Weeknotes #59

in weeknotes

  • I realise how ridiculously privileged this is but I’ve really been struggling over the past week with the best way to spend my free time. This isn’t a new problem. Indeed, it was something I first wrestled with years ago. In a post I wrote back in January 2014 (reposted to my current blog earlier today), I made a new year’s resolution of sorts after feeling frustrated that for all the ‘reading’ I’d done over the (then) seven years since my university graduation, I didn’t feel like I had much to show for it. I resolved to be more meaningfully engaged; a term I defined to mean spending time in a way that created long-term value.

  • The impetus for thinking about this again was the vast majority of free time I’ve spent over the past several days writing a Markdown parser. There are other Markdown parsers out there, but what I’m trying to make is something that both conforms to the CommonMark specification and offers a high level of extensibility. While I don’t have anything publicly to show so far, I feel like I am making solid progress; my parser now parses blockquotes, ordered lists and ordinary paragraphs and it does it in a way that relies on functions that comply with a standard interface that can (at least in theory) be supplemented by functions for other types of markup.

  • A consequence of spending so much time on the parser was that I did a terrible job keeping up with my Reading List in Safari. It’s ballooned now to several dozen articles and without either deleting large numbers of those unread articles from the list or spending a significant amount of time reading through the backlog, I don’t see how I get back on top of things. The thing is—and this is where things come back to the old post about meaningful engagement—how worthwhile is that reading? The pieces I add to the list typically tickle the part of my brain that loves finding out new information but what long-term value is really being created here? Any? I’ve spent a lot of time during the pandemic working on open source projects and it does feel like some of that could be classified as having long-term value. But does enough of it? Maybe I should throw myself even more into this kind of thing and just junk the Reading List?

  • There’s no long-term value in it, I don’t think, but my grey matter was mildly stimulated by this piece about Stan Lee and Marvel.

  • I’ve basically given up on the intermittent fasting and am instead trying to reduce the amount of junk I eat. So far that’s having a slightly more positive effect on my weight.

  • Eri and I finished Erased and while I don’t think they completely stuck the landing, I thought it was excellent overall. Easily one of the best Japanese dramas I’ve ever watched. I think it’s generally available on Netflix so if you have that, I highly recommend it. The episodes are only 30 minutes and there’s only 12 of them so it’s not an especially big commitment. (Just a reminder that you’re looking for the live-action drama, not the live-action movie or the animated series.)

  • I continued my rewatch of Law & Order and have made it through the first season. Goodbye, George Dzundza. I’ll always miss you.

  • The song I spent the most time listening to this week was a remix of Calvin Harris’ ‘Blame’ but I want to look cool so here’s Radiohead’s ‘Karma Police’ (Apple Music). That’s not even a link to OK Computer; it’s the Karma Police EP. That’s how hip I am!

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont