a month of reading

So February and most of March have been filled with studying and reading. I highly recommend udacity for some free learning, easy sign up and the courses are made up of YouTube vids and tutorials – works for me. Been learning Visual Encoding and playing with dimple.js as part of the Introduction to Data Science.

Been reading lots too – started with “Philosophy of Boredom” by Lars Svendsen which is an academic paper turned into a book so quite heavy going but very interesting. Are you aware of how much you do that is out of boredom?

“A utopia cannot, by definition, include boredom, but the ‘utopia’ we are living in is boring.”

Next up was “The Path” by Michael Puett which is along the lines of a large-print self-help book based on readings of ancient Chinese wisdom. Each chapter draws lessons for modern life from a particular Chinese thinker – Confucius, Mencius, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, Laozi – and you reach the end wondering why life is so complicated and why can’t it be this simple.

Finally “Irresistible” by Adam Alter which i am half way through and can’t wait to read more. The crux “People have been addicted to substances for thousands of years, but for the past two decades, we’ve also been hooked on technologies, like Instagram, Netflix, Facebook, Fitbit, Twitter, and email—platforms we’ve adopted because we assume they’ll make our lives better. These inventions have profound upsides, but their appeal isn’t an accident. Technology companies and marketers have teams of engineers and researchers devoted to keeping us engaged. They know how to push our buttons, and how to coax us into using their products for hours, days, and weeks on end.”

Behavioural Addiction will become a very prevalent phrase as we wake up to the mass addiction we have all got.

Tetris on the Tron

Was out playing Tetris on the side of one of the oldest and well known buildings in Edinburgh last night. In association with Guerrilla Projections and Monkey Barrel Comedy on Blair Street to promote the Retro Gaming Sunday sessions they have launched. Also some good old Donkey Kong too.

If you would like a lazy Sunday of retro games, buttery rolls and great coffee then Monkey Barrel in Blair Street is perfect.

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The Establishment

“The Establishment: and how they get away with it” by Owen Jones was a long, and at times, arduous read but so interesting and educational. It should be essential reading for every teenager in the UK and anyone else who is uncomfortable with the way society is currently heading. It helped me understand why some of the events of the last 10-20 years have happened as I was always skeptical of the reasoning put forward by main stream media and western society. To try and summarize it makes me sound like a conspirator theorist so maybe read the book and get your own paranoia going.

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