a wizard being paid to build invisible castles (via keyboard)


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Stupid Questions June 2017

Is there a name for the (logical fallacy / fallacy of reasoning / self-defeating strategy) which I try to describe below? Do you consider it a fallacy? Have you ever seen this happen? Is there a reason to do this, and if so can you convince me that said reason has ever been successfully achieved?

(Specifically at work) Making a named (affinity) group (think: Women In Tech, or DevOps Interest Group, etc, with meetings and goals and priorities instead of just doing things (where "doing" here means scheduling educational sessions, discussion sessions, social activities etc)

Maybe this has something to do with the enjoyment of making plans- getting the satisfaction from saying what you're going to do, and because one has experienced the satisfaction, it makes one less likely to follow though on doing it)

I have seen this approach result in several dead "groups" which held maybe one or two events each, and sequential waves of people trying to "revive the group" rather than just... doing things that achieve the purpose that the person thinks that the group is for achieving.

Maybe this approach actually works? And I just don't understand what "works" means?

Stupid Questions June 2017

Do you believe that "the mind works the way the mind think that it works"? (I do.)

The most specific example of this that comes to mind for me is- if you believe that exercising willpower drains your willpower, then that is true. And if you believe that exercising willpower strengthens your willpower, then it does!

Group Rationality Diary, April 16-30

While doing my daily routine of locking up my bicycle at a train stop prior to getting on the train, I consciously noticed an inefficiency,analyzed the reason for it, found it wanting, and corrected it. Previously I have only done this after "sitting down and thinking for five minutes" i.e. setting a timer and writing out logical conclusions in pursuit of a pre-stated goal. I have two U-locks which look different, and two keys which look the same. For a while I marked one of them a different color in order to distinguish them, but the marking wears off within weeks and I've abandoned this approach, instead I just try one key at a time, for a usual maximum of two tries per key (three if I used the wrong angle with the first key). This happens every weekday and most weekends, twice or more per day. I noticed myself doing this and asked "why?". The answer is that so that when I need to lend someone my lock set, it is easy to hand them both over at once because both keys are on the same keyring. But this is an infrequent occurrence. I was optimizing for the wrong thing. So now the keys are on different keyrings of my pocket keyring chain, because while markings wear off, position will stay static unless the metal breaks.