# Instrumental Rationality 1: Starting Advice

[This is the first post in the In­stru­men­tal Ra­tion­al­ity Se­quence. It’s a col­lec­tion of four con­cepts that I think are cen­tral to in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity—car­ing about the ob­vi­ous, look­ing for prac­ti­cal things, prac­tic­ing in pieces, and re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions.

Note that these es­says are deriva­tive of things I’ve writ­ten here be­fore, so there may not be much new con­tent in this post. (But I wanted to get some­thing out as it’d been about a month since my last up­date.)

My main goal with this col­lec­tion was to pol­ish /​ crys­tal­lize past points I’ve made. If things here are worded poorly, un­clear, or don’t seem use­ful, I’d re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate feed­back to try and im­prove.]

In Defense of the Ob­vi­ous:

A lot of the things I’m go­ing to go over in this se­quence are some­times go­ing to sound ob­vi­ous, bor­ing, re­dun­dant, or down­right tau­tolog­i­cal. This es­say is here to con­vince you that you should try to listen to the ad­vice any­way, even if it sounds stupidly ob­vi­ous.

First off, our brains don’t always see all the con­nec­tions at once. Thus, even if some given ad­vice is ap­par­ently­ob­vi­ous, you still might be learn­ing things.

For ex­am­ple, say some­one tells you, “If you want to ex­er­cise more, then you should prob­a­bly ex­er­cise more. Once you do that, you’ll be­come the type of per­son who ex­er­cises more, and then you’ll likely ex­er­cise more.”

The above ad­vice might sound pretty silly, but it may still be use­ful. Often, our men­tal cat­e­gories for “ex­er­cise” and “per­sonal iden­tity” are in differ­ent places. Sure, it’s tau­tolog­i­cally true that some­one who ex­er­cises be­comes a per­son who ex­er­cises more. But if you’re not ex­plic­itly think­ing about how your ac­tions change who you are, then there’s likely still some­thing new to think about.

Hu­mans are of­ten weirdly in­con­sis­tent with our men­tal buck­ets—things that log­i­cally seem like they “should” be lumped to­gether of­ten aren’t. By pay­ing at­ten­tion to even tau­tolog­i­cal ad­vice like this, you’re able to form new con­nec­tions in your brain and link new men­tal cat­e­gories to­gether, per­haps dis­cov­er­ing new in­sights that you “already knew”.

Se­condly, ob­vi­ous ad­vice tends to be low-hang­ing fruit. If your brain is pat­tern-match­ing some­thing as “bor­ing ad­vice” or “ob­vi­ous”, you’ve likely heard it be­fore many times be­fore.

For ex­am­ple, you can prob­a­bly guess the top 5 things on any “How to be Pro­duc­tive” list—make a sched­ule, re­move dis­trac­tions, take pe­ri­odic breaks, etc. etc. You can al­most feel your brain roll its metaphor­i­cal eyes at such dreary, well-worn ad­vice.

But if you’ve heard these things re­peated many times be­fore, this is also good rea­son to sus­pect that, at least for a lot of peo­ple, it works. Mean­ing that if you aren’t tak­ing such ad­vice already, you can prob­a­bly get a boost by do­ing so.

If you just did those top 5 things, you’d prob­a­bly already be quite the pro­duc­tive per­son.

The trick, then, is to ac­tu­ally do them. That means do­ing the ob­vi­ous thing.

Lastly, it can be easy to dis­count ob­vi­ous ad­vice when you’ve seen too much of it. When you’re bom­barded with bor­ing-seem­ing ad­vice from all an­gles, it’s easy to be­come de­sen­si­tized.

What I mean is that it’s pos­si­ble to dis­miss ob­vi­ous ad­vice out­right be­cause it sounds way too sim­ple. “This can’t pos­si­bly work,” your brain might say, “The se­cret to get­ting things done must be more com­plex!”

There’s some­thing akin to the he­do­nic tread­mill hap­pen­ing here where, af­ter hav­ing been ex­posed to all the “nor­mal” ad­vice, you start to seek out deeper and deeper ideas in search of some sort of men­tal high. What hap­pens is that you be­come a kind of self-help junkie.

You can end up crav­ing the bleed­ing edge of crazy ideas be­cause liter­ally noth­ing else seems worth­while. You might end up dis­miss­ing nor­mal helpful ideas sim­ply be­cause they’re not paradigm-crush­ing, mind-blow­ing, or men­tally stim­u­lat­ing enough.

At which point, you’ve adopted quite the con­trar­ian stance—you re­ject the typ­i­cal idea of ad­vice on grounds of its ob­vi­ous­ness alone.

If this de­scribes, might I tempt you with the meta-con­trar­ian point of view?

Here’s the sell: One of the se­crets to win­ning at life is look­ing at ob­vi­ous ad­vice, ac­knowl­edg­ing that it’s ob­vi­ous, and then do­ing it any­way.

(That’s right, you can join the elite group of peo­ple who scoff at those who scoff at the ob­vi­ous!)

You can both say, “Hey, this is pretty sim­ple stuff I’ve heard a thou­sand times be­fore,” as well as say, “Hey, this is pretty use­ful stuff I should shut up and do any­way even if it sounds sim­ple be­cause I’m smart and I rec­og­nize the value here.”

At some point, be­ing more so­phis­ti­cated than the so­phis­ti­cates means be­ing able the grasp the idea that not all things have to be hy­per com­plex. Of­ten­times, the trick to get­ting some­thing done is sim­ply to get started and start do­ing it.

Be­cause some things in life re­ally are ob­vi­ous.

Hunt­ing for Prac­ti­cal­ity:

[This is about look­ing for ways to have any ad­vice you read be ac­tu­ally use­ful, by hav­ing it ap­ply to the real world. ]

Imag­ine some­one try­ing to ex­plain ex­actly what the mi­to­chon­dria does in the cell, and con­trast that to some­one try­ing to score a point in a game of bas­ket­ball.

There’s some­thing clearly differ­ent about what each per­son is try­ing to do, even if we lumped both un­der the la­bel of “learn­ing” (one is learn­ing about cells and the other is learn­ing about bas­ket­ball).

In learn­ing, it turns out this di­vide is of­ten sep­a­rated into declar­a­tive and pro­ce­du­ral knowl­edge.

Declar­a­tive knowl­edge is like the stu­dent try­ing to puz­zle out the ATP ques­tion; it’s about what you know.

In con­trast, pro­ce­du­ral knowl­edge, like the fledgling bas­ket­ball player, is about what you do.

I bring up this di­vide be­cause many of the tech­niques in in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity will feel like declar­a­tive knowl­edge, but they’ll re­ally be pro­ce­du­ral in na­ture.

For ex­am­ple, say you’re read­ing some­thing on mo­ti­va­tion, and you learn that “Mo­ti­va­tion = En­ergy to do the thing + a Re­minder to do the thing + Time to do the thing = E+R+T”.

What’ll likely hap­pen is that your brain will form a new set of men­tal nodes that con­nects “mo­ti­va­tion” to “E+R+T”. This would be great if I ended up quizzing you “What does mo­ti­va­tion equal?” where­upon you’d cor­rectly an­swer “E+R+T”.

But that’s not the point here! The point is to have the equa­tion ac­tu­ally cash out into the real world and pos­i­tively af­fect your ac­tions. If in­for­ma­tion isn’t chang­ing you view or act, then you’re prob­a­bly not ex­tract­ing all the value you can.

What that means is figur­ing out the an­swer to this ques­tion: “How do I see my­self act­ing differ­ently in the fu­ture as a re­sult of this ques­tion?”

With that in mind, say you gen­er­ate some ex­am­ples and make a list.

Your list of real-world ac­tions might end up look­ing like:

1) Re­mem­ber­ing to stay hy­drated more of­ten (En­ergy)

2) Us­ing more Post-It notes as memos (Re­minder)

3) Start us­ing Google Cal­en­dar to block out chunks of time (Time).

The point is to be always on the look­out for ways to see how you can use what you’re learn­ing to in­form your ac­tions. Learn­ing about all these things is only use­ful if you can find ways to ap­ply them. You want to do more than have empty boxes that link con­cepts to­gether. It’s im­por­tant to have those boxes linked up to ways you can do bet­ter in the real world.

You want to ac­tu­ally put in some effort try­ing to an­swer ques­tion of prac­ti­cal­ity.

Ac­tu­ally Prac­tic­ing:

[This is about know­ing the nu­ances of lit­tle steps be­hind any sort of self-im­prove­ment skill you learn, and how those lit­tle steps are im­por­tant when learn­ing the whole.]

So on one level, us­ing knowl­edge from in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity is about how you take declar­a­tive-seem­ing in­for­ma­tion and find ways to ac­tu­ally get real-world ac­tions out of it. That’s im­por­tant.

But it’s also im­por­tant to note that the very skill of “Gen­er­at­ing Ex­am­ples”—the thing you did in the above es­say to even figure out which ac­tions can fit in the above equa­tion to fill in the blanks of E, R, and T—is it­self a men­tal habit that re­quires pro­ce­du­ral knowl­edge.

What I mean is that there’s a sub­tler thing that’s hap­pen­ing in­side your head when you try to come up with ex­am­ples—your brain is do­ing some­thing—and this “some­thing” is im­por­tant.

It’s im­por­tant, I claim, be­cause if we peer a lit­tle more deeply at what it means for your brain to gen­er­ate ex­am­ples, we’ll come away with a list of steps that will feel a lot like some­thing a brain can do, a prime ex­am­ple of pro­ce­du­ral knowl­edge.

For ex­am­ple, we can imag­ine a ma­gi­cian try­ing to learn a card trick. They go through the steps. First they need to spread the cards. Then comes the se­cret move. Fi­nally comes the fi­nal re­veal of the se­lected card in the ma­gi­cian’s pocket.

What the au­di­ence mem­ber sees is the full finished product. And in­deed, the ma­gi­cian who’s prac­ticed enough will also see the same thing. But it’s not un­til the ma­gi­cian goes through all the steps and un­der­stands how all the steps flow to­gether to form the whole card trick that they’re ready to perform.

The idea here is to de­scribe any men­tal skill with enough gran­u­lar­ity and de­tail, at the 5 sec­ond level, such that you’d both be able to go through the same steps a sec­ond time and teach some­one else. So be­ing able to take skills and chunk them into smaller pieces is also forms an­other core part of learn­ing.

Real­is­tic Ex­pec­ta­tions:

[An es­say about hav­ing re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions and look­ing past po­ten­tially harm­ful fram­ing effects.]

There’s this ten­dency to get frus­trated with learn­ing men­tal tech­niques af­ter just a few days. I think this is be­cause peo­ple miss the declar­a­tive vs pro­ce­du­ral dis­tinc­tion. (But you hope­fully won’t fall prey to it be­cause we’ve cov­ered the dis­tinc­tion now!)

Once we liken the anal­ogy to be more like that play­ing a sport, it be­comes much eas­ier to see that any ex­pec­ta­tion of im­me­di­ately learn­ing a men­tal habit is rather silly—no one ex­pects to mas­ter ten­nis in just a week.

So, when it comes to try­ing to con­figure your ex­pec­ta­tions, I sug­gest that you try to renor­mal­ize your ex­pec­ta­tions by treat­ing learn­ing men­tal habits more like learn­ing a sport.

Keep that as an anal­ogy, and you’ll likely get fairly well-cal­ibrated ex­pec­ta­tions for learn­ing all this stuff.

Still, what, then, might be a re­al­is­tic time frame for learn­ing?

We’ll go over habits in far more de­tail in a later sec­tion, but a rough num­ber for now is ap­prox­i­mately two months. You can ex­pect that, on av­er­age, it’ll take you about 66 days to in­grain a new habit.

Similarly, in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity (prob­a­bly) won’t make you a god. In my ex­pe­rience, study­ing these ar­eas has been su­per use­ful, which is why I’m writ­ing at all. But I would guess that, op­ti­misti­cally, I only about dou­bled my work out­put.

Of course your own mileage may vary de­pend­ing where you are right now, but this serves as the gen­eral dis­claimer to keep your ex­pec­ta­tions within the bound of re­al­ity.

Here, the main point is that, even though men­tal habits don’t seem like they should be more similar to play­ing a sport, they re­ally are. There’s some­thing here about how first im­pres­sions can be rather de­ceiv­ing.

For ex­am­ple, a typ­i­cal trap I might fall into is miss­ing the dis­tinc­tion be­tween “the­o­ret­i­cally pos­si­ble” and “re­al­is­tic”. I end up look­ing at the sup­posed 24 hours available to me ev­ery­day and then beat­ing my­self up for not be­ing able to har­ness all 24 hours to do pro­duc­tive work.

But such a fram­ing of the situ­a­tion is in­ac­cu­rate; things like sleep and eat­ing are of­ten very es­sen­tial to max­i­miz­ing pro­duc­tivity for the rest of the hours! So when div­ing in and prac­tic­ing, try to look a lit­tle deeper when set­ting your ex­pec­ta­tions.

• One piece of ob­vi­ous ad­vice I’ve heard a lot is that you should ex­er­cise more.

I have a lot of … prob­a­bly weak … coun­ter­ar­gu­ments to this. They seem to be ra­tio­nal­iza­tions; e.g. “I don’t want to do this be­cause …”.

For ex­am­ple, I’ll list a few.

• Why should I ex­er­cise if I’m already at a good weight?

• Why should I ex­er­cise if my daily life (pro­gram­ming) does not re­quire sig­nifi­cant phys­i­cal skill?

• Why should I ex­er­cise if I already go on a short (15 min) daily walk—is more re­ally needed?

• I don’t want to feel tired, so ex­er­cis­ing doesn’t feel re­ward­ing to me at all

• Ex­er­cis­ing takes up time, I’d rather not spend this time exercising

• If you live a longer life be­cause of ex­er­cis­ing, how do you know you’re not run­ning a red queen’s race (you have to stay fit lest you get a heart at­tack 6 months later be­cause it’s old and you die any­way)

Rather than look­ing for cut­ting edge ideas to be more pro­duc­tive, I’m rather look­ing for a cut­ting edge idea as to why ob­vi­ous ad­vice would work /​ be given.

Pos­si­bly I should make a red­dit ac­count and post on change­myview or some­thing. I just don’t see why I should ex­er­cise at the mo­ment given that I have the weight I want and the fit­ness to do what I need to do and don’t have any health is­sues re­lated to fit­ness (den­tal is­sues, but that’s a sep­a­rate point and due to a filling that seems have been placed im­prop­erly).

Then again, I some­times feel as if I’m one-eyed, say­ing “I un­der­stand how hav­ing two eyes would be bet­ter, but is it re­ally nec­es­sary? Oper­at­ing is hard, it costs money, it takes time, I’d have to go to the hos­pi­tal, it’d be a huge thing, and I can already see right now, so I don’t see why you’d want two eyes. Yeah, okay, the re­dun­dancy would be nice, that you’re not blinded if your one eye gets dirty or de­vel­ops is­sues, but is all the has­sle re­ally worth a sec­ond eye?” And I’d feel that the an­swer that would con­vince me is ac­tu­ally see­ing out of two eyes and re­al­iz­ing that hey, you can sort of see in 3D now and es­ti­mate dis­tance and you get depth per­cep­tion and a wider field of vi­sion and it’s eas­ier to read or skim text and blah blah blah blah—but you wouldn’t know that, be­cause you only have one eye.

What’s the two-eyed benefit of ex­er­cis­ing?

• Let me have a go:

Why should I ex­er­cise if I’m already at a good weight?

Great ques­tion! The benefits of ex­er­cise run be­yond weight loss. Ex­er­cise gen­er­ally im­proves your health and keeps your sys­tem run­ning and in check. Most peo­ple re­port ex­tra clar­ity of mind re­lat­ing to ex­er­cis­ing as well. Some­thing about chem­i­cals and en­dor­phins. Ac­tu­ally lots of peo­ple en­joy ex­er­cise, or if they don’t at first—come to en­joy it quite eas­ily.

Why should I ex­er­cise if my daily life (pro­gram­ming) does not re­quire sig­nifi­cant phys­i­cal skill?

http://​​the­fu­turepri­mae­val.net/​​why-we-even-lift/​​

Why should I ex­er­cise if I already go on a short (15 min) daily walk—is more re­ally needed?

Ac­tu­ally that’s prob­a­bly enough. Num­bers cited are usu­ally 30mins of mod­er­ate ex­er­cise 3 times a week.

I don’t want to feel tired, so ex­er­cis­ing doesn’t feel re­ward­ing to me at all

if done cor­rectly you can man­age to not feel tired and in­stead feel en­er­gised. Some­times it’s differ­ent types of ex­er­cise, some­times it’s mak­ing sure you are eat­ing the right things to help you feel great.

Ex­er­cis­ing takes up time, I’d rather not spend this time exercising

QALYS, DALYS, Micro­lifes. It’s usu­ally quoted that ex­er­cis­ing now will in­crease the length and qual­ity of life later. (with diminish­ing re­turns) some­thing like half an hour of ex­er­cise will add an ex­tra sev­eral hours of life onto the end of your life. So the time re­turns later. You don’t need to ex­er­cise alone or do noth­ing else. Can listen to books, can en­joy na­ture, can play a team sport. plenty of op­tions to not make it wasted time.

If you live a longer life be­cause of ex­er­cis­ing, how do you know you’re not run­ning a red queen’s race (you have to stay fit lest you get a heart at­tack 6 months later be­cause it’s old and you die any­way)

You don’t. But if you want your best chance of sur­vival for as long as pos­si­ble, it’s gen­er­ally agreed that ex­er­cise helps you get there.

• Meta: if some­thing has tons of ev­i­dence and you can’t bring your­self to try it for a month ask your­self TDT-wise what your life looks like with and with­out skill of ‘try seem­ingly good ideas for a month.’

• Then again, I some­times feel as if I’m one-eyed, say­ing “I un­der­stand how hav­ing two eyes would be bet­ter, but is it re­ally nec­es­sary?”

You know, dis­cov­er­ing LessWrong forced me to re­con­sider ex­actly this. I mean, the “you don’t know what you’re miss­ing if you never had it” ar­gu­ment never seemed wrong be­fore LW, just an­noy­ing.

Real­is­ti­cally, if a cheap and quick-to-heal eye re­pair/​re­place­ment method be­came available to­mor­row, I can only try to imag­ine how my brain would re­spond to a ran­dom ex­tra in­put. And depth per­cep­tion sounds like some ter­rify­ing mind­screw, and what is this busi­ness about eye-cross­ing and see­ing dou­ble? And I am a wee bit wor­ried about what hav­ing the abil­ity to see peo­ple in full de­tail would do to me (my one good eye went bad be­fore I ever con­sid­ered look­ing at porn… the pos­si­bil­ity is un­set­tling for some hard to iden­tify rea­son). And driv­ing, and get­ting a de­cent read­ing speed, and hand-writ­ing, would all take a very long time—years, most likely.

But nev­er­the­less, leav­ing money on the ground is leav­ing money on the ground. I like braille, but it’s less use­ful than print pre­cisely be­cause print is ev­ery­where and ev­ery­thing is available in it. Learn­ing math and sci­ence when most of the best books aren’t read­able is a pest. And I would be sur­prised if a whole sense shut­ting off isn’t in­her­ently de­press­ing just due to de­creased stim­u­la­tion.

Does ex­er­cise work similarly? Eh, it de­pends? The whole forc­ing your­self to do some­thing you sim­ply can’t get ex­cited about for neb­u­lous health benefits suffers from a heavy cost in effort. OTOH, if an ac­tivity can be en­gag­ing and healthy, the effort-re­ward ra­tio is high from the be­gin­ning. So this is where we look for some­thing fun to do, rather than hit­ting the gym. Of course, if there is not a fun or oth­er­wise re­ward­ing solu­tion available, then we’re right back where we started.

• What’s the two-eyed benefit of ex­er­cis­ing?

Re­call the last time you had a cold with a fever or some­thing similar. How did you feel? Slow, heavy, slug­gish, low-en­ergy, ev­ery move­ment takes an effort? Take that state and draw a line from it to you healthy con­di­tion. Now ex­tend that line in the same di­rec­tion: that’s where reg­u­lar ex­er­cise will take you.

• It is be­com­ing more and more clear to me that their is a dis­tinc­tion be­tween ‘how’ and ‘why’ to do some­thing. Ra­tion­al­ity tech­niques ad­dress the ‘how’ and they are in­valuable as such but the ‘why’ and its im­plied goal is, to my cur­rent un­der­stand­ing, the fac­tor that con­trols the dopamin­er­gic sys­tem (aka. mo­ti­va­tion). I ’ve been study­ing quite in­tensely the psy­chol­ogy lec­tures of Jor­dan Peter­son and I be­lieve he is right. The dopamin­er­gic sys­tem is pro­vid­ing the mo­ti­va­tion for the cur­rent cho­sen goal through a [what is → how we should act → what should be] pat­tern that re­peats in a nested fash­ion from micro to macro.

For ex­am­ple for me writ­ing at this mo­ment:

what is → an empty text field

how we should act → a com­bi­na­tion of typ­ing and think­ing

what should be → com­pose the comment

But then the pat­terns is bro­ken down into smaller ac­tions that have the same form. For ex­am­ple cre­at­ing a sen­tence, typ­ing a word, typ­ing a let­ter etc. fad­ing down to the au­to­mated brain pro­cesses. But it also goes out­wards to the macro level. Then the pat­tern is the same but go­ing out:

what is → LessWrong (and lifelon­glearner) does not know about Jor­dan Peterson

how we should act → grad­u­ally provide ev­i­dence of insight

what should be → LessWrong (and lifelon­glearner) re­al­ises the im­por­tance of what he is pre­sent­ing and the con­se­quences for the ra­tio­nal­ist movement

This pat­tern is it­self nested in­side the larger life goals all the way up to your per­ceived mean­ing of life and the place of your cur­rent ac­tion within your world view.

Hope you find that use­ful :)

• Ob­vi­ous ad­vice is ob­vi­ous be­cause it works, yes. The back­ground as­sump­tion is that it is all im­ple­mentable with­out fur­ther ad­vice-want­ing re­quire­ments. Ad­vice for build­ing a kick­ass gam­ing PC in 2017 with se­cure in­come and ac­cess to the in­ter­net will be sim­pler than the same ad­vice adapted for 1950, be­cause PCs were not available in 1950, the in­ter­net did not ex­ist, and com­put­ers were huge, slow, and low on stor­age ca­pac­ity as com­pared to 2000, never mind 2017.

Of course, if this could be fully gen­er­al­ized to all con­texts, it would likely have been done by now. It’s not prac­ti­cal to ac­count for ev­ery out­lier when re­spond­ing to a gen­eral au­di­ence, and even to an in­di­vi­d­ual with­out ex­traor­di­nary cir­cum­stances (such as be­ing paid as a ther­a­pist/​life-coach/​etc). This is where gen­er­al­ized in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity should take over, and yet, signs seem to point to­ward GIR be­ing much harder than … eh, just about ev­ery­thing short of im­ple­ment­ing Utopiae, I guess.

• The point in the first para­graph is well made, but in a way that might be in­ter­pret as mis­valu­ing the con­tent which is in fact, very good. It shifts the means from “Find the right ad­vice” to “Figure out how to im­ple­ment the ad­vice you already know is right” which is a very no­table change.

Ex­cel­lent post, OP.

• I agree that go­ing meta-con­trar­ian isn’t always enough to im­ple­ment ad­vice. There’ll be more to come about de­bug­ging in­ter­nal aver­sions and more sys­tem­atic ways to build up habits.

One thing that is in the works is a sort of “lad­der of in­ter­ven­tions” of in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful ways to com­pel your­self to get some­thing done. I think the at­ti­tude this lad­der em­bod­ies is not good “form”, in that it prob­a­bly leads to sub­op­ti­mal at­ti­tudes, but it’s what I of­ten end up do­ing in prac­tice. (Go­ing up the lad­der, one thing at a time, un­til I feel like do­ing the thing.)

• Thanks for writ­ing this post. Ac­tu­ally, one thing that I re­ally liked about CFAR is that they gave a gen­eral in­tro­duc­tion at the start of the work­shop about how to ap­proach per­sonal de­vel­op­ment. This meant that ev­ery­one could ap­proach the fol­low­ing lec­tures with an ap­pro­pri­ate mind­set of how they were sup­posed to be un­der­stood. I like how this post uses the same strat­egy.

• Heh. This post was ac­tu­ally origi­nally ti­tled “Open­ing Ses­sion” in a blatant ripoff of their model, but I changed the name last minute :P.

• For­mat­ting note: Per peo­ple’s re­quests, I’ve changed the font to be the de­fault one used here. How­ever, I don’t seem to be able to re­move the in­dents that come with each new para­graph, which doesn’t look good. Does any­one know how I can left al­ign all para­graphs, with­out in­dents?

• Never mind, Rae­mon helped me fix it.