Link-o-rama



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Posted by: stak
Posted on: 2008-10-12 09:57:12

Turns out that my feedreader hasn't been picking up Paul Graham's essays for quite some time now. I just finished reading all the ones I missed (the last 11 or so), and completely overloaded my brain. The ones I particularly recommend:

Lies We Tell Kids - This one is just pure gold. I think he actually reveals the meaning of life in here somewhere, or at least provides enough clues to figure it out.

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Cities and Ambition - This one is also really good. It's sad that after living in Waterloo for ~6 years, I'm still not sure what kind of message it's sending. Maybe I should start learning Chinese again. Or move somewhere else.

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You Weren't Meant to have a Boss - This one resonated with me, but may not appeal to a more general audience. In particular, the happiness he refers to is very similar to the one induced by doing parkour. I'll probably post more on that at some point in the future.

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Be Good - This one has one paragraph that really hit it home. It eloquently says something that I've been musing about for a while now:

Being good is a particularly useful strategy for making decisions in complex situations because it's stateless. It's like telling the truth. The trouble with lying is that you have to remember everything you've said in the past to make sure you don't contradict yourself. If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything, and that's a really useful property in domains where things happen fast.


The only thing I want to add is that I think it applies to more than just decisions in complex, fast-moving situations; it really applies everywhere. Everything else I've been thinking about on this topic is already implied by the paragraph above.

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Disconnecting Distraction - And finally, this one is to tell you to stop wasting your time reading my blog and go do something useful instead.

Posted by rohan at 2008-10-12 14:13:27
But you can't browse the web or check email now. What are you going to do? You can't just sit there. So you start working.

Except if you really can just sit there.
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Posted by Fai at 2008-10-17 21:33:08
I agree with the feelings of the cities he mentions, for the ones I've been in (NY and paris). hmmm what is the feeling of waterloo. it's not money or beauty or fashion. I want to say "produce something" but I don't know if that's waterloo or just the part we hung around (aka university)
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Posted by stak at 2008-10-17 22:06:09
I'm not sure I agree with Paris. The feeling I got was more of "be blasé" than "do things with style". Maybe that's just me. Waterloo could be "produce something"... but it's not overly strong.
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Posted by rohan at 2008-10-17 23:48:43
I think Waterloo's is "guzzle gas and look down on pedestrians".
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