Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2nd Closest Possible Game

I played my final game of Frisbee for this league today. It was the second-closest possible game, 17-16 in a game-to-15 win-by-2 hard-cap-17. (the closest is 16-16 stop when the lights go out). I had a lot of fun and have improved dramatically - my errors now are things like "you made an awesome cut deep into the endzone and didn't manage to catch the disc" or "when defending, instead of catching the disc, you're still knocking it down" or "don't make perfect throws to someone cutting across the field if their defender has a good chance of running the disc down if they hustle".

jimmy and I finished up his infodump of hypnotism, I'm on deck for whipping up a couple of quick sketches of articles I would have liked to see given his content. Should be pretty easy.

John makes the good point that we should have lunch sometimes 'cause we work pretty close together.

And I'm going to use http://betterme.org/cleansweep to motivate me to improve some random stuff, 'cause I went there and clicked check boxes and was suddenly motivated to click more. Good opportunity. :) And there's some easy stuff there! "My bed is made daily." And some stuff I'd love to do, "I surround myself with music which makes my life more enjoyable.".

Monday, August 15, 2011

Two Days One Post

The Kirkland Street Scramble was fun! Kind of fucking brutal but fun. How did it get us to jog (and walk some, especially up hills) for 2.5 hours? Clearly Delay was greatly reduced since it wasn't 2.5 hours, it was a bunch of checkpoints to go find. Impulsiveness was far lower with 2 people than 1, neither wants to be the one to back down (public precommitment almost). Expectancy quite high since we keep succeeding and we had a fallback plan to make sure we arrived back in time. Value not much higher than standard exercise, except you're doing it with a friend which is good.

Then I played some 2HG with French Scars cards. Not sure that was worth it but it was entertaining. Afterwards I came home to people prepping to play Conquest of Nerath for the first time and I got in on that. Due to going last I had a huge advantage - everyone else royally screwed up something on their first turn and I got to see it so I avoided three mistakes. :D

Then it was Monday and I was sore.

I talked with jimmy about an article I'd like him to write on his readings on hypnosis. We didn't finish before it was time to talk with Victoria so we'll resume tomorrow. Then I talked with Victoria! She's been looking at IFS as well, and her niece more than her. We both think it's at the very least easier to talk to parts as people than any other similar method we've tried. She's got a big life choice ahead of her, PhD or industry - I'm grateful that I can stay in a very nice baseline state while making those sorts of decisions.

Oh and the Puzzlehunt teams are close to organized now. Or my part of organizing them anyway.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fort Awesome

Today I went to a party. A Scotch, Sausage, and S'mores party. At a place called Fort Awesome. It was pretty good, and I got in some good practice conversing with basically-strangers which was the main cause of my actually going, and I received some nice questions and compliments on my Feynman diagram necklace. But most importantly I learned I need to buy a firepit thing if Singinst fails to raise enough matching funds. Fires are the best.

Also I think I found the place the rest of my feel-good-charity is going. My cousin's likely going to try to get his GED and needs cash money to take some courses.

Just one night's sleep remains between me and orienteering, I'm excited.

Friday, August 12, 2011


A piece of my coding at work right now takes an hour to compile. That's terrible. I've put together a short list of productive things to do when I have to compile it, but it's still pretty bad. More thought required.

Puzzlehunt is going to be great. We've got 3 teams lined up, or at least enough people to fill 3 teams. Tomorrow I'll divvy 'em up and send an email.

Didn't do much else, spent time watching Buffy w/ roommates and roommate's sister.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


My glasses broke. I taped them up and they look quite bad. Tomorrow I'll go somewhere and try getting something new I guess? I forget how this works, these things are so old!

So I think I've detected some kind of coverup at work. Someone's trying to push a new spec through really fast, and several things just don't make sense. "I notice I am confused." Anyway I'm just going to play dumb and do the right-for-the-product thing and see if they'll come out more explicitly with whatever politics are happening. Silly politics.

I screwed up scheduling a chat with Victoria pretty badly, aka twice. First I was wrong about which day my frisbee game was on, then about which day sushi was on, so we talked for maybe 20-30 minutes today and will reconvene Monday.

At sushi my roommate coined a good word for mini-camp: fashionality camp. :D

Oh and I listened to a recording of my Tuesday presentation. Five notes: 1) I don't dislike the recorded sound of my voice anymore. Odd. 2) I say "Okay" a lot. 3) I say "So" a lot. 4) I say "Okay, so" a lot. 5) I actually didn't say "uh" or "um" much at all.

And there aren't any obviously good places to insert myself into the extant Giving Campaign structure. Everything is either too low impact or too high cost.


Well, I just complemented a coworker on his sweet shirt. wtf did you turn me into, Luke?

So yeah more people complimented me on my presentation. I got a "you are my new presentation hero". Spending the time to optimize is like the best thing ever, apparently. I applied several techniques: asking experts how they do it, not using my first solution, trying things (I ended up drawing all slides on a whiteboard and taking pictures of that and using those as slides), adding unnecessary but appropriate smiley faces, planning for the planning fallacy (aimed the 1-hour talk at 35 minutes), increasing motivation (decreased delay by thinking of intermediate rewards in showing drafts to coworkers, increased expectancy by working on it right after succeeding on other small things), and I recognized that delaying it by a couple weeks was better than trying to force myself into a tight schedule (whatever that's called), and maybe more?

So I'm going to force some other people to do their features now, or if they won't I'll do their features.

Arabian Nights and Dominion at home. OH YES, and potatoes are the best random food to cook up and eat. By cook I mean put in the microwave and hit "potato" and then stuff with cheese and butter and onions and sour cream and you're done.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Presentation Laser

Yeeeesssss. CSS presentation complete, and it was awesome. 121 slides and 3 question-answering periods in 50 minutes. And I used a high powered laser pointer for lulz.

Frisbee? Ran the hardest I've run yet, 'cause we had 0-2 subs for the whole game. We lost and it was a slog to 12-15 but I'm pretty satisfied.

I'm finally at a point where I've cleared out my backlog of oops signed up to do too many things. I'm still signed up to do some stuff but none of it's super-timeboxed. Anyway I feel free.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Broken Mug

I got months and months out of flipping and spinning my mug as I walked down the hall to fill it with delectable coffee or water or whatever. Finally it's over. A moment's inattention and bam, now I have 5 pieces of a mug, only one of which would hold anything. Ah well... that was worth it.

I did a new thing with a Wits & Wagers question. Just once so far but it seems maybe good. I tried putting a distribution over possible values by figuring out my most likely models, then how likely it is each is approximately correct, then figuring out my backoff model. I think this helped me confront which pieces of my intuitions are overconfident, or rather which processes that take my intuitions to hard numbers give results similar to what overconfidence would.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I went to a speech put on by one of the Microsoft toastmasters clubs about how to make technical points with PowerPoint. It wasn't very good. I expected to learn and be impressed. I didn't really learn and wasn't really impressed. This may have been exacerbated by the noob mistake of starting 10 minutes late and not using those 10 minutes to check the equipment and having to wait even longer when the clicker didn't work.

My exercise ball is interesting. I'm keeping it to ~half hour segments as instructed. Dunno if I like it yet.

And we played some Sons of Liberty in which we found that fake mustaches are the ultimate disguise. There's even one on the Liberty Bell now.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Planning Phase

I've never had so much fun planning for coding before. Maybe because I've never made such a... right plan before. Accurate? No, it's the lack of false precision that I'm enjoying so much. The proof will be weeks from now of course, but I think I'm overcoming the planning fallacy this time. And explicitly writing down the bits where my variance is really high makes it very easy to see which parts of the plan could do with further thinking.

Lara gave her crash course in machine learning for NLP today. It was probably valuable? I don't know, it still seems like few points delivered well just works better. If people follow up on her talk then it's the best thing ever, but realistically who's going to? Unless we push... okay, fine. I'll push.

I'm nearly done getting together my own presentation. Tomorrow I'll finish it up so I can get the LW one written out with time to spare rather than in a crunch.

I would totally purchase extra time. But not, I think, an extra year for a hundred million dollars. :D

Monday, August 1, 2011

frisbee wins

Giving myself little smiles for working on things I endorse when the random timer chimes, if that's really what caused my increased productivity, is like the best thing ever. Except for the future and lasers. I've got all my estimates for this last ish milestone in and bugs are wrapping up.

Frisbee is getting better and better... Now we beat the second place team too. I have a medium sized turf burn that was fun to reconceptualize the pain of in the shower.

Phone post complete.