Learning and fear

“Life is going to present to you a series of transformations. And the point of education should be to transform you. To teach you how to be transformed so you can ride the waves as they come. But today, the point of education is not education. It’s accreditation. The more accreditation you have, the more money you make. That’s the instrumental logic of neoliberalism. And this instrumental logic comes wrapped in an envelope of fear.

The Litany Against Fear

So, the litany against fear goes like this:   I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.  

Ruby is alive and well

I'm back from Rubyconf. Some people say Ruby is dead. We can probably gloss over Zed Shaw's famous rant, since it's from roundabout 2007. My understanding is that the thought came about because of the many new trends in programming languages: first node, then Erlang's comeback and the birth of Elixir. Evented programming, non-blocking IO, all the fancy buzzwords, and everyone craps on Ruby's Global Interpreter Lock. Given the talks at Rubyconf, Ruby is most likely not dead (and my company's internal rubylist has an ongoing recent conversation about this if you're curious).

First Class

The first class went really well. My teaching tempo is still pretty good, though I did underestimate how much information I was giving the new students. Next time, I need to make sure I don't overwhelm them, and keep them to a smaller set of basics. This feels right. I know it's what I'm going to keep doing. Now I need to balance continued growth with proper teaching time. If I can do this twice a week, I'll have a good next step.


What Sparring Is Sparring is a playful and explorative interaction. Sparring is an exercise, a drill. The Japanese use the word KUMITE - which basically means "grouped hands" or "pair hands", "joined hands", "hands together" (the Wikipedia article suggests "grappling hands"). Sparring is a two-person free-form exercise wherein you get to examine scenarios involving combinations, footwork, distancing, rhythm, controlled power, and focus to improve yourself and your partner. Combinations: you get to play first-hand with things you have learned and put them in an environment where there is no set response.