Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

Time to start commentating old posts?

Of course I did it to a really old post I hate to read again (past me could really become angry and judgmental huh), so now I feel like I need to start annotating everything up to say 2014 at least with a sentence or two preamble on whether I still agree overall with the post or not.. it's sort of a prelude to marking everything (including this) as obsolete and putting them on ice and out of the sitemap, and moving forward into a more 'curated' and sectioned style blog (maybe some select things recovered from old posts that weren't terrible) instead of its current timeline form.

Also, I approach my old goal: write a million words then throw them in the trash, you are now ready to write. When you add in enough fudge factors anyway.. so far my script tells me I've written 435,943 words on this blog. When you include some writing sources from elsewhere, then as of two years ago it jumps up to 940k. I don't think I've written 60k words in the last two years but probably getting close. Anyway, when the goal is reached, I can then proceed with the big change. (Rebrand almost?)

It could be a fun exercise revisiting some thoughts of old me I haven't revisited or thought about in a long time. Especially that 2009-2010 era, when I was overly arrogant...

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Putting a placeholder post here for now... Kinda want to write about something (mostly to clarify my own thoughts a bit more) but it's sort of the thing that better belongs in my journal instead of on this blog. If I change my mind, I'll edit this post, and by virtue of not being the newest (ideally) it will probably only get attention from those who seek rather than by accident.

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Japan Trip 2

I'm currently on my second trip to Japan! My first trip details and some pics can be found here. I'm not keeping a day log this time but figured I should retroactively make a brief one, even just a sentence or two a day. I've been sharing some random photos here and there, I might not embed many in this post though. I'm doing a much longer trip as well so that I can 'burn' some days working on stuff at the hotel (or just taking the opportunity to study more Japanese), this post is part of that free time! I'll edit it occasionally as the trip progresses with updates.

Day 1 Arrival -- 12/10/22

Technically flight was on the 9th in Seattle and I arrived local JST around 3pm on the 10th. Got to have a brief test of my 'new' (refurb'd 2017) laptop I got for traveling purposes, it works well for my needs! Streamed Tekken from home machine over airport wifi, lag wasn't too bad. It's worse in Japan but not totally unplayable.

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Thankful for 2022

Non-exhaustive/unsorted list of things I'm thankful for this year: No new family deaths, no estrangements, still got my health, still got my long-term friend/housemate (despite wanting to move this summer to escape the rent mill), still got my other long-term friend in Utah to visit and chat with, still financially well enough despite the markets to keep doing my own thing and be more generous than last year at the same time, seeing a couple great vtuber revivals and another 3-sister collab, meeting Coyo / コヨちゃん and all the fun (and some worry) that has brought, regaining some ability/motivation to write things and subject myself to more (hopefully) strengthening stresses, not succumbing to certain things, learning more new things again despite slowly and despite many more to go / take up again, some good books, at least one really good game, can still program my way out of a paper bag just fine, have been able to travel (and just committed to one more big jaunt next month), several quality-of-life upgrades for my computer room I spend too much time in, and that I remain alive in relative comfort.

I hope those dealing with their own tragedies or just minor struggles this year can find something to be grateful for too. It's no good to dwell all the time on the negatives.

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The allure of within our lifetime

More discussions lately on the webs around for lack of a better shorthand Singularity Pessimism. Thought I'd write down some ramblings to look back on later. A while ago the joking-but-no-we're-serious "die with dignity" piece came out, MIRI essentially raising a white flag to oblivion of humanity at the hands of unaligned AGI.

They've certainly thought about it a lot more than me. I remain in my not too sure state about whether we could in fact muddle through somehow. But while I have absorbed some of the pessimism, I think it's probably harmful overall.

"We'll have to work faster" was once a condolence in the face of death. The world death clock still stands at 1.8 per second after many years of global progress. This is unacceptable, and reducing this value to 0 should be a fiery motivator, especially for young people with a lot of talent.

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Make someone feel

On a recent trip my Dad was telling a story which I guess everyone back home has heard numerous times by now, but was fresh to me, about a time he had to spend some time in jail. He got a weekends-jail deal, anyway grandma dropped him off once and to try cheering him up said something like (not sure of the exact phrasing) "Maybe you can make someone happier in there." Of course Dad then was like "No mom, it's jail! No one's going to be happy!" and slammed the door. But however she really said it, the sentiment is such a her-thing to have said. Maybe something like her life motto? She always tried to make people happy and was usually good at it. Super kind. It'd be nice if she were still around.

Despite not inheriting such great skill, I think it's a good idea to keep in mind especially for less than ideal situations for both yourself and those around you... If you can make someone happy, or at least try and think of some ideas to do so, that's often a lot better than many other alternatives like doing nothing or just wallowing. There may be other things you can do too though, so don't neglect them (and for some people kindness seems to hurt and they really would prefer you left them alone or expressed sympathy in less direct ways).

I think I recall reading somewhere of a parent making sure to ask their child after school over dinner what they did that day to make someone's day better, if anything. My immediate reaction to such an idea is that I wouldn't want to put this pressure on my own child as I sort of see it as a cousin to misguided philosophies about living for the sake of others, but I think that's more of an adult perspective and not really appropriate here, especially because such heavy-handed perspectives are cousins to other misguided philosophies about any form of sacrifice being evil. People are just trying to be more kind every day, that's typically a good thing. For a kid especially, the acts of kindness can be very small and still matter, like holding open a door, or a nice compliment, or giving up some table space at the cafeteria, or a hug to someone who needed one, or... it's probably good to engage a kid's creativity this way too.

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Song Translations - Calling To The Night

Thought of a new little project to do: song translations! (Edit: and by 'project', maybe I'll post one of them before the year is out...) They're mostly going to be Japanese -> English, in an effort to help me learn more Japanese, but this first one is actually English -> French and something I did all the way back in high school for French class.

The song is Calling To The Night, by Natasha Farrow, from the game Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops. (I think I heard it first in Smash Bros.)

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