Shell, Shield, Staff


There is a certain high-level pattern of progress seen in almost every human activity, which I like to call “growth triplets”. A growth triplet follows an archetypal sequence of three stages: naive, clever, and wise, with the exact meanings of these terms varying depending on the situation. The defining feature of the pattern is that the third stage has some unexpected similarities to the first one. Because of this, most people have to actually go through the second stage before they can appreciate the third.

You can find several examples in this Scott Alexander post, and recently I hinted at many others:




brains/computers/neural nets



Actionable Eisenhower

Note: This is a small peek into the kind of background model-building that goes into Be Well Tuned. I don't currently have resources to invest into writing, so the description is pretty bare-bones. On the positive side, I have changed the blog theme to black text on light background - I hope that makes it more readable.

The Eisenhower matrix is a (somewhat) useful high-level framing of a certain aspect of productivity, based on classifying tasks/activities into four types. It's casual application was entertainingly explored in this Wait But Why post. I'll minimally quote just the matrix itself:


Superhuman Meta Process

This is a more-or-less complete blueprint of the process I'm currently using to run my life on the meta level. It is organized around four major principles, each of which represents a non-trivial design decision. This means that you could negate each of them, and get something arguably sensible. The minor points serve to explain further, and to map out some consequences of taking the major principles seriously. For me, they are also cached thoughts that help me make decisions.

Many of the minor points, fully expanded, would be enough material for a separate blog post. However expanding them to that level would be quite pointless. If you cannot extrapolate them on your own, you probably shouldn't implement them anyway. In that case, you can probably think of some other set of principles that would be a better fit for you. One of the main messages I'd like to communicate here is that designing your meta process is worth the effort.