Beeminder Forum

Should you let goals derail if you're going to do them after 12AM?


#1

I tend to sleep from ~1:30am to ~8:30 local time, and frequently I’m
finishing up something Beeminded well after midnight. I’m not sure if this
is a timezone gaffe or deliberate, but my weekly-rate goals derail at 3am,
which works nicely for me. I’m totally on board with generalized
"midnight"; actual midnight is just another hour of the late evening for
night owls like me and my wife.

Moving between time zones can be troublesome, though.

Braden

P.S. I have cheated marginally on this, when I was up really late and was
getting the zeno-polling spam literally while doing the task. I put in the
data a few minutes before derailing, and finished a few minutes after. I
felt vaguely dirty, but it seemed silly to do the legit check dance for
this when the task was already halfway done.

On Wed Jul 16 2014 at 7:19:05 AM, Brent Yorgey byorgey@gmail.com wrote:

+1 from me as well! Though I can see from reading the evolving spec that
it is a rather tricky feature to get right.

-Brent

On Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 8:20 AM, Essentiae essentiae@gmail.com wrote:

SO MUCH ‘YES’ TO THIS:

On 16 July 2014 02:28, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Oh, and we also want to make this possibly moot by having arbitrary
deadlines, aka generalized “midnight”:
evolving spec at http://expost.padm.us/midnight


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#2

Today was a busy day and I wasn’t able to hit my goals before midnight.
They were all daily goals so letting it go past midnight would derail me.

Since I’m 100% certain that I’m going to do the remaining goals, I simply
put the value in so I wouldn’t derail.

How do you handle these situations?

Thanks!


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#3

Allow me to express my horror at that idea: :0
We’d honestly much prefer you reply to the legit check and explain why
it wasn’t a legit derailment and we’ll undo it and stop the charge and
everything (we won’t give you much of a hard time unless you
weaselproofed it). Inaccurate data should feel like apostasy –
anathema to the Way of the Bee. :slight_smile: Relevant:
blog.beeminder.com/cheating

There’s also the perhaps self-serving answer that when the pledge is
just $5 it might not be worth the agonizing and the slippery-slope
risk – ie, just cough up the $5 and think of it as a fair price for
all the motivation provided up to that point. More on that way of
thinking here: http://blog.beeminder.com/beenice

Another way to look at it (taking this from a conversation with a
friend who was having a minor Beeminder existential crisis): Mostly
Beeminder makes you do the awesomeness-maximizing thing, but once in a
while it’s a little off (like forgoing an awesome work spiral in favor
of filing papers which can just as well happen tomorrow). But consider
the awesomeness level without Beeminder. If that’s much, much lower
then it might make sense to live with the small deviations from
Absolute Optimal Awesomeness rather than risk neutering Beeminder’s
motivational power, the thing keeping you at near-optimal awesomeness.

That was way over-verbose. Trying that again: Just do what Beeminder
tells you because if you start deviating from that (even with
sometimes good excuses) then you could end up not listening to
Beeminder at all, which is much worse.

More relevant thoughts…

Jill’s Rule and the Power of Bright Lines; Or, Beeminder’s No-Free-Lunch Theorem

What I said to a user recently who thought our hardnosery (like with
that $1000 UVI payout) 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. We now refer
to this amongst ourselves as “Jill’s Rule”. 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.

Also related: blog.beeminder.com/catchup and the concept of Schelling Fences

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 9:03 PM, Kenny Yang yangkennyk@gmail.com wrote:

Today was a busy day and I wasn’t able to hit my goals before midnight. They
were all daily goals so letting it go past midnight would derail me.

Since I’m 100% certain that I’m going to do the remaining goals, I simply
put the value in so I wouldn’t derail.

How do you handle these situations?

Thanks!


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"Akratics Anonymous" group.
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email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
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http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


Feature request: store safety buffer
#4

I’d just like to plug my backpressure approach as kinda solving this
problem:
http://www.drmaciver.com/2014/07/playing-beeminder-on-hard-mode-by-adding-backpressure/

By keeping you a week ahead of your beeminder goals it means that
"slipping" like this is feh, you’ve added a point to backpressure. Who
cares? You’re allowed a point a day (though I feel like one a day is too
high now that I’m on top of everything and next week it’s going down to 5 a
week - as a result leaving a single goal untouched will cause backpressure
to derail before it does if you’ve not got any buffer built up). It creates
a fuzzy boundary that gives you a little more tolerance but then rapidly
starts to push back if you’re actually derailing for real, and it’s well
defined enough that it doesn’t produce the slippery slope effect that
making excuses can.

I guess in some sense this is logically equivalent to something like the
three strikes rules, etc. that bethany is describing as bad in the catchups
post but it doesn’t feel like leniency, it feels like a motivator to keep
on top of things so that I don’t need leniency in the first place.

On 16 July 2014 06:22, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Allow me to express my horror at that idea: :0
We’d honestly much prefer you reply to the legit check and explain why
it wasn’t a legit derailment and we’ll undo it and stop the charge and
everything (we won’t give you much of a hard time unless you
weaselproofed it). Inaccurate data should feel like apostasy –
anathema to the Way of the Bee. :slight_smile: Relevant:
blog.beeminder.com/cheating

There’s also the perhaps self-serving answer that when the pledge is
just $5 it might not be worth the agonizing and the slippery-slope
risk – ie, just cough up the $5 and think of it as a fair price for
all the motivation provided up to that point. More on that way of
thinking here: http://blog.beeminder.com/beenice

Another way to look at it (taking this from a conversation with a
friend who was having a minor Beeminder existential crisis): Mostly
Beeminder makes you do the awesomeness-maximizing thing, but once in a
while it’s a little off (like forgoing an awesome work spiral in favor
of filing papers which can just as well happen tomorrow). But consider
the awesomeness level without Beeminder. If that’s much, much lower
then it might make sense to live with the small deviations from
Absolute Optimal Awesomeness rather than risk neutering Beeminder’s
motivational power, the thing keeping you at near-optimal awesomeness.

That was way over-verbose. Trying that again: Just do what Beeminder
tells you because if you start deviating from that (even with
sometimes good excuses) then you could end up not listening to
Beeminder at all, which is much worse.

More relevant thoughts…

Jill’s Rule and the Power of Bright Lines; Or, Beeminder’s No-Free-Lunch
Theorem

What I said to a user recently who thought our hardnosery (like with
that $1000 UVI payout) 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. We now refer
to this amongst ourselves as “Jill’s Rule”. 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.

Also related: blog.beeminder.com/catchup and the concept of Schelling
Fences

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 9:03 PM, Kenny Yang yangkennyk@gmail.com wrote:

Today was a busy day and I wasn’t able to hit my goals before midnight.
They
were all daily goals so letting it go past midnight would derail me.

Since I’m 100% certain that I’m going to do the remaining goals, I simply
put the value in so I wouldn’t derail.

How do you handle these situations?

Thanks!


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"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


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#5

Oh, and we also want to make this possibly moot by having arbitrary
deadlines, aka generalized “midnight”:
evolving spec at http://expost.padm.us/midnight

PS: We’re deploying the price hike literally any minute now (as usual
Bethany is hacking away on code while I’m screwing around on email I
mean engaging with users!)… beeminder.com/premium

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 10:55 PM, David MacIver david@drmaciver.com wrote:

I’d just like to plug my backpressure approach as kinda solving this
problem:
http://www.drmaciver.com/2014/07/playing-beeminder-on-hard-mode-by-adding-backpressure/

By keeping you a week ahead of your beeminder goals it means that "slipping"
like this is feh, you’ve added a point to backpressure. Who cares? You’re
allowed a point a day (though I feel like one a day is too high now that I’m
on top of everything and next week it’s going down to 5 a week - as a result
leaving a single goal untouched will cause backpressure to derail before it
does if you’ve not got any buffer built up). It creates a fuzzy boundary
that gives you a little more tolerance but then rapidly starts to push back
if you’re actually derailing for real, and it’s well defined enough that it
doesn’t produce the slippery slope effect that making excuses can.

I guess in some sense this is logically equivalent to something like the
three strikes rules, etc. that bethany is describing as bad in the catchups
post but it doesn’t feel like leniency, it feels like a motivator to keep on
top of things so that I don’t need leniency in the first place.

On 16 July 2014 06:22, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Allow me to express my horror at that idea: :0
We’d honestly much prefer you reply to the legit check and explain why
it wasn’t a legit derailment and we’ll undo it and stop the charge and
everything (we won’t give you much of a hard time unless you
weaselproofed it). Inaccurate data should feel like apostasy –
anathema to the Way of the Bee. :slight_smile: Relevant:
blog.beeminder.com/cheating

There’s also the perhaps self-serving answer that when the pledge is
just $5 it might not be worth the agonizing and the slippery-slope
risk – ie, just cough up the $5 and think of it as a fair price for
all the motivation provided up to that point. More on that way of
thinking here: http://blog.beeminder.com/beenice

Another way to look at it (taking this from a conversation with a
friend who was having a minor Beeminder existential crisis): Mostly
Beeminder makes you do the awesomeness-maximizing thing, but once in a
while it’s a little off (like forgoing an awesome work spiral in favor
of filing papers which can just as well happen tomorrow). But consider
the awesomeness level without Beeminder. If that’s much, much lower
then it might make sense to live with the small deviations from
Absolute Optimal Awesomeness rather than risk neutering Beeminder’s
motivational power, the thing keeping you at near-optimal awesomeness.

That was way over-verbose. Trying that again: Just do what Beeminder
tells you because if you start deviating from that (even with
sometimes good excuses) then you could end up not listening to
Beeminder at all, which is much worse.

More relevant thoughts…

Jill’s Rule and the Power of Bright Lines; Or, Beeminder’s No-Free-Lunch
Theorem

What I said to a user recently who thought our hardnosery (like with
that $1000 UVI payout) 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. We now refer
to this amongst ourselves as “Jill’s Rule”. 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.

Also related: blog.beeminder.com/catchup and the concept of Schelling
Fences

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 9:03 PM, Kenny Yang yangkennyk@gmail.com wrote:

Today was a busy day and I wasn’t able to hit my goals before midnight.
They
were all daily goals so letting it go past midnight would derail me.

Since I’m 100% certain that I’m going to do the remaining goals, I
simply
put the value in so I wouldn’t derail.

How do you handle these situations?

Thanks!


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
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an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


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http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


#6

If a busy day means you can’t hit your goals, then your goals are probably
way too strict — presumably you have busy days often? Unless this was
some sort of once-every-100-years busy day, in which case you probably have
a legitimate excuse to undo the derailments. But I agree with Daniel,
lying to Beeminder by putting in fake data points is not a very good
solution. It’s a slippery slope straight to Beeminder being completely
ineffectual.

-Brent

On Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 12:03 AM, Kenny Yang yangkennyk@gmail.com wrote:

Today was a busy day and I wasn’t able to hit my goals before midnight.
They were all daily goals so letting it go past midnight would derail me.

Since I’m 100% certain that I’m going to do the remaining goals, I simply
put the value in so I wouldn’t derail.

How do you handle these situations?

Thanks!


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
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email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


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#7

SO MUCH ‘YES’ TO THIS:

On 16 July 2014 02:28, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Oh, and we also want to make this possibly moot by having arbitrary
deadlines, aka generalized “midnight”:
evolving spec at http://expost.padm.us/midnight


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#8

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OXV9ofiGlZ4/U8Zu6MFoznI/AAAAAAAAAVo/XM11vxO84bY/s1600/18tzbsqevrs51gif.gif

On Wednesday, July 16, 2014 8:20:35 AM UTC-4, Essentiae wrote:

SO MUCH ‘YES’ TO THIS:

On 16 July 2014 02:28, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Oh, and we also want to make this possibly moot by having arbitrary
deadlines, aka generalized “midnight”:
evolving spec at http://expost.padm.us/midnight


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#9

+1 from me as well! Though I can see from reading the evolving spec that
it is a rather tricky feature to get right.

-Brent

On Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 8:20 AM, Essentiae essentiae@gmail.com wrote:

SO MUCH ‘YES’ TO THIS:

On 16 July 2014 02:28, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Oh, and we also want to make this possibly moot by having arbitrary
deadlines, aka generalized “midnight”:
evolving spec at http://expost.padm.us/midnight


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"Akratics Anonymous" group.
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