Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to comment on this thread explaining the most awesome thing you've done this month. You may be as blatantly proud of yourself as you feel. You may unabashedly consider yourself the coolest freaking person ever because of that awesome thing you're dying to tell everyone about. This is the place to do just that.

Remember, however, that this isn't any kind of progress thread. Nor is it any kind of proposal thread. This thread is solely for people to talk about the awesome things they have done. Not "will do". Not "are working on"Have already done. This is to cultivate an environment of object level productivity rather than meta-productivity methods.

So, what's the coolest thing you've done this month?


(Previous bragging thread)

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In November, I donated $3000 to Against Malaria Foundation and $500 to Give Directly. I also found the answer to a question I've been researching for ~3 years.


Can we know the question?


And perhaps even the answer?

I think I'd prefer just having the answer, and then a guess-the-question thread.

The question very likely was: "What charities should I give money to maximize utility?"


Was it the Satoshi question? If so, do you still think you had the right answer?

I also found the answer to a question I've been researching for ~3 years.

Boy, did you ever! Congratulations!

Saved someone's life by calling the police when she attempted suicide.

(I don't think this is always the right thing to do, but I think it was the right thing to do in this case.)

You are awesome.

Went to the gym for the first time in my life.

It has been two months since I started (sorry, I missed the previous month's bragging thread, so I'm posting in this one), and I'm already seeing results.

I single-handedly organised a half-day workshop for 80k, including doing the room bookings, the tech setup, the refreshments (couldn't buy them cheaply, I bought the crockery and food myself) and got feedback from the attendees of the sort "best catered event I've been to in 3 years of being in Oxford uni".

I've also completed my first term of university, and learned loads (of computer science, and also about my abilities in general).

Most awesome things during the last two months (since there wasn't a bragging thread last month):

Hacked my motivation system to finally install a sustainable exercise habit. I had long been trying to get myself to exercise more. Every now and then I managed to create a morning routine of going out on a run, but this habit would always fall apart whenever I'd get sick or otherwise be prevented from engaging in it for a while. The problem was that, while I could get the habit going by pushing myself, getting the habit started always required some active pushing. What I needed was something that would naturally pull me instead, causing me to get outside without requiring active willpower expenditure.

When I asked myself how I could achieve that, the answer was pretty obvious: I knew a bunch of people who were getting exercise by playing location-based games. And I knew that I had a tendency to get addicted to games very easily, so this seemed just like the thing that would work for me. For various reasons (most importantly wanting to limit my Internet use), I had long resisted acquiring a smartphone, but I felt that actually getting some exercise was important enough to give in. So I bought one and installed two games I'd heard about, Ingress) and Zombies, Run!.

Zombies, Run! I only tried once and then never replayed it, but Ingress became a lasting habit. As of this writing, I've walked/jogged/ran a total distance of 162 kilometers (101 miles) during the 54 days that I've played it. The habit has persisted throughout the kinds of events that used to break my previous exercise habits, including one occasion of getting sick for a few days, and a period where I was so focused on finishing my studies that I only had minimal time for exercise for a couple of weeks.

Finally finished all the last coursework needed for my MSc degree. I've filed the last forms needed for graduation: now all that remains is to wait for the university's bureaucracy to finish doing whatever it is that they do, and then collect my degree certificate at a small ceremony on Dec 16th.

Wrote a paper starting work on an important but as-of-yet untouched FAI subproblem (building an actual model of what exactly "human values" are), which was accepted to the AAAI-16 AI, Ethics and Society workshop. Will upload a copy of it on the public Internet sometime soon, after finishing some final revisions.

If you have any interest in it, I'll point out that Pokemon Go, being made by the same company as Ingress, is presently in production. If anything, it'll be what gets me out of the house.

Thanks, I saw that. It looks like a promising way to avoid getting bored with Ingress, especially if I end up alternating the two games on different days, or something. :)


To avoid getting bored with ingress; join the community (I have so many friends now!). Also - Enl or Res?

Coincidentally I upgraded to a smart phone a year ago because of ingress. It was worth it.

Res, mostly because most of my friends seemed to be on that side.


I wonder if we should start a Lesswrong/Ingress hangout or something... PM'd you my email and I will post on the open thread.

The one-sentence description for the Enlightened is something like "use technology to improve humanity". I did not hesitate.


the other option was, "protect humanity from the alien shapers". Where I live we do plenty of cross faction stuff anyways. It's a great crowd to be involved in.


Turned from teaching pure applied botany [for schoolchildren] (history, DIYs, current uses of plants, including space research (although one day I'm so going to build myself a desktop clinostat)) to quantitative botany. So far, two lectures (for a single brave 14-year-old). The first time, we talked about what is measurement and why there are so many ways to screw up when you have to measure something sufficiently abstract. The second time, about what people get to measure in different branches of botany, and prepared for our first lab (safety, background, etc.) It will be a comparison of two-three ways of staining fungi in roots (which would require us to 1) develop the protocols and 2) dye samples of a couple root systems to see if there is any difference), although just a phenomenological one - we'll get back to sample size later on, after we get into 'real statistics'.

In short: got myself a test subject! Yay!

Got an engineering job not in the defense industry.

I've made a point to encourage any artists, musicians, and writers I've found that need it. More recently, it's become clear to me that I am actively making the world better by doing so -- I saw someone that I'd encouraged paying it forward, so speak, just a few days after I gave them encouragement, giving encouragement to someone who admitted to feeling depressed at their art. It's a nice feeling, to make the world better even in small ways like that.

After all, anyone could be the next person to produce a great work of art, music, or literature.

In the last two days I alone wrote a prototype that can take a whiteboard photo, and automatically turn it into a mindmap-like zoomable chart. Pieces of the chart then can be rearranged and altered individually:

This was part of a company hackathon, and I had some infrastructure to help me regarding the visualization, but with the shape recognition/extraction, it was just me and the nasty python bindings for OpenCV.

I've learned the second move in Dragon and Tiger Medical Qigong (30 seconds). I've been stalled at it for a long time, but the rest of the set is supposed to be easier.

Donated $100 to SENS. Hopefully, my company matches it. Take that, aging, the killer of all!