2013-11-30

Month 1

Month 1, Day 30. I wonder how much remedial calculus I can get done before my shift starts. But first I'm going to jack a milk carton for storing my books in the car. Locker's running out of space.
No more Alam Damai detours. 14 km of death by traffic lights ain't much better than a jam on the highway.

The algebra of gossip: "we used to be best friends, then something happened, then something else happened, and now we don't talk anymore."

Late night laundry cycle. Need to grab some some shuteye before an 11am meeting with the subway killers and then the 3pm shift. Bring it, Sunday. #onlyHappyWhenItSlams

I look at holes in the wall. It's safer than looking at holes in your skull, and watching them look back at me. Evading captivity. #emoStory
I go to work six days a week. I leave every day after dozens of commercial interactions with other human beings, some prettier, some kinder, some familiar, some none of the above. My days are fairly predictable. My incentives to make violent changes are negligible. I have time for my hobbies. I get to feel like a normal person almost every day. Life is really good, for a little while. I feel blessed.

Wake up. Housekeeping. Go to work. Go home. Sleep like baby. I wonder how long I will tolerate this mindless luxury. :)

Mixed rice lady is kind to me. Gives freebies. I'm a RM1/day account. On the supply side, I get good value for 2% of daily wages.

2013-11-29

Giving Thanks

Life's easier when you don't love the work you do, or the people that you spend your time on.

:)

Happy Thanksgiving!
To an open mind, anyone is potentially a spook, a tortured soul needing comfort, an enemy in disguise, or an opportunity. Ignore everything.

(The 140 is strong in one who cannot sleep due to being flipped back and forth between night and day shifts. LOL)

2013-11-28

Job Ads and Copy

In response to the following:
Any extremely smart people who believe they can do anything, and work hard to prove it, looking for an interesting job?
I variously commented:
Sounds like a gross abstraction. I know a lot of people like that, but why would they respond to this post?
I've thought a lot about the verbal patterns of business people who are vocal about talent, since I started studying the commercial sector in 2005.

It seems that narratives like this attract folks at the intersection of (i) has high self-esteem (ii) has a strong need for external affirmation. These are of course, qualities which are only moderately correlated with actual cognitive advantages (on average, really smart people tend to think that they are dumber than they are, and really dumb people tend to think that they are smarter than they are - there is data on this).

So what the copy of the ad really achieves, is to attract the sort of person who's enthusiastic about performing in a social context, and these are of course the best people for middle management. All well and good - but it's interesting how means and ends rarely show everyone on each side of a deal what's really going on.

2013-11-27

Day Off

Done with industry networking. Mid-afternoon. Back to books in the absence of social life. Or computers, as the world these days would have it. Getting into linguistics. In order to understand programming languages. In order to test models of cognition. In order to be entertained.

All day, tactical decisions revolve around the following balance.
Choose: stress, or boredom?
Work week begins in six hours, one shift early. Scheduling volatility - new company, business as usual.
Top mandates to address at work:
(i) increase contrast between brown and white regions (latte art)
(ii) increase symmetry (latte art)
(iii) reduce complexity of drawings to increase photogenic distance range of (i) and (ii)

Top mandates to fix at play: thoroughly revise Haskell's monadic types and type system usage.
Ops discipline is failing. There is a plan. Back to the plan. To bed, to bed.

Heroes and Anti-Heroes

If you want to be followed, save the world and tell people that you did it because you cared about them.

If you want to be ignored, save the world and tell people that they should have done it themselves.
Or perhaps do the Dark Knight thing, and get yourself framed for causing the problem. :)

More reflections on work in the world:
Pay attention to your work. Be compassionate and kind. Be humble, be brave, and kick ass. :p

Some may be a mensches, doing the best work. But maybe they giggle, and giggly people get you down. Evade. Life's too short for toxicity.

Avoid the slings and arrows of unreasonable people. Dirt begets dirt. Too many generations between rocks and computers. Yet, the same thing.

Always fun to watch disgustingly managed work - and to be able to sigh in relief when it's not yet my problem. :)

2013-11-26

Effort in Relationships

Sometimes I wonder why I try so hard, when the other party tries so little. I suppose it's just my choice of positioning - the hardest that I'm willing to try usually isn't hard enough for many counterparties. Hmm. I should perhaps, remind myself to try even less.

2013-11-24

Flow

Today I observed in spro calibration (on a peanutty Lagoa, during service): 

All other variables being fairly stable on a particular grinder+espresso machine setup, [i.e. (i) water temperature, (ii) pressure vs. time curve, (iii) beans of the same roast batch, etc.], observable loss of a flavour profile that is positively correlated with an observable change of flow rate (e.g. due to changes in humidity of espresso grounds), may sometimes be fixed by reversing the change in the observed flow-rate.

That can be achieved by modfying (iv) dose mass, (v) grinder burr distance, and (vi) tamping style & pressure, in tandem. Which makes sense, I suppose.

(Later on the drive home, I am plagued by doubt about whether I had or had not changed any other variables, and forgotten about those changes amidst the excitement of hitting the final tweak that restored the flavour profile.)