What I’m doing now

This is a now page.

I'm still living in Tokushima, Japan. Currently basically just doing a lot of self-directed studying. The rest of the time I'm either being a parent or enjoying the summer as much as possible by going swimming every day in the sea. So what am I learning?

Learning Japanese

This is something I've been doing for more than a decade, getting to this point has been the hardest thing I've done. I'm still nowhere near "done", and never will be, as I don't even feel done with English. Still encountering new English words (inimical? palliate? gadflies?) all the time.

The hard thing about Japanese is the writing system, which is what I'm focusing on the most. My current goal is to be able to read all the characters that a Japanese student would learn during middle school. That's about 2000 characters total. So I'm spending from 30 mins to an hour each day just studying characters. I've kept this up for over a year now.

I've kept adding 5-10 more each day and kept repeating the old ones, which has meant ~200 daily repetitions and that finally in 1-2 months I'll have added a card for all of them. It's somewhat of a chore, but constantly being able to recognize new characters is rewarding, and I get some satisfaction out of having been able to stick to such a long-term goal.

Filling the gaps in my math background

I got my comp.sci degree by going from middle school to a programming apprenticeship, and then entering the university through an entrance exam. This means that while I've received a great education otherwise, I didn't get exposed to some crucial math topics, and it has always bothered me.

Instead of having it nag at me, I've gone back to more seriously studying what I missed (analytical geometry, calculus etc.) to fill in the gaps. I'm following the standard Finnish high school textbooks and focusing on doing a lot of exercises. This is taking about 2 hours a day and I'm currently 60% done. If I can keep this up and no show-stopper topic arises (integration?), I could be done with this by the end of this year.

The most surprising thing so far? I'm really enjoying this.

Learning Keras

I'm not sure where I'll apply this, but I recently did the Coursera Deep Learning course, and now moved on to going through Francois Chollet's book on Keras. It seems like this stuff has a fair chance of turning out to be useful for some future project, and it's also neat to have some insight into what all the hype is about.


I'm also running Candy Japan as usual, and recently launched tiers on it, but I'm not expanding in any new direction at the moment. Just writing the newsletter, curating candies, organizing shipping and tweaking ad campaigns.