Your Cheerful Price

"Buying expertise" seems like a good candidate. A friend might prefer to pay me to fix their computer, instead of taking it to a shop, because they know I won't tell them they need an expensive frobnitz unless they actually do. My cheerful price might be higher than the shop's, but it could easily be worth it. A similar situation probably applies to car mechanics.

New Empty Units

Not at all a serious suggestion, but it popped into my head: You could solve this problem by making other forms of money laundering more convenient than real estate.

(or making real estate laundering less convenient/riskier, but that's not as funny a thought)

The use of real estate as a store of value/unit of exchange makes me think of an old Diablo II issue. Officially, the medium of exchange in D2 was gold. In practice, it was a relatively rare item called the Stone of Jordan.

How did this happen? For a time, a serious bug allowed players to dupe items easily. Many of them chose to dupe the Stone. After the bug was fixed, players were left with a relatively fixed supply of a high-value item that used little inventory space. It worked very well as both a store and a medium, modulo developer attempts to clean up dupes. Thereafter, I understand that most high-level transactions were done with what amounted to counterfeit currency.

I don't know if that's still the case. I do know at one point the developer created a quest that could only be triggered by destroying Stones, presumably in an attempt to get rid of the counterfeits.

A dozen habits that work for me

"Mental constipation" is an awesome phrase for a phenomenon I really hate having.

"On Bullshit" and "On Truth," by Harry Frankfurt

suffer enough of it and you’ll become a connoisseur of it, able to enjoy it, but having also fallen into an attractor that keeps you from enjoying the greater joy of what simply is

A pattern of bullshit becomes a stable orbit in the space of lies.

Ubiquitous Far-Ultraviolet Light Could Control the Spread of Covid-19 and Other Pandemics

It doesn't sound like this would require much in the way of coordination. That makes me a bit more hopeful about it than most options. Less room for a tragedy of the commons. Once demonstrated safe and effective, individuals and businesses could deploy UV lighting and derive benefit from it, without worrying about whether their investment will be wasted by the inaction of others.

Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2019

How did you implement the button? I run a small site, love the idea, and would like to do something similar.

Dual Wielding

Datum: I have a Pixel 3 (known for a relatively small battery) and the only time battery becomes an issue is when I forget to put it on the charger overnight.

But I don't watch video (too small a screen), play games (ditto), send email (fuck phone keyboards), or do much of anything but SMS, rare phone calls, and internet lookups when I'm away from a keyboard. I think a lot of worrywarting over phone battery capacity stems from trying to use them for things that are better done on a real computer.

That said, I got an external battery after reading this post. I have one use case: at conventions, when I use it constantly to read the schedule. Buying something for a single use case seemed out of line at first, but eventually I thought of it this way: if I'm willing to spend $30 for slightly more convenient parking, I should be willing to spend $30 to stop worrying about phone charge forever.

Agency and Sphexishness: A Second Glance

To change something, you must first describe it. To describe something, you must first see it. Hold still in one place for as long as it takes to see something

-- Diane Duane

Agency and Sphexishness: A Second Glance

Also, meta decisions take time to bring fruit at the object level, so when you make plans, you should spend the following days executing the plans instead of adjusting them; otherwise you decide without feedback.

Execution is Actual Work, though! Noooooooooooooooo!

(I'm adding that to my fortune file. I could use the reminder from time to time.)

Agency and Sphexishness: A Second Glance

I wonder what distinguishes sphexishness from a simple habit. They're both unreflective, automatic, default behaviors, and "bad habits" are just habits that fail to achieve goals. But they feel different to me. The best I can come up with is something like: habits are in theory changeable, whereas an actual sphex wasp will never change its behavior based on experience. Habits are acting sphexish.

But we need habits. I'm reminded of this:

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them. Operations of thought are like cavalry charges in a battle -- they are strictly limited in number, they require fresh horses, and must only be made at decisive moments.

-- Alfred North Whitehead

So I think I agree with you about noticing and agency. Agency isn't the opposite of sphexishness. But it does seem to require choosing when to act so, and that requires noticing when you're doing it.

(somewhere in my unposted-blog-notes folder is something about noticing that horrible mental loop where I click random links all over the web, no matter how much I'm not-enjoying-myself, because I can't seem to context-switch. I titled it "Noticing Boredom.")

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