Infrastructure & Planning student in the Netherlands.
Sometimes make things like this:
And I write here:
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- Ask: What can be learned? (Learn it, then move on.)
I find this to be so difficult though, because it is rarely the case that the answer presents itself lickety split. It's usually days, months or even years later that I feel like I have learned the lessons from it. The emotional distance gained from temporal distance is what allows me to hone in on the answer. I wouldn't be mulling over the past if it wasn't useful to some degree.
On Living in the Present, or Please Do Not Get A Medieval Blade In Your Eye
After a month of waiting my Nerdiest Thing Ever finally arrived. It's a custom-made D&D dice box with a quote that I personally care about and that totally fits the nature of the game, since throwing the dice by definition will end my doubts.
Not long after its arrival, I tried again to search the web for the source of the quote and I think I may have found a source? Wittgenstein said in his book On Certainty that “a doubt without an end is not even a doubt.” I can see myself misremembering / paraphrasing / butchering that quote into mine.
Speaking of nerdy things: a friend of a friend was doing one of those historical reenactments, and somehow he got stabbed by a fucking sword in his eye. It went partly into his skull, so not only will he be half-blind, he also has difficulties talking and may never recover fully. Dude's the same age as me, and just like that, his life got upended.
I also read Paul Kalanithi's When Breath becomes Air this week. It's a posthumous memoir. Paul was on his way to become one of the best neurosurgeons, when he was suddenly diagnosed with cancer. The book feels unfinished because that's what it is, and that's what his life was. Yet he found the strength to remain hopeful - not for a cure, but "for days of meaning".
It's made me contemplate on my own frailty and mortality. About the ol' "live each day like it's your last" adagium. After all, who knows what could happen. But on the other hand, should I really change my approach to life? I spend a lot of time contemplating my future, and mulling over the past, and I wonder if it gets in the way of the present too much.
I know I can't do anything about things like cancer and swords to the eye. But I can work on those days of meaning. And maybe the way to do that is to let those plans and those reflections go for a while. To let go of my doubts about my future, and my doubts over my past actions.
Maybe that's why that quote resonates so much with me.
I remember Judt and Timothy Snyder discussing that. Pretty awful how so many people had no scruples when it came to Jewish wealth.
- There’s nothing on my horizon except everything. Everything is on my horizon.
- Rainn Wilson aka Dwight Schrute.
- "The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.”
- “Refusing to deal with numbers rarely serves the interests of the least well off.”
- Thomas Piketty
- "Our patients' lives and identities may be in our hands - yet death will always win. Even if you are perfect, the world isn't. The secret is to know the deck you stack - that you will lose, that your hands or judgement will slip, and yet still struggle to win for your patients. You can't ever reach perfection - but you can believe in an asymptote towards which you are ceaselessly striving."
- Paul Kalanithi
- We can either make our choices deliberately, or let others or other things decide for us.
- Greg McKeown
- “(a) In general.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, while in disguise, including while wearing a mask, injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.
Section 1363 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: “Whoever, during the commission of an offense under this section, wears a disguise, including a mask, shall, in addition to any term of imprisonment otherwise imposed under this section, be imprisoned for 2 years.”.
Man, cosplayers are gonna be pissed.
Really though, this sounds almost silly considering how broadly it is formulated. Hell, you could count Halloween costumes as a 'disguise'.
My mom cut off contact with her dad a few years ago. He was always kind to me and my sister, but was always manipulative towards my mom. Then his wife died, and all that was left after grief was bitterness, so he became even more of a manipulative jerk to my mom.
It still took her two years of exhausted headaches / migraines after each visit before she could cut him off. Family is hard to let go of. Personally I wanted her to cut ties way earlier - you might owe some family a helping hand, but you don't owe them your life or your kids.
- The request comes roughly a month after Mueller filed a request for 150 blank subpoenas.
So there are now potentially 250 people who have to show up for the Manafort trial? Is that an unusually high amount?
- I think we underestimate the degree to which having tools that make you happy can really make doing a job better.
I'm not so sure about the efficacy of nice/awesome tools over regular ones. I have an expensive-ass iPad Pro which is marginally better for sketching and taking notes than my ol' paper notebook. I highly doubt it's $800 better at its primary note-taking function. I have a Ducky Zero mechanical keyboard - I think it helps here and there with RSI, but not much better than a regular keyboard.
I read Marie Kondo while packing up to move homes. Don't read it - it's basically someone nerding out about organizing her stuff around the simple-ass dictum of keeping the things that make you happy while ditching the things that don't.
She for example totally digs her clothes to be folded in a way that they can stand somewhat vertically. It makes her happy.
I tried it - and I decided I just don't give a crap. But I do give a crap about having a clicky keyboard, and a fancy iPad'n'keyboard and alllll the other tech that I keep buying to build my Perfect Tech Setup. She doesn't care about that, and that's okay, because stuff is there to make you happy in doing what you do.
I think we understimate the degree to which having tools that make you happy can really make one happier.
Yeah, for me it's work and life consuming most of my time. I'm writing an academic paper based on my thesis as well, and I notice it's not easy to find the time for that. But I have also drastically cut down my time on Reddit, Twitter, HN, and reading newspapers which has limited my exposure to cool things to post here.