The 3% Incline (

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I liked this re­cent post by The Fer­rett (a blog­ger who dis­cusses a num­ber of is­sues in­clud­ing gam­ing, polyamory, han­dling men­tal ill­ness, poli­tics and var­i­ous kinds of re­la­tion­ships).

In par­tic­u­lar, this seemed like a clear en­cap­su­la­tion of one of the con­cepts I touch on at Sun­set at Noon, with­out all the sur­round­ing bag­gage.

The ra­tio­nal­ity com­mu­nity has this vague un­der­cur­rent nar­ra­tive of “Self Im­prove­ment! You can Rad­i­cally Change! All prob­lems are fix­able! Growth Mind­set!”. And this isn’t false per se, but the tone of it of­ten sort of im­plies overnight change.

I think oc­ca­sion­ally peo­ple can change rad­i­cally, but this most of­ten seems to have to do with a change in en­vi­ron­ment (new job, new house, new com­mu­nity, etc). Chang­ing en­vi­ron­ments is pretty ex­pen­sive and a bit of a crap­shoot.

For per­sonal, ded­i­cated self im­prove­ment, a more re­al­is­tic rate-of-re­turn is some­thing like 3% (not quite sure on what timescale this means. “Per month” feels a bit too short and “per year” feels a bit too long. Maybe per quar­ter of 6-month in­ter­val?)

In Sun­set at Noon I had referred to this as “the 2% in­cline”. I like Fer­rett’s post as a canon­i­cal Post Refer­ring To This Con­cept, and had sort of picked 2% out of a hat, so I’m edit­ing the origi­nal post to use 3%.

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