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Recurse Center Week 7

Belated post for week 7, aka all streams, all the time. I’m giving a talk on streams, and why they are THE most excellent data structure you didn’t know enough about, at NorfolkJS and wanted to do lots of background research to really understand streams (a very Recurse Center project, I understand). I also finished the Land of Lisp, and may write a post on that, tbd. I haven’t written a post about the way MacVimSpeak works so … ?


The research begins. I hear from a friend that the “origin” of streams is the Unix system, and read about streams in APUE, but it doesn’t take credit for them. After lots of reading and videos and discussion, I can with vague confidence assert that Unix is the origin of the abstract data structure known as streams. Learning about a topic through the hunt for its origin was very interesting.


Grzegorz was in residence this week (in addition to Neha), and I asked for his help setting up a Scala environment, since apparently the computer I brought didn’t have one and/or I may have accidentally destroyed it earlier in batch when I had weird computer issues. This happened either Monday or Tuesday, but either way, it was super nice to have a really experienced person help with a “simple” thing like setting up a dev environment, and telling me all the tricks it takes people a while to “pick up” on their own. Also learned more about SBT in a workshop.

In cryptography land, I let the discussion of randomness for our reading group and also worked on the cryptopals a little bit just to practice using my shiny Scala environment.

Tuesday night, we watched Citizenfour for movie night and I think it was really good and you should watch it.


On Wednesday, I reached the pinnacle of “un-schooling” – my own study led to the reading a portion of the textbook many people force themselves to read, and I read it out of pure interest in my topic if research. It is SO much easier to read dense stuff if you have that motivation! I’m still really excited that this happened. STILL.

That book, if you didn’t click, is SICP, or Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. PLUS I was already far into the Land of Lisp, and so when examples in SICP were in Common Lisp (I had NO idea about this usage) I was like !!!! \o/ o/\o


Thursday wasn’t terribly productive, except for a really cool surprise – someone I’d met before in Philly at IndyHall messaged to ask if I was in NYC for the day and I was like “Well yes, but also till May!” and we met up for tea that day. This was so awesome. Probably the biggest difference between my expectations and reality for my time at RC is that I thought that coming to NYC, I’d see all my JavaScript buddies and other people I know here all the time because, you know, we’d just frolic in computer land together and it’d be great.

Not so.

[WARNING: GROSS GENERALIZATION AHEAD] It seems people in New York need 3 weeks to plan anything, such as getting tea for an hour. This is so counterintuitive to how I run my life with many moments of planned serendipity and flexibility to you know, meet up with someone.


I’m surprised at how much I remembered for writing this down on Monday! Last week was a really fun studying week and this week should be more coding, and I have the inklings of project-stuff simmering!

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