one-more-day syndrome

[I was confused before. This is the thread about turning soft deadlines into hard deadlines.]

From: Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:16
Subject: one-more-day syndrome

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: David Reiley david@davidreiley.com
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

Eventually I just say “This is ridiculous… I have to make time to
book a doctor appointment.” The pain of not doing it does become
increasingly severe, particularly if I’ve got a medical symptom I need
to deal with.

Of course, I’ve now been waiting nearly a year to write to our
landscape designer to say we’re ready to hire her to start installing
the landscape she designed for us. But a lot has happened since…
my home remodel cost more than I thought, and then neighbors started
complaining about our hot tub and requiring us to apply for a permit
in a contentious process, so we are not keen to rip out plants that
are currently blocking our neighbors’ view of the tub. Etc. So
maybe I will wait just a little longer…

Best,
David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:16 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:42
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

How do you get yourself to take the fine seriously? My future self
just rolls his eyes at me and says screw that. Or maybe he feels bad
about it but he’s certainly not going to do something so immediately
painful as pay a fine. Maybe tomorrow he’ll pay it.

(Serious question.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: David Reiley david@davidreiley.com
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:43
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

Why would you have any more problem paying the fine on this contract
than on any other Beeminder contract you’ve done?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:42 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

How do you get yourself to take the fine seriously? My future self
just rolls his eyes at me and says screw that. Or maybe he feels bad
about it but he’s certainly not going to do something so immediately
painful as pay a fine. Maybe tomorrow he’ll pay it.

(Serious question.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:48
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

Oh, because a commitment to another person is completely different
than a commitment to my past self. That past self doesn’t even really
exist anymore. Who the hell cares what he thinks?

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:43, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Why would you have any more problem paying the fine on this contract than on any other Beeminder contract you’ve done?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:42 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

How do you get yourself to take the fine seriously? My future self
just rolls his eyes at me and says screw that. Or maybe he feels bad
about it but he’s certainly not going to do something so immediately
painful as pay a fine. Maybe tomorrow he’ll pay it.

(Serious question.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: David Reiley david@davidreiley.com
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:50
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

So just set up the fine contract with another person. I figured that
was implicit in Dan’s proposal.

Note that, unlike most Beeminder contracts, this one seems relatively
easy to enforce (hard to cheat). “Did you go to the doctor yet?
Yes or no.” Harder to lie, or round your weight down, or whatever.

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:48 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Oh, because a commitment to another person is completely different
than a commitment to my past self. That past self doesn’t even really
exist anymore. Who the hell cares what he thinks?

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:43, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Why would you have any more problem paying the fine on this contract than on any other Beeminder contract you’ve done?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:42 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

How do you get yourself to take the fine seriously? My future self
just rolls his eyes at me and says screw that. Or maybe he feels bad
about it but he’s certainly not going to do something so immediately
painful as pay a fine. Maybe tomorrow he’ll pay it.

(Serious question.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 17:08
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

Yeah, good point. (But Dan is an extraordinary akratic in that I think
he actually can self-enforce.)
This kind of a binary commitment doesn’t seem so well-suited to
Beeminder and a yellow brick road.
And stickK seems way too high-overhead for simple things like this.
(It’s easier to just freaking call the doctor than to set up a stickK
contract.)

I need something like integrated into my calendar where I say I’m
going to call the doctor by this date and everything with the penalty
(I like Dan’s idea of starting with a dollar and doubling each day) is
automatic.

(Btw, there aren’t many of you on this list yet. You’re kind of the
super elite as far as the akrasia aspect of Beeminder is concerned, so
I’m especially eager to hear what you all think of the idea of a more
streamlined way to self-bind on trivial things like calling the
doctor.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:50, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

So just set up the fine contract with another person. I figured that was implicit in Dan’s proposal.

Note that, unlike most Beeminder contracts, this one seems relatively easy to enforce (hard to cheat). “Did you go to the doctor yet? Yes or no.” Harder to lie, or round your weight down, or whatever.

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:48 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Oh, because a commitment to another person is completely different
than a commitment to my past self. That past self doesn’t even really
exist anymore. Who the hell cares what he thinks?

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:43, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Why would you have any more problem paying the fine on this contract than on any other Beeminder contract you’ve done?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:42 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

How do you get yourself to take the fine seriously? My future self
just rolls his eyes at me and says screw that. Or maybe he feels bad
about it but he’s certainly not going to do something so immediately
painful as pay a fine. Maybe tomorrow he’ll pay it.

(Serious question.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: David Reiley david@davidreiley.com
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 17:09
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

Is this really an akrasia thing? Or is this just difficulty paying
attention, and organizing one’s to-do list to make the soon-overdue
task increasingly important?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 3:08 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Yeah, good point. (But Dan is an extraordinary akratic in that I think
he actually can self-enforce.)
This kind of a binary commitment doesn’t seem so well-suited to
Beeminder and a yellow brick road.
And stickK seems way too high-overhead for simple things like this.
(It’s easier to just freaking call the doctor than to set up a stickK
contract.)

I need something like integrated into my calendar where I say I’m
going to call the doctor by this date and everything with the penalty
(I like Dan’s idea of starting with a dollar and doubling each day) is
automatic.

(Btw, there aren’t many of you on this list yet. You’re kind of the
super elite as far as the akrasia aspect of Beeminder is concerned, so
I’m especially eager to hear what you all think of the idea of a more
streamlined way to self-bind on trivial things like calling the
doctor.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:50, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

So just set up the fine contract with another person. I figured that was implicit in Dan’s proposal.

Note that, unlike most Beeminder contracts, this one seems relatively easy to enforce (hard to cheat). “Did you go to the doctor yet? Yes or no.” Harder to lie, or round your weight down, or whatever.

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:48 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Oh, because a commitment to another person is completely different
than a commitment to my past self. That past self doesn’t even really
exist anymore. Who the hell cares what he thinks?

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:43, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Why would you have any more problem paying the fine on this contract than on any other Beeminder contract you’ve done?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:42 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

How do you get yourself to take the fine seriously? My future self
just rolls his eyes at me and says screw that. Or maybe he feels bad
about it but he’s certainly not going to do something so immediately
painful as pay a fine. Maybe tomorrow he’ll pay it.

(Serious question.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 17:26
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

I was just at this “Behavioral Economics and Health” symposium at Penn
and met the StickK CEO (David, he said that he knew that you knew
Karlan and Ayres). Anyway, after this I went to StickK to see how hard
it is to set up a contract. It was really easy - they have these
templates for common goals (e.g. weight loss) that boil it down to a
few questions. The longest part was entering the credit card, but once
they have that, you can make new contracts in about a minute. These
kind of “Do It or Double Down” contracts could be a special template,
and be really easy to set up (When does the penalty start? Who is the
referee? Done).

However, it is true that since seeing the doctor is little more than
the ‘next action’ of picking up the phone to make an appointment (*),
then you would indeed just get it done before even making a contract.

Sooo, what you need is to tie it to the calendar entry. You set a
calendar entry far in the future (which is low cost because it is easy
to make promises in the future), and once that date passes if you
don’t check off the alert as “completed”, the doubling down begins
automatically. Requires your credit card to be already in the system.
If more palatable, it can begin with one penny (it still reaches $10
million in a month).

(*) Example taken from Getting Things Done

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 6:09 PM, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Is this really an akrasia thing? Or is this just difficulty paying attention, and organizing one’s to-do list to make the soon-overdue task increasingly important?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 3:08 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Yeah, good point. (But Dan is an extraordinary akratic in that I think
he actually can self-enforce.)
This kind of a binary commitment doesn’t seem so well-suited to
Beeminder and a yellow brick road.
And stickK seems way too high-overhead for simple things like this.
(It’s easier to just freaking call the doctor than to set up a stickK
contract.)

I need something like integrated into my calendar where I say I’m
going to call the doctor by this date and everything with the penalty
(I like Dan’s idea of starting with a dollar and doubling each day) is
automatic.

(Btw, there aren’t many of you on this list yet. You’re kind of the
super elite as far as the akrasia aspect of Beeminder is concerned, so
I’m especially eager to hear what you all think of the idea of a more
streamlined way to self-bind on trivial things like calling the
doctor.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:50, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

So just set up the fine contract with another person. I figured that was implicit in Dan’s proposal.

Note that, unlike most Beeminder contracts, this one seems relatively easy to enforce (hard to cheat). “Did you go to the doctor yet? Yes or no.” Harder to lie, or round your weight down, or whatever.

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:48 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Oh, because a commitment to another person is completely different
than a commitment to my past self. That past self doesn’t even really
exist anymore. Who the hell cares what he thinks?

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:43, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Why would you have any more problem paying the fine on this contract than on any other Beeminder contract you’ve done?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:42 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

How do you get yourself to take the fine seriously? My future self
just rolls his eyes at me and says screw that. Or maybe he feels bad
about it but he’s certainly not going to do something so immediately
painful as pay a fine. Maybe tomorrow he’ll pay it.

(Serious question.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 18:12
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

Nice!
If stickK had an API I would say it would be worth building this on
top of stickK.
Since it doesn’t I think this might make sense for Beeminder to do, if
we’re convinced this is valuable.

David Reiley asks if it’s really akrasia or just a faulty to-do list.
To me it feels like the former; I’ve tried a lot of to-do list tricks.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 17:26, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

I was just at this “Behavioral Economics and Health” symposium at Penn
and met the StickK CEO (David, he said that he knew that you knew
Karlan and Ayres). Anyway, after this I went to StickK to see how hard
it is to set up a contract. It was really easy - they have these
templates for common goals (e.g. weight loss) that boil it down to a
few questions. The longest part was entering the credit card, but once
they have that, you can make new contracts in about a minute. These
kind of “Do It or Double Down” contracts could be a special template,
and be really easy to set up (When does the penalty start? Who is the
referee? Done).

However, it is true that since seeing the doctor is little more than
the ‘next action’ of picking up the phone to make an appointment (*),
then you would indeed just get it done before even making a contract.

Sooo, what you need is to tie it to the calendar entry. You set a
calendar entry far in the future (which is low cost because it is easy
to make promises in the future), and once that date passes if you
don’t check off the alert as “completed”, the doubling down begins
automatically. Requires your credit card to be already in the system.
If more palatable, it can begin with one penny (it still reaches $10
million in a month).

(*) Example taken from Getting Things Done

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 6:09 PM, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Is this really an akrasia thing? Or is this just difficulty paying attention, and organizing one’s to-do list to make the soon-overdue task increasingly important?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 3:08 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Yeah, good point. (But Dan is an extraordinary akratic in that I think
he actually can self-enforce.)
This kind of a binary commitment doesn’t seem so well-suited to
Beeminder and a yellow brick road.
And stickK seems way too high-overhead for simple things like this.
(It’s easier to just freaking call the doctor than to set up a stickK
contract.)

I need something like integrated into my calendar where I say I’m
going to call the doctor by this date and everything with the penalty
(I like Dan’s idea of starting with a dollar and doubling each day) is
automatic.

(Btw, there aren’t many of you on this list yet. You’re kind of the
super elite as far as the akrasia aspect of Beeminder is concerned, so
I’m especially eager to hear what you all think of the idea of a more
streamlined way to self-bind on trivial things like calling the
doctor.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:50, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

So just set up the fine contract with another person. I figured that was implicit in Dan’s proposal.

Note that, unlike most Beeminder contracts, this one seems relatively easy to enforce (hard to cheat). “Did you go to the doctor yet? Yes or no.” Harder to lie, or round your weight down, or whatever.

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:48 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Oh, because a commitment to another person is completely different
than a commitment to my past self. That past self doesn’t even really
exist anymore. Who the hell cares what he thinks?

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:43, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Why would you have any more problem paying the fine on this contract than on any other Beeminder contract you’ve done?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:42 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

How do you get yourself to take the fine seriously? My future self
just rolls his eyes at me and says screw that. Or maybe he feels bad
about it but he’s certainly not going to do something so immediately
painful as pay a fine. Maybe tomorrow he’ll pay it.

(Serious question.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: Melanie Reeves Wicklow melzafish@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 18:28
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

I procrastinate terribly with that kind of stuff yet I’m all about
being organized and getting the todo in my phone, on my calendar on my
phone, etc. For me, I have a hard time concentrating on and just
simply doing little to do’s when my head is swimming and I don’t feel
like my life is organized. I need to start from a clean, clear,
organized base to actually conquer the little to do’s like that … or
at least that’s the excuse I make to put it off another day.
Something quick and easy that forces me to just freakin’ do it would
be valuable … though, eventually, like David, the ridiculousness of
putting something that easy off motivates me to finally do it and it’s
usually still within a somewhat reasonable amount of time. But there
has to be no decision making involved. The amount to risk has to be
set and it has to be as easy as making a calendar entry. Do this by
this date or risk the already decided amount of money per day.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 4:12 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Nice!
If stickK had an API I would say it would be worth building this on
top of stickK.
Since it doesn’t I think this might make sense for Beeminder to do, if
we’re convinced this is valuable.

David Reiley asks if it’s really akrasia or just a faulty to-do list.
To me it feels like the former; I’ve tried a lot of to-do list tricks.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 17:26, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

I was just at this “Behavioral Economics and Health” symposium at Penn
and met the StickK CEO (David, he said that he knew that you knew
Karlan and Ayres). Anyway, after this I went to StickK to see how hard
it is to set up a contract. It was really easy - they have these
templates for common goals (e.g. weight loss) that boil it down to a
few questions. The longest part was entering the credit card, but once
they have that, you can make new contracts in about a minute. These
kind of “Do It or Double Down” contracts could be a special template,
and be really easy to set up (When does the penalty start? Who is the
referee? Done).

However, it is true that since seeing the doctor is little more than
the ‘next action’ of picking up the phone to make an appointment (*),
then you would indeed just get it done before even making a contract.

Sooo, what you need is to tie it to the calendar entry. You set a
calendar entry far in the future (which is low cost because it is easy
to make promises in the future), and once that date passes if you
don’t check off the alert as “completed”, the doubling down begins
automatically. Requires your credit card to be already in the system.
If more palatable, it can begin with one penny (it still reaches $10
million in a month).

(*) Example taken from Getting Things Done

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 6:09 PM, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Is this really an akrasia thing? Or is this just difficulty paying attention, and organizing one’s to-do list to make the soon-overdue task increasingly important?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 3:08 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Yeah, good point. (But Dan is an extraordinary akratic in that I think
he actually can self-enforce.)
This kind of a binary commitment doesn’t seem so well-suited to
Beeminder and a yellow brick road.
And stickK seems way too high-overhead for simple things like this.
(It’s easier to just freaking call the doctor than to set up a stickK
contract.)

I need something like integrated into my calendar where I say I’m
going to call the doctor by this date and everything with the penalty
(I like Dan’s idea of starting with a dollar and doubling each day) is
automatic.

(Btw, there aren’t many of you on this list yet. You’re kind of the
super elite as far as the akrasia aspect of Beeminder is concerned, so
I’m especially eager to hear what you all think of the idea of a more
streamlined way to self-bind on trivial things like calling the
doctor.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:50, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

So just set up the fine contract with another person. I figured that was implicit in Dan’s proposal.

Note that, unlike most Beeminder contracts, this one seems relatively easy to enforce (hard to cheat). “Did you go to the doctor yet? Yes or no.” Harder to lie, or round your weight down, or whatever.

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:48 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Oh, because a commitment to another person is completely different
than a commitment to my past self. That past self doesn’t even really
exist anymore. Who the hell cares what he thinks?

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:43, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Why would you have any more problem paying the fine on this contract than on any other Beeminder contract you’ve done?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:42 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

How do you get yourself to take the fine seriously? My future self
just rolls his eyes at me and says screw that. Or maybe he feels bad
about it but he’s certainly not going to do something so immediately
painful as pay a fine. Maybe tomorrow he’ll pay it.

(Serious question.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


Melanie Reeves Wicklow


707-853-2831


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

From: Bethany M. Soule bsoule@gmail.com
Date: Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 13:55
Subject: Re: one-more-day syndrome

D and I used to share a google calendar that we called the “realified
deadlines” calendar. Problem was we never came up with a way to
realify the deadlines we set on it… But I love Dan’s idea about
doubling an initially small penalty each day that passes without doing
the thing.

We should revive our shared calendar and set up a blanket contract on
it such that any items we put on the calendar are subject to the
doubling fines rule. Then once we agree to that and decide on a
recipient of the money, realifying deadlines becomes as simple as
putting items on the calendar (which for me admittedly is still a not
insignificant hurdle, but a lot smaller).

B

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 18:28, Melanie Reeves Wicklow
melzafish@gmail.com wrote:

I procrastinate terribly with that kind of stuff yet I’m all about
being organized and getting the todo in my phone, on my calendar on my
phone, etc. For me, I have a hard time concentrating on and just
simply doing little to do’s when my head is swimming and I don’t feel
like my life is organized. I need to start from a clean, clear,
organized base to actually conquer the little to do’s like that … or
at least that’s the excuse I make to put it off another day.
Something quick and easy that forces me to just freakin’ do it would
be valuable … though, eventually, like David, the ridiculousness of
putting something that easy off motivates me to finally do it and it’s
usually still within a somewhat reasonable amount of time. But there
has to be no decision making involved. The amount to risk has to be
set and it has to be as easy as making a calendar entry. Do this by
this date or risk the already decided amount of money per day.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 4:12 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Nice!
If stickK had an API I would say it would be worth building this on
top of stickK.
Since it doesn’t I think this might make sense for Beeminder to do, if
we’re convinced this is valuable.

David Reiley asks if it’s really akrasia or just a faulty to-do list.
To me it feels like the former; I’ve tried a lot of to-do list tricks.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 17:26, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

I was just at this “Behavioral Economics and Health” symposium at Penn
and met the StickK CEO (David, he said that he knew that you knew
Karlan and Ayres). Anyway, after this I went to StickK to see how hard
it is to set up a contract. It was really easy - they have these
templates for common goals (e.g. weight loss) that boil it down to a
few questions. The longest part was entering the credit card, but once
they have that, you can make new contracts in about a minute. These
kind of “Do It or Double Down” contracts could be a special template,
and be really easy to set up (When does the penalty start? Who is the
referee? Done).

However, it is true that since seeing the doctor is little more than
the ‘next action’ of picking up the phone to make an appointment (*),
then you would indeed just get it done before even making a contract.

Sooo, what you need is to tie it to the calendar entry. You set a
calendar entry far in the future (which is low cost because it is easy
to make promises in the future), and once that date passes if you
don’t check off the alert as “completed”, the doubling down begins
automatically. Requires your credit card to be already in the system.
If more palatable, it can begin with one penny (it still reaches $10
million in a month).

(*) Example taken from Getting Things Done

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 6:09 PM, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Is this really an akrasia thing? Or is this just difficulty paying attention, and organizing one’s to-do list to make the soon-overdue task increasingly important?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 3:08 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Yeah, good point. (But Dan is an extraordinary akratic in that I think
he actually can self-enforce.)
This kind of a binary commitment doesn’t seem so well-suited to
Beeminder and a yellow brick road.
And stickK seems way too high-overhead for simple things like this.
(It’s easier to just freaking call the doctor than to set up a stickK
contract.)

I need something like integrated into my calendar where I say I’m
going to call the doctor by this date and everything with the penalty
(I like Dan’s idea of starting with a dollar and doubling each day) is
automatic.

(Btw, there aren’t many of you on this list yet. You’re kind of the
super elite as far as the akrasia aspect of Beeminder is concerned, so
I’m especially eager to hear what you all think of the idea of a more
streamlined way to self-bind on trivial things like calling the
doctor.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:50, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

So just set up the fine contract with another person. I figured that was implicit in Dan’s proposal.

Note that, unlike most Beeminder contracts, this one seems relatively easy to enforce (hard to cheat). “Did you go to the doctor yet? Yes or no.” Harder to lie, or round your weight down, or whatever.

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:48 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Oh, because a commitment to another person is completely different
than a commitment to my past self. That past self doesn’t even really
exist anymore. Who the hell cares what he thinks?

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:43, David Reiley david@davidreiley.com wrote:

Why would you have any more problem paying the fine on this contract than on any other Beeminder contract you’ve done?

David

On Mar 28, 2011, at 2:42 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

How do you get yourself to take the fine seriously? My future self
just rolls his eyes at me and says screw that. Or maybe he feels bad
about it but he’s certainly not going to do something so immediately
painful as pay a fine. Maybe tomorrow he’ll pay it.

(Serious question.)

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 16:21, Dan Goldstein dan@dangoldstein.com wrote:

Just fine yourself $2 if you procrastinate one day, $4 for two days,
$8 for three days, $16 for four days, and so on.

You’ll do it within a week.

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 5:16 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@umich.edu wrote:

Here’s a classic example of akrasia. You really need to see the doctor
or the dentist (or your lawyer, etc etc) soon (or maybe just
soon-ish). But each successive day you don’t – after all, it’s
literally true that one more day won’t matter. But a year matters a
lot, and that’s just 365 of those one-more-days in a row. How do you
akratics deal with that?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


My home page: http://www.davidreiley.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com


Melanie Reeves Wicklow
http://MelzaFit.com
707-853-2831


What are you kibotzing on?
http://kibotzer.com


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com