Thursday, December 28, 2006

I need to do some brain exercise

I just had to look up how to spell 'ex(c)ercise'. This, among a wide range of other daily examples tell me that I need to mentally exercise more often: Every week there is a math riddle in Teknisk Ukeblad which I have no chance to solve at all. I recently saw a presentation of how the fibonacci formula was solved, and I understood just about quack, even if I used to assistant-teach linear algebra at Oslo's university college some years ago (I used to be great at maths, but never had any use for it in professional life). I'm having trouble with improvisation, both musically and conversationally.

You could consider this blog a mental excersise, but it does little else than keep my English writing skills in order. It could have something to do with the all the festivities (and subsequent hangovers), but I feel my short-term memory is detoriating as well. Already now I have forgot lots of ideas I wanted to put into this post.. perhaps just as well :)

Anyhow, I noticed that Atlassian fellow manages to slip some time into solving crossword puzzles (more recently, entire ones). A large percentage of our population solve sudokus if that fad hasn't faded yet. Other people meditate, train kung-fu, read books (although I find reading/writing to be too passive style of mental work, sort of like talking a walk is to real exercise), solve riddles, program algorithms...

I do program alot in my daily work. Most would consider programming a most mental exercise. It's just not that often that I solve real program puzzlers. Most of the time is spent figuring out how to install, configure and boilerplate-write stuff. It's quite seldom that I get that "Hoo-ray, I solved this issue with the most elegant algorithm ever designed by man" feeling. I'm not saying it's because I'm a lousy programmer, it's more because of the nature of our work (most functionality is outsourced to other products, typically open-source ones).

And of course, there is the notion of what you do as a hobby shouldn't be connected to your work.

And please do comment with suggestions for any leisurable brain activities. My requirements include:

  • it must be portable (should fit in a pocket)
  • it must not be too nerdy
  • should be fun
  • easy enough for me to figure out

PS: Today I have skimmed through about 2k blog posts (been catching up for the last month), and I feel I'm not giving alotta posts the thurough read they deserve. I'm starting to think I've subscribed to too many. Or I'm reading too slow. Anyhow, if you want me to read your post, give it a catchy title (I subscribe to these blogs).