The main purpose of this site is to provide a space for me to get my thoughts out.
Here are some things I’ve written:
During my time at Neverware I took a turn that has the director of engineering, and it really changed how I thought about the word “respect”.
Folks on the leadership team used it pretty regularly, and at some point I took issue with it. The connotation I had for respect at that point (especially in a business setting) was “deference to authority”, and it sounded to me like what was being asked for was compliance.
I think the last chapter of Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch describes beautifully the way we each have our own, personal version of our languages, and what’s captured in the dictionary is more of an aggregate snapshot.
What she doesn’t get into is how many problems it can cause.
When Kat and I had been dating for about a year we broke up for a week.
After several days of being broken up we decided that it was terrible and we wanted to get back together, but we hadn’t actually resolved any of the issues that led to us breaking up.
I have two small children, and it seems like there’s a certain age where they decide that how things usually are is how they should be. How they must be!
I feel like a classic example for this is “Boys don’t have long hair!”
Another significant Neverware memory is going over the company survey results. It was considered pretty important by most people that the submissions remain anonymous. A lot of the time that seemed fine, but sometimes it made very hard to make useful changes.
I had a moment today where a bunch of things all came together in my head and made a little mesh where they kind of supported each other. It was connecting things I remember thinking about after reading Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye in high school with things I’ve been thinking and reading more recently like How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Comments online are hard. Moderating online conversations is hard. At the same time having that potential for interaction, for connection with other people, feels worth doing hard work for.
So how should comments work on this website?
Every once in a while Kat and I do a “Couples Inventory”. Just a list of questions we ask, to make sure we’re addressing the things we need to be addressing. Kat proposed we start doing this shortly after we became parents, and I think it’s been really helpful. Here’s an edited version of that list:
Recently I have been thinking about the tendency in organizations to say: “we can’t let this happen Ever Again.”
My impression is that in most organizations there are moments when things happen, the result of those things is bad for the organization or the people in it, and so the organization says: “Never Again. We will put rules and processes in place to ensure that this Can’t Happen.”
Productivity is something that I care about, and also something that I’ve struggled with. I’m not even sure that productivity is the right word for what I’ve struggled with: some mix of organization, choosing what to work on, finding time to work on it, and then working on the thing that I intended to work on.
It’s something I’ve struggled with both in work context and in a personal context, but recently I feel like I’ve made some significant changes – and one in particular – that have really improved my ability to get things done at work (I’m still working on bringing this to my personal time). I might touch on some of the others, but the biggest improvement seems to come from planning out what I’m going to do at the beginning of each day.
An idea: solar biochar at home
A while back I read about biochar. I think it was not-too-long after I attended HOPE 2020, and it felt like there were a few ideas floating around that pointed towards diverse, local approaches to climate change (solarpunk feels associated with this). I think it was also shortly before or after I read this article in Scientific American, plus countless sources/articles looking at how adding carbon to soil can be a good method of carbon sequestration, while also improving crop yields and reducing disease in plants (which means less fertilizer and pesticide).
Yesterday, while Rosa and Juniper were in the bath, I put on Waist Deep in the Big Muddy and other Love Songs1 by Pete Seeger. It’s an album I used to listen to on repeat when I was a little kid (my best guess is that I was somewhere in the 7 to 9 range), but I’ve only listened to it once or twice in the past 20 years and… wow.
It’s interesting the songs/bits of songs I remember and those that I don’t. Most of the political messages went straight over my head.
Writing about a solar biochar kiln left me thinking a lot about how to define “eco friendly”. I’ve also been thinking about it in relation to some news a friend pointed me at: “canvas bags are worse than plastic bags”. Poor Tim Minchin.
(I should note: I didn’t read all of those articles in full, most of them I skimmed. I know, I know, I know – I’m part of the problem. They also mostly cite the same couple of studies. I might try to write more about that later…)