What are you working on? August 2012

by RobertLumley1 min read3rd Aug 201295 comments

13

Personal Blog

This is the bimonthly 'What are you working On?' thread. Previous threads are here. So here's the question:

What are you working on? 

Here are some guidelines:

  • Focus on projects that you have recently made progress on, not projects that you're thinking about doing but haven't started.
  • Why this project and not others? Mention reasons why you're doing the project and/or why others should contribute to your project (if applicable).
  • Talk about your goals for the project.
  • Any kind of project is fair game: personal improvement, research project, art project, whatever.
  • Link to your work if it's linkable.
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Dating. Progress from June, February, December, October.

A year into my experiment, I'm glad to finally report some success: I asked a girl out and she said yes and we had a very nice time together ending in my first real sexual intimacy. I tried to see her again, and she was enthusiastic about the prospect for a week or so, but things cooled after that. I think she moved on.

For a long time before this I had to seriously consider some scary hypotheses about myself, many along the lines of "you are so X that you'll never Y." I've updated all of those downward. But as far as the actual date went, I don't think my changes of the last two months had much to do with it. In the honesty of calm retrospection, no theory fits as well as "we both wanted to," i.e. "I got lucky," i.e. I don't actually know exactly what works and what doesn't, yet.

However

A year ago, I wouldn't even have been in a position to have this kind of good fortune. And even if, say, half the effort was hers, well, the other half came from somewhere, along with a bunch of nontrivial skills that took practice & research & reflection to build. I could name a dozen ways that the night wo... (read more)

8roland9yOne thing that made a huge difference for me: record yourself when talking to strangers and listen to it afterwards. Unbelievable how much insight I got and awareness of my own clumsiness/mistakes once I listened to myself talking. The way I do it is I carry a small digital recorder under my shirt and just press record before I start talking.

this sounds terrifying.

which probably means it's a really good idea.

6juliawise9yWhen deciding to do this, you should take into account that it may be illegal, depending [http://www.newmediarights.org/page/field_guide_audio_and_video_recordings#Public] on whether you're in a public space and what state you're in.
0bbleeker9yWhy did that get voted down? juliawise is right. Also, I'm not a very socially ept person either, so I'd hate it if someone were to record me that way.

I'm an undergrad astronomy researcher. About a month ago my advisor asked me if I'd ever heard of a strange thing called "Bayesian statistics." I had, thanks to lesswrong :D.

Recently there's been a movement in astronomy research towards Bayes. Astronomy is one of the most statistical of the physicses, so it's about time this happened. The recent rush has been almost entirely caused by the rise of MCMC algorithms and increasing computing power.

Anyway, my project has been to redo a bunch of statistics from an old paper of his with new data and the new statistics. At first I didn't think it would be any fun, but I've made huge progress and MCMC is really cool. I'm lucky that my advisor is good and gave me a "big picture." Turns out with decent statistics we'll be able to constrain cosmological parameters like the ratio of dark matter to luminous matter and such. Over the last few weeks I've figured everything important out. I've done all my fits, made a whole lotta graphs, and I'm writing a paper. Yeah!

On the side I'm teaching myself general relativity and figuring out how to better teach special relativity.

2VincentYu9yNice. How are you implementing MCMC? Are you using one of the Gibbs samplers like BUGS or JAGS? I'm also an astronomy undergrad, working with infrared spectra. I don't currently need MCMC, but it's interesting and I might play around with JAGS in the future.
2iDante9yI didn't use a Gibbs sampler but they seem useful. This article [http://www.brera.mi.astro.it/~andreon/MYPUB/2010MNRAS.404.1922A.pdf] has some JAGS code you can check out. I actually used a python sampler called emcee [http://danfm.ca/emcee/]. It's nice for simpler fits, but gets messy when you have complicated priors and such. For the most part I was doing "simple" linear fits and I followed Hogg's [http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.4686] approach (look in section 8). There's some article by Kelly in 2007 that goes over this also but that one is already dated. Posterior distributions from samplers are really fun to play with.

Well, the thing you might be interested in is that I'm thoroughly revamping the combat system of Yvain's Dungeons and Discourse RPG (sorry, not linkable yet, but Yvain's original can be found here). This involves me riffling through a lot of philosophy summaries for cool skill names. Marxist: "Perpetual Revolution." Nietzschean: "Will to Power." Materialist: "Summon: Laplace's Demon." Idealist: "Summon: Cave." So it's been good for my philosophical education. I'm doing this both because I'm enjoying turning philosophy into sweet RPG humor, and because I plan on using it. The learning part is merely a happy side-effect.

7J_Taylor9yI believe that you may be thinking of Permanent Revolution. If I could recommend some cool Marxist (or, Marx-descended) terms: Revolutionary Terror, Antagonistic Contradiction, Metabolic Rift, Dual Power, Struggle Session.
6[anonymous]9yHow far down the Marxist rabbit hole can we go...? Alienation of Labor, Hauntology, Summon: Spectre of Communism, Chocolate Laxative, Desert of the Real.
2Xachariah9yPermanent Revolution lasts until dispelled or you succeed on a saving throw. Perpetual Revolution revolution requires a new saving throw each round. :D
4Multiheaded9yIn addition, they both grant damage reduction 10/icepick.
1Manfred9yI actually had it correct in my notes, I just recalled it wrong :) And thanks for the suggestions! Now I can replace "Class of Conflict" with something that sounds much better. Also, I must warn you I'm playing pretty fast and loose with what's "Marxist" - for example, one of the passives is New Soviet Man.
3Alejandro19yDo you know the hilarious Philosophy Action Figures [https://files.nyu.edu/iav202/public/powers/powers.html/]?
0Manfred9yNo, I had not :D
0NancyLebovitz9y"Eternal Recurrence".
0Manfred9yAlready in there :P
0Bill_McGrath9yWill this be made available for play? I suspect at least one other of my gaming buddies would love to try this out.
0Manfred9yFeel free to remind me in about three weeks (when I expect to be done), if I haven't posted something where you can find it.
0Alicorn9yAre you collaborating with Yvain/have you his blessing on this or are you just doing it on your own? (I don't think he'd mind, I'm just curious if it's Official.)
2Manfred9yOh my, I would never do anything unOfficial.

I've gotten far enough in my MLP rationalist fanfic that I'm pretty sure it will see the light of day. I have a very edit-heavy writing style, though- I'd much rather have the entire thing be complete and then release it than go chapter by chapter- which is highly atypical for successful online writers, which worries me. (As far as I can tell, it's standard for normal writers). I think I'm also at the point where having people reading my drafts will be interesting for them and motivating for me- so if you're interested in being an alpha reader, send me a PM.

(Why? Because ponies are fun, it's something to do at night before falling asleep, and I'd like to add to the growing rationalist fiction genre. And, who knows, maybe more bronies will end up at LessWrong.)

7lukeprog9yYour process is crazy. You need to learn from feedback. Edit the first chapter a bunch and post it, and learn.
3Vaniver9yIn general, I agree with iterative releases, and the position of editor exists for good reason. The two problems I see with the typical online writer release schedule are that the first iteration of a story is generally not the first chapter, but the skeleton, and that feedback about released chapters can only impact unreleased chapters. For example, the first chapter includes a letter whose wording may be significant- and so it'd be nice to have the significance of the wording nailed down before I nail down the wording itself. I'm also considering having the braided story structure common in some fiction, which looks much easier when you write the strands separately and then braid them. The compromise that I'm currently attempting is basically writing the skeleton of the whole story, adjusting that until I'm happy with it, and then fleshing it out from the start to the finish, releasing chapters as they're fleshed out. We will see what I actually end up doing.
4Armok_GoB9yPony rationalist fiction? Taken as seriously as is evident from your tone? MUST READ! Please tell me somehow when you're done.
1maia9yYay!

I'm working on a relativistic shoot-em-up. I decided to work on it because it's pretty cool, and it's fairly easy, so I can use it to sort of work my way up to the really awesome stuff I want to do.

3shminux9yI wonder how accurate this can be. Certainly would be really hard to do well for multi-player (how would you implement mutual time dilation and subsequent speed-up based on relative velocities and accelerations, given that proper times of each player are the same?). Space contraction and single-player should be doable. Modeling time dilation for NPCs would be a challenge.
5DanielLC9yI probably won't do multiplayer. I have an idea to make it work, but it only really works if you play against each other, and I've never seen a shoot 'em up that does that. Time dilation being a challenge depends on the paths used. I tried using Bezier curves, but it turns out that it's impossible to calculate how much apparent time has passed between two events on the curve. I would just calculate it numerically for each enemy, but that wouldn't work for any enemy that follows the player, since its path would be procedural. Length contraction is easy. Terrell rotation [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrell_rotation] is not. I have yet to find an equation for a first approximation matrix. Also, there is a problem with stuff red- and blue-shifting out of the visible spectrum.
0RolfAndreassen9yCan't you just make your game objects radiate a realistic Boltzmann spectrum, perhaps arbitrarily declaring that they all have a fairly high temperature? Then they won't go invisible; their infrared or ultraviolet parts will shift into the visible spectrum to compensate.
0DanielLC9yI was thinking about that. Right now I have it set up to use a period of a sin wave to represent how much reception that color gets from that frequency. Integrating that times the blackbody radiation thing gets some crazy result. If I use a bell curve instead, it's much shorter, but it involves a polylog. I might be able to get away with having the receptor things only work with one frequency if all the colors are spread out enough. Also, I don't know how the radiation spectrum works when the object isn't black, or how to look it up.
0RolfAndreassen9yWell, all you want is a reasonable approximation. I would just say "It has this colour inside the visible spectrum, and blackblody otherwise".
0RomeoStevens9yWhy is that last one a problem? The in game universe should explicitly acknowledge this as an actual problem you'd encounter if you were flying around in space and use false color or something.
0DanielLC9yIt's not a technical problem, but it's still a problem. I want it to look right, so I don't want to just use false color and mess with the wavelengths. I don't want bullets to turn invisible when they come at you too fast. For now, I just have it show some minimum color if it shifts out of the visible spectrum, or even if it's just black. I don't want to do that in the actual game, though. I'm thinking of giving stuff colors outside the visible spectrum, and maybe just making most of the enemy bullets infrared.
0dbaupp9yOut of interest, are you achieving the relativistic effect by setting the speed of light very low?
0DanielLC9yI haven't set a scale yet, but the speed of light is presumably what it is in real life.
[-][anonymous]9y 14

Publishing Kindle editions of the work of Dora Marsden (1882 - 1960). Her trajectory is fascinating: from suffragist to suffragette to secularist to anarchist to egoist. To mental ill health? To long-term isolation and confinement, definitely. While not forgotten, her work is not in currency. I'd like to change that. The only other Kindle title on Marsden is generated by robots and costs six times more than my book. The only print book on Marsden published in the past twenty-plus years is nearly one hundred dollars used. By human-editing my edition, providing a new introduction and making it inexpensive, I'm hoping more people will read her work. Perhaps also read more egoism in general.

From my introduction... "Post-everything by 1913. Reading books of comics twenty years before the first comic book was published. Small-press publishing forty years before the first photocopier. Social media savvy eighty years before the Web."

Volume one is here.

Volume two is what I'm working on.

PS: just this morning applied to teach how to make model rockets at local science museum. Hope to increase number of model rocket builders by making it accessible to many kinds of brains, hands and budgets. This is barely in progress, but if accepted will be a larger undertaking.

Working on the storyboard for "My Little Monad: Qualia Are Magic".

[-][anonymous]9y 11

Research has mostly stalled over the summer due to several trips -- California, Canada, and currently China -- and also my new boyfriend (who was partly responsible for the Canada trip). At the same time I'm changing apartments, and so after I return to the states I'll be homeless for a few days.

The article I've been working on for the past year recently stalled when I realized that the technique I'm building off of horribly broke in my situation for a subtle but hindsight-obvious reason. It was a good opportunity to rewrite the article and standardize some of the notation. The only thing left to rewrite at this point is about three pages of vector calculus and to find a different proof for one of the theorems.

I finished my sixth novel on Tuesday. (Best read after Summons in the same series.) I'm seven chapters deep into another one (best read after Summons and also Silver).

0shminux9yExcellent! One piece of your own advice, if you will... "crisply!" Oh, and don't hesitate to use the spellchecker before posting.
1Alicorn9yIf you find specific misspellings, please let me know. I use a huge number of made up words and names, so I don't want to use a mechanical spellcheck which will false positive me 5,000 times before I add all the fictional terms to the dictionary (and then a few hundred times every new book as I introduce more people/places/things); I rely on my betas. Please do not attribute character dialogue and opinions to me on that basis alone.
2shminux9yHmm, most of the errors seem to be fixed now, still see "woldfrider" in the last paragraph.
0Alicorn9yThe last paragraph of what?
1shminux9yBlood [http://elcenia.com/book/blood.shtml]
0Alicorn9yThe last paragraph of Blood does not contain that error, or any word that could plausibly look like it. Do you mean the last paragraph of some chapter of Blood? ETA: Oh, you mean the last segment. ≠ paragraph!
0shminux9yYes, sorry.

Been working on a website for a network of meetup groups promoting effective altruism/optimal philanthropy. Still needs a little bit of polish but we're looking for feedback (you can check it out at www.thehighimpactnetwork.org). (We'll be doing an official announcement soon)

Also recently started a meetup group for a rational humanist open mic, where people can share performance art relating to ideas we tend to care about, which had a pretty successful first meeting. (Around 19 people)

Still working on hypnosis and related stuffs.

In one direction, I’m turning the python based chat bot into a web based automated hypnotherapy business. I just got it put together, so there’s a lot of tweaking to do and a lot more to add.

In another direction, I’ve been moving away from the label “hypnosis” as it’s become less mysterious (and hence less deserving of a name to toss over the unknown). Instead, I’ve been mixing in various techniques to normal conversation and getting results that way.

0[anonymous]9yThe synaesthesia bot doesn't appear to be working with me. I can see as many red 2s in my mind as I want, but when I see such a deeply black 2 before my eyes, against that blue background... I just can't imagine it as red -- especially after the word "RED" disappears from the screen. (But I think it might work if it was grey on a white background. When I look at black-and-white printouts of colour diagrams, if I have seen the original I can easily tell my mind which shade of grey is supposed to be which colour.) And why did the lucid dream one insult me???
0jimmy9yI don't expect 100% success rate. In fact, the synesthesia one doesn't work with me either. I haven't put a lot of work into it though. I'll have to think about changing up the background. I often throw in obviously bad lines as a placeholder so when I get there it's immediately obvious that I need to fix it. I guess I missed one - Oops, sorry.

A Bayesian Calculator with visualization that is easy to drop into existing web pages. It is built in JavaScript, HTML and CSS. I've been working on this for around a year on and off. Richard Carrier was looking for a replacement calculator for the one he uses in his introduction to Bayes Theorem material, and I was at the time looking to better understand and develop intuition for Bayes Theorem. There are a number of features I intend to add (more visualizations, more config options and other things identified here), and also some refactoring work that ne... (read more)

2Oscar_Cunningham9yYou should tell Eliezer. He sometimes updates his Intuitive Explanation of Bayes Theorem, and so might want to use your calculator.
1metanat9yThere is one feature in particular that would be good to implement before sending it to Eliezer. The ability to configure the calculators default values and labels would be really useful for this intuitive explanation page.

Working on an indie game that (roughly) is a combination of Diablo and Bejeweled.

4Vaniver9yReminds me of Puzzle Quest [http://www.puzzle-quest.com/]. What elements from each game are you trying to capture?
2Sly9yMore like your Diablo character is moving and fighting within the bejeweled puzzle itself if that makes sense. Breaking gems clears a path and spawns monsters, loot, etc.

I'm pushing my bodyweight up and increasing strength. On July 22nd 2012 I was back squatting 90 kilos for 3 sets of 5. Last week I was able to squat 297lbs(134.7kg) for a single. I've also pushed my deadlift up to 130k for a single. In this time my bodyweight has increased from 150lbs to 167lbs.

My goals for Halloween are to deadlift 400lbs and squat 315lbs. I'd like to get up to a bodyweight of around 200lbs at 5'8" as a long term goal but that will probably take much longer than till Halloween.

Why?

  • Because it's fun
  • Because strong men are harder to
... (read more)

Yesterday I received a draft of a poem which I'm setting as a madrigal (SATB) for a concert in September. I only have two weeks to work on it, so time is pretty tight, but for the majority of that time I have my house to myself, the usual distractions in the house aren't available, and recently the place was tidied up so I will be better able to focus. (I find it difficult to study or work when my environment is messy - I don't know if this is common.)

[-][anonymous]9y 5

I've been working on a turn-based tactics game mainly inspired by Missionforce: Cyberstorm. The mechanics are mostly there, so I'll spend the next month polishing and adding content. I doubt I'll have time for it after this month, but it would be nice to have something reasonably playable. Maybe I'll open-source it or put the goofy sci-fi writing on a blog or something. I'm doing it mostly for fun, although it's partly an exercise in coding productively.

I've also been sketching out puzzles for a mildly educational logic game, based on boolean circuits and ... (read more)

0Risto_Saarelma9yWill it have character portraits with death animations? [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a-J93GhW_I]

Just for fun, writing an imaginary abstract for a paper I wish someone had written and cross-posted on gr-qc and quant-ph.

In this vein (or, more likely, vain), who wants to write an abstract for a fake paper proclaiming a breakthrough in, say, FAI research?

0Manfred9yI'm game :) Where should it be on a scale of silliness to seriousness?
0shminux9yAs realistic as you can make it. Strive to fool the experts in the area.

Decision-making for an Agent with Bounded Resources

C. Manfred
Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

We consider the behavior of a decision-making agent with bounded resources, which faces problems whose complete solution exceeds those resources. While there are several available methods to treat the resulting "logical uncertainty," a rigorous treatment has until now escaped realization. We show that, as intuitively expected, there exists an optimal decision-making procedure analogous to expected-utility maximization. We present two practical algorithms for determining the weights in this procedure, which are shown to be correct in the extreme limits. When these algorithms are interpolated, the resulting weights do not differ from the optimum by more than a small constant.

Comment on Manfred 2012

G. Branwen
Department of Commenting, LessWrong at The Internets

In Manfred (2012), the author presents a result on an asymptotically ideal utility-maximization of a function in the presence of incomplete information. We discuss the hidden assumption used in the proof, and exhibit a repaired proof which can be shown to be only a special case of long-established asymptotic universal search algorithms based on Solomonoff induction over all computably enumerable functions, from which the Manfred algorithm does not improve except by a constant factor ε in limited domains.

0shminux9yBoth abstracts are pretty impressive. I certainly could not tell the difference from a real thing. Maybe this should be a regular feature. Care to fake something EY would author?

While there has been a slump the last weeks, before that I've done more since the last thread than in a years before that.

The one most relevant to lesswrong is here: http://jsbin.com/eqomac/66/ Very much work in progress, fluff text and polishing and clarifications needed. Also two core functionalities of proper AI and multiplayer from different computers needed before it's really playable, which may require large rewrites...

(also wrote this silly thing: http://jsbin.com/idifof/121/ Or not. Sort of write it ship-of-thesus style over a random thing I fo... (read more)

Working on updating js3-mode with a better parser - one that will be faster and understand comments.

Writing a js lexer is harder than it ought to be.

Having a day job writing C++ leaves me without the mental fortitude to write more C++ for fun, so now I'm reanimating my abandoned and thoroughly bit-rotted Google Go language roguelike game into what is starting to look like a total rewrite in Go version 1. Trying to get a playable version out by mid-September.

0rhollerith_dot_com9yAh, you're creating a computer game. (Thought I'd add that for them that don't know what Rogue is.)
0Risto_Saarelma9yHeh, right. Forgot that the term is pretty opaque by itself, edited grandparent.

Working on a fanfic of a fanfic of a fanart of a fanfic. At this level of recursion, the original source material has become difficult to detect. I understand at seven levels, it becomes Douglas Hofstadter slash fic. (blatant EY joke theft)

I started off writing this in second person imperative, in response to a challenge from a writer friend of mine (e.g. "You are thinking you would never write in second person imperative. Try it anyway. See what happens."). Not sure I'll stick with it, though; it works beautifully in some parts, and like ch... (read more)

Learning banjo chords. My hands can physically hold down the strings better than they could in May, and I can do more chords without looking. The goal is to practice at least five times a week for at least five minutes. I've been meeting that most but not all weeks.

I picked the goal of messing around for at least five minutes rather than a stricter goal because I know someone who's gotten good at a lot of instruments this way, and he says his motivation is best if practicing is just goofing around rather than drilling.

5arundelo9yI agree with the "anti-hardcore" approach of keeping the time commitment and mental energy commitment manageable. You can do it more than five five-minute periods per week, though, with the following techniques: * Leave the banjo out of its case and easily accessible at all times, reducing the activation cost [http://lesswrong.com/lw/2y5/activation_costs/] of playing it. You can just walk by and, on a whim, pick it up and play it for half a minute. (This may not be practical if you live with a toddler or if your living space is extremely small.) * If you don't already have one, get a strap, so you can play while you stand or walk. * If you watch TV or do other stuff that doesn't occupy your hands, noodle around on the banjo at the same time. How much you can do these depends on your husband's tolerance for noise, but it may help to play quietly, or mute the strings with the side of your hand, or play only with your fretting hand. Bonus tips: * Chords are the thing you're most interested in now, but don't be afraid to mix it up with single-note stuff. * Play along with things, be they random bits of music you hear on the TV, radio, or internet, or your favorite recordings. This is hard at first but gets easier the more you do it. Don't worry too much at first about playing exactly the same thing you're listening to; just try to approximate it or, failing that, find something that sounds good with whatever you're listening to. * Noodle. Play random stuff. If you find something that you like the sound of, play it over and over, and come up with variations. What style of banjo do you play? My brother Mason playsclawhammer [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clawhammer] on a five-string open-back banjo. On most of his YouTube stuff [http://www.youtube.com/user/masbrow/videos] he's playing guitar or viol, but he plays banjo in this video of "Rove Riley Rove" [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR_0HnPkDDw] (which also includes yours
2juliawise9yThanks! I'm doing some of this stuff, but most of it is new advice. I guess I'm learning frailing on a five-string? I'm getting Pete Seeger's book "How to play the 5-string banjo", since the Seegers are what made me fall in love with the instrument. Jeff already plays the banjo (albeit by tuning it like a mandolin), and he's currently learning trumpet, so me making additional noise is not a problem. I liked the recording!
0arundelo9yYup, or at least that's what the Seeger book teaches. That's also what Mason's doing in the video. (Some people distinguish between "clawhammer" and "frailing", but they're basically the same thing. I'd have to listen again to see if Mason's doing any drop-thumbing in the vid, but he does do it a lot.) A thing to try -- Mason gets a less ringy, more plunky sound that he likes better by using a folded-up sock or washcloth as a mute. He lightly wedges it between the (drum) head and the wooden bar inside the body, underneath the bridge. Thanks for the compliment and happy frailing!

Learning introductory physics and statistics at Udacity

A personal project: I've been working on trying to listen to more music recently. I've noticed that the more rockish-upbeat music I listen to, the more motivated I am to be productive, etc. I haven't actually quantified this with my journal, but I would be astonished (p=0.05) if it weren't statistically significant.

I created a pandora playlist seeded by some of the songs I have that work best for this, but it's been pretty hit or miss. Sometimes it's really upbeat, sometimes not. I recently downloaded Journey, which had a number of songs that were awesome ... (read more)

4bojangles9yThings your list reminds me of: * Van Halen - Right Now [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aTYp8-O96M] * Queen - I Want It All [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCrXPh8m-dc] * Michael Jackson - Beat It [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rScqTO-zZVs] * Bachman Turner Overdrive - Roll On Down The Highway [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LNH27s5ULE] * Bon Jovi - Livin On A Prayer [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDK9QqIzhwk] * David Bowie - Modern Love [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hDbpF4Mvkw&feature=relmfu] * Guns N Roses - Sweet Child O Mine [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w7OgIMMRc4] * Heart - Crazy on You [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZuW6BH_Vak] * Boston - More Than A Feeling [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSR6ZzjDZ94&feature=related] * Survivor - Eye of the Tiger [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEjgPh4SEmU] * Europe - The Final Countdown [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcJ-wNmazHQ] Some other favourites of mine: * Youngblood Brass Band - Brooklyn [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxH9Dg1JLio] * Racer X - Technical Difficulties [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkoPfV5tjWo] * Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfOdWSiyWoc] * K'naan - In The Beginning [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq0pygjQK74] * The Clash - Revolution Rock [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcmElrsCtnk&feature=related] * Chicago - In The Country [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhLo9M17b8c] * Coven - Wicked Woman [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wGs_tIRINU] * Biggie - Mo Money Mo Problems [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAOUbr2HEpo] * Sugar Hill Gang - Rapper's Delight [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKTUAESacQM] * Kool G Rap - My Life [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7lgHgSPH0Y] * Jay Sean - Down [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKy8cE_R1cI] * Gordon Go
0RobertLumley9yThanks!
3gwern9yhttps://groups.google.com/d/msg/brain-training/5G3uujOqdbI/_ocNSa2AYPEJ [https://groups.google.com/d/msg/brain-training/5G3uujOqdbI/_ocNSa2AYPEJ] may be of interest to you.
1Alicorn9yThe Cranberries, and the solo albums by their singer Dolores O'Riordan, are low-variance awesomeness; get the whole discography if you like what you've heard of them.
-1RobertLumley9yI do have their whole discography, and I do really like them. :-) I haven't heard any of Dolores's solo music though.
0Bill_McGrath9yI'm having difficulty finding any particularly 'positive emotion'-music in my collection! Based on what you posted and your responses to other suggestions, here are a few that may be worth checking out: Bad Religion (solid pop-punk, three part vocal harmonies, highly intellectual to boot), Arctic Monkeys, At The Drive-In (highly charged, very energetic, somewhat anarchic), Ben Folds (modern piano rock, very rockin'), Blue Oyster Cult (not a million miles away from Journey), Kate Bush (80s singer with a unique voice). You probably won't like all of these, but some might be worthwhile.
0falenas1089yAs much as I love Arctic Monkeys, I wouldn't describe them as 'positive emotion.'
0Bill_McGrath9yNope, I didn't mean the post to imply that.
0Vaniver9yI've also had trouble getting Pandora to make good mood stations (or instrumental ones for when I'm doing language-heavy work, etc.). I've got a solution in mind but it'll be a while before my plate is clean enough to start that project, and it's not clear it'll be superior to existing techno. (Is that something you enjoy?) I've been listening to a lot of Bulletproof [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk8eJh4i8Lo] and Little Talks [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghb6eDopW8I] recently while doing things. The second has a lot of nice features which work great as counterpoints to their voices, but would be way more energetic on their own.
2RobertLumley9ySo originally, I thought those were artist names, and I searched them in my Rhapsody account... and proceeded to get this [http://www.amazon.com/Laws-Land-feat-Luciano-Explicit/dp/B001EUQIX8]. My model of all of Less Wrong instantly broke.
2RobertLumley9yI can't say I get into techno too much. The closest that I actually like is is dance-pop music like Cascada. I'll check out those artists though, thanks.
0Alicorn9yIf you like Cascada try Groove Coverage.

I'm learning how to play gypsy jazz. I've already been playing guitar for about 15 years but gypsy jazz is a completely different guitar style than what I normally play. Right now I'm learning how to play a typical rhythm guitar for gypsy jazz by listening to some tunes that I like and lessons on YouTube. The problem is that these are chords that I hardly ever play so transitioning between them -- at fast gypsy jazz speeds -- has been... difficult.

I'm learning the use and care of firearms and melee weapons. The two sides of human interaction are reasoning and force, and I've always dealt with the former rather than the latter. Thus, I plan on learning more about force, both historical and modern, and purchasing my own weapons.

I'm also exercising. This is the first time in my adult life I've managed the recommended daily dose of exercise, thanks to recent analysis of how to overcome personal barriers. I exercised 16 out of the last 27 days.