Weeknote for 9/12/2021

Programming

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I got through chapter 3 of Haskell Programming from First Principles. I’ll continue with the book this week. Even though the book is long, optimistically I think I can get through it in a couple of months total, although that’s probably the planning fallacy talking. The exercises are very helpful, so I’m glad I switched from a book that didn’t have any. Still, Learn You a Haskell taught me enough that I can recognize a lot of the syntax, and it’s nice to know I haven’t immediately forgotten everything.

Lean Software Development by Mary and Tom Poppendieck analyzes agile development from a production process perspective. The key task in the Lean framework is to eliminate waste from your workflow, and its practices generally derive from that. My workflows have a lot of waste, so I’ve been paying close attention to this framework. Especially helpful is the practice of set-based development, where you explore your options so you don’t lock yourself in to an ineffective or inefficient solution just because it’s the first one you thought of.

Math

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Humble Bundle has put math on my mind. Over the long weekend I bought a Humble Book Bundle on math by publisher Morgan & Claypool. While researching the bundle’s book on proofs, I ran across the very interesting blog of one of the authors, Daniel Ashlock, a university professor on a quest to improve Canada’s math education. His TEDx talk summarizes a lot of his themes, such as the place of calculus in the curriculum, which interested me because I’m on a quest to self-educate in math, and I’m mapping out my own curriculum. Also helpful is his series on the “Islands of Mathematics.” This has all reignited my interest in exploring math, and various trains of thought on the subject have continued on their way from where I left them.

Movies

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The Seventh Seal explores life in the context of death. The premise is a Swedish knight, Antonius Block, returning home from a crusade while the Black Death is sweeping the country, so death and doom are all around. The film covers a lot of themes, but the ones that stood out to me were Block’s struggle with doubt and the portrayal of Death as a character.

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