Recursive Erudition

Programmingshould be more than just defending the world from aliens, trying to score with hotbabes, and killing all thegrandmothers in the nursing home. Programming, coding, problem solving, creating,and making the world better are all united concepts. When you scratch a place in theground for a plant to grow, or change the pH in your fish tank, or tell your childrenthat cows are called ‘horses’ so that they confuse the other kids in school when theyask for some horse milk with their lunch…when you do those things, you’re programming. Recursive erudition isa log of adventures in understanding what problems can be solved, and what riddlescan be expressed. It exists to teach and, by so doing, to learn. It exists to learnand, by so doing, to teach.

This weblog will contain explanations of how to perform various tasks with code. Iwill discuss design principles, best practices, and those evil little programmingmind viruses that spawn from head to head across the wire like something from a SandraBullock movie. There will be reviews of tools and services that I find useful. I willaggregate the more interesting articles I find around the web and provide links tothe ones I’d like to remember or share, or I may just copy a bunch of links from myRSS feed so that it looks like I’m posting (mock me if I do this). Occasionally, therewill be something funny, newsworthy, or personal…but I share those things elsewhere,so that should be rare. This weblog will mainly contain boring technical readoutsfor my world-demolishing super-weapons.

I expect to receive four benefits from writing and sharing here:

  1. A greater depth of learning: it takes a greater understanding to teach something thanit does to learn it. I will clarify my understanding of what I learn by sharing thetechniques and philosophies from the giant fire hose in my pants called The Internet.(Did you know they make those hoses out of tape? Freaky.)
  2. An opportunity to give back: there are so many folk out there who have helped me learnwhat I know so far. Their efforts have made it easier for me to get started in a demandingfield. I’d like to give something back–and I don’t just mean fart jokes. I doubtwhat I write here will be groundbreaking, or even new. However, so many of the fundamentalshave been covered completely by those who have gone before…and they’ve moved on.A rehash of years-old technology with a viewpoint from the present day may be a worthwhilerefresh of the tutorials that taught me what I know.
  3. A repository of documentation: I’m learning things faster than I can remember them.I need a place to look up the things I’ve learned and accomplished already. I willwake up every morning, like Drew Barrymore, and read my blog. I will find out thatmy parents were really hamsters, and that I married a spatula after 100 dates anda good spanking. But most of all, I won’t forget how to use a regular expression todetect valid email addresses. 
  4. Relaxation: David Allen has taught the worldthat things in your head give you stress. I want to let those nasty little Thetansout of my head. Once it’s written here, I can forget about it in safety. Writing isalso a great creative outlet, and that’s a piece of peace as well.

We’ve almost reached the top of the hour, here, so it’s time for our human interestpiece. Since I’m the only human here, I guess you’ll just have to take an interestin me. My name is Josh Rivers. I’m 35, have been married for just over a year, hopeto have my first son–or at least a lizard–in the next year, and have worked in thecomputer field for more than a decade. Half of my career has been as an independentbusiness owner and contractor. I’ve been coding since I was 10 (if-you-call-writing-password-programs-for-my-computers-using-my-first-name-as-a-password-because-it-was-cool-in-War-Games-to-keep-the-girls-from-getting-into-my-computer-programming),but my real professional focus started about 2 years ago when I started developingweb and Windows Forms applications for my I.T. Services clients. Since then, I’vegone through several memetic confusions of explosive learning, and I’ve got severalmore building on the horizon. There is so much to learn, and I love every moment ofit.

This site was made with dasBlog, ColorScheme Generator 2, and some notes from SteveTrefethen.