A Day of Xah Life, 2012

By Xah Lee. Date:

Xah's typical day in the past 4 years.

wake up. within 30 seconds, in front of comp. Check email, twitter, stuff. Rush to kitchen, 1 cup of juice, 1 cup of coffee, get something to eat. Back to comp.

Glue my ass to the seat in front of comp. Until 16 hours has passed, sleep.

In between my wake time, in general:

on average, statistically speaking, my ass is in front of comp 13 hours a day. There's no chatting with people, meeting, driving, watching TV, or any activity not listed above. (sold my car last year. don't own a TV since 2000)

n what i do in front of comp? writing, reading, research, coding. Read xahlee.org to see the stuff. ( http://xahlee.org/wikipedia_links.html )

why all the rush to bathroom stuff? because, pain and suffering, and my sustenance is on the line. It is instilled in me that i must be the greatest success in history. But instead of making money or doing anything important, i procrastinate. More such, more pain and suffering. And when in such state, more panic, more frantic, and the activities of procrastination is study, code, acquire knowledge. (didn't the sages say that knowledge is power?)

this man has acquired little skills and understanding, but when i read about programing, lang design, software engineering, keyboarding, writing guide, linguistics, unix/linux tech, from the elite hackers (e.g. coding celebrities giving a talk, or popular articles on slashdot, reddit, hacker news), most of the time, their output is ignorant drivels to me. Right in front of my eyes. So laughable. And yes, my assertions can be scientifically verified. On subjects as UI design, emacs keyboarding efficiency, programing language syntax… (the trouble in proving many of my assertions is that, most of the time these are not things that there's actually a well developed scientific field. For example, UI design, language design, keyboard design, keyboard layout design, keyboard shortcut efficiency issues, writing style issues. They are somewhat important, and are widely known subjects, but hasn't developed into something like a math, where the community always follows logical or scientific methods to arrive at absolute truth. As a example to illustrate, UI design. Yeah, all you get is some bigshots giving a talk about good principles, and occasionally some statistical study, but almost never approached in a context of absolute truth by scientific means. Same thing with all the other subject i mentioned. (the reason these subjects are like that not because they cannot be approached scientifically. Google, for example, has taken UI design in scientific directions (by massive inhouse AB testing), they occasionally publish it. But you might say that's just a young seedling. Perhaps in 10 years, these subject might be more science based. Part of the reason is that these subjects, e.g. design, isn't something that is a concrete repeatable field related to bread'n'butter. (sure, Steve Jobs made money by design (among other characteristics, e.g. his marketing skills), but that's more like one out of gazillion by happenstance) ))

if you know so much, why haven't you rich yet? I have learned in my life, that when you want X to happen, you need to do things specifically for X, very precise steps. For example, suppose you have a special magical power that instantly transfer 10 of the world' top mathematician's knowledge of math to your brain. Will you become rich, or known? Chances are, absolutely not. You will need to take many actions for that. e.g. if you want to be famous, you have to actively publish and push and market what you know. If financial wealth is your goal, you have to take precise steps designed to convert your math knowledge into money (e.g. turn math into algorithms, patent it, start a company). Simply having the knowledge of top 10 mathematicians almost do you nothing. Possibly impress a handful of other mathematicians who happens to read your blog IF you write a blog. No awards, no nothing, even if you know ALL the knowledge of ALL the 10 mathematicians who has won the world's greatest math awards.

another good example to illustrate this thought is body building. For example, if you are body building, you need to do very specific exercises, very specific repetitions, a regime. (if you know anything about body building, you know what i mean) Then, you'll have big muscles, and exactly just that, big muscles. Your general health may actually be lower than average rural guy who never pursued any modern concept of exercise. Any street gang guy will easily kick your ass in a brawl, despite your bulk of muscles. Any highschool kid who trained for running, will run faster than you. Any hobbyist interested in weight-lifting will be able to weight lift more than you. The world is like that. If you want X, steps for X gets you that, and it must be very specific. And, chances are, there are thousand nobodies in the world who have been interested in X for some reason in their life, will do X far better than you. (the internet is starting to show this phenomenon. e.g. in Dilbert, the janitor knows more programing than the professional programer.)

… wait, why am i writing this? i'm supposed to work on my website stuff. Ok, back to my franticality.