Here are some of my thoughts...

Experience
Feel Lucky

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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