Month: July 2015

Summer Reading Goals and Progress

I have spent some time reading this summer. And a lot of time listening to Audiobooks. Not sure what my goals are, but I do like to keep on learning. I’ll track some progress and short-term targets here in this post, I guess.

– Bible:

  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Solomon
  • Job
  • Psalms (To Do)
  • Proverbs (To Do)
  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • John (To Do)
  • Acts (To Do)
  • Various Apocrypha (To Do)

– Farewell to Arms

– Zakaria’s education book

– The Happiness Hypothesis

– The Myth of Sisyphus

– Justice (Michael Sandel)

– Capital in the 21st Century

– Dreams of My Father

– Audacity of Hope (To Do)

Some reasonable goals for near future

I’m feeling a little ambitious, but not in the “get something done” way so much as the “think abstractly about ways to improve yourself” type of ambition.

Here are some reasonable goals for the near future (<5 years?):

1) Lend to every country on Kiva (currently ~50/84). So 34 to go. I already have several hundred dollars deposited into Kiva so this won’t actually require 34×25 = 850 dollars.

2) Get >200 lbs on the big lifts (okay let’s just say bench press and squats since I can’t deadlift with good form). Currently around 165 bench press and 135 for squats (although the latter is increasing much faster than the former obviously; I struggled with getting squat form down for a while and now I’m making good progress with it). I weigh about 185 lbs right now, so this shouldn’t be very hard. God if I did five pounds extra per month with bench I’d finish this by next year.

3) Become half decent at meditation? I don’t know why it is so difficult for me to meditate consistently but it is. So I don’t know what a reasonable goal would be. Meditate consistently? Yeah. Meditate daily.

4) Read a lot of books. Okay now I am clearly in violation of the SMART concept – measurable goals. Read a book a month? Keep learning? Audible has helped me quite a bit with “reading” new books, which has been cool. I’ve spent a lot of time reading the Bible this summer, which has been a rather curious enterprise, since I’m an atheist, but an interesting one too. I’d like to become basically familiar with the major religions, so that would entail reading some of their big books. I also find Biblical Apocrypha really interesting, so it’d be cool to read some of the rejected books too (eg the Gospal of Judas!).

5) Become adept in several programming languages. Right now I know Java and Python. I think SQL and Javascript would probably be reasonable and fruitful targets, as well as sharpening my knowledge of some of the statatistics software scrypting languages, like STATA and R.