Some more learning, some more making. I feel like I’m making decent progress on the actual creation. Maybe another week or two? It was a good idea to move this project up from November to October.
I watched three significant launches. I’ve learned that space is hard, so whenever these launches succeed, I exhale in relief. The first was the SpaceX Crew-1 launch of astronauts to the ISS on Sunday. This was the follow-up to the test flight with Bob and Doug back in May. I watched the long pre-launch stream—inspiring as always—and then the docking stream the next night. Waltzes were a perfect soundtrack.
Sadly, during this time, an Arianespace launch failed during flight, destroying its payload of two earth observation satellites. I missed this launch because I didn’t hear about it till afterward. I had learned a bit about one of these satellites, SEOSAT-Ingenio, so I was disappointed, and I can only imagine what the people involved must be feeling.
On Thursday was an Electron launch of 30 satellites, and I was especially pleased that several years’ worth of university students got to watch their project make it to space.
Then Saturday was the SpaceX launch of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, a house-shaped ocean observation satellite I’d seen here and there online. The launch stream paid tribute to the scientists the satellite is named for, a long-time champion of earth science who passed away this year of cancer.
The podcast project continues. I spoke too soon when I said I was tired of 24/7 commentary. Last week I added a few more and started my process of elimination. I decided to leave out the long, rightwing radio shows. They tend to be repetitive and less informative than I’d like. Plus I kind of had to force myself to listen. Townhall has a digest podcast that I might follow instead. The podcasts I’m feeling most at home with are on the center left and center right, so I’ll probably end up with more of those than further on the spectrum.
I do feel a little like I’m wasting my time on this project when I know all this podcast listening will fade before long. But to be honest I’ve lost some motivation for AI (temporarily) and don’t feel like going back to Lex Fridman yet.
I started reading Political Theory: An Introduction by Andrew Heywood. This is one of several political science books I meant to read back in 2016 to get a better handle on the field, but the intensity of the political news ever since has crowded out any fair-minded treatment I might’ve given the topic. Now I feel I can expand my attention and pick that project up again. But it’s a lower priority, so I’m not going to rush through it.
I listened to Rhett and Link’s stories of losing their faith. I’ve never really watched Rhett and Link, but a tweet from a Twitter mutual alerted me to the Lost Years series on their podcast. Evangelical deconversion stories tend to catch my attention, so I listened to the whole thing, and other than their vantage point as the people on stage, their recollections of life in the evangelical subculture and their wrestling with apologetic issues felt very familiar. It was gratifying to be reminded that other evangelicals experience frustration with their intellectual foundations, and hearing these stories nudged me closer to trying to resolve my own issues in this area.
Here are the links if you’re interested:
- “Our Lost Years“
- “Our Years as Missionaries“
- “Rhett’s Spiritual Deconstruction“
- “Link’s Spiritual Deconstruction“
- “Our Experiences After The Lost Years Series“
- “Are We Scared of Hell?“
My motivation is growing (and my impatience) to start on my modeling software. The political, religious, and other issues I want to grapple with are complex enough that handling them carefully will require some external tools. The tool I’d like to use probably doesn’t exist, and I’m very motivated to try to create it. That will probably start next year.