Alisa's paths forward policy
Last updated 2020-03-07.
This document describes some things I plan to do to:
- help prevent myself from getting stuck in any area of my life.
- hold myself accountable for engaging with criticism from any external source.
This document was inspired by [Elliot Temple's Paths Forward Policy](https://curi.us/2068-my-paths-forward-policy).
You can view the [latest version of this document on sourcehut](https://hg.sr.ht/~petrogradphilosopher/fi/raw/default/pf.md). You can also view the [history of changes](https://hg.sr.ht/~petrogradphilosopher/fi/log).
Note: By "FI post" I mean a message sent to a private or [public](http://fallibleideas.com/discussion) Fallible Ideas discussion list or a comment posted to [curi.us](http://curi.us).
## Engage with helpful people who are trying to help me
If someone believes I'm making a mistake and wants to explain my mistake to me, I want there to be a reasonable way for them to do so.
## Post to FI every day
My goal is to post at least once per day, except when I'm taking a break. I may take up to two breaks per year, each of which could last for up to two weeks. Starting 2019-12-01, I will log (in my records) the URL of at least one of the FI posts I make each day.
As of 2020-02-22, I've been posting at least once per day for 144 days.
I've started using a program called asciinema to make screencasts of my terminal when I compose FI posts. I expect these screencasts will help me be able to look back later to see how I made particular mistakes in my posts.
My FI screencasts are available at [asciinema.org/~petrogradphilos](https://asciinema.org/~petrogradphilos).
Unfortunately, the asciinema.org screencast player doesn't (yet?) let you adjust the playback speed dynamically, like you can with YouTube, but you can change it by appending "?speed=X" to the URL ([example](https://asciinema.org/a/282250?speed=4)) and re-loading.
## Keep my FI posting error rate low
[In order to learn, one's error rate needs to be sufficiently low](http://fallibleideas.com/gradualism). I plan to keep my FI posting error rate low enough that I can [write a postmortem for every posting mistake I find out about](http://curi.us/2204-alisa-discussion#12940).
## Update this document often enough
I plan to update this document at least once per month.
# Escalation policy
I plan to grant at least 15 minutes per month of time spent reconsidering this document, per person, to people who want to suggest a change to this document. Exception: I will allocate at least 4 hours per month, combined, to the top FI list posters, whom I regard as:
- Elliot Temple
- Jordan Talcot
All discussions under this heading are to take place in FI posts.
If you would like to request a reply from me on some topic and are having trouble getting my attention through FI posts, tweet at me and mention that you are looking for a path forward from me: [@petrogradphilos](http://twitter.com/petrogradphilos).
The need for a paths forward escalation policy was brought to my attention by [Elliot Temple in an FI list post on 2018-04-19](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/xR4JE-Br6AE/EbBb9RZHAAAJ). That post also includes helpful suggestions on how to deal with possible conflicts that could come up around this: search the post for "if you are uncomfortable with a priority change proposal".
# Writing checklist
Below is a list of things I am learning to check for when writing FI posts. (To encourage people to point out my writing mistakes, I'm considering offering a bounty for mistakes in my posts of the type I care about.)
## Typos and grammar errors
I plan to listen to each sentence with text-to-speech (TTS) before sending. Any edits to a clause trigger a new listen to that clause. I posts in 2018-05. I started using TTS for all of my FI posts [in 2019-08](http://curi.us/2204-alisa-discussion#c13201).
I plan to check every post for words that occur exactly once in my post *and* that occur neither in the system dictionary nor in my personal dictionary.
It's easier for me to notice mistakes by looking away from the screen and listening to TTS than by looking at the screen and reading it myself. I want quick, reliable feedback on a wide variety of typos. TTS provides that.
## Clarity of references
References are words/phrases like "it", "he", "they", "the argument", etc. To help with clarity, I plan to check whether or not each reference is better than replacing it with a statement of the thing being referenced. This check was suggested by [Elliot Temple in an FI list post on 2018-04-24](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/vqRGArolXEs/b2eFQAD_AQAJ). Any error in clarity of references counts as an error.
## Other mistakes I care about
In addition to the above, I'm focused on avoiding the following kinds of mistakes:
- false statements
- unclear statements
- non sequiturs
- formatting errors
## Topic sentences
The [topic sentence](https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/2/1/29/) is the sentence that identifies the main idea in a paragraph.
The topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph.
Starting 2019-09-16, before reading or sending any FI post, I aim to reread the first sentence of each paragraph.
The idea of scanning for topic sentences was suggested by [Elliot Temple in an FI list post on 2018-04-24](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/vqRGArolXEs/b2eFQAD_AQAJ)
## Explaining thinking
When commenting on other people's writing, the author should explain their own thinking.
[Elliot Temple, "not having fun studying Atlas Shrugged" (2018-03-19)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/NFRgxMs4hlo/WZEhhccxBAAJ):
> you could say things like:
> - what you think it’s saying, what [the author's] point is
> - whether you agree and why
> - whether you think it’s important or interesting and why
> - how/why it’s relevant to you or not
## Grammatically analyzing sentences
In any message I post about not understanding something, I will include a grammatical analysis of the key sentence(s) that I didn't understand. This will help ensure that I made a reasonable attempt to understand the literal meaning of what the person said or wrote.
# Philosophy topics to learn and write about
Here are the philosophy topics I plan to learn and write about, in order of descending priority:
1. [Elliot Temple, *English Language, Analysis & Grammar*](https://fallibleideas.com/grammar). I finished reading the whole thing, and I'm working on the exercises to Part 4.
2. [Elliot Temple, *Videos: Grammar and Analyzing Text*](https://gumroad.com/l/dRQhn). I haven't started this yet.
3. [Elliot Temple, *Yes or No Philosophy*](https://yesornophilosophy.com/). I'm on question #4 in 17 - "Check Your Understanding".
## Replies to me by top FI list posters:
I intend to revisit these once I finish Yes or No Philosophy.
- [Elliot Temple, "Alisa's discussion problems" (2018-03-17)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/oBTrRn09DWY/fzVunL-bAwAJ)
- [Self-driving cars discussion with anon (2018-04)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/Xz3ybsxSlNU/dbAPdqHjCQAJ) (Note: Be more curious instead of debating.)
- [anonymous FI, "One word fitting your meaning better than another" (2018-04-29)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/CiBA3BiIzwk/xEd8pJrxBAAJ) (note: Reply to this once I finish YesNo. I was trying to make a decision chart of which word to use. I should find a way to do this without disabling my common sense knowledge.)
- [Anonymous FI, "giving your kids money" (2018-04-29)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/H_YEMQvZm8s/jhVc2oEhBQAJ) (Note: Reply after I finish YesNo.)
- [Elliot Temple, "Simple topics to practice thinking precisely" (2014-05-07)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/x3okSTJbdd8/mcZEvwIPqjcJ)
- [Thread: "using reason in all areas of life" (2016-09)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/dHsCopRtV1Y/pK1vYfJ7BgAJ)
- [Elliot Temple, "How I improved at mouse aiming" (2016-09-11)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/8-HWJEu_YQQ/dI9-HU0hAgAJ) and [Elliot's follow-up](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/8-HWJEu_YQQ/dI9-HU0hAgAJ)
- [Thread, "writing simple things about TCS (was: Alisa's simple stuff)" (2016-09)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/LmD8ggVcN2w/PSydIcwIBQAJ)
- [Thread, "aiding static memes" (2016-07)](https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/fallible-ideas/conversations/topics/11392) (including how whims violate each of the Objectivist virtues)
- [Thread, "acting on whims violates the Objectivist virtues" (2016-08)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/CFiTZSa2ffM/pYf_gOEiBgAJ)
- Other replies to me from on or before 2016-07-18
## My reading list
My [reading list](https://hg.sr.ht/~petrogradphilosopher/fi/browse/default/reading.md) has more stuff that I intend to read at some point.
# Things to revisit, with dates
Here is a list of the topics I plan to revisit, along with the date by when I plan to have posted on the topic.
- 2020-06-24: Check for Critical Fallibilism website & post about it. I am reliably informed that this site will have ideas that are relevant to learning how to not want to be stuck forever. "it has some things to say about bounded and unbounded! (wanting to be stuck on some topics = bounded)." (Issue raised by [Elliot Temple on 2018-04-19](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/xR4JE-Br6AE/C1adbctHAAAJ).)
- 2021-01-01 Ideas for combating bias. I admit I'm biased, but I want to make the best decisions. How can I deal with my own biases? (Issue raised by [Elliot Temple on 2018-04-19](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/xR4JE-Br6AE/EbBb9RZHAAAJ).)
- 2019-10-13 update: I hope my ability to answer this question will improve as I learn more about Yes or No Philosophy. I bumped the year in the review date from 2019 to 2021.
- 2021-01-01 Improve my ability to deal with criticism of my important ideas. If I can't have a conversation about one of my ideas, then even if someone would be able to explain why it's hurting me, I won't be able to get that information from them. Hiding my ideas implies not taking reasonable precautions to prevent holding on to a harmful idea forever. I could start to fix this by sharing a less significant but still personal idea. (Issue raised by [Elliot Temple on 2018-04-19](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/xR4JE-Br6AE/EbBb9RZHAAAJ).)
- 2019-10-13 update: I hope my ability to deal with criticism of my important ideas will improve as I learn more about Yes or No Philosophy. I bumped the year in the review date from 2019 to 2021.
- 2021-04-13: Revisit "how do you decide what you want?" question. Elliot Temple asked me this question and I didn't know how to answer. I thought at the time that it was too hard for me and said I would revisit the topic in a year. (Issue raised by [Elliot Temple on 2018-04-10](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/xR4JE-Br6AE/CB9plKL3CAAJ).)
- 2019-10-13 update: I re-read the thread and still don't have a good answer. I bumped the year in the review date from 2019 to 2021.
- 2021-01-01 - [Elliot Temple, "Lying"](http://rationalessays.com/lying). Analyze this essay. The addition of this item to my reading list was prompted by this reply to me: [Elliot Temple, "Alisa's discussion problems" (2018-03-17)](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/fallible-ideas/oBTrRn09DWY/fzVunL-bAwAJ)
- 2019-10-13 update: I plan to revisit this after I better understand grammar and Yes or No philosophy. I bumped the year in the review date from 2019 to 2021.