I guess this is why it’s called a “depression”

Reports from 3AM, or: How I respond to a global financial crisis.

  1. Read lots about it, mostly on various websites and blogs, some of which sent to me by a friend who subscribes to this Austrian-school gold-bug mailing list and some of which are written by sane people.
  2. Internally adopt an attitude of high seriousness.
  3. Think really, really hard about it.
  4. Eventually remember that in the past this approach has worked for almost no problems at all.
  5. Even those problems over which I had any control.

Which is why I’m going on an economics news fast and teaching myself Haskell. Work as if you lived in the early days of a better nation, and all that.


8 responses to “I guess this is why it’s called a “depression”

  1. Jinx: made the exact same resolution regarding the “crisis” myself. I realised that since professional macroeconomists have no idea what will happen or what to do about it, I had no place bothering to think on the subject any further.

    Enjoy Haskell — I recommend the “Write Yourself a Scheme in 48 Hours” tutorial if you haven’t seen it.

  2. Thanks for the tip – it looks good. My rusty knowledge of Lisp is all that’s keeping me afloat in Haskell at the moment.

    It’s making me like strong typing again, which is something I never thought I’d hear myself saying.

  3. I learned about decent type inference from Haskell. It had never occurred to me before that a program should be able to analytically determine the type of pretty much all of its data with minimal notation required. It’s a lovely language, although I still find it impossible to do anything useful with it.

    At my last job there was a guy who was into Functional Reactive Programming who had cloned Asteroids in Haskell — that was neat.

    I’m going to buy “Real World Haskell” at some point and trudge through it searching for enlightenment.

  4. I’ve been working my way through the online version for a week or so now. I feel like I’m getting some traction now – my solutions to the exercises are Just Working much earlier than is usual for me at this stage of learning a language.

    I’m considering it something like an antidote to too many years of Perl and a substitute for Perl 6 (which has apparently nicked several ideas from it) – so even if I never use it for anything it will be worthwhile.

  5. Forgot the link: RWH

    The website allows reader comments on every paragraph, which is a strange way to experience a book, especially with an audience as nerdy as this. Oh the nits! Oh the picking!

  6. Yeah, the open beta. I heard about that a while ago on Proggit. My opinion of books that beta on the web isn’t entirely positive … “Programming Clojure” is a bit of a mess, but then I don’t think the author is of the same calibre as the RWH mob.

    I have had a look at RWH online, but I’d like to get the hard copy I think.

    How long before you try reading a category theory paper or two then? Brain-bending stuff which I never recall ten minutes later.

  7. Probably when I try to understand monads.

  8. *cough* Heh. Actually, I think I understood monads once. There is a really good paper out there somewhere that explains, in a relatively readable manner albeit with plenty of carefully defined symbolism, the notion of a monad as a way of “evolving” a computation sequence subject to certain rules.

    I found this paper a lot more insightful than the standard “well it’s a thingy with a thingy called ‘bind’ and a thingy called ‘return'” explanation. Wish I could remember the name / authors.

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