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Posts about book-notes (old posts, page 1)

Writing Day 8 – The Art of Thinking Clearly


Started: 2018-03-23
Finished: 2018-04-24

This is not quite book notes, but now with the craziness that is my studies, I don’t have time to write them all down.

I still want to catalogue the fact, that I finished it though.
This is an amazing book, amazing with a capital A

You know you should read the ancients, you know you should read our modern minds, like Taleb and Kahneman and Cialdini and Munger.(You also know you should eat your green leafy vegetables :))

But if you find Taleb waxing too eloquent, Kahneman verbose and dry, Cialdini too long, Munger too abrupt and the ancients not quite accessible, you ought to read this book.

Want to know why to live each day as if it were your last, but only on Sundays?
Or what role survivors bias plays in life? Or why we take on too much? And why you should not accept free drinks?

Read the book to find out.

This is another one of those books where amazing amounts of knowledge is compacted into every cell of every page.1

Must read!

  1. Obligatory Farnam Street review. 

Book Notes – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck


Started: 2018-03-11
Finished: 2018-03-13

Imagine the school bum, mending his ways, becoming a success and then sharing his stories and experience.

Well, that’s what this book is.
A pithy summary for a pithy book. Punchy, wise and brief.
Mark Manson is the Dale Carnegie for millenials.

There are f*cks strewn galore, so if you’re not comfortable with such language, stay away.1

Here’s a few things, I took away from the book

  • Learn to be comfortable with pain and failure and suffering and hardship
  • True joy comes from experience, from tackling pain and hardship, from living
  • Live a life of intention. Know what your enough is. Choose your struggle. Care deeply only about these few things
  • Learn to be self aware. Meditation helps.
  • Have good values
  • There are no ready made, cookie cutter solutions to your problems or to finding your path. You have to make your own way. And that is a good thing
  • Don’t be dogmatic. Be comfortable changing your mind as you learn and experience more
  • Learn to be ok with rejection. Also, learn to say No.
  • Be disciplined, focussed, and committed to the things you care about
  • Memento Mori.2
    So make the most of the life you have left. Learn to live, so that you leave with joy, not regret.
Quotes I loved

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.
You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
— Albert Camus

“I used to think the human brain was the most wonderful organ in my body.
Then I realized who was telling me this.”
— Emo Philips

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”
— Sigmund Freud

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life.
A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
— Mark Twain

On Commitment

I’m quoting this passage wholesale, because this was the thing that resonated with me the most; the fact that Deep Work matters.
Discipline, dedication and commitment to the few things that do matter in your life is what will make your life enriching.

… more is not always better. In fact, the opposite is true.
We are actually often happier with less. When we’re overloaded with opportunities and options, we suffer from the paradox of choice. Basically, the more options we’re given, the less satisfied we become with whatever we choose, because we’re aware of all the other options we’re potentially forfeiting.
So if you have a choice between two places to live and pick one, you’ll likely feel confident and comfortable that you made the right choice. You’ll be satisfied with your decision.
But if you have a choice among twenty-eight places to live and pick one, the paradox of choice says that you’ll likely spend years agonizing, doubting, and second-guessing yourself, wondering if you really made the “right” choice, and if you’re truly maximizing your own happiness. And this anxiety, this desire for certainty and perfection and success, will make you unhappy.

So what do we do? Well, if you’re like I used to be, you avoid choosing anything at all. You aim to keep your options open as long as possible. You avoid commitment.

But while investing deeply in one person, one place, one job, one activity might deny us the breadth of experience we’d like, pursuing a breadth of experience denies us the opportunity to experience the rewards of depth of experience. There are some experiences that you can have only when you’ve lived in the same place for five years, when you’ve been with the same person for over a decade, when you’ve been working on the same skill or craft for half your lifetime. Now that I’m in my thirties, I can finally recognize that commitment, in its own way, offers a wealth of opportunity and experiences that would otherwise never be available to me, no matter where I went or what I did.

When you’re pursuing a wide breadth of experience, there are diminishing returns to each new adventure, each new person or thing. When you’ve never left your home country, the first country you visit inspires a massive perspective shift, because you have such a narrow experience base to draw on. But when you’ve been to twenty countries, the twenty-first adds little. And when you’ve been to fifty, the fifty-first adds even less.
The same goes for material possessions, money, hobbies, jobs, friends, and romantic/sexual partners—all the lame superficial values people choose for themselves.
The older you get, the more experienced you get, the less significantly each new experience affects you. The first time I drank at a party was exciting. The hundredth time was fun. The five hundredth time felt like a normal weekend. And the thousandth time felt boring and unimportant.

The big story for me personally over the past few years has been my ability to open myself up to commitment. I’ve chosen to reject all but the very best people and experiences and values in my life. I shut down all my business projects and decided to focus on writing full-time. Since then, my website has become more popular than I’d ever imagined possible. I’ve committed to one woman for the long haul and, to my surprise, have found this more rewarding than any of the flings, trysts, and one-night stands I had in the past. I’ve committed to a single geographic location and doubled down on the handful of my significant, genuine, healthy friendships.

And what I’ve discovered is something entirely counterintuitive: that there is a freedom and liberation in commitment. I’ve found increased opportunity and upside in rejecting alternatives and distractions in favor of what I’ve chosen to let truly matter to me.
Commitment gives you freedom because you’re no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous.
Commitment gives you freedom because it hones your attention and focus, directing them toward what is most efficient at making you healthy and happy.
Commitment makes decision-making easier and removes any fear of missing out; knowing that what you already have is good enough, why would you ever stress about chasing more, more, more again?
Commitment allows you to focus intently on a few highly important goals and achieve a greater degree of success than you otherwise would.

In this way, the rejection of alternatives liberates us—rejection of what does not align with our most important values, with our chosen metrics, rejection of the constant pursuit of breadth without depth.
Yes, breadth of experience is likely necessary and desirable when you’re young—after all, you have to go out there and discover what seems worth investing yourself in. But depth is where the gold is buried. And you have to stay committed to something and go deep to dig it up. That’s true in relationships, in a career, in building a great lifestyle—in everything.

  1. It’s mostly for shock value, sprinkled liberally through the first third of the book. It peters out to almost nothing, as Mark gets into the meat and potatoes 

  2. Remember, you will die! The Daily Stoic explains it far better than I ever could 

A Few Lessons from Sherlock Holmes


Started: 2018-01-22
Finished: 2018-01-23

Tired of my daily humdrum, I decided to escape to Victorian London for a while, by reading all of my Sherlock Holmes.

This time though, I was going to make notes!

And then it dawned on me, that I already had a comprehensive set.
I had, along with my copy of Peter Bevelin’s fantastic Seeking Wisdom, also purchased a copy of his A Few Lessons from Sherlock Holmes.

Bevelin synthesizes not just Sir Doyle’s works, but also pulls related information from a wide variety of sources, like Joseph Bell who was Doyle’s inspiration for Sherlock Holmes and Edgar Allen Poe and Michel De Montaigne.

Like thoughts on practice as a discipline …

Practice is a good instructor and teaches us to where to look and what to look for

Before turning to those moral and mental aspects of the matter which present the greatest difficulties, let the inquirer begin by mastering more elementary problems. Let him on meeting a fellow-mortal, learn at a glance to distinguish the history of the man and the trade or profession to which he belongs. Puerile as such an exercise may seem, it sharpens the faculties of observation, and teaches one where to look and what to look for. (Holmes; A Study in Scarlet)

and on learning

And learning never stops

“But what I can’t make head or tail of, Mr. Holmes, is how on earth you got yourself mixed up in the matter.”
“Education, Gregson, education. Still seeking knowledge at the old university.” (Holmes; The Red Circle)
Like all other arts, the Science of Deduction and Analysis is one which can only be acquired by long and patient study, nor is life long enough to allow any mortal to attain the highest possible perfection in it. (Holmes; A Study in Scarlet)
Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last. (Holmes; The Red Circle)

On learning to reason backwards

Reasoning backwards - working back from observations/effects to causes

The essential factor in this method consists in working back from observations of conditions to the causes which brought them about. It is often a question of deciding the doings of yesterday by the records found to-day. (Thomas McCrae; The Method of Zadig)
The ideal reasoner...would, when he had once been shown a single fact in all its bearings, deduce from it not only all the chain of events which led up to it but also all the results which would follow from it. (Holmes; The Five Orange Pips)
The only point in the case which deserved mention was the curious analytical reasoning from effects to causes, by which I succeeded in unraveling it. (Holmes; The Sign of the Four)
In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practice it much. In the everyday affairs of life it is more useful to reason forward, and so the other comes to be neglected. (Holmes; A Study in Scarlet)
Most people, if you describe a train of events to them, will tell you what the result would be. They can put those events together in their minds, and argue from them that something will come to pass. There are few people, however, who, if you told them a result, would be able to evolve from their own inner consciousness what the steps were which led up to that result. This power is what I mean when I talk of reasoning backward, or analytically. (Holmes; A Study in Scarlet)

and the fact that everything old is new again …

History often repeats itself

There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before. (Holmes; A Study in Scarlet)
Mr. Mac, the most practical thing that you ever did in your life would be to shut yourself up for three months and read twelve hours a day at the annals of crime. Everything comes in circles...The old wheel turns, and the same spoke comes up. It’s all been done before, and will be again. (Holmes; The Valley of Fear)

This is ergo more a book recommendation, than a book notes post.
Most everything that I could hope to capture, is already in this slim volume.
And just like Doyle’s books, this one is worth coming back to over and over again.

The Race for Paradise


Started: 2018-01-03
Finished: 2018-01-16

I’m Catholic and as a child, I was somehow naïvely proud that Christianity was the largest religion in the world.
We were good people. We were morally superior.
After all, we were the righteous chosen ones!
Our crusades were what helped Christianity become foremost and widespread!
All those knights in shining armour and all those devout folk went from their homes in Europe to battle the bad Muslims and conquer Jerusalem.
It was stuff of heady, wild fantasy!

Time has slowly cured me of my delusions, but the curiosity has always remained.

Why? and How?

Why did these two religions who had so much in common, go to war for centuries?
And the answer after ripping through the book is realistic disappoinment.

For all that many, maybe most Franks and Muslims wished it to be so, the realities were rather different. This was not a clash of Islam versus Christianity. It was at best a clash of specific Frankish polities warring with specific Muslim ones, where universal claims to religious truth or holy war almost always took a backseat to specific regional and political interests.
They do outright injustice to the more nuanced, less dramatic, but nevertheless authentic decisions made by generations of medieval Christians, Muslims, and Jews involved in this history. The Crusades, understood from any perspective, cannot shed light on modern struggles, and their motivations cannot be legitimately claimed as background or inspiration for contemporary conflicts.
Medieval Muslims and Christians went to war for their own motives, not ours.

And nothing captures the zeitgeist of the book, as much as this short note somewhere in the middle of the book

Bashir saw the strange spectacle of the Frankish lord of Antioch marching alongside Muslim troops from the lord of Aleppo, arrayed in battle against the sultan’s representative, the Muslim lord of Mosul, who marched with his own Frankish allies from Edessa.

It was just humans … being humans!
But don’t let that stop you from reading the book.

Paul M. Cobb weaves magic with this well researched work. While it may seem like I took a while with the book, the reality is that this is a page turner for any history buff. I had to slow down consciously because I did not want it to end!

Ranging from Spain to Africa to the Middle East to Mongolia and from the year 750 to 1492, he explores whole host of places, events and people. Action abounds! Treachery, back stabbing, sieges, plague, naval battles, battles in the plains, battles in the mountains, fire, it’s all here!

And while it is about humans being humans, I found it quite enjoyable as I kept switching sides throughout the book, rooting for who I thought, was doing the right thing at the time.

It gave me a perspective on how the “other side” sees these events and it looks suspiciously a lot like mine.

And the only reasonable reason as to why, comes from Yuval Noah Harari (read my notes on Sapiens, here.)

The real difference between us and chimpanzees is the mysterious glue that enables millions of humans to cooperate effectively.
This mysterious glue is made of stories, not genes.

We cooperate effectively with strangers because we believe in things like gods, nations, money and human rights.
Yet none of these things exists outside the stories that people invent and tell one another. There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money and no human rights—except in the common imagination of human beings.

You can never convince a chimpanzee to give you a banana by promising him that after he dies, he will get limitless bananas in chimpanzee Heaven.
Only Sapiens can believe such stories.
This is why we rule the world, and chimpanzees are locked up in zoos and research laboratories.


It’s a quake book.

It manages to fit a hundred thousand years of human life, into less than five hundred pages, filled with history, wit & philosophy.

Page for page, this is one of the most wisdomous books I’ve ever read.

Joey being Wisdomous

This is how I imagine, Yuval Noah Harari acknowledging my compliment

Thoughts and Insights abound

I read past, before the impact of a line, two pages ago blinds me

Facts put in such simple terms, that make me wonder, why didn’t I realise this before?

“Each year the US population spends more money on diets than the amount needed to feed all the hungry people in the rest of the world.”

Will we ever be Kumbaya united as a whole human race?

“Evolution has made Homo sapiens, like other social mammals, a xenophobic creature.

Sapiens instinctively divide humanity into two parts, ‘we’ and ‘they’.”


“Tolerance is not a Sapiens trademark.

In modern times, a small difference in skin colour, dialect or religion has been enough to prompt one group of Sapiens to set about exterminating another group.

Would ancient Sapiens have been more tolerant towards an entirely different human species?

It may well be that when Sapiens encountered Neanderthals, the result was the first and most significant ethnic-cleansing campaign in history.”

Why is money so important? Because …

“money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.”

Masters of the land, are we?

“We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us.”

Happiness, what is it?

“Nothing captures the biological argument better than the famous New Age slogan: ‘Happiness begins within.’ Money, social status, plastic surgery, beautiful houses, powerful positions – none of these will bring you happiness.

Lasting happiness comes only from serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.”

Perspective … need one?

“In the 300 years of the crucifixion of Christ to the conversion of Emperor Constantine, polytheistic Roman emperors initiated no more than four general persecutions of Christians. Local administrators and governors incited some anti-Christian violence of their own.
Still, if we combine all the victims of all these persecutions, it turns out that in these three centuries the polytheistic Romans killed no more than a few thousand Christians.

In contrast, over the course, of the next 1,500 years, Christians slaughtered Christians by the millions, to defend slightly different interpretations of the religion of love and compassion.”

I’m barely scratching the surface.

And all this, while nimbly skipping over events, places, geographies, and eons.

With the voice of a sad enlightened being, he concludes,

… humans seem to be more irresponsible than ever.

Self-made gods with only the laws of physics to keep us company, we are accountable to no one. We are consequently wreaking havoc on our fellow animals and on the surrounding ecosystem, seeking little more than our own comfort and amusement, yet never finding satisfaction.

Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?

This is definitely something I’ll keep coming back to, so that I can learn something new, time and again.

Hats & Boas: The Little Prince Has Them All

I might say that I read Meditations over and over, or that Morgan’s Run is the book that I love to lose myself in.

But the truth is that the pages that I’ve read the most, the quotes that shake me up the most, the lessons that I’ve learnt from the most, are from The Little Prince.

The Little Prince

The book has serendipitously inveigled it’s way into my mind and heart over the years.

I was introduced to it through an excerpt in a school textbook.
And ever since then, I’ve run across its quotes and lessons in books, in film and through people.

Even as I child, I somehow knew that the story added up to more that what the explorer and the Prince went through.
I knew the story teller was saying more than he let on.

And as I’ve grown, the book has continued to delight and offer lessons (if I care to listen)

On responsibility

“People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said.

“But you mustn’t forget it.

You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.
You’re responsible for your rose.”

On innocence and seeing things for what they are

If you were to say to the grown−ups:
“I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,”
they would not be able to get any idea of that house at all.

You would have to say to them:
“I saw a house that cost $20,000.”
Then they would exclaim:
“Oh, what a pretty house that is!”

On what truly matters … to You!

“If some one loves a flower,
of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars,
it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars.

He can say to himself, ‘Somewhere, my flower is there …’
But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened …
And you think that is not important‽ ”

On the joy of effort

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose, that makes your rose so important.”

On looking past appearances to find true beauty

“The stars are beautiful, because of a flower that cannot be seen.”

I replied, “Yes, that is so.’
And, without saying anything more, I looked across the ridges of sand that were stretched out before us in the moonlight.

“The desert is beautiful,” the little prince added.

“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well …”

On sorrow

It is such a secret place, the land of tears.

On love and belonging

… said the little prince. “What does that mean –– ‘tame’?”

“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. It means to establish ties.”

“To establish ties?”

“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys.
And I have no need of you.
And you, on your part, have no need of me.
To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes.

But if you tame me, then we shall need each other.
To me, you will be unique in all the world.
To you, I shall be unique in all the world … ”

“I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince.
“There is a flower …
I think that she has tamed me … ”

On death

“You understand … it is too far. I cannot carry this body with me. It is too heavy.”

I said nothing.

“But it will be like an old abandoned shell.
There is nothing sad about old shells … ”

Saying GoodBye

Word for word, The Little Prince has given me more wisdom and comfort and joy, than any tome I have ever read, more than even a Seneca or an Aurelius; a Wu Hsin or the Bible.

And yet, it does all this, with a story so simply and delightfully told.
I laugh at my explorer’s drawings.
I cry every time the Little Prince has to go away.

And for all this, I’ve never appreciated it all these years.
Never again.

Wishing Upon a Star

I’ll close with the same lines the comte de Saint Exupéry writes, to bring the story to its wistful end …

This is, to me, the loveliest and saddest landscape in the world.
It is here that the little prince appeared on Earth, and disappeared.
Look at it carefully so that you will be sure to recognise it in case you travel some day to the African desert.

And, if you should come upon this spot, please do not hurry on.
Wait for a time, exactly under the star.

Then, if a little man appears who laughs, who has golden hair and who refuses to answer questions, you will know who he is.
If this should happen, please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back.

All I Want to Know Is Where I’m Going to Die, so I’ll Never Go There - 00

Ok, so here goes.

I’ve always wanted to do marginalia and notes and talk to myself and share all that with … someone like me, but younger I guess.

I want to retain and understand and absorb, more of what I read.
I want to come back to what I’ve written and see if it holds up
And I want to read and osmosize1 more of what Vishal Khandelwal calls Supertexts.

I read three volumes of Taleb over the past year and a half and I wish I had written down what I learnt.
And I know now, why they’re called Supertexts
Every other day, I see something through that new lens I gained.
And I wish I could have written about the Incerto, the way Kyle has

Well, better late than never :)
The super half, gifted me a Munger trio early this year.

And so I’ll start with the aforementioned book, as I try to make sense of it.

Come along, will you?

  1. I make up fancy shit, as I go! :P 

On the Wisdom of Taking Action

I’ve followed The Art of Manliness blog for quite some time now.
To say that it’s changed my life would be an understatement

The articles I really love, are the ones based on philosophy.
And the ones I really love are the ones that resonated with what I already knew, or had read and forgotten

Articles that distilled the advice of old greats like Marcus Aurelius and Seneca, with the new thinkers; Taleb, Stephen Pressfield, Ryan Holiday and Cal Newport.

Turns out, most of them are written by an awesome guy called Kyle Eschenroeder.
My favourite of all his writings is an article called, “10 Overlooked Truths About Taking Action

And a few days before, Kyle and Brett decided to write a little monster called, “Screw 10 Overlooked Truths! Here’s All of What We’ve learned about Taking Action!

Well, that’s what I would have called it! :)
They decided on the classier, “Meditations on the Wisdom of Action

The first thing on my list today is to print the little sucker and bind it and keep it right next to my well worn copy of Meditations.
This is something I’ll return to again and again.
And again.

The act of “doing” is something that always scares the shit out of me.
Doing something new. Doing something that I want to.
I thank God, that I’m surrounded by awesome family and friends.
Otherwise I think, I would have been a scared turtle-in-his-shell all my life.

This book expands that little circle to now include what Seneca calls the eminent dead. (some of the guys still live, mind you :) )

Here’s a few choice morsels

“The cucumber is bitter? Then throw it out. There are brambles in the path? Then go around. That’s all you need to know.”
–Marcus Aurelius


Books About Heaven.
Steven Pressfield relates a New Yorker cartoon in his (short) book Do the Work: “A perplexed person stands before two doors. One door says HEAVEN. The other says BOOKS ABOUT HEAVEN.”

He’s perplexed. He’s considering the book over the actual experience. It’s funny because it’s absurd… and because we know we’d have the same consideration.
Why would we deny ourselves direct experience?
Action is going to Heaven. Abstraction is reading about going to heaven.
(Reading a book can be Heaven when it’s a primary activity.)


Acting Is Dirty.
Creation is inherently messy. The Big Bang was an explosion that created everything we know. You were born into this world bloody while your mother endured the worst pain of her life.
Honest action won’t take you on a straight path. It may not make sense to you or those around you at first.
Instead, it will straighten your posture on any path you’re on. You won’t fear what others fear. You won’t regret what the others will.
You’ll have scars and remember the lessons they taught you. Others will look fragile because while they kept their training wheels on you let yourself fall down, endure the pain, and do it again.


“Spartans do not ask how many are the enemy…”.

“… but where are they.”
–Plutarch, Sayings of the Spartans

The Spartans knew they would meet the enemy and fight with courage. They didn’t ask for unnecessary information.
You don’t need to either.
Gather the minimum information you need to begin.
Then, before you think you’re ready, begin.


Motivation Follows Action.
Our fatal mistake is waiting to be motivated before we take action.

Action motivates.
I don’t feel like working out until I get my blood flowing. I’m too tired to have sex until we’ve begun. I don’t want to go to the party until I’m there.
Motivation will follow if you have the balls to go without them.

My favourites are the two examples of the principle I currently work so hard to achieve

Meditation as Action.
Meditation connects the mind to reality.
It is pure action. There is no frustration of what should be done. There is only doing.
Meditation is a right action that acts as a catalyst for more right action.
How do you meditate?
One way: Sit down. Set a timer for twenty minutes. Close your eyes. Feel the sensation of air flowing in and out of your nostrils and on your upper lip. Each time your mind wanders bring it back to the sensation. Do not get upset when your mind wanders; the point is to become more aware of your thoughts, not get rid of them. And whatever you do, don’t get upset at being upset.


Action is Waiting.
The most difficult action to take is often non-action.
Not stillness out of laziness, but out of self-discipline.
Waiting to look at your phone until your date is over.
Waiting for the other guy to stumble in a negotiation. Waiting to work out until your injury is healed.
The sniper must be patient. Warren Buffett says he makes mistakes every time he is bored with too much money.
… Patience is an action. Laziness is not.

The booklet ends with …

Everything you do matters.
Act accordingly.

So do yourself a favour, take action and go grab the free pdf booklet right now.

Book Review – i want 2 do project. tell me wat 2 do

Click me to buy!

TL;DR? It’s awesome. Buy it right now.

I was looking to dip my toes into some sort of structured help with the summer training and open source in general, because while I knew what I wanted, I just didn’t know how to go about it.

And then I realised that one of our mentors had actually gone and written a whole book on the how to. So, I bought the paperback. The binding is really good, the paper really nice (unlike other tech books I’ve read) and the words large enough to read. I expect to get a lot of use, out of the book.

And lot of use is right. While it’s a slim volume and a pretty quick read, the book is pretty dense when it comes to the wisdom it imparts.

The book has a simple (yet substantial to execute) premise. You’ve just tipped your toe into programming, or you’ve learnt a new language, or you’ve probably written a few programs or maybe you’re just brand new. You want to explore the vast thrilling world that is Open Source Software. What now?

“i want 2 do project. tell me wat 2 do.” answers the “what now” in painstaking detail.

From communication (Mailing List Guidelines) to the importance of focus (Attention to Detail) to working with mentors (the Project chapters) to the tools (Methodology & tools) to the importance of sharpening the saw (Reading …) and finally the importance of your environment (Sustenance), the book covers the entire gamut that a student or a novice programmer with open source would go through.

Shakthi writes like he speaks; pithily, concisely with the weight of his experience behind his words.

The book is chockfull of quotes (from the Lady Lovelace to Menaechmus to Taleb) that lend heft to the chapters. The references at the end of each chapter will probably keep me busy for the next few months.

The book’ll save you enormous amounts of time and heartache, in your journey, were you to heed its advice. It’s that good.

Programming, Day 14 — Lauren Ipsum

Since I’ve been having so much trouble grasping the basic fundamentals of coding, I decided to learn from “children’s” books.

Lauren Ipsum has been lying in my library for a while now. Here’s the summary from the introductory pages,

Lauren, a clever girl lost in Userland, applies logic and problem solving skills to find her way home, encountering along the way such concepts as timing attacks, algorithm design, and the traveling salesman problem.

Read more…