Monthly Bragging Thread January 2016

post by elharo · 2016-01-01T16:14:15.640Z · score: 5 (6 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 29 comments
Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to comment on this thread explaining the most awesome thing you've done this month. You may be as blatantly proud of yourself as you feel. You may unabashedly consider yourself the coolest freaking person ever because of that awesome thing you're dying to tell everyone about. This is the place to do just that.

Remember, however, that this isn't any kind of progress thread. Nor is it any kind of proposal thread. This thread is solely for people to talk about the awesome things they have done. Not "will do." Not "are working on." Have already done. This is to cultivate an environment of object level productivity rather than meta-productivity methods. For example:

  • Published a new novel: Yes, brag heartily.
  • Wrote an outline for a new novel: No, please wait until the novel is finished.

So, what's the coolest thing you've done this month?

(Previous bragging thread)

29 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by James_Miller · 2016-01-01T17:34:50.399Z · score: 21 (21 votes) · LW · GW

My 11-year-old son Alex, without anyone suggesting it, donated $100 to the Against Malaria Foundation and so gave up the chance to buy 50 Hearthstone arena tickets.

comment by Markas · 2016-01-02T09:00:01.349Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

As a pro Hearthstone player and effective altruist, nicely done! If your son is interested in a free lesson I'd be happy to help him improve his game as a reward for his generosity (though I haven't played arena in a while).

comment by ChristianKl · 2016-01-01T18:08:57.938Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

You did great Alex.

Have you thought about writing an article explaining why you choose to make the donation and ask on of the EA blogs to publish it? I think a lot of people would find such an article inspiring and share-worthy.

comment by James_Miller · 2016-01-01T22:45:00.030Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

His response to your comment: "I don't know why I chose to donate, I just had an urge to." I then asked him why Against Malaria Foundation? "Because it was top rated on Givewell." I then asked him why Givewell. "Because you (James) said it was a good charity site."

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-02T08:21:47.073Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

The kid I volunteer with through Big Brothers, Big Sisters told me that they haven't self-harmed since we started hanging out. And they're looking into a STEM career, in large part because of my math tutoring!

comment by username2 · 2016-01-04T13:45:41.774Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Could you tell us more about your experiences participating in that program?

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-04T20:23:06.550Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Sure!

Basically, they have you fill out an extensive application, where you get to list everything from your interests to your preferred traits in the kid they match you with. They ask for a commitment of one year, meeting a few hours at a time, a few times a month. I preferred a kid older than nine.

They matched me with a thirteen-year-old girl, who had many of the same mental health problems I'd struggled with. We also both enjoyed crafts and anime. I met her, we clicked pretty well, and then we were all interviewed separately about whether we wanted to go through with the match. Me, her parents, and her.

There has been one problem, where her mom treated me more like a babysitter than her kid's friend. I asked BBBS for mediation, because it was making me and my Little Sister uncomfortable. They handled it beautifully and I haven't had problems since.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-01T18:24:00.146Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW
  • The first chapter of my MSc thesis was accepted to the ACM OOPS 2016 conference, and I submitted the camera-ready copy and registered for the conference. Now I just have to figure out travel and hotel arrangements and actually prepare the presentation for April!

  • A particular piece of code that I wrote for work (ie: under NDA) shipped to be burned into ROM in October, and the hardware with the ROM arrived this past month (December). I tested it, and it works 90% as-designed. I've submitted a patch adding extra error codes in case we ever get to ship again.

  • I don't remember if this happened in November or December, but I reinvented correlation explanation and had even made a nice visualization before I found out it was published last year.

  • LIkewise, I definitely shipped a patch for Venture sometime in the last month or two.

  • I helped Maia, Roger, Eileen, and David throw the Washington DC Secular Solstice. Really it was David and Eileen doing most of the work, though.

  • The epsilon-delta definition of continuity is annoyingly inelegant compared to the open-set condition.

  • I currently bench at least my lean body weight, and am building up to benching more than that.

comment by username2 · 2016-01-04T13:43:22.176Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Congrats on everything! But

The epsilon-delta definition of continuity is annoyingly inelegant compared to the open-set condition.

looks off topic

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-10T20:06:44.527Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That was a "let's see if anyone reads this far" joke-listing :-p.

comment by CellBioGuy · 2016-01-05T14:22:28.414Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

First first-author molecular biology publication in print as of the first of the month.

comment by IlyaShpitser · 2016-01-05T16:43:52.842Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Congratulations!

comment by Viliam · 2016-01-01T17:36:02.947Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

During the latest two weeks I regularly exercised (with weights, about 15 minutes) every morning. I lost 4 kg, which I think is awesome considering it happened during Christmas season with tons of tasty food everywhere.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-01T18:15:10.020Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Wait... that doesn't make sense. Unless you're lifting truly extreme amounts of weight, or actually undereating quite a lot, you shouldn't lose 4kg in two weeks.

comment by Viliam · 2016-01-02T11:00:56.590Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

An error of measurement is always a possibility. Unfortunately, I can't travel back in time to measure my weight from before two weeks again.

To add more context, at this moment I am quite overweight (most that I've been at least in the recent ten years), because in recent months I had a lot of stress and almost no opportunity to exercise, plus an access to a lot of great food (I am really bad at resisting temptation: my only strategy for not overeating is "don't buy it"). Generally, my behavior depends a lot on my environment, and most of my self-control and self-improvement is based on strategically modifying my environment; and I had almost zero control over my environment until recently when we moved to a new flat. Now every morning I do sit-ups and five different exercises with a 10-kg dumbbell, most of them until I am too tired to continue. And half of the days my diet consisted of some joylent (about 10-20% of daily intake) and vegetable soup, and maybe a slice of bread.

I attribute this change to the "beginner's luck", which means that if you haven't been doing anything and you suddenly start working hard, you usually get some huge progress at the beginning and then it slows down. I expect that doing exactly the same thing for the next two weeks will have much smaller effects. (Unfortunately, this also makes the "error in measurement" hypothesis unfalsifiable.)

Anyway, I congratulate myself for the willpower to exercise regularly, regardless of whether the outcomes were measured correctly. That was an important hypothesis I needed to test experimentally -- whether my behavior will really change in the new environment, or whether I am just rationalizing my laziness.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-02T18:39:35.369Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

And half of the days my diet consisted of some joylent (about 10-20% of daily intake) and vegetable soup, and maybe a slice of bread.

That does sound like radical undereating, unless "joylent" is a good deal more calorie intensive than I think it is.

comment by Good_Burning_Plastic · 2016-01-03T13:49:03.937Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

(Or the other half of the days he ate a helluva lot.)

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2016-01-02T19:57:10.523Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I published an article in The Huffington Post promoting Givedirectly and effective giving, which was shared on social media over 2K times.

comment by polymathwannabe · 2016-01-04T13:23:24.593Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

As I do twice a year, I gave blood. I usually time it to coincide with the beginning of December's celebrations.

comment by Bryan-san · 2016-01-07T15:02:57.281Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Finally completed my dieting goal of losing 20% of my original body weight.

comment by Jacobian · 2016-01-11T19:52:24.092Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I started a rationality-adjacent blog about applying math to life last year and a couple of weeks ago I achieved my first major goal for the blog: a place on Scott's blogroll which bumped my readership by around 10x.

comment by robirahman · 2016-01-13T00:15:22.614Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

You're the author of putanumonit?? I'd like to take this opportunity to say that your blog is amazing and I love it. Please write more soon!

comment by Jacobian · 2016-01-13T15:45:07.346Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks!

I previously explored some of the ideas I write about on LessWrong, and on more than one occasion I was corrected here on dumb mistakes in math and reasoning that I made. I was hoping that the same would be true for Putanumonit, I even promise a small gift to anyone correcting a major mistake I made. That hasn't really happened yet. Either I'm becoming more careful in my writing, or I was spoiled by the high level of the commenters on LW :)

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-02T01:37:34.419Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Completed my goal from the monthy goal thread (talk to 3 investors).

comment by Magnap · 2016-02-14T02:04:19.595Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I won the Danish National Biology Olympiad semifinal (as 1/15), and thus I qualify for the final, where I will have the chance to be 1 of 4 Danes participating in the International Biology Olympiad.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-02-14T06:21:40.121Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wish you luck! Some of the kids from where I work are likely to go there as the Ukrainian team.

comment by BrienneYudkowsky · 2016-01-22T23:01:53.933Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I wrote the first story I've ever truly been proud of.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-01-12T07:30:33.036Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

When thinking about my resolutions for this year, I realized that saying that I am going to do something doesn't solve the problem, unless I have a serious reason to think I really will do it. This had a major impact on my willpower and the way I have been considering it for the past week. For instance, I write down my goals, the way to achieve them and how I will implement them in my life.

Besides that, I mostly didn't do anything important though. But I am confident this common sense knowledge will make my life better.

comment by lifelonglearner · 2016-01-20T00:41:08.342Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah-- this is something that seems intuitive once you grasp it. But just because it's "common-sense" doesn't mean it's not useful. Writing things down and making a plan to get things done is a really effective way of achieving your goals!