Weeknotes 1

I’ve decided to have a go at doing week notes.

I’ve observed a few people on the internet doing this. It strikes me as a nice way to reflect on anything interesting or unusual that has come up recently, while avoiding the shoot-from-the-hip immediacey and addictiveness of social media.

So:

  1. I listened to a good interview with Osher Günsberg on the ABC Conversations podcast. In general it was a pretty interesting story about his life. I was particularly impressed by his honesty about the various mental health issues he has dealt with, and his candour wasn’t just constrained to the past – he also mentioned feeling nervous about the recent news that his partner is expecting a baby.
  2. Another podcast I enjoyed recently was Johann Hari interviewed by Sam Harris. The title of the podcast is “Addiction, Depression, and a Meaningful Life”. It’s quite wide-ranging.

    He talks about addiction and depression being related to a lack of human connection in peoples’ lives. Connection is certainly something that seems to me fairly essential to a good life, although Sam points out that there are examples of people such as monks and yogis who can be alone and content for years at a time. But I’m fairly sure they’re playing on a different level to me!

    Later in the interview they discuss how to usefully engage with people who have very different political views to oneself (Johann uses the example of Trump supporters). It struck me as a very mature and intellectually nuanced conversation – not just making sweeping generalisations about what certain groups of people think. Johann is also very self-reflective about what his own blind spots are towards people that he feels more politically aligned with (he uses the example of Barack Obama).

  3. When I thought about doing this Weeknotes thing I noticed that I immediately predicted all the ways in which it might not work out: I won’t keep it up, I won’t have anything interesting to say, etc. Which made me not want to bother at all. I definitely have a tendency to avoid starting things on the basis that they might be less than spectacular. I’m trying to push against this tendency a bit, so here I am!
  4. I received some Adafruit components in the mail (some programmable LEDs, a very small computer, a battery, etc…) and I’m looking forward to playing around with some wearable electronics soon. It will probably not be spectacular, but I’m going to try anyway.