11-06-09 - The Basics

People often ask me how to lose weight. I ask them "have you done a log of your diet? writing down everything you eat for a few days?" and "are you writing down your workouts and recording the intensity?" . The answer is invariably no.

It's just the obvious basic fundamental thing to do. People always want some magical new solution, some amazing wisdom they didn't think of that will solve all their problems. They are also always fixated on the hip new solution that just came out this season, when in fact the obvious old fashioned way is almost always just the right thing to do.

People will ask me how to improve their data compressor, or speed up their slow code. Well, have you measured it against some other known standard ways of doing things? Have you set it up to be repeatable and take standard data sets as input so you can make reliable tests? Have you put in counters to analyze the parts to know where you might be going wrong? If not, I don't even want to talk to you about it. Come back when you've done the obvious basics.

Broke people are always struggling with their finances and can't figure out how to get by on their low salaries. Well, have you done a budget? Are you writing down everything that you spend money on? Do you have a log of all the necessary expenses that are upcoming? The answer is invariably no. Well, that might be a good place to start, you know?

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old rants