Young Hands Club

January 27, 2020

WH Plan For Week 16 (Jan 27th - Feb 2nd)

Filed under: Will Haack — Will Haack @ 4:11 a.m.

1. Monday 01/27

   1.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Penance Article) (Prepare Day) (1.5h)
   1.2 Trip to Santa Cruz (4h)
   1.3 Saltmines (6h)
   1.4 Spanish Study (1hr)

2. Tuesday 01/28

   2.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Penance Article) (Publish Day) (1.5h)
   2.2 Saltmines (8h)
   2.3 Allocated reading time (1h)
   2.4 Spanish Study (1hr)

3. Wednesday 01/29

    3.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Prepare Day) (1.5h)
    3.2 Continue setting up my computer (Fix networking issue) (2h)
    3.3 TheFleet (Revise pseudocode article) (8hr)
    3.4 Spanish Study (1hr)

4. Thursday 01/30

    4.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Publish Day) (1.5h)
    4.2 Continue setting up my computer (Continue fixing network issue or begin installing software) (2h)
    4.3 TheFleet (Fix problems mentioned in pseudocode article + write plan for orchestration of bots) (8hr)
    4.4 Spanish Study (1hr)

5. Friday 01/31

    5.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Prepare Day) (1.5h)
    5.2 Continue setting up my computer (Install eulora + write guide) (2h)
    5.3 TheFleet (Specifics TBD) (8hr)
    5.4 Spanish Study (1h)

6. Saturday 02/01

    6.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Publish Day) (1.5h)
    6.2 Plan and review for next week (4h)
    6.3 Open Slot (4hr 45min)
    6.4 Spanish Study (1h)

7. Sunday 02/02

    7.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Prepare Day) (1.5h)
    7.2 Open Slot / Makeups (5h)
    7.3 Reading time (?h)

WH Review of Week 15 (Jan 20th - Jan 26th)

Filed under: Will Haack — Will Haack @ 4:04 a.m.

This week I focused on planning. I wrote three relevant articles: my computer build plan, a review of the fleetbot the run, and an article on fleetbot's pseudocode.

Putting together the computer while having my written plan at my side was a delight.1 I feel quite silly for only having read 1-2 short guides before first attempting to build the computer. I doubt the men who built the Panama Canal just winged it.

With regards to TheFleet, investigating the problems I ran into and reading through my source (including cl-irc) has given me a much clearer idea of what I need to get done. Certain issues I was going to address by writing more lines of code I discovered can be fixed instantly by removing one line.

Benefiting from scoping out problems before tackling them is not surprising. I will continue to develop my planning/organizational skills in the upcoming weeks. Building anything interesting requires careful planning, so I better get good at it.

On a different topic, I've been more distracted than usual the past few days. There was non-negligible time wasted spinning/derping. On a quantitative level I had decent output,2 but my articles this week had glaring problems. I am due for a penance article that goes over what occupies my headspace and how I am currently wasting time.

  1. BTW, I took photos (with a phone camera :`( ) of the process and logged how long each task took me. I underestimated the time of most steps by a few minutes. The task whose time I grossly underestimated was plugging in all the cables: that took 1.5hours instead of my predicted 20mins. []
  2. My productivity dwarfs the output I used to have when I first joined #o (not that that's a great standard to hold myself to) []

January 20, 2020

WH Review of Week 14 (Jan 13th - Jan 19th)

Filed under: Will Haack — Will Haack @ 1:31 a.m.

The Panama and Fiesta Week:

I had a wonderful time in Panama, the trip was a success on almost all fronts.1 It was a pleasure to meet dorion and jfw, both one on one and then together for a networking event and their weekly junto meeting. Selina's was a great place to stay2 and I enjoyed walking through the surrounding neighborhood, Casco Viejo. I went one day for a bike ride, and then the next day I saw the Miraflores Lockes and went long boarding along Cinta Costera.3

Throughout the trip I made a concerted effort to talk to more people than I usually do. During college / my year surfing opportunities to meet new people were ever present. But now, living in a low population town, I only get a countable number of (Spanish) interactions on a weekly basis. I am considering looking for some group activities I can do once/twice a week. Two ideas that come to mind are salsa and jiu jitsu classes.4

As for the failures, the last few days of the vacation were wasted days. My sleep schedule was blown apart by the late night fiestas. And I did only a tiny bit of saltmines work. Two more glaring problems must be announced: (1) I made only ~30 pages of progress into The Odyssey. I put a few explicit reading blocks for the week's plan to make sure I progress on this front. (2) I never followed up with another comment to address the points in mp's comment that I had neglected in my first response. I listed responding to the comment as a TODO item for next Sunday, although I hope to respond before then.

  1. The one mistake I paid for is a week prior I had I booked the wrong dates for the hostel. []
  2. dorion's recommendation []
  3. Details to follow in an upcoming article. []
  4. If I were to do this I would need to once again make an effort to get a car. []

WH Plan For Week 15 (Jan 20th - Jan 26th)

Filed under: Will Haack — Will Haack @ 1:00 a.m.

Annnnd we are back! No more chased-by-bulls-bullshit this week. I only have one day planned of saltmines. EOD reports will resume.

1. Monday 01/20

   1.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Publish Day) (1.5h)
   1.2 Publish a plan for building computer (4h)
   1.3 TheFleet (4h)
   1.4 Allocated reading time (1h)
   1.5 Spanish Study (1hr)

2. Tuesday 01/21

   2.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Prepare Day) (1.5h)
   2.2 Build Computer (4h)
   2.3 TheFleet (4h)
   2.4 Allocated reading time (1h)
   2.5 Spanish Study (1hr)

3. Wednesday 01/22

    3.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Publish Day) (1.5h)
    3.2 Continue setting up my computer (2h)
    3.3 Saltmines (8hr)
    3.4 Spanish Study (1hr)

4. Thursday 01/23

    4.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Prepare Day) (1.5h)
    4.2 Continue setting up my computer (2h)
    4.3 TheFleet (8hr)
    4.4 Spanish Study (1hr)

5. Friday 01/24

    5.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Publish Day) (1.5h)
    5.2 Continue setting up my computer (2h)
    5.3 TheFleet (8hr)
    5.4 Spanish Study (1h)

6. Saturday 01/25

    6.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Prepare Day) (1.5h)
    6.2 Plan and review for next week (4h)
    6.3 Write up FleetBot Pseudocode (4hr 45min)
    6.4 Spanish Study (1h)

7. Sunday 01/26

    7.1 Daily Writing Exercise (Publish Day) (1.5h)
    7.2 Open Slot / Makeups (5h)
    7.3 Reading time (?h)
    7.3 Respond to blog comment (if not yet done)

January 13, 2020

WH Plan For Week 14 (Jan 13th - Jan 19th)

Filed under: Will Haack — Will Haack @ 5:50 a.m.

Monday-Thursday 01/13-01/16

I'll be exploring the city and meeting with Dorion and Jacob in Panama.

Friday-Sunday 01/17-01/19

I will be catching up with saltmines work. I would also like to spend one or two evenings at a festival in Santa Cruz.1

TheFleet and the computer will be resumed the following week.

  1. This is a large rodeo that goes from Jan 14th - Jan 20th. My cab driver amigo has been telling me about for some time now. []

January 12, 2020

WH Review of Week 13 (Jan 6th - Jan 12th)

Filed under: Will Haack — Will Haack @ 5:45 p.m.

The vacation has been alright. An unexpected pleasure was playing Need For Speed Guanacaste.1 I drove my mom and friend around to various nearby beaches.2 The freedom having a nice car afforded me makes me want to return to the car-buying process sooner rather than later.

Here are the aspects of this week that make the vacation only 'alright.' First, I had this feeling of "I don't have that much time off nowadays, and I wish I were spending the little time I do have getting into mischief with my surfpals instead of hanging out with my mom and her friend." Going surfing in the more populated beaches made me miss the fun I had last year in Tamarindo. I also didn't "carpe diem" as much, there was some time spent lollygagging that could have been spent reading or studying more Spanish. I am worried that too much of my motivation comes from fear of the whip, and that I was lazy because I didn't sense its presence this week. Lastly, I hurt my thumb/wrist on my right hand.3

  1. I knew drivers here are crazy, but I now have a better appreciation for just how nuts they are. A car passed me while I was going 120kph on a 40kph road. []
  2. Unfortunately there was not that much swell this week, but I scored a few waves on Friday at Playa Langosta. []
  3. Being a selfless gentleman, I was helping a young lady out in the surf. All was going well, I pushed her into a few waves and she stood up and was having a blast. But then a larger wave came, and I tried to pull her farther out to sea so that it would not crash on her. I did not succeed, and her board's leash was wrapped around my hand. So while I pulled the leash in one direction the force of her slipping down the wave yanked the leash in the other direction. One poor split second decision made all my slight ergonomic improvements prettty trivial. I am lucky I did not break my wrist. []

January 6, 2020

WH Plan for Week 13 (Jan 6th - Jan 12th)

Filed under: Will Haack — Will Haack @ 6:55 p.m.

This week I'm taking a vacation and spending time with my mom. I will focus on some of the more relaxing activities that have been neglected, such as reading, studying Spanish, and practicing the guitar. I am going to pause my EOD reports until January 16th when I get back from Panama. I will keep up with the logs and check on TheFleet bots.

WH Review of Week 12 (Dec 30th - Jan 5th)

Filed under: Will Haack — Will Haack @ 6:53 p.m.

The failures in terms of not following my schedule:

- I only worked 12/16 hours of saltmines.
- I only studied Spanish on one day (Tuesday)
- I only published one article between Thursday-Sunday.

This week I tunnel visioned TheFleet project. Instead of doing 8 hour 45min well planned programming sessions, I did 'mad scientist' 12 hour sessions at the exclusion of other work. This was in part avoidance behavior. I knew I had to do other assignments such as writing my bi-daily articles, but I chose to stick with TheFleet. It was easy to bury myself in the project. I think it was correct to prioritize getting bots connected before I stepped away from the terminal. However, I may have been able to get something working in fewer hours had I gone about programming in a more structured manner.

A selection from a trilema article stuck with me this week.

You know why children under ~5 years of age fall so much ? It's because they conceptualize the world as a static construction. Everything it sees is, to the infantile mind, as unmovable as scenery in a side scroller. Captain Comic isn't going to push a ledge out of the way. Similarly, the toddler doesn't expect any dynamic equilibrium in his environment, and he will step on a precariously balanced chair with the ease he'd step on granite bedrock. He sees it there, so it is there, so it will support him. Or a tank, really, or anything else. That's the other thing, they keep building these towers that fall down because who could have predicted you can't balance a fridge on a pickled olive ? They're just as non-transparent, what magic is this!

The infantile mind doesn't go away. It just withdraws. The knowledgeable derp is still very much a derp, he's not become a man through spending his youth reading and thinking about things. On the contrary, he's stayed a child. He doesn't, on account of the painful bumps nature provides, expect mechanics to work like in a picture - but this doesn't impede him from expecting economics, for instance, to still work this way. Because nature doesn't provide any bumps he can recognize on that scale, and so there's nothing to fix his toddler stupid.

The way I program reminds me of the infantile mind described above. Unlike the toddler, I know that some objects are in dynamic equilbrium. My method of 'figuring out what is and what isn't stable' when programming is similar to methodically going around the room knocking each structure to see if it gives way. It takes time to run all of these tests, and I only gather data points instead of understanding.

Tying this back to programming, I spend more time running my code than I do rereading it. Testing is necessary, especially for TheFleet which deals with unknown responses from servers, but I need to find the right balance. It would be better to go for longer blocks developing before I fire off scripts and wait for their results.1

I wrote an article about the problems of not making plans before embarking on a task. Yet I ignored my own advice and went on to do 'incremental development' the next few days.2 I am not sure what causes this cognitive dissonance. I think that although I know what I should do, I have trouble following through because of entrenched bad habits. It's also possible I don't fully believe what I said. Part of me still thinks, "you can't know what problems you'll have until you hit them, so better to leave the plan open and handle things as they come."

  1. Each time I test against a network I have to wait a few seconds for a response. This interruption pauses my train of thought. Features such as re-connection put my script to sleep for ~60 seconds. When testing re-connection I would connect my bot, disconnect my computer from the internet, wait for the bot to drop from irc, and then reconnect my computer to check if the bot was able to get back into the network. Running this repeatedly was expensive in terms of time. []
  2. I fell flat on my face from this when trying to put together my computer. []

December 29, 2019

WH Plan for Week 12 (Dec 30th - Jan 5th)

Filed under: Will Haack — Will Haack @ 5:36 a.m.

This schedule is mostly the same as last week's. I am not sure how much time it will take to setup my computer. If I get stuck I may need to eat into time dedicated to The Fleet. Also, if I am unable to make a trip to Santa Cruz tomorrow (Sunday) then I will squeeze that trip into my Monday schedule.
I am going on Monday because stores are closed on Sunday.

Upcoming event: my mother is visiting Costa Rica from Jan 5th - Jan 12th, so I will have limited availability during that week. Every day / other day I will be going to some excursion in the morning or evening. I will have to spend sometime during this week making some plans for her visit.

1. Monday 12/30

   1.1 Daily Writing Exercise (1.5h)
   1.2 Trip to Santa Cruz (4h)
   1.3 Saltmines (8h)
   1.4 Proof read writing exercise + plan for the next day (45min)
   1.5 Spanish Study (1hr)

2. Tuesday 12/31

   2.1 Daily Writing Exercise (1.5h)
   2.2 Setup Computer (45min)
   2.3 Saltmines (8h)
   2.4 Proof read writing exercise + plan for the next day (45min)
   2.5 Spanish Study (1hr)

3. Wednesday 01/01

    3.1 Daily Writing Exercise (1.5h)
    3.2 Continue setting up my computer (2h)
    3.3 TheFleet (6hr 45min)
    3.4 Proof read writing exercise + plan for the next day (45min)
    3.5 Spanish Study (1hr)

4. Thursday 01/02

    4.1 Daily Writing Exercise (1.5h)
    4.2 Spanish Study (1h)
    4.3 Continue setting up my computer (2h)
    4.4 TheFleet (6hr 45min)
    4.5 Proof read writing exercise + plan for the next day (45min)

5. Friday 01/03

    5.1 Daily Writing Exercise (1.5h)
    5.2 TheFleet (8hr 45min)
    5.3 Proof read writing exercise + plan for the next day (45min)
    5.4 Spanish Study (1h)

6. Saturday 01/04

    6.1 Daily Writing Exercise (1.5h)
    6.2 Plan and review for next week (4h)
    6.3 Open Slot (4hr 45min)
    6.4 Proof read writing exercise + plan for the next day (45min)
    6.5 Spanish Study (1h)

7. Sunday 01/05

    7.1 Welcome mother to Costa Rica

WH Review of Week 11 (Dec 22nd - Dec 28th)

Filed under: Will Haack — Will Haack @ 5:22 a.m.

First, the failures of the week from the plan:

- I did 8h of saltmines instead of 16h
- I did not get my computer built.
- I missed a Spanish study on Friday.
- I missed 6hr 45mins on TheFleet on Christmas.
- I let writing go way overtime on Thursday and imo produced a shit article anyways.1

I am content with my progress with The Fleet. The progress came partly from ditching saltmines time and using one of my writing sessions to write about my plan for the project. I am enjoying the project and consistently look forward to working on it.

The other item put to the side (literally) is the computer. I will either go tomorrow or use one of my saltmines days to do a run to Santa Cruz to get a magic potion that removes the thermal paste. As discussed, anytime I plan to build or assemble anything I need to make sure I have all necessary tools+consumable and have a technique for undoing and redoing steps.

My writing progress oscillates. The article on Thursday was poor, but I was satisfied with my article about my thoughts on shrysr and asciilifeform. Writing about this topic a few weeks ago would have spun me out for a month. I'm looking forward to the new write-every-day but publish every-other-day strategy. Hopefully I won't need to go overtime to produce something decent.

  1. This was the review of An Outpost of Progress. The reason it is terrible is it's almost a plot summary. I didn't intend it to turn out that way, but I used too many quotes from the book to support my thesis. Then at the end, poof, a plot summary was born. I spent hours trying to massage it to be more of a review, and I think it just became an ugly beast that ate a lot of time. []
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