Alfredo Motta

Not So Random Software #33 – Journaling and multi-armed bandit

Hello everyone and welcome back to Not So Random Software!

This week’s links are about journaling; I found such a habit to be a powerful one in so many ways that is hard to describe in a short sentence. For this short blog post, I’ll give you just two ideas. (a) Journaling as a measurement tool when there is no obvious one. For example, if you are trying to track how effective your decisions are, it’s impossible to pick one metric. A journal lets you work around the problem by writing the decisions itself to see if you can identify any pattern. (b) Journaling as a way to find connections over time. Knowledge is built by recalling your memory and thinking about it. The more you engage with it, the more you will learn. Journaling is the gym time for your brain.

Enjoy the random walk!

One article or paper

Five minute journal

If you are trying to get into the habit of journaling I found this format to be the most useful. It’s just 3 questions in the morning and 2 in the evening. Helps you reflect and set you up for the day.

I am grateful for…
What would make today great?
Daily affirmation. I am…
Amazing things that happened today…
How could I have made today even better?

One video or podcast

Daniel Kahneman: Putting Your Intuition on Ice

Psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman reveals the actions we can take to overcome the biases that cripple our decision-making, damper our thinking, and limit our effectiveness.

One book

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

This famous story revolves around a young man who leaves his home and family on a quest for the Truth. Embarking on a journey that takes him from the austerities of renunciation to the profligacy of wealth. That leads him through the range of human experiences from hunger and want, to passion, pleasure, pain, greed, yearning, boredom, love, despair, and hope. It was a helpful read for me to stop for a second and notice what we have and question the constant desire to chase new things.

One tool

Git fuzzy

This tool will blow your mind. It opens up a lot of possibilities for effectively searching through your git history. Finally, something to make all your valuable commit messages worth it!

One line of code

A multi-armed bandit algorithm implementation in 20 lines of Ruby

You are considering using a simple weighted random selection for your next A/B test. But then you thought, why not letting the algorithms pick the best option as you go? That’s when you stumble upon a multi-armed bandit implementation, like the one in the split gem called whiplash.

One quote

What a comfort is this journal. I tell myself to myself and throw the burden on my book and feel relieved.

Anne Lister

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