Today was truly an intense day for me despite having minimal physical activities. I started my work day at 9 a.m.-ish having a bunch of discussions comparing random forests and gradient boosted machines and how we can get one process to converge onto the results of another process with similar-enough internal structures. This was then followed by another meeting discussing the inner workings of transformers and encoding tabular data into transformers. At 11 a.m.-ish, I had a meeting with stakeholders of a work project and walked through the designs and constraints of a new prediction system at work. A lot of the discussion was centered around the non-technical-but-equally-important bits like permissions, approvals and data management issues and processes for the larger organization. At 1 p.m.-ish I had a meeting discussing the finer points of Boolean algebra. This led into a 2 p.m. meeting around SAT and integer optimization techniques. At 3 p.m. I had a meeting with a neuroscientist that I’m helping and we discussed everything from optical physics to the macula and the role of cilliary muscles in focus to AV1 and the miscelleneous connectomes involved in the MD network of the brain. This meeting was followed by a brief meeting about data sources and then another brief consultation about functional programming and combinators. Along the way, I tried to get a bit of other actionable work done, such as uploading the GopherConAU videos to YouTube (not done yet), tinkering with my emacs and keyboard configs (40 lines of elisp and I’ve updated my keyboard keymap but I’ve yet to flash my keyboard) and doing some actual programming work (managed to commit 7 lines of code).

I thought the weeks around GopherConAU and GopherConSG were one of the most intense weeks of my life (having to give a talk, run a conference and deliver on three work projects all around the same two week period). But somehow today felt even more intense than that. I don’t know how to explain it. It felt like I was on fire the whole day and then when the work day ends, it feels like a massive crash and then hollowness. This is quite reminiscent about what people in the kink community call “sub drop”.

It’s been a month or so since I am off Vyvanse*This is due to first an unfortunate mixup of my prescription with the pharmacy, which upon rectification, led to the discovery that there was an apparent nationwide shortage until January for the particular dosage I am on. This has been rectified yesterday but I haven't had the time to go get my meds.. I am finding my life to be increasingly difficult. Every little task is climbing a mountain of subquests. As the day wore on I felt less and less accomplished. Instead of feeling “fuck yeah I got this process negotiated out” it was more a feeling of “fuck what am I doing with my life”. During the meetings I would feel quite in control (these topics I’m discussing are well trod territory for me), but almost immediately everytime I get a breather between meetings there’s a panic clawing at the back of my mind*"Clawing" is actually a good descriptor. I can almost feel physical clawing from inside my skull.. The panic is largely over the lack of physical progress of work. The best/worst part is, upon looking back through today, I started today with exactly ONE meeting on my calendar - the 11 a.m. meeting, which was originally scheduled at 9 a.m..

I brought up the topics of my meetings not as a form of humblebrag*Oooh look how much shit this guy knows. In reality it's really more of "What the fuck is this guy actually doing?". Rather I wrote them down as part of my process of understanding what is the cause of the feeling of having had an intense day. My suspicions are:

  • too much human contact
  • subject matters are too diverse across the day,
  • me overcommitting to things,
  • lack of physical activity and sunlight,
  • lack of venting point,
  • lack of doing actual work with outputs,
  • lack of prioritization.

Of these, I think it’s important for me to highlight the lack of venting point. Over the past few years my output on this blog has lessened, but this year it has increased. This was because in the previous years I had increasingly used Twitter as a venting point. A short, pithy message at the point of stress does wonders in relieving the tension that would have been building up. Of course, since Elon Musk bought Twitter I have steadily been reducing my usage of it over time. This leads to a buildup of words that need to come out, so onto the blog they go.

But either way, today was a very intense day, and I just need a vent.

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