Paul Graham seems to be this decade’s most vocal Lisp hacker, constantly spitting out new essays on assorted topics. Today’s essay is on how to spend your time in college. He dishes out a fair bit of useful advice, including bits like this:

If you want to work at a cool little company or research lab, you’ll do better to learn Ruby on Linux.

Heh. That is so me. Cool little company, writing Ruby on Linux.

Later on he talks about open-source projects, and how starting your own project to scratch some sort of itch is a great way to gain useful (and marketable) experience:

For example, I stumbled on a good algorithm for spam filtering because I wanted to stop getting spam. Now what I wish I had was a mail reader that somehow prevented my inbox from filling up. I tend to use my inbox as a todo list. But that’s like using a screwdriver to open bottles; what one really wants is a bottle opener.

I find this kind of hilarious, because as everyone knows, Ruby is best known for writing to-do list software.

Having said that, I’d love to see what Graham can spit out on the to-do list front. I could certainly use something better then my inbox or post-it notes, but none of the other alternatives that I’ve tried have really stuck with me. I really need to finish reading Getting Things Done.