About

Hi there. I’m Brian, online handle betaveros, and this is a blog where I post just about anything. I used to introduce myself at length here, but now that I have a real website let’s just talk about this blog. I always used to describe it by saying I post a lot of “random stuff”, and many other people describe their blogs that way too, but after a while (like, a few years?) I realized this is a cop-out from actually trying to describe the content of blog, not to mention overselling my ability to generate true randomness. On a good day I can maybe score 65% on the Aaronson Oracle (where 50% is perfectly random and 100% is completely predictable).

"Monkey tacos! I'm so random." "Yeah, me too."
xkcd 1210 (CC 2.5 BY-NC)

I like mathematics and computer science, so I post about these topics. That’s where the blog name comes from: “Bounded-error” is the B of the complexity class BPP, the class of decision problems solvable by a randomized Turing machine (with probability bounded away from 1/2), and “Log” is the inverse of the exponential function. I also record things about my life here; you can naturally interpret “Log” as a list of records, the same meaning that gave us the word “blog” in the first place. Sometimes I am counterproductively perfectionist about my posts, so taken literally, the title is also a reminder to myself that it’s okay to make and publish mistakes sometimes. (If you spot any mistakes, please let me know.)

Highlights

As I go over in more detail below, the posts on this blog are very old and many have been migrated twice, so I don’t have good stats that I can use to convincingly recommend posts to read. Still:

Oh yeah, there are also puzzles.

Puzzles

I’ve made and posted a couple grid-based logic puzzles and a handful of puzzlehunt puzzles on this blog, but haven’t found much time or inspiration recently. (When I have had good ideas recently, they’ve gone into the Galactic Puzzle Hunt. If you’ve never heard of puzzlehunts, I did write a fairly comprehensive Introduction to Puzzlehunts.)

For logic puzzles on this blog, instructions are generally on top of the post, sometimes with external links. I post a lot more mutants and hybrids than classic types, though, so many puzzles are one-of-a-kind. If you’re new to them, Sudoku is the classic classic logic puzzle type — all the rules are different but I think solving these puzzles involves the same kind of mindset.

Puzzle 43 / Fillomino [Nonrectangular + Walls] (not too hard once you get the hang of it) is probably my favorite, followed perhaps by Puzzle 45 / Fillomino [No-Path] and Puzzle 31 / Fillomino [Sashigane], which are both harder. I guess Fillominoes are pretty awesome because you can slap whatever you want onto them and get a fun variant.

These images are made with my own program for the purpose, Gridderface. It’s written in Scala and is open-source on GitHub with some hopefully usable documentation. Also, if you use Paint, you can do Slitherlinks and variants with a flood-fill tool; try it and see.

Blog History

I started blogging in fourth grade. My blog has suffered through four-and-a-half revivals and two platform migrations, and I’ve deleted a lot of the old posts, so I’m not even sure if I can count it as the same blog any more. Kind of a Ship of Theseus deal.

  • 2006, September to November: Blogs sound cool in theory but not in practice — I mostly post a bunch of boring descriptions of each school day (albeit with the tone of an excited fourth grader).
  • 2008, February: Roughly the same thing happens again.
  • 2010, April to August: A long sequence of vaguely depressed philosophical and futuristic rambling.
  • 2011, August: Long rant that doesn’t feel right on Facebook leads to posts about self-analysis and personality flaws which inexplicably segue into the current randomness.
  • 2011, November: To make things more confusing, I start posting logic puzzles because all my friends are doing it, neatly alongside all the other teenage-angsty posts.
  • 2012, February: I migrate this blog from Blogger to WordPress for some not-particularly-inspired reason.
  • 2017, November: After my posting activity slowly ground to a halt, I migrate this blog onto Hugo, the static site generator, and GitHub Pages + CloudFlare.

Contact

Email (my online handle)@mit.edu. For other methods see my home page. Comments are highly appreciated, subject to Wheaton’s Law.