Lenses – Squinting harder never cured my ADHD. (glyph)

Sitting up night after night destroying my mental and physical health, depriving myself of sleep, focusing with every ounce of my will on tasks that I absolutely hated doing but was forcing myself to complete at all costs: it doesn’t seem to line up with the popular conception of what “laziness” might be like! Yet, I absolutely believed that I was lazy. If I were not lazy, surely Doing The Thing wouldn’t be so difficult!

This is the post that got me to try going all-in on a single to-do list that everything I need to do goes into. (It happens to be Todoist, but anything with reasonable tags and saved searches could probably do).

I don’t have ADHD but I often feel lazy. I’ve made a good career in computing and I obviously do get things done, or else nobody would employ me, but my career has been one long square wave – where I oscillate between doing almost nothing and bouts of intense productivity. Good news: you can be successful doing this! Bad news: it’s really fucking taxing on your well-being.

It’s not rare to spend four days of a work week getting almost nothing done, finishing several 8 hour days exhausted and frustrated, blaming this lack of progress on interruptions or succumbing to shallow work. Then, when I’m lucky, I nail things in the last day and it averages out to an okay week and I can start the cycle again. Sometimes that four days is more like 8 days, and that one “good day” is one sleepless night. It’s not always like this, but … it’s not uncommon, either.

So, as is probably clear, my kind of lazy is actually hard work. I totally agree with Glyph’s premise that tools and techniques meant for people who are not neurotypical have value for everyone else, too.

(A related version of this: I am dyslexic and the techniques I was taught by my primary school’s remedial teacher have allowed me to learn to read and distill information quickly. But what if everyone learned how to read like this? Wouldn’t it provide a boost to non-dyslexic people?)

20 questions to ask children about ghosts (revdancatt)

Sometimes I find myself in a situation where I need to talk to a child. For some people talking to kids comes naturally, I am not one of those people. My usual gambit is to ask them what they’re interested in and taking it from there. But sometimes that just doesn’t work, they’re not interested in anything, or they’re not interested in sharing it, or they’re too intimidated by my beard to say anything.

All Our Selves in One Basket (InvisibleUp)

This is a great article and it’s long. I wouldn’t want to TL;DR it, but one element that I agree with the most is the importance of communities owning their own “third places” online, through a combination of decentralization, federation, and rejecting algorithmic engagement.

It reminded me that Telford in Staffordshire (150,000~ people) just has a shopping centre for its town centre, and when the mall is closed there’s basically nowhere for people to go.

A Clean Start for the Web (Tom MacWright)

Linked from the InvisibleUp article, Tom makes the case for a split between the document oriented and application oriented web.

Processed World 32 - Feb ‘94

It’s fun to read zines from the 90’s and see that not everything turned out as bad as we thought (or, they’ve taken longer to turn out that badly than people expected).

Evolution of a Scheme Programmer

Only Lisp Kids Will Remember.

The Downfall of Rosewater, Once America’s Favorite Flavor (Atlas Obscura / Jaya Saxena)

I love me some trivia about some topic that’s totally irrelevant to my life.

The Golden Age of Computer User Groups (Ars Technica / Esther Schindler)

(More nostalgia). I got in on what feels like the tail end of this – Ireland Online had city-specific user groups who would meet up in pubs and talk about being on the Internet, in person. The mailing lists were actually useful and a springboard for a bunch of people’s careers on the early web.

I remember the Irish Linux User Group setting up, and while I wasn’t active beyond one or two meetings, the idea of getting together to talk about Linux seems so weird to me now – especially as Linux kind-of won and is the dominant tech for building things on the web.

It’s like the air that I breathe, and I rarely specifically think about how I use it – even using it on the desktop does not feel like an act of rebellion / self-sabotage like it used to do.

Livermore California’s Centennial Light

Home of the world’s longest burning lightbulb!

I am so glad that this website exists.