Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as “We Call It Living”

[sixteen] plus fifteen

centaur 0

Been up super late chasing a paper deadline for the past few nights, so no real post for you; instead, enjoy this picture of a photogenic cat.

I do have to say, these past few nights pulling this paper together have proved over and over again that my ethic of "work just a little harder than you have to" pays off, as each night I wanted to quit, and each night I got a major chunk of forward progress done by working just a bit harder.

Now, sometimes that was 4 am, but still ... after spending a great deal of time with what felt like a giant incoherent mess of a paper (17 pages at last count), the exercise of pushing to submit a 6-page excerpt to this conference really crystallized the notion that, yes, we have done something good here, and, yes, if we take the time out to summarize it, it really does add something to our understanding of the problem.

Oh wait. This isn't an inside-the-firewall production. So, AHEM, "... it really does add something to our understanding of SOCIAL ROBOT NAVIGATION." Just to be clear on what we are doing.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Loki, snapped between toe cleanings.

finally ….

centaur 0

... a computer with a fast fricking hard drive. I use a backup scheme in which one older computer has all my file mirroring services on it (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc) and then backs that data up to a local Time Machine backup. But the old iMac I had had long ago reached the point where it couldn't back up to local network storage and needed a directly connected USB drive, and eventually that, too, gave up the ghost, with Google Drive and Dropbox essentially strangling each other to death if you tried to load them simultaneously. In other news, unrelated except for the inexorable passage of time, my personal daily driver laptop had reached the point where half the keys skip and the battery life was down to roughly 1 minute.

SO! I bought a refurbished Apple Silicon MacBook Pro. Even though it is a gently used machine, way cheaper than the most recent models, this M1 Max screamer has downloaded most of Dropbox and a large chunk of Drive without breaking a sweat. Apparently, the larger, faster SSD of a 2022 MacBook Pro beats the heck out of the old spinny hard drive of a 2015 (or is it 2013?) iMac. Who knew? And it can serve as a daily driver until such time as I can afford a top of the line machine, if I even need one if Apple Silicon is as fast as they say.

Cross you fingies ...

-the Centaur

[fourteen] plus ten …

centaur 0

... still behind, but, whatever. Pictured: Left Bank in Menlo Park. Hadn't been there in years, but it was wonderful. Unexpectedly I turned out the other way from the bathroom and discovered a second stair with beautiful mosaic tile, sparkling in the late morning daylight in a way I never recalled seeing before.

Still pictures really can't do it justice, but it still is beautiful.

-the Centaur

do, or do not. there is no blog

centaur 0

One reason blogging suffers for me is that I always prioritize doing over blogging. That sounds cool and all, but it's actually just another excuse. There's always something more important than doing your laundry ... until you run out of underwear. Blogging has no such hard failure mode, so it's even easier to fall out of the habit. But the reality is, just like laundry, if you set aside a little time for it, you can stay ahead - and you'll feel much healthier and more comfortable if you do.

-the Centaur

Pictured: "Now That's A Steak Burger", a 1-pound monster from Willard Hicks, where I took a break from my million other tasks to catch up on Plans and the Structure of Behavior, the book that introduced idea of the test-operate-test-exit (TOTE) loop as a means for organizing behavior, a device I'm finding useful as I delve into the new field of large language model planning.

[twelve] plus eight, OR: don’t skip a day, or you’ll be sorry

centaur 0

Yeah. The microblogging will continue until the posting rate reaches 1/day.

I feel that one problem I have with "daily blogging" is that quick posts are no problem. But if I have a longer idea - but can't finish it in time - I then forget to do a shorter post to make up for it.

And missing a post itself is a problem. What I find when trying to build a regular practice (daily blogging, taking karate twice a week, whatever) is that if you skip one time, even for a "really good reason", then mysteriously the next two or three times you'll HAVE to skip for "unavoidable" reasons.

In this, case in point, I started writing a longer article on debugging software. There was more to it than I expected - I had wanted to make an off-the-cuff comment, and found my thoughts rapidly expanding - and then the next day I was flying, and the next day catching up on work, and the next day owed my part of the annual report to the church board, and so on. And then its DAYS later and boom no posts. I think at this point I am 8 behind in numbered posts, though there were a few un-numbered ones which I would count, except, if I don't, it makes the problem harder, which helps build the discipline I'm trying to build.

SO! Let's get back on that horse then. Update metadata, hit publish.

-the Centaur

Pictured: my evening work ritual, 2-3 times a week when I'm not having dinner with my wife, is to go to some place to eat (preferably one with a bar or high top tables, so I can stretch out my bum knee), crack open a book, and read a chunk of a chapter while having a nice meal. Most of my books get read this way.

[eleven] plus nine …

centaur 0

... from the last numbered post, or plus six from the last post.

As for the image? Yeah. They've got a lot of problems on that boat.

-the Centaur

Ugh, WordPress updates edition …

centaur 0

... the block editor of Wordpress seems to be making my old non-block-editor posts turn into solid walls of text. See the post "Pascal's Wager and Purchasing Parsley":

Yeah, it's not supposed to be looking like that. Gotta track those down and fix them.

In other news, my Half-Cheetah policy is successfully training to "expected" levels of performance. Yay! I guess that means my code for the assignment is ... sorta correct? Time to clean it up and submit it.

-the Centaur

Once again, I’m running deep learning on a Macbook …

centaur 0

... and the trick to getting it working was, as usual, "working just a little bit harder than you want to". Shortly after my last post, I got REINFORCE, a classic reinforcement learning algorithm, successfully training on my local machine, with apparent learning for all three environments in the assignment (though whether my solution is able to reach the expected final level of performance or not is still an open question).

-the Centaur