Blog: Uprooting soil and plumbing

Uprooting soil and plumbing
Uprooting soil and plumbing
Date: 2020-Feb-24 02:37:36 EST

My struggle with productivity on my personal projects has crept back into the center of my attention - my habits are not good for this, with there always being a plan "next weekend" to do things, and then when the weekend starts, I keep managing to do very little. I get a lot of reading done and play some games, maybe take a walk, but the projects sit fallow, with the ideas I keep having for them falling out of my attention (either lost entirely or in endless little notes in Google Keep). Working on changing that and arresting this flow of time with little output. It's hard. I sometimes dream of taking a week off sometime and imagine that I'd spend it well. I don't know if I would. Sometimes in the past I have, when my usual distractions get a bit old and I remember all the other things I want to do. Sometimes it's just a more bulky nonproductive weekend. I imagine many others suffer this - other creative types who are still often accidentally in orbit around passive consumption.

I am increasingly worried about politics - both the long-term unwelcome social shifts that radical progressives are pushing into society, and the populist directions of both parties. Right now it looks like Sanders is likely to be the Democratic nominee, and this strikes me as very dangerous in that:

  • If he gets it, we may find that too many Americans are either bothered by the idea of electing a socialist, or that some of this policy ideas are independently enough to sink him or the party
  • If he becomes POTUS, at best I imagine he'll be an ineffective president, and his inability to work with congress would mean nothing would get done. If that happens, he may fail the test of character and start misusing executive orders. We know very little about his ability to manage things because he has no management experience as far as I can tell
  • Orgs like the DSA will likely push him to instead go hard nutjob, resembling thuggish Latin American leaders like Morales. Or to support them. Or both.
I'll still vote for him if he doesn't cross any of my red lines, but even though I'd like to see more socialism in the country, I want it to be technocratic, with no baggage like Sanders has with having supported bad left-leaning regimes in the past, and I want it free of the DSA. Ideally from a candidate who can work with others and is qualified. Sanders is not. It's a bad outcome.

On Saturday I saw a 4-person play called The Imbible, set in a small bar. It was about the history of alcohol in human civilisation. Cool topic. It was a little too hammy for my taste in parts, but the singing was good and it was interestingly different. Maybe more like an interactive bar show than anything else - it was a little bit interactive (powerpoint with some trivia).

Recently, as having a summer intern comes into focus, I've been asking myself repeatedly about if I'm prepared enough to try to be a good mentor, because this is in my view one of the most important things to get right. Done poorly, I could waste someone's time for the summer and maybe even drive them away from topics I really care about. Done well, I could offer them a lot of enrichment, connection, habits, and skills that they could carry forward into their career, long after I am no longer working. Have been planning the hell out of all of this, knowing that plans need to be flexible, but they're substance we can draw on as needed so our wiser longer-term self can aid our more limited immediate self.

I also have been kind of sad as yet another person at work that I'm growing closer to is planning to head off to the next stage of their career. It hurts.

A few interesting things: