distractions

distance running

I enjoy medium- and long-distance running, especially in pseudo-urban settings (e.g., local trails). I’ve grown to prefer minimalist running shoes – actually, running sandals. Currently, I run exclusively in a pair of the Mono by LUNA Sandals. I try to record most of my runs – if you feel like it, you can follow me on Strava here.

Having grown comfortable (attached to?) running in the Monos, I’ve been making an effort to move to sandals with a more minimal/traditional flavor. Relatively recently, I’ve started to really enjoy the Origen Flaco (also by LUNA Sandals).


brewing coffee

My hopeless dependence on caffeine inspired in me an interest in learning more about coffee and its proper preparation. Currently, I brew almost all of the coffee I drink using this classic pour over dripper by Blue Bottle.

I have spent a fair amount of time experimenting with single-origin coffee from around the world, recently relying only on what’s been on offer from Blue Bottle. Here’s what I’ve had the chance to try over roughly the last calendar year:


quotable

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

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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“Everyone believes in the normal law of errors, the experimenters because they think it is a mathematical theorem, the mathematicians because they think it is an experimental fact.” -Henri Poincaré

philosophy and life

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

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

“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”

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” - Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“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

“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

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

“Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.” -Bertolt Brecht

“Why be a man when you can be a success?” -Bertolt Brecht

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

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

“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

“If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.” -Benjamin Franklin

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

“Do not fear death so much as an inadequate life.” -Bertolt Brecht

“Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.” -Ovid