Quote 8 Jun 5 notes
This means that basically even today we believe that the moon is in the sky only to give us light at night, like the sun in the daytime, and the stars are there to afford us a magnificent display. Naturally. And we often gladly forget that we are infinitesimal atoms; instead we respect and admire one another and are even capable of fighting for a scrap of land or of grieving over certain things which, if we were really aware of what we are, would seem incalculably trivial.
— Luigi Pirandello.
Quote 8 Jun 4 notes

Computers have proven immensely effective as aids to clear thinking. Muddled and half-baked ideas have sometime survived for centuries because luminaries have deluded themselves as much as their followers or because lesser lights, fearing ridicule, couldn’t summon up the nerve to admit that they didn’t know what the Master was talking about. A test as near foolproof as one could get of whether you understand something as well as you think is to express it as a computer program and then see if the program does what it is supposed to. Computers are not sycophants and won’t make enthusiastic noises to ensure their promotion or camouflage what they don’t know.

What you get is what you said.

— James Hogan, “Mind Matters.”
Quote 7 Jun 1 note
Don’t be content exploring only a single framework. CodeIgniter is lauded to be easy to learn. It is that. But, so are other frameworks. Do your due diligence and find what best serves you and your organization. Without experimenting we can’t truly understand what we prefer. It’s far easier to identify strengths and weaknesses when you have something with which to compare.
— 

Shawn McCool - Why CodeIgniter is dead

Even if I actually think CI is right in fighting back the “urge to be cool” to keep its promise about never breaking developers code badly, I can’t by agree with Shawn on what I reported above.
I will extend again: not only you should try other tools, but also other languages, other ecosystems, other solutions and other (even bad) practices. Tools are there to help but in any field (programming, cooking, tearing down your old bathroom…) you should be aware of what you’re doing and how many solutions you can rely on to do a good job.

Amen

Quote 17 May
In the music industry, you have to get your own instrument and you can be sued for reusing even just two seconds of another song. In programming, the best tools are free (and are constantly improved upon). And using thousands of lines verbatim from someone else’s code is not just legal, but a best practice.
— 

Dan Nguyen - The bastard book of Ruby

As both a coder and a musician I can’t but feel sick facing such disarming candor…

Quote 11 Apr
PHP is an embarrassment, a blight upon my craft. It’s so broken, but so lauded by every empowered amateur who’s yet to learn anything else, as to be maddening.
— 

Here you can read the whole post (my rants are burps compared to this mastery! :D). It’s interesting, whether you agree or not. But this quote speaks an important truth: PHP is so widespread that a lot of sincerely-eager-to-learn PHP programmers think they can really find and learn everything they need without stepping one single time in others ecosystems.
After all, PHP will soon or later do what others do (from ages): look, Java has blahblah, let’s create a framework that do this in PHP! Hey but what about Ruby’s blehbleh? Yes, add them to next version! And why not introducing wonderful mehmeh from JavaScript?

Maybe this is what drives my nuts with my everyday job… I experienced a lot of different context, languages and tools, before I hit PHP. Now it seems I can’t flee: too much inertia.
I’d just want out, once in a while.

I thought it was just me, but reading this makes me feel less alone! :)

Link 9 Apr Wrangl - make sense of both sides of the argument»

Here is a tool that streamlines and atomizes a critical debate in a way that renders single arguments and their relation clear!
I’m used to be pointed out as an annoying person. I think I deserved this label for my tireless resolution in examining arguments in depth, asking my adverser to give precise meaning to every single word used.
This come from my need to understand values and ideals promote by the person I’m talking to. I often find that most people build arguments on arbitrary premises without even being aware they do. This particular case makes me grow acrimonious and, as a result, I become unable to explain myself without rants or polemics.

A visual representation of an argument allows for synthesis, relations and documentary sources to be analyzed and verified without beating the brain in frustration.
It does not solves arguments, of course. But I hope will help me being more comprehensible, avoiding grudges and frustrating misunderstandings.

Good work! :)

Link 6 Apr Tomatoes should be used just to make sauces»

Can’t agree more. It’s a long time I’d like to tear down the Pomodoro by burping a roaring rant, but why bother when someone else did this for me? :) Thanks @arialdomartini.

Quote 5 Apr
Instead of spouting off about high-level design patterns, it’s better to learn about the underlying programming concepts that those patterns try to implement or solve. Then you can actually have a productive discussion.
— A comment by Nate Abele, here
Text 14 Feb 1 note St. Valentine’s Day, the Google way

Today Doodle is wonderful. It speaks an important truth.

If you ever read Erich Fromm’s “To have or to be?" you should be aware of the famous ethics dichotomy. It’s an easy guess that Fromm sees more ethics in "being" than in "having", despite western cultures are largely based on the concept of "private property". After reading Fromm I ended up with a slightly different idea, one that comes from my personal experience with my family, friends and co-workers.

As far as “being” is the foundation of self-definition and self-definition is the foundation of ethics, I think today’s society should be based on “doing”. What am I doing? What drives me day after day? What could I do to help others to be and do something of themselves?

Today’s Doodle sings this mantra: I don’t care what you give me, I don’t care who you are. Loving means doing something together, sharing a goal, walking day by day towards it, together. That’s how our lives can be spent and not wasted, this is the root of success, this is the root of a family, the gift of children, the immortality of an opus. We must love each other (broadly speaking) not just to achieve a more comfortable level of “existence” but to roll our sleeves and do something that can last behind us.

They say love lasts forever: how to make it live on when we pass away if not with the changes we left behind?

Thanks Google! You gave Valentine’s day the meaning it had long lost.

PS: for all that find this vision inspiring, give a read to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Text 2 Jan 53 notes What I learned from 2011

It’s a long time I don’t post on this blog. I regularly go through periods of hypo and hyper working activity, in time-spans of broadly two months. November/December 2011 has been one of those hyper periods.
I took some refreshing days and tomorrow I’ll be back to my everyday life again.

Before even this last vacation day comes to an end, I’d like to sum up something I learned in 2011. It won’t be all, but I’ll try to list what’s more important IMO.

If you want children, don’t wait too long.

They suck a lot of time! They can be as cute and tender as a teddy bear, but odds are good you’ll be drained by their need of attention. Mother Nature rendered women able to easily get pregnant between late teenage and early 40s. There is a reason for this.
I know there are also a lot of reasons not to have children before given checkpoints (I want a home, then I want a work, then I want to travel the world, then I have to relax a bit, then…). Some of them come from fear (Will I have enough money? Will I be responsible enough? etc), but babies just need you. The older you will grow, the less “you” you’ll be able to provide.

So, given for grant you’re sure you love your partner and you really want to spawn offspring, go for it without fear! ;)

Less money == Less troubles

I live in Italy. In 2011 we had to face a truth everybody knew, but nobody was able to speak: our country was running at breakneck pace towards financial default. Our politicians has all been inept and incapable in their mission for so long that we’re now driven by a temporary non-politic government. I’m pretty happy with their results, even if they’re asking people for sacrifices. But Italian national sport is “Complaint” (you would have said “football”, I know, but bear with me! I drive “a rant a week”, I know what I’m talking about! :D), so the most of people isn’t happy with change.

Last year hasn’t been easy for my family on the economical side. I worked a lot, but we still had to face a chronic lack of money. We had enough to pay our bills, eat and pay taxes and our life-insurance, but at the end of the month we remained with a few odd coins in our pockets.

Despite this could sound sad (it has been sometimes), I have to say that we learned to face the situation enough to appreciate it somehow. We always drove a moderate lifestyle, dedicated to our family, our work, music and children. What we have is enough to be happy.

Looking around I see a lot of people complaining. Some complain with good reasons, since they can’t even afford our moderate lifestyle; but most of them aren’t doing that bad: they just shed tears over their lack of privileges.
Claiming personal financial disaster on facebook from your brand new iPad2 is not what I call coherence.

So, at the end of the day, I’m happy with my drained bank account, as long as my family and loved ones are too. I think if I had more money I would have been scared to lose it in the rising crisis. It’s not the case, and, as stupid as it can seem, I’m thankful. :)

Each head is one world.

Not that I didn’t know this before, but in 2011 I understood this even more deeply. There are tons of different visions, reasons and ways to be. None is totally right, and some seems to be definitively wrong.
What I learned is that reasons behind ideas are the real value of ideas themselves. You can’t decide if a vision is good or bad without putting yourself in the mindset of the vision owner.

Sadly this is too much overhead, not to mention you risk to lose your own visions and ideas with frequent transferts (not joking). That’s why I decided to adopt a macro-evaluation process based on some simple rules of thumb:

  • Does your vision somehow hinder my freedom?
  • Does your vision violates some of my personal, deeper or moral value?
  • Will I take (or risk to take) damage or (intentionally or unintentionally) damage someone else following your vision?

If all answers are “Nope!”, then, let’s do it your way and stop arguing. I’ll have more time for myself.If there is one “Yep!”, I prefer to split and go alone on my own way. The reason is that, simply put, it won’t work.
After all, minding one’s own business is the sole, true road to success.

If you need to explain it for the third time, it doesn’t worth the pain.

Stupid people (I mean, really stupid ones) are not that much. The vast majority of stupids around are just fat-heads with different ideas; actually they think the stupid is you! :)

I’m always eager to explain my ideas twice, but the third one is wasted time.
Try with me: I’m more fat-headed than you can tell and you won’t get to change my mind so easily. I want evidences, and I won’t take them nicely if they show I’m wrong.
Sometimes I just don’t understand, so a second explanation will fix things. If not, reality is I don’t want to understand. So let me see you’re in the right without further ado.

Things get done! It’s just a matter of time.

I’m not scared about not getting my (personal) things done on a daily schedule. I’ve got a lot of passions and I’d like to do just everything, but work and kids steal the very most of my daily hours.
Being an 8PM Warrior is hard, and sometime it’s not enough, but step after step, things get done.

So, don’t trash your ideas just because you feel you won’t have enough time. And if this feeling discourages you too much, face the truth and tell yourself that you won’t have enough willpower.
Personal projects take time and devotion. If time is short, you have to invest on devotion, avoiding deadlines and putting brick over brick when you can, slowly but steady, ignoring fast results. This requires patience and will.

There are a lot of things I could put in this list, but I think they’re just corollaries. All in all, 2011 brought me some more wisdom. I hope I’ll be able to put it at work. :P

Happy new year everybody.


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