Welcome to 2019! Like the last two years, I did a complete life review of how 2018 went and what I want for 2019. During that process, I evaluated progress on my 2018 goals and set new goals for 2019.
In past years, I combined the previous year’s goals review with the new year’s goals announcement. However, these posts have gotten quite long, so this year, I have split the review and announcement into two separate blog posts.
Many bloggers write a “Books I Read Last Year” or “Recommended Movies” post at the end of the year. Frankly, I think most people do it because other people do it and because they’re really easy to write. It’s a total cop-out for generating content.
In fact, it’s such a good cop-out that I’m going to do it, too. It’s still a nice way to review the past year and share what I did. Here are the some things that I loved from 2018.
I play all of my video games on my 2012 MacBook Pro, but recently, it has been showing its age. The 100GB Windows partition is too small, so I actually didn’t have enough space to install new games. Over the past year, I saw a few games that my computer no longer met the minimum requirements for. Also, the rubber feet on the bottom of it are falling off, which makes me wonder how long it will be before something important fails.
For the past three years, I have hosted a holiday cookie exchange for my building. Our building has 12 units (mostly 2 bedrooms), so I had hoped that we could get at least half of them to participate. However, in the last three years, we have had three, four, and three units participate, including ourselves. It hasn’t been increasing, and I have been wondering why.
Julie and I have very different understandings of the 5 star rating system. Here’s what usually happens at a restaurant:
(Kevin nosily scrapes the last bits of food from his plate using his finger as a backstop instead of his knife)
Kevin: So how would you rate this restaurant?
Julie: I liked it! Maybe four or five stars?
(Kevin gives Julie a look of horror and confusion)
Julie: Oh, maybe more like three and a half stars
Kevin: Yeah, I was thinking three or four stars
We then (mis)remember how we rated other restaurants and try to slot this meal against those ratings. This process is haphazard at best.
And it’s not just restaurants: I’m consistently more critical than Julie on movies, books, and recipes. However, rather than accept that I am just a negative person, I instead embarked on an empirical study to prove that rating systems, not I, are the flawed party. Continue reading “My Understanding of the 5-star Rating System”
In 1996, Deep Blue played competitive Chess against world champion Garry Kasparov. In 2011, Watson beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy. In 2016, AlphaGo played and beat Lee Sedol in Go. And in 2018, OpenAI Five played 2 games against professional Data 2 players, and the humans survived 2 very fun games. But in another year, I think that OpenAI Five will handily beat the best human Dota 2 teams.
After my last stint writing and publishing a tabletop adventure, I was inspired to take a shot at writing a rule system. With a few playtests and a PDF from an online Word template, I now also call myself a game designer by sharing “College Contagion.”
Everyone is into podcasts these days. Here’s a common conversation I have had.
A: “So, I was in the car listening to a podcast-”
B: “Wait, you listen to podcasts? Me too!”
A: “Really, what podcasts do you listen to?”
As much as I enjoy them myself, I don’t think it is unique or surprising to find fellow podcast listeners. Podcasts aren’t a specific interest, like “90s alternative” or “lemurs with thoughtful facial expressions.” Podcasts are a medium like “TV” or “movies,” so most people probably like at least one or two. Replace “podcast” with “sport” or “music” and it will roughly make as much sense. Continue reading “My Current Podcasts”