Weeknote for 8/1/2021

People

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My parents drove up to visit for a couple of days and drop off some boxes of my stuff. We spent the time eating at restaurants, playing Isle of Skye, napping, visiting my favorite water tower, and watching the birds at the lake near my home. They left Friday morning to go visit my brother.

Finances

😐

I struggled through some work on medium-term investing. I was able to squeeze in some time on it, but I was confronted by the fact that there’s still a lot of important info I don’t understand. Thanks to the Bogleheads, starting from their wiki article on the subject, my understanding inched forward a little. This week I’ll try my idea for a poor man’s Monte Carlo simulation in a spreadsheet to find good asset allocation timelines for my goals.

Coffee

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Barissimo Dark Roast: 4/5. It was a little blander than the Colombian but still consistently good.

Fiction

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I finished Bob Neufeld’s excellent recording of Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. My department at work is reading this book to discuss in a couple of weeks. “The underground” made me think this would be a story about revolutionaries, but no, it’s about a guy who has shut himself off from the world and comments on his chaotic relationships with past acquaintances. Some of it was uncomfortably relatable. But the story was kind of all over the place, and I’ll need to relisten to at least the beginning to make better sense of it.

Productivity

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Discipline Equals Freedom by Jocko Willink is a mix of disappointing and thought-provoking takes on self-improvement, like a chunk of advice ore. It’s a short book, but I picked up a few ideas that’ll roll around in my mind. The one that especially stands out is that problems are good because every situation contains opportunities. However, I found his “Just do it” message less helpful, because willpower has been the subject of a lot of scientific research that has generated nuanced advice. Two books I recommend are The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal (video of her Google talk) and Solving the Procrastination Puzzle (my notes) by Timothy Pychyl.

Programming

😎

Domain Modeling Made Functional by Scott Wlaschin gives me a very different vantage point on domain-driven design. I read it because I want to try applying DDD at work, and some of our code is in XSLT, a functional language. I’m trying not to get too distracted by F#, the language he uses in the book, but it’s very tempting because functional programming is a playground of ideas I’ve wanted to explore for years, and his explanations of it are the best I’ve seen so far.

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