Hazard's Home

A home for Hazardous thoughts

I'm about to start a learning project and I'm paying extra close attention, "What feels most interesting?" rather than merely, "What am I supposed to know?" When I stopped to think about it, there's plenty of very specific (and vague) things that I'm curious about regarding how the Internet and the network stack operate. Below is my lightly edited brainstorm of "What's confusing and interesting about computer networking?"
Another way of framing this is that I find myself more easily bored when being told "Here's how a system works" compared to when I go, "How the hell would I build this? None of my pieces seem to fit…. maybe if I…."
(note, something weird is up with my markdown parser and some of the nesting was lost. Sorry for the reduced readability)
Expect an update in the future with what I learn!
Since middle school I've generally thought that I'm pretty good at dealing with my emotions, and a handful of close friends and family have made similar comments. Now I can see that though I was particularly good at never flipping out, I was decidedly not good "healthy emotional processing". I'll explain later what I think "healthy emotional processing" is, right now I'm using quotes to indicate "the thing that's good to do with emotions". Here it goes…
When I was a kid I adopted a strong, "Fix it or stop complaining about it" mentality. This applied to stress and worry as well. "Either address the problem you're worried about or quit worrying about it!" Also being a kid, I had a limited capacity to actually fix anything, and as such I was often exercising the "stop worrying about it" option.
Another thing about me, I was a massive book worm and loved to collect "obvious mistakes" that heroes and villains would make. My theory was, "Know all the traps, and then just don't fall for them". That plus the sort of books I read meant that I "knew" it was a big no-no to ignore or repress your emotions. Luckily, since I knew you shouldn't repress your emotions, I "just didn't" and have lived happily ever after

(continued from Cognitive Fusion)
A quote from a 2002 paper by Kahneman and Frederick referencing some of Kahneman's earlier work with Tversky:
Early research on the representativeness and availability heuristics was guided by a simple and general hypothesis: when confronted with a difficult question people often answer an easier one instead, usually without being aware of the substitution.
It's an interesting hypothesis, and even without looking at studies it seems plausible. I can think of conversations where I've been frustrated by the fact that the other person can't seem to actually answer the question I've asked them and keeps wiggling around. But it makes me wonder.
In a post by Kaj Sotala on other things, he introduced me to the very useful idea of cognitive fusion.
Cognitive fusion is a term from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which refers to a person “fusing together” with the content of a thought or emotion, so that the content is experienced as an objective fact about the world rather than as a mental construct. The most obvious example of this might be if you get really upset with someone else and become convinced that something was all their fault (even if you had actually done something blameworthy too).
In this example, your anger isn’t letting you see clearly, and you can’t step back from your anger to question it, because you have become “fused together” with it and experience everything in terms of the anger’s internal logic.
You can become fused to an emotion, a voice in your head, a political view, and experience it to "just be true". I see this as a similar sort of fusion I hear musician talk about, where after years of practice their instrument begin to feel like a part of their body. They aren't "using their index finger to press the black note on a piano" they are "just playing G". This is analogous to being so caught up in your own anger that your partner is "just wrong and terrible" as opposed to "it sorta looks like you intentionally did something to annoy me and I'm worried about if you'll do this again in the future." (or whatever the actual case is)
So here's the thing. I absolutely LOVE attention. I also HATE asking for attention. This past weekend I've processed those last two statements on a much deeper level than I have previously. Sometimes you need to rediscover an insight multiple times to really get it.
The most recent batch of introspection was prompted by the book "Magic is Dead" by Ian Frisch. Spoiler, I'm a semi-professional close up magician and have a vested interest in many things magic. Ian was describing Chris Ramsay, the quintessential young-blood social media based cool kid magician. A quote:
[…] Ramsay's style has since evolved into a more high-end street-wear, hypebeast-esque aesthetic: A Bathing Ape jacket, Supreme cap and hoodie, adidas by Pharrell Williams NMD sneakers, etc.
I don't even know what A Bathing Ape jacket looks like, nor why the "A" is capitalized, but my gut reaction is revulsion. I know just enough about Supreme and "hypebeast"s to know that I don't like them. But why? Why do I spit venom when I hear about new performers on social media trying to "make magic cool again"?
This past Sunday I was lamenting the fact that all the music I liked was on youtube playlists and not on my phone. I finally got off my ass and went to download and convert them, dutifully uploading them to Google Play Music and editing the meta-data one by one so that the songs could be organized by artist and album.
I decided to make my own tool to do this faster and guesstimated I could bang it out in a day. Four days later, here we are. #planningfallacy
It was a excuse to dip my toes into electron development. The allure of "make cross-platform apps with ease!" pulls at me, and even if I ditch electron, there were other things learned on this adventure. I got more experience with mitrhil.js. I feel like I've bumped into the limitations of the naive approach enough for learning actual best practices to now be sticky.
One of my very first programming experiences was in high-school when my friend Sam taught me a little javascript and html canvas to do simple animations. Oh how times have changed. I can still remember a conversation where a friend was enthusiastically trying to explain to me what a for loop was, and I was failing to see why this could possibly be useful. Now I [insert bragging about current coding skills].
This past winter I made a large 2-d scroller in HTML canvas. The graphics for the game are completely done with the drawing api that canvas gives you. Pretty quickly, I realized it was going to be impossible to make whole worlds, so I thought deeply until I remembered that nothing is sacred all is bits and used google sheets as a level editor. This turned the problem from impossible to merely a pain in the ass. I made working worlds, and yet the primitiveness of my tools still shown through. When you're manually redrawing every image every clock tick, anything remotely complex (i.e. arches) makes your animation really slow. I powered through, made my game, but knew that if I wanted to make any web based games in the future I was going to have to find a better paradigm.
Enter pixi.js.
Meh, I don't really have a ton of high praise for it. It does the job I need it to. I took it for a test run and made this very pleasing snake demo. I also put together a template that should speed up the process of putting a pixi.js game on this website.

For the past 8 years I have had a vague dislike of texting/messaging as a form of communication. Over the past 4 years I've come to explicitly think of myself as someone who doesn't like texting. Recently, I've been in a long distance relationship and have been giving a lot more thought to how I like to communicate, and finding better ways to meet both my and my partners communication needs.
I notice that I default to thinking that other people's expectations on the shared norms of texting are, "Basically normal in-person conversation norms, but you get more leeway on how long you can not respond before I feel like you're ignoring me."
Most importantly, I get a sense that I'm expected to "maintain the conversation" and respond to all of the things that the other person has said to me.
Epistemic status: 2 1/2 hours of hammering out an idea that’s been in my head for a while. Not too novel, yet a few useful points at the end. Rehashes some ideas from A Human's Guide to Words.
Note: originally posted on Lesswrong a year ago
I think that it is useful to model people as having filters that exist somewhere in their decision making process, filters which ask the question, “Does what I’m about to do match a behaviour trope that I’ve blacklisted?”
If the answer is yes, then the potential action gets vetoed and the brain goes back to the drawing board. If the answer is no, then the potential action gets bumped further up the decision making chain.

One thing I'm excited about is making some iteractive posts using html canvas. I think it would be a fun/great way add on to "Deep explanation/tutorial" style posts.
The current blog setup is open up a text file in emacs, write the post using markdown for formatting, and push to github. Netlify is doing my hosting, and it watches git for updates, and runs my build file to update the static files that are this website. I've still got to find a nice emacs theme that makes writing not annoying (it's far more pleasant visually (at least as of now) to write in say google docs), and I'll probably want add ons like a spell checker (5 points for each typo you can find in this post).
Lastly, as you are reading this, if the year is 2028 and you've just finished reading through my entire archive of posts, congratulations! Though there are few bloggers who I've read all of their stuff, there's definitely people like Sebastian Marshall and Tynan who have 9+ years of blog posts, and I've skipped straight to the first year to see what they were like back in the day.