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Yes. Reading HPMoR. Chapter 8 in particular.


I have been rereading HPMOR and come up with an elegant hypothesis that I found to be ever more fitting as I continued to read. However, I just realized that I have been looking only for tests that confirm my hypothesis, and not looking for things that would cause my hypothesis to be wrong. This is not the sort of realization that I often have.


Once you get fairly strong, you can sometimes even win free points by apologising in front of a big group of people for something that everyone but the other disputant think is completely outweighed by the other disputant's actions.

Why would this be true? If the other disputant was so clearly in the wrong, wouldn't it be obvious that that's what you're trying to do, thus voiding the effect?


Interesting. Does this.... urgency ever turn out to be useful? I'm assuming that at the worst it's not distracting enough to justify taking the time to prevent it.

(In case I was not clear, I was talking about a more general thingy than being sat upon. Pretty much all of 6.3 for example.)


So I've been reading Worm ( ), and there's this tiny thing that's been growing ever-more annoying, and I can't hold off asking about it any longer.

I keep seeing passages like this: "Realizing the position he had me in, feeling the pressure of his thighs against my hips, his weight resting partially on my lower body, I must’ve blown a synapse. My thought process ground to a halt. It didn’t help that the first place my mind went was interpreting his ‘start’ as being this position leading to something else."

Do people actually think like this? Seems like it would be really inconvenient.


I'm having trouble reading your footnote. What am I supposed to make of the numbers 12 and 13?


I do have a bit of a problem saying no, largely, I think because I 'respect' authority too much. For example, right now I am the only person working on a series of projects, the sort of which an entire team normally handles. But now everyone's depending on me, so it's too late to back out.

However, I say no a lot more than I used to, and it is amazing.

  1. A while ago, I found myself working 12-14 hour days for a week due to training. I spent the evenings working on a research paper for class. The Monday after this week, there was going to be a completely voluntary oral test. Passing this gets you nothing but shinyness for your record. The list of topics it covered was very long and vague. We learned about it about ten days in advance.

I, being an idiot who says volunteers for everything, volunteered for it despite everything else going on. After two days, I managed to cram the first three subjects out of 20 or so, truly comprehending very little of it. At that point, I realized that it just wasn't going to happen and told my boss that I wished to withdraw. His response was something along the lines of "That's probably a good idea." It didn't really feel like anything.

As a second, quick, example. Someone just asked me to critique a lengthy excerpt of her novel. This was very easy to say no to, as it was erotica, which I cannot stand.

  1. Estimate how long it will take, tack on 25% to account for planning fallacy, compare to current schedule and priorities. Another recent thing I said no to would have required at least 4 hours a week for two months, in addition to at least $500.

  2. Both? Thinking about other people suffering is one of my main motivators, but I have trouble feeling anything for people on an individual level.

  3. Yes. Without going into detail, I said 'yes' a few too many times and reaped horrible consequences. Also, it's a lot easier to say no when you primarily associate with people you don't like.


There is little to tell. Basic Training has more to do with getting used to being miserable than actually pushing yourself. The actual job training is somewhat more challenging, but only because there is very little room for error. You aren't allowed to bring stuff home to study either, so there's little extra you could do even if you wanted to.

I did force myself up and down 800-some steps (as in a staircase sort of thing) while wearing about 90 lbs (I weigh 140) of gear, but that was completely voluntary. It was excruciating, but I recognized that quitting would have to be a conscious choice not to take another step, so I just didn't do that. I did stop before I had properly finished, but that was only because my legs were about to stop supporting me. It shouldn't be that hard to find an exercise program that gives a similar effect, without being anywhere nearly as bad for your body.

The biggest thing I learned is that you have a choice about your attitude. When doing sucky things, I've noticed that there are two main ways that people do it. They either complain, or they laugh at the people who are complaining. Either way, you're miserable, but at least the second group has something to laugh about.

Sorry that kind of rambled. I hope I answered the question to your satisfaction.


If I understand it correctly, much of the power in Beeminder comes from the threat of losing money when you fail. How many times did you fail at writing before giving up? I have not used BM in a while, but I did successfully use it for writing.

(Number of consecutive push-ups doesn't seem like a good thing to Beemind. If your body doesn't have 50 push-ups in it, wanting it really bad isn't going to help much. Tracking number of push-ups done in a given amount of time would probably work better, which would naturally increase consecutive pushups.)


I don't follow. What does "All the world is a stage" have to do with anything? What do you mean by 'competition of all effective varieties' and why should anyone avoid it? What is the goal, and how is testing a rationality skill losing sight of it?

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