Month: December 2011

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What most people seem to forget is that we have more influence over our immediate surroundings than we at first may want to admit.

We definitely have control over our own thoughts which means that we are masters of our own moods. Own moods result directly from thoughts, the way that other thoughts interact with each other. At least logically that makes sense.

I guess that what I am trying to say is that we create the world around us. The environment is nothing more than an infinite collection of energy and movements. It is influenced by the objects moving around within it and the way those objects interact with each other. These are contained and constrained by the laws of nature, many of which can be described using simple mathematical formulae, others to a lesser degree.

People are also objects, complicated and unpredictable I agree. We might not be able to control completely the actions and interactions of others, but we can influence them in a positive way. Even minor actions on our part can result in a chain reaction of complicated events, feeding back on us and improving us for the better.

Think positively about yourself. Have confidence in your actions, and expect the best of all possible worlds, even if disaster may strike you down once in awhile. Find a path through the world of interacting objects which does justice to your beliefs, desires and ever-changing moods.

Next year is full of new opportunities. My challenge at least will be to make the best of things and remain positive at all times.

An interesting book:
Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel By Changing the Way You Think

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I am convinced that the new programming language called Clojure has alot of potential and if successful will fundamentally change the way we think about developing complex applications.

Recently I purchased two books about this amazing programming language, Clojure in Action and The Joy of Clojure, and although I've read about a fourth of each book, I have not had enough time to study it as deeply as I would like to.

Here's a very simple example of how elegantly an otherwise difficult to program algorithm can be expressed in a single code statement:

(reduce + (range 1 1001))

Basically, this one-liner takes a range of numbers and adds them all together giving the total of one through one thousand and one. Show me another programming language which can express this more simpler.

Very interesting is the fact that this language is based on Lisp which is one of the earliest (functional) programming languages and is many decades old. The pendulum swings back and forth and now it is time to return to our roots. We will have to turn our linear programming mindset inside out in order to move forward.

So with that in mind, it's now time for me to go out for my daily run in the freezing cold and warm up my body and mind by philosophizing about programming computers and the true significance of simulating/stimulating human thought processes.

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An excellent book that I've been reading is called Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo.

The book has all kinds of interesting discussions about running development teams, based mostly on the idea that you can inspire them best by empowering the team members to take more control of their own environment.

However, in order to trust the team with such a heavy responsibility, one has to be able to trust oneself. You can only trust others of you trust yourself. This makes alot of sense, the essence of which is contained in the following quotation which I've taken from the chapter about respect for each other:

You must believe in yourself and stay true to your own reason and common sense, even when others disagree with you. You should only change your mind when new insights have convinced you, not when other people have pressured you to reconsider. Because doing something that you don't believe in is an act against the trust in yourself. A self-reliant person has confidence in himself, while still allowing new information to change his mind.

The last point is just as important as the rest. You want to avoid the situation of becoming too hardened to resist change and thereby becoming an unnatural obstacle to moving forward. That's why it's also imperative that you regularly listen well and try to empathize, even though your course might be set in a given direction.

Here are some links that might also be interesting:

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There is that last fleeting moment right before you fall asleep when your mind empties of all thought and is replaced by nothing.

The next thing you realize is that it is the next day just one minute before the alarm is about to go off.

You wonder how that's possible, whether it is just a coincidence, something which can be explained by thorough scientific investigation, or simply some intuitive twist of the subconscious mind which is trying to trick you.

In the meantime, you have completely forgotten that last moment right before you fall asleep when your mind empties and all thought becomes nothing.

The next time you go to bed and wait long enough, you will remember it again, just a fleeting instant before the alarm is about to go off, that same cycle.

The repeating cycle that defines the fine line between what you think you are doing when awake and what you think you are dreaming when asleep.

Then you wake up and realize that all of the above was simply stuff you had been thinking within a strangely convoluted dream.

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Being stuck in the middle of a huge traffic jam just south of Amsterdam is no fun, especially when you know that it will take at least another hour before you got back home.

To make things worse, it was pouring down rain, dark and gloomy, and the wind was blowing so hard that my car was bouncing back and forth slightly, like it was drifting on some stormy seas, dancing across the water.

Listening to Neil Young, turning up the volume real hard, hearing him singing the lyrics emotionally out loud, made me feel better.

Zuma.jpg

Before I realized it I was already back home. How did that happen? The album just finished the moment my car entered the driveway and came to a gently stop.

That was when I realized that every single song on the Zuma album is amazing and that perhaps that album is the best collection of songs Neil has ever created.

I'm going to listen to it again this evening, I thought, and write about it. So here I am right now.

He came dancing across the water with his galleons and guns looking for the new world in that palace in the sun...

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Most people of sound mind would find it extremely difficult to understand that inner urge of mine which keeps making me want to go running despite the icy cold air and the less than ideal circumstances outside.

I have to admit that getting mentally prepared beforehand takes a bit more effort compared to those sunny and pleasant days of summer times past. The goal is what attracts me more than ever, mostly because it's more of an obstacle and therefore when it's all over with, I will feel much better about myself and what I have achieved.

Today is a good example of that. About one third of the way around my usual jogging route, I was huffing and puffing and wondering why the heck I was putting myself through all of this misery. The cold breeze was blowing in my face, my finger tips and toes were tingling, and it was getting dark quickly. Realizing that such potentially negative thoughts are mere distractions and therefore unreal, I refocused on the task at hand, and then felt much better.

Learning to run, acquiring a good tempo, and making it all happen is what life is all about. Having a good healthy workout like this mirrors the basics of life, improves your physical condition as well as re-wires and re-lubricates those inner thought processes. Aging is a myth and inner spirit is where the energy all comes from.

Some people have to climb high mountains, others travel around the world, and still others spend a whole lifetime acquiring perfect harmony with nature. That all seems inefficient to me. So much extra time and energy needed when similar adventures can be made by simply running around the countryside for an hour or so a day.

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Information

This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2291 entries and as many as 1876 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.