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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.

January 04, 2010 @ 1:18 PM PST
Cateogory: Rants


Quoth j_king on January 04, 2010 @ 10:38 PM PST

I feel largely the same way actually.

There's just so much I want to know and learn and not enough time in one lifetime to do it all.

The world is such a cool and interesting place. It's a shame we only have enough time to live to experience only a little slice of the whole thing.

Quoth MJ on January 05, 2010 @ 3:53 AM PST

I comprehend this fully. My Amazon wishlist has grown to over 300 items. Last year I learned 3 different programming languages. My Math, Science, and History education needs some serious attention. I am very behind on movies and world news. I haven't traveled at all. There is so much out there to learn. I think the only way to put a dent in the list is to cut out the middle man and work for yourself. That's the goal for 2010--cut down the learning and focus on the doing.

Brian Knoblauch
Quoth Brian Knoblauch on January 06, 2010 @ 10:56 PM PST

I wish I had done more back in my 20's. I'm finally getting a lot of the things done now that I wanted to do back then (but just didn't do because I was lazy). However, I'm finding that it's a LOT harder once you're in the 30's. The mind is definitely starting to slow down and the body can't take the abuse it could before either!

Moral of the story is "Do now, rest later"!

Quoth Brian on January 08, 2010 @ 6:06 AM PST

But as you get older, you hopefully become wiser. You can direct your efforts in more fruitful areas. I just watched a video of Richard Feynman from the 80's, 70 years old and still working on quantum physics problems.

Quoth Raz on January 11, 2010 @ 6:26 AM PST

Heck, your post kinda depressed me (not that it was your intention). Life seems so full of projects I might not get to do. It's so hard to pick where to spend the time, and sometimes I wish I did not focus so much into one thing (coding that is).

Personally, I don't want to be the 70 year old genius who never went a Friday night to watch a dumb movie with his friends, or thought his kid how to fish. It's just so hard to balance it out.

Granted, right now I'm 29, single, and sometimes thinking I'll live forever...

Job Hunting Tips
Quoth Job Hunting Tips on January 15, 2010 @ 12:20 AM PST

I'm also in my late 20's and my theme for this year is definitely cutting back to focus only on the most essential stuff. As part of this plan I recently schlepped over to Barnes and Nobles to skim the book "Less" by the author of the Zen Habits blog.

I thought it was a decent blueprint for cutting down. I hope that by focusing, I'll have more time to enjoy things like movies, dinners, etc.

Quoth Chris on January 16, 2010 @ 7:13 AM PST

Snow Crash is my favorite book of all time, followed closely by Cryptonomicon. And the first 3/4 of Diamond Age. I've never really given Asimov a try, maybe it is about that time.

What programming books/authors you reading -- any thing good?