This sneaked up on me today. How to avoid it?

tl;dr Beeminders that should stay below an increasing limit do not provide
a warning until it’s too late. Brainstorm please!

https://www.beeminder.com/retostamm/goals/rescue-time-unproductive

Essentially, I have a limit on Unproductive time (like Daniels TV thing).
It’s auto-updated from rescuetime via script, which works like a charm.

Today, it snook up on me. I was not looking, and suddenly, it was too late!
Since I can’t go back, I am not sure what I should do instead. I’d like it
to give me some warning, like “At the current rate, you’ll fail in 5 days”.

My previous solution to this was to invert it. For my fitbit calorie
deficit, I take the burned calories and subtract the eaten ones, giving me
a deficit, and the bee minder daily goal is x Calories deficit, which is a
yellow brick road that I must stay above. That works.

I think the equivalent here is an undistractedness-surplus, and while that
might work it is quite contrived and unintuitive. Does anyone have any
better ideas to avoid things like this sneaking up? Really, the problem is
that Beeminder does not calculate estimated intersection for maximums until
you are above it. Same is true for weight and other things.

I like to look a few days ahead (fail in one, three, five days). I have
graphs generated on Ducksboard, which is updated with a script with data
pulled from Beeminder, showing critical things from beeminder (first
graph), and ideally integrated with todo list and calendar as well, as a
one-stop-status panel).

[image: Inline image 1]

Thanks so much for bringing this up, Reto. We’ve been talking about this
(me, Bethany, and Andy) so let me quickly tell you our thinking so far:
For Set-A-Limit goals you already specify “a generous estimate” of your
current rate when you create the goal.
I’d like to take that generous estimate as the presumed value whenever you
don’t report.
As long as you dial down your road at some point from that initial generous
rate, which you’ll typically do with Set-A-Limit [1], then that presumed
value will imply a future date at which you’ll derail if you don’t report,
just like with Do More presuming zeros when you don’t report and projecting
that forward for the date you’ll derail.

With that change – presumed/default values on Set-A-Limit goals – I think
everything else will work like other goal types, including countdowns and
warnings of imminent derailment.

It just occurred to me that this could be simulated already with our API,
similar to this:


where you have a cron job that sends beeminder your presumed value at
midnight iff you haven’t already entered a value yourself.

[/me crosses fingers that the above will suffice to nerdsnipe Reto]

Also, just trello’d this –
https://trello.com/card/fix-set-a-limit-goal-type/4f079dbc30a67d1864012d6b/164--
in case anyone wants to watch it there (if it won’t let you comment
there, let me know and I’ll add you). But also fine to reply to this thread
of course.

[1] The idea with the generous initial estimate is the same as with an
initial flat spot on a Do More road – start with a bit of safety buffer
before the road starts nipping at your heels. For Do More that means an
initial flat spot; for Set-A-Limit it means an initial steep section.

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 9:13 PM, Reto Stamm reto@retostamm.com wrote:

tl;dr Beeminders that should stay below an increasing limit do not provide
a warning until it’s too late. Brainstorm please!

https://www.beeminder.com/retostamm/goals/rescue-time-unproductive

Essentially, I have a limit on Unproductive time (like Daniels TV thing).
It’s auto-updated from rescuetime via script, which works like a charm.

Today, it snook up on me. I was not looking, and suddenly, it was too
late! Since I can’t go back, I am not sure what I should do instead. I’d
like it to give me some warning, like “At the current rate, you’ll fail in
5 days”.

My previous solution to this was to invert it. For my fitbit calorie
deficit, I take the burned calories and subtract the eaten ones, giving me
a deficit, and the bee minder daily goal is x Calories deficit, which is a
yellow brick road that I must stay above. That works.

I think the equivalent here is an undistractedness-surplus, and while that
might work it is quite contrived and unintuitive. Does anyone have any
better ideas to avoid things like this sneaking up? Really, the problem is
that Beeminder does not calculate estimated intersection for maximums until
you are above it. Same is true for weight and other things.

I like to look a few days ahead (fail in one, three, five days). I have
graphs generated on Ducksboard, which is updated with a script with data
pulled from Beeminder, showing critical things from beeminder (first
graph), and ideally integrated with todo list and calendar as well, as a
one-stop-status panel).

[image: Inline image 1]


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