Hours in a Day

Either too many, or too few...

Most Likely To Be Awake

This was a title bestowed upon me in my college days, when I could often be found wandering the halls, consuming Thai food at a nearby late-night restaurant, participating in a prank, lending a CD (remember those?), or just about anything. Oh, and homework, that was in there as well.

One time the late, great fellow Mudder, Eric Fain asked of me, “Do you ever do homework?” to which I replied, “Well, I’m still here.” Indeed, I did homework, just not when he did. This was always true long before my years at Mudd. In fact, I’m told that I was last to go to sleep and first to wake up, before I was saving memories. That’s a pretty good run so far.

As you might well imagine, the old/new idea of Working From Home is quite appealing to me, and in fact I have been working from home since the great Intel RIF of 2016. Even while working there, I had a bit of a reputation for having meetings at times convenient at the other end (9am in Ireland is better for my Irish colleagues than 5pm, no matter what time it was on my end, for example), and getting on airplanes at any airport at any time. It makes life interesting, to say the least, if you are not getting into a rut with the same bedtime and the same alarm clock1 waking you at the same time every morning only to do the same thing every day.

New Old Social Networking

I’ve mentioned this previously, but my efforts to swing back toward self-publishing and self-determinism in the way of consuming the content of others continues. I have stayed away from Facebook and I am better for it, and yesterday I deleted the LinkedIn application from my mobile devices. As always, there’s an article out there that points out which applications are doing the most to compromise our privacy, and while I have already ditched the worst offenders (Facebook/Messenger/Instagram among the most egregious; note I still access Instagram via the web on desktop and mobile devices, though not as much lately), I still had LinkedIn installed, and I still have the Chrome mobile browser installed. Both of these are bad, also.

If you’re so inclined, I’ll leave it to you to seek out the latest on LinkedIn spying on your mobile clipboard for no good reason. Are you using a password manager that copies passwords to the system clipboard to enable login? Well…

I don’t really chat with anyone via IRC since most of the people I know today have no idea what IRC is (note, I did not write “was” there because IRC is still very much alive). Similarly, while Google may have bought DejaNews and turned it into their own, less-decentralized Google Groups, newsgroups are still a thing, and you can still trn or rn and you can still peer and do all of the other things that Facebook and Twitter are solving today as monolithic siloes.

I attempted to sign up for a normal/personal Twitter API key so I could automate posting of tweets when I publish a newsletter or podcast episode or whatever… good luck with that! I gave up when the twitter bot emailed me to answer the same usage questions again after I had answered them in detail the first time when I submitted the request (and which I ignored in the first request via email since I had just answered these questions). I don’t believe that Twitter or Facebook or any of these commercial services must yield to my desire to post on their platform using automation tools, that is their business (literally) and there are alternatives (you’re reading one of them now, though I will have more to say about my Substack wishlist another time).

End of the day, it is a lazy public which needs clickbait spoon-fed to them in a pretty gui using applications which track their every move that some must engage, whether they’re promoting their podcast, selling a widget, or launching a presidential campaign. When we rely completely on such services for our daily survival, we have ceded too much and we have been, IMHO, defeated. Let’s not reach that point.

How Funny

This week the list is shorter than normal, as the time available to puruse the YouTube stand-up stage was short this time around. Fear not, there will be more comedy forthcoming.

Ty Barnett, another YT recommendation, though I do catch a lot of good comedy thanks to the DryBar channel. Everybody is getting older, some faster than others, so this is surely a humor arc we can all relate to…

Demetri Martin is a really creative comedian and writer, but I’m not sure if I would make this the benchmark Demetri set. Yet I am posting it here as though I am doing just that. I will post the set that first made me a Dmetri fan (he has an easel on stage for some of it…) if I can locate it, so for now allow me to whet your Demetripetite:

Light Reading

Lately I’ve stepped up my consumption of audio books, from either my local library (I always have a library card handy, especially if I need to check out a copy of Catcher in the Rye, so I can feel normal…) or from Audible. I used not to be a fan of Audible, but I’ve come around as my consumption has increased.

Note: I am on the fence about whether one is “reading” an audio book. Ultimately, the acts of reading the written word versus listening to the spoken word, are very different, reportedly at a neurological level based on which parts of the brain are processing the incoming stream(s). For myself, the act of reading the words is deliberate and requires focus, while listening can be done as a primary or secondary (or tertiary) activity, sans focus. They are different. I would prefer a world where “getting a book” includes both a written version and an audio version, but that’s possible ala carte anyway, and Amazon seems to enable a “WhysperSync” feature with the ability to switch between Kindle and Audible, which probably costs somebody money somewhere…

Twain’s Feast was a surprisingly interesting presentation, with multiple speakers almost like an old school radio show (with characters and settings and whatnot). It is an Audible Original and so is only an audio book here, though it is based on other written materials. This is not an affiliate link, check it out if you’re interested in a tale of a grain of sand that is Americana.

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English by John McWhorter, is one I took as an audio book, which made it fun… the author is also the narrator, and so when he speaks phrases in various languages and dialects, he is actually doing so, not attempting to fake it as just any old narrator. He seems to enjoy himself reading the words in any language, so there’s a certain energy almost certainly missing from the page (or screen). It is impossible to cover this topic in a single volume, so take this as a nice glimpse of the complexity that is human language, with English one of, but not necessarily the most, popular ones of late.

Thanks!

Thanks for taking my newsletter, as part of that bigger picture that includes self-publishing (yes, I’m publishing this via Substack but this is a transitional experiment) and self-determinism when it comes to consuming content. The longest journies begin with a single step, and then multiple steps, and these have included migration from social media megacorps to old school sharing directly with people such as yourself.

There are podcasts, there are newsletters, and there are other projects coming down the pike, which I list and link to on my Buy Me a Coffee profile page. You are not obligated to, but you can also add to the coffee supply (these efforts are caffeine powered, afterall) at the aptly-named profile page.

Thanks specifically to Kevin Imamura for being the first to prompt a nice bean purchase, I’ll post an update there regarding such support and the resulting coffee consumption, so follow along if you like:

Buy Dan a Coffee

From there you can follow links to the three podcasts and various associated newsletters, and eventual websites and othe projects and more and more. Caffeine is always appreciated as the lists grow…

To be continued, but you have a great week in the mean time!

Issue Artwork

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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It is possible that once you find yourself in a pattern, you wake up before your alarm clock… this is probably good, unless you’d rather have some variety in your days