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Comment: This can only end badly... ... or maybe good. (Score 1) 700

If you think there is that one book that will turn your life around I fear you're in for a disappointment.

Yes, there are straight-up self-help-books [non-fiction] that claim to do so (or people who claim those books work that way). Then there are some [fictional] books that are often claimed to have a guaranteed, immediate impact on you life (eg Atlas Shrugged, The Hitchhiker's Guide, various religious books).

I fear that none of those books will do anything for you if you're not ready to take from books what they can actually offer: insights into different ways of thinking, of storytelling, glimpses into different realities. I'd say it doesn't matter much what you read... the point is: you should read a lot.

I'm trying not to give any kind of general advice here, just telling how it worked/works for me. I read everything: The back of cereal boxes, novels, blogs, wikipedia, fiction (well, that was covered by "novels", wasn't it?), non-fiction, you name it. The thing is: I enjoy it. It's not some kind of plan I set up one day: "Read Everything!" Rather it's a pastime I developed over many years that has given me thousands of hours of fun, procrastination -- and the occasional very, very good insight.

Try it... but don't be too disappointed if it doesn't work out for you (*). You say you "need to do something to enhance [your] career"... well, maybe it's not in books. What (I believe) you crave is more insight into life, yours, others, the worlds. You may get to books on a more circuitious route -- find/remember something you really care about, do it, experience it, maybe later start reading about it -- and go off on tangents -- that's what "reading" really is all about. Did I mention you have to give it (yourself) a lot of time? [Oh bother, there I go, making "self-help"-statements...]

Well, while I'm at it I might ad this little nugget: whatever books the other people in this thread suggest: you may confidently skip those. Unless something actually intrigues you. But as long as you feel you have to read a particular book probably not much good will come from it.

ac

(*) I, at one point, realized computer games were a legitimate and culturally significant form of art. I find them utterly fascinating, love to read about them... yet for the life of me I can't get the hang of them. So far I've found every "game" I've played tedious grinding.

Comment: To the right... even further to the right... (Score 1) 639

by atrocious cowpat (#38455252) Attached to: In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself
Great caption from german "left leaning" daily Taz for a photo showing only two people in an article on the the (still legal) ultra-right-wing german NPD-party -- many of whose members apparently actively aided and abetted the nazi-terrorists of the NSU-gang:

NPD-Spitzenkandidat Matthias Faust (rechts) und Parteichef Udo Voigt (noch weiter rechts) am Mittwoch in Bremen.
NPD front runner Matthias Faust (right) and party leader Udo Voigt (even further right) in [the town of] Bremen on wednesday.

By the way: the connections between NSU and NPD are serious -- very, very serious -- business (NSU committed at least ten murders over the last 10 years). The way those terrorists were underestimated and the hunt for them was botched (sometimes deliberately as it appears) will hopefully be a major issue for german law enforcement in the years to come.

Still a good caption, though.

Comment: Re:RIP please? (Score 1) 122

by atrocious cowpat (#37952430) Attached to: Hotmail Mobile Usage Spikes Thanks To Apple iOS 5
You, as a hotmail-user, may not have had a problem with receiving spam, but many people (me included) had massive problems with spam from hotmail-accounts during the late nineties/early noughts. It's not for nothing that hotmail at some point became synonymous with "dodgy-offer-by-nigerian-royalty-mail". Those were the days before many of us had good hosters/providers with grade-A server-side spam-filtering. At one point I simply stopped bothering, set up a local rule that would automatically move anything received from a hotmail-account to the thrash and told anyone I knew to stay the hell away from hotmail if they still wanted to communicate with me via e-mail.

hotmail may be a decent mail provider today, but they burned a lot of trust in the early days. So much, that to this day anyone with a @hotmail.com-address feels kind of dodgy/unprofessional to me, even though I know hotmail isn't as bad as it used to be.

Comment: Been there, done that (Score 1) 243

by atrocious cowpat (#37892570) Attached to: The Weight of an e-Book
The polish science fiction author Stanislaw Lem describes this (in a humorous fashion) in one of his Ijon Tichy / Professor A. Donda short stories.

Prof. Donda has the theory that information = mass, proceeds to create a new field of study as a pretext to cram the maximum amount of information into the smallest space possible. He succeeds, creating an information singularity that makes all of the fixed, stored information in the universe go kablooie. Tichy and Donda end up somewhere in the jungle, looking at old copies of Playboy magazine.

Comment: Re:After losing the carts and the cost of each gam (Score 1) 425

by atrocious cowpat (#37061800) Attached to: How Apple Is Beating Nintendo At Its Own Game

The iPod Touch just seems a whole lot sturdier too

Seconded. My 4 year old daughter has been using my old 1st Gen. Touch for a year now... dropped it, smeared it with whatever gunk was on her fingers... sometimes the screen was so encrusted with god-knows-what it felt like a relief-map of the alps. At one point some sugary goo must have entered the device, because the home-button stopped working. I figured I hadn't much to lose, so I soaked the bottom half in an alcoholic cleaner... whaddaya know -- it works again like on day one.

I initially bought the thing as a (rather expensive) toy for myself, but it turned out to be an invaluable Device For Peace And Harmony On Long Road Trips And Train Rides. :-)

She doesn't yet play games, but loves to watch old Sesame Street clips, Shaun The Sheep, look at the family photos I loaded onto it and listens to music. At 3 years old she had the interface figured out in about two days.

P.S.: Being a Responsible Parent I obviously severely limit her time with the iPod, also I used the parental controls to lower the maximum volume.

Comment: To zap my history on a Mac I use Automator... (Score 2) 110

by atrocious cowpat (#36029528) Attached to: Chrome, IE To Allow Users To Delete Flash Cookies
... I created an Automator-Script that moves these files/folders:

~/Library/Cookies/Cookies.plist
~/Library/Safari/History.plist
~/Library/Safari/HistoryIndex.sk
~/Library/Safari/LastSession.plist
~/Library/Safari/Downloads.plist
~/Library/Safari/Databases
~/Library/Safari/LocalStorage
~/Library/Safari/TopSites.plist
~/Library/Safari/WebpageIcons.db
~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash Player
~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari
~/Library/Caches/QuickTime
~/Library/Caches/Adobe/Flash Player/AssetCache
~/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari

... to the thrash.

Did I miss anything?

Comment: Re:That's not the professional term (Score 1) 487

by atrocious cowpat (#33347168) Attached to: Justice Department Seeks Ebonics Experts

Linguists say "African-American Vernacular English".
What does it say about our society if a group we need to integrate is so isolated it's developing an incompatible dialect?

Ah -- a problem I've been trying to raise awareness to for ages: how to incorporate Linguists into our society, make them valuable and productive members, even. Sadly Linguists appear to be a bunch of stubborn bastards who relish in the esoteric obscurity and unfathomable tenebrity of their patois.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

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