What I learned last week (#125): mistake learner’s high

Learned last week: sketchbook tours, filing systems, space photos, and more!

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“Just as long-distance runners push through pain to experience the pleasure of “runner’s high,” I have largely gotten past the pain of my mistake making and instead enjoy the pleasure that comes with learning from it. I believe that with practice you can change your habits and experience the same “mistake learner’s high.”” (Ray Dalio, Principles)


Indexing, filing systems, and the art of finding what you have

As you know, I love to organize, and am always trying to work on a better system for capturing ideas and notes. This was a fun read, and this part about discovering music sounds a lot like what I do:

Chris Ballew, aka Caspar Babypants, aka the lead singer and songwriter for The Presidents of the United States of America, says he dumps all his raw song ideas into an iTunes playlist and then puts it on shuffle while he’s washing dishes. (I read that Brian Eno does something similar: he makes a tremendous amount of music, and then hits shuffle when he’s answering email, etc., and whatever catches his ear, he investigates.)

Read Indexing, filing systems, and the art of finding what you have on austinkleon.com


David Hockney shows his sketch book:

A silent tour of a sketchbook. Playback at normal speed or faster as well for a different experience. I don’t know much about David Hockney but I loved watching this and will investigate his work in the month of June.


You are a network:

I found this a little dense at times but an important idea. Thinking about your identities and the roles you play is really useful in giving yourself permission to do what you need to do and not do what others think you should, and also to relax.

How do you self-identify? You probably have many aspects to yourself and would resist being reduced to or stereotyped as any one of them. But you might still identify yourself in terms of your heritage, ethnicity, race, religion: identities that are often prominent in identity politics. You might identify yourself in terms of other social and personal relationships and characteristics – ‘I’m Mary’s sister.’ ‘I’m a music-lover.’ ‘I’m Emily’s thesis advisor.’ ‘I’m a Chicagoan.’ Or you might identify personality characteristics: ‘I’m an extrovert’; or commitments: ‘I care about the environment.’ ‘I’m honest.’ You might identify yourself comparatively: ‘I’m the tallest person in my family’; or in terms of one’s political beliefs or affiliations: ‘I’m an independent’; or temporally: ‘I’m the person who lived down the hall from you in college,’ or ‘I’m getting married next year.’ Some of these are more important than others, some are fleeting. The point is that who you are is more complex than any one of your identities. Thinking of the self as a network is a way to conceptualise this complexity and fluidity.

Read You are a network on aeon.co


Staring at pictures of space (for fun):

I don’t understand all of the set-up and post-processing for how you can get these shots, but I am in awe of it. I especially like this one, looks evil.

Milky way showing above the mountains.
Photo credit: Daniel Stein | Adirondack Mountains, New York, US

Read Milky Way photographer of the year 2021 – in pictures on theguardian.com


Stuff I wrote and drew about this week:


Other things I was reminded of, or thankful for, last week:

  • My right leg started hurting like crazy the week previously (hamstring area) and I have no idea why but am guessing it was the result of me starting to ramp up my running distance and also do more cycling. I dunno. Getting older sucks. But I’ve seriously upped my recovery and stretching game as a result (foam roller and rubber bands were being missed) and things seem to be getting better now.
  • My wife and I finally got our first dose of the COVID vaccine finally! No real side effects, just a little arm soreness, and tiredness the day after. 💪
  • I picked up Animal Crossing for the Switch as a birthday present for my 8-year-old daughter and she completely loves it. It’s a “life simulation” game where you get to create your own island paradise and she says she is currently “focusing” on fishing and filling out her tent with different creatures at the moment. While she’s doing that, my son and I have started to really get into Minecraft Dungeons (family TV is free thanks to the Switch) and he and I are learning the concepts of gear levels and character power. Important skills! 🎯

Last but not least, check out what I’m up to now.

1 Comment

I like the idea of being in a network. Many people may think that way of thinking takes away our identity but the description you quoted is a lovely way of showing our inter-connectedness. ‘No man is an island’ as John Donne said.

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