firstorderpredicate

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Advice for a smart 8-year-old bored with school

Well, we're still waiting on that proof of the Riemann Hypothesis.

Seriously however, how about introducing him to the Collatz Conjecture? Something to mull over when the vanilla work is finished. And given his interests, he'll no doubt think of multiple ways of attacking the problem. I saw chess, computers and videogames listed as interests, so he perhaps he could try writing a chess engine from scratch. Design the algorithms in class and code them at home.

These suggestions might be a little advanced for eight years old, but I expect the boredom problem will get worse over time.

Introducing Familiar, a quantified reasoning assistant (feedback sought!)

I've just started playing with it now so these are just initial thoughts:

1) Command Line History would be really nice: Messing up a command (new-prd $var1 (fn ....) and having to retype from scratch is a pain. Although if you get a nice GUI it won't matter;

2) (Never mind; I can't reproduce it now) (After I did (change-time (days -1)); (data ..) nothing was returned from (entered) _ ;

3) Allowing data to be entered via a source file might be nice, but I suppose a script would work ok too. Perhaps I should write a Perl script to convert CSV into Familiar data?

Daily Schedules in Combating Akrasia

I schedule my tasks on a week basis (using an app I developed) instead of every day, but the process is similar. It seems to be working quite well for at least six months now. I got better results after I increased my estimates of how long my tasks take. (Occasionally my app will schedule ughhy tasks first thing on a Monday morning. If people are interested, I'll report back whether I manage to successfully avoid postponing them :)

What I still need to work on is returning to planning after an upheaval like sickness or holidays. I'd be interested to hear how your process copes with that. At the very least, you have five/seven more opportunities to return to planning as opposed to losing a whole week. One thing I didn't read was how you determine what tasks you'll do in a particular day?

Does anchoring on deadlines cause procrastination?

I think deadlines are a sufficient condition for procrastination but not a necessary one. And even starting a project earlier is no guarantee of avoiding a last minute crunch. (When I was studying I'd start projects on time, get the "hard parts" done, but still end up finishing them off at the last minute. Whether that's a function of anchoring or just plain vanilla Planning Fallacy, I'm not sure).

Without a deadline, can you still procrastinate? Of course, but the consequences of not starting are less immediate, but still potentially severe. If you don't finish writing an essay by the deadline, you fail a course. If you don't submit an application, nothing happens now, but restrict your options later. If you never exercise, you're more likely to get sick as you age.

So having decided to start, how do you maintain momentum? From a comment above, breaking down a single project into sub tasks with their own deadlines is a great start. But there's still a trap here - the comforting thought that some sub tasks will take less time than others, and you've got heaps of time to the actual deadline to catch up. Quantifying what you'll achieve (e.g. I will write the introduction and conclusion by the end of the week) provides a concrete goal and also harder to lie to yourself about how much time you have.

Caught in the glare of two anthropic shadows

Segment time into arbitrarily “eras”

Trivial nitpick: Missing word between arbitrarily and "eras". I couldn't quite work out from context whether it should be 'large', 'small', or 'sized'. Naturally, it doesn't affect the argument, being arbitrary.

What are you working on? July 2013

Note: Firstorderpredicate's response isn't as condescending as it sounds, it's a Methods of Rationality quote.

Yes. (Spoilers deleted; Awfully sorry)

What are you working on? July 2013

It's in the same domain. The difference is that, as far as I can tell, Things seems to be about ongoing task management, and you still need to set due dates for your tasks. The purpose of PlanMyWeek is that proposes a date/time for tasks, on a (typically) week basis. It's meant to augment tools like Things, Calendars and Reminders.

The other difference, in Things (like everything else I've looked at) there's no separation of urgency and importance, just priority. The problem there is that, while the urgent and important map to the highest priority, if you constantly rank your tasks in this manner, you risk "starving" the important but not urgent tasks, until they become urgent.

What are you working on? July 2013

My initial goal was to do five hundred in a fifty-two day period, but unfortunately it's looking like this might have been overly ambitious.

"Awww, it sounds like someone fell prey to the planning fallacy." :)

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90

Wouldn't it be a good idea to at least ask? Professor E-V might not have ideas, but he would have contacts at Oxford where he/Harry could find other ideas. The downside is that, by involving the non magical world, his family and those contacts will become bigger targets. And I suspect Harry would be loathe to expose them with an unknown enemy with largely unknown capabilities.

What are you working on? July 2013

Talking about marketing, have you done any market research to determine if there's any demand for your game? Or is that step one in your strategy? I'm asking because I'm currently learning how to do marketing myself, and "discovered" I've done things backwards by building a product first.

If there are experienced marketers here, they might consider creating a post at LessWrong. I'm sure they won't be shy :)

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