Hacker School, Tuesday, July 8th, 2014


On Tuesday I had a backlog of things I wanted to write about, so I specifically planned to spend much of the day blogging. I finished two "how-to" type posts about migrating off of Blogger. I also started a post about the magic of XOR, but didn't complete it.

The process of completing those was very helpful for me. First, it got some things off of my mind that were taking up cycles just by virtue of being not saved. My brain likes to return to ideas over and over if they feel unfinished or in danger of being forgotten.

Second, I was able to clarify some things that I didn't actually understand. For example, in the post about moving from Blogger into Nikola, there was a line I had to change in the config file, and I didn't know exactly why or what it did. I had been just about to write that I didn't know what that variable did, when my understanding clicked, and I figured it out. I might not have otherwise.

Relatedly, I wrote down a half-baked idea I had about random variables in my journal post. Through talking it out with other Hacker Schoolers, I realised it wasn't quite right. So I was able to update the post with at least a short explanation of the idea I was trying to get at, and why the first idea was incorrect.


Zooko and I have not had a Rust-learning date for a few weeks, but we tried to pick it up again last night. I was partly inspired by having seen Steve Klabnik speak the previous night. He has begun rewriting the documentation.

The tutorial as it is now is quite good in some parts, but had problems of forward references and other kinds of lack of cohesion. The new Guide that Steve Klabnik is in the process of writing seems, so far, very thorough and friendly. He takes great pains to not assume a particular programming background. However, it is only a beginning, and Zooko and I needed more advanced material.

We were about to return to the tutorial, but we both realised we were too exhausted.


I didn't feel fully functional on Tuesday, and had to take stock of my lifestyle. I have been cutting corners on sleep. I've been eating food that is slightly inappropriate for me too often (e.g. meat cooked in sauce). I've had alcohol too often, even though the amounts are small. All this is adding up to a degradation in my abilities that while not too serious is nonetheless noticeable, and I want to change that.

When I'm at home and I feel such creep, I usually give myself a "ribeye reboot", and eat nothing but ribeye for a few days. That gets me back to feeling awesome very quickly. I can't do that here, since I have no kitchen, but I plan to buy enough tasty, clean meat that I'm not tempted to eat anything else for a few days.