Hi there! My name is Nathan. I occasionally write things on this blog about coding, random thoughts or quotes I found from the Internet and books.

Michael Pupin in Maker of Patterns


I came across this beautiful story about Michael Pupin in the book Maker of Patterns: An Autobiography Through Letters - Freeman Dyson: Michael Pupin began life as a shepherd boy in a remote part of Hungary but Serb-speaking. At the age of fifteen, having had a little schooling, he decided to run away to America; and having sold his warm clothes to pay his fare, he spent a fortnight almost frozen to death crossing the Atlantic and finally arrived in New York not speaking a word of English and with five cents as his total wealth.…
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Rich Hickey on logic


In the final slide of his talk in Clojure/Conj 2017, Rich Hickey mentioned this quote: The true function of logic … as applied to matters of experience … is analytic rather than constructive; taken a priori, it shows the possibility of hitherto unsuspected alternatives more often than the impossibility of alternatives which seemed prima facie possible. Thus, while it liberates imagination as to what the world may be, it refuses to legislate as to what the world is.…
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Revenge of the Nerds


Paul Graham on “what made Lisp different” in his essay Revenge Of The Nerds in 2002: The whole language is there all the time. There is no real distinction between read-time, compile-time, and runtime. You can compile or run code while reading, read or run code while compiling, and read or compile code at runtime. Running code at read-time lets users reprogram Lisp’s syntax; running code at compile-time is the basis of macros; compiling at runtime is the basis of Lisp’s use as an extension language in programs like Emacs; and reading at runtime enables programs to communicate using s-expressions, an idea recently reinvented as XML.…
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DHH's "reconsider"


Reconsider was written by David Heinemeier Hansson (or DHH in short). It was supposed to be his cancelled talk at WebSummit 2015. The article was introduced to me from his tweet yesterday. I certainly learned a few things from DHH’s point of view, and found it extremely worth sharing. Here are some snapshots from the article: I wanted to put down roots. Long term bonds with coworkers and customers and the product.…
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What are the chances?


A basic rule of statistics: The probability for both A and B to happen at the same time is: P(A and B): P(A) * P(B) Now imagine a project having 5 different moving parts, and we are able to get each part working 90% of the times. The probability of getting all parts to work together at the same time is: P(working project): 0.9 * 0.9 * 0.9 * 0.9 * 0.…
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Are we there yet?


Many of us complain about long travel time, especially when traveling alone. Yet, we tend to forget that the adventure starts the moment we step out of the door. Talk to a stranger in the next seat, visit the train restaurant. If a part of traveling is about widening our experience, why not actively seek for it, regardles of where we are.…
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Maintaining Software


More than 3 months ago, I decided to join the maintenance team at Futurice. Our company is filled with solid programmers. Learning from their code seems to be too good an opportunity to pass on, and so far, I am happy with the experience: To my surprise, the majority of my day to day work involves developing new features for current projects, and little bug fixings. I feel fortunate to have talented business people in our team, who make sure the projects we get are not merely collections of bug tickets.…
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Winning a yoga race


Winning a yoga race It makes no sense, of course. The question this prompts is: Are there places you feel like you’re falling behind where there’s actually no race? Can’t keep count of the number of times I’ve quoted Seth Godin’s blog posts… Probably not enough.…
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Dealing with ego


During one of our lunch conversations, my good colleague shared how he managed to work with people who have big ego: Agree with what they say, stay committed to the decision, finish the project, then try to avoid them at all cost in the future. You can’t win a fight against other’s ego, but you can be supportive and get things done, even when that means making your own compromises.…
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7000 blog posts


If there is one website that I always feel I have not been visiting enough, it’s Seth Godin’s daily blog. This is post 7,000 The blog contains more than 2,700,000 words, delivering the equivalent of more than thirty full-length books. The blog doesn’t exist to get you to buy a book… sometimes I think I write the books to get people to read the blog. I haven’t missed a day in many, many years–the discipline of sharing something daily is priceless.…
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