Closed Means Closed

Ed Cormany recently shared a link to a step-by-step tutorial for the Apple-owned Workflow app.

Not only was Ed interested in the existence of such tutorials at all but when I saw what the specific editorial was about I perked up; as a (happy) Apple Music subscriber I would definitely be interested in learning how to get quicker access, especially if the instructions are written out in what is likely an easily consumable manner.

Well, I can only assume.

Federico Viticci recently shared a link to a tip for the Apple-owned Workflow app.

Federico, like Ed, was interested — enthused even — to see such information being produced by Apple. It is in fact for the same thing and so, again, I thought this was good only this time I was hesitant to put much more effort into investigating.

You see, this editorial is only available to read in the App Store app on iOS. Whilst it’s enough of a shame to see such interesting and potentially valuable information locked behind such a closed door, it was also interesting to me to see that it was shared in both cases behind another closed door: Twitter. Whilst Federico owns and writes for the excellent Macstories, there might not be much that can be realistically done to stop Apple — or anybody else — from hiding such excellent writing and help away within their own closed spaces. Meanwhile Twitter continues to be the deeply flawed vessel through which this information is carried and given to… some people who would find it useful.

Yet another sign of just how limiting and limited the modern web is.

Change

(Note: This was originally written in the Spring of 2017.)

 

I’m tired more often and I’m getting more work done. This makes sense but seriously: fuck time. Even as I finally get around to better organising my time, it refuses to do anything else but disappear. Kinda rude.

I’ve definitely hit a wall with this, where no amount of extra effort applied gets me closer to my goals. So, it’s time to apply some smarter work. I’m going to schedule work sessions at the beginning and end of every day, when I’m most likely to have full free time, and honestly when I feel high levels of motivation; maybe proximity to sleep is the key ingredient here. That will be helped by a dose of automation, specifically with the tech that I’m using; it’s taken a long time but I’m finally settled on a structure for the various pieces of software I use to stay organised, so now it’s time to set up some automated processes for them to run through.

Overall I’m happy with this approach. It’s a lot simpler than various previous efforts.

As far as the blog goes, there will be two new regular additions:

Post A Day
That’s one guaranteed post each day. Will likely be mostly nonsense but we’ll see how it goes.

Selfie A Day
Yep, I’m finally giving into the whole selfie thing. Basically, I need to lose weight and have lost patience with previous attempts to do so; it’s time for the public shame route.

These will be taken on and posted to Instagram, with a basic cross-post to here.

So uh yeah. Change is good.

 

(Second Note: Those two planned additions are still happening, in some way, but not necessarily in such a weird-fake-branding way. I have no idea exactly how bad my sleep was back then but it is certainly better now… I mean… wow.)

Discomfort

(Note: This was originally written in the Spring of 2017.)

 

Is it a motivator? I think so.

I’m sitting here, in a university class room, and despite the irrefutable quality of the subject and following discourse I just… I feel tired. It’s the worst. I know I am actually tired due to lack of sleep and other such usual factors but to be honest I am also totally fucking bored.

Why? I dunno. Could it be stress? There are medical reasons for my tiredness but I don’t know what they are right now. I know one for sure, though, and it’s that if I am confronted by activity of others for mentally draining exercises then my body just feels the need to sleep. It is more likely to happen with something that I am not involved, to the point where I am fairly confident there is a strong correlation between level of involvement and likelihood of sleep.

It’s a mess, really, but I have at least discovered one thing; feeling discomfort helps. I feel both actually awake and a desire to do something. Now that’s motivation for me. The funny thing is that it is physical discomfort that has sparked this motivation.

I’m fairly sure if there is non-physical discomfort that I’d just feel a wave of tiredness.

Huh. Weird.

Courtesy

(Note: This was originally written in the Spring of 2017.)

I wonder how long it takes for somebody to go from defensiveness to guilt. Or even if many people complete that journey.

When we get called out for doing something that another person has taken offensive at or deems wrong in some way, is it not a requirement in basic compassion to accept wrongdoing, apologise, and give the accuser the opportunity to reconcile the situation?

I have always assumed this is a natural process, something you would do without breathing. Certainly I strive to follow this path in such situations where I have been an ass; okay it’s not always going to be perfect but I’m talking about basic levels of compassion here, like not even difficult for a child to employ.

So what is it about grown men thinking there is more value in their pathetic pride than there is in actually contributing to the world with some basic compassion? What’s wrong, did mummy fail to give you the love you so clearly think you deserve?

Bleh. Fuck men and their bullshit egos.

Hello by the way! If you’re reading this then I am currently judging you hard. Feel free to tell me off on Twitter, since I’m not about to apologise here. 🙂

Interesting

(Note: This was originally written on the 5th of February, 2017.)

 

What makes something worth our attention? A lot of money is invested in answering this question, in all of its various guises… a lot of money. As such the assumption is that the question has value and whilst that is likely true the fact is that it is much more interesting to consider a different, albeit similar question: what makes something interesting?

As is often the case, the quality of interesting being subjective makes it difficult to explore and therefore less popular in our world of interconnected musing and opining; there is no doubt about it, we vote with our eyeballs and the numbers on vague notions such as interesting are not good. Instead, let’s have a list of The 7 Most Fascinating Things For 2017!

And that’s okay. I mean, who has the time, right? Well, the fact is that the modern world of internet-centred living is simply too large for anybody to keep on top of; the idea of being up to date in the year 2017 is altogether ridiculous. Instead, the gems of the internet can be found if we instead choose to focus on whatever thing we care about in the moment and invest time in that above all others.

This isn’t easy and never has been, however, now in the age of data perhaps we can find it that much easier to see both approaches to living and thus gaining the perspective that is crucial to discovering exactly what it is that we care about… what it is that we find interesting.

A Process

(Note: This was originally written in 2015.)

 

So I was recently listening to Wil Wheaton’s ‘Radio Free Burrito’ podcast (full recommendations; enthusiastic even!) and he said this thing that had me pointing at his theoretical self in exclaimation:

“once you get it out you don’t want to make it”

… so I exclaimed and pointed “that’s it!”

There is a part of that in me and whilst this is a terrible example of excusing my laziness, I still feel okay about publishing this. Writing this is in itself an act of procrastination… although, since it is actually writing a THING and getting it out of my mind I’d argue that it’s not necessarily bad.

Either way, it felt good to hear it being said by somebody who happens to be such a good creator of things, and also gave me the chance to write this thing and thus increase the likelihood that I’ll actually do the things I should be doing.

Yay? Yay.

Taking Writer Offline

(Note: This was originally written on the 31st of January, 2017.)

 

Today I took Writer into Offline Mode for the first time. It worked out well.

 

This is in fact the first thing I have written in Writer whilst offline, or at least the first time in which I did not have access to the internet by necessity rather than choice. If that doesn’t speak to how lazy my current decision making for subjects is then nothing ever will.

Either way, here I am without even the ability to become distracted by such delights as social media or email or… well, just about anything. It is odd to say the least but I am definitely enjoying it; this makes me think that it is therefore perhaps time to use software to restrict my access to such distractions — there is certainly not shortage of options for that.

On previous occasions I have been relieved to have purchased the lifetime version of Writer and today is no different; in fact, it is a lifesaver. To have a reliable text editor with such flexibility as to be at home both offline and online has given me a direct line to feeling altogether less useless during this day. For better context, let’s talk about the computer I am using.

The Chromebook I am currently using is the first small laptop I have ever used of the modern generation; it leaves the short-lived “netbook” category from a decade ago looking like the cheap con that it undoubtedly was, such is the quality I find throughout. Even the browser-based OS outshines the so-called desktop-class machines in a shameful spot.

With all of that in mind, it’s fair to say that it is down to the software to do most of the talking with this machine; the hardware is little more than a thin case through which you interact with the apps built for Google’s own OS. From this point, Writer shines, delivering me everything I need for what I am doing right now whilst not getting in my way; it might be seem like an obvious required function for a text editor but when you consider that Writer is primarily made for a browser, the app’s robust performance is startling for those of us with longer memories.

Despite my meandering into the realm of notebooks, Chromebooks, and my old age the fact remains that Writer has done exactly what I need, when I need, and I could not be happier as a lifetime customer.

 

Thanks John Watson, like a man in a blue box you’ve given me time where none existed before.

 

Links: Writer, John Watson, Chromebooks

Annoyed at the Past

Becky Hansmeyer’s thoughts about keeping old posts made me think of the posts I have written over the past few years and failed to save. Now that I am focusing much more on my own site it has become clear just how infuriating it is that I was so casual with the things I wrote.

Fortunately I have a few posts from the recent past saved so I’ll post those over the next few days. It won’t necessarily do much to subdue the annoyance at my past-self but at least it’s something.

IndieWeb progress

By IndieWeb I mean in an informal way as a general idea, since I’m not yet au fait with official standards.

This is my personal progress:

  • This site is up and running with regular posts.
  • Twitter account is archived, pending deletion depending on how Jack and co. decide to tackle obvious problems.
  • Only other social profiles are Apple Music, Vimeo, and YouTube.
    • Last one remains because Google have well and truly destroyed open web video with this monopoly.
  • Micro.blog is now my regular haunt for commenting, social web things.
  • Using RSS to read more than I ever have.
    • Actively working on my preferred set-up for this, which is work on my web tools that I am actually enjoying!
  • Signed up to Pinboard.
  • Maintained my Fastmail account.
  • Setting aside time for focused research on managing my own site from the server level.
    • WP-hosted is okay but I need to decide if I have enough time and energy to do my own thing as opposed to spending money for similar results. Right now I favour the latter, mostly because I just want to write.

Bring It in 2018

This has been delayed, which is obvious, but I’m still determined to have basic goals for the year; they’re not resolutions and not even the start of what it is that I am particularly determined to add to my life, but it is at least the start of something.

I was inspired to make this after watching a recent Vlogbrothers video by John Green:

Thanks John!

It’s a basic list for simplicity — this site is a new start, and I am determined to join with it a fresh and clean approach.

  • Read more stories.
    • Be it books, on the web, on paper, anything so long as it is a non-news story.
  • Find good sources for news.
    • I prefer small collections of varied sources and am comfortable paying for quality where possible.
  • Write for this site everyday.
    • Even if I don’t publish everyday (although I do want to get at least one 30-day stretch in at some point).

I’ll be keeping track of myself with the blog, which works especially well because of its presence within the third item; this is especially great with Micro.blog (thanks Manton!), since the service provides the exact thing I have missed from social networks: a blend of independence, an environment in which focus is both attainable and encouraged, and most importantly of all a desire that the space in which we all wish to share with each other (the web) is in fact a good space.

Let’s go.

Start at the Start

It’s one thing to think about making something and putting it out into the world but quite another to actually do it. For a number of people this would be beyond obvious and yet knowledge of the fact did not stop me from hesitating to both make this site public and post something on it.

I suppose it’s comforting to be so predictable. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway there’s a lot about the site that I’m not happy about and also a certain amount of friction making me unhappy with my setup but hey, at least it’s here.

So yeah. Hi.👋