Daily Head Voices for week 6 of 2024: Head Like a Hole

Why do I lifelog?

One of the reasons to publish these lifelogs is to make available a peek into the minutiae of another life (mine) that could help someone else get out of a rut, or just supply some alternative input that’s not form their own mind.

Put differently, I think that when I see what other people are doing and thinking day to day, it feels like a small, external disturbance (i.e. new information) that will help to nudge me in interesting and new directions.

Journalling vs lifelogging

In my view, journalling is a more developed form of lifelogging. While the latter is just the direct jotting down of happenings and noteworthy items, the former, at least to me, entails more thinking and more processing, i.e. there is more retro- and introspection going on. I would prefer to be journalling, because that has even more benefits, but I’ll take lifelogging when I can’t make the prerequisite time to think, and really craft my words.

On to the lifelog:

Monday 2024-02-05

  • Friend LM told me about wikitree.org, which is a collaborative online family tree thingy. I tried to import the myheritage.com exported GEDCOM, but wikitree.org wants me to reject or accept each and everyone of the hundreds of people in my database. This is understandable, but it’s also a blocker, exacerbated by the fact that wikitree’s matching algorithm is quite bad.
  • Casey Neistat’s Apple Vision Pro review is insightful. See the bit from 7:20 onwards: https://youtu.be/UvkgmyfMPks?si=LWAoKBGCsyRZKzbe&t=440 – “… This is it. This is the future of computing…”
    • also see my tweet embedded below
  • NVIDIA’s GenAI competition https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/ai-data-science/generative-ai/rtx-developer-contest/
    • Use TensorRT or TensorRT-LLM on Windows to build something cool, submit by Feb 23, win RTX 4090 and GTC conf attendance. EZ PZ!
  • Remember that life is supposed to be just a long sequence of problems that you need to solve.
Figure 1: My favourite AVP meme at the moment! (thanks friend Kobie!)

Figure 1: My favourite AVP meme at the moment! (thanks friend Kobie!)

Tuesday 2024-01-06

  • Using inkscape to draw SVG glyphs which can be converted with svgr into React components, for my visualization project. This works so well!
  • Definitely a bit stressed about tomorrow’s surgery. Also little throat niggle, and as if that was not enough, stomach issues due to droëwors I ate in the afternoon to preload a bit for tomorrow’s required fasting.
    • Narrator: This would be followed by one of the worst nights in a long time, including fever chills, nausea, and so on.
  • My brain keeps on jumping on ideas for 3D / VR / AR / AI friendly / native ideas for managing personal knowledge / notes
    • on the one hand, it feels like the atomic Zettelkasten approach could work well here
    • on the other, we have chunking techniques to break up documents, so that we can extract the nuggets we want in order to embed them
      • this chunking can be dynamic and adaptive, perhaps even going down to sentences and individual diagrams, or dynamically constructed chunks consisting of sub-chunks merged from different sources
    • in the end, will it help or even just be interesting to be able to walk / move through / manipulate different projections of your (or someone else’s) thoughts, possibly even connected in different ways?

Wednesday 2024-01-07

  • Microsoft Lens makes me login every single time, and is quite temperamental
    • alternatives are OneDrive app, then select “scan document” or Files app, then select “scan document”
  • At Summerhill day clinic for the excision of the morpheaform basal cell carcinoma (BCC) on my forehead
    • Fortunately, the doctor decided the excision on my back (with clean borders pronounced by pathology lab) does not need to be re-excised.
    • Excision of 2cm x 1.5cm patch from my forehead via Mohs surgery is successful after first attempt, happiness!
    • Reconstructive surgeon however now has a challenge: How to close up hole with no loose skin in sight? (I am a tightly wrapped person)
      • problem is solved with step-wise incision from the top middle of my forehead all the way down to my right temple, about 20cm in total.
      • I look like I could be the son of Frankenstein and Harry Potter
      • The care at Summerhill is beyond excellent. Now I just have to follow instructions, drink many pills, and my new friend-for-life Scar should heal up nicely.

Thursday 2024-01-08

  • Working from home because reasons
  • I have to work hard to focus, the medication seems to affect my concentration. I will grit my teeth harder.
  • In break time, tried out Mojo v0.7.0 (released 2024-01-25) through its REPL and also just a simple hello.mojo, which compiled into a nice 300kB binary on this MacBook! Cautiously excited for the future of this. (also…. Chris Lattner! 😍)

Friday 2024-01-09

  • In the morning, got mu4e setup and working on the new MacBook, although I thought I was not going to need this mail client
    • What is your favourite mail client?
    • I use the Fastmail web client, mu4e for Emacs and macOS Mail, but none of them is perfect. mu4e comes close. ;)
  • Really struggled during the day with drowsiness, although I’m sleeping extra well every night.
  • By the end, at least was able to make demo video of my in-progress visualization project.

Saturday 2024-01-10

  • head still feeling quite woozy
  • happy to have kids at home, and have a pretty relaxed morning
  • I would really like to write / create something today. What?
  • family tree updates
    • tried out ancestris, which is unusably slow on my m1pro. just getting a context menu on a person in the tree, or scrolling around, has too much lag. Tried on my Windows desktop where it’s better but still really slow.
    • Went back to wikitree (recommended by LM) where I updated some more records (extremely laboriously).
    • https://www.familysearch.org/en/ has been really useful for scans of church registers and so on, confirming more of my earlier findings.
    • I think I might have spent too much time on this today. There’s a bit of a dopamine rush every time you solve a mini riddle. Here also I would like to have something shareable and reusable for other members of my family. For that, wikitree, although painful, seems like a good bet.
  • mind wandered at 13:30ish, of course it ended up in infinite canvases and pkm
  • Instead of going to bed early, experimented with round-tripping markdown to docx and back with pandoc. See tomorrow for results.

Sunday 2024-01-11

  • Briefly tried out the new(ish) built-in iOS Journal app
    • Super nice that it taps into your activities (photos, music, workouts, etc.) and makes recommendations for packets of media you could add to a journal, all of this entirely on-device.
    • Private, encourages folks to lock the app and so on.
    • No export capability, so your journals remain utterly locked in for now.
    • Makes it easy to configure reminders that will prompt you to write a journal at specific moments during the week.
    • Minimalistic and well-executed app, will probably get quite a few iPhone users to start journalling, but not for me. I already have too many Apple apps in my personal system that I need to use (e.g. Apple Notes) but that don’t interoperate particularly well with other systems.
  • Spent some more time on familysearch.org creating and attaching person records (from my family) to scans of old archive documents. Also uploaded a PDF of hand-written notes made by one of my family members from the headstones on a farm on which a number of my ancestors were buried.
    • Two-world problem. Bringing the physical into the digital.
    • familysearch really does work better than wikitree…
  • About that Two World Problem. Had some thoughts about it in the context of my personal knowledge management, but it was slightly too much for the bullets I had allocated to it, and so it become a short post titled On the two world problem and personal knowledge management.
    • In an ideal world, I am able to publish mini posts like that on a weekly basis.
  • Oh wait, I also made a short post on vxlabs with the results of last night’s pandoc experiments, titled Pandoc roundtrip from markdown to docx and back
    • In this case, I went direct to Hugo markdown instead of starting in Emacs Orgmode first, in order to further reduce activation energy. This makes sense for posts I want to get published where I don’t necessarily need the benefit of having the content integrated with my main notes database.