Category Archives: Other

Recent Books

Since I started keeping a book log by the end of July I have started consuming more books.

Listed in order read.

July books:

August books:

September books (so far):

Books currently in progress:

Reading List

I want to keep better track on what books I read and listen to. I mainly approach books in two ways: reading and listening (audiobooks).

When reading books I sometimes take notes and highlight passages that I find important.

When listening to audiobooks I am mostly taking a walk.

When on a walk listening to an audiobook my focus is lesser than when I am at home reading.
I still do take some lesser notes or make bookmarks when listening to audiobooks. I do not have a good way of revisiting these bookmarks and notes in a meaningful way as of now.

I started logging the books that I engage with at the beginning on July. Today I decided to add audiobooks that I listen to to that log as well as books to read in the future.

My reading list log is available here.

Cyrano De Bergerac – A Hero in the Romantic Tradition

Naturalism is probably the most prominent literary style today. I find it dull.
I like romanticism far better, for it is concerned with things as they might be and ought to be.

Cyrano is a hero in the romantic (the style) tradition. Another one is Howard Roark.

This is the splendid “No thank you” speech, from Edmund Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” (the Brian Hooker translation).

Cast:
Cyrano de Bergerac, a poet, swordsman, and man made ugly by a very large nose
De Guiche, a rich dandy, enemy of Cyrano
Le Bret: fellow soldier and close friend of CYRANOS.

DE GUICHE: (recovering his self-control after being insulted by CYRANO)
Have you read Don Quixote?

CYRANO:
I have ~ and found myself the hero.

DE GUICHE:
Be so good as to read once more
The chapter of the windmills.

CYRANO:
Chapter Thirteen.

DE GUICHE:
Windmills, remember, if you fight with them ~

CYRANO:
My enemies change, then, with every wind?

DE GUICHE:
~ may swing round their huge arms and cast you
Down into the mire!

CYRANO:
Or up ~ among the stars!

DE GUICHE goes out. We see him get into his sedan chair. LE BRET joins CYRANO.

Cyrano: (saluting with burlesque politeness those who go out)
Gentlemen. Gentlemen.

LE BRET:
You have done it now! You have made
Your fortune! Hah! A bad enemy, that one.
You made him look a fool!

CYRANO:
There you go again, growling!

LE BRET:
At least this latest pose of yours ~ ruining every chance
That comes your way ~ becomes exaggerated ~

CYRANO:
Very well, then. I exaggerate!
Yes. I exaggerate! On principle. There are things
In this world a man does well to carry to extremes.

LE BRET:
Stop trying to be Three Musketeers in one!
Fortune and glory ~

CYRANO:
What would you have me do?
Seek for the patronage of some great man,
And like a creeping vine on a tall tree
Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone?
No thank you! Dedicate, as others do,
Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon
In the vile hope of teasing out a smile
On some cold face? No thank you! East a toad
For breakfast every morning? Make my knees
Callous, and cultivate a supple spine, ~
Wear out my belly groveling in the dust?
No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine
That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns
Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right
Too proud to know his partners business,
Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire
God gave me to burn incense all day long
No thank you! Publish verses at my own
Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint
Of a small group of literary souls
Who dine together every Tuesday? No,
I thank you! Shall I labor night and day
To build a reputation on one song,
And never write another? Shall I find
True genius only among Geniuses,
Palpitate over little paragraphs,
And struggle to insinuate my name
In the columns of the Mercury:?
No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid,
Love more to make a visit than a poem,
Seek introductions, favors, influences? ~
No thank you! No, I thank you! And again
I thank you! But
To sing, to laugh, to dream,
To walk in my own way, and be alone,
Free, with an eye to see things as they are,
A voice that means manhood ~ to cock my hat
Where I choose ~ At a word, at a Yes, a No,
To fight ~ or write. To travel any road
Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt
If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne ~
Never to make a line I have not heard
In my own heart; yet, with all modesty
To say: My soul, be satisfied with flowers,
With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them
In the one garden you may call your own.
So, when I win some triumph, by some chance,
Render no share to Caesar ~ in a word,
I am too proud to be a parasite,
And if my nature wants the germ that grows
Towering to heaven like the mountain pine,
Or, like the oak, sheltering multitudes ~
I stand, not high it may be ~
But, I stand alone!

LE BRET:
Alone! Yes! But why stand against the world?
What devil has possessed you now, to go
Everywhere making yourself enemies?

CYRANO:
Watching you other people making friends
Everywhere ~ as a dog makes friends! I mark
The manner of these canine courtesies
And think: My friends are of a cleaner breed;
Here comes ~ thank God! ~ another enemy!

Purpose of Laws

Laws are designed to protect the weak, not the strong“, Tucker says at 9:14. I disagree. Laws are designed to protect individual rights (or at least that’s how it should be in a moral society).

Weekly Goal Summary 2020-06-13

Period: 2020-06-06 – 2020-06-13
(“Goal weeks” starts on Saturdays and ends on Fridays.)

I met 0 out of 2 main goals for this week.
I met 0 out of 2 secondary goals this week.


Main Goals

  • Programming / Simply Scheme (minimum 1 chapter / week)
    Not met.
  • Overreaching & learning (Write down what I know. Work on it and update it once every week.*)
    Not met.

Secondary Goals

  • Typing (minimum 30 min / day on average)
    Not met..
  • Blog (minimum 1 non-goal related posts / week)
    Not met.

Temporary Goals

Shorter term goals. About one week. Mainly focused on working on a particular skill.

  • None this week.

Thoughts

I took a break form active learning. Just did some passive stuff last week.

I did some reading / audiobook listening outside of my goals. Mainly listened to “The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution” by Rand and “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” by Feynman – and read some Oist stuff on the web.


I will post weekly summaries of my goals weekly until I have meet all my goals for three weeks in a row. After that I will most likely only post summaries of my goals on a monthly basis.

Weekly Goal Summary 2020-06-05

Period: 2020-05-30 – 2020-06-05
(“Goal weeks” starts on Saturdays and ends on Fridays.)

I met 0 out of 2 main goals for this week.
I met 2 out of 2 secondary goals this week.


Main Goals

  • Programming / Simply Scheme (minimum 1 chapter / week)
    Not met.
  • Overreaching & learning (Write down what I know. Work on it and update it once every week.*)
    Not met. Did not write down anything.

Secondary Goals

  • Typing (minimum 30 min / day on average)
    Met. Did average more than 30 min per day.
  • Blog (minimum 1 non-goal related posts / week)
    Met. Posted 2 non-goal related posts.

Temporary Goals

Shorter term goals. About one week. Mainly focused on working on a particular skill.

  • None this week.

Thoughts

I missed two of my goals last week.

I had some motivational issues last week. I could not concentrate when trying to work on my main goals. Non-thinking activities went well – such as typing.
I did not push on the main goals nor look into why I had motivational issues. I just let it be.

Instead of working on my main goals I did listen to some some Objectivist stuff. Primarily “The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution” by Ayn Rand.


I will post weekly summaries of my goals weekly until I have meet all my goals for three weeks in a row. After that I will most likely only post summaries of my goals on a monthly basis.

Weekly Goal Summary 2020-05-29

Period: 2020-05-23 – 2020-05-29
(“Goal weeks” starts on Saturdays and ends on Fridays.)

I met 1 out of 2 main goals for this week.
I met 2 out of 2 secondary goals this week.


Main Goals

  • Programming / Simply Scheme (minimum 1 chapter / week)
    Met. Finished ch 7.
  • Overreaching & learning (Write down what I know. Work on it and update it once every week.*)
    Not met. Did not write down anything.

Secondary Goals

  • Typing (minimum 30 min / day on average)
    Met. Did average more than 30 min per day.
  • Blog (minimum 1 non-goal related posts / week)
    Met. Posted 3 non-goal related posts.

Temporary Goals

Shorter term goals. About one week. Mainly focused on working on a particular skill.

  • None this week.

Thoughts

I missed one of my goals last week.

Other than Scheme I put most of the time on a passive approach (listening, reading). I think this is less effective than writing down things, putting more thought into the ideas, and discussing / asking questions on the content. I will work on changing this during this week.

Update 2020-06-02:
I don’t have an elaborate plan on how to do a shift from the less effective method to the more effective method. I will just dedicate some time each day from today to do some actual writing on my other main goal (“overreaching & learning“) – even if it is only a couple of minutes per day. That might work on getting me started.


I will post weekly summaries of my goals weekly until I have meet all my goals for three weeks in a row. After that I will most likely only post summaries of my goals on a monthly basis.

Weekly Goal Summary 2020-05-22

Period: 2020-05-16 – 2020-05-22
(“Goal weeks” starts on Saturdays and ends on Fridays.)

I met 0 out of 2 main goals for this week.
I met 1 out of 2 secondary goals this week.
I met 1 out of 1 temporary goal this week.


Main Goals

  • Programming / Simply Scheme (minimum 1 chapter / week)
    Not met. Did not finish a chapter.
  • Overreaching & learning (Write down what I know. Work on it and update it once every week.*)
    Not met. Did not write down anything.

Secondary Goals

  • Typing (minimum 30 min / day on average)
    Met. Did average more than 30 min per day.
  • Blog (minimum 1 non-goal related posts / week)
    Not met. Did not post 1 non-goal related post.

Temporary Goals

Shorter term goals. About one week. Mainly focused on working on a particular skill.

No temporary goal for the coming week.


Thoughts

I revised my old goals so that I would not overreach. I still didn’t meet my weekly goals. This time I do not think the main issue was overreaching, but evading.

I did not focus on learning overreaching & learning as I wrote down I would do. I treated it more like a secondary goal and left it for “later” every day. “Later” never came because at the end of the day I didn’t have mental energy to work on this. This coming week I will dedicate time early in the day to working on overreaching & learning.

Programming a did work on to a larger extent. Chapter 6 was fairly long. I finished it on Saturday.


I will post weekly summaries of my goals weekly until I have meet all my goals for three weeks in a row. After that I will most likely only post summaries of my goals on a monthly basis.

Goal: Typing Goal Update – 6 Weeks In

Results, May 19th

  • Mean WPM this time: 42.77
  • Mean WPM test 5 weeks: 42.40
  • Mean WPM test 4 weeks: 38.69
  • Mean WPM test 3 weeks: 38.34
  • Mean WPM test 2 weeks: 34.67
  • Mean WPM test 1 week: 36.77
  • Mean WPM first test: 32.27 (only did one test run)
  • Mean Accuracy this time: 96.17%
  • Mean Accuracy test 5 weeks: 97.30%
  • Mean Accuracy test 4 weeks: 92.88%
  • Mean Accuracy test 3 weeks: 93.35
  • Mean Accuracy test 2 weeks: 91.69%
  • Mean Accuracy test 1 week: 94.65%
  • Mean Accuracy first test: 93.83% (only did one test run)

Reflections

Stable on new level.

I still get stressed out during the test runs when I make a mistake and it takes me a significant amount of time to fix it.

I will continue with primarily typingclub.com.

Focus will continue to be accuracy.

Training Plan & Tools

I still roughly do three sessions per day. I try to do a minimum of 30′ of typing training in total per day.

I do not move forward from one exercise to the next before I hit at least 97% accuracy on the exercise undertaken.

I have been using the following tools since the last test:

  • typingclub.com (Speed and accuracy – now includes capital letters, symbols, and numbers.)

From now on I will do the typing tests once a month instead of once a week.
(Training will continue on daily basis.)

Criticism Wanted

Do you have any criticism of my approach? Do you know a better way for me to reach this goal of mine? If you do, I would appreciate it if you let me know by posting it in the comments.

Previous Posts on Typing Goal

Goal: Learn to type faster with high accuracy (2020-04-07)
Goal: Typing Goal Update – 1 Week In (2020-04-14)
Goal: Typing Goal Update – 2 Weeks In (2020-04-21)
Goal: Typing Goal Update – 3 Weeks In (2020-04-28)
Goal: Typing Goal Update – 4 Weeks In (2020-05-05)
Goal: Typing Goal Update – 5 Weeks In (2020-05-12)

Weekly Goal Summary 2020-05-16 (& New Goal Revisions)

Period: 2020-05-09 – 2020-05-15
(“Goal weeks” starts on Saturdays and ends on Fridays.)

I met 0 out of 3 main goals for this week.
I met 1 out of 2 secondary goals this week.

Old Goals (up until 2020-05-15)

Main Goals

  • Programming / Simply Scheme (minimum 2 chapters / week)
    Not met. Finished one chapter only. Chapter 5. 
  • YESNO Philosophy (post & discuss at least 1 question with ET / Alisa / week)
    Not met. Did not discuss anything from YESNO content.
  • Overreaching & learning
    Not met. Did not have a concrete goal for this.

Secondary Goals

  • Typing (minimum 30 min / day)
    Not met. Tuesday I did less than 30 min. All other days I did at least 30 min.
  • Blog (minimum 1 non-goal related posts / week)
    Met. Posted 1 non-goal related post.

Thoughts

I am not meeting my goals. I am overreaching. I am making some changes so that I can start reaching my goals and stop overreaching.

Once I start consistently meeting my goals, I can add more ambitious goals.

I pursued this the wrong way. In “Life, Overreaching and Correcting Error“, ET writes (my bold emphasis added):

Don’t jump into the deep end; don’t sit in the shallow end forever; go step by step. (To do this, you need to figure out what you can do successfully, with a manageable error rate. That’s best accomplished by doing something really easy and succeeding, then moving forward from there with big steps, until the first failure. To find your skill level, *don’t start from the deep end and work backwards with a succession of failures* until one success; instead start from the shallow end and work forward with a succession of successes.)

I started from the deep end.

  1. Change 1: Focus on overreaching and learning to learn to understand them better and remove YESNO as a main goal for the time being.
  2. Change 2: Goal to do 1 chapter per week of Simply Scheme instead of 2 chapters.
  3. Change 3: Change typing goal to “minimum 30 min per day on average” from “minimum 30 min / day“. This way I do not fail the whole goal without being able to fix it if I for some reason miss 30 min of typing on one particular day.

New Goals (from 2020-05-16)

Main Goals

  • Programming / Simply Scheme (minimum 1 chapter / week)
  • Overreaching & learning (Write down what I know. Work on it and update it once every week.*)

Secondary Goals

  • Typing (minimum 30 min / day on average)
  • Blog (minimum 1 non-goal related posts / week)

Temporary Goals

Shorter term goals. About one week. Mainly focused on working on a particular skill.


* ET in “Non-Overreaching Learning” on Subscribestar: “1. Consider and write down what you know. 2. Work on things near the borders of your knowledge. 3. Expand your knowledge so new, additional stuff is near the borders. 4. Repeat. Add the new knowledge to your list/diagram of what you know. Reevaluate where the borders are and what’s near them. Work on stuff near the new borders.”