Eric's Basement Office

thoughts, rants, and writings

Doing Stuff

Don’t confuse motion with progress. Action is not the same as productivity.

Perfect World

In a perfect world, everything is perfect. We have to deal with this one the best we can.

Self Discipline

Everything rises and falls with self discipline. Our ability to keep promises we make with ourselves is what determines our life circumstances: whether we reach our potential, or continually struggle with the basics.

Life Destiny

The direction of our lives is determined by the choices we make every day. They accumulate and add up to our ultimate destiny.

Keep Your Tools Sharp


Your Path

If your path is not difficult, maybe it’s the wrong path for you.

The Difference Between Success and Failure

The only difference between success and failure is whether you continue to take the next step. Failure only occurs when you stop taking steps toward your goals. Success is inevitable if you keep moving forward – keep taking the next step.


Lyrics: John Barlow
Music: Bob Weir

I have seen where the wolf has slept by the silver stream
I can tell by the mark he left, you were in his dream
Ah child of countless trees
Ah child of boundless seas
What you are, what you’re meant to be
Speaks his name, though you were born to me
Born to me, Cassidy

Lost now on the country miles in his Cadillac
I can tell by the way you smile, he is rolling back
Come wash the night-time clean
Come grow the scorched ground green
Blow the horn, tap the tambourine
Close the gap of the dark years in between
You and me, Cassidy

Quick beats in an icy heart
Catch colt draws a coffin cart
There he goes and now here she starts
Hear her cry

Flight of the seabirds
Scattered like lost words
Wheel to the storm and fly

Faring thee well now
Let your life proceed by its own designs
Nothing to tell now
Let the words be yours, I’m done with mine

Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule

One reason programmers dislike meetings so much is that they’re on a different type of schedule from other people. Meetings cost them more.

There are two types of schedule, which I’ll call the manager’s schedule and the maker’s schedule. The manager’s schedule is for bosses. It’s embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you’re doing every hour.

When you use time that way, it’s merely a practical problem to meet with someone. Find an open slot in your schedule, book them, and you’re done.

Most powerful people are on the manager’s schedule. It’s the schedule of command. But there’s another way of using time that’s common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can’t write or program well in units of an hour. That’s barely enough time to get started.

I wonder what the world would be like if we all tried to sleep on a manager’s schedule – an hour here and an hour there, with meetings randomly scheduled throughout both day and night. Sleep is a psychological process that requires more than just an hour here and an hour there. Some people would say the creative process is similar. Maybe there are cycles to the creative mental process that are similar to sleep cycles. Certain brain activity that occurs (or is more likely to occur) at different points in time of the uninterrupted (natural) creative process.

via Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule.

Reading List

Here is my reading list for the coming year.
The list was created by playing with this code in a Clojure REPL.

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Sons and Lovers – D. H. Lawrence
Little Brother – Cory Doctorow
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Darkness at Noon – Arthur Koestler
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Watchmen – Alan Moore
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
A Song Of Ice And Fire Series – George R. R. Martin
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
1984 – George Orwell
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Wheel Of Time Series – Robert Jordan
The Dune Chronicles – Frank Herbert
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy – J.R.R. Tolkien
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Princess Bride – William Goldman
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
The Foundation Trilogy – Isaac Asimov
American Gods – Neil Gaiman

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