Roy Tang

roytang.net

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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2018 December

  • Suggested New Year's Resolutions

    I'm not a big believer in New Year's resolutions, but here's some suggestions if you're into that sort of thing: learn a new language talk to strangers more often visit 12 museums (one per month) step away from your devices once a week (increase the duration every time) read at least 12 non-fiction books read at least 12 physical books write a poem; maybe write 12 poems walk in the rain travel somewhere alone learn to draw stop a fight walk two thousand kilometers make more puns find something you can change in your local community and try to change

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    Posted by under blog at #self-improvement

    Also on: twitter / 249 words

  • Noone reads LinkedIn profiles

    I mentioned before how I'm not a fan of LinkedIn: I’m not a fan of LinkedIn, as it seems to be mainly a way to get harassed by recruiters who didn’t even bother reading my profile. Some number of years back, I added the following clause to my LinkedIn profile: Recruiters: if you contact me, please specify the position you are recruiting for, what city it is in, and whether you can meet the above asking salary. Please include the word PINEAPPLE (all caps) in your communication. In the five or so years since I placed this clause, none of

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    Posted by under blog at #linkedin #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 260 words

  • Duolingo

    If you're looking for a New Year's Resolution, why not try learning a new language? Since late 2014, I've been using Duolingo to teach myself new languages. Learning a new language not only helps when you're travelling, but it unlocks different ways of forming thoughts in your brain, helping cognitive development (I may have made up that last part with absolutely no basis except my own speculation.) The first language I tried to study using Duolingo was Spanish, mainly because back then we had an upcoming trip to Europe (including Barcelona) planned in 2015 so the Spanish would have helped.

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    Posted by under blog at #self-improvement #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 933 words

  • Watching Lately: December 2018

    Some things I've been watching lately, aside from the usual TV shows I follow: I very much enjoyed Elseworlds, the Arrowverse crossover this year. I mean sure, a lot of it didn't make any sense, but it was like a love letter to DC fans. I actually consider myself more of a Marvel fan than DC, but I still loved it! I wrote a spoiler-free review over on the Tumblr. I found Better Call Saul on a couple of "Best TV of 2018" lists so I decided to catch up with it since it was on Netflix. I was actually

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  • Private writing

    Two things I've learned over the past couple of months of daily blog posting: I have a lot to write about I might have too much to write about Since I use this space to help myself think through some things, I found that I sometimes have a tendency to write about things that maybe I shouldn't write about publicly, either for personal privacy reasons, or for professional courtesy reasons. Thankfully, I've been able to hold myself back so far. To help suppress such urges, I've also recently resumed private journalling, a practice I haven't revisited for quite a while.

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    Posted by under blog at #writing

    Also on: twitter / 385 words

  • Gaming Backlogs

    Posted by under blog at #gaming

    Also on: twitter / 742 words

  • Christmas in the Philippines

    Some random notes I had jotted down about Christmas: Filipinos love Christmas. Filipinos are well-known for celebrating the longest Christmas season, with decorations and Christmas songs starting to become common around September. The most well-known meme around this time is about the song Christmas in our Hearts by Jose Mari Chan, which is one of the songs malls often play during the season. Many memes leading up to December or even earlier imply Jose Mari Chan preparing to strike on unsuspecting Filipinos. Traffic in Metro Manila, already pretty terrible, often gets much worse in December. I usually take lots of

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    Posted by under blog at #philippines

    Also on: twitter / 694 words

  • Gift Giving

    Gift giving is something I'm quite bad at. Okay wait, that's not accurate. I'm fine with the gift giving. The real problem I have with is gift-buying. I'm not good at buying gifts for other people. The main problem I guess is that I'm not good at buying things in general, unless those are things that are of particular interest to me. And since my interests are a bit niche, there tends to be not much overlap with what gifts I think other people will appreciate. I tend to not know what sort of gifts are good or even appropriate

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  • The Pursuit of Happiness

    A Nobel Prize-winning psychologist says most people don’t really want to be happy Interesting article, a quote: Kahneman argues that satisfaction is based mostly on comparisons. “Life satisfaction is connected to a large degree to social yardsticks–achieving goals, meeting expectations." While I guess this is largely true for society as a whole, it's something I try to avoid for myself, since comparison is the thief of joy. The article argues that satisfaction is different from happiness, which is fleeting. And that satisfaction is linked to forming satisfying memories of experiences, and not the fleeting experiences themselves. Still, it’s worth asking

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    Posted by under blog at #happiness

    Also on: twitter / 495 words

  • Notes on Facebook

    Posted by under blog at #current-events #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 746 words

  • On Trump and Zuckerberg

    Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg are different people in vastly different positions, but I find it interesting the uncanny parallels their stories have taken them through. Like many non-Americans, I'm acutely aware of the shenanigans of Donald Trump, the current US president. It would be a fascinating story, if only it weren't so bad for the world. His character arc is of someone who rose to the level of this own incompetence. Before becoming president, he was basically the worst kind of businessman - a sleazy con man/grifter always looking out for ways to scam other people to further his

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    Posted by under blog at #current-events #opinions

    Also on: twitter / 495 words

  • Book Stores

    The other day I was passing through the QC memorial circle (as is my wont) and I decided to walk around the tiangge/flea market that's often there. It seemd larger than usual that day, so I figured I should finally take a look. And in the process I remembered what I dislike about local flea markets: 90% of the stalls are selling some form of clothes (which I have no interest in browsing - maybe if these stalls sold something my size for once!) and maybe 9.9% are selling cheap knockoff toys (which might interest me if they were free

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  • Variance

    I'm a fan of unpredictability and randomness, and I easily get bored with regularity, repetitiveness or consistency. I once articulated this as a life philosophy to a friend - that I preferred a life with periods of highs and lows, like a sine wave, instead of a simple and boring flat line. This is why I often enjoy games like Scrabble or MTG. Basically competitive skill-intensive games that still have a significant element of random chance, so that the games while interesting, almost never play out the same way. For computer games, I really like the ones that have any

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    Posted by under blog at

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  • MTG Arena

    Posted by under blog at #ccgs #mtg #gaming

    Also on: twitter / 💬 2 2010 words

  • The Spaces In Between

    It can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the stimuli that the modern world provides us. There's a seemingly endless stream of problems to be overcome, bad news to be angry about, movies to watch, tv shows to binge, games to play, books to read, pictures to share, gossip to be had, new things to learn, challenges to be faced, and so on. And with all of these comes the pressure to make the most of your time, to make sure it isn't "wasted". In between all of these, it's important that we don't forget to give ourselves space

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  • Watching Too Much TV?

    I read this article about how Bill Gates spent 5 years not watching TV or listening to music in his twenties while building Microsoft. Now, I'm pretty sure I watch a lot of TV, unapologetically. Quite possible too much. But I can't help but wonder if maybe I would be more productive if I had the same kind of discipline Bill Gates had, and maybe that would increase the odds that I could focus and create something of consequence? That being said, the idea of cutting off TV completely feels completely ludicrous to me. It's simply something I enjoy too

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    Posted by under blog at #pop-culture

    Also on: twitter / 830 words

  • The Great Filter

    Sorry, a bit more doom and gloom this time: David Attenborough: collapse of civilisation is on the horizon I was visiting at a friend's house recently and our discussion turned to the impending doom threatening the world. While I hold out a tiny bit of hope that maybe somehow human society and/or science will find a way to save us, he was not so optimistic. He reads and writes a lot of speculative fiction and his view is that we are inevitably headed towards an era of land scarcity and resulting wars due to climate changes. Can you imagine, some

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    Posted by under blog at #opinions

    Also on: twitter / 777 words

  • Tell people you're not going to make it

    When another person expects something from you by a certain date, be it a meeting, or a debt to repay, or a work-related submission or something else, and you are unable to provide it by the agreed upon time, you owe it to that person to tell him you can't make it, explain why, and provide a plan for moving forward. It's a basic courtesy. If you made an appointment to meet at a certain time and place, and it looks you're not going to be able to go, message the other party and tell them. If you think you're

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  • Adding Developers to a Late Project

    For any nontrivial software project of at least moderate team size, there can be a significant cost to onboarding a new team member, especially at later stages when you are rushing to meet deadlines. The most signifiant cost is of course the communication overhead as described in the Mythical Man Month. Fun story, the CEO of a company once told me they would add more developers to a delayed project to meet the deadline and when I pointed out the increased overhead he said to me that it wasn't a problem because they would just assign modules to those devs

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  • Fanfiction

    This might surprise you, but I tried my hand at writing fanfiction back in the day. Most of it was Final Fantasy-related (as that was what I was really into back then) and the odd Ranma 1/2 one (mainly because I was a member of an anime-focused fanfic collective, called the "Nikholas F Toledo Zu" for inside joke reasons, writing under the name "Vector"). Anyway, I'm not exceptionally proud of the writings, but I like having all my work available on this blog/website/whatever, so I've added them at this link: Fanfiction. Give them a read, if you'd like. The Final

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    Posted by under blog at #nostalgia #writing

    Also on: twitter / 160 words