I’ve been doing daily meditation again now (I think I already wrote this) and I’ve definitely found it to be helpful in starting my day. For example I had a presentation to give which usually makes me pretty anxious to the point that I can’t really focus on work too much beforehand, but today I was able to work pretty much as normal until I had to give the presentation. I feel like I’m just in general more aware of my mental-state and any given moment and can do micro adjustments to be more how I want it to be.
There’s something more generic here to say about returning to a practice after a significant time away. I’ve meditated a decent amount before, but I don’t think I ever achieved the sort of awareness that I now have throughout my day and I think somehow the time away helped me to see this more clearly. There’s something about time that allows your brain to process various ideas you have been exposed to and then when you revisit them you see them in a much clearer view. Another example is returning to old concepts in math that I have learned and didn’t ever quite get and now they seem obvious.
Another slightly related thing is thinking about provenance in the world; thinking about how things came to be the way they are. Omar Rizwan, someone I learned about in connection to Dynamicland, has this great idea that data should have provenance in the sense that you should be able to understand exactly the process that led to that given data. This helps to clarify ambiguities and ensures that you are able to verify that the process is doing what was intended to give the result. Maybe it isn’t and this can then lead to clarifications and better understanding of what was meant to be given. Research papers could use a lot of this as so much as left unstated as “general practice”. Open sourcing code and having reproducible scripts is a great step forward for this, but there are no clear standards and there are still differences in machines that you run the code on. (I can’t train a trillion dollar parameter network on my machine, and on a more mundane level sometimes the code won’t compile when I follow the instructions). Anyways, I relaly like this idea and want to do my best to ensure that my creations have provenance. In a way this journal is a sort of provenance about who I am! This was (in different terms) literally a part of what I had intended it to be so I have written documentation of my interest in this idea 😉.
Once again mostly just nature soundscapes although in the evening I did listen to a few Neil Cic mashups.
Slowly, but surely now with The Rings of Saturn. It’s so meandering that its hard to remember what I read or if there was even a coherent narrative. I may also just have been too tired to really read! It was especially confusing because the thoughts were about times spent in The Netherlands while the author was walking along the English coast.