Life 5th July 2020

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int main() {
   puts("7 days of no training makes one weak");
}

Another week has passed. I kind of wish I have been numbering these posts with the week number. As mentioned in the last update I have been tracking where I am spending my time. Gradually attempting to make changes and take an honest look at things.

I am not going to report numbers other than the number of hours I spent exercising (walking/running) was up to 11 hours. Netflix time remained constant and high. Although we finished the second season of The Order and have nothing in the queue so am expecting it to drop next week.

One thing about profiling it is forces you to face the reality of your own time constraints and, well, really you own mortality :) You only have so many hours.

Which as always leads up back to productivity and being clear on your goals. That is if you want to get stuff done you should focus on that in the most practical/pragmatic way you can.

So I have been taking this approach. I have restarted learning more about AI, with a focus on Genetic Algorithms. I have a book I have been meaning to work through but never find the time. This week I have worked through about one eighth of it. Sure it is project based not technical so affords rapid progress.

The compiler continues to advance, I am about to start work on the minimal type system for the minimal features that we can parse.

Game dev wise, I came to the conclusion that if I want to make games for the web, which is what I am thinking about at the moment, then I should use JavaScript. I don’t particularly want to write anything large as I don’t have the time. So web games fit the bill. I can always use WASM if it turn out the code I am writing is a little slow.

I have shifted all my dev work to using Clion. It turns out the free JS and Python support is good. The JS editor allows for live editing which is pretty handy. I still hold the opinion that Emacs could make a brilliant editing environment but at the moment I don’t want to spend the time setting it up. I still use it to write these posts, as an RSS feeder, Note taking and for any other editing. Code dev on a laptop is preferable using Emacs but I tend to avoid that as a laptop is less productive than a desktop.

I recently paid for another year of updates to Clion. Factoring a discount code I think it came in at just over the price of a couple of coffees at a coffee shop per month. Or the price of one pint of Hipster beer at a pub in town per month. That is a great price given the amount I use it.


And back to AI. AI has been on my hit list to learn for a very long time. I can’t help think that AI is capturing much of the market on problems we find difficult to solve using traditional methods. Their statistical nature means where I want certainty they may not be ideal but for many problems they are obviously very useful.

What I am saying is it needs to be in your tool set. A decade late you might say? I would agree and while I can’t claim to have had this view for a decade it is not far off.

So why now? It was tracking my time and then thinking about how to increase my productivity. Whether this be rate of learning or rate of solving problems or making things useful to others. AI has the potential to do that.

Being a bit contrarian I decide to take the route of looking at Genetic Algorithms. Sure earlier in the year I was taking a look at Neural Networks but to slow myself down I was using C++. err, I mean to better understand! The pragmatic thing to do would have been to learn in python and on use C++ if I wanted to.


While the amount of time I spent working on personal projects is about the same as last week. I have certainly been more productive. Whether it is the tracking of my time or just integrating more learning to set the mind on fire, I don’t know.


746 Words

2020-07-04 23:00 +0000