A Belated New Year’s Resolution

February 16, 2013

“Now we’re going to have a quick get-to-know-you exercise. We’ll go around the room, and I’ll get each of you to just quickly introduce yourselves. What’s your name? Where are you from? What degree are you studying? And what’s the last book you’ve read?”

“I’m Andrew, I’m from Port Macquarie, doing my first year of Arts/Science, and, um, I don’t really read books that much, so I can’t actually remember to be honest.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that – we’ll fix that up by the end of this course!”

The above exchange was paraphrased from one of my first year politics tutorials.

It’s been three years since.

I still don’t read books. (Admittedly, I have read one book so far this year – Tim Keller’s excellent The Prodigal God – but that one’s rather short.)

As a highly-edumacated soon-to-be Arts graduate, I see this as a problem. (More pressingly, as a student who has just received, for the first time, a book review assignment, I have to learn to read these book things lest I be left unable to make sensible critique of World War II historiography.)

So, my New Year’s Resolution for 2013 – albeit, a resolution made in mid-February – is to read a book a week. Possibly two weeks, if I’m reading particularly heavy stuff.

My first target is a book I started reading a few months ago, but alas I stopped halfway – Hofstadter’s modern classic, Gödel, Escher, Bach.

We’ll see how we go with this.

LCA2013 – Wrap-up

February 16, 2013

So I didn’t end up posting that much about LCA…

The main conference was fantastic:

  • Clojure is awesome for concurrency
  • Unix party tricks are extremely fun, and rather scary, and now I just want to disappear off teh interwebz
  • Schwern taught me lots about Git – I now have a Github account and I feel a lot more confident with it!
  • Repent, for the end of the Unix epoch is nigh!
  • Pia Waugh can talk very fast, particularly given some sleep deprivation
  • bunnie’s keynote provided some very interesting insights into the world of consumer manufacturing, particularly pricing
  • TBL can speak even faster than Pia – this was actually problematic…
  • Asheesh Laroia and OpenHatch are pretty awesome
  • Paul Fenwick can talk very, very fast given a 90 second timeslot…

Anyway, it was awesome. I highly recommend it, and I’m already planning to make my way to Perth for 2014.