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.

Tour de Babel - revisited


The first time I read Steve Yegge’s post - “Tour de Babel” - was more than 2 years ago, and wrote a blog post about it. Two things that stuck with me back then: I needed to start using Emacs, and I did. I was right for having Ruby as my favourite programming language. I think I still like Ruby now, although not as much as I used to.…
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Simple vs easy


In one of my most favourite software development talks of all time - Make software development simple, Rich Hickey (famously known as the creator of Clojure) drew a clear distinction between simple and easy. “Simple” should not be correlated to “easy”. “Simple” means having or composed of only one thing, element, or part. “Complex” means consisting of interconnected or interwoven parts. Simplicity and complexity are objective. “Easy” means capable of being accomplished or acquired with ease.…
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On creating


Our lives are spoiled with overwhelming information. Every moment is a constant search and scroll through glorifying achivements, breakthrough inventions, the latest gadgets and technologies. All wheels have been invented. All crowns have been taken. There is always someone who does better than you do. The act of creation feels so paralising. Why bother? I have been constantly revisiting the Debbie Millman episode on The Tim Ferriss podcast lately. There is no breakthrough nor ground-breaking revelation, but the passion and the way Debbie lived her stories made them special and inspiring.…
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On ideas - what I learned from OK Go's TED talk


Watch the TED talk here. Ideas are cheap because they aren’t real. They’re intangible thoughts in our head. The band OK Go, famous for their wildly creative music videos, described it does not feel like they created great ideas, but rather, they found them. Lead singer Damian showed a photo of his childhood bedroom filled with posters, articles, artworks and notes on the walls. He spent a large amount of time in his bedroom, switching between opened eyes, lining up random objects to see if they turn into something interesting.…
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Beta


Beta is a powerful word. Beta means there will be bugs. The product is not ready, and is certainly not for everyone, but we ship it anyway. It strips away the need to be perfect, exposes imperfections to early adopters and tinkers. Most people decide to try beta products because they believe in the ideas and promises - what the software will be capable of. Beta connects creators and users. It is only for those who dare - the brave explorers who want to help perfecting the product.…
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Cascara Chocolate and Vietnam Specialty Coffee


James Hoffmann, World Barista Champion in 2007, author of “The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing – Coffees Explored, Explained and Enjoyed” shared a great recepie for making Cascara Chocolate on his blog. Cascara is a type of tea made from dried coffee husk - preserved after the process of separating coffee seeds from cherries. Some of the best varietals of coffee have high sugar content in its cherry’s flesh, giving Cascara a harmonious balance between acidity and sweetness.…
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On Lists


I love lists. We encounter lists almost every day. An individual item on a list can be a word, a phrase or a sentence that when standing alone conveys little besides its descriptive meaning. Orange: a type of fruit. A list, however, expresses a different idea. Orange, Toilet Paper, Milk, Eggs: grocery list. Grocery list also implies action of going to the store, without using a single verb. Besides, items in a list are usually filtered, condensed, and hence, should be paid equal attention to.…
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More and less


This blog post from “Seth’s blog” basically sums up my goals for this year. More and less More creating Less consuming More leading Less following More contributing Less taking More patience Less intolerance More connecting Less isolating More writing Less watching More optimism Less false realism …
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Embracing difficulties


Extract from “Brainpickings”: “In 1873, as he was approaching his thirtieth birthday, Nietzsche addressed this perennial question of how we find ourselves and bring forth our gifts in a beautiful essay titled “Schopenhauer as Educator”, part of his Untimely Meditations” Any human being who does not wish to be part of the masses need only stop making things easy for himself. Let him follow his conscience, which calls out to him: “Be yourself!…
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The "10 miles" trap


I’ve been told a lot recently: “1 inch wide, 10 miles deep”. How are “wide” and “deep” defined? 1 inch Programming Languages, 10 miles PHP 1 inch Software Development, 10 miles Web. 1 inch Fiction, 10 miles Sci-fi. 1 inch Book, 10 miles Fiction. They all make perfect sense. Which one makes perfect sense to you? Don’t forget the “1 inch wide”. 1 inch wide exists because you made the effort to look around before committing 10 miles deep.…
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