January flew by. Each new month is a smaller percent of your life than the last...
I'm using Signal more often to chat online. I've been frustrated with Facebook Messenger's redesign and advertising between chats. Text me or send me a message on Signal (+19164024661)!
I'm playing lots of computer games, mostly Euclidea (drawing shapes with compass and straightedge) and Entanglement (drawing curvy paths through hexagons). They're fun to play but hard enough that I get tired (so I don't play computer games all evening...)
I volunteered with SunWork one Saturday to install solar panels on a house. Definitely out of my comfort zone; it was pretty disorienting to stand on a roof all day. I liked that my manual labor directly contributed to something meaningful.
I also helped with a Monday Night Mission group in East Oakland. Sergey and I heated some food and loaded it in crates, then walked down International Blvd, greeting people with food and water. This approach to hunger/homelessness is so direct; it lended me new perspective. Do reach out to Sergey if you'd like to help out.
I wrote three flexible resolutions for the new year when I was on the phone with Alyssa.
1. study hard // learn lots // take a class
2. make decisions more confidently // practice making choices
3. work on my voice // take lessons
Hopefully, I'll remember to focus on these topics this year. Do you have resolutions (that you actually use)? How has it worked for you?
Active voice implies ownership. Unless something is true everywhere for everyone, don't use passive voice!
I know a guy (Matt) who uses E-Prime regularly. You speak English but avoid the verb "to be" and its conjugations, like "is", "am", "are". I found it surprisingly difficult, but it helped me notice where I use passive voice.
I don't really mind claims of the form "I am ....", especially when the next word is an adjective. (You do you!) I get frustrated when subjective claims pretend to be objective, especially of the form "this/that is ...".
Examples: Some say "this is offensive" or "that is interesting" instead of "I am offended" or "I am interested'. If you're talking about you, say so! (I think very few claims apply everywhere to everyone.)
I'm not perfect about this. I actually like the passive voice, because it promotes this "unintentional self", where Things happen to you, you tiny speck of the universe.
But this advice (echoing from high school English teachers everywhere...) finally made sense to me.
What does the grand story of evolution look like from a bacteria's perspective? Does the human condition matter? Are we just big mech suits for enormous microscopic societies? When you crave chocolate and don't satisfy the craving, are you killing off your gut bacteria that prefer chocolate?
Things I've liked or thought about recently:
- city life as a bacteria: https://aeon.co/videos/meet-your-single-celled-neighbours-a-microbial-tour-of-a-metropolis
- I've liked a lot of articles on this site: https://lobste.rs/
- I learned a lot about software design patterns: https://github.com/kamranahmedse/design-patterns-for-humans
- a practical "roadmap" for software engineering: https://github.com/kamranahmedse/developer-roadmap
- star bubble // astronomy picture of the day: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190131.html
- I liked this introduction to Jacques Derrida: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvAwoUvXNzU
- Richard Rorty: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Rorty
- John Dewey: https://www.iep.utm.edu/dewey/
- see the Cake links at the top of the email
- from my friend Pandu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUaorzy7byk
Send me what's on your mind!