What are you working on? February 2012

by David_Gerard1 min read5th Feb 201291 comments

9

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.
91 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 3:39 PM
New Comment
Some comments are truncated due to high volume. (⌘F to expand all)Change truncation settings

Dating: The girl from my previous post cancelled on me 30 minutes before we were going to meet. Then the next week she invited me out to lunch and cancelled again, an hour out. So I guess she didn't actually like me.

Then I went on a blind date with FOAF and that went OK. I took her out again but there was just no romantic chemistry, so it was a couple of nice times but that was the end of that.

I've been trying to get better at reading the subtext of social interactions to tell when someone is interested. I noticed that a single friend had been getting touchy with me when she hadn't been before, calling me by a cute new nickname, getting flustered when I teased her, etc. So when she offered to make me a dinner I decided it was worth taking a chance, toward the end of the night I held her hand...and she DID NOT like it. Unambiguous (but friendly) rejection. Confirmation bias on my part, I suppose.

So still failing. Still working hard to improve.

I'm beginning to suspect that there's a big difference between the way I see myself and the way others see me, i.e., I'm actually unattractive to most women. This is a hard pill to swallow, but if it's true, then I want to believe it's true.

So ... (read more)

I noticed throughout your post you said "turns out she didn't like me" twice, as if this was a simple boolean value that you have to find out the value of.

The truth is that attraction is pretty malleable and it's totally possible that your friend had romantic interest in you which disappeared while having dinner with her, or that the potential date that cancelled on you twice was turned off through non-physical interactions (texts, phonecalls).

Your 3 step action plan sounds solid though. The fundamentals of pick up artistry will also help a ton.

3hamnox9yGood plan! I'll have to add #2 to my own practice list. If you're going to be meeting lots of new people, I'd also make an emphasis on remembering their names and using them often. It's a subtle but effective compliment. I've gotten much better at the remembering part, but I'm not very good at casually dropping them into a conversation.
2jsalvatier9yFor fashion stuff, I've found r/malefashionadvice [http://reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice] very useful, though it targets a fairly conservative look by default. In particular the guides on the sidebar often provide pretty specific advice and it's a good forum for asking questions. Ignore any internet drama currently on the front page (not typical).
2arundelo9yIt looks like you meant to include a link but it disappeared. This can happen when you put the URL first rather than the link text [http://lesswrong.com/lw/4xq/deathisbadism_going_a_little_bit_more_mainstream/3tfe] .
0jsalvatier9yThanks, fixed.
0dbaupp9yIs there something missing?

Still working on hypnosis

I picked up python and wrote a program that goes onto the internet and hypnotizes people, so I can throw some real empiricism at the problem now.

It's really paying off now that I can do things like go snorkling with my girlfriend who had been terrified of the ocean for her whole life, and snap my fingers and make people stop craving sugar :)

I've writing up my thoughts as I go on my blog

5cousin_it9yI wanna be as awesome as you are.
1jimmy9yThanks :) If you (or anyone else) want awesomeness in the same direction, I'd be happy to help bring you up to speed. There's a scarcity of clear thought on this topic, and I want more good minds to bounce ideas off.
0katydee9yI would love to be brought up to speed here.
0cousin_it9yThanks for the offer! How much and what kind of effort is required to get up to speed?
0jimmy9yHmm.. that's a tough question. It depends on your background, which skills you're interested in picking up, and to what level of mastery. I've taught someone some text hypnosis and had him getting real results (amnesia/hallucinations included) in an evening - but that was mostly a surface level learning. I suppose you could do a fairly large amount of useful stuff with even a shallow appreciation of suggestion though. I've put a lot of time an effort into piecing together the theories and wrapping my head around it all, but I'm sure it would be much faster if I had access to my key insights written down in one spot. I'm just not sure how much time it takes just for it all to sink in - I'm still picking things up just from viewing normal human interaction through a new lens. I guess I'd recommend skimming parts of my blog, maybe chatting with me a bit, and see what you want to do from there?
4cafesofie9yIs the source code to Hypnobot available? You seem to make some pretty strong claims about its effectiveness, but I'm not about to grind Omegle chats until I run in to it.
3jimmy9yIt only comes across as strong if you aren't familiar with hypnosis. It's not currently outperforming the standardized hypnotizeability testing procedures [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnotic_susceptibility#Hypnotic_depth_scales], which are generally recognized as being pretty poor compared to a skilled live hypnotist. (though, I might guess that it would if given the same subject pool) I'm hesitant to hand out the source, but I'm very willing to give a shot at hypnotizing you - either using hypnobots script directly, or using my full capability.
4jpulgarin9yI'm totally willing to by hypnotized by you. I'm also willing to bet I cannot be hypnotized.
3jimmy9yBe specific. Exactly what experience do you think you are incapable of having? Why do you think this?
4jpulgarin9yName amnesia (I saw you mention this on the link you gave). I think this as a result of: 1. My prior that you're a good hypnotist 2. My prior that I am a suggestible person 3. My prior that this can be done through online means

I am currently trying to become really socially effective. During the next 8 months I plan to:

  • Take voice coaching *
  • Take a public presentation class at my University *
  • Join debate club *
  • Join toastmasters *
  • Get a telemarketing job
  • Get a door-to-door sales job
  • Become a competent pick-up-artist
  • Take an improv acting class

"*" means I'm currently doing this activity.

3Pfft9yCan you say more about voice coaching? What does it cost, what kind of exercises do you do, where do you find a coach?
9jpulgarin9yI used a combination of google and reddit.com/r/waterloo to find voice coaches in my city (Waterloo). I settled on the two that looked best, and am now getting 1 half hour session a week from each of them to A/B test which one is better. It costs $20 per half hour session. I told them that my goal was to have a captivating voice that gets people's attention in small/large groups. They both said that learning how to sing was really important in terms of my stated goals, so right now I'm learning the basics of singing. This includes how to warm up your voice, properly breathing with your diaphragm, bringing up the soft-palette on command, etc... We also go over the speeches that I am going to present in my public presentation class, which I find incredibly useful. For example, we'll go over the same sentence in a paragraph about 15 times, ensuring that I have correct diction, tone of voice etc...
[-][anonymous]9y 8

.

The loved one is working on a novel. It turns out that "I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp" (W. Somerset Maugham) is a good way to get a lot of first draft turned out. Inspired by this, I've been attempting to write something vaguely song-shaped every day for a month. Doesn't have to even be any good at all, it just has to be an actual thing. I've missed two days in the past couple of weeks, but am attempting to keep at it. When I have thirty days down I'll probably put all thirty day... (read more)

1EStokes9yOh boy, Homestuck music stuff. Nice. Salmon sounds a bit dark though- seems more like a Feferi and Condesce combo. Kingdom makes me think of his time on LOWAA, kind of actiony but dark or sad or something. Anyways, cool.
0David_Gerard9yThank you :-) I was consciously filling out "Kingdom" with bits that might go well with an animation (e.g. the piano figure). Yeah, "Salmon" does sound more like power realised rather than just aspired to.
0[anonymous]9yI like Salmon! I want to like Kingdom, but Eridan is just such a dooooooouche~ ;_;
0David_Gerard9y:-D Both are actually old pieces, but the contest pushed me to get them polished in that particular direction and call them "done". "Kingdom" is just like Eridan: angsty and humorless. So "Salmon" (which was its working title all along, but the fish theme fits Feferi) went well as the other half of the pair. I can hear the failed moirallegiance and why it was doomed: she's just utterly out of his class and he'll never understand.

I'm working on a site that lets people map the logical relations between ideas in a massively collaborative environment.

My background is web development (I run the site songlyrics.com) and philosophy (I'm in a MA program at UChicago doing philosophy of language, logic, and epistemology).

The project is currently just shy of a working prototype. The idea is to do things differently than sites like debategraph.org, where arguments are organized hierarchically. We want to simply have propositions, and logical relations between propositions. Our aim to develo... (read more)

0Fredrik9yI am trying to build a collaborative argumentation analysis platform. It sounds like we want the almost exact same thing. Who are you working with? What is your detailed vision? Please join our FB group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/arguable [https://www.facebook.com/groups/arguable] or contact me at branstrom at gmail.com.

The substantial amount of mathematics related posts has encouraged me to emerge from lurker status and post my own 'project'.

I have spent the last 5 months recording every minute of rigorous mathematical practice here in an attempt to test the limits of my modest intellect. I used a stopwatch and paper for the first couple of months, but I have now graduated to Emacs and org-mode (and to tracking all of my time, out of pure curiosity - I like knowing that every aspect of my life is searchable. It frees a (possibly imagined) mental burden).

A (long) backgrou... (read more)

2David_Gerard9yI'm finding it inspirational that you'll work that hard to try to level up in something you're interested in but not sure you have any talent in. This is pretty much how I'm approaching music ... still haven't learnt to actually play an instrument yet, of course.
1ryjm9yFunny that you mention music. My experience with practicing guitar all through high school was what led me to believe that natural talent is dwarfed by hard work. This is a oft repeated phrase, but I don't think it does anything for anyone until they experience the results of it themselves. You can find my instrumental metal project here [http://www.conjoiner.bandcamp.com].
0Alex_Altair9yDon't ever, ever say that. Without the will to act you become akin to a non-person, more like a sentient rock that observes and reacts according to past rules, but cannot move towards a goal.

I am painfully slowly finishing my textbook on high-school computer science. The text is ready, only the pictures are missing, but there are still many pictures missing. If I write a book next time, I will always make sketches of pictures while writing, so that I don't have to decipher my notes months later.

Why am I doing this? Mostly for signalling. The textbook market in Slovakia is heavily regulated -- only the textbooks written for government contract can be used in schools, and the terms of contract are very bad for authors. This is why (updates for) ... (read more)

I'm putting the finishing touches to my program that converts EU3 - Divine Wind saves into Victoria 2 saves.

0Multiheaded9yWill it be compatible with the V2 expansion that got released just recently? Cause that would be kickass.
0RolfAndreassen9yAs it happens, those are the finishing touches. It was already pretty good for vanilla. So, yes, it'll be compatible with AHD. The main changes were to the province files, where AHD apparently enforces that they must be organised by region; and the tech system, since AHD has a cap on the number of research points you can accumulate. For vanilla I could just say "From your EU3 techs you get X amount of RP, spend them as you like", but for AHD I need to do the spending in the converter.

Trying to port my personal anti-akrasia technique (based on raising the activity-switching threshold) from the office to home setting.

5David_Gerard9ySounds interesting! More details please?

It's easy for me to get distracted and switch from productive work to just browsing LW or whatever. So I decided that every time I switch to a new activity, whether work-related or not, I will document it: time the last activity stopped, the details of what its status was at the time of suspension, whether the original goal was achieved or not, and any notes relevant for future resumption of it. Also record what the next activity is, it what stage it is at, what the intended goal is, and optionally anything else pertinent. ONLY THEN switch to the new activity. I set no restrictions on what the new activity can be, none whatsoever, just made sure I document every switch. It only takes a couple of minutes at most (I wrote a quick-and-dirty google docs spreadsheet to simplify entering the notes).

So far I have noticed a couple of benefits: I rarely switch to an unproductive or frivolous task, partly because of the hassle of having to document it in advance, and partly because writing down something like "gonna browse some LW forums, cuz I don't want to debug this code anymore" is plain embarrassing. Additionally, I ended up having a reasonably well documented diary, which is ... (read more)

0folkTheory9yHey, I've been doing this for a few days and it's been extremely helpful. Thank you for posting this! A bit more about it: http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/9z4/on_journaling/5vdf [http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/9z4/on_journaling/5vdf]
0folkTheory9yThank you, this seems very interesting. I'll try it out soon.
0jpulgarin9yHow long have you been doing this?
1shminux9yOnly a couple of weeks. Easy in the office, still haven't got into the habit at home.

I'm working on getting my warrior to level 85. I'm up to level 62 already, which is pretty good for about 28 hours put into it. I wanted a warrior to replace my Death Knight main because tanking as DK is getting its theme wrecked over time, block from shield is a much better mechanic than 2-handed tanking, and we have too many people rolling on the same token in my guild, along with another DK in the 10-man group. Once I'm 85, I can start on heroics and eventually Looking For Raid, which will be the first time I've done LFR on any of my characters.

I'm also... (read more)

5gwern9yI don't think that's really in the spirit of these pages.
7RobertLumley9yI mean... I'd tend to agree. But it says "any kind project is fair game" so...
3gwern9yConsuming media and playing games is very passive; I thought the emphasis of the 'working on' pages were about stuff that was in some way creative or productive. If you just want to discuss what media you plan to consume, well, isn't that what http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/9t4/february_2012_media_thread/ [http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/9t4/february_2012_media_thread/] is for?
6RobertLumley9yWould you say the same thing about playing chess, with the goal to reach a certain ELO rating? I agree about the former, but not about the latter. Many (video) games require a tremendous amount of memory, decision making, modeling of others, that make them arguably productive. I wouldn't describe playing Starcraft (or really any game) as "consuming" media at all, it's a very active process. In some cases, Starcraft is actually replacing Chess as the model system for cognitive science [http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/12/01/how-a-computer-game-is-reinventing-the-science-of-expertise-video/] . It's always really bothered me that video games are considered to be very low brow, while certain other games (chess, go, bridge) are (rather arbitrarily) considered very high brow. I love chess, I love bridge, and I've never really tried Go. But I also love Starcraft, for many of the same reasons. Not every video game is like chess, certainly; there are many that are more analogous to checkers. But many are just as good at cultivating the same skills chess does - and some do it better. Edit: I will say though, (I think) the OP was about World of Warcraft, which, while I have never played it, I don't particularly think very highly of it. It seems much more like an addiction machine. But, like I said, I haven't played it.
9David_Gerard9yThe older teen uses it to socialise. She met her last two boyfriends on MMORPGs. She's moving in with the latest one this month. I expect that counts as winning.
3Rain9ySome World of Warcraft strategy discussion [http://elitistjerks.com/f81/t106913-arms_dps_4_0_cataclysm/p3/].
2RobertLumley9yThat's a good point. There's a lot of math that goes into any power-gaming build.
2gwern9yI'd say the same thing I'd say to David Gerard, which is that deliberately trying to attain a certain improvement in skills is much closer to work than fun, and is 'deliberate practice' of the sort so valuable in other areas (pace Ericsson), and to be encouraged. If you're reading hard literature and entering words you don't know or striking quotes into Mnemosyne, that's more appropriate for this page than just reading Discworld or something.
1David_Gerard9yYeah, it's approaching art to level up in art appreciation and general comprehension of humanity, or to unwind. That said, the two aren't incompatible.
0David_Gerard9yI dunno. I've just finished reading through Actually (the last collection of essays and reviews) by Christopher Hitchens, and it's inspiring me to go out and read some of this stuff he's going on about. The one I'm on right now is Black Lamb and Grey Falcon [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Lamb_and_Grey_Falcon] by Rebecca West [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_West], the 2007 Penguin edition [http://www.amazon.com/Black-Lamb-Falcon-Penguin-Classics/dp/014310490X] with a lengthy intro by Hitchens. The book is a doorstop-sized travelogue of Yugoslavia in the 1930s, a subject I have little interest in; I'm bothering only because a literature fan like Hitchens raved about it. And so far it's page-turningly good. So yeah, attempting to level up in books and media - to improve one's mind by becoming more highly literate - could indeed count as a project (personal improvement), I think. That said, I agree that MMORPGs are pushing it just a bit.
0[anonymous]9yHow about trying to get to the number two spot on this leader board [http://intelligence.org/donors], which I'm well on my way to accomplishing? Because they feel a lot alike to me.

I am pondering the usefulness of neodymium magnets. What could be another cool use of them. Or the usage already known, but not very widely?

For one, I like the so called "neodymium magnets fishing", where people attache a strong magnet on one end of a rope and fish for iron objects in the river or lakes nearby. You can see on youtube what do they catch. I could do it in the lake Bled several miles from here, where a lot of Bronze and Iron Age artifacts have already been found by divers. Many haven't, I suspect, so I could hunt from the lake shore... (read more)

For the past week, I've been experimenting with a morning and night ritual when I wake up and before I go to bed.

The morning ritual consists of an affirmation about winning, a recitation of the heuristics I'm currently trying to get myself to employ (things like flipping a coin when my options are close enough in utility to make thinking too hard about it a waste of time and energy, checking my to-do list as soon as I walk through the door, or not putting off necessities like sleep and food for "just a minute while I finish this..".), and a brain... (read more)

1adamisom9yI'm no stranger to trying different rituals myself. In fact, I've read a lot of personal development. But I still find it hard to implement things for any length of time. One of the lessons I've learned is keep things as simple as possible--simpler than you think is reasonable. For example, my bare morning ritual, which I stick to most of the time, is about 15 minutes, but makes my mornings far more pleasant. A second lesson that is 100% ingrained in me is to wait awhile before thinking something is a success. It's so cool that another SLC LWer takes these things seriously - which is why you should help me put together an instrumental rationality subgroup. EDIT: I didn't see that you stop yourself from changing the ritual more frequently than every two weeks. That's something I myself have trouble with--I kept wanting to update my rituals every few days for awhile, until recently, when i decided to just say heck with the rituals for now, I'll just start with something easier.
0jpulgarin9yWhat is your 15 minute morning ritual?
2adamisom9yHaha, well that takes openness: first, I wash out my eyes, pee, drink about 8 oz water, and eat a bowl of cereal. This takes about 5 minutes. Then I log onto my computer and read a few posts from the archive of one of my favorite bloggers for about 10 minutes; this allows me to both wake up gradually and painlessly, and to start the day feeling a bit smarter and more inspired. After this I try to work on some of my most important work for the day to get that done early.
0MileyCyrus9yYou work at home?
0adamisom9yI kinda wish I did. No, I'm "just" a student. I mean, I'm going to be studying my whole life, so this is just a more concentrated, and credentialed, time of study. I don't even have a part-time job, although i did recently. The 'most important things' can be for school, psychology labs, clubs (including the LW Meetup I've started), or for more personal endeavors (like working on self improvement goals).
  • I'm still working on my blog series about the cogsci of humour, based heavily on Dennett's Inside Jokes, with some contributions from my virtual meetup group. I estimate that I'm about halfway through the series, but have had to go on hiatus while I do school-related stuff. I'm hoping really hard that I'll have enough spare time during spring break to re-read the relevant bits of the book so that I can write up the rest. Link is here.

  • Trying to extend my research project from last semester to new domains, while juggling an ambitious course load.

[-][anonymous]9y 3
  • Creating Anki cards for all the bolded words in Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. (I will post a link on LW when this is done.)
  • Trying to level up in writing ability by writing some short stories and some blog post-style intuitive explanations of computer science concepts.
  • Trying to level up in Python programming by doing the examples in "Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp" in Python. (A few years ago I picked up PAIP and learned Common Lisp from it, but from what I've heard Lisp is pretty muc
... (read more)
0Risto_Saarelma9yI'll be interested in knowing how you fare with translating the more metaprogramming-intensive parts, such as implementing a logic programming framework, of PAIP to Python. Lisp doesn't show up much these days, but it still does appear here and there. Moshe Looks developed a program optimization AI framework [http://metacog.org/doc.html] in Lisp, got hired by Google, and got to continue using Lisp [http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=362561] there, despite Google generally taking a pretty dim view on programming language proliferation, since his system apparently needs the sort of metaprogramming features that aren't easily available in other languages.
1[anonymous]9yAccording to Peter Norvig [http://norvig.com/python-lisp.html], manipulating the parse tree in Python is extremely difficult, so some I might have to skip a few of those sections.
[-][anonymous]9y 3

Inspired mostly by Tom Fiore's presentation in his excellent Music and Mathematics writing (found via John Baez from week 234 of TWFIMP), I am trying to understand the extent to which group theory can be used to analyze music. I've narrowed my sights at the moment to trying to understand the so-called ice cream changes (see also here), which is analyzed briefly on page 28 of Fiore's writing above. Since I don't know music theory or group theory very well, I'm picking up what I need as I go along. The next thing I'm trying to understand is centralizers, spe... (read more)

1grouchymusicologist9yGood for you for learning this material. Let me know if you want more suggestions for things to read concerning group theory and music theory.

Procrastinating on writing up a decision theory post (which is about 1.5 months late now) and figuring out what's relevant for agents with provability oracles to be able to solve PD, by instead mostly studying math.

A proof copy of the dead tree version of my novel Summons is in the mail to me. If that works out, I'm going to buy seven to give as gifts and six more to sell to people who say they want them signed. (If you want a signed one let me know - it's $10 list price plus a bubble mailer plus media mail shipping from me to you.) Silver should be done in about a month and a half and then that'll be available in dead tree or typeset ebook too.

1shminux9yAre you planning to get it published in a conventional sense?
0Alicorn9yNo, I'm not interested in traditional publishing. I have my beta readers, I got a professional proofreader friend to look through Summons, and I traded a free signed copy of the dead tree for typesetting help. And it's all still mine and I can still do whatever I want with it (including Creative Commonsing the whole thing without having to have Cory Doctorow's clout).
1shminux9yI suppose you can still ebook it on amazon...
1Alicorn9yYep.
[-][anonymous]9y 3

So the result I was working on previously is done -- four or five weeks after I finished writing my proposal. Suck it, planning fallacy. Today and tomorrow I'm going to work on writing it up carefully.

The new direction my project is taking is to get some quantitative idea of when exactly the result will hold. It's one of those things where we know it will hold for small epsilon, but that's useless to everyone unless we know how small epsilon needs to be. Given my schedule and teaching responsibilities this semester, I imagine I'll make reasonable amounts o... (read more)

Getting up to speed on C++11 after 10 years of steering clear of C++, now that they finally came out with the standard. Writing a roguelike game from scratch in modern C++ and looking for ways to express complex game logic in as readable and maintainable code as possible using various tricks and idioms.

I still haven't found the settings panel in my head that lets me switch the focus of obsessive tinkering into something other than game programming.

I've been lurking for some time but finally cannot resist posting in this thread. I've been working alone for some time now on an education startup. It's basically a website with math notes and questions for students. I've noticed that educational software hasn't really changed much over the last 2 decades. I could really really use some proper critism/feedback. Link (only works properly on Firefox for now). Feedback

How would you have done it? What probability do you give it of succeeding? How should I proceed? Thanks!

Studying neuroscience! Specifically going through Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience, which does a deep dive into different neurotransmitters and receptors among other things. Creating Anki cards as I go. I'm working on this for a bunch of reasons including hopes that it will help build a foundation I can use for letting me reduce mental properties people talk about down to neuroshit. More idealistically: it seems that almost no one in history has known what they actually are and that knowing this will (in some unknown way) positively change my life.

I have a math class where I get to work on anything I want. I'm currently researching ways to approximate Solomonoff Induction. I'll need to use some subset of the recursively enumerable function so that it's computable. Recently I found total functional programming as a way to accomplish this.

0AlanCrowe9yThe Primitive Recursive Functions [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_recursive_function] appear quite attractive as a subset of all computable functions. They always terminate, so one can use an enumeration to get a computable upper bound on Kolmogorov complexity. They look like they are rich enough that the upper bound could be low enough to be interesting.

I've been working on anti-akrasia software. Currently it allows a person to log their daily activities, and assess how 'productive' they have been each day.

What I envision is a program with a modular facility: people can suggest and code modules providing anti-akrasia techniques.

A user would configure the program: my goals are X and Y and the anti-akrasia techniques I am using are A, B and C. Then the user would operate the program for a few days logging their daily activities, including how much closer towards their goals this takes them.

A user could th... (read more)

Motivation/anti-procrastination life hacking research. Specifically, ironing out what specific things I can do to procrastinate less, and making them as easy to do as possible. Research is basically done, just working on implementing what I've found out. Pretty successful so far!

Understand Keith Stanovich's taxonomy of thinking problems, such as in Rationality and the Reflective Mind, to organize all my debiasing/rationality-increasing projects. Motivation for this is two-fold: One, it's helping me get up to speed on the dual-process literature, and two it's helping me understand where our rationality goes wrong.

0[anonymous]9yThink you can give a few pointers?
0alexvermeer9yMostly I'd say try actually doing some of the stuff in How to Beat Procrastination [http://lesswrong.com/lw/3w3/how_to_beat_procrastination/] and related posts, instead of just reading about them I'm completely guilty of doing this - I repeatedly caught myself putting off implementing advice by doing more and more research. Probably the most useful thing for me so far is this poster [http://lesswrong.com/lw/9wr/my_algorithm_for_beating_procrastination/5uqg] which helps trigger these behaviors.

One of my side projects is attempting to categorize all of the trade-offs that decision-makers in our universe face. As of a literature search in June 2010, I could find no good system to classify trade-offs, even though (and perhaps because) this is a topic that cuts across many disciplines (see Wikipedia). My main goal in doing this is to attempt to parse out the parameter space so that people can share insights across fields, although I have other goals as well.

The simplest example is probably speed vs accuracy. This comes up all the time in computer s... (read more)

Well, inspired by teaching a class on interference recently, I'm writing a program that will output pieces of music that hopefully sound like interfering waves.

[-][anonymous]9y 0

I am running an Ms Paint Adventures inspired adventure in their forum so far with some light rationality themes: Blockstuck.

I am also giving thought to designing a lazy-evaluated LISP derivative with CAS features, DSL for assembler JIT, category theoretical constructs, innocations in type systems, etc. So far not much in terms of code, since I lack a good language to implement it in. C++ has load of libraries but no GC, D has good GC but lacks libraries.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply

I've been working on a personal organisation web-app. Partly because it's fun, partly because hopefully it'll get to stage of being useful. Currently all data is basically private to each user (I have the only user account, though now that it's online it is open to new users). Features right now are calendars and diaries, with users being able create multiple iterations of each for whatever differing purposes.

One planned feature is the ability to have dialogues with oneself, (Alicorn's Luminosity Elspeth-style) between 1-8ish other named personalities / se... (read more)

Too many things.

I have my RA project, my project class project, 2 online classes through Stanford, 3 non-online classes, and then the things I'd like to do. It cashes out as 70-80 hours of work a week if I do as much as I should for everything.

I think my project for this week is trying to schedule everything effectively, and (relatedly) work on motivation management techniques to make sure that work is being done ahead of time instead of behind schedule. It's easy for me to crunch and finish everything that needs to be done today, at the cost of taking tom... (read more)

Does it count if I'm probably not going to make progress on it for a while? I never feel like I have time at school.