Weeknote for 7/10/2022

Productivity

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I began setting up the Bulletproof Workspace in Notion. After that’s done, I’ll try adapting Bulletproof for Kanban. I’ve settled on using Notion instead of Org for the new version of my productivity system. It seems easier to learn and to use, and the scripting I was thinking of doing in Org is probably better done in other ways. Looking through the ways people use Notion, I think it has potential as the kind of low-code platform that will fit many of my needs.

Programming

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Practical Object-Oriented Design by Sandi Metz showcases the author’s patient teacherliness. It didn’t quite have the magic of watching her “Nothing Is Something” talk. But I did come away feeling I had a better sense of the SOLID principles. As usual I’m looking forward to studying the book more closely. I’m especially interested in her take on static vs. dynamic typing, since that’s a debate I haven’t fully wrapped my mind around.

People skills

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Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen is a deep dive into the dynamics that enable successful conversations of this type. This book reminded me that people study people skills academically, and that gives me more resources to look into. This one came out of the Harvard Negotiation Project. It also highlighted that the many emotional and social skills interact. You’ll have more trouble navigating difficult conversations if you haven’t had certain conversations with yourself.

Thanks for the Feedback by Stone and Heen takes a close look at a specific kind of difficult conversation. I worried it would simply rehash parts of their other book, but it turns out there’s a lot more to say about feedback specifically. It made me realize feedback pervades life, so it pays to have these skills ready to practice at all times.

Active Listening Techniques by Nixaly Leonardo surveys many important communication skills with some applications to specific situations. The first few tools had me thinking the advice would be too cursory compared to the Harvard Negotiation Project books. But later tools were more satisfying, so I’m including it in my books to study when I get to the studying stage of the project. It also gave me some historical context for these communication techniques. I didn’t know active listening came from Carl Rogers, for example.

TV

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Season 4 of Stranger Things was much more gripping for me than the earlier ones. I actually found it stressful, but in a good way. But explaining why would involve too many spoilers, so I will let you find out for yourself! I’m looking forward to the next season.

Season 1 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds ended, and it continues to be good. I might even like it better than Discovery, but that’s probably recency bias. The season finale was especially good. It had extra heft and brought in more of the TOS aesthetic.

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