Hobbies and Homework #1

Photo by sk from Pexels

Hi friends, hope you’re all keeping well.

This will be my first truly personal post, in which I post about a variety of things including my progress with my pastimes, stuff I learned recently, and general life affairs. I hope this may provide even just a bit of entertainment for some people; as that would be very nice.

Hobbies

Chess: I recently just crossed 1450 points on chess.com rapid, which is honestly just a huge achievement for me. I remember being around 1000, thinking 1200 would be almost impossible, yet here we are. The road to a master title is still underway!

Naturally, I must give credit where credit is due. If there are any chess players below 1200 rating points looking to improve, I’d highly suggest you to learn the Dutch Defence opening for black. This opening has single handily carried me out of 1200 territory and into the intermediate 1400 range. The amount of people who simply don’t know how to deal with this opening is astonishing, and I’ve secured many easy victories against these people.

It also goes without saying to keep doing your chess tactics and puzzles. Gothamchess, Hikaru Nakamura, and Eric Rosen are all great chess channels which I highly enjoy. GM Daniel Naroditsky is also a great chess commentator who can explain his thought process both clearly and precisely.

Piano: Still trying to learn the beautiful cover of ‘Shout Baby’ by a very talented Japanese pianist, whose cover you can have a listen to here. It has a very soothing melody, almost like a lullaby, and sounds very calming and peaceful while also maintaining a nostalgic feel to it.

Managed to learn the first page, so only 7 more to go I suppose 😅

Also currently spending around 10-15 minutes on hand exercises before every practice session, though I don’t know if that number should be increased. Contemplating on buying a metronome as well, as the extra mile to get to the online metronome simply kills my will to even use one.

Guitar: Haven’t touched the guitar in years, but after a relaxing Zoom call with friend, where we ended the night off by playing some instruments, my love for the guitar reignited once more.

Currently trying to relearn the songs ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran. Looking to also buy a new set of strings for it, as I’ve had the guitar for almost 6 years now and never once changed the strings😅 Yes, very irresponsible

Currently Reading:

The book Super Thinking, by Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann, is packed full of mental models, which are a set of ideas that can be applied in various situations. The mental model of Okham’s Razor, for example, states that most of the time, the simplest explanation for a situation is always the most likely.

Another useful mental model I learned about in the book so far is the idea of Hanlon’s Razor. This idea, similarly to Okham’s Razor, teaches that a person’s malicious, rude, or unwelcome behaviour can usually be attributed as carelessness, rather than outright malice. This valuable model is useful for not overthinking things, as usually when someone is acting rude towards us, it’s usually not because they’re actually that mean, but rather because of some other factor that we’re unaware of.

The idea of these 2 ideas is simply to not overthink or over complicate situations, which can be an important life lesson for many of us, I’m sure.

I’ll try to post more things I’ve learned about in this blog, as I believe that not only will it improve my chances of retaining that information, but I can also give my readers some fun and useful fruits of knowledge.

Alright, that’s about it for the first Hobbies and Homework. Hope you all stay safe and well!

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