links

Table of Contents

Monthly Links

This page is mostly a log in which I keep links to things I've read, made, done, etc. It's separated by month, along with my goals for the next month, and should be end up being in reverse chronological order

2019

April 2019

Goals for May

  • Become as good at your job as possible
  • Adjust to new lifestyle

Things I've Been a Part of Making

Things I've Consumed

  • deeplearning.ai - Convolutional Neural Networks a brief foray into MOOCs, started here mostly for the videos on YOLO but ended up watching the entire course as a result of enjoying Andrew Ng's teaching style, which I think is pretty clear. I just audit the course since the actual certificate strikes me as exceedingly useless, but perhaps this attitude is what is preventing MOOCs from taking off so maybe I'm just a part of the problem
  • Machine Learning Yearning - Andrew Ng disappointing, and especially devastatingly disappointing when you realize who the author is. Perhaps I was just no longer in the target audience for this book but I don't really think I can grasp someone who would be - it seems to be aimed at startups trying to deploy ML solutions (?) but I think feels weirdly too intro for anybody who would be able to actually do that. It is a draft though, so perhaps I'm being too harsh
  • The Dolly Zoom Weirdly engaging for a video about a certain kind of zoom - really neat!
  • World Models absolutely psycho interesting paper that appeals to the cognitive scientist and fledgling AI researcher in me; training entirely on hallucination is really fascinating and I was really excited by a lot of different ideas in this project, for example adjusting the temperature parameter to make the hallucinations more difficult than the actual task, thus making training more useful. Just read it, it's really digestible.
  • Howl's Moving Castle Theme for Solo Piano - Kyle Landry I loved this arrangement because it for how bombastic it was compared to the original I think it did what it set out to do pretty much perfectly – bring forward a backgroundy OST piece to the foreground for solo piano. So much energy! I love it.
  • An absolute truckload of research papers I'm in heaven I can't believe I get to do this now

March 2019

Goals for April

  • Continue Reading
  • Relocate, Start New Job

Things I've Made

  • What is the most obscure thing you know about in Melee? cool twitter thread which yielded ~100 responses of cool obscure little things about melee.
  • Recalibrated Myanimelist I went back and adjusted all my ratings / added a bunch of things I had forgotten to record that I watched. Still not perfect and probably requires some rewatching to get correct, but it was a good thing to do considering most of the anime I've watched recently has been depressingly mediocre.

Things I've Consumed

  • Baby Steps Reread this from start to finish to get myself super hyped up for this new era in my life. This sort of media I think is really good as a motivational pick-me-up and I've long believed that reading things at the right time can influence you positively, which is why I think it's important to remember how consuming different media makes you feel.
  • 3B1B - Essence of Linear Algebra and 3B1B - Essence of Calculus - Very beautiful, surprisingly watchable overviews of two fields in mathematics. These two series are very impressive in different ways for me; the calculus one was mostly "oh that's why that's that way" moments for me while watching it, whereas the linear algebra one was a beautiful visual overview of something that was before mostly symbolic in my head. I'm really excited for his Differential Equations series, which should be coming out shortly.
  • 3B1B - Quaternions and the corresponding Visualizing quaternions page - probably a little bit over my head but the basic ideas are really interesting, in particular the bit about calculating 3d rotations with these was pretty sick.

February 2019

Updates

  • Got a new job I'll be headed over to Johns Hopkins APL to do Artificial Intelligence Research starting in late April and I couldn't be more excited about it :)

Goals for March

  • Read Textbooks for aforementioned job

Things I've Made

Things I've Consumed

January 2019

Goals for February

  • Decide which project to tackle next, begin working I'm bouncing around a couple of fun ideas so I need to pick one; I'll probably end up picking the one that ends up the more technically challenging, for obvious reasons.
  • Spend some time on organization I've let my organization escape me a little bit so it'll be good to spend a little time to get everything back in place.
  • Nail down some IRL goals this month

Things I've Made

  • Predicting Personality with Playstyle in Super Smash Brothers People have been kicking around this question for ages so I did some research to get to the bottom of it. I opened the survey on January 8th, closed the survey on January 10th and began writing, and then posted this essay on January 18th, which means I turned around this project in roughly one week which I'm very proud of.

Things I've Consumed

2018

December 2018

Goals for December

  • Resume Reading as I completely and abruptly stopped reading in favor of working on the Homestuck project
  • Enroll in an online class since my younger brother got this for me for christmas, have to decide what I want to take, though
  • Practice a bit for Genesis 6

Things I've Made

  • Locating Visual Jokes in Homestuck with Rudimentary Computer Vision probably the fastest I've ever completed a project of this rigor, which was really exciting! The project took me about a month and a half and I was really committed to completing it before the year ended, which I thankfully was able to accomplish. Definitely among the more technically interesting projects I've done, performed moderately well on the /r/homestuck subreddit.

Things I've Consumed

Reflections

The links page has become, weirdly enough, one of my favorite projects. I'm reminded of a suggestion I heard a long time ago (I think it was from Day9 but I am unsure) to keep a journal full of awesome things you have done so you can look back at it whenever you feel down about yourself. It's really cool being able to flip through and at a glance see where all your time in a year went, which months were strong and which were weak, etc.

A useful thing I can do here is briefly reflect on 2018 and how it squared with what my goals were for the year:

I read 11/30 books, 9 reviewed on my goodreads page, one being a re-read (Once a Runner), and one being Anokh's The Book of Melee which I obviously won't review extensively due to it being currently unreleased.

I wrote 7 longform posts on this website (Homestuck CV, STARS ALIGNED annotations, Celeste Review, Anki notes, Projects page, Boredom Types rant, Making Sense of Melee), I made 6 videos (Shinelock Punishes, Box Practical Tech, Bombs over Battlefield, Shine 2018 Clips, STARS ALIGNED, Stray Saturday), I made semi-regular appearances on the Melee Stats Podcast, and I revamped this website to be a lot more efficient (i.e. easier to read, mobile friendly, auto-generated from org mode documents, better in general overall). My original goal was just "15 longform posts" which I set rather aggressively to encourage shorter writings (i.e. ones that don't require months of work like Making Sense of Melee, the Homestuck CV project, STARS ALIGNED and it's annotations etc) so I it'll be okay if I cheat a little bit and consider this goal met just via converting quantity of work from one format to another.

I'm unsure if I'd consider myself the fittest I've ever been but I've made some substantial progress on that front and I'm pretty satisfied with that. I think I need to learn how to balance the different types of training into somethat that works for me because it's hard to me to juggle everything (e.g. I stop running if I go to the gym more, I stop going to the gym if I focus on rock climbing, etc).

I think overall I'm pleased with how I was able to focus on goals I defined myself throughout 2018. I had a lot to show for my use of free time in 2018, and probably are most proud of these three projects. I think I could've done more - in particular there are two projects I started that fell through mostly due to my decision to focus on Melee a bit more during the summer (between EVO / Shine / Big House / etc). Likewise I didn't do anywhere near enough reading, at least as far as books go. I was mostly good about staying on task but there were a few months where I felt like I accomplished almost nothing. These were generally in the summer, and in general I found it difficult to get back into the swing of independent work after doing any sort of travelling.

Anyways, 2019 goals:

  • Dramatically restructure life to spend higher percentage of time doing things I find interesting instead of just a few hours a day
  • Complete 15 projects, four of them being "large projects", at least five of them including a longform writing component
  • Read 20 books
  • Become strong

November 2018

Brief Updates

  • Started some cool things but haven't completed them
  • Have been doing a lot of reading but haven't finished any books

Goals for December

  • Complete both books currently reading
  • Complete short-medium difficulty project and writeup Pretty happy to be able to jog my memory of something I learned in school years ago.
  • Reassess goals from end of year 2017 I was way off, but not so way off that I feel discouraged about it.
  • Come up with new goals

Things I've Made

  • Stray Saturday very short highlight reel of some cool melee clips from one saturday's worth of games with my friends.

Things I've Consumed

Papers

"I wish to clarify that an inherent danger of climbing the social ladder in small communities is that a player can lose sight of the intense sway that they hold. Even falsities can be accepted by the weaker party when enough people gather around the stronger individual. Those with high capital should seek to view discourse in light of their own authority, and consider whether or not their opinion is actually correct or if their authority has preceded them."

  • Robust Website Fingerprinting Through the Cache Occupancy Channel This is horrifying! tl;dr you can look into the cache of the user on your site to look at what they have open on their other tabs, which is highly effective on both normal web browsers and Tor. If you're gonna do something illegal make sure you close that fbi.com tab first.
Videos

October 2018

Brief Updates

  • Attended The Big House 8 got 97th place which is pretty solid for me; I can be so much better than I currently am and I have lots of footage to review. In general this low-pressure headspace I was in was very good and is worth experimenting with more. bracket matches
  • Updated the iframe CSS on this website Youtube videos / gfycats no longer look completely stupid, nor are they insanely vertically stretched on mobile.
  • Began taking Creatine been thinking about taking this since I’ve heard mixed things about its effect on cognition (mostly during sleep deprivation) but now that I’m lifting weights 3x/week I figured it was worth taking regularly. Hard to separate out what is from creatine and what is from just getting stronger, but the water retention effect was much stronger than I anticipated.

Goals for November

  • Practice Coding
  • Make Things

Things I've made

Things I've consumed

Games
  • deltarune - Chapter 1 Very cute, and I think a surprisingly worthy followup to UNDERTALE so far. May or may not be part of a big writeup I'm planning, but my impressions after chapter 1 are: absolutely fire OST, overall somewhat less lovable characters but some gems, the Suzy/Lance dynamic was hilarious and cute, the linear storytelling is a big departure and makes me think we're in for a ride (and probably a dark one), it's free??, the ending caught me entirely off guard, can't wait for chapter 2.
Video
Books
  • The Book of Melee I was an alpha reader for Anokh Palakurthi's Melee upcoming 2019 nonfiction book chronicling the history of SSBM. Think it's likely to be an enjoyable read for people who follow the scene, since there's a number of really interesting little anecdotes you probably didn't know about the game.

September 2018

Goals for October

  • Go to The Big House 8 just have a good time, stop worrying so much about how you perform when you can't even go to locals.
  • Lift weights again need to get back on a beginner program and get back to where I was before. I'm not exactly untrained (I do still climb) but I'm not where I used to be and I realized I got complacent with my health goals after I lost the weight I gained second half of school.
  • Read books I'd like to finish Psychology Applied to Modern Life at minimum, preferably more.
  • Finish 2-3 of my mostly finished projects this includes my Celeste longform review, the secret video project, and the stamina bracket research, among other stray ones.

Things I've Made

  • Powershot shenanigans little TAS clip about charge shot bouncing off of shield and getting powershielded from a weird angle, seemed pretty popular!

Things I've Consumed

  • Kirby Air Ride City Trial TAS - Achivements This is the mode I and everyone I know played most when this game came out so I'm glad somebody made a good TAS of it instead of focusing on the courses instead.
  • Bottle cap pitching This is so cool and it looks really fun actually! I sort of want to learn to do it but I'd need two other people to be convinced to practice it which seems unlikely.
  • Poker Players Replay Their Most Memorable Hands | The New Yorker I love listening to Poker players talk about Poker because there's just so much thought involved. My favorite by far was Jamie Kerstetter's hand which just filled me with uncontrollable anxiety listening to it.
  • Celeste the best game I've played in a long time; a full review is coming soon.

August 2018

Brief Updates

  • Went to Evo 2018 I played pretty terrible at the tournament, which was very disappointing, but seeing my friends for the first time in almost a year was so exciting and I left with a decent idea of what I want to work on. Reflection tweets
  • Went to Shine 2018 Didn't do too hot in bracket but had some decent Money Matches despite not being particularly winning.
  • Bouldering I climbed a bunch of V3s at Origin Climbing Gym in Las Vegas during Evo, but I'm pretty confident that the grades at that gym were pretty soft. Climbed a number of V3s at assorted gyms but no overhangs.

Goals for September

  • Reorient

Things I've Made

Videos
  • Shine 2018 Clips not technically put out this month but recorded this month, just some funny stray clips from recorded sets at this tournament.

Things I've Consumed

Web

July 2018

Brief Updates

  • Sent a V3 Problem Didn't get a video recording of it, but I sent an interesting slab problem at The Gravity Vault in Randor, PA. In my send I got stuck on the last move for maybe three full minutes before getting past it with a weird coordination mantle + pistol squat move, which I felt really good about even though it suggests my move into the last move was probably not super optimal.
  • Sent another, different V3 Problem Video here, another relatively easy problem which I abused my height to make easier. I want to send this cleaner (as I did with that super weird teal V2 that everyone at my gym hates, myself included). I really liked the mini cut-loose move near the end but I think this climb would be easier with better footwork especially after the third hand move (flag is unnecessary). I think a footswap after the fifth hand move -> move right foot to hold right next to it skips the need for cutting loose, but I could be misunderstanding how good the holds are from that position from this video. Overall I think definitely a relatively easy v3 which I think is appropriate for what I consider my current level at climbing (V2+/V3-)
  • Practiced a bunch for Evo 2018 I'm very excited for this event and I think I'm in pretty good form for it - I'm unsure if I'll do well or not but I'm looking forward to playing a lot of great melee with strong players and having a good time in Las Vegas.

Goals for August

  • Play Well at Evo 2018, get hours in against new, strong players
  • Send two more V3s, one of which must be a roof/overhang
  • Cut weight back down to 150-153 range
  • Resume work on programming work
  • Begin work on secret SSBM video project

Things I've Made

  • Notes on Spaced Repetition Some running notes for my anki card usage, which I will probably update as I get new useful thoughts on using it
  • How Variable are Omron Scales? I got back up to 160 so I ran some measurements on my bodyfat / muscle percentages and they were much better than the last time I was this weight, which is very exciting and motivating
  • MPGR Summer Top 50 Ballot After a bunch of discussion, PGR ended up sticking with the ballot system instead of using the algorithmic ranking. I was a panelist this season, and spent a good amount of time making this ballot (which will remain hidden to avoid external pressure influencing my vote).
  • MPGR Roundtable Part 2: #40-31 I appear as a guest on Panda Global's Twitch show discussing the summerrank top 50, along with Aiden, Appel, Gimmedatwheat, Edwinbudding, and PracticalTAS.

Things I've Consumed

Web
  • What is CRISPR? Research on gene editing, a bit out of my element but very interesting
  • Notebooks - Bactra.org A fine addition to my "Visions for this website in 30 years" list, along with gwern.net. This is a page of notebooks written by Cosma Shalizi, a professor of Statistics at CMU. There's so much info here! From this alone I'll have a list of books to read that will never end.
Video
Books

June 2018

Goals for July

  • Send another V3 Problem I have one that I'm working on but I am worried they will take it down before I get the last move, so if I can't get it by the end of the month then I'll need to find something else
  • Practice an unreasonable amount for Evo 2018 It's probably because I can no longer take Melee for granted and play it every day, but I haven't felt this motivated for a tournament in a very long time. I really want to perform well so I've been practicing a lot and I don't want to let this motivation fizzle out before the event.
  • Work on projects when you have time I have a lot of things in the works, among which the things I have not finished from months ago, but my priorities have temporarily shifted for now so I think if I finish any real projects in the next month I'll view it as a bonus rather than an explicit goal.

Things I have Made

  • Overhauled personal website I now generate this entire website from emacs org files; going back and transforming all my html documents to org files was sort of a pain but luckily with pandoc it didn't take longer than an afternoon - the rough part was wrangling with the org html export, which I eventually managed to nail down. It looks cool now! Still some work to be done but not bad.
  • V3 Boulder Problem interesting mantle -> mantle thing going on in this problem; it feels a little easy for a V3 but I'm not complaining since it let me meet my goal for this month! I've now completed every V2 problem in the gym so I'm currently focusing on climbing them cleanly / V3 problems / waiting for new problems
  • V2 Slab Problem really cool problem at a gym I don't usually go to
  • Fountain of Dreams is Cool Now stupid movement idea I came up with on this stage

Things I have Consumed

May 2018

Goals for June

  • Send a v3 boulder problem
  • Make big changes to website formatting using emacs HTML export
  • Complete posts I keep postponing work on
  • Make it very straightforward to export new things to this site now that everything is centralized in emacs (!!)

Things I have Made

Things I have Consumed

April 2018

Goals for May

  • Turn 23
  • Complete Bracket Stamina post (this has gone on for too long as it is, since I keep encountering cool things abour it, and I made less progress than I would've liked on it despite working on it for ~20ish hours this month, but a lot of that is due to the fact that I am learning emacs through this project; I think I'm mostly completed with interesting things to encounter so I expect to be completed by mid may)
  • Become very comfortable with emacs; a friend of mine showed me his emacs setup and I realized that I had virtually the same workflow except strewn across 15 different programs and within two weeks of using it I am back/surpassing to my old productivity speed despite regularly pausing to remember how to perform the "copy" command. Fully expect to sink 300+ hours into configuring this program within the next year but as it stands I am already hooked on it.
  • Begin working on next coding project surprise for now.
  • Complete some stray writing projects

Things I have Made

Videos

Things I have Consumed

Articles
  • On Ledgedashing and PODE (R2Dliu) PODE lets you press the perfect ledgedash angle and get a ledgedrop because it pseudo-buffers the horizontal input so you get one frame of vertical down movement first.
  • Python Gotchas - Default Values I started trying to use these in my projects without knowing why they worked and it caused me problems
References
Videos

March 2018

Goals for April

  • Continue learning math, learn some beginner Chinese
  • SSBM: study 30 hours of videos, implement dash out of crouch, continue working on aerial drift
  • Complete bracket project (which has proven to be much more interesting than I anticipated) and flashcards writeup
  • Learn to use vim, get comfortable with it by playing some DCSS (lol)

Updates

  • Downloaded Atracker which I plan on using to make more quantifiable monthly goals. Measurement defeats all.
  • Did a brief cut and got back down to ~150 from 155

Things I've made

Writing

Projects I updated my Projects page to summarize the independent work I've completed, since Google analytics showed me people clicked that often after reading Making Sense of Melee. It's only my biggest / coolest projects, and at the moment the prose form is a little wordy but it's better than what I had before. I'll probably Reupdate it very soon with images but this should be a better placeholder

Resume I updated my resume

Things I've consumed

Books

Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha Weird, but okay book. Full thoughts here.

Videos

she - By Your Side Pictures and sounds, pixels turn into lines

{TAS} SSBM (Melee) Fox 1P Mode All-Star {Very Hard, No Damage Clear} This video is a literal masterpiece and I spent something like a full hour watching parts of it frame by frame several times

GUNSHIP - Fly For Your Life Interesting what / how much the soundtrack adds to the original animation Paths of Hate

The NCAA tournament is a loser machine | Chart Party Singlehandedly delayed my bracket project a few weeks - I love Jon Bois


February 2018

Goals for March

  • Finish Bracket Stamina project and Spaced repetition post; finish reading Proofs and Refutations; make anki cards on US History; Start working through Linear Algebra Done Right and this.
  • SSBM: continue working on implementing aerial drift, specifically out of short hop; work on making platform punishes against fastfallers more consistent
  • Practice some substantial amount of time this month learning to play guitar, figure out some way to track hours practiced (for this and for other things)
  • Maintain your reading habits but focus primarily on math / guitar / SSBM / writing

Updates

Health

  • finished a two month trial period for Bacopa Monnieri. Ended up observing a rise in correct answers for new + young anki cards of about 8%, and no change in mature cards. I didn't do any blinding, and would probably have to revisit this if I wanted to explore it deeply in any capacity. I don't really feel like bacopa gave me anything super valuable given the magnitude of the effect, so I've discontinued taking it (although I might consider taking it again if I ever decide to become a student again). Funny to think about how effectively you can replace the use of short term memory with good external capturing like anki or Evernote.

SSBM

  • spent virtually my entire month practicing backwards aerial drift. Entered a tournament and placed pretty well despite feeling pretty off tech-skill wise. Feel good about practice paying off somewhat for me.

Misc

  • Decided against adding an RSS feed, since adding one for a static website is more trouble than it's worth and I have a far too small readership that would ever use it.
  • Met most of my goals from last month (only finished 2 books but did a lot of reading), still need some calibration but enough of my time went towards practicing melee that I had a slightly below average level of productivity

Stuff I've made

Articles

A Tale of Two Boredoms A bit more blogposty and philosophical than my usual writing, but I felt I needed to flesh out my ideas on this topic a bit more properly. /"Once you saw and named the problems, you couldn't stop seeing them, it just got more annoying every day."/

Videos

Shinelock Punishes Somebody asked me to make a video on this and I've been meaning to make a video anyways so I threw something together.

More fun Peach TAS things ideas mostly courtesy of lpac / r2dliu

Stuff I've Consumed

Books

Rationality: Abridged Summary by Quaerendo of Eliezer Yudkowsky's "Rationality: From AI to Zombies", which desperately needed a summary. Very cool and lots of good ideas. Full thoughts Here

In the Beginning… Was the Command Line Very well written, slightly elitist history of operating systems. Fun analogies. Full thoughts Here

Articles

EGR AND MLR: NEW TEAM RATINGS Shown to me by Shi Deng of Big Blue esports. A pretty interesting look at how different teams perform at different stages of a match in league of legends; sadly I'm not much of a league player so the nuances of choosing 15 minutes as a threshold / the importance of dragons vs gold / etc are lost on me, but the analysis strategy is pretty interesting and I enjoyed reading it. (Also reminded me that I need to learn to implement k-fold cross validation)

A Brief Survey of Deep Reinforcement Learning Pretty cool survey paper. Got a kick out of "We begin our survey of value-function-based DRL algorithms with the DQN, pictured in Figure 5, which achieved scores across a wide range of classic Atari 2600 video games that were comparable to that of a professional video games tester." (what does this even mean?)

HEADS OR TAILS: THE IMPACT OF A COIN TOSS ON MAJOR LIFE DECISIONS AND SUBSEQUENT HAPPINESS People who make changes report being much happier 2-6 months later, even when the choice to make that decision was completely random. "The results of this paper suggest that people may be excessively cautious when facing life changing choices".

Currin Trading - Ambition, Deception, Honor, Redemption: The story of the biggest heist in Eve's history Half chilling, half fascinating - Eve Online scammer details how he ran a ponzi scheme disguised as a fraudulent trading corporation in-game, eventually leading to him making away with 30 billion isk (A few thousand dollars). There's a lot of really amusing anecdotes in here (he claims he didn't sell the isk for real money because he didn't want to break the terms of service, he mentions the playerbase revolting after the moderators returned money from a different scam, and that he had intended to return as much of it as possible before being mistakenly banned and changing his mind upon the reversal), and it reads like a wild criminal testimonial for someone who knows he's not going to face any repercussions. In the end he blew the whistle on another scammer, the EVE Interstellar Bank, a scam that netted that scammer 750 billion isk (~$80k USD).

"those who did not make specific requests, and instead asked open-ended questions like "how can I trust you?" and "how do I know this is for real?"–these were future investors. They were asking me to persuade them. They wanted to believe."

"People who posted on the forums seemed to have a negative attitude about everything. Rather than being a cross-section of the Eve populace, the forums were populated by a group disparagingly known as "the forum superstars"–people who spent all their time on the forums instead of actually playing the game. Not only did they have a fame and influence far out of proportion to their playing abilities, they were accused of getting special treatment from the administrators of the Eve servers. But it was their persistent scorn for anyone making anything new–and their seeming inability to make their own positive contributions to the game–that maintained the ordinary players' low regard for them."

"In the end, I decided that the only value in having stolen all of that isk was not the isk itself, but the stealing of it. I wanted to see if I could do the impossible, and I did it. The more I pondered the actual value of isk, the more I saw that the only people who really valued it were the ones who had earned it themselves. Despite Eve being a game, they had put real work into it. Many of them had spent three years shooting rocks and hauling modules around to earn that isk, and now it would be gone."

"Only now did I appreciate just how insidious a scam could be. I had thought the isk meant nothing to me. That it was just a means to an end, a score to beat. But now I was willing to wreak devastation upon all of my investors just to hold onto it. The scam had scammed me. It stole my concern for others and replaced it with gluttony. I was disgusted. I lied. I cheated people. I used people to help me scam their friends. I was the cause of widespread bankruptcy. But the most damning thing of all? I think I can live with it, and if I had it to do all over again, I would. To my surprise, a guilty conscience was a small price to pay for thirty billion isk. So I will learn to live with it, because I can live with it."

Videos

Hear the Otherworldly Sounds of Skating on Thin Ice | National Geographic Unsure if this is more or less terrifying than that video of Alex Hannold free-soloing El Sendro Luminoso, but to be fair thin ice and heights are my two greatest fears so perhaps it's just me.

Medieval Tune. Hurdy-Gurdy With Organ Haunting

6LACK - Never Know If I was waiting on you to tell me, then I would never know


January 2018

Goals for February

  • SSBM: use solo practice time better, do a lot of set analysis / notetaking especially vs marth and sheik, work on implementing better control over aerial drift
  • Site: make site more mobile friendly, write scripts to manage a bunch of pages at once
  • Write one article, make one video, read four books

Updates

  • Tentatively added Disqus comments to my writings - fully prepared to reevaluate this later and conclude it was a bad idea but I've been meaning to have a means of people sharing their ideas with me without needing to contact me on social media so this seems like a worthy try
  • also added google analytics, which I did not do before my statistics post and kicked myself for - it'll be useful to check what kind of audience I have for everything
  • Couldn't think of use for Raspberry Pi, Didn't get around to adding RSS, met all other goals for month and completed four books (!)

Stuff I've Made

Writing

Making Sense of Melee: The Illusion of Objective Ranks and the Real Impact of Everything The culmination of my most recent long-term Melee Stats project where I gathered tons of tournament sets and examined trends in the data - I used this data for seeding and for my SSBMRank Ballot, and this post details my further scrutinizing of the patterns within. The post got a lot more attention than I was expecting! (It got something like 56k views if my rough, then-poor analytics are to be trusted). Somebody posted it to Hacker News where it ended up reaching #6, and it got tons of shares on Twitter. I was very pleased that people were so excited about it, and ended up in a surreal daze after seeing Gwern make a tweet about Claude Bloodgood the same day.

Images

SSBMRank Voting Distribution Visualization for KayBeats' "Assessing West Coast Bias on SSBMRank and Why it Doesn't Exist" KayB is a Melee Stats denizen, and he wrote a post exploring the supposed "West Coast Bias" in the SSBMRank panel. I collabed with him by generating Violin Plots (boxplots with kernel density plots overlayed on top of them) of the top 100 ballots, graciously provided by Tafokints.

Stuff I've consumed

Papers

Loss, Trauma, and Human Resilience - Have We Underestimated the Human Capacity to Thrive After Extremely Aversive Events? A surprisingly optimistic paper which suggests that most people are actually impressively resilient after aversive events. Because so many people that show up to clinicians after bad things happen are in need of clinicians to help them, the prevailing view was that when bad things happen to people they usually need time to grieve. However, the sample size was very self-selecting here, and exploring more "normal" baselines suggest its possible that on average people are pretty good about staying functional through traumatic events.

SELECTING THE BEST? SPILLOVER AND SHADOWS IN ELIMINATION TOURNAMENTS

Establishing a Nicotine Threshold for Addiction – The Implications for Tobacco Regulation I am not a smoker, but I was met with the idle question of how many cigarettes one would have to smoke daily to become addicted. The threshold seems to be around 5mg per day, which ends up being something like 5 cigarettes.

Books

Worm by wildbow Great min/maxing fantasy-scifi story, full thoughts here.

Fire and Fury Likely a little exaggerated for effect, but a truly wild hit piece that reads more like fiction than reality, full thoughts here

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt Cool book that I should have read a lot sooner and one I'd immediately recommend to someone that wants to know about how my current field works - full thoughts here

Norwegian Wood This book was extremely painful to read and made me sad for three days, would recommend. Full thoughts here

2017

Year End 2017

Goals for January

  • Build something interesting with the Raspberry Pi 3 kit I got for Christmas, use Amazon Gift Cards to buy assorted things if need be
  • I've made very good progress on my more recent melee stats project and expect to be finished very shortly - the only reason I could imagine it taking longer than end of January is incorporation of top 100 data for further analysis
  • learn a bunch of slow cooker recipes
  • Work on the infrastructure of this website - Maybe add Disqus comments, an RSS feed, make it slightly nicer looking

Stuff I've Made

Writing

Seeing Everything: A Visual Perception Experiment Proposal Not really a project per-se, more like a "man, somebody should do this" idea that I've had for a while that just won't really leave my head.

Videos

Downwait Instant Ledgegrab An attempt to make my videos a bit more visually appealing without sacrificing the content or the conciseness: I rarely feel that these sorts of demos warrant more than a 60 second video and I would like my content to remain highly valuable per unit time, but if I can put a bit of extra effort into them and have them be more polished without sacrificing this then I don't think there's any reason not to.

Images

How Good is Melee National Seeding? Melee Stats group does it better

Stuff I've Consumed

Articles

Mastering Chess and Shogi by Self-Play with a General Reinforcement Learning Algorithm A wonderful paper that appeals to my AI and Chess-playing selves - Deepmind plays beautifully even with no input from humans whatsoever.

Cigarette smoking: an underused tool in high-performance endurance training An incredible, hilarious paper that I plan on linking people frequently in the future - from the abstract: /"However, if research results are selectively chosen, a review has the potential to create a convincing argument for a faulty hypothesis. Improper correlation or extrapolation of data can result in dangerously flawed conclusions. The following paper seeks to illustrate this point, using existing research to argue the hypothesis that cigarette smoking enhances endurance performance and should be incorporated into high-level training programs."/

Kadano on Input Lag Running Dan Salvato's polling fix code on console improves input delay by a bit below 12ms, as measured with an Oscilloscope. Overall a great read on Input Lag in general.

How I accidentally discovered the pill to enlightenment but I wouldn't recommend it. Cool writeup I got from a member of the ssc discord, a cool narrative version of a similar project to my health notes.

Media

…And I Show You How Deep The Rabbit Hole Goes I reread this and man do I love it

Blame Me For Trying Cool short scifi story loosely based on ELIZA, a classic NLP chatbot that simulates a psychotherapist.

Failing - A very difficult piece for solo string bass Music as performance art, examining the construct of difficulty and about the paradox of having a goal of failure.

"Resolutions"

I generally dislike "New Years Resolutions" but I think keeping myself accountable for the things I want to accomplish over long periods of time is pretty important. As 2018 is the first year I will be completely operating without educational institutions to hand me goals (weird) I feel it is more important to have a clear vision of my long-term goals.

  • Read 30 books
  • Write 15 longform posts on this website, not including links posts
  • Reach a point where creating a Patreon wouldn't be an embarrassing idea, create a Patreon, get at least three Patrons
  • become the fittest I have ever been

September 2017

Goals for October

  • Move into an apartment, figure out general living / exercise / etc arrangements there
  • Figure out a good way to do rankings with the big SSBM dataset (~22k sets), write up more extensive analysis, mostly complete this project
  • Place well at The Big House 7, record a lot of sets for review later
  • Learn Keras / Deep Learning stuff and do a project with it
  • Complete reading GEB

Things I've Made

Writing

Do Pot Bonuses Affect Entrant Numbers at Melee Tournaments? (short answer: no)

20XX 4.06 Savestate Workflow in Dolphin Not a perfect solution but if I'm hoping if this is written then somebody will improve upon it and it'll be amazing to practice with.

Videos

Understanding Luigi's Ledgedashes

Super Portable Recording Setup This thing is amazing and I'm glad I bought it.

Tech You Should Already Know - Spotdodge / Amsah Tech Option Select Habit I wanna pick up during spotdodges, tested and verified idea I had a million years ago working on my notes for the fox-sheik matchup.

Images

Understanding Fox Antiair Hitboxes

The Local is Dying, in which I examine the attendance at SSBM local tournaments and determine that attendance is roughly the same as 2016

Things I've Consumed

Interesting things I've committed to anki cards this month
Books

Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Grammar feels like a pretty comprehensive collection of grammar points in the Japanese language, and I suspect I will frequently go back and read through this if I forget something or if I encounter a grammatical structure that I am unfamiliar with. I really appreciated the structure and despite it being a little wonky at first it made the rest of the guide pretty simple to understand since everything made some sense from a Japanese-speaking perspective rather than an English-speaking one imposed upon the Japanese language. Gonna start working through Genki I now that I've gotten through this book.

Video Games

Doki Doki Literature Club Dan Salvato's new studio put out this game this month, and I played through it. The tl;dr on my thoughts is that this game manages to be cliche in two genres and draws far too much inspiration from creepypasta. Full thoughts here.

SM64: The Last Impact a fun romhack that is technically interesting and has some cool ideas and fun levels, but suffers enormously from difficulty curve irregularity / bugs / poor level design. I found myself frequently getting softlocked, dying randomly due to weird level geometry problems, having issues with the camera, etc, and I eventually made it a game to see how many stars I could get by BLJing past walls instead of actually earning them. I had fun with it, but I couldn't manage to 100% it because there were just some stars that were so broken that I got too frustrated to continue playing. It made me appreciate how relatively not broken the original game was, and how important beta testing is for these sorts of games.

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds A fun game to fool around with friends in, but not one I think is particularly well-designed from an esports perspective.

Articles

The Hotel Room Hacker Crazy story

Papers

Beating the World's Best at Super Smash Brothers with Deep Reinforcement Learning I believe this is a more updated version of the paper I mentioned last month, so I'm putting it here.

Example of the Glicko-2 System I ran this on a database of 22k super smash brothers melee tournament set results, after ELO gave me mediocre results. The results were better than ELO but still not very good.

Videos

Earth Wind & Fire, September - Bass Clarinet Choir

Learn Modal Jazz in 12 minutes. (No kidding.) Man, I miss being really involved with music like I was in high school - I might pick up a music theory textbook and brush up on it.

How to Learn Music (Epistemology and Music in the Digital Age) I'm not crazy about Malcolm Gladwell but this video I think is a really well-worded depiction of learning skills in general. I've watched a bunch of Adam Neely's videos and he strikes me as extremely well-read, I was impressed by how interesting all of his videos were while still consistently being about music each time.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - All Dungeons, No Doors TAS Crazy

Matchup Breakdown - Fox vs Luigi (Chillindude829) Watched this after playing a set at Shine 2017 against a luigi and realizing that I didn't have a firm understanding of my goals in this matchup (shine doesn't lead to anything, grab doesn't lead to anything, so what are you going for in neutral against luigi? What's your gameplan? I ended up just going for random hits and getting steamrolled). Takeaways: uptilt vs nairs, dash attack is a common mixup situation (nair out jump out etc), usually avoid midrange (close/far is good), Disjoints are good (uptilt, falling upair). Being above luigi is very good. Empty drill into fullhop is pretty good because you can punish grab attempts with falling upair.

A YouTube choir: the history of the most viewed videos converted into sound Perfect blend of Music, Math, Visualization, and Shitposting. I got a huge kick out of the inclusion of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" which predictably shot up every december and then didn't move for the rest of the year.

"Rewrite" Production Vlog #6: Everything is Fucked Up This is one of those "Truth is stranger than fiction" type of stories I struggle to wrap my head around, and yet I actually believe. tl;dr these two are shooting a documentary about a now-shut-down modded video game, and got in contact with a reclusive developer "Magus" who moves into their apartment to help them with the documentary. However, it turns out that the person that claimed to be Magus was actually somebody impersonating Magus, having done so for months and knowing intimate information that "verified" their identity with other dev team members. Nobody knows who this person was, or how they knew so much about Magus and the internal details of the development team, and everybody is freaked out about it.

Batman: The Dark Knight Trilogy Cover - Pedrosaxo Guy plays a duet with himself, seems very technically demanding. I don't play saxophone but what I'm vaguely sure is going on here is he's using the same technique you use for circular breathing in order to hum a note at the same time he produces a note on his instrument, resulting in two notes being played. Very neat!


August 2017

Goals for September

  • Finish Tae Kim Guide to Japanese (~75% complete) and move on to Genki I
  • Finish the books I'm currently reading, as well as GEB and the fast.ai MOOC
  • establish working demo of melee stats page, scrape at least 8000 sets, learn enough webdev to get a working prototype complete by the end of the month
  • write draft for posts on spaced repetition, man vs AI publicity stunts, melee stats analysis
  • join a gym, begin resistance training, begin eating at a surplus
  • other potential project ideas: something with Keras (MP3 file -> osu map? Too much?), do pot bonuses boost attendance at melee tournaments?

Things I've made

Writing:

Optimizing health with cronometer I hit my weight goal, going to start resistance training next

How variable are Omron Scales Since I met my weight goal I tested the variability of my scale a second time. If I gain weight in a substantially lean way and get my old values for bodyfat, I'll conclude that the scales results are useless. Otherwise, I'll measure what it returns.

Videos:

Using Fox Lifesaver with Shine Stalls Video made to explore using shine stall w/ conserving doublejump, also correcting for the 20 frame tap jump buffer which KJH lists as 4f in his video

Samus Hammer Throw Glitch Video of a sort of obscure glitch with Samus in 1.00, it's one of my favorite glitches and doesn't have a tutorial anywhere, so I made one.

Peach Q-Drop Pressure [1] [2]

Back to Top