The problem with distractions

Geek at Work


What happens to programmers happens also to writers. Plot, pace, narrative, sentence rhythm, word selection, sense of character, character interactions – all these take time to load up and effort to hold in the mind.

This cartoon encapsulates the problem perfectly, substituting of course the extended logic/internal dialogue of the developer for the weird lopsided  model of the story a fiction writer maintains as he struggles through first draft, second draft . . . .

Paul Graham’s article on Holding a Program in One’s Head is a good outline of the problem, expanding from an earlier article on maker’s schedule and this Paul Venezia’s article on Infoworld article develops the idea further with the reference to the suitably illustrative graph above showing productivity over the day.  I particularly relate to the high productivity peak at 11pm rising sharply to 2am.

Programmer Interrupted is more on the same theme.

Great novels can change your life…and your brain


Great novels can change your life…and your brain – Telegraph.

The story is really a report on a so-called scientific study which sets out to report on something that was already known – that anything you do repetitively over a protracted period changes your brain.  The thing about changing your life is just the attention grabber and has nothing to do with the study.




First cycle of the year – a quick circuit of Kelvedon Hatch, Essex while I waited for M who was enjoying a  friend’s quad biking party.   The grass was thick,  verdant with new growth and vivid with buttercups.