The Rationality Boot Camp organizers finally sent me the daily schedule – now I know approximately what each day will look like.
- 9:30 Meditation
- 10:00 Breakfast
- 11:00 Morning session (lectures/coursework essentially)
- 1:00 Lunch
- 3:00 Afternoon session
- 5:00 Exercise or game
- 7:00 Dinner
If we play a game during “exercise or game”, that apparently refers to poker or Zendo (an inductive rule-finding game) or another rationality-training game.
We’re preparing our meals; there’s some kind of rotating cooking schedule. I’m excited about the status boost which will come from already knowing something about cooking. :)
The first assignment is to come up with ten “object-level projects,” as described in Levels of Action. Object level projects refer to actions that directly improve the world or achieve our goals. This is as opposed to higher level projects, which improve our ability to achieve our object-level goals.
We’re expected to come up with five within our comfort zone and five outside it.
- Comfort: Learn enough about general relativity (and its prerequisites, like tensor algebra) to derive the Schwarzschild solution from Einstein's field equations. (Approach: obtain tensor textbook, read it carefully, do problems in it, go through the "Deriving the Schwarzschild solution" wikipedia page)
- Comfort: earn $100 doing tutoring work (approach: post on twitter offering my services; sign up at tutoring sites)
- Comfort: earn $100 doing contract work (approach: see above; look on rent-a-coder &c.)
- Comfort: Build a prediction market webapp that uses bitcoin as currency. (Approach: learn bitcoin API; crank out the code)
- Comfort: redacted, because my success-measurement method is dependent on people not knowing that I am trying to achieve this goal. I will post about it if I succeed, or at the end of RBC if I fail.
- Non-comfort: earn $100 playing online poker (Approach: practice at lower stakes tables until I can beat people, then move up)
- Non-comfort: make a track of music I want to listen to while coding (Approach: start listening critically to music I like, find out what is good about it, learn a music authoring program, and try to replicate some aspects I've identified that I like)
- Non-comfort: have 100 regular readers of my blog. yes, what you're reading. (Approach: narrow the focus of my writing; practice different kinds of writing; add analytics; self-promote)
- Non-comfort: improve Less Wrong returning visitor rate by 25% through A/B testing. (Approach: Generate visitors using StumbleUpon or AdWords and find out which posts tend to keep random people reading. Obtain access to sitemeter reports.)
- Non-comfort: get 100 regular users for this bitcoin prediction market webapp. (Approach: find a community of users who would be interested, perhaps LW; ask to integrate predictions with their site)