Reality Programmer Essay

What had amazed me about her first book—The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment—was that I could randomly open the book to any page, and be guaranteed a nugget of wisdom.Just to make sure the magic was still working 😉 I opened the book randomly to the page which leads off a discussion (entitled Routines Require Intentional Practice), and found this insight that I’m partially excerpting here: At first it will take a great deal of mental and emotional fortitude to even want to start putting these routines into practice….Like Crockford, Fogus writes in a manner that’s both brief and informative, saying just enough to drive his ideas home without belaboring them.

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Clearly, there is no arbiter to pontificate and decide this matter.

There are, however, some guiding principles that may fruitfully lead us down (and visualize this) a cherry-lined lane of discovery 🍒Humans have pursued beauty in other realms, including this noble attempt, memorably enshrined in the delightful poetry of American poet Ogden Nash, who implored the heavens, in his poem Kind of an Ode to Duty, plaintively asking why 😉Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty—a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.

Daniel, the protagonist, is suddenly reunited with the most deeply important friend of his childhood, and in the reunion he relives the birth of that friendship: It seemed to me that this oversize, solitary boy had constructed his own tin companions and that I was the first person he was introducing them to. When my voice broke, Tomas hugged me without saying a word. From that day on Tomas Aguilar became my best—and I his only—friend. 94, emphasis added) Through Zafon’s brilliant placement of the two em-dashes in the final sentence, he endows “best” and “only” with linguistic unity, and in so doing he evocatively endows the word “friend” with experiential wholeness that transcends our cognitive awareness of each boy’s individuality.

Even though each adjective remains unique to the personality of just one of the boys, the relational oneness of that friendship is felt as greater than the sum of its parts.

Picking this thread—how individuals can care as much about their art as they do for the craft of writing well—leads me to briefly unroll the ball of yarn some more. My basic premise is that there exists a profound nexus between (software) code and prose: While the English language, or any other spoken language, for that matter, is clearly not Turing complete—I’ve heard, though, that COBOL occupied a fabled place somewhere between spoken and programming languages 🙉—the simple fact is that rewriting (spoken languages) maps directly to the programming notion of refactoring, which its originator, Martin Fowler, describes succinctly as To segue a bit, my late father, a chemical engineer by profession, and a man of uncommon decency and integrity, was a big fan of books by the prolific American author, the late James A.

Michener, widely regarded for his meticulous research behind his books.

It’s like hacking a new pathway through the jungle of the day when you were used to strolling down a well-established trail or like breaking up scar tissue and retraining your muscles when your body developed bad compensation techniques after an injury….

Ultimately, though, strengthening simple routines leads to a life where you consistently achieve more success with less stress.

Next, I have the pleasure of mentioning two other leading thinkers and writers: Elizabeth Saunders and Cal Newport.

I mention them in the same breath because it was through the writings of the latter that I was introduced to the writings of the former 🎯 I have reviewed Elizabeth’s books elsewhere and they are hands down the final word on time management ⏰ Briefly, along with another book—the remarkable tome Probability Theory: The Logic of Science, by E. Jaynes (Cambridge University Press)—I had reviewed Elizabeth’s second book, entitled How to Invest Your Time Like Money (Harvard Business Review Press), noting how …just when you thought that Elizabeth had shared all imaginable wisdom on the subject of time investment, she comes back with yet another tour de force of a book.


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