I learned about linear equations and inequalities. At this stage I’m reading three overlapping textbooks, so I’m carefully reading the new content from each and skimming the repetitions. It’s going a bit slower than I expected, but mostly I’m satisfied with my progress. Mostly it’s just nice to be past prealgebra. I’ve also done a couple of the examples on paper now, as opposed to just in my head, and I’ve started taking notes on the less familiar content directly in Anki.
The distraction blocker is working well. I’ve left a few non-work sites unblocked to keep work from feeling oppressive, but I’ve blocked the distractions that feel uncontrolled. It’s been helpful so far, but we’ll see how it is in a few weeks or months when I lose motivation to obey the blocker.
Stochastic productivity. While I’m putting together my ideas on staying productive when your life is disordered, here are some of my inspirations for this idea that may interest you:
- Elastic Habits by Stephen Guise
- “Structured Procrastination” by John Perry
- Transforming ADHD by Greg Crosby and Tonya K. Lippert
- “Tedium Management” by Lew Mills (“Time Management and Organization” also looks promising)
- Advice on motivation during depression from The Financial Diet and The Mighty
I got approval to work from home. Thank you to my generous employer. I’ll probably still try to work in the office when I feel up to it. It’ll depend on how under control my ulcerative colitis is at any particular time.
I got back into walking. I was expecting to put off exercising for weeks or months longer, but I was feeling tired and weak at the beginning of the week, and I knew exercise could give me more energy, so I took a walk around the neighborhood and decided that would be the start of my new exercise program. Since I have no timetable, I’m starting slow and without much of a plan. But I’ll make exercise part of my elastic habits.
I might be slightly sick. I’ve been feeling vaguely off lately, with a slight fever for a few hours a couple of weeks ago, some achiness, some shaky fatigue, an overly warm feeling, a little cold sensitivity. It comes and goes, so I don’t know what to make of it, but since it’s so slight, I’m just watching it.
Alien: Covenant is about the AI control problem. I watched it last week just because it came up in my Netflix DVD queue, and I was surprised to see it really belongs in my AI movie project. It explores some possible motivations a superhuman AI might have and how those could benefit or harm its creators. I’d heard Alien fans didn’t like this movie, but I didn’t see much that was obviously wrong with it.
Stamped from the Beginning gives me a framework for thinking about antiracism. This was a long history book, so not my usual cup of tea, but I got myself through it. I appreciated Kendi’s opinionated take on the history, because I need a guide in these matters. Some key points:
- He divides ideas about racism into three categories: racism, antiracism, and assimilationism (supporting a degree of civil rights but with an ultimately racist rationale).
- He observes that a Black person can still have racist ideas about Black people, such as by taking an assimilationist view.
- He observes that several strategies for combating racism have always failed, such as uplift suasion, using the success of Black people to persuade white society that Black people are worthy. Racism simply finds new ways to justify itself.
- Rather than some flaw in Black biology or culture, he traces the Black community’s problems to circumstances: poverty that results from racist policies.
Sometime soon I’ll listen to his book How to Be an Antiracist for what I hope will be a deeper dive into some of these concepts.