january

“Stagnation is regression” (Novak Djokovic)

Here are two good quotes from this interview with Novak Djokovic (and a surprise appearance from Andre Agassi):

“I think the No. 1 requirement is constant desire and open-mindedness to master and improve and evolve yourself in every aspect. I know Roger has been talking about it, and it’s something I feel most top athletes of all sports agree on. Stagnation is regression.”

Djokovic says it helps to have a clear purpose, even if it is a different purpose. “I had to find my reason,” Agassi says. “It’s so important to have that reason.”

The monk who broke things alvin January 28, 2020 - 6:08pm

In a dream this morning a bunch of people came into my apartment uninvited. All but one of them were maintenance people, and they immediately started renovating my apartment. I argued with them that a little notice would have been nice.

While that was going on, I saw that the other person was a Tibetan monk. While the maintenance people started drilling and cutting in various locations, the monk walked around breaking all of my things. He’d pick up a glass and let it drop to the floor and break, or work harder to break other things. I ran over to him and asked, “Why are you breaking all of my things?”

He didn’t reply, but broke some DVDs in his hands. For some reason this made me more lucid in the dream, so I stepped on some of the DVDs he had dropped to the floor so I could crunch them more. “I get it,” I said, “it’s the whole ‘impermanence’ thing, right?” Then I thought of something and said, “Stay right here for a moment. Break something if you need to, but I’ll be right back.”

Second Edition of the Scala Cookbook

It’s super-early in the process, but the Second Edition of the Scala Cookbook is slowly coming to life. I’m currently updating all of the content for Scala 2.13, and when the book is finished it will be updated for Scala 3.

This morning (January 28, 2020) the folks at O’Reilly released the first two chapters of the new, updated book on the O’Reilly Learning Platform. If you have an O’Reilly account you can start reading the new chapters here. If not, you can view the catalog page here.

Scala 3: The Dotty if/then/else-if/else/end syntax

Table of Contents1 - Using `then` with if/else2 - Using `end if` with if/else3 - Closing a function with `end`4 - Discussion5 - Participate/contribute!6 - Attribution

As a brief note today, here’s an example of the Scala 3 “Dotty” if/then/else-if/else syntax, as used in a function:

def compare(a: Int, b: Int): Int =
    if a < b
        -1
    else if a == b
        0
    else
        1
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Using `then` with if/else

You can also use the then keyword after your if expressions, if you prefer:

After five weeks I can sit down again

While many people will remember January 26, 2020, as the day Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter accident, I’ll also remember it as the first day I was able to sit down in five weeks following the Angiogram procedure. I still couldn’t sit long, maybe ninety minutes total before the pain kicked in, but that alone was nice.

When I punched the accelerator things started to get weird alvin January 25, 2020 - 1:46pm

If you like dream stories, here you go ... this one is from January 25, 2019.

A dream sequence started this morning with me trying to follow some other people in a vehicle. I wasn’t lucid at this point, and all I remember is that we were trying to go somewhere for dinner. The people I was following had gotten way ahead of me so I decided that I needed to go very fast, and when I punched the accelerator things started to get weird.

There was a major “whoosh” of something ... time, space, whatever, so I decided I better come to a stop. When I did I looked around, and saw that I was in an area that was full of modern restaurants, one even looked a little like a Dunkin’ Donuts. But the problem was, the names of the restaurants weren’t in English. I had no idea what the language was, but it looked like something I had never seen before. Only half awake and 100% lost, for some reason it seemed like a good idea to hit the accelerator.

Once again there was a major whoosh of timespace/spacetime, and I thought I better stop and try to figure out where I was. The first thing I noticed was that my vehicle had transformed, and was now like a shuttle that you’d see on Star Trek, mostly metallic, with a lot of gauges to look at inside, and large, rectangular glass windows so I could see outside. When I looked outside all I saw was a large open range, with a few hills or very small mountains in the distance to the right. It reminded me of rural New Mexico, but it was dark outside so I couldn’t see any more details.

Recent deaths in Alaska

Dateline January 25, 2011, Palmer, Alaska: “Recent deaths here: Hitting a moose; Avoiding hitting a moose; Snowmobile (snowmachine) into telephone pole; Exposure walking home from school; Neighbor shoots neighbor. It's been a busy two days.”

The benefits of mantra in meditation practice

As you progress in your meditation practice, the use of mantra(s) is a powerful way to stay focused all day.

I recall reading that Ram Dass said that even when he is speaking or listening to others, that in the background his mantra is always running in his head: “Ram ... Ram ... Ram.”

In the excellent book, Practicing the Jhanas, I throughout your day that you constantly remember to bring your attention back to the Anapana spot, a spot just under your nose.