21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Anecdote of Shamans Responding to Star Trek

DI for documenting his journey to shamanism in the 1994 book Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of African Shaman. He writes about the proverbial dive into the rabbit hole as he was studying with the elders of his community and balancing his newfound wisdom with his Western education. Some paints a picture of a different path to knowledge that contradicts the norms of Western conventions. According to him. the Dagara have no word for the supernatural. "For us, ...
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31 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 COBOL as a Programming Language

I worked with COBOL near the end of my last contract and found aspects of it fascinating compared to today's languages. Everything is about structures that map directly to the bits on disk, with fine grain control on precision and data types. But then the language reads as a series of macros where you don't have to remember the low level details: do this to this, put this here, if this do that. It's also a terribly difficult language to parse because it was designed for ease of use by humans...
Folksonomies: history computer science
Folksonomies: history computer science
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Comment captures what's interesting about it historically, how early programmers needed algorithms to handle all the bit-switching.

27 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Handling Self Doubt

I think the more you know, the more you realize just how much you don't know. So paradoxically, the deeper down the rabbit hole you go, the more you might tend to fixate on the growing collection of unlearned peripheral concepts that you become conscious of along the way. That can manifest itself as feelings of fraudulence when people are calling you a "guru" or "expert" while you're internally overwhelmed by the ever-expanding volumes of things you're learning that you don't know. However, ...
Folksonomies: learning cognitive bias
Folksonomies: learning cognitive bias
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When dealing with self-doubt about one's abilities, remember that what you don't know is a treasure map that less-skilled people don't have.