Update for 6/3/2018

Life maintenance


Last week:

  • Budget – Progressed about an inch.

This week:

  • Budget
  • Apartment research



Last week:

  • Terms of service, privacy policy, privacy tools, consent checkbox
  • Backup research

This week:

  • Backup setup

My backups have been spotty in the past. One good thing I can say for GDPR is that it’s given me a kick in the pants to automate them.

The more I read about GDPR, the more it sounds like a good case study for issues in conceptual modeling and other areas I care about. I might make a project someday out of studying it in detail.



I finished Consciousness and the Brain by Stanislas Dehaene. 5/5. I’m wary when I run across books on consciousness. I assume they’ll make a lot of breathless leaps of logic and claim way too much. I was pleasantly surprised at how careful Dehaene’s reasoning was.

A few takeaways:

I was pleased at some of our agreements, such as that self-awareness isn’t necessary for consciousness and that randomness isn’t the kind of free will we really want.

I learned that the subconscious is even busier than I knew, which makes me more aware that the strangers I see around me who seem kind of blank on the surface have brains that are teeming with concealed activity at every moment.

I somewhat disagreed with his belief that learning enough about the brain will explain the existence of subjective experience. I want to stay open to that possibility, but for now I compare it to the idea of doing more math to find out what font the math is being printed in. Subjective experience and brain activity seem to belong to two different arenas of inquiry.

The conscious and subconscious interact in ways that are relevant to my approach to conceptual modeling. I’ll be coming back to this book sooner rather than later.



Now I’m on The Monster in the Hollows, book three of the Wingfeather Saga. My interest in this series was flagging, but last week a semi-related ebook crossed my desk at work and reminded me not to let it die.

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