the effort of a performance optimization in the future. I am aware of the complexity of such a request, and I am sure... (read more)

6habryka2yYeah, I agree with this. I've been more annoyed by performance as well lately, and we are pretty close to shipping a variety of performance improvements that I expect will make a significant difference here (and have a few more in the works afterwards, though I think it will be quite a while until we are competitive with greaterwrong performance wise, in large parts due to just fundamentally different architectures).
What makes a good life? This is my map.

Maybe. But I am not sure. I think defining it like this is more truthful to your reasoning, so that you can better analyze your actions, if something goes wrong. For example, if you are feeling unhappy, but you do not understand why (maybe because you are doing something due to social norms to improve your life through prestige), then references to your feelings can help you to find a better outcome, while "doing the optimal thing" could lead you to believe in self-sacrifice, even if you suffer from it. Maybe it diverges at this point of individualism vs. communitarianism.

1ryqiem2yI'd say that is caught by "I have integrated motivations" in the chart – subjectively it feels much different from integrated motivations, at least it must for the SDT questionnaires to have predictive power, which they do 👍
What makes a good life? This is my map.

I see. I am skeptical, if you can justify something not refering back to your own happiness or some kind of satisfying feeling. Why do you want to worry, if not for benefiting you in an extended way (worrying helps you to feel something for others, so that they can feel for you, so that you can feel happy)? But these are just some questions to think about. Do not feel obligated to change anything!

1ryqiem2yThanks! Skepticism is exactly what I asked for, so thank you for providing it! I think I agree with you. If we mean happiness in the "at peace" sense, and not the "feeling joy" sense, then happiness is probably my terminal goal. I don't think maximising for joy is possible without trading off a lot of peace, so joy becomes a sub-goal. But thank you! I'll adjust it in my graph. As I see it, at the action level it makes little difference. Do you agree? :-)
What makes a good life? This is my map.

In my life happiness stands above all, because well-being and happiness seem to be the same. How do you distinguish between them? Or: Why are maximum energy and maximum meaning not leading to maximum happiness?

4ryqiem2yGood question! I haven't been very clear on my definition of well-being; to me, it is reacting in the optimal way to life circumstances. That does not mean happiness in all cases – when my family faces hardships, it makes sense for me to worry. Another example is the manic patient in the psych ward. He may be experiencing maximum happiness/joy, but I don't call what he experiences well-being. I completely agree that maximum energy and meaning lead to maximum happiness! It looks ugly in the software I use – not adding the arrows was an entirely pragmatic choice.