Sketchlog January 6, 2018

  • Really glad that I snagged one of Adjiashvili’s charcoal drawings.
  • Yoga is turning out to be more enjoyable than I thought. The new yoga workouts in the NTC app are really good.
  • Wrote a good deal today and going to write some more.
  • 2nd day of the 30 day plank challenge was OK. Yesterday was test day – I can hold a plank in good form for 1min. We’ll see where I end up.
  • Not pictured: I saw “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”. There’s a reason it’s not pictured.
  • This made me laugh, because it’s true…

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Sketchlog January 6, 2018

General update

  • My to do list today is 45 items long. It’s 10AM and I still have 33 items to go.

IMG_0642

  • I’ve been using the Forest app for the past week to cut down on my phone time, and especially my twitter time. It’s a fun take on the Pomodoro technique that basically lets you set a timer to plan trees in your forest. The tree grows when you finish your timer without touching your phone (you can have the phone play music or a podcast while your tree is growing, you just can’t fiddle with your phone). You can also accept calls while the tree is growing, but you can’t make calls/text/check apps etc. It’s a good gamification of the Pomodoro technique, and a beautiful app.
  • I’ve finished rewriting chapter 2 and am back to rewriting large swaths of chapter 7. Forcing myself to cut ruthlessly cut things down.
  • Reading John Scalzi’s “The Human Division” and thoroughly enjoying it. Also indulging in M.C. Beaton’s “Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House,” because I can.
  • Started working on my 2018 resolutions. It’s the fourth year that I’m doing
  • My (mechanical) keyboard is creaking. It’s time to swap out the keycaps and lubricate the switches a bit.
  • Cutting down on Apple technology podcasts. Getting a bit fed up with them and more interested in podcasts with more interesting content than “guess how much I love my iPhone X”.
  • That being said, I upgraded to an iPhone 8 (not a Plus or a X on purpose), and I’m OK with it. Still frustrated that it doesn’t have a headphone jack.
  • Ran a game of Parsley┬áthat I wrote for a group of friends using Discord, and it was a roaring success. Planning on running another game like that soon.
General update

The Mac I need

I use a MacBook Pro 15” (late 2013) as my personal computer, and for all of my writing. I was looking into upgrading this year, and found out that there’ nothing for me now in Apple’s lineup. 
The iMacs are nice, but they’re too expensive for me (our local reseller sells them at double their price in the US, which isn’t cheap to begin with), and there have been recurring reports of reliability problems with them.

The MacBook adorable is very thin, very light, but too weak and with too small a screen to be my one and only computer. This is the traveling businessman’s choice.

The MacBook Pro lineup is terrible. It’s too expensive, I don’t need or want a touchbar, and none of them have the ports that I need and use: an SD card and a USB 3.0 port. As it is I have to use a USB hub at home, which is terrible (and crashes my Mac’s Wi-Fi reception whenever it’s too close to the back of the laptop), clunky and inconvenient.

The MacBook Air would have been good enough, if Apple would have updated its ridiculous screen.


So after a bit of thought, it looks like I get to keep my money for another year or two, with the hopes that either Apple gets its act together when it comes to Macs, or I will be able to do all of my work on the iPad++ Pro 17” or something.

The Mac I need

IBM Watson Tel-Aviv Summit

I was at the IBM Watson summit in Tel Aviv today. A very impressive event, with a slurry of local celebs taking part in it. 


Yair Nizani, an Israeli comedian, MCed.


Marina Maximilian Blumin “sang” (lip synced).

The usual buzzwords were thrown around: disruptive technologies, cognitive learning/age, Software/Product/Infrastructure as a service. 

What wasn’t said was:

These technologies cost people jobs, without providing them with alternative means to proved for themselves.

These technologies have deep social implications, but the people making them and funding them give little to no thought to what is the true cost of these technologies. 

Machine learning/cognitive learning can improve our world, but they can also cause immense suffering. Unless we constantly consider the ethical implications of these advances (as best we can), we will be the creators of our own dystopia.

IBM Watson Tel-Aviv Summit