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I'd like to introduce you to a few of my closest friends

I'd like to introduce you to a few of my closest friends

Because I firmly believe that the best thing you can do to be an amazing software engineer is spend some time doing something besides software engineering, I'd like to divert your attention away from the subject for a brief moment. I'll introduce you to a few of my closest friends (who aren't actually my friends, some aren't even alive) who have helped me understand what we do in ways you might not expect. If nothing else, I hope you'll learn some new ideas from this colorful group of writers, scientists, chefs, artists, and musicians.

Michael Bernstein

January 15, 2016
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  1. I’d like to introduce you to
    a few of my closest friends
    Michael R. Bernstein
    CUSEC, Montreal, QC, 15 Jan 2016

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  2. "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"
    by Wallace Stevens

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  3. I
    Among twenty snowy mountains,
    The only moving thing
    Was the eye of the blackbird.
    II
    I was of three minds,
    Like a tree
    In which there are three blackbirds.
    III
    The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
    It was a small part of the pantomime.

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  4. IV
    A man and a woman
    Are one.
    A man and a woman and a blackbird
    Are one.
    V
    I do not know which to prefer,
    The beauty of inflections
    Or the beauty of innuendoes,
    The blackbird whistling
    Or just after.

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  5. VI
    Icicles filled the long window
    With barbaric glass.
    The shadow of the blackbird
    Crossed it, to and fro.
    The mood
    Traced in the shadow
    An indecipherable cause.
    VII
    O thin men of Haddam,
    Why do you imagine golden birds?
    Do you not see how the blackbird
    Walks around the feet
    Of the women about you?

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  6. VIII
    I know noble accents
    And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
    But I know, too,
    That the blackbird is involved
    In what I know.
    IX
    When the blackbird flew out of sight,
    It marked the edge
    Of one of many circles.

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  7. X
    At the sight of blackbirds
    Flying in a green light,
    Even the bawds of euphony
    Would cry out sharply.
    XI
    He rode over Connecticut
    In a glass coach.
    Once, a fear pierced him,
    In that he mistook
    The shadow of his equipage
    For blackbirds.

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  8. XII
    The river is moving.
    The blackbird must be flying.
    XIII
    It was evening all afternoon.
    It was snowing
    And it was going to snow.
    The blackbird sat
    In the cedar-limbs.

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  9. Dedicated to Wallace
    Stevens, and all XIII
    Blackbirds

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  10. I’m obsessed

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  11. I’m doing just fine,
    thanks

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  12. Thelonious Monk
    Improvise

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  13. Gilles Deleuze
    Question Everything

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  14. Charles Baudelaire
    Redefine beauty

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  15. “What does it matter what reality is
    outside myself, so long as it has helped me
    to live, to feel that I am, and what I am?"

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  16. “It's Ennui!—his eye brimming with spontaneous tear
    He dreams of the gallows in the haze of his hookah.
    You know him, reader, this delicate monster,
    Hypocritical reader, my likeness, my brother!”

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  17. Brian Eno
    Hone Your Aesthetics

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  18. Virginia Woolf
    Use your real voice

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  19. “What is the meaning of life? That was all—
    a simple question; one that tended to close in
    on one with years. The great revelation had
    never come. The great revelation perhaps
    never did come. Instead there were little
    daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck
    unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.”

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  20. Harry Smith
    Obsess

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  21. "In 1950 Smith received a Guggenheim grant to
    complete an abstract film, which enabled him first
    to visit and later move to New York City.[10] He
    arranged for his collections, including his records,
    to be shipped to the East Coast. He said that "one
    reason he moved to New York was to study the
    Cabala. And, 'I wanted to hear Thelonious Monk
    play'."[11]"

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  22. Grant Achatz
    Persevere

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  23. Nancy Lynch
    Formalize

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  24. "I’ve tried in this talk to give you a good picture
    of the history, status and flavor of research in
    impossibility proofs for distributed computing. I
    hope you’re convinced that it is an interesting and
    fruitful area for research. Now with some luck, skill
    and inspiration, we can continue to make great
    strides, proving more and more things to be
    impossible!"

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  25. bell hooks
    Empathize

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  26. Michele Alexander
    See through the system

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  27. * Improvise
    * Question everything
    * Redefine beauty
    * Hone your aesthetics
    * Use your real voice
    * Obsess
    * Persevere
    * Formalize
    * Empathize
    * See through the system

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  28. The best thing you can do to be an
    amazing software engineer is spend
    some time doing something besides
    software engineering.

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  29. The opportunity is yours to
    help people live the lives that
    they deserve to live.

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  30. Thanks!
    @mrb_bk
    http://michaelrbernstein.in
    [email protected]

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