consumed content week ending 2-14-20

I’m going to try and keep a weekly cadence of posting everything I listened to, read, or more generally “consumed” content-wise through the week on Fridays.

Hopefully someone else finds this stuff interesting or can learn something from it. My goal is to motivate myself(and others) to keep learning, and to keep a record of what was learned and where it came from.

After I’ve built up some historical data, I might give a shot at doing some analysis of the content and trends over time.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Podcasts

I’m currently obsessed with the Artificial Intelligence Podcast, hosted by Lex Fridman. He interviews a lot of brilliant people across a variety of disciplines. It generally relates to AI, but don’t be surprised to hear discussions about philosophy, conciousness, space travel, programming, and more.

I also listened to GoTime #117, which discusses metrics and telemetry, something that’s top of mind for me as a DevOps/Operations professional.

Articles/Blogs

I’m interested in… probably too many things at the moment, but there is just a ton of well-written, interesting content available right now FOR FREE. Why not take advantage? David Epstein believes that “generalists triumph in a specialized world”(Definitely recommend this book, I plan to re-read it.)

  • First Principles: Elon Musk on the Power of Thinking for Yourself - In the Jim Keller interview, he mentions his time working with Elon Musk, and describes him as one of the most talented engineers on the planet, specifically for his ability to apply first-principles thinking. I plan to dig in more to this concept, particularly as I notice myself doing the opposite approach with things like programming(keep trying brute-force naive approaches until something works).
  • Nix: Functional Package Management! - I’ve always been interested in functional programming languages, and the general paradigms of programming in a “functional” way. Nix touts itself as a “functional package manager”. I think there are some promising applications for immutable infrastructure. particularly with NixOS.
  • Haskell in Production: Riskbook - One of these days I’m going to sit down and make an honest go at learning Haskell. It’s a unique programming language with some interesting ideas and difficult concepts. I’m curious about anyone who uses Haskell for actual “work” and business concerns, versus more academic pursuits, and this article explores that very concept. Riskbook uses Haskell in their production stack to offer a marketplace for reinsurance.
  • Tech salaries are risk premiums - If you wanted a new way to look at salaries/hiring in tech, here it is. tl;dr - it’s not so bad for FAANG to be successful, even if you’re not directly participating in their employment at this time.
  • How To Think Better - A post about how to “think” better, by the author of Ultralearning(another great book I plan to re-read soon). Simply put, writing things down is a massive boon to your ability to learn and tackle challenges.
  • All The Apps That I Pay For - A great look into what a bootstrapped startup “pays” for in terms of software services. I think it’s interesting both from the perspective of considering what you need to expect to buy as a startup, as well as what you could be selling to other startups.
  • The Zen of Go - My current learning focus is Golang, so I found these ten Go “koans” helpful. Some of them won’t make sense until you dig further into the language, but this one definitely merits a bookmark.
  • Want a more elastic brain? Try mixing up your workout - I recently made changes to my diet, including cutting out meat, as well as focusing on better sleep and exercise habits. As a knowledge worker, I have a vested interest in maintaining as much neuroplasticity as I can.
  • Peter Suber, “Formal Systems and Machines” - I’ve been reading GEB lately, and the idea of formal systems have piqued my interest. This is a page out of a syallabus dealing with formal systems and their association with computing.
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