Links and Notes for the day - 20th June 2018

Arsenic dust and books

Freezing 200,000 tons of arsenic dust

Blimey. This video is chilling. No puns intended.

Recommended reading from the video description: Yellowknife's toxic history through the eyes of the Betsina family


Welcome to the Future.

It’s 2054, where memory hackers carve up your mind, sexbots lurk behind every corner, and the religious wear impenetrable skins.

Explore the ocean depths with AI-enhanced octopods. Learn your past might not be what you remember. Take a bot into your marriage bed, and fall in love across an impenetrable divide.

Future visions: Volume 1

Whether tales of crumbling cities, robot insurrections, or forbidden alien romances, even the most outlandish stories of the far-off future can speak to our present-day lives. So get ready to delve into the heart of a dying AI, to fly across a crumbling dystopian hell-scape, and to meet far-off civilizations that prove to be more human than we could ever be. The Future Visions Anthologies will bring you stories like these every three months, and much more.

My friend Yudhanjaya worked on these anthologies and they are doing incredibly well by the looks of it. I mean they are right up there with Neil Gaiman for crying out loud. Also available on Kindle unlimited.

One more book recommendation from the same author which I was in the process of doing a massive critique of when my Kindle broke: Numbercaste which was my friends first full length novel.

When Patrick Udo is offered a job at NumberCorp, he packs his bags and goesto the Valley. After all, the 2030s are a difficult time, and jobs arerare. Little does he know that he's joining one of the most ambitious undertakings of his time or any other.

NumberCorp, crunching vast amounts of social network data, is building a new society - one where everyone's social circles are examined, their activities quantified, and their importance distilled into the all-powerful Number. A society where everything depends on an app that states exactly how important you are.

As NumberCorp rises in power and in influence, the questions start coming in. What would you do to build the perfect state? And how far is too far?

Honestly, I'm pretty damn excited for Yudhanjaya. Between these books and a fricking Harper Collins deal (signed), he's turning out to be almost prolific. I hope he gets there. He deserves it. :)

Daily reflections

Don't really have much else of interest that I looked at today. I've been super busy today catching up with work I missed out on during fasting. It's taken me a couple of days to swing into gear as well. One thing I am trying to figure out how to practice is daily reflections. I mean I do that quite regularly. But reflecting is really difficult and the art of it is worthy of its own blog post. Suffice to say, there are multiple levels. And balancing them all is crazy difficult. Here are the levels I'm trying to balance:

  1. Daily mindfulness - Being critical of how my work for the day went and what I could do better. This is ended by listing things I should be grateful for.
  2. Immediate project evaluations - Evaluating status of projects I'm working on. Generally I'll be working on at least 3 at any given time and I need to juggle them around. This isn't multitasking. It's asynchronous work. Working on something else while I wait for a response. Taking stock of these is a primary part of reflections.
  3. Long term project evaluation - The immediate projects above usually form parts of longer term projects. It's really easy to get stuck in the immediate project evaluations and forget that there are bigger projects to be making progress on. Reflecting on this usually involves asking the question: "Did my work on my immediate project bring me closer to completing this long term project?"
  4. Long term goals evaluation - Sitting on top of all of this are the big questions. What do I want to do? How do I want to be better in my work and as a person? What's my end game if there is one? Just like I have to take immediate project evaluations and assess how it brings me closer to my long term project evaluations, I have to take my daily mindfulness and long term project evaluations and ask "has this brought me closer to who I want to be?"
  5. Taking action - Once all these reflections are done, that leaves the final step of asking "what's next?".

Putting all these steps together is pretty damn hard. Like I said, it's worth a blog post of its own.

Posted on June 20 2018 by Adnan Issadeen