Working on paths forward

My writing is not generally political in nature. My words are generally written in the moment and reflect my thoughts on moving toward a perfect possible future vs. any grand series of political ideas. It feels like based on the times we live in things are changing as we are working on paths forward. My reaction to the things going on around me in this world of quarantine has spilled over into my daily writing. I’m not sure it would be possible to create two totally separate worlds. A world of writing without some reaction to the things going on in the outside world would be hollow in nature and inherently lacking. My daily prose does not contain a ton of powerful emotion. Most of my writing is generally functional in nature and driven toward answering the central question, “What’s next?” Moving along and moving forward is generally what this weblog that I call a functional journal is all about. 

In this strange new world of social distancing, my new daily routine of writing for a bit in the morning and working on some coding in the evening has been working out well enough. The last two days have included a lot of time outside playing golf. A total of 36 holes of golf were played outdoors on two courses that I had never seen before: Broadlands and Walnut Creek. 

During the course of being out of the house I did notice that compared to a month ago a lot fewer people are actively wearing masks around. It went from people mostly having masks to about half. The golf courses were still operating with social distancing policies in place. It seemed to be people just out and about that had given up on masks. 

With respect to the actual golfing that occured, personally, I like playing at a natural pace based on the success of my game with plenty of space between groups. That space allows my pace of play to be more based on making shots than on squads of people waiting in the distance. In these times of quarantine and unrest my time and effort should probably be focused on something other than golf, but I needed to get out of the house and walk around. My ability to compartmentalize and focus on the task at hand is way better than it should be at times. That is one of those things that has to be accounted for on a daily basis. 

All of the tearing standards of social fabric breaking down the conventions of civil society around us are a watershed moment for a nation looking for a unified path forward. Make no mistake about it the vast majority of people are trying to figure out the best path forward together toward something that works. 

I have given that path forward a ton of thought in this time of quarantine. As somebody that wants civil society to work for everybody so that we can commonly work toward a parth where things are always getting better I struggle with what action looks like. I’m a writer by nature and typically work with people through the written word and try to ensure that my actions toward others are decent and respectful. 

Well I have been learning more about the OpenAI GPT-3 model in the last couple of days. A lot of articles have been written and things are shaking out in terms of what the model is capable of doing. It seems to be very capable of doing a ton via an API vs. installing the model locally and using it to work with datasets built from scratch.

A day of deeper thoughts

After only a few songs I switched my Pandora internet radio station from “Discovery” mode to “Deep Cuts” and it worked out much better. Right now it is playing some deeper cuts from Warren Zevon and similar artists. Nobody is really like Warren Zevon, but algorithmically it tries to pick something similar. That is what I’m listening to right now and thinking about the nature of inaction and our political divides. Over the years, I have spent a lot of time writing about civil society and the nature of civility. Quarantine and the nature of collective action has made me begin to reflect and think about all the various elements of how the greater social fabric brings us together. Maybe that is why I’m starting to want to dig into election prediction metrics again and why I’m so curious about where things will head here as we emerge from this watershed moment. That emergence might create a stronger community based on a shared experience or it might create additional micro-fragmentation and create small tears in an already politically divided social fabric that protects our democratic values. 

Obviously, my thoughts are on some pretty tough subjects this morning. Maybe that will be enough to push this weblog post to actually having an official title. The last weblog post I could easily find with a title after a bit of searching around  happened on March 26 and that was 54 days ago. Maybe that is a solid measure of how long the malaise lasted between quarantine and contemplation of a perfect possible future with some earnest hope that a direction forward is possible. Perhaps now is a good time to devote today toward a path of deeper thoughts. Today just maybe be a day of deeper thoughts. I did find a blog post title for today. Sometimes thinking about how a title is supposed to signpost to the ready some expirenation of what is about to unfold creates a little bit of a sense of duty to pick a good and meaningful title. That is probably one of those things that sometimes works and sometimes does not work. Assuming that my weblog posts are going to meander back toward a 4-5 page daily output cycle having a quality title to explain the nature of the essay being delivered is probably important enough that it deserves some consideration. 

Apparently, instead of just writing and publishing at the end I have developed a somewhat strange habit where posting along the way seems like a good idea. That is probably not the best habit to have developed. It does end up expanding the size of my archive files.

Interrupted. Work.