A good day to myself, I hope
A good day to myself, I hope.
This should not be a special day. Maybe, it could be a little bit more special I would like to reflect on whatever happened over the few months ago or even last few weeks. Here are the things that I feel I have to remind myself and I want to tell others.
I have been lucky enough to own some books and read a few of them. I don’t really think having books in possession is something to brag about. From time to time, the realization which came to me is what you have read, what you learned from them and how you could utilize them count. Not the number of books you own or hey, not even the number of books you’ve read.
On the other hand, I still can’t help but to buy more books than I could ever read. But I feel my intentions are changing. If I have it, even if I could not make time to read it or whatever, I could share it to someone. That applies to every opportunity you could not take, instead of being sad over it, you still could help someone else by passing the opportunity. Aside from that, I have noticed that there is one common thing in the people I respect a lot. All of them read insanely.
Health matters. If you are feeling sick, that sucks. You only know that once you are sick and couldn’t do a damn thing. We usually take things for granted in life and good health is one of them. We live recklessly even though we goddamn know the importance of health. Also, health is not the kind of thing you could drag until the point things become serious. The earlier you could manage to fix it, the less you suffer.
Life is all about people. Once you grow older, you meet more people with different personalities. Keep in touch with people who are like-minded and inspire you, people you can have a good discussions with and people you can rely on, sometimes. Even with them, there will be times you face the things you both are not willing to agree. Despite the indifferences and (sometimes, emotional) disagreements, we are all humans and accept that we are different. That’s what I have to remind myself everyday. People change and forgive them often. In fact, it is probably the one way that could make your life easier.
I often found myself disagreeing with what some people say. Sometimes, I know that they are not right. Sometimes, I am not sure but still feel that that is not right. In that case, if I care more, I would find it out and clarify my doubts. I am terrible at arguing. I found myself in giving up in the middle of arguments. Sometimes, because it leads to nowhere. Sometimes, because people are stubborn and refuse to accept it. Nonetheless, if the argument proves me that I am downright wrong, that’s a win. I would gladly accept my shortcomings (mostly everything) and be thankful for being corrected.
There are many ways to live your life. That could be the most important thing to realize in your life that every aspect of your life is a choice. There are default choices. You can choose to sleep throughout your life and accept the path that’s laid out for you. You can accept the world as it is. But you don’t have to. There’s something in the world, you feel so wrong. You have a vision of what a better world would be. You can find your guiding principle. You can fight for a cause. After this talk, I want you to take a little time and think about what matter to you, what you believe in and what you might fight for. — Bret Victor.
It is always strange when people who have had an outsized impact upon others die. Prof. Nash wasn’t just someone who was killed in a traffic accident. He was someone who touched the lives of many, many people in surprising ways. His work itself has a large sphere of influence that will exist without him, but I’m talking about a more personal kind of influence. He was an example of living to who you could be regardless of what was broken inside of you or what was “missing.”
When I was a teenager, I had the good fortune of attending a lecture by Prof. Nash. Although I did not have the maturity to truly grasp what he was trying to explain — the event did influence my later life. I started reading up about him and his struggles with his schizophrenia, the work he wanted to do, the fears he had of never achieving it, and how despite everything he ended up manifesting his work anyway. This influenced my own struggle with teenage depression and made me realize that there was probably more I could contribute beyond the seemingly staunch limits of my own mind. That altered my life trajectory in a “tiny” but measurable way, so that I — a complete stranger — feel moved by the loss. I’m sure he stands for so much more to so many people and that’s a testament to the power of a life well lived. — A comment from John Nash Has Died.
Yesterday is irrelevant. — Michael Moritz
I often think these days that programming is terrible. I would not encourage everyone to choose it as a career unless s/he is genuinely interested in. And also think that programming is a way to solve the problems. Technology can make people’s life easier in many ways.
I would not like to see more more search-in-Google-and-copy-from-Stackoverflow-without-a-clue programmer like myself. Instead, I strongly encourage and urge, if I may, people to learn the fundamentals. It is very important. You might not build a car engine yourself from scratch but if you know how it works, at least, you could fix it, improve it and make it better. Eventually, you might even build one. It is still fine if you don’t know ins and outs. You still would be able to use it but it’s unlikely that you create one by yourself.
If you accept that programming is just a tool then, of course your life could be easier. You don’t necessarily have to involve in useless programming wars, native vs hybrid apps or the-js-framework-I-am-using-is-better discussions on Facebook. Since you are language, framework agnostic, you could be reasonably discussing about why you think it is (or it’s not) the right tool for the right job. It’s important to accept that what you know is never enough. Always be curious and keep that curiosity to learn the things deep down.
Another brilliant quote from the Bret Victor about “The future of Programming”.
If the next generation of programmers growing up, never been exposed to fascinating ideas in computer science, only being shown one way of programming, that would be the bad tragedy.
But the real tragedy is that the next next generation inherited that from them, they would be pretty much in the illusion that it’s all have been figured out. “We know what programming is. We know what we are doing.” They grow up with dogma. Once you grow up with dogma, it’s really hard to break out of it.
The reason why so many great ideas came in certain time period, in 60s, early 70s, is nobody knew what programming was, how it’s supposed to be. They knew they didn’t know it. “Let’s try everything!”
The most dangerous thought you can have as a creative person is to think you know what you’re doing. Once you think that way, you stop looking around what others are doing. You become blind. So, if you want to be open and accept the new ways of thinking, the first step is to say yourself “I don’t know what I am doing. As a field, we don’t know what computing is and we don’t even know what a computer is”. Once you truly understand that and believe that, then you are free and you can think of anything.
- Write things down. Memory is fragile.
- Show gratitude and always say “Thank you” or “Sorry”. People usually hesitate to do that. It matters and you should. I am trying, too.
- Give back what you can. Always remember where you were before when you reach here.
- The days are really really long. The weeks are short. The months are shorter. I am now really feeling it.
- Life could be so miserable sometimes but unwillingly accept that it’s also part of life.