Reading by itself is useless.
You as a person are the merging of your own personal emotions, physocological problems and beliefs you possess. You are biased by the paths you have traveled, you believe those problems you endured before are now easy because of some misplaced sense of accomplishment. Most people eventually learn to cope with this, and start accepting things, "Oh yeah I've done that, don't remember much of it though".
You forget, your feeble and fragile mind can't remember shit.
Trust no one but yourself, the biggest crap you will ever hear. The phrase should be
Trust no one and find the strength to take risks and trust "something" for a while.
I've read countless books, for what? I remember most of it yes, but I can't recall the information I need at the moment I need it. I enjoy series like Boston Legal, CSI, hell, even Doctor Who, mostly for the improbability of a character knowing so many technical information and recalling it at will. Sadly, this is all bull. You can only recall those things that you grind to, your day job, your day to day studies.
Like those people that can recall most matches between every Football team and every super star, eventually you realize they dedicate 20 hour plus a week to such subject.
You will never, ever, not in a million years, become a powerhouse in a subject without constant, day to day practice.
Plus you are filled with doubt, you little person scared of failure. You hear a new subject and you rather stick to what "works". Should you choose to stick to those things that work, your brain wont be able to keep up, turning into a dry sponge, crumbling down slowly until you don't be able to remember how to brush your teeth. Go ahead, keep fearing the unknown, I'm sure the monsters that lie ahead in a life filled with weakness and feebleness wont make you regret all those years you lived cowered in a corner. You lie to yourself "I used to grow as a human being, now I want to enjoy life", just lie, lie to yourself until you believe it. Tell yourself "this is good enough".
No more reading by itself
Taking notes is not good enough, no. Making self tests for yourself is also something that will take a big chunk of your time. No, there must be a better way, a more powerful way, that allows for growth in all levels.
The power of Social Media.
I come from a place where people don't give a rat's ass about the things I read, whether it is fiction or academia. That is ok, I don't need to talk about my things to keep reading, but it does put one thing into perspective
Why do I need to keep these people that don't give a damn around me?
Sanity, because they maintain my sanity, use them as you use alcohol, as you use a bacon burger, just a tiny dose. They are the methadone to the heroin addict, the rainbow to the end of the storm, the good thing after a period of hard and strenuous work.
Feedback on any subject is probably the BEST way to grow as a human being. You need feedback to work on your mistakes. Fail fast and fail hard when you want to become something more. You may not be able to Trust anyone, but you can very well damn trust that people will try to break anything you say or do, and this is the best opportunity to find flaws in your methodologies.
Or even better, detecting another asshole in this world. There are over 6 billion people, you need to be able to justify HARD and FAST who is useless and who is not in your life. But beware, there are some assholes out there that are exceedingly valuable. Don't take someone valuable out of your life because he makes you cry like a little boy with his mean comments.
I find it better to remove the "indifference" from my life. You see, when you talk to people they are fast to say "I don't find it that important to have that in my life," but as soon as they meet someone with that then that someone becomes the next jesuschrist for them. Indifference breeds the greatest hypocrites, because in the end, everyone needs to be someone, and if they are not someone they will fake it.
It is at that second of faking something you are not, that exact fleeting moment, that indifferent people will offer their help and opinion, which is based on shit. Should you choose to follow an indifferent man's opinion, you will fail, and fail the hardest, because it was an advice you made the mistake to listen.
Because we lie to feel better about ourselves in some way, or just to have fun.
This is the reason you should only trust yourself... OR an expert. In this life you will need to find experts, mentors, people that are overall a reflection of what you want for yourself. Follow their advice, fail, succeed, push through, and learn.
You can't always listen to experts... another of the biggest lies you will ever hear
Always listen to experts, and if there is none, listen to yourself, and if you can't trust yourself because you only bring sadness and disgrace then listen to people that you KNOW they want the best for you, and are willing to be honest and say I don't know when the shit hits the fan.
That means, to learn, we must seek advice on the things we worked on
This is exceedengly hard. We need to find an audience, we need to communicate to that audience, and we need to welcome feedback from them.
This is just like saying You need to find an obstacle course and go through it.
How can we translate all this to learning?
Using social media.
Write your opinions, keep a diary with valuable things when you read fiction in someplace people will bash it, and be ready to hold your own.
We are going to make use cases and exercises
Out of every book we read, we may even have to re read some of them, it does not matter. We need to get this out in the open, we need people to come and say "that thing is overrated" and "that thing is obsolete."
We need a conduit, thankfully github pages provides an excellent way to support for this. Mostly because I am poor in both time and money, github pages is free and easy to push information as long as you have a static website.
This is why I use LaTeX, I want to be able to create a beautiful PDF document and a beautiful Website from one command. This is the way things should be.
Software is an industry still in its infancy
That doesn't mean you can go ahead and try "new" things right off the bat, oh no. That means you have to learn first what the hell is a "new" thing. For example in CPPCon 2014 Yuriy Solodkyy talked about the reasons why the Visitor Pattern sucks.
There is still so much to be done. We have algorithms designed over 40 years ago being used every single day, without worry or thinking if there is something better out there. We lie to ourselves "Ockhams Razor man," "You don't really need that much horsepower," "Your customer does not care."
It's all a big bunch of damn lies.
Your customer does care, you do need more horsepower, you can make things better, and you can make a solution simpler by correct use of abstraction.
And you will face indifference, and it will break you apart. So stay strong, don't try to change people, remember, find your audience. Do not fight indifference, let the indifferent rot in this beautiful world of possibilities.
The beginning of a new journey
This is the production process.
- Read a section of an awesome book.
- Do exercise, push to git project. Example of Github Code
- Document exercise, push to git pages website. You can check the alpha page here.
- Repeat until awesome book is finished.
- Repeat for another awesome book.
Where does the journey begins
The journey begins with data structures and algorithms. I will revisit them fast and hard using Python, because I code faster in Python than in C# or C++ for that matter. Eventually well get into more depth C++ subjects, such as threads and the C++11 atomic library, but for now we need to focus on hardcoding the basics into my brain.
Where will this take us
I don't know, I just want to learn all the possible tools at my disposal. I want to be able to shuffle them and pick the best ones. Decision making is still a NP problem. I want to be able to mine the web, I want to be able to keep a robust journal of my work so that I may come back to it later on.
This may be hard, this may be a lot of work, but it will never be worst than facing the indifferent people of this earth, the ones who have given up on their dreams and just feel everything is impossible, ready to tell you how to live your life and what to go after, ready to command you as if you were their slave. To all those people you may dedicate two beautiful words, fuck you.
Get busy living... or get busy dying.