I think it's a solid proposal.
One major caveat I think is that it's a structure that wouldn't work for most people in the rationality community. Calling most of them libertines incompatible with such a strict framework wouldn't be too far from the truth. But those are the views of a very distant outsider who doesn't know the the deeper views/feelings of the Berkeleyans you refer to, and is only familiar at a superficial glance.
But for a niche group of strongly driven baby rationalists lacking for direction/purpose who aren't opposed to operating within a strict structure, I don't know how this wouldn't be an ideal framework to use.
As a former military enlisted, I think all the military comparisons made are valid. Allow me to include one more. I believe that also like the military, there will be a high turnover rate - once people get what they want out of the community, they leave. As I allude to earlier, the appeal of joining is acquiring skills in discipline/organization/direction. Once those are acquired, there is very little left to motivate people to stay. But, in both cases, this isn't really a bad thing either. If everyone leaves after the one year commitment, but they reflect on the experience positively, then it would still be considered a success.
This reminds me of another post Yudkowsky made on a very similar topic.
I would consider most of the people here to be informally operating on at least a milder version of Crocker's rules.
I can think of a scenario where the colour red tends to have the opposite effect...
The sensitivity to irregular caffeine users is just due to lack of tolerance. It can still be avoided by just reducing the dosage compared to regular caffeine users.
Sure, I can imagine caffeine impeding long-term learning from exam revision.
But I find the increased focus to be much more important, for an exam that I've already studied for, and for material I will very likely never need to know in quite as much detail ever again.
There's 2 different kinds of studying I do. Studying conceptually for the long term, and cram time for a specific exam fitting in all the fine details, and then quickly regurgitating them. If it takes exam revision to significantly enhance the former, then I already learned too little, too late. That said, I commonly use caffeine for the latter with no regret of the side effects.