Book Review: Ready Player One

This one was very easy to get into, and by goodness, it’s being turned into a movie as we type! Front the beginning, I was sucked into this gloom, gray, dirty, dusty world, and as a new world, it was captivating! I mean, there is no more meaning to life than the one we’ve created in the virtual world, isn’t it? Ernest Cline’s new world was one I could easily imagine – the feeling is similar for me while reading The Giver or Hunger Games. It was a dreary one, and Cline gave this dystopia a new take with nostagic video games.

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Mind you, I never played video games longer than 30 minutes. I’ve never owned a console until I turned eleven (I think), and that was only a Game Boy Advanced. Computer or other TV games, I never got into them and didn’t bother trying to ask my parents to buy it for me. I also didn’t have anyone to play with.

Despite my not having any computer game knowledge, it was still very easy to be sucked into this imaginary virtual world where you can be, whoever you want to be. You can look, however you want to look. And, you can sound like, whatever you want to sound like. It was a loner kid’s fantasy come true.

I’ve enjoyed reading this through perhaps three-quarters of the way in, and then it just turned into a movie and that was disappointing. I thought the whole plot of finding the hidden Easter eggs by understanding games and its hidden messages was pretty cool. Then it was ruined by having bad guys come in and chasing everyone around. At that point, I was just thinking to myself, is Ernest Cline trying to write this like a blockbuster action movie? The plot turned cliche and less interesting even though I continued and ultimately finished it.

I’ve seen the movie trailer now, and it kind of is exactly as I imagined it. The book, now movie, is just another action movie full of CGs with a generic plot. I won’t be going to see this movie on opening day, but perhaps someday I’ll stream it on Netflix just to say I’ve read and seen both.

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Not here to crush dreams, but to crush entropy

Chaos begone!

Very good read on Medium by Rands about project managers and the need for them when your company is growing a tad too big. Don’t be afraid to slim down on your responsibilities to what you really need to be doing (for instance, managing code, not people). A good project manager will be able to provide clarity amongst all the moving pieces because that is what they are there to do. They have the big picture view of where everything is and what’s going on so you can focus on what you are best at.

A good project manager is one who elegantly and deftly handles information. They know what structured meetings need to exist to gather information; they artfully understand how to gather additional essential information in the hallways; and they instinctively manage to move that gathered information to the right people and the right teams at the right time.

Source: https://medium.com/@rands/entropy-crushers-fd552252dfff#.dduq017qe

Project Management – Manage Wha??

You would be person #5 who I have told that I got a “promotion” at work this past January! (!!!!) I put quotations around promotion because it wasn’t a direct move up the work ladder, but more a sideways leap into a different team and a completely new role. I gain a lot more responsibility, and I’m hungry for it.

I’m now a project manager at my start-up! Way to go me! *pats self on back*

The position encompasses working with other project managers, engineers, and some business partners down the road. Because of how different this job is compared to my previous duties, I am trying to get myself into a mindset of ultimate learning. Learning at work from my new colleagues and learning at home on my own with the textbook I borrowed, “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)”. There’s a whole line of published materials on this kind of stuff, and it may strike someone to find that there’s so much you can write about how to manage projects. I don’t know if this will lead me to certification, but it’s a start to moving forward in my career.

I haven’t done this much learning since college! Kind of exciting, really.

May 1944 – Little House

It’s not the transmitter. Etienne is wrong. It was not the radio the German was interested in. It was something else, something he thought only she might know about. And he heard what he wanted to hear. She answered his one question after all.

Just a dumb model of this town.

-Page 426 of All the Light We Cannot See

Magnocellular Deficit

Magnocellular (“magno” for short) deficit is related to dyslexia. The magno cells are associated with processing and detecting movement of stimuli coming through your retina. In autopsies of dyslexics and non-dyslexics, the former has a smaller cluster of magno cells that can bring in rapidly changing information. Because of this, images would tend to clump together and an activity like reading proves to be extremely difficult; the brain simply cannot parse out the many images (of text) going into your eyes. Without clean breaks between one word to the next, the words on a page seem to shimmer and jump on a page. It is not surprising to find that people who are dyslexic also do not like crowds or places with lots of movement – city streets, for example, with its many moving cars and people.

Parallel pathways of magno (fast-processing) and parvo (slow-processing) cells

In The User’s Guide to the Brain (page 105) by John J. Ratey, a researcher gives her story of how hard it was for her to believe that her mother is a dyslexic.

No, it couldn’t be, I thought to myself. My mother couldn’t possibly be dyslexic. She had graduated at the top of her class, she’s a perfectionist, and she absolutely loves to learn. How could she of all people be dyslexic?

We often do not realize that dyslexia can happen to anyone, and that being smart and motivated does not mean that it is easy to read. Reading, after all, is not an innate ability. Humans are not born knowing how to read but we certainly are capable of doing so. Dyslexia does not equate the lack of intelligence.