Paul Chiusano

Functional programming, UX, tech, econ


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I offer Scala and FP consulting services. If you're interested in working together, please contact me.

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My book, Functional Programming in Scala, uses Scala as a vehicle for teaching FP. Read what people are saying about it.

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What are you actually going to do about it?

[   zen   ]            

There are lots of things that could be improved about the world, and many things to be unhappy about. You’ve probably got a long list of such things, like everyone else. Now, what are you going to do about them? No, really, what are you going to actually do?

Very often, the answer is: “nothing productive”. And when that’s the answer, better to focus your energies where you are prepared and able to take meaningful action. Then work on accepting the rest. Yes, this is difficult, but it’s worth doing.

Note: I’m writing this post as a reminder for myself.

The alternatives aren’t good: you could carry around malcontent and then let it out when triggered. You can vent, complain, debate, argue. You can discuss endlessly. You can develop a habit of reading things that make you mad or let you feel righteously indignant. Of course, none of these actions has much chance of meaningfully addressing the problems you see with the world, except perhaps by accident. You’re using up time and energy merely reacting to the mismatch between the state of the world as it is and the state of the world as you’d like it to be.

Meaningful action occurs when you recognize the mismatch between “the world as it is” and “the world as you’d like it to be” and then take deliberate action designed to have some impact. Maybe that deliberate action will be effective, or maybe not; either way you’ve made progress.

Deliberate action can take many forms, the key is just that it’s deliberate. You take the action intentionally, with some idea of what impact you hope it will have.

It all sounds sensible, and yet the world is just full of people who do lots of talking and not much doing. Why is that? Here’s how it can happen:

The human capacity for self-delusion is almost limitless. Don’t go down this road. Be honest with yourself. What do you think could be better about the world, and what are you going to do about it? Act accordingly.

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