Radical non-monetary pledges?

I fell off the beeminder bandwagon because logging my progress seemed like
a higher level of friction than I wanted as part of my daily workflow.
Plus, the internet is where my distractions live, and I don’t want to fire
up the browser for anything if I can avoid it. I think the core idea of
commitment devices is solid, though, and obviously works well for a lot of
people. (A secondary reason is that I wasn’t thrilled to spend so much time
putting data into a web service with no clear export options; I want to
control my own data.)

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about what kids of radical nonmonetary pledges I
would find motivating that I could implement on my own computer.

Imagine, for instance, that instead of money collatoral, the stake in your
commitment is some file on your computer that you really don’t want to
lose. You write a crontab script that checks the working document (e.g.
thesis.tex) at specified intervals and if it doesn’t find enough edits have
been made since the previous check, some piece of your digital self goes
’poof.’ The collatoral could be as insignificant as the file containing
your saved game progress or as significant and irreplaceable as precious
family photos.

Obviously not all goals (e.g. edit 200 lines per day) lend themselves to
this kind of automated checking. But I’m still curious if anybody has
tried anything like this.

Ooh, quick Beeminder defense: I don’t think there’s any site out there
that has better export options than Beeminder! And we’ve had export
since the very beginning, even in the Kibotzer days, I believe. A
while back we even added streaming export so every data point that
Beeminder gets it will immediately make a callback to a URL of your
choosing so you can keep a realtime mirror of your data.
And (as soon as we publicize it, but it works now if you want a sneak
peek) you can get your data as JSON via the api.

On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM, m0untain jhamon@gmail.com wrote:

I fell off the beeminder bandwagon because logging my progress seemed like a
higher level of friction than I wanted as part of my daily workflow. Plus,
the internet is where my distractions live, and I don’t want to fire up the
browser for anything if I can avoid it. I think the core idea of commitment
devices is solid, though, and obviously works well for a lot of people. (A
secondary reason is that I wasn’t thrilled to spend so much time putting
data into a web service with no clear export options; I want to control my
own data.)

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about what kids of radical nonmonetary pledges I
would find motivating that I could implement on my own computer.

Imagine, for instance, that instead of money collatoral, the stake in your
commitment is some file on your computer that you really don’t want to lose.
You write a crontab script that checks the working document (e.g.
thesis.tex) at specified intervals and if it doesn’t find enough edits have
been made since the previous check, some piece of your digital self goes
’poof.’ The collatoral could be as insignificant as the file containing your
saved game progress or as significant and irreplaceable as precious family
photos.

Obviously not all goals (e.g. edit 200 lines per day) lend themselves to
this kind of automated checking. But I’m still curious if anybody has tried
anything like this.


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

The daily logging was a pain - I wish I had one screen to enter in all my data on:
i.e - +1 brushed teeth +1 flossed +1 had my protein shake, ect.

I would also love better integration with other services - so I could have a commitment contract to get X points with fitocracy, walk x steps a day with my fitbit…

-Jolly


From: akratics@googlegroups.com [akratics@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of m0untain [jhamon@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 1:42 PM
To: akratics@googlegroups.com
Subject: Radical non-monetary pledges?

I fell off the beeminder bandwagon because logging my progress seemed like a higher level of friction than I wanted as part of my daily workflow. Plus, the internet is where my distractions live, and I don’t want to fire up the browser for anything if I can avoid it. I think the core idea of commitment devices is solid, though, and obviously works well for a lot of people. (A secondary reason is that I wasn’t thrilled to spend so much time putting data into a web service with no clear export options; I want to control my own data.)

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about what kids of radical nonmonetary pledges I would find motivating that I could implement on my own computer.

Imagine, for instance, that instead of money collatoral, the stake in your commitment is some file on your computer that you really don’t want to lose. You write a crontab script that checks the working document (e.g. thesis.tex) at specified intervals and if it doesn’t find enough edits have been made since the previous check, some piece of your digital self goes ‘poof.’ The collatoral could be as insignificant as the file containing your saved game progress or as significant and irreplaceable as precious family photos.

Obviously not all goals (e.g. edit 200 lines per day) lend themselves to this kind of automated checking. But I’m still curious if anybody has tried anything like this.

After looking harder, I concede that the export functions are there. You
get points for that. But I missed them after a good faith search the first
time around.

This could probably be simplified:
My accounts -> Choose Goal -> Data tab -> Click to expand “Export Data” in
the sidebar -> Download csv file

But I’d still like to hear if any of the nerds here have rigged their
computer to delete or disable/lock digital assets as a commitment device.

On Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:52:32 AM UTC-7, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Ooh, quick Beeminder defense: I don’t think there’s any site out there
that has better export options than Beeminder! And we’ve had export
since the very beginning, even in the Kibotzer days, I believe. A
while back we even added streaming export so every data point that
Beeminder gets it will immediately make a callback to a URL of your
choosing so you can keep a realtime mirror of your data.
And (as soon as we publicize it, but it works now if you want a sneak
peek) you can get your data as JSON via the api.

On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM, m0untain <jha...@gmail.com <javascript:>>
wrote:

I fell off the beeminder bandwagon because logging my progress seemed
like a
higher level of friction than I wanted as part of my daily workflow.
Plus,
the internet is where my distractions live, and I don’t want to fire up
the
browser for anything if I can avoid it. I think the core idea of
commitment
devices is solid, though, and obviously works well for a lot of people.
(A
secondary reason is that I wasn’t thrilled to spend so much time putting
data into a web service with no clear export options; I want to control
my
own data.)

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about what kids of radical nonmonetary
pledges I
would find motivating that I could implement on my own computer.

Imagine, for instance, that instead of money collatoral, the stake in
your
commitment is some file on your computer that you really don’t want to
lose.
You write a crontab script that checks the working document (e.g.
thesis.tex) at specified intervals and if it doesn’t find enough edits
have
been made since the previous check, some piece of your digital self goes
’poof.’ The collatoral could be as insignificant as the file containing
your
saved game progress or as significant and irreplaceable as precious
family
photos.

Obviously not all goals (e.g. edit 200 lines per day) lend themselves to
this kind of automated checking. But I’m still curious if anybody has
tried
anything like this.


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

(Great point; thanks for the feedback on that! We’ll work on it. Maybe
we can at least add an FAQ item in the meantime, since that’s one
place someone would go looking for it if they hadn’t spotted it
elsewhere.)

As for automatically deleting files as a commitment device…
Take my thoughts on this with a huge grain of salt, given my conflict
of interest, but I really dislike commitment devices that destroy
things (either information or other forms of value). I dislike
StickK’s anti-charities for that reason. I’m certainly motivated to
not allow the world to become a worse place and so that can work for a
commitment contract. But I’m also motivated to prevent things that
don’t make the world worse in any way, like paying money to a 3rd
party (who’s not evil).

At the other extreme, I’m skeptical of commitment contracts where the
beneficiary is a (good) charity because what kind of jerk is motivated
to not give to charity? But if you set an amount that you really can’t
afford then that can totally work. Unfortunately no one seems to ever
have the guts to do that.

So, yes, that was all an elaborate rationalization for Beeminder
getting all the money!
I’m serious though, I think the economics / psychology / behavioral
economics are sound.
Commitment contracts should be socially efficient and deleting
valuable files isn’t!

On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM, m0untain jhamon@gmail.com wrote:

After looking harder, I concede that the export functions are there. You
get points for that. But I missed them after a good faith search the first
time around.

This could probably be simplified:
My accounts -> Choose Goal -> Data tab -> Click to expand “Export Data” in
the sidebar -> Download csv file

But I’d still like to hear if any of the nerds here have rigged their
computer to delete or disable/lock digital assets as a commitment device.

On Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:52:32 AM UTC-7, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Ooh, quick Beeminder defense: I don’t think there’s any site out there
that has better export options than Beeminder! And we’ve had export
since the very beginning, even in the Kibotzer days, I believe. A
while back we even added streaming export so every data point that
Beeminder gets it will immediately make a callback to a URL of your
choosing so you can keep a realtime mirror of your data.
And (as soon as we publicize it, but it works now if you want a sneak
peek) you can get your data as JSON via the api.

On Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM, m0untain jha...@gmail.com wrote:

I fell off the beeminder bandwagon because logging my progress seemed
like a
higher level of friction than I wanted as part of my daily workflow.
Plus,
the internet is where my distractions live, and I don’t want to fire up
the
browser for anything if I can avoid it. I think the core idea of
commitment
devices is solid, though, and obviously works well for a lot of people.
(A
secondary reason is that I wasn’t thrilled to spend so much time putting
data into a web service with no clear export options; I want to control
my
own data.)

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about what kids of radical nonmonetary
pledges I
would find motivating that I could implement on my own computer.

Imagine, for instance, that instead of money collatoral, the stake in
your
commitment is some file on your computer that you really don’t want to
lose.
You write a crontab script that checks the working document (e.g.
thesis.tex) at specified intervals and if it doesn’t find enough edits
have
been made since the previous check, some piece of your digital self goes
’poof.’ The collatoral could be as insignificant as the file containing
your
saved game progress or as significant and irreplaceable as precious
family
photos.

Obviously not all goals (e.g. edit 200 lines per day) lend themselves to
this kind of automated checking. But I’m still curious if anybody has
tried
anything like this.


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