The posts here come from some random thoughts I have daily. The plan is to eventually write something more substantial, but for now don't expect more than a few paragraphs per post.


April 3, 2019

I saw the Danish/Swedish drama Dronningen1, in a movie theater that was uncharacteristically packed for a Monday. I imagine the reason is that the movie has been getting a lot of press, apparently for being controversial. (I don’t know what the controversy is, but I can take a guess.) I tried writing my thoughts in a spoiler-free fashion but I only produced nonsense, so mind the spoilers below.

My first impression of Anne is that she is a bit too controlling and uptight and needs to relax a bit. That she does eventually, partly due to a few failures at work and partly due to seeing the carefreeness and youth of the newly arrived Gustav. And I suppose she has a bit of a midlife crisis as well.

By engaging in a groundbreaking affair with Gustav, she allows herself to become more and more vulnerable, and happier as a result. I don’t know if she ever contemplates what her new life situation means to people around her, because the moment her choices start affecting her “old” life, she shuts off the affair and comes back to being her old self again. Although this winds up having terrible consequences to her family, she seems to deal with it just fine, her previous life choices having been vindicated.

What it got me thinking about, even though it’s probably not the focus of the movie – it has a lot more things to say –, was how it’s impossible to introduce positive change in our lives without also changing what’s around us. And failure to see that often leads old behaviors to be reinforced, which makes future change more difficult. It’s a bit like the alcoholic who wants to remove the bad influences of alcohol in their life (and who wouldn’t want that!) but does not want to change their life otherwise. Maybe they try to drink less, which essentially never works. Or maybe they quit drinking but still want to keep their old friends. Introducing change is a lot more work than you think.

  1. The English title is “Queen of Hearts”, but I refuse to use that at least until it comes out in English-speaking countries. [return]

John Adams

March 31, 2019

I’ve never seen Hamilton, but I’ve listened to the soundtrack many times. I’ve always pictured John Adams like this:

Which I realize now is not John Adams but Silas Adams from Deadwood, which I’ve been frantically rewatching in anticipation of the upcoming film.

John Adams seems to have looked quite different. Here’s a painting of him at 29:

Writing shouldn't feel this hard.

March 31, 2019

A lot has been written about procrastination, perhaps as a way for the author to distract themselves from what they really want to write about. So I’ll be brief.

For me it really comes down to a mismatch between feeling productive and actually being productive. I want to write, but first I want to make sure I have the perfect environment for writing: perfect text editor, perfect-looking website, perfect publish process, and so on.

I do enjoy each of those activities and they have some value, but the amount of time I’m willing to spend doing them is insanely disproportionate with the benefit they bring. But doing them makes me feel productive, so I keep at it. In an attempt to remove obstacles from writing, I end up creating obstacles in my mind.


March 31, 2019

I decided to try out blogging again. This time I’ll try not to spend too much time researching static site generators and reorganizing files. At least not after the initial setup.

I’m going to try Hugo instead of Jekyll, which I used on the old blog. The reason is that Hugo is the new hotness. I could say that it’s because it supports org-mode natively, but I’m actually going with ox-hugo (exporting to Markdown) because it’s apparently more powerful.

The getting started guide on Hugo’s page is simple enough. Unfortunately the theme it recommends seems to strip out all markup, which led me to some confusion: I thought something was wrong with my system, but it’s the theme that’s wrong. I know this because I tried Minimal (which turns out not to be that minimal) and the markup was all there.

I guess I’ll eventually have to write my own theme (or more realistically, tweak a nice-looking, functioning theme). This initial experience suggests that it’ll be a bumpy road.