Books and Links: June
Very busy month, filled with wonderful things… and distractions. God is good.
Good month for books!
Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
I picked this up because it is fairly constantly mentioned as inspirational for other authors that I like. Intensely detailed and intricate it is definitely a book for authors. Prose is dense and rich like deep cut Dickens, like Pickwick Papers, insane like Lewis Carrol’s Sylvia and Bruno, urbane like James Joyce’s Ulysses. It was a bit of a chore there at the end, but I’m glad of the experience.
There are touches of brooding horror, but mostly in the urbanity and inescapable claustrophobic reality the characters inhabit. It is like someone looking too closely at the detail of an eye and getting grossed out because they are looking so closely they can’t see the beauty of the eye anymore. The dense prose aids this.
Fall by Neal Stephenson
Content warning: Language and sexual content. (I skipped it.)
I have friends still reading this… so no spoilers. I devoured it over the course of two days. Send me an email if you want to know my thoughts. It’s a Neal Stephenson book… filled with details that send me on research rabbitholes for weeks. The bits at the beginning about fake-news are remarkably prescient and scary.
The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron
This is an enneagram book.
The book promotes a duality between one’s true nature (soul?) and personality… it describes I guess personality as a sort of developed shield around your true self, a set of programmed behavior, emotions, and responses to stress or success. I think I can kind of get behind this idea because it means that you are not a victim of your unchanging personality, you can choose to overcome your weaknesses and be obedient to Christ… although the book doesn’t frame that in this way.
In the end, I found the enneagram a useful tool for discussion. The stories and relationships between the numbers seem true-ish to my anecdotal evidence, and at very least a useful starting point for understanding oneself. However, after engaging with this particular book, I can see how it fits into the current trend of “spirtitual journey” books… it promises growth and contentment, but not by knowing Christ, but by merely knowing yourself. As someone who has been down that road, there is no joy and contentment in truly knowing yourself, only in being transformed to be like Christ.
I think that I was put off by the book claiming to think like me… and then proceeding to not talk like me.
Oh… I did read me some links this month.
I love tools and tool builders… and keyboards… it’s a keyboard link.
Apple is Listening – Marco.org
Interesting to consider in light of the (after this post) announcement of Jony Ive’s departure from Apple. I’ve been thinking about abandoning Apple entirely, but maybe they’ll swing back my way.
Great discussion of the pros and cons of a methodology I’m thinking about alot.
The dumb phone I already own • chrisbowler.com
Great article… I have been slowly “dumbing” down my phone, but there’s some great suggestions here too.
This was a timely read… I’m idly reading about commenting systems to implement here (even though there are only about ten readers!) and I am not sure which I want to use.
The Focus Course
Saying no is your tool for creating time.
Ooooh this is convicting for me.
Moving the Needle
One of the most important questions to ask yourself at the end of each day is, “How much time did I spend doing my most important work?” If we’re not mindful of that question, too often, we fall short.
Great blog post, and accompanying podcast episode. I’m still a baby on focus and time tracking… but I’m probably going to try and incorporate something like this soon.
Who is Watching Me? - Basic Surveillance with Condition Grey • Spotter Up
We as a species tend to try to fill in the blanks about a story or a picture that has a lot of holes in it, and this alters our memories of details in ways we can’t predict.
This was a fascinating read, both from a psychology perspective… and a paranoid.
Frameworks before jQuery - The History of the Web
Compromises are hard.
Interesting… the titular toast is a web component rather than some warm bread. I’m very concerned and interested into whether Google uses their newfound near-monopoly power for good or evil.
Relearn CSS layout: Every Layout
This site is awesome… what a great design and very cool. I definitely enjoyed reading through these great examples of common layouts.
rga: ripgrep, but also search in PDFs, E-Books, Office documents, zip, tar.gz, etc. - phiresky’s blog
My friend @megalithic sent this to me… he knows me well. :P
“The Lost Art of Reading: Books and Resistance in a Troubled Time” by David L. Ulin
As we race ever onward, chasing the cult of productivity and efficiency, we must pause. Seek rest. A sprinter cannot keep sprinting. Our minds require time. The faster the world moves by, the blurrier our understanding. To never stop is to surrender a part of your humanity.
Taxonomy and Drafts
Light organizing seems reasonable. Light organizing never hurt anyone. Chasing a grand unifying organizational theory that will perfectly structure your digital life yet most certainly doesn’t actually exist seems a bit much. Chasing taxonomy bliss might just ruin your life. Or at the very least keep those novel pages unwritten.
The new guidelines in WCAG 2.1 explained | Alexander Skogberg
Great overview resource for understanding what is coming.
The Cypherpunks Tapping Bitcoin via Ham Radio
Every six hours, at his home in the high desert outside Kingman, Arizona, midway between Phoenix and Las Vegas, Brian Goss downloads the latest blocks…
It’s Neal Stephenson’s world. We just live in it.
(h/t to Aaron for the link)
Thingy: A Things Parser for Drafts 5
This is probably the most featureful project template creator for Things… so this is what I’m playing with.
How I’m Preparing to Write 100,000 Words in a Day
On Monday, July 1st, 2019 at 5:00 AM CT, I will write 100,000 words in a day and live stream the whole thing.
This is an impressive endeavor. I am fascinated by the attention to detail in the preparation, and intrigued by the end book.
I do wonder if Wes’s need for the Sabbatical stems from his habit of setting incredibly voracious goals… like writing a draft in a day. It’s a different balance than I try to set… although I wonder what my output would be if I did set such goals.
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2019-07-01 14:20:36 -0500
Books and Links: June