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Viewing posts tagged "Personal"

Thoughts on AlphaGo: We've Lost Something

This week, Lee Sedol, the famous 9 dan professional Go player, was beaten three games to zero by AlphaGo the Go-playing computer. This surprised everyone, because computers kind of sucked at Go until about 3 months ago, and now suddenly it seems we have a computer that's nigh-unbeatable.

I'm a programmer, and I also play Go (badly). One would think that my feelings would be mixed, something like "Yay programmers! Too bad, Go players!" But in fact I find that my feelings are all sadness. I feel like we've lost something.

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Burning out. Or not.

Hello, world! It's been a few years since I've blogged regularly. What's up with that?! This post is about burning out. And then un-burning out.

Blog → Book

I started my old blog fresh out of college, back when I knew nothing about anything1. I liked to use it to explore topics I was interested in. "Explore" here means dumping an idea onto the internet and seeing what happens. Sometimes I'd write something useful for people at the same stage of exploration as myself, which was a great feeling. Just as often, I'd write something super-wrong and hordes of people would show up to tell me so.

I consider both outcomes positive. My goal is learning and self-improvement. Being wrong is OK, it's how you learn. And I feel like I did learn a lot by blogging. Sometimes just the act of writing something down and explaining it to others has a miraculous way of making it clear in your own mind.

I've always tried to make the tone of my blog a bit silly, so that people don't show up thinking they're getting good solid info out of this. Rather, they're getting some guy wandering around in public who occasionally bumps into something useful.

My blog brought all kinds of positive things into my life. For example, people would read it and email me and say "Hey, wanna write a book?". So yeah, I helped2 write a book. And then things went a bit downhill.

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