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An example cause of burnout

There are many recipes for burnout.

One of them by analogy is to operate a 28 ton earth moving machine powered by a 2 horsepower (hp) engine attached to an unlimited fuel supply (use your imagination).

It doesn’t matter how capable the machine is or the value of the fuel you are using, the engine is insufficient, but will run for a while, before it “burns out”.

Set image width in org-mode

Make org and export use the same image width via this post:

#+attr_latex: :width 4in :placement [H]
#+attr_org: :width 400

Practicing debugging instance eca20d1a-21de-0a34-ff53-833f3aea7918

This post documents how bugs get de-bugged.

It is short, and sweet, with enough depth to be interesting.

Packrat: A Likely Use Case

This post captures a relatively common occurrence:

  • New versions of required software are released
  • They break the software you use
  • So use previous versions

If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to check out Packrat
to handle a case like this. I will.

Happiness vs Enjoyment

Happiness and enjoyment are easily confused because they mostly feel the same.

Their major difference though seems to be the duration of the feeling and the
ease by which the state may be entered.

Happiness seems to be more long-lived while enjoyment seems to me short-lived.

Happiness seems to be mostly independent of the circumstances while enjoyment seems to
be mostly dependent upon the circumstances.

It seems like a worthwhile endeavor to explore where we invest our time, whether
it is in happiness or enjoyment, and evaluate the results of our investment.

Natural Earth public domain map dataset

Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software.

Via Hadley Wickham.

When is a number an integer?

This post poses a seemingly very simple question:

“When is a number an integer?”

and very quickly evolves to provide a delightful exposition of what it means when someone answers with “it depends”.

My vote is that the most intuitive and least-surprising approach is x%%1==0.

A Question’s Worth

We all know that answers have worth. Questions do too, though.

A big part of being a successful human, and scientist, is being able to assess the value of both.

Teaching and Entertainment

Every “modern” teacher knows that teaching requires a non-zero amount of entertainment in order for attention to be held. Entertainment, on the other hand, requires no teaching for the viewer’s attention to be held, although it often results in a more moving experience for the consumer.

For the consumer, it is definitely worth their time to determine whether that thing which they are consuming is teaching, or entertainment, because today’s producers are really, really great at convincing you that you are being taught when you are really just being entertained.

Cleaning Up Your Messes

There is a camper’s philosophy that “one should should leave the area cleaner than the state in which it was found”.

That is a beautiful philosophy because it doesn’t matter who made the mess, as the fact remains that the mess must be cleaned up.

Unless legal action is required, perhaps it is not even worth asking the question “Who made the mess?” and instead utilizing all resources to clean up the mess.