What Level of Abstraction Actually Generalizes?

In the vein of TDT, the Sliding Window of Experience, and Being The Sort of Person You Want To Be, I think there's an open question about what generalizations actually, uh, generalize.

To clarify if you're new to this whole viewpoint: The idea is that, for a number of reasons (see above), doing an action X makes you more of the sort of person who does action X...except this is actually sorta vague. Like, obviously you can't take action X (in full specificity over and over again) because the conditions are going to be slightly different the next time around. So you already have to do some abstracting. But how far is too far?

An example:

Brushing your teeth at 9:48 pm with a glob of toothpaste even when you were supposed to brush at 9:45 so you can...

  • Become the sort of person who always brushes at 9:48 pm with the same glob size.
    • Seems too specific
  • Become the sort of person who always brushes their teeth at night.
    • Seems about right
  • Become the sort of person who adheres to good dental hygiene practices.
    • Seems plausible
  • Become the sort of person who brushes their teeth even when they forgot to because that makes them more likely to brush their teeth later on
    • Pretty plausible
  • Become the sort of person who does things even when theye late to encourage the eventual doing of the thing, in full generality.
    • Probably too general?
Last Updated: 2020-01-13 15:50