Very Secure

What I Find Worthy of My Time

whaack: asciilifeform: following from I am considering submitting to training under diana_coman, but before I pulled the trigger I thought I should stop here and ask if you feel it would be wiser for me to submit to training under you. Is this something you are interested in, and if so what would be required of me for you to take me?

asciilifeform: whaack: i can't answer this w/out knowing ~something~ about your interests1

whaack: asciilifeform: Okay, I think that itself deserves a blog post. The short answer is: programming ( have enjoyed going through SICP quite a bit, although its on hold, I want to learn how to program faster to eat through lots of saltmine work quickly), cryptography (i want to have trb "fit in head"), learning 2nd language (Spanish) , playing the guitar

And now for the long(er) answer. My six main interests are:

(1) Academic and TMSR Related - programming, cryptography,2 Spanish, and reading
(2) Non-Academic / Non-TMSR Related - guitar and surfing

For each of these I describe:

i) My relevant history.
ii) Why i want to pursue the interest.
iii) My related future goals.

I Programming

i) History

I first started programming when I was twelve-years-old. Since then I have done a number of personal projects, learned a few programming languages, got a bachelors at MIT, worked in the startup circus, and interned at various USG corps (including Goolag.) There is more detail I can go into with my programming history than my other interests, so I will save the expanded CV for another post.

ii) Why

I like the problem solving aspect of programming as well as the rewards of automation. It is incredible to be able to construct strings that can affect the physical universe.

Another reason I program is it is a way to whore out for cash. I sometimes enjoy programming for saltmines work, just like an actual whore might enjoy sleeping with some of her clients. But the goal is to get a large slice of the easy credit pie.

iii) Future Goals

I want to develop my programming ability in two different areas. One is improving my understanding of programming related topics by getting the CS education I should have received while at MIT. A good start for this would be: reading through the great books, completing the FFA series, and writing my own V. The other separate skill I want to develop is the ability to prostitute myself efficiently. I would like to learn how to make big bucks by quickly putting together websites/apps/what have you. This has to do with self-marketing and entrepreneurship as much as it does with programming.

II Cryptography

i) History

I first learned about the field of cryptography through reading a magazine called 2600. I read about RSA, but the math behind the algorithm was an enigma to me. I knew only that it had something to do with prime numbers and modular arithmetic.

Later in my discrete math course3 at MIT we went through the entirety of the algorithm. The same year I learned RSA in college, I got my first bitcoins. After successfully transacting with them, I figured that the blockchain4 was an important discovery5 and started investigating. Not too long after MtGox collapsed I learned about bitcoin-assets. I read How to airgap. A practical Guide. as well as a qntra post The Hard Fork Missle Crisis.6 It became clear that tmsr was the only place where anyone knew wtf they were talking about regarding bitcoin. Thus the logs became my source of information for everything related to cryptography.

ii) Why

One, cryptography gives the tools that allow a human to be an individual rather than a cell of neoplasm. I don’t want to be a helpless dependent to the person who programs the tools i use - be it gpg or my bitcoin wallet.

Two, bitcoin is what is important in our world. And true to the slogan, I want to work on what matters, so I matter too.

iii) Future Goals

Much of my goals with cryptography are the same as my goals with programming. I would like to better understand the cryptography tools that I use by doing the relevant reading and writing my own versions of RSA, V, SHA256, and ECDSA. This knowledge would then be used to contribute to tmsr by being less of a liability while creating new tools.

III Spanish

i) History

I took Spanish from 6th grade of middle school up until junior year of high school. Throughout that time, I and most of my teachers did not intend for me to ever actually learn the language. Like most I would only plan to memorize a week’s worth of ~20 vocabulary cards and a new grammar rule for the week's test. I didn’t quite grok how in civilized society being monolingual stamps one as uneducated.

My quest to not be ESLtarded began in my last year at MIT. I signed up for a Spanish class with the intention of actually trying to learn the language. I started using Duolingo and went through all of their exercises multiple times. I lived in Tamarindo, Costa Rica for a year.

I set out goals for myself for learning Spanish, but I have been far from steadfast in completing them. Currently, I am reading Por Quien Doblan Las Campañas by Hemingway and adding words I don’t know to Anki.7 When I’m in routine mode I try to add 30 words a day, and review all my past words. I have made about 1,200 flashcards this way.

ii) Why

I began learning Spanish for the sake of being bilingual. I want to expand the capacity of my mind by allowing it to model situations in a language other than English. I also want to develop the discipline that is necessary to learn a second language.

Of course there is an appreciation of the social benefit of learning a second language. The apartment I am renting in Costa Rica would have been unavailable to me had I been unable to converse with the Spanish speaking owners. It costs about half the price I would pay for an equivalent apartment through a gringo facing website like airbnb.

iii) Future Goals

My study goals are laid out in my fixing my affliction of monoligiusm post. There I detail specific time commitments I would like to give each day to vocab, grammar, etc. I have fallen behind on those goals, but it may not be too late for me to repent and catch up. One major change that should occur from moving to my move to CR is having my mechanical vocab study become secondary to having real world interactions in Spanish.

After reaching an acceptable level of fluency in Spanish, I would like to learn a third language. I will most likely choose a language that uses a different alphabet, such as Japanese or Russian.

IV Reading

i) History

Growing up I read little more than Harry Potter and the books required for school. Like most dumb children in usaschwitz, I believed that skimming articles on the internet8 sufficed for reading. Luckily for me, I eventually stumbled upon trilema. I saw for myself the ability that a superior intellect could obtain from reading copious numbers of books.

I began to read somewhat regularly. I learned how slow a reader I was and how much trouble I had with concentration. My wpm reading was low and I usually could only go ~fifteen minutes without my mind wandering off. But I started to push through more and more books. I got a lot of pleasure through reading. It became easier, and a 200 page book turned into a one day rather than one week endeavor.

ii) Why

The rewards of reading are clear so I won't belabor the obvious but instead just mention the important points. Reading allows one to learn much faster than one can learn from a lecture in a classroom. In terms of raw data transfer, a speaker can only talk at roughly 100wpm while an average reader can digest a book at 400wpm. Reading lots of different material helps one fight against the 'you don't know what you don't know' problem. Going through a few books on an activity before doing it can, in just a few hours, give one the knowledge a previous expert spent their lifetime obtaining.

iii) Future Goals

I would like to read more and comprehend better through the following means. First, by keeping a list of books I have read and writing a summary for each one. The summary could include whether or not I believe that this book is worth rereading, and then if it is, a timeline for rereading the book. Second, by improving my system for choosing my next book. Lastly, by improving my reading technique. I still sound out the majority of words I read; perhaps killing that bad habit and building other ones could help me read more books.

V Guitar

i) History

I picked up the guitar in Costa Rica because my neighbor had one lying around. The guitar quickly began my preferred way to waste time. I've been playing now for about a year and a half, and for a decent amount of that time I was practicing for an hour daily. I have given two abysmal live performances during open mics in Tamarindo. I play fingerstyle on an acoustic guitar with an appreciation for all genres but a preference for classical and flamenco.

ii) Why

Playing the guitar gets me more out of my leisure time. It gives a road to travel down where I can always improve myself. It teaches myself self-discipline and muscle control. Performing in front of people gives me a way to train handling my nerves. And jamming with others is a great way to have fun and make friends.

iii) Future Goals

I would like to learn how to site read music, this is a skill that every other musician learns but is often neglected for the guitar. Other than that, my goal is to use the guitar as a device for training my ability to focus. So my goal for the guitar is simply to create a practice regiment and stick to it. I hope that as I improve my self discipline with the guitar my discipline will increase in other areas of life.

VI Surfing

i) History

I have been swimming in the ocean for as long as I can remember. My parents had a tiny beach house on Fire Island, a barrier island in New York off the coast of Long Island. I learned to body surf and boogied board there. For a short period I also surfed, although the waves mostly broke on the sand so this was not so feasible.

When I first arrived in Costa Rica, I had a lot of free time. I was in Tamarindo, where the economy is based around surf tourism. So I started surfing everyday and became amigos with arguably the best surfers in town. I spent a year enjoying the hedonism. I made new friends and girlfriends and traveled to spots all along the west coast of Costa Rica as well as to Peru and Nicaragua.

ii) Why

Surfing is one of the most enjoyable activities I've done in my life. The time between catching waves spaces dopamine kicks obtained from riding them into nice intervals. Surfing stays entertaining because every wave is a different experience. It also keeps me in great shape.

iii) Future Goals

My goals with surfing are more based around aspects of surfing to avoid. There is a dark side of surfing. It's an easy way to escape from problems in life. You have to do this important job X? Oh well the waves are calling, there's a swell and it may not be here again for months, btw why don't you smoke a joint before and after? The other problem with surfing is that the sun takes quite a toll on your skin. I visually aged during the year I spent surfing, and if I'm not careful I could wind up with skin cancer. Thus my aim with surfing is to use it as a meditative exercise that I do during sunrise or sunset.


These are the main areas I enjoy and I'd like to develop myself in.9 The next step after this post is to evaluate the amount of time I should invest in my different interests and create concrete goals with timelines for them.

  1. I was surprised that while looking for a master to train under my interests were considered. There's ample writing in the republicsphere on how learning comes from being forced to do what's uncomfortable instead of from following your feelings. Why should an educator care about what their student is interested in? []
  2. I considered combining this category with programming. There is a lot of overlap between the two, since having control of your computer is a necessary requirement for doing work with crytography. I decided to keep them separate since there are aspects of programming separate from cryptography, and I didn't want to create an entire new category for those aspects. []
  3. taught by Albert Meyer []
  4. the blockchain. not blockchain technologees []
  5. Since at least high school I was dubious about the legitimacy of the USG’s financial system. I have always been shocked how heathens spend their lives chasing money without putting a drop of effort to learn about money itself. []
  6. Unavailable at the time of writing. []
  7. Anki is a flash card app that claims to have an optimal algorithm for spacing out cards you are learning to minimize the amount of time you need to memorize a large set []
  8. from USG spamsites, as I would later learn []
  9. Another one that I didn't mention is writing, which perhaps could be categorized with reading. []

4 Responses to “What I Find Worthy of My Time”

  1. Diana Coman says:

    Footnote 1 - so why didn't you ASK?

    Being considered simply means being looked at, to see if there's anything worth something in there. And it's supposedly a good exercise for you to write them down although this output that took so much time too doesn't really support this theory.

  2. whaack says:

    My self review of this post, reposted here:

    I completed this but it was done very slowly and poorly. The first problem is that I didn't understand the reason for what I was doing, which was to give an idea to diana_coman of how she could give me direction. I should have clarified what the purpose was immediately instead of having the question as a footnote in my post. The second reason it went poorly is because laying out my interests let me see how little i have cultivated them, and thus i got defensive. This became manifest with my pretentious title. My defensiveness also caused me to waste a bunch of time trying to improve the wording of my post. It may have been better just listing those six interests and making bullet points of my past, skipping the "why", and asking for help with future goals instead of half haphazardly guessing at what i should do. This would have made my post take well less time and it would have been more useful.

  3. [...] I started at DCU, I produced an article titled What I Find Worthy of My Time. I tried to be humble with the content, but only barely, and nothing could make up for that [...]

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