Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Hello Bright Red Line

Thursday, May 27, 2021
By dreeves
A bee dressed as Elton John looking out at a yellow brick road

I believe this is our first blog post with a theme song. Remember last year when we replaced Beeminder’s Yellow Brick Road with a so-called »

Incentive Alignment

Saturday, May 15, 2021
By dreeves
Cents in a line

This is a revised and slightly expanded version of something we originally wrote as part of our post on Bayesian Willpower. Immediate incentives are inordinately powerful. Beeminder’s philosophy is to find ways to make your immediate incentives... »

How To Name Your Goals

Tuesday, May 4, 2021
By dreeves
Bee named Bartlebee and turtle named Hello-my-name-is-Simon-James-Alexander-Ragsdale-the-3rd

The other day year doing support, we ran into someone with a goal named “studying_4_out_of_the_8_first_hours_of_the_day”. We were so offended by this that we’re writing a whole blog post about how not-ok that goalname is. Beeminder is highly »

Is Beeminder A Crutch?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021
By dreeves

Beeminder creates a series of intermediate daily deadlines, working towards some desired long-term goal. As you probably know, it does that with real-money commitment devices. It’s common to come down to the wire on those deadlines every dang day. It’s powerful motivation. But is it… too powerful? If you’re a strong believer in the concept of self-discipline then Beeminder may... »

Bayesian Willpower

Thursday, April 8, 2021
By dreeves
Pr(workout | Beeminder) = Pr(Beeminder | workout) * Pr(workout) / Pr(Beeminder)

A couple weeks ago, Scott Alexander wrote “Toward a Bayesian Theory of Willpower”. This is my recap of the theory, my tentative verdict, and what I think it means for Beeminder and motivation hacking more generally. Let’s start with defining terms! Akrasia means failing to do something you rationally want to... »

Contra Positive Reinforcement: Why Beeminder Is A Glutton For Punishment

Friday, March 26, 2021
By dreeves
A bee holding a carrot (down) and a stick (up)

Previously on the Beeminder blog: debating negative vs positive reinforcement and, in case you care about using these psychology terms correctly, clarifying that »