tag:leonardy.co,2013:/posts Editorial 2021-01-05T20:33:28Z Many First Steps tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1636108 2021-01-05T20:33:27Z 2021-01-05T20:33:28Z Speedrunning is amazing

Just watched hollow knight speed run for 33 mins by fireb0rn and it’s just amazing

The precision, speed and persistence of it is unmatched that it’s just insane.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1572748 2020-07-13T17:40:26Z 2020-08-18T17:40:35Z Do something new sometime

A few weeks ago I rode my bike from South Jakarta to West Tangerang. It was a 36km winding route that avoids large traffic and highways that ended up brought me to BSD area around 7pm at night. I never rode that long with a bike so it was really painful, but achieving it brought a great sense of accomplishment. It served as a reminder that we all have that potential of accomplishing these foolish yet bold goals even with seemingly improper preparation. It wasn’t the best bike. I wasn’t at my best condition. It was definitely not the most efficient route.

But I did it anyway. It ended up being a memorable, unplanned adventure. 

I need to treasure and seek experience like these more.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1566636 2020-06-29T19:58:52Z 2020-06-29T19:58:52Z The missing link

Roles I've undertaken as I'm aware of them

  • Observer; 
  • Influencer; 
  • Doer;

But I'm missing the creator roles and others that might have been more prominent back in the past.

Will update the post with more thoughts.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1565905 2020-06-28T02:25:17Z 2020-06-28T02:25:18Z Torrent as dynamic knowledge retention model

It probably resembles how information get passed to each other in earlier days.

And even as of right now.

The more peers and people who make themselves available to transfer information.

The faster the transfer speed goes.

Unless you can automate the part and make a central repo where the information is always readily available even without people.

Then discord or other immediate chat platform serve as the more transient just-in-time knowledge exchange.

This probably raise the question how many percent of the world are chronologer? As in, people who expend efforts to record things. Harder things especially. Because when you think about it, an experimentation means nothing if they’re not diligently recorded down or published so that other people can access them.

And in that way, any action of writing carries as much weight as writing research paper. Good note taking is that important.

Probably transferable to PRDs too.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1565899 2020-06-28T01:59:22Z 2020-12-29T17:20:41Z Guidebook and walkthrough

I’ve been reading guidebooks for games as far as I remember it. They are normally featured in the sections of a game magazine or a standalone book with in-depth guides. This later translates to my fascination with gamefaqs and wikia sites of games or shows I’m following, as they are packed with information contributed by people who are very passionate about them too, e.g.

  • Bulbapedia has amazing detailed records of all pokemon-related entries
  • Gamepress is a hub of guides for recent mobile games
  • Reddit's /r/anime subreddit have extensive discussion threads for each episode of an anime

But this sort of fascination are coupled with the dependency of relying too much on it. In the time when the guide is not available or it's protected behind privatized groups (like some discord channels), it was very easy to feel helpless or confused instead. So when I picked up ragnarok tactics recently, I tried playing it purely without a guide. It was a constant trial and error process but it definitely restored the fun.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1562759 2020-06-21T18:25:50Z 2020-12-29T17:05:20Z The meta of doing good

Continuing from previous article.

  1. Firstly we need to have the heart that care about a problem
  2. Secondly we need to understand the core problem enough
  3. Thirdly we need to start very small that it's doable enough
  4. Do these more: empathize, be educated, execute
  5. Do these less: being selfish, ignorant, stagnant

A quote from today’s kurzgesagt video:

Climate change is a global problem and no country alone can fix it. 

Working out who’s responsible is not as simple as it seems and in a way it’s a daft question. But one that has plagued international politics for decades. In the end, it’s pretty simple. Everybody need to do the best they can and right now, we’re all not doing that. 

But we can begin today.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1562725 2020-06-21T17:21:43Z 2020-12-29T16:57:05Z Global disposition

Think globally, act locally

A blanket solution to a meaningful problem risks being non-inclusive since it reduces most permutations of the problem to its lowest common denominator.

A quick solution to a meaningful problem risks being shortsighted since it ignores most dependencies of the problem and its larger scale impact.

I'm generally attracted to more fundamental problems that explains my prior involvement with the effective altruism community in the first place. But time and time again I'm reminded that all complex systems that work evolved from simpler systems that worked (Gall's Law). The winning strategy always combine both big-picture perspective and hyper-local action that evolve over time.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1562517 2020-06-21T05:35:38Z 2020-12-29T12:44:01Z Thinking in queue

Back in 2012, the first time I learned how to ice skate a friend told me to “don’t think just do”

I am no stranger to the overthinking trap. But sometime, rarely, I get into a flow where I just do things without questioning it beforehand. The best mental representation to describe it is when I have a clear picture of a “queue”. It was when the only things that matter in my head is the task at hand. Like, this morning I was dreading the clean up from yesterday’s dinner, but the moment I started doing the least to scrap the rice off the plates then I entered the flow.

I washed everything in the sink, cooked some rice, swept the floor, folded some clothes, made my bed, open up mail packages, fixed a hole in the cupboard, ordered food, opened windows for ventilation, and finally, writing this post. All this without a plan beforehand. All this accomplished under half an hour.

It's a great morning.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1560837 2020-06-17T19:21:58Z 2020-12-29T12:29:26Z Meaningful acquisitions

Recently I started playing a new LINE-backed game called Exos Heroes. It has interesting setting, game mechanics and from the onset it's quite well thought out compared to other ones in this genre. Then within a week I cleared most of the content and gained familiarity with the meta (e.g. what it takes to succeed in the game given the current rule).

What bothers me is how, just like any other mobile games I've played so far, track record wise I will stop playing them within months and probably even forget about it in another year. In the first place, the game industry profits the most from the surge of users at the beginning. Comparing this to console games, mobile games are just far more transient.

I started playing mobile gacha games in 2013 and have played it on/off before completely stopping recently. Titles like brave frontier, sinoalice, fire emblem heroes, granblue fantasy, pokemon go, sdorica, dragalia lost, ragnarok tactics, exos heroes (update: genshin impact) are no stranger to me. I played all these games enough to hit a considerable percentile within the game. But ultimately, just how much have I retained from playing this sort of games so far?

For one, I truly enjoyed most of the games initially. I like the dopamine rush from getting featured rare units. I respect the amount of care the developers put into them. I love the thrill from the creative challenges the game has devised. Essentially, these feelings mirror how I felt towards MMORPG pre-college. But similarly, they also took a lot of time and efforts to learn and master. On top of it these games don't actually build any real transferable skills despite how engaging they are (for the sake of comparison, console games have impacted me more in terms of their storytelling and perspectives they give).

So going back to the earlier question, have all these knowledge or skills acquired been meaningful?

Yes, it has been meaningful since it allows me to build connections to the people I care about in the past. But no, it has not been meaningful in terms of what I get to directly apply in my work or life. But if there is any silver lining to all of this, it embedded me with many models related to game theory that are immediately visible to me today.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1557746 2020-06-11T07:02:32Z 2020-12-29T11:56:37Z What have you changed?

If impermanence is permanent and that the only constant is change, then how have you changed? What have you changed? What differences did you make?

  • My physical and mental state have changed
  • My direct environment have changed
  • My involvement with the people who are close to me have changed

Next, I want to bring change to things that I'm interested at and things that can affect people in fundamental ways.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1556402 2020-06-09T05:35:27Z 2020-12-29T11:25:06Z Moving from novelty to mundaneness

Given the chance, it's perfectly normal for people to chase novelty out of the sense of curiosity. And given how most activities don't last very long, it's also perfectly sensible to try out different things for variety.

But looking at it another way, perhaps only activities that translate well into mundanity are the ones that are going to stick in the long term. The term 'mundanity' might be stretching it too much, but perhaps what I really meant are things that are still fun 10, 100 or 1,000 times later as we discover the variations within it.

Like, running is inherently a super repetitive exercise. But who you run with, where you run, how you run or the reason you're running itself make all the differences. They keep things fresh and allow one to continuously place one's foot forward without being burdened by the boredom.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1555736 2020-06-07T16:08:05Z 2020-12-29T11:46:55Z Where mass times acceleration equal force

Newton's second law of motion is an interesting formula that seems to be applicable to how companies are operating

F = m * a

Simply put, given the bare bone formula there are 4 different combinations:

  • High mass, high acceleration
    • e.g. huge disruptive companies (1,000 x 10 = 10,000)
  • High mass, low acceleration,
    • e.g. huge conservative companies (1,000 x 1 = 1,000)
  • Low mass, high acceleration,
    • e.g. small growing companies (100 x 10 = 1,000)
  • Low mass, low acceleration,
    • e.g. small conservative companies (100 x 1 = 100)

As companies grow there is a positive correlation in how much resources they amass. There is an undeniable strength in number, but it also creates complexity that breeds processes and standardization. By default, an ever growing company will see an overall reduced velocity as they now have to solve growing internal problems that was once safe to ignore and external problems that multiply exponentially. The baseline of their impact will still be huge, but it's purely out of their mass alone.

Most companies that seek high returns will definitely aim to get themselves to the first model. But given varying circumstances in reality, different strategies have to be employed that utilize either mass or acceleration factors. If a company is helmed by people who are experienced or committed in handling the processes, an increase in mass is advisable. Vice versa, it might be more useful to focus on how fast the company can move when such veterans are nonexistent.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1554789 2020-06-05T17:53:02Z 2020-12-29T11:51:11Z Question of the week 1: How does SpaceX retrieve their rockets?

I realized this recently, but rocket retrieval can be an entirely new industry on its own. Since a retrieval basically means all this processes have to be done perfectly for rockets to be usable again:

  1. Getting the first stage rocket safely back to earth
  2. Transporting them via seas
  3. Disassembling them on port
  4. Sending them all back to the hangar at different state
  5. Inspecting and cleaning the components
  6. Maintenance and putting back all the parts together
  7. Store the rocket till its next launch date
  8. Run a set of pre-launch tests

It's hard enough to get the rocket back down, it's an entirely different challenge to prepare it for another launch again.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1553982 2020-06-04T04:02:18Z 2020-12-29T09:04:14Z Embracing uncertainty

Link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAc8_obg4mo/

Every time I see a time-lapse of an artwork it always amazes me how the outcome still resembles the starting idea the artist envisioned (e.g. "a horse"). But the creative liberty they took along the way creates something original instead. Personally, I was trapped with the approach that the most efficient way to do something would be to draw a straight line from the problem to the solution. I approached my career the same way, thinking that it will form a concrete steps (A-B-C).

But I am where I am today not through those carefully planned steps. My career took uneven path and curves that I couldn't have foreseen 5 years ago when I graduated. Many times, I'm not even sure how something would have turned out. It was an unreasonable and non-deterministic path. It's so foreign and probabilistic in nature that it's downright scary for somebody who originally wanted a calculated direct route.

Looking back at the artwork, perhaps that was all part of the messy middle in the process when the depiction of the horse was still unclear. My career was largely the result of taking chances outside the choices that are available to me. There were simply no options that I was willing to trade my flexibility for early in my career. But with more lines drawn, it slowly forms a boundary/shape that the artist is now comfortable with to guide the vision they have in mind to completion.

Stability and predictability are reassuring that they're the foundation of the peaceful society we live in now. But humanity only achieved it through a series of uncertainties and emerging choices.

Let this be a reminder for myself.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1553598 2020-06-03T16:46:24Z 2020-12-29T08:20:58Z When the world turned into chaos, what did you not do?

It’s 2040 and a group of kids asked you to recount stories from when the world faced its biggest challenge ever 20 years ago. It was the modern dark period with history books being rewritten to include the massive number of people who died.

They pushed you for an answer: “What happened? Where were you?”

You survived. Or maybe you are crippled now, but kids ask the most straightforward questions.

"When the world turned into chaos, what did you not do?"

I'm afraid that my answer would amount to a mere “I didn’t do anything”.

“Were you all right?”

I was fine. I’m not entirely sure about other people, but there are many people who find it hard to survive.

"Did you do your part? What was your role?"

I’m not sure. I tried helping indirectly, but I don’t think it’s enough. I didn't do everything in my capacity to really think about it.

I sincerely wish I won’t disappoint myself when this conversation actually take place.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1552908 2020-06-02T07:18:14Z 2020-12-29T11:28:39Z Write everyday

I personally keep a lot of notes and write substantial replies to friends or colleagues, but I shudder every time somebody mentions that I should publish them. I never feel that what I write is good enough, or it's up to par with other writers/journalists I look up to.

But I found this excerpt today from https://medium.com/the-1000-day-mfa/how-to-become-a-writer-9a951fff2c92 

When I first decided that I was going to go all in on being a writer, I’d already wanted to be a writer for twenty years.
Am I willing to write this story, even though it might not sell? Am I willing to accept that what I’ll get from this experience is just that — experience?
You become a writer with habit and learning. Writing every day, learning, and applying what you learn to your work. You become a writer with patience. You become a writer with faith that the work is worth doing — even when you have no real proof.

And these lines resonated with me,

I have been waiting for myself to be ready for years too. 

I wasn’t ready to accept the possible outcome where my writings may not worth anything at all. I fear the rejection. And despite the instinctive triggers to start typing away, the paragraphs end up as unorganized drafts in my backlog. So starting today I’m going to gather what meager courage I have and start sharing my write-ups here. Ultimately I want to feel comfortable with the process of putting my thoughts out there.

Leonardy Kristianto
tag:leonardy.co,2013:Post/1504067 2020-01-29T13:58:05Z 2020-12-29T05:23:25Z A Commitment

Last year I was visiting a local book fair when I found a photographic journal titled 'What Matters' by David Cohen. It showcases pressing issues around the world, like how something as invisible as the battery in our phones (normally Lithium-based) will end up being processed and separated manually by hand by villagers in developing countries. The contamination that the kids have to go through was visibly severe that it's heart wrenching.

But I was conflicted. How does one help when one does not understand the problem enough? What could have helped? Any meaningful interventions seem to be out of reach for any of these complex issues. There's also a chance that they might not address the issue at heart. But I have enough with the paralysis of giving excuses and not doing anything.

So this is a budding commitment I'm setting for myself: I’ll contribute $500 per year to a list of charities audited by GiveWell, starting with issues related to sight impairments and clean water. My gratitude to the folks from effective altruism community back in Oxford for introducing me to this organization. They perform impressive jobs in auditing and providing comprehensive reports of charities to let people understand how contributions are utilized.

Appendix (do check out these causes):

  1. Sightsavers' Deworming Program
  2. Evidence Action's Dispensers for Safe Water program
  3. Other top and outstanding charities.
Leonardy Kristianto