EA Global write up (part two of two)

Dec. 7th, 2016 09:39 am
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Part one here. (This is unprompted, and I only have a couple of questions in the pipeline, so more very welcome.)

After the keynote, the next couple of sessions I went to were mini-workshops given by the Center for Applied Rationality, each introducing a practical technique to improve your thinking. These were brilliant, and made me really want to go on their full course at some point. The first technique, dubbed Double Crux, was aimed at making discussions with someone you disagree with focus more on finding the truth together than on convincing your interlocutor. This is something I try to do anyway, but having a specific set of practical steps to follow should make me more likely to actually do it. The second workshop introduced an iterative technique to make plans more likely to succeed by imagining that you'd failed and addressing the likely failure modes in advance.

After a break for lunch the next session was a pair of talks, the first of which had the biggest impact on me of anything else at the conference. It was called "Look, Leap or retreat", and the core argument was that when trying to choose between a high probability/low impact or a low probability/high impact proposition, in which your confidence in your assessments of the probabilities is itself low, doing more research is likely to be higher value than choosing either immediately. Based on this I've been doing a lot more research and thinking about my giving, and will be making changes shortly, although I am still wavering between various organisations.

The second afternoon session was called "Lessons from Starting Organisations", which pretty much did what it said on the tin, and there were a few useful ideas, but a lot of it was quite generic. One point that I did find interesting was the comment along the lines of "Don't assume that because you're smart and you've been successful at some things you'll automatically be an expert at everything straight off the bat. In particular, management in hard." I found this relevant because I spent a lot of the weekend being conscious of how terrifyingly young everyone was - it was probably the first time in my life where I felt I stood out as being well above the average age - and I think that this is something that could end up biting the EA community in the arse. There're an awful lot of bright young things, and rather less experience in the wider world.

Dinner was at a nearby Thai restaurant, and involved fun conversations about rationality and learning techniques. After dinner there was one more session, "A Conversation about Motivation", lead by four speakers who are closely involved in the EA world. This was a real eye-opener, and clearly not just for me. There was a lot of very frank discussion of feelings of inadequacy, imposter syndrome, and serious mental health issues, and the way people had dealt with them. Once the conversation opened up to the room it seemed like everyone had a story to tell, and although I left at the end of the session as scheduled, many people stayed behind, and several people said then or later that it had been the most important part of the weekend for them.

Afterwards there were semi-structured pub conversations, but I was feeling quite peopled out by then so went back to my B&B to read and then sleep.

And then in a moment of incompetence I set my alarm for the appropriate time on Monday morning instead of Sunday, and managed to sleep through the talk I was most interested in the next day. I felt like something of a fool then, but was still feeling a)really quite overpeopled, b)not overwhelmingly enthused by the remaining sessions I had planned to go to, and c)as though I'd already got more than enough value from the conference so far to have made it worth going. So I went home and closed the door and played my piano and read and felt entirely good about that decision.

2016 Audio Christmas Card

Dec. 6th, 2016 11:41 pm
ihcoyc: Stop Needless Noise: Help America keep calm (needless noise)
[personal profile] ihcoyc
Steve Gustafson - Heroic Overture
Bee Gees - Holiday
Espers - Flaming Telepaths
Purcell - Suite in A Minor mvt. 1
Judy Garland - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Rosanne Cash - Motherless Children
The Highwaymen - Michael
Purcell - Suite in A Minor mvt. 2
Hot Rize - Won't You Come and Sing For Me
The Monkees - Riu Chiu
Handsome Family - Your Great Journey
Bee Gees - Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Ralph Stanley - This World is Not My Home
Purcell - Suite in A Minor mvt. 3
Vitalic - Poison Lips
Helene Böksle - Dejlig er jorden
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Billy Joe Shaver - When I Get My Wings
Monster Magnet - Dead Christmas
Purcell - Suite in A Minor mvt. 4
Grateful Dead - Brokedown Palace
Vera Lynn - We'll Meet Again
Crosby Stills Nash and Young - Find the Cost of Freedom


Dec. 7th, 2016 02:50 am
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
November 21th, Monday: ikea )


Dec. 7th, 2016 02:50 am
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
Saturnday19th November: Read more... )

Sunday 20th november :Read more... )

It's days like this

Dec. 6th, 2016 10:46 pm
rbarclay: (stinkefinger)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Got off @home a couple minutes later than I'd have liked, so it was already dawning. Not the best circumstances for properly testing&adjusting the new bicycle frontlight.
But it did seem to put out quite some Lumens, and in a seemingly-sensibly-shaped wide cone, so I set it to "daylight driving light" mode, and got to work. Thinking to do the finetuning on the way home.

But this was not to be, because when I wanted to set off from work, I couldn't coerce a single Lumen out of it, rear light stayed dark, too. Probably a problem with my known-to-be-inferior cabling skills, bad contact or whatever, but I really didn't fancy debugging that without proper tools in the dark whilst freezing my fingers off (~-2°C), nor lugging the bike up 5 floors to the (brightly-lit and warm) office.
Briefly thought about trekking home with the battery-powered front light, but as I don't have a battery-powered rear light didn't dare.

(And that after a 12h-workday which ended with 2h of near-shouting at our CISO because he just didn't want to understand that no, $motherships ISO27k policy of "any&all security-related questions MUST be referred to the CISO" doen't make sense for a (national!) CERT - we get dozens to hundreds of security-related questions each&every fucking day. And the fix would be soooo easy, just re-word it to "all $ourownassets-related security questions" and be fucking done with it. But that'd mean he'd lose face (only in his own mind, mind), because he'd have to admit that the policy he wrote for $mothership - specifically excluding the CERT - isn't fit 1:1 for including the CERT. Shoot me again, I ain't dead yet.)

ah crap

Dec. 6th, 2016 10:25 am
silentq: (Death)
[personal profile] silentq
I remember being a bit concerned the last two times I got bloodwork done, my LDL cholesterol levels were close to the upper edge of the normal range and slowly rising. Since the last test, it jumped up a lot (114 in 2013 -> 157) and my doctor is warning me to keep an eye on my diet and exercise, and I'll have to do a fasting test next year.
I'm *hoping* that this was due to lower activity due to my foot, but it's a reminder to be more consistent with my workouts and a bit more conscious of what I eat. I have zero other risk factors according to one list, so that's good at least. I did do a heart test in university when I was volunteering for some tests to make extra money, they required it before they'd put me in the centrifuge. :-) That showed that I have a teeny murmur. Now I'm wondering if I should plan those last few high altitude trips (I really want to go to Machu Picchu, then there are other Himalayan countries that I want to visit) sooner rather than later, they always put my heart in overdrive... or maybe just build in more acclimatisation time...
The good news is that everything else was fine/normal/negative.

interview, movies, metal, art, d&d

Dec. 5th, 2016 12:41 pm
silentq: (post via email)
[personal profile] silentq
Thursday late afternoon I biked over to Cambridge for an in person interview with the CEO and founder of the company. It got a bit casual/awkward since we couldn't get a table at Flour and so relocated to the MIT student center, but I had my bike and didn't want to walk much, so had to unlock, ride over, and find a place to relock before joining them (and I'm certain I was a bit smudged from bike grease, not to mention not wearing the more formal outfit I'd packed for the anticipated location, which granted would have been awkward, as it was at my lab's former space). The interview went well, I'll meet the CEO again on Wednesday at their office for a final round of meeting the other couple of employees and then *fingers crossed* my references say nice things!

After we wrapped up there, I grabbed some food and then met up with K at Kendall to see a movie and decompress at Smoke Shop. Still obsessed with their wings, and the cocktails are good too.

Friday I was looking forward to finally making an orange fig chicken dish I'd been procrastinating on for a week and then having an early self indulgent night (I'd picked up a warming face mask on a whim, and my nails could use some love). But then I got invited to a second metal show at ONCE and since I'd been keeping half an eye on the event, decided to reshuffle my plans a bit. I had [livejournal.com profile] heatray and K (again) over for dinner then we walked over to the venue and got there right as the first band was starting. We got drinks upstairs (and I got nailed in the eye when M opened up a beer, so I found out that my new mascara is beer proof as well as waterproof), then found [livejournal.com profile] fudjo downstairs and rocked out to some doomy death metal. Soooo much low frequency stuff, my clothes and internal organs (and at one point my eye) were all vibrating, but I really liked the music, it was literally a visceral experience. Windhaven were the headliners, and the female vox pushed them close to gothic rock (reminded me a bit of Sunshine Blind) so I was happy. :-)

I did my postponed face mask and bath salts soak on Saturday, then headed out by bike to hit up the Vernon St Open Studios. Bekka who does Bikeyface was listed so I made sure to hit up her location, and I got to check in with Dill Pickle bike bags as well. :-) I spotted a work in progress of the poster for "The Eagle Huntress". I think I managed to at least glance in each studio, the event was spread over two buildings, six floors, and I spent a lot more time there than expected. It's kind of odd invading an artist's space, some were chatting with friends and ignoring browsers, others chatted me up, others just said hi and let me alone. One studio was isolated back beyond a few closed ones and the artist, Gee Wong, was just sort of puttering alone in there. It was a neat set up, he had the more family friendly stuff visible from the door, but then if you turned around and looked at the wall with the door there were some darker things. I'm still thinking about one piece that evoked cherry blossoms, I think it might be my next art purchase. There was definitely a mix of super cheap (I got a $3 fridge magnet of a print that wouldn't go with my kitchen colours), reasonable (lots of prints for <$50), and super expensive ($3k+). I was convinced to give a Dunkin Donuts themed mini golf game a try (the artists build interactive things for commercial clients), and got 2 out of three in, winning 2 quarters. :-) One was a Canadian quarter so we chatted a bit about Toronto before I moved on (his space mate was from there). It was a bit of a maze, it was kind of fun to explore and find treasures tucked away in small rooms. I was trying to keep my current wall colours in mind and let that drive my serious looking, and was reminded of why I kept my previous places kind of neutral. :-)
From there I hit the library to pick up a reserved book and to browse the shelves. I found an Akira Kurosowa movie in stock (not one that was recommended, but based on King Lear) as well as a movie I hadn't heard of by the people involved with The Raid. The east branch as Seven Samurai, I'll see if I can drop by tonight to grab it. I thought that the Union Sq holiday market was on, but turns out I was a week off, so after a brief stop there, I hit up the supermarket and got stuff to finally restock my granola, as well as stuff to make jerk chicken for quiet night in take two (bailing on the xmas surf rock night at ONCE).

Sunday morning was super lazy, I just read and decided where to put my knife rack once I get around to mounting it. I almost went to D&D in my pjs, but changed at the last minute. :-) I think I'll pick up some non girly printed flannel and make my next winter pair, though probably just pants as I still love the red plaid hooded top I wore all last winter. Game was fun, more rat men and my monkish charge to incapacitate the spell caster and his shattering bell luckily paid off (including a "well, I could always rolll a 20" attempt to bull rush a huge rat man, woot!). I decided to start watching "Ran" after game since it was 2hr40mins and I wanted to spread it out over a few nights. I had my downstairs neighbour up for a cocktail (heads up if you'd like to live in my building, he's thinking of renting or selling next year), and then went back to the movie and got sucked right back in and ended up watching the whole thing. I think I get the Kurosawa love now. :-)

First snowy ride to work from the new place today (about time!), though granted only the first 8 or so blocks are different from my previous commute. Definitely need to keep up with the bike brake pad maintenance to survive that first hill though. I did immediately jump online and take advantage of the tail end of EMS's current sale and got a new rain jacket for half off, my current one is dying yet again. It's kind of disheartening to look back at pictures of my adventures and be able to date them by which rain jacket I was wearing, I can't seem to get more than 2 years out of any one. Nabbed a black one this time, finally, I've taken to wearing my reflective vest over whichever jacked I have on, so hivis colour isn't as important, and it'll make me feel less self conscious walking into evening events.

high school meme

Dec. 5th, 2016 11:26 am
silentq: (baby)
[personal profile] silentq
The tea has to kick in and my brain turn on eventually, right?

Tell us about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!
Class of: 1990Read more... )

Cooking for other people

Dec. 5th, 2016 04:36 pm
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
[personal profile] bunnypip asked about "cooking for other people and what you get out of it (because it's something I used to love and fell out of love with) are there any downsides for you that make it less fun? what are the best bits?"

Basically, I just really like food. Eating really delicious things is one of my favourite things to do, and especially one of my favourite things to share doing. So cooking for other people is just an extension of that really; it means I get to share eating (hopefully!) delicious things whilst at the same time knowing that I made it happen.

One of the really nice upsides to living in Northampton for a while is having new people to feed; all the dishes that I've cooked dozens of times for [livejournal.com profile] obandsoller and [livejournal.com profile] robert_jones get to be appreciated anew by [personal profile] hjdoom and [livejournal.com profile] vyvyan, and I find myself experiencing them with a fresh palate as well.

The best bit is when you serve dinner to a noisy room full of fabulous people, and then for the next five or ten minutes silence descends, because everyone is too focused on the food to continue their conversations, no matter how engaging, and you know that you've absolutely nailed it. I don't manage this every time, but it never gets old.

There aren't many downsides. I used to get very stressed about things coming out less than perfectly, but by now I'm confident enough that I'll be able salvage something edible from nearly any mistake, and that the people I cook for will be forgiving even if it does go horribly wrong and I have to resort to ordering takeaway. And unsurprisingly, being more relaxed means that things go wrong much less often anyway.
dancefloorlandmine: DJing at B-Movie Nov 04 (DJ)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
Behind the decks at Tufnell Park Dome again for the Alternative Bring & Buy. The last time I DJed here, a few years ago, it was the middle of August, and stiflingly hot. This time around, it was actually warmer out amongst the stalls than in the DJ booth. DJing with Jonny Hall ("DJ Terminates Here") and Scott McMahon (aka "DJ The Scot"), it gave us an opportunity to play some tracks that tend to be underplayed due to being less dancefloor-friendly. As well as just some random songs to keep up the mood of (or generally entertain) the stallholders and the shoppers, ending with the traditional end-of-sale tag-team, and then a few extra tracks while everything was being tidied away while Scott and Jonny went across the road to set up for the after-party at Aces & Eights.

Setlists below )
dancefloorlandmine: DJing at B-Movie Nov 04 (DJ)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
A gig without photos! In this case because I was acting as one of the interval-and-after DJs, along with The Dandy Demondaz.

The evening's acts were Redhead (a classic guitar-rock four-piece), The Wimmin's Institute (perky pop-punk feminist four-piece playing wry wittiness such as their latest 'Nandos', with added trumpet), and the headliners, playing another of their justly renowned anniversary gigs, The Memepunks.

(Normally, when DJing for a band who play covers, I like to check in advance what they'll play, to ensure that I don't end up playing half their set before they go on stage. When you do that for The Memepunks, you end up with a list of about twenty-five tracks for a ten-song set - considerably more if one of those songs is Slimelight 2000.)

Setlists below )

A Full Weekend

Dec. 5th, 2016 10:36 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Two major events on Saturday and three on Sunday make for a pretty full weekend. It started with visting [livejournal.com profile] hathhalla and [livejournal.com profile] ser_pounce for another cheesequest session (Pont-l'Évêque was a personal favourite) followed by a chapter of Mice and Mystics, which we finished quickly and successfully through some particularly hardline decision making and some lucky cards that provides a delightful emergent narrative. Post-cheesequest we went out to The Astor to see the double of Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy; and ran into [livejournal.com profile] justadecoy, whom I hadn't seen for a couple of years. The latter film is, of course, charming and I've managed to see it three times now in recent months. The former I think will be lasting because in additional to some good character development it made excellent use of special effects and colours in a manner that was both artistic and clever in its simplicity.

Sunday started relatively early with a trip to the Unitarian Church, where Dr. Hans Baer was speaking on the recent US elections; it was entertaining enough even if I found myself mostly in disagreement with his strategic considerations, not to mention the only fleeting reference to religious content. Afterwards was a meeting of The Philosophy Forum, where Graeme Lindenmayer speaking on What is Life? What is a Life?, a primarily descriptive presentation but which drew light to some interesting edge cases where the binary between living and not-living becomes a little murky. Afterwards it was a journey to our Sunday session of GURPS Middle Earth which included revived discussion of the geopolitical situation and settlements, before narrowing down to the immediate scenario. Afterwards was a committee meeting for the RPG Review Cooperative which concentrated on the Papers & Paychecks Kickstarter, which remains frustratingly close to succeeding (go support this, now, please).
rbarclay: Esme WILL be obeyed (esme)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Even though the map does look fscking scary.

I've never been so happy to have lost money on a bet.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is the second book in Novik's Temeraire series and it continues strong. Our intrepid hero, Laurence, is in a foul mood as the book starts, having been forcibly separated from Temeraire, due to a, ahem, little diplomatic snafu with the Chinese imperial court. And this is massively problematic, as a lot of the British Empire's economy rests on having somewhat open trade there.

The Emperor of China is demanding the return of the Celestial dragon and, not entirely surprising, neither Temeraire nor Laurence are very well pleased with this idea.

Then, lots of stuff happens.

I'm still liking this series and I think on the balance I like this one better than #1.

[ bookmonth ] 2016-11

Dec. 4th, 2016 07:19 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Book list )

Seven books. Maybe that should be "only seven books?". Linear extrapolation to year's end says 98 books. This is probably a reaslitsic, although possibly low estimate. It's likely to be within 5% of the right value, at least.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is the third of Saunders' Commonweal books. Judging from contents, it takes place a year or two after the end of the last book (or I have a crapy short-term memory, this is entirely possible). We follow our magical apprentices through a series of happenings. The viewpoint character changes throughout the book, pretty much every chapter change also has a viewpoint change. Our different POV characters have different voices, at least to some extent, but I would not try to pinpoint the speaking character (apart from one, which is super-easy to tell) purely from a snippet of text.

All in all, eminently readable.

Exciting book swap

Dec. 4th, 2016 06:50 pm
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb
Cheer up your January self by joining in with [livejournal.com profile] ghoti's book swap: http://ghoti.livejournal.com/804124.html

(no subject)

Dec. 3rd, 2016 11:02 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
The site slowdown tonight (Saturday night) is due to database load -- Saturday nights are one of our busiest times and we're still going to need to do some performance tweaks to our new setup over the next few days as we run into load issues. (Some problems only show up once all y'all start banging on the site!) We've made a few changes now that will improve things for some people, and will do a more permanent fix later on tonight or tomorrow morning once the traffic dies down, since doing it now would just increase database load.

Site performance may continue to be rocky on and off for the next few days until we get everything tuned the way it needs to be tuned -- thank you for your patience!