izmeina: tree and serpent lurking, permaculture logo (egg)
[personal profile] izmeina



Nathan Lozeron is the King of Productivity Porn. Nothing like teaching a concept to others to make sure that you understand it deeply yourself.
If there is any justice in the world, he should become President or at least rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Or maybe he will continue on his present path of sharing the golden nuggets of wisdom for free rather than hogging them all for himself.

But back to Word of the Day


The concept is suspiciously close to those dreaded and woeful vision and mission statements but not quite. More like North on a compass than some cheesy happy claptrap to be hung in a foyer to impress the gullible idiots.

It would be fun for folks to suggest suitable one word mantras for each other and see if there is any overlap.
So far GAMES and MAGIC come to mind for certain serpent associates


Had been meaning to do a proper post about this and a whole bunch of other things not to mention replying to an assortment of thought provoking posts (Catness is the culprit behind most of those) but those days seem to be well and truly over lately.

At present this peeved python's word would run along the lines of PISSED OFF but such pity parties are no path for a bright shiny future.


When the choice is between pecking the letters on a tiny but properly functioning smart phone or using a real keyboard attached to a temperamental and veritably senile Big Mac, then the good intentions do not last long at all.
After the first 15 minutes of jumping through hoops, spinning beach balls and freeze frames, all desire to squiggle rapidly evaporates only to be replaced by murderous frustration and rage. And the problem with anger or fear is that it makes you irrational and stupid. Brain dead. Totally and completely brain dead.

It is a miracle I ever managed to keep the new monthly resolution beginning in March of writing ten minutes or 300 words per day for 21 days this month.
Most of it turned out to be snarling hissing rants about what a worthless POS the Big Mac is turning into. Did also squiggle a bit more cheerfully in the gorgeous green Slytherin diary but that doesn't count because there is no word count.
But the content is completely irrelevant. The point is the ritual and the habit.
Did manage to clock up between 400 to 500 words in the 10 minutes (nearly always timed it) so it should not be too much of a stretch to add another 10 minutes per day to reach a quota capable of reaching April's Camp Nano target of 25,000 words.

Next month's habit is infinitely more ambitious. Getting up around 7am 6 mornings a week and going to bed by 11pm.

While pottering around some of the productivity porn pages on habits, came across some one who is learning French for just 5 minutes a day on Duolingo. Figured on the spur of the moment that would be an interesting experiment - to start a language from scratch with just 5 mins a day and no particular effort outside of the app and see what sorts of progress I make. Clever buggers have gamified the site. Most geeks would see straight through it but simple serpents are easily pleased.

So far I have a 7 day run. You get bonus points for that sort of thing. Sneaky buggers.
Even more amusing was consulting the Oracle of Google to learn about the business model because there just did not seem to be any obvious means to make money from a free language learning course. Especially one that displays no adverts of any kind unless they are all on the app which I do not have because the Google store keeps saying that there's insufficient space in spite of having a nearly empty 16gb SD card in the thing.

It is so much easier to take teenie weenie baby steps and make progress that way than to go for grandiose projects which only serves to awake the inner beast who never misses a chance to sabotage any grand serpent plans.

Date: 2017-04-01 08:50 am (UTC)
catness: (shovel)
From: [personal profile] catness
Heh, GAMES sounds legit (and yeah, I had noticed my obsession with "books about games" and "movies about games"), but I don't see it as a motivational mantra. But it won't hurt to actually try it... :)

I think it's only gonna be worse with the Big Mac... Perhaps it's time to consider a low-budget alternative? I know you must hate Windows as much as any geek, but I guess even a regular low-end PC endarkened with Windows would be preferable to a shiny Mac that doesn't work... Plus, when you get sick of Windows, it can be replaced with Linux hopefully without too much headache, and then it can continue working for another few years.

Btw the Duolingo app can be moved to SD card, as well as many other apps - have you tried to clean up the memory? e.g. http://www.tomsguide.com/us/move-android-apps-to-sd-card,news-21279.html Beware that it may make the phone unstable; my phone used to crash a few times a day until I moved everything back to memory, but it may depend on the apps (I tried to run Pokemon Go from SD card, I guess it's too heavy).

The mobile version contains ads, but even so, it seems that most of the people use the mobile version. (When I was regularly lurking on Duolingo subreddits, most of the posted screenshots were from phones.) But IMHO the desktop version is better. For example, the mobile version replaces typing exercises with multiple choice; it's much easier, but what can you learn from that?? As for the speaking exercises, the app accepts pretty much almost anything you say.

Ah, early to bed and early to rise makes this cat grumpy, braindead and morose, and fucking murderous. Funny how I still associate getting up early with productivity. Maybe it's the whole "starting the day with success" thing. Usually getting out of bed is not much of an achievement, unless it requires serious willpower. (But then, they say that willpower is a limited resource, and the more you use on daily chores, the less is left for stuff that matters.) Maybe it works better for those who can control their bedtime.

(A sidenote: when I type a comment in the comment box on my friends feed and then click for "more options" to see the preview, it more often than not clears up the comment field. I imagine it would be devastating with your creepy-crawley Mac :( I wonder if it depends on the user's style. Anyway, I've learned to compose all nontrivial comments in an external editor, and then copy/paste.)

Re: Games without Frontiers

Date: 2017-04-01 06:02 pm (UTC)
catness: (catfishbowl)
From: [personal profile] catness
So what's the serpent word, excluding all the expletives? Creativity? Greenlight? (a bit cheating there, but we can follow Germans' example and combine several words into one ;)

Oh, right, you have an old laptop; yeah, an antivirus would kill the performance for sure, but it could be a perfect opportunity to try out Linux (after checking online that your model is supported). The world of Linux distributions is confusing, but one that comes to mind is Linux Mint, it's known to be fast and user-friendly. I use Ubuntu MATE on my 8(?)years old Dell netbook (I like Ubuntu because whenever developers port their Windows software to other platforms, Ubuntu is the first (and often the only one) distribution they support).

(The Linux version of Scrivener is free, but unsupported, and not as functional as the official versions.)

But maybe it's indeed not the computer problem but the Wi-Fi? Does it work fine without the Internet? Oh and how about not using the browser-based version of Twitter but installing a standalone app, there's a bunch of them (e.g. Tweetdeck)?

Yeah, Google's own apps insist to stay in memory, no way to get rid of them without rooting the phone. Btw I got it mixed up - there are multiple choice questions in both versions of Duolingo, but writing exercises on the phone are replaced with building a sentence with already provided words, you just have to reorganize them in correct order. Slightly more challenging than choosing 1 out of 4 questions, but still a poor alternative to writing.

I used to learn German with Duolingo (Haha, me and my learning German... on and off for years, and still as far from the goal as ever), and was quite excited about it, but got bored after completing my tree. Then it's just repeating the same lessons over and over to keep them "golden"; and even though I still made mistakes, I didn't feel it was helping anymore. The authorities (real teachers) also say that Duolingo is just the first step, and it doesn't replace real studying; after completing the tree, there's no sense to stick with it, you should move forward.

The problem is, there are no other sites that are as nicely gamified as Duolingo. It's either boring old exercises which may not even keep your score, or games for total beginners. I know I should grow up, and just read more... I can read articles on familiar subjects almost without help - like this one - https://www.klopfers-web.de/blog_1371 (not buying the game yet, until the price drops, but looking forward to it ;) but mostly it's too much work, and without any external rewards like points and streaks and little ding sounds it's all so non-motivating... :(

(So yes, Duolingo is helpful, but only to some extent)

I missed Duolingo gamification so much that I started another course - Swedish ;) It was all right in the beginning, though considerably harder than German (maybe these years of sorta-learning were not completely useless), and then I lost motivation again :/ Also, I feel so guilty by spending time on non-essential things (not that I spend it on essential things instead, but at least I have more time for whining ;) Anyway, I guess if I'd plan to visit Sweden again, it's better to learn Arabic :( (Actually I wouldn't mind, as it's so useful overall, but I don't believe I'd ever get the hang of the script. If Duolingo ever adds the Arabic course, I'm game.)

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