Weekly Head Voices #80: There can be only one.

Week 31 of 2014, which was otherwise pretty uneventful except for bunches of hard work, ended with a trip up to the West Coast to go see the flowers.


I made you a photo of this ominous looking Portal To Soooooomething:

These look like the gates to some far-off fantasy plane. Instead, it’s the Geelbek Restaurant in the West Coast National Park, which does serve mysteriously delicious chocolate cake.

Just so you don’t think it was overcast and non-Springy everywhere, I can assure you that those funny clouds were only over the respawning portal. Everywhere else it looked like this 360 degree photosphere I made for you (hey, we live in the future, I can show you 360 degree pannable photos; go on, pan and zoom with your mouse, or just wave your hands if you have your VR helmet on):

(I made the photosphere at the Grootvlei Guest Farm – On the Dunes House.)

Because clever people told me so, or more probably because I misunderstood them, I thought that I needed to do my Big Thinking Tasks (BTIs, for example trying to get the architecture of a new system down) in the morning. However, by the time afternoon came around, I would be too tired to take care of the MITs (Most Irritating Tasks, usually admin), and hence would postpone them till the day after, when they would just get postponed again, ad infinitum.

I recently started taking care of a few MITs first thing in the morning. This way, I actually get them done, and the BTIs still (mostly) fit.

Just to clarify things, MITs are also used by zenhabits, except there they call them Most Important Tasks. Whoops. For the sake of exposition, and to make everything more muddy, let’s call them zMITs, and my MITs iMITs (“i” is for irritating, as in iPhone, iPad, and so forth). In any case, zMITs are also to be done first thing in the morning, and at least one of the zMITs should advance your goals, let’s call it the zOMG.

Putting all of this together, I should probably start off my day by taking care of my zOMG, then a few iMITs, some zMITs and then finally the BTIs. YEAH!

I’m going through a little reading revival. After finishing Remote last week, I’m time-slicing between the following books at the moment:

  • PostgreSQL: Up and Running – I shouldn’t be telling you this, but there is just so much wow in Postgres. I’m currently using the text analysis functionality, and noticing that my SQL needs some advancing, hence the book.
  • A Tour of C++ by Bjarne Stroustroup – Everybody’s talking about C++11 and C++14. I was curious about the newer features, and Dr Stroustroup seems to know his way around the language. (In my hobby projects, C++ and Lua are playing an increasingly important role.)
  • Programming in Scala – I don’t have serious plans with this at the moment, but felt I needed to be sufficiently informed to have vigorous arguments about its utility.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – fascinating book about how the human brain functions in two parts: fast, efficient and intuitive, vs. slow, energy-heavy and rational.
  • The Psychology of Influence by Robert Cialdini – another fascinating book about how exactly humans influence each other.

I’m all out of fiction at the moment. If you have recommendations of so-called Hard SF and/or Space Opera, I’m all ears!

Talking about Science Fiction, I ran into this marvellous clip showcasing the awesome products of Clinical Graphics:

Damnit I’m so proud of Dr Krekel and his team!

6 thoughts on “Weekly Head Voices #80: There can be only one.”

  1. Geelbek remains amazing to me: that people could have such a great holiday spot to get horribly drunk at 200 years ago, barely a few hours by ship from Table Bay (and, yes, they did travel there by ship). Across the water, you see Schapeneiland where one imagines the Dutch learnt to park their sheep away from harm’s way. I kind of hoped the orbital-panorama-stitchamagic would show the feet of the cameraman, though ;)

    Those last three books look fiendishly interesting. As for C++, well, you are a more disciplined coding desciple than I am (otherwise put, I trust no-one who claims to know C++, and I frequently get nightmares about its syntax that dwarves the rather nasty fever-inducing nightmares I get about our impossible existence in this crazy universe).

    1. Wow, you’re also a source of Geelbek knowledge! I spent most of my time making photos and eating chocolate cake, and finding my surname on the list of German surnames that form part of SA.

      With regard to C++: PySide is still stuck with Qt4 (nothing wrong with it) because, if the mail discussion is to be believed, no-one on the project has sufficient C++ knowledge to make the necessary decisions to port to Qt5. Moral of the story: C++ proficiency can be quite important, even if we spend most of our time in more civilized languages. ;)

  2. Book recommendations:

    Hard SF : Schild’s Ladder by Greg Egan

    Space opera : Anything by Peter F. Hamilton. I’m currently reading Fallen Dragon.

    Other SF worth reading: The Martian by Andy Weir, and Lexicon by Max Barry.

    1. I *thought* that I had read everything by Hamilton, but apparently not, thanks for the tip Rudolph! (the start of the Wikipedia plot synopsis of Fallen Dragon looks like the book could be exactly my poison so I just amazoned it onto my kindle — I’ll check out the others later)

    1. Yo Etienne!

      I discovered Iain M. Banks (Consider Phlebas) in the late 80s or early 90s in the Paarl public library. :) Since then, I read everything that the dear man wrote, often as the books came out. I also thoroughly enjoyed Surface Detail!

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