Lindsey Kuper (lindseykuper) wrote,
Lindsey Kuper

Some victories

In the last two days:

  • I sent a draft of my dissertation to my committee! There are some parts that aren't quite finished; it's a three-papers-stapled-together dissertation in some sense, but I'm also retconning all my work to make it fit together nicely with what we now know about LVars, which involves redoing the various determinism and quasi-determinism proofs, and I'm not done with all of that yet. Nor is all the prose quite as far along as I want it to be. But it's ready for my committee, at least, to look at. Sooner or later, I'll make it public, revision history and all, like Rob simrob did; I might even do that with it in its current, unfinished state, like Alex and Brent Yorgey are doing.
  • Working on my dissertation brought me to the breaking point of frustration with my janky old OS X 10.6.8 and my janky old TeX Live 2008 installation and my janky old non-deterministically segfaulting GHCi. So I finally upgraded to Mavericks, and, among other housecleaning tasks, blew away my old TeX and Haskell environments (and a bunch of other language platforms and environments and so on) and got shiny new everything. Foolishly, I decided to do all this twelve hours before my self-imposed draft-to-committee deadline. But I was able to get everything building again under the new TeX with minimal fiddling, so, no harm done, and I'm much happier with my whole Computing Situation now. (And it will be nice to be able to actually build Rust again, which I haven't been able to do on my OS for the better part of a year!)
  • I finally won at 2048, which I've been trying to win for months! A few days ago, I was talking with a Hacker School acquaintance about my seeming inability to win the game, and she said that I should ask her if I wanted "spoilers", which struck me as a strange choice of words. I realized that perhaps my lack of success with the game had something to do with the fact that I didn't understand what it would mean for this kind of game to have "spoilers", and said so; she said that there was indeed "one weird trick" that she'd found was important to winning. The interesting thing is that I didn't have to ask what the "one weird trick" was -- just knowing that there was one was enough to give me an idea about what it might be. Once I started playing with that technique, I was consistently scoring higher than I ever had before, and pretty soon, I won. Later, it turned out that what I had done was in fact the "one weird trick" she'd had in mind (rot13'd for spoiler): gur gevpx jnf gb cvpx n qverpgvba va juvpu V jbhyq arire zbir -- va guvf pnfr, V jnf nyybjrq gb zbir hc, evtug, be yrsg, ohg arire qbja. Qbvat guvf zrnag gung V dhvpxyl npphzhyngrq ybgf bs ovt-ahzore gvyrf ng gur gbc bs gur obneq, naq V eneryl unq fznyy-ahzore gvyrf genccrq va n cynpr jurer V pbhyqa'g trg gb gurz. Vg frrzf pbhagre-vaghvgvir gung lbh'q or noyr gb cynl orggre ol gnxvat bcgvbaf njnl sebz lbhefrys, ohg gurer lbh unir vg. Sbe zr, gur uneq cneg jnf univat gur frys-qvfpvcyvar gb arire zbir qbja, rira jura n grzcgvat zbir gung frrzrq tbbq va gur fubeg grez cerfragrq vgfrys.
Tags: grad school

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