Virtue

Virtue — tough word to define, but we know it means something good. Tao Te Ching verses 38 to 81 are dedicated to this word. That’s a lot of verses.

Verse 38 is the Tao’s introduction to virtue. I’ve read it over and over again and need to consolidate some thoughts around it. Let’s get into it.

The Best Recruitment Emails

I keep my personal inbox very clean. I’m the “Zero Inbox” type and my desktop icons have been aligned since the 7th grade. I’m good at inbound filtering and I’m excellent at unsubscribing from mailing lists.

Despite all this, I neglect one particular inbox — LinkedIn. This is the inbox where 99% of the messages are from recruiters. We all know what we signed up for, no surprises here.

The effort put into recruitment emails is low and their effectiveness is shit. Filtering for “A+ Python Engineer” followed by copy-paste does not work well.

Thoughtful recruitment messages are few and far between these days. I’m going to use this post to present a simple template that works well.

TAO Nightclub and Sexy Rose Petal Bathtubs

If you’re a Vegas-goer, even in a past life, you’re familiar with TAO. It’s one of the cookie-cutter, over-the-top, spend-too-much-money Vegas clubs we’re all used to.

One thing TAO is known for is having bathtubs full of rose petals. There are two potential reasons to having these tubs:

  1. Lounging area for sexy girls to dance and wash themselves with rose petals.
  2. Subtle symbolism with a connection to Laozi’s legendary Tao.

I’m an advocate for the sexy girls. It’s not the classiest thing in the world, but from a greenback and customer happiness perspective, I understand.

Regarding the symbolism, how could we possibly link Taoism with TAO the Nightclub? Are they even supposed to be related?

First reaction is probably a hard no — Dear God, I hope they’re not related.

Object Oriented Programming

Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby, by Sandi Metz, is a great read.

This is a book for programmers. Whatever the language, whatever the skill, if you’re an engineer working on an object-oriented application, this will help.

I have a deep respect for anyone that can distill complicated and controversial issues. Out of the many “This is Best Way” type of engineering books out there, this one leans objective, which is great. The one part of engineering I don’t like is the bickering. Nothing is actually controversial.

Get shit working. Do it well.

If you’re too lazy to read the book, here are some spark notes.

Understand Deeply

Understanding deeply is difficult. We overlook the holes in our own knowledge and run full speed at advanced topics.

During academics, pinpointing a lack of understanding is easy. If we’re clueless on an assignment or bomb a test, then we’ve missed some concepts. Since everything is naturally cumulative, it’s straightforward to figure out when things get fuzzy.

It’s when you look at your homework and have no idea what the f#$% is going on.

If you can’t solve a problem, then there is an easier problem you can’t solve: find it.

George Polya

I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent. Curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas.

Albert Einstein

Tao Te Ching — Chapter 1

Where I’m At

Fives years ago, I was introduced to the Tao. My understanding of Taoism is equivalent to a baby’s understanding of black holes. Throughout the years and the day-to-days, I constantly revisit the Tao and the ideas inside the Tao Te Ching. Each time, I arrive at a brief moment of enlightenment followed by a intense feeling of I have no idea what’s going on.

The embodiment of the Tao is hard. It’s the personal part — the part we figure out for ourselves. Luckily, the concepts of the Tao can be explained with words. My words maybe? Random ideas float around in my head and it’s time to download some of them.

Hello World.

That was insanely easy.

I undergo severe mind blasting every time I use these insane online services. I one-clicked a Droplet in a minute, pointed some DNS, and drooled as I clicked through some WordPress wizardry.

I had a similar feeling last week while using an online charting program. Does anyone use Microsoft Visio anymore? All I thought about while dragging and dropping was, “Some guys wrote a shit ton of code for this.”

I’m not very good at writing. I think if I wrote more I’ll be better at it. This might be a good medium for that.

I Googled basic blogging tips. Apparently successful blogs are 100% for the reader. Unfortunately, this blog is going to be about me — for now. A scratchpad for my random musings and rants  will be fun.

Mind. Blasted.