2023 in Retrospective and 2024 in Prospective

Another year has gone by And in response, I simply sigh Another year has taken place I guess I’ll handle it with grace? Another year, the same old grind… And yet I feel I’ve fallen behind As you might know if you’ve read my equivalent post from last year, I am now 35 years old (and 3 days). If we consider “working years” to range from 20 to 65 – which seems a decent definition – then I am 1/3 of the way through them, 1/3 of the way through my career.

On ADHD Medication

Here’s a story; stop me if you’ve heard it before. There’s a child, an energetic, enthusiastic child, perhaps hard to deal with in some ways, but all around just beautiful. And then they go to a parochial school – or perhaps they just have a rather strict public school teacher. In either case, the authority figure makes it their wicked mission to suppress all the beautiful children’s personalities into identical, well-behaved zombies in the interest of the idol of order.

Treat Tolkien’s World Like Other Mythologies

Tolkien was trying to make a new mythology, a new set of deeply resonant stories, for modern (especially English) culture, and he succeeded. He transformed fantasy, and founded the concept of high fantasy. His detailed legendarium (as his mythology is called) is a masterpiece of world-building, with deep symbolism and emotional complexity, a mythology with arguably more depth and room to explore than many ancient ones. Tolkien scholars work full-time to study it, and many more people draw from it explicitly and implicitly for their own art, in D&D and other more modern fantasy settings.

My Reaction to Dr. Stroustrup’s Recent Memory Safety Comments

The NSA recently published a Cybersecurity Information Sheet about the importance of memory safety, where they recommended moving from memory-unsafe programming languages (like C and C++) to memory-safe ones (like Rust). Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup, the original creator of C++, has made some waves with his response. To be honest, I was disappointed. As a current die-hard Rustacean and former die-hard C++ programmer, I have thought (and blogged) quite a bit about the topic of Rust vs C++.

Complexities of Defining ADHD

ADHD is a controversial topic, and it’s never been more relevant. Diagnoses are soaring right now, driven up by a variety of interacting forces. Open discussion about ADHD – and the related general concept of “neurodiversity” – has been exploding on the Internet. And recently, there’s been a very unfortunate Adderall shortage. So I wanted to take an opportunity to share some thoughts about it. I would say that I was taking this opportunity to clear things up, but unfortunately, that might not be possible.

A Life (and Blog) Theme for the Coming Year

Happy December! Happy Winter Holidays! We’re almost done with 2022! I just had my birthday yesterday, on December 20. I am now 34 years old, which is more than a third of a century! I generally take the opportunity on my birthday to do some reflection on the previous year, and to set a theme for the next year. I wanted to share both with you, my audience. The past year has been intense for me personally.

Write Everything Down (Part 3): My Personal Organizational System

As promised in my previous posts about organization, I will now go into some detail about my own organizational system. But before I start talking about it, and how I came to develop it, I’d like to emphasize a few points, or more specifically, three caveats, lest Zeus strike me down with a thunderbolt for my hubris: Caveat the First: My system is a work in progress. Even though it is overall very helpful, it’s always falling apart a little bit.

Write Everything Down (Part 2): Failed Organizational Systems

In my previous post on organization, I concluded with this statement: As everyone’s brain works differently (whether ADHD or not), people differ tremendously in what their ideal organizational systems are. For me, I am much less productive if I have a less than ideal system – the stakes are very high. But even for people who can be productive on any system, I think that tailoring their system to their brain, their lifestyle, their job and schedule and hobbies, can have amazing results.

Write Everything Down (Part 1)

Memory Leak I have an excellent memory. I have a terrible memory. Well, which one is it? This is a confusing state to be in. It can be frustrating to people around me. How is it – my father used to ask me when I was in high school – that I could remember all the lessons and readings for my tests in school, and get all the good grades, but couldn’t ever remember to do the simplest task or household chore, or to bring with me the simplest item?

Why I Won’t Correct You’re Grammar (unless you ask)

I am an Ivy League-educated professional who regularly has to write for my job, who was always in the top English classes in school. And sometimes, I mix up “your” and “you’re.” I know how grammar works. I always, if I stop to think about it, can figure out which one to use. I know all the tricks. Most of the time, I don’t have to think about it, and the right one comes out.

Netflix Should Become a Tech Company

Netflix should become a tech company. I hear the obvious response already: Jimmy, Netflix is already a tech company! Counterpoint: Is it though? Somehow, after two dot-com booms, the markets still have an aesthetic-based definition of what constitutes a “tech company”: If a company – any company – has an expensive enough app, and if its founders talk enough about “disrupting” industries, then it is a “tech company” and is therefore entitled to a valuation completely disconnected from its actual industry.