Journal.Bar —A Metasystem Experiment
It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day, that’s the hard part. But it does get easier. —Bojack Horseman
Week Two! Both of my gripes I talked about last week were successfully resolved by my realization that I can use the visual road editor to fix jarring changes within the road due to safety buffer auto-trimming. I’m sure it’s in bad taste and bad practically to revise the history of the road for the sake of aesthetics, but oh well.
Also, since I have previous web development experience, the first week of this program as been a breeze, but I’m definitely prepared for that to change quickly and acutely. The fact that I’m going to be using GitHub so often means a lot of my systems are going to flow really well.
Thoughts of the Week
I figured by now I wouldn’t have as much to say, however, having the ability to constantly ideate on unrelated things and compiling them all in one place has really improved my ability to come up with new ideas in general.
- You’re doing OK: Life isn’t a competition, but have reassurance knowing that you aren’t in last place if it was. Don’t catastrophize bad and don’t minimize the good.
- Typewriter Mentality: Examine thyself carefully. Using Git again has reminded me how good of a memory it has.
- In order to not make a bunch of embarrassing extra commits or reversions of commits, I really need to triple-check my spelling and semantics. This seems like a drawback at first, but in reality is really useful.
- Be Mindful of Time Dilation: The amount of time I feel I have when I’m working on something boring or uncomfortable is far greater than the time I feel like I have when I’m having fun. This is really beneficial as well, as it allows me to savor the moment more when I’m within the intricate and difficult.
- Thrust Unto Darkness: I have this idea to create a Beeminder that starts at an extreme amount of money and has a solitary, one-month deadline.
- I wonder if this sort of expierment would push me to do things that I always say I want to do but never get around to doing, like starting a YouTube channel, or start a podcast, etc.
- Become Patreon Worthy: Related to the above idea, I want to create things that are so valuable they are worth money. Once I build myself up, I need to contribute to the world, as well as balancing what the world is highly needing vs. what I’m capable of offering.
- In addition to this, I need to start taking having a following/community seriously, as I don’t really have don’t have any notable metrics in spite of writing for nearly four years.
- Simple Good: I need to start simple, good projects on GitHub for both the sake of learning and to maintain a consecutive streak on my profile.
- Data Agnosticism: A data point is a data point, if I write a really good or really bad blog post, it’s still only a “1”. What is solution?
- Possible solution: Track words (not really a solution, which just means more words which is still quantity, not quality), also a problem because I write in multiple places (although I shouldn’t, as that violates the unification system principle).
- Second possible solution: Reflecting my subjective judgement of a data point by raising or lowering it slightly (Eg. 0.9 or 1.1 if a blog post is lacking or above what I usually do, respectively.) Though I feel like I can get too caught up in the weeds with this approach.
- Then again, this doesn’t necessarily need a solution, as being non-subjective allows me to feel a sense of accomplishment doing work even if it’s bad work.
- Magic Buster Point System: A system I found years ago, probably from Buster Benson, where you record your day on a simple 1-2-3 system—where 1 is a bad day, 2 is a good day, and 3 is a perfect day.
- I’m curious about incorporating such a system into Beeminder? I.e. Having a point-based system for smaller habits and tracking them daily.
- Read more about this: What I’m Tracking and Why
- Leverage Platforms: I have a Svbtle account and I should use it. They have a good promise. It makes my writing and my ideas more platform agnostic and thus anti-fragile—as well as encourage the diversity of topics and ideas that I write about.
- Also, start a newsletter on Substack about my progress, as well as interesting things I find throughout the week? A lot simpler than MailChimp.
- In the future, I could possible Beemind both of these as well!
- Emojify the System (for fun): Taken from Youkad who has really good Beeminder systems.
- Impossibility of Meaningful Day: How do you have a meaningful day? You can’t really. It’s too short of a time frame, you’re too stuck in the weeds.
- Doing these weekly reviews has kind of shown me that the shortest amount of time where it’s possible to feel like you’ve gotten something done is a week.
- Spent-Money Paradox: One thing I’ve had a problematic mindset with, how can I have the consequence/punishment for spending/saving money be to spend more money?
- Can I justify it as sunk-cost fallacy? No, I cannot suspend my disbelief for such an idea, which is a shame because I really need a way to be better with my finances. Maybe I’ll figure something out.
- Everything is a Repeat: You can find a solution to pretty much any problem you have, however, some lessons require first-hand experience because I’m stubborn and only human.
- Eliminate the External: As impossible as this idea is, it’s still important to be mindful about. The reason I began Beeminding again was because competency and self-worth due to getting into a web-development program.
- I felt capable because of external sources validating me. This is not good. It might be a controversial opinion, but relying or seeking out external validation is harmful. It is fleeting and ultimately unnecessary. You are already enough. You are capable. Get out of your own way.
- Magnitude of Failures: Derailing on a goal is not a failure, neither is deleting the goal altogether. As long as you keep with the idea of committing your time and efforts to good progress.
- Reporter Supplementary: Using Reporter as supplementary data collection. It’s an underrated, intuitive iOS application that is designed to ask you questions (you create) throughout the day.
- I need to figure out what would be meaningful to ask myself, specifically things that I don’t feel Beeminder can facilitate.
- Read more about this: How I Track My Life
- All of my Beeminders are currently running smoothly! Since my work throughout the week is technical in nature, I will need to prioritize time on the weekends for /blog and /poetry.
- /weight: I’m going to be experimenting with tracking my weight, as having a displayed record might be the push I need to get to a more healthy physique. I’m going to be getting a FitBit soon in order to easily track health-related systems as a companion to this, so I can be more mindful of my physical activity and diet.
Although I feel it’s helpful to rant about problems I’m currently facing, it’s obviously more helpful to speculate on solutions rather than just pure rumination.
- Photography Workflow: I want to start using Instagram again, and start getting back into photography in general, but it’s been difficult. You need to dedicate an unexpectedly large amount of time and effort in order to take the photos, as well as editing and publishing. Having a camera that has bluetooth for automatic syncing to my phone, as well as lovely out-of-the-camera JPGs like what FujiFilm has.
- Twitter Conundrum: Frankly, it’s difficult to look at Twitter as anything other than a rather toxic website that perpetuates unproductive and unhealthy modes of thinking. Of course, there are entirely separated spheres of groups of people that often times rarely interact with each other. I’d like to participate in a healthy social ecosystem in Twitter that focuses on technology for the sake of increasingly my employable viability.
- More related to Beeminder, the system I have implemented tracks the number of Tweets, however I think it would be intelligent to periodically delete tweets due to their inherently ephemeral nature, so I’d have to figure out a way to reconcile that.
Diving Into Reporter
I think generic, note-based questions are more helpful than trying to create bite-sized, quantifiable data.
Daily responses are designed to be prompted multiple times and randomly throughout the day, however I think it would be better to have a single daily report to emphasize a long-term view and not into the weeds.
Overall, I think data that requires longform, qualitative input that Beeminder has difficult conveying through purely quantitative means.
- By default, Reporter tracks the following with each report:
- Current Location
- Recent Weather Conditions
- Current Altitude/Elevation
- Number of Photos (Taken since last report)
- Ambient Audio Decibel Levels
- Recent Walking Activity
- Stairs Climbed or Descended
- Types of Questions:
- Tokens (Small Descriptors)
- Note (Long Descriptors)
- How well did you sleep? (note)
- What are 3 intentions for today? (note)
- Who are you with? (people)
- What are you working on? (note)
- What happened today? (people)
- What are you grateful for? (token)
- What did you eat today? (note)
- What are my plans for tomorrow? (note)