084 :: Notebook share – Being a ‘List Guy’

I have always been a ‘notebook guy’ – since I was about 16 . I carry one and a parker jotter pen literally everywhere. Perhaps it started as an emo diaries thing or just an affectation that I thought would look ‘cool’. But the thing, there is a natural law which going something like ‘If you carry a note book and a pen you will end up using it’.

I’ve had a lot of types of notebooks over the years and switched over to Moleskines variants in 2013. Since then they have all developed a fairly consistent aesthetic too.

I have way more in a box but some of them are A4 and don’t fit on this shelf

So this week for the first time (perhaps) this year I wrote a list of 21 things to do this week and when I hit post on this blogpost I will have done 18 of them.

Thats not a bad score for the first week back in to giving a shit mode.

I’ve archived over 10k emails in gmail this week, everything is tagged and filed. SO SO GOOD!

I’ve always run my life from lists. My general policy when I’m in a workplace is ‘if you didn’t see me write it down then it is not going to happen’. This has been an extremely useful rule at several startups i’ve worked in. To the point where close colleagues will say ‘write that down’ to me.

Sometimes, people who are younger than me (an occurrence that is increasingly more and more common to me much to my creeping horror – I was always the youngest person in the room since going right the way back to helping run the Geekscene DIY collective in margate at 15ish) laugh at me about that rule. But they quickly understand that I’m not joking – I’m a week late on something, they chase me and I say “Argh I didn’t write it down”.

Indeed Alex from Common Knowledge chased me up this week for a testimonial and I realised I hadn’t written it down as he asked me in the Dark Forest whilst I was away in the Netherlands last week.

I started writing lists properly very soon after getting my first proper job out of uni. Before then I’d only worked in retail and many of the tasks daily/weekly were routine and could be held in your head, scribbled in the shop diary the day before by another supervisor. I found very quickly in the office environment that I just couldn’t keep all the things i needed to do in my head, and getting in trouble for not doing something sucked.

Eventually when I was a team leader in the shared service centre I worked in. My todo list would be written out every morning, and I’d carry over about 1 column of a 2 column A4 page every day. By the end of the day I’d have filled the whole page and marked off a lot. A running list of 100 things to do however is an endless task and not very psychologically healthy.

I should also note: There is absolutely no point in staying late or working yourself to the bone in a start up environment – Especially if you are in the senior layer but you actually have very little influence over anything super important. Don’t get manipulated to finish one more thing before you leave – The endless list of things to do will still be endless the following morning.

I sometimes wonder what sort of person I would have been if I’d found the secret of lists before I was an ‘proper’ adult. At school or university even. My life could have been very different.

I reckon if I was growing up now, I’d be extremely into bullet journaling (my notebook kinda looks like one anyway see below)

Notes from the zoöp workshop last week

I can see how/way I got in to project management and implementation consulting and eventually operations management. It’s a natural progression from being a ‘list guy’. Offloading your tasks one layer of abstraction higher into a project plan is obvious in a techno social institution like a company. AND as a result of being ‘The keeper of the list” you get to tell other people when and what they need to do as well.

But this week I’ve surprised myself by how easy it is to return to the feeling of having wrestled back some control just by having a list of things to do.

I have been running the last 18months with a daily chore list – meditate, write diary, write LAP or some fiction, Make my podcast on a Friday etc but doing that means you feel satisfied having done the bare minimum. As i understand it daily habit building is supposed to build on everything else you do daily so you can do more – not the bare minimum.

The running list in physical pen and paper zeros/zooms in on immediate priorities.

I did a GTD course years ago as a project manager and it changed my life. I am not naturally an organised person at all but GTD combined with project management training were vital skills that I took on board and it changed my day to day. However I very rarely apply them outside of the work environment to my own life. With the exception of all my bills and utility filing system.

Seeing as I’ve been freelance for 18months now perhaps i should … Anyway this is a long way about saying that i feel good about the last week and want to carry the momentum into next week – buy writing another magic list.

Heres a doodle of Tim Ingold I found. I think it looks just like him
Image result for tim ingold
See. The hair is perfect

Permanently Moved

S2E12

Catching up the last two weeks. I cover some of what I said at Bordersessions festival in The Hague.

 

You can subscribe to Permanently Moved in itunes: permanentlymoved.online/itunes or search in all your favourite podcatchers.

Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo

Dipping the Stacks

Does Neven’s Law Describe Quantum Computing’s Rise? | Quanta Magazine

The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy | Quanta Magazine

Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing Reflect on the Plantationocene

Attorney General ‘awkwardly uncomfortable’ about plans to legalise Obeah | News | Jamaica Gleaner

The Ministry

Yeah fuck loads of stuff got done this week. The first of the samizdat PDFs coming soon. By encouragement from m1k3y

Reading

I re-red dark night of the soul by John of the Cross this week. Its full amazing lines.

Silence is God’s first language.

Is one of the truest lines i’ve ever read and makes me belive that my meditation practice is actually getting somewhere. As i know this to be true.

Music

Louis Center returned to twitter this week. But in the Dark Forest he sent me a link to this track. Its amazing if you are in need of a dose of Super Sweet Glitchy Chiptune in your life right now.

I’ve been listening to it non stop this week. Even going as far as making it my alarm clock music. (RIP rollin’ by limp bizkit)

I also bought a USB to 3/4 inch jack cable this week. For the first time ever I can plug a guitar into my laptop with no external device. I’m not really sure about the build quality of the cable but for 11 quid on amazon its already been worth the money. I might do a proper review of it at some point.

My SG <3

Remember kids:

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070 :: No Marxist Disco

I think Mondays may be becoming the day for posting this diary/blog thing. Weekends are getting a little bit busier than they were last year. Party due to the fact that my anxiety has reduced massively. Leaving the house feels ok – not great but ok. However the complete apathy to ‘outside/away from the flat’ has gone away. This aside I am still extremely happy with the amount of travel and various things I forced myself to do last year.

The week since my last update has been quite fun.

I sat in on the Trust.Support community call. If you don’t know Trust is a community/co working space in Berlin. It is ‘a space for platform design and utopian conspiracy’. They hosted Terr0’s flower tokens experiment, and also P2P web that I spoke at last year. If you are ever in Berlin, check out the space and their events. there’s always something going on. Following the call it sounds like even more will be happening at the site.

I also went to see Tim Ingold speak at the Monsoon [+ other] Grounds Symposium hosted at University of Westminster . He was speaking on ‘What is the ground’ and was extremely Ingold-ian. I loved it.

It was also a nice surprise to bump into two landscape architects i know in the audience, I am supposed to be writing a chapter for their book (Publish ETA 2021) .

Tim Ingold ‘What is the ground?’

That was super fun.

I hung out with some friends on Friday night who I haven’t seen properly in a while which meant I had a massive hangover in London the next day early doors seeing Mr Vickers.

I took a photo of him, but i don’t think im going to post it here. BUT Ben has shaved his head and got some cool glasses, so he’s moving swiftly towards becoming Mat Dryhurst who amusingly messaged me whilst we were hanging out. The conversation as always was fantastic. We spent most of the day in the sun in Regent’s Park amongst the cheery blossom in the Japanese garden.

After leaving Vickers at the RA I swung by some friends who were on the (remain/peoples vote/revoke article 50/whatever it was about) March. And then went home. Had a great week for socialising.

Permanently Moved

Review of Monica Gagliano’s: Thus Spoke the Plant: A Remarkable Journey of Groundbreaking Scientific Discoveries and Personal Encounters with Plants Buy It!!

I’m really proud of this episode, If you like it too please like,share,subscribe. This year i’d like to try? and move it beyond just friends and family.

You can subscribe to Permanently Moved in itunes: permanentlymoved.online/itunes or search in all your favourite podcatchers.Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded in one hour by @thejaymo

Dipping the Stacks

Belief in aliens could be America’s next religion | The Outline

A Manifesto for Revolutionary Demonology | NERO Editions

Atheism Is Inconsistent with the Scientific Method, Prize-Winning Physicist Says – Scientific American

The Ministry

Happy to announce I am now a speaker with They Are Europe

I also have a few speaking things lined up already one in The Hague and another in Barcelona during the summer, Announcements for that shortly.

I was encouraged by Mat Dryhurst the other day to push out some more content. He has convinced me to post the transcripts of ‘greatest hits’ of Permanently Moved from last year to medium or whatever. I think this is a good idea tbh. I might just well do that.

Reading

I am still reading Tim’s Infinite Detail. I haven’t been able to focus on it for some reason and have only been able to grab it in snatches of 5/10 mins. Though if the weather stays nice this week, I’ll take it with me to the park or sit by the river.

Music

So much good stuff came out in the last few weeks. Im catching up. Firstly:

DroneFlower – For the Sun Project is about to drop soon. A collabo between Marissa Nadler and Stephen Brodsky from Cave In.

Green Lung – Call of the Coven

They are a sludgy/stoner band from UK playing occult-y groove music. The whole album is fantastic – A bit Sabbath, Maiden, Orange Goblin, plus lyrics about letting the devil in – Fucking A! It’d totally be in a band like this.

Last but not least I would be lying if I didn’t say i’ve been listening to a fuck ton of Billie Eilish. Bury a Friend is her finest achievement todate. Cant wait for the album

I suppose I should mention Grimes U/Acc concept album announcement but i’m not going to.

Remember kids:

023 :: A rich palette of ecosystems

It’s frustrating that it costs you well over £10 to step out your front door in London. Hashtag 2018 I suppose.

Narrative

(Solarpunk) attempts to foster a socio-cultural environment which emphasises individual autonomy, consent, unity-in-diversity, with the free egalitarian distribution of power. It creates a multitude of spaces for indigenous sovereignties, reproductive justice, and radical queer politics.

Of course with these principles comes polyphony, one cannot speak for other solarpunks, only be in dialogue and occasional chorus with them.

– “Dirt Behind Our Ears” : On Solarpunk and the Need for New Futures

The metaphor of polyphony has come up a lot recently. Its a key theme in The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Tsing and also frequently used by another anthropologist Tim Ingold (Warning I’m a major fanboy). I’ve become more and more mindful of the need for less oppositional life ways in the last few months, and I think this is my refrain for the year.

This 2015 talk by Ingold on ‘The Correspondence of Lives’ is worth watching in full.

On this same note..

A friend asked on Tiny Twitter the other day:

1. Is the culture all wrong to start blogging again? Is it too experimental or contingent a form for career to survive intact?
2. Do I have a coherent enough perspective to bring to regular blogging above anger and reaction?
3. What would be the best platform to use

1. No. The culture is not wrong at all. 2. Yes everyone has interests. 3. WordPress obviously.

I think the resistance others feel to (re)starting a blog during the encouraging conversations I’ve been having is around fear of the Instant Rage Machine – Twitter. But things move slower in the blogosphere. True, you might say something that stir up the hornets nest and you get linked to and chewed out in 240chars. But really the only appropriate place for any criticism to come from and be responded to is in the long form. From/to other blog posts – healthy discussion.

As usual here’s my impression of the world from dipping the stacks this week:

  • Cryptocurrency markets collapsed. I wonder idly how many of the people who were cheering along will be doing the same during the upcoming currency crisis expected during 2018.
  • One of the Royals got a much better hair cut.
  • A newspaper I stopped reading ages ago has rebranded with lots of strange lines and UX choices.
  • The sexual lives of public figures is still being used as an attempt at control. Maybe they have *affects french accent*  an arrangement , they are both adults it’s none of our business.
  • Fed up with drug companies, hospitals in the USA have decided to start their own – this is extremely good.

The Ministry

I have been rushed off my feet this week which is a weird thing to say for someone without a full time job. I’ve lots of calls with various individuals around the world some at odd hours just for 30mins of someones time: but that is what “Real” social networking is all about I suppose. Every single person I have spoken to however has been so nice and kind.

This week I spent nearly three days helping an organisation hire a new technical person. It’s one of their first major hires. I find it gratifying to be able to step people through unfamiliar territory and offer help and support when people are unsure (the point person had never run an interview process before). Though at the same time always being mindful that it’s not my decision – it’s theirs.

I also had an expert interview for a strategy company on HR Tech and emerging trends in the sector. Which involved me going on a long rant about the surveillance workplace, data passporting, and the realities and dangers of relying too heavily on APIS linking software purchased to meet immediate business needs in startups. I also had an absolutely amazing long conversation with Ruth from Furtherfield.org in Carnaby Street.

I also submitted at the last minute talk about Solarpunk to a major conference in Berlin – see the quote above.

Reading

I finished both The Hidden Half of Nature and A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind this week.

I have now read all of David Montgomery’s books with the completion of this one. And quite frankly recommend all of them. The Hidden Half of Nature is also co-authored by his wife Anne Biklé, a biologist and environmental planner.

Its a fascinating romp tough soil science, the history of microbiological studies and then smoothly segues in to gut bacteria and the human microbiome and takes a brief look at the discoveries this century could possibly bring now that the ‘Kill them all’ knee jerk reaction of antibiotic use is being reassessed. The sections on Crohn’s Disease and inflammation was of great interest to me (obviously). If you have read and enjoyed I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong then this is a must read as its a gateway book to soil science.

A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind is a delightful short book (I read it over two evenings) full of pithy zen sayings and practical advice. I’ve taken two things away from the book. The first i’ve instituted a ‘conscious’ face washing ritual every morning (even if I immediately get in the shower) and i’m already finding the mental space that it opens up is providing returns. The other is that I looked up in my flat.. and we really need to dust/clean the light fixtures.

I’ve started reading Altered Carbon (again) perhaps for the 5th? time in my life. I’d like to get though it before the TV show starts on Netflix in Febuary. I’m also finishing up a book called The Margate Tales which has been half read on my night stand now for ages. It’s a well researched collection that attempts to cover all the references to Margate in print pre-railway age. There are some fantastic quotes!

A friend pressed Star Ark: A Living, Self-Sustaining Spaceship by Rachel Armstrong into my hands last night – so i think that’ll be up next. But Hyperion by Dan Simmons also arrived in my life second hand for 50p this week. We’ll see.

Music

Not much time for new tunes this week. But we’ve been listening to an old household favourite, it hasn’t left the turntable in a week.

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Remember kids:

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