Categories
What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#68)

Learned last week: A great sci-fi story, how to prioritize, expanding subjective time, why listen to new music, and more.

Book excerpt that seems to ring differently:

“Around the world and throughout the millennia, those who have thought carefully about the workings of desire have recognized this—that the easiest way for us to gain happiness is to learn how to want the things we already have.” (William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life)


A great sci-fi short story:

Her tree was growing in a lab near Toronto. It was technically a ginkgo, but it didn’t look like a ginkgo; its genome had been altered, so its leaves were larger and darker than a regular ginkgo’s, with barely the ghost of a cleft. More importantly, the structure of this new tree’s trunk and limbs had been modified to make room for a mind. Those long skeins of cells weren’t human neurons, exactly; but they weren’t NOT human neurons, either. Their weave was dense, and correspondingly expensive.

Ever since I read Ted Chiang’s Exhalation I’ve had a renewed appreciation for fiction and science fiction as well. I love it when stories leave it to you to fill in the gaps. When you sense there is a whole universe imagined that is surrounding a story.

https://desert.glass/archive/my-father-the-druid-my-mother-the-tree/#text


Tool for reducing background noise on calls:

Krisp adds an additional layer between your physical microphone/speaker and conferencing apps, which doesn’t let any noise pass through.

I’ve been doing a lot of Zoom calls over the past week (this would have been unchanged even if Corona wasn’t happening) and am really liking this little app: Krisp.ai.

Here is a link that will get you a month of their “pro” service (free is capped at 120 mins a week):


Some drawing about prioritizing:

I’m not sure how this became a longer thing than it is. Maybe that’s because prioritization, the subject of this piece, is a longer, harder thing to do than it seems at a distance. Anyway, this illustration started as a little morning drawing of an idea that I revisited from a book excerpt and grew into the series of illustrations


Why we listen to new music:

I’ve thought about this a lot for some reason. I love listening to new music. There is always the risk that you won’t like something, that it will be “meh”, but those times when new music grabs you, those can be unmatched.

Listening to new music is hard. Not hard compared to going to space or war, but hard compared to listening to music we already know. I assume most Americans—especially those who have settled into the groove of life after 30—simply don’t listen to new music because it’s easy to forgo the act of discovery when work, rent, children, and broadly speaking “life” comes into play. Eventually, we bow our heads and cross a threshold where most music becomes something to remember rather than something to experience. And now, on top of everything else, here we all are, crawling through this tar pit of panic and dread, trying to heft some new music through historic gravity into our lives. It feels like lifting a couch.

https://pitchfork.com/features/article/listen-to-music


How to expand subjective time during lockdown:

I thought this was really interesting and useful. I’ve noticed the effects of moving to different rooms for different activities makes a big difference.

We’ve seen how our experience of time is rooted in our apprehension of space, and how this is reflected in memory. So when we stop moving around over the course of the day, we shouldn’t be surprised that it messes with our experience. And this is why a day spent all in one spot will tend to feel like it’s passed quicker: as we experience the sequence of activities in our day, each is a little bit less distinctive and differentiated than it would be under normal conditions because it lacks spatial context, and the different portions of the day then bleed into each other.


Some really cool art:

Reminded me of the electric-theme series of images I’ve been doing as of late.

http://www.justinmaller.com/ and http://www.facets.la/


What I’m grateful for this week:

  • Bikes. Freedom by physical exertion. It’s been great to get both the kids into biking and I really want to get one again my self now.
  • That I have work, and lots of it. I get to learn something new everyday and help people create as my job.

Lastly, check out what we’re up to now.

Comments welcome!