"Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

Easily Distracted


I recently read about the Warren Buffet method of success, these things always seem to come around at the end of one year and the beginning of another. The method is to write down your top 25 most important goals, and then rank them according to importance. The trick is to work on the top five and ignore the remaining twenty. It's somewhat more cleverly stated in the usual presentation where the unenlightened offers that he or she will work on the remaining twenty as they "have time," or words to that effect. No! You must kill your darlings! Only five! No more!

And no capes!

Which is remarkably similar to Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and the four quadrants.

I'm retired, so I have the luxury of choosing what I want to work on. People ask me what I do with all my time and I usually respond, "Whatever I want."

The problem with having too many desires is that none of them is adequately addressed. So I have been making an effort to focus more narrowly on a few activities. Some success to date, but it's limited. An early win was putting away the Wii U. Now I need to address social media. One thing I like about Twitter is the ability to aggregate certain accounts into "lists." I have a Climate list, a Local list, a State list, a Retro Computing list. I can jump into a list and get a quick update on topics I'm interested in. Local and State are in good shape, pretty high signal to noise. Climate is too large and I need to pare it down. I followed a bunch of people because I wanted to help raise their profile, but it becomes counter-productive after a while.

Facebook doesn't allow you to create lists. Your timeline is whatever "the algorithm" determines, though I've read that you can modify it somewhat. But I really think the next big gain in my retired "productivity" is to simply stop viewing Facebook. So I need to work on that. Maybe I'll confine it to a single window, or a couple of windows, and whatever I "miss" is just a reflection of the transient nature of all phenomena. I'll keep you posted.

Read a post at 3 Quarks Daily this morning about the utility of writing at a typewriter as a distraction-free environment. I can see how that might work, but I'm writing this in Tinderbox, and I have all my other apps hidden. I recently cleaned my Desktop to a plain beige background and three folders, so it's a pretty benign writing environment. I have a couple of links, in this paragraph at least, that I'll have to go back into Safari after I finish "writing" to grab the URLs to incorporate into the post; but I can press on for the moment until I figure I'm "done."

The author of the piece also suggested that the mechanical nature of the typewriter, and the inability to edit oneself easily, makes the writing progress more efficiently. Maybe. I go back and edit myself as I go along, but I don't feel as though it's slowing me down. Sometimes I'll be working my way through a point I'm trying to make and realize I've painted myself into a corner, which is a big part of why I write blog posts anyway, so I'm happy to just delete all that faulty reasoning and start over. Sometimes I don't even delete it, I just don't publish it. I move it up into a "Drafts" topic that doesn't get exported. I used to have one called "The Cooler" where things would go that I wrote in the heat of the moment.

One thing that always surprises me is the number of typographic errors, or mis-writing. I'll finish a post, read it in Tinderbox, export it to an HTML file, then view a preview of that in another app and find errors I didn't see in Tinderbox. Interesting. Even then, they sometimes elude me and I don't notice them until they're "live." It's a pretty straightforward process to just switch from Safari to Tinderbox, edit the post, export the document, then drag the updated files to the server in the FTP app. It'd probably be easier to just edit in the browser as Tim Berners Lee intended, but then I'd have to learn another platform, like Dave Winer's Fargo, and I'm not up for the cognitive load. This is pretty easy, although Tinderbox is like a CNC-machine for text, and a bit of overkill for static HTML pages. It works for me.

Mitzi and I watched Solo on Netflix the other night. Wasn't as bad as I'd feared. I didn't recall that Ron Howard had directed, which may account for it not sucking too much. My favorite character was the L3 droid. Han was okay, but it just felt like young Jim Kirk in the Star Trek reboot. ("Now with more lens flare!") Anyway, good light space opera entertainment. Don't get bogged down in canon.

We also watched A.I. the other night. I'd never seen it before, though I've owned a copy from iTunes for years. It was interesting. Not a profoundly moving motion picture, which is a bit surprising since Spielberg did it. But maybe I've just grown too accustomed to human-like androids with Battlestar Galactica, Westworld, and the like. I suppose it was perhaps more thought provoking in its time.

Watched the playoffs yesterday. The Saints were robbed. I didn't really have a favorite, but I was hoping to see Drew Brees go up against Brady. I normally detest the Patriots, but I have a petty reason for wanting the Chiefs to lose, and I'm happy they did. But the Super Bowl holds no drama for me. I expect the Patriots will win, but I won't care if they lose. I think the officiating in the NFL is horrible, but such is the absurdity of life. Our president is a failed game show host, how can you expect the refs to call pass interference?

Saw the kerfuffle about the high school boys from Kentucky in our nation's capital. A failure of adult leadership if you ask me. High school boys in unsupervised groups are a disaster waiting to happen. Surprise! And yeah, the kid was smirking, and he was an ass. The whole thing would never have occurred if any adult responsible for those children had done what they were there to do, but that's probably asking too much. Like refs calling pass interference. Or the president keeping the government running.

On that cheery note, I suppose I've achieved whatever it was I set out to achieve here. I'm going to devote some attention to some other projects I have underway.

Let's hope we have a decent week.