|—||Martha Graham (via abstraire)|
On hobbies and work:
No… I’m so lucky, so much of what I would do as a hobby I do for my professional life. I love what I do. And I get to shake it up by directing in a movie, acting in a movie, directing a play, writing a book, acting in a play - i’ve found a way over the years to continue to shake up my job so it remains interesting to me. I’m one of the handful of people who doesn’t want a hobby because I’d rather be doing my job.
The experienced carpenter keeps going. He doesn’t have to keep stopping, because every action he performs, is calculated in such a way that some later action can put it right to the extent that it is imperfect now. What is critical here, is the sequence of events. The carpenter never takes a step which he cannot correct later; so he can keep working, confidently, steadily.
The novice by comparison, spends a great deal of his time trying to figure out what to do. He does this essentially because he knows that an action he takes now may cause unretractable problems a little further down the line; and if he is not careful, he will find himself with a joint that requires the shortening of some crucial member – at a stage when it is too late to shorten that member. The fear of these kinds of mistakes forces him to spend hours trying to figure ahead: and it forces him to work as far as possible to exact drawings because they will guarantee that he avoids these kinds of mistakes.
The difference between the novice and the master is simply that the novice has not learnt, yet, how to do things in such a way that he can afford to make small mistakes. The master knows that the sequence of his actions will always allow him to cover his mistakes a little further down the line. It is this simple but essential knowledge which gives the work of a master carpenter its wonderful, smooth, relaxed, and almost unconcerned simplicity.
|—||Christopher Alexander (A Pattern Language)|
Lots of great observations and advice.
On management of creative work:
The notion that you’re trying to control the process and prevent error screws things up. We all know the saying it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. And everyone knows that, but I think there is a corollary: if everyone is trying to prevent error, it screws things up. It’s better to fix problems than to prevent them. And the natural tendency for managers is to try and prevent error and over plan things.
My favourite part:
I don’t like hard rules at all. I think they’re all bullshit.
The problem with following rules is they can, over time, become excuses for not having new thoughts (good or bad) and learning from them. Instead of putting in the initiative to think creatively, it’s often tempting to just follow existing rules, which in turn reinforces them further.
- Whatever is happening will keep happening unless some force is applied to change it.
- The amount of change produced is in proportion to the amount of force applied.
- Every force applied produces another force that opposes it.
has a reaction at its cause.
If all reactions cease to be
then there is no more suffering.
The idea of equanimity refers to being in pure awareness. Being in pure awareness requires dissolution of mind. The term mind is also known as Ego or Identity. When there is no distraction or attachment to thoughts, there is equanimity. As per Vedanta, ‘Equanimity’ is our true nature. When the sense of individual discrete identity is dissolved, one transcends the apparent duality and see themselves as one with everything.
The Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will.”
Such a beautiful concept. I brainstormed some ideas a while ago around how our understanding around equanimity could be taken further, and ended up with a very simple product idea.
Today during a talk with a friend, the idea came back to me and I discussed it with him. He likes it too. So we’re going to try a little experiment. Watch this space.
After working almost a decade with Windows, C#, and .NET, I have finally, for a combination of overwhelming reasons, decided to drop Windows as a development platform, and switch to open-source technology.
It’s remarkable how well Paul Graham called it, 6 years ago. Every one of his points rings true today, especially the last. I wish I had his wisdom from the outset. But these things take understanding, and understanding takes time.
- Levels of scale
- Strong centers
- Alternating repetition
- Positive space
- Good shape
- Local symmetries
- Deep interlock and ambiguity
- The Void
- Simplicity and Inner Calm
From Christopher Alexander’s Nature of Order series.
- They are realistically oriented.
- They accept themselves, other people, and the natural world for what they are.
- They have a great deal of spontaneity.
- They are problem-centered rather than self-centered.
- They have an air of detachment and a need for privacy.
- They are autonomous and independent.
- Their appreciation of people and things is fresh rather than stereotyped.
- Most of them have had profound mystical or spiritual experiences, although not necessarily religious in character.
- They identify with mankind.
- Their intimate relationships with a few specially loved people tend to be profound and deeply emotional rather than superficial.
- Their values and attitudes are democratic.
- They do not confuse means with ends.
- Their sense of humor is philosophical rather than hostile.
- They have a great fund of creativeness.
- They resist conformity to the culture.
- They transcend the environment rather than just coping with it.
From the writings of Abraham Maslow.