Beeminder Forum

Community Policing of DRMacIver's caffeinefree goal

Based on @mary’s suggestion that I follow her lead this is a request for community enforcement of extra levels of akrasia prevention on my caffeinefree goal.

Until 2017-05-10 (May 10th 2017, 1 year after goal start) I commit to the following additional clauses:

  1. I will not archive the goal
  2. I will not set the weekly rate below 7
  3. I will not take breaks (the correct way to take a break on this is to build up buffer with an earlier caffeine break!)
  4. I will not allow the safety buffer to exceed 30 days (it’s currently set to retroratchet automatically at 14)
  5. I will not remove items from this list (though I may add to it)
  6. I will not turn off no-mercy recommit (Added 2016-05-27)
  7. I will not change the rules for adding positive data points.
  8. I may experiment with rules around negative data points as much as I like, but changes are akrasia proofed. I must announce them in this thread and then they take effect one week later.

If you catch me violating them I will send you $90 by paypal, buy a similarly expensive set of items from your amazon wishlist or other mutually agreed upon award.


Hmm. That’s interesting and unfortunate. You don’t get edit history on original posts in the same way you do on comments.

OK, it looks like you’ll get edit history but it folds anything very close to the original post or a previous edit into it. So I will feel free to edit the above post but will date additions to the list. You can see revisions to the post if you wish to police this, but I’ll probably be pretty good about not being naughty with my editing honest :angel:

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Let me help you :police_car: it:


It’s already after 2016-05-10 did you mean 2017?

I think it has to do with time between edits, if you make a post and edit it within some small number of minutes it won’t add to the history, but later edits will generate a history.

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Ack, yes I did, I shall edit to fix that, thanks.

You’ve still missed one.

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Ugh. Clearly I need more caffeine. :wink:

Should be fixed now?


Woops! I just pressed the “Take a Break” button on this goal as part of some bulk breaking. Fortunately I set it back to the weekly rate of 7 before anyone noticed so I’m good for that $90 still. :slight_smile:

(Mentioning mostly for honour system reasons)


Note I have made the following change to my fine print:

Special case: When the rate is set to > 7/week, I may not be able to prevent a derail when starting from scratch because I might require > 1 point to not derail, which I can’t get on the first day of a break. If this happens I am allowed to “front load”, by adding the data points for subsequent days into that day. I have to actually stick to those days though. If I don’t then I must enter a negative amount that will cause me to derail.[/quote]

I think this is legit because it only kicks in as a possibility when the goal is already harder than the current setting, and doesn’t ever make the goal easier than the current setting by doing so (I still have to take the day off caffeine!). Any disagreements?

Also, I’d like to clarify one of the initial rules and I’m not sure what to do about retroactively changing them: I said:

I feel like this obviously shouldn’t apply to my using the take a break feature to make a period of time harder. Given that compatibly with the rest of the rules I could set my rate down to 3 for a week and then put it back up, it feels like it doesn’t make much sense to restrict that usage of the take a break feature either.

So I propose the most valid interpretation of the “I will not take breaks” feature is simply “I will not set the weekly rate below 3 even using the take a break feature for short periods of time”. Agree/disagree?


For the next indeterminate period I will be applying the following additional rule:

A day with caffeine is worth negative points, counted in the same way as days without caffeine: The first day with caffeine is -1 point, the next day is -2 points, etc.

The motivation for this is that I built up a largeish buffer and had about a week on a moderately high (200mg/dayish) caffeine) intake, and can confirm that this is enough that by the end of that week coming off it gave me pretty bad caffeine withdrawal.

I’ve also updated the rules to fix my ability to tinker with this. The following rule was added just now:

I will not change the rules for adding positive data points. I may experiment with rules around negative data points as much as I like.

At some point if this works out I’ll likely fix the negative points rule in place.


Note I have raised the lower bound on my weekly rate to 7.

Mini-precommitment to rule change:

I don’t think the symmetry of the current negative point system works. It’s not a steep enough penalty to prevent the behaviours I’m trying to avoid. However I’m running on fumes this week so really need the caffeine to function and get me through the conference I’m at, so I’m not going to change the rules just yet.

Starting from this coming Monday the new rule is this: The first day with caffeine is free, but if I’ve had caffeine the previous day then having caffeine costs 10 points (i.e. equivalent to 4 days of break). Until then the current triangular rule continues.

ETA: PS. I don’t know if anyone is actually paying much attention to this thread, but I’m finding having this log in public very helpful anyway, so assuming it’s not annoying anyone I’m going to keep doing it :slight_smile:


FWIW, this change seems to have worked well - I’ve not had any consecutive days with caffeine since implementing it. I’m going to try it for a bit longer and will probably end up adding it to the rules.


Having said that, I’m going to have some today. I made bad plans and I’m just going to live with the fact that I’m probably going to derail this goal to paper over them.

Apparently I can’t edit sufficiently old posts. That’s annoying.

Anyway, my brain just went “Hmm. I can change the negative rules however much I want, right? That means I could just… not do the -10 thing, right?”. Bad brain.

As a result, negative rule changes are now akrasia proofed. I must predeclare changes to the rules in here, and they take effect in one week.

This is me predeclaring that in one week I’m going to change the rule so that a consecutive day of caffeine is only -6 points. I’m finding -10 a little too harsh.


How about now? I just promoted you. I actually bumped up your trust level as well as made you a moderator so I’m not sure which of those were necessary/sufficient if that worked.

Muahaha. The power! The absolute power!


I mean, that worked. Thanks. :angel:


Clarification: Owing to autoratchets only firing at the end of the day, this doesn’t work very well and the buffer may temporarily go above that. I’ll consider myself to have satisfied this if I have ratchet down to <= 30 every day (e.g. with an autoratchet, which I still have at 14).

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Akrasia notice: Starting one week from the day I will be removing the negative points rule for consecutive days.

(I am more or less giving up on this goal and putting it into the minimum state it currently requires of me. I will still keep it running until May, and may resurrect it to proper levels before then, but right now I largely consider it to be no longer worth it)

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