Archive for July, 2017

Challenging beliefs

July 21, 2017

Fifty percent of what we teach is wrong. The problem is – we don’t know which 50% it is. The wise person spends a lifetime trying to figure out which 50% is which.

Until it is disproven, accept that for which the evidence appears solid and logical and free of covert or overt conflicts of interest.

Unfortunately, industry is driving what you believe in many, many things.

Dr. Tim Noakes

Excellent video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lzs5wpLkeA

The primary task in life

July 15, 2017

Your primary task is not to seek salvation through creating a better world, but to awaken out of identification with form.

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

You and I … we’re really not so different

July 14, 2017

Next time you say, “I have nothing in common with this person,” remember that you have a great deal in common: A few years from now — two years or seventy years, it doesn’t make much difference — both of you will have become rotting corpses, then piles of dust, then nothing at all. This is a sobering and humbling realization that leaves little room for pride. Is this a negative thought? No, it is a fact. Why close your eyes to it? In that sense, there is total equality between you and every other creature.

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Stages of Learning a Language

July 10, 2017

For the past year, I’ve been learning a modeling language from MIT called Alloy.

It’s been interesting to watch my progress in learning the language. I started with knowing nothing. I did lots of reading. Nothing really seemed to stick in my brain. Then one day I suddenly realized that things were sticking and the language had come together in my brain – I understood the language. But when I sat down to apply the language to a problem, I froze: “Where do I start?” After lots of struggles with applying the language to problems, I started creating models without constantly having to look things up. Someday I hope to be a master.

Here’s a timeline showing the stages I went through in learning the language. I think the stages may apply to other types of languages – natural languages, programming languages, etc.

The myth of the 40-hour work week

July 4, 2017

Recently I heard someone entering the workforce saying that he hoped his new job would not entail working more than 40 hours per week.

Since that time, I’ve spoken with several people about their jobs and asked if they work just 40 hours per week. Here’s what I learned:

  • My brother is a carpenter. He works rain or shine. “The work has to get done even if the ground is muddy or the temperature is roasting (or freezing). I work a lot more than 40 hours per week.”
  • A family friend is a lawyer. “I’ve worked my whole life, work is all I know, it’s a thing I love doing. I work much more than 40 hours per week.”
  • A fellow down the road fixes lawn mowers and snow blowers. He spends 20-30 hours each week on that business. In addition, he puts in 40 hours a week at another job.
  • A friend of mine designs and sells clothes online. She is always working, 7 days a week, morning, afternoon, and evening.
  • Another lawyer friend recently told me that he works 7 days a week.
  • My brother-in-law is a medical researcher. The only time he’s not working is when he’s on vacation. Even then, he keeps plugged in.
  • Personally, I work a lot. I am always pushing myself to keep on top of technology. For good or for bad, work is my life.

Conclusion: The 40-hour work week is a myth.

Three quotes I reread every day

July 1, 2017

Clarity, above all, has been my aim. I prefer a clear statement subsequently disproved to a misty dictum capable of some profound interpretation which can be welcomed as a “great thought.” It is not by “great thoughts,” but by careful and detailed analysis, that the kind of technical philosophy which I value can be advanced. [Bertrand Russell]

Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise. [Bertrand Russell]

Quintessential: (1) of the purse and essential essence of something. (2) of or relating to the most perfect embodiment of something.  (I just love this word)