Beeminder Forum

Extreme-sounding idea for a new weaselproofing protocol


Of course, in the context of what I originally said, the more relevant point is that interpreting the goal in even a comically absurd (but not provably wrong) way is that it gives one’s goal-setting self the chance to refine it so the same unintended interpretation can’t be used again. (This also accords better with the word “weasel” IMO: “In English-speaking areas, weasel can be a disparaging term, noun or verb, for someone regarded as sneaky, conniving or untrustworthy.” [Wikipedia]) Whereas plain old lying… I don’t know what one’s supposed to do about that.


I think you make some good points.

I was mostly trying to come up with a bright line definition which would be more objective. But I think you’re right about:

As in, if you learned something about yourself, Beeminder, etc. and then you use that new knowledge to refine your goals, you’re probably on the right track. But if your only takeaway from the moment was “Yep I still don’t like running” then you’re probably weaseling.

Does that seem fair?


I’ve been calling this “loopholes you can drive an ice cream truck through”. From the “Dirty Plate Club” blog post:

Overloading your plate is what I call a loophole you can drive an ice cream truck through. Namely, yes, it’s a way you could utterly defeat the point of the system, but you won’t do that because you want the system to work. The original example of such a loophole was from the first incarnation of the Beeminder commitment contract, back when we thought we needed an elaborate, literal commitment contract. We suggested that, to avoid fuzziness around the definition of “going to the gym”, you could simply beemind touching the door of your gym’s building. If you were legimately injured or something and shouldn’t exercise, the loophole would be there for the taking. But otherwise you’d never be so lazy that you’d actually get yourself all the way to the door of the gym and then not go in. Maybe some people would be that lazy, but that’s the point: You know yourself at least to some extent. Would you overload your plate so you could join the Dirty Plate Club while still stuffing yourself? I’m pretty sure you’re more likely to fall off the wagon on the food wasting part than you are to do that.


My experience is different. I am a data weasel. I have an exercise goal that I have been following forever on beeminder. If I have the flu I will just add a data point for that day “flu”

I made a commitment to myself when I started saying “Cross my heart and hope to die, I will never put in a fake data point into beeminder.”

I am fairly lax otherwise. One exercise on a normal day I will do 108 reps. However, if I am rushed I may only do 24 reps. That is ok with me, that counts as a data point. If I forgot to change the slope one week before I am on vacation, I just add a data point vacation when I am on vacation

But if I could have exercised, and did not. I will never put in a data point.

Works for me :man_shrugging:


Hahaha! :smile: :lollipop: Love this.


That had never occurred to me. I love it!