personal learning

Time Off, Vacations and Sabbaticals for Programmers

September 27, 2011

Joel Spolsky asked a question on Google+: Programmers: would you work for 75% of your current salary if you got 3 months vacation in the summer? There were many interesting responses. But let me highlight a few, ignoring the “no” comments. Some programmers liked it because they thought they could work the 3 months on […]

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The Long Game

January 13, 2011

To follow up on yesterday’s post about pushy parents, one key problem with the micro-managing is that parents make many important micro-level decisions about their children’s future and that doesn’t make much sense in a changing world. One example of this was a relative of mine who, over 40 years ago, got a Ph. D. […]

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Good Math, Bad Math Explanations

January 1, 2011

Steven Landsburg at the Big Questions posted and answered this frequently-asked math puzzle: There’s a certain country where everybody wants to have a son. Therefore each couple keeps having children until they have a boy; then they stop. What fraction of the population is female? This is an interesting puzzle because as you proceed from […]

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Project Gutenberg

January 7, 2009

I have been a huge fan of Project Gutenberg since I first landed on it a decade ago. This is one of the earliest and largest Internet projects, comparable to Wikipedia, though garnering significantly less publicity than most. Project Gutenberg is the largest collection of free electronic books and, very importantly, an entirely legal collection, […]

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2008 – The Best and Worst Books I Read

December 24, 2008

To continue a tradition from last year, I am once again listing the best and worst books I read this year. Many of these were not actually published this year, but I got around to reading them only in 2008. I read almost 70 books, but that includes a significant percentage of fiction books this […]

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Vocabulary

June 2, 2008

I was chatting with my friend the other day and we got talking about vocabulary. In his case, he was interested in some short-term solutions to the problem because of an approaching exam. I didn’t have many ideas at that time, but later, I came up with some thoughts: Read political writing in blogs and […]

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Strengths vs. Weaknesses

March 27, 2008

When it comes to managing one’s strengths and weaknesses, there are different schools of thought. Some people are of the opinion that weaknesses are areas of improvement and it pays to work on them. The contrary point of view is that we should focus on improving and taking advantage of strengths rather than trying to […]

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2007 – The Best and Worst Books I Read

December 24, 2007

I read around 65 non-fiction books in 2007. Here are the lists for the best and worst books I read. Some of them may have been published prior to 2007, but the best books seldom get outdated and the worst never get better over time. Best books I read in 2007 The No Asshole Rule, by Robert […]

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Thinking

September 17, 2007

Here is an interesting quote by A. A. Milne that I found thought-provoking: The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking. There are different levels of thinking […]

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Bookswim — Book Lending Service

September 7, 2007

Bookswim, the new book lending service I signed up for, seems to be working very nicely. I received 3 books last week. They would have cost me around $50 at the very minimum. I finished and returned two of them. Now two more are on the way. At $20 per month, the cost savings is […]

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