Here are some of my thoughts...

Experience
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A couple of thoughts regarding the PocketLab UI.

  1. The collection of data across different data sources should be more closely integrated so the user can easily select between different graphs from different sources on the same screen. This would be similar to how post collection data is reviewed across sources.
  2. The revision of data (post collection) should be more distinct from the collection of the data.
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The Moorcock Inn, Sowerby Bridge, looks like a nice place to go eat.

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More ideas around accounting.

  1. Find a way to introduce small business to accounting processes currently aimed at only bigger companies due to cost limitations.
  2. An invoice generator which hooks into the tax system and can work as a plugin to existing project management tools.
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The most effective solution to a mental process problem isn't always the cleanest solution. The model that is built in the head as part of the solution needs to resonate in a way that it is remembered and lends itself to being used when such a problem arrises.

Think two crocodiles facing each other.

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A couple of ideas on how to use the skills of accounting and programming in the same company.

  1. Accounting software
  2. Internet run accounting service
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I would give Firebase a miss for now especially if a bit of server side code (called Cloud Functions in firebase).

Cold start, the delay incurred when a function hasn't been used in a while, is a killer and can't be over come by paying for a plan.

Admittedly Firebase is in beta although they still provide payments plans...

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I need to tweak the 'More Like This' configuration so there is a higher threshold for the related thoughts.

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All thoughts are now stored exclusively in a Lucene index and managed by Elasticsearch. I am still using Postgres to manage authentication.

The main motivation for using Elasticsearch is the 'More Like This' feature which link thoughts together automatically.

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To improve the utility of the Doing widget I should start using it more for personal tasks. I think the task description, which for work items I currently don't read very often, would be more useful and I would engage with the actual content on the widget rather than the colours and the notifications.

To encourage we to use it for personal tasks I think the following improvements might help.

  1. Make it easier to enter thoughts. This can be done by
    1. Making 'Add Card' work offline
    2. Add new cards to 'This Week' or 'Today' depending on which one is current in view.
  2. Notifying the user when 'This Week' and 'Today' lists are empty in certain time windows.
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Another option for how to link up 'thoughts' is to use something similar to suggested stories on a news site. These suggested thoughts would be related to the current thought using an configurable algorithm. This would reduce the amount of friction when adding thoughts and encourage me to do it more.

Rather than complicating the UI the 'suggested thoughts', which from now on I will call 'related thoughts' because the verb suggest doesn't fit in this context, can fit in to the existing stream of thoughts, above and below the current thought depending on the creation date. This is where 'infinite scroll' would be very useful.

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Static Age by the Misfits took some listening to to get into but I am very fond of it now.

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It would be nice to be able to reference previous thoughts when writing new ones.

There are two approaches that initially come to mind to tackle the presentation of referenceable thoughts.

  1. Provide links to the referenced thoughts and referencing thoughts along with the current thought.
  2. Present all referenced thoughts along with the current thought and make the referenced thoughts collapsable.
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Apple triaged the app review for the latest PocketLab app due a bug that was introduced in the previous release.

I liked the process but even with the triage it took about 18 hours.

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Writing thoughts where it is assumed I am the consumer seems to be more satisfying.

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Although I believe a more liberated engineer (free from excess social, bureaucratic and traditional processes) generally makes for a more for-filled and ultimately more productive engineer it can also be helpful to use self imposed mechanisms to guide behavior where human tendencies can lead us down unproductive paths.

An example of this is a widget I created for android which connects with my Trello boards, sits on my home screen and has the following features:

  1. A Doing section, (scrollable) Today/This Week section and Clocked off section which track corresponding lists on all Trello boards and present the cards present in these lists.
  2. Ability to move the cards between lists as well as into the 'Todo' and 'Done' lists which are present in Trello but not presented in the widget.
  3. Triggers notifications and alarms when amongst other events the following happens
    1. A card sits in 'Today' after the day is complete
    2. A card sits in 'This Week' after the week is complete
    3. A card sits in 'Doing' outside work hours
    4. There is no card in 'Doing' during work hours

The alarms and notifications have a pavlovian effect and can be made to quite unpleasant by adjusting vibration length and sound thus increasing the effectiveness.

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I find the lifecycle of angular services to be quite anti-intuitive when down in the weeds with lazy loaded modules.

If I have a service declared in a lazy loaded child module and that module is loaded the service is instantiated and according to the documentation and pretty much everyone who has wrote on the subject should live for as long as the associated injector (and thus module) lives unlike a module directly imported which I understand shares the injector and thus the services will be available app wide for the lifecycle of the entire app.

I have found that if a lazy loaded module accessed through a router outlet is navigated to from the same lazy loaded module through a different router outlet which effectively wipes the previous base component of the module, the component is redrawn but the service from the previous module and assumably the actual module itself sticks around. The question then is for how long?

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I recently implemented a 'context service' for the PocketLab web app which has proven to be very useful for multiple reasons.

The service, which is part of an angular web app although assumably could be used in most front end web frameworks

  1. Listens on URL changes
  2. Constructs a context from the new URL
  3. Publishes the context through an Observable.

In the web app I am working on the context consists of the object currently being viewed and the hierarchy it exists in as well as some more broader information such as login status and PocketLab device in use.

Amongst other things this is useful for providing information to UI components that help the user orientate themselves within the app and for sending a lot of rich data to Google Tag Manager.

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Refining an earlier thought about improving some of my daily processes.

The combinations of process and improvement type which currently seem the most promising.

  1. Betting, speeding up process
  2. Project management, improving quality of result
  3. Reading, improving quality of result
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It can be satisfying to feel like there is potential to realise a successful idea no matter how realistic the feeling is. This is a very counter productive mental state as not only does it not help in delivering the potential it also means that you are probably comfortable and perhaps don't want to leave the state.

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In Inadequate-Equilibria Eliezer Yudkowsky argues that the efficiency of the economic system and the number of people in the world means that there isn't any low hanging fruit when it comes to converting an idea into something profitable.

Although things are in a state of Nash Equilibrium everywhere the incentive structure in place means that these states can't be resolved in a way that makes money otherwise it probably would have happened already and it wouldn't really be in Nash Equilibrium. Or something like that.

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Some processes I perform during the day that I might be able to improve on are:

  1. Making coffee
  2. Exercising
  3. Reading
  4. Making dinner
  5. Programming
  6. Managing projects
  7. Betting

Improvements could entail

  1. Making the process faster to perform
  2. Making the result of the process better
  3. Achieving more enjoyment from the process

For each process one type of improvement may be more desirable than another. For example, I don't want to speed up my coffee making as I use it as a chance to take a break from looking at the computer screen but I do want to speed up project management as it would give me more time to do something I enjoy.

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By considering metaphors as replacements for reality you increase the distance between yourself and reality. When used for getting certain tasks done this can be a useful tool however when considering thoughts themselves it probably gets in the way.

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Let's Encrypt (run by the Internet Security Research Group) is an example of how the internet should work.

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Thoughts are not easily categorized, however as it might be helpful in deciding (to whatever extent we do decide) which thoughts to act upon and how, I will define three broad groups which thoughts could be sorted into.

  1. Thoughts on past experience, something like how your memory is realized.
  2. Thoughts about how potential events could play out, be it due to your intervention or not (like a plan or prediction).
  3. 'What if' thoughts, could be regret or something less emotionally charged.

Thoughts from all groups appear to invoke emotion, so a memory of a nice event or promising plan could invoke a feeling of happiness and/or satisfaction but emotion could also be genesis of the thoughts. Although the genesis of a thought never seems clear to me.

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