Just imagine if you could gamify “adulting” …
I've noticed that I'm a bit of a sucker for a “badge” — some online representation of an achievement or challenge — in that it drives my behaviour such that I will do things for the sake of the badge rather than for any merit the act may have. For example, I've got a lot of badges on Untappd, and I'm more likely to drink craft beer because of it, even tho’ it runs counter to my goal of becoming hyperfit.
I've been talking to Jules about building a robot with him this year, and tonight I found this neat kit on Aliexpress: less than $100AUD, Arduino-based and with enough complexity for the two of us to have some fun building and programming it. It looks a little like WALL-E, which is a toy he has been playing with consistently for the last week, and I figure we can even make and decorate a cardboard shell for the little guy (he loves making stuff out of cardboard).
This is one of those hobbies which those who pursued would have done in their teenage years. Well, I missed out somehow (not willing to embrace my geek nature perhaps?) but it won't stop me from giving it a go as a forty year-old man. Is that sad? You know what, I don't care.
As a science-fiction fanatic (and nascent boardgame geek) tabletop war-gaming is right up my alley: good strategic gameplay, great “fluff”/mythos, and some cool imaginary tech to explore and contemplate.
A couple of years ago, Jules got given a cheap toy robot, and it wasn't long before it broke. He wasn't too fussed1 and eventually let me tear it to pieces. My big plan was to use the bot as a platform for experimentation, but of course you can see from the dates on the ‘blog entries that it just didn't happen.
Plans find all the pieces test the DC motor drivers and an Arduino brain to return Bingo to “feature parity” Add ultrasonic distance sensors Add an LED display to his face or body … robot uprising Well, I don't remember him being too fussed anyway.
This (ongoing) project is to provide a front-end to a blockchain-based ledger for post-trade services including clearing, settlement and asset registration. It consists of a Java-based backend (microservices) and a React frontend, and is deployed to a Kubernetes cluster (PKS).
The ledger provides GRPC endpoints (and technically protobuffs) that allow us to submit messages, or “exercise non-consuming contracts” as it happens. As per “recommended approach”, we are using a Java API which was generated from the underlying ledger source language, which means a bunch of static and impenetrable classes representing the “entities” of the system, as well as a compile-time dependency on the API library.
I worked for a “data discovery and analytics platform” company1 for a couple of years, and got to see first-hand the power of graph-based datastores for analysis, hypothesis-testing and pattern discovery. It truly was an example of intelligence amplification and allowed the analysts I worked with to work more effectively than ever.
Since that day I've had a desire to map things out, to build a kind of mega-mindmap2 to really understand some of the more complex and complicated situations — ancient and modern history, the middle east, US politics, the powerful people behind every conspiracy theory imaginable…