Before I get into the nerd stuff, I’ll say that my wife keeps me active. We go on nature walks together and they’re always fantastic (except for the mosquitoes). She has also rekindled my interest in astronomy.
On the memory training front, I’m still having a hard time getting memory palaces to work. For now, I do better memorizing some funny short story that acts as a punch list or encodes facts. It’s not nearly as good as a memory palace but it’s not nothing either.
I’m quite the nerd so most of my hobbies feel like homework to other people. But, here goes…
I study the Esperanto language. The Art of Memory forum has an entire section on it. I like it because it basically follows all of its own rules. The spelling an pronunciation are very constant. All of this makes life easier on my mildly dyslexic brain.
I’m very into programming. I study or have studied:
6502 assembly because it’s an 8-bit CPU I’m fond of. Learning things at the machine code level and barely abstracting it all with mnemonics and macros will teach you how computers actually work. You will be a better programmer for it without fail.
Perl is the language for quick and dirty scripts to get stuff done. It can scale to very large projects too. Modern Perl feels a lot like Ruby and is far more evolved than its 90’s era self.
Raku a very beautiful language with an amazing object model for OOP programming. It has a grammar engine, which I think is its “killer feature” that does two things: First, it makes regular expressions much more readable. Second, it basically makes Raku the language for writing compilers for other languages. You’d be surprised how often “I need to transpile X into Y” comes up as a programming task.
- I learned Python as well, but I don’t like it. It feels like I’m coding with training wheels on. I think the language is way over hyped. It works well if you’re connecting one API to another. It falls down if you’re doing low level system tasks.
Next on my to-learn pile are:
Forth because it’s the next level of abstraction up from assembly language.
Rust because it looks like it really is a “better C.”
Haskell because the whole idea of functional programming is very appealing to me.
Other than that, I’m a rare book collector. I love old books. It seems like books from the 19th century and previous were much better thought out, usually better written, and better typeset. They very often feel like works of art in your hand.
Counter intuitively to all of that, I also enjoy reading pulp fiction magazines from the 1900’s to the 1950’s. The plots may be laughable at times, but boy is the content entertaining. You can learn a lot about writing entertaining fiction by reading old pulps.