Open and Welcome Thread - April 2021

I'm finding myself wishing for more resources on picking where to live.  I'm in an uncommon situation: Single.  Enough money to not need to work anymore unless I'm in a high cost of living place so I want to take a few years off.  The only area that I have lots of friends in I already know isn't right for me due to seasonal depression.  Finding the right place to live through my own research will be long having to visit places for long enough to see what they're like but there just doesn't exist super great resources for researching things ahead of time unless I'm missing something.


In related news: I hear Atlanta has a decent dance scene.  Anyone live in the Atlanta area have comments?

Recruiting for esports experiment

I actually think the fun part explains it even more.  I have a buddy I game with all the time.  I always end up better then them.  They ask for help.  I point out something I've identified as a fundamental in the game (the equivalent of aiming/positioning in FPS games, or building workers in RTS games) and some little practice method that I went away and did for 2 or 3 hours one day to get better at that fundamental.  Then, every time, they say "that would make it not fun" and just spam some games.  Because there's a fun inefficient way to practice they just do that instead of the less fun efficient way to practice.

Just to clarify, we're still talking about getting above 3500 when the average is 2500 and pro is 4500?  So, getting to the top 20-25% or so of the game?  What do you find to be the limiting factor on the people stuck below 3500? It's my impression that when we're talking about that sort of rank for a game we're still talking about people who haven't gotten down the basic fundamentals and haven't gotten to the point higher level strategy is super important.  For the equivalent rank in sc2 you can still just pick any random strat you want and work on your fundamentals.  It wasn't till around top 2% I felt the need to learn actual strategy instead of just "spend all your money as fast as possible".  Tons of top20% players would be like "I spent all week practicing this new strategy I saw someone do in the last tournament" but still be floating tons of minerals because practicing spending money faster is boring.

Recruiting for esports experiment

Some general thoughts from a former masters SC2 player, who has also been decently highly ranked at many other games

There was a famous starcraft caster who was constantly being asked how to become a starcraft caster by people who said it was their dream.  He told them all "Go record yourself trying to cast 100 games then send me a message".  Literally only one person took him up on that, and now they're a famous starcraft caster.

My prediction is that people willing to do the work can get good insanely quickly and people who aren't won't.  I think "most people say they are willing to do the work but aren't" explains the vast majority of the phenomenon you call out.  You can train a dedicated person to be good really fast but most coaches find 95% of their clients are people looking to get good quick with no work.  I think being willing to put in that effort is a far more important variable than raw intellect.   If you have someone willing to spend 1000 hours deliberately practicing aiming but isn't smart enough to keep up with the pros when it comes to thinking presciently and can only handle a few very common scenarios then I expect them to get to an obscenely high ranking (much like how "never stop building workers" usually gets you to the diamond equivalent in any RTS game without having to practice any other skills)

Covid 2/11: As Expected

I do have limits to how far I'd go.  The impression I have in my head is that the two ways to jump in line are 1) malfunctions where they have to give them away or throw them away 2) areas where the demand is so low that they're having to choose fairly lax rules or throw them away.  My hope is that there's a way to get a vaccine that wouldn't have gone to anyone truly in need without having to do anything particularly illegal

Covid 2/11: As Expected

So, we know a small number of people have jumped ahead in the vaccine line by being at the right place at the right time when a freezer broke and there weren't enough eligible people.

How would one maximize their chance of jumping in line if they were limited to the continental united states?  What city would you spend your time prowling for unused vaccine?

Edit: I could get to 30 BMI in about two weeks.  Creatine + an overreaching block + stuffing myself on wings should get me that last 15lbs

Feature request: personal notes about other users

Prediction: The two most common notes would be "Note - Not jacobjacob" and "Note - Not Jacobian"

Small Habits Shape Identity: How I became someone who exercises

I took a bit to try and remember where all my identities came from and an interesting thing to note is how quickly external validation can change your identity.

  1. As a kid my only socialization was my mother, all she complimented was academics, I saw myself as the smart kid, studying was easy
  2. My first romantic success was related to depression commiseration, I started to see that as my identity, suddenly I became way more depressed, most things got harder (especially whenever I'm actively dating)
  3. I was an awful wrestler, then my one-trick-pony move started getting referred to by a nickname with my name in it, suddenly I found training easy and actually got good
  4. Once I cooked for other people and got praised for it I was able to cook complicated meals in the depths of my worst depressions when I can't get out of bed for literally anything other than cooking

I guess what I'm saying is yall need to compliment me for starting a side project this month so I actually stick to it instead of laying around reading Reddit all the time

Babble challenge: 50 ways of solving a problem in your life

Problem: I'm depressed and bored. Covid took away dance/bjj and I need physical touch/play. I at least need something to be fixated on.  Single with no roommates and not close to family. All my friends have disappeared into their relationships. My job isn't fulfilling and I'm not even sure if I need any more money to make it the rest of my life so idk why I'm still in it.

  1. Join an MMO, I was happy when I had a good community in a guild
  2. Ignore covid, find a bjj gym that's already open
  3. Move to NZ where covid is over
  4. Host secret dance nights. Though I don't have enough floor space
  5. Treat online dating like a full time job till I find something fulfilling
  6. Move back to FL, set up mat room for bjj, train with old friend
  7. Try and reconnect with family
  8. Road trip. I'd really prefer to do this after covid so I can see what places are normally like to pick my next city to live in
  9. Take up outdoor rock climbing. Why is it so cold here
  10. Take up rock hounding. Why is it so cold here
  11. Dedicate myself to the side project idea L said he'd buy if I made
  12. Dedicate myself to babbling side project ideas every day until I find something I like even better
  13. Go back and get a ML PhD
  14. Dedicate myself to finding a really big signing bonus that doesn't require much vesting to finish up the last of the money I need
  15. Quit, let myself be really bored for a while so I find inspiration
  16. Find some sort of online community outside of an MMO
  17. End it all
  18. Become a monk
  19. Donate everything to light a fire under my ass to earn it back
  20. Come up with some cool series to write for LW, live off the validation in the comments
  21. Become a game dev
  22. Become an indie game dev
  23. Start learning a solo dance, replace swing dancing with zoom dances
  24. Learn parkour
  25. Write a book
  26. Survey everyone I can access both in person and online how they're staying social to get more ideas
  27. Dedicate myself to wood working
  28. Dedicate myself to fixing my house up to increase the sale value
  29. Hang out at parks and try and start as many conversations as possible
  30. Find some sort of social game that involves talking to strangers at the park
  31. Bike through the parks, trying to start at least one conversation a day but mostly just bike
  32. Learn an instrument. Busk in the park
  33. Set up Bob ross painting stations in the park. Let strangers join
  34. Start dating my ex who would probably still date me, even though I don't think enough issues have fixed for it to work and it would cause drama
  35. Bike through the whole city and note the areas with the most people who look receptive to conversations
  36. Switch careers to psychotherapy. Get my social needs fulfilled from comforting my clients. Yes I know it doesn't work like that, but no pruning
  37. Become twitch streamer
  38. Try and obtain monk like contentment without becoming a monk
  39. Switch to using kink based online dating sites, possibly find better matches?
  40. Learn tarot cards, give readings in the park
  41. Read in the park
  42. Get a cat
  43. Get a bonded pair of cats
  44. Start a life project to gamify everything I can
  45. Play a lot of video games to numb the pain
  46. Start an only fans
  47. Restart competitive programming
  48. Hand out baked goods at the park
  49. Really try and push for wings & liftin' nights to happen as often as possible
  50. Try and really optimize my health to see if that affects my mental health
  51. Antidepressants
  52. Antianxieties
  53. Prune this list, because boy does it need it

Retrospective: More useful than I thought it would be. Partially because it increased my resolve for the things I had kinda sorta considered now that I feel like I've finished considering my alternative options

Open & Welcome Thread - September 2020

I feel happy pulling up kattis and doing some algorithm questions so there is definitely joy to be had chasing technical questions.  Ben doesn't seem to be disputing that but is offering two other things you can chase. 

Rather than competing for an A+ on a hard problem, I could try to solve an easy problem as quickly as possible

I don't know if this is different person to person but for me gamifying a problem can make me care more about something but it can't make me care about something I don't care about at all

So don’t look for hard problems—important ones are ultimately more fun!

This has been in my head for months because everyone* gives a variation of this advice and it feels like it's missing the hard part.  It started when I saw a clip on Reddit of Dr. K from Healthy Gamer saying something along the lines of "If you don't know what you want to do, get a piece of paper and write down everything wrong with the world.  In 5 minutes the paper will be almost full" and... What? No?  I mean, things are problems in that they make people's lives worse.  But I notice very very little actually changes how I feel.  So why would I expect anything I do to change how someone else feels if nothing they do can change how I feel?  There are only two axis that actually change how I feel about life: lonely VS belonging and bored VS engaged.  I don't really have a reason to expect other people are very different except that people in worse life situations also have an unsafe VS secure axis.  So the problems are "loneliness" and "listlessness".  Everyone acts like there are important problems everywhere.  You see people saying ideas for side projects are a dime a dozen but here I am where I actually have the funds to quit and make something I thought had value and just nothing I can think of that seems to have any value.


*Everyone except one friend on Paxil who assures me the solution to my problem is Paxil and one friend who is convinced LSD is the solution to all problems.  I remain unconvinced.

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