Tag Archive

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 »

Beemind What You Buy

Friday, March 12th, 2021
Beemind What You Buy

“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 don’t.... »

What Not To Beemind

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021
What Not To Beemind

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 previous post, about how “never do this thing ever” goals... »

The Burgle Bug Fairness Principle

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021
The Burgle Bug Fairness Principle

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 our marketing mendacious... »

Death To Lifetime Plans

Saturday, January 9th, 2021
Death To Lifetime Plans

Announcement! Beeminder has stopped selling lifetime plans. Obviously if you already have one, we will honor it forever and ever . We’re just not selling new ones. We’ve thought about this hard and have five(ish) reasons: Inability to give lifetime people premium credit Special cases and complexity in the subscription logic Lifetime plans take away your leverage as... »

How To Beemind Nebulous Goals

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020
How To Beemind Nebulous Goals

Beeminder works brilliantly for quantifiable, graphable goals. What about nebulous projects like remodeling your kitchen or finding a therapist? It doesn’t really work for those things. Unless! Unless you find a clever metric to mind. Like the word count in a log of your progress. Here’s what I recommend: Create a... »

Ice Cream Truck Loopholes

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
Ice Cream Truck Loopholes

Sometimes Beeminder goals have loopholes, like you could dehydrate yourself to get your datapoint below the bright line on your weight-loss graph (please don’t!). There are plenty of things like that and I probably shouldn’t think too hard about more examples. Sometimes loopholes like that can ruin a goal. But other times, ironically, such loopholes... »

Upside-Down Support

Friday, November 20th, 2020
Upside-Down Support

By popular demand… (I.e., thank you to our fantabulous community for the impetus to »

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 »