Update for 11/12/2017

“Last” week was an interesting one. It took me all the next week to figure out how to write about it. So these events are from Nov 5-11, two weeks before the time I’m posting. I’ll post this week’s update in a day or two.

Beliefs report

😐

The week started out pretty bad. Sunday I was feeling very down for some reason. I felt disconnected from the whole evangelical way of conducting religion, and I wasn’t sure I could force myself through church. I did, but I was miserable.

I did skip the young adult ministry gathering after the service. Even apart from feeling bad, I didn’t see much point in attending a ministry that only applies to me for four more months. That’s pretty much the essence of being 39. So close to over the hill you might as well start rolling. Except that I don’t feel anywhere near that old.

This church experience reminded me that my beliefs report is a good idea! At least once I’ve written that, I’ll know exactly where I stand. However, it’s on hold temporarily, for reasons I’ll explain in a minute.

Work

πŸ€”

My bad week continued on Monday with computer problems that had carried over from the week before. The IT department’s login policies make it very easy to get locked out of our accounts, especially when you’ve just changed your password and you have to update all your devices. Guess what was happening. It was very frustrating. I ended up fixing it by cutting off my phone’s access to the office wifi and email.

I could’ve tried setting up my work password on my phone again, but at that point I was done. I decided it was a good time to overreact and go on general mental lockdown. If our office technology was going to be such a pain about my way of life, I’d let the office win. I shut off everything remotely personal and settled down to do nothing but my dreary job.

Bad work thing #2 was basically a request from customer service to fix an unfixable glitch in some of my ebooks. Actually it turned out that’s not quite what they were asking for, but that’s what it sounded like at the time. I was already in such a mood that I began seriously asking myself why I was still in a job that was aimed away from my intended career path. A little research told me I still wasn’t ready to move on in the right direction.

Bad work thing #3 was that I’d been coming in late a little too often, and my boss politely asked me to knock it off (a loose paraphrase). I decided the best way to comply was to come in an hour early from then on. Which meant definitely going to bed on time, which to my grouchy mind meant not having an evening, just to be safe.

My strategy for punctuality included lunch. If I was going to enslave myself to a stricter work schedule, I should avoid any danger of ending lunch late. So I cut out all lunchtime project activity. Hence the pause on the beliefs report.

So after all this bitter adjustment, the end result was single tasking through a 7-4:30 workday with an hour lunch. Then errands and home by around 5:30, dinner, my night routine, and whatever projects I could work on till 10. On a normal day, if things went right. I stuck to it pretty well that week.

I tried to keep up my bad mood as the days wore on. But I was being responsible and getting things done, and to my horror, my sense of accomplishment was overriding my bad feelings! I finished the week in an annoyingly good mood instead. With a disturbing abundance of energy from adequate sleep!

Appalling. A complete betrayal of my sense of injury.

My new habits were only reinforced by my attempt to multitask my way through Saturday. It reminded me how much that feels like a bog of chaos. The contrast was stark.

Christmas

😐

The first evening of my grumpy new plan to be disciplined, I thought about going to sleep right after dinner just to spite the world. But I decided since my mom was waiting on my Christmas list, I should work on that.

That took basically the rest of the week. That’s how my Christmas list goes, because I have to research what I’ll need for the next projects I have planned. This year’s list features books on various kinds of analysis. Plus other things like mini-globes of Mars and the moon. Since those are our first targets in space exploration and colonization, I figure I should learn them.

Books

πŸ€”

With getting home from work earlier and dropping extraneous activities, I had enough time in the evenings that I randomly spent half of one working on my experimental literature project. I’m cataloging the authors in the Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. It’ll become a page of links on the wiki and a reading list for myself.

Thursday Audible launched a contest to win a voucher for things in your wish list. I don’t normally enter contests, but this one was for something I actually care about, and it was easy, so I entered. Then I had to fill up my wish list in case I won. So that’s taken some time.

I finished Consider Phlebas. It was good, though a space pirate story wasn’t really what I was looking for right now. The ending intrigued me, however, so I’ll continue the series.

Next I started Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence, an examination of the risks of developing superhuman intelligences, either through AI or the cognitive enhancement of humans. I consider this one of the most important books I’ve read, and I intend to read it more than once and study it in depth.

Life management

πŸ™„

Saturday my last-straw frustration reemerged while I was getting my worship team music ready for the next day. I was keeping my printouts in a couple of big, unwieldy binders, and I decided it was time to move them to my little two-drawer filing cabinet.

Well, this thing is 20 years old, and it disagreed. The rack that held up the files refused to settle into place. It gave me two options: be unable to close the drawer or unable to open it.

I picked option C: Get a new filing cabinet. I researched it, ordered it, and picked it up from the store that day, and now it’s sitting in my apartment waiting to be assembled. I meant to do this years ago, but sometimes it takes a fit of rage.

Since it would be easier to assemble the filing cabinet if I had more space, maybe this is what will get me to clean up my apartment too.

Project generator

😐

With everything else going on, the generator has been on hold. But I’m hoping to get back to it in the next couple of weeks.

Social life

πŸ™‚

Friday my brother texted me to ask if I’d ever been to Nando’s. I only recalled hearing about it from the joke going around the Internet a couple of years ago. But it turns out they have several of them in my area. I was having dinner with Jeremy that night, so that’s where we went. Once we found it, I remembered seeing it before and my surprise at the time because I thought it was a UK chain. Anyway, the food was delicious, though my order left me wanting more.

Saturday my sister texted me to ask a question about using LibraryThing, and poking around in my profile reminded me of an old online friend. He was in my pending friend requests. We used to talk all the time, and then a few years ago we lost touch. I’d searched for him a couple of times since then, but it seemed he’d removed himself from the Internet. But seeing his name got me to try again. This time I found him! A conversation in the comments followed. It just goes to show, “Good things come to those who wait.” That’s been true for me so many times.

Posted in Beliefs report, Books, Church, Coding project generator, Futurism, Holidays, Life management, Productivity, Sleep, Social life, Work | 1 Comment

Update for 11/5/2017

Life management

πŸ˜•

Well, thanks to my continuing irregular sleep and poor time management, my life is feeling even more stalled. But I’m still experimenting to find solutions.

Project generator

πŸ˜•

I progressed about a millimeter.

Sometimes when my online friends tell me they’re procrastinating on something, I tell them to stream it. My thought is that if it’s not too distracting, streaming can be motivating and focusing. You have an audience that at least somewhat expects you to work on the thing you’ve announced as the purpose of the stream.

Accountability is mostly what these update posts are for, but clearly they’re not enough. I need scheduled events that I can organize my life around. In high school I always took a study hall for this reason. At home I’d procrastinate on homework, but my mind saw study hall as a box of time meant for work, and there I got things done.

So I’m thinking maybe I should take my own advice and finally get around to streaming. Sigh, I guess I’ll look into that this week. It’s kind of scary though.

Beliefs report

πŸ€”

I didn’t have much time during lunch last week, so instead of trying to shove writing into those few minutes, I read a manga instead (see below).

I’m thinking that either I need to fix my lunch practices or pick a different time to do this project. Maybe I should alternate between this and the project generator.

Movies

πŸ™„

Movies have been coming out that I want to see, mainly Blade Runner 2049 and Thor: Ragnarok. But I haven’t gotten around to them.

Books

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What I have done is listen to things. I’ve concluded that audiobooks are about the only thing I can reliably complete in life.

Halloween morning was gloomy and overcast, so on my way to work I listened to “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. It’d been forever since I’d read it, and I remembered barely anything. It surprised me by summoning tears somewhere in the middle, thinking about the narrator wrestling with his grief over Lenore.

Reading about “The Raven” led me to “The Imp of the Perverse,” so I listened to that at lunch. That one was interesting because I first heard that concept from C. S. Lewis, and I wondered if Lewis had picked it up from Poe. It also reminded me that a lot of observation and psychologizing and philosophizing goes into quality fiction. It doesn’t just report a stream of imaginary events.

That night I finished Peter Clines’ The Fold, the sci fi horror I started the week before. I was pleased it went the general direction I was hoping. It’d be nice if he continued the series, but he’d have to really vary the pattern after this book. It wasn’t a copy of the first one, but without a change in the overall scenario the commonalities could get monotonous.

Now I’m on Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, another one that Audible has enabled me to get around to. It’s the start of a sci fi series (The Culture) that encompasses some of the technology Isaac Arthur talks about. I was ignorant of the premise going in, but it turns out to be relevant to my interests–a conflict between pro-machine and pro-organism viewpoints. Should we let life find its own balance, or do we want AIs to impose order?

Some articles and conversations have nudged me into starting to read Junji Ito’s work. He writes horror manga. I feel a kinship with his imagination. So I continued Halloween by picking up Gyo Vol. 1 from the library. It was a page turner, and I finished it before I got around to putting it in Goodreads. Vol. 2 isn’t anywhere nearby, so it’s either interlibrary loan or buying it from ComiXology.

Christmas

😐

Our family’s scramble to update our Christmas lists has begun, so this weekend I’m researching my upcoming projects to see what resources would make good additions to my wish list.

Posted in Beliefs report, Books, Coding project generator, Holidays, Life management, Movies, Updates | 4 Comments

Update for 10/29/2017

This week I’m trying to be briefer, especially since the update is already so late.

Worship team

πŸ™‚

I’ve been moved from piano to synth for at least the next few months. We have too many pianists. At first I felt like I’d been demoted, but now I see that’s not the idea, and I’m having fun with it.

Podcasts

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I’m going to be working on a podcast! I volunteered to help with our church’s sermon feed. I’ll be editing and uploading files.

Life management

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They fixed my kitchen sink on Monday. Finally I could get back to normal meals–once I got around to buying new vegetables.

I upgraded my cell phone plan–up from 500 MB a month to 5 G, and for the same price. This will let me do projects that require the Internet when I’m sitting in my car.

Futurism

😎

Last week I met with my new futurism group on the topic of Afrofuturism (based on this episode of This American Life). I learned from someone in the group that Ahmed Best has a fascinating podcast on the subject. He’s the actor who played Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars, and that role is actually what got him interested in futurism.

I finished catching up on Isaac Arthur’s past episodes. The next set of videos to finish will be from the Future of Humanity Institute. But first, some audiobooks.

Books

πŸ™‚

I finally convinced myself to subscribe to Audible. It’ll fill in for my local libraries when the audiobooks I want aren’t easily available. Audiobook apps are hit or miss, but I was relieved to find Audible has a good one.

For my first Audible selection, I decided to do some Halloween listening. I’ve been in the mood for something along the lines of Peter Clines’ 14, so I’m listening to its sidequel, The Fold. If you like sci fi horror adventure mysteries, I recommend it. The reader is good too.

Work

😐

Freelance work has been taking up a few of my evenings. That was supposed to end Friday, but then I got an extra request, so it’s spilling over a little to this week. Then it’s time to stop procrastinating on invoices.

Another evening was taken up by my regular job, pushing myself to finish the complicated ebook I’ve been planning for and working on the past couple of months. My deadline was Friday, but it thankfully got extended to Tuesday, so I had a little more time to fix things.

Project generator

πŸ™‚

I fixed the errors Travis CI was complaining about and added a couple more external services to the generator. Now I just have the road map of features to write, and then I’ll be ready to create the first release, v0.1.0.

Beliefs report

😐

I’m still revising the bibliology section.

TV

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I joined the mass binge watch of the newly released Stranger Things 2 on Friday, but only for one episode. I’ll get to the rest of it later.

Netflix removed Foyle’s War from its streaming service a while back, but last week I found it on Hoopla, so now Tim and I can get back to watching it.

Posted in Apartment, Beliefs report, Books, Coding project generator, Futurism, Life management, Podcasts, TV, Updates, Worship performing | 6 Comments

Update for 10/22/2017

Life management

πŸ˜•

My kitchen sink was still leaking on Saturday. I even pestered the office a few days earlier to get someone out to fix it. It was annoying not to be able to do dishes, but I used it as an excuse to eat out more.

One thing slowing the maintenance guy down might’ve been the second power outage we had on Monday. An equipment problem apparently. It wasn’t resolved till mid-morning the next day. I got more sleep Monday night! But it reminded me of this article on the mental health effects of prolonged outages.

I seriously need to establish some routines for my time outside of work. Having my projects crowded out by trivialities all the time is kind of demoralizing. Sometimes I wonder if I should give up on my ambitions and just accept the mundane existence I seem stuck in. But I’m not really capable of settling like that, so I’ll keeping pushing myself toward solutions.

Work

😐

Sometimes my projects are crowded out by work. I don’t really mind occasional interruptions for that. It feels more meaningful than putting up with the inefficiencies of my everyday life. It can add up though.

In my last update I was in the middle of setting up my new hard drive for some freelance work. Well I finished that, and the rest of the job was fairly easy. My brother narrowly missed having to help me slog through compiling that module like he did years ago the first time I compiled it.

Now I’m in the middle of another text comparison job of the same kind, but this one will take extra work for a different reason. The files they sent me have a format my program doesn’t quite read (the concise version of InDesign tagged text rather than the verbose version), so I need to adjust it a bit.

Wednesday afternoon I got an emergency request to fix a hacked WordPress site, so that was my Wednesday night and Thursday morning. It reminded me I have some work to do on my own site.

It’s nice of my clients to pay for all these meals I’ve been eating out lately.

πŸ™‚

At my real job we got an emergency request for office people to help out in the warehouse. I signed up because warehouse projects are fun and I felt bad for ignoring the last few requests. It was fun this time too, and I got to talk to some people I hadn’t met from other departments.

Project generator

😐

As usual, I inched forward. I ended the week stuck in Docker trying to figure out how to locally debug my Travis CI tests. Doesn’t that sound like I know what I’m doing?

Beliefs report

😐

I think I have all the content for bibliology basically written. I just need to clean it up a bit, and then I can post the update.

Socializing

πŸ™‚

Sunday I went with Jeremy, Heather, and their kid to a pumpkin farm. We didn’t stay long, but we looked around and did some shopping. I was tempted to get a little pumpkin or two for decoration because they looked so nice, but I didn’t think I’d actually do anything with them. I did buy some pumpkin butter and fudge and fed a goat.

Posted in Beliefs report, Coding project generator, Freelancing, Life management, Social life, Updates, Work | 4 Comments

Update for 10/15/2017

I was expecting this to be another short-entry week.

Socializing

πŸ™‚

Sunday I played on the worship team at our church’s other site, and afterward they had a lunch of Korean food. I attended this. I wasn’t feeling very social, and at first I was grumpy about agreeing to stay, but I got over it and had a nice time anyway.

I even met someone who works with kids who have autism, which is a topic that interests me. I’m curious about the idea that it’s simply a different, nondysfunctional way of processing the world.

Then on Friday I had dinner with Jeremy, where I got him to argue with me about functional vs. object-oriented programming. More on that below.

Futurism

😎

Tuesday I attended my first event of the futurism group I joined. It had a nicely organized format where we watched a series of videos on a topic with a discussion after each one. The most interesting one to me was Lawrence Lessig’s TEDx talk on money’s stranglehold on politics. I’m already planning on attending the next meeting. This time I’ll bring my tablet, because I ended up taking a lot of notes on my phone.

Work

πŸ˜„

With the futurism meeting out of the way, I stayed at the office very late Wednesday and Thursday cramming in the rest of my work on the complicated ebook I’ve had on my plate the past few months. I was pushing to finish by the Friday deadline. Until Thursday night when I realized I’d misread the due date and I still had two more weeks. A nice relief!

I also got a request from my old employer for a small freelance project. They wanted the results on Monday. Doable. The only problem was I hadn’t set up my new hard drive yet for that work, so I’d need to give myself some extra time. With everything else going on, I didn’t get to it till Saturday.

Life management

πŸ™„

Life is nothing if not indifferent to our wishes and needs. Saturday morning I was washing dishes and heard a splattering noise under the sink. The end of the pipe had separated from the drain, and the water was splashing out in a big puddle. I cleaned it up and sent a maintenance request.

We had storms pretty much all day. That night while I was trying to set up my freelance work, the storm decided to help out by contributing a power outage. It did have the courtesy to wait till after I’d microwaved my frozen dinner (to save on dirty dishes). It didn’t last as long as I expected, but the experience reminded me I have plans to be less miserly.

After the outage I found that it had corrupted parts of my C drive, so I waited what seemed like an hour while chkdsk fixed it.

That was followed by several hours of installing things on the computer. And then running into the problem I was dreading–having to compile an obscure Perl module that always gave me trouble because I don’t know anything about compiling. Turned out, it still hadn’t changed its ways. I went to bed.

Project generator

😐

As you can maybe see by now, my work on the projects I actually care about was crowded out (again) by other things. But on this one I did make a little more progress on the roadmap.

Beliefs report

😐

I actually wrote a decent amount on my current topic of bibliology, and I’m closing in on posting an update, but Zeno’s paradox continues–closer and closer, but never there. This week isn’t looking especially likely either.

Functional programming

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I’ve been putting off learning functional programming for years. Although XSLT, the language I use to process XML, is more or less functional, I want to learn it for real. And the language I want to learn it from is Haskell, since it’s one of the purer functional languages. The book I want to learn it from is Haskell Programming from First Principles, which has a good reputation for explaining the concepts well. Plus I like anything that starts from first principles. But still I was putting it off.

A few months ago I ran across some videos and articles about the evils of object-oriented programming, and mulling them over since then has gotten me thinking these functional programming thoughts again. So last week I took the plunge, bought the Haskell book, and started reading.

Will I get anywhere with it, or will it be another project I pick up and drop a week later? Tune in next week to find out. But this topic keeps pestering me, so I think the project will stick around.

I have some links to share that will explain better why I want to take the time to learn functional programming. This is to make up for my poor explanation to Jeremy. Instead of delaying this post even longer, though, I’ll put them in a separate blog entry later this week.

TV

😎

Tim and I finished the two-part pilot of Star Trek: Discovery. I was pleased to find that the writing got better after the first half hour, or else I stopped noticing its weakness. I thought they did a good job of establishing the characters. The preview for the rest of the season took the show in a very different direction than I expected. I’m kinda looking forward to it.

While setting up for my freelance work, I watched episode 4 of The Orville. That show continues to be good. It’s not supposed to be a Star Trek series, but I think of it as one anyway, and I actually feel more like watching The Orville than Discovery.

Fundraising

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My friend Paul very kindly made a GoFundMe campaign for his friend Beth so she could get some dental work done. I agreed to share it. I even feel the urge to donate, which makes me think personal connections are an important part of meeting these kinds of needs.

Posted in Beliefs report, Coding project generator, Ebooks, Freelancing, Functional programming, Fundraising, Futurism, Hardware, Life management, Social life, TV, Updates, Work | 2 Comments

Update for 10/8/2017

Death

πŸ€”

I spent about a third of my project time last week refreshing my memory on how to write a sympathy note. If you ever find yourself needing to support someone who’s had a loss, I recommend The Art of Condolence by Leonard and Hilary Zunin.

Life management

😐

Another third of my project time was spent catching up on sleep. The extra sleep and reading some more articles on the subject have turned my attention back to my sleep schedule, and that’s gone pretty well the past few days.

Project generator

😐

I’ve organized the rest of my tasks for this project so it’s not so hazy and intimidating.

Beliefs report

😐

I wrote some more on bibliology, but the update’s still not ready for posting.

Books

πŸ€”

I finished Iron Sunrise. It was good but not really what I was looking for. I’m interested in exploring technological advance and its ramifications for society, and in this series those issues take a backseat to fairly normal politics and adventure.

Pushing myself to finish Iron Sunrise put me in a binging frame of mind, so it didn’t take me long to get through my next audiobook, Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot. It seems like I should’ve read that one a long time ago, but I put it off.

Now that I’ve gotten to it, I think it’s a very good exploration of some of the issues they were in a position to consider back in 1950, given that not even personal computers existed. In fact, I think a lot of the issues will remain relevant as the field of AI takes off.

Futurism

😎

Continuing my binging practices, I’ve been plowing through Isaac Arthur’s videos to catch up to his current updates. All his videos are good, but one that stood out last week was on black hole farming. It’s the first in his series on civilizations at the end of time. If you enjoy pondering the fantastic, I recommend it.

Posted in Beliefs report, Books, Caring, Coding project generator, Death, Futurism, Life management, Sleep, Updates | 2 Comments

Update for 10/1/2017

Project generator

😐

I’ve been tying up loose ends for the first release and planning my roadmap for the features I want to add.

Beliefs report

😐

I made a lot of progress on the bibliology section, but I didn’t want to rush the update, so I have a bit more to go.

Futurism

πŸ™‚

The previous AI meetup group I joined stalled after the first meeting, but last week I found another group on the broader topic of futurism, and it’s been going for about a year, so I’ve joined that one. I’m planning to attend the next meeting that’s in a couple of weeks.

Books

πŸ™‚

Experimental literature has been creeping back into my life after a few months of being crowded out. I’m going to try to finish cataloging the authors in The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature by the end of the year.

It turns out the “superbook” concept I was developing pretty much covers the same territory, so I’ll probably merge that article into whatever other experimental literature content I put on the wiki. I always try to connect my work with other people’s, so this correlation was actually a welcome discovery.

TV

πŸ™‚

Episode 3 of The Orville was surprisingly good. This show is growing on me. The Moclan writer Gondus Elden makes me want to explore serious literature.

Because of some delays, Tim and I only got through about half of the first Star Trek: Discovery episode, so we’re trying again this week. But my first impression is that the visuals are a lot better than the writing. It seemed like they were dumbing it down for a wide audience. Star Trek series usually take a while to mature, so I’m hoping the writing will catch up to the production values. I especially like the technical drawing theme of the opening credits.

Socializing

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On Sunday our church had a get together for 20s and 30s to start things rolling on a young adult ministry. I only have about six more months in that demographic, and I wasn’t feeling very social that day, but at the last minute I decided to go anyway. My main reason was that if I wanted to voice opinions on what kinds of ministry the church should be doing for people like me, I should see for myself what they’re saying so far.

We were divided into smaller groups by birthday and were led through some icebreaker questions. I ended up talking more than I expected. When the pastor gave an open lunch invitation at the end, I even joined in for that. This was one case where I’m glad I made myself be social.

Video games

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Nintendo has released a new version of the Super Nintendo console from the ’90s called the SNES Classic. They did this with the NES console last year, and it sold out way too quickly. Very frustrating for many gamers. I didn’t care back then, but now I’m more interested in old Nintendo games, so I made sure to preorder this console. I picked it up on Friday.

But my other technology at home is old, and I don’t have any displays with an HDMI port. So Saturday was largely spent finding an adapter and setting up the console. It comes with 21 games installed, including several I’ve wanted to play. When will I play them? It’s anyone’s guess. But I’ve added the whole set to my game backlog.

Death

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This weekend I was hit with the news of two deaths. The first was a long-time close friend of the family who died unexpectedly after a brief illness. The second I only learned about because it happened near a part of town I visit a lot, though I wasn’t there till hours later. It was a high-speed car crash, and the victim’s car caught fire. I gathered that she was trapped in her car and burned to death. She was not at fault.

These were sobering stories. They reminded me that while it’s true that “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans,” death can be too. It also brought back the confusion and wrongness I feel as I try to continue with life as usual while tragedy goes on around me. Fortunately there are ways to respond.

Posted in Beliefs report, Books, Coding project generator, Death, Futurism, Social life, TV, Updates, Video games | 2 Comments

Update for 9/24/2017

Project generator

😐

I finally finished my initial pass through the documentation and posted what I have. Next I have some loose ends to tie up, at which point I’ll probably create a beta release, even though I have some other things in mind to add.

Beliefs report

😐

I wrote a bit more on the bibliology section, filling out some details based on my types-of-belief scheme. It’s shaping up pretty well. I might be able to post my revisions this week.

Futurism

πŸ™‚

I’m taking a break from my podcasts to catch up on Isaac Arthur’s YouTube channel and the Future of Humanity Institute channel. The podcasts on random topics were good to kickstart my enthusiasm for futurism, but at a certain point I want a more organized, focused, and in-depth look at the issues. These channels are better for that.

Mining Ancient Thought

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I got kind of sidetracked toward the end of the week putting together a page on the wiki I’m calling Mining Ancient Thought. It’s a set of examples I’ve collected over the years of researchers who are reexamining old science and scholarship to gain new insights. It’s part of my principle of looking at a topic from multiple vantage points. In this case, historical ones. In the next week or two I want to write more of an intro, and then I’ll be done with it for now.

TV

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Last week I tried out The Orville, a new space exploration series by a famous comedian whose other shows I’ve barely watched. It’s sort of a dramedy homage to Star Trek. It’s decent light entertainment, and I liked it pretty well. I’m looking forward to seeing how the show handles social issues, which I’ve heard come up in the third episode.

The Orville reminded me that Star Trek: Discovery is on its way, so I looked it up to see when it was supposed to be starting. I thought it was next year sometime. It turned out it starts Sunday. Annoyingly in the US you’ll need CBS All-Access to watch it, but really I don’t mind. Tim’s going to come over and watch the premiere with me.

My excitement over Star Trek has waned over the years, and the stuff I’ve been learning about futurism has made the franchise feel outdated in some ways. But still I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of show this new crop of people comes up with.

Posted in Beliefs report, Coding project generator, Futurism, Mining Ancient Thought, TV | 5 Comments

Update for 9/17/2017

Life management

😠

I’ve gotten tired of my slow programming progress, my information overload, my messy apartment, and my messy schedule. It’s time for another round of life organization. I have ideas about this, but I’ll go into them more as I put them into practice.

One thing I’ve already done is cut down on my social media. The news was especially taking up my time. And now I see what people mean about feeling better when they stop reading it.

Computer

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On Saturday I finally got around to replacing my hard drive. A potentially nerve-wracking procedure for a hardwarephobe like me. I was expecting it to take a couple of hours, but it took less than one.

I was also expecting the hardware to be very delicate and highly vulnerable to slight bumps, skin oil, undetectable electric shocks despite my anti-static measures, and mini-disasters I hadn’t even thought of. But to my surprise, when I booted up the computer, I hadn’t ruined my new drive or even the old one.

Now I’m installing software and copying files. Gigabytes and gigabytes of files. Fortunately, I’ve gotten through most of them and the old drive is still alive. My Internet won’t be tied up for whole days downloading my backups after all.

The nice thing about all this is that I’d been seriously needing to clear disk space on that computer. There’s nothing like being forced to do what you wanted.

Project generator

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I progressed a few more inches. Enough to see the light at the end of the documentational tunnel.

This project and the one I’m doing at work are good test beds for my latest thoughts on productivity. Some of them might make it onto the wiki.

Beliefs report

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I progressed a few inches on this one too. I blame my late blogging last week, which took place at lunch, and the board game I played at lunch on Friday.

Writing

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Night Mind, one of the YouTube channels I follow on creepy fiction, has released the first phase of an instructional series called How to Make a Webseries. In it Nick Nocturne distills the lessons he’s learned while creating his own works and watching the creative and not-so-creative projects of others. I recommend it if you’d like to learn about writing fiction in the Internet age.

The videos got me interested in creative writing again. Which is a bad thing!! I need to finish my current projects first. But at least I can ruminate on writing in the back of my mind while it waits its turn.

Posted in Beliefs report, Coding project generator, Hardware, Life management, Updates, Videos, Writing | 1 Comment

Update for 9/10/2017

Blog

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Some things I’ve learned about emoji:

People use some of them wrong.

You can request new ones.

Work

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My current ebook is illustrating the difference between a well-defined procedure and one that involves R&D: One of these schedules can be estimated. The other one seems to actively resist it.

Fortunately, Friday is only a fake deadline, so at this point I’m somewhat putting the idea of a schedule out of my mind. I’ll just program however long it takes to get our tools to do what this ebook needs.

Sleep

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I tracked my sleep for most of the week. The purpose was to get an idea of my sleep patterns. As I suspected, they were wavy–owlish nights of little sleep followed by longer nights of makeup sleep.

I forgot about making a motivational poster. It’d probably be helpful, so I might set aside an evening to put one together. I’m thinking through how I can simplify and order my life better in general. Sleep is one part of that, but I haven’t made many specific plans yet.

Project generator

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This readmeΒ is like Zeno’s paradox. The more I get done, the more I’m not any closer to finishing. Still, I made good progress. Maybe it’ll be done this week?

I’m learning that documentation isn’t something you just do. It’s like a research paper. A long and involved process of looking things up and condensing the info into something convenient and readable.

I’m catching a slight case of imposter syndrome with this documentation. I don’t know much of anything about Node.js and Git, yet I have to instruct my readers as if I do.

Annoyingly, my readmeΒ work has uncovered more coding I want to do for this release, hopefully only a little, though it’ll take more research. So that’s the next thing to take care of.

Beliefs report

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I took a break from this last week. I meant to work on the project generator instead, but I didn’t end up with much time during my lunches, so I ended up just reading my Borges book (see below).

But I don’t want to drift away from the beliefs report altogether, so I’m back to that this week.

Books

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I’ve been reading one of my experimental works, a collection of short stories and essays by Jorge Luis Borges called Labyrinths.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started, but now I look forward to each story gradually mapping out an intriguing idea, just enough to lay the groundwork and launch trains of thought. These stories remind me of one of my favorite SF writers, Ted Chiang, who wrote the one that became the movie Arrival. They’re the kinds of stories I could see myself writing.

But I’m putting the book aside again to work on the beliefs report.

TV

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I finished The Defenders. Its predecessor Iron Fist had actually dampened my enthusiasm going into it, but I was relieved that The Defenders drew me in and I liked it much better. It also tied the other series together nicely.

Now I’m trying to take a break from evening media so I can work more on the project generator.

Shoutouts

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My friend Dav has started his own weekly blog. You might recognize the format. I was surprised at how it’s given me extra insight into his life that I hadn’t picked up from our conversations.

Posted in Beliefs report, Blog, Books, Coding project generator, Shoutouts, Sleep, TV, Updates, Work | 5 Comments