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childhood consciousness

I read Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind a week and a half ago; it’s about psychedelics, and the benefits that apparently come from taking them. And one thing that comes up in that book is the “Default Mode Network”, a pattern of brain activity that Pollan says is correlated with the ego, and […]

luminary

Maybe it’s just the podcasts that I listen to, but it’s been odd to hear how negative the reaction to Luminary has been. I get why people were mad at Luminary’s initial implementation of external podcasts, but it seems like a lot of the anger is at Luminary’s basic business model, and that I don’t […]

foot pain

I can’t remember exactly when my feet started hurting: 10 years ago? 15 years ago? I went to see a doctor, he told me to get insoles. I honestly can’t remember how much that helped, but, having the interests I do, I fairly quickly went in a different direction, looking for thin-soled shoes and reading […]

small steps, shorter posts

I was listening to a podcast interview with Kent Beck on the way home today, and he was (of course) talking about taking small steps when programming. And it got me thinking: I’ve gotten stuck in a rut where my posts usually are around 1500 words and take a week or more to write. There’s […]

traveling to india

I went to India for a business trip a week ago: my employer has an office in a suburb of New Delhi. And it was great talking to my coworkers in that office: lots of interesting and useful discussions, they’re a great group of people. I was also kind of excited about the travel part […]

how to learn

I spend a fair amount of time thinking about how to learn; and I want to drill into one aspect of my approach to learning. Specifically: when learning, spend most of your time aligning your mental state with how experts think about the topic, and intersperse that with rarer periods when you step back and […]

ipad desires

The iPad has been, in its own way, probably my favorite computing device ever since it came out: a sheet of paper that magically displays whatever you want it to. I’ve been on an iPad Air 2 for three years now; so it’s a reasonable time to think about buying a new one, and this […]

apple watch first impressions

I didn’t have any interest in the Apple Watch when it first came out: I don’t get a lot of notifications on my phone, so I’m not going to buy a device just to shift them to my wrist, and I don’t have any desire in having a device that nags me to exercise more. […]

goals and deliberate practice

I read Peak a few months back: it talks about using deliberate practice to develop expertise. Basically, you have to put in your time, but you also have to be putting in your time in the right way: always stretching yourself, instead of coasting (making things too easy) or flailing (making things too hard). Or, […]

holedown

Holedown is a lovely little ball-bouncing game. Blocks come up from the bottom of the screen; rather than being individual squares, though, they’re somewhat more irregularly shaped (think Tetris pieces, but with more variation); frequently with space between them, frequently right next to each other. You shoot a stream of balls down at them, and […]

suffering, craving, and fairness

There are a lot of annoying drivers on the road. People who drive too slowly, blocking your lane; people who drive at the exact same speed right next to each other, preventing anybody else from passing them; people who cut you off, muscling their way into your lane; people who tailgate (and, worse, people who […]

code animism

I’ve been infatuated with The Nature of Order and KonMari for a while, in part for the same reason: their emphasis on direct perception. I spend a lot of time in my head, which leads to over-theorizing and over-analyzing; a question like “does this feel more alive?” or “does this bring me joy?” can cut […]

parable of the talents

I’m in the middle of an Octavia Butler reread, and I recently reached the Parable books. Parable of the Sower was, of course, very good: a prompt to think about what it might look like for things to really fall apart, and a book that made me much more uncomfortable this time than it did […]

vghvi discord

I’ve been hearing mention of Discord for a little while, but it seemed like it was focused on chat in support of PC games, and I don’t play games on PC. (And, for that matter, I also don’t generally play the sort of games where chat while playing would be useful.) But then we used […]

rethinking my twitter usage

Three months ago, I removed Tweetbot from my phone: I was spending too much time on Twitter, and getting too caught up in the hour-by-hour drama of politics. And that was definitely the right choice: I spent less time distracted and less time worrying about stuff that I can’t do anything about on the timescale […]

move your dna

Move Your DNA is the latest book I’ve read in order to try to understand how to move / position my body in a healthy manner, and it’s quite interesting in a way that, I think relates to Kegan’s stages of understanding. Because the main point of the book are that your body, even when […]

nuclear war

After Trump won the election, I was worried that the United States might actually slide into fascism. It’s a little over a year later, and, honestly, I’m still worried about that, but now I have a new worry: that we might have a nuclear war, with both North Korea and the United States launching successful […]

post-systematic flexibility

David Chapman has, among other things, been writing about modes of approaching meaning, in a way that’s informed by Robert Kegan’s developmental psychology. He’s written a summary of this recently on one of his blogs, and he discusses it frequently on Meaningness (see e.g. this post and posts it links to), but I thought he […]

twitter 2017

A couple of weeks ago, a #WomenBoycottTwitter hashtag showed up on my timeline. It appeared on a Thursday, encouraging people to stay off of Twitter the next day; I haven’t been feeling great about my Twitter usage all year, so I figured I’d use that as an excuse to take a day off and see […]

free speech and responsibility

In Germany, it’s illegal to display Nazi symbols and symbols of similar nationalist parties, and it’s illegal to be a member of such organizations. Which, as an American growing up under the influence of current U.S. free speech law and under the ACLU’s defense of Nazis in the Skokie case, mostly seemed wrong to me. […]