House Music and coding are an excellent combo.
âI email my students all the timeâthat isnât unusual,â Alexander Coward tells us. âWhat is very unusual is for one of those emails to goÂ viral.â The UC Berkeleyâs math lecturerâs surprise is understandable. Among the torrent of listicles, kitty gifs, and Youtube clips depicting moderate-to-severe injury that seize the imagination of the Internet daily, an email from a professor to his 800 students about the scheduling details of his class is hardly the stuff that memes are madeÂ of.
This section really spoke loudly to me:
One of the things you can lose track of when you attend a top tier university like Berkeley is just how exceptional and amazing you really are. I’m blown away every time I talk to you. The way you ask penetrating questions, the way you improved so much between midterm 1 and 2, the way you challenge me to be a better teacher, it just knocks my socks off. You really are amazing. I’ve taught students all over the world, and I’ve never seen a group of students so talented. I’m not just talking about some of you. I’m talking about all of you. It’s a privilege to be your professor. Sadly, however, I know many of you don’t feel that way. The difficulty you all face is that as you look around at all your fellow students, it’s easy to have your eye drawn by people doing better than you. Or rather, I should say people who look like they’re doing better than you. In reality the true extent of how much people are learning can be difficult to measure. Sometimes failures and adversity are better preparations for long term success than effortless progress.
Why am I telling you all this?
I’m telling you this because you all need to know that there is not some great pool of amazing people in some other place who are going to shape the way our species navigates the coming decades. The simple fact is that, like it or not, technology is going to change the way we live in the future, and you’re going to have to solve some very hard problems, as well as figure out how best to use new technology for good, while at the same time facing human dangers that have haunted humanity throughout history.
Part of the work of your generation is going to be technological, using scientific ideas to serve the interests of society, and part of the work is going to be fundamentally human, tied inexorably with qualities of the human condition - human emotion - that dominate the whole of history. These things are not separate, but are inexorably linked, and you are in a better place to understand that connection than me.
I can’t tell you what your particular role should be in the new realities of the 21st century. It’s up to you to decide if you want to make the focus of your life technological, focused on new innovations to drive society forward, or essentially human, focused on the age-old struggles of trying to get along, work together, and find happiness, or some combination of the two.
However I can tell you this:
Whatever you decide to do with your life, it’s going to be really, really complicated.
Science and technology is complicated. History and politics is complicated. People are complicated. Figuring out how to be happy, and do simple things like take care of our kids and maintain friendships and relationships, is complicated.
In order for you to navigate the increasing complexity of the 21st century you need a world-class education, and thankfully you have an opportunity to get one. I don’t just mean the education you get in class, but I mean the education you get in everything you do, every book you read, every conversation you have, every thought you think.
You need to optimize your life for learning.
You need to live and breath your education.
You need to be *obsessed* with your education.
Do not fall into the trap of thinking that because you are surrounded by so many dazzlingly smart fellow students that means you’re no good. Nothing could be further from the truth.
And do not fall into the trap of thinking that you focusing on your education is a selfish thing. It’s not a selfish thing. It’s the most noble thing you could do.
Society is investing in you so that you can help solve the many challenges we are going to face in the coming decades, from profound technological challenges to helping people with the age old search for human happiness and meaning.
That is why I am not canceling class tomorrow. Your education is really really important, not just to you, but in a far broader and wider reaching way than I think any of you have yet to fully appreciate. ”
The lessons learned best are often the ones that are most painful. I’ve failed so that next time I may succeed.
I have a feeling that in a few years, the successful engineers and entrepreneurs of our generation will tell people that this scene is what got them started. Kind of like how a lot of veteran scientists and engineers of today say that Star Trek was what got them into their field.
I’m writing a compiler for Nand2Tetris and there was a problem that I was trying to fix and I spent nearly 3 hrs working on it, with some long breaks in between, but in the end, the only thing I needed to do was add a single line of code. I tried a few other things that required more effort and they still didn’t work. Funny how the best solutions are sometimes the simplest ones as well. It was important though, because I came to understand the low level software better.
Pretty amazing that the real breakthrough behind the Leap Motion’s technology came from mathematical principles that were discovered. It’s amazing to think that math, something so abstract, can lead to fundamental tangible changes in technology. Much respect.
Reminder to myself to read this later: http://lifehacker.com/top-10-ways-to-make-this-school-year-your-most-producti-1188607792
I wish there was a Chrome app that would let me queue a list of articles to read.
Here are the things I liked and disliked about the Jobs Movie.
Like: Ashton Kutcher was an ok Steve. He kinda overdid it sometimes. The actor who played Jony Ive was pretty good. He made it very convincing that it was him cause he kind of sounds like him when he talks, at least on the keynotes and product trailers. I think that’s pretty much it.
Dislike: It completely skipped over some of the most exciting points of his life, especially the points where he made his big turnaround and came up with some really great successes. For example, they completely left out the visit to Xerox Parc which I would say was one of the most exciting stories I read in the biography. I was excited when I read that, I was actually on the edge of my seat feeling the tension of the situation. And that was the game-changer.
I would’ve thought it might’ve been better to start with his childhood briefly instead of launching the freaking iPod which they didn’t even re-visit at the end! I think it would’ve been nice starting off with him learning from his father about craftsmanship and detail and putting care into all aspects of a piece of work, even the parts that are not seen. I think that would’ve made more sense to audiences why he was so anal about the finest details of the things he was working on. They also totally should’ve shown a little of his and Woz’s humorous side, especially their pranks. And why not the blue box story? That would’ve been a wonderful way to incorporate both the first experience of selling a product they made (although illegal) and also demonstrating some of their humorous sides.
I think the reaction to the 1984 commercial was not authentic and maybe not accurate. The juxtaposition of the eerie background music of that commercial with the inspiring music of the scene just did not fit well with each other. It would’ve been more accurate, and maybe even funnier to show how depressing and menacing the commercial was, and then show Markula’s and Sculley’s stunned reaction to the most depressing ad they’ve ever seen.
It seems to me they focused too much on the power struggle between Steve, his board, and Sculley. That should’ve happened at the middle of the movie. And then left more time at the end for his exile, recover, and rebirth as a wiser and more innovative individual. By the time they fired him, I checked my phone and saw that there was only 20 more minutes left! They were going to jam the whole NeXT thing and even the success of Pixar, his return, and his plan to re-focus the company, and eventually their success in their future product lines in just 20 minutes?? Nope, they even cut out the Pixar part. No mention of that in the movie at all. And all they did at the end was have Steve spend so much time talking about how cool he wanted to make Apple instead of showing what he did to make it cool, which I thought was the most interesting and inspiring thing of his story.
And to my recollection, Markula stepped down when Steve returned because he knew it wasn’t a good idea for him to be there anymore after he chose Sculley over him. Markula realized that it was time for him to leave. I don’t think he left begrudgingly after being asked to by Jobs as it was portrayed in the movie.
Overall, the movie was too focused on corporate politics and not enough on catharsis, reinvention, the joys of building something. It was an opportunity for them to portray the joys of working in engineering fields, of being a maker, a builder, of building something of value. They just didn’t quite capture that. And I felt they actually glanced over those moments too quickly. Like “Oh we need something new and easy to use! And we’re going to get some good people to work on it! And let’s skip all the headache in between and just show that we made it!” That’s not inspiring. To portray the joy of building something your own, you need to convince people that this thing belongs to them, whether it’s crap or not. But the fact that it came from your mind, and you were smart enough to put this thing together, and then as you fight with your colleagues and defend why it should be this way and not that way it shows how much you care about making this thing great, and finally when you’re done and ready to sign your work, you look back on all the work that went into it and see that it’s your baby. They didn’t capture that. For the social network, they chose a good mood to use for the movie. It was young, hip, and very hacker-esque, with pretty awesome music. That made programming and coding look so cool. I feel they missed this with the Jobs movie. And that’s a big mistake as that was what Jobs stood for.
Oh and they barely talked about his buddhist background nor did they really highlight his family life after. It was all about Jobs and everyone else just kinda passed by, whereas they should’ve shown that he was a family man, and that he loved his kids and wife.
I suppose that’s a lot to put into one movie, but I think it’s something that’s important to include if you want to capture it right. MAybe asking for a trilogy would be too much, but if done correctly, I think it’s a movie that could be worth watching a few dozen times. I’ve watched Iron man so many times and my favorite things to watch are not the fight scenes, but the scenes where he plays with his tech. As much as I appreciate the attempt to tell people the story of the man and team behind the ‘i’ devices they use, they did a pretty bad job of it.