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Archives for General

national greatness

I spent a lot of 2020 being very frustrated with the United States. At the start of the year, the fact that we had Trump as president, that so many people remained quite happy with that, and that the Democratic party and electorate was coalescing around a candidate that seemed remarkably milquetoast. Then COVID arrived, […]

blogging less

I expect I’ll be blogging somewhat less here, at least for the next while. (Not that I blog a lot these days!) Damo Mitchell started up an Internal Arts Academy, providing online Nei Gong training. Which is very good timing: I’d been getting more interested in Nei Gong, and with the COVID lockdown, my in-person […]

learning something you don’t believe

I’ve been doing Tai Chi for four and a half years now; and I’ve been doing Nei Gong (literally, “internal work”: Qi Gong and the like) over the last year. And it’s been super interesting; but also, especially as I dig more into the Nei Gong work, I keep on having to face concepts that […]

what should i tweet?

I have a fairly strict rule when tweeting: no retweets. I just scrolled through the last fifty tweets on my timeline: no unquoted retweets, two quote retweets, and I remember one of the latter because it felt odd when I posted it. And a similarly small number of tweets linking to external web pages, other […]

physical experiences of meditation

I’ve been meditating increasingly regularly over the last year or so; first doing standing meditation, but more recently doing seated meditation as well. And, of course, being the person I am, I’ve been reading books about meditation; there were some good book recommendations at the end of this Ezra Klein podcast with Richie Davidson, in […]

tdd and deliberate practice

A little while back, I wrote some about the pros and cons of deliberate practice, as per the book Range. Deliberate practice works well if you’re working on something with a clear goal, where you have fast and accurate feedback loops; but if you’re not working in a domain like that, then deliberate practice might […]

doing and not doing

These days I try to do some meditation every day; some seated meditation, some standing meditation. Most days I spend about half an hour on this; occasionally it’ll be an hour a day or even a little more. And, honestly, there were (are!) times when my reaction when thinking about this was: what on earth […]

apple and china

A few random thoughts on Apple’s China mess: I’m somewhat sympathetic to Apple. Apple is a very powerful company, but China is the second largest economy in the world. Apple is a multinational company with hundreds of billions of dollars with revenue; I’m not convinced that it’s not reasonable to compare their behavior to the […]

shoulder positioning

One thing that the Gokhale Method teaches you about is shoulder positioning; Gokhale has a shoulder roll technique to help you improve your positioning. It’s not one of their eight big steps, just a smaller technique that is a component of several of the bigger ones, but I was surprised how much of an effect […]

not so deliberate practice

I’ve read a couple of books on deliberate practice over the years; I was more or less convinced that there’s something important there, but I also have misgivings about it. So it was interesting to read Range, to get a different take. Range acknowledges that deliberate practice does work, but it works best in certain […]

where i write

An occasional reminder of the various places that I put stuff. This blog is for longer-form stuff; you know about it, since you’re here! I have a Twitter account, @davidcarlton, low volume. (Maybe one tweet a day on average?) I have a Tumblr that I use solely for links to stuff, malvasian links. (I cap […]

gender roles and divisions of labor

In a few podcasts episodes that I’ve heard over the last year or so, I’ve heard basically progressive guys talk about gender roles and division of labor in heterosexual marriage; and I agree with most of what I hear them say. But then I hear them say things like “of course, it also depends on […]

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 […]


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. […]