They say you learn something new every day.

I wrote once before that this site wasn’t turning out quite the way I was expecting.

My intention was for the things learned to be relatively factual – you know, how to tie your shoelace, how to do long division etc. However, other than the occasional blasts of knowledge, most of this so far has been morals or styles of thought. I put this down, really, to the fact that I’m at home for Christmas, and have switched my brain to sleep mode. I’m hoping this will change a little next year.

Well, that turns out not to be true – most of this is ideas or ways of looking at things, rather than “blasts of knowledge”.

The thing is, ideas come cheap. Realising things, or figuring out ways of doing things is quite easy. There are books and books full of ideas. The hard thing is converting those ideas into changes in behaviour.

This has struck me quite a lot recently. There are lots of best practice things that I know. You know, each piece of data should exist only once. Minimize your code by reusing the same data. Make code portable. Etc etc. All of these things I know as concepts are good things to do.

Yet, in reality, time and time again I break these rules. Not because I forget them, but because living your life is quite different to thinking about your life. It’s so easy to unlearn things; that is, un-fix a problem that you’ve already solved in one place.

I don’t think I necessarily have a solution for this, other than lots of calibration. This blog helps, since it forces me to think about what I’ve learnt. And by adding in lots of links to previous articles, in encourages me to remember things I’ve written before.

But I think there’s a missing piece still, and that’s forcing myself to “practise what I preach”. That’s going to be my aim for the next few days.

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