Bad planning

It’s a long to-do list that doesn’t translate into action. A spreadsheet where you gather information in order to forget about it. A long chain of thought culminating in an epiphany that goes nowhere. An argument about an issue that you never work on directly.

Bad planning like a belief in telepathy. It makes you feel like your private thoughts can change the world. The quintessential example? A college humanities essay that gets read by the student, the professor, and nobody else, but which the student remains proud of for the rest of their life.

~ “AllAmericanBreakfast” from, https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/pt7XYxnhTQdHGf7MN/change-the-world-a-little-bit

Planning, todo list management, goal setting… for me it all comes down to beginning with the end. What does “done” look like? What would a solution to this problem look like if I had a magic wand? When this is done what effect will it have [on me or the world]? Far too many people struggle with lists, and with getting things done—also with Getting Things Done. The real challenge is to figure out if the idea you just had pop into your head… is that a how to do something, or a what [as in, a goal] to do? If you have a how you really need to figure out that what. Because otherwise…

How are you going to figure out why you are doing anything that you are doing?

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Quiet

I maintained this illusion until, inspired by a stupidly expensive device that only does one thing, I taped my old phone to a bluetooth keyboard and began to write in offline mode. It was immediately a magical experience. It was so *quiet*. I could go on my porch and write and it was quiet. My thoughts got much larger because I wasn’t subconsciously afraid I’d interrupt them. I began to feel angry at my laptop. Why did it insist on hurting me so much? Why couldn’t it be pure like the offline phone/keyboard experience? Why couldn’t I just create things?

~ “Elizabeth” from, https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/To5xcWvjN744rWEKQ/turns-out-interruptions-are-bad-who-knew

Don’t worry, I’m not getting on my soapbox about distraction and being used by your phone and the Internet and social networks. Nope, definitely not getting on my soapbox.

Today, I’ve gotten my ladder and I’m climbing on my roof to preach right over your head—you nice people in my front lawn, who are smart enough to be reading, reading stuff that has paragraphs, from a site on the open web, even if you only subscribe to the email because you haven’t mastered RSS—nope not preaching at you, dearest choir of mine, not today.

But you people in the back… Can you not see the Oxo® easy-grip handles that extendeth from thine brains?! Can you not see the unwashed masses of people who labor for Facelessco et al to write software that grabs you by those handles?

What say you? WHAT? …sorry you have to yell, I can’t hear you so well from up here on my roof… Oh, you cannot in fact see the handles? …well, have you tried looking in the mirror? …uh, hello?! Where are you going? Oh yes, definitely check that message, and scroll through Instagram and I’ll just wait here on my roof.

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Variolation

I generally don’t write about current events here on my blog. But occasionally I find something that I think would be so beneficial for more people to read, that I find I want to share it.

Initial viral load seems likely to have a large impact on severity of Covid-19 infection. If we believe this, we should take this seriously, and evaluate both general policy and personal behavior differently in light of this information. We should also do our best to confirm or deny this hypothesis as soon as possible.

From, https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/3ArEA7tHDXQxE6PED/taking-initial-viral-load-seriously

Since virology has taken such a place of primacy in our lives for the foreseeable future, it can only benefit each of to read more. That article is a wide-ranging, opinion piece (so, I recommend a few grains of salt with it,) which touches on a treasure trove of topics and facts. Of particular note is its discussion of how vaccines work for other diseases. (Or maybe I should write, “…of the variation in efficacy of vaccines for other diseases.”)

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