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Showing posts from April, 2013

Rant: Despair and Hopelessness

This weekend I had the chance to do a Google+ hangout with my father in the Philippines. He and I don't talk often but we do have a very good relationship. My dad is cool like that. In this hangout we talked about a few things happening in the Philippines and I've gotten the feeling that my homeland is getting ever deeper into economic disrepair, and that the politics to which I've come to be hopeless on is beyond repair. I've wanted to get something off my chest that's been bothering me for a while now, so if you would indulge me please read on. Background I grew up in a part of the Philippines where the land is fertile, there are thriving industries, and there's a certain sense of abundance and stability. This part of the Philippines has good schools, good employment opportunities (mostly industrial and service industries), good investment opportunities (real-estate and agricultural), and good potential for growth. This was true when I was young and this i

Mental Models of Programmers for Non-Programmers

Programmers are a tricky lot. We have a certain mental model of how things should work and we "hack" systems in order to make sure they fit our mental model instead of changing ourselves and our mental model to fit with existing systems. Programmers are the bureaucrat's worst nightmare -- our brains are wired to look at the rules and go "why?" and our immediate reaction to anything that's not at least optimal  is "well, that's stupid". If you have a programmer in your life -- a parent, sibling, cousin, partner, or friend -- it would help if you understood how most of programmers brains work. I would even say as far as certain kinds of people -- not necessarily programmers -- gravitate towards becoming programmers (or engineers, or any profession/occupation where it involves building systems or just rigorous analysis and design) so you may recognise these people. I know these things work really well for me so if you know someone like me it mig

Summer is Over

It's now the fall here down under and the weather has started to turn to the cooler side. Every day since the start of April the temperature has been dropping steadily during the day, the nights are getting longer, the clocks have adjusted, and now we're heading into a new season. Coming from the Philippines where there's no real season to speak of, I think having actual seasons is a welcome change. Having distinct transitions help with reflecting, remembering what has happened in the past few months, and looking forward to the future. Much has happened since I last wrote my thoughts down. Here's a list of things I can remember distinctly that I'd like to share: We've moved house. This is the third unit we've moved into and we're now back to getting ample space to move around and grow into. I liked the cozy feel of the last unit we've lived in but I definitely welcome space. Our church has celebrated its 8th year anniversary. The celebration s