Hello, future self:
Various experts in life-planning suggest that you're much more likely to meet your goals if you write them down. Why does this matter? Who knows. You'd think that having them rattling around in your head would be enough.
Really, I think the important step is coming up with a schedule: prioritizing. After all, we have what, about two hours each night that could be devoted to things like this?
I've thought about what my short-term "personal syllabus" could be, and for the last few months we've had more important family-oriented things to focus on instead. But I imagine that when I turn 40 or 50, I might look back at my young 30s, and wished I had focused on some sort of developmental plan.
Here's what I'm thinking as a purely intellectual list of knowledge-goals. Not interpersonal, not health-related, not financial. Just stuff I'd like to know well.
Fundamental "Thought Patterns"
I'm convinced that math - such as modern algebra - dives the deepest into the most fundamentally bare thought-shapes. It makes you carve away all of the assumptions you didn't know you had. Maybe advanced math is hard because it is so simple. It's hard because it's so easy to jump thoughtlessly to the wrong conclusions...
Abstract Algebra: (Artin? Should start with Maxfield...)
Discrete Math: (Liu)
Essential Math - read or re-read:
The 2-vol Harvard "math for physicists" (Bamberg & Sternberg)
Differential equations (re-do Boyce & DiPrima)
Fourier analysis (Oppenheim or find a copy of Bracewell)
Review your vector calculus
Information Theory / Communication Theory
Maybe, complex variables (Churchill, Needham)
Engineering / Physics / CS
CM / QM (Skim French, then do Griffiths, Shankar)
Circuit Design (and RF)
Optical system design (finish the central chapters of Hecht), i.e. lens design (Kingslake, Smith MOE)- and Fourier optics (Goodman)
OS X or XP app dev't
Web app dev't
Complexity / complex adaptive systems (Santa Fe...) / ALife: (Kauffman, Waldrop)
Humanities / the Arts (I hear my friends laughing)
Look @ list of suggested works in the Western Canon
Plenty of contemporary fiction
Stay current in industrial design (I.D.) and graphic design (PRINT)
Keep reading up on contemporary art / conceptual art
Business / Marketing
Marketing texts, accounting, valuations
Disruptive technologies (Christensen)
Skills / Crafts / Games
electronic prototyping and low-volume fabrication (possibly something better than Fab)
photography (get a clue)
World and Business Current Affairs
WSJ / The Week / New Scientist, etc.
(already reading various scientific journals, attending conferences)
This is just a list for me. Now that I've blogged it, there's the aspect of making it public. Priorities? Yaaaak!