This is the supposedly-bimonthly-but-we-missed-April-and-June-2013 '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.
Powershame: Takes screenshots of your desktop at random intervals and sends them to someone whose opinion you care about, so both of you can watch a time-lapse of your work at the end of the day. Currently testing on Linux, Alpha coming out within the next few weeks.
Edit: You can signup to be notified when Powershame is available here: http://powershame.com
"Well, given how fastidiously you stuck to getting your coding project finished, I'd say you totally earned Busty Lesbian Riding-Crop Three-Way..."
Scheduling (shame between 10am and 6pm, say) is an important feature.
Finishing my Master degree in Biology, so I can move to PhD on an aging-related topic. In other words, working on reducing the existential risk to my own existence.
If you want immortality, you gotta do it yourself.
My goals are money, power, and romance. Some good news on all three, finally!
Money. I'm bankrolling my buddy in a high stakes poker game. He's highly skilled but rather risk-averse, so we negotiated the following deal: I provide his buy-ins, he gives me 40% of his winnings and keeps the rest. It's been a great year so far, netting me about a year's worth of living expenses for basically zero time investment. As an unexpected side effect, by talking over hands and general strategic concepts with him, I've absorbed some of his poker skills, which I've tested in a few high stakes games this year to good success. I have no desire to play professionally, though.
Power. I've decided to strike out on my own, career-wise. I've got a lot of ideas for software products that I'd like to take the time to develop more fully. My side business is two years old and has filled over 3,500 orders and could probably support me if I did it full-time. I have a lot of leverage at my current job so I talked to my boss about it. He offered me a raise which I turned down, then he said that he'd hire me as a founding CTO of his new business if I wanted the position; I said I'd think about it. They're amenable... (read more)
Working on a new TDT writeup for MIRI.
Working on my classes for SPARC.
Writing a long series of math blog posts around the interface of logic, type theory, and category theory. I may not be able to summon the willpower to get through every topic I want to cover, but if I do then the light at the end of the tunnel is homotopy type theory, and I may also attempt to learn Haskell as a side effect.
While not being distracted by MoR discussions - right now, I am working on a little statistical analysis of the number of links provided by my Google Alerts since 2007 to see whether the number really has declined; it's a fun use of multi-level modeling.
Besides that, I've been acquiring lithium papers to maybe do a meta-analysis of the drinking water correlations.
The n-back meta-analysis continues to grow, and I've finally acquired the largest missing study; the final study, I have been refused the data by Jaeggi. I am thinking of filing a FOIA request to the funding agency at the University of Michigan; does anyone know the best way to go about this?
And I continue to procrastinate on finishing my sand essay, but at least I did finish writing a little essay about a Cordwainer Smith short story.
I have very little personal knowledge of FOIA, and this is written assuming that you know have no personal experience with it (so if you do, I suspect this will read as condescending, which is not my intent). I suspect that short of hiring / recruiting a politically influential person (relevant to UMich) to help, this is all the useful advise available (for better or worse).
Beware administrative (search) costs and copying costs.
Try to describe the data you want in a way that (a) makes it easy for the searcher to determine if something is responsive to your request, and (b) makes it seem like finding the documents will be really easy for some mindless bureaucrat to find. In writing the request, assume the professor will never personally do anything to grant the request, and a grad student might spend 5 minutes pointing towards a filing cabinet.
Additionally, politeness and clarity are under-rated virtues in the practical invocation of legal rights.
That's a good template for the first draft of the FOIA letter.
The last week or two I've done more programming than I've done probably over several preceding years put together, on an HTML5 game. It's sort of a tycoon style game mainly about machine learning and intelligence amplification on a highly abstracted level, and will connect heavily to singularity themes and likely have many LW-culture references/Easter eggs.
I've been working on the Less Wrong Study Hall, with some success. I seem to have gone stagnant for the last couple weeks at the 90% mark, which isn't uncommon for me. Beeminder hasn't gotten painful enough yet to push me over that final hump.
I also have a piece of fanfiction that's effectively complete but I haven't worked up the testicular fortitude to post anywhere yet. Rationalizations include: Haven't written in ten years; can't decide whether to post under my real name or a handle (or which handle); don't know where to post it; ff.net irritates me owing to the lack of a quality requirement; and I don't know what the good alternatives are.
But really it's the testicular fortitude thing.
Non-euclidean graphics program. It's a computer program to show what life would look like if triangles didn't have 180 degrees, stuff could be bigger or smaller on the inside, and you could do this.
Also, I've done a little work on a special relativity bullet hell game. This results in an odd effect as you accelerate the ship where it looks like what you're accelerating towards is actually moving away from you, and there's a lot of redshifting and blueshifting. Also, I'm hoping to include faster-than-light travel. For most of the game, this will mean that you could be hit by a tachyon by an enemy moving away from you, return fire, and hit them before they shot, ensuring that the shot was never fired and giving you back your health. The final boss will be given a faster-than-light drive, resulting in him often appearing on the screen multiple times at once, and I might allow you to use it after defeating him, with encouragement to fly through the game backwards following your past self. It would be hard to dodge bullets while moving faster than light, though.
I'm considering making this open source, but I might want to try turning a profit.
As mentioned here, here, and here, I've been working on a new iOS (and eventually Android) game based on Dual N-Back, called Double Dynamo (also on Facebook ).
I just got the background music working last week, which was trickier than it sounds — I needed to play multiple tracks back to back without a gap while syncing the gameplay to the beat of the music. I'm halfway through writing a technical post on my blog on how I got it working, so watch this space....
The other part of the project is figuring out a marketing strategy, which is for me at least as challenging as the design and implementation aspects. My background is firmly on the technical side.
I've talked about why I'm doing this project in previous comments, but briefly, I consider it a stepping stone to larger things, a way to build a reputation as an indie developer, and also something to add to my portfolio that I can point to and say "I did that". Which is something I can't really do right now even after 7+ years in games. Also, I've already learned far more about game development than I would have working in a larger studio.
It's the summer before my freshman year of college, and my only obligation is that my parents are paying me to clean our filthy house. So I have tons of free time that I am trying to put to the best use possible. Here's a list of what I am doing:
My goal in life is to be a video game developer, so my main priority is learning how to make video games. I'm not really sure which of several possible projects I'll end up spending most of my summer on, but right now I'm learning how to use Unity 3D.
I've been reading stuff in the broad category of "human
I'm doing Project Euler.
I'm working on learning ancient Greek, and writing a paper on the first book of Aristotle's Physics.
The Physics interests me for very much the same reasons LW interests me. It's been said before that, as people trying to discover the truth of things, we don't live in a wilderness but in a city, built and rebuilt by generations of scientists and philosophers. The greatest of these were people who inaugurated new methods of inquiry and even new ways of living. This, it seems to me, is exactly what LW is trying to do. I'm interested in this kind of a project... (read more)
I wrote and published my first Android application. An extremely simple one, but it means that I have successfully installed the development environment, learned to write simple Android code, tested the code on my tablet, registered a developer account, and completed the publishing process. So for the following games, which will be more meaningful, I already have experience with most of the process -- that increases my self-confidence and could help overcome procrastination.
Why this project? Being able to make some money just by writing games was my dream ... (read more)
Academia: I'm finishing the formatting boring stuff related to my book, which, despite being finished 4 years ago, has been sitting idly on my computer up till now so I could use it as a masters thesis (oh academia, why are you so sluggish)
Writing: I'm trying to come up with a compromise between writing for Lesswrong, which is really motivating because I know people will read it, and writing academic stuff or non-fiction stuff that only has longer term impact. Put another way, I need to understand how to write in a way that is both upvotable here, and aca... (read more)
I'm building a habit of going to the gym for some brief exercise every day, using a couple potential mind-hacks I've never used before. If I can keep up the habit for another couple weeks, I'm planning to write an LW post on what I've learned from the experience.
Or a post on what you learned from it not working! Negative data is precious data!
On my blog, I am explaining why the faster rotating planets are warmer.
Writing up a "One Year of Pomodoros" post. I'm just three weeks shy a year of tracking every planned and completed pomodoro, for a grand-total of almost 5,000.
I'm writing a Bayesian inference/quantified self assistant for my Hacker School project. Once I have it somewhat usable I'll make a discussion post asking for feedback, but you can follow development now if you want.
I've been thinking about starting a project. Specifically, I've been thinking about trying my hand at making video games - and not just any kind of video games, but RPGs in particular. If anyone here has ever tried something like this, I'd like to know if it's at all feasible for me to attempt something like this. I already know how to program and would not have trouble learning another programming language, but I also have no skill at either artwork or composing. Also, does anyone have suggestions on what kind of software would help with this? I don't wan... (read more)
Looking for a real job. There's several larger changes in my life I want to make that aren't really practical until I do that, so I've decided to quit slacking off and actually search semi-seriously. (On that note, that's enough LW for one night)
Trying to figure out why poker AI hasn't been solved (in the sense that chess AI has been solved).
I just started a research project with my adviser developing new posterior sampling algorithms for dynamic linear models (linear gaussian discrete time state space models). Right now I'm in the process of writing up the results of some simulations testing a couple known algorithms, and am about to start some simulations testing some AFAIK unknown algorithms. There's a couple interesting divergent threads coming off this project, but I haven't really gotten into those yet.
Plan My Week iPhone App - schedules your tasks for a week, depending on duration, urgency, and importance.
Chess Machine Learning - Trying to teach a neural network how to play chess. I've written a couple of bog standard tree sea... (read more)
I'm interested in earning to give, and my current projects have to do with maximizing my income.
I've been taking Coursera classes that seem relevant to machine learning/"data science" (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). My reasons:
Seems likely to be more lucrative than regular old software development, which is what I'm doing right now. Indeed.com salary graph. Kaggle.com is paying it's top 0.5% of data scientists $200/hr. McKinsey says there's going to be a shortage of people with big data skills. Another article.
Some of the skills overlap with what MIRI
Trying to find web developer work in the SF Bay area.
Because SF is awesome and where all the great stuff in webdev is happening.
My 'GooFit' fitting framework is now publicly available at GitHub, and is pretty awesome for doing negative-log-likelihood fits if you have a reasonably up-to-date nVidia GPU.
Additionally, my CK2 to EU3 converter is finished, and also available at GitHub.
Feel free to post feature requests for either one.
... I had an "awe crap" moment as I moved up to the comment box, since my goal for last month was "Do something awesome by the end of June, because last news from Senseg suggested that their tech should be on shelves by then, and that seems decreasingly likely with their continued silence, and that particular technology sounds easy to reproduce, given available information". All I did was not-quite finish a major update to my one money-making game (I completely lost steam on it yesterday, and was consciously aware this meant I should ju... (read more)
I've recently completed the first part of a fully formal and complete definition of optimization power, to serve as the first step to a demonstration of the orthogonality thesis.
I'm also quickly re-reading every quantum mechanics book I own, so I can later sell them and advance to quantum field theory.
On the personal side, I'm still improving my Go. At the moment I'm reading "Opening theory made easy", at the rate of 3/4 principles per week. Opening theory, the subject not the book, is both fun and engaging for a beginner. I'm also implementing t... (read more)
Right now I'm working on what was previously called "A technical result in a related area, for a different kind of tomography." All of the real work is done; all that remains is writing up the results and getting them published somewhere. It's nice, living up to my username (in one of its many concurrent readings).
I moved in with my boyfriend last month. We're both currently in Korea; he's out sightseeing while I'm attending a professional conference.
Due in part to the local political and economic instability, my future research fundin... (read more)
Taken first couple of steps to learning to dance; taken first class and have begun practicing.
Why dance? First, I'm out of shape, and this is one of several steps I'm taking to rectify this. I've been in great shape before, and it improves just about everything, including the clarity of my thinking, my ability to tolerance sleep deprivation, and my ability to power through illness. (I used to be able to jog with the flu. Now I have trouble getting out of bed when I get a cold.) Second, it should improve my proprioception/kinesthesia, which is pretty t... (read more)
Currently learning Java by-the-book from "Starting Out With Java: From Control Structures Through Data Structures" second edition. It's a remarkable book, unlike any of the ones I tried reading before. It explains every minutiae of the example code and leaves very little to the imagination, except for when it has the courtesy to explicitly tell the reader to ignore it for the time being, something that a lot of guides fail to do. This somewhat pads the book out when it explains when a method-call has occurred two chapters after method-calls were ... (read more)
I like playing poker for fun with friends, but I decided I want to be good at it. I also like learning to code. So far I have completed the codecademy python track.
I am building, without a doubt, a crappy poker oracle (not a bot) in the hopes that it will help me learn poker and code at the same time. The plan is to have my poker oracle be a net winner with the current group I play with. I think I will divide up the program in to segments – preflop, flop, ect. My inputs would consider things like position, player ranges, and equity among other input... (read more)
I'm a graphic artist who just recently quit her job, we ended in good terms, they said they would put in a good word for me if ever I use them as reference. I have been doing weird freelance jobs which includes but is not limited to, furry porn, live portraits of people's dogs, portraits of people's houses and doing live demos in front of students. I barely make enough from these.
I have entered a food booth contest, I am going to present them Japanese Curry and Omurice (Omelette Rice) I am hopeful to make it into the finals. I really want to get into the f... (read more)
I've decided to teach myself python, following MIT's online intro CS course. I'm on lesson 2, and so far, I've mainly reinforced my pre-existing impression that I'm not a particularly intuitive coder (my day job has nothing to with programming; it just seemed like it couldn't hurt to develop another skill).
I realize I'm probably misusing the thread asking this, but if someone can explain the first syntax error in the following snippet, I'd be most appreciative. I assume it has something to do with the way I'm nesting the conditionals, but I've played aro... (read more)
3 weeks ago I got two magnets implanted in my fingers. For those who haven't heard of this before, what happens is that moving electro-magnetic fields (read: everything AC) cause the magnets in your fingertips to vibrate. Over time, as nerves in the area heal, your brain learns to interpret these vibrations as varying field strengths. Essentially, you gain a sixth sense of being able to detect magnetic fields, and as an extension, electricity. It's a $350 superpower.
The guy who put them in my finger told me it will take about six months before I get full s... (read more)