3rd: A painting in my dream

Only the 3rd idea in my journey, and I missed the date.

Initially, I planned the posting would always happen in Friday, so it would not interfere with my weekend activities. I guess I should now remove this rule. Friday I was busy in working out another idea at work, which seemed to be more important at that time. Saturday I was with the kid all day, since my wife had to work.

It comes out, it is actually a good thing.

Earlier I was going to post an old idea if I did it on Friday, but today (Sunday) I have a different idea.

I had a dream last night. A dream about a painting. I don’t know why I had such a dream, and I am also less interested in understanding what it implies. But it is an idea, which is, I should try to paint it in my later stage of life.

The painting in my dream is much sophisticated and complete. But overall, it looks something like this:

the painting in my dream
the painting in my dream

Basically, it is a person with a huge head, but very small body. In my dream, the person is simply just thinking. Yes, something like the thinker. But the illustration is much exaggerated (expanded). Unfortunately, when I sketched it, I had to put a desk and a computer in front of person, otherwise, it looks very weird.

The painting should be in oil. I am not sure if it is really the case in my dream, but that is what I think I will do.

The background, I am thinking I can use different shade of blues. I also want to make it a little more interesting. Maybe I first use light grey to carve some text first, and then on the top of it, I put the blue color. So through the shade, I can still see the text. Regarding the text, all I was thinking (at the moment I woke up and decided to put this as my 3rd idea) was the lyric from this song. However, to be further interesting, I want to have one line of the lyric, and then another line of source code in either Scala or F#. Random code, or real code from a real project, haven’t decided it yet. Or maybe just Javascript, which may expose more pain points.

A very close painting (I quickly search on Internet) is probably something like this one:

Unfortunately, when I showed my sketch to my wife. She asked if I was trying to draw this guy:

It gave me a double face palm.

Anyway, that concludes the idea of this week.

2nd: An App just protects interacting with you

Ever since I decided to have this 1000 unrelated (aka useless) ideas, I was really looking forward to it. But then when Thursday comes, since I need to put one up on Friday, I get a little nervous, because I don’t know which one I should write.

So I dug my idea folder. I used to have a folder storing all those useless ideas. I found something laughable.

The original idea was:

An app similar to Slack. You create a channel in it. Next the app pretends many users joining your channels. But those are just bots. Now every time you (the owner) post anything, those bots will add reaction to your words, some bots will post a meme to the thread, and some bots may even post a comment to the thread.

However, it is important to note, all those bots will respond positively, such as “LOL”, “that is awesome”, “you are the best”, etc.

This app is called “Feel-Good-Channel” – an app with encouraging bots.

I even made a mock up of it:


  • Any user can create a new channel anonymously.
  • Any user can enter an existing channel to see (but no right to post anything).
  • A channel is automatically deleted after the owner leaves.
  • A channel can only be persisted if the owner is a registered user and chooses to do so.
  • A channel will automatically attract bots to join.
  • A registered owner can configure if the channel allows other real users to post.
  • All bots will make only positive comments, reaction, or memes.
  • The owner will be given a short survey to rate his/her happiness level when exit the channel.

Additional Features

In my original notes, the bots will slowly learn from what the real users post and then improve the “feedback” style. Once the bots become mature, the bots may even leave if the owner does not produce enough information or does not appear to require encouragement. Finally, the bots could learn from multiple channels, and find people with similar problem and connect them, if consented by the users.

Why is it interesting?

I still find this idea interesting because it touches 2 intriguing areas:

  1. Natural Language Processing
  2. Artificial Intelligence

NLP is always a hard problem to tackle. I am guessing with the Cloud-based machine learning, at least now we have more choices and tooling.

AI plays a key role in this app. If you think about it, we are building a robot that can understand natural language as well as human emotion. That is pretty interesting and challenging.

In fact, there are studies and discussion around the world

I also remember when I was working in the HCI lab, I helped research on a project that uses computer game to track and improve children’s emotion.

Many paper focus on facial recognition to determine the emotion. It is relatively easier than relying on only text. However, there are some old studies in psychology talking about how to do so with people’s handwriting:

Pretty interesting read.

Is it really useless?

After I expand this idea a little bit, is it a really useless idea? I am not too sure now.

First, we know in modern age, people are more inclined to text instead of face-to-face communication. Second, we know teenage suicide rate has been increasing.

And teenage feel more comfortable to use app and text.

Assume a user really feels down and start using this app, and assume we have an engine that highly accurately interprets the user’s emotion through wording. Due to the privacy agreement, the app will not know what this person is and where he or she is. However, if the app is able to derive the emotion level and the user’s physiological state, maybe we can do something:

  1. The bots can determine this user needs a listener or not, if yes, respond accordingly.
  2. The bots can determine the right moment to be funny to cheer the user up.
  3. The bots can connect another user (if there is one) with the similar problem and prompt to connect them.
  4. The bots may send an alert to someone to monitor the scripts.

How can such an app really help? I am not sure. But hey, I can only put that much nonsense at a time.

1st Idea: 1000 unrelated ideas

For years I have been trying to write a blog. However, I was never able to find a topic and stick to it.

Sometimes I want to write about coding as that is really primary daily activity. Unfortunately I am really not a very smart programmer. After all, there are way too many of these blogs all over the places and they are way more helpful.

Sometimes I want to write about user experience, as that is what I studied at grad school and my passion. I once even came out this thought that I would take photo of every poor experience I encounter in the real world and share in my blog. This is definitely not a novel idea, because I am pretty sure I have seen someone’s website exactly like that. Later I realize that I will have to a person who constantly travel the world to make that blog work.

One night, for no reason I suddenly woke up around 4AM. I checked my phone. In retrospect, it is probably a better idea not to put your phone near where you sleep. I noticed the phone recommend a post about Howard Shultz’s president run. I opened it and read it (again, didn’t know why I even did that). I felt pretty disappointed after reading it, so I seriously made a comment. If anyone is curious, here is the link to the comment and the post.

After making that comment, I closed my eyes, but all I was thinking was to say something about what I would do to the health care if I were the president of United States. Can you believe that?

Also, guess what, no surprise, I lost the sleep for the rest of that night.

The good news is, the very next day, I realize that who kind of person I have always been. I am a:
– day dreamer
– fantasizer
– unrealisticism

Basically, I am very good at nonsense, exactly just like my 7-year old daughter!

I should write a blog with nonsense as the topic!

I used to have so many nonsense ideas, some totally useless ideas, some Startup ideas, some funny ideas, maybe some even good ideas. I should put them together and write them up!

So here comes the first idea:

Writing a blog with 1000 unrelated ideas.

From 2019, March 1st, each week I will try my best to write up 1 idea (either I used to come up, or I will come up in the future), to 1000 of them. This should be fun. It serves no purpose or any intention, simply just want to see what I would gather in the end.