Getting used to writing on a Chromebook

Today may be a day full of writing. Part of this week was spent traveling to Table Rock Lake. I’m not really one for enjoying the full lake experience. That is probably not going to change any time soon. It took me a long time to get used to writing on a Chromebook.

I’m pretty comfortable writing on my ASUS Flip C100PA Chromebook. It is possible that at some point I’ll make the switch up to the ASUS Flip C302CA. For a couple of weeks it seemed like I was going to end up buying the Samsung Chromebook Pro. The purchase was very close to happening. I actually got one preordered on on Amazon. Strangely, it did not ship and during the delay I elected to actually just stay with my C100PA for a little bit longer.

The keyboard has a little bit of travel. Typing for a long period of time can work out ok, but the keyboard does not have any backlights. I do not really need lights on my keyboard, but it always does seem to be something that I look for as a feature.

Today was the first day I gave streaming video no my cell phone a try. The YouTube gaming application allows streaming in 720P. It was pretty easy to accomplish. My first effort did not have enough bandwidth to work correctly. The stream kept freezing and was pretty much unwatchable. However, the second attempt at a live stream worked out ok. I must have had enough bandwidth to make it happen.

Streaming video is interesting. Without question the written word will stand the test of time. Our video quality today will probably be obsolete within a few years. Things will probably be changing significantly over the next 5 years. Both video and images will end up being an immersive experience. It could end up having a certain degree of depth, a higher quality level, and views that span from 360 degree to spherical.

Within the next 5 years the experience will probably still be from a single point of view. It will be from a single point in time and from a single place. The big push would be to have an immersive experience that does not conform to a fixed point in time or where the point of view can be moved around.

Imagine taking a hike and being able to record video in a way that somebody can retrace your steps within the video, but elect to look a different way or change the progression of time to accelerate a sunset.

Working on a new publishing plan

My thoughts have drifted toward doing a daily or weekly top five topic vlog. Over the last couple weeks, I have been aggregating artificial intelligence and other news links on my Twitter account. It would be pretty easy to just do a daily or weekly show that covered my Twitter feed. That would give me an opportunity to talk about things that have caught and held my attention. It could be a good way to go to produce some interesting content. Overall, my vlog experience has been interesting. It is something that helped me learn a lot about the process and a lot about how to edit video. At some point, I’m going to convert my notes on the matter to a more long form piece of writing.

That is always the goal at this point. I have so many false start or never starts that need to be flushed out into full on prose. Even the best intentioned writer has a hard time keeping up with the tidal waves of creativity. That is a much better situation than having to break through a never ending writer’s block. Finding the topics that can compel you to write for hours a time is the key to capturing passion and using it help push things forward.

Some issues are so engrossing that you almost feel compelled to write about them. Those are the issues you have to seize on. Those are the ones you have to push forward. Finding the spark that kicks off a writing session becomes key. It becomes about converting passion into action. That speaks to one of the central questions in how things get organized. It takes a community to push some things forward. It could be a community of place, circumstance, or issues. It takes a spark to help the community move forward toward a common goal. Given the current state of civility and the broader social fabric of the nation only a truly focused community could make progress. That type of focus cannot be discounted and it certainly cannot be sustained without a common spark that was shared between the members of the community trying to work together.

People cared deeply about chlorofluorocarbons and took action to help protect the ozone layer. That type of focus has to be nurtured and encouraged to help solve the grand problems of our time.

Wondering where all my old laptops went

It seems like a long time ago that I wrote on a Sony VAIO Laptop VGN-T250P. Some of that writing happened back in Boulder, Colorado. That seems like a long time ago. It was a much simpler time. That little laptop worked well enough. Processing power did not really stand out. Portability and the oddly cramped keyboard are the things that I remember most about it. The device was not revolutionary, but I do remember it. Over the years I have had a few laptops. Both cell phones and laptops are something that seems to get updated every few years. My latest writing system happens to be an ASUS Flip C100P. The keyboard does not have enough travel, but you get used to using it after some time.

I’m gearing up for the 4th of July tomorrow. You could probably say that I have been slightly under the weather recently. It seems to be a rare summer cold or maybe just a bug of some type. Things like that tend to wipe me out for a little bit.

Learning how to use Twitter took me longer than I expected. For the last couple of weeks, I have been using Twitter to share links to articles that I enjoyed reading. That seems to be a great use of Twitter. It has been working out pretty well. Sharing links is pretty easy to do and is something that I will continue to do moving forward.

My research interests have pivoted almost exclusively to artificial intelligence. That may be a topic that is still developing, but it has enough occuring to keep me busy for years. I have contemplated developing a weekly artificial intelligence recap show on YouTube. That may be something that I give a try here soon. Sometime in the next few weeks I’ll give it a shot.

Keeping up with observations

I actually got to see a Samsung Chromebook Plus at Best Buy the other day. The 3:2 screen ratio is different from what I expected. My ASUS Flip has worked fine, but I really want to move to a USB Type C system. The ASUS proprietary charging cable for the flip does not support mobile charging. We will see if I can accept the 3:2 screen ratio. I’m looking for a new daily writing computer/Chromebook to get back to producing more than 1,000 words per day.

Writing seems like the thing to do. Writers write. The more unfortunate part of that endless wave of writing happens to be all the writing about writing. Weblogs seems to specialize in that form of banality. It could be worse. It could be Vogon poetry. We all seem to be safe from that scourge. My writing is about to focus more on producing observations. It is going to be focused on trying to make sense of complex things. That means venturing beyond the intersection of technology and modernity.

It would be less than bold and daring to take on the observational style of Alexis de Tocqueville. Hot takes have become the epitome of social media personalities. The internet is full of hot takes. My writing style has always been a little more reserved. Our observations have to be about more than the moment. History has a certain weight about it.

We are all keeping up with observations these days. News networks are nothing more than echos of observations past their prime. Talking heads just seem to echo news on a repeating cycle. That is pretty much the basis of cable news networks. Broadcasting news on location would be hard to manage logistically and expensive. It is much easier to report and talk about things that have happened vs. reporting about things that are actively occurring. That might seem like a small distinction, but it makes a huge difference.

We summarize forward

Accept it. Now would be the moment to decide. Imagine the power of that moment. The decisions that could be made. The directions that could be taken. For me it works like this mantra. “We summarize forward.”

Everything we hold true remains nothing more than a summary. We summarize all of our past experiences, theories, or expectations. All of that gets brought together as we move forward from the moment. Within that framework we summarize forward and move on to the next moment. It is the moment right here and right now that we can take action. Things that happened before or will happen are captive to and are captive to a moment. It could have been a moment that already happened or it could be the moment that is happening right now.

Even in my best moments it remains hard to push forward. At one point, I had decided to adopt veganism. At my best I can manage to eat mostly vegetarian, but that is pretty much the edge of where my efforts take me. That pretty much results in eating vegetarian breakfast and lunch. Dinner remains the one meal that really trips me up. Maybe a stronger degree of commitment would help me push forward.

Even with the best intentions possible some tasks will always be much harder than others. Maybe it would be easier to summarize forward about the possible ways to fix my adherence to better eating choices. It might be easier to elect within this moment to take action and fix things moving forward.

Watching Frank Mason III get drafted

It seemed like a good idea to watch the NBA draft tonight. The NBA draft is fairly easy to watch. It only lasts 2 rounds. Every pick goes by pretty quickly. I was curious where stand out University of Kansas basketball star Frank Mason III would end up being drafted. Pontificators seemed to be guessing the 2nd round would be where Frank would go. That turned out to be true. I’m not sure if the Sacramento Kings will end up keeping the pick. They probably should. I will make sure to pick up some Denver Nuggets tickets when the Sacramento Kings come to play.

Garnering attention when it matters most

Distractions abound these days. Digital frontiers that were supposed to enable freedom seem to have empowered distraction. We have so much potential to unleash. Technological gains are about to redefine our understanding of possibility. These are the years that will define our course moving forward. We have so much potential to unlock. A potential that we allow to be distracted by a series of things that matter only in the moment. Garnering attention when it matters most remains one of the hardest things to do at the intersection of technology and modernity.

Over the last few weeks my television set has been turned to CNN. I even listen to the CNN channel in my car. Mixed with a steady diet of Washington Post articles I have tried to pay attention to politics. Now seems to be a key point in time to really understand what is going on in the world. It is easy to falter from caring about the course of our democracy. It is much harder to try to participate in the process and keep up with the increasingly hard to follow political landscape.

Even the largest televised events draw only a fraction of our attention. No newspaper or internet website can command the attention of the nation. The last point of common discourse most people share revolves around either high school or a test at the department of motor vehicles. Our shared history and experience helps create the common points we can build on to move forward. It seems that out points of divergence are expanding. Even a well organized campaign can only bring a small part of the equation into focus.

We have to figure out the best methods to garner the most attention when it really matters. We have to figure out how to set the stage for the next ten years. We are on the verge of seeing technological complexity ramp up in ways that are almost hard to imagine. That complexity may be the first way of change that cannot be easily consumed or understand with a reasonable amount of effort. Technology that may be easy enough to use, but may be complex enough that it cannot be easily reproduced or reverse engineered.

Avoiding the urge to hurry

Naptime arrived today a little later than expected. It did not happen in a hurry. Things did not happen according to a plan. A few giggles occurred and then silence. Naptime at a hotel is always an interesting and unpredictable process.

Now would be the time to engage in a little writing. I turned on CNN and acknowledged the roughly two hours of time in front of me. Given approximately 2 hours of time a certain amount of productivity can occur. That will really depend on sustaining focus. It is about getting locked into the process of writing and staying in the zone without distraction.

The other day I went to a Bose outlet store and traded in my QC2 headphone for a pair of QC35 wireless headphones. Those headphones really do help me focus. Noise cancelling headphones really do shut the world out. Sometimes slowing down and appreciating the moment is the right thing to do and it is the best thing to do.

One of the things that I have learned and tend to share with others is the idea of working real-time, but avoiding the urge to be in a hurry. Imagine just how much Jack Bauer accomplished in 24 hours. That same epic amount of productivity occured season after season. That level of productivity is something to strive toward.

My ability to compartmentalize has always been outstanding. For better or worse that ability helps me move from concept to concept and begin from scratch when necessary. Picking something up in a tabula rasa way sometimes helps. Other times you do not have the time to break something down to the most basic levels and build it back up.

Two hours of writing time should produce a certain amount of words. During a normal writing session I produce more than 1,000 words of prose. It has been some time since I have tried to write for more than two hours at a time. That is probably something that I need to tackle head on and it could happen any night. Writing for a long period without being interrupted is something that will involve a little bit of planning or a little bit of reckless abandon.

These are the moments that happen

These are the moments that happen right when the quiet time starts. That little bit of time before bed where things slow down and quiet happens. It really is just a little burst of time that happens. Things like this happen without any explanation. Separate from that inexplicable moment is my interest in writing some fiction novels. It has been some time since that type of mood has stricken my thoughts. Do consider the word stricken in this case to describe a type of infection. My writing typically ends up being either a functional journaling of thoughts, essays, or nonfiction efforts. Very little of my day in and day out writing ends up being fiction based.

Maybe I missed my calling. The last nonfiction book series I truly enjoyed reading was by David Baldacci. The Camel Club was a series that kept my attention and sparked my imagination. I could truly picture the characters and imagine how the book played out. Sometimes it seems like a good idea to just writing short stories within the spy thriller genre. That type of writing provides a grand adventure into distracting myself within my imagination. Knowing that it does not drive my inquiry into the greater understanding of the intersection of technology and modernity is really the only thing that keeps me from engaging in that type of prose.

Each weblog post helps to define the nature of my inquiry. It helps define the nature of the search and the footsteps that were taken down the path of understanding the intersection of technology and modernity. Maybe it is more or less about understanding how our grand social fabric came together and what it would take to drive things forward. That search for improvement is the keystone that brings our grand history into context. We strive to move forward in ways that could erase division and spark stronger community. Accepting and being present in the moment is not about abandoning the quest to strive forward. Being away of the moment and accepting the moment are important parts of taking active steps to improve things along the way. They are an important part of deciding to make each step toward improvement count.