23 April, 2019

4 minute read

What I’m reading online…

In spending most of my time online doing coursework, web/mobile development, listening to podcasts, reading up on Stoicism, and finding random articles on Medium - I end up going down many rabbit holes of random but interesting information👨‍🚀. Here are some articles/sites I found interesting this past week:

  • Derek Sivers is an entrepreneur, musician, and circus performer amongst many other titles. I’ll let his site and your impending Googling do the introducing. He’s a really down-to-earth guy and drops some knowledge bombs on Tim Ferriss’s podcast which is where I first heard of him. I highly recommend reading through the FAQs section of his site. I’ve been reading as many articles on his site as possible, and his reading notes on A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine are what led me to pick up a copy. I was surprised to learn that Stoicism seemed to play an important role in his life.
  • The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World With Logic is an awesome post on Medium about the logician Walter Pitts. This post covers Pitts’s life story and how he went from being homeless as a kid in the 1940’s to working on the math that set out to model the human brain (the first neural networks).

What am I working on? 📱

This past week I finished my final prototype for my Mobile Apps: Design & Prototyping class! You can check it out here - I added scrolling and a way to view the annotations behind lyrics right from a tab. Just because my class is over doesn’t mean I’m done designing/prototyping for it. I’m actually trying to develop this app by the end of the year and get it in the App Store, so there will definitely be new design iterations to come!

On the development side of things I added a switch navigator from React Navigation to take care of the authentication screen flow. I also really dove into working with AWS and ended up creating a free account, set up multiple users with IAM to secure everything, and am working with AWS Amplify today to implement user sign-up and authentication using Cognito! The GitHub repo is available here for you to check out, and if you want to contribute in any way feel free to tweet at or email me and I can get a user set up for you on AWS. It’s been an effort but it feels good to make progress and learn about new tech. This week I’ll be learning more about AWS Lambda functions and AWS AppSync to create serverless GraphQL APIs. For fun I’m learning more about Gatsby (what this site is built on), Netlify, and Contentful to potentially build a small business site with Stripe in the future.

What am I reading?

In between classes and development, I’m continuing Donald Robertson’s How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius and am a chapter away from being done! The book is pieced together in a very logical manner with a lot of interesting details about Marcus Aurelius’s life as well as lessons from other famous philosophers or people he looked up to. In “The Inner Citadel and War of Many Nations” chapter when Robertson is discussing the Stoic reserve clause he mentions Cicero’s De Finibus:

“In Cicero’s dialogue De Finibus, the Roman Stoic hero Cato of Utica uses the memorable image of an archer or spearman to explain this subtle concept. The Stoic-minded archer’s true goal should be to fire his bow skillfully, insofar as doing so is within his power. Paradoxically, though, he’s indifferent to whether or not his arrow actually hits the target. He controls his aim but not the arrow’s flight. So he does the best he can and accepts whatever happens next. The target–perhaps an animal he’s hunting–could move unexpectedly. Marcus perhaps had this analogy in mind when he was spearing birds and hunting wild boar as a young man. Virtue consists in doing your very best and yet not becoming upset if you come home from the hunt empty-handed…” (Robertson 194)

Quote I’m digging…

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~ Richard Feynman

What am I listening to?

“Trick of the Light” by Matt Corby

“Doing It To Death” by The Kills

“Pattern” by The Last Shadow Puppets