Thought I'd try reviving an old LessWrong experiment: the Bragging Thread. (See this old one for some context)
LessWrong mostly rewards people for writing blogposts. That's cool and all, but is not the only thing worth doing. What's an awesome thing you've done lately?
You are encouraged to be as blatantly proud as you inwardly feel. :)
(Note that this is not a thread for progress, or for things you might do. This is for celebrating things you have actually done lately)
I finished the research agenda on constructing a preference utility function for any given human, and presented the ideas to CHAI and MIRI. Woot!
I got 4 out of six people in my group house, plus two others, to apply for a lease in a new and probably-better house! In order to do this I spent probably forty hours in the last month, searching rental listings, reaching out to people, and trying to accommodate people's often-contradictory preferences.
At one point I wrote a program to determine, given a collection of people larger than the number of rooms, and their maximum prices for each room in a house (which are allowed to be conditional on who else is in the house), whether any subset of that group would be able to afford the house. This script was about a hundred lines of python, and after fixing one typo it ran perfectly on the first try. This happens to me pretty often these days when I write python code, and I'm fucking pleased about it. Like, maybe ten years ago I set out to be a master wizard in one particular specialization ("writing programs to solve practical problems") and yeah, I can just really do that kind of magic now. It just feels like "part of me" in a really exhilarating way.
woo! Getting into the optimal housing and roommate situation seems actually pretty important for quality of life. Congrats!
Update: our application was approved! The Lodge is almost certainly moving!
The podcasting network that I own and co-run has hit some major internal milestones recently. It's extremely gratifying to see four years of work begin to pay off. I'm continually amazed at the progress we've made, and proud of the community we've built.
woot woot! that long-term thinking paying off!
Sort of small, but in important: I had a few instances recently of someone pointing out a thing I did wrong or way I could improve that made me defensive, but I took a breath and shifted gears into "okay, how can I learn from this?" instead of arguing.
Based on the last month of practice, I have stabilized my ability to consistently achieve moderate levels of calm abiding (shamatha) during meditation after having achieved complete, deep shamatha during retreat. Basically it just comes for free now and meditation has shifted from being a thing that was net painful to a thing that is net pleasurable to do.
I cleaned the bathroom. Not out of self-punishment for ongoing slobbishness, but just because I felt like it could use a clean and had nothing else going on.
This is a promising development in personal agency
I started Anki-ing everything. Previously, I've used Anki for very specific purposes (e.g. "learn the London Underground network" or "learn all the capitals of the world"). New decks this month, though, include "Jokes", "Legal Systems Very Different From Ours", "Tao Te Ching", and "Logical Induction". I'm pretty optimistic that "read something really worthwhile, Anki it up" is becoming a habit.