Update for 6/24/2018

Life maintenance


I’m around 60% done sorting out the papers I need to finish the last 5% of my budget. It always takes a surprising amount of time to file papers when I have a big pile of them. And the latest folders in my filing cabinet are from 2015, so uh, I guess the piles have been accumulating for a while.

Part of the problem has been that I put off making a new set of folders when the new year rolls around, so the papers have nowhere to go. Well this time I took advantage of my filing state of mind and made folders for 2019, so I’ll be ready when the time comes. I find life is easier when I have refills on hand so when my current container or batch runs out, it’s not an emergency.

After the budget, hopefully this week, I’ll decide on some apartments to look at.

Conceptual modeling


At long last, I’ve posted version 0.1.0 of my conceptual modeling method. Really I just renamed my existing “Analysis” article and made a few other changes to match the new name.

For the version numbers I’m adapting the semantic versioning approach used in tagging software releases. So this isn’t the real first version. It’s just the first official pre-release version on the road to the first truly usable one. It’s mainly there to record the clumsy method I was already using.



I finished the last Wingfeather book, The Warden and the Wolf King. 5/5. I have mixed feelings about the conclusion, but mostly it was satisfying. My experience with this series has grown my awareness of the power of stories. Despite my somewhat jaded outlook on life lately, somehow these books were in tune with my personal issues and managed to carry me along, pushing and pulling my emotions along the way. Even a significant poem late in this book caught my attention so that I skipped back to catch every line, when normally I would describe my relationship to poetry as barely tolerant.

This series isn’t done working on me, so expect to see it in future updates.

Cognitive science


After finishing Wingfeather on Saturday, I had another audiobook crisis. I’d decided that since I’m cycling through three categories of book (professional development, spirituality, and fiction), it’d be a good idea to assemble lists of them so I don’t have to think much about the next book in the queue.

It was time for another professional development book, which meant something in the realm of cognitive science, rationality, or futurism. But by now my criteria have become a little stringent. Since I’m still learning the basics in these fields, I want the book to be something fairly standard and well-respected, not too specialized, available in audio, and listenable without excessive concentration. I spent several hours gathering likely candidates and reading reviews. I wanted to reduce my chances of wasting my time on books that were by fringe authors or that were poorly written.

I did come up with a few, and for the next book I settled on Steven Pinker’s How the Mind Works. It’s a long one, and he hits the ground running, but so far I’ve found it listenable. It helps that we’re in the same theoretical camp. I don’t need to agree with the people I read, because you can learn from both agreement and disagreement, but it’s nice to find a companion like Pinker who can walk me further along a path I was already on.

To extend the reading list past these few, I’ll need to map the territory I’m covering and come up with a list of prominent authors.



I already have plenty of fiction lined up, but the spirituality category will also need some research. My difficulty here is that there isn’t much Bible interpretation or theology I feel able to take seriously, so lining up books of Bible exposition feels like a setup for frustration and disappointment. That’s not always a bad thing, but I’d rather limit it at the moment.

Having said that, beginning this search has shown me I do have a few avenues to pursue. However, I’m going to wait to share them till next week’s update when I’ve defined them a bit more.



Now that my liturgical church hunt is basically done, I’ve been back to my home church on a regular basis, and I’ve taken a renewed interest in listening to the improvising techniques of my fellow pianists. Unfortunately I have a bad memory for music, so I can only remember the vague gist of what they did, and that doesn’t help too much when I’m at the keyboard. And recording them from my seat in the congregation only helps when the rest of the band isn’t covering up their sound.

But in the past I’ve run across tutorial videos on YouTube about piano and keyboard improvisation, some of them specifically for worship music. So I’m starting to search for them more systematically to see what new skills I can pick up, without taking too much time away from my other projects. One good channel I’ve found is OurWorshipSound. I also have a couple of books on improvising.

This entry was posted in Books, Cognitive science, Conceptual modeling, Fiction, Life maintenance, Music, Spirituality, Weeknotes, Worship performing. Bookmark the permalink.

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