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.

YES PEOPLE SPRING IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

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!

Great Success! [weekly head voices #48]

Seven years ago, a wise man gave the following advice on this blog:

There are two rules to success in life:

Rule 1: Don’t tell people everything you know.

At that stage, twitter did not exist yet (the first tweet would only be made on March 21, 2006), so the clearly visionary post author had the habit of writing short, tweet-like blog posts. Because times have changed (my posts are slightly longer than 140 characters these days), but the advice is still sound, I’m repeating it here.

Also on the topic of success, he most significant event of the past week must be Clinical Graphics, represented by its CEO Dr. Peter Krekel, winning the prestigious Philips Innovation Award (PHIA) 2011. See below for a video of the announcement, the real action starts at 3:50 (you can even hear me shouting):

It was absolutely awesome being there to witness this grand event. Clinical Graphics won this for the largest part due to its innovative product, but the company was also evaluated, by a jury consisting of Extremely Experienced and Probably Very Rich Entrepreneurs and High-Powered Managers, based on its full business plan and potential. I am of course also fantastically proud of my good friend Dr. Krekel, having coincidentally had the privilege to act as his academic advisor throughout his master’s and his Ph.D., and now as scientific advisor to Clinical Graphics. Watch this company, do buy their stuff or get the people you know to buy more of their stuff!

By the way, I got to take a 20 minute ride on the AquaLiner (I WAS ON A BOAT!) from the Willemskade in Rotterdam (where I took the photo below) through the Rotterdam harbour (it’s frikking awesome) to the RDM campus where the PHIA finals were held:

Erasmus Bridge and surroundings taken before boarding the AquaLiner to the PHIA 2011 finals at the RDM campus.

In other less momentous news, I’ve actually written three blog posts today:

  1. This one.
  2. A post on my ultra-nerd blog VxLabs dealing with a number of annoyances and their work-arounds in the latest Ubuntu release, version 11.04, aka The Natty Narwhal (eeuw).

So that’s it for now kids! Let’s focus on GREAT SUCCESS this week, ok? Whilst you’re pondering how to get started doing this, you could do worse than watching this video of a dude lip-syncing the 50 worst video game voices, in quite entertaining and hence probably successful, fashion: