During the hike up King's Peak (wild bachelor party, I know), I was a lithe gecko gliding up the trail. When going down, though, I trudged too hard, too long in thin-soled shoes. Should we stop? I kept asking myself. No, we're almost there, and the guys pine for Subway.
To the mauling my poor footbones received that day, concatenate a wedding and two weeks of hoofing around China. The pain worsened the more time I spent on my feet. I had ironically just started a Beeminder for spending more time on my feet, thinking that I'd be healthy and use one of the standing desks.
It's been two months, and every time I push it, pain pushes back. I suppose I'll just have to rest longer. Now I'm attempting to see how little I can stand. Sometimes I can spend less than half an hour on my feet in a day.
I might be more susceptible to stress fractures having previously injured my feet last summer running a half marathon way too fast on only two months of training. From my book: "My right foot was a smoldering chorizo mash, and my left foot was an adorable Angora rabbit with all its bones replaced by thorns. ... I could hardly walk for four days, and it was another week before I could make the half mile to the grocery store to buy food, so I was living on meat sticks, dark chocolate, and tinned oysters for six days. It was twelve days before my left foot stopped hurting when standing." Yes, this is familiar.
I wrote this as a guest post on the Beeminder blog — comments can live there.
It’s dark. Warm. Safe. You’re in bed, about to fall asleep. Pre-dream hallucinations of commanding a mighty bear army are playing across your sated mind. Zz — wait — what about that CrossFit Beeminder?!
You forgot. You got behind. You skipped CrossFit yesterday, but Beeminder said that was okay as long as you did it today instead. You meant to, but life happened. At this point, you think, “I am sumptuously swaddled in my favorite luxury bedding material, it’s late, and there is no way I’m going out in the street to do the workout-of-the-day in the dark, by myself, in my pajamas. And Beeminder will just charge me $5 this time. Okay, deal. Zzz.”
But I think there’s a better way to use Beeminder. When this happened to me, I didn’t even have to think about what to do; I just found myself out there grunting my medicine ball against a telephone pole and jumprope-sprinting into gloomy rosebushes.  It wasn’t even worth considering losing my wager over the tiny matter of some physical discomfort. What wager? Not money — just the certainty that I will always do what I promise myself I will do.
These are the three plants I have out of my 99 things. I went to a plant nursery and bought them after my friend David pointed me to this TED talk: How to Grow Fresh Air in which three plants are recommended for not only producing all the fresh air you need, but also filtering out almost all air pollutants.
They didn't have a money plant, so I bought a rubber plant instead. Technically you're supposed to have a bunch of each of these plants per person. Well, whatever. They have funny names, live indoors with no maintenance and no direct sunlight, are difficult to kill, and might be making the air a little cleaner.
Watch out: I use "I" 54 times in this post, so this will be boring if you, like me, aren't interested in hearing me talk about myself.
When I was in high school, I was so shy that I couldn't talk to almost anyone outside my family. Through a last-ditch effort when I went to college, I got better. I then got lucky and succeeded at a lot of things I tried after that, which rescued my general confidence, and I did some focused practice, rejection therapy, public speaking, and Beeminding to fix my social confidence.
But even though I'm no longer afraid to try, that doesn't mean that I can do it well. I still feel that I'm not usually a good conversationalist. I haven't had enough practice, especially since I have always spent most of my working time hacking in my lair instead of working socially. I started to practice things like this after the CFAR workshop in March, but put it on hold after getting married when I hurt my feet.
I'm finally recovered and can go outdoors again, so I spent this week practicing: three days of the hallway track at some conferences (plus moderating a discussion), two group classes, a social lunch, a party, hosting my cofounders for hacking, and a few video calls. I'm not completely socially exhausted--yeah, I threw the "introvert" label out of my identity a while ago--but I'm also not going to the second party tonight.
How did it go? I was trying to practice three things:
I was thinking of 1) setting something up where I could monitor my breath rate while working at my computer and 2) using that to train myself to breathe slower. What do you think--is this useful? What are good solutions for tracking breath rate? What would be an ideal breath rate be?
I already know that I can sustain breathing at once per minute, but it takes a lot of concentration. Is it even healthy to breathe that slowly, or would thrice a minute be better? Will it work to train myself to always breathe this way?
Update 2013-10-12: at a party, my friend Jonathan Toomim measured my Mayer wave resonance frequencies to determine at which breath rate I got the biggest amplitude boost on the Mayer wave and the most increased oxygenated bloodflow to the brain: around nine seconds per breath. Now, whether this means anything in terms of increased health, performance, or affect--he admits it's still unclear. But it's pretty cool.
Here's an old post from 2011-11-21 I thought I'd save from Google+. It is just two years old and already my G+ history has forgotten it--thankfully Google's normal search could find it.
George and I got some great footage of the Skritter iOS app in action yesterday for our teaser video. I Skrittered on buses, bridges, balconies, and a pillowcase. It's a good thing we finished shooting, because last night I flushed my month-old iPhone 4S down the toilet. Siri must have finally had enough of me asking her to tell me a story, or what's the inverse cosine of the arctangent of the square root of x from -1 to 1, or to remind me thirty times of my meeting with George in one minute. She just dove out of my loose 唐装 pocket at the moment of peak flush velocity. Slurp! It was a beautiful performance which my clutching hands could not follow.
So after calmly announcing to my boardgamemates that I'd just lost $600, sticking my arm up there, and being advised that "it's gone, man", I finished the game, eventually being punched out by an aging professor despite being invisible and having the revolver. Then I went straightaway to tell the internet about the hilarious loss. Just for fun, I decide to check iCloud's Find My iPhone feature. Well, what's this? Located 1 minute ago and still in the house? The phone clings to the plumbing, still alive! Quick, tell it to play a sound and display a message: "I'm drowning!"
Listening to the phone's desperate chimes for help, I located it to the back bend of the toilet trap and enlisted the small-wristed girls in the house to go toilet noodling. "You probably won't get your hand stuck in there. No, it's not dirty at all. It could be just a little further, so reach harder. Yeah, but your wrist is smaller than hers." My exploitative exhortations came to naught.
"If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late." — Reid Hoffman
We weren’t intending to launch, even a pre-alpha, and then one of George’s blog posts got some traffic on Hacker News, and it had a tiny link to codecombat.com, and a thousand people were all up in our base.
Great, except that we still had the multiplayer sessioning set so that everyone doing the same level is playing with each other. So in any given level, you’d have a bunch of people trying to code, a few people mashing the “Reload All Code” button, and because of a usability bug, half a dozen people trying to write code into the chat area.
We’ve turned off the multiplayer sessioning for now, so all the challenges are solo coding at the moment. A bit of a hack, as it also doesn’t save your work any more when you leave the page. We will restore order shortly.
Someone posted this on Facebook, having captured me on my urban walk to work. Amidst discussion of how someone could have possibly married me and how I can be inside a restaurant with no shoes and which other crazy people don't wear shoes and the inexorable hippie onslaught and just what is that on my back, Chloe (who, as it turns out, is friends with said someone) notices:
Then there was a flurry of posts saying how this thread is what Facebook is made for and how something great/terrible has happened for social media this day. I was amused. I feel like I've really connected with the OP now, whereas when I saw her in the burrito place, she was just another NPC to me as we each quietly strummed our phones waiting for Mexican food and moments with familiar faces.
We just concluded our most challenging developer arena yet, the one-month Criss-Cross tournament. In this post, I recap the challenge, crown the champions, showcase the winning solutions, and tease you with our next multiplayer level.
In Criss-Cross, humans and ogres compete to build paths across a chasm by bidding on bridge tiles. Unlike the all-out war of our last tournament, Greed, Criss-Cross was not based in combat. However, there was plenty of turmoil to be found in the cold efficiency with which players outbid one another. You just need that one tile–but your opponent knows it. They’ve modeled your bidding strategy, and now they’re going to outbid you by a single coin!
Each match is best-three-out-of-five, and we used Bayesian Battle to calculate player skill rankings after running an exhaustive 65,000 matches on a 32-core c3.8xlarge machine. Here are the results.
There's a thought experiment people use when they think about possible future technologies like teleportation and cryonics and brain uploading, about going into a teleportation machine that copies you and deletes the original. Is it still you? What if the original isn't deleted–are both you? Or if you get your brain reconstructed in two hundreds years after you die–still you? Or if you transition your brain from decaying organic matter to a machine that reproduces it exactly?
Turns out that yes, duh, it's still you (except maybe in that last case; creepy story!). Even if there is a time delay in the teleportation, or even if the copy isn't deleted. Which one is the original? They both are.
So sure, use the teleporter or become a computer, whatever. What I actually want to write about is what you would do if you could actually make a copy of yourself, right now. In this hypothetical scenario, no one else can do it, and it doesn't cost anything, just five minutes. I'll call them clones, but they're not babies–they have all of your experiences up until the moment of copying. And I'll call you the original, but you might as well think of it as becoming the copy yourself, because there is no original/copy–there are just two of you now (and let's say the cloning machine spins, so you can't even tell which one "was" the original). You can make as many as you want, and your clones can make clones.
Would you do it, and if so, how would you deal with becoming multiple?