learning

If you could give one tip for reaching heights in tech today, what would it be? alvin July 19, 2018 - 10:38am

When asked, “If you could give one tip for reaching heights in tech today, what would it be?”, this was the initial response from Jonas Bonér, creator of Akka:

  • Work hard at minimizing your ego & attachment to identity
  • Learn deliberately, seek out weaknesses & work hard at them
  • Eliminate bad habits, replace them with good, one at a time
  • Read a lot, foundational stuff, not just latest hyped thing

Warren Buffett has become a lot better investor since the day I met him

“Warren Buffett has become one hell of a lot better investor since the day I met him, and so have I. If we had been frozen at any given stage with the knowledge we had, the record would have been much worse than it is today. So the game is to keep learning, and I don’t think people are going to keep learning who don’t like the learning process. You need to like the learning process.”

This is another quote by Charlie Munger. It reminds me both of working on good programming teams, but also of learning from people that I haven’t enjoyed working with, but learned things from.

Charlie Munger quotes on curiosity

“Curiosity can provide both fun and wisdom, and occasionally trouble.”

“I was born innately curious. If that doesn’t work for you, figure out your own damn system.”

(On a personal note, I would argue that many people are born curious, and his parents didn’t beat the curiosity out of him.)

“Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.”

“A few major opportunities, clearly recognizable as such, will usually come to one who continuously searches and waits, with a curious mind that loves diagnosis involving multiple variables.”

“Temperament alone won’t do it. You need a lot of curiosity for a long, long, time. You need to have a passionate interest in why things are happening. That cast of mind, kept over long periods, gradually improves your ability to focus on reality.”

“Einstein said his successful theories came from curiosity, concentration, perseverance, and self-criticism.”

~ from the book, Charlie Munger, The Complete Investor (and a few other sources)

Understanding how the Y-Combinator works

I haven’t watched this video from Ruby Conf 2012 by Jim Weirich yet, but if you’re interested in learning about functional programming only for the sake of learning, here’s the description: “One of the deepest mysteries in the functional programming world is the Y-Combinator. Many have heard of it, but few have mastered its mysteries. Although fairly useless in real world software, understanding how the Y-Combinator works and why it is important gives the student an important insight into the nature of functional programming.”

Teaching the mathematics of infinity (and childrens’ brains)

Here’s an article with two interesting exercises near the end of it: How thinking about infinity changes kids’ brains on math. When you’re ready to go deeper, that article links to a NY Times article, Teaching the mathematics of infinity. And then that article links to another titled, The life of Pi and other infinities.

(When I was a young lad, I’d often lay in bed at night and wonder, “Okay, so I go to the edge of the universe ... what’s after that? There’s gotta be something after that, right?”)

Don’t be afraid to fail ~ Nick Foles

“I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail. I think in our society today, Instagram, Twitter, it’s a highlight reel. It’s all the good things. And then when you look at it, you think like, wow, when you have a rough day or your life’s not as good as that, like, you’re failing.”

“Failure is a part of life. That’s a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times. Made mistakes.”

“We all are human, we all have weaknesses, and I think throughout this, just being able to share that and be transparent. I know when I listen to people speak and they share their weaknesses, I’m listening. Because I can resonate.”

“So I’m not perfect. I’m not Superman. I might be in the NFL, and we might have just won the Super Bowl, but, hey, we still have daily struggles, I still have daily struggles. So that's where my faith comes in, that’s where my family comes in.”

“I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that’s just an opportunity for your character to grow. And that’s really just been the message. Simple. If something’s going on in your life and you’re struggling? Embrace it. Because you’re growing.”

~ Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, and Super Bowl champion

AlphaZero generalized to learn more games by itself

From this Cornell University page, Google’s AlphaZero algorithm has been generalized to learn new games given only the game rules: “In this paper, we generalise this approach into a single AlphaZero algorithm that can achieve, tabula rasa, superhuman performance in many challenging domains.