Week Three! This week was a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve been attending a lot of networking events and getting my toes wet in the local technology scene. Very cool stuff but also very exhausting. Not to mention I’m in the process of moving houses, so I’m writing this a little last-minute.

Actually, scratch that. I’m writing this late because I found out last night that my work laptop had a spontaneous fan error that I can’t seem to be able to fix quickly. That’s where I house the (very minimal) set up for my Jekyll blog, so I can’t update that. But I won’t let that deter me from finishing a forum post!

Thoughts of The Week

  • WakaTime!: A great little open-source editor plugin for metrics about your programming. Adds great supplementary data that adds more insight to my learning system. Add it to your Editor/IDE.
  • Non-linear Goals: As much as I love Beeminder and its tracking and measurement of goals, it does lead to bias towards linear goals even a blindspot to non-linear goals AKA acknowledgement that there isn’t a typical progression that’s exclusively upwards.
  • In-the-moment Monkey: The most difficult monkey-mind to tackle is the one that comes to us at random-spontaneous and emotionally difficult times (obviously).
    • How do we tackle the monkey-mind when its at its most powerful?
    • We also have to examine the relational monkeys, as in where/what caused us to get into the position of pure impulse in the first place’
  • Beeminder Placebo: When I think about that experiment I wrote about last month, I sort of realize that it’s difficult to realize. I don’t think there’s a reality where I would actually give Beeminder hundreds or thousands of dollars in exchange for a one-time data point that comes in a month or so, and that the threat of the money would be more of a self-induced placebo effect.
    • Should I lower it to the most amount of money I would realistically place, or is a daunting placebo in fact more powerful’
  • Community-oriented Goals: As an introvert, and as an idealist for civil society in general, I think it would really be helpful to have community-oriented goals. The problem is I don’t know effective goal/system ideas for this, other than perhaps a manual record of meet-ups attended.
  • Leaderboards: A totally unreasonable, but fun idea I had was to have global leaderboards on Beeminder. Of course, there are a multitude of reasons why it wouldn’t work, but it would be really interesting to see how the ‘best of’ would be doing and how to try to measure that.
  • Simplify Reporter Prompts: I currently think the best way to utilize Reporter is to just have a single, freeform entry in the morning, afternoon, and evening as a way to consolidate all of the different ideas for prompts. The simpler and easier something is, the more likely I am to continue using it.
  • Content-creator Systems: Although IFTTT has a large multitude of API options, a lot of them aren’t intuitive for Beeminder systems. I’m sure Zapier has a lot more smart options, but that costs money, and at that point I’m better off developing my own API web hooks for custom systems.
    • That aside, I’ve realized that there’s a lot of potential to use YouTube, Twitch, and Soundcloud for content-based systems, eg. posting videos, doing livestreams, or uploading podcasts. I’m still not really in a place to use these, but it’s good to have for future reference.
    • Dropbox ‘file-in-folder’ Possibilities: Another interesting idea for future use is the fact you can track the amount of files within a specific folder in Dropbox. I’m not entirely sure about the specifics, but I feel like there’s a lot of possibility there.
  • Reference-based Twitter: I think a way to deal with my qualms about Twitter is to largely ignore the social aspects of the social media platform, and focus instead on using it as a way to keep track of personal references and inspiration, as well as smaller updates to my progress in general.
  • Agnostic Tracking: It would be interesting if Beeminder allowed for systems that were neutral’neither ‘do more’ or ‘do less’ but rather just the ability to view the natural progression of datapoints for the sake of observation rather than improvement, and I think this idea ties well into non-linear goals/systems.

Current Systems

  • /weight: Only a couple of days after creating this system, I derailed! I thought it was a little weird that there would be no merciful flexibility to account for the natural fluctuation of weight.
    • Of course, Beeminder is way ahead of me, and recently addressed a much more sensible philosophy to this, and I should have read that before starting and just had my initial datapoint being the top weight of my fluctuations.
  • /journalbar: Also derailed! I need to get a new instance of my blog environment set up on my older laptop so I can update it asap. But I’ve already finished the weekly update itself, and that’s more important than anything.
  • As for my other systems, there’s really not much other than smooth sailing!

New Systems

  • /gratitude: This week, I re-introduced the gratitude system, which has a great ratio of effort and value. This video by Kurzgesagt is a great explanation for why gratitude is an antidote to dissatisfaction in general.

Pesky Obstacles

  • As per-usual, the most pesky obstacles I’ve faced this week have just been myself and my life.
  • The more systems you have in place, the more fragile the entirety of the process becomes. I need to be more mindful of this, and figure out ways to incorporate robustness into the holistic process.