Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by Quadalupe » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:43 pm

Hi all,

After a bit of ad hoc posting on the forums, I figured that I'd make a journal here, since this will allow me to i) phrase my thoughts better for myself, ii) maybe get some feedback on my thoughts and actions. Maybe in the far future, when I've made some strides, I can even add a third element: to help others with things I've struggled with. Who knows? But first, I think introductions are in order. I hope I manage to write it down in clear fashion, but if not, please ask questions!

About me
I am a 23 year old Dutch student and am currently finishing my master's in Artificial Intelligence. Currently, I live in a small ome room studio apartment. I have an SO, with whom I hope to find a place together somewhere in the next two years and remain with for the rest of my life (yes, I'm quite the romantic). In the meantime, I might simply remain where I am now, or relocate to a house with multiple room mates, since that is a bit cheaper. I've already done a bit of job hunting and landed a job at the federal government, where I will start with in September this year (2015). This job will pay around 33K euros per year before taxes. I've also thought about other companies, and even started interviewing with a major bank (which would have netted around 48K euros per year before taxes). However, I decided against that one pretty soon in the process, since I felt that it wasn't a good fit with my personal values. Since I always have to answer to myself, I do not (want to) compromise on these values, even though I still do so sometimes.

I want to be a good person. This is often a problem, not in the last place since it is hard for me to pinpoint what a good person is. I try to find inspiration in other people, but that is not always easy. One good person I knew was my grandfather, who recently passed away. If I at some point become like a little bit like him, I'll see it as a great achievement. But I'm not there yet. In the meantime, I try to do my part through community service, and by trying to be a good and faithful SO, employee, friend and family member.

I also want to be happy. Everyone hopefully has some intuitive notion of happiness, but let me try to ground it in a bit more formal terms (hey, I'm an AI student after all, I have to keep my agents happy!). This notion may be more precise, but of course not more accurate. I find it to be a helpful metaphor for myself sometimes. So here it goes.

Agent and Utility

An agent, that is, an autonomous entity, (which can also be me or you) has an utility function, which maps states of the environment (and also the agent itself) to a real number. Common ranges are between 0 and 1 or between negative infinity and positive infinity. A higher utility is (by definition) better than a lower utility. Agents try to maximize utility. Agents try to do this by taking actions that in some way influence the state they are in. For example, a hungry agents prepares a meal, so that it becomes a fulfilled agent, a state which yield a higher utility. Some actions do not (only) change the environmental state, but can only change the utility function of an agent itself. These are actions are very interesting, since they do not also yield some utility now, but also change the way in how utility is generated from now on. A good example of this is achieving nirvana or becoming the perfect Stoic sage, which would change the agents utility function to yield 1 or positive infinity for every possible input (every possible state/situation). A less floaty example can be trying to improve your threshold to cold/poverty/hunger etc, which makes you more resilient to certain situations (i.e yielding higher utility in a situations than before you improved the thresholds). Good examples of people who managed to do this are some Cynic/Stoic philosophers like Diogenes, Epictetus and also Socrates. As you can see, I'm kinda into the Stoic doctrines!

A problem for agents is that they do not have a good knowledge of their utility function. That is, they do not know or have wrong assumptions about how happy they will be in a certain situation. For example, some people greatly overestimate the utility of having a lot of money, while they greatly underestimate the utility of a nice walk in the woods. I do not mean that I think they are wrong, I mean that they think they will become happier than they actually are going to be when chasing money, and that they are pessimistic in their estimated happiness achieved with going outside. Hence, it is important to explore, so you get a better view of what your utility function looks like. In normal parlay: experiment a bit and see what you like. Of course, there is no point in forever doing things in random fashion. At some point you must start to try to achieves state that you know (or more accurately: expect) to yield a high utility. That is, you need to exploit. Balancing exploration and exploitation is a difficult problem.

What is the use this rather elaborate introduction to autonomous agents? It shows a bit how I try to think about my life. Currently, I do not yet know a lot of my utility function, i.e. what things I like. Of course, I know that I like some things (talking, kids and beer) and dislike some things (spicy food and coffee). I also try to improve my utility function (i.e letting some states map to a higher utility than before), by trying to live like a Stoic and be more content with the things I have. Finally, I try to add some actions to my repertoire that can allow me to achieve certain states in an easier manner. For example, I want to improve my cooking, be able to fix my own bike, etc. It's basically a different way of formulating the ideals of a Renaissance man.


So, what are my (more) concrete goals?

In the short term, I want to be able to be happy and a good person in the world as it is. I think becoming ERE/FIRE is a good way to achieve this, since this allows me to allocate more time and resources to improving myself and being a better person. For becoming FI, I need to become more adapt at doing things myself (cooking, woodworking) and at creating and maintaining multiple revenue streams (multiple jobs, investing, my own business etc).

In the medium term, I want to to be happy and a good person in a world that has changed for the world. I think we have some rough times ahead with climate change, peak oil/water, clashing ideologies, robot uprisings, etc. I want to be able to be more self-reliant and to support other people. To achieve this, I need to know more about gardening, permaculture, survival, things like that.

In the long term, I want to be able to be happy and a good person in whatever world there is going to be. This boils down to either knowing exactly what to do in every situation to maximize utility, or to being content in every situation. I think the latter is easier than the former, so I will focus on this. I think and hope that my study of the Stoic philosophy will help me with this. I will also look into Chinese philosophy (I'm currently reading the Tao Te Ching), and Buddhism.


If you have made it this far, you have my gratitude and admiration! One paper about intelligent agents defined intentions as choices with commitment. So to what choices do I want to commit for the coming two months?

I want to:
- use this journal to keep writing about my journey to ERE/FIRE, happiness and me being a good person
- finish my thesis before the summer holiday and become a so called 'master of science'. I feel this title is appropriate, since 'master' in earlier times was used to denote young people that didn't yet enter society
- prepare properly for my job. For example, I want to find out how the pension system works in the Netherlands, what to expect about taxes, in what concrete ways I can develop myself at work.
- become a better cook. My SO cooks most of the time, but I want to cook at least one time a week for my SO and two times a week for myself and/or other persons.
- start training myself in a martial art
- be able to run a mile in 6 minutes, and 4 miles in 30 minutes
- fix the light on my bike
- find out what my current spending pattern is, and identify where I can still improve on my spending
- read more about survival, gardening and investing
- read more about life philosophies
- surprise my SO with something nice. This could be an event or a treat, I'm not sure yet.

I'm sure I have forgotten to write down a lot of stuff, but I think it's best to start my journal now. I can always add missing things later! Sorry for the long read, but the next posts will be shorter. Really!

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by jennypenny » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:44 am

That's a lot to accomplish in two months!

Is your SO on board with ERE?

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by reepicheep » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:14 am

I'd encourage you to get more specific with your goals. What does "read more" look like?

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by message » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:29 am

Hey Quadalupe,

Good, you also started a journal :)
I will keep up with your progress so once in a while...

Quite the badass to choose for a job that pays about 50% less than one at a bank...!

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by Quadalupe » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:36 pm

Thanks everybody for your replies!

@jennypenny, you're right that it seems like a lot. I always have the nasty habit of biting of more than I can chew. So far, it's going pretty well though (see later in this post). My SO is on board with ER, but I'm not sure how much with ERE. However, my SO is already quite frugal to begin with, so I'm sure we can work something out in the future.
@reepicheep, good idea, goals too broadly defined are not really useful goals since it's hard to know how to start achieving them. I've updated them below.
@message, thank you for your kind words and indeed, let's motivate each other on our ERE journey!

So what did I do in the meantime?
Goals achieved
- be able to run a mile in 6 minutes, and 4 miles in 30 minutes. I (almost) completed this today, I ran a mile in 6 minutes and 1 second. :P I didn't actually think I could manage, so I'm pleasantly surprised! Next up is the 4 miles in 30 minutes.
- start training myself in a martial art I enrolled in a Krav Maga class and had my first lesson today. I expect some bruises tomorrow, but it was nice!

Goals in progress
- prepare properly for my job. I had my employment conditions/perks talk at my new job today. Since it is some sort of a traineeship, there wasn't any room for negotiation, but I don't mind. I still have to find out about the pension system though!
- become a better cook. I cooked a nice recipefrom budgetbytes the other day for me and my SO. We both enjoyed it. :) I'll slowly work my way up to more complicated dishes.
- find out what my current spending pattern is. I actually kinda cheated when I listed this goal, since I've started doing this from April 1st. On the plus side, I'll know exactly what I spent money on this month. On the downside, it doesn't look so good so far.

Reformulated goals
- use this journal to keep writing about my journey -> write once a week in my journal. It doesn't have to be long, but a weekly update should keep me focused on my goals.
- read more about survival, gardening and investing -> read survival+, borrow a book in the library about gardening and read the intelligent investor from Benjamin Graham.
- read more about life philosophies -> read a daily verse from Tao Te Ching, read the How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life from the Dalai Lama

Failed/unstarted goals
- finish my thesis. I didn't do much this week, so I need to get a bit more serious about this. I'll make a concrete list of things I can/have to do and start doing them. It is much easier to fix badly written stuff than to write good sentences from the get-go.
- fix the light on my bike. I need to check out the student-run bikeshop next to my house. For a small fee they learn you how to fix things on your bike yourself and provide the materials you need.
- surprise my SO with something nice. I think a good surprise would be to arrange more time for my SO... My life is currently pretty swamped, but its our relationship that is taking the hits. Not good.

Other things:
- I enrolled in a voluntary visiting service for lonely elderly and will meet 'my' old lady next Tuesday. I'm curious how it will turn out!
- I'm looking around a bit for different housing, since I'd prefer to live closer to the train station when I start my job. I'm a bit on the fence on how big my room should be (and how much it should cost), I've seen offers from 10m² for 200 euros to 23m² for 420 euros. I can see a room of 17m² for 330 euros next Thursday, but the other tenants also have to accept me if I want the room.
- I discovered the Raptitude blog and it seems like a very interesting read.
- Next Monday, it'll be Kingsday, a National holiday. On this day a lot of people sit on their front porch with old junk that they want to get rid of. I always enjoy walking around there with my SO, maybe I'll up pick something nice.
- I might also visit the house of my recently deceased grandfather and help my parents to sort out some of the stuff he left behind. They said that I could also take some things with me if I'd like, which I might. It does feel a bit strange though, a bit like looting his house...

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:55 pm

I liked your start of the journal, and the "Agent" example to describe your goals. Love to see more how an AI master would structure ERE going further !! :-)

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by Quadalupe » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:43 pm

Thanks Hank! I'm not sure how the AI Master would benefit me directly with ERE, I think the main advantage is that I'm already used to being proficient, but not an expert in many subjects. The skill of being multi-skilled might prove to be relevant/useful for ERE. On a related note, you may all address me as an AI master now, since I successfully defended my thesis last week. :D There will be some bureaucratic yada yada before I'll get my diploma, but it'll be alright.

In the meantime, I've started working my first grown-up job. That is, today was my first day 'at the office'. Some impressions:

- Government employees really love their task forces, committees etc. I'll try to take care not to get dragged down too much by them.
- There are more young people than I expected, though still a lot of old ones
- Most people are very nice (or were very nice today), and a lot of people (there might be a some overlap)
are - or rather: I'd estimate them to be - what you could call a Gervais' Clueless.

All in all I really enjoyed today. Later I might post more about my FI plans, my fear for climate change and what I've been up to, but for now I think I will simply enjoy the buzz of my first day at work.

By the way, if you are reading this, I would really appreciate it if you could give me some advice of things to do (or not to do) when starting your first job!

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by bradley » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:40 am

When you're trying to figure out where to live, think about your comfort threshold and the cost. If you can be perfectly content in 10 meter square then go for it at 300 euros (unless you can find cheaper). I think sometimes people tend to overestimate how much space they will need. In ERE terms, the lower your rent, the better you're off since it's such a large, recurring expense.

As for job advice, ooh, I don't know :lol: I could help with more specific questions, maybe.

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by Quadalupe » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:20 pm

@bradley: thanks for your advice! I ended up taking a room that costs around 400 euro's a month, but which is pretty large for a room (21 m²) . I also have nice flat mates and a balcony on the south, both which I very much enjoy (the latter one less so now the fall is beginning though). I feel like 400 euro's is a fair price and that the size and comfort of the room would decrease nonlinear with the price. For example, I can get a 10m² room for 300, and a 21m² room for 400. In this case, I feel that the larger room is worth the money more and adds more to my happiness that the additional savings of €100 a month.

Hooray, my first paycheck came in today! €1.800 euro (after taxes) of my own hard earned money. :D I immediately moved 1000 euro's to a savings account and I will invest 100 euro's into my index funds October 1st. My financial situation currently looks as follows

Checking account: €1.108,18
Savings account 0 @0.9%: €1.764,23
Savings account 1 @1%: €8.214,88
Investments: €2.291,97

Student debt @ 0.12%: €8.944,54

Net worth: €4434.72

It's not as impressive as many other people here, but I am really stoked! Finally I can start properly building my nest egg with pay checks! I think I will update whenever my paycheck arrives, to give another meaning to the phrase 'to live from paycheck to paycheck'.

If I am able to stash away 1100 euro a month (including the 100 euro I invest), my savings rate will be 61% and my expenses will be around 1 jacob i.e. 700 euro. I think it'll be hard to go much lower than that since my expenses currently roughly break down this way:

Rent: €394
Health Insurance: €88
Food: unsure, but my guess is €90 a month
Mobile: €0 (choozze.eu, one time €25 connection cost, after that 100mb+ 100 texts + 100 minutes for free)
Misc: €100 - €150

I think I should try to get some better insight in my spendings, but I currently don't feel like I'm indulging in really big luxuries. I go out for drinks once a month with some friends, I like to sometimes splurge a bit with/on my SO (we had our 3.5 year anniversary this month and went to a fancy restaurant but with a 50% discount thanks to a super market campaign) and I sometimes buy some games in a humble bundle, things like that.

So far I really like it at my job. The commute is 1 hour from door to door, with a 10 minute bike ride to the train station, then a 40 minute train ride during which I can read some books and then a 5 minute walk. I'm pleasantly surprised. I used to study at Amsterdam, which had a 25 minute train ride. I think I actually prefer the longer train commute, since it allows me to actually read a significant amount! At the work itself I've been attending a lot of meetings with different people. It's nice to hear so many different perspectives, but I when I look out the train window and see the cows happily grazing the grass and the geese flying peacefully, I get the feeling that we humans have made it very difficult for ourselves with all our complicated structures in companies (particulary the government), focus groups, core groups, working groups and meetings. My colleagues are very nice though, especially the ones within my own age bracket (i.e. 25 - 30).

I've also been playing with the idea to start a small online business in order to reduce my dependence on one income stream, but I'm not sure yet. I know that I don't have a lot too lose, but I first want to settle into my new job a little bit. I do have some ideas that I can flesh out a bit more though. I have been looking at those online courses designed to help you start your online business offered by Amy Hoy (from unicornfree), but decided that they are a bit too expensive and that I'll try it on my own first.

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by Quadalupe » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:14 pm

Well, did I slip up with my journaling for the past year! A crazy amount of stuff has happened in the meantime, so an update is long overdue.

Cold hard stats:

Net worth: around 28K. That's a 23.5k increase since 13 months ago (but I received a gift of 5k from my parents). Not too shabby!

1974 after taxes

Spending (average-ish):
rent: 355
food: 100
beer/fun trips: 100
utilities + home taxes: 65 (internet, power, taxes)
rock climbing pass: 37
health insurance: 65
misc: 20
library pass: 2 (25 a year)
culture pass: 5.5 (65 a year)
netflix: 2 (sharing with friends)

Total: 751.5

Savings rate: ~62%

1. My girlfriend broke up with me one day before I moved to a new place, and three days before our four year anniversary. Two weeks later, she was dating someone new.
2. Because of the breakup (and my quick replacement) I started suffering from a light depression. I was 70% on the way to commit suicide, but I'm in therapy now and making some good progress!
3. I moved to a new place, at a perfect location in the middle of city centre for a very low price (355 including heat, 420 including power, internet and taxes)
4. I don't like the main parts of my job, but I started with a employer funded data-science program. This will allow me to transition to a job I do like in relative short time
5. I'll have my eyes lasered before the end of 2016

I'll flesh it out a bit below, but beware: it might read like some badly written teenage drama (because it kinda is). It helps me to write this down though.

The breakup
Two weeks before I got dumped, my ex said to me that we had to talk. She was in love with someone else and we weren't doing so hot. It felt like the bedrock of my life was removed underneath me. I tried my best to change, and to restore the relationship we used to have, but to no avail. Two weeks later, one day before I was to move to a new place, she threw in the towel dumped me. In hindsight, I don't think she made an honest effort, but I had bigger things on my mind. She started dating the guy she was in love with, but it was not yet really a relationship. Unfortunately, we share quite a bit of friends. Every time we met each other at a party and became a bit intoxicated, we both started to cry, hug and tell each other how much we missed each other and how hard it was for both of us. Very confusing for me, because why wouldn't she want to try it again then?

The descent
Around July, I attended her birthday. I thought her relationship with the new guy was still in limbo, but then I heard that they were going on a holiday together. Something snapped in me. I left the party and I have never felt so angry. I wanted her to die, to vanish from this planet, to never have existed. I regretted that I ever met her, and that I didn't dump her when she had it rough. You see, around two years into our relationship she came down with a burnout and depression and I cared for her all the time. And she dumped just when she was getting better and I was having a bad time? For a guy even her own dad thinks is a loser? FUCK! While no one from my friends or colleagues noticed my anger, loneliness and oncoming depression, I felt worse every day.

Breaking point
At the start of October, I emailed a psychologist for help. And it's a good thing I did, since the day after I emailed her I felt so down, so intensely like I would never have a happy thought again that I seriously started contemplating the concept of suicide. And that scared the shit out of me. I used to be this happy guy who could always see a silver lining in everything. But now I just wanted to stop existing... Anyway, I managed to hold out until my first appointment and boy, did I make a good decision! Finally someone I could freely talk to about my feelings, my (very dark) thoughts and my loneliness. She diagnosed me with a light depression and I have never been more glad to get a label. Hooray, something concrete is wrong with me! Let's fix it!

Getting myself together (bit by bit)
The psychologist gave me meditation exercises and gave me homework. I had to keep an emotion journal and write down what I was doing, thinking, feeling and responding every time I had depressed thoughts. I struggled a bit with this at first, but now it really helped me to see patterns in my trains of thought, and in how I see myself. The meditation exercises helped me to recognize and accept these thoughts, without acknowledging them as being true. I started having more good days. And even though I still regressed sometimes, my bad days were 4/10 instead of 2/10. I talked to friends about my depression and I was so happy with their response. I should have done that way earlier!

Where I am now
I am still not completely 'fixed', but I'm getting there. And I have made some discoveries about myself along the way.

- I share my part of the blame to for the failing of the relationship. I took it for granted and didn't work hard enough to keep it enjoyable.
- I am terrified of failing in a social setting. I have no problems talking to strangers when there is nothing at stake. but I can't for the life of me make small talk to a cute girl. I fear that she will be disgusted by me signaling that I might have some interest in her. I've simulated being rejected so often in my head, that I don't dare take the leap in real life.
- I've always seen myself as very emotionally stable. Turns out thats not true. I am not easily saddened, but when I am it is very intense.
- Past period showed me that I'm very introverted with some extroverted tendencies. I don't mind groups or speaking in front of an audience, or talking to random people. But I mostly live in my head, and I am always mulling things over.

That's it for now! I'll add a new post later, but I'm happy I picked this up again. I want to write down some goals and ramble a bit more about my work and my future plans later on.

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by rube » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:36 pm

Sorry to hear about this all, but also glad to see you are on your way up again. Take care of yourself.
I will be reading your updates.

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by J_ » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:27 am

Glad to hear that you are overcoming and learning from your sad expierience. It happenned recently also to me, but we restored our relationship, I went also through a bad period.
What I want to say that it is perhaps good to expierence that we optimists get also as an antidote our portion of sadness. So that we mix a bit more pessimism in our expectations. Chin up Quadalupe, if you wish you can pm me or visit me.

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by Quadalupe » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:23 pm

It's been a long time! Thank you J_ and rube for reaching out. :-) I really liked it, and I'm a lot better now.

Current state of affairs

I have a girlfriend again, a very sweet girl that I can really relate to, also ERE wise. We differ in some aspects, but we are so. very. good. at communicating with each other, it's creepy. I proposed a system like this: https://medium.com/@alannallama/running ... 2085c5d747, which sounds ridiculous, but works very well for us.

I have a new job. I'm working as a data scientist now, which I very much like. I can solve cool problems for my organisation, and I got a huge pay raise. I've also started working 4 days, but I'm only making a €25 less now than I used to with 5 days of work. Furthermore, I have 10 weeks free every year, so a lot of time to do cool stuff. Being a civil servant is not bad!

My depression is gone and I am happy again! :-)

Financially, I'm doing fine. I spend ~13k in 2017, for a savings rate of just under 50%. Not that impressive, but not bad either. My theoretical max SR, with only rent, health insurance and €50 for food would have given me an SR of 76% (~20k). Roughly 6.5k of my spending is 'Needs' and 6.5k of my spending (50%!!) is on 'wants'.

My savings are a little under €40k, giving me just shy of 3y of living expenses. I feel there is still a lot to trim in my budget, so I think adding 16k this year should be doable. I'd need a SR of 61% to achieve that. This corresponds to cutting 'wants' by 50%. At the end of 2018, I'd have ~56k. With my lower living expenses this correspond to ~5.6years of living expenses. I'd be 1/6th of the way there!

I'll post some graphs in the future.

Things I want to do in 2018

I have two types of things I want to achieve: experiences and habits. These two categories correspond to exploring and exploiting. Basically, with exploring you experiment, try out new things, take leaps of faith. It's okay if things go wrong, that will give you valuable information.

Things I want to experiment with:

- Systema, a Russian self defense system. Starting this next week, I'll practice two times a week, to get to the steep (good) part of the sigmoid learning curve.

- Apprenticing at a nearby bike shop for a month. I have 3 months of PTO this year (civil service and a lot of accrued days), and I prefer to learn new things to (extended) travelling.

- Starting a small business in my spare time. I'm currently working one day a week with a friend on a business and it's going all right. Biggest challenge will be to stop if it doesn't work out.

- A more robust life style. I currently have ~ 60L of water stored, I am looking to acquire sealed food containers to store lentils, rice and beans.

The habits are to automate the good, but sometimes boring stuff that is good for you. Habits I want to create:

- Sleeping enough
- Reading books
- Flossing
- Mental wellness, by meditating, practising stoicism and seeing friends
- Meal prepping every weekend.
- Metahabit: keeping track of progress, by journalling here, and measuring expenses and achievements.
- Delivering. Don't let the perfect get in the way of the good. Things (like this post) don't have to be perfect to be released into the wild.

That's it for now, I'll try to do more short updates in lieu of longer, but only once a year updates.

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by rube » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:16 pm

Hi Quadelupe, good to see it is going ok with you again and you are full of ideas, activities etc. Looking forward to your (short) next update!

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by fips » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:56 pm

Glad to read about your turnaround and keep up the good work - or rather the good life!

Your goals are so similar to mine, as if we had agreed on them ;-)

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Re: Quadalupe's Journey and Journal

Post by Quadalupe » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:23 pm

Here are some graphs! I'll write more later about agency, my (lack of) web of goals and my ideal FI life. For now, I just want to post my stats for january:



FI Progress

Spending past twelve months

Spending last month

All these graphs are automatically generated using my R script and my google spend-tracking sheet. I welcome any feedback/shaming/encouragement on both the visualizations and the contents of the graphs!

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