March 2016 In Review

Written by David on April 14, 2016

Let’s talk about March (well, okay - the second half of March and the first half of April).

I think it was a good month. I thought about writing this as a Buzzfeed listicle, but I’m pretty terrible with gifs.

I just finally finished reading the Bible straight through. It took long enough that I can’t remember when I started (maybe more than 3 years, though I’d just take a break and read other things when I’d get stuck - and I got stuck a lot). But I can still proudly say that it’s become a part of my daily routine. To those who typically read chunks of the Bible here and there, I’d suggest simply reading the Bible straight through so you make sure you read everything and you have an obvious plan/goal.

I just finished memorized Romans 12 and am trying a new technique of listening to recordings of myself reading the passage. I’m not sure why that’s supposed to be helpful, but I’ve heard that it is.

I launched something two or three weeks ago at Facebook (well, by launch, I mean 1% of the world has it). And then I launched something else earlier this week (also meaning like 1% of the world). I had about two really solid weeks at work, which was pretty amazing for me after feeling like I was constantly getting stuck for the preceding month or so.

I actually get to feel like I own a very specific part of the code, which is pretty true since everyone on my team works on pretty different parts of videos. My domain is formally called Videos Consumption. We also just announced a lot of the work we’ve been doing surrounding Facebook Live, which I wasn’t really too involved with, but it is still pretty exciting. And we had F8, Facebook’s big developer conference. And there was that Buzzfeed watermelon video that had 800 million people watching at a single point.

I wrote CSS animations and used ReactCSSTransitionGroup for the first time. I actually felt pretty proud of it.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this yet, but I don’t go on Techcrunch or Hacker News (or Echo JS) anymore. I used to check both on probably an hourly basis everyday, but it’s actually been about 5 months since I’ve visited either (well, I end up on Techcrunch on the rare times when people link to it directly). When I was doing this, I was constantly thinking about programming and what was trending/what was happening (which is pretty turbulent in web development). It also made me fantasize about making it to the front page of Hacker News (which I pulled off once - and it was definitely not as satisfying as I thought it would be). Having departed from sites like this has made it so that I actually care a lot less about tech and the web programming subculture than I used to care. It’s ironic because part of the reason why I wanted to come to Facebook was because I thought I’d have more clout in the web programming community; now that I’ve gotten here, it just so happens that I don’t even care about it. I’m no longer writing articles on my own, doing side projects, or submitting conference proposals, and I don’t really keep up with the latest programming fads.

I’ve recently been spending time researching into Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses lately - that’s been good for me in that it’s been intellectually stimulating. It has helped me be more clear and confident as to what I believe (especially when the nomenclature between orthodox Christianity and Mormonism/Jehovah’s Witnesses overlaps so much). But it’s also very frustrating and a little humbling in terms of feeling like someone else’s beliefs are intellectually contradictory or historically inaccurate; only to remember that others would say the exact same things about my beliefs. I’d still assert that this doesn’t mean that all religions are equally credible or are on a level playing field.

I don’t think we really (even those who are non-religious) conclude what we believe based on intellectual reasons at all (I’ll readily admit I didn’t). We have too much skin in the game - we have a very visceral opposition against the concept of a Judeo-Christian God who can tell us how we ought to live and who can judge us accordingly. Often following this visceral opposition comes intellectual scrutiny (not the other way around). I don’t think we subject all worldviews to this same amount of scrutiny, intellectually or ideologically. I think we tend to highly question a worldview like Christianity - and, if we find it disagreeable, we tend to conclude humanism without asking similar questions, making similar demands, and at least momentarily suspending our visceral biases.

This past month, I went through like 5 stages of depression in terms of running. I had some good runs here and there, tried to do too much too early, thought seriously about quitting altogether (and considered trying to pick up bouldering instead), and am once again slowly coming back into form. I was able to do about 3.5 miles a week or so ago without any knee pain! I’ve stopped doing physical therapy as of the past few weeks as I wasn’t necessarily seeing a lot of progress or feeling good about it. If I can stay healthy, hopefully I will be able to do the Seattle Rock n Roll Half in June (though I expect the goal will be to finish without pain instead of any specific time).

[I did end up going bouldering at the Seattle Bouldering Project with a few guys from church a few days ago though. It was a ton of fun, but my arms definitely felt like they were going to fall off afterwards.]

We’ve been having more hot pot dinners with friends from church - that’s been fun. Our church has been doing a Friday night series on outreach, which has been challenging me both to embrace inreach and outreach (and to ensure that both lead to each other). I also have the opportunity to teach in a few weeks on outreach (since I’m the outreach leader at our church) - so that’s exciting as I haven’t taught in this capacity before.

Finally, I’m polishing off this post from an airplane on its way to Houston, where Suzi and I will be for the next few days to attend my good friend Andrew’s wedding. Looking forward to time back in that part of the country, BBQ, bubble tea, and celebrating with old friends. Thanks for reading this far, God bless.