free_rip

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Stupid Questions March 2015

You could use an intermediate step, like Charity Science's fundraisers (I'm sure there are plenty of other places that allow you to do this if Christmas/Birthday/Event doesn't fit your needs) so you can see how much is being donated. Then when you donate the whole lot to Givewell etc. at the end you can ask for a receipt/show it on your bank statement.

Sidekick Matchmaking

Yeah, I think it would make more sense to just have a project match-making thread - people can say what they're working on, and others who want to help/make it easier for the runner of the project (even in ways not directly related to the project, which seems to be what the side-kicking thing is about) can offer said help.

Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015

Pretty much this.

Focus on what you are doing, and who you are helping, not who you aren't. This is a broader problem than just EA too - you could think of all the possible achievements or research or inventions or friendships you could make in your life, and thus any particular string of them is irrelevant. But if you don't focus on that infinity of great things you could do, you're able to realize this particular life is pretty great too. Think of it in terms of 'if I wasn't here, these particular people would be worse off' (usually quite a long list, even for non-EAs - friends, family, colleagues you help out etc.) and your contribution seems a lot more important :-) After all, you're only one person of that infinity, so if you help more than one person considerably you've actually made a big (relative to you) contribution.

Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014

How many hours is your coding job? If it's 10+ and they'll allow you to reduce them, you could go for that - you'll still get to list having x months of experience there on your CV, will still get that experience and network from it, but will have a bit more time.

Don't cut into the basic time you need for the essentials of life - being stressed or sleep deprived etc. will only make you less productive and exacerbate the problem. You also don't mention any hobbies - do you get regular exercise? I know this means more time spent, but if you don't get much already even 20mins every other day will make you more alert and productive.

There are easier courses and harder courses - try to take easier ones (still meeting requirements) as long as they don't conflict with your interests. You can ask classmates about which are easier/have better lecturers.

Prep for your classes in the holidays - before each year I'll look at the syllabus of the courses I'm taking and look up each of the terms there, spending maybe 30mins on each getting a general idea of what's involved. This means you're not seeing it for the first time in class, which makes it way easier to learn and retain (less overall effort).

Also ask why is the work harder now? I often find work hard for one of a few reasons: either I don't have the background, I'm tuning out of the lectures (because the lecturer is boring, because I already know most of it, or because I feel like I don't know enough to understand it even if I tune in), the work is actually time-consuming but not hard and this registers as 'hard' because I don't want to start it, or I have just a few problems/knowledge gaps and don't have the resources (friends, lecturers, example problems) to turn to to fix them. Each one of these has a different way of fixing it - for example the last one, having friends in that class helps with immensely, because you can each fill in those little gaps for eachother. I find it useful in math particularly.

Finally, there will be people at your college that also hate partying/drinking/etc. I've been lucky, having a solid group of 7 friends pretty much since I started college, all of whom aren't interesting in drinking or partying, have similar majors (a lot in IT) and are happy to just hang out between classes and chat/study with eachother. I'm not entirely sure how you can find these people other then persistence - if you're looking to go flatting, perhaps look at flats that say they are 'quiet', if you're doing group projects try to group up with the harder working members of your class etc. and then follow up with this - ask where they hang out when they're not in class and if you can join them. If you find one or two people with similar outlook to you, you'll tend to find a whole bunch, because their friends will be similar to them.

What supplements do you take, if any?

I use a joint iron/B12 supplement every couple days (I'm vegetarian). I started taking it a few years ago because I was very pale and low in energy, and it's helped a fair bit on those counts.

Happiness Logging: One Year In

I used to rate my happiness and productivity on 1-10 scales at the end of each day, and this was my experience too. I've since dropped that part of my diary routine, instead focusing on just writing the three best things and three things to improve/do more/do next. I still have an idea if I look back later of trends of happiness and productivity, since I can see some good things are better than others, but I don't have that feeling of disappointment in myself every time I don't make an 8+ for both.

That said, the only way I can analyze this is looking back over it, I can't input it to make informative graphs or the like.

What are you learning?

HabitRPG is completely open-source, and has very little actual staff (I think about 3 currently). Contributing to HabitRPG has more info (scroll down to 'Coders: Web and Mobile') - basically the philosophy is 'if you want something changed, go in and change it'. I thought you might like the app in general, and by adding that feature be able to get everything out of it you do with your own app, while helping lots of other people at the same time.

Fair enough - it does require more testing, and if you've got one going that works for you that's great :-)

What are you learning?

Yep, although it hasn't yet implemented losing health if you don't meet it by a deadline - it's on the list of improvements to come, though. @Florian_Dietz, if you were interested in using what HabitRPG already has and implementing that functionality there, I'm sure a lot of people would be very grateful!

What are you learning?

Sounds similar to HabitRPG - missing out on daily/weekly habits there lose you 'health' and doing them/doing your to-dos/habits such as a certain amount of work you get experience, which lets you level up.

Open thread, September 8-14, 2014

Never worked for them in particular, but my experience with such online tutoring businesses hasn't been great: generally don't get many hours, are expected to commit fully to being available at certain times every week (which when in uni, with tests etc. at unexpected times, isn't too possible - might be possible for you in your situation) and they take a fair chunk of your earnings. On one occasion I put a lot of time into signing up, getting documents etc. to verify myself, and then never got a single student. On the other hand, signing up for services such as www.firsttutors.com has been great (not sure if this is international, I've been using the NZ site, but think it is). Basically it's a repository of tutors, people come and leave messages for you to see if you'd be a good fit and if you have times you could both make it, and then you each pay a small one-off fee (usually <$20 for the tutor) for the website providing the interface and get eachother's contact details. I've set up both online and in-person tutoring through this, online being about a fifth of all requests. The first year I used it I got about 3 or 4 students through it (each of whom I met for one or two hours a week and lasted on average ~6 months). Nowadays, with a few good reviews on there, I've put up my fees to double what they used to be and still get about 15 requests a year, each of which is good for about 2 hours tutoring a week - I don't take them all, but I could. And the fee the website charges is nothing in comparison to the hours I get out of it, usually it's less than an hour's work to make it back.

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