2013: A Year of Connection

In 2012, when I did my yearly review, I called it A Year of Projects, and suspected this one would be a Year of Text. Well, it wasn’t, and… I couldn’t be more delighted. This blog post is long, so feel free to skim it or jump around.

I set out to do this review in the form that Chris Guillebeau does, with a “what went well” and “what didn’t go well” (with an added “what went weird”) but then I realized that this was prompting me to write about tiny wins and significant life-changers at kind of the same level. Instead, I’m going to structure this post around object-level things, process-level things, and meta-level things, which are kind of like “what”, “how”, and “why”. Click on the levels to jump down.


Object-level things are just things I accomplished. According to Remember the Milk, I ticked 938 things off this year, and that’s not counting other todo lists, but I’m only going to talk about big object-level things.

The first big one is launching my 3.0 update for FileKicker, which contains ads and has made me a bunch of passive income over the course of the year. This has had a huge impact, such as allowing me to afford the event in the next paragraph, and it’s crazy to think that I could have easily put it off for another day, another week, another month… another year. As it was, that launch was delayed by months, and I think precommitment could have been really helpful: “I commit to releasing my update by Oct 1st or I’ll pay you $200.” My lost ad revenue in those few months was worth more than that.

I went to an Applied Rationality workshop in January. One of my best decisions to date. I went on to volunteer at 3 more workshops and have gotten immense value out of not just the material itself but also the alumni network. At that workshop, I released some pent-up angst I’d been holding against astrology, and learned about physiological stress response in the process. Watch me get really worked up then calm again over at this post.

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A portrait of Malcolm Ocean

I'm Malcolm Ocean.

I'm trying to figure out how humans work so I can help make humanity work. More about me.

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