Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin

This is my third Gretchen Rubin book. I think I like this one less than her last two on happiness, but it’s still a good book. While Rubin’s nature is more extreme than a lot of people, I actually relate a lot to her in a few ways. We both like research, analysis, introspection, and literature. She is a personal writer too and most of the books have a memoirs and reflective nature similar to journaling. Her writing is quite life affirming as well. I do not buy all the things she advocates, but she is very thorough and reflective.

There were a couple of good tips about habit forming such as starting small, scheduling leisure activities (been trying to do more of this lately), pairing activities/habits, and not giving rewards but giving treats. I have found that when I make a goal, I think the goal itself should be the reward rather than getting myself anything. Rubin’s books often stir my own constant self-awareness and introspection. I like it reflected back to me when I read a book.

This book also introduced the Four Tendencies. I am a Questioner which doesn’t surprise me. I’m probably a more in depth questioner than most. Rubin will have a new book out exploring these tendencies later in the fall.

Alright and easy read for me. I do like the use of quotations.

Read February 14-23, 2017.

Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil

This book about the dangers of Big Data and algorithms primarily in the US. It is a book discussing ethics in Big Data and the lack thereof.

For most of the time I was reading this book, I was a bit dejected by work so reading this book made it even more depressing and despairing. Every chapter focused on how Big Data and algorithms are used for profit and as a result, hurts individuals. The premise of the book started with teachers and there is a significant focus on the effects of Big Data algorithms in an already flawed American education system.

The conclusion chapter is the only one with hope. However it is not enough. I wish the book had given more ideas on how the audience could be aware of new issues in Big Data so that we wouldn’t have to suffer from it. I think the book is an interesting primer for those who know very little about Big Data. However, it also feels like it’s written in some ways for people who know enough of it.

The book has a lot of data and studies and there are end notes. I am going to recommending the book to my Data Scientist colleague.

Read January 31 – Feburary 10, 2017.

FO: Cabled Dad Hat

Cabled Dad Hat

With so much leftover from the Lion Brand Fishermaen’s Wool, I decided to make myself a hat to match my cowl.

Cabled Dad Hat, started November 16, 2016, finished November 2, 2016. Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Cabled Dad Hat by Alexis Winslow Ravelry Pattern Page
Yarn: Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool – 100% Wool – much less than one skein.
Needles: US 6 – 4.0 mm and US 7 – 4.5 mm long circulars

Cabled Dad Hat

Modifications & Notes:

  • German Twisted CO 96 instead of 120
  • 1×1 Twisted Rib for 3.5”
  • Knit the main rep almost 7.5”. I should have knit more because I didn’t realize how fast the hat decreases. Not a big fan of how the hat decreased as the pattern has them too quickly and on dec rows, right after another.
  • If the hat were the original 120, it would have been too big. I do think going up to 5.0mm would have been good to make it a smidge bigger.

Cabled Dad Hat

The modifications resulted in a slighter tighter band if the band is flipped over. The best thing is that when left unflipped, the hat fits my hair bun wonderfully. I think I could have made the rib 4″ which would have been very slouchy, but my hair would have fit nicely in there.

Cost of Project: This was one third of the skein which cost $7 a skein years ago.
Would I knit it again? Yes.