log 2018

Updated: 2018-12-27 by Pradeep Gowda.

See also: log / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / Go to latest

Started keeping tech notes in a seperate page starting in March of 2018.


The Individual

The individual is the only reality. The further we move away from the individual toward abstract ideas of Homo sapiens, the more likely we are to fall into error. In these times of social upheaval and rapid change, it is desirable to know much more than we do about the individual human being, for so much depends on his mental and moral qualities.

– Carl Jung in “Man and his Symbols” via


Thu, Feb 2 2018


ಸ್ವಧರ್ಮಯೋಗ: ವೇದ-ಪುರಾಣಬಾಲಕರ ಮೌಲ್ಯನಿಶ್ಚಯ

ಇಲ್ಲಿಯವರೆಗೆ ನಾವು ಗಮನಿಸಿದ ನಾಲ್ವರು ಪುರಾಣಬಾಲಕರ ಚಿರಂತನಹೃದಯಸಾಮರ್ಥ್ಯವನ್ನು ಕಂಡಾಗ ನಮಗೆ ಎದ್ದುತೋರುವುದು ಅವರ ಆತ್ಮನಿಷ್ಠೆ. ಇದನ್ನೇ “ಸ್ವಧರ್ಮ”ವೆಂದೂ ಹೇಳಬಹುದು. ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಬ್ಬ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಯೂ ಆತನ ಸಾಪೇಕ್ಷವಾದ ಸ್ಥಿತಿಗಳೆನಿಸಿದ ಪಿತೃತ್ವ, ಮಾತೃತ್ವ, ಪುತ್ರತ್ವ, ಪುತ್ರೀತ್ವ, ಪತಿತ್ವ, ಪತ್ನೀತ್ವಗಳೇ ಮುಂತಾದ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕಸ್ತರದ ಅಸ್ತಿತ್ವಗಳಿಗಿಂತ ಮಿಗಿಲಾಗಿ ಜೀವಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವೆಂಬ ಅಂಶವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡಿರುತ್ತಾನೆ. ಇದನ್ನು ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕಸ್ಥಿತೀತರವಾದ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ-ರಾಜಕೀಯ-ಜನಾಂಗೀಯ-ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕಸ್ತರಗಳಿಗೂ ಮತ್ತಿತರ ದೇಶ-ಕಾಲಾಶ್ರಿತವಾದ ಉಪಾಧಿಗಳಿಗೂ ಅನ್ವಯಿಸಬಹುದು. ಇಂಥ ಎಲ್ಲ ಅಧ್ಯಾರೋಪಗಳಿಗಿಂತ ಮಿಗಿಲಾದದ್ದು ಸ್ವಧರ್ಮ. ದುರ್ದೈವದಿಂದ ಅದನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥ-ಕಾಮಗಳ ಹೊಯ್ಲಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡುಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದು ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗೆ ಕಷ್ಟಸಾಧ್ಯ. ಅಷ್ಟೇಕೆ, ಅಸಾಮಾನ್ಯರು ಕೂಡ ಅದೆಷ್ಟೋ ಬಾರಿ ಇಂಥ ಪ್ರತ್ಯಭಿಜ್ಞಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೋಲುವುದುಂಟು. ವಿಡಂಬನೆಯ ಸಂಗತಿಯೆಂದರೆ ಈ ಬಗೆಯ ಸೋಲಿಗೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಸಂದರ್ಭಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಆಯಾ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳ ಅಸಾಮಾನ್ಯತೆಯೇ ಕಾರಣವಾಗಿರುವುದುಂಟು! ಆದುದರಿಂದ ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಬ್ಬರೂ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಪೂರ್ವಕವಾಗಿ ಸ್ವಧರ್ಮವನ್ನು ಸಾಕ್ಷಾತ್ಕರಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು. ಮೇಲ್ಕಾಣಿಸಿದ ಪುರಾಣಬಾಲಕರು ಅದು ಹೇಗೆ ತಮ್ಮ ಸ್ವಧರ್ಮವನ್ನು ಕಂಡುಕೊಂಡರೆಂಬ ವಿವರಗಳು ಆಯಾ ಕಥಾನಕಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನಿರೂಪಿತವಾಗಿಲ್ಲ. ಕೇವಲ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಒದಗಿಬಂದ ಸ್ವಧರ್ಮ-ಪರಧರ್ಮಸಂಘರ್ಷವೇ ವರ್ಣಿತವಾಗಿದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಈ ವರ್ಣನೆ ಅಸಮಾನವಾಗಿ ಸಾಗಿದೆಯೆಂಬುದು ಸ್ಮರಣೀಯ. ಮೌಲ್ಯಪ್ರಜ್ಞೆಯುಳ್ಳ ಕವಿಗಳು ಇಂಥ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳ ಸ್ವಧರ್ಮಸಾಕ್ಷಾತ್ಕಾರದ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆಯನ್ನು ಸಮುಚಿತವಿಭಾವಾನುಭಾವಸಾಮಗ್ರಿಯೊಡನೆ ರೂಪಿಸಿದರೆ ಈ ಕಥೆಗಳು ಮಹಾಕಾವ್ಯಗಳ ರೂಪದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೈದಾಳಿಯಾವು. ಆದರೆ ನಾವು ಪ್ರಕೃತಕ್ಕೆ ಇಷ್ಟನ್ನು ಗಮನಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದು ಯುಕ್ತ. – Shri Shatavadhani R. Ganesh.

This is an excellent summary of the conept of “swa-dharma”. Dharma is many layered. Starting on the innermost self with “swadharma” (self-dharma) encompassed by worldly matters such as economical, political, ethnic and cultural dharmas. However, everyone must strive to realise their swadharma.

Tue, Feb 13 2018

Learning Mindset

Shift your mindset from “learning more” to “learning truly”. What I mean by this is, we often have the “shortage” mindset (which perhaps is bourne out by information scarce evolutionary fources), but today information, resources to learn things is abundant and freely accessible. What is needed is a true understanding of how and why things work the way they do. Work on replacing superficial knowledge about things to “I can explain X”. Prompt

Mon, Feb 19, 2018

ಮಂಕುತಿಮ್ಮನ ಕಗ್ಗ - 923

ನಿನಗಾರು ಗುರುವಾಹರು? ನೀನೊಬ್ಬ ತಬ್ಬಲಿಗ ||

ಉಣುತ ದಾರಿಯ ಕೆಲದಿ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದೆಂಜಲನು ।।

ದಿನವ ಕಳೆ ; ಗುರುಶಿಷ್ಯಪಟ್ಟಗಳು ನಿನಗೇಕೆ ।

ನಿನಗೆ ನೀನೇ ಗುರುವೋ-ಮಂಕುತಿಮ್ಮ ।। (೯೨೩)


Tue, Feb 20 2018

Federico Mena-Quintero’s old blog (ca 2009) actually convinced me that this format of blogging/taking ongoing notes, is a good thing for me. Blogging software breaks down, get hacked, go out of fashion (eg: Landoflime). This is a simple HTML page compiled from markdown. I can maintain this. Hopefully, years from now I can read through all this and still feel good (nostalgic? jog the “grey” memory cells?) about having written down things the way I did today. This log is primarily for myself!

Using twitter as a substitute for short, personal notes is probably a loss. It throws in too much junk in your way and restricts the tone and length of words you want to say. Using a running “log” like this is better suited to develop a habit of continually recording your thought and reflecting on it, as conditions, assumptions and priors change.

Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do what you set your mind to – The unlikely Olympic skier Elizabeth Swaney

Dadjoke :)

DS: FYI....I might have to potentially take a PTO on March 5 or 6
Me: Kinetic off those days too?
    (i'm here all day)

Thomas Sowell

The Education of an American Sage - WSJ via _sh4 on twitter. An interview of economist Thomas Sowell on WSJ. Ordered his book “Intellectuals and society”.

Jordan Peterson on Econtalk

Russ Roberts of Econtalk interviewed Jordan Peterson on 12 Rules for Life. I thought I had heard everything JBP had to say about his book by virtue of listening to his lectures on the same topic etc., but Roberts is a good interviewer and brought out some points that were very impactful for me. Listen to around 30:00.

30:15 Russ Roberts: This is a long question; I apologize. It brings us back to Adam Smith for a minute. In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he warned about what he called ‘the man of system’–a person who thinks he can manipulate human beings as if they were pieces on a chessboard without taking account of their own internal ways of movement interacting with others, ordering their lives. And this is deeply consonant with your rule that we should fix ourselves before we fix others. And we certainly, all of us, have plenty of work to do. And it resonates incredibly deeply with me. Particularly because I find myself less interested in reading the news, trying to influence the debate, and recognizing there are large forces out there I can’t control. And I do my part. But it doesn’t get into my bones the way–I don’t feel the need to rant, say, about the latest policy blunder the way I used to. And I’m increasingly humble about what I’m sure of. So, that’s all good. But at the same time, I worry, as I think you do, that the American experiment or more broadly the Western experiment that celebrates and honors liberty, restrains the power of the state, recognizes the sanctity of the individual–that that’s in jeopardy. Maybe serious jeopardy. And I see your book and your book and your videos as a part of an effort to fight against that serious tide. And I want your advice on how to balance tending one’s own garden with the chaos that seems to be erupting outside of ourselves and saying, ‘Well, I’ll just stick here to my little garden. I don’t need to solve all that.’ I can’t. And besides, it’s a lot of nonsense, mostly. But, it could be that the house is on fire. I’m getting a little nervous.

Jordan Peterson: Well, I would say that having the sorts of conversations that we’re having–I mean, these are public conversations as well. I can’t think of anything that’s better that you can do. Like, what could you possibly do that would be better than that? You know–you are not in a position at the moment to directly influence large-scale policy decisions, let’s say. And you know how difficult it is to formulate those properly to begin with. I believe–I truly believe–that if people tended to what was in front of them, if they paid attention to what they can control and they organized that properly, that that would do the trick. That would solve the policy problems. I believe that it’s the right level of analysis. And so, you know, you said, while you have a family and you’ve raised your family and you’re trying to get along with your kids, and you have this podcast, and you are trying to put forth the ideas of Adam Smith–genius-level idea of Adam Smith. And I presume that you find that engaging and meaningful. And it might be that you are working at exactly the right level of resolution. Because, you’ve got to–you know, you might say, ‘Well, you should be concerned with things that are far beyond that.’ Like, the fate of Western Civilization. It’s like, well, maybe your failure, your failing to do that, and maybe your failure is a consequence of cowardice and ignorance. But maybe it’s just proper humility. And moving beyond your domain of immediate competence would be grandiose and destructive. And I believe that it often is. You know, these–we take 18-year-old kids, we put them in Ivy League universities, and we tell them to criticize the system and to act as political activists. And I look at that and I think, ‘God, you kids, you don’t anything. You don’t know anything. You’ve never had a job. You’ve never taken care of anyone, including yourself. You can’t organize your own household. You’ve never read anything. You don’t know how to write. You don’t know how to think. But, it’s okay: Your professors can tell you that, now you are in a position to criticize the foundations of Western civilization. It’s like–it’s horrifying. So, best to operate in your domain of competence. And try to extend it. And I think that’s the way to set the world straight. I do believe it. After thinking about it for decades.

Land of Lime

From 2006–? I used to be regular reader of “Land of lime” blog by Kannada/English historian and writer Sri Prithvi Datta Chanda Shobhi (PDCS). I have fond meories of the blog. You can find it on the Wayback machine. One more good reason to support https://archive.org. (I donated $25 in 2017).

Wed, Feb 21 2018

Received book “The Essential smart football” by Chris B. Brown yesterday. The introduction captures very well why I like american football.

“”ಬಿಟ್ಕೊಡ್ಬಾರ್ದು” (Don’t surrender it). Such a powerful reminder. A phrase that is used on the cricket ground to keep your wicket to play on, a phrase my mother often used to remind me not to give up self respect (ಮರ್ಯಾದೆ) for short term gains/pain avoidance.” twitter

Delight! a sentiment. Can it be delightful? Let’s make it delightful.

Positive re-inforcement. Use positive reinforcements with Kids.

“Truffle Gouda klare melk” cheese from Holland is yummy, purchased from WFM.

Foggy Fool’s Farrago

Received “Foggy Fool’s Farrago”, a new renedition of DVG’s “Mankutimmana Kagga”. It’s not just a translation. Has a good section on DVG and his works. The original Kannada text is rendered in IPA at the end. There are pronounciation guides. The kaggas are numbered so that it is easy to jump back between the original and the English translation.

Thu, Feb 22 2018

On the intrusion of telephones in one’s life by A N Murthy Rao. Have to lookup the “ಬಾಲವಿಲ್ಲದ ನರಿ” story.

The Great Gama – Height 5 ft 8 in (173cm); Weight 250lb (110kg). Gama’s daily training consisted of grappling with forty of his fellow wrestlers in the court. He used to do five thousand Baithaks (squats) and three thousand Dands (pushups) in a day. Gama’s daily diet was 2 gallons (7.5 litres) of milk, a pound and a half of crushed almond paste made into a tonic drink along with fruit juice and other ingredients. (TODO: Look up what Bruce Lee said about Gama from his book “The Art of Expressing The Human Body”, which I own).

Intentional emacs redux

I like a tool when I can get things done. The confidence with which I can use it, makes me use it more often. The more I use it, the comfortable I’m to do things I have not tried before. The tool fits better as I use more of it and often. There is clear progression over time. A ready made tool that has too many things going on takes a while to master; sometime you may never master that tool. Spacemacs, the “everything emacs” distribution feels a bit like the tool that can do everything, except I do not enjoy the feeling of progressive learning. With that, I stopped using spacemacs and emacs for while.

I’m back to using emacs. I’m now typing this on a bare-bones emacs setup. It even has the graphical menu-bars on top. This time around, I’m going to take my time customising emacs. I’m in no hurry to rush to find plugins and custom init.el configurations. The promise of emacs is that it grows to fit your needs. Someone else’s clever config is not my need, just envy.

Time for “intentional emacs”. There is nothing wrong in throwing away years worth of configuration and starting new. It is not like emacs has feelings that you might hurt. If anything, it is I, the programmer that is attached to my precious configs. Loss aversion applies here.

Fri, Feb 23 2018

The famous incident in Indiana sports history 33 years ago today ('85)

A Celebrity Philosopher Explains the Populist Insurgency

In 1979, he moved to India, where he studied with the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, near Pune. He says that the greatest discussions of Adorno he ever heard were on the fringes of an ashram there. His time in India led him to challenge many of his intellectual assumptions. “In the German philosophical tradition, we were told that we humans were poor devils,” he said to me. “But in India the message was: we weren’t poor devils, we contained hidden gods!”

Why I write (1946), George Orwell.

Why I write (1946), George Orwewll via \@jasim_ab. \@vu3dd linked How I write by Dr Murat Demirbas from SUNY.

Dr Murat is one of my favourite bloggers on matters of Computer Science. He writes on a wide variety of CS topics.

Discovered archives of “Quantum magazine” http://www.nsta.org/publications/quantum.aspx h/t @CutTheKnotMath

Sat, Feb 24 2018

Artist Marina Maral colourises old black and white pictures. She also a store at redbubble.com. It would be fierce to have this Rasputin image on a t-shirt. Hipster in you might love that.

Sun, Feb 25, 2018

Wed, Feb 28, 2018

We should thank Sanskrit for the 21st century – Dmitry Pavluk – Medium

To meet this need, a Hindu grammarian by the name of Panini dedicated his life to composing the Ashtadhyayi around 500 BCE. In this monumental text (often credited with creating the fields of descriptive and generative linguistics), Panini set out to create a “complete, maximally concise, and theoretically consistent analysis of Sanskrit grammatical structure”. I hope you’re starting to see some parallels.

In his magnum opus, Panini created and codified 3,976 rules that prescribe the generation of Sanskrit words and sentences from roots. The roots are derived from phonemes and morphemes. A phoneme is any distinct unit of sound (e.g. in English, “p” vs “b” vs “t” vs “d”). A morpheme is the smallest grammatical unit in a language (e.g. “unhappiness” is made up of the morphemes “un-”, a bound morpheme and the prefix, “happ[y]”, a free morpheme and the root, and “-ness”, another bound morpheme and the suffix).


Thu, Mar 1, 2018

Book Review: Albion’s Seed | Slate Star Codex

Albion’s Seed by David Fischer is a history professor’s nine-hundred-page treatise on patterns of early immigration to the Eastern United States.

I highly recommend Albion’s Seed as an entertaining and enlightening work of historical scholarship which will be absolutely delightful if you don’t fret too much over all of the existential questions it raises.

And as _sh4 added “To borrow from Asimov’s Foundation universe, we have to hope that there’s a Second USA to save the world when the first one gets decadent.”

Simon–Ehrlich wager - Wikipedia

The Simon-Ehrlich Wager describes a 1980 scientific wager between business professor Julian L. Simon and biologist Paul Ehrlich, betting on a mutually agreed-upon measure of resource scarcity over the decade leading up to 1990.

Linking Indian traditional wisdom with modernity – “interview with Shri Raghu Ananthanarayanan on the relevance of Indic knowledge in the world today.” from Pragyata

Some important concepts to learn about. Also see Ritambhara – Contemplative Conversations

“Analogies are good for explaining a new concept, terrible for persuasion.” – Scott Adams

A post by friend Vinu Bindinganavile about his grand father – Shiny Shoes – Vinu Bindinganavile – Medium. Very nostalgic about the kind of great souls I grew up knowing, learning from etc.,

The speakers’ circuit is where original thinkers go to die

Ludwig Börne, the 19th-century German writer to whom this happened, told his rival Heinrich Heine (at least, according to Heine): “You have no idea, my dear Heine, how one is reined in by the possession of beautiful porcelain. Look at me, for instance, who was once so wild, when I had little baggage and no porcelain at all. With possession, and especially with fragile possession, comes fear and servility.”

The author of the article quotes Philip Roth as one of those who bucked this publicity trend. toread.

The tyranny of convenience by Tim Wu at NYT:

… But we err in presuming convenience is always good, for it has a complex relationship with other ideals that we hold dear. Though understood and promoted as an instrument of liberation, convenience has a dark side. With its promise of smooth, effortless efficiency, it threatens to erase the sort of struggles and challenges that help give meaning to life. Created to free us, it can become a constraint on what we are willing to do, and thus in a subtle way it can enslave us.

It would be perverse to embrace inconvenience as a general rule. But when we let convenience decide everything, we surrender too much.

via Ramit Sethi

Luddic Fraud and Public Savagery – \@startupdaemon

The 12 Life Rules Everyone Should Make for Themselves from vgr (original -“Make Your Own Rules”). toread.

Fri, Mar 2, 2018

I need to find out if I own a copy of Developer Hegemony by Erik Dietrich. The title feels very familiar. I own Becoming a Technical leader by Gerald M. Weinberg which I’m yet to finish reading.

Today, I received the copy of John Gray’s “Straw Dogs”. I forgot who recommended it on twitter (NNT?). In many parts, the book feels like a long-form twitter. Short paragraphs, aphoristic(?). (a reviewer calls it “pithy”; yup)

Started writing the tech notes.

Reflection: I must submit myself to deep work (as espoused by Cal Newport). NP had picked up this book and left it on the kitchen counter. I skimmed through the book before I left for the office. The need to fit distractions between periods of intense, deep work is a rescue-rope for a man drowning in the currents of distractions. I’d like to think that I’m not given to distractions of - TV, social network etc., But, the truth is, I am; and it’s a thousand cuts. I have uninstalled (for the hundredth time) twitter from my phone.

I did notice a considerable disinterest in going back to twitter today.. Was it because I’ve been busy typing up various notes, actively learning? Or all this activity a mirage to hide the fact that I’m still trying to be busy? I guess I need to find out by continuing to ween myself away from distraction towards comparitively deeper work. It’s a muscle to be trained after all.

Sat, Mar 3, 2018

One thing about this desire to do everything and read everything is I seldom think about the time, and effort required to complete those things. Do I have a strategy for directed learning? Towards what end? Is it learning just for the sake of learning? or is there more to it?

What is behind the previous question? I think it is driven by an anxiety. An anxiety towards unfulfilled expectations in the realm of mundane.

Do read the “Straw Dogs”.

Mon, Mar 5, 2018

Two articles on compounding came to my attention today:

  1. The Power of Compounding Small Daily Decisions - Intelligent Fanatics

a. At the end of each work day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks. b. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance. c. When you arrive each morning, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished and scratch it off when it’s finished. d. Just work your way right down the list. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day. e. Repeat this process every working day.

  1. Even the small stresses of daily life can hurt your health - The Washington Post

When people talk about harmful stress — the kind that can affect health — they usually point to big, life-changing events, such as the death of a loved one. A growing body of research suggests that minor, everyday stress — caused by flight delays, traffic jams, cellphones that run out of battery during an important call, etc. — can harm health, too, and even shorten life spans.

One traffic jam a week isn’t going to kill you, of course. Psychologists say it’s the nonstop strains of everyday life that can add up.

Mon, Mar 12, 2018

Sajith has been reading a lot - The Year of Reading Injudiciously. Nice. Will take an hour to just to read the titles it seems. Good for him :)


Tue, May 22, 2018

How i choose software


Tue, Jun 5, 2018

How to write a great research paper - Microsoft Research


Wed, Aug 29, 2018

A good thread on “Dogmatic Libertarianism” in the Indian context

Thu, Aug 30, 2018

Part of ou present difficulty is that we must constantly adjust our lives, our thoughts and our emotions, in order to live simultaneously within the different kinds of orders according to different rules. If we were to apply the unmodified, uncurbed rules of the micro-cosmos(i.e., of the small band or trooop, or of, say our familiies) to the macrocosmos (our wider civilization), as our instincts and sentimental yearning often make us wish to do, we would destroy it. Yet if we were always to apply the rules of the extended order to our more intimiate groupings, we would crush them. So we must learn to live in two sorts of worlds at once – Friedrich Hayek(1988). The Fatal Conceit. In W.W. Bartley III (ed.),The Fatal Conceit, I (Liberty Fund Library, 1988): 18.

This quote by F A Hayek addresses the idea of scale. What works at one scale does not work in other. [Via Russ Roberts].

Discovered Observable, an online notebook that uses Javascript via this story. Here’s my page.

This was a good read today – My Affair With the Intellectual Dark Web by Meghan Daum

Fri, Aug 31, 2018

Patterns — Gordon Brander

”… bag of tricks — loose notes, design patterns, rules-of-thumb, methods of enquiry, tools, cheatsheets, gimmicks, leverage points, descriptions of systems, key questions, risks, and unknowns.”

This falls into the same bucket of “things” like Charlie Munger’s “Mental models”.

His Bookshelf section is also great for showcasing books with specific themes (eg: Design, Form and space, Software, Making, …). Another great takeaway from this page is .. there are entries for books which do not have an “in” link yet. I can only assume he has not read them yet. But, it makes so much, so much sense to create this “virtual bookshelf” with a clear intent to read them and why?!

a writing style based around loosely joined, free-associative units of thought. A kind of connect-the-dots reading experience, like Pascal’s Pensees.

Some examples given by Gordon here:

  1. SpaceCollective
  2. Christian Hubert - Hypertext
  3. Nadia Eghbal
  4. Welcome Visitors
  5. Notes - Gwern.net

I can also think of Cosma Shalizi’s Notebooks.

Gwern says:

The older fancy name for it might be zuihitsu or ‘waste book’ (no WP article, the WP article omits any mention of the literary use) or ‘commonplace book’. An example might be The Pillow Book or The Book of Disquiet or Giacomo Leopardi/The Zibaldone

Zuihitsu – “As a genre largely focused on personal writing and contemplation, zuihitsu writings tend to explore issues reflective of attitudes pervasive at the time of their composition. Overarching themes, however, include the nature of aristocratic life and its faults as well as the unpleasantries of the world and its denizens. Many of the works feature instances of poetry, often reflecting on typically “Japanese” themes, such as appreciation for the changing of the seasons. Additionally, Kamakura Period zuihitsu, strongly rooted in Buddhist thought, typically contains the author’s musings on the impermanence of the material world.”

Time to remind myself of the ADEPT method:

  1. Analogy – Tell me what it’s like
  2. Diagram – Help me visualize it
  3. Example – Allow me to experience it
  4. Plain English – Describe it with everyday words
  5. Technical Definition – Discuss the formal details

A new page I discovered on “Better Explained” website – Calculus Learning Guide

Oliver Sacks Marginalia

Turns out, Oliver Sacks loved to write notes on the pages of books he was reading–thoughts, ideas, arguments with the author, diagrams. Well over 500 of these....He even turned a book upside down, if he needed to continue his thought....The basic experience of life is a stream of perceptions–made a stream by the unique identity of the percipient. – via Bill Hayes

Oliver Sacks marginalia


Sat, Sep 1, 2018

Day trip to Lake Michigan in Sagatuck Dunes State Park.

Sun, Sep 2, 2018

Some sci-fi conversation on twitter:

Mon, Sep 3, 2018

Interesting thread on notes from Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” by Arvind Iyer @longhandnotes.

Antoine Helbert’s drawings of Byzantine architecture and townscapes of Constantinople.

Putting Old books online

From Cosma Shalizi’s homepage

Putting old books on the Web used to be one of my hobbies.

This is a good hobby. I’m interested to put more Kannada, Sanskrit books online, by converting physical copies (either from an original or from archive.org etc., scans).

Tue, Sep 4, 2018

I purchased Alfred Productivity app‘s powerpack recently. Have to put it to more use. Including – upload [optionally] screenshots I take, …

The rise of post-truth liberalism by John Gray.

Liberal societies are by-products of western monotheism, which underpinned the practice of toleration with the belief that it was mandated by God. Generations of secular thinkers have attempted to detach liberalism from its theistic base. But decoupling the universal claims of liberalism from monotheism is easier said than done. Secular liberals believe history is moving in the direction of their values. Yet without a guiding providence of the sort imagined by monotheists, history has no direction.

Wed, Sep 5, 2018

Have to investigate and incorporate pp pandoc preprocessor into my workflow.

SMART goalsetting: (nice pnemonic)

Picked up “The Scottish Enlightenment - An Anthology” by Alexander Broadie that was on my work desk for a few weeks. In the preface, the author states how he went about considering the fields for his book. This left me with a thought – the best way for me to know the thoughts, philosophies of my own people is to read with an intention to capture commentaries. A good outcome for such commentaries collected over time is a book.

This brings me to the question – “If you were to write a book, what kind of book would you write?”. Something to think about. Today, it is easier than ever to take care of the logistics around writing and publishing. What is needed is the desire for scholarship, writing and intellectual pursuit.

I have been in the habit of mostly buying books but not in the habit of finishing them. I don’t remember the last time I actually finished one (perhaps that was a work of fiction). It would be a nice to celebrate the finishing a book.

Tue, Sep 11, 2018

Opinion | The Most Contrarian College in America - The New York Times

I wish we could have an Indic centered education on these lines where the students would study the classics.

Wed, Sep 12, 2018

From the very first post of Scott Alexander’s blog slate star codex:

The most effective way to learn any subject is to try to figure out exactly why a wrong position is wrong. And sometimes even a complete disaster of a theory will have a few salvageable pearls of wisdom that can’t be found anywhere else. The rationalist forum Less Wrong teaches the idea of steelmanning, rebuilding a stupid position into the nearest intelligent position and then seeing what you can learn from it.

So this is the ethos of this blog, and we proceed, as Abraham Lincoln put it, “with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right.”

I rediscovered my blogbooks repository. I started this series of projects to convert interesting blogs to a readable book / ebook. I started with Prof Larry Wasserman’s blog normaldeviate. He blogged between Jan 2012 - Dec 2013 and stopped thereon. Time to pick another such interestingl blog and make a nice ebook that I can read at leasure. This approach is complementary to reading blogs on “reeder” app.

Thu, Sep 13, 2018

You don’t need confidence, just contribution. | Derek Sivers – a good reminder.

(added Sept 15, 2018)

Fri, Sep 14, 2018

Minimizing the cognitive load in your life. I follow pretty much this to the T (Ocassionally, I do watch a selected TV shows back to back till I finish it. “feast or famine”).

  • I always prefer books that stood the test time over newly published books.
  • I always prefer reading books over essays.
  • I always prefer reading essays over common articles.
  • I don’t read daily news articles.
  • I don’t read newspapers.
  • I don’t use Facebook.
  • I do use Twitter but I (try to) follow lots of people who recommend books and share worthy essays.
  • I watch movies, I don’t watch TV series.
  • I don’t invest in Bitcoin or crypto.
  • I write a lot.

Found a book recommendation for Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg. Ordered.

Sat, Sep 15, 2018

Charles Petzold is retiring. He is the author of many Windows related C/C++ (and recently Xamarin) books. I saw quite a few of his books in the college library at PESIT during my time there. I wish him best with his new endeavours to write historical foundations of computing.

Tue, Sep 18, 2018

Nietzsche’s Guide to Better Living - The Atlantic. Excerpts from “Hiking with Nietzche”:

the draw of Nietzsche’s marital ideal – a union that embodies “the will of two to create the one that is more than those who created it,” never lapsing into “one long stupidity.”

Kaag’s latest work represents another effort to restore philosophy to its former relevance—to tether it to the mess of daily experience.

(The birth of Tragedy) It argued that two aesthetic tendencies vied for dominance in ancient Greece: the Dionysian, a primordial blurring of the borders dividing self and world, and the Apollonian, a rationalist paradigm that positioned art as an ordered alternative to the havoc of life. Though Nietzsche regarded these two forces as mutually enhancing—and he lauded tragedy for wedding them—his real allegiance lay with the Dionysian, as his life and work went on to attest.

It probably started something like this—in a very simple refusal to act on behalf of one’s obvious self-interest. There remains a life-affirming glee in such a refusal—a quiet temptation that even the most well-adjusted person feels at various points.

As Kaag advanced along Nietzsche’s trek, his refusal started to take the form of fasting so intense, it often left him dizzy. When he finally relented, he stumbled into a luxury hotel and ordered a sickeningly opulent multicourse meal. (The Will to Power) – The spell that fights on our behalf, the eye of Venus that charms and blinds even our opponents, is the magic of the extreme, the seduction that everything extreme exercises. – Nietzsche.

Kaag concludes that a celebration of life needn’t entail self-immolation, but it necessarily entails difficulty. “The self does not lie passively in wait for us to discover it. Selfhood is made in the active, ongoing process, in the German verb werden, ‘to become,’ ” he writes.

things must suffer, go dark, perish before they live again. This is not an escape or respite from life but rather its realization.

Ordered the book - Hiking with Nietzche.

Sun, Sep 30, 2018

Umberto Ecco theory of the library


Thu, Oct 11, 2018

Going slow vs going fast as a developer. I’ve always thought myself as some one who is quick to doing things. What am I missing out by not doing a few things slowly?


Wed, Dec 19, 2018

Thu, Dec 27, 2018

Obsessed with learning Common Lisp ever since I saw drmeister‘s talk on CLASP implementation (CL on LLVM) talk. Purchased a few Common Lisp books from thriftbooks.com (PG’s ANSI Common Lisp, Common Lisp : A Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation by David S. Touretzky)

More Lisp and lisp books.

Started pylisper – “A Pythonista discovers Common Lisp” along the lines of “The Adventures of a Pythonista in Schemeland”. Surprised to learn that the author of that piece Michele Simionato was employed at Partecs srl at the same time when I was working for them. I don’t remember seeing him in Bangalore office.

sjl’s .plan file is a good periodic reminder of the value of keeping a log of things. I also need to be more open with some of the tech stuff I read and am thinking about.

John Cormack’s .plan archive (github repo) is another classic .plan file. I recall \@avsm linking to a plan file of a colleague that I’d found very interesting (that also had future dates/plans). My google foo is failing me now.

I got an annual subscription to sr.ht earlier this month. Now, I need to figure out how I’m going to use it. One obvious use is to use it to host my personal and private repositories. However, there is already bitbucket for that. Maybe I can move them over to sr.ht and remove the dependency from a “freemium” product. Even though I got a gitlab account, I rarely use it.

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