Neil deGrasse Tyson

Only a few centuries ago, a mere second in cosmic time, we knew nothing of where or when we were. Oblivious to the rest of the cosmos, we inhabited a kind of prison, a tiny universe bounded by a nutshell.

How did we escape from the prison? It was the work of generations of searchers who took five simple rules to heart.

(1) Question authority. No idea is true just because someone says so, including me.

(2) Think for yourself. Question yourself. Don’t believe anything just because you want to. Believing something doesn’t make it so.

(3) Test ideas by the evidence gained from observation and experiment. If a favorite idea fails a well-designed test, it’s wrong. Get over it.

(4) Follow the evidence wherever it leads. If you have no evidence, reserve judgment.

And perhaps the most important rule of all…

(5) Remember: you could be wrong. Even the best scientists have been wrong about some things. Newton, Einstein, and every other great scientist in history — they all made mistakes. Of course they did. They were human.

Science is a way to keep from fooling ourselves, and each other.

A quote from the final episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey which was very humbling and inspirational.

A quest written for Expedition: A roleplaying card game

For a while I’ve been looking at a card based RPG game and stumbled upon Expedition: a roleplaying card game. Sadly I missed the Kickstarter, but they organized a contest to write a quest for the game. The winners would either receive $50 or two copies of the game.

So I thought, why not? You can always try right? So I locked myself up for a long weekend and started writing / programming.

As I’m also a Dungeon Master and hosted a couple of campaigns, my main goal was to re-write one of them for the game, though since the deadline I had to commit myself to only a few (starting) quests. I was very pleased with the result I achieved in such a short time and the judges agreed, since I’ve won the contest!

Now I’m already pondering on what campaign to re-write next… what to write next…

Mark Twain

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

This is how I feel lately when it comes to people I’m working with. Trying to convince them things aren’t the way they think it is and they have to prepare to be more agile / flexible, so they can adapt to the ever changing situation that is life, work, etc. Instead of trying to think of every possible outcome and making a plan for it. Above quote reflects it nicely.

Peter Hinssen

The world will never be stable again, but in the new normal you will see more and more volatility. You can’t bank on certainties, you have to be an expert on managing uncertainties.

For his full talk on the new normal head over to YouTube.

Learning Python (from scratch)

Got some spare time during the day and thought I’d work on one of my first amibtions and that is learning Python. Why you may ask? Well I work in the world of data and the next set of skills I need to develop / work on, are R (for statistics) and Python. Once I’ve mastered these on an intermediate level (I think?) I can begin with Machine Learning and move on from there.

To start learning, I’ve acquired the book Automate the boring stuff with Python by Al Sweigart.

Will update you lot as things progress!

Organizing my thoughts

I think I’ve figured out the lay-out I want to use for now, so the next step is to decide on what to write, post, etc.

I’ve narrowed it down to the following topics:

  • Photography
    The pictures I take, edit and would love to share (on my personal site) without it being used by other commercial parties.
  • Bucket list
    I’d love to track my bucket list somewhere, so might use this site as well. Else I can always use one of the social websites like bucketlist.org.
  • Tech experiments
    I am a big technologist and love to experiment with hardware and software. Also I work in the field of data (call it Big Data, Business Intelligence or some other Gartner buzz word) and I think it would be cool to write about data, the analytics behind it and perhaps some nice visualizations.
  • Game / Software development
    For a long time I’ve wanted to create my own software or game. The progress behind these projects I want to document here and of course share my results with you.

Whilst thinking of this list, I’ve also come to the conclusion I wanted to share life lessons, anecdotes or other “the meaning of life”-stories. These are more rants about certain topics and would suit better on one of my other sites: criticasm.com. Since it’s been a while writing for that site, I believe these stories would do well there. Combined with my experiences from the gaming and movie industry criticasm.com should be updated more frequently in the (near) future… I hope…

If anything else comes up, we’ll deal with it then 🙂