Life Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions bore me. Lose weight, eat healthier, blah blah blah. Really cool things to do take more than a year anyhow. And at the other end of the spectrum, I find myself a bit annoyed at questions like “What do you want to do?”, as if the point of my life were to be summed up in one career.

I’ve got a lot of things I want to do, a lot of long-term projects. They don’t fit nicely into either a one-year span, nor into a single conception of how I pay rent in the meantime.

But the thing about the long-term is that it’s made up of the short-term. What am I doing now to start reaching those goals, even if the goals are stuff I want to have done in the next three or four decades?

So here’s my list of things that I want to start accomplishing with my life, with the intent to take concrete action starting now. Not on everything, but at least on a couple things. I put this out there not to brag about my life, but because I want to see what stuff other people have on their lists – so please write your own and share!


  • Live in East Asia for at least one month
  • See India and Brasil


  • Comfortably play improv jazz and bluegrass on mandolin
  • Pick up at least one other instrument (either return to flute, or guitar or violin)


  • Learn quantum mechanics, at least to the point of understanding field theories and string theory in detail
  • Pick up at least the basic notions (at a graduate course level) of macroeconomics


  • Learn Category theory
  • Be able to understand the math of the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem
  • Write material on making the above more accessible; in general, provide more intuitive examples of higher-level math to motivate people to go into it


  • Get at least 2nd degree black belt in Ninpo
  • Learn at least one weapon to black-belt level


  • Get fluent in one Indo-Euporean language (probably French)
  • Be comfortably conversational in one non-Indo-European language (probably either Arabic or Mandarin)


  • Write a novel

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