I didn’t participate in last week’s babble, and I also went from three stars to two stars—I think it might just be a miscount
The post acknowledges by name that I made a submission.It seems the scoring is effectively “everybody that passed gets a new star, others lose 1 star”. I made a submission, tried pretty hard, did not get any mentions that my submission was insufficient (such as not containing 50 entries (which other have got)). What is did was not a “no show” but a “swing and a miss” at most. And I would even argue that it was a swing and a babble hit. Given that the goal is to reward for consistency having this kind of rule makes it so that If I turn up to see what is up this week feel it is hard I am better going home to sleep and save the embarcement and work.
I get that there needs to be a line between to flimsy go and a proper act, but distinguishing between trying and not trying is important too. Otherwise it migth lead into a situaiton where you will try only if you know you will succeed. By somewhat famous lyrics “I’ve tried so hard—And got so far—But in the end—It doesn’t even matter ”
Yeah, I should have left a comment explaining it underneath your post, sorry about that and the stress caused by the uncertainty.
As for why I didn’t count your comment, it’s probably just the reasons you expect. Like you wrote in the first paragraphs, you didn’t complete the challenge as stated, instead changing the prompt:
The intutive way of reading the question as (trying to) solve an actual problem seems very hard for me. (Challenge factor real) (Challenge factor personal). I get to essentially pick what I would try to solve and I feel overwhelmed by that (Challenge factor choice paralysis).I still feel like sticking to a timelimit is helpful and actually working your brain is helpful. However I am going to massively chicken on this one. I don’t f grow stronger if after putting shoes on and then practising trying shoelaces I am suddenly thrust into a marathon.Faced with the sandbox of the universe, what one should do? (This problem is still somewhat relevant as depression and meaninglessness are actual rather than hypothetical issues)
The intutive way of reading the question as (trying to) solve an actual problem seems very hard for me. (Challenge factor real) (Challenge factor personal). I get to essentially pick what I would try to solve and I feel overwhelmed by that (Challenge factor choice paralysis).
I still feel like sticking to a timelimit is helpful and actually working your brain is helpful. However I am going to massively chicken on this one. I don’t f grow stronger if after putting shoes on and then practising trying shoelaces I am suddenly thrust into a marathon.
Faced with the sandbox of the universe, what one should do? (This problem is still somewhat relevant as depression and meaninglessness are actual rather than hypothetical issues)
I’ll explain my reasoning further with a metaphor.
Say your dojo has a “break this plank” challenge. I show up, but I realise if try breaking the plank, I’ll just injure myself. I can do at least three things.
Acknowledge this to my fellow practitioners, and get a different kind of plank_B, that I can actually strike, and use that one.
Try to break the original plank_A anyway.
You chose 2. You owned up to not wanting to try it, had the courage to admit that publicly, and still did some practice. I really respect that. That seems like a plausibly right move in order to eventually be able to break plank_A. Just keep fighting at levels slightly outside your comfort zone, instead of taking too huge a leap at once. I certainly don’t think you should be embarrassed! Remember that the majority of people who read that post never even tried. Option 2 is much better than Option 1.
At the same time, I care about the challenge being actually break plank_A. I need to trust that if I say that’s what this week’s challenge is, people will try to do that. This is important because I often have a model behind why I choose a particular question. Sometimes there are reasons I didn’t choose a nearby question. Choosing the questions has a big influence on how the challenge affects LessWrong culture, and how it helps people grow.
I am better going home to sleep and save the embarcement and work
Well, no! Even though you didn’t get a point, you practiced, and you’re closer to breaking plank_A.
To build on on the metaphor say that I break it with my knee instead of when everybody else has been chopping it up with their hands.
I understand the need to control what the challenge is. But one should oversee the question that one does pose and not one wished they posed.
I didn’t change the prompt. I fullfilled it with the problem choice “Faced with the sandboxs of the universe, what one should do?”. It could have been shortened to “what I should do?”
The prompt is also a very wild card. In the dojo example if most lessons are done to practice a specific form but then one lesson is “free-form” “pick-whatevder you like” type. And then you have a free pick and then the master comes to tell your that your pick of exercise was wrong. If we are doing punch day then kicks are a distraction but rigth hook versus left straight shouldn’t matter.
But one should oversee the question that one does pose and not one wished they posed.
Sure, I think I can improve how clear the questions are, and gjm also complained about that last week.
I didn’t change the prompt.
I think you answered the question: “What are 50 problems I could solve?” If that would have been the challenge, your submission would have been great (like #31, #41 and #50). Actually, I had been thinking about asking that question for a future challenge, I still might do that.
The challenge, though, asked “What is one problem, that you can find 50 solutions to?”
An example of a cognitive process that I think you could have done: pick a less imposing personal problem. Like #32 or #39.
So now the set of babble challenges is posed and drawing into a conclusion. In the parent post there is an outline of a condition of what would have been passing. In reply to that I argued that the passing condition is infact fullfilled. Not having it answered seems like thinking that conditon is not fullfilled.
I feel like have done atleast 6⁄7 challenges. In the beginning of the last one there are 1 participants with 4,5 and 6 scores. Assuming everybody gets a pass that will mean having 1 fumble in the middle is worse than starting late (atleast in stars). Treating two 6⁄7 accomplishments differently is consistent with the idea of rewarding continuity.
Because the stars are given within the “hot” week not being aware of faults makes for irrepairable injury. Not knowing which norms are materially important feels capricious. Vexing over things after the fact feels bad but I also feel that if there is an invite to an activity then detailing it out is some kind of promise. It is okay if they are just inspirational empty words, but if they are meant to stand for something they need to stand for something.
Okay, I think I see some errors I made here:
Underestimating the size of norm space / typical minding what “everyone would realize” the sensible set of norms should be
Not taking the time to communicate norms more clearly and getting buy-in on them from participants; perhaps not modelling how the “don’t punish babble” instructions would be interpreted
At the same time as the above, enforcing the norms very hard
You mention “paranoia” above. I see that more clearly now. I guess it felt like you’re being pushed around by incentives that on the one hand demand a lot of you, but on the other hand are illegible and hard to predict.
In fact, since last time we talked, I’ve run into some major conflicts in my personal life, that have a shape very similar to this. (In a leadership position I’ve pushed certain standards on people, and they have reacted very negatively, and reported feeling paranoid because they didn’t expect those things to be the standards.)
I’m sorry that my mistakes in this domain also ended up hurting you. I hope you’ll continue practicing rationality and that it will be but a speedbump in the long run.
Overall, yeah, one might say it is my Hamming problem. I’m trying to make progress on it.
Now the key reason I’m not sure how to make progress is that I do care a lot about having and holding people to high standards. I think that’s part of building a culture of greatness. I want the Babble challenges to mean something, to be an actual symbol of accomplishment. And for that, a line in the sand must be drawn somewhere.
But I’m not yet sure how to integrate the above feedback, from you and others, with the current jacobjacob policy. How can I get the best of both worlds into a new, improved, policy? I don’t really know. And I don’t want to mess up all the good things that come with high standards (many of my core abilities as a rationalist are derived from an extremely high internal expectation setting for myself).
Curious if you have any ideas.
(Also, for some reason I feel averse to changing the star ranking in hindsight. It is what it is and stands as a testament to this babble challenge and how it went. It will be useful learning for future. But I can see that you care and really want to improve. And I commend that. I’ll try to build point systems in future that are better at capturing that.)
Thank you for acknowledging my diffcult spot in the conversation.
I think the issues could still use reveal and explanation of what happened. I still have a open question how “I have a problem of not having problems, what I can do about it?” does’t meet the “high” standard of “What is one problem, that you can find 50 solutions to?”
I think you have a hard time being open about your standards. If it was suspicious or harsh or something like that I could understand flinching away from exploring what you are doing. But a dojo runner should be able to stand by his principles, even advertise and get known that he operates differently than others.
I don’t really get the conflict about raising or lowering standards. One might get banned from a golf course by violating dresscode but that is helped by there being a clear dress code. If someone makes a hole-in-one and others try to get it disqualified because it was done wearing jeans, societal class based “standards” are very different from athletic dexterity and body control “standards”. A golf club that would be ashamed of the clothing fashion might want to just scrutinise people who dress wrong for other violations such as ball-out-bounds or accidental shot touches harder. Whether a dresscode is essential to the sport or not, being frank and straigth about it increases reliability of ruling.
Sure some lines need to be drawn. And for any given position there are different places where it could have been drawn to make something over or under. But given that the line seems at the moment be drawn there and my foot is over here, how is it on the wrong side of the line?
For the part how I understand the high standard, it was met. So either the actual standard is something yet still unstated or I am missing something.
Part of culture of greatness would also probably involve that exercise runners not be tardy or unjust. Having low standards for students and low ones for runners seems hypocritical. In a sport if a referee makes a judgement the game rolls with it but referees get accountable for their judgement quality in the long run. I think that solidifying the result into history books by processing complaints about it slowly is not an accountable direction.
I do not expect to actually get a star on this ever but I feel that gettig a rejection with no explanation is an unjust outcome and that a proper enough remedy would be to dig out the reason why it was rejected. Currently it feels like the reason is both painful and won’t be uncovered. Which effectively means that the exercise runner can do no wrong as they are their own review.
FWIW, I just posted [a new challenge-like thing](https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/5HTaBuxRyRSc4mHnP/thread-for-making-2019-review-accountability-commitments), and following your feedback, among others, I tried making the stakes and norms clearer upfront, and be more explicit about what people are opting in to.
I’ll try to elucidate the standards underlying my judgement call:
You admitting it was due to an “ugh” field, and me being worried about my dojo-master-decisions making it seem generally acceptable to shy away from your ugh fields. (Which, well, sometimes it certainly is. They’re there for a reason. But not always, and I wanted to build a space where people could confront challenges)
Not conforming to the experiment of “having babble be used to solve one very particular problem in your life”. Instead doing something which seemed more theoretical, and less likely to yield creative solutions to one specific problem. The answered seemed to me in the spirit of babble, but not in the spirit of this week’s challenge. (One might also say that I wanted depth-first and you did a breadth-first search… but I’m not sure that metaphor really holds up)
I don’t think I had made it at all explicit or clear to everyone involved that these were actually the standards. But they are the ones I abode by, nonetheless.
So to ‘how “I have a problem of not having problems, what I can do about it?” does’t meet the “high” standard of “What is one problem, that you can find 50 solutions to?”’ the answer is is was a forbidden type of problem.
Not sure I understand what you mean here.
In my opinion the submission conforms to “having babble be used to solve one very particular problem in your life”. i don’t understand your interpretation how it would not. I understand that at one point you read it as searching for 50 problems and I tried to explain how itis only one problem and why the answers to this problem can look like problems instead of solutions. Did you understand and agree with this argument step?
One could be worried that Math olympiad scores would be too abstract or too forward looking to count as valid practical questions. Or insomnia would be too psychological or nebolous. However those were given as positive examples or good target problems. If insomnia is good why is aimlessness not good?
I also get a feeling that it is slippery which part is judgement call and which part is principle. I think there might be a pattern going on where promises are given without looking into what carrying out them would mean. If the rule is that a failure nulls out stars and it comes time to actually fail someone and a different rule is followed that seems like imagining how it would be to fail someone didn’t get that much prethought. Then if in a different aspects we go “sorry I have to do this because of rule consistency” it sounds a lot more hollow and is more suspicious just to be an excuse. We can’t be perfectly reflectived of all our implications of principles, some have to be just played out. But there is a definite carefullness in a style that tries to promise very little and keep very much. The conduct here is making very much sound about all kinds of stuff, some of them followed, some of them not. Nobody got into trouble for not upvoting stuff enough or making encouraging posts, so that was potentially just empty air. Being slow and evasive seems like something is trying to evade sunlight.
It is pretty basic lesswrong content to be sad about the state of fact that a lot of students try to guess their teachers password. But I am starting to see how if the words are just empty air it makes sense to follow what they do rather than what they say. If the student gives an answer which the teacher for some reason doesn’t like the teacher has the power to punish for it. Having words have meanings restrictics the behaviour in that one needs to find a justification (which can be an excuse in the case of motivated cognition).
One of the worries about standards in babbles would be that if one follows all the stipulations can they get their submission be judged on their merits? It seems I encountered a situation where not all the stipulations were published in the prompt. So failing to follow an unpublished stipulation isn’t that surprising. But knowing what the extra stipulations are it still seems that the submission was erroenously marked as failing those stipulations. So either there are yet more hidden stipulations or the stipulations are not in fact being followed.
From 2 months ago
“I think you answered the question: “What are 50 problems I could solve?” If that would have been the challenge, your submission would have been great” … “The challenge, though, asked “What is one problem, that you can find 50 solutions to?”
“Wouldn’t the answer to “What are 50 problems I could solve?” also answer “I have a problem of not having problems, what I can do about it?”″… “With the problem of “I feel aimless” then aquiring an aim is a solution and not a problem in that regard.” … “Is not disinterest in your own life not a valid problem?”
This discussion has not moved much forward by the recent reply spurt. Because there was no clear answer I tried to extract to what extent the question was answered. If you didn’t answer the question please do. I think I addressed the numericity problem (50 blue answers) but now it seemed that there was practicality problem (giving a red answer when asked for a blue answer). The point of is to try to understand how I failed the standard and my current understanding is that I didn’t and I was errenously counted to do so or that the standards keep moving so much that it is not a true question about standards.
Wouldn’t the answer to “What are 50 problems I could solve?” also answer “I have a problem of not having problems, what I can do about it?”
With the problem of “I feel aimless” then aquiring an aim is a solution and not a problem in that regard. I get that a listing of simple affordances. Is not disinterest in your own life not a valid problem? Did I not specify clearly enough that I am tackling a psychological problem and not just a neutral affordance listing.
(Also, I’m signing off for the evening and will reply more tomorrow. If you’d like, also definitely feel free to PM me, or I could send you a link to my calendar so we can book a call to discuss.)
Since last ping on the issue 22 days have passed which itself was about the same time. Now the final challenge is curated. Explaining why the rejection happened and signing off for that day seems like good and reasonable exercise upkeeping. Saying that one would get back to it and never getting back to it provides a false sense that things can be talked out. Setting and defining a bar is fine but not explaining discrepancies in the application of the standard leaves room that it is not actually followed but just a namesake.
What does “committing to run an activity” mean? I have developed a sense that I should go over jacobjacobs post history and link this event to all promises to “commit to run” and promises to reply as relevant data.
If replying proper would be too hard communicating that a reply is being formed later than anticipated or that willingness to reply has vaned would warm a lot. Other activity and reflection on the babble challenge has been going on. Ghosting people doesn’t make for a environment that allows people to open up.
Quick note: I’ve had this in my todo, but been very busy with other stuff. It is my intention to get back to it. Sorry about the delay, would have been better to post an update soon as I expected it would be delayed.