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 Yellow Brick Half-Plane? The idea was that instead of a line on your graph to your goal and a band on either side of the line to keep your datapoints on, we instead...
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 match your long-term incentives such that willpower needn’t...
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 opinionated software and our opinion is that, in addition...
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...
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...
Previously on the Beeminder blog: debating negative vs positive reinforcement and, in case you care about using these psychology terms correctly, clarifying that negative reinforcement ≠ punishment. Also “Beeminder: Like Pact Except All We Do Is Take Your Money”. Here’s a common (pointed) question about...
“It would be a good thing to buy books if one could also buy the time to read them; but one usually confuses the purchase of books with the acquisition of their contents.” — Arthur Schopenhauer, before Beeminder existed Are you about to buy something that requires ongoing time or energy? Some things...
What appalling apostasy is this? It’s not like that! Beeminder just isn’t quite perfect for absolutely everything. It’s *practically* perfect for absolutely everything. Practically perfect for a surprising breadth of things? This post just happens to be about the exceptions. It’s a sequel to both the...
Look what we found in the attic! Our original Support Czar, Chelsea — known for such classics as “Beemind Easy Things” and “Weasel Heart-To-Heart” — wrote this screed in 2017. It was a much better screed when she wrote it, because Beeminder was way worse then than it is today. (Yay!) So we modernized...
Beeminder’s bug classification system is like so: Bitty Bugs are barely bothersome. Baneful Bugs make Beeminder blatantly wrong, but not in any breach-of-contract way, unlike… Bum-steer Bugs which may make you derail by leading you astray about the state of your graph, or, worse: Bamboozle Bugs making...
Beeminder is goal-tracking with teeth. We plot your progress on a graph with a Bright Red Line (formerly Yellow Brick Road). If your datapoints cross that line, we take your money.
The Beeminder blog is a hodgepodge of productivity nerdery and behavioral economics written by the founders and various friends.
Does Beeminder sound super crazypants? Just confusing? One of the first things you may want to check out is our User's Guide for New Bees. Check out other posts we're most proud of by clicking the "best-of" tag below. If you're a glutton for honey, the "bee-all" tag has everything we still think is worth reading. Other good ones are the "rationality" and "science" tags, if you're into that.
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Akrasia (ancient Greek ἀκρασία, "lacking command over oneself"; adjective: "akratic") is the state of acting against one's better judgment, not doing what one genuinely wants to do. It encompasses procrastination, lack of self-control, lack of follow-through, and any kind of addictive behavior.