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rezzeJ's profile

I often don't know what I'm talking about.

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rezzeJ  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 21, 2018

It's easy to feel compelled to do work when there's an external force binding you to it (even if your reluctant). However, finding that drive becomes harder when the only person you're responsible to is yourself, even for the things your passionate about.

I was in a somewhat similar position to you. I finished with academia and found that, even though I loved music and had spent years studying it, I could never convince myself to do the work. I would just waste my free time in the usual ways.

What worked for me is a slow but steady commitment to building self discipline. So at first I committed to doing just 10 minutes a day. Then once that became easy, I raised it to 30 minutes, then to an hour, and so on. Gradually, the urge to work became habituated. Hard work is still hard, of course, but the act of dedicating time to it became a natural feeling. This process is made easier if you have a schedule.

I started this whole process around July 2016. In January of this year, I tracked 91 hours of my free time that were put towards productive pursuits.

You can't just wait for true inspiration, motivation, or whatever name you wish to give to it. It does not inherently exist at a base level. If you think of it coming and going as it pleases, you will sink into apathy and inaction. It is born from the work you do on a daily basis and is perpetuated through dedication to your goals.

rezzeJ  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 21, 2018

Don't get me wrong, I think the quote as presented is hollow. It's certainly not profound by any stretch.

Having thought about it, maybe I'm perceiving things the wrong way around.

When I'm playing games or whatever outside of my scheduled downtime, at least once I'll consciously acknowledge that I should be doing something more productive. But the opposite isn't true. I don't sit there thinking "I could be gaming right now" if I overrun my schedule whilst I'm composing or practicing an instrument. And nowadays, I'll rarely fritter away a whole day gaming unless I purposefully give myself the day off. So in that way, the bad habits are actually the conscious behaviours.

I guess it's like you say, if you're in a good place psychologically and spiritually, a healthy routine will come naturally to you regardless of whether it's written on a whiteboard or not.

rezzeJ  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 21, 2018

I was thinking the same. Those things cruise for days, even a slight downhill incline and you're laughing.

When I was an undergrad I used to longboard on this awesome length of tarmac:

You could easily roll the whole thing with few solid pushes at the start.

rezzeJ  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 21, 2018

I think there's a distinction to be made in regards to how much of an individual's routine is conscious.

For example, I try to live religiously by my consciously planned schedule. It's written out on a whiteboard to the side of me right now. But when my discipline fails I fall into a unconscious, unplanned routine of video games, Netflix, and streams. Both are routines, both are comfortable, but the former is productive and challenging whilst the latter is 'killer'.

Here's a couple I've bought from local artists. I got this one as a limited edition print:

This next one is only kind of a landscape, if at all. Perhaps a cityscape being returned to a landscape. It's an original oil on wood painting from an artist who creates post-apocalyptic themed works:

I'm not exactly certain what drew me to it. In a weird way I find it calming. I came across it shortly after finishing Earth Abides, and the vibe it gives off reminded me of how I pictured the scenes where cities were silently burning down in the distance. Also, it was a steal; cheaper than the print above.

That's pretty rad.

It helped me visualise something I've always wondered about. If you get a train to Manchester from down south it'll go via Sheffield. Once it's stopped at Sheffield, the train will pull out the station going back the way it came. This is quite disconcerting the first time it happens to you, when every other train you've ever been on has always kept on going the same direction. Now I can see what's going on.

The Hope Valley Line between Sheffield and Manchester is beautiful though. It goes right through the Peak District national park.

rezzeJ  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble

Sorry about the delayed response. Your reply spurred me to go away and read a load of different articles about blockchains, protocols, smart contracts, and Dapps.

Whilst still haven't completely gotten my head around how things all link up on a more technical level, I feel I have a pretty firm basic understanding now. I was mistakenly thinking that people would build things that draw from a blockchain—like a website might draw from an API—but now I see that all these different potential applications are inherent to the blockchain itself.

Thanks for helping me to understand.

rezzeJ  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble

Thank you. This was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for: an article that contextualises the blockchain technology in our wider world and, in doing so, reveals its true significance.

One thing I still have yet to get my head around is exactly how blockchain transactions can be used to facilitate all these different types of applications. Like, I understand the simplified explanations of how a blockchain transaction takes place, gets verified, and then recorded on the decentralised ledger. However, extrapolating that process to something such as the 'Transit' example that the article provides is where I get lost.

I think my confusion stems from nature of a request in this context (e.g. a request to travel to a certain destination). Am I right in thinking that this 'request' would not actually be a part of blockchain itself? Rather, it's just a part of whatever application layer is built on top of the protocol that, when triggered by a user, essentially acts as an open invitation to a potential transaction. It's only when the actual transit method has been chosen by the requester that the blockchain technology takes over and initiates all the required token, state, and ledger management.

If that sounds correct, then I understand. I was getting myself in a muddle by presuming that the requesting process was somehow inherent to the blockchain itself. As in, a request would be some sort of open ended transaction floating within the network. But that just didn't seem right.


Post-Bop / Contemporary Jazz

What's great about Hiromi is how her compositions balance moments of frenetic energy with more laid-back sections. This is a bit more upbeat Jazz music that I would usually find myself getting attached to, but I'm sucker for excellent use of rhythm and this music has it in spades. It gives everything a real, driving sense of purpose.


Hans Otte

Avant-Garde / Classical

Hans Otte is a somewhat underappreciated pianist and composer. If names like Phillip Glass and Steve Reich appeal to you, I don't think you'd regret checking this guy out. I'll take a quote from the AllMusic review of this album, as it states the draw of this meditative music beautifully:

    The floating harmonies, which are the result of unresolved unions of majors and minors in interaction with one another without dissonance, are hauntingly beautiful. The sense of pushing a note or a series of small chords into one another before allowing space to reclaim them is another hallmark of the work... This is deeply moving, mysterious piano music, like the Rosicrucian works of Satie or the later preludes by Debussy, or, in some ways, the Nocturnes by Chopin, without their reliance on strict harmonic resolution, but in their convocation of intention and fascination with the mystery of sonic interrelationships.


Jordan Rakei


This guy's 2016 debut album 'Cloak' has seen a return to my regular rotation. Its vibes are endlessly alluring and it has some nice subtleties and turns to its composition and musicianship that keeps it interesting throughout.

Yes, veen's excellent article covers what I already knew about the blockchain technology. It's always nice to get a refresher though.

I didn't know what made Ethereum different to Bitcoin though, so that's good to know. Now I can see what exactly Ether has that gives it much greater potential in regards to how in can be applied to different scenarios.

I was mostly being facetious. Probably in part because I missed the boat, or at least all the current ones.

I'm not that clued up on the nuances of crypto (hence the naivety of my original comment). The technology behind it seems interesting. That for certain is here to stay and I'm intrigued to see what people much smarter than I will do with it. One example I saw was using it to aid in the development of self-driving cars.

Do you have any recommendations for essential reading materials in this area? It seems every other book I read is one you've mentioned on here and I rarely regret it picking them up.

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