Oh Beeminder you are so silly




If you do 1 second worth of cleaning you build up some buffer for tomorrow.


Make it an ‘integery’ goal and you’ll never see these kinds of problems?

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I don’t think integery would interact very well with it being counted in hours. If Beetimerdroid counted in seconds instead of hours I would integery them all in a heartbeat.

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:slight_smile: Tee hee! That’s how the math worked out. What did you want us to do??

Actually I recall someone contesting a derailment because of something like this once. I’ll paste my response here, but I know I’m preaching to the choir in your case and you just happily did your fraction of a second of cleaning. :slight_smile:

Hi [redacted]! Bethany says I should try you as a sounding board for my crazy
ideas about brightness of lines. I’ve been jotting down notes about
cases like this for a future blog post and would love to get your
thoughts, either in general or as applies to this particular case…

(I think the short version of the wall of text below is that ever
taking a “close enough” attitude to a beeminder derailment does a
surprising amount of damage to the future efficacy of beeminder, for
slippery slope type reasons)

What I said to a user recently who thought our hardnosery (like with
that $1000 UVI payout – messymatters.com/uvi ) was ludicrous, we’re
only humans, etc:

A few years ago when we were getting started, we experimented heavily
with grace periods and 3-strikes policies and other ways to solve the
problem that you’ve astutely identified. But we gradually came to the
conclusion that such leniencies necessarily backfire. It’s like a
No-Free-Lunch Theorem. The reason is that you have to spell out
exactly what the leniency is – necessary when real money is at stake.
But then once you’ve done that you’ve just defined a new edge to
skate. Like maybe up to 3 misses per month are allowable. Well, I’m
akratic, so I’m going to squander those 3 freebees early in the month
and be right back where I started.

And worse, unless I understand exactly how the freebees work, I’m
actually making it more likely I’ll derail because I’ll know there
is leniency and I’ll push things as far as I can which means I can
accidentally push them too far. So it turns out to be superior in
every way to just make the road itself less steep but then hard-commit
to staying on it, with no wiggle room. Another way to say it: the
yellow brick road has to be a bright line.

Finally, I very much disagree about “paying $1000 to a user for
missing one day in an otherwise superhuman, perfect trend is
ludicrous” and the reason is a fascinating case of game-theoretic
deduction. Suppose we agreed that that was ludicrous: then that
“otherwise superhuman, perfect trend” could never have happened! It
was only because the $1000 was hanging over our head every day like a
sword of damocles that we were motivated to be so superhuman. And it
worked, for over 1000 days. And then one day it didn’t and we paid up.
Totally worth $1000 for that 1000 days of superhuman awesomeness. If
there was a way to argue our way out of paying up then the whole point
would be defeated and we wouldn’t be able use the same trick to trick
ourselves into another 1000 days of superhuman awesomeness.

[Notice that we’re now most of the way to those next 1000 days of UVIs! :)]


I sure did! :slight_smile: