What the Colors Stand For

You may know that my personal colors are black, blue, and yellow.

Here’s what they stand for.

Whereas oftentimes a set of colors has symbolism such that each color represents something, with my personal color set, each element of the power set of the three colors represents something.

{} represents imagination. Imagination is paramount to innovation and new artistic discovery. What really makes human achievements awesome is the involved imagination, and yet this imagination could still be much greater. The world needs more crazy ideas.

{Black} represents openmindedness. And black is my central color, in part because I emphasize openmindedness above all else. It is natural to evaluate new ideas as more absurd than they actually are, and it is good to repress this tendency. Different perspectives provide more insight. The best way to gain knowledge is to entertain different approaches to problems. Minority opinions should be protected, including offensive ones. If they are indeed minority opinions, and they don’t advocate violence, they shouldn’t be feared. Even if ideas are wrong, notions arrived at along the way could be instructive. And history shows that time and time again what is considered insane at one time is considered what was right after all just a century later. No one knows a significant proportion of the knowledge in the universe. One should remember that one could always get more educated, and that what prevents this education are those that try to prevent these conversations from happening and that belittle those that try to reach those that think differently. I have beliefs, and I have strong beliefs, but time and patience permitting, if you have evidence against my beliefs, I am eager to see it, and if you manage to convince me there’s more evidence supporting what you believe than I have supporting what I believe, I am eager to change my mind.

{Blue} represents respect for nature. Nature is where we came from. Nature allowed us to live. Humanity has not just practical reasons but a moral obligation to be respectful to that which allowed it to happen. Humans should also reflect on humankind’s innovations to think about how life has naturally experimented with optimizing qualities for billions of years more than humans have, and more frequently consider if nature, through the wisdom of being around for these billions of years, has solved a similar problem to a problem humankind is currently trying to solve. I do not identify as a humanist: I revere nature, the Earth, truth, and life in generality above the human.

{Yellow} represents celerity. Time should be the ultimate enemy of all. Time that is lost is not recoverable. The world has serious problems, and time is running out. It’s important to be fast, and being fast is underrated. Being fast is more important than doing it right more often than people think. Being fast will likely give one more time to try again if one does it wrong the first time. Not wasting time is important. Being on time is important. More things in life should be speedran.

{Black, Blue} represents tonight and tomorrow. Too many focus on the present and the daytime. Too many focus on what is now and what is flowing in the mainstream. There is a glory and beauty to the night, the darkness, and what is hidden. And tomorrow should be kept in mind when making decisions as well, because wellness today shouldn’t come at the cost of the state of the world in the future.

{Black, Yellow} represents science and technology. There have, through history, always been too many that attack science, or that paint scientists as unsightly or socially unwelcome. It must be reckoned that many societies are hostile to science, and that these forces must be fought to secure science its capability to make the world better. Yet at the same time, this is not an endorsement for never doubting science; the true scientist knows that to be on the side of science is to be on the side of doubt, and that doubt prompts discovery. Doubting is good; hostility is bad. Still, one should ask about those criticizing scientists: are they more willing to criticize scientists than others? Because often, they are imposing this unfair double standard. Beyond this, there needs to be more openmindedness about technology’s capabilities to change society greatly for the better. With any revolutionary technology, there are too many out to decry it as evil because of the views of tradition and how the technology changes society. Of course technology will change society, but many are much more eager to see the bad sides of change than the good sides of change, and technology changes life massively. Support of technology also needs to be made clearly separate from support of technology corporations, which can be a problem because especially as they get larger, they are not really on the side of advancing technology or advancing the world, but are rather technology as tools towards unfair profits and power.

{Blue, Yellow} represents Californian pride and Swedish affinity. Blue and yellow are both the colors of California and the colors of Sweden. {Blue, Yellow} simultaneously represents that I am proud of being Californian, that is, being from a state that has consistently been at the cutting edge of societal progress and bringing the future, and that I believe that of the world’s countries, Sweden is the closest to what a good country should be, both in how it treats its people and how it treats other countries and the world. ]

{Black, Blue, Yellow} (which is, among the six main colors, a set negative of {White, Red, Green}, the colors of Christmas) represents aggressive rejection of tradition and traditional values. Throughout history, the most frequent barrier to progress is the cry of people claiming that their traditions are under attack. The absolutely most absurd stream of societal discourse is that one side could provide a preponderance of morally derived arguments and scientific evidence, and another side could claim that these results are against the values of their tradition and their culture, and that people see the latter as being as valid as the former. The fact that society perpetuates this is insanity, and the countering fight must involve not only a recognition that arguments for purely tradition and culture deserve no consideration, but that nonconformism must be actively affirmed and encouraged when nondestructive and that tradition must be attacked because it is constantly on the attack—it is the state of being affirmed by just being. This must be made distinct from carelessly deviating from a standard, as often there are hidden reasons procedures are conventionally taken a certain way that many have forgotten: the proposition is that once the previous traditional state of affairs is understood, if a new system has more merit, appeal to tradition to defend the old system is completely invalid.

Pokémon Go: 80 Million XP (Level 40 a Fourth Time)

On 06-29 at 1657, I passed 80000000 XP, by completing a raid. This was Day 1037 of playing Pokémon Go, so the fourth 20000000 XP took 188 days, slightly less than the second (which took 211 days), but substantially more than the third (which took 95 days).

My current buddy is a Chansey, which I obtained via trade with Afterma7h. Prior to this, my buddy was a Snorlax from trade with betaveros. I accumulated 855.1 km of buddy distance with that Snorlax, the second highest of any buddy ever. Since betaveros caught this Snorlax on July 11 of the first year, this Snorlax is now my oldest Pokémon, from Day -46 of playing Pokémon Go. These two Pokémon are the only ones I’ve had as buddies that I acquired via trade.

I continue to have very mixed opinions on the various friend features. Many aspects of gifting and trading still come off as really silly to me, and I still think the concept of a lucky trade (and for that matter, lucky Pokémon) is one of the most terrible ideas the designers of Pokémon Go have conceived, but the role of trading in geographic interaction is really cool and the fact that information on geographic separation across a trade is tracked for the player is excellent. I really get excited about expanding the swath of places I have Pokémon from to a spatial span much larger than where I’ve been through trading with friends, even though these Pokémon aren’t really functionally any different when they’re from somewhere else. And it’s fun to see snippets of other places through the postcard format of gifts. I continue to be adamant that the amount of experience gotten from friendship and raid rewards from friendship are far too high.

Before getting to the usual charts: this time around, I went and tabulated statistics on the 608 Pokémon I currently have with CP 2048 by a few properties. Here’s the summary.

Method of acquisition:


Origin trainer:


Origin location (well, what Pokémon Go thinks the origin location is):




And origin month (years are CL: 71 is the first year of Pokémon Go):


Actually, one more thing before the usual charts, an acknowledgment:

Happy retirement from Pokémon Go, ImASteamShovel. You have inspired and awed many, including me. We will not forget how important of a figure you’ve been in Team Instinct Boston.

Continue reading “Pokémon Go: 80 Million XP (Level 40 a Fourth Time)”


You may have noticed that the rate of new blog posts here has dramatically slowed.

There’s a part of this that’s because I have a job now.

But the largest part of this is that I just am so much more unsure about whether I want to publish what I write than I used to.

I actually now have hundreds of unpublished barely started, half-finished, or almost-finished-but-I-really-just-don’t-like-how-it-turned-out drafts.

And I keep being unsatisfied with where I have ended up.

What’s particularly frustrating is that I frankly like most of my more recent ideas much more than things I actually considered publishable a few years ago; I just yet still think they’re not good enough. This someone is keeping me from, from my perspective, increasing the average quality of this blog.

But I’m going make myself publish this right now anyway, even though I don’t like this post either.

Nuanced Differences in Types of Fact Acquisition and Storage

I love TIL (Today I Learned) compilations. One could just scroll through a TIL set and wade through a delicious cornucopia of unique and interesting aspects of the world around us at incredible efficiency. Reddit’s r/todayilearned is one of my favorite subreddits (in fact, I made my highest-rated Reddit post ever on r/todayilearned).

Those of you that have interacted with me on other online communication media may know that I have a tendency to use several other TI_ abbreviations as well, most notably TIR (Today I Realized). The gradual drifting of these abbreviations into my vocabulary space shadow an increased awareness of differences in the various facts I learn.

“Is what I just did something that can be called ‘learning’?” is the question in question here. When I realized only this past year that the Monterey in California and the Monterrey in Mexico were spelled differently, I definitely gained knowledge, but what I mentally did was probably less accurately called “learning” than “correcting” or “realizing” (hence, “TIR”). (This realization triggered in my mind a horror at how many times up to then I must’ve spelled one of them the wrong way. I think the way I spelled both of them was like the Mexican city, so the one I would’ve gotten incorrect was the one more frequently relevant to my life, but along the lines of this being a realization: I’m not even sure that was the one I got wrong.) On a similar vein, about 7 years ago, I realized that contrary to my previous belief, the flags of Qatar and Bahrain had a different number of spikes, despite thinking that I knew both flags for over a decade prior. And more recently, I learned that the United Kingdom’s flag does not have reflectional symmetry. In all of these cases, there was a sense that the process of learning happened before the incidence of knowledge acquisition, and what I gained was a correcting of the knowledge: if I was asked about this knowledge before the moment of correction, I would’ve furnished incorrect information, like a belief that the UK’s flag was reflectionally symmetric.

But there’s yet another nuance that can be highlighted: situations that can be considered “realizing” but not “correcting”. One case of the such is with time zones of Australia. At one point, I learned that Western Australia is in UTC+8 (mostly), Northern Territory and South Australia are in UTC+9.5, and Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania are in UTC+10. Somewhat later, I learned that South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania practice daylight savings time. But only later still did it dawn on me the implication that in the summer, Queensland is at +10, which is behind South Australia at +10.5, an order swap, and, I’d argue, a significant piece of knowledge. Boiled down to the essence, the fact realized here is “Which of Queensland and South Australia has clocks set later depends on whether it’s summer or winter.” My mind had the information to know that fact, but it was not until more than the time for knowledge processing later that I explicitly considered the fact. Another such fact is “Canada borders only one country.”. Sure, I had the knowledge of the layout of countries in the world to know that fact, but only upon explicit mention does it suddenly stand out quite far: Canada is a country of such substantial size that manages to border only one country. Bonus round: Does Canada actually border only one country?

Continue reading “Nuanced Differences in Types of Fact Acquisition and Storage”

But like, how do you know?

“Many people have a gene that makes cilantro taste like soap.”

“Hydrogen cyanide smells like bitter almonds.”

“The last step of the lethal injection feels like fire running through the veins.”

There exist many facts out there of a comparative nature for which I’m left wondering:

1) How do you know this?
2) Even given that, what motivates someone to seek this comparison?

Please let me know if you’ve tasted soap or have smelled bitter almonds.