Tag: Online Communities

Apprenticeship

“How long will it take to master aikido?” a prospective student asks. “How long do you expect to live?” is the only respectable response.
-George Leonard, Mastery

Week 4, last week, was about Apprenticeship. In short: Never stop learning. This book was about useful methods (design patterns) the authors found for learning. While they were primarily talking about software development, the patterns can be applied to any pursuit. Wherever I look, whether it’s software craftsmanship, movement arts, or writing, the Long Road is daunting. I found the problem statement for Retreat into Competence to be very fitting:

“Problem: As you are introduced to the vast reaches of your ignorance you are overwhelmed.”

I became obsessed with the idea of software development apprenticeships, so I compiled a list of apprenticeships that I found online. I drew my own map by reading all the blogs of all the Code Cadets (Code Academy students) that I could find and scouring them for Ruby and Ruby on Rails resources. You can find them here.

I highly recommend reading Mike Ebert’s blog, which chronicles his 12 weeks at Code Academy as he goes from zero development experience to “adhering to Agile standards” in authentic, captivating prose.

I worked my way through Chris Pine’s Learn to Program and did some more Ruby Koans and Project Euler problems. Anxious to work through Beginning Ruby by Peter Cooper and finish the Rails Tutorial, this time for Rails 3.2.

I applied to Code Academy and my fingers are crossed, but I think I’ve started off with a good foundation – whether I’m accepted this year shouldn’t matter in the long run.

This week: Tranquility.

Life Without Facebook

I write this while eating Curious George fruit snacks. Delicious.

I was sitting in front of my computer listlessly refreshing Facebook when I suddenly realized how much of a waste of time it was. I could have actual human contact instead, or get work done…something more fulfilling than waiting for Facebook notifications to come in.

Well, most likely.

There was an experiment done somewhere on rats involving random versus regular rewards for pushing a lever. As it turns out, rats become highly addicted to pushing the lever when rewards are given at random.

This is Facebook notifications, in a nutshell. In fact, that’s arguably any type of social interaction, but it’s codified into a neat little red graphic on Facebook.

I think I just incinerated my eggrolls. Fuck, how long were they in the oven for?

Note how quickly my attention span wanders. I wonder if this is a result of the media that I’ve been brought up on, bringing us once again back to Facebook and the internet.

I was told about a method to stretch out your knees – the ligaments and tendons – and I tried it out this morning. I felt an instant improvement in my damaged knee.

Hmm. I set out to lament something. I forgot what…

Ah well, probably better I don’t remember anyway.

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OKCupid – Dating Site Impressions

Image via CrunchBase

So I spent the last day on OKCupid, poking around. The most irritating and galvanizing thing I can ever find on any social networking site is a progress bar. OKCupid’s was especially so. It would increase in 5% increments for every task it inflicted upon me.

Compared to LinkedIn, though, the tasks were more amusing. The ones that I remember include contacting 5 (then 10) people, answering 100 profile match questions, and writing 1000 words in my profile. Who wants to know that much about me?! I have just deleted the excess fluff.

Anyway, my time was spent mostly harassing honest, love-seeking people with comments like, “Damn, girl, those have GOT to be fake,” and “You spelled _____ wrong, how am I supposed to love you now?” I also hassled people about their profiles and solicited them for lessons. Thankfully, this is on the internet, so I have some buffer time before they find out where I live and send their new OKCupid boyfriends to pound me into the ground.

I have not tried the “You wouldn’t believe how ENORMOUS I am!” line, yet. I have high hopes for the response rate on that one.

Already made two interesting friends, though! Overall, my impressions of OKCupid is extremely positive. I wish job searches and all sorts of things were laid out like OKCupid. For mathematicians, they’ve done social web all sorts of right.

Find me here .

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