Community Policing of ChipManaged's Caffeine Goals

Can I get in on this community policing a little? I know it’s not “dogfood”, since I don’t work for Beeminder, but there’s a meta-thing I want to keep an eye on that I thought this might be handy for. I suspect I’ll change my mind about drastically reducing my caffeine intake from many caffeine sources (green tea = fine) sometime in the next few weeks, and I want to make sure that I don’t. I have these two graphs, and I want to, in a way, extend my akrasia horizon on them. So, if between now and January 1st, 2015, anyone catches these roads being dialled to a setting other than:

I will send you $90 (USD) via PayPal if you catch changes to these settings and post in the forum (…unless it’s b/c of some weird API fluke while I’m testing; but that shouldn’t be a problem with these goals).

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Confusion abounds.


It would be helpful if you turned on y axis visibility, we cannot see what the goal values or rates are.

Do you mean Jan 1st 2016?

The double negatives in the conditions are confusing.

If anyone catches the roads set to total > 7 cups(?), total > 116 grams

The coffee goal already seems to be set to total 35.
Or were you trying to ask about road rates?

I think this post would be better in it’s own thread. - Done.

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Yup, I meant 2016. I’m not going to change it, because I don’t want the post to appear as edited (lest I be tempted to “edit” it further!) And I’ve added the missing axis, thanks.

(I’m not really sure what you mean about the other stuff, though. Maybe you could clarify, cause when I reread it, it looks clear to me, so I’m not sure what to change. And I couldn’t find a 35 anywhere. Maybe you’re seeing something different from what I’m seeing.)

Edit: (PS - Thanks for the proofreading!)

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It was my misreading of your unlabelled graph, I couldn’t understand how you could only drink 1/5 of a cup of coffee so I thought each minor line was 1 cup. I can see now the total is 7.

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Unrelated to the policing, but why are you taking almost 3 months off from these things and then starting them up again later in the year?

Surely it’s better to continue at rate 0 and keep away from “bad” habits completely?

I let myself measure them in quarters, thirds, or halves, in case I want to spread it out a bit. Maybe I’ll switch it to oz in the future, but this is fine for now.

I don’t have the desire to quit outright; I just want to drastically reduce it.

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Update: These goals, as of tomorrow, include restricting decaf coffee and things with cocoa in them (not just chocolate). The fine print will be more specific on how to measure that before that becomes relevant.

Update: Fine print has been made public. (Didn’t realize it wasn’t.)


I didn’t think to allow myself any room for these two goals on my birthday, which is coming up shortly. What do you guys think about me being able to add a bump for both of these goals on that day? Reasonable change, or “too bad… it wasn’t part of the orig. plan, and that’s what you asked us to reinforce”?

(I’ll go with the opinion of the majority (I’d break ties) this evening at 7 EDT… because the akrasia horizon will make this a non-issue tomorrow.)

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I started to type “add the break for your birthday, silly!” … but reviewing your original proposal I see the whole point was “I will not change the slope on these goals at all so help me God” (:

Still, that’s the point of the akrasia horizon. Changing your mind outside the horizon should always be fine. Except that past-you apparently intended to take that option away from now-you. (: So, yeah, tricky.

But, ok, I guess that’s the point of taking a poll. We get to be the arbiters of what past-you would’ve said had we asked it “what about a break for your birthday?” I’m going to say past-you would’ve been like “ok, fine, except for my birthday!”.

Vote: Add the breaks.

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Usually the akrasia horizon is fine, but this is one of those circumstances where I tend to forget how badly I feel if I’m having coffee regularly, so I’m using you guys to get around that problem.

Past me would have rejected the birthday bump, but that might have been a little excessive.

Current me would say, about the future, that you guys should never ever let me change the future rates or anything until the goal has run out (without claiming the $90) but that on a one-off occasion like this birthday (or being gifted tickets to some kind of international coffee festival or a chocolate-lover’s trip through Belgium, a one-day (only) bump seems in keeping with the spirit of the goal).

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How do we know it’s really your birthday?? :innocent:

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Wait, those are both versions of you thinking about the future. Why would they be any different? Past-you would look a month ahead and say “no birthday exception!” but current-you looks a month ahead and says “one-day special occasions allowed!”? Have you had a legit change of heart or is this current-you trying to weasel? (:

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The same way you know I’m not siting here with a spoon, a venti americano, and a tub of chocolate frosting. (I.e., you don’t. You kinda just have to trust it.)


Whenever I resolve to do something, I always first resolve with a ridiculous zeal comparable to that of someone who is hungover and swearing they’ll never drink again (rather than just resolving not to drink Fireball shot-for-shot with a friend who is 6 inches taller and 75 lbs larger). So, One-month-ago-me would concur with this, but Two-months-ago-me wouldn’t, and would probably think I wasn’t being ambitious enough as it was.

[Digression removed. Will start a new thread with it.]


Vote: You can change the road all you want as long as you don’t exceed the thresholds specified.


(That said, I’m still committed to maintaining that zealous goal for its length; I just think "buy a coffee on your way to work as a birthday treat is a change mild enough to almost not “dent” the zeal. But I’m getting into the question-answer flow and don’t want to seem like I’m arguing either way when I’m fine with whatever you guys end up thinking is in the spirit of things.)

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Done. Added 1/2 oz of chocolate and a coffee and, as per Insti’s post, kept the other (goal, not rate) numbers the same, so they end with the same numbers at the end of the goal.

Thanks guys!


@mary: Looking at your graph, I can see that it’s still dialled to 7 so you’re ok there, but I’m a bit worried about lane width abuse which would allow you to end at more than 7. Currently it looks like you’re going to be able to get away with 8, which might be not be a problem if that was your intention. Do you have a manual lane width set?

What are your thoughts on this?


Yeah I noticed that too. When I dialled the chocolate one for my birthday, I set the road width to 0, but I had already done the coffee one by the time I came up with that, and so I left the road width as is. The chocolate one has a 0 road width, and the coffee one has a road width of 1 (and has all along). I guess I could ask support to bump the road up by 1 everywhere so that I could change the width to 0, but I thought that might be more confusing for those keeping an eye on this.

(In passing, I very nearly chose to derail this goal last week when I would have done just about anything for a cup of coffee, but managed to hold off.)


Fixed road widths make this not an issue as long as they stay as they are.

You seem to be doing a good job of sticking to your roads, so congratulations on that.

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