adrift on a cosmic ocean

Writings on various topics (mostly technical) from Oliver Hookins and Angela Collins. We have lived in Berlin since 2009, have two kids, and have far too little time to really justify having a blog.

Too much to do, too many first world problems...

Posted by Oliver on the 14th of September, 2013 in category Thoughts
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We've been in the country for almost four years and I still feel like I don't have a very good grasp on the language. OK, there are indisputable differences between children and adults in language learning but that doesn't mean you can't learn a language in adult life. I just find that I procrastinate, and find it hard to prioritise the language learning into my daily routine.

Sometimes it is just easier to zone out and read 9gag, or Failblog. I've cut down my RSS subscriptions to the point where I get through them all in a few minutes every couple of days. There is a constant few technical papers or videos I have on the backlog to read or watch when I get a moment, and sometimes actually get to them. I'm progressing rather slowly with Seven Languages in Seven Weeks, a book about learning seven computer languages - and I've almost completed the 5th in the list but haven't yet managed to prioritise even my first non-native spoken language - German.

At work we recently did a "Bio Hacking" course, which sounds a bit hand-wavy, but at its core was basically about getting your stress levels down and allowing your brain the rest periods necessary to operate it at full capacity. I also learned that procrastination (among other things I learned about my habits) is related to an over-developer aversion to failure. Probably learned during childhood through some catastrophic failure event, or alternatively so much success that you couldn't bear the thought of not succeeding. I'm not sure I recall either of these happening so it's a bit of a mystery to me.

Nevertheless I am procrastinating right now in writing this blog post instead of finishing the chapter on Erlang, or doing some German revision. It's hard to think I'll change my habits drastically after 34 years on this planet, but I also can't stand the idea of becoming one of those people who has stayed in Germany for 10 years and just gave up learning the native language at some point. Or really anybody that just gave up trying to better themselves at any point in their lives because they saw it as futile.

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