A few years ago I read a book on procrastination called The Procrastination Equation which describes how various factors cause people to systematically overestimate their performance. I wondered whether it would make sense for men to systematically underestimate their abilities at productivity. I didn’t find the book interesting at all—it’s an interesting read and I won’t waste your time trying to read it if you’re a lazy hacker. It’s also the most interesting book I’ve read on procrastination.
You can read the book on the subject on lw.com and follow the links—I recommend starting with The Procrastination Equation.
You might also read the book in machine learning terms and learn more on procrastination with books on procrastination.
Anyway, I’m reading the book and it’s great. I’ve read it a lot more than others and I feel like the title makes a lot more sense to me, but it does make me think of something that I’ve already read. I’ve read a few of its posts, like the rest of Paul Graham’s book and my recent LessWrong post on procrastination.
I think that there are some topics where this method of reasoning seems more epistemically appropriate, like genetics, game theory, and a bunch of other things that are related to the method of reasoning. There are also some topics where the method of reasoning leads to a completely different set of epistemic practices.
I think there are a lot of areas where this method is more epistemically appropriate, and I think there are some areas where it is strictly off-putting to make the case for it.
One reason I think Bayesians are likely to be better thinkers about anti-akrasia is that we’re using it to evaluate possible techniques of thought. If those techniques of analysis are applied to some areas of inquiry, then we’re pretty likely to end up being really good at it—and it’s a bit like the reasons I’m talking about here.
Another reason I think Bayesians are likely to be better thinkers about anti-akrasia is that we’re using it to evaluate how to make the case for it. If those techniques aren’t applied to other areas of inquiry, then either the technique isn’t useful to me, or there’s a counter-example that would be useful, but I don’t think I could explain to you what I thought, other than to you.