distractions

distance running

I enjoy medium-/long-distance running, especially in urban settings. I tend to prefer minimalist running shoes (actually, running sandals?), and I currently use a pair of The Monos (by Luna Sandals). I record most of my runs – you can follow me on Strava here.


brewing coffee

My hopeless dependence on caffeine got me interested in learning about coffee and its proper preparation. Currently, I brew most of the coffee I drink at home using this dripper by Blue Bottle. I’m still learning…more on this soon…


quotable

Musings I’ve found particularly inspiring or amusing…and wish I’d thought up first.

on science and knowledge

“An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” -Niels Bohr

“Investigate what is, and not what pleases.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.” —Socrates

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” —Albert Einstein

“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.” —Howard Aiken

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny …‘“—Isaac Asimov

“The difference between theory and practice: in theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice; in practice, there is.” —Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

“I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when looked at in the right way, did not become still more complicated.” —Poul Anderson

“I occasionally meet geneticists who ask me whether it is true that the great geneticist R.A. Fisher was also an important statistician.” —L.J. Savage

“[R.A. Fisher] fitted the classical definition of a gentleman: he never insulted anyone unintentionally.” —J.F. Crow

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” -Dorothy Parker

“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up.” -Charlie Munger

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” -Marie Curie

on philosophy and life

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” -Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“I am part of all that I have met; / Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough / Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades / Forever and forever when I move. / How dull it is to pause, to make an end. / To rust unburnished, not to shine in use! / As though to breathe were life!” —Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life…Almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important …Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” —Steve Jobs

“Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.” —Jim Horning

“Dealing with failure is easy: work hard to improve. Success is also easy to handle: you’ve solved the wrong problem. Work hard to improve.” —Alan J. Perlis

“Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Men never do evil so cheerfully and completely as when they do it from religious conviction.” —Blaise Pascal

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” —Winston Churchill

“Socrates: …neither poetry nor prose, spoken or written, is of any great value, if, like the compositions of the rhapsodes, they are only recited in order to be believed, and not with any view to criticism or instruction.” —Plato, in “Phaedrus”

“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” —Henry David Thoreau, in “Walden”

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” —John Lennon

“But how can you live and have no story to tell?” —Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“And as imagination bodies forth / The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen / Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing / A local habitation and a name.” —William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act V, Sc I)

“Remembering is only a new form of suffering.” -Charles Baudelaire

“Remembering is painful, it’s difficult, but it can be inspiring and it can give wisdom.” -Paul Greengrass

“I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” -Grace Hopper