Useless Stuff

How to have less of it

Dominic Cooney
June 20, 2020

You have too much useless stuff.

Get rid of it.

Marie Kondo's method can manipulate your emotions to help you throw things out. First, you have to pile all your clothes on the bed. Put all you books on the floor. That sort of thing. How much stuff you have will disgust you. Second, you have to "wake up" your . . .

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Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems - Galileo Galilei

Does the sun move around the earth or vice-versa?

Dominic Cooney
July 14, 2019

Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems Dialogue unfolds over four days, among three people. Salviati argues that Copernicus was right: The Earth orbits the Sun. Simplicio has an uncritical deference to Aristotle and Ptolemy. He's latched onto the idea that the sun orbits the Earth. Sagredo is the audience, an intelligent bystander.

This book inspires awe in the . . .

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Writing Solid Code - Steve Maguire

Microsoft at the zenith of C programming.

Dominic Cooney
July 13, 2019

Writing Solid Code

Is Writing Solid Code a paltry set of rules for writing C, for a vanished era of PCs? Yes, but if you put it in context, this is an amazing book.

It's 1993. Microsoft is near the height of its powers: Windows 3.11 will be out that December. Windows 95 development is under way. The FTC closed an investigation into . . .

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Books Which Spark Joy

These are the ones I kept.

Dominic Cooney
July 12, 2019

I use Mari Kondo's method from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. You only hang onto things which “spark joy.” This is a catalog of books which sparked joy for me. This is a work in progress... There's a lot of sparkles of joy to get through.

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Digital Signal Processing - Steven W. Smith

A practical guide in an impractical language.

Dominic Cooney
July 12, 2019

Fast Fourier Transform in BASIC I avoided learning DSP for a long time. It was something arcane which Real Engineers understood. This book helped me get over that.

The first thing you notice is the code listings: They're all in BASIC! How digital signal processing operates laid bare.

The second thing you notice is the breadth of applications. Audio . . .

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A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin

One of my formative memories of reading.

Dominic Cooney
July 11, 2019

A Wizard of Earthsea My mother read the Earthsea trilogy to my older brothers and me at bedtime. We had the three books in one volume. I reread it when I was in high school a dozen years after that and it was completely falling apart by then.

Some day I'll be completely falling apart too, I suppose, but for now I'm happy to wait to share this . . .

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Story Genius - Lisa Cron

One of my four favourite fiction writing books.

Dominic Cooney
July 11, 2019

Story Genius

Books about writing? You can spend your time reading them and never, you know, actually write. So I'm on as strict diet for these things. Story Genius' exercises actually got me writing. There's some theory and structure behind it, but it's not one of those "formula" books.

Cron says cognitive . . .

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