Excursions

by Amit Gawande

November 1, 2021

07:31 AM

Halloween isn’t celebrated in India, I believed. So when a few kids came to my door trick-or-treating, I had no idea how to respond. The festivals are going international, I need to be better prepared. Happy Halloween all! 🎃

October 31, 2021

07:55 PM

On a regular Saturday morning this week, my daughter came to me with a topic and said that’s what I want to talk about. She had the whole script ready, with moments of jokes and all — so that’s what we record. A new video premiered today!

October 29, 2021

A Few Meta Quips

09:02 AM
  1. I call things that I can’t put any name to as “meta”. I already have too many posts that are categorised as #meta. They have nothing to do with Facebook.

  2. Here’s how Meta is defined – all so apt for what Facebook is going for in varying degree.

  • showing or suggesting an explicit awareness of itself or oneself as a member of its category” - Lol! A good joke

  • cleverly self-referential” - a lot less clever, a lot more self-referential

  • concerning or providing information about members of its own category” - Information-shinformation, bruhh!

  1. So, what is it. Facebook has gone Meta? Meta has engulfed Facebook? Or Facebook is Meta now?

  2. The new name for Facebook is as vague as the future they plan with it.

A Few Meta Quips

09:02 AM

I call things that I can’t put any name to as “meta”. I already have too many posts that are categorised as #meta. They have nothing to do with Facebook.

Here’s how Meta is defined – all so apt for what Facebook is going for in varying degree.

showing or suggesting an explicit awareness of itself or oneself as a member of its category” - Lol! A good joke

cleverly self-referential” - a lot less clever, a lot more self-referential

concerning or providing information about members of its own category” - Information-shinformation, bruhh!

So, what is it. Facebook has gone Meta? Meta has engulfed Facebook? Or Facebook is Meta now?

The new name for Facebook is as vague as the future they plan with it.

02:53 PM

Lol’ed at this tweet by M.G. Siegler

Breaking: NYT to acquire Metacritic, refocus site from movie review aggregation to critiquing Facebook.

08:48 PM

I finished reading Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman today. This is a wonderful collection of thought experiments around our perception of time. The summary of the book says it’s a collage of stories – but there aren’t stories. With each “story”, the author Alan Lightman instils a fascinating possibility for the concept of time being something uniquely different. What if everyone settles on their view of time? What if it is always in the past? Or always in the future? Or with just a day of life? It’s a thought-provoking list.

All these 30 dreams are poetic vignettes that paint the varied interpretations of time. They evoke emotions through vivid narration of people’s lives in such a world and their surroundings. I paused after each chapter, pondering over the impact existence of such realities could have.

At the surface, sure, these are just fictional stories. But dig deep, and you may be able to draw a parallel with realities of our world. With our perception of time. This is a beautifully written, short but profound read! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 📚

09:39 PM

Thanks to Micro.Threads, I discovered and followed a couple of folks that I thought I was already following. Fascinating how much the interactions in one’s timeline can unearth!

October 28, 2021

10:28 PM

I had to connect with Google customer care today over a call. I spoke to a representative, but I am not sure if there was an actual person on the other end. I might have spoken to an AI. Crazy!

10:38 PM

Both David Warner and Aaron Finch seem to have found their form today – that’s not a good news for other teams in T20 World Cup. With Maxwell and Smith already playing well, Australia is another formidable side. Interesting tournament this. 🏏

10:59 PM

When I published the final issue of my newsletter last week, I had promised I won’t send another letter to anyone, even if they stay subscribed. Even if I continue writing the essays. Here’s what I had said.

I prefer not to break your trust. You had signed up for something which I no longer intend to deliver.

I wanted the reader to provide me explicit permission to mail the essays. Today, I received the first one, with a really wonderful feedback on my writing. I am so glad the message wasn’t lost.

October 27, 2021

02:29 PM

Apple is three things - hardware, software and services. Sooner they realize that services cannot follow the model of hardware and software, better it would be customers. Platform lock-in for software (like iMessages) makes sense. Why they don’t have a native app for Android for their services (like Apple TV+) is beyond me.

06:42 PM

Apple is three things - hardware, software and services. Sooner they realize that services cannot follow the model of hardware and software, better it would be customers. Platform lock-in for software (like iMessages) makes sense. Why they don’t have a native app for Android for their services (like Apple TV+) is beyond me.

10:47 PM

I finished listening to Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks and I instantly wanted to purchase the eBook version of the book too. This is one of those few books that are best read as both audio and text version. The audio brings out Matthew’s expertise as a storyteller — you realise how powerful the medium of storytelling is. However, as I had recently complained, it doesn’t give me enough chance to make notes from. Or to go back to those key sections and read them again.

I am not a storyteller by profession. I don’t get on a stage to narrate a story from my life to a group of strangers. Rather, I can’t even do that if I wanted to — the introvert in me shudders even thinking about it. But I do like to tell stories to the people I am comfortable with. To my family, my friends, my colleagues. And what Matthew attempts to narrate in this book is how to do that better.

But it’s not the “how to tell better stories” part that I found helpful. It is how to find those story-worthy moments from your life that had me excited. Matthew has a very natural, effortless way of conveying the methodical ways to identify, prepare and tell your stories easily. You would expect that, he is a teacher first, after all.

At the same time, he is also a writer and a renowned storyteller, though. So, listening to him tell his stories and use them as a tool to teach the process behind was fascinating. He has mastered the art over his many shows, and he lays out everything he has learnt through his experience for his readers to benefit from. He holds back nothing.

I have made so many notes, and I will make a many more when I read this book a second time. One thing, I have got homework for life now. And I don’t complain.

You should read this book even if, like me, you have no intention ever to tell your stories to strangers. Because, as Matthew says, there come moments in our life when we do tell our stories. So, instead of being terrible at it, we can attempt to do slightly better. Maybe we will not bore a few people the next time we ramble along in front of them. A must-read for me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

October 26, 2021

04:01 PM

I upgraded to macOS Monterey – is it odd that I like the compact Tabs in Safari better? Sure they look jarringly different. But, boy, they are oh-so-compact. They save so much space in that area at the top.

October 25, 2021

09:38 PM

I am not excited enough for the T20 World Cup this year. Rather, I am finding it a lot difficult to watch full cricket matches now a days. I can’t connect with this sport anymore. And I can’t say it’s just the sport that has changed.

09:38 PM

I am not excited enough for the T20 World Cup this year. Rather, I am finding it a lot difficult to watch full cricket matches now a days. I can’t connect with this sport anymore. And I can’t say it’s just the sport that has changed.

October 24, 2021

08:21 AM

It was a terrible first day at T20 World Cup. I hope the second day is a better. For one, there’s excitement for the India-Pakistan match - that’s always a special occasion 🏏

10:36 PM

The final issue of my newsletter went out today. It was a wonderful journey writing each of these issues. But all good things have to end some day. I didn’t want to leave the newsletter dangling without tying things up. Today’s letter does that.

10:50 PM

The final issue of my newsletter went out today. It was a wonderful journey writing each of these issues. But all good things have to end some day. I didn’t want to leave the newsletter dangling without tying things up. Today’s letter does that.

October 23, 2021

04:58 PM

I really liked what Frank Meeuwsen did with his script to crosspost to WordPress from Drummer. I did attempt to get inspired by it and create a script to crosspost to Micro.blog. But, I hit the CORS issue and then I stopped. I have already signed up for too many side projects to spend my time on. I don’t want to add to the list.

06:57 PM

A T20 with less than run a ball required, going into the 19th over, still in balance. Now, that’s not too common. This is going to be a different T20 World Cup.

Getting Post URL in Drummer

09:44 PM

I enjoy writing posts in Drummer. One of the many reasons for that is I can see all my posts in the same editing space. It is so easy to scroll through all your posts and find reference to just that one old post.

One thing that missing, though, was there was no easy way to get the url for that post right in Drummer. So, I got scripting. I have created a script which does just that. Select any node, run the script, and it will present the URL for that post in a dialog box. Here’s how you enable it.

  • Copy the below Drummer script and paste it in your special opml file for Scripts menu (File ⇾ Special files ⇾ Scripts menu…)
  • You will see a new entry in Scripts menu
  • Select any node, even the headline (a titled post), and select the newly added script menu item

You will get the URL for the selected node.

Get Post URL
	var created = op.attributes.getOne("created");
	var baseurl = opml.getHeaders().urlBlogWebsite;
	if(typeof(baseurl) == "undefined"){
		baseurl = "http://oldschool.scripting.com/" + opml.getHeaders().ownerTwitterScreenName + "/";
	}
	var dt = new Date(created)
	var day = (dt.getUTCDate() < 10 ? '0' : '') + dt.getUTCDate();
	var month = ((dt.getUTCMonth() +1) < 10 ? '0' : '') + (dt.getUTCMonth() + 1);
	var year = dt.getUTCFullYear();
	var hour = (dt.getUTCHours() < 10 ? '0' : '') + dt.getUTCHours(); 
	var minutes = (dt.getUTCMinutes() < 10 ? '0' : '') + dt.getUTCMinutes()
	var seconds = (dt.getUTCSeconds() < 10 ? '0' : '') + dt.getUTCSeconds()
	var post = opml.parse(op.getCursorOpml());
	var isTitledPost = typeof(post.opml.body.subs[0].subs) != "undefined";
	var postUrl = "";
	if(isTitledPost) {
		postUrl = baseurl + year + "/" + month + "/" + day + "/" +  hour + minutes + seconds + ".html";
		postUrl = postUrl + "?title=" + op.getLineText();
	} else 
	{
		postUrl = baseurl + year + "/" + month + "/" + day + ".html#a" +  hour + minutes + seconds;
	}
	dialog.ask("This is the URL for the selected post:",  postUrl);

11:51 PM

I don’t remember the last book before How to Live by Derek Sivers that made me contemplate so many times while reading. The moment I was done with the last page, I had my diary out to capture my understanding from each of the 27 answers to that one principal question, how should I live.

As Derek says in the subtitle of the book, they are all conflicting answers. But the conclusion is not weird at all — for one, Derek is a masterful and a deep thinker. Each short chapter has most knowledge presented in the least number of words possible. Wisdom to words ratio is pretty high with this gem of a book.

At the surface, the book is pretty straightforward to read. Short chapters. Short, easy sentences. But, dig deep, and it is one of the most difficult books to fathom. It will force you to question what you have believed throughout your life, and it’s that questioning that will leave your mind unclouded.

It’s easy to write long, elaborate prose. But it takes time to shorten it, and I am glad Derek took that time. In his words, it took him four years, often writing 16 hours a day, to condense it down from the first draft of 1300 pages to 115.

What results is one of the most powerful and important books ever written. Take time and read it slowly. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

October 22, 2021

11:51 PM

Reminder to self: Don’t join another community now. If you can’t contribute or have strong feeling about any discussion in-progress in there, it’s not for you.

October 21, 2021

11:15 PM

Writing through an outliner has surely made me update my blog more. It’s not for all, sure. I wanted to ponder over what makes Drummer a more natural writing environment for me.