On Lists of To-do’s

I don’t want to have things to do. (But not in the sense that you mean.) Right now, I have a whole lot of lists of tasks, to-dos, that I wish to accomplish. The work never ends. I have four books on the desk that I’ll read, there’s a plan of spending 5 hours on producing graphics, some professional communication, a list of tasks per project that I’m involved with, which are too many projects by the way… The list goes on. And all of it has to go.

I don’t want to have things to do. I want to finish all the tasks as quickly as possible so as to have a blank slate and be effective tomorrow and today to address the most critical bottleneck that is current.

This battery-free cellphone runs on light and radio waves

From: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/13/this-battery-free-cellphone-runs-on-light-and-radio-waves/

Who cares about an OLED and a notch when your phone can sip power from its surroundings, allowing you to make calls without ever having to charge your phone.

This wild cellphone is part of a Google Faculty Research program and received three U.S. National Science Foundation grants for total investment of about $2 million. For that money, the creator, Vamsi Talla, built a single-board cellphone that can make regular phone calls connect you to emergency services. The team is commercializing the product at Jeeva Wireless.

According to IEEE, this thing can even make Skype calls:

The phone receives power from sunlight or RF waves sent from a nearby base station, a fixed point of communication for customer cellular phones on a carrier network. With a technique called backscattering, the phone can make a voice call by modifying and reflecting the same waves back to the base station.

We also were able to make Skype voice calls, proving that the prototype—made of commercial, off-the-shelf components—can communicate with a base station and applications like Skype. The phone consumes only 3 microwatts of power—which is about 10,000 times less than what a current smartphone consumes.

Because this technology doesn’t require much in the way of changing cell towers Talla believes most cellphones could easily add this feature in the future. This means you could make a call even on a dead phone. Talla is also planning to add an e-ink display which means you could feasibly do very basic smartphone functions on your battery-less phone. The current model could cost as little as $1 to produce, which makes it excellent for developing countries.

20170825 Stats OE

tukey test

biserial correlation
point biserial vs rank biserial


taxonomy of player motivation

motivation for watching twitch, or youtube, is:
* education,
* entertainment

Elements of Personal Corporate Culture

Let’s try to be occupied with every task, not just one task (all tasks that are pending are active… there is no backlog). Let’s also do as much right away as possible. It’s a personal corporate culture. If a task is available, let’s perform it right away. Not schedule it, actually perform it. This is a part of my personal corporate culture.

On Friendliness

Let me spend a brief moment to talk about friendliness. It took me wayyy too long, in 5-10 years, to realize that friendliness is particularly important to success. In 2012 I was clearly thinking: if I’m not friendly, if I am rude even, that still should not affect my overall performance. Trush is independent of whether people like you or not, right? If something is correct, that has nothing to do with whether or not that person appears likeable to some group of people.

Turns out no, turns out that being likeable by a majority is more important than being correct in any other sort of way. It took me about 5 years to realize that. (It may be irrational, but I think it’s consistent across cultures.)

On the last days of my trip to Colombia, once I’ve achieved everything I wanted to and was largely free-spending my time, it occured to me. I have to be friendly. Just make people comfortable in my company, something as simple as that. And would you believe it? I had this mindset that I’m going to have people simply enjoy my company, and twice in a row cashiers would just give me free money. I had a budger and the guy under-charged me $10, and then I was still hungry so I went for some chicken and potatoes and the woman undercharged me $6. Was it because they put more trust in me, just with that mental state? Was it accidental? Either way I think now that being likeable is perhaps the single most important thing leading to success.

The Time Efficiency of an Individual in a Company

There is the thing about time efficiency. Even if I’m not full-time efficient, some of my hours in the day are efficient, and I can build and grow, even if slowly. It is a sign of professionalism that I can focus on a specific time hours at a time.

Then, there is the saturation of time, and here is where critical mass comes into play. The truly successful people (who technologically impact the world) are pretty effective in their use of time… and it’s not just the per-hour effectiveness, it’s the ability to hold these concepts in memory and in focus for a long time (days, months, years), and furthermore hold in focus non-trivial combinations of these things. Not just do one thing well, but integrate the work of others, and build a system which by definition is a varied mix of things (otherwise, it’s called a component, not a system).

There are some successes that are only achievable with a critical mass of focus. The truly successful people pack so much impact in their time (be it 8 hours a day or more), that they physically cause success to happen. And to do that, what makes it possible I think is a certain “continuous integration” of a person. Optimize the time at work, off work, optimize the little 20-minute pieces of time in between tasks, pack the tasks, and so forth, and eliminate inefficiencies everywhere. There is no distinction between on- and off-work time, everything is treated as on-work time. And the success of the company depends on how much punch the team (the team leaders and team individuals) back into the time, into each hour of operation of the company. That is my current view on personal efficiency at work.

– * – * – * –

Unfortunately here I cannot so much focus. I sleep in late (wake up at 10am), have to do a lot of walking to find food and places to study, have to constantly fight with sub-optimal weather, sun flare, and the rain. Further, I have to move every 2 weeks, unless I actually find an apartment. And there is drinking! In Silicon Valley I don’t drink on weekdays and that works out well. Here, I drink lightly, but it still costs me time and efficiency.

Further, my focus is divided into two equal parts: language immersion and engineering. And the engineering part is in English. When I do engineering, it moves me further from language immersion, and vise versa. So there is a certain conflict if my focus right now. It almost makes sense to do one thing for several days (study spanish for three days, without technology), and then switch to technology and not study spanish for a few days, thus avoiding context switching.

Of course, there is also the question of daily exhaustion limit. If I do programming for 6 hours, I’m done with programming, but the day may or may not be done. In that situation, it makes sense to switch to another context, say Spanish language, for 2-3 more hours. That may actually more effective than doing the same task for several days in the row.

There is also the obvious issue of a daily routine. It’s goot to perform some tasks daily, even if the results are not so great. If the same tasks are performed daily, day in day out, you will become good at them, *and* keep the ability to focus on all of them each day. So in my local example, my daily task variety is as follows:

  • 30 minutes of conversational spanish
  • some time studying vocabulary
  • some time studying the grammar book
  • some engineering
  • some content-creation, writing or photos or editing
  • daily cleaning: clean ears, teeth, keep everything clean.

20170511 Colombia Diary

Alright, let’s see if I can keep a decent diary on this trip. Arrived to Bogota fine, underfunded of course, but everything else is okay. Checked into the hostel, the first one is 14 days. It’s cheap, in a safe upscale but not-fun neighborhood. I want to be in Candelaria, and I’m in Chapinero. But that’s fine. They have a desk here so maybe I’ll do the work and study before relocating to the next destination.

As soon as I checked in I called my credit cards to make sure I am well-funded. Turns out I will lose at least 3-4% of my value here with just international bank charges. Then I went to get some cash (hostel is cash-only), and ate. Took a shower, and now I’m in operation.

Airport food was quite bad, and I can already feel myself losing shape. I have a belly. I will need to control quite precisely what I eat. Maybe a daily run would be a blessing.

As a reminder, this really belongs to travel-guide.mobi, but since that infrastructure isn’t setup yet, I’ll just post it here.