All of squidious's Comments + Replies

The only things that I know studies have shown to be predictors of how successful a relationship will be are:
- Similar IQ (not necessarily high or low, but similar to each other; can't remember the study specifically)
- Lack of Gottman's Four Horsemen: contempt, criticism, stonewalling, defensiveness (though this has largely been studied by Gottman himself because it's hard to get anyone else to study your theories in psych)

Honestly maybe I should have just listed the four horsemen and left it at that :P

It seems one of the issues coming up here is that I was assuming dating documents would be written out honestly and in good faith. In particular, I was assuming that those that aren't doing so won't be taking my advice anyway. I also recognize that there's a certain degree of self-knowledge I'm assuming, because largely these documents are written by people who have dated enough to know what they do and don't actually want. I didn't notice this when writing the document out, but I do now.

I also suspect that the lack of examples given makes it look like I'm... (read more)

Threads are largely on Facebook, along with personal conversations. Most of these are with women seeking a nesting partner, and most of these documents are written by men seeking a nesting partner, so in this sense the group I got most of my data from is the target  audience. I do think that a lot of this is more generalizable, at least within our community though; knowing whether or not your partner wants kids is useful regardless of gender and sexuality. I think part of what you're getting at is that it's ambiguous where each piece of advice is comi... (read more)

I hate to weigh in with more criticism here, but I've also noticed this idea of putting up a long list of requirements on ACX threads and it struck me as rather self-defeating - to imagine that you can usefully define 'dealbreakers' in advance and screen people out, or do Zoom calls as the first date instead of in person dates etc.

'Tell vs Ask culture' is a great idea and I am fond of telling things too. But telling only works if you can, in fact, 'tell' something - unfortunately, when it comes to romance, "we know more than we can tell". I mean, we live i... (read more)

I base what people tend to expect on the threads resulting from such documents, as well as a good amount of conversation that takes place in person. Similarly, what "should" be included is a mix of things I've noticed in existing documents, avoidable failure modes of relationships, and from my own conversations with people (largely women) in the community discussing what they're looking for in a partner in general. Given that these documents are written with the intent to be straightforward about what one does and doesn't want in seeking a long term partne... (read more)

5Said Achmiz10mo
What do you mean by this? Threads where? In any case, I can’t help but notice that the things you say you base your commentary on fall into two classes: 1. The content of existing “dating documents”; and… 2. Essentially, opinion based on personal experience and interaction, having nothing to do with “dating documents”. Notably absent is any information whatsoever about, or from, actual consumers of actual dating documents, or data about the efficacy of dating documents, or really anything at all about dating documents and their use, other than the contents of the actual documents themselves. I… don’t quite get this logic. The conclusion seems to not follow from the premise… at all? Could you trace out the chain of reasoning here? Yes, but what makes your recommended way the right way to write a dating document, or even a good way of writing a dating document, or even a not guaranteed to completely torpedo your chances of ever getting a date again way of writing a dating document? Have you successfully gotten dates after having written a dating document in the way that you recommend? Have other people followed your recommendations and then gotten dates? But why do you think it’s a great idea? Just because you would prefer it if such things worked? To be clear, you have no concrete reasons at all to believe that “dating documents” have any effectiveness whatsoever in getting their authors dates, getting them into relationships, etc.? Not even anecdotes?

Oh yeah, thanks for linking that! Looking over it now, I got some of my ideas from this post when I read it quite a few years ago, and forgot to link it in my main post.

Yeah, it should be noted that anyone who knows me cannot be my client, though I can take on friends of friends as clients. Regarding Reflect specifically, you can select how many matches they give you and/or contact Reflect directly if you are matched with people you know, to help mitigate this issue.

Huh, this is very different from the experience of myself and those who I have spoken to about this when writing this post. Is this something you or anyone else has written about?

This was initially written in the context of my therapeutic practice, so alas, I cannot provide a link. I appreciate your thoughtful response! Glad it was helpful

Sometimes it depends on a person's mood, and sometimes it depends on the person or the specifics around the activity. There are movies and shows I would only watch if I wanted to zone out, but a mystery or thriller isn't one of them, and it would be hard to get totally engrossed in something I'd seen a few times because I know what's happening next. But for music, it's been long enough since I'd played that I wouldn't be able to use that as a passive distraction -- even for a relatively simple piece.

I'm betting that this is what he plans on explaining in the next post, where this post is a precursor to explain why it's difficult to convey.

Perhaps. If so, I certainly look forward to reading that future post.

However, I will say that before one begins to lay out an elaborate explanation of why something is hard to explain, one might perhaps begin by offering at least a taste of just why, exactly, anyone might be interested in having that thing explained at all.

An analogy: suppose I have invented a widget. Well, so I claim, anyway, having shown up in your office (you’re an investor, to whom I propose to license my invention). Upon entering, I immediately launch into a long, elaborate explanatio... (read more)

Agreed, regarding CFAR stuff.

And Qiaochu, even if you haven't experienced this yet, I believe you are or have gotten closer than most.

So glad you wrote this, and looking forward to where you take this thread of posts. There is a whole bunch of stuff here that doesn't get touched upon enough for what we're all trying to do, and I think writing about it needs to happen more.

In cases like this, it helps if the end condition is discussed early on in therapy. If this worry comes up, it becomes important to find out where this insecurity comes from. Many therapists will have an open door policy -- if we decide your goals have been met and we terminate, you can at any time come back and decide to start therapy with me again. If termination is due to the therapist leaving, they can refer the client to someone new. In some cases (though this is easier in a clinic) the gap can be bridged by having a session dedicated to the old therapist introducing the client to the new therapist, and helping create that bond before detaching from the client.

Usually, therapist and client talk about goals early on in therapy. This depends a lot on what the therapist's expertise is and what the client sees as being the major problem. A client could come in with PTSD and say their major goal is to not have flashbacks anymore, or with social anxiety and have the goal of being able to approach new people without having a panic attack. It may not necessarily mean the end of therapy (could continue with new goals or see someone new or just stop, depending on what the client wants).

The failure of "put yourself in their shoes" seems similar to the failure of "do to others as you'd have them do to you". You have to be hyperaware of each way that the person you're modeling is different from you, and be willing to use these details as tools that can be applied to other things you know about them. This is where I actually find the ideas of guess/ask/tell culture to be the most helpful. They honestly seem pretty useless when not combined with modeling, precisely because it turns into "this is the one I have picked and you just have to deal with it".

I'm somewhat surprised at the notion of "just be trustworthy" being helpful for anyone, though maybe that's because of an assumption that anyone who doesn't already employ this tactic must have considered it and have solid reasons to not use it?

an assumption that anyone who doesn't already employ this tactic must have considered it and have solid reasons to not use it?

I think by default, the main way rationalists become less trustworthy is not on purpose: it comes from a form of naive consequentialism where you do things like make plans with people and then abandon them for better plans without considering the larger effect of this sort of behavior on how much people trust you. One way to say it is that one of the main consequences of you taking an action is to update other people's models of you and this is a consequence that naive consequentialists typically undervalue.

That seems like a possible selection effect. In my case, I find Romeo's approximation to be a fairly good descriptor of how I operate. There's obviously a whole bunch of conditionals, of course, and if I were to try and reduce it down, it might look like: In general: 1) Talking to someone? Figure out what they're interested in, and how you can offer resources to help them advance their goals. 2) If there's tangential overlap, maybe mention your own goals. 3) Iterate back and forth for a while with questions. If you're generally interested in learning more about the other person, they tend to reciprocate in nice ways, e.g. giving attention to your own stuff. [I think this is enough of an approximation to "just be naively good"?] Then there's a few corollaries: a) With a casual friend? Intersperse conversation with banter. b) Talking to someone new? Use generally accepted stereotype phrases (comment on weather, etc.) and then introduce yourself. Maybe start by complimenting something of theirs. But all of this is fairly black-boxed, and I tend not to operate by explicitly reasoning these things out, i.e. the above rules are a result of my applying introspection / reductionism to what are usually "hidden" rules. The closest I get to any of the (weird-from-my-perspective) recursive modeling / explicit reasoning is when I have no idea what to say. In such a case, I might ask myself, "What would [insert socially adept friend] do?" which queries my inner simulator of them and often spits out passable suggestions.

Our community does seem to have enough pull to Ravenclaw Together that CFAR workshops are a thing and everyone ends up moving the the Bay (or New York). Though that does seem like a pretty strong failure mode. And as Raemon mentioned below, there is the unconference in the works.

Also, if posts about how to change your thinking can sway the way so many of us conduct ourselves, posts about changing the ways we act and feel could surely make enough headway with a significant enough portion of the community.

Side note: your last few bits did shed light on why it may be important to emphasize Hufflepuff work ethic among Ravenclaws :P

CFAR does teach skills about emotional awareness like Focusing. If the skill that's to be developed is ""Effortful attention to your own emotions and the emotions of others" CFAR helps.

This makes sense. Thanks for updating the end -- the way these values are portrayed contributes a lot to how seriously they are or are not taken.

Emotional labor can go into the noticing and motivation of the work (ie "the host of the party is busy making food, so I will clean up this mess" or "this person does not like cleaning and I notice that their table is sticky, so I will wipe it down for them"). It's easy for non-Hufflepuffs to ignore tasks like these or take them for granted unless they're explicitly asked to do something.

That's not emotional labour, that's just a sense of fairness. And I understand "work ethic" along the lines of Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism which has nothing to do with emotional labour, either. I don't think so. If you consistently ignore these things you'll get a reputation as a moocher / free-rider and that's obvious to anyone sufficiently smart to notice this.

The description of a Hufflepuff as "the one who does all the work" still sounds like a one-dimensional characterization. The focus on a Hufflepuff's work ethic in attempts to portray the house as being strong (with a side of "loyalty" and "friendship" used as buzzwords) feels woefully incomplete. It's largely the emotional labor that makes the work ethic possible, so saying "Hufflepuffs are hard-working, we should be more like that" is basically like saying "Ravenclaws are smart, we should be more like that".

An issue I face is that there's two very different audiences I need to write for to make this work: people who are naturally hufflepuff-inclined who want to be part of the community but don't feel welcome, and people who are naturally ravenclaw/slytherin-inclined who are really worried about losing the things that make the community make the community valuable to them. Writing for everyone at once is hard, so this post is mostly for people who are similar to 11-year-old Harry. The description I quoted is from the book, and it's not a coincidence that the hard work is the part that 11-year-old Harry was able to understand viscerally as important (while the other aspects seemed vaguely good but not important enough to be worth expending the effort to change his habits and approach.) This post is meant to resonate with people who are turned off by the stereotype of Hufflepuff as soft and unambitious and persuade them that there is something here that is worthwhile, important and exciting. (In later posts I'll be talking more about why the emotional labor is important and the actual nuts-and-bolts of how we're getting from here to there) (I did edit the final section of the post to make it at least slightly more clear that loyalty/friendship aren't just buzzwords. Also updated the disclaimer at the beginning to say more straightforwardly "this is written for people attracted to the lone hero mindset." I think it's still relevant for people who are frustrated by the lone hero mindset but mostly in form of "this is a thing I'm trying to fix" rather than "this post is going to resonate with you")
"Ravenclaws are smart, we should be more like that" seems like a reasonable if very lossy summary of the whole rationalist project. If there was a useful book on how to be smarter and how to use my intellect more effectively, I would read that book. If a useful book on how to be hardworking and how to effectively benefit from teamwork were written, I would probably also read that book. (I know of and have read several of each of those books actually, though how useful they are varies.) Writing a book of Hufflepuff and stopping there seems like it would miss the point however. While the natural form of "How to be a Ravenclaw" is as a book to be consumed by lone smart scholars, the natural form of "How to be a Hufflepuff" is probably as a community- it's the best way to learn that skillset, the best way for those who are naturally good at the skillset to teach it, and the end goal of the skillset. (C'mon Ravenclaws, admit it- our end goal is usually to have more books ;) )