A few idle thoughts before I turn email and Internet off. I’ve been drowning in chores (both personal and at work and really need a productive day at work).
I watched Disc 2 of the Up Series (7 Up, 7 Plus 7, 21 Up, etc). As expected, the telling grows in complexity with each episode. I realized at 21 Up that while individuals don’t or can’t reveal their state of mind at the moment, they gave pretty accurate descriptions of what they were like 7 years ago in the previous documentary. I expect that pattern to continue. At 28 Up, I’ll hear about what the participant’s lives were really like at the age of 21, etc.
Lots of projects depend on sustained concentration. That’s the problem with 3 day weekends. On the end of that 2nd or 3rd day you come close to actually making headway, and then back to work, more chores, etc, and suddenly when next week rolls around the discontinuities make you lose headway on whatever you were doing. Breaks do serve a purpose though. It gives one time to pause, reflect, gather additional information to revise your strategy. Also, it gives fresh energy to attack a problem next time around.
Previous generations would be flabbergasted at the number of entertainment options available. For example, yesterday’s aforementioned Legal Torrents site contains tons of free music conveniently packaged for download. I spent all yesterday listening to about a third of it. Some of it was so-so, but in general almost all of it was quite terrific. Terrific, and yet, contact with all this terrific stuff doesn’t change me.
Over the weekend I’ve come across two first-class intellectuals. Abstract Factory (or Cog) has been blogging about culture, society, programming and technology for several years. He and I occupy similar niches in the blogosphere, although I’m pleasantly surprised how few of his links I’d ever come across before. That’s the sort of blog you need to follow: a blog of someone who is smarter than you in one or more ways. For years, Cameron Barrett was the blog I followed, and I learned a lot about programming, content management and web design along the way. Then, after he joined the Clark campaign and started blogging less neurotically, I found other people in different niches. There are many talented litbloggers out there, and I read over them for different reasons. Some I check every month or so, and others (like Dan Green, to pick an obvious example), I glance over without actually pondering his thoughts until I have the luxury of time. With the exception of Maud and Scott (who make honest efforts to provide fresh content on a nearly daily basis–when do they ever sleep?), litbloggers are hard to follow unless you have lots of time to do so. The great thing about RSS Readers and weblogs is that you know the essays are always there; okay, maybe you are too busy to read them one week or maybe one month, but their URL remains the same and it is not terribly hard to catch up if you want to.
Second brilliant person: Wiredwierd, the pseudonym for an Amazon.com reviewer who is ranked number 300 in the reviewer list. His biographical statement is intriguing but unrevealing. Among his interests are science, Asian art and philosophy (especially Japanese art), anime and comics, bioinformatics, print design, programming theory and design (esp. Java) and lots of other things. He wrote perhaps 200 reviews of unusual things, and I bookmarked lots of things (realizing for an instant how little I really know about anything). I probably will email this person (to fawn over his reading lists and reviews a little). Of course, I have to wonder what kind of web presence I project to the world.
Reseller Ratings ranks ecommerce sites by reliability, etc (from a slashdot post).
100 Best Chinese Films. Here’s another list
Rudi Cilibrasi talks about how FDA’s regulation of drugs is preventing him from using the drugs that will save his life. A sorry saga.
Back to work. No more distractions. No more musings!