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Tag: Rants

2009 in review

2009 sucked because I was living in a different country than my wife, thanks to months of Canadian immigration paperwork and bureaucracy. This situation is going to be changing in the immediate future, which means 2010 will not suck.

I did have a lot of time to learn things, which is good. I got all kinds of things accomplished at work, learned some supervisory skills (shudder), wrote some code that was put to good use etc. My websites grew in popularity slightly. I learned Clojure and had lots of fun banging out a few apps. I tried to learn Haskell and failed. I feel like I advanced in origami a bit. I inched ahead slightly learning Japanese. I figure in another 50 years I'll know Japanese enough to say "Hello, I know Japanese but I'm too old to use it for anything now".

I read a gratuitous amount of books. I got into Asimov for the first time; usually I dislike sci-fi, but his stuff is good. I found Neal Stephenson, and wish I'd have found him earlier. I read more programming books than I can remember. I found some interesting books on psychopathy and other psychology-related topics, and read plenty of Richard Dawkins and other sciency and atheismy books.

There just isn't enough time in the day to learn everything I want to learn. I come home from a day of writing code all day at work, goof off on the internet a bit, talk to my wife, and then I read books and write code until 3 or 4AM, and it's still not enough time.

I have apps I want to code, drawings I want to draw, origami I want to fold, video games I want to play, movies I want to watch, music I want to listen to, and the list of books I want to read keeps growing faster than I can read them, even given that I already read 4 or 5 books per month. If I had a social life, I can't imagine how little time I'd have for these things.

This year I almost want to slam the brakes on, spend a lot of time with my wife, and let my brain settle. I will definitely do that to some degree, but I can't stop learning in the meantime. I'm running out of years. 29 years old, only four or five good decades left, if I'm lucky, and my brain will be deteriorating the whole time. At least I have plenty to keep me busy.

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Respect is earned

Here's my theory of respect.

Everyone deserves some level of basic respect, just for being a fellow human being. This kind of respect means that I won't step on your toes, I'll smile and nod when you talk, I'll hold the door for you. This kind of respect isn't worth much.

The important kind of respect is the one where I will listen carefully to things you say and give your words a lot of consideration and weight. When we disagree, I will sometimes give you the benefit of a doubt (where applicable) and believe your opinion over my own. I will consider you to be a good person. I will want to emulate you. I will make every effort to treat you especially well. Your opinion of me will matter to me. The dictionary uses the words "deference" and "esteem" and that's accurate.

This is the kind of respect that's worth a lot. This is the kind of respect I hope to earn from people (though I don't know how much I succeed), and the people I respect in this way are the ones I seek out in life, the people I want to be around.

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