Weeknote for 9/5/2021

Programming

πŸ€”

I’m taking the plunge into Haskell Programming from First Principles by Chris Allen and Julie Moronuki. I surveyed a bunch of learning resources and decided it had the best chance of not frustrating and confusing me. The authors meant it to be a careful exercise in pedagogy, and it seems well regarded by other Haskell learners. My plan is to make a serious attempt to study the book but to intersperse it with other projects, because it’s 1200 pages. Before launching into that, though, I’ll quickly read one or two shorter resources for an overview of the language.

Fiction

😎

Andy Weir’s The Martian made me want to be an engineer. It was free on Audible through September 3, so after much procrastinating I turned it on and got through it at the last minute. It’s funny, nailbiting, inspiring, and very nerdy. And Wil Wheaton is a perfect narrator for it. I always appreciate help visualizing the stories I hear and read (I was grateful to find a map), so I’ll rewatch the movie soon to remind myself of Hollywood’s interpretation.

Space

😎

Spaceflight: A Concise History by Michael Neufeld gave me context for all the disconnected pieces of space exploration I’ve seen throughout my life. The Martian got me back in a space mood, so I’m taking the opportunity for the space book theme I’ve had on my agenda. I have one on current space endeavors to listen to, but first I wanted to rewind to the beginning. Neufeld’s book was just the kind of perspective I needed to adjust my perceptions. For example, I grew up with the Space Shuttle and always thought of it as the essence of NASA. But no, it was basically a long-running but failed experiment at saving money through reuse, and it came after other significant phases in NASA’s history and alongside other important programs.

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