Willa's Shortform

by Willa21st Dec 202098 comments
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ToDo #1

  • I have previously read media consumption diet posts on LW and elsewhere that I thought were quite good and helpful. I need to:

    • Find the three most helpful to me such posts, search time cannot exceed 20 minutes.
  • Take a few minutes to assess the three chosen posts more carefully, identify where and how they ebb and flow in response to each other. Find the best flow and most correct-for-me ideas out of them.

  • Write 1st post detailing structured efforts for improving my media consumption diet to help improve my voicing voice capabilities.

    • Decide time span between 1st post and 2nd follow-up, reflective, post. Set calendar notifications for end of time span to write 2nd post.
  • At the marked date, write and publish 2nd post.

re: Shortform #50 "These efforts should help me notice and cultivate my "voice", and give voice to myself. Developing my thoughts into refined ideas and producing them is highly aligned with my interests, goals, and more, so I'm excited for this! (note to self: the actual methods for how I do these things and what I actually do, plus what my successes and failures turn out to be are good source material for two posts: 1 post detailing the plan and ... (read more)

6Robbo5moI enjoyed reading this and skimming through your other shortforms. I’m intrigued by this idea of using the short form as something like a journal (albeit a somewhat public facing one). Any tips, if I might want to start doing this? How helpful have you found it? Any failure modes?
2Willa5moCheers :) copied from bottom of post: "My #1 tip is to start writing shortforms, whatever you can do, give it a go :) try different strategies, write about different types of things, be more personal or less personal, fail publicly, and so on so you can see what works well for you and grow in the ways you want to grow!" Were there any parts you found particularly enjoyable, interesting, or even enlightening in some way? I'll share my experiences thus far writing these shortforms: * I definitely use these shortforms as a public journal or log, and I find that really helpful in several ways. * When I post something on the public internet (i.e. public http/https sites, not walled platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Discord, or otherwise) I find that it gives me more self-confidence, feels very "real" and tangible in a way that writing privately or posting on a private / walled platform does not (that realness and tangible "in the world" feel is good for me), and feels like a good avenue for "leveling up" in a variety of ways. * I value feedback, critique, suggestions, discussion, and so on from other people. I believe that a person becomes the best version of theirself, "levels up" more quickly and in a better way, and so on when practising their arts amongst a community of other practitioners, publicly. I don't do very well when it's just me by myself and while there are some forms of deliberate practice for some skills and arts that work okay-ish solo or require being solo occasionally, I'm at my very best when I'm learning and operating publicly in a community. So these shortforms help me learn and operate publicly in a community I care about and like being a part of, strengthen my efforts to learn and practise, and more. * These shortforms feel like a great way for me to practise writing publicly before doing the honestly scarier and more intimi

Shortform #50 Voicing Voice

My consume vs produce ratio is not well balanced, I consume dramatically more media, information, entertainment, and other such things compared to what I produce. How can I even notice let alone refine my own thoughts and opinions amidst the ruckus and maelstrom of external inputs rummaging around my mind constantly? Furthermore, many if not most of those external inputs don't actually pay rent, though there are (and in some ways quite notable) exceptions (e.g. what I learned reading The Sequences).

In response to this problem, I am altering my media consumption "diet" to restrict non-deliberate consumption and increase deliberate, focused, helpful consumption plus increase conscious production efforts to generate significantly more outputs / products than I do now.

These efforts should help me notice and cultivate my "voice", and give voice to myself. Developing my thoughts into refined ideas and producing them is highly aligned with my interests, goals, and more, so I'm excited for this! (note to self: the actual methods for how I do these things and what I actually do, plus what my successes and failures turn out to be are good source material for two po... (read more)

Shortform #20 It's time to hunt down a job!

Today was marvelous :)

  1. I walked 2.18 miles indoors while on phone calls; I did 20 pushups and 100 situps at noon.
  2. I virtually co-worked for about 2 hours and made good progress towards writing my review of Gears-Level Models are Capital Investments.
  3. I began organizing and packing up in preparation for moving.

It was pointed out to me that I keep working on a bunch of different things but haven't yet started searching for jobs, despite that finding a good job will enable me to move to Seattle and do more fun things in life. Point noted and taken to heart!

Job hunting is now my highest priority, and I will be focusing on that exclusively while virtually co-working plus will do that while doing productive stuff by myself too. I will continue writing my three reviews (for the LW2019Review) during non-workday hours / in my spare time, but my workday hours will be focused on job hunting.

Good luck y'all :)
Cheers,
Willa

2021 Week 1 Review 1 Jan - 9 Jan

This week saw rapid mood changes, a descent into depression, and many actions taken to combat the aforementioned things. I'm happy to report that the actions I took ultimately led to a significant improvement in and stabilization of my mood, the removal of depression and ascent to a slightly higher happiness set point than the week before, and I've learned some good things.

Most significant thing noticed or learned this week: Living alone is really bad for me. Runner up: The power of co-working!

Once I realized (noticed) that living alone is really bad for me, I talked with family and they accepted my request to relocate from where I'm living now to go live with them. Now that I have a plan that's actively being worked towards for combating the "living alone is really bad for me" thing, I've been much more capable of dismissing isolation or loneliness feelings and my mood has improved significantly.

I noticed that co-working (only virtual so far) can "rescue" a day that's going poorly or make an already good day a great day, because I enjoy the social interaction + getting shit done. This upcoming week I have to pack and organize a lot, but I will sched... (read more)

Shortform #16 The power of co-working!

Today was an excellent day :) I woke up late, but immediately started virtually co-working with a friend and during that time we both completed a nice amount of tasks. Jumping from "I'm finally awake now" to virtual co-working helped me stay on track this day, it was very effective and helpful.

I scheduled the January and February Houston Rationalists' meetups, replied to some messages, tidied up, walked for 30 minutes, and later hungout with a friend around a campfire outside, twas nice!

Tomorrow I will post my 2021 Week 1 Review by 13:00. I will also setup co-working sessions for next week, quite looking forward to those! Seems like I'll be getting a lot more extra physical activity starting tomorrow because I must start prepping to move cross country and that takes a fair bit of organization, packing, etc. physical effort.

I did not listen to music while writing this shortform.

Be well!
Cheers,
Willa

As expected, today was less productive than yesterday thanks to holiday stuff and doing an unexpected amount of physical activity. And that's okay! Tomorrow may be similar, sans the unexpected physical activity stuff probably.

I read Zvi's COVID Update and oy vey. Thanks to Zvi for writing those updates, I've found them witty, insightful, helpful, and so on! This particular update earned those attributes too, but damn was the subject matter a bummer, if 2021 turns into another plague year that will suck...hopefully enough vaccines are distributed and that t... (read more)

4Ben Pace10moI liked reading this :)
2Willa10moThanks! What in particular stood out to you / did you like?

Several very important to me people whom I love told me that they would rather die than live even a few hundred years or indefinitely, that they would not choose cryopreservation if life extension capabilities aren't advanced enough by their "natural time", and so on, when I asked them how they felt about immortality (scenario was: imagine that humanity figures out how to be immortal and there are no restrictions, anyone can have it if they want it, do you take it yes or no?).

There's too much deathism in this world, aahhhhhhhhh. I've already started to mou... (read more)

4Viliam4moOn average, as you grow older, your health gets worse. I suspect that many people make an interpolation of this process, and their idea of a 1000 years old person is kind of a zombie in a wheelchair screaming in pain. Arguably, a fate worse than death. (And if you are religious, or unable to talk, then choosing death is not even an option here.) So perhaps it would be better to talk about "more decades of youth" rather than extension of life-as-we-know-it. Another possible fear is of waking up in a bad future. (Which again may be worse than death, and suicide may not be an option.) I have no idea what are the actual probabilities here.
3Willa4moI suspect that a good deal of people make that assumption too, about what living past a certain age would be like. Or the bad future scenario. I've encountered people who believe either or both things, but once I frame the question and scenario as immortality with perpetual youth then the first concern almost always disappears. The majority of people I ask the question / scenario to, keep bringing up concerns about population and where all these immortality people are going to live. That's not really something I'm worried about, because the universe is very large and an assumption I make is that humanity would spread throughout the stars if immortal, but I don't have a great specific answer regarding the population concerns people have mentioned. Actually, religious people with strong faith in their religion's conception of an afterlife are the most likely to choose eventual death over immortality in my experience, because they believe that one their time is up on Earth, they simply die and go to their religion's afterlife, and they find that very strongly preferable to living perpetually in the material world.
2Viliam4moFor the religious ones, perhaps a good frame would be "young for 1000 years", so that they can still enjoy the afterlife. More time to do the earthly stuff, and the afterlife is supposed to be infinite anyway. Population... the best case would be something like "people are young forever, but they can only have kids during the first few decades". Anyway, with exponential growth we would run out of resources even without immortality. And if there is ever a law against exponential growth, like "only 2 kids per a pair of adults", then immortality would mean a linearly growing population, which should be doable somehow. But yeah, this is difficult to explain, and requires some faith in either space travel or linear increases in food production.
1Willa4moI made the following claim in reply to wunan's comment below: "I make this claim: Individuals with sufficiently strong religious beliefs in a religion that has an afterlife will more often than not prefer to die on the "mortal plane" and go to their faith's afterlife than continue living (even in good health and restored to youth, etc.) for [100 more years] [300 more years] [lots more years] [the rest of time]." I think there would be variation even amongst individuals with strong faith in the afterlife of their religion regarding how long they may wish to keep living when restored to youth, but I do think more often they would eventually prefer to die instead of living indefinitely. I think your point "More time to do the earthly stuff, and the afterlife is supposed to be infinite anyway" is a good one, and agree that it'd likely motivate some such individuals to keep living some amount longer, though for how long I'm not sure. I do think there would be some such individuals who would not choose life extension past humanity's current "natural" (scare quotes for a reason) lifespan though. As I mentioned in my reply to wunan, I don't want to make a claim and forever rely on anecdote to support it, so I'll look for some research on this topic and see if anyone has researched the sorts of questions one would expect for this topic and if so, what they found. I have a reactionary knee-jerk reaction against controlling peoples' reproductive capabilities / rights / choices, in addition to finding that idea pretty awful and horrifying, and would like to find a way for humanity to get immortality yet not have to place any sort of reproductive restrictions on anyone: I don't want to live in a world where there are such restrictions, because I think that's wrong and goes against some essential aspect of being human. But I do understand that figuring out resources for a potentially exponentially growing population is an exceptionally hard problem, that just means we should h
2Pattern4moArguably, self modification might be different from continuing to exist (comparatively) unchanged.
1wunan4moThey'll almost definitely change their minds once we have good treatments for aging.
1Willa4moI know some will, but that's too optimistic and ignores the preferences / experiences of a huge amount of people, because there are categories of people who prefer death over immortality for whom the aging process doesn't factor in to their choice on that matter. Especially people with strong faith in their religion's afterlife.
0wunan4moWhat I mean is that they haven't really considered it. As I'm sure you're aware, your mind does not work like most people's. When most people consider the question of whether they'd like to die someday, they're not really thinking about it as if it were a real option. Even if they give detailed, logically coherent explanations for why they'd like to die someday, they haven't considered it in in near mode [https://www.overcomingbias.com/2010/06/near-far-summary.html]. I am very confident of this -- once they have the option, they will not choose to die. Right now they see it as just an abstract philosophical conversation, so they'll just say whatever sounds nice to them. For a variety of reasons, "I'd like to die someday; being immortal doesn't appeal to me" sounds wise to a lot of people. But once they have the actual option to not die? Who's going to choose to die? Only people who are suicidally depressed or who are in very extreme cults will choose that.
1Willa4moI wonder what the research area for "finding out whether people with strong beliefs in a religious afterlife of some kind change their minds near death regarding wanting to die vs wanting to go to that afterlife" is called? I do think you underestimate the strength of religious individual's convictions and the impact of that on their decisionmaking especially near death if they have significant faith in their religion's conception of an afterlife (assuming it has one). Still...staring imminent death in the face does spur many changes whenever an individual experiences that, so maybe that does shake things up...but, I'm not sure how much hope I place in that idea without seeing some research around the topic. I make this claim: Individuals with sufficiently strong religious beliefs in a religion that has an afterlife will more often than not prefer to die on the "mortal plane" and go to their faith's afterlife than continue living (even in good health and restored to youth, etc.) for [100 more years] [300 more years] [lots more years] [the rest of time]. I make that claim because of my experiences interacting with individuals who have very strong faith in their religious beliefs, including interacting with such individuals when they are near death. I need to figure out what kind of research people have already done that points in the direction of that claim and see what others have found, then I can pursue this inquiry further. I don't want to make a claim and forever rely on anecdote to support it!
-1Dagon4moTalk is cheap. Someone who says "I want to die eventually" isn't actually invested in the answer - it's just them justifying to themselves why they're not exercising, eating right, and otherwise planning for a long future.
3Viliam4moThis is very uncharitable. For many people, living forever is simply not a realistic option. Heck, many rationalists give it a chance around 10%, and that already involves a lot of belief in progress, which many people don't have. Also, people are not automatically strategic. For example, religious people believe that sin can bring them eternity in hell, and they still keep sinning.
2Pattern4moArguably that's internal conflict. (Or, alternatively, what point is there in the religion if religious people are perfect?)
1garbageactual4moBelieving in hell is the strategy against sinning.
3Willa4moYou're assuming a lot about other peoples' experiences and motivations, the internal experience that my aforementioned love ones have described to me looks not at all similar to what you said. While their internal experiences and their desire for eventual death are alien thought processes, emotions, and experiences to me, I do notice that the people-space of people who prefer eventual death to immortality contains a pretty wide variety of reasonings and internal experiences for why they prefer that eventual death...including surprisingly well thought out and sophisticated and logically coherent answers. Some people genuinely want to die eventually rather than live indefinitely, and that mindset / preference is so alien to mine own that it's a struggle to accept that people believe such things and have such preferences, but I keep encountering people who do so it seems to be true. However, I can see how what you said might be an internal experience for some people within people-space, it does check out and pass my anecdotal experience test at least (I've encountered some people who, per their description of internal experience, are likely similar to the mindset you described). I like to ask people their preferences on this matter, so I've heard a lot different answers to the "death vs immortality" questions, and while I've encountered some people who have a strong or neutral preference for immortality, I've encountered a surprisingly high amount of people who would prefer death, and that sucks.

Shortform #41 Feeling Good

Today was an excellent day :)

  1. I walked a little over 3 miles (~7200 steps) today plus ate decently.
  2. I felt great upon waking up in the morning.
  3. I was virtually social for ~2 hours today.
  4. I tore through the garage and got most of the old tech stuff out of their various boxes and almost ready for recycling. (PLEASE RECYCLE YOUR OLD ELECTRONICS, do not throw them away; most cities or metropolitan areas have somewhere you can take most if not all of your electronics for recycling. Please please please recycle that stuff, throwing it
... (read more)

Shortform #38

Today was a good day :)

I successfully dialed back the Worm reading and only read for a few hours instead of many hours. I was virtually social for about 2 hours, took care of some moving related tasks, wrote this shortform, and am going to bed at a decent time.

To tomorrow!
Willa

5mingyuan9moGood job! I often have trouble limiting my fiction consumption, so I'm proud of you for noticing the problem and then addressing it so quickly!
1Willa9moThanks! It's difficult, but noticing is an important first step :) That being said, I read more today than yesterday, so a little progress lost, but, I read less than on the 1st, so a small victory nevertheless.

Shortform #25 Work Work Zug Zug

I enjoyed today!

  1. I practised more CS fundamentals via coding in Swift for about 5 hours and 30 minutes.
  2. I spent about 3 hours being virtually social, it was nice.
  3. I spent 1 hour doing chores and miscellaneous < 5 min tasks
  4. I logged my calories today, ~2226kcal
  5. I successfully used gtimelog to log my time for the day, but I found copy + pasting the whole log to the shortform onerous and not that valuable, so I'm only mentioning the time spent doing things congruent to stated goals.

Unfortunately, I did not exercise today. ... (read more)

Today was a lovely but very tiring day, I had a great day!

I continued reading Steve Silberman's NeuroTribes for a bit today, but otherwise didn't read much at all today because of all my time going elsewhere. Looking forward to settling in for a few hours of reading tomorrow though :)

My time spent exercising today was much lower than yesterday, but that's because most of my time was spent with family, plus I got roped in to help clean for a few hours (which counts as some physical activity, yay!). After cleaning for a few hours I stole 30 minutes to run ou... (read more)

I have attended 2 CrossFit classes each week for the past two weeks! I will attend 2 classes this week and push for doing 3 classes a week starting next week. Finally getting into a habit of regular exercise each week (it's still not a huge amount, but I'm growing that habit!) makes me feel fantastic, and I'm so happy I've done this.

I'll be in Las Vegas later this week to party and have some fun :) If you're reading this and have recommendations for what to do, where to go, etc. I'm happy to hear your recommendations.

You should listen to the "Having a succ... (read more)

Shortform #10

Writing that weekly review yesterday challenged me motivationally, but I pushed through the ugh and wrote it anyways, I'm very happy about that, it was quite helpful to write.

Perhaps one of the most valuable products of writing that weekly review was that of noticing.

Reviewing my past week, the shortforms from that week, and other things focused my attention on things I would have otherwise missed, and thus helped me notice what I improved, what I completed, what I failed at, what was challenging, and so on. I'm deliberately incorporating more... (read more)

I'm taking a few minutes now to write what comes to mind, reflect on my day, plan, organize, blah blah blah.

Today was a good and productive day!

I successfully avoided Hacker News, didn't doomscroll at all on any site, and completed >50% of things I listed in yesterday's shortform!

Didn't read much today outside of light LW post skimming and chugging through a book while sitting in the car and waiting (had to wait a few times for >5 minutes in the car today but that's why keeping a book in the car at all times comes in handy; note: I always shut the en... (read more)

Shortform #61 In Which Half a Month Passed, Unexpectedly

Whoosh is the best way to describe the last ~17 days. Time to make some adjustments, it's not pleasant nor desirable when time goes by so quickly while barely noticing it passing. A surprisingly illegible and inscrutable 17 days, unfortunately.

Adjustments:

  • daily shortform writing: this will increase legibility and potential for reflection regarding each day(s) and week(s)
  • increase fruits & vegetables consumption: this will improve my nutrition
  • step back down one increment on X: the increase of on
... (read more)

Shortform #59 The Great Outdoors and Good Conversations; Hammertime Days 6 (Mantras) and 7 (Aversion Factoring)

Yesterday we went hiking for 3 hours around the absolutely stunning hills / mountain surrounding Devil's Lake, Wisconsin. The road trip there and back was fun and picturesque too, Wisconsin is gorgeous. We had dinner with one friend's friend at a grand café in town and that was lovely, great food and great conversation.

Today we went to an excellent brunch at one friend's friend's house and spent several lovely hours there eating great food and hav... (read more)

Shortform #55 Alons-y; Hammertime Day 1 - Bug Hunt

I spent the first ~10 minutes of my workday creating my day's agenda. It turns out that setting a timer for 10 minutes before doing any work for the day to create an agenda for the day is a most excellent and helpful ritual, so I'm doing that from here on out.

I scheduled very aggressively and didn't leave buffer time, so tomorrow I'll add 5-10 minutes of buffer time between each non-travel-required / other unavoidable time sink item on my schedule and see if that's enough. Despite the no buffer time and mul... (read more)

Shortform #49 Specificity

I mostly talk about my own life in these shortforms, and I'm partly okay with that, because doing so has been nice and helpful for me thus far, but I want to talk about other stuff too. So, I'll work other sorts of topics into these posts as I desire: right now I want to learn more about and discuss specific life interventions others have tried and the resulting effects from said interventions. Time to ask that question via the site's "New Question" feature!

If you haven't yet read Liron's Specificity Sequence you should go check it... (read more)

Shortform #40 Egads! A Title, but not a real Title.

Today was nice :)

  1. I was virtually social for >4 hours today. This includes the 3 hours I attended and facilitated the Houston Rationalists meetup, which was quite a fun and nice meetup, I had a good time and we had a few new members!
  2. Today's step count was ~9871 steps, for about 4.1 miles of distance walked. A large part of that came from walking around a field for an hour or so during the afternoon, it felt great to go walking outside again.
  3. Completed initial onboarding for a new project, excited to s
... (read more)

Shortform #34 Unable to Formulate Title

Today was an excellent day :)

  1. Had a morning interview and it went well! I'm now doing volunteer software development for a cool place, and am excited for that :) It is very helpful and good experience for me to gain.
  2. My neighbor brought us over taco soup and cornbread, and it was fantastic, thank you to her!
  3. I walked 5.3 miles today, 13,263 steps
  4. I was virtually social for a few hours.

I am continuing to read Worm and am really enjoying it!

Yay for the weekend :)
Willa

Shortform #29 Almost Back on the Wagon!

Today was an excellent day :) I did not stick to the schedule I put together, but writing it last night was helpful since I had it for reference today. I allowed myself to sleep in and that seems to have helped considerably in many ways.

  1. I logged my calories today, totaled ~2230kcal
  2. I was virtually social for >4 hours via phone calls
  3. I was up and active for the majority of the time I was on the phone, I spent >5 hours packing and organizing things today. (including but not limited to, boxing up all 375+ of my b
... (read more)

Shortform #26 Oh wow, a marathon of posts! Also, mild ranting.

Today was good, but felt very split into three pieces. The morning, the trip into town, and the rest of the day: I did productive things for almost three hours in the morning, then drove into the nearby big city for my doctor's appointment, and several hours passed before I got home. The doctor's appointment was great! All good things, but when you have to drive for so long there and back, that does take quite a chunk out of the day. The rest of the day started around 15:30 and went nicely too :... (read more)

Shortform #22 Packing, Organizing, and Preparing.

Today was a good day.

I spent most of it going through things, throwing away, organizing, sorting, and packing said things depending on what they were, and got a lot done in preparation for moving because of that. I'm looking forward to finishing up my resume tomorrow and getting feedback on it then finishing up my profile on the job sites I made an account on.

I've enjoyed watching the most recent season (part 3 IIRC) of Disenchantment as well, and apparently The Magicians has a new season too, exciting!

Happy... (read more)

Shortform #21 Functional strength training and job hunting, oh my.

I had a most excellent day :)

  1. I created accounts on job posting sites and started hunting.
  2. Joined a discord video call with two friends and we did 30 minutes of functional strength training together, I am now really sore, but am happy I worked out!
  3. I did virtual co-working for ~3 hours.

My resume is out of date and pretty bad, I'll fix it up tomorrow using RMarkdown and other nice R things so that my newly created resume will be up to date AND pretty / well styled. I'm meeting (virtually) ... (read more)

Shortform #11

Welcome to the new year! same as the old year As promised, I am resuming my daily shortforms :)

The last 4 or 5 days were simultaneously the worst and best days I've experienced in quite awhile.

Best: Hanging out with great friends on the 31st and 1st, this was fantastic, I had an amazing time. (yes, we all tested negative for COVID prior to deciding to hangout) | Having an emotional breakthrough realization

Worst: The descent into cripplingly bad depression from loneliness late on the 1st once I was alone again. Feeling shattered from isolation ... (read more)

Holidays are great, I'm extending my enjoyment of this one through the end of the weekend. Shortforms will return with #11 on Monday the 4th :)

Today marks day 7 of daily shortform writing, tomorrow will mark day 8, and so on :)

Yay for one week of daily shortform writing! Feels like a nice accomplishment, now I'm aiming for one month.

In an "ironic for 2020" turn of events, I did not contract COVID from the family Christmas gathering, no, that test came back negative thankfully. I contracted the plain ol' flu instead, and this is probably why I was so tired yesterday and why my ear has been hurting. Much of today was spent resting and the other half of it was spent at the doctor trying to get diagn... (read more)

Much shorter update for today, since today was quite bifurcated. Morning to early afternoon were chaotic and all consuming until I dropped my parents off at the airport. Afterwards I was tired and settled down on the couch for a bit, but eventually got up, took the dogs to the field (the grass was less soggy today than yesterday), and walked for two miles. That's all the exercise I did though, and it was quite a leisurely walk, so I think today was my "rest" day. I'm happy I went walking outside, that was fun plus the dogs enjoyed it too!

I did some virtual... (read more)

Shortform #56 Travel; Hammertime Day 2 - Yoda Timers

I followed my media diet today except regarding Discord, plus didn't get in my full reserved hours of work. On the whole, I was reasonably productive, but didn't focus my actions very well today.

This evening we had a Houston Rationalists virtual meetup which went quite well! Had a new attendee, several regulars, and great discussion. We focused a lot of the discussion on timelessness, or, why is it some ideas, cultural practices, books, etc. survive over the long term whereas others do not (yes the lindy ... (read more)

Shortform #19 Meetups are great!

Today was an excellent day :)

  1. I spent about 4 hours on direct messaging and caught up on almost all my inboxes! The time per day required for giving timely responses to each person will now decrease thanks to being caught up. I enjoyed talking with everyone I talked with, and look forward to those continuing conversations :)
  2. I walked indoors for 2.3 miles, that was nice.
  3. I had a great time at today's Houston Rationalists Virtual Meetup, it lasted about four hours and was quite fun! I have some good ideas for what to do at f
... (read more)

2020 Week 52 Review: 21 Dec - 28 Dec

I do best when I have a structure to work with as a scaffolding when dealing with life and everything that entails. The weekly review process will be one of several structures I'm purposely building into my life so that I can be a more focused and concentrated general intelligence entity: this has the great benefit of helping me align my actions with my goals, plus you know, helping me to actually identify and remember my goals explicitly.

Last week I completed 8 of my major weekly ToDo items and failed to complete 7 of t... (read more)

1Willa10moToday is the only time I'm allowing my weekly review post to count as my daily shortform update (tis #9). This will not occur again in the future.

Well, daily shortform posts do get significantly more boring while sick, unfortunately :(

I've scaled back a lot of my activities and plans so that I can rest and get over the flu more quickly.

However! I have successfully overcome giving in to the temptation to fully go into a cocoon and not do anything, i.e. I have avoided totally isolating myself which is a habit I've routinely fallen into while sick in the past. My plan of being extraordinarily more (virtually) social to prevent the onset of depression is really paying off! I spent the majority of active... (read more)

I'm taking a few minutes now to write what comes to mind, reflect on my day, plan, organize, blah blah blah.

(1) Tomorrow I will record the amount of time I spend reading and what site I was on (or book / physical reference material if not on a computer / is offline but on a computer) using a stopwatch. I want to know how much time I spend reading what and where I read it.

(2) I am taking a temporary break from Hacker News, the next time I'm allowing myself to go there and mine for dopamine (I mean, search for novel and cool things) is Monday the 28th at 14:... (read more)

2Willa10moNote to self, since I have the markdown editor activated, I can make my posts more nicely formatted by actually using markdown. Time to print out my favorite markdown cheatsheet: https://rstudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/rmarkdown-cheatsheet.pdf [https://rstudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/rmarkdown-cheatsheet.pdf]

Writing is great for me, but I do way too little writing. I put my feelings about this into a small poem, here: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/vMNPQvFfgNmRWsJBi/intake-rumble-spew

Since shortform posts are, short and don't require high epistemic confidence and seem compatible with social media style posting, I will now write shortform posts regularly so that I get at least some writing done. This will help process the torrent of data and thoughts swirling around in my head like some chaotic vortex. It's hard to do anything with that vortex there, but writi... (read more)

4adamzerner10moI can really relate to this. I too experience that vortex and find that writing helps with it, in addition to just helping me reason about things. I wrote about it in Writing to Think [https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/SKQmvZMTY6zQf3Ktc/writing-to-think] if you're interested.
2Willa10moThanks for sharing that post as well as your experiences and struggles with writing! Down with the vortex, heh :( I'm glad writing helps you wrangle it down to something more manageable as well. I agree with everything you said in your post about writing. I believe writing has such positive efficacy regarding thinking clarity, mental health improvement, expanding "smarts", and has power, and so on because it is a cognitive prosthetic. Writing is a tool our species developed that extends the capabilities of not only an individual's working memory, their total information storage capacity, their scope sensitivities, and more, but does the exact same things for entire civilizations, for our entire species as a whole. Writing seems to be "a more communicative form of communication" (see below quote), a process which results in a product that explicitly separates the act of thinking with what was thought, leaving what was thought as an object in the world one can interact with and channel the act of thinking against. On repeat! As more gets written, more acts of thinking are channeled against what's written and more products of thinking are generated. In a very real way, writing might be the most powerful recursive self and civilizational improvement tool that we humans have, given that it's the most communicative form of communication and allows for such separation between the act of thinking and the product of thought. Much of what I think about writing comes from reading different products of though targeted at writing over the years such as Umberto Eco's "How to Write a Thesis", hundred of blog posts about writing, A.G. Sertillanges' "The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods", casual discussions with friends about writing, Cyril Connolly's "Enemies of Promise" (this book broke my ability to write for a semester in college, such was its power), and more. I should make an actual list of these influences! More recently my thinking about writing, think

Shortform #64 Building Deliberate and Helpful Systems for Increasing Goal-Aligned Actions

The Guild of the ROSE's beta phase courses begin this week, and I'm happy to be participating! I like the organizational model of the guild, the mission and vision, the guild's fundraising model, the community, etc. I'm excited to see where this all goes and am enjoying my participation + cohort membership thus far, I've already gained good things from it.

Making and using deliberately designed systems for creating, organizing, managing, etc. knowledge work, creative wo... (read more)

Shortform #63 Something Hopeful

I'm writing this shortform while listening to this song: https://open.spotify.com/track/7BpaJerjwq1LCvInJevW74?si=39872be743b34768

I believe that's inspired the title, the song does inspire a feeling of hope in me as well as wonder.

This is a short shortform, not much to go on about today other than it was a better day than yesterday, and I'm happy about that! There was a Houston Rationalists meetup tonight which went well and was fun, I'm glad I participated in that, I had a good time. I did better regarding my media diet toda... (read more)

Shortform #62 Ah, Commitments | Getting Out

I said I would resume daily shortform writing (among other things), and I am doing so. Thus this :)

Generating communication right now feels extremely difficult. Wow. But, I'm doing so because of the myriad benefits which come from writing publicly like this. And the communication gets easier as I type each word. Break through the block / barrier!

Despite the difficulty of translating experiential matters into communicable form, the above short paragraph represents a reasonably adequate insight into the experiences ... (read more)

Shortform #60 Back From Vacation

All of Wednesday [28 July] was spent travelling, as there were significant delays to my flight thanks to thunderstorms occurring on the flight path. Made it home safely though, but spending most of the day in airports or on airplanes is not the most fun sort of day.

I had an extremely good time on vacation in and around Madison, Wisconsin! What a lovely, pleasant, and beautiful place, I'll be happy to visit again one day.

Today I unpacked, rested, applied for a really cool job, and generally recombobulated (fun fact: the Milwa... (read more)

Shortform #58 Day of Good Fun; Hammertime Day 5 - Comfort Zone Expansion (CoZE)

Today was wonderful, my friends and I started the day off with a nice short breakfast then spent about an hour and a half coworking and getting some things done each. We then went to a local Indian restaurant and met with one of my friend's friends and ate amazing food while having great conversations, it was a lovely time! Then we went to a few local parks for the next 3-4 hours and spending the whole afternoon outdoors in nature was fantastic. We then went back to the house, r... (read more)

Shortform #57 Some Adjustments; Hammertime Days 3 (TAPs) and 4 (Design)

Yesterday was a day of travel, noticing the inadequacy and lack of public spaces, and happily hanging out with friends I haven't seen in awhile.

Today was quite nice, I don't particularly enjoy travel days so it was pleasant sleeping in a small bit and not having to deal with travel and instead go spend time around city with friends. I've noticed that despite being on vacation, I really want to spend time working and getting things done, and am frustrated that some of the improvement are... (read more)

Shortform #54 Preparation

Today I alternated between resting, having fun, and getting the word out about the Hammertime Sequence group I'm leading (we start tomorrow, join us!). I suspect we may gain a new member or few to the group even after starting since I have a bit more promotion to do tomorrow morning.

I'm looking forward to engaging with my media diet and new habits, doing Hammertime, and somehow also doing those things while on vacation in a few days, should be fun :)

For now though, rest is best, so to bed I go.

Shortform #53 Train Goes Choo Choo

I'm back aboard the daily shortform writing train as mentioned in my media diet post

I'm running a group through the Hammertime sequence!. We start Monday 19 July, 2021. If you're interested and want to do that, join the Houston Rationalists discord server, that's where group communications and activities will take place; https://discord.gg/kmZy5ny

I think completing the Hammertime sequence is a nice complementary activity to my media diet + habit changes, should prove beneficial to me, and will likely be fun since I'm doing... (read more)

Legibility of the self, coherency of thoughts, and focused deliberate actions seem all very important ideas plus states of being to pursue and continue exploring. They all seem to reinforce and strengthen each other, for one. Additionally, it seems like pursuing such things is how one moves forward or "levels up" in important and significant ways.

Shortform #52 Some Successes

I met my job application count goal for last week, and increased that count for this week.

This week I will also be determining what exactly I want out of a PhD program and see what compatible programs exist, if any (especially at University of Washington). Leveraging grad school deliberately(what a fantastic post, thank you Andrew for writing that) seems a good path for what I am pursuing as my career and would provide me with invaluable training, experiences, access, mentorship, and more for that.

The anti-depressant I started a... (read more)

Shortform #51 Sprinting to the Future

I am job hunting now, looking for writing, analysis, managerial, business development, or junior software engineering positions (any of those roles are fine, plus I'm open to other kinds of roles on a case-by-case basis) that are either fully remote or located in Seattle where I'm looking to relocate ASAP. This is my linkedin profile and this is my EAHub profile(if you aren't familiar with EAHub, go check them out! they are a global directory for effective altruists to connect).

I finished writing Voicing Voice and poste... (read more)

Shortform #48 Go Outside, Self

On 14 Jan, 2021 for Shortform #20 I said it was time to find a job. So far, no new job. That's because I haven't applied for a single job since writing that post. Ouch. I've enjoyed not working quite a bit, plus I focused on moving instead of job hunting.

I guess the hard part begins now, because I still don't want to find a new job, because I still really enjoy not having one and being able to just live. Especially now that I can walk <5 minutes to the beach and hangout on the beach, just living seems really nice.

I never be... (read more)

Shortform #47 A New Place

I drove across the country to the new house, arrived there safely after ~2 days of travel, and then rested for a few days. I'm excited about living in a new place, time to start unpacking and exploring :)

LibrePlanet 2021 is this weekend, here's the schedule if that's something you're interested in, I'll be checking several of the sessions out for sure.

Feels like there are a ridiculous amount of things I need and/or want to do now that I've moved, I'll spend some time early tomorrow setting priorities, then will adjust things as nee... (read more)

Shortform #46 Git Pushin'

Today was chaotic, but overall decent.

  • I walked ~10,000 steps.
  • Did not waste time on the internet prior to 5pm (I will continue these restrictions tomorrow, because they work and are good for me; I am happier and get more done when I follow them).
  • Logged my time and what I accomplished throughout the day.
  • Submitted my first functionality-changing pull request (with commit from my forked repo's branch) to an open source project, thus hopefully finishing the ticket on github I was assigned (still under review).
  • Was virtually social
... (read more)

Shortform #45 Successes and Walking Around

Today was a good day :)

I walked ~20,000 steps, successfully avoided time-wasting on the internet prior to 5pm, logged my time taken on different tasks / spent on things, worked on currently-secret-project for a solid 2 hours, worked on several other things, and more.

Tomorrow I'm prioritizing finishing that ticket on github, need to get that done. I'll also work on currently-secret-project, do some writing, and some other things that need to get done.

Not wasting any time on the internet until after 5pm made for a mu... (read more)

Shortform #44 Only Kill Time After 5pm

I want more Alive Time and less Dead Time; b. To facilitate that, I will no longer allow myself to use the internet for any purpose that is not expressly related to what I'm specifically focusing on accomplishing at that moment, prior to 5pm each day except Sunday.

Unfortunately, I waste a lot of time browsing many different sites, watching YouTube, watching Netflix, scrolling through Discord servers, and so on, during any and all times of the day. Thus I'll try living under the above self-imposed restriction and see ho... (read more)

5John_Maxwell7moI suspect you will be most successful at this if you get in the habit of taking breaks away from your computer when you inevitably start to flag mentally. Some that have worked for me include: going for a walk, talking to friends, taking a nap, reading a magazine, juggling, noodling on a guitar, or just daydreaming.
1Willa7moThanks for sharing your experiences and recommendations :) Going for a walk usually helps me out, and today was no exception (I walked almost 20,000 steps today split between two main walking sessions and misc daily tasks). I talked with friends while walking most of the time, that was a nice bonus. Right now I don't have access to my desktop (it is packed for moving) so have been working primarily off of my laptop: being able to simply close the lid and walk away when flagging or otherwise needing a break helps a lot and feels much more satisfying in the moment than clicking a few buttons to put my desktop to sleep.

Shortform #43 Egress Shell

~27 days ago I wrote shortform #42 and mentioned that I experienced a very low low that day, among other things, and gave a super vague description of said low: "The very low low sucked, but I don't want to talk about it further here. I will be okay, and I have a good support system to talk about it with." For the following 25 days or so I stopped writing, withdrew into a shell, and alternated between hiding in that shell and frantically packing the house up. That sucked :( I don't want to stay in a shell anymore, so i'm kicking i... (read more)

Shortform #42 Ah, more writing.

Today had good highs and a very low low. The high points came from having a very small birthday dinner and consuming good food with a few others, being virtually social with friends (we played some rounds in Paladins and did okay, twas fun), and from being reasonably productive during the "4 hours of digital tasks" time in the morning. The very low low sucked, but I don't want to talk about it further here. I will be okay, and I have a good support system to talk about it with.

I was successful regarding 2 from yesterday's ToD... (read more)

Shortform #39

Today was a decent day :)

  1. I read Worm more than yesterday, but less than on the 1st, so that was good.
  2. I job hunted for an hour.
  3. I was virtually social for 3 or so hours, and also completed an errand I needed to do.

Had a strange and stressful thing occur today, but I will be okay and things are fine.

Be well,
Cheers,
Willa

Shortform #37 Obsession

Today was a decent day.

I've become obsessed with reading Worm, I'm at section 24-something. I'll dial the reading back tomorrow so that I can do things I need to do.

Be well,
Cheers,
Willa

Shortform #36 Taking It Easy

As the title says, I took it easy today. Not much physical activity nor much strenuous activity really of any kind. I continued reading Worm, being virtually social, and effectively chilled for much of the day. I'm happy I did that and feel eager for the new week to start.

Here's to a great week!
Cheers,
Willa

Shortform #35

Today was a bit stressful, but otherwise was quite nice :) Most of the stress came from cleaning + organizing the house, there was a lot to do but it got done.

  1. I did virtual co-working for about 2 hours, though couldn't focus on anything digital during that time so I completed purely analog tasks. I've found it's always easier to focus on analog tasks than anything that requires the use of digital tools / is digital, uncertain as to why. Perhaps the immediate physicality of analog things is nice?
  2. I walked about 2.7 miles today.
  3. I wrote this s
... (read more)

Shortform #33 A Good Day

  1. I walked ~4 miles today, and consumed ~2080kcal (other physical activity included ripping rotted boards off a car trailer since we're putting new boards on it prior to actually using it to tow things; destruction like that is fun)
  2. I was virtually social for > 3 hours
  3. I wrote this shortform

I started reading Worm and it has been quite fun so far. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, lot's of good things going on.

Be well!
Willa

Shortform #32 Yay for Life Logging

Not much exciting to report, I existed for another day and that was lovely :)

  1. I was virtually social via phone calls for over 3 hours (pacing included!)
  2. I left the house to run an errand, and I will be leaving the house tomorrow to run another errand (masks on of course)
  3. I wrote this shortform instead of skipping writing it :)

I'll be back tomorrow, ciao.

Cheers,
Willa

1Willa9moI've been listening to Koan quite a bit lately, and was listening to their album Why? when I wrote tonight's shortform. Check it out! [https://open.spotify.com/album/608EBlkVm55RtD29hloZO3?si=uu_xZtysTnCP2TvVDhby7g]

Shortform #31 VE404, Title Not Found

I'm back! A day later than originally planned, but, I have returned and am continuing to write these daily shortforms, because they are helpful and good to me. I'm writing and posting my week 3 review tomorrow evening, and there will be a shortform for the day posted after that.

Not much I want to say right now other than I'm happy to be writing these again, the two days not writing them (effectively three days because Saturday's shortform was bad and almost nonexistent) felt off in ways I didn't expect beforehand.

Writing... (read more)

Shortform #30 Sabbath hard and go home

I'll be back Monday, ta!

Shortform #28 What's going on?

I woke up feeling fried, extra crispy, with no motivation and everything was grey, even the outdoors (the weather was literally a hazy drizzly grey all day, and not the good kind, was more of the bad swampy kind). What I noticed feeling yesterday and then throughout today correlate reasonably well with a depression episode trying to take root. I'd prefer for that not to happen, because those aren't fun, and I have things to do. Time for interventions! (to be detailed later in the post)

  1. I practised Swift for about 1 hour and 3
... (read more)

Shortform #27 A Day of Meandering

I don't think today was a bad day, I definitely enjoyed many parts of it, but I wasn't really a focused human being today. I didn't begin coding practice until 14:50, and I suspect that's part of why I was so less focused today. Instead of practising coding first thing after waking up like I had been doing, I instead read Hacker News, LessWrong, and elsewhere, finished a task that required some concentration, and had several interruptions. I was considerably grumpier today than usual as time passed too, which was odd.

I thin... (read more)

Shortform #24 Reflecting and Doing

Today was a good day!

  1. I wrote and published my weekly review before my deadline!
  2. I talked with a friend on the phone for 2 hours and walked around the whole time, netting me 7555 steps for the whole day
  3. I practised CS fundamentals (including algorithms, mostly the wall follower i.e. right-hand-rule algorithm) via coding in Swift for 4 hours and 30 minutes.
  4. I found a calorie counting app and logged my calories for the day: ~2050kcal
  5. I used gtimelog to log my time for the day! (I didn't log literally everything, just the ma
... (read more)

2021 Week 2 Review 10 Jan - 16 Jan: Co-Working FTW! Also...Stop Signalling, WTB Quantitative Data and Reasoning!

I recall enjoying last week, but wow did I endorse each day strongly in my shortforms. It is true that last week was substantially better than the week prior to it, and I don't recall nor have records of bad things or bad feels occurring last week, so I'll stand by my strong endorsements of the days last week.

Thus, what an excellent week!

Re, Stop signalling: "I spent most of it going through things, throwing away, organizing, sorting, and packing... (read more)

Shortform #23 Extant

I enjoyed today, but it definitely wasn't a very productive day. I woke up late, then jumped in for an hour of virtual co-working and looked a resume templates / ideas + discussed resume and job site profile strategies. Afterwards I cleaned and organized the house for an hour and a half, followed by showering + getting ready. I drove into town for an early dinner outdoors with three friends then picked up my Dad from the airport, and have been relaxing since getting home.

I think the best thing to do is go to bed early and wake up tomorrow ready for a new day!

Yay it's the weekend!
Willa

Shortform #18 The downsides of procrastination, otherwise a great day.

Today was a mostly great day!

  1. I spent about 4 hours today engaged in virtually social activities, split relatively evenly between hanging out with friends versus structured social time (trans support group, game night, etc.)
  2. I spent about 2 hours skimming 2019 posts and selecting what to write reviews on, about 20 minutes of that time was actual review writing.
  3. I made cookies :)

Unfortunately, because I started the review process (skimming nominated 2019 posts, writing actual reviews)... (read more)

Shortform #17 An accomplished yet peaceful and nice Sunday.

Today was a great day!

  1. I walked 3 miles indoors (the weather here today was...the definition of bleargh).
  2. I had great phone call conversations with several friends :)
    • One call resulted in scheduling a virtual co-working session and another resulted in scheduling a virtual working-out session!
  3. I wrote my weekly review and published it by my deadline, FEELS GREAT (warning: loud and explicit).

What a great start to a brand new week :)

Also: if you enjoy ramen, try putting jalapeño guacamole sauce ... (read more)

Shortform #14 and Shortform #15

#15 I have learned an important lesson!

If I stay up all night trying to be more productive because I wanted to get more things done and "make up for" a day where I didn't get quite what I wanted done...then whatever I stayed up for had better be damn important otherwise I've just wasted a lot of time and lowered my quality of life.

Staying up all night to be more productive for the sake of showing off (to myself and/or to others) that I had accomplished more things in one day is not a good enough reason to stay up all night, s... (read more)

Shortform #13

What a promising and good day, that ultimately turned out not as good as expected.

Other than doing ~2 hours of messaging to catch up on my inboxes, today has been quite the lazy day.

Oversleeping and then reacting to crazy political events can put quite a damper on being productive :(

Tomorrow I will do better!

This is the most boring shortform post you'll see from me in the near future, expect moar better for tomorrow :)

Good luck and be well!

This shortform was not written while listening to music, only the ambient hum and whooshing of my room fan occasionally interrupted by typing noises pervaded my local audible soundscape.

Shortform #12

Mmm, today was a nice relaxing and restorative kind of day. Definitely helped me with item #4 from yesterday's shortform, I feel energized and eager for doing lots of things tomorrow.

I didn't go outside and exercise, rather, I paced inside while on the phone with various people over the span of 3 hours or so, and that was nice, I enjoy walking while talking on the phone. My step count for the day is ~19,500, seems good enough.

My text, messenger, and email inboxes are overflowing, and I desperately need to deal with those inboxes tomorrow, so I... (read more)

No shortform today. Go enjoy the holiday :) That's what I'm doing!