May 31, 2008
by Thomas L. Friedman.
When I first heard about this book it was not amongst my priorities (for me, economics == boring). But after hearing recommendations from two different sources, I decided to give it a try. I ended up listening to the audio version instead.
What I liked:
- Good answers to questions like:
- Why does India have some of the best programmers?
- Why are most of my gadgets made in China / Taiwan / Malaysia?
- Why does Amazon.com not ship electronics to Moldova?
- Why do I find it strange that my parents expect their employer to keep them hired for life?
- The author really did his homework. You wouldn’t expect to be finding Linux references in an economics book, would you? (That’s just an example.)
- Good thoughts to consider about the positive side of globalisation. The few globalisation critics I have asked couldn’t give me a good answer to what’s so BAD about it.
- Although written from an American point of view, the book contains enough ideas for people in the third world to be worth the read.
What I liked less:
- It is written in a very repetitive (self-help-like) style. To avoid falling asleep I listened to it at 1.3x speed
- This is not the author’s fault, but there doesn’t seem to be a definite way for countries like Moldova to really get into the “flat world”. India made it, but it seems like we have neither their optimism nor their hard-work genes…
This book has convinced me (yet again) that this is the perfect era to live in, and that technology and globalisation are solving more problems than they are creating. The world is moving in the right direction, and there is no point turning towards the past and swimming against the current.
A quotation from the final chapter:
When memories exceed dreams, the end is near.
May 30, 2008
by Gabrielle Zevin.
After the great first few sentences, I honestly expected more from this book. I liked how it was split into three parts (I was, I am, I will). But there is not much in there besides this. The ‘why’ behind many parts of the story is unclear, in fact ‘luck’ has more to do with it than I would have liked. The novel is an artificial and didactic (which I hate) story about putting ones past behind and becoming a better person. It also contains a bunch of references to movies and music, which perhaps I’d look up if I liked the story more.
- [...] listen for the pauses when you want to know if someone’s hiding something.
- I was worried that you had gotten a bit, well, cynical [...]. I wanted to remind you about romance. It was probably a stupid notion — a sixteen-year-old who’s not an expert on romance ought to be brought to a lab and dissected.
- Ask two people to tell you anything, you’ll get two versions.
- Screw the past.
- I think it’s in somewhat bad taste to give an amnesiac a blank book.
- It’s when you don’t need something that you tend to lose it.
- But the good thing about art is that no one necessarily knows what you mean by it anyway.
- They should tell you when you’re born: have a suitcase heart, be ready to travel.
May 28, 2008
de Liviu Rebreanu.
O carte care imortalizează fricţiunea dintre sine şi lumea exterioară, prezentând drama lui Apostol Bologa, suflet distrus de realitatea războiului, rupt între datorie şi patriotism, ros de “tirania gândurilor” în singurătate; dar care în sfârşit îşi găseşte împăcarea în iubire şi credinţă. Romanul începe cu o presimţire, dezgroapă din trecut o cauză, iar apoi redă cu dureros detaliu rostogolirea în jos a unei vieţi, în acelaşi timp găsind o cale pentru emanciparea spiritului. Deşi se ciocnesc, se sparg şi renasc în fundal, diversele frânturi de filozofie (judecata, vinovăţia, iertarea, religia) nu duc — poate intenţionat — spre nici un răspuns definitiv. În schimb, în minte răsună metalic cuvintele reci, “îmi fac datoria.”
Autorul m-a impresionat prin bogăţia stilului. Pe fiecare pagină se ascund diamante ale expresiei şi ale emoţiei. Este primul roman românesc care mi-a plăcut cu adevărat. Doar două dintre diamantele mai sus amintite:
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May 27, 2008
Before I began using VIM I didn’t care much that my typing habits were very inefficient, but now I’m looking everywhere for possible optimizations
There are two simple shortcuts that work on KDE, Gnome and (AFAIK) even Windows, and that will probably become second nature once you start using them. Perhaps they are regarded as common knowledge, but I’ve only stumbled across them this year.
Ctrl+Backspace deletes the last word.
Ctrl+Delete deletes the next word.
And of course Ctrl+W in bash (as in VIM) is very useful when the length of your command gets out of control.