Past and Fu­ture Selves

TagLast edit: 2 Nov 2022 8:25 UTC by brook

Your present self has to coordinate with your past and future selves. You might want to consciously, on-purpose simulate those selves in your mind in order to do this more effectively.

What does this mean? Here’s a more concrete example: should you donate money now, or later? There’s a complicated argument here about growth rates of whatever-you’re-donating-to relative to inflation, but we’re going to sail past that completely and assume you would be better off in some objective-ish sense donating later.

The problem then becomes one of trust in your future self: if you spend your whole life being a person who doesn’t donate money to charity, how can you guarantee that the person you’ll be after 50+ years of non-donation is the sort of person who will actually donate money at the most appropriate time?

This kind of problem seems to be fairly common, relating to weight loss, tidying your room, etc.

How I Lost 100 Pounds Us­ing TDT

Zvi14 Mar 2011 15:50 UTC
121 points
244 comments4 min readLW link

Tidy­ing One’s Room

Zvi16 Aug 2018 13:50 UTC
35 points
3 comments4 min readLW link

Two Growth Curves

AnnaSalamon2 Oct 2015 0:59 UTC
58 points
13 comments1 min readLW link

Cul­ture, in­ter­pre­tive la­bor, and tidy­ing one’s room

Benquo26 Jul 2018 20:59 UTC
25 points
0 comments2 min readLW link

Long-term Dona­tion Bunch­ing?

jefftk27 Sep 2019 12:40 UTC
23 points
21 comments2 min readLW link

The Redac­tion Machine

Ben20 Sep 2022 22:03 UTC
406 points
34 comments27 min readLW link