Oliver Sacks's Weightlifting et al. — Hanson's Week in Review for May 1 through May 7

A Fun App: lrn

  • I've noted before that I'm curious about coding and programming. This app — lrn — is a neat little app that delivers baby-bite-size lessons.

For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Pomodoro Technique Illustrated by Staffan Nöteberg

  • Pomodoro Technique Illustrated is a fun book because of the hand-drawn notes in it.
    • I've had it in my active queue for a while, and I stalled out in Chapter 3, so it was time to move on it again.
  • If you know nothing about the Pomodoro technique, this book would not be a bad place to begin.

The River Why

  • I'm reading The River Why to feed my appetite for narrative.
  • I'm re-reading it because I enjoyed it in college.
    • When I finish, I'll have to decide whether it was as good as I remembered it, or whether the memory was better than the book itself.

Joe Buhlig's Podcasts — What Do You Know Joe?

I decided to focus this week on one of my new resources: Joe Buhlig. So I listened to a bunch of his podcasts:

  • Episode 7 on Learning a Computer Language
    • He recommends starting with Excel, creating macros to manipulate data and generate reports.
    • He recommends finding a project you want to work on — identifying something you want to build — and then figuring out how to get there.
      • He gives the example of learning PHP by tinkering with his Wordpress theme in order to get it just the way he wants it.
    • He compares learning a coding language to the immersion method of learning a foreign language: you learn it fast if you're using it all the time.
  • Episode 6 on Collecting and Storing Research
    • Buhlig moved away from Evernote.
      • Evernote makes me nervous: I don't like my stuff stored in a proprietary system.
  • Episode 4 on Creating the First Checklist
    • Buhlig has lots of lists and lots of steps — 27 steps to write & publish a blog post.
      • I respect that — it's good to know and to track what actually needs to be done to make something happen.
    • He uses the phrase "binge research" — obsesses over a topic until he understands it.
    • He mentions Dan Benjamin's podcast on podcasting: The Podcast Method.
    • He mentions a dude named Pat Flynn's guide to podcasting.
  • Episode 35 on Why He's Into Productivity
    • Buhlig discusses needing to jump from one project to another — that's just the way he works.
      • He points out that, if he has too many projects, they all move slowly. If he limits his projects, he can keep jumping while keeping them moving along. I sympathize.
    • He points out that people get into "productivity" because they want "a more full life." Yes.
      • He points that out what you "produce" doesn't have to be something "massive." It could just be something that helps your kids. Again, yes.
        • I mentioned to Alishia that I'm growing more comfortable with the idea of homeschooling because I'm growing more confident that I can manage, and help to manage, multiple projects and various kinds of endeavors. That's true in work and in life.
  • Episode 34 on A Web Developer Using Markdown
    • I finished listening to this one.
      • Buhlig mentions jekyll, which I knew nothing about.
      • He also mentions Discourse, which I knew nothing about.
  • I also read Buhlig's post on Writing Articles by Hand

The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education

The Podcast Method by Dan Benjamin

  • Episode 1: Getting Started
    • I listened to this, because it was mentioned by Joe Buhlig.
    • Dan Benjamin is highly enthusiastic in this first episode and clearly eager to communicate what he knows about podcasting to those interested in starting. I respect the enthusiasm and the willingness to share what he knows.
    • Either Benjamin or Buhlig advises that if you're interested in podcasting, don't worry too much at first about which platform, service, etc. to use, because, "You'll probably change it later."
      • Wise, wise practical advice, it seems to me.

Uber and Distributism

  • A friend recommended this article to me: Distributism is the Future
  • Did I like it? Yes, I enjoyed it, but I found the last paragraph annoying, as I'm often annoyed in similar articles (cultural-reflection articles, I'll call them, for lack of a better term. Here's the last paragraph:
    • "I suggest the issue comes down to one of vision: do we see the common person as essentially a passive being, happiest giving up control of his or her own life to corporate and government experts, who will care for us with benefit packages and guaranteed levels of consumption goods? Or is the ideal for each person to exercise judgment over his or her life’s course to the maximum extent possible, accepting the risks that go along with independence? If the latter, then shifting our legal framework to enable more people to live independent lives is a risk worth taking."
      • My vexation arises from the phrase "shifting our legal framework." Who does that? And how? One of our current political parties? A candidate for office? Grassroots activists? And is that enacting legislation? Or amending the constitution of the federal government? Or of a state?
      • My vexation also arises from the first sentence: who's the "we"? All citizens? Some citizens? A global community of like-minded individuals?
      • I fully admit: the vexations are likely due to me and my temperament (or infatuation with Getting Things Done), and not to any failing in the author, who seems like an interesting dude.

Homeschool Snapshots

  • Episode 31 with Amy Roberts
    • The host, Pam Barnhill, and Amy Roberts mention a book called Upgrade by Kevin Swanson.
      • Evidently Swanson says that public school is like taking 12 years of "bike" without ever getting on one. Burn. I like it.
        • A lot of my own public-school experience was pretend and make-believe learning rather than the actual learning I was doing at home just by reading or doing stuff with my dad or mom (shooting, cooking, etc.).

Fr. Schall on the Art of Manliness Podcast

Oliver Sacks — On the Move

  • I'm still listening to Sacks's memoir, On the Move.
    • He's interning at Mt. Zion in San Francisco in the early 60s. He goes on a motorcycle trip and journals it. He meets some characters that make me glad I wasn't a trucker in the late 50s and early 60s — a sad, depressing life.
    • Sacks was really into weight-lifting. He was huge, and he set some squat records in California. I did not know this about him.
      • He has a story about making a weight-gaining drink out of molasses and yeast. He forgot about fermentation, and the concoction made a huge mess at the gym.
    • Sacks is very, very frank about his sexuality and his formative sexual encounters.
    • Sacks rode his motorcycle from LA to Arizona many weekends. He mentions exploring the Grand Canyon and Oak Creek Canyon.
      • It was fun to be driving around Phoenix, listening to a book on CD I picked up from the public library randomly, listening to a man much older than me (he was a child in London during the blitz), talking about exploring, roughly two decades before I was born, a place — Oak Creek Canyon — that my family and I clamber around each summer. RIP, Sacks.

Article on Cooperatives

  • I read this page on co-ops, because I started thinking lately: "What is a co-op, exactly?"

Training on Mediation

  • I received some training on mediating disputes involving "high-conflict personalities."
    • The presenter shared a story about getting swindled by a sociopath, who convinced her that she (the sociopath) was suffering from cancer.
      • The presenter had a good line: "You're being conned if you're confused."