Choice architecture might help me make better everyday decisions. Continuing in my theme of social engineering, I listened to Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, which promotes libertarian paternalism, designing the way choices are presented so that people will choose to benefit themselves. As my brother pointed out to me, this notion is controversial, and I will be digging into that controversy at some point. But for my immediate purpose of improving my own decisions, the book’s tips can be helpful, at least for decisions that don’t require expert knowledge.
Still waiting on energy and order. Due to various factors I’ll explain, I basically ignored the previous week’s advice to myself on sleep and time management, so I still feel like I’m in a netherworld of dysfunction. But every day is a new beginning, so I’ll see what I can do this week.
I got tested for COVID and other issues. Tuesday night I had my second brief fever in about a month, accompanied by the vague symptoms I’ve had on and off since March. So Wednesday I talked to a doctor, he ordered some tests for COVID and inflammation, plus a chest X-ray, and I did all that Thursday morning. The X-ray results were normal, and the COVID antibody test was negative. I’m waiting on the others. Other than tiredness I currently feel fine.
I’m starting to feel the stress of this pandemic. Taking care of my medical situation and dealing with a lot of fatigue made the week feel strange and wasted. Plus I worried that I’d been exposing people to COVID, especially at the dentist appointment I kept just before I got the fever (after rescheduling it because of my last fever). The negative antibody test made me feel a little better.
The first few months of lockdown were actually a relief to me. Since I don’t have a family to take care of and I could work from home, it simplified my life so I could focus on fewer concerns. Now that things are opening up, I’m beginning to feel the complexity of managing people’s expectations for what I’m willing to do and then doing those things safely. I can only imagine the stress of parents, teachers, and policymakers deciding what to do about school next month.
I took significant baby steps on the notes2flashcards app. Life and bad time management crowded out the project last week, but I managed to adapt my old code to Cement, a framework for Python console apps I decided to try. It might replace my generator-python-cmd project.
I’m extending the math project again. This week starts the Thinkulum project month of July. As tempting as it is to move back to conceptual modeling or maybe my software development notes, math is too important to too many of my other projects to put it off again. I want to get through at least intermediate algebra and possibly precalculus before I return to other projects.
I’m reworking my meal strategy. There are two factors:
- I put off cooking the whole previous week, because the next recipe was going to take too long and I was feeling lazy. So I need to switch to my simpler cookbook (The Four Ingredient Cookbooks), and I’d like to pick recipes that share ingredients so I have flexibility without wasting food.
- Last week after 6 months of dieting, I managed to glide past my weight goal. So now I have to figure out how to eat more daily calories without overloading on saturated fat.
As a follow-up to the 2001 movie, I listened to Arthur C. Clarke’s novel. It was fine and clarified the plot, but for artistry and emotive impact, I actually liked the movie better, which is rare. An interesting tidbit I learned from the introduction: Kubrick and Clarke collaborated on the movie, and Clarke wrote the novel specifically as a precursor to the script.
I forgot to include this in the post about the movie, but I thought the interpretation of spaceflight as a dance was brilliant and perfect, and the first space scene with “The Blue Danube” reminded me of the recent SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 flight. Happily I was not the only one to make this connection (Blue Danube Demo-2 video).