I was expecting this to be another short-entry week.
Sunday I played on the worship team at our church’s other site, and afterward they had a lunch of Korean food. I attended this. I wasn’t feeling very social, and at first I was grumpy about agreeing to stay, but I got over it and had a nice time anyway.
I even met someone who works with kids who have autism, which is a topic that interests me. I’m curious about the idea that it’s simply a different, nondysfunctional way of processing the world.
Then on Friday I had dinner with Jeremy, where I got him to argue with me about functional vs. object-oriented programming. More on that below.
Tuesday I attended my first event of the futurism group I joined. It had a nicely organized format where we watched a series of videos on a topic with a discussion after each one. The most interesting one to me was Lawrence Lessig’s TEDx talk on money’s stranglehold on politics. I’m already planning on attending the next meeting. This time I’ll bring my tablet, because I ended up taking a lot of notes on my phone.
With the futurism meeting out of the way, I stayed at the office very late Wednesday and Thursday cramming in the rest of my work on the complicated ebook I’ve had on my plate the past few months. I was pushing to finish by the Friday deadline. Until Thursday night when I realized I’d misread the due date and I still had two more weeks. A nice relief!
I also got a request from my old employer for a small freelance project. They wanted the results on Monday. Doable. The only problem was I hadn’t set up my new hard drive yet for that work, so I’d need to give myself some extra time. With everything else going on, I didn’t get to it till Saturday.
Life is nothing if not indifferent to our wishes and needs. Saturday morning I was washing dishes and heard a splattering noise under the sink. The end of the pipe had separated from the drain, and the water was splashing out in a big puddle. I cleaned it up and sent a maintenance request.
We had storms pretty much all day. That night while I was trying to set up my freelance work, the storm decided to help out by contributing a power outage. It did have the courtesy to wait till after I’d microwaved my frozen dinner (to save on dirty dishes). It didn’t last as long as I expected, but the experience reminded me I have plans to be less miserly.
After the outage I found that it had corrupted parts of my C drive, so I waited what seemed like an hour while chkdsk fixed it.
That was followed by several hours of installing things on the computer. And then running into the problem I was dreading–having to compile an obscure Perl module that always gave me trouble because I don’t know anything about compiling. Turned out, it still hadn’t changed its ways. I went to bed.
As you can maybe see by now, my work on the projects I actually care about was crowded out (again) by other things. But on this one I did make a little more progress on the roadmap.
I actually wrote a decent amount on my current topic of bibliology, and I’m closing in on posting an update, but Zeno’s paradox continues–closer and closer, but never there. This week isn’t looking especially likely either.
I’ve been putting off learning functional programming for years. Although XSLT, the language I use to process XML, is more or less functional, I want to learn it for real. And the language I want to learn it from is Haskell, since it’s one of the purer functional languages. The book I want to learn it from is Haskell Programming from First Principles, which has a good reputation for explaining the concepts well. Plus I like anything that starts from first principles. But still I was putting it off.
A few months ago I ran across some videos and articles about the evils of object-oriented programming, and mulling them over since then has gotten me thinking these functional programming thoughts again. So last week I took the plunge, bought the Haskell book, and started reading.
Will I get anywhere with it, or will it be another project I pick up and drop a week later? Tune in next week to find out. But this topic keeps pestering me, so I think the project will stick around.
I have some links to share that will explain better why I want to take the time to learn functional programming. This is to make up for my poor explanation to Jeremy. Instead of delaying this post even longer, though, I’ll put them in a separate blog entry later this week.
Tim and I finished the two-part pilot of Star Trek: Discovery. I was pleased to find that the writing got better after the first half hour, or else I stopped noticing its weakness. I thought they did a good job of establishing the characters. The preview for the rest of the season took the show in a very different direction than I expected. I’m kinda looking forward to it.
While setting up for my freelance work, I watched episode 4 of The Orville. That show continues to be good. It’s not supposed to be a Star Trek series, but I think of it as one anyway, and I actually feel more like watching The Orville than Discovery.
My friend Paul very kindly made a GoFundMe campaign for his friend Beth so she could get some dental work done. I agreed to share it. I even feel the urge to donate, which makes me think personal connections are an important part of meeting these kinds of needs.