Afraid to adopt Paths Forward

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anonymous FI

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Apr 10, 2018, 2:22:51 AM4/10/18
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I'm afraid that by adopting Paths Forward [http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward], I would lose the freedom to spend my time the way I choose. I fear that I would become vulnerable to being trapped into:

- participating in discussions which I find stressful and unpleasant;

- discussing more than I want to;

- following the ideas of other people (who can argue better than me), even when I don't want to.

PeterKeating

Elliot Temple

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Apr 10, 2018, 2:42:00 AM4/10/18
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If you want to spend time on X instead of Y (where Y is a particular discussion, or otherwise) you can *say why you prefer it and expose that to criticism* (rather than doing Y).

If you would prefer to do Z instead of discuss whether your discussion policy is correct, you can say *that* and expose it to criticism.

If you don't want to expose anything at all to criticism, in any way, then Paths Forward isn't for you. If you want to discuss some things, sometimes –and you're interested in truth and error correction – then you can explain your reasoning, policies, etc.

In particular, you can explain *every concern you have*, e.g. that if you do Y then you won't have enough time for A, physical energy for B, mental energy for C.

Every concern of yours must be addressed or you don't have to – and shouldn't – do something. This includes both concerns with doing it, and concerns with not doing other things you'd be doing it instead of.

Everything you want is either

1) good

or

2) there is a way to not want it

such things can be discussed, and you can only do things you are fully satisfied with (you see it as a win/win instead of a compromise).

if you don't want to discuss at all then you can't get answers about how something could be strictly better, from your perspective, than what you do now. but if you will discuss some then progress is possible, and the things most hindering progress (due to spending resources on consumption instead of investment in yourself) can be discussed if you are dissatisfied with the pace of your progress.


Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com

anonymous FI

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Apr 10, 2018, 3:07:49 AM4/10/18
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On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 2:41 AM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:

> On Apr 9, 2018, at 11:22 PM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I'm afraid that by adopting Paths Forward [http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward], I would lose the freedom to spend my time the way I choose.
>
> If you want to spend time on X instead of Y (where Y is a particular discussion, or otherwise) you can *say why you prefer it and expose that to criticism* (rather than doing Y).

I'm afraid that I wouldn't be good enough at explaining my preferences to justify doing what I want. I'm afraid my feelings would lose in a fight to your arguments.

> If you would prefer to do Z instead of discuss whether your discussion policy is correct, you can say *that* and expose it to criticism.

On the face of it, this makes sense. However, I'm afraid that comitting to PF would trap me in a kind of endless logical regress from which I can't escape, in which the answer is always to discuss more, whether or not I want to.

> If you don't want to expose anything at all to criticism, in any way, then Paths Forward isn't for you. If you want to discuss some things, sometimes –and you're interested in truth and error correction – then you can explain your reasoning, policies, etc.

I do want to discuss some things. I don't have any written policies yet. I'm convinced they're a good idea but I'm afraid that if my policies match Paths Forward, then I'll be vulnerable to the threats I outlined above. As a small step for getting started, I've considered writing down my policies for how I currently make some decisions (such as when to leave for work in the morning), but which don't commit me to following Paths Forward.

> In particular, you can explain *every concern you have*, e.g. that if you do Y then you won't have enough time for A, physical energy for B, mental energy for C.

I'm not sure I can explain every concern I have. I worry that I wouldn't be able to put all my concerns into words. Or that even if I manage to do that, I might still be unhappy with the result of the discussion, and be unable to say why.

> Every concern of yours must be addressed or you don't have to – and shouldn't – do something. This includes both concerns with doing it, and concerns with not doing other things you'd be doing it instead of.

What if I'm bad at putting my concerns into words? I also worry that it would be incredibly time consuming and/or stressful for me to discuss everything and put everything into words.

Life is simpler when I don't follow PF - I just do whatever I want. (I will postpone the question of whether the desires I end up acting upon are my own or those of the static memes whose puppet I am.)


> Everything you want is either
>
> 1) good
>
> or
>
> 2) there is a way to not want it

Agreed.

> such things can be discussed, and you can only do things you are fully satisfied with (you see it as a win/win instead of a compromise).

The part after the comma sounds great, but the part before the comma scares me. I fear that "such things can be discussed" means "such things *must* be discussed" with anyone who disagrees with me about them.

> if you don't want to discuss at all then you can't get answers about how something could be strictly better, from your perspective, than what you do now. but if you will discuss some then progress is possible, and the things most hindering progress (due to spending resources on consumption instead of investment in yourself) can be discussed if you are dissatisfied with the pace of your progress.

I am willing to discuss a bit in order to make progress. I frequently find myself enjoying discussing. My fear is that adopting PF would *compell* me to discuss, even when I don't want to.

PeterKeating

Elliot Temple

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Apr 10, 2018, 4:29:31 AM4/10/18
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On Apr 10, 2018, at 12:07 AM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 2:41 AM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:
>
>> On Apr 9, 2018, at 11:22 PM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> I'm afraid that by adopting Paths Forward [http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward], I would lose the freedom to spend my time the way I choose.
>>
>> If you want to spend time on X instead of Y (where Y is a particular discussion, or otherwise) you can *say why you prefer it and expose that to criticism* (rather than doing Y).
>
> I'm afraid that I wouldn't be good enough at explaining my preferences to justify doing what I want. I'm afraid my feelings would lose in a fight to your arguments.

but u just have to say like "i have a preference i failed to explain, which isn't satisfied. so to move forward with this, it needs to get figured out and satisfied. your comments have not guided me to successfully do that so far. therefore, i will continue doing what i want for now."

>> If you would prefer to do Z instead of discuss whether your discussion policy is correct, you can say *that* and expose it to criticism.
>
> On the face of it, this makes sense. However, I'm afraid that comitting to PF would trap me in a kind of endless logical regress from which I can't escape, in which the answer is always to discuss more, whether or not I want to.

but if you don't want to, there is an unsolved problem there. in the face of that, make yourself with willpower is a bad idea. ppl are ineffective at discussions they don't want to have.

there are reasons discussion is good and can benefit you. to the extent you understand that, you may want to do it. to the extent you don't know it ... well you always have to act on your own understanding. hopefully your preferences don't make you stuck. i don't think they do. they seem to leave some scope for some discussion so you can improve your discussion preferences sometimes, get progress going more, etc.

>> If you don't want to expose anything at all to criticism, in any way, then Paths Forward isn't for you. If you want to discuss some things, sometimes –and you're interested in truth and error correction – then you can explain your reasoning, policies, etc.
>
> I do want to discuss some things. I don't have any written policies yet. I'm convinced they're a good idea but I'm afraid that if my policies match Paths Forward, then I'll be vulnerable to the threats I outlined above. As a small step for getting started, I've considered writing down my policies for how I currently make some decisions (such as when to leave for work in the morning), but which don't commit me to following Paths Forward.

writing down PF policies privately would be an intermediate step. you could self-police it. (you could also share your policy with a trusted friend.) you could get more comfortable with it before making it a public policy.

but mostly you need to learn methods to standing up to threats. to the extent you have concerns about these things – or esp think there is a current threat you're facing and deals with – you should ask for help with methods to stand up for yourself, express and defend your preferences more to your satisfaction, etc. to the extent ppl telling you to change stuff do not offer adequate help with such things, their advice is unsatisfactory and you can use parts that you see how to use but should not feel pressured to use it in full since it doesn't address all your problems.

>> In particular, you can explain *every concern you have*, e.g. that if you do Y then you won't have enough time for A, physical energy for B, mental energy for C.
>
> I'm not sure I can explain every concern I have. I worry that I wouldn't be able to put all my concerns into words. Or that even if I manage to do that, I might still be unhappy with the result of the discussion, and be unable to say why.

but you can say "i am unhappy with the result of the discussion, and i don't know how to say why in English. if you want me to make change X, you must tell me how to solve this problem to my satisfaction. it is entirely understandable if you don't know how to do that for me, but in that case i'll have to muddle along for now using bits and pieces of your help as i'm able to."

telling other people what actions they should take is hard b/c the adviser doesn't know all about the person's life and how to make action plans work in someone else's life with their motivations, understanding, etc. i primarily advise people about ideas and expect them to figure out how to apply it. (they often seem to come up with a quick naive interpretation of how to apply it, find that doesn't work, and then say i'm wrong. that is a dumb way to react. if an application is bad, consider other applications! don't assume i meant to imply the application you can see is bad. at least ask. and if you think the concepts i'm talking about are bad, explain why they are bad in general, and you can use the failed application as an example. but a failed application alone is not a general argument that other applications wouldn't work.)

>> Every concern of yours must be addressed or you don't have to – and shouldn't – do something. This includes both concerns with doing it, and concerns with not doing other things you'd be doing it instead of.
>
> What if I'm bad at putting my concerns into words?

then put into words "i have concerns i haven't put into words ... given that, any advice?"

> I also worry that it would be incredibly time consuming and/or stressful for me to discuss everything and put everything into words.

then put into words "i think it would take too long to discuss this"

> Life is simpler when I don't follow PF - I just do whatever I want. (I will postpone the question of whether the desires I end up acting upon are my own or those of the static memes whose puppet I am.)

how do you decide what you want? is *simple* what you want in life? as opposed to, say, less error and suffering?


>> Everything you want is either
>>
>> 1) good
>>
>> or
>>
>> 2) there is a way to not want it
>
> Agreed.
>
>> such things can be discussed, and you can only do things you are fully satisfied with (you see it as a win/win instead of a compromise).
>
> The part after the comma sounds great, but the part before the comma scares me. I fear that "such things can be discussed" means "such things *must* be discussed" with anyone who disagrees with me about them.

if you don't want to discuss something, you can say so. you can say you plan to do other things for now, and reevaluate later. or you can say some other kind of plan or priority system or whatever. see 1 and 2 above. if someone could tell you a mistake in your plan or priority system, that makes sense to you from your current perspective, that would be helpful and you would like it. if they can't, you could still find ways to use parts of their advice – this is common and shouldn't be pressuring cuz u just use what you can. again telling other ppl what to do is hard, so usually ppl just advise about some general points and u need to fill in the details of how to use it in your life (this is pretty far away from them controlling you – it's them telling you some concepts you can use to make better decisions yourself).

the broad theme is: be demanding. if ppl wanna suggest stuff to you, ask for it to be super helpful so it meets your standards. your problems come from thinking you'll have to accept ideas which aren't good enough.


>> if you don't want to discuss at all then you can't get answers about how something could be strictly better, from your perspective, than what you do now. but if you will discuss some then progress is possible, and the things most hindering progress (due to spending resources on consumption instead of investment in yourself) can be discussed if you are dissatisfied with the pace of your progress.
>
> I am willing to discuss a bit in order to make progress. I frequently find myself enjoying discussing. My fear is that adopting PF would *compell* me to discuss, even when I don't want to.

express problems as they come up – including meta problems, in very short ways, if you want – and demand ideas fully guide and help you to your satisfaction or you have zero pressure to use them.

------

i wrote this post in 14 minutes, including reading the text. no editing pass.

Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 12:29:42 AM4/13/18
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On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 12:07:46AM -0700, anonymous FI wrote:

> there are reasons discussion is good and can benefit you. to the extent you understand that, you may want to do it. to the extent you don't know it ... well you always have to act on your own understanding. hopefully your preferences don't make you stuck. i don't think they do. they seem to leave some scope for some discussion so you can improve your discussion preferences sometimes, get progress going more, etc.

This paragraph sounds more friendly than I expected. The paragraph is saying that I always have to act on my own understanding. The paragraph expresses some optimism about my discussion preferences.

Before, I thought of PF as putting discussion over all else, including my own understanding about how much and what to discuss in any specific situation. But this conflict is necessarily imaginary, because "discussion over all else" is an abstract principle which doesn't say specifically what to do in any specific situation. Therefore, "discussion over all else" cannot conflict with any idea about how much a specific person should discuss in a specific situation.

> the broad theme is: be demanding. if ppl wanna suggest stuff to you, ask for it to be super helpful so it meets your standards. your problems come from thinking you'll have to accept ideas which aren't good enough.

Makes sense. When people suggest abstract principles in which the specific application is up to me, then there is no pressure on me and no urgency. On the other hand, if someone is suggesting a concrete thing I should do in the near future, then I should be demanding about acquiring the knowledge necessary to follow the suggestion.

PeterKeating

anonymous FI

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Apr 13, 2018, 1:28:55 AM4/13/18
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[re-posting this with corrected attribution and as a reply to the correct message]

On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 01:29:27AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> there are reasons discussion is good and can benefit you. to the extent you understand that, you may want to do it. to the extent you don't know it ... well you always have to act on your own understanding. hopefully your preferences don't make you stuck. i don't think they do. they seem to leave some scope for some discussion so you can improve your discussion preferences sometimes, get progress going more, etc.

This paragraph sounds more friendly than I expected. The paragraph is saying that I always have to act on my own understanding. The paragraph expresses some optimism about my discussion preferences.

Before, I thought of PF as putting discussion over all else, including my own understanding about how much and what to discuss in any specific situation. But this conflict is necessarily imaginary, because "discussion over all else" is an abstract principle which doesn't say specifically what to do in any specific situation. Therefore, "discussion over all else" cannot conflict with any idea about how much a specific person should discuss in a specific situation.

> the broad theme is: be demanding. if ppl wanna suggest stuff to you, ask for it to be super helpful so it meets your standards. your problems come from thinking you'll have to accept ideas which aren't good enough.

anonymous FI

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Apr 13, 2018, 1:31:48 AM4/13/18
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On Mon, Apr 09, 2018 at 11:41:56PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> [...] if you will discuss some then progress is possible, and the things most hindering progress (due to spending resources on consumption instead of investment in yourself) can be discussed if you are dissatisfied with the pace of your progress.

This paragraph implies that whether I discuss the things that most hinder me depends on what I want. For example, if I'm dissatisfied with the pace of my progress, I can discuss the things that most hinder me. But I don't *have* to discuss them otherwise.

It's intriguing that the things that most hinder my progress would be due to spending resources on consumption instead of investment in myself. I think the thing that most hinders my progress is not managing my error rate effectively. Is this an example of consumption vs investment choices? Any other examples of how my consumption vs investment choices hinder my progress?

(I also wrote the anon posts signed as PeterKeating in this thread.)

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 1:53:09 AM4/13/18
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On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 01:29:27AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> if you don't want to discuss something, you can say so. you can say you plan to do other things for now, and reevaluate later. or you can say some other kind of plan or priority system or whatever.

My understanding of PF is that I can't just say, "I don't want to discuss it", and leave it at that -- I have to come up with a plan to re-evaluate later or something (as you suggest). Otherwise, I'm leaving open the possibility of being stuck (with regard to whatever it is that I don't want to discuss) for an unbounded amount of time . Preventing this from happening is Paths Forward's reason for existing.

One of my problems is that a kind of emotional pressure sometimes builds up in me when I discuss. I'm looking for some kind of valve to release the pressure *while still following PF*. I suppose if that's what I want, and I don't already know how to get it, I can ask for help or suggestions. Just like I would with any other knowledge that I want to acquire.

PeterKeating

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:01:49 AM4/13/18
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On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 01:29:27AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> On Apr 10, 2018, at 12:07 AM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> Life is simpler when I don't follow PF - I just do whatever I want. (I will postpone the question of whether the desires I end up acting upon are my own or those of the static memes whose puppet I am.)
>
> how do you decide what you want?

Good question. I don't know how that aspect of myself works, which isn't a good sign. Added a calendar reminder to revisit the question in a year. I will consider changing the date if there are objections.

PeterKeating

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:03:10 AM4/13/18
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On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 01:29:27AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> On Apr 10, 2018, at 12:07 AM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> Life is simpler when I don't follow PF - I just do whatever I want. (I will postpone the question of whether the desires I end up acting upon are my own or those of the static memes whose puppet I am.)

> is *simple* what you want in life? as opposed to, say, less error and suffering?

Eliyahu Goldratt once said something like, "You want a simple life? [or maybe it was an 'easy life'] THen hit yourself hard on the head with a hammer. Your life will be very simple. You won't even have to feed yourself, or people will do it for you." (my paraphrase)

I do want less error and suffering. The problem is that the only options I see (follow PF or follow whims) seem to entail suffering. Maybe the way out is for me to learn PF to the point of being able to explain clearly whether or not it entails suffering.

PeterKeating

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:12:22 AM4/13/18
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On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 01:29:27AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> On Apr 10, 2018, at 12:07 AM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 2:41 AM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:

>>> Every concern of yours must be addressed or you don't have to – and shouldn't – do something. This includes both concerns with doing it, and concerns with not doing other things you'd be doing it instead of.

I recognize this as part of the Avoiding Coercion method [http://fallibleideas.com/avoiding-coercion]: always finding an idea to act on which I have no objections to.

Avoiding Coercion says that when there's a conflict that the parties can't agree on, rather than continue trying to resolve the conflict directly, they should step back and ask, "Given that we disagree on this, how should we proceed?" This is a peaceful approach to resolving disagreements. There's no fighting or pressuring or trapping of any kind.

>> What if I'm bad at putting my concerns into words?
>
> then put into words "i have concerns i haven't put into words ... given that, any advice?"

Again, you suggest I step back one level, like in Avoiding Coercion. Interesting.

>> I also worry that it would be incredibly time consuming and/or stressful for me to discuss everything and put everything into words.
>
> then put into words "i think it would take too long to discuss this"

I get it. The Avoiding Coercion method is effective even while trying to apply Paths Forward. :)

PeterKeating

Elliot Temple

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:17:54 AM4/13/18
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On Apr 12, 2018, at 10:53 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 01:29:27AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:
>
>> if you don't want to discuss something, you can say so. you can say you plan to do other things for now, and reevaluate later. or you can say some other kind of plan or priority system or whatever.
>
> My understanding of PF is that I can't just say, "I don't want to discuss it", and leave it at that -- I have to come up with a plan to re-evaluate later or something (as you suggest). Otherwise, I'm leaving open the possibility of being stuck (with regard to whatever it is that I don't want to discuss) for an unbounded amount of time . Preventing this from happening is Paths Forward's reason for existing.

yes.

an alternative to a plan (or you could sorta call it a type of plan) is to be open to communications criticizing your discussion preference.

> One of my problems is that a kind of emotional pressure sometimes builds up in me when I discuss. I'm looking for some kind of valve to release the pressure *while still following PF*. I suppose if that's what I want, and I don't already know how to get it, I can ask for help or suggestions. Just like I would with any other knowledge that I want to acquire.

but then you just say e.g. "emotional pressure has built up inside me, so i’m not going to discuss for one week. i will then revisit. if it’s still there, i will revisit in another week. if this is a recurring pattern after 5 weeks, i will make a new plan”.

you could ask if anyone has any criticisms of that, but if you aren’t up for asking that you’re only risking 5 weeks, not infinity weeks.

if you don’t want to share that you have emotional problems, then it’s harder for people to point out if you’re making a mistake. but it doesn’t ruin things. you can just say: a problem came up, will revisit every week, will replan if problem still there in 5 weeks. b/c that’s vague and generic, no one will have much opportunity to criticize it (they could question whether you should share more, but if you just say it’s private what are they gonna say? maybe they could come up with something helpful still, but it’s hard so i’d expect them to drop it and figure it’s your problem if you’re screwing up, and anyway you should be back in 1-5 weeks in some capacity.).

if you don’t want to revisit things on a timeframe, and you don’t want to keep an API open to discussion/criticism/questions, then you would need some other kinda of safety valve for your plan (like you could plan to learn X skill then come back, without a specific timeframe, but what if you then do other stuff and fool yourself indefinitely? it’s best if you check in on whether you’re fooling yourself periodically. you could fool yourself about the check ins, but it’s better to try that than not to try. if fooling yourself regarding self-checks is a concern, getting external criticism is a great defense b/c lots of times your rationalizations don’t convince others. nothing is totally foolproof but there are things that help. i suppose you could have other kinds of check ins that aren’t time based, e.g. check if you made X progress after using Y amount of some resource. but what if you just don’t do it, so you never reach the milestone of using Y of the resource on the project? a time based check is a good way to structure seeing if you’re doing it. another way to do it is instead of having timers on specific checks, you can have lists of open projects and check them periodically as part of your standard lifestyle.)

Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:18:48 AM4/13/18
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On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 09:29:38PM -0700, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum wrote:

> Makes sense. When people suggest abstract principles in which the specific application is up to me, then there is no pressure on me and no urgency. On the other hand, if someone is suggesting a concrete thing I should do in the near future, then I should be demanding about acquiring the knowledge necessary to follow the suggestion.

In the recent past, I believed that Paths Forward (PF)was, in part, a set of ideas one would quote from in order to get someone else to discuss more than they want to. PF allowed one to truthfully "intellectually bludgeon" them with the idea that, to the extent they don't discuss, they are a bad intellectual.

However, with my new knowledge of the distinction between abstract principles vs concrete suggestions, I can now refute my old idea as follows:

To the extent that PF consists abstract principles which people need to figure out for themselves how to apply to their specific situation, there's no pressure. If someone cites PF in making concrete suggestions about what someone should discuss *now*, the suggester ought to have detailed knowledge about the target's life in order to know that the suggestion is correct. The target can and should demand that the suggester share this knowledge with the target before implementing the suggestion.

PeterKeating

Elliot Temple

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:23:01 AM4/13/18
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tangent:

whether error correction is investment or consumption depends on what you do.

learning reusable error correction methods is investment.

non-resusable error correction efforts in order to complete a hard project now would be consumption.

answer:

same with error rate management. that can be done in investment style ways by learning reusable skills. it can also be done in ways that will not help you in the future, such as avoiding hard projects instead of learning to increase your ability to deal with them, or hiring people to help fix your errors so you can get the project done without having enough skill.

the same project can be done early (you’re lower skill, it's harder, there’s a threat of high error rate, it requires extra resources to complete) or later (when you’re higher skill, it’s easier for you, it won’t require much/many resources to manage errors or complete the project).

and the same project can also be done by creating and applying reusable knowledge, or with special case knowledge. just like software can be a mess of special cases, or the same software could consist of a very small, simple program plus a reusable library.

Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:27:50 AM4/13/18
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On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 01:29:27AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> there are reasons discussion is good and can benefit you. to the extent you understand that, you may want to do it. to the extent you don't know it ... well you always have to act on your own understanding. hopefully your preferences don't make you stuck. i don't think they do. they seem to leave some scope for some discussion so you can improve your discussion preferences sometimes, get progress going more, etc.

Interesting. Before, I thought I couldn't adopt Paths Forward unless I completely understood that discussion "is good and can benefit" me. Now, however, I would refute that idea as follows:

"Adopting" Paths Forward is a strange way to put it. It sounds like it means agreeing to follow some idea whether or not I understand it well enough. But that's never a good plan. Rather than being concerned with "adopting" Paths Forward I should have been concerned with *understanding* Paths Forward.

And I don't (now) understand what I meant by "completely underst[and]". That sounds like an understanding that contains, in advance, all the knowledge of exactly how to apply Paths Forward in my life at any time and in any conceivable situation. But that kind of understanding is impossible. It mixes up the the levels of an abstract principle and a concrete suggestion.

What *is* possible is to have a good enough understanding of the abstract principle that discussion is good and can benefit me. This means that I know how to apply the principle to all the situations I currently face or reasonably foresee myself facing. If my understanding of a true abstract principle such as PF is good enough, I will be motivated to apply it to my life whenever it is applicable.

PeterKeating

Elliot Temple

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:32:44 AM4/13/18
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On Apr 12, 2018, at 11:18 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 09:29:38PM -0700, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum wrote:
>
>> Makes sense. When people suggest abstract principles in which the specific application is up to me, then there is no pressure on me and no urgency. On the other hand, if someone is suggesting a concrete thing I should do in the near future, then I should be demanding about acquiring the knowledge necessary to follow the suggestion.
>
> In the recent past, I believed that Paths Forward (PF)was, in part, a set of ideas one would quote from in order to get someone else to discuss more than they want to. PF allowed one to truthfully "intellectually bludgeon" them with the idea that, to the extent they don't discuss, they are a bad intellectual.

there are lots of bad “intellectuals” in the world. they do tons to limit discussion *and* they don’t have some alternative idea. what is their plan instead of PF? their plan generally seems to be: stay wrong, or hope that the good ideas reach them through really really harsh filters on social status, prestige, academic career climbing, etc. those filters are awful and alienate the best people and ideas. the are filtering against outliers, filtering on conformity, filtering on social games instead of truth seeking, etc... if you won’t want open public discussion, at least come up with something better than that. come up with some criteria for what would get you interested which could be passed by a brilliant, wise person who chooses not to play some of the standard climbing-the-ladder games in life and just like cares about knowledge instead of being second-handed.


> However, with my new knowledge of the distinction between abstract principles vs concrete suggestions, I can now refute my old idea as follows:
>
> To the extent that PF consists abstract principles which people need to figure out for themselves how to apply to their specific situation, there's no pressure. If someone cites PF in making concrete suggestions about what someone should discuss *now*, the suggester ought to have detailed knowledge about the target's life in order to know that the suggestion is correct. The target can and should demand that the suggester share this knowledge with the target before implementing the suggestion.

yes.

it’s so easy to deal with advice. either it’s helpful to you or it isn’t. if it isn’t, you just complain about it. complaining about it is easy. you just say it’s long and looks boring, or whatever. you can e.g. come up with some criteria for what things you like to engage with and ask that personal advice meet those criteria.

the more you have too much incoming help/advice/comments/whatever, you raise your standards and demand more. and if you don’t have too much incoming communication, then there’s no problem to address it. you can tune how demanding, what the bar is for your attention, to get the amount of incoming stuff that’s above the bar that you want.


Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Elliot Temple

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:45:41 AM4/13/18
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On Apr 12, 2018, at 10:28 PM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 01:29:27AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:
>
>> there are reasons discussion is good and can benefit you. to the extent you understand that, you may want to do it. to the extent you don't know it ... well you always have to act on your own understanding. hopefully your preferences don't make you stuck. i don't think they do. they seem to leave some scope for some discussion so you can improve your discussion preferences sometimes, get progress going more, etc.
>
> This paragraph sounds more friendly than I expected. The paragraph is saying that I always have to act on my own understanding. The paragraph expresses some optimism about my discussion preferences.

IMO: if u express concerns u get replies addressing your concerns, and they seem friendly. if u try to say PF is logically wrong, u get replies explaining that you suck at logic and you're wrong, which seem unfriendly despite being true and appropriate. you may have observed some ppl making bad decisions about what kind of discussion they want...


> Before, I thought of PF as putting discussion over all else, including my own understanding about how much and what to discuss in any specific situation. But this conflict is necessarily imaginary, because "discussion over all else" is an abstract principle which doesn't say specifically what to do in any specific situation. Therefore, "discussion over all else" cannot conflict with any idea about how much a specific person should discuss in a specific situation.

you can’t discuss 24/7. PF doesn’t say discussion comes before getting enough sleep. rather – this shouldn’t be too surprising – i’d say that discussion and getting enough sleep *are compatible* (no compromises or sacrifices required).

if someone wants too much resources from you, in your view, then some good things to do are:

- give some indication of your resource use policies so ppl know what to expect (predictability in advance about what will get how much attention from you) and so ppl can suggest improvements

- say you think it’s too much resources, so they can potentially clear up a misunderstanding or add a solution (e.g. a way to do something more cheaply)

- ask them why it’s worth it

- express what you think it’d take to be beneficial to you, in case they want to improve their offered interaction to that standard so that you’d want it



>> the broad theme is: be demanding. if ppl wanna suggest stuff to you, ask for it to be super helpful so it meets your standards. your problems come from thinking you'll have to accept ideas which aren't good enough.
>
> Makes sense. When people suggest abstract principles in which the specific application is up to me, then there is no pressure on me and no urgency. On the other hand, if someone is suggesting a concrete thing I should do in the near future, then I should be demanding about acquiring the knowledge necessary to follow the suggestion.

it’s really hard to tell ppl specifically what to do in their lives. this is one reason PF has some *questions* people should have answers to. specific solutions like discussion forums are helpful examples but are not developed to the level of saying particular people should make forums on particular platforms with particular associates as moderators, advertised to their audiences in particular ways, funded in particular ways, etc. i don’t know every details of how ppl should handle stuff like that to fit their situations, but i know they should have some error correction stuff set up, some ways they are not blocking outlier ideas, some ways they aren’t making themselves unhelpable, and some answers to questions about where their paths forward are.

Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:49:15 AM4/13/18
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On Mon, Apr 09, 2018 at 11:41:56PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> If you don't want to expose anything at all to criticism, in any way, then Paths Forward isn't for you. If you want to discuss some things, sometimes –and you're interested in truth and error correction – then you can explain your reasoning, policies, etc.

In earlier draft, I replied to Elliot with the following:

>> So Paths Forward could be for me -- even if I only want to discuss some things, sometimes -- as long as I'm willing to discuss my reasoning, policies, etc. whenever I don't fully follow Paths Forward as written. All that discussing seems like a burdensome bar.

Now that I understand the distinction between abstract principles and concrete suggestions, I can answer my own objection as follows:

Let's untangle this. I wrote of that Paths Forward (PF) could be for me only if I were "willing to discuss my reasoning, policies, etc. whenever I don't fully follow Paths Forward as written". There are three issues with this:

(1) The "whenever" clause covers a wide range of possible situations. That makes it more of an abstract principle than a concrete suggestion, and abstract principles don't conflict with concrete suggestions. The reason that discussion seemed like a "burdensome bar" was because I was imagining forcing myself to apply an abstract principle in concrete ways that I didn't like.

(2) Fallibility applies: Maybe there are cases when PF *shouldn't* be followed, but my fears didn't leave any room for this possibility. If there are cases when PF shouldn't be followed, then PF can be improved if it doesn't already contain or reference this (hypothetical) new knowledge.

(3) I wrote of being "willing to discuss" in a general sense, as if that were something that could be willed or decided in advance. It sounds like I was thinking of PF as a concrete suggestion to be obeyed, rather an abstract principle to be *understood*. But *no* concrete suggestion should be obeyed - suggestions should be followed if and when you know everything you need to in order to be (a) effectively follow the suggestion and (b) be persuaded that doing so is a pure win for you, with no downsides.


PeterKeating

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:50:50 AM4/13/18
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On Mon, Apr 09, 2018 at 11:41:56PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> If you don't want to expose anything at all to criticism, in any way, then Paths Forward isn't for you. If you want to discuss some things, sometimes –and you're interested in truth and error correction – then you can explain your reasoning, policies, etc.

In earlier draft (which I never sent), I replied to Elliot with the following:

>> So Paths Forward could be for me -- even if I only want to discuss some things, sometimes -- as long as I'm willing to discuss my reasoning, policies, etc. whenever I don't fully follow Paths Forward as written. All that discussing seems like a burdensome bar. There's no escape from discussion! I can't just open the escape hatch, go outside for a bit, and come back when I'm ready. First I would have to explain why I should open the escape hatch... It seems like Paths Forward calls for some kind of public discussion to PRECEDE every action.

Regarding the "escape hatch" thing: if there were actually a literal emergency and a literal escape hatch, I wouldn't need to tell people first that I was taking the escape hatch, provided doing so didn't hurt anyone else (by letting all the air out or something). That's common sense. If there were some kind of actual emotional emergency, such as I'm panicking and I need to take a short break, then again, I don't need to tell people first. I can just do it. Common sense. So PF *doesn't* call for discussion to "PRECEDE every action", as I feared.

PeterKeating

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:53:37 AM4/13/18
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On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:03:07PM -0700, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum wrote:

> I do want less error and suffering. The problem is that the only options I see (follow PF or follow whims) seem to entail suffering. Maybe the way out is for me to learn PF to the point of being able to explain clearly whether or not it entails suffering.

On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 4:29 AM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote (not in reply to the above):

>> writing down PF policies privately would be an intermediate step. you could self-police it. (you could also share your policy with a trusted friend.) you could get more comfortable with it before making it a public policy.

Great suggestion on how to gradually try out some ideas in Paths Forward. Writing down my Paths Forward (PF) policies privately and trying to follow them could help me understand PF better a little bit at a time.

PeterKeating

Elliot Temple

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:55:47 AM4/13/18
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On Apr 12, 2018, at 11:27 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 01:29:27AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:
>
>> there are reasons discussion is good and can benefit you. to the extent you understand that, you may want to do it. to the extent you don't know it ... well you always have to act on your own understanding. hopefully your preferences don't make you stuck. i don't think they do. they seem to leave some scope for some discussion so you can improve your discussion preferences sometimes, get progress going more, etc.
>
> Interesting. Before, I thought I couldn't adopt Paths Forward unless I completely understood that discussion "is good and can benefit" me. Now, however, I would refute that idea as follows:
>
> "Adopting" Paths Forward is a strange way to put it. It sounds like it means agreeing to follow some idea whether or not I understand it well enough. But that's never a good plan. Rather than being concerned with "adopting" Paths Forward I should have been concerned with *understanding* Paths Forward.

PF is a concept, a way of thinking, a group of ideas. You can *agree* with it, rather than adopting it (agreement should follow, not precede, understanding). What you can adopt are specific PF-inspired (or PF-compatible or whatever) implementations of things. Like you could create a forum, or you could piggyback on an existing forum like FI and refer ppl to it. Or you could write an adopt a set of anti-bias policies or policies for the public to get your attention or something like that.


> And I don't (now) understand what I meant by "completely underst[and]". That sounds like an understanding that contains, in advance, all the knowledge of exactly how to apply Paths Forward in my life at any time and in any conceivable situation. But that kind of understanding is impossible. It mixes up the the levels of an abstract principle and a concrete suggestion.

you gotta solve problems as you go along – and prioritize – not try to solve them all in advance.

> What *is* possible is to have a good enough understanding of the abstract principle that discussion is good and can benefit me. This means that I know how to apply the principle to all the situations I currently face or reasonably foresee myself facing. If my understanding of a true abstract principle such as PF is good enough, I will be motivated to apply it to my life whenever it is applicable.

ppl have such TERRIBLE answers to PF questions. just having some not-ridiculously-bad answers could put you in the top 0.001% ez.

aubrey lied about having a forum. it was a subreddit that was so inactive that it made them look bad and they should have stopped linking to it. as usual with such things, there was no indication it was being monitored by anyone who cares or matters and could pass on any good ideas to someone important.

so much of ppl’s attitudes is just like “you don’t talk like a person who went thru hell to please some PhD committee, therefore, in light of your virtue and wisdom, i shall ignore you”.

btw if you think PF is problematic, could you demonstrate by causing a problem for me? could you try to use it to pressure me? then you’ll see how i address it.

Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 3:01:29 AM4/13/18
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On Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 01:29:27AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> telling other people what actions they should take is hard b/c the adviser doesn't know all about the person's life and how to make action plans work in someone else's life with their motivations, understanding, etc. i primarily advise people about ideas and expect them to figure out how to apply it.

The distinction between advising people about ideas vs telling them what actions they should take has a parallel in software engineering: Outlining some good principles of coding is a separate project from actually applying those principles to improve a specific legacy codebase.

> (they often seem to come up with a quick naive interpretation of how to apply it, find that doesn't work, and then say i'm wrong. that is a dumb way to react. if an application is bad, consider other applications! don't assume i meant to imply the application you can see is bad. at least ask. and if you think the concepts i'm talking about are bad, explain why they are bad in general, and you can use the failed application as an example. but a failed application alone is not a general argument that other applications wouldn't work.)

Yeah. It's not straightforward to apply general principles to improve a specific situation. In software engineering, a quick, naive interpretation of a principle could easily make the code *worse*. For instance, suppose someone hears that DRY (don't repeat yourself) is a good principle for code. One naive interpretation of DRY is that they should remove a bunch of repetitions from their code in one gigantic commit. But that's a recipe for disaster. It would be better to submit many small changes to remove repetitions, and test the code after each change.

Elliot Temple

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Apr 13, 2018, 3:02:25 AM4/13/18
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do you see me discussing everything i do before i do it?

i have policies for what to post about. if ppl want more clarity about those policies, or think they suck, they can say something. feel free to try to challenge me about them. the only problem is i might play along a bunch *for fun, b/c i want to*. but if i was busy i could just ask one question like: “Are you so confident you have a major improvement for me, which I will value at more than $1000, that you would offer to pay me $100 if I think it’s bad, to mitigate the risk of me spending time understanding what you’re saying?” That is a quick way to filter out *pretty much the entire world*. But if they aren’t offering something with $1000+ value, it doesn’t even matter much if i miss out. and if they think $100 is important relative to the importance of whether the conversation happens – which is pretty much ubiquitous even for people who could easily afford it – then they are revealing they don’t value the conversation much and disqualifying themselves.

Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 1:47:48 PM4/13/18
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On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 12:02:23AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> On Apr 12, 2018, at 11:50 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> So PF *doesn't* call for discussion to "PRECEDE every action", as I feared.
>
> do you see me discussing everything i do before i do it?

lol no

> i have policies for what to post about. if ppl want more clarity about those policies, or think they suck, they can say something. feel free to try to challenge me about them. the only problem is i might play along a bunch *for fun, b/c i want to*.

What do you mean by "play along", and why would that be a problem?

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 13, 2018, 1:49:32 PM4/13/18
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On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 12:02:23AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> i have policies for what to post about. if ppl want more clarity about those policies, or think they suck, they can say something. feel free to try to challenge me about them. the only problem is i might play along a bunch *for fun, b/c i want to*.
>
> but if i was busy i could just ask one question like: “Are you so confident you have a major improvement for me, which I will value at more than $1000, that you would offer to pay me $100 if I think it’s bad, to mitigate the risk of me spending time understanding what you’re saying?” That is a quick way to filter out *pretty much the entire world*. But if they aren’t offering something with $1000+ value, it doesn’t even matter much if i miss out. and if they think $100 is important relative to the importance of whether the conversation happens – which is pretty much ubiquitous even for people who could easily afford it – then they are revealing they don’t value the conversation much and disqualifying themselves.

That policy (asking "Are you so confident...that you would offer to pay me $100...") could be effective for a good thinker. It wouldn't be effective for a bad thinker, because the people suggesting ideas would be at risk of losing their $100 for no good reason. For example, people wouldn't expect the bad thinker to be a competent judge of whether the idea was worth more than $1000 to him. Also, there's a risk that the bad thinker might leave before the discussion had concluded.

Elliot Temple

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Apr 13, 2018, 1:53:51 PM4/13/18
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it works fine for a bad thinker if your goal is to filter out people who don’t care that much about helping you.

your fear seems to be they are trying to control your life, tell you what to do, etc. if they are actually trying to control your life, they will risk $100. if they won’t risk $100, they just don’t care that much about what happens in your life, and by asking them to stake money you will successfully get them to back off. so if you want someone to back off, it can work well.


Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Elliot Temple

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Apr 13, 2018, 1:54:36 PM4/13/18
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i mean i might choose to spend time on the discussion rather than demonstrating how to preserve/protect my time.

Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com

Elliot Temple

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Apr 13, 2018, 2:20:05 PM4/13/18
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suppose they are trying to control your life. what do you do? after they stake $100 (or before is fine too) you, as usual, express your concern: “yo, before we get to the main topic, i've got a meta issue getting in the way. i think you’re trying to control my life.” and then they put your concerns to rest, help guide you to self-evaluate potential control attempts and stand up for yourself, etc, etc. and they explain how you misunderstood some things, and why they don’t want to control your life. etc. or not, in which case it’s an open, unresolved threat and maybe you back off from discussion due to it.

Q: this seems pretty obvious. if you have a concern, just say it.

A: i know right.

Q: but then why don’t people already do this?

A: cuz if you do this with assholes they will be assholes about it. they will treat concerns as weakness to be mean about. they will see you as admitting to flaws and vulnerability, which means you’re weak. they will see you as asking them for help, which means you’re below them. it’s problematic to do this stuff b/c of *social dynamics*. (yet again: social dynamics are irrational and fuck stuff up!!!!)

Q: but i live in a world with social ppl

A: well, do PF with the ppl who are better. for ppl you think are social, only do PF stuff with them if they are willing to read the PF essays or something. that’ll filter them out. only a small fraction of ppl like those essays. if they don’t like the PF essays, limit your interactions however you think you better. as always you have to think and this isn’t foolproof, but you can do it in a reasonable way.

Q: but EVERYONE sux, except curi.

A: well i told them to stop sucking, but no one listens to me :(

Q: you didn’t just tell them, you explained it in dozens of ways, made videos, answered questions, etc, etc

A: oh did you notice that?

Q: huh?

A: it’s from Atlas Shrugged:

> “Inasmuch as the formula of Rearden Metal is my own personal secret, and in view of the fact that the Metal costs much less to produce than you boys can imagine, I expect to skin the public to the tune of a profit of twenty-five per cent in the next few years.”
>
> “What do you mean, skin the public, Mr. Rearden?” asked the boy. “If it’s true, as I’ve read in your ads, that your Metal will last three times longer than any other and at half the price, wouldn’t the public be getting a bargain?”
>
> “Oh, have you noticed that?” said Rearden.

Q: how come that book has 5,000 great quotes when other books only have like 0-5? seems like INEQUALITY that Rard hogged all the good quotes.

A: lol

Q: how do YOU deal with shitty ppl who are mean when you ask for help or express concerns?

A: i’m self-confident. i don’t care. and i don’t really ask in a weak way. at least in my opinion, which is all i care about. and i mostly talk on FI where i’ve established an ethos, at atmosphere, that really tells standard social dynamics to go fuck themselves. **it doesn’t seem weak to DEMAND someone provide better ideas or else be judged as not worth your time... it doesn’t seem week to be demanding to a high standard, and have high standards. present it that way.** but in fairness, i don’t rly have weak concerns like “what if you’re trying to make me your puppet?”. it’s easier to come off strong if you are strong.

Q: are we done? how do we end this a dialog?


Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 18, 2018, 6:14:57 PM4/18/18
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On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 11:20:01AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:
> On Apr 13, 2018, at 10:53 AM, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:
>
>> On Apr 13, 2018, at 10:49 AM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 12:02:23AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:
>>>
>>>> i have policies for what to post about. if ppl want more clarity about those policies, or think they suck, they can say something. feel free to try to challenge me about them. the only problem is i might play along a bunch *for fun, b/c i want to*.
>>>>
>>>> but if i was busy i could just ask one question like: “Are you so confident you have a major improvement for me, which I will value at more than $1000, that you would offer to pay me $100 if I think it’s bad, to mitigate the risk of me spending time understanding what you’re saying?” That is a quick way to filter out *pretty much the entire world*. But if they aren’t offering something with $1000+ value, it doesn’t even matter much if i miss out. and if they think $100 is important relative to the importance of whether the conversation happens – which is pretty much ubiquitous even for people who could easily afford it – then they are revealing they don’t value the conversation much and disqualifying themselves.
>>>
>>> That policy (asking "Are you so confident...that you would offer to pay me $100...") could be effective for a good thinker. It wouldn't be effective for a bad thinker, because the people suggesting ideas would be at risk of losing their $100 for no good reason. For example, people wouldn't expect the bad thinker to be a competent judge of whether the idea was worth more than $1000 to him. Also, there's a risk that the bad thinker might leave before the discussion had concluded.
>>
>> it works fine for a bad thinker if your goal is to filter out people who don’t care that much about helping you.
>>
>> your fear seems to be they are trying to control your life, tell you what to do, etc. if they are actually trying to control your life, they will risk $100. if they won’t risk $100, they just don’t care that much about what happens in your life, and by asking them to stake money you will successfully get them to back off. so if you want someone to back off, it can work well.
>
> suppose they are trying to control your life. what do you do? after they stake $100 (or before is fine too) you, as usual, express your concern: “yo, before we get to the main topic, i've got a meta issue getting in the way. i think you’re trying to control my life.” and then they put your concerns to rest, help guide you to self-evaluate potential control attempts and stand up for yourself, etc, etc. and they explain how you misunderstood some things, and why they don’t want to control your life. etc. or not, in which case it’s an open, unresolved threat and maybe you back off from discussion due to it.

It could work like you say if the good thinker really wants to help the bad thinker, and if the good thinker is willing to forfeit $100 if the subsequent discussions don't go well. However, If I'm a good poster who actually wants to help the bad thinker, I wouldn't pay $100 to them up front, for the reasons I gave above (concerns that the bad thinker would just leave before the discussion had concluded, for instance). I concede that if the bad thinker is asking for $100 up front, that would *also* filter out people who just want to control the bad thinker, unless that control is worth $100 to them.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 18, 2018, 6:20:32 PM4/18/18
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On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 11:20:01AM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> suppose they are trying to control your life. what do you do? after they stake $100 (or before is fine too) you, as usual, express your concern: “yo, before we get to the main topic, i've got a meta issue getting in the way. i think you’re trying to control my life.” and then they put your concerns to rest, help guide you to self-evaluate potential control attempts and stand up for yourself, etc, etc. and they explain how you misunderstood some things, and why they don’t want to control your life. etc. or not, in which case it’s an open, unresolved threat and maybe you back off from discussion due to it.
>
> Q: this seems pretty obvious. if you have a concern, just say it.
>
> A: i know right.
>
> Q: but then why don’t people already do this?
>
> A: cuz if you do this with assholes they will be assholes about it. they will treat concerns as weakness to be mean about. they will see you as admitting to flaws and vulnerability, which means you’re weak. they will see you as asking them for help, which means you’re below them. it’s problematic to do this stuff b/c of *social dynamics*. (yet again: social dynamics are irrational and fuck stuff up!!!!)

Right. Plenty of people will be mean if you show vulnerability.

> Q: but i live in a world with social ppl
>
> A: well, do PF with the ppl who are better. for ppl you think are social, only do PF stuff with them if they are willing to read the PF essays or something. that’ll filter them out. only a small fraction of ppl like those essays. if they don’t like the PF essays, limit your interactions however you think you better. as always you have to think and this isn’t foolproof, but you can do it in a reasonable way.
>
> Q: but EVERYONE sux, except curi.

Right. The number of people on earth with written, public Paths Forward policies is 1.

> A: well i told them to stop sucking, but no one listens to me :(
>
> Q: you didn’t just tell them, you explained it in dozens of ways, made videos, answered questions, etc, etc
>
> A: oh did you notice that?
>
> Q: huh?
>
> A: it’s from Atlas Shrugged:
>
>> “Inasmuch as the formula of Rearden Metal is my own personal secret, and in view of the fact that the Metal costs much less to produce than you boys can imagine, I expect to skin the public to the tune of a profit of twenty-five per cent in the next few years.”
>>
>> “What do you mean, skin the public, Mr. Rearden?” asked the boy. “If it’s true, as I’ve read in your ads, that your Metal will last three times longer than any other and at half the price, wouldn’t the public be getting a bargain?”
>>
>> “Oh, have you noticed that?” said Rearden.

There's an old saying that applies: You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

> Q: how come that book has 5,000 great quotes when other books only have like 0-5? seems like INEQUALITY that Rard hogged all the good quotes.
>
> A: lol

Good point. AS is an outlier in many ways.

> Q: how do YOU deal with shitty ppl who are mean when you ask for help or express concerns?
>
> A: i’m self-confident. i don’t care. and i don’t really ask in a weak way. at least in my opinion, which is all i care about. and i mostly talk on FI where i’ve established an ethos, at atmosphere, that really tells standard social dynamics to go fuck themselves. **it doesn’t seem weak to DEMAND someone provide better ideas or else be judged as not worth your time... it doesn’t seem week to be demanding to a high standard, and have high standards. present it that way.** but in fairness, i don’t rly have weak concerns like “what if you’re trying to make me your puppet?”. it’s easier to come off strong if you are strong.

Yes, it's easier to come off strong if you are strong. Like a guy who is shy to approach girls might be afraid of what they will say. But for someone confident and experienced, it isn't a big deal.

> Q: are we done? how do we end this a dialog?

It would be more realistic for one person to ask an important question or make an important point and for the other person to never follow up.

Elliot Temple

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Apr 18, 2018, 6:24:02 PM4/18/18
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The purpose of asking about money is to prevent ppl who *do not care about you personally* from telling you what to do. You seem to agree it would accomplish that.

The thing at issue was like: how do you do PF while still protecting yourself?

Separately, you see a downside: it makes you less accessible to be helped by some people.

Yes, protection mechanisms – being less open – reduce your accessibility.

To the extent you are important, ppl should be willing to do something to show they are operating in good faith. To the extent you are unimportant, no one cares about you and your Paths Forward are not going to be this big burden where you're overwhelmed.

PF allows substantial control over how much incoming help/comments/etc you can. You can tweak that by having more or less open policies, in order to control how much incoming advice/criticism/whatever you get to fit your situation. If you get too little, open up your policies. If too much, put up more barriers which still don't actually block things if it was important – e.g. if $10,000 was at stake then $100 wouldn't be a big deal.

I think you're getting confused b/c of thinking about both issues at the same time and mixing up what things are designed to help with which issue some. This has come up with other ppl. They will swap btwn asking about how to protect their time/life/etc more (be more closed while still being PF compatible) and also asking how to have great, really accessible PFs that are really open and will get them lots of incoming help. you need to figure out whether you think you're currently too open (too accessible) or too closed (too demanding) and then come up with a way to adjust it in one direction. you only adjust one way at a time (conceivably per issue/domain). when looking at the concept, ppl worry about both and have questions about both. but in an actual situation you would have one problem or the other.

Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 18, 2018, 6:24:44 PM4/18/18
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I get it. A PF skeptic might try to draw curi into a pointless discussion that is intended to waste curi's resources. But rather than employ his protection mechanisms, curi might instead participate in the discussion ("play along") just for fun. This would be a "problem" because then the skeptic wouldn't see a demonstration of how curi protects himself with PF, but rather a demonstration of curi having fun.

Elliot Temple

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Apr 18, 2018, 7:01:52 PM4/18/18
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Yes.

tangent: theoretically, better forum software would let me make minor comments as side notes without them being full emails. it’s one of the issues FI has. notably phpbb doesn't do that, it's just a linear thread. and i generally like mostly linear chronological threads more than trees where everything gets out of order and there's 500 different branches to track. a discussion should generally have a limited number of branches or people lose track of everything. FI facilitates that (phpbb and reddit do not).

facebook has one layer nesting. i think that could be good if used properly – a main thread and then you use the nested threads on each main comment only for minor side points, not for substantial replies or discussion. that is not how facebook is actually used.

any ideas on how to handle this better on FI? i've suggested people write a little bit of thinking so their post is worth a read. i think it's an issue the most for me personally b/c whether i am thinking "yes" or "no" in response matters, but if it was someone else a "yes" or "no" would not be a reply anyone cared about.

Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Elliot Temple

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Apr 18, 2018, 7:03:08 PM4/18/18
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This dialog is between me and me, so it's different.

Tangent: I think this comment, above, is pretty small to send an email over. Thoughts about handling better?

Elliot Temple
www.curi.us

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 18, 2018, 10:54:57 PM4/18/18
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On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:55:43PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> On Apr 12, 2018, at 11:27 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> "Adopting" Paths Forward [is what I wrote, but that] is a strange way to put it. It sounds like it means agreeing to follow some idea whether or not I understand it well enough. But that's never a good plan. Rather than being concerned with "adopting" Paths Forward I should have been concerned with *understanding* Paths Forward.
>
> PF is a concept, a way of thinking, a group of ideas. You can *agree* with it, rather than adopting it (agreement should follow, not precede, understanding). What you can adopt are specific PF-inspired (or PF-compatible or whatever) implementations of things. Like you could create a forum, or you could piggyback on an existing forum like FI and refer ppl to it. Or you could write an adopt a set of anti-bias policies or policies for the public to get your attention or something like that.

When I started this thread, I was thinking of "adopting PF" as committing to follow PF "as a whole" even though I had vague, but major concerns that it might be bad for me.

Adopting *specific ideas* from PF that I understand, such as treating sources I reference the same as stuff I write myself, makes more sense. I already adopted that one.

Here are a few ideas from PF that I'm not sure about yet:

>>> If someone has a point which you haven’t answered, and you refuse to listen *for any reason*, then you’re irrational. You’re not open to discussion; there isn’t a path forward.

An addition based on my understanding: Proposing to postpone the discussion counts as listening. If the other person disagrees with the idea to postpone and we can't come to agreement, we should discuss THAT disagreement first, following the method of Avoiding Coercion.

>>> There’s no way to judge ideas other than discussion. A rational discussion can evaluate an idea. Nothing else can. Rational discussions are open-ended meaning there are always paths forward if anyone has any new ideas about the topic. Any other way of dealing with ideas is irrational because it would reject some correct idea.

What about intuition? I wrote earlier that I use intuition to judge ideas. I could accept that intuition has problems as a method of judging ideas, but it seems somewhat helpful. It's better than nothing.

>>> There’s an interesting symmetry here. Whenever you discuss a disagreement with someone, you don’t know who will be right. Maybe you’ll be right and teach him something. Maybe he’ll be right and teach you something. Or maybe you’ll both be mistaken and cooperate to figure out a better idea. You only find out who was helping who after the discussion, in retrospect. Before the discussion is finished, you’re in symmetric positions and don’t know who is giving or receiving help.

In most FI discussions involving Elliot, there isn't symmetry - it's clear before the discussion is over who is giving or receiving help.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 18, 2018, 10:56:13 PM4/18/18
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On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:55:43PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> you gotta solve problems as you go along – and prioritize – not try to solve them all in advance.

Yeah. This relates to what Elliot wrote about improving your problem solving ability:

http://curi.us/1572-philosophy-first :

>>>> it's so important to fit in some powering up ASAP. some becoming more time efficient, becoming more effective at stuff per effort spent, etc
>>>> the more of that you fit in and the earlier, the more it becomes easier to fit in even more later
>>>> cuz it pays for itself many times over, so you can use the savings to power up more
>>>> it's such a virtuous cycle. but people get stuck in the vicious cycle of too busy to ever learn to be more time efficient.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 18, 2018, 11:02:07 PM4/18/18
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AS:

>> "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

Does Galt's pledge imply that the person taking it will always rely their own judgment and never coerce anyone?

Elliot Temple

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Apr 18, 2018, 11:06:29 PM4/18/18
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On Apr 18, 2018, at 7:54 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:55:43PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:
>
>> On Apr 12, 2018, at 11:27 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> "Adopting" Paths Forward [is what I wrote, but that] is a strange way to put it. It sounds like it means agreeing to follow some idea whether or not I understand it well enough. But that's never a good plan. Rather than being concerned with "adopting" Paths Forward I should have been concerned with *understanding* Paths Forward.
>>
>> PF is a concept, a way of thinking, a group of ideas. You can *agree* with it, rather than adopting it (agreement should follow, not precede, understanding). What you can adopt are specific PF-inspired (or PF-compatible or whatever) implementations of things. Like you could create a forum, or you could piggyback on an existing forum like FI and refer ppl to it. Or you could write an adopt a set of anti-bias policies or policies for the public to get your attention or something like that.
>
> When I started this thread, I was thinking of "adopting PF" as committing to follow PF "as a whole" even though I had vague, but major concerns that it might be bad for me.
>
> Adopting *specific ideas* from PF that I understand, such as treating sources I reference the same as stuff I write myself, makes more sense. I already adopted that one.

What you should do in the big picture is try to put some things together so that your errors are correctable. That includes both 1) not super blocking correction methods in any cases 2) trying to have good correction methods available in lots of cases.


> Here are a few ideas from PF that I'm not sure about yet:
>
>>>> If someone has a point which you haven’t answered, and you refuse to listen *for any reason*, then you’re irrational. You’re not open to discussion; there isn’t a path forward.
>
> An addition based on my understanding: Proposing to postpone the discussion counts as listening. If the other person disagrees with the idea to postpone and we can't come to agreement, we should discuss THAT disagreement first, following the method of Avoiding Coercion.

yes. this is difficult in practice because people don't like tangents, meta levels of discussion, etc. i have a lot of trouble getting people to take a step back and then comment on the conversation itself. they think you're dodging the issue, or they aren't interested, or something. but this is the right thing to do in lots of cases. if ppl refuse, they are the ones blocking PF, oh well (you *optionally* can go out of your way to try to accommodate their refusal if you think you have a bunch of value to gain in this case, but there's no need to in order to have PFs yourself.)


>>>> There’s no way to judge ideas other than discussion. A rational discussion can evaluate an idea. Nothing else can. Rational discussions are open-ended meaning there are always paths forward if anyone has any new ideas about the topic. Any other way of dealing with ideas is irrational because it would reject some correct idea.
>
> What about intuition? I wrote earlier that I use intuition to judge ideas. I could accept that intuition has problems as a method of judging ideas, but it seems somewhat helpful. It's better than nothing.

intuition is a type of self-discussion which is automated enough to involve little conscious thought. it's often pretty one-sided (more monolog than dialog).



>>>> There’s an interesting symmetry here. Whenever you discuss a disagreement with someone, you don’t know who will be right. Maybe you’ll be right and teach him something. Maybe he’ll be right and teach you something. Or maybe you’ll both be mistaken and cooperate to figure out a better idea. You only find out who was helping who after the discussion, in retrospect. Before the discussion is finished, you’re in symmetric positions and don’t know who is giving or receiving help.
>
> In most FI discussions involving Elliot, there isn't symmetry - it's clear before the discussion is over who is giving or receiving help.

yeah that's cuz some milestones in the discussion finishes, or like some sub-discussions finish, or ppl come to some agreement about what's going on and what the situation is (even if only implicit), and also b/c of prior context clarifying things.



Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

anonymous FI

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Apr 18, 2018, 11:14:30 PM4/18/18
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On Apr 18, 2018, at 20:02 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum
how do you think it does that? where does it say that? you must be
reading some implication into something. explain.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 18, 2018, 11:47:48 PM4/18/18
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On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:55:43PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> ppl have such TERRIBLE answers to PF questions. just having some not-ridiculously-bad answers could put you in the top 0.001% ez.

I just re-read http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward. This is a rambling post in which I give my honest answers to the PF questions, off the top of my head.

The main PF question I can think of off the top of my head is....

Q: How will you find out if you're wrong about this?

A: The truth is, for most of my ideas, I would never find out, unless I discover it myself. I don't expose most of my ideas to criticism and have no immediate plans to. I should maybe pick an idea of mine and expose it to criticism once a month or something. Seems kinda scary though. What if it's something I like and people tell me it's bad and I don't resolve the conflict well? Maybe it would be safer to start with less significant ideas.

Here are some other questions from http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward along with my answers:

>> So, how do you know if you’re really open to discussion, or not?

I'm open to discussion to the extent that I am willing to engage with criticisms from anyone. I'll discuss with anyone who joins FI list.

>> What are reasonable limits [to discussion]?

I don't know. I have been spending at least 10 hours per week (maybe more, I don't count it) on discussion lately. Seems to be working OK. If someone wants me to discuss something I'm not comfortable discussing, I will try suggesting we postpone the discussion. And if there's a disagreement about the postponement, I'll try to discuss THAT, and so on, for at least a few levels.

>> What is evading discussion?

Evading discussion is when you refuse to discuss some topic for an unbounded amount of time. Some ways this can happen are via leaving the discussion forum altogether, by never replying to a question, or by ignoring proposals to discuss a particular topic. These can all happen if you don't have a system in place that would eventually lead to you answering all the criticism you've received. I don't have such a system.

>> How do you handle discussions?

I try to reply carefully to all the recent posts from people I consider good thinkers. I still have a big (50+) backlog of replies to me by good thinkers that I haven't replied to. I have an even bigger backlog of good posts that weren't addressed to me, which I nonetheless should reply to. Maybe I should answer one post from my backlog per week at random, or go through it more methodically.

>> How do you handle disagreements?

I usually try discussion first, but I tend to be biased for my own ideas. I only use my creativity to argue for my side. A recent example of my bias was my recent post in the "self-driving cars" thread (https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/Xz3ybsxSlNU/dbAPdqHjCQAJ). In this message I didn't try to understand where anon was coming from, I just attacked his ideas. This means I have less of a chance of getting to the truth of the matter.

If I can't resolve a disagreement by discussion, I will stop replying on the thread, and stop participating in the forum for weeks or months.

It would be better for me if I didn't leave, and instead tried the avoiding coercion approach to handling disagreements first. I should only leave if that fails.

>> Are you blocking any ways for mistakes to be found or corrected?

Yes. I block tons of ways for my mistakes to be found/corrected, mainly by not engaging with messages from people who've tried to point out ideas of mine they think are mistaken.

>> How do we filter through all the bad and irrelevant ideas?

PF gives some ways to filter ideas, but that's not my problem. My problem is replying to all the relevant ideas in my inbox.

>> Answers shouldn’t be judged by who wrote them or when. What are good ways to judge them?

An partial list of good attributes for an answer: the answer should be relevant, true (with all the details accurate), clearly explained, and public.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 18, 2018, 11:53:13 PM4/18/18
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On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:55:43PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> aubrey lied about having a forum. it was a subreddit that was so inactive that it made them look bad and they should have stopped linking to it. as usual with such things, there was no indication it was being monitored by anyone who cares or matters and could pass on any good ideas to someone important.

The SENS subreddit is pretty inactive for such an important initiative.

https://www.reddit.com/r/sens/

There are about 20 posts in the last 3 months. Most with no comments.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 18, 2018, 11:55:36 PM4/18/18
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On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:55:43PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> btw if you think PF is problematic, could you demonstrate by causing a problem for me? could you try to use it to pressure me? then you’ll see how i address it.

Following PF is incompatible with trying to remain stuck forever. Suppose curi *wanted* to be stuck forever on some subject, though. In that case, I could frustrate him by trying to get him to discuss by pressuring him with reference to PF. I'm not very good at pressuring *on purpose* (I think I do it more effectively when I don't fully realize that I'm doing it), but maybe something like this: "Oh, so you won't discuss topic XYZ? You're a shitty intellectual."

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 19, 2018, 12:03:58 AM4/19/18
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I was taking some poetic license which I explain below.

I was interpreting the first part, about "liv[ing] for the sake of another man", as an injunction against second-handedness. If I ignore my own judgment in favor of another person's judgment, then I'm living for their sake (taking some poetic license regarding the "live for" phrase.) The only way to avoid this is to rely on my own judgment at all times.

I was interpreting the second part, about "ask[ing] another man to live for mine", as an injunction against coercion. Again, taking the same poetic license, if I try to get another man to ignore his own judgment in favor of mine, then I'm trying to get him (not exactly "ask[ing]" as the quote says) to live for my life.

Elliot Temple

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Apr 19, 2018, 12:50:09 AM4/19/18
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On Apr 18, 2018, at 8:47 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:55:43PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:
>
>> ppl have such TERRIBLE answers to PF questions. just having some not-ridiculously-bad answers could put you in the top 0.001% ez.
>
> I just re-read http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward. This is a rambling post in which I give my honest answers to the PF questions, off the top of my head.
>
> The main PF question I can think of off the top of my head is....
>
> Q: How will you find out if you're wrong about this?
>
> A: The truth is, for most of my ideas, I would never find out, unless I discover it myself.

that's what i consider a terrible answer. i don't think that's a reasonable or adequate approach to error correction.

> I don't expose most of my ideas to criticism and have no immediate plans to. I should maybe pick an idea of mine and expose it to criticism once a month or something. Seems kinda scary though. What if it's something I like and people tell me it's bad and I don't resolve the conflict well?

then ask them how to resolve the conflict. if they don't tell you, then ask for their patience and tolerance while you figure it out yourself (maybe, eventually, it's hard, shrug). if they can't or won't help you resolve the conflict now, *and* they refuse to be patient/tolerant/whatever about you not being able to solve all your problems immediately, then *that is them being dumb assholes*, so you have nothing to feel bad about.

> Maybe it would be safer to start with less significant ideas.

yes but then, since it's less important, there's less upside from learning a new idea. if you remember it's a test of your important fear of criticism ideas, then it could be great. if you're happy with small bits of progress, again it could be great. but i can see lots of ppl being like "well, ok, i learned something but that wasn't worth the trouble" b/c they intentionally picked something of lesser importance and forgot the context (or hard trouble like applying the context, not just knowing it exists but it actually making a difference to them).


> Here are some other questions from http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward along with my answers:
>
>>> So, how do you know if you’re really open to discussion, or not?
>
> I'm open to discussion to the extent that I am willing to engage with criticisms from anyone. I'll discuss with anyone who joins FI list.

i think that's a reasonable general policy, which covers the general case of someone in the public being able to say something to you.

i bet you'd also be open to discussions in some other contexts, as convenient, which is good and important, but not primary to having paths forward.


>>> What are reasonable limits [to discussion]?
>
> I don't know. I have been spending at least 10 hours per week (maybe more, I don't count it) on discussion lately. Seems to be working OK. If someone wants me to discuss something I'm not comfortable discussing, I will try suggesting we postpone the discussion. And if there's a disagreement about the postponement, I'll try to discuss THAT, and so on, for at least a few levels.

sounds ok.


>>> What is evading discussion?
>
> Evading discussion is when you refuse to discuss some topic for an unbounded amount of time. Some ways this can happen are via leaving the discussion forum altogether, by never replying to a question, or by ignoring proposals to discuss a particular topic. These can all happen if you don't have a system in place that would eventually lead to you answering all the criticism you've received. I don't have such a system.

evading often involves people acting like something wasn't said or never happened, or refusing to acknowledge or think about something, or coming up with careless excuses and bullshit to confuse the issue.



>>> How do you handle discussions?
>
> I try to reply carefully to all the recent posts from people I consider good thinkers. I still have a big (50+) backlog of replies to me by good thinkers that I haven't replied to. I have an even bigger backlog of good posts that weren't addressed to me, which I nonetheless should reply to. Maybe I should answer one post from my backlog per week at random, or go through it more methodically.

i think working on the backlog on a regular basis would be good even if the pace is pretty slow.


>>> How do you handle disagreements?
>
> I usually try discussion first, but I tend to be biased for my own ideas.

knowing that is a good step. then you can get interested in procedures for combatting bias.

> I only use my creativity to argue for my side. A recent example of my bias was my recent post in the "self-driving cars" thread (https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/Xz3ybsxSlNU/dbAPdqHjCQAJ). In this message I didn't try to understand where anon was coming from, I just attacked his ideas. This means I have less of a chance of getting to the truth of the matter.

how did you determine that happened? whatever the answer, isn't that a bias-correcting, error-correcting mechanism?


> If I can't resolve a disagreement by discussion, I will stop replying on the thread, and stop participating in the forum for weeks or months.
>
> It would be better for me if I didn't leave, and instead tried the avoiding coercion approach to handling disagreements first. I should only leave if that fails.

it'd be way better to ask to set something aside than to leave. (silently setting it aside is a thing you might be able to do, but might get complaints/criticism about. it has downsides. if you could say something that'd be better. if you took responsibility for bringing it up again yourself later – or at least not speaking to the same topic while ignoring the previous discussion of that topic – that'd be even better.)

>>> Are you blocking any ways for mistakes to be found or corrected?
>
> Yes. I block tons of ways for my mistakes to be found/corrected, mainly by not engaging with messages from people who've tried to point out ideas of mine they think are mistaken.

aspiring to something better would be a good start on that.

>>> How do we filter through all the bad and irrelevant ideas?
>
> PF gives some ways to filter ideas, but that's not my problem. My problem is replying to all the relevant ideas in my inbox.

PF has an answer to that:

time is limited. no problem. create a policy for what to prioritize. expose policy to criticism (e.g. it ought to have some kinda escalation procedure possible). follow policy.

example policy:

pursue topics A, B, C because important and D, E, F because you want to for whatever reason. update policy when you finish a topic. reconsider policy if you haven't updated it for a month. grant max 15 minutes per month of reconsidering priorities time, per person, to people who want to suggest you escalate some other issue (use a larger number for ppl you respect, like me, if you want to). reconsider time granting policy if it takes up too much time (i bet it won't).

if you are uncomfortable with a priority change proposal, respond by saying you're not comfortable with that and you hope that in the future, when you've improved, you will be able to deal with it better. ask if they can give you a short, clear reason that's unreasonable and you should not proceed in that way (basically they'd need to see some reason you're stuck and not going to make progress – and if they claim to have that, also ask if they can figure out a way to explain it so you'd want to hear it).

>>> Answers shouldn’t be judged by who wrote them or when. What are good ways to judge them?
>
> An partial list of good attributes for an answer: the answer should be relevant, true (with all the details accurate), clearly explained, and public.

yes.

Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

Elliot Temple

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Apr 19, 2018, 1:03:05 AM4/19/18
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i don't want to be stuck forever on any topics, so this isn't a problem for me. do you want to be stuck forever on some topics?

if you do, you may change your mind when my new Critical Fallibilism website is ready. it has some things to say about bounded and unbounded! (wanting to be stuck on some topics = bounded).

Elliot Temple
www.elliottemple.com

Elliot Temple

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Apr 19, 2018, 1:08:08 AM4/19/18
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On Apr 18, 2018, at 9:03 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 08:14:27PM -0700, anonymous FI wrote:
>
>> On Apr 18, 2018, at 20:02 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>> AS:
>>>
>>>> "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."
>>>
>>> Does Galt's pledge imply that the person taking it will always rely their own judgment and never coerce anyone?
>>
>> how do you think it does that? where does it say that? you must be reading some implication into something. explain.
>
> I was taking some poetic license which I explain below.
>
> I was interpreting the first part, about "liv[ing] for the sake of another man", as an injunction against second-handedness. If I ignore my own judgment in favor of another person's judgment, then I'm living for their sake (taking some poetic license regarding the "live for" phrase.) The only way to avoid this is to rely on my own judgment at all times.

reasonable.

> I was interpreting the second part, about "ask[ing] another man to live for mine", as an injunction against coercion. Again, taking the same poetic license, if I try to get another man to ignore his own judgment in favor of mine, then I'm trying to get him (not exactly "ask[ing]" as the quote says) to live for my life.

let's see. coercion involves internal conflicts. the issue here is which coercion in another person am i responsible for? if i was trying to get them to be secondhanded (or i recklessly or carelessly did it, even if it's unintentional), and that led to a coercive conflict, that'd be partly my responsibility. this fits with your reading of the Rand quote.

but is it the *only* way i could be responsible for coercing someone? i could tell them an idea which leads to their coercive internal conflict, but that isn't my fault if i was acting reasonably. what else could i do? i could tell someone an idea they asked me not to, like repetitive comments about smoking being bad that they don't want to hear more about and it bothers them b/c they are conflicted about smoking. if i keep bugging them about smoking, after they ask me not to, then i bear some responsibility for their coercion. but was i asking them to live their life for me, just cuz i wanted them to follow my idea about smoking being bad? i can see some element of that, but not very much.

Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com

Alan Forrester

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Apr 20, 2018, 4:49:23 PM4/20/18
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Maybe you could put [comment] in the subject line of an e-mail if you’re making a short comment. Then people could prioritise non-comment e-mails.

Alan

Alan Forrester

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Apr 21, 2018, 3:58:27 AM4/21/18
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On 19 Apr 2018, at 00:01, Elliot Temple <cu...@curi.us> wrote:

What would better forum software look like for the user?

Each discussion would be represented like a tree where the branches are changes of subject line:

Subject line 1
|
|
|
|\Subject line 2
| |

The point between each of the vertical lines would be a message and a message could have tags like “comment”. To read a message you click on a node.

Alan

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 24, 2018, 9:48:19 PM4/24/18
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On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:32:37PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> On Apr 12, 2018, at 11:18 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 09:29:38PM -0700, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum wrote:

>>> Makes sense. When people suggest abstract principles in which the specific application is up to me, then there is no pressure on me and no urgency. On the other hand, if someone is suggesting a concrete thing I should do in the near future, then I should be demanding about acquiring the knowledge necessary to follow the suggestion.
>>
>> In the recent past, I believed that Paths Forward (PF)was, in part, a set of ideas one would quote from in order to get someone else to discuss more than they want to. PF allowed one to truthfully "intellectually bludgeon" them with the idea that, to the extent they don't discuss, they are a bad intellectual.
>
> there are lots of bad “intellectuals” in the world. they do tons to limit discussion *and* they don’t have some alternative idea. what is their plan instead of PF? their plan generally seems to be: stay wrong, or hope that the good ideas reach them through really really harsh filters on social status, prestige, academic career climbing, etc. those filters are awful and alienate the best people and ideas. the are filtering against outliers, filtering on conformity, filtering on social games instead of truth seeking, etc... if you won’t want open public discussion, at least come up with something better than that. come up with some criteria for what would get you interested which could be passed by a brilliant, wise person who chooses not to play some of the standard climbing-the-ladder games in life and just like cares about knowledge instead of being second-handed.

Yes. What you said is a true abstract principle. The specific implementation of that principle is up to each person. However, no one seems to come up with any implementation at all, nor do they criticize the specific suggestions in Paths Forward ( http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward ).

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 24, 2018, 10:24:13 PM4/24/18
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On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:32:37PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> On Apr 12, 2018, at 11:18 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> To the extent that PF consists abstract principles which people need to figure out for themselves how to apply to their specific situation, there's no pressure. If someone cites PF in making concrete suggestions about what someone should discuss *now*, the suggester ought to have detailed knowledge about the target's life in order to know that the suggestion is correct. The target can and should demand that the suggester share this knowledge with the target before implementing the suggestion.
>
> yes.
>
> it’s so easy to deal with advice. either it’s helpful to you or it isn’t. if it isn’t, you just complain about it. complaining about it is easy. you just say it’s long and looks boring, or whatever. you can e.g. come up with some criteria for what things you like to engage with and ask that personal advice meet those criteria.
>
> the more you have too much incoming help/advice/comments/whatever, you raise your standards and demand more. and if you don’t have too much incoming communication, then there’s no problem to address it. you can tune how demanding, what the bar is for your attention, to get the amount of incoming stuff that’s above the bar that you want.

I suffer from having low standards for the ideas that I act on. By "low standards" I mean that an idea doesn't have to be that great in order for me to act on it. It doesn't have to tell me how to solve the problems that acting on it might cause. It doesn't have to tell me why acting on it is good. It doesn't have to explain to all my other ideas that *think* they conflict with it why they don't *actually* conflict with it.

Abstract principles (like Paths Forward or "keep your error rate low for effective learning") do not contain enough info to tell me how to act in a concrete situation. In the past, I denied this, because I had low standards for the ideas I would act on. Because I thought everyone else's standards were as low as mine, I interpreted their sharing of abstract principles as attempts to bully or control me.

Furthermore, having low standards for ideas to act on makes me vulnerable to being bullied and controlled by *my own bad ideas*, including my whims and static memes.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 24, 2018, 10:28:10 PM4/24/18
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On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 10:03:01PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> On Apr 18, 2018, at 8:55 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:55:43PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:
>>
>>> btw if you think PF is problematic, could you demonstrate by causing a problem for me? could you try to use it to pressure me? then you’ll see how i address it.
>>
>> Following PF is incompatible with trying to remain stuck forever. Suppose curi *wanted* to be stuck forever on some subject, though. In that case, I could frustrate him by trying to get him to discuss by pressuring him with reference to PF. I'm not very good at pressuring *on purpose* (I think I do it more effectively when I don't fully realize that I'm doing it), but maybe something like this: "Oh, so you won't discuss topic XYZ? You're a shitty intellectual."
>
> i don't want to be stuck forever on any topics, so this isn't a problem for me. do you want to be stuck forever on some topics?

I think I must want to remain stuck forever on some topics. At least, something in me is not that bothered by the possibility of remaining stuck for an unbounded amount of time. If it were otherwise, I would either energetically follow the advice in Paths Forward or explain why it doesn't work for me and seek advice.

> if you do, you may change your mind when my new Critical Fallibilism website is ready. it has some things to say about bounded and unbounded! (wanting to be stuck on some topics = bounded).

Awesome. I added a reminder to check for the site in 2 months. If it's not ready then, I will keep extending the reminder.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 25, 2018, 1:38:47 AM4/25/18
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On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 09:50:05PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> On Apr 18, 2018, at 8:47 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:55:43PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

>>> ppl have such TERRIBLE answers to PF questions. just having some not-ridiculously-bad answers could put you in the top 0.001% ez.
>>
>> I just re-read http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward. This is a rambling post in which I give my honest answers to the PF questions, off the top of my head.
>>
>> The main PF question I can think of off the top of my head is....
>>
>> Q: How will you find out if you're wrong about this?
>>
>> A: The truth is, for most of my ideas, I would never find out, unless I discover it myself.
>
> that's what i consider a terrible answer. i don't think that's a reasonable or adequate approach to error correction.

You're right. I should at least be willing to have a conversation about any of my ideas. Having a conversation doesn't mean I have to change my ideas right away. In fact, it would likely take me a lot of thinking and a lot of conversations to learn enough about an idea to successfully change my mind and adopt it.

>> I don't expose most of my ideas to criticism and have no immediate plans to. I should maybe pick an idea of mine and expose it to criticism once a month or something. Seems kinda scary though. What if it's something I like and people tell me it's bad and I don't resolve the conflict well?

Another way to state my conflict is: I have ideas that I like to act on, but I'm afraid to share those ideas here. I'm afraid that if I do, someone will say something that I will interpret as harsh criticism and I will react emotionally to that, rather than dealing with the it rationally as you suggest. I want to protect myself from being in a difficult situation like that. On the other hand, I don't want to be stuck forever, and clinging to an idea that doesn't want to be shared seems like a great way to stay stuck forever.

> then ask them how to resolve the conflict. if they don't tell you, then ask for their patience and tolerance while you figure it out yourself (maybe, eventually, it's hard, shrug). if they can't or won't help you resolve the conflict now, *and* they refuse to be patient/tolerant/whatever about you not being able to solve all your problems immediately, then *that is them being dumb assholes*, so you have nothing to feel bad about.

>> Maybe it would be safer to start with less significant ideas.
>
> yes but then, since it's less important, there's less upside from learning a new idea. if you remember it's a test of your important fear of criticism ideas, then it could be great. if you're happy with small bits of progress, again it could be great. but i can see lots of ppl being like "well, ok, i learned something but that wasn't worth the trouble" b/c they intentionally picked something of lesser importance and forgot the context (or hard trouble like applying the context, not just knowing it exists but it actually making a difference to them).

Ok. I added this to my FI future topics list: try sharing a less significant idea as a test of my fear of criticism ideas. I aim to make the list public at some point in the next month.

>> Here are some other questions from http://fallibleideas.com/paths-forward along with my answers:
>>
>>>> So, how do you know if you’re really open to discussion, or not?
>>
>> I'm open to discussion to the extent that I am willing to engage with criticisms from anyone. I'll discuss with anyone who joins FI list.
>
> i think that's a reasonable general policy, which covers the general case of someone in the public being able to say something to you.
>
> i bet you'd also be open to discussions in some other contexts, as convenient, which is good and important, but not primary to having paths forward.

Yes.

>>>> What are reasonable limits [to discussion]?
>>
>> I don't know. I have been spending at least 10 hours per week (maybe more, I don't count it) on discussion lately. Seems to be working OK. If someone wants me to discuss something I'm not comfortable discussing, I will try suggesting we postpone the discussion. And if there's a disagreement about the postponement, I'll try to discuss THAT, and so on, for at least a few levels.
>
> sounds ok.

>>>> How do you handle discussions?
>>
>> I try to reply carefully to all the recent posts from people I consider good thinkers. I still have a big (50+) backlog of replies to me by good thinkers that I haven't replied to. I have an even bigger backlog of good posts that weren't addressed to me, which I nonetheless should reply to. Maybe I should answer one post from my backlog per week at random, or go through it more methodically.
>
> i think working on the backlog on a regular basis would be good even if the pace is pretty slow.

Ok. I've added backlog to my policy. I aim to publish my policy within the next month.

>>>> How do you handle disagreements?
>>
>> I usually try discussion first, but I tend to be biased for my own ideas.
>
> knowing that is a good step. then you can get interested in procedures for combatting bias.

Good idea. Added combating bias to my list of future FI topics.

>> It would be better for me if I didn't leave, and instead tried the avoiding coercion approach to handling disagreements first. I should only leave if that fails.
>
> it'd be way better to ask to set something aside than to leave. (silently setting it aside is a thing you might be able to do, but might get complaints/criticism about. it has downsides. if you could say something that'd be better. if you took responsibility for bringing it up again yourself later – or at least not speaking to the same topic while ignoring the previous discussion of that topic – that'd be even better.)

Good point. Going forward, if I don't want to discuss something, I aim to add the disagreement to my public FI topic queue.

>>>> Are you blocking any ways for mistakes to be found or corrected?
>>
>> Yes. I block tons of ways for my mistakes to be found/corrected, mainly by not engaging with messages from people who've tried to point out ideas of mine they think are mistaken.
>
> aspiring to something better would be a good start on that.

Ok. I think adding specific items like that to my FI "backlog" queue and making it public will be a good start.

>>>> How do we filter through all the bad and irrelevant ideas?
>>
>> PF gives some ways to filter ideas, but that's not my problem. My problem is replying to all the relevant ideas in my inbox.
>
> PF has an answer to that:
>
> time is limited. no problem. create a policy for what to prioritize. expose policy to criticism (e.g. it ought to have some kinda escalation procedure possible). follow policy.
>
> example policy:
>
> pursue topics A, B, C because important and D, E, F because you want to for whatever reason. update policy when you finish a topic. reconsider policy if you haven't updated it for a month. grant max 15 minutes per month of reconsidering priorities time, per person, to people who want to suggest you escalate some other issue (use a larger number for ppl you respect, like me, if you want to). reconsider time granting policy if it takes up too much time (i bet it won't).
>
> if you are uncomfortable with a priority change proposal, respond by saying you're not comfortable with that and you hope that in the future, when you've improved, you will be able to deal with it better. ask if they can give you a short, clear reason that's unreasonable and you should not proceed in that way (basically they'd need to see some reason you're stuck and not going to make progress – and if they claim to have that, also ask if they can figure out a way to explain it so you'd want to hear it).

Good idea. Added to my FI policy.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 25, 2018, 1:39:36 AM4/25/18
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On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 09:50:05PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

> On Apr 18, 2018, at 8:47 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> On Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 11:55:43PM -0700, Elliot Temple wrote:

>> Evading discussion is when you refuse to discuss some topic for an unbounded amount of time. Some ways this can happen are via leaving the discussion forum altogether, by never replying to a question, or by ignoring proposals to discuss a particular topic. These can all happen if you don't have a system in place that would eventually lead to you answering all the criticism you've received. I don't have such a system.
>
> evading often involves people acting like something wasn't said or never happened, or refusing to acknowledge or think about something, or coming up with careless excuses and bullshit to confuse the issue.

I see. It looks like evading involves using one's creativity to

1) avoid thinking about something, and

2) deny (or maintain plausible deniability about) the fact that (1) is going on.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 25, 2018, 1:44:02 AM4/25/18