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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32 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 6:51 PM

I've submitted for peer review the first research paper of which I'm the principal author.


So you ended up with choosing algorithms :) Congrats! How do you plan to distribute it?

At this moment I merely published the PDF on my website and put the link on Facebook, and tomorrow I will get one printed copy which I could in future lend to people who will seem hopeful. I don't have any specific plans other than mentioning the free PDF to people at every opportunity.


In the vein of ZankerH, first first-author paper of my PhD is in peer review (and an experiment I'm all but certain they will be asking me to perform before publishing is already in progress).

This month (and a half), I dropped out of community college, raised money as investment in what I'll do in the future, moved to Berkeley, got very involved in the rationalist community here, smashed a bunch of impostor syndrome, wrote a bunch of code, got into several extremely promising and potentially impactful projects, read several MIRI papers and kept being urged to involve myself with their research further.

I took several levels of agency.

I know a few people with varying forms of Imposter syndrome. I have never felt the similar experience and would like to bridge the gap of understanding, and see if I can pull some advice out of your experience. Can you explain more?

For me, when I had it (I have since crawled out and am merely underconfident, scared, etc), the feeling is "I am secretly not nearly* as good as people think I should be and therefore as people think I am because they don't look closely and if they did then they'd find out so wow I hope they don't look closely good thing people are usually content with surface thought hahaha but really oh god".


This makes sense. And growing to overcome these feelings? Have you done anything specifically? or did it shift over time?

Some things I did during recovery which feel related, though I make no hard claims:

  • regular talk therapy including about those issues
  • be completely genuine with at least one person
  • change employers
  • mentor an intern
  • work with a team who were all selected to be both high-functioning and low-ego
  • learn about imposter syndrome
  • accept that I was depressed to the point that I lost a number of years of experience ("explain away" a certain portion of the feeling as genuine)
  • work with an individual who I felt was competent but who I was distinctly more competent than in select areas
  • complete a substantial at-home coding project

It is entirely possible that recovery was simply regression to the mean. I do not know.

Impostor syndrome is where you feel you don't really deserve your success, that you just lucked into it and that any moment now, people will realize this and you'll be exposed as a fraud. Here is a nice article about it, with a great graph.

I know what it is and what it should feel like, but when talking with people who have it I have felt like I can't properly relate or suggest solutions to help carry them away from a distraction or limiting identity. Do you have experience escaping feeling like an imposter?

I don't have it that bad, but the graph in that article certainly resonates with me. I don't feel like an impostor, exactly, but I do tend to feel like "I'm nothing special, everyone knows/can do that".

Looking at that graph helps a lot, because it reminds me that no, not everyone has the knowledge/experience to be a good translator, to take myself as an example. It also helps to make a list of the component parts of what you do. For example, as a software translator, I have a near-native command of English, an excellent command of my own language, experience with all kinds of tools, knowledge of how to get the most out of the (often lacking) context, I've done a little programming and work with HTML; very little, but it really helps me determine what parts of a syntax example are translatable.... I could probably add more items with a little thought.

Another thing that helps is comparing myself with others. They always say you shouldn't do that, but lately I have been editing the work of other translators, and when I see the mistakes they make sometimes, I can't help feeling that I mustn't be that bad after all.

Another thing I've just recently read about and haven't had occasion to act on yet, is to save any positive feedback you get. Save any letters, e-mails etc. where someone compliments you. Those can also help in your next performance review. Maybe write down oral compliments somewhere, too.

And remember the saying: "Everyone is ignorant, only in different subjects".

That's a pretty large question. I'd love to, but I'm not sure where to start. I'll describe my experience in broad strokes to start.

Whenever I do anything, I quickly acclimate to it. It's very difficult to remember that things I know how to do aren't trivial for other people. It's way more complex than that... but I've been sitting on this text box for a few hours. So, ask a more detailed question?

What did you mean at first when you described "smashed a bunch of imposter syndrome"?

I have suggested to a friend that the feelings they were experiencing were a vein of imposter syndrome and the response I received was along the lines of, "I can't have imposter syndrome, in order to have imposter syndrome I would have to have done something worthwhile compared to others". Of course it comes from a person with Honours in Psychology and a concert pianist.

I just have a really big ego and can't relate. I am no imposter because I don't work like that. If I was in a room where I felt I was an imposter I would actually be an imposter - hanging out to gather all the secret-room insider-information I was trying to gather.

Can you describe the things that changed your imposter syndrome from "screaming at me about how I am not good enough" to "background noisy noise about things".


Details man! What code did you write? What projects are you involved in? What did you raise money for?

Got my PhD in engineering science. Passed my oral examination last week.

I was interviewed about AI risk for a popular radio show. Not a highbrow forum, but I managed to insert some LW talking points in between their talk of Terminators and their jokes about having to be nice to your coffee machine.

I got an asset for Unity published. It's called HexGrid. It's basically an engine for tactical RPGs/wargames on a hexagonal grid.

I expanded MIRI's pool of quality candidates for their office manager position by submitting my application.

If you can see yourself stepping into that role, please do likewise!

And thus, another school that could have implemented effective SRS (probably) won't (I'm assuming, with you there to advocate for it, near-universal adoption is inevitable, but without an advocate, nobody will undergo the trivial inconvenience of doing something new, especially when they don't fully understand the cognitive psychology behind it). I'm reminded of Teaching Linear Algebra, where someone applies cognitive psychology to teaching, is hugely successful, and promptly never teaches again because a better opportunity came along.

That said, best of luck!

I think you may overestimate my odds in both domains, but the sentiment is appreciated.

That was an interesting link you posted. I read it with much affirmative nodding, and only the occasional impulse to make a snarky remark about the cute little sample size :)

I reduced my Erdos number from infinity to at most 4. See

I was accepted into graduate school at a nice university for bioinformatics.

Oops, I... didn't see that one when I searched. :(

Because I only searched in "Discussion". Forgot completely that the other part of this website exists.

My apologies. My only excuse is that seemingly in July 2015 we have accomplished so many cool things that we can now fill two threads.

No it's a good experiment. The exact same thing was posted to main and discussion. Which one will get more attention?

I organized a LessWrong meetup for 24 people. This was special and difficult for me because it was the first time ever to organize anything where most people were total strangers.

Successfully led and ran the Australia mega-meetup for 2015. Follow-up posts to come soon.


I've shifted a new relationship initiation approach - a complex of girls chase which my friends are into, and Justin Wayne beacause he doesn't seem weird, unlike every other PUA brand.

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.

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