I’ve been using Todoist for my daily tasks, but today I decided to upgrade to a Premium account. I used Things for a while, but when I switched to using an Android phone (OnePlus One), I had to switch to something that was cross-platform. Todoist allows me to structure my projects hierarchically and put priorities on the tasks. The Premium account means that I can add labels and comments to the tasks. It integrates with Amazon Alexa, and there are apps for all my devices!
I just bought myself the latest Apple Watch! I had the original one – the Series 0 – and just upgraded to the Series 3 (without cellular support). I use my watch all the time – I keep track of my heart rate, exercise, and it is my main interface to my phone when I am out and about.
(Warning – this post contains spoilers)
Both Helen and I read “Artemis” by Andy Weir recently. I enjoyed it, although Helen felt disappointed by what she considered a major flaw in the plot. The book is set 70 years in the future. Yet, the technology feels like present day tech. There were hardly any robots on the Moon colony. The primary interface for the computers seemed to still be typing. The main protagonist drives around and delivers mail. Her father is a welder.
Today has been a pretty healthy day all up. Both Helen and I went for a run – mine was not as long as normal, just under 5km. We have also been eating a mainly vegan/vegetarian diet over the past few days. It’s been a healthy start to the year!
Last night we saw Stuart Lee at the Leicester Square Theatre. We were in the second row from the front. It was a really funny show! Stuart Lee was in great form. The only thing that was annoying was that I was sitting next to a woman who had been brought along by her partner, and who was obviously not into his brand of comedy.
I am programming Swift in earnest now. I am way more familiar with Objective C for building apps for Mac OS/X and iOS, but I have a few apps to write and Apple are pushing us to make the transition to Swift, so it’s time to bite the bullet and use it as my primary language for a while.
It’s quite nice working in a new language again. I am enjoying learning the design choices the Swift team has made in their language. There is some weird stuff, but on the whole it feels natural and sophisticated. It’s great that they’ve open sourced it as well, so that I can potentially use it on my Linux servers. I’m not sure that it will replace Go or Python for doing any kind of Dev Ops, but it’s great to have it as another option.
When I was young, I did this thing called Silva Mind Control. It taught me meditation, and various other mental techniques that have come in handy throughout my life. One of the techniques that we learnt was for memorising lists of things – they called it “Memory Pegs” in Silva. It turns out that this technique is generally known as “The Major Mnemonic System” derived from a technique developed in the 1600s. I became more interested in mnemonics after the book “Moonwalking with Einstein” shot to fame, especially combined with all the studying I have been doing over the years which made me desperate for faster ways of remembering things. It made me dust off this technique and start to use it again.
“Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it. You can exercise daily and eat healthily and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next – and disappear. That’s why it’s so important to change routines regularly, and take vacations to exotic locales, and have as many new experiences as possible that can serve to anchor our memories. Creating new memories stretches out psychological time, and lengthens our perception of our lives.” — Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
There is a great post over at Charlie Stross’ Blog that gives the text of his keynote at the 34th Chaos Communication Congress in Leipzig, December 2017. He makes some interesting points about old, slow AI – i.e. corporations, and compares them to cannibalistic organisms that shed people like cells. He talks about the ways the standard limiter of regulation are failing (regulatory capture and regulatory lag). He ends with a fairly negative assessment of where we are heading. It’s a thought-provoking talk, and well worth reading / watching.
Helen and I want to go vegan in 2018 – but only for one or two days of the week. I’m not sure how well we’ll do at this, but we have tried some vegan cheese and some hazelnut milk, and we managed to survive! Let’s see if we can keep it up for the year!