Young Hands Club

December 15, 2019

ejb plan: week 0 (dec 16th - dec 22nd)

Filed under: Eric Benevides — Eric Benevides @ 3:02 a.m.

I recently had a conversation with Diana Coman about my entering into her school and she was gracious enough to accept me. I take this as a great opportunity, not only because it will allow me to sharpen my mind, but also because an opportunity to get constant feedback from someone whom I greatly trust and respect does not come by every day. In a shorter amount of words: I value it, and do not want this to go to waste.

This not-go-to-waste, I think, is something I'll really need to focus on because looking back I have wasted a good amount of opportunity already. To help me avoid this squandering of opportunity, I already have some key nuggets that my Master1 has helped me sift out from the psychogenic noise output of my mind. Some of these nuggets are identified bad-habits that I have picked up along the way, habits that I need to kill. Some other nuggets are good habits that I need to birth. In any case, here's my list of planned habit changes:

  • Stop blaming2 outside forces for whateverthefuck instead of making sure my expectations are aligned with actual reality
  • Start measuring the time I spend on tasks and record it, as this is paramount to proper planning
  • Start paying attention to the negative space between what I want3 and what I can actually do atm.4

Review of time in TMSR

It was also suggested that I review my time spent in tmsr thus far, so I will do just that. I can tell already how this will help me grow, because as I look back on almost 6 years of potential-never-quite-realized I can't help but cringe just a little bit. This is irrelevant though, as I know that failures are very instructive and there is much value in sorting through them, so sort I will.

While I have touched on my history briefly on my blog, I figure I will go through chronologically of where I was each year, and what I did (or didn't) do.

2014 through early 2015

This span of time was pretty unremarkable. I started tuning-in around 2014, but mainly just lurked and silently followed along while trying to peel these very large and confounding onions of logs and blogs.

Speaking of unremarkable, my life leading up to 2014 was also pretty unremarkable. I will cover this in boring detail in my penance post, but it was the comfy-path-to-boiled-frog existence typically found in this newfangled world. Bitcoin entered my radar only through sheer luck, really; I was not seeking it out. For hopefully obvious reasons, I won't go into further detail but it was only via people I knew who used the old Silk Road 1.0 that I even heard of Bitcoin or gpg.

Motivated purely by curiosity and greed5bought my first Bitcoin for $20 on Coinbase in 2014.6 After heeding various cautions I read in the Forum, I sent it all to addresses that I controlled the keys to and just held on to it (for the most part).7

I say "for the most part" above because early on I did end up losing about 0.4 BTC to some Tardstalk scam ("Active Mining"). I did learn my lesson, though, so that was the extent of my losses. Not only that, but with BingoBoingo's help I took what I learned from the experience and published my first (and currently, only) Qntricle.

Primary takeaway for me during this time-span was learning who to listen to, and why. While I knew (and arguably still know) virtually bupkis, I was very careful to pay attention to who was proven right over time, who was proven wrong, and the consistency of these rights/wrongs. Indeed, time and time again, there were various members of the Forum who were consistently right8

mid 2015 through 2016

Coming out of just learning the basics of a UNIX OS in early 2015, I was still pretty green to everything and couldn't do much yet. Still, I wanted to be of some use to these people and I noticed that there was a buzz going on in the #eulora channel. I also noticed that it wasn't logged anywhere at the time, so I figured I'd go ahead and take the initiative to log it. (I will always be grateful to mod6, who held my hand through configuring my first vhost.) Fwiw, those logs are still standing today!

Key takeaways: Taking initiative is good. As is reaching out to my betters in whatever field for help. I'll cover this more in my penance article, but asking questions was not always easy for me. Also important is that going outside of my comfort zone is really the only way to learn.9


Proto-auctionbot is born; goes online in #eulora. Special thanks to Diana Coman who helped me debug/polish both the bot and the price-history10

Key takeaway: Shortly after this began my poor habit of 'letting things die'. This is a habit that I have not killed yet, but must.


Archive process goes online.

Archive process is popped by a fella by the name of douchebag.

I make it to the L1

Some irrelevant drama happens between me and shinohai. I don't even want to waste people's time by linking to any of it11, I will only say that (all other things aside) that he was right about one thing: I was "larping" and who has the time for larping about when there is actual work to do, now really.12

I decide I'd try to sell for Pizarro; I do barely anything, and do not really communicate. I fail and give up after one month. (But sort of in that useless 'quiet' failure, you know)

Auctionbot proper goes live in #trilema.

Key takeaways: This year is when I learned the importance of doing things versus whatever the hell I'm perceived as. Or more aptly put: if you are doing useful things, you don't need to even concern yourself with appearance. Another lesson for me was that silent fails are useless; not only do you pretty much ensure failure by not speaking about it, but perhaps even worse is that you cannot learn from the failure if you do not speak of it.


I started becoming more expressive in 2019, both in my blog and in the logs, and it is all pretty fresh in my mind still. As such, I will leave this section as it is adequately covered in my mind.

Work plan for week 0:

  • Penance article on derealization: Due Friday [Estimated time: 6 hours | Actual time: 7.5 hours ]
  • Write an article containing a concrete plan for approaching the ebuild article/analysis: Due Sunday [Estimated time: 12 hours | Actual time: 12.75 hours]
  • Spend time researching remote work /abroad work opportunities: Due Saturday13 [Estimated time: 2 hours  | Actual time: 40 mins ]14

Total estimated time: 20 hours

Total actual time: 20.58 hours

Since I've been going this whole time without measuring the time I take, I'm going to publish this work plan a day early and then spend a 6 hour period of time on Dec 15 studying both ebuilds, and working on my auctionbot's autobidding. While I do this I will measure the time I take, and then update this work plan at the EOD with more informed timings.

Things that I need to think on for future weekly plans:

  • Finish auctionbot autobidding [Estimated time: 16 hours | Actual time: ]15
  • How to make the most of my current geographic location
  • Other remedial/learning debts that need paying
  • Polish up mp-wp bot16
  • I'm taking a trip up to visit family from Dec 22nd to Jan 1st, so I will not be planning to complete much during this time. Still I know I will have some down-time during this visit, and am thinking I may use some of that time for the kludge removal in mp-wp bot.
  • Somewhere down the line I'd also like to slim down my archive-process and publish it. As of now it relies too much on python where it doesn't need to; lotsa kludge, etc.

Timings on tasks per day

To keep myself honest and accountable, I'm going to record each task I work throughout the week and the amount of hours it takes me:

Dec 14th

Initial writing of this article: 5 hours17

Dec 15th

Time estimation on plan for ebuild analysis and autobidding: 6 hours

Dec 16th

Remote work opportunities research: 20 mins
Penance article: 1.5 hours18

Dec 17th

Remote work opportunities research: 20 mins
ebuild study: 45 mins

Dec 18th

Remote work opportunities research: 20 mins
Penance article: 1.5 hours

Dec 19th

Penance article: 2 hours

Dec 20th

Penance article: 4 hours

Dec 21st

Ebuild article: 6 hours

Dec 22th

Ebuild article: 6 hours

Next week: Week 1 [Dec 23 - Jan 1]

  1. Let me take this footnote to explicitly state that, yes, I pledge []
  2. Small corrections like this are valuable to me, really, because I would have been blind to it otherwise. []
  3. Special thanks go to my Master who made me aware of the proper definition of "want"; I'm 32... and clearly need to read more. []
  4. The time measurement above will also aid me in this endeavor []
  5. Both good qualities to my eye []
  6. I bought a bit more afterwards, too, when it was around $200 []
  7. As Mircea Popescu pointed out to me, at the current rate of ~7k dubaloos to the BTC today that is roughly a ~35000% increase in value... which, indeed, absolutely beats the hell out of the appreciation on 'my' house. []
  8. versus the shannonized noise from Tardstalks/Reddits, which you couldn't even evaluate in any sane manner the output []
  9. However, I'd find out later that there is a big difference between going outside of my comfort zone and just blindly taking on whatever task because it needs to be done. []
  10. I *will* resurrect that price-history in 2020 []
  11. If I'm explicitly asked to by Diana Coman, then I will, otherwise I'll let log readers find it on the way to something more important. []
  12. As a final word on the subj. I also will point to Diana Coman's excellent article An Appeal for Enemies, thank shinohai for helping me realize my own stupidity/weak skin, and leave it at that. []
  13. Technically this is ongoing, I'm just aiming to have all of the week's dedicated hours put into this by then. []
  14. I figure I can dedicate 2 hours per week to this []
  15. Estimated ~ 4hrs to get a proper testbed set up, 8hrs to code, and 4 additional hours of padding []
  16. Reading my own code, I notice way too much kludge that I think I could do without. I would love to take this slight pause to improve this thing a bit more []
  17. This took waay longer than I originally thought! I planned for 2 hours, but luckily I had the whole day cleared open for over-spill... and it is a good thing too. The majority of this work plan took me 2 hours, but it was the Review of my time in TMSR that took the remaining 3 hours. Not only was I walking the logs/blogs for references, but I was walking my memory to make sure I wasn't leaving bits out. An early lesson in schedule padding I suppose. []
  18. In the first hour I wrote down a few focus points that I wanted to flesh out at a later time and gathered a bunch of log references that I wanted to incorporate. I then decided I was done for the night, but ended up coming back a bit later to write more. I noticed that starting this activity, keeping with it for about an hour, and then stopping and doing something else for a bit actually helped me.(The key here is the "starting this activity", of course. I find that I have a hard time getting going on things sometimes, but once I do I can really go.) []


  1. Welcome! And here's to curiosity and greed or in other words...being quite alive.

    As to the "unexpected" 5hours vs 2hours on this - (more than) double the time you "estimate" on unknowns/new stuff/being-new-to-this-estimating-thing, remember?

    A lot of TBD so far so let's see first what they end up defined as.

    Comment by Diana Coman — December 15, 2019 @ 1:30 p.m.

  2. As to the "unexpected" 5hours vs 2hours on this - (more than) double the time you "estimate" on unknowns/new stuff/being-new-to-this-estimating-thing, remember?

    I will say that even this small exercise in recording my time has brought the topography ahead of me into finer focus.

    Comment by Eric Benevides — December 15, 2019 @ 6:11 p.m.

  3. Time estimations have been added in for a total estimated time for week 0 to be: 20 hours.

    I ended up bumping the completion of the autobidding from this week, because as I went through the initial ebuild study it started to become tangible just how much of a behemoth Portage is, and how much remedial study I still need (I need to ensure I have a firm grasp on autotools, for example). In other words, I need to map out just *what* it is that I need to learn still, and even that mapping is riddled with unknowns/new-stuff.

    As such I estimated 12 hours for the how-to-approach-ebuild-study article, which when added to my existing 8 hours for this upcoming week comes to 20 hours. Since I have about ~24 hours per week of time to dedicate, I figured that trying to fit the auctionbot work (which I estimated at 16 hours) in would be unwise. I also figured that of all the things that should be bumped, the auto-bidding was the least pressing.

    Comment by Eric Benevides — December 16, 2019 @ 1:06 a.m.

  4. Yes, auctionbot work can wait and you do need some rough mapping first - note though that this can easily eat up a whole lot of time/you can get lost in it if you don't have much experience mapping unknown tangles. Focus on a practical approach (ie what you can do with what you already know + where/what knowledge you can gain that is most useful to the task at hand) rather than some general/ideal "gotta learn autotools first" (or similar).

    Are those 20-24 hours possibly moving about during the week or why no deadlines /delivery dates ?

    Comment by Diana Coman — December 16, 2019 @ 8:16 a.m.

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