Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Little Rules of Action

Here are a few more rules I've drawn inspiration from, this time from The Power of Less by Leo Babauta. (A fairly good books of modern Zen philosophy.)

1. Don’t overthink. Too much thinking often results in getting stuck, in going in circles. Some thinking is good — it’s good to have a clear picture of where you’re going or why you’re doing this — but don’t get stuck thinking. Just do.
2. Just start. All the planning in the world will get you nowhere. You need to take that first step, no matter how small or how shaky. My rule for motivating myself to run is: Just lace up your shoes and get out the door. The rest takes care of itself.
3. Forget perfection. Perfectionism is the enemy of action. Kill it, immediately. You can’t let perfect stop you from doing. You can turn a bad draft into a good one, but you can’t turn no draft into a good draft. So get going.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hacker Ethic

As I said when I launched this blog, The Great Geek Manual is heavily inspired by a lot of better works that I grew up reading. One book that's always been an inspiration to me is Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy. Every time I re-read the book (which I do often), I never fail to be surprised by just how relevant the work remains.

In chapter two of his book, Levy spells out the general tenets or principles of the hacker ethic:

1. Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total.
2. Always yield to the Hands-on Imperative!
3. All information should be free.
4. Mistrust authority—promote decentralization.
5. Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race or position.
6. You can create art and beauty on a computer.
7. Computers can change your life for the better.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
- Spock in "Amok Time,"written by Theodore Sturgeon.
Star Trek: The Original Series, September 15, 1967

(Yeah, I learned that lesson from Star Trek, but honestly, what did you expect from a geek?)
4.) Though it is utterly counter-intuitive, working towards something often feels better than actually achieving it.  Try to keep that in mind when the urge to rush grips you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

3.) Learn something new every single day, even if it's of absolutely no practical use.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Role Model: Albert Einstein

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."
- Albert Einstein, quoted in Personal Memoir of William Miller
Quoted in Life magazine, May 2, 1955.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. "
- Albert Einstein in a letter to Carl Seelig, March 11, 1952.
2.) The second principal of the geek creed is equally simple.  Be curious.

Don't ever be embarrassed to be curious.  The people who ask the most questions are usually the ones who end up having answers when it actually matters.