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Random Thoughts

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This is a collection of random thoughts I have during this time, that I want to write down and share - but isn't significant within its own right to be an article unto itself.

Reflection

This section is a reflection on things currently in motion, specifically mechanisms I have put in place to make myself healthier or more productive.

Daily

This is referring to the daily brief project, where I try to log my TODO list and daily thoughts. This was the outcome of the accountability article where the idea was that I would introduce accountability into my daily life.

The rationale was good in theory, the problem is simply that it requires some investment to even write it and maintain it. Ultimately it has not led to greater productivity, and any excuse I had previously to not do something still exists with or without it.

I will review whether this is worth continuing at Christmas - unless something changes I will drop this entirely.

RSS

One thing the daily brief did successfully highlight is that I am spending far too much time processing the RSS feeds throughout the day - so far this makes up a significant amount of time spent. This serves as a continuous source of distraction.

From now on, I have switched the fetch interval from 30 minutes to 300 minutes (5 hours). This should give me longer periods between distracting notifications. I can always manually pull in the feeds if I wish.

Keto

I have been abusing the keto diet quite a bit recently. Whilst I am not putting on weight, I'm certainly not losing it either. At this moment I doubt I am actually in ketosis, despite running at significantly reduced carbohydrates.

If I am to reach my goal by Christmas, I need to rapidly lose weight. This can be achieved though a few key changes:

  1. 750 kcal limit - Reduction in calories is still a significantly important part to losing weight. This means one main meal and not much else.
  2. 20g carb limit - Stick to this limit more strictly to maintain ketosis, especially being so close to the goal. This will be much easier given reduced calorie intake.
  3. Increase exercise - Run at a higher calorie deficit by increasing outgoing calories. This will also ensure that I burn fat from the proper places. I intend to do more walking and running during these nights, especially given the good weather we have during these days.

Projects

These are some ongoing or outstanding projects - specifically stuff that wasn't supposed to take too long but has.

Unwritten Articles

I have quite a few unwritten articles, to name a few:

  • (Blog) Communism vs Fascism - A general discussion comparing two extreme ideologies.
  • (Blog) EU Far Right Memes - Criticism of the EU's over-focus on the far-right.
  • (Blog) NZ Traffic Light - Criticism of the NZ COVID vaccine passport.
  • (Blog) Random Thoughts - This article.
  • (Blog) Step Back #keto - A keto article update.
  • (Report) Black Hole Idea - An idea for the start of the Universe.
  • (Report) Chunk Boi Pro Part 2 - A slight re-design on the current open source laptop concept.
  • (Report) Custom VM - Building a custom VM that processes 8086 instructions but interfaces with C functions.
  • (Report) Dead Social V2 Concept - The successor to the dead social server.
  • (Report) Image Encryption - Pulling apart a paper on bad encryption that makes dubious claims.
  • (Report) Iris Messenger Reboot - An idea to reboot a 'newspaper' I used to write.

As you can see, there is simply way too much actively in progress. I need to only have a small number of active projects in order to complete them in a timely manner.

ytoff

I wrote an article on the initial concept of ytoff, a lightweight invidious alternative. I have quite enjoyed working on this as the project has been iterative - I can slowly but surely see the project becoming better and better.

Christmas

Christmas represents a significant block of time that I will be able to get work completed in. That said, I already have a tonne of things that need to be achieved during this time.

PhD

Over Christmas, I need to do a large body of work that will form the final piece of the PhD. After recently publishing a journal, I need to complete the last piece. In just two months I need to design and implement the final algorithm and be ready for the final simulations.

My intention is to push this one step further though, and have the majority of the paper written and simulations completed, especially whilst the computation is likely to be available over Christmas.

Chunk Boi Pro

This laptop has long been destined for a life after this one, it's dying in every sense of the word. To address this (and other concerns), I started to design the chunk boi pro for quite a while now. I initially designed this laptop based on the assumption that I could get some help with the hardware, but during these days I believe I will need to look more towards a fully 3D printed design.

In order to get something operational, I will need to:

  1. Re-design parts to be 3D printed.
  2. Design parts to be printed in multiple different sections and then assembled together.
  3. 3D print the laptop (and hope there are no issues).
  4. Assemble it and get it operational.

RoboCup

I am currently working on a collaboration journal for RoboCup - with some luck this will be published submitted early next year. There is little left to be done on my end, other than to wait and make any required changes.

If possible I would like to write a paper extension to xYOLO - I have a literal tonne of really nice ideas to extend this and improve it. We had quite some good citations from that, including a RoboCup implementation!

Additionally, I am working on an open-source motor and protocol (that has been on pause for a while now).

Books

I now have quite a reading list - and believe it or not there are even more books not on the list. When I finally leave New Zealand I will not be able to take these with me, and therefore want to read as many of them as possible. Christmas feels like one of the last opportunities I am likely to get for quite a while.

Post-PhD

Some ideas I've had about what I want to do after a PhD:

Other than this, I have a few ideas (roughly in order of preference):

  1. Start-up - Given I have minimal running costs and dependencies, if any time I was going to try and start something, it would be now. I have a tonne of ideas, but I will really need to spend some time to think more clearly about those. I will likely be looking to try several ideas in a short period and see what sticks. Unless I can find somebody willing to back this, I will likely need to do this alongside a small job.
  2. Academia - Getting jobs in academia is not easy at all, but they are good when you can get them. You essentially need to be 'lucky' enough for somebody to die within your field and for the institution to be looking for a replacement in yours. Academia tends to move slowly, so I will likely be waiting in excess of 6 months for such an opportunity.
  3. Industry - This will likely be the easiest path forwards. Ideally I am looking for something that involves AI and/or robotics, but more generally I just want something that is interesting. I suspect that if I really try, I could likely find something within two months of looking and interviewing.