That last day of April

We made it to the last day of April. I have spent the last two hours researching and writing this morning. My writing output in terms of weblog posts was not very good this month. I have a calendar view that shows me the gaps in my daily publishing and it clearly shows that this month was not full of productivity. Overall my productivity was ok and no goals or deadlines were missed, but it was not the peak of my writing productivity.

Earlier today I started to sketch out an algorithm to define offensive vs. generally normatively accepted utterances. That is something that I think could be defined as an algorithm to reflect a point of time, but I don’t think it would stay consistent over the course of time. It would probably take me about 4-6 hours to fully sketch and get the basic algorithmic definitions lined up. Today will not be the day where that time is committed to making that happen. Deciding how to spend time each day is an important part of the decision making process.

Spending that time wisely

The weekend is upon us with the opportunity to get some things done. A few blocks of time will exist in the morning and the afternoon on both days to spend on something. It makes me really question just how wisely I can spend the time. Generally we don’t commoditize time. I do think of some blocks of time that can be spent on something. It is trying to make sure that we are spending those blocks of time wisely that captures a lot of my focus. My writing routine helps to keep me on track for the most part. Every day at 0500 hours the alarm on my Fitbit watch goes off and I start the day. Larger blocks of time are reserved on Saturday and Sunday morning for producing prose and really digging in deep. However, you can tell from the general pattern of the routine that each day starts out with a bit of writing. 

My big plan for the day is to really get ready for a big trash pickup tomorrow. We have a few larger things that need to get sorted out. I generally feel the same way about my major writing projects. I have a few that need to get sorted out and the rest just need to be organized and worked to resolution. Sure my writing strategy should help make that easy enough. Sometimes you have to dig in and give the old writing strategy a bit of review to see if the trajectory is still sound. Producing prose for the sake of producing it has a certain amount of merit. However, working toward something more meaningful has a better case for spending the effort to get it completed. Especially if you are going to view that effort as a coin for a block of time that has to be spent wisely.

Oh that Wednesday arrived

Posts can now resume with the great server migration completed. My thoughts over the last two weeks have been confused on things, but not on writing or chronicling my efforts along the search for the perfect possible path forward. During the course of the brief online freeze I did use Twitter a bit and that was an interesting journey. It appears that Twitter has been purchased and will become a privately held company. It made me wonder about the total value of stock for a company. Generally speaking at the given market price of a stock everybody could not sell their stock. At the point where everybody that held a stock was trying to sell it the value of that stock would plummet exponentially. Most companies in the marketplace could not support at their current value a total replacement of investors. I actually find it interesting to look at the amount of a stock volume that trades hands every day for a given company. For the most part, you will see a small volume of stock up for trade each day will be far less than 20% of total outstanding shares. 

You can go look at the biggest average daily trading volumes (ADTV) for companies. Yesterday on April 26, 2022 for example the largest daily trading volume was for Twitter at around 115 million shares. The total number of outstanding shares for the company is around 763 million. That amounts to around 15% of the outstanding shares for the company being exchanged yesterday. In general, that is a large amount of activity between buyers and sellers for a single company. My thoughts then drifted into thinking about those metrics for a bit before circling back to the activity that is supposed to be at hand which is writing this morning. I had wanted to write 1,000 words in this very word processing document before sending this post off for publication. That is where my head was at this morning. I figured producing a good block of prose would help start my day off on the right path. 

I had brewed a cup of the Ethiopia Nespresso pod coffee instead of two shots of espresso today. Sometimes you have to mix it up a little bit. I’ll probably order those pods again at some point. I have been enjoying them as an alternative to two shots of espresso. My afternoons of course should be green tea and that is how the plan is supposed to work. Coffee or espresso in the morning and green tea in the afternoon. Sometimes the green team simply gets replaced with more espresso. That happens from time to time depending on what is going on during the day. For the most part being focused on the work at hand becomes the priority and settling into a state of deep focus on the hard challenges is where things should drift to after the start of the day. The first few minutes of the day are generally cloudy and it takes just a little bit to go from that fog of daybreak to a truly productive state. 

Even with that little bit of prose about coffee this post is only about half way to the targeted work count for this stream of consciousness based effort. Part of the desired process is to just let my mind wonder in whatever direction happens to be pulling my attention. At the moment, my attention is nearly wholesale focused on a task list and working toward the resolution of the things on that list. Everything else might as well be far off into the distance like shadows of things you could approach, but it would require a lot of effort to get to that point. Something will have to give on that front and hopefully it will be a burst of productivity aimed at reducing the task list to a manageable amount of things. That should open the door to some pursuits outside the process of revisiting a list for the next item. Sometimes you have to move beyond the get next command and ask yourself about the things occurring in the wild space outside that list. 

Just for content if you were trying to produce a solid million words per day instead of working on a 1,000 word start of the day posting production target. You would have to work a little harder and probably invest a bit more time into the production target of 2,740 words per day. Given the reality of sustaining that level of productivity you probably will want to work toward a production level of posting target of 3,000 words per day. Sitting down and writing 3,000 words in a single sitting or flourish of creativity is possible. Doing it for an entire year is a different matter altogether. That type of sustained writing productivity is geared more toward something that a professional writing would achieve. Producing a million words in one big giant pile of prose for any reason is an awfully large amount of content. Very few people sit down and try to engage in that level of production. You could very well say that it would be a big year. A categorically larger than what you would expect to the point of being you considering it a “big” writing productivity year. That point is probably not worth any more inquiry. It has been examined and can probably stand on its own merits at this point. 

My closing thoughts on this writing session are all over the place at the moment. I’m thinking about trying to take on a big year again. At the same time, I’m remembering that that is a very big investment of writing time and energy. Sitting down and writing 3,000 words without an outline or any guide posts of what should be covered is a really intense commitment into the world of stream of consciousness prose. At that point the final outcome of what is created will be a consequence of the process, not the achievement of something on a task list.

A few Sunday writing adventures

At this point in the Substack journey, I’m still working 4 weeks ahead in terms of finished posts. Audio editing and recording is working out well enough. The podcast is up on a variety of platforms thanks to the RSS feed. My writing output is still focused on the one post produced throughout the week with audio being recorded during the early hours of the weekend. For this week I’m a little bit ahead of schedule and will be able to focus on some other things in terms of academic writing. To that end, I’ll need to make sure and really take advantage of the opportunity to do something interesting. 

Earlier this week I changed my desk charging configuration to include two Pixel stands. Getting to the point where I’m not picking up or looking at my phones is always a key driver for my desk management plans. I have a Pelican G40 Personal Utility Go Case, but sometimes I need to have the batteries at full for future adventures. I’m wondering if a general movement away from carrying smartphones around will occur. I’m going longer and longer stretches without dealing with the phone. When I’m at home the phone actually rings to a Bluetooth paired traditional handset system with a couple bases throughout the house. That makes it function in the ebay a landline would have performed.

Things on the weblog publishing front have not gone well this month. Last month included several solid streaks and daily writing. For some reason this month has had solid focus on producing quality outputs, but writing for the weblog has just not occurred properly. I actually have a few Google Docs with content in them that were never transferred over to actual publication. Sure that happens from time to time as sometimes the path to art becomes about the process and not the final product. I know that not everything that gets started is going to get finished. False starts are a part of the writing process and they are going to happen from time to time. 

Apparently this weekend the Coachella festival happened and I’m not sure I really understand it. You can watch it on YouTube if you have a need to consume streaming concert footage. This morning I listened to an hour or two from the Saturday lineup. The production value is pretty high for a live concert. That is what I took away from it outside of the striking need to make more shots of espresso. After going to the Colorado Avalanche game last night things seem to be off to a slower start.   

This particular Monday

It took about 30 minutes for me to really wake up today. This particular Monday is off to a somewhat delayed start. My writing efforts yesterday were solid enough and progress was made, but none of that progress was on the weblog front. On the brighter side of things I started to really consider some different research interests. Sometimes I will entirely form up a presentation deck or idea and then build it in PowerPoint or write it up in a word processing document after the fact. Building things mentally before trying to work them out in between a presentation construct, the keyboard, and my thoughts can involve more layers than are necessary during the creative part of the question. Generally the more thought that goes into what is going to be produced the better the quality the final product will be at the end of process. Other times I’m just ready to make it happen from the point of sitting down in front of the keyboard.

This week should be an interesting test on the writing front. Tonight is the national championship game between the Kansas Jayhawks and the North Carolina Tar Heels. Pretty much all writing will stop for the game and it should be entertaining. I vividly remember the 2008 game and how wild it was to watch that one. That seems like it happened so long ago, but some of those things we pick up in memory are just more vivid than others. While the outcome of that game should not really impact my writing productivity level for the entire week it probably will have an impact. It is natural for emotion to drive or curtail the writing process. Being really productive is such a mercurial thing that it could go either way really. We will see what happens at the end of the day. 

I’m going to need to stay about three issues of “The Lindahl Letter” ahead of publication based on my commitments this summer. That should not really be a problem based on where I am at currently. Some essays are going to require a little bit more investment than others based on how deeply the research needs to go on them from start to finish.

Those topics deserve to be deeply considered

Recording the audio for week 64 of “The Lindahl Letter” included a false start this week. I got about 3 minutes into the recording process and had to hit delete. My recording voice was not consistent. I realized that beyond drinking two shots of espresso some water needed to be consumed. After taking a moment and drinking some water I was able to complete the recording in two parts. Sometimes I have had to record each paragraph separately with a small pause in between sections. Ideally I would like to complete the recording in one good take, but that is not always realistic. Drafts of posts for week 65 and 66 are in progress at this point. It is entirely possible that tomorrow morning I’ll be able to record one or both of those posts. At this very moment, I’m 2 weeks ahead of the publication point. My spring break vacation occurred and my plan to build out a few weeks of buffer worked well. 

During the trip I did not bring any recording equipment with me to keep up with the podcast part of the equation. That is how the posts for week 65 and 66 are in progress. During the course of my vacation I had some time in the morning to sit down and write, but no ability to record. Both the digital divide and ethics in machine learning topics deserve my deepest focus and top quality writing efforts. Working a little bit ahead on those posts should help increase the quality of them and both of those topics deserve to be deeply considered.

Revisiting all those March things

Welcome to the month of April. I’m still in a little shock that it is 2022. Typing that year every day makes me wonder why the future promised in the movies is not here yet. We were totally promised flying cars by now and other epic world changing technological advancements. Yesterday, I really strongly considered just blowing out my archive files and starting over. I would probably regret destroying my video and image files. I’m going to do an evaluation this weekend to make sure they are fully backed up between the cloud services I utilize for that type of thing. My collection of writing while immense in words is not really that big in terms of data size. Backing up several million words is really a trivial task in the grand scheme of data management. The only convoluted part of that is that each document is its own separate store of content. I never pulled all my written content into a database. At one point, I did put a lot of my writing from the weblog into a corpus file for GPT-2 to work with during the creation of a bot that was patterned after my writing style. It whined about writing and offered colorful assides. I guess that means in practice it worked. 

Last month 19 of the 31 days in March received a weblog post. Overall my writing schedule was maintained more than 50% of the time and my rate of productivity was high. I’m going to need to continue that type of effort throughout the month of April. I’m going to work to dial in my writing efforts to a couple of journal articles that need to be worked to completion. That means my writing routine will roughly include daily weblog efforts at the start of the day, academic papers during the evening, and on the weekends “The Lindahl Letter” production will occur. Nothing within that pattern is out of the ordinary and it should be sustainable. I had considered moving the podcast audio into both an audio file version and a video recording for YouTube. That would require two separate recording efforts. That is what stopped me the first time around. Recording and editing really high quality audio does not really lend itself to a video format. Maybe I’ll record a video about the production process to demonstrate that reality.