Stab a Book, the Book Won't Die by Craig Mod is a great read on the value of physical books. He presents an interesting idea that I've never thought of before — entering into contracts with the media that we consume.
What kind of contract do you opt into when reading a physical book? What about reading a blog? Or watching a YouTube video? Or what about consuming content through social media news feeds?
The simplest contract can be had with physical books. You buy the book and you can read it anytime you want. The book will not try to harvest your data, or serve you ads, or track your habits, or build an online profile out of your online activities. The book will be there for you to read, when you want to read it. It is as simple a contract as can be.
On the other hand, using say your smartphone to read books, blog posts, essays is a totally different contract. Now you're exposed to ads. Now your behavior is being tracked. Now your data is getting mined, etc... All sorts of things happen behind the scenes, some of which we most likely don't even want to be involved in.
It's a good reminder to re-examine the contracts that we are entering into, when we choose to consume information the way that we do today.
There's a new Head First C# book that just came out this month! I still have the first one that came out back in 2010. This was the book that started me on the C# path. If you want to learn C#, I definitely recommend picking up the new version. In fact, I'm going to buy a copy for myself as well.
I wish I had more time to write blog posts that are focused on just one topic. One issue I see with my Weeknotes post is that a single post covers a bunch of different topics. In my mind, those topics should have their own blog posts. But the fact of the matter is, I already have a day job. And it involves writing code, not writing prose. And so unfortunately, I've resorted to bundling everything up into a single Weeknotes post, just so I can get something out. It's not exactly the setup I want, but it's what works for me now.
I would like to apologize in advance. I tried to edit this post to make it as coherent as possible, but it still feels like a mess. Welcome to what my brain and life was like last week.
I ran into an issue while working on the previous weeknotes post. My weeknotes post show up on this journal, but it has software dev related posts. That makes me think that those should be on my dev blog. And now I wonder, maybe I should have just one website in the first place.
Now the problem with having one website that houses all kinds of content, is that my personal posts would start showing up alongside my dev related posts. I remember Scott Hanselman said that you should keep overtly personal information out of your tech blog. That's pretty much why I have a dev blog and a separate personal blog/journal. I also think that the advice on separating them still makes sense. But I also feel, based on experience, that having to maintain multiple websites can be exhausting.
After pouring out my heart and soul, my personal life into this online journal, I now have this urge to move on and leave it all behind. I no longer want to post something overly personal.
Had I decided to remain with an anonymous journal like Inquiry suggested in the past, I probably wouldn't have a problem with all the personal posts I wrote. But I really wanted to “own my words”, so this is what I get for doing so LOL.
On a related note... I wish I could start over with my domain and websites. Or, just leave everything behind and start fresh on a new blog/site.
When I would write a blog post, I would always start with a blank page and a massive backlog of ideas. The act of writing a well-formatted blog post is intimidating. That is the part I don't enjoy.
I realized I was overthinking it. The things I write about are straightforward and often very technical. They're more for me than anyone else. Writing helps me think and understand so I decided to embrace this and change the way I write.
Instead of writing long, formal blog posts for others, I now write smaller (usually) brief notes about a specific topic to build up my own personal knowledge.
This collection of notes can then be used to Learn in public, sometimes referred to as a Digital Garden.
Sad to say, but I'm at this point right now. Just the thought of writing a decent blog post somehow renders me exhausted. Not to mention, my mind has been stuck on the idea of, not everything has to be shared online. It's perfectly okay to go through life, to let things happen to you and not have to share it online.
Writing this post took a good bit of effort on my part. I had to make sure to finish it in one sitting, otherwise it would have gone unpublished for sure. Needless to say, I've all but given up on the 100DaysToOffload challenge. I got to 76 posts. That's as far as I could go.
Lately, I've been spending time writing code, instead of writing entries on here. At this point in time, I find more satisfaction in producing a working application, as opposed to a new blog post or journal entry. It's not that I don't have anything to write about — my bullet journal is filled with topics to write about. But lately, I just don't feel like I'm publishing something of value on here. I guess I also finally got tired of writing journal entries.
During last Sunday's televised mass, Bishop Edward Burns of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, gave a very interesting homily. Instead of talking about the gospel reading, he instead gave a lecture on the different parts or rites of the Mass.
To give some examples, he explains why the priest or bishop say what they say. And why the clergy responds the way they do. Most of it is based on the Bible of course, and he cites specific passages as it relates to them.
He explains the offertory and what is really being offered during that time — spoiler, we are offering ourselves.
It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is he who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.
This post first appeared on my dev blog at dinobansigan.com. It was published back in 01/28/2019. I've updated the post and moved it here as it was not really a software development or tech related post.
A few days ago I heard an ad on TV that said something like, “people say less is more, but more is REALLY MORE!” Obviously, the intent of that ad is to get you to spend more money. We live in a world where people are judged by their material possessions. The narrative being, if you have more, then you are living a better life compared to everyone else around you. That is ridiculous.
Walking is increasingly mediated by technological gadgets worn on wrists or gripped in hands. We spend an increasing amount of time ‘screening’ the world – taking in most of life through a contracted frame that captures objects of immediate interest. To live with eyes on the screen is to be attached, stuck in the frame, taking in what is presented to us and re-presented to us again. But representation – even in fine-grained pixilation – is not experience. To experience is to perceive. When we look at a screen, we might see something, but we don’t perceive. To live life through representations is to live passively, to receive rather than to experience.
I am so grateful that I discovered the IndieWeb. Owning my content and posting my thoughts on my own site instead of a silo like Twitter gives me real freedom. I can decide how my thoughts are displayed (I like to make them available to everyone without advertising), I can edit them and they stay available for as long as I want.
It was a particular joy for me to visit the sites associated with St. Ignatius of Loyola on a recent film trip. But the most moving locale was a little church in Manresa built around the cave where the young Ignatius spent about nine months preparing himself spiritually for his life’s work. What he learned at Manresa is that our attachments to various created goods—money, power, pleasure, and honor—stand in the way of our responding to God’s will for us.
~ Bishop Barron
A really good homily that talks about the practice of “Agere Contra”, which means “To act against”. I believe that you can apply “Agere Contra” to most things in life. You don't have to be religious to practice it. For instance, I can see the practice of “Agere Contra” being very effective against social media and smartphone addiction.
Great read on the definitions of love and mercy, and how both could affect our society.
The picture of a society without mercy reminds me of something I heard about mercy defined linguistically. The Hebrew word associates the experience with pregnancy. Mercy is like being pregnant. “Bearing with” the other in mercy requires genuine selflessness.
That's a wonderful description of mercy.
“Others are out there” means that mercy requires love as defined by Iris Murdoch. She says, “Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than yourself is real.” Love initiates and invites mercy
I've come to a similar conclusion. If love is “willing the good of others” as Bishop Barron so often says, then there cannot be mercy without love. So, for our society to be merciful, we must first love each other. Only then will mercy manifest itself.