Diary – Mountains, Madmen, and Musk

In yesterday’s diary entry I mentioned that I was stuck on an exercise on freeCodeCamp, the site I’m using to learn programming, and that, despite the fact I wanted to complete it independently, I had to look up some tips because I had no idea how to approach it, in terms of what functions to use. After I had finished that exercise, though, I solved a few in a row with very little help, which boosted my dented confidence a little. This is good news, as I often pull away from things that I’m not fairly good at right away (something that I’m definitely trying to change), so my lack of confidence made me less enthusiastic towards the tasks. Now I’m back on track, I think, though I’m going to make an effort to not be so stubborn as to not search for help in the future.

After coding for a while, I went to wake Anna up at the usual time; she had the morning off, or so she had been told in an email the night before. Evidently the email was wrong, as when she checked in the morning, it turned out she did have a class, and so she hurried about the house packing bags etc. To help her set off in time I made her lunch, and before she went we took some photos that she needed. Even then though, having set off on time, Anna went to the wrong place (along with most of her class, by the sounds of it) and ended up having to race to a completely different building.

All the while, I was having a relaxing time at home, as it has been pretty much every day since I broke up from uni (apart from those few days I was up a mountain). As normal, I practiced coding and revised. As I said previously, the coding was quite successful, and the revision was, too; I’ve moved on to Wordsworth’s The Prelude now, which was probably one of my favourite texts, and pleasantly reminds me of my own times in the Lake District. A little while ago, somebody mentioned on the university group chat that we don’t actually have to learn many quotes, but I find that a bit difficult to believe so I’m playing it safe and carrying on as I am.

I’ve also been listening to Elon Musk’s biography on Audible, which I’ve got on a free 30-day trial. I’ve become more interested in Elon Musk recently, as I’ve read news stories and become aware of how much he is influencing (or seeking to influence) our lives. Although I don’t particularly believe in objective ‘good’, it’s difficult to not admire Musk’s attempts to improve the lives of millions of (albeit, currently only wealthy) people. I do have a hard time reconciling this admiration with my discomfort regarding the pretty ruthless capitalism that serves as a foundation for Musk’s efforts at times, though.

Speaking of ruthless capitalism, later on in the evening me and Anna watched an episode of Madmen, which we’ve been watching (or for me, re-watching) over the last couple of weeks. I really enjoy it – the characters are well-written and the setting is an interesting one – and as usual, I’ve forgotten almost all of the plot in the years since I watched it, so it’s just as exciting as the first time around.

Today will mostly be the same as ever, though I do intend to fix my bike, having forgotten to do it yesterday. Also, I think me and Anna are planning to go to the cinema tonight – might as well get our money’s worth from our memberships!

The featured image is one I took a couple of years ago of the view down Derwent Water from Ruskin’s bench – incidentally my favourite bench in the whole world.

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One thought on “Diary – Mountains, Madmen, and Musk

  1. As I remember the author of that book was challenged quite a bit on the ‘ruthless’ theme and Musk seems to often go out of his way to look after his people, despite putting them under pressure to perform. For example I think when he found out that a contractor of Tesla had paid staff under the minimum wage he topped up the difference, which he didn’t need to do. Much of the criticism directed at him comes from three camps, unions – because he doesn’t want his factories unionised, vested interests like garage franchises – because he sells and services his cars direct and disgruntled employees – because he doesn’t suffer fools and expects results, which is almost inevitable if you are trying to do things that everyone else thinks are impossible. I’m sure he has plenty of flaws, but I’m a fan too.

    On the point about rich people it’s an inevitability of working on the leading edge, early products are very expensive so you have to sell them to rich people while you work on increasing volume and lowering production costs. Each iteration of his product line targets lower income customers. His global satellite network will target the poor though.

    Liked by 1 person

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