2018: Day 66 the one where I pondered the journey
Word count 152,429 + 2,172 or 154,601 of 1,000,000
Based on my recent writing output I’m falling behind pace. Right now I’m at 152,429 words written and published on the blog in 2018. That means over the course of 65 days of writing I produced an average of 2,345.06153846 words per day. That is pretty far off the pace necessary to hit the 1,000,000 word goal. I pretty much need to average 2,740 words per day. That could be enough evidence to admit defeat and give up on having a big year. You may or may not know that my tenacity is unwavering. I’m going to give it my best effort to hit the target. Maybe I need to transition into an Alexis de Tocqueville meets Chuck Palahniuk style of writing. My literary ambitions have always been somewhere between Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis. Sure my writing style is not as distinctive as either of those authors, but I think it has been evolving and will end up somewhere between the two of them. Maybe it will end up being a definitive style that is my own. That is an ambition worth chasing. I’m not going to give up on my writing efforts.
Today was one of those days where I just never really got going. Sure I had some espresso and thought about being productive. In my mind I was ready to operationally re-define productivity. It was going to be a day of boundless productivity. I was pretty much going to make the folks in the book Limitless seem like procrastinators. That just did not happen today. It did not happen at all. Today was sort of like a false start of an essay that could have been epic, but ended up being crumpled up and thrown in the trash. Sure that might seem harsh. It might seem like something that is overstated, but it actually is rather understated compared to just how unproductive of a day it was. Tomorrow will need to be better in terms of general productivity. That may or may not be something that could start right now. Maybe I’ll work on gathering together some positive thoughts.
This year I have listened to three audiobooks by Frank Herbert via Google Play Books. Maybe I will buy a fourth one or maybe I’m done with audiobooks for the year. They do not appear to increase my productivity at all. In fact, I’m 100% positive that they slow down my writing and distract me from my goals of having a big year writing. It is rather interesting that even after the first one I kept going back and getting more of them. Maybe a distraction is what I wanted. That very well could be the case. My mental focus today has been really good, but my productivity has not been up to the level demanded by personal expectations for myself. Right now Captain Pickles the dog is squealing for no apparent reason. Apparently, Peppercorn the dog does not want to play or something. Puppies get focused on the darndest things from time to time. I need to figure out how to channel that same type of single minded purpose to my writing. Tomorrow has to be a day based on no distractions, no retreat from writing, and no surrendering to procrastination.
This post started way after dinner and it just kept going along until we hit this point right here right now. Maybe this moment of awareness was worth the price of admission to this blog post. It was pretty much free if you exclude the value of your time. My blog posts and musing do not have any vicious paywall separating you from my words like a gated property with a no trespassing sign. I pretty much just publish my words online for the world. That has been the case for a long time. It has been this way for a number of years. My time could probably be better spent hammering out research papers or manuscrits on the subject of artificial intelligence. That is probably a better use of my time. Trying to figure out how to shift the political battles over artificial intelligence toward stronger domestic policy and initiatives has been a real challenge. Is it pretty easy to see that a lot of nation states are racing to gain supremacy within the artificial intelligence landscape. Really the first companies or countries that figure out generalized artificial intelligence are going to have a true competitive advantage.
That is something that has been on my mind pretty much throughout the year. It is a topic that I consider worth tackling, but it has not really transitioned into any research papers or manuscripts. It was probably something that developed out of my YouTube channel. I think being demonetized for a third time was the straw that broke my motivation to create YouTube videos. Maybe that is petty and ridiciulus and I should go back to making educational videos. My heart is really invested in writing words the old fashioned way and publishing them, but maybe making videos is a more modern medium that relates to our modern times. Perhaps as we approach the intersection of technology and modernity video will be closer than written words to that singularity.
Topic 1: Pondering the journey
My functional journaling has always pushed the limits of what a blog post should be or could be. Each day of writing was full of whatever manifested itself in written form. That was how it worked. My writing efforts were always something that happened as a course of my natural process. Sometimes I write in a notebook and sometimes I would gravitate toward publishing words online. This new journey toward having a big writing year is different. All of my writing efforts this year are very blog forward. They are more or less focused on the production of digital prose to be published online. In the middle of that last sentence my mind wondered to thinking about why the Olive Garden had a 45 minute wait this weekend at 17:00 hours. Yeah —- that thought just jumped out of nowhere and was at the forefront of my thoughts. Maybe it will disappear shortly and I’ll stop thinking about those breadsticks that alluded me this weekend. I should be thinking about my writing journey and wondering about what is next.
That is really the question. Without question that is the reason that we are here trying to figure out what is next. It defines pretty much everything about the journey. We live in interesting times where the idea of asking the question about what is next is still germaine to the journey. We are still trying to figure things out. Our technology is reaching that point where the intersection of technology and modernity is about to happen. In that moment the resulting epoc could radically change our understanding of the world. It is probably not going to be as mind blowing as a perfect bowl of chips and salsa after a long day, but hey what really stacks up to perfect chips and most excellent salsa. Ok —- I’m willing to admit things veered a little bit off the beaten path and this topic was supposed to be addressing the journey. Every time I start to really dig into questions about the journey this is what ends up happening. It is the one topic that sends me wondering off the trail faster than any other topic.
Most of the time I’m able to maintain a certain degree of focus on my writing. This is really and truly a pure stream of consciousness effort. For those of you who might be wondering what that means to me it is pretty simple. I opened up this Chromebook and setup a Google Docs file. After completing that basic setup I just simply cleared my mind and placed my hands over the keyboard. From that moment of absolute clarity and peace I work toward establishing a typing rhythm. Everything after that process starts is just a stream of my thoughts as they arrive with a little bit of punctuation and some occasional signposting. My writing efforts could go in just about any direction. Oddly enough this year they never really seem to go the route of producing long form fiction or short stories. That is something that I expect is coming at some point his year. I typically write some short stories every month. That is a product of my imagination going wild and trying to strike out in new directions. It might be easier to just sit down and try to write a novel. That would be one way to generate a very high word count, but it will only happen when the mood strikes and the time is right.
Topic 2: Building that next computer
It seems like that time of year when my attention turns to building a new computer. For me that really is about taking a trip to Micro Center and getting the right parts. My local Micro Center does not have the motherboard I want in stock. That might be an excuse or it could be my actual rational based on an excuse for not making the trip. I’m pretty focused on getting an ASUS TUF X299 MARK 1 motherboard. It just looks so epic. I’m not sure why the Mark 2 does not draw my attention in the same way. Micro Center has the Mark 2 in stock. Oddly enough they store near me actually has an open box Mark 2 motherboard listed on the website. That means a lower price, but it also means that somebody else did something to it or at least opened it for no good reason. That is pretty much the same thing as messing with it since it is very had to tell the difference after the fact by just looking at an open item that probably has been shrink wrapped.
At some point this year, I’m going to buy a new motherboard and that hunt is really more fun than the act of actually installing the motherboard. The real problem at the moment is the cost of the CPU and RAM. For better or worse high end gaming motherboard do not appear to be in a shortage condition. You can go out and buy one if you wanted to make a purchase. That is how computers used to be. People who built custom computers just went out and bought the parts they wanted and engaged in the joy of building. That is not the case anymore. It seems like shortages and price spikes are starting to get more and more normal. Some of that can be blamed on the evils of cryptocurrency mining and the mad rush to cash in on that trend. Some people think that cryptocurrencies are a fad that will crash at some point. My analysis is a little different than that sentiment. I do not see the inherent value in most of the coins. Based on that I do not predict a large amount of future value to be present. Some coins at some point will be tied to something and that will make them inherently more valuable.
Topic 3: Packaging up all my 2018 content
Beginning with the end in mind is an important part of the process. Every day I’m opening a new Google Doc file and saving it at the end of the day. That is probably not the best way to end up packaging up all my 2018 content in a presentable way. Maybe i should be keeping all of this in the same Microsoft Word document. I could have that document formatted based on a standard publication template for manuscripts. The problem with that type of effort is the overall future size of this writing output. Very few formats lend themselves to holding or containing around 1,000,000 words of content. Really a blog format or something digital is the only way to make that happen. That is probably something that I need to figure out at some point. It looks the Kindle publishing format can support up to 650 megabyte size files. That would be a lot more than a 1,000,000 words worth of straight text and a couple images. I guess if every post included one image throughout the course of 365 days that size limit could be exceeded based on the resolution of the photographs being taken with the my Pixel 2 XL smartphone. I’m going to need to figure out exactly why type of format is going to word for physical printing. Maybe my grand vision of having all of my 2018 collected works published in a weighty tome of a coffee table book is a dream apart from reality.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker PC and or my ASUS C101P using Google Docs
P.S. I realized tonight that my typing on this ASUS C101P is not as silent as I had presumed. Maybe it is getting louder over time or maybe my typing is just more forceful today.