noun_phrase
22 San Francisco, United States
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noun_phrase
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My self-summary
I’m told that good grammar is one of the primary things that women look for in dating profiles. I guess this makes sense: it’s a pretty good proxy for being educated and intelligent, both of which are pretty important attributes in someone who you might be interested in dating.

Online dating is a rough game. My girlfriend has twenty-five thousand likes on her OkCupid profile. This is a crazily competitive field. I need to grab every advantage I can reach. Maybe I should take this grammar thing and run with it.

(My username is unrelated to this. I chose the username when I was first signing up for OkCupid: I looked at the book on my desk (it happened to be the Cinderella book) for a random pair of words to use, and apparently "noun phrase" is what I spotted.)
What I’m doing with my life
I love my job. I do a wide variety of different things. I mostly spend my time interviewing, programming, teaching, and writing. Programming and teaching are fun. Writing is fun but I find it quite difficult—I care a lot about how my sentences scan, and my normal strategy of writing how I speak often produces sentences which would sound fine when spoken, but which look terrible when written because you have to infer where to put the emphasis.

(I only started caring about this recently, but it frustrates me intensely. You basically can’t write down the sentence "I never said she stole my money”, ever, because it’s never going to be clear where you should put the emphasis. Do authors just write in the tiny subset of English whose meaning is preserved by the transformation to the page?)

When I’m not working, I spend my time thinking about things like effective altruism, augmented 2-3-4 trees, and why Max Martin’s otherwise brilliant songs have such universally disappointing bridges. You can see a good overview of what I've been thinking about on my blog: http://bshlgrs.github.io/
I’m really good at
teaching, playing music by ear, thinking about data structures.
The first things people usually notice about me
My accent and my hair.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Music: I listen to a lot of music from a wide variety of genres. Here's a selection of stuff I've been enjoying recently: the soundtrack of Hamilton, Lemon Demon, Ball Park Music, Streetlight Manifesto, Sturgill Simpson, The Smith Street Band, Penguin Prison, Dear and the Headlights, Courtney Barnett, World/Inferno Friendship Society, Chromeo, Fun Machine, of Montreal, Electric Six.

Novels: The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, Jasper Fforde, unsongbook.com

TV Shows: I enjoyed Avatar: the Last Airbender and Firefly. I'm slowly working my way through Buffy at the moment. I've seen two episodes of Black Mirror and really enjoyed them.

Blogs: Slate Star Codex, hotelconcierge.tumblr.com.

Food: I'm fairly easy to please (uh, except for being vegan). My favorite Bay Area restaurant is probably Asmara Restaurant on Telegraph Ave in Oakland: it serves delicious and cheap Ethiopian food.
The six things I could never do without
I have a lot of fairly unusual beliefs. I would be very lonely if I didn't know anyone who cared about similar things to me. It would be hard to do without such people; luckily I have many of them.

I just spent a week staying in a house which didn't have any musical instruments, and I got really antsy from not being able to play music properly. So musical instruments are another thing.

I really do love programming. I would be very sad to live without the opportunity to think about computer science and all the beautiful areas of math connected to it.

Over the last year, I've become accustomed to sleeping in very dark rooms, and now I have trouble sleeping in bright rooms. So, curtains.

I spend a lot of time calling people, and whenever I don't have my headset with me someone always wants to call me. So I basically carry that around with me wherever I go now.

I could live without it, but I really do love public transport. Cars are unpleasant and scary. I grew up in Townsville, Australia, where the public transport is quite limited, so the Bay Area feels like public transport heaven to me.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
I have a very particular taste in computer science and math: I really like trying to classify and exhaustively solve all the variants of a given problem.

To be more concrete, here are some examples of computer science questions which interest me. Skip this section if you're not interested in this:

- You can make a stack which supports getMin and have push, pop, and getMin all take O(1) time. What about if you have a queue, or an array with random modification, or a list which allows inserts at arbitrary indexes? What about if you want to memoize the result of a different semigroup operation, like addition or multiplication or xor? What about if it's not really a semigroup operation you want to memoize, like for example remembering the mode or median of your stack?
- You can calculate Levenshtein distance between strings in O(mn). What other primitive edit operations can the dynamic programming algorithm support quickly? I know it can support transposition quickly; what about if you're only allowed to transpose characters if their ASCII values sum to 156? How about if it only costs 1 to delete the kth and kth-last elements? How about if you can reverse a substring in time logarithmic in that substring's length? How do I know if a given edit operation is going to totally break my algorithm? I don't know the answer to this one and would love to hear it.

I think the general theme is taking a problem and not only solving it, but exhaustively cataloguing all of its variants and their solutions. I don't know why I find this particular thing so compelling, but I really do.
On a typical Friday night I am
Spending time with someone I'm dating, or at home working on something.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I think polyamory is a bad idea for most people, including plausibly most poly people. Polyamory incentivizes several bad dating practices, and I think you have to consciously work quite hard to prevent it from slowly pushing you towards more mediocre relationships.

I have convinced previously monogamous people to date me polyamorously in the past, and I think that I wasn't nearly careful enough to cynically investigate my own motivations while I was telling them that polyamory is great.
You should message me if
you want to play music with me or date me.

Or if you're in the rationalist or EA scenes and want to say hi! Or if you want to talk about data structures!
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