Tag Archive

Incentive Alignment

Saturday, May 15th, 2021
Incentive Alignment

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... »

Is Beeminder A Crutch?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021
Is Beeminder A Crutch?

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 8th, 2021
Bayesian Willpower

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 26th, 2021
Contra Positive Reinforcement: Why Beeminder Is A Glutton For Punishment

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

Do-Zero Goals Considered Harmful

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021
Do-Zero Goals Considered Harmful

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... »

Strategy Memo: Beeminder Is For Nerds

Saturday, November 7th, 2020
Strategy Memo: Beeminder Is For Nerds

This is crossposted at essay.dev which is clearly also for nerds! For years we’ve gotten advice to »

Road Ratchet Revamp Redresses “Ratcheting Breaks Breaks” Bug

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020
Road Ratchet Revamp Redresses “Ratcheting Breaks Breaks” Bug

Are you somehow stumbling upon this blog post without knowing anything about Beeminder? Hoo-boy are you in the wrong place. But here’s a frenzied attempt to catch you up in time: Beeminder graphs your progress toward goals by drawing a bright line, called the Yellow Brick Road, that you commit... »

Choices are Bad: The Anti-Settings Principle

Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Choices are Bad: The Anti-Settings Principle

What’s the most absurdly provocative way I can put this? Never imagine what your users will want! Apps must only ever do one single thing! If-statements considered harmful! Yes, this is all pretty rich coming from the people who built a goal-tracking app with, if I’m doing this math right, multiplying out all the various settings… 73,728 types of... »

The Anti-Robustness Principle

Thursday, July 16th, 2020
The Anti-Robustness Principle

This is another tech nerd post. Normal humans seek cover!   Abstract: Fail loudly and immediately.   (I sure hope all the normal humans took cover already because that sentence sure would sound different to them than to us! I also hope this isn’t all too obvious... »

Announcement: The Yellow Brick Half-Plane Has Arrived

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020
Announcement: The Yellow Brick Half-Plane Has Arrived

Until today Beeminder had a fundamental design flaw that was baked in from literally day one. The first line of code for what would become Beeminder was to draw a line on a graph in Mathematica from a target weight to a goal... »