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

  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.
  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.
  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?
  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.
  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.
  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.
  9. Dedicated to Wallace Stevens, and all XIII Blackbirds

  10. I’m obsessed

  11. I’m doing just fine, thanks

  12. Thelonious Monk Improvise

  13. None
  14. None
  15. None
  16. Gilles Deleuze Question Everything

  17. None
  18. Charles Baudelaire Redefine beauty

  19. None
  20. “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?"
  21. “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!”
  22. Brian Eno Hone Your Aesthetics

  23. None
  24. Virginia Woolf Use your real voice

  25. None
  26. “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.”
  27. Harry Smith Obsess

  28. "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]"
  29. None
  30. None
  31. Grant Achatz Persevere

  32. None
  33. None
  34. Nancy Lynch Formalize

  35. None
  36. None
  37. "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!"
  38. bell hooks Empathize

  39. None
  40. Michele Alexander See through the system

  41. None
  42. * Improvise * Question everything * Redefine beauty * Hone

    your aesthetics * Use your real voice * Obsess * Persevere * Formalize * Empathize * See through the system
  43. The best thing you can do to be an amazing

    software engineer is spend some time doing something besides software engineering.
  44. The opportunity is yours to help people live the lives

    that they deserve to live.
  45. Thanks! @mrb_bk http://michaelrbernstein.in michaelrbernstein@gmail.com