Weeknotes – 014

Last week I intentionally decreased the amount of stuff I've been reading. This is to give my brain a chance to digest what I've just read.

I've also taken to adding articles/posts that I want to read, into my Are.na Bookmarks/Reading List bucket. This seems to help decrease the unease that I feel, from not being able to immediately read interesting articles/posts. Since I know that I will eventually get to them someday in the future, it allows my brain to relax and focus on the current task at hand.

Since I have been trying to read less, a problem that I'm running into is what to do with my free time when I can't read. I would prefer to work on my digital garden, but I cannot do so when I'm not at home. This is because my notes in Obsidian, while synced to a Github repo, are not easy to work with via my phone. So, I now have a lot more time to think through things because I'm trying to read less, but during those times I can't work on my digital garden. That's one big limitation with my Obsidian setup.

That said, maybe I should look at it as a benefit in some way. I shouldn't be using my phone that much anyway.

I shouldn't be scared or embarrassed of publishing/sharing my digital garden online. This is because I will never get feedback on my thoughts and ideas if I keep them private. Not getting feedback means not knowing whether I'm on the right track or not. I need feedback on what I'm doing to see how I can get better.

If seeking feedback is to be desired, then wouldn't that be a valid use case for sharing posts on social media? I mean if the goal is to get more feedback, can you do better than social media in that regard?

Now to be clear here, I'm talking about sharing posts on social media. Not spending time on social media. Totally different things.

You should link to new notes from existing notes. This enables an existing note to grow, by adding more related notes to it.

Reference: Zettelkasten Method: How to Take Smart Notes for Knowledge Management

While trying to build my digital garden, I keep running into this issue where I don't know where to put my software development notes. These are notes that I want to keep, but at the same time, I don't think they are considered permanent notes. For instance, a listing of the CSS frameworks I need/want to learn is not exactly a permanent note. And I don't know where to put them. They don't exactly fit into my Zettelkasten folder, nor do they fit into my Reference folder.

Just realized that I have this habit of trying to turn all notes I take into permanent notes. They don't have to be. Not all notes are meant to become permanent notes. I need to remember that.

The following are my literature notes from reading How to Take Smart Notes – One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking by Sönke Ahrens last week:

“Nothing motivates us more than the experience of getting better.”

Seeking feedback, both good and bad, is one of the most important factors for success says psychologist Carol Dweck.

Adding comments to a blog is one way to get/seek feedback. — Page 53

Rewriting in your own words what you’ve just read in a book, is one way to gauge your understanding of it. — Page 54

We don’t get better at multitasking the more we do it. We just think we get better. But that’s because we don’t test ourselves to see if we actually perform better while multitasking. — Page 59

Separate the different tasks of writing and focus on each one explicitly. For instance, while trying to write, don’t be trying to proofread at the same time. Also don’t write as if you’re writing something ready to be published already. That will slow you down. I think that’s what slows me down. — Page 62

When writing something, like a paper or essay, it helps to have an outline in front of you, so you’re not tempted to think about what else you need to write. — page 62

It is easier for us to remember things that are connected to other thoughts and ideas. This is one thing the Zettelkasten helps us with, making connections between notes. — Page 69

Our brains will stop nagging us about unfinished tasks if we write them down and have a system in place that will guarantee that we won’t forget about the tasks. — Page 70

It’s okay if I end up writing longer literature notes, as long as they get turned into permanent notes in the future. — Page 76

Ahrens mentions that literature notes are usually written with an eye towards what's already in the slip-box. This goes against advice I read about writing literature notes mainly against its original context. — Page 76

Our brains are drawn to information that confirms what we already know. This can make it hard to be selective when it comes to note taking. It also feeds into our confirmation bias. — Page 79

Writing notes by hand is superior to digital note-taking. — Page 80

Writing down notes using our own words can tell us how well we understand something. — 85

If re-reading is not ideal for learning, then what is? Elaboration. And that’s what the Zettelkasten forces you to do. — Page 89-90

Apparently we can only hold on to at most 4-7 items in our head at any one time. So does this mean that having to juggle multiple websites and deciding what to post on each one can be taxing on my brain?

Maybe that's one of the reasons I get exhausted from maintaining multiple websites. Deciding what to post on one of them drains my mental stamina more than I realize. There’s too many decisions to make with multiple websites.

An idea: Instead of bundling everything up into one big Weeknotes post, maybe I should pick just one topic per day of the week to include in a Weeknotes post. That probably means I will leave out so many other journal entries. So, maybe a compromise is to pick at most 3 entries per day to include in a Weeknotes post. There's probably a number of ways I can do this. I'll just have to try it out and see what number works for me.

Judging from the amount of content in this Weeknotes post, I obviously did not implement that idea. I was lucky enough to have enough time to actually write this post. But the next time I'm short on time, I will try it out.

An idea: Create a “Software Development” version of my Weeknotes series, where I can focus on software development content.

What is driving this is my need to make searching for software development content on this site easier. I don't want to to dig through a long Weeknotes post to find a specific software development related entry.

“Sometimes it’s not the message. It's the timing.” ~ Tal’kamar, The Light of All That Falls

No matter how convincing an argument or message is, if the one receiving the message is not ready for it, then it won’t be received well.

Sometimes people need to change, before they can look at the same message in a different light. So it’s not that the message has changed, but that the person has changed.

Kinda like how I changed my viewpoint on adding comments to this journal.

If Jesus, the son of God, regularly took time to pray, shouldn’t we do the same?

You know that thing you do when you end your prayer? Saying amen? Don’t say amen as a way to disconnect from God. Say amen as a call to action.

So now, instead of ending your prayer and going back to your regular life, say amen and use it as a cue to start doing God's work.

Reference: Sunday Mass Homily by Father Tony Lackland

A good read this week was Out of the Matrix: Early Days of the Web (1991) by Daniel Kehoe.

Thirty years later, it is easy to overlook the web’s origins as a tool for sharing knowledge. Key to Tim Berners-Lee’s vision were open standards that reflected his belief in the Rule of Least Power, a principle that choosing the simplest and least powerful language for a given purpose allows you to do more with the data stored in that language (thus, HTML is easier for humans or machines to interpret and analyze than PostScript)...

Second time I ran into this rule of least power. The first time was in Al Khan's information overload article.

How do I apply this “rule of least power” to my career as a software developer? I ask because I specialize as a C#/.NET Developer. Maybe the answer is to not specialize and learn more programming stacks?

... Still, I hope its utility as a platform for commerce does not eclipse our original vision of the web as a means for sharing the world’s knowledge.

So the web was originally made to share knowledge. And I think that's what we do when we blog. At least, that's what I hope I'm doing on this journal — sharing knowledge.

That's also totally the opposite of what we do on social media. There's more sharing of highlight reels going on there, than there is sharing knowledge.

By the way, the author of this article also created Yax, which seems to be a simple website builder. Might be worth checking out.

Notes from The One Thing You Need to Learn to Fight Information Overload by Al Khan:

Alright, you might think starting with a thick old book might be too farfetched right now, though. But luckily, great thinkers have been old-school-blogging since Montaigne. Yep, they wrote essays. They’re filled with so much wisdom that you can finish them in under 2 hours and still get more than that of a modern book. Most of them are translated pretty well, so you can still get their ideas in more easily understood forms. I get my essays on Gutenberg.org and push them to my Kindle for reading. Awesome stuff.

Great idea on finding essays to read from great thinkers of the past.

Also, one last thing: Read books and essays made by the inventors, discoverers, thinkers, and field founders. They are most likely to change how you think.

This advice makes sense. Books from inventors, discoverers, thinkers, and field founders will probably change how you think, simply because they themselves changed the game in their respective fields.

One of the best ways to learn something is to try and teach it to someone else. This is where a blog can help.

When I write a “how to” blog post, I'm not doing it for the sole purpose of teaching other people. I do it as a way to solidify my understanding of what I've just learned. If readers learn something from my post, that's just icing on the cake.

So I've had my photo-blog/microblog for a few weeks now. I'm still asking myself, what am I gaining from doing this, other than the satisfaction of sharing a sky photo? I don't know.

I still think that $5 a month for a hobby photo-blog is too much. If it was my main website or blog, then I can justify paying $5 a month for it. But I'm having a hard time justifying it for a hobby photo-blog.

And I honestly don't know why I keep on doing it. I'd rather be working on my digital garden, but I get this urge to share sky photos ever so often. And I'm fine with that, if it doesn't cost me anything. But in this case, it does...

Maybe it's time to go back to my Write.as powered photo-blog. I don't pay extra for that one, since you get 3 blogs for one Write.as Pro subscription.

Having one blog that covers all sorts of personal topics (instead of one blog per topic) is like having a newspaper. Not everyone is expected to read everything on it.

A personal blog is made for you and not the readers... so if you want to cover a broad range of topics in there, you can do so.

References: https://bloggingwithoutablog.com/blogs-is-one-enough/#comment-147610 https://bloggingwithoutablog.com/blogs-is-one-enough/#comment-147635 https://bloggingwithoutablog.com/blogs-is-one-enough/#comment-147666

The Dallas Mavericks get a great, come from behind win against the Atlanta Hawks.

I've noticed a change in the rotation by the Mavs. Luka usually plays the whole first quarter. The past few games though, he's been going to the bench a lot earlier. Like he would get subbed out in the middle of the first quarter. I think this allows other players in the team to take point and find their own rhythm.

This is good because they're no longer solely relying on Luka making plays for them. It seems to get other players going offensively earlier in the game, which helps Luka out later in the game.

It also seems to be working so far as the Mavs have been winning, barely winning at times, but still winning their games recently. They also won the game against the Pelicans. That means they're on a 4 game winning streak right now.

Tags: #Weeknotes #Basketball #Blogging #Bookmarks #DigitalGarden #DigitalMinimalism #LiteratureNotes #Productivity #Spirituality #Zettelkasten

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