Studies of Life

Learning by doing.

Category Archives for: Learning

Buddhist meditation as blueprint for an enjoyable life

28 October 2016 by Jim

 (Photo by Wonderlane)

After years of dabbling in meditation, and after having been inspired by the wonderful books of Daniel M. Ingram, Alan Watts, D.T. Suzuki and Culadasa, I’ve been getting more serious about it and meditating almost every day for close to three months. That might not sound like much, but to my personal life it has already made an enormous difference. I feel blessed to have discovered how powerful it is, and that is why I want to share my thoughts to inspire others.

What is so powerful about meditation? (more…)

Recalibrating to an evidence-based investment strategy

16 January 2016 by Jim

Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a few months know that I love experimenting with stock investing strategies. While I was using the Trending Value strategy in my own portfolio, and constantly looking for a way to improve it further, I’ve begun to think that maybe the best way to improve my portfolio was not to be found in another stock selection factor, but instead in another direction.

According to many people, including the founder of Vanguard, a portfolio of passive index ETFs is the best approach for most people. I have more reason to believe Vanguard than other fund providers, because Vanguard asks significantly less for its service, which tells me it’s not in it to make a quick buck. I think Bogle really wants to educate investors. (more…)

How to Start Investing

08 November 2015 by Jim

I’ve been asked by a reader how to get started, and noticed that I haven’t yet talked about this in a general way, because most of the posts here are about specific investment strategies. So here is a more general approach for those who are still looking at how to get started.

# Starting to invest

  1. Earn more money than you spend
  2. Save the difference so you have something to invest with
  3. Invest that money

This is the first, basic set of instructions on how to begin. Before moving on, make sure these three steps are checked off on your list. It’s no use to invest when you spend every dime you earn. Never invest borrowed money! (more…)

CS193P iOS Development: Playing Card Game done!

31 May 2014 by Jim

As indicated in my previous posts on programming in Objective-C I have been into programming iOS apps lately. After having stopped programming in December to focus on university, I have started again, and I am blazing ahead and solving problems that seemed impossible to solve a few months ago. Here’s a video:

It is really incredible how much learning can be achieved in a few weeks / months of training if you get into it.

In case you haven’t learned programming yet, give it a try. It’s definitely worth it. If you’re into iOS programming, start with CS106A (Java), then do CS106B (C++) and finally CS193P (Objective-C for iOS). Every one of the courses builds on the last one, and they basically take you from being a n00b to an actual programmer who can translate ideas for apps into actual, working code.

Mathematics, a different thinking paradigm.

06 July 2013 by Jim

I’m actually studying French literature right now, so what could a bookworm tell anyone about being a mathematician? Well, since primary school I have been drawn to all types of knowledge, not just one, and deciding on studying literature was more of a compromise than a calling. I would have preferred to study everything, but I do not have any more time than you do, so I had to limit my scope to get something done, and so I chose literature.

However, knowing that there are many specialists out there; be it people specialised in arts, in philosophy, history or something else; I think it is very important to emphasise how some ‘sciences’ or ‘skills’ are different from others in a more profound way than philosophy differs from history or geology. (more…)

NaNoWriMo 2012 – 50K Words, 1 Month after 78K Words, 60 Months

02 November 2012 by Jim

Since I’m currently so lazy and do not know what to do with my time besides translating a novel into British English and being a model student (haha), I’d like to take on another challenge. My running challenge is over, obviously, and I’m steadily approaching the 100 push-ups in the One Hundred Pushups programme, so I need something new to fight against. Brussels by night

#Update November 18: After spending a lot of time catching up and doing coursework for school this week, I feel like I cannot possibly complete NaNoWriMo on time, because it’s just too much of a time sink and someone I’m not ready to work 8h per day yet. Maybe someday I will. But that’s not important. What is important is that I, who previously took 5 years to write my first novel, now have about 10’000 words of a new one with a promising story, and that within only 2 weeks’ time. That’s quite a big increase in speed, and I suspect in quality, too. It’ll be wonderful to see how this plays out! I need to get me some new deadline to finish. (more…)

On Becoming a Better Student, 2012 / 2013

22 September 2012 by Jim

A new year at university is set to start soon, mid-October in my case, and making the necessary preparations. I am looking forward to learning new things and seeing things I thought I knew from a new perspective, and that is, for me, the delight of going to school and listening to people who teach me. Of course, once I’ll be drowning in homework again, I probably will feel that two or three of my courses I could very well live without, but that’s a minor issue only.

Like most people at the start of a new year, I’ll be making some resolutions. In 2012 / 2013, I am going to be more engaged with my studies, study more, study harder and I will definitely get a better grade than last year (I passed by a hair). I’ll do all my not mandatory and mandatory homework, as good students are supposed to, and mostly because I saw during the last two years that simply not doing any homework didn’t do me much good. I intend to stand a little further away from the abyss by the end of this year. (more…)

Free Online Coding Courses at Stanford University

04 July 2012 by Jim

It’s great to have free online courses like these. I’ve been wanting to learn iOS development for years and now finally I have a clear path and something that challenges me. I’ll do the 3 courses at Stanford, 106A & B and the iOS development course in the coming months. It’ll be great. I’ll post my advancement here for all to see. I was actually to lazy to do that all the time, but I’ve done it for most of the course. There’s nothing like a bit of peer pressure and exposure to fight procrastination. (more…)