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Dopamine in Daniel Deronda Show more

I'm on a bus in London and a girl who can't be older than 12 is explaining the trolley problem and self-driving cars to her disinterested mother

I've previously thought about this question, whether there's a moral cost to indulging one's dislike or hatred for something through vitriol, how that weighs up against saving other people's time.

My recent thinking has been that it's hard enough to get the motivation to read/experience difficult stuff so better to err on the side of the (more difficult to write, as most of those writers note) positive review.

After thinking for years that I needed to take better notes on what was going on with friends, reading this finally got me to try it out. sivers.org/dbt Basically I set up MonicaHQ in Docker. Does anyone else do something similar?

I've written 42,903 words of a novel draft in 3 weeks and here's what I've learned so far bit.ly/writing-at-speed

I've been thinking a lot about mastery lately. Mastering ideas, concepts, or skills, to reach a high level, or new insights.

I think of mastery per se as a worthy goal, but a friend has argued that it can indicate obsession or compulsion, and he thinks high-level mastery is sometimes pathogenic.

Do you have a view on mastery, whether good or bad? For the purposes of this question, let's say mastering that has a neutral impact on the world, like privately learning an idea or skill.

I'd never heard a convincing case for giving up caffeine, but this could be an interesting one. Has any habitual coffee drinker experimented with stopping? What were the effects? newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-t

Bryan Kam boosted

Technical question for writers Show more

I'm listening to the (excellent) Audible collection of Alistair Cooke: "Letter from America." Found this one quite moving: bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/

Exciting news for readers: US copyright freeze is about to end, meaning that every year going forward new classics will enter the public domain. nytimes.com/2018/12/29/books/c

Bryan Kam boosted

Top 10 Books I read in 2018 Show more

Enjoyed this (long) interview with Adam Curtis.

"They’re constantly playing back to you the ghosts of your own behaviour. We live in a modern ghost story. We are haunted by our past behaviour played back to us through the machines in its comparison to millions of other people’s behaviour. We are guided and nudged and shaped by that. It’s benign in a way and it’s an alternative to the old kind of politics."

economist.com/open-future/2018

"I could find it in my heart to wish that everyone who cut his coat by another man's pattern would find the result a crass failure. For originality does not lie down that road." — Dorothea Brande, Becoming a Writer, a beautiful writer herself

I wish I could write as beautifully as Elliott Smith, but I might have to settle for analysis of the military and maritime themes of Figure 8

Savannah shoulder raised a cheer
Coloring the sky with ash
Because they found some privateer
To sail across the sea of trash

Bryan Kam boosted

Solutions to the problem of life Show more

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Refactor Camp

Mastodon instance for attendees of Refactor Camp, and members of various online/offline groups that have grown out of it. Related local groups with varying levels of activity exist in the Bay Area, New York, Chicago, and Austin.

Kinda/sorta sponsored by the Ribbonfarm Blogamatic Universe.

If you already know a few people in this neck of the woods, try and pick a handle they'll recognize when you sign up. Please note that the registration confirmation email may end up in your spam folder, so check there. It should come from administrator Zach Faddis.