Beeminder Forum

Pessimistic Presumption on a Do Less Goal with zero rate

I have a Do Less Goal with a rate of zero meaning any datapoint > 0 will hit me. Now I obviously forgot to turn off the pessimistic presumption which led to a derailment. But now I’m wondering why is the datapoint from the pessimistic presumption 2? I had in mind something like twice the daily rate which would be 0 in my case :slight_smile:.
Finally it probablv would be nice if you prompt the user each time after the creation of a Do Less with a hint that this feature is turned on.

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The idea is not “twice the daily rate”, but “something that will definitely derail you”! The idea is to make you enter data, because otherwise a flat goal will never send you reminders and never derail if you just forget to enter data. Out of sight, out of mind, is the theory.

(There are some goals where this doesn’t work – I have a goal where the less I think about it, the better! But usually people are beeminding things they want to keep on top of.)

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Related question:

Looking at this graph, I don’t see how failing to enter data for 72 days would fly. I’m at 1 now, with my hard cap going up by 1 each day until it reaches 7 on Thursday, and then going up by a ridiculously small amount each day after that. Sounds to me like I’d derail on Friday, with a PPR of 2 each day.

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First question: are PPRs enabled for that goal?

[Side note-to-selves for an internal thread with @mary et al: I know we don’t have a choice in this case but this kind of uncertainty / complexity is the kind of cost that http://doc.bmndr.com/choices is referring to. Again, I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t have a way to turn off PPRs or we shouldn’t have PPRs, just that the cost of each setting is waaay higher than one would think, even if it’s ultimately a cost worth paying. I just also realized that the mess that the Playnice Project is solving was probably partially caused by our failure to appreciate this! Settings are things that can tend to not end up playing nice with each other. The code paths one must test grow literally exponentially in the number of settings, though with thoughtful enough design (specs++) settings can be kept as orthogonal as possible and that problem can be mitigated! Ok, side rant done!]

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(1) Yes, and it’s already bitten me :slight_smile:
(2) If they weren’t, I’d have asked why the goal was only safe for 72 days :slight_smile:

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Thanks so much for this possible bug report, @grayson. Immensely valuable to have these real-world cases to experiment with as we’re hacking away on the yellow brick half-plane new world order!

Here’s what I see when I zoom in and simulate some PPRs:

It’s not obvious what the PPR should be on Apr 30 when the rate changes but if it’s reasonable to pick the new super shallow rate then it makes sense that there’s a ton of safety buffer.

So… is that reasonable?

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Well, yes and no. I think it depends on whether the goal is for quantified-self tracking or for akrasia-battling.

If it’s for akrasia-battling (as it is for me), then you want a PPR that won’t let you forget this habit. The PPR should always derail you in less than the akrasia horizon, I think.

If it’s for quantified-self tracking, then… you would probably turn off PPRs. You don’t need them.

Of course, a goal can serve both ends, but if akrasia-battling is in the mix, then you’ll want PPRs, and they should derail you within a few days.

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Ah, yeah, that’s persuasive! Thank you! But since the behavior is no worse in the YBHP NWO than in the lane-laden status quo ante, I better deprioritize this a bit so it doesn’t slow us down (even more) from getting YBHP out the door.

Keep bugging us about things like this in the meantime! Hugely helpful!

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I see the complexity of figuring out the right PPR… suppose you’ve built up a bunch of buffer, you wouldn’t want the PPR to come in and torpedo that.

… Unless you would. What if PPRs are for exactly that? “I am a forgetful forgetter and akratic as apples on Andromeda, so make sure I can’t forget this goal.”

Once you’ve made the goal a habit, you could turn off PPRs (the same reason I archived my BM goal to brush teeth).

(No need to reply! I’m just thinking out loud.)

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More input: I added a +1 datapoint to my junk-free Do Less goal (leftover birthday cake!) and went from 210 safe days to… 280. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Happy Birthday!! :cake: :birthday:

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Thank you! :heart:

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