Category → meta

Obligatory life update: I have graduated [from] high school.

But that’s not what this post is about. I contemplated setting up a schedule for my blogging three long years ago, and decided against it, because I didn’t think writing was a high enough priority for me. Well, I am setting up a schedule now: I am going to post something on this blog every day until I have to leave the country (which is happening once before college, so it’s not for as long as you think; but I might decide to continue the schedule anyway after I get back. We’ll see when the time comes.)

Indexing debates are boring. Especially when you can just flagrantly disregard all concerns about memory safety (because C++ never had any in the first place) and write int _array[100008], array = _array + 2; I do this alarmingly often; hence, the title. Hashtag firstworldanarchists. Three ± 1 cheers for Haskell arrays.

Anyway. One of the disadvantages of entering an international competition as the home team is a lack of time to completely absorb the idea that what is about to happen is a Big Thing. There was lots of time before the other international competitions I went to to spend uncomfortably on airplanes trying to adjust for the timezone difference.

Not so for a competition in one’s own country. Right up to the night before entering the hotel that marks the beginning of everything, I’m still at home, furiously refreshing the AoPS IMO fora and Facebook for news (!!!), lazily solving trivial Codeforces Div II problems with pointless point-free Haskell one-liners, and blogging. (There’s more, but I kind of want it to be a surprise.)

Anyway, let’s set the rules. Well, there’s only one, honestly:

Note: My 2012 self wrote this. It is a little dated and does not entirely capture my current beliefs and attitudes, although I have to say it’s not too far off either. As of 2018, Me and Facebook is more relevant.

Here’s a guilty secret: I like getting feedback.

I’m not restricting myself to painstakingly thoughtful comments that attempt to build upon and transform the post to form an interesting conversation, the kind English teachers are hellbent on promoting. Sure, I get the most kicks out of those, but I’m not picky. Even single-digit pageview bars or a handful of Facebook “like”s give me buzzes of excitement.

It’s a guilty feeling, because I also think that that these are unimaginably cheap internet currencies and should not qualify as “meaningful” under a rational mindset. I strongly suspect visitors accidentally click on my blog and leave after five seconds without taking in anything, because I do that all the time to other people’s blogs and sites. Sometimes it is out of boredom, sometimes it is because I actually have something of higher priority to do than indiscriminate reading, sometimes it is simply because I cannot read the language. I’ve seen plenty of people like posts on Facebook based on the poster, only occasionally taking into consideration the first word of the post in question, before actually reading them.

Yes, the proliferation of “liking” on Facebook bothers me. I don’t expect everybody to reply meaningfully to everything when they just want to express approval lightly. However, when I see that tiny minority of people handing them out to people in their own threads like programs at a concert, I become indignant. Under their influence, what was originally a straightforward, meaningful badge of appreciation becomes a handwavy gesture that carries virtually no weight, and then I don’t know what to do when I see something I like seriously. Will clicking that button still express the feeling strongly enough?

I accept that, in our stressful world, a few instant effortless gags that take ten seconds to fully process and approve deserve a place. Nevertheless, the number of people who seem to want to make the “like” a completely passive and automatic action is almost physically painful:

Some bloggers have a regular schedule for posting and forcing themselves to meet the deadlines. In essence, something like “updates every Thursday.”

For me, I think this is a bad idea, because it forces me to write. If my day is boring and uneventful as it quite often is and I still have to crank out a post, it would not be a post that readers would enjoy. Better once-a-month enthusiastic, interesting posts then an ugly stream of tedious drudgery for the visitor to wade through every time, stuff like (quoting one random ancient post):

A new year. A new start. And just a chance to abuse the phrase “See you next year!” It’s hard to get tired of using it once every 365.24 days.

So, I have decided to open up my other blog to people.

There are a few reasons for not doing so previously. Firstly, there’s a lot of silly writing with unexplained LOLs and exclamations all over the place in the archives, not to mention the countless other sorts of weirdness linked to the handle I’m using here that’s spread over the rest of the interwebz. But I like to keep old stuff as some kind of record that my past self existed, and I’ve given up being embarrassed about them. And anyway, now and then I’m still performing embarrassing acts that outstrips any of this stuff by miles.

When I was thirteen*, the world was a different place to me. I imagined thousands of creepy people staring at computer screens out there, waiting to kidnap children and sell them to clients halfway across the globe the instant they figured out their addresses and statuses as minors. I don’t blame that old me; there has been at least one computer class devoted to videos of this type.

Note: This post is backdated. I am writing this post in 2019 because, as part of the Big 2017 Remigration, I have decided to delete most of the posts because they were too embarrassing and sparse on information, but figured I might keep a rundown of the highlights.

2011, on this blog:

Note: This post is backdated. I am writing this post in 2018 because, as part of the Big 2017 Remigration, I have decided to delete most of the posts because they were too embarrassing and sparse on information, but figured I might keep a rundown of the highlights.

2010, on this blog:

Note: This post is backdated. I am writing this post in 2018 because, as part of the Big 2017 Remigration, I have decided to delete most of the posts because they were too embarrassing and sparse on information, but figured I might keep a rundown of the highlights.

2009, on this blog:

Note: This post is backdated. I am writing this post in 2018 because, as part of the Big 2017 Remigration, I have decided to delete most of the posts because they were too embarrassing and sparse on information, but figured I might keep a rundown of the highlights.

2008, on this blog:

Note: My 2008 self wrote this. It is selectively preserved for historical interest and amusement from a lot of similar, chronologically nearby posts. That’s all.

Hooray! I got a new banner! Is there something rebellious lurking just beyond my grasp?