Week ending 5/9/2021

Chrome Tabs : 88 -> 68

Gmail Inbox : 66 -> 62 Unread, 70 -> 66 Total

Due to a tremendous coincidence of geography, I was able to meet Jeff Atwood - co-founder of Discourse - this past week. And well, it was really cool! He is a super interesting, accessible, and thoughtful guy. I feel all the more confident in my choice of “gardening” as well as community platform now (and I am in-progress on implementing at least 2 other instances of Discourse, with 1-2 others in consideration).

One of my ongoing challenges is procrastination, which is something I have struggled with at least since early high school, if not before. Luckily it rarely leads to truly terrible outcomes, but I have more close calls than I’d like. I procrastinated in developing both my recent butterfly workshop segment and my alternative voting methods lighting talk at Synapse Synopsis. This is of course something I work on as much as I can, and part of that is recognizing what tends to cause it. For me a frequent trigger seems to be having to do really boring, or bureaucratic tasks, and one commonly recommended strategy for dealing with that is to outsource if you can. I seldom do this, but I recognized a couple things in the past week with which I probably could have done so, and have an idea for something I may be able to delegate in the coming week as well. Progress?

I got a macro rail to go with my new macro lens and started doing some more serious experiments with stacking. It’s a bit tedious, but even fairly early, imprecise results are already impressive. It turns out caterpillars look kind of terrifying close-up though. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

My mom needs a new laptop and as her de facto tech support I naturally took on the job of picking one out. It’s been a while since I had to make a laptop purchase, and previously I found both Amazon and Newegg to be perfectly fine places to shop, search, compare, etc. This time, however, I am seeing a massive increase in the number of potentially shady 3rd party merchants, after-market upgrades that may or may not void warranties, questionable pricing, and other concerning things. What happened to the laptop market? Is there any place one can go besides manufacturer websites (e.g. Dell, Lenovo, etc.) where you can be sure of what you’re getting, that it will have warranty coverage, etc? How and why did this happen, and why did Amazon and Newegg let it happen?

I am fortunate to have some money to invest, which has mostly been in the stock market in a lightly managed account at Wells Fargo for the paste 15 years or more. In the last decade or so, and especially the last 5 years, a number of much better platforms and systems have arisen for people to manage their own investing strategies with minimal fees. I didn’t do a ton of research but I could already see that Fidelity offers numerous benefits and access to some seemingly very attractive funds. So last week I decided to start switching one of my accounts over to experiment and diversify. I looked briefly at Robinhood and others, but for now I’m not looking to get too crazy, just wanting to better maximize my flexibility and returns.

I added some potentially interesting things to my digital garden this past week. I’m a member of the Anytype community, and an alpha tester, and both inside and outside the test group there are lots of feature requests that come up. Some of these are responded to by the Anytype team, but many are not. I thought I might be able to do some good by highlighting frequent/existing requests, and since I’m not part of Anytype in any official capacity, I just made a page to list them here. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: I also added a “Change log”, where I’ll document ongoing updates and improvements to my digital garden, mostly ignoring the content updates unless something is especially notable for some reason. This week I added added category icons for example, and I’ll be experimenting with tag icons soon.