— issue #9 {January 2015} —


Hello, and welcome to the ninth issue of Equilibrium. Wishes for a happy, healthy, and productive New Year to everyone! :)

2014 was an amazing year for me. I became the father to two beautiful twin girls and I successfully completed my long PhD journey. A couple of years ago, I tried to write resolutions at the beginning of the year, and then review them at the end of it. Becoming a father of two change so many things though.

I found myself reconsidering a lot about the way I work, what to do with my (now) quite limited free time, etc. I do have long term goals, but I have to be flexible and sometimes the need to go with the flow.

As you can probably tell, I enjoy writing. Although I write often and relatively quickly, most of the times my perfectionism kicks in and I leave my drafts on the side to go back to them in the future for a good polish before publishing them.

As you can imagine, a lot of times they stay in the draft stage for so long they even become irrelevant. No wonder that a number of my blog posts start with a line similar to I wrote the title of this post and saved it as an empty draft at the end of September, 2012"; the blog post I took the line from, ended up being published in February, 2014.

In my defence, in the first half of 2014 I wrote my 264 page thesis consisting of sixty six thousand words, so I did publish a fair amount of content!

I'd like 2015 to be a non-academic publishing year for me though. I won't set a goal like the popular write 1000 words per day; I'm not a full time writer after all. But, I'll set aside time, even every day if possible, to write new content and also polish and publish my old and forgotten drafts.

As always, enjoy the issue!

.blogs (interesting reads from around the web)

The real 10 algorithms that dominate our world — medium.com, 2014

"I’m going to try to explain in this post what an algorithm is and which are the real 10 (or maybe more) algorithms that rule our world."

Don’t call yourself a freelancer — travisnorthcutt.com, 2014

I'm not sure I completely agree (I currently find myself using both "freelancer" and "consultant" when I describe what I do), but it's food for thought. It's a very short read; have a look at the comments as well.

Startup names — messymatters.com, 2006

"One of the hardest problems new startups face is choosing a name. All the good domain names seem to be taken — and not by other companies, but by domain squatters." Hint: Hover over the dimensions table of each name, to read a comment about it.

World's Fair: Isaac Asimov's predictions 50 years on — bbc.com, 2014

"A look at 2014, through the eyes of 1964."

The rise and fall of the lone game developer — jeffwofford.com, 2014

A great article summarising some of the problems of the gaming industry over the years.

Loving what I used to hate — sivers.org, 2014

My experience correlates with this article; from music and movies, to hobbies and places I like to hang out, I find myself changing my opinion of them over the years.

"We don't need to preserve our first opinions as if they are our pure, untarnished, true nature", Derek Sivers writes. People just evolve over time and experience, I'll add.

.images (worth a thousand 109 words)

If you do this in an email, I hate you — theoatmeal.com

Design VS User Experience

I really do! (follow the link, there are more like that)

.videos (for education or entertainment)

From Idea to $5k/mo in 5 Months — vimeo.com

A short but fun an informative talk by Josh Pigford, founder of baremetrics.io, given at MicroConf 2014. He shares a short story of how he created his startup and provides his view on some of the usual advice given to people who want to create their own startup, such as how to validate your idea. You can find other videos from the same conference, here.

.books (physical or electronic)

Delivering happiness — wikipedia.org

I'm a strong believer of the notion that customer service can make or break a company. As a customer, I don't mind paying for a product a little bit more, just to buy it from a company from which I know I'll receive a great experience, both while purchasing the product, as well as -and more importantly- because I need after-sales service.

Although I don't live in the US, therefore I'm unable to buy from Zappos, I couldn't help but notice the reputation that the company has regarding its customer service. This book is a truly interesting and enjoyable read about the story of how Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, created a corporate culture with a commitment to service and -in extend- a customer-centric, as well as employee-centric, organisation.

.games (everybody needs some play time)

Trine — trine-thegame.com


Released by Frozenbyte in 2009, Trine is a physics-based action/puzzle platform game, which takes place in a medieval fantasy setting. It has beautiful graphics and sound. The player controls three characters (only one at a time though, or two in case of a co-op mode), each possessing different abilities, trying to overcome enemies and environmental puzzles.

Zoya the Thief's is an agile character, able to climb to inaccessible areas using her grappling hook which can be fired at wooden surfaces; she uses a bow as her weapon. Pontius the Knight is a strength character, using a sword and a shield (and later in the game a sledgehammer) to fight the enemies of the party. He is also able to lift heavy objects. Last but not least, Amadeus the Wizard has the ability to use sorcery to move objects remotely, as well as conjure new objects (boxes, planks, and floating planks) into existence.

Apart from the first version of the game, an enhanced version of it has been released, as well as a sequel.

.non-profits (for a good cause)

Global Outreach Doctors — globaloutreachdoctors.org

Global Outreach Doctors is a humanitarian organization of dedicated medical professionals providing international healthcare. Their medical team responds immediately to worldwide disasters in Africa, Asia and North, South, and Central Americas. Apart from doctors, they are also looking for non-medical volunteers, so if you're interested click here.

Thank you @Filianm for the suggestion. :)


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