On life being difficult

On life being difficult. From the book “The Road Less Traveled”:

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

― M. Scott Peck

I constantly remind myself this.

Why is learning programming so hard for some people?

I’ll try to explain based on my experience explaining Java to some friends. I never been through formal programming training which probably hence made me a poor teacher.

To me, it is because they cannot accept the language as it is. They question why are things done this way? Why not another way? The modern programming language is so abstract. It’s hard to see how the lower level components interact.

Some learners need to fiddle with the lower layers to accept and understand the higher level components. We just build tools on top of the lowest layer and then establish more and more layers thinking it is making life simple.

I lost my patience before and said to a friend, “Why can’t you just memorize it? It’s by design, if you don’t like then design your own language.” Actually it’s just an excuse because the real reason is too long to explain. It’s like telling a primary school kid that light travels in a straight line even though you well know it doesn’t and thank god it doesn’t.

Perhaps it does make life simple for the already programmers, but it makes learning a lot harder.

Ubuntu is so hard, but I like it

I’ve been working a little more in Ubuntu these days. I found it to be slightly faster. Especially with the performance of NetBeans. It’s a joy to work with NetBeans. In Windows Vista, it’s shit slow. I don’t know why, it’s probably due to all the overheads from the services launched during start up.

I feel lighter now.

The funny thing is that I got more productive in Ubuntu not because it’s a better platform in terms of functionality but just because there are lesser distractions. Most of my leisure stuff are in Windows Vista. I use Windows Live Messenger so often there. In Ubuntu I don’t like Pidgin and I miss my custom emoticons, hehe1.

Monkey hehe emoticon

I auto-hide the rather useless bottom panel which only use twice a day and rely most on keyboard shortcuts. I also enabled the Windowlist screenlet and use it as a taskbar replacement.

Ubuntu’s still hard to use

  • I hate exploring my folders so I don’t explore folders much any more.
  • There’re too many clicks involve in organizing my files so I never download anything any more.
  • Finding music in my Windows hard disk through Ubuntu is so hard and I don’t know how to create a link to directly link to me the folder.

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