Reflections on 2022
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It was a very full year. From October 2021 to today I: got married, started a job, had a daughter, moved to Washington, bought a house and now I'm expecting a son.
And I did a lot of random things.
- I wrote a children's book.
- I wrote two vim plugins.
- I wrote 19 blog posts
- I made a lot of tweets and doubled my follower count
- I did a forecasting tournament (still waiting on my money Tetlock)
- I made a TikTok account with a lot of vim tips
- I made and shut down Prediction Alerts a website that would give you price alerts on Predictit/Kalshi/Polymarket. Code here, hosted no where.
- My last paper was accepted pending revisions so I lost a month making those.
- I made a lot of fun changes to my website.
- I have comments now! I did it first with a janky github pull request system and then with a simpler setup. Previously I had Disqus but I didn't want to pay or have ads. If people actually start commenting I'll have to implement spam filters and maybe a log in but for now it seems fine for my level of attention.
- I added ads to my site. Honestly I should take them off. I've only made $15.
- I added a ton of social media links to my site for this post. I think they're funny. You see social links on every website but has anyone ever clicked one?
- These changes aren't visible to the naked eye but I improved my mtg hover card pipeline and I now write my blogs in markdown (for the longest time I'd write them in html. Horrible!)
- My blog is now a newsletter. This is the first post I'll be mailing out. Click the subscribe button in the bottom right if you're interested in getting my posts by mail.
- Got back into paper mtg, top 8ing two RCQs and flying to Baltimore to bomb a team SCG event.
- Got a squat rack, climbed a mountain, kayaked and played a lot of volleyball.
- I hosted my family for Christmas. It was a lot of fun.
- My job went pretty well. I feel like I got a lot better at software engineering this year and though I don't want to go into detail on my personal blog I got a fair amount done.
- I also don't want to go into detail about family life but my daughter is doing great and I think I did an okay job at being a husband and father.
It was nice to just do a lot of shit. Looking back the scenery changes every year but a lot of years seemed to slip by without me actually doing anything.
I think a lot of what kept me from doing more in the past is perfectionism. Not wanting to put out shitty writing. Not wanting to write tweets I may one day cringe at. Not wanting to release ugly buggy code. Sadly this perfectionism was maybe protecting me from something real because when I look back at my work over the past year I wouldn't say I'm particularly proud of anything I've done .
- I didn't figure out how to publish my children's book as a board book or on multiple platforms or advertise for it so I didn't sell many copies. I am a little proud of the writing/illustration though and think it compares favorably to the one baby Einstein book I've read (the excellent Bayesian Probability for Babies).
- A lot of my blog writing is very formulaic. And no one really cares about my thoughts on Magic the Gathering. There are a million degenerate addicts already trying to make MtG content. This was most obvious on my DMU post. I normally try to write my set review within ~2 days of full spoiler. It's not too hard to be Pareto Optimal on timing and quality. But that time I just didn't notice the spoiler and did it a week after and they roasted me on Reddit.
- I procrastinated on a lot of harder, potentially more interesting posts I wanted to write:
- My utilitarianism takedown. It's funny, I had a thought about Utilitarianism I was going to post in May but then the EA criticism contest was announced and I figured I should make it good and read a bunch of papers from the 60's but now the post is too big in my head and I don't even know if I have a point worth making. I do think the relevance of Harsanyi's arguments are a little overstated but I don't have a knock down point. I'd still like to write my utilitarianism take though. It seems I may have missed the peak moment of utilitarianism's fashionability. But such things go in waves.
- My defense of alcohol. One drink a night seems healthy to me from all the research I've seen.
- Against writing.
- Maybe Social Media is Great
- Prediction Alerts was sort of a dead end. The reason it only ended up with ~3 users is I never promoted it, and I never promoted it because I was never proud of it. But it was fine and maybe I should have. I think the conceit of making software for gamblers may be a dead end though. I was watching this video and they specifically call out that category as a "tarpit". I think the experience was tremendously valuable  both because having made a complete web app with accounts/logins and payments and cloud hosting it will be easier and faster if inspiration strikes and I want to do it again, and having made a small web app I have a much greater appreciation for the different parts of the stack which I think has made me better at my job.
- I don't have much of a following on Twitter or TikTok. I think I'm bad at social media. Though with TikTok the problem may just be that I didn't stick with it.
- My MtG play is weak and uninspired. I should have won those RCQs. Or maybe stop playing.
- Book: Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro. I've read three other books by him and I'd write this third after Remains of the Day and Never let me Go. Klara a pretty medium book.
- Movie: Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. I somehow missed this Miyazaki movie. My mother in law said my daughter looks like Ponyo and I sort of agree. Wasn't expecting Liam Neeson.
- Video Game: Human Fall Flat. I played this with Rhiannon after our baby got out of the NICU. It was a lot of fun to play a co-op game together.
- Hike: Mt. Sourdough
I just want to do a lot of stuff and be a good husband and father. Perform well at my job. Some more concrete goals:
- Squat 225. Honestly I should be able to do that already. I just need to be more consistent in 2022. My current best is 205.
- Get to 300 twitter followers. My tweets are great! Though honestly twitter is maybe dying. Might be time to get back to posting on FB or move on to Mastadon. Maybe linkedin? Where is everyone? Maybe the future is little insular discords. Why do I want a "follower" anyway. I'm not Jesus.
- I want to launch another consumer SAAS thing like prediction alerts. I think I could do it twice as fast next time. I don't yet have an idea for something that would be valuable to make though.
- Keep on top of AI developments as a user. I use copilot every time I code. And I've used a little bit of ChatGPT and Dall-E. But I should incorporate these tools more extensively into my development and writing. There will be a great period before ~2025, when I'm replaced completely, when they'll allow me to go 2-10 faster.
Here's to a great 2023!
 Looking at my 2021 post I see this isn't the first time I've felt this way.
 as opposed to the experience of writing a mediocre blog. People say writing helps you think and there's a lot you get out of reading but more and more I disagree. That's another hot take blog I've had on the burner for too long. Against Writing.