Reader Code

    A funny word is code. You probably will not be funny, but I will try to explain. Once I worked in a company whose employees were very fond of inventing something — changes, rules, norms, etc. Naturally, any innovations were recorded on paper, which gave a loud, catchy, memorable name.

    You can, of course, call the paper “instruction”, “regulations” or “rules”, but this is so boring ... And you can’t stand out against the rest. Therefore, the words used only beautiful and sonorous.

    The first was used the word "manifest". I remember exactly - it was a manifesto of the relationship between sellers and suppliers. Then there was the code of design engineers, the constitution of the department of foreign economic activity, etc. Every next inventor, naturally, wanted to differ from previous ones. It’s not cool when there are two manifestoes or three codes in the company - in order to understand which particular piece of paper is needed, it is necessary to decipher it. And when everyone has a new word - the thing.

    But the trouble is - these words quickly end. Then only completely exotic ones will remain, like the “charter” or “manuscript”. I suggested that the children reserve the words - to declare in advance that we, they say, are starting to develop a charter for storekeepers, and henceforth no one has the right to use this word.

    Personally, I liked abbreviations more - they are easy to invent, and the options are much more. For example, I had Automation Functional Use Statistics — a toolkit that collected data on the use of mechanisms created by programmers. There was also the Journal of Deviations of the Automation Processes where the users' shoals were entered.

    But abbreviations should always be deciphered, otherwise it is not clear. Therefore, for the article I decided to choose the word “code” - and the word was clear for everyone, and the samurai also had a code, and it sounded good. But now you understand that the name “code” is rather a joke. And the topic is important. Reading.

    Books, articles, comments. Everybody does it. You can argue peremptorily. You read this text? And who does not read, so we will never know his opinion. Although there are guys who, as they say, "did not read, but condemn."

    Each of us has our own rules, laws and practices regarding reading. Even random reading is such an order. Everyone has a different selection in the library, different subscriptions to online resources, different attitudes to comments. There can be no single rules here, and I will not impose anything on anyone.

    Just talk about what I thought up for myself, found, saw, peeked about reading. Perhaps something will be useful to you. As it once was, it was useful for me to listen to people, and to adopt a couple of their ideas for their code.

    The narrative is simple: the principle and its explanation. Important: explanation - for me, not to forget why the principle appeared. From this, the text may seem a bit strange, like talking to oneself. But this is more correct - you should not have the feeling that I am trying to convince you of something.

    1. Read - must

    I still regret the wasted 15 years of my life, which I spent almost without reading. At school I read a lot, and then, at the institute, I abandoned it. And after all, not a single person around said what to read. Did not suggest how important this is. The hostel is not there to read. In addition, the rapid growth of the computer network, the emergence of CS and the available Internet.

    Now, for me, this is an axiom and a key principle that overshadows all others. Reading books brought me to a new level. Reading books gave me the opportunity to make several career jumps. Reading books helped (alas) me to understand how unprofessional I and most people around me (especially managers) are.

    I set up the experiment and stopped reading, for several months. Immediately stupefied. My efficiency, which was increased several times after reading books, returned to its original state. I began to be afraid of new tasks, I lost faith in myself, clouded my purpose in life and in work, I almost found myself on the sidelines.

    Without reading, the routine is sucking me up. It changes, shifts the coordinate system, forcing you to believe that all this trifle, stupidity and muck - routine tasks - is life. You can not stop reading. It is impossible.

    2. You need to read regularly

    So simple, but so incomprehensible. Regularity is the basis of development and change. Reading regularly is like playing sports regularly. The effect increases many times.

    Regularity is more important than volume. Regularity creates and maintains the habit. But you can not rely on the habit - if you miss a week for an “objective” reason, then a new habit is formed - not to read. This habit is stronger because not doing something is easier than doing something. Especially because around is full of simple and tempting surrogates - TV, social networks and in general the Internet, computer games, etc.

    Regularity needs to be measured. It makes no sense to rely on her memory - she will not answer the question "did I read enough last week / last month?". Elementary planning helps not to forget and not to take a steam bath on this account. And even better - Flowcon.Life .

    3. Always have a book at hand.

    Life never goes according to plan, there are always pauses in it - both planned and completely unexpected. They detained a child in training, turned off the electricity at home or at work, public transport does not come at all, somewhere there was a queue, despite a preliminary recording.

    In these pauses, the very thing is to read. Therefore, the book should be at hand. If it doesn’t exist, it will happen by itself to scroll through the Facebook feed, read the news or some Tetris.

    The easiest way to have a couple of e-books in the phone. These are, sort of, spare books. Best of all - books with unrelated narration: Confucius, Hagakure, Rework, memoirs of Bismarck, etc. Such books can be opened on any page, choose an arbitrary chapter and understand everything that is written in it, without knowing the context of the remaining chapters of the book.

    4. Fill short intervals of time with reading

    In addition to the unexpected, there are quite planned holes in time - small gaps between cases or states that happen regularly, but are too small or inconvenient for work or other, big things.

    For example, a trip in transport, flight, waiting for children from a workout, putting a child to sleep (when you just have to hang around, and not to rock), lunch break, etc.

    If such pauses are not deliberately filled, then they will fill themselves - unconsciously, with nonsense. In total, these pauses give a few hours a week. Actually, such pauses are enough to fill the need for reading (or fulfill the plan).

    5. Read best in context.

    A change book is good when you make changes. You are not just a member of the changes, but you are doing it right every day. A Scrum book is good when you introduce Scrum. The book on TOC - when you introduce TOC.

    The difference is fundamental. When you are directly busy with something, are concerned, have assumed responsibility and want to achieve a result, you have the right questions for the author and the material.

    In contrast to introductory or commission (see below) reading, in which questions arise on insignificant points, such as design, style, structure, goals, and evidence of utility.

    The right questions arise because you yourself, personally, at this particular moment, are experiencing some kind of pain - something does not work, at certain points, and you need to solve understandable, living problems of implementation, and not invented and hypothetical such as "it is scientific or not."

    Good contextual reading is almost always repeated. The authors, of course, try, but they always pour in a lot of water - without this they can’t, they just won’t read the first time . And the second time, when you read for a reason, and with a view , they will let the water flow by themselves.

    6. Basic reading - introductory

    Introductory - this is when you read about methods, theories, practices, philosophy, etc., not intending to use them right now . For example, for the first time you read about the Eisenhower matrix, or about quality management, or about the experience of teaching Doug Lemov.

    The purpose of the introductory reading is to understand the purpose and basic meaning. It’s like going to the exhibition of new technologies, viewing posters, briefly talking with employees of companies, asking questions about their technologies.

    It goes without saying that I cannot take a single technology at the exhibition right away on the same day to introduce it. Of course, during the exhibition I will not understand any of the technologies so much as to immediately apply it.

    But linksin the head will remain. When a new (or old) task arises in life that is related to what was read earlier — the goal, or approaches, or concrete decisions — then the memory will give at least the title of the book, or the author, or the topic. And the time will come to reread, only already - contextually. Then everything will work out.

    7. Books can and should be re-read.

    One scenario is described above. If I read the book for reference, I understood the goals and the essence of the methods, then I forgot it for a couple of years, and here once I got the task, just for this topic. The book can and should be re-read, contextually, seeing both theory and practice at the same time.

    Repeated reading allows you to see the new, to understand the misunderstood, to see the previously hidden. Even if it is a re-introductory reading.

    For example, experience, attitudes, current position on the career or life ladder. A typical example is a book about Scrum. Personally, when I read it, three managers, and saw the method of accelerating work. Those who read the programmers saw only some kind of algorithm, a project management method.

    When I read Scrum for the first time, I saw an algorithm - what and how to do with tasks. The second time was almost contextual - after several months of using this algorithm. And only from the second time came the true meaning. Although, it is necessary to re-read it again - over the past year views on life have changed a lot.

    Repeated - this is not about the second time. This is about the third, and about the fourth, etc. There are books in which you find something after the fifth reading.

    8. Never engage in commission reading

    Surely there is some correct name, but I don’t know it, so let it be a commission. This is when you, when reading and later expressing opinions, speak on behalf of a certain society, most often - a platform on the Internet. And you write something like "there is no place for this." As a member of the examination committee.

    If this is my playground - for God's sake, it's up to me. If someone else’s, then I wouldn’t have any privileges and badges there, I don’t have the right to speak for the site. And if the site itself says that I have the rights, and in general, my opinion is important, then this means that it is trying to play a game with me. I do not need it.

    But figs with him with the right - I just do not want to spend time on these games. He was fond of youth, so ashamed.

    There are special people - moderators, they do an excellent job of deciding whether the material is suitable for the site.

    9. You can not talk to the author

    Basically, this principle applies to the Internet, but it happened in life and communication with the authors of books.

    The principle in its meaning almost repeats the conscious silence , with about the same advantages.

    For example, sometimes you read an article with one goal - to find errors, inconsistencies, slap a minus and write a comment. Question: why? Why waste time on it? I answered for myself: no reason for such behavior. And so that there was no temptation, this principle was created.

    If you know for sure that after reading nothing you don’t ask anyone, you don’t put a minus and express your opinion, then the attitude to reading changes immediately. Firstly, you simply will not read very many texts - those that you read for the purpose of subsequent communication. Secondly, you will stop looking for flaws in the text, and you will start looking for benefits - for yourself.

    And what else to do, if the right to speak - no? I don’t consider the development of reading technology.

    If communication is not expected, then there remains a small cozy world in which only you and the text. You can enjoy without preparing for attack or defense.

    The brain works in completely different modes, depending on your plan. If you know that you will not say anything, then you just read. If you do not exclude the possibility of something to write, then consciousness automatically begins to invent a question, not yet finished reading the text.

    10. Any material is useful.

    Any, absolutely. For me.

    Benefit is always subjective, it is always for someone . There is no useful or useless in a vacuum, for all at once. When a person writes about an article or a book that it is useless, then he is right, but only about himself. For him, useless.

    But the problem is a little deeper - in the inability to seek and find benefit. The phrase “book is useless” does not reflect the essence. In fact, it is necessary to write "I have not found any use in this book."

    Many people write like that, but they still make mistakes, because they mean “I read, tried to find a favor, but she’s not here, and I’m not a cheater.” This is where the mistake is - opinions about yourself, as a reader of texts, something worthwhile in this world.

    I do not blame anyone, for myself I choose honesty and responsibility.

    I myself am responsible for finding favor in the books and articles that I read. I do not shift the responsibility on the author, do not blame him for my problems, and do not demand anything from him.

    And so I turn into a funny state: I know how to find benefits for myself in other people's works more than the author had in mind.

    And if stupidity happened, and it is impossible to find a favor in the text, there is an irrefutable default: “this is a very useful example of useless text”.

    11. Promote reading

    I already wrote about myself above - I missed 15 years of reading. It is clear that he is guilty. But I did not realize the benefits and losses that I incur every day.

    It turned out that I was not alone. According to my observations, 5-10 percent of adults read non-art books regularly (more likely - 5).

    The Internet is read by almost everyone, incl. and relatively useful information from the web. But the Internet, like articles in magazines, is only supporting information, sometimes supplementing books. And if there are no books, there is nothing to supplement. Like a cool sports steering wheel to buy when there is no car.

    It means that almost all people are in a similar situation - they don’t read. And they think that everything is fine with them. And they are all bad. More precisely, it can be much better.

    And since I think that in vain people didn’t tell me about reading, I can’t afford to be like that. So you have to help others start / continue / resume reading.

    Then everyone decides for himself whether reading helps or not, is it worth continuing or Facebook is enough. My job is to help get started.

    I did this at the last work - I gave my books to read to anyone who asked. He suggested, quite persistently, to colleagues of the book. He helped to replenish the corporate library. He published selected excerpts and quotes in corporate chats to hook on the content of books and key thoughts.

    Most of all, "lucky" subordinate programmers: reading books was their responsibility (the books I brought to them). Someone took home, someone read at lunchtime, but read everything.

    Among the managers I distributed books through practice. Doing something managerial, universal, understandable to other leaders, you achieve success. They come to know the details, to learn from the experience - you slip the book.

    Exactly the same way, once, they did to me - slipped the book. Still grateful to that person.

    Well, this article, of course, refers to the implementation of the principle “Promote reading”.

    12. Read the fundamental

    I will not say anything new: before the books were better. Now this, whatever one may say, is more business than creativity or science.

    Books on business, mostly - either a description of a certain super-method that has already been described many times before, or a success story set, so that everyone gets inspired and run somewhere, or just a new compote from old methods, like a scram.

    Fundamental, serious, deep books are no longer written. It is not profitable. It’s hard for a writer to make a living, and if he gives out one book at a time in 10 years, he will die of hunger.

    Therefore it is necessary, it is necessary to read the old, fundamental books. And necessarily - new, shallow, to see who has written off what and from whom.

    13. Diversify diet

    I used to think that it was worthwhile to diversify the book ration in order to see some new areas of knowledge or applied activities for me, imbued with them and, perhaps, find something new for myself.

    Then I realized that the problems, in essence, are identical in all industries. And they have two roots - people and systems. These are the two main objects with which everyone is trying to do something.

    Everyone is trying, but success is different. For example, programmers. They are people. Work with systems - and information, and processes, and business. How many years? Well, let's say, already 70.

    And there is the same pedagogy. Does she work with people and systems already? Well, 100 years, no less.

    And then there is a philosophy, probably already for a thousand. And the objects are the same - people and systems.

    Or my favorite example is the samurai code book. It was written about 500 years ago, and it gives more knowledge about people and systems than any modern best-selling book on business. Although, formally, the samurai book is not business literature. Therefore, the manager will not be caught.

    When it comes to the head that the roots of the problems of all branches are the same, then you understand that you need to read everything. And not just the "Programming" section. Of course, if you want to solve problems.

    14. Install and use the bookstore mobile app.

    I will not advertise anyone, I installed some application, and I buy books there, both paper and electronic. If you are already using a mobile application, skip this section.

    First, they give a cumulative discount and coupons all there. Books are expensive, and savings will not hurt.

    Secondly, we must take into account the specifics of the book business - circulation. 5,000 copies of the book came out of the printing house - everything, manage to buy. Do not have time - wait for the next edition. It will take place, or not - the devil knows.

    Thirdly, there is still automation, in the application. For example, I found a book, but it is not available - not a problem, there is a function to “postpone”, and when it appears, the application will notify.

    Fourth, given the point about the variety of diet, the choice of books is a processand quite long. When there was a pause, and reluctance to read anything, you can spend time choosing a new book. I do not know about you, but this process is great for me. Especially when you buy something straight, very, very new to yourself.

    15. Do not create expectations

    Expectations from the book, of course. Neither negative nor positive. The same applies to any materials.

    But as it happens, there is a popular book, a bestseller, everyone avidly reads and praises. Well, I think, can not everyone be wrong? I buy, tune in, that there will be Something, and there ... Following my code, I could not find anything there.

    And I get upset. Sorry for the time spent, and money, I feel deceived. Moreover, he deceived himself. Well done people, they were able to find something in the book, but I didn’t.

    I reassure myself that, probably, the time of this book just did not come. The first reading was introductory. Then there will be a second, contextual. Then I understand what is the use for me.

    All these throwings can be avoided if you do not create expectations. AnyThe book can be terribly useful. As well as vice versa. Any - and popular, and from the section "take away in the appendage, and then only the shelves are in stock."

    16. Toilet Fiction

    I apologize for the tactlessness, but this is an important point. Whoever did not consider himself, and did not even appear, everyone goes to the toilet. As the old joke says, with proper selection of books in the toilet you can get a higher education.

    Yes, reading there is slow, because no one lingers for 2 hours. But it goes.

    The same books are best suited as for reading in the breaks - with unrelated narration, where each chapter, and even better - each page lives its own life. The best examples I’ve come across are the code of samurai and Confucius (especially Confucius, half a page for each “intelligence”).

    With this item, I learned about system thinking, samurai, Confucius, first aid, the military power of Genghis Khan, I don’t remember further ... Now I read a thick book called “Survival always and everywhere.” Very interesting.

    17. Do not read criticism.

    By criticism is meant both professional and ordinary comments on articles or books on the Internet.

    A critic is a person who earns his living by artificially created self-importance. Someone, once, for some reason and for some reason decided that the opinion of this person is important. Everyone believed, and since then, the critic criticizes, and everyone listens to him.

    Previously, this was no particular problem. To read the criticism, you had to try, because you still need to find it. Remember how literature essays were written when there was no internet? So the criticism was appropriate - it was published as separate books. I remember, I had this - Korney Ivanovich Chukovsky. I never would have thought that he wrote criticism.

    And now the criticism is exposed to the first place. These are comments plus a vote. The main thing is that on most sites there is a system of comments and votes, i.e. content management. It seems that the content (fu, what a nasty, technocratic word) is some kind of material, or semi-finished product, which turns into a product only after passing through the voting and commenting system. Well, through the classification, of course, where without it.

    Previously, the critics themselves knew, probably - even personally. Criticism was a serious matter, requiring not much less talent than writing. And now, alas, the criticism is so accessible that it has lost all value. As you know, there was such a joke on the Internet - “excuse me, since the beginning of September the forecasts of the development of the macroeconomic situation in the world will not be published on our website, all the experts have gone to school.”

    Since there is no value in criticism, then it is not worth reading. Let me remind you, this is my code. If you like to read criticism, or you find something useful in it - for God's sake. By the way, if you give me a link to any useful modern criticism, I would be grateful.

    This concerns not only books, but also films, for example, or music. Numerous, if not countless, ratings, reviews, “the twenty best,” TOPs, “Best in a year”, etc. I just get in the way. Or hide from sight what is worth seeing, due to the "low rating", or put in the top what I ... Well, again, I almost fell through. What I can not find the benefits for themselves. And all this is criticism.

    This is not old grunting, just looking and amazed. Millions of people are busy dailycriticized, in all its forms. This is not a second a day - I know, I used to be addicted too. Sometimes, 5 hours a day can go to some meaningless holivar. This is a real process, with input (content), some actions inside (likes, dislikes, comments, likes of comments, dislikes of a profile, etc.), and an exit ... And what about the output? Seems OK.

    For myself, I decided long ago: rating does not mean anything. Good stuff can have a low rating. Bad material can have a high rating. Good material can be generally aloof from the rating system. Good stuff can have more bad reviews than bad ones. Just because he is good. I will think and decide for myself.

    18. Read and re-read classic fiction.

    Especially - reread. What was asked at the lessons of literature. I didn’t like Dostoevsky very much in school, I read diagonally, trying to find moments in which at least something would happen, except for strange dialogues and thoughtful self-digging of the main character.

    But 20 years passed, and here I again took Dostoevsky in my hands - the same thing, "Crime and Punishment." And what would you think? Could not tear myself away! Just as in childhood, I read avidly about Tarzan, Conan-Barbara, the Black Corsair, or Frodo Baggins. Himself in shock was.

    Moreover, the dialogue and self-digging of the main character attracted the main attention - exactly what caused mortal melancholy in childhood. No matter how trite it sounds, Fedor Mikhailovich, if not the best, then in the first row, understands and, most importantly, can lay out the human soul on paper.

    And if you recall the above thesis that the main thing is people and systems, then Dostoevsky and other classics wrote about a person much better than modern authors. I don’t know what the matter is - whether there were such times, without information intoxication, or if the writers had much more time to think, or if the talents had grown - let the critics talk about this, I will just enjoy and learn.

    Yes, of course, the classics are not only Russian writers. For example, I discovered John Steinbeck, who was born and died in the 20th century. But he expounded to the human soul no worse than Dostoevsky, in some ways even more interesting. If you read both authors, see the difference, I will not spoil.

    Or take, for example, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain. It would seem an ordinary, albeit classic, children's adventure book. But you re-read, starting with chapter 35, when Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn invented and implemented a plan to free the Negro Jim from imprisonment. You will discover a lot of new approaches to projects, tasks and various techniques.

    For example, one of Tom Sawyer’s quotes:

    “- And by golly, all this is so easy and simple, that even nasty is done! Therefore, it is difficult to come up with any plan more interesting. There is not even a caretaker, there is no one to give them a dope, - and yet the guard must be there! Not even a dog to give her a sleeping potion. Jim's chain is ten feet long, only on one leg, and is put on the foot of the bed; all the things that lift this leg and remove the chain. And Uncle Silas believes everyone: he gave the key to some brainless Negro, and no one is watching this Negro. Jim could have climbed out the window before, only with a ten-foot chain you cannot go far. Just annoying, Huck, because nothing can be stupid! Himself have to invent all sorts of difficulties. Well, nothing can be done! We'll have to somehow dodge with what is at hand. In any case, there is one plus: for us it is more honor to bail him out of various difficulties and dangers, when no one has prepared for these dangers for us and we have to think everything out of our head, even though this is not our duty at all. Take at least a flashlight. Speaking directly, you have to pretend that it is dangerous with a lantern. Yes, here at least arrange a whole procession with torches, no one will scratch, I think. By the way, this is what occurred to me: the first duty is to find something that can be made of a saw. ”

    And here is the answer Huck Finn:

    "When I choose to steal a nigger, or a watermelon, or a textbook of the Sunday school, I will not understand as there are supposed to do according to the rules, if only it was done. What I need is a Negro, or a watermelon, or a textbook; if hoe agile, so I hoe and dig that nigger, or a watermelon there, or textbook; let your authorities think whatever they want, I won't give you a dead rat for them. ”
    Doesn't it look like some comment threads? Under articles about a scram, for example.

    19. Read fiction

    Oddly enough, no fiction reading is also worth it. If we keep in mind paragraph 10 of the previous article - “any material is useful.”

    For example, this summer I read all the books of Boris Akunin from the series about Erast Petrovich Fandorin (these are "Azazel", "Turkish Gambit", "State Counselor", etc.). It would seem, just an easy reading matter, what can be found useful there?

    But I, for myself, found. In two books, from the last ones, the author tells about a certain self-development algorithm that was invented and used by the main character. He divided his life into certain areas, or streams - mind, physical development, something else, I do not remember exactly. And he began to set a goal for each stream for the year - concrete, clear and developing.

    For example, for “physics”, he set not the amorphous goal of “practicing the exercises”, but rather a specific one - to master the art of walking on a tightrope. It develops endurance, strength, coordination, and the vestibular apparatus. Similarly, for the mind, I decided to learn Italian. For the next two years, he set a Chinese goal. And so on.

    I do not know about you, but this approach has sunk into my soul - first of all, with my own specifics. I do that now too.

    It is clear that similar approaches, for sure, are in other books - some kind of non-fixation about self-development. But here it is more interesting - and fun to read, and the benefits are obvious.

    The chip, I think, is that it is necessary to separate the author and the book. If the book is written in a light genre, it does not mean at all that its author is a superficial, boring or even stupid person. Especially - in our time, when a book is a product, with all the ensuing consequences - an understanding of the laws of the market, the readers segment, etc.

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