# Tag Archive

## Smoking Sticks and Carrots

By dreeves

Let’s talk about science! Beehavioral science. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week has been all over the news. It’s much better than previous studies and statistics I’ve seen on the efficacy of commitment devices. Not because others have been down on commitment devices. On the contrary, I’ve been frustrated in the past by... »

## 1000 Days of User-Visible Improvements

By dreeves

A version of this article appeared on the Beeminder Blog. This is the rest of the story, about how Beeminder bet $1000 on bettering Beeminder every day, then failed and had to actually cough up the$1000 to a lucky user. But only after making 1000 improvements in 1000 days... »

By dreeves

I’m very deadline driven. So much so that I go to truly ridiculous lengths to impose deadlines on myself. The truly ridiculous lengths are needed, of course, because self-imposed deadlines are notoriously prone to getting weaseled out of. There’s another kind of deadline that is also notoriously prone to getting weaseled out of: instructor-imposed deadlines. It’s a sad fact... »

## Flexible Self-Control

By dreeves

The problem of self-control may be a ridiculous first world problem but it's the granddaddy of first world problems and I want to solve it. We live amidst a deluge of opportunities for instant gratification, especially in the form of food and entertainment, and most of us don't handle it well. The general problem, known as akrasia, is this: you understand your own best interests when you consider them dispassionately, but in the moment your decision-making is distorted. The best time for, say, a workout is always "tomorrow".... »

## (More Than) A Penny Saved is a Penny Wasted, In Which I Trivialize the Entire Industry of Financial Planning

By dreeves

Prescript: This article is by popular demand, having won our meta poll at the beginning of the year. I predict three categories of reactions to it: (1) This is obvious. (2) This is obviously wrong. (3) This is just the rationalization I needed to keep doing what I’m doing! If there’s a fourth category... »