Once again, Kaj Sotala posted something interesting and Hacked Man -relevant on the Internet. This time it was a post about thought hooks: automated thinking habits that kick in once a predetermined condition is met.
Kaj actually suggested that installing a few thought hooks could be a nice thing to test for Hacked Man, which is absoluterly true. Unfortunately I don't have any ideas on what kind of hooks to install. Still, as writing is a brilliant tool to think up new things (according to me, anyway), this post might help.
What are thought hooks?
This is not a hook.
A thought hook can be a set of conditions, that you can install in hopes of catching stuff that normally flies under the radar. For example "later is not a time!" is one example that was used. Later is something that is often said so people don't have to commit to something or think too hard about it. "Yeah, that's cool. I'll do that later." and it will never happen.
Even if the thing is important, it might still be just sort of forgotten, because later is not a time. It never comes and the deadline for doing that important thing never starts to loom.
Thought hook on later would kick in every time when you hear someone use "later" in a sentence: "Wait, later was said. Do I need to be alarmed? Is this something that actually should have a deadline? Do I want to see this thing done?"
What could I hook?
Unfortunately, none of the examples that were given about thought hooks really resonated with me. I tend to be rather good at avoiding laters and someones etc. So I've been putting this blog post off, because I haven't been able to figure what to hook.
Now I realize, that that was just the wrong way to approach this. Not being able to think up something should have been a sign that I should write about it, because writing solves problems. Actually, there is my very first thought hook right there:
- If Idon't know how to proceed or don't have ideas I'll try writing about it
That was totally un-premeditated. Pretty powerful stuff, writing.
Anyhoo, I've also been having a really hard time with lucid dreaming. My dream journal is progressing brilliantly, but I'm somehow missing lucidicity completely. On the most practical level, I'm really struggling with my "do reality checks" Beeminder-goal. I really have to try to keep my head above the water with that one. So maybe thought hooks could help me with that.
I'll want a thought hook that prompts me to do reality checks. If I get used to doing reality checks in the waking world, I should have a better chance of doing (and failing) a reality check in the dream world also. Additionally, a well installed thought hook probably would also kick in in the dream world and help that way too. Maybe this could work:
- Every time I touch my engagement ring, I will do a reality check.
I tend to turn and move my engagement ring around quite a bit, so if I manage to associate touching it to doing a reality check, I should have tons of opportunities to do reality checks all the time.
I actually first thought up that I should try to associate checking my phone or tablet to doing a reality check, but I realized that I don't remember a single dream where I would have checked my phone or iPad (or even had them), so it might be less handy in the long run. A ring seems somehow more likely to end up in a dream with me and it's also something that I always always have on. So if I suddenly notice missing it, that should then doubly be a sign to do a reality check.
There! A couple of hooks found! Let's see if they catch anything!