March 26, 2002
Journals, not all my own

I'm a regular reader of Ed Vielmetti's Vacuum weblog, and I've been getting his periodic mails for a similar period (a couple years now, I guess?). He wanders intellectually in a nice intersection of some of my interests, which makes it a serendipitous read.

One of the items he periodically raises that we largely think alike on is the topic of notebooks and worklogs. I keep a worklog at the office, in part because I need to be able to remind myself of what I've done and what I need to do, and in part because merely noting those things that happen give the,, in a weird sense, more substance. A created history. And finally, since what we're doing is development, it's worthwhile to have some hint of where an idea originally came from, a pursuit of a more scientific method in our daily lives, or something (I suppose this points back to the time I spent trying to corral some of our group's IP....)

Arguably, I do this in my personal life. This log is a non-scientific (that is, wholly refutable) collection of sorts, as is the paper journal I carry in my bag. Do these continually shifting contexts for collection muddy the water unecessarily?

A long preface to say that Ed recently linked to an online archive of Linus Pauling's laboratory journals.

To complete the thought, over the last decade or so I've been slowly sifting through the documents, clothing, books and belongings of my family - my parents and my mother's grandparents. As I've been doing so, I've amassed a large collection of photos and slides, a few films, and many sets of papers. I've tried my damndest to prune out the obvious chaff, but some of the choices were very hard. What to do, for example, with my father's laboratory notebooks, for research that is a decade out of date and - I understand - trumped by faster labs with better grants. Is it enough that I sentimentally saved only the last couple books, with his 'last research' entries?

Eventually, much of it must get digital... Mike (Whybark, see sidebar) has been collecting a nice set of Bloomington information - old archives of Tussin' Up, some digitised videos of Bloomington music by Eric White, etc etc. But what about the ephemeral nature (to date) of digital media? Can we overcome that?

More questions than answers, as usual...

Posted by esinclai at 10:16 PM
dream overlap

So one of those hidden dreams is to someday have a restaurantm or a coffeehouse, or some sort of convivial space (a bookstore cum restaurant? Anne has kindly pointed me to "The Making of a Restaurant" who appear to have a similar dream. Nutty.

Posted by esinclai at 01:39 PM
New Siteings

I cannot recommend my pal Mike's weblog enough. Suffice to say that while he commends my recommendation of Moveable Type (the software I'm using here), the great thoughts and writings are all his own.

I am chagrined that he says I'm dormant. See below for more on that tricky topic.

And while I'm praising, Mike's friend Ken Goldstein has a nice batch of thoughts.

And I can't recommend Anne's log highly enough either, so much so that merely saying "highly enough" is insufficient. I learn from it every post, and I live with her!

Posted by esinclai at 12:22 PM
Delays and a Warning

It's been far, far, far too long since I've posted here. It's not from a lack of things to say, but a reticence in how to formulate and say them.

I'm a capturer of thoughts and ideas, or at least I like to think I am. But I'm bad about pushing those ideas out until I have an idea as to what they actually mean, where they have any integrative touchpoints with other ideas I might have.

This may come as a surprise to people who know me as Mr Non-Sequiter, throwing off a comment with few to no adverbs or nouns, or 'conversation-chameleoning' some kibbitzy point into a discussion that I wasn't necessarily involved with in the first place. But that's me. What's different is that in those moments, I feel some integrative point in the ongoing flow.

But the stuff I'm trying to integrate recently. Stuff related to Bootstrapping stuff (in a larger sense than just Englebart's work, but also fitting into my own issues with time management and process control), to HyperText and Ted Nelson, and all the rest... Well, it hasn't gelled. It could be argued that it hasn't gelled because I haven't written about it, so consider this a warning... Unformed thoughts to come here!

Posted by esinclai at 12:18 PM