My experience at Recurse Center

These are my unabridged reflections on my first batch that ended a few weeks ago.

What it is

Recurse Center is quite an interesting place without routine and with little to no structure — it truly is experimental. It’s a space that attracts quite kind and well meaning  people from all over the world who generally love programing for the sake of programming, and because they love to program they want to dramatically become better at it.

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Imali a Blockchain Implementation: Part 0

The following is an introduction to a series of tutorials on implementing a Blockchain from first principles and an application of the Blockchain: Cryptocurrency. The on-going series will provide a theoretical overview of blockchain technology and how it relates to crypytocurrencies and an implementation in C.

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Recurse Center Initial Thoughts (Day 0)

I’ve started to see programming as a philosophy, an art. A way to model truth or truthful aspects of something. Sometimes to search out the truth of a thing, an entity, a system requires deepening one’s knowledge of that specific thing. It requires exploration, depth, passion. This is what I see Recurse Center (RC) as — a place to discover and deeply learn in the context of a community.

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Why you should learn to code

A programmable sytem on a chip (PSOC). A great intro to hardware + software.

In the Middle and Dark Ages only the elite and educated knew how to read and write. Fast forward a few hundred years later almost everyone can read and write.

In today’s ever increasing Digital World coding is becoming how we read and write. It’s becoming central to how we share ideas and create. Unfortunately only a few us us can code. Those of us who can code we’re NOT special, we’re not all super smart — we’re just ahead of the curve.

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Passport

In my West-African drum class the instructor has given us our “passport” a basic rhythm that finds itself as a base in many traditional West African rhythms. On new years’ day in San Francisco I stumbled upon a nighttime drum circle. I couldn’t resist the urge to join so I did and I began to use the passport, even on rhythms I hadn’t heard before. My passport allowed me to fit right in and harmoniously contribute to the vibrancy of the drum circle.

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Creating Value

A recent conversation with my brother about the rat race that plagues the millennial and possibly follows all of us to the end of our lives, or rather  our “useful lives”, is the need to use money to create value .  This rat race is the imposed societal belief that we must spend around four decades, the useful decades of our lives in which we’re strong, energetic and able enough to work longer hours, more days and sometimes multiple jobs simply to live fulfilling lives. Like hamsters spinning on a wheel we have accepted that working for 40 something years and retiring at 65 is to live a responsible life.  I have lived and experienced much of my life in low-income communities, especially as an immigrant, and it’s sometimes easy to fall into the propaganda of the rat race and mistake money as being the root of stability and peace of mind. These urges, however, are a deception, a societal fallacy: Money isn’t value.

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How the Education System failed me as a Black Person of Color in STEM

It’s insane to me that my great great great great… great grandfather during the 6th century B.C.E may have been one of the Black priests who taught Pythagoras what is now miscalled the “Pythagorean theorem”. Crazier yet is although Pythagoras, in his own admission, spent more than 20 years in African temples learning Geometry from African priests this fact of history is glossed over in our education system. The obvious question is “why”?

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Hacking the Human Condition

There’s a social and philosophical condition that affects and benefits us as homosapiens.  We’re able to think and act upon our thoughts. Each moment we live with the responsibility of being human and the irresponsibility of being human: our powers that allow us to act responsibly are the same powers that also allow us to act irresponsibly — This may lead to an unstable society and a somewhat dysfunctional world.  A naive and yet historical approach to prevent dysfunction and misuse of power might be to concentrate power amongst a select few.  However a brief look at current affairs reveals historic inequalities and foreshadows a bleak future should the concentration of power remain in the hands of a few.

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Censorship

Being afraid to be wrong, to be embarrassed, to be vulnerable is censorship of the soul.  I’m aware in my life there are certain types of ideas, emotions, events I would like to express or experience but will not due to such fears. It becomes more visible each day that focusing on external fears at the expense and harm of  the soul’s deepest yearnings is the core of living a limited and unfulfilling life. There cannot be a more essential practice or goal than to begin learning how to remove the hindrances that prevent one from full self expression.

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