Tag Archive

The Bright Red Staircase

Wednesday, January 26th, 2022
The Bright Red Staircase

This is still pie-in-the-sky philosophical navel-gazing but it makes me very happy. Not just because I love pie-in-the-sky philosophical navel-gazing (we could say Product Vision if we wanted to sound more respectable) but because a couple years ago this sounded preposterously theoretical and fantastical and now it sounds inevitable and kind of obvious. We are making steady progress... »

Book Review: How To Change

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021
Book Review: How To Change

Earlier this year we completed a lovely Beeminder book club to read behavioral scientist Katy Milkman’s new book, »

Loss Aversion vs The Endowment Effect

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021
Loss Aversion vs The Endowment Effect

This is part 1 of a two-part series. First we explain loss aversion and how it’s distinct from the endowment effect. (Spoiler: loss aversion is a generalization of the endowment effect.) Asking Google how those things are different currently yields a fog of opaque logorrhea, so we hope this is... »

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... »