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Weekly Thing

Weekly Newsletter from
Jamie Thingelstad

Issue #125 /


Does it make sense when you are squeezing in, without enough time and just "getting it done", for something that you are trying to do to bring yourself more calm and presence? I find myself at the end of the day having not completed my daily meditation. I've even gotten in bed, realized I hadn't meditated yet, gotten up and done a 10-minute guided meditation, and then returned to bed. That's totally normal right?

I think at times I’m applying some Type-A, Getting Things Done™, borderline OCD tendencies to something that is exactly the opposite. Should you really have a task on your daily checklist to relax, be present, and mindful? It certainly helps me keep the consistency. But should you squeeze in something that shouldn't be squeezed in. Is it bad? No, I don't think so. But do you get the benefit you are seeking? Probably not, maybe some.

I will keep doing it though, to keep the routine and the habit. I've done this 267 days in a row now, and I don't want to lose that streak. More Type-A OCD behavior I suppose. But, wether I do it well or not, I am doing it. So, the streak continues and as long as you keep doing it you get the chance to do it well. Don't do it, and that chance goes away. So, sure, squeeze in the unsqueezable so you can seek to do it better in the future.


Featured Links 🏅

Scientists Now Know How Sleep Cleans Toxins From the Brain | WIRED

When I read Why We Sleep it introduced me to the different types of non-REM sleep. This new research shows a bit more about what those other four stages of sleep do.

What she discovered was that during non-REM sleep, large, slow waves of cerebrospinal fluid were washing over the brain. The EEG readings helped show why. During non-REM sleep, neurons start to synchronize, turning on and off at the same time. “First you would see this electrical wave where all the neurons would go quiet,” says Lewis. Because the neurons had all momentarily stopped firing, they didn’t need as much oxygen. That meant less blood would flow to the brain. But Lewis’s team also observed that cerebrospinal fluid would then rush in, filling in the space left behind.

There is a lot of important and poorly understood things that happen when we sleep. Of course I’m typing this comment late at night, when I should be drifting off to sleep instead. 😬😴


My Weekly Photo 📷

This is one of my favorite nighttime views of Minneapolis. I decided to drive by with daylight savings making things darker much sooner and see how my iPhone does with such a difficult shot. The answer is not very well.

Downtown Minneapolis at night from Lake Calhoun.
Nov 7, 2019 at 8:25 PM
3431–3599 W Calhoun Pkwy, Minneapolis MN 55408


Notable Links 📌

File systems unfit as distributed storage backends: lessons from ten years of Ceph evolution – the morning paper

Using shared filesystems for distributed systems is pretty common, and it works fine when it’s small and lightly used. It starts to break in very bad ways at scale.


Things I wish someone had explained about functional programming

Innovation in cloud platforms as well as some resurgence of more esoteric languages have brought functional programming more popularity. It’s a good reminder that this isn't just another language, this is another way of thinking.

Learning functional programming is different. It’s more than some extra concepts that slot in with what you already know. No, functional programming is a whole new way to think about programming. If you come from an OOP or imperative background, it turns a lot of received wisdom on its head. Things that you thought were bad ideas turn out to be good ideas. Things that you thought were convenient and clever turn out to be problematic. Or plain impossible.

Beware, there be dragons there. 🐉


On Digital Minimalism, Loneliness and the Joys of True Connection - Study Hacks - Cal Newport

I suspect that there are multiple effects of the mobile and social waves that negatively impact people, and I truly do believe one of them is that our brains are always occupied. Solitude is an amazing thing, and something we take away from ourselves regularly. I have often wondered if this isn't part of the surge in people meditating over the last few years.

To fill every moment of solitude with a droning hum of twitter timelines and pull-to-refresh swipes reduces the nobility of our social nature.

Indeed. 🧘‍♂️


Tech and Liberty – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

I like the concepts in this article, and I’m a big fan of Thompson's perspective. I struggle though to the extent that this article applies to Facebook the same logic that would be applied to the Internet. They are not the same thing.


What do you want to schedule? -

Emails trying to find dates to get together with a group drive me bonkers. I've used Doodle for years to coordinate those things. This looks like a slightly newer take on that concept.


How to Run a City Like Amazon, and Other Fables

The concept behind this book is interesting to me.

The idea behind the book is to ask what would it be like to live in a city administered using the business model of Amazon (or Apple, IKEA, Pornhub, Spotify, Tinder, Uber, and more), or a city where critical public services are delivered by these companies?

I feel the answer to this is very much know. Cities do not have the same goals as companies. Why would you run them the same.


What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much | WIRED

I've been a bear on blockchain for a while. I do believe that the technology solves a problem. It is a solution for trust in systems that need to provide that. However, outside of cryptocurrencies, in most developed countries we have trust. I would also note that negative articles on blockchain would be queued to start increasing right about now if the technology follows a typical hype cycle.


How a Harvard class project changed barbecue | Engadget

For years I've ignored all this technical innovation going on in the barbecue world. Honestly, I have enough tech in my life and I like that BBQ, in my opinion, is fire, smoke, and love. With that said, these devices have gotten pretty amazing, and I feel the urge to consider getting one. Link from Tom.


Mobile phone apps like Citizen aim to curb neighborhood crime — Quartz

I call BS on all of these apps. The marketing angles for services like NextDoor are all about preying on your fear. Add Ring to that as well.

People have always been curious about crime, fearful for their safety, and yearned for community. But today, technology can supercharge these feelings, and sometimes helps people give into their worst inclinations. Privileged (often white) users are defining safety by excluding those who are already disenfranchised (usually people of color). At the same time, the platforms and devices grant tech companies and law enforcement new ways to build their networks of surveillance.

Do yourself a huge favor, and delete your Nextdoor account if you have one. I tried it for a while, and after noting how they amplify fear in their messaging and use cases decided I had enough.


Piper Announces New M600 SLS. First GA Aircraft to be Standard Equipped with HALO™ Safety System and Autoland Capability. Available Q4 2019. | Piper Aircraft

This sounds like science fiction.

The Halo system, once engaged either automatically or by a passenger, gains immediate situational awareness and assumes control of all systems necessary to bring you and your passengers safely to the best suited runway. During all phases of flight it communicates with passengers and appropriate air traffic control facilities regarding the new flight plan route and estimated time until landing. Halo continually monitors all aircraft system parameters and real-time external inputs as if the pilot were at the controls. It takes into account runway size and orientation, wind, time, fuel range, glide path and considers weather conditions and terrain en route to the nearest suitable runway. Once Halo has landed the aircraft, the braking system will activate and will bring the aircraft to a full and complete stop. Finally, the engine will shut down and instructions will be provided on how to exit the aircraft.

That is amazing. It’s odd to me that self-driving airplanes is in so many ways an easier problem than self-driving cars.


Weaving Books into the Web—Starting with Wikipedia | Internet Archive Blogs

When you get all depressed about the Internet, the surveillance, the social media garbage, just read amazing cool stuff like this that is happening. Also, this is a good time to setup recurring donations to both Wikipedia and Internet Archive! 💸


The first map of America's food supply chain is mind-boggling

It is sort of amazing how not local our food supply is.


Microposts 🎈

Wednesday @ 6:39 PM

Celebrating our daughters first year in Washburn Cross Country at the year-end banquet! 🎉


Wednesday @ 5:56 PM

Looks like we are a new show at the Brave New Workshop! 🤩


Sunday @ 3:27 PM



Sunday @ 3:09 PM

Hitting balls at Batting Cages of Minnesota! ⚾️🙌


Saturday @ 10:11 PM

Enjoyed Open Mike Eagle at the Wits Reunion show tonight. Recommend checking out his music. 🎶


Saturday @ 8:04 PM

At the Wits Reunion show at the Fitzgerald!


Saturday @ 11:15 AM

I think the noise cancelling in the AirPods Pro makes me nauseous. Wasn’t sure of cause the first two times, but has happened with every use more than a couple minutes. 🥴


Saturday @ 8:48 AM

FC Bayern got a red card in the 10th minute?! 🔴 It’s going to be a long game. 😳⚽️ #SGEFCB


Friday @ 5:52 PM

Campfire and S’mores! 🔥🍫


Friday @ 5:35 PM

Simple flank steak on Big Green Egg tonight with fire getting ready for later. 🔥


Yet More Links 🍞


Local 📍


Fortune 🥠

You've made it all the way to the end! 👏 Here is your fortune for this week.

Beware of low-flying butterflies.

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All content in the Weekly Thing is placed here at my discretion. There is no advertising or promotional content. Links that are featured are found from a variety of sources, and there is no attempt to provide attribution to the source as I would inevitably get it wrong or forget routinely. In some cases links may have affiliate codes associated with them.

This work by Jamie Thingelstad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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