* On Friendship Types of Friends, Where to find them, Rules for Engagement, How to make them.  http://homepages.ius.edu/.../html/notes/Chapter22/BFS.htm  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank#Damping_factor ** Types of Friends I am not sure I presently have the patience (or can see why it would be productive) to exhaustively classify types of friends. I'll list a few important ones. Suffice to say, different types of friends entail different levels of commitment, attachment, trust, and benefits. *** Dampers I try to find friends who are "dampers". Damping factors. Some of the important people I associate with are like damping factors (see explanation as it pertains to PageRank algorithm) . Dampers are good at inhibiting unwanted behaviour in networks, like infinite cycles. In PageRank's case, they introduce stochasticism via a random restart. I assert "dampers" contribute similarly to your life (as if we really need more stochasticism!). I choose these types of friends because I fundamentally respect them and their abilities and thus know I will enjoy their company even in different (read: strange) scenarios, even if I would not otherwise enjoy the type of event they encourage me to participate in. This is also a good way to explore edges along your friends graph and meet new people. *** Partners One thing I have learned is, to be successful at hitting goals, you need to also be successful at effective (yes, there is such a thing) procrastination (i.e. unwinding). It's in these types of healthy, unwinding activities I often find meaningful friendships. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ― Jim Rohn "Arnold Schwarzenegger might be the most influential bodybuilders of all times and also an accomplished powerlifter with his 710lb Deadlift, but he didn’t get there alone. Arnold had a key long-term training partner: powerlifting champion Franco Columbo – 655lb Squatter, 750lb Deadlifter and later 3x Mr Olympia." http://stronglifts.com/arnold-schwarzenegger-franco-columbo-training-partners/ ** Locating Friends Friendships grow and because of this, they have to grow from/on/through something. This something can be a place, an idea, an activity, an emotional need, etc. Abstractly, here are some guiding principles I use to find interesting people: 1) Love work, then meet with people at work to learn from 2) Find friends through activities (successful/healthy procrastination; e,g: gym, reading group, game night, hikes, music, art) 3) Through academic learning (perhaps through work, or arrange activities with people you discover wish to learn similar things) 4) Through "dampers" (see below; people you already trust who act as a trusted filter for exposing you to new things/people) Here are the places / activities where I find myself meeting people: 1) Noisebridge Hackerspace 2) Rock Climbing @ Mission Cliffs Indoor Rock Climbing Gym 3) Five Minutes of Shame (Hackerquarters bi-monthly event) 4) Mentors @ coffee shops. (stanza, fourbarrel, sightglass, cafe centro) 5) The MoMa (which is now defunct) 7) Mellow Beats & Board Games 8) Damping Factors (see above: Types of Friends) ** Rules for Engagement Be genuine. People worth being friends with deserve friends they can trust. Let people know what your expectations are, what type of friendship you're looking for. Be honest about your passions. It's much easier finding friends when you love your work; i.e. work is not work but life itself. Most of the people I meet with for coffee during work hours are extremely inspiring as they are solving problems I so deeply care about (it's an incredible vicarious feeling) -- each one in some way teaches me something insightful and I have come to view these people as some degree of mentors. ** How to Make Friends *** Strategies & Heuristics Life is short and we become more like those we spend our time with, thus I treat the process seriously and filter my friends. Perhaps some may call this being too risk averse. I actually think it's the opposite: it's similar to a comparison of a depth first (this strategy; filtering friends) versus breadth first search (being friends with anyone no filter). DFS is provably incomplete and is thus in some abstract sense riskier. Granted my actual search is more heuristic graph search than DFS, the point stands that BFS traversal has desirable properties, albeit potentially debilitating consequences. There's nothing wrong with employing a different strategy. Put some thought into understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each and have mechanisms for mitigating worst-case scenarios (becoming overwhelmed with friends, stale relationships, etc). I tend to prefer and prioritize deep friendships because I find it difficult to context switch between many people and to trust people whom I don't understand well or haven't invested significant time in. I don't typically enjoy people and their interests (they require a lot of energy and are exhausting -- I am an introvert), and I want to benefit from compound interest (obtaining mutual context) over time. As a result, I tend to have many more acquaintances than friends. That being said, my definition of friendship has drastically changed over the last few months. I've been reaching out to people who have similar goals and passions, have been having some truly rewarding conversations, and great recommendations + resources. From https://www.facebook.com/michael.karpeles/posts/10102182038234750 A new thing I'm doing: Talk to a different researcher/professor of Knowledge Representation & NLP AI/ML every month. Today was Eamon Duede, executive of the knowledge lab @ University of Chicago. Eamon helped me discover MIT Lab's Pantheon project which is very similar to my (rather Mike Bostock's) zoomable tree-graph of the math/MSC2010 taxonomy. Supposedly MIT + Chicago are working together on the same curricula/dependency generation as I am via Wikipedia! i.e. building a tree of dependencies for learning/understanding any given Wikipedia page. Might as well help them out!#uniting the field and making it feel smaller, slowly but surely.  http://pantheon.media.mit.edu/…/HU/…/-4000/2010/H15/pantheon  http://michaelkarpeles.com/math.html *** Start With Your Peculiarities It's important to understand your own peculiarities. I have peculiarities which may not resonate with most people (and which I may hide from them -- especially around those with whom I am less comfortable). With people I know well, my interactions are less serious/mature (I'm a closet troll of Socratic proportion, painfully sarcastic, and perpetually supressing the imp of the perverse), my view of life and my "purpose" is dreadfully serious. When it is proposed that an issue I view as a moral imperative is to be addressed with laissez faire, I feel obligated to act. **** Life of Purpose It's not very humble of me to say, but I'd like to think I try to be something of a citizen of the world (maybe not a great one). I see there as being things the world needs, human rights the world deserves (like Universal Access to Knowledge) and sometimes I am struck by intense depression because I don't feel I have the right to be happy until others have the same access to organized information as someone as privileged as myself. There are people who can't accomplish their live goals, not because of their abilities, but because of the consequence of their birth. And that burden, that reality, is something I can't bear to ignore. It really hurts. It is difficult to find people who genuinely respect and appreciate these sentiments -- and who wants to be around someone who doesn't respect who you are? I psychologically have a hard time escaping a "work" mindset because I don't view work as work. To me, there's just "life". Problems which are worth solving. I live a fairly intentional life which I aspire to craft around learning and applying knowledge. I often slip and am ineffective at this goal, but nonetheless I am hypocritically dogmatic and resolute; to my fault, I am impatient with people who don't have similar views of the seriousness of life and the imperativeness of our actions. **** Dislikes: Trivia & Media I am human, I am wired to enjoy trivia and media. I don't like that I enjoy trivia and media. I prefer other methods of productive procrastination. Many people I know optimize more for enjoying life than accountability. After years of mistakingly viewing such things as binary (rather than spectrums), I now have a greater appreciation of the role of balance and try to be more accommodating on this front. **** Towards Improvement: Objectivity, Criticism, Accountability I want my friendships to push me, to keep me accountable, to help me grow and mature, be more informed. To make me more thoughtful, to question me, to make me more honest, more humble (this last one sure is low hanging fruit...) **** Connecting the dots These peculiarites can be my greatest flaws. One of my life goals is to blur the lines of things. To realize classifications as the spectrums they and not an over-simplified yes or no. To eliminate the arbitrary borders, for example, of computer documents and to instead think in terms of the ideal mashup of the content we want accross different documents. Yet, my philosophy is such that there are dividing lines everywhere; my peculiarities are these lines. And yet I am not sure I am mature or disciplined enough to compromise these ideals, unless a person shows me how wonderful these qualities are that I am forced to make an exception. Coincidentally, these are often my favourite people. Alan Davis, Tom Hamill, Mark Neyer, Stephen Balaban, Akhil Aryan, and Jessy Exum are a few of these people. I imagine Drew Winget would make this list for most people, except usually his contributions re-enforce and empower my ideas rather than suggest alternate paradigms. You need that too -- these people, as an analogy, are your spotters in the weight room. They amplify your efforts.