All of compiledwrong's Comments + Replies

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 session... (read more)

0gwern4yLost purposes? Malthusianism? Selection bias? Iron law of oligarchy?
0ChristianKl4yI don't think that strategy has anything to do with "logical fallacy" or "fallacy of reasoning". Being a clearly named group makes it easier to do political action. If you are the leader of a woman in tech group it's more likely that a journalist will listen to you then if you are just somebody who scheduled a discussion group. Various decision makers will take you more seriously when you speak for a group than if you just speak for yourself. Founding a group isn't the best strategy in every case but it's a valid for cases of social activism.
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!

1gilch4yNo, I don't, or only a little bit. See Moravec's Paradox []: the easiest tasks to program a computer to do are those we are most conscious of. There are parts of the brain that are remarkably plastic, but there is a lot of background processing that we are not aware of. If you don't believe that exercising willpower drains your willpower, then it actually still does, but you just don't notice it as soon. This has been tested. It's also true that certain mental abilities can be improved with practice, this is just plasticity. Think of it like exercising a muscle. If you overexert yourself, a strong instinct will try to stop you from hurting yourself. Trained athletes can overcome this instinct to some extent, but they still have real physical limits. And of course, appropriate exercise can improve performance over the long term, but again there are real physical limits to how much.
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 wea... (read more)

1hamnox8yKudos for your reoptimization! I wonder if there's something like that which I have optimized for a low-value convenience. I have a backpack and a purse which serve almost equivalent purposes and I keep moving things between them when I have a need that requires the other bag. It happens about 2-3 times a week. I'll often need the first bag again right after, and I won't have it. I was optimizing for not having to carry multiple things, but perhaps I should keep the purse as a consistent subset even if it will take up more space in the backpack.